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:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. ~Albert Camus

Rarely have I had wonderful weather on my late September birthday. Yesterday was an exception.

With all the precipitation we have had this summer, the colors this early autumn are brilliant.

My children spoiled me yesterday it was a nice role reversal. As I have stated in past posts, my time with them under my roof is limited.

The entire day was mine yesterday. One on one time spent with my youngest until my older daughter was off work was priceless.

My mother sent a package to be opened by my girls and presented to me in a creative and fun array of small 'gifts' throughout the day beginning with a wake up call with party horns and singing.

The girls continued to surprise me throughout the day. Flowers, gifts, games, and all ending with dinner out and a surprise guest (my best friend and her kids).

I am a lucky lucky woman.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Senior pictures

My youngest is a senior in high school this year. I can hardly believe that the time has gone by so quickly. Seems like yesterday I was rocking her to sleep. She has always been the cuddly one. She still likes to cuddle once in a while when we are watching a movie. But she is far from a baby.


I am still on the job warpath. There are jobs out there for sure. But there are also a lot of unemployed out there. Add to that, the workers looking to move ahead into the higher positions vying for the same openings I am. And then there was the government job which was filled the day before my interview was set for. Rumors must be true, it isn't what you know but who.

So, money is still really tight. Tighter than it has ever been. We have had to cut back in so many ways, we hardly have a life. My pantry and freezer are nearly bare as we have slowly used up what was once stocked up.

And my baby, my senior is very involved with her drama department this year. Theater is her dream. Whether she becomes a player in the productions, or follows her dreams of owning and running a theater, she is headed that way.
But now, it is an expense that is a strain.
From the letter sweater from the drama club, the workshops, the ticket prices of the productions she is in, and the trips out of town for the clubs she is involved in, it all adds up fast.

Money I have so far been able to pull out..

I have worked full time and also attended night school for most of my kids growing years. We managed the money needed for daily living and also the extras. It was never not a strain, but certainly easier than this year.

However the flip side of that is, that although it has been a struggle to pay for the extras, I have been more available for them.

Doesn't it seem that we as parents have the time, or the money? Rarely both.

But I have been lucky enough to afford both so far this school year. Even if by the skin of our teeth.

In two weeks my daughter has the opportunity to participate in the Shakespeare festival here in the state. Students from all across the country come to compete in a mini olympics of Shakespeare's works.

Last year she was able to compete with the tech crew (lighting and sound) and this year she will be acting in an ensemble team.

Because I am not working, we will be able to travel to see her compete.

My son will also be in town, and the competition is just an hour from where my parents now reside. We will all be able to see her perform.

I am so excited and proud of her.

One of the expenses we have had to put off in order to make all this happen, is her senior portrait costs.

So, we pulled out the camera, drove around our beautiful area and shot some of our own. As you can see by the smattering of photos throughout the post, it was not too much of a sacrifice for her mother to act as photographer.

We saved money, had great mother daughter bonding time, enjoyed the wonderful end of the summer weather, and I think the pictures turned out better than the stagnant studio shots.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Why I blog-

People who do not blog or have never even read a blog don't understand fully the depth of a blog.

I began my blog a couple years ago to tell my story. It didn't matter if no one commented on it or even read it. It was MY place. A place where I could write out my feelings much like a journal and memories I would like to keep forever in print. It has become so much more.

Blogging is a social community. A place to read about and possible help others. Some who may be fighting the same fight as you. Other single parents making their way through life's struggles and joy. Others who understand the challenge of dating as a parent. Others who may be facing challenges in their lives that may or may not be similar to your own. Others who have much advice and happiness to share.

I have been able to empathize with so many others in this virtual world. Made virtual friends who I may or may not actually meet face to face some day but who I would like to.

It is like a virtual 'Friends' coffee shop. Friends meeting at Central Perk to discuss life's intricacies. Most times without repercussion. It is a feel good place to be.

But then there are times it hits you hard in the heart. And you realize it is so much more than virtual. It is real. You follow some through battles too large to overcome.
Such is the case for a man I have followed from the beginning. He was one of the first blogs I read.

A Single father of two beautiful and young kids. He began his most recent blog near the same time as I began mine and in his post, he was just undergoing a biopsy. Which turned out to be malignant. It all started from a tiny mole found on his ear.

The past two years, I have followed the ups and downs of his story. His fear of doctors news, his anguish awaiting test results. His time with his kids. His dating life. He has had such a positive outlook on life no matter the struggle.

Yesterday September 18, 2010 his struggle ended. His words bring tears to my eyes.
"I'm sorry, everyone. I did my best."  

If you didn't get a chance to know Depot dad You missed knowing a great and courageous man.

There is a sadness in the blogging world today. RIP Jim. Peace to you and your young children. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

It is not over

I imagine there will be all sorts of blog posts in the blog-o-sphere about 9/11/2001 today. Many who were involved in the attacks either as victims, loved ones of victims or personnel who aided those victims.
I live very far from the terrorists targets (thus far) and cannot even fathom the pain, the sheer terror or the devastation of that day 9 years ago.
Nine years, that sounds a lifetime ago and yet it seems like yesterday.

But I still remember where I was and how it made me feel.

At the time my mother and I worked for the same company but in two different departments. We were just pulling into work in her car and heard the announcement that a plane had just run into one tower of the trade center.

I have not traveled to New York and to be honest, I had no idea what the World Trade Center was. It was scary. My first thought, as many others possibly concluded, was that a pilot had fallen asleep or faulty equipment on the plane and how scared those on board might be. We had yet to see any images.

We went into the building and there were radios playing all over. The somber looks of co-workers gave an eerie feeling. A television was wheeled into the department just in time to see the second plane hit. We were miles away from the terror and yet scared just the same.

The rest of the terror unfolded as the day went on and eventually it was playing over the loud speaker for all of the company to hear.

I wondered where my children were, if they were aware of the devastation. Was it all explained as I would have. And how would I. Were they scared? Were they confused? I was.

When we left the building to grab some lunch that day, it was a strange feeling. The skies were dead. No planes flying over. The whole world seemed different.

I thank god that I was not closer to the horror of that day. But it affected us all. It was a direct hit in the gut of our country. It put a tear in our veil of safety and freedom here on US soil.

And although my son had not yet thought of joining the armed forces, it brought the perilous fight a little closer to our own shores once again.

September 11th 2001 was terrifying, no matter where you live. It should never be forgotten.
And this fight is far from over.

Hugs to you all. Hold your loved ones a little longer today. And no matter where you were, don't lose sight of the feelings you felt on that day. And hope we never have to feel them again.

-Remembering where I was 9 years ago today, when I heard. So glad my mother was there with me. It felt as though world war 3 had begun. Just a small small taste of the fear of the targets of the terror. It's also a glimpse of the everyday lives of those fighting terror in the face today. Remember that day, feeling in your gut and remember it is far from over.
Hug and tell your loved ones you love them. I love you all.- My facebook post today

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let's face it, friends make life a lot more fun.-Charles R. Swindoll _

Some facebook friends and I were discussing old times recently. Not old times in school or life, but old times with Disney and other movies. We discussed how we missed the old classic character acting in the old Disney movies such as Apple Dumpling gang and Marry Poppins.

Favorites like Donn Knotts and Dick Van Dyke.

After the discussion I turned on YouTube to watch some clips. It brought up some funny laugh to tears memorable clips from a lot of old classics.

And then I caught sight of a tribute to Don Knotts on his passing in 2006. And was moved to tears at the sight of hurt on Andy Griffiths face as he spoke of a lifelong friend he had just lost hours prior to the interview.

And then it brought to mind that kind of love. That strong lifelong love that I have with old friends and luckily with close and extended family members. That kind of love can get you through anything but can be so hurtful when lost. But knowing people and loving people that deeply gets you through the tough times. Even after they are gone.

Hold on to those relationships.
Lifelong friends you can laugh with, turn to, be your self around, tell your secrets to without fear of judgement, cry on, and hold when they need holding.

Under the magnetism of friendship the modest man becomes
    bold; the shy, confident; the lazy, active; and the impetuous,
    prudent and peaceful.
                                                                         - William Thackeray_______

Another funny thing that occurred to me today while perusing the interweb... the similarities of these two photos. The only similarities I between the two shows is that they are comedies and single dads raising sons. But interesting the unintentional similarities...
Even Berta is a little like Aunt Bea.
But I found it funny--- and a sign of the times.

Hope you all have a wonderful long Labor day weekend and stay safe!