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New Job / New Place

 

June 9th

First week of Adam's new job. It seems to be going well. The people are nice. He loves the environment. Down side - it's 2 hours away. He leaves at 5:45, gets home at 8, eats, showers and goes to bed. The kids see very little of him until Friday. The baby is angry with him. He's been home for 10 months, and now he's gone all of the time. The Baby blames him and won't even let Adam hold him. That is hard on Adam, but it's temporary.

As soon as our house down south sells, we can move to Worcester. The bad thing, my parents, whose name the house is under, are taking their own sweet time with listing it. Summer is prime selling time, and they don't feel like listing it until August.

 

June 13th -- Poo Basement

The washer and dryer are in the basement. Went down there to forward the laundry and the floor was all wet and smelly. Thought maybe the hose on the washer had come undone. Nope, that was fine. The washer hose drains into my brother's basement utility sink. Thought it may have sprayed out. Mopped up the water and started another load of laundry. (Can you tell where this is going?)

Went down to forward the next load. The floor has more water on it and bits of poo floating around in it. I thought I would lose it. His septic, which he never has pumped out in the 10 years he's been here, is too full to handle a family of 6.

Called my brother to let him know that his septic is backing up and he said he would get a septic man out to do something about it. I know I have to clean the basement up, but, oh God!, I don't want to. I wear shoes I'm going to throw away, use a lot of bleach, and a mop I'll never use again. It's bad, but I get it done.

My brother calls me to say that he's too cheap to hire a septic guy to find the septic as well as pump it, so I have to dig it up (my words, not his). Did you know that in New England they bury the septics 10 feet deep so that they won't freeze in the winter? And my brother has no clue where in his yard it is.

I dig several calculated deep holes based on where the drain pipe leaves the house and what research I could find on where they place septics in New England. No luck.

The septic is no over flowing into the basement even when I'm not doing laundry. We are all paranoid when taking a shower as to whether or not this will be what sets it over. I'm getting sick of the smell of bleach. Adam can't help -- he's never home and it's a new job, so he has that stress. And my brother doesn't care and we have no money to hire a septic man ourselves.

New England Sucks!!!!

 

June 17th

I finally have poo basement under control. I have hooked up a long hose to the washer drain, ran it out of the basement door and into the back yard. Then we follow the rules of no two showers within 2 hours of each other and can't do the dishes within 2 hours of a shower. It seems to hold the septic problem in check.

We need to get out of the house this weekend. None of us have slept well since we got here because of the dogs barking all night.

 

June 18th

Got out today to some historical sites. Went to a fort. It was nice to get out. It wasn't really where we trying to go, but the road we thought we were on turned out not to be it. But it was nice anyway. We were going to go to the beach, but it was so crowded, and there was no place to park, that we went home.

We learned that when we go site seeing in New England, we must bring our own food. Since everything is seasonal (nothing happens in winter), there are no fast food joints anywhere along touristy area.

 

July 9th

A skunk is hanging about our yard. How do I know this? When I looked outside the other day, I saw it standing in the doorway of our garage, which I had left open. It's a baby skunk, not much bigger than a large chihuahua. We think it left the garage, but it sprayed one of the dogs last night.

I think it came from the forest that connects with our back yard. We have a forest in our back yard!

We live in a small town about an hour north of Boston. New England is nothing like I expected it to be. When I thought of New England, I pictured huge cities, sky-scapers, lots of people. Not this endless small town after small town. I'm disappointed. You drive 10 minutes out of Boston and you hit dairy farms and grain silos. You drive anther 10 minutes and you see nothing but trees -- the miniature towns are nestled in the valleys so that you don't even see them from the interstate.

New Hamshire is so poedunk. I thought there would be culture and it turns out that there are mostly rednecks. They are all paranoid about going into the big cities. We have not been to Boston yet.

My brother is unrealistic about his expectation of what we're supposed to do with his dogs. I think he wants us to prioritize them above our kids. He wants them bathed 2 or 3 times a week. And these are big dogs. Picasso is 140 pounds (no exaggeration!). Bluebell is around 50. He comes up every weekend unannounced to bathe his dogs then leaves -- no visit. Just for a dog bath.

 

July 10th -- Shrek or Frodo wearing the Ork armor

Adam and I are fighting. Nothing serious. We are just arguing over whether the baby looks like Shrek when he recues the princess or Frodo in the Ork armor.


yes, you can see Annie in the background. Such a manly thing to watch when you fight.

 

July 11th

We here, but we're not here. I mean literally, not metaphorically.

We moved up to New Hampshire almost 2 months ago because my brother offered to let us use his house while Adam. found work. And that certainly was a better offer than my parents, who said Adam was not good for much more than logging trees in Missouri and selling firewood at the roadside -- I kid you not.

We have 6 months to stay here, but here is in the middle of no where. The homeschool community is non-existant. The SCA is fractional.

So it's a good place and a good offer. BUT it's a 4 hour drive from Adam's new job. Which brings me to the reason why we're here, but not here. We used up all of our funds to move up here. So until Adam passes a few times around "Go", and we have enough saved for first, last and a security deposit (around $3,000 to $4,500), we're stuck here in limbo. We can't wait until the house sells. Heck it still is not on the market. I think my parents are under the impression that we are living it up at my brother's house and can stay here as long as we want -- not that we want to stay here any more than we have to.

We know we won't be here, in this house, long -- maybe 3 more months at the most. And we're planning to move somewhere between 1 1/2 and 3 hours away. So as long as we are here, it feels strange to make connections (friends) in our normal communities (SCA and homeschool) near where we are living. And as long as we are here, it is too long of a drive meet people in the area where we will be.

It's fairly lonely.

I'm not feeling sorry for myself. Okay, that's a lie. I am feeling sorry for myself.

We need to get out. Do some things outside of the house, even if it is just with each other.

I keep telling myself and the kids to look at our time here (in this house) as a long vaccation. You're not really expected to meet people while on vaccation. Of course, you're also not expected to keep the lawn mowed or have 3 big noisy dogs to feed twice a day when you're on vacation. But, still, it helps us realize the impermanence of our situation.

This weekend, unless the weather totally sucks, we're getting out and going someplace. A nice change from sorting through the boxes.

I miss my cats.

 

July 13th

I slept much better last night, despite the dogs barking. Thank the Gods for A/C window units that drown out the noise of bad dogs. I love my brother, but I am really starting to hate his dogs. I often wonder if he is letting us stay here in order to escape the annoyance of the dogs. I cannot imagine that they barked any less for him.

A slam of a car hood woke me up at 6 this morning. Adam's car didn't start, so, after fiddling with it in the rain for a few, he took my van. I don't really mind staying at home all day today, but if the car needs to go into the shop, we'll have to skip the SCA event we wanted to attend. Adam's first paycheck being a few 100 bucks short plus 2 months worth of bills to catch up on has left us a but dry on funds.

I let the kids know that if we don't go we'll do something special. Maybe a movie marathon with some family games thrown in. Maybe LOTR's, or perhaps just the last one -- they are so bloody long. It's shame when you have to watch something like LOTR's to feel somewhat normal about your own life. Hey! At least we are not running across the counrty being hunted by Orks!!

Ahhhh, good ole Earl Grey. My favorite royalty. I can't drink coffee anymore (so sad). It affects my stomach. So I've grown to appreciate the different types of English teas.

If this entry sound erratic, it's possibly because no sentence is written without at least one interruption, often more. (Fina just wanted to know what Rover means - as in a dog's name - does it have to have a meaning) (Then Meg wanted to tell me about this morning's poptart adventure)

The kids were sad this morning because we told them two nights ago that we are not having any more children and one of us will be surgically altered to keep our resolve. "But Booey (their nickname for our the baby) will never have a little brother." What they don't know is that we suspect I'm pregnant. Blame the condom company, but number 5 may be on the way.

I do love my children, not just in that sense that all moms say they love their children. Each one has something different to offer, something cool, and their company is often really nice. But I rally did not want any more. I thought I'm done. Finished. Over. Final act - curtain closed. I have done my duty and replicated my DNA.

Just convinced Alex to change the baby's poopy diaper. I figure reality of child rearing is a good birth control. Plus it gives me a question free 30 seconds.

 

July 13th

We are finally, after nearly 2 months, settling down into a normal routine.

The baby is finally down for a nap after a really hyper (and sometimes mean) afternoon. The girls are almost done with their school work (we're actually getting school work done!!), and I'm catching up on the laundry.

We have to get the washer out of storage this weekend. My brother's washer is really bad. The motor is going out and it does not agitate well and only spins occasionally. The clothes sometimes get clean. Other times, well not. At first I thought we had broken it because we do so much laundry. But no, it was breaking before we got here. He just did not tell us.

Finally got all of the mini-blinds up in the living room. As far as window treatments go, I thought mini-blinds were scraping the barrel. But after seeing my brother's pull down roller blinds, yellowed from age and cigarette smoke (mostly the smoke - they still smell) and torn on the bottom (from the dogs, I think), the mini-blinds look good. Never thought I'd say that.

 

July 16th

It't hot here. Everything here swells in the hear. It's so hot even the front door is swollen shut. We have to kick it open if we're outside or pull on it with all of our weight if we're in the house.

Even I'm swollen. Barely a month, and I'm showing already if you know what to look for. It's from having so many previous pregnancies. The uterus swells even before the baby is big enough to notice. It's not weight. With all of this heat, I have to force myself to eat. Then the nausea kicks in as soon as something touches my stomach.

Bready stuff is the best. A dry peanut butter sandwich (no jelly, sweets make the nausea worse) is good. Milk stuff is the worst. I have to do my deep belly breathing just to keep it down.

We're grilling tonight. It's too hot to bake. Steaks. They are so cheap up here. London broil $1.99 a pound. I'd pay $6 or $7 a pound down south. I can't remember if that was before Katrina too.

I'm bidding on some InuYasha anime books on eBay for Fina. They are the first things I've ever seen her want to read and actively read all day. The local library is missin #3 and #5 of the first 5, and she really wants to read them. So I hunt for them for her.

 

July 17th

F. brought our washing machine out of storage this weekend. That was nice of him especially considering how much of a bitch I was all weekend.

I often feel that I can not cope with the chaos that is our life. So much changes so frequently, that as soon as I feel I have a grasp of my life, I lose it. It's one crisis after another.

I would like to blame Katrina, but it started about 2 years before the hurricane when the homeschool group I built fell apart. We were in a good routine back then. Homeschooling the kids everyday. On Fridays, we went to park day at Bouge Falaya. The kids played with their friends and I chatted with the parents. It was good. It was comfortable.

Then the main organizers (I being one) had an argument about, of all things, where to hold one of our regular events. Sounds silly. But one mom was threatening to sue us (it sounded that way to us) if we did not move the event to a place that she was not banned from (an ugly custody battle and the church we used took sides -- and not hers). I became self righteous. How dare we give in to a bully!!! I forced another mom to admit she was a coward (she never forgave me).

It all went down hill from there. We were bitter about the group. It was not friendly anymore. The kids started arguing and fighting with eachother. We stopped going to park day.

I got pregnant with Boo soon after, and again our life could not settle down. One crisis after another. The baby was breech and I had to be sectioned. I almost died in the hospital from poor nursing care. I had a hard recovery, spending weeks in bed. I almost died again when the baby was 6 weeks when an infection sent my temperature up to 106.5.

We started to find a routine again when the baby got a little older. Nap time became the time when I schooled the girls. Then we moved. Switched houses really, with my parents. They were moving up to Missouri anyway, so they said we could have the bigger house.

Six months later, we finally found routine again. I had just started a new homeschooling curricula that was working, realized that Fina was dyslexic and was starting the process to get her to see a reading specialist, and the hurricane hit.

Then it was a quick succession of crisis after crisis: stayed in Lafayette, came back to tension with my parents, had other refugees move in with us, they brought a great deal of stress with a parent dieing, perpetual illness and so much else, father comes down to deal with insurance and threatens friends, finally got refugees to move out, could not find work, money kept running out, parents cause more stress over house, we decide we need to move, decide to move to Little Rock, decide that LR is too close to parents and not as many jobs there, parents cause more stress about moving, decide to move to NH or Mass, spent 2 weeks doing major resume changed in hopes it will bring job, parents cause stress about packing, move, parents cause more stress over selling house (they delay, delay, delay), we're stuck in limbo because house has not sold, new job 2 hours away, and more. Too much to detail.

Yet in all of this I still find routine. Get up. Do morning stretches. Answer e-mail. Nurse baby. Eat breakfast. Drink tea. Take vitamins. Take shower. Run down to basement to start laundry. Set timer for 40 minutes so I can respin laundry (doesn't drain well). Set timer 20 more minutes to forward laundry. Then set timer 40 minutes for double spin. Etc on laundry. Make lunch. Have girls do math. Work on reading with Fina. Play with Boo. Start dinner. Talk to Adam on phone during his 2 hour drive home from work. Eat. Send kids to bed. Watch something short with husband so he can unwind. Go to sleep.

That's the bare bones -- at least until another crisis comes along. Or another baby

 

July 18th

It is so bloody hot here! The window unit which is rated for the size of the living room, can not keep up with the heat. I keep having to turn it up a degree in order to give the motor some cool off time. It started at 74, and it's up to 80 now. It's a shame an a/c can't cool a room below 80.

I though NE would be cold, not so hot!

 

July 19th

The heat wave has finally abated!! Yippeeee! The girls want to get out of the house and that would be nice. This month we spent too much ordering pizza, since it was way too hot to cook, to have much left for doing things. But it was so nice not having to cook while it was torturously hot!

I’ve been looking at the local farmer’s markets and street markets in the area, especially in Boston. Unfortunately, I can’t find anything like the French market or a Sunday general craft and arts market. I was hoping to find a place to start selling my soaps and stuff, but other than the regular farmer’s markets, I can’t find any. A-lot farmer’s markets just want food.

The thing is, I have about 75 pounds of handmade soap that I would like to sell to pay for all of the stuff I used to make it. I guess I could try to find shops to sell it. I’ve never done that before, and I’m a little nervous about it.

 

7-30 - New Hampshire Bikers

I was having this dream this morning. Finally sleeping a little after days of insomnia.

But abruptly I was woken up from it. Was it the sunlight that streams into the east window at 5:00 in the morning? No, I slept through that. Was it the baby wanting to nurse? No, he was snuggled up next to me asleep. Was it dogs barking? No, they were amazingly quiet. It was our neighbor, who every Sunday morning as early as sunrise will vrrrm, vrrrm in his driveway a good half an hour before taking off down the road to join the rest of town cruising up and down the highways like some 15 year olds with their first car.

What is this phenomenon that these New Hampshire wanna be bikers have to spend all day Sunday cruising loudly on their motorcycles? And why so early? What are they trying to prove with their vrrrm, vrrrm, vrrming in the driveway and what determines that perfect moment to finally leave!!

 

8-28

When we moved here, my brother said we would have 6 months to stay in his house. Both Adam and I asked him twice each if six months would be a problem because that would be what we needed unless the house sold sooner.

Let me count - end of may to end of june, 1 month; end of june to end of July, 2 months; end of july to end of August, 3 months. My brother came by this weekend and said that since we've been here for 6 months, it's time we moved out. Maybe time works differently for him. We explained that it's only been 3 months (and had to show him why it's only 3 months and not 6) and explain that Adam has only had 2 pay check, both of which have been several hundred dollars short b/c of initial work start-up costs (doubling up on health insurance payment the first month and doubling up on 401K the sencond).

Plus we had not even caught up on the bills yet, and have no money to move out. In New England, to rent something, you need a full first month's rent, last month's rent and a security deposit equal to a full month's rent all up front. Since the average small apartment rents for $1200 to $1700, time that by 3, and that's how much we need - $3600 to $5100. Oh, plus moving expenses and other deposits.

He did not care. He's tired of not living in his house. Despite the fact that we're having to repair at our expense his house as it breaks down around us through no fault of our own, he wants us out. Our guess, he really wanted to go a good deed, but the reality of it was too much for him. He really should have thought about that before we dragged our family 1,600 miles on a gauruntee that we would have 6 months.

Oh, and he wants us out in the next 2 weeks.

So, we'll have to borrow money to do it. Although Adam is making descent money, expenses are coming up quicker than the pay checks.

New England sucks!!

 

9-1-06

Okay. The lease has been signed. The deposit has been paid. And we are moving into Worcester next Saturday the 9th. It comes a couple of months before we thought we would be moving. But we decided it was a good idea to spend our first winter fairly close to Adam's work. It's about 3 miles from where he works, so he won't be traveling long distances over snow!

The kids and I are pretty excited. There is much more for us to do in Worcester than here in Rochester. The homeschool group is more active there, and there is just more to do around the city.

I have no idea who's going to be able to help us move, but we'll manage. My brother will probably help us load, but I don't think he'll make the 2 hour trek to Worcester to unload. There is plenty to do, and very little time to do it!

AGGGHHH, I hate moving.

 

9-3

Adam and I did not have a b-day for the thrid year in a row. First year - in the hospital having a baby. 2nd year - exacuated. 3rd year - getting ready to move.

 

9-4 Baby F.'s b-day

His second b-day and we still can't have a nice party. Last year it was nice with some friends, but we were evacuated and still had no idea about the state of our home and lives. So it was not a very festive event. This year, we need to save money for the move, so we can't really buy presents. We're all really disappointed in my parents. They have been sending expensive gifts to the girls constantly since we moved. It is the baby's birthday and they send him a dollar store t-shirt and 50 cent deck of cards.

The girls picked out some great gifts thought.

 

9-10-06

The move did not go smoothly. My brother, who swore he would help us load and move, came over only to meet the contractor who is supposed to fix things that have been broken since before we got here and throw a bar-b-que. Although we stressed to him that we need to leave by 2 and be in Worcester by 4 to meet the people helping us there, he didn't start cooking until 2, cooked slow, and insisted we stay to eat. My nephews did not show up until 1.

So I left Rochester at 3, calling to apologize for being an hour late to the Quintavians (who we had never met) who were helping us on this end. Then I got stuck in traffic for an extra hour. I did not show up in Worcester until 6 (two hours late). The truck, which was a couple of hours behind me, did not get there until 8 or 9. it started raining really hard and very coldly when we started to unload.

I wanted to cook red beans and rice for the movers, but I had not anticipated not not knowing where my pots would be. We made do with a roasting pan, but half the burners on the stove were not working.

So at the end of it, we met some very nice people, had some good friends help us, got really soaked and chilled, ate red beans at around 10 pm, and got most of the stuff moved.

We still have Adam's car in Rochester b/c there was not anyone to drive it here. So we'll have to go back Tuesday to get some more of the stuff we left, consolidate it into one storage unit and get his car.

 

10-1

We told everyone that we're expecting again. No, this wasn't planned. And yes, we know how these things happen. And this will be the last one. We waited so long to tell everyone because I was having some problems in the first trimester.

Right now the only preggers problem I'm having is that food makes me nauseous. I've lost about 6 pounds since I've gotten pregnant. I'm past the 1st trimester, so all day nausea is gone. But I have to gag my food down at nearly every meal.

We did move 3 weeks ago. Settling down into our new apartment is taking time, but we're nearly there. I may have to build a couple of more bookcases to replace the 3 we left behind. They'll be unfinished, since I can't stain or polyurethane anything while I'm pregnant. But the main governing rule for bookcases I make for the rest of my life is the ability to take them apart!! The 3 we lost we didn't take because they were either nailed together or put together with brads. And there was just no room left on the truck. SCREWS ONLY! They break down so easily.

We've been pretty busy here. From mundane things like finding the best places to shop, finding doctors and dentists for all of the kids to more fun things like connecting with the homeschool groups, finding a UU church, and getting ready to sell my soap stuff at craft fairs.

The homeschool group is really nice. We had a park day last week, and there were a ton of girls Meg's and Fina's ages. I don't think that the stereotype about New Englanders is really true. The ones we met are really friendly and fairly chatty.

We went to the UU church about 30 minutes away this Sunday as opposed to the 2 that are closer since the one in Grafton has more kids' stuff. This one seemed really nice.

I've been busy making stuff for selling at the craft fairs. I'm working on solid perfumes made with essential oils. Trying to develop some uplines of my soaps (oils, perfumes, bath salts, etc that match the scent). It's been going slow.

Mostly because I have had one 4 hour stretch of sleep in over 2 weeks. Other than that, the baby has been waking up every 1 to 1 1/2 hours all night long. When he does sleep for a stretch, I often am so tired I can't sleep. We've ruled out pinworms, growing pains, teething, gas and reflux. I have no clue what it might be. Adam and I think it may be the lack of white noise. We've always had some type of white noise in the background, usually to drown out the dog noises. Since this is the first time in eons that we've had no dogs, the room is quiet -- maybe too quiet for him. We looked for a white noise maker or air purifier last night at a couple of shops, but no luck. I'm thinking of downloading some ocean sounds and setting the computer up to play it continuously all night. May help, may just make us have to pee!

 

10-23

I'll give myself a minute to write in here while my tea is steeping. I've switched back to tea from coffee, since even the gentle for tummies coffee gives my stomach cramps. So it's earl grey mixed with chamomille and lemon balm for me.

We went apple picking this Saturday, but the orchard was all picked out. So we sat around with some friends talking for about 3 hours. It was nice despite the cold wind. The girls had a blast on the playground by the orchard, but the baby got so cold, he slept most of the time we were there. We ended up buying 2 bags of apples. I made apple crisp that night, but no one like it. There goes a good idea for a simple dessert!

We're getting settled into our apartment. Finding places for everything, sorting through things one more time for stuff we don't want or need. It's finally starting to feel like home, and a friend has offered to rent us a place about the same size for $400 less a month! What a decision now! And we all hate moving.

It's about a 45 min to an hour drive to Franks work as opposed to the 15 minute drive he has now, but we could really use the extra money. It also has a much better school district. But looming over this decision is the possibility of our house selling any day (hopefully), then we'll have to house hunt and move again. It's all a moot point right now, since her current renter hasn't moved out yet. I'm really so sick and tired of have to make decisions with little or no knowledge about the consequences (but welcome to adult life *smile*)!

The money is the main issue. Although Adam's job pays well, between the outrageous rent for a 900 sf apartment and so many incedentals coming up all the time, we are constantly broke.

I'm going to try to get the kids' costumes made today. We were invited to a Halloween party that will have a bunch of 8 to 10 year old girls. We're all going to trick or treat in their neighborhood. It's the first year the baby can really enjoy Halloween and won't just be used a prop for us to get more candy! Of course a two year old hyped up on Halloween candy (shutter). and this Saturday we're going to a Halloween thing at the Higgins Armory Museum. A couple of SCAdians we met up here are coming with us to introduce us to some of the sword guild members. We haven't been yet, and it sounds like fun!

The pregnancy is going fine. Not too much nausea. Just some tiredness, but that can also be explained by the post-traumatic depression. I keep taking my expensive herbal vitamins (6 a day!), and I feel a little more human when I do. It's just hard to remember to take them 3 times a day. I had to put it into my computer reminder to pop-up for each meal.

I should get going. My tea has steeped and been drunk. It looks to be a busy week, and I'm tired of spending so much time on the computer!