Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Facebook...The Good, The Bad and the Account Deletion

I have been told that Facebook is for the "younger" generation. Especially when I moved from "Myspace" to fb....that was the popular thinking. Fb was to Myspace what Twitter is becoming to fb....the next fastest form of social communication. Whether I am considered a dinosaur in the fb realm or not...I love fb. It has so many possibilities and is a great way to connect with family and friends. It is also an amazing advertising tool. Both large and small businesses, not to mention charities, benefits and causes get tremendous free advertising from this social media. I have also used it to keep up with family members I only get to see on rare occasions along with finding long lost friends and classmates. Used properly and with what I believe was its original intent, fb is fun and a beneficial tool.

This all being said....Z came to me the other day and said he was deactivating his fb account. is the younger generation whose age group is suppose to be the most prolific of users telling me he is shutting his down. I was surprised and asked him why. The answer surprised me coming from someone so young. He said..."I hate fb! I hate the way people act on there. I hate kids my age using it to say "f*ck this and f*ck that", to bully each other and to talk negatively about parents and teachers. I simply hate fb!" Feeling the need to delve a little deeper I asked him specifics. He said everyday you see someone being talked bad about or bullied. You see kids using every fowl word they can...obviously thinking this somehow gives them cool points for filthy language. His breaking point though was when a kid he didn't even know was in his friends list (that right there was a problem) started bashing his own mom on there. He said out of a clear blue sky he posted that she was every nasty word he could think of. Z was done at that point. I was shocked. I will admit....I monitor what Z says on fb but I seldom monitor what others on his page say. My bad!

After thinking about this though...I was impressed. I was impressed that Z being 16 wasn't so desensitized to foul language, bullying and negativity towards parents and teachers that he just took it in stride. He told me that he often deleted posts with this kind of stuff in it but if he deleted every post like this....he would spend all of his time on fb. It made me realize that my hours of drilling kindness and respect into his least some of it took. It also made me really sad that these kids have a tool that could be used for such positive things and they choose to use it to hurt and ridicule. Why? 

I also have other friends that I have heard are leaving fb or have already left. Some hate the fact that "too much" information is spread on it. It is true. Some people discuss everything from the most intimate details of their lives to family squabbles on there. Some even have verbal wars with family and friends for all their friends to see. I will agree that with all of almost gets too much to read the "he said/she said" stuff and usually I simply don't.

Being a political year....politics are flying right and left too. Just like those running for office....many choose to support their candidates by mud slinging and negativity. That is what gets to me....but I also remember that just like me......even those who post the hate, the negativity and the mud slinging have 1st Amendment rights and I respect that. Just as they have the right to speak their mind, I have the right to counter what they say, delete their post or like Z.....delete my account altogether. What I don't have the right to do is squash what they say or their ability to say it, but I have heard rumors that fb thinks "they" have that right. According to some reports....they are deleting or at the very least possibly making invisible "problem starting" posts. Hmmmmm....and this is why some not unlike Z....are choosing to move away from fb.

I will admit....if fb is not used as I believe it was first intended, it can be a negative and overwhelming place. However....the way I choose to use it, makes it a happy place for me. I am a single mom who goes through a lot with my kids and before fb....I went through most of it alone. From ER visits to hospital stays...I did it by myself and sometimes it was daunting. Now though.....if I post "On the way to the ER" or "David had another seizure", just having someone post back....."We are praying!" makes me feel not so alone. It is a wonderful feeling. As I said...I also get to talk to and know better....people I don't often get to see like cousins and nieces and nephews. I have also gotten to be fb friends with a good portion of my graduating class along with finding kids I even went to grade school with. Facebook has also been responsible for me making new friends and finding things in common with people that before fb I had no idea we had in common.

I think like anything else in life....used for good fb can be amazing, but there will always be those who choose to bring in negativity, meanness and out right cruelty. They will take something good and destroy any of its positivity for others. I find it sad...but I am proud of Z for the stand he took. It was an adult choice he made and a good one I believe. Me on the other hand....I guess I am still optimistic enough to think that more good can come from fb than bad. Only the future will tell me if I am right or wrong!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Do You Wear Underwear?

Do you wear underwear? Weird question huh?! I ask this because I had an interesting conversation with a complete stranger.....which crossed right into "too much information" very quickly. It happened the other day when I was waiting to try on a shirt at Walmart. This woman....clearly almost my age, had a stack of clothes to try on and there were only two dressing rooms (both being occupied). The woman in front of me kept eyeing her clothes (mostly jeans, pants and workout pants) and finally she turned to me and said..."it is a good thing I go commando or I would have panty lines out the a$$." What do you say to that? "Me too!" or "Too much information lady!" I think I just looked at her willing myself to be anywhere but in that dressing room area next to that moment!

Obviously not being satisfied with this being a one person conversation...she looked at me and said, "Do you wear underwear?" REALLY? You ask a complete stranger this? Apparently in the badly lit dressing room of Walmart....this is acceptable conversation. I then said...."Ummmm...YEAH!" She then looked amazed and bewildered and said...."then what do you do about panty lines?" My urge was to shoot back...."I don't wear my pants so tight that I have to worry about them." But instead I took the passive aggressive way out and just shrugged. I was still frantically trying to find my mental happy place and it certainly wasn't here.

Still trying to keep this excruciating conversation going....she continued on. "I know some people find it gross not to wear underwear, but I find going commando freeing. I don't feel so confined in my clothes. I don't have panty lines and undressing is a breeze." Again....REALLY? Why do I need to know this? And what's more....why did she feel the need to tell me all of this? Was this just her idea of polite conversation? I looked down at the shirt I was waiting to try on and was really thinking this shirt was not worth this experience. The look on my face must have said it all as the lady began to turn red and started to say something that sounded a bit like an apology but was cut short when one of the dressing rooms became available.

As she walked in the stall and shut the door, I looked around in a moment of relief when I realized that the lady behind the help desk was watching me. She burst out laughing and I just rolled my eyes and I am sure turned red. I wasn't sure if her laugh was marking me a prude for my discomfort or whether she had been just as uncomfortable as I was and this was her way of releasing the tension. All I knew is that I was praying that the other room became available before Commando Girl came back out.

I stood there thinking about our/her conversation and couldn't help but think about the subject matter. I do in fact know people (men and women) who go commando on a daily basis. I know people who haven't worn underwear for many years in fact. Why I know this....I am not sure. I guess this has come up in "personal" conversation between friends, but never before today with a complete stranger in a public setting.

Commando! What a weird concept. I know men do it a lot. I am not sure why. You would think they have a lot to protect down there and an extra layer between a zipper might come in handy. Women though....I just never got that. I understand the whole panty line thing. Back in the day to avoid such things....we wore panty hose. No panty line and yet you weren't completely bare. Now a days though...I don't think anyone wears panty hose anymore. But how does commando work when you wear dresses? Especially how does it work when you wear dresses in Kansas on a windy day? I personally am not a fan of flashing the world or being flashed. Also...there is a comfort factor. I don't see going commando as being particularly comfortable. Okay....I admit that I have done it a time or two over the years (when all my underwear were in the laundry) and I was not a fan. I have always been an underwear girl. To me....underwear/panties are girly and pretty and dare I It leaves something to the imagination and yet it can make you feel extremely feminine. Commando...not so much.

So finally it was my turn. I went in broke speed records trying on the shirt (wanted to be in and out before Commando Girl) only to find out that this particular shirt while cute on the hanger was not for me. As suspected earlier...this shirt was not worth this experience. I carefully snuck out of the room and handed the help desk lady the shirt. She smirked and I left....but not before deciding that maybe next time I plan on looking at shirts....I will just go to Target!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Good Place

Interesting times in Lisaland! I have been two full weeks without employment and I have worked harder in those two weeks than I have in the last two years. I have had amazing energy (God given I am sure) and I just hope that I continue to be this energized for the next several months. Maybe right now my energy comes from a feeling of real purpose....something I haven't really envisioned myself having for a very long time.  Truthfully....I haven't felt like this since before Tim died and after David was born. After he was born I willed myself to have energy so that I could give it all to David so that he would live. I remember being just hours out of a C-section and up walking to prove to the staff that I was capable of getting to the NICU under my own power. From there it was sitting by his bedside and refusing to close an eye because somehow I felt if I were there watching him....he would live. Once home.....I focused on David (so did Tim) and we willed him to continue growing and to remain strong. Once Tim died though....I think my energy just left. Even when I was driving Mom back and forth to the doctor, radiation and chemotherapy....I remember feeling as if my energy was zapped. When she was as if she took the little that was left of my energy with her.

Since all of that.....I have felt drained. It sucks to feel drained for an entire decade but I just felt weighed down. Now though....I feel different. This feeling has been coming on for awhile but now it is as if I have lifted the heaviness and feel an airy calmness. I have been hopping out of bed early (5, 4, and sometimes even 3 a.m.) and I hit the ground running often still busy at 9 or 10 at night. It is a different kind of running too. I have always hit the ground running but much of the time it was running in circles. Now is running with a purpose. The Cheesecakes for David  has taken off and the orders have been amazing. They have also been time consuming between baking them and delivering them. The first few days all I did was bake and deliver and there was little time for anything else. Finally I got into a rhythm. I have always been a better morning person than any other time of day, so I get up early and get the major baking and plating done before the kids are even out of bed. By the time they are up....I can give them my undivided attention. After they leave....then I can deliver early and be home in time to actually get other things accomplished.

So far I have David's recovery room almost ready. I have my home office/pantry/sewing room cleaned, gone through and actually usable. I also have my kitchen cleaned from top to bottom, the fridges cleaned out and I have made great headway on getting all the paperwork and details ready for Davids surgery. I guess David is my priority again and his surgery is the catalyst for all of this. It has made me feel different in a good way and it has been a long time since I could say any of this.

Life is in a good place right now...and I am.....dare I say.....HAPPY?! That is something I have strived for for a very long time but now I am actually starting to feel. Perhaps it is the mentality that I now have that Shriners and this surgery were put in my life for a reason. It is like someone (God) has said...."here is this that I am giving to you, but whether you like the journey to get there or not OR whether you understand it or not.....have faith that I know what I am doing and you will be fine." I have done just that. I have handed it all over and have faith that every good or bad thing that happens between now and the time David has gone through his full just part of the journey.  Feeling like someone else is in complete control and that I am just along for the ride takes all the weight off me and makes every day a more productive one.

I think the boys have noticed the difference in me. My house is not so stressful because I am not so stressed. When Momma is stressed in my house....everyone is stressed, and I have been stressed for years. Even Z commented that everyone's stress levels seem to be down. It appears that Z handles his stress just like I do. However....when I lead by example and de-stress....he seems to be following suit. The only thing that makes me a little sad about this new me is....I haven't really had time to blog. I have faith it will come last week I didn't have time to do anything but bake and deliver and this week.....I got a ton of other things done along with the baking and delivering. It was all just about prioritizing and organizing my schedule. I also haven't been able to fit working out into my schedule but that will come too. It is all still just a work in progress.

Time is flying and soon it will be surgery time. It was kind of a shock to realize that David's last day of school before his surgery....will actually be his last day of school this year. It made me a little sad, but I know that this surgery will give David the best chance at independence possible. Before we know it...summer will be here too. Things just seem to be spinning in a whirl wind...but I apparently work better this way than when there is calm. Perhaps it is because I have no time to worry or dwell on the what if's that usually never even come into play. I like this life right now and I am content to have 16 hour days when I know that I am doing it all for a good reason and my kids are the best reason I can think of.

Friday, February 10, 2012

So Long Employment...Ye Will Be Missed

I am re-learning a couple of things that I am pretty sure I already knew. One....EVERYONE on the planet knows my David. Me...not so much. I have been reconciled to the corner where I have become known as simply....David's Mom! And two.....there are truly wonderful people in my world and beyond..... and whether they know David and I or not, they have a beautifully generous spirit. So what am I referring to? Let us take a step back.

Of course you all know about David's upcoming surgery and that today is my last day at my beloved job. This means there is going to be a long dry spell with little income and a budget so tight that none of us will be exhaling until I am free to work again in the fall. That is when David should be uncasted and well on his way to a full recovery. Then...when life gets back to our version of normal....that is when full time employment will again become a priority. Until then...there will be a great deal of robbing Peter to pay Paul! Not to worry....I am an expert at creative finance!

Most of you know I have also done a little side business of cheesecake baking under the name The Cheesecake Chick for several years. It has always been small but something I could work around kids, job and life in general. Unfortunately....along with my "real" job....The Cheesecake Chick will also be on hiatus during the time of David's surgery and until he is out of his casts and no longer needs my constant attention. Until surgery though....I decided to do something special for David and also maybe to help out with any unexpected (and there always are) finances that incur during his recuperation. Thus came Cheesecakes for David. I just decided to mark certain varieties of my medium cheesecakes that usually sell for $19 down to $14 from Feb. 13th until April 6th. I put it on facebook and told people to tell their family and friends. The only drawback is that the orders have to be local (i.e. withing about a 25 mi. radius). I invited my facebook friend list which is about 450 and invited them to share it with their friends. Within an hour well over 1,000 people had been invited and the cheesecake orders were coming in. It was wonderful and these orders will help tremendously. The money will be banked and used for things that David needs and that will make his recovery more comfortable (like water and electricity). What really amazed me though are the many people (some I don't even know and are not in my friend list) who live out of state and want to help. I have had several tell me they will send me money for a cheesecake if I make it and give it to David. Some are having their own financial struggles so they have offered to pass the info along to others. A few locals have passed an email around their office and have had people sign up for cheesecakes and everyone has offered the greatest gift of all....their prayers. Regardless what the news media tries to tell us....the generosity of spirit is alive and well. I am simply overwhelmed and more grateful than anyone will ever know. I will be spending the rest of my life....paying it forward!

This all has somehow made leaving my current employment feel a little better. I realized this morning as I got out of bed that today was my last day. My job has become so much a part of me and it has been my happy place when the real world wasn't always. I have found that over the years there are certain things I am good at and some that I suck at. I didn't suck here. Turns out....I am actually pretty good at customer service. It amazes me that I can talk a complete stranger off a ledge about his computer.....and yet at home....I can't make my own flesh and blood put on clean underwear. There must be quite a disconnect in my people skills between home and work....or maybe it is simply that I have never yet had a customer look at me with attitude and say...."oh Mom....I'm busy. I'll do it later!" That could definitely be the difference!

So today I say so long to a boss I adored, a job I loved and a place to be that didn't require me to do laundry or dishes. I am truly going to miss it all. So long employment. Ye will be missed!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Gosh!!! Well...if you have been reading my other blogs (which I am trying to show some much needed love to) then you already know that David is having surgery in April and we are amidst preparations for that...... and I am losing weight! Woo hoo!

What you may not know is that as of Friday....I will be officially unemployed. Scary? Oh hell ya! But couldn't have come at a better time (as far as working into my life goes anyway). The little business that I have been working for the last couple of years is having to downsize yet again. The last downsize left us a two person show. Now it will be a one person show. Guess that counts me out. The current economy has truly made it tough on small businesses and I am sincerely hoping that November will bring on a much better "change" than the last four years have given us. (Sorry for the political throw out but I am not a happy camper right now). I will have to say has been a great job and I couldn't have had a better boss. He has been very flexible and very kind to me where my kids are concerned. He has worked with me on every occasion that my kids were sick, on the way to the ER or in the hospital. He has never once made me feel bad about being gone nor has he docked my pay. Aside from that...I loved the job. I am really going to miss it. However....God works in mysterious ways and this layoff comes at a time when I was going to have to take a great deal of time off anyway. At least this way I will not feel guilty for shirking my job responsibilities and I won't have to worry about rushing back to work after Davids surgery. I am left to focus completely on the task at hand and that is David, his surgery and his recovery. Yes...I won't lie, things will be tight in Lisaland, but then we have been here many times before. I do think however, that this is all falling into some sort of God's plan...and unlike human "plans" His ALWAYS work out. I am just along for the ride on this one.

Aside from being jobless....this does not mean I will be bored or without work. I have a great deal ahead of me preparing my house (holy schnitzel it needs cleaned), Davids new recovery bedroom and trying to make ahead and freeze meals so that I won't worry about feeding everyone when I am trying to care for David. There are so many little details that need to be ironed out and so much preparation that my lists have lists as to what needs to be done. Again all seems to be falling into place and I will actually have the time to make sure all is most everything should go just fine.

While I guess I should be absolutely full of apprehension right now especially since my life is nothing but one big ball of uncertainty...but I really am not. I am a little scared of David's pain after the surgery and being able to care for him properly, but other than that I am simply grateful. This opportunity for David is amazing and I am thrilled he is going to have surgery in one of the best hospitals in the country.

And not to worry....of course I am going to use a little of this time between now and his surgery to help myself a bit. I will have no excuses not to hit the gym and workout and I may even sneak in a nap now and then. I have to take care of me a bit in order to take care of everyone else and I don't mind admitting that.

Also...if anyone knows of anyone who wants a free lance writer to do short articles feel free to throw my name out. I work cheap (okay fairly cheap) and be sure to tell them I know a little about everything and a lot about nothing. That should make me a shoe in for any job....RIGHT???

Well..that is it for the latest updates! Please keep us all in your good thoughts and prayers and please...say an extra prayer that David turns out to be the miracle someone needs to see!