Beyond the Veil

Hello, world.

It’s been so long since I’ve done this that I feel as if we’re on a first date, again.  Honestly, I’m a little nervous.  It’s been a while since we’ve spent any time together. Will you still like me?  Will I say something funny or interesting, and will you laugh?  Will we be able to regain that sense of mutual interest and connection?  Will you text me later and say you had a nice time?

I promise that if you do, I won’t wait another eight months to respond.  😉

The past eight months has flown by in a whirlwind of activity.   Work, kids, husband, friends, travel, work, kids, husband, work, family, work, PTA, kids and work.  It’s all been good, mostly.

My job, which I started nine months ago, has been going pretty well.  After six years as a stay home mom, I took a part-time position working for a music publishing company as a music coordinator and personal assistant.  It’s been fun.  We create and license orchestral music/sound design for movie trailers. I love music and movies, so it seemed like a good fit, although I have no previous experience in either industry.  As it turns out, my penchant (read OCD) for detail and organization lends itself nicely to the trailer music industry.  A lot of people ask me for examples of what we do.  Did any of you happen to see the debut trailer for The Last Jedi?  The epically moving, raise the hair on your arms music in that trailer just happens to be ours!  Yes, it was a BFD.  We celebrated the next morning after the release of the trailer with mimosas and French omelets.  Just in case you haven’t seen it…

Later, my daughter asked me, “Mom, what did YOU actually do to contribute to that movie trailer?”  I couldn’t tell if she was mocking me because she thinks I’m lame, or if she was looking for proof that I’m really as cool as I tell her I am.  So I was honest with her and said, “Not a damn thing.  My job is to do all the other stuff, so the people I work for can focus their time and talents on creating music for projects like this.”  I’m pretty sure she took that as validation of her initial assessment, which is that I’m lame.

Despite how well my job is going, I will admit that I’m still waiting for my lightening bolt.  For a long time I’ve had this sense that there’s something I’m supposed to be doing, yet I have no idea what it is.  It’s like there’s a thin veil hanging over my life, and I can’t quite see through it, but I know the answers I need are on the other side.  I’ve always envied people who understood their talents. People who have a clear vision of their path in life.  Some people know without hesitation what they are meant to do. Their talent and drive toward that goal manifests itself clearly for them.  For me that has never been the case.  Despite doing well in the career/jobs I’ve chosen, I’ve always struggled to fully grasp my sense of purpose, and after celebrating another birthday this past September, I feel a sense of urgency toward whatever self-discovery needs to take place in order to put myself on the right path.   I’m not afraid of hard work, I just want to realize what I’m supposed to be working toward so I can get on with it.  Is it too much to ask to wake up one morning with a hand written note beside my bed that reads,

Dear Wanda, 

You are destined to become a dolphin trainer.  Please make arrangements for whatever training is necessary to complete this task and file your application for employment at Sea World, as soon as possible.  

Your welcome,

The Universe

I think I would take a clue like that seriously.  I tried asking my kids what they think I’m good at.  Their answers are ridiculous but I love their honesty.  My son says stuff like, “You’re good at snuggles, Mommy.  And you make the best meatloaf.”  He also told me I was good at being a mommy, and he suggested I open up the baby factory and have another one so he could be a big brother.

So that’s where I’m at.  Attempting to support one company on it’s path to greatness while I strive to discover my own.  If any of you can relate, it would be awesome to hear about it.  And by the way, to those of you who reached out to check on me during my little blogging hiatus, I want you to know how much I genuinely appreciated that, so thank you!  🙂

Good News, Bad News

It’s been too long since my last post.  I’ve actually started and discarded several posts.  I can’t seem to finish one, either because my thought runs out of steam, or I just feel like I’m rambling about something no one would really be interested in.

So, instead of an organized essay of sorts, here are a few things that have been on my mind lately…

14045999_1168043969905338_3983056748036945361_n1Politics.  (Insert a deep, prolonged sigh, accompanied by an eye-roll).  I know everyone has talked the election of 2016 to death, and I’ll be honest and say that I’ve written and deleted this paragraph at least three times.  I’m over editing myself because this topic is so polarizing and divisive that I hesitate to even discuss it.  Generally, I don’t discuss politics with many people.  And I’m breaking my own rule here, but I feel so strongly about this that it almost hurts to not say something.  To say anything.  It hurts to stay quiet.  So, very carefully, I will say this…for those of you who voted for Donald Trump, well, I hope that works out for you.  For those of you who didn’t vote for Donald Trump, well, hold on to your butts.  In a few days this shit is about to get real.  Time will tell if he has what it takes to be an unconventional yet effective President, or if he is truly a man-baby-twitter-whore who can’t find his ass with both hands unless Kelly Ann Conway draws him a map.  And for all of us, I think this election cycle has been a great reminder of how a democratic society works.  We all have a responsibility to be involved, no matter what side you align yourself with.  We can’t wait for others to do the heavy lifting.   Whether we understand politics or ignore it because we’re intimidated by what we don’t understand, we  all have an obligation to participate.  Congress takes advantage of your willful ignorance, and apathetic people are easily manipulated.   So get involved.  Be the change you want to see in the world.  Whether it’s in your community, local or state government, get involved. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what issues matter the most to me so that I can take steps to participate and do my part.  I hope you will too.

In other news, I got a job.  That’s right!  This girl got a J.O.B.!  After six years of being a stay home mom, I am officially employed again.  And you know you’ve re-entered the workforce when you have to disclose on your job application that you were technically arrested in 1992 for Disturbing the Peace, because that shit is a misdemeanor and stays on your record FOREVER.  It’s ok though, because they hired me anyway.  I’ve been really bored since Bryce started first grade.  I volunteer a lot at the school, but I had a few days a week where I just felt like I was wasting time and brain cells.  And apparently the universe agreed that I was ready to go back to work and just handed me an awesome opportunity.  A friend of mine owns a music publishing company, and they have hired me as a part-time music coordinator and personal assistant.  The company creates and licenses music for movie trailers!  How flipping cool is that?!  It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done before and I’m having a blast learning this whole new industry.  So, thank you universe!

img_0181My dog Mavis, who is now nine months old, won’t stop shitting in the house.  It’s making me crazy.  It’s like she’s decided that she’s too good for grass.   She pee’s outside, no problem.  Then she comes to the door, runs upstairs and poops on my bedroom rug.  I refuse to let this dog believe that she can just drop heat anywhere her little heart desires.  I am the alpha in this house!  She spent the morning in her kennel because she pooped on my rug after she had already gone out this morning.  Mind you, my entire house has wood floors.  When she poops, she always uses the rug.  When I came home I went to let her out.  In defiance of being put in her kennel she refused to come out.  img_0178Fine.  She can just stay there.  So she did.  Then a few hours later I came home again and pulled her out of the kennel and took her outside.  She pee’d, then wanted to come back in.  But I know her game.  I made her stay outside.  She tried to wait me out.  She even sat there shaking and giving me her sweet little sad eyes.  Oh, she is such an actress!  It took about fifteen minutes, and I swear she huffed at me, then walked to the grass and pooped.   Ha Ha!  Today I am the winner!

I miss books.  I’ve been so busy between the holidays, kids and my new job that I haven’t read a new book in months.  I have several in my kindle that need my attention, but if any of you have a good recommendation I am always looking for new books.

That’s about it for me.  My life goals for 2017 are set.  Community service, learning a new industry, becoming a dog whisperer and reading more books.  I think that’s a good list.  What about you?  I missed a lot of New Year’s posts in the past two weeks.  I’d love to hear some of your resolutions and goals for the year.  🙂

Life is Good.

Hello, world!

The summer has flown by, as I knew it would, and as I predicted, I only got about three posts up all summer.  Figures.

But life continues to be busy.  Since I got home from my grandparent’s house at the end of July, I hosted my college roommate and her family for a few days, was sick for two weeks with a nasty virus that closely resembled strep throat, threw a birthday party for my son and twenty of his closest six-year old friends, and got both of my kids back to school.  So yeah, life and children continue to dominate my time and attention.   Blogging has been on the back burner for a long time, and I’m hoping now that I have both of my kids in school full-time that I’ll have more time and attention for both myself and all of you.

cold germsBeing sick for two weeks wasn’t fun.  I went to the doctor about five days into it and she ran all the typical tests to rule out bacterial infections.  It felt like my head was going to explode, and every time I swallowed it felt like my eardrums were bursting and I was trying to swallow crushed glass.  Fever, fatigue, and all the glamorous parts of feeling like total shit.  My husband had to be out-of-town for work for several days, so taking care of the house, kids, and all the pets when all you want to do is lay down and die was no picnic.  Unfortunately, the doc couldn’t give me any drugs because it was a viral infection, and it took a solid two weeks before I felt human again.  To add insult to injury, going to the doctor in the first place is always such a mind-fuck.  I already felt like shit, and have you ever noticed that going to the doctor makes you fat?  Seriously.  I walk in and immediately feel like I’ve gained ten pounds.  Then the nurse puts you on the scale and you realize that in the two hours since you got dressed and hauled your sick-ass to the clinic, you really must have gained ten pounds because their ancient scale, that must be counter-balanced with massive invisible boulders, says so.  Why don’t doctors use modern digital scales that will weigh me the same as when I’m at home?  And now that I feel like a sick, ginormous, fat cow, I have to sit, forever, in the little room and wait.  imageAnd there’s a mirror in there that is now confirming what the scale said.  Somehow my face looks heavier.  My ass seems to be climbing up my back and my muffin top is more muffin-y.  And now I want to cry because my throat hurts, my ears hurt, I can’t get any meds, and just walking in the door made me feel like Martha Dump Truck.

Damn, I’m glad that’s over.

My son’s birthday party was fun, and humiliating.  But I found my self-respect at the top of a bounce house, so that was an unexpected bonus.  We had the party at Pump It Up.  If you’re unfamiliar with the Pump It Up franchise, it’s basically a party venue with giant inflatables.  Each room is a massive, two-story room with multiple indoor inflatables, like bounce houses, obstacle courses, rock climbing walls, and things like that.  We had the Glow Party, which is like a super cool rave for kids with music and glow in the dark everything.  I had promised my daughter that I would do some of the inflatables with her because as the big sister, she was the oldest kid at the party and didn’t really want to hang with the six-year olds.  Thank God it was dark in there.  I was a little dressed up for the party and my nice jeans were somewhat confining.  Also, you have to wear socks in these things, and I quickly realized that with

This looks a lot like the structure I was attempting to climb

This looks similar to the structure I was attempting to climb. The picture doesn’t do the height justice, though.

socks on it’s hard to get any grip on the structure with your feet.  So,  I was attempting to climb this two-story monstrosity that was part rock climbing wall and part slide in tight jeans and slippery socks.  You see where I’m going with this?  You had to put your feet on these small squares and then use alternating tether straps for your hands to climb up.  Well, the tiny-made-for-five-year-old-feet squares would collapse under you if you didn’t move fast enough.  Half-way up there was this ledge you had to get over, and then another ledge all the way at the top.  I fell trying to get over the first ledge.  Kids were flying past me and laughing as I flailed and dangled by the tether straps.  Did I mention it was also pretty steep?  And also that I’m not a ten-year old?  Anyway, I dug deep and hauled myself to the top, and as I was struggling to get over the second ledge, and considering saying fuck it and just letting go, my son’s friend from his class was sitting at the top of the ledge, and she was watching me as I hung on the tethers.  She’s an adorable little girl and she says, “Keep going Mrs. B!  You can do it!”  Sweet Jesus.  How do I fail in front of her now?  I couldn’t, and it was ugly, and I’m glad it was dark in that room, but I managed to get my fat ass over that ledge and to the top.  I was sweating and tired, and when I went down the slide it was so steep and fast it actually launched me out of the shoot and I landed in a heap in front of several parents watching from below.  There was no way to play it cool, so I laid there like a lump, catching my breath.  Thankfully, several parents said how impressed they were that I even attempted to get to the top, so at least I got some street cred out of it.  Or they were just trying to make me feel better.  Either way, only one other parent attempted the same structure and made it to the top, so that makes me one of the cool moms.

My kids went back to school on August 31st, so I had three days last week of blissful alone time.  I’ve never had that, and I savored it.  I read several of your blogs, did some housework, ran errands without children, and met friends for lunch.  It was heaven.  I’m really looking forward to this school year.  And for the first time since my oldest daughter started school eight years ago, I didn’t cry at drop off on the first day.  I fucking celebrated and went out for sushi!

Life is good, people.  Life is Good!!!!!!

Another Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary, world!

Today marks the two year anniversary of A Girl Named Wanda!  I can’t believe it’s been two years, and I continue to be blown away by the fact that so many of you continue to read my non-sense and ramblings. Thank you for your support, encouragement, and the endless hours of entertainment I’ve enjoyed by reading your blogs and sharing in your experiences.

Currently, I am visiting my grandparents in central Illinois and I am without Internet. 😳They are 95 and 97 years old, so computers and wi-fi isn’t really their thing. I’ve used 20% of my cell phone battery in typing these two paragraphs into the WordPress app.  Awesome. While I can’t go into great detail at this time, after spending a week here away from my family and no access to modern technology outside of my phone, you can rest assured that my next post will be worth the wait. 😜

Thank you again for reading!

Priorities, and stuff.

Don’t pay the ransom!  I escaped!

Just kidding.  No one would kidnap me.

Since my last post over a month ago, life has been ridiculously busy, and clearly I’m not good at finding the time to write while managing all that must come first.  For example, I’ve already been interrupted ten times in the last seven minutes since I sat down to write this post.  At this rate I’ll be lucky to get three posts up this summer.  In the past six weeks or so we’ve had my son’s Kindergarten graduation, a new puppy, our annual vacation back home to the Midwest, my wedding anniversary and my mother-in-law flew in to spend the 4th of July weekend with us.  It’s been a whirlwind, but it’s all been good.

FullSizeRender (1)And I know what you’re thinking….”Did she say she got a new puppy?!”  Yes, and she has taken up the bulk of my time and attention since she joined our family.  I didn’t mean to get a puppy.  I didn’t want a new puppy.  We already have three cats and a large dog.  But the universe sort of thrust her at me, and when the universe hands you an adorable little baby like that, well, you just can’t hand it back.

This is Mavis.  The last week of school while I was waiting to pick Bryce up, another mom from our class showed up holding this adorable little baby girl.  I took one look at her and my soul screamed, “Mine!”  I immediately asked the mom if she had gotten a new dog and she explained that her cocker-spaniel had “accidentally” mated with her sister’s Chihuahua.  The IMG_0086result was four of the most adorable Chi-Spaniel (that’s apparently what they’re called) babies you have ever seen, and they were giving them away to good homes.  Done!  I took a picture of her with my phone and texted the photo to Dan.  I took her home with me that day.  And now I remember why we decided we were done having kids.  She is adorable but exhausting.  Having a new puppy is just like having a new baby in the house.  I can’t turn my back on her for a second.  One second she is my Sweet Mavis, and the next she is Mavis the Destroyer.  Potty training sucks.  My only consolation is that when she’s FINALLY potty trained, I’m getting all new area rugs.

FullSizeRender (2)

I don’t usually post personal photos, but I think we look hot in this picture, so Happy Anniversary to us!!

Everything else seems a bit trivial in comparison to Mavis.  Our vacation back home was good.  I love the Midwest, I just can’t live there full time.  But summers there are heaven.  My anniversary was awesome, until it wasn’t.  Dan and I had tickets to a private chef’s table dinner at our favorite ocean-side resort.  Twelve couples enjoyed a five course gourmet dinner over-looking the ocean.  We had yellow-fin tuna ceviche that had been caught that morning off the coast of San Diego.  We enjoyed freshly caught and prepared lobster and other fresh sustainable foods that had been grown on the property of the resort along with wine pairings from a local vineyard.  It was fantastic.  We made some new friends and enjoyed drinks and live music in the hotel lobby bar after dinner.  And then I had to haul ass back to our room and spent the rest of the night praying to the porcelain god.   It wasn’t food poisoning because nobody else got sick.  It wasn’t alcohol because, sadly, I wasn’t drunk yet.  Whatever caused it ruined my night and I’m still a little pissed about it because when I get to eat food that amazing and that expensive, you bet your ass I want to hang on to it.  I need a do-over.

Now that life has returned to a normal speed for me, I’m trying to play catch up.  I’m reconsidering my rule about not posting my personal opinions about politics and/or religion on social media.  The world is going crazy and I might need to talk about it.  We’ll see.  In the meantime, I look forward to stalking all the blogs I’ve neglected over the past month.  I’ve missed you guys!  🙂

See!  She was meant to be my dog!

See! She was meant to be my dog!

Holiday Rant

It’s been a rough week around here.  My family had a nice Christmas, and I’m thankful for that.  But for everything else that has happened in the past ten days or so…well, all I can say about that is, “Hey world, go fuck yourself.”

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

The entire week of Christmas my son was terribly sick with RSV.   For those of you who don’t have young kids, that’s a nasty respiratory virus that likes to linger and can often cause hospitalizations.  Bryce didn’t need to go to the hospital, but he did require round the clock breathing treatments and he had a fever for six days.  We were pretty much house bound the entire week of Christmas.  My husband and I started coming down with symptoms on Christmas day.  It only makes sense given how Bryce repeatedly coughed in our faces while we were caring for him.  He can’t help it.  He’s five.  The upside to this was that during our quarantine, we binge watched all the Star Wars movies and all eight Harry Potter movies.

We then had to cancel our holiday travel plans due to the respiratory virus that began sweeping its way through our house.   Our relatives thanked us for not exposing them to our hateful contagion.

10981156_901959096513277_5750103026687627852_n[1]Two days after Christmas, while this virus was happily laying waste to my holiday cheer and energy levels, I got on Facebook and found that the world had turned itself upside down.  You know those moments in life where your reality sort of tips over and sends you free-falling?  Two days after Christmas I discovered that an old friend whom I had known for more than twenty-five years had passed away.  We went to high school together and we kept in touch mostly through Facebook.  I know many people wouldn’t call that friendship, but I went to a small school, and many of us keep in touch with each other through this medium.  We post pictures of our kids and laugh with each other over the trials of parenting.  Well, this friend was a beautiful human being.  She radiated sunshine and light.  She was 40 years old and a mother of five beautiful children.  And, as it turns out, most of us didn’t know she was suffering.   I had no idea she suffered from depression.  I think most of us didn’t know.  She was always happy smiles and kind words, always giving of herself to help others.  She was a great mom and the kind of parent you sometimes envied.  You know, the one who seems to find the time to make everything from scratch and still look beautiful and like she totally has everything together. The day after Christmas she took her own life.  My heart is broken for her family.  For her children.  I can’t even  imagine the emotional pain she must have been suffering to make that choice.  To feel like that was the only option left to her.  Depression is a dirty, rotten, lying mother-fucker and it has claimed another beautiful soul.

Yesterday, my husband called our plumber out to the house because he noticed our hot-water heater was leaking.  Well, not only does the water heater need to be replaced, but unbeknownst to us, it had been leaking for a while, and we discovered black mold growing inside the wall and under the flooring.  We had a crew working all day yesterday, ripping out moldy drywall, wood boards and flooring.  We had no idea it was inside the wall.  I now have an industrial size de-humidifier in my house that sounds like a damn jet engine.  And because of the holiday and drying out/treatment process, nothing can be done for about five more days.  Half of my garage is tented off and part of the stairwell inside as well.  The noise from the de-humidifier is deafening, and I have no hot water for the next week or so.  I know, first world problems.  Blah, blah, blah.

Last night, I went to urgent care to deal with this respiratory virus that seems to be getting worse.  My lungs feel like they’re on fire and my throat feels like I’ve been swallowing glass.  The doctor at the urgent care was super hot.  (Huge sigh, accompanied by an eye roll.)  I look like death warmed over and I’ve got that awesome bright red ring around my nose that’s all chapped and painful.  I accidentally coughed in his face.  I’m sure he gets that a lot.  Whatever.  He says I have bronchitis. He gave me good drugs, so I’m thankful for hot doctor.

12208257_554026368082052_6033707881857329575_n[2]Today, after not sleeping much and dreaming about friends lost, I was woken up at the crack of dawn by the sounds of the moldy men crew using electric saws to cut apart my walls, once again.  After they left, my husband left for San Diego.  He’s going to the Holiday Bowl with his best friend.  While I’m home…sick…with two kids…all the pets…in a house that sounds like it’s sitting on an airport runway.  He’ll be home tomorrow.  He’s staying with his friend in San Diego tonight because it’s a night game.  That means he’ll get a hot shower tomorrow before he comes home.  I can’t shower.  Because there is no hot water.  For a week.  I think I hate him a little bit right now, but it’s not really his fault.  But I’m going to act like it is because I need someone to blame.  I know, it’s the bronchitis talking.

This past week has really kicked the shit out of me.  I’m exhausted, physically and emotionally.  So instead of writing a Happy New Year post filled with bullshit optimistic resolutions, I’m just going to be thankful for my life.  I’m thankful for my family, my recovering health (Yay for drugs!), that I have a house and the resources to fix what’s broken.  I’m thankful for my friends, both real and imagined (that means you WordPress!).  I’m thankful for hot doctors and urgent care centers.  I’m thankful for pharmacies, pizza delivery guys, Advil, coffee and that box of homemade fudge my neighbor brought over.  I’m thankful for endless boxes of tissues and Carmex ointment to put on my chapped nose.  And lastly, I’m thankful for the heart that beats in my chest.  The heart that fills with joy at the sight of my family and also breaks with sadness at the loss of a friend.  I’m thankful for my ability to feel and love and grow from the hard things in life.

11822851_10207260211610394_4385503862862472382_n[1]

Happy New Year, world.  Wherever you are, may your New Year be filled with light and love.

Cheers,

Wanda

One month

That’s how long its been since I posted to my blog.

Holy shit.  Time flies.

Part of me feels like I need to apologize for such a long absence, but the other part of me realizes that my life demands that I be present and in the moment.  My family and my other responsibilities don’t always accommodate the time I need to put together a decent blog post.  We’re all busy and we all prioritize differently.  So instead of apologies, I’ll just say, HELLO WORLD!  I’ve missed you!

21 kidsThe past month has been a whirlwind of activity.  I’ve resumed my volunteer work as the garden docent for my son’s Kindergarten class.  I was also suckered into being the room mom for his class as well, so now between the school garden and working in the classroom to help his teacher, it’s like I have an almost full time job.  The upside is that now I’m openly revered by twenty one small people who look at me with undeserved wonder and admiration, thrilled that I know all their names and tell them how great they are at drawing stick people and gluing pasta to construction paper.  It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

12019874_869646123089790_8745768548767870345_n[2]A few weeks ago, Dan and I snuck off to Chicago one more time for one last wedding among my college friends.  It was beautiful and amazing.  The weather was perfect for fall and the trees were just starting to change colors.  The bride was stunning and we were all a bit better behaved than at the last wedding.  I’d like to write a full post about it but I fear that I’d really just be repeating myself from the previous wedding post.  We drink a lot, we’re super badass, we love each other, we’re friends for life.  You know the drill.

And of course, there was Halloween!  Halloween is a big deal at our house.  We love it!  This year was especially awesome because the day fell on a Saturday, so instead of the usual week night rush to get dinner done, kids jammed into their costumes and start handing out candy to the toddlers who start trick or treating before dark, we had the time to really set up and participate in the evening.  My husband decorated the driveway with strobe lights, a smoke machine, black lights, and glow in the dark cobwebs all over the garage door.  What was super badass was my costume.  I was

Yup, I looked just like her.  LOL!

Yup, I looked just like her. LOL!

Maleficent.  When the kids rounded the corner of my driveway the first thing they saw was Maleficent standing in front of a strobe light surrounded by billowing smoke and eerie glowing cobwebs.  It was so fun!  The kids loved it and so did the adults.  Some of them asked to take their picture with Maleficent, which was a little weird for me but still fun.  We also driveway party with our neighbors on Halloween, so when the kids are done trolling the neighborhood, we all hang out in the driveway and drink wine.  At around 10pm a neighbor we hadn’t met came over to introduce herself.  She said she just had to come check us out because our driveway was the talk of the neighborhood the whole night.  Seriously!  I told my husband, “Did you hear that?  We’ve got a rep.  We’re the cool kids now.”  LOL!

Anyway, it’s been a busy and fun month.  With Thanksgiving coming I know things won’t be slowing down any time soon.  I look forward to catching up on all my favorite blogs and hopefully I’ll throw together some fun stories myself to share with all of you.  It’s not like I don’t have a ton of material.  Teaching gardening to a bunch of five year olds?  There’s a mountain of hilarity in there somewhere.  😉