Monday, May 4, 2020

Everything is insane

I thought I was done with blogging. No one cares what I have to say really. Who am I? No one of any real importance. Just a mom. A wife. An Admin. A daughter, friend, sister, wannabe writer, the list goes on. 2019 was a shit year. I had to move, lost my job, my only brother died and all in less than forty five days. I nearly had a nervous breakdown. I was lost. I had a falling out with my father and stepmother. My half-stepsister (my dad adopted her so legally she’s my half-sister) chose their side. We haven’t spoken since August. I am okay with it. Not what I would have chosen but still, I will live with it without regret. I get more into that part later. I dealt with some real nasty sports moms at my son’s new school. Felt like I was in high school all over again. I was ready for something good to happen.

At the end of the year I found a new job. One I could be proud of. I now work for a non-profit, I make less money but I actually feel good about myself and don’t have to convince myself daily to walk into work. I don’t hide in the bathroom stall or privacy rooms weekly to prevent others from seeing my tears. My stomach issues are nearly gone. As are my headaches and panic attacks. I swear that place was slowly killing me. In the seven years I worked there, there were at least four suicides. It was to the point that if you told your supervisor or anyone you thought of self harm you were put on FML and referred to mental health assistance. So many of my former co-workers were stressed beyond their limits I can’t even count. One of my supervisors kept a flask in his car and told us he often went home on his lunch break to smoke pot just to deal. And he wasn’t the only one. Thankfully I got out with some semblance of sanity.

I started my new job at the first of the new year and was excited for 2020 to start. So much to be excited for, aside from the job. My son was set to graduate in May, and planning for all the fun events for him- Prom, track season, graduation, parties, his entire future. And my youngest son, finishing his junior year, getting invited to Ohio University and Eastern Michigan University to tour their football facilities, all the other universities showing interest in him as well. He has worked so hard to reach his dream, his goal of playing at the next level. Planning what training camps he’d attend this summer. My husband was happy with his new job, too, he’d been headhunted in the fall and started in October working for a company he really liked. And in a few short months, we would be moving to our house and out of this apartment. My mom returned to nursing after taking a few years off and was able to go to work for the VA, in honor of my late brother, who’d spent so much time there.

Then as you all know, we began hearing about the Corona Virus, Covid-19, the pandemic, and how it was spreading from country to country, from one continent to another. Slowly (at least that is how it seemed at the time) it reached the US and before I knew it, we were in quarantine, working from home, the boys were schooling online, then my husband was laid off. As were my older two sons, and their girlfriends, and so many others. At least I still had my job. And here we are, some fifty days into the quarantine and people are upset they can’t get their nails done or attend concerts. Here in Ohio, there are over 1,000 deaths now. It is strange to say the least. No Prom. No graduation. Well, our district is doing virtual versions. Parties are cancelled. People still are hoarding staples like cleaning supplies, meat, and toilet paper. That was the strangest of all- seeing people buying toilet paper en masse. And here we are, May 4th, fearful to go outside without a mask on, without sanitizer in your pocket, to stand within six feet of another. My family stays at home unless we need something from the store. Home is sanctuary.

There are reports of increased domestic violence, alcohol consumption is way up, I type this as I pour myself a second glass of wine. Folks are bingeing shows and playing video games like crazy. I have contemplated doing something more constructive with my spare time (writing, crocheting, reading) but instead I like so many others am in such a funk I find myself scrolling through Netflix, Apple TV, Prime, Hulu, and Disney Plus to stumble upon some ;great; find that will whisk me away into fantasy land for a while. I have done some gardening. So there’s that. And tonight like so many others, I couldn’t find anything I wanted to watch, so I decided it was time to do something. And here I am. Blogging again. Do I think this will capture anyone’s attention? Nope. Not even a little bit. But does it make me feel a bit better to get it out? Maybe.

It’s been nearly a year since Tony, my brother, was found dead in his apartment. In fact he was found on May 9th 2019. The authorities couldn’t locate me or my mom until four days later, the day after Mother’s Day to tell us. He had struggled with drugs and alcohol for many years, more than half his life actually. But what killed him was diabetes. He stopped taking his insulin. We will never know why. The coroner reported his blood sugar was over 2000. That’s is where the test stops reading levels, so it was likely higher. He was found by a maintenance man after foul smells were reported by his neighbor across the hall. It wasn’t pretty. He was in a pool of blood and fluids. His cell phone was in his hand. He had been robbed. The police weren’t interested in investigating. He was a user. How do we know for sure he was robbed? Aside from his wallet, sunglasses, backpack, and several other portable possessions missing, his door was locked from the outside, the deadbolt locked and his keys also gone. So someone either left him there dead or to die and took his things and locked the door securely behind themselves, or they came across his body and them stole from him. Either way we will never know. There will never be justice. No one will ever be held accountable.

My mom and I had to clean his apartment, pack up his things, step over his dried blood. My dad refused to help. I asked him and my step mother, and my sister to all come help. Help with his arrangements. To ease some of the stress from us. But they refused. My dad said it was too painful. Too hard. Really? Thanks. Thanks for your pain being more than ours. And thank you for not ever coming up to visit him in the hospital even once. I had no idea you were so weak and pathetic you couldn’t be bothered to deal with your only son’s death. And thank you for putting it all on my shoulders. I stayed up with my mom every night afraid to leave her alone. I planned his funeral. I made sure his final wishes were followed. I contacted family and friends. Oh, you did do something. You wrote his obituary and misspelled my mom’s name and you paid for part of the funeral. I will give you that. That was the very least you could’ve done. When he needed you- you weren’t there. When I needed you- you weren’t there. At the funeral, you couldn’t even give your grandsons hugs, you just left. Refused to come to my home afterwards because you were too sad. Sorry if I just don’t buy it anymore.

But even after all that, I still tried. It wasn’t until I found out you took half of his ashes and stuck them in a hole between your parents’ graves, then lied to the VA to ensure you got a free military headstone which you bragged about installing yourself. My father, couldn’t have it professionally installed because he wasn’t buried in his own grave, just a hole. That headstone you are so proud of, he would have hated. Why? Because you told the VA he was Christian when he wasn’t. You are so weak you insisted that there be a cross at the top of that headstone for your beliefs, not his. You know he didn’t believe. You know he was an atheist but that wasn’t acceptable. So you lied. And when I told you what you did was wrong and shameful, that Tony would hate it, you stopped speaking to me. Battle lines were drawn. Your wife and her daughter chose your side. That’s fine with me. If you sleep better at night knowing in a span of three months you lost both of your biological children, cool. You do you. Me an mine will be swell without you. We have all of our lives.

Maybe I shouldn’t be so stubborn. So set in my ways. But I honestly am sick of the judgement, the lectures, the grief, the utter bullshit my father has dished out my entire life to care anymore. I can give many examples of why... being told two days before my wedding to call it off because there is no way a man like him could ever really love someone like me and I would be saving myself hurt and embarrassment... watching my sister steal money from under their noses and shoplift while I was accused of taking a handful of quarters from his coin jar... telling me my cough is too manly and don’t be a “donut eater” (fat ass) or no one will ever love me... being kicked out at 12 because I refused to serve my sister and her boyfriend drinks in our garage... listening to him try to convince me that the US fought in the Crusades with Constantine and this is the reason the world isn’t Muslim... I write a novel, and they have a copy, but none of them ever read it... the list goes on and on and on. I guess I just realized I don’t need that sort of toxic in my life any longer. I’m not mad, I’m just tired, over it.

Maybe one day I will write down more of the stories about my family. I don’t have to worry any of them will ever read them, honestly I’m not sure they can even read. Enough about them.

I thought 2020 had to be an improvement over 2019, but so far its been running neck and neck. Not nearly as bad for my family, though way worse for many others. I consider myself lucky. I have a home. My husband, sons, mom, in-laws, friends, and coworkers are all safe. I have a wonderful marriage. Not one of those facebook wonderful marriages where everything is picture perfect. I’m not delusional. We aren’t perfect. We get mad at each other. There are days where we would love to strangle each other. But our good days far outweigh the bad. We actually like one another. There is no need to be stuck up the other’s ass and we can be angry at each other and still know there is love. My sons, all four of them, are happy. They are nice. Are they angels? Uh, no. But they are good young men and I am proud of them and who they have become. They are all different. They fight, they defend each other, they are brothers. Our moms are good. We like the other’s mom, which I know is not common. I don’t have a ton of friends. I never have. I don’t need many. The ones I have are incredible. I know I can trust them. I can count on them- and they on me, they are my second family.

Being in quarantine has made me think a lot. To be grateful for what I have, to appreciate my loved ones. To care about what matters and to discard what doesn’t. Going to movies, out to eat, to a salon, a mall is nice but not a necessity. Going for long drives without a destination in mind, talking to my kids, getting my hands in the earth... those matter. I know I’m not the only one who’s realized this. I just wanted to write it down. To get some of what’s been in my head for a while out. I can’t wait to see the seeds I’ve planted grow. To sit in my backyard around the fire with my family, to watch my son graduate virtually. It’s the little things I find most exciting.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Catching up.

I don’t even know where to pick up in all honesty as it has been so long so here goes nuthin.

Shenanigans are rampant- crazy is running amok. Now you’re all caught up. ***Warning*** This post will be a touch all over the place. Try to keep up.

 But seriously folks my life is as insane now as it always has been, now I get to include two cats we’ve adopted (Sir Nimbus joined our family a few months ago and Miss Onyx became part of our family last summer). We are all a bit older and it is still undecided whether or not we are wiser. There have been job changes for both my husband and myself, he to an entirely new company (he went from designing the interiors of ambulances to designing fire truck components) and I changed departments at my same company. Both of my older sons have moved out leaving my family down to the 15 and 17 year olds at home with us. Gah- in just a few short years we’ll be empty-nesters and still in our 40’s... woah.

I’ve become Twitterfamous for a day, well, at least in my own twisty mind, since the hysterical TJ Miller liked and retweeted my twits? Tweets? Whatevs. I adore him. And I have yet to complete the two novels I’ve had in progress for years nor have I re-edited Illuminated as my publisher closed shop and reverted rights back to me. Call me jaded or what have you but I just can’t seem to find the will nor the want to dive into that pool just yet. I will. I promise. At least I keep telling myself I will. Time goes past slowly but looking back it seems as though it just happened. Funny how that works.

I am fully engaged in my small garden however and am at ease with my hands in the dirt. I guess you can say it centers me. Which I am always in need of with the crap I deal with on a regular basis. Writing used to do that for me, hopefully one day very soon it will again. Until then, I shall play in the earth. As of late I find myself drained, exhausted. Not just tired, but wiped out. I hate the feeling and have tried several things to get me going again, mostly medications, but I digress. Last year I made the choice to stop eating meat and go with a mostly plant based diet. That does make me feel better. I still eat dairy and eggs, and on the rare occasion seafood because ya know fish aren’t the same as birds and mammals (insert sarcasm here).

I’m sitting in my car right now on my lunch break enjoying the sun’s warmth, cause here in central Ohio we skipped spring and went directly from winter to summer. Anywhoo... a light breeze brought a soft rain and the smell of earth and water and fresh cut grass is just lovely. I really don’t want to go back inside but I must pay the bills and since I have yet to win the lottery or have fabulously wealthy relative leave me everything I must head inside to do what I do. If you are fabulously wealthy and need an heir- I’m here for you, just putting that tid bit out into the universe.

(Picked up two days later at 10:22 pm) Finally made it to Friday which is beyond wonderful as I am officially on vacation now until July 2nd. On Sunday we leave for Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge, TN and normally I would not share that publicly but our home will not be empty as our two adult sons will be staying at our home cat sitting for us; so robbers beware they will be hopped up on junk-food, energy drinks, and all night video game binge sessions. Plus my mom will be here too to oversee their misbehavior AKA babysitting our house-sitters. Speaking of our cats, today was the one year anniversary that Miss Onyx came into our lives so I have decided that this is going to be the day we recognize as her birthday/adoption day.

Back to other stuffs...

In the past year and a half I've been diagnosed with more crap. Here is the most up to date list of syndromes/diseases/BS I get to deal with on a daily basis (in no particular order): Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Arthritis (spine and hips), Fibromyalgia, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Lymphocitic Microscopic Colitis, Diverticulitis, Chronic Migraines, Anxiety, Anemia, Vitamin D Deficiency, Celiacs, Degenerative Disc Disease. I know, you're jealous. At the moment I am having flares. My hands feel swollen and tight even though they look normal. My back is killing me. The joints in my arms (wrists, elbows, fingers, shoulders) are super weak and achey. I feel gutted- utterly exhausted like I could sleep for days. Even if I do sleep for ten plus hours, I have bags under my eyes. Today while at work, I felt nauseous, actually I have felt that way for weeks, but today, after having lunch I ended up on the floor under my desk hugging my trash can and puking in front of my co-workers. I knew you were jealous. I stayed until the end of my shift. No point in leaving. No point in complaining. And that isn't what I am doing now. Honestly. Just sharing and updating. It is what it is.

I see people constantly complain about their health and pain and problems on social media. I wonder what their motivation is. Attention? Release? Catharsis? Who knows and in all reality it isn't my business. If it makes them feel better, more power to them. It isn't for me. I have shared with some of them my thoughts, things I have done to help and find relief, blah blah blah, and still I see them online mentioning their troubles so I guess they like to share their misery with others for their own reasons. If I can help I will.

I can tell you this, being gluten free is not fun, cheap, a way to lose weight, or anything other than a great big pain in the ass. I do it because I get seriously sick if I don't. It is not an allergy. Gluten destroys my guts. I refer to myself as glutarded (sorry if that is offensive to anyone). I have found some great GF options and ways to alter traditional foods and recipes to be GF without costing me a fortune. Eating GF and vegetarian is not easy at all. Don't let anyone lie to you and tell you different. It is a HUGE pain in the tushy. But it is my life. Celiacs is not going away and my desire to eat meat is nil. Sooooo. There you have it.

My husband just walked in the room and looked at me puzzled, "you're on your laptop?" That's how long it has been since he's seen me write. Wow, that is an eye-opener for me. Time to change that. Nimbus (cat) just got his head stuck in my empty cup. I tried to catch it on video but alas I was not fast enough. Moments later, Onyx sprinted into the room from youngest son's room like his tail was on fire. Nimbus is obsessed, and I do mean obsessed with straws. He will go to the ends of the Earth to get a straw from you. Knock your cup over and drag it across the house if need be to free said straw. He has quite the stash. If I pick them up and put them in his laying box (box he lays in as cats frequently do) he will then get the straws and put them back where they were as if I should have known better. I mean, how dare I??? Onyx on the other hand could care less about laying boxes, straws, toys, or anything else cat related. The only exceptions are laser pointers, cat nip, and tuna. And when it comes to tuna it has to be tuna soup.

Tuna soup you are asking right about now. Yes. Tuna soup. That is what I call it anyway. She will only eat tuna when it is mixed with water making a sort of soup. Nasty I know. But that is what she wants so that is what she gets. Nimbus on the other hand will eat tuna like a normal cat. He is super playful. He likes all the toys. All the normal cat things and then some. However he also is into some odd stuffs too. For instance, you may be wondering why his name is Nimbus. He got it because he is fond of chewing on my handmade (and very expensive) brooms. So he is named after Nimbus 2000 in Harry Potter, not the type of cloud. Onyx was named after the gem stone as they are both black in color. And beautiful. And I love crystals and I love her. Nimbus also doesn't meow. He makes this odd chirping sound. He can meow. I have heard him do it twice when I put him into the pet carrier when I took him to the vet. He also makes a strange whooshing sound. I've posted clips on my facebook page. The kitties have brought so much joy to our home as well as healing. The main reason I started wanting to get an animal was how much we missed Brutus since his death. The love they have given to us has been unmatched. Healing is underway. One day we will be ready for another dog. Not yet. But one day. So I am too tired to keep writing for now. Bit I will write more. I promise. I do! So here are my kitties and you have my word I will do better. Good night.

Friday, July 8, 2016

I just don't understand

Maybe its a good thing I don't understand, because if I did understand then I would be a part of the problem. Why is there so much hate? Why? Why are people in 2016 who are different in any way, shape, or form being killed-tortured-beaten-maimed-threatened-hurt or even living in fear?

Why are parents in denial that their little darlings are bullying other children?

Why do we have to prepare for active shooter situations at work and school?

Why are those of any faith (Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Pagan, or any other of the bazillion faiths in this world) worried that they will be persecuted?

Why are members of the LGBT community fearful of violent acts against them?

Why are different ethnicities being shot and profiled while other races are getting away with murder, literally?

Why are protestors retaliating by shooting police who had nothing to do with violent acts that happened in other states?

Yes, if you are breaking the law and the police try to stop you from breaking the law, you should stop- don't run, don't try to escape, blah blah blah... That doesn't mean you deserve to die if you do try to run to avoid getting caught for a non-violent crime. The Police are supposed to protect us, the citizens. That is their job. There are more good ones than bad ones. However there are some that are bad. There are some that screw up royally and it costs someone their life. There are some that get so wrapped up in the power trip that they think they are above the law. But again, there are more good than bad. My hope is that all the bad ones get caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

I can not for the life of me figure out why any of these things and so many other horrible things are taking place and why we as a society can not figure out how to stop it. Are we so beyond the hope of living together peacefully that we should just give up? What kind of a society are we leaving for our children? This is not what I want for my four sons.

Where I grew up there was not much diversity. I didn't know many people who weren't white. I honestly can say I didn't meet anyone who wasn't under the Christian umbrella  until I was married and moved to Central Ohio, except for a few Pagans I met in college. I only knew a handful of gay people and they were closeted for the most part. Once I met some people who were different , it was very intriguing to me to get to know them and broaden my horizons. I had so many questions and always asked their permission before bombarding them with my usually silly questions (everyone laughed in good humor at me wanting to know stuff that seemed so common place to them).

After a few years the novelty of diversity faded and I loved the fact that my four sons all had friends of various faiths, races, and genders. They didn't care if someone was gay or straight, male or female, a believer or not, what mattered is that someone was nice and was their friend, and that made me proud. Seeing them grow up in a society where everyone was equal and differences were embraced made me happy and sad. Happy for them and how lucky they were, sad at how much I had missed out on and that I didn't get these experiences until I was an adult. Better late than never.

Then one day my youngest son, he was four or five at the time, came running inside upset. He'd been playing outside with kids from our neighborhood when something went sideways. He was madder than a hornet who's nest had been busted up. He stormed into the kitchen to tell me all about it. "Mom! This stupid black boy..." I cut him off right there. I refused to let him call names, much less make comments that could ever come off as racist. But he continued all about the stupid black boy and that he had said something and done something and each time he said "stupid black boy" I chastised him. He grabbed my hand and pulled me to the door so he could show me the traitor. When we went outside, there were no children that were African American. No Latinos. No Somalis. No Indians either. Confused, I asked him if the child had left and he said "No Mom, he's there!" and pointed at a little boy with blonde hair and fair skin. He was wearing a black shirt. To my son, this was the stupid black boy. He wasn't describing his skin color, but the color of his shirt. It never occurred to my son to use black as a descriptive word for race since my son is racially colorblind. I wanted to cry. Happy tears. Why can't we all be racially colorblind? His closest friend is African American. When I think of it, all of my sons closest friends are different races. Either African American, Latino, Greek, Vietnamese.

My husband's best friend is African American and Muslim. We consider him and his family part of our family. Even if they are not blood, they are still our family, maybe even closer than some of our blood since we chose them. I have very close friends who are gay. I have very close friends and family who are Jewish, Buddhist, Catholic, Atheist, Pagan, and pretty much every variation of Christianity. I fully support the LGBT community. I will never know what it is like to be
African American, LGBT, Muslim etc., but I have had crap held against me for being fat, for being female, and I am not saying that what I have dealt with is anywhere near the same bullshit that these groups have had to face and still face... but I have had a taste and it sucked so with that said, I will stand with those who are being mistreated, those who are being threatened, hurt, violated and even if no one ever reads this blog post, I at least know what I stand for.

This shit needs to stop. NOW. Stop attacking each other. Stop the hate. Stop hurting one another. Just stop it so we can hopefully start to heal.

Black lives matter. Gay lives matter. Muslim lives matter. Police lives matter.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Did ya miss me?

Wow... I know I hadn't blogged in a while, yeah I've been bad, but I had no clue it had been ten months, yikes... I'll be better I promise. Isn't it funny how life gets in the way and flies by? Anyway, no excuses. Let's get reacquainted and caught up.

So we bought out house and got moved in, that was huge. My oldest son (who recently turned 19) moved out, nearly as huge. Our second son graduated and turned 18, super exciting. the younger two, 13 and 15 are going into 8th and 9th grades and are working out and getting super pumped for our family trip to the beach.

My publisher went out of business. That sucked. My book was pulled off of all sale sites. I stopped getting royalties. Not like I was getting bank, but still, the random checks were still nice. I remember when I go the very first one and how excited I was, I even took a picture of it. It was sort of cool to have a tangible thing to prove that I actually made money doing something that I loved doing, something that I never meant to do, something that a lot of others never believed I could do. I actually considered NOT cashing it and framing it. For a few minutes. Then I took the picture and went to the bank. My publisher reverted the rights back to me. Now I own my own book. I already owned the cover. Now I own it all. It is mine.

I am reworking it. Editing it. AGAIN. Changing things. Making corrections. Tightening the story. And fixing all of the little details that have been pointed out to me over the past few years that somehow slipped past my editors. I've definitely learned a lot since Illuminated was first published in 2013 and I stopped working on the follow up Enlightened out of frustration with the publisher and a few other things that I just didn't feel like dealing with at the time. Now I am faced with what to do with them... As of now, once I am done, I will re-release Illuminated then shortly thereafter Enlightened will follow, both will be self published.

Now that those unpleasantries have been shared...

I've been dealing with back and joint pain for several years now, elbows, knees, ankles, wrists, hips...  I've gone to several doctors who have told me that I'd be pain free if I'd just lose weight and get in shape. So I did. I lost 95 pounds (yay me) and would go to the gym and afterwards would be in agony for days. I would walk on the treadmill for 15 minutes and halfway through I'd be holding onto the rails bent over supporting myself because my back hurt so bad. I'd try to do arm curls and it felt like my elbows were going to snap. Lunges and squats were impossible. I could do yoga, pull down type weights, and a few others but I was super limited and if I pushed just a bit too far I paid for it for days. No one would listen to me. Even my husband would get frustrated that I didn't go to the gym as often as I should after my surgery. I wanted to.

I went to my doctor again and asked her again for help. She wanted me to go to physical therapy for the third time. Three times per week for eight weeks, with my insurance at $30 per visit that comes to $720. I insisted that the previous two times were no help and I didn't think another time would be any different and I really didn't want to pay $720. Finally she agreed to refer me to a rheumatologist. So a week ago I had my appointment and he actually listened to me. He and his staff spent nearly three and a half hours with me, he ordered a full work up, blood work, and even x-rays! He said his initial impression is that I have arthritis, calcium deposits in my joints, and fibromyalgia. He told me he wanted to wait for the tests to get back to diagnose, but he felt confident with the fibro and arthritis. He prescribed a neuro med for me too.

This week I heard back from his office that the x-rays showed that my sacro-illiac joints are eroding which he is super concerned about. So now I am waiting to hear back from his office about when I will have an MRI of my back/spine. I am so glad that there is someone listening to me but I am also scared what will be found. At least I have found help and that is what is important.

So that is what is going on in a nutshell. I will do my best to keep you apprised to the details as the occur and not take so long to do so. I am going to finish up will Illuminated and Enlightened and Bael's story (I really need to come up with a title for that one). I'm going to go for now, my wrists and ankles are really sore and I'm getting tired. Good night blogsters.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Happy birthday to me!

I am officially 37, well as of one minute ago I am. So far 2015 has been pretty crazy, I go a new car, well it's new to me anyway. Then I had my stomach surgery and since then I have lost 80+ pounds (woo hoo!). I got a promotion at work, I attended the Lori Foster RAGT conference in June and then we bought our first home at the end of July! My oldest son moved out, and now we have a senior as well as a 7th and 8th grader. Now I just added another year to my age.

My weekend started off going out with a few co-workers for drinks after our shifts ended. Hanging out with them outside of the office was fun. It was interesting getting a glimpse of the guys I spend 40 hours a week with away from the daily grind. I hope we do it again soon.

I spent this weekend baking pumpkin cupcakes with whipped cream cheese frosting, both gluten free and regular, pizzas, again both gluten free (Chebe is the best crust I have ever tried!) and regular. I also made loaded baked potato salad, deviled eggs, and brewed iced tea. We had a BBQ and our friends and family made a GF carrot cake (OMG my mom is amazing), and pasta salad. We grilled various sausages from Schmidt's in German Village, steaks, and juicy Lucy's (burgers with cheese stuffed inside). It was wonderful. Spending a nice, relaxing weekend with loved ones was definitely awesome.

 Our life has certainly been chaotic this summer. We are still unpacking and getting settled. Since we started this process back in June, nearly every weekend has been filled with chores, moving, packing and unpacking, organizing, donating unneeded items, looking for misplaced items, fixing just about everything (that is an entirely other blog entry), and the list goes on and on... So needless to say, a bit of fun was well deserved.

I even took my birthday off from work. Which was definitely a good call since school starts on Tuesday for my two boys in junior high and I have yet to buy all their school supplies and my driver's license and tags expire. Oh, and I still have to go to the grocery store so they will have something to put inside their lunch boxes. Even though I won't be at work, I will be a busy girl!

Now that I am 37 years and 43 minutes old, I guess I should go to bed.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

And it continues...

So last Thursday we were supposed to close on our house but because our lender/loan nazi has decided to take his good old sweet time and dick around with our paper work while trying to drive us absofucklinglutely batshit crazy we did not. Oh yeah, and this asshat has still not given us an actual closing date either. Can you tell that I am a bit frustrated? Sorry for venting...

We have the loan, it has been approved, but for some reason, we are still sitting here in the dark waiting to get the final word that all the T's have been crossed and all the I's have been dotted so we can finally get the keys to our home. We are hoping that it will happen by the end of next week. At this point, we have no clue.

I have started packing. Jamie has not. Why you may be wondering have I begun the process of cataloging our belongings and placing them into boxes, wrapping all fragile items in newspaper and bubble wrap, and filling our hall, living room, and bedrooms with boxes and totes when my husband refuses? Because he has reached the point of doubt. Doubt that we will get the house, that the seller will continue without a closing date, that our lender is ever going to do his damned job. Jamie doesn't want to put our lives away only to be disappointed if we lose the house because our lender has dragged his feet for so long that everything falls apart for us. Honestly I can't say I blame him. Sitting here in my living room looking at the brown boxes and Sterilite storage tubs currently surrounding me filled with knick knacks and clothes and photos makes me anxious.

What if he is right? Unpacking them would be difficult if we lose the house we have come to think of as our new home, the home we plan on building with our sons. Our family needs a new home. A few months ago our dog Brutus died, and we have all been sad since then. Our current home where we have lived since 2004 is filled with memories, good mostly, but once Brutus passed, it just seems so sad here. Time for a fresh start. We had already begun the house hunting process before we lost Brutus , so it isn't just because of him we are leaving, but it is time for sure. In fact, he is coming with us, well, his ashes are anyway. We'd never leave him behind.

I was able to get this past Thursday and Friday off work for the planned closing and move, but since that fell through, I spent the days off taking my kids to doctor appointments, school shopping, going to yard sales, and going to the gym. What makes me even angrier is that I can't get any days off this week so hopefully IF we do close this week, we can do the closing before I go to work at 2 pm. My mother in law is planning on coming up to help us pack and move, and my mom is also planning on helping. We have a few friends who are supposed to help too, but I am not sure with all the help we have planned it will be enough now that I only have Saturday and Sunday and weekdays before 2 to move.

The bad news (yes there's more) is that we have to pay another month of rent but the good news is that we have the whole month to move so there isn't such a big rush. Oh well... Nothing we can do to change any of this. As I write this reflecting on this past weekend that should have been chaotic and stressful and busy and exhausting, this weekend wasn't so bad at all.

Aside from errands, we spent family time poolside, went shopping, and even to a concert (if you are not a James Bay fan, you do not know what you are missing). Maybe next weekend will be crazy and this time next Sunday I will be in my new home. I guess what's meant to be will be.

Monday, June 29, 2015

What were we thinking?

Of all the insane things we have done, buying a house has got to be at the top of the list. I know it is a right of passage of sorts, but I am not sure we are ready for this level of insanity. Now we have been thinking about this for a very long time and are not wanting to rush into anything though I think there isn't a way to be 100% secure when purchasing a home.

There are so many unknowns... What if this is not the right house for our family? What if our dream house comes on the market after we start this process? What if we are making a huge mistake? What if what if what if... I am driving myself crazy  about all the "what ifs". I keep trying to reassure myself and usually it works, or at least helps, but nagging thoughts sneak in from time to time causing me to freak out. We have planned as much as we are able and have tried to be as educated about this process as possible. We have searched and searched for a good house, and let me tell you, finding a house both my husband and I agree on has been difficult enough, then getting our four sons to concur with our decision has been an adventure in itself.

When we started looking, we sat down together and listed all of the features that we required, others that would disqualify a house, and some that we wanted but were not deal breakers. What did our lists contain you may be wondering... Here are a few. Must haves: three or more bedrooms, stay in the same school district, at least one and a half bathrooms (no way in hell I am sharing a potty with five guys), and a decent kitchen. Deal breakers: anything opposite of the must haves list, Wants: fireplace, deck, hardwood floors, two car garage, and main floor laundry.

So we decided to start by getting pre-qualified for a loan. Seemed like a good place to start since if we didn't have the money then we were dead in the water. We turned in the application, then got a call from our lender requesting additional information. Once we gave them everything they needed, we were told that we were approved! Pretty amazing first step. Then it was time to find a realtor. So we asked around and one of my co-workers recommended the realtor that helped her and her boyfriend purchase a home last year in the exact same area we were looking in, and my coworker couldn't say enough nice things about her realtor, so I gave her a call on Wednesday. The realtor eagerly sent us emails with homes for sale meeting our minimum requirements. Five homes looked good, so we set up showings for that Saturday. By Friday morning, three of the houses were in contract, all three had been on the market less than forty eight hours. Yikes.

Saturday afternoon arrived and I was nervous and excited. We planned on meeting our realtor at the first home at one. The house would definitely need some work, but the price was good, so we walked in the front door. Everything was out of date, light fixtures, carpet, appliances, paint, pretty much everything would need to be replaced. Did I mention the awful sponge painted walls and the golden rod shag carpeting? It smelled musty and the floors squeaked and creaked. Oh, and there was a typo on the listing, only one bathroom. On to the next house.

House number two looked much more promising from the outside. It was a split level foyer so we decided to start up stairs. The carpet was brand new, and were a nice neutral light tan shade and was super soft. The walls were freshly painted tan and trimmed in white. The kitchen was small but had just been renovated. New cabinets,new stainless steel appliances, new sink with a new fixture. The full bathroom was also redone and would work well for us. The three bedrooms were on the smaller side and the closets were also smaller than our condo currently has.

We headed downstairs and were pleased with the half bath and easy access to the garage. Though it was only had one stall, the garage door was brand new. The next room was a large family room/den/rec room. Then we took a peak inside the utility room, the only room that was not finished, but looked easy enough to finish. Then we found a surprise. After opening the last door off of the utility room, we found another room. It was big enough to be a fourth bedroom, though it couldn't be considered a bedroom since it lacked a closet. We would figure that room out later. We next headed outside to check out all of the landscaping and yard.

There was a tool shed beneath the second floor deck, lots of trees (which needed trimmed in a bad way), new mulch and river stone walled flower beds, and overall, was lovely. A few other items we found to be cool were the new windows that tilted in for easy cleaning and the new light fixtures through out the house, including the one directly above the front door. Overall, we really liked the house. It wasn't perfect, not our dream house, but it was a great house at a great price in a great neighborhood. Add to that how fast houses in our area had been selling faster than funnel cakes, we knew we needed to act fast if we wanted this house.

But did we want it? Or did we want to keep looking? We left the house and said good-bye to our realtor and headed home to talk. Within an hour we decided to make an offer. We sent a text to our realtor and then we waited. We offered $4,500 less than the owners asking price and asked them to pay for the closing costs. We were told that it would take a few days most likely to hear back. However, the next morning they countered our offer, they agreed to pay all the closing costs, but would not go any lower than $1,500 less than asking price. We accepted with the stipulation that the inspection went well. And with that, we were in contract.

We had seven days to complete the inspection. So we found a guy and within five days, we had the house inspected. He found a few small things that needed repaired, the three biggest were that the exterior water spigots were missing, the whole house was in need of insulation, and biggest of all, the AC was not working. So we sent the report as well as our repair requests. Within twenty four hours, the seller got back to us and agreed to do everything with the exception of the water spigots and the insulation. We accepted and officially are in contract. Now we are finalizing the loan information and are waiting for the promised repairs to be completed.

Now we are busy planning our move, the new patio and fire pit in the back yard, and where all of our belongings will end up. We are set to close in less than a month and I feel like we will not be able to pack up ten plus years of stuff in enough time. What will we bring with us, what will we trash or donate or give away? My stress level has increased tremendously and we are no where near done. There's no turning back now. We are in the midst of the first time home purchase for our family.

But I am so excited and absolutely can not wait until the end of July when we are handed the keys to our new home. That's right, HOME.