November 27, 2012

The changes FOUR years can bring....

For the literally ones of people who read this tripe I type up on a regular basis (or to put it in Fry and Laurie terms, "the viewing several"), I decided not to disappoint this year. Since 2009 I have been doing an annual review of what has changed in my life since the previous year. Some of the changes this year are interesting, and some of them some of you might not actually know about yet, so this should be fun and informative. In keeping with past years, I've decided to copy/paste the previous year's entry so you can go back with me all the way to 2008. (The original post in 2009 compared 2009 with 2008.)

Here we go... TIME TRAVEL!!!

2008: We lived in a falling-apart house with no heat.
2009: We live in a pretty nice apartment with gas heat.
2010: We live in the same apartment as last year. Have somehow managed to keep paying the rent. Praise God!
2011: We still live in the same apartment. I have an eye toward moving before the end of the year, though, because I'm close to being able to afford to at this rate.
2012: We have moved twice in 2012. The first time was to Gresham (in April) for a new job, the second time was to Milwaukie (in October) for the same company.

2008: I was unemployed. All year.
2009: I sometimes wish I worked less, but I am blessed to have a job surrounded by good, godly poeple who are passionate about what they do and make working with them so much fun.
2010: Same job situation except it has dawned on me that I really don't like teaching. Okay, so I knew that all along, but now I'm really starting to get the urge to move along... still like the people I work with, though!
2011: I now work FULL TIME for the first time since 2001. I adore the people I work with, but I like teaching less and less. Looking to move on (and when I do that apartment change thing will probably shortly follow).
2012: I am now a full time, salaried property manager. Which sort of explains how I have moved twice this year, no? And look up there and see how psychic I was in 2011! I knew something was coming, just didn't know what... lol. Anyway, not only do I get free rent on a 1,200 square foot apartment, but also I am salaried for more money than I've ever made before in my life. I've had years where my total yearly income was barely $8,000. This is not one of those years.

2008: I did nearly all my Christmas shopping at the Dollar Tree, because it was what I could afford.
2009: I did most of my Christmas shopping at Wal-Mart... moving on up!
2010: Primarily Wal-Mart again. No huge change in this department.
2011: Again, no change! What can I say? I like Wal-Mart.
2012: Haven't done any shopping yet. Could I shop somewhere else? Yes, probably. Will I shop somewhere else? Eh... maybe. But it's hard to beat Wal-Mart!

2008: We got food boxes from a couple of different local organizations.
2009: An organization called to offer us a food box and I told them they could probably find someone who needed it worse than we do. After I hung up I realized what I'd just been able to say and I almost cried.
2010: Nobody even offered us a food box this year.
2011: I don't even get food stamps anymore. (Well, $16 a month, but that hardly counts, now does it?)
2012: Virtually no change from 2011 here. I do technically still qualify for the minimum amount of food stamps, but I often forget to use them. The only reason I'm still signed up is because I do it at the same time as the Chamaco's medical insurance (which I'm keeping, since I don't have health insurance myself to add him to). 

2008: I carried my son upstairs to his bed when he fell asleep on the couch.
2009: I can barely pick up my son, much less carry him upstairs. This only happened in the last month or two. I realized today that soon I won't be able to pick him up at all... my baby is gone. I almost cried.
2010: I can still pick up my nine-year-old boy for brief periods of time
2011: My kid turned 10 this year. I can still pick him up, but I can't carry him much of anywhere. I realize that the only reason I can pick him up is because I routinely lift up to sixty pounds of child at work. He clocks in at about 74, last I knew.
2012: The boy will be 11 next week. And I can still pick him up, but only barely.

2008: My son was the sort of co-dependent that being the only child of a single mom will get you.
2009: I have an increasingly independent eight-year-old who more and more often wants to do things by himself. I told him that I was going to get Nancy's recipe for play-doh because the stuff we make at work is better than the store-bought stuff. I said this because I thought it would be something fun we could do together. He asked if he could do it by himself.
2010: My son cooked dinner a few weeks ago. I supervised him, but the only thing I actually did for him was turn the knobs on the stove, because he can't reach them yet. He's older but still short... lol.
2011: My kid can stay home by himself for increasingly long periods of time (I haven't yet pushed it past an hour and a half). He has a cell phone. As long as there is a microwave and a stocked freezer, he can feed himself indefinitely. This works out well for me going to Zumba classes on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
2012: All this moving and new job stuff has created the necessity for the Chamaco to stay home alone for up to eight hours a day if he's not in school. Somehow, against all odds, I have raised the sort of responsible, independent kid that can handle this just fine so long as he has a microwave and internet access.

2008: I had a couple of friends, but mostly felt very lonely and isolated.
2009: I have some very good friends, some less-close-but-still-good friends, some casual acquaintances that  always make me smile (hello CTG!), a pretty full social calendar, and sometimes wish desperately to just be home by myself for a few hours.
2010: All of the above, plus a couple of new friends... :-)
2011: Loads of new people in my life this year. Some of them are even male... lol.
2012: With the new job comes a new social circle. I must say I like working with a mixed group of men and women again... lol. The estrogen levels in my life were approaching critical.

2008: I was single.
2009: Still single... no change there. : )
2010: Despite some rumors you may have heard, still single. But I guess there were at least rumors this year. Maybe next year there will be something to them! ;-)
2011: Still single! But I did actually go on ONE date in 2011. Which is one more than in the previous eight years combined, so I guess that's progress... ha ha ha!
2012: I am... not single*. Haven't been since September-ish. (Don't ask me exactly when, because I don't know!) Here's the funny part: Internally, I have always said two things... that I wanted to date someone I didn't date in high school (because all previous boyfriends and my ex-husband I dated in high school), and that I wanted to date someone who was my best friend (obviously, this required finding a male best friend). To which, I presume, God said, "Okay then... how about your best friend from elementary school? That's not high school!" You will never convince me that God doesn't have a sense of humor (as well as a keen sense of irony), but I am still very grateful to have Andrew back in my life after 19 years of absence.

(*Edit: Seemingly some have taken this statement to mean I am now married. I assure you that is not the case. I'm just in a reasonably serious relationship, is all.)
Well, that wraps it up for this year, kids!

November 9, 2012

We Have Moved.... Again

I see that I haven't posted anything since July, which is going to make playing catch-up rather difficult. I'm not sure I even know where to start, aside from maybe starting where I left off in July. I don't exactly remember where I left off, but judging by the date I will say it was probably something about how cool it was to have my best friend from 5th grade back and stuff like that. That's still cool, don't get me wrong.

We, in fact, hung out pretty much from Friday afternoon through Saturday night (and sometimes on Sunday afternoons too) every weekend straight through July and August. And pretty soon the Chamaco became involved, joining us at the river on Sunday afternoons. (He simply isn't around Friday night through Saturday night because he goes to my mom's and/or his dad's.)

Interesting side note: People really don't change a lot between ages 10 and 30. I mentioned before that I remember Andrew (who will need a cool blog alias) as the kid who could draw every US state from memory. Well, we were sitting on the bank of the river one  Sunday afternoon watching the Chamaco jump around in the water, and suddenly Andrew elbowed me and pointed at the sand and asked, "What's that?" Naturally he has drawn the outline of a state in the sand. I forget which one he started with. But he did a few states, and when it became clear that wasn't going to stump me he moved on to European countries. My point here is that we were nerds in 5th grade and we pretty much still are. And clearly whatever odd chemistry made us work as friends when we were 10 is still effective 20 years later, even though now we are old and have money and cars and don't have to whine at our parents to take us places anymore.

Anyway, sometime in mid-August he was griping about being a broke college student and having to pay whatever he was paying to live in a bedroom of somebody's big fancy house, and I was like, "It's too bad I don't have 3 bedrooms... I get free rent! I wouldn't charge you to live here." He insisted he would want to pay something to help with utilities and stuff, and it sort of didn't come up again until about a week later when he realized that he was going to have slightly less income for the month of September and almost no income for the month of October. See, he gets paid a certain amount per day for days he actually attends college... this is how his Air Force thing works. And the school term ended in late August and wouldn't start up again until September 24th or something like that. So he was losing a week for August (paid in September), and then losing almost all of September (paid in October). He worked it out and realized he was only going to have about $600 for the whole month of October. Rent for him was almost all of that, and he still would need to buy gas to get to school, food, etc. And suddenly we were revisiting the idea of him moving in, which he was only willing to do if it was okay with the Chamaco. And he jokingly said to me, "Tell your boss she needs to build a 3 bedroom apartment at Highland!"

I believe it was the next day I was talking to my boss on the phone about moving him in with me and what would be necessary, and I said, "Oh, and he says to tell you to build a 3 bedroom apartment at Highland." And we had a good laugh.

A few days later, she called me back and asked, "Did you really want a three bedroom apartment?" I was like, "Well yeah, it would be nice, but there aren't any here."

"So how would you like to move to Springcreek?"

It was then explained to me that the property I was currently living/working on was up for sale. There were no offers on it yet, of course, but at some point it would be sold and then whatever manager was on that property at the time would need to be relocated. And since at that point I was the only manager living on-site, they sort of wanted to move me to a property they were keeping. They also sort of wanted the manager who was currently at Springcreek to take her sales talent over to a property that was struggling a bit more. So, the day before Andrew was set to move in with me anyway (and he hadn't much liked the idea of moving to Gresham, mind you), I called him and said, "So... how would you like to move to Milwaukie?"

The initial reaction, of course, was "why?" followed by a rant about my job's seeming instability and doubt about whether he should move at all. I told him I had asked for a day to think it over. That night I went out to dinner with Sammich, determined to forget about this impending decision for a few hours. And then the text messages from Andrew started coming in. "Springcreek is within walking distance of _______." "Milwaukie Elementary was rated 7 out of 10 stars." (Yes, he was even checking out the schools for the Chamaco." And by the time I got home from dinner that night it was beginning to sound like Andrew was not at all opposed. The Chamaco wasn't really opposed either... he didn't like the school in Gresham anyhow (which according to Andrew had only gotten 3 of 10 stars on that same site), and liked the idea of moving back to a smaller town perhaps more similar to the one we'd left when we came to Gresham.

So Andrew moved in with me anyway on August 30th, and I temporarily cleaned out half my closet to give him a place to put his clothes and essentials, and he put other stuff in a storage unit across the street (a steal at around $100/month compared to what he'd been paying before for rent). The idea was that we'd somehow coexist in a small space for a month or so, then we'd move to Milwaukie and he could have his own room. Both of us were looking forward to this. Him because the closet was really crowded, and me primarily because he snores.

Somewhere in September my emotionally retarded brain finally caught onto the idea that the vibe between us had turned fuzzy, and somewhere toward the end of September we became official enough that he told his friends. Not something I was expecting, really, but I wasn't opposed either. We moved to Milwaukie on October 13th (pictures of new place to follow, naturally), and now he has a room for his stuff.

So yes, I live with my boyfriend. I feel I must point out that those were not the terms when he moved in, and given the current financial situation (and also the fact that I like having him around) I'm disinclined to give him the boot now. It's now been about 2 1/2 months since he moved in and we still don't hate each other. I find this fact amusing, because my ex-husband didn't move in with me until after we got married, and it only took me about 2 weeks after that to start reconsidering the idea. Now that Andrew is working and going to school and I'm working full time I pretty much only see him in the evenings, but the really cool part is that dishes get done as if by magic and reasonably often, since he gets home first, he has dinner going by the time I get home. And, as he points out often, he does his own laundry. Can't beat that.

I have to run to work now, so this post will end a tad abruptly, but I'll try not to go another 4 months without posting.