Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sand Art

Justin and I were walking along the beach around sunset last night and something said I needed to draw in the sand. Very out of character, Justin snapped a few pictures of me "drawing."

I don't think Justin knows what to do with himself without his phone going off every 30 seconds and not having to check his computer constantly. He is reading, swimming, sleeping...and more relaxed than I have seen him in forever. This is the Justin I fell in love with. I will have to remember to do a little sand art heart just for him.

I like going down to the beach after dinnertime, when the sun's rays aren't so strong, there's a nice breeze, and most of the tourists have gone back to their rental houses. It's so peaceful. This afternoon, Ben took me out to lunch (and paid!) and we stopped at a little shop on the way back and bought chairs, so I think after dinner tonight, we will probably take the chairs and the boys down to enjoy the water one more time. It was quite chilly when we first got here, but has gotten much warmer today. I'm just hoping to avoid a sunburn. Apparently, I have enough Irish in me that just glancing out the window attracts those nasty UV rays and I burn immediately.

Although we are across the coastal highway from the beach, the walk is very short and people seem to be fairly considerate about letting you cross. No complaints about, well, anything! Except that this isn't home year round. We need to start looking into beach properties as soon as the last kid has graduated high school.

I'm in my happy place. Literally. I need lots of rest, but rest is available here in abundance. It's a fight as to whether I'm going to stitch (looking out the window from time to time at the ocean), sleep, go to the beach, or eat my weight in brownies. Justin and my mom seem to be enjoying the cooking, so I have happily handed that task over and am making up for it by trying to grab everyone's dirty laundry and take care of it.

View from our Deck
We've decided that next year will be the year of the (actual) oceanfront house. I told the kids they could choose between Christmas and having a kick ass beach house next year. I wasn't kidding.

I think I may have found the cure for fibromyalgia. It's not that I'm not feeling it. It's just that I don't care because all of my stress has disappeared. This needs to be a permanent situation and not just a week! (I'll start working on Justin to find us a place soon because we're going to need the five years we have before Joey graduates to find a place that we can afford and pay for the hurricane insurance.)

P.S. I think next year we need to bring the dogs with us. The furry ones are the only thing really missing here!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Blogging Angst

You may have noticed that I haven't been posting much at all over the past few weeks. I just wanted to explain why I can't seem to get the words on the page.

Of course, there's always the writer's block excuse, but I don't think that's it.

A month or two ago, I wrote a blog post and made a joke that I thought was amusing about something that was going on in our neighborhood. Justin agreed that it was funny. I hit "publish" and thought nothing further about it.

Until I got the angry email from someone who had taken offense that I had written about what was going on down the street. I was horrified. The last thing I ever want to do with my writing is offend someone I like and admire. And the problem was that it never occurred to me that what I had said would be in any way offensive.

Ever since that happened, I've had a hard time writing on this blog. I got my stitching blog up and running and am very happy about that, but my daily spewing of my mental processes just stopped. I didn't connect the fact that I had gotten that email and the fact that I wasn't really putting myself out there anymore. But my therapist pointed it out to me on Tuesday and, sure enough, I'm pretty confident that's the reason I haven't been spitting out my regular nonsense and frippery on this blog.

Of course, there are also other things going on in my life that are making me feel a bit more introspective and making me not want to overshare. Which for me is like someone cut off my tongue. Me not sharing is kind of weird and very not like me. But life is kind of sucky right now and people get sick of seeing nothing but bad updates on blogs and their Facebook statuses. I don't know which is worse on Facebook - the sharing of sayings over and over or people who can never find anything positive to say.

I've had a rough time lately. Not more than anyone else's, but enough to really bring me down and to a place where I don't feel like writing much.

My best friend has stage 4 breast cancer, metastasized to her lungs and lymph nodes. I'm very sad that I can't do more to help her.

Every time my mom goes in for her regular lung scan, I hold my breath for three or four days. So far, she's had two and the last one was clean (yay!) and she doesn't have to go back for six months. But, it's scary to think about the cancer coming back, as the doctor told her that it in all probability will come back.

My oldest son has decided not to pursue a four year degree. He will finish up his associates degree while working a minimum wage job (he's promised me to at least finish the AA) and hopes to move out early next year. While I am happy that he made the decision that he really didn't want to run up student loan debt after he discovered that he really wasn't interested in being a history teacher, I am concerned about the example his father and I have set. I have my bachelors degree in psychology and a lot of student debt, 10 years after finishing. And no job, due to being disabled and not having an advanced degree. His father is a senior UNIX engineer for a major corporation, works from home, and makes a very decent salary. To Ben, it looks like getting a degree doesn't really get you anywhere, since his father didn't get one and look at how good he's doing.

I would have gone on and gotten my master's degree, but when I finished the bachelors, I had so much debt, not to mention three kids, that I just couldn't justify going ahead and adding to my debt. And a bachelors degree in psychology doesn't help much. But the point is that it never hurts you to have a four year degree. But we can't convince our 20 year old, who sees the reality of our home and not the reality of the real world.

Jamie, the 15 year old, failed his math SOL twice and now has to go to summer school for two weeks in July to take a special class to review his math skills and retake the test. I actually think this will be good for him, but it's kind of pissing me off that his unwillingness to study has become my problem because now I will have to get him back and forth to school for two weeks that I had planned on sleeping in. (Justin will probably take him in the morning, but he also walks the dogs, so I kind of feel like it's not really fair to ask him to do the driving.)

Not only did Jamie fail the math SOL that he has to pass to graduate high school, he also failed the test to get his learner's permit to learn how to drive on Monday. Which means I have to take him back to the DMV a second time and pray that he passes it that time. Everyone knows how much fun going to the DMV is. It's right up there with a root canal.

Banging. My. Head. Against. The. Wall.

And, to wrap things up, I found some type of growths in a place I'd rather not discuss and will be going to the specialist today to see if I need to have them biopsied. Although I can come up with a bunch of really cool names for the type of cancer I possibly could have (probably not, but that nagging feeling is always in the back of my mind), I have been doing everything I can to not think about the upcoming appointment and what may or may not come of it.

So, all in all, I've been in full retreat for weeks. The awesome thing is that we have managed to make arrangements to have the animals taken care of next week and are meeting my parents at a house in Nags Head for 7 days at the ocean. And the thought of that week of relaxation is about the only thing keeping me going right now. (Burglars beware - we have two very protective dogs, one of whom will chew your face off if you try to get in, an alarm system, and neighbors all around us who will be home and watching the house. I wouldn't try it. Plus, we're taking all of the cool stuff with us.)

Anyway, stitching has been my outlet for all of my angst in the last few weeks. If you want to see what I've been up to, just hop on over to my stitching blog. It's up there on the top right hand side. If you like sewing, you will really enjoy my new blog.

I don't know at this point what is going to happen with Life on the Domestic Front. I wonder if it may have run its course and served its purpose since I started it almost two years ago. I needed to get a lot of things out there and I have done that. Maybe now it's time to turn inward and be more introspective. And I know my mom would really appreciate it if I stopped oversharing on the internet. (Hi Mom!)

So, I'm off to the doctor in a bit and will hope for nothing but good news there. Please wish me luck!


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Catching Up Because I've Been Neglecting You!

I haven't been feeling well this past week in a way that is worse than my normal bitching and moaning. I have a doctor's appointment on Friday and I hope to get some answers then and I am also hoping against hope that whatever this problem is, I will still be able to go to the Woodlawn Plantation needlework show on Thursday with the Embroidery Guild.


Since I haven't been writing much and I feel like a major disappointment to all of my followers (who I love so much!), I am sending you three links to entertain you today.

First is a Washington Post review of Jenny Lawson's (aka The Bloggess) book, Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir. I am rereading Jenny's book right now and I swear it's funnier the second time around. If you would like to get a copy for yourself, go here. I promise you won't regret it.

My big news is that I am now a certified searchable author on Amazon! Ask A Bipolar, the website I did some writing for last year, has published a best of book which you can get here on the Kindle or here if you would like a print copy. (I am happy to sign your book for you. I can't believe I just wrote that!) Or just click the links to see my name as an author! Really exciting and it's making me rethink maybe self-publishing a couple of my children's books. If I could ever put down my other love (cross stitch, in case you hadn't noticed), I might actually have time to do some more writing.

The third link is to my stitching friend, Carrrie's, blog, Addicted to Stitching. I had asked her about her craft room and she obliged by posting up pictures of what turns out to be the stash I wish I had. If you are a crafter or a cross stitcher, you have to see this craft room. I'm green with envy and thinking that if my oldest doesn't move out soon, I'm going to force the two younger boys to room together so I can have a room of my own. Having a cross stitch "area" is just not making me giddy. I have thought about turning our family room into my craft room to make a point, but I don't think it would go over very well. On the up side, Carrie has given me some great advice by text on how to build up my stash of projects. I think she said she has 75 works in progress and maybe 20 more kits that are ready to start. That definitely is more than my five or six things that I am working on. Maybe I feel like I would be overwhelmed with that much stitching, since I'm kind of overwhelmed with what I have.

So, that's it for today. If I am able to go on the "field trip" on Thursday to Woodlawn, I will try to get pictures. A lot of the museums and old houses won't allow flash photography inside, but I am hopeful that I will be able to use my iPhone to get some pictures there. And there is going to be lunch and shopping at an awesome needlework store (Justin, take my credit cards; wait, don't!), so if I can't go, I'm going to be extremely disappointed. The problem with having a chronic illness is that new symptoms crop up and lay you flat.

Hoping you all are enjoying this awesome weather if you live on the east coast. If you're on the west coast and live in CA or NM, I'm so sorry about the heat.


Friday, June 1, 2012

I'm Published and I Didn't Even Realize It!

Check this out:

In case you're having trouble seeing it, here is the link: The Best of Ask A Bipolar: 2010-2011

I'm definitely going to have to get ahold of a copy for me, for my mom, for everyone who knows me....and please don't forget to download your own copy today! It's available on Kindle for $5.99.

This is truly a wonderful thing that happened to me today. And I have Marybeth Smith to thank. So thanks, Marybeth!