My husband said I’m easily annoyed

On Nov. 1 I was sitting watching TV while the boys napped. Scrolling through Facebook most friends were sharing photos of their kids on Halloween. I had done the same. My ears perked when I heard jingle bells ringing on a commercial for some store. Seriously, I thought. Halloween was JUST yesterday.

Later in the evening we were watching a football game, and the same commercial I had watched earlier in the day was on, and I made the comment rather sarcastically, “And so it starts..” What starts? My husband asked. The barrage of Christmas commercials. “Oh you’re annoyed by everything,” he said. I rolled my eyes and shook my head at him.

But it’s true. Christmas commercials before Halloween annoy me. Christmas commercials after Halloween annoy me. Christmas commercials before thanksgiving annoy me. But yet, I’m planning my assault on buying Christmas gifts for the boys and family. I haven’t bought anything yet, but it’s always good to have a plan.

As a kid I don’t remember being barraged by Christmas. I do remember the excited girls who marked pages in the JC Penney and Sears catalogs with the items they wanted. I do remember participating and going to practice for the annual Christmas Eve program at church (I was always an angel). I do remember bundling up for the ride to Grandma and Grandpa Wetzel’s for a day of packages, food and fun on Christmas day. There was no telling what could happen when all my mom’s siblings got together for a day. I remember one impromptu snowball fight that ended up in wet clothes and a lot of laughter.

Now that I have kids of my own I try to make their Christmas experiences memorable. Last year we took Shaun around to look at the lights and he still asks if we could go drive through those neighborhoods in town to see the decorations. At the little country church we attend on Christmas Eve, members circle the church at the end of the service and hold candles while singing Silent Night. Last Sunday at church Shaun asked if we could blow out the candles again. I told him at Christmas time we will.

It’s really not about the packages or the commercialization of the holiday. The point of Christmas is to remember the real reason it is celebrated, and to spend time with friends and family.

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The aftermath of Christmas 2013 at our house.

 

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Shopping around

Whenever I’m in a parking lot or driving down the highway, I notice the license tags on cars. It’s interesting to me to see where someone is from. At a couple of stores in my town I tend to pay particular attention to the counties on the tags.

A bigger town west of here just got their very own Hobby Lobby (among other stores) and the grumblings going on here in Dodge City are that our store is likely to close. Someone even said the employees are “trained” to say ours will remain open. Today when I stopped in HL for some sewing supplies, I noticed an older lady with a Grant County tag on her car. Garden City is a lot closer to Grant County than we are I thought to myself. Wonder why she’s shopping here? While walking up to the doors, I thought maybe she doesn’t like crowds, or she doesn’t like driving in Garden City. I’m with you there ma’am. The added traffic and people in the stores can be a little overwhelming.

As I started down the main aisle to find the velcro I was looking for, it occurred to me if those same people doing the grumbling would SHOP in our town, maybe our stores could stay open. Your pennies spent in our HL will help keep it open. Maybe if they supported the community we would get some of the stores Garden City has. It doesn’t have to be every time you are shopping for something, but make a point to buy something local. On the other hand, do we want the added development that Garden City has experienced? I’ve heard property taxes are going up in Finney County among other things.

I’ve also heard our city and county commissioners are out to sabotage progress in Dodge City. I’m not exactly sure if this is true, but the only way to change how something is run in a city is to get involved, go vote and participate in local government. Only the commissioners know their agenda and what the future is for our town. They have no idea what the locals think and want unless the voices are heard. If you want something to change (as the morning radio DJ I listen to says) – stop complaining and  change it.

I’ve always believed the notion that those who complain the loudest do the least amount of work. I feel like this applies to people and businesses in this town. You didn’t like the service at ____ restaurant. Did you speak with a manager? Did you file a complaint with corporate? Boycotting a restaurant may or may not help the situation, but is it a solution? What is the solution to bad customer service?

I tend to shop in my town or in towns I am traveling through. If there’s not XYZ store in my town, but in another, I will likely stop if I’m in the area and occasionally buy if the price is right. If the neighboring town happens to have the same store we do, I will shop in my town (even though the sales tax is cheaper else where). While I do like looking online for purchases and use it as a comparison tool, often times in the end shipping always seems to cost entirely too much and the mail carriers not being able to find my house or they won’t ship to a P.O. box make it not worth the hassle.

In the end, shop where you want, but if you have something to complain about, take it somewhere else. I get enough whining from my two boys. I find myself telling my three-year-old if you’re going to whine, go in your room, I don’t want to hear it. Stores can’t survive if you don’t spend money there and shop somewhere else. Communities can’t survive if it’s residents don’t support it.

Something for nothing

There’s always someone wanting something for nothing was a text I sent to my sister recently.  She had a horse for sale, and after reading some of the comments on her picture on Facebook, the next thought that came to mind is how can people be so dumb.  There are people who know horses and there are people who think they know horses. But that’s not the point of this blog post.

In recent years, I have tried to become a bargain hunter, and like the challenge of the hunt. The last two Saturdays my Mom or sister, along with me and my kids stopped at a few garage sales. Mom will talk to the people with the item she is wanting and often gets the item for cheaper. Me, I won’t buy it if it isn’t in my price range. I don’t like asking for a cheaper price, but if it’s reasonable I will buy. I’ve had garage sales, and know how much work they are and what a relief it is to get something cleared out of your house. I also find it annoying for people to give a ridiculous price offer for something you know is worth way more.

I had a good childhood. I worked on the family farm, and didn’t have a job until I was in college, and that was mostly during the summers between semesters. I admit I was spoiled. I had a nice pickup to drive, a fuel card and a trailer. My folks gave me a lot. It wasn’t until after I graduated from college and started my first “real world” job that I knew all the sacrifices my folks had to do to give us what we wanted. Now that I am a parent, I want the best for my boys, and if it requires me to sacrifice I will.

There are people in this world who want to take the credit for hard work done. There are also the ones who want to get “their share” even though they didn’t do any of the hard work. I’ve encountered both in my short lifetime, and each and every time it has left a sour taste in my mouth. The most recent comment got me to thinking and researching a way for one aspect of my life to change and hopefully prosper. What this person said was probably thoughtless on her part, but it helped me open my eyes and see what’s really important in life.

It’s amazing

**WARNING:** This is a vent of sorts, and not meant to hurt feelings. I have to get some of this off my chest before my poor brain explodes..

When you work in an office setting, it’s amazing the things that grow to annoy you. On any given day the clicking of mouse buttons or the pounding on a keyboard could send you over the edge. Other days it’s the smell radiating from the microwave in the break room.

People will be people, and many have habits they unknowingly do that annoy the holy living **** out of their work neighbors. I’m positive I do things that annoy my coworkers. I know I do.

I’ve decided there are four kinds of coworkers – the muncher, the clunker, the annoyer and the storyteller.

The Muncher. This person often grazes all day, every day. You can hear crunching, chewing and the occasional slurping coming from their direction. Often times they eat their meals at their desk. I can be included in this category pretty easily. I practically run out the door in the morning, carrying my breakfast. I often eat lunch at my desk simply because I live 15 minutes from work, and driving home makes no sense. I’d eat in my truck, but that just makes everything messy in there. But if I’m sitting there eating, engrossed in a website or magazine, don’t expect me to talk. I want to eat in peace. Please and thank you.

The Clunker. This person is a fashionista. They make an effort to look put together for the work day, and I give them credit for taking the time to look nice and accessorize. However, when you can feel the floor vibrate and hear the heel clunking against the floor before you see this person it’s bound to leave a lasting impression – and it’s not a good one in case you are wondering. Surely there’s a quieter way to walk in heels or noisy shoes for that matter? I’ve never worn heels so I don’t have a clue.

The Annoyer. This person has varying degrees of annoyance. Could be as simple as saying hi to everyone who walks past their desk. Every. Single. Time. It could be the person who posts every stinking thing they run across on Facebook and then has to ask if you saw it. It could be the person who has a cackle for a laugh. Or it could be the one who prints off every single thing and stores it on their desk. It could be the one who throws out the compliments. Every. Single. Time. It could be the one who never answers emails, answers the phone or does their job.

The Storyteller. This person has a story for every subject. They’ve done this, done that, and even brought the t-shirt to work to show it. The brave one who has a nice story to tell, may never get their 10 seconds because the storyteller is monopolizing the time. Now, I tend to be a storyteller every so often. Something funny, awkward, weird or strange may have happened at my house and I don’t have anyone to share it with besides the captive audience around me. Sometimes things are too good not to share. But there’s a time and a place.

Now, I do enjoy my place of employment, don’t get me wrong. It’s the habits that drive me up the wall. I’ve got to find a way to not let the little things consume me and make my attitude plunge. (If you have suggestions or ideas please share!) In the meantime don’t mind me as I sit over here and work with the ear buds in and some good tunes cranked up. Life is too short to be annoyed.

Maybe it’s just me

I blame being the middle child on a number of my personality faults. Even more things get blamed on being a twin. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great childhood and even though dysfunctional at times, I love my family and my twin sister. But I believe people are a product of their environment and there are reasons why I am the way I am. When talking to other people I still have a tough time saying I or me instead of we or us.

When I am upset, I yell. The less I feel as though I am heard the louder my voice goes. My husband hates it when I yell. I would guess it stems from my small frame and the desire to feel as though I am bigger (or more right) than someone when I have a disagreement.

I despise being “told” what to do or how to do things. Just ask my husband or sister. If you ask me to “check something out” or “research” a subject, I am all over it. Tell me to do this, buy that, do it this way or visit that (just because I had fun there and you should too) and I will turn a deaf ear and most likely get ticked. Likely this stems from having a bossy older sister, but it’s something that really bothers me.

I am a thinker. I think way too much about how to handle a situation and can stew about a relatively simple decision for a week. Ask my sister, we had a text conversation about over thinking paint today. I’ve painted exactly two rooms in our new house in the nearly three years we’ve lived there. A kitchen wall and a living room wall. The same color. I want to paint a wall in our bedroom to accent the new DIY tufted headboard, and I’ve agonized over what color of turquoise to paint said wall. Her suggestion, “Go cheap in case you don’t like it you can do it over.” Good call sis. I blame over thinking on my perfectionism fault.

i despise a know-it-all. A person who knows every thing about every one, I can’t stand. Or one that has a story for everything. Throw in some negativity and I tend to write that person off and avoid them. Just does not mesh with me. I do tend to be a little on the negative side myself and when I have to listen to someone else complain besides my own internal whiner it sends me over the edge.

What ever it is that sets me off, hopefully by writing this out I can let it go. Set it free. Happy Tuesday.

Sunrise Jan. 28, 2013.

Sunrise Jan. 28, 2013.

Why is it when…

Why is it when a girl in high school gets a serious boyfriend, people always ask, “Are you going to wear his class ring?

Why is it when a girl has a serious boyfriend in high school they are expected to go to prom together?

Why is it when that first serious boyfriend breaks a girl’s heart it takes a while to recover?

Why is it when people date for long periods of time, the most often question asked is, “when are you going to get married?”

Why is it when couple dates for a long time, and moves in together, why do people ask, “when are you going to get married?”

Why is it when said couple lives together for seven years and decides to get married, the comment most often heard is, “It’s about damned time!” or “We had given up on you getting married!”

Why is it when said couple finally ties the knot, and they are getting comfortable being a married couple, the most common question is, “When are you going to have kids?”

Why is it when the said couple has finally fended off the kids question, they surprise everyone with something?

Now that the surprise is here and said couple is enjoying a family of three, the most often question asked is, “Doesn’t he need a sister to play with?

Why do people ask such questions!?!? No! He doesn’t need a sibling. Mom has enough trouble keeping up!

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Religon and politics

I’m not much one for either religion or politics. Ask my husband or my coworkers and they know the glassy-eyed look I get when they start talking about politics. I can’t stand the rhetoric and the crap that goes along with elections, lawmaking and the like. Sure, I will go vote and do my part as far as that goes, but part of me always questions, “Why go vote? My one little vote will not change the world.” But I continue to do it anyway, hoping my vote would be the one that was needed.

Religion has always been an issue with me. Sure, I believe in God, and I believe I will go to heaven when it is my time, but why must I have someone tell me that their way is better than mine? Or if I repeat a certain prayer 82395984752 times, I will get into heaven that much faster. Or go to church every Sunday. Or confess my sins in front of someone. Or give money to the church. I don’t get some of the things people do in certain religions or why they think just because they practice a certain religion that they are a better human being than those of other religions. Because they are not. Heck, in my eyes some of the things they do to become a “better _______” make them a not-so-nice individual.

I was raised in the Lutheran church and confirmed in it, but I can count on one hand the number of times I have been in that church since I graduated from college. My mantra has always been, “You don’t have to go to church to believe in God.” And believe me, I do believe.

When it was time for me to get married, the one thing I was certain of during the wedding planning process was I didn’t want to get married in a church. Nothing against the church or the pastors, it just didn’t fit me or my beliefs. I was perfectly happy with the cowboy preacher that we chose. I truly believe Boyd had a special connection with the Lord and you could see it when he got to preaching.

I think of God when I see the works of Mother Nature. Someone had to create those things – the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, the heat and the cold, even the annoying bugs. Riding through the pastures in the early morning make all of those creations evident to me. Even the dive bombing birds, rattle snakes and the badger hissing at me. I thank the Lord I am able to saddle my horse and enjoy a ride before my day really begins.

Snarky

Urban Dictionary describes snark as a combination of “snide” and “remark.” Sarcastic comment(s). Also snarky (adj.) and snarkily (adv.)

Sometimes in my social media outlets I have to refrain from stating my true feelings for two reasons. 1) likely there’s no one who wants to hear it and 2) my accounts are tied to my job, and the last thing I want to do is make my employer mad or give a bad impression of my field. That being said, I apologize in advance. Some of the things I’m going to talk about in this blog post may not jive, and if you are easily offended, I won’t be offended that you stop reading now on move on.

Occasionally my personality gets the best of me, and even though I try hard to be nice,  that bad segment of me shows its face every once in a while. I’m not sure where in my genetic make up the snark gene is, but there are times I have to keep my mouth shut (or keys in this case) and silence it.

Case in point, Facebook. I admit it. I spend entirely too much time looking at Facebook. I like it because I can keep up with old classmates, friends or acquaintances without having to reach out to them. Plus I like seeing the news come across Facebook or Twitter and scooping friends or family with the latest.

My biggest peeve (well I actually have three) with it is people who must “share” an account with their husband/wife/significant other. I get that you are a couple. I get you are committed to one another. I get it, but WHY not have your own account?? I guess I don’t share very well. My husband and I have separate accounts and I don’t know the password to his account and I prefer to keep it that way. I have nothing to hide.

My second peeve with FB? A business that doesn’t have a page, but a regular account. There’s so much more a page can do for a business than a regular FB account. It’s much easier to “like” a business page and look through their wares, than bother with the whole “friending” process. And a page can have a million likes, while a regular account is limited on the number of friends it can have.

Another peeve is those people who share EVERYTHING on their FB. There are some things that shouldn’t be said out loud much less on the Internet. Don’t be an attention-getting/seeking whore on FB just because you feel bad about a certain subject. How about you TALK to the person you have a beef with instead of bashing them on FB?

Twitter is a whole nother beast and in the last year I have finally gotten the hang of it and managing it with Hootsuite. One thing that bothers me the most is the spammers. They tend to bring out my ugly snark more often than not.

Phew.. I feel better now. Snark (much like farts) must be released otherwise they travel up your spine and cause all kinds of bad ideas and negativity. Ok, maybe not, but its funny.

PSA #238972398 – cell phones

Cell phones are wonderful inventions. They all have a time and a place, especially in certain circumstances.

Silent mode is a wonderful feature. I don’t know about other cell phones, but my crappy BlackBerry has a red blinking light that lets me know I have an email, missed call, or any other sort of notification. I set it on silent because I don’t want to hear it buzz. I’d much rather hear your goofy ringtone than buzz, buzz, buzz.

They are called mobile phones for a reason. If you have an important call, take it somewhere else. It’s a little less of a distraction to see you answer the phone and then make a quick exit than to force your company to endure the rest of your phone call. I don’t want to hear your supper plans, what the kids did at school today or what your bank balance is. Get up and take the call to a more private place. I will return the favor when its my turn.

Texting. Don’t call someone to see if they got your text, how about reply to the said text? Sure I can see if you are driving, but sitting in your chair at work, there’s no need for a follow-up phone call is there? Same goes for an email..

Cameras. Strange people and or events that would never be believed when the story was being retold are the reason why inventors came up with the camera phone. I want to see that guy with the mullet or the cross-dresser that served you your meal. I want to see that dead snake you killed or the funny thing your kid did.

So please be courteous of your neighbors when it comes to cell phone usage. End of PSA #238972398. Thanks for reading.

Wind is a dirty word

I grew up in western Kansas, so I should know what to expect with the weather. I currently live in western Kansas, so I know what the weather is capable of. The wind blows in western Kansas, and I know this. See a pattern here? You would think I’d be used to the wind. I’m not. I despise it.

The last couple of days we have been under some sort of wind advisory, wind warning or a fire danger advisory. Nothing new in this part of the word. The last two days we have had high temperatures. Saturday it was 85 and yesterday it was in the 90s.

My sister and I hosted a barrel race in Garden City on Saturday. We initially scheduled the race to be held indoors because it was the end of March and you never know what the weather will do in western Kansas. The forecast on Wednesday was saying 85 and light wind for Saturday. We decided to move it outdoors. We get to Garden City to set up for the race, and of course, the wind has to blow. Not bad, but enough to be an annoyance.

Yesterday we went to Elkhart for a barrel race and boy was it nice when we got there. It was cool enough to need a jacket and a very light breeze. I even mentioned to a friend that I’m not even going to say anything about how nice it is without with w-i-n-d. Spelling it out made me think the man upstairs wouldn’t hear me complain. But by the time it was our turn to run the wind had picked up and it was getting to not be very much fun to be out in it. The drive home was not much fun in my short-bed pickup and the wind pushing us around. We did make it home in one piece.

Now I hope this wind is blowing in some rain for us. At least the wind might be good for something..