27 March, 2007

A Wisconsin Rite of Passage

I just returned from the grocery store. My final count included, brats, buns for brats, eggplant, tomatoes, and peanut butter. Thrilling I know. My inspiration for said impromptu grocery raid was an age-old Wisconsin rite of passage. It is officially spring and almost 80 degrees and that means beer-boiled brats. Yes, sickening and strange as that might sound to some of you, it is truly an amazing experience.

The human condition requires marks in time. Time is so much greater than we can comprehend that we must ritualize it with celebration and often times food. For some it is a long evening in the garage with a cold beer, marking the return of warm weather. For others it is a long-awaited trip to "visit the boat" in it's winter home. For some it is a "girls weekend".

Well, the days of beautiful weather have again come, albeit a little cold, and as I sit here and look at the beautiful blossoms outside my upstairs office, I can't help but feel that time is passing a bit too quickly. Just last week, my husband and I got married. We spent the last week in Montreal and Quebec City and yet, but two days later, it feels like months ago. I suppose that is why we must always live in the moment. We must never hope for a better moment or a chance to relive something. Time passes too quickly and no amount of ritual will change that.

25 March, 2007

Allergy Season...

What feels like swallowing razor blades, runs like Niagara Falls, and eats cardboard? Allergies...

I can't swallow, I am clinging to my Kleenex box like a canteen in the desert, and I could pour an entire bottle of Tabasco down my throat and walk away smiling. The sun is out, the ground is waking up, and the 9 month allergy season has begun...

I have never had allergies before moving to Green Bay. Maybe it's the paper mills or maybe I am getting old. Either way, it sucks. I am getting married in a month and my eyes look like somebody punched me repeatedly...

Yet, there is relief. It's this little white pill called Claritin. Problem is, I have to remember to take it. People like my sisters have taken medicines their entire life. Me, not so much. I've tried everything. I've put them next to the sink. The cat knocks them in the sink. I've set them next to the espresso machine. The other cat knocks them into the trash or my fiance's coat pocket. I've set them on my desk where I take my first latte of the day. Usually the latte is too hot to take a pill with right away and by the time I remember, the cat's needed feeding and I'm downstairs again and the latte is gone.

Now there are two logical solutions to these problems...1) Get rid of the cats as they seem to be the root of the problem (and I don't mean the allergies) or 2) if I had another solution, would I be writing this?

Please, if you have any ideas regarding this particular feline conundrum, share. I don't think my fiance signed on to marry the cousin of Frankenstein's bride...

24 March, 2007

The Never-Ending To-Do List

That title alone seems weighted and wordy...what I wouldn't give for a week at the beach!

That is my life. Let me elaborate. I'm getting married in less than 5 weeks...I know. And if that weren't enough, I really thought I wasn't stressed. And then everybody (the Deacon, my grandmother, my sister, my future-mother-in-law...) keeps telling me not to let it get the better of me and to enjoy it. Well, I was enjoying it until you stressed me out! And the guest list...oy vey...We are having a 40 person wedding and a huge picnic for the rest in May (reasoning in upcoming blog). It shouldn't be that complicated. And yet, I find surprises around every corner. People who weren't invited coming. People I absolutely expected and counted on, not coming.

And don't even get me started on the seating arrangements...yikes!

Besides that, I have set myself on a mission to complete my to-do list. You know, that ball-and-chain that has followed you around for the past 5 years...Mine currently includes launching my freelance career, cleaning out and updating my wardrobe, catching my scrapbook up, painting the basement, reupholstering the dining room chairs, organizing my iTunes, and planting my vegetable garden. Seriously!!! How many times can you use the phrase "Oy Vey!" in a day if you aren't actually Jewish???

So, I've just posted the list in virtually every possible place and anytime I am tempted by other distractions (tv, outdoors, coffee, shopping, kitties...) I just look up and hope that one of my to-do lists is locally visible!

Yet, I am finally embracing my unemployment with 2 months remaining...When else in my life am I going to have the unabashed and unashamed opportunity to be an adult without some kind of job? Be it professional or mom, never again will I be able to sleep in, drink my coffee slowly from a mug, go to the grocery store alone at 9:00 in the morning (when there is no one else there!), craft uninterrupted for 6 hour stretches, write letters (real letters, not e-mails), take my father-in-law to therapy without having to schedule it in, cook an extensive 4 hour meal before my sweetie gets home from work, and just all around enjoy life!!!! I am embracing it. God gave me the blessed opportunity to set up housekeeping. Sure, it was before the wedding, but hey, who am I to question God!

So, I close this e-mail with a hooray!!! I am currently off to exercise my ability to take the weight of my to-do list off my mind. At least until tomorrow...

The Gift of Nicholas

My sister has re-inspired my blogging...if I am not careful, her witticism will surpass mine!!!

3 weeks ago, Kevin's best friend and his wife had their first baby, Nicholas. He is the most adorable little thing you have ever seen!

As a result, Kevin and I were discussing life and how it has changed over the past years. He and his best friend have been friends for almost 20 years now! Kevin lived in Milwaukee and Chicago, and Gregg was in the Army. There were good times and there were dark times. There were months when they went without talking. And yet, Kevin remembers when they talked about getting married and having children and it is a strange experience to see it coming to fruition.

I also have moved around a bit. As I reflect on my friendships over the years, most of them have drifted apart. Getting married really gives you the opportunity to see who is still really invested and who isn't. I have friends in all stages. I have one, the one I expected to be there, who isn't. I have another who I never in a million years expected to be there (my best friend from Kindergarten) who is thrilled to be coming! And I have another who is on the fence about the friendship all together. And there is a new friend who thought my wedding was important enough that even when she wasn't invited to the dinner asked if she could come to the ceremony. Life changes things. My life is leaps and bounds different from who I was in all those stages. Thank God for that! We become different people. If a friendship can evolve to incorporate those changes, it is a beautiful thing. For my best friend from Kindergarten, our friendship kind of hibernated the past 18 years. And if it can't survive, we bless those friendships and let them go. It doesn't lessen the connection or the time we had together, it just says that the friendship taught us, blessed us, held us, and now it is time to let go.

Lifelong friendships are a blessing. Phase/Stage friendships are a blessing. A friendship that lasts the duration of an event is a blessing. I've had them all. Some of them have passed through me and others remain in me. They were all still in me, at the very depth of my being.

I am who I am. I live where I live. I've made choices and paid the consequences of those choices. I've also reaped the great blessings of those choices. I chose to live my life without regrets. That doesn't mean there isn't opportunities for apologies and reparation for bad choices, but ladies, we're grown-ups now. I don't have a magic wand. I can't make it all better with a kiss and a band-aid. I can say I am sorry and then the ball is in your court. You can walk away and end the game or you can keep playing. Either way, I'll still love you and always think of the good times we had.

23 March, 2007

Code Name: Freelancer

All right, so that was a lame play on Sydney Bristow's CIA tag on Alias, but it was fun anyways.

I am officially freelancing. If my attempts are anything like my attempts to blog daily, I will be an utter failure, but I hope the two endeavors will balance themselves.

I am available to write:

Articles (on various topics)
Corporate Communications

It should be an interesting ride. It is great that I get to sit in my beautiful upstairs office, next to my window seat, in my PAJAMAS and write for a living. That is not to say that I am not still looking for a full-time position. The sucess potential of my freelancing increases exponentially if we reduce the pressure by landing a full-time job, but for now, this is good.

Other than that, I am working tirelessly to complete a 5 year to-do list before the wedding. I am caring for two manic felines and a man perpetually infected by Spring Fever. I knew I was in for trouble when the topic of "visiting the boat" in the barn (where it is stored for the winter) came up.

Well, I best be off. I've got scalloped potatoes on the stove (waiting for the oven), seafood dip in the fridge, and a frozen trout on the way...don't ask, it's Lent.