Saturday, August 29, 2015

It Occurred To Me...

Seventeen years ago today (it was even a Saturday), my ex & I got married.

Then: I was a 24yo woman ready for marriage & a couple kids; and he was a naive 20yo barely-man who apparently was not.
Now: I am a much older, wiser, & more worldly 41yo woman, happily remarried with three kids; and he is a 37yo man who is about to be divorced for the second time with two small children.

I'm not sure about him, but *I* have definitely grown up quite a bit over the last 17 years. Aside from having a child, and all the growing up you do (or are supposed to do) with that, I am calmer, and don't react to things before truly thinking them over. "Knee-jerk" is no longer in my vocabulary. I am happier, as well. My husband and I have an honest, compassionate, equal in almost every sense of the word (except individual financial contributions -- he makes more than I do -- but in true equality, what's his is mine, as well as vice versa). He is my partner, my co-parent, my love.

We are financially secure, as well (which is also more than I can say for both my ex and his soon-to-be ex); the house is paid off, the cars are paid off, we have no student loan debts any longer, we have no revolving credit card debt (all bills are paid in full each month), we have retirement, stock, and long-term savings accounts... most of which those other two cannot honestly claim.

My youngest is almost 16yo; she is beautiful, smart, and pretty equal parts me and my husband. I'm sure my regular readers know, but for those who aren't, she is my first husband's biological child, but she is no longer *his*. After many years of thinking only of himself and his soon-to-be ex-wife, he finally signed the adoption consent just over a year ago. The adoption was finalized October 7th, 2014... and she knows her parents love her, care for her, and make sure her needs (and a lot of wants) are taken care of. She is more secure in her home life than ever, and for that, we are truly grateful.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

End Of Summer Report

WORK -- I am love love LOVING my new studio. It is so nice to have the space I now have. I no longer feel cramped, and I have all the storage I need. During the first couple of weeks, I realized there were still a couple things that needed a bit of tweaking, but (aside from a lap blanket one of my friends is making for pedi clients who wear a skirt or dress, and tiebacks for my curtains that another friend is making) I've been working in there successfully for a month. My only two complaints are: {1} Due to the angle of my new doorway (from the a/c unit in the window at the top of the stairs), it's a bit warmer in this space (the old room was a direct path; my new room is not), so I will be buying a portable a/c unit in the spring of next year. I may buy a friend's window unit for $50 to hold me over until next spring. For now, both window fans blow out my windows and the little tabletop fan sits at the edge of the doorway blowing in. I also rarely work past 2p, so I haven't hit the hottest part of the day even on the 90'+ days.
{2} About a week after I fully moved in, I left on a Saturday (around 1p), pulling my door almost shut behind me. Seeing as it gets muggy/warm in there, I didn't want to close it all the way and since I hadn't had any issues with my previous room, I didn't see the need to lock this door either. That all changed when I returned the following Tuesday. My door was wide open, my chairs had been moved like someone was sitting in them, and my window fans were on full blast & turned toward the wall... I asked Patti if she had been in there for some reason. She took a very deep breath, rolled her eyes, and said, "No," then proceeded to tell me that the permanent tattoo artist had a woman getting services and had brought her daughter (around 10yo) and husband... and apparently, daughter & husband were "roaming the hallways & stairway", and were at one point "hanging out" in my room. Um, that is NOT ok, so I now, with permission, lock my door. I also have curtains so they block some of the heat coming in through the single-pane windows.

PRINCESS -- We got some basic school supplies a couple weeks ago, and went clothes shopping this past Monday. We were originally going to meet my SIL at the Woodburn Company Stores, but she's having some medical issues, so we went local, & will do some Santamas shopping with her in October. Princess cleaned out her closet & drawers a few weeks ago, and started a list of things she needs/wants. She also wrote down a few things *I* need. Ace was going to come with us, as he said he'd like to go, but he was in the middle of the "Great Computer Swap, 2015!". Windows 10 going on all systems, troubleshooting issues, & selling off old (still working) parts. We hit up two local street malls and got almost everything on her list (the two things we got that didn't fit were returned, and I will pick them up for her at some other point).
She has been babysitting quite a bit, & has some jobs already set up through October! BF had her working almost every Wednesday evening, but pool league is done for the season; starting up again mid next month. She *may* need Princess on an occasional Tuesday over the next month, so she asked that we keep those open, if possible. A&K asked her to watch the twins some Thursday evenings and some Saturday morn/afternoons, because their older two boys' football games make keeping track of 16m olds a little "challenging" (lol). And, ES just moved a bit closer, so she asked me today if Princess could babysit her 3yo once or twice a month. If this keeps up, she won't feel the need to get a regular job (which we all feel would interfere with her high school life, and we don't want her to do that).
She also just returned from 5 days at the coast with the "L" fam, part of which was annual GrandCamp. She's not sure she's going to continue to go, but she did enjoy spending those extra days in Lincoln City with T, D, et al and she always likes spending time with the Littles. Since they left Wednesday morning, I just dropped her off at mom's before I headed in to work that morning. It's always a battle to get T to bring her back to my house, though, and this time was no exception. They had rented a van and it was due back at a specific time, and due to heavy coast traffic, they were running late. So, I met them on a side road off the highway. When they got there, I went to give the Littles hugs and kisses, but L was grumpy. I asked what was wrong, and C said, "She's hungry and mom said we don't have any snacks so she has to wait until we get to Grammy's." I said, "Do you like granola bars?" She slowly nodded, I got a granola bar and a bag of corn nuts out of my car, and handed them to her. She said, "Thank you, auntie," and I got my hug and kiss before taking Princess home.
Next week is registration. I don't know why they call it that; they have already assigned classes, so all we're really doing is picking up her schedule, having her school pics taken, picking up her student body card, and paying her fees. Regardless, she misses her school friends (the ones she hasn't seen much over the summer -- we have had a few sleepovers), so she's getting excited for school to start up again soon. She has a facial & brow wax appt tomorrow, and a hair appt soon, so she'll be "fresh" for start of school.

GAMERBOY -- Ace took him down to Roseburg for a concert two weekends ago, and they stopped in Eugene to sign GB's rental agreement. Ace said the homeowner seems cool, but the house is kind of a mess (of course, I reminded him of how messy our house seemed when we were remodeling, too...). I guess he's got a son who was headed to college himself, so dad decided to remodel & rent out this space in his basement. Anyway, they saw Chevelle at the fairgrounds down there, then Ace had reserved a hotel room so he didn't have to drive home so late. GB slept on the floor, because upgrading the room was another $50. GB's lucky Ace was kind enough to get him a last minute ticket; they didn't even sit together at the concert.
His truck had been acting up over the last month or so, and he was worried it wasn't going to make it to Eugene so he took it to a new mechanic someone recommended. Seems that someone hadn't had any major issues, because said mechanic took three tries and still couldn't figure out what was wrong. GB finally took it to his old mechanic (Rob, whom he worked for a couple years ago) in Sandy. Rob took one look at it, told him what was wrong, fixed it, and charged him only for parts. Runs much better now, and he's less stressed (was hoping not to have to buy a new rig quite yet, so glad the truck is running well, now).
Last weekend, Ace rented a UHaul, and went to GB's old place (in Cornelius) to pack up his stuff. Apparently, GB wasn't as ready as Ace would have liked, so getting his stuff into the truck took twice as long as it should have. By the time he got back home, it was 730p, and we were all starving. GB had a few clean-up things to get done, so he stayed behind, and met us back here about an hour later. By that time, Ace had gone up to Papa Murphy's for a pizza, came home & cooked it, plus we had eaten, and I had made cookies. GB slept (for the second time) on our convertible couch/bed, and we all left about the same time the following morning (me to work and them to Eugene). They unloaded immediate needs (bed, clothes, etc), took the rest to the storage place (where it'll all stay until his rooms are finished), got some lunch, returned the UHaul, and got Ace to the Amtrak station. He got in around 630p, MAX'd back home, and I picked him up. Our original plan was a late dinner at Thirsty Lion, but by this point, he was exhausted so we just went home.
Ace will be talking to him at some point over the next couple days to check in with him, but he did see him online last night, so that's progress; he didn't have any internet hookups in his room when Ace moved him down there. I know he's been looking for a job, too, so hopefully something pans out soon. Living off his savings only is stressing him out.

SQUEEKS -- I have only a brief update on her: she's been working a ton and took a couple summer courses. She had a major ER visit, and was down for two weeks, so stayed with her mother, but is back at her rental now. She had a Cali trip to visit her boyfriend, and she's registered for Fall classes, as well.

ACE -- Besides helping our son move, he's been attending a lot of concerts, arranging motorcycle rides with some biker friends, researching new televisions, and working on decluttering (computer stuff and misc garage stuff). He's had very little on his plate since he started his sabbatical. This is a good thing, considering his first one was right after he & Maleficent split, and his second one was spent helping his sister take care of his mom's estate after she died. There are a few minor around-the-house projects that need to get done, too, but my work schedule's been so full, I haven't had time to help, so they are being put on the back burner.
We've also been talking a lot lately about the work we want to do on the yard. Since we're planning on maybe moving in a few years (maybe, possibly... you know how that goes), he's still hemming & hawing about what he wants to spend money on and what's going to get us a good ROI. We also found out that when you pour a concrete slab for a structure (such as the shed we want to have), that is then added to your property assessment (which potentially means higher property taxes). Not sure how much, so we're not sure if that'll be worth it.

EX & WILDEBEEST -- Of course, this update wouldn't be complete without something about those two, right? According to my sources, she has found a place to live (oh, thank goodness she's not homeless <-- sarcasm) for her & the girls, friends have brought food, etc to them, and she had an interview at a new job (too bad it's not out of state; that would be nice). She also continues to post stuff on her FB regarding her feelings about MG (a bit stalker-ish, if you ask me), and has unfriended a few more family members, one of which feels (as I do) that the situation between Wildebeest & MG is very much like that which I had to deal with all those years ago, and that Karma is biting her in the ass. Ahhhhh, so nice to be vindicated after all these years; people finally seeing through her bullshit & lies. Anyway, I hope his new girlfriend and he are happy, and he doesn't have to deal with Wildebeest's craziness for too long.