Friday, October 30, 2009

I cannot believe my eyes....

Lookie what I came across on Etsy today...

Visit Chatham Girl's Etsy shop to view more of her stunning, creative work.

Ain't that a hoot?!
I love the expression on her face.
That look is how I've been feeling for weeks now...
part snarl, part disgust, part stunned.
Maybe a little bit of "I dare you to mess with me 'cause I've had my fill" mixed in there, too.

How very serendipitous, it being Halloween and all.  Had I made plans to attend a fabulous costume bash this weekend in celebration of the holiday, this would be the most fitting costume for me, I do believe. 

And I just love that model's hair color.  I'd do it in a second if I could afford it.  
So very bold and strong. 
Just what I'm trying to be every day. 

But instead of sporting the look of my blog's lady mascot up there at a fun-filled party full of adults who are being allowed a moment to dress up and act like children (that's always a blast) I'll be at home on my own with just me to entertain myself.  

I will survive.
(Name that music artist )

I have plenty to keep me busy and occupy my time.  If I don't get distracted by my overwrought mind.  And I have a slew of music at the ready for my 
I'm-just-fine-all-by-myself soundtrack to keep me company for the next 5 days.  Music can keep you going sometimes.  I'm hoping it does that for me 
this weekend.

However - 
There's nothing that says I can't show up in court next month with fire engine red hair and freak 'em all out.  Nothing except either the lack of an influx of cash or a sale on hair color at the store.  And not finding a friend to help me do it so I don't end up looking like a strawberry. I'd love to see the look on the faces of Crazy Kinky Boy and the Walking Hypocritical Contradictions (in-laws).  

I'm seriously considering it.

Hope everyone has a tremendously awesome 
Halloween / Fall Festival time this weekend!  
Stay safe.  Keep on the sidewalk.

And don't take candy from strangers!

Unless some strange woman with a ship on 'er head walks up to you and gives you a fistful.  She's fine.  
Trust me.

Counting Sheep

Sleep is steadily eluding me.  For too many nights this week, I've laid in bed actually trying to count sheep.  It doesn't work.  Could even get ugly.
I don't recommend it.

Sure, they're cute fluffy things.  I can easily imagine nuzzling into their cushy fur and drifting off peacefully.  I also imagined them bouncing over the fence, rather than jumping.  Their landings were soft... nearly silent.  Still didn't work.

Don't let their cuteness fool you.

As I lie there counting and counting, praying for sleep, they started bleating at me.  Loudly.  It reminded me of my children as dinnertime nears.

Only these characters had an agenda with each 
"Baaaa-aaaaa!!!" they uttered.

To remind me of all the things I've left undone that day.  

Of a tidbit of curious info someone had shared with me in a phone conversation that I couldn't seem to let go of.  

The fact that I have five bajillion things to get done for Bayou Kitchen before I'm officially up and running and even have the potential for making any money. 

Oh, let's not forget about the divorce, either.  Last, but certainly not least.

They didn't stop there.

These formerly adorable imaginary creatures were turning evil on me.  It was brought to my attention that, even though I seem to have lost 19 pounds over the last two months, without giving it the least bit of effort, much less thought, I still have many, many more pounds to go.  

That was the last straw for me.  I went straight to the freezer (at 2 am) and dug out my emergency pint of 
Ben & Jerry's Karamel Sutra that has been lying in wait for much too long.  My emotional EMT Rescue Squad in a cardboard carton.  

My vital statistics are back in the normal range now.

The floors can be mopped tomorrow.  I'll get to the laundry this weekend.  Our classroom can wait a few more days to be cleaned up.  

I'll forget about what my friend said on the phone that got the gears in my head turning.  It will only take energy away from what I truly need to be focused on right now.

Speaking of which - the kids will be in Utopia for the next 6 days, so I'll have plenty of time to devote to Bayou Kitchen and everything it direly needs at the moment.  Plus, I'll actually get to sew and have some fun!

As for the divorce - pfffttt.  I think I'll just live to die another day with that one.

I've got to pick my battles 'lest 
I'm the next to go crazy.

And, of course, I'm finally sleepy.  Now that I have to be up in a little more than 3 hours.  

Thanks a lot, stupid sheep!  I'll never be caught buying one of your mattresses. Nope. Can't fool me with your cuteness.

Hope everyone else's dreams are sooner and sweeter than mine have been lately.

P.S.  In case you're wondering, I did not completely sabotage my recent bit of weight loss by eating the entire pint of ice cream. I wanted to.  Bad.  But I only ate about 1/4 of it and stuffed it back into the recesses in the freezer from which it came.  However, if this happens to me yet again tomorrow night - I'm making no promises!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Money is the root of all evil that makes the world go 'round

It's no secret that we all need money.
Unfortunately, we no longer live in a society where bartering is acceptable or even possible in most instances.  Can you imagine going into your local electric cooperative and being allowed to trade them an item you've grown or made for their electric services?  How about walking up to the cashier at the gas station and hoping they'll take a beautiful hand-knit shawl in exchange for a full tank of gas?  Yep.  That probably wouldn't fly, either.

Thanks to my divorce and the not-so-just justice system these days, that's the kind of thing I've been wishing were possible.  

Crazy-Kinky Boy was ordered to pay temporary child support until the divorce.  It's such a small amount for three children that it doesn't even qualify as a pittance.  It's barely enough for food, some gas each month...but not much else. 

His attorney sent me a letter saying that it was to cover my food, fuel, power bill, phone bill and any other expenses I might have.  Let me just state for the record that if I paid my phone bill with that child support money, I wouldn't have enough left for the power bill - much less food or fuel.  He also instructed me to sign my children up for governmental assistance, as well as myself.  

I know what you're thinking - Why is my husband's attorney instructing me to do anything??  He's just that cocky - exactly like my husband;  they're a perfect fit for each other.  No doubt they think they have this thing all wrapped up with a pretty bow on top.  I'm ok with *letting* them think that.  For now.

As for governmental assistance - I've been there.  Done that.  When I was pregnant with my first son I went and put myself on Medicaid.  Crazy-Kinky Boy was working two jobs and we still didn't have any money for doctor's visits.  However, as soon as he got a good, full-time job with insurance, I removed myself from that program.  There were others who needed it more than myself, at that time, and I'm not the kind of person that takes advantage of things just because I can.  You'd never find me "living off the government", as so many in this country do.  My husband remarked many, many times over the years that we would never use government assistance unless we were desperate and have no other choice.

I'm there, no thanks to him.

But I'm not beyond asking for help when I need it.  Such as now.  I went to the agencies in charge of food stamps and state-sponsored children's health insurance program.  We definitely qualify for those assistance programs right now.  And we NEED them.  But I was turned away because I do not have my children's original birth certificates.  They will not accept copies.

I've repeatedly asked Crazy-Kinky Boy and his father for my kids' birth certificates, only to be lied to and told they 'don't have them'.  I watched my father-in-law take them out of the safe when he came to retrieve my husband's belongings.  He refused to give them to me when I asked for them right then.

So, without those little pieces of paper I can't gain assistance.  I have to go and get new ones from the county.  Which guessed it.....MONEY.  

Money I do not have.  Money I've tried to keep from spending, but have had to go get food, instead, to put in the bellies of my children.  Each time I try to put a little back, someone gets hungrier or has to go to the doctor or needs new underwear.  That's life, right?

Only, it's a suckier life when you're working with pennies to begin with.

In steps a beautiful, wonderful, new-found friend from my past.  I've shared with her all the dirty details of my sordid affair.  She's listened for hours, offered advice, been angry and frustrated for me.  
Made me laugh more times than I can count.  

Today - she made me cry.  More than once.  Please go check out her blog and see just what a friend was willing to do to help out another mother.  

In mere moments, my faith in others have been restored.  I've been let down tremendously by those that I would have thought would be a source of support through all of this mess in my life. I've been abandoned by family, people I *thought* were friends and even the church I was so invested in with my kids.  

But through the selfless actions of a true friend - today my faith in people is bolstered and reignited.  Because of Kim's post, total and complete strangers have made it possible for me to get those birth certificates that will allow me to get the assistance for my kids that I so desperately need at this time in our lives.  

We may even have some left over for an ice cream cone @ McDonald's!  That would be a major treat, right now.

Some of you may be wondering what I'm doing myself to increase our familial funds.  As I said when I started this blog, I'm a homeschooler.  My kids are at home with me 24/7 and I teach them myself.  It's been a hard road, but one I know has been the right one for them.  It's amazing what we've all learned the past (nearly) two years.  I wouldn't trade it for the world.

I've considered going to work at night, but I'd have to pay a babysitter.  More MONEY, gone.  I've also come to the realization that for me to be able to bring in any kind of income myself, I'll have to put them back into traditional school, eventually.  I don't like it, but am prepared to do it.  

Only thing is....if I took a job outside the home, I'd likely have to pay for after-school childcare.  Then I'd be working to pay that and bring little home, in the end.  Not to mention the fact that time with my children would be whittled down to nothing.  

So, I've decided to put my God-given talents to very good use.

I learned how to sew a few years back and have gotten quite good at it.  It started with beautiful clothes for my baby girl - the kinds of things I couldn't afford to buy in stores.

It's evolved into making aprons, table linens, handbags and market totes.  With the occasional fancy little girls' outfit or super-hero cape thrown in for good measure.

I've sold quite a few to friends and family over the years.  I even had a local boutique that carried my goods for a while.  That is, until Crazy-Kinky Boy decided to go all schizophrenic on me and it was a little too much for me to handle.   

I've recently been gifted (through my father) a website.  It's all in the works right now.  I'm in the midst of production of my first line of products.  We have a photographer in Atlanta (friend of the family) set to receive my first set of samples for their "shoot" in early November.  

Things are coming along, though a little slowly...but still coming along.

Please visit the Fan Page on Facebook for 
Bayou Kitchen and become a fan!

We'll be having a FANS ONLY Kick-off Sale soon with more info on purchasing, available styles and updates on the website to follow.

I'll leave y'all today with a super-grateful heart.  And hope for the future.

"Thanks" is not adequate for the gratitude I feel.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


I've been blessed in this life to not have lost very many people that I hold dear.  Sure - I've experienced the deaths of a few loved ones and friends, but only one caused me to truly grieve.  

My grandfather passed away to the great unknown not long after I'd given birth to my first son.  I'm grateful that I made that trip just a few months before he died to introduce him to my child.  I will never forget that day.  My grandmother and aunts said it was the first time he'd laughed and smiled that much in weeks.  The gleam in his eyes told me he knew exactly what was taking place, even though he couldn't express it.  I could tell that he was so proud of and happy for me.  He loved his family more than life itself and it kind of felt as if he knew it would carry on without him here. 

When Papaw died, I was crushed.  I knew it was coming and, due to how long he had suffered both mentally and physically, had even prayed for it.  Prayed for his release from the confines of this life.  But I still was ill-prepared.  I cried and screamed and moped around for months afterwards.  I missed him.  He was a sort of hero to me and I didn't like what life was without him here at all.  It was just too much finality for me.  Though all the years he suffered from strokes (13 years, almost) I prayed for God to take him; once he did it was too much to handle.  Facing the fact that I would never see his face, hear his laugh, eat another sno-cone with him ..... that was really, really difficult to come to terms with.

But I did.  Eventually. 

Lately I've found myself behaving similarly to how I did when my Papaw passed away.  The smallest detail in a movie has the power to bring forth a river of tears. Someone says something that reminds me of Crazy Kinky Boy and my eyes well up.  Worst of all - out of nowhere comes a thought, in the middle of doing laundry or some other mundane, routine thing, and the next thing I know...I'm a sopping wet, shaking, mumbling mess.
Many times I feel an actual void inside.  Like something is missing.  Gone.  Vanished.  Stolen from me.  

I realize then that I'm remembering the good things of my marriage.  The stuff that filled my heart and warmed me.  All of the things that I thought would be enough. 

But they aren't.

So, I'll ask again.....Am I grieving?  Could this be part of the process of divorce?  I wasn't expecting any of it.  I really don't know how to deal with it, either.  I've been pretty  hurt, bitter and angry.  Still am.  Why is everything suddenly so sad?  I quite honestly prefer the tougher side of this coin, as it makes me feel much more confident than tears and feelings of self-pity.  But I can't seem to control it or stop it.  It comes like a thief in the night.  Or day.  Maybe in the middle of the grocery store with people looking at me like I'm a lunatic.  Whenever it damn well feels like it.  

One thing I've gained an incredible awareness of presently is my marriage was never what I thought it was or tried to make it.  How could it have been?  My husband was basically living a double life.  Whether actively or only on the inside, at times.  His heart was never one with mine.  It was always conflicted, confused and wracked with guilt and shame.  No wonder it would all fall apart some day.

If something was never there in the first place and I'd only fooled myself that it was, then how can I possibly grieve that?  

Missing what I never had - 
that's pretty ridiculous.  

Maybe the reason I'm crying all the time and feeling that void inside is because I realize what a fool I have been.  I could just be feeling sorry for myself.  It doesn't change the fact that something is definitely missing.....


The last nail in the coffin has been driven.  
And it's incredibly sad.

All I Ever Wanted

Friends from my childhood tell me they thought I was raised like a princess.  In a fancy castle on a hill, with all the luxuries a kid could ever want.  Parents who catered to my every whim.  The only girl in a family with four children, they assumed I was fawned over daily, I guess.

The reality is -  that castle was filled with people.  A family of six requires a lot of square footage.  I did have a nice room that was decorated by a professional for Christmas one year, but it wasn't filled to the brim with Barbies and baubles.  I had what I needed, of course, and some of what I wanted.  As much as was possible for my dad.  Just the way it should be.

My parents were divorced and my father raised me.  I had a mother who couldn't decide which was more important - her child or her own happiness.  

The woman my father married had three sons.  No one was making a fuss over me.  There wasn't any room for that with so many kids in the house.  I often had to fight for my share of food at the dinner table.  Literally.  I'd be ready to pounce as soon as my dad said the word "Amen".  Three growing boys can make a bowl of mashed potatoes disappear mighty quickly.  

Maybe that's why I love carbs so much now?

While I was never the star of the show, I knew I was loved.  But I never really felt that I fit in anywhere.  Not home. Not school.  Not church.  Not even in my own extended family.  That could have come from any number of different places.  Because I was a child of divorced parents with a nutty-behaving mother?  Because I always felt a bit in the way of my dad's relationship with his wife, my mom's messes?  Or because I always felt like an obligation to so many people?  Who knows.  

What I did know, at a very early age, was that all I ever wanted was someone to love me.  I wanted my Prince Charming.  The knight on a white horse.  My very own Mr. Wonderful.

I wanted someone I could completely rely on.  A rock.  You know - the kind of man that makes all your petty troubles and insecurities a breeze to deal with because you know they've taken care of all the big stuff.  I dreamed of laying my head on his chest and the cares of my world melting away.  I completely fantasized about him in every way - looks, height, even the very necessary sense of humor he would have.  He was a funny, strong, foxy hunk of a man that would always be there for me.  The most important detail was the connection that was there naturally.  So strong that words weren't even needed, at times.    

But I never found him.

Instead, I found a guy who would always be just that.  A guy.  Who happened to be into guys.  He left that tidbit out of his resume.  I've only realized recently that it wasn't just a phase he went through when he was younger, but something that has carried on and on throughout our entire marriage.  It's here to stay whether he admits it or not.  Whether his parents or anyone else acknowledges it or not.  I seem to be the only one willing and able to face it.

He's someone who needed from me what I always wanted in a man.  For many years, I looked at it as God's way of teaching me to give more of myself.  That if I could do that for him, then maybe in the end I would have what I needed in our relationship.  

Funny how that worked out for my husband and not for me.  At all.  That is, until I woke up, smelled the coffee and wanted something different for *both* our lives.  It took me an awfully long time to figure out that no matter what I did, how I behaved, what I believed or would always be the wrong thing.  And not for any of the reasons that one would initially think.  

Not because there was anything wrong with me or because I was doing anything the wrong way.  But because he was the wrong one.  Wrong in so many ways.  When I look back on the criteria I thought my mate would meet, he actually meets none of it.  Evidently, I was the wrong one for him, too.  In every way.  

What was I thinking??

The answer is  -  I wasn't.  I was feeling, yes.  But isn't that what we all are doing when we fall in love?  He was nothing like the man I'd imagined.  Was yours?  Likely not.

I'm not giving up on my dream, though.  Because I know it will come true.  Just not sure when.  Or how.  I'll keep an open mind, of course, but it's comforting to go back to that old ideal that I held close for so long.  

When I reach the end of this road that I've only begun to tread, I hope 'he' is at the end looking only at me.  Then maybe I'll feel like the princess everyone always thought me to be.  

He's all I ever wanted.

Sweet dreams......

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