Sunday, August 31, 2008

With ten miles behind me and ten thousand more to go...

Last night we took Little J to visit her mother for a couple of hours while Shawn and I went to the inlaws' for dinner. We had a nice visit with them, then went back to pick her up. When I arrived to get her, there was a twelve year old boy in the front entrance eager to question me about when Little J would be back. Apparently his mother lives at the recovery home too, and he was hoping the two of them would be able to coordinate their next visits.

When we got home Little J asked me to come and chat with her about boys. She had questions about crushes and first kisses and that tingly feeling you get a when a boy says he likes you. It was adorable. We talked for a long time. I hope her mother will find a way to let her explore these feelings (while adequately supervising!) and let her grow up as she needs to. Meanwhile I'm so glad she's here and we can talk about these things together.


It's the last day of August. There's already a chill in the air in the mornings, the thing that reminds us we're Canadian in spite of the fact that winters here are so comparably painless to winter on the prairies. There's still a little nip in the air that I can't help loving because it feels fresh and somehow Christmasy. Even on the last day of August.


Friday, August 29, 2008

guess it's got something to do with luck

There's really nothing in the world for making a person feel old like getting ready in the mirror beside a pre-teen girl. I love this girl more than I could ever express... and yet, I think I am jealous of her.

I notice that her eyes are bright and clear and sparkly. And then I notice that mine look a little tired, lines around the corners, maybe some concealer would brighten up those darker circles? I notice her hair, shiny and thick and lustrous, falling just perfectly. And I notice mine, hanging limply with a few greys illuminated by the florescent lights. Her face, unlined, smooth and perfect. And mine... not.

She's such a pretty girl. The irony, of course, is that she struggles with the self-consciousness that seems to come so naturally with adolescence. She looks in the mirror and sees flaws. Flaws that the average woman would kill for.

It's a good thing she's modest, really, or I'd have to kill her and pluck out those pretty eyes of hers and make them mine.



Thursday, August 28, 2008

If I had a rocket launcher... I'd make somebody pay.

The other teacher showed up today and spent a lot of time hanging around with me, being cordial and self-deprecating and pleasant. If I hadn't been forewarned I think I'd have believed he was quite charming. I suppose it's possible that he really is pleasant and that the things that happened in the past are ... Past. But I'm not getting too close because I'm scared. He's already filed two grievances against staff members and has a long history of screwing over his colleagues with the students. Fortunately, his timetable works in opposition to mine so with luck we won't have to cross paths very often. People keep assuring me that he is bound to leave again in the near future and will leave me with full time work again... but I'm not counting on it.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

all that's best of dark and bright

Good morning house. Good morning puppies. Good morning kittycat, good morning hamster. Good morning.

I'm not going to work today. Hah!

My contract is currently for 57% and I am not going to fall into the trap of being there full time for half time pay. Yesterday a couple of people reminded me of the fact that since I put in the full day yesterday, I deserved the full day off today. I've been swinging back and forth with that in my head, and finally decided that I agree. I'm staying home today. I'm going to tidy up the house a bit and stay in. I'll go tomorrow (for 57% of it?) and consider my job done.

So.... coffee. :)


My family is coming home tonight. I'm really glad.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

laughing spinning swinging madly across the sun

Well, today was interesting in a few ways. The staff was supposed to be at school for 8:30, and I decided on my own that I wanted to arrive around 8:00 in hopes of beating the other teacher to the theatre so that I could do a little territory-protecting. Peeing in the corners, if you will. This idea fell somewhat by the wayside when it came down to actually getting my butt out the door because I didn't feel like moving and I also kind of realised that I just don't care that much. If it's only a part time job, it's not worth getting myself worked up about it. So I ended up leaving at a more leisurely pace, thinking that instead of trying to beat him to the punch I would just be amiable and pleasant and not let myself get stressed out over a career that would, at most, take three hours a day out of my life.

Armed with my newfound lackadaisical attitude, I strolled into work (still feeling somewhat trepidacious on the inside, whistling on the outside and swinging my keys) where I was met by my department head who immediately informed me that in fact, the other teacher may not be back after all. Although he informed Human Resources he intended to return to work, he has not contacted the school's administration nor the medical staff he needs to contact to gain clearance for returning to work. So there's no guarantee, of course, that I'll have the full time job after all, but it certainly seems like it could work out in my favour after all. I do hope so.

Prior to this situation at work, my experience and understanding of unions was minimal. I knew they took money out of my paycheque every month and I knew they were supposed to represent me at contractual negotiations. Otherwise I knew nothing. Since then I've had the opportunity to learn much more and I'm not impressed. The degree of protection this other teacher has received from the union over the last few years is astonishing. At a detriment to the students, the staff, and the entire Drama program, this man has been permitted to keep a stranglehold on this position forever while he never actually shows up to do the work.

Anyway. To be continued, I'm sure.

The other surprise was the day's activities. Having not attended summer professional development days with this staff last year (because I was hired late) I had no idea what to expect. The events for the day were nothing I would actually call professional development per se, but they were good for teambuilding. It the morning we all boarded a bus and were driven to a mysterious location and given a scavenger hunt. We spent the morning running around looking for landmarks and bugging local people for information.

In the afternoon we boarded dragonboats and were given a crash course in paddling. After a bit of practice time we raced other boats and showed off our incredible lack of skill. I got soaking wet because the man in front of me was a rather exuberant rower, but the event was fun.

I came home to angry puppies who were offended that I'd left them in their houses all day long for the first time since June. Judging by the depth and warmth of the snugglepile on my lap, I have to assume they have forgiven me.

It's just after 7:30 and I have to go to work shortly. It's not really something to complain about because I know people in other jobs don't get this kind of extended holiday, but every September when school starts I feel like I'm going to meet my executioner.


Monday, August 25, 2008

let me get to the point

This morning I went to the shopping centre to pick up Little J's pants which we were having hemmed, and to get more hamster food. (Exciting stuff.) And since then I've been doing a whole lot of nothing, enjoying my last day of summer vacation.

A woman from work phoned me this afternoon to ask if I was returning to the school this year. I thought that was awfully nice of her since I didn't know her extremely well and I was touched that she cared enough about the answer to call me to ask. I can tell that I've been alone for a long time because under normal conditions I wouldn't have even answered the phone let alone feel sappy like this. Hee. In any event, I'm feeling more positive about my half-time job and hoping for the best in terms of getting along with the other guy.

There's stuff I should do tonight before going to bed.... laundry, for example. And vacuuming the area where the cat lives... But I don't feel like it. I guess I can't wait to feel like it or it will never happen. But procrastinating until tomorrow seems like a good plan.


Sunday, August 24, 2008


My vacation is ending way too fast. I go back to school on Tuesday for a three day week, which is just professional days. I'm actually going to need to figure out what on earth to do with the kids when they arrive, so I hope they don't tie us up in meetings the entire time. I'd like to have a chance to plan out the first week's worth of lesson plans.

I suppose I could be doing that now. But I'd rather do it on the clock since I have to be there anyway.

I'm kind of nervous about sharing that office with the returning teacher whose reputation precedes him as an obnoxious, overbearing loudmouth. I hope they find somewhere else to put him. But I suspect, if the reports are accurate, that is going to be me who chickens out first and runs for cover.


Shawn phoned this morning from his mother's place to say he'd arrived there safely. He'll probably be home late on Wednesday night. I'm actually starting to miss the family now which just goes to prove that I am all talk when I say I love and crave being alone. Just the way a person fantasizes about eating a whole cake or a pizza, when you have it there in front of you, a couple of pieces will usually do the trick. Now I'm ready to have my family back. Maybe I should eat cake and pizza until they return.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

just (a) fine

Yesterday I caved in and bought cigarettes for C. I don't know what's wrong with me, but I just can't seem to figure out what the right thing is. After thinking about it a lot, and doing some reading, I started to think that maybe buying her cigarettes was actually an aid to her recovery since when she doesn't have them she goes insane and can't focus on anything else.

I don't know. It's probably a stupid decision. I'm probably being taken advantage of. But somehow that's easier to live with than wondering if my action (or lack of action) could sabotage her recovery. I just want her to get well.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

a little somethin' extra to take it all away

Today is day one of my Week of Peace. I woke up at 5:30 with Shawn to help him get Little J ready to go, and to hug and kiss them all goodbye. After seeing them off, I tried to go back to bed and found that I couldn't sleep. And yet, I didn't want to be up and awake that early knowing I have only five days of vacation time left before school begins again. So I stayed in bed staring at the ceiling and snuggling the puppies for awhile, and eventually did manage to get about another half hour before finally getting up at 8:00.

My parents called shortly after that to talk about the custody situation, and basically reported that no progress has been made on their end yet either. As Little J is on her way to visit them for a week they probably won't be seeing their lawyer for a little while. Meanwhile, C called to demand cigarettes and told me that since I wasn't willing to buy them for her I was obviously disinterested in her recovery, cold, cruel and exacting. I asserted my non- "co-dependent" self by assuring her that while I wish her all the best I have no intention of buying her any cigarettes. She was angry.

I went to a doctor appointment after the phone call, and then came home and had some lunch. And then fell asleep on the couch for an hour. Ahhh... this life of peace and quiet!

I have no plans for this evening other than just lounging around and reading my book and perhaps struggling to muster up the motivation to go for a jog.

I've been letting the answering machine get the phone all afternoon and reveling in the Quiet.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

the nearer your destination

My principal said she would see about the rooms. She said she will do all she can to make this situation easier for me and that she really wants me to stay at her school. She assigned me to work with the senior classes and the other teacher to work with the juniors, anticipating that this is going to cause some friction, but being prepared to deal with it. She also alluded to the fact that she still thinks this will work out in my favour in the end. I'm pleased to hear all of these things, but am not counting my chickens yet because this entire experience has been one surprise after another.

Meanwhile I'm going to get my mind around the idea of being a half-time slack-ass and find ways to enjoy that instead of worrying about it.


Tomorrow the gang is leaving at 6:00am.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

the sound of your own wheels

I am just going to find ways to deal with it.

After fuming for awhile, I wrote my principal an email and asked her if she could assign us different spaces to work in so we don't have to share one area. She had already gone home for the day so I won't hear from her until later. But if she can do that it will go a long way toward making things easier to deal with.


Tomorrow I have an appointment at noon. I am looking forward to it.


a day tripper... a one way ticket, yeah

Well. I just found out that the teacher who is being disciplined by the board and who caused all sorts of problems while he was on medical leave is returning to the school next month. In spite of everything. And he's taking half my job. Or perhaps more accurately in the eyes of the union, I only get to keep half his job.

The idea of working only half-time leaves me feeling somewhat worried. I wouldn't feel this way if Crazy Shawn wasn't also in this boat, but I was really hoping to have full time work at least until he found a better situation.

It's a funny thing. If I was working this schedule by my own choosing I would probably be quite delighted. But having it forced upon me is frustrating. People warned me he would end up doing this and I think I was a little too cocky in thinking he wouldn't want to return to a place where he was so obviously disliked. Perhaps he doesn't care. Or perhaps he just doesn't see it.

In any case, it leaves me a bit worried. If this year goes well for him, he will probably take back the other 50% in the following year.

Working on my Masters degree in Counselling gives me some flexibility in the future... but for now this situation is not ideal.

I'm going to have to grovel to GDJ for some more instructional design work. Or something.


Monday, August 18, 2008

more fun than a barrel of monkeys on my back

Since C started to work a recovery program I have learned more about The Twelve Steps than I ever wanted to. Something I find exasperating about the whole program is that people like me, people who want to help, are suddenly labelled with an illness, "codependency" and deemed to be addicted to the addicts. We are urged to attend Al-Alon or Nar-Anon meetings and to spend our lives "recovering" from our disease and "working the steps" to recover from our illness. It makes me want to barf.

The fact that C has made idiotic choices in her life, and the fact that I want her to get better so she can raise her daughter- who I happen to adore - does not make me ill. If we're going to talk about being a little too sensitive for my own good, or a little too tenderhearted to always make the best decision, I'll cop to that. But it's not a disease. It's compassion, it's love. It's empathy. I don't need to work through twelve steps or spend my evenings in meetings in order to recover from that. I don't find anything wrong with it.

Am I deluded in feeling this way?


Sunday, August 17, 2008

here comes us

Today is our anniversary. Big J is at his sister's for the weekend and we were able to drop Little J off for a visit with C, allowing us to have some time alone. Time alone is hard to come by these days but I'm finding that this fact makes it better when we do manage to get some. Or maybe it's the fact that the weather has been so hot I've been wearing very little clothing. Men are sooo visual. Heh.


In the morning we took Little J back to the eye doctor for her contact lens lessons. She struggled a bit for awhile but managed to learn how to get them in and out well enough that we could eventually take them, and her, back home. Meanwhile Shawn got a haircut, which he couldn't have needed more.

Things around here have been crisis-free for a few days and I'm trying to enjoy that fact rather than waiting anxiously for something bad to happen. Part of me thinks C is just back in another honeymoon phase being in a new centre, but another part of me is truly hoping this might be the turning point. Having been forced to spend a night in a shelter because of the drugs and her bad choices around recovery, I am hoping the infamous "rock bottom" has been hit and that things will get better from here. And yet I'm scared to hope that too fervently because I think I will be disappointed.

I love them all, but I miss my old life, the one where it was just me and Shawn and the puppies.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

signs of serious side effects

Craigslist is an interesting phenomenon. I've learned that we don't ever have to pay someone to haul away things we don't want because if we advertise them on Craigslist under "free stuff" there is ALWAYS someone who wants them. Right now I am waiting for someone to come and pick up the three toilets that we removed from the house several months ago and which have been sitting out in the backyard providing nice homes for spiders. I don't think I could sell them for a dollar apiece but as soon as they're free... people want them. It's weird. Anyway, I'm glad about it. Glad that someone else can get rid of them for me, and glad that someone else can make use of stuff that would otherwise be in a landfill.


I was late for my dentist appointment this afternoon because I forgot about it and left late. I've been doing that a lot lately, being late for things, forgetting things, being dumb like that. I think I might be getting early onset dementia.


Tonight Little J is visiting her mother in the newest recovery house and Shawn is over at his Dad's place. Big J is visiting his sister and I am getting a free preview of what life will be life after they all go on the road trip. I am selfishly ridiculously excited about being alone for awhile. It's kind of awful, really, to be this delighted, but I can't help it. All summer I've had a full house, the exact opposite of what summer is usually like. I've desperately wanted long days to lounge in the bath, be lazy, and just enjoy having some time to myself. That's what I'm looking forward to.


Friday, August 15, 2008

drive my car into the ocean

Only six days until I'm going to be blissfully alone for a whole week.

These are the things I am going to do while I am alone:
- spend time at the YMCA in the gym AND in the hot tub
- use the spa gift certificate Shawn's stepmother gave me for Christmas
- shop for some back-to-school clothes for MYSELF
- finish my book, A Spot of Bother
- clean the house and watch it stay clean

There's more... but I haven't figured it all out yet. Maybe I'll eat pizza too.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

storing up for the winter

Shawn is taking Little J on a road trip for about seven days. He's going to visit his mother and grandmother, my parents, and some of our friends. Little J will spend a few days with my parents while he visits people she doesn't know. I have been sort of excited about this because of the fact it would mean having the place almost to myself for a little while... and today, Big J announced that he wants to go too! Hallelujah!!!!! I'm going to have seven whole days of peace, quiet and privacy. I can sleep, I can read, I can sit around naked. I can waste time, I can fool around. I can do whatever I want.

It's not that I don't love these people. I really truly do.

But seven days. Think of it! What would you do with such a gift?


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Rock Band

Big J bought a video game called Rock Band which comes with a pretend drum kit, guitar and microphone. The idea is that it's a family game because each (of 3) people can play simultaneously. Big J became bored with it almost instantly but Little J is in love with the microphone (the girl has pipes!) and Shawn loves the drums. So the two of them have been playing together all afternoon. It's adorable.

I just asked them if they want dinner and Little J completely ignored me. And Shawn said, "I'll play dinner after this song."


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

there's god in the trees, i'm weak in the knees

Tonight has been crazy.

This afternoon I took Little J to the mall for an eye doctor's appointment and to get her a haircut. She was one happy little pumpkin with pretty hair and the promise of contact lenses to come.

And then, we got home to the phone which has been ringing incessantly since then. C has been kicked out of the recovery home AGAIN for lying about her prescriptions and trying to stockpile pills. They drove her to the Salvation Army. So I have been talking to her on the phone. She is hysterical and wants me to come and get her, which I have been advised not to do.

She even gave my phone number to some strange man who phoned me to give me his opinion of her (she's wonderful, he says) and of the recovery house that kicked her out (awful, he says) as though I might listen to the opinion of some stranger over that of the women who we have trusted to help us in getting C off the drugs.

Nothing makes any sense.

We're going to see our lawyer tomorrow about trying to get legal custody. Right now C seems to be doing everything she can to make that very easy for us.


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

fire no guns, shed no tears

This morning C told me she had decided to go to a different recovery centre because she doesn't like the one she's in. (This, I suspect, is because they are pressuring her to stop taking the pain medication.) She said she was going to fax in an application to another centre today. While she was talking to me, one of the staff members told C to get off the phone and C got really obnoxious about it. Unable to keep my mouth shut, I told C she'd better be careful about getting too lippy before she's found a new place to go lest she get kicked out.

Then we decided to go out. We took Little J to the YMCA to swim and I worked out in the gym, taking out all my frustrations on the machines. Very satisfying.

When we got back, C called again to inform us she has officially been kicked out of her current centre and has not yet been accepted anywhere else. On the application form for the new centre she decided to write horrible things about the staff at the current centre, and then, absurdly, used their fax machine to send it. And then was shocked to find that one of the staff members at the current place actually read the document.

They gave her 48 hours to get out.

She asked for advice from the women's resource centre who suggested she go to the Salvation Army where she could get a cot for a few weeks while she tried to find a new centre to live in. She told me this was unacceptable to her. I told her she isn't really in a position to be picky like that. What I did not do was offer her a bed at our house, and this is because I have been advised by every drug addiction specialist I've spoken to that it is necessary to allow her to reach rock bottom no matter how awful that is because it's the only chance that she might decide to change her life.

What a mess.

If C was a normal human being this would be the moment in her life that she would realise she had to do something drastic to fix up her life. But she's not, and I fear that she won't. I can't even guess at what will transpire next in this drama, but I'm trying to keep my stomach knot-free the way it usually is after a good workout. I'm trying to focus on what's good about this, which is that she may be ensuring her own child's safety by putting herself in a position where she is less and less able to care for her.


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

a still life watercolour

I'm nervous about our meeting on Friday with the court appointed counsellor. I really know nothing about this process and how it works, but I suspect there are going to be snags. Although C initially agreed and signed the custody order, since then she has been in panic-mode, running on air to try and scare us into changing our minds somehow. She doesn't understand, of course, that it's too late for any of us to change our minds about this. The papers have already been filed at the courthouse. All we can do now is go forward. And whether that means we have to have some big ugly Kramer vs. Kramer style feud or whether it can be done more simply and with less blood remains to be seen.

I don't have a lot of confidence, in spite of the document she signed, that we will manage to get anything lasting out of this. Nothing to keep Little J safe in any real, long-term way. I think the system is very much biased in favour of mothers, even mothers who neglect their children, allowing them to live in piles of cigarette butts and rotten milk cartons and cat feces. My mother said that after the eviction, the company that came to clean the apartment had their workers in HazMat suits and masks. The law, I think, protects these mothers. Even mothers who don't send their children to school and don't allow them to leave the house in case they should be exposed to the normal world for a brief minute and realise they like it there and might want to come back once in awhile. I still think our justice system is bent in these mothers' favour.

I could be wrong.

But I'm mentally preparing myself for the likelihood that the court will simply return Little J to her custody, allowing her to continue depriving the child of everything childhood is supposed to be. And worse yet, I'm mentally preparing myself for the distinct possibility that if the courts decide to return Little J to her, there's a good chance that she won't allow us to see Little J ever again.

It all scares me so much that I frequently feel nauseated. But there just isn't any other way to proceed. I can't let her go back to that life without at least trying to pull her out of it.


Monday, August 04, 2008

Most of my life I've assumed I'm not a snob. I'm interested in people who are different from me and I've enjoyed learning about all kinds of different people. But now I think I'm a snob.

When I go to C's recovery centre I feel out of place and uncomfortable. The woman who was assigned to supervise my visitation with C was a woman on methadone who struggled not to slur and who chain-smoked the entire time she was with us. Just how, I couldn't help asking myself, was this woman supposed to be supervising my behaviour? She could barely keep her head up.

When I was introduced to the "House Mother" who was supposed to ensure Little J's well-being during the visit, making sure nothing bad could happen to her, this woman slumped over to us wordlessly, scowled (with multiple missing teeth) and made a comment so unintelligible that it sounded like a grunt. Again, I couldn't help but feel uneasy that I was being expected to place my trust in this person, trust with the life of an eleven year old little girl.

Even the sweet little blonde ghost who greets me in her wispy voice as a brand new person each and every time I meet her, telling me, "We work so hard to keep the house clean. We really care about keeping it nice," ... as much as my heart aches for her and the suffering that is so clearly written all over her haunted face, I don't trust her. I don't want her in charge of anything that affects my life.

I'm a snob.

And I can't help it.


Sunday, August 03, 2008

my thoughts are scattered and they're cloudy

Yesterday morning C phoned to tell us that the director of the centre needed to cancel the meeting because she felt sick and wanted to meet another time. Having been burned repeatedly by C's dishonesty, we assumed she was lying and tried to phone the director ourselves but no one answered the phone. Eventually we drove out to the centre to drop off Little J and when we got there we spoke with another staff member who actually confirmed that the director was ill. We were surprised and I was glad we hadn't outright accused C of lying. I almost feel guilty about being so suspicious except for the fact that she recently told Little J that she's a good friend of Johnny Depp's and that they exchange daily emails and phone calls. Sigh.

Anyway. We're going to pick Little J up again tonight some time after dinner and I'm halfway scared that they won't be there when we arrive or that there will be some sort of horrible scene... it's hard to have any faith or trust right now.

We had a nice night last night with Shawn's Dad and stepmom, who came over for dinner and wine... we haven't been able to have adult conversations for a little while. Tonight they are having a party and want us to come by but Shawn is reluctant. He doesn't enjoy parties at all.

I think Puppy E is sick... he's been acting strangely for a couple of days and we can't figure out what's going on. Hopefully it's nothing serious, but he seems to have a sore stomach and his appetite is intermittent. We're keeping an eye on him and will take him to the vet soon if this persists. (I'm trying not to overreact because I always do... and sometimes I think our vet thinks we have Munchausen by proxy.)


Friday, August 01, 2008

forgiving nature

The relaxing weekend won't start immediately on Saturday morning as originally planned. I had thought we'd take Little J out to the centre as soon as her swimming lesson finished at 10:00am, but when I called the director of the centre to confirm this she asked us to come at 1:00 instead because she wants to talk to us.

She says that she wants to lay out some requirements for C to meet before she should have custody of Little J returned to her, and she wants to have this discussion with everyone in the room so that there's no confusion (or opportunity for C to twist the story). Basically what she said to me is that C needs to go to a detox centre for a week or two to get completely off the narcotic medication she is taking, and then spend another six months after that in rehabilitation.

C has told me on several occasions that she absolutely WON'T do detox.

I predict this meeting is going to turn very ugly and I'm a little concerned about leaving Little J there following this conversation. I hope it doesn't become necessary to take her back home with us after all, primarily for her sake because she's excited about seeing her mom, but also because I actually want C to remember how special her daughter is and have some motivation to do the right thing.

I am fairly sure that she won't, though, given the history.

Until we have attended the meeting with the family justice counsellor and had our hearing with the judge, we won't know if we actually have the ability to prevent C from bolting with Little J. That is worrisome.

But. The. House. Is. Finally. Officially. SOLD. !!!!!


visiting normal

I wrote my final exam this morning. There were sections of it for which I felt well prepared, and other sections where I felt fairly lost. I'm guessing my exam mark is a B ... which should average out to an A- with all the A's I have received throughout the rest of the course. I'm not sure when I will get results from the professor but I am glad it's all finished now.


The potential buyers of our old house are asking for new conditions to be added to the contract. This is because the house is actually brand new and less than a year old. Basically, they want all the warranties to transfer over to them, something which we do not actually have the power to make happen. There is a new home warranty that comes from the province, and this is transferrable to anyone. However, there's also the home builder's warranty and this is NOT transferrable. This means the new owners want to get any deficiencies they can find fixed, but need to go through US to have that done because the warranty is in our name. I don't really think this is going to affect the sale in the end, but it does create additional stress and frustration to the process.


Tomorrow Little J is going to spend the rest of the weekend with her mother at the recovery house - supervised by the staff. And Big J has gone on a road trip and won't be back for ten days. This means Shawn and I will have a weekend to ourselves for the first time in as long as I can remember. If only someone would come and take care of the menagerie of animals, we'd be totally free. :)