Saturday, August 06, 2011

The American Dream?

I have been thinking a lot lately about our next home. We plan on moving shortly after June of 2012. My wife hates this apartment and is totally sick of living here. If she had her choice, we would leave tomorrow. The problem is, moving is an expensive proposition and we are not in a position to do so at the drop of a hat. Thus the June date because, by then, we should be able to afford to move. I will be done with child support and we will have another $200/month to use.

While we will likely be looking for another apartment, I find myself wishing more and more that we could buy a place of our own. Frankly, I am tired of moving and want to find someplace I can call home and truly mean it. I want someplace where we can have a dog and a garden; someplace we can make changes to and truly make it our own. With my previous employer, that was a real possibility. Now, not so much. On my current salary, we are lucky to have the place we have now because it is within our means, but I still find myself wishing there was some way we could afford a house. We have looked into a couple of programs, but I have no idea where to start and the information we have found online has been confusing at best. I also continue to look for work that would pay me more money, but jobs I qualify for are scarce and I have had no luck in that direction. There is even this nice place for sale at a really reasonable price not too far from where we are at that we both like, but it remains as out of reach for us as if it were a $250,000 home on the hillside.

Adding to our frustration is the fact that we feel very good about the LDS ward we are in, we love our neighbors just south of us, and we feel like we are where we should be for now. I'm not certain what that means, exactly, because even I grow weary of the baleful looks we often receive from our landlord's kids. I probably shouldn't say that here, but it is the truth. Where we are at, we often feel more like a burden than valued tenants. We are good tenants. We pay rent on time, we are not overly loud, and we do not complain to our landlords constantly. We even did virtually all of the clean up when their water heater leaked and started to flood our living room. My wife sopped up and vacuumed up water for hours, and even did what it took to save the carpet in the living room, rather than force our landlords to have someone come do it as many tenants would likely have done. Our lack of complaining may be why we still have the fridge we were told was only temporary back in 2008, as well as the toilet and stove we were told at one time they would replace. Don't get me wrong; they are not terrible landlords, but they have not followed through on many of the things they have told us they would do. That is part of why we are planning on leaving, and while we would love to buy a home, for us the American Dream is more like an American Pipe Dream and it frustrates me to no end. I hope and pray that as the time draws near, we will find the place we are supposed to be and that we will be very happy there. I just do not see how that will be in our own home.

I really don't mean to complain, and if I have been through this before here (I didn't take the time to check if this was reworked material or not) I apologize, but it helps to get it out a bit. I guess in many ways I may just be going through a midlife crisis. I'll be 47 on September 28, and I am nowhere near where I thought I would be by now. I don't even have a career or job I enjoy to help make things easier, though I am very thankful I do have a job. It has really been weighing heavily on me lately, tonight more than others for some reason.

With that, I think I better call it quits.

Friday, August 05, 2011

A Few Random Thoughts

Tony Blair once said something to the effect that it is sometimes better to lose and be right than to win and be wrong. Just a thought in light of recent events in Washington. Thus ends the political commentary here.

I found out today that my sick day on Wednesday is going to be unpaid, even though I still have unscheduled time off. It seems to me that our PTO policy at work needs a little work. It seems it is set up to make it almost impossible to take a proper vacation should one so choose. Oh well. Not much I can do about it.

Speaking of work, my lifeline may have been cut. Without going into too many details, I was set to change responsibilities somewhat on October 17. I was looking forward to this change very much because I would be losing many of the responsibilities that make my job so difficult for me sometimes. That change has now been pushed back until April of 2012. Though it looks like some changes will still occur in October, it was unclear if I will lose the parts I don't like so much. Now I'll have to wait and see.

My leg is getting better, slowly. It is still swollen and warm to the touch, but it doesn't hurt much at all and I can walk around with only very minor discomfort. Thanks go out to my mom, who put together an herbal mixture that has been very helpful in the past; my sister, who drove her down to Provo to bring it to me; and my wife, who has been putting it in to capsules. I am extremely grateful to them all.

With that said, I should really get my leg up; meaning it's time to head off to bed. I'll like read awhile because I am not yet tired, but my leg could use the rest. With tomorrow being Saturday, I hope to write something longer. Five down, 26 more to go.

Thursday, August 04, 2011


I almost forgot again tonight. That's twice in four days. I guess that's not too surprising as it is still new.

One of the main reasons I decided to do this every-day-in-August experiment is to try to instill some discipline. I figure that if I can get myself to write here every day, I can get myself to write other things as well and maybe, as a result, some of the ideas I have floating around in my head will actually make it onto paper, as it were. If I can establish a habit of writing, even just a little, every day then I believe I can continue it well past August. That is one of my hopes, anyway. Another is that I will actually start having more ideas again. Writing is something I have let slide for too long and now I find myself sometimes wondering if I have lost that particular talent. This month I aim to find out.

So please forgive the short entries as this grand experiment starts. As the days pass, I am sure they will get longer and more interesting. At least I hope they will. For now, it's four days and counting. Anything is an accomplishment at this point.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Late Night Trial

Tonight I can't say that the last 24 hours has not been eventful. Last night, shortly after finishing up here, I had another flare-up of cellulitis. I always know when these attacks are coming on. From the time I started feeling it, I was just hoping I was feeling tired and that what I knew was happening was not really happening. By about 9:30PM last night, I was shivering under my blankets with fever. I knew what was happening and I spent the next little while in prayer, pleading that this would pass quickly and that I would not have a serious case. In the past, I have had my leg swell up to almost twice its normal size and each step was a new experience in pain. While laying down with my leg elevated, it was not too bad, but when I had to put my foot down to walk somewhere, it was excruciating. I did not want to go through that again, and I did not want to miss work. In my fevered delirium, I kept praying for my leg to be healed and for the fever to go down. After about 40 minutes, the fever came down and I was able to get some sleep, though not much. I know my prayers were answered because I have not had the swelling I have had in the past and my leg has not been as painful as with past episodes. I ended up missing work because I got very little sleep and I woke up with a terrible headache to go with the cellulitis. I still had a fever as well, though it was nowhere near as bad as it had been. I could not afford to miss work, but I was not well enough to go either. By resting today, it looks like my leg will be well enough tomorrow that I can work and I will only have one day without pay. I am very grateful that it has not been worse.

There have been times recently when I felt that my prayers went unheard; that I was somehow forgotten or had somehow made too many mistakes to matter anymore. Last night showed me that is not the case. From past experience, I know it could have been so much worse and it wasn't. My prayers were heard and answered, and for that I am most thankful.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Harder Than Anticipated

When I decided to write here every day this month, I thought the hardest thing about it would be remembering to do it. I'm finding that having something to say is definitely harder. My brain feels so depleted by the time I finish work that an evening's vegetation is definitely attractive. Still, part of why I wanted to try to do this is to fight the brain drain, as it were; force myself to think creatively, critically, or at all. The fact that I am remembering to do this is an accomplishment. Now I need to exercise the grey matter as well.

That's is not likely to happen tonight. I have been trying to think of some insight I may have had today; any light-bulb moments. Try as I might, nothing comes to mind. Maybe tomorrow will be more productive. In the meantime, I think I will go dive into The Fellowship Of The Ring until I am ready to sleep.

What a slow start.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Operation Blog, Day 1

It's funny. I had just shut down my computer for the evening when I remembered that I had committed to writing here every day this month. It's typical that I almost forgot on the very first day! It's my last few months in microcosm. No worries, though, as I started the ol' laptop to leave a few words here.

Tonight Merilee and I went to the grand prize drawing for Provo City Library's Summer Reading Program. We have participated for the last three years and we go to the drawing not expecting to win anything, but to just have a little free fun. Tonight we were both amazed by winning door prizes. I got $5 to a local cocoa/cupcake establishment and Merilee won a nice water bottle. It was a very pleasant surprise for us both. No, no Nook for us this year, but then the e-book thing still has not sucked me in. I like holding a book and reading words on paper too much still, I guess. It was a fun hour spent at the library.

That's about all for tonight. It's a start. And that is saying something.