Thor’s Second Birthday


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Thor just turned 2 years old today, and it seems like it all has gone by way too fast. He has so much energy, and such a big personality. He is sweet and playful, and already quite creative in his own way. Everything is an adventure for him, whether it is running away with daddy’s drumsticks, or reading the same picture book for the tenth time that day. He loves owls and cats, but his favorite thing in the world always has been and still seems to be music. He is my little ray of sunshine.

Ugga-mugga little man, stay this sweet and little just a little while longer, please.

Where does time go?


Just call me Linus


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Have you ever had something you loved so much as a child that it hurt you like crazy to lose it? Even now at 43 years old I’ve been sitting here wanting to cry my eyes out thinking about my favorite blanket.

It all started when I ran into this picture online, of a blanket just like the one I used to have. I got it for christmas as a kid, and throughout most of my life, it was my prized possession.

Unfortunately it was stolen several years ago, and ever since occasionally, especially when I am really stressed out, or sad I really start to miss it again. As I said before, it was my security blanket. For years and years it went with me everywhere I went or moved, and I never slept a night without it. Having it ripped away hurt more than it probably should, but I am sure almost all of us have at some point in our lives lost something that meant a great deal to us.

I’ve been searching for 10 years now for one like it to no avail. Every time I see a listing for one online, the item has already sold, and sometimes I wonder if I will ever have my blanket back. Well it won’t be MY blanket, but one sort of like it, and I know that. Just call me Linus. I know it wouldn’t be the same, but believe me getting one like it back again would make me feel a whole lot better.

Cross your fingers for me please….this search is far from over…

Busy Summer


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Yes I know, I haven’t been around to post much of anything lately. The blog has been far from my mind most of the summer this year, because there has been so much going on offline.

For starters there has been a little progress on our housing situation. For now we are still right in the same apartment we have been in all along, sans roommate. Unfortunately, this means even more behind financially than we were before, even if things are a lot more peaceful, or as peaceful as things can be with a wound up toddler in the house. Hopefully within the next month we will be able to close on the house my mother in law has been buying for us to rent from her. Even as I write this, I am still thinking of the events of these last couple of weeks, especially thankful, because it all came very close to never being able to happen at all.

We first went to see this house back in June, after having been outbid at the last second on another, something that had me crying my eyes out for days, I must admit. I had really loved that house, I mean REALLY. I guess looking back now, if it would have really been meant to be our house, that wouldn’t have happened. After a few days we went back to the drawing board, and started looking for something else, and a few weeks later the realtor had a house to show us that had just been put on the market, so we went up to look at it.

I was trying really hard not to get my hopes up this time, even as I walked through what turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous house. We talked it over not long, before my mother in law decided to make an offer on it, before we even left the town where the house is located that afternoon. After that began the very very long process of trying to get everything finalized with the bank. The bank is being slower than molasses in a snowstorm.  I realize that banks are more cautious about who they give home loans to nowadays but I think this bank is taking the cake on how many verifications they claim they need. They even made mom file the paperwork all over again, because it had been over 6 months since she had first applied for the mortgage, even though it’s because of their being slow, not anything we haven’t done.

All along I have been hoping and praying that nothing would derail all this, and that we would finally be in a home we could afford, and have a little room to breathe. Imagine if you will our horror last month when we saw a mysterious phone call from my husband’s uncle on our caller ID. Most people wouldn’t consider this unusual, except for the fact that he never ever calls us. Unable to reach John’s mom, we called the number back, and got no answer. By this time we were really freaking out.

It wasn’t until an hour or so later that we finally got a phone call explaining to us what was going on and confirming at least some of our fears. John’s mom had suffered a massive heart attack early that morning, but in true Mama style, hadn’t wanted to worry us. She had already gone through surgery, and had forbidden anyone to call us, because she wanted us to hear about what had happened from her. She has since been released from the hospital and so far seems to be doing better, even if the doctors say she may need another surgery in the coming months, to prevent her heart from having further problems, just as a precautionary measure. This whole heart attack thing came completely out of the blue, Mama had no known history of heart disease, and up until this point had been reasonably spry even for being 82.

Ever since all this happened, I have been on pins and needles over this, and so many other things. It’s not just because I am worried about mom, or that I know just how close we came to our dream over this house suddenly not happening. I know as well as John does, if something had happened to her, we’d be homeless and on the street in a matter of weeks, with nowhere to go. Part of me is going to be scared to death over all this until the keys to the house are in my hand, and we’ve finished moving in. Is it wrong of me to just want a stable place for Thor to grow up, where we can afford to live without mom having to help us cover our bills for the month? Like it or not, we just can’t afford to live where we are living now much longer. We’re sinking fast here.

For now all we can do is stay busy, and do the best we can, about the things we can control, lord knows there is more than enough that we have no control over lately. We can’t make this bank thing go any faster, any more than we can make money we need all too badly appear out of thin air.

Thor enjoys walks, so we take him on a lot of walks, and trips to the park, one thing that at least for now, is an activity we can do within walking distance of the house that won’t make us break the bank trying to afford bus fare. He loves to take actual walks around the block in the evening now, and not just stroller rides. Of course, we have a harness for him, to make sure he stays safe, while it lets him walk all on his own, just the way he likes it. That would be the little turtle backpack looking thing you may have already seen in the photos posted here. Believe it or not, he really does enjoy wearing it, and actually gets excited about putting it on, because he knows when he does, it means he has a bye bye coming.

His favorite thing on trips to the park, or on walks is to find himself a nice stick to carry around with him. Occasionally he stops, and tries to draw on the ground using said stick. Sometimes I wish I could still be as thrilled about the little things as he often seems to be. Sometimes, watching him, I can almost remember what it was like to be small, and have every day be such an adventure. I try to remember some of the things that used to make me happy. Thor now loves many of those same things, even if he is very different, and loves things that are quite uniquely his own style. Maybe someday I’ll once again get as excited about Mister Rogers, sticks and empty laundry baskets. Well, I still do love Mister Rogers as much as I always have , so I guess one of of three ain’t bad.

Out of Time

This post was originally published to my writing blog, which I have decided to put on hold for the time being. I just realized I never did post it here on my regular blog.

Tina Marie Smith

This story is in response to the Daily Prompt for August 4th, 2013

If only I could go back in time…

How many of us have ever uttered those self same words, and wished for the chance, to undo what in hindsight seems to be a chapter of our lives worth forgetting? Few have gotten the chance, until now, to re-order destiny. For a millennium we completely lacked the technology, but gaining technology, as advantageous as it was also caused us to lose something of our humanity along the way.

The changes that took place in the past of our ancestors were slow, and subtle enough that they seemed not to notice all the knowledge that they were losing. We now dwell in cities, because we have forgotten how to live in nature. Our food supplies are now automated and strictly controlled. Human beings rarely converse in person, but do…

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Emotional Rollercoaster


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Life has surely had its ups and downs the last couple of months here. We’ve jumped through so many hoops, sometimes I wonder how much more jumping I have left in me. Being this stressed is exhausting. It’s easy for others to tell you not to worry, when they really have no idea what you are going through. Sometimes I wish people would do a little less telling me not to worry, and just ask me what it is they can do to help. Life would be so much easier.

We are still looking for a new place to live, and for a short while, we thought we had found what seemed the near-perfect place for us. It was a nice house in a very small town an hour to the north of where we live now. John’s mom was going to help us get the down payment to be able to buy it, and I thought things were finally looking up.

That was until, lo and behold, and out of state buyer swooped in at the last moment, and outbid our offer by several thousand dollars.

Needless to say I was crushed and still am. Now I guess it is back to the drawing board. The realtor says she has more homes she can show us, but in our price range, the selection is kind of limited. Part of me is almost afraid to get my hopes up, but I want us to have a nice home of our own so badly. Rents are way out of league around here, buying seems like our only option if we have a prayer of affording anything. Rent on a comparable house would be four times as much as the mortgage payment would be, at the very least.

I just want a stable place to call home. I want somewhere for Thor to grow up, and not worry him over having to move every few years. I want to be able to paint walls a color that isn’t white or beige, and hang as many pictures as I darn well please. Now that my older kids are grown, in a few years I want something their kids will be able to call grandma and grandpa’s house, somewhere they can run back and forth in and jump up and down on the floor in without driving the downstairs neighbors insane.

Maybe it’s all just too much to ask for, but I have to keep trying. Hopefully when next week comes, there will be better news.

Meanwhile the little guy is growing like a weed and into everything. He keeps me smiling even when it seems like the job of trying to keep up with him never ends. He is almost frighteningly smart nowadays. He already knows how to do basic things not only on our cell phone, but also on the computer. He can open iTunes and play his favorite music, which I think he recognizes by the album cover pictures. He also already uses about a dozen different words , with some of his most consistent ones being: up, spoon, hi, no, and of course the word, owl. He still can’t seem to get enough of owls, which have been his favorite animal since he was only a few weeks old, but which are now having to share a special place in his heart with cats, especially his now much beloved stuffed cat named Tygie.


Tygie is the first toy that I can say, Thor picked out all by himself. He takes him almost anywhere and everywhere now, at least around the house. We try to make sure he leaves him at home when we have somewhere to go, because we are a little afraid of the cat getting lost. Thor would be devastated if that happened. He won’t go to sleep at nap time or at bedtime without him.

As you can see, orange cats are by far his favorite, I think because they look like our real live cats. The kitty here in the photo with Tygie is our oldest cat, who unfortunately came to us already with the name Boobies. He is quite an old man now, at 19 years old, and is very well loved, if slightly afraid of our son when he’s being noisy and moving too quickly near him. Thankfully Thor is getting much better about being gentle with the cats, and doesn’t pull tails nearly as often as he used to.

I am unsure what else to write about at this time. It’s hard to write, let alone be creative when your mind seems so busy with every day worries that seem so overwhelming. Writing used to be an escape, but nowadays it seems impossible when life seems this overwhelming. I am hoping to some day soon to at least have something good to write about here, instead of all this seemingly endless venting of the day’s issues.

Even if it is with much ranting and complaining, I always seem to keep moving, somehow…



I’m back, some assembly required…


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The last few weeks have been scary and stressful around here. It’s kind of a long story, so I’ll try to condense it as much as I possibly can.

I haven’t been feeling well on and off for at least the last couple of years. I had almost no appetite, had on and off bouts of horrible back pain among other issues. A few times the pain had gotten so bad I had sought help at the local emergency room. Needless to say the doctors blew me off, and even treated me like someone trolling for pain pills. They did no testing, gave me a dose of Tylenol and sent me home, repeatedly.

Last month I predictably came down with another bout of pain, this one even worse than before. Again I went to the ER to try and get help, and I expected the whole lather, rinse, repeat. Luckily for me, instead of the regular ER doctor on call I ended up with a very lovely young intern who actually not only examined me properly, she asked me questions. The first one being…Do you still have your gallbladder?

One ultrasound later, it was confirmed that I had gallstones, likely the cause of a lot of my health issues for the last few years…

A couple of days and one more ER trip later I was referred to a surgeon, and put on a 6 week waiting list for surgery to have my gallbladder removed, or so we thought….

I made it not even a week without another couple of ER trips before the surgeon on call decided to admit me and get it over with. The next day they informed me that it was a good thing they’ gotten to me when they did, or it probably wouldn’t have been long before I’d have suffered not only liver issues, but my gallbladder may have burst.

The moral of the story?

Trust your gut if you really feel that something is wrong. If your doctor won’t listen, find one who will, even if they are only running the tests to humor  you. It upsets me that I was in pain needlessly for I know at least well over a year.

Sure surgery is scary, but I woke up in less pain after than before, and am thankful that someone finally listened to me, and took the time to find what the cause of my pain and illness really was. In my case it took a different doctor and a different hospital. Don’t be afraid to make waves, and be the figurative squeaky wheel that needs greasing.

The life you save may be your own.

You know the place…

I think everyone has been here at one time or another. The problem being, sometimes I swear I live there, and have for some time. Our present living situation seems to be at last coming to a head. trying to decide where to go, or not go from here, feels more like trying to choose between three potential evils, and trying to figure out which is the least of them.

Stay or leave? The worst part is not knowing where the money is going to come from to do either. Is there any such thing as winning, let alone getting ahead? All this constant anxiety and worry isn’t doing anything for my health physically or mentally.

Are the things I am praying for all that much to ask for? All I want is a safe and affordable home for my family to live in. I don’t wanna worry about doing without here, or putting ourselves in an even worse situation if we leave here. We sadly may not have a choice if we don’t find a way to remedy our present situation within the next couple of weeks. Trying to stay busy is all that’s keeping me from curling up in a ball and crying sometimes. Who am I kidding…a lot of the time.

I know people will offer to pray for you, but sometimes I wish someone would offer to do more for us than pray. We are sinking fast, and no one seems to be able to tell us where to turn, let alone help us find the help we really do need. I’m so tired of going through my cell phone minutes, only to be given the run around and asked to call yet another agency that can’t help us either. I’m not going into details, because I don’t know who’s reading who might be waiting to twist this to use against us, in the rumor mill, or worse given the chance.

Is it too much to hope for to keep my family together?

Hope and fear


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Optimism is hard for me, the last few years especially, when it comes to dealing with the ongoing situation with my daughter. I’ve wanted nothing more than to have her home, and I make sure I tell her frequently. Unfortunately every time I thought there was a ghost of a chance of it actually happening, I’ve pretty much had my hopes dashed to pieces.

There is another hearing coming up next week. I feel an obligation to be there, but part of me is also nearly paralyzed by knowing that my efforts would be all but futile. Deep inside I know that the outcome would be the same in my presence or without it. It’s as much my own state of mind that I am worried for. Should I go and go through the motions and attend a hearing that has already all but been decided, or should I just stay away and let them do the inevitable without me?

Is there hope of this ending any other way?

Should I really be spending a couple of hundred dollars we don’t really have right now for bus tickets and hotel rooms, when I know almost for sure that I will be coming back home alone with nothing to show for it but depression it may take weeks to shake myself out of?

Would I be a horrible person and mother if I just threw my hands up in the air and told them all that I just can’t do this?

Is it time to let my daughter go, and hope she will be happy with whatever life they can help her build for herself? All I can do is keep reminding her that my door is always open, and she always has a place here, even if the decisions on her future are out of my hands.

Damn this is hard…

It’s *bleeping* cold outside!


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This is the second day here with below 0 temperatures. Needless to say we haven’t left the house. (except for when John took the trash out to the curb, just in case by some miracle they do decide to collect it in the morning) It is a little boring here with not much to do but the internet, and frustrating dealing with a stir crazy baby who very badly wants his daily bye bye, and doesn’t understand why he can’t have it.

I’m also frustrated with not being able to work on my novel. It isn’t a matter of lacking ideas this time, but more just not having quiet time to work on it before I’m too exhausted at night to think clearly. My computer unfortunately sits in the middle of the living room in front of the fireplace mantel, the only place in the whole apartment there was room to put it. It’s good that I have a desk, and a computer, but it makes it extremely difficult to work without distraction when I am stuck out here right in the middle of it all.

Before I would always write when my daughter was in school, and my desk was usually set up in my bedroom, or off in a quiet room away from the main room. I don’t work well with noise or with people moving around nearby, and especially don’t work well with people peering over my shoulder.

I miss having a laptop to work on, at least then I’d have the possibility of going in my room and shutting the door for awhile, even if trying to work from bed hurts my back something awful after awhile. Then again, I know what would happen. I’d get settled in, and finally be making progress, and BAM…they’d just follow me in there.

Sometimes I wonder how I am going to hold on until spring. Our search for a new apartment is still going dismally. Even applying anywhere is expensive, and we recently lost $120 in application fees only to be turned down yet again, even with my mother in law willing to co-sign.

Staying positive is really hard right now. It’s especially hard when you can’t even get something basic like an affordable place for your family to live. I worry about even the rent here going up to more than we can afford even with the roommate. My nerves are wound so tight I’m barely sleeping sometimes, and when I do I’m getting a lot of nightmares. I haven’t been able to eat properly in months now for a lot of the same reasons.

I wish I had a way of knowing that it would all be alright, but I don’t. I’m doing what I can but no one is going to beat a path to our door to help us. It’s no wonder that so many disabled people end up on the streets. If you are under 62 years old, there is no help with housing available, period, end of story. If the waiting list for help isn’t closed, it is over 10 years long.

It’s hard to write here without complaining, mainly because this is the only place in the world I have to vent.

I can’t wave a magic wand and make myself well, or John not deaf anymore, so what hope is there of our situation getting better short of a miracle? I wish I knew, I really wish I knew.