Saturday, March 28, 2015

Something for nothing... or Good Eats for FREE!


There's a reason I love Estate Sales...

Just look at this stuff on my pantry shelf! 
Probably a good 30% - 40% of it was free, from a local estate sale, some of it was ours already, and another little bit was purchased from another estate sale - at vastly reduced prices!

It seems that with the last sale, the Mom had recently gone into a home, after her husband died... and rather than try and dispose of the food themselves (the children were from another state)  they just gave it all away - containers and all!
Everything is well within the use-by date, and a lot of it is stuff that we usually can't afford.





Still sorting through things, and trying to get everything organized.  So don't look at the mess.  
Just keep your eyes on the goodies!





There are some very pricey Wolfgang Puck spices here somewhere, but they might still be in another bag. 

And every one of the spices, are completely unopened and still sealed.

Sugar and spice, and everything nice.
The sugars have been opened, but they'll be used for Hummingbird food.
The Hummers will love me.


Enough beans to keep us tooting our own horns for months on end, and the containers will come in so handy!


And here's the  reward, for when all the unpacking, sorting and stocking of shelves is done!

Now if I could just find those blasted Water Crackers, and some cheese, dinner would be ready!

With this kind of reward to look forward to, I better get back to sorting...

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Letting go… and letting God.






ca·thar·sis
noun: catharsis;
1.       the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions.

For me... it simply means prayer.

It’s time.  In fact it’s well past time, but just like any grieving process, things don’t always progress like we think they should.  Because as a Mother, you figure that simply loving someone will eventually and magically “fix” things. 
And this is especially true when it’s your child who is hurt.
As a Mother, you want and need to fix things…   not only for their sake, but for your own as well.  Because when “all’s well with their world”, all’s well with yours too.

But sometimes things are un-fixable, and no matter what you do, nothing is ever rectified, or resolved or even forgotten.
It’s like taking one step forward, and two steps back, until the day comes when you realize that instead of moving forward –and beyond the pain – all you’ve been doing is some heart breaking, never-ending cha-cha, and the pain is still just as raw today, as it was on the day when “the ties that bind” were broken.

Every single night for coming on two years now, my final thoughts before sleep are of my son, and the hurt and heartbreak that he’s caused me.  And every single night, after tossing and turning, while my mind whirls and spins with the “what if’s” and the “if only this hadn’t happened” I ask God to take this burden from me.
And every single night, He lifts my burdens.

Night, after night, after night…

But this is no way to live.  I can’t do this anymore.  There comes a time when you know that you just have to move on, even if nothing has ever been resolved between you… or if you’ve  never even fully understood why it happened in the first place.

This is that time.

There will be no more asking God to take the burden from me tonight… only to pick it up again the next morning.
This time, I’m asking God to lift this burden from me, for good… so that I can live out the rest of my days without the excruciating pain and heartache of my only  remaining child cutting me completely out of his life.

It hurts that he’s forgotten all the good times, and the battles that I fought on his behalf.  

 He’s forgotten that I never ever considered him to be a  f*** up that has always screwed everything up... as he so eloquently put it.

He’s forgotten that I used to drive all the way into Angels to pick him up after his shift at Taco Bell, when I could have been in bed and sleeping,  but I did it, because I loved him.

I lent him my car… even when he didn’t always bring it back on time, or even in the same condition that it was in before he left.

But if he asked, I gave.
If he needed, I was there.
  
From rides, to money, to help with school projects, to parachute pants even though I couldn't afford them.
His favorite Green Onion Cakes...
 Even as far as bail money, when it was necessary. 
I took his side, no matter what stories I heard from other family members.

Because I love him.
Not loved him. 
But  because I love him still.

But I’ve finally given up on sending him face book messages asking him to contact me, or even to just come down and talk to me… because I just get ignored, and that hurts me right down to my core.
He ignores me until he wants something from me, and then if I don’t respond like he wants, the sarcasm and attitude come out, yet again.

All this, because he's listened to self-serving lies from his step father.  I'm not just hurt because he listened in the first place... I'm hurt because he never even considered the source.

I’ve lost 2 children to death… and all I had left was my third child.  But if he won’t speak to me, or interact with me in any way, it’s high time to say “enough is enough”.  
I need to do it, before it breaks me.
God got me through the loss of my other 2 children, and I know that he will get me through this heartbreak as well.

Lord,  please take this burden from me… For good. 
You know that I’ve tried and tried, and you know that the fight has now gone out of me.  I can’t do this anymore.  As painful as it is, I need to move on with my life, and I can’t do that with this weight  around my heart.
You know what you're doing, Lord, even though I don't.  It's time for me to turn it all over to you, and for me to fully place my trust in you.
I'm so very tired of crying.
Lord, please give me the peace that surpasses all understanding, and please, give comfort to this mother who mourns the loss of yet another precious and well loved child.
Amen






Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Long and the Short of it. Or, What in the World Have We DONE??


After a year and a bit of wedded bliss, Dan I decided that we had enough love left over, to give some of it to another little furry creature.
Because a dozen cats (give or take a few,) just wasn't enough.
We needed a dog.

A cute little canine companion that we could cuddle with, take for walks, and who would lay adoringly at our feet while we watched TV.
You know... a Real Norman Rockwell scene, brought to glorious life.

Lucky for us, Dan's son's dog had recently given birth to puppies, so they brought the whole mess of them around for us to look at, and we got to take our pick of pickled puppies.
Ermmm.... I mean just puppies..

 The instant I saw the cutest little bundle of fur out of the bunch,  my heart just melted.  Mama dog was a smallish girl, and I was assured that daddy dog was a sort of smallish boy, so we just knew in our heart of hearts, that little Matilda was the one for us.

She was cute, and wiggly, and we got our faces well and truly bathed in sweet little doggie kisses.  And me and puppy breath go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Biscuits and gravy...
meat and potatoes....
Anyway, you get the drift.
We were made for each other.

Our lives together were now complete, and we were happy.

 Tilly when we first got her.



Until the first night.
I forgot that puppies poop.
A LOT.
Day and night.
And they also piddle, just for something to do.
They do that a lot too.

But Dan and I worked out a schedule, and it worked for us.
Every time one of us would get up a night to go to the toilet... we would take Tilly out for a walk.
Luckily for Tilly, Dan and I are both old folks.
Thanks to us and our old and  decrepit bladders, she got walked about every hour on the hour, all night long.

Time went on, and we knew that this was the best thing we had done together...
Except I think we both forgot (or overlooked, because our minds are deteriorating due to advanced age)  that puppies grow UP. 


The cute, sweet smelling puppy breath now has a tinge of nasty ol' cat-box to it, and anything left lying within the reach of those cute little tiny teeth was in danger of being chewed to smithereens by teeth that would make a T-Rex jealous.

And the cats?  I won't even go there.
Except to say that they now hate us.
(Except for Dude.  Dude loves his Tilly.   Even though it means he gets pounced on, and slobbered on on a regular basis.)

As time went on, (okay, so a matter of a mere 3 months)  Tilly turned into a bouncing behemoth.  She needs walks and more walks, and exercise on a constant basis, because she just has so much boundless energy, that it makes us tired just looking at her.

I read up on things, and most of the vets surveyed said that at 4-6 months, our cute little puppy would be approximately HALF the weight that she would be, when fully grown  - so with just our luck, we're looking at her being a 105+ pound bundle of bounding and boundless love.
Which is kind of like having invited a frisky Clydesdale horse to live in our house
.
And we did this willingly.

Tilly under the apple tree at 4 months



She loves life, she loves people, and she loves going to the park and sniffing anything and everything under the sun.

I mean, she really REALLY loves going to the park.

So much so, that every last skerrick of manners and training goes right out the window, and she drags us around like we're mere balls of fluff, while she smells puddles of deliciousness at the base of every tree and lamp post.  And candy wrappers. And the odd abandoned flip flop or used condom.

We're actually thinking of investing in roller blades, and about a million dollars worth of high-end extreme protective gear, so we don't have to hobble so fast and so painfully as we walk her.
If we had roller-blades, we could sort of whiz around like those folks on roller-blades at Venice Beach do, doing cute little swooping maneuvers with happy little smiles pasted to our faces, as we get towed along by a gorgeous trotting dog.

This shall be us.

Only with a million $$'s worth of protective gear.



But since we don't have the million dollars that it would take to buy enough protective gear to keep us from breaking a hip or two, my daughter-in-law Becky pointed out a cute little dog on facebook.  One that was looking for a forever home.  One that could be a companion to Tilly, and who could help Tilly get the exercise she needs... They would be able to chase each other merrily around the yard, they would both speak the same language, and  we and they kitties would be forever grateful for not being constantly bounced and pounced on.

So we got Haley.
Who looked in her picture to be a fully grown medium sized Lhasa Apso type dog.



But those  floor tiles were deceptive.. and Haley turned out to be a tiny little purebred Shih Tzu.
This wasn't exactly the dog we had imagined, but when we heard her story, we were helpless to do anything other than take her home with us.  We couldn't have lived with ourselves otherwise.

It seems that the woman we got her from had gotten her from the original breeder 2 years ago... and of course, because she had papers, the woman had big plans to breed her new little doggie, and sell the puppies... .

Unfortunately... when they found out that Haley was completely and permanently infertile, she was relegated to a puppy pen in the dark and dreary garage.  Obviously, she had had very little companionship and love during the 2 years she was with this family, so this poor little girl was STARVED for affection.
So we took her. 
And she's now ours.

 Haley the day we got her.


  
Haley after her trip to the beauty parlor yesterday.



She's really too tiny for Tilly to actually play with, but man... does she know how to growl and squeaky-bark, and gnash her teeth when Tilly gets too rambunctious!

I think it's gonna work out just fine...


Wednesday, September 10, 2014






13 years ago, I was still living in Australia.  I had just gotten out of the shower, when my friend Einid called me, and told me that a plane had crashed into a building in the US - and she insisted that I turn the telly on.
 I didn't think too much of it, thinking it was an air show crash or something, but I turned the TV on, and dropped straight to my knees.  I swear I didn't move from that spot for what literally turned out to be hours.

  My first thought was my son Josh... and I tried frantically calling the US, while still kneeling there on the floor watching the TV.... but I couldn't get through.

 I didn't know where Josh was, and although I knew somewhere in the deep reaches of my mind, that he wasn't in NY, my heart was still frozen with dread.  All I wanted, was to hear my son's voice - and to know that he was okay.

It took 3 days before I could finally get a call through to my Dad, and once he had assured me that my son was okay, I could finally start to process the horror that we, as Americans, had gone through.



Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day and a Happy Birthday.


Labor Day, a Happy Birthday Day... and a Labor Saving Day all rolled into one!



Today is "the boy next door"'s Birthday, and since the birthday boy gets to not only choose his birthday meal, he gets to choose his birthday cake as well,  we went very labor saving - in his honor, of course.

If it had been up to me, of course I would have happily worked my little tail off, cooking a fancy schmancy, multi-coursed birthday dinner for the man who's the best thing that's ever happened to me.
But he won out.

Bisquick for the waffles
Oven baked bacon
and homemade apricot cobbler.
All served on paper plates.






Happy Birthday, sweetheart!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Too much water under the bridge?

I hope not... but time will tell, I guess.
I had every intention of keeping this blog going, and sharing all the new "I've finally moved back home" adventures with you all,  but truth to tell, once I got back, my new life didn't slowly "unfurl" gently and peacefully before my eyes.
It  unraveled.
Almost instantly.
Too much has happened to even begin to explain everything fully... so I'll just gloss over most of it, and just hit the high points for now.

The house that was supposed to be ready and waiting for me - the house that I had sent my kids the money for - to both purchase outright, and to do approximately $40k of renovations with - was still here... only it was in foreclosure, due to non-payment. And since I still don't completely understand what happened or didn't happen, or why it happened or didn't happen, there's no point in going into the very few details that I do understand. It's enough to say that I managed to get the house out of foreclosure, the payments caught up, and I paid off the final balloon payment in June of 2013.
I can finally say that I now own my own home - but the cost - both emotional and financial - isn't as easy to accept.


But easier to understand, and to explain, was the now non-relationship with the Old Guy.

Before I even left Australia, the relationship with the Old Guy had well and truly unraveled as well.
He had decided that he didn't want a commitment ceremony before I left... because he figured that that would in some way make him legally and financially responsible for me.  And the 3 or 4 trips a year to come see me  in the States had been whittled down to maybe once or twice a year.... because he said that it costs money to put his pets in a boarding kennel - and he wasn't made of money.  The kicker was when I was getting ready to do a change of address so my mail would go to his house - and then he could either send it on to me, or pay any possibly outstanding  bills with the money I had set aside for him.  Because in his eyes,  he thought that by allowing my mail to be inserted in his mail box, it would somehow mean that there was /could be/ might be, a financial commitment on his part...and that he would therefore be responsible for not only me, but he would be responsible for my bills as well.
And we certainly couldn't have that, now could we?.
So instead.... I had the mail forwarded to my friend Jenny, and she dealt with it all.

Oh believe me,  I did a bit of crying over the Old Guy, and I got some flak for "dumping" him... but the friends that knew me well, and the friends who personally had watched the day-in-and-day-out  "real" relationship between the Old Guy and myself, were only surprised that it had taken me so long to wake up to his almost  obsessive "non-involvement" and empty promises.

Then two months after returning "home", my son introduced me to the "boy next door" and things changed for the better...and  in so many ways.

But that's a story for another time

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Time Flies...

Time flies when you're having fun... and I'm here to tell you that it also flies when you're NOT having fun!

I'm now down to 11 days until I move out of this house, and these last 49 days have honestly, been the hardest of my life! Sorting, tossing, packing, repacking, endless phone calls and hassles and worry and stress... And even though I know that I'm well and truly down to the final days at this point, I honestly don't feel that I've accomplished much - other than spinning my wheels, that is.
And then I found out yesterday, that I LOT of what I have accomplished has been in vain. Complete and utter vain.
My wheels have done been spun.

See, moving "internationally" - especially when you're short on $$'s - is no walk in the park. It's not like you can call a moving company to come pick up your shite "treasures" and move them from one location to the other... and you're basically all moved in but the unpackin'.
You know what I mean?

So instead, I've had yard sales, I've sold my stuff to friends, I've donated and sorted and pared stuff down to the bare minimum - and here at the end, I've actually been forcing stuff on friends - whilst using guilt and incredibly sad looks.

"Oh Lee-Ann, that 3 piece outdoor lounge setting would look just perfect on your patio!" When your husband builds it that is... Now am I right, or what? And besides, every time you look at it, you'll be reminded of all the good conversations and endless cuppas we shared together."

"Corry, oh honey, I want you to have some things that will remind you of me... so here's 18 and 1/2 pairs of shoes - and I'm sure that at your age, your feet will start shrinking soon! The purple Crocs will look just great with your green parrot t-shirt! Really!!"

So, I've managed to get my "what I'm taking" stuff down to 3 large-ish boxes and 3 smaller ones, as well as 3 large suitcases, and I gave up a LOT of important (to me, anyway) treasures and memories in the process. Okay, so the suitcases don't cost a thing when we fly, but the boxes were another story entirely. $224 per large 20 kilo box (20 kilograms = 44.092 452 437 pounds) So it was going to run me close to $850.+... just to ship those boxes through the post office.

Then last Thursday, the real estate agent came by with a little "courtesy" packet of "now that you've sold your home" info.
Outlining stuff like when to notify the utilities to shut off power, how to re-direct your mail, etc. And amongst all the stuff, was a little flyer about a local company that sells freight boxes for moving purposes.
Hmmm... freight boxes? Maybe those would be better than the flimsy, taped and re-taped old things I'm currently using?

So I looked them up on-line, just to get an idea of how much some good 'heavy-weight' boxes would actually cost me.
And found out something that had my heart sinking like a stone.

Not only do they sell boxes... but they ship as well. And for FAR less! 8 large boxes, shipped on a pallet (and probably on the same damn ship that Australia Post ships by) will cost me $550. That means that for $300 less, I can take MORE stuff than I actually have left (and not have to lug 3 large suitcases through the airport!) The best I can figure at this point is almost 3 large boxes more!

So you know what I did? I started calling up people and asking for my stuff back. I have to admit that I felt funny doing it, but it was killing me to know that I had given stuff away that meant something to me. Things that I well and truly treasured. Of course I didn't ask for the stuff I had sold, because a deal is a deal... right?

But those things like cast iron skillets and antique pie plates and silverware. Books and Cd's and DVDs and heaps of other stuff that had just been "given" away... Well butter my butt, and call me an Indian giver. Because if the shoe fits, sometimes ya just gotta wear it - you know?
And in actual fact, those purple Crocs probably would have looked like poop on Corry anyway...



So now on to the news that you've been waiting for...



I'll be home for good, on October 2nd!! Yeeeee Haw!!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

And pffttt... it's gone!

Last night while lying in bed, I wrote a "funny as" blog post in my head.
It was so good, and so funny, that I layed there chuckling my head off... until I fell asleep.
With a big goofy smile on my face.

But this morning; It's gone. Not one teeny weeney iota of that post remains. I can't remember what I was thinking about... or why I even thought it was so funny.

I guess you'll just have to take my word for it.


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