The Present Looking Into The Future Archive

Toby

Posted October 8, 2020 By kmarrs

I work evenings now. I’m usually gone when Sammy goes to bed. Which wouldn’t be a problem, if Sammy didn’t have crippling anxiety.

Unfortunately, Sammy does have crippling anxiety, with a side of depression. The worst of it is at bedtime.

One night I was lamenting that I would give anything for Sammy to have a dog that could go to bed with her every night. A furry friend that Sammy could find comfort in when I’m not there. I’d train the dog that Sammy was his human and he could help her not be scared.

The catch is, our rent goes up a couple of hundred dollars and we’d need to pay a hefty security deposit if we got a dog. And while we could mostly afford the basics of dog ownership, we can not afford extra rent.

Then my best friend suggested an ESA dog and it’s like suddenly the skies had cleared. ESA dogs and their disabled humans are a protected class and legally our landlord can not charge us extra rent or a security deposit for one. And Sammy is in for real, legitimate need.

I spoke to Sammy’s therapist, and she is in huge support of the idea. She’s looking into what she needs to do on her end, then she’s going to write a letter that basically prescribes Sammy with an ESA. We’ll take that letter and a print out of the law to our landlord and have them add that to our file.

Then we’re going to go to the shelter and find a pitbull or pitbull mix that responds to Sammy as the sad puppy she is. Pitbulls make excellent ESA dogs.

Together we’ll train him with the standard set of obedience commands like sit and stay. I’ll also train him to sleep in Sammy’s room at night. Since he won’t be going to the grocery store or other errands, the basic discipline commands are all he really needs. I’ll also train him on how to be walked by the 9yo, who isn’t very strong. We’ll walk her together right now, but as she gets older I want her to be able to take her dog around the neighborhood by herself, without the dog pulling on the leash.

I told Sammy about the decision a few days after I made it. She’s in research mode very concerned with learning how to train, the best food options, the best dog beds and toys, and “we’re going to get the dog chipped, right mom?”

It took her all of 24 hours to name the dog we don’t have and that we’ve never met. I campaigned for Ativan since the dog would be helping her with Anxiety. She considered it but eventually settled on Toby. Her only concern was the Toby was a boy’s name and the dog might be a girl. I pointed out dogs don’t have a gender and that blew her mind but settled the problem.

We’ll welcome Toby into our life within the next 6 months.

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2021 Planning

Posted August 10, 2020 By kmarrs

I made a goal of getting back into sewing in 2021, at some point during the quarantine. A bit later I dug out my old machine and tested it to see if it worked, because I vaguely remember there being a problem. And I was right. I couldn’t get the needle and bobbin to do their thing.

I set it aside and ordered some oil and new needles as well as more bobbins with the plans of tinkering with it to see if I could get it to work. That was weeks ago and it’s all just sort of sat in my living room waiting on me since. I was afraid to try and fix it, because I was afraid of failing.

Anyway, I finally sat down with it this weekend and I managed to get it working which means I’m on track for my 2021 goal of getting back into sewing.

I am going to wait until 2021 to really start because I’m crowd sourcing getting my bills paid at the moment and there just isn’t any allowance for me to go and buy fabric. Hopefully by January I’ll have steady income again and can go to the fabric store without guilt.

My first project will be a couple of pairs of flannel sleep shorts for Sammy. I’ll get an extra half yard of flannel to remind myself how to do the thing (it’s been 18 years) but then I’ll go to town on shorts for her. Flannel is easy to work with and shorts are a simple enough project. This will help me getting into the swing of using the machine. Plus what little gorl doesn’t like flannel sleep shorts, espcially if she picks out the fabric herself?

Once I’ve mastered flannel I’ll get a pattern for a decent a-line skirt and some decent linen or whatever and start making myself skirts. I’ll be using more expensive fabric, but will have the skill needed to treat it right. A good linen in forgiving and sturdy as hell. It’s also priced with the idea that my great-grandchildren will be able to wear these shirts, in mind. So expensive, but worth it. I will not be working with polyester. Polyester is plastic. So 100% cotten, linen, wool, silk, etc only.

Once I’ve masters that, it’s over for you bitches, and I’m moving on to cotton dresses in my favorite 1950s cut and style. I love dresses like this:

So the thought of making my own out of cute cottons is giving me life.

I can also make my own flannel shirts and not be limited to plaid flannel (Not that there is anything wrong with a standard plaid flannel. But…)

I will have the power to do what I want, and no laws of fashion can stop me!

Anyway, I’m too broke to fabric shop right now which is OK since getting back into sewing was my 2021 goal. But in the meantime the machine is working, so assuming I’m working too, there is nothing holding me back come the new year.

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Laid Off

Posted April 6, 2020 By kmarrs

In a move that surprised no one, my job laid me off this past Friday. Initially, my job was safe, but this thing is lasting longer than anticipated and I’m going to be gone for who knows how long. They laid off a lot of people. Word is my entire job title was eliminated.

When this is all over I can reapply and go back.

Or, there is a lab that makes glasses for eye doctors like who I worked for that is like 2 blocks from home. They love hiring people like me who have worked in the business, even if it’s the patient-facing end of things. No idea what sort of job they have but I might as well apply when this is all over. Can’t hurt. And since we only have one car in the household, there are serious benefits to working 2 blocks from home. Shit. When my current car breaks down for good, any month now, I’ll be able to walk to work. So I think that is my first step post quarantine.

In the meantime, I’ve already applied for unemployment. So I just need to see that process through. And well, I just need to wait out this pandemic. I refuse to work in a way that puts my life in danger. Money is not one of my motivators. At least not when my life is on the line.

Gentle reminder here that I’m both immunocompromised and also have underlying conditions. I will die.

But also, my biggest responsibility right now is to help flatten that curve.

Anyway, we’ll be fine. We’ll get through this.

Finally, for those of you who are suddenly unemployed and who will be looking for a job here in a month of 5, remember to ask the managers and HR reps who interview you how their company handled the pandemic. You’re supposed to interview them right back. They judge you based on whether or not you do this. And this question I’ve suggested is valid and makes you look good. Also, if they can’t answer, won’t answer, or have an answer that makes them look bad, you really don’t want to work for them.

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Quarantine Chronicles Part 1

Posted March 30, 2020 By kmarrs

I can not stress enough the importance of ordinary, everyday people keeping a written record of things like this. This pandemic will be taught in schools in the future. Don’t let what the rich and powerful are doing be the only narrative.

Day 1 of isolation

I’m binge-watching The Witcher (finally) and eating an entire loaf of French bread.

Day 2 of isolation

I’m taking turns between hanging out with various family members. I might settle in and watch my weekly Netflix movie later. (I have a DVD plan.) But if I do I’ll invite at least Sammy and Iris to watch with me.

Day 3 of isolation

Pokestops, raids, and gyms from the car. Determined to finish the 3rd and final installment of a series I’ve been working on slowly but surely.

Day 4 of isolation

Quit pokemon go.

Contemplate divorce.

Day 5 of isolation

Lay groundwork and terms for solving the marriage issues

Get handed an old 3DS (thank you Iris) and a copy of AC New Leaf

Day 6 of isolation

Turns out the family is the perfect size for a family DnD game even if the 16yo won’t play with us.

Day 7 of isolation

Learned how to fish in Animal Crossing New Leaf. Accomplished nothing else today. Nothing else needed accomplishing.

Day 8 of isolation

My nails needed work and I had a Netflix DVD that needed watched and returned. I usually pair these tasks up.

More DnD tonight with the family.

Also when time is meaningless it’s easy to completely miss Sunday roast so we made up for that tonight.

Day 9 of isolation

20% done with The Magnus Archives. Reading it, not listening to it. Cuz ADHD is a bitch.

The amount of time I’m spending in quarantine has been extended. I was originally planning to be back the 7th but things are getting worse, not better. My work is still open as we are essential, but I’m high risk so I am on leave with their support and understanding.

Day 10 of isolation

The main goal of the day was catching a Tuna in New Leaf for a quest. It took almost 4 hours and 5 pockets full of fish, but I accomplished my goal and made a killing in fish sales.

DnD tonight I think. The 16yo is finally joining us. He decided there was literally nothing better to do and we need a healer.

Day 11 of isolation

Listen. I love my children very much, but it’s been 11 days and there is no end in sight.

Shipment of fidget toys was brought into the house today. More to come. Should help with both homeschooling and family DnD.

Day 12 of isolation

Much the same only with added regrets of saying the H-word on tumblr. Can’t even blame the usual culprits.

I started a new novel. This one is a period romance. Fast and easy read. I’ll draw it out over a few evenings. Or I won’t.

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The Grande Finale

Posted August 26, 2019 By kmarrs

I am done with my Bachelors of Science in Applied Psychology. I don’t walk the stage until September 6, 2019, but all my classes are completed.

I wrote my final (bachelor’s level) thesis on the validity of personality tests in the pre-employment process and conducted what seems to be original and unique research on how many people actually fake their scores, and thus I might be working to get my paper published. Which is really cool and will look amazing on grad school applications.

I earned an A in all my classes over the past 6 years, except for one solitary B. My GPA is a 3.97 and I am, indeed, graduating Summa Cum Laude.

I’m so relieved to be done. I can focus on providing for my family, and spend more time with my family. My life is being pulled in significantly fewer directions now.

In a few years I’ll move on to the next phase of my education, but I’m not ready for that yet. I need a break anyway, but I also need my Sammy to be less needy. At the age of 8, she is in constant need for my attention and I hate telling her I need to study. I try to work a few games of Uno into the daily mix, and she always gets her bedtime snuggles, but that girl could have my full attention 24/7 and still would hunger for more. So I need to enjoy her while she wants me and go back to school when she doesn’t.

I’m just so fuckin’ excited to be done though! I’m the first in my immediate family to have a full college education and I worked so hard to be something. I am working so hard to be something.

Also, there is a party in my immediate future. I’m super excited about that! I’m pulling friends to me that I have not seen in a while and I can’t wait! Plus cake. Thoughts of the cake helped motivate me through the thesis.

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So there is a Tumblr user who will go unnamed for their own safety that I’ve been an adopted mom to for a while.  They live in a shitty situation with their parents and are a constant victim to all sorts of abuse with no easy way out.  Also, please note that they are 20 so what I’m about to do is legal.  However, being an adult doesn’t always make leaving any easier.

I consider this person to be like a daughter to me.  A daughter of my heart if not my blood.  You know how found families are.  They are a core member of my friend group and over time they’ve revealed more and more details of the abuse they suffer to the group.

I finally reached my breaking point and with their consent, the whole group is now in rescue mode with me playing a central role.

First I need a new job that pays a living wage, which I’m looking for no matter what anyway.  I’m about to graduate, this is the next step in my life.  But with that living wage, I should be able to sort my finances and make it so I’m no longer dependent on my mother.  This is key.  I can’t initiate the plan if my mom is giving me a few hundred dollars a month to support my family.  I don’t currently have a death wish.

Anyway with finances in a better position, and a tax return in hand to fund the trip, in early March I’m making the 12 hour drive to a state I won’t identify (actually my mom is driving me in her car because I’m a horrible driver and my own car is guaranteed to not survive this trip, bless its soul) we’re packing my found daughter up, and bringing her home with me.  All while her parents are at work so we have no resistance.  (A note will be left and the local police will be notified that this is a rescue and they are not missing, just leaving a bad situation.)

Once back in Ohio they will live with me as long as they need to get on their feet and establish their life as an adult, just like I will allow my other 3 kids.  I don’t see a difference.  It won’t be the most ideal living situation as quarters are cramped.  But they’ve declared it much better than their current situation.  So that’s something at least.

My friend group is working out the logistics of this plan.  Everything from where I can rent a little cargo trailer and a trailer hitch, to making sure they can finish their current degree and move on to the next, to health insurance, to getting them in therapy the second we’re back in Ohio.

My immediate family is on board with this.  Pat is a little more resigned than excited.  But Pat understands who they married and how I am.  My purpose in life is to rescue those in need with whatever power I have.  That, and I’ve been talking for years about being done having kids, but wanting to foster older kids and give them a loving family once we’re financially stable and the kids are grown.  This is about 10 years sooner than I had in mind, and it’s an adult we’re fostering.  But hey.  This is the path I’ve been led down.

Sammy is super excited to have a big “sister”.  The boys are accepting.  Lucas is hesitant but he’s autistic and is really hesitant with any strangers.  He’ll be fine.  He has 8 months to warm up to it.  Most importantly, while I’m aware of his stranger danger tendencies, he’ll at no point be in any danger so trust will be built.

Mom is hesitant but also on board enough to drive me 12 hours and back to make this happen.  You know how mom’s can/should be.  Cautiously supportive.

So yeah, that’s what I’m up to these days when not studying.

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