SO quickly, here.
HOW ARE YOU?
Seriously. Tell me, please.
(Spoiler alert: One of you is pregnant. YAY! )
so I hit a cow.
the cow died.
the cute little car is being fixed. it’s not so cute right now.
it’s the brown fur embedded in it.
and the blood.
that make it not so cute.
the kids are at camp.
good grief but it is quiet.
the air conditioner broke.
it was 106 a couple of days ago.
getting a new one.
ohmygosh i’m glad the kids are at camp and not here.
they would not be quiet about it.
i wouldn’t be either.
except i’m a grumpy mess without energy to complain.
from the heat.
about the heat.
no Miami Heat jokes here. nope.
I’m all sympathy, LeBron.
it is HOT in Texas. No question.
San Antonion, AND at my house.
too hot for thighs.
off to target. where there is cold air.
and spinach by the bag.
and artichokes in cans.
and probably not cows, standing in my way.
Song: For King and Country’s “Fix My Eyes”
Life around here is… kinda going WELL.
House: getting cleaner and more organized and less cluttered every day. Thank you FlyLady. I resisted you forEVER. I surrender all. Gladly.
Car: DIFFERENT! YAY! Got an amazing offer on previous Marital Vehicle and into a cute little used SUV that is very me.
Kids: Tall. Why are they so TALL?
Pets: Mostly good. Duke broke his neck but is doing okay. It’s a long story.
Money: Thank God for Dave Ramsey and Financial Peace University. I was halfway through it when the regular lateness of ex provided legally mandated funds kicked into overdrive. The kids got self conscious about taking lunches filled with foil packets. (“But we’re out of baggies. And you can’t EAT baggies, so I”m not going to buy them.” Tough lesson.) And learning what it really means to know and trust that your provider in this world… is God. And fortunately for us, God is bigger than any one person or set of decisions. THIS has been my favorite part to see play out.
I’m still not social. So people I barely knew or didn’t know at all suddenly started accosting me and asking if they could give me extra food. They didn’t know my circumstances. It was simply more convenient for them – for a variety of reasons – to unload food on me. Thank you, God. A neighbor who was moving cleaned out her pantry, freezer, and refrigerator. Brought it all over. She thought it was silly that I have this many kids and don’t really drink. There would have been a fully stocked liquor cabinet to go with it all, if I’d only agreed to help carry the bottles.
My sweet little quiet street turned into chaos when the same neighbor’s home hosted an estate sale. Two different days were perfect for throwing stuff on the lawn and trying to sell everything I could. Thank you, God!
Another day a woman walked past me at work, reversed, asked if I liked garlic bread. And then she gave me THREE huge loaves.
Later that day someone asked if I would please take a candle off her hands. I’m really picky about candle scents. And you can’t eat candles. But I agreed and had to laugh at the scent. “Angel Wings.”
Have you ever wondered what Angel Wings smell like? Sort of musty. And a little bit berry. As I drifted off to sleep that night I thought about how under angels’ wings is exactly where we’ve been. Held closely, tightly, sheltered and protected and loved.
The bills were all paid on time. Thanks to the divine provision given to us by strangers. And the money made through impromptu garage sales. And extremely tight budgeting. I’m taking on every odd job that comes my way and fired and hired a new attorney. No borrowing necessary. God is GOOD.
Today I was stunned when Claude’s assistant brought by some of what he owes. He’s missed… 4, 5, or 6… (?) child support payments. I was not expecting any funds from that man ever again.
I did not answer the door to the assistant and say, “Ohmygosh. You work for a financial advisor who does not pay child support. You poor thing, is that a moral conflict for you?” It crossed my mind. Or, “Has your boss been paying YOU for the last few months? Because his kids have lost some weight.” But I didn’t. It doesn’t matter. And I figure I just would have felt even worse for her afterwards if I HAD said that.
So with a huge smile on my face, I bought dog and cat food. I bought BAGGIES. Seth-8yr had wanted a new toothbrush for the last month. These are things that HAPPENED today. I went up and down aisles and silently constantly thanked God that these small needs were being taken care of today. I bought the food the kids WANTED. Not more of the stuff we learned to like because people gave it to us.
We are so grateful and blessed that God’s timing is perfect. HIS provision is creative and endless and perfect.
I’m GOOD, y’all. I smell a little musty and berry-ish, but it’s my new favorite scent anyway.
Love you. : )
The Rainbow Loom has taken over this home. It’s that plastic peg thing that kids are making rubber band bracelets on…? OH. It consumes all waking hours here. And sleeping ones.
I woke up twice last night because I had little rubber bands sticking to my skin because they had gotten loose in my bed and then it was affecting my dreams. The rainbow loom requires approximatley 1.3 billion tiny rubber bands per user. And we have 2 addicts currently, so that’s approximately 2.6 billion rubber bands in this home right now.
But there are definitely advantages. Caden-9yr and Seth-8yr work together quietly and happily for hours at a time every day. Caden-9yr gets so consumed with it all that he stays out of everyone’s business. It is BIZARRE not to have Caden-9yr in everyone’s business all the time. I mean, house dynamics totally flipped out when that happened.
Ethan-13yr griped one day that he wouldn’t have gotten in trouble for something one day if Caden-9yr had just been IN HIS BUSINESS like he usually is. Weird thing is, that conclusion was completely correct. But his brother had gotten up early for school, gotten himself ready, and allotted an hour and a half to peaceful bracelet making in his room alone and had no interest in anyone else’s drama for once.
He can stir up trouble even like THAT. He’s good, that one.
I’m currently wearing a bracelet that each of them made. One is a waterfall. Whatever that is. And one is a bowtie switchback. Whatever that is. But they’re pretty. All the bracelets that come out of this home have brown and black dog hairs interwoven with love into the pattern. It’s a bonus feature.
I’m refraining from telling them that their dad is numerous child support payments behind and maybe they want to sell those hairy things on ebay to help replenish their supply. But I won’t.
I have to tear them away from this to take them to church. Wish me luck.
I hope you’re all WARM today. I am. I dropped off kids at school – taking dogs with me so they didn’t have to shiver outside while i was gone – and now I have blankets and a cat and hot coffee with Girl Scouts Thin Mint creamer in it, OH WOW. Coffee that tastes like liquid cookies. Mmmmm.
A couple of days ago Caden-9yr said, “What’s a polar vortex anyway?”
And immediately Seth-8yr answered, “Oh, that’s my new deodorant.”
We all looked at him. “Yep.”
“No, honey. That’s Old Spice ‘Wolfthorn’. Not polar vortex.”
My boys will voluntarily use deodorant from the Old Spice “Wild” series. One has a wolf, another has a fox, and I think one has an eagle. I think it’s weird marketing to put wild animals on something that should PREVENT you from smelling like one, but i don’t care as long as the boys use it because WOW, but these three are in THAT collective phase. I don’t think it ever ends, either. So Wolf Deodorant is fine.
Or Polar Vortex deodorant. Whatever. All the same to Seth-8yr.
Lately I am a flurry of motion.
I haven’t been that in YEARS.
It feels good.
There’s a lot of working out and cleaning and organizing and de-cluttering and cooking and laughing and suddenly the whole Life thing just clicked and I snapped back to who I really am. I’ve been here, but kind of stuck or massively slowed by the fog of what has been my life. But now it’s FINALLY really okay and I’m no longer putting forth huge efforts for each small task that has to be done. I trip over my words and my plans and my goals and my ideas and my prayers and my weird little acts of worship because there’s just so MANY of all of them and it’s hard to fit them all in to each day. There’s so much living I haven’t been UP to doing and now I can’t help but try to catch up.
I stopped with the diet coke.
Everything looks and feels and seems so much better. (not because of the absence of diet coke. that sentence is just there because i thought of it then. see? i’m tripping all over everything and throwing it all out there in whatever order makes sense in my head at the moment.)
I’m learning TONS about money and finances and credit and credit scores and realizing how truly terrible all such decisions were in my previous existence. I guard my growing credit score and am constantly on the lookout for threats. And there ARE the same usual suspects. I protect it fiercely and it’s jumped almost two hundred points in the last year.
Bet you didn’t know that was possible, right?!
Yes. Well. Last year when my (not yet) landlord said he was considering me as a renter but, well, in all the years he’s been in business he’s actually NEVER seen a credit score as low as mine. YES I KNOW. THANKS. (It started with a FOUR. Yes. As in 4. FOUR. And I took very small consolation that Claude’s was even lower.)
Fortunately the landlord guy and his wife knew my boys and I were the ones for this house anyway, despite my stupid low, starts with a 4, number. (Thanks, God!)
I have so many things to do. And accomplish. And say. And feel. And think. And pray. And live. And today? So do you. Don’t opt out because of the cold or because of your credit or your clods or anything else.
Deu 30:19 NIV
This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live
So. I’m alive and well.
Previously I was:
Alive and in the midst of a legal battle
Alive and not so well
Alive and well but not, uh…. festive.
And NOW. Without an invitation, a prayer session, a huge gathering of all mental reserves…. simply, UNBIDDEN…. The Christmas Fairy arrived. And took my place. She does, in fact, often wear boots.
The kids and I picked out a tree together for the first time. It’s darling. Fraser fir, 5′ tall, and $20. YAY!
I’m watching stupid hallmark movies that are romantic and Christmas themed and not swearing out loud at them. Or even silently.
I am NOT changing the radio station whenever something Christmas-y comes on.
I’m wrapping gifts and making gifts and loving the unexpected Christmas blessing that if there’s an open contempt of court case waiting to come down on Claude at any point…. he pays everything on time! Early, even!
(I totally should have sued his butt last year when he was starving us! And bragging to me about the great deals he got on new furniture!)
Anyway. Life is good. I don’t know why. The finances are a very small part of it. It’s not that I have the kids for CHristmas. I don’t. It’s not that I’m somehow on fantastic terms with all friends and family and haven’t made lots of people edgy lately. Because that’s not ever gonna happen. Not with my big mouth.
I think it’s just that it’s TIME.
Things are okay. Life is making sense again. I’m not gasping for breath. Figuratively.
The other day I actually looked at the laundry room and decided it should be CLEANED and ORGANIZED.
In shock, I described the Laundry Room Epiphany and asked my mother, “How long has it been since I have had a thought like THAT?”
“Yes. It’s been a long time,” she agreed.
AND THEN I DID IT. I kinda like my laundry room now!
I can’t write more tonight. I need to do several errands and then i have Fairy tasks.
I just wanted to say hello. I haven’t forgotten you. I’m pretty much okay and back, and I sincerely hope y’all are all well also.
Ethan-13yr came home from school early with a fever and I took off work to stay with him. At his request. (How sweet is that?)
In the car on the way home, Caden-9yr and Seth-8yr noticed that their older brother was not there and questioned me until learning he had gone home ill.
“Did he throw up?” Caden-9yr wanted to know.
Before I could say ‘no,’ Seth-8yr said, “YOU ASKED A WOMAN THAT?!”
Caden-9yr said, “Yes. Yes I did ask a woman that.”
Seth-8yr, “I can’t believe you did that.”
Caden-9yr, “There is nothing wrong with asking your mother if your brother VOMITED. Nothing wrong at all with that.” He enunciated ‘vomited’ and dragged it out so it was like “VAAAAAWWWW-mitt-ed.
Seth-8yr, “Oh. Okay.”
Caden-9yr, “I think you were confused. You never ask a woman how much she weighs, how old she is, or if she’s pregnant. But you CAN ask your mom about your brother.”
Seth-8yr, “Oh. Thank you. How old are you, Mom?”
Seth-8yr, “WHAT!? Are you calling your mother a WOMAN?”
And at that point we were in the driveway and I had a headache and I got out of the car and left them to continue this discussion on their own.
And… I’m sure they did.
There has been a lot of suing and countersuing and stuff that is not wise to blog in real-time.
It’s still going on. It’s a mess i don’t want to give any more energy to than absolutely necessary right now…. and so that’s all I’ll say. No need to write to figure stuff out, or vent.
What I can definitely say and focus on…? I’m grateful. My sweet family picked me up and blessed me beyond belief with money for legal fees, prayers, visits, encouragement, and a generally incredibly strong show of support I never would have asked for or expected.
For some reason, life started over again today. Unexpectedly. Just… a spiritual, practical, psychological ‘hey start over and live life’ kinda vibe that came out of nowhere. It doesn’t go along with the practical aspects of life. It’s just there… despite all that.
if i had the energy, i’d cut my hair, paint my toenails, write a novel, and paint a dresser.
Tonight I catch up on project runway and laundry and eat those disgusting little pumpkin candies. Mmmmm, love those.
Caden-9yr didn’t want me to wash his football pants tonight. He has a game in the morning. I explained that it was important. They are gross. I’m not sending him out there looking like that. He needs clean football pants.
“Mom. That’s like brushing your hair before you wash it. I mean, you just don’t DO it. It’s POINTLESS. I’m going to go get them dirty as soon as I get there.”
“WHAT? No. Don’t be ridiculous. Do the Dallas Cowboys wear dirty pants on game day?”
“Some of them do. YES.”
“NO THEY DO NOT.”
“WELL FINE. BUT THAT’S ONLY BECAUSE THEIR MAMAS MAKE THEM WASH THEM.”
Mamas… dont let your babies grow up to be cowboys… with dirty pants… on game day….
I also sometimes brush my hair before I wash it. I’m not telling him that. He can’t handle the truth.
A brief update:
if you REALLY know what you’re doing, and you are the sort of person who actually WOULD do this… you can make sure both spouses’ names are on the house title. But then make sure that only ONE spouse’s name is on the mortgage. (Not yours.) THEN. After the divorce, live in the home, pay rent or don’t, it doesn’t matter… your credit isn’t TOUCHED. In fact, hire a credit repair service to clean up your credit while you do this. It’ll be easy since you aren’t making those pesky rent/mortgage payments like the rest of the world and you have the luxury of skipping that payment for months at a time. It isn’t like it affects… YOU. Just that ex-spouse. Also, blame that ex-spouse when you can for this arrangement. Hey, why the hell not?
Turns out not a judge in Texas can evict you. Your name IS on the title, after all. You can stay and do this as LONG AS YOU WANT.
Or… you could sell the house and buy another one. Hey, your credit is cleaned up, right? Good for you.
You don’t have a clear title… and your ex-spouse has to sign off on it… but clearly that won’t be a problem. The ex-spouse has nothing to gain, though. You’ve trashed that person’s credit. What’s the benefit? What’s that person have to lose?
Well. Now that is a problem.
Herein comes the sort of language that has struck me as SO familiar. I couldn’t put my finger on it. It flat out gave me the creeps. But I finally figured out why it bothered me.
you know you want this, too.
don’t fight me on this, or it’ll be harder on everyone.
just do what I’m asking and it’ll be over and we can move on with our lives.
Kind of… chilling, right?
It’s the dialogue given to a certain sort of character in lots of books and movies, in lots of various scenes and circumstances and disputes and crimes. Domineering, selfish, meant to scare someone into submitting to an arrangement or an act or something that is not actually… agreeable.
That’s where things stand.
I’ve refused to engage in that sort of talk, but have agreed to negotiate. And I will. Gladly, even, if treated with professionalism and respect.
But I won’t be coerced. I won’t be threatened.
It doesn’t work like that anymore.
I gotta go. I get to hang out with the 2 year olds this morning. Have a great day, y’all. : )
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.
If I have to be an apple, he’s right. That’s the one.