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quite a year
thursday, december 26, 2012

*brushes the dust off her journal*

i honestly can't tell you what i've been doing for the last 2 months. well, actually, i could, it just wouldn't be all that interesting and not much of an excuse for my neglect of whysper. for awhile there, lj just became easier to work with. not so much now. well, more correctly, it's easier, but i'm not liking the changes they're making, and the fact that i was paying for my account didn't make any difference in what they decided to do. so, the lj is just a twitter feed for me now, and hopefully i'll be here and at my author site blog, journeys, more frequently.

assuming i can find the time.

on the one hand, i'm a bit frustrated that i can't seem to find my footing and just get things done like i used to. on the other hand, it's been quite a year, and i suspect it might take a little more time to get things figured out. we've actually accomplished a lot.

first, obviously, were the moves, one in march out of a house that was making us ill and killing any chance of a financial recovery (if we lived there now, even with saxy working 3 jobs, we'd be in so deep that i don't think we could avoid landing on the street), and the second on the first of june. 6 months later, we're still struggling to catch up, but things are better. we can meet our basic need and bills (though we still often scrape for food, but only because of the non-basic bills). we still have things that are problematic: the storage unit costs us $100/month, we cleared most but not all the credit cards then loaded one up helping our oldest avoid eviction, and there are the small bits (like car repairs/maintenance) that make it harder to catch up and start making progress on the things that have gone into collections. but, we're all doing better. we're healthier and less stressed. even the cats are doing well. yes, i would have loved for the house to work out, but where we are now is proving to be good for us, so i'm content. we're growing stronger. i know it'll take time to take care of the financial mess, but there's hope for it now.

and lord is it nice to be in a place that keeps its heat in the winter!

then there's hubs employment. we still have a concern on the taxes because saxy's first job remained 1099 despite the promises to go to w2s. it took a bit of time to get everything sorted out, but hubs is now in the jobs he needs: the catering he loves, a line job in a cuisine he's comfortable with, and a line job where he's learning. he stresses over number 3, but he's not giving up and he is learning and getting better. the catering job will be dropping off a bit now with the holidays pretty much done (there've been a few times he's worked 14, even 21, days without a day off, so t=it's been quite a juggle), but el taco is going to add a night or two to start moving him along on the line. the money isn't fantastic, but he's earning enough to cover what we need and a bit more (see above), and he's generally happy, if a bit busy and occasionally stressed. lol

of course, his jobs have cut into what he's available for at home, which is why i'm struggling tog et things done. i don't resent it, it's just a bit crazy trying to get everything i used to do plus all the house work and cooking i now need to do done. so, yea, kinda going through everything and starting to drop things from my to do lists, or at least reduce the frequency. some things have been easy to put aside, others not so much. i'm sure i'll find the balance, it's just taking me a little time, especially with the addition of exercise and the editing job in the mix. i'm having trouble getting back into habits that helped me get things done before all the changes started happening every other month. everything will settle eventually, hopefully. i think we're done with the constant upheaval of this past year. i hope.

taz graduated and is now in a program that's supposed to help prepare him for the job market. honestly not sure how well this is going. i've had a few, well, not so much run-ins, but moment with the teacher, and i'm not really seeing him doing much that's doing what the program says it's supposed to do. but he likes it, and it's something to keep him busy whereas here at home he wouldn't be. we need to figure out a way to get him out in a job at some point and how to get him to and from it (or get another car) before he finally leaves that program in a year or two.

one of the biggest personal changes this year is the weight i've lost: 29 pounds. i had to increase my activity, which has been difficult because of my lower body issues. bad hips, knees, and ankles make it hard to do a lot of things that would help, and an uncontrolled high bp makes it harder to find things that raise your pulse without risking other problems. but i've figured out some exercises that have helped me to get strong enough to go out walking, and i'm amazed at how much i'm loving walking. it's not something i ever would have thought i would like, and to be honest, around toxic house, i probably wouldn't have. the hills would be too much for me even now. i can walk to the farmer's market and back, about 4 miles, and there are only a couple of hills, but i have to slow down for them and take it easy every time. the area around toxic house was VERY hilly. my usual pace is around 3.5 mph, and my usual route is around 3 miles, give or take. it didn't start that way, but i managed to build it up very quickly, and am even using weights now. i also found a few other tools to help me out. first, there's lose it!, which makes tracking soooo much easier than the paper and pencil method i was using last year. and for my christmas/anniversary present this year, i got a fitbit, which gives me a more accurate picture of my activity and a goal to aim for every day. i'm feeling stronger and generally healthier. there are a few things that still need to be worked on (teeth, which cost too much; new glasses, which currently cost too much but aren't as bad as the teeth; and my back, which i think is getting better), but i'm definitely in better place personally.

i also finished my second book and started submitting it. still waiting on several returns, but at least one agent wanted the full, so that's a good thing. i'm busily working on a third and a fourth, with a fifth percolating. i'm not working much on shorts. too much effort for too little return. and, really, not what i prefer to write. most my ideas are novel length anyway. there's still more a chance that my second book will end up unpublished or at a small press than being picked up by an agent, but the responses even in the rejections show i'm closer. hoping next year will see either book that's out on the go round published, either through an agent with a major publisher or through a small press. in the meantime, i'm editing for another small press in an effort to feel like i'm bringing in a little money (and it's very little BUT they do pay me a base fee plus a small royalty, which is better than most small presses do). the writing has been impacted by the struggle to find a routine that works, but i plan to make it more of a priority and get another novel done. i'd also like to get the foundation down on the one book that's percolating.

there's also small things that have happened over the year, including my youngest moving back in with us, and that relationship being much improved. unfortunately, the relationship with my oldest has continued to deteriorate. vagner is doing really well, though he does occasionally have uti problems. but now we can actually get the meds to help take care of them. it's so nice to see al the cats being wonderfully healthy again, with all their fur, and in the case of logan, not throwing up several times a day.

more than a few things had to be adjusted or dropped off my goals for this past year, but you know what? we still accomplished a lot, and i'm quite pleased. we're ending the year better than we started, and next year is looking very good from here. saxy is working for a good company (both restaurants and the catering are owned by the same company) and his chefs are encouraging him and helping him grow. taz is in his new program and enjoying it.

in other news, we had a wonderful christmas. most of the gifts were for taz—middle girl got saxy a movie (that he exchanged, but we told her we'd probably do that) and me some new slippers. saxy and i got our gifts last month, and since they were expensive, they are also covering our anniversary, and we picked up some sleep pants for taz yesterday for his gift. but he got lots of books, a couple of tops, and some socks; and middle girl gave youngest some a couple brow rings and a couple belly rings. we made our usual christmas dinner without the usual stress and pain, and even invited a neighbor over to join us. oldest and family chose not to join us, but considering some of the problems among the girls right now, that may not have been the worst decision. it was a fun night, and then i slept for 9 hours, lol

we really are in a good place right now. i expect we'll be in this apartment for at least another year or two, and we still have a lot of stuff to take care of after the past couple of years (which will probably take awhile since it takes longer to get out of a hole than to get into it), but for now, we're good, very good. :)


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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