Saturday, January 29, 2011

No Offense

Things have been much calmer here. The two remaining kids have divided up chores and gone about their business. I have been slowly cleaning, sorting and going through oldest's room. I have found numerous half full water bottles, paper, dead batteries, and lots of other people's stuff. Oh, that's where the scissors, calculator, camera, books ..... went to. All of the bedding has been washed. Clothes have been sorted, books sorted, dump runs made, boxes to be shipped stacked neatly. A few more boxes to pack up, another dump/goodwill run, books delivered to the local school, a thorough smudge and it should be done. Hubby patched the sheet rock hole from when boyfriend and son were fooling around. A little sanding and a new paint job is in order. The room will be clean and ready for her to move back. Or more likely will be clean and ready for youngest to move into in a few months.

And then, I can move into my master bedroom. When the kids moved in we finished the upstairs and divided the master bedroom into two rooms for the girls to have. The divider is a stand alone closet that can easily be moved. My bedroom downstairs was supposed to be temporary when I built the house 14 years ago. I've been beginning to wonder if I would be able to move into my master bedroom while I could still climb the stairs. And now...... I'm not rushing. It will need to be cleaned and sorted after youngest moves and the spare bedroom/office is dismantled. It will need a new paint job and then.... I'm looking at fall. I don't want to rush in case oldest surprises me and does move back.

So, when we asked son and youngest how they felt about oldest being gone the answers were:
Son, "doesn't matter to me." Followed by can't believe she didn't finish school.
Youngest, "she was annoying, borrowing my books and bending the pages, bossing me around, leaving and now we have to do her chores - she can just rot in hell - no offense."
Alright then. (I just had to laugh at the no offense tacked on to the rotting in hell). And of course she didn't feel connected she was always with her stupid boyfriend. Youngest is angry and that is pretty normal.

And speaking of boyfriend - he's on his way home. He didn't last a week. I gave him three months being overly generous thinking he might give it the old college try. Not! The engagement is off, the relationship is off and his dad is flying out to pick him up.

Now that oldest is with bio the younger kids have no contact with bio. Bio would call and talk to oldest. She talked to bio at least once a week if not more - the others a few minutes maybe once a month. They won't call her. And bio hasn't called them. Oldest used to bio them. I'd say mother them but that really isn't how a mother would behave. There is peace in these parts that I have never felt before.

Today we are off to a car show. Youngest is excited. She wants to be a car designer or an auto mechanic when she grows up. She is so my daughter.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I might never leave

People keep complaining about the snow. Then why do you live in New England?

I could be driving in to work but have opted to work from home. I do not get as much done or as many hours in as if I went to the office. There is only so much I can do from home. The snow is just a good excuse to stay home. I never thought I'd say this but I am at a point in my life where I don't care if I ever leave the house. My car stays parked for days at a time. I'm content with myself, my home and just puttering and cooking.

I never did get to my fall cleaning until recently. And now it's almost spring cleaning. The stress and living with oldest the energy vampire was too much. But, for the past few weeks I've been on a cleaning frenzy. Not that my house ever looks really dirty (except to me)- an organized house appears clean. I've been washing walls, picture frames, cleaning out closets and cupboards. Hubby remade my pantry which opened up the office. This week end I will be going through oldest's room. It is a pig stye. She packed up her duffel bag, boxed up some books, threw a few things away and abandoned the rest right where it was. I took pictures. I just couldn't imagine leaving my parents home in such a way.

She called at 3:38AM to say she had arrived in Arizona. This made hubby feel better - knowing she arrived safely. Ahh, the train trip was the safest part of her journey but I won't tell him that. He knows that already but has buried it underneath the many other emotions.

He did say to me yesterday, "have you noticed the other kids seem calmer now that oldest is gone?" This week of vacation has been good for him and I'm glad he has noticed. Energy vampire has left the building, left the state is on her way.

And my kindle arrived days before they predicted. I love it. The leather case really gives you the illusion you are holding a book (and protects the screen). The print on the screen looks just like paper. And the illustrations that appear on the screen when it is powered down are amazing. I read The Love Goddess' Cooking School. The way she wove the story of life, love, heartbreak, romance, and food together was fantastic. I love books that involve food. Check it out on my "bookshelf."

Friday, January 21, 2011

I'm loving the snow

I could not imagine living any where else. I love to travel but love coming home to New England and the beautiful change of seasons.

Now that I have a lap top for work I can work at home. There is not much snow today and I could drive the hour in but why? I will head upstairs shortly and take over the kitchen table. I will work in my pajamas and sip tea. I will light a candle or two. I have many prayer requests I am holding. It is a difficult time for many of my friends.

Oldest is somewhere between Chicago and Arizona. She will arrive about 3 AM our time tomorrow. Hubby talked to her while they were laid over in Chicago. It gave him great peace of mind.

The other kids are adjusting well. They have worked out new chore schedules without any fuss. I think it will be a few weeks before the full impact hits youngest. Her teacher's are keeping me informed.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Birthday dinner

The food was great - if I do say so myself. Enough so I over ate and felt it. And that was with giving half my piece of cake to hubby. She opened her card (which was really sappy - the kind she likes) and hubby and I each got a hug and a kiss.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Are you kidding me?

So, in the midst of the big pack I decided I should check the luggage rules for the train. Boyfriend had said 3 checked and two carry on. And that is correct - at stations that check bags. Hartford does not check bags. So, they can only bring to carry on bags to move across country. The next train stop is Springfield. That is just as close as Hartford for us. They do check bags. Boyfriend will not change the tickets because it will cost a little extra money. Really?! And shipping your clothes will cost less?

Oh, this is really going to be a learning experience.

I talked to MIL yesterday. At the picnic on Saturday boyfriend needed a personal invitation to eat. It's a picnic - set up buffet style and MIL had announced it was time to eat. That wasn't enough for him. Oldest had to ask Grandma to ask boyfriend to come eat. Grandma off handedly did thinking it was a joke. He then stated that he could not eat until the owner of the house specifically asked him. Seriously?! It's a casual picnic and the "dinner bell" was rung.

Consensus from the extended family after meeting boyfriend - two commented that they don't like him and two weirdo comments. Good, it's not just me (and son and youngest and MIL and cousin and....)

Today is a snow day - sleeting yucky day outside. Inside it's warm and cozy. Everyone is home and safe. I made buttermilk pancakes and hot cocoa for breakfast. Youngest gave me a hug, a kiss and said I was the best cook in the world - and that before she ate. Tomorrow is oldest's birthday. She will be on a train so we are celebrating tonight. She asked for lasagna, That's made. The chocolate raspberry cheesecake she wanted is in the oven. I just need to make the compound butter for the garlic bread.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Feeding and plans and....

For the picnic/going away party I made corn chowder (MIL loves it) and chili. They actually said it was milder than the taco soup and it was a big hit. MIL didn't try any but FIL did. Not sure how it is milder but hey I'll work with them. And I won't tell them its made with turkey and with all the veggies I think it hits a full rainbow. Cousin Tina sent me home with the leftover taco salad. It is so simple to make but I never think of it. It is her signature dish and I could eat just that. Did I mention EC was at the picnic. Nothin' like a little eye candy to brighten the day. He's such a great guy and hubby laughs at my slight crush.

Last night I made baked shrimp scampi (Love Barefoot Contessa) and a salad. Topped with Ina's recipe for blue cheese dressing - yum. I followed that with a flour less chocolate cake. I could get the top off the frangelico so I used raspberry liquor instead. The slight hint of raspberries in the background of this very chocolate cake was divine. And the cake was topped with chocolate ganache - this will satisfy any chocolate craving you may have. The original recipe I stole from Aaron McCargo of Big Daddy's house. And as youngest pointed out there is enough ganache leftover to top a few bowls of ice cream.

Tonight I making a pork loin with cherry sauce (one of oldest's favorites) and today I'll get the lasagna and chocolate raspberry cheesecake made for her birthday celebration tomorrow. I'll also prep the compound butter for the garlic bread. Ahh, her last good meal for a very, very long time. Unless of course you consider Ramen noodles a good meal.

And if we were worried about how youngest was going to take her sister's departure - well, she wants to know if she can have her room. She has it all planned out. She will move into oldest's room. We will dismantle the make shift wall in her room that divides it into two rooms. This wall is made of stand alone closets so that the girls could have separate space, When oldest son moved out oldest moved into his room. I made a spare room out of her side. This divided room is really the master bedroom. Though it has never been used as such. My room was to be a temporary room until I could move into the master bedroom. It's been 14 years. So, she says we can dismantle the wall and we can have our master bedroom. And if oldest does come back she can have the spare room downstairs. She's been thinking a lot about this. I'm pretty impressed. Of course son thinks he should get oldest's room. He wants it because it is bigger than his. Youngest wants it for the full size bed. I'm not doing any thing other than clean it for now. But maybe.... in a few months I can be in my master bedroom. And before my knees give out and I can't climb the stairs.

And I broke down and bought myself a kindle. I opted for the free shipping so it will be more than a week before it arrives along with it's purple leather case. I can't wait. It will hold up to 3,500 books. Yeah!!!! Hubby's excited (not as much as I am) that he won't have to add any more book shelves to the living room. Although if I could I would live in a library.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

because someone asked

I'm doing good, thanks for asking.

The countdown is on. Oldest gets on the train Wednesday for her 60 hour trek across country. Yesterday was her going away party. I'm not sure what she thought of it (she would never think to comment). I think it went well. Aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents were all there to wish her well.

This is our first winter "picnic" and it went so well we are planning one for March. Usually we get together memorial day, 4th of July and labor day. From September to May is too long not to see everyone.

We brought boxes home and oldest is actually packing some. Tomorrow she will have packed and sorted everything. I'm home for that.

Hubby is adjusting slowly. Having back up from the counselor helped there. He knows he has done the best he can do and now he just has to let her go. Not easy. It's easier for me - my family is a big proponent of letting grown children sink or swim. Hubby's family wants to hold on tight forever.

I've been making it a point to visit the spa regularly and get together with friends. It is hard in my crazy schedule for that sometimes but I am getting better at making the time.

Hubby took this week as vacation. He needed one.

And summer vacation is booked. Nothing like a vacation to look forward to.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Met the parents

Saturday night hubby and I met boyfriend's parents for dinner. We were a little anxious and so were they. It turned out to be a nice evening. We got along great and they are as much in the dark about the moving plans as we are.

All the two know is that they are leaving on the 19th for Arizona by train. They have given neither one of us an exact time we are taking them to the station. It's been like pulling teeth to get them to pack up their rooms. We had to explain to oldest that maybe she should think about taking ALL of her clothes as she has none out there. Over New Year's boyfriend took her shopping. Nice, but you can only take three bags with you to move across country. Where are you going to school? I dunno know. Where are you sleeping? I dunno know. Where is boyfriend sleeping? I dunno know. Does the trailer have heat, water? I dunno know. What are you doing for work? phone? with your car? health insurance? birth control? I dunno know.

Apparently boyfriend's pat answer is the same. There is no logic in this move at all. It is purely emotional and oldest's desire (orders) to see bio.

The latest plan is oldest is sleeping at bio's on the couch. Boyfriend is sleeping in a trailer with heat but no water behind grandma's double wide. He will be expected to get a job and pay rent. He is signed up for school because his mom made him. He will be taking online courses through his current college as it was too late to transfer out there. They've only been planning this move since last summer.

Boyfriend's parents had no idea they were engaged. They did think the rings were kind of odd. I give him three months before he is back. It will be major culture shock for him. A single child with everything handed to him who hates smoking moving into a trailer park where everyone chain smokes. He will have no car and no friends. Oldest will be in the next town over with no car. And they think they don't see each other enough here. Hmmm! Bio is using him to get her there. Oldest really thinks she loves him but will be torn between him and bio. And she can not say no to bio.

Ah, it will be interesting to see how this unfolds.

And I'm just ready for her to go. She's left already and is pretty miserable to live with. Boyfriend's mom said the same about him.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

How are you?

Peachy is my sarcastic reply.

Today's reply - I'm alive.

In the big picture life is pretty good. Right now I'm caught between the emotional upheaval Oldest is causing and my husbands emotional breakdown over it. He talked to his boss and he's taking some vacation time. He'll be off the week oldest leaves and the following week. I think that will be good for everyone.

The teachers at youngest annual meeting expressed concern over oldest leaving. Youngest has already started showing some signs of distress.

All I can say is this is going to be one hell of a life lesson.

We have a going away party planned. After I explained to hubby that doesn't mean we approve it just means we love and support her no matter what her decision.

And get this, she won't even be living with bio. Bio has no room. She is going to live in a trailer parked behind her grandmothers double wide. It has heat but no water so she will have to come inside to use the bathroom. It's all OK though because boyfriend will be sharing the trailer with her.

That's right. Bio not only encouraged her daughter to leave school in the middle of her senior year, to skip mid term exams (they start the day she leaves) but to shack up with her boyfriend. Now, I'm not a prude and lived with several boyfriends before I was married but, not as a senior in high school. And under other circumstances I might encourage a couple to live together before marriage but..... there is just something wrong with this whole picture.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Win A Whimsy

My very talented friend Rose is up to her old tricks - giving away some of her lovely crafts. Stop by her blog, show some love and win a whimsy.

New Year's Eve

I've never found New Year's Eve to be that exciting. I've been to a few good parties over the years but I'm really not looking for that now. With the kids home and hubby often working I started doing an appetizer party for them. They get to stay up late and graze on all kinds of food and I get to cook. This is relaxing for me and keeps me awake way past bed time. Hubby was home this year. The kids are old enough to have some input on the menu and it was a fun quiet evening. Son was going to his girlfriends until I asked what I should make. He started naming off appetizers until I said wait, you won't be here. Well, can girlfriend come here? So girlfriend came here. Youngest had a friend over. Hubby and I had some friends stop by. Oldest went camping with boyfriend and his family.

The menu was

shrimp cocktail
steamed mussels
peperoni bread
sausage stuffed mushrooms
sausage pinwheels
salami bread
cheddar potato puffs
spinach balls
buffalo wing dip
pigs in a blanket

My girlfriend says that who you spend New Years with is who will be in your life for the coming year. Looking back I'm not sure how accurate that is but, it is interesting that oldest wasn't here this year. She turns 18 y/o January 19 and in the middle of her senior year plans to move to Arizona with boyfriend to live in the camper behind bio's home. Bio said jump and she said how high. I see some very interesting and difficult life lessons coming her way. And her bedroom will be here.

Hoping all my blog friends have a happy, healthy new year filled with love.

And tonight hubby and I are going on a date. We're both home at the same time on a non school night (gotta love our odd shifts). It must be love because he's taking me to see Johnny in The Tourist.