Monthly Archives: December 2010

Farewell 2010

early morning time
This last day of 2010 is my second day home all day with Boy 2 (snow), he was up at 4 this morning and I am out of coffee, so maybe my take on the past year will be a bit slanted because I am so grumpy and knackered. The children have all had a difficult year, and I will always regret the way I mishandled things when Boy 1 was at East Middle. Miss W also struggled to deal with growing up, a new school and all the conflicting emotions about her parents divorce. However, both Boy 1 and Miss W seem to have arrived at a better place now and have made friends, achieve respectable grades and are cheerful and nice people to have around (most of the time). Boy 2 is struggling now at school but in a different way than a typical kid would be of course. More and more as he progresses through the school system I meet staff I am not impressed with, staff who cannot teach and support Boy 1 in the way he needs but who will never admit to that fact, staff who are evasive and unpleasant and on the defensive. And of course, there are some who manage to remain decent and committed in spite of doing a very hard job, who smile when they talk to me about my son and discuss their work with him.

2010 has shown me that life still has lots in store for me, some of that will no doubt include burst pipes, disastrous dinners, shocking incidents with my teens and times when I do nothing but brood over the past, but I know life has some sweet and wondrous things waiting too. 2010 began to deliver them; I stood holding hands with my best friend and looked out of the mullioned windows of a beautiful old house and realized I was happier than I had ever been before in my life.

Enough contemplating. Snow is still coming down. Christmas tree needs to be dismantled and house tidied up a bit before life returns to normal next week with the return of Boy 1 and school resuming. I have no idea what to fix for dinner today as I’m serving a ham tomorrow so would prefer to just have something light today, soup maybe . . . ?


I’ve been turning down the heat each night to try and save $$$ on heating bills, but it doesn’t seem to have made any difference, I still winced at the Xcel bill this month. Christmas is well and truly over, with all the end of month bills to pay, but after getting some financial issues sorted last month, not the usual, massive worry. Me and Miss W had a sad evening last night. We’ve been working our way through Ballykissangel, a UK TV series which is over a decade old. I’d seen a few of the early shows in the long ago days when I had BBC America and actually sat down and watched TV each night and enjoyed them, and they have all 6 seasons at Anythink Libraries so we have been watching them this December. We are on series 3.

The show is about a handsome English priest (Father Peter) who is assigned to a small Irish village (Ballykissangel) and quickly becomes friendly with all the locals and immersed in their lives. He is much nicer than the horrible old priest in charge of the parish, Father Mac. All the characters are interesting, and me and Miss W have been totally caught up in the developing love story between Father Peter and the local lovely who runs the pub, Assumpta. Well, last night (do not read past this point if you have been reading this and decided to watch Ballyk yourselves) Father Peter and Assumpta declared their love for one another, it was terribly exciting. Me and Miss W were talking about how Assumpta would have to get a divorce and Father Peter untangle himself from being a priest, Father Peter very happy and then . . . Assumpta went into the pub cellar to have another fiddle with the fusebox because the pub lights kept flickering and she electrocuted herself and died, Father Peter beside himself with grief, me and Miss W not doing much better, popcorn totally forgotten, tears in Miss W’s eyes.

Work today, I will come home this afternoon, pay bills, make mince pies (have lots of mincemeat left to use up) and watch the last episode in series 3 of Ballykissangel. It’s not going to be the same without Assumpta.

A Very Good Christmas and 2010

I had a good Christmas this year and managed to connect with family and loved one, received incredible gifts, roasted a turkey to perfection and can look back at 2010 with a feeling that is largely satisfaction. Now I am looking ahead to seeing Lara for the first time in almost a year and my sis is arriving from the U.K. in less than 3 weeks which will be fabulous.

Perhaps it’s a pointless exercise, but here are my New Year’s resolutions –

1. Less coffee, more tea.
2. Write, whether it’s a novel or short stories, just write and enjoy the process.
3. Continue on with Yoga.
4. Take my supplements regularly. Eat breakfast so multivitamin doesn’t make me throw up.
5. Get more adventurous in the kitchen, don’t be automatically discouraged by unusual/bizarre ingredients.
6. Don’t not read books just because they are by male, American authors.
7. Drink more wine to reduce stress and anxiety symptoms.

Hopes dashed – what now?

all ready to visit the theatre
baking session
I was dealing with Boy 2 this morning and trying to figure out where all the water over the bathroom floor was coming from when I took a break, checked my email, and discovered that Mills and Boon aren’t interested in reading any more of my novel. Realistically, I knew that this was more than likely to happen, but the disappointment was still crushing. All I wanted to do was crawl into bed and pull the blankets over my head and sob, instead had to get Boy 2 dressed and go off to work, my heart felt like it was somewhere down near my toes. I was glad it was just me and coworker at the library, someone I like very much, she had a rant to me about her awful morning at the doggie parlour and I then had a rant about my rejected manuscript.

I just don’t know what to do now, writing-wise. Dorchester are still buying stories but a 2 year old could write for them and they seem to have stopped paying. I could finish A Suitable Princess, my rejected ms, but now that I know my characters aren’t very well developed and Sebastien is ‘wooden’ and ‘old-fashioned’ my confidence in that has been seriously dented. I want to write but I don’t know what to write and I feel so fed up right now, but mustn’t act fed up because it’s Christmas Eve tomorrow. Me and Miss W are baking cookies, making snowflakes, and relaxing in the evening with a DVD. I hope Boy 2 will let me get some quality sleep, that has been in very short supply lately. After Christmas I’ll try to do something about the leaky bathroom. Sigh.

Boy 2 wreaks havoc

This has seemed like a long day and I haven’t helped matters by overdosing on cookies, as a result I now feel heavy and bloated. Boy 2 was such a handful as I drove Miss W to her drop-off point this morning. He has had a tendency to rip the fabric overhead of him in the car – the fabric that lines the car ceiling. Again and again, I’ve tucked it back up, tried taping it back in place etc. etc. which of course looks really tacky. Well, this morning he just reached up there, grabbed and gave it this huge rip so it was all hanging down and obscuring about half of the rear window. Miss W reached back and grabbed him, but I was on my own with him on the drive back and I felt in despair as I just cut off this huge hanging flap of fabric with a pair of scissors because I couldn’t come up with any other solution, it just looks so awful now.

Work went OK (except for cookie overdose) but how I missed a few hours to do stuff and be alone without Boy 2, it is only his first day home so this does not bode well for the next 2 weeks but I just felt exhausted by him today. Boy 1 called from Sioux City at around 5 to tell me he arrived safely and sounded very cheerful, me and Miss W about to watch Christmas movie together.

A Party, a Meeting and an awkward situation

I have been gearing up all week for a meeting with Boy 2’s teachers and staff from his school, quite nervous about how it would go because in the past whenever I have concerns I tend to end up not concerining them well or strongly enough and end up totally thrown by everyone being so nice and reassuring. Thinking about this did throw a slight cloud over the Christmas party at the library yesterday, but I had made Swedish raspberry almond bars and instead of the polite comments and endless chewing that usually goes on when I attempt to cook something, I had so many compliments and even a request for the recipe! This has really gone to my head and I am now poring over cook books and fantasizing about my own cooking show on the Food Channel.

The meeting took place today at 12.30, and Miss K., Boy 1’s behavioural therapist was there along with Laurie, friend and nurse with Tri-County. Mr W was also there with me. There was Boy 2’s rather clueless teacher, his OT (very nice) and speech therapist, whom I also liked, but there were a few others I really couldn’t understand why they were there, one Ms B. is some sort of special needs specialist whose sole purpose at the meeting seemed to be to cast doubt on every word I said and be fiercely defensive on the school’s behalf. It was a very stressful situation for me and there are so many formalities – for example, they cannot write into the IEP having Miss K visit Boy 2 each week at his school, without getting special permission from someone person unknown to me named Dan etc. The mysterious Dan’s permission was also needed for something else, and I finally said “who exactly is this person?”

Ms B replied that he was the Special Services director and Mr W became annoyed and had a mini-outburst at this point and demanded to know Dan’s full title and telephone number. Ms B said we had never met or heard of him because he only attended meetings when things were not going smoothly with the student and added very coolly that she was sorry and had not realized there was such a level of ‘upsetness’ over the services Boy 2 was receiving.

I said (in extremely frosty tones) that things were not going smoothly, as Boy 2 had lost toileting skills in the past few months, cried every day,escaped from the classroom, blackened both his eyes and been permanently scarred by another student that yes, there was quite a high level of ‘upsetness’. She looked taken aback, I think everyone did a bit, and I didn’t give a damn. Then some talk about strategies and how Boy 2 could have a more productive time in school followed, blah, blah, blah.

After the meeting the horrible, patronising Ms B approached me and shook my hand and apologised, saying she did not realize what a bad year it had been for Boy 2. I only just about managed to accept this apology gracefully, because if she didn’t know all about Boy 2’s situation what the hell was she doing at the meeting, giving so much input? I did say a warm goodbye to the speech therapist and OT, because they struck me as commited, interested people but I have very little confidence in anyone else involved in Boy 2’s education right now.

Arrived home with Mr W who was planning a quick trip to the grocery store, then coming back here and scooping up Boy 1 to take to Sioux City in the morning. While Mr W used the toilet, Boy 1 turned to me and to my horror said “Mrs W called and will be over in 10 minutes.”

Mr W cannot abide the other Mrs W and I knew it was imperative to get him out of the house, I was practically having a heart attack. Got rid of him just as Mrs W arrived, but then stressed the entire time she was here (with Mr W’s brother). She gave us cookies and a gift card to Target. I am only just starting to feel normal again, have had to take headache pills tonight due to threatening migraine/heart attack. Had very nice compliment from my ex sis-in-law, asking how I have managed to lose so much weight. Have I? I didn’t think it was that much but someone else commented at work last week that I now had visible cheek bones. I just said that I thought it was probably stress, which I think is true. Mr W was a huge fan of eating out and bucket-sized sodas, so I did often join in, but now I wouldn’t dream of eating at a fast food place alone or even taking the kids.

Am so glad this week is almost over! But it is strange to think I will now not see Boy 1 until January.

Yoga and Cookies

I have been practising yoga all week long in an effort to lessen the pain in my left leg, this morning I decided another goal I would begin implementing was taking a multi-vitamin each day. As there is no time like the present I swallowed the vitamin down right there and then, completely forgetting (as it’s been so long) what happens when you take an enormous multi-vitamin on an empty stomach. I forced down a slice of toast but it did no good, I was so nauseous, hurried off to brush my teeth in hope that this would help and while I was in the bathroom Boy 2 decided to drag his soaking wet quilt out of the washing machine. Boy 1 didn’t notice as he was on the computer, Miss W was busy at the kitchen table wrapping Christmas gifts. The quilt was so heavy I could hardly get it back into the machine (how strong Boy 2 must be to have hauled it out) and I was practically throwing up and the carpet was squelching. So not a great start to the day, but after work I did finish my Christmas shopping and at Walmart found some mincemeat! So there will be mince pies this year after all! I am also going to make some different varieties of cookies, but think I will stick to US kinds as my English ones are not turning out well, maybe due to high altitude or not being able to get the exact right kind of ingredients, like golden syrup or currants. I borrowed Martha Stewart’s Cookies today and it has some very different recipes in it, heart shaped cookies that contain bourbon and currants (although I have never seen them for sale here in America) and Earl Grey cookies that contain Earl Grey tea.

I bought Miss W home, we had a quick pizza for supper, and then after Boy 2 fell asleep we did some Yoga together. It is a long time since I went to the Saturday morning yoga sessions at Smoky Hill Library, today was the first day in a long time I can actually say I enjoyed moving and found following along to the tape quite easy, well maybe manageable is a better word. My legs feel warmer and more flexible.

Miss W excited about drama right now, she is hoping for part in an upcoming production!