Monday, August 29, 2011

My Clean Apartment

I entered my apartment and stepped over the assorted projects that I'm working on for the wedding.  I walked into the bathroom and something seemed odd.  I noticed the garbage in the bathroom was empty.  (Heaven knows I wasn't the one who did THAT.)  I went in the kitchen and my dishes were washed and neatly arranged on the counter.  I walked into my bedroom and the bed was made.  My bathroom counter was cleaned and my items were all placed orderly on the counter. 

I'm not sure who the culprit was, but I'm hoping they head to Ed's house next.  I'm guessing that the cleaning people at the senior center somehow put me on their "assisted" living list.  I'm happy my place is semi-clean now, but I'm still a little uncomfortable that someone was in my place.

Let the countdown begin...less than twenty days till my escape...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Speaking of hair salon parking spaces...
I recently took the plunge and had my hair cut for the first time in Nebraska...rural Nebraska that is.
The woman didn't even wash my hair.  She just kept rubbing something on it and then took about 15 minutes to cut it. 

On a positive note, the cut only cost around $20, but I miss my hair salon back home.  It's the kind of place where they wash your hair, massage your neck, spend an hour or so cutting and styling your hair and have you feeling like a princess on your way out.  Maybe farmers don't have time for this whole hair washing ordeal...?

I'm a little leery about having her do my hair for the wedding.  I put a deposit down to hold the date, but I'm not sure I should do it.  Tonight, I'm going to TLC.  The place is a nursery and I'm hoping to get some cheap annuals to help decorate the reception site.  However, I think I may just stop into the spa they have there and make an appointment for a trial bridal style.  Yup..they have a spa, landscaping, and nursery business.  Not to get off topic too much, but this town has another place that cracks me up every time.  The place is called Paradise.  It consists of:
  • restaurant
  • screen printing shop
  • car wash
  • doggie wash
  • martini bar
  • tanning salon
It's too bad they don't do hair...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Parking Woes

I'm kind of disappointed in myself.  I have yet to make any friends at the senior center.  This may have something to do with the fact that I enter through my screen door to avoid having to talk to people.  I did however get a note on my car the other morning! 

You see, there are TWO parking spots (out of eight) that are specifically designated for the beauty salon.  They are reserved between the hours of 6am-6pm Tuesday-Friday.  One of these TWO spots is right outside my cell and is definitely the most convenient spot for me to park.  The majority of residents have garage parking or they don't drive anymore.  The parking space issue probably isn't of much concern to them.

So, Thursday night I strolled in around 8:30pm and the parking spots were all spoken for.  Visitors also had parked up and down most of the road leading to the lot so I parked in one of the TWO spots reserved for the beauty salon.  I figured I'd just get up around 6 and move my car.  Unfortunately, I overslept.  I didn't oversleep for work or anything drastic like that.  I just didn't get up until 7am.  Once I woke up and realized I forgot about my car, I threw on some clothes to move my car over one space.

I wish I would have photographed the piece of paper on my windshield.  It was just your typical printer paper, but had the following written in large navy blue magic marker lettering:


Great.  Now, I'm not only not making friends at the senior center.  I may be making enemies.  I am really curious though...what TWO women are up at 5:30am to get their hair done?!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow. ~Charlotte Brontë

I have turned another corner in my life.  I can officially empathize with those who have insomnia.  I never could understand the impact or how someone couldn't just get sleep. 

I haven't had a good night sleep in over a week.  There are two major reasons for this sleep deprivation:

1. The wedding is about a month away
2. Work

I'm not sure why either of these need to keep me awake at night, but lately they sure are doing just that.  I lie in bed obsessing about my job and the current "opportunity" that has been presented to me.  Once I find myself finally ridding my mind of work, I move on to wedding planning.  The wedding planning is a positive thought, but I get all these great ideas and then fixate on the fact that time is running out.

In an attempt to calm my mind before bed, I've been reading Lutheranism 101.  I am learning a lot and actually wondering how much my brother (Pastor O) must know about LCMS.  It really fascinated me last night as I read the book.  I know he went to school and all, but as I read this book (and since I kinda had the misconception that I learned all there is to know about God in school) I realized just how much I have yet to learn that he already knows.  Perhaps I should turn to my brother a bit more often when I have questions about our religion.  Nah...I wouldn't want to let on to him that he does know more than me. ;)  Thank God I have a great Pastor to help with those questions.

Anyhow, even as I read, my mind wanders off to these other two topics.  It's really frustrating.  I've tried the whole list idea or reminding myself that these things can wait for me to obsess about in the morning.  Yet, I still continue...  The crazy part is, with wedding planning, I don't think you ever really run out of ideas or little things you can add.  Once again, I need to remind myself what is important.  The important part of that day won't be the card box, guest book, or even the dress.  We are going to pledge our commitment to each other in the church in front of God, our family, and our friends.  Perhaps I need to put something like that on the ceiling.  You know, some kind of a quote up there that glows in the dark.  That way, as I'm staring at the ceiling obsessing, I can be reminded of what is really important.  God.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tuesday Photo

I hiked the momument for the third time last night.  I started off just as the clouds came rolling in.  The rain was very light and only last about five minutes tops.  I crossed through the tunnel and was greeted by a double rainbow.  A full double rainbow.  I couldn't get a good picture of the whole rainbow, but it was spectacular.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Statistics Show...

The Effects of Living Together (Cohabitation)
1)      Those that live together before marriage tend not to marry. Over 50% of couples who live together before marriage end their relationships before marriage.[i]
2)      Those that live together before marriage have higher separation and divorce rates. The Journal of Marriage and Family reported that marriages that are preceded by living together have 50% higher disruption rates then marriages without cohabitation. [ii]
3)      Those that live together before marriage have unhappier marriages. In general those who live together first: seek counseling more, separate more, view marriage as less important. [iii]
4)      Living together equates to more frequent disagreements, less problem solving skills, lower levels of fairness and happiness. [iv]
5)      Those that live together do not experience the best sexual relationship. The National Institute for Health Care Research found that couples not involved before marriage are more satisfied in their sex life. Family Research Council found that 72% of all married "traditionalist” couples reported higher sexual satisfaction. [v]
6)      Cohabiting results in more behavioral and alcohol problems, aggression is twice as common, there is greater instability, lower relationship satisfaction, depression rates are higher, and women's chances of being assaulted 56 times higher. [vi]
7)      Living together outside of marriage negatively impacts children. According to the National Marriage Project, children living with cohabiting biological parents who are unmarried are 20 times more likely to be abused and children whose mother lives with a boyfriend are 33 times more likely to be abused. Children in these cases have more behavioral problems, poorer academic scores, and are five times more likely to experience parents separating. [vii]
We met with our Pastor last night.  It was a great meeting.  We probably didn't accomplish nearly what Pastor S wanted us to, but we touched on some great topics and are planning a marathon session Saturday to get caught up. 

We discussed some of the negative impacts of living together.  One thing that really struck me was the lack of excitement that E feels about the wedding.  I'm not saying he's not excited, it's just that he knows that things won't be much different at home then they were prior to me moving out.  It's really sad actually.  We lost the anticipation and thrill of first living together after your married because we chose to live together prior to marriage. 

I read the following article from LCMS about our living situation:
What about...Living Together Without Marriage

I understood the reasons why it was wrong-even when I was in the midst of it.  I understood what we needed to do to correct it.  What I didn't consider is that once we lived together, the impact of what we had done wouldn't just go away when we moved apart. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Confession Time

What I'm reading for the first time at 36 years old
I never read The Catcher in the Rye.  Honestly, there are a LOT of books that I was supposed to read in school that I never read.  I feel like I'm missing out.  There are times people refer to these books and I just nod along and pretend I know what they are talking about.  I haven't a clue.  I was a great speed reader in highschool.  I actually took a class in speed reading.  I got an A.  (I also was great at shorthand.) Sadly though, the only book I ever read cover to cover by that point was That Was Then, This Is Now.  I think I read that book in seventh grade or so and still actually remember the title.  I'm not sure why, but parts of that book still stick out in my memory.

I made a resolution this year to read one book a month that I should have read in school.  I have yet to read one.  Last night, at Walmart, while looking down at The Catcher in the Rye, I vowed again to get at least one book on the list read this year.  I should mention here that I read quite a bit now.  I finally became interested in reading in college when I took a class on true crime.  I read my first true crime book and I was hooked.  I realized then that I like to read, I just don't care to read fiction.  I have a hard time spending my time reading a book about something that never happened. 

Anyhow, I started The Catcher in the Rye last night.  So far, it's pretty decent.  The author is very descriptive and appears to jump around a lot-which explains why I probably gave up after the first chapter in school.  I'm through the first six chapters though and I plan to finish the book this week. 

I guess that's one of the benefits of currently living alone.  I feel like I'm getting back some of the me time that I gave up when I moved in with E.  Not that E asked me to, but for some reason, I did.  In the process of living together, I can see that I started to let go of some things I loved.  It's funny how women do that.  We focus so much on making our men happy that we really do seem to lose parts of ourselves.  I'm grateful for this reflection time.  I'm happy for this time apart and what I'm learning about God, my relationship with E, and myself.  So, this week, i'm starting to read The Catcher in the Rye and I'm excited about what the future holds.