Just Pros, no cons

Mount Mansfield

Mount Mansfield

It just doesn’t get better than this.

Stowe, VT

Stowe, VT

I am never leaving Vermont. Ever.

Random Cow

Random Cow

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Driving me crazy… Oh. Wait.

Ok. So I’m already crazy.

I’m just incredibly irritated.

Because I finally have a working computer and a place to sit that has been deemed dont-you-ever-sit-there-or-put-your-sister-there-that-is-MY-space. And I’m having some weird sort of writer’s block. It’s not like i can’t write anything at all, I think I’ve posted more in the last 2 weeks than I did for the entire summer, but it’s that I’ve had all these fantastic posts bubbling around in my head and now I can’t seem to access them.

It’s like our pool. We have this lovely pool (that I personally never go in, but everybody else does) and it sits under two lovely trees. So there is constantly all manner of leaves and bugs and sticks and stuff in there that has to be skimmed out. Fine. But then The Peach decided that the skimmer was a really cool shovel and proceeded to (in the span of about 30 seconds while we weren’t looking) dig in the stones by the house and put several large holes in it. So you skim the pool, and everything just slips through the skimmer. Some stuff gets caught, but if you don’t grab it right away, the flow of the water pushes it right through one of those big Peach pits.

Which is where my brain is at right now. I have all these fantastic posts that are practically already written, but I keep dipping into the thought pool to skim them and they just quietly slip through the holes. And yeah, a couple get caught, but if I don’t get them written right away (like this past weekend), they stick briefly, then swish through. If I’m lucky I’ll get another shot if it swirls around again, but I think most of them just break down and get absorbed back into the larger thought flow.

Is there such thing as a thought pool vacuum?

Spreading the joy…

I love watching my girls together…

"You Dance wif me!!!"

“You Dance wif me!!!”

"I Fwyin! I Fwyin!!! EEEEEEE!!!"

“I Fwyin! I Fwyin!!! EEEEEEE!!!”

Even Fairy Dog and The Beast are feeling the love.wpid-20140907_055220.jpg

Not Ready to Make Nice…

You’ve heard that song right? Dixie Chicks? Responding to the backlash they got from Natalie Maines saying she was ashamed George W. Bush was from Texas? I was listening to it the other day and it made me think about my (current lack of) relationship with my father.

Forgive, sounds good

I can do that. I want to do that.  I know that in his mind, it is my fault, and I sent him to jail and I know that he doesn’t forgive me for that, no matter how justified it was.

 Forget, I’m not sure I could.

Not a chance. A year later and I still wonder if I’ll ever be able to be alone with him without being absolutely terrified. I still have nightmares.

They say time heals everything
But I’m still waiting

It will happen. And I am healing. Slowly.

I’m through with doubt
There’s nothing left for me to figure out

I know what happened. I have a vague idea why, at least on a long-term basis. He completely lost his shit. And I was screaming too, don’t get me wrong. But there is no doubt in my mind, or in anyone’s who was involved that he was wrong and no matter what I have apparently done to him throughout my life to make him so angry, so full of rage and hate that I knew that I was going to die that day, he still went so far over the line that he obliterated it completely.

 I’ve paid a price
And I’ll keep paying

Physically, mentally and emotionally. Even financially. And the fact remains that no matter what happens from this point on, even though he will always be my father, I lost my Daddy that day.

I’m not ready to make nice
I’m not ready to back down
I’m still mad as hell and
I don’t have time to go round and round and round

I’m not going to rethink this over and over again in my head.

 It’s too late to make it right
I probably wouldn’t if I could

It will never be right. We may reconcile at some point, but what happened will always be there, hanging over our heads. The big, ugly, deformed, elephant in the room that neither of us will be able to talk about. And it should be there. I will not be safe, at least not emotionally if that elephant pokes its twisted, hairy trunk into anything we might be able to salvage.

‘Cause I’m mad as hell
Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should

I won’t apologize. I will not. Don’t get me wrong, I said some really nasty shit. But my apologies were cried into my pillow and screamed out in the middle of the night and aching in my hip and jaw and catching my eye with the floater that will always be there, hanging out in the lower left corner of my visual field.

I know you said
Can’t you just get over it

Honestly, I don’t know. He may not even give a shit. He may be relieved he doesn’t have to deal with me anymore. He may be vindicated that I still cry when I think about it (like now)

 It turned my whole world around
And I kind of like it

Things are better for us. I never realized how worried I was about My Mom until she came to live with us. How there was this constant, nagging worry that one day I would get a phone call that he had lost it, not with me, but with her. And he would have killed her. No question. I fought back. She couldn’t have, or wouldn’t have. We’re safe, a new kind of family, and even with the stress and logistics still being worked out, I do kind of like it.

I made my bed and I sleep like a baby
With no regrets and I don’t mind sayin’

Ok, I never slept like a baby. But now, despite the occasional persistent nightmare, getting fewer and farther in-between, I am sleeping better than I did. We’re safe now.

It’s a sad sad story when a mother will teach her
Daughter that she ought to hate a perfect stranger

He’s not a stranger, but he probably will be to The Peach. And Princess Punk still doesn’t know how she is supposed to feel about it. But I won’t teach them to hate him. They shouldn’t. He offered to take The Princess shopping for her birthday. When I told her that it was a possibility and asked her how she felt about it, she said, “Um… I don’t really know.” It wasn’t teenage apathy. She just doesn’t know.

And how in the world can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge
That they’d write me a letter
Sayin’ that I better shut up and sing
Or my life will be over

There was no letter. Just a rushing force that (quite literally) knocked me down.

I’m not ready to make nice
I’m not ready to back down
I’m still mad as hell and
I don’t have time to go round and round and round
It’s too late to make it right
I probably wouldn’t if I could
‘Cause I’m mad as hell
Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should

I can bring myself to be his daughter. I love him. But I can’t bring myself to be the person I was. The person who always listened to him, and believed him when he told me I was fat. Or an idiot. Or worthless. Or a manipulative little bitch. Because I’m not. And I won’t see myself through his eyes anymore.

Forgive, sounds good
Forget, I’m not sure I could
They say time heals everything
But I’m still waiting

A work in progress…

I am currently sitting in my room, at my desk, on my now working laptop.

It is SO nice to have an actual keyboard to type on.

But we’re still shifting. Trying to make this home fit us, to make this living situation work.

So here’s a (very) rough floor plan-

A General Idea

A General Idea

This is not working too well.

The Family Room has been completely taken over by Princess Punk. It’s gross, the couch (that came with the house) is busted and itchy and the carpet (the only one in the house) is disgusting. Here’s the thing… She’s completely taken over My Mom’s space too. They were supposed to share, but… Have you ever shared anything with a 14-year-old? And both of the girls have wormed their way into my bedroom and latched their sharp little claws into my own space.

The room where the hot tub is was supposed to be my private space. It isn’t. It’s full of spiders and is smells funny from the spa chemicals. It’s fine for the 20-30 minutes I need to soak the worst of my aches out, but as a place for me to just hang out? Nope.

So here’s the current plan… TV and PS3 will move into what is now the living room and will become the family room. The Playwoom (yes I spelled that right) will move into what is now the family room and Princess Punk will move her art space in there as well. It’s much more appropriate (and sanity-inducing) for siblings to share space rather than a teenager share a space with her grandmother.

I’m still working out where I want to be, but honestly, if I can keep the girls out of my bedroom and get a more comfortable desk and chair, I’m fine here. All I want is a comfortable place to write, play CandyCrush and watch Netflix.

 

Just a little furniture moving...

Just a little furniture moving…

So, a small change should make a big difference-
And The Zen Master? He has the majority of the basement. Not too worried about him. Although he might need a door. Don’t want another generation walking into his office while he’s viewing “questionable material” on his computer…

Crisis averted

So… Apparently some kind of auto-pay issue and alimony is now in.

Major crisis averted.

Now just the million other smaller ones.

Like My Mom being hospitalized.

No biggie.

image

Another financial rant.

That Man, my father, has yet to pay his alimony this month.

Granted, it is only a few days late and he probably just forgot, but here’s the thing…

Money is tight at the moment. Like, our mortgage is due tomorrow and if The Zen Master and I pay My Mom’s share too, we will be down to about $50 and the mortgage on the other house is due 3 days after that. And we won’t get the rent for the other house until the 15th.

Things have been a little bit squeezed the past two months.

wpid-back-to-school-shopping.png.pngPrincess Punk started High School last week and the amount of money we had to lay down to get her ready was ridiculous. She needed new clothes. Not like, “I just have to have something new for school Mom,” but Holy Crap this girl has put on about 10lbs of pure muscle, her body shape has changed again and the jeans she has look like leggings, assuming she can actually zip them. And I promised her that there would be minimal thrift shop deals this year. I actually like shopping at the thrift shop. I like getting compliments on my clothes and being able to say, “This? 2 bucks. No, seriously. Great find right?” Princess Punk, not so much. Especially considering the difficulty shopping for her body shape anyway and the fact that she actually wants to be more individual and have her own style. Which I really can’t argue with.

So clothes, binders, pencils and a new backpack (the old one is busted and the other ones we have are apparently too small).

Then soccer. She did NOT make varsity, but only because there are not enough JV players. She has been playing with both JV and varsity so it’s clear that the coach still recognizes how awesome she is. Oh, and the coach and the sweeper, who is currently a senior, are “grooming” The Princess to be sweeper on varsity next year. Meaning she will pretty much be running the defense as a sophomore. Fucking-A, that’s MY girl. Unfortunately… She generally has practice or games 6/7 days a week. Practice consists of a 2 mile run and then an hour-long (or longer) practice. She needed running shoes. New cleats. New shin guards. And, since the uniform didn’t include socks, a pair each of white and green soccer socks. $10 per pair. Seriously.

Oh, and don’t forget the first $200 installment for the Girl’s Soccer July ’15 trip to Venice. Granted, she doesn’t have to do that, but it is such an amazing opportunity and if we do some fundraising and participate in the team fundraisers which get split evenly amongst participating girls, we can scrape together the $3200 for her to go. Plus we’ll have to come up with another 3 grand for My Mom, since I am SO not comfortable sending a diabetic 15-year-old to Europe without a family member. And it’ll be nice for Mom to travel. Her half is likely to come out of her rapidly dwindling 401K though.

Grocery shopping… With school starting and Princess Punk busy from sunup to sundown between high school homework load and 12 hours of soccer a week plus travel to away games (yesterday’s game was in St. Johnsbury, easily an hour each way), we have decided to provide her with as much “on-the-go” food as humanly possible. Because of the D-Monster, she needs to make sure she has food available all day. And making PBJ sandwiches isn’t particularly realistic since they 1. get mashed and 2. are not a fast snack for a kid with braces. So a $450 trip to Costco for the basics (TP, paper towels, sugar, splenda, etc.) and a shit-ton of pre-packaged granola bars, muffins, cheese crackers, protein bars and microwave meals for her to scarf if she has 5 minutes between school and practice. And lots of PowerAde Zero.

I'd say it weighs about 6oz?

I’d say it weighs about 6oz?

Because Princess Punk her insulin pump is the size of a pager (remember those?) and is attached to her infusion site on her arm or leg with super-thin tubing, it can get yanked out, or even hurt other girls while playing. So she is not able to wear her pump during practice or a game. so 2 hours without an insulin pump = blood sugars in the 4-500’s. Since her body knows that’s totally fucked up, the first thing it does is pull all the water out of her cells in an attempt to flush the sugar out of her blood. It’s why diabetics have to pee a lot. It’s also why she gets dehydrated when she plays.  Blood sugars in the 4-500’s + hot and humid weather = a 32oz PowerAde and about a half-gallon of water (if possible) every day.

So there’s that. Then the super-high electric bill (not enjoying the pool, but at least everyone else is), various expenses here and there and I FINALLY got the bill for my responsiblity from the jaw surgery I had a year-and-a-half ago. Four. Thousand. Dollars. After insurance.

wpid-pro-obamacare-photo-1.jpgBut universal healthcare is a bad idea. Fuck you Michele Bachmann.

And in that same vein… I have recently started Abilify. Which is freaking amazing. Like wonder-drug amazing. But thanks to Big Pharma bending us over the pharmacy counter and sticking it to us in a not happy way, my co-pay, after insurance is over $400 a month. I got my first month free and there is some kind of coupon to pay up to $200 (I think) of refill co-pays, but that’s still over $200 a month. For a drug that actually works. So far, anyway. not sure what I’m going to do when I run out of my first month supply.

My Mom’s healthcare premiums for her multiple medicare, medicare supplemental, prescription and prescription… whatever, are an arm and a leg, which I suppose means they can just get more money from you after they amputate. On top of all that, her prescription co-pays vary so much, we have no idea what to budget for, but it seems they are at least $200 a month.

And My Mom… My Mom seems to be having some kind of blood pressure reaction to one of her psych meds. So the idea was to wean her off of it. Simple right? Not so. A few days after dropping just one of her 3 doses in a day threw her into a downward spiral that was honestly quite terrifying. She saw her therapist and my (and now hers too) medication APRN yesterday. She is most likely going to go to the hospital for a week just to get her off this stupid drug that makes her BP drop 10-15 points when she stands up. And hopefully find something to replace it with. Because titrating down the medication at home is a scary prospect given the fact I had to have Our Therapist call her and confirm she wasn’t actively suicidal.

That last one wasn’t exactly financial. Except for the fact that I may need to cut back on OT in order to make the childcare schedule work. But honestly, I need My Mommy WAY more than I need an extra $200 this month.