Monday, December 21, 2015

Hanging in there...

There have been a lot of small changes over the last several months and most of them are fantastic. A new printer (the old one stopped printing the colors properly, but it was also nearly 10 years old), new friends, a new son-in-law, a new daughter-in-law (not legalized), more focus, more silver hair (and a little purple, too), more organization, and a better grasp of where I'm heading.

On this Solstice Eve, I can't help but think about where I've been for each of the last few years. Last year I opened The Raven's Cauldron, the year before that I was still recovering from pneumonia while deciding what to do about a heartbreak. The year before that I was ignoring a sinking feeling in my stomach when I caught someone in a lie. And now, I am the mother of two adult children, working on my own dreams and goals without someone telling me "someday" or "we're almost there" or any other such nonsense. And, even though my life isn't where I'd like it to be just yet, I am happier than I've been in a very, very long time. And that is what is important.

As you go about your day, I hope you find reasons to smile, to laugh, to love.


Sunday, September 13, 2015

What is it worth to you?

Maya Angelou Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet
I've been ignoring this blog for a while for several reasons. One, and the most simple one, is work. I'm getting used to this schedule and physical demand and many other things. There are some really cool people there and a few others that are less than stellar, but that's par for the course at any job.

Another reason is that I've not really had a lot of nice things to say and it's usually best to remain silent during those times. When you are bombarded with bigotry, narrow-mindedness, and other negative situations, it's hard to remain positive.

But I feel a lot more calm today and want to ask you all a question. You don't have to answer me specifically, but I'd like you to think about it. Chances are, though, if you read my blog at all, you're one of the ones who don't qualify for the question.

What is your hate worth to you? Is it worth losing good friends? Is it worth losing your child/children? What about your grandchildren? Is it worth being filled with cortisol and spike your blood sugars? Is it worth the constant negative attitude toward the world?

I ask this for a few personal concerns that I've had over the last several months, but let me focus first on the public ones. There are politicians and media outlets that seems to thrive on hate-mongering. They fuel that "us against them" attitude and do their best to stir up more animosity. To what end? Why are so many people listening to those who only strive to make us hate each other? Why do they hang onto the words of someone who shouts about welfare and immigrants and many other issues when what we need to focus on is that we're all in this together and this whole country (and planet, really) is in dire need of compassion and intelligence.

And now the personal stuff -

I have a dear friend who is slowly building up to telling their family about changes in their life. The family is likely to stop talking to them and will probably disown my friend. Of course, I still have the hope that, if the parents watched their child grow to adulthood, that these parents will still continue loving this person. Is a person's hatred over a different lifestyle worth losing their child and all that the future holds?

Another concern is for my future grandchildren. My daughter is with a young man who treats her with respect, makes her laugh, doesn't let her put herself down, and much more. Even Anthony likes this young man and he's a hard person to please. Do I give one iota of thought to the color of this young man's skin? Nope. Well, I take it back, I've given some thought to wondering if my herbal salve would help his scrapes and such heal in a way that he won't have such visible scars since he seems to scar so easily. That's about it. But I know of at least one family member who is against that relationship. Every chance they get, they have something passively negative to say. Until recently these comments were mere hints, but one statement about not wanting this young man to be the father of my grandchildren made me stop in my tracks. I didn't know what to say then and I don't know what to say now. But I can't help wonder: Is a person's hatred over someone's skin color worth losing the family members involved?

When I hear people say things like, "What is this world coming to?" I know that many of them are thinking about some of the changes that have recently come about regarding marriage equality, healthcare reform, and other things along these lines. What I think when I hear that question, though, is of the hatred of one person toward a group of people, or an idea, or even scientific fact. If we all become separatists and so filled with fear that every "them" is against us, then truly, What is this world coming to?

Back to my original question - What is your hate worth to you?

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Gathering steam

As I get used to the new job and the new schedule, I realize that I've begun to lose some of the stress that had been so pervasive while I was working in the office. No longer are my shoulders pulling inward as I walk into the building, no more do I dread getting a text that might be asking me to do the impossible. Yes, the current job is physically demanding, but it feels really good, too.

My fundraiser is nearly over and there are still spaces available for the self-striping yarn club as well as other goodies. If you're interested, please check it out and share with your friends.

The cats seem to have settled in very nicely here, even with the limited space. I made sure to give them a lot of places to hide and to climb and I've checked to make sure that their climbing spots are stable (Aurora does have a tendency to fall if anything is even slightly wobbly). There are still things that I want to be able to do for them, like one of those cool towers, but it will have to wait until I save up more money.

I have rearranged things several times so far and am still not quite happy with the flow of the room. One plan that is in the works is a loft bed with shelves. After talking it over with my dad, I feel confident that I can build my own loft bed with the tools that I have. He pointed out things that I could do to make sure everything is stable and I'm hoping to start construction within the next 2 weeks. That will open up more floor space for me and will also give me more places to store my business supplies (because it's no fun having to open cardboard boxes to get to the shipping labels and envelopes). I can't wait to show you guys pictures!

There is a new baby in my small family! Anthony's sweetheart gave birth to a little girl and she's one of the sweetest babies I've ever seen. Even though the technical term is "step-dad", Anthony's the kind of man who leaves the "step" part in the dust. I am so very proud of him and his decision. My tiny Triforce family has facets growing on two sides now. Between Brianna bringing one person in and Anthony bringing 3 people in, it feels pretty darn special!

My kids... oh, how I miss them sometimes! They are both doing well and I'm hoping that I'll be able to see them before long. In the meantime, there are already 2 care packages planned out for them.

I have a lot more to write, but today is mostly my resting day so I want to end this now with a blessing for joy to you all.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Breathing space

As I filled the tank of my car this morning, I noticed something unusual on the bricks beside me and took a closer look as soon as I returned the nozzle to the pump. I had never seen a moth like this before and I couldn't help but stop long enough to take a picture. This is a Giant Leopard Moth and they aren't normally in town. Of course, I looked up the metaphysical meanings of both Moth and Leopard and found some interesting information about them both. I can't really say how much of it pertains to me, but it's something I'll be thinking about over the next few days.

In the meantime... I'm mostly settled into my new place. This one is one of the old motor courts that were so prevalent in the 50s (this one was built in 1953). My apartment/room is in really good condition and, even though everything looks nearly new, I'm not certain that it isn't the original fixtures. The handles on the metal desk look authentic to me, but they aren't nearly as worn as I'd expect. The bathroom tiles are soft mint and baby blue, but they look vibrant instead of washed out. The wooden floors have been stained with a dark cherry finish and is mostly smooth, with just a few small gouges here and there. I am sure that the cats are happy to be back in the same place as me and all three of them have taken to sleeping on the bed now. Serephina caught a cold while she was in the Humane Society, then Aurora got it a week after we got moved in, but they are both much better at this point. Lyra didn't even get the sniffles.

I have almost all of my own things moved in at this point and I'm certain that I'll be able to empty the storage unit by the end of this month. It's crowded, of course, but as time goes on, I'll get a few more shelves and such to keep everything more organized. I'll even look into the bins that fit under beds so that I can use that space, too. I'm looking at this small space as practice for getting myself used to an RV. I've already learned a lot about how I want things to be laid out as well as making sure that I have enough spaces for the cats to hide, nap, or play.

My fundraiser is still going for another month and, if you know anyone interested in purchasing some embroidered items or memberships in a self-striping yarn club, please send them my direction. I'll be adding a few more things this weekend, too, so check back later to see what's new.

I want to write a lot more this morning, but I am a little tired from waking early the last several days. I do hope that you are all having a wonderful day!

Monday, June 08, 2015

Upside down, but hanging in there...

Whew! What a ride this last 2 weeks has been! Everything went a lot haywire and for a little bit of time I truly felt that nothing would be right for a long, long time. But I have a place to sleep, the cats are safe, and my stuff is in storage, I'm still moving to a new place, but it's a different new place and it will be ready on Saturday. I don't really want to go into a lot of details, so I'll just say that there was a breach in contract, a really unstable person, and a lot of scrabbling to keep the pieces from falling to the ground. Now things are almost done and it will be alright. The people who came together to help me out are fantastic and there is no way I could hug them enough for the help they've given. A huge shout out to J & J for helping with the physical task of moving my stuff out of the apartment, into the mobile home, out of the mobile home, and into the storage. Another one to C, who has opened her home to me. To the Asheville Humane Society for providing my cats a safe place to sleep until my apartment is ready. And, to another J, who made me smile with a simple invitation to hang out at the pool. These people are super awesome. Also to The Mobile Mechanic for replacing the rotors and pads on my car (holy moly, they were terrible!).

In the middle of all of this, I started my fundraiser! I'm really excited by the perks that I'm offering to you all and I'll be adding a few more with time. I'll be spending this weekend getting things settled in the new place (for those who know anything about Asheville, it's on Merrimon Ave and is walking distance to Trader Joe's, GreenLife, and lots more) and after that I'll be working my fingers off to get new items into the Perks list for you.

If you have a moment, please check it out and share it with your friends. I can't wait to come out and see you guys!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Almost done

There it is. Almost everything that I own is in the corner of my apartment living room. I will admit that it struck me for a moment, just how small of a space that really is, but after a little while (and a few lovely words from friends), I'm actually pretty happy about it. You see, all that stuff is important in one way or another. Nothing in that corner is a frivolous item or just something to collect dust. When I look at it that way, this corner is overflowing with greatness.

That's not to say that some of it will still find new homes before I move, but in the meantime, it's all being used.

Thursday is the "big day" of getting everything transferred to my temporary place in Leicester. I'll get to do the walk-through on Friday morning and will spend the rest of Friday getting settled a little bit. After that, I'll likely chill out with the cats and get some much-needed rest. While knitting, of course.

On another note, do you know what day this is? Will you have a moment of silence today in remembrance of all who have died? I am so very lucky that I have not lost anyone during a war and I know that I cherish that knowledge more than I can express. But I do know people who aren't so lucky. People I love have lost friends and brothers-in-arms. My heart goes out to them on a regular basis, but even more so on this day. so, if you're having a cookout or family gathering or anything like that, please take a moment and remember why the day is special.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Emptiness isn't sadness

As I continue to clean out boxes and closets I keep coming across things that I've not laid eyes on since I left Ohio. My loom, for example, has been in a box safe & sound, while my life continued having its chaos and quiet. I'll be keeping it because I know that I will return to weaving in the next year and will certainly do so once I'm on the road.

I also came across a folder of maps. My first reaction was to throw them all away without looking at them, but I took the time to study each one and, in my mind's eye, drive the routes that were drawn out. It made me smile to think about how I needed these hand-drawn maps to get around to places when I first moved to Ohio. Most of my driving before then had been pretty straight-forward and in a place that I'd pretty much grown up with. But Ohio! The roads separated, then connected somewhere else, they curved and made odd jogs to the side and I was more nervous about getting lost than I'd ever been in the desert. So I looked over the pages and smiled with the memories of that time in my life. Then I put them into the recycling bin with just a slight twinge of sadness that I'll not have those kinds of things in my life again. But it wasn't a regretful sadness. Instead it was the kind that you feel when you've moved on into the next part of your life. And the empty space inside feels more like peace than sorrow.

Yellow Iris
I've released so many things lately, both physically and emotionally, and it feels almost as if I can feel the layers falling away as the bright new blossom emerges. And, while I have no idea what the future holds for me, I do know that I will face it with as much grace as I can, with as many smiles as I can, and with as much hope as I can.

For now, I am still packing and cleaning and getting ready to move. I know that it seems like I've been doing this forever, but it's good to take my time for once, going through things with an eye toward how it will fit into my life on the road, and how I will use it. Little by little I'm getting all of my belongings into a smaller and smaller space. At this point, I could fit all of my furniture and boxes into the living room and still have space to walk around comfortably (not counting the kitchen stuff like the washer & dryer). It's a good start.

I hope that you all have a lovely weekend and are filled with a peaceful heart.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015


I've discovered that I'm now in a learning phase. Learning not to turn to Brianna when I have something to share with her, learning that I have to remind myself to eat at mealtime, learning that the house feels different when I sleep at night. I'm also learning that I need to take the time to work through this and not just blast past it. Of course there are going to be changes. Of course there are going to be moments when I miss my kids so much that my heart breaks from it. But there will also be moments when I go out for tea with a friend and talk about Airstreams and motor homes. There will be times when I take an early shower and plop down to read and knit for the remainder of the evening. There will be times of great peace.

Brianna is discovering her own identity as an adult. My wish for her is that she holds onto the best part of herself no matter what. My wish for her is that she finds a gentler path than me. My wish for her is that she always has a ready smile.

Anthony is rediscovering parts of himself that were lost in that far away desert. My wish for him is that he finds peace in his soul. My wish for him is that he regains that laughter that was so prevalent in the years past. My wish for him is that he discovers that he has always been wonderful.

My next step is the move to Leicester. There are still so many things to take care of before it happens, but I think it will be just fine. After all, the next big adventure awaits, right?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

More preparations

Sometimes it feels as if the whole world turned upside down and I'm still hanging onto the roots. Then it rights itself and I'm still up in the leaves. Even so, progress is being made.

I posted recently on Morrigan's Nest (Hesitations) and not long afterward, a friend posted about Arrows. You might look at these and wonder what they have to do with each other, but I found myself ready to move forward and chafing under the need to hold still, to be pulled back until the string is truly taut enough to send me straight and true to my goal. But I know that the preparation is a crucial necessity before I let go. and so, I keep on preparing. For Brianna's move, for my move (the first one alone since I was 17), for the fund-raising event, for Tour de Sock, for everything. 

Another friend reminded me that it's important to also be in the moment. That is something that I'd been getting pretty good at, then it sort of fell by the wayside with all the other things going on. And so, I create spaces of time throughout the day where I just focus on the day. What I'm doing and what I'm thinking. And I remind myself that the time I have at this moment, during these changes, is all the time I have.

I hope you are all doing well and remembering to focus on your present moments.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Afraid? Okay, sure...

I watched the video this morning of Walter Scott's death. I'm sure most of you have already seen it, but I tend to avoid these videos because they bring me down so much. I cannot even begin to express how my heart breaks for his family (and all the families of people wrongfully killed). I am also sad for all the police who are really good people and got into that career as a way of making a difference in the world because they are lumped in with the "bad cops" perception.

One thought that keeps running through my head, though... due to some of the things that have happened in my life, I have a tiny undercurrent of being afraid for my safety every day. Yes, I said every day. It doesn't matter if I'm going to the grocery store, heading out to work, or even staying at home. It's always there. Now, please keep in mind, that the fear doesn't reach the point where I feel it necessary to carry my pistol with me every waking moment, nor does it stop me from being polite and even friendly to people I come across throughout the day. But it does keep me in a state of awareness of those around me and how my actions could be perceived by others.

Why am I saying this? Because when someone says that they feared for their life in a situation where a guy is clearly in no way being threatening to them, it pisses me off. An unarmed person can be a threat, I recognize this all too well, but the guy was complying until he started to run away. How is your life being threatened by someone who is several yards away from you and still running? The guy who filmed the whole thing said that he was afraid and, in my opinion, is rightfully so. But the guy with the gun? With the bullet-proof vest? With authority on his side? No, I just don't see how you can honestly say that you feared for your life.

Now, does my opinion change anything in this world? Nope, not one bit. And I know that I have a lot of the 'white privilege" that many have spoken about. I also know that I'm not comfortable being quiet about these things, even if my voice doesn't help to make things better.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I am becoming my grandmother

Our grandmothers are not the same women as our mothers' mothers.

What I mean by that is that the woman who raised my mother was the kind of woman who insisted on white gloves and dresses every Sunday, who didn't allow raised voices indoors, who abhorred scabbed knees and bare feet. The woman who was my grandmother would smile and the shouts and loud giggling whenever the grandkids were getting a little rowdy, who oohed and aahed over the latest scrape or bruise when we showed them off, who kept scraps of fabric to make creative patches for our torn jeans. My mother's mother sternly told her to sit up straight and to finish her vegetables. My grandmother would only tell me stories about how ladies of her generation prided themselves with how they sat and would suggest that I eat just a few more green beans so that my body got enough energy to run around the back yard. My mother's mother would serve dessert in the "regular" dishes, but my grandmother would serve it in the most beautiful dishes I'd ever seen. My mother's mother never got dirty, never had a hair out of place, and never went a day without cleaning the house. My grandmother did pottery and gardening, would throw a scarf around her hair if she didn't feel like styling it, and had dust bunnies in the corners of the rooms.

And so, it occurred to me this morning that I'm becoming my own grandmother. But I was my mother's mother while my kids were still very young. Well, not quite like her, but very close. Lately, my inclination has been toward letting people do whatever they're going to do and let them make whatever grand discoveries they will make. Or, mistakes.

I think, in a way, it has to be that way. We cannot treat our children as we would our grandchildren since they wouldn't learn about boundaries and rules. And yet, we also don't need to be quite as harsh as our own mothers. I like to think that I found some middle ground... more toward the strictness of my own mother and my mother's mother, but with a little bit of my grandmother added to ease some of the sharpness.


As I was sitting at work (signing payroll checks and entering everything in to Quickbooks) I started to think about the ways that people try to change their lives. Reinventing themselves, if you will. I think a lot of that happens when we are still young and are trying to figure out our own place in the world. Then when we're older and are trying to make our own place. There are people who are turning over a new leaf, whether for health reasons, recovering from addictions, or simply because they didn't like the person that they were. For each person the process is different, too. For some it might take many steps and adjustments along the way, while others make a drastic change right up front and only need to modify a few things later on.

From my own experience, it's not easy to make these changes, but not for the reason you might think. The people who have known you for years will still have the perception that you are the same and it makes it harder for you to implement the new perceptions that you have. "Be the change you wish to see" is pretty much everywhere you look, but your friends and family might not be ready to see the change in you and they treat you as you were before. Even so, if you need to make a transition for whatever reason you have, stay strong in your goal. You will respect yourself more for it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Plot twists

I haven't felt like writing much lately. Not for any particular reason other than things have been so busy and I've not had a lot of time for the blog. This is actually a good thing since there are so many changes and new developments going on around here.

I may have found a new place to live! I'll be driving out there this weekend to take a look around and see how the neighborhood "feels" to me, but after talking to the owner, I'm pretty sure it will be a good fit. One really interesting aspect of this move is that it is the first one that I will have where it's just me. I still have a lot of packing and sorting to do, but I know that I'll get it all finished before long. After all, the more I get rid of now, the easier it will be to move into the motor home later on.

I'm also just about caught up with everything that was falling behind since moving down here and that makes me happier than I can say. I'm planning a crowd-funding event soon and really wanted my bills and such to be up to date before I launched it. If you're interested, I will be posting updates on ASC's Facebook and Ravelry pages, Morrigan's Nest Facebook and blog, and The Raven's Cauldron Facebook and blog. Whew! That's a lot of places! But I'd really like to share the news. After all, there are going to be a lot of cool perks for each level of donation. For example, exclusive colorways and club memberships for the yarn lovers, hand-crafted crystal grids and Reiki sessions, and so many more goodies. I'm still working out the details about everything, but I think there will be a little something for everyone.

There are changes to Brianna's plans, too. One big change is that she is choosing not to join the Marine Corps. I know that some people might think that I'm disappointed about this, but I'm actually relieved. Not because I don't think that she can handle being a Marine or going through the training, but because it is still primarily a man's realm and... well, there are some negative facets to being a female in that branch that are not always brought into the light. Brianna still is planning to become a welder and I know that's also primarily a man's trade, but she will be great at it. In the meantime, she is planning to take a trip up north and will be staying with a friend until she finds a place of her own.

My health is continuing to hold steady, even in the face of all the upheaval and stress. My blood sugar is steady, lungs are clear, and my heart is still not progressing into an area that requires medical attention. All of this adds up to being able to start more activities again and I'm looking forward to daily walks again.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Another Chapter Closed

Last week was a whirlwind of events that has left me physically drained, but mostly happy. Brianna's senior project presentation was scheduled for Monday, but the teacher decided to postpone it again (this made the fourth time) for Wednesday. Due to weather, the classes were canceled for Wednesday, but no one told us until I called to verify that everything was set for the presentation. Now, keep in mind that the "storm" that was supposed to come in wasn't supposed to actually arrive until after 6 or so, but they were canceling everything anyway. I argued that the presentation was the last thing Brianna had to do and that she had already been pushed back several times and that they had no right to keep doing this to her. The woman on the phone was very apologetic and told me that she would see what could be done. She called back an hour later to tell me that she was gathering some people to judge the presentation and that, if we could be at the school at 3:30, Brianna could present. She did great and is now officially (and finally) done with high school.

I am now working a 4-day week (I asked for it) so that I can focus on my shops and my future. I'll still have enough hours to cover the bills, but this will give me the chance to make more items for The Raven's Cauldron as well as dye more yarn for Alina Shea Creations. Since this insane schedule over the last several weeks, both shops have gotten little attention from me and I miss them both. I know that seems a little silly since they aren't brick & mortar shops, but I miss coming up with new colorways and such.

I am still clearing the house of items that I no longer use or need and it's a little harder going through the stuff in my closet. Some of those boxes contain items from my childhood and they aren't easy to let go of. At the same time, I have to ask myself what I really need with a Barbie from 1983. Or a diary from 1977 that has only a few pages with writings about my day. Even so, I know that there will be some things that I keep. After all, I do plan to have a house one day. It may be another 5-10 years down the road, but it will happen.

I do keep an eye on the listings for RVs on craigslist and other places and there are a few that initerest me. Each one looks like something I could modify fairly easily and make it more of my own home. I know that I'll have a lot of work to do once I finally make the purchase, but I look forward to that, too.

In the meantime, I hope you all are having a good week and that the weather isn't too harsh where you are.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Excitement and weariness

I've been looking for a new place to live now that the time is getting closer and closer to Brianna leaving. Since I don't have to worry about the school district, I have more options. She has a new ship date in May, so there is a little bit of breathing room now. She has plans to go see some friends in Sandusky and I'm sure that will be fun for her. She has to be back for the pool functions (training for the poolees) but we've pretty much got that all figured out. In the meantime, I'm thinking more and more about how things will be when she heads out.

For the most part, I don't think there will be a lot of change, simply because I am still working on my goals and I'm not going to steer away from that. Also, I like this quiet life of mine. Even when I do get onto the road, I doubt that will change. I do think that I'll get more sleep, though. It's not that Brianna keeps me awake, exactly, but I do enjoy spending time with her and that makes it a little harder to get to bed on time sometimes.

Most of the city is iced in this morning. I'll admit that I was a little concerned on the drive in this morning, but I put a tarp over the car last night and didn't have to clear the windshield. When I pulled the tarp off, the ice made such a joyous sound! Granted, it was blended with the sound of the tarp, but it brought a smile to my morning.

The tiredness is seeping back in lately and I'm sure it's just because my schedule is so hectic right now. As soon as things settle back to "normal" I'll feel a lot better.

I have several other things to take care this morning, but I truly hope you're all safe and sound.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

A Sigh of Relief

The car is fixed! I am more grateful for that than I can really say. Part of that is the simple fact that I didn't want to carry a package of cat litter from the bus stop to the apartment, but part of it is that I've been wearing down just a little bit each day. I won't go into the whole spiel about the time sitting on the bus or at the stops (I chose to use it as knitting time as much as I could), but I am very, very glad that it's done. I napped yesterday after work and I'll be going to sleep early for the next several days until I feel a little more "normal".
Now that one challenge has been met, I'll be looking toward the others.I'm still in the process of catching a few things up and that should be taken care of within the next couple of paydays, then I'll be pushing forward to saving up for the motor home. It was pointed out that I could probably build a tiny home on a trailer for about the same amount of money (making it completely mine instead of re-doing the interior of the RV) and it's certainly something for me to think about. At the same time, it would take me a long while to build something like that from scratch and I'd also have to get a truck. Not that I have anything against trucks, mind you, I just don't see myself getting one any time soon. Perhaps, after I've been on the road for a while, I'll decide where I want to be and I'll build one at that point.

For now, I'm just happy that the sun is shining and that my car is working. I know that the fatigue will pass as soon as I start resting more. And I know that the stress of things will diminish as well. One day at a time.

Blessings to you all!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Breaking down a little

Last week was not a pleasant one, but there were a few silver linings. My car was overheating to an extreme point and I knew that I couldn't drive it. The silver lining to that is that I got permission to log into the office computer from home and work on the bank reconciling. It was nice using my own bathroom and having a little quiet and peace around me. I also got a lot done without the regular requests to stop my work and take care of something trivial. The radiator has a leak along one of the seams and there was a temporary repair that I'd hoped would last a few months. Mainly because I don't have the time right now to replace the darn thing (and I know it's a messy job that will also be a cold job while the temperatures are low). The money to have someone else replace it is not anywhere to be found for the time being, either. On Thursday afternoon the car was up & running and Brianna & I went to the grocery store, happy to be able to get a few things that had been running low. Friday morning, the battery was about as close to dead as it could be. Sunday (after getting a couple orders through the shop), I was able to replace the battery and drove to work this morning. These were minor things and I kept reminding myself of that. This afternoon, however, just as I was getting ready to pull into my driveway, the radiator blew. All the fluid drained out onto the ground and steam billowed from under the hood. I have no idea when it will get fixed since there won't be money in the budget for it for another 2 weeks. Well, I've ridden the public transit before, and I'll do it again. Hopefully my bosses will allow me to work from home a few days each week until this smoothes out.

The school and I are still trying to work out whether or not Brianna can actually graduate. They say that an assignment had to have been turned in on a specific date, the same date that Brianna was swearing in at MEPS. Since the assignment requires a presentation in front of an audience, they didn't "have the resources" to reschedule it. Her teacher has shown no flexibility in this, the assistant principal suggested that Brianna didn't really want to go into the military and that's why she didn't turn in the assignment (and didn't seem to understand the fact that she's already sworn in and was scheduled to leave next month), and the counselor has repeatedly said that there is nothing she can do about it. Silver lining... Brianna has brought up the fact that she will have more time to physically train for boot camp. I can see that, but I also see another six months of dealing with this school system because of one class. A class that Brianna has a B in, even after the F for the assignment in question.

Saturday consisted of some time with Brianna and an unexpected nap that lasted three and a half hours. I even slept through the noise from the dryer when the cycle was complete even though it "reminds" us every ninety seconds or so. When it was over I barely felt more rested than when I'd gone to my room. I'm trying not to worry too much about that, but it does weigh on me a little that it feels like I'm going backward in this whole recovery process.

Each day I try to see the good in the things happening around me. Taking the bus means that I get more knitting time. Having Brianna's ship date postponed means that I get more time with her. But there is a "but" in all of it. Mostly it consists of being tired of doing all of this by myself. At the same time, I realize that for most of my adult life I have done it this way. Yes, I had some help paying the rent when I first moved here, yes, I've had someone to help me with my auto repairs before I moved here, and yes, I have accepted public assistance when the times have been really tight. At the same time, it was the day to day struggle that I once longed for another person to help carry the burden sometimes. This is the part that makes me nearly weep in frustration as one thing after another piles on top of the mess I'm dealing with.

Don't get me wrong, I don't feel sorry for myself. I know that I have blessings in my life that are worth the moon and stars to me. My increasingly good health (even with the slight curve it's taken), my children's love and awesomeness, my friends all over the world, the "basics" of a roof over my head and food in the kitchen... all of these things are huge, huge blessings and wonderful things to have in my life. And I am more grateful for them than I can express.

And, while I do wish that I didn't have to try so hard to keep everything balanced, I will continue to focus on as much good and positiveness that I can.

Friday, January 09, 2015


The mist is lifting slowly
I can see the way ahead
And I've left behind the empty streets
That once inspired my life
And the strength of the emotion
Is like thunder in the air

(Justin Hayward) 
I've been in a bit of a funk lately. A lot of it has to do with the tightness of the bills and the tiredness of the season. I know that it will pass and the weight will lift somewhat. For a little while I tried to brush this all aside, then realized that I needed to acknowledge the "down-ness" and work through it without avoiding it. That seems to be helping and I am starting to feel a little better.

Random thoughts
It took a little time before I realized that part of my mood has to do with things that happened close to a year ago and the ending of things. It's not that I want to go back and make a different choice, since I see now just how tiny I had become. It's just that there are some old hurts trying to rise to the surface. And so, I'm sitting in the sunshine every chance I get, I am listening to uplifting music each day, and I'm treating myself with as much love and patience as I would to a friend. I know this will pass.

I am certainly looking forward to Spring and all that comes with it. Even with the upcoming emptiness of the house and such I know that the longer days and warmer weather will help a lot. I will be able to plant more seeds and tend to the ones from last year. I'll be able to take a few walks along the Blue Ridge Parkway and listen to the world around me.

Even though I'm back into that cycle of needing a daily nap right now I recognize what I'm doing to cause that and I'm working on it. I just need to scale back a little on what I am doing each day. Organizing my time has never been as important as it is now. If I am not careful I will end up back where I was a year ago and I simply cannot afford that. And so, I am limiting my time of doing things that aren't really necessary. Like stressing over things that are unchangeable.

I truly hope you all have a very good weekend.