Saturday, February 28, 2009

The End of Christmas

What?! It's the end of February, so how can I still be talking about Christmas?!? 'Cuz I just gave my last gift, that's how. With money being tight, Tom and I talked our families into cutting back on the gift exchange. When it came to my mom, she said we didn't need to give her anything, but if we wanted, we could clean out her shed.

Oh, she's a crafty one, my mom. And I don't mean that she's into doing crafts, either. She's probably been asking me to clean the shed since... oh... ahem... when I lived here more than three years ago. Most of the crap in there was hers, some of it was mine and all of the mess was Corey's. So today he and I spent two hours or so pulling everything out and sorting it into recycling, trash, donation, keep and hey-that's-mine.

It turns out that the recycling program that her park used to run is kaput, and I'm not jamming four years worth of dust-covered crap into my car. So I had Corey put it out near the dumpster. Same with the donation stuff.

One of the boxes that I'd assumed was more of her Christmas decorations turned out to be a box of kitchen stuff from my old apartment. Most of it I went ahead and "donated," but there were a few things I could still use more than someone else.

So I am covered in dust and webs, but Mom's letting me use her computer anyway. Pretty sweet, that woman.

In the room adjacent to this one, there is a massive collection of boxes. I have lost count, but a serious quantity of our kitchen stuff has been packed up and brought over. Some time this weekend Tom's supposed to pack up our office. Once he does that, I'll hopefully be able to use some of that space instead of bringing so much over here.

In Mad-a-news, she's starting to get the hang of the whole "where's your nose" thing... but we're just at the very beginning. This morning as Tom and I were playing with her in our bed, I kept pointing out our noses and also the nose on Pooh. For the remainder of the morning when asked, "Where's your nose?" she would grab Pooh and touch his nose while looking like she wasn't quite sure that's what we wanted.

In Coreyland, the day hasn't been so great for him. He spent the morning helping me pack. We attempted to make hash browns, but came out with one batch of hash grays and one of hash blacks instead. (Now I recall why I don't make them from scratch.) Then he and Tom had a minor spat, but it resulted in Tom realizing how messy Corey's room is... thus he was to spend the rest of his "free time" cleaning it. (Personally I say we wait another 10 days before having him clean... then there's less chance of it being as bad right before we move.) Cleaning the shed wasn't fun, but it was really a nice time that he and I had, all things considered. However, now that the work is done and he knows he'll be staying the night at Grammy's, he found out that his best friend, Ricky, is grounded. Grr!

And in bigger news related to Corey, it seems that his counselor and psychiatrist are coming closer to making a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Part of me feels like saying, "Who cares?! Call it what you will, we've been living with it since nearly forever." The rest of me doesn't want my baby to struggle with mental illness his whole life.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Checking In

So the knickknack formerly known as our computer has no real chance of being saved and, from what I can figure out, I may have accidentally donated our operating system and program disks when I got rid of some other programs that we don't use. I could be wrong. Maybe we've both just missed them. My inability to find anything when it's staring me right in the face has been rubbing off on Tom, so I guess it's possible.

In other news, the busted water main is being repaired by the sellers. That's good news because all of our available cash and much of our credit will be going toward other things we need for the house.

Tom and I are anxious to get back up there and finish the inspection. Today we decided on the dishwashwer and range that we'd like to get. The range is about $700 more than our previous first choice (naturally) unless we buy it at the Sear's Outlet. Then it's the same price as the other one. Hopefully they'll still have some in stock when we are ready, about three weeks from now.

Madelyn has been walking for more than a month now. She has it all down, too. From getting up in the middle of the floor to walking on grass to walking on a grassy hill (up and down, thank you very much). And I'm guessing she will not be another ADD child based on this one simple difference between her and Corey when he was around this age: If Corey was doing something he shouldn't, I would just turn him around and he'd get interested in something else right away. For Madelyn, touching the TV is a game that she wants to play and play. She isn't supposed to have much of a long-term memory yet, but she walks over, puts her hand near the TV, stops to look at me and smile before touching it. She is 10 months old and has already been called by her full name about half a dozen times! God I love her!

Corey is doing alright. He's slowing down on his schoolwork again. I notice that this keeps happening whenever he's given a quantity of work and a timeline in which to complete it. Very frustrating, but I'm on to him now. I had him start doing some of the preliminary cleaning in his room today.

And in packing news, we're up to about 30 boxes, four folding chairs and two beach umbrellas at Mom's house, 7-8 more boxes ready to go (why did I leave them at home when I came here?!?) and a plan for what's next. Today I packed up most of the utensils that we don't use regularly and that felt good.

I guess that's about all for now. No word on when we'll be dealing with the computer. Tom's parents offered to buy a laptop because he needs computer access for a business he's trying to start up. Initially I said no because he and I have a deal: he can get a laptop when he's making progress on completing his thesis (or, as I call it, "The Damn Paper"). He's been a thesis away from his Master's degree for seven years now. But we may need to break the deal in order to be able to take care of what needs doing. Mom lets us come here (thanks Mom... and this time I mean it, lol), but her Internet is spotty lately. Plus we won't always be four miles apart. Argh!

**I don't have time to spell check this sucker, so if it's whacked out, I apologize.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

It's the Economy, Baby

Today I helped move some of Mom's furnishings from her office at the church, where she will work until Sunday. As I was schlepping her credenza up the stairs into her home, her neighbor came out and we chatted for a few minutes. Her husband has already been laid off. I know of no fewer than a dozen people within my extended circle of friends and family who are recently unemployed due to the economy.

The other morning I woke from a dream wondering if we were going to start seeing bread lines and soup kitchens.

And in the midst of this, we are buying a house. Assuming we can each hold on to our jobs, that is. I have spent less than half of our grant so far at work. Spend it or lose it. Lose it and lose everything. Meanwhile, Tom is still having a couple of days off unpaid a month.

Those incredibly short-sighted state workers here in California irk me like you can't believe. So you have to take two Fridays off each month without pay. Otherwise your job's pretty secure, right? Suck it up and deal, just like the rest of us. There's no need for whining to the media.

And for the people who were inconvenienced by the offices being closed last week... grow the freak up, would ya?!? We all have inconveniences. It's not like the people who work there wanted to be off. I know. I read the news.


Again I say, in the midst of all this, we are buying a house. C'mon Saint Patrick's Day! C'mon job security! It's the ultimate hopeful action these days. We hope it works out. I feel like it will. I have packed over 20 boxes and labeled them with the contents and the name of the room where they should be placed when we move them up the hill. I can picture our washer and dryer in the laundry room. I know which room is who's and what will happen should we have another child next year. I am starting to believe.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Thanks, Mom!

This has to be quick. I'm at Mom's house, using her computer because ours has gone from sick with at least 15 viruses (viri?) to anybody-know-the-Last-Rites? Well, it's not really dying as much as it doesn't matter that it's alive. I can turn it on, log in and watch it start to load for about 15 seconds before it logs me off again. "Windows" is not a recognized file. That's bad, right?

And how did we come to have such a meltdown while we're in escrow and can't spend an extra cent on anything otherwise how will we pay for the new appliances and blinds the house requires? I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say my son was porn surfing... again. I'm not just saying that because he's my favorite scapegoat. I say that because the names of the infected files that brought the computer down (back when I thought it was still salvageable) pretty well spelled it out.

Last night Corey stayed here at Mom's house. He also got to come here for a few hours on Friday afternoon. My mom and I have had a standing rule that Corey can use her secondary computer... the one without Internet access while he's here. Makes sense, right?

Imagine my chagrin when I called this morning and asked what he was up to... he was playing his game on this computer. "It's okay. Grammy let's me."

Oh, hell no!

So I called her... she was already at church. She works there (for now, damned economy), and leaves Corey at home until the second service. Corey wasn't making it up. She does let him.

How many times have we talked about the need for him to be supervised if he's on this computer? Or if he's at work with her, because yes, my boy has stolen from the church. But it's as if those things are so far in the past as to not be of concern anymore.

With all the recent problems we've had... and they've been huge... you'd think she could truly be helpful, instead of trying to be his friend.

So I have appealed, yet again, to her desire for his well-being, and how that does not include porn surfing. As an extra measure, I pointed out the damage done to our computer and that she can't afford to have to repair this one again. Less than a month ago she had to get a new tower and all the bits that go into it. She had gotten a virus somehow. Anybody want to guess how?
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