Is “Everything” A Choice?

You know that song that goes, “I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now”??  That’s me the past couple of days.

Since losing my job at the end of March, I’ve considered a couple of different paths:

1) Find a new job as an employee

2) Buy and run some sort of business, like a frozen yogurt place or coffee spot

3) Start my own private practice as a criminal defense attorney

4) Start my own non-attorney business (I have a vague idea for a tour company)

Is “all of the above” a choice?

The fabulous part-time job that I discussed in my last blog post (the one about how I was busy talking myself out of it) will likely become a reality.  So, that checks off path #1.  But I don’t want to turn my back on numbers 2 through 4.

Its super hard to decide what to do with your life!

And its put me in a bit of a funky mood lately.  My “Plan for the Day” spreadsheet hasn’t been working quite as well because, well,  I’m just really tired.  I’m tired of the uncertainty and of trying to figure it all out.  There are so many things I want to do.  And there are so many things I “have” to do.  Its a lot of juggling.

I’m not whining.  I know there are a lot of other folks out there going through the same thing.  And I know I (and hopefully others too!) will get through it.

So today I’m giving myself a bit of a break.  I’m giving myself a manicure, spending some more time scrolling through Facebook, and just sitting here watching the rain and wind.

And now, I have to brave the wind and the rain to pick up kids from school.

One Day . . . Two Solos!

He did it!!!  The weather cooperated and my son celebrated his birthday by successfully completing both helicopter and airplane solo flights!  I was so happy, so relieved, so proud!!!!  Evan was just about walking on air.  And he should have been . . . soloing in both a helicopter and airplane on your 16th birthday is not a very common accomplishment.

Our local paper came out and did a great article on Evan.  Here’s a link . . .

We started the morning at Helico, Evan’s helicopter flight school.  He went through pre-flight and then took off with his instructor.  They flew over to “helicopter practice area” and did a couple of patterns.  Evan then landed and instructor Konnor got out.  Off he went!!!  It was a little surreal watching the small R22 helicopter flying around, knowing that it was just my 16 year old kid up there

.20190321_103921-1.jpg    Post-helicopter solo!!!!

After lots of pictures and congratulations, we went home for lunch.  A couple hours later, we were back at the airport, this time at North Coast Air, Evan’s airplane flight school.  Again, he went through pre-flight under the watchful eye of his instructor, but without any input.  They took off together and did three take-offs and landings.  Then, once again, instructor Art got out and Evan was off on his own!  Again, everything went beautifully.  Whew!!

20190318_120034.jpg   And post-airplane solo!!!

I think I was way more stressed about the day than I realized.  I know I was stressed over the weather.  People kept asking me if I was nervous about him flying by himself.  I’d bravely answer, “No!!” and usually follow it with something like, “I have complete confidence in his instructors and know they won’t let him go if they’re not 100% convinced that he’s ready.”  I meant that.  But maybe watching your 16 year old fly around by himself is actually stressful.  Whatever it was, at the end of the day, I was absolutely exhausted.

Completing your solo flight is akin to getting your driver’s learning permit.  Evan has a lot more training in front of him.  His ultimate goal is fly air tankers for Cal Fire or a private air tanker company.  Challenging, dangerous work.  Flying lessons are extremely expensive so I started a GoFundMe page . . . especially since I just lost my job.  Go take a look, donate if you feel so inclined. . . and, if you don’t, goodness knows I won’t be offended (I’ve always been a little divided on the whole GoFundMe thing, personally).  Here’s the link to that:

Thanks for celebrating with me!!!!


Hourly Weather Checks

O.k., this is going to be a short post  . . . I’ve been anxiously wanting to write about this for days now but haven’t had time . . .

For the past 10 days now, I’ve been neurotically checking the weather.  By “neurotically” I mean at least 6 or 8 times a day, sometimes hourly.  It simply CANNOT rain this coming Thursday, March 21.

March 21, the day after tomorrow is my son’s 16th birthday.  He plans to celebrate by taking his solo flights in both an airplane and a helicopter.   Soloing on your 16th birthday is a HUGE aviation tradition – one that’s hard to achieve.  Soloing in both an airplane and helicopter on your 16th birthday is pretty rare – super hard to achieve!

So, it simply cannot rain.  Because he cannot fly in the rain.  Here’s how the forecast looks at the moment:


See why I’m more than a little nervous?  See why is constantly open on my computer?

He has worked so, so hard for this.  He understands, of course, that we can’t control the weather, but he’ll be disappointed if he misses this milestone on his actual birthday.

So please!!!  Join me in my prayers for sun!  Or do a Sun Dance!!!  Or just send good, anti-rain vibes our way!!!  Thanks!

A New Scouting Adventure

Well, today is the day.   Today, my daughter officially becomes a Boy Scout.  Its been a long road to this point for us.  Follow the link to the New York Times article to see just a bit about the story:

Today, Boy Scouts of America will allow girls to join Boy Scouts.  Did we have a part in that change?  I’d like to think so, even if it was just a tiny part.

So today starts our new Scouting adventure.  I find myself as the Scoutmaster of a troop of girls.  (Girls can join but must be in a separate troop, although can be “linked” with an existing, boy, troop.  That’s what we’re doing.)  I have a lot of camping and hiking in my immediate future.

And I’m starting all of this with a bit of trepidation.  I ticked a lot of people off in our local Boy Scouts.  Some people are still against the idea of girls in Boy Scouts.  Very against.  Some people do a good job of letting me know that.

So I feel like my relationship with Boy Scouts is complicated.  When we brought the gender discrimination issue to the forefront, there was so  much nastiness, I often wondered why I would want either of my kids involved in the program.   But, I believe in the program.  Maybe not always in the people who are running things but, the people “on the ground”, the leaders, for the most part, are good people trying to just give kids some good experiences and skills.

And change is hard.  I get that.  BSA had been boys only for over 100 years.  I’m all for tradition.  Truly, I am.  Sometimes, I questioned whether going co-ed was really going to be a good thing.

But, here we are.  My daughter is so excited.  And I’m excited for her.  Its been a long, sometimes difficult, road and she’s hung in there.  She had this day circled on her calendar with a big “Become a Boy Scout!!!” note.  The Oath and Law have been pasted to her wall for at least a year now.  She knows them by heart.

So, here we go.  I’m interested to see where this new phase of the journey takes us.  And for now, I’m ignoring the fact that I don’t really like camping.  (Shhhh . . . don’t tell anyone!)

What Can I Not Do?

I have been blindingly busy the past few weeks.  I feel like work and most things in my life blew up all at once.  I’m having a hard time seeing any light at the end of the tunnel and, quite honestly, all of my usual coping mechanisms seem to be failing me.

The care and maintenance of our two fish tanks and one turtle aquarium came up between Husband and I yesterday.  We just don’t have time to properly maintain them.  Husband was fretting about this so I suggested looking into a service.  He agreed.  The estimate came back at about $175 per time, every 6 – 8 weeks.  I ran that by Husband.  His response was, “Are they worth $1,050 a year to you to keep?”  Which means they’re definitely not worth that much to him.  I replied that I’d rather keep the fish and turtles than our house cleaners, who I don’t think do a super good job anyway.  No response yet from Husband.

So, since I’m thinking Husband is going to nix the aquarium service, that means that if I want to keep the fish and turtles, regular maintenance is going to fall to me.  Which has me sitting here at my desk, wondering, “What can I not do?”

I just don’t know.  I’m responsible for the vast majority of kid-related things.  I’m responsible for all our other animals, though the kids help with this.  I’m responsible for house stuff like banking, errands, cleaning beyond the monthly house cleaners, dinner, watering plants, laundry, etc.  At the moment, I’m responsible for finding a new tenant for our vacant rental.  And a host of other random things Husband dumps on my desk.  Plus, I work.

I’m not really complaining.  Husband and I made a deal awhile ago – he would work more and I would take on more stuff at home.  He thinks I’m inefficient with my time and cater to the kids too much.  Its an ongoing disagreement that boils to the surface periodically.

I’m not good at giving things up.  Somehow, I just need to squeeze a few more things into my day.  Because I kind of like my fish and turtles.

Squirrels and Frogs

Last Friday night, our power kept browning out.  After 5 or 6 hours of it, we called PG&E (our power company).  A truck arrived surprisingly fast.  The diagnosis:  Squirrels.  Squirrels had chewed through most of the main power line from the road to our house.  No, I did not have a pile of electrocuted squirrels in my yard.  I’m not sure exactly why . . . something about whether or not the squirrels were grounded while they were munching away.  (I don’t really understand electricity.)

Of course, this meant that our power had to be shut off to stop the browning.  I guess our appliances would have eventually been fried . . . or something.  So, there, we had our own personal power outage.  Yay.

Power outages at our house means no water either.  We’re on a well and the pump is electric.  Thankfully, we had all taken showers before we decided to call PG&E.  A crew came out Saturday morning to run a brand new line.  Maybe this one won’t be as tasty to our neighborhood squirrels.

And frogs . . . Last night I was on my way out of the house to dance class.  I was literally at the front door and already running late.  My daughter yelled at me, “Mom!!  I think my frog is stuck!!”  What?  Seriously?  A stuck frog?  So I dropped all of my stuff and walked down the hallway to her room.  Her little frog had wedged itself up in the corner of its aquarium and had one little froggy arm over its air hose.

I quickly thought through the problems in my head:  1)  The frog is jumpy!  Like, super jumpy!  If the frog got out, that would be the end of dance class because I’d be chasing the frog around the room for the rest of the night.  2)  The frog is little!  Which would make finding a loose, jumpy, frog all the more difficult.  3)  The frog’s skin is slightly poisonous (or so the pet store told me when we got it).  That meant I’d have to go find gloves if I were going to attempt to untangle the small, jumpy, frog.

With those things running through my mind, I quickly declared that the frog would be “Just fine!” and left for class.

That’s my life . . . electrical line eating squirrels and stuck frogs.