Tuesday, January 26, 2010


We had a long, rough weekend. A family member committed suicide last week and we spent the weekend at the visitation and funeral. It was nice to see family, even though the circumstances were crap. Coming from a large Irish family, there is a little bit of infighting. Thankfully all of that ceased this weekend. A decade long grudge between two family members peacefully and genuinely came to an end. I was so happy for them both..and for everyone else, that their friendship was restored.

My husband is also a piper, so he, adorned in his kilt get up, played the pipes at the funeral. The departed was a soldier and all of his brothers and his father are police officers like the hubs. Everyone sobbed as my husband played Amazing Grace after the presentation of the flag to the mother.

After the funeral someone came up to hubs and gave him a big hug and said, "Funerals suck, but if there is one thing that makes a funeral awesome, it's hearing those pipes".

I was really proud of my man.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

About Me - by request

Here's a snapshot of me. It's 2010. I'm somewhere in my thirties. This is totally random. Don't look for it to make sense.

I don't know how to decorate

I don't know a thousand ways to reuse an empty milk jug but I can say that I am both thrifty and frugal.

I read self help books but usually find I already do all the things in them.. perhaps it's my way of justifying my actions?

I'm the kind of friend who doesn't call or write often, but would help you hide the body.

Some people think I'm antisocial. I'm not antisocial. I love people. I just don't like a$!%holes.

I'm really bad at math. Like, really bad. But I can balance a checkbook like nobody's business. Yeah.. I don't get it either.

People are always harping on me about not taking enough pictures of our family. In the words of David Lynch, "I like to remember things how I remember them. Not how a picture tells me to remember them." Besides, the way I see it, I only show photos to people I know. And if I know you, you don't really need a photo of me, right? Maybe my semi-Amish upbringing with no photos of people is still engrained in me.

I have no credit cards or auto loans.

In my thirty something years on earth, I have been diagnosed with three separate rare conditions. One occurs one in almost a billion. One occurs one is one hundred thousand. One occurs in four out of one hundred thousand. None of the three are related.

I am known as very precise and people tell me I was born to be a prosecutor because I can spot a lie a mile away.

I was raised by the best single dad on Earth.

One side of my family is all LEOs and the other side is all Firemen. Yeah, the jokes never end.

I am loyal, impatient, quick-witted, and have a morbid sense of humor.

Nothing drives me battier than people on speaker phone.

Sometimes when women at work talk to me, it literally begins to HURT. Do I have Asperger's? I mean the type of women who you don't really know, but they talk to you like you've been best friends for twenty years. They tell you about what they're going to make for dinner, how much laundry they have to do, when they plan to stop and fill the gas tank.
Me thinks: Really? Who the hell are you anyway lady?

Being married to a veteran LEO I generally don't trust the motives of anybody.

I go shopping when we run out of soap. Other than that, not a big fan of the stores.. except The Container Store. I am fascinated by all the stuff there. However, my house does not look like I have ever shopped at The Container Store.

I still own and wear a few articles of clothing from ninth grade (pants and shoes). Yes, as a matter of fact, I would be an excellent candidate for one of those "learn how to dress" shows.

I love cooking. Just when I was getting pretty darn good at it, the hubs was diagnosed with Celiac disease. Do you know what that does to the Pasta (and Breakfast Cereal) Queen of the Universe?

I have a cat who was raised by a dog. The cat now thinks she is a dog. She plays fetch and sleeps on her back with her paws up.

Yo hablo Espanol.

Friday, January 15, 2010

List of goofy things the hubs does

  1. Carries his gun to the range in a vintage Star Wars metal lunchbox.
  2. Pulls the velcro straps off his vest so loud I wake up startled, wondering what planet I'm on.
  3. Picks up boxes of .40 ammo and leaves them under the driver's seat of my car without telling me.
  4. Leaves a random bullet or two in the cupholder or center console of my car.
  5. Takes a marked up report from his female Lt. that needs corrections, whites out her notes and correction marks and hands it back to her and says, "I thought it was perfect so I just erased your suggestions. Here you go." After the Lt. stops having heart attack, he pulls out the clean, corrected version and hands it to her and chuckles.
  6. Draws sharks in the river on his accident reports.
  7. Appeases his female Sgt. and Lt. with chocolate when he's done something that aggravates them (which is usually telling inappropriate jokes).
  8. Leaves hundreds of little strips of paper with random names and dobs.. all in a pile next to his uniform. (these are notes from accidents and calls he's gone to. I've learned over the years to stop throwing them away.. LOL)
  9. Etched B.M.F. into his maglite.
  10. Covered the butt end of his asp with white-out then neatly drew the Irish tri-color with markers.
  11. Changes the station's computer screensaver to say, "I Like Doughnuts", then changes the password so nobody can erase it. It's the first thing people see when they walk in.
  12. Put spinner hubcabs on his Lt.'s car while she was on vacation.

True story. One of Hubs' female co-workers bought an old house. She was telling him about how they had to gut the place and do all this work to it. She mentioned that they couldn't live in it yet because they didn't have running water due to some plumbing issues but they were going to have a plumber come in this week and fix it.

A day or two passed and the Hubs went into the station. All the female officers were huddled together and started talking really quietly when he walked in. He casually glanced across the station to this particular officer and asked, "How's your plumbing?".

There was a dead silence. Hubs, shrugged it off and got his paperwork and went back to the car.

A half hour later, the female Sgt. pulled up next to him and said, "You can't be so insensitive. She's having a really hard time."

Completely confused the Hubs asked, "What are you talking about?"

Sgt. replied, "We were all discussing her 'female issues' and how she's been going to the doctor to find out what's wrong and then you walk in and ask 'How's your plumbing'?"

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Liberating Myself

Ok, so, I'm strange. I'll admit it. I go through these phases where I just feel like getting rid of stuff. I like having things, and I do consider all of the things I have to be nice.

The other thing I notice about myself is that I think of "having" things as opposed to "owning" them. I don't know why I do this, but I think there is a big difference. A good difference, indeed.

This mindset helps me let go of stuff when the time is right. I find that I have an appreciation for what the items did for me and my life, but I have no attachment to them. I am not "emotionally involved" with the material item.

I also realize that when I have too much stuff, I am complicating my life and I am influencing my kids to want more stuff, too. None of us really think about it consciously. It just happens.

I know it's time to purge things when I start asking, "Where did this come from?" or saying "Where am I gonna put this?" and especially when I say, "We need a bigger house.. we're running out of room."

Alarms, bells, whistles, flashing lights .. whatever you want to call them, start going off in my head in those moments.

I am sort of an organizing freak. Kept items that get packed away are all uniformly packaged into matching Rubbermaid containers and clearly labeled on the outside. Then they all get neatly stacked into the basement storage area at our house.

Once that task is done, I look around and I still see a million things that I don't want, don't care about and wish weren't there.

Pause- I know I'm making it sound like I am a hoarder, but that's not true at all. We are a family of four living in an eight hundred square foot house. Itty-bitty living space.

Not to say that our house does not provide sufficient living space. We just have to live within that space and do so comfortably. A place for everything and everything in its place is great, but not when everything doesn't HAVE a place.

What I try to do is pick a day when the hubs can take the boys and get out of the house. I stand in front of our closet. Anything that the hubs or I have not worn in the last 6 months gets thrown into an empty bin. When he gets home, he gets 5 minutes to look through and veto anything (he usually doesn't) and then the lid goes on and straight into the car.

On to the next room. Usually the kids' rooms, but I include the living room, the kitchen, etc. Everything gets looked over room by room. Mostly empty bottles of whatever get pitched or recycled. Decorative things that collect dust and don't do anything for me go bye-bye to someone or someplace else.

It's a liberating feeling to get rid of crap. There is something very zen about cleaning, sorting and organizing. It's almost therapeutic at times.

Anyone else weird like me?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

It's A New Year

I'm working on the personal philosophy I'm going to live by this year. Yes, I know we're already into 2010 but I'm still establishing my mindset.

I was digging around in the basement storage and came upon a really good little excerpt I ran across several years ago. I am going to try my best to keep this in the front of my mind this year. I thought I'd share, as I know others can find this useful, too.

What do I have?

What does it mean?

Do I still want this in my life?

Do I need it in my life now?

Can I give any of my stuff away?

I decided several years ago that I couldn't bear to give my things to Goodwill for them to turn around and sell. It just didn't make any sense and maybe it's just me, but I didn't feel like I was really helping anyone. So.. I found the name of a local battered women and children's shelter. I didn't know anything about the place, other than what their services were but I called them anyway.

Sure enough, they were delighted that I had an entire walk-in closet full of perfectly good clothes and shoes that I could spare for women who, in many cases, left home with literally nothing but the clothes on their back.

They gave me the first name of a contact person and gave me an address. They told me the address was a local service station and that said contact person would meet me there at 1pm on Saturday.

I met Diana at the local service station with the entire back of the SUV full of nice, clean clothes and good looking shoes. Diana told me that they were virtually out of clothes and shoes and that what I was offering was perfect as many women they help are in desparate need of clothing suitable for finding a job and going to work.

We never talked any more about the shelter, but I could tell she was grateful and I can tell you that handing over my stuff was very, very humbling.

Many years ago as a know it all teenager I found myself in one of those terribly abusive relationships that I swore I would NEVER get into. I was a young, impressionable teenager.. he was five years older than me and just out of the service. I was stubborn and determined. He was insecure and jealous. There was a lot of bad, bad stuff.. which dragged out for five incredibly long years.

When I was 20, I remember getting a phone call very early one morning from my childhood friend's dad. He told me that my friend Jeni's husband had murdered her in a domestic dispute. I knew at that moment the reality of what could end up happening to me. I knew that it was time to go and it didn't matter what happened, nothing would be worse than what I had already endured... (ok so at least I hoped).

Anyway, I left the s.o.b.. I spent a lot of time scared of what he might do afterward, but eventually made peace and came to realize that all I could do is move on with my life and take whatever came at me. It was not an easy process but I got through it.

The day I met Diana and handed over my things, I realized that I could have been one of those women. I realized that my stuff was the least important thing in life. I felt happy knowing that the women who were going to wear those clothes were women who found the strength to bring themselves out of the darkest place in their lives.

Isn't it a great feeling when we can give to others? Not for prideful reasons, but for the wonderful reminders we receive? Knowing that we are not alone. It can be overwhelming if you stop to think about how many people can be impacted by one act of kindness.

I don't write this to say that I am noble or that I did something special.

I write this to encourage you to find a way to let go of some of the "stuff" in your life.

You never know. You might let go of a lot more than tangible things.