I just wanted to let my readers know that I haven’t already forgotten about this blog again. We’ve just had a sudden schedule change that has completely thrown me for a loop, so I’m still working to readjust to it, and get past the daily migraines and stomach upset it seems to have created. Bear with me. I’m doing my best just to exist in the real world at this point, and fulfill all of my domestic obligations. I’ll be back soon. I promise!
I give up. I’m not even going to apologize for my long absence. I got so busy, and neglected a few things, including this blog. But, on my list of New Year’s Resolutions, I included “Blogging regularly” as one of the things I’d like to accomplish this year, so I’m going to put a lot more effort into staying on top of my little blog here.
Like I said, I’ve been busy the last half of 2015. My son is in 3rd grade this year, and school is starting to become more intense for both him and me. I’ve had family out to visit us several times since I last posted, including my little sister and her husband, just in time to throw her a killer birthday party. My man-child and I took a road trip back to Texas for Christmas to see family and friends, and my husband and I quietly rang in the New Year with a bottle of Champagne and then fell asleep.
Did you notice the part of the title about craziness? I’ll get to that now. I think I mentally blocked out a lot of the shit in my life before we moved here to SoCal, and it all came back to the surface over my Christmas trip back home. My mother flew out here to drive back to Texas with me, since my husband had to stay here to work. The idea was that she would drive back out here with me, as well, and then fly home when the trip was over, but that never happened. My mother also invited her sister down to her house for Christmas. This sister hasn’t been in contact with my mother for 23 years and she flew down from Denver to spend 5 days with us. For all the stories I’ve heard over the years about her, my aunt is actually pretty freakin’ awesome! At least I think so. I thoroughly enjoyed the time I got to spend with her before Christmas. My mother, on the other hand… Where do I even start with my fucking mother?!
I won’t sugar-coat this. My mom is borderline psychotic, and sometimes she crosses way over that line into full, mentally unstable psychosis. The week of Christmas was one of those times, and I finally just decided I’ve had enough of her shit. I’m done and I’m over it all. The Wednesday evening before Christmas, my mother took my aunt out to see a local Christmas lights attraction, and it is my understanding that on the drive to the location, they got into a discussion about whether or not the Bible condones divorce in any circumstance, and shit went downhill from there. I should note here that my mother is a one-time divorced woman and my aunt has been divorced twice. The discussion turned heated, and at that point my mother pulled over on the side of the interstate, called the police, and kicked my aunt out of her car. She then went back home, packed up all of my aunt’s luggage, and threw it out with my aunt on the side of the road. Since I’m not a shitty person and would never leave a family member stranded on the side of the road, hundreds of miles from home, with no way to get back, I went and picked my aunt up and drove her back to the airport that night. Apparently, being a decent human crosses a major line with my mother, because when I finally got back to her house after midnight, she tried to start a fight with me about it all. I managed to defuse it at that time by telling her I refused to discuss it with her then, but the following morning all hell broke loose. We were at my little sister’s house for the gift exchange, and my mother decided to get into a physical fight with me in front of my child because I took my aunt to the airport. I never once hit her, but every time she stood on top of me and tried to punch me, I pushed her off of me. She stumbled into my sister’s dining table several times. I was completely devastated and shaken apart over the entire ordeal. I ended up leaving to come home a day early, and wasn’t able to calm down and stop freaking out until I reached the other end of the state.
This brings me to another New Year’s Resolution I’ve made. I have decided that because my mother always causes and starts so many fights in our family and is just a downright nasty person on more occasions than I care to actually admit to, I’m done with her. I will be sending her a letter, informing her I want absolutely zero contact between her and anyone else in my household. In other words, I’ve decided that for the sanity of myself and my immediate family, I am cutting my mother off. Usually, this isn’t a good idea, but when a parent is a proven abuser, either mentally or physically, and they’ve been given countless opportunities to change, there comes a time when you have to stop making excuses for them and giving them second chances and just tell them to go to hell. This is where I’m at. I’m just done with it and I’m done with her. I don’t need her toxicity in my life, and living 1300 miles away from all of my family has proven that I can survive without needing them to hold my hands and help me out all of the time.
This isn’t an easy decision; I’ll be completely honest. It hurts, but I know that if I want to stop being pulled into all of the drama, I have to cut out the people who cause it. I’ll miss my mother, and all of the times she was actually a nice person to be around. I mourn the lost relationship between her and my child. However, unless I want this cycle of abuse to continue with him, I have to put a stop to it myself. Maybe when she loses everyone close to her, she’ll hit rock bottom and get help to change her ways. Until then, I won’t allow her to be a part of our lives. She causes a lot more hurt for us than she does happiness.
I hope my readers have an amazing 2016, and I wish the best for all of you! Remember, it doesn’t matter who the toxic person is in your life. You deserve better. This is my little life lesson from 2015.
The weather has been gorgeous this past week here! I’ve had our windows wide open and the air conditioner off. It’s been so nice! The nights have been cool, bordering on chilly, and the days have been just barely warm! I’m loving this weather! But, it’s supposed to start warming up again here today. They said we have a heat wave coming and by Sunday we should break 100° again. YUCK! I’m not looking forward to that! I love having my windows open and just enjoying the breeze and cool, comfortable temperatures.
My son goes back to school again in two weeks. I took him shoe shopping yesterday and then surprised him with lunch at Chipotle. We don’t eat out that often, and when we do, it’s usually a case of grab-it-and-bring-it-home rather than just sitting down and enjoying it. I like Chipotle because, besides the fact that their food tastes amazing, I don’t really have to worry about what’s in it. I mean, don’t get me wrong! I have my junk food moments, but I try to make sure we eat healthy and don’t consume a lot of super-awful foods. That’s probably why I cringe so hard when my kiddo asks for a Chicken McNuggets kid’s meal, because I know how god-awful the ingredients in that is! But, you’re only a kid once, and what would a childhood be without the occasional McNugget dipped in Ranch?!
I’m guessing that I’ll probably be able to get back to posting more regularly once my spawn hits the books again! It’s so hard to keep him busy while at the same time sitting down for a little quiet time to gather my thoughts and pound out a blog post. He keeps me on my toes, and more times than not I am left wondering where the hell he finds all that energy for his little body! I have also come to cherish my alone-ness when he’s in school and the husband is at work. It wasn’t always this way, because back when the recession first hit, my husband lost his job and didn’t have one for a few years. With myself at school full-time and him at home taking care of our child, pretty much the only alone time I had was on my drives to and from campus. So, being alone at home was pretty much foreign to me, and wasn’t necessarily an idea I relished. But, I’ve come to love it and appreciate the solitude.
We’ve been video-chatting with my husband’s aunt in Switzerland on an every-other-weekend basis lately. It’s kind of cool to watch my husband slowly become reacquainted with his lost mother tongue. He’s spoken English for so long now that he finds it very difficult to communicate in French. I do have to say, though, that as the time goes on during the conversations, you can notice a difference in how easy it is for him to respond and speak. He usually starts out the conversations very jerky and having to grasp for words, but toward the end he’s speaking more fluently. I, on the other hand, have such a limited vocabulary in that language that I’m still pretty much stuck asking him to translate what I want said.
I recorded a video on my iPhone on the drive home from taking my husband to work of me trying to get my son to sing along and dance along to the music playing on my iPod. My child was being somewhat comical and refusing to play along, but overall I thought it was a pretty amusing clip, so I uploaded it to YouTube as a private video to share with my husband’s aunt, since she doesn’t know myself or our child very well, and doesn’t have Facebook. It was a “home video” of us enjoying a drive while listening/singing along/dancing along to music. I had sent her a link to it after uploading it yesterday, and kind of left it at that. This morning, I got up and checked to see if she’d seen it, and she replied that she was unable to view the video. As it turns out, the video got flagged for DMCA violations and restricted on YouTube. I was pissed. It’s a freakin’ home movie and falls squarely under Fair Use doctrine. But, whatever. I can’t get it to work on YouTube now, and it’s pretty much spoiled the novelty of a cutesy little car video, so I removed it. The whole point in uploading it was to share it with only her anyway, and since that cannot be achieved, I just said FUCK IT! I yanked it down off YouTube. There’s no point in leaving it there if the one person who was supposed to be allowed to see it can’t. But, I’m still pretty upset about that. I learned way back in one of the first political science courses I took in college that the laws of this country are always written to protect and benefit corporations and never private citizens. Kudos! They’ve struck again!
So, fuck Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment. You guys can go die in a bag of herpes infested rat dicks!
Summer, I guess. It got hot here. We’ve had some rather unusual weather, and it’s been totally kicking my ass pretty much the whole time. My man-child also got out of summer school, so I’ve been handling him all day, as well. I completely forgot about my little blog in the process, and neglected it.
I’ve been pretty busy around here, and for some insane reason, I’ve been sleeping a whole lot, too. I don’t understand why, but I just cannot get through an entire day without taking a nap unless I sleep in until 11 AM, and that’s only possible on weekends. I don’t understand it. I don’t feel particularly shitty in any way I can actually name, but I’ve just felt so exhausted by 1 PM. I don’t know if it’s just a phase with my Fibromyalgia or what, but it’s getting to the point I’m getting seriously annoyed over it. I don’t really feel like I have the time to take naps, but I can’t get away with not taking them either, lately. If this is still going on by the time my kiddo goes back to school at the end of this month, I’ll probably book an appointment with my doctor to see what she has to say about it.
My mother is going to be moving out here around the first of October. She’s pretty much just done with Texas and wants to come out here. We also could use an extra set of hands for our child, since he’s disabled and takes more “handling” than the average nine year-old. The plan, as it stands now, which is constantly changing because my mother can never make up her mind, is for her to come stay with us for a couple of weeks and find a new job out here and then we’ll all move into a 3/4 bedroom house, since that will be the best idea all-around for all of us. We lived with my mother for a little over a year back in Texas, so it isn’t going to be a new experience, and since she’s starting to get older and still works full-time, she’s finding it harder to keep up on her own place by herself. Also, having her live with us will provide the benefit of extra care for our child and will make it easier for my mother to transition to living in a huge city. We’ll also be splitting all bills such as rent, utilities, and groceries, so hopefully, all of us will be able to put a little more away and create more of a nest egg for ourselves. I think that, with the right boundaries put into place and the right understanding between her and ourselves, this can be a very good set-up for all of us.
She keeps wanting to rent a big U-Haul and bring a bunch of stuff out with her, and I keep trying to tell her that it would just be cheaper for her to have a huge garage sale and sell everything and then go buy all new stuff once she gets here. That’s what we did. We spent maybe a little more than $2000 total to furnish our place out here, and the way we had all of the expenses figured, we’d have spent a lot more than that to haul it all out here and store it and then move it into our new place. She’s so determined to bring things like her treadmill out, though! And she’s headstrong, so if she doesn’t make the decision not to drag it out here herself, then it will be coming.
So, I’ve been perusing all of the available rental listings for our area. We’ve found a few houses that we’re interested in, but for whatever reason, once we drive by we find things we don’t like about them. At least we have a couple of months to do this, so there’s no rush to settle on the first thing and not get what would work the best for us. Ideally, we’d like to find a house with central A/C (no, not every house out here has that!) and a back yard with grass and a covered patio. Since most of the year, the weather is mild here, spending time outside is actually feasible, and my child has always wanted a place with a yard to play in.
That’s what I’ve been up to, lately. Busy and very exhausted.
I hope everyone’s Father’s Day was amazing! Ours went well. We had a very laid-back day, sitting around the house playing video games, watching TV and just chilling. I made the Italian chicken I was talking about yesterday, and as promised, I have a photo. It was delicious! I highly recommend this because it’s so fantastically easy and tastes amazing.
Tomorrow, it’s back to the grind. Our kiddo is in summer school, so he has to be up bright and early to catch the bus, and hubby dearest has work. Thankfully, I spent this weekend catching up on some of the housework that I flooded myself with this past week, so this next week shouldn’t be nearly as hard, especially considering I’m not gearing up for anymore birthdays or holidays now.
Well, except for the 4th of July, but that’s nothing! I always do something simple, kind of picnic-y, but we still have to figure out where we’re going to go to watch fireworks around here. It’s gotten harder to find good fireworks shows over the last few years, because with our extreme and intense drought, I think the cities are scared to shoot off big huge tubes of flaming gunpowder. You can’t blame them, though! It would be pretty messed up if someone’s neighborhood burned down because of 4th of July celebrations!
It’s too bad I never got that memo! I’ve been doing stuff since I woke up at 7 this morning. It’s probably because I conked out early last night, thanks to a little helping hand from my husband, and two friends known as Diclofenac and Flexeril. I was a hot mess yesterday. I think the entire week of doing all sorts of stuff for hubby’s birthday caught up with me finally, and yesterday was the day of reckoning.
Anyway, this morning I woke up ready to tackle everything, which made my husband grumpy, since I dragged him out of the sheets at 7:30 to help me with it. I did try to pacify him with a nice mocha latte though, and I think that helped make him a little more cheerful! He grumbled quite a bit about how early it was and now that we’re done running around town, he’s snuck off to the bedroom for a nap.
I was perusing his aunt’s blog for recipes again the other day, and found a link to one for Pork Fricassée, so I have that marinating right now in my refrigerator. I’m hoping his aunt pops into Google chat sometime in the next 48 hours, because she made it with polenta, according to her blog, and I have no clue how to properly make polenta the way she shows it. It looks like a bed of mashed potatoes with the Pork Fricassée on top, but all the recipes I find for this polenta I have are telling me to slice it and fry it, and I’m getting rather confused. I think that she may have access to dry polenta in a box, and all I can find is polenta in a tube!
Father’s Day is tomorrow. I’m planning to make something I haven’t made in a while. Growing up, my mom had this quick and super-easy way she’d make chicken that we always loved, but for some reason I rarely make it, even though I’m crazy about it. You just take one or two bottles of cheap Italian dressing (depending on how much chicken you’re making,) squeeze the oil out of them, and then marinate some chicken pieces in that for at least 30 minutes. When you’re ready to cook it, you bake them in a 350° oven. I like to lay them out in the pan or baking dish and pour the Italian dressing over them, and then sprinkle the chicken pieces with garlic powder before baking. We always serve this with baked potatoes, and when the chicken is done cooking, we take the marinade/dressing that baked with it, and thicken it with a little cornstarch and use it as a gravy. It’s delicious! I’m crazy about it! I’ll remember to post a picture tomorrow with it, so you get an idea how fantastic it looks! My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Tomorrow is my husband’s birthday. I had to remind him this morning! He said, “Is it Friday yet? I wish it was Friday, already!” I told him that it can’t be Friday yet, and he looked so puzzled and asked me why. I just gave him the biggest WTF look and said, “Because your birthday is tomorrow, Thursday, and you can’t just skip your birthday!”
A couple of weeks ago, I convinced him to get back in touch with his aunt. She has a blog about crafting and cooking/baking, so I’ve been digging through it for recipes he’s told me his grandma used to make. I found the recipe for the Hazelnut Cake he is always raving about, so I’m making that for his birthday (if you follow that link and don’t speak French, you’ll need to plug it into Google Translate.) I’m making the puff pastry crust right now, and when I’m done, I’ll get started on the filling.
His aunt also sent him a birthday card, so I put it in front of his keyboard on his desk for him to find when he gets home. Normally, I just open all the mail in our house, but this is a special birthday card, so I’ll let him open it. Besides, it’s not like I don’t know what’s in it! I’m sure he’ll be excited to get it. I would be.
I also wanted to make the caramels he’s told me so much about, but considering how much time it will take to stir while cooking, I just don’t think I’ll have the time today. I’m trying to multitask, doing dishes, laundry, and making this cake, so I can’t fit time in to make the caramels, too.
On another note, I’ve asked my amazing friend Jay from TeapotsandTesseracts to write a guest post on my blog this next week. I’m looking forward to this, because he’s an amazing writer and conveys thoughts and emotions in a unique and brilliant way. I know you guys will find his post very enlightening. His blog is new, but I’ve known him for a while, and I think having him guest post here is a great way to discuss the topic we’ve decided on and to bring him a little more exposure. Feel free to drop by his blog and show him some love, if you have the chance.
When I was a little girl, we would go visit my great-grandparents in the boonies of Southwestern Nebraska. Every time we’d visit, my great grandma would always have ice cream buckets full of cookies waiting for us in her pantry. My grandmother says that my great grandma started doing that when my dad was little because he loved her cookies so much. We knew when we got there that we’d find big buckets filled to the brim with different flavors of cookies for us to dig into.
Her house always smelled like fresh oatmeal raisin cookies when we’d arrive. I think she baked those cookies last, because they were my dad’s favorite. You could smell them from her driveway! It was like a big sign saying, “Welcome to Grandma’s!” in scent form.
My great grandma passed away a couple of months ago. She outlived my great grandpa by a good twenty years and was 100 years old. She had a full life, and it was her time to go. I don’t mourn her passing because she was ready and was tired. I’m not religious at all, but I like to think there’s a star up in the sky that’s her watching over me now. I do miss her. I miss being able to call her and ask for recipes or just general advice on things. I value having grandmothers to go to for common-sense, since I sometimes seem to lose my own on a regular basis!
The smell that reminds me of my grandmother is fresh-cut grass. She had this amazing, lush, soft lawn that we kids would play on all day long. The smell of Colorado Spruce also reminds me of her, because she used to have a giant spruce tree right outside her dining room window. When we’d visit her, we loved playing in her yard because her grass was always freshly cut and felt so good on our bare feet.
My grandma also always had a loaf of freshly baked bread for us to eat while we were there. I like to think that I got my knack for baking from my grandmothers, and I do love a good, fresh loaf of bread straight out of my bread maker! It’s like a little slice of memories served up with melted butter and happiness.
I call my grandma as often as I can remember to. I miss her a lot! When I was really little, we’d visit her all the time, and each of us girls would get to spend a week at her house all by ourselves each summer. When my parents moved us to Texas, that all changed, and I sometimes feel like I got cheated out of a really close relationship with her because of that. But, I still have memories, and the smell of fresh-cut grass, Colorado Spruce, and warm bread always reminds me of her!
Which brings me to my latest ear worm, which is all about finding your roots along your path of life. Enjoy!
He can be the goofiest guy on the planet at times! This morning, we were all getting ready – getting dressed, doing our hair (or at least he and I were, since my husband rocks the shaved-bald look!,) and preparing to walk out the door. My son has this thing now; he likes to wear my husband’s cologne. So, I was in the bathroom pulling my hair up into a quick ponytail, and my child comes into the hallway and asks for some of daddy’s “smell-good.” That’s what he calls it. Not cologne. Smell-good.
I laugh every time he says that. I don’t know why! It’s cute, so he gets away with it. I’m usually quite a stickler on calling things by their proper names and pronouncing things correctly, since he has speech issues, but it’s so damn adorable to hear him call it “daddy’s smell-good.” I’ve told him a couple of times that it’s called cologne, but smell-good seems to have stuck!
I don’t know exactly why he wants to wear it. Does he just like the way he smells with it on? Is he trying to impress someone at school with it? At his age, I don’t think I had ever worn perfume. I know my dad used aftershave, because his favorite was Brut but, I can’t say I was wearing any yet. Hell! I thought I was fancy when my mom let me wear a lapel pin or brooch on my dress!