Monday, December 17, 2012

Soapbox

Let me start by saying that as a general rule, I try to stay away from political/religious posts.  I know most people don't see eye to eye on those subjects, and I would rather avoid the conflict. However, when someone feels the need to single me out, more especially my child, you can guarantee I will come out swinging. So, with that said, I needs to step on my soapbox.

What happened in Connecticut on Friday is unfathomable. There is not person I know who has not cried for those babies and teaching staff. My heart aches in ways I didn't know was possible to feel. However, to take such a horrible tragedy and use it to widen a already deep national chasm is inexcusable.

The shooting is not a religious issue, nor is it one about gun control. What it boils down to is our country is letting those with mental illnesses slip through the cracks. I know first hand. My autistic child only just got a formal diagnosis at nine years old. I have been to countless doctors since he was two, begging someone to help him. It is only because we moved to North Carolina that I was finally able to find a program that took him in and worked with us. The four other states we have lived in didn't have the resources or enough therapists to handle the intense case loads they have to handle. Because, in case you haven't had to experience this first hand, mental illness and deficiencies are an epidemic in this country. For those of you who wouldn't classify autism as a mental deficiency or illness (and admittedly, I have a hard time with it), you have never lived through an autistic meltdown that made you fear your own life at the hands of your three year old. But, I have. There is nothing worse than lying awake at night wondering if your toddler will turn into a homicidal maniac someday.

None of that is what I want to discuss though. I want to talk about rubbing salt into open wounds. Within minutes of the shooting, I started seeing "If God were still in schools this wouldn't have happened." Yes, please make those families who lost their loved ones feel even worse, because they are not hurting enough. People, free speech does not mean you have the right to insult people just because you can. In fact, if more people would look up the word "empathy", they might learn to hold their tongues a bit longer.

Which brings me to my last point. As it turns out, that above mentioned autistic child of mine is atheist. He doesn't hate your god. How can he hate what he doesn't believe exists? He is neither a heathen, a pagan, nor an anarchist. What he is is a pacifist and a humanist. That means he believes in peace and putting others first. I think the Bible calls that "the golden rule". Interestingly enough, my atheist child grasps that better than most Christian adults I know.

Today I witnessed the very worst in mankind. A "Christian" (and I use that term lightly, as Christ would be ashamed if He heard what was said in His name) said my child would have been the first shot because he was a "heathen atheist". To think that way is beyond my understanding. I have never hated anything in my 35 years on this planet. I have worked hard to model to my children the true meaning of love, empathy, generosity, and kindness. I have a bleeding heart that I wear on my sleeve, and I hope my children will follow my example. To love unconditionally. To give even when you think you can't make a difference. But, most of all, I want my children to understand forgiveness cannot be understood, until you fully embrace loving your brother. ALL your brothers and sisters in this world. What this world doesn't need is more rhetoric and arguments. Right now, all races, religions, and creeds need to stand arm in arm together and say that is enough. We will not tolerate this kind of hate any longer. Our kids deserve more. They deserve to fully know love. We have a responsibility to them to model love.

Peace isn't an abstract ideal. It is possible. Children know that it is possible. It is time for the adults to let the children teach us a thing or two. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Long and Winding Road

Hello from North Carolina! I can't believe it's been almost two weeks since my last post. It feels more like a year has gone by instead of thirteen days. I am pretty sure I have aged ten years in these last weeks.  Where to begin? I guess the beginning is as good as anywhere in this twisted tale.

It took the movers twelve hours to get us packed. They didn't finish up until after eight that night. We finally got to eat dinner, and rush back to the house to get it cleaned. At midnight, we crashed. Four in the morning came wayyyyyy too soon, but we had to get going.

The eight and a half hours to Knoxville was uneventful, but exhausting. I was nervous that I wasn't going to make it. I had to follow Mr.T., as he was pulling the trailer. Being tired and driving through an unknown area isn't the best plan when you aren't the lead car. Thankfully, we made it in one piece.

The highlight of the day was having dinner with our old friends. We haven't seen them since we lived in Georgia over six years ago. It was like a day hadn't passed. I wish I had more energy and time to have spent with them. We made plans to go camping this summer, though, so I am super excited for that. We crashed EARLY that night.

The next morning, we got up and hit the road. The drive through the Smokey Mountains was breathtaking. I remember having the fleeting thought that after going through such beauty, if the new place was nothing close to that, what a let down it would be. ((foreshadow, much?))

Six and half hours later, we were here. How do I describe the area gently? Saying it looks like a war-zone is being kind. Let me go-ahead and warn those of you who do not like cussing, you might want to not read the next paragraph. In fact just scroll down until you see the BOLD font telling you it's clear to read again, mmkay?

Ok, are all the sensitive readers out of here? Good. Because here is what I really think of this city. It is a fucking garbage dump. It is filthy, disgusting and if a fucking nuclear bomb went off, it would probably be an improvement. I have NEVER been anywhere else that is so putrid. That is saying a lot being that I come from Memphis.

It's all clear now, come on back, y'all. We got to the rental house. One look and I was like--- NO. It was horrible. Dirty, neglected, and in a neighborhood that I would never feel safe in. We loaded everyone up and headed to Raleigh for the night.

I was exhausted. Funny how I only thought I was tired at that point. If I had only known then...

The next morning, we got up and regrouped. I got on Craigslist and found a property. We drove over and did a quick walk-though. Notice what I just said. QUICK. The house is a good size, in a decent neighborhood, somewhat close to Mr.T.'s  job. I noticed the house looked like it needed a quick sweeping and dusting, but that was really all I could see. There was no electricity on, so I couldn't really get a good look at most rooms. We agreed it would suffice, and went to sign the lease.

Back to Raleigh and the hotel we went. That was Friday. We spent Saturday just hanging out in Raleigh. It is a very nice city, and I was happy to have a break finally. Sunday, we decided to head over to the new house to get ready for the movers who were coming on Monday. I also needed to do the pre-move-in walk-through checklist for the rental company.

And, that is when it happened. The bottom fell out. Once I got into the house, and took the time to walk around and actually LOOK at each room, I realized just how screwed I was. The house was FILTHY. Absolutely, horrifically disgusting. Whoever lived here previously had probably never once cleaned it.

I have very serious OCD. That is not a joke. I make light of it most of the time, but in situations like this, it is a very real problem. Not only does it compel me to go overboard with my need to scrub everything, but it can actually make me neurotic.

I spent the next several days scrubbing everything my arms could reach. The movers delivered our belongings on Monday. The water and electricity were finally turned on late Tuesday. Wednesday the satellite was turned on. Have I mentioned our cells phones don't work here? Yeah, cause they don't.  I haven't talked to anyone on the phone in forever now. I need to go get a house phone so I can have contact with the outside world again. Sigh.

While the satellite guy was here, he mentioned his wife is a house keeper. I casually passed that intel on to Mr.T. One phone call later, and he told me to lay down my mop. After four days of cleaning, I could stop, because a cleaning crew was coming the next day to clean the upstairs.

Six hours later and the two-women team had the upstairs finished on Thursday. That was late that day, but I could finally start to unpack. Eleven PM, on Thursday, one week and one day after we left Arkansas, Tommy and I finally had our bed assembled, and we crashed for the night for the first time in our new temporary home.

We have spent the last four days unpacking. I would say we are probably half way there. We have had several long stretches of breaks, to go grocery shopping, to go shopping for supplies and new furniture. But, after busting our asses all day yesterday, the house is starting to feel a lot better to me.

I could tell it had an effect on me. Having more of the house settled, and with it being cleaner that it has been since I first laid eyes on it, I am little by little relaxing. Which is a good thing. Because, y'all, I basically lost my shit for a few days.

I know up there, in those paragraphs up above this, I kinda glossed over a few days, and just said I spent it cleaning. What I failed to mention is that I totally had a break down on last Tuesday. I would say in the twelve years we have been together, that is the one and only time Mr. T. has seen me hysterical. I just couldn't take it. I had no electricity or water, the house was just nasty, and I was totally exhausted. I have never in my life been that tired. It was just too much. And, well, I snapped.

Thankfully, my snapping is less homicidal and more crying nonstop. Fortunately, nearly a week later, I am feeling better. I haven't warmed up to this place entirely, but at least I don't loathe it. I doubt I will ever like the area we are living in, but we plan on moving next year when the lease is up. I found an area I like a whole lot better, so I guess in the end it's a good thing we didn't rush to buy a house. The area we found is GORGEOUS and I know I will love living there.

And, so, that is the tale of our move. It was long, exhausting, trying, maddening and thankfully nearly over. In the twelve years we have been together, Mr. T and I have lived in ten houses now and moved to seven different states. This move was by FAR the hardest of them all. It was a true test on our marriage, our patience, and our sanity. I am relieved that we are in the home stretch now.

This is the first move that two weeks into it, I am not completely unpacked and settled. I have decided to just deal with it instead of letting it stress me out. It will get done when it gets done. I know for most people, that would seem obvious, but this is a bit of a breakthrough for me to accept. I am that girl that gets it done as soon as I move in, and usually by seven days after we arrive the house is totally decorated and unpacked. This time, I sorta don't care.

Hopefully, I will have a working phone soon. And hopefully, we will be able to park the cars in the garage soon. But, at least we are here, and that much is done. Home, sweet temporary home.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

This Is It

I can't even believe today is really happening. As I type this, there are three very nice gentlemen packing up the contents of my life. By this time tomorrow, I should be half-way to Knoxville, TN, where we will stop for the night. And 48 hours from now, I will almost to my new home. My mind is boggled just thinking about it.

To say that the last six weeks have been a whirlwind is an understatement. Just a short six weeks ago, I was thinking we were moving to Memphis. I was making big plans for my new life there. Now, here I sit at my kitchen table in what will probably one of the last times, knowing that a week from now I will be unpacking my temporary home in North Carolina.

Life comes at you fast some times. I have stopped myself from breaking down in front of Mr. T. no less than ten times in the past 24 hours. I am trying to be that girl who has moved to seven different states in the past eleven years, and who is usually very good at rolling with the punches. I find myself tearing up over the oddest things. Last night, it was sitting in my closet floor, packing our suitcases. I looked up at the empty closet, and just lost it.

After the movers finish today, all we have left to do is load up the last few boxes that we are taking, touch up the paint where we puttied all the nail holes yesterday, give the house a good, deep clean, and say good-bye. I never would have guessed that when we moved in three years ago, I would be saying good-bye so soon. I sure as hell didn't expect to be moving across the country.

Life is nothing if not unpredictable. So, I guess this is my good-bye letter to my life here. I have loved every minute of living here: in this home, in this state, in this area so close to all of those that I love. I will miss everything I have spent the last three years getting to know about this place, I will miss having been able to see my family and friends. I hate that we couldn't go see them one last time this past weekend, it just didn't work out. But, I keep them in my heart always, so I guess they are never really very far.

See you all on the other side!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Great Friday

Let me count the ways that today has rocked my socks:
  1. James took a placement test this morning, and at eight years old will be starting SIXTH grade math this fall. How *I* managed to give birth to this child is still a wonder to me most days.
  2. We went to Chuck. E. Cheese for free today. Thanks to two coupons for twenty free tokens each, combined with a fifty-free ticket coupon- we scored big time. I even almost won the big ticket prize on "Deal or No Deal". I was this close. 
  3. I had cherry pie for a snack. Totally not diet friendly, but oh so good.
  4. My hair looks like someone who actually knew what they were doing (you know- someone who is not me) styled it. It looks so cute.
  5. It is sunny and gorgeous outside.
  6. The party pack for the House Party I won last week arrived. We will be playing Disney's Pixar Kinect Rush! tonite.
  7. We sold our house.
Wait- wha???? Yes!!! After lighting a fire under my realtor's ass on Wednesday, we finally had our first showing yesterday. And, just as I had said before, I knew if we could just get someone in the door the house would sell itself. We got an offer for the full asking price this morning. They want the fridge and our dining room table. I was like- you can have ALL the furniture, just buy the house!

Life is amazing. I don't believe in coincidences. We were supposed to move yesterday, but the movers delayed us to this coming Tuesday. Had we been moving, the house couldn't have been shown. And, we wouldn't have gotten this offer. It feels like domino pieces falling into line. 

So, have a great weekend, everyone! I know I will be!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Until We Meet Again

What a weekend it has been for me. Every time I think I have found peace with this move, something else pops up to remind me that I haven't quite gotten there yet. My mom and best friend, Uncle D., came and spent the weekend. We went downtown, and had a wonderful dinner. Then, we came back here to sit and talk the night away.

To this point, I had thought I was doing a good job swallowing any pain I was feeling and focusing on the positives. I had a day or two where the stress got the better of me, but overall, I feel like I have done ok. Then, last night, I sat with the two people who have known me the longest. Being with them, my walls fell down. No, scratch that. My walls were blown to pieces.

Long story short, I basically had a gut-wrenching melt-down. I realize now that I was a time bomb, just waiting to erupt. All the pain, the stress, my fears, everything I have been holding on to just bubbled up. Poor them. They had to be the bearer of hearing it all. I really feel bad about that. I am sure positive it was much like watching a car wreck. You know that it is going to be bad, but there is nothing you can do to stop it. And to their credit, they took it all in. I don't deserve them. Really, I don't.

On a brighter side, I feel better today. Crying and letting it all out is often times the best therapy there is. It turns out I have been holding onto a lot. More than I even knew. Today doesn't feel so bleak. (Well, I feel exhausted and hung-over, but not in the middle of the moody blues.)

Just about the time I realized that I didn't feel so awful, the goodbyes began. First, it was Uncle D. Then, my mom. Followed by Mr. T. (He is away for training.) After he pulled out the driveway, I realized I will be saying goodbye over and over all this week coming up. The final countdown has begun.

Most of me is in a better place now, and I am genuinely looking forward to the new adventure. There is a small voice that keeps up a steady protest, but fortunately, it is a small enough voice that I can drown it out. My plan is to focus on the haves and not the have-nots. Yes, I would feel better if we had a contract on the house, but if it doesn't happen, we will be ok. We have a place to temporarily rent, and I know this house WILL get sold. This neighborhood usually does very well, and just because things have been slow, it doesn't mean it will be like this forever. We put the house on the market on the first day of the retrograde, but (thankfully) April 4th is just around the corner. I am sure that things will pick up soon and this house will sell in no time.

I am going to curl up and hopefully get some much needed sleep. I didn't go to bed until 5 AM this morning, so needless to say I am beat. Only five more sleeps to go!!


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Ugh

Ok I admit it. Maybe that is what I need to do. Admit it. Release it. And then, hopefully, with it being said- I can let it go and move on and free up the energy.

I am freaking STRESSED. This is the second weekend our house has been on the market and still we haven't had a single viewing. Tomorrow we are having an open house. I am like five seconds away from firing our realtor. The only thing stopping me is that our contract says we will owe 1% if we do. Fuck!

This is fucking insane. I know, just KNOW, if we could get someone in the house, it will sell itself. The yard is all green now, the flowers and trees are all in full bloom, the house looks fabulous. UGH.

This is Tommy's last weekend.  This is what is going through my head:
You find out who your friends are
Somebody's gonna drop everything
Run out and crank up their car
Hit the gas, get there fast
Never stop to think 'what's in it for me?' or 'it's way too far'
They just show on up with their big old heart
You find out who your friends are

Fourteen days to North Carolina.

Moving across the country doesn't suck nearly as much as I thought in the beginning.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Retrograde This

Howdy, folks! How have things been in your neck of the woods? Things here have been a little... intense the last few days. I, for one, will be glad when Mercury comes out of retrograde, because it is causing all kinds of kattywumpus in my little world these days.

What's been happening? Well, for starters, there is the whole house selling project. We have been on the market for eight days, as of today. And, how many showings have we had? A great big goose egg. Zero. Zilch. Nada. The realtor thinks it is because it's spring break, and a lot of people are out of town. I say maybe, but honestly, I am trying very hard to keep my "I will not let this bring me down" attitude. It is a battle I am little by little losing.

On Sunday, Mr. T. and I loaded the entire crew up in his car, and went for a four hour long drive through the Ozarks. Man, I am going to miss this state. It is absolutely stunning in some areas. We were discussing how I am planning on staying behind while he goes ahead to NC. I will join him once the house sells. Then, I began to think- Why, exactly, am I doing that? We discussed it and agreed to move the family all together. Now comes the hard part. Finding a short-term rental we can stay in until the house sells, for a price we can afford since we will still be carrying a mortgage, on top of which allows us to have our four pups. Not so easy. I am seriously hoping this house gets an offer quickly.

To top it off, Richard Spud has been a total pain in the heiny the last few days. I am talking, "Military school looks like a viable option" B.R.A.T. I have reached the end of my rope with him and his attitude. He just does not understand respect (not that I haven't spent his entire lifetime trying to ingrain it in him). He flat out just doesn't give a damn. He has already lost his video game privileges until he is at least sixteen. That started back in January. (For those of you who don't know- he is eight and a half. That is a LONG, long grounding.) I would have thought such a severe punishment might have given him a change of attitude. Ohhhhh no. Not him. Last night, I took his tv away indefinitely. For today, at least, his behavior was better. Given that past behavior is a good indicator of future performance, I have little reason to believe this will last. But, a girl can always hope.

But!! On a  positive   amazing incredible  there- are- no- words- to- describe- how- wonderful- this- news- is- note: I'm going to be an aunt!!!!!  I am so stinking excited to meet that sweet little Nugget!! Seeing the ultrasound picture was the best thing that has happened to me this week. That baby couldn't have picked two better parents, and he/she is coming into a great, big family who are all overjoyed to be a part of the little one's life.

I love babies. Why do they have to grow up? And talk. Poopheads.

Me, and my hot flashing self, are off to try and find a cool corner. My hormones are being adjusted right now (since, it turns out, the first dr was wrong, and my pancreatitis was not hormonally caused. I can finally go back to a higher dose- yay!). As happy as this makes me, it also makes me very hot. Like hades looks like a vacation HOT. I hope you all are cooler. Until next time, much love!