When the going gets tough – PRAY!

April 26th, 2007

My day started off badly. My husband called 10 min. after leaving for work saying I needed to bring a tow strap and meet him just before the freeway. His car died. I met him and we towed his car to the local shop. My husband fixes his car all the time, but the fact that the car was leaking oil and coolant baffled him. Just for the shop to “look” at it is $100. *sigh*

Yesterday, I took our dog to a discount vet clinic (Animal Trustees of Austin). All was great there as we paid $49 for his shots instead of the normal $200 that our local vet charges. We did have to wait for 2 hours to see the vet, but the savings were well worth it. The vet did say that our 8 yr. old dog needs dental work right away. There are no discount vet dental clinics like ATA. Our local one charges $250 for a cleaning.

Ever notice that when it rains, IT POURS! My husband is still dealing Workman’s Comp after reporting carpal tunnel in both wrists SIX MONTHS AGO. Big blue laid off over 1/2 the people in his dept., but he and a few others have to make up for it. He is in CONSTANT pain and the Workman’s Comp (and State until they decide who is right) won’t give him any pain medication. Seeing my grown/strong dh cry because of pain is heart wrenching. I feel totally powerless. I would trade his pain with him in a second. No one should be in pain like that. His contract firm stopped calling him. They are “looking” for a reason to let him go. Big Blue says he is a great employee (sure wish they were hiring again). His contract firm hates him because he filed workman’s comp. and that he doesn’t kiss up to them. Morons. Total morons.

On top of all of this, my mom-in-law is getting laid off. My dad-in-law is dealing with disability. Great-Grandparents aren’t feeling 100%. There are just days you want to go back to bed. As the day started, I was feeling really low and having a major pity-party.

After my first cup of coffee, I said a few hearty prayers and “got to work”. First, I posted on several local Yahoo boards asking for inexpensive dental care referrals for my dog. I called several animal clinics and 2 animal shelters. No one could help me. When I got done, I checked my e-mail. I had about 20 messages from local people with vet dental referrals. Wowwie! How cool is THAT?! I did get a few crazy responses like: “Just go buy some big beef bones and that will work just fine.” I plan on calling several of the places tomorrow for more information. It looks like I might be able to cut the average dental cost in half. Woohoo!

Onto my husband’s car. My husband went online earlier on his local car club website explaining the car trouble. (At this point I will say that my husband is the kind of guy that is always there when you need him. Although he has bad carpal tunnel right now, he is always having fellow “gear heads” over to give advice on how to repair their old Land Rovers). Anyways, one of the guys on the board said that he knows a mechanic at the repair shop and would put in a good word for him. My husband went by the repair shop on the way home. The mechanic said he is 95% sure that the problem is a broken water pump. The shop would charge around $250 for the part plus labor. We would be looking at around $600 to repair the car. As my husband can work on Land Rovers, the mechanic suggested going out and finding the part himself.

Well, my husband found a new water pump on Ebay for $75! That is a huge savings right there (not to mention the labor costs). How awesome is that?! I can totally see spending $75 versus $600.

So, I got a “kick in the pants” through faith that things would get better and prayers. How funny it is that when we are hitting the bottom, it just takes prayer and faith to bring us back. Thanks for reminding me “Big Guy”. You are awesome indeed.

When did California take over Texas?

April 20th, 2007

Gotta gripe here. No, first let me say that I love Texas. I really do. I lived in Californa for 27 years. When we moved to Texas, I thought I would hate it. I was so wrong. Folks here tend to spend more time with their family and less time buffing their high-priced car. They seem to go to church more and care about their perfectly manicured fingernails less. They enjoy the outdoors and for the most part want to see rolling hills filled with wildflowers and cattle grazing on them.

Here is where I have to gripe. When did California’s snobbish influence move into Texas? Recently, a “mall” was opened in Austin called “The Domain” (you have to say it with your nose in the air to get the full effect). This place is so far from “traditional Texas” that it makes me think that I never moved out of California. Driving through the outdoor “mall”, you feel like you are taking a cruise downThe Domain Rodeo Drive. Seriously. I don’t want to live by Rodeo Drive. If I did, I would be living in California – NOT Texas.

What is so bad about The Domain? Nothing if you make mega bucks and like overly-pretentious stores. What stores you ask? How about places like:

Tiffany & Company, Neiman Marcus, Barney’s New York, and BCBG

How do I know that California has moved to Texas? The “mall” has a California Pizza Kitchen. *sigh*

There are only TWO things that make this place remotely acceptable. They put in an Apple store. Convenient if you use Apple’s products. The “mall” designers put apartments (for single well-to-doers) above the overly-pretentious stores. At least the folks that make 6-figures in Texas have a place to live. Whew! That is a load off of my mind (NOT!).

The Lord knows that we need more “mall” space in this world. Who needs pastures, forests, and wildlife? The world looks so much better with strip malls and the “same old stores” (i.e. Linens and Things, Best Buy, Old Navy, you know which ones) filling in every nook and cranny. What are those lyrics again? “Paved paradise and put in a Neiman Marcus?”

Why do I stress over things I can’t change?

April 6th, 2007

Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but doesn’t get you anywhere.
– Anonymous

I read this on another blog today. It seems that “Anonymous” knows me better than I care to admit. I am that rocking chair. I worry, worry, worry. Does it change anything? Of course not. Why do I do this to myself?

I worry about my father-in-law and whether he has Leukemia. I worry about my husband and why Workman’s Comp. doesn’t see that his incredible wrist pain is work related. I worry about him not sleeping, eating right, and not getting pain medication for his Carpal Tunnel. I worry about my son and his future (doesn’t he understand that by working hard on schooling now, it will help him get into college and a great job later?). I worry about money. Living on one income is tough. No doubt about it. I worry about our non-existant savings account and “what if” expenses.

I worry about my husband’s job. Big Blue has a habit of laying off hard-working contractors. I worry that pink slips will be handed out at the end of each quarter. It doesn’t matter how hard he works. We have been through many of them. They all are unexpected and horrible.

I worry about my Dad. He is approaching 65 and lives by himself in California. My brother and I are many states away. What if Dad gets sick or has a stroke? He isn’t the same since Mom passed away.

I worry about my brother, his wife, and their new son. I want them to be happy and enjoy being parents. The time that our children are small goes so quickly.

I worry about my body. I so wish I were thinner. Isn’t that stupid? I run and try to keep my calories around 1500-1600 a day. The scale isn’t moving. I would so like to have a personal trainer that uses a cattle prod on me each day so I exercise and eat right. If I were rich, I would hire one. I see gray hairs on my head and I wonder if my darling husband will love me and think I am attractive as I age. I am not afraid of the gray hair or wrinkles. I just want my husband to look at me with loving eyes when I am 80.

I worry about being a good wife, mother, teacher, daughter-in-law, daughter, sister, and friend. I worry when I can’t please everyone. Deep in my mind, I know I can’t please everyone. I still worry when I can’t. How silly is that one?!

I know that 99.9% of the things that I worry about I can’t change. That doesn’t diminish my worries. It just increases my guilt for having them. Why do I do this to myself? I need to take Anonymous’s advice and become a rolling office chair.