It was cloudy yesterday. Not just cloudy, but also cool. In fact, it was cool enough for a nice, refreshing sprinkle of rain. The girls were wearing light jackets today as the clouds and cool weather stuck around. I sure hope the trend continues! I’m ready for my Pacific Northwest promise of 9 months of rain!
The weather hasn’t been the only change I’m excited about. Once again, I’m anxiously counting down the days until school starts again. These next three weeks will be the last stretch of time that caring for my girl’s daughter will be my m.o. So many arguments led to too many walks around the block and one long night we talked it out. Her daughter is one of those spirited children, and everyone else gets to play hot potato with her. I dare say that nobody could really be expected to take responsibility of her for too many hours in a day or week. I hit the wall, and really, truly, I have to be out from under that assignment. I have my son for the last few weeks of summer anyway, so I’m in it until then.
We have been flying by the seat of our pants for a while now. By flying, I really mean losing altitude while trying not to panick and lose our shit altogether. A few days ago, we reached about as bottom as we could go, and girlfriend’s parents came through with emergency funds. It was decided we need a schedule. Man, we have been down this road before: we keep on in chaos, talk about the need to schedule to reduce everyone’s stress, finally make time to do it but not finish, adhere to it for about half a day, then resume the chaos. Jack Handy says stupidity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. We look at the school calendar, and square off with the fact that the little monsters only have an average of 15 school days per 20 workday month. To add to the situation, daycare facilities are all closed the same freaking days that school is! Knowing that we pretty much never make the time to revisit the schedule after it falls to the wayside, I decided we need a different approach to scheduling altogether. My software brain decided it would make sense to treat the schedule like a case statement. That is, knowing there are a finite number of ways the school schedule screws us up, we should be able to identify a finite number of schedules to deal with each one. We have about 8 scenarios penciled out, which should get us through the school year, provided our work schedules remain steady.
That has been another significant change this year. My partner has had the worst time with employment the last couple years. It’s astounding how many job situations just don’t amount to anything a person could live on. On top of that, most large corporations love to play that 90 days temp to
hire fire game to weasel out of coughing up benefits. Then, there’s the jerks that hire 15 people for permanent positions, then chop 10 of their hours down to nothing so they are very suddenly without paycheck. When those tactics are too blatant, there’s always, “you just don’t fit our company culture.” I’ve been through it, and I’ve been supporting my girl going through it. When she was looking for work in February, a job she had quit the year before called on her. They offered only the tolerable, daytime part of her previous position with a $2 increase in pay. She gratefully accepted. At the same time, she also went through considerable effort to get on the list for a plumbing apprenticeship. In the middle of July, her name made it to the top and she got the call. I know $40/hour sounds amazing but I know how the construction thing goes. That wage is not what apprentices make, the hours will be overwhelming during peak season and not enough during the winter, and though they teach the basics they are going to expect a certain knowledge base that she simply doesn’t have. Saturdays with the family? Forget those, too. Fortunately, she declined and stuck with her job, which put up with her turning down hours and later gave them back when she realized she needed them. Besides that, her boss is responsive, flexible, and rarely actually on site as she gets to be a one-woman crew. At now 6 months of holding her job, I’m almost comfortable saying that her income has reached a steady state.
There has also been a non-advised cutting in half of a certain prescription, and I’m just saying the difference has been like night and day. If you take any medication, you owe it to yourself to read the miles of information they hand you along with it, then go research some more.
I spent a quality afternoon chipping away at a project that kicked off way back in February. Last week, I had to force myself to make progress on another one that was laying in pieces in a box collecting dust since I pulled the plug on it some four months ago. I meant to make it a light effort, but before I could say it was at a good place to stop I had my soldering iron, screwdrivers, nips, stripper, utility knife, Dremel tool, hacksaw, and multimeter all scattered across the kitchen table with a mat of wires and little insulation pieces rolling around! Today’s effort felt a bit more inspiring. I didn’t get as far as I was hoping, which is the usual case, but I managed to work through some challenging joinery. It was very satisfying to dry fit the pieces together at the end of the day, feeling them click into place with a firm but not tight hold.
I am going to focus on regrouping the last half of August. I still have to prepare for my court cases and really figure out where to start fixing my hot mess of a life. Fifteen years ago, I was hell bent on an education. Five years ago, I thought I had it in the bag despite my losses. I sure have had a crazy detour, and I guess I’ve overcome some of my demons. Starting next month, I have to get back to knocking out projects and turning a respectable income. I started this blog with the thought of posting about my projects, so I hope to turn that direction again in the coming months.
Thanks to everyone dropping by even though I’ve been pretty quiet these last few months. I am alive and have my health. Things have been tense between everyone this summer, but we are still holding together as a family.
One day, one day at a time.
Time is passing by behind you, behind you.