Monday, January 28, 2013

The teenager has landed.....

Well, so, I got up really really early this morning, and met my cousin. I'd only had about 4 hours of sleep, so I'm really really tired right now, 14 hours later. I gave her dad a pep talk (he's homeless too and not handling it well), loaded her few belongings into my trunk, and THEN loaded her animals into my backseat. I had the pleasure of dropping them off at her Grandmother's house for the duration.

At her grandmas (who I call "ma"), she got crap from her Papa about never calling. She got a lot of "make sure you behaves", and a few "everything is okay". I got a crash course in THE NEXT STEPS. I've got to get her signed up for government assistance and Medicare. I need to get her a state ID (she is legally not allowed to drive due to her disability) and probably a birth certificate. She also needs to complete the GED course that she started.

So far she seems a) deeply depressed, b) scared as hell, and c) eager to please.

In the car we had a few brief conversations regarding a) not pissing off Rob, b) what i expected of her, c) not doing anything illegal (drugs, drinking, etc) and d) not having "relations" with her boyfriend in our house (Rob's request). She didn't seem to be wanting to break any of those basic requests, so I think we're good.

I made dinner. She asked several times if she could help. I refused. I told her that I'm not expecting a maid, and there'd be plenty of time for her to help me in the future. I've stated several times that she needs to be responsible for HERSELF. Her food, her part of rent (when it comes to that), cleaning up after herself, pitching in her share of household chores, and any gas money that I might spend getting her to any work that I can gladly drive her to. I think she is completely unused to this philosophy. I'm pretty sure she has NO CLUE how this is actually supposed to work. That makes me very very sad. Her mother used her pretty horribly.

So, day one down.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A big change....

So, I'm writing this when I should be cleaning. But I need a break, so....

Tomorrow, I will be responsible for yet another human being. I'm totally freaked out, but I'm faking it.

I have a "spare room". In this case, "spare" refers to the fact that that no one sleeps in it currently. It does NOT refer to the amount of crap currently in the room. Honestly, it's FULL. We don't have really any other ways to store anything, so it was all thrown into that room when we moved in. Yarn, guitars, amps, christmas trees, books, extra's all in there. Bins and bins and bins full.

I've tried to tidy it in the past few months, but when you have no other place to put that stuff, it's really just putting lipstick on a pig. We need a shed, and we planned on having one built this spring. Then the books and stuff could go out there. I've also been knitting exclusively from stash since we moved in here. I have not bought yarn in MONTHS. I have a load of books to go to goodwill, even.

So by noonish tomorrow, I need to have at least enough floor space for an air mattress. It's a tiny room, so really, after the desk and dresser that is in there, that's pretty much ALL the floor space.

I am in my 30's. I'll even say, MID thirties. I am old enough to be a mom of an 18 year old, and that's pretty much what I'm going to be starting tomorrow. I have a cousin who is 18, and she doesn't really HAVE a mom in her life. She has a biological mother who sorta just screwed her over, and left her for dead. No, I'm not exaggerating  My cousin was in the hospital, getting treatment for a disability that she has, and her mother left her and her boyfriend there at a really prestigious hospital about two hours from home. And then called and told her that she'd gotten rid of all her stuff. That's pretty much all the details I have on that.

She grew up with her dad, who is my cousin (our grandmothers are/were sisters). Her dad called me the other day and said "I need to talk to you." I thought he just wanted to get together to play cards or something. He's just broken up with his fiance, and he's pretty much homeless. He asked me to take his kid.

He first said "a few weeks", but I'm thinking that it's going to end up being longer than that. I don't want her to jump into something unplanned and then end up going wrong. I'd rather have her here, saving up, planning, getting done the things she needs to get done. I'm pretty sure she has no diploma, so a GED is gonna be first on my list. She needs a job, but I don't know how that's going to work with her disability. I know that she tried working at subway for a while, but ended up in pain all the time. I know there's gotta be an entry level shitty desk job SOMEWHERE with her name all over it.

At first Rob was extremely uncomfortable about all this. He's never even met her. He has met her grandmother, and her aunt, but that's about it. I talked him down, and I think he's humoring me. For a while she was trying to get me to let her boyfriend move in with us, and uh, no. I don't even know the kid. Rob was "hell no!" about the boyfriend. Neither of them are working, there's no car between them, and I see a lot of doctor's appointments and state paperwork in her future, (so, in my future).

So, I figure, worst case scenario, I'll have an awful lot of fun drama to blog about in the near future. For now though, I better get off here and go figure out the office. I've stalled long enough.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Not Quite Right.....

This weekend is a kiddo weekend. I both look forward to, and don't look forward to, these weekends. Yes, that makes me feel very guilty. 

I like my quiet. I don't know why, but I grew up in a fairly busy, noisy household, and I'm not the stereotypical "elderly" person. I NEED quiet. I get fairly grumpy if I don't get some quiet time, or time to myself. I need time where no one makes any demands of me, where I can do what i want, including or not including chores. 

So on weekends when the kiddo is here, I obviously am not going to get much of this time that I crave. I have to keep talking myself down off the ledge, keeping myself flexible and open to the "fun" that is having a 9 year old take over your house. I send the kiddo and his dad out on "boy time" to the movies, or the local small indoor waterpark. They go sledding. They go over to kiddo's friends house and get him to go to the park. So I get an hour of quiet here or there. Recently Rob figured out that when he takes the kiddo away, things get done! The kitchen gets spotless. Laundry miraculously gets folded and put away. Dinners get made. It was an epic realization for him. 

So today we had frozen pizza for dinner. We all sat and watched a few episodes of a show together. Then Rob went to take his nap before going to work, and the kiddo and I watch a few more episodes. Rob got up and went off to work, and then, it happened. 

First, the kiddo got up and put the string cheese wrapper in the garbage, without having been nagged about it. Then, he turned to me and said "I think I'm going to bed, I'm tired." 

So, let me tell you, I'm freaked out. Mostly, it seems to be that our house is the "I can do whatever I can't do at my mom's" house. He tends to stay up late.  He sleeps in late. He eats ALL THE TIME. He doesn't do many chores. He watches ALL THE CARTOONS ever. And for the most part, I'm okay with that. I can imagine what his life is like at his mom's house. I know he has lots of chores there, and he does some here, just not a lot. I get the feeling he is micromanaged at his mom's. I tend to go the other way: I tell him what needs to happen in the end, and give him the freedom to the right thing. This works about 98% of the time. For example, I will tell him "We need to go to Pop's house tomorrow morning. I'll be getting you up for your shower at 9, so you probably shouldn't stay up all night." The times that he fails my/our expectations, we have a "talk" with him, he might get a few days of "probation" to earn a privilege back, and on we go. 

So, I digress. The situation at hand, currently, is that it's midnight, on a Friday night, and the kid has been asleep for about an hour. He turned off the dvd player and TV, grabbed his blankie, and went to bed. I stopped him to ask him if he wanted my kindle so that he could watch some netflix in bed, and he took it, but I think he only watched it for a few minutes. Also of note, his bedroom door is open. This is strange. Usually it's closed whenever he's in there. 

So I went and checked on him, while he was still sorta awake. 

"Are you okay?" 
"I don't know. I don't feel right, but I think it's just because I'm tired." 
"Are you warm enough?" 
"Do you want your door closed?"
"If you get sick or something, just come get me, wake me up. I'm sorta worried about you." 

I went down the hall a few minutes ago, because the bathroom is next to his bedroom. Because his door is open, I can hear him in there, breathing evenly. Sleeping. SOOOO WEIRD. And now I'm in the living room, completely at a loss, because it's quiet. And I can watch whatever I want, eat whatever I want, wear whatever I want. When the kid is in the house. On a weekend. 

I think there's a glitch in the matrix or something. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


So today is my cake day. It's the end of my cake day, and it's quiet now, so I have time to reflect.


Okay, I reflected.

It was freaking AWESOME.

I woke up to some flowers from an awesome guy I know, even though I told him not to. He just got me three single flowers, a rose and two carnations. That's very Rob. Simple. Effective. I don't get flowers very often in general, but I know that when he goes to get them, he sorts through and is fussy about the individual blooms and such. So I'm pretty sure that these three flowers were the nicest, best flowers, and met all the Rob criteria.

Today was a kiddo day, so Rob went and got him from school, and the kiddo brought me a handful, no, probably two handfuls of peacock feathers. He knows I love peacocks in general, and his mom and him raise them on their bit of land. There is literally probably 50 feathers, all different shapes and sizes, all beautiful. I love them. Like a LOT. They are in a vase next to our TV, they dwarf our TV, and it's a pretty big TV.

Then we went to my dad's for dinner. My brother made probably the best ham I've ever had. I shudder to think of how much it must have cost, because they aren't the kind to spend less than a few hundred a week on the "best" things for groceries. I'm sure that that single ham was as much as I spend on dinner for me and rob (and two nights of the kiddo) for a week. But damn it was good. And then my father handed me the traditional daddy birthday gift Well, a check, but yea.

I got myself a scratch off lottery ticket, as I usually do on my birthday, and for the first time in many years, I won NOTHING. Not even the pity prize of $2.00. So I bought myself a Baby Ruth candy bar to comfort myself. It worked.

Tomorrow, Rob is taking me out to my favorite Mexican place, where I will eat chips and salsa til I can't eat no more, and drink a bucket of Iced Tea. And someone will wait on me. Geesus, we haven't gone to a restaurant with waitstaff in a pitifully long time. We usually just grab subway and take it home. Also, it was ROB'S IDEA, which in itself is a miracle, cuz I love him lots, but he's a cheapskate.

This was a much better birthday than I anticipated, honestly. I didn't expect much. The last year was sorta bad, lots of bumps and deep potholes. I've lost some friends that were important to me, and I've had some disappointments. I've fucked up a fair bit, too. I probably didn't deserve the awesome day (dayS) that I had (will have).

Okay, Rob's gone to work (3rd shift), so I'm going to head off to Bedfordshire. I'm so tired. My eyes hurt. I stayed up last night and watched the last season of Boardwalk Empire, marathon style. Omg, I love that show. I can't wait to see the new season, I wonder if Jillian is TRUELY dead. And if Margaret goes back to Nucky. Also, I want to look like that in those dresses and hats.

Friday, January 4, 2013

A New Year


1. To keep all resolutions for longer than the first week.
2. To knit or crochet up my stash. This will be a considerable effort. I have a lot of yarn, and I'm going to have to organize it so that I can. I've started already, working down some of my cotton collection. I've made a few potholders, and a few loofahs. I've thrown away bits and pieces I had experimented on but didn't succeed. I have two blankets more than halfway done, that i just need to finish.
3. Keep the kitchen cleaner and more organized. For some reason, the kitchen tends to "get away" from us more than any other room. I don't know why, we have a dishwasher. There's really no excuse.

Things I'm going to try this year:

1. I really really want to make homemade mead. Raspberry, actually. I just need some equipment, which I will most likely buy with my tax refund this year.
2. I want to go on a road trip alone. Just me. And the open road. I've been thinking about it so much that I think I've romantized it in my head.
3. Overdying yarn. I once bought a sweaters worth of cocoa brown yarn. It's pretty, but.... brown. I'm hoping to get it to some other shade, maybe even darker.
4. I want to get to Central Mine for the reunion, and if I can't make the reunion, then just some other time. I'd really like to try camping up there, just me and the boys and a tent. I want to see my Great-great grandmother's house, which is a museum in a town which is a historical site.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Holiday Concert

Today was the kiddo's "Holiday Concert". It was interesting to see how he interacted with his mom, and how he acted when both parents were together.

This is probably only the second time all four of the "parents" (natural or chosen) were in the same room. The first time was his last birthday, in a restaurant, all five of us.

When the kiddo is with us at a restaurant, particularly when there is other adults, we are completely fine with him finding ways to entertain himself. I realize that when I was a kid, entertainment meant the back of a paper place mat and a pen out of my moms purse. For this kiddo, it means his 3DS until the battery is dead, and then either his dad's phone or my kindle fire. He kills plants and zombies, or giggles at Mario's anger at Luigi, he's even started trying to play the solitaire I always have on the front screen of any Android device. I think it's unreasonable to expect a 9 year old boy to be interested in whatever the adults at the table want to talk about. If he's asked a direct question, he answers. He puts away the game when the food comes, and he eats politely (something I've been working on is table manners). When the food is cleared and the adults keep chatting, he gets his game back out and continues collecting Mario Coins. Everyone wins. My parents would never have allowed anything like that back then, but my parents had THREE kids. Not one. Us kids would entertain ourselves together. We always had someone to talk to. This kiddo is an only child.

Having said that, and pointing out that some of my step-parenting rules are pretty relaxed, it was very strange being at a table with kiddo's mom and step-dad, who parent him in a completely different way. His step-father is a multiple felon who has spent time in prison. He goes male-ego, then corporal punishment. He's very much a "woman, go make me a sammich, and fetch me a cold beer" dude. For the kiddo, that means that being a man is the most important thing in the world. Don't cry, only pussies cry. You fell off that scary loud motor bike I bought you to show you how men play? RUB SOME DIRT IN IT. Dogs are for protecting my property, not for cuddles. Any other protection I need comes in the form of closed circuit tv cameras all over my property. I can't have a gun because I'm a felon, but I probably do anyway. And thanks to the those prison tattoos, I have hepatitis, so I scored a card so I can grow my own. Don't worry, my pit bulls will guard my grow room.

While he step father is easy to sum up in a paragraph, his mother is a bit harder for me. Don't get me wrong, I could say plenty about her. I have a lot of details that I could spew, but I have a hard time with that. I guess it's because I love the kiddo so much, and I had a less than stellar relationship with my own mother, and I don't want to think that the kiddo is going to have to deal with that as well. I can sum it up by saying that she seems happy to be "the little woman". He calls her that, in fact. I say she "seems", because I have enough experience with abuse that I recognize that sometimes, the "seeming" is what allows you to get through the day with your abuser. If she were less pushy and snotty in general, I would think that she was being submissive to avoid violence. But she is SO pushy. She pushes everyone. Kiddo, Rob, her own stepfather. She hasn't tried to push me yet, and god help her if she ever does.

So all this word salad to explain the dynamic at the table at the kiddos birthday.

Rob and I got there first. On time. They sauntered in 20 minutes late. They live five minutes from the restaurant, Rob and I live about 25. Kid sat between his dad and his step-dad. Mom sat across from him, I sat at the other end of the table, next to Rob. Step-dad ordered his mothers and his food. Rob and I each ordered our own. Rob and step-dad proceed to "shop talk", as they are in the same industry. His mom paid attention to that conversation, I looked around the restaurant. Kid is dying of boredom, and asks me for the kindle he knows I have in my purse. His mother grunts "No, we are here to visit." I did not see the kid smile again the entire night. Instead he was fidgeting and getting yelled at by his step father.

There are more details, of course. I'm having particular trouble tonight keeping my writing tight. Well, as tight as I can normally keep it, which is not very tight at all. I'm tired, and I'm stressed out, and ok, I'm going to admit it, I took an advil PM just a little while ago.

Anyway, the holiday concert was just as interesting. It was pretty much the same thing. Rob and step-dad started shop talking. His mom started talking to another mom. This time, I just went straight for the kid. We had a nice conversation, talked about what we will do tomorrow when he is here with us. He then went and started helping his teacher break down the chairs from the audience, stacking them on the carts. He didn't even have to be asked, he's a good kid.

I joined the adult conversation for a few moments, was informed by step-dad that I shouldn't worry next time if he's going to be a few minutes late getting home (we had "an episode" a few weeks ago, but I'm pretty sure that the kiddo told the story wrong. I'm pretty sure that I allegedly was upset at Rob and kiddo because I was taking kiddo home and he wasn't ready to go when it was time, but REALLY I was angry because I too was very tired and my "stomach hurt", was taking kiddo home because Rob had had less sleep than I, and I wanted to take him home so I could go to bed. All the men failed to understand that one. hmmmmm). I smiled politely and changed the subject.

On the way home, Rob taught me how to sing like the lead singer of Metallica  which was the most hilarious thing ever. He adds syllables to words. "remainssssssssssUH". We should start our own band. I can be the lead singer. We'd make SO. MUCH. MONEY.

Monday, December 3, 2012

So, yea, it's been a while.

Let's make it a list:

  1. Thanksgiving went off with a hitch. My car had to be towed to the garage for some tire problems, after dark, in the middle of no where, and the spare was flat. I really thought it was something worse at first, because the spare didn't seem to be a problem when we put it on. But then it went flat too. 
  2. I've been sick on and off. Partly the 'beetus, partly just the weather, I think. One day it's frozen outside, the next day it's 60 degrees. Have I pointed out that it's December?
  3. My father is coming over on Wednesday to take a look at our furnace. It doesn't wanna heat anything. Pilot light is on, gas is going, blower turns on....NO HEAT. This is the first time dad has seen my new house. Of course, right now, the kitchen is a freakin mess. So sometime between now and Wednesday afternoon, I gotta make it spotless. 
  4. I've been knitting socks. They make my hands hurt. Which scares the shit outta me. 
  5. I keep posting my closet purges on the Facebook Garage Sale site, and omg, it's a pretty steady flow of things leaving the house forever. YAY. I have just a small stack of clothes, and then I'm going to start the Ebay madness. Knitting mags, books, some yarn, and random odds and ends from the house. I think I have a 200 piece Coke jigsaw puzzle, even. Let's get rid of this shit. 
  6. I've been cookin' up some stuff! There's things I want to make for Giftmess treats. I'm pretty sure Rob is rubbing off on me, though. He's a last minute Christmas kinda guy. I vow that this is the last year I will be such. 
  7. I promise I will not forget this blog again. :(