Still around =)

Happy Valinetines Day everyone!

Kay from a pair of bartletts asked how I was doing and I figured perhaps it was time for an update.

First let me say I am still in the trailer and still loving it most of the time. As I lay here this evening I try to imagine how I would live differently in an apartment and how unhappy those differences made me most of the time. These days I have to make a conscious effort not to buy extra stuff. I still have all the urges to purchase and to thrift store shop but have been doing well focusing on what I need.

Not as well when it comes to making sure everything gets put away. My couch quite often has a small pile of stuff on it. Most of the time it is the place where my school stuff slowly builds up along with jackets and sweaters as the temperature flexes between cold and warm.

I have continued to cook and discovered the joy of cooking in crockpots but then ran off and started to cook meals that require more work than the crockpot. My kitchen is very very full.

I got engaged. Yeah that is really really big news. My guy asked on New Years and I said yes. I am super happy about that. We are planning a very long engagement for several reasons, including the fact that I am happy in my trailer and that long term, we want to make sure that I am ready to move out of it and into a different living situation.  It’s interesting because I don’t know that I would be willing to move out for many people but I am actually looking forwards to sharing a space and my life with my guy.

I still need to buy my SUV to pull the trailer. This needs to happen before summer. For now, that is my biggest personal life stresser and one that I have been avoiding. I am not really a happy big car driver. I will have to learn

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She has left this page to us, we believe, since she has written on it so little as of late. Our Momma seems to want to give us a chance to shine!

Mom moved us in here in the mist of her hometimes. See, sometimes she is gone all day and it seems like she has forgotten us and then, for weeks on end, she stays and pets and loves us. We have come to understand that is her pattern and love her with that fault.

Today, like many days, we snuggled all the warmth from our mom as  she was sleeping. I sleep on her hip or tummy while my little sister (Cass) sleeps down by her legs. We used to sleep together but lately Cass has been so annoying that I want nothing to do with her when I am trying to nap. This day Mom stayed home most of the day. She woke up and disappeared with Hun for breakfast. During that time, we have to stay put. I usually sleep on the bed more and Cass proceeds to knock over anything not nailed down in the kitchen.

When Mom comes back, she always lets us go outside and play. We are limited by this metal fence that keeps us in but.. it is better than when she used to load the both of us into the tower and leave us there. This allows for much more room and I can chase the leaves around as they skitter across the concrete in the wind.

Hun sits outside with us and pets whoever makes the mistake of coming near to the laptop. We are snuggled in laps each time we try to crawl over the keys. Neither of them seem to understand that the laptop is a warm sleep box.

On days like today, mom lets us play all day long. She even put a box out for us so we have something to hide in and sniff around. I tried to interest Cass in peek a box but she was to busy looking at the world from the tower. I wouldn’t have been so persistent but she seems to be getting lazier and larger. I need her to stay smaller so she doesn’t hog all of my food. As it is, I am almost unable to fit next to her in our daytime bed. When she jumps up to cuddle, I have to put my head near her tail and her limbs seem everywhere.

I have to admit, days when my mom and Hun are home are my favorite days. We get all day outside and all the petting we may or may not want. There is a gust of breeze that I can feel on my skin and the sun is just warm enough. Cass is pleasant even if she won’t play with me. At least she isn’t pouncing on me. I only come in when it is time for me to.. ahem.. use the restroom. That is inside hiding business, not for all eyes.

I know tomorrow that we will get less time. Tomorrow is a “work” day. Mom lets us out while she brushes teeth and puts on new fur. She boils black liquid that smells like plants and then puts on feet. We have yet to figure out why sometimes she had extra feet and sometimes the ones she has at night are enough. Then she will scoops us both us and jam us inside for most the day. She doesn’t come back until late in the evening and then we only get a few hours outside before she starts yawn and makes us go back to bed.

It is a much different place than we used to live in. We were both a bit hesitant to move into this new space. Sometimes we miss the little dog that would touch our noses through the metal gate that surrounded our patio and we had so much more room for inside days. Now, we have so much more time outside but inside time is boring. Mom seems to be happier though and snuggles us much more.

We shall see how long we stay here before she manages Suzette

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Stressed, sick, and ready for a break

I am currently fighting the first of my winter colds. During this season I struggle with allergies triggered by the weather change and the multiple colds that my students so kindly share as their parents send them to school hacking and coughing.

This year, at the suggestion of my father, I started taking allergy medicine way early and took it each morning. I was doing very well until this last week.

This last week at school I had so much going on. I have been trying to help cover a larger amount of students as we work on finding a teacher, figuring out how to show this many students artwork and trying to pull together a program that was left in my hands after said teacher had to go. I will miss her for more than that though. She was one of my close friends at school and I tend not to make them easily. I have been feeling her absence as the year travels on and I think of all the times I rely on her. She was always cheerful when life was really hard and I miss that. The only reason I have been lasting so long like I have been is because the rest of my team in my courtyard is so supportive.

The increased work hours and amount of work have kept me up to all hours and have woken me up early in the morning several days. Last weekend I was so tired that I didn’t end up making my lunches for school so I was eating the school food that was not the healthiest choice for me.  These choices lead me down the road of exhaustion. I don’t want to let my students down but I just can’t do it all. As I sit here with a low fever this weekend and a hacking cough producing massive amounts of mucus, I remember that I have to take care of myself too.  If I am not functioning, I can’t function for anyone else.

If I am still this ill tonight, I will be calling in sick. I can’t teach this way. I am going to have to remember that there has to be a balance between my health and the amount of work I am doing.

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The woman connection

I dont really feel better. I feel upset. Not depressed but upset. My mother is dealing with some basic health issues and I’m having to deal with the fact that I may not have a mom forever. I can’t imagine a world with out my mom. Either of my parents really. I mean, what do you do when the people who raised you are gone.

I am self sufficient and all that jazz but your parents are stuck a strong connection to your past and foundation of who you are. It is a strange month when I don’t see my parents at least once. It’s a strange week if I don’t talk to my mother at least three times. When I’m sick or stressed or scared or struggling I talk to her or dad. When life is bad and I caused it, they are my reminder that things go on and we made choices, deal with the results and move on.

My mom lost her mom last year. .. it was a slow process. I visited my grandmother’s bed side as she was passing and thought about how lucky I was to grow up with grandparents and how my grandmother was two people in my mind. The grandmother before the stroke and the grandmother after the massive stroke. The before grandmother offered pot roast and hot chocolate for tea parties, the after grandmother smiled with half her face and sang to you are my sunshine with strange mumble mouth. Even when it was hard, there were those amazing moments. The days when she recognized and wanted to try and interact with everyone. Dying grandmother lay there, struggling with each breath and surrounded with her daughters. The love and loss they felt was heavy in the air.

I wonder if I will have to sit vigil over my mom as she passes. If she will leave me slowly or quickly. Will I recognize the woman who went from being a mother to a confidant and friend when its her time? Will I have to let her go in the next few years or will she stay around for the future. We always are at risk for losing the people we love. How one comes to terms With that loss, I hope I still have a few years to figure it out.

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I need to breath more

I have been worried and stressed and a bit stretched thin in work lately. A lot has been going on and my normal teaching load basically doubled over night. Between some family concerns and some work concerns, my mind has been racing again when I am trying to sleep. Today I decided I am going to take the afternoon, just me, relax with kittens, eat pre made ham rolls for dinner and relax. I may even go soak in the hot tub. Tonight, there will be no work, no number crunching, grading or planning. Just breathing. I am going to make an effort to sit quietly and enjoy my evening.

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Trust, Dealing with anger… And realizations that come from that.

Last Monday, I was rear ended. The people that hit me are now claiming that they didn’t hit me and don’t have a clue what is going on. I was furious at first. I tend to have a very trusting nature and living in the trailer park has enhanced that. Everyone around me is nice and honest and people work and pick up the pay for their work late.

I have to remember that not everyone is that way. These people that hit me have now called me a scam artist along with many other unpleasant names and honestly made me mad enough that for a bit, I thought instead of filing, I should vent my frustration on their car. When I get super upset, it actually makes me physically sick. My stomach rolls and anything I eat makes me nauseous so I spend a day being sick. One whole day wasted on people who don’t deserve the time of day. I will say for now, insurance is dealing with it and we will see what comes from that.

One this this anger and frustration did for me was really remind me that I enjoy the way I live life at the moment.

I find myself thinking of how I enjoy waking up in the morning with my kittens and coffee and how much I enjoy most parts of my job. I love getting to greet kiddos as they come in to school and get. Started with them in my days. I also enjoy days where I get to sit outside and enjoy the weather. The trailer park breeze giving just enough relief from the sun that I can be comfortable and let the kittens chill outside with me. I can’t describe the pleasure of not feeling like I don’t have a place for things. I can look around knowing that everything I have out has a place to go up. That is so happy making. Then, to make things even better, there are many nights where I go soak in the hot tub for a while before showering and going to sleep. I feel like I am living the dream most days.

It doesn’t change the fact that I am very mad at those individuals but it does remind me I have a choice. I can focus on people and things that make my life shitty of I can focus on the things that make me feel like my life is truly amazing. It is up to me.

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Sleeping four and cooking for six!

Some new numbers to check off in my life book!

I have slept four in people in my trailer and have cooked a full meal for six.

A few weeks ago I had three very close friends come to visit. It was a joy and although I thought they may have been a bit crazy, they all decided they wanted to stay at my trailer. We slept two in the queen and two on the jackknife couch. I think we were all surprised that we fit. Sleeping worked well. It was very very hard to move around and we did not hang out so much in the trailer as use it for a spot to sleep then go into Galveston.

Then last weekend, my older brother and his wife made the trek from Dallas to Houston for a visit. I haven’t seen them in quite a while (partially my fault) and was more than thrilled when my mom called to see if everyone could come over to the trailer to see it. My dad had also not been here and I think I was most excited to show him it. (He was in support of the idea from the beginning.) My mother offered to treat everyone to a home style meal at a near by dinner but I countered with a trailer cooked meal outside at the picnic table. I called up my gent and asked if he wanted to join for the party. With the whole crew coming, I bought pre-stuffed chicken breasts, squash, salad, crackers and dip. I figured I would use the crackers and dip as appetizers but.. best laid plans of mice an men you know.  They came over right after I got the chicken in the oven and looked around. I showed off the trailer parts and then they came in to visit and watched me cook. A bit odd but I used to hang out in the kitchen when my mom cooked so I guess it isn’t to much different.

My parents commented on how everything seems like it has to be planned and precise. I think there is some truth to that but to me, it feels like a very practiced dance. I take things out as I use them and try to keep my dish use minimal. I cook items as they are ready and then cover them. Everything is within arms reach so I don’t struggle with finding anything and if I can’t find it, I stop looking since chances are, it is not there. I did find it interesting that everyone chose small plates and I think next time I may need to cook a bit more food itself or serve a starch with dinner. I am concerned that I left people hungry. It’s a far cry from a year ago though, where there would be so much extra food that we could have another huge meal right after the first.

I do find a sense of pride in having others come visit my place and stay or eat or just hang out. There is a sense of “people are enjoying my life too” even if I know they wouldn’t want to live in a trailer. It’s odd. I also love cooking for people so I was not surprised to be smiling while people enjoyed my food. I have always enjoyed cooking for those I care for and to be able to share how I have changed my life was a wonderful treat.

That is my update for now! Take care all.

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Did I mention I saw a tiny house?

In Austin, I got to see a tiny house waiting to be customized. It was outside a cute little store that had an Eco friendly focus. We didn’t spend to long looking around in the store because I was too busy being excited about peeking in the tiny house that they had in their parking lot.

I have been trying to understand tiny houses. They are cute for sure. I love the aesthetic and the concept of the tiny house, but they seem more crowded then travel trailer and I was unsure that the payoff was worth it.

I could tell online that the counters would feel more like kitchen counters and not some odd Plastic stuff. Real windows were pretty but often times much smaller than the trailer windows and sometimes a bit off shape wise for the space given to them. I do love the built in book shelf is nice but I do want my home to be towable. The wood walls… Well I’m a sucker for those too. All the security of the closed doors holding my stuff in, not having to pull myself into bed each night and the ease of pulling and entry level price made a trailer the correct choice for me at the time.

I walked into a tiny home though and I liked the space. I was worried it would feel more cramped then my trailer but it didn’t. Instead it felt taller and wider. I felt like it was more than a small room.. It was a whole house. The composting toilet still makes me cringe a bit but the shower was a functional rectangle instead of my tiny triangle. The kitchen looked huge and had the same stove/oven I currently own. The half finished house was easy to imagine as a home. It’s the difference from a motel to a five start hotel. I don’t mind my motel but if I forever planned to live this contained, I would start saving now for a tiny house.

I would take trailer lessons there though. In the kitchen, I would have a space for each and every item. I would consider a shadow box style technique where the outlines were where the objects should be. I think I would use a jack knife couch like the one in my trailer. It is comfortable and pulls out to a bed. I would have a loft on both sides of the trailer. One side would hold a full size bed that I would have stairs going too. These would also have drawers for storage. I think I would use it as shoe storage. I don’t have many pairs but the pairs I have would look better and last longer if I didn’t have to stack them on each other to get them to fit. (Hum… Maybe some over the bed stuff can be paired down so that shoes can go in that area.) I will never again use a sponge on my dishes since finding my blue scrubby cloth and I would keep my wardrobe pretty pared down.

It is a bit silly to focus on that to much though. My guy and I have had some serious talks that indicate we plan to share our futures together. He and I are still talking living plans for our future. I will have to talk with him before I post tons about that. 😉

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Austin, fun for a visit but not home

As I sit out of my trailer, I thinking of this weekend trip. My younger brother requested a visit from us for his birthday and we gladly planned a visit for this last weekend.

Then I got sick. I picked up this awful summer cold from the kiddos at my school. This cold included a fever, sweats, some dizziness and so much head pain. Oh, and snot. Lots of snot. I ended up taking off a day of work, almost unheard of this early in the year, and slept late in the day on Friday. Then loaded up in moms car and slept more as we drove down to Austin. My little brother, Clark, said come on down and when I realized there wouldn’t be a better time to visit I agreed.

We had a wonderful time visiting costume shops, goodwill shops, and great food places. We even had an enjoyable few hours at a small pub where I enjoyed grilled cheese and soup while he drank a pint in mom sipped some tea. My favorite movement was going to see my first roller derby game though. I really enjoyed how much competition there was between the ladies to break through and skate for points. There was a clear skill to the winning teams offense and defense and I was impressed by the planning required to keep people where you wanted them on the small track.

All that being said, Austin is so not the town for me. Everywhere we went there was tons of people. People create lines coming from food place to food place and everything requires patience and a willingness to give up your elbow room. I am still trying to figure out if this was because I am overweight compared to the young city folk or if this was just the way everyone feels and no one really minds it.

I also realized how much space my trailer feels like it has. Because the inside is open access to most areas mean that you don’t feel squished. I never really want to live somewhere that feels smaller than the trailer I live now. Nor do I want to live in a city that you can’t scoot back your chair to get up after a really good meal without banging into your neighbor. Great for a short visit, just not my home.

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Ants and aunts

I mentioned that I was having some trouble with the travel trailer.

Since I moved in, I have had to have the roof re-sealed and chose to do this correctly and also went ahead and had all my seals redone. I called around and was recommended a worker man named Russ. He was great and did it all for around 750. I didn’t expect to have to do this so soon but I am comforting myself with the fact that is was cheaper than he quoted and much cheaper than I thought it would be.

I also have a toilet issue. I need to get a new seal for my toilet so that a tiny bit of water stays around the rim. This keeps the smells trapped down where they belong so you don’t have such a stinky bathroom. I know, yucky.

The biggest stress right now though is ants. I have ants crawling in my trailer and I don’t want them around. I don’t know how they are getting in but I want them gone. I am almost to the point of calling an exterminator but I have two more things to try.

As for aunts, I am looking forward to my actual aunt visiting town this week. I haven’t seen her in a bit and it will be fun to catch up. 🙂

Anyone have any ant killing suggestions that won’t hurt the cats?

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