Thursday, July 28, 2005

A little bloom goes a long way.....

I took a picture of my minature rose the other day. I bought the plant at the supermarket over a year ago. It was sitting in a cart full of reduced things, and it looked pretty sad. I only paid $1 for it, regular price was $4.99. At the beginning of spring, I transplanted the rose to another pot. I was looking pretty bad. I had to throw away part of the plant since it had died off and there was no reviving it. Not long ago, the plant showed much improvement. A new shoot had grown, and it grew very fast! It started to bud, and I took a picture of the prettiest little rose. Sometime tomorrow, I will have 2 more tiny roses to admire. There are 2 other buds that are just now opening up. The plant sits on my kitchen window sill, and it gives me great satisfaction to see this plant so alive and doing well. As I stand at the sink, washing dishes, I look out the window, watching birds or other animals in the back yard, but somehow, my eyes take me back to the little rose. The little rose that would've been tossed into the trash had I not bought it and taken it home. To some, it is just a stupid plant. To me, it is much more. It tells a story similar to mine. When things seem to be as bad as it can get, don't give up, grow stronger, and you will bloom.

Today was a pretty trying day for me. It seemed like I took one step forward and two steps back. I got all of the laundry done, but I forgot to get the sheets off of the washline. My neighbor decided it was a good day to burn, so now I have to rewash to get the smell out.

I was feeling good and got the "off limits" toys from my bedroom closet for the boys to play with. They are Micro Machines that were given to Bradley from his Uncle Allen. They are old, and still in their original boxes. Bradley, Corey, and Collin played so nicely with them today, and it kept them busy for hours. They even helped me when it was time to clean them up. Minutes later, Collin decided to poo in his bedroom. Corey helped him smear it all over the toys, walls, and carpet. It took me almost 2 hours to clean it and the boys up. I've been wanting to shampoo their carpet, but I wanted to do it when I was ready!

Because of the storm we had yesterday, my phone is not working properly. I can make calls, but I can't receive them. In a way, that's not so bad. LOL

Tomorrow I will wake up and my 2 little rosebuds will be bloomed and there to greet me as I start a brand new day. I will look at them, and probably take pictures of them, since they are so pretty to look at! (And I have a serious addiction to taking pics! lol)

Life is good.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Trying to catch up

It seems that I've been pretty busy for the past few days, but I don't really feel that I've really accomplished anything around here. There has been so much going on and so much more to come in the coming weeks. I'm not sure that I'll ever get caught up with everything! UGGH!

This past Thursday night, we had surprise visitors! Aunt Betty & her family came to visit for a little bit. It wasn't just Aunt Betty, but the whole crew! Glenn (her son) and his two kids, Austin and Savannah, and Brandon (her grandson) also came! We were a little worried about how we were going to get Brandon inside, but we had no problem getting him and his wheelchair into the basement from the garage. Our basement is "behind" the garage, and Dennis said we'd never fit him through, but we did. The basement isn't exactly the best place to visit in my house, but with a pool table in there, everyone had fun. I think Brandon enjoyed himself too. He was all smiles!

On Friday afternoon, we went along with Brad and the cub scouts to tour the tower at the breast of the dam at Beltzville Lake. I wasn't sure that I'd make it to the bottom because I was afraid that I would get claustrophobic. Since Corey and Collin were along, we felt it would be safer and easier to take the elevator to the bottom and back up. There is a spiral staircase, about 200 and some steps and we didn't think they'd be able to handle that. Brad took the steps, and it was a little eery that you could see all the way down to the bottom! As a kid, we would go to the lake on my dad's boat, and I often wondered how far down the tower went, and if they gave tours. After many years, I finally got to see the inside. I am very much afraid of heights, but I handled it pretty good.

Today, we went to my mom's to help set up for a birthday party. We put up two big canopies and set up some tables and chairs. Mom's boyfriend, Jerry, thinks that the party is for my niece, Alyssa, but it's actually for him. He's turning 50 on August 1st, and the party is for him. He will be so surprised!

I made a phone call to Domestic Relations this morning. I haven't received a child support payment from Trevor's father in over a month. I'm getting a bit worried since school will be starting before you know it, and I was hoping to get some school shopping done with the money. Looks like it could be a while before I see any money. My caseworker at Domestic Relations made a call to his house, and I guess he is hoping to get called back to work. My caseworker more or less told him that it's time he looks for another job. He will have 2 weeks to get a job or to prove that he is looking for a job. I'm hoping something happens soon. We've been struggling so bad lately and not having the support certainly isn't helping. I'm losing out on almost $400 a month without the support!

Dennis came home from work yesterday and told me that he's doing all that he can to try and get some work for me to do at home. I did some work from home before for the company, but this would be something a little different and would pay better. Hopefully, he'll come home with some good news and tell me that I have the job! It would be perfect for me, and I'd still be able to do things with my kids, since I'd be making my own hours.

Yesterday, I got an e-mail from Joan (my grandfather's cousin). Her grandaughter is expecting TRIPLETS! I'm so excited for them! I e-mailed her back with my congratulations, and I told her about how nice it was that her sister called me not long ago. I've been sending Joan's sister, Nettie, some cards since she's been in the nursing home recovering from having her leg amputated due to her diabetes. I talked to Nettie a bit, and we'd like to meet each other. I'm giving some serious thought about getting more of the Highland family together and both Joan and Nettie think it's a great idea! I'd really love to get to see family that I really don't know too much about. I'm all about family, and maybe this is the little push I need to start a Highland family reunion!

Speaking of reunions, I received my invitation to the Rehrig family reunion the other day. It'll be on August 21st! Did I mention that I LOVE family reunions? LOL I know that Dennis won't be going, he doesn't like going to that kind of thing, but I'll be there! I was never one for speaking in front of an audience, but I'm not all that nervous when I have to get up and give my historian's report. I really enjoy it, and I enjoy being involved with my family and distant relatives. I've met some wonderful people/relatives in the past few years. It's great!

It's almost midnight already! Time sure does fly! I'm hoping to get some housework done tomorrow, and hopefully get caught up on everything, but I'm not counting on it. I feel like I'm so far behind in everything. I haven't even been keeping up with this blog like I would've liked to. I've got to make some changes, but I'm not sure how or when I will actually do it.

I'm heading to bed now in hopes of getting a fresh start tomorrow.


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Our little guest

There is a katydid in my house. The kids and I discovered it on the ceiling yesterday afternoon. We're not sure how he got in, but upon closer inspection, we could see that he is missing one of his long legs in the back. We can't help but feel sad for him.

I didn't like the thought of not knowing where this creature was last night as I went to bed, but I knew that he wouldn't make it into my bedroom. The door is always closed, so I went to bed.
Just a few minutes ago, I spotted him again. This time on the dining room ceiling. I can't reach him, don't want to touch him, but I'm not afraid of him either. I wouldn't want him to crawl me, but I know that he won't hurt me.

As I watched him crawl slowly across the ceiling, I can't help but wonder what's going through his tiny little mind, if he does have one? Is he wondering if he should've asked for directions? Does it feel like he's walking for miles and getting nowhere, seeing the same white "pavement" that he's walking on?

He flew onto the dining room window and was slowly walking across the glass. Does he see the outside and wonder why he can't reach it?

I was hoping that he would get closer to the other window, so I could move the screen and let him fly out back into his own habitat. I lost him. I'm not sure where he is, and I don't want to stick my face into the curtains and have him land on me. That would freak me out! As soon as I spot him again, I will have to get Trevor out here to capture him and return him to the outside.

It's amazing how compassionate I can be to such creatures. Ones that I know won't hurt me. Now, if he had been a wasp, he would've been dead in a second!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Trying to keep up

It seems like it's been a while since my last entry. I actually did post someting , but it's gone, for now. I decided that I'm not as strong as I thought I was. For now, I've saved some as drafts, and when I feel ready, I will actually post them.

The heat and humidity here in the last few days has taken a lot out of me. It's too hot to do anything. Thankfully, it is now raining outside, we need it so bad!

This whole weekend went by so fast, and yet we did nothing. It was just to hot to do anything.

Collin just cracked me up yesterday. He told me he could make the house move! I thought maybe he was pretending that he had super powers or something, but then he asked me if I wanted to see how he does it. Of course, I said, "yes"! That was when he spun around in circles until he was dizzy! He's such a stinker! LOL The house didn't move for me, but it certainly moved for him!

I'm so ready for bed now, but I felt the need to post something. I'm not keeping up like I had intended on doing. I have more to say, but I'm too tired. The weatherman says the humidity will break on Wednesday, I so hope he's right! Hopefully, then, I'll be able to get at the computer more.


Sunday, July 10, 2005

Happy Birthday Aunt Betty!

Today is Aunt Betty's 61st birthday. I had thought about taking her a cupcake with a candle in it to surprise her, but my mother-in-law invited us over for dinner and we didn't leave there as early as I would've liked. Not only that, I got a phone call from Aunt Linda earlier in the day saying that she was baking a cake and that she was calling my uncles (Betty & Linda's brothers) to kind of surprise her with.

I got there a little late, and even though I was just at Aunt Betty's the weekend before, I was happy to see her and she was happy to see me. I figured, since it is her birthday today, I'd make my entry about her.

On a message board, the question was asked, "Who in your life, do you admire"? I didn't even have to think about that one. It's my Aunt Betty. She is one heck of a woman and I could not imagine walking even one day in her shoes.

My Aunt Betty is a cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1984. She had a mastectomy to remove one of her breasts. It was a scary time for all of us, but Aunt Betty would never let you see her down. She became very sick and lost all of her hair from the chemotherapy. He white cell count dropped very low, and we were so afraid of losing her, but she would not give up her fight. I was just 14 years old at the time, and it was so hard for me to see her like that. I always thought that if you had cancer, it meant you were going to die. Twenty-one years later, Aunt Betty is living proof that it can be beat, and I am so thankful to have her here.

In 1988, my grandfater became terribly ill. He had suffered from heart disease, and he was very sick. Who was the person that was at his side, taking care of him for many weeks as he layed in his hospital bed at home? Aunt Betty. She stayed by his side and was at his house every day to care for him. She was right behind the ambulance on the day that they rushed him to the hospital where he passed away.

In 1994, cancer had struck again. This time, it wasn't Aunt Betty, but her son, Bobby. He was just 24 years old at the time. It started in his spine, but was a fast spreading cancer that eventually made it to his lungs and other vital organs. I know that Aunt Betty was crumbling on the inside, but on the outside, she was a very strong woman for Bobby and for the rest of her family. She was at Bobby's side the entire time. Sadly, on June 25, 1995, after a 9 month fight, God took him home. Still, Aunt Betty stayed strong for the rest of the family. I have never experienced the loss of a child, but I've always imagined it to be the worst thing for a mother to ever go through, and it breaks my heart that a mother would have be put through so much pain. To me, it wasn't fair that it had to happen to her. It was the hardest thing, I think, that I have ever done in my life, but I was there with Aunt Betty to help her pack away Bobby's things . It was a moment in my life that I will never forget. We cried, but we also laughed that day in Bobby's room, and I think that was the day that brought us even closer than we already were. I am so grateful to have had that time with her, and I cherish every memory of that day, even though it was so sad, yet happy. It's just indescribable.

Ten years, and 1 day shy of the anniversary of her father's passing, Aunt Betty received terrible news. Her 7 year old grandson, Brandon, had been in a terrible car crash in Georgia. He was in the front seat of the car, wearing his seatbelt, when the car collided head-on with a truck. Brandon's mother died instantly, and his little brother in the back seat was also injured, but not severly. As soon as Aunt Betty got the news, she rushed to be by his side. Brandon was in a coma for quite a long time and eventually came out of it. He came out with severe brain damage. The impact caused his brain to pretty much bounce around in his skull, and this causing damage to his brain stem. He was paralyzed, and the dr.'s kept telling Aunt Betty that there was little hope for him, and that she shouldn't get her hopes up. He would never be able to walk, or speak, and he'd have to be tube fed. He'd be a "vegetable".

Aunt Betty's son, Brandon's father, just walked away. He had just met a woman, a few months before, and he packed up and left for Missouri. Brandon was eventually put into my aunt's care, and when he was "well" enough, he was placed in her home, and she was granted guardianship. Brandon needed constant care, and who was there to do it? Aunt Betty! She had to learn how to take care of him, and she did and still does. He is now eating and swallowing. Something the dr.'s said he'd never do. Being deaf before the accident, he has re-learned some signs to communicate with her. If it weren't for her, I'm not sure what would've happened to him. His own father turned his back on him, but Aunt Betty made sure that he would be with her and he would get the care and love he needs and deserves. She did all of this without even thinking about how hard it would be for her and how much it would change her life. She is truly and amazing and selfless woman.

Not long ago, Aunt Betty told me how most women dread getting older and hate birthdays. She doesn't think that way at all. She thought that her time was up when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Every year, she not only gets older, but she gets another year with her family, and she is so grateful for that. She celebrates life, not just on her birthday, but everyday, and for that, I admire her.

So, Happy Birthday Aunt Betty! You are an inspiration to me, and I love you! I am so blessed to have you in my life, and I am truly grateful.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Is it Friday yet?

I must have typed and hit the backspace button 4 or 5 times now. I guess tonight I really don't have as much too say as I thought I did. I'm tired, but I don't feel like going to bed. I think a lot of it has to do with Brad not being home. He went to stay with my mom for a few days. He left on Tuesday, and will come home sometime on Friday. Friday won't come soon enough for me. I miss him!

I know he is in good hands, being with my mom. I am so much like my mom, that I know he's having a good time, but still I miss him.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Today was "kind of" better

I got a call this afternoon from my Aunt Betty wanting to know if we wanted to come down and help her eat some catfish. My uncle goes fishing almost every night for catfish, and he catches GIANT catfish. The one he caught last night was a small one, at 32"! I told her we'd be down to help her eat it. The way she makes it is sooooooo yummy!! Not only that, I don't really get to see her all that often and I really enjoy seeing her.

Of course, Dennis didn't go with. He never really does. He doesn't like going to visit anyone. It sometimes makes me mad that he doesn't want to do things like that with us, but at the same time if he'd go along, he'd be miserable and pesting to go home. I was just happy to get out of this house and happy to see my Aunt Betty.

It was kind of weird, but really nice, that 2 of my cousins' (Aunt Betty's kids') ex's were there for the cook-out. That should tell you what kind of place Aunt Betty's is. Everyone is always welcome and always invited. It's also great for the kids (Betty's grandkids) to see everyone together and getting along so well. I will have to tell her story someday. She is a remarkable woman!

As we were waiting for the fish to get done, we sat on the patio and watched the kids playing in the back yard. Corey and Collin went over to where some toys were in the corner of the yard. Corey sat on a Power Wheels Jeep and pretended to drive it. Collin quickly followed and sat on the one behind it. It was only seconds later that Collin was surrounded by bees! He then started screaming. My poor little boy had gotten stung! As I got closer to him, I could see a bee on his hand, stinging him pretty bad. I immediately took him into the house where Aunt Betty prepared a paste with baking soda and water. She put it on his fingers where it was obvious that he had been stung 2 times. He was crying, but it didn't last long. His fingers were so swollen that he couldn't even bend them, but since Aunt Betty put her magic stuff on them, he stopped crying and felt so much better. I felt so bad for him.

My uncle and my cousin got bee spray and sprayed the underside of the Power Wheels where the bees were coming from. They eventually flipped it over and that's when we saw how HUGE this bee's nest was. Collin was so lucky to walk away from that with only 2 stings. I don't like that my mind takes me there, but I imagined how much worse it could have been, and it just scares me.

After all of that, it was time to eat. As always, the catfish was delicious! We sat around for a while and chatted about almost everything. We were there for a few hours when I finally decided it was time to go. The kids were very dirty and tired, and I wanted to get home to see if Dennis had found any money. Before we left to go to my aunt's, he said he'd see if he could find someone to loan us some money. None of us could get a shower before we left, because as our luck would have it, we ran out of hot water this morning! We helped Aunt Betty with the clean-up, and then we were going to go home. I practically had to pull my kids out of there. I went there with 4 kids, but was leaving with only 3. They asked if Trevor would want to stay and go fishing with them tonight. Of course, he wanted to, and I certainly didn't mind, so I let him stay. (It's a minute past midnight now, and he's still not home!)

When I got home, I found out that Dennis had come up dry. I'm not even sure that he even tried to find someone to loan him money, because I know that he doesn't like to ask anyone. He's too embarrassed. When we don't have hot water to take a shower, I'm not too shy to ask! He scraped together $5 and went for kerosene. I got on the computer and e-mailed my mom. She'll be coming down tomorrow to pick up Bradley because he's going to spend a few days at her house. It wasn't long after I sent the e-mail that she called. Her boyfriend will loan us $50 till Friday. Ahhhh! Next week will be so much better because we don't have to make big payments on the bills like we did this week, so we will be able to pay him back and still have money left for food, kerosene, etc. It's just so frustrating.

Yesterday was a rough one for me. Today was sooooo much better (minus the bee stings, of course)!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

An "Uggh" kind of weekend

It's Sunday night. I wish I could say the weekend went fast. It felt like a long one, and tomorrow being the 4th of July, I hope it goes fast too.

I knew, going into the weekend, that it probably wasn't going to be a good one. Here it is, it's only Sunday (not far from Monday), and we are dirt poor already! I'm glad tomorrow is a holiday because it means that there will be one less day for Dennis to need gas to get to work.

Earlier today, we decided to go for a walk on a nature trail out at Beltzville State Park. I thought it would be a good idea, since it was something we could do as a family that would cost us nothing. I felt it might do Dennis some good too, since he's been stressing pretty bad about his job lately. The walk was nice, even though we took a wrong turn and ended up walking pretty far out of the way and off of the trail. Not a big deal, it was good exercise! As we walked the trail, all Dennis really talked about was his job and how he should maybe try and find a new one. One that pays more and has plenty of overtime. He loved the overtime when he first started at this place and loved that he could go and buy things that we needed when we needed them.

As I sit here tonight, I feel alone, ashamed, embarrassed, depressed, and sick. I have tons of laundry in piles in the laundry room, and it will have to wait until Friday. I don't even think we have enough clothing to make it through a week. Our hot water will not last until then either. Every Friday, Dennis buys $12 worth of kerosene to dump into the oil tank for heat and hot water. We obviously don't need the heat right now, but we do need the hot water, and thankfully the $12 lasts us the week.

I'm so tired of this struggle. I don't like to live like this, yet I do nothing to change it. I should be able to go out and get a job. Dennis really doesn't want me to until the boys go to school. That's 2 years away!!! How will we ever make it???? I had the perfect job, working at home. My darling brother is making sure that I don't get it back. I know I shouldn't dwell on this, but it really upsets me since I've bent over backwards many, many times for my brother only for him to do this to me. My brother laughs and thinks it is funny that he is basically taking food off of our table. We are a family of 6, and he is a family of 3, with 2 of them working. Not funny at all to me. He and Dennis work at the same place, yes, Dennis got him in there. My brother is mad at us right now, for reasons I'm unsure of. He doesn't come around here anymore, my boys have pretty much stopped asking about Uncle Ted. I know a lot of it is the psycho girlfriend he is with. She's even got him to stop getting his kids like he used to. I think my brother is mad too, because I still talk to his ex, my ex-sister in law. How else does he expect me to see my niece and nephew? She did nothing wrong to me, and she was my maid of honor when I got married. I should just pretend she doesn't exist?

I'm so tired of eating hot dogs or dippy eggs for supper. Dennis is in pain every day from heel spurs. His 2 year old work boots and his inability to afford the medication is why he has to put up with it. Dennis drove the van to work last week and will be driving it again this week because the tires on his car are not at all safe. The belts are showing and there is a buldge in the one. He can't even afford junk yard tires right now. I could go on and on, but it's so embarrassing.

We've been through so much in the past few months, that it's a wonder that we are still together. The stress in this house on a daily basis is just unreal. Dennis and I both agree that there is no such thing as divorce, and we both also agree that fighting about money won't solve anything. I am truly grateful for what we do have, there are some that have even less. This is yet another bump in the road, and we will get over it, hopefully soon. I think one of the only things that is saving my sanity right now is that the bills are being paid. We're paying more than normal because we have to try to catch up and prevent disconnection. Once they are caught up, the struggle won't be so bad. I'm hoping too, that I will start to receive the child support payments that I am owed from Trevor's dead-beat dad. I went an entire month without a payment and that certainly didn't help any. That's a whole other story!

I feel like I could just spill and spill my guts tonight, but I tend to ramble. I like the idea of having this blog to get this stuff off of my chest, but at the same time, I don't want the people that read it to think any less or differently of me. I'm trying pretend that no one else will read it, in hopes that the worries of what others think will go away. I struggle with these sorts of things and so many times I don't post because of my worries. I will be strong tonight and hit the post now button and will continue to just get this stuff off of my chest and hopefully it will make me feel better. Believe me, there is more to get out!! UGGH!!