Monday, June 13, 2011

Almost Full Moon on Monday

So today I am pain free. I will not start another blog post this way. I don't like to count my days, or have my life revolve around whether or not I'm in pain. I am, however, celebrating in my soul the luxorious feeling of freedom. The humidity is low, the temps in the 70's, big puffy amazing clouds and the moon is out during the daytime, almost full.

Before 8:30 am I was up and dressed, with makeup and high heals, and a business suit and a leopard print gauzy-like ruffled top. I even wore earrings. I had a house on the 9:00 am tour and I'm sure folks thought I was way too happy and chipper for a Monday morning as I arrived at the country club. I answered a lengthy email before I even got out of bed and had my coffee. It's time to live and you don't know how long you have to live it!

Yesterday, I worshipped at a Vineyard church that I had visited a few times. I'm not sure if it's my home church yet or not. The man who led me to Jesus back in January, 1984 gave the sermon. He is the brother of a very dear friend, but I knew him first when I was in college. Then he introduced me to his sister and we've been friends ever since. Someday I shall blog about the day that is in my mind forever when my friend, B---, told me something really wonderful had happened to him. We were at Max and Erma's restaraunt. But, that blog is for another day.

This Vineyard church that I attened yesterday was started and is pastored by my friends' nephew. I do like the nephew's preaching a lot. Most Vineyard types don't preach. They teach, and are very calm and don't break a sweat. I like the kind of preaching where the preacher paces back and forth and sweats and screams at you. Yes, I love that kind of preaching. So the nephew does a good job at teaching and being Vineyard, California cool, but he will get very passionate at times and start yelling. I love that.

So, my friend, the Uncle to the pastor, did the preaching yesterday and my friend is a pretty good bible teacher. At least I think so. He didn't do any yelling or sweating or pacing. The topic was gossipping. And, I thought to myself "I don't gossip. That's not my problem."

Back to this morning and the Realtor tour. I arrive at the country club just before the meeting starts and the dining room is full. I grab a seat with some agent friends from other brokerages. After gushing at each other about how great we all look, I exclaim, "Hey everybody let me tell you about the AWFUL property inspector I had yesterday!" "Tell us his name so we can hate him," they actually said this to me. Suddenly I realized I was gossiping. Oh my goodness! I am a gossip! I said, You guys the sermon at church was about gossipping I just realized I'm gossiping. No you're not they all said you are protecting us from a bad property inspector. Tell us his name. Tell us his name. I spilled his name, not sure if it was the right thing to do. Oh yeah, I know him someone said. He can be difficult.

Then later in the car with two other agents I started gossiping AGAIN! I took the back seat as we drove all over my town to view about 9 houses. I can't believe this I told the gals, one is a lot younger than me. I am a gossip. No you're not they said. Tell us more, tell us more!

Who knew I was a gossip? I had no idea I was so bad. Well, it's stopping. No more "venting" to other agents about the hardships of personalities we deal with. The bible says God really hates gossip, so I must cut this out! I really thought I was this person that people can trust. Man. I guess I'm not as discreet as I thought. New day. New tomorrow. With my new self-awareness I will keep my tongue in it's proper place and my lips zipped.

After church yesterday I had a 3 1/2 hour property inspection. But I already told you that. My husband and I got Chinese take out for dinner and ate it on the couch while we watched the Miami Heat lose to the Dallas Mavericks. I was bummed. I'm a LeBron fan.

Friday night my husband and I went to the Movie Tavern. We got food and drinks at our little table and we watched, "Judy Moody" I am not kidding. I was so excited to see Judy Moody and I felt lucky my husband would go to the theatre with me to see it. Well.... I didn't like it. It was true to the books so I can't complain. However, it was for 3 and 4 year olds. I thought it would be like a Disney movie where parents can catch a laugh too. No. It's for babies. The place was full of babies too. I mean full of babies! We still had fun though. I almost had twisted my 17 year old son's arm to go see it with us. I thought of him killing zombies at home with his friends on the xbox and laughed out loud imagining if I had succeeded in dragging him to Movie Tavern with me to wathc Judy Moody. ha ha. That would have been hilarious.

I worked a long day today and just as I was settling in at home in complete 70 degree luxury with a cup of tea and home made cookies and really good book outside in patio chair, I got an email on my phone. Problem on a contract. sigh. Printing. phone calls. emails. for now the problem is put on hold until tomorrow. Hopefully, I can finish this book. It's written by my broker's daughter in law and it's basically Desperate Housewives set in my home town. It's been fun reading my town in this novel and all the little spots and people I know thrown in to the story. She's a great writer and it's been a fun read. Can't wait to finish it.

To Da Lou.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Summer Fog

Hello. Today is Thursday in June. It's been hot, around 91 degrees and I have spent most of the past 4 days inside and in my bed or on one of my couches.

I have a bizarre condition that one doctor I met called "Trigeminal Neuralogia." Other doctors called them migraines, others have called them sinus problems, and some have said "it's all in your head." Without much warning I am stricken with a severe pain in the left side of my head, piercing through my left eye, and throbbing through my left upper cheekbone, through my ear, radiating down my neck stiffening up my left shoulder. I become blind with pain and exhaustion consumes my brain. All I can do is put my head down and sleep. That is if I'm not crying or writhing in pain.

This pain attacks me regularly about once a month, and lasts between 3 days and 7 days. I push through the pain as much as possible to work and try and accomplish something with my life. This has been going on since I was 18 years old. However, there were a few years where I had a break and believed I was free from it. I haven't had a break this round since 2004.

Cleaning house is hard. Doing laundry is hard. Washing dishes is hard.

I'm helping a man sell his house on a "short sale." He called me today and said he could hear all the "stress" I was feeling from dealing with his house sale. I had to apologize. I thought I hid my physical pain well. What he heard through the phone was my strained voice from the headache pain. I thought I was pretending very well at being a competent business gal. The bank and the Department of Veterans Affairs have thrown a monkey wrench into our short sale (no surprise there, and nothing I haven't seen before). In my trying to explain the nasty process of short sales over the phone, the Seller thought I was stressing out about the VA's nonsense.

I explained I was sick. I never know what to tell people though when I tell them I'm sick. It's easier to say that I had the flu or a bug. "Uh, I'm actually disabled a whole week out of the month," is hard for me to tell someone I'm working for. Usually, being self-employed I can hide out in my bed and conduct business from email, my virtual office, or the cell phone. When I have to I pile on the makeup, throw on a skirt and show up to whatever I need to be at.

I have tried many doctors, and I have had terrible experiences with doctors. Recently, I got a referral to see a "new" neurologist from the Cleveland Clinic. I was so excited that I got this referral, that I called a good Realtor friend who happens to have the exact same chronic condition as me. I told D-- that I was going to see a new neurologist from the Cleveland Clinic! D-- then says to me, " is his office there in Chatham Village?" "yes," I answer. "I hate to tell you this, Seriously Though," he says. "I saw that guy and he did absolutely nothing for me. He waved his finger in front of my face, made me walk funny, and then said he could do nothing for me." Well, hopefully, I would have a better outcome. I didn't. Not only did the neurologist just wave his finger in front of my eyes and make me walk funny, he was rude, uncaring, interrupted me, wouldn't let me talk. I started crying in frustration and he just looked at me like "yep, you're just a crazy lady."

I've tried Lyrica, anti-depressants, narcotics, ibuprofen, you name it. Nothing even touches the pain. The only thing that relieves some pain at the moment I'm doing it is hot, hot baths and showers, massages, chiropractic adjustments, and a few yoga stretches help momentarily.

My friend, the Realtor, says he can hold his head a certain way and all the pressure and pain goes away for a few minutes. Finding this friend has been the most therapeutic thing for me in this life of pain. I know when he says he feels sorry for me, he really means it, and vice versa. In fact, we both have been talking about getting normal jobs because the market is so hard to work right now and I'm operating at a business loss. He cut his expenses back and took on a part time job at a friend's retail shop. But we both agree if we worked for someone else where you punch a clock, we'd get fired after awhile because of the illness. Self-employment seems our only option.

Meanwhile, I had two contracts fall out of contract within an hour of each other. I picked up a few "leads" who might want to either buy or sell. I need to get my act together and put some marketing stuff together for these kind people I just met. I have this idea that I want to make videos of my listings with a flip camera and show special places like parks and cafes. I just feel too horrible to write the scripts and put it all together.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Blogging For Books: When the Soul Mends

When the Soul Mends by Cindy Woodsmall.
Copywrite 2008 Walterbrook Multnomah

When the Soul Mends is book three in the Sisters of the Quilt series by Cindy Woodsmall. The setting and characters are Old Order Amish of Ohio and Pennsylvania. I hadn't read book one or two of the series, but jumping into book 3 was relatively easy. The previous story lines were intermixed well.

The novel has multiple plots with multiple problems throughout the Amish community. The main character is that of Hannah Lapp, a 20 year old rape victim who became pregnant as a result of the attack. She ran away from her family and Amish community after having a still birth and being rejected from her Mennonite Plain boyfriend and scorned by her family and community. The book takes place three years after the attack with Hannah living an English modern lifestyle with her excommunicated aunt in a neighboring state. Now a nursing student, and years after trauma counseling, she returns to her Amish community after a tragic death of a close friend to help her younger sister who suffers from a mental disorder.

The multiple stories are complex psychological and sociological situations, dealing with rape, death, loss, mental illness, and religious taboos. How these issues are dealt with inside the intense pressures of "duty" to the close-knit intentional community one is reared in is the central theme throughout the book.

For me, the book at times had too much "psycho-babble," peppered with "words of wisdom." Personally, I felt like the book was a series of psycho therapy sessions in the guise of friends just talking over coffee as they rocked in chairs on sleepless nights by a wood stove. However, overall I enjoyed the characters, the description of the Amish simple life juxtaposed to the Englisher life of Hannah Lapp. I did enjoy it, and do recommend it.
'Three Stars

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Long, Long Summary

It stopped raining in Ohio about a week ago.

I've continued working the business every single day. I long for a true Sabbath rest, but being "on-call" I never really get a break, break. I take little moments, instead, with a mug of fresh coffee & a granola bar and watch and listen to the birds around my house. Or, I turn on trashy t.v. like Judge Mathis in Detroit.

Through April and May I watched Celebrity Apprentice or Dancin with the Stars, and now I'm on to So You Think You Can Dance. I watch it with Twitter in hand and scroll through Twitter to read the oftentimes hilarous comments people make while wathcing the same show.
Donald Trump Jr even started to follow my Tweets and commented to me about the show. Yes, I was thrilled. I was reading a tweet today by a girl I have never met who said, "I miss Celebrity Apprentice and reading Donald Jr's tweets" I could actually relate. I am having Celebrity Apprentice withdrawals. I fell in love with LaToya Jackson and Gary Busey all over again and I miss seeing them on the tv at night.

I know it's a complete waste of time to watch t.v. Just starin at the electronic box with a beverage nearby and Twitter in my lap or palm. Perhaps it's my age, I'm just too lazy to do anything worthwhile at 9 o'clock at night.

I did read another Amish themed novel in April and May, and I need to blog about it for Blogging for Books.

We had a big, big party for my husband's mother's 90th birthday last Sunday. The celebration was planned by myself, my husband's niece and his sister. We divided the tasks and details up amongst us, so it wasn't too overwhelming. The problem was the party for 100 people was 2 1/2 hours away, it started immediately following a church service in the fellowship hall, and I had to haul enough meat, cheese, fixins for sandwiches, and picinic food salads up in the morning. So here's how it went down:

Rachael flew in on Thursday morning from Princeton and she and I went directly to the Andersons Market to place our order for 100 people. Plus, Rachael was hosting a wedding shower for her long time friend on Saturday. So, she bought her stuff, too, for the Italian themed shower. We took her stuff home and she went out to the craft stores with her sister Becca to get more shower stuff and to buy some 90th birthday decorations, too.

Friday was a very busy real estate day for me. I was hammering out contracts and putting files together, running off like crazy to show houses, back to the office, put finishing details in place on a closing. Then at noon I picked up a client and we headed out to the countryside to do a walkthrough of her new house. The closing took place another half hour away from her new house in the country. So off we went to the middle of nowhere to some attorney's office. The attorney ended up being a believer and the mother of an adopted girl from China. The people I was assisting are believers, too, and they started several orphanages in China. Small world, but the city the attorney went to get her daughter in China, was the same city my friends had an orphanage. Same timing, too. We felt it was another God thing that we all met.

To top it off, I got a nice check handed to me at the closing and off I went to the office, even though the office had long closed for the day. I put the file and check on the Administrative Assistants desk so she could deposit it Saturday morning.

Saturday, I headed to Gordon Foods, Walmart, Target, CVS, & Giant Eagle to get stuff for the birthday party and some things for the shower. I zoomed over to the party house with pitchers of Sangria that had been soaking over night. I oohed and ahhed at what Rachael and her girlfriends had done and cooked up for the shower. The food was awesome, as was the Sangria, and the shower a beautiful success. Kudos to Rachael and her friends. So we cleaned up there and I left Rachael to finish cleaning up my mom's condo where all the prep work was done.

Sunday morning the alarm went off at 6:00 am and we needed to leave at 7:00. I have never felt so tuckered out in my life. I pleaded to the point of tears with the Lord that He had to help me, and I mean HAD TO help me get the party started. I didn't want the day to start. I wanted to sleep. My body was in pain. Somehow through the hot shower and with some praising and some coffee I came to life. We got the food packed in coolers, and scooted up North. I could never, ever have gotten the work for the party done if wasn't for my kids and husband. Everyone pitched in putting tables and chairs up and decorations up in the fellowship hall. Planning the food table and how the crowd should flow through is like planning an airport operation.

Thankfully, Becca has had years and years of food service experience or I never would have known how to set up food trays for 100 people. I stayed in the kitchen through the party and served alongside my niece and her husband, who happens to be a professional event planner. I loved every minute of serving. I think I was born to serve people. I loved getting to spend time with my niece and her husband, too. The most important thing is my mother in law felt loved and honored by many, many friends and family.

At the end of the day we packed it all up and headed back South, arriving home around 10:00 pm. Wow. What a day.

Monday was a hot day, so we said goodbye to our red headed one in the morning and Becca and Olin and I went to my mom's condo pool. Ahhhhhh. Deep sigh. It felt like luxury lying in the sun and swimming around for a couple hours.

Real estate has kept me hopping this week, and I hope I'm in contract tonight. We've countered back and fourth several times. If you think of it, please pray it all work out for everybody involved! I often times feel I'm God's little "agent" assisting in getting His people where He wants them in His timing. However, the market is so bad I might have to get a nother job.

The photo below is the party just as folks were arriving from the service.