Life as a single Mother-Empty nest, Dating, Ex-husband, Best Friends, Full-time Employment, Unemployment, night school...How do these all relate to one another? Come with me:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Although this has been a bit of a rough road the past few months for me, I can’t help but feel thankful for the not so rough parts.
I love the time of year from Thanksgiving through the first of the year. Not as much for the presents or the decorations, parties and glitz, though that is all nice too. I love this time of year for the emotions it inspires in me.
Emotions stem from so many places but this time of year even more so:

  • Gathering with family and friends just to play games or chat or laugh
  • Teaching children to cook a really great dinner or the components of one.
  • Baking warm treats for the neighbors you only wave hello to through the year.
  • Watching someone’s face light up when they open the perfect gift.
  • Sitting by a warm fire
  • Crisp leaves or icy snow under your boots
  • Feeling the icy cool bite of a cold winters night while building a snowman, then stepping inside for a cup of hot liquid or soup
  • Cuddling babies who live far away before they grow between visits
  • Women chatting in the kitchen men cheering on the game in the other room
  • The smell of a turkey or ham ready to come out of the oven
  • Driving through neighborhoods lit up with lights
  • Helping out those less fortunate with food, blankets, coats- or even free babysitting or repair work
  • The smells of the seasons- such as cinnamon, cloves, roasting turkey, sugar cookies, and pine
  • The sounds: bells, children, crowds, chorus’s, laughter

    These are some of my favorite things about this time of year.
    Hope that those of you in the states have a wondrously delicious long weekend. And those of you farther think about your favorite holidays and times of the year.
    Please share your thoughts below- would love to hear.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you.

    and I leave you with this:

    Saturday, November 21, 2009

    One simple mistake can cost you.

    I used to laugh at these ads.. and as I stated in a previous post, thought my identity was so bad no-one would want to steal it.

    Over two months have passed since the incident. The weeks Prior to my fortieth year on this earth. The scariest, most exposing, and most foolish episode of my adult life. Police reports were filed. A day off work to get the paperwork filled out, and obtain a new drivers license.

    Then I relaxed a little. All the stolen money was credited to my account, The suspect that took my wallet was arrested while attempting to use my debit card (which was recovered) and we )me and the other four victims) were called to testify at his hearing. Which never happened. He pleaded out and attended drug court. Six weeks of court and proving his sobriety. Thing is, he is not a drug addict. He was found with marjuana on his person, which is a drug. Just not the kind of drug that tends to make someone commit crimes. One scary thing I learned at the courthouse, from another victim, was that the suspects girlfriend looks an awful lot like me.

    Life went back to normal....or so I thought.

    Then I see on my credit report ( which I now scutinize monthly) a charge account for a department store. The credit account was denied, but showed as an inquiry. Here is the twist. I didnt apply.

    A week later, I received a phone call. It was the credit union account where my car loan is held. I had opened a savings account in order to get the loan and had not used it in so many years. However the CU was calling about the large check I had cashed on the account. Another twist. I didnt cash a check on that account.

    I filled out more paperwork, more police reports, this time, the report was filed against me. By the credit union, MY credit union. It was up to me to prove myself innocent. easy enough. I am not a criminal.

    Then, another check. Credit union drive-up window video, and my signature were under scrutiny.
    I was visited at work by a detective, who was 90% sure that I was writing bad checks, bad checks which now totalled over $3000. He showed me pictures from the video. It was like looking into a mirror- well almost. I could tell that it was not me in the pictures. I knew it was not my car. I knew it was not my signature on the check copies that he showed to me. But fear gripped at me, I began to sweat when I realized that if I were him, looking at the file in front of us. If I were him, standing there talking to me. I would be convinced that I had committed those crimes. It was so crazy scary that it was dibilitating.

    I have been through the horror, the terror of having my wallet taken from my own car. I felt like a fool for letting him in long enough to do it. I felt exposed and threatened when my accounts were hit and someone knew all about where my accounts were and how to access them.
    But nothing in this world put fear in me more than thinking that I was about to be taken into custody, jailed in front of all my co-workers because someone was becoming me and committing crimes using my persona.

    About an hour later, he left my office. He left instruction that I should be looking for the vehicle in the photos. That he was less sure that it was me in the photos and I should be cautious. He was sure that this was far from over and that they would be trying to get more and more information on me. Trying to take my mail, my trash. 'They' would know where I lived because it is on my license. Once again, I felt terrified and exposed. Scared for my girls who would be home alone sometimes.

    With that.. he left.

    I cried! I broke down there and then, in front of my coworkers, boss, friends. I was so scared.
    About an hour later he was back. I did not want to see him. I was so scared of the detective. But, he came back with somewhat good news.... he had been driving near my place of employment and saw the vehicle... the one in the photos, the one used in the crimes. He didnt give many details and based on the face that he had come back alone, he had no one in custody. But he was less convinced that I was the suspect.

    The next day a woman from the credit union called. I had been cleared. the money was credited back to my account.
    Once again I felt relief. Until I picked up the mail. A warehouse sore membership I had let lapse was reopened and checks for over $800 had been spent there.
    More police reports... more fear.
    As of today I have so many police reports open, so many bad checks written in my name on bogus accounts... will this ever end?
    I am certainly more cautious, I am certainly just as scared as the day it was taken.
    I want this to end.
    It is not funny!

    Saturday, November 14, 2009

    My little star

    My youngest wants to be the next Audrey Hepburn. She may just make it- If she works hard. Thing is she cant seem to get a speaking part in the plays.
    Last night we attended her school's rendition of Shakespears Much Ado about Nothing. She was a towns person and also in a dance ensemble. But she LOVES it. She loves being a part of the group, part of the cast.

    Drama students are a different breed of kids. They are what they are and dont care what others think. An although they may act totally crazy sometimes, do things like create sharpy (yes the brand of markers) masks and parade through the local mall. They are a lot of fun and a very talented group too.

    Last nights performance was amazing. So much better than the past high school performances I have been to. Shakespeare plays- other than Julius Ceasar and Romeo and Juliet is pretty new to me. I have not seen many of his creations. It is a different language for sure. Old English with a twist.
    But it was a great story of love and innocence.

    Some of these kids were just at our house a few weeks ago in different costume- Halloween attire. Maybe one day I will see them in their own style. Maybe.

    The crew has spent the past few weeks everyday at 6 am, everyday after school, and some Saturdays rehearsing, and building this incredible set. You would swear you were in Old England. Mr.Shelly, the drama teacher/coach put a lot of hard work into it and it paid off.

    They took first place in most of their scenes at the National Shakespear festival this year.
    Every scene, and my daughters Ensemble group took home a prize.
    Way to go guys!

    Great acting, great set.
    If only I had not been so darn tired from work.....

    But it was a great way to end the week....then I woke up to this!

    The first snowfall of the year. It was early so the pictures are not very clear.
    The dogs love the snow.. I suppose I would to if I could never take off my fur coat.

    Welcome to November in the Rockies!

    Sunday, November 1, 2009

    Whistle While you Work

    Fifteen years ago, my ex husband and I purchased the house that I reside in now. We were recovering from some finacial difficulties brought on by his tour in Germany for Desert Storm, the first Iraq war. Although we married young, he being 19 and my being 18, we were able to purchase our first home just 5 months after getting hitched.
    We ended up selling that house in order to pay off some debt, catch up some late payments all due to a decrease in pay caused by his tour.
    But things were looking up and although we werent able to get the house of our dreams, we were able to purchase a fixer-upper with high hopes of ..well, fixing it up.
    The thing about buying a fixer-upper being the only affordable option is, that if you only have enough money for the cheaper house, you probably dont have the money for the 'fixing up'.
    Thus was true in our case.
    Just three years later, we divorced. I was awarded the house in the divorce. And as such, have inherited the fixing also.
    The house at the time we bought it was about twenty four years old and just getting to the point where most all the plumbing and electrical were outdated. Things like the furnace, and water heater were reaching the limits of thier lives and some of the 'secrets' of the previous owners lack of DIY talents were beginning to rear their ugly heads.
    But little by little, and small catastrophy by small catastrophy... I have been able to reconstruct most of the rooms in the house, and get a lot of the yard work completed. It gets expensive.
    Now that I am finished with school and have a lot more weekend freetime, and with the nice fall weather we have had this year, I am feeling stir crazy and beginning with some much needed and well past due yard work.
    When we purchased the house there were hose bibs on both the front and the back of the house. Both of which had broken off handles and had been pinched and mis-shapen from use of pliers.
    Because hose bib replacement is a bit intimidating and there is a small bit of welding involved, I continued the use of pliers until they became worn and rendered worthless.

    Because one room of the basement is unfinished we were able to replace one of the two pretty easily as there were no finished walls covering the pipes. The other remains broken until I have time and money to tear into the sheetrock. Running a hose around the house became a real issue and my back yard fell victim to the lack of watering. There is no sprinkler system installed and all is watered with small fountain sprinklers.

    This is what my once lush backyard has become, No more grass, just overgrown with weeds. I do not have the money right now to pay anyone to landscape, I dont have the money to rent a cat for the day, so here I am, Halloween morning with shovel and rake in hand, tilling the dirt and raking it smooth so that in the spring I will be able to re-sod.

    I am excited to have my yard back, I am excited to have the time available to get it done. It is hard work, better than the best Gyms. And I had a lot of help company. My dog loved lying in the cool dirt as I dug it up.

    Here is how I see it. As I am great at starting projects...and not as great at completing them, I want to post the progress here. Then I will have to get it done right? And in a reasonable amount of time.
    Later last night with tired hands and sore limbs, I chapperoned a teen halloween party then headed out for drinks with my own friends for a couple hours...Good times at Halloween. And now, I am off to get on that dirt again. Hope you all had a great Halloween.