Thursday, June 28, 2012

And A Dishwasher Too!

AZ and I are moving.  We have found a house in the neighboring township and everything is lined up for us to move by July 15th.  Yes, in TWO WEEKS!  I am frantically packing the apartment and making plans for the new house.

Our House

Its small but still bigger than the apartment.  The boys will still have to share a bedroom but the room is much bigger.  We're discussing the best way to give each boy a bed and space of their own, even if they are sharing a room.

The best part:  It has a dishwasher!  I've never had a dishwasher in a home of my own!  The kitchen is big with lots of counter space.  There is a laundry room WITH a washer and dryer! 

There is a HUGE deck off the back and a HUGE yard to play in.  I'm not looking forward to cutting the grass but its a small price to pay for having a HOUSE.  I have plans to make flower beds in front and flower boxes to sit around the deck in the back.

There will be no more listening to the footsteps and stomps of the parents upstairs.  I will miss that in a way. There will be no more sharing of the laundry facilities.

I have to stop at the paint store to pick out colors for the bathroom and the boys room.  The rest of the house is ready to move in.  AZ has to fix the toilet and the exhaust fan in the bathroom, he offered so we can move in quicker.

After spending today at the beach with my BFF, Janet, I will be packing and packing and packing!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Knee High by the 4th of July - WW

Farmers say that if the corn is Knee High By the 4th of July it will be a good crop.
I'd say we're in for a bumper crop!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I was talking with our staff psychologist about work life and home life. He’s meet Jakes and helped to guide me through some of the tough times. Dr. Bruce is a great person and does a wonderful job with keeping our counselors sane, which is not easy with some of our clients.

Today, I showed Dr. Bruce pictures of the Compound. He fell in love. If I didn’t live in an apartment, I bet Dr. Bruce would be begging to move in there when I move.

After talking with him today, I assigned myself homework. He was questioning me to make sure I have REALLY thought out leaving the Compound. I think I have considered all the aspects of leaving the Compound. Following is my "homework."

The betrayal of my ex and the divorce was very traumatic for me. I was living in the home we had created together, the home where good and bad things happened. I also couldn't afford to keep the place and make the improvements that were needed. I needed the love and support of my family close around me. Don't get me wrong, they were there for me every step of the way but at the compound they could be there all the time.

Anyway, with the wonderful view and of course being surrounded by family was something I desperately needed after my divorce. I needed a place of my own, where I could heal and have the loving arms of my family around us. Having instant babysitters living upstairs was another perk.

I had been with my ex since I was 17 years old. I didn't know ME. I needed the time and a safe place to be able to figure out who I am, to become the wonderful mother and woman I know I am today.

For a while now, I've been a bit annoyed with some things at the compound. Little things that were worth overlooking. Things like everyone there knowing my business almost before I do. Having to check in with my parents when I leave the house. Having to take care of Kathy and/or her dogs when they go away.

For a while, I have been jealous of my brother and step siblings. They all live away from the parents and have their own lives. yet here I am, expected to take care of them and everything around the compound. I want a life of my own. Not one that's centered around my parents and the compound.

I want the option of being able to come and go without having to check in with my parents. the option to not take care of someone else, other than my immediate family (AZ, Jakes, JR) I want space and freedom.

There are things about being here that I will miss. The view. The closeness of my parents. I know, I can't have space and freedom but still be close. I'll have to work on that one a bit more.

Recently, AZ and I have been talking about moving from this little piece of paradise. Even before AZ moved back home, I was thinking about moving. At one point, I considered moving to AZ. At least with AZ here with me I won’t be moving too far away from my Dad.

AZ’s son is enrolled in high school in a neighboring town and we’re trying to figure out how to get him back and forth to school in September. That is the biggest reason for us to think about moving or at least to consider moving to the next town over. AZ needs to check with our school district to see if they can help with transportation.

I know that by moving it will change the dynamics of my relationship with my parents (and Kathy) but I will be 15-20 minutes away. That's about how far away I was when Mom was sick and dying. I won't be on the other side of the world, or even the country. the changes in my relationship with my parents will become one that is closer to that of an adult child. Its time for me to grow up and fly away.

I will miss the view and the easy access to the beach and fishing but my parents will still be there and I know I will be invited back on occasion. I am not looking to desert my parents, I still want them in my life but just at arms length instead of over top of me.

AZ has said numerous times that he wants me to be absolutely sure that I'm ready to leave Dad and everything at the compound. Neither of us has said "I want to make this work with you, I want to be with you" or even "I love you." But, the fact that we have talked about moving together and that he wants me to be sure I'm ready to leave means something to me. We have talked about where we want to be, how many bedrooms we'll look for and many other things concerning the move.

I do have some reservations about moving with AZ. I am used to having my place and if I move with him, we'll share our home together. But what if something happens between the two of us? I could be left without a place to live, I could be left with a place I cannot afford on my own. But there are ways to fix that. I have proven that I can land on my feet and be successful.

Overall, I think I have given thought to all aspects of this situation and I am comfortable and even looking forward to what the future could hold.

Do you think there are things that I haven't considered?

Monday, June 25, 2012


I am on vacation this week with Jakes.  He's here until Sunday.  YAY!  I do have to work Tuesday and Wednesday but so does he!  I arranged for him to go to the horse farm and help out while they are in camp.  Jill is SO wonderful!  She's going to pay him in riding time and he is thrilled!

So my posting and commenting will be sporadic but i will catch up next week!

Have a lovely week!

Friday, June 22, 2012

No Hearts and Flowers Here

We have a new addition to the family. No, I'm not adding to the zoo!  Plenty of pets in our world already.  We have a POP-UP CAMPER!

Its the perfect size for us, sleeping 4-6 depending on how close you want to be.  Its been closed up for quite a few years so it needs some TLC and bleach, which we've been working on in the evenings.  AZ is so excited!  He has a project to work on!  Plans to make, things to do.

The Master Bedroom
I've been making lists (which is what I do!) of things we need in order to stock it so we can just hook up and go.

The Kitchen
There seems to be a leak in the ceiling.  Last night when we were cleaning, the sides pulled off the ceiling. 


AZ is going to pull the ceiling apart this morning to see what needs to be done to fix it.  We were talking about having to pull out the existing ceiling and putting in new.  I was excited cause then we would paint it and I could stencil something to personalize it for us.

I suggested hearts and flowers, mostly kidding.  AZ immediately vetoed.  He said if I did, he was getting the deer head from his step father to hang in the kitchen.  He also suggested fish, ducks, deers all over the place.  I suggested a compromise, a fish jumping through a flowery heart.  He didn't like that idea either.

JR and his BFF love the camper.  They have decided that they will live there this summer once we get everything cleaned up and established.  I know they will be excited to go camping with us.

Jakes has decided that since we won't have TV or Wii or AC, he will be staying with the gparents.  HA!  That's if they want him.  I haven't told Jakes that we won't be traveling with the GParents every time.

AZ is pricing portable AC units and a gas grill.  Those are the major purchases that we have to make to outfit the camper. I need to make new curtains for the kitchen and to make the bedrooms private.

We have scheduled our Maiden Voyage for the weekend after the 4th of July.  We are going local in case we have troubles.  My parents are going to the same park.  Fortunately, because they are bigger, we won't have adjoining spots.  We can get away from each other but still hang out together and watch the fireworks!

So many wonderful changes happening, so many exciting trips to plan and places to go!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

random catch-up

Summer colds are the worst.  Sitting under a blanket sipping tea at work on a summer day does not compute.  Hopefully the germs will work their way through me quickly.

This past weekend was a pretty good one.  Jakes spent lots of time at the horse farm, catching horses, tacking them up, leading them for the other students and taking a couple of bare-back trail riding.  I have to make arrangements with Jill for him to go there next week when he's with me.  He loved being there!

AZ brought home our pop-up camper.  A friend of a friend of his was getting rid of it so AZ said YES!  We took it to his moms last night, set it up and put it down too.  It needs lots of cleaning but everything is in great shape!   Pictures later. 

Jakes is Super Mad at me according to a text he sent to ESM.  He was mouthy with me and disappeared from the yard without letting me know he was leaving.  I had told him several times this weekend that I need to know where he is, yet he still disappeared.  So I took him back to his fathers instead of to my friends house.  So he is mad at me.  OH well.

I went to my friends house on Sunday evening for dinner and to watch her husband sing with his choir.  It was a lovely evening with them and sitting in the park listening to wonderful music.  I think my toe tapped time for the entire evening!  and there was sing along!  My favorite!

This week and weekend will be taken up with cleaning the camper, AZ and JR are heading over there this morning to get started.  I'll stop by at lunchtime to see how things are going.  AZ and JR have the outside and I get to clean the inside. 

Dad was pretty stupid yesterday.  And when he started to tell me the story that's how he started it, "I almost killed myself doing something stupid today."  Lovely Daddy, what?  He lifted a scooter into the back of his truck by himself.  Now this is a scooter that is too heavy for a normal, healthy person to lift alone, yet Daddy did it.  He said he ended up on his knees.  I bet he takes it easy today.  I bet his body won't let him do anything but take it easy today.  Let's hope he listens.

We celebrated Fathers Day on Saturday.  I made lasagna and vanilla ice cream for Daddy.  It was yummy!  Dad and ESM also celebrated their anniversary on Saturday.  11 years.  Since its been so long, I guess we'll keep ESM.  Happy Anniversary, Parents!

Monday, June 18, 2012

what is a Zoo?

The World Dictionary definition of a Zoo is a place where animals live, are bred and exhibited for the public.  There is no description or limits of the types of animals, the types of habitates in which the animals are kept.

I have taken to referring to my collection of dog, three kitties and various teenagers as my zoo.  My best friend refers to her home with the 4 dogs and 1 kitty plus 2 kids and husband as a zoo.  This is a term of affection for our various animals, 2 and 4 legged who share our lives and homes.

So, in a post about Kathy's animals, I referred to her 2 dogs and 2 kitties as a zoo.  Well, someone showed her the post and she became upset with my terminology.  And because I use the term "zoo" in an affectionate way, I didn't even think about the possibility of offending Kathy with the reference.  In fact, I didn't even remember posting it when she confronted me about it.  I most certainly didn't intend for it to upset or offend anyone, especially not Kathy.

I don't want to have to worry about offending people when I post things.  I don't want to have to worry about mean people poisoning my family against me.  I would never publish anything that would intentionally hurt someone I care about.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Velata's Little Black Dress

As a Chocoholic, I am all for finding news ways to enjoy my addiction.  When the Scentsy Family introduced their new line of Velata Chocolate Fondue Products, I was in heaven!

Velata offers so many wonderful choices in warmers, lots of diffferent colors and styles.  The first one I bought was the Maraschino Curve.  Its a fun and square at the same time.

Maraschino Curve

The next warmer I bought was the Blue Razz Pedestal.  I thought this would be a fun contrast from the cherry one and also to show the different styles.  When Jakes and I have our own dipping parties, this is the one we unpack.

Blue Razz Pedestal

But there has been one sleak and sexy warmer that has had my eye from the very first time I perused the catalog.  Its from the Individual Collection and is the Noir.

Noir from the Individual Collection
Look at the hour glass figure of this warmer. Its so elegant and classic.  It goes with any decor and will dress up any party.  I have ordered this twice for myself and both times I've displayed it, it has sold!  Just as every woman should have her own favorite Little Black Dress, I think every home entertainer should have the Noir for every occasion.  

Check out my website to order your very own Noir and don't forget to order lots of CHOCOLATE to go with it!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

All Good Things

This was inspired by Brian's story "Remnants".  Check out WayStationOne for your inspiration.

They gathered in the dining room, the funeral had been over for many weeks.  Jesse sat cradling her infant in her arms while everyone chatted to get caught up on news.  Jesse shared the story of Michael's birth, leaving the graveyard and how quickly Michael made his way into the world.

There was an aura of sadness at the table; it was obvious that Jesse's mom was missing and they were still working accepting the new dynamic.  Jesse's dad looked sad and proud at the same time, if that was possible.  He had lost his wife and soul mate but gained a grandson at the same time.  He too was struggling with the new way of things.

Michael finished his bottle and was sleeping.  The group decided to start in the sewing room upstairs.  Jesse's dad was going to stay downstairs and watch Michael sleep.  He said he wanted everything cleaned out as quickly as possible.  The memories just hurt too much.

They found so many things that showed Kathy's love of her husband and family.  There were measurements of the kids as they grew and notes about projects she wanted to tackle for them family.  Hidden away was a pattern that Jesse had said she wanted as her wedding dress.  Jesse was flabergasted to know how much her mother wanted to give her the dream dress, even though she was too sick to make it.

In the cubby hole was an entire box of baby clothes and a blanket that Michael still uses today.  Some were handmade clothes, some were obviously store bought.  Some had labels of who made them and those were packed away as heirlooms.  The dismantled sewing room looked forlorn and lonely when they were done. The table her grandfather had built was empty for the first time in Jesse's memory.  It hurt Jesse's heart to see it that way.  She knew how much peace and pride this room had given her mother.

They moved into the bedroom.  Judy suggested that Jesse look over her mom's jewlery box.  There were many treasures in there, not monetarily valuable, but valuable to Jesse and her family.  In there was jewlery from Jesse's mom's mother and father, a bite disc from Jesse's grandmother, a ring suitable for a child and many other things that Jesse had never seen.  Also in the box were the dog tags for Jesse's father when he was in the Navy.  They were lovingly encased in plastic to protect them.  Jesse's father may not have wanted a reminder of his time spent in the service, but Jesse's mom obviously wanted those memories.  It was after all, the beginning of their love story.

Also hidden away in a dresser drawer was a family history.  There were pictures and letters from relatives Jesse had only heard about briefly.  And a detailed account of how the family came to America.  What a treasure!

Its amazing that such a hard and trying day could bring such good things and wonderful memories.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Worm Farm -WW

Under this mat is my worm farm

See the holes?  That's where the worms went!

Water once per day to keep Fishermen happy

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tuesday Thoughts

My day started with having to scoop up a dead rabbit from the yard.  Thanks Kitty, which ever one of you three it was.  I know it wasn't Saylors, she's too much of a princess and would be afraid of breaking a nail.  I call her my "High Maintenance Kitty."  She is mouthy and demanding. If her fur was longer, I could put a bump-it in and she'd be a Snooki-Kitty, not as slutty though.

Jakes is on summer break and is loving it!  I get him for 3 weeks in the summer and I offered to have him stay more, we'll see if he chooses and if his dad allows it.  When no one is home at his Dad's, Jakes isn't allowed outside.  If he's at my house, Dad is right upstairs so Jakes could wander the neighborhood or go fishing.  The less time in front of a TV, the better!

AZ is loving the weather.  This is more what he's used to.  Maybe not the rain we're expecting today but the warmth is more his speed.

I"m so proud of my Dad.  He's starting to ask for help a LOT more in things he knows would tax his body.  He also has bowled another 300 game on the Wii.  They think its funny to stomp and dance in their living room, which happens to be right over top of mine.

Summer is here and we are so close to the beach!  I can't wait to get together with my girlfriends to head over and soak up some rays!  Maybe next week...........

This past weekend was a kid-less weekend for AZ and I.  Jakes was scheduled with his father and JR was camping with friends.  We took advantage of the situation and combined resources with friends for Crabs, Beers, and BS on Saturday evening.  We had swordfish, mahi-mahi, and chicken on the grill, Crabs, potato salad, and bread pudding for desert.  Everything was SO yummy!  Add in the great company and silliness and it was a perfect evening!  Can't wait to do it again.

This weekend I have Jakes and hopefully it will be nice enough weather for us to do some fishing.  I need the boys to catch some bait for the crab pots.  The Crabs are out there, now's the time for them to climb into my pots.  Brian, I'll let you know when we have some!  Maryland style or Jersey style?

Monday, June 11, 2012


Ya'll know Jakes has Aspergers Syndrome, ADHD and Epilepsy. He is my only child and I have come to think of him as “normal.” I don't know any other way of raising and dealing with my child.

I have learned to tell Jakes it's time to leave in 5-10 minutes to give him time to transition and adjust to the upcoming change. I have learned to block out his incessant chatter, his repeated phrases (‘cheeseburgers & applesauce, please’ is a favorite of his now). I have accepted that he is ok with hanging around the house with us adults. I know he doesn’t make and keep friends. I wish things could be different for him but it just isn’t to be right now.

Jakes is very immature for his age. This is not necessarily a bad thing or a reflection on my parenting. He has been sheltered by me definitely. He's my baby and always will be.

There are so many things about Jakes that I have come to consider "normal" but are not necessarily "normal". They are normal for Jakes but not necessarily for other kids.

Since JR has come to live with us, I see differences between him and Jakes. It might not be right to compare the kids, as they have had completely different upbringings.

JR is much more mature than his 15 yrs. His life has been very different from Jakes. Where I have bombarded Jakes with attention and therapies, JR has not had strict parenting influences and lots of freedoms. Some of those freedoms landed him in a lot of trouble. But he has done his "time" and seems to have learned from his mistakes.  JR has had to fend for himself in so many ways and that makes a boy grow up into a man quickly.

Hanging with JR has opened my eyes to the differences in Jakes, the definite Asperger's/ADHD symptoms that show themselves. I didn’t really SEE those differences, just accepted them as part of Jakes, and didn’t really label them as Asperger's or ADHD, just The Jakes Way.

Watching JR on his cell phone with friends, coordinating his schedule for visiting his friends and girlfriend, the nights he spends at friends and his friends coming over for the night, shows me that Jakes is definitely lacking in the social aspect.

Jakes was telling me that on his field trip today, he signed up to be with Mrs. B and he hoped no one else signed up to be with her. Jakes prefers to be with adults than peers. JR prefers to be with peers than adults.

Should I be worried about Jakes and his lack of social skills? Should I be worried that he prefers to be with me and AZ or the G-parents?

Probably. But for now, since it’s not causing any issues at school or in his home life, I’m not going to borrow trouble.  I'm not going to worry about MY normal child.

Friday, June 8, 2012


Before Memorial Day, my parents and Kathy left in the Beast for a trip to Florida.  One of Kathy's daughters lives in Miami and had been bugging her to come and visit. So off they went!

They took their time driving south, stopping in South Carolina and Jacksonville, FL.  They landed there just in time to set up camp and take shelter from Tropical Storm Bertha.  Everything was fine during the storm, just a lot of rain and some wind, nothing too scary.  They didn't have electric but they did have the generator.

Kathy getting her seat
 After weathering the storm (literally!) they continued south to Miami.  Once there, Dad and ESM dropped Kathy at her daughters and then set up camp for the rest of the week.  They didn't really enjoy the park they were in.  The Wifi didn't work all the time, the pool wasn't open much and the general upkeep of the park paths and such just wasn't kept nicely.

Kathy enjoyed her visit with her daughter and they eventually had to pack up and head for home.  The trip back was much better, no tropical storms or other major issues.

Start Your Engines!
 They backed down the road about 8 pm last night and the dogs (Jaxon and Kathy's babies) went NUTS!  Lots of wiggly butts all around.  I was happy they are home because I don't have to take care of Kathy's zoo anymore.  But I did miss them and am glad they are home.  The Compound feels complete again.

Tonight I'll have to help unload the camper.  But they are HOME!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

First Love Comes Full Circle

In high school there were lots of couples who were "in love" and it was thought that they would stay together through college and end up together for happily ever after.  AZ and I were such a couple.  We were together in high school through most of my freshmen year and broke up in my junior year.

We were almost joined at the hip, always together, always in the same activities. The only times we weren't together is when one of us had to work or my parents said Nope, time for family.

I would sit in science class and watch the back room for a glimpse of him working for another teacher.  We both got in trouble for kissing in front of a teacher. I remember going back to the auditorium where we held the plays and thought about the times we hid in the catacombs to make out.  Boy was the teacher upset when we both walked out together.

We went to his junior prom together.  There was something called a Candy Stripers Ball that was our first date ever.  I don't think we came up for air on the ride home, the kisses were SO good.

I don't remember why I broke up with AZ but I really broke his heart.  He was still friends with my brother and they hung out some what.  Whenever I was around him, I was uncomfortable so eventually, I moved away into my own group of friends.

AZ graduated and moved away for college.  He also fell in love and got married.  I fell in love and got married.  I didn't see him again until I was 9 months pregnant and mom was dying.  AZ and his wife stopped by on Christmas Eve to see the parents and Brother.  I had butterflies in my belly that evening and it wasn't from the baby!  A month later, he was at Mom's funeral but I don't remember seeing him.  It would be another 9-10 years before we saw each other again.

We ran into each other in the local diner.  We hugged and it felt "right" to me.  He was moving to AZ.  Unfortunately, things didn't go well with him out there.  That is his story to tell.  When things went south for him, we reconnected and grew close again.

AZ has since moved back here with me.  We have come full circle and are taking things day-by-day to make it work.

This was written as part of Theme Thursday

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Even Horses Need Baths....... WW

Jakes gave Quest a bath last week

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Its Tuesday.  Did you know its Webinar Tuesday?  Yup!  I have to sit through THREE webinars at work today.  One 10-11:30, one 12 to 1:15 and another from 3-4:30.  I think my head will explode! Or at least will be numb.............  Bring on the M&M's..........

We're having a little bickerment over money in the boys room.  Two weekends ago, Jakes left $4 on top the dresser.  When he came over this weekend, he mentioned that JR had found his money and left it for him.  When Jakes left on Sunday, he took the money with him.  Last night JR comes home asking where his $5 went.  So, who's money was it and how do we prevent this from happening in the future?  JR maintains it was his money and he left it on the desk over the weekend while he was not home.  Jakes maintains that he found it on the dresser and its his.  I'm tempted to just give JR $5 to save on an arguement.  But then what happens the next weekend where Jakes leaves his money.  So much to figure out........

The G-parents are still in Florida.  they should be making their way back north starting tomorrow.  I hope so, Kathy's Animals are missing her!  and I'm a little tired of taking care of her zoo........

Its only Tuesday and Jakes is putting in a request for a place to go for dinner on Friday already.  He wants to go to Friendlys.  They have ice cream so its probably do-able!  Then Jakes wants me to bring AZ with me.  Good that he likes AZ enough to include him in our visits.  AZ likes to give me and Jakes time with just us, which I appreciate too.

Well, time for the first webinar!  Wish me luck on staying awake today!

Monday, June 4, 2012

But You Don't Live Here

Jakes moved in with his dad in November but I still kept his room here. I moved some stuff in there for storage, such as the vacuum cleaner, etc. Since AZ and JR have moved in, there have been more and more changes. Jakes room has been taken over by JR. But JR is here more than just weekends like Jakes.

We are going to move bunk beds in the room and Jakes has called the bottom bunk, which also happens to be a full size bed. I don't think this is fair to JR who will be sleeping in the bed more than Jakes will be. But how do I say this to Jakes without coming out and saying, But you don't live here.

Jakes has lost so much in this round of changes. He doesn’t have a room of his own here, he lost his shelf in the shower, there aren't the same snacks that he likes all the time and he has to share me with AZ.

How do I tell him he doesn’t get first choice on the bed because he doesn't live here? How do I make my child understand that I am not choosing others over him? or am I?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Saving the Pot

All winter long, I've been keeping an eye on this tree at the end of the sand bar.  It showed up one day after a particularly high tide.  Its snagged pretty good and won't be going anywhere until we get another super high tide with a storm.  Tangled in the tree is rope and bouys.  I wanted to find out what was wrapped around the tree.

The tree at the end of the sand bar

We couldn't get out to the tree on Sunday because the tide was coming in.  On Monday, we timed it better and were able to wade out.  I untangled the rope and bouys to find a crab pot attached to the rope!  I have two crab pots that we put out in the summer.

Rescued Crab Pot

I claim salvage rights!  Now we have three pots to collect yummy crabs this summer.