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forever behind
thursday, august 30, 2012

you know, things have been...quiet lately, but i just can't seem to get things done. i've had a few manuscripts to edit, but they've been alternating nicely, for the most part; my own writing has been slow but steady; i'm settling into the house cleaning routine; i just can't seem to get it together and get the to do list done. part of this is i'm still adjusting to all the extras in my schedule—the house work, dinner, all the things i haven't been doing and that the kids helped with when they lived with us and when hubs was home in the evening. dinner alone can take an hour or more out of my time, and dishes after dinner are at least another 30 minutes since i do them by hand to reduce the water we use. i'm not whining, just noting that it's been harder to get as much stuff done as i did before the house fiasco.

august has also traditionally been a bad month for getting things done. in toxic house, a lot of that had to do with the heat. since the a/c didn't work correctly and the air went right out the non-insulated walls, the house was always muggy and overly warm. i ended up sleeping more than doing things, even at night when it was still muggy and warm. i don't know if 9 years of annual down time can become ingrained, but the conditions in the apartment are much better, but my activity level is still really low. i'm not sleeping as much, but the hurricanes give me nearly as much down time with the headaches they bring on. the weather since the middle of last month has been more rain (especially in the evenings) than shine.

i'm hoping that i'll eventually find my footing again and start getting stuff done, including getting back to my weekly whysper updates, assuming there's much to say.

we've had a small financial bump. it's not bad and, unlike in toxic house, we can meet our basic needs. my credit cards, on the other hand, not so much. and i usually end up paying more on the storage bill because it gets shuffled to wherever it's easiest to pay it. we do have a problem with the ed loans too, but i'm working on getting them deferred. those would be a problem even without the bump since even at full steam on all three positions, saxy hasn't been making enough to pay the $400/month the two different loan holders each want. i can't do anything about one of them (was going to take care of as much as i could with our tax returns, but that's unlikely to happen now since the job that pays the most is a 1099 job and it will eat up any tax return we would have gotten), but i think we can qualify for the deferment for the other. as for the bump, saxy is trying to get out of the 1099, production job and into another restaurant position. to facilitate this, the catering job has taken him off the regular schedule except for some weekend work (and he can do on call or volunteer for things where they need extra help), so he's not been working that job at all. the 1099 job has made this a bit more difficult in the sense that he's been pushed into a shift manager position and now works until 9 pm over there. he is VERY unhappy with this, but we're hoping the restaurant thing comes through soon (latest we're thinking is october, but we'll see). in the meantime, el taco is offering some extra hours and shuffling him on the line. both are good signs, but they don't make up for the missed $400+/month we've lost. getting into the other restaurant might bump us down a bit too, since they will take taxes out of the paycheck, but once a schedule is sorted out, saxy can pick up at the catering company again. none of this is as threatening as living in toxic house was, but the credit cards will definitely be significantly in arrears by the time i can pay them again. if i had $1500 right now, i'd get those suckers paid off so we wouldn't have to worry about them, but that's unlikely to happen. maybe of we get anything on the tax return, i should get those taken care of before the one ed loan since that's already gone into collections, and $8000 is a lot harder to come up with than $1500. i'll have to see where we're at then.

i'm also kind of struggling with a typical "you've been poor" problem and buying things we use even when we don't need them. there's this sense of "stock up and the next time you run into trouble you'll have what you need even if you can't buy it," but it cuts into our money, so i really need to try to step back and try to buy only when we need it. the good news is that this usually isn't a huge part of the food bill (which is where most of this is happening). on the plus side, we've reduced the amount of meat in our diets and that's helped with the bills some. however, since we aren't buying the "too poor to buy much" foods as much and are eating better, healthier food in general, the total food bill has gone up. plus, of course, you know, the increases in prices lately. our farmer's market bill tends to run about $60/week. it's our kroger bill i'm having the most trouble with, even with the employee discount from my middle girl. and, unfortunately, there's no place else to go that's cheap enough to make it worth the gas to get there.

in good news, the animals are doing sooooo much better. vagner had gotten down to 6 or 7 pounds at toxic house (from around 10 or 11). he's now a very happy 13. they all have their fur back, and logan's stopped throwing up two or three times a day (heck, now he's finally down to maybe once a week) though he's still working on putting some of his weight back on. and while they all do the big cat things and sleep a lot, they're also playful now. i mean, at toxic house, they got to the point where they just didn't have the energy to pursue a bug that walked across their noses. now? if it moves anywhere in sight, and they aren't napping, they chase. and they love the screened in porch. as much as i would have preferred more indoor space, it's looking like the porch was the better option.

i've lost 1/4 of the total weight i want to lose and about 15 pounds this year. the biggest struggle is the exercise, especially with the storms and high bp making it harder to do the more active stuff. i've chosen to dial back a bit and get my stretching back to a daily thing—it's a lot easier to convince myself to stretch than to do the more active stuff when just the idea of doing anything is exhausting. once i'm back into the daily stretch, i can start adding the step aerobics and core work again. i'm still doing over an hour of walking when i grocery shop every week, and actually look forward to it, so i might ask the office where the walking path is around the complex and start walking a couple times a week as well. i can keep that low key.

kiddo has started his new school and new program. he works out in the community twice a week now and is learning more living skills than educational stuff when in the classroom, and he seems to like it. we are seeing a little of the testing of boundaries, but that's to be expected. he no longer qualifies for free/reduced meals at school, but most recipes make at least 4 servings, so he gets to take leftovers to school and buys milk there. and he's really doing well here at the house. we work together on chores when he gets home, and he rarely complains. a few things are even becoming a habit that i don't have to remind him to do (like cleaning cat boxes).

speaking of kiddo, he should be walking in the door any minute now, so i should get going. i doubt i'll catch up as much as i'd like, but hopefully i can become less behind than i have been.

yea, that'll happen. :P


word of the moment: echelon

one of the levels of status or authority in an organization, or the people in that level; a diffraction grating consisting of a pile of plates of equal thickness arranged stepwise with a constant offset; a body of troops arranged in a linean arrangement of soldiers, ships, or aircraft in which each one is slightly to the right or left of the one in front

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