Thursday, December 31, 2009

Harry Potter and the Ex

a couple of months ago my almost 18yo daughter (my youngest child) came to me and asked me if i would take her to the harry potter exhibit in boston for her 18th birthday -- coming up in january. at the time i said that if i had the money we would go. now in the back of my head i was doing this silent calculation of how much the bus down and back would be ($140) and the cost of the tickets (unsure) and what a taxi from the bus station to the exhibit and back would cost (also unsure) and knew that somehow this might not come to pass. but i also knew that i had a few months to try and make this happen.

one day before xmas my child asked me again and i basically told her that it wasn't going to be possible because #1 i didn't have enough funds to get us through xmas without help and #2 since my birthday is also in january my car needs to be registered (its all done by b'days here in NH) and inspected -- at least an extra $200 i didn't have. so i didn't see how it was going to be possible for me to take her to the harry potter exhibit. i suggested she ask her father, since she's with him on her birthday anyhow.

so, i guess she took me up on that suggestion. and mind, its my own fault for saying it. but at the time i was feeling a lot like the reason i was in the financial pickle i was in was because of his uncaring attitude (since he stopped paying me alimony after only three years). he seems to have an unending supply of money and not just from his job -- but for a long time his parents and brother were sending him money left and right. even though he really didn't need it. but whatever ....

at any rate, as the date for them to go to boston looms closer and closer, i find myself getting sadder and sadder that i can't take her and that he can. i find myself being resentful for his financial ability to give her whatever she wants whenever she wants and my inability to even provide the most basic of needs. and i know that i need to give it over to god because it just eats away at me and makes me dislike my ex even more than i had when i found out he was cheating on me.

all the statistics i've read have said that when there is a divorce 90% of the women and children live in poverty. when i look around at the women and children living in the housing area i live in, i see that statistic looming large. its not just that we can't buy our children presents or give them elaborate trips or parties. its that most of the time we can't even meet the most basic of their needs. in most instances we end up going to food banks to put food on the table or go begging the office for an extension on the rent.

if i could have found a job when i first closed my store, i might not be in such bad shape. i had been an administrative secretary when i left to be a stay at home mom almost 22 years ago (a joint decision my husband and i had made at the time). i left my career to be a full-time mom and did in-home daycare and had a 10 year sewing business which helped to pay our bills. my ex never saw that as "income" unfortunately. but that's another story. having the store gave me back a sense of self and confidence i had long since lost. i knew i was a great mom, but could i be a great anything else ever again?? of that i was not so sure.

through a set of unfortunate circumstances i found myself unemployable. after tearing the rotator cuff in my shoulder i was unable to get a job lifting things. after being out of the secretarial workforce for 22 years i find myself unemployable as that. add to this the fact that the job market sucks right now for anyone and u can see how this is going downhill in terms of me finding a job.

last night i realized that the one thing that i'm really good at is caring about children -- caring for children. its something i can do well -- and have done. i have been looking for the past couple of months for jobs where i could be a mommy's assistant or do daycare in someone's home. it hasn't been easy. everybody seems to want u to have some degree in child development. i don't have a degree on paper, but i certainly earned my credits by raising two children and caring for others over the years. how do u document that??

at any rate, this whole harry potter and the ex thing has brought me to a place of suddenly feeling like i have somehow failed my child by not giving her what it was she really wanted for her birthday. and for not being able to spend it with her this year. it amazes me how one small thing regarding my child can make me feel somehow inferior. but then i realize that for a long time i felt like being a good mom was the only thing i did well. and its easy to fall back into that pattern of self-doubt that i carried for so long. so this is another time when i need to turn to papa god and see myself as he sees me -- and not as i have perceived myself for so long. to him i am something so much more than just a mom -- and this whole harry potter and the ex thing -- in god's terms -- is but a blip on the radar to self discovery ....

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Raising the Faith

i have a facebook account. i've had it for eons. not as long as i have had a myspace (which, btw, i never look at anymore). i've written a zillion notes at my facebook. and i even set up a fan page for Angelic Adornments there. so imagine my surprise this afternoon when i went to upload some new photos to my fan page and discovered it no longer existed. and not only did it no longer exist, but all my notes were missing as well -- and who knows what else at this point. idk what the problem is and i can't get the higher ups at facebook to acknowledge my existence or the fact that some of my important items r missing. after much mucking through the different places to go to get "help" i finally sent them a message only to get a canned response about how they don't respond to individual messages but that they would be "looking into" my issues. how sweet.

normally i wouldn't get upset about this stuff. like the missing notes -- i've got all the important ones in files on my computer so its not like they couldn't be duplicated. but the fan page -- that's the pits. i have a link from my Etsy website to my fan page. there's a link at this blog page to my fan page. i would have to go back through zillions of photos to find all the ones that were posted on my fan page in order to recreate it. and then there is the question of the fans. i would lose them. mind there weren't a lot -- but still.....

as there isn't a whole lot more i can do about this, i have to "let it go" and let the higher ups deal with whatever the problem is. it reminds me about how there r a lot of things that i can do very little about and need to let papa god deal with them.

a couple of nights ago i was watching a live stream of a local church that we sometimes attend. during the service, someone called to say that a pastor from the west coast had collapsed during his service and was rushed to hospital. so we prayed. then later it was discovered that he had passed away and that ppl were going there to pray over him to raise him from the dead. having read some of the works of Smith Wigglesworth, i firmly believe that this is possible.

now before u go all postal on me -- this does happen in this day and age. it has been documented -- so its not something that can't happen. so we all prayed. and we kept in touch on facebook about what was happening. like how they had moved him to another room and that the glory was coming down and we should keep praying. and we were praying. but he did not arise and walk.

now some ppl would look at this and say well, god doesn't exist because if he did this man would certainly have been raised. but as someone reminded me -- did anyone ask papa god what he wanted to do with this man?? i'm not sure that anyone did. most of the ppl (and i have to admit that i was a bit of a lemming and just followed the higher ups here) saw that a man of god had been felled in the middle of a sermon before his time and knew that it was an opportunity for god to show his glory and bring the man back to life. which it was. but it begs the question: does our faith and trust in papa god stay strong even when prayers rn't answered the way we want them to be but the way that papa god sees as best??

i've had plenty of opportunities in the last 5 years to lose faith and trust in papa because prayers i made went seemingly unanswered. but i've also had many prayers answered and i've had many times when papa showed me his love when i wasn't expecting it. what i saw on sunday night/monday morning was a gathering of ppl of faith from all around the world, to pray fervently for a man to be raised from the dead and if nothing else, i saw their faith and trust in papa god and that made mine stronger. strange as that might sound. what i've come to realize is that my reality here on earth -- ie, what i see/hear, etc. -- is not always god's reality. so i have to trust that papa knows better than i in all circumstances and let go -- as hard as that sometimes is. papa god is in control and that gives me a real level of freedom -- freedom from worry, stress, the need to "fix it", etc. its another wonderful gift from papa god.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

overly blessed

some might say that i am poor and not blessed at all. but i know different. we may not have much money and bills might get put off from time to time, but we r most certainly overly blessed. the last two days were testimony to that.

on thurs. my neighbor told me about the turkey dinner fixings that her church was handing out at their food pantry. i really didn't have room for a turkey in my freezer, and my kids weren't going to be with me this year for christmas, so i thought i would wait until after christmas to pick one up at the grocery store for the christmas celebration i would then have with my kids. but when i got home from lunch with a friend, my neighbor had left me an almost 13 lb. turkey and a grocery bag full of food -- not just for the turkey dinner, but for other dinners as well. it was an amazing blessing. i didn't have room in my freezer for it, so i'm currently thawing it in my sink to make later today when my son comes over to eat. we will have plenty for our meal and much left over to freeze and make for other meals.

that same day a friend called me and invited me to lunch. i don't get to go out to eat much. occasionally sammy and i will venture down the "strip" and get something at McD's, Wendy's, BK, or Taco Bell off their dollar menus. once in a while we'll splurge at Panera and can usually walk away with a good meal for a little over $10. but that doesn't happen often -- so to go to a real sit down restaurant with a menu that the waitress hands u is a really special treat. this particular friend has taken me out before and its so sweet of her to do that. we have some commonalities in our lives and enjoy each other's company.

afterwards she came to my apt. and looked through my wares. she was looking for presents for her female relatives and picked several jewelry pieces. she blessed me by not only feeding me spiritually and nutritionally, but by purchasing some items which then put money in my pocket to pay some bills and buy a gift card for my son for christmas from the local guitar shop. to top it all off, she gave us a bag of lindor truffles (if u haven't had these -- they r an extravagant chocolate -- even white chocolates which i can have). it was a truly blessed day.

yesterday another friend stopped by to pick up some speakers i had that she wanted to use to plug in her ipod. but she didn't come empty handed. she walked through the door with a huge basket of fruit in her arms and in a shopping bag attached to one arm was a spiral cut ham as big as the turkey i'd gotten the day before -- along with homemade mustard sauce. talk about being blown away -- i was...

the thing is that i don't accept gifts given very well. i'm always embarrassed and humbled by the experience. and here i was being totally humbled three times in two days. we now have too much food and i'm not sure how to handle it all. don't get me wrong, i'm so very very grateful for all of it, and i realize that christmas is the time for giving. but i am one of those ppl who feels this need to reciprocate in kind -- and i can't and it kind of hurts me that i can't. but i'm grateful for the blessings and i think that papa god is trying to teach me to be more accepting without feeling the need to reciprocate immediately. as my friend yesterday said -- u gave to me throughout the year when u just listened or talked to me about spiritual things and look today u let me borrow ur speakers which gets me out of a pickle -- that is ur gift to me. i have never thought of that as a gift -- doing little things or just spending time talking with someone as a gift-- i have always thought of it as just being me. and if something i do doesn't seem "above and beyond" the norm, then it doesn't seem like a gift. but maybe it is to others. and maybe i need to stop beating myself up for not being able to give "gifts" that come wrapped in pretty paper.

at any rate, today will be a day of cooking and feasting. i will be making both the turkey and the ham and we will have a bit of both on our plates along with all the fixings and i will freeze all the leftovers since my daughter will be going to her dad's on monday and not coming back till the middle of the following week. and every time i pull out turkey or ham to make another meal i will thank papa god for the wonderful friends who blessed me in a most thoughtful way.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


so lots of ppl around this time of year get a little frantic because they haven't gotten all the shopping done that needs to be done for the holidays and r worried to some degree or another about the gifts that they were able to buy and whether or not they will be nice enough, etc. other ppl have been ready for months (some even were VERY forward thinking and bought this year's presents last year after christmas when everything was dirt cheap -- i really admire those folks the most).
since i haven't had a real income from a job (Feb. of 2008) for a while, its been a real experience trying to make christmas with no real funds to speak of. its really kind of exciting to see what i can do considering that after the holidays, i then have my daughter's birthday and my car registration/inspection fees to deal with -- which really makes it interesting.
but i've always been the kind of person who likes to make my gifts instead of buy them -- when i can. i learned early on when i was first married and had children how to take my creativity and use it for gift giving. but recently i saw this commercial where the guy kind of whispers "hand made gifts -- who wants them -- nobody" and then goes on to say how u can get other things off ebay. i'm not really sure if he's touting ebay or not -- but he makes some really disparaging remarks about handmade gifts (smells like church, etc.).
it kind of makes me mad because ppl who handmake something put a lot of love and time and effort into it and to be so unappreciative to think that the only gift worth getting (or giving) is one purchased off and online auction is really a reflection of the kind of person u r -- (insert some negative word here).
at any rate, i'm glad that in one sense i don't have to worry about what to buy someone (since i have no money i can't buy anyone anything). but i can make lots of things -- and am. and even got my daughter to make an ornament for her grandfather. so i'm sort of passing on the tradition of y buy it if u can make it urself. that's probably not good for the economy in any sense of the word -- or my purse if u think about selling things at my etsy site. and i understand that some ppl rn't talented with a needle and thread or hooks and yarn or paint. but perhaps ur a great baker or cook -- u could cook a meal or bake a special treat or give a hand made coupon for either of those -- or maybe u give great back massages -- that might be something someone who is overworked or over stressed might like. or to someone who doesn't have transportation u could give coupons for a ride to the store or mall or wherever -- it might give u a chance to get to know someone just a little better. one of the best presents i gave one year was a soup in a jar mix -- they just had to add hot water and let simmer a while -- with a texas cornbread mix (just add milk and an egg). they were recipes i got off the internet for gifts in a jar. a few simple ingredients and i had several jars to give as gifts -- attached instructions for cooking with a sweet bow and there u had it. ppl loved it.
All Free Crafts Gifts In A Jar Website

times r tight right now financially for a lot of folks and ppl r scrambling for ideas to make their dollars go a little farther in the gift giving dept. there r so many inventive ways to "make" a gift for someone special that won't cost u an arm and a leg, but will show the person that u really care about them during the holidays.
and as for me -- well, i'm just about ready. one more thing to make and i'll be done. my presents to my dad and my brother's family have already been mailed. so i'm feeling pretty good right now ....

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

snowstorms and such ...

so we're having our first real snowstorm of the year. we probably got 10-12 inches since early this morning. when the phone rang at 5:30 this morning from the school district to say that school had been cancelled, i got up and looked out the window to see NOTHING!! i thought, was i dreaming the phone call ... but decided to crawl back into bed and go back to sleep. which i did.

three hours later i awoke to hear snow shovels on pavement and snow plows scraping off the parking lot and knew i needed to get dressed and move my car. at that point we probably had 6 inches -- which, btw, was the original estimate of how much we would get. the next several hours the snow continued to fall at a rate of an inch an hour. my neighbor, daughter, and i ventured out to the local craft store for yarn (to complete christmas projects) and grocery store. there weren't many cars on the road and the going was slow and slick.

i forget every year just how much i'm NOT in love with snow until it happens again. usually it starts sometime the tail end of Oct. or the beginning of Nov. we're kinda late this year -- although we did have a dusting a couple of days ago. sometimes it doesn't end until late march or early april. ppl who don't live in snow country r jealous. maybe they wouldn't be if they had to shoveling and wait for clothing to dry before venturing out yet again to shovel or deal with the wicked cold temps (something about 30 below with a windchill that makes it feel 20 more degrees lower than that doesn't make me happy).

don't get me wrong -- i love snow on christmas day -- i love looking at it and taking pics of it. but i hate shoveling it and i am not fond of driving in it. the schools here tend to NOT call school unless there is at least 10 inches on the ground or the promise of such so that's one reason i was so surprised this morning to get the call. i'm glad that my daughter didn't have school because i would have had to pick her up during the worst of the storm (noon). snow is great for taking pics and looking at and sledding (i'm not a real outdoorsy kind of gal if u haven't already figured that out) or skiing -- but when ur not into skiing or sledding or snow mobiling -- snow seems like a pain.

for right now i will be content to sit in my not so warm apartment and watch the snow fall and play my christmas music and crochet the presents i'm making. i'll take pics for my friends in warm places so they can oooo and aaaahhhh and be duly jealous...

Friday, December 4, 2009

sick again ....

i can't believe this, but i'm sick again!! it doesn't help that i had two little boys coughing all over me at the beginning of the week. i remember the days when my kids brought stuff home from school and inevitably i would get it too -- which, of course, in mommy terms means u don't rest because ur too busy being nurse to sick children. but i had several good years of not much more than the occasional cold until this year.

idk what it is, but when i'm feeling really ill, the one thing i want more than anything is my mommy. it probably harkens back to when i was little and she would take care of me when i was sick. its funny, but i don't remember my mom ever being sick -- which is probably a testament to how well she hid it when she was sick. i'm afraid i don't hide sick very well ...

when i was little i got a lot of bronchitis -- especially around the holidays. finally, my mom decided to have me checked for allergies, since she and her mom both suffered from them. sure enough i was allergic to a zillion things -- not the least of which was the evergreen tree we would bring into the house for christmas. and not only the tree, but the mold on the tree. so i was getting a double whammy every year. of course, allergies by themselves r just a pain, but they don't usually cause much more than a sniffling runny nose and a cough. but mine would eventually settle in my chest and i would end up really sick with bronchitis, which evidently scars the lungs and leads to more episodes of it. lucky for me, i outgrew some of that.

this year seems to be an exceptionally bad year all around the country for illness, what with the H1N1 flu. i'm pretty sure i don't have the flu right now -- although i might have had a slight bout of the regular flu earlier in the season. i still had the residual cough from that when i got hit with this -- whatever it is. like i said, i am pretty sure its not the flu because i only have a mild fever. but still, its enough to make me feel bad enough to want to stay in bed 24/7.

of course, as a mom i can't stay in bed 24/7. i thought about this the other day when i came home feeling really ill and there were two sinks worth of dishes to be done. i stood there and did them, but it was about all i had energy for and promptly collapsed afterwards. my daughter still needed to be picked up at school and of course, there was dinner to make. who feels like doing any of that stuff when all u want to do is sleep because every muscle and bone in ur body hurts?? today i have bills i need to run around and pay -- so there will little rest for me and probably i won't feel up to making dinner tonight, but i need to do it.

i was supposed to do a crafts fair tomorrow night -- and i really need the money -- but if i'm not feeling well its not going to happen. but the world doesn't stop revolving and things don't stop needing attention just because i'm sick. as moms well know, u keep going even though u feel like u can't. do men feel this way to keep going? my ex never did. at the slightest sign of pain he was a wimp. won't go into the details, but it was never pretty. so i wonder if its a general difference in the sexes thing.

at any rate, i'm doing what i always do -- loading up on the vitamins and zinc and forcing the fluids till i think i'm going to float away. what else can i do when there is so much stuff that needs attention?