Monday, February 27, 2012

Thoughts about Food

Lately, I've been slightly obsessed with food. Ace and I have been stuck in a rut food wise, and my mind seems to think that planning out stuff for when we are on our own is a good way to over come it's objections to whatever we're having for dinner.

So, we've been talking about setting up a few specific things for some days. We're going to give up meat one day a week to eat less fat. This probably sounds bigger than it really is, we often end up not eating meat for several meals and this is just us being intentional about doing so. We're calling it Meatless Monday, although we haven't pinned down what day we'll actually be meatless (Ace says if Douglas Adams can have a trilogy with 5 books in it, we can have Meatless Monday on a Tuesday. I love this man.).

We are also talking about having New Recipe Thursday. I've got a cookbook with recipes already marked for things we should like. We're going to start trying some of those recipes. I figure it's important to try some new things (to expand our food options) and if we end up not liking something, we can always eat something else after we try the new recipe (this is my way of pushing myself to try some new things and to actually use that cookbook for something besides meatloaf).

Hopefully we'll find plenty of new options for the other 5 days of the week. And if nothing else, it'll get us thinking of new things and get me cooking more regularly.

So, any suggestions for recipes to try?

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Importance of Words

I've realized something over the course of my life. Words are important. They have lots of meaning. They can be used to convey lots of things.

I can tell a lovely story of how Ace and I met. I can paint that picture with words and make it come to life. You can feel like you were right there.

Or I can tell a story of how my mother emotionally abused me. How she made me feel small, quiet, and defenseless. I can pull at those emotional strings and leave you feeling bad for me.

Words have meaning and power. How we use them can be tricky. I can say something that is perfectly true while implying something that isn't. Or I can be frank and honest, but still not effectively communicate.

I don't know that I've always had a love of words. I've always felt more comfortable in books than in real life. And all those books have given me a big vocabulary. They have shown me that words are important. The meanings of words are important.

I want to tell a story (not here, at least not right now). The words I choose for that story are important. I want to show the truth of real life, even if it's hidden in behind a veil of fiction. When I chose names for my characters, I picked carefully. Names have meanings, and I wanted the meanings of my character's names to be related to their character. And it was a great start.

Words have meanings. And that makes them important.

P.S.: Yeah, this post seems to be a bit choppy, sorry. I can't seem to find the right words to express myself. Ironic, given the topic of the importance of words.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mood Swings

This week has been a joy of mood swings. Seriously, it's only been 3 days but it's felt like about 2 weeks. On the plus side, it's not just been a desire to curl up with some chocolate and cry or laugh (although that has popped up at least 2 times).

On the plus side, Ace knows that I've been emotional. He's putting up with my desires to watch something to cheer myself up. He's not made me feel bad about my lack of desire to move for the most part. He gets that my moods are currently being thrown around by my hormones.

It does not make it easier for me to live with my own random mood swings. I don't love feeling good and then suddenly wanting to not move for a week for no apparent reason. These mood swings really seem to sap the energy right out of me.

On the plus side, the mood swings sometimes go to being in a great mood for no obvious reason either. And any little bit of good news makes the day seem brighter. It's just hard to find a middle ground sometimes.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Solution

Lately I've been feeling much grouchier than I generally like to be. Part of it has been the stresses of the job, but part of it has been a lack of enough good rest and a lack of sex (much to Ace's unhappiness).

Nicely, I've had lots of time off lately. I've caught up on sleep for the most part. And this morning Ace and I had sex. And now I am in a great mood. The sun seems brighter, the house warmer (I was cold), and the food tastes better.

I know that the solution to all my problems is not just sleep and sex. But they do seem to affect my general outlook on life. And even stress from the job doesn't stick around when I'm seeing the world as a good place.

I guess I just need to make sure I have sex more often. Even if my body seems to be objecting to movement.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Customer Service

Working in customer service over the phone is interesting. I often hear from many lovely people who aren't nearly so upset that the IRS is having problems (again) and their refund is delayed. They accept that the company I work for is not responsible for the problems.

Then there are the ones that ask if they are getting a refund. They are frustrated and upset that their refund is not available (we've moved past most of the ones who want it urgently, which is nice). They are upset that they still have to pay full fees to us, despite recognizing that we didn't cause the problems they are currently facing. These people are not so fun to work with.

They seem to think that customer service means we can change anything for them and fix any problem or answer any question. They don't stop to think that we probably only have limited information available to us. We don't get told what all the fees are or what they are for. We don't have the answers to their questions. Or if we do, they aren't the answers they want to hear.

It's frustrating for us. We are just as frustrated as our customers that their refunds haven't gotten here yet. We aren't cheering that their refunds are delayed. We like saying "Yes, come in. Your check is ready." It makes us happy to give people good news.

Please treat people in customer service, in any industry, with some basic decency. We are probably on your side to start off with. We want to solve your problem or at least try to make your feelings about the company that employs us less unhappy. And remember we have heard your complaint probably a dozen times, we feel agree that X sucks and we'd like to change it, but that is not always possible. Cut us a bit of slack.


P.S.: I did not have a particularly bad day (other than the IRS info), but this is good info for anyone who is dealing with customer service to remember. Most of us don't get paid enough for the stress that customers put us through (I'm only barely earning over minimum wage).

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Ace and I are going on a nice lunch date after a bit. Then we are clearing out a desk and grabbing the mail on our way home. We are such romantics, aren't we?

Tomorrow, when the chocolate is half price, we're going to go buy some chocolate to celebrate. Because I'm willing to wait a day to get twice as much chocolate.

And I really don't have too much else to say.

Hope you enjoy your Valentine's Day as much as I'll enjoy mine.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Why I Love Ace

Ace and I are at a marriage conference this weekend (because even a great marriage can get better). Our homework for tonight is to write 10 things we love about each other. So, I'm posting my 10 things online, because I feel like sharing them with the world.

1. Ace loves God. Ace loves God more than he loves me, and he loves me a lot. While this bothered me when we were first married, I've since come to realize that I prefer it that way. If God is first, He will make sure that I am a very close second.

2. Ace takes wonderful care of me. Whether it's pain relievers and a heating pad when my back hurts or chocolate and a hug when I've had a long day or talking in silly accents to make me laugh when I'm depressed he takes wonderful care of me. It makes me feel loved and cherished.

3. Ace surprises me with special things from the store. Earlier tonight, we went shopping at Walmart. I went to the bathroom while Ace checked out. When we got home, he gave me the Nutella and bread sticks he bought for me as a surprise just because he knows I like Nutella (We tried it about a month ago. I liked it, Ace didn't.).

4. Ace doesn't take offense when I ask him to brush his teeth or have a mint after he eats barbecue sauce. He knows I don't like the smell and just want to be happy being close to him afterwards.

5. Ace puts my desires over his. 99% of the time, when we go out to eat, he lets me pick where we go. He lets me decide what we're watching most of the time. He lets me keep the remote, because he just doesn't care enough if he's got it.

6. Ace wants me to be able to be a housewife. For as much as I've complained about the bad stuff with my job lately, I know how much he's appreciated my being willing to work this job for us to have some money. And he is ready to let me be a housewife again as soon as possible.

7. Ace doesn't let his parents dictate how our marriage is going. They've tried, but he's stood up for me each time. He protects me, especially from people I can't quite protect myself from.

8. Ace dreams big. We may not be where we want to be, but his dreams of the future help mine grow and help make us see that these circumstances are just temporary. And that is magical.

9. Ace knows how to make my toes curl.

10. Ace loves my family. Even my brother (who annoys him).

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Secret to (Marital) Happiness

Ace has had several women suggest he teach men how to be good at relationships. It's not a bad thought, we are happy in our relationship. And we have never had an actual fight.

We've had disagreements, because we obviously are both human. The first year we were married, we came close to having some heated arguments. And then, while I calmed down (because it was always me who was angry), Ace prayed. When I calmed down, he apologized and we talked some more in a calmer manner. After that first year, we've been able to avoid the tenser parts and just stick to the calmer talking about things.

I think that aspect of our relationship has been the biggest secret to our happiness as a couple. We respect each other too much to argue. We respect that we each see things differently. And it's not like we disagree on many things (enough that we aren't the same person in two different bodies, not enough that it's hard to live with each other). Despite my mother-in-law's opinions on the matter, we have plenty of foods in common too (that woman is slightly obsessed with food).

The biggest thing that learning how to effectively communicate with each other that first year of our marriage has done is made us see the importance of clearly talking to each other. We talk about just about everything. And it's made us wonder how marriages work for couples who don't. Talking just seems natural after 8 and 1/2 years.

I recognize that I've been blessed with a wonderful husband. He finds our relationship important enough to work on it. He doesn't want to take it for granted that we will always be on the same page. He cares about what I think and he knows that I care about what he thinks. We both want our marriage to be happy, so we both put work into it.

It's because of these things that even living with my in-laws, even stressing about money, we have happiness and love. Life isn't perfect here, but it wasn't perfect before either. Life will never be perfect, but we prefer to find the happiness and joy in our lives despite the circumstances. And I think that is the true secret to happiness.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

One of Those Days

Today was one of those days at work. Nothing went spectacularly (or even non-spectacularly) wrong, but a few things went slightly less right than I would have liked. I'm blaming a night of wonky sleep.

On the plus side, I told 13 people that they had refunds waiting for them. Yay for good news!

And no one cursed me out today, or was even just somewhat rude.

All in all, not a bad day for one of those days.