Monday, April 28, 2014

Things to Remember

You cannot protect yourself from sadness without also protecting yourself from happiness.

Dammitall anyhow.


Two blog posts this close together?  Aren't you all lucky folk. Not only that, neither one is depressing! Woo-hoo!  I'm on a roll!

So, Small Daughter and I moved into this apartment a few months ago, and since then, it's been a bit of a battle to get things organized and whatnot.  Previously, I lived in my most beautiful house in a lovely little town near here.  It was delightfully old, had a lot of character and probably some ghosts, though I never encountered any myself.  It has old heart pine wood floors and high ceilings and a lot of original woodwork. and it was BIG. I loved that place and was very sad to have to leave it.

When it came time to find an apartment for self and Small Daughter, I knew I wanted something that was similar in feel to what I'd had before.  I looked long and hard and finally landed on this place.  It's old, not quite as old as mine was, it has lovely wood floors, high ceilings and lots of original woodwork.  It has some really cool old light fixtures and great windows.  It has, though, no question.  Big cracks in the ceiling, some water damage on the walls and old knob and tube wiring.  And no electrical outlet in the bathroom which is HIGHLY  inconvenient.  And, it's half the size.  BAD.

All that being said, though, it is inexpensive and very cute and suits me and the Small One quite well.  In fact, I let her help me choose it.  She liked it because it looks like our old house.

So, having left my old place, I needed some pieces of furniture, as some of them stayed behind.  I had to get a new couch and a cabinet, because storage in this house is at a premium.  I decided to repaint a shelf I owned and add some crown molding so it would match the new place better.  And I wanted new curtains. And so, I got a couch at the thrift store, it was ugly as sin, but I LOVED the shape of it, and then my mom gave me a cabinet for my front room as well.

Here, for your viewing enjoyment, are some before and after pics of my projects.

Couch Before-UGLY

Ooh, look!  Pretty Couch!!

Ugly Ikea Cabinet

Oh, Pretty Cabinet!!

Crown molding and paint do wonders.  Yes, I am going to reupholster her little recliner.  She chose a lovely floral matelasse that matches the couch.

Because I cannot have curtains without blue stripes.  It's a bit ridiculous.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Money, money, money

So, first off, my apologies to all of my poor readers.  I reread my posts from the last year or so, and man, what a downer!  I'm not sure how any of you managed to stick with me.  I used to be funny and interesting, then I got all whiny or something.  ;)  Alright, yes, I more or less had reason, but still.    So, even though I'm still pretty damn cranky sometimes (this is nothing new), I will endeavor to be better at communicating when things are pretty good in my life.  Or, at least, try writing when I'm not so irritable or downtrodden.


I got paid on Friday, and realized that I am a little bit ahead in my budget, so I decided it was time to spring for a new mattress.  Since I moved out of my house and gave up the queen size bed (it would NOT fit in this place), I have been sleeping on an old full size.  The bed frame I have is fabulous, it was my grandmother's and it's OLD, made of beautiful white metal with brass finials.  Some time ago, no one knows when, the rails that connect the foot and headboard disappeared, so the ex made some new ones.  They've never fit quite right, so the head and foot sort of tilted at a slight angle.  I'm a little bit OCD, so this has always bothered me.

When I moved into this place, my stepdad put my bed together for me, and I decided to try and straighten the frame when POP!  Yep, I broke the bed.  The peg that held the rail to footboard snapped off.  As it was welded on, and I don't really weld, I was sort of stuck for the time being.  So, I just set the end of the rail where it goes and hoped for the best.  Well, ever since then, the bed falls down at fairly regular intervals. The rail slowly slides to one side, since there is no peg to hold it in place, until the mattress is no longer supported, and BAM, down it goes.  That could be really embarrassing if I were the sort to often have people sharing my bed.  Good thing I'm not.  My bedframe is now held together with tie-downs.  I know, it's tacky, but it works.

On top of the collapsing bed frame, you can add the mattress of death.  I'm fairly sure this mattress is about the same age as I am, possibly older.  It belonged to the ex's grandma.  (Hey, look at that, two grandmas, one bed!)  It is one of those super heavy old cotton and springs mattresses.  They weigh a bloody ton and are all bendy and weird.  And, it is OLD.  It has no support, it's weirdly squishy in all the wrong places and it's bad for the back.  But, you know, mattresses are pricey and I didn't really want to spend the money when it did well enough.

Yesterday, I decided it did not do well enough.  So, off The Small Daughter and I went to the mattress store. First we went to the one near our house and tried several beds.  The Small Daughter, in case you wondered, has opinions.  Firm ones.  Which she is vocal about. (I am not sorry about this.  More on her vocal opinions later).  We did not find one that was suited at this place, so we went to visit it's much larger counterpoint in the next town over.  We tried bed after bed, finally had it narrowed down to three.  Well, there were beds there that I WOULD have bought if I could have, but I don't have $1500 to spend on a bed.  YIKES.  The Small Daughter had found one that SHE was set on, but I wasn't buying a bed for her.  She seems to like the memory foam mattresses.  I hate them.  It feels like laying on a brick, but a brick that slowly sucks you in and envelopes you in an attempt to suffocate.  NO THANKS.  Besides, if you try to roll over on a memory foam mattress, you can't.  You are trapped in your own indentation.  It's creepy.

Back to the matter at hand.  After about 2 hours total of trying out beds, I finally settled on one.  A lovely, firm mattress with a pillow top.  And, in case you wondered, apparently grown ups do NOT sleep on full size beds, because they all assumed it was for The Small One and when I said it was for me, I got some really weird looks.  Hey, people, I'm single and live in a small apartment, what am I going to do with a big bed?  So, I bought it, took the hit to my pocketbook with as much aplomb as I could muster and scheduled a delivery for that evening.

Y'all, this mattress is HUGE.  I mean, DEEP.  My bed is now approximately 10 feet off the floor.  I feel like the Princess and the Pea.   Ok, maybe not 10 feet, but still.  I have a high bedframe anyway, which is great for storing crap under.  Add to that a good size box spring and a very deep mattress?  Well, The Small Daughter has to get a running start just to get onto the bed.  It's pretty comfy, though.  I slept quite well last night, though my body is aware that this is an unfamiliar bed.

I realized that my willingness to fork out for a brand new mattress indicates my awareness that I am going to be the only adult in my bed for a very long time.  Given the direction my life seems to be heading, I think I'm ok with that.
Here's a photo.  And a song.  (Thanks, Kath!)
Your New Twin Sized Bed-Death Cab for Cutie

Sunday, April 13, 2014

New Paths?

Hey there kids, how's all?
So, I don't write as much lately, and I'm not sure why.  My friend Molly says it's because I wrote what I needed to and satisfied the need and it will return. I'm hoping that's the case.  I have a lot of thoughts and things running about in my head, but nothing has solidified enough for a blog post.

I've been dating a bit since my divorce, which I gotta say, is a bit weird.  The game, as I mentioned, has changed, since the last time I played.  And I'm not very good at this game.

I was seeing a really fantastic guy for a while, before he broke things off.  And I learned a few things about what I need and want in a partner.  This guy raised my standards a rather hefty amount.  I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.  Good thing, because I expect my standards could do with a raising, and hey, I deserve something great, don't I?  Bad thing because, damn, it's not going to be easy to find someone who appeals to me the way he did.  And who treated me the way he did.   It was awesome, kids.  It's hard to comprehend that that sort of thing is possible.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't true love or anything like that, it didn't last long enough to become anything like that.  But, it was GOOD.  Very, very good.  I hope he and I can remain friends, because the conversation was delish.  And, anyone who knows me knows I thrive on great conversation.

In other news, I am considering a MASSIVE rerouting of my life.  Like getting divorced wasn't enough, right?  Ha.  Let me give you some backstory.

My entire life, I wanted to be a doctor.  I had always planned to be a doctor and when I went to college, I was pre-med.  The classes were challenging, but I had been in advanced science classes all through high school and I loved them and I did well in them.  Same thing when I started college.  I did well in my classes, but as I said, they were challenging and time consuming.  And there were some things going on elsewhere in my life that made it difficult to devote the time and effort required to be a premed student.  And, looking ahead from that vantage point, I knew things were not going to go in a way that would facilitate me doing so many years of school and residency.   So, I changed my major to the only other thing I could think of that I was good at, which was costume design/construction.  And I did well in it and I made some connections and friends that I still maintain and am extraordinarily grateful for.  And, let's be honest, had I remained premed, my life would be COMPLETELY and utterly different.  I'd have never met my ex, never gotten married to him, never had my beautiful daughter.  I cannot imagine not having her.  And I cannot imagine not having the amazing and wonderful friends that I currently have from my school days and after.

Not to mention, had I been in med school or a doctor, I would not have had the opportunity to leave my job and work from home while caring for my darling nephew when he was wee, a necessity created by a car accident my brother was in.  And I would not have been able to be a WAHM to my sweet girl when she was wee, either.  So, all that to say that I do not regret my choice.

But, fast forward to now.  Single mamma, supporting my girl and self on my own on arts pay.  The arts do not pay well, friends.  Not for technicians, anyhow, which is what I am.  I have a good job and I am grateful for it, but yeah...  When I think to the future, and how caring for this lovely girl will only get more expensive as she gets older, I realize that I will not be able to provide for her as I'd like to.  I have been thoroughly blessed with talents that do allow me to do some things for her at little or no cost, but not all the things she will need and some of the things she will want.

So.  Rerouting of my life.  I mean, even more rerouting.  I am seriously considering doing something I have wanted to do since before my girl was born.   I think I want to become a nurse and then a Certified Nurse Midwife.  I know I've mentioned this desire before, but I think I may need to make it a reality.  For the record, a CNM is a midwife who has rights in a hospital and can do nearly everything that an OB/GYN can do.  I'm not specifically thinking of being the sort of midwife who assists homebirths, etc.  That's not really my thing, although it would depend on the practice I ended up in and my clients.

I've had a friend suggest I certify as a doula before I go back to nursing school, just to make sure I really do want to do this, and I think that is probably a good idea.  I have attended a couple of births and I know I do enjoy that.  I think I have the sort of temperament that works well in that sort of situation.  I don't have any issues with seeing blood, etc.  And I'm a good person to have around during a medical problem because I have learned to ask the right questions and remember the answers and I'm pretty empathetic.

Previously mentioned fabulous guy works in a health related field, and he has given me quite a bit of encouragement in that direction, for which I am grateful.  I asked him why he thought I might be good in a nursing field, and he honestly told me what he thought.  And, he's got a good ear to the ground for that sort of thing.

So, anyway, there it is, friends.  I'm scared as hell to take this leap, because it is a huge damn deal. It could backfire gigantically in my face.  But, it could also be very, very good.  It could turn my life around and give me and Small Daughter what we need for a lovely and bright future.  I just hope I'm not too old and therefore too obsolete.