Christmas · Dreams · home · Jolene · moving · stress

Does anyone want to give me a house for Christmas?

I can’t honestly say I ever had a grand plan for my life, but I can say that this wasn’t it. To be 46-years-old, divorced, childless, in chronic pain, and soon to be homeless. That is the issue I am whining about right now (I don’t have any real problems with being divorced, since I am on very friendly terms with my ex-husband. The childless thing, well, that’s something I will discuss with God some day.).

My parents, John & Arlene, are selling the family home. This is where they, my sister Jolene and her two children have lived for the last eleven years. Max has never lived anywhere else–we brought him here from the hospital. I’ve moved around a bit while they’ve owned this house, but have always had a room to come back to. I was living here when I met Charlie, and when I both married and divorced him. Totally not the point, I know, but still…

They’ve been talking about selling for a while, but decided to actually do it seemingly overnight. . Apparently the folks assumed we were all going to move together again, into yet another big house, but one we would rent, rather than try to make house payments on. They aren’t too happy that none of us are going along with that plan. Jolene & I have mostly decided that she & I and Max will find a place a together, and that will work, we hope. Mom and Dad will have to find their own place, as will Hattie Jo. Of course, this plan has changed several times, and continues to do so.

If I had the money, and could have my way, I’d get my own place. But that isn’t going to happen. EVER, apparently. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family, I do. But I am sick and tired of living with them. Of being treated as if I’m either not there at all, or if I am there, as if I’m still 14-years-old. My sister doesn’t treat me like a teenager, but neither of us is real considerate of the other. I’d really like to live somewhere where the menu consists of more than pizza and chicken nuggets. I’m going to spend the rest of my life living with others, it seems, living in a place filled with cigarette smoke, video game noises, and fast food. Sounds like living in a college dorm.

I have dreams of my own little flat, decorated just to my specifications, dreams that will never come true. (I am depressing myself.) My Pinterest boards are filled with dream images of this fantasy place– a beautiful bedroom (I have one of those now, really), a bathroom I don’t have to share that is not decorated with cartoon fish, a kitchen not overflowing with plasticware or processed food. Books everywhere, and no Fox News EVER!!  Granted, I am not the most ambitious of people, and it’s quite likely my place wouldn’t be as perfect as I’d hope. But what ever is? Still, I can continue to dream, can’t I?

Looking for a new place to live has caused huge stress for our entire family. If a day goes by without a fight or tears, it’s a wonder. Dad is driving us all crazy, because in his semi-dementia state, he seems to believe that we should be able to just clap our hands, and like Tinkerbell coming back to life, the perfect home will appear. Perhaps, in his world, I’ll be able to do my Bewitched nose twitch and furnish this new home as well. Makes me wonder what happens when the Law & Order doink plays.

We’re looking for new homes, just in time for Christmas. I don’t think Santa is going to bring any of us what we need this year.

breast cancer · change · finances · home · Jolene · kitty · Michele · moving · Portland · transition

I’m BAA-ACK!

I know, you missed me. Now you can rejoice, because I won’t go away again–I promise! Lots has changed since I last posted, including location, obviously.

The last few months have been a time of many changes in my life, and the changes just keep on coming. (I feel like a David Bowie song…) A psychologist I spoke  with ( I’m seeing a psychologist. Big surprise there.) said that I’m in a “time of transition.”

Transition. Oh, yeah. BIG TIME.

In March, about two weeks before my 44th birthday, I left the relationship I’d been in since 2009, and moved from Vancouver back to Portland. It was a very difficult thing to do, but one that had been a long time coming. Making that decision set me free, in many ways; don’t misunderstand me, I wasn’t being help prisoner or anything, but emotionally, I felt trapped. And financially, there was no way out. So I’m back in my parents house, where my money is mine, and I have my freedom while I’m waiting for my disability appeal hearing. That part of my life is up in the air: I don’t know how long it’ll be until the hearing, or what they’ll decide. So my life is definitely in transition.

The largest change was also the worst, and has knocked me off my feet, broken my heart. On April 12, my best friend, Michele Miller Mahmood, died. The breast cancer she’d been fighting took her, and the world lost one of the best people ever created.  I’ll write more about this later, because Shel deserves an entire post, and entire blog, all her own.

I’m struggling to find my way in this new world, to transition into a life where I am on my own. I’ve always treasured my family, but suddenly, they seem so much more precious. My sister, Jolene, is going through her own transitions, yet has given her time to help me when ever I need her. She’s wonderful, and I am so thankful for her.

People keep asking what I’m going to do now. That’s the million dollar question, folks! Let’s figure it out together, shall we?

housework · Jolene · laundry · lazy

Lazy Stepsister


I am a lazy girl. Ask my mother.

Better yet, ask my younger sister, Jolene. She’ll be happy to give you the details of my laziness. How, while we were growing up, I never did one single chore, and she was forced to do everything. (Cue the violins…) When she tells the story, she’s Cinderella, and I’m all of the ugly stepsisters! I can see the little mice flocking around her feet even as I type this! (If you’re reading this, Jolene, remember, I love you, and since we’re grown up, it’s not fair to beat me up anymore!)
Yes, I am lazy. (But not quite that lazy!) I’ve never denied it. As a matter of fact, I’m good at doing nothing. I excel at sitting around. That is not necessarily a good thing. I’m looking around my apartment right now and realizing that my laziness has caught up with me once again.
I try to keep on top of the housework, really, I do. The kitchen is always clean, the bed gets made almost every day, and I keep things dust-free — most of the time. But there are areas that I let go too long. Like laundry. I hate doing laundry. Of course, if I didn’t have to save up quarters, and drag the hamper down the endless hallway to the spooky laundry room, I might do laundry more often. Who knows? Stranger things have happened.
I swept the floors this morning while I was waiting for the kettle to boil for my tea, and was going to mop, but got distracted. Maybe once I’m done with this post, I’ll finish the floors, vacuum and clean the bathroom. Then I can justify ignoring the laundry for a few more days.
(For the record, Jolene rules.)