Sunday, May 7, 2017

Charlie's Choice 1.2

"God, Brad.  What am I gonna do?  He seemed so miserable this morning.  So shut off."

"Man, I think it's time you accepted that something really is wrong.  This isn't just going to go away on it's own.  It isn't going to just... disappear."

"Fuck.  I know that.  But I was hoping that over time that he would start to open up again.  Start to feel like he could just be a kid."  Running my hands through my hair, I could just feel more of it turning gray.

"I wish I knew what to say."

"I know.  I do, too.  I'm excited and terrified to get him from school."

"How did the teacher react?"

"Oh, she was great.  She's an older lady, but not OLD.  Probably in her 50's.  She tried to cut me off when trying to tell her his name." I chuckled.

"Well, that may be for the best.  Maybe what he needs is for someone to get to him."

"I hope so.  I don't want her to push him too much, but she seemed to understand.  The first set of conferences will be at the end of next week, so I'm sure we'll have a great deal to talk about then.  I thought about asking her to stay over today to discuss our home life.  I want her to understand and know he isn't impaired or abused.  Because that's a fear of mine.  The last thing I need is Family Services showing up on my doorstep."

"Sounds like a plan to me."

"It's almost 2.  I think I'm going to go ahead and head over there.  I may have to wait around a bit, but hanging out there is as good as here."

"Well, before you go can I ask you something?"  Brad and I had been friends since our own kindergarten years.  I knew he was serious when he asked if he could ask.

"If you can't, I don't know who can."

"Well, here's the thing.  Do you remember that girl you talked to a few months back?  The blonde who worked over at the factory in the office?"  Ah.  It was becoming clear now.  Brad, too, was single.  Except he was single by choice.  Other than a few girlfriends in high school and college, he had remained mostly a bachelor.  We joked often about how with his good lucks, he should have kids in every county.  He was good at his job and adventurous, to boot. 

"Yeah.  Can't think of her last name now, though.  First name is Becky. Why?"

"Did you, ya know, hook up with her?"

"No.  At the time, 'hooking up' was the VERY last thing on my mind.  She didn't offer, I didn't ask.  We just went out once or twice, talked, and hung out.  In the end, it was too soon for me and really, it felt more like friendship."

"How anyone could look at that woman and think only of friendship, I have no idea."

"Well, I did, " I laughed.  "Why do you ask?"

"Well, I uh.. sorta ran into her the other day.  Literally.  And she's pregnant."



"Did you just mow her down or actually speak to her?"

"I spoke.  Apologized and offered to take her to lunch.  That's when she said I wouldn't say that if I could see her belly.  Then she burst into tears.  I felt so bad, I just hugged her.  That was all.  I held her for a bit then she stiffed up like a tree trunk and took off.  I got it in my head then that maybe it was because I was friends with you.  And well... from the looks of her, or rather the lack of, the timing would be about right.  She doesn't even LOOK pregnant, ya know?"


"I thought so, too."

"So, what are you going to do?"

"Probably something stupid like look her up."

"Alrighty then.  You have fun with that."

"Hey, tell Charlie boy I said hi.  I'll see ya later."


I felt like a teenager on a first date I was so nervous.  My palms were sweating.  The ol' stomach was rolling around like a world class roller coaster.

"Might as well go on up," I said to myself, opening the car door.  As I was walking up, I saw another parent standing at the K doors waiting.  I guess I wasn't as early as I thought.  But it was no great relief; I knew that my kid's day probably had been very different from her child's.  She turned as I came to a stop, and smiled.  I stood stunned for just a moment.  Ashy blonde with porcelain skin, she was a beautiful woman.  And looked vaguely familiar.  Her face was open and her smile was sweet.  As I got closer, I could see her eyes were blue.

"I see someone else was anxious."

"Yeah.  I'm busted.  I couldn't even stand to sit in my car any longer."

She smiled again and said, "I can understand that.  First time parents almost always feel anxious for the first few days.  Especially if your baby is a crier.  I've seen a lot of that this year."

Just like that, I felt like I was going to be sick.

"Are you ok?"

"Not really.  We've had a crazy year and I'm really hoping that there was no crying.  Would they have called me?  They wouldn't just let him cry, would they?  They would let me know if he was really upset, right?"

"Well, yes.  But it's pretty normal for a few of them to cry.  They've never been away from their parents so they get a wee bit emotional.  No need to worry.  This school is great about working with the kids.  I would even say that they many times work outside of the box so the kids get what they need vs. just what the state says they are required.  You looked a little green there for a second."

"Sorry.  Like I said, it's been a trying year."

Ring ring!

"That's the first release bells.  The K kids aren't available to be picked up until the second set of bells."

"You sound like an old hand at this."

She laughed.  "I guess I am.  My mom is a teacher here.  I work here some assisting when I'm not at my own job.  And I have a son here in the 1st grade."

"OH.  That makes perfect sense then.  You probably think I'm being silly.  Who is your mom?"

"No, not silly at all.  If anything, sweet.  Most dads aren't very involved.  Some due to work, some due to attitude.  So, it's a nice change of pace to meet a guy who's active in his child's life.  My sweet Momma is Ms. Cantrell."

"You're kidding."

"No.  Why?"  She looked confused.  But it rang true to me.  She DID look like a much younger version of Ms. Cantrell.  The same open demeanor and face shape.  Even the hair was similar.  The difference was the blue eyes.

"That's my son's teacher."

"Oh, that's great!  He'll love her.  She's amazing, even if I do say so myself."

"Good to know."

Other parents were starting to walk up.  I hoped this meant that soon, the next set of bells would ring so we could go in.  Talking to daughter Cantrell, I had finally caught my breath and didn't feel quite so much like passing out.  But I was still a bundle of nerves.



"Are you coming?"

"Oh yes.  Just glazed over for a second," I said smiling back.  And in we went.

Walking down the hallway, to Charlie's room, I worried about what I was going to find.  I worried about his day, how I should react, if he ate his snack, or if he just sat at his desk all day with his head down.  When I stepped into the room the last thing I thought to see was my Charlie.  Standing over by the windows, holding hands with another boy.

"Mr. Gibbs?"

"Yes, Ms. Cantrell?  How were things today?  Is everything alright?"

"Oh, yes yes.  I was just hoping that you had a few minutes this afternoon to sit and talk for a few.  I know you are probably a busy man, but it would be wonderful if you were open."

"Actually, that's great.  I had hoped that you wouldn't mind."

"Wonderful!  Let me see to getting the other students settled and out.  Probably about 20mins or so and we'll get to it.  In the meantime, Charlie can just hang out and you are welcome to look around the room with him."


Ms. Cantrell stepped away, spoke a few words to her daughter, then went about the chore of getting eighteen 5 and 6yr. olds out the door with anxious parents.  As she went about her job, I watched her some, appreciating her kind smile, her easy going attitude, and how patient she was.  I realized that her daughter had the same kind of qualities.  She was alongside her Mom, helped to push up chairs, put away books, and clean up little messes.  Efficient and neat.  As she moved, her hips swayed, she had a soft smile on her lips, and I couldn't help but notice her soft hum.  I kept being drawn to it.  All the while watching Charlie out of the corner of my eye with this other boy.  He had yet to acknowledge me.  I wasn't sure if I should go and say something or continue to stand there.  I was almost afraid to intrude.  Inevitably, my eyes would be drawn back to the daughter.  Why was she here?  Where was her child?  Would she be here every day?

"Ok, Mr. Gibbs.  Looks like the horde has moved on.  Would you like anything before we get started?  Water?  Juice?"

"No thanks," was all I could mumble.

"Ok, so, I wanted to talk to you about Charlie."

"I wanted to speak with you, too.  I've been worried about him.  We had a rather," cough, "traumatic year.  He went from being an outgoing and energetic kid to... whatever this is.  He rarely speaks.  He keeps his head down.  I kept thinking he was going to snap out of it, but so far, he hasn't.  I keep hoping school will help."

"Mr. Gibbs, the reason I wanted to speak with you is because we feel like Charlie has shut down.  Emotionally, if you will.  If it isn't too much, do you think you could tell us what has happened?  I'm not sure we're equipped to help him, but we want to try to make things here as smooth as possible.  See how it goes. See if he is able to come around to attending a public school or if he needs specialized help."

"Oh.  Sure.  I think it would actually be good to explain considering the paperwork I had to fill out.  Because otherwise, I'm sure you would wonder."  I took a deep breath, ready to go into it right then.

"Yes.  We noticed he has a ban on his file.  One or two of our students in the past have had this, mostly due to violent and abusive situations."

"Well, no violence or abuse here, but possibly neglect.  You see, almost a year ago, his mother up and disappeared.  Out of nowhere.  No warnings, no notes, nothing.  I came home from work one afternoon and Charlie was in the house, in his room, alone.  Anything and everything that had been my partner's was gone.  Except Charlie.  She just up and left.  She left a 5yr. old boy at home alone."

"What happened after that?"

I looked back on that moment trying to remember all the details.  I remember picking Charlie up.  He had been stone quiet except to ask where his Momma was.  I had hugged him to me as we walked through our apartment, looking for anything that could explain where she was.  I had checked every room, every door, every drawer, and even our storage space.  Everything that had been hers, including her child trunk that we had taken all over with us, was gone.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Charlie's Choice -- 1.1

"It's going to be ok, Charlie.  We've been talking about this for weeks, remember?  You're going to have fun and make lots of friends."

He continued to scuff his shoes in the dirt.  But what do I say?  What do I say to a little boy who was once happy, energetic, and outgoing, who now seems to be perpetually sad?  Whose brown curls no longer bounced along as he ran, but rather sat inert and cast forward to only occasionally bob.

"You ok, Charlie?"


"Ready to go in?"

"Yeah," he said, as we shuffled into the block building.

Once inside, I reminded him, "We won't be here long.  Remember, we're going to hit the park on the way home."

"Hi there!  How are you folks today?"

"Yes? Oh.  Hi.  We're good."

"My name is Ms. Cantrell.  I'll be your son's teacher this year.  Is this big guy him?  What's your name?"

Charlie stood there, head cast down, not speaking.  "His name is Charlie."

"That's good.  I'll get to know him and his name better once class starts.  Can I get yours, too?"

"Oh.  Sure.  My name is Michael.  Michael Gibbs."

"Good to meet you, Mr. Gibbs.  Is this your first time at our school?  I always ask because sometimes we've had older siblings."

"Oh, no no.  First time for us.  Both of us.  Not for school, but for this school. Charlie was in Preschool previously."

"That's always good.  Seems that the children who have a schedule in Pre-k or at home seem to fall into a routine better once we get into the swing of things.  Well, I just wanted to come say hi and chat for a minute.  For now, we have some papers on each child's desk.  If you could, please get those filled out and back to me as soon as you can.  The rest go back home with you to keep."

As I reached for the packet and a pen, I saw from the corner of my eye...

"Do you think you can tell me your name now?"  Ms. Cantrell had squatted down now next to Charlie.  She was talking softly, and looking directly at him.  "That's ok.  Your Dad said your name was Charlie.  May I call you Charlie?"  Finally, Charlie looked up, and shook his head 'yes'.  "Great.  I can't wait to see you again tomorrow.  Maybe you will let me be your friend.  Ok? Bye, for now, Charlie."  With a small wave, our Orientation at Highland Hills Elementary was done.

On the way home, I worried over how the year was going to go for my Charlie.  It had been a rough year.  When Janessa and I separated, I never imagined that she would separate from our child, too.  I never thought that a mother could just walk away and not CARE.  Who does that?  Not just mothers, but any parent.  It's never been something I could understand.  And to be honest, it was never something I, myself, ever thought to experience.  So when she just walked away and left everything, I couldn't believe it.  I was shell shocked, as they say.  So was Charlie.  And he seems to have never snapped out of it.  His life has been a fog since that day.

I think it would help if I actually knew what happened, but I don't.  I came home from work, found Charlie alone in the house, in his room.  No Janessa.  Not even a sign of her.  He wasn't crying or upset.  Just asked me over and over where his Momma was.  I had no answer.


"Yeah, buddy?"

"I wanna go home."

"No park?"


"Ok, but we need to stop by the store first.  Want to pick out some snacks for school?"  As usual, there was no answer.

This had become our routine.  He always asked to go home.  Never wanted to go anywhere else.  Never wanted to play like a normal kid anymore.  I never pushed, fearing what would happen if I did.  Charlie was never bad... he just never wanted to interact. And it scared me.

Today I wanted to push just a little.

"Do you want to help pick out your snacks?  I want you to have what you like.  But nothing too crazy, I want you to still have room for dinner with Dad every night!"

"Every night?"

"Yeah, every night.  I like our dinner time.  Don't you?"


"So, we should pick something you like, but won't fill you up to the brim.  I'm thinking those PB crackers you like so much.  Or maybe the cheese ones.  We can save cookies for after school or dessert.  What do you think?"

"Ummm... peanut butter."

After months of near silence, I was feeling RELIEF.  Would he keep talking?

"What about to drink?  Do you want juice?  Chocolate milk?  Or just to take your water?"

I sat waiting.

Monday, November 30, 2015


I'm starting to think that I am journaling vs. blogging.  So, I may just end this blog.  I keep thinking I want to move it to something else, but I really think that in the end, I would revert to this.  I would keep going back to emotions vs. writing about what I am doing.  Am I doing a lot these days?  Yes.  I'm a different part of my life now.  And the ol' blog here has fallen to the way side.  I keep thinking of different things I could blog.  I keep thinking I can do this.  But... I don't know that I can, or that I want to.  I don't think that I'm a good writer.  So... I think it may be time to just call it an end.  Will I stay away?  I don't know.  I think I will leave this here for a while to decide.  I also have realized that I need to somehow print these out to keep.  I don't see the point in not printing them.  But, I've tried to print them before to no avail.  If I can, I'll do that.  If not, I will need to retype and print.  Then I will self bind to keep.  I think I want to get all of my old journals and blogs in line.  Because they really have been like my journals. 

Is this goodbye?  For now.  Yes.  Maybe forever.  I'm not sure.  Maybe I'll make a new blog and will really make it have a point and leave out the personal stuff.  I'm not sure.  If I keep this blog or make a new one, I will need fresh direction.  I just don't know right now what I am doing.  So, it's time for a break.  Maybe for the entire month of December.  Maybe at the first of the year, we will see.

Sunday, November 8, 2015


I'm feeling a bit bummed out tonight.  I'm trying to feel a bit perky, but I'm not -- I feel bummed.  I know where it stems from and one part of me is like SHUT IT. The other part is, might as well be real and dump it out.  So... here goes.

We went to a cook out and nobody liked me.  There.  I said it.  As childish as it is, the whole thing bummed me out.  Maybe not for the reasons you might think, though.  Mostly because my husband can't seem to understand why the situation stressed me out.  You see, these are HIS friends.  And in my mind, I don't have to like his friends and he doesn't have to like mine.  We don't have to hang out and do this or that.  They can be his friends.  I don't have to be included.  But... he forces it.  He says I'm silly and seeing things that aren't there.  Fine.  Maybe so.  But I know how I feel and I shouldn't HAVE to go and hang out with his friends.  That is what happened, though.  So, that is what I'm annoyed about.  I knew before going I didn't want to attend, but I went because he wanted me to.  Then everyone starts talking about FB and asking if we had pages.  They all friend requested him, but not me.  How much more clear does he want it that they aren't interested in any kind of friendship or relationship with me?  I told him from this point on, I'm refusing to go.  He can go alone, but I'm not going.  I have no hard feelings with them -- sometimes people just don't click.  I just have no desire to hang out with people who don't like me for whatever reason.

I'm also feeling down about our lack of income.  I told hubby we needed to do SOMETHING.  I'm just not sure what that something is going to end up being.  I just hate being too broke to get anything accomplished.  Like, right now, I have over 30 projects for the house I would like to get done.  But I have no moola.  I am thankful that we are getting by and I shouldn't be complaining.  I'm just trying to adjust.  I'm not use to not being able to go and get what I need/want.  And that is a major thing.  I will adjust.  I have to.  I'm just not a happy camper about it right now.  I guess no one is ever happy about being broke.  And to solve it, I think I need to go back to work.  He cannot do all of the work.  He just can't.  It would be too hard on him.  He says he's fine, but no one feels good having to work through lunch, work past when everyone else has left for home, and work every single Saturday.  And that is where we are.  SO, I am thinking it is time I go back to work.  I'm thinking of looking into overnight work.  I'm a pretty big night person, so I don't think it would be too big of a deal to get a part time job working nights.  Something where I went in at 9 or 10 and got off in the morning.  I've found a few receiver/stocker jobs like that.  I'm sure they don't pay but maybe $8/hr., but if I could work at least 24hrs. per week, I would clear over $600/mo.  Giving us some decent wiggle room until he could find something else. I know I would be tired those days because I would still have to get up with youngest.  But it would only be a few days.  Then I would be on a normal schedule the rest of the week.  Maybe I will apply and just see what happens.  If nothing happens then... it wasn't meant to be. 

We've gone over and over renting out our spare room and we just can't figure out how to make that work anytime soon.  Maybe it could somehow.  I'm  just not sure it would be soon enouh.  But I know we need to do some repairs on that room before we could.  And then what would we do with all of the things in that room and closet?  I know I am working on that.  A large portion is office stuff, memory boxes, and home decor.  I'm working on putting things in their homes and purging what I'm  not using.  It's just slow.  Especially on days like today where I feel testy and angry and bottled up.  I managed to make some small progress.  But it's small and feels bleh. 

So... I'm  not sure the plan.  Maybe tomorrow I will go and get a couple of errands done and see about filling out an application or two.  A lot will depend on the weather.  If it is still pouring the rain, I will probably stay home and read a book.  I may do that anyways.  I just feel bleh.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


I have very slowly, been trying to get myself back into a good groove.  Not with just one or two things, but with it all.  I'm starting to actually feel like I am making a bit of progress and cutting through my 'To Do' list.  I know I am going to have ups and downs, but it's awesome to feel like I'm making a bit of a dent. 

First, I'm back to blogging here more regularly.  I've decided to post on MFP that I am looking for bloggers to follow.  I hope to find regular people living their lives AND losing weight.  Most of the previous blogs I have followed are gone.  I miss them, but I can't make them continue.  I realize my blog is sorta boring to most people, so I want bloggers who are doing things like I'm doing.  And by that I mean living life in moderation.  At least when it comes to food and exercise!

Anyways, I rejoined MFP.  Even if I end up with no friends and no blog, it's still a great tool to help me track what I am doing.  And realistically, I need to be tracking.  I've done ok at getting back to 'meals' and 'snacks' without munching all day.  I had the hardest time late at night.  I still want a snack at night, but I'm trying to leave a few extra cals throughout the day to have a good sized dessert.  And by that, I mean a full fat dessert.  Like, a big root beer float or something along that lines.  I've found having that to look forward to, really helps out a lot.  I can pass up a lot of junk during the day if I have a good dessert to look forward to! 

I've also been making pretty good progress on the house along with hubby's help.  He got the cat condo done!  So, now the kitty litter is in the garage instead of the rest of the house... which I HATED.  I like having cats, but not their poo in the house!  So, having it in the garage is wonderful.  It isn't as big as the previous one, so I hope that doesn't become an issue.  I want to get THAT into my daily cleaning routine. 

That's another area I've been working on is daily cleaning.  Now that we are making progress with unpacking, projects, and making the house livable, I'm trying to get into routines.  I'm finally getting trash down and dishes.  I'm doing better about dinner.  We are in a pretty good flow with groceries.  I'm even making decent strides on budget. 

I have to say, I really HAD forgotten how hard it was to set all of this back up.  THIS being our lives.  You never really realize how routine and regimented you are until you throw that all out of whack.  And boy, have we been out of whack for MONTHS.  It is getting better, but I'm betting it will be about a year before we truly feel settled in.  Especially with such a tight budget.  We have very little left over to buy the things we need for projects and very little to none for wants.  So, that makes it slow going.  But it is what it is.  And we'll make the best of what we have and where we are.

Right now, our budget is still tight, but we are making it work.  We've got our spending down a lot.  If we HAVE to make anymore cuts, we know where it will be, but I think we are ok for now.  The only area I'm still very unhappy with is our retirement.  Right now, we have nothing left over from each paycheck to put towards retirement.  I did tell the hubby to at least check and see what it would be to at least match the 401k at the new job.  But I think it wasn't even worth it.  I believe he said we would be better off using that money now to get our debt down, then contributing more later. 

Thankfully, our debt isn't bad.  We have the one (new) revolving card that we did have to use to buy a new computer -- two of ours crapped out within days of each other.  Hubby spent HOURS trying to get either or both up to no avail.  The one was just too old.  We've had it for years and it just couldn't do anymore.  The other... no idea.  I'm thinking it was older than we thought and just crapped out.  We got it free, so no great loss.  The other is what we are now calling our 'Moving and Improving' debt.  It is on a card, but we are looking at it more as an equity line of credit since the debt on it is from moving and doing some improving around the house.  Yes, the APR is a bit higher, but not a ton.  And the interest per month is high due to how it is calculated on cards, but we are going to try to knock out about half over the next few months.  Mostly from old accounts being closed and using our rewards.  Also, if we get any kind of tax return.  Once we pay it off, we are closing it.  Although, I guess it will be technically closed out before then because of the company split. But I am estimating one to two years to pay it off.  Considering it is the only debt we have besides our car and home (and I don't expect to ever not have at least one car payment).  And I expect it to be at least 20yrs. to pay off the home loan. But that is just a hope.  If our income doesn't improve, I suspect the majority of our income will be funneled into retirement.  I'm glad we put as much in as we could in the last job.  We have a decent base now that will continue to grow even if we are unable to contribute much to it for the next year.  I hate to miss a year of contribution, but I'm not sure what else to do...

Anyways, we are moving along.  I took a break and came back after finishing the closet.  I added a shelf.  It is adjustable!  So, I was able to get ALL of our clothes and hubby's shoes in there.  I think the shoe armoire for me worked out great.  Hubby doesn't have as many as I do, so we just left his in the closet.  All of mine are on the back of the door or in the armoire, and we are using the drawers under for work clothes.  Proud of myself for putting that shelf up yesterday and the closet thing today!  I got all of the clothes in and organized, too!  :D  I do think that once we figure out temps better down here, I will end up getting rid of more clothes.  I have a few heavier Winter things that I just don't think will get used very often.  I think even if we go to visit in TN, I will be able to layer what I have to get the same effect.  But the heavier knits and things, I just don't think warrant taking up space if they aren't used regularly.  We will see.  I may try the whole turning your hanger thing around.  If you turn them around and don't wear them by a certain time limit, you get rid of them.  I can think of several things right now I know I haven't worn in a while!  Then maybe I'll take just a few of the heavier things and put in bins and donate the rest.  I guess we will see...

Ok, that is enough rambling from me.  After the closet work, I'm a bit hungry and need to switch out the laundry.  OH!  One more thing.  I can't remember if I mentioned this or not before.  But, talking of getting into routine, my oldest has gone back to riding the bus.  Well, I go in the afternoons to meet the bus.  Even if I'm not getting formal exercise (which I did do once last week), that walk is about half a mile round trip.  So, on most weeks I'm getting between 2 to 2.5miles of walking in.  I think that's pretty good!  If I could get into a routine of walking the dogs, then I would get more.  :)

Ok, NOW that is enough.  Until later!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Always Thinking

I sometimes wonder if I tend to overthink things.  But at the same time, if I don't worry over it, then who will?

I'm feeling OK about the house recently.  After going back over the previous blog, I felt like instead of not getting anything done, we've actually done quite a bit for the short time we've been here.  I realize I probably could get MORE done.  I should do more.  But I seem stilted by the time.  You see, everyone is up and out the door here by just a little after 7AM.  Then just youngest and I are here with the animals.  Which is good.  But.. since I stay up until like 1AM, I don't get up until 9 or sometimes 10.  And by that point, I'm just in the 'GIVE ME COFFEE NOW' stage.  By the time I make food for us, we eat it, and get rolling, it's nearly noon.  That means I only have a couple of hours before pick-up for oldest.  Now, we HAVE cut out doing the drive.  And while I know it was the preferred method, it was sucking up so much time and gas!  SO. MUCH.  So, it had to be cut.  Just like hubby cut coming home for lunch every day.  He also chose to only take 30mins so he could have a built in 30mins of overtime at work.  That means if he stays over 30 every day, he gets an automatic 5hrs. of overtime.  That little extra helps so much!  Especially since I haven't found a way to bring in any income other than trying to cook more at home.  WHICH, has been going well.  We have also been good about not shopping, not buying frivolously but still having fun, and watching our grocery buys.  Back to my point... *ahem*  I don't feel like I get much done during the day because my time is limited.  It's so weird that we are now on more of a set schedule, but I can't seem to get with it.  I set my clock to get up earlier, but I somehow always sleep through it!  I know that some part of me enjoys the sleeping in and having my quiet time at night.  And I would be fine with that if I got more done during the day!

Like today, I don't feel like I got one quarter of the things I needed to get done, done.  I forgot to start the dishwasher this morning.  So the sink is full.  I did do a couple of loads of laundry, but just realized I never hung it and I need to do that shortly!  I never finished folding that basket of laundry in my room.  UGH.  What I did do was feed us all at home.  Even planned a nice dinner and tried a new recipe (we ALL loved it!).  I finally got my oldest curtains up after much crying, screaming, and cursing.  I hope my youngest was ignoring me!  HA!  I also finished his solar system, complete with clay asteroids for the asteroid belt.  But that was about it.  I also never got the paperwork done.  UGH.  I felt like I spent a large amount of time gathering my supplies and cleaning up.  I don't feel like I got much done in the actual work area.  Isn't that how it always goes?

Anyways, on top of that, I never did any kind of workout.  And I need to be working out.  Because along with the weight gain (around 20lbs.), my attitude has been shitty.  And I know the working out will help with both.  I'm watching my food but not getting nutty.  Just going back to around 1600 cals.  I did think of going extreme to around 1200 to quickly drop the weight and get it over with.  I'm still contemplating that.  And I may do it.  I just haven't decided for sure.  In theory, if I cut it to 1200 per week, I should be able to drop a decent amount of weight.  I just don't know if I can do it.  And right now... right now I'm not feeling strong enough, I don't think.  But I have to get back in gear.  I was down to like.. I can't even remember!  I want to say something like 170.  And I blew it.  I'm never going to see 155 at this rate.  :/  But if I buckled down, I might be able to get close by my birthday.  I will think on it.  I would need to do some major re-arranging in my food. 

Anyways, I'm just feeling like I'm in a rut and I can't put my finger on what is making me feel that way.  But I know I need to do something.  I just don't know what that something is.  Onwards, I guess!

Monday, October 19, 2015

New House

SO, I've gotten side tracked lately talking about finances and getting that priority on track.  Now that it is on track, I thought I would start talking a bit about buying a foreclosure.

While buying it certainly saved us money and got us into a nicer house and area than what we THOUGHT we could do, it has been a monster from DAY 1.  There were tons of issues from the bank to the realtors to the inspections.  Just one hit after another.  And the process took WEEKS.  But we finally got it.  I can go into more detail on that sometime, but not tonight. Tonight, we discuss the nastiness.

The house, while in good shape, had been unused for quite a while so it was FILTHY.  The first two weeks alone were spent just cleaning.  I came over from the rental we had for a week just to clean.  And then even after we got areas ok and moved things in, the second week was more of the same.  I had to vacuum and then scrub and then put down some sort of covering because so much was just destroyed.  It worked out and I got a ton of that done, but unpacking went slowly.  Then we had new carpet installed in the hallway and 3 bedrooms plus the front living room.  Who knew carpet would make such a change?  The first photo is of the hall, but all of the carpet looked like that....

So, we tore all that mess out!  Which also saved us on the new install since they didn't have to charge us for removal and clean up.  However, the company we used was EXCELLENT and took the old bundled carpets with them.  We had cut it in 3ft sections, rolled them up, then taped to make it easy to haul out.

Then they installed the new!  It's a light grayish brown.  I like how it took the bedroom walls from a dark orange to a lighter tan/coral.  It's a warm color, but we are going to treat it as a neutral.

Once that was done, we got some work done in the oldest's bedroom.  The before was just the ugly carpet and plain walls.  Now, he has a solar system room.  We have a few accessories to buy and two floating shelves to install, but other than that it is done with the major stuff like paint and furniture.

His main walls are a pale blue like the sky.  the back wall and part of the ceiling is black like the night sky.  I thought this pic had the furniture in, but it is in.  The stars aren't finished, but they will be soon.  And I need to properly hang his curtains even though all of that will need to be retouched at some point.  The windows are in kinda crappy shape and I will need to do the woodwork outside and some drywall inside.  Eventually.  I would like to do it NOW, but we just don't have the money to do it all.

The other kiddo's bedroom isn't done, yet.  A style has finally been chosen, and the furniture we ordered is now in except for one piece which should be here soon.  I hope to paint that room soon.  We have also started deconstruction on the kiddo's bathroom.  It's awful...

 In case you can't see the yuck, let me describe this for you.  Those are the original 1989 faucets and knobs -- all in shiny gold brass.  What you CAN'T see is the plastic clear handles and the discoloration and that they spit water all over the damn place!  Then the tile... the tile is YELLOW.  Thankfully not harvest gold but a pale yellow that I can live with once I neutralize the rest.  The wallpaper is some sort of tribal pattern in pink and it is MISERABLE to get off.  I've tried every trick, but the paper was stuck to unpainted drywall.  I see a LOT of patching in my future.  So, the plan here isn't simple, but it's not complicated, either.  Since the kids will use this, the plan is to keep what works and that is the vanity.  The only REAL change there will be that I am going to clean them really well and change the knobs.  We've already purchased new faucets also.  The vanity is in great shape, so no need to waste it when I can update it and make it work.  The floors... not so much.  The floors are also a pale yellow, but they have cracked over the 20yrs.  We bought new tile for that, but I have yet to remove the old tile.  That is the plan over the next few weeks.  We COULD keep the toilet, but none of the THREE in this house work well!  So, we have also purchased a new toilet.  I'm keeping the light fixture even if it is considered ugly.  It's the movie make-up ones with all the bulbs.  I am going to give it a spray and change the bulbs to LED.  The color now is brass, I believe.  It will be metallic or white.  Or I may just take the one out of my bathroom as it is already white.  LOL  The walls, once the paper is removed, is going to be bead board painted ultra white.  I'm only doing the wall paper because I don't want to remove bead board in 10 or so years and have to remove wall paper, too!  HA!  The shower is going to stay as it is other than the new faucet and handle.  We MAY get the shower re-epoxied all in white, but we will see.  It's not that big of a deal for me since it's in good shape, ya know?

SO, that is the progress we have made so far.  Not too bad for being in the house only 2mos!  We are going on 3, but still.  We've lost time due to budget and other things.  So to get us back on schedule, I need to be working on all of the demo.  I need to demo the kiddo's bath and the guest bath at some point.  I also need to just keep moving forward.  Although today, all I've managed is to sit here and do this!  But it's sorta been good because it's made me feel like more has been done than I thought.  It makes me realize what a good amount of work has been done even if it didn't feel like it at first.  And that is only counting the things on the inside of the house!  And the rooms that are close to finished or in progress.  That hasn't covered the rooms that have just gotten new furniture.  Or the outside!  We've done quite a bit outside already.  :)  I should take some pics of that.  I have some before.  But that can wait for another post.

Ok, I am off for today.  I need to do a bit of cleaning and some laundry.  Fun fun.