Caution: long, rant/journal post ahead so I can get things off my mind and chest. If you don't want to know, stop reading now.......................................................

Those who are nearest and dearest to me know that I'm a music fan and like all types of music (with a few exceptions). I'm not particularly a fan of newer country music because it is just too pop for my taste (not that I dislike pop music, mind you, but if I want pop, I'll listen to pop, not country masquerading as pop). The so-called "bro country" that prevails now is just not my thing. And, while I like a few of their songs here and their, I'm not a fan of either Luke Bryan or Jason Aldean with their bejeweled butt jeans that are girlier than those that most girls wear. Give me Merle Haggard, Hank Williams Junior, Randy Travis, Ricky Skaggs, etc, any day. Having said all that, though, there is one particular Jason Aldean song that I do like. I like it enough, in fact, that I have it on my iTunes. "Any 'Ol Barstool" was one of my divorce songs and it is quite fitting of that time in my life. The first line says "guess you heard I was pedal to the metal on the downhill slide". I feel that lyric down to my very core today. It is like everything is stacking up on me and I just can't stop it. I took yesterday off because I have had a long and frustrating week and I just could NOT with people yesterday. I had a ton of stuff I wanted/needed to do at work, but I needed a day for my own mental health and it was glorious. I slept late, cuddled with my dog, took a nap, watched crappy reality shows (yes, I know they are not REAL reality, but I don't care), began working on tackling the junk pile that my spare room has become, and worked on some details for an upcoming road trip with my fam. It was just what I needed. I came back to work today, thinking that I knew what was supposed to happen with today's class and when I texted the person they told me they weren't coming. Uh, I have had you on my calendar for 2 months now and you stood at my desk and watched me write it on my calendar, so why didn't you say something then? But, ok, my bad...............fortunately, the next class on the list was an easy set, so I went in and got it all set up then let the actual instructor know about the change in schedule. Ugh!

In addition to my own job and all of its responsibilities, 2 other faculty have asked me to deal with responsibilities that are their semi-personal responsibilities. One of those "favors" ends early next week when said faculty returns from a trip out of the country. The other "favor" doesn't end until January. That is a LONG damn time to be doing someone a favor, but I am too nice for my own good sometime. On top of those and the additional course load I'm under for the fall semester thanks to these same 2 individuals taking a semester off, I come back to my office after scrambling to get class ready to find an e-mail from the university president's office that I have been assigned to the busiest committee on campus as a faculty member because they have to have X number of faculty, staff, administrators, students on all campus-wide committees. The one I'm on is tasked with very specific student issues dealing with disciplinary hearings and the like and they meet a LOT. Seriously? THIS fall, when I am teaching 2 extra labs and an additional lecture course that I have NEVER taught before. I will have my biggest course load I have had the whole time I have been here and extra responsibilities related to the 2 faculty who will be off and THAT is the semester they decide to put me on a committee? And it is the busiest one on campus? REALLY??????????????????????????? I am co-advisor for a campus honor society and my partner in that has a ton of medical issues going on right now which throws a lot of responsibility for that group on me plus I have to order all the supplies and do all the budget stuff for my entire department. I'm tired just thinking about it. I just keep telling myself, I got the lab down, because it is the same one I have been teaching since I got here, the honor society kids can kind of do their own thing most of the time and just need me to approve stuff usually, and the lecture class means extra money, so there is an upside. Extra money right before our wedding? Yes, please!

On top of all the work-related stuff, my oldest daughter is turning 30 this Saturday. For MONTHS now, her sisters, her mom and I (I am her step-mother for those of you who don't know the back story), have been planning a weekend of surprises for her. Now, I will say it here but I will not point it out to anyone this weekend, but this was my idea from the beginning and I have done the bulk of the work and I'm not necessarily complaining about that because I'm a bit of a control freak and it is on me because I put it on myself, but it has been stressful trying to budget and stay on budget then communicate with 3 other people on getting stuff done and coordinating things and then, her mother backs out of the whole shooting match. Granted, she did it for a valid reason. Her husband has been having some big issue going on and he finally got to see a specialist last week because they had been worrying he might have cancer, but turns out he has compression fracture of his spine (I'm sure I'm not wording that correctly because I'm not a doctor, but that is what I understood her to tell me). He had some kind of surgery late last week and is home from the hospital, but on lots of meds and they live in South Texas, so she doesn't want to get that far from him and he is not up to riding that far to come up here with her. Ok, fine, that is all understandable and I'm not upset with her over it because I understand. It has forced my other daughters and I to be a tad bit more creative with how to work the logistics, but it is all working out fine. What I AM frustrated with their mother over is she is the queen of guilt trips and fakery (not sure that is a word but it is now) so I keep getting all these sickly sweet phone calls and texts from her about how sad she is to miss it and she's crying thinking about it and she loves her girls, but she has to put her man first. If she wasn't one to ALWAYS put her man first (particularly when she first started dating him when the girls were teens and constantly choosing him over them) it would be one thing, but with her history, it all just comes across as annoying. Like I said, I get he's had health issues and I don't blame her one bit for backing out, but it is the way she keeps talking about it that is annoying to me. She's one of those people who would put $20 in the offering plate at church then tell everyone for the next month about that time that she put $20 in the offering plate at church as though she'd done the greatest thing know what I mean? It is hard to explain here, particularly if you don't know her (or someone like her) but trust me when I say, on top of everything else going on right now, I do not need her to constantly apologize for "putting her man first" and wanting to cry because she's missing her daughter's birthday. Get over it, lady! Being an adult [censored] sometimes and you have to face choices. All you can do is all you can do, so suck it up and live with it. And leave me the F*(K ALONE!

Again on the positive side, all I have left to do to prep for this little weekend shindig is get the stuff for my part of Friday night's meal, load everything in my truck and go early to set up while her sisters keep her occupied then bring her to "meet Dawn for dinner to celebrate her birthday". She has wanted to stay in a yurt for a long time, so I rented a yurt on a lake at one of our state parks. The girls and I are going to swim, relax, do DIY facials, complete with homemade facial scrub that each will get to take home (yes, I made scrub, because I didn't have enough to do already....told y'all I was controlling!), and eat yummy snacks. I'm making walking tacos and fajita pinwheels and margarita strawberries. Yummy! Saturday morning, we are going to get up and take her to Hot Springs for a spa day at a fancy hotel downtown. After that, we have invited her mother-in-law and sisters-in-law and friends to meet us for lunch at a popular restaurant. Then, we will take her back to the yurt and her husband and sweet boys will be waiting to surprise her and spend Saturday with her to celebrate her birthday. The girls and I are paying for everything so all she has to do is relax and enjoy. I just hope she is surprised and enjoys it all. It has been a lot of work to put it all together and to keep it a secret from her, but it will be worth it. All she knows is that we are taking her for a girl's weekend get-away. She has no idea what we are doing, where we are staying, or that her husband and boys will be with her Saturday night.

I'm tired already and it hasn't even begun yet, but Sunday, I will be chilling in my recliner, napping. Poor Sparky got dragged into helping with prep stuff, but that is what partners are for, right? LOL I'm gonna owe him BIG after this weekend. laugh

Me 51, H52
Bomb drop 9/29/2014
Divorce from XH final 12/17/2014
Marriage #2 12/31/2019
5 adult (step)daughters (3 from XH's first marriage, 2 from current H's previous relationships)
7 grandkids