Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve

So tomorrow starts a new year, which means that I, like everyone else, am feeling a bit reflective as I gaze across the swiftly dying embers of 2009.

The year started inauspiciously for me, what with the death of my beloved grandfather at the end of last December and M's philandering, but I determined that it was going to be a good year for me... and it was. M and I got back on track and I still believe he is being faithful (knowing that i can check his iPhone records at any moment encourages his honesty). He got me that lovely ring for Valentine's day... although he didn't know he was getting it for me until I had picked it out and required his credit card to pay for it. He lost the job he hated in downtown Dallas and it took a while to find another one. We scraped by, barely, with the help of friends and family until he found another job in April or May.

Of course the big change this year brought was the house. On July 8th I became a homeowner. It's a lot of work trying to make a place like this livable, but it has restored a lot of confidence in me. I'm learning that I can do a lot more things that I give myself credit for.

In November M started a different job, one he actually likes, which is nice. And he gets to work from home on Wednesday, which we both love.

We had my family's Christmas here at my house last week and it was a huge success... or would have been if there weren't concern over the road conditions. It was a white Christmas, only the second one I can recall here in North Texas. It was nice, though, having my family in my home. it felt good. I'm hoping others agree and will want to do it again next year.

And how could I forget that I got 2 new kittens? Vex turned out to be the sweet one while Probie... well, she's a handful. But they are adorable and I love them both very much.

Resolutions? Not really. I'd like to take better care of myself and of M...I'd like to get the house fixed up better...generally be more positive and a force for good in the world. I'd like to be happy and to inspire happiness in others.

So goodbye, 2009. You were good for me in so many ways, but, alas, we must now part. And hello 2010. I look forward to getting to know you and all of the joys you will bring. As for the sorrows that are also inevitable, I'm hoping we can keep those to a minimum. Blessings all around!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New Kitties :)

Vex is the black one, Probie is the white one... watching them play frequently brings to mind Spy vs. Spy. I do love the latest additions to our little family!

Friday, December 4, 2009


We had M's boys for Thanksgiving and it went surprisingly smoothly. We went to Darren & Martha's house with a fruit salad, some caramel pecan cupcakes (not as good as they sound) and a delicious pumpkin pecan caramel cheesecake (as good as it sounds).
It has been decided that my family will come to my house (gulp!) Christmas Eve for dinner and the opening of presents. I'm excited about it as it's my first time to host my family anywhere and several of them haven't seen my house, but I'm also nervous. Can I make the house presentable in time? Everyone will bring food, so I don't have to do much cooking, but it's still a bit more pressure than I'm used to. It has made me get off my duff and try to finish unpacking and whatnot, though.
And I've finally started making the house our home instead of just our house. I'm hanging pictures and art and awards and actually decorating the place instead of just using it as a place to store my stuff. I'm looking forward to doing the Christmas tree and all, but that will have to wait until after the boys have left next time (the 13th, so the tree will go up on the 14th). I made a shiny wreath with a few things from the dollar store (oh, how I could wax rapturous about the dollar store!) and I love it! It faintly jingles every time the door is opened and I love it!

I bought a Christmas dress from I absolutely adore their clothes. Here's a picture of the dress:
Isn't it gorgeous? I'm knitting a hat and maybe some armwarmers to wear with it because it is COLD in my house. It's not so bad back here in the bedroom/den area, but the rest of the house is very, very cold. We had our first freeze of the season last night and it's still only 27* out there. Brr. I do love it, though. I would so much prefer to be cold than hot, but in Texas that's not usually how it works out.
I should probably go get some more unpacking done, but it's hard to be motivated when my fingers are numb in the rooms I need to be working in. But I'll make a pot of coffee and turn on the oven, maybe take the little portable heater with me. it will all be good. You'll see.

OH... I can't believe I almost forgot... M and I did a lot of work on a guy's website. I mean, I spent weeks trying to get the Flash presentation and the logo exactly like he wanted it. And this guy, man, he is just never satisfied. So this was weeks ago, and we've been waiting for the check, which we were told basically, was "in the mail". Bullshit. No check. So the guy finally talks to M about yet more changes he wants made and says he's having some financial difficulties and will be paying us when he can. WTF? I'm all for yanking down the website, but M says no, that wouldn't be the right thing to do. We were counting on that check to get us through the holidays and now knowing that we won't see it until much later than expected (if at all) has me livid.

And there's a monster (or something equally terrifying, at least judging from the noise it makes) living in my attic. I don't know what to do. I'm hoping I can get M to take care of this one unpleasant thing, but it doesn't look like he's going to. Why is it I have to do all the crap jobs?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sometimes it all just falls apart, doesn't it?
M called me just moments after he left for work this morning, saying his bank account was overdrawn and he couldn't pay for the gas he'd just gotten. My account is basically empty, too, but I (mostly) know where that money went. As for his, well, it's the same damn thing it's been every other time this has happened. I know I've mentioned M's 2 little boys, the ones who stay with us one weekend a month, but I don't know if I've mentioned his other kids. His oldest is also a boy, but he's 18 or 19 now. he lives in MA with his mother (or did so growing up) and M has a smallish relationship with him. Hasn't seen him in years, but has spoken to him on the phone a few times since we've been together. Then there is the girl. She was the result of a one night stand many years ago and M has never even met her. That is by her mother's request. Yet he has been paying child support to Massachusetts for the past 17ish years for her. The problem is, every few months Texas decides they need to get involved. They then proceed to empty out his bank account and charge him ungodly amounts of money for child support that has already been paid. He agreed to pay for this child (don't get me started on him having to pay for a child he was never allowed to even see) and I have no problem with that, but goddamnit, Texas and Massachusetts need to figure this crap out. This has happened four or so times since we've been together... we have bills that are overdue and utilities that will be cut off if this doesn't get sorted out ASAP.

In other news, I've finished 8 of the chemo caps for Carolee, so I'm halfway through with that. Unless I decide to go for a full 20... or 24... I do love making hats. Although I think I might take a small break from them and finish her lap blanket and maybe make some slippers for myself. The weather has turned chilly (Yay!) and my poor little tootsies get cold.

The house is coming together. I got my kitchen curtains up and LOVE them. No pictures of them yet, but here are a few before & after pics of some things I've been working on. Ignore the mess and just see the improvements, please.

ETA: I can't get my "before" and "after" captions to stay where I put them, so I'm just getting rid of them. It should be evident, after all, which is the before and which is the after, right? VERY frustrated with Blogger right now.)

Here is the boys' bedroom BEFORE:

And here are a couple of AFTER shots:

Living room:


Just a couple more rooms to show you...


Finally, Master bedroom before:

(Btw, I HATE the way Blogger deals with inserting images. If I start posting pictures more frequently I may need to find another blog home.)

And Master bedroom after (it looks so much better with the bed made, but I am lazy.) :

Monday, October 5, 2009

houses and cats and knitting

It still shocks me sometimes when I realize that this is MY house. Mine. In all its ramshackle glory. Okay, so it's not falling apart, but it still needs a lot of work. And it's cold in here, but that's all right. I can deal with the cold.

We got a new cat yesterday and Cat, my lovely older cat, is none too pleased by the addition. But she is a cutie. I finally talked M into letting me get one and someone had posted one recently on freecycle, so now she's ours.

Not a lot of time to write, must go pay bills, but thought I'd mention the new kitten. Oh, and the knitting... I've been making hats for Carolee, my stepsister with breast cancer. (Her surgery went very well, btw, thank you for your well wishes.) This week, though, I'm being selfish. I bought the cutest brown and pink paisley top, but it's sleeveless and I need some sort of wrap to wear with it so I'm making myself a shrug and hope to have it ready to wear when we take the boys to the county fair this weekend. We shall see...

I'll try to get some pictures of the house fixes we've made so far and the knitting I've been doing and of course of the new furbaby, but I make no guarantees.

Mostly, things are going well. M and I are very happy, although his commute is making him kind of crazy.

Monday, September 21, 2009

My stepsister

Many years ago, back in my late teen years my mother married a man. That was over 20 years ago (barely) and they are still rather happily married. They met at church and I knew his daughters, who were roughly the same age as me. The younger of the daughters, Carolee, was funny and beautiful and kind and while we were never particularly close, I have no memories of her being anything other than sweet.

Carolee is about a year younger than I am, married with children and living in the area we grew up in... and that I just moved back to. I haven't seen her in about 20 years or so. She has been a thoughtful stepdaughter to my mother over the years and is apparently still as sweet as I remember her being.

Last week, Carolee was diagnosed with breast cancer. It's an aggressive strain that has already spread to her lymph nodes. Her surgery is tomorrow morning. I don't know how to help, but I can knit, so I am knitting for her. So far I have nearly finished a shawl... after that will be a lapghan and a bag to carry both pieces in. I've heard that such things are comforting and good to have for chemo treatments. I am just hoping that she has a full and speedy recovery with as little pain as possible.

My heart goes out to you Carolee. Though we aren't close, I still think of you as family and I would be honored to help you in any way you might need during your recovery. Please just be okay.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

In the house

So we're in the house now and our stuff is in the house and things have settled a bit into something that vaguely resembles a routine. I don't function well without a routine, so it's good. M has to leave for work at about 7:00 every morning and doesn't get home until 7 in the evening, so the commute is taking a real toll on him. And, as always, money is still very tight. And the house needs so very much work...
We've painted the living room, the kitchen, the master bedroom and the primary bath. And I am thisclose to having the kitchen all organized (ha! we'll see how long that lasts). I even made some chocolate chip cookies last week (of course from scratch. That's the only way I'll do it any more) and they turned out wonderfully.
I am not a tidy person. It wouldn't be at all a distortion of the truth if one were to refer to me even as a slob... in fact, many have done so. But, OH MY GOD, the sheer volume of disgusting filth that the previous occupants of this house left behind is staggering. I'm not talking about a patina of dust or even a layer of dirt, no, I mean serious, what-the-hell-is-it-that-I'm-on-my-hands-and-knees-scrubbing-off-this-floor kind of nastiness. And gum. WTF? Who has dried up spat-out gum stuck to their kitchen floor? Ew. Needless to say, as much as cleaning it up grossed me out leaving it there would have been far, far worse.
So I spend my days cleaning, mostly. It's my house, so I don't really mind so much. And it's nice after all the stress of moving to be able to be leisurely about putting things away. I want to do it right, and we have the space, so I'm trying to make sure to find a permanent home for each item before unpacking it. It's gonna take a very long time to unpack, but I don't mind.

I'll try to get some pictures soon of the new paint and some before and afters of the cleaning.

Monday, July 6, 2009

New House, closing day after tomorrow!

A little over a week ago my wonderful realtor (Beverly Stein of Jenel McGrath realty if anyone is househunting in the Sherman, TX area) let me know that the deal on the duplex might not go through. Apparently the bank that foreclosed owned the second lien and the bank that owned the first lien went under and... I don't know or understand all the specifics. But Bev said that chances are we wouldn't be able to close on that house in the foreseeable future. BUT she had another house in Denison that she wanted us to take a look at. So we did.

It's 1610 square feet and close to downtown. The garage was converted into a master suite and it is freaking HUGE, probably about 450 square feet. It's very oddly laid out but I think it will be perfect for our needs. There is a space in the front that we'll be using for the boys; for now it will have their computers and toys in the first section of the room and their bed in the back. That's just off the living room. Then there's the kitchen. Wow, it is so mch bigger than any kitchen I've ever had before. It was redone not too long ago and has the most wonderful cabinetry and an island. Best of all, they are letting us buy the side by side refrigerator and the gas stove for $150. Oh, and there's even a built in dishwasher, so I am thrilled about that!

Off the kitchen is what will soon be my studio. That is the room I'll probably have the most fun decorating. The utility room is attached to it and the first of the 3 bathrooms is there as well as the washer and dryer hookups. I think it will be a really good space for my crafting needs. Then there is the other bathroom (the only one that works at the moment) and an undefined space. Then there is the master suite. There is another bathroom with a ton of room to make it a wonderfully relaxing spa-like retreat.

The bedroom will need some work, but I think eventually it can be a really lovely place for us. There is a wood burning fireplace and a sliding glass door that leads to the backyard.

I am so looking forward to getting all the measurements so I can play around with my decorating software (Sierra Home Architect... I highly recommend it!) and figure out the plcement for furniture and the colors for paint and all of that stuff. Closing is the day after tomorrow and I couldn't be more excited about it. I'll take pictures and try to post them on Thursday or Friday.

I hope that things are going well for you. This whole odyssey has restored my faith in a number of ways and I feel incredibly blessed to have this opportunity.

Friday, June 26, 2009

So much blood...

*warning* this might get a little graphic and/or just plain icky to some readers.

I have a condition of some sort. The line from a song (who did that song, anyway? Maybe I'll look later) "I'm not sick but I'm not well" keeps playing through my head...

It started about 6 weeks ago. My periods have been weird for a couple of years now, but I have some pretty sketchy history of bad things going on with my girly bits, so I thought little of it. Also, with no insurance and no money to speak of it's not like anything could be done about it even if something were wrong. (PLEASE, we *need* universal healthcare in this country NOW!) But my period in May just didn't end. It got a bit lighter, but there was blood in varying amounts every day. That scared me. Finally I made an appointment at the local Planned Parenthood and went in for a Pap. Ugh, hate those things, but so necessary for a woman's health. It turns out that where I had precancerous cells removed a few years ago there is some sort of something growing on my cervix. The nurse practitioner, a lovely and warm woman who beat breast cancer a few years back, had never seen anything like it. She said it looks like endometrial cells are growing on my cervix and they are what's causing the bleeding.
I've suspected for several years that I suffer from endometriosis. I have all the symptoms, but without surgery nothing can really be done. It goes again to the lack of insurance. A lot of pain, debilitating cramps, pain (and bleeding) during and after sex, menstrual cramping in weird places, extra heavy bleeding. If you're not familiar with endometriosis, let me tell you about it. It's a bizarre condition where endometrial cells (which are the kind that are supposed to grow only in the lining of the uterus) start growing in other parts of the body. Most commonly they grow in the abdominal area, but I've also read that they can grow in places as foreign to them as the lungs and even the nose and eyes. So I am very lucky that mine isn't that severe. The thing is, because endometrial lining is shed with fluctuating hormone levels, it happens with these misplaced cells, too. And you get bleeding and pain.

So I began doing some research on cervical endometriosis. There is very little info out there that I could find online, but some of what I did find led me to think that this is almost certainly what is going on with me. Several years ago I was diagnosed with severe high grade cervical dysplasia and went through a LEEP (Loop Electrical Excision Procedure, I think). Basically, they electrically cauterized the bad spots on my cervix. One of the few articles I found regarding cervical endometriosis stated that while it is very uncommon, it does tend to grow where LEEPs have been performed.
I'm supposed to make an appointment for a colposcopy, but those aren't performed at my local Planned Parenthood and I don't know how we'll be able to afford it. Colposcopies are horrible things where they stick you in the stirrups on the table then take a look with a huge lighted microscope. The worst part is that they use iodine (although apparently they can also use vinegar, but my experience in the past was with iodine... man, that stuff BURNS!) all up inside. Of all the procedures I went through during my last gynecological mess the colpo was the one I hated most. Also, I'm still waiting for the house to close, so I don't want to be stuck with a microscope between my legs when I need to be buying my house (July 3rd is the new date on the contract extension for closing to happen by).

So I'm still bleeding. I'm frequently weak and woozy and dehydrated, but part of that may well be because it's so freaking hot and I don't cope well with summer heat. I'm a little scared; I'm not losing all that much blood at a time, but can one bleed indefinitely without there being consequences for the body? I am so tired of bleeding. Every pair of panties I own is now ruined. If I am particularly active the bleeding is heavier, so getting everything done on the house could be problematic.

Other than that, things are going well. M and I are happy and excited about the house and he's working a side project or two that's bringing in a little extra cash. And I've been doing a little knitting. I intend to take pictures later of my latest brimmed summer hat and stole, so I'll post those when I get them done.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Yet more waiting

Still waiting for the closing date, but my Realtor, Bev, said that since this is a cash transaction for an as-is REO property there isn't really anything that can go wrong with the sale at this point. I'm trying to get as much stuff as I can from my local freecycle group. If you aren't a member of a group near you you should definitely join! I've given away a bunch of stuff that would otherwise have been thrown away and I've helped quite a few people in the process. I've also gotten a few things that I needed or wanted from the generosity of others. It's a very good program. I'm going today to pick up a toaster oven, some tile, some moving boxes and a microwave.

It's a very busy day for me. I also need to send off M's court ordered tax stuff and his monthly restitution and something to do with his Massachussetts child support. He's never even seen that child, at the mother's request, so I really think it's ridiculous that he be required to pay so much for a child he will never even meet. At least she's almost 18 now. Only another year or two of paying for that one. I don't begrudge the girl the child support, but since he's never been allowed to even meet her or speak with her on the phone (She was the result of a one night stand back when M was about 21 and between his first and second wives. I am so glad I was always very careful and/or very lucky in my slutty youth!) it seems silly to expect him to send money every month for a child whose life he isn't permitted to be a part of. Then again, I think a man should be able to opt out of paying child support if he's willing to give up all parental rights and it's still early enough in the pregnancy for the woman to have an abortion. It should always be the woman's choice whether or not to carry the child to term, but I know that quite a few women trap men into helping raise children that neither of them really wanted in an effort to keep the men in their lives.

Speaking of child support, M's ex is asking for more money because elder brat needs braces. Ugh. I detest that child and now he'll be even more unpleasant with food rotting in his braces. He's a pig and lazy and whiny and moody and morose, but at least he seems to have stopped crapping in his pants. I know it's horrible of me to so strongly dislike a child, but I have yet to find a redeeming quality in that one. I so dread his upcoming adolescence and puberty. I may find other things to do on the weekends we have them. I will be quite glad in 10 years when they are both grown and I no longer have to devote any part of my home to little boy junk.

In another sort of reproductive related note, I am having severe cramping today, which is odd since my period should have been over several days ago. Friday it will be two full weeks of bleeding and I am so ready for it to be over.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

My first home inprovement purchase

So we went to Home Depot today and I found this faucet on clearance in a set with the matching towel rack and paper holder for $19. For some reason I am very excited to have made my first home improvement purchase... now if only I could find a great deal on major appliances. M did manage to pick up a circular saw for only $15 at Lowe's yesterday (yes, we are going a little crazy with the pricing of things we'll need, but it is so exciting!) so thus far we are doing very well when it comes to deals. And I can't believe I'm soon to be a homeowner. There is so much to figure out before we actually move in. And so very much to do... But we are taking today off.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


No further details than that we got the house, but, man, it takes a huge load of worry and stress off of my back. Yes, I know houses are all sorts of work and I'll have plenty of homeowner stress, but, damnit, I won't be homeless.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

More waiting...

So, the house isn't a done deal yet, that's not the good news. In fact, the news on that is a little disheartening, if not unexpected. There were more offers than just mine put in on the house so the bank asked for the "highest & best" offers yesterday. We added another thousand bucks to our offer and are waiting to hear back again. I am so anxious about this. I'm trying to come up with a backup plan, but it's not so easy.

Monday, May 18, 2009


My realtor, Bev, said that I should hear from the bank today regarding my offer on the house. I am so nervous! Seriously, if this falls through we are screwed. M and I did the math the other night... good news is that he got an offer to become a full fledged employee of the company he's been doing contract work for. Bad news is that it's about $20K less than he was making at his last job and about $10K less than we can afford. But the security of him having a job, and a job that he likes, would be nice. It's not me that is the expensive one, either. Between his $900/month child support and all the legal fees and whatnot it just adds up very quickly. But if we get the house then we should be able to cut our monthly housing bill in half. And if his job will allow him to work from home 2 or 3 days a week then it shouldn't be too bad.

But I am just waiting today, waiting for Bev to get in touch with me. The way this whole thing came about makes it seem like fate, and as much as I would love to be all rational and everything, I am not. This *feels* right, even though it's scary and nerve-wracking. Here's the thing: the house was being listed at $14,900. I am offering $15000 cash for an as-is REO sale. I will live in the house as my primary residence (I hear that makes a difference for some reason, as does the fact that I am a first time home buyer). How, then, could the bank say no? Unless they got a better offer? The house was only listed maybe a week ago, and I think mine was the first offer. Since it was above asking price and is a cash offer, surely they will accept it, right?

We have such plans for the eventual renovation of the house, too! Money is going to be an impediment for a while, but in 6 months or so we should be doing better financially. And once we have paid back the friend who is fronting us the money for the house in a couple of years we will be in a much better position to renovate. The house doesn't need all that much work to be habitable, at least on the right. The unit on the left is in considerably worse shape, but we are even considering renting it out if we get it up to code.

Then there are the appliances. We have none. But I still just feel it will all work out. Dare I say that I am optimistic?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Something BIG

I put in an offer yesterday on a duplex in the town I grew up in. Oddly, it's across the street from a place I lived when I was 17. I am so very nervous that the offer won't be accepted, but should find out Monday, according to the realtor. It needs a lot of work, but the price was too incredible to pass up. Imagine, if you will, 2,247 square feet (both sides of the duplex) for about what we pay in rent in 13 months in the apartment. And it will be mine. I can decorate in whatever way I see fit... and no homeowners' association, so if I want to paint my door chartreuse no one can stop me! I am so excited (and nervous) but I also know it will be a lot of work. The place isn't in great shape, but it is almost livable immediately. In the long run this should help us out tremendously financially. The thing is, I need to pay back the person who loved me enough to front me the cash to buy it.

(There are more pictures here if anyone is interested. The two labeled Pershing are from a different house we looked at.)

Also, this ties M to me in a big way. I'll essentially be his landlady and he'll be renting one side of the duplex from me. That's if my offer is accepted. Keep your fingers crossed for us; this could be a wonderful turning point! (And expect a lot of house related posts in the future if all goes well!)

In crafting news, I've not been doing too much knitting lately. I whipped up a quick wrap on Mother's Day to wear with my sleeveless dress when we took my mom out to dinner. Nothing fancy, just made on size 35 needles so it would be quick. I'll try to get pictures of it soon. I've also taken up counted cross stitch and really love it. It's so different from knitting and isn't hard, but demands attention to detail. Maybe I'll make a "Home sweet home" sampler for the new house. :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009


All right, so it's the PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) that has had me in the funk I've been in the past week or so. Now that my period has begun I am crampy, but much more functional.

The good: M is working. It's just contract work at the moment, but he has a couple other projects in the works as well, so maybe our financial outlook isn't as bleak as it had been. 

The bad: With his legal stuff still pending we are trying to figure out some way I can have a place to live if things go badly. The original plan was that I would stay with my grandfather (who had agreed to this arrangement) but with his death, well, my uncle has inherited his house. I was going to go talk to him and see if something could be worked out to allow us to stay there or maybe even buy the house from him. I was hopeful, got a little excited about it, but, as always when I get my hopes up, it all fell apart. My uncle has already promised the house to his step daughter. It's not like they owed me anything and I have no hard feeling about it, but I am so tired of being the one in the family who gets nothing. My mom is trying to see if there's any way we can buy a cheap house, and if I could figure out how to come up with about $20,000 then we could do that. But I am at a loss as to how to go about raising that much money. 

The ugly: Me. I am so grossly overweight and out of shape at this point that I don't even know where to begin with trying to fix it. But I need to. I'm trying to start back up with the yoga and hope soon to get my stamina up enough to make it through the whole hour program. My diet is still improving, I've cut the cottage cheese out and am now having just grapefruit for breakfast. I need to give up the sweets and will try to do that next. I figure if I can give up meat (oh, fried chicken, how I miss you!) then the cookies and snack cakes can also be put aside without too much difficulty. 

I've been doing a lot of knitting and other crafty stuff in the past couple of weeks, which has kept me from being quite so unhappy. I've found that I really like doing cross stitch. I picked up a little floral still life thing on sale and it is so pretty. It takes a lot of attention to detail, but is also mindless, if that makes sense.  I want to do more, but I'm trying to hold off on this and wait until I finish this project before getting supplies for another. 

My birthday is Monday and our anniversary (4 years!) is the 1st. I told M last night that it would be his last reminder of those occasions. I know we can't really afford any gifts or anything, but I expect at least a "happy birthday" from him. We shall see.

Why is the kitchen always dirty? Even right after I clean it, it is dirty again. How does that happen?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New knitting projects

One of the things I got with the gift certificate I won in Crazy Aunt Purl's cat sweater knitting contest was a Noni Pattern. I finally made the purse and it is quite lovely, if not yet completely finished. The finishing is rigorous and I believe I've mentioned before it is not something I enjoy or excel at. I still need to install the zipper and anchor the stiffener/lining to the bottom. I got a little creative with the handle and added some beading. Oh, and it had to have pockets. I am very pleased with the way my pockets turned out. I followed the directions for the medium bag, bit this thing is enormous. I might make a much smaller one if I ever get the motivation to do all the maths. Anyway, here are a few pictures of the Noni Harlequin Pillbox Bag (#109):

I also just finished (yesterday) a Kitty Pi for Cat. She wanted nothing to do with it at first, but now she can occasionally be found napping in it, so I consider it a success. What, you want photos? Okay, here you go:

In other news, M. is sort of working now but we are still in dire financial straits. A severe depression has settled in over me and has my few friends concerned for my well being. I don't feel like getting into it now, but maybe tomorrow I'll catch y'all up on what's been going on with me. In the meantime, I hope everyone who reads this isn't having to go through anything like what I am going through. If you are depressed and you have any resources to allow it, please get help. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

M has an interview

  M just left for a job interview... oh, please, please, PLEASE let this be the one. We are far too close to being homeless, although through the generosity of friends and family we will be able to stay in the apartment through April. I'm terrified that after that we'll be on the street. Or at least I will. M, of course, has a guaranteed reservation as a guest of the federal bureau of prisons if he has no other place to live. 
  I no longer know what to do. I can't fix this, don't have a clue even where to begin. I miss my grandparents. They would always take me in and make things better. I had a safety net when they were around. My mother has been a great help to me, but I think we've taken too much from her already. I know she loves me and would do whatever she could for me, but she just doesn't have the space or resources to take us in if it comes down to that. 

  I am broken, perhaps beyond repair.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Still looking

Does anyone out there know of anyplace M can get a job? He interviewed in Ft. Worth yesterday. I really don't want to move to Ft. Worth, but will go wherever I need to with him. I guess I didn't mention that he had a court date toward the end of January? He is allowed to stay out on bond pending his appeal. That means the judge thinks that there is a good chance the appeals court will grant an appeal. I dare not get my hopes up, but it's better than the alternative. Although if he does have to go to prison at least one of us is guaranteed a place to stay for a couple of years.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Still no work for M

 M is still out of a job. We managed to borrow enough money from his best friend to pay the bills, but if things don't change soon I have no idea what we shall do. With my grandfather being gone I am truly without a safety net. His house, which he had agreed to let us stay in if things went bad, is now owned by my uncle and I am hesitant to ask. I have little pride left, but I prefer not to have to beg my family for a place to stay. Still, I will do whatever it takes. I have tried living in my car before and I didn't particularly enjoy it. I doubt I would like it any better now.
 I am also looking for work, trying for an administrative assistant job. So far there has been no interest, but I am trying really hard to remain upbeat. If only I could find someone who just needed errands run or something, someone who was maybe too busy to take care of all the little things himself and willing to pay me to take care of it. *sigh* Like that's going to happen. 

 I've been neglecting my knitting, but I am working on a hat and a couple of blankets. The hat is my design, made largely with a KnitWit tool and a wire from a cheapie Halloween witch's hat, with a little bit of knitting in there for the shaping.  Theblankets are a feather and fan pink and purple mess and Red Heart Super Saver piece of crap that I hope will turn into something better than it is now. Both are knit in strips so for now it just looks like I'm making more scarves. 

 I want to WRITE, but it just isn't coming to me. 

We had M's boys this weekend. I don't recall if I've mentioned that we only have them once a month now, but we do. The older boy was horrible. He pooped in his pants three times. I am so very sick of his behavior but I don't know what to do about it. He doesn't do it when he's at home I don't think it's a medical issue. I know it makes me a bad person to so strongly dislike a child, but I can't help it. He is so very unpleasant to be around. I do my best to be kind and nurturing, but every time the boys are here I am reminded of how very happy I am with my decision to not have any kids of my own.                       

Thursday, February 12, 2009

M was fired

M has lost his job. I am scared that his legal issues will make it hard for him to find another as easily as he has in the past, plus with the economy being what it is... We shall see. 

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Year, new beginnings...

Bellydancing. Yep, I'm going to give it a go and give Mark a show for our belated Valentine's Day celebration. I ordered some instructional DVDs and the first delivery arrived today. Discover Bellydance is the name of the 3 DVD set I'll be starting with on Monday. Oh, and Mark is getting me a ring for Valentine's Day as well. Of course we have his boys on that weekend (the 14th is a Friday) as his ex is an absolute monster of a bitter shrew who wants to make sure that no celebration is left unmarred by her and her spawn. More on that later.

The other DVD is Sensual Bellydance and it is on its way. I'm hoping this will not only teach me a fun, sexy skill but also give me a low impact workout and encourage my metabolism to speed up. I am so fat and out of shape these days that it frightens me. 

Good news on his legal stuff. His sentencing date is the 23rd, but the judge sent out a letter saying that the motion to allow him to stay out pending appeal was granted. So as far as I've been able to find out it will be another year or so before there is further movement on this case.

Here is a picture of the ring he's getting me.

Of course it was my decision that he get me a ring and I chose the design, but he didn't hesitate when I told him. He is even considering getting a ring himself. 

Monday, January 5, 2009

I don't like Mondays

It's a cold, wet day today, the kind of day best spent in front of a fireplace with a good book and a calm cat. Alas, I have no fireplace, my cat is insane and hyper most of the time, and I haven't the time right now to settle in for a long session of reading. No, today is for cleaning. I hate cleaning. I am a slob and could happily live in a messy home, but M is not the same way. And since he is off at work all day while I remain here, well, the cleaning naturally becomes my responsibility. I dread it and do just about anything I can to procrastinate. Like writing a blog entry about it. But no, Mondays are for cleaning and the kitchen floor needs to be mopped. *sigh* I fear that Tuesday and Wednesday this week are also for cleaning. Maybe later I'll have a little time for knitting if I get started on the kitchen now...

Friday, January 2, 2009

Out with the Old, In with the New

What a crap way to end the year. December was a really, REALLY bad month. I insist that 2009 be better than its predecessor and will do whatever I have to do to insure that happens. Why was December so bad, you ask?

First there was the death of my uncle Gary Perdue (my father's brother). He and I weren't close and I hadn't actually seen him in many years, but he was family. He had been fighting brain tumors for a couple of years and lasted about 18 months longer than doctors predicted, so it's not like this was unexpected. I do have some vague but fond memories of Gary from my childhood. With him gone now, although I would very much like to reclaim that part of my heritage and be closer to that side of the family I don't know who to stay in touch with to do that.

M had been acting strangely toward me for a couple of months, not as affectionate, more interested in sex but less able to perform, and all but ignoring me in favor of his computer. He would spend all night sitting at his computer typing away with a cryptic smile on his face. I had my suspicions, even made jokes about them, but he denied having any online girlfriends. Then I was using his computer to try to play a game he's enrolled in a beta for. I was trying to find his password when I ran across some devastatingly sexual text. My suspicions were confirmed and I emailed him telling him to call me as soon as he got the message (he was at work). He did so and I told him what I had found. I also told him that he had to choose. Luckily, he chose me. I think in the long run that this will bring us closer together as it seems to have opened up lines of communication that had long ago been shut down. Still, I am hurt and the edifice of trust is slow to be rebuilt. We seem to be on the right track now, though, and I have high hopes for our continued good relationship.

We had his boys with us for Christmas. Enough said about that. They were well behaved and there were none of the pants-pooping problems we've had in the past with the elder boy. (It still burns me up when I think about how much time and effort I put into finding just the right gifts for M and his boys online while he was talking dirty to some woman.) We went to my granfather's house for Christmas Eve with my family and it was good. My grandfather seemed kind of sick, but said it was just a cold although he did tell M that it wasn't fun being old and frail. We went back to his house on Christmas Day fro lunch. It was nice to be surrounded by family. My nephews took M's boys under their wing and they all had a good time. The knitted gifts I made were a huge hit, too.

Then, on the 27th I got the call from my mom. My grandfather had died. I thought I could write about it here but it's too soon. Crap, here come the tears again. He was a great man and I doubt I will ever meet another with his integrity. I'll follow this up when I can, but it's too soon now.J.C. Reynolds
01/17/1927 - 12/27/2008
Goodbye, Grandfather. Your Sugar Baby will always love you.