This is the Way I Live (on IJ)

There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness." - Dave Barry

October 15th, 2011

It's the weekend, for those of you who celebrate such things. @ 07:13 am

Current Mood: awake

I don't much care if it's Saturday. Faeon gets off Wednesdays and Thursdays, Chad gets off Mondays, Patrick seems to work seven days a week, Lee still doesn't have a job, Tom's retired, and I very seldom get to see the girls. Today especially. It's Steve's birthday, and they're having a party. Even Justice's boyfriend Jordan is invited. But not me. That hurts. I thought we were making such good progress.

Canceled the exterminator appointment, but still don't know what to do about the ants. Clean everything with bleach and put out ant traps, but the swarms still happen and really gross me out. The things are living in my walls now and there are 10,000 cracks and holes in the walls through which they get into the house. At least didn't wake up to any new outbreaks, but there were a few scouts checking out my plants on the windowsill.

Went to the Iron Chef restaurant yesterday with Tom, Patrick, Chad, Chad's girlfriend Brandy, and the girls. Then went to Sallly's Beauty Supplies and bought the girls a fortune in hair and make-up products. Also brought them over to the house for a while, even though it isn't allowed. When I took the girls home, Elizabeth invited me in to hear the player piano. It was my mother's and wasn't working when I gave it to Elizabeth, but $200 later and it doesn't sound bad at all. All in all, we got through the evening with no drama, so I consider it a success.

I've started reading Snuff on my Kindle, Tom brought me a copy of the 'Guards, Guards' game, and Jinx sent me not only a copy of the movie Going Postal but also recordings of two of Terry Pratchett's interviews that weren't seen in the U.S. Looks like it should be a very Discworldy week.

Tom and I are going to a play tonight - The Love List. Otherwise, all I'm hoping for is that I can make a dent in my chores.

June 8th, 2011

I just can't do this alone. @ 08:06 am

Current Mood: pessimistic
Tags: ,

Over the weekend and on to Monday I had to concentrate on the Reno Worldcon, and there's still work there that must be done. Unfortunately, I haven't heard from Dave Ratti, my Deputy, in over a month, which is very unusual. The fellow recruited for purchasing is kinda filling in the vacuum, but not entirely.

But since then, my mind is and must be focused on the trip to Galesburg to clean out my mother's house. Seven of us leave on June 23rd, counting two children. Faeon and his roommate, our only "muscle," can only stay a couple days because of Faeon's work. The rest of us come home on July 2, although now it looks like I may stay longer, because I am having trouble booking a moving van before July 5.

There are so many details, so much to arrange. It's hard enough to plan cleaning, selling or giving away everything including furniture - but on top of it, I have become more and more nervous about the fact that Elizabeth is coming with us. After all this time without seeing her and after the way she has treated me, this feels like it's going to be super-awkward. And Elizabeth's niece and two great-nieces, whom I barely know, are joining us when we get there. Also a friend of Kathy's, whose primary purpose seems to see Kathy and to babysit.

It's going to be such a circus just getting these people through the day-long trip to my mother's house, much less what faces us when we get there.

Garbage bin, estate sale ads and signs, packing up my cousin's artwork that has to be shipped, contacting the rescue mission, arranging moving vans...

And then there is the fact that before the new furniture can be moved in here some of the old furniture has be be moved out and the dining room floor has to be repaired.

I have pushed about as much responsibility onto Faeon as I think he can take. Now I have to contact my own nieces to help with preparations.

I've fallen into a flexible daily routine lately, which is good. Unfortunately it includes a two hour nap and a four hour anxiety attack during which I can't come out of my bedroom.

June 5th, 2011

Further on the topic of abandonment @ 10:25 am

Current Mood: abaondoned

Did you ever notice how often "I'll call you" means "I really don't care if I ever talk to you again."

June 4th, 2011

If it's really not possible, you shouldn't have promised in the first place. @ 04:56 pm

Current Mood: abandoned

People shouldn't promise to visit or help with something and then make last minute excuses. That's not okay. It's hurtful

When I'm alone I cry and say I hate them, but really I'm just disappointed and hurt.

April 17th, 2011

More trouble than it's worth? @ 11:21 am

Current Mood: grumpy

I knew Kathy was going to help clean out mom's house. I was moved when Elizabeth said she would keep her promise to help me like I helped her when her mother died, and overjoyed when she said the girls could come. Not real surprised that Memphis has to come. Was not expecting Mandalynn. Sean wants to see the house one last time, and he and Lee will be there to do heavy lifting (How much of that will there be to be done the first two days? That's as long as Sean can stay.) Now Elizabeth's niece and her two grown daughters are going to join us, driving in from Michigan, and also a dear friend of Kathy's just to babysit. Everyone thinks it's going to be a great party. We have nine days to get that house totally empty - totally - and cleaned. Almost 2,000 square feet plus a three car garage with workshop. This is no party, folks.

Cut for those who don't want to know the details. )

Good gods, why didn't I just rely on my own nieces and a good cleaning service? I mean, like I don't have enough on my mind without playing travel agent and hostess?!

December 31st, 2010

We can has sunshine!! @ 05:52 am

Current Mood: exanimate

We also have this weird white stuff on the ground, which is the consistency of a snow cone during the day and turns into solid ice during the night. Roads are not great and Chad got called into work, so we canceled our New Year's Eve party and I'm spending the night alone. Which, after the past two weeks, does not sound particularly bad. If the roads are clear enough I might go out and see 'Tron' or 'The Tourist'.

Took Chenelle to get an upgraded phone yesterday. She now has a Droid 2. She's with Verizon, while all the rest of us are on AT&T. The whole process took something like two hours and was outrageously expensive. I really don't know why I do stuff like this for her, especially since she treats her phones so roughly, but these days I'm the only mom she has. She and Elizabeth have almost totally broken ties because Chenelle thinks her brother should still be invited into the house in spite of what he did to her own daughter.

September 30th, 2010

Thursday morning @ 06:42 am

Current Mood: blah

Well, for better or worse, Steve came through the surgery fine. Still don't know what they did, but he was back home last night. Justice says both Elizabeth and Steve were being especially mean and yelling at her. Alex, on the other hand, can talk of nothing except that she is going to Homecoming with Shawn, the 18-year-old pothead.

Today I'm taking Justice's phone away from her after school. I hate doing it almost as much as she hates giving it up, but I don't think she is going to raise a fuss. She says she "gets it."

Weather is weird. Yesterday it was cool with drizzle; today it is suppose to hit a high of almost 80°, the warmest it has been in at least a month.

I'm still 100% on the NutriSystem program and exercising every day. That's Day #3, the first landmark. Now I'm going for the full week.

Wish I was sleeping better. I'm having trouble getting to sleep and then wake up during the night because of dreams. I actually wake myself up talking or doing things like reaching for something that of course isn't there. I know the Risperdal would surpress all of this, but I won't go back to it, as it makes it impossible for me to lose weight. I'll stick to afternoon naps instead.

September 29th, 2010

Let whatever happens be the best for my girls @ 06:44 am

Current Mood: confused

Justice texted me last night. Steve is going in for surgery today, although she doesn't know what they are doing, and apparently Elizabeth told her he could die if "something goes wrong." She and Alex were also told, for the first time, that Steve won't live over four years without a liver transplant, and Elizabeth saiid "he won't get one." Rather than being kind about this, Elizabeth was "being a real bitch" and calling them names like "dirty pigs."

Justice was freaking out on the phone, but there is a bit of a complication to that. I was supposed to meet her after school and take her cell phone away from her because she has repeatedly broken promises, lied, and ignored me in order to use it at home. A suspicious part of me wonders if part of her upset was an act. Anyway, I told her she could keep it until Steve and Elizabeth get back home.

This is so horrible that it is difficult for me to write it, but a large part of me hopes he dies. I want whatever is best for my girls, and in the long run he needs to get out of their lives one way or another. I expect to be jumped on for such an evil feeling, but for so long I've thought how much better the world would be without him.

Going strong on NutriSystem so far: 1186 calories yesterday, and walked 1½ miles on the treadmill.

We had warm weather with cold drizzle yesterday, but now the weatherman says we're going to get a couple more days of summer, with sunshine and temperatures in the 70s. I'm delighted. This morning we just have thick fog.

September 15th, 2010

There's no place like home. @ 07:17 pm

Current Mood: depressed

So Dorthy says. Frankly, I think it's overrated.

I didn't have time for post-con depression after the conventions, so that has just hit now, along with the down feeling you get when a trip is over. Especially a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

All the chores are piled up, of course. My To Do List had been taking steroids. But mostly I'm just really lonely. The soonest I might see Kathy and Memphis is Friday, and I can't see the girls until next Monday. Faeon picked me up at the airport, but had to leave for work right away, and I may not see him again this week. I feel like I would have been better off if we had stayed in Sydney a couple more days.

The weather isn't helping. It has been raining off-and-on since I got home and the same thing is predicted for the entire next week. Temperatures in the 60s. Summer has definitely left the Pacific Northwest.

So here I sadly sit surrounded by two cats and a dog, thinking about how many loads of laundry I have to do.

August 22nd, 2010

Boring bitching @ 07:53 am

Current Mood: uncomfortable

From NutriSystem Forum

Shower was fun and I really had to be there, but it was almost an hour's drive, plus I had to pick up my goddaughters' mother. I left before noon and got home after 6:30. I [I]will[/I] get myself to the mall today, as it has become really urgent.

Weather is not pleasant: rain and rather windy. Predicted high around 60°, but at 7:30 A.M. it is already 57°.

I've decided I'm not even going to weigh myself tomorrow. That 160 pounds last Monday will be what I use to calculate how much I gain on vacation. I really am going to be mindful of what I eat, and the conventions will involve lots of walking. I'm making my goal right now to be in the 150s before the start of the Holidays.

Preparing for this trip has totally stressed me out, and I think I could go on indefinitely thinking of things that have to be done before I leave. It will be such a relief to get on the plane early Wednesday morning.

I keep pretty low-key on the NS Forum. I spent most of Kathy's baby shower holding Memphis, which was fine with me, but by the time I got home I was an utter mess. Lost about an hour crying and pacing before I settled down to watching an episode of First Season NCIS. I slept better than I have been last night, but there's something wrong with my right leg that hurts enough to disturb my sleep. I have what I thought was tendinitis in my ankle, but a sore knot has developed there. I think when I lie on my back it puts pressure on the knot causing the pain. But the piercing in the cartilage on my right ear is still very sore after all this time, so when I turn on my right side that wakes me up.

July 11th, 2010

"No" means No. @ 11:58 am

Current Mood: distressed

I just got a call from Alex's girlfriend. She was date raped this morning by a male "friend of a friend." She says she told the guy "No" five times and that she didn't want it, but there was no struggle. So she doesn't want to tell her parents, because she thinks they won't believe it's rape and will call her a slut. And she doesn't want to tell the police because she knows the guy will just say that it was consensual and she can't prove it wasn't. Actually, I think she doubts herself. She doesn't want to go to an emergency room because she insists that she isn't physically injured. She says she does have a counselor, but she doesn't know how to reach her. And at 14 - the thing that she couldn't stop crying about is because she thinks Alex will break up with her, because she shouldn't have been spending the night where she was in the first place. And sadly, I can see that happening.

She called me because she knows I am the adult closest to Alex, whom she absolutely adores. I knew I needed help, because I couldn't convince her to tell any authorities. I'm no rape counselor. I know all the reasons the guy has to be reported, but I can't do it myself - I don't know where she lives - I'm not even sure of her last name. I did confirm that she was in a safe place, and told her repeatedly that she has nothing to be ashamed of, that she is the victim. But there were things I didn't think of at the time, like she needs to be seen in the hospital to be inoculated against STDs and maybe given a 'morning after' pill. I'd drive her there myself if that is what is needed. But they probably would insist on immediately notifying her parents.

So as soon as she hung up I went on line and searched for a Rape Hot Line. It took a little looking, but I did find a national one, which I called. The first thing I got was an automated menu - not what I was hoping for, but okay, they needed to know I speak English. Then I got another automated menu and had to press 1 if I wanted to talk to a counselor. Then I was put on hold. Then the recording said it was going to connect me to an office in Tacoma, but if I wanted a different city or state I had to press 1. Back on hold while it connects me, and I'm answered by a menu that wants to know if I want to speak to a counselor. D'uh! So then I'm put on hold. Where I sat - and sat - and sat. I waited several minutes before I gave up and hung up.

As far as I know the girlfriend is not going to tell anyone else until she sees Alex, who will be spending the night, in a couple hours.

A few of you know I've been in a similar situation very recently. I wish I was wiser. Being Nana to a bunch of young teens is not easy.

May 9th, 2010

Mother's Day, 2010 @ 09:00 pm

Current Mood: happy

A belated Happy Mother's Day, to those of you who are celebrating.

My day started out, as I've mentioned, with a big dose of Robert Downey Jr. That was followed by a Mother's Day text message from Chenelle. I called my mom and learned that unfortunately the flowers I ordered to be delivered to her yesterday had never arrived, so I spent 30 minutes on the phone with TeleFlora. They finally promised me delivery on Tuesday and a 50% refund. Ten minutes later mom called to say the flowers had arrived.

Kathy came by with Mandalynn (who is 4-years-old now) and brought me a card (signed by her entire family) and a tiny rose bush. I won't be able to keep it alive, but it's pretty for now. Next I got a Mother's Day call from Dave Ratti, one of my oldest and dearest friends from Orlando. After that, much to my surprise, Faeon arrived, with some hand-picked flowers and cards from himself and Lee.

Oh, and Alex told me Happy Mother's Day on MySpace.

And this evening I have greatly enjoyed Snarry by Flora, containing lots of funny and hot dialog.

At the least, the best Mother's Day I've had in the past five years.

April 16th, 2010

The kid really comes through with a peace offering. @ 01:17 pm

Current Mood: drained
Tags: ,

I have a son who, after receiving an email full of obscenities from me, insisted on driving over here in what was to him the middle of the night so we could talk face-to-face. And brought all my favorite things from Starbucks with him.

I don't feel like everything is sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows, but we did establish a few things. The biggest, oddly enough, is that he needs to talk with his doctor because his ADHD is totally out of control and really impacting his life; Ritalin in the dosages he is taking is just not cutting it. Also, that I would rather he reply "K" to a text than to not reply at all. And I need to work on being more independent.

I'm tired of being pathetic @ 07:01 am

Current Mood: infuriated
Tags: ,

I hate being an empty-nest mother, on top of being separated from the girls.

This is perfectly natural. Kids grow up, they move out (Faeon was a little slow on that one), they have their own lives, and in most situations they don't have time for their moms anymore. Oddly enough, I think I've prepared myself for that with the girls, but Faeon was, well, an unusual case. For quite a long while he was planning for financial reasons to continue to live here and go back to college.

Cut for drama and raging. )

I'm still not ready to talk to him. I am sick to death of always being the first one to text and the one to suggest we get together. Honestly, I don't even want to see him for a while. It would feel too damn much like he was giving up his time out of pity and guilt.

April 13th, 2010

Crap. @ 08:50 pm

Current Mood: drained

My girls' birth mother just dropped by for a couple hours. She is doing hard drugs again ("just now and then"). Really, except for pot, I really believed she was going to stay clean, and had ever since she got pregnant with Justice. She's on my side 100% regarding the way Alex and Justice are being abused. But in anything official she'd be more of a liability than an asset. Listening to her rave on and only stop long enough to cry (over several unrelated issues) for two hours has been totally exhausting.

Just before she got here I had been preparing to take a long nap. After which I planned to put in at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise.

Now I need to get to bed.

April 11th, 2010

Pictures of my girls @ 09:42 am

Current Mood: pleased

You can see the proofs from the portrait session of Alex and Justice HERE. Justice pleaded for #6 until we gave in. #11 is a candid taken between takes for #12, and will probably be the classic everyone remembers 20 years from now.

Picture Day @ 07:02 am

Current Mood: okay

Yesterday I took the girls out to get their portraits taken. I wanted to do this back when they both had their hair black and straight, but that never worked out, and now they have both gone back to their natural light brown color. Also, for some reason, they both wanted their hair in curls. They always wear their hair straight so that disappointed me, but I went along with it.

I bought 100,000 more photos than we will ever possibly want or be able to give away, but that was because the next level down only allowed five poses, and we had eight that none of us wanted to give up. One is totally candid - taken right after they had had to pose close together, and all of us, including the photographer, broke out laughing every time we saw it. It will probably become the classic that we all laugh over 20 years from now. I told the girls I wanted them to dress however they wanted: Justice is pretty conservative and Alex is totally NOT, and personally I think that the effect of the contrast is awesome.

We got comments all day long about how they both look like they are around 17 years old. The girl that did Justice's hair was 21 but looked much younger, and the two of them looked like a couple of teenagers that would hang out together. And the photographer was totally unprepared, since I'd told her I had a 12 year old and a 14 year old, and she had to switch all the backgrounds and poses from tweens to teenagers.

I guess S&E were feeling generous because I'd been gone so long, because I got to keep the girls from 1:30 to 7:30. That gave us time for dinner at IHOP. I don't think S&E realize that the closest IHOP is in King County. I'm not supposed to take the girls out of Pierce County, which is one of those totally Not Rational rules. I don't even know exactly where the county line is. I do know I'm allowed to take them to Tacoma Mall, which is still in Pierce County but much further than the trip to IHOP.

Anyway, I got to spend six fun hours with my girls, which has tremendously improved my spirits. I'm still deeply exhausted, but definitely beginning to feel like myself again.

April 10th, 2010

It's too early in the morning to start a new day. @ 06:59 am

Current Mood: rushed

Yesterday I had a long list of chores and errands that HAD to be done - and I couldn't do any of them. Not wouldn't, but couldn't. I'm just not bouncing back well from the two weeks in Galesburg. I don't know how long they will keep my mom in rehabilitation, but when she leaves she wants to go back to living alone with the home care lady spending just three hours a day with her. I am resolute that I am not going to go home to help her adjust. It's just too much stress for me. The guilt keeps reminding me that I am the only family she has left, but I feel a greater responsibility to my family here. Also to keeping myself sane. Thank all of you so much for your support.

We're not supposed to get any rain today! More wind than we're used to though, with gusts up to 35 MPH. Temperatures as high as 60 are being predicted, but this morning the ground is covered with frost.

This afternoon I'm taking my girls to have their portraits taken. I don't have any recent photos of them except their school pictures taken in September, and they both despise those. They'd like to have their hair professionally styled first (someplace cheap like HairMaster), but I don't know yet if Steve and Elizabeth are going to allow that. I'm afraid that it is the sort of thing they usually forbid, like getting the girls pedicures. Anyway, the whole afternoon would probably take four hours, whereas I'm only allowed three hours with them, but I'm hoping S&E will cut us some slack since it has been so long since I've seen them.

I hope Justice will actually smile. For the past couple years she has kept her lips compressed in photos because she doesn't like her teeth. She really needs braces and I'd be happy to pay for them, but S&E won't allow it.

I say "S&E won't allow it" way, way too often.

Anyway, I only have a few hours to Get Things Done before I pick up the girls, so I have to Get Off My Ass.

March 22nd, 2010

Oh shit. @ 09:14 pm

Current Mood: stressed

My mother had emergency surgery this evening for a blockage in her intestines. They removed scar tissue and adhesions. She is currently in recovery in stable condition.

I'm flying down there on Wednesday. No idea when I will be returning. Will check in when I can.

January 30th, 2010

Test: Just how insane are S&E? @ 07:44 am

Current Mood: worried
Tags: ,

As it turns out, no one should have any reason to freak over Krystin being pregnant. She's 20 years old now. Turns out she has been engaged for some time to a soldier who got sent to Iraq. He came home on leave and now he's going to be a father. They have been living together in a place not far from his parents, and had been planning to get married and start a family as soon his tour of duty is over. Hopefully Elizabeth won't hit the ceiling about becoming a great-grandmother.

Kathy is another matter. The old Elizabeth would be happy she is going to have another grandchild and talk about hoping this one is a boy. But now, Kathy is worried that Steve will start yelling about not being able to condone Kathy's behavior of still sleeping with Patrick. Kathy says that if they are not going to welcome this baby into the family, then they will no longer get to see Mandalynn. Mandalynn is confused enough that her brother isn't allowed to see her other relatives. And then Steve will most likely disown Kathy, and Justice and Alex won't be allowed to see her any more.

I want so much to believe that Elizabeth would actually protest to that. Kathy is her daughter, the only child she has that didn't get into taking drugs and drop out of high school. But I just don't know. We had been 'family' for 30 years, and now she can't even send me an email that isn't nasty. And I don't even know what I did wrong.

Okay, all of this is assuming the worst possible scenario, and there is no point in that. I wouldn't even have thought Steve might react that way, but that's what Kathy is afraid of, and she knows Steve as he is now better than I do. I just so don't want the girls to have even more taken away from them. It's hard not to worry.

However, I have not finished cleaning house, I need to take the dog to the groomer, and Tom will be arriving for the weekend in a few hours. That doesn't leave any time for me to sit here fretting.

This is the Way I Live (on IJ)

There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness." - Dave Barry