Life as a single Mother-Empty nest, Dating, Ex-husband, Best Friends, Full-time Employment, Unemployment, night school...How do these all relate to one another? Come with me:

Monday, June 29, 2009

All A-Twitter

The social media craze may be just that... a craze, a Phase, a fad... But I don't care.

Recently I have taken a bit of flack from my parents, my kids, my coworkers and friends about all the sites I am on.
Starting with this blog. Sometimes the reaction is:

Them: 'You have a blog? Cool! you should write a book.'

Me: well, maybe if my grammar was a tad bit cleaner. Lord knows my life is a bit of a comedy.


Them: Blog? What is a blog?


Them: Really? The whole world knows all about you? Is that safe? Why would you share your life like that with strangers? How dare you put your kids on the internet what about child molesters?

Me: erm.. No, the whole world does not know ALL about me. I don't use the name notasoccermom EVERYwhere I go! I keep this as private as I can whilst being able to share a bit of me and my story to others. My mother taught me to share. And the friends I have made through this blog- well, I know all about I g
uess we aren't really strangers any more than a guy I might talk to in a bar. My kids are safe, two are adults themselves and just as I teach them to be safe on-line, I do as I say. I am not sure that a molester would go to the trouble to do a sherlock holmes on my site... hunt us down just to have my children. they are beautiful and well worth the trouble but I think we will be ok.

Them: What is facebook? And also very similar responses as above with the and such.


Them: I don't care to hear what everybody is eating for breakfast or when they take their dog for a walk...etc..

Me: At first glance on facebook, I felt exactly the same. But it has become a great place to get re-acquainted with friends I have not spoken to since high school, where we are, what has happened in our lives, who has grandchildren, who lost their hair. It is a virtual reunion.
It is also a place where my extended family can share news such as my cousins new baby we have been waiting a decade for. Facebook can be awesome. I have friends who just don't like it's publicness... what do they have to hide? You choose what you put in. You choose your friends. Unless you don't want one person to know about another.. I suppose that would be sticky in any situation though eh?
I have heard of people who dont want their parents reading what thier friends read and I find it a bit funny.

And then there is Twitter... a whole new ballgame. Many many people don't 'get' Twitter. I suppose it is a bit like star trek to the geeks. We have our own language, we can relate like no other groups and people on the outside just aren't sure they want to accept 'us'.

I admit, even more so than Facebook, I was reluctant. Not even my children, raised in the electronic age have Twitter accounts. They mock me, their mother.

My defense: Although I have a LOT to learn still about the inter workings of the twitterverse, it has yet to cease to entertain me! In all honesty, I don't really send out many status updates. This is for the most part because I am finding out just how boring my days can be compared with my twitter followers.
However, where else can you get updates on Ashton Kutcher's new movie spread- straight from the 'horse's' mouth. (just an analogy Ashton) I love getting quick glimpses into his daily life on the set. Also his wife Demi. I love her! Who supported her husband when he 'Ding dong ditched' Ted Turners office, LIVE as it happened. (with Ted's OK of course) A pay-off on a bet- when he beat him with one million followers.
How else would I know that Shaq loves 'yo mama' jokes. Marlee Matlin's petition for closed captioning on all of Netflix flicks.
I love getting up-to-the-minute updates from CNN. Being introduced to brand new singers whom I love like Chris Blake and telling him personally how much I love his music.
Or how heartbroken the legendary Elizabeth Taylor was when MJ passed. All the celebrities and 'regular folk' mourning in unison at the first word of both his and Farrah's passing.

I have many followers, and I follow many. Way too many to mention here. Some I wont mention as they may not WANT to be followed.
I hope it stays this way, fresh and fun and non threatening. It always seems that there is someone who ruins it for everyone... I really hope that is not the case.
Hearing from celebrities, other single parent friends, other friends as they are fighting the same fight we call life, in their own words, in real time.. is kinda cool. So much better than tabloid junk. I really don't feel like it is an imposition on them, more of a fun way to interact with fans.
And just today- just now, a new friend offering advice on my sore throat. I hate being sick.

If you would like to follow my boring life on Twitter my handle is notthesoccermom
see you on the flip side.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Fathers Day and all its meanings

Fathers Day in our family has special meaning. Not only do I still have my father as a big part in my life, But being a single mother, he is a very important man in my life also. My dad is always here for me. He may not be the handiest dad. And I'm OK with that, we manage together. But he is also emotion support for me when I need it. (I am lucky to be close with both of my parents.)

I am embarrassed to say that a few years ago when a mouse ran across my bare wood (preparing to lay wood flooring) living room floor in front of me, I at the age of 38 drove in a fit of panic and tears to my parents house in fear. Dad laughed, asked me to repeat what I spouted in my blubber of sup sup cries and then left me safe with my mother while he got rid of the critter. Forever!

My dad is emotional, sentimental, loving, even if he has a short fuse once in a while.
He reads my blog. He wants me to succeed, he also wants me to be happy. When we were little, my father being a member of the Elks organization, would take my sister and I to the daddy daughter night dinner every year. We would take turns dancing on daddy's toes. In later years, he would be a date for me and my sister and our own daughters. We all know how to dance. I learned to follow from him and I learned the two-step from him also. I will never forget our dates.
I have posted about our hunting trips, we went camping, he took us on his dirt bike, road trips, too many fun times to say.

Although some of them were stolen from my grandpa, my dad always has a toast for special occasions, he has a personalized toast for every couple on their wedding, including mine. He has a toast for our extended family gatherings often and even brought us to tears last Thanksgiving with a toast to my recently passed grandpa while we were taking turns giving thanks. (Even he was in tears and I love him for that!)

A lot of my friends are with out their fathers. Whether from divorce, distance, alienation, or death. I cant imagine the pain. My own children have spend the larger part of their own lives without their father in their lives. I hate that! I wish that they had the opportunity to love a man like I did. Before they choose the man to spend their lives with. I thank god they have been able to spend time with their grandpa, close loving time.

I have men in my life who have been great with my kids. I imagine they will be life long friends to them. However, nothing replaces a true and present daddy.
I love you dad. Thank you for always being there for us. I couldn't ask for a better dad.

I love you dad! Happy Fathers Day- Again.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

My middle child, the emotionally connected one of the three graduated the last week of may. Just a mere two weeks after turning 18.

I am so proud of the young woman she has become. Beautiful inside and out. She has high aspirations of becoming a pediatrician. She is not only really great at her studies, and has already earned her EMT license while attending high school. But she also has a natural re pore with children, and also with children and adults with disabilities. They are just drawn to her.

She makes friends pretty easily and once she makes friends, she is a friend for life.

She signed up for a summer job working for my cousins company which was to start immediately after school was out. It was a good opportunity to get some sales experience, to get some experience solo, away from mom and structure. And it was also a great opportunity to make a lot of money in a short amount of time which would go a long way paying for medical school rather than loans. ( one of the drawbacks of being the child of a single mother with limited funds).
She was lucky enough to get a week of break before leaving for the summer job.

Using every hour of the time crammed with friends and activity. BBQ's, Picnics, Hiking to the waterfalls, movies and just plain hanging out.

She is lucky to have so many friends. But this is who she is!

As I wrote in my last post, the first couple days she spent in the state of Texas were really tough. I am sure it was a mixture of missing friends and missing out on her first summer of adulthood. But also the shell-shock of being away from home and all of its security and routine.

I have not heard from her in a couple days and the last thing I did hear was that she was doing well and had made some friends.

I take this as a good sign.

I don't know if she will make it through September, but I am so glad that she is no longer miserable. Sigh of relief.

As for me!? It is still tough. Hard to let your babies grow up. My son will be home in a couple weeks and we will get a couple weeks with him before he is gone again. In September, the same month my daughter arrives home (assuming she makes it the full term of the contract) my son will be headed to Iraq.

In my whole life I have not moved more than 13 miles from my childhood home. I am not good with change, I'm not very good with not being a stones throw from those I love. But I am learning. First with my parents move. Then my son leaving home.

And now my daughter.

And it really wont be too long before my baby leaves the nest.

She is the one I want to hold on to the most. No one wants their baby to grow up! Well, leave then nest anyway! And she is the one who has wanted to spread her wings the longest.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Growing up is tough. And on my teenage daughter too.

The night after my daughter arrived in Texas, after our long rough day getting her there, she had an even harder night. When she arrived, the bulk of the group was still out selling and she waited at the apartment of one of the girlfriends.
This was not so bad even though she did not know the woman. Later that night her boss invited her to play volleyball with the guys but my daughter was a bit intimidated by the twenty or so men who were all in their mid twenties. So she watched.
She was shown to what would be her apartment with one other girl, but one who had been fired or quit the day before was still there. Three girls is never a good number. They did their thing and she did hers.
She really felt like a fish out of water, everyone in their 20’s and she only barely 18. My own first cousin was there. He as well as a few of the workers had girlfriends’ to occupy their time.
She text me and said she wasn’t expecting to have fun there and she knew it would be hard work but that it really was not what she was expecting. She did not like it there. – Can’t say I blame her.
Her first day on the job was made worse when she climbed into the boss’s car which was to take them to the neighborhood where she would shadow him until she got the hang of selling on her own. She climbed in the front next to him and the others filed into the back…except the bosses daughter... in a fit of rage she made it clear she hated the back seat. And although the boss, her boyfriend said it was not that big of a deal, it certainly made my daughter feel horrible.
There are always growing pains, at a new job. I know too well having recently started a new job. However, of all the jobs I have held in my life, not once did I spend more than a day before someone asked me how I was catching on and if they could assist me in learning the ropes…
And her was my baby, freshly 18, 1300 miles from the only home she has known. In an apartment with nothing but a bed, crying. Telling me she wants to come home and absolutely nothing I can do about it! That is tough on a Mother! I have been in her shoes! I am turning 40 this year and I still get homesick.
It has to be a shock. To go from a house, with a stocked refrigerator, washing machine, Television, friends down the street, and all the other ‘perks’ to completely dependent on a ride to the store, no one to talk to except calling the home you wish you were at….
My daughter is not spoiled, she is a darn hard worker, she is just scared and alone and homesick.
I don’t think she will make it long. We decided that she would finish through the end of the month, see how it goes. (If she comes home early, we are responsible for her travel, and well, that is a lot of money for a single mom). Her brother will be driving home from Kansas the first of the month, we may just have to reroute his trip… I actually think that would be a great time for the two of them if they did make the road trip together.
We will see.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Murphy- what have you done?

As I wrote this post in my head last night, it played out so differently. A long diatribe about the sadness of another baby chick leaving the nest. Tugging at my heartstrings, making me want to hold on and not let her go.
Well, all that is true. So true. However the events of the past 12 hours put all that in a whole new perspective…anyone know Murphy? The guy with the law? The guy who can’t catch a break? Well, you’re lookin’ at him errr her.
People have told me a long time that I could write a book about my life. That it could be a tragedy, a comedy, maybe even a musical! So much seems to happen in my life that is against the grain. Off kilter. A little amiss. Chaos I tell you.

Somehow my world (and my kids, family and friends by association) seems to spin on its own axis. Nothing quite turns out the way it is intended to- ever!
Now, this isn’t always a bad thing. Over the many years I have learned to kind of live with it. Make it work. If you have ever seen the movie Just my Luck In the beginning of the movie, Chris Pine’s character has lived a life of ‘bad luck’. A LOT of bad luck. But he has learned to roll with it, expect it even. And things are great until … in a Freaky Friday kind of lightening flash his luck changes with Lindsay Lohan’ s Character who has only good luck. And she is having a harder time adjusting of course.
I loved that movie and laughed to tears, mostly because I could relate to them in their time of the worst luck. And I know people like their characters in their times of great luck.
Things seem to fall down around me and all I can do is laugh at it. While I see people who cannot possibly know what it is like to be me. I’m not complaining I’m not intending to whine. I love my life and would not possibly have learned the lessons nor had the opportunity to teach my children those same lessons regarding such things as acceptance, tolerance, and appreciation had my life run differently.
So- this leads me to the events which have just taken place in the past 12 hours or so.
My daughter had a 9 am flight this morning to head out of the state for a summer employment opportunity she just couldn’t pass up. It didn’t make it easier that she will be making an obscene amount of money as she is terrified. My children, until my son enlisted in the military, had been on one flight in their entire lives. They flew to see their father who lives in Alaska once when my oldest was about 13 yrs old. They flew ‘solo’ with the help of a very friendly large scale airline and many helpful stewardesses’. This would be her first flight as an adult and alone. She packed the night before and had only the daily essentials to throw in after use. We awoke in plenty of time to get her to the airport the expected hour before take-off. We were girls on a mission… I was doing my best to console her as her nerves were kicking in.
The previous night while on my way home from work, I felt a lot of vibration in the front end of my car. I am as far from ‘car savvy’ as one can be. However, years and years of bad luck with cars… has taught me a thing or two about what can go wrong. The girls and I had to pick up a few last minute things for my travelling daughter, things that we had up until yesterday been able to share, blow dryer, toiletries, etc. While we were out, I decided I had better check the tires as I am aware of some ‘front end work’ that needs to be done when pig’s fly I get my savings built back up after my job-less hiatus. The work I need done is expensive. However without it being done, my tires wear unevenly and quickly. And as I inspected them last night, they were quite worn. All of the local tire shops were closed for the night. As the airport is a good 45 minutes from our house, I was concerned.
A friend of my daughters came over and helped us to change the tire to my spare and much better shape tire. He left, we went in and completed her packing and retired for the evening thinking our problems were solved.
Bright and early this morning, with suitcase in the back, we climbed in to head for the airport. As my daughter ran in to retrieve one last forgotten item, I started the car and rolled a few inches. But the car was not moving. And when I really gave it some power, and it moved, it sounded as if I were dragging an axle or something.
Turns out, the spare tires inner wheel does not fit my car. So, in my heels, dress pants and white shirt, I changed the tire for the second time. And we were on our way. Easy you say… right? Wrong.
A quick stop for some ATM cash and we were lucky enough to get behind a lone woman in her car, slow as a turtle and with too much precision, making an attempt to withdraw from her account, not once, or twice, but three separate transactions. (Weird) and so we waited.
After we completed our own transaction, we pulled back onto the road and on the one road we thought had no construction for the season… road block. There was only one alternate and so we took it, a small neighborhood road which was where they parked all the construction vehicles and we timed it just right that they were firing each one up and maneuvering them past us onto the ‘closed road’.
We again managed to get on the road but decided we had better put a little air into the tire which was very low on tread on the inside of the tire due to bad tire alignment…. I was a little nervous to drive on it the distance that we needed to however there were no tire stores open as early as her flight. We had to chance it. After filling the tire and checking the pressure, we attempted to leave the service station. One side was blocked from the closed road we had already encountered leaving only one side open to the street. We drove around the building and a semi truck was unloading supplies to the store and parked in such a way as to block the entire side of the store… U-turn and we were finally headed to the airport.
Not much else delayed us and we made it to the airport with time to spare for security delays. We got her boarding pass for the first leg of her trip and he suggested that we go ahead to the second airline counter for her second boarding pass to expedite her lay-over ticketing. So we proceeded to the next counter just in time to get behind a group of approx. Fifteen couples headed home to Canada. The airline was doing a great job and they were getting them through as quickly as they could however there were a few ‘speed bumps’. They were all elderly (and a bit hard of hearing), most of them only spoke French, and they clearly had not done this airport thing anymore than we had. With just about fifteen minutes to spare, we got her second boarding pass and directions through the next much larger airport.
She made it through security losing only some sunscreen and lotion. And she was gone. And I felt lonely.
The day continued on... working late to make up the time. Rushing home to get to tires before closing time, gas gage light came on while racing to get home was forced to stop for gas…
I made it to the tire store. Got the tires. Man asked me if I was having a great day because I was smiling..hmm well…. Haha. Because I am preparing to sell my car, I attempted to buy some used tires. None. Got the least expensive they had. But- there was one shining moment. He looked at the price wrong.. Quoted me wrong. Took it upon himself to give me the nicer tires, for cost. About $40 cheaper per tire. Not too bad.
And now- I am tired and if you made it this far- so are you….Boy tomorrow better be roses and sunshine.

Friday, June 5, 2009

I have been away

I have not posted anything for over a week and it is not that I have nothing to say but have been busy.
My son is already off training away from home to prepare for a whole year over seas fighting for this country and others. And now my daughter is preparing for a summer adventure quite a way from home. I am trying to spend every minute of time with her that I possibly can before that happens.
I have a lot to say and post here and hope to get one up this weekend. Don't give up on me. I love the comments
See you in a couple days.

Meanwhile, Enjoy the sunshine.