Friday, December 2, 2016

It's all good

  It's been a long time since I've written..it has been on purpose.  Sometimes people want parts of you, feel like they are entitled to parts of you they no longer deserve. My mind is mine and mine alone..my thoughts are mine..and I don't share them with people who don't deserve them in any shape or form..said or written. But I have finally come to a place of peace and calm..and dare I say happiness .  Yeah, happiness...I know...crazy. It happened slowly, this kind of revelation, as I go through my day...freedom. Freedom from worrying about who I should be...if I was living up to expectations of another . It is almost like taking a deep breath after decades of shallow breathing..in a state of constant fear. People can make you doubt yourself...people want you to be what they need at the time, not what you are...and that is not healthy..and that is not happy.

I no longer have to comply, I no longer have to compromise who I am to fit into some box of someones expectations....and that is liberating.

    The good news is I'm doing well...and I am writing again...12 chapters to be exact. 12 glorious chapters, where for decades there were barely any.

And that is a beautiful thing.


Saturday, October 8, 2016

College bound & drowning in paperwork

        Filling out Fasfa forms is like filling out your taxes. When did college funding get so hard..crap.  Not only am I helping my 18 year old to do hers, but I am also doing mine. Yes indeed, I am going back to school next fall. Now that I've come to terms that I've wasted 2 decades of my life selflessly giving up my career for the sake of an unappreciative ex husband who has the career he always wanted, I think it's my turn. I mean shit, it should have always been "my" turn, never was, and I take responsibility for letting it end up that way. I should have ran 16 years ago when I wanted to...ex that...I should have ran when he got down on his knees and asked me to marry him when inside my head I was screaming  "NO..NO...NO!!!".... instead of saying yes. Lesson learned...always listen to your inner self, never fully trust anyone. No one will ever put you first, so you need to do it for yourself.
     So I have a grand plan. In hopefully 9 years time, you may all refer to me then as Dr.  I am on a track to get a PHD by then. Not sure if I want to exactly do patient therapy; I am aiming more towards the research side of Psychology.
     In 8 years, my last child will be graduating high school and getting ready for college, by then I should be well past my Masters degree and knee deep working through my PHD,which I hear takes anywhere from 4-6 years. Honestly, at that point, with no kids anymore, I will be able to pursue this-anywhere I choose. Heck, it will all fall into place nicely as I can then travel the world and do research in other countries, at other universities.
    In 9 years I will only be 52, still pretty damn young and smack in the middle of life (considering the life expectancy in my family is late 90's-and still independent and mobile mind you).
     But still...I still have to make it through this damn Fasfa and scholarship forms. College admission? How the hell do you transfer credits from 24 years ago....can you even do that.....are they still even pertinent?! I  have no fucking clue. I probably will need a strong drink just to get though all this paperwork .

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Seems I'm a sweet sugar, and baby all in one

   So yeah, today was a weird day. It's not everyday when you've met someone  and they ask you to be their sugar baby. I'm seriously not kidding. Granted the man was attractive, rich as all shit (I'm talking millions) and only 50. But sorry buddy, I can't be your mistress. I have no doubt in my abilities to woo most men, men are simple creatures, but yeah, not going to be your monthly mistress, sorry sir (even as handome as you are). You're married and that's just a big no-no for me, I just can't condone it and be a part of it...my moral code is screaming. So I declined nicely and went on my merry way.  I figure if I'm going to be calling anyone "daddy" it better include at least something exclusive... and bondage of some sort.  Didn't know I still qualified as sugar baby quality though...good to know...good to know.
     I had one guy tell me I look too young to be 43, must be good genes and lack of anymore than 2 wrinkles on my face. He told me this as he slipped his number in my hand..lol..oh boy. Then I had a 31 year old tell me I'm so beautiful.... right back at you cutie!!
  It entertains me to no end, it's been an interesting week to say the least. Ego boost -level 10...lol.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Acadia national park-camping trip





    Last week , the 3 kids and I went on vacation. We haven't gone on a vacation in 2 years. It was probably the best vacation we've ever had. Probably because A. I'm the one who planned it, and B. Their father (my ex) wasn't there. That man was the killjoy of every family outing with his lack of enthusiasm.

 What did we do?
Where did we go?

Somewhere beautiful : Acadia National Park in Maine. All of us love to camp (these are so my children). We stayed on the smaller peninsula part of the park named Schoodic. The campground was probably the nicest we have ever been to. It didn't have a store, or showers, or water at the sights, but it did have electricity, a paved and manicured campground..it even had an amphitheater.  The week we were there we sat in a class for geological rocks of the area.


We spent our first two days exploring wherever it took us. We hiked to Frazer point, where the coastline was lovely. We drove down to Schoodic point which was another great place to explore the rocky coast.

Other days were filled with a longer drive to the main part of the park near Bar Harbor, which was an hour away. There we traveled the loop and hit places like Cadillac mountain, bubble rock, sand beach, and Thunderhole. We bought a few trinkets, climbed a lot of steep hills and cliffs, and marveled at tide pools.



By the time Friday morning rolled around, we had been there 4 night. We were exhausted from all the hiking and driving (we did a total of 17 hours of driving in 5 days). But even though we were unwashed and smelled heavily of the campfire, the kids were dissapointed to leave. We probably could of spent a month there and they would of been completely content.

On our trip back through Maine we even managed to squeeze in a prearranged college tour for my 17 year old. Thank goodness it was a college of environmental and animal studies and deep in the country, because I don't think we smelled all that hot by then . Maybe we fit right it.

Our last treat was to stop for dinner at Margaritas. It's been so long since I've been out to dinner, hard to do when you're on a crazy tight budget.

I've learned a lot with this vacation.

I learned that it doesn't take a lot to have an enjoyable vacation. I saved up and spent about $400 on a 5 day trip for 4 of us. That included the camp ground, the $25  7day pass to Acadia National park, food we took with us, the firewood for all 4 nights, gas for all the driving, and even some small souvenirs.  It made me realize that when left to my own path, I can offer my children a great experience. Nothing too organized, nothing over planned. Life is about winging it half the time, that's what makes it spontaneous and worthwhile.

I also learned that my children will know who took, not just the time, but care for their emotional well being to add some enrichment to their lives. That I was there for them, through the issues, and the joys, and the one who took the time to do all these college visits.  I hope that every adventure we have had or have from now on teaches them not to lock themselves into a box of self imposed restrictions due to fear of failure. Sometimes the best part of life is to be wild, carefree, and to go where the wind takes you.



Thursday, August 4, 2016

Garden in a bucket



  Every year I grow stuff.....food stuff, namely vegetables. For the past decade I have tilled (by hand) our small garden. For the small size; it is a heavy job. Every year the earth seems to birth new boulders, some so big that they cannot simply be lifted by hand..some require tight gripping hands and rolling to get them out.

These are boulders...not merely "rocks".

   Two years ago we bought an electric tiller that seemed to work well..until fist sized rocks got caught in the spokes. It took its toll and alas the tiller died after that first year.
   Last year, too much stuff was happening in the house and the garden was something that fell to the wayside.
   This year I was determined to grow something...but I couldn't bring myself to till by hand again.

I am way to tired to bother with that shit.

Enter the buckets;plastic Home Depot buckets.

Why yes, you can grow things in buckets..and yes, it works. Some people have all sorts of systems consisting of self watering 2 bucket systems, specialty containers. Again, I don't have time for that shit...and you really don't need all that to grow your own food.

So I popped over to Home Depot this past spring and bought 10 buckets for under $5 each. I actually think they were cheaper,  but I can't remember at this point the exact price. With my handy drill, and a random drill bit that was fairly large, I drilled 5 holes at the bottom of each bucket for drainage. I filled all buckets with about 2 inches of crushed rock for better drainage. Then I filled each one about 3/4 of the way full with good quality dirt. I almost always use some variety of Coast of Maine soil. They have many different varieties,  this year I picked up 3 large bags of the premium potting soil that says for Outdoor Containers  (among other stuff). What I love about this brand is; they are made for organic gardens, and are made of compost and seaweed. I have found any fish based soil and fertilizer grow amazing stuff when you want to grow organic gardens.


 This year I chose to grow: cucumbers, green peppers, green beans,kale, lettuce,tomatoes,  and sunflowers. The sunflowers are mostly to attract bees for pollination, plus I LOVE sunflowers..the really BIG ones. All my seeds are non-go that I order from Seedsnow.com. I actually ordered these 4 years ago. I still have many left over, and they still grow brilliantly.
  So yeah, it looks a bit weird, my deck with fluorescent orange buckets littered everywhere, but it gets the job done. These buckets can be placed in any sunny spot and moved around accordingly to how much sun/shade each plant requires. They work in small yards or even no yards....small porches and decks. If you have sun, and a place for several buckets..you can grow food.

All you need to do is to remember to water daily and fertilize once a week. I have used Neptune's Harvest fertilizer for the last 10 years, and it is amazing. Organic and fish based. They have many varieties, this just happens to be the one I picked up this time. Sure you can used miracle grow..it works....but I prefer something more natural that isn't fluorescent blue.
 And this stuff....it smells like a fish in the ocean, be prepared. It's thicker and green and looks like you put seaweed in a blender and added water and essence of fish. It is a bit more tame looking and smelling when it is appropriately diluted. This small bottle will last me 2 years, if not longer.

So now as we head into the first week of August, I am starting to harvest some of my veggies. I have picked 2 tomatoes, 2 green peppers, a head of lettuce, and almost all the kale. The sunflowers are still growing and the cucumbers are still in their infant stages of growth. As the summer progresses, I except tons more cucumbers, green beans, and tomatoes.
Kale

Teeny tiny cucumbers



 I think it's absolutely super amazing that I can head out to my back deck and pick a head of lettuce for salad. I know it's organic and everything that has touched it's soil and leaves. That is sort of a comforting feeling, knowing where my food came from, knowing that e-coli is unlikely because dozens of people haven't handled it, knowing it's fresh and hasn't traveled far to reach me.

The best part (aside from the food and knowledge I grew it) is that I can store the dirt and buckets for next year to use again. I will probably dump all the dirt into a barrel and mix it with cow compost and worms over the winter to make the soil better and ready for next spring. The buckets will be emptied and stacked together. Everything neatly put away and out of the way.

I plan to buy more buckets and stagger grow time next spring so I can have an overlapping of harvest all summer. I will probably add another 10-15 buckets next year. I luckily have the space for it.
Green peppers

Tomatoes 

Lettuce

My kale harvest today

Monday, July 18, 2016

Update on my messy life

   So...I haven't written about how things have been going on the home front for a while...because well, it's just been going.

But there is new news...I am officially divorced.

 That news is filled with a myriad of emotions;relief, anger, disappointment..it goes on and on. It would probably take a whole book series to explain in depth the range of emotions, so I figured I'd vent on only a few points. Because I need to vent, I need to write it down. I know it won't improve it, I have no allusions anymore about it, but sometimes you need to vent to release the pent up frustrations.

One..you realize (even if you knew and experienced it by other people) that people can disappointment you..in epic fashion. Not just by actions but also by who they are, or who they became. Or maybe I just never realized what a self centered person he was. I chalked his earlier actions to immaturity. .I mean we had been together since we were 16 &17 years old. I figured he would mature as a person, apparently I was mistaken. He seemed to have reached his peak about 10 years ago in terms of progression into adulthood..and it has been on a steady decline since then.
    So we come to the present day where he manages to see his kids every 3 weeks, if they're lucky every two weeks. He doesn't call in to check on them, or talk to them (the youngest two at all).  He doesn't ask if they need anything, food, clothes, anything. Even though the 5 of us are now living on 1/4 of what we originally lived on . Yes he pays the mortgage, bills, and car..because he has to. That's the 1/4 I'm talking about. Anything else is up to me. Joint bank account is closed now...but I had to ask for money for groceries. Sometimes I want to scream at him and ask if he even thinks about anything outside himself. Was it even a thought in his mind what we would do when I didn't have access to money for food anymore? Probably not, he hasn't thought about anything outside his bubble in a long time. I was the one who always had to point out what we needed, what the kids needed. He left it up to me, he didn't have to think about it, he had me to worry about it all, to direct what needed to be done, all these years.

School things? I took care of that.

Food stuff? I took care of that.

Everything kid related? I took care of that too.

I even fixed the washing machine, built stairs, shoveled...you name it...I did it. He showed up once in a while, paid the bills.

He DID buy our son clothes, gave me grocery money, changed the oil on the car, and took the kids blueberry picking this past weekend. Why..because I had to ask for it. I HAD TO ASK. What parent doesn't know their preteen son is in a growth spurt, that the car has needed an oil change for a while, that we needed food, and the kids would ENJOY going blueberry picking?

What parent?
Oh yeah...the one that was never around.

It must be nice to be able to pop up once in a while, play daddy, and then disappear again and stI'll hold the ttile of "Dad".... I wish I had that luxury.

Instead I'm on 24/7 for everything. For driving, for cooking, for cleaning, for argument resolution between 4 very strong minded children, and everything else. I haven't even had time to take the child impact class that the court requires. Not because I didn't want to, but because I have no time and don't always have an extra $85 lying around to spend on it.I honestly think I should be exempt from that class. If ANYONE understands the impact divorce has on a child...it would be me. I live it every day. I have to navigate all their emotions around life, their relationships, their fathers absence from their lives for years. If I'm not an expert on the impact of my children's emotions , who the hell is. Apparently the class didn't do much for his ability to see how his actions impact his children's lives. But yeah..I even managed to pay and set up a class time for myself soon..because yeah...I do all that and more.

I guess this all shouldn't come as a big surprise, he always picked his job over us. Under the guise of the better of the family. Maybe it started out that way, I'm sure it did, but it veered off track like a derailed train somewhere along the way. The worst part is he realized it last year, it was right there in his face, the absolute disintegration of his relationship with his wife and his children....and he still chose the job. Let me rephrase..he chose not to "try" to even change  any part of the situation. Work continued to take him further and further away..and he let it.

So angry...me....yeah.
Bitter...you better believe it.
Disappointed...I can't even explain.

But that's just it. There was no reason to stay anymore. He gave me no reason.

Do I regret it?...No.

So I don't yell or bitch to him anymore....I know it won't make a difference. I just stay cordially pleasant, I don't know at this point if he even deserves that or my emotional restraint that I have. I do know no amount of yelling or complaining will ever get through to him. Not about him and I, not even about his children. He has securely locked himself somewhere where he thinks he's done all he can so he won't be disappointed in himself.

Maybe one day he'll figure out life is all about disappointments and the realization of your own failures and coming to terms with them. It's the only way to mature..it's the only way to move on and fix things.

Me? Well, I've already been on that inner, deep journey where you come face to face with your demons and your strengths(it's called hitting rock bottom in the depths and solitude of depression). I've already figured out how to go about shuffling around what needs to be done to get to the right place, or as close as I can achieve it. I'm not perfect, I will never be perfect, but I will always try to be the best I can. I have no space in my life for someone who throws their hands in the air and just surrenders to it all . I have commitments, I have children, I don't have that luxury to go and hide out and let my mess consume me.

I don't know what the future holds for me.

Maybe I will just date.

Maybe I will go back to school and make up for all that time I wasted facilitating HIS career and getting nothing emotionally or financially really in return.

Maybe I will fall in love again one day. I think it will have to be someone quite extraordinary, because I deserve that. I deserve someone who can see just how much I care and am willing to do for the people I love, and someone who will do that in return.

Pokémon Go-ahead..just not off a cliff



   So the new craze is the PokémonGo game; I have it...on my phone. It's fun, I admit it. I have found an obscene amount of Pokémon in my room, especially my bed...you dirty little Squirtle you. My 10 year old and I even went into the city (since we were there anyways) and caught like 50 that day. On the city streets, in the park, and in my bank. We had conversations with 3 separate conversations with strangers who were playing or play it. That was fun...meeting and talking to new people.
   I think (besides the obvious income factor) that is the gist of the game...or at least an added bonus. Exercise, human interaction...it makes the game a good thing. That's what it should be, a game for fun, a game to pop on once in a while when you need something to occupy yourself. What I don't understand is people...the obsessive nature of people. Now I have OCD, I don't care who knows it. It's fairly low key as most people can't tell. It waxes and wanes through the years as stress levels go up and down...we all have our vices. I mean who really cares if I have to switch the water on/off a few times while I'm brushing my teeth....no one. But even "I", lady of OCD, is baffled by the obsessive/compulsive nature that it pulls out of people. I mean really...falling off a cliff to catch an imaginary digital image of a made up character that was happened to be placed there simply by GPS positioning due to its location?!

People, people...use your brains.

You get hit with a car because you're crossing the street and not looking up from your phone?
You get into an accident because you're trying to catch one while driving?

It's not the games fault dumb ass...it's you. Yeah, it's you.

If you have so much time and concentration to be vested in a game that you lose all sense of common sense, let me pass you your Darwin award before you even start.

Common sense tells you that the closer you get to the edge of a cliff...that you're more than likely going to fall. If you're an adult and you haven't gotten that concept yet, please by all means, keep going.

The preteen who crossed the street and got hit by a car because she was looking at her phone...sweetie, it's NOT the games fault you got hurt. You're old enough to know how to cross the street, if not, hold your parents hand and don't go out alone yet. Better yet, take some responsibility that it was your fault.

But the worst thing I have yet to witness was the video of hoards of people descending on central park in search of a rare Pokémon.

Oh my fucking god .

If you're in the park, or walking distance, sure, knock yourself out, it's fun after all. But if you get into your car and make the trip there solely for a Pokémon,  you might needs some professional help.

Ok..ok...you may think I'm getting a bit preachy and judgmental here...eh...you're probably right. Hear me out.

So...if YOU are exerting time and energy, be it natural resources such as gas for your car, or EXCESSIVE time spent (cough...wasted) on obtaining said images...you might need to rethink your life goals. If you are rushing to anyplace to get a rare whatever, that holds no value or significance outside of an app.....you might have lost your way. Take a detour back to your home...sit down..and think about where your priorities lay. Instead of rushing to get a rare Pokémon in the park like it's the end of the world, do something more meaningful. Instead of spending the $9.99 on more pokeballs , why don't you go buy a bottle of water and a sandwich and pass it off to the hundreds of homeless people in said park. Do something worthwhile...do something that isn't about what you gain. You would be surprised in what you gain when you do something for others, others who need...and people need in many different ways. Maybe a lonely person in the park, maybe a homeless vet, maybe anyone. At the end of this life, I guarantee you, you won't remember what you bought, what you caught...you remember feelings, you remember experiences. Those are what grounds us, those are what make up our humanity, our compassion. As the saying goes (though I'm changing it up a bit) ..People will always remember how you made them feel...No one will remember how much you made, or what you bought.

Some of the animal shelters have got it right.....why not take their dogs for a walk while you play Pokémon Go.  In the end, you will be volunteering, the dogs will only benefit, you will get exercise, and let's face it, it's genius...because they KNOW you're going to fall in love with a dog and want to adopt it. Is it a bad ploy? Absolutely not. I think it's quite clever. No one loses..no one. The shelter gets volunteers, the shelter possibly finds homes, the dog finds a new person of their own, and you...you get someone to love who will bring you more joy than any Pokémon ever would. They are freaking geniuses!!!!

So I think what I'm saying is life is all about moderation..in terms of some things. Enjoy the game, have fun, don't go off cliffs or in the street. Set up some priorities of what is actually important and what's not. Trade those Pokémon,  collect them, battle them, whatever...just try to remember it's just a game. One that will more then likely be a memory in the near future. Phone game apps have a shelf life..human experiences do not..choose wisely.