Saturday, December 31, 2016

Another year ends, the wheel turns.

How fitting that on the last night of this horrendous year that at least in San Diego it will rain in the later hours of the night. There were many things that happened this year that shocked the world, changed people's lives and perhaps shifted our way of thinking.
What has been lost cannot be regained, days, lives, moments. Though we wish we could reboot the year, make it a year that we could say was a good one, it is done. Time for us to try and make the next one better. Some things are out of our control, the deaths of loved ones or people we never knew, we have no way of predicting or stopping. As much as we have dreams of superpowers, of turning back time, as real humans in this world, we must shoulder the bad and look to a hopefully better year.
There are several quotes from famous works that all speak of the tears shed from injustice, pain, loss and suffering. They are all the words of grief and release.
What we must do now is let the rain wash our own tears away, the collective anguish and perhaps a bit of the tears of joy as well.
There was much to be happy about this past year, even though we have forgotten it given the burden of the sorrow that came with it.
I'll leave you with one quote that came to my mind and could get hold of the quickest. J. Michael Straczynski, oft misspelled name but some of the best writing on Babylon 5.

Centauri Emperor: "No regrets then?"
Sheridan: "A few. But just a few. You?"
Centauri Emperor: "Oh, enough to fill a lifetime. So much has been lost, so much forgotten. So much pain, so much blood. And for what, I wonder. The past tempts us, the present confuses us, and the future frightens us. And our lives slip away, moment by moment, lost in that vast terrible inbetween. But there is still time to seize that one last fragile moment. To choose something better, to make a difference, as you say. And I intend to do just that." 
 
For those that know the show well, the images for that scene are embedded with the quote. The Centauri emperor  had seen his people enslaved, killed and his people fight among themselves for power. He did not survive to try and make a difference.
 
May we all find the fragile moments, be something better, and make a difference, even if it is on a personal level, it will be a change for good.
The balance of life happens, swinging one direction then another. Maybe, just maybe the coming year will see the balance return.
 
May it truly be a Happy New Year.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Well here it is September..

We've been at our new place for three months exactly.
We're settled in for the most part. All but a few boxes have been emptied and taken away. New couch is installed, all the furniture is in their place and we're down to a routine now. The commute is again, not so bad as long as I can get a ride on Sundays. Which didn't happen a week ago and let's just say I don't want to do that again. Door to door it took me two and a half hours to get home. I have a walk to the bus stop of about a mile according to Google Maps. In good condition, it's not hard, but recently my feet have been hurting more and doing research, I figured out I have plantar fasciitis in my right foot. Very painful to walk without support. I got new boots and got some arch support and padded inserts and it's helping along with doing the stretches recommended on various sites about it. What I really need to do is lose about ten to fifteen pounds. I'm working on that too.

Good news though, I got new glasses! Downside, which I suspected somehow, my left eye has the start of cataracts. No glaucoma thankfully, but there is a floater in the left eye as well so at this point, the cataracts can be managed with new prescription but nothing to be done about the floater. Right eye hadn't changed that much actually which is odd. Most of my accidents and issues have all been on my right side.
The cost of my glasses after insurance pretty much ate up the rest of my reserves.  I'm thankful I had that reserve though but discovered that I forgot to pay something important way back in April. State taxes. I had planned on having it taken out automatically but didn't know when the Federal would go through. So kept watching for that and then we decided to move and..... it kind of slipped through the cracks. So now got the notice that I'll have it taken out of my paycheck which will suck but I've managed before.
So, after floating on a good cushion of cash for about four months, back down to subsistence level. Ups and downs, it's all a balance.
Speaking of that, Amber is doing well as she has a new boyfriend now that is still working nicely. Have yet to meet him but heard him on the phone the other night when she called with her semi-regular updates. Got to see the grandkids over the summer and hung out with Ava and Devon at the county fair on the Forth of July.  Haven't heard personally from Devon since then. Seen him post on Facebook and nudged him about getting together for dinner with Amber and her boyfriend but that's about it.

 I started following a group on Facebook called Art Abandonment, and it's all about just that. Leaving pieces of art or creative bits randomly and anonymously (mostly) all over the world. I feel kind of unartistic compared to some of the things people are doing, but then saw a few others that did leave jewelry and didn't feel so bad.
My travel is rather limited being on the bus, but there are the bus stops and one is in the middle of UCSD campus so I left one of my ribbon bookmarks there for someone to find. Since I can't sell any of my things in a timely fashion, giving it away is the next best thing.
I did finish a somewhat involved commission Earrings to match necklaces and repairing one of the necklaces, so getting my head wrapped in that and coming up with some appropriate designs was a challenge.(pictures to be forwarded and items sent at end of the week hopefully).

Now that's all done, I have to start thinking about other projects and... dunh dunh dunnnn Christmas presents!
I am knitting a lot more with the long bus rides so getting some scarves done, but would also like to do more of my ornaments. I've made almost twenty of them over the past few years and have given away most of them. Only about eight or ten left now and have more blank ornaments than I know what to do with.  Well I know what to do with them it's a matter of getting it done. Like always.
So that's about it, managing mischief and keeping head above water.




Thursday, June 9, 2016

Almost settled in

Moving was hectic as expected, took longer than we thought and I'm thankful for the people that came and helped.
Monday morning Katie woke before me and went to get breakfast for us. I took a bite or two of the breakfast panini but wasn't interested. Got up, got dressed and stripped my bed and packed the bedding away.
I went out and fixed coffee while Katie went to with one of the guys to go get the truck. She reserved it for 9 am, but it was through a liquor store so they don't open early... she finally got back with a 17 foot truck.
So, I drank some coffee since I knew I needed the energy and made a big mistake. I didn't eat enough to cushion the coffee and a half hour later couldn't stand up due to feeling dizzy. Years ago I discovered I can't have large doses of aspirin because it thins my blood too much and makes me dizzy. Yep. Same effect. I usually have about a third of a cup in the morning with double that of creamer. I usually eat some food that counters it as well, I had a half cup of coffee, bigger than the usual cup I use.
I had to sit on a chair and directed the helping crew what needed to go or stay, be a mom to one of the younger guys and tell him not to lift things bigger than he can carry.
It took three hours or so for them to completely pack the truck which was about the same amount of time for the effect of the coffee to wear off. I also ate the rest of my sandwich which did help a little.
The truck was packed tight like a Tetris board and we took a break to go have lunch.  Food helped, The Habit burgers were great for everyone.
We had to split up the crew since only two extra people could fit in the truck and two people had to leave, (Katie's sister and her husband). The two remaining guys didn't have cars so I went with Katie's mom and stepdad to get a pickup and extra dollies while she drove the truck to the new place.
Let's just say that unpacking the truck was just as chaotic but in reverse.
There was still lots of stuff left back at the apartment that never got in boxes, so when Katie realized it was past our turn in time for the truck she decided to take it back instead of keeping it for another day.  Bad choice she admitted later.
We made five more trips in her car over the next two days. Tuesday night Amber was able to come and help us with what space she had in the van, that helped immensely. Katie's mom was able to come Wednesday morning and load some of the smaller stuff and the vacuum.
Wednesday morning we also had to go get a new vacuum. The old one burned out the belt just vacuuming one room.
It was exhausting but some of the best times spent with my best friend.
The new place is a bit smaller, configured differently but we're slowly getting settled in. Ikea is our new place of choice for furniture. And other stuff.

The commute for me is not so bad going to the nursery four days a week. Going to the fabric store is a little more involved.
We are right in the heart of Mira Mesa, 'walking distance' to just about any store we could need. Easier to drive, but if necessary I can walk to the store. Katie gives me a ride to the bus stop in the morning and Sundays to work since the buses don't run conveniently. We've decided that Sundays are our shopping and 'buddy' time.

Okay enough for now, hope to have another update sooner than three months.






Thursday, May 26, 2016

Just a note to share and an update.

Divorce on good terms is still a hassle and maddening. I remember telling my then husband that I wanted to try and make it work because 'I didn't want to become a statistic' of a failed marriage.
Well it happened, we survived, I packed up my house and three kids, and we moved on. We did not have the best situations after the first year or two. Homeless twice, but even if we were living in our car, they always had clothes, food and got to school on time. But I always felt like I had failed them. I did not come from a broken family, I had a fantastic family growing up, and yet somehow I did not follow that pattern. Life happens, we rarely meet the same kind of people our parents were.
All these years I have always carried that guilt with me about not doing enough for my kids (common with a lot of parents I know).
I was messaging with Kiri (my oldest) yesterday and admitted my feelings of inadequate parenting with her because she is going through a second divorce herself and she said the most amazing thing.
"It could be argued that your example allowed us to understand that an unhealthy marriage doesn't have to continue." I can see that’s an adult way of handling how chaotic things were happening when she was little. She was ten when we split up and things were falling apart, but when I told Amber she agreed.
My kids are awesome. I think I did okay.
 
Move is happening next week! Ack! Anyone else ever move and still have to throw random stuff into a box when they run out of time?? Kitchen is mostly packed. The front room pile of packed boxes is getting bigger. But my room still looks untouched somehow. I did go through my closet and pull out stuff.
I went through the three bags of random paperwork that had collected on my desk for the past six years and got it whittled down to a huge bag of stuff to shred and a bag of trash. Small pile of stuff I should keep.
Katie and I went down to storage two days in a row and cleaned out A LOT of stuff. Talk about being dragged through the back alley of memories and pummeled!
There's some stuff in there that was packed up from my first move to San Diego and never touched. Well, it got touched, ransacked, filtered and tossed.
I think we cleared out about a third of the boxes and got rid of one piece of furniture. White dresser that had my costumes in it which was missing the bottom drawer, so we took the costumes out, put them in another box we emptied of junk, and took the dresser to the dumpster. Three runs to Goodwill for donations and two dumpster runs.
Geeez! 
The goal eventually will be to move all my stuff and some of my furniture out of there and into a smaller storage with Katie near our new place. Then the kids can start a smaller one for themselves. Storage cost has gone up almost $100 since I opened it ten years ago, time to downsize and save some money.  
If anyone needs my new address, email or message me. 
Brain is boggled by the thought of moving. Still hate it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Update of major proportions. May the Fourth Be With You!

Okay so first, the bad news.
The last twenty four hours have been a roller coaster of worry and grief.
Dan, (Amber's ex) had an argument with his fiancee Lisabet on May 3 around 5 ish. He stormed out of the house grabbing his bottle of Xanax and some water and told her 'Tell the kids I love them'. Disappeared and walked off.
They live in the middle of nowhere in Cloudcroft, New Mexico. No car and no friends, neighbors are not close either.
I am finding out about this second hand through Amber who was called by Lisabet. The local sherrifs were using GPS to try and locate him but it was severely flawed and no sign of him by dark.
They found him in the morning finally, barely responsive and they rushed him to the ER. He had hypothermia and showed signs of overdose from the meds.
As of writing this now, he is in ICU, it is suspected he took about 100 Xanax and about the same number of Tramadol. Last report is he is responding when his name is called and can squeeze someone's finger on request. No talking as yet. He's alive, running a low fever which could be from the hypothermia, but so far is hanging on a thread.
Backstory on this is he has been out of work, has been dealing with cluster headaches and they were planning on getting married in June. We (amber and I) don't know what the argument was about, but Amber has told Lisabet that no matter the outcome with Dan, the kids need to come back to San Diego. If Dan survives, he and Lisabet need to come back as well.
(Originally he went there because his older sister was there and offered to put them up for a while. Not long after, she went over the edge somehow and kicked them out so no contact with her. They found a place of their own and were surviving on the little income Lisabet had as well as support money from Amber.)
Ava was supposed to come out here after the wedding to spend a few weeks with Amber and us, for vacation. Now it looks like that may or may not happen, but somehow they will all end up back in San Diego before the end of the Summer.
Amber has one offer of helping out when the kids do come back of living with a friend of hers. I also offered (after mentioning it to Katie) to possibly have Ava live with us since we'll be in Mira Mesa and have better schools there.
So, (deep breath) that's basically what's happened in the last twenty four hours. All hell breaks loose and there's nothing we can do about it except hang on, pray as we need to and hope for the best outcome no matter what.

Now the other news:
For the first time in the last, I don't know, ten or twelve years of being in San Diego I am moving to a new place on my own terms.
The last four places I've lived I was evicted or moved because I couldn't pay rent. This time, Katie and I were offered to rent a dual master bedroom condo from a family friend of hers. The rent will be about the same given the rent hike on the new lease papers that were given us. New place has air conditioning, washer and dryer, dedicated water heater and a balcony that's screened off with a kitty door for Crook. A few personal touches from the previous owner makes it even nicer. Hardwood floors everywhere but the bedrooms and kitchen I think. Rugs will be happening in the main traffic areas of course. The square footage is about the same just  a different orientation. It looks smaller than our current place but since the bedrooms are the same size, that accounts for some of the space.
To paraphrase from a sci fi show, 'Mira Mesa, never thought I would be going back there.'

Downside for me, it's in Mira Mesa. We're in Clairemont currently and taking the bus to work is easy. Half a block walk to the bus stop and a twenty minute ride or so to work. New location doubles my commute time to both my jobs.  On the other hand, it cuts Katie's commute time way down. She's thirty some miles from work now and will be about eight miles since she works in Rancho Bernardo.
Oh I checked the bus route to the Poway location of the nursery and it is actually worse than I thought but its still an option. There is not direct bus even close to that location, but will be looking into car pooling either with Katie or a coworker if anyone lives in Mira Mesa.
The plus side also is, I have managed to hold out $2000 still from taxes and vacation money to cover the costs of moving and taking a week and a half off to move. I have spent a little more money on going out to eat than usual, but other than that I haven't touched what's in my savings account until this month to pitch in my usual money for rent. I get paid this first week of May from both jobs so everything is covered.
It certainly feels odd and exciting to not worry about being paycheck to paycheck and negative for a change. I'm feeling downright wealthy but have not let it go to my head. I could have looked at getting a car, could have bought some other things but I didn't. I am finally adulting!
It's a pain packing and moving but it's giving us a chance to clear out old furniture and items and get some new stuff. We've been rooming for six years together! That's the longest I've ever stayed in one place since coming to San Diego.
I never thought I would find a roommate and friend as fun as Katie. We're soulmates of sorts I suppose. I need a few things to work on as I always do, she's got a few issues but for the most part, we are a pair of the most compatible people I have encountered.

Can't say that's my life in a nutshell, unless you're talking prehistoric sized coconuts the size of an elephant.


Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year, Same Life

Last post was six months ago in July, it was hot and sticky. I was riding my bike and then.. winter happened. It is now rainy, been in the 60's and 50's and our winter has settled in finally.
But let me catch you up on what has happened I suppose.
 On family matters, Devon has a job still though no place of his own to live he's working in essentially a two man HVAC company where the other man is his boss and owner. He's been staying with a friend somewhere in Clairemont I think. I keep telling him that I need names and locations in case of an emergency or he goes missing. He doesn't earn enough to save money for doing any kind of real place of his own but he has a paycheck type job which is better than nothing.  We try to meet up at least once a month or so with Amber to just hang out, worked great during the holidays but now there's no 'family' holiday until 4th of July.
On that note, Amber still has her job, but not her kids. She and Dan filed for divorce, he had to move to New Mexico to live with his sister due to losing his job and his car. He and his girlfriend (now fiancee) have a place of their own in a tiny town down there. The agreement was that Dan would have the boys and Amber would have Ava. Well, when Ava finished elementary school the choices for middle schools were two of the worst schools in her area. Amber agreed to fly Ava down to New Mexico since Amber still doesn't have an actual place of her own either. She's 'surreptitiously' rooming with her former neighbor that she is also doing in home care for (he's paralyzed and uses a wheel chair and is almost old enough to be her dad). So in October, we celebrated Ava's birthday by going to IHOP and for Devon and I to say goodbye.  It hurts. Ava and I were really close and without being in contact with Dan, I wouldn't be able to see how much fun she's having with her brothers.
I am not on friendly terms with her former babysitter soon to be her stepmom Lisabet, she has less maturity than Amber and much younger. Lisabet asked Amber to change her name back and drop the Martinez last name, not realizing what that involves officially. Amber told her no, Dan consulted with friends and actual pastors since he is now going to church, and they all sided with Amber. Lisabet then unfriended her on facebook so now the only way Amber keeps in touch with the kids is through Dan who she is actually on speaking terms with better than before.
So there's that drama. We move on and as long as the kids are happy and cared for, that is what counts.
I heard from Kiri just a few days ago that she and her husband are failing and will be filing for divorce after April tax money comes in. Apparently that was falling apart for a while and it just got to a point where she wasn't going to put up with the situation any longer. She has three boys now, the youngest just turned two I think. Kiri says she has a support network this time and from what I gleaned, she's got it together. All I could tell her is that it still sucks.
Someday I'd like to meet my grandsons in person, maybe have a big family reunion when I'm 70 or something.

As for me, I'm just me.
Had two teeth pulled a few months ago, going to get my mouth worked on this year, getting new glasses this month. FINALLY! A new optical place opened right on one of my main bus stops so easy to get there and not take a day off. Hoping nothing it too seriously wrong there, eyes have been feeling weird lately. Not focusing fast enough and hoping what it feels like isn't the start of glaucoma.
Work is work, days go on as usual.
Haven't ridden my bike in the last four months due to it getting dark at the end of the day when I get out of work. I expect to pick that back up in another month or so and see how long that lasts. I also plan on using my vacation or tax refund to get my drivers license reinstated. Long story short, multitude of expired registration tickets had them pull my license almost five years ago. Sold the car that died a long while ago and have been taking the bus or getting rides since then. So if there is money left over and that gets straightened out I may even take a vacation this year too.
Katie has a new job, she's having fun and it doesn't pay all the bills but it does help so she isn't getting a full subsidy from her grandparents.
It's a temp position but she should be taken on permanent when her 'contract' is up in another month.
We have a new kitten in the house, Thorin passed away about four months ago and Katie found a new kitty. His name is Crook (formerly Fabio from the adoption store, bleh) and has a kink in the tip of his tail and has twenty one toes. Two extra toes on the front paws which makes him have opposable thumbs. Scary. He's a friendly cat, much better than Thorin and sleeps in my room and Katies depending on whether she locks him out during the night.
That's the highlights of the last six months that I can think of. Oh yeah and a little Star Wars movie came out in December. Yeah, it was a big deal and I was loving seeing it with Devon and Amber and geek out with them.
I am currently on the phone with Western Dental since they sent me another bill despite me having paid it off last month. They have payment plans for the work done so it's affordable. But now I think I'm going to hang up and wait to see if it's just a fluke or if they give me a call I'll keep the last bill and note that I made when I paid it online.
Sigh.
Going into work later today due to rain, great we're getting rain but sucks when I lose pay over it. Will see what happens over the next six months right?

Sunday, July 26, 2015

I'm horrible at blogging.

Or I just have a sporadically interesting life.
I've actually been posting more over at Facebook which some of you have seen, but I should be more over here.
So, I bought a bike at the beginning of June or end of May so I could get more exercise and slim down my lower hemisphere. Also improve my leg flexibility and possibly more cardio workout.
Well it's worked so far.
I had horrid leg flexibility, muscles complaining if I folded them too tight. Which can also be from some arthritis as well in my knees, though it was the muscles primarily that were complaining.
I couldn't do the cross arm movement to pull a shirt up over my head, again that could be from fluid retention in my right arm from lymph nodes being removed. Then there's the lung capacity, I'd get winded going up the stairs and couldn't run very far. Now, I am not obese, only about fifteen pounds over my 'ideal' weight. I've been running in the high 180's and technically should be in the 160 range.
The distance from my home (at the top of a hill mind you) down to work at the nursery is approximately six miles (5.76 miles but it depends on side routes I take). The first quarter mile doesn't count for exercise since it's all downhill. I've been riding about three to four days a week. Sometimes I take the bus down to the trolley station and ride from there which is less than a mile then do the same route back.
I have tried to change what I eat as well, but that's kind of fallen off due to not being able to buy groceries for a few weeks. No we're not destitute just difference in scheduling and money fluctuations. We have food, just not the food I'd like to eat and be able to take to work.
I usually weigh myself on Wednesday or Thursday mornings before my shower, and wear next to nothing. I have lost about six pounds, which isn't a milestone but there are other factors that are happening as well.
I have a pair of work pants that previously fit well and were size 38 waist, they're getting loose right now. Still can't fit into the 36's I have waiting in the wings, but it's getting close. I can now pull a shirt up over my head and my legs feel stronger and I can actually jog for a short time as long as I'm not encumbered with a backpack or work tools.
So yippeee! It's hot and sticky right now, which makes wearing loose heavy pants very uncomfortable. I tried to put on my smaller pants but it was still too uncomfortable to sit in them. I think these are pants that five months ago I couldn't even zip up.
I'm working on getting more fit, slimming down and in general trying to get healthier. Took me a few years to get where I am, so it may take a few to get back down to where I should be.

That's all I wanted to update on right now, more about the kids and life in general another time.