Archive for September, 2013

Sweet as Pie (Shepherd’s Pie)

September 27th, 2013 at 11:28 pm » Comments (6)

Seth-7yr, after a field trip to an apple orchard. He holds up a less than stellar looking apple and proudly tells me it is “the exact kind that YOU are, Mom.”



“Yeah. If you were an apple. You would be exactly this apple.”

I frown at it.

“come on! Name some apple types!”

I try. But Macintosh and Granny Smith and Honeycrisp don’t have anything to do with me. And Seth-7yr can’t stand it anyway.


“NO!! It’s a Pink Lady with bruises!!!!”


He giggled and was very proud of himself for this. I looked at what skin i had showing, and yeah, there were the usual few bruises.


Well. Okay. 

If I have to be an apple, he’s right. That’s the one.

This is me. This is my life.

September 14th, 2013 at 6:47 pm » Comments (8)

There’s been a lot going on behind the scenes here. I’m about to yank the curtains back. : )

I LOVE my new job.

I miss my old co-workers.

I’m attempting to rectify the housing conflict Claude and I find ourselves in.

Let me talk this through, because, eh. It’s time. My silence here has been misunderstood. Taken advantage of, perhaps.

There have been numerous, uh, incidents with Claude.

One incident… the first of the following…. I LOST it. I mean, I freaked. I was sarcastic and angry and fortunately I did it all in a legal meeting with both attorneys present who could reign me in if needed.   Y’all. I was BADLY behaved. I hadn’t intended to be. Not at all. We were meeting to renegotiate a few terms, and Claude feigned total SHOCK that all his rent payments somehow never got to the mortgage company and the house (that he had put in MY name) was in foreclosure. SHOCK, I tell you. How….? Well….? What?! Those payments? I mailed them. Every one of them.

I guess I didn’t notice they NEVER cleared the bank, he said. With a straight face. A financial advisor. On television.

“So…. you have an extra $10,000 plus in your bank account that shouldn’t be there…?” One of the professionals present asked. I asked where the tracking numbers were since these had been ‘overnighted’ and if there was ANY proof whatsoever of these phantom checks that had disappeared into the wild blue yonder each month.

He flinched. No proof of these weird claims.  But then he kept going. He was completely shocked those payments had not been received, and I should have alerted him (besides those certified letters he ignored) and frankly he was really DISPLEASED with…  ME.

His living rent free in our marital home…? Ruining my credit? That was my fault. CLEARLY. And THAT meeting was the first he realized there was any sort of problem with the house. Really, it was as if he’d been SET UP. By me. And, frankly,  he was offended.

Fortunately it was a large circular table, the seats were low, and it seemed a large enough physical boundary to hold me in my place.

Fortunately I lost it in that meeting with professionals present and only then. I got it out of my system that day. Which was good, because there were coming many more instances in which I could erupt again if I chose. The urge was gone though.

Claude proposed later, via email to our attorneys and to me, that he would get the house current by August 31. I replied to everyone, accepting his offer and telling him that it would be HIS responsibility to be sure the payments were made ON TIME and received and could be proven and recorded and documented received by 8/31 and NO EXCUSES would be accepted and otherwise I’d evict his butt.

But he didn’t. He caught up the payments, but not by the date he proposed.  He gave me the clear go ahead to evict him when he failed to meet that deadline. HIS deadline.

So I researched eviction procedures in Texas. I decided that the best time to give him the papers would be when he dropped off the kids one morning. I’d hand them to him in a folder with little owls and take his picture with my phone while talking to him about the kids’ shot records. He, and the kids, if they were tuned in, would probably assume that what was in the owl folder was the shot record I was saying I would give to him. And then I sent that by text.

This worked exactly as planned, and i have a really unfortunate and unflattering photo of Claude being served with eviction papers on my driveway. The kids were never aware of what had occurred, and friendly sounding chatter about vaccinations filled the air.

In the owl folder was a 10 day notice to vacate. Claude was livid, as I found out later. “SHE SERVED ME IN FRONT OF THE KIDS.”  Yes. Yes I did. Discreetly. And they never knew.

In another meeting with a professional he said he planned to ignore my eviction notice. The professional then turned to me and sweetly asked, ‘Now what?”

“Now we move on with forcible eviction processes, I execute a deed in lieu and am separated from this real estate mess and can begin rebuilding my credit NOW.”

I was calm and quiet in that meeting. More prepared for what was really going on, and realizing Claude really didn’t have much of a position….  Well.  It didn’t really matter to me either way. I wouldn’t have to be held back by a table, it would be a waste of energy. He could negotiate with me on three other issues, and in return I would GLADLY give him some grace on the house mess. (still would, probably, unless things are too far in motion to stop) Or he could refuse, lose the house, and I’d be done with it. My decision was already made, and either of his choices were fine with me.

Somewhere in here – and admittedly, it was probably after that first meeting where I was freaking out angry – because we all KNOW that is threatening and impossible – Claude began a full court press on defining who I am. To anyone who will listen, I am ‘unforgiving,’ ‘hateful,’ ‘awful’, and my personal favorite… “un-Christlike.”  I am ‘fighting’ with him all the time.

Interesting…. I’m not fighting. I was angry one day in August, and I showed it. But am I fighting…? No. I’m negotiating. Calmly. And it’s driving him nuts.

Claude does NOT define me. He never has. He has no authority in my current life. No power. If anything, it’s the reverse, as he’s expecting forcible eviction processes at any moment. He can talk a big talk. Say ugly stuff. He can yell and freak out and threaten the kids and me that he’ll withhold money… yelling at us through the front door. And… that would be different from what he does now…. how?  (yeah. police were called. fun.)

But… REALLY?  he was mad at me for withholding Duke. It was going to be opening season for dove… and I withheld the hunting dog. WHY? Well. The school had called. And if Claude didn’t pay their tuition, they needed to find a new school. Immediately. So I withheld the dog. Totally guilty, I DID THAT. Was that the right thing to do….? No. Probably not. I sat with the kids and heard them out on their opinions. My choices were to withhold the dog in an attempt to get tuition paid… or to not say anything at all and to go enroll them in a new public school.

Right or not…. it WAS effective. Tuition was paid within two hours and the ransomed dog was handed over the next day. Neither choice was particularly attractive… but I’m not losing sleep over MY right or wrongness there. Or anyone’s. This is life. I’m living it. I’m fine. I’m bargaining with what i HAVE. And if it’s a dog, it’s a dog. If it’s a house… it’s a house. I will NEVER withhold children, nor have I. But a dog or an unpaid free ride of a house? Sure. No problem.

I’m not a hateful person. I thoughtfully considered that charge. After I stopped smirking. I’m fairly joyful and peaceful, regardless of circumstances.  Just humbled and beyond grateful to have escaped my previous life. THAT is how I really feel. When i think about my life…. it’s gratitude that permeates my thoughts. Not resentment or bitterness… it’s just oh thank you GOD that I’m free. And THIS is my life now. And THIS is how it is better. And THIS. And THIS. And ohmygosh, I get to do THIS now and THAT…..? That’s what goes on in my head. In case you wondered.

Am I unforgiving? Well…. I don’t know. It’s hard to KEEP UP with all the stuff I have to forgive him for, but I think I’m doing a pretty good job. His porn ended up on the kids’ phones (thanks to his iCloud syncing procedures/settings issue) for the THIRD time last week in the last six months. And yeah…. that annoyed me. But did I yell at him? No. I made little paper doll outfits for the naked girls and boys and put them on the phone and THEN took pictures (because I don’t want that on MY phone) to document it all, as is my standard practice now, and I explained the issue again and what he needed to do to STOP it from happening and then, sure, I maybe made fun of him a little for the type of images that I found. Couldn’t help it. Okay. Maybe that was bad. But…? Geez. It was the third time. Could we maybe, LEARN, from this? I don’t particularly enjoy making little bikinis out of post it notes. I have other things to do with my creativity than that.

I do feel badly for his girlfriend. I used to be that young and naive. Someone thought she was my daughter last week. And…? Maybe it shouldn’t have, but it made me LAUGH so hard. Ohhhhh. No. She may resemble her in a few ways, including age. But no.  That baby is not one of  mine.

So i haven’t been writing. And now I am. And I said a whole lot I wouldn’t have normally. But…? My default mode is not to discuss the negative things Claude does here. And…. I suppose because he’s trying to characterize me as being so awful and because I’ve really given it a lot of thought…. I realize that default mode isn’t appropriate.

Why am I still in some small way protecting the image of a man who never protected me/my health/my life/ my credit/ my finances/ my family? I think in the future I need to be sure that if I’m leaving something off this site that is unpleasant about Claude and is relevant in my life that I would normally write about here… it’s for my OWN reasons. Not because it’s been my habit to just silently go with the program.  The program changed.

I don’t owe that to anyone.

And if it’s a privilege extended in the future… it’ll be earned.

THIS is my life. And THIS is who I am. And THIS is what I’ve REALLY been going through and how i’ve REALLY been handling it all.

And, as always, the very best part about me… is my faith. It’s largely because of my faith that I refuse to stay silent and possibly participate in a false characterization by someone who never knew me at all.

I know Whose I am. And who I am.

And I do have a voice.



Neighborhood Crime Watch

September 8th, 2013 at 8:12 pm » Comments (2)

I was on my way home from work for lunch one day last week when I happened upon the scene.

It was the most pathetic excuse for a crime scene in action you ever saw.

One woman had her mouth wide open and NO teeth (it kinda haunts me when I think about it) and she was walking down the sidewalk digging through a not very cute black handbag.

Behind the Toothless Woman about ten yards was a woman who was following after, but only at a barely-brisk walk. Behind HER, was another woman.

The two women who were following the Toothless Thief wore ballet flats. They didn’t want to walk fast, actually get NEAR the thief (can’t blame them), or I don’t know, break a sweat or actually RUN.

I was on the phone with my mom. I said, “hang on mom. There’s a mugging going on and no one is wearing the right shoes.”

I stopped the car and asked the first of the ‘pursuers’ – and I use that term with great disgust and VERY loosely – if the first woman had indeed stolen her bag.


“Right. Okay. I’ll follow her.”

And I talked to my mom while I steered down a few alleys, looking for the Toothless Thief, who had really made good use of the fact that her targets were total wusses who wouldn’t kick off their stupid shoes and give chase.

Mom said, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING? ARE YOU WONDER WOMAN? WHERE ARE YOUR BRACELETS?”  And I really didn’t know what she meant, because although I WANTED to watch that show when I was little, I don’t think she let me because the sexed up costumes  Lynda Carter wore might have been bad for me or something.  I certainly do not remember bracelets. Not that I really accessorize well anyway.

“WHAT?? I’m putting the phone in my lap so I can turn down this next alley. Just hang on, mom.”

I careened down the alley in my giant white SUV with the words of Paul Simon in my head. “Who’ll be my role model, now that my role model is gone… gone…? He ducked back down the alley with some roly poly little bat faced girl…”

And my thief wasn’t bat faced (whatever that means), but she wasn’t a looker either, and there WERE alleys, and I don’t know. That’s all it took.

Unless ‘bat faced’ means it looks as if someone had taken a bat TO her face. And then, yes, she was totally bat faced.

I came back onto the main road in time to see my ballet flat wearing victims simpering and pointing and flirting it up with two men who came out of an office building. AH. Seriously? You want to be damsels in distress and flirt with men types instead of pursuing the ugly thief woman…? GOT IT. Nevermind. Your purse was icky anyway, and you didn’t care enough to run after her yourself….? I’m going home to eat lunch.

And I did.

I picked up the phone from my lap and told mom I was done, and she  was like, “Really? All I heard about was how everyone involved was wearing inappropriate SHOES.”


If a crime happens right in front of me, I will not be able to describe the individuals. But I WILL tell you if they wore appropriate footwear and acted like they cared. That’s just the kind of eyewitness i am.



work it, girl.

September 2nd, 2013 at 10:40 pm » Comments (3)

The nice people I’ve been working with for the last 8 months gave me flowers and cake on my last day. SO sweet and unexpected.

The nice people i’ve been working with for just the last week…? Oh wow. I think I love this place. It’s a school – a really unique school that has office hours on days where there are no students present. SO. I can do office-y stuff like a recluse in a largely empty big building without people around during school hours while my kids are busy ANYWAY…? Well thank you GOD for this job. That’s beyond thoughtful!!  That’s like, MADE for me, right?! I do that a couple days a week. And I have a more social job one day a week there. And lots of people from my church are there… I’m having to actually interact.

It’s a good thing. Now. I have to go to bed.  Love y’all.