Category: Home Life
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Almost ReadyWhat a day! I am exhausted, but still have much left to do ...
We had a really nice brunch with my parents today, at the Italian Market and Grill. Mucho yum yum and hours later I am still not hungry. But, I did consume about three days' worth of calories. Afterwards, I was planning on cleaning house and starting the cooking for tomorrow ... with help from the kids. Yeah right ... I did get a few tasks out of my daughter, who cleaned up her computer desk in the living room, and cleaned the bathroom for me before she took off to a party. My son was supposed to clean the cat boxes and take out trash. He up and disappeared with a friend a bit ago, saying he would do all that when he got back. Uh huh ...
But, I got the cooking done and the kitchen cleaned up. I made a breakfast casserole, got the Baked Mashed Potatoes started and some of the stuff for Broccoli, Wild Rice, and Mushroom Stuffing cut up and ready. I shouldn't have to spend much time in the kitchen tomorrow. Mom is bringing the ham and fruit salad. I will probably be able to enlist the kids in making the rolls. But oh, my goodness my feets are hurtin' me something awful from all that standing! I still have about 6 presents to wrap and the living room to vacuum and dust. I just might get through this!
Christmas this year has a sad undercurrent ... my thoughts have been with Lynne, Jacob, Lair and Norma - my former mother-in-law. Too much loss recently. This is such a horrible time of year to have to deal with raw grief. My prayers go out to all who are struggling ...
Friday, November 24, 2006
It’s my party and I’ll sulk if I want toFor those of you who have emailed and IM'd in response to the previous post ... thank you, don't worry, and/or go fuck yourself. Pick whichever applies best. Yes, I am just a whiny-assed crybaby and I am having a big old pity party. I am wallowing in self-pity and feeling very, very sorry for myself. And it is too fair to turn off comments*, so neener!
(*But I loved your email, I love you and your family ... that's what my life was supposed to be, only it got terribly, horribly mangled somewhere along the way. You made me smile, and at the same time released a torrent of soul-cleansing tears that really needed to get out. That at least allowed me to plaster on the happy face and go do the Turkey Day thing. So an extra thank you for saying the right thing at the right time.)
Yesterday's Thanksgiving dinner was certainly an interesting adventure. My parents decided they would rather eat at a restaurant. So off we went. Lo and behold, instead of just our nice little family, they brought along a couple of strays ... a woman from their church and her father. Nice people, but they felt the need to ask all kinds of seemingly innocuous questions, but for us, are hard to answer ... especially in a public place.
Like for my son:
Friend: Are you going to school? What grade?
Son: I graduated last year.
Friend: How nice! What school did you graduate from?
Son: Knoxville Adaptive. It's a school for 'tards.
Me: It's a special education school for students with all sorts of issues. [Son] has severe bipolar disorder.
Friend: Oh. I see. Well. Umm. Congratulations.
Son: (Becomes totally focused on getting just the exact amount of gravy on a piece of turkey for the next 10 minutes)
Or my daughter:
Friend: What school do you go to?
Daughter: Oak Ridge
Friend: Did you just start there this year? (Puzzled because my son went to Knoxville schools)
Daughter: No, I've been in Oak Ridge schools since kindergarten
Friend: Uhh ... ??
Me: She used to live with her father in Oak Ridge but came to live with me last summer. We moved to Oak Ridge so she could stay in the same school.
Friend: Oh, I see. Does your father still live there?
Friend: Oh that's nice, you can see him anytime then.
Daughter: No, I can't. His psychotic wife won't let me come to the house and see any of my family there and my dad doesn't care. They even made my oldest brother hate me and he won't speak to me. I can't even get my stuff that's at his house. Now I don't care about school at all anymore, I almost dropped out, now I do my classes in the guidance office and I have to take drugs to keep from losing my mind! (Runs off to the ladies room)
She did return after a bit, there was still dessert to be had, and the friend's father engaged her in a conversation about photography, in which my daughter was able to show off her extensive knowledge. Sweet man, he seemed to have a knack for knowing what to say and not say. When not talking about sensitive and personal issues, my daughter can be quite charming and delightful. You just have to know what topics to avoid.
We almost made it through without any major drama. But then my mom just had to ask me if I am OK. Really OK.
Mom: I can see it in your eyes. You are under a lot of stress.
Me: I'm OK, Mom. Really.
Mom: Honey, I worry about you.
Me: Not now, Mom. Not here. (Throat is constricting, eyes are stinging)
Me: (To the rest of the table) This apple pie is heavenly! You must try some!
And all I really want to do is hurl myself into my mommy's arms and have her hold my while I cry my eyes out. But being in the middle of a very nice restaurant, I had to restrain myself.
On the way out though, something happened. Something that put me back in touch with who I really am ...
As we waited for everyone to make their way to the front, to the bathrooms and gathering coats and stuff, I noticed out front that there was an elderly gentleman struggling to get up the steps with the assistance of a younger fellow. They weren't going to make it. I shoved my purse at my daughter and went out to them. The gentleman had been walking back to the restaurant and his legs just decided they weren't going to go any further. He just needed help to sit down. A waiter showed up with a chair, and I directed the younger men to help maneuver the gentleman over and around where he could sit, using body moving techniques that I had learned during my years in EMS. Other than a dent or two to his sense of dignity, he appeared to be OK. But I was concerned because he was a little cold and clammy. Now, he did put forth some extra physical exertion. It was about 60 degrees F, and he was wearing a blazer. He didn't seem terribly out of breath, a little winded but not distressed. I sat with him for a few minutes while he told tales of this and that.
The whole while I was thinking, THIS is what I should be doing, this is where I need to be. Taking care of people. It is what I do best. Being a paramedic was who I am, what I am. A caregiver, a healer, a helper.
I will never be able to go back to that. My physical issues would prevent me from being able to do the job, and I would have to start over from square one in schooling, all the way back to EMT school. Paramedic school is something only a masochist would do twice. It really is a grueling ordeal. But knowing that this is a precious and special part of me ... that urge to help and to give of myself, has brought me back to a place where I think I can carry on. Not like I want to, but I can cope with myself. The rest of it ... well, I came to realize a long time ago that there are just certain people for whom life is just shitty, and I am one of those people. Lucky me. I just have to deal with it. I may not do so as gracefully as I wish I could, but somehow I will ... kicking, whining, crying and screaming the whole way.
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Settling InI feel like I have been just shuffling this stuff around. The piles of boxes haven't seemed to get any smaller. But I think I am starting to see some progress ... just a tiny bit. But progress nonetheless.
The path between boxes is wider through the living room. And the front hall closet is now accessible. Most of the kitchen has been put away, or I thought it was. I came across yet another box of kitchen stuff tonight. This one has the kitty treats and cat nip in it. Faith and Dakota are very interested in this one box.
It has been slow going. My back does not allow me to bend over for any length of time at all. Then, somehow during the move, I irritated nerves in my arms or shoulders, and my hands have been almost constantly numb and tingling ... uber carpal tunnel, as it were. Moving is not for old people, that's for sure.
I am trying to get used to being in the old hometown. I lived here in Oak Ridge from when I was 13 until about 12 years ago. I moved to Knoxville to be closer to better job opportunities, and to my parents. Then, about 5 years ago, I got a job in Oak Ridge. The next two significant jobs have been there too. The writing has been on the wall for a while. It took the impetus of my daughter coming to live with me to give me the motivation to move back here.
Many long forgotten memories have been stirred up. People, places and events I haven't thought about in years ... it's like I had this whole other life, left it and now I am returning to it. I go to Walmart and see people I haven't seen or thought of in DECADES. It seriously starts to screw with the head. Oak Ridge is a strange little city. About half the population work out at "the plants" ... Y-12 Nuclear Weapons facility or ORNL ... this is probably the most over-educated city in the world, stuck right in the middle of a region known for under-education. Rocket-heads and rednecks ... living together in harmony.
I don't know if it was coincidence or what ... but my first real grocery shopping trip held a pleasant surprise. I spent LESS than I expected to! I had a cart stuffed full to over-flowing and fully expected to spend well over $100. Imagine my shock when the total came to just $65! Very helpful considering I am down to my last few dollars, with bills due, and child support won't kick in until next month. I guess I will have to abuse the old Visa card for a while.
We got the child support settled this week. It was not as much as I had hoped for ... what I really wanted was for him to pay through the nose, until it hurt. I still have memories of giving him half my check which he then spent on boats, pools, vacations and such, while I begged the landlord for an extra week, busted my ass working 60+ hours a week and learned to cook Ramen noodles 101 different ways. He did sit there and whine about how hard this is on him, our daughter moving in with me and it being primarily because of his sociopath wife. He needs to get a few clues here ... it is not about him, it's about the child, and he needs to pay attention to what has been happening and how that witch has utterly destroyed his family. She moved in, took over and proceeded to drive out anyone she didn't want around, starting with me. She is the ultimate gold-digger. She once waxed rhapsodical about her wonderful marriage ... but it wasn't about him, it was all about all the things he gave her. Materialistic, much? Hoo boy! He is such an idiot ... and he's about to step on his crank once again, if he doesn't let my daughter get her stuff from his house. His excuse? His wife won't allow her in the house. Grow some friggin' nads dude. Geez!!
Anyway ... I am getting used to the much slower pace of the small town. I've not had much of a social life for several years now, so I doubt I will be seeking out much in that area. My knitting group now has several people who work and/or live in this area, so we have decided to start having meetings here a couple times a month, the 2nd and 4th Thursday evenings at Panera Bread. So that will suffice for socializing. My work schedule will change next month to something more "normal"... Monday through Friday, 8 to 5. Yay! I will have weekends!
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
A Very Moving ExperienceWe made it ... barely.
I have discovered muscles I never knew about before ... and they are all sore as heck. My legs and feet will never be the same, my delicate back, however, made it through without any further injury ... thank the Good Lord. I am covered in scratches and bruises, and I doubt I will get caught up on my sleep anytime in the near future. Aside from the packing done for a week or so beforehand, the move was a 54 hour, nearly non-stop marathon of tough, hot, sweaty labor. The kids and I started after I got off work Wednesday night doing some cleaning and sweeping up at the new house.
Thursday, we got my parents' van and hauled a couple loads of boxes and such over, then did some more packing. My buddy arrived from Nashville that evening and we went over to the house and painted my bedroom. Insane? Yes indeed ... but the walls were the most hideous shade of bilious green-blue I have ever seen. Trimmed in dark brown. Blech! So we painted until 3 in the morning.
Up again at 8 on Friday, we got the big truck and started loading it up. I had to have it back by 7:00 the next morning to avoid another day's rental ... we made it with 40 minutes to spare. There was still had tons of stuff left at the apartment. And I had to be at work at 10:00.
At the house, I slept for about an hour, and then went in to work. I made it through with short cat naps at my desk, then that night, we hauled two more loads over in the car. Sunday night, the same and still had a few things left that wouldn't fit in the car. I sent my parents after those the next day. I did a bit of clean up there ... sweeping up garbage and vaccuuming. I would have done more but the landlord had taken the air conditioning unit away. Asshole.
Monday was a trip to Wally World to get a few items needed ... and we're done.
Except for the unpacking ... which I estimate will be done sometime next year. Meanwhile, the house looks a bit like downtown Beirut.
Pictures coming soon.
Monday, August 07, 2006
The way you Move Me!We're headed into the final stretch ... moving day is upon us, and damn if I'm not about to panic.
The truck is reserved for Friday, water and electricity will be cut on by Wednesday, cable and internet will be installed Friday. I think I have everything we need now. Just a few things to get at the last minute. I will need to get a couple of cheap coolers, ice and bottled water. It is supposed to be in the upper 80s or low 90s, so we will be needing plenty of hydration. I am not looking forward to that part of it ... I hate being all hot and sweaty.
We have a good deal of the packing done ... about half the kitchen, my grandma's china and crystal, books, CDs and DVDs. I cleaned out my desk ... had to run out and get a shredder because there was a ton of credit card bills, pay stubs, bank statements and other things with way to much info on them. I still have to do the books and stuff in my room, and my main closet - shoes mostly. Most of the rest we will pack as we load and go.
Thursday will be finish up packing day, and I will take a few van loads over in my dad's mini-van. I will also plan where everything will go, and figure out what else will be needed. I don't think it will need much cleaning, the lady there now has it neat as a pin and they have professional movers coming, who will pick up absolutely everything and pack it up. I ran into the folks that are there now yesterday at Staples. They said they have to leave some stuff behind, maybe some furniture, some cleaning supplies and other things they can't take overseas. I told them not to worry, leave it and I will take care of it. I am sure I can find homes for just about anything. Friday is the BIG day, when we will move the big stuff with the truck. The furniture, washer and dryer and the rest of the boxed up stuff.
I just wish it was all over with and done ...
Friday, August 04, 2006
On the Move!I wish that I could go to bed tonight and wake up in the morning in my new house ... with all my stuff there, put away and everything organized.
But this is probably gonna kill me. Today I did the electric/water thing ... my old place will be turned off on the 14th, the new one turned on by the 10th. Comcast will be out on the 11th to install ... and they are giving me a promotional rate on the internet service for 6 months. Not a huge amount, but every penny counts! I was able to put in a forwarding order on the mail online at usps.com and get a new driver license at tennesseeanytime.org. We had to go to the DMV office to get my daughter's license address changed though. That was retarded. It was also long ... and due to a storm, the power blinked twice, which caused their computers to go down.
We have started packing. This is going to be a huge job ... I have a 6 year accumulation of stuff to go through. I am trying to be as ruthless as possible, there are things here still in boxes from three moves ago - over 10 years! So, it is getting tossed. I wish I could say I am giving usable stuff away, but the fascist bitch at Freecycle is still ignoring me. I should dump my stuff in her front yard. Heh ... but I have bigger plans for her ass, when I get through this move.
Anyway ... a very lovely lady from Craigslist gave me a crapload of boxes and packing materials. Wowsa! That will be a huge savings on this move. I also got a 10% off coupon for Budget Truck rental. I have most of the bathroom packed, one of my closets. The living room is half done, the other half being my computer desk. The kitchen is next ...
Six days and counting ...
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Just move already!The lease is signed, deposit paid ... and I am more than ready to get this show on the road. Well, not ready in the practical sense. But I am ready to be out of this little apartment! Like NOW!
It's looking like we will be doing most of the packing on the 10th ... the 11th is when I will rent the truck and move the big stuff. How many geeks does it take to move a household? I dunno ... but we will find out. All of my moving buddies are techie-geeky kinda guys. One is coming all the way from Nashville. Another is one of my bestest friends ever ... we lost touch for a few years but recently have been emailing and trying to get together for lunch, we made it once! And the third is one of my newest friends ... blogger Doug who volunteered in the comments a few posts back. I just know these guys will get along like old buddies ... it will be an all day long party. Wooo!
This week, I will call to set up electric and water at the new house, and have it cut off here. Since I have VoicePulse phone service, I don't have to do a thing about that, except update my address on their web site. Comcast will be an interesting adventure ... I want to be sure I have service at the new place on the 10th, and service at the old through the 11th. However, they are infamous for their all-day appointment windows, and only if you are lucky, will the installer call before arriving. I can't sit at the house all day while I am supposed to be packing at the old ... I dunno how that will work out.
Sprint caused a pucker factor of 10+ today ... I got the first bill after adding a second phone to my plan. I was expecting something around $110, but it was $270! For some reason, they were charging 10 cents a minute for ALL the call on the second phone, even ones to the primary phone, which are supposed to be free, regardless! Then I got a customer service rep that was just shy of comatose. I was tempted to ask if there was anyone there that was awake. I kept checking to be sure the call wasn't disconnected, he would go so long without saying anything. At least it got straightened out.
Reason #125,378 that I am desperate to move ... darling daughter has a friend over for the night. I have to be up at 6:30. Every little noise and movement wakes me up. Uggghhhh ....
9 days and counting ... yikes!
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Moving on up!I saw my new house ... I. Am. Enchanted. Moving day is set for August 10 for the big stuff, the rest of it on the 11th. Volunteers to help with the move gladly accepted!
I am SO excited about this! I went by and saw the house last night. It is even nicer than the first two. This one is especially bright and sunny. It seems bigger than the other two, and seems to be in much better shape. The lady living there now has two little ones, and her husband is In the Air Force, currently stationed in Korea. He is coming home for a week and then they are shipping out to Germany for two years. So, she is all excited too.
I think I am most excited about the storage space this house has. It has a large utility room for the washer and dryer ... and the cat boxes! There's also a huge built in pantry, a big coat closet off the main hall, a linen closet by the bathroom, two big closets in the master bedroom, crawl space under the house, a covered back porch and a small storage building out back. The living room is twice as big as what I have now. The only downside is the kitchen, which is small and does not have a dishwasher. But that's what teenage kids are for, right?
Speaking of which ... I went out today with darling daughter and we looked at beds for her. I didn't think we would be getting anything yet, but I came across one heckuva deal. A discount furniture store is going out of business at the end of next month. (The one next to Kmart at Kingston Pk and Morrell Rd) State law prohibits advertising going-out-of-business sales more than 30 days before they actually do go out of business ... and they really do have to go out of business. But when we went in, they told us they were accepting any reasonable offer on what they have in stock. They just want to get rid of it. Anni picked out a queen size set, one of two they had left in the model. Original price was $1099. Their normal "discounted" price was $899. They had it on clearance for $599. I noticed that the one that was on the floor had a couple of stains on it. I offered $250. They countered with $350. I said $300 and throw in the frame. Done deal. Ha! I feel like I stole something!
I found someone on Craigslist that has a bunch of moving boxes and supplies they want to get rid of. I will be picking those up tomorrow afternoon. Sweet! That will save about $100 versus getting them through U-haul! I loves Craigslist. There's lots of goodies there for real cheap or even free!
Now I need to start going through all my junk, get rid of what I don't need and start packing up the rest ... I will be giving away or selling a lot of stuff. I have pots, pans, casseroles and other kitchen stuff, ladies size 6/6.5 shoes and boots, purses and bags, soaps and lotions, candles, yarn and knitting stuff, some jackets, books, VHS videos, books, old computer parts, a couple of cell phones. If you are interested, email me and let me know. I will be getting a list together of what I have, prices and more details.
Stuff I will be needing ... if you have, I might be interested in buying ... (free is good too!)
Hard wood floor care stuff
Queen size sheets and bedding
Large area rugs
Give notice to current landlord
Forwarding order with the post office
Call Comcast to move service to the new house (and wheedle for one of the newbie deals and a new digital cable converter)
Reserve a truck for the move - U-haul versus Budget
Change of address for Netflix, Sprint, and the other few entities that actually send snail mail. Everyone else can wait - DMV, VoicePulse, bank, credit cards
Change my renters insurance to the new place, auto insurance too
Register the car in Anderson County ($25 versus $60 in Knox Co)
Whew! I'm tired just thinking about all of this!
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
The Move is OnI tentatively have a house to rent in Oak Ridge ... Yay!
I haven't really seen the inside of it yet ... not this one in particular. I have seen two others that the same people own, and they are the same style and layout. BIG! 3 bedrooms, tons of storage space. It's a "C house" for those of you familiar with the cemestos in OR. This one is in a really nice neighborhood near the middle of town. I will be about 3 miles from work, my daughter will be less than two from school. Luckily, it is just outside the "walk zone" so she will have the option of riding the bus. Depending on the day of the week, phase of the moon and time of day, my son is either excited or dismayed about moving. Go figure. No one is arguing that we need the room desperately.
The big move, if all goes according to plan, will happen August 10 and 11. Those are my days of from work. So, I have about two weeks to pack, notify, transfer, etc. My brain is about to go into meltdown. I haven't moved in over 6 years and then I had the luxury of taking my time, and a flexible work schedule. I cringe at the thought of how much junk I have accumulated over the years and what it will take to get it all packed up. I don't even want to think about how much this will cost ... I have to pay two months rent up front, get a U-haul truck, pay for the cable to be installed, my daughter needs a bed, and could really use a computer of her own, the house will need stuff too, I wish I could afford new furniture ... I need a winning lottery ticket! Yeah! That's it!
Pictures and progress updates to come ...