Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Adventures (and Delirium) Continue

OK, so all my stuff is in the new apartment and most of it is put away; not bad. Our new town is even more peaceful and beautiful than the other one, and we just love it. Pirate Boy keeps begging me to take him fishing; he can see the lake from our upstairs window, and it's just teasing him apparently. Yeah, the kids are out of school and pretty happy about that. (Kindergarten graduation was the cutest thing in the world, let me tell you.)

In other news, I managed to get myself and the kids to Colorado and back without too much trouble, even in the stadium during commencement, which is very little short of a miracle. Certainly it's a miracle I'm deeply grateful for. Another one is that The Man seems to have actually graduated-- or will have, once he pays his debt to the school. Not too bad.

I haven't gotten much paying work accomplished lately, partly because of the aforementioned stuff and partly because of massive migraine attacks. I have been working as much as possible, but all that's going to change soon. My two paying jobs are about to end, and I have nothing else in sight. (So I guess my rent won't go up after all.) I have to admit being secretly pleased; I've been looking for a way to finish writing a novel or two, and now I don't have anything (except the kids) to distract me from that. You guys keep bugging me about it and maybe it'll get done.

But meanwhile, I've got this little bit of surgery tomorrow. Actually, it's a pretty big bit of surgery, but I should be feeling better in a few days. I hope. My kids are pretty worried I won't make it through, poor little guys. So, if you're the praying kind... for my kids' sake... drop God a line for me? Thanks.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Moving On

It's official; I've sold the house that my kids have lived in all their lives, and I'm now the proud (-ish) tenant of public housing, paying zero dollars a month until some kind of income starts coming in. And it's officially moving day, and I am gonna really regret it if I don't get some sort of sleep before all that starts in a few hours, so I've gotta go now. But stay tuned. There are some really interesting adventures in my near future. (Those who know me may want to duck and cover.)

Signing off now...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Another Little Adventure

A funny thing happened today. I told my little punkin after I picked him up from kindergarten that we were going to have an adventure, but I just meant running some errands after lunch. ( I needed to get the closing documents for my house sent back to the realtor so I could have that albatross off my neck.) Maybe the nice people at the bank would give him a lollipop, that sort of thing. Nice easy stuff. Huh.

What I did NOT mean was that I would have a pseudo-heart attack at the kitchen table and get nothing done but have a lot of wires and monitors strapped to my body all day. And as nice as they are at the local hospital, I could have done without seeing its ER again for a LONG time.

Fortunately, this time, my folks were home and I could get help pretty quickly. I'm gonna have to strap a cell phone to myself, I swear, for those times I can't walk. Life is so exciting, isn't it?

The really great thing about all this was my lovely friends and neighbors swooping in to help. Living in such a small, tight-knit community, it was impossible for anyone to overlook the arrival of an ambulance at our door. I think our dear friend who shares my initials was at the house to see if she could take the kids off my hands before the last paramedic walked in. What a relief!

So after all the tests and x-rays and stuff, the doctor still didn't know what had happened with my heart. He suggested that since I was still lightheaded and weak, I might stay overnight for observation. Um, nope, gotta take off and find a notary and get these papers to Colorado. Thanks anyway. He took the next best option: wiring me to a portable monitor for 24 hours. Ooh, yay!

Again, not exactly what I had planned, but I'm sure some good will come of it. Sigh.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Filling In

My husband (The Man- TM) brought me some of my old journals when he last visited, and along with a burning embarrassment about some things in my past, I had this realization that there were huge gaps in the story. Huge. There are bigger ones in between my blog posts, and this bothers me more often than not-- but apparently not enough for me to be more diligent.

However, I just have to fill in this one detail. You know a few months back, when the powers of Hades came swooping in and took away #1 Son? It just happened to be the 10-year anniversary of our losing our firstborn. Those two occasions are (I think) the only times I've ever known my husband to cry.

One other thing. After I talked to TM on the phone that morning, I flipped open the scriptures and this was the first verse my eyes lit on. It's an old trick I learned in seminary; looks like it still works.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Ups and Downs

Now it's Tuesday night. My folks have now been out of town for a week. The kids and I are still sick, and I'm starting to feel pretty worn down. (OK, not just starting.)

I thought the kids were mostly better after the weekend, and I was looking forward to taking it easy for a bit and recovering my health, too. (My temperature's been a steady 100 degrees for ages.) But Pirate Boy had an earache by dinner time, and when it had resisted Motrin and actually gotten worse by midnight, I threw on some clothes and hauled us all to the emergency room. Oy vey.

Luckily, we live in a small town where there's not too much traffic at that time of night, in or around the hospital. In fact, it was kind of spooky walking those empty halls in search of a pharmacist afterward. My boy has a nasty, messy ear infection, but now he has antibiotics and is doing much better.

I discovered last night how fortunate I am that I can keep Lortab down. My mom and my little Pirate both apparently throw it right back up within a couple of minutes. I guess I believed my doctor when he said, "Most people tolerate this stuff pretty well." Not in my family, apparently.

In the absence of my parents, we've been blessed by some good friends and neighbors, who have taken care of us today. And now both the punkins are down for the night, and a storm's blowing in. Maybe I can get some rest tonight.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

April Update

It's Saturday night. My parents are out of town. The kids and I are sick. And it's been snowing for ages. But we've got plenty of food and medicine, a fireplace and warm blankets, and each other. So actually, life is pretty good.

But can it please be spring soon? Pretty please with whipped cream and a cherry on top? Huh? Sigh.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Taxman Cometh

And let me tell you, I'm so glad. There's nothing quite like actually having money in the bank for increasing my peace of mind, I don't know about you guys. Not that it'll stay there long at this rate. So far, with the tax refund, I've:
  • paid off my car,
  • bought a new computer (and a cool game to run on it), and
  • booked a flight for me and the kids to Colorado in May.
Because, guess what, kids? The Man is GRADUATING!!!!! Finally!!!!!

That's right, 20 years after my college graduation, and about 18 years after first starting college himself, my husband will have his degree. And I am going to be there to make darn good and sure it actually happens. So far, things are looking promising. And there was much rejoicing.

After graduation, TM plans to head back to the South, where the livin' is easy (or at least cheap) and the unemployment rate is better than most places. He may end up being a middle-school teacher, and that would be just fine. The boys are thrilled at the whole situation.

Yeah, we're working on working things out. My therapist has been a great help; we've been able to see her together several times when he's been out here for visits, and it's done more than our 6 months of marriage counseling elsewhere. I think the separation has been good for us.

At any rate, I know I'm feeling good these days.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Stress Ball

Today I took the Punkin on an adventure (a really boring one, I warned him). We went to see my attorney. No, it's not what you're thinking, it's for my disability case. You remember WAY back in, oh, 2006, when I filed and was denied and appealed and they finally got around to letting me know they'd received my paperwork and would think about maybe setting a court date sometime in the (far, FAR) future?

Yeah, tomorrow's that date. Finally. But now I'm nervous.

Apparently we've got a judge who's cranky because he's divorced and he has a bitter prejudice against women who are no longer with their husbands. Disability is not the court for him. Few marriages make it out alive and healthy when one spouse is disabled, I hear. Dangit.

My realtor also emailed me to let me know that despite TM having attempted to file the quit claim deed, it was in fact messed up and therefore he still is involved in everything to do with the house. Things were looking so lovely, too.

And sometime before Monday (OK, it has to be Friday), I have to get Hepatitis A shots for both of my kids or they can't go to school anymore. Which would suit Pirate Boy fine. Do they still have truant officers?

Oy. It never rains but it pours.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Better News

The buyers snapped up my counter-proposal, even though it was $8000 more than their original offer. Sweet! Now I've just got to wait until the end of April till we can close the deal. Whew!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Good News!

I got an offer on my house! Woooohooooo!

The bad news is that if I took the offer, I'd end up with about $350 in pocket afterward. (Which I'd promptly have to hand over to my folks, and it obviously wouldn't even begin to pay them back for covering my mortgage payments the last 6 months.)

So... we'll be making a counter-offer, maybe even before my realtor goes out of town on Monday. (She said, "This kind of thing happens every time I go out of town!" I of course replied, "So why didn't you go out of town ages ago?" Ahem.)

The counter-offer is going to be a couple thousand above my asking price, because the buyers want me to pay their closing costs. Yeah, sure, no problem, if you pay me first. Weird system.

But I got an offer!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I Know I Don't Look Sick!

But as Jen pointed out a few months back, that doesn't always enter into it. Herewith, The Spoon Theory. Be glad if it doesn't apply to you. I'm going to have to work out with a graph or something how to function from now on. (My note for today: "Write while eating lunch to maximize "up" time.") I just don't have enough spoons, and as Pirate Boy incessantly reminds me, the Blue and Gold Banquet is tomorrow. I was saving up my spoons for it, I really was, but they're gone now.

Reason #1: My kids steal them, constantly. Yesterday and today they stole a whole week's worth, between potty accidents and sassing and distracting each other and sassing and forgetting to come home from school and sassing...

Reason #2: Bullies. I hate school bullies, I have since I was a kid on the receiving end of their attention. I hate them way more now that my sweet son is the target. I'm terrified for him because a) small, emotional boys get worse treatment even than fat, ugly girls, and b) he knows no fear. ("Oh, sure, I can beat your whole gang in a fight..." No, honey, you can't. Just between you and me and the fire hydrant.)

Reason #3: Opium dependence. As distinct from addiction, which is (thankfully) recognized as a psychological phenomenon, dependence is when your body goes through physical withdrawal symptoms when it doesn't get enough of the drug. Unfortunately, "enough" isn't enough after a while, and the body demands more. Stupid thing. So sometimes I just deal with the burning nerves.

Reason #4: Migraines. I get them especially when my hormonal balance is upset, like when I have to take antibiotics, which negates my birth control pills, or when (as recently) I have to take steroid pills. (Explanation: No, I'm not going out for the major leagues; I had a violent allergic reaction to something unknown, and cortisone helps. Within a week, apparently.)

In fact, I started one series of migraines in January, about the time I became The Man's fantasy girl, "Scone the Librarian." (It's a long story, which I would have posted a month ago if, y'know, the migraine thing hadn't happened.) It was an unpaid internship that I worked for two part-days and was so completely wiped out I couldn't work again. Even on my paying job. So you know how that's going to turn out.

I might venture to add a Reason #5: Depression, but people in my family (even though half of them are on Prozac and its sister drugs) don't seem to think that's a valid excuse for anything, like having no energy. Let me say it for them, so they don't have to: "Whatever! Snap out of it! Get over it! Get off your lazy..." OK, that's enough.

So here I am, trying, albeit imperceptibly, to get the medical records and other documentation that I need for my SS Disability hearing, which is (hallelujah!) scheduled for next Wednesday, worrying constantly about the things I don't feel I can do anymore, and none the better off for it.

None of that will help my status as a mom, however, if I miss the banquet tomorrow, so I've got to go lie down. Enjoy the spoon I've given you.*

*Note to self: Ask Jen where she gets her spoons...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

You Know...

...you've got it bad when your therapist ends up in tears on your behalf. Or shouts, "That's a travesty! A total miscarriage of justice!" And she's really not the shouting type. Fortunately, it's all good grist for the story mill. If only I were awake enough to write. (Which obviously I'm not, but...)

I just want to tell you one little story. My folks have recently finished their basement in nouveau plushe; seriously, their bathroom alone is rated five stars. And today they started moving their stuff down there; I simply must post pictures one of these days. (They're going to live in the basement and let the kids and me have the upstairs, which is awfully nice of them.) Anyway, my mom mentioned that I wouldn't be able to move into the master bedroom right yet, 'cause they want to paint it first. OK, I said-- I mean, it's their house and all. Could we paint it a really nice color, I asked? No, said my mom, in all seriousness-- it's going to be dark red.

I think I busted a gut laughing. That, of course, was exactly the color I wanted. I can hardly wait.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Too Bad We Couldn't Keep Him

Oh yeah, Santa dropped off another little present on Christmas morning. Here's #1 Son with the ecstatic younger brothers, who have been interrupted here in their attempt to impersonate clone troopers. I think they're a little excited.
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Ho Ho Ho-lidays

Guess what Santa brought to our house this Christmas?

I also want to note that there's nothing quite like cold air to bring out Punkin Boy's natural redheadedness. (How's that for a triple word score?)
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Monday, December 15, 2008

Not What I Ordered

I was going to post a few days ago about my back surgery. Specifically, that what I expected was to have a day or so to recover afterward, but life had other plans. Or, rather, my kids did. At about 3 a.m., I heard them shuffling down the hall with comments like "Aim for the toilet" from Pirate Boy and distressed whimpering from the Punkin. I struggled out of bed to find out what was going on; I hadn't seen them all day anyway. When I reached the bathroom, the Punkin was being sick to his stomach and Pirate Jones was-- not exactly holding his hair, since he hasn't got much, but definitely hovering solicitously. Adorably parental, that boy. We all spent the next 2 hours changing sheets/blankets/pillows/stuffed animals, running to the bathroom, and generally feeling miserable before Punkin Boy finally passed out and the rest of us were able to sleep. It wasn't what I expected, but it helped me to feel less sorry for myself as I focused on other people's problems.

Likewise today. I had expected to spend some time finishing up and turning in my Medicaid paperwork, then writing and revising a couple of articles for work, baking brownies for my friend who takes care of me when I'm recovering from surgery, and generally working my tail off. But no. The Man (TM) woke me with a phone call at 7:30. He was panicking over a call he'd gotten earlier that morning from a social worker who had decided that, due to his lack of sufficient income to provide for his child (at least to the degree that the boy would gain a prescribed amount of weight in X time), TM would no longer have the privilege of attempting to do so. In other words, #1 Son would no longer be living with his father, effective immediately. And if TM had a quibble with it, he could pay a lawyer and go to court-- and THEN have custody taken away officially. The boy didn't even get time to pack. Or say goodbye.

Suddenly my own immediate problems don't seem so big anymore. I'm betting that TM suddenly stopped worrying about his finals. And I wish so much that I could be there to give my husband a big, long hug.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Love a Llama

This photo needs a little explanation. First, what my kids are making with their hands are not the "devil horns" of the headbanger, but various types of llama faces. (I think what we've got here are the "excited llama" and "crying llama," but I can't be sure.) My mom is, of course, making the ASL sign for "I love you." She was confused by the llamas, but after I explained, she got a twinkle in her eye. Holding up her hand with fingers parted in the middle, she quipped, "Vulcan llama."

((Snerk!)) No, I still can't think about it without giggling.
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Home for the Holidays

Hooray! Picasa's working again! Oh yeah, and my kids are super cute (when they're not making silly faces). This is the gingerbread house they (and I) made with The Man when he (TM) came out here for Thanksgiving weekend. It was pretty fun. And these guys have been really proud of themselves over it. They've even managed not to eat it yet, because they want to show it off to everyone. They really are growing up.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Writing Quote of the Day

...stopping a piece of work just because it's hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don't feel like it...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Just Like Jen

... I'm stopping in to say three words:

"Bad fibro day."

But now it has a name...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Wanderer

TM called tonight after I put the kids to bed. For once, he led with the big story:

"#1 Son ran away today."

I don't remember what I said. I do remember our whole life together flashing before my eyes. And the dead certainty that TM was doomed from this point forward.

He hastened to explain that the boy was not currently missing, and that nothing truly awful had happened during his little outing.

But he ran away.

He didn't even say why, except that "It felt like the right thing to do" ("Oh, that's ALL you," I told TM) and "I want to get a degree in mythology at Berkeley." Say what? That's all TM, too, but don't tell him that. And you simply cannot tell #1 Son that a guy who's currently repeating the seventh grade is not currently a candidate for any degree at Berkeley. Or any college worth its salt.

Not that I think much of it as an excuse, really. But it's interesting. If you ignore what he said and look only at what he did... the boy was walking west. You do the map.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Up to What Good?

At 11/01/2008 4:12 PM, Jen said...

The concept always fascinates me, but I've never tried it. You'll have to tell us how it goes!

You know I will. I always do. I leave you with this quote from Vladimir Nabokov:
The pages are still blank, but there is the miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.
It's true. Now to get on with it.

Friday, October 31, 2008

And So It Begins Again...

National Novel Writing Month, of course. Well, if you're me, it's "of course." Certain events this week have irrevocably confirmed that I am at heart a storyteller. It's just my nature, as the scorpion said. (Everyone who got that reference, pretend you didn't.)

After taking the kids 'treating tonight, I went to counseling and discussed this topic (the storytelling, not the scorpion) with my therapist. She said, "Well, that explains some things..." Then I went to a NaNoWriMo kickoff party and talked to some people who really understood what I was talking about. One of them had gotten her gown stuck in the car door on the way in, and we spent some time figuring out how she could work that little episode into her novel. It's what we do.

I love spending time with people who "get it." The rest of you, I apologize, but this next month is going to be all NaNo, all the time.