When is SLEEPY time?

As a single parent who’s already strung a little tighter than a banjo string, other single parents have to relate to me when I say, “There is no such thing as ‘me time’.” Single parents have to borrow time to borrow time by making so many promises to people that the next thing you know, imaginary friends and mentors are insisting on taking up portions of time as well. Single parents MUST be both parents most of the time. Even if you’re a single parent, I’ll bet you haven’t given this much thought — mostly because you haven’t TIME to think about it. Twice as many tasks in half the time with little thanks.

As a single parent, you’re probably the ONLY one the kids have to get parental advice from–twice as many interruptions. As a single parent, you’re more than likely the one running the errands whether taking the kids to doctor appointments or special activities. No lie, yesterday I took the day from work for three doctor appointments. I had to work the previous Sunday so I could afford the time, which meant even less time with the kids. If I’d have known I wouldn’t be able to spend any time with them, I would’ve handed my pass to some rich old biddy who had all the time in the world–and time for cosmetics. I have no time for applying them, much less buying them. My daughter refuses to paint her face with stuff needing to wash off before bed anyway. But she’s a different sort.

My 13-year-old daughter is involved in the military and as ecstatic as one can imagine

Nikki Ready for Service
Foraging her own path.

that her uncle is coming into town this weekend, as he is in the same branch of the service–Navy. He’s promised to accompany her to her special congressional segment on Saturday at 7:00 a.m. Even though her father won’t see her, her uncle from Cali will. And she’ll be wearing her dress whites. She’s very excited for that. As cute and proper as she appears, her attitude sucks rotten eggs. I sure as hell hope it’s a temporary phase. And by “temporary,” I’d be satisfied in knowing it will only be for three to five years. I feel as if I’ve just condemned myself to a prison sentence with hard core criminals who aren’t serving as much time and dedication. I sure hope to feel some sort of exoneration will take place.

My son, however, managed to entertain me last Friday — yep, another half a day from the office–made it up by working Saturday. (Single parents don’t ever get a day off.) But his entertainment was a once-in-a-lifetime pass to hours of unprecedented fun. I can’t bear to go into all the details, so I’ll just show the video and follow up with our trip after.

Now imagine this kid, looking just as he is, except with bloody drool leaking from the side of his smiling mouth. That’s how he was at Jamba Juice after he showed me his certificate from the dentist allowing him a free drink. Granted, his mouth was so numb that he couldn’t taste anything anyway. But that didn’t stop this young, annihilated and mentally scrapped Don Juan from trying to work his magic. Imagine my speechlessness, while ordering his drink, of turning to check on him and he’s giving one of those finger-wiggling waves to someone beyond me–and don’t forget the gauze, wrap, and dangling drool. Turning to my left, I saw a horrified young girl donning headphones with the appearance of having seen a ghost. It was clear she had a moment of deciding if she really wanted a drink after all. I suppose she felt safety in numbers because she stayed.

And then there’s our cat Lucius, the one that made me so proud by being trained to use the plumbing. Yep, I was so proud of that–until she became angry at me for not combing her one night. Okay, okay, I ignored her. I had a lot on my list of things to do that night.

I get it, don’t worry. I know how everyone thinks she is the most lovable feline ever. But don’t be fooled. For every Yin there’s a Yang. And believe me, she has a very large Yang! Check her out in my foam-filled chair that allows me to plop down after a hard-day’s work to fall immediately into a field of slumber. See how she enjoys it with the tv remote all to herself? Yessir, she’s the queen!

Lucius owns the roost
See her here on my extremely large foam-filled chair? Just about every night I plop into it, I’m out within 15 minutes. But the other night, another “plop” beat me to it.

One particular night, she was upset that I didn’t comb and cater to her after a nearly 12-hour shift. After finally making it to to bed and climbing in, I heard Cameron scream, “Bad kitty! Bad, bad kitty!” I dragged myself into the living room to see the gift she’d left in gratitude of all the attention she wanted to return to me–right in the center of my huge, heaven-sent, foam-filled chair. With a well-hidden energy, I sprang into action and crawled beneath Cameron’s bed, grappling with remaining calm, getting the cat, and still being able to get up when I was done making an ass of myself red-faced and breathing like a fireplace bellow.

Speaking of making an ass of myself, the big showdown will be this weekend. I got four passes to Lagoon. With three of us, I figured one of the kids could bring a friend. With four of us, no one would have to ride alone–pretty genius, eh? I had them play a game for the fourth ticket and my son won. The following day, Cameron announced Will had a season pass and would join him. I could either throw the other ticket away or allow Nikki to invite her friend. Actually, I couldn’t because she already took the liberty. She invited the last friend I’d hoped she’d invite. Still, I gotta remember that Lagoon is for having fun. If I say it over and over again while riding some death-defying ride alone, perhaps I’ll believe it. Then again, I may very well fall asleep. Lagoon may be just the nap I need.


Can’t Complain about “Boring”

The last I recorded, I needed to attend court for our eviction. Not to say that the experience was wonderful – it wasn’t, but it turned out as well as could be expected. We got three days to vacate. I wasn’t sure how I could afford to move out. I mean, between the storage unit ($110 for a 10 x 10), the U-Haul (.79 mi + $39), time off work, and the movers ($300 + tip), not to mention where we would stay until I could find another place to live ($59 a night for 12 nights) with about $800. Not an easy task by any stretch. The total is over $1,300. Not to mention food, gasoline, and all the other necessities. I sure am glad we don’t need to purchase oxygen for breathing.

First, you figure the numbers and see if you can make it work—bet you can’t.

Here’s how we did it. We got the storage unit free for the first month because we used the U-Haul for transport to the U-Haul storage site. The movers from Wasatch Moving Company never showed up, called, or anything else. After waiting for two hours, we gave up. Cameron and I began doing it on our own. (I’ve never been happier to no longer have an injured back!) But because I neglected to print their information, I couldn’t even remember who they were and wound up paying Cameron’s 16-year-old friend, with an injury, to help us move from the third floor for $120. (I found out the name of the company when I received an email yesterday asking me how Wasatch Moving Company performed.)

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Nothing’s gonna stop them now!

Where to stay at under $59/night? That’s a tough one! One of my friends suggested I contact Airbnb, which I did. Some of the rates raised my eyebrows, but I managed to locate one in the shadier side of Salt Lake for under $400 for the whole time. Granted it’s no Hilton, but it is dry and cool. The rhino-sized spiders think so too and visit on occasion!

Nikki tries to remain on the bed and only climbs off to use the facilities. Didn’t work so well the night she was throwing up though. She fell asleep on the cold bathroom tiles to awaken screaming and motionless because a spider had her cornered. I killed it and guided her back to safety.

Nikki and I share a bed and Cameron sleeps on an air mattress next to us. We share a bathroom and a tiny fridge. No microwave, and a shower that leaves us so dry, we could be corn flakes, although that sounds pretty good about now.

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Our room is small and cozy at the Airbnb we chose

We brought 2 loaves of bread, peanut butter, a gallon of milk, assorted fruit packages, Gummy Bears, two large bags of raisins, a large package of cheese slices, Naked fruit drinks, and lots of water with Gatorade and Crystal Light. We also have about 20 cans of chicken and a jar of mayo. I usually take one can a day for lunch and drink a powder Muscle Milk for breakfast. It’s tight, to say the least. It reminds me of that game where you ask if you could take three things on a desert island, what would they be. Yep, that’s pretty much it, although we have no flint or inflatables.

Then, of course, there’s gasoline. Filled the tank once after donating plasma and experienced a leaky gusher after getting into my car. It ruined one of the four pairs of pants I brought, but they were worn. It also ruined an expensive T-shirt and took an upholstery scrub with paper towels. We purchased two Big Daddy’s $3.50 pizzas for a hot meal. It was heaven. We put the rest into the gas tank.

Also, remember the kids were to attend the military school in Ogden? That didn’t work. But thank goodness they have another that’s a bit closer they can attend instead. We still need to finish purchasing boots, pants, etc. though. School starts next week.

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Suited to defend and learn

Meanwhile, I’d been conversing with a friend from 30 years ago, unsure if I wanted to dig up the past, especially now. I’ve received conflicting information about my past behavior from siblings, parents, and my ex’s sister. I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear it. But then, I decided she’d been a friend, so the news couldn’t be all bad.

After overcoming my wishy-washy insecurities, I met with Belinda. Cameron was with his dad, and Nikki was with me. So well-behaved and proper, Nikki remained chatting with the ladies, except when Belinda let her three dogs out to run around. Nikki loved it! When Belinda brought out a photo from way back when Nikki’s eyes lit up. “That’s you?” she caught her breath. I couldn’t remember the photo, but it certainly was me. I thought I would share it. Nikki could barely be pulled away from the cat, Trixy when it was time to go six hours later.

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The “Good ol’ Days of the 1980’s”

My next entry will be what happened in the course of our stay at the bed and breakfast and what we did when it was time to move. With a $650 paycheck and a $500 child support (including some back child support), where will we move and how will we eat? Your guess is as good as mine! Imagine what you could do in this predicament.