Monday, May 28, 2012

I get up before everyone else.  This morning I got up at 4am put the clothes that were in the washer in the dryer, put a new load in the washer and went to sleep.    When I got up the second time everyone was still asleep.  I made a cup of coffee and went to listen to the birds.  It was nice but before 15 minutes was up girl number one was also up.  She went and got us yogurt.  I told her that if she talked or took my seat when I got up then she wouldn't be welcome.  There was a duck in the pool that is visible from my patio and so many birds were making sounds.  My favorite is the woodpecker.  My son can't stand him but I love his addition to the cacophony of morning sounds.

Yesterday was the day the people in the neighborhood seemed to celebrate Memorial Day.  There were cookouts and music that was too loud.  I enjoyed it though.  The sound was full and happy.  At once I could hear children playing in the pool, music, the neighbors talking on their patio, it seemed they invited over more people than their apartment would fit, the voices of my own children and the sound of my washer and dryer.  I had the patio door open as I did my gardening and laundry, pulled always between respite and responsibility.

I did my grocery shopping for 2 weeks and the food just has to last.  This will be a particularly tough couple of weeks.  I will just inhale and go with it trying not to stress.  I will pay my last few dollars to the electric company.  I also need to buy a couple of things for my classroom.

I live in a world of financial must.  The children must eat.  I must have the tools that I need for the classroom.  I must have a way to decompress or this all goes to "pot".

And now back to urgent care with my son who has been sick for too long.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

An Homage

I am a curious person.   I have also been called nosey or inquisitive.  I like to understand as much of the world around me as I can but more than that I like to understand the relationships in which I find myself.

I have found myself reflecting about one in particular or a pretty regular basis.  A relationship that has come and gone.  There are those who believe that not every relationship is meant to be a lasting one.  I am not one of those people.  I believe that if a relationship is lost or fractured, then I have done something wrong, maybe as little as not calling or writing or as big as not listening.  For that reason I have a hard time letting go.  If I did something wrong, let me fix it.   

I won't get that opportunity this time and so I must find a way to commemorate it, to learn from it and to walk away from even the memory of it as a better person.  I wasn't always right but it didn't distress me I just figured that no one was and that as we had just met I had time to learn.  We talked often but I didn't feel it was time to bare my soul.  Some of what I said I said because he needed to hear it and even though it felt odd to utter those three words.  I knew that they were the only ones that he could understand. I couldn't make him understand that using those three overused words to represent all that I felt was a little like using a stick figure to represent a human being.

I was not like him and that was the magic for him.  I was partially made up.  I would correct him and he would say, "Well, that's what you are to me."  He shared his flaws but I could not share mine.  He wanted to think me perfect.  I noted his flaws and accepted them slowly one by one without a word in the same way that what may appear disorder or asymmetry in a painting gives it character as one continues to examine.  I realized that he wouldn't be better without his "flaws."   Aware of my flaws and with a growing fear of the moment that they materialized for him I tried unsuccessfully to keep my emotional distance.

I spent a lot of the time during our relationship in my head.  I tried to figure things out.  He went on and on about his fidelity and I never questioned it.  I didn't know why he always mentioned it when it was a non-issue.  He wanted me to look in his phone.  I wasn't really interested.  He gave me his password.  He called at all hours of the day and night and said, "See you know I'm not cheating.  I'm always talking to you."  He thought it important to tell me why men cheat. When we separated I would be reminded of those words. He loved like a 15 year-old girl.  I know because I used to be one.  He had shared so much.  I didn't understand him and not a day went by in which he didn't utter something that left me totally shocked and I must admit appalled.  One day after seeing yet another of my looks of tired disapproval he said, "I just don't feel like I can talk to you anymore."  I don't think I even responded.  What could I say?  The man had no verbal filter and with his openness he both compelled and repulsed.

I am certain that I too could have shocked him if he had had access to the recesses of my mind but he'll never know that.  I was looking forward to getting to know him.  He thought that shared moments should bring down barriers between individuals and I thought that it should be time. I thought we had all of the time in the world.

One thing that he did well was to build me up.  I was going from day to day just making it and he took a moment out of his life to remind me that someone would find it worthwhile to hold me.  Even though much of what he said made me blush from shock and shame  I needed to hear some of it.  I close my eyes some nights and replay clips of my time with him.  Clips that I now know must be replaced.

So what do I walk away with?  Confidence.  He exposed himself to me in a way that no man ever had and it frightened me but in retrospect it strengthened me as well.  He awakened in me the a desire that had all but died.  His words in a way that he never intended reintroduced hope into my life. 

A few children ago I always chased my dreams, and setbacks just needed to be re-framed so that I could continue on my journey.  When I met him I saw a pain, and fatigue that was my own and I embraced it because it felt right in a way that I hadn't even words to explain.

He was good for me and good to me.  There is still something uncomfortable in the center of my chest in his absence.  Some memories make it hard to breathe. 

If I could have changed anything we would have talked though our goodbye and remained friends but I know that to him who was so different from me, our conversations were battles and to me they just sharpened my reasoning.  It didn't matter to me the outcome.  I thrived on our discussions and he hated them ; they were battles to him and he never felt he won.

Remaining there is only one photograph and some old emails.  I guess they're not terribly old but things change so quickly that they seem antique.  If they were letters they would be on yellowed paper, covered in dust, bound together and neatly, as one does with all things sacred but outdated, packed away.

He was gone.   Reasoning be dammed.  I could hurl my questions at the cosmos or pick up the tiny bits that remain and use them to create a masterpiece.  I choose the latter.

Perhaps they're right and our lives are just lines that intersected and that's all they were ever supposed to do.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Pepper Plants

Something keeps breaking my pepper plants. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012


For days my nerves have been raw.  I've been short tempered and raised my voice so much.  It doesn't make things happen and it doesn't make me feel better.  I have been paying for the gym membership but I haven't been going.  Desperate to do something I broke out the Zumba DVD and did a cardio workout.  I don't feel better yet but I knew that I needed to do it.

I woke up with a horrible headache it lasted for most of the day.  I had so much more to say an hour ago.  Now I just have to get some rest.  I'll take some vitamins first.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Making Balance

I don't think that balance is something you find.  I think it is something that you create.  I am working on creating it.  Because my situation is not an easy one, I am trying to be reflective so that with my many misses I can help others.  I really should get more use out of the mistakes I make.  I should be approaching perfect right about now.  I hope other people see it... I must be too close.  I think I would like to read a book by the Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankel. I am not sure if I am spelling his name correctly.  I had started one of his books and then I let my brother read it because I was supposed to be working on something else.  I am not sure what happened to it after that.

Financially, 'sigh'.... so I have decided to save money.  The problem is that my expenses exceed my income.  I can't seem to change that though I am trying.  I have started to put away only a couple of dollars because I have no safety net.  One mishap could land the children and I on the street. It is, however, so hard to see what a couple of dollars will do.  We have come close to not having money for food it will help us in that situation but I think I have the food issue down to a science.

I buy the same foods every two weeks.  I buy, rice, beans, sweet potatoes, eggs, bread, up to 10 bags of frozen vegetables (if they're on special/sale), onions, green peppers, garlic, nuts, raisins, yogurt, apples, oatmeal and a couple of packages of chicken or a bag of frozen fish.  If they are on sale I will buy clementines.  Oh, and milk.  I buy celery and carrots when we run out.  I buy olive oil once every few months and butter once a month.  Rarely, I buy an alternative flour because of my son's food allergies.  This works nicely though as they grow it is harder and harder to stretch the food.  I don't believe they should ever go hungry when they only have healthy options so I do let them snack when I can.  I buy a large block of cheese once a month.  I am trying to grow tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and beans on and around my patio.  I just hope the rental office doesn't say anything about it. The cucumbers and beans will have to grow at the edge of the patio on a trellis I intend to put up.  I have just sprouted them.

Personally, I am still trying to get out of the fast food habit.  It is not a good one but sometimes the cashews, almonds, raisins and tea that I keep at work leave me hungry and I go hit the McDonald's dollar menu. I am trying to just push through the hunger at work and put the dollar that I would have spent into my savings account and in that way I could save a few dollars more.

Before the Dawn

I haven't heard anything on the college application yet and I am beginning to figure out my next steps.  I accept whatever the decision is and I am beginning to think that it is a negative one.  I need to move the family forward.  As the children grow they are getting more expensive and I am trying to figure out how to keep up.  They need exposure to things so that they will be well rounded but also so that they can find their talents, their likes.

I got up at 4am this morning unable to sleep.  I have just been thinking and thinking.  What do I do next?  I would like to replace my car with something more reliable at this point but it is simply not any more in the budget than all of the surprise repairs.  I cannot make a car payment right now.  I would like a car in which we can travel a little over the summer.  I would like the take the children to various historical sights that aren't too far away. 

... so I was thinking that I would look for a summer job to pay off some debt and save for a car.  At the same time I think it might be time to invest my time into creating something that might take us to the next level?   That would mean not making more money and just making quiet time daily to work on a project.  I was thinking about an idea for a story last night... a kind of faux memoir.  But last week on Career Day actually, I was listening to a children's author speak and I began to think of my children and as he spoke my mind wandered and I thought of all of the wonderful stories that they have lived and wondered if maybe a family effort to capture those moments on paper might deliver us and allow me to do more.

This morning was different.  I woke up and just laid there.  I wondered about karma and if you can walk away from being wronged and trust that fate has your back.  It was a morning of Why.   I wondered why things happen the way they do.  I don't often ask why.  I try not to be a tumbleweed.  I try to make conscious decisions but there was one that got away from me and I haven't been able to resolve it in my heart.  I seek indifference.  I would like not to care about it but I guess I feel kind of foolish.  I, who have believed too many times, again believed - not with all my heart but I believed and I didn't realize that I believed until it was proven to be a lie.

So Saturdays are about rebalancing for me.  Right now everyone is asleep.  I am going to go cook some curry chicken start some laundry.  I will go do Zumba this morning.  I don't want to but I need to.  I would rather sit on my patio and watch the birds at the bird feeder and read.

Today I will draft something.  If the children's books are going to happen, my mother will have to like them enouh to illustrate.  I have images in my head.  I will see if I can get them down.

Monday, May 14, 2012


It has been a long day.  I am going to go shower and work in bed. 

Something has already taken out 2 of my pepper plants.  I am going to put sticks with them when I replace them.  They were just snapped completely off leaving a stubb.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Feliz Día de Las Madres/Simple Pleasures

I got up at 5am today and put the dishes in the dishwasher and started a load of laundry.  I am thankful to be able to do both of those things.  I don't have all that I would like but in any given moment I can quiet my mind and find peace.  I have so much to be thankful for and I am full of hope.

In a few minutes I will get the children ready for church. That is my gift to them this morning.  I am a bit ashamed to say that it is not my favorite thing to do but they love it so we will go.  My poor car seems to be just hanging on.

I had my tea, checked on my plants, did some thinking and some reading.

As usual, my day will shift to work later, as in the work that feeds and clothes us.  Yesterday was for play and I needed to play.

My gift to me today will be to take a moment to read, maybe 30 minutes.  I am reading Mark Twains "The Guilded Age"  I want to look up at what point in his life he wrote this peace.  I have only just started but I see that it is full of his characteristic writing.  I was drawn to the work by something that I had read online so I am looking to see if it is characteristic of his earlier work or his later work.  I love my Kindle!

I still have to find a gift for Mom.  I guess a plant would have been nice but I didnt find one yesterday that was anything special.  She has plants.  I will keep my eyes open.  I don't like to give random gifts just for the sake of giving them.  I like to find something that speaks of my relationship with the recipient.  I don't give enough gifts; I have to fix that.   I give a lot but not gifts.   My giving is usually related to my children's needs. Special occasions don't seem to align themselves with my budget.  But it is only May...

Saturday, May 12, 2012


  I prepare my reading place.  A couple of my smaller fences broke I am wondering about purchasing a large trellis for one side.  I am trying to sprout cucumbers and snap beans now along with some climbing flowers.   Now just to find a summer job.... not too many hours... something I could do from home would be great.  But at the same time I would like to just write.  I am going to accept all that is offered and see where life takes me.  For today, this is good as long as I have made some contribution to tomorrow.  As long as I have invested some of this day's energies into tomorrow.

Making Peace

I have spent my day most gloriously.  I purchased the plants that I wanted and re-potted them and swept the porch while the children played out back.  It was nice.   I went to Behenke and Walmart.  I live in an apartment but I live on the bottom floor so I am wondering if I can get away with planting some veggies, not too many, in the soil just beside my porch.  I was going to get a trellis and put it right in the corner planting the plants behind it.  I have been doing laundry as usual and now to organize my room.

Faith, HOPE, and Charity...

It sounds cliché but today really is the first day of the rest of my life.  I have been so busy lately but busy is not bad.  I am really excited about life and possibility.  Hopefully the possibilities that I can help to create for others.

As the weekend begins I begin to go through the list of things I must do.  I need to continue setting up my patio - my sacred space.  I would like to buy a few more herb plants and a stand for them.  A couple of them were killed by the frost.  I need to pick up 2-3 more tomato plants and another pepper plant or two and a couple more large flower pots ...and some flowers for my hanging pots. 

I have also decided to begin my credit repair in ernest.  It is difficult because there isn't extra money.  I need to find a summer job so that I have something to with which to pay my debt down.  I am beginning to look but I don't yet know what I may have to do over the summer to prepare for next school year.  Whatever it is I am looking forward to doing it in a leisurly way.  I feel very thankful to be in the position to even think about paying off my debt.  I hope I am able to make it possible.  I will be wonderful to be debt free.  The student loans will take longer and will have to wait until I've reached the next plateau but this will be a good start.

What I would like after I pay off my debt is the latest iPhone.  It will be my reward to me... if it is still what I want at the time.  Maybe I will have mastered frugality and will be content living off the grid in an attempt to stay out of debt - but I doubt it.  I think I need Siri in my life now to help me organize all of my activities and the activities of my 5... all in good time.... all in good time.  I was looking at Verizon's plans and prices this morning but by the time I have earned it, there may be a newer phone and different wireless companies offering it. 

Well, I guess I had better get started...  "Time waits for no [one]".