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Showing posts with label journal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label journal. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Oh poop, Hurricaine Irma and a new house build

I wasn't really worried about the state of the house. It was in the beginning stages and I knew that anything that blew down could be put back up. What I was worried about was the projectiles that a house in progress could cause on the rest of the neighborhood.



The good news is that only a couple pieces of wood blew away and did not ruin anyone else's house that I know of. The bad news is that the construction workers probably needed a fresh toilet.


eww. 

At home, we in the NE suburbs of ATL lost trees in the neighborhood.  My yard is a mess. A shutter is kinda in a precarious position and we lost power for an hour. Most of our friends and family lost power for 24 hours. Some lost power for two whole days... one person is still out. 

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Old and New

As my old house gets closer to ready to sell, I am becoming nostalgic as it is a particularly beautiful home.  So why am I moving?  It doesn't work well for us as a family.
My "old" two story foyer at Christmastime


It doesn't work for a 4 car family. We have to constantly shuffle around cars every morning and evening. You could say that it only temporary as my children will fly the coop before long, but whenever my grown family will come home to visit or whenever we have visitors, we will have the same annoying problem.
Photo of "old" great room

Another reason it doesn't work is it doesn't flow to fit the way we live. We walk in, kick off our shoes, put down our bags and go about our business... the foyer door and kitchen door become littered with, shoes, and bags, and mail and stuff like that, and with 4 adults in the house, it gets a bit overwhelming to stay on top of.  With a proper mud room and foyer closet, the new house will hopefully work better with the way we use the house.

Finally, we needed to move because I was having a safety issue with the stairs.  I have very big feet (and the stairs are quite small) and a numbness problem with my leg. I had taken to falling on the stairs regularly. My first inclination was to get a first-floor master, but instead, we are getting an upstairs laundry room, right outside the master closet, so that will mean I don't have to carry clothes up and down the stairs. Plus the new stairs are bigger and wider.

On the negative side, the old house is far more dramatic than the new house with its two story foyer and great room and soaring ceilings, but we just don't live for that anymore.

The new house, on the other hand, feels so low maintenance. The type of counters and tiles, the wall to wall hardwood floors I have chosen, and the simplicity of design. All in all, it will be smaller than the old home, but the two main floors are bigger in the square footage because there are not two story rooms which can cause a loss of square footage.

Btw, my realtor friend took aerial photos of the house in progress... Isn't that cool?

Monday, August 28, 2017

Getting a house ready for sale is a nightmare

Getting a house ready for sale is a nightmare, and makes me really crazy.  So far I have replaced flooring.  Had painters do the deck, some minor facade repair, and interior painting.  Now I am looking at fixing the front porch, and it's a bit more money than I expected.  Ugh.  I don't want to sell a house with issues, but I also don't want to pay much more to sell the house... what to do, what to do? So far, I am just practicing being mean and difficult with the people who sell the services.

In the meanwhile, we are building another house, thankfully far enough away to not be obsessive about always being there.  They are kinda nickel-and-diming us too. I mean after you've paid a sizeable non-refundable deposit. Why does a couple of minor changes mean you have to pay an additional non-refundable deposit?  Are my changes so egregious that no one in their right mind would want them if the sale fell through? It's not that it is a lot of money, it is that it is getting insulting.

So anyway, my current house is starting to look dreamy and I am remembering what I love about it, though still ready to let it go. And the new house is coming along.  The garages are done and plumbing is stubbed.  I will put some photos below.

Front

Side

back

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Shtuff they try when you purchase carpet.

So it was time to replace the carpet in my house since I moved in 15 years ago and it was in terrible shape.  It did not go smoothly.

First, I went to the local home improvement store warehouse and picked up samples, telling the carpet person that I would want it by the end of the month, they said: “no problem” and nothing else.  I brought the samples home and got opinions and made decisions.

I went back a few days later, and once again told the guy my decision and my timeline and we arranged a measurement appointment. Now, I was apparently there on the last day of the sale, so I paid my deposit to lock it in.  In included “free” installation, and no additional stair installation, and moving of heavy furniture, so I was happy.

The guy who measured was great and we had great conversations while he did it.  He measured 5 rooms and the upstairs hallway and the stairs. He saw what was in each room and what was not in each room.  His estimation for my square footage was the same that I had guesstimated, so that was cool.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Anger and Loathing 30 years post high school and...

This crap happens.  See the letter that I just sent to my high school who took weeks to be able to report that my husband (and I) graduated.

To Whom it may concern: I am writing to request high school transcripts for myself and my husband. We need these transcripts because we discovered that Yonkers Public Schools records department reported that (xxxxxx xxxxxxx 19xx) had never graduated high school.  Upon calling the schools to investigate we also discovered that the records department also did not have my (xxxxxx xxxxxxx 19xx) graduation information.  In fact, it turned out that both of our high school records had the same wrong information. This is incredibly disconcerting to me because it makes me wonder what opportunities I may have missed over the years due to such an error. Unfortunately, when I relayed my concerns to Miss. Dodie who runs the Yonkers records department, I was met with defensiveness and anger. I did not deserve that. I do deserve that my high school information and my husband’s high school information is reported properly when

Monday, July 31, 2017

Stranger Prayer

My three-day migraines are an expected inconvenience.  They are hormonal and on schedule. It starts out with some light sensitivity and my back and neck start to tighten up. Eventually, I get a feeling of a spike being driven up my nose. I do my best to hydrate and take migraine medicine, but all that said, I typically survive day 1 intact.

Day two I usually wake up wondering why I am still alive. the railway ties that have been driven up my nose feel like someone is still smacking them with a hammer. If I'm not busy, I spend the day in bed, hiding, but lately, it seems I still have things to do, so I take drugs and keep moving.

Day 3 is marked with an aching head and mental confusion and a bit of eye twitching. I literally don't

Sunday, July 23, 2017

That time ATT & Best Buy let someone steal phones on my account

As we were heading out to the restaurant for my son's 23rd birthday, his phone went dead. Since his phone is kinda old, we figured it was a fluke and went ahead and ate. (Side note, if you phone goes dead, call the phone company immediately).  After eating, we got on the phone and called to find out someone had just upgraded my son's phone, and "purchased" two more phones on my account that I would have to pay for.

I caught it quick so it will be OK... but...

Folks are not doing their jobs. That person either had a fake ID or knew my PIN, but probably not both.  Anytime I have to do anything on my account, I have to give my first born's blood type, but this person could waltz into Best Buy and get 3 phones in my name and go about their happy business.... that pisses me off.

But OK... I spoke to pre-fraud and will speak to fraud in the morning.  They re-simmed my son's existing phone so his phone is usable... and the guy at the store had me change my password and suggested I manage my account online... I wasn't sure what he meant, but I figured out how to disconnect and block those phones online tagging them as stolen... I was told don't worry about it, but I could not sleep after reading that someone could possibly use the phones to get into my personal information, so I took my own steps.

So, ATT?  What's up?  Best Buy... Really?

I am wondering if it is an inside job on either side.  My son did buy the phone that is now out of contract at Best Buy... did someone access that info?  Or... did the one of the two people who I upgraded my service with last month (who buy the way did not finish the orders, I had to call 3 time)... did one of them use my info to steal phones.

I would like to know.

oh, and I will be following the steps in this article tomorrow. https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/blogs/techftc/2016/06/your-mobile-phone-account-could-be-hijacked-identity-thief

Friday, July 07, 2017

Mammograms and my scattered life

Unlike last time, I got a letter back from the women's center saying my mammogram is all clear. "No abnormalties that indicate breast cancer. The last time THEY acted completely freaked out, called me back in, did another mammogram while making no eye contact, then left me laying on a table for over an hour while a doctor went around looking at women's results, doing a hands-on exam and telling them whether or not they had cancer.  I lay on that table for over an hour listening to women crying... I started planning my will.  Fortunately, I had some pearl-cysts he said... not cancer...  but what an ordeal.  To rub more salt in the would, they completely messed up my billing (hence the experience this time).  But the cysts eventually went away, I poked them daily for like a year until I could not feel them anymore, and I am all good.

I don't know about this FitBit. Maybe I'm nuts, but I think I can feel the sensors... I am very aware of my wrist the whole time. I am tracking my meals and keeping them 500-1000 calories a day under what I burn. It is making me get up more and to exercise more... and I have lost a couple pounds so I will keep using it for a while.

My work has me perplexed. I need to finish the book I am working on...It needs to be finished, and I need to get going with my homeschool advocacy.  There never seems to be the time.  It is probably the most important thing I am doing.

Meanwhile,... The industry I jumped into last year (vintage and antique furniture) is actually struggling right now as an industry and I have moved shops and am trying different things, because the most dedicated people do make money. I am just really mad that one of the places I joined recently over represented their sales... sure, there are always cars in the parking lot, but they are all vendors cars, so... yeah... The good news is the newest place I found is doing well, and kinda effortlessly, but it is a design center, not a vintage or antique place, and the things I find attractive seem to sell well there. I am looking forward to putting up my Christmas display.  In addition, my bestie just got her Real-Estate license (remember when I was trying that) and I am helping to set up her business... I will be introducing her soon... she's kinda awesome. I have dabbled in real-estate my entire life and have a paralegal degree, and as her career takes off, I could unintentionally end up with a job.

Since the last election, I have quietly participated in groups that discuss politics, but they are starting to lose focus and bicker too much for my comfort. As the next election draws near, I know focus will come back, but for now, I have retreated because my sanity is important.... and thinking about the state of our politics non stop will make anyone angry.

Yes, this is all too much, and if you follow me you know I also make costumes and am on the board of a community theatre... This kind of work probably needs to be passed on to my daughter... I like being valued, but it is her real gifting, I only got into it due to her.

Oh yeah, I'm an artist... I really need to paint something... and things seem to be MOVING on the home front... I may be building a house.  Shoot me now.



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

I am 49 years old dammit!

It is the morn of my 49th birthday, and already I have been besieged with people purposely wishing me a happy 39th or the umpteeth anniversary of my 29th birthday.  What kind of shenanigans are these?

I am 49 and have earned every single day of my existence. I don't like it when people roll back the clock on me (though I am trying to have good humour about it).  I am sure I have insulted at least one person this morning... but...

My sisters (step sisters) passed away at 28, 30, and 35 due to a genetic illness I don't have.  My brother made it to about 44. His daughter made it to 21. I have 4 brothers left, who survived the genetic lottery. I am aware of my mortality and every year is a triumph.  I am also quickly approaching the age my mother passed away. She was 55. I am not worried though because she had cancer when she was younger than I am now, so there's another victory!

Excuse my morbid nature, but it just irks me when people wish me a happy birthday, by insisting on rolling back the clock out of humour our naivety. It is just not necessary with me.

Imma go ahead and enjoy this day, and hopefully not roll any heads. One more year to go to 50!!!! wooo hoo!.  We are gonna celebrate!


Monday, June 19, 2017

On weddings and marriage

It is rare to be invited to the wedding of someone you know casually, like a work chum or someone you have met thought hobbies or such, but this past weekend, I scored such an invite. I went to the wedding of a young lady who I have costumed consistently over the past 2 years in a few stage productions. I am a big fan of hers as she is hilarious. Even more so, I admire how her fiance (now husband) got onto stage at her request recently and take part in a flipped gender comedy. He was out of his element, but easy-going nature and willingness to play along won my heart. And so these two crazy kids got married. They were just a few years older than I was when I got married, but in this day and age they are YOUNG! But that's OK.

There is a certain beauty in attending a wedding where you are not a relative, or where you really don't know anyone else there. I had a small group of other theatre people, but mostly we knew no one. So there's no probing questions from relatives who want to know your personal business. There are no drunk uncles to look out for (and you don't really care). There are no family feuds for you to intervene in... no awkwardness at all.  Just wonderful wedding and no judgement. Normally, I don't like weddings at all, but this one was wonderful.  (It probably had something to do with some top-notch wedding planning because this was so classy, and clean, and orchestrated... I am in awe.)

Weddings, in my opinion are often the barometer for a marriage. If the wife is a Bride-zilla and short tempered on the wedding day(common), then the marriage is doomed to short-tempered existence. If the husband is barely standing due to way too much alcohol, then the marriage is doomed to unpredictability due to poor impulse control. If extended family members are at war, then the couple will be besieged with family pressures that can destroy the marriage. But if both people are easy going, and just darned happy to be at the alter, they will have the good nature and humor to get though everything life throws them.  The latter is what I witnessed this weekend.

The best part about the ceremony, in my opinion is the playful way they wanted to and tried to kiss before the priest gave permission. She had to keep saying, no not yet, I will let you know. Also, the bride had the tendency to jump up and down in joy from time to time.  And I am sure the grooms face is still hurting two days later because his smile muscles were in action the whole afternoon and evening! Yes, this is going to be a joyous marriage.

My heart is happy right now, knowing there is still good in the world.  So from an old married lady, with a bit of experience behind her, my best advice to young married couples is have fun... Yes, of course, do the work... but keep a light heart and you will be happy.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Doing too much, accomplishing too little

I have been driving from one vintage booth to another as I close down the one where the store has lost it's lease due to a new owner in the plaza and a supermarket coming it. (It took alot of pulling teeth to get the full story.)

I have been painting alot, and just trying to manage to get items ready for sale.

I have been crafting every single evening, also to have booth items, and to get rid of an over abundance of craft supplies... of course each supply calls for another supply to finish the job.

I have been organizing my home to make all this stuff more accessible.

I have been putting items for sale on Ebay...

I'm tired, and I haven't seen pay off yet, so that is exhausting.

And my husband is seriously giving me the side eye because he sees me doing all this work, but progress is not quite as evident.

Ugh.  It's so difficult and confusing to embrace your talents.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Observations with a cane

I have been using a cane for just under a month now. It is interesting to see how much is confuses some people and calls other's to action.

The confusion I am sure is because of my face. No one believes that I am 48, turning 49 in about 10 days. But the cane instantly ages a person so they look at the cane, look at my face, and look at the cane again... then I am sure they decide it is weight related, and they move on.

Other's jump into action. As I am working on my vintage booth/business, moving furniture from time to time men and younger women jump in and take over.  It is sweet, but they don't handle my furniture as carefully as I would, so sometimes I leave the cane in the car until I am done with my work.... and then I really, really need it.

Oh, the cane... why?  Numbness and tripping... so I need it for balance.  The physical therapist is working to fix the issue, and I am working do drop a few pounds because I am sure that will help.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

And She's Off

It has been an interesting last few weeks as we celebrated the youngest's college graduation, had a party,  visited with doctors to follow up on health issue that being in college exacerbated,  lost one of our dogs, and packed her off to her internship in upstate NY.  She and her dad are driving her car there as we speak. Then he will catch a plane in the morning and fly back home as she sets up her living arrangements by herself for the first time in her life.

I have always been available to pre-clean her room, make her bed and arrange her furniture. Yes, she's 20, but I am an unrepentant child hoverer... that and the fact the she is very messy by default, I have figured out a system where she can function and use the room in a way that will avoid her tendencies to be a slob.  The fact that she is sharing a small studio apartment with another person has me nervous, but perhaps the presence of someone so close will make her at least pick up her clothes and towels. I hope.

While I am excited for her, I am already looking forward to her coming back home at the end of the summer and telling me about all her adventures in that animated way she describes her life.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Still alive, the Zika didn't get me

I finally kinda feel like myself after the flu last winter, and my mini vacation.

I costumed a few shows last winter, and kept up with my board duties, and that pretty much kept me offline.

Here are a few pics of what I have been doing.

Stealing Home (partial cast)


Amazing Mayzie

Gertrude Mc Fuzz before


Gertrude McFuzz After


Children's show, Rumplestiltskin (faces cut out)

Rainbow tree in Puerto Rico

Plants in Puerto Rico




Thursday, April 13, 2017

Speechless and dragging

That is how I feel lately.

I am speechless and I feel like while I have a ton to say, the words are caught in my throat.  I feel like I have to choose between speaking and breathing. I feel like my throat is so constricted from worry that it can only serve one function at a time... well, maybe two, cuz there's eating.  But at first, I couldn't even eat.  All I could do was breathe, barely. I felt myself grasping onto a proverbial banister or chair rail, panting with heaving chest and laboring back just to exist from one moment to another.  Being so focused on just living, breathing from day to day, left my mind crowed with words that can't seem to get out.  My brain is full... and the images are not cute or fuzzy.

Basically. I'm pissed and don't know how to express it.  Who am I mad at?  The world. Everything and nothing.

And now I am dragging.  Perhaps I have been breathing too shallow for so long that the oxygen is no longer making it to my extremities. Is that why my feet tingle? Is that why my arms grow numb? Could my mental and emotional upset be contributing to my physical malaise?  Or could that flu I had about six weeks ago have left me with some kind of invisible secondary infection that won't go away.

Either way, I am literally, sick and tired, and speechless. I do have a doctor's appointment soon... maybe I should also get a therapist.  ((shrug)).

Friday, February 03, 2017

Never too old to go back to college

A few years ago, I posted that I was going to get my real estate license... I took the online class, but at the end decided not to go through with it... it seemed like an easy way to get into the workforce.

After a few years of volunteering, and learning while doing, and talking and thinking, I have decided to get a second bachelors followed by a Masters degree... right now, I reviewing math online because I will probably need college algebra.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

What I learned at Broadwaycon

As I lay in my hotel bed with sore legs and aching feet, I feel very happy and satisfied. I have just spent 3 whole days at BroadwayCon 2017, also known as BroadwayCon #2, the year we didn't get snowed in due to a huge blizzard. It was great, and after the last couple of months, I was due a break from the issues of the world that troubled my mind.

It's not like I wasn't aware of the STUFF that has had me so upset, but I was allowed to celebrate, art, and fun, and the artists who create the fun and entertainment that is so worth celebrating. The STUFF was actually a pretty major theme throughout the weekend, but to get to look at it through the lens of artists, deep thinkers, who create and reinterpret the world around us, was a beautiful thing. It was also good to know I was surrounded by people who were pretty much of the same mind. Sure some people didn't agree and a few people left, but in this crowd, it probably less than 1% of the crowd who had a problem with the narrative. 

The opening and closing performances, for example referenced leadership that split our country and banned all that is good and threatened liberty. But in Broadway fashion, the first performance found a happy solution, and the latter gave us hope that we could in fact, survive this.... this.. that thing that would not be mentioned, but we all understood. 

So, here are the things I learned at BroadwayCon:

1. If you want to be an artist (Theatre art, visual art, writer), you need to create art... daily. 
2. You should spend half the work day in research and the other half of the day creating. 
3. You need to promote yourself using social media... it is the best way to be discovered.  Learn to use it. 
4. Never say no to an opportunity unless it makes you feel unsafe. 
5. Use your emotions to fuel art.
6. Let societal issues fuel you. 
7. Don't worry about doing derivative work. That can be paralyzing.. Create whatever comes up and then work through it to something original. 
8. Bad ideas can and will lead to wonderful ideas. 
9. What is meant for you is for you. Keep seeking opportunities, but don't get discouraged if you don't get it. 
10. Someone else's success is not your failure. 

And the bonus item: Artists are incredibly socially aware and often err on the side of compassion. 

Thank goodness I am not alone. I so feel like a fish out of water lately....  I thought the tide had turned... but it turns out I may have ended up in the wrong stream. 


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Gates, Fences, and Walls

As is typical in Metro Atlanta, I live in what some would call a McMansion, in a gated community. It didn't take me long to discover that I was locked in with the crazies. The people within this gated community act just as squirrely as the people on the outside.

Within our upper-middle income community, we have had thefts, drug deals, speeding on streets kids play on, and vandalism... the people that did the crimes lived within the community.  Take for instance the fact that my car was ransacked last night. The thief took my backpack. But before they took it they removed the contents.. My binder for the community theatre board, my folders and receipts for each costuming project. They just took the backpack and the cell phone charging brick that was in the pocket.... well, that and then they tossed the car looking for change. They didn't even take the Gas card that had $17.00 on it. Chances are, this was a neighborhood kid.  Who lives in my community. If I see my backpack again, I will be pressing charges.

So besides the fact that my neighborhood is gated... there are actually 2 gates because it is a 2 part neighborhood and the pool and tennis are in the other part, the pool is fenced.  Tall fences... tacky fences with a bit of wire at the top to keep outsiders from climbing over and using the facilities. When they put in that horrible looking prison fence and the security cameras I stopped using it altogether.  First, I felt jailed. Second, I felt watched. No one wants to feel watched in their swimsuit... so fencing the pool took the enjoyment out of it.

And then there are walls. Who are they really for? And do you really want to be trapped in with the people building them?

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Artistic Interpretations and alternative facts

When I was in college working on my BA in Fine Art, I would grate when it was time to critique one another's work... especially when it was time to critique mine. These people were always so far off the mark.

That time when I did a still life of things in my dorm room, which happened to include handcuffs that my brother won at the county fair and somehow I kept them as a momento. That still life was deemed deeply sexual when for me, they were a symbol of strength and connection.

That time when the teacher berated me for doing a Madonna and Child print when in reality the woman holding the child was my oldest sister who had died from Cancer at 30 and the child was my 2nd youngest brother who could not break out of mourning... He was broken and my heart was not only broken for me, but for him and the loss of her.  (I brought in the source photo the next day and threw it at him.)

How could these people look at my work in insinuate their own experiences into them. How dare those student (who I realized sometimes later were ALWAYS high for this class) turn strength into something dirty.  How dare that teacher get angry because he thought I had the audacity to draw something iconic without "permission" when what I had drawn was a broken heart.

How dare they.

These misinterpretations have stunted me artistically. It's been many years, but I am still afraid to put myself out there creatively due to what people might think... say. But I am getting there.

I had a thought today... Perhaps there were some truths in those critiques from decades ago. Perhaps I saw my older sister and younger brother as a religious experience. Perhaps there was some naughtiness to the fact that I included the handcuffs. Perhaps my subconscious knew something that my conscious mind was blocking.  Maybe they were right. Maybe they used alternative facts.

Speaking of alternative facts?  What the hell? But if that is the way our country wants to run itself right now... the actual facts will come out in the wash.  Eventually.

A video for your enjoyment.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

There was no meteor... It's 2017

My daughter kept saying that she was sure we were going to be hit with a meteor that would end all life before 2016 was over.  The year had been so messed up, and losing Carrie and Debbie Reynolds together to her was a sign of impending doom.  But were still here!

So here we are, alive and pretty much still in a bad mood. The politics are grating. The racial climate is uncomfortable (understatement), and the world seems suddenly unwelcoming. But that's OK.  I'm still here are I have stuff to do.

What to expect from me this year?

1. Rebranding, as evidenced by the change in my blog name.
2. No nonsense- straight talk.  I feel an urgency in my heart that won't let me mince words
3. Completion of projects to clear space to start the new ones waiting for me.

I feel a sense of urgency in my heart that is propelling me forward.

I got stuff to do.