Monday, June 13, 2016

A Southern Gal ... After 8 Years

I've been in Charlotte 7 years and 50 weeks now and although I have considered myself a southern girl for a while now today I had a craving for chicken and waffles that would only be satisfied with some southern cooking!

I'm a Southern Girl and there's no going back now!

Here's to an amazing eight years and to many more decades to come!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Sound that Pierces Through the NIght

Yesterday I flew into Charlotte on a 7am flight from Baltimore. It was the 3rd very early morning flight I took this week and I was so tired! So I get home, answer a few emails, make a few calls, and then lie down for a few hours to get some sleep since I was over exhausted. That's when it begins.

A loud, piercing beep! So I check every smoke detector in my house - of which there are 4 in my very small 1200 square foot house. Why so many? I'm really not sure, but apparently the builders of this house were very fire safety conscious.

Less than a year ago, I had replaced 3 of the batteries after a similar situation and thought that the green light indicated "good" so I went to all 4 and looked for the green light. The one I didn't replace last time, in my office with the highest ceiling, is the only one without a green light. So I check with my friend who was coming over already and her tall husband was coming over with her before we went out last night. He was coming so I was going to employ his height in my household need.

Now I get back to my plan to sleep for a bit. I lay down in the living room, but cannot get over the beeping. So I move upstairs to my bedroom, find some ear plugs, and take a nap. I endured the beeping until they arrived at 7pm and then the adventure began to end the beeping.

We found out the detector without the green light not only didn't have a battery, but wasn't connected to the system. All of the batteries were replaced but the beeping persisted. The only ended when we disconnected the one downstairs and removed the battery. So the beeping ended, but the system is now down a detector and hopefully not compromised... Hmm... I'm going to have to call the customer service department and see what can be done.

If you thought that's where this story ended, you would be wrong.

Around 3am, I woke up to use the bathroom and thought I heard a beeping noise. This is what I thought was happening:

I went downstairs to follow the beep and it was the CO detector ... my question is which insane person designed these systems to beep continuously until you do what it wants? Apparently there are some people in this world who can ignore the beeping - my friends who had a smoke detector beeping for almost a week before they replaced the batteries. I was there for less than 5 minutes before I started going crazy!

My other question is why can the batteries in my remote last for years and the smoke detector batteries less than a year and always die in the middle of the night?

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Hardest Days to be Single

I've been thinking about this topic a lot lately, especially since my grandmother's funeral last month. The times when it's most difficult to be a single person. Many people claim that holidays like Christmas are the most difficult to be single, but I disagree. Christmas, for my family at least, is when everyone is together and we're celebrating time together. We go to visit other family members around town. I typically spend a week or so at home and don't mind the downtime that I don't have to fill with entertaining someone else and finding things for us to do in a small town. Sounds weird, but Christmas isn't my most difficult holiday as a single person.

The most difficult are all of the other days of the year when people have family celebrations. Most of those days friends don't think to invite you over to enjoy dinner or a group event that involves friends. Days like Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day. In my experience, Thanksgiving and Easter are days when I have to decide which friends I'm going to spend time with. But these other days, I'm always searching for things to do and people to be with. I think that couples don't think about their single friends and what we'll do.

This is why I'm considering flying to Chicago for the 4th of July. No one here is going to be in town, so it's almost a waste of a three day weekend to spend at home alone doing nothing. I'm thinking that spending the time with another friend would be a better use of my time and emotional energy.

It's always hard to make a decision like this because it seems so impulsive and can be costly financially. But someone once told me a few years ago when I was making a decision to fly to Denver to see a friend who I hadn't seen in over 5 years. She said, "if you have the money and the time off, why not go?" Basically what are you saving the money for? Why not travel while you can and enjoy the time with friends?!

I think as I get older and make decisions based on more than money - on happiness, I become a better person. So I'm purchasing a flight to visit a friend and enjoy the 4th of July together! Chicago, HERE I COME! See you in less than a month!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Rudest Thing

I have a list of pet peeves a mile long. Anyone who knows me in real life could tell you that the littlest things can bother me. It’s mostly things that other people do that are inefficient and therefore bother me, but some of these are real things. For instance, not driving with your lights on when it’s raining or even foggy. This is one of my biggest driving pet peeves. It’s actually the law. I always think that the police should pull these people over. BUT then a few months ago I was driving and saw a car without its lights on in the rain and was telling them from my car to turn them on and I noticed it was a police officer IN a police car. I guess they don’t pull people over because they, themselves, have no idea that this is the law!!

I don’t consider this driving tick rude though – it’s just ignorant to other drivers and endangering other people’s safety! That’s all.

Today I’m writing about what I believe is the rudest thing one stranger can do to another stranger because it’s happening to me right now. This is my biggest traveling pet peeve and I travel a lot and see crazy stuff all of the time! Going through security is a regular adventure for people who haven’t traveled in a while or are just ignorant and don’t read signs or pay attention to what you are supposed to do. Take off your shoes, pack your liquids in those tiny travel bottles, remove things from your pocket, take off jackets and sweaters and just go through the line quietly and efficiently. In the mornings at the Charlotte airport each security check point is for only one type of traveler. This means that if you are business/first class you go through one point (usually C – although today it was for us regular passengers), Pre-Check (typically B & sometimes D), and steerage (A, which is also the only one open at 4:10am and E – where no one ever goes and they have the most amount of TSA agents available). This morning as I was getting in line for security a couple in front of me wasn’t allowed in C because they were pre-check. The kind agent directed them to D this morning to go through pre-check and then they proceeded to argue with her about how they weren’t. She said, “yes you are – it says so right here on your boarding pass.” That kind of peeves me – and it’s because these people were just GIVEN pre-check, they didn’t even know it, AND they were then not taking advantage of it.

I recently applied for Global Entry Pre-Check to take advantage of these features of the TSA that this couple was trying to avoid. I’m still in review – can.not.wait to hear if I make the cut. I’m hoping this makes the early morning flights I have (three more in the next three weeks).

I can deal with security, even the craziness of boarding which should be done from the back to the front if they want it to be more efficient AND faster as well as avoid people getting hit in the face with my bag as I go down the aisle to my window seat in row 32.

The thing that I cannot stand is the fact that all of us are sitting with mere inches of space in these crazy coach airline seats and the person in front of me has the audacity to recline their seat. I know that they have a right to do so, and the ability to do so. However, the extra two inches that you are reclining STEALS two of the six inches I have back here. I’m cramped trying to use my small surface, drink my six ounces of Dr. Pepper, and now must operate/work/sleep/breath with your seat back right in my face.

The last flight I was on where someone invading my space like this I was behind, arguable, one of the BEST seats on the plane. How do I know it’s the best seat on the plane? I received it a few flights ago. It’s an exit row seat in the back near the window. There’s no seat in front of it and you have the absolute MOST amount of leg room on the plane. You literally have three FEET of leg room, and you need an extra two inches of MY precious space to lean back? Yes, it is your right – but should you?

There are so many times when people should thing of the appropriate response to this question, “I could, but should I?” Probably not. 

Linking up with the other gals at the Not Alone Series since this is definitely ADULTING and how I do it ... not blowing up at other people while traveling, eating at restaurants, etc...

Thursday, May 19, 2016

All I Do...

Do you ever feel like all you do is one thing? I feel like all I do is work on the computer. It's my work life - I'm sitting at my computer all day long working on websites, sending emails, making phone calls - LOTS of phone calls. Then in the evening, I'm working on our young adult stuff, writing this here blog, checking personal emails, or just wasting time online.

We live in such a digital society that it's almost unavoidable - or at least that's what I tell myself. Is that really the case or is it just my excuse?

I'm not really sure. And to be honest - I might want to be on my computer less, but I don't really want to cut out any of the things that I'm doing right now, so there's got to be some balance.

There are a few things I very rarely use digital media for and prefer the old fashioned way. One of these is books. I do have the kindle app on my phone and a Kindle that I find to be very useful for reading when I'm traveling. It's super easy to just turn that on and read rather than lugging around tons of books in my already super heavy briefcase and very full carry-on bag. I love the way that books feel in your hands, the satisfaction from underlining a particularly noteworthy point, and the way they sit on the shelf for years reminding me of the good times.

I also love getting books from the library - brand new titles to explore and read!

This summer I'm going to plan to read more in the evenings and on the weekends. Spend some time diving into a different world, uncovering new adventures, learning new things.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Online Dating Adventures

“I beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called.”
the beginning of Ephesians 4

In the quest for a spouse, everyone from my friends to strangers to siblings to parents have told me that I should do online dating. A way to meet more people, expand my reach. I paid for an entire year's subscription and didn't have any bites - only one guy, who was pretty prejudice even progressed to an in-person meeting. Today as I was looking around my archived draft posts, I found this gem. The below is the real struggle of online dating. Maybe this was just the pool from Catholic Match, but I think it's a good representation of the weird things you see online. The advantage of online dating is that you can just copy & paste this crazy into a blog post as evidence. I'm not sure what my future spouse will look like or be like - but I think comments and profiles like this are off my list. Hopefully it doesn't make me too picky.

Let's call this one 'Rick' - well cause that's his name and he seems a little odd:
Fortunately, I'm not full of myself, and I'llhus try to take very good care of you. I want to be your charming prince. My profile photo is dated. I've lost a little hair since then. Otherwise, it basically looks like me. I try hard to make people feel special without spoiling them. People who have known me would probably agree that I do a good job at that. You needn't contact me. Be assured that I'm looking for you. If you look at my profile, that will be enough. Please don't be discouraged if I don't respond immediately. 
 and ...
Must be willing to consider having an in-house night nurse to tend to the children in the middle of the night so you can be well rested during the day. 
then ...
One of my goals in life is to buy my wife what I call a princess dress - a dress with 'exploded' shoulders and a broad, long bottom half. It isn't very high on my lists of priorities, but it is a goal. 
it's not over ...
I can see traveling a bit. Since I am specifically not enchanted by the hierarchy, the Pope, or the Vatican, I have no burning interest in going to Rome. That doesn't mean I would mind taking you on a trip, though.
Another gem from Nicholas, not Nick ...
Therefore it is for the sake of the children that I have boiled down the most important traits for an ideal match. I call them, "The Three C's." An ideal match should be Catholic, Conservative, and Chiropractically-minded. I don't want to have a house that's divided by religion, politics, or healthcare. Also, to be fair, you would probably not want to get into a lot of arguments all the time as well. I was raised my entire life under chiropractic care. It has kept me healthy all these years, with medicine only being employed on an emergency basis. I realize not everyone is familiar with chiropractic care, and I would be glad to answer any questions about it, but that is how I would intend to raise the children.
for his credit, he does continue to explain himself ...
 As stated above, I am a Doctor of Chiropractic, commonly known as a chiropractor. I prefer the title, "friendly neighborhood nervous system facilitator." It is my ideal job. Before I finally was led to my vocation as a chiropractor, I did not know what I wanted to be. All I knew was that I wanted a job that I liked, could support me and a family, and also helped people directly. When God finally revealed to me that this was the path I should take, it amazed me that I did not realize it sooner. Sure enough, I now have my three criteria.
Back to the old-fashioned way to meeting men - mutual acquaintances, fellow Church attendees, local establishments... With Online Dating, at least you get to the crazy pretty quickly!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Leaning In

Happy Feast! Today is Pentecost and that means that the Holy Spirit was the person of the Trinity on the stage during Mass today. Fr. C's homily got me thinking about my own plan. He was talking about how the Apostles received the Holy Spirit just like we have, but the manifestation of the spirit looks completely different in our lives than in theirs. I'm not speaking in tongues, moving the world, etc... He proposed a reason and asked us to think about all of the prayers we've ever prayed. Then take all of the prayers that sound like this "Lord I need help with X," "Please give me Y," and "Remove Z suffering from my life" and place them on one side of the scale. Then on the other side of the scale put every time you've whole-heartedly said "Lord do with me what you will."

This got me thinking about my life and my plan for it. More and more I think that the plan I see for my life is not what the Lord has in store for me. I have had an idea that I am going to be married with children since I was just a small child myself. I've played with baby-dolls, my own little household as pretend play. I started praying for my future husband when I was a teenager - always keeping a look-out for a nice young catholic boy who might be the one who wants to marry me. This thought process has not changed much now that I've entered my thirties. Whenever I'm at Church, I notice if there's a man who's attending and he looks like he's under the age of 40 and over 25. First thing - look to see if he has a ring. If not - maybe that's where the Lord is leading me. This is quite an unhealthy perspective - but good for not thinking that married men could be potential husbands!

Then today Fr. C made a comment about when we pray the  prayer "Lord do with me what you will." He was sure to note that this is quite a scary prayer for us to make. It could take us to a completely different place than we see our plans taking us. He said that for some, our lives might look the very close to what they look like now. For others, things could be completely different.

I don't believe the Lord is calling me to religious life - but more and more I think that marriage is more a missed vocation for me than a fulfilled one. Maybe this is the Devil trying to remove my hope and my joy. Making me feel like I'm not good enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, meek enough to be a good wife. Maybe those things are true.

Maybe I won't ever get married, won't ever be a mom to my own kids. The thought combined with looking at my friends who are all married and having lots of cute little kiddos makes me sad. I'm not bitter that they are experiencing all of the things in life that I want to experience. I'm not upset that they aren't also in the middle of the misery that I have. I know they say that "misery loves company" but I don't want everyone to be single. I don't want that to be the focus of our friendships. However, I don't want to be left behind or deemed "unrelatable" because we don't share the same focuses in life or have similar lifestyles.

My biggest fear is not being single my entire life. My biggest fear is loosing my friends because our lives begin to have nothing in common or because they don't know what to say to me when the topic of relationships comes up and that my family will grow further and further apart so that even blood won't keep us together. That is what keeps me up at night and brings tears to my eyes during the most intimate moments with our Lord at Mass. My biggest fear is being single and also being alone for my entire life. This is where I need the Lord to come in and provide his healing bringing me closer to him.

Lord provide me the courage to give over to your will with my whole heart that I may always find my heart resting in your presence.