Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Adoption Tax Credit

For those of you who have adopted... this discussion might be of interest to you.  And you might want to comment on your experience or opinion.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Friends with babies

I spent a large majority of the day with Afina, her two precious boys and for some part of the day, Afina's husband whom I dearly love.  He's a unique and great guy.  What a wonderful family.  But Afina is stressed. Her youngest is two months old and she goes back to her demanding job in four weeks.  She's feels she's falling short; not living up to her great expectations.  Her mother is not supportive, she's almost attacking.  Says Afina looks like a slob, not keeping herself up.  But Afina is beautiful and everybody thinks so.  Afina is unhappy with her house and neighborhood.  There are no sidewalks and backyard.

We had a fun day playing with her oldest who is impressively verbal given he's not get two years old.  We caught up on the last few months of activity in our lives.  We've known each other since college so it's fun to see how far we've come and how we're both struggling in our own way.

A few nights ago I went over to my neighbor's house.  She has two girls just about same age as Afina's kids but my neighbor's youngest is very young; just three weeks old.  The girl is small and my neighbor says she's not keeping much milk down.  She's throws up a lot and the doctor says it's acid reflux.  I don't know about these things in babies.  I felt really bad for her.  I don't see many visitors at her home.  Her mom has only been over twice in three weeks.  She doesn't have any friends her age that
come around.  They are young, in their early twenties.

And my neighbor couple has some serious problems, unfortunately they caused themselves.  I'll call them Stacy and Alan.  Stacy wants to move very badly.  So badly that they stopped paying their mortgage in July. It's not that they can't afford the payments, she just wants to leave.  And why?  The barking dogs and what she says are harassing neighbors.  I don't hear the dogs and have not experienced any neighbor problems expect for some being unfriendly.  But that's not a crime.  I suspect Stacy has some problems with anxiety and maybe panic attacks.  And she convinced her husband it was a good idea to force themselves into foreclosure.

They thought they would qualify for a government program that pays homeowners to stay in their homes, help them avoid foreclosure through a short sale, and avoid vandalism because they are still in the house.  Predictably for me but not for them they couldn't qualify for the large payment because their income is too high.  Again, they can afford their mortgage payment.  So now BofA (the great bank they are so much so that the government recently sued them) has sold Stacy and Alan's loan to "a no name bank."  Another couple had put in an offer on their house but now it will have to be resubmitted to the new bank.  I asked if they could just start paying their mortgage again and she said it would mean they'd be so behind it wouldn't make sense.  I didn't get that.  And the new bank would make them refinance and now that their credit is screwed up, the interest rate would be sky high.  This is not good.  Stacy looked very stressed.  And she said her husband thinks she lays around all day while he's at work!  Men.

When I left Afina's today and got home I felt strange.  I guess mixed emotions is the best description.  I felt sorry for myself that I don't have children.  But also happy that I don't have the stress that she and Stacy have.  I don't feel sad.  But that's life isn't it.  The good mixed with the bad.  I have my own particular good and bad, not theirs.  I have my own brand of stress.  But I feel very grateful I'm an aunt.  That I can love those children, not everyday but that I have a special place.  I promised Afina's oldest I'd take him to his first sushi bar when he's old enough.  And that's good enough for me right now.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

"No one else knew that"

Several years ago, I was with a friend at a corner market when he took out his credit card to pay for his purchase.  I looked at the credit card and said, "You've got the Irish flag on your card."  He said, "That's amazing.  You're the first person to know that."

Today, I was with my good friend and we went to a local nursing home to take around a cat so the patients could enjoy him.  One of the patients had a teddy bear on her bed.  I said, "That's a Steiff bear."  Surprised, the lady said, "Ah, no one else knew that."

I thought that was interesting.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Right Way to Support an Argument

This post is coming together for two reasons.  Abortion is very much in the news today and Grace in my Heart posted a few days ago, a claim that the HPV vaccine CAUSED one female's sterility.  What I said in a comment on her blog is that "correlation is not causation", a very important scientific principle or maybe just a logic principle.  What I've seen from folks usually apposed to certain activities or human behaviors is that they try to tie some scary health data to whatever they don't like and want to stop.  Thus, the article about one girl's premature ovarian failure because she took Gardasil.  This type of argument is totally unnecessary and doesn't further the person's case.

I've heard in the past that some try to tie having an abortion to getting breast cancer.  This may or may not be true, I don't know.  But isn't there a good enough and morally correct way to argue against abortion other than saying it might give you cancer?  We could say that killing is ethically and morally wrong.  Therefore, as a society we don't condone and our laws don't allow for it.  I don't think that's a stretch.  You might have to go further and say that the rights of an unborn to stay alive supercede the mother's right to kill it if she so desires.  That might make some feminists balk, but it's certainly the right of a government to decide if we allow the willful killing of human life in any form, inside or outside the womb.

The same argument stands for not advocating girls and boys be vaccinated against HPV.  If you think Gardasil is ineffective, dangerous, will make your kid have more sex just because they are now thought to be vaccinated against a proven cancer-causing virus, you don't have to tell a story about how some local doctor came to a flimsy conclusion that because their patient got the HPV vaccine and prior to that, had normal periods, and now testing shows this one person is in premature ovarian failure.  Just simply argue that this is a drug you don't support, don't let your kids get it, and call it a day.  You don't have to do what one commenter did which was call the story "horrifying."  Really, horrifying?  If you think one person's sterility is horrifying, I'd especially appreciate you calling all other infertile's experiences horrifying.  I don't feel my situation is horrifying but feel free to think that on my behalf. 

There are a lot of what I call phony drugs on the market.  Just because the FDA approves a drug for market, does not mean it's a safe or effective drug.  This has been proven many times.  The drug for "restless leg syndrome" was not originally developed for that so-called syndrome.  But, the drug makes spent millions of dollars trying to develop this drug and it's legal to apply your new drug to some other condition not the original one you were doing drug research on.

We can call things unethical, immoral, and illegal but it seems lazy to try and scare others by presenting these "bad" things as causing some very unpleasant or unhealthy condition.  Something can be bad without being unhealthy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I haven't tried not to post intentionally.  Believe me.  So, nothing on the job front.  Didn't receive a reply to my 'thank you' email last week.  I left a voice mail message this morning.  But nothing.

My husband's crazy work is scheduled to come to a close on October 27th  31st.  So, soon and I will be very happy he can come home.  Our wedding anniversary is this Thursday.  We'll both be working; ironically enough, Thursday is my busiest day of the week, lots of meetings and that dumb duck-and-cover exercise then walk outside to chat with your co-workers while pretending to efficiently evacuate.

I'm planning an anniversary celebration in November.  Better late than never, especially when a great dinner, great company, and a swanky hotel are on the horizon.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Not Leaving This House

Today.  I am not stepping one foot outside this house today.  Not even to check on the garden (which is dying off anyway as we enter autumn) and I could do that from a window.  Thank you sweet ladies for your comments and advice on my last post.  And I very much appreciate JBTC's prayers for my marriage.  We are no where near divorce [Whoa, that's sounds like a misleading statement.  We love each other, plan on staying together til death do us part.  I don't mean to make this sound like a desperate situation.  It isn't.] or even emotional estrangement but we most certainly have "things" to work out.  Ours is an unusual situation and we're both trying to navigate our own feelings as well as each others.  My husband admittedly is not so good at managing my expectations so we try something different every weekend, trying to get it right.  But - to answer a question left on the last post.  He can't come home because  he has only Sundays off.  He works until 10:30pm on Saturday and has to be back by 7am on Monday.  So, coming home to visit me is not feasible.

So, Thursday.  I kept the same suit pants on all day which was my wardrobe solution.  I just needed to change my shoes (which could be done in the car) and my top.  As I got into town around 2:45pm, I didn't have anyplace to go to change (my in-laws live a half hour out-of-town).  I certainly had no interest in a fast food joint or gas station.  So, I went to our accountants office.  I walked in with my blouse on a wrapped hanger said, "Hi, I'm [my name].  I'm a client of Stacy's.  Can I use the bathroom?"  And I off I went to tidy up.

The meeting with the would-be boss had been scheduled for a half-hour.  We ended up talking for 2.  I hadn't realized it was two hours because I never looked down at my watch but it felt like a long time.  I guess that's a good sign when you enjoy talking to someone and never notice the time passing.  He seems like a very nice, straight-forward person.  He seemed to like me, too and made some genuine intimations that I was the best monkey for the job.  Even though I said I'd be happy to come back and meet with more people from the company (which I thought should have been done on Thursday) I am not all interested in going back there for a couple weeks.  If he calls to suggest that, hard negotiating is in order.  So, I expect to hear something Monday or Tuesday.

When the interview was over, I called my MIL and headed to their house.  I walked in to dinner on the table (Ah!  I miss those childhood days) and I suffered through watching Fox News and the O'Reilly Factor.  What's with printing the script on the right side of the screen?  It made my head hurt.  But everybody had to do the post-debate analysis.

I went back to the guest house and my husband came in after 10pm.  We talked for about 15 minutes and then it was off to sleep.  He stayed with my until 7:30 the next morning which was really nice.  So, of course I was already there so I offered to do the shopping.  My husband said I didn't have to but that was really the only way to make myself useful that day.  I won't do it again.  But I had to try it once.  The Costco excursion took an hour and a half then I took off for Fr.es.no to hit the Tr.ader Jo.e's.  UGH!  It was by far the crappiest TJ's I'd ever been too.  I was starting to become really agitated.  They were missing a huge amount of regular inventory and they didn't even have Moretti!!!!!

The Chee.sec.ake Factory was just a mile away and I'd threatened before to buy a slice.  There was an Anthro.pologie next door so I just had to go in.  The salespeople reminded me of (and forgive me if you are from or live in Missouri) the sales staff in shops at the upscale mall in Kansas City.  They were worse than the Rodeo Drive folks.  Not one person offered to start me a dressing room even though I had three items in my hand!  They paid better attention to the people in trendy clothing.  I guess my 10-year old tank top, $15 sweater, jeans, and sneakers didn't pass the "you look like you have money" test.  I put the items back on the hooks and left.  Besides, the whole scene was pretty disgusting with people shopping and eating expensive food when gas yesterday hit $4.60 for regular!!!!  This is the beginning of Armageddon, I'm telling you.

I and my cheesecake drove to my husband's office, we shared it, talked for a couple minutes and I left.  I gathered my stuff up from the house, talked to my MIL one last time and was on the road by 4pm.  Never again will I do that drive Friday evening.  All the reckless drivers come out and I didn't exactly feel safe.  I was home right after 7pm.  Drank a beer (Stella Artois; good stuff), and paid the monthly bills.

My husband had asked me a couple times on Friday to stay until at least Saturday morning.  I like sleeping with him, too.  A lot.  But a night of cuddling does not make up for a day of total inactivity or boredom.  And we talked about that last night.  We agreed that me staying home and living my life made our marriage much better and me a lot happier.  This intense period of work for him is almost over (maybe another six weeks) so we'll get back on a regular visiting schedule soon.  So, not even considering getting this new job, we can make it work.  I'm confident in that.

And here I am.  In my house.  I love my house.  I was going to drive to the gym to run on the treadmill.  I have been doing a lot of running lately which I should have been blogging about but suffice to say, being in great cardiovascular shape is what is keeping me energetic and capable of handling this exhaustive schedule. But, I'm not stepping one foot outside this house so I'll work out indoors today.  Today is for me!!!!  YEAH!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Reaching the end of my trooper tenure

I think I'm spent.  I'm still thinking about it; how to evaluate how I feel.  But at this point I feel pretty confident in saying that my trooper days are coming to a close.  I'm tired for the time being.  What I told my husband I couldn't do, finally came to fruition.  I cannot maintain two households.

I told my husband that just before he departed.  I wouldn't clean two homes.  I wouldn't do all the shopping for two houses.

Because my husband for at least the next six weeks is working 15 hour days, six days a week (yes, you read that right 15! hours a day, 6 days a week), he is understandably not able to do lots of things for himself.  When I worked in my first high-pressure career, we all joked that we needed a wife to pick up the dry cleaning, make dinner, gather the kids from school.  Everybody who works a lot needs a personal secretary.

But I can't be my secretary and his at the same time.  Let me explain.  I had the first interview for this job last Thursday.  I drove three hours on Wednesday night, drove three hours home Thursday morning, then drove back three hours on Friday night, then drove home on Sunday night.  Now, for the second interview tomorrow, I will start driving circa noon tomorrow and had originally planned to take Friday off work and come home Sunday.  Now, I'm thinking about coming home Thursday night and going to work on Friday.

I have all kinds of administrative things to do this weekend.  Paying bills, working on taxes, etc.  I can't do that at my husband's place because there's no internet access and all the paperwork is here at our house.  Everything we own is here except for a few pairs of pants, shirts, boxer shorts, and socks for my hubby in his new location.  So to plan for doing all the administrative stuff would take at least two hours to gather up stuff tonight so I'm ready to go to work in the morning, bright and early.

If I stayed with my husband the whole weekend, I'd have to pack up all the perishable food in the fridge so I could eat it there.  We are trying very hard not to eat out on the weekends although we did break down and get a pizza last Saturday.  Either way, I am still bringing some food I picked up for DH on Monday.

The kicker for all this was, even though my husband would be at work for the entire day Friday and Saturday he said, "If I want to be helpful, I could do some grocery shopping since he's out of food."  Now, I know this is not entirely true, he does have some food in the fridge but what a stab to the heart!  If I want to be helpful??????  My nightmares are about not being responsible so do you not think being helpful is a major life priority for me?

Despite the obvious attempt to manipulate me, I told him that he had to take some responsibility for himself.  He can't wait for me to clean his toilet (which I did last Saturday because he hadn't done it since he moved into the guest house and which took me all of five minutes) and vacuum his carpets.  But I told him he had to do these things for himself.  He had to find the time. I couldn't do it for him.  I already clean two toilets here and vacuum this carpet in our house.  He said he would.  I really believe however, that toilet will not be cleaned again. :(

So, I'm not quite sure what I'll do tomorrow.  My option is to wear my regular work clothes to work in the morning, change into sweats for the drive, drive to the in-laws, change into my pants suit all before the afternoon interview.  Will I have enough time?  Is the the rigga marroo worth it.  Should I just suck it up and wear my suit all day and carry the sweats in a bag for the eventual drive back tomorrow night or Friday morning?  UGH!!!