Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I can't believe that it's the end of October! Winter will soon be upon us and we've been hustling our butts trying to prepare for it. As you all know, this has been a miserable year for me. Lately I've been trying to make lemonade from all the lemons that have been hurled my way.

Z has been preparing for his future by learning to cook. He's been learning how to make all his favorite dishes. He even tackled turkey pie, including making the pie crust. Now he's learning to bake. The boy likes his sweets and knows that he'll never be able to afford store-bought baked goods when he's living on his own.

Z has overcome the panic attacks he was having about driving. Every day, after work, we've been honing his driving skills. He's doing quite well, but still has to work his way up to driving downtown.

Our October weather has been HORRIBLE! We've only had 2 sunny days all month. The rest of the days have been rain mixed with snow or day-long mists. We made the most of the 2 sunny days and got most of the winterizing done. I'd still like to get the outside of the windows washed, but that doesn't look too promising.

We got the snowblower out and the mowers, hose, and bike put away.
We got the AC unit tarped.
We moved and tarped the camper. During this process we discovered 2 cracks and a hole in the camper roof. We patched the holes, but didn't have time to check for damage in the ceiling. We're keeping our fingers crossed that we won't find much damage next spring.

Our internet service continues to alternate between extremely fast to extremely slow to nonexistent. The repair guys are starting to scratch their heads in consternation. We've become a quest to them. Why does this shit always happen to US?

L ordered a new, custom-built computer.(Sore subject. Don't ask!) While waiting for the new computer to arrive, our old computer acquired a trojan and had to be restored. Then our monitor died. We're now up and running again with a new computer and monitor. This means that I am now learning to handle a new operating system. Is it just me, or is Vista a gigantic step backwards? About the time I get used to Vista our free Windows 7 upgrade will arrive and then I'll be back to square one again. *Sigh*

Those last 2 paragraphs should explain why I haven't been online lately.

On the bright side, our garage has become super-organized. I designed a super-sturdy, 8 ft long x 3 ft high x 32 in deep workbench that the 3 of us built this month. I'll try to post pictures of it later this week.

THEN...Z and I utilized the new, organized workshop area of the garage and built a new computer desk for L and I. I designed the desk with a CD and DVD shelf in the back....
...and storage pockets on the sides. Look at all the CLEAR floor space beneath the desk! My design also included getting the miles of wires and cables off the floor and out of sight. L thinks I'm a genius.

For me, the best part of the desk is being able to push the chair under the desk. No more squeezing around the giant desk chair to get to the bathroom or put away laundry! $45 worth of lumber, screws, stain and poly produced a 49"wide x 37" deep x 27" tall computer desk that doesn't wobble when we touch it.

We WERE going to lay our new kitchen floor (that's been taking up space in our living room since May) last weekend. My back has been giving me problems for the past week(Yeah, it's stress related.), so we postponed that project until next weekend. Right now I'm working on polying the cove molding that will cover the 1/4" gap that's required on laminate flooring. Tomorrow I hope to start removing the existing molding. Then I'll start measuring to figure where to start with the first piece of flooring. We've got a LOT of weird angles and corners in our kitchen so this will be tricky.

All of this designing and creating has kept my mind off all the tragedies in my life. I'm hoping that I can keep this up until this year is finally over. I'm praying that 2010 will bring us more happiness than heartache.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


I found out about this yesterday.

Pam and Allen were friends of mine. I'd been friends with Allen through his divorce from his first wife, over 25 years ago. Shortly after his divorce, Allen moved to the metro area to start a new life. That's where he met Pam and brought her home to meet everybody. I instantly liked Pam and hoped they would have a long, happy life together. As the years passed, I grew to like Pam more and more.

How could we have not recognized Allen as an abuser?! Allen loved to tease and joke around. We were always trading barbs with each other. I've known several abusive men and Allen just didn't fit the profile.

Pam was a tall, feisty, intelligent woman. She always managed to keep Allen on his toes with her wit. I never suspected that Pam would tolerate abuse from ANYONE! She just wasn't the type.

How could I have been so WRONG?! I can still hear their voices. This haunts me. When we lose friends to accident or disease, we have a hole in our lives. We fill this hole with happy memories of our time together. My memories of these friends will always be overshadowed by the reality of the hell Allen created for his family for over 20 years.

My heart aches for their son. I pray that he will get the counseling and love that he'll need to overcome this tragedy that has occupied so much of his life.