Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lightbulb moment

Last night, Liv had her Brownie meeting at our local craft super store. Her troop was working on an art badge. David didn't have to work late, so he stayed with Charlotte, and Molly, and I had one whole hour to myself to browse. It was amazing.

First of all, to be able to wander aisles stocked with paper, and brushes, and tubes of paint, and just touch all of the bristles, and paper stock was something I never get to do. I am never alone. Ever. If I take a minute of two to indulge in something like that, I usually end up ticked off because Charlotte is begging for something, Olivia has to pee, or the baby is whining. Every time, I leave reluctantly, always promising myself that I will come back alone, yet I never do.

Well, last night was my night. And wander and take my time I did! It was so inspirational. I can't even explain how desperately I have been yearning to paint. I don't have the money to do it, or the space. I really want to use oil paints, which stink, so I could never get away with doing it in my tiny house. The lovely smell of linseed oil, and the stink of turpentine would probably make us high constantly. Not to mention the mess. Yet, I have this overwhelming need to do it. I have been thinking about it day and night.

Maybe when the weather gets a bit warmer, and I can set up on the back deck. I saw an easel that was only $14.99 and the store always offers 50% off coupons. I would love to go and get one. And then, slowly amass some paints. And brushes.

 I looked at canvases, and recalled days in art studios, stretching and nailing canvases together. Sitting on paint stained concrete floors, with the smell and breeze of the ocean, blowing in. Seems so long ago. It was actually. A lifetime.

I had so much time then. Hours and hours of it. Now, time goes in increments, passing from one chore to the next, dotted with meals for others, and daily errands. Why can't I be that carefree girl anymore. I know she is very much in me. I feel her trying so hard to come out. And really, all of these self imposed  rules, and regimentation, just seems plain silly.

Because if I try and squash my need to do all of these things inside of me, in the name of lack of space and time, I will regret it for the rest of my days.

To live in a manner that I feel I am supposed to, rather, in a way that would feel so much more natural, and be so rewarding and joy filled, seems like the better option.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Waiting for Friday

It is Monday. I have a little over a quater tank of gas. I have chicken, chicken, and more chicken in the freezer. I have about $6.00 to my name. I can see it in the giant plastic water cooler jug. (the vacation fund....that I continue to empty once a month, and the girls get mad, because they are actually thinking we are saving for a vacation!)

Payday isn't until Friday, and that gas has to stretch from today, until then. I have to take Olivia to Brownies tonight, and I have to drive to and from the bus stop. So, I think that any other trips are out, which makes me feel bad for Molly. Today we normally go to story time at the library, but I can't stretch the gas to include that round trip, so we won't be going today.

My secret indulgence this week has been Pinterest. I can't believe how talented some people are. And some of the ideas they come up with are genius. It is making me want to re-purpose everything I have around here. I saw flowers planted in an old rusty radio flyer wagon. We have one, rescued from the trash, and given to us by Davids grandfather. I can't wait to clean it up, and fill it with soil, and bright flowers. I know just where I will put it.

I made a sugar scrub yesterday from a recipe I saw there as well. Could not have been easier. Three ingredients. Looking forward to my shower. Some of the recipes are inspiring too. And seeing as I have four nights worth of chicken, I have discovered several meals that I can make, and maybe my girls won't complain too much. Chicken...reinvented.

Thankfully, I made lentil soup last week, and froze individual portions of it, so it looks like I know what I am having for lunch everyday. And I just heard the garbage men roll away. The bill is late. But they picked up. Whew!

Just another Monday.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Every single person I know, and I mean everybody, is struggling. I was thinking about that the other day, and as I went through each friend of ours in my mind, I realized that no one I know is having an easy time. No one, at least I know, has been immune.

One girlfriend of mine has experienced job loss three times in less than a year and a half. Her husband has been laid off that many times, and he is a contractor who does not qualify for unemployment. When he loses his job, they go from living paycheck to paycheck, to terrified. Her minimum wage job at the mall can't support her family of five, let alone pay the bills. And recently, in the midst of all of their turmoil, their only car was totaled. It just keeps piling on for them.

Another friend of mine works, again, full time for minimum wage. Her husband has been out of work for months. They are struggling to feed their three children, pay their bills, and are unable to pay their mortgage at this time. Their once certain future seems damned. She is stressed, and depressed. Their marriage is suffering. How could it not, right? Even their kids are feeling it. A once healthy, happy family, now left floundering.

From writing here, in this space, I have met so many people going through the same story. Just under a different roof. People approach me everyday (thanks to that terribly unflattering photo of me!) and share what is going on in their life. They tell me I could be writing about them. And really, I am. I tell the story of my own families struggles, and joys here, but really, I am talking about all of us.

All of us wanting our fair shot. All of us who are responsible homeowners. All of us who work harder than ever, for less than we have ever had to show for it. And all of us who lay in bed at night, and think not of ourselves, but our children. Where will we wind up? What will become of us? How much harder can we work, to make it all better?

While I know I am in good company, regarding this whole mess, and my families story could be any body's story, and sadly, is millions of families, and individuals, story, someone reached out to me last week, and told me that what I write about here is getting terribly annoying.

 Bingo! It sure is! I am tired of it too. Really, I would love nothing more than to see every body's quality of life improve. I would love it if the bank that is illegally foreclosing on my home would take a good look at the very contracts we signed with them, and adhered to, and realized that they are violating their own agreement with us! I would love to write about not just my own families triumphs, and successes, but every suffering person I know.

This same person advised me to "pack it up, move somewhere more affordable, and get on with life!" While I appreciate their suggestions, I can't even afford to rent a moving truck!Why would I walk away from a home that my husband and I worked so hard for. My mortgage payment is less than a rental! The mere notion of just "giving up" saddened me. Sorry pal. That is just not in my makeup.

 To suggest throwing in the towel when I know how wronged we have been seems cowardly to me. That would be the easy thing to do. Walking away from my debts would be the irresponsible thing to do, when all we want to do is pay them. Sticking debt to others would be adding to an already massive problem. Fighting to pay for what is mine, is, in my opinion, the only option.

You see, my situation is what is happening everywhere. A snowball effect, that we, and by we, I mean the millions of people suffering in this financial fallout, did not create. Yet it is here,  on top us, and we are all rolling down the hill, crammed in the nucleus of that snowball, racing at top speed, unable to stop. And it is annoying! It is tiring! It is downright maddening! It sucks!

But there are tons of us. And I am hoping with every bit of might that I have within me, that the powers that be are listening. That someone in Washington D.C. is really hearing us. All of us who are just getting by, day to day, and trying not to think about the future, because the future seems so frightening. So uncertain. 

In the State of the Union address on Tuesday night, President Obama said that it was time for everyone to pay their fair share, including the wealthy, in order for everyone to have a level playing field for economic success. My heart leapt as he said this. I thought, yes! Why should all the families I know of, my own included, pay for the greed and irresponsibility of others? Why should all of us, trying to play by the rules, play with others, who the rules don't apply for? Is that fair? I thought that was how it supposed to be all along. When did that change, and why did it? 

He also said that the American dream, (you remember that one...the one about working hard, and being able to raise your family, provide a home for them, and get your kids off to college, and then retire, and have a life! yeah...that one!)  is a promise that needs to be kept. The American dream is simply not dead.

I have held that belief for so long. And at times, I have all but considered it off the table. But maybe, someone is listening. Maybe, this could really happen. Maybe we can all get on with our lives, and our hard work will pay off. And it won't be so scary anymore.

For all of us.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

This morning

Thinking about Jules Bistro and Sunday brunch there. The bloody mary's were something else. And the strolling accordion player made you feel like you were in another city. And you could smoke, everywhere, and I still did...

Thinking about manicure and pedicures. Sometimes, twice a week, just because I changed my mind about the color. 

Thinking about my old hangout, The Raccoon Lodge, the east side one, before it closed, and was a real dive bar.

Thinking about the best steak frites I have ever had at  Le Charlot, and the days of being waved in, ahead of the long line, because I was a regular.

Thinking about my little hideaway, where I felt as small as a mouse. And could spend hours.


Thinking about Encore Consignment shop, where, if you looked hard enough, you could find $30.00 Hermes scarves, and barely worn Prada boots, and old lady alligator clutches.

Thinking about the most decadent Bearnaise sauce, that tasted good on anything, from this little after work haunt.

Thinking about the clean clothes piled up in every body's bedrooms that have yet to put away.

Thinking about the pile of boots, and snowsuits cluttering the mudroom.

Thinking about what to do with the chicken thighs in the fridge for dinner tonight.

Thinking about my cabinets, and the jumble of pots and pans that are piled up in them, like the game mousetrap.

Thinking about more than I can say. Things that are back to haunt us.

And I don't want to think about those particular things.

 So I will go back to the others.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Imperfect Monday

Perfect Saturday. I put pajamas on, on Friday night, and stayed in them until Sunday morning. Yes...disgusting...but so indulgent. I have not done that since before children!

It snowed, and it looked beautiful. The girls played, and attempted to make a snowman, but it was powder, and just fell apart.

David cooked meatballs for dinner, and it was cozier than I could have imagined.

Yet, for both David, and I, anxiety is running high. I am getting scared. Really worried about the future. Really stressed about what is going to happen to us. So is David. And when we start talking about it, we just don't have any solutions. I just wish I knew it was all going to be alright.

It's Monday morning. I woke up with that yucky, something is wrong, but I don't what it is feeling. It is grey and gloomy looking outside.

I have had this sense, for a very long time now, that something is on the horizon for my family. Something really wonderful. I felt like some days, I could see a light at the end of the tunnel.

I am not feeling that so much today. I sense something out there...but it doesn't seem so bright today.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

1.19.2012 4:46 p.m.

It is amazing what a little nail polish will do.

Dinner about to be made.

Smells like snow.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cabin fever in full bloom

David worked overtime last night. When overtime is available, it is great, as we really need the money. But the after school hours alone with my three girls literally drives me mad some days.

 As soon as they are off the bus, we are off and running. Two girls chattering about every detail of their school day, unpacking book bags, homework, enforcing twenty minutes of reading with threats, all while preparing dinner, and serving it, which includes cutting two girls food into bite size pieces, and pouring drinks, and cleaning up spills, all jammed into a two hour span.

 It gets a little hectic without David being home. I usually just get seated to eat with them, and despite my direction to "wait for everybody to be seated before eating"  (read...me!)
 I usually get in about one bite before having to get someone another serving of something, or clean up the baby's mess. It becomes overwhelming. And irritating.

Then it is showers, and getting ready for school tomorrow, and pajamas, and I have to do the dishes, and pots and pans, from dinner, all the while screaming directions and breaking up fights from my post at the kitchen sink. I lose my temper often. I hear just how unpleasant my tone is. I just want to get them home from school most days because I miss them, but when it is me alone, without David, my tag team partner, I just want to rush through it all, and get them into bed. I just want some quiet.

We wrap up our day watching something mindless on TV. It is quiet time, or it's supposed to be. I just want to finally sit. And really, I would like to say nothing most days. But last night....holy cow....Olivia was non-stop. Every detail of Extreme Home Makeover was discussed. Not only that, every commercial was re-enacted for me. I kept smiling that odd Mom smile that I know does not look like my regular smile. It sort of conveys how I feel some times." I love you, but I don't want to hear what your opinion of the new Swiffer commercial is." And if she began a sentence with "guess what????" one more time, I literally was going to cry. So, the odd smile stayed put. And I gazed at the clock, waiting for bedtime.

Maybe it is this stretch of Winter that makes me go batty every year. This odd time of cold days, and colder nights. Too much togetherness in my tiny house. Every cent so tightly budgeted gives us no wiggle room to do much as a family. We took the girls for a ride through Mountainhome on Saturday, and that was a ride riddled with complaints. "When are we going home?" I thought to myself, we can't go anywhere else, at least a car ride is a change of scenery. I didn't want to go home. We are always there. But, home we went. And home is where I have been. Waiting. And worrying.

Worrying if and when our foreclosure will carry on. Worried that this place that I call home, and is feeling more like a cell the last few weeks, will be no more. Like maybe the better days of our life are happening right now, and I am waiting in vain. Waiting for a time in our lives, that is happening now.

 Living on borrowed time is easy to shove into the back of your mind when day to day life is happening. But as I long for Spring, I fear I am not being present in my here and now. Because isn't that all we really have?

David is working late again tonight.  Today, I am thankful that he is. And today, I will wait for my girls to hop off the bus. And listen to them chatter to me. Happily. And I will wipe that odd smile off my face. Because the day might come that my girls might not want to share anything with me. And I will long to hear "guess what?" one more time. And the quiet of a home, maybe not this one, will become deafening.

 I spend days waiting for the first bulbs of Spring to bloom, and imagine the trees outside of my windows green and lush with leaves, and my windows open, blowing in warm breezes.

 But the Spring might not bring what I wish for.

I might be longing for this long cold stretch of Winter, and wanting to do it all over again.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Liebster Award

Thank you, thank you, thank you, to my fellow blogger, Becky.

 Over the weekend, she bestowed on me (upon me?) the Liebster Award. Liebster means "dearest" in German. The Liebster award is given to up and coming bloggers, who have fewer than 200 followers.

There is no evaluation committee or formal award process (darn!) for the Liebster, but it is better than that. It is recognition that a peer has noticed and appreciated your hard work.

There are just a few rules that come along with the Liebster Award. They are as follows:
* Thank your Liebster Award presenter on your blog.
* Link back to the blogger who awarded you.
*Reveal your top five blog picks, who fit within the award parameters.
* Inform them that you have chosen them by leaving a comment on their blog.
* Post the award on your blog.

I began reading Becky's blog back when I first started writing. I feel as if Becky and I are friends, and some days, I wish we lived close, so we could share a meal together, and some wine. She makes me want to be a better Mom, friend, and wife, not to mention, steer clear of the middle aisles in supermarkets, and join the PTA. I was inspired to can from all of her recipes, and some days, feel like maybe the knitting boat didn't leave without me. Her writing is really fluid, and you can almost hear her smile in every word. Her blog, chicken wire and paper flowers, is wonderful. Give it a read.

I started reading her blog through......
1- Life in Sugar Hollow.  A friend of mine, and a mutual one of Becky's, writes in the most scrumptious, descriptive, clever, sentences. She lives in a place called Sugar Hollow. It just all sounds and looks like a dream. And if ever a girl deserved a dream of a life, it is Tracy. She is a living doll. Truly, one of the good ones out there. And her talent is limitless. I am proud to own two of her gorgeous photos. She is another one I would love to sit on a porch with, and really get down to it. Of course, I know some kind of yummy cocktail would be involved. (I am seeing a theme here)

2-Crackers in Bed.  Judy has had a rough ride. She went from being married, and having two little boys, and sadly, realized she was not married to the man she thought he was. Or rather, she hoped he was. Her life isn't quite where she thought it was going to be, at this point, and she is raising her two little guys on her own, after fleeing a situation that literally, became life threatening. I'm talking mob life threatening. She will make you laugh too, as well as feel just as angry, right along with her.

3- Then there is Living my Life in Sepia. Written by a truly, truly, funny woman. She hasn't written a lot lately (nudge, nudge) and some days, when I am reading what she has posted, I feel like she leaves me wanting more. I like her style, and she (Jenn) has a big brain, and really thinks. A lot. You can feel it.

4- Homegirl on the Range. This girl is funny. And real. And broke. But she definitely is not crying about it.

5- And then there is Lily. Written by my old college roommate, Kendra. When Kendra and I lived together, oh so many years ago, I don't think we always saw eye to eye. She always had her head buried in a book, or was writing, writing, writing. I used to wonder what the hell she was writing about, because some days, she wasn't doing homework! She would actually stay in on a Friday night! But whenever I hear Neil Young, and the smell of a Camel light, I am transported back to another time. Kendra is the oldest soul. Her writing is amazing. You see a sunrise, and she sees something totally different. Her words are breathtaking. Now I am risking giving her this Liebster award, as I can't see her bestowing it on anybody, because really, that is not how she rolls. And that is OK. Her blog is a must read. The pain inside of her, some days, breaks my heart.

I have met a lot a really amazing women since I started blogging. It has literally changed my life, and how I feel about myself, and what direction I am heading in. A daily writing habit, one that I hoped might be therapeutic for me, and allow me to vent to nameless, faceless people, has given me the honor of meeting some incredible people, hear some unbelievable tales, and realize, we are all in this muck together, and it is way better to be kind, and encouraging to each other, than judgemental.

It has helped me more than you know.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday the 13th

Making a pot of chili. The wind is howling. Of course, I just restocked our fridge, so I keep thinking we are going to lose power at any moment, so I am cooking now, in preparation for darkness. At least we can use the back deck as a giant freezer.

I saw an ambulance go up the block yesterday, to the house where the person lives who is drunk everyday. It went up slowly, and was there for a bit, and as I was waiting for the girls bus, it left slowly. I have been worried. And today, two police cars drove up the block.

I hope that it isn't anything bad. I think I would live with regret forever.

Three day weekend is upon us. The kids will be home from school soon. So will David. I look forward to weekends. I love us all being together. Not every second, mind you. But I love having them all safe here with me.

So chili will be served, by candle light tonight...with or without power.

And a small prayer whispered at dinner, for a broken soul.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

From my kitchen window

I witness something that I wish I didn't have to see, most everyday.

 Someone who lives close by me is struggling terribly, with a substance abuse problem. Some days, I think that it's none of my business. I don't know this person. I don't even know their first name. Yet, I have seen this person at some very low points, right outside my kitchen window.

 I have seen them fall into the ditch next to my driveway with a bag of wine. I have seen them unable to stumble home. I have witnessed them sitting on the street, weeping. I have driven them home after they collapsed in my driveway.

This past Saturday morning made me the saddest. It was 8 a.m., and they were struggling to get home. I was just getting up to make coffee, and there they were, at the end of my neighbors driveway, burying bottles in the leaves, before making it home. I saw them look around before staggering away.

I wanted to run after them. I wanted to put a blanket around them, and pour them some coffee. I wanted to know what had brought them to this awful point in their life, and what, if anything could be done to help them. Could I call someone for them? Did they just need a friend? I realize that there is nothing I can do for them. Except what I can do from my kitchen window.

I sent David out to get the bottles and throw them away. At first he thought that it wasn't our business. I did too for a minute. But we quickly rationalized that our daughters play outside, and I didn't want random bottles of alcohol lying about. He ran up the hill, uncovered them, and trashed them. I knew it wouldn't make a bit of difference. This would not stop anything. But it was all we could do.

I have a friend who has been watching two dogs endure hours in the cold, tied up, left in a yard, all day. No water. Food brought out occasionally. They sit, and wait. Wait for someone to come home and play with them. Wait to be invited into the warm house. It is breaking her heart. She finally went over and told their owners that she just couldn't watch these two beautiful animals suffer like that anymore, and last weeks freezing cold snap was the last straw.

She didn't get the response she had hoped for, and finally, after contacting the ASPCA, she is now the victim of verbal attacks, and threats against her family from the dogs owners. She is upset that she now has to live under this constant tension. She is regretting her decision to get involved. She said that she sees now why people don't do anything when they see something wrong, because they end up the bad guy.

When do you get involved? When do you finally step in and try and right something that in the pit of your gut, you know is so wrong? Is it subjective, like a spectrum, and my version of unacceptable is someone else's version of OK?

Half the time I spend gazing out my kitchen window, I am worried. Worried for my family. Worried about if and when, we lose our home, we will be living all together in one bedroom at my mom and dads. I stare out into the distance, and try so hard to peer into the future.

 But then I see this stumbling person. Drunk and incoherent. Lost, and in pain. I can't look past them. I can't pretend what I am seeing isn't there. Or it's none of my business. No more than my friend can pretend she doesn't hear the dogs barking, hours on end. Calling for someone, who sadly, isn't coming. When do you make that decision? That despite what the repercussions are, it is time to help. It is time to reach out your hand, and do what you can?

That thought has been haunting me. And when I saw that shell of a human return Saturday afternoon, and begin frantically searching through the leaves, and checking up and down the block for bottles they knew they had stashed away, I felt sadness. I felt like David and I had done something wrong. Maybe we had stuck our nose in where it didn't belong.

 And then I read this.

"The creation of a more peaceful and happier society has to begin from the level of the individual, and from there, it can expand to one's family, to one's neighborhood, to one's community, and so on."  - The Dalai Lama

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

stop and smell the paperwhites

Just a few shots of some things that made me happy over the last few days.

Molly getting "big girl panties". An unbelievable winter sunset, and my paper whites. Davids arch enemy.

I plant them every year. And every year David gets headaches from their powerful fragrance. I love the smell, and I love having flowers blooming indoors, when it is so bare outside.

 David thinks I do it deliberately, knowing how they make him nauseous. I don't. Honestly. But every year, I pot the bulbs, and the girls love watching their overnight growth, and every year, David sneezes from them.

But he suffers, and I continue. I don't know. I really should re-think them. But I LOVE looking at them. And smelling them. I do think though, that he likes looking at them.

Monday, January 9, 2012


The weekend came and went, quickly. David kept remarking how much the girls talk. Especially Olivia. Wow! Boy can she. From the minute she wakes up, she chatters on and on. Some moments, it becomes unbearable. I feel bad for thinking that, and even saying it, but her energy is exhausting.

She broke her toe on Saturday. She dropped a giant rock on it, as her and her friend from next door were attempting to move it. Squashed it like a grape. It was bloody, and looked so flipping painful. It was hard to look at it. Right away, I started getting ready to take her to the emergency room. She said that she wanted David to take her. It kind of socked me in the gut a little, I gotta say. I even asked her twice if she was sure. I mean, I know I suck in a crisis. I cringe, and scream, and resemble someone going into hysterics. I realize, I am supposed to be the calming force in an emergency. I just have never been able to do that.

So off they went, and I darted around the house, nervously straightening things, and putting laundry away, and starting one project, and then would abort that mission, and get going on something else, and do it all over again. I knew it was just a broken toe, and she would be fine, but I felt an ache in my arms. I really did. She is my baby. My baby. I feel that I am just a little bit closer to the girls than David is. I really do. That might sound awful, but they grew in my body, and all became big, and strong from breast milk exclusively, so I feel just a smidge closer.

I was supposed to be there. And I wasn't. And I felt like I was missing an event in Liv's life that she will remember, and I wasn't a part of it. I realize how very selfish that sounds, and I do adore that she loves her Dad to the moon and back, I really do. But, I felt a little less. That is really all I can come with to describe how I felt. Less.

I snapped out of it, and relished taking care of her. It felt nice to get her home, and put a pillow under her foot, and make a big deal about her crutches, which by the way, we have heard about non.stop. Her friend and Charlotte brought her flowers and balloons, and a card. We made phone calls, at her request, to alert friends and family.

She is loving the attention. Eating it up, actually. And I realized, that she isn't just mine. She is ours. And she needs us both. In different ways, but she needs us both, just the same. Being a mom comes in gushes for me. Day to day taking care of business makes the big picture get hazy more often than not. And then all of a sudden, you realize how very important you are to some pretty important people. And you might not always be.

So, while I can get it, I'll take it.

And listen, and listen, and listen....

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

January, and all of its splendor

The noise in my car is louder than ever. And the inspection is up. And I need four new tires. SO....looks like I won't be going anywhere for a while.

 David gets paid today, and we have a stack of bills to pay. The ones that I pretended didn't come over the happy Christmas season. The ones that I totally forgot about...well not really...but filed away in my mind to be dealt with later. Sadly, later has arrived. Car insurance is due on the car that I can't afford to fix and drive. Ironic.

And the girls. Olivia has had some sort of a growth spurt, and none of her school clothes fit. It makes me upset. She is getting bigger. That in itself makes me sad. I want to shrink them. Keep them little. But since that isn't going to happen, the growth is hard to keep up with. I feel like we just got her new sneakers. But she needs new pants, and new shoes, and new shirts. That is just her public school uniform. She also needs new jeans, and a new winter coat, and some new socks. It never ends.

Charlotte is tiny, and has not had a growth spurt in a while. And thankfully, she gets all of Olivia's clothes, so she has a massive wardrobe. But her sneakers aren't fitting quite so well anymore. And she needs new socks. And everybody needs new gloves, because they disappear. Daily. No matter how many gloves I buy, they vanish. It is a seasonal mystery.

Food level is low. I hate how empty the fridge looks at the end of the pay cycle. I pull what we have in there closer to the front of the shelves so it doesn't look quite so empty. We had pasta last night with sauce that I made and canned over the summer, from tomatoes from Josie Porter Farm. The smell of the basil, and those beautiful tomatoes took me back to a warmer time. A time that did not have me panicked that my heat was running CONSTANTLY.

And I swear, someone is eating grated cheese here, by the bowl full. We go through so much of it. Or maybe it's that we eat so much pasta. Either way, I am always buying it, and it is always gone. Another mystery. The cheese and the gloves are somewhere together laughing at me.

The price of paper napkins has gotten so out of control, that I just can't do it anymore. To buy something that you are going to throw away just drives me crazy. We have been using cloth ones, but that makes me nuts, because it increases laundry, and that is an expense. Eating is costing too much as it is. I just can't add to the expense. I swear, I wish we were like snakes, and only required a meal or two, every few months. This daily eating, and all the paraphernalia that it requires is putting me over the edge.

Weather man says that the "warmer temperatures" we had been having will return. That will be a relief.

 I can't take the expense of just sitting in my warm house. It is way too costly.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Spring forward

And just like that, calm.

 Everyone boarded their buses. Molly is eating cereal, and blackberries. Elmo is talking to her, as she eats. (she thinks he is talking to her anyway)

 I have a whole day before me. There is laundry to be done, and dishes to be loaded, only to be unloaded. The floor could use a cleaning. Same with the bathroom.

But I really don't feel like doing a thing.

 I just love that I can hear my wind chimes, and I am thankful for the warmth of my house. And I am happy that my girls ate all of their breakfast, and were excited to go back to school. Well, Charlotte not so much, but I think they will be happy to be back.

Normal is nice. And the irregularity of our past week was great.

But I am happy it's January. We just need to get past these few months, and then it will be Spring. I can feel it.

One thing that I will do today is drop some sunflower seeds in various potted trees around my house. They are the giant sunflower kind. And dig out some bulbs. Force a little Spring into our Winter.

I am eagerly awaiting the sun.

Monday, January 2, 2012


My regular routine has been disrupted for so long, I no longer remember what it was. Too many girls here, for too long. The holiday break has been great, believe me, I love not having to get up and get everyone washed, dressed, and fed, and to the bus stop. I have been lingering in bed, making breakfast later, and then lunch is not at the right time, and dinner has been being eaten later and later. That hasn't been so bad.

But too much food, and wine, and putting off cleaning, and chores, chalking it up to "why bother" because the girls just mess it up anyway, has rendered this place a disaster. And made my head feel cluttered. I have to say, when that school bus leaves tomorrow, I can almost feel the relief right now. I normally loathe routine, and the monotony of the everyday cycle of cooking, cleaning, folding, putting away...but I will welcome it this week. I honestly don't feel like my exchanges with the girls have been pleasant. I notice how I am speaking to the kids through gritted teeth. Often.

New Years was great. The girls stayed up late. David and I had a "date", after feeding the girls junk. I feel like I have not prepared many healthy meals this week. Vegetables have been left out of quite a few dinners, and dessert served more. I feel guilty, but at the same time, who cares, right?

We all stayed up way too late on New Years Eve, and slept really late the next day. We took a long walk, and even brought along our dog, who often gets overlooked. My friends dog was put to sleep the other day, and she wept on the phone to me, and said take Sophie out for a walk, and throw a ball to her. Please. It made me feel awful for her. It made me feel awful for Sophie.

And now, to deconstruct Christmas. Tree down, and out today. Decorations put away. All the pretty lights, stashed until next year. I will miss the pretty glow they give the house. I guess I will just have to light more candles then usual, to give the same effect. But it will be nice to have less stuff everywhere. I feel like every surface is covered, with something.

But it was really beautiful. The whole season, start to finish. I recall feeling sick to my stomach last year, as we took Christmas down. Putting away the boxes, I wondered if we would have Christmas here again, and if we didn't, where would we be. We are still here, and I have that same question this year, but I have a little bit more optimism about it. Like we just can't be pushed around when we know we are not in the wrong.

I hope we are here next year. I really do. Watching my girls walk through the woods the other night, with flashlights, and pillows, giggling the whole time, on their way to their friends house next door for a sleepover, I felt a flash of safety, and knew at that moment, the girls will remember this when they are women. They reached the front door, and called out "Bye Mom".

It really made me smile.