What an awesome weekend!
It started off with me dreading it. I wanted to go to Deeply Rooted’s Yule get together but some other events took place first making me wonder if I could “afford” it.
The house that I am renting has a big gas tank outside that heats the main and lower level of the house. It was getting real close to empty. My ex told me my child support check would be a few days early and I could cash it right away instead of waiting till the 15th like usual. So, day after day I checked the mail box to find it not there. Then my ex told me I could still get the tank filled and they would bill me and I could make payments. I called around to get price quotes and to learn that they all expect the first full payment of at least 250 gallons upon receipt from new customers which would come out to about 430 bucks. Peachy!
Yeah, it’s going to be Christmas soon. Some people might say I shouldn’t worry about it; it’s not about gifts but more spiritual stuff. As true as thet can be, my kids didn’t get to celebrate Christmas or really any holiday or Birthday (except Thanksgiving) up until about three years ago. So, I like to do my best to make it a really cool day. I’m not that good at it really, but I try. So first thought was, well, there goes the presents. But then I remembered an anonymous family donated $40 Wal Mart two gift cards to my family for Christmas gifts for the kids.
To mix things up a bit more, I opened up a local bank account when I finally got the check on the 15th. The last bank I had I got my check card right away. This bank told me I would get my check card in the mail in about two weeks. Thus, leaving me with only being able to access my account using checks (which I don’t like to use) or going to the bank when they are open.
We got a surprising knock on the door in the early afternoon. It was a couple delivering food from the Elks. The school put my name in for it but I figured I’d have to pick it up when the time came so it was a very pleasant surprise.
Like I said before I really wanted to go to the Yule Celebration. I had some money left on my old check card from my old bank that I decided I could use for gas for the car and I figured if I didn’t go I would be majorly depressed about it later when the kids were driving me insane. I always give up on doing stuff cause this happens to me a lot so I decided it was time I did something nice for me for a change. I gave the kids the option of going with me or staying with their dad. Levi wanted to stay with dad and my computer so he did and the other three went with me to Athens WI for the new adventure. On the way up Preston (my ex) text me and told me he couldn’t get Levi on line on his account on my computer and the only way to do it was through my account which needs my password. Now my ex is a geek, he is one of the best you’ll find when it comes to computer stuff. He can build a computer from scratch, program, and fix a compute and recover data after the Geek Squad gave up on it. Plus, he has several computers as it is. I figured he’d set Levi up on something of his so I left it alone.
A pond at Deeply Rooted.
The drive up to Athens wasn’t as long as I thought it would be, and the camp area was as beautiful as I thought it would be! It was awesome to hang out with adults for a change even if Kyle was testing me every time I turned around. Hannah normally has had trouble at events like so it was really cool to see her, Kara and Kyle really enjoying themselves.
I did the polar bear plunge and was thankful to Maxine for doing it as well so I wasn’t the only girl. I think the hardest part was walking barefoot on the ice. Although it was my first time to do a polar bear plunge it did bring back memories of when I was a kid living on the boat. I remember wanting to wash my hair really bad and finally getting so desperate I would get in the dingy (small row boat) and stick my head in the ice cold winter water of the bay real fast. It would take my breath away for a little while. I would wash up then stick my head back in again real quick for a rinse off. Then I would take the cold fresh water in the drinking water jug and rinse the salt water out. The fresh water felt so warm compared to the bay water.
(This is a pic of the oat I was raised on in San Diego. My story about sticking my head in cold water was earlier years in New Port Beach Ca. )
We had a lovely Yule ritual around the camp fire in the snow. It was so pretty. I wondered how the kids would take to using an outhouse and I was surprised to learn they really didn’t find it such a big deal. The girls got to sleep with the other girls near their ages which reminded them of when they went to camp before. I was happy to see the other girls were very accepting of Hannah. In the past places we’ve been to with kids her age didn’t go so smoothly. No matter how much you try to help people understand aspergers they act like they get it then go right back to judging you and your kid. Now some did have a few issues with Kyle but they lived. He was in test mom and all adults mode. There were some who insisted he was cute.
Kyle and I shared a futon in the loft of the main building. Kyle was too excited to fall asleep at 11 at night but eventually fell asleep. I didn’t go to sleep so soon but stayed awake for a while. When I did fall asleep I woke often but then would pass right back out again. I ended up having an interesting dream. I used to have terrible nightmares which my old pastor called demonic attacks. They were the kind where I couldn’t move and stuff like that and had a real fear factor to them. Over the years I learned to overcome those using different techniques. I’ve noticed lately when I have the few and far between “nightmares” they are of a different nature. They are usually things that I don’t understand therefore I don’t know how to overcome them. The dream I had in the loft wasn’t action filled but it threw me off therefore making me feel uncomfortable. In the dream I was standing outside with friends like at a camp fire and there was a very large snake, boa type, wrapped around me from the elbows up with its head wresting on my shoulder. It was kinda cool but it made me nervous cause I was aware if it decided to it could squeeze and there was nothing I could do and it could easily kill me. I called Hannah over to offer it some food to coax it off of me but it just closed its eyes and kept resting on my shoulder. I woke after a short time.
In the morning I felt the dream had meaning. I don’t have many dreams I feel have meaning but every now and then one will become significant to me and catch my attention. I knew snakes have meaning in a dream but couldn’t remember what so I brought it up to Wade and Shahara who let me know snakes represent wisdom and learning. Wade recalled how in Christianity snakes are known for being liars and deceivers and evil. That I remembered but it was the old meanings I was more interested in. While thinking about it I remembered what Elizabeth had shared in her book Eat Pray Love. She learned that snakes in the Hindu belief are like a funnel from ones inner soul to the universe and cause enlightenment by filling us with wisdom and understanding. I can’t help but think once again how it was the serpent in the Scriptures who was in the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that man was not supposed to eat of. It was the serpent who coaxed Eve into taking a bite of knowledge and it was God who punished them all of them for it. Much like the dark ages when the religious leaders tortured and killed the scientist unless they reneged on their findings. So really, the church leaders were just doing what their God did. Knowledge and understanding don’t necessarily threaten faith and belief in god(s) but the fear that it will is strong.
pic I found on google images.
So, back to the dream. I got the idea of the dream but I was not satisfied with the feeling of fear of this very large snake wrapped around me. I guess I have a habit of finding a way to overcome my fears so my brain kept ticking. Then I got it! I imagined myself back in the dream with the snake around me and I saw myself dissolve into particles into the air in the mist of it. Thus, not just freeing me from the snake necessarily but making me one with it as well, what ever I so chose.
Pic I found on google images then added words to.
Seeking and learning truth is more than a notion, it’s a responsibility and it isn’t always pleasant. For some ignorance is “sweet bliss”, not knowing the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I am addicted to truth. It can hurt like crazy and I still pursue it. I crave it in a way. There are some folks who are born seekers, but it seems they are outnumbered by those who are just content with what is in front of them. There is nothing wrong with either. But so many people are intolerant and want everyone else to be just like them. We all have our purpose in life and would do better if we would accept each other for who we are and be a team of individuals.
Ok, back to the weekend. Sunday afternoon we headed back to Preston’s apartment to get Levi. The kids had gotten presents while at the Yule retreat so Levi wasn’t too happy. Not only did he lose out on the presents but he was board out of his wits at daddy’s place. Hearing Levi’s side and then hearing his dad’s side of the story doesn’t help a lot in figuring out what actually happened cause the kids dads tells what happened much like the kids do with his perspective leaving out a ton of relevant info. From what I gathered he did let Levi use his laptop that has a screen that turned around making it a pad. Preston said Levi kept pressing boxes that he wasn’t supposed to so he took it away from him. Levi said the pad didn’t go on line to so he couldn’t play on his fav games. Whatever it be he was miserable and very upset. I was disappointed for him cause I figured he’d have a good time hanging out with his dad doing what his dad does by geeking out. The kids have told me in different ways before they don’t like going to dad’s place but this time they made it even more clear how much they don’t like it. It sucks cause I came to Wisconsin so they could spend time with him. I also like the idea of getting a break now and then and it sucks that taking them to dad’s feels like a punishment to them. I know they aren’t the only kids going through this and they are gonna have to learn to deal with it, but still, I hate helping to make them miserable. Preston is getting ready to go to school in a few weeks. I wish he’d take a class in child development so he’d have a clue what to do with his kids. I just can’t help but remember what he said to me when we were still married. I remember him telling me that if anything every happened and we divorced he wouldn’t be a dead beat dad like those other guys. He is now a member of the dead beat dad club.
While I was at his place picking Levi up Preston informed me he was gonna contact the Hawaii courts (where we divorced) and have them reassess the child support so he could have it lowered. I’m PMSing. You know, men really should do some recon before breaking big important news to their wives and ex’s. lol Maybe it was the break of being around awesome people at Deeply Rooted, but I didn’t even get upset a little. I was quite proud of myself. Lol I let him know while he was doing that we needed to get the child support changed from him sending it to me to the CS sending it to me. He said he had been thinking of the same thing. I didn’t remind him that I had brought that up to him at least three times before already. Sigh!
Later that evening I went to the UU meeting. It’s a small group that meets at a house twice a month. Its wonderful group and I always enjoy it. The message on line was on hope which went well with the poem I had written a few weeks ago. They played the song Silent Night in several languages which was pretty cool.
Today, Monday, I went to St. Vincent de Paul’s to go to their food pantry. I was trying to avoid all the charity since I got here hoping things were better financially, but inside I knew we’d need the help. It’s not that I’m too proud, I just don’t want to take advantage of those who are giving and take it from someone who is in more need then we are. Moving always has crazy expenses around every corner, like the giant gas bill. St. Vinnie’s loaded me up with food and lots of pastries and candy too. Lol The people volunteering there were as sweet as the pastries! There was a Christmas area too where they gave me gifts for the kids. It was pretty awesome.
The kid’s dad has an interview at the hospital in a few days. At this time he doesn’t have a job and is living off his saving and military retirement and apparently disability. (The last one is new to me.) Thus, the reason for wanting to lower the child support. The military paid him my portion of the retirement so he has to pay that back to the military and I think he is resentful of that too. The Navy does stuff like that a lot by the way. I haven’t got any of that money yet cause they apparently are waiting for a form from me that I didn’t know about till recently. I can’t find any paper and I have to print a bunch of stuff so hopefully I can have it done tomorrow. My ex keeps bringing up how his finances are getting depleted and how he didn’t know moving would be so expensive. I can’t help but think about how he likely spent a fair amount when he went to Jordan to meet his girlfriend and her kids a few weeks ago. But he doesn’t bring that up; it’s all about the move, naturally.
Hoping your ex will learn and do better may not be the smartest thing to hope for. That may sound negative but in a way it’s not, it’s smart. When Preston first let me know he wouldn’t allow a schedule for helping with the kids cause the kids were my sole responsibility I was terribly upset. But after reprogramming my brain to understanding this disappointing idea I have been able to handle other comments without being upset because I don’t expect much from him. Not that there won’t be moments of frustration but they will be fewer and far between. See, wisdom is a good thing! Lol
I wanted to add that I wrote this blog while all four of my kids were home and I was interrupted constantly even while proof reading. Soooo, it may be a little choppy in places and such. lol
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