How About Some God with your Commute?

After the month I've experienced I've really been reflecting on being grateful for the blessings in my life. Recently, I've lost my Great Aunt, had a pretty significant financial blow, my mom has been in the emergency room and (the pièce de résistance, if you will) my car's last wheel leg is giving out. Now, I can be cynical but overall I try to keep on the "sunny side" because that black hole is just not how I want to live, but I digress. Anyway, after attempting to get back "in the swing of things" I realize that keeping on the "sunny side" is going to take a little more than will power so Tuesday, on my 1st public transportation commute (in Fort Worth) home, I stumbled upon several podcasts from "Catholic Stuff You Should Know" and the 40 Martyrs of Sebaste caught my eye. 

Martyrdom by Freezing
Via Wikipedia - Forty Martyrs of Sebaste
The Forty Martyrs of Sebaste were a group of Roman soldiers, who became martyrs for their Christan faith in 320. According to Basil, forty soldiers who had opened confessed themselves as Christians were condemned by the prefect to be exposed naked upon a frozen pond near Sebaste on a bitterly cold night, so they might freeze to death. During the night, one of the confessors had enough and gave in to the warm baths near the lake which had been prepared for any who might change their mind; as soon as he hit the warm water he immediately died. Then one of the guards, set o keep watch over the martyrs had a revelation and proclaimed himself a Christian, striped down and joined the thirty-nine solders (once again making them 40). At daybreak, the frozen bodies of the confessors, which still showed signs of life, were burned and the ashes thrown into a river.

What were you complaining about again?
This story (and the dynamic way in which it was told) reminded me that things can always be worse! I believe one of the quotes toward the end of the podcast was "those with no socks complain of cold feet, while those without feet don't complain at all" (or something along these lines). In more personal terms, a friend of mine (who's lost both her parents to cancer before she was 18) turned to me and said "at least no one used the word 'malignant' to describe your situation". On the other hand, no one condemned me to death for my beliefs either!


Spoiled Much?

I take my freedom and independence for granted. Not as an American (although probably that too) but as a functional adult member of society.

Image via Flickr by Andra Motta

Today I had to ride the bus.

Now for those of you who don't live in the South, this may not sound like a big deal - but trust me - it is! This is the first time in my life (32+ years) that I've ridden the public transportation in Fort Worth. I must say, I was humbled and surprised. It wasn't near as bad as I thought it would be. It wasn't dirty or smelly or dangerous. It was bordering on enjoyable. (at least on the way to work)

I realized that, although it took me over an hour to get to work (and over an hour and a half to get home) public transportation isn't really so much about giving up independence - it's about living within your circumstances. What a great reminder of this life lesson & now I get a chance to listen to my podcasts :)

By the way - the car has pretty much bitten the dust (hence the public transportation) but fingers crossed that I'll be able to band-aid it for a few weeks until I can procure something else!


The Worst 4-letter "F" Word...


Via Flickr by LWPrencipe 
This, my friends, is the worst 4-letter "F" word known to man. Fear is the emotion that holds us back (good or bad) developed as a result of knowledge. That's right, fear is learned - and it is in all of us.

I was laying in bed last night thinking about the things that I want in life and why I don't have them - all the biggies were represented: job, relationship and money. 

Fear of being rejected - Ah, duh! Who doesn't fear rejection?
I haven't looked for a new job because until recently I've never had a job that I interviewed for and didn't get an offer from. In my mind, I know that there are tons of really great, qualified and educated candidates out there that maybe need a job more than me - but what a blow to the ego! (I know what a problem to have). So my fear of rejection of (several seemingly) dream jobs has caused me to stop applying.  

Fear of acceptance and change. Arguably the WORST fear out there.
I met this guy a week or so ago. He is smart, funny, handsome and he was interested - so my guard immediately went up. I tried to squash my fears with gallons of alcohol and ended up totally showing my butt, but he was still cool. He called a couple of days later and I completely blew him off. Now, I can explain away my "ditching" because I was out of town with my Dad attending my Great Aunt's funeral but at the end of the day, I was scared of getting involved. My heart tells me that I want a relationship but my fear holds me back. What if he really does like me? I've been on my own for awhile now, could I change?

Fear of being found out. 
I'm down right terrible with money. I know what to do. I know how to do it. I just don't know how to choose to do it. In the past, I've fronted pretty well but now all of my past digressions are catching up to me at lightening speed. A few people (and now I guess a few more) know about my fiscal irresponsibility but I'm finding it harder to deal with and keep private. I try not to let this define me (I have lots of other really great qualities) but I fear that others will use it to define me. I'm reliable, responsible, honest and trustworthy but would you see someone as reliable and responsible if you knew they don't get reimbursed for mileage because the state withholds it because they're behind on school loans?  

I fell asleep last night thinking about fear. We need it. Fear makes us stay in our lane on the highway and not get into cars with strangers. Fear keeps us safe, but fear can also cripple us. So what if, this year, I will work on keeping the worst 4-letter "f" word out of my vocabulary & my daily life! 


Back to "reality"

So today was my first day back at work after Icemageddon 2011 - it was a LONG day...

Icemageddon II looks like it will rear it's ugly head in a couple of days, but I will not be here. Nope, no Icemageddon II for me - I get to go where it's truly cold... Indiana.

An Aunt Bea, but not my Aunt Bea...
Why, you ask? My Great Aunt Bea died yesterday. 

Now it is sad, but Aunt Bea was no spring chicken. She experienced several mini-strokes and quickly advancing Alzheimer's, so I must say, I'm glad she isn't suffering anymore. 

I know that (for lots of people) the sound of "Aunt Bea" stirs up memories of Andy Griffith and that's kind of who she was. She liked to take care of people and make sure everyone was comfortable. She taught me that all people don't pray the same way, but that doesn't mean their prayers are no more or less real/important. Visiting her for Christmas in 1990 confirmed my hatred of snow and über-cold weather. When I was little she was the first one to give me Cheddar Cheese Pringles for which I am eternally grateful.

So tomorrow I am headed out with my Dad and my Aunt on a 15 hour (or so) drive to a special icy hell known as a funeral in February in Indiana. Hopefully, Aunt Bea will keep a watch over us and make sure we all make it there safe, sound and not fighting. <3


Day 5 of Icemageddon

Must. Leave. House.
Mount Wilson (aka my driveway)


I watched some of the snice (snow + ice) melt off my roof yesterday and may have gotten a little too excited because today - Nada! Today, there's no melting action - AT ALL! Granted it is just now 9 a.m. but still, can't a girl count on the 800 zillion degree sun to melt some of this crap off the roads so I can run to Wal-Mart? (Yes that is how desperate I am, a trip to Wal-Mart sounds like fun!)

I'd like to say that I was really productive and got a lot of work (both personal & professional) done but I really didn't. I did clean (and I use that word loosely) the house on Icemageddon Day 3 because the heater service guy was coming over and with my luck he'd need to use the bathroom. I also, did a lot of cooking and wrote a few blog entries on this and my other blog. I also spent a LOT of time on Facebook and participated in a couple of conference calls but I don't feel like that was productive in any way. 

As I watch the news and check out Facebook, I'm seeing that a lot of people are venturing out (despite the fact that everything that melted yesterday refroze last night). I'm a little nervous (my driveway is as steep as Mt Everest although you can't really tell from that picture) to get out of my driveway and neighborhood. Last year, the snow/ice lasted for 8 days in my yard before it melted - here's hoping it melts NOW this time!


Lean Cuisine Garlic Chicken Spring Rolls

All I can say is W-O-W! I read posts on the Lean Cuisine website about how good the Garlic Chicken Spring Rolls were so I went ahead and decided to try them and I am NOT disappointed!

You get two servings in one box and one serving is three spring rolls. They are about the size of a regular restaurant spring roll you'd get at a restaurant. I make a spicy mayo (with Sciracha sauce found in the Asian Food aisle and low fat mayo) and used that to dip but really I didn't need it. 

Totally satisfied my hunger (on a marathon conference call) and at only 4 Weight Watchers points seems like a great deal!


If I Weren't in the Throws of Icemageddon 2011 & Could Afford to Attend a Super Bowl Party...

What I'd wear to a Super Bowl Party

What I'd wear to a Super Bowl Party by jenniliz featuring floral print dresses

I'm sitting here (iced in) watching the news talk about all the Super Bowl parties happening in my freaking back yard! So I thought I'd deal by choosing a cute outfit that, if I could afford the clothes and party tickets, I'd wear to one of these kickin' icy parties!

Icemageddon Day Three

I didn't post yesterday because I was busy staying warm - without a heater!

The road in front of my house...
Here in Texas, we experienced icy temps (with wind chills below 0), rolling power outages, and a decreased flow of natural gas - which altogether placed extreme stress on my heater and caused it to blow cool air and then no air and then finally overnight it kicked back on and started working again.

Are you freakin' kidding me?!?

I rent my house, so I call my landlord (who's also a good friend) and she springs into action! Mrs. Landlord calls the rental warranty people and the wait on hold is like 20 minutes so she finds an online form that needs all sorts of information like model number, unit brand, BTUs, serial number, etc... and so she needs me to go into the attic.

Can I just say, I've lived on my own for 13+ years and I've never had to go into an attic.

I'm scared!!!

So I add on some layers, move my car and climb up the 16 steps to the ice cold, creaky, scary attic. All the while Mr. & Mrs. Landlord are listening to my comments and terror over the phone (I'm really glad no one had a video camera!). I find all the info and then double check that the breaker hasn't been tripped and get back into my 52 degree house (and almost stand inside the fireplace).

She gets an email and then a call, the service company says they can't get anyone out until (hopefully) Thursday and I'm second on the list. Great news, I pile on more clothes. It gets down to 47 in my house.

I go to bed with a ton of clothes and blankets to cover me and wake up sweating because it is 65 degrees in my house - YAY!


Ready for Snowmageddon, Part Deaux?

The dog running in the snow!
Just found out that work is closed tomorrow too. Woo Hoo!!

I'm not sure that I'm really ready for it (because I'm going a little stir crazy) but I'm excited that I get to sleep in tomorrow - maybe I'll bundle up and try to take the dog for a walk. All he did today was run around the backyard a little...

Snow Day!!

View from my front door today!
Wait, I think I had one of these last year. Today I woke up to a new term our local media has termed "thunder sleet" (which I thought sounded like a cool name for a band) - but I digress. We had about a half inch of ice covered in about a tenth an inch of snowy-sleet. Man I love Texas! Most of the morning was spent without internet and then all of the sudden all my devices decided to connects so YAY! I try not to question the universe and it's decision to torture me on a regular basis.

So since I couldn't get online this morning, I did the next best thing COOK! I stumbled upon a FAB-U-LOUS website called Gina's Skinny Recipes and yesterday Gina posted an interesting recipe for Creamy Cilantro Tomatillo Dressing and can I just say W O W! I was so floored by the fabulousness that I couldn't stop there and made salsa (I'll leave the recipe in another post). Now, my sad little blender wasn't up for the task of a full batch so I tried to do it in smaller quantities - the 2nd batch turned out great but the first one might need a little more doctoring when I run out of the yummy stuff :)

Later, shrimp tacos! I <3 snow days!!