July 29, 2003

I am giving myself the gift of an hour to write this all out before I go mad with a three solid hour stint of intensive housecleaning.  I tried to get to the computer all day yesterday, but never seemed to make it. 

The weekend was wonderful, calm and relaxing.  We had a lovely early new moon meeting on Saturday and it was great to be around kind, fun people for a few hours.  (Not that Eric isn't kind or fun,  but more that there were a few of them and it was a really nice time). 

Yesterday, again, was quiet and the most adventurous we got was to go to the pool for a couple of hours.  It was our big $13 expenditure.  We have gone a few times this year, but not recently, for obvious financial reasons.  The kids love it.  Eric and Delena are both fantastic swimmers, high dive quality, but I sink like a stone, so I tend to hang out in the shallow section with the two little boys.  It's never a hassle and they are always exceptionally well behaved and have a blast.  I got a very slight burn that is just a bit itchy, but as usual, the kids didn't even pink at all.  They have the sturdiest skin I've ever seen, but then, so does Eric.

It must have been gang day at the pool.  Everyone who was there had giant tattoos and lots and lots of scars.  One guy had "White Pride" emblazoned across his back and another had a tattoo that said, "Crips Forever."  A grandpa looking man of generous proportions (he actually looked quite a bit like Chef Paul Prudhomme - to a really freaky degree.  In fact, I'm not completely sure it wasn't Chef Paul Prudhomme) had an obvious gunshot wound to his mid-thorax with a huge vertical scar running from about his pubic bone, through the gunshot wound up to his upper chest.  He also had multiple stab wounds (looked to be a good sized butcher knife).  He was with the Crips guy and their family, it appeared.  Lots and lots of kids were there and it seemed like every adult, male and female, had a lower back tattoo. 

I felt sorrowfully out of place considering my limited gang experience.  Wretched AF and suburban life.

Obviously, I'm jesting.  I in no way regret my sheltered life.

Yesterday was such a challenging mess.  First off, Eric went to work and finalized the inspection on the new VA hospital at Mather.  He was the one who installed the nurse call system and it passed with flying colors.  He then had to go up into the hills to a new school that's going up to work on installing their alarm and voice/data systems and on the way up, he very nearly blew the radiator.  He figured the thermostat had gone out on the car, which isn't expensive or complicated to fix, but could definitely cause big problems and at best, leave him stranded far from home.  It was about 106 degrees outside and our car has no AC.  He managed to make it home and pulled up with the water flowing and boiling out from under the hood in a flood.  He had to immediately leave again to go off with his business partners to install some smoke alarm systems and didn't get in until 9pm.  He was broken and defeated and exhausted by the time I saw him again.  He has been fasting since Saturday night (he does this every few months) and I know that was wearing him down. 

His last unemployment check still has not arrived and usually comes on Friday.  He called the office and they could tell him it had not yet been sent, but not why it hadn't been sent until the 30th.  ?!  That is a substantial part of our income (he still has 2 weeks before he's paid for returning to his old job and the business has not yet turned a profit) and for it to be held up is a definite crisis.  While I can take all of this in stride, the frustration from outside influences hitting us from all sides.  If it's not one thing, it's six others.  Half the time, I feel like I want to sream at the world to just leave us alone for a while.  Rest seems so far away and although I am feeling much better after getting good sleep at night, I still would give anything to be able to relax and not have to constantly have to figure out how to handle the next four financial crises.  It's as though last year, I had to learn not to worry and this year I have to constantly multitask on problem solving.  So it's not the stress so much that's wearying, but the constant mental activity of having to come up with a strategy on the spot to handle whatever new challenge has presented.  Of course, I have unavoidable bills that the unemployment check was set to cover, so now there is a mad, insane scramble to come up with ways to handle them. 

So that is the extent of my whining for today.  As I said, I'm going to work like mad on the house and laundry so I can go to bed tonight feeling like I accomplished something, even if the bills aren't paid.  While I have to wonder if it will ever end, if I'll ever be able to relax and not wonder if the checking account has enough in it to do all it needs to do, at the same time, I know that even if it never ends, I have a blessed life.  Reminding myself of that is what keeps me going when things get tough.

One major blessing is that my kids have been angels for days and days now.  I'm not sure what aliens possessed them, but they've been super sweet and cuddly and well behaved.  That has made the going much softer than it could have been otherwise. 

My kids start back to school on August 11th!!  My lord, that sounds soon!  They've not even been out for 2 months!  I don't feel like I got enough time with them.  So it will only be Nathan and Mama at home since Dylan will be going to 1st grade and a full day of school.  l really wanted to get him into a preschool this year because he is really pulling at the reins to go to school, but that's going to have to wait until more money shows up.  Out here, it's expensive and we don't qualify for head start.  What would I do with time... alone?  It's mind boggling to think about it.  Also, we'd have to resolve the 1 car issue, so I'm not completely sure it's going to happen.  I know he will really, really miss Dylan.  They're very close and Dylan really keeps him entertained.

My Delena will be a big 6th grader.  I can't imagine her in Jr High next year!  Damn, it seems like I just got her and she's almost grown!  I wanted to also share that she DID get her manicure and was just so thrilled.  As it turned out, a GUY did it and she was just melting.  I told her I didn't imagine many of the 10-year-olds in her school had earned a manicure and that it made her so special!  She still checks out her fingernails a few times a day.  :)  For breaking the thumb habit, she still has two more manicures coming (I figured 3 months would be plenty of time to consider the habit completely conquered), but while she was there, she watched while a woman got a pedicure and said, "I want THAT," so she's going to combine the two manicures into one pedicure next month.  She has definitely earned it, working so hard to stop sucking her thumb.  Habits are hard to break as an adult and I expect it's even worse as a child (I never bothered breaking any of my bad habits, so I can only speculate).

As the picture at the top of this journal entry shows, I'm really feeling out on a limb lately.  I'd love to feel some stable ground and every time I think I am there, I feel the sides dissolving yet again and find myself back on the branch.  If nothing else, I'm getting really good at the balancing act.  Maybe it's still the "Pirates of the Caribbean" effect, but it kind of feels like walking the plank.  : P

Who knows...

Maybe I'll fly.  :)

Much love,


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