Monday, January 31, 2011

The Business of Being Melancholy

I've been thrilled of late to get some comments from strangers. Granted, I pretty much always comment on their blogs first, but the reciprocation leaves me thrilled. So if you're new, I will say this: I have battled depression off and on for years.

I can go very long stretches where I am fine. And then suddenly, the fog will set in.

There is a lot of my life to be happy and thankful for. But then, depression isn't about that, anyway. Part of my problem could be seasonal (this time), certainly a large factor is situational. But I digress, it is never just "one thing."

Chemically, there is something wrong with my brain. I can often see the change in my writing. Posts will get more depressing and I will fight myself over posting depressing things, versus sharing the joy in my life that fights equally hard to be displayed.

Heavy sigh.

I don't know. It's not like I can pray it away. Believe me, I've tried.

What I do know is that I am tired. I am tired of fighting the same demon. I am tired of not being able to overcome something that I know, intellectually, is defeatable. I am tired of being down. I am so sick of the way depression leaves you feeling guilty, as though you don't appreciate all the blessings you have. Because I do! Believe me I do. Every day I am on my hands and knees in thanks, but that doesn't take the clouds away.

I feel detached. It's hard not being able to socialize and slowly drifting from friends. Don't get me wrong, I have excellent friends and I am confident no amount of miles will ever end the friendships. But sometimes a hug from a friend can go a long way. No what I'm saying?

Sometimes the only way I can keep track of how long this garbage lasts is by reviewing blog posts. Seems like I have been on quite the streak for the past month or so. I imagine you are all as sick of me as I am. Can't argue with that! Ha!

But now, now I have someone else relying on me to hold it together. And that person is the most important person in my life. So I wait. And I watch. And I monitor myself, my moods and my melancholy.

And as I have done before, if I must, I will seek out a professional "remedy."

I'm rambling. Good night.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Church Overload

Today immediately following church we went to a luncheon for people considering joining the church. Mr. Case has a few issues with the church that he needs to resolve before making a commitment, and I respect that. Joining a new church is a big responsibility and shouldn't be taken lightly.

They served Waldorf salad sandwiches and turkey rolls. We're pretty picky eaters so we mostly left hungry, lol. This is an anti-mayo household!

After church we went to a CVS Minute Clinic. Gosh, I really love being the face of the uninsured in America! <---Sarcasm.

But really, it wasn't that bad. Certainly no worse than if we'd gone to a walk-in clinic and certainly cheaper!

After a quick dinner at Sonic (yuck) we went to "small group." The group wasn't small. The host home was packed and they had to hire three babysitters to accommodate the 11 small kids and babies. When we said we wanted to meet people our age, the pastor didn't disappoint. Most of them seemed to be in the same phase of life.

But now, it is late and I'm tired. 5 hours is a lot for any activity, especially one that requires as much thought was worship.

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Yesterday I finally got a haircut. There will be a picture on the family blog when I get Mr. Case to photograph my belly tomorrow (4 days late but I am an admitted Hot Mess.)

A Clear Cut Case

A few months ago, an acquaintance posted on Facebook that she is morally opposed to people posting details on DUI checkpoints. Her thinking was, the checkpoints are established to catch drunk drivers and get them off the road.

I do not know any statistics on the efficiency of such checkpoints.

I agree with her. The most infuriating issue for me related to drunk driving is not that someone might hurt themselves, but that they could harm someone else. During the D.A.R.E. program in school, the office who visited said that during high impact crashes, the alcohol causes your body to relax so the impact is often less, whereas the other person bears the brunt of most physical injury.

I was literally shocked to see a slew of people comment on her status that they always warn their friends and try to spread the word about checkpoints. I'm not sure what would compel you to help and enable someone to break the law and jeopardize the lives of others. To me, those are the core issues in revealing the checkpoint info.

So my question is: do you reveal checkpoint info or do you support the checkpoint's efforts? (You can comment anonymously if you'd like.)

Friday, January 28, 2011

A New Home?

Someone on The Bump sent me a private message telling me about a church she loves so much, she drives 30 miles to attend. If you knew the area, you'd know that is saying a lot.

On Sunday we decided to try it out. It's only a few miles from Mr. Case's job so we knew it was possible to attend regularly.

Here is where lightening strikes me down: we pulled up and were like, "Uh, Whiskey-tango-foxtrot?!?" Neighborhoods go from suburban to rural, quick, and we were shocked to be driving amongst cows and horses. Then (then!) we pulled up to...a barn.

Our first comments (jokes?) were not too Christian-like. They weren't awful or mean-spirited, we were simply surprised because the place was so small. The website is really nice and high-tech so we were expecting another one of the area's "super churches." Congregations numbering the thousands are the norm and this was the opposite.

God was quick to remind us of our foolishness. 

The church was awesome, amazing, even. The people were some of the nicest I have met in my entire life. We are going to go back next week. The pastor introduced us to a woman our age who hosts small group and she said she'd email or text me. She hasn't yet so I hope that isn't a sign. I could really use the encouragement of hearing from her.

I really hope this place works out.


A lot of the things bothering me yesterday have been resolved.

I am trying to exercise compassion.

Probably till the day I die I will be working on my patience.

But things are better, and that's all that matters.

True Love

This is from American Idol (a show I don't typically watch) but the video itself isn't really about music at all. We should all be so lucky to know this type of love.

Check to Check

I admit to very rarely thinking in these terms, accept for when things feel dire and I am willing to forsake all material possessions. Hopefully it can become part of my daily credo.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pity Party for One

I'm feeling really frazzled today. Some of it, OK, most of it, I'm not at liberty to discuss. I hate when someone says that.  It's such a cop-out and just screams, "Give me attention!" But I can't help it-sometimes you're involved with stuff but it's not your story to tell. Such is the case with much of what is giving me so much agony and grief. Lord knows, when it is my own stuff, I get the verbal diarrhea!

The good news for today is that the insurance company for the man who hit Mr. Case is accepting liability. This is nice considering their insured admitted guilt and gave a statement. Apparently that's not usually enough for this particular company. I'm just happy it is getting resolved.

During one of the sermons at the church we didn't end up liking, the pastor said something that stuck with me (I told you he wasn't all bad!) He said, "Don't put your faith in your fears. Put your faith in your God." Every single day this concept has worked its way into my prayers. He also said something to the effect of God being the specialist at making the impossible, possible. So, I know it is possible for the story I don't want to tell to have a happy ending. I believe it. Whole-heartedly.

But today? Is a struggle.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Case of Epic Confusion

It's been a long time since I shared a Dustin-ism with you guys but that's for good reason-I usually try to avoid him.

Anyway, he is in the hospital having an emergency appendectomy. Prior to going to the hospital my mom was questioning him to ascertain the likelihood of him needing his appendix removed. My mom fancies herself a medical expert, I guess. All the males in my family have had theirs removed though as we all know, Baby Brother's was not actually appendicitis so I guess she thinks it is hereditary. Moving on.

Mom: Dustin, have either of your parent's had their appendix removed?

Dustin: Well, my mom had a hysterectomy so I guess so.

Mom: I'm 100% sure you won't be having a hysterectomy.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tex Mex, Blecht

Being 1/2 Puerto Rican and living in Southern California my entire life, I am accustomed to good Hispanic food.

This might seem like an extreme statement, but there is no good Hispanic food in Texas.


I've tried semi-casual, I have tried sit down restaurants recommended by locals. All of it has been disgusting.

I'm terribly disappointed.  Us Californians really take our Hispanic food for granted. We have Cuban, Mexican, etc. In Texas? You get Tex-Mex.

Can you tell it is a slow news day 'round these parts?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Well! THAT Was Crappy!

Mr. Case's truck is having problems. Costly problems. As we were discussing it, I said in passing, 'Thank goodness we have one working, paid off car to rely on!'

Yeah, I'm an idiot for putting that out into the universe!

Later that evening someone hit Mr. Case while he was driving the other car. The same car that someone hit in August, that required extensive repairs.

The good news is, Mr. Case was not hurt. Because of the nature of the accident, he could have been severely injured.

I don't know if I jinxed something, or what, but the poor car! More frame damage. At this rate, we will never, ever be able to sell it (even though we were not planning to do so.)

The other driver hit him pulling what appears to be a common maneuver where my husband drives- the man was in a "turn only" lane but decided he wanted to go straight instead, other people on the road be damned!

Of course his insurance keeps banker's hours so we have to agonize till Monday over whether they're going to cooperate, etc. I don't know anything about the state of Texas; Mr. Case has a license there and is insured there since it is where he drives but I am not sure of the procedures, etc.

I can't even bring myself to post a picture of the damage. In California when the guy hit me, I took it to a very reputable shop and they did a fantastic job. I don't know what Mr. Case will do. There's no more side mirror, the door is off alignment, I could go on and on.

Tomorrow we are trying a new church because honestly? There is a lot more going on that I am not at liberty to discuss and I am overwhelmed and in desperate need of some Divine Intervention. Like, literally thirsting for spiritual nourishment. The next few weeks promise to be as dramatic and stressful as they come and I need some help.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I Like to Keep Promises

Remember when I promised you things would get more interesting?

Well, I'm PREGNANT! I consider this fact to be infinitely more interesting than anything else I've shared of late!

I know sometimes it is disappointing when a blog changes directions completely and I don't want this to be a "mommy blog." Don't get me wrong, I LOVE mommy blogs. In fact, they take up most of my reader! But I want this to remain my space for me so when I discovered I was pregnant, I began chronicling my journey.

If you're into pregnancy or want to follow that part of my life journey, please add the Herbie Herald to your readers.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Big Birthday Dinner

My birthday is a week before Christmas and my mom's is the day after. She has always gone out of her way to make it so I don't feel "cheated" by the holiday. This year she's decided she wants to celebrate her own special day in January so she doesn't have to cram so many fun events into one week.

Tomorrow I am cooking a BIG meal in her honor:

Chicken 'n' Dumplings

Cheesecake (from scratch) with fresh strawberries

The chicken 'n' dumplings is an intense endeavor that typically takes upwards of 6 hours. I will need to get a good night's rest in order to pull this off. Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Todo, We're Not in Kansas Anymore!

I know it might not look like much since I took this picture with my crappy cell phone, but rest assured, this covering transpired in less than an hour. Mr. Case has literally been praying for snow so it looks like he got his wish. Thanks, New York, for the leftovers of your storm!

Say WHAT???

Remember when I said I was going to email the pastor of the church and tell him I found his remarks about another religion to be inappropriate? Well I was taking my sweet time because I wanted to make sure I said things in an effective and helpful way, not in a lashing out way.

So a few minutes ago I find myself on the monster known as Google when I discover a website that reviews churches. Boy, people had some harsh things to say about this church and specifically the pastor. I was trying not to let that influence my pending letter and I moved onto the church's website.

Sadly, I was not surprised to learn that there is no way to contact the pastor directly. In fact, he seems to have effectively set up a system of handlers, much like a celebrity would. All good is welcome, anything critical (even if constructive) doesn't have a place.

Then...then! A particular section under the "FAQ" caught my eye. Here it is:

"Why can't I sit on the front row?"
We reserve the front row for our staff and ushers, we also do so for security reasons.

Homey say WHAT??? Just, yuck on so many levels.

So are the ushers and staff more important or revered than the other parishioners? Exactly what must one do to become worthy? And furthermore, what security threats are present, exactly? Clergy are not celebrities. I don't really understand how a church in the middle of basically nowhere has "security threats." And if they do, what is it that is so salacious about the pastor that he is eliciting such threats?

When your pastor is unapproachable, when you can't talk to him, email him or speak to him without going through a screening process, there is a problem. This is the land of the BIG CHURCH. It is not uncommon to see more than a thousand people at each service. But that's just not for me. I don't want to be a number or a face in a crowd. I want to be a part of an organization that knows me, knows my family and most importantly, knows me because they want to. Initially I was drawn to big churches because I thought there would be a lot of opportunity but I am seriously re-thinking that. I'm really glad we won't be attending there anymore-it is looking more and more like some bizarre cult. OK, maybe that is extreme and I'm watching too many documentaries. Whatever the case, we will not be going back and I will not be seeking out a path to communicate with the pastor and his wife.

Monday, January 3, 2011

That's MY Dad!

The house is quiet and dad doesn't know I'm upstairs.

First, I hear him using baby-talk with the dogs. Who does that? (OK, sometimes I do that but I am pretty sure I'm the only one! Now I know where I get it...) It should be noted, especially, that of the two dogs, Paris has him wrapped around her tiny paw. Leftover filet Mignon and eggs for breakfast, anyone?

Moments later I hear him go into his room and start singing from the top of his lungs. I hope whatever joy is infiltrating his spirit today is contagious!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Luxe for Less

I always love when people introduce me to a new product. Growing up I always thought the Caress line of soap was creepy-the marketing was so sensual and the scent was super nasty.

Whenever I travel I buy sample sizes of products because I think it is a fun departure from my normal products (I never do this with hair stuff, as this Puerto Rican kink only tolerates certain products.) I picked up a sample of this without looking at the brand and I am glad I did. Had I know it was Caress I probably would've passed.

Long story short, the smell is heavenly. It's light and feminine and not at all overwhelming. Supposedly there's something in there to make your skin glow but I haven't seen a difference in that regard. I have held on to my little trial for almost three years, never seeing the actual product in the store. Each time I took a trip I was transported back to Nueva Vallarta (it was orignally purchased for our honeymoon)!

They sell big bottles in the stores now and for $3 it is worth every penny!

*Disclaimer: The manufacturer didn't pay me to endorse this product though holy cow it would've been cool if they did!