Friday, March 30, 2007

Moods

Have you ever notice that sometimes the same mood sweeps through your personal blog community? Liv and I are on the same page right now. She's already missing her kids and she hasn't dropped them off for weekend visitation and I'm missing Monkey Boy already and he doesn't leave for spring break custody visitation until Sunday. I truly understand what she means when she talks about her home becoming a shell when her kids aren't there. If I hadn't already made plans to run away to Reg and Gigi's house, I honestly would invite her down.

Do you think it's strange to feel like inviting someone down whom you never met, never spoken to, but consider a friend because of the blogging world you share?

My world, my Monkey Boy

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Photog Friday - Hope


"In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer." - Albert Camus

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Dating or a Root Canal. . . Tough Decision

Never doubt why I worry about dating again. . . check out this New York Times article.

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Emotional Hold

This spring has turned out to be gorgeous. Flowers are blooming and filling the air with an amazing perfume. I walked 2 miles on the beach this morning just because it was so amazing here today. Even the dolphins were out playing. In spite of all of this going on around me, I feel like I'm just going through the motions: get hair cut, go to Home Depot, fold laundry, pick Monkey Boy up from school, walk dog, eat dinner with friends. Every task is done with the same emotional detachment. It's almost like I'm on emotional hold. I feel like I've reined in my emotions so tightly that I'm afraid to let go even to have happy ones. I may feel contentment or amusement or another positive emotion, but it feels diluted with some kind of background edginess. I know I'm not doing a very good job of explaining it. It's just so strange that I don't really have language for it.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Big Red is Home!

My truck, known as Big Red, is home! And it works! And it's been detailed so there aren't any old, dirty gummy bears in the carpet or old french fries between the seats! Wahoo!!!!

Monday, March 26, 2007

That Didn't Take Long

Wow, that didn't take long. I had a great phone call with my friend and now I feel human again!It was one of those phone calls where we talked about everything and nothing and it was apparently exactly what I needed. Thanks special girl!

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Inside Out

What do you do when your soul hurts? How do you deal with that? I am at the point where I feel like if someone touches me I say 'ouch' because it hurts from the inside out. My instinct is to give myself time to heal by just being quiet. I won't be posting for a couple of days. I'll try to be in a happier place in a couple of days when I post again. Friends and family: please let me work through this. I know you want to call, but I'm not in a talking mood. I know that you want to reach out, but I really need the personal space right now. Thanks.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Photog Friday - Courage


"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear." - -Ambrose Redmoon


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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Dear Soon-to-be-Ex

You have finally done it. After what you have done today, you have taught me the painful lesson of what happens when I take you at your word. You have finally taught me that you will not hesitate to hurt me if it suits your own selfish interests. You have finally taught me to accept the fact that you will lie to my face and manipulate words so that you can validate your behavior. You have finally taught me that you are only interested in your needs, that you are more than willing to sacrifice my feelings, my pain, my trust as long as you get what you want. You have finally taught me that any trust in you as a decent human being is misplaced. You have finally taught me that if I let you in my life beyond the absolute minimum you will hurt me.

These lessons have cost me so much. They have cost me endless tears. They have cause me to doubt my own intelligence, my ability to perceive people for who they are and they cost me my belief that you wouldn't hurt me again. I don't want revenge. I don't want to hurt you as much as you've hurt me. I just want you to stay away from me so that I'm not set up to get hurt again. I just want to stop hurting so much.

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Car Repair Update

As you may remember, a few days ago I whined about my car needing repairs. I still don't have my car after 2 and a half weeks. Just to recap, the first mechanic who took my engine apart literally had a stroke and ended up in the hospital. Then another mechanic put it back together, though it still wasn't working right. Another (we are on mechanic number 3 at this point) took my engine apart again. Guess what? I just found out that he got fired. Why? He failed his drug test! OMG! Now mechanic number 4 is trying to put the engine back together after druggie mechanic took it apart. I need a drink.

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L-o-n-g Weekend Update #2

I just realized that I can get up whenever I want in the morning. No getting someone to school. No making breakfast. Wow. How pathetic is it that it took me hours to figure this out!?

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L-o-n-g Weekend Update #1

Monkey Boy has been gone from the house 7 minutes and he has already called home. He wanted to talk to the dog!

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The L-o-n-g Weekend

Monkey Boy is out of school for some reason or another for the next couple of days. My soon-to-be ex is taking him out of town for the long weekend. They are going to the Bristol Motor Speedway for the Sharpie Mini 300. Ex isn't really a race fan, but he had to go up for some meetings and thought Monkey Boy would enjoy the race. He knows the owner of the Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte and asked him to get an invite to a box at the race, which he did. (Stick Knits, try not to have a heart attack!)

So I'm alone. I hate when Monkey Boy is gone because I don't know what to do with myself.

I could go out with friends but I'm in a strange place when it comes to friends. Those of you who have gone through the divorce thing know what I mean. Just about all of my friends locally are married. Trying to get them to go out and have a girls night is like trying pull teeth. When we do plan a girls night out, it has to be coordinated with all of the strategic planning of a military strike, with weeks of advance notification. My two friends who would have happily gone out with me this weekend, Leslie and Nancy, have moved away. So I'll just have to entertain myself. Whine.

I know that I'll go to the movies. I plan to go out to eat at places that are 'too boring' for Monkey Boy. Fortunately, I'm not one of those people who mind eating by themselves. I'll work on the yard since it is going to get up to the 80s this weekend. And, of course, I'll knit. I'm trying to decide if I want to go on a mini-road trip. Up for consideration are shopping in Jacksonville, the huge flea market in Daytona or outlet shopping in St. Augustine. What's a lonely mommy to do?

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Slow Mo

I feel like my life is moving in slow motion. First, there's the divorce that is and will take forever. Then there's my car that seems to be dying a very slow death. Did I tell you about my car? It started acting up when I was driving from Boone, NC. I took it to the Ford dealership and they said that I needed a new engine. This was big news to me since I had paid $1,800 a couple of weeks before to avoid getting a new engine. So I took it to the shop that charged me $1,800 to fix the car the first time. When the mechanic took my engine apart and had it laying on the floor of the garage in about a hundred pieces, he had a stroke. Literally. I'm not kidding. So they had to wait for almost a week to find another mechanic to put it back together. It still didn't work right. Two weeks later and I still don't have my car back. Slow mo repair.

And then there's the teacher certification test I took. We were given 3 hours to finish the exam and I took 2 hours and 58 minutes to finish it. About half of the people there didn't finish. And most of the people there were taking the exam for a second time. This makes me nervous. This was the first standardized test I had taken in over a decade and back then the test I took was a Microsoft Certification Exam which told you if you passed within 3 minutes of completing the test. I get to wait a month for this one. Slow motion results. And then if I didn't pass the test, I get to take it again. Slow motion certification. After all that, I can finally interview and pray there's an opening for a middle school math teacher in the county. Slow motion career change.

Where do I want to be? Divorced, employed and remodeling my house. I want to be building a new life, not waiting for it to begin. And I want it now!!

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Happy St. Pat's


Photog Friday - Beginning or End?


"The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning." - Ivy Baker

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Parking Problems, Really

Yesterday I was whining about the fact the teacher certification exam is Saturday in Savannah on St. Pat's. In it's infinite wisdom, the government of the Great State of Georgia realized that it screwed up with scheduling, two days before the test. They let me know with this spiffy email:


IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING THE MARCH 17TH ADMINISTRATION OF THE GEORGIA ASSESSMENTS FOR THE CERTIFICATION OF EDUCATORS (GACE).Please be advised that traffic may be heavy and parking may be limited in the Savannah area during the weekend of March 17th due to St. Patrick's Day festivities. Please allow extra time for travel and arrange to carpool or be dropped off and picked up, if possible. PLEASE PLAN ACCORDINGLY.Illegally parked cars may be towed at the owner's expense.Please do not respond to this email.


Gee, thanks.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Arrrggghhh!

I am totally freaking out right now! I'm in the process of getting a teacher's certificate that will hopefully lead to employment as a middle-school math teacher. I figured it would be a good career and life move as a future divorced person to have a job that aligned with Monkey Boy's schedule. To get this certificate I have to pass one test. Yes, you heard me right, I just have to pass one test. That's all the State of Georgia requires of me. No, I haven't taught before (not kids, I used to be a corporate trainer for Microsoft). No, I don't have a degree in education. I just have to take this test. They don't make me take any classes or anything else.

Why am I freaking out? It has literally been DECADES since I've studied this kind of math. I am filling my head with how to figure the area of a polygon, quadratic equations, Fibonacci numbers, seven different kinds of triangles, the Pythagorean Theorem and more. I had no idea the volume of information I had forgotten over my lifetime! I am totally afraid that I won't pass. And in Georgia's infinite wisdom, they stopped using Praxis for testing, which has tons of study materials and is used by many states and developed their own tests, which have no study materials. I feel like I'm beating my head against the wall. It's like I've been transported back in time to high school and college when I would stress over finals and the SAT, except that now, instead of holding down a minor job and living in a run-down apartment with 3 other students, I'm expected to take care of a child, keep my house from falling apart, deal with a soon-to-be ex that I can't seem to pry out of my life and a million other things.

I know that it won't be the end of the world if I don't pass this time. I can take it again in May and have the test results back in June. If I had to take it again I would be able to prepare much better after getting a feel for what is on the exam and know that I would pass without a problem. But that means more studying and less time to interview before the new school year. So I'll just continue to stress. And to add to the stress (those who know the area will appreciate this part) the nearest testing area is in Savannah, almost 2 hours away. When is the test? At 7:45 am on Saturday! And what is Saturday? St. Patrick's Day, the single busiest day in Savannah! I truly believe that evil people live in Atlanta and think, "How can I mess with people who don't live in this city?" (I'm in no way implying that all people in Atlanta are evil. I grew up in Atlanta and still consider it home. I'm just saying some of the really evil people of the world happen to live in Atlanta and work for the state government.) I can't even go up the day before and check into a hotel so that I don't have to leave here at 5:30 in the morning because all of the hotels are booked. ARRGGGHHH!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

It's a Boy!

My friend, who has recently started her own blog, and her husband have been going through the legal process of having her husband adopt her son from a previous marriage. As of yesterday, the adoption was complete! Be sure to stop by her blog and congratulate her. Thanks!

The 'new' Daddy, the forever Mommy (who would want me to tell you that she was pregnant in this photo!) and K-man.

It's Just a Job

I had to run a bunch of errands today including getting a new sticker for my car tag. I waited patiently in line and when it was my turn, I cheerfully asked the lady behind the counter how she was doing. She totally went off about how bad her day was, how a million little things were annoying her and so on. I looked at her and said, "Do what I do. Tell yourself over and over again that's it's just a job. It doesn't define you. It's just a paycheck." She actually reached out, took my hand and told me that she really needed to hear that! And she wasn't being sarcastic! I was so shocked. I mean, when was the last time that someone at a tax office touched you! She showed me a photo of her kids and told me that I reminded her that they were important and the other stuff was just noise. Wow!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Walks

I love walking with Monkey Boy. He's at that age where video games and music are far more interesting than spending time being under Mom's feet. Not that he's antisocial, he's just distracted. So one-on-one time has become more special to me.

Here in my part of the South, it got up to 75 degrees today. I asked Monkey Boy if he wanted to walk on the beach. He said yes as long as we didn't walk too far (Soon-to-be-ex makes him go on 4 mile walks and wonders why Monkey Boy hates to go on walks) and I agree. Words pour out of Monkey Boy when we walk: girls who have flirted with him, girls he likes, details of the latest episode of his favorite show, play by play info about the soccer game he played at school, what he had for lunch, his observations about the jellyfish he saw on the sand and so on. I love connecting with him in this way. He runs up and down the rocks at the edge of the beach, trying to beat his best time.

On the way back from the beach we walk past some clovers. He looks for a four leaf one and ponders what will happen if he ever finds an eight leaf clover. Would it result in an entire week of perfect luck?

As we cross the road to our home, he puts his warm hand in mine for a moment, letting go to race through the gate to pet his puppy. He shows me the latest karate move that he has 'invented.' As I open the door, he pretends that he has used magic to open it. All is right with my world.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Update from the Knitting Retreat

I've been busy recovering from a lovely bout of strep. I'm still not up to par, but I able to sit upright for more than 30 minutes at a time. Last weekend I went to a knitting retreat in Boone, NC. It was wonderful!!!! It was hosted by Baskets of Yarn which is located in Charlotte. Betsy, the owner, is a joy. We stayed at Appalachian State University in the Broyhill Inn. This was a great place to have the retreat because: (1) Everything was provided for us in one location: food, room and classrooms, (2) the location was beautiful, and (3) it was only 2 hours from a major airport. I was really impressed with the classes offered. My favorite was the Noni Night Garden Felted Evening Bag. Here a picture of it completed. I have one more flower to finish and then I can felt mine and put it together:
I also really liked the Chimera Coat class. I learned a better way to increase than I had been using and how to knit two sleeves at the same time. I really like the yarn we are using. Is Lana Gatto's Chimera. Here is the pattern picture and the colorway I picked:


The one class I wasn't totally thrilled with was the lace class. The yarn we used was an amazingly fine mohair. While the yarn was gorgeous, it was a challenge to work with. I found myself struggling with the yarn instead of focusing on the lace knitting.


Of course the best part of the retreat was reconnecting with my knitsibs! It was so great seeing Jodi, Linda and Melissa. They are so much fun! I can't remember the last time I laughed so much. As soon as I picked them up at the airport it was as if we had never been apart.


My roomie was Melissa. She is so amazing. She's funny, cute and brilliant. Check it out: She's an engineer at Motorola. Her divorce was final a couple of weeks ago so we could lick out wounds together. One night we were sitting in our room knitting and listening to tunes from my iPod and I swear I could hear her thoughts. I looked at her and said, "Don't you feel like we are back in college?" She squealed that she was just thinking that and I told her that she must have been thinking REALLY loud! Here's me and my roomie:


I can't wait to go back next year! We are trying to find another retreat to go to in the fall. And Melissa and I are talking about going on a cruise together. Life is good.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Photog Friday - New Doorways

Appalachian State University, Boone, NC, March 4, 2007


"No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars or sailed an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit." - Helen Keller

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Felt Like Felting

I have made my first felted item and I love it! It's also the first purse I've ever knitted and the first time I've created my own design. Happy dance! I made it with Knit Pick's Wool of the Andes. At just $1.99 a ball, this yarn is amazing. I knitted this single stranded with #8 needles and it is gorgeous. I worked with some wool over the weekend that was about 3 times the price and had to be knitted double stranded and still didn't felt as well as this.

Monday, March 05, 2007

I have the Sweetest Kid in the World!

Monkey Boy is the sweetest kid in the world. He was just watching an episode of "Full House" where Danny, the father, goes out on a date for the first time. The girls weren't too excited about it and were trying to find a way to get their dad to cancel it. Monkey Boy said, "You know, Mom, if you want to go out on a date once you and Dad are divorced, it's OK with me. I just want to you to be happy." This from my wonderful 10 year-old-boy.

I'm all verklemt. Talk amongst yourselves.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Photog Friday - Discovery


Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought. - Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
* Sorry this was a few days late. I was out of town.

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