Sunday, November 29, 2015

Dear Dad....

Dear Dad,

Things were going well last year, though you were in and out of the hospital a lot. I was really looking forward to doing Thanksgiving with you - we made a good team with you cooking and me prepping. Last Thanksgiving kind of sucked without you.

This year, though, landlady and I had people over - mostly her friends, though a couple of mutuals - and it went well. I think the cornbread dressing turned out very well this year, maybe the best I've made yet. I tried one little new trick, and it was a nice touch. I did most of the rest of the cooking, too, and though it got close for a few minutes, I didn't kill anybody. I'm sure you're proud of me.

I'm hoping to be in Florida for xmas, with Amelia and Ryan and Sam, and maybe we'll make dressing and pink stuff, maybe not. It would be fun to do some of that with Ryan, I think, though. 

More important will be to get to spend some time with them, just being together. A few days last year for your memorial wasn't enough. Ryan's grown so much since the kids left for Italy, and I'm missing a lot, even though we talk as often as we can.

We never miss the chance to say "I love you," because after all the people we've lost, we know tomorrow isn't guaranteed. Amelia misses you. I do, too. Ryan didn't know you well enough to miss you, and I get sad when I think about that. You'd have been a marvelous great-Papa.

I had a bad moment last month, when I realized I was going to meet someone (or remeet someone, who knows?), someone who will be special to me, and you won't be around to shake his hand or welcome him to the family. That'll be on me, since the rest of us are so scattered about. It feels a little silly to be fifty years old and sad my dad won't be there to see me happily in a relationship, but I guess you'll see it from where you are. I'll miss the hugs, though, and the dry jokes you'd make that mostly only you and I get.

Vicky got married last month, which may be what made me start thinking about it, and I was the only kid not there. It didn't make sense, financially, to go to Seattle, but it was still a hard thing to miss my own sister's wedding. She'll have a reception/party later, but it won't be the same as being there on the day.

Anyway, things are plodding along. The depression's not too bad this year, even if I've had some really bad moments, and the year's almost over. January always feels better somehow, and I hope it does this time, too.

I hope you're happy and healthy where you are, where the cigars don't stink and the coffee doesn't raise blood pressure. I hope you're reading or writing or wrangling government contracts, whatever makes you feel good.

I'll see ya next time around, maybe. Or you'll visit my dreams. I love you.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Book: A Winter Wedding by Brenda Novak

I received a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I enjoyed the way this relationship started as strictly friends, even if it didn't stay that way long.

Lourdes was holding on a little too tight to a man she wasn't even sure she loved anymore, Kyle was still bent up about Olivia, and Kyle's ex-wife was...well, I'd have had a restraining order out on her by now. Kyle's continued attachment to Olivia was becoming a little too much. It seemed like enough time had passed that he should have made himself move on by the time of this book.

Though this installment was ostensibly Lourdes and Kyle's story, a great deal of book real estate was given over to other members of the Whiskey Creek gang. I enjoyed seeing them again, especially the bits and pieces of wedding planning, but I also felt the L/K story was a little shortchanged - not enough focus on the development of their relationship.

Lourdes' interactions with people other than Kyle were entertaining, especially as she was so adamant about wanting to keep to herself while she was in town. She ended up being pretty much outed, and she took it all with grace and poise.

Bottom line, I enjoyed another visit to Whiskey Creek, and the romance was satisfying, making this one a thumbs up.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Life in the Trenches. Or something.

A/N: This is not me passively-aggressively begging for money. This is me venting, hardcore.

I had a very bad day yesterday. I woke up mad at GuestDog, because she barked at the mail carrier and woke me up. Which she has done every single day she's been here, except Sunday. I love GuestDog, but I'm getting really cranky about the rude awakenings every day.

I found some decent clothes and went out and mowed the back lawn, then took a long shower. It wasn't what I wanted to do, which was break things or throw furniture, but it was something. The physical worked off some of my prickly energy, and the shower helped ground me some - scrubbing every inch of myself is pretty mindless, but also reminds me where the numb spots are, gives me something specific to think about. And I can listen to a playlist on my Kindle.

I may yet need some Angry Girl music tomorrow (as in Wednesday, because Tuesday hasn't ended for me, yet), but even if I do, I will already be better than today. Listening to Breakfast Club and Blast From the Past and Contact in the background while I did other things helped. A lot.

My depression is very "angry at myself" based. I'm angry at too many things, but not all the time. I get angriest when I get overwhelmed, when I feel like I'm failing, when everything just seems to be coming at once.

I had reached out to a local woman, asking her basically if I could pick her brain about business, since she owns one or two and is successful, and because of my miswired circadian rhythm, I fell asleep yesterday morning instead of staying up for her call. So being awakened by the dog barking at the mail carrier, me looking at my phone and realizing I'd slept through something important, something meant to help make this new direction in my life easier, was just that little bit too much.

Money is a thing for me. I grew up in a household where we never talked about money. That was Mom and Dad stuff, and none of our business. I knew we were poor, though things got easier by the time I got to high school, but I had no idea how my parents made ends meet, or if they didn't. I seriously wish my school had taught some kind of budgeting or living on your own for real class, because reality was a big surprise. I was one of those, "But I still have checks left, what the hell do you mean, I don't have money?" And I'm good with numbers. Gah.

Anyway, money's always a sore spot for me. Even if everything else in my life is going relatively well, not being able to take care of my own basic needs makes me feel like a huge failure. That is where I am - too many things coming down at once, with little income in the foreseeable future. Everything costs money that I need now, not in two months - my meds, food, a storage unit I'm desperate to get out of (we've even made room in the garage), bus rides, EVERYthing. And the bank decided my "extended" overdraft (all $30 of which is fees, which is completely asinine) was extended enough to close my account. So I'm in a really hurty "What kind of fifty-year-old woman can't take care of herself? How can you be such a failure?" place. My worst critic truly is myself.

Money failure always hurts more, pokes harder at my self-esteem, and sometimes, like yesterday, it makes me very angry. At myself. At my brain that refuses to go to sleep at anything approaching a reasonable hour, and equally refuses to awaken early enough for me to get anything done with requires leaving the house. If I want to leave the house, I have to simply stay up. Going to sleep isn't an option.

I honestly have no clue how I functioned all the years I was a single parent, except that it involved three or four hours of sleep a night and about five alarms in different places in the room. And out of the room, sometimes. And a kid who didn't get to school on time, sometimes.

Anyway, this one was especially dark because over the last week, I have come up with a fantastic idea for taking my editing to a new level, and it WILL change my life. I have absolutely zero doubt. I can feel it, deep inside my soul. The energy is changing. And I was am so excited about it.

And then, I get a day like yesterday, and it makes my usual depression feel like a stubbed toe.

I think of all the things I "have" to have money for, and it just seems hopeless. How do I go to my doctor appointment in two weeks, and pay a $5 copay, when I don't have the $5 to get on the bus to even get there? How do I send in my med mail order when I no longer have a bank account to give them the debit card number for? How do I find a way to pay for that storage unit, and for a way to get those belongings here, when I have neither the money for the storage place, or a vehicle with which to move the stuff? How do I buy the things I'm going to run out of tomorrow, which are part of my fairly strict diet, when I don't even have a frakkin' quarter to put in the buggy at Aldi, even if I had a way to get there.

I'm just so frustrated and angry and when my brain does this, it sucks the energy out of me and makes everything I do that much harder, that much more painful.

I think in my next life, I want to be a butterfly. I'd start out as a worm, hibernate, then get pretty for a few weeks, help flowers and trees have sex, and move on to whatever's after that. Yeah. Helping flowers and trees have sex. Sounds perfect.