February 1, 2004

I've started this column several different times, but only ended up boring myself, so I knew it would be rough for you folks.  Eric has been wonderful about keeping my apron strings untied this week, doing a lot of the cleaning and giving me plenty of nap time.  This week, we are starting a major undertaking with the house.  The walls desperately need to be painted, so we're going to get some heavy duty latex and cover all of the candle smoke stains, handprints and ball point pin marks (Nathan's earlier days).  Once that's done (I'm thinking a day of painting for the two of us), the really big job starts, which is to rip up the carpeting in the living room, dining room and hallway.  One of our neighbors mentioned to Eric that the contractor who built these houses in the 1950's went bankrupt on the project because they insisted on using the finest hardwood flooring.  If their home is any indication, it's true.  So I got curious and pulled up a corner (not as easy as it sounds) of our really, really crappy carpeting and wow!  The floor did not disappoint!  It's a really lovely, rich flooring that I fully intend to exploit.  It's going to take some work, not just in moving furniture and pulling up (not to mention finding a place to PUT the old carpet after), but also in prying up the wooden slats around the perimeter of the room that tack the carpet into place, not to mention scraping up all of the carpet padding that will have adhered to the wood surface.  We'll likely have to roughen the wood and gym coat it, but that can come later.  ANYthing will look better than this horrible carpet.  I detest carpet in a major way and this is the cheapest, shittiest stuff you can buy.  It sucks up every stain (we've lived here for 3 years) and keeps it as its own, no matter how much blotting and vinegaring you do.  To me, carpet, is the epitome of the unclean, no matter who you are.  It sucks up every fart, burp, shoe scum, dog smell, cat barf, insect, mold, mildew and other nastiness known to man.  Rugs I can handle (toss them into the washer), but carpets are the sources of all that is stinky and evil. 

Two years ago, we had a major flood under our house.  Gallons and gallons of water were pumped out and flooded down the street into a huge lake.  This year, last month, in fact, a pipe broke in the wall of our kitchen and flooded under the house again, although not as bad.  All of this water has left the carpet a little mildewy as well.  I very much look forward to getting rid of the carpet because regardless of what I find underneath and the amount of time and energy it takes to restore it, it's got to be better than this carpet.  I've walked the floor carefully and there is only one place, near the table, where the wood flooring his popped up a bit.  Wish me luck, folks.  Unless Eric gets some incredibly job offer this week, he's not working much this week, so I'll have plenty of help.  By the end of the week, I should have a whole new house, for better or worse, with very little monetary investment on my part.  Change is good, especially at this time of year.  I'm ready to have my outer environment herald in the changes I've felt inside and want to make manifest in my world in the coming year.

Two goals have come starkly into focus for my year and I'm wholly dedicated to bringing them into fruition by October 31st (end of the harvest).  One is my weight loss.  I'm ten pounds down in a month and have about 80-90 to go.  It's going to be a hell of a trek, but I'm completely invested in (finally) doing it.  The first month has been easy overall and I have succeeded despite eating all out what I wanted a few times and not exercising anything even close to what I should have.  To me, that's a complete Universal endorsement of what I'm doing, so I'm going to stick to it.  Allowing for plateaus (like this week), I expect to be down about 50 pounds or more by Halloween.  More would be great.  Finished would be better.

The other goal is financial security and prosperity.  The field in which my husband is trained (all forms of telecommunication) is very unstable and it seems as if as soon as he gets a job, he gets laid off a few months later and we're back in the danger waters again.  The companies are going under faster than he can get hired by them.  This year, he changed his focus a bit and rather than his usual job of setting up cell phone relay stations, working on telephone network circuitry and installing satellite tracking equipment, he and two of his friends, who are trained in the same field as he is, have been working to start their own company installing systems into buildings under construction (fire systems, security systems, voice and data - phone, computer, cable - systems, home theater systems).  They haven't had much luck so far, but this week, they will be going in to sign their first major contract.  It's for a housing development and will provide steady work for them for a few months, during which time, they hope to secure another contract or two.  They won't start work until the end of March and won't get paid for the first time until the end of April (in construction, you work for 30 days, invoice the contractor, then get paid 30 days later).  That seems forever away, but at least we know there's an end in sight.  We just have to get past the next two months and we should be safe again.  He'll be getting paid a little bit less than he was making at his last job, but that's considerably more than we're making now and we've gotten accustomed to living on less, so it will feel like a lot more.  The biggest challenge will be getting caught up on the bills and out of the hole. 

He has received his last Unemployment check, so it really is in God's hands now.  I did our taxes yesterday and found out that we will get enough of a return to make March's rent, so that's definitely a good thing.  Since he had drawn so much unemployment, I was afraid we might actually owe.  That was quite a relief.  A man Eric and his friend, Mike, have done some work for owes them about $2500, but is making all kinds of excuses for why he can't pay them, so when he comes through with that (hopefully without the guys having to bring even more pressure to bear), we can likely fill in the blanks.  My point is (and there's a point to this), that there are a lot of inroads to miracles and I plan to pave each and everyone in my off duty time.  :)  When I look back, I can't believe we've made it as far as we have.  THAT is nothing short of a miracle, so based on results, (Dr Phil moment) I have no reason to believe otherwise for the future. 

Tomorrow, I register Nathan for preschool that is starting March 1st.  He is going to love it.  I am going to love it.  It's a good thing.

It's a very, very good thing.

Other than the pending ripping apart of my house and continued faith walk, there's very little going on.  I am backed up on book reviews (I review books for publishers and get to keep the book in return, another of the miracles the Universe sent my way since I have a real weakness for books) and have about 50 or so to do.  I've already included over 90 on The Diva Digest (a few done by others) and I want to lay about 15 or so to rest this week.  I really enjoy doing it and love getting the new books.  Some day, I want to go through and count up all of the free books, calendars, tarot decks and date books I've gotten.  :)  It's like counting my golden coins.  In lieu of that, books, etc will do nicely. 

I also want to update The Diva Digest's other bits this week since its been forever.  Eye on Soaps takes so much daily work that DD tends to turn into the forgotten child, even though it's one of my favorite efforts.  It will be fun to spend some time with her this week.

For now, I leave you with some funnies, compliments of my son, David.  Click on them to enlarges:



Pirate Keyboard

Cheers, All,