Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

My Christmas Post *grin* (only 4 days later…)

December 29, 2008

Well, Christmas has been and gone. I think it was a success here in Camby, IN. The boy cleaned up on gifts, even though he wasn’t the epitome of good. Matter-of-fact, he wasn’t even really close…but such is life with a six year old 🙂
I love Christmas! It’s my favorite time of year. I mean c’mon, my blog has a Christmas theme all year long – when it co-operates…But it’s over too soon. Not two days after, people are taking down decorations like they can’t wait to get on to the next big thing…*sigh* such a let down. You get this three month build-up, inundated with Christmassy stuffs,  then BOOM day after,  there’s Valentine’s Day stuff in the stores. . .Hell, I saw it in some stores even before Christmas. . .

Anyways, here’s some pics of our Christmas. . . mantlemilk Here’s the boy checking on the milk & cookies left for Santa

Santasmilk 
The mostly empty milk glass

santasboot2

santasboot 
The “present” Santa left on my carpet…nothing like cleaning up a dirty, ashy boot print first thing in the morning *grin*

the haul
The haul…
The Haul1  
Dragon Book
The only non-toy in the bunch
Robot beast
You can’t tell from the pic (my timing isn’t the best…) but he really did like this
Pokemon1
Pokemon – Always a winner!
Pokemon
Apparently the hit of the day…
digger2
And let’s not forget the “Demon Digger” aka remote controlled Grave Digger monster truck…”Why do you call it “Demon Digger”? you ask. “I’m getting there!” I say. This was ostensibly the boy’s present, but (of course) Dad had to “try it out” first…and the poor cats were his unwilling victims>>

Jinglesbel
If you look really close, you’ll see Hunny at the controls – the Demon Digger is coming out from under the coffee table at this point.

bel2
Here’s Bel hiding from said Demon Digger
diggerbel1
Follow the arrow, Bel is hiding on the bottom of the table
Jinglesdigger2
Jingles is actually jumping backwards in this pic
Jinglesdigger1
Can you see him? Hiding under the table, as the Demon Digger approaches in a full out frontal assault..?

The only black spot on an otherwise wonderful holiday was the IM I found waiting for me on my computer when I got back from the in-laws and finished getting everything ready (for the folks who ended up unable to make it). That message was from my best friend D. My younger than me, stay at home mom best friend. We had made plans for Shayne & I to go over to her house Tuesday, when I’m off. My boy LOVES her house :). The message said

We’re going to have to cancel Tuesday’s play date. I had a heart attack last night & I’m in the hospital…etc., etc., etc.”

Needless to say, at 6:30 Christmas Day night I was flying to the hospital. Turns out she actually had several heart attacks, and had a stent inserted in her heart. She’s home now, but still….

Okay, I’m pretty much outta time, gotta go get ready for work – nose to the grindstone and all 🙂 All in all, we had a good Christmas. I have more pics – will I get them up on here..? That’s a big, definite MAYBE…I hope all of you (all three regular readers *grin* and any first time visitors as well) had as good a holiday as we did. (Minus the whole best-friend-having-a-heart-attack thing)

See ya laterzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! ! ! !
 

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The Latest Word…

November 14, 2008

Here I am. So far, still kicking, haven’t killed anyone yet, although the urge has made itself felt a time or two in the last few days…I’m hesitant to write this, for fear of jinxing it, but I’m pretty sure we  found a house. Right down the street. There are good and bad points…

Good:

  • I don’t have to change my boy’s school.
  • We only have to move ALL OUR SHIT (and it’s a bunch, I swear! I have no idea how it happened that we can fill a 50 foot car hauler TWICE and still not get it all…For most of my life, everything fit in my car, with room for a passenger…) about two blocks.
  • The last tenants were there 4 years with no rent increase (don’t get me wrong, I it’s not the increase by itself I have issues with, rather the increase combined with lack of, well, everything a landlord should do.)
  • Our newest family member is welcome
  • There aren’t any holes in any walls or doors
  • There (why can’t I start a sentence properly, with a capital letter, with the second letter being capitalized, too..? Grrrrrrrr my typing is pathetic!) is already a garage door opener. Yes, I know that sounds petty & lazy but look at it from my side…at $925 a month for rent, don’t you think I should be able to open the garage without getting rained or snowed on? And they aren’t cheap. And why should I invest the time, money & effort to install one when the property owner isn’t willing to invest any of the above..?
  • The driveway is almost level – again, seemingly petty, but yanno, repairs on brakes & transmissions are costly…
  • It has a gas/wood combination fireplace
  • The rent is only $875, and he is amenable to weekly deposits from Hunny’s employer, so we never have to jack with making sure rent is paid (what happens is this***Listen up Landlords, this is actually a plan that is VERY BENEFICIAL for YOU****we fill out the direct deposit form from his work to have $201.14 deposited into the property owner’s designated account, and the balance deposited into ours. The amount is determined by taking the monthly rent ($875) and multiplying it by 12 (months in a year, obviously) and then dividing it by 52 (pay periods in a year). Having it done this way means we never see it, so don’t really miss it, I know rent is always paid, I don’t have to worry about getting it to him, the property owner knows his money is always going to be there, he’ll never hear "The check is in the mail." And I assure you, even thought the base amount stays the same, $201 a week is easier to work around than $875 a month – If it’s in my account, waiting to be paid out, it’s too much of a temptation to say "I’ll just use a little here & put it back" resulting in having to give up basically a whole paycheck one week, and being flat-assed broke for the rest of that week.
  • I don’t have to change my boy’s school.

Bad:

  • We’re losing about 600 sq. feet
  • Uhhhhhhhh…that’s really the only bad….unless you consider living within walking distance of the house you moved out of on bad terms bad. (I would truly not be surprised to see them (the new owners) move into the house…that could be awkward, or even possibly cause jail time to become a factor, NO, NO, NO
  •   *breathe…breathe* "I will not physically assault anyone else, no matter how badly they deserve it…I will not physically assault anyone else no matter how badly they deserve it…I will not kick the living shit outta that lying bitch…oh, ahem…I will not physically assault anyone else no matter how badly they deserve it *breathe…breathe*)
  • Theoretically, neither Christmas nor birthdays (Shayne will be 6 December 13, my older boy Tony will be 23 on December 27) will be ruined again

Ok, that’s pretty much it for today. Hunny is meeting him this afternoon to sign papers & give him money. Until then, please keep all fingers & toes crossed that nothing unforeseen interferes… meanwhile, here are the pics from the flyer. Sorry about the poor quality, but they were printed onto regular paper by the property owner, then scanned onto my computer from there…

house1

house2

house3

house4

house5

house6    

Ok, gotta get ready for work.

See ya laterzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! ! ! !

The last few days….

November 10, 2008

In my continuing effort to keep those who have faith in me (ha-ha) from looking bad, here I am again. Although it’s pretty bad that the only way to get me to post is psychological blackmail, so to speak…but hey, whatever it takes, I guess.

I have been riding a roller coaster stress-wise the past few days. as I said earlier, we have to move. We thought for minit yesterday that maybe we wouldn’t have too, but speaking for myself, not really. My Hunny is a bit more of a trusting soul than I am, sweet man that he is. You see, we met with the folks that we are currently renting from, in an effort to come to an agreement we could all live with. A little background…

When we found this house we were very excited. It has the potential to be a very nice house. Mind you, I said potential…It is relatively new, built in the last ten years, I’d say. But it’s has also been "rode hard and put away wet" if you know what I mean. Apparently the first owners were unable to keep it. Because they allowed themselves to get into a situation they were unable to maintain, they felt compelled to cause as much damage as possible before they left…The folks we got it from had done quite a bit of fix-it-up, but there’s a whole bunch left to be done. Bad carpet. Damn near every interior door has a hole in it. A whole bunch of the shelving has been torn down – mind you, I didn’t say taken down I said torn down as in there are big holes in many walls where shelves originally lived. There are also just holes in the walls for no apparent reason. One bedroom has had the window painted black with something that I can’t seem to get off of it…well, here, look at a few pics…

closet door  

This is the door to my closet. As you can see, the hole goes all the way through the door….

Boy's door

This is the door to my boy’s bedroom…

window

The "painted" window. A side note here – my boy HATES this room. If the door is left even slightly ajar, he will pull it closed. Also the doorknob is "backwards," the lock is on the outside of the door. It’s kinda creepy that not only was the window painted black, but the room was also set up to keep someone IN…

waterheater

This is the floor around our water heater. We think it broke & flooded at some point, and the floor was left as it was. The kitchen light, directly below it was fixed, kinda…

kitchen light

I mean technically, it was fixed, but I’m not sure for how long….

carpet stain 

more stains

carpet bubbles

And finally, our stained & "bubbled up" carpet – have you ever tried to vacuum carpet that isn’t securely attached to the floor underneath it..? It’s a bitch, lemme tell ya…

In addition to all this, we have had to repair the toilets – at our cost – three times, there is no water pressure in the downstairs of the home,

faucet on high

This is my kitchen faucet ON HIGH…

no screens on any of the windows, there isn’t even a garage door opener installed…Now, understand, these things aren’t in themselves our complaint. It was like this when we moved in, and we felt none of it made the house unlivable, and we were willing to deal with it for the reduced rent we were paying (although I really have trouble calling $800 a month reduced…). We were told if we made repairs, we could take it off the rent, as long as it wasn’t a whole bunch all at once. Also good with that. Then it sold. The buyers assured us, sitting in our living room, while looking us in the eye, that they knew we wanted to stay here indefinitely – with purchase by us as the eventuality, they weren’t going to raise the rent, we could make repairs & deduct from rent, and everything would stay the same. This is the delusion we’ve been living under…

When I took the rent check to their home, I included a letter requesting the lease renewal be done early so we didn’t have to mess with it during the holidays, and requesting it be an extended lease, with our preference being a five year term. I my head, there should have been no problem, based on the conversation we had with them prior to this….Silly me.

Here’s the response I got:  

i just wanted to let you know we recieved the payment and note from the mail box, Thank you.  We are in the process of working up a new lease, unfortunatly we cannot go into a 5 yr lease.  Also i need to put out there to you that the new monthly lease will be increasing from 800/mo to 925/mo.  While we appriciate you living there as the tenants and we can count on you to take care of the dwelling, we did buy this to be an investment property and we have checked around and rent is going for 300-400 more than what your paying now.  We were actually getting ready to contact you about the new lease info when we read your note.  We should have the new lease agreement typed up and ready for you to look over by this Sunday Nov 9, i can either drop it off or attach it to an email.  once you look it over, if you could just let us know what you decide by Nov 30.

(the spelling errors are theirs, I just copy/pasted it.)

Now, does that sound to you like someone who meant any of the statements made above…? Bearing in mind they haven’t done anything to the house. Which is actually fine, I can live in it the way it is, but I’ll be DAMNED if I’m paying MORE for it…What this email told me was:

a) Keeping us as tenants (never late on rent, making repairs at our own expense, etc.) wasn’t even worth a phone call.
b) They are consummate liars, as we believed what they said
c) They really aren’t concerned with keeping us as tenants at all, nor do they intend to sell us the house in the future as they had said they would, or why would there be a problem with an extended lease..?
d) We have to move, again. In December, again. No birthday party for my boy, again. Jacked up Christmas, again.

I stopped payment on the rent check. My self-preservation instincts are dominant in a situation like this…Apparently I need that money to move. And based on all the lies we had been told in the past, it was a safe bet we’d never get our deposit back (this has been since somewhat proven, as you’ll see).

Yesterday, we contacted them to meet and see if we could come to terms. I had the money for the rent in my pocket, in cash. What it came to was they offered us $850 a month (I’m willing to do that). We asked for something in writing, (protecting us from him saying one thing & doing something else, again). He assured us he was going home to prepare the new lease. He would then email it to us, last night. We would sign it & I would bring a copy to them, along with the rent & the $10 fee their bank charged them for the stop payment. Good deal, we don’t have to move! Silly me…

We hadn’t been home half an hour when Hunny’s phone rang. He couldn’t get the agreement done as the Colts were coming on, and he didn’t have time (?) But he’d have it done "sometime next week." Also, there was an NSF fee of $60 (again, huh?) that he wanted us to pay. Oh yeah, and we were supposed to either pay the rent then, without any form of surety, or we could pay $40 a day late fee until he completed the paperwork…

My Hunny had asked during that meeting if he was a man of his word, was his handshake good? and this man AGAIN looked us in the eye and lied to us. I told him I was willing to pay the rent, the $10 fee, and half of the NSF. I think that’s fair. He was very adamant that they had no intention of making us feel that we were being forced to up the rent or get out. My opinion..? If that’s true then you own equal responsibility for the fruits of your acts, and you can pay half your fee. I was willing to do that if he kept his word & provided us a new lease that evening. He called it blackmail, I called it keeping your word. Needless to say, it didn’t go well. He proceeded to tell me he couldn’t pay half the fee as he didn’t have the $30 dollars….

Now that opens up a whole new world in my head…How come you didn’t have the amount of a month’s mortgage payment put back in that account, in case something happened..? Renters default on rent all the time. I sure as Hell would have – had the payment put back, not defaulted *grin*. And where’s the money you’re supposed to be returning to me as my deposit..? Shouldn’t that be put in an untouched account, so it can be returned..? And once you found rent wasn’t being paid you could use that to cover yourself if you didn’t have the brains to have a payment at hand at all times…This is not the only rental property they have, and she works at a BANK  so they don’t even have inexperience as an excuse for any of that.

And really, if I didn’t have $30 dollars to pay half of an NSF fee, that I have to pay either way…and someone was offering me not only the other half of it, but another $810, why wouldn’t someone with fully functioning brain cells accept it..? Hello..? You don’t have $30, how are you going to make your house payment..? And if I choose to keep possession of the property until you evict me, how are you going to pay the next one, and the one after, not to mention pay for the eviction proceedings..?

Can I just say AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH !?!?!?!?

Anywho, ok, I’ve posted. LOL now I have to go get ready for work, going on very little sleep (I can’t shut my brain down easily in normal conditions, the last few days, if the slightest thing wakes me in the night – and something always does – I’m awake for an hour with all this crap swirling around in my head…)

Ok gotta go,

See ya laterzzzzzzzzzzzz!

In defense of those who sent you here…

November 7, 2008

As I am visiting my regular reads, it suddenly dawned on me that I have been placed in a couple of people’s blog rolls. Damm. Pressure. That means, in order to keep them from looking bad for having recommended my blog, I am obligated to post something here. Preferably something not useless and boring drivel, which might be a trick….

*Sigh* Ok, here goes. I am working on getting my cubicle at work decorated for the holidays, turning a deaf ear to "It’s way too early for that (while pointing at said decorations)", "It’s not even Thanksgiving yet!" and "Are you kidding me?"s. On a positive note I have also been asked if I’d "be offended" (huh?) if a co-worker started decorating, and been told I am "just filling me (the speaker) with the spirit!" All of which tends to lend strength to my "Holiday Spirit" theory. *Grin* I figger "What the Hell..? I probably won’t get to decorate at home…" You know, the whole landlordliedtoourfacesandhasnowruinednotonlyChristmasbutalsotheboy’sbirthdaycuzwehaftamoveagain thing…

So, honestly, it’s really hard for me to be entertaining right now – if I even ever am…I’m not one to snivel or whine, as you know if you come here even kinda regularly. Matter-of-fact, I have very little tolerance for snivelers…but DAMM I’m tired of fighting just a step ahead and then be slammed back four. We really thought we were going to stay here and eventually buy this house. So much for that. And as someone who went to 17 different schools, and someone who has no "life long friends" as a result, I don’t want that for my boy. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got friends that have been there for a long time, but it’s not the same as knowing someone from the time you were able to know – did that make sense..? I think it did…

Okay, outta time for now, gotta get the boy dressed & ready for the bus & myself to the work. I’ll try to keep posting fairly regularly – I wouldn’t want to make anyone recommending my blog look bad…

See ya laterzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! ! ! !

The Holiday "Spirit" My Opinion

November 2, 2008

Christmas is coming, Christmas is coming! My very favorite time of year. Samhain is past, and Yule is creeping up fast. Time to put up the pumpkins and skeletons and bats and other scary decorations for another year, and break out the Christmas stuff. Woohoo! Christmas trees, twinkling lights, images of Santa Claus and Father Christmas, ornaments, garland, and beautifully wrapped gifts. People are (usually) kinder this time of year – to everyone. It’s something in the air – the Christmas Spirit! But what is the "Christmas Spirit"? Is it something caused by people just thinking that they need to be kinder during the season of giving? Or is it something more mystical? Is it an actual "spirit" or some sort of coherent "entity" that has the ability to affect the entire planet? Is there a spirit that powerful? I tend to think it just may be. Let’s look at it…

Starting about the time Halloween/Samhain is over, the Christmas (and yes, I say Christmas – it’s been "Christmas" in my world for 41 years, and I’m too old to change, and quite frankly, why should I? What difference does a name make, really? "A rose by any other name…" It’s a holiday that almost everyone on the planet celebrates, that causes normally self-absorbed people to suddenly notice the world around them and feel a need to do something positive. Who cares what you call it – I just want to know how to make it last beyond December 25…) decorations start to appear in the stores. Any more, they’re usually out BEFORE Halloween is done. I went to Wal-mart yesterday, and heard Christmas music for the first time this season! Again, Woohoo!

Once the stuff is in the stores, the "feeling" slowly begins to permeate the air. I think maybe the "Spirit" is in the physical "things." It makes sense… if you were a spirit that wanted to "affect" as many people as possible, what better way..? Everyone goes to the store sooner or later – even my storaphobic (is that even a word..?) Hunny! And the "stuff" isn’t limited to stores, either. It’s everywhere. By Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) you can’t throw a rock and not hit something "Christmassy." Awesome, I say! So now we have a world full of "things" possibly inhabited by the "Christmas Spirit." Affecting everyone they come in contact with. That would explain why normally oblivious people are suddenly aware. Why all of a sudden misers become givers. Why stoics now feel a need to have their home looking Christmassy. And the more "stuff" one is exposed to, the more it affects them…

This theory then begs the question "If it is a Spirit or Entity of such magnitude, why doesn’t it just infect everyone permanently?" Well, think about it. Can you imagine how much energy is required to have such an affect on almost everyone..? Does ANY entity have the ability to maintain something like that? My answer would be no, not indefinitely. That’s why it is only this way once a year, for a month or two. The rest of the year is spent resting, recovering, and recharging, so it can be done again the next year. But it may be getting stronger… The cynics say it starts earlier every year due to greed. But what if it isn’t greed? What if it is the "spirit" gaining strength, and thus the ability to affect us for longer periods? Is it really a bad thing that Christmas decorations come out earlier in the year than they did 30 years ago? Is it bad the people get into the "Holiday Spirit" at the beginning of November instead of the end? That people become more aware, and thus kinder, sooner? I don’t see how that could POSSIBLY be bad…do you..?

I also think some are more easily affected – some like me, who don’t "fight" it. Which in turn gives even more strength to the "Spirit." After all, the people who truly LOVE this time of year tend to be already aware, and therefore the "Spirit" doesn’t have to exert energy on them. I have Christmas "things" in my home – and my workspace – all year round…  Although thinking on that, based on this theory, do you think I am  draining the energy, affecting people year-round..? Upon further thought, I’d have to say no. I’d say rather it’s MY "Christmassy" energy infusing those things, hopefully having a similar effect on those who come in contact with them.

So there you have it – my personal theory about the "Holiday Spirit." From today forward, people will be more & more strongly affected by it. Each time you visit a store, or any location with decorations, pay attention…do you feel a little bit more compassionate? Not on the surface – on the surface you’re liable to feel a bit frustrated and frazzled the closer we get to the Big Day. But inside, in the quiet place, don’t you feel it? Compassion, kindness, empathy, a desire to help someone. Someone who truly needs help – and there are plenty out there. I make a point of doing my "good deeds" in ways many would never consider. I rarely give to any "charitable organization." I give to the young couple from Evansville, caught out of gas in the Camby Wal-mart parking lot at eleven o’clock at night. Trying to ask for assistance (which in itself takes courage) and being looked at by the "good Christian folk" with the "Jesus is my co-pilot" bumper sticker and the In God We Trust license plate like they are some kind of new bug species one wouldn’t want to get too close to. I give to the young kids in the Speedway buying $2.38 worth of gas, with change. I give to the lady in the Wal-mart line trying to pay for her food with change. Granted, there isn’t any tax deduction for these things, but since that’s not what I am looking for, who cares? What there is, is people who will now (hopefully) at some point down the road, when they are able, do something similar for a stranger in need.

And that brings us back to the "Holiday Spirit" because isn’t that what it brings about? A willingness to do something for someone in need, that will never gain one any acknowledgement outside of oneself? And as more people are willing and able to maintain that desire beyond the last two months of the year, the spirit is able to strengthen, and thus affect more people, more strongly, for longer periods of time…maybe one day, the "stuff" will never come down…

My New Blog Template

September 2, 2008

Well, as you can see if you look around, I changed my template. OK so you see it right away – hope no one thought they were at the wrong place and left…I really liked the other one, pretty much, except for the sidebar stuffs. I could never figure out how to make it as big as the stuff I put in it. I felt it looked kinda cheezy and tacky, but just didn’t have the time to do anything about it. Sure, I could have just thrown any ole template up here, but as I am sure most of you, being fellow bloggers, know, there is more to it than just changing it. To start with, you lose all of your widgets. Or at least I do. If there’s a way to change template and not lose them, I’d love to know about it!
So, today I decided it was time to do something about it. I spent several hours going through different free template sites, but found very little that appealed to me. This (obviously) was the winner. You’ll find I am a VERY Christmassy person – and before any of you fellow pagans out there go on a binge about how it is YULE NOT CHRISTMAS let me just say BITE ME! I know it’s Yule, I know the history, I have done my research on this and many Pagan/Christian holiday correlations, and you know what..?BITE ME! It’s been “Christmas” for me for 41 years, and it will be Christmas for the next however many I have. Do Christians celebrate their Christ Mass at the same time we celebrate Yule? Yep. So really, the Pagans came out ahead. Our holidays stayed the same, the dates not only unchanged but still honored. I mean really – history is written by the winners, and do you think if the ancient Christians had “won”, so to speak, that we would know of the existence of those holidays, let alone see them celebrated world wide..?
Besides, if you take offense to the word “Christmas” how are you any better than any other narrow minded bigot who believes their way is the only way?
Ahem….
So, I settled on a Christmas themed blog, and I’m pretty happy with it. I’ve been known to have Christmas stuff out before Halloween (don’t go there either…) I also changed the picture that is part of my profile. I found a really cool website that will take a picture you upload and transform it in different ways – as infant, child, teen, senior, as well as offering things like “as a Boticelli painting.” The one on my sidebar is what I would look like drawn by Mucha. Pretty cool, huh? I’ve added a link to the sidebar called “Face of the Future. Go check it out when you have time. No, really, when you have time on your hands – you’ll probably be there a while. Here are some of the others I ended up as:

Me as drawn by Boticelli
Me as an anime character

My Hunny as an anime character
My boy as an anime character


Do you like the new set up? Let me know what you think good, bad or indifferent  🙂
See ya laterzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!