Daily Prompt 6/21/2016 | Companion

Life. Life can be such shit sometimes.

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[In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 6/21/2016 | Companion]

Things have been a bit strained lately with Kyle and I. We’re okay for the most part, and we’re not fighting or anything, but there are some things we need to talk about, and get out into the open, but we’ve been having a hard time talking it out. As I’ve mentioned before, Kyle has been trying to get into a class at the local community college to get his CDL, but has been having a very hard time. The class costs nearly $5,000, and we do not have the money to just drop on this class. He has tried financial aide, but they don’t offer it for this class. He has tried several different kinds of loans, through the school and several different banks and lenders, but even after trying both my mom and I as co-signers, he was turned down. For everything. He also got pre-hired by one trucking company to try and get a loan, but it was garbage, and did not help at all. And time is running out. Continue reading “Daily Prompt 6/21/2016 | Companion”

From Sunshine to Storming

Hello, friends.

Yesterday was… well, it was something. For the last couple of days, Kyle and I had been compiling a list of projects and things to buy that we wanted to complete on Friday (yesterday), since it was his one day off. I’ve really been stressing out about my mom’s visit, so I’ve been pushing to get as much done as possible around the house. Since Kyle’s other job put him back into a full-time position, he’s been working a lot more, and hasn’t been able to help me with some of the bigger projects I want to do, so yesterday was our big push day. We still had plenty of money in savings to spend on some needed things, thanks to his new hours, so we were excited to get it all done.

Our to do list for yesterday was:
1) Lower Liam’s crib
2) Clean out the hallway closet and laundry room (both still filled with boxes of crap from when we moved in 1.5 years ago…)
3) Clean out our kitchen junk drawer
4) Finish the dishes and throw out old/unwanted dishes
5) Hang my new paper towel holder
6) Fix and install our AC unit
7) Buy a new organizer for Liam’s room so I could re-organize his stuff
8) Buy new throw pillows for the couch
9) Vacuum and deep clean the living room carpet
10) Transfer Kyle’s tools into his new, larger tool box, and store them away
11) Hang up my DIY scarf holder in the bedroom
12) Buy a new inner tube for my stroller tire
13) Go grocery shopping

Yeah… QUITE the list. Did I mention that we had to do all of this while Liam was awake and running loose, because it would all make too much noise if he was sleeping? That was fun. Luckily, when we put our strengths together, we make a really productive team, and in just two hours, we got all of that list done, with the exception of lowering the crib, because the ONE tool we needed, we could not find in our collection, and all of the shopping stiff, which would come later when we went out. Liam was very well-behaved the entire time!

We left the house a little after 1:00, and it was gorgeous outside. 72 degrees, sunny, and not a cloud in the sky. We stopped in at two local hardware stores to try and find a new inner tube for my stroller tire. Both places did not have the size we needed, but told us about a bike shop nearby that probably had it. Before going there, we stopped at my bank so that I could cash the check my mom sent me for my birthday (5 days!) so I could put it into Kyle’s account. The woman informed me that I couldn’t cash it all… because I only had 14 cents in my account. Oops… So I deposited some into my account, cashed the rest, and off we went.

The bicycle shop ended up being next door to a bra boutique that I had been wanting to check out for YEARS, so while Kyle went to get the inner tube, I went bra hunting with Liam. I got fitted by an amazingly nice woman, and began the process of trying on expensive pieces of cloth to cover my boobs. I’m quite a large size, so cute, cheap bras at Walmart and Target are not an option for me. I found the perfect, most amazing bra, but could only buy one due to the price. I let it be my birthday present to myself, since the inner tube only cost us $8. Kyle and Liam chatted with the ladies in the shop, who all absolutely adored my son, and then we left, happy with our finds, as well as our accomplishments thus far.

Next, we stopped at Menards to buy the tools we needed to lower the crib, and some CLR for another project I decided to add to the list. Then, we went to Arby’s and grabbed a late lunch for Kyle and I (Liam ate at home), before heading to Walmart to grab the rest of our items.

This is where things start to go bad…

As we pulled into the Walmart parking lot, Arby’s in hand, we noted that the skies had started getting darker, and clouds were rolling in. We turned off the car to quickly eat our food, but when Kyle turned the key to roll our windows up before we went in, the car would not start. We tried, and tried, and tried. Nothing. It sounded like it was trying to turn over, so it wasn’t the battery, but nothing would get this car to start. Kyle, having the temper he has, immediately got frustrated, as we have had nothing but nonstop car troubles for the last 3 years. We JUST had to have this car looked at, due to an unrelated issue we were having a few weeks ago, and now this.

We gave up, went in, and got only about half of our list, as we didn’t know the outcome of the car situation, and did not want to grab anything from the freezer. Sure enough, the car still wouldn’t start, and we had to call Kyle’s mom for a ride, and a tow truck to get our car to Sears. While waiting outside for his mom, it started pouring rain, thundering, lightning, and there was some crazy wind. We had left our coats in the car because of the nice weather, and quickly retreated in. We were still waiting, when I grabbed Liam to change his diaper, and discovered that I had started my period as well.

Fan-freaking-tastic.

The tow cost us $85 to tow it less than half a mile, but we have roadside assistance, so we won’t have to pay it, but Sears couldn’t look at it until 3pm Saturday (today). Kyle’s mom showed up, and we loaded our stuff into her van, and I had to put Liam into his cousin’s car seat in the back. Not only was it front-facing (he’s still just a bit too small for that), but the straps were twisted, uneven, the clip was caked with food and goop, and the car seat in general was filthy and sticky. I was trying to wrestle him into the car seat, which was impossible because there were cars honking at me, and almost hitting me (his mom did not park wisely…), and rain falling on me, and wind blowing me around, and my kid was NOT happy about any of it.

I finally got him in safely, climbed in the front seat, soaking wet, and we went home. We got all the groceries and items in, I thanked her for the ride, and she left to meet Kyle at Sears. Liam and I put the groceries away, realizing only then that we had left the inner tube, stroller tire, completely full drinks from Arby’s, and my sweatshirt in our car. Ugh. Nothing we could do about it at that point.

I quickly made some broccoli and a sandwich for Liam as a late dinner, only making toast for myself, despite feeling famished. Afterwards, we sat in front of the TV, watching Monster Fish, both completely exhausted from the day. I had a cramp that could have rivaled a contraction, a headache that could knock down a horse, my nerves were shot, and I was shaking. When Kyle came home, he was in an awful mood, understandably. I tried my best to play with Liam until bed time, but because he missed a nap during the day, he was a cranky mess. All he wanted to do was pull my hair, grab at my face, and hit me with one of his toy bucket, which was making me cranky. After he bit me on my leg while we were playing on the floor (he’s been teething like crazy lately), causing me to bleed, I put him down for bed half an hour early, and he passed out instantly. Not even our neighbor’s ridiculous noise woke him up. Kyle and I sat down and watched Chopped on Netflix, but ended up going to bed early as well. Luckily, Liam slept through the night, because we were SO tired.

Kyle was able to find a coworker to give him a ride to work this morning, but our car still can’t be looked at until 3pm. We don’t know what’s wrong, or how much it will cost us, but we don’t have a choice. We need the car, so we need to get the problem fixed.

So much for my birthday money… Why does this always happen to me?

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Dream Journal 4/18/16 | Medieval

Liam and I were visiting family up in Maine, and we were staying at my mom’s boyfriend’s mother’s house. Liam and I were staying in her split level house, while everyone else was staying in the obscene large mansion that she had casually built onto her old split level. I was sitting in the dining room, Liam on my lap, talking to a few family members, when I started feeling tired, and curled up on the floor with Liam. Everyone kept on talking, and I fell asleep.

I opened my eyes and it was morning. I could hear whispering, and turned to see my mom’s boyfriend’s son, and his girlfriend, staring at me from the hallway. I was still lying on the kitchen floor. They were wearing nothing but towels, and they hurried past me, through the kitchen, and out the door, without a word. I stood up, and suddenly started to panic, because Liam was not with me. I ran around the house calling his name, but he wasn’t there. I entered the mansion part of the house through a massive, iron gate on the other side of the living room, and tried to find someone to help me look for him. Several family members saw me running from room to room, but none of them offered to help, and just ignored me.

I found my mom, and her boyfriend’s mother, sitting at a long dining table in a great hall, and asked them if they had seen him. My mom told me that the only available bed was in the attic, so they locked him up there. I started crying and ran to find the attic. Upon reaching the room, I found it empty, and I screamed dramatically. I opened a door on the other side of the room, and was suddenly on a rocky beach. A few yards away sat Liam, kicking his feet in the shallow, ocean water. I ran and scooped him up, squeezing him against me, sobbing, while he playfully tried to push me away.

I went back inside, and found all of the family members sitting at the large, dining table now. I started shouting about how awful, and irresponsible it was for them to leave him alone in the attic, especially when there was (freaky magical) access to the beach. They all just stared at me, and my mom’s boyfriend’s mother laughed and told me to stop being so overprotective. I was livid. I put Liam down and grabbed a chair, chucking it forcefully at her head. It crashed against the table, and everyone started screaming and running away.

I grabbed one of the chair legs, stuck the end into the nearby fireplace, and threw the flaming torch into the scattering crowd. One of the family members called me a monster, and she threw a mug at me, but it missed and shattered on the ground. Liam started crying, and I picked him up, calmly walking out of the large room, while everyone kept shouting fearfully.

We walked back to the split level part of the house, and walked out the door. I checked each of the dozen cars parked in the driveway for an unlocked door, and ended up stealing a black sports car. I drove the car to a nearby park, we got out, and started heading toward a nearby swing set.

And then I woke up.

Daily Prompt 3/16/2016 | Envy

Take some time to appreciate your cards, because while you may not have a Royal Flush, your Full House is still better than that other guy’s hand, which spontaneously combusted, burning both the cards, and his hands, and then he was rushing to the hospital, but he didn’t have insurance because he lives in a crappy country with an even crappier healthcare system, and he were slapped with an outrageous medical bill that he will never be able to pay because he never got to finish school, because he couldn’t afford the high tuition at the community college he attended, and has since been stuck working horrible jobs that pay poverty wages, making it impossible for him to go back to school to finish his education, even though he really, really wants to so that he can have a better life, but now he is horribly in debt, and now people will call him lazy for the rest of his life without knowing a damn thing about his struggles to try and build a better life for himself.

In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 3/16/2016 | Envy

One of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to myself is my somewhat lack of appreciation for the things that I have. Yes, I am aware that this is a huge, obnoxious flaw on my otherwise sterling list of personality traits, but I also feel like we are all guilty of this to some degree, even if we try to say that we aren’t. We live in a society that tells us that our worth is based off of what we look like, and how much stuff we have, and this makes us want more and more, even when we already have all that we need. Everyone does it. Try as I may, I can not seem to change this ugly thing about myself, though I have gotten much better about accepting my life and certain situations in recent years.

I think my envious nature peaked in high school, and plateaued pretty terribly over the next few years. I was jealous of every single person that I met, sometimes over the most ridiculous things. So much so, that I became bitter toward people, even complete strangers, for having things that I did not. And, of course, when you focus all your energy on all of the things that you don’t have, you don’t leave yourself enough energy to love the things you do have, especially when it comes to personal things, such as appearance.

I still have days where I want to curl up into a tiny ball of hatred thanks to my envy of the most trivial, unimportant things, but I’ve got a pretty decent handle on it these days. Growing up, and starting a family, has opened my eyes, and has helped me appreciate many of the things that I do have in my life, both big and small.

I’ve struggled with my weight throughout most of my teenage and adult life, and sometimes, when I see a thin girl wearing something cute that I don’t think I could pull off, I get upset. But then I remind myself that I am aware of my body, and I am working on it, and some day, I could wear that same outfit with confidence. She may have insecurities as well. No one is perfect. Yes, I have a weight problem, but I am otherwise healthy. I have perfect blood pressure, perfect cholesterol, no major back problems, and no underlying medical conditions that attribute to my weight issue that would make it impossible to lose weight. I am healthy, and if I really hate my appearance that much, I do have the power to change it. The only thing stopping me, is me.

I also get jealous over gorgeous hair, flawless skin, full lips, etc… but hey, that is just genetics. And those who don’t have it, either embrace what they were born with, or fake it. And I don’t particularly want to be fake.

The one thing that I have been obnoxiously proud of in my life is my son. My handsome, energetic, brilliant son. My son, who has been sleeping through the night, every night, since he was 4 months old. My son, who is tall and skinny and perfect. My son, who amazes me every day with how advanced he is with his development. My son, who embraces strangers’ children at the park because he loves people and playing. I am so freaking proud of the little human that I created, and I pat myself on the back for being a huge factor in who he is today. I rock.

Moving on…

Money. Everyone wants more money. People who say money doesn’t matter, or money can’t buy happiness, are lying. Have you ever been behind on paying your bills, and have run the risk of having your power and heat shut off in the middle of winter? Have you ever looked in your cabinet, and saw that your baby was almost out of formula, and it would be a solid week before you could afford more? These things cause massive amounts of stress and anxiety on people. I’ve struggled with these things. Luckily, our financial situation has stabilized, and we are so much better off than we were just a year ago. My husband works his butt off so that I can stay home to raise our beautiful son, and we are still able to have full bellies and paid bills, even with only one of of working. We have a crummy apartment, but we aren’t homeless. We don’t have a Mercedes, but we have a reliable car that gets us around safely. We don’t have new, high end furniture, but we have comfy beds where we dream of a better future, a used couch that my son loves to climb on, and everything in our apartment serves it’s purpose.

Being jealous of what other people have is normal, in my opinion. I find myself still feeling it from time to time, most often with my sister-in-law, who is two months younger than me, but she has a house, two cars, and is constantly decorating and redecorating her home in beautiful ways. But I also know that she is in debt. A lot of debt. I have no debt. None at all. I also have a phenomenal credit score, and I don’t even have any credit cards. When she got pregnant at a young age, she lived at home with her mother for a long time with her boyfriend, and did not have to work to pay bills. They were able to just save and save and save. Her now husband has a great job, and was able to support her for several years, and was able to buy her a car, and pay for her to go to school, so that she could get a decent job, and they were able to save up until they could buy a house.

She is still in debt, and complains about it often, yet is constantly buying new furniture, and gets her nails and hair done bi-weekly. Having the prettiest house on Pinterest, and the most sparkly nails at work, are not goals that I want to obtain. I want my son to have a college fund. I don’t feel like the understands the value of money, and how crippling debt can be, because of being handed things, and I guess that is where we vary. Our situations are wildly different, because we had different advantages and disadvantages, which obviously would lead to different outcomes.

I got off on a bit of a tangent, and I’m not quite sure where I was going, so I guess I’ll leave it there. Sorry about that. I guess what I was trying to say was that everyone has a different story, and that green may be my favorite color, but it is not flattering to wear green on your heart. Everyone has been dealt a different set of cards, and that will have a huge impact on the game and how we play it.

Take some time to appreciate your cards, because while you may not have a Royal Flush, your Full House is still better than that other guy’s hand, which spontaneously combusted, burning both the cards, and his hands, and then he was rushing to the hospital, but he didn’t have insurance because he lives in a crappy country with an even crappier healthcare system, and he were slapped with an outrageous medical bill that he will never be able to pay because he never got to finish school, because he couldn’t afford the high tuition at the community college he attended, and doesn’t have anyone who can help him out financially, so he has since been stuck working menial, dead end jobs that pay poverty wages, making it impossible for him to go back to school to finish his education, even though he really, really wants to so that he can have a better life, but now he is horribly in debt, and now people will call him lazy for the rest of his life without knowing a damn thing about his struggles to try and build a better life for himself.

Yeah. You’re probably at least slightly better off than that guy. So appreciate your shit.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Dream Journal 1/30/16

Present day.

I was out for a walk with Liam, when I saw something sticking out from a sewer drain, very Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory style. I bent to pick it up, and discovered that it was an unscratched lottery ticket. I put it in my pocket, and continued on our walk. The entire time, all I could think about was the ticket, and I kept reaching my hand into my pocket to make sure it was still there. Liam and I were walking to the store anyway, so I decided that I would scratch it once we got there.

Once we got to the store, I began stacking items on top of the stroller. I pulled out the lottery ticket, and scratched it with a quarter. I stopped and stared down at the ticket, realizing that I had scratched off several matching items, revealing a prize of $42,000,000. I looked around, thinking it was a joke, but no one was there, no one was looking. I silently walked up to the register to pay for my stuff, and handed the woman my ticket. Her eyes widened, and she scanned it, causing a loud celebratory jingle to play over the register. She started screaming and jumping up and down, and came around the counter and hugged me. The manager came out, and handed me a check for $42,000,000. Just like that.

I said goodbye to them, and rushed out of the store before anyone else could see me. I headed straight for my bank, which had conveniently teleported right next door, and deposited my check. The teller who helped me sobbed hysterically as she gave me my receipt, displaying a balance of $42,000,327. I thanked her, and ducked out the door. I was in shock. I quickly went home, put Liam down for a nap, and got online.

I paid off the rest of our lease on our horrible apartment, and proceeded up buy a large, beautiful house that Kyle and I had been dreaming out and looking at, but knew that we could never afford. I then called a moving company, paid them a large amount of money to pack up my apartment, and move everything to the new house. While they came to pack everything up, I bought a brand new truck that Kyle had been eyeing, and had it delivered to the new house.

Liam woke up, and I got a ride to our new house, which was already unpacked. I texted Kyle, who wouldn’t be off of work for several hours, and told him that he needed to meet me at the address, and that I was visiting with friends. I then got online, and bought all new furniture, decor, and other odds and ends for our new house.

Kyle got off work, came to the house, and rang the doorbell. When I opened the door, and he saw some of our furniture inside, he was shocked. I sobbed, and hugged him, and told him about everything that had happened. I then gave him a tour of the new house, including his 4-car garage, with built-in workshop, and finally, his new truck. He cried and smiled and we just hugged each other while Liam ran around the large, beautiful front yard.

We decided that we were then going to finish paying off Kyle’s mom’s mortgage, buy her a new SUV, and a new truck for Kyle’s step-father. I also deposited $50,000 into my mom’s bank account, and sent her a long email, telling her about everything. We never told Kyle’s mom about her new vehicles, and had her van towed while she was working. She called us, in a complete panic, telling us that her van had been stolen. Just then, a driver pulled up with her new SUV, and she broke down in tears, thanking us over and over again.

We then donated $25,000 to the local Humane Society, which we went into to adopt a dog. We were walking through the kennels, looking at the various dogs…

And then I woke up.

Dream Journal 1/7/16

Past (?).

I sat in the back of a large van, filled with young adults, similar in age to myself. I looked to be just a few years younger, maybe 18 or 19. There were three guys, and two other girls, making six of us, plus the driver. The driver was an older, balding man, who looked eerily similar to Red Foreman from That 70’s Show.

We were complaining about being hungry, so the driver pulled up to a large, Victorian-looking building, and informed us it used to be his favorite restaurant in the area. We climbed out of the van and rush inside.

The inside was awful. The wall paper was peeling off of the walls, and the floor made wet, squishy noises beneath our feet. It looked as though the building had gone through a hurricane recently, and no one bothered to clean anything up before re-opening. The building was empty, but the tables and chairs were set up as through expecting crowds of people, and the lighting was bright and new.

A man rushed out from the kitchen to greet us. He was tall, with thinning, blond hair, and was wearing a hideous, baby blue suit. He shook the driver’s hand and guided us to a large table in the middle of the room. He took our orders without writing anything down (I ordered mushroom risotto, even though I don’t care for mushrooms), and hurried back to the kitchen.

The carpeting was so soaked, that it was hard to push our chairs in and out from the table, and there was at least a quarter inch of standing water in the room, which was soaking our feet and pants. No one really seemed to notice.

One of the girls started complaining about how the building smelled like a sewer filled with dead rats, and we all seemed to agree.

An hour passed, and we still had not been brought our drinks, nor had we seen the owner, or any other staff. The building was still empty, and no one new had come in. We stood up as a group and marched angrily to the kitchen doors to speak to the owner. When we opened the door, we saw that the kitchen was small. Very, very small. And it was in a closet. Along with this tiny, apartment-sized kitchen, there was also a very naked woman wearing nothing but a chef’s hat, and the owner, who was having sex with her, on top of the tiny stove, which was definitely on.

We stared at them in disbelief, and they didn’t even acknowledge that we had opened the doors. Nope. They just kept on doin’ it. We quickly backed out and waited outside the door, embarrassed, until they emerged from the closet kitchen… several minutes later. Still naked.

The owner, smiling, offered to give us our meals for free, but we wanted to leave. I don’t know why we didn’t just walk out, as we hadn’t received anything we would have had to pay for anyway. We all shouted angrily at the very naked owner and his very naked chef, until they told us to leave. Which we did.

As we were walking out, I started writing a very bad review on the restaurant’s Facebook page, which was filled with other reviews, all very positive. We got back into the van and drove off. We didn’t even turn our heads to witness the building bursting into cartoon-like flames behind us, and crumbling to the ground. Minutes later, there was a news report on the radio about the fire, and they cited the source of the fire as a pair of panties left on a stove top. Ha.

We were all still hungry, so we decided to stop at a local blood drive, and steal all of the cookies. We were on our way to the blood drive to steal their delicious cooking…

And then I woke up.