Posted in Childless by Choice, Mental Health, Stay at Home Wife

I really am doing okay, but…

I really am doing okay, but it’s not easy.

I am more stable now than I was when I was seeing doctors and was medicated, but anxiety, panic and depression are still things that I deal with daily.

I have learned how to manage them, but managing them means having strict control over my environment. Which is not always possible.

The way that I have structured my life to manage my disorders is not always respected or understood by others. I am judged for my choice to not work. That I am a stay at home wife, even though I do not have children. I am judged for the fact that I do not even like kids and therefore obviously have no interest in having children.

I am not a social person, but some people cannot understand or respect that. I am told that I would feel better if I got out and socialized more by people who have no idea what socializing takes out of me. Not only am I one hundred percent introvert, but I have extreme anxiety. I do enjoy going out and socializing every so often, but I always pay a price for it. Which is why I love messaging and texting people (in moderation), I am able to socialize but I am also able to still be alone at the same time.

Hang up and text

It’s not that I don’t love my friends, but I have to love myself more and take care of myself. I know that this might make me a terrible friend, but I am who I am. Even if I am medicated again at some point, the medication will never completely “fix” all the things that other people think are wrong with me.

I’m always going to be an introvert, sorrynotsorry.

There are days when I wake full of purpose and can easily get up and start my day, and there are days where I feel as though I am a prisoner to that purpose or that everything is pointless. There are some mornings when just the thought of my normal daily routine is overwhelming. Where the thought of having to decide what to wear that day is paralyzing. I fear that at some point things are going to get bad enough for long enough that I will have to be hospitalized again.

The fear of hospitalization is a crippling fear.

I am aware that paranoia and mild delusions are part of my life because of my bipolar disorder. Because I know that I am prone to these things I can try to keep them under control and label them for what they are. I do fear that one day I will not recognize my delusions for what they are, that my hold on reality will slip without me realizing it. I do hope that if that ever happens that I will be able to find help quickly and that my husband and I will be able to afford it.

It shouldn’t be that way, I shouldn’t be worried about being able to afford treatment if my mental health deteriorates. I may seek treatment again before it ever gets to that point, if it ever does, but unfortunately being able to pay for that treatment has to be a primary concern.

I am honestly also somewhat reluctant to seek treatment again because I am afraid to start taking medications again. Some of the times when I was at my worst was while I was trying to find the right combination of medications to stabilize me.

It was hell.

I know that things have probably come a long way in the over a decade since I last took medications, but I am afraid that medications will only upset what balance I have found instead of help me keep it.  I do wish that I had a bit more control over my anxiety and panic, but I don’t want that at the expense of exacerbating my bipolar disorder.

Besides, I heard somewhere that some study found that people who are excessive worriers are more than likely creative geniuses.

I’m a creative genius, people. Deal with it.

Advertisement
Posted in Blogging, Cat Mom, Childless by Choice, Marriage, Stay at Home Wife, Writing Challenges

A glimpse inside my illusion: week 10…

These are my answers to the Share Your World questions this week. This is also the first Club Introvert social gathering, so welcome to anyone who chose to come on over and check out my blog. 🙂

Describe yourself in a word that starts with the first letter of your name.

Two words: Controlled Chaos. And no, I’m not cheating and using (and then copying) the name I go by on my blog, my real first name really does begin with “C”.

If 100 people your age were chosen at random, how many do you think you’d find leading a more satisfying life than yours?

Maybe a few, but for the most part I find my life pretty satisfying. I do look forward to the day in the near future when my husband and I will be completely out of debt, and when we will be able to get the last few things that we need to fully be moved into our new townhouse, but life is still satisfying now. To someone on the outside of my life looking in, my life might not look all that satisfying and they might say that there are a lot of people that have a more satisfying life than me, but on the outside of other peoples’ lives looking in I don’t find their’s to look that satisfying either… I set my life up differently for a reason.

It's all about the person you've become

If you were a tree, would you become a book or furniture? Please describe.

I would become a book. Book Trees

More specifically I would become the book on a bookcase that revels a secret passage behind the bookcase.

Hidden Passage Bookcase

You are trapped in an elevator, who would you want to be trapped with?

If I’m going to be trapped on an elevator, I’m going to trapped with my husband because I’m not going to be going anywhere that requires me to use an elevator without him. And I would choose to be trapped with him anyway, because he’d be able to calm my fears until help arrived, and because I enjoy his company. 🙂 But really, I’m much more likely to just take the stairs anyway. Not the escalator, because I have an even bigger fear of those… But if I have to be trapped in an elevator, I’d like it if the elevator I’m trapped in could be a glass one with a view, that would help a lot. (Even though I also have a huge fear of heights…)

Glass Elevator

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for the wage garnishment that we had been dealing with for the last 4 months stopping earlier than we expected it would and us having more money to work with on my husband’s paycheck last Friday than we thought we would as a result. And for the 50% settlement offer on our last remaining debt (other than credit cards and the one that the garnishment was for) that we were able to take advantage of because of having more money to work with this past week. We are now that much closer to being out of debt. Just one more round of the wage garnishment whenever it starts up again and we’ll be debt free, not counting a little bit of credit card debt. 🙂

This week I’m looking forward to what I hope will be a quiet week at home after a busy weekend. I’m also hoping that I will get used to the time change from Daylight Savings Time sometime this week, because it really messed up my Monday.

Posted in Blogging, Bullying, Childless by Choice, Weight

Never having given birth doesn’t make me any less of a real woman…

Or: So, if I don’t have kids, I should be ashamed of my stretch marks?

 

There’s a quote that floats around Facebook that has always bothered me, and for the longest time I couldn’t figure out exactly why. This is the quote:

tiger stripes

The last couple of days though, it hit me. It talks about having earned her stripes, like through pregnancy. And pretty much every time that I’ve seen this shared it’s always accompanied by something being said about how women should be proud of the “tiger stripes” they earned while they were carried another human being inside of them. Or women talking about how they earned their stretch marks through carrying all of their beautiful children and that they are so proud of that and that they wear them as a badge of honor.

I’m all for women feeling better about their bodies, and I have nothing against women being proud of being a mother.

What bothers me about this quote is how it makes me feel as woman who has never had kids and yet has stretch marks. Because what’s implied in this quote is that if my stretch marks weren’t earned via pregnancy I should be ashamed of them and that I am less of a woman because I am not a mother. I do not feel like I am meant to be included with the women who are supposed to feel better about their stretch marks. Because having earned my stretch marks through weight gain and loss is not something that is exactly celebrated in society.

I feel like this is kind of like the “real women have curves” type things that have been going around, and that I have myself shared in the past. I recently realized that if an “inspirational quote” is attempting to make one group of people feel better about themselves while shaming another group of people, it’s plain and simple bullying. I have stopped sharing things that might make other people feel worse about themselves because they don’t fit into what was described.

It feels like there’s a competition as to who is a “real woman”. There’s no reason why it should be a competition. What should it matter if a woman has given birth or not? If you identify as a woman, then you are a woman. No matter what shape or size you are. Or what gender it might say on your birth certificate for that matter. You don’t have to look a certain way or be a mother to be a “real woman”.

Posted in Abusive Relationships, Apartment Living, Bullying, Childless by Choice, Family, Marriage, Mental Health, Stay at Home Wife

My (super long) post about religion…

The household I grew up in was Protestant, but not extremely religious. Some Sundays my mom would take my sister and I to church, others we would just stay home and have leisurely Sunday morning breakfasts. My dad didn’t attend church with us very often because he didn’t like crowds of people, but he would come with us some Sundays. I attended Sunday school, and apparently even some sort of vacation bible school at some point based on the certificate of completion that I recently found in some of my stuff. The vacation bible school must have been when I was fairly young, because I don’t remember it at all. I do remember getting involved with the church choir when I was in middle school because I loved to sing and because a lot of my group of friends were in it. To be honest though, it was probably more because of my friends.

Choir practice happened after school once a week at the church, so we’d all take the school bus that went to the Green after school because the church was located right on the Green. We had time to kill before practice started, so we’d usually go the shops that lined the Green. Especially the candy shop. Then we’d hang out either on the Green, the front steps of the church, or if the weather wasn’t nice we’d retreat inside the church itself. We had fun during choir practice itself too, but a lot of the appeal was being able to wander around the Green before.

The youth choir and Sunday school classes also would put on plays for the entire congregation, and my group of friends and I also became involved in that. These were big productions that involved set pieces and costumes and we had a lot of fun performing them.

Like I said before, religion wasn’t ever really a big deal in my household, it was always just kind of there. I grew up just assuming that what I was taught was “Truth”, and that everybody was taught and believed the same things that I was taught to believe. It wasn’t until I was in middle school and one of my classmate’s father came in to show the class something that I found out that not everyone was Christian. My classmate was Jewish, and it blew my mind. I can’t remember what it was that my classmate’s father came in for now, possibly something to do with food, but the knowledge that not everyone believed in Jesus came as a complete shock. I had assumed that everything that I was being taught at church and at home was just more “knowledge” like what I would learn in school, and never thought that other’s might not all believe the same thing. 

When I started high school I was still a “Christian”, but that didn’t really mean much. I had never really had to look at or defend my beliefs. I was brought up Protestant, so that’s what I was. When I started dating Justin I would go with him and his family to another Protestant church a few towns over most Sundays. It was a church that I had gone to as well as the one on the Green while I was growing up because my grandmother lived in that town and attended that church. I liked that church better than the one on the Green because the Minister was more of a storyteller than a preacher. He was funny and he always made his sermons interesting. The church was a old stone church right on the shore, and it had beautiful stained glass windows. But of course the biggest draw was being able to spend more time with Justin. He went to church because he had to to keep his mother happy, and didn’t take it seriously most of the time. We would sit in the back of the room by the doors in a couple of great big wooden chairs instead of in the pews with everyone else. I think it was around this time, that I started to realize that it was possible that not everyone believed in God. If I thought a lot about religion, or why believed what I did I might have come to this conclusion sooner.

I think that I might have realized that there were a lot more religions in the world than just the one that I had grown up in sooner than this, but I still assumed that everyone believed in God, just in different forms. I had become somewhat interested in Wicca near the end of middle school, but like my being “Christian” never really looked much into it. After Justin and I became friends with John and Lauren, I started referring to myself as being “Wiccan” though. John and Lauren were Wiccan, and it seemed a lot more interesting than being Christian. Not to mention rebellious. I was starting to look into my beliefs some, but not too thoroughly at this point, and Wicca called to me in some way. I didn’t really take any of it all that seriously though.

I went through the rest of high school as some kind of weird Christian and Wiccan hybrid, and didn’t really think all that much about religion again until I started dating the man who would later become my husband. He grew up in an LDS household and I asked him a lot about his church. I didn’t like what I heard, and would have animated discussions with him about how messed up his church was. He didn’t really care all that much, he would defend his church and try to explain things better, but his religion was never really a big deal to him. He went because he was supposed to, and believed what he was told to. His religion only became an issue once in our relationship when he all of the sudden decided he had to go on a mission and dumped me. We talked it over the next day and when I told him that he didn’t have to dump me to go on his mission and that I’d wait for him for the 2 years that he would be gone, we got back together. Only instead of going on his mission he ended up deciding that he didn’t want to go to church anymore and stopped going.

When we got married, we were married by the Minister of the the stone church on the water. We attended that church for the first year or so after we were married. But during this time we were living in his parents house, who were still members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and my mother in law is a very religious person. I ended up asking my husband about the church he grew up in again and this time I was interested in checking it out.  A short time later I was baptized into that church. Part of the reason for this was because I was still ashamed of being arrested a few years earlier and I figured if I became devoutly religious people would have to stop judging me for my past.

Making the decision to join the LDS church was probably the first time that I ever really looked at or really thought about my beliefs. But even then I didn’t really have to think very much about it because the church very clearly told me what I was supposed to believe if I was to be a member of this church. It told me how I was supposed to live my life, and promised me that if I did as I was told, I would be happy. I decided if I was going to join this church, I was going to be a model member. I almost wasn’t allowed to join though, because during the interview process before the baptism ceremony could be performed the fact that I had had same sex relationships in the past came up. I had to denounce my prior behaviors as sinful and express remorse for my actions, as well as claim that I no longer had any attraction to members of the same sex and that these sorts of actions would never be repeated by me. I wanted a chance to see if this church could in fact make me as happy as it claimed that it could, so I denied who I really was and denounced my attraction to the same sex as sinful. In order to become a part of this church my thinking on homosexuality had to change from believing that people were born either being straight, or gay, or bisexual, or anywhere else along the spectrum and that there was no choice involved, to believing that being homosexual was a choice and a sin.

This was just one thing among many that I had to change about myself and my world view in order to be a part of the church. I changed how I dressed, and removed all but one piercing from each ear. I changed the movies I watched, the books I read, the music I listened to. I threw myself into scripture study and learned all I could about church history. Like I said before, I was going to be a model member of the church. I was determined to do everything that I needed to in order to be found worthy of going to the temple, because I was told that if I made it there I would know all there was to know about the religion. That great truths would be revealed to me. And also that I had to attend the temple if I wanted to make it to the highest kingdom of heaven.

Our first apartment was owned by the parents of one of my husband’s friends. It seemed perfect at first, especially when my husband had a health crisis that kept him out of work for a little while and then he was temporarily laid off for the winter season until work picked up again at his job. Our landlords told us not to worry about the rent, that we could pay them back once we got back on our feet. But when my husband lost his job permanently a few months later, they were much less understanding about it. Our landlord, a former Bishop in the church, told us that he wanted us out of the apartment by that weekend, just a few days away. He also informed us that we were worthless and would never amount to anything. He changed his mind a few days later and decided that would be allowed to stay if we could find a way to pay our own rent by the end of the month. You see, we had paid our rent for that month already, but he decided that it didn’t really count because we had had help from the church in order to do so. But it didn’t matter that he had decided that we would be allowed to stay, because we had already made up our minds that we no longer wanted to live there with him for a landlord. My father in law offered to help us get caught up on our rent and start off with a clean slate, and we asked him if he would be willing to help us move instead. We had decided that it was time to get out of New England and start over in the West. We were moving to Utah.

When we made it out to Utah, we threw ourselves into being the best members of the church that we could be. That should have been one of the happiest times of our life according to the church, but instead the stress of all the constant demands on our time by the church caused us to constantly be fighting with each other. But we still couldn’t be honest with ourselves, the church said that we should be happy, so we must be happy. This was also the time when I was constantly being told that all of my mental health issues could be taken away, if only I was good enough and prayed hard enough. And when my mental health issues just kept getting worse instead of better, I blamed myself, because I must have been doing something wrong. Because of my mental health issues, we had some problems with making it to church every week , and because we weren’t making it to church every week I wasn’t being the model church member that I should have been and that’s why my prayers weren’t being answered.

We were also being made to feel like we weren’t a real family because we didn’t have any children. We were pressured to have children, and when I was not able to conceive for whatever reason, I was made to feel like I was less of a woman because of it. We tried for years to have children, but it never happened.  We were made to feel guilty about it, and were told that because we didn’t have children our time was worth less and that we should happily volunteer as much of our time as the church wanted us to.

I started to have some doubts about whether or not the church was the best place for me, but because I was taught that if I left the church I would no longer make it to heaven, I stayed and tried harder to be perfect. I started to regret ever having joined the church, and felt extremely guilty for those thoughts. I decided that we needed to buckle down and do anything and everything that we could to be found worthy to enter the temple. Because if I could just make it there, then I would learn things and life would finally make sense to me and I could finally be happy.

But when we did finally make it to the temple, I didn’t actually learn any new truths. There was just more things that I needed to memorize if I ever wanted to be allowed into the highest kingdom of heaven. Life did not get any better. My mental health did not improve. I had done everything that was asked of me and although I was promised that I would be happy, I was finally having to admit to myself that I was not happy. When I stopped and really looked at my life, I realized that all of my actions for the last few years in the church were motivated by fear and guilt. I was told that if I didn’t do exactly as the church told me, I would go to hell. I was told that if I wasn’t happy, it was because I was doing something wrong and that I needed to try even harder, give even more of myself to the church. We slowly stopped going to church, and then eventually admitted to ourselves that we didn’t have any plans of ever going back. We had not been to church in a year or more, but the thought of actually admitting that we were leaving the church was terrifying. I knew that my life had improved in the time that we had not been going to church, but I was still afraid that we were making a big mistake because I had been told that anyone who decided to leave the church was in the grasp of the devil.  I had been taught that I couldn’t really be happy outside the church, and was very confused with the fact that I was happier outside the church. My husband and I got along better. My mental health had improved significantly. All the stress from all the demands of the church had gone away. Looking back,  I had to admit that the years that I was in the church were actually the unhappiest, most stressful years I have ever experienced. When I decided that I wasn’t going back to church, in order to deal with the fear that I was making a big mistake I had justify my decision to myself. I told myself that I didn’t want to go to their highest heaven because if I wasn’t happy with having to live by all the rules of the church while alive, and didn’t want to be around other members of the church now, there was no way that that was how I wanted to spend the rest of eternity. I reminded myself that their idea of heaven would actually be a kind of hell for me.

After I got over my guilt and fear for leaving the church, I started to do a bit more in depth research into the church. I soon realized that a lot of the things that I was taught were in fact contradictory, and that the church wasn’t in fact true at all. I now no longer look at the the LDS church as a “church” but instead see it as a cult.

I thought that when I left the LDS church I could just go back to the religion I had grown up with, but I realized that I no longer believed in any Christian religion. Once I had opened my eyes and really examined my beliefs, I realized that I could no longer call myself Christian, or even religious in anyway. But because my family and my husband’s family are both still religious it was hard to admit that I no longer believed what they wanted me to. So I would tell my family that after leaving the LDS church I was taking a break from religion for a while.

But now, years after leaving the church I have come to realize that I am not just “taking a break from religion”. I have in fact had more than enough religion in my life already. In the years that I have been living in Utah, I have been forced to live with religion shaping the laws of the state. I have had to deal with being discriminated against because I am not the “right” religion. I have gone from being devoutly Christian to not being able to stomach religion at all. I still have not been honest with my family, but I am now being honest with myself. When I really look at my beliefs, I realize that I am in fact an atheist. I do not need religion in my life to be a good person.

Posted in Apartment Living, Blogging, Cat Mom, Childless by Choice, Marriage, Mental Health, Stay at Home Wife

Excuses for ignoring my blog…

It’s been almost a month since my last post on here… that is if you count that last post as an actual post… If not, it’s been a month and day since my last actual blog post… oops…

First there was my husband’s week off from work where we actually went on vacation! Granted it was only for one night, but it was our first night in a hotel in close to a decade. Life had gotten extremely stressful with the unexpected news of having to find a new place to live come November if we didn’t feel like spending over $100 more in rent to stay where we are now. Not to mention my neighbors being their normal noisy asshole selves. I “affectionately” refer to the kids in my apartment complex as “Demon Spawn”… and yes, they do deserve the nickname… Their parents aren’t much better either, especially the ones the live right below my apartment. I will never understand the need to play your music so loud that it might as well be playing (and playing loud) in my own living room, not in the floor below…

But, anyway… We needed to get out of our apartment for a while. So we decided to go ahead and take the fairly new FrontRunner line out here as far south as it goes and stay a night at a hotel. The hotel room had a Jacuzzi tub. Enough said. 🙂 We stopped and checked out a couple of nearby shopping malls before taking FrontRunner back home the next day.

The rest of my husband’s vacation was not as relaxing, but we did get a lot done that needed to get done. We checked out some of our top choices for potential apartment complexes. We were only able to check out an actual apartment at one of them, but the information we were able to get and being able to see the grounds of all of them really helped us to decide which complex we’d like to try to move to in November. Since we are planning on downsizing from a 2 bedroom apartment to a 1 bedroom, we needed to go through our storage closets and downsize the amount of stuff that we have. It was not fun, but we got rid of a ton of stuff and I am feeling a lot more confident about being able to fit our stuff into a smaller apartment now.

The time after my husband went back to work up to the beginning of last week was filled with good intentions. I intended to keep up with my email, reading the blogs that I follow, and posting a new blog post or two on my own blog… but it just somehow didn’t work out that way. Posting a blog post wouldn’t have been all that hard either seeing as I found a whole bunch of new artwork that I need to add to my “My Artwork” page, plus I finished a couple of new pieces… and yet I just never seemed to be able to find my way to my blog.

Then there was last week. The Week From Hell. It started with all of my random anxiety that had been building over the last few weeks finally boiling over in the form of a massive panic attack on Sunday. I was still anxious and drawn in on myself on Monday and Tuesday, but slowly getting better. Until there was a knock on the door Tuesday evening right around dinner time. It was the maintenance guy showing up to “fix” our swamp cooler. He invited himself in and we had to explain to him for at least the 5th time what was actually wrong with our swamp cooler. (It worked on low, but the output of air wasn’t any more on high. Plus it had a tendency to squeal. Loudly.) He proceeded to ignore what we told him and tried to fix problems that we didn’t have. After about 2 or so hours he succeeded in breaking our swamp cooler so that it wouldn’t even turn on at all and leaving us without a working swamp cooler overnight. Which was super annoying because it was hot and we almost never turn our swamp cooler on high anyway. We were fine with dealing with it working only on low since this is the last summer that we plan on having to deal with it anyway. Then I had to get up early and wait around all day for the maintenance guy to show up on Wednesday. When he finally did show up (at least 4 hours later than when he said he’d be there) he managed to get the swamp cooler working again but this time he left us with the choice of having to leave it running until he came back again on Thursday to fix one last problem, or risk having it not turn on again if we turned it off. I went from sweating one night, to freezing the next night because I didn’t want to risk not having any sort of air conditioning during the next day. He was late showing up again on Thursday, but very quickly fixed the part that needed to be fixed and left us with a swamp cooler that works on all settings. We thought that would be the end of that, but on Friday our swamp cooler just randomly stopped working on us. We flipped the breaker and tried to turn it on again. Nothing. So we called the office only to find that we would need to wait until Monday to have it fixed, because the maintenance guy only works Mon-Fri. Nevermind the fact that it’s supposed to be close to 90 degrees out here this weekend and we live in a top floor apartment… After hanging up the phone I tried flipping the breaker a couple more times and the swamp cooler started working again. So we canceled the work order and are now hoping that it will continue to at least work on low for the rest of the summer… because I am so past being done with dealing with our maintenance guy…

And here’s a random (not so great) photo of my most recent (not so great) do-it-yourself manicure… You’re welcome… 🙂

IMG_20130608_223423

 

Posted in Apartment Living, Blogging, Cat Mom, Childless by Choice, Family, Marriage, Stay at Home Wife

Let the search for a new apartment begin…

For those of you who have been reading my long ass story about my past, I promise that I will continue on with it soon. Right now I feel the need to tell the story of what is currently going on in my life.

My husband and I have been living in the same apartment for the past 5 or so years. We first moved into it because we had been renting a condo from on of my husband’s old coworkers and found out on very short notice that we were going to have to move out of the condo because our landlord needed to sell it because he was in trouble for not paying taxes… or something like that. Whatever the reason, we needed to move fast and there were not a whole lot of places that we could afford in the area. We were very lucky to be able to get an apartment at the complex that we live at now. In fact we almost didn’t. We had given them a security deposit, but then we got a call saying that the apartment that they thought was going to be opening up actually wasn’t. There were a few frantic hours of worrying and then the apartment complex called us back and said that they had found another apartment in the complex that we could move into, and it was in a better location.

October252012 September102012 View172012
Look at the view I have from my balcony. Much better than the inside of someone else’s apartment.

The first time that we actually saw our apartment was when we were moving into it. We weren’t all that impressed at first, but it was big and we could afford the rent. We slowly came to like parts of our apartment and outright love others. (like our huge bathroom and huge walk-in closet attached to the bathroom and the master bedroom.) And over the years we’ve come to like the entire apartment even more as they have done little improvements here and there. Like taking out the old hideous linoleum floor and putting down a much nicer linoleum floor. And there have been the little improvements that we have made ourselves over the years. We changed out the lights in the living room and master bedroom for ceiling fans. We also replaced the ugly chandelier in the dining room with a much prettier one.

Ugly ass chandelier Dining Room 7-2012 1
The picture on the left is of the ugly ass chandelier that came with the apartment. The one on the right is of the much prettier one that we replaced it with.

This apartment was never our first choice in places to live, but over the years it has become our home.

But also over the years the price of our rent has slowly been going up. One of the reasons why we have stayed in this apartment for as long as we have is because the amount of money we were saving by living here was worth the few inconveniences that we had to put up with. This apartment is not the nicest or newest. The windows really need to be replaced, the sound proofing is pretty much non-existent and so on. One of the biggest inconveniences with this apartment is the “air conditioning”. This apartment doesn’t have central air like we thought it would when we moved into it over 5 years ago. No, instead it has something called a “swamp cooler”. This is not air conditioning. It doesn’t cool the air as well and it’s extremely noisy. And it’s unreliable. It was 88.5 degrees inside my apartment today because my swamp cooler has not been turned on for the season yet. (Fun fact: I was able to find some way to attempt to cool my apartment today that is even louder than running my swamp cooler. Running my window fans, ceiling fans and 1 stand fan all at the same time. It’s not doing so great in the cooling department though…) So every year, at the beginning and the end of the summer, we have to deal with extremely hot temperatures inside of our apartment because maintenance hasn’t turned on the swamp coolers yet or because the swamp coolers have already been turned off for the season. We also tend to go at least half our summers for the last 3 or so years, after they have turned on the swamp cooler on, without any air conditioning at all because our swamp cooler breaks down several times a summer.

But even with all of the hassle over the summers, we have still decided that it’s a fair trade off because of the amount of money that we save on rent living here.

Until this year…

On Saturday I stopped and chatted with one of my neighbors. (Actually the only neighbor that I ever actually talk to…) She asked me if my husband and I were going to be staying or if we were planning on moving. Our lease is up in November, so we aren’t going anywhere until after then, so I said that yes we were staying. The apartment complex has been doing a lot renovations lately, some of which I have blogged about. (You can read the first blog post about that here.) Most recently they have repainted the exterior of the buildings. (My interior walls still have not been repainted however…) My neighbor told me that they have some even bigger plans for our apartments though. They will be tearing up all of the flooring and replacing it all with fake hardwood flooring. Sound nice, right? It would be if it didn’t mean that my husband and I would have to move all of our crap from one end the apartment to the other and back again in order for them to do this. All of it, huge, heavy, bulky crap included.

Oh hell no.

Plus, I like my carpeting thank you very much…

They would also be replacing the counter tops in the kitchen and the bathroom. Painting/replacing the cabinets in the kitchen and the bathroom. And giving us a new stove.

I’ll take the new stove please, you can keep everything else. Including the washer and dryer that you now have decided that you need to provide in all apartments. We just bought ourselves a new washer and dryer set. We aren’t interested in having to try to sell or store ours just to use whatever set the apartment complex decides to put in our apartment.

And we certainly aren’t interested in having to pay over $100 more in rent every month after being forced to live through major renovations (that will not include an upgrade to central air) and having to give up our washer and dryer that we just bought. Especially since some of that increase in rent is fees that used to be included in the price of our rent. And a parking space fee, for a parking space that other people park in because we don’t have a car. I also have a feeling that they will probably finally realize that they should be charging us pet rent for my furry child cat, Teddy Bear. The policy for pets changed a couple years after we moved in, but when we asked them about it the first time that we renewed our lease after the policy change they said that we didn’t have to worry about it. I have a feeling that the new management might feel differently about us not paying all the fees that they could be collecting from us than the old management did.

So we have finally come to the tipping point where the bad things about this apartment now outweigh the good. The good thing is that they will be doing the renovations on our apartment after our current lease is up. I have no interest in having to live through any major renovations, or in giving up my new washer and dryer set, so we plan on moving into a new apartment in November. But first we have to find one… like the title of this post says, let the search for a new apartment begin…

Posted in Apartment Living, Blogging, Cat Mom, Childless by Choice, Family, Food, Marriage, Stay at Home Wife

I’ve plugged back in again…

The thing that you never think about when you decide to unplug from technology is how long it will take you to catch up once you plug back in again. Especially if that technology that you have unplugged from is your laptop. I just stubbornly decided a few days back that I wasn’t going to turn on my laptop at all that day… and then that day turned into days where I did not turn on my laptop. I still had my smartphone (not sure if I could ever get my self to go without that…) so I was still getting emails and Facebook messages, so I wasn’t completely unplugged. But I was only looking at the emails that seemed the most important and all of the emails that I got during those days where I was unplugged were still waiting for me in my inbox once I turned on my laptop again. I had over a hundred emails waiting for me…  I haven’t had that many emails waiting in my inbox since the time that we went without home internet for a while and we had to use the library’s free Wi-Fi to do anything online. I usually check my email and clean out my inbox several times a day. It took me forever to sort through the email that piled up during those few days.

And then there was Facebook. I had been on Facebook Messenger on my phone, but had not looked at my News Feed in days… my friends post  a lot of crap interesting stuff every single day. I knew that there was no way that I was going to completely catch up on everything, but I still ended up spending hours trying to catch up as much as I could. 

And of course while I was unplugged I wasn’t keeping up with reading the blogs that I follow either… or writing any new posts on my blog. I have spent a lot of time going through and trying to catch up as much as I can on some blogs, but I think that I will just have to stay a bit behind for a while. If I continue to try to make sure that I am 100% caught up I am likely to need to unplug again and that will just start this whole process over again…

I was also without my music for those days… I am currently getting my Breaking Benjamin fix. I think that I might need to reconsider how I go about unplugging next time and find a way to keep my music… I have an mp3 player, but I haven’t updated it in a while. I should think again about putting some mp3s on my phone since I’m never without that…

                                                             (one of my current song obsessions)

 

But while I was unplugged…

I finished reading book 13 of the Wheel Of Time series and got the final book in the series out from the library. I am currently 380 pages into it. I have been working on reading this series for years. I have read the first few books a bunch of times, because I start to try to read the series and then I get distracted by something else and put it down again and then feel that I need to start over again at the first book… and then repeat that process again a few times. I can not believe that I have finally made it to almost the middle of the last book in the series… I don’t know what I’ll do with myself once I finish it… it’s been a part of my life for such a long time and I think a part of me never really believed that I’d ever actually finish it.

EmotionalBookTrauma

 

I also watched a bunch of movies with my husband. We had a comic book movie marathon that lasted a few days where we watched all of the DVDs that we recently added to our collection. We bought a bunch of movies recently that we had never seen before but knew that we needed in our collection. A bunch of them happened to be based on comic books. I think that we have managed to watch all the ones based on comics, but we still haven’t seen all the movies in our collection yet… we got distracted by Hulu offering a bunch of Akira Kurosawa movies for free over the weekend. I found out from one of my best friends messaging me about it on Facebook. He said that this director is one of his favorites as well as a role model for him. I had never seen any of his movies and my husband had always wanted to see Seven Samurai, so we began another movie marathon. I never was one to like subtitled foreign language movies in the past, but I found that I really enjoyed the few movies that we had time to watch. Just goes to prove that I should always keep an open mind and be willing to give things a chance, as I am finding that I quite like a lot of things that I had previously turned my nose up at.

In addition to our movie marathons, we’ve been watching a bunch of Doctor Who. We are currently in the middle of the second season. I somehow managed to never see this series before a few weeks ago, but once again it came highly recommended by my best friend, so I decided to give it a chance since we are currently out of available episodes for Supernatural on Netflix… And now I am thoroughly obsessed.

There were also some not so fun things during my time unplugged. I had been experiencing some pain in my mouth for the last few days and it got pretty bad on Friday night. It probably has something to do with the broken tooth that I have. It broke a while ago, but we don’t have any dental insurance so I haven’t done anything about it. Well, my husband decided that it was time for me to see a dentist. Luckily there is one that isn’t even a 5 minute walk from where I live, but we had to wait until Monday to get an appointment. So I was constantly on painkillers the entire weekend, but luckily the pain was never as bad as it briefly was on Friday night again. Unfortunately the dentist appointment was a complete waste of time and money. They did absolutely nothing to help me; they took x-rays, poked at my gums, and tried to get me to agree to spend $1500 on a root canal on a tooth that hasn’t even been bothering me at all. Oh, and they tried to get me to agree to an Orthodontist consult, “Payment plans are usually only about $100 dollars a month”… How many times do I need to tell you people that I have no money? $100 a month is a lot of money. But even with all this, they completely ignored the entire reason I was there, my broken tooth. Turns out it’s a wisdom tooth and their wisdom tooth guy is only there on Tuesdays, and he wouldn’t have time to see me till next week anyway… But even if I made an appointment I still wouldn’t be able to afford to pay to have any work done. Their payment plan options are all subject to approval based on credit, and I couldn’t afford the monthly payments right now even if I was somehow approved. So for now I am compulsively brushing my teeth after every time that I eat and have started using two different kinds of mouthwashes at different times of the day. I even started flossing again. I am hoping that I will at least be able to slow the damage that has been done to my mouth until I can get dental insurance next January. I haven’t needed painkillers for the last couple days, so that’s something at least.

Also on Monday, my cat had an appointment at the vet. He was able to get some dental work that he needed done. He lost the last 2 teeth that he had left in the top of his mouth. He now has only 5 teeth left on the bottom of his mouth. Poor cat. The Vet thinks that he has some disease that causes his immune system to attack his teeth, so he may not be able to keep his remaining teeth for very much longer.

So, yeah, my cat can get the dental and medical help that he needs, but me being able to do so depends on how much money I have and how good my credit is… I love my cat and I’m glad that he can get the help he needs, but I do find it a bit messed up that my cat gets better medical and dental care than his owners do… Hopefully someday soon we’ll be able to afford to actually use the medical insurance that we have and will be able to get dental insurance as well…

And to end this post on a positive note… I have now written a blog post. I am fully plugged back in again. 🙂

Posted in Apartment Living, Blogging, Cat Mom, Childless by Choice, Stay at Home Wife

The brief return of “Felix” and “Ralph”…

You know how I just love to start my day? With someone pounding on my door and ringing my doorbell while I’m still asleep in bed. You know what makes it even better? If when I make it to the door after fumbling on a robe, I get there just in time to open the door that the person on the other side has already unlocked and has started to open.

This was how my day started today. And let’s just nevermind the fact that I should have been up and out of bed about 15 mins before the door pounding started…

Anyway, “Felix” was back to sand the plaster that they put up a couple of weeks ago. At least he was in and out of here quickly. But while he was here, I had to keep going along behind him and picking up and moving the stuff that he was so carelessly moving anywhere. After the incident with my husband’s suit jackets, I wasn’t going to just let “Felix” run around my apartment unsupervised. I managed to get to the closet before him and move all of my husband’s clothes out of the way, but while I was doing that “Felix” unplugged one of those plug-in air freshener things that I’ve got in my hallway and just set it down on it’s side on my carpet. The way they tell you never to store it because the liquid will leak out… So I quickly picked that up and stored it somewhere else. Then I realized that he had already moved the towels that I had out on the the towel rack in my bathroom. He’d just tossed them on the counter… with his dusty hands. He actually told me “Oh no, it’s okay.” when I went and turned around the bathroom scale that he had already moved before I could get there. Really dude? If the owner of the stuff that you are messing with comes and decides to turn around something that you have so carelessly moved because they are worried about it getting ruined, you just keep your mouth shut and continue to do your job. What the owner of the stuff that you are messing with does with said stuff is none of your concern. (Yeah, I get a little cranky when people decide to let themselves into my apartment when I would still like to be in bed sleeping…) Plus, while “Felix” was here to do his sanding, did he bother to put down a drop cloth? Nope. He did vacuum up before leaving, but that doesn’t make my freshly mopped bathroom floor any less in need of a mopping again.

Then, a few minutes after “Felix” took his vacuum and left someone else started knocking on the door and ringing the doorbell. It was “Ralph” and he had a vacuum… He said to me, “I think I’m supposed to vacuum here?” I was like, “Nope, the other guy already did it.”

At least that should be the last interaction that I should have to have with “Felix” and “Ralph” for a while. And the painting should be done by our newly hired maintenance man in about a month or so… I wonder how long this apartment complex has been going without a maintenance man?

Today wasn’t all bad though. I finally got around to painting my nails again. 🙂

IMG_20130316_001236

Posted in Apartment Living, Blogging, Cat Mom, Childless by Choice, Marriage, Stay at Home Wife

Quick construction update…

So, although I got up early and waited around all day last Wednesday, no workers showed up. I had been told that someone from maintenance would show up on Wednesday to fix my dryer vent connection, but no one showed. When my husband went to the office we found out that there was no maintenance guy working that day… So let me get this straight, you scheduled maintenance to be done on my apartment when you didn’t have a maintenance guy working? And you couldn’t be bothered to call me and let me know that you made a mistake, and that someone would be by tomorrow instead most likely? Oh, wait, I’m sorry. I forgot that my time isn’t important. Carry on…

While my husband was in the office he also found out that the painting that still needs to be done in my apartment probably will not be happening until the end of this month, or possibly not until next month. You couldn’t have told us this… Oh, wait, that’s right, my time’s not important. I keep forgetting. Sorry.

The maintenance guy did show up on Thursday though. He came in, tinkered around loudly in my laundry room, left briefly for more supplies, and then announced that my dryer vent was now properly connected. Then when my husband got home, we fixed his work. Nothing major, he just left the dryer hose far too long. So my husband shortened it so that it would be less of a fire hazard and then reconnected it to the back of the dryer. I can now use my dryer properly and it makes me very happy.

I was also able to de-clutter my apartment. Since the painting won’t be done for while yet, there was no reason not to put our apartment back together and clean it. We put it mostly back together on Wednesday night, and then Sunday turned into spring cleaning day. I have my apartment back, minus some missing paint, but I can live with that. If you ask me, the spots of bare plaster on the walls add some personality to the place. 🙂

Posted in Apartment Living, Blogging, Childless by Choice, Food, Marriage, Mental Health, Stay at Home Wife

My impulse buy in the battle against stress…

The other day my husband and I finally got out and did some grocery shopping. We had been putting it off, and putting it off, but the longer we waited, the more things we ran out of. (Funny how that works…) We finally had to go ahead and get it done.

Of course, when we finally did get out and do it, it happened to be a rainy day. Now normally, rainy days make me happy. I love the rain and watching storms. This is something that seemed to grow stronger when my husband and I moved from the East Coast out here to the relative desert that is northern Utah. I found that when it goes too long without raining, or if we haven’t had a good thunderstorm in a while, I tend to go a little crazy. When it rains, when I get to watch a good lightning storm, I feel recharged and refreshed.

But this day the rain did nothing to help my already foul mood. Instead it added to it because I would have to go out in it in order to get the shopping done. Rain in the spring or summer is one thing, rain on a relatively chilly winter day is another thing altogether. Neither of us were all that enthusiastic about heading out, but it needed to get done.

While we were shopping, I wandered into the seasonal aisle where they already had all of their Easter stuff out. I mostly wanted to look at the candy, but the stuffed animals also caught my eye. Especially the giant fluffy rolly-polly sheep that they had. I managed to talk myself out of that purchase,  only to turn around and see this across the aisle.

PurpleSockMonkeyBunny

He also came with a small bag of jelly beans, but since they weren’t the good kind, I wasn’t interested in those. No, I just wanted a purple striped sock monkey with purple fuzzy bunny ears. I figured this guy would at least be a bit more responsible of an impulse buy than the giant sheep…

I’ve been really stressed lately, and after reading this post and the comments on it, I decided “You know what? Who care’s if this is geared toward children? If I want it and it makes me happy, I can buy it.” If I have to do this whole being an adult thing, I’m going to do it my way.

grownups