Thursday, April 16, 2015


1)JR needs a tutor for chemistry so she at least passes the damned SOL, and I have paid for one, but the tutor didn't get in touch with me, and is now saying she can't start till the 23. Another tutor will be found by the agency, but we've lost time already!

2)Having ballet class at the recreation center means open enrollment and another blasted ringer has shown up. Clearly had professional training, perhaps experience, and belongs in our class like a fish does on a bike. Plus a second girl, who also seems to have had some training, and put on a flippy little ballet skirt for the floor section of the program. Gag!

3)The Man got pissed at me because I had the nerve to suggest we get rid of some Time Life cookbooks that we haven't used for years. Some were Nanay's, but I'm not sure SHE used them, and I could use the space for other books of hers. He sulked through Monday, stressed JR out  that night, and I got called in the middle of a program Tuesday because she was in the nurse's office with a panic attack. Had to go home, and ended up missing 1/2 day's work, which meant I am behind on even more things at work.  And the Man got off scot free, because she wouldn't tell him she was upset. I get dumped on by her. He gets her kissy-kissy Audrey Hepburn routine.

4)Shut off some of the notices from Redfin, and am telling myself NOT to look at houses. Because there's one I want, that has everything we want, is a reasonable distance from JR's school, has a kitchen I'd love to remodel, and doubtless it will sell within days. As I wait for my brother and his asshat lawyer to settle the estate.

5)I weeded some of my library garden, and whatever plant in there I'm allergic too is giving me hives again. The only good thing is that they seem mild, and Benadryl at night also seems to be helping me sleep well for a chance.

6) Last, but not least. I mustered my wits, plucked up my courage, and sent in a colon screening kit, and am waiting for results. I know they should be fine, but I haven't done it in 2 years and 2 of my great-aunts died of this, long ago. And there are still a mammogram and blood tests to be done if this is okay.......

In short, this has been a short work week, but an annoying one, and I would like to stay home tomorrow and do nothing.

But instead, I'll run errands all day.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Still Looking

Someone bought my house--though since the sales seem to keep falling through, we'll see if it takes this time.

I'm not as upset as I could be, because I drove to see it and discovered it was in a neighborhood inaccessible by bus.  JR has just started stepping out on her own by bus--and it was a good 1/2 mile to the nearest main street with a bus line. She'd have needed to take the school bus, and if she didn't make it, it would have taken her 2 buses and a walk to get home.  And that walk would have been along a large wooded park. Not where I want my very slight, pretty nearly 16 year old walking on her own.

It would have been too far from the stores we need.  Too far from the highways, which would have made it hard for the Man and SC to commute to work and school. A longer commute for me, for that matter. Far from the bike paths the Man likes to use on weekends.

The thing is, that we live in a popular area for home. Though there are THOUSANDS of houses in the nearby area for sale, in our small city, within school range, within our price budget, there never seem to be more than 10 to 20 for sale, and most of them are not what we need. Or want.

Either our house isn't really out there, someone has bought it already (and several I would have wanted have gone that way) or it still hasn't arrived. But then, neither have all of our needed funds.
Thanks to my brother's asshat lawyer, the process of getting my parents' estate settled has dragged.

It may not be meant to be. I may have to endure the Queen of Vulgaria and the Pug Lady and the clutter of the Man's things spread across this house for some time to come.

But I don't want to say goodbye to this house without the girls still here. After doing so for my parents, and the Man's, I want us to all move out together from this house with all its memories, and move into another home that will not seem totally foreign to the girls when they have gone from home.

And I can't help feeling that after all the sad times over the last few years, having a new home with the space we need, with the tranquility I crave, would really make a difference in my life. It wouldn't bring back what we've lost, but it would be something good coming from all that has been bad.

So I'm still looking. Still hoping.

Monday, April 06, 2015


I was reading a column in the Washington Post today about someone who has lost friends, pets and a job in recent times and is having trouble dealing with the sorrow. And I get it.

In the past 3 years I have lost father-in-law, father, beloved cat, other beloved cat and my mother. My brother has been effectively lost to me for years.

I have spent months clearing away my parents' home. I have basically lost the ability to call the city I still love passionately "home."   I love my adopted home town, but it is that--an adopted home.

Someone commented on the article about people who let their sorrow overwhelm them. Who hold onto it,don't want to move past it.

I wondered if that was me. I don't think it's so, though.

I have work I love. family I love, the everyday goodness of life to rejoice in. And for the most part I do.
I want to be glad for the things I have. 

And yet, sorrow sweeps over me, drowning me at times.  This morning, instead of being in ballet class I was on the couch, weeping, with Bruce in my lap and Molly nearby, seeming to understand the sadness in my heart.

I want this to go and leave me be.
But it won't.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

The House

I think I've found my house.
I've never been inside, but I've been looking at it on line for days.

It's got 4 bedrooms. The master bedroom is apparently an upstairs loft, and there are two decent sized rooms for the girls on the main floor, and another, smaller room that could be a den for the Man, for some of his books and things and perhaps a desk.

There's a full sized basement. Lots of room for everything the Man has in storage, and for the bookcases crowding our living/dining room.

There are 4 bathrooms. I'd settle for 2, one more than we have now, but the girls could each have one.

The kitchen looks a lot like ours. White cabinets. A blue counter that I'd love and nice tile backsplash. Not as well laid out, and no glass cabinets for my plates, but there's a gas cooktop. I don't mind a wall oven--we had that, long ago, and a stove can always be replaced.

There's a fireplace in the living room. And a large screen porch that opens to the kitchen. Room for our swing and for a table and chairs for eating on warm nights, Outside there is a small patio with room for more chairs and for my grill.

There's a garage for the Man's car and our bikes, and a drive with parking for my car and SC's. It's on a hill, which won't make it fun in winter, but we'd manage.

There are trees. A lovely wooded area, with privacy, and lots of places for bird feeders and for a shade garden. Privacy. No close by neighbors. No Vulgaria with her gas grill and her loud friends. No pug dogs yapping at us as we come home. The peace and quiet I used to feel where we are, and no longer do.

Its biggest disadvantage is that it would mean a bus ride for JR to school and less convenience for the rest of us. Right now we have easy access to the highways. I have a 10 minute local commute. It would be more driving for us all.

The price is okay. This area is pricey, but for what we'd get, it would be worth it.

But I am in limbo. There is money in my mother's estate account and more coming. But it's not all settled and I'd have to deal with that.

And then there is our current townhouse. We can't sell it with all our stuff in it. It needs to be emptied. The floors need redoing, the rest of the bathroom needs tiling and there's other stuff to be done.

Houses sell quickly, so quickly in this area. I want to call and see this one, but I am just not sure I can pull this off.

I am clinging to the fact that, good librarian that I am, I have looked at the records on this house, and the owner is apparently retired to Florida and may be reluctant to sell. The house has gone on and off the market several times over the last year or two.

Perhaps the house that is waiting for us.  Perhaps this is the one that will be the one that is so wonderful we can say goodbye to our dear home of 20 years and move.


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Fear of Flying

Not the novel. The real thing.

I used to fly back in the late 80s/early 90s.  I flew to England and home from France. I used to fly regularly between NYC and DC back when People Express (may they rest in peace) had cheap flights and the Man was in DC and I was still in NYC.

The last time I flew was in 1990, from DC to Boston so I could spend a week on Cape Cod with my parents.  After that I had kids, and no money and no need to travel.

And then came September 2001.

I've written many times here about 9-11, about how we live just a mile or two from the Pentagon. About how I used to cringe for months afterwards at the sound of a plane overhead, at the sight of a plane flying above me in a clear blue sky.

Now, in college, SC has been involved in forensics--the debating kind, not the crime kind. Her team went to Chicago a few weeks ago. And they flew. Her first time in an airplane. She was thrilled.

I was terrified. And next week she's flying to Cleveland and I'm scared again. And that was before the German airline crashed in the Alps.

It was full of students. I think of those terrified people on that plane. I think of SC, and I want to scream and beg her not to go, because I won't feel safe until her plane touches down at Dulles the following week.
It's nutty of course. But I've spent the last few years going from family disaster to family disaster and it haunts me.

JR is scared of flying too. I am not sure why--she says it's NOT because of crashes, but because of airsickness. I wonder though.

It is ironically far cheaper to fly between DC and Toronto, or Buffalo, than it is to take Amtrak to NYC.
I want to go to Buffalo and see the Man's oldest brother, and our cousin. I want to go to upstate New York and see my unrelated sister, and her husband and her girls.  It's a long trip up there, and flying to Buffalo would save us two days to spend instead with our loved ones. We could just fly one way and rent a car and drive home.

It makes sense, but it scares me.

But we may very well do it. And I will hold tightly on to JR's hand and together we will face our fears.....

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Queen of Vulgaria

I've had many derisive nicknames for our next door neighbor, but this is the one that I've come to use regularly.

The Queen moved in about a year ago. The renters she replaced were awful and nasty, and she's not that way at all. That's her only good point. 

The Queen set up a little overdone Martha Stewart wannabe paradise next door. Inside it's all perfect decor. That's bad enough, but I'm used to being a 53 year old living in what looks like a bookstore/junk store. I'm not happy about it, but that's how it is.

It's the patio that pisses me off. It's all goshdarn perfect, and it makes my patio look shabby.

My beloved patio that the Man and I worked so hard to renovate after the tree was removed, the one where we literally removed 2 TONS of brick, and spent a lot of money to get them relaid! The patio where we set up our lovely porch swing, that  looks weather beaten next to her pretty-pretty couches. The patio where the dull brown umbrella the Man selected looks boring, while she has a pretty floral design.

The Queen sits out there on a regular basis, often with loud friends, having a merry old time.
She cooks on a propane grill, which she set up in the bend closest to the house, so the smells travel into the mutual breezeway and into our bedrooms. Why the feck does anyone bother to cook outdoors on a gas grill anyway, when there's a stove inside?
I will give a pass to a certain Knight in Tarnished Armor because he CAN cook. But Vulgaria also now subscribes to a stupid thing called "Blue Apron", which sends her two boxes a week of meals where everything is prepped and chopped and measured. In other words, she can't cook. Snort..
If we had a fence, it might not be so bad. But our well meaning former neighbor put in some ugly arborvitae shrubs to appease the renters from Hell, and they have not spread as she thought they would. There are big gaps in the divide between our units, and we are not allowed to use fencing.

I have no privacy out there.

This is why I hate the Queen of Vulgaria with all my heart and soul. 
Because it was a place I was able to furnish the way I wanted it to be furnished. No bookcases, no belongings of the Man get out there. He's not into outdoor life anyway.

It was MY place, my only truly "happy place," and now I can't enjoy it most of the time.

I hate her. I truly hate her.

And the Man should appreciate that. Because instead of being angry at him all the time for the condition of our home, I can be angry at her instead.

Friday, February 27, 2015


Dear Mom and Dad,

I was on the sofa with the family last night, and the Jeopardy question listed the 5 stages of grief, the last two being "depression" and "acceptance."

With you gone a year and a week, Mom, and you almost 3 (!) years , Daddy, I supposed I should be at "acceptance."

But I'm not.

I'm still at "depression" I think, and there's still "anger" left.  Hell, I'm still angry that Nanay left us and that's going on 7 years ago. Seven years!

I packed up your apartment. I scattered your ashes at sea.
But there is a piece of me that will never, ever accept that you are gone, I think.

Love you. Miss you.