Thursday, August 28, 2008

Time To Relax...

Today my Mother celebrates her retirement. She lives 4 hours away and I cannot be there. So here are my thoughts on this day.

A few years ago I told my Mother “the older I get, the less stupid you become”. She looked at me funny. I don’t think she quite understood what I meant by that. I think I hurt her feelings, which was not my intent. I certainly have never thought of my Mother as stupid. Quite the contrary. I’ve always thought my Mother to be a highly intelligent woman.
At the age of 35 my Mother found herself widowed with 4 children under the age of 14. Being children, we were selfish. Of course we had no clue what she was going through, nor did we attempt to try. We were used to being the center of our parents’ world. We leaned on our parents for support. My Mother and Father were used to leaning on each other for support. And then he was no longer there. Now when I look back, I am amazed. My Mother has always been a very strong woman, but I can’t even imagine going through what she endured and lives to tell the tale.
We were not horrible children, but I know we were pretty rotten to her the majority of the time. As she was trying to digest the loss of her husband and raise 4 kids on her own, we were busy being kids and not understanding the major curve ball that life had thrown her way.
Through all of this, my Mother continued to do as she had always done. She got up every morning and she went to work. I have never known my Mother not to have a job. I have never known my Mother to give less than 120% in her work. Some jobs she loved. Some she hated. But she always gave her all. Her work ethic is stronger than anyone I have ever known.
My comment to my Mother was in regard to what I learned by watching her through the tough times growing up. She didn’t know it then, just as I didn’t know it then, but she was teaching me many valuable life lessons.
As I hit certain points in my life, I can look back and have those “ah ha” moments and I am humbled and can understand.
Marriage, the birth of my son, worrying about health and money, trying to have a life of my own, trying to be successful in a job. All of these things my Mother has experienced. Now I can understand some of the things she went through and with every “ah ha” moment, my respect and gratitude for her grows even deeper.
My brothers, sister and I thankfully didn’t turn out to be murderers or knocking over liquor stores, but we didn’t always follow the right path in life. Sometimes we would start down a good path, just to take a bad turn, for whatever reason. But my Mother was always there for us. Her love never waivered.
In the end, I think we turned out ok. My older brother is an OSHA Manager. My younger sister is a Medical Assistant. My younger brother is an AutoCAD Operator, and I am an IT Security Analyst. All of us…get up in the morning and we go to work. From what I can tell, we all give 120% in our jobs. We do our best when we love it. We do our best when we hate it. And there is only one place we could have learned such a work ethic. And that would be from our Mother.
Although we joke wondering what she will do with herself not working her usual 60 hour weeks, on this day of celebrating my Mothers retirement, I can think of no one on this earth that deserves to sit back, relax, and enjoy life more than my Mom.

Kindergarten vs. High School

So I've been reading this blog lately by this crazy little Indian woman in North Carolina (Hi Ilina!).
Her post yesterday made me think about something similar that I was going to write about regarding my day yesterday.
If you don't have time to read her post, in a nutshell, she took her little boy to his first day of Kindergarten.
I missed my son's first day of kindergarten 9 years ago. I was not able to get off of work. My husband took him and filmed the entire thing, including the almost mile walk. =)
I'm not sure if I'm thankful I missed it or not, although I think I cried just as hard because I "did" miss it.
Yesterday I took my son to his first day of High School. He was VERY nervous. I'm sure he was scared, although he kept saying he wasn't.
When I was his age, we lived in a rural area. Our High School had maybe 1400 kids in the school. My graduating class was a whopping 329 students and that was BIG for that school. The school was one level and sat in the middle of a cornfield.
When we went for orientation last week was when MY fear kicked in. My sons' school is an inner city school. 4 levels. I couldn't even tell you how many kids attend. Police and security guards walk the halls. I'm surprised they are not wanded and frisked by the TSA as they walk through the doors. Although I am thankful for all this security since my son was jumped last school year by some gangster wanna-be's.
As we walked the halls last week, I was wide-eyed. Amazed at the size of the building. Anxiety kicking me in the ass at every turn.
The other thing that was kicking me was realizing that this is the beginning of his major growing up. This is where he begins to decide what he wants to do in life. Where he begins to prepare for college. Where he will start to become a man. Again with the mortality crap. I am not aging gracefully.
My co-worker whom is in her 50's tells me that getting to the point of accepting your mortality is a long and very painful process, but once you get there, is really wonderful. It's that point in a womans life that all these women authors write yourself. I remember telling my co-worker, "well, it sucks and I just reeeeally wish it would be over with". She laughed.
So, I worried all day, thinking about him standing in the middle of bustling hallways, looking at his schedule, looking at room numbers, getting lost, getting overwhelmed and his eyes welling up with those big tears. I worried as to whether he had someone to eat lunch with. Hoping he would meet up with some of his buds from middle school. My son is very much like me and doesn't have a big group of friends.
Arriving home from work I was excited to ask him about his day. After the conversation, my fears were squashed.
Me: So how was your first day of High School?
G: Good
M: Well, what happened?
G: Nothing
M: Did you find all your classes?
G: Yes
M: How was Chinese class (he was very excited that he got to choose Chinese)
G: Fine
M: Gee, can you elaborate a little on your first day of school?
G: (chuckle)
The end...

If you've never read the cartoon Zits, you should....

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My Life in 6 Words

So I guess I've been tagged by Dirt and Noise.
I won't be tagging anyone since Dirt and Noise and an occasional stray are my reading audience. lol

So my life in 6 words:
1. midlife
2. wife
3. mother
4. hopeful
5. humorous
6. successful

hmmm...looks better than I thought! hahaha

Friday, August 15, 2008

More pics from the Alpaca farm

Farmer Joe? Looks thrilled don't he? It had rained like a snot that day and the Alpaca poo was schlicker than a wet booooger. He was NOT happy to be there...

Can't say as I blamed him.

This was taken last weekend. These are the "girls". They were in a front pasture. I stopped. They stared. End of story.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

GDog Gets a Job

My son is only 14 years old, but when a co-worker mentioned that a local Alpaca Farm owner was looking for someone to uhhhh...clean up the uuuuuh poop, I raised my hand. I call him my little Alpaca Pooper Scooper now. hahahha Actually I think he's been liking it.

I've seen Alpaca's before, but had never spent a significant amount of time with them. Turns out they are very gentle, intelligent, curious creatures. And VERY soft.

This is Kalfa the guard dog. That is her job, it is what she was bred and trained to do. Guard the Alpaca's. She is of a some sort of turkish breed and Kalfa means "assistant" in turkish.

They stare a alot. They are very skiddish. They come to you on their own terms.

I love this little (?) girl. I mean, look at that "do". And the fluffs of fur coming from the ears. hahaha

I was sitting on a stump near these gals, hoping they would come up to me. This one did and I was waiting for her to spit at me. Yes, they spit, but only when they are mad. Thankfully, Alpaca's don't get mad often. Thankfully, she was just being curious. lol

This is the new baby. She was only 5 weeks old at the time of this picture. She weighed 27 lbs at birth. Surprisingly the Alpaca's really don't weight as much as they look. It's mostly their fur or "fiber" as they call it. This baby's mom weighed about 120 lbs at the time of this baby's birth. Think of that in human terms. If you weighed 120 lbs and had a 27 lb baby. ummmm ouch?

Another pic of da baby. The owner grabbed her and let us touch her. Unbeeelievably soft! Turns out that Alpaca fiber products are becoming increasingly popular. Sweaters go for upwards of $400. Why? Because they are softer than cashmere. The fiber is hypoallergenic because it contains no lanolin like wool does. It is 10 times warmer than wool. A pair of socks will run you about $10. Also, because the Alpaca's are still fairly rare in the U.S. There are only about 100,000 of them.

So, while the GDog does the pooper scooping, I've been sitting in my car enjoying my surroundings doing Algebra homework. Turns out the setting is good for the Cube Monkey to study. I occassionally stop and take in the clean air (much cleaner than our city dwelling) and breath deep the smell of hay. I reeeally miss the country. I really miss having farm animals. We had sheep and a few other animals growing up. I miss 4H and FFA and going to the fair every year. Funny how smells bring back so many memories.

Friday, August 01, 2008

I'm schliding...I'm schliding...

It is my complete and utter opinion that adult learners (30 and over) are forced to take Algebra in order to weed people out of the education system. Seriously...I have met so many people who say that Algebra was the reason they dropped out of college!
I find it very strange that so many people didn't/won't finish college because of a subject that they will 99.9% NOT use in the rest of their lifetime.