Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Still Swimming

The hubby’s unemployment was dropped last month with absolutely no notice. It seems that Pennsylvania fell below some federal guideline so even though many, like the hubs, were granted extended benefits, the state would not be honoring them.
For those of you who need help with the math, this leaves my family of four living off of one income – and least you forget, that income is from the social services field. To say that the family is struggling is an understatement. Sad to say, my husband’s unemployment compensation from the private sector was more than I make in the non-profit world.
Like my beloved Dory from Finding Nemo – I am reminded once again that I need to “just keep swimming.” The world does not stop turning because Your Girl is a little blue.
Once again, I have discovered that I am a lot stronger than I give myself credit for. Normally at this point in the summer I would be packing the kids up for a few days at the beach. This is just not a possibility this year, but that doesn’t mean the summer is a total loss.
This past weekend the family and I packed a picnic lunch and went to the local state lake. Not the highest class place in the world, but we spent the afternoon feeding ducks, playing in the water and painting rocks.
As an extra bonus, Miss E. and I discovered a flock of butterflies by the water’s edge. We stood there while approximately 15 black and yellow butterflies flew in the air around us. I am kicking myself for not having a camera handy. It was breathtaking to say the least.
On the 7th we are going to “Kids Day” at PNC Park. For $9 apiece, the kids can go wild in the inflatable play zone prior to the game, then we can enjoy the game in what I am sure are the worst seats in the park (who cares – anyone remember Buc Night when we were kids. You couldn’t even see the players and it was a blast) after the game, the kids can actually run the bases.
With a little imagination- and my trusty computer, I am sure I can find many more affordable opportunities right here in my backyard and give my children a summer full of memories.
Plus the added bonus of discovering a little about their community.
On the down side, there are some things that have to give.
I have been putting off the inevitable but Miss E was registered for the local parochial school and I realize that is just not going to happen. While, I loathe giving up the community feel, small class size and individual attention she would have gotten at St. Paul’s School, the extra $200 a month for tution is just not in the budget. We did apply for financial aid, but it turns out that not being Catholic disqualifies us.
I have been reassured by my godson that the local public school isn’t so bad.
When asked what his favorite part of the end of school celebration they held was, he gleefully told how the kindergarten teacher came around with her magic wand and turned everyone into a first grader – she sounds like my kind of woman.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Get the F Out - Part Two

Despite my sunny disposition and engaging smile, if we are going to be friends I must warn you about a couple of things – I have very little patience and I am not good with emotionally needy people.
My co-worker and I have a deal. I will happily deal with the mentally ill and the mean people, but she takes those consumers who need a best friend. Those who want their hand held and turn what should be a 20 minute meeting into a 90 minute ordeal. It is just not my thing.
With that said, I have once again discovered a new facet of suburbia – the needy neighbor. (dun dun daaaaaa)
I am a friendly enough member of the cul-de-sac. I wave to people as I pull in from my day at work (did I mention the amount of working mothers in my neighborhood is in the single digits!) I will exchange the usual pleasantries while walking the dog or retrieving the newspaper, and even complain about the HOA’s failure to fix the potholes on our otherwise peaceful street - but I do not feel the need to create a relationship with every person within eyesight.
I do not need to be best friends with the other mothers in the neighborhood or to join sides in the war between those of us on the upper street and those in the lower circle.
In a cruel twist of fate, my new home is located next to one of the neediest and neurotic women I have ever met. She also, just happens to be mother to the little home intruder I have previous mentioned.
Twice now, she has cornered my husband and asked if I was mad at her. It seems that I must have failed to return the customary good morning, afternoon, or evening wave that is so popular in the community. Whereas most people (or at least I) would assume that I had simply failed to notice her, Mama Needy assumes that she must have offended me in some way.
The hubby, who is very aware of my feelings in these situations, gleefully relayed the last incident to me as we settled into bed this past evening.
The following is a dramatic recreation of actual (or not) events:
Me: Good Night My Love
Hubby: Good Night. Oh did I mention that Ms. Neurotic (not her real name) and I took the trash out together today.
Me: mmmm… that’s nice (snuggling down)
Hubby: (feigning innocence) she wanted to know if you hated her.
Me: (fully awake) what????
Hubby: She was hurt that you ignored her on her way home yesterday.
Me: Jesus Crispies – what did you tell her?
Hubby: that you must have noticed the sparks between the two of us and realized that our marriage is doomed as long as she lives so close. Oh and that you are socially retarded.

Okay – he didn’t actually tell her the last part. Mr. Nice Guy reassured her that I am just not very observant and no slight was intended.
Home Sweet Home – again!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Mr. Mandela

"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." - Nelson Mandela, who turns 93 today

Friday, July 15, 2011

Get the F Out!!!!

My family and I made a major life shift in 2011. We moved from our rural home on five acres of blissfully quite land, to a split level home in the very heart of suburbia.
The new home came with an amenity my children had never been previously exposed to in their five and three years on this planet – neighbors.
My children are completely enchanted with the amount of children in the neighborhood and their recently acquired celebrity as the “new kids”
I on the other hand am not as enamored with our frequent guests – especially the unending knocking on the front door.
Here are a couple of facts that you may or may not know about children:
1. They do not consider time or other families schedules when they decide to drop by
2. They will not be deterred by someone not answering the door. They will continue to knock, nonstop for as long as it takes for you to cave
3. If you leave the door unlocked, they assume it is an open invitation to enter.
Our four-year-old neighbor boy is the worst culprit. In the seven months that I have lived in our new home, I have twice emerged from the bath to find him in my home. The times I have intercepted him while fully clothed are too numerous to count.
A typical explanation from him when directed out the door is “My mom said I could come in.”
I try to put on my most neighborly smile as I explained that this is my home and unless I say it is okay you should never step one grubby toe over the threshold.
Inside I am screaming, “Of course she did, you obnoxious little brat. If you were my kid I would do just about anything to get a break from you, but until your unfortunate mother starts making my house payments for me, you are her problem.”
Ahh Home Sweet Home!

Forever Inconsistent

I warned you all in the beginning that despite being Forever Your Girl – I am a fickle thing when it comes to blogging.
I am back for the time being. Like most love affairs, I can’t guarantee how long it will last – but I can promise it will be hot, satisfying and leave you panting for more.
Okay – I sleazed myself out with that last part.
Let’s just agree to enjoy it while it lasts.