Home Sweet AnnaBelle











{February 28, 2011}   $hit My Family Says:

“Hm. You look kinda thin. And not in a good way.”

“Can you call these bill collectors and tell them I’m in a women’s shelter?”

“Mom and Dad weren’t alcoholics. They were just bar flies who drank at home when they got older.”

“You and your Dad will always have music. He loved the others, too, even though they were tone deaf.”

“You look like your great grandmother. My God, she was a bitch.”

“You sing like your grandmother. My God, she was a bitch.”

“Well I don’t know what happened…? You all have the same dad, fer Chrissakes, you just got the only tall gene!”

“You know what would look really nice on you? Make up.” [Said by my sweet, well-intentioned sister, who really didn’t understand why I looked incredulous at her “suggestion”. It’s like someone “casually” suggesting gum, deodorant or soap.]

“I totally forgot you had freckles. Mom wouldn’t let us mention them anymore after ****** said they were ugly and you cried. Loser.” [For the record, I was 7.]

“Can I borrow some money? My heat was cut off.”

“Can I borrow some money? My phone was cut off.”

“Can I borrow some money? My mortgage is behind.”

“Can I borrow some money? I can’t pay for my son’s braces/school clothes/school supplies/haircut/tuition?”

“Can I borrow some money? I just got outta jail.”

“Well, I don’t know why they always asked you for money either, fer Chrissakes. It’s not like you have any. You’re just the most gullible, I guess.” [Thanks, Mom.]

“Glad to hear your wisdom teeth came out fine. Hey, did they give you any percocet?”

“I can’t drink coffee without Bailey’s….What?….No….Bailey’s isn’t REALLY alcohol. More like a sweetener that warms me up.”

“I just hope when I kick off, you kids won’t totally disown your sister.” [No promises, Ma.]

“It’s OK. Tall girls can carry off big feet.”

“Yeah, you should probably stuff your bra to wear that shirt.”

“It’s OK. Your Dad’s expectations weren’t unreasonable. After ******, he just prayed the rest of you would hold a job and not steal.” [Hey! For once, I’m ahead of the game! I feel your pride shinin’ down on me, Daddy-O!]

“Whatever, at least I don’t keep garbage on my counter.” [My sister, referring to my kitchen composter.]

“If you don’t have a microwave, how do you cook vegetables?”

“I AM eating healthy. Peanut M&M’s have protein.”

Coming Soon: My Mother’s Mother-isms. Stay tuned, Kids.

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{October 9, 2010}   The Calm After the Storm

I’m feeling much more peaceful now, after the last post. Yikes. I’m sorry you had to read that, but either I posted it here, or I sent it to my sister, and I thought that this was probably the lesser of two evils. I swear, my head was going to pop right off my neck if I didn’t get it out. I’ll explain more another day. I’m not in the mood to be angry.

So, onto much happier topics…

Isn’t it pretty?

This is a piece of relatively “unspoiled” land, just outside the  town hamlet where we want to live. It is roughly 107 acres, and is listed at $449K.

No, we did not suddenly come into money. We don’t want all 107 acres. But, whomever purchases that land will likely subdivide it, and sell it off, 5 acres at a time, for rural homes. THAT is what we are looking for.

So, if this is the land that we are waiting on, so be it. If it takes 2 years, so be it. I can be patient. No, I can’t. That’s a lie. But, I must. I keep telling myself that if we work hard, save hard, and don’t settle, that things will work out.

I just REALLY want to be out there before the kids start school. I’ve driven by this land. It’s beautiful. Treed, and backs onto a wildlife reserve, which is amazing. We would keep most of it just like this–raw, except for the front 1-2 acres where the house/yard/garden/fruit trees/chicken coop would be.

I just keep thinking of my kids. I have NEVER loved another human being like I love them. I love them so much, that it physically hurts at times, and I mean that. I have never been so grateful for anything in my life. And I want them to have this. I want them to be able to play outside amidst trees and flowers. I want them to be able to eat fresh eggs (hopefully my son outgrows his allergy), and I want them to occasionally wake up to a deer in the yard. I want them to know where their food comes from, and know their neighbours. I grew up in a smaller community, and there are aspects of that community that simply cannot be replicated in the city. I guess it’s natural to want to give your kids the best of what you had, and spare them the worst.

I’ll keep you posted on how the land shapes up. It’s been on the market since February, and no takers yet. We’ll see.



{October 6, 2010}   To Whom it May Concern:

I’m a nice person. Get the fuck over it. When I express concern, worry, and caring, it is because I am concerned, worried, and I care. I always tell you what I’m thinking, but you’ll notice I don’t have to club you over the head with it.

I don’t hold shit against people. Well, sometimes I do, but honestly, no one is perfect, and I don’t have to have everything in common with someone to show kindness to them.

I don’t fight other people’s battles. If you are angry with someone I won’t stop speaking to them on your behalf. Sorry, but if everyone did that, no one would be talking. Ever. In life. Plus, I have enough of my own shit. I don’t fight with people for funsies. I can disagree. Even vehemently disagree with someone, and still treat them with respect and dignity. It’s the classy thing to do.  Sulking doesn’t get your point across. My 2 year old has THAT figured out.

Tantruming, sulking and bullying does nothing for your case. Truly. If you use those tactics, you will eventually find yourself with no one. Because no one will tolerate that shit forever. Not even our own mother. You can’t sell people on your point of view by being mean to them. Social Skills 101.

Stop with the “more persecuted than thou” bullshit. Everyone has their shit. Take a vitamin and truck on, you know? It’s not that I don’t think pain is valid. I do. But Jesus Christ, does EVERYTHING have to be about how much harder it is to be you than everyone else? Seriously? You are creating a self-fulfilling prophesy. You act like an asshole, and then no one wants to be your friend. Then you stomp your feet when people aren’t that nice to you. Well…how about not being an asshole, for a start? Give it a go…?

Lastly, just because I am your family member does NOT mean I owe you anything. (In fact, if we’re counting, I believe you owe me something to the tune of $15k…sound familiar, or did amnesia just kick in?). You don’t get to treat people badly and then have everyone indulge your bullshit.

We are ALL suffering. All in our own way. Pull yourself together, and quit being a douche.

Sincerely,

Your sister who lost the same father you did, Fuckhead.



{September 27, 2010}   Dear Anxiety:

Go fuck yourself. Please. Just let me close my eyes at 1am without racing thoughts and shortness of breath.

Thanks.

P.S. – I know you think it’s funny when the baby wakes me up 10 minutes after I can FINALLY fall asleep. Well, laugh it up, Chuckles. It’s not funny. Nor will I be particularly funny at 6am. I’ll see you then, Asshat. With bells on.

Sincerely,

Very Sleepy & Anxious AnnaBelle



{September 25, 2010}   Wanting to Get Outta Dodge…

So, we’re still trying to move our asses out of this city, but we are facing some major hurtles.

First, when you are moving to a small place, there will logically be fewer places on the market there. Which means, it’s hard to find something within your specifications, no matter how broad, because there is just less to work from.

Second, we have no idea how the logistics of all this are going to work, or even IF they are going to work. See, we really can’t buy a house until ours is on the market, and ideally, sold. But then, we also can’t be homeless, and given what a tough time we are having finding something in our desired area, we don’t want to risk having nowhere to live at all.

Third, M doesn’t want to move ’til spring. Understandable. It IS going to be a longer commute, and while he realizes that he’s going to have to do a winter commute at SOME point, there is no reason it needs to be this winter, since our wheels are kind of spinning anyway. So, we are at a bit of a standstill.

We will keep looking, but my desire to get the fuck outta here is killing me. We got egged–AGAIN–the other night. They got both our vehicles (one of which we don’t even drive because we are trying to sell it…thanks fuckers), both our living room windows, our dining room windows and all the way along our fence.

Jesus.

I hate living where we live. We are vulnerable because we are right off a path, and that path leads to a dark field, on the other side of which sits 2 elementary schools and the community hall. I’m on my community league and we have so many little hooligans around here that we have had to replace COUNTLESS windows in the community hall, and even fix the roof, and replace a whirlybird (is  that what those things are called?) because they climb onto the roof at night.

Anyway, I am increasingly disillusioned by this place. Our little home… “close to schools and all amenities!” is losing it’s appeal, very quickly.

Maybe a really big, pissed off dog will do for now…



{September 24, 2010}   Let’s Just Be Kind…Please?

So, I’m as much a bitch as anyone. Really. But, I have a few things to say, directed at no one (online) in particular.

First, everyone just needs to relax. Seriously. Stop getting up each other’s asses for comments in which the context is unverified. Assume that people are not out to get you. Assume that they mean well. Assume that they mean to hurt no one. Assume that they are doing the best they can with what they have. One comment/remark/action/incident is not adequate evidence to condemn a person and write off their character entirely.

Just for today: Do something kind for someone who you would ordinarily feel is “undeserving” of your kindness.

Just for today: Respond to that which you find offensive or hurtful with loving kindness.

Just for today: Be that much more gentle.

Just for today: Laugh at something that is stressing the shit out of you.

Just for today: Do something nice for someone.

Just for today: Do something nice for yourself.

Just for today: Realize that your outlook is only one of many, and few (if any) things in life are black and white. No matter how right you think you are, you could actually be “wrong”. Or, at least, not entirely right.

Just for today: Let go of your hang-ups, and those things that cause your bum to pucker, and don’t worry about it. Really. Just…don’t. Your worrying isn’t changing anything but your cardiovascular health.

Just for today: Please remember that everyone is someone important to someone. No matter how vehemently you disagree with them, someone loves them dearly, and would feel a void and loss if they were gone.

Just for today: Remember that life is short and fleeting. Don’t hate people for their petty or misguided mistakes. At their funeral, you won’t remember any of those hang ups anyway. All you’ll remember is the good, and you’ll wonder why the hell you wasted so much energy on the rest of it, and why you wasted so much time.

Just for today: Hold those people close to you, and let go of the hang ups and resentments that create barriers between you. You can always put them back up tomorrow, but just for today, enjoy the love.

That is all.

And also, I’m not high.



Further to this post:

https://sweetannabelle.wordpress.com/2010/08/24/this-just-in-city-mouse-rethinking-urban-life/

Today, my husband, the kids and I are off to drive by a property outside of town to take a gander, and see what is available in our price range. It is about a half hour out.

I think I’m ready to move out of town. After all, I just said ‘gander’.



{August 26, 2010}   Today I will…

Not take myself too seriously.

Have as much fun as possible.

Understand that others grieve differently than I do.

Write a blog post (check, check).

Be grateful for what I have instead of wishing for what I don’t.

Call and talk to a real person. On the phone. Sans typing.

Love people unconditionally. Not even in spite of their foibles and fallability, but because of them.

Wash the kitchen floor. Maybe.



My husband and I are considering moving out of the city. I’m tired of the vandals, the poisonous grass (I’ll explain later) and the noise. If you’d have told me 10 years ago that I’d want to move back to my hometown, or one like it, I’d have called you a filthy liar and throat-punched you. But, here we are.

I feel, now that my Dad has passed, that our family chain is broken. We all adored my Dad, and often, he was what kept all of us talking to one another. He was the “glue”, if you will. We didn’ t want to hurt him; he so hated to see his family at odds with one another. But now, we have nothing holding us together, it seems. And suddenly, I am afraid of being alone, and isolated, and having no family at all. I made a decision a long time ago to remove myself from family politics, but since politics and infighting are such an enormous part of the family tapestry, it limits my relationship with many of them, because I am not willing to gossip, badmouth, or engage in any other mean-spirited behaviors that I would tell my children not to engage in.

I am worried about my mother, as well…She isn’t terribly independent at the best of times, and now that he’s gone, I fear for her in many ways. My siblings are so…unpredictable, and sometimes even volatile. Though they live near her, I don’t feel confident leaving them to be her support system.

I feel isolated living here, not quite an hour away. And I have also changed somewhere along the way. Where I once craved the activity and community of the city, I now find the noise and stress to be vexations to my spirit, and worry about my children growing up in a place where they breathe in nothing but exhaust and pesticide residue.

Oh, I said I would explain later about the poisonous grass… Well, the city I live in, once upon a time, agreed to keep pesticides and other chemicals off the grass that is in parks and school yards. Well, apparently they had a change of heart…We live in a house that backs onto two school yards and the community hall. My husband had my allergy-ridden son outside playing and rolling in the grass, when suddenly, WAAAAAAAAAAAY over yonder, he sees a TEENY little orange sign, in the middle of a 6 acre field. He walks over to it, and reads that the area was sprayed with chemicals the day before and to KEEP OFF GRASS.

FUCK!

So, he scooped up A, ran him home, stripped the poor little guy, and put him in a tub with epsom salts, powdered oatmeal and clay to try to prevent a reaction. He still got a rash, but at least there was nothing more serious.

But…Jesus…Really? Really, City? Must you? They at least could have warned us, considering they were renegging on a promise they made this very year. Sigh.

Anyway, I just want an acre or two of land, outside a small town, where I can feel safe knowing that the only thing on the ground is what I or the Creator has put there.

Selling our house in the city, and finding something affordable, however, is a whole ‘nother story.

I think maybe I was always a country mouse at heart. I’ll keep you posted about our progress, or lack therof.



{August 22, 2010}   Kids are HILARIOUS

In an effort to clean up my trucker mouth in the presence of my newly verbal 2 year old, I have reverted to the vernacular that was such a part of me once upon a time…When I worked with kids on a daily basis.

Some of my favorite expressions of surprise/joy are: “Holy Hannah!”, “Oh my stars!” and “Oh my word!” (all of which are ultimately used in situations when I would ordinarily say “Holy fuck”, “Holy Shit”, or “Jesus Christ”. The last one doesn’t offend me so much, but it does my husband, so there you go.

I also have silly words/phrases that are meant to substitute, but still sound like the real thing. “Oh, for FOX CREEK!” is a favorite of mine, as is “SUGAR!”.

Then, there are the silly words that are NOT substitutions for profanity, but are entertaining nonetheless. My son will be the only one in the first grade who will be wearing “pantaloons” and eating “roast beast”. Oy.

So, it looks like I did it all in the nick of time. Because today, as I was trying to get my son dressed and I dropped his shirt on the floor, he put his little hands on his rosy little cheeks, and exclaimed, “OH, STARS!”

3 weeks ago, I’d have been telling you about my son’s first F-bomb, I guarantee it.



et cetera