Monday, November 12, 2012

Sometimes I forget...

How hard it was to let my Echo go. Especially when I'm cruising the pets section of Craiglist to ooh and ahh over the pictures of adorable kittens. Luckily, I don't forget about the littlerbox or cat hair covering every item of clothing I own so it keeps me from actually getting another cat.

That I've started a business with a friend and have actually gotten paid by clients. What?! Was it a dream? Oh wait, it wasn't. Remembering comes in handy when I find myself wondering what I'm doing with my life and bemoaning the fact that I'm about to turn 35 and have no husband or kids like the majority of my peers.

That I have a weak stomach and things like spit-up and poop gross me out. Remembering this helps with the last one. Makes me glad that I'm the only mess-maker in my house, and I'm REALLY good at making messes. I imagine the city would intervene if a kid's mess were added to my own.

That I have this blog. Oops. I'm working on getting back into the swing of things. 

Just how awesome I am. I mean it. I have amazing friends, a HUGE loving family and a God that loves me in spite of myself. I'm pretty freaking blessed.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Remember me?

I used to update this blog every now and then. Turns out, starting a business, taking on a giant new project at work and oh, yeah the 40 hours a week I do the work I get paid for, leaves me with little time or energy for my poor wittle blog.

Things are going crazy-good in the new business area. God keeps plopping people in our path that just seem to be exactly who we need at the time. My partner and I have been getting along really well and as long as we keep plugging away I don't see us folding up shop any time soon.

Personally, I tried hiring a housekeeper. I should have know when she offered to come for as little as $15 a week that she wasn't going to be the best cleaner in the world, but I was busy and desperate. I had to let her go after only a couple visits. I haven't had the nerve to try and find another.

I'll try to be better about posting. To any one out there still visiting my little corner, thanks!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Going for it.

I'm getting ready to file the Fictitious Business Statement for my new venture and weirdly, I'm not freaking out. I think it helps that I have my current job as a safety net. It's something a friend and I are going to be doing part time until we establish a customer base. Eventually we'd like to turn it into full-time work but for now we're starting small.

Wish us luck.

I can't say much about it just yet, but know that it's the reason things are a bit quite these days.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What happens when I stop trying to save myself.

I mentioned last week that I'm back in the market for a roommate. So far all the responses I've gotten have been from older men. I'm not cool with that. I've had a couple of male roommates in the past but there was always another female in the house as well. So yeah... lot's of men looking for places to live. Just my luck.

I've recently been putting my writing skills* to good use. I wrote a script that was professionally produced and I've been writing grants as well as content for an online course being put together by a non-profit. Of course I've been doing all of the above for free in exchange for the resume boost. I'm not making any extra cash.

Yesterday I got the "brilliant" idea to see what other ways I can write for money. I've been heard a lot about the 50 Shades of Grey book. I even tried to read the first chapter on Amazon. I'm a bandwagon jumper-on-er, sue me. I wasn't impressed. But I thought, hey, I could do that. I ended up spending the rest of the afternoon writing my first erotic story. It took me quite a while to even get to the beginning of the "good" stuff. Then I had to abandon the new enterprise to go to bible study. I know, I know, what kind of hypocrite does that make me?

It turns out, God was not going to let me take myself there. I was sitting in the church last night feeling quite icky for what I'd been doing, rationalizing my booty off. "I'll only write about married couples!" or "Just because I write it it's the reader's responsibility to police themselves" and thoughts like that.

In the end, I came to the realization that I can do better.  I don't need to pollute my thoughts or enable others to do the same.


I just got an email from someone who needs a place to live for the summer. Looks what happens when you let God solve your problems instead of blindly grasping for any rope that appears.

Wow. Just wow. I'm not saying anything is going to happen with this chick, but it's a start!

*Don't judge my skills by what you see here, this is my happy place and I can post bad writing if I want to.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Fighting back against the Monday Blues

Like almost everyone with a Monday - Friday job I've developed a serious case of the Mondays. Don't know what I'm talking about? Lucky you. It's that feeling that starts on Sunday night. The, "The weekend needs to be just a bit longer" feeling. The Monday morning hit the snooze button twice as long as usual feeling.

You know what? I think I'm over being pissed at Monday. I mean I still don't love it, but why be angry at something so unavoidable?

This is my plan. From here on out (or until I quit blogging) I'm going to dedicate Monday to being thankful for the blessings that occurred over the previous week. I'm thinking this will be just the reminder I need to keep in mind that good things are all around me all the time. I just have to stop being a moody-Judy long enough to appreciate them.

I'm going to aim for 10 blessings every Monday.

  1. Skype-ing with Em in New Zealand. She's been there for almost three weeks and I miss my friend terribly.
  2. Weather warm enough for swimming and friends willing to come over and enjoy my pool with me.
  3. Attending an old friend's baby shower and being reminded of how much I love and enjoy her (mental note - make plans to hang out more often).
  4. Discovering the Julia Child - The French Chef library on Amazon Prime (best $79 I ever spent).
  5. My nephew running up to hug me when I walk into the room. He's almost 2 1/2 and just slays me with his adorableness. 
  6. My brother giving me and delivering a sturdy planter-box he no longer wants. I can't wait to transplant my herbs!
  7. Being told I do amazing work and getting appreciated for something I love to do. Hopefully I will be able to post the video, of the script I wrote, here soon.
  8. Watching my dog jump into the pool after his ball. Something about flying doggies that just makes me happy. 
  9. Hours long phone conversations with my bestie. She just gets me, you know? 
  10. Discovering a new season of Tough Love OnDemand. One of the only reality shows I watch.
Phew, that was kind of tough!  I'm glad I did it. I already feel tons better about the new week.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Roommate Wanted

I've come to the conclusion that it is time to get another roommate. The last one moved out over six months ago in a storm of drama and controversy. I'm not even kidding. I felt like I was living in a reality show. Miscarriages, creepy new boyfriends, cheating, job loss, the list was seemingly endless.

The worst part? We got on so well! Right until the creepy boyfriend practically moved in. I'm not good at conflict. I will do anything to avoid confrontation, it's something I need to "work" on. He had been spending every weekend usually Thursday-Monday in my house. He creeped me out. He was too nice. I know call the police someone is too nice! Trust me it was icky. It didn't help matters that my actual roommate was always trying to pay for things (vet bills, expensive beauty creams, groceries, health club memberships). Again you're probably thinking, free stuff = woohoo! It just didn't sit well with me. I like friendships to be equal. I also don't like feeling like I'm being bribed.

Towards the end of our time together her behavior just got more and more bizarre. To the point I was actually afraid that upon coming home I would find all my stuff gone or worse.

But it is time to try again. My bank account really needs the help. Wish me luck!

Friday, May 11, 2012


In the days of yore, or you know, before I took up blogging. I was nothing more than a lowly office drone. I would sit at my desk for hours and hours, my brain rotting from lack of use and try and think up ways to keep the synapses firing. I tried Scrabble online, many word games, I even joined a few Yahoo! groups for fiction writers and spent hours trolling the message boards. It was human(vie the internet) contact that I desperately needed.

I had graduated college the year before and all of my friends were literally hours away. I wasn't really meeting new people that I actually liked. I was sad and lonely. One day I was fooling around on the computer and I came across a program that helped me design and write a newsletter. I called it Heads Up! a play on my last name and I actually produced three (maybe four) issues. I would write them, print them on some fun colored paper and MAIL them (US Postal Service Style) to the few select friends I knew would get a kick out of my own brand of silly and informative.

Guess what?

I;m doing it again. This time it is an email version. If you want to join the mailing list send me an email to tobie at lollygaggles dot com* with "Sign me up" in the subject line.

You won't be disappointed.

*I spelled it out that way to avoid spammers. Just type it like you would a regular email address.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Lessons needing learning - I'm getting there.

Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from the inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do ourselves.
-Mitch Albom

I get so angry and I nurse my anger. Lately though, I've been able to let things go. I feel so much better. I'm no longer getting poisoned. It's wonderful.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I guess I'm lucky to have them.

I hate my teeth.

Oh, they're perfectly good,  nice and straight only slightly discolored (thanks soda and coffee). As long as I stay away from certain shades of lip gloss you wouldn't even notice.

What I hate are my gaps. It's like my whole mouth is full of teeth that are a size or two too small so I have all these gaps in my top teeth. I begged my parents for braces when I was younger but my mom had the same gaps growing up and her wisdom teeth coming in had pushed everything together. She assured me that would happen for me too, so why spend the money?

Well, I'm 34 and my "wissies" are still nice and snug, buried in my gums.

I should have paid closer attention to some of the family pictures we have. I have the same smile as my Great-great grandpa Arlie. His never closed up. My first-cousin has the same teeth. But she got braces and they looked great! I remember being so jealous at the time. But, with the confidence of youth she failed to wear her retainer and now you'd never know she once had perfect teeth. It makes me so mad! I wouldn't have squandered the money and time of braces!

I've been thinking about getting braces now, but being poor and in debt, it seems foolish to tack on more debt for something so superficial? I guess I could do what my grandma did in the 50's and just have them all ripped out and go for dentures. Yeah, maybe not.

I really, really hate my teeth.

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Kurt challenged me with "Teeth." and I challenged stacie with "That first sip.

Friday, April 13, 2012

iPhone Obsessions

A list of things that are currently zapping all the electricity from my iPhone.

  • Flick Homerun - I'm completely consumed by flicking a tiny baseball across my little screen.
  • Draw Something - I know you know what I'm talking about. My username: tobielee12 if you want to laugh at my lack of skillz.
  • Where's My Water - you need to check this out. It''s all about getting water to an alligator living in a sewer. Kind of a puzzle, brain teaser thing.
  • Sims Free Play - almost as good as the PC version. Well as good as you can expect for a hand-held device.
As you can tell, I kind of like to play games. With the gloomy weather keeping me from getting started on my gardening at least I've got something to do!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Let it go.

I had a confrontation with a family member this week. It was heated, absurd, and a longtime coming. I'd been backing down and letting things go as "not important enough" to make a big deal over. Then something was brought up that I had thought we'd worked out months ago and I knew that it had never been worked out to begin with. And I got pissed.

I don't really do angry. At least not directed at anyone but myself. I'm a pro at being mad at myself. Like I could make millions if it were a professional sport. But back to the point, I got mad at this person, furious in about 2 seconds. Heart pounding, body shaking, tidal waves of rage mixed with overwhelming sadness that our relationship would probably never recover from.

Here it is four days later and the anger is long gone. In it's place is a sad peace. Peace because I know I didn't do anything wrong. OK, there may still be a tiny bit of frustrated hurt because she threw down the "I'm a mother" card as if that trumped any argument I might make.

For now, I'm moving on. It's been hard to not pick up the phone and attempt a reconciliation, I'm not good at letting animosity fester if I can do anything about it. The fact is, if the other person refuses to believe me when I am speaking truthfully there's not much else that can be done. I'm getting to be OK with that.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Big, BIG weekend plans.

Or not.

I mean, my weekend just happens to be jam-packed, but none of the plans I've made will require me to actually leave the house.

You see, I am  a messy person. I've never been concerned with things like dust bunnies under the bed of dishes piled up in the sink. It goes WAY back. Friends would come over for sleepovers and we'd end up cleaning my room.

I was pretty good for the two years I shared a dorm room but all bets were off after that. Even now, I have three whole bedrooms to stash my stuff but things get piled all over the place until I feel like I'm on the verge of being featured on Hoarders.

So yes, this weekend will be "The Weekend of Cleaning!"

I vow to wash every dirty dish, fold or hang up every article of clean laundry that is currently residing in a pile on the guestroom bed. Not even the garage will be safe from the swirling tornado of cleaning that will be me!

Somewhere amidst all that cleaning I also have to find the time to write a grant proposal (my first client, yay!) and come up with a lesson plan and example for a company I am doing work for. Both are due Monday.

Who needs sleep?

Happy Good Friday everyone! Take a moment to thank God for sending his son to be crucified for our sins.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Gift or guillotine?

Big, BIG things are a-brew over here and I'm not sure if I can handle it or if I even want to try.

I think my parents want me to buy my house from them, the house I'm currently living in. They'd sell it to me for what they owe on the loan, taking a loss, just to get it out of their hands. It helps that as a first-time home buyer I can get a super low interest rate.

When they bought the house for me four years ago, this was my dream scenario. At the time, my credit history was so bad I wasn't eligible for a loan that would afford me a liveable home in a safe neighborhood so the obvious alternative was letting them do all the heavy lifting for me.  Like most decisions in my life it started out because I was bored and feared getting older with nothing to show for it.

I clearly remember approaching my dad around Christmas 2007 with the idea of capitalizing on the plunging real estate market and buying me a house. Little did I know that my one mention of house hunting would have us looking and making an offer in a few short weeks. Maybe a month? We would only look at bank-owned houses so when we finally found one it took forever to jump through all the hoops and get the keys.

In my head I thought we would be in it together, yes they would be fronting the money but they'd done the same thing for my brother years before and my parents have always been unfailingly fair in that respect. It started out pretty well. I went hog-wild with painting. Deep teal for the living room, bright blue in the kitchen, black and grey in the master bedroom. I am not a girl who is afraid of a little color. Aside from telling me I could absolutely NOT have chickens and nagging me about mowing the lawn, it has been a pretty awesome arrangement. Except I was never an owner, just the renter.


Yes, there's always a "but" isn't there?

Here's the deal: do I want to be tied to this house in Lodi for the foreseeable future? Is the chance to start building equity on such a large scale, essentially for free, too big to pass up? I have a terrible financial track record, no savings to speak of and only just started a retirement plan a few weeks ago (after having the same job for the last 9 years). If something terrible were to happen I'd have no money to fix it.

What do I do?



Friday, March 2, 2012

All shook up. But in a good way.

Changes are afoot! As you can probably tell by the new blog URL and title. I feel like a whole new person lately.

The meds must have finally kicked in. Ba-dum-dum! Don't forget to tip the bartender.

But seriously, stay tuned for more developments as they.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Who am I?

I have no idea right now.

Can I tell you how I've spent the last 36 hours or so?

Sunday night my best friend called and we had over an hour-long conversation. I don't remember most of what we talked about. But I do remember her asking me, several times, "what is wrong with you?" or saying "you're acting weird." That in itself isn't so unusual. I am weird. I can be my weirdest with my best friend. The strange part was that I too was feeling off, but had no idea why.

The next day, Monday, I got home from work and after an hour-long nap on the couch I had the sudden urge to go to Costco. I spent about $30 on an random assortment of fresh foodstuffs and then took another nap before deciding to skip the first BSF meeting of the new year to eat salad and watch TV. This is highly unusual in that I LOVE BSF. I love my group and the friends of mine that also attend. Plus we'd just had a three-week break for Christmas. I should have been there.

Then we have last night.




I got home form work. Antsy. Itching to go. To the indian casino over an hour away. In my head I would drive up there, eat at the buffet (I really wanted a buffet-type salad), win a couple hundred bucks and come home.

In reality it took me forever to get up there thanks to Sacramento commuter traffic I couldn't find the buffet at first and blew half my stash in about 10 minutes. I finally found the buffet, to the right of where I entered the building, so I ate dinner: a wilted lettuce salad, turkey dinner, and a few bites of assorted desserts before leaving to play the penny slots as I headed out the door.

The drive home was a lot quicker and I was in bed around 9:30.

Even this morning I can hardly believe what happened. I mean, I can be pretty impulsive but this was a definite first. I'm a little worried. I'm too poor for this to become a thing. I hope. Thanks to last night's escapade I have about $20 a week for the rest of the month.



Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Another one down.

So I'm a little late with my end of the year summary. Are you really surprised? I haven't exactly been devoted to this poor little blog. But on to the summation!

The big four biggest things that stand out from last year:

1. Hello Addie! My adorable niece arrived in late October and it was love at first sight. I absolutely love being an Auntie to her and her big brother Kevin. 

2. Goodby Echo. Without a doubt this was the worst day of the last year. I hope to never have to make a decision like that again.

3. So long Ecclesia. After almost two and a half years our church-plant threw in the towel. My friend Tony writes of it far more eloquently than I can.

4. Rekindling of a lost friendship. Thanks to a good friend's wedding in November I was thrown together with an old friend I'd lost contact with. It has been quite fun to get to know each other as we are now. I'm so lucky to have her back in my life!