I met a guy….

So I don’t want to jinx it but I decided to give the online thing one more try. Just looking really…not much there that got my attention. I did message one guy but was kind of indifferent about it. He replied immediately and after going back and forth a few times, he asked me if I’d like to go get some coffee (we were both kid-free that night). I told him I don’t do coffee but I could handle some ice cream and he said great. I jumped in the shower and when I got out, I had a voice mail from him saying he would have to take a rain check. His family owns a property management company with 150 rental homes and he just got paged because a hot water heater exploded. He was very apologetic and promised to make it up to me and I thought he was genuine. Next day we talked on the phone for 3 hours!

Monday morning when he dropped his kids at school, he asked me out to breakfast but it’s been a crazy week at work and I just couldn’t get away. Same thing Tuesday. Wednesday, I finally met him for breakfast. I had worked all night and was exhausted and kind of frazzled. He’d overslept and had to rush the kids to school and was just really waking up. Both of our phones were going nuts the whole time. Overall, it was pleasant enough but not spectacular. Sneaking out during the day was fun because it felt like I was getting away with something but neither of us were really in “social” mode so it was hard to relax and enjoy it. When breakfast was over, I wasn’t really sure I’d even want to see him again but when he suggested we look for something else to do, I went along.

We rode around for a while…just driving and talking and then wound up back at his house. He had told me about his house but I was totally not prepared. The main house is his parents…3000 sq. feet, 8 bedrooms…that’s also their office for the business. He lives in the 3BR/2BA poolhouse and there’s a 1BR apartment upstairs from him. His sister lives in the “coach house” with her 4 sons. I didn’t even go in the main house…only his place…but I was just a little bit intimidated. He seems really down to earth but I was a little out of my element to say the least.

He has a pool table in his living room so we shot a few games of pool, then sat outside and chatted…that’s pretty much how we spent the rest of the day (till it was time to pick all the kids up from school). His patio is so peaceful! Between the big house and the poolhouse, the yard with the pool is almost completely enclosed. The other side is all woods so you’re completely secluded (once you get over the notion that Mom is watching from the window in the main house!) The landscaping in that courtyard is like something out of a magazine (there’s a separate yard where the kids’ swingset and treehouse is). If I lived there, I’d have to put a swing on the patio but I’d absolutely LIVE out there. They’re trying to sell that property (I found it listed online…1.1M..in this economy!) so his parents can travel the US for a year and the world for a year. I was teasing him that if it doesn’t sell, he and his kids can move into the main house, me and my kids will live in the poolhouse, and we can find a good nanny to rent the apartment upstairs. I’d have to ditch the landscaper though because I’d fill these flowerbeds with roses and put my veggie garden in the one over there and herbs over there. It was totally surreal. I’ll be embarrassed for him to see my place now.

We bet a backrub on a game of pool and I assumed he’d let me win but he didn’t. He kicked my butt! I was a little awkward about giving him a backrub at first but once I relaxed a little it was fun and he returned the favor. No roman hands even. He made it very clear that it was not because he wasn’t interested, but because I had been clear about wanting to take it slow. I told him I want to know the person I’m with wants me, but I want to know they want ME…not just someone. Later he tested the waters a little to see just where the boundaries were but he respected them.

Eventually he took me back to my car and we both rushed off to pick up our kids from school. He said he wants to take me on a real date this weekend (The Sun Dial and a show at the Fox is one possibility he suggested…once again, completely out of my element…I’ve lived here most of my life and only been to the Fox on a field trip in junior high and I’ve always looked up at the Sun Dial and fantasized about what it must be like up there…a ball game and Applebees is more my style). The boys were supposed to be with Ex this weekend but he flaked. Mom shocked me by asking if the boys could come down there so it looks like I will be kid-free Saturday night. He wanted to do Friday because he already had plans with a buddy for Saturday but he’s trying to switch everything around so I guess we’ll see.

He’s 41, twice-divorced…both marriages were about 7 years and ended with her cheating on him. He has twin 6-year-olds (boy/girl) that live with him and visit their mother 2-3 weekends a month. So he’s got the kids all week but he’s kid-free most weekends which is an interesting arrangement. Since he basically works for himself, he has a lot of flexibility with his work schedule and can get away during the day at times which could be dangerous! I have enough trouble staying disciplined and focusing on work while the kids are at school. He says whenever I’m ready I should bring the boys down there to go swimming or we’ll all go out for ice cream or something but I’m a little more hesitant about that. His kids see him socialize all the time so they don’t really think much about a new friend as long as it’s all casual. I don’t really have friends locally so if my kids saw me with a guy, they would immediately jump to conclusions. The kids all being so close in age (5, 6, 6, 7) is nice but it also means (I would hope) that they’ll become friends and I’m just not in a hurry to rush into anything like that.

He’s definitely looking for a relationship… he’s got no interest at all in serial dating. I’m open to the possibility of a relationship if one drops in my lap but I really don’t see how that would fit into my life at this point. I’m not really gaga over him like I was the fireman right off the bat, but there’s potential so I’m willing to give it a chance. He seems really down to earth and like a genuine nice guy. I hope we get to have a “real” date soon where we’re both relaxed and can just have fun. I remember when I was dating FG, it took a LONG time before I was able to switch gears and relax and enjoy weeknight dates and I never did really get the hang of lunch dates during the week. If yesterday was “just ok”, I think a real date on a kid-free weekend when we’re both in that frame of mind will be awesome.

And right on cue, enter Sailor. I haven’t talked to him all summer. I keep up with him on FB but he’s been distancing himself and I know better than to push when he’s like that. I knew he was on a road trip for the last couple of weeks…riding his motorcycle cross-country visiting family…but I didn’t think he was coming this way and didn’t even mention it to him. When I got home yesterday, I found out some things had blown up at work and the rest of the evening was completely out of control. At 2am, I noticed a text on my phone “Wanted to stop by and surprise you but having problems with the bike. Soon. Love you!” As soon as I read it, my head and heart were in knots. I’m actually glad he didn’t show up on my doorstep last night to surprise me but it’s a sweet thought. WHY WHY WHY does he suddenly come back from the abyss on the very day that I meet someone else? He’s been texting me all day today but it’s been pretty superficial…who he visited, what’s going on with the bike, his parents really want the boys and me to come up, whatever. Who knows…


One foot in front of the other…

I made it through the estrogen overdose of the bridesmaid’s brunch, dress fitting, and shower without killing anyone (only assault!) I really like the groom’s sister…she’s my age and divorced and has the same sarcastic outlook on life that I do. Unfortunately, I don’t know if the princess was jealous or scared I’d embarrass her or just determined to make sure I didn’t enjoy myself because every time the groom’s sis and I started talking, my sister jumped in and tried to cut it off. The groom’s grandmother called my sister a spoiled brat during the brunch so of course, I love her! Somehow, when she said that, it was my fault…still trying to figure that out! There’s another shower this weekend but I’m seriously considering skipping it. Whether I go or not I’m going to get crap for it so I might as well do something to deserve it.

The landlord still hasn’t come back to re-inspect. I had to spend two days fighting with the school board to get them to let me enroll the boys in school because I didn’t have an updated lease. Royal PITA but it’s done now so I’m not going to push for the inspection until closer to the end of the month. If they don’t bring it up, I won’t. I’m hoping to tackle a couple of problem areas I’ve been putting off this weekend while the boys are with Ex but we’re doing a pretty good job of at least staying on top of where we are. Progress is slow when the boys are here…not much gets improved, but as long as the things we’ve already cleaned and organized stay ok and don’t go backwards, I guess that’s something. When they’re not here I have to push forward and do the big stuff.

For the first week of school, I was feeling really good about Squirt’s teacher but we butted heads yesterday and now I’m getting nervous. She sent me an e-mail that put me on my soapbox and apparently I wounded her delicate ego because she sent a very terse and defensive reply. The counselor called me today to ask me about enrolling Squirt in a mentoring program at the school and I asked her what she knew about this teacher. When I told her about the e-mail exchange, she said she’d step in and offer to help since she already has a relationship with Squirt from last year. I really don’t like the counselor (she told me last year that she thinks Squirt is ADHD and possibly bipolar and needs to be on medication but his biggest problem is that he needs a mother – halfway through our conversation, I was literally in a fetal position in the chair crying and I left feeling like I’d been physically beaten. Did  I mention that I REALLY don’t like her?) but she is good with Squirt and I’m hoping she’ll have some influence with the teacher. Squirt and I had a heart to heart this morning and the teacher sent a note home saying today was a much better day. I guess we’ll see.

Tonight was pretty much the kind of night I wish we had all the time. After school we picked a watermelon and ate it half-naked outside then rinsed off with water guns. Pork Chop had a temper tantrum about doing his homework (for kindergarten!!!??!) and passed out but Squirt got his done relatively painlessly and we all played Wii together for a while. Squirt (half-ass) folded some laundry while I cooked dinner (another tantrum from Pork Chop) and then we read a bunch of bedtime stories and acted silly till bedtime. Afterwards I was just drained though and couldn’t get my mind back on work. I wonder where Squirt gets it? Now it’s almost 5a.m. and I’ve dilly-dallied around and only gotten about half what I needed to done but I’m about to pass out. I’ve been trying to work days and sleep at night but I just can’t seem to get enough done during the day so I wind up having to stay up way too late and the cycle continues until I’m completely flip-flopped again. My boss is leaving for vacation today so I’ve got to get it in gear for the next week at least.

I know it’s not healthy but I’m totally loving putting the boys on the bus in the morning and having them dropped back off in the afternoon. I do go outside to water and tend the plants but that’s about all. I don’t have to leave the house at all or have any contact with real live human beings at all. I’m so lonely lately that it physically hurts sometimes, but I get so nervous and stressed out when I actually have to go out and interact with people. I literally feel nauseous and start to shake thinking about the wedding. I wonder if the meds (assuming I ever start them) will help that anxiety. I have this kind of dread like I know this is something I need to deal with now before it gets out of hand, but it’s so nice to stay holed up here in my little sanctuary.

My mind’s all over the place. I know it’s a mistake but I think I’ll try to nap for an hour before time to do it all again.

Hanging in there

As much as I missed blogging, I can’t believe I haven’t posted all summer. Things haven’t been good around here.

After much tension and fighting and whatever, Mom did wind up coming through and watching the boys a good bit but it still hasn’t been enough for me to keep up at work or anywhere else. My boss is so understanding and I do come through for them when they need me but I’m scared to death that I’ve used up all the good karma I’ve built with them over the last two years and eventually they’re going to run out of patience. They’ve hired some new people to help me out which is good, on one hand, but on the other hand I have to train the new people and it means I have to give up some control. Support isn’t just “mine” any more…I now share it with 10 other people and it’s frustrating when they don’t do things my way on my timeline. Unfortunately, when they hire extra people to pick up the slack when I’m not available, it means there’s less opportunity for me to overload and get extra hours when I need the cash. One of the new women they’ve hired is really clashing with me. She’s a total brown-nose and is stuck so far up the boss’s butt she can’t see the light of day. She wants my position as queen bee in the company and I’m not ready to give it up. Unfortunately, I haven’t been in a position to fight for it either so I’ve got to get on the ball.

Emotionally, I feel like I’ve completely shut down lately. It’s so hard because I’ve had so much other on my plate that I just haven’t had anything left for the boys. I feel like I’ve completely shut them out and I can see how it hurts them but I just can’t make myself feel…anything.

My landlord decided to do a surprise inspection before renewing the lease. I told her that it was a crazy time and the house was a mess but she said she didn’t care about “mess”…she was just checking for damage. I was embarrassed when she came but I had been more than 48 hours without sleep and just wanted it over with. When she got here, she was totally condescending and judgmental and refused to renew the lease. She even threatened to call DFACS! Now, I know what you must be picturing and it was messy, but not that bad. I’ve never been so humiliated in my life. They gave me 30 days to clean up and they’ll reinspect but she said if they do decide to renew the lease, they’ll probably want to inspect monthly to make sure I’m keeping it clean. I’m just mortified. She’s supposed to come back next week for the followup inspection and I’m scared to death. I’ve done a lot of cleaning and organizing over the last few weeks (you know, in all that free time I have since I have NOTHING else going on in my life) but I’m still nervous. There’s so much left to do this weekend.

Tomorrow is the bridesmaid’s brunch, dress fitting, and one shower for my sister. Yippee. I can hardly wait. That is just so not my thing. The boys are with Ex this weekend so at least I won’t have them to contend with all day but there’s another shower in two weeks and I have to go to it too. So not fair to have to spend two grownup weekends in a row dealing with that crap. And between the boys’ suits, my dress, shoes (no I did not own a single pair of dress shoes), hair, nails, the shower, etc., her wedding is going to cost me more than mine did! Mom asked me tonight what I got her for the shower tomorrow and I told her I just don’t have the money right now, I’ll have to get her a gift at the next one and she went off on me.  Apparently, not only do I have to plan and fund this shower, attend both showers (and possibly more!!) I’m supposed to get her a gift for every one. I wish I’d bit the bullet in the beginning and said I wouldn’t be a stupid bridesmaid. There’s not even going to be a single single guy at the wedding! I have to wear a stupid dress and there won’t even be anybody to appreciate it!

My garden is doing pretty well. We had fresh strawberries all summer and I’m hoping for another batch in the fall from some of them. I even got to make strawberry jam. I lost a couple of cucumber plants but I’ve got about 20 jars of homemade pickles put up. We picked one watermelon and took up to the mountains to share with FL cousin but it turned out not to be good and ripe. We still ate it and it was delicious. At last count, there were 15 more watermelons on the vine so I’ve got plenty more chances to get it right. We picked one cantaloupe already and there are at least 9 more on the vine now. My corn is coming along…waiting for silks to form…should be any day now. I took about 100 cayenne peppers up to the mountains to share and have about that many more ripening. I recently planted fall tomatoes, fajita bell peppers, red bells, mammoth jalapenos, and basil. Still trying to decide if I’m going to do fall potatoes, carrots, and garlic…it has to get a bit cooler for all of those. I’ve grown everything in containers this year (yes, even melons and corn!) Haven’t decided if I want to get permission to plow up the back yard and do a regular garden next year. I’ve got the container garden in the front of the house and I’ve been surprised that the deer haven’t bothered it much (something took a big bite out of a cayenne but only one!) I’m kind of scared to plant in the back though because there are wild boars, deer, and wild boys back there. I’ve got big plans for the spring though so I’m not sure how practical the containers will be. Oh, and while we were in the mountains, I got a bunch of apples that I’m hoping to use for apple butter but I haven’t had time to peel them and get it done yet. The whole canning/preserving thing is fascinating to me but I just haven’t had the time to do much besides what I’ve had to so far.

Squirt told me the other day that we should turn our house into a grocery store for our friends and family and people that don’t have food. They can come in and tell us what they want and we can go pick it for them. Then we can make money and I won’t have to work so much. Except for the people that don’t have any food and we can just give it to them. He also said that when we move out of this house, he wants to move to a house with a big farm where we can have some fruit trees and some animals too.

Oh, and I’ve planted several more rosebushes that are doing great. I love roses. They’re one of the few things that motivate me to leave the house these days. I walk outside just to look at them and smell them.

The boys start back to school on Monday. We had open house last night. I didn’t really have an opinion of Pork Chop’s teacher but he’s so easy-going he should be fine with just about anything. Squirt’s teacher seems really nice and she’s friends with last year’s teacher so she already knows a little about him and seemed ready for him when we walked in. I guess we’ll see.

I’m really hoping we can get this year off on the right foot. At school and at home. We’re starting with the house cleaner and more organized than it’s ever been and we’ve been working on breaking all three of us of the lazy hopeless apathetic habits we’ve gotten into so hopefully we can keep that up. Pork Chop is really eager to help but Squirt is fighting me every step of the way. He’s coming around, but slowly. I just can’t back down or backslide at all. With the garden coming in and the kitchen clean and organized, I’ve been trying to actually cook dinner but that’s always a challenge. The boys are so stinking picky and I get frustrated and just give up. I’m hoping I can get on some kind of routine with work and find some sort of balance. I seem to go back and forth from completely obsessed and working around the clock to so irritated with everyone that I just don’t care and don’t bother. There’s got to be some middle ground.

Once we get the boys’ routine established and things settle down some, I’m going to try the meds again. I’m finally coming to terms with the situation and the impact this thing has had on my life and realizing that controlling it is not something I can do on my own. I want to give the meds a chance and try to make a better life for my children. Ironically though, I feel like I’ve got to get things under control before I can do that.

And now, I’ve got to get back to work because it’s after 2a.m. I want so bad to call in sick for the family stuff tomorrow. Blech.

And the hits just keep on coming

Today’s been one of THOSE days.  This place looks like a hurricane went through and it’s totally stressing me out. I swear if I step on another Lego my head’s going to EXPLODE!! The boys’ bathroom is so disgusting that the whole house smells like it and I just cleaned it good last week. The kitchen floor is carpeted with popsicle drips, spilt milk and juice, and crumbs. Really? How old do my children have to be before they can actually hit the target in the bathroom and eat without getting food all over the freaking house? I sweep and mop in the kitchen at least three times a day and it’s still nasty. Cleaning is pointless because in the time it takes me to sweep and mop the kitchen and load the dishwasher, they’ve destroyed the living room. When I finally get tired of yelling, nagging, threatening, bargaining, etc. to get them to pick up the living room, I send them to their room while I try to at least dig a path through the mess. When I’m calm enough to let them out of there, they’ve completely trashed their bedroom. And they want a snack. They’re like little Tasmanian devils tearing through EVERYTHING. This morning they wanted to go play at a friend’s house but I told them they had to pick up their toys first. By lunchtime, they were bouncing off the walls with cabin fever but they just refused to pick up. One toy in the toybox, three more out. They’ll pick up something and head to the toybox with it and get distracted before they even make it across the room. I’m losing it and we’re not even a week into summer break yet! To make matters worse, my homeowner is supposed to be coming to town and wants to come “check” the house and it’s time to renew the lease so the management company is supposed to be sending someone to do a walkthrough. I HATE having people in my space!!!!

Between my new gardening obsession and school being out, I’ve gotten absolutely no work done for the past week. Add to that the fact that I’m starting to realize just how much money I’ve spent the last couple of weeks and rent’s due and my paycheck is late AGAIN. And since I’ve been doing the mommy thing and trying to spend time with the kids, I didn’t get any hours last week so I need to double up this week but I just don’t see how I can which means my next paycheck will be short. And my boss is working on my performance review this week.

Oh and just for grins, it’s that time and I’ve got PMS from Hell. I’m totally bloated and miserable and just losing control today.

I finally called Mom this afternoon and told her I was bringing the boys over to spend the night. Not “asked”….TOLD. I had planned to send them to day camp this summer and she talked me out of it. It wasn’t all her, I wasn’t really thrilled with the idea and there were some pretty compelling reasons not to do it but she kept saying over and over that she’d watch the boys for me all summer (yeah right!) She had invited us down for a cookout on Saturday but she’s called me every day to tell me she’s not feeling well. Right. So she can’t handle having us over for dinner but she’s going to watch the boys all summer for me to work. Have I mentioned that she’s trying to guilt me into taking them out of school and letting her homeschool them? Apparently crazy runs in the family!

The boys pitched a fit when I told them they were spending the night at Grandma’s but for once I didn’t even care. When I dropped them off, my dad started lecturing me about time management and how I can work from home with them here if I just plan out my day and budget my time right. He’s not the only one that does it but it just pisses me off to no end. All I have to do is plan everything and use my time wisely. “Ok, boys, according to the schedule, this is Mommy’s work time. I really don’t care who’s hungry or thirsty or bleeding or throwing up or peed in your pants or needs help wiping your ass or anything else. For the next hour, you may play with Legos and nothing else. You may not show me what you’re working on, you may not ask me to help you, you may not tell me that your brother just swallowed a Lego and is turning blue, you may not speak to me at all. You may not ask permission to do something other than Legos…the schedule says Legos and that’s what you’re going to do while I work. If he has the Lego you want, I’m not going to mediate…the two of you can fight it out but remember that I don’t care who’s bleeding. You may not interrupt me for any reason. The doorbell? Nope. Sure, it might be one of your friends wanting you to come over to play which would help but it also might be someone wanting to talk to me and this is work time so I can’t allow any interruptions. Please try to refrain from jumping on the couch, swinging from the ceiling fan, and otherwise destroying things because this is work time and I can’t be stopping to fuss at you.” Yep….all I need to do is make a plan and put my foot down and stick to it. Oh, but don’t let me ask for help when they have ANYTHING to do around the house because apparently the same theory doesn’t apply to them. GRRRRRRR! We fought, I screamed, he told me to get out. Not like it’s the first time.

Apparently while we were fighting, Ex called and I didn’t hear the phone ring. He NEVER answers the phone when the boys call him. He doesn’t even call back when they leave him a message so that he knows it’s them and not me. But he goes nuts if I don’t pick up when he calls. So he sent me a really nasty text fussing about me not answering the phone and saying that he’s not going to take the boys this weekend because he’s leaving for Alabama tomorrow. I thought about replying with something passive aggressive like an offer to let him get them early so he could take them with him but I didn’t even bother. As scared as I am about starting the meds back, I was really kind of looking forward to starting them this weekend while the boys were with him. At least they should make me more mellow. And the way it went before, I really don’t feel good about starting when I’m here alone with the boys. I haven’t talked to Mom about all of that. She knows I went to see the shrink  to get antidepressants and she knows that I called her to come pick up the boys when the meds made me so stoned before but she doesn’t know he said bipolar or that it’s actually a cocktail of meds or that I stopped and need to start back or any of that.

While I was trying to decide how to answer Ex, Mom texted me to remind me that there’s a family reunion this weekend and I really “need” to go. And I need to get my shoes for the wedding so my aunt can take my measurements for the dress since the reunion is at her house. And mom (who talked me out of putting the boys in day camp because she can watch them for me every day this summer) has plans for the rest of this week so if I don’t want to take the boys shoe shopping with me, I need to do it before I pick them up tomorrow MORNING. Oh, and she needs a ride to the family reunion so instead of just going 15 miles from here to there, I “need” to go about 50 miles out of the way (each way) to pick her up and drop her off. How exactly do you kick someone out of your house and then 10 minutes later text them to say you’re too busy to keep the promise you made and oh yeah, you need a favor too?

I so want a drink right now but I’m afraid if I start I won’t stop and somehow I need to work at least 8 hours just to be caught up from the weekend, clean the entire house, and get enough sleep to be able to get up early in the morning and go shoe shopping, pick up the boys, have a pleasant cookout with my parents and pretend we’re one big happy family, then come back home and do tomorrow’s work with the boys here which is what started this whole mess to begin with. Sometimes I really hate my life.

Green Thumb pics

Growing up, my mom had a black thumb. Seriously, the woman killed an Aloe Vera plant and those are supposed to be damn near indestructible! Somehow after 20 years, about half of the azaleas that were in the yard when we moved into that house are still living (I think because she never prunes/waters/feeds or even LOOKS at them!!) but I never learned anything about gardening as a child. I do remember two or three years when we planted a garden and it was fun to decide what we wanted to plant and dig in the dirt but as I recall, most everything died or was eaten by the deer and rabbits and eventually we gave up.

When Ex and I bought our house, one of the neighbors brought me a potted plant and I managed to keep it alive (barely) for several years. I mostly watered it once a week but I frequently forgot. Several times we thought it was dead but with a little water it came back. It finally really really died not long before we split. Go figure. That little potted plant still wasn’t enough to make me overcome my fear of all things green…until this year.


So this is the “before” picture. It’s a cute house but boring. The “secret garden” is hiding behind those overgown bushes.



Meet “Charlie”…the rosebush that started it all. He looked a little like the Charlie Brown Christmas tree when I bought him on clearance in the garden center at Walmart of all places but he’s a fighter and I haven’t managed to kill him yet (3 weeks?)! You can’t see it in this pic but the tips of most of the petals are pink…simply beautiful! I can’t wait till he settles in and fills out a bit! I have no idea what kind of rose this is because it didn’t have a tag or label when I bought it. I guess we wait a year or so to see what he looks like as he matures.

This is Charlie’s little sister. After an awesome storm the other night, I decided to try again at digging out there and rewarded my efforts with another rosebush. Pork Chop and I were fond of the yellow and coral ones but Squirt insisted on hot pink so we gave in. This one doesn’t look like much (I think she’s been in the ground two days?) right now but it’s “flower carpet” and is supposed to spread out fast. If you look closely you can see a TON of tiny buds just about to bloom. I think next spring this one will be stunning. I actually wouldn’t mind having a few more of these if I can dig some more holes the next time it rains.


This little guy got beat up pretty bad in the same storm that gave birth to Charlie’s sister but I’m hoping he’ll bounce back. That corner only gets direct sun about half the day but I’m thinking it’s still a little much for all but the petunias. I might have to come up with something else over there but I’m holding off for now.



These hanging plants don’t seem to like the sun where they are right now either. Once I clean up around the new rosebush, I might move this hanger more into the shade or I might just replace those two with baskets of strawberries. They’re supposed to like the sun!


We got these little greenhouse starter kits (sunflowers, watermelons, and pumpkins) and the boys planted them inside. This sunflower was the first to sprout and I think it’s really cool how it grew on top of the soil. The seed was way in there when we planted it! There were four seeds in here but this was the only one doing anything. I moved this little peat pot outside right before the big storm and afterward I was pretty sure this guy was a goner but I noticed today that not only did he bounce back, but he’s got two friends as well. I know you’re supposed to “thin” out all but the strongest so they don’t have to compete for nutrients but I can’t bring myself to do it. I don’t care if they grow small…I just want all of them to grow! Two of the watermelons have finally sprouted on the windowsill too but it will be a little while before they can be moved outside.

This is actually my pride and joy. Like a dork I planted the flowers in this windowbox before I figured out that it won’t fit on my windowsill. I’m debating whether to try to drill holes in the brick and hang it that way (can you drill holes in brick????) or find some kind of stand that will hold this planter or try to replant these in a different container. I’m so proud of these because I just walked around the nursery picking out things that I thought would look good together and then arranged them myself and I think it turned out beautifully. Even for all the sewing I do, I tend to be scared of color and patterns. I rarely mix and match colors or fabrics and even my quilts tend to be very basic combinations. This was kind of scary but I LOVE the results!

This is Squirt’s project. When we were walking around the nursery, he was getting bored with me looking at everything and asking tons of questions but he fell in love with this curly-cue pepper so I bought it. What I thought was one really full plant turned out to be 4 little ones so I have no idea what we’re going to do with that many Cayennes but isn’t this guy cute? It’s starting to get just a little bit of color and there are two more little baby peppers on this plant. Two of the others have one big pepper each and a couple of babies and the last one just has a bunch of babies. I need to stake these because they’re all growing sideways like this but Squirt’s just fascinated with these. He checks on them at least hourly to see if they’re red yet and he’s driving me nuts wanting to taste one. I hope our watermelons, cantaloupes, pumpkins, cucumbers, carrots, and strawberries come in soon because I’m really not sure how much longer I can put him off!

I want to put some mandavilla or something and maybe a small flowerbed around my mailbox and maybe a butterfly bush on the opposite side of the driveway. We had a purple/orange bicolor butterfly bush at our old house and I miss it. I’ve also toyed with putting an island in the middle of the yard with one or two dogwoods surrounded by a flower bed but trees are so expensive and they take years to really get going…this is a rental after all. And of course, I’ll eventually get bored with this new hobby or everything will die without producing anything this year and I’ll get depressed and not want to do it again next year. We’ll see…I’m trying to make myself slow down for now. It’s supposed to be 100 degrees here on Wednesday so it’s getting a little late to plant much and it’s insane how much money I’ve spent on pots and soil and seeds and seedlings and planters and mulch and fertilizer and all of it. It is fun though!

Three days down….

Three days down, eight weeks to go! School got out on Thursday. So far we’re all surviving which is something but it’s going to be a long summer. Once again I’m trying to switch over to days and I’ve done pretty well this weekend about waking up in the morning and sleeping at night but the boys have kept me running all day and I’ve gotten no work done. It’s now 4a.m. and I want to sleep but I need to work so here I am doing neither. To be honest, I’m just enjoying the silence and “downtime”. When school is in, I spend 18 hours a day alone and quiet. When school is out, it’s constant, non-stop noise and motion and touching and “Mommy…mommy…mommy…” Even when it’s fun stuff (as opposed to getting into things and tearing things up and fighting and aggravating), it’s still draining.

I went back to the shrink last week. He was not happy that I had quit the meds and I wound up pitching a little temper tantrum and tearing into him. What exactly was I supposed to do? It’s utterly impossible to get through to the clinic between appointments so my options were A) keep taking the meds and risk the allergic reaction getting worse (death, anyone?), B) go sit in the parking lot at the clinic and stalk him (arrest? institutionalization?), C) go to the ER for a RASH (and run up thousands in medical bills, risk being hospitalized…what would happen to the boys then?) or D) quit the meds till I could talk to him again. He agreed that there’s no way to get in touch with him through the clinic so he gave me his personal e-mail address. It was a little awkward because he swore me to secrecy. It’s hard to explain…I’m glad he gave me a way to get in touch with him directly, but something felt weird about it. Let me rephrase that: something felt weird about the way he acted about it. Not anything I can put my finger on, but definitely keeping my guard up because there were alarm bells going off…that’s a whole post of its own though. Then again, I frequently get paranoid when I’m manic (and when I’m not) and maybe I’m just looking for an excuse for this not to work.

He told me to start back on the same meds as before which I’m not happy about. He said to start them one at a time at half the dose as before (which supposedly was already a “baby dose”) to watch for reactions. He also added another anti-psychotic to the cocktail which is insanely expensive but he gave me free samples. He said that I’ve GOT to get myself sleeping regularly whether it’s days or nights. He said that disruptions in sleep schedule is the absolute worst thing for people with bipolar. I need to be sleeping 6-7 hours at a stretch at the same time every night (as opposed to my normal routine of sleeping 2 hours at a time until I absolutely pass out and then sleeping the whole weekend when the boys are with their dad!) I haven’t started the meds back yet…I’ve got to get caught up at work first and make sure that the boys are taken care of in case it affects me the way it did before. If Ex gets them this weekend, I’ll probably start Wedensday or Thursday night and see how I do. I know that the way I’m feeling right now is mania (technically, hypomania) but when I’m feeling this way, it’s incredibly hard to make myself want to take drugs that will bring me down.


The secret garden is coming along nicely. I never do anything halfway (is that the mania or just “me”?) Somehow I went from wanting to plant one rosebush to spending a small fortune, hours of research, hours of labor…it’s become an obsession. I now have two rosebushes in the “flower bed”, an absolutely GORGEOUS window box (that I’m so proud of myself for planting on my own) that unfortunately won’t mount on any of my windows so I’ve got to figure out what to do with it, bunches of planters and pots full of flowers, sunflowers, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, watermelon, cantaloupe, pumpkins, and strawberries. I think that’s all so far. I think the birds got all the sunflower seeds I planted in the ground but there are three that I started in peat pots inside that are doing well. I’m going to try some watermelons and pumpkins in the ground to see how they do but so far I’ve done everything in containers. I’m not really hopeful that anything will grow in this clay but I figure it’s worth a try. I have a few friends who have done really well with container gardening and a few who have had no luck at all. It seems to me that the pots would just get too hot too quick and cook whatever’s inside but we’ll see.

I got watermelon and cantaloupe seedlings from a local nursery and they’re doing well (read: they’re still alive) so far so if each one produces one melon then the boys will be happy. The guy at the nursery lives in an apartment and does container gardening on his balcony so he gave me some tips. I read some things online about growing melons in containers and they talked about these elaborate setups of trellises and creating a hammock for the growing fruit but the guy at the nursery said he grows watermelon, cantaloupe, and pumpkins in fairly small containers and just lets the runners go over the side of the pot so that the fruit grows on the ground just like it normally would. That’s the method we’re going with! We also planted some watermelons and pumpkins from seeds but they haven’t sprouted yet. Oh and one of the 12 watermelons that the boys planted in peat pots just barely sprouted today…nothing at all from the pumpkins they started that way. I planted some strawberry seeds in a strawberry pot and also got some dormant bare-root strawberries which I planted in hanging pots…neither one is doing ANYTHING yet (it’s been like 4 days….come on already!!) Next time I go to the nursery, I think I’m going to get some “live” strawberries so we can have some instant gratification while we wait for ours to get going. The carrots and cucumbers I just planted last night so of course they’re not doing anything yet.

Squirt fell in love with a cayenne pepper plant at the nursery because he was fascinated with the curly peppers on it. I bought that for him and it turned out to be 4 little pepper plants. Three of them have fairly large peppers already and there are a bunch of little tiny ones. Every time the boys head outside to play, Squirt asks me if he can taste his peppers yet. Did I mention these are CAYENNE peppers? At least they’re not habaneros! I keep telling him we have to wait till the peppers turn red and these aren’t something you just eat plain but I know it’s only a matter of time…

Can’t win

I had a good time at the craft show on Saturday but I’m feeling a little buyer’s remorse and wishing I hadn’t spent the money on a couple of things. Plus it’s GA and once again my AC is only working off and on. Plus I’ve pretty much crashed from last week’s high and there’s some crap going on at work and I’m just not thrilled with life right now. This morning I woke up with a stomach bug and didn’t even take Pork Chop to school because I couldn’t get out of the bathroom long enough and now I’ve got a kickass headache, probably from dehydration. I go back to the shrink tomorrow and I’m totally stressed about that because I want to feel better and do better but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life on medication and I’m literally scared after what happened with the meds this last time. So overall, I’m just not happy with life today.

My sister, the princess, is getting married in September. She asked me to be a bridesmaid. Yippee freaking Skippy. I am so not into that kind of thing. I’ve never been a bridesmaid. The reason Ex and I were engaged for two years before we got married is because we both refused to plan the wedding. We just didn’t care. Every time we mentioned going to the JP, both of our mothers freaked out and said we had to have a real wedding but they refused to plan it because it should be what we wanted and we refused to plan it because we just didn’t care. We finally wound up going to a little wedding in a box chapel in Gatlinburg. One of my girlfriends from school was my maid of honor…I really don’t even remember how that came about. I don’t really remember asking her…it was just kind of assumed that she would do it. I didn’t care what she wore so she borrowed a dress from her sister and I told the chapel to work the colors around that. My sister and one of my cousins did plan a shower for me and my sister made sure the whole freaking world knew that she was doing that for me even though I didn’t ask her to be a bridesmaid. Oops. Of course, the day of the shower, she didn’t speak ONE. SINGLE. WORD to me. But that was my fault because I’m a bitch.

So a while back she texted me a pic of her ring and told me it was official. I replied to her text and also congratulated her on FB and told her to let me know if she needed any sewing or anything. No thank you…no reply at all. She wants the boys to be ring bearers so I’m supposed to pay $80 each to RENT their suits! Plus whatever it winds up costing for my dress, shoes, hair, nails, etc. Her wedding is going to wind up costing me more than mine did!! I have ABSOLUTELY no desire to be a bridesmaid and let’s face it, she doesn’t want me to either…she just wants to show everyone that she’s a better sister than me because she asked me. I think she secretly hopes I’ll say no so she can play that up. I’ve been seriously considering telling her I just don’t want to do it but I don’t really want to deal with the backlash from that so I’m going along for now. Pork Chop is super shy and says he doesn’t want to be a ring bearer. I told her that the day she asked me but she went forward as if he were going to do it. Every time she or my mom mentions it, he goes nuts saying he won’t but mom keeps saying he’ll come around. I’m scared to death that he’s going to make a scene and refuse to walk down the aisle that day and of course, that will be my fault too. Oh and she scheduled the wedding on Ex’s weekend…when I told her I couldn’t commit the boys until I talked to him, she said she knew it was his weekend but then got attitude about it. Remember a couple of years ago when she wanted to take them to a baseball game and the laser show on his weekend? I told her he was being a jerk and she said she didn’t care….right up until he called her making threats and then it was all my fault. I wound up with the cops on my doorstep on Saturday morning…catching hell from them, from Ex, and from the princess and my mom because apparently I intentionally tried to ruin her plans with the boys. For now, Ex has said he’s fine with skipping that weekend but who knows what will happen between now and then. Whatever it is will be my fault though.

So mom got a computer virus this weekend which of course means I’m supposed to drop everything and go down there to fix it for her. Nevermind that she’s NEVER available when I need ANYTHING…I damn well better be there when she calls. When my dad was still working and needed the computer for that, I did come running every time she had a problem but he’s retired now. They play solitaire and she uses FB. Sorry but that’s a pretty low priority for me right now. I told her I’d get down there when I could but I wound up having to rush home from the craft show to meet the AC guy and then I worked all day yesterday. She texted me this afternoon to tell me nevermind, she took it to Best Buy to get it fixed since I can’t be bothered. I should have known better than to call her back. She started in on me about how nice it was of me to offer to do some sewing for my cousin’s wedding but how come I haven’t done the same for my own sister. Umm…I HAVE!!! I just didn’t advertise it to the whole world because that’s not the kind of person I am. She said I haven’t even asked to see my sister’s ring. I didn’t have to…she rubbed the damn thing in my face as soon as she got it! And I congratulated her and complimented her…both publicly and privately. Do I enjoy hearing how in love she is and how perfect her life is and how shitty mine’s turned out in comparison? Not particularly…but I’ll play along. She’s working for a family law firm now and EVERY time I’m around her she goes on and on and on about the selfishness and immaturity and whatever of divorced people. And I bite my tongue till it bleeds. But I’m just a selfish bitch like that. So I let mom rant and scold me for being a lousy sister and then tore into her about how much I’m dreading that day and I have no desire to be a bridesmaid. I don’t care anything at all about spending several hundred dollars for a stupid dress that I’ll never wear again and getting all dolled up and getting up in front of everyone and the whole stupid mess. I just REALLY don’t want to do it. It’s not me. So she fussed at me that if I didn’t want to do it, I shouldn’t have said yes. I told her if I’d said no, she’d have said that was rude and fussed at me about that. She admitted she would and it’s selfish of me to not WANT to do this for my sister. Let me get this straight….I’m doing “the right thing” but you STILL want to bitch at me because I’m not going to LIKE doing it? I can’t freaking win!!! I told her that as bad as I’m feeling and as swamped as I am with everything, I’ve spent half the day today on the phone and e-mail with another one of the bridesmaids making plans for a shower for my sister. Oh…well she didn’t know that. OF COURSE she didnt!! I do nice things and keep my damn mouth shut about them! I don’t need to go post all over FB and tell the whole world what I’m doing. She kept pushing and picking until I finally just hung up on her. I swear it doesn’t matter what I do, it will NEVER be right and it will NEVER be enough. I would love nothing more than to move a thousand miles from here and completely break off contact with everyone but I don’t do that. I stick around here even though I hate it. I put up with their bullshit even though I don’t deserve it. And I get even more shit for sticking around.