Saturday, March 28, 2009


My baby boy participated in belt testing for Martial Arts today.  It was his first testing, and he made me so stinkin proud.  Monster loves Martial Arts, and he seems to have a natural affinity for it.  I'm glad he was able to find an activity that suits him.  I was frustrated that he is so much more advanced already than the belt he could test for, but since patience is a big part of this, I guess it's good to wait.  And wait he will have to do....he doesn't get his belt until class next week.

Monday, March 23, 2009

GiST I dunno what number

and I'm too lazy to go look...

1. That last week is seriously kicked my butt,
2. That spring is coming. Flowers are blooming. Hurray.
3. Today is my mommy's bday.
4. Today is PB's half birthday.
5. The sun is shining.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Needing a little Grace

Today was a difficult day. I work for the State Government. Our newly elected Governor gave his first budget presentation today. Rumors have been flying for several weeks that state employees were going to be furloughed, that we are going to have to pay more for our benefits, that we might have layoffs. This afternoon was the announcement that we are all going to take an 8% cut in our pay and pay more for our benefits. The expected net decrease in our pay is 10%. This means that our payscales are being reversed by 7 years. We will be making today what we made in 2002. And yes, I realize that we are still employed. But this may not be the end. If revenues continue to tank, they will cut more. Not layoffs, more paycuts.

This will hurt my lifestyle, but ultimately I think we'll be okay. There will definitely be less activities going on, but we'll still have our house, our food, and so on. But I worry about those that are alreay so close to the edge. We have employees that work for the state that make $17000 a year. Can you imagine living on that? That is roughly my mortgage payment for one year. A $1700 cut in their pay means $130 less in their paycheck every month. That's the gas they need to get to and from these jobs. That could be groceries on their table. At some point, working becomes pointless...why struggle so hard to work when you can go on welfare and live better?

I am angry...not simply because we are experiencing this cut in pay, but because I don't see our elected officials taking the necessary steps to handle this crisis. There are other alternatives that would allow the pay cut to be reduced, including reducing salaries for our legislators. Our legislators are part time legislators, meaning that they are only in session for 6 months out of the year, and then work other jobs the rest of the year. They make $42000 a year as a legislator. That's $3200 a month if you spread it out over the whole year (26 pays) ...but they only work for 6 months. That means they earn $7000 a month. That's $160 a day if they work 10 days every two weeks. An 8% pay cut for them means they still make $6300 a month. And seriously, one legislative committee met for 50 minutes the other day to debate whether walkie-talkies should be held to the same standards as cell phones when people are driving, and who should be exempt from such legislation. That means we paid each of these members $20 to sit and debate this topic. And guess what the consensus was? We have to do more investigating.

I chose to go work for the state and be a public servant knowing that the pay sucked. But the benefits and job security made it worthwhile. State workers are up there with lawyers as far as people disparaging the jobs we do. As in every organization, there are those employees that do not live up to the standards. However, the majority of state workers are dedicated, hard working employees. And we are about to be callously stepped on by those that were elected to protect us.

There are so many things happening in our country today that I don't agree makes me sad and nervous for our future, and the future we are leaving for our children.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Thankful that it's (almost) completed

It's been a busy year here at Casa Lang.  I decided that I was going to spend more time in the real world and less in the virtual world, and I was going to get some projects done around the house.  And hoo boy, have I been going strong on that!

In January, I painted my powder room.  It's a lovely shade of green that makes me think "Ahhhh Spring" every time I walk in there.  I'm going to begin utilizing my husbands skill of hiding in the bathroom just to be soothed.  PB and I agreed that this green would be perfect for the bottom portion of her bedroom wall, so late in February we cleaned out her bedroom and went to work.  She also has the wood border that needed to be painted and stamped, so we took care of that as well.  Thank goodness for snow took 4 days to paint, stamp, and clean/reorganize this room.  I was really tired of her room by the time we completed it.
You can see more pics in my Flickr Feed.
This past weekend, I tackled Monster's room.  It was time for him toget the big boy room, and it about killed me.  There was a Nascar wallpaper border at the top and the walls were gray.  That border took me 5 hours to was literally shredding as it peeled off.  Then the trim out took forever.  I finally finished it Monday night, and I love the colors and the new bookshelf and bench (and bedding) but I'm glad it's done for now.
Ignore the messiness....I took this right after he crawled out of bed today.  There's still more to go to finish his room.  Daddy is painting one (small) wall with camo, and the closet and main doors have to be painted.  We need to create the e center/desk on one wall.  And posters/pictures have to be found and hung.  But so far, I like it.  And he loves the colors on the wall.
So that's where I've been.  I'm tired, and this is a busy week.  But the smile and contented sigh he gave the first night he slept in there made it worthwhile.  Meanwhile, I'm done painting until at least May.  DDS is coming home in a couple of weeks for his mid tour 2 week leave, and I have some tidying to do before he gets home.
And a new Etsy store to start stocking...more on that to come!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Loads of Love, now brighter!

BlogHerAds  is participating in a disaster relief program that raises money through t-shirt sales. They've asked all of us to spread the word!

From the Tide Loads of Hope website:
Tide Loads of Hope helps in the aftermath of a natural disaster by providing clean clothes and a sense of comfort to families in need. Partnering with Feeding America, we travel to disaster affected neighborhoods with the Tide Loads of Hope truck or vans, our free mobile laundry service.

Tide Loads of Hope truck:
32 high-effiency washers and dryers stationed on the truck
Can do 300 wash and dry cycles a day -equal to one year’s worth of laundry for a single family
Will wash about 9,000 loads of laundry over a four-week period
Leveraged during massive disasters where electricity is unavailable in the region

Tide Loads of Hope vans:
In partnership with a local laundromat, the Tide Loads of Hope vans provide free laundry service at the same load rate as the trucks
Leveraged during disasters where neighboring communities still have a source of electricity

To date, Tide Loads of Hope has washed more than 35,000 loads of laundry for over 20,000 families. Most importantly, the Tide Loads of Hope program means we’re equipped to take action whenever and wherever there is a need in our country.

Tide Loads of Hope Vintage Tees:
Tide Loads of Hope can also be supported through the purchase of a Tide Vintage Tee. All profits go to support families affected by disaster. Please use this link to purchase the shirt!

Where it all started

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the need for clean clothing became critical, and Tide found a way to help. So in November 2005, the Tide Loads of Hope truck headed to Camp Hope in the Metairie, LA area and cleaned over 10,000 loads of laundry. The spirit of this first venture informs and inspires everything Tide Loads of Hope program does.

If you’re interested in participating in the Tide Loads of Hope program by purchasing a Tide Vintage Tee, you can follow this link.
So basically, you can buy a cool graphic tee and help at the same time.  What are you still doing here?  GO check it out!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Growing up, even at 35

I am shy. Sometimes painfully so. But I've worked very hard over the last 5 years to change that. And one of the epiphanies I had that helped me with that process was that people really don't think about me as much as I think they do. This was a hard lesson to learn. Not because I'm conceited, or because I think I'm so great...quite the opposite. I am geeky. A little socially awkward. But whate I've learned is that I was socially awkward because I worried about what other people thought too much. I'm not saying I'm 100% cured of this, but I can usually see myself heading down that path, and cut myself off at the pass.

The fact that I'm not totally over this tendancy was brought home to me yesterday. I was having a conversation at work, and I commented on something to the co-worker. Then last night, I started obsessing about how stupid the comment was, how she probably was laughing behind my back at how stupid I sounded. And then I literally kicked my own ass for being so stupid. Because really, who cares? If their laughing at me, fine...I'm glad I could provide them some entertainment.

I always thought it was sort of cliched about learning to like yourself more as you aged. But in my case, it's true. There are still things I don't like, but work very hard to recognize these things, and then take steps to fix them.

I've had a rough week. A person on a committee with me has been very mean to me several times in the last 6 months, and I've felt powerless to make it stop. But today, I received confirmation that I wasn't crazy, and that other people saw it as well. I will gladly admit that I let this negativity get to me, and allowed myself to say a few things that shouldn't have been said. I'm a big girl, and I will admit when I'm wrong. But being a big girl also means that you should be able to approach people in a civilized, calm manner when you have an issue with something they do. Unfortunately, the other party apparently didn't receive that memo (or as my SIL says, they didn't put on the big girl pants that And I reacted. And I resented for days. But, today, I realized that I have supporters, and they are willing (and able) to help me resolve this situation.

So now, I'm off to bed, and I'm hopeful that the next committee meeting will be productive and drama free. I'm suggesting some radical changes, but I have strong, valid reasons for the changes, and I hope that is seen.

And I will remind myself to leave the baggage there, and to not think about the mean people any more than they think about me. Life is too short, and I'm enjoying living it.

GiST 21/365

1. Warm weather again (but seriously, 75 today and snow tomorrow night. Someone needs to give Mother Nature some hormone therapy or something.)

2. Finding the support network you needed just in time.

3. Being asked if you are interviewing for a new job. (Apparently wearing a dress, which I try to do at least once a week, and having a meeting with someone not from your organization in a conference room in your building means you are interviewing. Wow, that would take some sort of something...interviewing at your current employers office for another job? Hhhhmmm...not so much!)

4. Watching my children chasing each other with tongs while unloading the dishwasher. (PB was singing a song from one of those Christmas specials "Put one tong in front of the other.)

5. Getting the DVD you ordered in less than 2 days, instead of the 5-10 they quoted you.

Monday, March 09, 2009

GiST 20/365

1. Warm Weather...too bad it's not going to stay all week.

2. Martial Arts for Monster...exercise and enjoyment for him.

3. Checking out exercise videos before you buy them.

4. Getting ready to paint the Monster's room this weekend.

5. Having a day off Friday and Monday!


I've been reading quite a bit about Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred Workout DVD.  I admit I was intrigued.  I've tried several other work out videos, but never rally found what I was looking for in a program.  Then someone mentioned that it was available on Comcast onDemand. So Saturday, I gave it a try.

OMG.  I hurt.  Muscles I forgot I had.  But I made it through.  Then Sunday I moved TV's up and down two flights of stairs.  No Shred on Sunday.

I tried a few other videos that were available today, and I'm glad I didn't spend any money on them.  But I went back to Jillian, and shredded some more.  I can't believe I'm hooked, but I feel a difference already.  I don't get this feeling from the elliptical or treadmill.  And I can do this in my own living room after I put the kids to bed.

Maybe I'll actually suceed in the weight loss plan this time.  I took leftovers for lunch today, and paced my eating throughout the day.  I already have lunch prepared for tomorrow and the next day.  I'm going to shred at least 4 days a week...I would prefer 5, but I'm being realistic. 

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Guess what? I finally figured how to post to my blog from my touch! Isn't it nice of the realtor next door to my mom's dr to provide us wireless access? That's a big deal in my Podunk town... LOL

So, we are drowning in snow. Well not drowning yet... That will come this weekend when the warmer weather and rain come to melt the metric but load of snow ( and yes, I understand that one foot isn't that much. But my husbands deployed, remember? And we don't normally get much snow any way.) I shoveled my drive this morning, after I was sure the snow was done falling. Why is the person that never shovels snow the one that always chooses the snow shovel? Even when he's stateside, I end up shoveling because he gets called out. Is anyone else overwhelmingly ready for spring, or us it just me?

We "updated" on's room this weekend.
More about that coming up, when I can upload the pics. Back to my games:)