Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Really? I Mean REALLY?!

This was a right-hand advertisement on my Facebook page today.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

God Rockin' The Free Dishwasher Repair & Replacement

Ok. I'm ready for all the funny comments. Hit me, people. I can take it. But I'm still gonna crow about all the good things God keeps doing for me.

SO last summer, you may recall that God totally rocked the free fridge repair when it croaked in August. August in Texas with no fridge? Only thing worse is August in Texas with no AC. But the repair was done one month short of the 3 yr warranty expiring.

Recently, my faithful (albeit LOUD) dishwasher has been pooling water at the bottom every time I run it. I tried the old "if I ignore it, it will go away" thing. As usual, this did not work. Dang. So since God also just rocked me that wonderful financial wind fall and I was able to pad my liquid emergency fund, I tried the "call the GE repair people" thing. As usual, this worked much better.

The same awesome repair dude that fixed my fridge showed up today. He pulled out the washer, took it apart and generally made me groan with thoughts of how much this would take from my newly padded liquid emergency fund.

As it turns out, the leak was from a cracked tub: that inner lining of the whole apparatus. I groaned again. "So, I imagine this isn't under warranty any more, right?" ask I. "Well, here's the deal. The dishwasher isn't under warranty. However, the tub has a 10 year warranty. And since I can't fix the tub or replace just the tub...YOU do the math!"

So check it: I get a free dishwasher replacement. And since they don't make my model any more (the cheapest one GE makes), I get a free upgrade. It's still the cheaper model but it's better than the one I had! AND - as if that wasn't cool enough - the repairman's time was free since he couldn't fix it. So I pay nothing.

The dishwasher is still workable while I wait the 5-7 days for the replacement. It will just leak. Which I can handle.

Dude. I'm just sayin'... God totally ROCKS.

Commence your little jokes about it. But God still rocks.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Ok, here is a reason for all of you to go out and celebrate:

I just paid off my last credit card today. Which means I am now only in debt for my mortgage. No car loan. No credit cards. No 401K loans. No lawyer payments.

Now go out and celebrate appropriately. But DON'T use credit cards!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

An Open Letter To My Scary Neighbors

Dear Scary Neighbors,

Your dog is lonely. Apparently, he is also without food or water quite frequently. Whose idea was the ginormous metal bowl? Is there a way that you can either keep said bowl filled with, oh...say...food or water or bolt it down to your back porch? Because when he seems annoyed by the lack of food or water, that little toss game he plays with that METAL bowl...on your CEMENT porch...yah, that's good times. It's fun to listen to at, say, 1:18am. So maybe, could you play with him? Or take him inside when it gets hella hot? Because, I'm not sure if you've noticed but this is Central Texas. And it gets hot outside. And your back porch takes the brunt of the afternoon sun and hottest time of day. Your dog doesn't have air conditioning. Or water. I checked.

Oh and also, could you mow your lawn? And perhaps pick up the garbage around your property? And possibly not smoke pot so obviously on your back porch where my boys can see? And can you ask that one guy - you know the one - to please wear a shirt when he's mucking about in the back yard?


Signed your neighbor that was just once again jolted awake by a loud metal-on-cement sound.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Heard In My House Today

Me: [yelling very loudly] "My boys are so stinkin' adorable!!!!"
Lil'Bro: [continuing] "...she can hardly STAND it!"

Sunday, June 07, 2009


I know I'm way behind the times but loving this song so recently. But if you know me, you know my whole life has been a study in loving things way after it's hip. I'm ok with that. And to show you just how under a musical rock I have been, I will share this.

One night, back in 2008, I was flipping around the channels as I am want to do. I stopped to watch this performance. It was by a guy I've never heard of (again because I'm tragically out of touch). It was a song I had never heard (see previous parenthetic comment). I remember being struck by the emotion of the performance. I had assumed it was honoring someone who had died because everyone seemed very moved by the song. And the song itself made me want to cry. The performer sounded as if he was trying not to cry. I now believe it might have been a case of nerves. But who knows.

Either way, the song haunted the recesses of my mind periodically but I knew nothing of it and wouldn't have known how to hunt it down.

Enter my old roommate Darcy. We talked the other night and she told me she's ready to design my album cover. But I had to promise to include a cover of this certain song. It's called Hallelujah. It's by Leonard Cohen. I asked what the song was and she described it. I grabbed my iPod Touch, pulled up YouTube and found the Jeff Buckley version of the song. WOW! It was that song I had seen so briefly back in 2008! And it was still amazing.

So now I knew the song name and author. And if you go to YouTube, you can see like 8 million cover versions of the song. Some good, some they need to just quit it. But the Jeff Buckley version (see embedded video below) or the Damien Rice version (see other embedded video below) seem to really capture the soul of the song - for me anyway. Leonard Cohen's live version is killer. And I love the man. But I'm a sucker for gorgeous vocals. And Leonard is a genius. But he will be the first to admit he is NOT a gorgeous vocalificationer.

Anyway, I thought I'd post the song for you to check out. More than likely you are all way more hip than I and have already heard about 16 versions of it either in Shrek or The OC or some other TV show or movie. But it's a new find for me and I love it.

And if I ever really do get off my duff and record that album Darcy wants me to record, I will probably mangle yet another unnecessary cover of this song. So I ask for your forgiveness in advance.

Here is a link to the Jeff Buckley version. The embed code was disabled by request. Sorry.

Here is the Damien Rice live version from the 2008 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame show I saw.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Tourette's News and Other Stuff

Tourette's News:
I heard this on KLOVE, of all places. Found it out on Reuters. Nothing earth shattering here but an interesting read. Another version of the report points to the fact that TS is found predominately in white kids (compared to black or Hispanic). Also, more prevalent in boys than girls. Just an interesting read.

Other Stuff:
I was just having a quick IM session with one of my favorite friends and authors, Trish. Talking or typing with her always makes me happy. I love knowing her. I often refer to her as one of the pillars of my spiritual support. She is one person I turn to when I want to be happy or freak out in crisis. I love having people like that. She laughed with me when I called her cell to inform her that I just purchased a very respectable "girly" top from Anne Klein. She dropped everything when I called her from a hotel room in pieces because my marriage had just imploded. Friends like that are gifts from God.

But what we were laughing about in our IM session revolved around a recurring amusement in our relationship. How I saw her speak at church one Sunday in February 2005. And I immediately dismissed her as some pampered "Christian wife" that had it all together and wouldn't have anything in common with me. I didn't like her. I wrote her off as just completely out of touch with any reality I might know. A few weeks later, when I took a class on seeking faith, who do you think one of the leaders of that class was? Yup. Trish. I remember seeing her and thinking, well, this class is a bust. Thankfully, God loves to show me how wrong I am but in a fun and humorous way. The long story short (that I think I've blogged about before) is that she is one of my most trusted and loved friends. A true friend sent from God.

I have so many friends in my life that have similar starts. My wonderful friend Kristen and our other friend Alicia - I did a similar thing. My first encounter with them was...I think at a friend's party. They were fans of this band - I was friends with most of them and was very protective about the guys and who tried to gain access to them. I was pretty smug and not very welcoming to girls who tried to enter our tight little circle. I sized these two up as groupies and didn't really pay them any mind. Fortunately, they were NOT groupies. Well, they LOVED the band. But they weren't just vapid chicks trying to hook up with a popular band. They actually ended up marrying two other friends of mine that I knew through that band. And they have been two of the most supportive loving friends I've ever had. They were pretty much the only two people we let babysit Pokemon Boy when he was a baby. They have driven me to doctor appointments, one of them drove us home from the hospital when Lil'Bro was born. And to think I thought they were just annoying groupies!

Yes, I realize all of these stories are a huge revelation that I am one big huge judgemental snot bag. But the beauty of it is, in stead of God stomping on my head with his ginormous steel-toed boots, he just shakes his head and makes these people I have misjudged my new best friends.

I was sitting here going through a list of friends that fit this pattern. It's pretty funny. Well, it's pretty pathetic, from one view. But over all, it's more funny. To me, anyway. Thank you, God, for not stomping on my head.

In another "Woo-hoo, God rocks" report:

God has once again rocked the money thing for me. I'm not sitting here saying that I expect God to constantly drop found money in my lap. But it seems to show up when I least expect it. And I am always seeming to have enough money to provide for my needs.

I remember back in that faith seeking class I mentioned above in my Trish story, they talked about tithing. When that subject came up, I remember thinking, "There it is...the price tag every evangelist eventually tosses at you!" But it wasn't like that. There is so much more to it and I'd need a whole blog to get into where it came from and why we still continue it today. But the part that stuck out in my head has always been the fact that it's the only thing God says "Go ahead, test me in this! See what happens." [ref. Malachi 3:8-12] Most everywhere else God kind of warns us not to put him to the test. But this, he says, go ahead - tithe and see how I bless you. I've seen so many people tentatively try it out. And I know so many people who have amazing stories that surprised them. I tell you, since I became the single person responsible for my household finances, I have finally really given like I wanted to. It started out rather sparingly. I was scared to give too much away at first. But man, every time I have hit the straights, God provides what I need out of the most unexpected ways. I'm not talking excess or lottery winnings. But I'm just blown away how it always seems to appear right at the right time.

So right now, I'm doing ok. I'm still living off of my severance package. And I will confess I have been treating the boys and myself to a few too many frivolities. I've been starting to wonder if it will stretch. Will I be able to keep the house? Will I be able to get out of the non-house debt I've dug myself into before it all runs out? But through it all, I just keep saying, Ok God, I'm trusting in you here. Whatever happens - house/no house, debt/no debt - I know you'll work it out. I'm not waiting for my big American bling bling lifestyle. I don't want that. I just want enough to raise my kids, meet my obligations and still be able to give some away. And I've been able to.

Today, I met with my financial advisors. And without going into boring details, I have basically just had a huge (in my book) amount of found money come into play. And it has no tax implications because it's from after-tax money (I've already paid taxes on it a long time ago). And it's just enough to be able to pay off the remaining amount of non-house debt I have. Still giving me a good chunk to either put into a retirement fund or into a rainy-day liquid fund.

This blows my mind. Because I dug myself into quite a hefty bit of non-house debt since the beginning of 2007. Between the actual legal costs of divorce, what I paid out in settlement and then the whole guilt spending resulting from said divorce, I had quickly racked up an amount that made one of my church friends gasp (but to be fair, she's a completely debt-free person). That was the amount I started chipping away at in January. Right now - 6 months later, I have it decreased by more than half! And I'm about 2 weeks away from being able to wipe it all out and just have a mortgage to chip away at. That is mind blowing to me. And that is all God. Every tiny bit of unexpected found money that has come my way in these 6 months went to pound away at that debt. And now this!

I know this is not very profound because I'm not putting numbers out there. I'm not really thrilled to say, "Hey, I'm stupid enough to have racked up $xx,xxx.00 in debt in a mere two years!" But you can fill in those Xs with any numbers and you can see it's substantial. Especially for a single mom who got laid off this past January.

God just keeps rockin' the rescue. He keeps providing. Even when I mess up my own finances. He's not a head stomper. He's a loving father that is amazingly patient with us. He has always had his hand out to me - my whole life. I'm just so glad I finally realized it back in 2005 and turned and REALLY took it.

God, thank you for the awesome friends you put in my life. Thanks for the new ones you're introducing me to right now. And thank you for always providing what my boys and I need. Whether it's money or love from my parents. You're so awesome. I love you.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Braggin' On Me Boy-O.

Pokemon Boy had the last award ceremony of the year this past Monday. They give out cool dog tags for different things. At the end of the year, they try to make sure everyone has at least one dog tag. But Pokemon Boy got a few I'm pretty durn proud of. There's actually 2 missing from this shot. He got 4 "All-A's Honor Roll" dog tags - one for each quarter. Then he got the gold one because he got "All-A's Honor Roll" ALL YEAR LONG. [How this kid got this smart is beyond me.] He's the lazy mom's dream kid. I'm so wikkid proud. In the immortal words of Stella - "My heart is FULL!"

Check it, yo! My 3rd grader got these:

I should mention here that his teacher (and all school staff) is phenomenal. She worked so patiently with him since she took over his class just after the holidays. She seemed to find such a balance between allowing for his anxiety issues and holding him accountable for his actions. We love her and are lucky to count her as a friend.