overwhelming summer

the summer has been packed already, and it's only half over.  i've been more than overwhelmed for most of it, between trips, work, more trips, and trying to sort out the bazillion details of how to pack up 4 lives (make that 6 ... the beasts are coming along now) and get them on the road.  it's not just about paring down possessions, but about addresses and taxes and phone service and bank accounts and insurance and computers (my lovely big monitor, sigh ... ) and deciding on rv vs trailer vs 5th wheel and and and ... my mind stutters and grinds to a halt.

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it's been quiet on this here blog

because i’ve been adjusting to a whole new life.  the homeschooling one.  i decided i didn’t want to be bound to posting here, so moved my blogher ads over to sanemoms, where i get a lot more traffic and post more regularly anyhow.  now i feel a bit free-er to rant over here if i want to.  i’m tired of obligations of all sorts, other than parenting and household stuff.  that does get old sometimes too, but less than i expected it to. 

i love having d home.  i really do, and not just because our days are less scheduled.  we go just about everywhere together.  he’s helpful, fun, crazy, and only drives me nuts about 12 times a day.  that’s spread out over the whole day, rather than starting the minute he walks in the door from school.  that means we’re having a lot more good times together, upping the ratio of good/lousy considerably.  i like this.  he likes this too i believe.

it’s going to take time to adjust fully though.  a lot of time.  he misses school.  i do miss free time, but am not missing it nearly as much as expected.  my friend s was over yesterday, saw the look in my eyes and asked if i was stir crazy.  i was, but hadn’t realized it.  strange, i’m usually so aware of that, but the kind of crazy and the kind of stir has changed.  she took my kids home with her for a couple of hours, and i got in a run (something that’s been suffering quite a bit) and started dinner on my own.  m happens to be painting her house, so brought the kids home after a pizza dinner, by which time i was already on my way downtown to see How to Train a Dragon. 

that was good.  coming home to find out our landlord gave us the wrong receipt a few months back, and we believed it and assumed we owed a lot less than we do?  not good for my psyche.  how does one ignore yawning pits at ones feet?  they’ve never failed to be filled, we’ve never gone hungry, and never been homeless.  i don’t know why i worry, but i still do. 

there’s beans with garlic simmering on the stove, iced tea brewing in the gorgeous sun, and a breeze coming in the wide open windows.  i’m working on my attitude. 

i will post her occasionally, as i feel like it, but not as regularly as over here.  i’m trying to be more open over there, as i manage to make tiny cracks in the shell. 


off to florida, thx to inlaws and such.  just the boys and i.  a welcome break, tho packing is sucky at best.  i think it’s a good way to clear the decks before digging into homeschooling, and a way to start clean.  both boys are curled up on my bed looking exhausted and we leave in 45 min, here’s hoping they stay docile through a day of subway/greyhound/cab/amtrak/car so we can get to where our ride starts!  i’ll leave you with the fynn and our housemate, from our trip to the park in the snowstorm.  i’m looking forward to some sun!


i’m doing nablopomo over here

i’ll still post, and actually finding so far that daily writing is making me want to write more. 

still simmering a lot, but not able yet to even put my finger on why. 

d had a hysteria-induced breathing episode tonight (athsma attack?  something along those lines anyhow) that was triggered by being overtired, mockingly talking about god when i said it was time to pray, and getting disciplined for it.  have an ongoing issue with mockery with him, and been consistently dealing with it as a serious issue, which i believe it is.  ended up trying relaxation exercises, steam bath with essential oils, and then an old albuterol inhaler that i had from fynn’s breathing problems.  i honestly think the triggers to it are psychological, but don’t want to downplay the physical problems that result either.  he has an appt with his homeopath in a couple weeks, and i’m curious what will come of that. 

been doing a lot of cleaning lately, of the organizing and digging out the cracks kind.  house smells a lot better (fabulous at the moment actually as i have chicken stock simmering, D/A have soup simmering), and it’s making me hungry again.  when i can’t get my mind wrapped around something, cleaning is often therapy, and the physical organization tends to clarify my mental drawers too.  so does running, at which i’ve been woefully lax lately.  hard to get dressed/out when it’s so cold, but it’s more the why-bother-i-have-no-goal sort of thing.  got one yesterday though, when i realized (thanks to my bank acct dipping even further) that i got into the nyc half marathon on mar 21.  looking fwd to it muchly, as it’s a route that is far more interesting than circling central park, which i’ve gotten sick of.  it’s one lap there, then down thru times square and the rest of mid/downtown, into Battery park.  so i have some motivation, hoping it’s enough.  my body misses it, much like i missed my period when i was nursing fynn.  it’s emotionally cleansing, and i need a lot of that right now. 

house is blissfully quiet, going to go try on some clothes i was sent and see what to keep.  i think music is in order.

housemate reflections

we’ve been married 9 years and counting.  we’ve lived alone less than 2 of those years.  i’m not talking kids, but someone other than us+kids has been living with us almost the entire time.  it’s entertaining, it is.  yes, that’s euphimistic as well as true.  there have been some extremely trying situations, several involving bodily functions that i’m not even going to go into.  tmi already, i know.  some partners in living have been great, some so-so, and all challenging in some way. 

i miss my privacy.  intensely.  i don’t have space to myself (cranking the broken record).  i don’t like to share my kitchen, my apartment-sized fridge, my every bowl and coffee mug and pan.  i don’t like other people’s spit in my sink.  strange leftovers in the fridge.  disappearing ice-cream.  bathroom battles, and kids using buckets in desperation.  (and no, not *always* the kids).  sometimes you just don’t have a choice. 

i’ve gotten better at labeling things, so we don’t have too many food issues.  i don’t mind sharing food most of the time either, it makes it feel that much nicer.  but when you suddenly discover that the bottle of silver you were eke-ing out for another couple of weeks is down to half, and it wasn’t you … i get irritated.  i said they were welcome to share.  when money gets tight, i want to yank the welcome mat back into my territory.  when space gets tight, i want to sweep off counters and window ledges of their accumulated THINGS and make a fresh open space somewhere.  even if i do, it lasts for exactly .3 seconds before a mug or an action figure or keys and mail have cluttered it up again.  everything has it’s place, but that place is sometimes behind or under or squeezed in between or up above so many other things that putting it away right now is frankly more trouble than it’s worth.  you can’t live that way. 

so we live in clutter.  I live in clutter.  no one else seems to care or feel it.  I feel claustrophobic at home a lot of the time.  I was raised in a house with minimal stuff and decoration, and i love it that way.  Wood, books, some pottery, fabric, and windows.  Pretty and useful things.  Not much else. 

The pic up there is a combo, a compromise.  I saved the chicken bone from a stockpot, thinking it was beautiful.  It sat on the window ledge for ages.  Van Helsing is one of a gazillion action figures, about 1/16th of which belong to my boys.  The rest belong to the front room, and are happily shared, crowding about the window ledges and tables.  Clifford was found on the roof of our rental in PA when we first moved in, leftover from a previous tenant.  M perched the bone on Van Helsing’s back and put him on top of the toaster.  After one session of burnt rubber, he was moved to the window ledge, competing for attention with bionicles, wedding cake angels, transformers, and I’m not sure what else.  M added the two to Clifford, and once I moved them from the ledge to Fynn’s shelf, I enjoyed it.  A crazy combination, but it works for now.

I have my moments of frustration, many of them.  Muttered a “please don’t tell me BOTH pots have coffee in them!” this morning, before realizing that it was the front room that had used the 2nd pot.  Then I was glad I had, as I’d likely have censored myself had I known.  I need to either confront graciously, or ignore it completely.  No room for pissy sulking in a house this size, least of all from me.

But it really does even out sometimes.  Like at 5:00 today when the doorbell rang, and I found we were the lucky winners of a long-form census thing-a-ma-jig.  She offered to come back, but I wanted it over with, so when D-of-the-front saw Fynn’s antics starting to get to me (I was stacking Cozy Pillows To Order over him on the hallway bench) as he careened between me and the large census-taker-with-the-laptop-perched-on-her-knees-typing-madly, he came and asked him if he wanted to Play Pirates!  Of course he trotted off gladly, and when I finally came back in another 20 minutes later, both boys were having a ball at the table, with a bag of heretofore unseen action figures. 

It’s good for rubbing the edges off, keeping me on my toes, and not letting me be a perfectionist.  Lord knows I’ve try hard enough!  I still can hardly wait, though, to have a house where it’s just us.  At least for awhile.  There will be enough treehouses for the rest, I swear.  I’ll build those first and live in a tent before sharing tight quarters again voluntarily. 

so much for nablopomo

I started off with a bang, got distracted, and here we are.  ah well. 

random things of late …

1. does anyone else think Audrey Tautou and Johnny Depp look a lot alike? I watched Coco Before Chanel last night, and found the resemblance downright startling at times.  Perhaps it’s just cheekbones and eyebrows and sometimes brooding looks, but i find both of them delightful to watch. 


2. I alternate wildly between taking people too seriously, and not seriously enough.  I seem to have little middle ground.  Makes for some interesting misconceptions!

3. I love pomegranates.  Seeds, juice, color, taste, all of it.

4. I love these too.  The fact that they come in threes and don’t match is priceless.

5. I have someone else picking up D today, as F is home sick.  I didn’t want to wake him.  I feel slightly guilty that the real reason he’s still napping is that I rearranged/cleaned his room this AM, made a fort in it, and took him out for a beef patty for lunch because I didn’t want to cook.  Not very guilty though.

6. D is sitting in on his friend’s piano lesson as a result.  This is cool.

7. Dan the Man is coming to visit tonight.  Very glad, love having him.  Part of the reason for the room-cleaning too, as he’ll be in F’s bed for the week.

8. I’m making refried black beans with lots of garlic, as part of supper, which means both bedrooms should be nice and fragrant tomorrow morning.  I had falafel last night, which produced the same results. 

9. I’m glad Fynn was sick and I didn’t have to take him to school today, I dread the dropoff/pickup routine.  I didn’t want to run either.  

That’s all.  Becoming non-random and overthought, so I’ll stop.

green sanctuary

In honor of my favorite watering hole, the Women’s Colony, here are some of my favorite Green images (as requested for Monday) for the Sanctuary

The first is from a rainy day spent land-hunting-dreaming in WV.  We stopped at the top of a mountain, knocking on the door of a cabin that appeared to be for sale.  No response, so we wandered and poked and got dripped on.  Fynn clutched his precious juice bottle for dear life.  When he saw me posting this photo, he asked if “that juice was all mine? It’s all mine, isn’t it?” We don’t drink much juice I guess, and I do tend to make the boys share bottles of it.  I love the green cast around their eyes.

green day

Douglas found the dripping that day a bit chilly. We all did actually.  The incredible green-ness of everything, in contrast to home, was delightful. 

I gave Fynn green yogurt once, long ago.  Only once.  The results were hilarious to me, as his motor coordination wasn’t so hot.
it's not easy being green

Making salsa is a summer tradition.  I make (and can) as much as I find the time and money for.  I didn’t get that much done this year, and missed the last couple weeks of Romas at the market, so picked up a bag of tomatillos to make some salsa verde. They were gorgeous to me, swirling ever so slowly in the pot.  I wasn’t so sold on the taste in the end, sadly. There’s still a half-eaten jar in the fridge that keeps getting shoved to the back of the shelf. 

Happy Monday, and perhaps, just maybe, you’ll see me around a bit more this week.  I’m toying with the idea of NaBloPoMo and all that. 

indian summer day

shadow boy

is it just me, or does this look a bit like an ad for Guess?

first gorgeous day in a week or more, sunny and warm.  threw fynn in the stroller, douglas took his bike, and we ran/biked to prospect park, meeting up with M whose work was cancelled 10 minutes after he got in.  i hadn’t intended to run and was in flip flops and non-running gear, but couldn’t help myself, it just felt so good to fly up the street alongside of d on his newish bike.   lay in the sun, watched the boys play in the mud and with the aerobie, and kept an eye on fynn’s toys that a nearby girl kept taking, running away with, and leaving out the middle of the huge meadow.  the park was packed. 

walked home slowly, browsing stoop sales, playin in the fountains at the library, and buying a cheap bag of felted wool and silk scraps from a lady down the street.  thinking of making more of fynn’s patchy lavendar pillows and hocking a few on etsy.  the felt would make great patches. 

m’s strumming his guitar and it’s the perfect end to a delicious day.  it’s been a long time since i’ve felt like that, and i’m glad. 

raising the bar

i’ve had a goal all year of running a half marathon in under 2 hours.  i signed up for 5 half-marathons (one in each borough) to give myself 5 chances at the goal.  i also loved running through the 5 boroughs so much last year, during the marathon, that i thought running through them each a little more would be great. 

the first two races were back-to-back, one week apart.  i hated the first as it was just 2+ laps of Central Park, and not very inspiring.  i finished in 2:06, and was happy with it given the freezing temps.  the next weekend in the bronx, i had no thought of making my goal time as i figured i wasn’t recovered enough from the previous week.  i started out fast, and ended up realizing at about mile 9 that i had a shot at making my goal time.  i pushed within an inch of my life, but fell short by 45 seconds.  maddening but i had 3 more chances. 

the next two races i ran with friends.  the bklyn half was really hot, and i worked hard but not too hard, had several annoying pit stops thanks to a bad dinner choice the night before, and ended up with a 2:16 finish.  not too happy but it was a fun run.  i’d hoped to take a stab at my goal again in queens last month, but got stuck by some bad planning on the part of the race staff.  there were not enough shuttle  buses as promised, and despite getting there when they said, my friend and i missed the start of the race by 30 minutes and had to walk 2 miles just to get there.  even though we were fairly timed, i didn’t have the heart to leave my friend to run alone, in her first-ever race, as we were practically running alone.  i let her set the pace, and stuck to her side, ending up with a 2:22.  i wasn’t too happy.

going into yesterday’s race i knew it was my last shot.  i was determined to break 2 hours, but didn’t feel like i’d trained enough.  it requires a 9:15mm pace, when i run a 10mm naturally.  i got there early, stayed relaxed, ate right, and hit the port-a-potties 3x in the last hour just to make sure.  i aimed for a 9mm pace to give myself a wee cushion for water breaks and tiredness.  the first 3 miles clicked off at an 8:45 clip, and while it felt hard i figured i’d rather start strong and fade than try to catch up.  besides, it felt really good to watch the mile markers fly past, rather than slowly hove into view like they had in queens.  every marker, i’d set a mental note for the time +9, and watch for the next one.  the next 3 miles passed, and i had a 2 minute cushion built up. by the time i hit halfway, i knew that even allowing for some fading, i’d break 2 hours.

it was then that my crazy self decided maybe i could raise the bar.  i’d started 4 minutes after the gun, as getting 4,000 people across a starting line takes a few minutes.  the timing clocks at the mile markers were then 4 min ahead of my watch.  i did some more mental math, and thought that maybe i could beat 2 hours by the official clocks, not giving myself credit for the 4 min lag (though they always give you net time, not clock time, when scoring your results).  that kept me going for a few more miles, till about mile 10 i knew that goal was clinched also. 

that apparently wasn’t good enough, because i then decided maybe i could beat the official clocks by as much as 5 minutes.  at this point however i only had 3 miles to do it in, and not that much steam left.  i’d pushed myself a lot harder than in any previous half, and was really feeling it.  i still hoped for it, but didn’t have enough oomph left.  i finished in 1:53:20 by my watch, 1:57 and change by the official clocks, and managed to be very happy but a wee bit disappointed at the same time.  

insanity.  i always raise the bar for myself, no matter what.  if i’m in danger of reaching it, i move it.  my goal was 2 hours, i shattered the goal with a 1:53 and a record pace averaging 8:39mm, and yet i still felt like if i’d tried a bit harder i could have made it 2 minutes faster.  i’m very pleased with what i did, and yet i won’t let myself be 100% happy with it.  what on earth is wrong with my brain that i can’t be satisfied with that?? 

i really don’t know where it comes from.  i’m afraid i sometimes hold my kids to unattainable standards too, which is not cool at all.  i do remember feeling like nothing less than straight A’s was acceptable on my report card, and being asked what i could do to bring B’s up to A’s.  is that enough to make me always move the bar?  i don’t know.  it’s not healthy, it breeds discontent and a lack of satisfaction.  am i afraid of rest and stagnation?  possibly.  i’ve recognized the issue for years, but this race business showed it in it’s full ridiculousness and brought it to mind again.  love to back off on it, but am not sure how. 

how to (not) charge money for what I do

I have a hangup.  I can’t seem to get comfortable with charging money for what I do.  I’m talking enough money to meet expenses.  I have design clients telling me I don’t charge enough.  I take on pro-bono web design jobs with relief, because I don’t have to set a price.   Then I realize I have 3 large pro bono jobs, and no paying ones.  And no time to take on any paying ones.  And I’m relieved.

If we’re ever going to get out of this city, chances are it’ll happen sooner rather than later if I actually make a buck or two.  Yet I hate to talk money.  Truly hate it.  Take today for instance.  I had a fellow mom-blogger in the ‘hood tell me about her new venture a few months ago.  Events for moms.  Sans kids.  I liked the idea, it fed into my s a n e m o m s  stuff very directly.  So I said I’d love to work with her on it.  When she next contacted me, it had morphed from a physical place to a series of events.  Somewhat less interesting to me, but ok.  So what did she want me to do?  Could I help with the website?  Sure.  Without blinking I offered to do it for free, and as I recall she made noises about not being able to pay much … at which point I had every chance to charge at least something for it!  But no.  Then I spent hours designing it.  Learning all kinds of new tricks (not a bad thing in itself) because she has very specific ideas about how she’d like it to look.  Then I go today to train her and her biz partner in how to update the site, and that’s all find and dandy but I don’t think to set a limit on my time.  I don’t say “this is taking my entire day, one of the two precious chunks of time I have every week to get things done w/out kids along” … and I finally say I have to go in 20 min, and leave 40 min later.  After almost 4 hours of free training.  Sure I’m getting PR out of it as an event sponsor, but it’s not worth all that much.  At least not yet, and I don’t have high hopes. 

Why do I hesitate so much to charge real money?  I downplay my worth to other people, at least in terms of dollar amounts, all the time.  I don’t factor in how fast I tend to work, how many bases I cover (I edit copy while I design sites while I create graphics while I tweak code … and i research SEO if you tell me you need it, I train you in how to do your own upates, I help you set up your email accts that come with your new site, and I’d probably walk your dog if you asked me to.)

Every job I’ve ever had I ended up doing a million things more than asked.  And with the exception of two brief managers, was rarely compensated or recognized for those things.  One job I quit, another I helped close up as it failed.  Why is the graphic designer one of the last 8 people in a company that was 65 strong?  Because she was game to do/try/learn/muddle through just about anything.  They don’t pay for that.  They can’t.  And it’s what I think I’m really good at.  Just how do you charge for that?  P’raps I need cards that call me the Muddler in Chief.  I rather like the idea.  Girl Friday?  I dunno. 

Haircuts @ home

Had the novelty of home haircuts today, but not by me.  Hence the novely.  Had no idea what to expect, hired the guy thro a local parents network, and as he cuts kids for free along with a parent, it seemed a good deal. 

Fynn’s before shots …. I was so loath to cut it but figured it’s the end of rats nests, and the constant hair flipping and eating messes.

I went first, and the only record of it is Fynns …

Which tells an awful lot, yes?  He wet it with a spraybottle, convinced me to do bangs again, and went to it.  Slowly.  Really slowly, and I’m not sure why?  He seemed to know what he was doing, and had confidence, just a lot of checking/rechecking etc.  Hope that’s not the case every time.  It took almost two hours!!  Hmm.  Cheerful, lots of banter, lots of keeping Fynn from running off with scissors and turning on hair dryers, etc.  I was just glad to get up.  You’ll have to wait for an after pic on me, sorry.

Fynn was next. 

He took to it well, with lots of shrieking every time the spray bottle came out. It was pleased squealing, not angry, thankfully. 

He just couldn’t really sit still.  After waiting 2 hours for me, he’d run out of interest and patience.  Had I realized, M could have taken the boys outside, but we didn’t know how it would go.  We put a video on the laptop and propped it on the washing machine, which helped somewhat.  Next time …

He got a cute cut, but it could have been better, which the stylist agreed with but Fynn had no patience left to do more. 

The best cut of the day was Douglas, who wasn’t even sure he wanted one.  He said something offhand about a mohawk, and The stylist said sure, you have the perfect hair for a faux-hawk, and promptly, efficiently, and beautifully gave him one.  Perhaps the 3rd time’s a charm?  Either way, I’m pleased.

It suits him to a T … and he loves it.  Yay for a non-mom haircut :).

Ready for summer, at last.  We’ve had a great week, btw, with lots of work and lots of fun getting done.  One major client site went live on Friday, yay for that.  M took the boys one day, which was heaven … actually billed 6 hours that day.  An impossibility on school days.

Summer is good, plans for the road trip/family time shaping up, and now to find a way to have a few days with just the 4 of us, searching out where to live next.  Hard to have those plans be last in line, trying to get them fixed.

Now off to entertain be entertained by my company :).

from the tired zone

i seem to be pretty permanently in the tired zone.  it’s 1am and I’m calling it quits on web design work, having no brain left.  i only billed 2 of the last 3 hours, as the brain wasn’t firing fast enough to qualify.  i’m getting a lot happier with the state of the current site, but have some more image work to do.  another big site draft due a week from today that’s not started.  i’m glad to have the work, glad that it’s getting easier, but not sure how to fit it all in.  there aren’t enough hours in the day.  i’m also the queen of getting distracted.  i broke out the timer today, and managed to finish a software box mockup, in illustrator, in 75 minutes.  speedy for me as i’m not a 3-d-mocker-upper by trade, don’t really have the tools, or the knowhow.  i beat the heck out of the free transform command and hoped for the best.

another half marathon on saturday, anyone want to come babysit for me?  m has to work and I’m going to probably have to hire some HS girl to come for 4 hours or so, the usual avenues are coming up dry.  thankfully there’s some $ to cover it if you don’t count the other things that are behind :). 

reading this and finding it good.  it certainly speaks to where I’m at and what I’m craving.  i want to build a birdhouse this week (for a swap buddy) because it sounds like a lot of fun to me.  hoping i can find the time.

had a silly creative moment in the kitchen, resulting in these last night. 

boys had a ball with them.  recipe here if you’re intrigued.  no this isn’t becoming a food blog.  funny how you get focused on it tho when buying groceries becomes restricted to the basics.

the new stove came yesterday, woohoo!  so nice to ba able to cook again.  dragged/manhandled the box inside, and made the requisite fort out of it.  boys watched cartoons on the laptop in there, munching on popcorn.  i looooove forts.  wish i still fit in them, and want to build a treehouse.  soon.

i’m trying not to think about summer and getting work done, when the 11 hours a week I currently have child-free (two days w/both boys in school) will be gone.  no camps this summer, so i’ll have them for 2 months.  hoping i can keep the workload light, but not sure what will happen.

big drama at d’s school last week, with the principal getting arrested for assaulting a teacher during a corporal punishment hearing.  rather ironic.  he’s gone, probably permanently, and i’m curious who the’ll bring in.  it stirs up many gentrification and class and race arguments, which i to date haven’t chimed in on.  the man was great with kids, and not so great with adults.  very defensive, with some reason it seems but still not effective at all in managing staff.  the whole thing makes me sad, and i really feel sorry for his teenage kids.  it has to be rough for them.


… of the most difficult logo client ever.  20+ designs, and not even one comment!  just “none of these work”.  rather frustrating is putting it mildly

… of the housemate

… of interruptions during the few hours i have to work each week (sans kids).  some are of my own making, others are just life, and it’s hard to see the time slip by and know it will have to be made up late at night, when my brain is mush and I’m resenting not being able to relax at all.

… of thinking I see Dominic in every window

… of just plain being tired

then again, to drag myself into some better perspective, i’m thankful for

… one real night of sleep this week, averting a nasty cold, and waking up feeling actually refreshed.  how novel!

… having work to do

… sunshine today, and boys healthy enough to enjoy it

… perfect shoes for D at my favorite resale shop, better looking and fitting than the ones I destroyed in the dryer yesterday

… a good friend coming tomorrow to visit, and the prospect of flea-market-window-shopping without tired kids in tow

… getting to meet a bunch of local bloggers last night

… having F’s art (above) appear in the NY Times online yesterday

… having a comfy bed to crawl into.  stat.

on having a housemate

this having a housemate thing is definitely a world of compromise.  take today.  he was up, unbelievably, as we were scrambling about with breakfast.  jumped in the shower without an “anybody need the toilet first?” so i was left with crossed legs in the kitchen.  we’d already woken to dominic careening about the room at 6:30, panicked and unable to use his back legs much.  i was trying to calm him down, not get upset myself, keep the boys from crowding him, etc.  “what’s wrong with him?”  don’t know, working on figuring it out.  “whoa, that’s serious you know.  you know that’s serious?” yes, I KNOW.  clenching my gut against anger and sadness.  of course I know.  I’ve had him 15 years now, I know a bit about cats, particularly mine.  thanks for the comments.

D goes to school, m goes back to bed, i watch F for awhile, trying to soothe the cat under the desk in the boys’ room, and nap a bit myself.  m gets up, showers, leaves. 

“Do you think I can print a couple more copies of my resume and a cover letter in a little bit? I have a big interview again this afternoon.”  

sure.  Thank God he has another interview, I can’t take much more of him being around 24/7.  I have no privacy.  None.  Unless I close the double doors to the dining room completely, he’s finding a way to ask questions thru the cracked open door. 

“can I borrow the ironing board?  got a big interview, need to look sharp, you think this shirt is ok?  how far to deKalb? thanks a lot.”

It’s like having a teenager in the house, one that is feeling a bit guilty about not moving out yet, finally feels the pinch as you’re charging rent now and give him a hard time about eating your food.  he’s behind on rent, bored, does want a job, but the longer he goes without one the more support he needs, emotionally and financially.

“can you take a look at this cover letter?  it’s big, really big, HUGE.  i’d really appreciate it.” 

yes, in a minute, i’ve got to finish this.

“sure, take your time, no worries. i just need to be there by 5:00.”

it’s 3pm, there are issues with his cover letter, and i WANT him to get a job.  any job.  to get out of my house for at least 10 hours a day.  hours I can be loud, do my own thing, not have to keep the doors shut to prevent interruptions, and feel like a prisoner at my desk.  the desk I’m sick of, that i’m sitting at now, typing this. so i give him my suggestions.

I’m taking the whopping 45 minutes that I have, after going to the park with F and a friend (to keep from moping over the cat and doing less-than-vital updates on my site) … to answer two quote requests, catch up on emails a wee bit, and get some lunch eaten. 

i pick up d, come back to a modified cover letter, per my comments. ok, where’s the formatted version i can print from? “oh, i don’t have that, it was in word and didn’t come thru, can we just …” riiiight

pull into OO writer.  guess at pdf’d resume font.  print test copy.  resize font.  print again.  “great”

put in good paper, print first one, change names, print second.  ask how he’s going to hand it over … “manilla envelope”  no, not good enough, use one of these plastic sleeves.  I WANT him to get the job so badly I’ll trash my day to make him look better, come across better, in the hopes that he gets out. 

um, how are they to contact you from this letter?  just a mailing address?

”#$@#%@”  yes, right, shall we put in your email address?  reprint, hand over, answer questions thru the window to D who’s eating a popsicle on the porch. 

“thanks, i really really appreciate this. really. it means a lot”  I know you do, you really do, but appreciation isn’t what I’m looking for here.  peace.  peace please.  just for a few hours.

get back to my work, call back my potential client 15 minutes late, discuss options, shush D, discuss more, get off and F wakes up. 

on with the afternoon.  more questions, more thanks, more commentary, more harrumphs and “wows” as he reads at the table.  “when’s m coming home? he’s not?  what’s he doing?”  it’s none of your @#$#$ business is what I want to say, but I don’t.  i swallow hard, answer short, and never turn around.  retreat to the porch to talk to M when he calls. 

sit down again at the computer to write, be distracted, and decide I’m done here for the night.  no more posts, no more work, off to spend some quiet time, in my room with the doors closed, and not on the computer.

it's about time

for a post that's not just pictures.  i'm sitting here with a bill marked 'paid' sitting in front of me, something new and exciting.  thanks you know who you are.  it's hard to take, to receive.  i hate doing it.  partly because i feel weak, out of control, and wimpy.  afraid of feeling obligated.  guilty to have an idea of what it cost the giver.  but it is what it is.  there are changes afoot, there have to be.  first off seems to be to get m a smaller studio.  much smaller, with probably no woodshop.  but maybe closer to home?  he looks at one next week that's just a few blocks away.  that would cut a couple hundred a month off the bills.  then there's fynn's school, which i really really hope not to give up, but am certainly open to it.  he'd forget eventually, but it's good for him to socialize, and good for me to have a few hours to do my own things and work without feeling guilty that i'm sidelining my kids. 

yes, work has picked up a bit.  i've gotten some work from a family connection, which has been traumatic due to my lack of confidence, but overall good i think.  still figuring out what they like, and finding cryptic emails hard to decipher relative satisfaction from.  perhaps i should just pick up the phone and ask?!  i had one design job which kicked me in the butt in terms of my skill levels, but i learned a ton.  then work from an old chicago client has picked up temporarily, and that's really nice.  i need to hunt down more leads to keep it flowing, but a trickle is really good to have.  m has one job coming up next week too, not a lot of money but better than nothing.  the employer is a taskmaster in the extreme, and a real character, so there will be stories at least I'm sure.

i'm still struggling with the ebb/flow of work.  feeling like when i have it i have to get it done asap (client deadlines, not mine, so some truth to that) and then I go into hamster wheel mode.  it's productive, but not harmonious or easy on anyone.  yesterday m came in from the studio at 6, and i'd not started supper, nor did i have any intention of doing it.  just told him sorry, he was on his own, and i stayed hunkered down at the computer for a few hours making headway on a site redesign.  part of it was badly needing alone time, but feeling too busy and tired to take it.  with m working more regular hours at the studio, i have to get runs in before 8:15.  that means getting up no later than 6:30, which is hard for me as I've been hitting the sack between 12 and 3:30 for the last week.  i don't function well on less than 6.5, especially when i'm running 5 miles to start it off.  start earlier, run, hamster wheel, kid responsibilities, kid guilt, sick kids, pent up-ness, and it's not a pretty cycle. 

really feeling the lack of fellowship, and starting to make more social plans in an effort to make deeper connections.  had friends for dinner 2 weeks ago, have things all thru the weekend and into monday, and it feels healthy though busy.  went to meeting 3x in the last 6 weeks, which was interesting in itself.  the best part of it all i think was the 2nd time we went with my folks (which was hard for me and for them) and a brother from the DR was there visiting his daughter.  he came over to us right after meeting, and asked in spanish why we didn't break bread.  thankfully my cousins H and S were there, and H got roped into translating.  it was nice to have the elephant in the room named, talked about, and discussed openly with much love and hugs. somehow i can't just sit down with my folks and explain how we feel.  i wish i could, and i'm not afraid of recriminations, but it's still really difficult for me. 

the moms site is really on my mind lately too.  whether to stop pushing the forum and focus on the blog and opening up comments there?  every time i forget to close comments on the weekly questions posts, ppl answer that way.  it is easier than clicking another button.  i made it too hard, though richer, and now many find it too daunting i think.  easy clicks.  i really need to blog there more to drive interest.  speaking of which, now that i'm done my glass of wine perhaps i'll do just that.