Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Later, she kept going to the high dive and climbing up, only to stand there for a few minutes and turn around and go back down. This happened probably five or six times in a row, this brave little girl going to the edge and looking over, then shaking her head and backing away. Several times she got all the way to the end and jumped a little, bouncing on the board a bit, but she just couldn't make herself take that leap. I noticed that every time she climbed back up, people were stopping their playing to watch her, the entire pool holding its collective breath each time as she got just a little bit closer.
Finally, she was there on the very edge, in her bike shorts and bikini top, her chubby little girl tummy sticking out, her eyes closed in concentration. She wasn't an especially striking child, indistinguishable from any other mildly cute little girl, but standing on the edge with her eyes screwed shut, balancing on her toes, she was beautiful. She stood there, trying to gather up the nerve to jump, and just stopped. The entire pool had become dead quiet, even the smallest of us just watching; and she bounced a little more, bounced again, and stopped. She opened her eyes, looked over the edge, and her shoulders slumped. She turned to go back down, the poor little defeated girl realizing that she just wasn't going to make it, and I would tell by the look of her body that she wasn't going to be trying again.
Someone, somewhere in the room, started speaking, quietly, "Come on, you can do it. Jump." Since the room was already silent, the voice carried-it sounded like a child, but everyone heard it. "Jump," the voice said, and it was a plea. The hidden voice of every person in that room-and there were probably 100 people altogether-crying out for the times each of us has been afraid to jump; off a high dive, into a relationship, out of a relationship, into anything that is too big and too scary to face alone, the voice crying out to each one of us who has had to face some personal demon. Slowly, slowly, another voice joined, and another, until every single person in the room was chanting, "Jump, jump."
She stopped halfway across the board and turned around, and I could see her back straighten up as she looked at all of us watching her, heard our combined voices giving her support and encouragement, and she walked to the edge again. She didn't close her eyes this time, but instead kept them wide open and excited; she arched her back gracefully and stood on her toes and bounced; once, twice, three times and one of the most beautiful dives I have ever seen. No form, a huge splash, but perfect in every way.
In the few seconds between the dive and her resurface, the room was quiet again; each one of us holding our breath with her, feeling the way the water engulfed her head and the way the surface shimmered underwater. When her head broke the surface, the room erupted in cheers and shouts and the sound of clapping hands, and I know I wasn't the only one crying.
I don't think I have ever seen something quite that moving, and I still tear up when I think about it. This little girl who only knows Jerome, Idaho touched a lot of lives that day. Persistence and courage, the fact that if you have people supporting you and cheering you on you can face even the biggest fears. That sometimes, standing on the edge, the only thing you can do is to close your eyes and jump.
***I also have a new post up here. Call me a blog whore if you will, but there is talk of this particular Moms blog being pulled, and we who contribute really don't want to see that happen. So go read and comment, please.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
It is odd now, this new feeling of distrust. Well, in many ways it isn't new; I mean, I tend to have to know a person quite some time before I allow my children to go places or be alone with them (and in fact, it was probably close to two years AFTER CF and I became friends before I allowed him to take the kids anywhere or be alone with them even for a minute), so it isn't as if I blindly trust just anyone. However, long gone are the days when a church camp out seems both fun and harmless, a nice diversion for a son who could really use it. Because anything can happen. ANYTHING.
So anyway, it's gotten a little worse, because I know this: I know that predators can and do molest a child in a room full of people, in the stall in a restroom, in a fucking car going down the road. I know that predators like to gain the trust of a victim, even if it is a temporary, short term trust involved in, say, helping a shoe to be tied, wiping a tear, picking up a dropped backpack. I know that predators look just like the rest of us, that they appear normal and talk normal and SEEM normal.
This is why I totally lost my mind when we went swimming over the weekend. And it scared me a little bit. I don't want anyone touching my kids, for any reason. Don't lean down and help my three year old adjust his water wings; both myself and his father are right here and can do that. Do NOT offer to help my 10 year old learn to do a back flip off the diving board; that is why he has an older sibling. I flipped my lid at Steve when he told Sam, "Just go on in the dressing room and start getting changed, I'll get the towels out of your moms bag." "The fuck he IS going in there by himself!" I said, while Steve looked at me like I had grown a third eye and fangs. But that is how it FELT; this visceral fear, this gut clenching fear that someone else is going to hurt one of my kids. A little girl grabbed Owen's arm and was trying to help him down the stairs into the pool and it was all I could do to stop myself from body slamming her.
I have to get over this; Hannah's counselor says it is typical, normal, under the circumstances, and has given me and Hannah both "permission" to feel this way for now. I feel it as the kids' parent, she feels it as a protective older sibling. "If what you need to do to be okay is to make Sam go into the women's restroom with you, do it. If you need to call his name every ten minutes when he is playing outside so he can check in, do it. If for the time being you don't want to let him go into the neighbors yard where they have a ten foot fence? Even though he has gone over the jump on the trampoline before? Then don't let him." It feels nice to be supported in this, it feels good to know that this is normal, but it is also a little bit scary. I could so easily turn into one of those parents who just never lets her kids go anywhere. I won't, because I will work really hard to NOT become that parent, but man, it is a struggle.
Hm, this isn't the post I had planned, not by a long shot. But it is what came out, so I guess I will run with it. I hope you all had a wonderful three-day weekend. Despite my insanity at the pool, mine was pretty good; I'll post more about it later.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
I have had two different classes for work this week, one regarding a new product one of our companies is introducing and an Ethics class. The one with the company was really neat because I know and like a lot of the people who go there; the class itself was okay, but then afterward we all went to lunch together and that was the fun part. Here is this insurance company who had something like $2 MILLION dollars in pure profit last year, yet the CEO and the VP of Marketing were the ones presenting the class, hobnobbing with us "common folk." Not only that, but it has been about a year since I have seen the VP and not only did she give me a HUG when I saw her, but she remembered my name and said, "Now isn't that baby of yours just about three now?" Well, yes, he will be three on Friday. There is some, what is it? Ego? Pride? I don't know, but when our agency was one of three there who received an award for the lowest losses (because the fewer losses, the grater the profit, both for our agency but for the company), as well as having been one of the few who showed impressive growth in the last year; the pride comes from the fact that this company only writes home and small businesses, and that is what I DO-so I had some small part in that. Also, the company is filled with really strong, beautiful professional women, and they like me-and think that I am some kind of amazing person for singlehandedly raising four kids while doing the job that I do. Come on; what red-blooded woman wouldn't love that kind of stuff?
The Ethics class was a licensing requirement, and it was excellent. The one I went to last year was, um, how should I put this...dry as dust? Boring as hell? Yes, that covers it. This one was very well-presented, and there was a lot of class participation. At first I was all like, "Oh, great, fucking small groups, WTF?" but within minutes, I felt myself particularly grateful for the opportunity. I was sitting with three agents who have been in the business for WAY longer than I, in one case since before I was BORN, and man, what a wealth of information! There was one woman there who was stunning in her beauty and very articulate, very well-educated, and she was intimidating as hell to me. But listening to her and talking with her, I found that there was no reason to be. She is a life/health agent, I am home and auto, so we both had stuff to learn from each other. Very neat. At lunch, she and I sat together (the other three on our group didn't stay for lunch) and next thing I knew, we were talking about how loneliness doesn't kill you but it sure does suck, about her unexpected second marriage that has been just as good as her first (her husband died of cancer after 27 years of marriage)...it was really neat.
Other things have happened, too; Sam had a 10th birthday, so there was the party at Jacquie's with pizza and cake, and of course different things going on with Steve (I think they are good things but time will tell), getting Hannah ready to go camping and trying to get all of the end of the school year business managed....you know how it is. I know this isn't much of a post, either, but it's all I've got tonight.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Anyway, despite the fears and worries about Steve, the weekend was actually good. Once I knew where he was and that he was safe, I could stop worrying and just keep moving. It isn't about trying to get him to stop drinking-because I can't. It isn't about trying to fix his problems, because again, I can't. But there is no way to NOT worry when you know someone is on a runner and no one is quite sure where they are. So once I knew those most basic things, I could live with it. I was quite pleased with myself when on Saturday afternoon he finally called to see if his sister could drop him off at my house and I said, "No. You are not going to come to my house drunk and pass out here. You are more than welcome to come here if and when you sober up, but not until then." He was miffed, but oh fucking well. He did come over in the evening, and that was fine; I think he was expecting a fight, or expecting me to lecture him or something, and I didn't. Because to what end? He knows how I feel, he knows what's at stake for him (on a LOT of different levels; with me and Owen, on a legal front, with his job...), he knows well I will neither lie for him nor clean up his messes for him (I don't loan or give money, I don't bail out of jail, he can't move in with me. I will feed him and let him stay the night on occasion, but that's it), so why get into a fight about it? I can't say anything that is going to make him suddenly see the light, so to speak. So me distancing myself from him in that respect felt really good-I just simply refused to engage. He kept saying things like, "Do you hate me?" and fuck, how can I say that I do? I DON'T hate him; quite the opposite. But I hate what alcohol does to him, I hate the lack of ability and willingness to work a program, I hate that he knows there is a better way (not easier, but better), and he chooses not to do the work. Every time he would say that, I would counter with, "I don't hate you; I am just disgusted with the whole situation."
Sorry; I went off on a tangent there; I was talking about the weekend in general. We had the Pinewood Derby for Scouts for Sam on Saturday morning, and that was actually a lot of fun. There were 21 cars this year so Sam didn't do as well; he made it to the last heats but then got totally creamed by the competition. However, all the boys got prizes for something, and the races were very exciting, so it was all good. I think for Sam, the most important thing was having people there to watch him and cheer him on.
Afterwards, we went home so Owen could nap, then we headed off to the museum so the kids could do their History assignment; Eli and Hannah both had friends staying over who also had to do the assignment, so we carted them there and dropped them off. While they were doing that, Sam and Owen and I washed the car-and it was hilarious to watch both Owen and Sam together trying to control the water hose. So much fun! We all got soaked and that soap stained our hands pink, but then we went to the park and dried off in the sun before picking the other kids up.
And yesterday was lovely. I got up and had coffee and made waffles, and we cleaned the house, and then Owen and I both took a long, much-needed nap. As you all know, I haven't been sleeping well for the last little while, so it was wonderful to actually lay down in a dark room and be ABLE to fall asleep, and sleep hard. O. and I both woke up much refreshed and ready for anything-which was a trip to the park with Hannah and Sam for Owen, and grocery shopping for Eli and I. It sounds stupid, I know, but because I have been so tired lately, I haven't even been able to muster up the energy to go to the grocery store-the very thought has been enough to make me weep-so even something as simple as feeling energized enough to buy groceries was a blessing. Also through the course of the day, I got the fence fixed ( I hope) so that the dogs can't get out anymore, watched our backyard neighbor get arrested, and later, the kids got the lawn mowed. All in all, a lot of sweetness in my life to make up for the bitter. And isn't that the nature of life?
I am finishing this at work; Steve called to let me know that his probation officer didn't show up (he was supposed to meet with him this morning, obviously, and I am annoyed that he didn't actually have to because it is just another opportunity for S. to escape the consequences, but whatever, right?), and that he was on his way to work-and asking what I thought he should do. I was also proud of myself for this: I told him it was his decision to make, but that he needs to stop and think about all he has to lose by continuing to work there, where no one holds him accountable, where his brother almost encourages him to drink, and then not pay him on top of it. I actually can't remember everything I said, but when I got off the phone I told my co-worked, "Isn't it lovely to have cubicles where you have to hear all my personal business?" and she said, "I am just proud of you for standing up to him and telling it like it is." High praise.
And this week has begun, and it is a good, beautiful morning. I just got my first non-garnished paycheck and damn, does that feel good. Don't know how long it will last, as I know there are a couple more out there, but for the moment it is nice to see it, and to know that even though I shouldn't have had to pay any of it in the first place, I did it, you know? The week promises to be busy, as I have meetings and another class all week, but that's a good thing. All in all, I am feeling pretty contented today. I love it when tools of recovery, tools of life, really kick in and I can be okay even when things are not okay for someone I love. I feel blessed and grateful that my fears and worries can be balanced out by the sweet things in life, feel just so, so lucky today!
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Seems like when things go wrong, they really go wrong. Steve and I got into an argument a few nights ago about his drinking, and though I talked to him yesterday afternoon and everything was fine, he now isn't answering his phone nor, obviously, calling me back. Because of his history, because I know that he is in a town with a brother who is also an alcoholic, this worries me. He has a breathalyzer on his pickup so he can't drive it when he is drinking, but he also has access to lots of other vehicles, and in fact was drinking while plowing a field the night we argued. No matter how upset he has been at me in the past, and vice-versa, the only times he has ever simply not called me back or answered was when he was drinking heavily, so of course my assumption is that he is on a runner. That itself is troublesome; even though his drinking isn't MY problem, even though I have long since trying to stop him or make him stop or drag him to meetings by the hand (can't carry the drunk, can only carry the message), it doesn't stop me from wishing and hoping he will get it.
More troublesome, though, is the fact that anything could have happened. This is one of the problems with loving a practicing alcoholic; even though I am almost 100% sure that he is just drinking and trying to avoid having to deal with the consequences, there is that other little percent that worries he has been in an accident, or in jail, or maybe killed someone while drinking. Of course the very female part of me worries about stupid stuff like they went to a bar and he hooked up with some hootch and they are snuggled cozily up in her bed. I would be lying out my ass if I didn't worry about that on some level (and yes, I know that I don't want him at all ever if that is the case, but it doesn't stop the idea or worry from hurting), because hey, I am a recovering drunk; I know the things they do. I would think that if something major happened, someone from his family would CALL me, but again, I don't know. You have to understand the dynamics of their family before assuming that I would be one of the first ones to know, and I have neither the time nor the energy to get into THAT. Anyway, so even though reason says he is just pissed at me or whatever, there is still a pit of dread in my stomach about the whole thing.
Also, dad isn't doing as well as they had hoped he would be, which is worrisome. He has congestive heart failure, but they took him off some of his meds in order to re-hydrate him, which in turn has caused fluid to start building up around his heart, which has made his rhythms get all wonky. His blood pressure is also unstable right now, and I think they are simply trying to balance everything in order to keep him stable enough to start getting better. I may be going over to see him later today; just depends on what my sister says when she calls after rounds.
Sigh. So much. My newest post is up over at the Rocky Mountain Moms Blog, too, should you be so inclined. Now, I have to go get in the shower because our day begins in earnest very shortly; we have a Pinewood Derby to go to, the older kids have an assignment to complete involving a two hour visit to the local museum, and then there is the relentless housework and laundry. Perhaps tonight things will be much better, right?
Friday, May 15, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tonight, I sit here waiting for the phone to ring. My sister called earlier and the local hospital where our dad lives was in the process then of Lifeflighting him to the big hospital 65 miles away. This isn't the first round in this fight by any means; we have been here before. So my sister said that she very blithely said (and please don't judge her saying this; there are valid reasons for her response),"Okay, well, he is going to a good place and I will just be there on Saturday when I am off." "No, no," the doctor said, "I really think you should come, and also call anyone else who needs to be here." So she called me and my other sisters and headed over, but since we don't really know anything yet, there isn't any sense in me going at the moment. She expects to get there anytime now, and will call if I really do need to go. I have already called Jacquie to let her know what was going on, just in case, but-nobody knows anything yet. So I wait for the phone to ring; if she doesn't call soon that means he is stable enough that she will call in the morning and let me know. We all hope that the doctor at home was erring on the side of caution, and that he will spend a couple of days in the hospital. If not, well, I guess we will figure out what to do then.
Tonight, too, some things happened before my sister called that are not helping in the sleep department any. I think I am going to have to break up with Steve. Earlier today I said that it is so hard and that my first instinct is to bail, but that isn't entirely accurate. I know that there are problems, and I think-no, I KNOW-that I have stuck around through a lot of things in the last few years, so it isn't that all of a sudden it is too hard and I don't want to do it anymore. I would move heaven and earth to make this work, but I just don't think it is going to. I know well that my emotional state is fragile right now so I may feel differently-better-in the morning after I have rested, but right now, I just don't think I can keep doing this. It is hard for me to say anything without turning him into the bad guy, but that isn't entirely the case. It just-it is what it is.
I can say all the right things and even feel all the right things at moments-how it is better to just walk away now and stop trying, that it is better and more healthy certainly to say enough is enough, I am not doing this any longer...all of that stuff that I know to be true. It doesn't matter, though, how much better or more healthy it might be when you know that you have to cut off a vital organ that you are going to miss terribly because it is diseased. It hurts. It hurts to know that no matter what I do or who I am, it isn't enough for Steve. He is never going to love me the way I deserve to be loved; he is never going to wake up one morning and think "Oh my God, I better not lose this one!" I talk about progress, and there has been some. I talk about baby steps and those are real and true as well. But no matter how much forward progress we make, it isn't going to change the fact that he doesn't love me the way I need to be loved.
But there is all this other stuff, too, that makes this so hard. That we have been together going on four years and all the kids love him. So hard to have put them through hell with my second marriage and now have to decide whether or not I should rip this other man out of their lives. Can Sam handle one more abandonment by a man he loves? Can any one of us truly and really get through this unscathed and undamaged on a fundamental emotional level? I don't have any good answer for any of those questions.
I don't know that I can. I write this and I know I am opening myself up to a shitload of criticism, I know that being so goddamned vulnerable is a terrible, terrible thing to be a lot of the time. I know that when I tell you that after my sister called and I told Steve, "I can't deal with this anymore right now. Can we just leave things the way they are for the time being and table it for a later date? Because I am not in a place where I can handle this situation right now. And neither one of us is going anywhere at the moment so does this have to be resolved right this second?(and there are a couple of other reasons that HE was in no place to even begin to comprehend this at the moment either, so for that reason, too, I just couldn't talk to him about it any longer)" you will say that I am crazy, putting it off is not way to handle it, it isn't going to be easier later rather than sooner, and you are all probably right.
However, I know that right now I am incapable of making any sort of life-changing decision, but especially when it comes to Steve. I know it is coming, me having to end this; it has been coming for ages. I am just not quite strong enough or brave enough to do it right now. The time isn't right. Also, and I do truly believe this, for whatever reasons I haven't been strong enough yet, but there will come a day-and it might be tomorrow or it might be a year from now-when I wake up and think, "Okay, sweetie, are you done?" and I will think about it for a minute or two and be able to answer, "yep, I am." It's almost like hitting rock bottom when you are a drunk; you have to get to that point where enough is more than enough,, because if you don't, you just keep going back.
So, there are these two potentially huge things vying for attention in my head, as well as the nasty phone call I got from Sam's orchestra teacher and the fact that because we have moved to the next town over, Hannah working is going to be a logistical nightmare-IF she ever gets a job. KFC didn't hire here but told her to call back next week in case one of the new hires doesn't work out (and you can bet THAT was a big ego boost for her, right?), but she has an interview with another place on Friday...my brain is overflowing and I can't make it shut the fuck up.
See what happens when you let me loose at midnight with a keyboard?
My sister hasn't called and it is almost 12:30. I am having toast and will eat it and try to get back in bed and sleep, and I imagine I will know more in the morning.
***Morning now, and no call from my sister last night. This is good.***
Have to get out of this slump, but I don't know how. I sometimes worry that I am truly insane and need put away. I have days where everything is fine and I am able to see the joy and beauty in the most simple of things, then other days I wake up and think, "Now just what is the point in all of this?" Not in the sense of "oh I want to die life is so pointless," but just a generalized feeling of futility to it all. I at least know well that these feelings are just that-feelings-and that they will pass, it is just the getting through them that is difficult.
Okay, so here is part of it. My sister went to our old hometown with some friends, and stopped in to see mom. And mom was all sorts of upset and angry because we had all neglected her on Mother's Day and her birthday. Which is true; I sent her a dual-purpose card, but didn't go see her, and don't have any plans to either. Tried to call once each day, she didn't answer and doesn't have voicemail, so I couldn't leave a message, and I didn't try more than once either day. I accept my responsibility in that; I made the decision to distance myself from her this last weekend, and yeah, that's on me. I just get so tired of being the one responsible for propping her up emotionally, you know? Still and all, I feel bad that my sister had to deal with it, and I feel guilty for deliberately doing something that I knew would hurt her feelings. So that has me feeling like the World's Worst Daughter, which-well. Whatever.
And there are all of these other things floating around in my head, all of this other...stuff. Like the fact that I don't know if all this with Steve is even worth working on. It is so hard sometimes, and for me, when things get hard it is time to bail. If I need to make a big change of some sort of if I am really doing just fine, just at a plateau. Whether or not I can afford to take the dog to the vet next week and if I am brave enough to tell him that I don't want to start giving her a bunch of drugs to keep her going (she has something wrong with either her lungs or her heart, she is arthritic and hobbles some when it is cold, but she is happy and friendly and doesn't appear to be in any kind of pain at all). How I am going to get through the rest of this week because we have something going on every night and I have to take the kids to some museum thing on Saturday (for school), which means I have to take all four kids, and the thought is overwhelming. I have been thinking a lot about CF and his friends, and even though I think he is a loser son of a bitch who is as close to pure evil as I have seen in awhile I am glad that he has a friend or two to stand by him-which in turn makes me feel like shit because I also think that he should die a long, cold, hard death, but at least with a friend beside him. I wonder what I should do with my hair, whether or not I can lose two inches in my bust before court so that the jacket I got from EBay will button (the skirt fits beautifully)....all this and more.
Sigh. Just have to get through this day, and when I go home with hope there will be Internet (okay, am I a huge nerd or what? Or my life is just pathetic) so that I can get all the kids settled and into bed and then try to figure out the WordPress thing so I can get the new place up and running. At least if I can't sleep again tonight I will have something to distract me, right?
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Hannah was talking to me on Sunday night about boys, and her exact words were, "Why is it that the skinny cheerleader types get any guy they want, and the normal girls like me can't have that?" It breaks my heart. Hannah is a cute girl, she has a nice figure, she is sweet and kind, yet the only people who want to go out with her are the "losers." The guys who are in trouble, the ones who have three tattoos and 6 piercings, the ones on probation. I didn't have an answer for her, and even now, two days later, I still don't. When you are 16 and a half, it doesn't mean anything when mom says that in 5 years it won't matter anymore. It means nothing when you say that those football dudes, the cool guys, the ones all the girls want, aren't going to be any different than her once high school is over. I use Steve as an example; he was Mr. Popular in high school, the kind of guy that could have anyone he wanted. In fact, at his 20 year reunion, better than half of the photos shown in the slide show had him in them. 10 years later he was a drunk. 10 years after that, he met me. And he would not have EVER asked me to go out with him in high school, yet here we are. I tell her that kindness and intelligence and respect will take her a lot further than a short skirt and low-cut skirts, but it really doesn't matter to her at this point. If I could just give her a little bit of what I know, none of these guys would even be a blip on her radar.
***As you must know, I scheduled this post since I am not at work today. I am blogging from my sister's house while waiting for her to get home so we can go have a small snack. There are ingredients for guacamole on the counter, but that doesn't sound good. Meh, whatever. I just like to revel in the quiet house, truly. The drive was excellent; I love to drive, and it was a beautiful night for it. Hardly any traffic on the freeway, long stretches where the only image in my rearview mirror was the road stretching out behind me, and the same ahead. I have to tell you that the image of serenity and beauty was completely shattered when I drove into town. Not the buildings or the traffic, not the streetlights nor the dreaded Wal-Mart looming. No, what ruined it was the image of two extremely large folks driving on a motorcycle that was about half the size they were. Now, I am no petite little flower myself so it wasn't their weight that bothered me. No, it was what they were wearing. Dude had on a wife-beater showing his, um, muscular (because large and jiggly just sounds so demeaning!) arms and those rayon shorts with the slit up each side. Dudette had on some equally lovely shirt but that kicker was the white see-through shorts. Did I mention they were both rather hefty? Yeah. She was either wearing a thong or her undies were really, really trying to hide, because eeeew. Just-eeew. I would have closed my eyes had I not been driving.
On that note, I am off. As you are reading this, I am in the middle of a class for work, one on which I have to test at the end of the day. This is kind of a big thing, in a department I am not at all familiar with, so I am actually going to have to pay attention and take notes in order to hopefully pass it. I have this class and one more in order to get a bunch of letters after my name on my business card, and I really want those letters. Keep your fingers crossed for me, will you?
Monday, May 11, 2009
Friday evening was good. Eli was gone to a birthday party, so Hannah and the little boys and I went out to dinner and then just messed around the house. I was putzing around outside trying to fill in the hole the dog dug under the fence (I think it is hilarious; the backyard neighbor has a dog and he and Lola both dig from their respective sides until there is a hole big enough for them to get through. Often I have come home from work to find the neighbors dog, still on his chain, in our yard playing with Lola. Unfortunately, the backyard neighbour doesn't have a sense of humor and isn't very nice to the dog, so I wanted to try to fix the problem) and raking the lawn. Lost track of time and therefore didn't make it to the meeting, which was too bad. Still, a good night. We were all in bed by 10:00, which I love. Because I am getting old.
Saturday we all got up early and did a major housecleaning. We clean on Saturdays anyway, but since Dad was coming over we made an extra effort. It looks really, really nice, too. Dad got there with the computer and had it all set up within half an hour. It is a thing of beauty, I must say. It is a rebuilt emachine, sleek and black. He put in a new something something and beefed up another something something, took Vista off and installed XP instead. Also has a new monitor and keyboard, mouse and speakers. Since we still don't have the DSL hooked up, I watched a movie instead and listened to some CD's. Which was fun. Then we all went out to lunch, then came home and dad took off and the rest of us napped. Grocery shopping, making dinner, playing at the park, and then Steve came over and ate dinner and stayed the night. That was good; he has this new job (well, for about the last 6 weeks or so) where I don't see him nearly as much. In fact, I hadn't seen him all week, and this week is going to be the same. So I was glad to have that time with him.
Sunday. Ugh. You all know how I feel about Mother's Day. However, since I had absolutely no expectations of any kind, I wasn't totally disappointed. That is the good thing about planning for or expecting the worst; no crushing disappointments. The older two kids did tell me Happy Mother's Day, and Sam gave me a fridge magnet he had made at school and the obligatory petunia from Sunday school. Steve actually SAID Happy Mother's Day, which is more that I got last year. We went to his sister's house for dinner, and at least his family made up for the whole "We aren't even going to taste your fruit pizza" debacle of Easter by eating every last drop of the two dips we made (roasted garlic for chips and spinach artichoke for bread), plus the pan of Basque Bread we made in the Dutch Oven.
Wouldn't you know, though, that the whole fucking court issue would crop up not just on a weekend but on Mother's Day? We got served our subpoenas for the new trial date on Sunday morning. It pisses me off. I mean, it never goes away. We go through our days not dwelling on it but it is always there in the back of our minds. So then we have these days where we get to think, "Oh, okay, we get to at least have this one day where we can push it all away and just enjoy the day..." and then this kind of shit happens. It didn't ruin the day (which goes back to no expectations), but it certainly brought the whole issue right back into the forefront. Just makes me more and more angry at CF, you know?
So that was the weekend. I will say that I went into the day yesterday thinking of it like any other day, and if you look at it from THAT perspective, it was a good day. Owen finally got to try out the tricycle we have had for him for about two years (Jacquie gave it to us for him and we have just been waiting for him to get big enough), and that was a lot of fun. At first he was very adamant about not riding it-because we have no sidewalks, he kept telling us, "But I can't rid in road. Cars will run over me!" It took a lot of convincing that if me or Daddy was with him, it was okay. He can pedal backward like no other; forward, not so much. We had fun making Eggs Benedict for breakfast yesterday, and the weather was finally warm enough for me to go without a long-sleeved shirt. The kids were all being extra-careful to be quiet while I was napping yesterday, and mostly behaved, so that was their collective gift to me, and it was good.
And tomorrow I will be gone all day for a class for work, and on Wednesday I am supposed to be ONLINE at home. I can hardly wait!
Friday, May 8, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
I have this problem with moodiness and despair for a day or two about a week before I start my period. No big surprise there, I am sure (and sorry to the three men who read this). So when we were at Rudy's on Saturday, I came across this little travel tin of tea that is supposed to be an all-natural balancer for those pesky hormonal issues. I brewed up a cup of it last night, and let me ask you this: have you ever put fresh wood chips down in your flower garden, but then underneath them are the old, half-decayed chips that smell sour and compost-y? Close your eyes and imagine that smell; add to it the smell of the dog shit you stepped in yesterday that you thought you got out of all the crevices in your shoes but didn't, slightly burned toast, and a very light yet still there smell of Murphy's Oil soap in mop water from three days ago. If you have all those lovely smells floating around your nostrils, you know what this tea tasted like. Needless to say, my loved ones (sorry Steve and April and Jacquie and kids!) are simply going to have to put up with my bitchy mood for another day.
It looks like I might just have a computer at home this weekend. My dad has been working on one for me (he is a computer fixer/builder in his spare time. When he isn't buying Jaguars and Porsches on Ebay and fixing them up, that is), and it soundsl ike he is bringing it over on Saturday. I called to have DSL hooked up yesterday, so with hope both will be up and running by Saturday night. I am so excited about it that I can hardly stand it-which just goes to show you how much a nerd I really am at heart.
There are too many things going through my head right now; a full brain is better than an empty brain, for sure, but there are TOO many things up there and I am having a hard time sorting through them all. So I will end this pathetic little post with this: I think I mentioned that I am planning a giveaway when I move to my new WordPress digs, right? So I am going to be giving you all hints in the next couple of weeks, but you aren't going to know they are hints. Might be something I write an entire post about, OR it might be just a small little mention. So pay attention to the details, ok? And April? I think I might have to disqualify you for this particular giveaway; you know me FAR too well!
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Last night my friend P. stopped by the house, and it was lovely. She came just as I was getting dinner ready. so Hannah very generously finished making and serving dinner so we could talk. She had a cup of tea, I had coffee (of course), as we just sat on the couch and talked. If you recall, she is the mom of the man who died, M., and this was the first time we have spent together since then. She is an amazingly beautiful person, strong in her sobriety and very successful professionally, so I feel humbled that she would feel like my place is a good, safe place to come. We talked about a lot of things, some really quite serious and others less so, and the funny thing is how much we both got from that.
That, however, really shouldn't surprise me. God arranges things in such a way that as long as I listen, I will hear everything I need to hear. With P., I was able to talk about different things going on in my life and she had knowledge and wisdom based on her own experiences. The same applied; there were some things about which she spoke that I have personal knowledge of; while I don't think either if us is egotistical enough to believe that WE supplied the final solution to the other's problems, I do believe that both of us came away with another piece to the puzzle, another little bit of wisdom to help decisions to be made. Really, isn't that some sort of moment of grace? I think it is.
On a more mundane front, Hannah has her first ever job interview tomorrow afternoon. She picked up and application a few days ago, turned it in last night when we were on our way home, and they called her a couple of hours later to set up the interview. A year ago she was adamant about not wanting to do fast food. Six months ago, when she turned 16, she was less adamant but still pretty sure that she was going to start out with something along the lines of upper management, but now? She is just hoping to get a job somewhere. And as she says, "Hey, at least it isn't McDonald's." I hope she gets it; she seems pretty excited about the whole prospect, and I think it would do her a lot of good to get out in the world just a little bit more. Have a little bit of independence, get a taste of real life.
It has been raining so much lately that our grass is, quite literally, knee high. Now granted, I am pretty short, so to you normal sized people that maybe wouldn't be so bad, but it is quite long enough. I despair of getting it mowed this week because it is supposed to rain on and off all week, and the mower is at Steve's since we no longer have a garage, and it hasn't been serviced and sharpened yet...good thing I have a strong teenaged boy whose labor I can exploit.
Otherwise, all is quiet here. It feels like the quiet that comes from a new change in the works, and this time, I think it will be a good change, whatever it might look like when it happens.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Jacquie and I had such a great time on Saturday. It was really, really nice to have the day just to ourselves, with no kids and no time constraints. The first place we stopped was, of course, Starbucks, where the bitch behind the counter sold both the orange cranberry AND the pumpkin scone right out from under my nose. I was pretty despondent about that until I had a slice of the blueberry crumb cake; it was killer.
From there, we went to Rudy's, where I was immediately thrust into heaven. It is beautiful; absolutely beautiful. I found so many things that I wanted, in every area of the store. What I ended up with was the really neat garlic chopper that you just open up from the top and roll across a hard surface and in seconds, perfectly chopped garlic. Also some lemon tea cookies, a dumpling press (for making pot stickers or wontons or pirogi. I suppose you could even make ravioli with it, though they would be rather large), a bamboo mat to roll sushi on (my next culinary venture). Some gourmet chocolate with cherries and almonds in it, a balsamic fish rub, and a small piece of dark chocolate with nutmeg and pepper in it; delightful. We spent two hours in the store, and I could easily have spent another two. I will definitely be going back there. Also, the prices were actually quite reasonable, which is a plus.
After that, we headed to a local thrift store. I found THE best skirt/top outfit; I can't wait to post a photos of it. It didn't fit, though, so I had to leave it there. What I DID get was a brand new, tags-still-on-pair of Levi jeans (my favorite brand), a pair of Levi shorts, some Liz Claiborne khaki work pants, a set of four butter plates from Pier 1 and a warming pot thing for oils ALL for less than $15.00. Talk about a major score! Jacquie got some really good deals, too, so it was a success.
Steve met us for lunch, and he even paid for it so that was great. We all headed to Costco, then he took our stuff home with him and Jacquie and I went to Old Navy and Famous Footware. I found some cotton sleep pajamas to replace the ones I tore the night Crazy Stalker Guy visited, and a little cami thing to use as a nightshirt, and a bar of soap-spent just over $10. I was not impressed with the shoe store at all, though. Not a very great selection this time, and it seems like their prices are not nearly as discounted as they used to be.
Anyway, it was a really great day, and I am so glad that we went. We had a fight a couple of weeks ago, Jacquie and I did, and while I think we have both long since forgiven one another (we are a vicious pair when both are mad, I tell you!) and moved on, I think that the day together on Saturday was really quite necessary for both of us. In fact, I was annoyed that Steve sort of invited himself to lunch with us, because the whole point of us going to Twin together was to be, you know, together? But I think it turned out okay, especially since he ended up paying, ha ha.
Then yesterday, it seemed like I was on the go all day long, but in a good way. It was also an odd day weatherwise, sunny and warm one minute and then hailing and pouring rain the next. At one point, when Eli and I were driving home from his friend's house, I had to slow down to about 35 because I couldn't see for all the rain. In between the weather bursts, Hannah and I went to lunch and to get some flowers to plan in my wine barrel, which was really nice. I have been trying to take one kid per weekend and taking them to lunch and to run errands or whatever with me, and yesterday was Hannah's turn. It was so much fun; we picked out a great assortment of flowers, and it felt good to just have that bit of time together. Again in between storms, the little boys and I planted the barrel; I think Owen had far more fun "slipping" in the mud, but it was neat to see them both very tenderly place the plants in the dirt. Later, Owen and I went to look at it before coming in for the night, and he very proudly said, " I did that!"
For dinner, we all went to Steve's mom and step-dad's house; Steve and I were in charge of cooking, so I had marinated a flank steak and he had gotten a salmon to grill on the cedar plank; they both turned out beyond fabulous, if I do say so myself. It was fun for all of us, and by time we got home it was past Owen and Sam's bedtime so the rest of the evening flew.
It is sunny today, finally, and I am glad. I don't mind the rain, and the thunder and lightning is exciting, but the spring sun is such a nice contrast. I am feeling very content and fulfilled today, just feeling as if right this moment, all is right with the world. Living in the moment, and a fine moment it is.