Sunday, September 02, 2007
In fact, I have spent every spare moment of the past 2 weeks with him. I am hopelessly enchanted.
I don't read much anymore: it poses a great liability to me. Either a book is mundane, and therefore a total waste of my most precious commodity--time, or it captures me totally and I am completely unable to put it down. Thus it has been with dear Harry, Hermoine, and Ron. They have possessed every spare moment of my life for 2 weeks.
I didn't "do" the HP thing. My dear ME has loved them, devoured them over and over: movies, books...whatever. You see, she grew up with the kids. She has been their age with every step of the journey and has read and re-read the books, waited in line at bookstores for the latest release, waited at midnight for the latest movie...in short, they have been a very important element in her adolescent years. I, however, have avoided them like the plague.
I didn't "do" the Star Wars thing either. I LOVED the first movie--I drove to the nearest theatre (45 minutes away) to see it no less than 5 times when it came out--I was addicted. Then I found out there would be a second. And a third. And so on. At 5-6 year intervals. And I quit. I remember telling my friend that I refused to be 30 years old and getting a baby sitter so I could go to the movies to see what happened to Luke Skywalker. And I haven't, to this day seen another Star Wars movie. When I am done, I am done.
I think this is all a supreme example of my fear of addiction. To anything. I am, as you might have guessed, something of a control freak.
Anyway, back to Harry. I saw in the newspaper several weeks ago that a local church was doing a study group on the Potter series: not bashing it (as is the norm, here in midevil Georgia), but embracing it as important literature and as a classic tale of good vs. evil, worthy of study and contemplation. Both because I am looking for ways to have quality time with ME (she is a senior this year, so I am savoring this "last year together"), and as a way to become, if only on the fringes, involved with a church that I could respect--if there is such a thing--I offered to read the books if she was interested in going with me. And here we are.
I finished the last book last night. And I am spent. Totally wiped out. And wishing that there were more. These characters have become part of me somehow, which is, I think, part of the obsession with them. I wish they were true. Wish that there actually were wizards that could wave a wand and fight the evil in the world. Wish there were witches who would give their lives to try to make it all better. Wish there were dark lords of evil that could be defeated and that with their defeat all would be right again. Wish we all could find it in ourselves to unite for good, to find a way--any way--to embrace each other as equals and to try--no, to fight for that special something that unites us. To live and die with the understanding that it is, after all, all about love.
It is a good thing I didn't start this series years ago when it came out. I don't have the patience. I would have imploded if I had been forced to wait for a year or so between each book. I simply don't know how millions of people did it. But I am grateful that I have read them. I will read them again, and again, probably. Just not this year. I have a lot to do--especially now that I am 2 weeks behind! At least I have finished the books so I can really enjoy our discussion group. And if you haven't read them--well, I guess you could say I recommend them. Just be sure you have all of them available so you can pick up the next one as soon as you finish one. Believe me, after number 3 you won't be able to wait.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
"I'll give you something to whine about...."
I am sure many of you who are in my age range recognize this phrase--actually, it was more of an "I'll give you something to cry about" back then. And it evidently still holds true for me. In the midst of my self-pity I got sick--nothing serious, but enough to make me stay in bed for an evening when I wanted to go out and have fun. Fortunately I am better now. Lesson # 298--when you are exhausted, don't push it. You WILL find time to rest, one way or another. Anyway, after about 14 hours of sleep I am a new person. Still a bit worn down, but better over all. And this morning it was cooler--hopefully it will be under 100 today!
I made a "house call" today for a friend--her baby is sick, and I just felt better eyeballing him and taking over some medicine after talking to her on the phone a few times. She is an amazing person--perhaps the most positive person I know. She has had an unimaginable year--discovered that her husband had a horrible drug habit (which explained a lot) and sent him to rehab while she maintained her house and her job while taking care of her 18 month old and her newborn. Her longtime constant companion, a great dane, died a tragic death which she witnessed, and this morning, after being up all night with a sick baby her 10 year old cat got out and was literally torn apart by a pack of dogs. Through it all she maintains a gentle spirit of grace and forgiveness. She is someone whom I have never heard utter a negative statement, about anyone. I watched her today, bathing a two year old and juggling an 8 month old who was burning up with fever--after burying her cat and with only a couple of hours of restless sleep and all I could see was calm, kindness, and peace. And I had the audacity to complain about my troubles. The universe constantly has a way of humbling me; eventually, hopefully, I will get it.
Friday, August 17, 2007
First of all, the heat. Over 100 degrees every day--no rain. The trees are wilting, the grass is crunchy, the sky is a relentless, mocking blue. I hate it. I discovered several years into this drought that I like rain--no, I love rain. There is something innately wrong with cloudless blue skies day after day after day--like a face that has been botoxed into mask-like perfection. It makes me uneasy. It is not to be trusted.
And, I am tired. I think my body is still on the summer schedule of going to bed around 11 and getting up around 6:30. Now I go to bed around 11, but I get up at 5. I am clearly too old to sacrifice even one more moment of sleep, so I have been groggy and grumpy. Couple that with it being a week where I work AFTERNOONS--yes, seeing patients in the afternoon every day. I am a morning person. By 3 pm I am not at my best; in other words, I don't really care why you brought your kid to see me. If he/she isn't dying, you are wasting my time. Compassionate, huh?
Fortunately, I am usually able to schedule my patient care in the mornings and early afternoon--there are just occasional weeks when it doesn't work out that way. Add to that the new interns and students who don't really know their ass from a teakettle and, well, I get a touch sour.
All of this leads to: you got it--wallowing. I feel old. I feel like a failure. I look at my friends: vice presidents of hospitals, directors of programs, etc. and I think "what the fuck did I do for the past 10 years?" Devoting myself to saving a doomed marriage was clearly not worth it in a lot of ways. I am 46 years old, and I feel like I will be working until I am 96 to get the kids through school and get myself financially stable. So what am I craving? A convertible. And a new, big rock. For me from me. Neither of which I can have. So now add whiney, petulant, irritated and spoiled to the mix.
Yes, the only thing that sucks more than being me this week is having to put up with me. Poor children, interns, and students (but not the patients--I can fake it with them til the cows come home)! Maybe it will rain soon. Or I will enjoy a long night of sweet, dreamless sleep. Or, I will just get over it. That is usually what happens--I just get over it. Please, make it soon!
Saturday, August 11, 2007
as requested, and promised, here are the pictures for the meme below....my favorite tea and glasses...the pictures just don't do them justice!
I finally got my dining room unpacked. It is amazing just how much shit you can accumulate! I really enjoyed going through the boxes and wondering why I have some of this stuff. A lot of it I just kept boxed and put in the attic. I put away my big set of china, and kept out the beautiful antique set that is smaller (8 place settings) but has more interesting pieces (double handled cream soups, berry bowls, etc.) People sure used to know how to eat. I packed away tons of silver. I also realized that I made a very sound decision many, many years ago, when registering for crystal. The sales lady was "concerned" that I didn't want both red and white wine goblets, and that I opted instead for water goblets (my reasoning--the wines were almost identical, and the water was right in the middle, so I figured--who would know?) She was afraid I would regret my decision, but after unwrapping 12 waters, 12 iced beverages, 12 sherbets, 12 brandy sniffers, 12 champaigne flutes, and yes, 8 red wines that people gave me anyway I came to the final realization that it was OK. By the way, did I mention that I don't even drink wine?
My favorite "WTF?" was the set of silver julip cups we got from my brother for Christmas about 8 years ago--2 large ones engraved with my ex-husband's last initial (my mother and brother steadfastly refused to acknowledge that I kept my maiden name, and insisting on referring to me by my "married" name) and smaller ones for the kids engraved with their initials. Yes, my children have their own engraved julip cups. I say again, WTF?
I also got a laugh at the 30 or so antique flower frogs I have collected. They just tickle me to death--I mean, with a good frog you can arrange flowers in ANYTHING! But 30? I have them in all sizes and shapes--prickly ones and glass ones--even a green depression glass one...they fasicinate me. Besides, I am a collector--it is a genetic thing. I think I may have enough...but you never know...and oasis is for sissies.
I also got 2 of my father's clocks running--which makes me very happy. They are like reminders of him, and I treasure them more every year. He was a collector, too, and my clocks are a reminder of that part of him--quirky and wonderful.
Then, I hung pictures! Lots of pictures of the kids, and a couple of paintings that I had not hung, and some beautiful pottery wall hangings. So, a busy, busy day! Can I go to bed now?
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
I have been tagged by my precious Peaches for an interesting meme. Liv has already given it a whirl, so here goes! Try not to read too much into it!
1. How full is your glass?
2. What kind of glass is it?
3. What’s in the glass?
Reasons for #1, #2 and #3.
1. My glass is almost to the top--just enough room is left to comfortably get it to my lips to drink with out spilling it.
2. It is a beautiful hand blown deep azure fish glass.
3. Peach white tea, unsweetened, with tons of ice.
1. Like everything else in my life, I like as much as I can comfortably hold without spilling!
2. Hard to imagine, I know, I wish I could find the box it was packed in so I could unpack it and take a picture--when I find it I will post a picture. I found it in Maine at a glass shop (I LOVE fine art glass)--it cost way more than I should have spent, so I bought all 4 (see #1 above). They are a lovely irridescent deep blue with green and purple overtones, and subtly shaped like fish. I know, I really need a visual here, but those glasses touch my soul.
3. My favorite cold drink of all time--I hate sweet drinks, yes, even the famous Southern "Sweet Tea" (an old hang up from my anorexic days), and I have a real issue with hot drinks being hot, and cold drinks being cold. The only thing I drink at a reasonable temperature is Evian--has to be room temperature....
So, now you know the dirt on my drinking habits! It's actually interesting to try to figure out the whys of what you choose! I'd love for any of you to try it and see what you come up with! Since I know you probably won't though, I will have to tag a friend: Deb, have a go at it!
Sunday, August 05, 2007
My deepest and most heartfelt thanks to all of you who left such encouraging comments. I am grateful beyond words to all of you who helped me to realize that it is "OK" to just be myself. Looking back I can't understand why I needed reminding! I usually feel like I have managed to overcome the perpetual "people pleasing" that has been my life, then a simple and innocent statement derails me. It wasn't so much that I needed to feel like my comments were exciting, as much as I suddenly began to censure myself. Every entry was suddenly judged--by me--as "not interesting enough." It was a learning experience, to be sure. Anyway, thank you all for reminding me of the important things about blogging: the community of friends and support that keep us afloat when we are sagging.
I love you all...
Sunday, July 29, 2007
I can't do it.
I can't vomit emotion in public, and I consider a blog a very public forum. I have suffered a lot in the past years, and I want to focus on the positive, with which I have been richly blessed. The everyday hurts, the tragedies, the anger--I don't really want to make them more real by publishing them on the web. I prefer to just deal quietly with life's disappointments and move on. So I'm boring...I'll take it.
For the record I am grateful for the wonderful folks who come visit me here, and occasionally leave a comment or two. I'll keep reading and stay in touch. I think it's time for me to just take a little break from writing and enjoy my life--boring or not.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
For those of you who don't know, this is a John Deere L130--also known as one big ass lawn mower. It is huge--much bigger than I need for my yard. It was fine for my previous 3 acre spread, but here it is a bit much. Still, it is the mower I have. My neighbors have all commented on the huge mower--especially since it wouldn't fit into the garage for several weeks and sat out in the driveway. One of them finally told me that the neighbors were taking bets on how long it would be before it was stolen, as such nice lawn equipment really shouldn't be left out for every one to see...I moved it into the garage after that, as I really knew that he meant that in this neighborhood, we don't leave yard stuff out in the driveway.
I think it really is more likely that they are all jealous and waiting to see it in action--my yard hasn't been mowed in weeks. Not a problem with the drought we had earlier, but in the past 2 weeks we have had rain. Lots of rain, and the grass is literally knee high. Unfortunately, the "deere" doesn't run. I changed the oil in it before we moved (yes, I changed the oil. Got out the book, read the directions and taught my boys how to change the oil and filter). The boys used it one last time at the old house, and it ran out of gas. The little one put the gas in it that we use for the weed whacker (the kind with oil mixed in) and put it in the garage. It hasn't run since. Bummer.
Today, with my grass blowing gently in the wind, I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands. I had consulted with my Deb's husband, Bill, and he had give me the low down on bad gas, fouled spark plugs, dirty carburetors, etc. I dutifully went and bought stuff and came home--then couldn't find the damn spark plug! Bill came over and gave me a quick tutorial--showed me where the parts all were, and I was off again to buy the right size spark plugs, and a new air filter and battery for good measure. I got home and --here is the cool part--changed the spark plugs (yes, they were fouled, air filter (filthy), and battery (which since the headlights didn't work, I figured was totally dead), and cleaned the carburetor! The damn thing still wouldn't crank--but it did have headlights again, so I knew it had power. Bill came back, and still, no luck. So, I woke up my very jet lagged son, who showed us which switches and levers had to be where, and you guessed it--it cranked right up and "ran like a deer".
I am beside myself! It was better than running a code--at least when I got my lawn mower back I knew what I was getting. Codes don't always go so well. Maybe I need to change professions. From what I hear, mechanics make better money than I do...and I now own my very own spark plug wrench! Hey, its a possibility!
I think one of the very best things about being divorced is finding out what I am capable of. My "motto" for a while has been "if not me--who? if not now--when?" It gets me up and going when I feel overwhelmed with dealing with something I never thought I would have to deal with. But, invariably, once I have done it, I feel totally awesome. Not that I really want to spend my life working on lawn mowers, but it is nice to know that I can do what I have to do. And it is good for the kids to see it, too. Never too late to be a good example, I guess. Now, I think I may actully cut the grass--naaaah, the boys can continue that little chore for a few more years!
Friday, July 20, 2007
A week or so ago, I was really moved by this blog, in which Em was upset because she wasn't able to donate blood. I was so impressed. You see, at 46, I have never given blood. I hope that makes me an oddity. Anyway, the idea of this child crying because she couldn't donate absolutely shamed me to death--so I decided to give blood.
It isn't that I haven't thought about it--I have considered it a lot. My dad was a Red Cross Wonderboy, until he had heart surgery in 1977...after all his transfusions, and with the medications he was on he never was eligible again. Unfortunately, those same lifesaving transfusions ultimately killed him, as he contracted hepatitis C (unknown at the time) and subsequently got hepatocellular carcinoma. But, that is another blog altogether.
My public reasons for not donating were plentiful: for years I was underweight, then anemic, then I had travelled in Africa (got me off the hook for a long time), then in the years of pregnancy and postpartum, then anemic again, then underweight again--always a good excuse to my ultimate relief, and none of them exactly truthful.
The truth? I didn't want my blood being wasted on some scum that I felt didn't deserve it. Yes, you read that right. I did not want my blood supporting some alcholic with cirrhosis, some drunk who had just plowed his car into a family, some gang member shot up in a fight--I didn't want my blood "wasted" on someone I thought wasn't worthy.
I was on the marrow donor list-have been for years. I thought that saving someone with cancer was OK, but I just couldn't bring myself to support a life I didn't approve of. I guess I just saw too many gallons of blood poured into people who were like those mentioned above and it just infuriated me. The waste of their life was their business--but wasting my blood was mine.
Still, I was touched by the selflessness of Em, and her desire to give to a complete stranger. And I sat down and really thought about my stance--which I confess had not crossed my mind in at least 10 years. And I realized that I go out of my way to give freely and without strings in every aspect of my life. I tell my children over and over (until they are sick of it I know) that a gift is given with NO STRINGS--what the recipient does with it is their business. Otherwise, it is not a gift. So what did that say about my lack of generosity with my own lifeblood? I am a very healthy woman--blessed with healthy children. Who am I not to share that gift with anyone else that needs it?
So, I gave blood today. I didn't look when they stuck the big grownup needle in my arm (remember, I am used to tiny needles in tiny people!) It actually didn't hurt a bit. I was so stoked at how easy it was! I plan to become a regular. Hopefully my little pint will go a long way towards helping someone somewhere who needs it. And for once, I really don't even care who.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
My first impression was to write, "my baby is home," but he is so not a baby anymore. I think he grew 2 inches and I know his voice is deeper. He also has an air of confidence that he didn't have before he left...I am one proud mom.
His favorite part of the trip? "I loved the bungee jump, and the zorbing, and of course, snow-boarding, but the best was all the cool people, and making such great new friends."
He took some wonderful pix--one of them is above. It is where they filmed "Lord of the Rings"...I told him his pictures were beautiful. He said that "you can't take a bad picture there--everything is beautiful."
So, despite a very, very long day--which included no sleep for me (plane got in at 2:37 am) and getting rear-ended this afternoon (don't think I am hurt, but the car.....bad news) I am one happy and tired lady--going to bed with all my chickens in the nest at last.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
My Summer Stash Swap package has arrived!
What an amazing treat. Melissa, in Greenfield, Mass, put together the perfect knitting stash treat for me.
What is utterly amazing is that without knowing me, without even ever meeting me, she picked perfect little gifts. My daughter asked me where I had met her--"I haven't". She read my blog, and figured out from that what would make me smile. It is amazing.
I got lovely stitch markers, which you can't appreciate in the picture, but they are Americana at its best! Stars, USA, flags...perfect! And the needle case is stars and stripes, and the sock yarn--not just any sock yarn, mind you, but Lorna's Lace "Liberty" is red, white and blue! The beautiful hand-dyed pastel is super yummy, but best of all: the "Welcome to our Home" sign, handpainted on slate. It is perfect!
Thank you so much Melissa! What a perfect, perfect gift! I hope to get to meet you someday, or at least to find your blog and get to write!
Sunday, July 15, 2007
I was reading a post the other night by a mom who's daughter had "borrowed" the family car, and been stopped by the police; the car was impounded. Mom was guilt-laden:
"I could kick myself in the ass for not keeping the car keys away from you. A learner's permit, after all, means that you are learning. The reason it isn't a legal right to drive by yourself is simply because you don't completely know how, yet! And that means it wasn't a matter of "trusting" you with the keys. Boredom, a hot summer day, the new thrill of driving a car and those keys beckoning you--it's my fault, ultimately. I wasn't protecting you."
I have to say, I could have written that myself--any of the number of times my kids have screwed up. Because, after the relief that they aren't dead comes the guilt. "What did I do wrong? How could I have prevented this?" etc. Yes, I know it is irrational, but it is like a reflex--completely out of conscious control.
At what point does it stop being the mom's fault? When they are 3 and hitting other kids at schol? When they are 6 and not invited to the popular kid's birthday party? When they are 10 and don't complete their summer reading? When they are 14 and failing biology? When they are 17 and pregnant? When do we start holding our kids accountable--or at least stop blaming ourselves?
One of my dear friends is my hero on this issue. After years of torturing herself whenever her son screwed up she finally saw the light. Let me say, the "system" doesn't support you in this!
Several weeks before graduation she received a call from her son's Spanish teacher that he wasn't passing, and might not graduate. The teacher wanted to know what she was going to do about it.
"I think you have the wrong number," she said. "Let me give you his cell..."
The teacher was sure she had not heard correctly. My friend explained to her that this was not HER problem, but her son's and only he could fix it. He went on to fail Spanish, and is now in summer school--which he is paying for himself. Harsh? Maybe, but I think it is brilliant and appropriate in every way. I wish I had her kind of common sense.
I am working hard on this one--really making a conscious effort to "mail it to the right address" as one of my friends says. It may be too late. My daughter screamed at me yesterday--ranted and raved and when I told her not to talk to me in that tone she screamed: "This is all your fault! You shouldn't try to talk to me when I am in a bad mood."
She is right. It is my fault. I should have let her face the consequences of being ill-tempered a few more times when she was younger. Now we both have a lot to learn. Hopefully, I'll catch on quickly, and so will she.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
My dear friend Darlene says good-bye to her boy soon. Isaiah is a Marine and will be leaving for Iraq in a couple of weeks for an 18 month tour of duty. We are all so proud of him. His mom loved this song and sent it to him: he in turn created this youtube for her to share his life with her since his enlistment. She has only seen him twice in almost 2 years. The pictures are of Isaiah, his sister and nephew, their family, and all of his brothers in the corps. As you can see, he is a beautiful young man. He sent her apologies for the occasional "finger" but hey, that is life with the guys.
This video gives me goosebumps--the quote at the end sums up Isaiah to a tea.
Isiah--we are all so proud of you and all that you stand for. God Speed, and God Bless.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Hey baby! How are you?
I'm really cold.
You sound like it--your teeth are chattering! Get some warmer clothes.
I'm wearing 4 layers!
Buy some more!
But its 10 degrees on the ground.
Wait, where are you?
I'm about to bungee jump off a bridge--300 feet. It'll be great!
Conner, what the hell are you doing calling me to tell me that you are "about to jump" off a f***ing bridge in New Zealand? You're supposed to call and say "mom, I just jumped off a bridge." Past tense. Now you have to call me back later!
But it'll be 2 in the morning there...
I don't give a rat's fanny what time it is. I better hear back from you tonight!
And son, I love you.....
I love you too mummy....
1. Who was your best friend? Sally. A total back-stabbing bitch.
2. What sports did you play? Sports? on purpose?
3. What kind of car did you drive? Green Celica
4. It’s Friday night, where were you? Football game in the fall; other than that in Meridian, Missippi at the movies or sneaking into "Cash McCool's". It was a DISCO and I loved to dance.
5. Were you a party animal? Oh, hell no. My mom would have killed me.
6. Were you considered a flirt? Definitely. But I had a steady, so it was all in fun.
7. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir? choir--at the local college.
8. Were you a nerd? well, yeah. I was the valedictorian, and one of only 5 of us who left town to go to college. So I guess that qualifies me as a nerd.
9. Did you get suspended/expelled? No.
10. Can you sing the fight song? We had a fight song?
11. Who was your favorite teacher? Linda Edmonds. She taught science. She put up with a lot from the 7 of us that took her class. When she went into labor she drove herself to the hospital 23 miles away on a tractor.
12. School mascot? Eagles!
13. Did you go to Prom? Yes, for 4 years straight!
14. If you could go back and do it over, would you? Hell, no.
15. What do you remember most about graduation? Our class president falling off the stage. She was a little intoxicated.
16. Where were you on senior skip day? Didn't have that.
17. Did you have a job your senior year? Other than babysitting, no.
18. Where did you go most often for lunch? Outside.
19. Have you gained weight since then? I have gained and lost. gained with pregnancies, lost with stresses. My lowest was 20 pounds under my graduation weight (not good); I currently weigh about 5 pounds more.
20. What did you do after graduation? school/work/school/work
21. Who was your Senior prom date? Ronnie, my first love
23. Are you going / did you go to your 10 year reunion? went to the 20th...
24. Who was your home room teacher? not sure...
25. Who will repost this after you? I hope that maybe Miss Pea will play along....
Monday, July 09, 2007
Have you seen this? (The new and improved "Seven Wonders of the World")
In case you missed it, since the originals were for the most part "no longer available" there was a contest to choose new ones. These are the winners. Quite frankly, I don't get it. Yeah, the Christ the Redeemer statue is cool. But how did it beat out Easter Island? The Pyramids of Giza? The Acropolis? Stonehenge? And how did the Statue of Liberty even get in there? I love the Statue, don't get me wrong, but is simply is not in the league with a pyramid.
Many folks are saying it was a huge popularity contest, with countries pressing their citizens to vote so that they would get a bigger piece of the tourism pie. Probably so. But hey, what do you expect? I guess being a "wonder" these days is kind of like being a "hero"--lots of votes, little substenence.
Seems to me there should have been some sort of international committee with no vested interest in the results--God only knows how it would be selected (What about those Nobel prize people--maybe they could have helped). At least that way the results would have had some meaning other than being the "Seven Places Most Likely to have been voted on by someone with a computer somewhere". I mean, it's like American Idol, only worse.
What do you think? Did you vote? Did your favorite win? Do you even care?
Sunday, July 08, 2007
My teens and tweens.....
What a fun weekend! I had 2 of my own (tye dye and M.E. in the Middle) and 3 friends at Jeckyl Island for a little fun and sun. We had a blast. My favorite moments:
1. Watching a 4ish old girl spot Heather (the REDhead) on the beach and gasp: "the little mermaid!" I hope her folks milked it as much as I would have...
2. Petting wild manatees off the dock
3. Spending time with fellow bloggers, Peaches, and Liv, and meeting other new and groovy blog friends. Peaches is even more fun in person--of course, when you feel like you know someone already, meeting them in person is just sort of--WOW! Kind of like when you go to a family reunion and reconnect with a cousin or someone you haven't seen in ages, but that you somehow share a history with...
anyway, it was delightful in every way, and we have to do it again really soon!
4. Having Liv give me credit for a beach pick-up...was that what that was?
5. driving home to find RAIN!!!!
6. not one, but two phone calls from my precious Conner, in New Zealand. He is having a blast, but has decided that sea kyaking 6 miles in frigid ocean water is "crazy". He said the sweetest thing ever though: "Mom, I want to get a job and save up so I can bring you here--it is so beautiful, I know you would love it." Isn't that the best compliment a 14 year old can give?
Great weekend! Now, back to reality!
Thursday, July 05, 2007
8 Random Facts About Me....
1. I am becoming totally disconnected from my family (brothers and mom). I would not be surprised if I never saw them again. To most of you this is probably no big deal. To anyone who knows me, or my family, it is shocking.
2. I have never tried any drug for recreational purposes, and have never even considered smoking. Not for any reason other than a total fear of loss of control. I could never risk being dependent on any substance for any thing--even just a good time.
3. I have never had sex with anyone I didn't plan to marry. In a couple of cases, it just didn't work out...
4. I have horrible, inexplicable road rage. I fully expect to be shot someday by some asshole because I flipped him/her off for doing something stupid or rude.
5. I have, in fact, broken all ten commandments. It is not something I am proud of, by any means, but it is true. I wonder how many other people have as well--and are willing to admit it?
6. I don't believe in hell--see #5.
7.I have no fear of death. In fact, I rather look forward to it. That is not to say that I am ready to die--or that I wouldn't be pissed off to be "dying". There is still a lot I want to accomplish and I have 3 wonderful kids I want to share more time with. I just don't see death as the horror that many people do. It is more of a transition than an end in my mind. Hope I'm right (about #6 too)
8. I really want to love, and be loved again.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Happy Fourth of July!
I know that there are many who do not agree with the current political situation in this country; however, I have to go on record as saying: this is still the greatest country in the world, and we are all damn lucky to be living here.
As for our military: I salute them all. The sacrifices they make so that we can enjoy the freedom and safety we have here are unbelievable. I don't care if you support "the war", if you don't support the soldiers who defend your right to have an opinion then you are just a class 4 A shit. End of story. I have several friends who have sons (and let's face it--it could just as easily be daughters) as well as personal friends who are serving our country in Iraq as well as other countries around the world. They are finest people I know, and I commend them, and thank them from the bottom of my soul.
I hope that you all have a safe, happy and wonderful Fourth. If you are enjoying your freedom--thank a soldier. And his family. They deserve it.
Monday, July 02, 2007
My sweet middle child is in New Zealand--having the time of his life (I hope). I didn't anticipate how much I would miss him, or how hard it would be not to be able to contact him. When the little one was off at camp, I wrote him every day--got a couple of letters from him as well. I couldn't talk with him, but let's face it: if I needed too I could call or even go get him--it was only 4 hours away.
New Zealand is another story all together. So far they have Zorbed, Spelunked in one of the largest caves in the world (they rappelled FIVE MINUTES to get down into it), dug holes at a geothermic beach and basked in the resulting natural hot tub, had dinner with a Maori tribe, and skiied and snowboarded. This is only 5 days into their trip. He did call once, to let me know he was there, and having an awesome time.
I am so grateful that he has this opportunity. It has been a hard year for him. Not only did his parents divorce and he changed schools, one of his best friends died. I figure he deserves a great summer trip. He is an amazing kid, and I am eternally proud and grateful to be his mom.
So, as his counsellor said at the airport: "NO WORRIES MATE!"
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Wow.. I have been honored by my dear Peaches
with this cool award! I am shocked and delighted...the best part of it being the incredibly kind words she said about me in her blog. She is one of my blog heros, and a sure pick for when I have a quick second for a blog read...Thank you Peaches...you are a great lady. We still need to plan that get together!
I now get the honor of passing the baton to five of my most favoritest bloggers (not counting Peaches). So, here they are, in no particular order...
One of the greatest ladies in blogsville has to be Deb. Don't visit if you are intimidated by people who take life, with all its ups and downs, in stride and manage to write beautifully about their experiences. My hat is off to this superwoman. Her entry about talking with her daughter about sex is a must read for any mom of a teenage girl.
Miss Litte Pea is a funny lady, with a flair telling about her everyday adventures. She makes me laugh at myself, because I see so much of me in what she writes about.
Darling Amusing and I have a lot in common: mainly involving ex's and kids. She is a a great mom and a strong woman discovering herself and sharing the journey with us.
My daily source of wisdom and loving-kindness comes from Chani . I learn something new about the world, and myself ever time I visit her beautiful site. She is a wonderful soul, and I treasure her more every time I read her posts.
Finally, since I have been doing the "moving thing" for the past several months I have sadly neglected my hobbies--namely my knitting. My stash is all still packed, and I am too busy unpacking necessaries and dealing life to get it all out yet. So, I pop over to Chickenlips knitting. The stories are funny, the projects are believable, and its just a fun place to play while I am blogging and not knitting!
So, there they are--my rockin girl blogger friends! Some of them don't even know I exist (isn't there a blogterm for those of us who visit but are too shy to comment?) Anyway, thanks again to Peaches for the thrill of the week! And favorites, please pass it on to five of your all-time favorite rockin female bloggers!
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Maybe it's because I look at it from the other side of the fence. I was the bad guy: I divorced my husband. He did not want a divorce. For years I prayed that he would find a girlfriend, or even hit me--anything obvious that would give me an "honorable out". No such luck. His sin was to be "sick"--and to use that "illness" to control every aspect of our lives. He was also a pathological liar--to the point that as he said "I can't even remember what the truth is anymore." Don't get me wrong--I loved my husband. Loved the man that he was, and the man he was capable of being. I just didn't know, and couldn't stay with the man he became. I stayed with him after his mental break for almost 8 years, hiding the true hell we lived in from everyone, including family and friends. Fortunately for me, the veneer got too thin the last 5 years or so, so my closest friends got a glimpse into my world. They were delighted for me when I finally got the courage to file for divorce. My kids were relieved as well--they were tired of the emotional abuse they took when he stopped being able to control me and turned on them instead.
To the rest of the world, however, I am a heartless bitch who divorced her poor(never mind that he makes more in disability than I make working my ass off as a physician), sick (let's not discuss how much of this is real or imagined), disabled husband in his time of need, breaking his heart and turning his children against him. Fortunately for him he "found Jesus" so he can devote hours each week with his THREE Bible study groups praying for my wayward soul, as well as that of his "sinful children". And he can continue spreading the lies about how mistreated and abused he has been.
So, to those of you who were married to lying, cheating bastards: count your blessings that they have moved on to torture someone else. To those of you living with a mentally ill spouse: I feel your pain, and I pray for you all every day. I am eternally grateful that I was able to finally break free of my guilt and leave. And everyone, please say a prayer that my ex will find a girlfriend real soon...it would sure take the heat off of me!
Saturday, June 23, 2007
My sweet youngest is home from 3 long weeks at camp. He had a blast, with some admitted homesickness, but not enough that he didn't want to go ahead and sign up for next year too. Sigh of relief. I love sending him to camp. It is exorbitantly expensive, but he gets to do cool stuff and to meet people from all over the world. This year his counsellors were from Ghana and England. He learned archery from a guy from Zimbabwe. He went camping with a guy from Trinidad. He met and loved guys from Austrailia, New Zealand, Scotland, Ireland, several different African countries...this camp has counsellors from all over the world. He does things like lacrosse, and mountain boarding, spelunking, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, tennis--he loves every minute of it. We at home missed him more than he missed us--that is for sure.
Wednesday my middle one leaves for camp--in New Zealand. Yes, 3 weeks on the other side of the world. Sponsored by the same wonderful camp, this trip is for teens. He will be with 10 other boys his same age, and 2 great counsellors from NZ. We got to meet one of them when we went to pick up the little one, and he is WONDERFUL!!! He will ski, snowboard, cave, hike, sea kayak--sounds awesome.
The thing I love about these camps is the international flair. Let's face it--growing up in small town Middle Georgia the opportunity for exposure to other cultures and people is limited. I do what I can to keep my kids grounded and appreciative of other cultures and ideas, but the opportunity to actually meet and live with diverse people is too much to pass up. I just hope I make it another 3 weeks without my 3 chickies all in the nest! Guess its good practice for the oldest leaving for college next year! Yikes!
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
this is amazing...
some days I feel like this...running from one costume to the next...
today was kind of like that:
early morning: mom
a little later: lady at tire store
a little later: teacher/doctor
a little later: mom at grocery store
a little later: friend and confidante at lunch
a little later: friend and co-worker shopping for birthday flowers
a little later: doctor
a little later: doctor/teacher
a little later: yoga instructor
a little later: mom at home
a little later: tutor
a little later: blogger
a little later: tired mom
Monday, June 18, 2007
don't know if sweet Thailand Gal invented it or what, but I loved it and thought I'd play!
"Favorite Bubble Bath Book" : generally, I like a magazine. It's not as big a commitment as a book, and I may just want to look at the pictures. "MORE" is a current favorite...
"Favorite get your groove on tune" : "Just you and your hand tonight"...yes, I confess, I love my daughter's kick-ass music. This particular song has me rocking in my seat as I drive in to work every morning. God knows what the other drivers are thinking--hope they can't read lips.
"Character you always wanted to be" : never thought about it, really. I guess if I had to pick I would say Mulan.
"Best Lullaby" : "Baby mine", hands down. Isn't it from Dumbo? If so it is the only redeeming feature of that movie.
"Most indulgent thing I do" : lunch out almost every day vs. starbucks every morning. Both ridiculously extravagent and sanity saving.
"TV show you'r ashamed to admit you watch" : I seriously don't watch TV, but my son was watching Southpark while we were at the beach a couple of days ago, and it was hilarious--sick to the core, but hilarious.
"Teen celebrity crush" : OK, Donnie Osmond. But don't tell anybody.
"Piece of jewelry you always wear" : diamond necklace. It's too stunning not to wear, but I think it gets boring sometimes...until the sunlight hits it and I say "Damn, that's one incredible rock!"
"Blog or website you're ashamed to admit you visit" : "Desperately Seeking Something", the most perverse, hilarious blog ever. You have to realize that after years in the medical field, very little shocks me; there are things that crack me up, however, and the commentary on this one is priceless.
"Favorite Chick Flick" : Is Robin Hood with Kevin Costner a chick flick?
"Favorite daytime TV to watch when slugging around the house" : don't do either, sorry.
"Best song to be sad to" : "Sleep's dark and silent gate" from Jackson Browne's "The Pretender"--which is a great album to be sad to.
"Food you can never get enough of" : fresh peaches, carpaccio, lobster, strawberries
"One movie star on your LIST" : Richare Gere. What a gorgeous specimen.
"Your Theme Song" : Today? Walking on Sunshine...
OK, that's it . Hope no one is too disillusioned with me! If you haven't done this one--try it!
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
It struck me yesterday morning, on the way to work just before I got to Starbucks.
"I am happy."
The thought took me by surprise--it was such a random thing to have cross my mind, especially with all that has happened in the past couple of years.
"Happy. Happier than I have been in years."
And then I waited--for the panic. For the past 8 years or so every time I dared to be happy something "would happen". So I waited for that familiar feeling--waited for the other shoe to drop.
But, it never came. I was, quite simply, content.
Not that there were no problems to face, no bills to pay, no boxes to unpack, no unhappy friends to worry about, no stuff I can't find somewhere lurking in a box unknown. All that "daily normal routine" was still with me. But,
I was HAPPY.
It is good to feel this way. It has been a long time.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
We are here...with all of our stuff, and settling in nicely. I am amazed that from the first night, this house has felt like HOME. It is ours--no old habits or memories lurking, just memorabilia we wanted to keep, and lots of potential.
The move went without a hitch--just an enormous job that lasted 4 whole days (and we moved less than 2 miles). Getting the kitchen counter tops in made a huge difference. Life lesson # 101--never move into a house that has no countertops in the kitchen. Most of the boxes are unpacked, but not everything is in its place yet--we are taking our time and making it "right". The dogs and cats even adjusted immediately. It was amazing. Perhaps most impressive of all was that Spence slept all night in his room...he has not done that in years. He was always afraid to be sleep in his room at the old house, so slept with his brother, or with me. Clearly we are all relieved to be in our new home.
Or, almost. Spence is at camp now--he left last Saturday. Life lesson # 102: don't ever try to pack for camp while you are unpacking from moving. Just go to Walmart--that's what I finally ended up doing. He will be gone for 3 weeks--I can't believe how much I miss him! Conner's passport finally arrived so he is off to New Zealand in 3 weeks. Lots of packing to be done for that too--all winter stuff. He will be gone for 3 weeks as well.
ME is in school and working. She turned 17 today. What a wonderful milestone. I can't believe that she is 17. She got her SAT scores today, and did great. Still, she wants to take it again to "do better". I suspect this senior year will go by in a blink. I am still in denial about it.
Well, I know this has hardly been "blog worthy", but at least it lets everyone know what has been happening in my world for the past 2 weeks or so. I hope to be back to normal--or as close as I get--very very soon! I have to say thanks to my two "sisters": precious Dawn, who spent her Saturday scrubbing the bathrooms in my new home before we moved in--now that is love; and dearest Debbie, who spent her Sunday unpacking boxes and putting stuff away so I wouldn't have a total overwhelmed breakdown. I am so very blessed.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
My house looks like a bomb went off in it. I am exhausted, and excited beyond words. This move feels like such an opportunity for new beginnings. I am so looking forward to being there!
The kids are excited. Today is the last day of school. We are through with space camp, finals, papers, projects, 5th grade graduation, field trips, class picnics, final chorus productions...another year checked off.
I have enough to do in the next 5 days for 16 people. But, it will get done. One way or another it always does.
My next notes will be from my new home. I can't wait.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
I was reading a favorite blog of mine and in it she mentioned that "I sabotage my own weekends without the boys, I don't plan well..." It made me think. Why is it that the weekends without my kids are my least productive and least appreciated?
Its not that I don't have tons of things I need to do. A thousand things I "wish I had time for".
The minute the kids are off my plate I just freeze up. Wander around aimlessly and pitter away the hours. Its as if my brain can't function unless I am planning my life around theirs. Or is that just an excuse?
I have to get used to this "alone" time. Be comfortable with who I am and what I do with myself. Maybe I need to make plans to fill the hours--at first at least. Until I get used to it. I am determined to make my time with ME be quality time. God knows I whine enough about not having time--I need to start appreciating the time I do have, and the company I keep. Even if that company is just ME.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
First, I have to thank all the wonderful well-wishers. There is really no way to explain how much better you feel after just having your feelings noticed and validated by people, even if you don't know them. So thank you all. It was hard to post that one, because I feel like somehow by exposing my weaknesses I make yourself less---"likeable" I guess. Anyway, the clouds have parted for now, and I am back to life at full steam.
Tonight is prom night. My two (shown above, aren't they fab?) are going as part of a group of friends; ours was "the designated house". I did the flowers for 4 of the kids this afternoon. They all had dinner here--steak, potatoes, salad, green beans, dessert, complete with the good china, crystal, and silver--then off to the park for picture taking. After that they all went promming, while I went home to entertain the 3 kids left behind (my son's girlfriend--he is escorting one of the older girls, her little brother, and my youngest) and to prepare the "after-prom" breakfast. Then, they all sleep over here. Am I nuts or what?
Actually, it is a blast. It is one of the thingsI love about having kids, and being "the house" where everyone hangs out. Our new house is ripe for it--it has a "great room" and a huge finished basement--perfect kid space. And, I guess this is the last "event" we will have here. Hard to believe. But it doesn't feel sad at all, just finished. I was thinking about the new house as I put the china back in the cabinet and wondered when we will pull it out again.
I think it may have to be soon--a celebration of things to come.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
The darker side of me....
The problem with believing that you are basically inadequate is that it takes very little to tip you over the edge into despair.
I am an overachiever. Ask anyone. I do it all. And I do it well. Perfectly, most of the time. With a smile. Cakes for school bakesales, quilts for sick kids, donations for charity, prescriptions when you need a refill and your doc is out of town, shoulders to cry on, broken doors fixed, window treatments made, you name it. I am a mother, a doctor, a teacher, a yoga instructor, a damn good friend to several people. I basically can do anything I set my mind to.
So why do I feel so completely worthless?
Because I know that the reason I CAN do it all is because I HAVE to. No one is fucking going to do it for me.
I wonder sometimes, what would happen if I got sick? I did once, almost died, actually. My worthless husband was out of town. My kids didn't know what to do--they really didn't know I was as sick as I was. I told them to call my friend, and she wasn't home. So what did I do? I told them to go on to bed, and I went to sleep prepared to die. There simply wasn't anyone else I could think of to call. I was too sick and out of my head to even think of 911, and the kids had no idea I was that ill. So I just waited to die.
I feel like that now. Like I am simply waiting to get the kids raised so I can die.
I try to avoid situations where I know I will feel like shit. Usually I know: no "couples" stuff, nothing, in fact that points out to me that I am alone. Not much associated with work--my ex was an integral part of where I work, and his memory lingers. Nothing that emphasizes to me that I am alone. Today, I don't even know what derailed me, but I just unglued. Maybe it was the kids telling me that their dad wants to "join the country club". Maybe it was trying to finalize all the details of closing on one house before another, and trying to get everything I want done to it done before we move in. Maybe it is too much change at once. I suspect that it is realizing that no, I am not enough. I am not enough at all. I hate what my life has turned into. I try to be excited, really, I do. And most days I convince myself that I am. Excited, and happy, and anticipating something better. But some days I can't pull it off. Like today.
Today I am just a 46 year old single mother of three needy kids with not enough money in savings, a home I can't keep, a house that needs to be made into a home, a job that I hate, and too many bad memories. Its easier to keep the bad ones, because the happy ones hurt more.
I hope these days are becoming fewer and farther between. At least every day is not a struggle to breathe, like it was when I was married. I still have so much anger though. When does the anger go away? And when it does, what replaces it?
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
OK, house bought. Sigh of relief.
We are all very, very excited. It is lovely, actually remarkably enough like our present house to feel comfortable, yet different enough to be new and exciting.
I walked through the yard today while I was waiting to hear from the realtor. Two bluebirds joined me. I consider it an omen of happiness and good fortune to come.
Otherwise, there continues to be upheaval and turmoil.
My son's trip to Costa Rica was cancelled--not enough participants. Fortunately there was another trip to join--to New Zealand. When paying for the outrageously expensive air tickets I found out that the credit card I was using had been "frozen" because of "suspicious activity". Thank goodness, because none of the attempted purchases were made by me! This particular card is not the one I use every day, so I guess it was easy to figure out that all those attempted Internet purchases for electronics were not me. That is the second time my credit card number has been "stolen". I will have to wait for the bill to see what charges did go through, if any, and report them. What a pain. It really creeps me out.
Two of my kids are failing classes. I don't know how you help kids that won't ask for help until its too late. It is sad and frustrating. My middle child is just devastated by his probably failure in Biology. He is such a great kid, but he has no concept of it. It has been a tough year for him--yet 99% of the time you would never know he has a care in the world. Then BOOM, a failing grade and he literally dissolves before my eyes. He is still grieving the loss of his best friend last winter--he died of a rare viral pneumonia. Then, the divorce, and changing schools. Just when I think we are over the hump something like failing biology tips him over into tears, and he sobs like his heart is broken. It just seems like his capacity to "roll with the punches" is used up. I know how he feels. I guess it is good that he cries occasionally...he never really did accept Tommy's death at the time--in fact, I don't remember his crying at all. I am hopeful that this summer's New Zealand adventure will help in some way. Doing new things and making new friends can't possibly hurt. My heart aches for him.
I am just ready for life to settle down. I feel like we have been on some terrible roller coaster for about 3 years, and I am ready for the ride to end. I'm not asking for perfect, just a little calmer. A little less turmoil. A little less drama. Time to just enjoy each other and to just BE.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Today was D-day--decision day--for the "house of my dreams". The current owners decided that despite the fact that an inspection showed that their house was in sad disrepair, and I had offered them top dollar for their house, they were not willing to negotiate or repair the problems. So, I sent a contractor to give me his opinion.
"Did you see the movie The Money Pit? Welllll, mammmm, that's what kept a-playing in my head the whole time I was looking at that house. I think its like a big ball of string, and once you get a hold of the end, its all gonna unwind."
Bottom line? 30 k to bring it up to normal repair and to code FOR THE TIME IT WAS BUILT. Yes, it was not even up to the building code for the year it was built.
My realtor said: "I cannot in good conscious recommend that you buy this house."
Can you say walk away?
Thank God for inspections.
So, the kids and I looked at more houses. And returned to one we had looked at earlier that I had liked, but they nixed because the master suite was "not good enough" for their mom (did I mention that I love those kids?)
And I think it will be fine. Just right, actually. About the same size as the "scream house", with a great finished basement for the kids playroom and a lovely yard. It even has a screened porch. It will need updating, but it is substantially cheaper than the other, and already has a new roof, and relatively new heating and air. And, its in a great neighborhood, where the kids have friends.
All in all, not a bad thing. We will go back tomorrow and look one more time, take pictures, and write up the contract. I feel better about this one already--in a way it already feels like "home", so I think we may have finally found our new nest. Again, wish us luck. And thanks for all the good thoughts and concerns about the last one! It really helped!
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
There they are....my treasures!
What a wonderful little vacation we had. Never mind the tornado, which took out our electricity for several hours, the storms that accompanied said tornado, the COLD wind, the clouds and rain, we had 5 grand days together!
My daughter and I visited a local college there, that she has always expressed interest in attending. It was lovely--exquisite, actually--but one problem. No minorities. None. Nada. Zilch. We noticed this while eating in the cafeteria--where she was pointing out all the "groups" and commenting on how like high school it really was. "See, mom, there are the nerds, there's the snobby rich kids, there's the jocks, the computer geeks, the skaters...mom, where are the black kids?"
So, we looked throughout the tour of the campus--none. We did see 2 Hispanic cleaning ladies. So, I asked our tour guide: "Tell me about diversity here."
She visibly stumbled. "You mean ethnic, or cultural?" "I mean any diversity. Whatcha got?" She actually smiled--she was a pre-law student--"well, we were voted the most homogeneous campus in the country, so I should say--we don't have any." She then lowered her voice: "the administration here is really conservative."
It was rather shocking. Needless to say, my daughter ruled them out. She says that she couldn't go to a school where some of her friends would feel out of place visiting. Besides, she doesn't want to be the "token poor white trash" from Georgia. I was incredibly proud. It was really satisfying to see that my daughter recognized that it was strange to be in a "homogeneous environment". The decision to put my kids in public school was hard, and dealing with the public school atmosphere is even harder. But, in a lot of ways it works for my kids. And I am very proud of them.
We also did a really neat "paranormal investigative ghost walk". After a mini-lecture on hauntings, and current "theories" about what was or was not felt to be "real", we were given little electromagnetic field meters, which "spiked" when there was a change in the EMF--which may indicate paranormal activity. We then toured some of the really cool, "haunted" spots in the city, and checked for spikes. Of course, I, the energetic stone, had none, except when I walked over the places where the underground cables were concentrated, or near electrical transformers or breaker boxes. My kids, however, had lots. Especially little Spence (no surprise). The cool thing was that if you got a lot of spikes, the guide would take a picture...in most of them there was nothing exciting--but in ALL of Spence's he had an orb of light with him--sometimes two. Not in the same place, but somewhere around him was an orb. It was really cool. Especially weird, however, was that whenever the guy got a really great picture of it--his camera went nuts and "auto-erased" the pictures. It was bizarre (and very, very irritating for the guide!) It was the most fun "ghost walk" we have ever been on--and we have been on several! It really was thought provoking, and interesting.
All in all, we had a great, great time. The best part was just having time to chill together. It definitely has given us 2nd thoughts about taking along "friends". Sometimes, just family is just right.
Friday, April 13, 2007
I hope I can put all the anxiety about the house stuff behind me--I have done well so far, but its only been a couple of days. I have the potential having to wait a whole week more before I know anything. But, I have done all that I can and the ball is out of my court for now. So, the plan is to go to the beach and enjoy my treasures--all three of them!
The kids and I have been to this beach several times--we always rent a house, pack up and take several other kids for the fun. This time, however, they asked that it just be us. Just mom, kids and 2 dogs. I was flattered beyond belief. It never occurred to me that they would like to just chill with me. But, they said they wanted some "family time". I love that. Family time.
The reality of it is that we--the kids and I--have been a family without a "dad/husband" for a lot longer than we have been divorced. We were a team with a common--well, I hate to say enemy, but adversary fits well. We protected each other from his crazy mood swings, bitter words, scathing looks, hateful attitudes for several years. Yes, there were times that were "good" but nothing you could depend on. When I told them we were getting divorced the oldest two said "about damn time"; the youngest was upset until he learned he would be living with me. I think the whole universe sighed a huge sigh of relief. So, we have been a "family" that travels "dad-less" for some time.
My next goal is a trip to Disney. You either love Disney, or you hate it. We've already been about 5 times, but always with someone who HATED it (and LOVED talking about how much he HATED it and how miserable he was). I can't imagine doing the Disney thing without conflict. Happily paying 3 dollars for a popcicle and not screaming if someone accidently drops it. Standing in line and playing silly games; eating crappy food; taking tons of pictures...and loving every hot, crowded, overexpensive minute of it. Lets face it--the Disney folks are all smiles and it's friendly, it's clean, and it's safe. Yes, I know there have been "scares" and "child abduction rumors"--but my mother eloquently quenched my paranoia during one visit when I was lamenting on the phone about trying to keep a hand on 3 little ones--
"Look around. Does anyone look like they WANT your children?"
And I don't care if its all "fake". I know "they are paid to smile, and to be nice"--I don't give a shit. I am happy to pay for it. Hell, I have to be nice at work too, and to people a lot more obnoxious than I am. I despise surly fast food workers, nasty parks, and people who OBVIOUSLY don't want to be at work. So bring on the mouse ears, Mickey t-shirts, and cheesy smiles. Maybe at Christmas--I ADORE that fake snow.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
The "house of my dreams" is turning into the "house of my screams"...not really, just very frustrating right now. It is lovely,and absolutely perfect for our needs. The kids are so very excited--picking paint colors and rearranging their rooms on paper.
The problem? I, of course, had it inspected. And it has a lot of problems that the current owners will have to fix. Not just for me, structural stuff that has to be fixed whether I buy it or not. Sagging floor joists, a cracked rafter, rotten window sills with subsequent water damage--you get the drift. It also needs a new roof in about a year, and has polybutylene pipes, which I have unfortunately learned a great deal about in a short time--in essence, the whole house has to be replumbed.
So why am I still involved? Did I mention that we love it? All of the above will have to be fixed--its not like the owners can sell it to someone else and not disclose any of this new information, and no one will buy it until the problems are addressed. Nor can they just ignore the problems--they have to be addressed if the house is going to be lived in. My fear is that they will decide not to sell at all. Or, they can take it off the market, fix it and put it back on the market later hoping to get a better price--which doesn't work for me either. They have until next Friday to decide what they are willing to do. Hopefully, we will have an agreement we can all live with. Otherwise, it's back to house hunting--under a very tight time constraint. My house is set to close on May 30.
I remain in a perpetual state of nausea.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Too much chaos in the world right now. I am feeling unsettled on a very deep level, and am finding that many of my dear friends are feeling the same. Maybe it is the general unrest of the world at large; maybe we are reaching an awareness level where we can sense the disturbances that have always been around, but we were too self-absorbed to notice. Maybe...
I have not posted a picture of the new "dream house" yet. I am still in the midst of inspections, negotiations, angst and worry. And, it isn't mine until we close. Did I mention that I am superstitious? I am just terrified of "jinxing" the whole thing if I get too optimistic, or hopeful, or just plain cocky. So, be patient, those of you who are interested...its coming. I pray, its coming. For those who care, here is the current, soon not to be our home.
Please, send good thoughts our way as I try to get all the details wrapped up. I cannot remember being this stressed in a long time. It seems silly and selfish to be so wrapped up in such a glaring example of materialism, but the fact of the matter is--my house is sold. I have to move. My kids love the new house, and so do I. It feels like it could very well be home, in a new and wonderful way. I am just nauseated at all the details, and terrified of screwing up. The inspection on the wanna-be house made me want to throw up--so many things to be fixed! Of course, the responsibility of fixing them is the current owners, but it just scared me to death. I can't believe I am doing this ON MY OWN. God help me.
I just heard that another good friend has lost her beloved dog in a most horrible way, and my heart breaks for her. He tried to climb over her back fence and impaled himself--she found him still alive, but it was hopeless, and the vet had to put him down. That dog has been her best friend for years. She has really had it rough lately, and now this--and she is one of the the sweetest, most upbeat, positive souls I know. It is very hard to understand how so much sorrow lands on such a dear, trusting person. Pisses me off, actually. For her and for all of us who just try to do and be as good as we can be for everyone, and who end up being hurt beyond belief. If you have a moment, please send her good thoughts as well. In fact, take a moment and just send out a butt load of positive thoughts and energy for all the suffering folks in the world. It surely can't hurt.
In my current mindset of finding beauty
is this guy adorable or what?
Monday, April 09, 2007
I love spring. Especially spring here in Middle Georgia. Love the blue skies, the smell of wild onions when the grass is mowed, the flowers popping open before your eyes, the hum of bees in clover, the thunderstorms. Even though I hate swimming in a sea of pollen, I am looking so forward to the warm (not hot yet), moist, expectant days ahead.
Miracles. Such an over-used, under appreciated word: miracle. I, like everyone else, tend to look for the big ones. The show stoppers. The telethon-worthy. And I have been so very, very fortunate to have experienced--or been witness to--some really over the top miracles. Working in a Children's hospital for the past 20 years or so I have seen more than my share of unexplanable.
The more important ones for me personally are the miracles I take for granted every day. Every birth. Every death. Every sound heard. Every color seen. The fact that we live and breath and think. The smell of clean air. The fact that when someone smiles at us we feel something, know something special has happened. The smell of a coffee. Every bud that pops, every raindrop that falls....all of it miraculous and amazing and overwhelming in its innate beauty.
I know that there are scientific explanations for most of the above--but does that make them any the less miraculous? Why do we let science rob us of the mystery...of the joy of being insignificant in a vast unbelievably beautiful universe? I have seen the unexplanable, the impossible--and so has everyone else. But do we really appreciate it? Do we realize that most of what we take for granted is in defiance of the impossible? Do we ever stop to think about just how very blessed we are to be able to NOT understand every detail of life?
My hope is that I will always look around me and notice. Notice the good, the not so good, the awful and in noticing find a way to appreciate all that is miraculous in my corner of the world. I know I will forget, but fortunately, the universe tends to remind me with beauty almost every day. If only I remember to see it.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
I am not sure why I am in such a foul mood, only that I am. My kids are at their dad's this weekend--I should be happy that they must be having a good time, since I haven't heard from them, but I am not. I am alone, and livid.
My kids and their dad have a unique relationship--when its good it's evidently very good--when its bad it's horrid. Which leaves me in pertetual call mode--be invisible when it's good; be available for rescue when it's not. Perhaps I am the problem, and I am brainstorming ways to make it better, but for now I remain in limbo--held hostage by my ex's moods. So what else is new? For today, that meant not making plans to be with friends because the kids "didn't know" what they were doing with their dad. It meant buying easter stuff, hiding fake eggs, dying eggs "just in case" they decided to come home. It meant I am a fucking idiot, sitting home pissed at my kids because they chose to spend the day with fuckwad instead of me. It means paying the bills, and worrying about college, and cars, and car insurance for teenage kids, and worrying about mortgages, and moving, and packing, and vacations. It is trying not to be consumed with bitterness by the unfairness of it all. It means I am just as bad as he is--pissed when they don't want to be with me...
The kids deserve to be happy--deserve to be able to enjoy their time with dear old dad--deserve not to be responsible for either of our happiness. OK, so why am I so pissed off? If I go with my basic belief that anger is fear, then what am I afraid of? What is it that is killing me inside? What am I so damn terrified of all the time?
I think it is that I am not enough. Not smart enough to manage the details of our complicated lives. Not talented enough to make it all work. Not skilled enough to make enough money to support us. Not strong enough to survive all the lonliness, fear, angst that comes with growing old and watching your kids grow up and leave you alone. Not brave enough to actually be.....alone. Because that is what I am. Alone.
Addendum: my beautiful daughter brought me a surprise easter basket--complete with the most wonderful note ever...I am, after all, remembered, loved, and very blessed...
Thursday, April 05, 2007
1) what is the first thing that you see/hope/think about when you see a newborn baby while on the job? While it isn't exactly romantic, my first thought is "does this baby look normal?" How is it lying there, is it pink, what's its tone, is it irritable, all parts there? The hard part is not viewing every baby I see--at work or otherwise--in the same way.
2) where is the one place that you would love to visit that you've never been? Greece. I have to go to Greece before I die. I had wanted to take my daddy there but we didn't have time before he died--I feel like I owe it to us both.
3) have you ever had trouble with deciding which was more appropriate: truth or kindness, given that they sometimes have conflicting interests? That is reallly interesting, since in what I do the truth doesn't always sound kind. I do believe, however, that there is always the opportunity to be kind in telling your truth. While a person may not want to hear what you are saying, and may feel that you are unkind in saying it, if it is indeed a truth that they are meant to hear you would be unkind to keep it from them. The art is in the packaging.
4) what have you stopped believing in? (if anything) my concept of perfection. I am learning that it is all perfect--I just may not have the wisdom to perceive it as such---yet...
5) if you weren't a pediatrician, but had to be some other sort of practicing doctor type, what field would you specialize in? (and if so, would you fix my boobs, give me botox, and prescribe psychotropics?)Top choice for the money/time/work:benefit ratio? Dermatology--no question. Top choice for what interests me and for what I find that we need? Child psyche.
Sunday, April 01, 2007
If my childhood plans had worked out...
I am happily driving my yellow porche convertible home from work--being a doctor is not always fun and games, but it has its perks, and a cool car is definitely one of them. My kids will be waiting back at the house--and my husband. He is probably a doctor, too, since we science geeks all seem to hang out together. The kids will have finished their ballet, piano, or horseback riding lessons, and I will whip up a fabulous dinner for us all (since I am a great cook, and the housekeeper will have all the groceries bought, and will clean up the mess). We will have to finish packing for our around the world trip tomorrow--so much to see and do and only 3 months to do it all! No money troubles, no husband troubles, no kid troubles, and no house work.
Interestingly, I have managed to have all of those things (except the yellow convertible--mine was blue, and the round the world trip--unless you count epcot) at one point or another. And while I don't have them all anymore, I am amazingly happy with what I do have. Funny how things work out!
Great meme! Let's hear from liv and peaches!
Saturday, March 31, 2007
My house sale is moving right along...I am spending lots of money fixing this house up to be perfect for its new family. So, where is my dream house?
I actually may have found it. I am almost afraid to think about it. It meets almost all of my criteria; its big enough, great location, great yard, great house. But its Expensive. Right at the top of my budget. It does has everything, or at least has the potential to have everything I need...I could eventually replace things and make it "mine"(I have discovered that I am a surface snob--floors, counter tops--all very important to me. Who'd have thought?).
Still, it is a huge, huge step for me. Talking to accountants, mortgage brokers, bankers...all stuff I have never had to do and never wanted to do. Why is it that no matter what we are capable of we still, on some level, want someone else to take care of us? Someone else to "do the dirty work"--the bargaining, the wheeling, the dealing, the tough decision making.
I am perfectly capable of making important--life altering--decisions. I do it all the time. For other people. Not for me. What is the big deal about making decisions that I will have to live with? Am I a total wimp?
I keep hoping that this is all going to feel right--feel good--feel perfect. That I will be "led" to the perfect house, the right mortgage, the ideal yard... That my heart will quit breaking. And I think that all this should happen on my timetable (right now). Is it possible--even remotely--that this porcess is supposed to be a bit uncomfortable? a bit unsettling? a bit out of my control?
Is my next home going to be the psych ward?
Thursday, March 22, 2007
The past 2 weeks have been such an emotional roller coaster. I am exhausted, mentally, physically, spiritually. Heartfelt thanks to all of you who sent encouraging words and comments--I didn't even have the energy to respond but they were all so appreciated.
My birthday was wonderful--I think maybe the best yet. Celebrated with friends X3--had 3 wonderful dinners (and a trip to the ATL with liv, complete with good food, good wine, and a trip to "whole foods"). I am tremendously blessed.
My house has a contract on it--yes, barring complications, it sold technically before it was even on the market 12 hours. The contract negotiations were a pain, but if the pool "passes inspection" it will be sold.
And I am saying: "MY GOD! WHAT HAVE I DONE???"
You may remember that it was only a short while ago that I made this decision I have felt so strong, so sure of myself. New paint, new carpet, repairs, purging of years of accumulated trash, storage of years of accumulated treasure, unending work to get my house "ready to show" and boom. It's not my house anymore.
I guess this would be easier if we had somewhere else to go. I have looked at several houses; and decided to buy one of them at least 5 times, but the simple fact is that I love this house. I love the space--the porch that I designed, the pool that has been my refuge and the center of the kids summers. And there is no other house that I have seen that compares. Of course, I am looking at smaller houses. Smaller mortgages. Less yard. Smaller utility bills. That has to count for something, right?
The main contender in the search for a new dream house is lovely--it is in a golf/tennis/pool community (no pool maintenance, but no privacy either). The problems include a laundry room that I abhor, and a kitchen that is smaller than my present bathroom. Other than that, it is great. Lots of space for the kids to entertain, a biggish yard, with woods behind for privacy, brick (low maintenance). In fact, when I first saw it I thought--Wow. The first house I look at and its perfect. But, when I go into my kitchen and realize that I will have to get rid of 3/4 of the stuff in it I just panic. I love my kitchen. Love everything about it. And I can't just pick it up and move it. I also love my furniture. Most of the stuff I didn't want went with the ex. I'm rather fond of what's left. But do I want to move into a house and already be cramped?
"MY GOD! WHAT HAVE I DONE?"
The kids have been excited and supportive--they like the above mentioned house. But tonight, my little Spence looked around and said, "I'm really going to miss this place", and one little tear almost fell. My heart broke.
He'll enjoy the new house, where ever it is, I am sure. And so will I. But for now, he and I are both feeling the first little twinges of homesickness. And yes, even a little bit of fear. I just hope it is short lived.
Friday, March 16, 2007
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
I keep reminding myself, "Its a house. Do not take any of this personally." Still, it feels threatening somehow--as if this nice little bespeckled man held the key to my future on his little clipboard, and was determined to keep it from me.
I wish I were a drinking woman.
For now I am going to make use of this day I took off of work to continue cleaning. The third floor (used as an attic for years) is approaching presentable. My precious sons have cleaned out their closets and their rooms as best they can. My daughter is trying, but she is as busy as I am and a thousand times more ADD, not to mention the world's biggest procrastinator, so there is still much to be done.
My realtor dropped by to check my progress. She is so ready to list this house. Evidently, she has been getting calls and inquiries about it already (small town, gotta love it!) I am feeling exposed and raw, and a bit like I may drown. I wouldn't be surprised to look in the mirror and see one of those damn orange hot dots on my forehead.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
It used to terrify me every time, but I guess I have just become ambivilent to them for the most part. They blow a lot here. The weather was awful yesterday--in the 70's and thundering and raining. It was one of those sticky, still nights. I don't mind it so much when it blows--the trees whipping and leaves and branches blowing seem right somehow--when it is heavy and oppressive and nothing is moving--not a leaf trembling--it gives me the weebies. Last night was one of the still nights. So, I did what any normal person would do--went to Cracker Barrel for chicken and dumplins. It was really neat to be one of the only cars on the road.
I never watch TV--not even the weather channel. Just don't have time, and don't think about it when I do. My mother, however, is a total weather channel junkie. She used to call me and say things like "Is it raining there?", then argue with me when I said that it wasn't--"it is too--you are all lit up green on the doppler radar". I didn't hear from her last night, so I figured it must be just a passing thing here.
Boy was I wrong. I was shocked today by the destruction in Alabama. She is fine; her town was not affected, but so many others were. I can't even imagine the horror of those parents who didn't even know where their kids were. Were they buried in thr rubble that used to be their school? Were they life flighted out to who knows where? How would they even begin to figure it out?
I think the sirens may terrify me again.
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
5:56 Arrive home. Unable to open door. Handle broken.
5:57 Go in back door. Ask kids about door (dog did it).
5:58 Find screwdriver. Take off door handle thinking something is just loose.
6:03 Inside mechanism of door handle collapses into multiple tiny parts. Say bad words.
6:05 Gather outside of door handle and go to Lowe's
6:11 Arrive at Lowe's; find door handles; find one that fits; deduce that one has to buy an entire new lock set instead of just the handle, which is not sold separately
6:22 Self check-out. Spend $107.00 for a new door lock set.
6:32 Arrive home. Tear into box
6:35 Get handle out of box and insert into door. Screw in screws.
6:40 Outside handle works; inside doesn't. Say bad words. Take off. Find missing part and insert.
6:42 Screw in again. Door fixed.
6:43 Gather junk and put away.
6:45 Wash hands. Tell kids you love them. Accept their admiration and praise.
6:50 Get in car. Drive.
6:58 Arrive at "super suppers" to meet friends and make "6 delicious take home dinners" for my family. Two minutes to spare.
I F***KING ROCK!!! Bring on that tool belt!
*since this degree of efficiency has never existed in my life I thought I better document here it for my future viewing pleasure
Addendum: As I finished typing this my youngest called from the bathroom. "I slipped and grabbed the shower thing and it broke." Sure enough, it broke.
This handy man thing is quickly ceasing to be funny.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
I started the weekend out on a very negative note--just exhausted, overwhelmed, and burned out. But, today I had a pivital moment in home ownership. I changed out a light switch.
My daughter's bathroom light has not worked in almost a year. I thought it needed lightbulbs, which my ex never would replace, but when I pressed my daughter (who had long ago given up on it) she told me that "it was broken--dad was supposed to fix it but he never did". Sure enough, I changed the bulbs and it still didn't work. Well, I decided that it either had to be the switch or the fixture, and since the fixture was newer (and a lot more work) I would try changing out the switch. I mean, how hard could it be? A trip to Walmart later I had my switch. And, yes, I changed that sucker out and only got shocked once (flipped the wrong breaker--oops!) When those lights came on I actually cried. It was really more than just a stupid switch; it was symbolic of so much in my life. I had what seemed to be an enormous, insurmountable problem (I have put this off for 2 months) and in 10 minutes I fixed it. Without help. Just dove in (did I mention I am terrified of electricity?) and did it. God, I felt like a million bucks.
Which inspired me to finish the tax mess on the living room table. And to take stock of all that I got done this week:
1. The house is painted.
2. The taxes are ready to go to the accountant--I am sure there is more to be done, but I've gotten a great start--the ex cleaned every scrap of paper out of this house when he left--no receipts for anything--so I just did it without that stuff. It is worth losing a few deductions not to have him in control of that aspect of my life anymore.
3. The garage has been cleaned of junk and now holds stuff ready to go to storage.
4. The utility room is cleaned out and rearranged and the new, improved litter box is in there instead of out in the hall.
All in all, not a bad week. This week the carpet cleaners are coming on Wednesday, and I plan to get a storage unit on Tuesday (I have to work in the office all day tomorrow--horrors!) I will call a home inspector tomorrow and get an appointment--boy, do I dread that! At this rate, I really will have this house ready to sell in a couple of weeks. Go Me!!!
Best of all, I had lots of wonderful comments and support on that wretched, horrible Thursday. Here's to a better week for us all!