About Me

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Losing part of my youth



The Woodlands Athletic Center to be Closed

The WAC

I don't know why this is bothering me, it's silly really. But many things that bother me are.

Backstory:
I grew up in The Woodlands, TX (1977-1987) and even though I have been in Missouri for over 2/3 of my life, I still call it home. My parents were volunteer firefighters and part of their "compensation" was a membership at The Woodlands Athletic Center (WAC) for the family. Kara and I spent most of the day everyday during the summer there. (Actually, that's not true; some days we spent the morning at the ice rink at The Wharf, then went to the WAC.) I spent most of the time in the dive well.

I think and talk about the WAC a lot even now at 33 years old. When the kids took swimming lessons this year I so wished they could have taken them there where I did. I wish we had a platform for them to dive from. There is nothing closer to flying. From 10 meters you have time to look around and think before you hit the water and then after you hit you are so far under water you have more time to think on the way back up. I am more comfortable in the water than anywhere on land. I don't have a lot of truly happy memories growing up but everyday at the WAC was rejuvenating.

I remember the water being sooo cold in the mornings after the early morning swim team practiced. I remember sneaking into the gym to pretend to be Olympic gymnasts. I remember taking my Red Cross training course and having to tread water forEVER! I remember new lifeguards trying to stop me from climbing to the platforms because they thought I was too small and the older guards telling them that I was fine, I dove constantly. I remember the one time I belly flopped off the 10m platform and nearly needed to be rescued (I managed to get to the side on my own, but it was a bit rough) and when the guard asked if I needed anything Kara told me to ask for a Coke for her! I remember the long, long climb all the way to the top and how quiet it was up there, surrounded by tall pine trees and blue sky.

I miss it a lot, I think those dives represent for me what was good about my childhood, where I could go to get away from the stress (real and perceived) of my life.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Obama picks Biden!

I am so excited about Obama's pick of Joe Biden for VP! When he was in the running for the Democratic nominee I always matched up almost perfectly on the myriad of political quizzes available. I didn't plan to vote for him because I just didn't think he was as electable as Clinton or Obama (I think he had dropped out by Missouri anyway), but I am thrilled to have him as the next VP!! Here is my favorite quote so far about the pairing (from Jasper on The Daily Show Blog):

Their campaign should be "The future of the USA is going to be sensible. The American people will have better things to do than be terrified and angry. And the rest of the world will stop thinking we're dumb."

On a side note, as I read several accounts of the pick they all mentioned the ridiculous hour that the text message to supporters went out, making jokes about Obama being ready for the 3am call, so I went to see what time it really was - 2:41am - I guess that might be a little late, huh? I wasn't even ready for bed when it came, as a matter of fact I was in the middle of another text conversation. LOL

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The smallest thing

It's amazing how the tiniest gesture can have the greatest impact.

I have been having some trouble staying focused on the fight to keep midwives legal. I just want to believe that the opponents will give up rather the redouble their efforts like I know they are doing.

Now to the small gesture. Last week I was shopping at Target and when I came out to my car there was a note on a small scrap of paper attached to the windshield. I thought maybe the car next to me had dinged my door or something. Nope, it was a note telling me that she loved my (midwifery) bumper stickers and to keep up the good work. The fact that someone took the time to show appreciation to a stranger illustrated just how important and far-reaching the fight is.

When I talk to people who are not anywhere near the child-bearing part of their life and they have heard about our efforts it warms my heart. Just last night I told my new boss that I do some lobbying for midwifery and he had heard about it! I was amazed. Just the fact that the term "midwifery" is in the modern lexicon is unbelievable. The knowledge that I played a role, however small, makes me feel worthwhile.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Leaving the Bee


Well, I didn't think I would ever do it, I was feeling like a Bee lifer. But on the 25th I will no longer be an AppleBuddy (yes, they actually call us that LOL.)

"So what happened? I thought you were so happy."

That's a fair assessment of the situation most of the time. There was only one small problem with some rowdy, demanding, chaotic, cheap guests, but I could handle it. They are only around for nine months of the year and dealing with them along with friendly co-workers makes it bearable. My favorite manager used to handle them respectably well and they would at least be quieter, still not tip, though. Unfortunately, he abandoned us because he's a big, fat loser. (And yes, I know you might be reading this, but I tell you this all the time, it's time everyone else knew it, too.) Really, I have a whole log of reasons he's a loser if anyone is interested, but anyway, enough about Doug...

So, this undesirable group begins to grace us with their presence around 9:00 and stays until close or after, sometimes arriving as little as 5 minutes before close. This used to give us two hours to deal with them. Two hours of running my butt off, getting belittled, having to track down the manager all for my $3.33 hourly wage, basically no tips, especially when you consider that I have to tip out the host and bartender 2% of sales so sometimes I end up paying for the privilege of waiting on them. Lovely, huh?

Well, Saturday, management informed us that we are now going to stay open until midnight every night but Sunday. Not for me! I put in my notice on Monday and will be working at the restaurant in the brand new Doubletree hotel starting on the 26th. It seems really nice and I think I will be happy there, at least the change of pace will be nice. I enjoy fine dining and it is probably a better fit for me. I like having more time to get to know the guests and I LOVE really good food, so I might get a bit chubby working there!

New Place: Sapphire

I feel bad leaving my managers and co-workers who I have really enjoyed working with. I know that in this business I am infinitely replaceable. Servers are a dime a dozen, but it is a bit hard finding one to show up every day (sober) and not steal the silverware. They hired three new servers this week so hopefully at least one will make it through training. I trust they will forget all about me by the time I've been gone a week.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Landscaping




Okay, I know that some of you might have given up on me ever doing any type of landscaping. I keep saying I am and I really believe it when I say it... but then life keeps taking all my time and/or money and, long story short, I've been in the house over a year and just today got around to doing anything in the yard.

I am so proud of how it turned out!! The kids and I all worked so hard on it. Levi was my hole digger, Paige spread some mulch, made sandwiches, and kept the sprinkler company.

Here's the breakdown:

I'm not sure why but I accidentally bought a 20' x 20' tree (well, two to be honest, but I'm returning one) and didn't really have anything to do with it so I put it in the middle of the old pond. Kent was supposed to bring me dirt quite a little while ago and still hasn't, but I can't really complain, he was doing it for free. On the other hand, I really do need the dirt to fill the pond, so I now have a tree planted in a half full pond. Oh, well, no one who knows me expects me to be totally together, right?! My plan was to have the pond filled with annuals each year so now they can just go around the tree and it will be really nice. Right now there are just a few ground cover-ish plants (it's a horticultural term) surrounding it. So that's the pond part.

When I moved in there were some steps dug into the side of the hill to go from the driveway to the top of the yard but only one block was still in place and the holes were fading. So today I took some blocks from the pond and re-dug the steps and replaced them. I would like to change the blocks around the pond to something a little more natural anyway so I'm not worried that three are missing.

Now for the main part, I put flowering plants ranging from mature size 6" to 5' in a pretty much semi-circle around the pond and along the sidewalk. They start small on each end and get larger and bushier toward the sidewalk and then a little smaller right as you turn to go up the steps. Eventually I think I will remove those two giant bushes but that's a while away so for now the flowers will just be in front of them. I also put five huge bags of mulch around everything, which is really the part that makes it look finished. Just mulching would have been an improvement and I think I might just do that in the back yard for this year and worry about planting next year.

Did I mention how proud I am and how great it looks!!

Oh yeah, I should mention that I did this instead of mowing and so the rest of the yard looks like crap. :-)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Candidate Rankings

Have you ever wanted to know how all the candidates for office rank on midwifery but are too lazy to ask them all? Me too!! Thankfully there are dedicated women out there who have done it for us! Yea! Check it out here: Show Me Candidate List