I’ve had quite a busy few months since I last posted. Here’s what’s been happening:
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
I’ve had quite a busy few months since I last posted. Here’s what’s been happening:
Saturday, October 13, 2012
We only took a small portion of the furniture, so we had to go shopping. We found this terrific shop, through Craig's List, in a ladies' basement in St. Charles. The owner takes old furniture and adds her own special touches. She used to have a store and a couple months earlier, she decided to work out of her home. She had dropped the prices so much, I was able to afford a lot of items we needed. She even custom painted my new desk purple! Here are photos of the desk & chair and the coffee table we bought:, alone with the side table (not a good shot) and the bottom of one of the lamps:
http://www.letoucheboutique.com I'll try to take better photos, with more of the overall area. That day the place was messy and I was just taking photos to share with a friend.
I know the next year is going to be filled with changes. Another new development is my changing positions at my current company. As of 11/1, I'll be moving from being a Sr. Loan Processor to Loan Officer Support. It's a customer service type position to assist loan officers (aka mortgage bankers) learn any number of things, such as how to use the in-house computer programs to how to figure debt-to-income ratio or how to look up items in the company policy guide. It's stable work hours, which I need now I'm a single parent. As a processor, you never know when you may need to stay late or depending upon your pipeline, how many hours you'll need to work in a week. For the prior 13 months, I worked an average of 12 hours of overtime per week. That was almost 50 hours of overtime a month! Some weeks it was only 7 hours and some weeks it was up to 22 hours of overtime, I'd often get home at 8 or 9. That can't happen anymore. With my new position, I'll get off work at 4:30. I can sign up for weekend hours if I want some extra overtime income, but it is voluntary, whereas for most of the last year processing had mandatory 10 hours a week. It is supposedly less stressful too. I could use a little less stress at this point in my life!
So, tonight I made something fun! I have applied to be a Shutterfly party hostess on House Party (http://houseparty.com). Well, along the side of the party site there was a note that today was the last day to get your free photo mug. I clicked on the link, went to the facebook site for Shutterfly and there was a coupon code for a free 11 oz personalized mug. Check it out:
I should get it in about a week, I'm so psyched! I have a couple photo books from Shutterfly and I just love them and I've gotten prints from them and all are excellent quality. I'm already looking forward to getting my new mug. It has 3 photos of my beautiful baby! :)
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Momma tiger and one of her cubs:
Roosevelt Monument - this was huge, a section for every term he served.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
On the plus side, my lack of appetite means I'm down to 211.8! Today I don't feel as weak as I did yesterday. I have to go to work tomorrow, I can't believe I missed 4 days in a row! I don't think I've ever done that in my life!
Poor Melanie, stayed home Thursday with a sore throat. I got up for a few moments twice and went back to bed and slept until 4:50 in the afternoon. She stayed home sick the next day and made me get up at 1:00ish and asked me to take her to the doctor. Sure enough, she had strep throat. I felt so bad I was too sick to take her the day before. I barely made it through the trip to the pharmacy and collapsed on the couch when I got back home. Totally wiped out. Today, Sunday, she feels good a new. I wish I did! LOL
Monday, January 16, 2012
So today I noticed that my half-sister has unfriended me on facebook. I’ve never met her and I only spoke to her once, but I was surprised to see that she unfriended me. I don’t know why for certain either. It probably has to do with our father, but since I never had anything negative with her, I’m surprised that she did this. A little back story…
I was adopted at birth. When I tracked down my birth mother, she refused to name my birth father and she died without revealing his identity, so I thought I would never know anything about him or my paternal family. To my shock, on Feb. 12th 2011, I got a call out of the blue. He’d tracked me down. We took a paternity test to verify he was indeed my father and then made plans to meet up. I went to Washington DC with my daughter to meet him over Spring Break the 3rd week of March. Now, as a vacation, Melanie and I had a lot of fun. As a meeting with my father, it was bizarre, strange, unsettling and unpleasant. He was weird, strange, insulting, and often rude. I have no idea why he decided to find me because he made it clear he was uninterested in getting to know me or my daughter. He did love to talk about himself, repeating the same stories. Always referring to his father, his mother, his grandfather, his uncle, his family, not once relating it to me and how they fit into my history. (When I met them, my mother’s family immediately started to relate the people they talked about and how they were related to me. They made me feel like such a member of the family and so welcome. They were wonderful!) Maybe he has Alzheimer’s, maybe he was nervous, and maybe he is just that bizarre. I may never know. He flat out said he didn’t have any questions about us. He called me a big baby when I asked to turn back on a forced hike to a “park” that turned out to be a wooded trail, I was wearing a turtleneck and a sweater, because it was 44° when I got dressed, but then drove south and it was later afternoon and 78°; asked me why I named my daughter Melanie, swearing he’d never heard of that name before, then later telling me that Gone with the Wind was the 2nd movie he’d ever seen and one of his all-time favorites (gee, the 2nd lead female character is Melanie Wilkes!); he told an armed military sentry at Fort Bragg that my 12 year old daughter was “the one with the bombs!”; asked me why I was using “such big words”, this from a man who supposedly has 3 degrees (I was tempted to ask him if he needed me to give him a definition to anything.) He seemed to get really offended when we asked what his favorites were as if it was none of our business and how dare we ask him a question. This is part of how people get to know each other. They look for similarities, differences, and compatibilities. This was really disturbing me that he showed no real interest in hearing what we have to say. He criticized my spending habits (of which he knows nothing), commented twice that I must push my husband around (I certainly don’t) and told me I was a fool not to have become a government worker. This man is a total stranger, this is a man who abandoned his pregnant girlfriend and didn’t look back for 48 years. I couldn’t believe the nerve or alternately the weirdness of this man. After we got back from the trip, he called and told me all about his Easter, his health, his recent trip and not once AGAIN asking one single thing about me, my holiday or anything. I’d had enough and wrote him a letter that either he shape up or leave me alone. And yes, most of it was rude - right back at him. I haven’t heard a word since. I would have thought he would have wanted to try to make up for lost time. That maybe he’d try to make a good first impression. But I guess his ego was so huge he didn’t feel he needed to try or bother. To top it all off he has bi-polar disorder. Now my adopted mother, who raised me and abused me, had bi-polar disorder with borderline personality disorder. My husband’s ex-wife had bi-polar disorder with borderline personality disorder (not 100% confirmed, but there is a family history. Her behavior supports this belief,) she spent years trying to make us miserable. The last thing I need is another person who has bi-polar disorder (and probably with borderline personality disorder based on his narcissistic behavior exhibited.) I noticed that he and his 3rd wife unfriended me on facebook a couple months back. “Oh, no, the birth father I never had rejected me again.” Now don’t think I took the step to tell him to behave better lightly or quickly. We had about a dozen hour+ long phone calls and spend 3 days together. Melanie and I both came right out and flatly asked “Don’t you want to know anything about us?” and he said, “No, in due time. “ I asked what that meant on our phone call after returning from Washington DC and he explained that he was the moderator at a singles group and they believed you get to know people “in due time”. Well, I'm not someone he was looking to date. It would make more sense that he would try to make up for all the lost time. I’ve had enough with crazy people.
This is by no means the full details; there were a number of additional insults and strange behavior, and not to mention the cheapness. He told me he was cheap. I didn’t realize just how cheap he would get. After the paternity test came back positive, he offered to pay for us to fly to visit. This would have cost him over $1100. I declined, as we’d already made our travel arrangements. So rationally, you would think a person would spend a couple dollars, still saving over $1100. When we were there, I don’t think he spent over $60 the entire visit. We spent 3 hours riding the subway so he could save $10 on parking; he had us walk 9 blocks so he could save $10 on lunch. He took us out to eat the first night to a restaurant in a strip mall that I would not have gone to alone in the daylight, let alone as a first impression. We were the only people in the entire place, other than the owner and his card playing buddies. The 2nd night, it was a pizza-by-the-slice restaurant. The third night, Melanie asked if we could please eat on real plates, with real knives and forks, rather than plastic and paper plates like the first 2 nights. Honestly, a burger fried up in his own kitchen would have been better than the scary looking restaurant. At least it would have showed he cared enough to make us something. (To be fair, the first morning he did make us burnt waffles from a homemade concoction he was winging. We ate them and thanked him.) I also didn’t like that he kept changing the settings on my camera without asking (to match the photography assignment for a class he was taking - like he was going to turn in my photos!) and he didn’t seem to like that my camera was newer and had more features. He also seemed put out that my Lincoln was bigger than his Lincoln. Who cares about these things, I don't.
Now some positive things did come out of him finding me. I finally had answers and the missing pieces to me and my history. I finally feel whole. Then I found out I have 2 sisters and a brother. I’ve spoken to one of my sisters a few times now and she is awesome! I think we are a lot alike and I’m really looking forward to meeting her soon. She is closest in age to me at 44. (She has a daughter, a new niece!, I'm hoping to get to know her too!) The other sister, is the one who unfriended me, she is 36, with little in common that I could tell in our phone call. She and I spoke once and she was pleasant, but not too encouraging. I haven’t heard from her since. I left my brother, 40, a couple voice messages asking him to call my cell phone, which he returned by calling our land line during the afternoon at a time I would be at work. So I figured he isn’t ready to talk yet. I hope I’ll still be able to get to know my siblings.
Well, thanks for listening to my rant. Next post will be some of our Washington DC trip photos and some of the more fun details. I hope you all have a great day tomorrow!
Thursday, January 05, 2012
After lunch, we continued to explore Macy's, reading in one area the history of Marshall Field's which ironically talked about continuing the tradition (yeah, right up until Macy's buys you and wipes 100+ years of history out!) Then we see a sign leading to the "Narcissus Room". We walk on over and see this banquet room with a fountain in the middle (I'm guessing that is the source of the name Narcissus.) In the fountain are all these huge ornaments and behind the fountain is another "Santa setting", but with no Santa. Very cool! There were a couple families taking their own photos and I guess it was set up for people to take their own holiday photos. There was an employee wandering though at one point and they didn't chase anyone out, so I assume it was allowed. Anyway, we took some photos (again, click on the image to enlarge them):
After our impromptu photo shoot, we went on down through the floors, ending in the make-up section on the main floor. They tell us about stores across the street. Stores accessible by a top-secret passage down the stairs and through an underground walkway. OK, maybe not top-secret, because there is an "L" train station in the middle, more likely millions of people are aware of this, but it felt like a cool discovery to us. (It's called the "Pedway", I discovered after Googling tonight! LOL) So across the street on State Street is a new mall! It is still growing, at the moment it is almost 3 floors, it's called Block 37. There is a new Disney, Sephora, some restaurants, and more. We got some makeup at Sephora, visited the Disney Store and then headed back across the street to look at the windows at Macy's. Now when it was Marshall Fields, the windows were famous for the magical Christmas scenes and stories that they depicted. Sadly, Macy's did not keep up the tradition. It was only 2/3rds of the windows and they were ads for their Christmas ornaments (they passed it off as a fund raiser - a whopping 10% of the profits, were being donated to Make-a-Wish foundation. Oooohhhh... a whole 10%!!) There was ornaments by Rachel Ray, Jessica Simpson, Donald Trump, Emeril Lagasse, Marth Stewart, Tommy Hilfiger, Sean John, Michael Kor, Betsey Johnson and about 14 all together. Only Rachel Ray and Jessica Simpson had ornaments worth buying, maybe Emeril's chef hat. The rest were uninspired (their signatures on a glass ball! ohh, that's talent!), ugly or boring. (Seriously, Donald Trump? Whose brilliant idea was that?!?) The artwork in the windows was ugly and simplistic (these "elves" looked like a hand drawn face on a felt body that I could have made at my kitchen table.) The story strange and ultimately disappointing. There were others standing around, all expressing their disbelief at how bad it was and their disappointment at the windows. Here I found a photo of the ornaments (click on the image to go to an article about the ornaments):
Next, we grab a cab and go to Filene's Basement on Michigan Avenue across from the John Hancock and Water Tower Place. They are having yet another going-out-of-business sale (this time it looks real.) We stopped by Water Tower Place mall for a while, stopping for a quick snack at The American Girl Place (we'd seen the new store only the month prior, previously we'd gone to their former location a couple blocks over), then some shopping then we tried the steamed dumplings at WowBao. We'd never tried them so we got 2, 1 teriyaki chicken and 1 spicy kung pao chicken. Yummy, we'll try them again! :)
This is the view from the ground floor next to WowBao and right by the entrance to Macy's.
After this we stopped into the Disney Store on Michigan Avenue, then the Apple Store and the huge Forever 21. Then another cab ride to Little Italian Village for dinner. We ate upstairs in the 'village', very lovely! After dinner, another cab back to the train station, (we just made our train by less than 2 minutes!) and then on to home. We passed part of the time watching Monte Carlo that we had uploaded the digital copy onto my iPhone (Melanie's very smart idea!) and we snuggled, with each of us having one ear piece to listen to the movie. We rolled back into our town about 9:15 and were we ever tired. As I said, a very memorable day. :)
Thanks for reading! I'll try to get a scrapbook freebie ready to share for a new post.
Wednesday, January 04, 2012
View from the escalator:Now, Melanie thinks she is too old for that, but I disagreed, so off we went to the line for Santa.
Again, last time, this line was about an hour, this time, 2 minutes.
Here she is with Santa, looking a little uncomfortable:
So the pager went off and we went down to the restaurant, spent less than 5 minutes in the line and was seated. The tree is stunning: I look at the time and it's only 10:50am. Oh, well, I figure by the time the food arrives, a good appetite will have worked up. We were seated right next to the tree! Here is Melanie at the table (read the last post for the picture with both of us.)
This is the ornament right next to me:The fairy princess came around and sprinkled magic dust on us to make wishes:
Our lunch was fun. The food left much to be desired. I understand now why the long lines are gone. The setting was beautiful, we felt so special and it all looked so elegant. The food has gone downhill since it was Marshall Field's. That's too bad, but we decided that our tradition will be to go to a new elegant restaurant each year.
More tomorrow! I'm off to bed. Have a wonderful day everyone!