Monday, January 31, 2011

Friends in all kinds of weather

Monday mornings are usually pretty routine for me.  At 5:20 I get up, feed the cats and get ready to meet my friend (who lives in  Dallas, TX)  for a hour walk.  This routine has been pretty consistent for the last twelve years.  In 1999 when we started meeting every morning for a brisk walk, I lived across the street from my friend which made it fairly easy.   Well, easy in the sense of proximity.  When we first started walking together it was going into one of the most miserable HOT dry summers  in Texas history.  I kid you not, I thought I was in hell.  I had moved to Texas from Grand Island, Nebraska and didn't know that it could be THAT hot.  At that time both Texas pal and I were a little overweight.  I would say we both had an extra 30 or 40 pounds on us.  Needless to say, walking 4-5 miles every day in temperatures that hovered in the 90's and 100's made short order of the weight problems and gave us time to figure out some common ground.

 On paper, it wouldn't appear that we should be friends.  She is 12 years younger than me, I have grown children while she has no children, she is a surgical nurse married to a doctor, I am a realtor (albeit hardly working) married to my business owner husband.  I have moved 21 times in my adult life and she like most sane people has not.

Funny though that we can agree on the big things like treating people kindly, living within our means, following rules, valuing our marriages, living healthy lives, appreciating the good things and trying to figure out a world that has gotten  so celebrity and consumer driven.  Oh and the fact that she too, can be very skeptical and suspicious of people's motives puts us on some very firm common ground. 

 Now, I live in Olathe, KS  (Kansas City) and she  still lives in a northern suburb of Dallas.  Six years ago when my husband and I moved to Kansas, my TX pal and I decided to buy cell phones from the same provider which would allow us to walk and talk without racking up 60 minutes a day.  This 12 year walking routine has worked pretty well.  For the 4.5 miles that we walk we talk about any number of things.  Seemingly we never are at a loss for words.   I no longer worry too much about the heat during our morning walk.  Pretty comfortable at 6:00 AM here in the middle of the country.  Texas pal assures me that the heat doesn't bother her.  Unfortunately, it is the winter that is problematic.  Texas pal walks outdoors nearly everyday, rain or shine.  I have to resort to a treadmill on days when the temperature drops below 20 degrees or if there is ice or snow that would make it too difficult to walk at 4 and a half miles an hour.  That brings me to the Good, Bad and freaking weird for the day...

The good...

having a good friend that is willing to walk in any kind of weather at 6 in the morning, wether it is daylight or dark, winter or cell phone will ring and we will walk for an hour.

The bad...
Kansas winters are a pain in the ass for someone who walks/runs outdoors.  Today, after our walk/visit I made a beeline to the grocery store for essentials.  We are expecting 15 inches of snow in the next day and a half. And to put the cherry on top, we are getting a glazing of ice with 30-50 mile and hour winds.

  I know there have been a lot of news stories regarding snow on the east coast but this seems to be the year everyone is getting more than their fair share of bad weather.  I try to keep my prospective.  Where I live today isn't as bad as Nebraska or Flagstaff, Arizona (yes, I lived there for awhile).  But it is BAD here today.

The freakin weird....  THE WEATHER (everywhere) is freakin' weird

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Some days are better than others

Jan. 30th, 2011

Typically Sundays tend to be a "good" day for me.  It is one of 2 days that I can sleep past 5:20 AM.  That in itself gets the day off to a great start.  In theory, I should have a more difficult time figuring out what my "bad thing" for the day will be.
To keep on target with my finding a good, bad and freakin' weird thing to chronicle each day, I am sure my negative, cynical mind can come up with a few options.

The GOOD for today

Because Sunday is one of my favorite days of the week, there are a number of things I can jot down in the plus column of my life for today. Thankfully, because one of our grandsons spent the night with us, I didn't catch the morning news so nothing ruined my day right off the bat.

Really had a pleasant morning taking care of grandson and getting ready for church. Three year olds are just cute.

 Another reason Sunday tends to be more positive than negative is the act of going to church.  I am respectful of all religions, so I am not thinking it is my particular church that lends itself to a mood lifting experience.  Let's assume that if you are a person of faith (whatever that faith, religion, spiritual leaning etc.) that it gives your life some direction and peace.

The BAD for the day

As previously mentioned, I am a real estate agent by profession.  I use the term profession in the loosest connotation, however, as what I currently do with real estate pays nothing. Technically speaking, I suspect if I never get a pay check you really can't consider it a job. I took someone to look at two foreclosures  with the plan that he would like to find a real low priced fixer upper and flip it.  Flipping houses in today's market is an act reserved for the brave.  It can be done.  Money can be made but you have to be really wise and watch your money closely.  (both on the buy side and the sell side)

No matter how long I work in this industry, I am always surprised by people.  Today's little adventure took me to a house that had been foreclosed upon.  That is no surprise as so many homes are either in short sale or foreclosure.  I am constantly amazed at how these homes are left.  Today's little treasure had no flooring left except a very small amount of laminate in the kitchen.  The finished lower level was ripped out to the studs. The light fixtures had been pulled out of the ceiling and were hanging by wires.  Overall just a BIG OLE mess left behind for the brave person that wants to buy a project.

THE freakin' weird today

This might not be all that weird but I find it  strange.  As previously mentioned, I went to church.  It happens that our church is huge.  That is huge with a capital H.  A couple of weeks ago there were more than 27,000 that attended a particular service.  Stick with me here.  The size of the church isn't the weird part.

My husband and I were sitting in an upper balcony behind a guy that typed the entire duration of the service into his smart phone.  I kid you not.  He texted and emailed constantly for an hour and a half without a pause.  The women sitting next to me also worked on some emails but she stopped occasionally to sing or pray or whatever the appropriate participation called for. Perhaps it is the sheer size of the church that people feel that they are lost in the crowd. I am not sure.

 I would say as a culture we are going to hell in a handbasket (whatever that phrase even means) but these people were sitting in church.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A little background before getting started

Recently I was talking to a friend about my concern over my growing cynicism with all things from politics, products, services, people and (you name it) everything in-between. His response was. "Of course your negativity has grown, you have lived more than 50 years."  His take on it, is that if you live long enough to be see every possible thing that can go bad, it will kick the very last bit of optimism right out of you. 

He may have a point. 

Oddly enough, my friends consider me the "positive one".  With that being said, two of my best friends are 70 and 83 years of age. (I am in my 50's)  Under the theory of age kicking optimism in the ass, I guess that the 75 year old and 83 year old would consider me "pie in the sky" positive. 

For anyone that is now thinking, I need to associate with 20 year olds that still haven't succumbed to the age=skepticism theory and still remain optimistic, I would say that most younger people would find me "old" and dull.  There is the chance that I would find them naive.

I don't really consider myself ancient (yet) but I will admit that things are changing more quickly than I am comfortable with.  I love  modern technology.  (truly LOVE it)  I adore my iphone, computer, even my front loader washer and dryer that play me a song when they finish the load.  Yes, I do love the progression of these wonderful consumer goods that make life easier and more fun.  I do, however,  have problems with having doors slammed in my face because the guy or gal (don't want to sterotype here) is so busy texting with both hands that they can't hold the door open for one more second past their sholdering it open to get out of said door.  The real story here is not that I have a problem with people using all this cutting edge technology but it is how and when they use it.  (really, one of the freakin weird items----the guy that texted his girlfriend across the table in the restaurant to tell her he was breaking up with her.  True story, he said he felt like she wouldn't yell at him in a public place)

The other BIG component here is my career.  (I should say my ex career) Up till about 2 years ago, I was a Realtor.  Actually, I still am a Realtor but there is very little work happening on my part.  Our part of the country has not been hit nearly as hard as other regions but there is still a very limited housing market and if you want to hear a lot of sad stories try listing or selling homes right now.   My broker told me a few months ago, if I have a problem selling/listing forclosures or short sales, I had better get out of the business.  OK, great suggestion. save myself from sounding like a anti people and things zealot (I am not) let me give you a little profile.  I live in the middle of America (a suburb of Kansas City), I am middle class economically, (have been every level from top to bottom though) I am sorta, kinda in the middle politically (think liberal Republican or conservative Democrat-take your pick), usually a passivist unless you really tick me off then I just become a  mouthy passivist. (Usually) all talk no action.
Married with 2 grown children.  (Still loving all three).  For the most part, my one big issue is that I find my tolerance for things/people/events declining at the same incline and speed as a jet running into a flock of birds.

 If I tell myself that I am going to wake up and stay positive and optimistic tomorrow morning, it will last about 5 minutes into the morning news program or the morning paper.    So this blog is going to track a positive thought or two or three, a negative thought (or two or three) and something that just strikes me as bizaar every day for the rest of this year.  (For days that I have to miss because of no computer access or laziness, I will make that day up when I am back online. 

Just to get the ball rolling, there are some positives that are for everyday such as good health and family so I won't elaborate everyday with those types of things.  Those are a given.  The same goes for the negatives.  I will try not to repeat the mundane things like it is cold out today. It sucks weather wise but I live in Kansas.  It gets cold here)

The Good for today Jan 29th

My house is less likely to burn to the ground today.  Turns out that that beautiful front loader dryer that sings me a little song upon the end of cycle had a faulty dryer vent on it.  Who knew?  I got a card in the mail a few months ago to tell me I was part of a class action law suit.  Turns out that the big box store I bought the washer and dryer from got sued over the type of  "foil" vent that they were using to install the dryers with.  So the case got settled and the big box service guys settled with everyone getting a new dryer vent.  Good huh?

The Bad for today Jan. 29th.

What did the lawyers get for the big box law suit? (Keep in mind under the good though, that I got a nifty new semi-rigid dryer vent hose) I bet those lawyers would have something different posted under the GOOD portion if they were writing this blog.

Actually, there are some "bigger" bad today in the world with the protests in Egypt today. I am mindful that there are huge bad things out there but for the sake of this blog and it's purpose to amuse myself  I am not dwelling on  world political happenings or world events.  From time to time, I will have to point out some of the local politics of Kansas City as we have just too much fun and bizarre here.

The FREAKIN' WEIRD for Jan. 29th.   The Freakin' weird for the day is the article in today's paper of the mother in Florida that shot her two children.  SAD yes, BIZARRE  yes.  She said she had to shoot them both as they were MOUTHY. (Just a side note,  I did notice that in the article she is over 50.)