Monday, July 14, 2008

Updates on my life

When I started this blog it was supposed to be about foster care alone. I wanted a focused blog. I've mostly managed to do that, but something happened I didn't expect. I developed a relationship with many of my readers who are also bloggers. sometimes writing a post feels like writing an informal essay on an issue in foster care (less often recently) or keeping a journal about my experience in foster care, but sometimes it is feels like I'm writing a letter to friends. Those were the sorts of posts I was planning on keeping out of the blog, but they sometimes sneak in.

This is one of those posts.

I need to come up with pseudonyms for the college Andrew is going to and the city in which it is located. I think I am going to go with "Liberal U" and "Seaside City." Probably other people would not think those are the defining features, but they are for Andrew. They were what he wanted when he was looking for a college. Basically he wanted to get as far away (politically) from the Reddest Red State as he could.

Anyway, today is flying to Seaside City all by himself for one of many orientations at Liberal U. I've been feeling so nostalgic about him. I have body memories of holding his when he was small. I can FEEL him all curled up in my lap. I want to give him one of those cuddles, but it is impossible. I really don't want to live with a baby or a toddler anymore, but I miss holding Andrew when he was small.

He called from the airport at Seaside City. He was having trouble finding the shuttle, but he was perfectly calm. Just wanted to know if I remembered where they did pick up. Initially all we knew was that the orientation was supposed to be two days, so his ticket for coming home is tomorrow evening. It turns out that it really ends after they spend the night in the dorms. So he has all day tomorrow to spend in Seaside City doing whatever he wants to do. He says he thinks he will be able to figure out something to do.

Dog News:
Taking the Shih Tzu ("Puppy") on vacation has seemed to change the relationship between him and the Cattle Dog ("CD"). Puppy came here at three months. CD is an anxious-alpha. When large male dogs have come over she seems very relieved to turn over leadership duties to him. She doesn't however want to let any other sort of dog think they can push her around. So CD and Puppy played, and it got more tiresome. Sometimes it really looked like the annoying little brother antagonizing his big sister. "Look! I have you favorite toy! Chase me!" CD fell for it every time. She was anxious and irritable.

And CD's need to always been on top was frustrating. The Puppy tends to eat slowly and wouldn't eat at all unless we were in the room and telling CD she couldn't have his food. Even then it took a while. I had got to the point where I knew I had to do something about that, but I didn't know what. It was hard to cuddle Puppy. He is small and cute and likes curling up next to you. CD is big and doesn't like being cuddled, but doesn't like Puppy getting something she isn't getting. So she would try to jump up next to you, her face in your face, anxiously demanding attention she wouldn't enjoy. Sometimes she would try to herd him away from us.

Anyway, having the puppy alone for a week was nice. He seemed to enjoy not being pushed around. He got used to be the only dog. He has come back more mature. He isn't antagonizing her, and he isn't taking any of her crap either. He was sitting next to me on my chair yesterday and she came up. He gave a quiet little growl and she turned and went to her bed. He will eat his food when I give it to him without worrying about where she is. I've also noticed that every time she pees, he pees on top of it. So the balance has shifted and the house is more peaceful as a result. I like this better.

Cottage & Money:
There is an agreement on the selling of the cottages in Maine. Waiting for them to sell was painful; having them sold is painful. Knowing that we are going to get a share of the proceeds turns out to be more difficult than I expected. Most of it will go into a retirement fund, that we are agreed upon. We also agree to pay off our debt except the mortgage. This however led to a discussion about our debt, confessions about debt I didn't know about, and then a really touching Hallmark moment in which I did not kill him.

We're going to be okay. We have a plan. We have had a lot of serious conversations about money and our very different feelings about it. We are using the cottage money to pay off some, but not all of the debt. Most of the money will still go into retirement.

I have almost finished Andrew's quilt top. I am paying someone to do the actual quilting (with, by the way, my "allowance"). Yesterday I made a mistake in the piecing of the blocks. I tried to convince Andrew that it created more visual interest, but he really thought it made it more interesting than he wanted. Since this is his quilt design I tore out the seams and re-did it. I might be able to get the top done today. I'll post a photo when it is pieced. Once I get it done I can finish tying Gary's. I plan on never trying to do two quilts in one summer again. I am so behind on the work I should be doing for school.


  1. Anonymous10:52 AM

    it's so easy to pick one of the last sentences in a post to comment on, but i can't resist...

    ... i just got to say that it sounds so strange to hear a professor (did i get that right about you?) say the same thing that us students say ALL THE TIME:
    I am so behind on the work I should be doing for school.

    lol, and with that, this reminds me that i /really/ should soon start the essay on Pinter (playwright) that i have due tomorrow. :-)

  2. Ah, those touching Hallmark moments. I'm glad you didn't kill Roland. Money issues can be so difficult.

  3. Sorry about the mixed feelings and sorrow over letting go of the Maine cottages. Good thing you didn't kill Roland, does Hallmark make cards that say, I am sorry you are in jail?


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