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Thursday, October 31, 2013

I Hate Moving

Move is after all one of those four letter words.

One of my quips on what I hate about it is  

“Organized people get disorganized while moving” and everyone who knows me knows I am not the overly organized type. 

I am not generally militant or nit picky enough.

I rather like to mosey along and let things live where they live and such.

Life however does not seem to understand my desire to not bounce around.

We moved fourteen times between 2007 and 2010. I hated moving before all of that non sense and doing it over and over has not changed my feelings on iota.

The worst of it is when it comes out of the blue with no notice and or when funds are limited or unavailable to secure new lodging.

The latter is where I am currently.

I have chronicled some of the interesting people we lived with on another one of my blogs and to a community of folks at one time. 

Only one was dangerously criminally violent.

For the last few years the teen and I have lived in a cute little two bedroom condo with just us. She invited her step sisters to stay with us once each but those situations were short lived for many reasons.

When I left the familiarity of staying with family or friends I turned to Craigs List. I found my last job there and use it for other things as well. My goal was always to find ideally a single mom or woman who was renting out just one room in her home.

Under ideal circumstances I would love to live communally but scanning CL in a panic while trying to move unexpectedly or without a lot of cash is not ideal circumstance. It takes the right mix and levels of maturity for people to live well together. They also need to feel a sense of balance. The contribution everyone makes has to be seen as equal or at least acceptable.

In total we stayed with five strangers. Two of them were great but ironically those two residences were where we spent the least amount time. Only about two or three weeks in either place. 

We moved in with a new widow who was trying to supplement her suddenly diminished income. She had cleared out a small room in her home to rent but then her daughter called and said she needed child care or maybe to move in and the widow decided she needed the small room for a nursery.

Later we moved into a condo much like the one we are in with a delightful state employee who we really enjoyed getting to know. We even did a few things together. Sadly her out of town landlord got edgy about her subleasing and disallowed the contract almost as soon as we sent it for review.

Not knowing where I will end up bouncing to next makes it hard to pack, is another thing I rail about when a move is thrust upon me.

It hurts worse to burn bridges or loose contact with people we have liked or those who have helped us out as much as they can.
It all leads me here to share, asking people to help and share to help us get through this.

Social media at its best.

My GoFundMeDonations Page

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

And Kitten Makes Too Many

I put a post on my ‘raising a teen girl’ blog about my teen.

We are an animal loving family. I am a cat person.

My daughter adopted a cat and brought home a feeder mouse from her friend who has a pet snake.
So our house has three pets now. My cat came from our landlord right around the time we moved into this little two bedroom condo.

The adopted cat and the mouse are both pets on the down low if you will. I am pretty sure my lease says “One pet only” or at least suggests that all pets be reported and authorized.

The mouse since it lives in a small terrarium I think I could get a pass on easier than a whole cat. Not that I seriously think the extra cat would be a cease and desist issue if I had decided to declare it.

Perhaps it was missed that I wrote “My daughter adopted a cat” instead of we added another cat to our house hold.

I know I am the adult and that makes me responsible. Half the reason I have a blog about raising a teenager is because teenagers PUSH these lines and authority boundaries.

The kitty was our neighbors. It had indoor out door privileges over there. More out than in.

Because it was use to people and being around them it allowed my daughter to adopt it. The other feral felines in the area are less tolerable of human contact.

Kitty number two is not even what this post is about.

I have even forgiven my daughter for having to mouse sit while she was on a 10 day trip out of state.

What stopped me cold was when she recently brought home a kitten that she got for herself from a friend as a birthday present.
She had the nerve to cry when I put my foot down.

"You don’t clean cat boxes, I did not want and we have not declared the last cat, this condo is just big enough for the creatures currently living in it AND with finances currently restricted it is a struggle to keep the cats we have fed."

"Kittens need kitten food."

I could have ranted and raved. I could have gone on and on. I did neither of these things. I told her she had a week before I would put that kitten out of our home.

Quickly as in the same day she found the kitten a new home.

It is still hers but it now lives at her boyfriends house down the street and around the corner.

Did I mention they live in a three bedroom house with five kids and six cats?

Guess who is ruling the feline roost?

The Kitten. Hahahahaha

I was sad kitty could not have spent the week here. I am after all a cat person. I was serious however about the kitten not living here as long as all the other creatures stay and other circumstances stay as they are.
...unless my daughter wants to un-adopt her other kitten perhaps.

The neighbors moved away but mentioned something about wanting their cat back if ever we were moving. I couldn’t believe those words were said. My daughter seemed to take them to heart. 

It looks like we will see...

Monday, October 28, 2013

The 4 Letter Word List

A while back I had this friend. She was married. She was recovering from surgery when I met her. While she was healing and off work she would visit my home to hang out.

One day as it grew time for her to leave she said 

I guess I have to head home now” 

with such negative emotion focused on the word home that I looked at her and remarked.

“You said that like a prisoner returning to jail after weekend furlough or something.”

How could home be so bad I wondered. It was not like she spent her time at my house complaining about her husband or at least not in a massive way that would have explained to me why she did not look forward to being at home.

In hind sight perhaps my friend had wanderlust or maybe she was trapped in a parent child marriage where one partner is over bearing and treats the other more like a child or a teenager than a partner. This causes the offended partner to act the part and seek to break away.

Being in the middle of our visit all this was not on my mind in that moment as my friend was mentally preparing to leave. I mentioned something like home is supposed to be a place you look forward to going.

She countered by telling me “Home is a four letter word.”

We were so good together. I countered her with something I thought was totally positive that was also a four letter word like cash to which she further countered that cash is great until you are short on it.

By this time one of us was probably laughing and neither of us ever laughed long alone.

Off we set to make a list of these seemingly innocent words that could take on a whole new connotation by situation and intonation.

We need a four letter word for family she said once. It took us a moment but someone said clan and we both groaned just thinking of all the lovely misery that family can create.

I don’t think proper nouns were forbidden on the list. The naughty words were as were plurals made of three letter words with the letter ‘s’ added.

The friendship is sadly no more but I carry the memories fondly. 

From that time until now I have been known to quip 

“____ is a four letter word.” When seemingly innocent or well meaning things go wrong or haywire.

Plan, for instance would fit quite nicely in the blank below and we all know “The best laid plans of mice and men are prone to go awry.”

Other common words could have the same effect: time, cook, bake, look, nice, the list can go on and on.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Blind Date Disaster Story

I went out on one completely blind date. We were set up by a good friend of mine who worked in his building. For the date the guy and I decided to head to the local county fair. 

While there we walked and snacked, talked and laughed. The weather was good, the sights were exciting. This was a decent looking, clean cut, gentleman. I was not feeling overtly attracted but I did enjoy his company. There was one issue that I did not think was a problem that would turn out to blow up in our faces.

My daughter was not quite a year old. She could eat normal food that was soft or cut into appropriate sizes. She was also being breast fed. We were used to going places with strangers even taking public transportation. The issue was the guy was all but afraid of children.

He had this (fear) horrible idea that kids are crazy and act out all the time. 

The whole day as we walked around the fair he was amazed that my daughter was active and alert but not at all fussy. I figured this man just needed to experience well rounded parenting and he could get over being so worried and awe struck. 

We decided to head to a local restaurant for dinner as the date ended. I knew my daughter had enjoyed a full day without a nap. She had also not been eating much. I planned to feed her a little table food, nurse her while we sat chatting and have her out like a light before we even headed home.

Life however is what happens to us while we are making other plans. 

The hustle and bustle of the restaurant plus our quiet table interaction was too much of a distraction for my 11 month old to eat much or nurse at all. I tried multiple times over the course of the meal. She did not seem upset or fussy. There was all the activity to focus on and notice. 

Finally our meal was finished and it was time to head home. My date was still marveling that there had been no wild hysterics or melt downs. We strapped baby into her car seat and started to head home. Darkness had begun to set in

As soon as we were settled it was like my daughter realized she had not napped or nursed. I knew she was more tired than hungry. I hoped she might just drift off to sleep. I could not have been more wrong. What started as a fuss, became a cry and then a wail as we kept moving.

It made discussion in the car all but impossible. Plus I felt doubly bad. I felt bad for her because I understood her frustration. I felt bad for this strange man who came into our life thinking that kids were bad news. Here we were confirming his (fear) nightmare.

It was a short trip back to my house maybe 15 minutes. Of course it felt like hours. When I realized my daughter was not going to cry herself to sleep we were already well on our way. I did not want to have him pull over and sit on the side of the road so I could nurse her.

To his credit he held his composure. He even carried her car seat to the door of my apartment and delicately set it down nicely on the step. 

I did tell him A) I was sorry and B) what I thought was happening and why. Of course he never called again. I was not surprised or upset. If a crying baby can scare you away you are not that interested or you are not ready to date a single mamma.