springading.com

Just another one girl revolution.

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The long road.

I had a dream about my dad last night. In my dream, it was the day he died again but just a few hours before. He would still die, I was told, but at least this time, I could be there.

The problem was that we were on a road, a road that was hundreds of miles long, if not more, and there were thousands of people between us.  Dad was so far ahead. I yelled and pushed through the crowd as hard as I could. I had a million things to say, to ask,  but he  couldn’t see or hear me, and I could never catch up.

Welcome to the world, Louie!

Jim’s brother Dan and his wife Nana welcomed their first child, a baby boy, into the world yesterday. Here’s a picture of Louie, the little member of the family:

Louie

Louie Kanato

He’s so freakin’ cute! Look at that face. In some pictures, he reminds me a little of his big cousin Vincent. :)

Interesting note is that his birthday is going to be tricky for me. He was born yesterday in USA time (the 24th), but it was the 25th where they are (Okinawa). So he’s, like, a baby FROM THE FUTURE! Ha, I kid, I kid.

Workin’ it.

I was going to move this blog. I was. I had exported it and moved it back to its old location at chaoticspring.wordpress.com. The idea was that I would save money by moving it back to free hosting.

The problem is that my husband has a springading.com email address that he uses–much to my dismay–for EVERYTHING.  I say that because when he gave it to the woman at the bank, I cringed and prayed she wouldn’t remember it and look it up later, wondering what the hell kind of domain that was. When he originally created it, I thought he would just be using it for forums where the email addresses tend to be private. Nope. He used it for our mortgage stuff, guys.

Anyway. I hate that. But Jim really wants me to keep the domain, so my plan is now to just find cheaper hosting. So now I’m in process of removing the stuff that is currently on this site from my old WordPress site. I may move my BlogSpot blog about crafting over to the WordPress, since I like WordPress much better. We shall see.

For now, I’m still deleting out all the posts and looking at THIS while I wait for the computer to do its thing:

The Tightwad Gazette

The Tightwad Gazette

Oh, yeah! I read this a long time ago, back when I was young and married to my first husband (so “stupid” is also implied there too, ha ha!) and I managed to slash our grocery bill by 40% almost immediately–and without coupons. This book is a compilation of three books, so I don’t think this is exactly the one I read. I remember the book being much smaller. So I’m pretty excited. I may end up starting a whole new blog just for being frugal and just saving in general. Hey, gotta have a hobby, am I right? 😛

Gah, overwhelmed!

I’ve decided recently that we really need to do some slashing of expenses, some serious budgeting. So the last couple of weeks, I’ve been buying Sunday papers for the coupons. Jim normally does the shopping–and he gets almost frothing at the mouth when I suggest that I do it again, so I assume a part of him kind of likes doing the shopping–but seriously, I would feel better if I was more involved in it again. It would take a few trips for me to get back into the swing of things, but I was once a good shopper; I’m sure I could be that way again.

Before, though, way back in the day, when I cut my grocery budget super low, it was without coupons because I pretty much made and did everything myself. No kidding, I made my own bread EVERY SINGLE DAY.

I don’t really have time for that now, but JIM does stay at home, aaaaaannnd…now I have a bread machine. So maybe I have no excuse! lol.

Anyway, this time, I decided to try looking into coupons. My mother gets a TON of stuff because she’s, like, an expert with  those things. She is actually good enough that she has gone to the store to go shopping and come back WITH money that the store paid HER.

So I’m looking into it. I had a book on couponing my Kindle, but sadly, I think my Kindle is no longer with us. I guess I could read it on Jim’s iPad, but I would have pry it from his cold, dead hands. (I kid, he’ll let me use the iPad; it’s just hard to find a time that he’s not on it.)

So I decided to just go based on what I know. Look at sales ads, try to match coupons to sales. Rather than digging through my whopping two weeks of newspaper coupons and wasting time, I pull up Coupon Tom. And then I get overwhelmed. I Heart Kroger  is talking about this great deal on smoked sausage! Click the link for smoked sausage! Link doesn’t work! I don’t see this coupon anywhere! Coupon Tom doesn’t show it! What the hell can you use smoked sausage for anyway?! OH MY GOD, I CAN’T EVEN HANDLE THIS.

And then I remember why I thought it was just easier to bake bread everyday. lol.

Oh, well. I’m determined. But it’s going to have to happen after church.

I hate when my paranoia is valid.

Work has been busy. Almost every day, I do overtime. At one time, I worried about losing overtime.

“You’re crazy,” everyone said. “Look how much inventory we have.”

And we do. We have a lot, and it doesn’t seem to be getting to the levels where management would like it at.

So I do overtime. Not as much as before Vincent. But still, it is almost an everyday thing for me, and it’s still more than quite a few people I know. For me to not to do it is unusual. I have debts I want to pay off, a house I’d like to make my own.

This week, because I’ve been so stressed and not feeling well, Jim and I agreed that financially, it would not hurt us for me to take a week off from overtime. (With the exception of today because it was Divisional Saturday.)

I kept thinking all week that I didn’t really feel any less stressed, and all I could think of was the money I wasn’t making. But I did enjoy the extra time with Vincent in the mornings, the extra sleep I got. I did feel better that way.

Until today. Today, I suddenly wished I hadn’t gotten that extra sleep. (I will never be sorry for the extra time with Vincent, not for all the money in the world.) Because today, we got an email saying to work overtime while we could as overtime opportunities would be ending soon.

And it sounds like it’s in, like, two weeks.

I texted a friend, and at first he was surprised, then he reminded me of how they were outsourcing our easier work. Except that he didn’t really have to remind me. It’s been in my mind a long time. I just didn’t realize they were going to do it so soon.

So after I did overtime today, I took the dog out, then went for a walk to think about things. The last time we lost overtime, we started burning through our savings fast. And back then, I didn’t have a kid and a mortgage. I didn’t have medical bills that I had put onto credit cards.

At least my car is paid off now.

Before, I knew it was probably only going to be a matter of time before overtime came back, and I was right. This time, I’m not so sure. Because our inventory is high and they’re still going to get rid of it. Because, this time, they’re actually outsourcing some of work. That’s something they’ve never done before.

Sometimes, I wonder how Jim and I don’t get ahead more. We don’t go out and do much. We’re always saying, “No, we can’t, we don’t have the money.” I see people who have far less money doing far more. I suspect that is why they have far less. At least they’re having fun. We don’t have fun or money–how does that even work?

I love my husband, but man, right now, I really envy my friends who have husbands with jobs. But if he worked, it would mean Vincent would go into daycare, and whatever Jim made would just go to paying day care anyway. He could work nights, but I suspect Jim won’t do that unless it gets dire. Jim’s first go-to line when money gets tight is “I’ll get grocery bills down.” And he’ll buy a couple weeks of groceries and be happy about how little he has spent, but the truth is that he rarely actually buys two weeks worth of groceries–we always don’t have enough of something and have to go back to the store to buy more.

The second line that Jim will say is “I will crack down with my writing and try to get some money in.”

Every time I hear this, I think lolz. Which is bad because I don’t even TEXT lolz. But, seriously, this is akin to “I’ll become a rock star and then help with rent.” Jim has had a few things published, but almost none of them were paying. I’m supportive of his wanting to become a writer, but when bills need to be paid, you don’t turn to the career that everyone struggles to even fill their gas tank with, you find something dependable and do writing on the side. I thought everyone knew this?

What I need to hear is “I’m going to pick up some applications.”

Like, seriously, it doesn’t have to be full time. Just a few nights a week.

Oh, well. I guess I’ll more time to do other stuff. Maybe I’ll pick up some applications myself.

Plodding along.

I don’t know why I have been so stressed, but I have been. The results from the echocardio came back normal, so that’s good. But it doesn’t explain the intermittent chest pains, arm tingling/numbness…it doesn’t explain the headaches that are way worse than normal headaches but don’t quite qualify as a migraine. Well, I don’t think they do. What do I know?

And to top it off, my mood has gotten crazy lately. Like, Jim was obnoxious today–when isn’t he, honestly?–but, man, my reaction was just bad. I just got pissed. And later, I was just so upset, not just at him, but how pissed I got. I mean, things did not used to get to me much, but Jim, he just gets under my skin all the time.

I was doing so good, for so long. I feel like I’m spinning back into the dark, nursing days, where the hormones were so crazy that I was pretty much a certified nutcase for months.

At any rate, between the medical and mental crap, Jim and I decided that, for this week, I would try not doing any overtime and see how I felt. I actually ended up taking yesterday off, as both Jim and Vincent were sick, but here it is, almost Thursday, and I don’t know if, stress-wise, I feel any better. And I have a headache right now.

I’m afraid all this little experiment is going to do is make us poorer.

Maybe I just need a vacation.

At any rate, I’m trying to think of things to help me de-stress. I renewed Warcraft, but with all the updates I’ve had to do, I didn’t get a chance to do much on there. I was going to take the dog for a walk–hey, did I mention that we got a puppy?–but storms came in, so that’s out.

I did take a few hours to do some knitting a week or so ago, and I felt so much better, so maybe I’ll work more on that again. And, as always, when I’m stressed, I turn to journaling…

On that front, Jim has been submitting more stuff out, so good for him. I keep thinking how much I’m wasting my education in fiction as I haven’t really written anything since I graduated college, but I can’t think of things to write about. If I’m not thinking about Vincent, I tend to obsess over depressing things, and who wants to dwell on that?

Speaking of Vincent, he is doing well. He finally got out of the crib on his own, so a couple weeks ago, we transitioned him to a toddler bed. Some nights, he spends most the night in his own bed. Most nights, however, we find him fast asleep in ours.

Honestly, we’re pretty okay with that.

The other news on the Vincent-front is that the doctor referred him to a speech therapist because she claims his speech is not where it should be. We almost declined the offer for a referral. Honestly, I think Vincent is fine. I think he’s not around others much and an only child, so Jim and I tend to baby him and know what he means most of the time, so Vincent doesn’t really feel the need to talk. Also, he was so ahead physically, I think that he just focused on that rather than speech stuff. (That whole “early walker, late talker” thing that they say.) Also, both Jim and I have quite a few late talkers in both our families.

So, yeah, I think honestly that he will be fine, but it never hurts to get it checked out. Besides, if Vincent qualifies for the program, they’ll put him in a play group, and Jim and I are eager to get Vincent around more kids. That would be really awesome.

Okay, this headache is kicking my ass. I’m going to bed.

Livin’ the good life. :)

I’m trying to think of what has gone on since my last post. Let’s see. On the 24th, in honor of my dad, I declared it Family Day, took a day off to take Jim and Vincent out to breakfast and then out to The Magic House in St. Louis. I knew very little about it before we went, and we already plan on going back. Vincent LOVED it. I only managed to get a couple of pictures up on my Instagram account before my phone died. Next time, I’m hoping that that won’t happen because I will be getting a portable charger from work, yaaaay!

Yeah, that’s another topic entirely, moving on.

Last weekend, Jim and I headed back up to St. Louis again, except we left Vincent with one of his grandmothers. Jim, Phil, and I picked up a guy named Nick in Mt. Vernon. Funny, I say “a guy named Nick” as if nobody knew him beforehand. Okay, I’ve only met him once, briefly, at a New Year’s party, but that’s it. Jim and Phil, however, have known Nick for years.

So we went to St. Louis to Ben’s and Kristie’s. Ben and Kristie are newlyweds and act like it. It was cute watching them. And the place they hosted the game at was the roof of their apartment building, with windows all the way around, so we had a view of St. Louis all around us. It was just so cool.

Anyway, the game was Deadlands, Jim’s favorite (and I think Ben’s as well) and I think one Jim is kind of known for, as he’s knows it very, very well. Gaming-wise, I haven’t done much. I liked the few I’ve been in, but I’m not like Jim, who looks for a new game like a crack-fiend. And Kristie had never played one, ever. She seemed pretty into it by the end of the night, caught on to everything quickly, and seemed to have a great time. Jim was happy. I bet Ben’s proud. :)

The bad part, though, is that Jim totally lost track of time, so we didn’t leave until after 2 AM. Consequently, I ended up dozing off in the back of the van and kept waking up to my own snoring, bwahaha! I was right behind Nick, so I feel kind of bad for him. My hope is that he kept dozing off too and didn’t notice, but that probably isn’t my luck.

Jim and I didn’t get home until 6 am. Thankfully, Vincent’s grandmother wanted to take him to church, so we managed to get about 5-6 hours sleep before needing to pick him up.

Then, later that weekend, we had a triple birthday party dinner. Vincent, his grandma, and step-grandpa all have birthdays within days of each other. Yup, my little guy turned TWO. Where has the time gone?

The best thing that ever happened to me, right here.

The best thing that ever happened to me, right here.

Hmmm, what else? Work has been very good this year. They recently changed it so it is harder to meet the RE  this year. I thought that I had only met it, but I actually went above, so my pay raise and gain sharing was better than I had expected. Which is good because Jim and I had SO many bad, emergent, dental problems that we maxed out a couple of credit cards pretty quickly. With the gain sharing, I can probably get about half of it paid off this weekend alone.

On top of it, we’ve had other medical stuff. Vincent got sick for the first time ever, fever and everything. It was awful. Then Jim got sick. Then I got something that I thought was what they had, but I actually never did get sick–what I had was the beginning of symptoms that became more like heart attack symptoms as they presented themselves one by one. Yup, when I came in, they promptly did an EKG and I’m scheduled for a stress echo on Monday. Big fun, right?

Good thing I’m still working overtime, ha.

On the non-medical not so great side of things, plaster from our living room ceiling came plummeting to the living room floor the other day. Jim scraped it up, checked up in the attic, discovered a small leak. He thinks based on where it is, it will be a relatively easy (and cheap) fix. I have faith in him. So far, I’ve seen him fix a plethora of things now, everything from the roof on my sister’s old house (hey, did I mention she’s renting it out now?) to the plumbing in every single place that we’ve lived to drywall.

Yeah, he can do all these things and it’s hot. He just gets hotter all the time.

Speaking of hot:

Oh, the hotness.

Oh, the hotness.

Yeah, okay, confession, I am watching Vikings right now, yet again, so I’m a little distracted. I usually prefer dark hair and dark eyes in a guy–not shocking that Jim has both of these–but you cannot deny it when someone is THAT good-looking. And the character of Ragnar is just so awesome.

Anyway, I shouldn’t stay up too late. Jim is out with friends tonight, and I planned on getting up with Vincent, partly to give Jim a break, and partly because Vincent is the most cuddly in the morning, heh. Travis Fimmel is cute, but Vincent will always be my favorite blue-eyed boy. Ever.

 

The Anniversary.

Today marks a year that my dad passed away.

My dad used to talk about dying a lot, long before he ever got sick. “When I kick the bucket someday,” he would always start out. We’d always protest this, and he would say, “Well, it’s gonna happen!”

Then about a year ago, after he passed away, after we finally got someone to watch Vincent and borrowed money to go up north so that I could see my mom and my family and pay my last respects, I was alone in my dad’s room, running my hands over books that he had. Well, Dad, that day you always talked about has happened, I remember thinking. The thought surprised me. I didn’t mean to think it. It seemed very cold and matter-of-fact. It felt separate from me.

It’s gonna happen!

One of the things my dad frequently talked about were his journals. He had one for all of us kids. He wrote in them specifically for us to read only after he died. When his mom died, he had wished he had letters or something like that from her afterward. Which I think would have been difficult–I was thinking that she couldn’t read or write very well. I am pretty sure my dad once told me she only went to the second grade.

We all got our journals while we were up there, along with the pens he had used to write in our specific journals. Of course, I recognized my journal immediately. Besides the labels he had on all of them (he had become very forgetful and started labeling EVERYTHING, including the pictures in his room), the journal was a notebook that I had given to him years before. I still remember buying it. I thought it was the prettiest notebook, and I had originally intended to buy it for myself, but then I thought my dad would like it, so I gave it to him instead. I was right–he loved it. In fact, that notebook is what gave him the idea to start all the journals for us kids.

What a strange feeling to get it back.

After I had come back from up north, it took a few days to get myself to read it, not only emotionally, but, well, Vincent was still a baby after all and demanded a lot of time. Finally, I did.

What was in it?

Mostly, “I love you” and “I wish I could see you guys more.”

I felt so bad. It was a whole notebook of longing. I left home at 18 and except for a month during my divorce, I hadn’t really been in the same town as my parents for very long. Hell, half of the time, I wasn’t even in the same part of the state.

And that was the hardest part of my dad’s death. Diana had been giving Jennifer and me updates. Jen lives in North Dakota, so she was in the same boat I was, having to rely on Diana to determine how good/bad Dad’s condition was. Diana kept saying Dad looked awful, we may need to prepare.

But last year was after all the ACA stuff took effect. There was no way that I could get out of work. And Dad had actually been moved out of ICU and from what Jennifer had heard, he was doing better. Jennifer and I discussed it. We love Diana, but Diana does tend to be on the dramatic side, and we thought Dad would probably be okay.

I remember it was the 23rd when Jennifer told me that she actually talked to Dad. I was surprised. My dad had suffered a stroke, and I have no clue why, but I had gotten it into my head that because he couldn’t really talk, he also really couldn’t understand, so I hadn’t called because I didn’t want to bother him. Jennifer said that even with her medical experience and knowledge that he was a stroke victim, it still choked her up when he tried to respond to say “I love you” to her. The words were garbled, but the intonation was there.

I remember this conversation was on the 23rd because it was the night before my dad passed away. I hung up with Jim and said,  Oh, my god, why didn’t I think he could understand? We agreed that I would call him the next day after I got off from work. I would call my dad and let him know that I was thinking of him.

But, of course, I got the call at 6:30 in the morning before I even punched into work that Dad had passed away. I never got to make the call. I never got to tell him anything.

***

Since then, my Facebook feed has had many messages of grief. A year ago, they were mostly of my father. Eventually, new faces have appeared. More photo changes to honor the dead, more words of longing.

I sometimes still don’t know if I’ll ever have the words to express how I feel about my dad’s passing. I knew it was coming, and it still was such a shock. And along with the initial grief, all I could think was that Dad may be happier this way. Dad missed a lot of people who had passed away–my father, a man who didn’t believe in ghosts confessed he had seen my grandmother once at the end of his bed after she died–but Joshua’s death shook him hard.

Between his grief and his rapidly declining quality of life, I honestly think my dad chose death. I think this because he had been getting better. But people around him were also talking about putting him in a nursing home. There was no way my dad would have ever been okay with that. So he did what most people hope they have a chance to do before they die: He looked at my mom and mouthed I love you to her. And then he was gone.

***

Maybe one day I’ll get a handle on all this.

I’ve been reading another online friend’s blog, one who has recently lost her mom. It’s eerie how similar some of the thoughts are. Where are they? We can’t move because they won’t be able to find us.

But as someone who has gone through a major loss before…you do move. You move because life makes you, whether you want to or not.  And you trust that you will find each other again.

I can’t find the right words. In a year, I still haven’t put my finger on anything. And so I’ll borrow Amy Tan’s from one of my most favorite books ever, The Hundred Secret Senses, a book that is about love, annoying family members, and yes, life after death:

Now I’m looking at the heavens again. This is the same sky that Simon is now seeing, that we have seen all our lives, together and apart. The same sky that Kwan sees, that all her ghosts saw, Miss Banner. Only now I no longer feel it is a vacuum for hopes or a backdrop for fears. I see what is so simple, so obvious. It holds up the stars, the planets, the moons, all of life, for eternity. I can always find it, and it will always find me.

And that about sums it up.

Wth.

Called in work with a massive headache that has taken over half my face and feeling nauseated as hell. I keep getting these, and I don’t know if they’re just more mild migraines than I’ve had or what.  I don’t have the light sensitivity.  Well,  right now, I don’t LIKE light, but it’s not killing me like with past migraines.

Also, my legs hurt and I keep feeling hot. Not sure if it’s related, but it sure makes sleeping off this crap next to impossible.

Woe is me.  :-(

Things.

My mind has been a whir lately. There’s the usual financial stuff. When is that never an issue in my life? It was getting better, then I had my dental stuff come up, then Jim had his dental stuff come up, and it was like all the issues we had been putting off for a year came to a head, all at once, and I was like, “Well, good thing we paid these credit cards off this past summer because we’re about to run them up again.”

Work has been going pretty good, except I still only do some overtime rather than MAD AMOUNTS that I say I’m going to. In my defense, Jim will urge me not to. I think he gets lonely during the day. He doesn’t want to be lonely in the living room, listening to me tap away on the keyboard down the hall.

This, despite that this is the exact scenario right now: he’s in the living room, I’m in bed on the laptop. But I was about to break down just for this small piece of solitude. I love Jim, he’s a good man, and I feel bad because, man, he must feel really isolated, being a stay at home dad, but when I’m off work, it’s like there’s a Jim-cloud following me around, always looming over me. Do you need anything? Are you okay? Hug me. Can I get affection? Kiss me! I need, I need, I need.

Thankfully, he does understand that I need my time by myself. Last weekend, he took Vincent and went out for an hour. It was a good hour, a needed hour. But, still, only an hour after months. I managed to get a shower in by myself. It was nice.

On a completely different subject, Jim replaced the seal on the toilet to keep it from leaking. It was manly and I was impressed. I was chatting with my co-worker today, and I confessed to him that I was gaining more confidence in Jim’s handyman’s skills. Like, pretty much anything, Jim can accomplish. Even if he’s never done it before, he gets it done, and he does a good job. It’s both convenient and sexy.

“I like being able  to fix things for you,” he says.

“You say that now, but just think of all the things I’m going to start asking you to do,” I reply.

It’s true. There are a lot of things around this house I have plans for. The floor in the hallway still needs to be put down, I want to retile both the kitchen and the bathroom–shoot, redo just about everything in the bathroom–new cabinets, convert the current porch into a sun room, build a porch all along the back, shelves in the living room…the list goes on and on. It’s going to take years, money.

Money that is going to go to dental bills, grrr.

Still, though, this is something I’m looking forward to, making our house our own. One super awesome thing is that Jim and I seem to have very similar tastes with most things. It’s such a relief, especially having the experience with my ex where we had next to nothing in common. He had wanted to live in the city and be “cosmopolitan” (yes, his words, seriously), but I had wanted to live in a more rural place. He liked retro, 50s furniture. I liked 50s music, but I thought that the furniture is better left in the attic, where nobody can see it.

Recently, Jim and I had an interesting suggestion made to us. Jim’s dad is looking to buy another property on this road. He was thinking of taking his current property, rezoning it, building houses on it, all that stuff, moving some family members in, but he had asked Jim if was interested in their place. Jim brought the idea to me. “Would you be interested?” he asked.

I thought for a moment. It’s a nice place. I have to admit, the lot is much better than ours. We’d have more room. But I like our little house. It’s cozy and I have plans for it. For some reason, this house has always felt like ours, like we were meant to be here. It’s hard to explain.

I like our yard. It’s smaller than most of our neighbors, hillier than I’d like, but it is by far the biggest yard I’ve ever had. It’s a good size for us, though, as while we like to have room, it’s not so big as to be too cumbersome for two people who have a small toddler and a limited amount of energy.

I don’t know them very well, but our neighbors seem nice. The neighbors on one side came over after Jim put up the Christmas lights to compliment him on it. The other neighbors dropped by and gave us free eggs from their chickens. We reciprocated with fudge. Vincent likes their horses; we all like their big, white dog.

And, of course, there’s Vincent’s grandparents down the street, the other grandma working across the street, and now, Jim’s dad is wanting to buy more down this road and, from what it sounds like, move more of Jim’s family down this road, which sounds awesome.

Yeah, I think we’ll stay where we’re at. Jim and I have some long-term plans we’re kicking around, but we’ll see how it all pans out. For now, I should go to bed. One day at a time, one paycheck at a time. We’ll get there.

 

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