Sunday, September 6, 2009
Yesterday I scored a serving position at a nice little steakhouse just about 10 miles south of my town. Although the B&B is crazy busy now, I aniticipate the usual winter slump to begin by the end of October, so it's a relief to know that I'll have some back-up income. Between that and the extra rental money I'll be getting from the ex (provided he keeps working), I should be able to easily survive the slow season. A measure of financial security provides me with a much needed sense of peace. If that can be coupled by a positive alteration in my relationship with Patrick and a reconnection with my friends and my creative muses, I will be reaching a better place in the coming weeks.
I hope I can also reconnect with a blogging group. Many of my regular contacts from the beginning of the year seem to have stopped writing. Is anybody still out there??
Saturday, September 5, 2009
The ex hooked up cable in the basement today so his stuff should soon follow.
Have a job interview for part time work at a nearby steakhouse that I applied to months ago. Thought they had blown me off but I guess not. I hope that comes through. Only a ten minute drive! (a big deal when you live in an out the way, small town like Northfield)
My B&B is busy busy busy because there are 2 colleges in town and all the kids are returning to the dorms. September is the upswing in my seasonal cycle.
I'll be mowing the lawn later and eating something barbequed. (in keeping with the holiday tradition)
Happy Labor Day weekend to all!!
Friday, September 4, 2009
My life pulled a huge 180 in the past 6 months. I divorced my husband due to what would best be described as chronic meaness. Toss in perpetual unemployment, an ill temper, and a controlling, narcissistic personality, and... well, you get the picture.
Okay so. I should be single now, right? Not exactly.
He's still living with me... primarily because he has yet to accumulate the necessary funds to move out and I'm just too soft hearted to send him packing. But also because, damn it, I do still have feelings for him and he is tenaciously hanging on and insisting that a new start can be made and he can be more responsible and a better person and ya da ya da ya da. I've heard it before and it hasn't come to pass, but being eternally hopeful, I'm giving things a chance. He is working now (5 days and counting). He is also planning to move into my basement and pay actual rent. On the downside, he has no vehicle, except for an old motorcycle that belonged to my first husband and sat unused and unloved in my garage for somewhere around 10 or 12 years. So far, I've spent about $500 trying to fix it for him and get it titled and insured. $141 of that cost was incurred when he got pulled over for riding without insurance. That wasn't the fine, just the impound fee.
Main problem is that the damn thing only runs when it's in the mood. We've named it, we talk to it, we send it positive healing thoughts, but it still continues to run for awhile and then die, and run for awhile, and die again. Currently it's dead, which means that he took my car to work, leaving me without wheels. That isn't such a huge problem since I work at home and live in a small town... but still. The guy needs to get a car. And it will probably be at least a year before his credit recovers sufficiently for that to even be a possibility.
So. We'll sink a bit more money in the bike and hope for the best. At least now it will be his money because today he gets his first paycheck. Woo hoo! It's only been since early March when he got his last one. But I'm pleased and hoping that this job will work out.
The basement situation will be interesting. I don't really know if it's enough distance for me, but we'll see. It's a two month trial attempt at salvaging the relationship by creating some boundaries and some much needed privacy. We currently share an attic that is basically like a studio apartment. And... until recently, he was out of work and always home. It's hard to miss someone when they NEVER GO AWAY.
And that, my friends, is the update. I shall try to get back to my blogging world and reading and writing and sharing with you all. I've missed it.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
The older I become, the more I cherish those elusive moments when my world feels completely in balance. Nothing amiss, astray, or awry. All is well.
There are many forces in our lives that conspire to compromise our inner peace. The key to a healthy existence, as Allison suggests with her blog title, is to "keep calm and carry on," and to gravitate towards and revel in whatever it is that brings us closer to that state of pure perfection.
Sometimes it is triggered by something singular; a breathtaking vista, a lover's glance, a song or a poem. But more typically it is the collective sense of balance we are blessed with when the disparate tangle of daily details somehow settles into a sustained moment of blissful harmony.
For many of us who write, the process of putting our thoughts into words speaks to this quest for an inner euphoria. Whether we are striving to fill a void, or feverishly attempting to expel an excess, the compositions we create, in prose or poetry, soothe and satiate our restless, imaginative spirits. When we manage to capture and corral those voices and ideas that continually swirl and eddy about in our brains and tidily formulate them into a meaningful or funny or poignant or even an angry flow of articulate phrases, we feel accomplished. We read and re-read what we've written and think, YES that's it... I said it, there it is, and hey... it sounds pretty good. It works. And whether we share those words with the world or keep them completely to ourselves, they allow us to savor a small joyous moment. We pause. We enjoy. Then we pat ourselves briefly on the back and move on. Because there's always more to say.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I don't know what key I pressed or what icon I clicked on, but for some reason my text keeps getting translated into Hindi. And it's coming out double spaced which is not my intention. Hmmm. What's the deal with that??
But anyway. I've been pondering this whole question of anonymity, as in, whether to share my outpourings with the people I'm close to, or just to send them out, unidentified, into the cyber sphere of unseen faces. My decision is not to solicit readers from my own circle, but not to deliberatly exclude anyone. So. If blogging comes up randomly in conversation, I will confess to my partcipation and reveal my location, if it doesn't, well, then I won't.
I think the possibility of revelation steers our expressions away from negative and potentially hurtful examinations of the flaws and the shortcomings and the percieved evils of the people who populate our lives; particulary those we are closest to. Admittedly, we all need to vent and family dysfunctions often make for good humor. They also provide our readers with the comforting realization that they aren't the only ones who feel alienated from those freaks of nature they will forever be related to. Of course, if you are distanced from said relatives, you probably won't be sharing your blog with them to begin with.
At any rate, although the preceeding description does not characterize my relationship to my family, and my parent's don't actually even own a computer, I still plan to avoid, for the most part, complaining about their frustrating, judgemental attitudes. I will always love them. Enough said. And I want these compostions of mine to remain, essentially, in the positive zone. When possible. Although I do reserve the right to complain about the randomly annoying people
who occasionally piss me off or simply amuse me with their idiocy. And I hope you will all continue to do the same because I've been finding it really entertaining.
And she's off to iron a shirt....
PS... an afterthought. In case it may have occured to you. I would of course never even consider using my blog as an outlet to express any displeasure or irritation with my beloved husband because he is, unequivocally, perfect in every way. Right, honey? (I notice that a lot of us seem to feel that way about our partners. Hmmm.)
Sunday, March 1, 2009
handful of other intelligent lifeforms out there in the unfathomably large universe. Thank God, or the wizards of technology, for setting us all up with these magic screens and their companion keyboards that condense the world by connecting us so effortlessly to the unseen souls in our midst. It really is quite miraculous.
And now I can feel a bit less strange, realizing that I'm far from being the only person who makes my cats talk. Well. I guess I already knew that because my husband does it. He's actually the one who got me doing it cause he does it all the time.
This morning, for instance, my two black cats, Tara and Claude were listening to NPR with me while I made breakfast. When we heard a story about how some British airline is thinking about combating rising operational costs by charging their in flight customers to use the bathroom, we were all pretty appalled. I said "that's ridiculous" and Claude agreed. "Yeah. Really fucked up," he said. (Claude swears a lot) Then little Tara concurred."That's totally bogus," she added. "Way over the top."
And so. Yes. We Sanfords amuse ourselves by conversing with our cats. It's fun. Really.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
1) I must avoid the candy drawer.
2) I really really need to exercise.
I've been sick, okay? And our truck blew up, leaving us to share one vehicle, so, as a consequence, life has become less convenient than usual and I've just not been making it to the gym. And, to compound the problem, my benevolent junk food consuming husband bought a giant bag of those mini candy bars which is tantalizingly close by in the drawer of his bedside table (where he stashes all kinds of evil snacks) and it's easier to satiate my computer addiction hunger pangs by snagging a nearby Twix bar than by actually trudging down 3 flights of stairs to the kitchen and preparing myself some real food. To my credit, however, I've only been eating the Twix Bars and the Dark Milky Ways (damn those are good). The other four varieties kind of bore me.
I figure I'm also doing my fellow gym-goers a favor by staying off the communal gerbil machines until my cold is past the snifflley, sneezy stage.
But I sure feel like a slug.
Since my free time is limited, I initially settled on a plan to keep it simple. I would choose only a handful of blogs to follow and comment on to avoid becoming overwhelmed. But I'm intrigued, not only by those I follow, but also by those who follow them, and then by their followers as well. It's like the interminable reflection that occurs when you turn one mirror upon another.
Or sometimes I just want to see who is among the 15,000 or so other bloggers who work in tourism, or like cats, or take an interest in spirituality, or fitness, or cooking, or whose favorite movies include one or more of my favorite movies, and on and on. There are just so many cool, interesting people out there I suppose I should simply take comfort in that fact and feel embraced by the positive energy of this vibrant, creative community of expressive beings and be happy to reside among them. Among you. All of you. Thanks for being there.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
So I had my parents on the phone, prior to mailing out my gift, and I told them I had a surprise to send them, but I struggled not to give away too many hints about what it was. When I did manage to steer the conversation towards music, it was achieved, I think, rather nonchalantly, without any reference to the unposted package. We were talking about old stuff, stuff we'd saved and stuff we'd discarded, and I slipped in a comment about all the records they used to have and wasn't it a shame to lose all that music when they finally decided to part with their somewhat massive collection . My mom said, much to my disappointment, that they wouldn't really listen to any of that old music now anyway. (damn, I thought) When I casually mentioned a few of the artists I'd recently resurrected, she said "oh, yes... they're always good. We've gone out and bought cd's to replace those albums." As an afterthought she threw in the fact that they must have at least 500 cd's in their current collection; saying so in such a way that it seemed as if she thought a good purge of the recent accumulation might be in order.
So. I guess my little present won't be quite as cool as I'd hoped, but I'm sure they'll like it any way because it's from me. My four cd's will likely get filed away in the heap... but hey... it was the thought and the effort and blah blah blah.
But I'm thinking now that replaying this old music was much more poignant for me than it will be for them. It took me back to a time when I was content to let someone else make all the major and minor choices and decisions in my life: where I lived, what clothes I wore, how late I stayed up and what I had for dinner. Meanwhile, I was basically content to occupy myself with the construction of elaborate, circuitous connections of orange hot wheel tracks that meandered throughout the family room. Or with marrying off my Barbie dolls to some famous, good-looking actor of the day. I could care less what music my mom was blasting and singing along to in the background and it would never have occurred to me to approach her with a pained expression and a snarling tone and say "Hey... what is this CRAP you're playing?? Can we PLEASE change it??" Ah. The oblivion of youth. We had other shit going on.
Friday, February 13, 2009
I bought Patrick a card and a box of chocolates for Valentine's Day and of course now I'm sitting here thinking about said box of chocolates which is stashed out of sight in the closet, but is not, apparently, safe from my very persuasive and somewhat malevolent sweet tooth which is telling me "go ahead and have one or two pieces." You can get him another box tomorrow... or get him something else.. or just go with the card. See?? It's an evil influence.
If I knew I could open that box and manage to pick out the coconut filled chocolate right off the bat, without having to nibble my way through the lesser varieties which aren't really all that inferior since, let's face it, chocolate is chocolate. But if I could zero in and score that coconut piece right away.... then I might just be happy and stop at one. There's even a chance that I could sort of slide the remaining candies around, assuming they're not arranged in one of those concave plastic containers, where each piece fits in like a puzzle, but if they were just loose in the box... I could fix it so that he might not even notice. Or I could just give it to him with a piece missing and smile and shrug and he probably wouldn't really care that much. I'd refrain from claiming the "quality control" excuse because that's just too overused and unfunny and it's exactly what people expect you to say. "Had to make sure they were all right... yuk, yuk, wink, wink, chortle, chortle." Forget that. Maybe I'd just go with the (possibly refreshing), make no apologies, here's your chocolate, enjoy the rest, can I please have another piece (or two), they're really good, approach. Hmmm. It is a pretty big box.
My adorable little black kitty Tara just jumped up in my lap, licked my sweater for a bit, curled up in a ball and settled in. Then she farted. Nice.
It's five o'clock now and I should be getting to the gym but I figure if I go now it will be really crowded and since I do have at least 7 hours of independent time sprawled out ahead of me I can just go a bit later when the general populous has headed home to deal with dinner and proceed with their Friday night, Valentine's Day Eve, plans. If they have any. Sometimes it's better to go out to dinner on the night before or after or somewhere in the general vicinity of Valentine's Day, rather than on the actual night. We in the restaurant industry refer to V-day, rather snidely, I admit, as "amateur night". Meaning that it's a night when you end up waiting on lots of people who don't usually go out to eat at your nicer, fancier, upscale kinda places. Which to some veteran servers means dealing with "un savvy" diners which for some reason they find annoying. It never really bothered me. I think 99% of all people are cool which is why I'm in the hospitality business and why I opened a B&B. But waiting tables on Valentine's Day can still be somewhat of a drag because it's super busy and it feels a bit "assembly-line-ish". An endless herd of couples out for their obligatory romantic dinner. Sorry if that sounds cynical. I'm all for love and romance... I just sometimes feel oppressed by Hallmark holidays. Hearts and flowers and little doves holding ribbons in their little beaks and chubby cupids with arrows poised and jewelry store ads and diamond heart necklaces and heart shaped ice cream cakes and pink and red jelly beans and well... you get my point. Come March I'm ready to purge all pink and red items from my life forever. Of course then along comes Easter with it's pastels and bunnies and chocolate eggs and that green mossy stuff that you use to fill up Easter baskets and those marshmallow peeps that are exceeding yellow and actually kinda gross tasting. And so on. But hey. Holidays do have the happy side effect of punctuating our lives with ritual; whether store bought or heartfelt or time honored. Rituals can provide comfort in a chaotic world.
Okay. So I managed to ramble on for half and hour and a couple of long paragraphs about nothing of any real consequence. And I still want chocolate damn it.
Oh well. I have posted now and I feel better. See ya.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Sometimes I feel as if there isn't enough meaning in my life. I realize that there are a myriad of opportunities out there; things I could be doing to make a difference, to help others, to effect change. But I get so caught up the the day to day process of making money, being married, keeping up a house and running a business that I just don't get involved. Latley I've considered the possibility of actually selling my place and taking a year off to join a philanthropic organization like Habitat for Humanity and going overseas to volunteer for a program that actually has a positive influence on people's lives and improves their situation.
I guess I'm feeling a little stuck and stagnant and I don't want to let life slip by without attempting to accomplish something that pushes me outside my comfort zone. Starting the Bed and Breakfast was a bit risky, and I'm proud of how it's evolved over the years, but in the end, it seems like a very self-indulgent, and not entirely practical, endeavor. Just ask my parents. They don't even attempt to get it. They just think I should get rid of this place and find a real job. Or just work around my husband's career. He is the man after all.
But I don't want to laspe into a resentful tangent. I suppose money is important to the extent that I want to have enough to live comfortably. I've never been terribly materialistic; although I do appreciate nice stuff, it's not a big deal to me if I dress in Prada or drive a Beamer. I'm a jeans and T-shirt kind of person who basically enjoys the simple pleasures. It's always been important to me to find work that is enjoyable and rewarding. The Bed and Breakfast fulfills that requirement, but lately it doesn't bring in enough income, so I've been forced to take on a second job waiting tables and at 47, I'd kind of like to be done with that. But making such a statement makes me feel as if I'm putting down others who have enduring careers in the restaurant industry, and I'd never want to express that perspective. I despise the snobbish attitude of people who consider themselves superior because they work in white collar jobs, drive fancy cars, and accumulate heaps of nice, but needless possessions. Not to say that everyone who has wealth also has an attitude. But I think my parents do. My dad has declared condescendingly that I " make beds for a living." I suppose I should consider it charitable that he didn't say "clean toilets" because that's part of my job too... and doing laundry and cooking breakfast and interacting with a wide variety of cool and intersting people. (none of whom, incidentally, seem to look down their noses at what I do or treat me as if I'm just "the help")
So. I do enjoy the Bed and Breakfast even though I feel like it may be time to move on and try something new. Maybe a coffeeshop or a wine bar or a yoga studio/wine bar or a spa/coffeeshop or a cafe or a job in a resort or in a resort/spa or or or I could go back to school and get another Master's in social work or interior design. Or I could just travel for awhile and think on it.
For now, it's down to the kitchen to make a baked apple pancake for my guests and spend some time finding out what they're about. Good Sunday to you all.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Today is my 2nd anniversary and the hubby and I have plans to eat out and then go see a comedy show. We've been on a low budget for what seems like an eternity so this is indeed a big outing for us.
Our 2 years have not passed without challenges, but I've come to accept that marriage is a process that does not always cohere to the blissful paragon that is the oft conjured fairytale of our youth. Or perhaps that's just the whole wedding day fantasy. In either case, it's certainly not all rainbows and butterflies and happy endings. At least not from my experience.
It is, however, a grand adventure and a constant work in progress that centers around the key issue in our lives which I believe is learning to love one another. It's why we're here, as far as I can tell, and although marriage is not the only arena in which the lesson is applied, it is probably the most quintessential. Sharing one's life, day after day, with another person can be as complicated as it is rewarding. Personally, I like being married.... (most of the the time).
So. Two years. So far so good!!
Monday, February 2, 2009
In spite of general slowness at my B&B, I did get lucky enough to book a five day stay for a single dad who is here visiting his daugter at college. An interesting guy; a psychiatrist from Portland who has seven children and a wealth of knowledge about the middle east and plumbing and home repair. And other stuff too, I'm certain. We can only cover so much over post breakfast morning coffee. Speaking with him makes me wish I could spend a day or two or a week or a month just hanging out in the library, researching random subjects. There is just so much out there to learn... sometimes I feel quite inadaquately informed. Yet I read fiction because I enjoy escaping into a good story or a distant time or place or fantasy. It doesn't increase my factual knowledge, but it's fun and I look forward to it.
My step daughter came up from Iowa for a visit this weekend. She's a very bright and lovely 13 year old who spends a great deal of time sitting in front of the computer. She communicates with her friends on Facebook and other sites and gets quite addicted to video games with odd looking characters who battle demons and other evil forces and strive to aquire weapons and powers as they ascend to different levels each higher and better than that which proceeded it. It's all a mystery to me but who am I to dissaprove of how the child spends her time?? She's a gamer, just like her dad. It's just something I've never gotten into. But it sure would be nice to see the kid pick up a book once in awhile.
Speaking of her dad, he just got home from work so I shall wrap up this blog and go join him on the couch. Happy Monday night....
Thursday, January 29, 2009
So we're getting by, and I have hope that the situation will improve for us as Spring approaches, but what about everyone else?? The recession and the pervasive unemployment and the home foreclosures and the sense of hopelessness have to take a toll on any individual who
feels tuned in to the universe and spiritually connected to the world. We can't isolate ourselves from it, even if we are surviving the crisis relatively unscathed.
Yesterday I read that one of the higher ups at the Target Corporation cried as she delivered the news of massive layoffs to a roomful of anxious staff members.
Yet we have people like Tom Petters and his cohorts, jailed for swidling millions and still getting caught trying to hide assets from the court.
Greed and corruption are alive and thriving in this society while honest people just try to continue living and loving and keeping their families together in spite of the lean times.
So my prayer is that we all manage to maintain our perspective and our peace and our good hearts, because no matter what trials befall us, it's comforting to know, without a doubt, that we will always be one of the good guys.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Appropriate attire, of course, makes life much more comfortable. For me the key to surviving the winter is one, or preferable two, good wool sweaters. Although it's sometimes hellish to extract myself from bed on winter mornings, an immediate transfer from down comforter to awaiting wool sweater makes the transition almost bearable. I only wish there were more things in life that could instantly alleviate my problems like a wool sweater on a cold morning.
It's Sunday and I have the day off which is rather sad because a busy B&B owner is rarely idle on Sundays. Typically I would be serving breakfast to a full house then sitting around chatting with my guests until we all eventually realize that the "official" check out time has come and gone. After everyone packs up and leaves I spend the rest of the day returning the inn to a state of pristine cleanliness and order, ready to accomodate the next group of travelers.
January is always slow but with the recent descent in economic conditions, I'm suffering more than usual this year from the winter slump. The extreme cold and abundant snowfall probably hasn't helped much either. So I'm hanging on, hoping that Valentine's Day will save me in February, and resting assured that Spring will bring it's usual flow of college touring kids with their parents in tow, and local couples reveling in the romantic effects of spring fever. Tax refunds also typically boost my business, but I fear that this year many might be applying the funds to other necessities or just saving the money for future use. Impossible to predict, but no sense in worrying about it. We will, no doubt, survive this temporary turmoil.
Having a second job has helped. Although I once thought my days of waiting tables were behind me, a part time lunch gig seemed the most practical and lucrative option to fill my 10am-2pm availability (the gap in between serving breakfast and checking in guests). Of course, I have less free time these days, but the need to allocate and budget my off hours tends to make me more productive. In theory, at least. I haven't been working out as regularly and our meals lately have tended to be of the hastily assembled variety. Oh well. So the Super Pam trophy will not be mine this year. I can live with that.
This blogging thing could prove to be another free time consumer but I'm going to make an effort to keep it going. Of course, one could spend hours just perusing the blogs of others. I was amazed to see how many people out there also have a need to write and share and interface with the world of web dwellers. Pretty cool just to see how many of us display an interest in the same authors, movies, musicians and demonstrate a desire to express ourselves in words and images. We are all creative beings to be celebrated and appreciated.
A wonderful Sunday to all of you!! Blessings,
Saturday, January 24, 2009
And so, I have decided to start this blog. Even if no one reads it, it will provide an outlet for my thoughts and a motivation for generating them. Unlike past journals, it will be written with the potential for exposure which hopefully will not make it any less personal, just a bit more focused and not so self-absorbed. Still subjective, but not all about me me me and my little day to day fixations. Broader themes; grander contemplations.
So. I've been considering my own spirituality lately and how it seems to defy catagorization and concise description. I don't attend any type of services anymore; Jewish (my family orientation), Christian or any alternative. I would like to find a place that is truly non-denominational, but I don't know of any options.
I'm wondering if anyone shares this quest and feels somewhat disconnected from the traditional rituals of organized religion. I'd like to share thoughts about God and wonder how other people feel God's presence in their lives. My personal experience is best summed up as a sense of unity that keeps my spirit hopeful and always seeking peace. I consider innerpeace, consistent and unshakable, to be my ultimate goal and the path to spiritual knowledge. The struggles of daily life tend to interfere and so it would be ideal to have a place to join with others who also strive to quiet themselves and connect with God and the universe.
I'm thinking about attending a Quaker friendship meeting and perhaps a class on meditation.
I welcome thoughts, suggetions and comments.