Presenting, Our Yard

It’s finally done. Well, mostly. As you can see we still have some grass piles to clean up and some edging to do. The garden beds definitely need weeding, but we’re getting there. We had about three weeks of slowly moving stuff in with no time to manage the yard. Then finding time between bouts of rain and heat-stroke weather while working and driving the kids an hour to school and back. The grass was way too tall by the time we got started.

We also have this dog pool that we will be filling in. We keep pulling dead mice out of it, but I do want to put in a pond with a fountain in a better location. Especially since it seems to be attracting a bit of wildlife. I keep saying how quiet it is out here, particularly at night, but really it’s the people noise that’s quiet. This way we can hear all the bullfrogs, crickets, birds, bats, and the natural noises of the night. It feels amazing.

We also seem to have gained a friend.

Book Review Time

I’m writing this from my phone because I’m letting our youngest play games while I rest a bit. It’s been busy. I mean to write a post and then stuff interrupts. Lately it’s been my mood getting in the way, but I’m coming out of the muck and getting things done.

This book was a spur purchase. $5 at the coffee counter at Barnes and Noble. I saw something about it a while back and was intrigued. After skimming the first page I bought it with my coffee and couldn’t put it down.

It was like I was a kid again. I cried, I laughed, in public, in my car waiting for the kids to come out of school. I even spent some time enjoying it while knitting at an actual coffee shop.

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon has reignited my spirit. I highly recommend curling up with this one. Especially if you need some life inspiration.

More Stormy Weather

Still no real news on the job front, but more tough stuff has arrived. Our oldest just got suspended for the rest of the school year. There may be charges, but we’re hopeful they see the struggle she’s in and take her young age and clean record into account. I need to schedule her some therapy and start working with her a bit more on things. Nothing really happened. It was more the perceived threat of something happening.

I feel like a failure having not seen how much she was suffering. For not having seen the signs of just how bad it was for her at school. The bullying has never stopped. And if it’s not the bullying she’s receiving, it’s the other kids being bullied that bothers her. She has given up on help from teachers and staff at school, as they are dismissive, or do not believe her. One teacher even said that a kid overreacted to a situation and they don’t realize that an overreaction is a sign of something else going on that may need to be addressed?

I’m frustrated that we are still rushing for ‘normal’ when we are losing sight of our chance to move towards something better. We should be restructuring how schools operate and what their objectives are. We should be focusing on mental health and compassion. We should be explaining the why’s of education so students who struggle may stress less about tough assignments. We know so much more about how we learn and what is necessary for a healthy adult, but haven’t changed our system in at least 100 years.

I feel like a failure because I was too preoccupied with my own mental health and our basic survival needs through most of this to have the energy left to get my daughter the help she needs. That is changing. I will be making these calls and I will get all my kids the attention they need. And my husband will begin to learn all the the things I took over and didn’t think to involve him in. They need him in the loop as much as they need me.

I know I’m not going to get this all right. I know I’m not going to know what to do sometimes. I know I can’t be perfect, but this was a hard hit. This move, new schools, new start, I know this will be good for all of us. None of us have a history here. The valley we moved from held too much history. It boxed us in. It was stifling.

We have already begun to have more family time together. The girls love being out in the yard running around. We have a robin nest with three hatchlings to observe out back and a pigeon’s nest out front. We had a fire last night and burned the brooms we hung a long time ago at the old apartment. The tv is off a whole lot more and we are working together to make this place homey.

Some massive Tower moments here (tarot reference). Time to really give our kids the childhood we’ve been striving to give them.

Life is Always a Mixed Bag

The night of our move, as we were setting the kids rooms up, I got a call from my step-dad. I had already gotten the text that they had arrived home safely after having visited with us for a couple days, so I was waiting for the bad news. My uncle, whom I have only met twice and basically disowned my mother when she went to school to be a minister, had just passed away from Covid. All I could think of was my mom must be in a swirl and not even really know how to feel. I don’t know how to feel about it. Her plans to come back might be changing. I completely understand.

So I went about my day today. Got the kids up nice and early. Stopped on the long ride to school to get them breakfast and then went to our old apartment to clean and pack the remaining rabble. I had to head back home and then drove back out to the apartment. On the way I talked to my mom (hands free) and when I got there, my husband called. He no longer has a job. Fuck…shit…fuck.

Ok, so we’ll be fine. He’s checking on some possible short term work while he searches for a job that better fits his abilities. The job is not actually a great loss, but new house, new cars, long drives to get the kids to school, and new stuff for the house. I might pick up some more hours at work in the meantime. The job was not really worth the stress, we had just hoped he could hang on to it long enough to find another one first.

So, life is a mixed bag. I had thought we might enjoy a long streak of things being wonderful, but there always has to be some balance. I’m strangely calm about the whole thing. I have a gut feeling that we’ll be fine and that this will be better in the long run. We usually figure it out. I really hope my husband can find a job that makes him happy. A job like the one I found. There is almost nothing that can get me to leave.

Finding the Tweezers

I packed the tweezers two weeks ago. By some magic of genetics, I inherited the excessive hair gene. I have nothing against body hair in general, but the chin whiskers, overgrown eyebrows, and stray lip hairs are starting to bother me every time I touch my face.

Boxes are everywhere and finding things is a fun adventure of “what are we going to find that we weren’t looking for?” Yesterday was the big moving day and last night was our first night in the new house. It was blissfully quiet and we all slept very well, even if we all stayed up well past our bedtimes.

The old apartment still has a lot of the last bits left hanging around. Carpets that need vacuuming. Walls that need cleaned of crayon and marker drawings. Floors to be cleared of debris. The landlord also seems to enjoy reminding me of how much I can’t wait to no longer be a tenant, as he stops me on my way back to the new house to give me some crap about what he needs from us once we’re done moving out. I owe you nothing but a clean apartment, keys, and a forwarding address to mail the security deposit return to. And we better be getting our security back.

So as I drove back to our new home, I had a huge crying fest filled with laughter and letting go. Embracing the future ahead and cherishing the love of my husband and our kids. It’s cathartic and necessary every once in a while to help keep me level and grounded. I’ve got to let the feelings out in an ugly and private way. Although, there may have been a lot of people driving by wondering what the hell I was doing, crying and laughing and singing like I was.

I plan to finally put the tweezers where they belong tonight, but not until after I free my face of all the overgrowth sprouting up everywhere.

My New Car!

You can see my old baby in the background.

I almost can’t believe she’s mine. Backup camera, button start, extendable visors! I love the two tone interior, too. It feels like we’ve known each other forever. Old friends getting reacquainted. Yes, it gets personal with my vehicle. We’re a team on the road. Did I mention I have a radio too, with speakers that aren’t blown out!

Don’t get me wrong. I love my old baby, but she’s been done for a while now. She has seen us through many family vacations and quick trips. Day adventures to hiking trails all over and grocery adventures that felt like a circus. She has never let me down even at the end. Now it’s time to send her to the yard and let her rest.

Candy white and pure white. Makes me giggle.

Now I can focus on the move without the added worry of my car. My Tiguan can carry quite a lot of cargo and I’m looking forward to getting us into the new house and this old place all cleaned out. My brain is at max capacity.

The Mess of Moving

This corner has been seeing a rotating variation of boxes and totes as I fill them up and then transfer them over to the new house. This particular stack has most of our holiday decorations. That’s one more closet empty.

As areas of the apartment become emptied of their important items, what remains are the leftover bits of our time here and a giant bag filled with trash. I’m trying to get as much as we can over to the new house as quickly as possible so we have plenty of time for cleaning and painting here at the apartment. We have definitely left our mark. I’m not sure we’ll get our security back, but if we can be rid of our busybody landlords, I don’t really care. Although, it would be nice.

The pile of donations is ever rotating as well. My mom has taken several bags on her way home up in New York State. A friend of mine has taken a few boxes of books and toys to a place near her. And I have dropped off just under a half a dozen bags of clothes myself. Here’s even more and I guarantee we’ll have still more before this is over.

I definitely got some rest this morning, but am relieved I made some headway before tomorrow. I’m getting another massage (I’m so happy my boss set that up for us!), and I really wanted most of the heavy lifting done today. I’ve got more moving to do Wednesday.

A Day of Rest is a Day of Knitting

We had big plans for moving more stuff over to the house today. I even woke up at 7 feeling pretty good about the day. Sunday’s are one of the only days our kids get to really play video games or use my tablet to play games. This morning was like any other Sunday morning, lots of quiet screen time interspersed with the occasional scream of frustration. I got to drink my coffee, while it was still hot. I read a little of my new Sherlock Holmes spin-off series. I even knit several rows of my purple sweater.

I love the cables in this book! I was a bit intimidated at first, but once I read through some explanations and gave some of them a shot, I fell in love. I usually try to design a lot of cables into a piece, but never get up to doing it all. After looking through the beautiful pieces in this book, I decided the purl side of stockinette stitch does look really good with these cables. This also gives me some uninterrupted knitting streaks where I can relax from all the focused work of the cables, but the intricate cable work to keep it interesting and break up the stretches of mindless knitting.

Later in the day, the girls played outside, enjoying the beautiful weather. The hubby and I got to do a few things out and about with each other. The evening saw more Minecraft and we all pitched in on dinner. It was a late bedtime, but everyone went straight to sleep, so all in all it was a good day. We’ll see what kind of morning we get.

Just Another Moving Day

My plan today was to take stuff over to the new house and set a few things up. I got a bit delayed enjoying my coffee and relaxing before I loaded up my car and headed out. It’s about an hour drive from our current apartment and for some reason the thought of making this trip on my own filled me with throat constricting anxiety. I even started to turn around. That’s when I came across these deer hanging out in the road. We just sat staring at each other for a few moments while I took these pictures. I felt much better about everything after that. I also always feel better once I get to the house. It’s definitely becoming home quickly.

I unloaded my car, got a few things set up and enjoyed the yard for a bit. The to-do list is getting longer. We need to spray for insects. I’m allergic to yellow jackets and I don’t want anything nesting in the house. There’s grass that needs pulled. We’re going to have to mow soon. We also need to put up some cabinets and shelves inside so that we have places to put all of our things. I can’t wait! First, we need to finish moving in.

House Painting

Big news. The thing that has been keeping me from staying on task with this blog is a house. We bought a house! It’s still pretty hard to believe. We did a little painting already, but are moving in slowly. The girls are almost done with school and we live a couple blocks from where they all go, so we’re taking the month to really get things set up at the new house before we actually move in.

We’ve changed the locks. Moved some boxes in. And hung out in the yard, on the porch a few times. The first links of our ownership are in the books, the kitchen, and, oddly enough, the bathrooms. My first goals are to get the kitchen at least halfway ready, and bathrooms set up. And the bookshelves.

There are so many firsts for us with our first house. First pool, first fenced in yard, first yard, first fire pit, fix it jobs, designing, … We even have a started extra room that we want to turn into a bathroom with a closet/sitting area off of our bedroom. The girls will have their own rooms, and a third floor to play in. Today is more cleaning in our apartment. I’m hoping to pack a few things too. For now, I’m resting. It’s been a busy week!