Sunday, August 24, 2014
This is what I spent last weekend doing, swatting (no exaggeration) hundreds of flies. I wonder how many calories are burned using a fly swatter ?
Fortunately the invasion seems to be over now, with only the windows left to be washed.
Sunday, August 10, 2014
Bliss...giving in and scratching the mosquito bites
Now I'm off to buy some citronella candles for the bedroom at night to prevent more of the same!
Eta: cute internet random kitty scratching its chin picture removed b/c it was getting more sympathy than me, the actual victim of the unprovoked mosquito blitzkrieg
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
I have a renter in my US house while I am in France. One of the dangers of renting one's house out is that you just don't know who you'll end up with and what they will do to your home.
I've been lucky. My first renter took care of the house and everything looked good from the road driving by. Flowers planted along the front porch, the lawn was mown, garage looked tidy. She has now moved out and has to do the walk-through this week.
I stopped by the house Monday to pick up some things I had left originally that I'm now taking back for my son to use...a law mower, weed wacker, vacuum cleaner. So I did a quick walk through myself, everything was pretty much in order. A few paint issues where it pulled off when she removed hooks from the wall, but nothing really major.
Then I went into the back yard to check the garden and see if any raspberries where ripe.
This is what my garden used to look like :
Now imagine it completely filled by 4 ft. tall weeds, completely over-running the beds and mulch, the plastic that was underneath the mulch now sticking up everywhere, most of the raspberries dead and just sticks, some of the beds broken apart...I couldn't bear to take a picture.
All of my work just...gone.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
And just call me "The Rainmaker"
We didn't actually "go to court" yesterday morning, it was more negotiation between our lawyers. Somehow the PEH found a decent one this time, instead of the incompetent he had for the divorce. I "won" 2 of the 3 main points, which is really just a reinforcement of the original custody order. I went for full legal custody as well but we will have to have an actual hearing for that in a few months. In any case, no more Ms. Nice Lady...back child support is going to be collected, along with future, for a good long time. Karma's a beeyotch, PEH.
Now that the immediate PEH stress is...not gone...but shifted into the next stage where I have a little breathing room the sun is starting to emerge from the literal & metaphorical rain clouds. Last blog I mentioned everything seemed to go wrong at once. Nothing too major thankfully, I am luckier than many, but enough little things were piling up that are resolving themselves.
My US house payment increased b/c of escrow but the rent couldn't increase to match..and then the renter gave notice she was moving out. My BIL's cancer returned with a vengeance and he passed away July 5. My cat became ill while I was in the US last month and had lost 8 lbs...half his body weight...in a 2-3 week period. Right before I came to the US last month the PEH ramped up his verbal abuse of my DD and DS (against DS for sticking up for his sister, DD b/c she is female and PEH is also a sexist/ racist bigot) and yanked her off the couch, force walked her into the kitchen and shoved her into the counter - twice - while getting right in her face, screaming obscenities. They didn't realize this warranted a 911 call for assault, they thought it only "counted" if she was hit. By the time the police were called on him too much time had passed and it was his word against theirs...and guess who authority figures are going to believe when there is no physical evidence?
In any case, a lot of his behavior over the past year has since been exposed to me, and the kids also told all of his family members they could reach. In response to DS ratting him out to the family the PEH kicked him out. DS was sleeping in his car when I arrived last month, he refused to appeal to the family again since they had all basically either defended PEH (calling the kids liars in effect if not actual words) or flatly said they didn't want to get involved.
So my "vacation" last month was busy with finding DS somewhere to live and making arrangements for him, taking care of DD's admin stuff that PEH wouldn't do (bank account, physical, getting her the moped & her license, taking her around to put in job apps), and starting the legal proceedings. Not very relaxing! Then retuning home to my sick cat and job stress and a month of rain!
Needless to say self-care slipped greatly!
But things are retuning closer to normal. The PEH is being taken care of. DS is moved in and managing things, and helping his sister as he can. Gandalf is recovering and has gained some weight back. Turtle (the cat), who was once timid like her namesake, has become a mighty serial killer of mice and birds (we are still working on the whole "you don't need to bring me presents" thing). I have a new renter moving in this weekend, with the rent increase to better cover my new payment. Several years of unpaid child support will now be collected, probably monthly instead of lump sum, I survived the Warrior Dash despite having not exercised for a few months now. And much of the company in France takes their vacations in August so I will be able to catch-up on a lot of work (I hope!), in addition to being able to re-start running.
So I say umbrella...who needs an umbrella? I'll be "singin' in the rain"!
Friday, July 25, 2014
As in the literal it has rained more days than not for the last month, including a cold and gloomy 10 day straight stretch.
As in the idiomatic "when it rains, it pours"...when everything seems to go wrong all at once.
As in the "WTF?" category..."I got the cash, I'm bringing the rain" which was the actual text message I received from the PEH back in March when I refused to cancel DDs cell phone. I live in France, she is in the US...it is how I stay in touch with her, especially since the PEH doesn't have a landline & I am supposed to trust that he will provide her a phone when in the very next breath tells me he intends to lock her phone down so she can't make calls at all? So he threatened to take me to court to force me to cancel. I wished him luck with that.
But back to court we go anyway, this time at my initiative. Not feeling really confident right now because he has the better paper case, even though in real life his behavior to DD is morally reprehensible...proving it is much more difficult. This could backfire on me.
On the brighter side DD won 2 entries to the Warrior Dash this weekend and since I will arrive Saturday we will do it together. Or at least start together. I haven't really run in months, just a few times here and there, so my finish time will be pretty bad. But I will finish!
Last weekend DS called several times with crock pot questions. He was making Cowboy Stew, from the recipe book I gave him last month. I do believe this was the first time he actually cooked anything from scratch, not just heating something in the oven or microwave. Another milestone! I will give him the chili recipe I recently made, it is the most awesome chili on the planet. It is a vegan recipe and is equally awesome as vegan or with meat. I didn't even miss the meat when I made it without. I will try to share it later.
In the meantime I am traveling for work with the resulting inability to sleep and longer hours than normal. I get back to my home in France very late Friday night and leave for the US very early Saturday morning. And I still have to pack, take out the garbage, make sure the cats have their food/water, change the sheets, everything else that needs to get done before leaving.
And there will be more literal rain so the lawn will be a jungle when I get back. Which will at least rack up some impressive fitness minutes as I try to mow it back into some semblance of a lawn.
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