Saturday, May 31, 2008

Safe and Sound

And she posts, at last!

I can't believe it has been about two weeks. That means it's been two weeks since they started packing up my house. It has been two weeks and my life feels completely different. I flux.

I had hoped to blog from TLF (Temporary Living Facilities) on their free wi-fi, but apparently, they block Blogger. My life that last week on the bayou was absolutely crazy. I turned thirty-five, my friends through me a lunch, we had a million social obligations, my girls finished out their softball season in second place, and my kids bid farewell to the only home they have ever known.

It was pure emotional upheaval. But through it all I was mostly happy. And excited. I really feel like we're headed to bigger and better things.

It took us two days to drive up to our new home. My husband pulled the U-haul with his truck and I schlepped the kids and the dog. I have never been so happy to arrive at a destination.

My parents had planned to meet us here and entertain the kids while we received our household goods, but our plans got all mucked up. First the movers took a few days longer than expected and then my parents had some doctors appointments they had to keep.

So I continued schlepping the kids another ten hours north to my parents' house. They are ecstatic to be keeping them for a few days while we get started setting up the house. My father hadn't seen the kids in almost a year.

Our stuff finally arrived yesterday. I wouldn't say it was a smooth move, but at least everything we own is in our new house. Everything we have tried to do, from fixing a leaky faucet to installing new hardwood floor has been a challenge. Nothing is going right.

But everything is great. I am so happy to be in this town. I miss my kids terribly but I dread driving even more to go up and spend some time on the Cape with them. If I never drive long distance again, I'll be happy. My husband is dying to get a little vacation time, but I just want to hunker down and make my new house a home.

So far I have only unpacked one room.

I have a bunch of non-moving stories to tell. I'm going to try and take some time in the next few days to blog a bit. In the meantime, I'll be attending a cul-de-sac party for our departing neighbors James and Rob. The invite was printed on rainbow paper.

I'm in a whole new land. Farewell bayou! Hello beach!

Friday, May 16, 2008


I just got the following message from our lawyer about our house closing:

"Everything went great. I'll put your keys and your copy of the documents our front for your Realtor."

So, it's official. We're homeowners again! Yay!

We also had our initial base housing inspection this morning. In the past, before base housing was privatized, you basically had to remove any evidence that humans ever lived in your home before they would let you sign out. We always paid professionals to do the cleaning for us.

But the new private company swore to us that it wasn't necessary to clean like that. I just had trouble believing them. I've done this too many times before.

And so I was up at 3 a.m. this morning to clean our two and a half baths.

Incidentally, it took me an hour and twenty-three minutes to clean them all. It is official. My family is disgusting. And my fingertips are red and raw today.

I took the dog and went to pump gas while the housing people were here. I just couldn't bear to watch them walk through and judge my house.

Their conclusion? "It looks much better than most."

It is official. I am a domestic goddess. Just one who makes big messes before I clean them up.

I finally feel like this move is really happening. I guess I better start packing, huh?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Closing and Happy

We're closing on our new house today. And I am 100% stress-free about it. In fact, since we paid a lawyer $600 to take care of the whole thing for us, it's kind of like our house will just magically become ours by the end of the day.

Except for the huge, gaping hole in our bank account.

I'm feeling a little self-righteous (or maybe just mean) today. We just found out that the people who owned our soon-to-be-new home, whom we hate on principle (What? I think it is a law.) are getting divorced. In fact, their divorce just went through.

I should feel pity for them, but there is a part of me that wants to do a little dance and say, "Ha ha! We're as happy as can be! Every bad thing that happened in that house is going to be erased by our happy little family. I won the life jack pot and youooooooo didn't." And then I'd stick my tongue out.

I kind of suck.

But I'm happy.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Where's Moses when you need him?

My kids are damn lucky I love them.

This morning just as we were getting ready to leave for school, my husband got a call that the base was closed due to flooding. Of course this happens on a day when my son has a field trip he's been looking forward to for a month and my daughter has her dress rehearsal for her play. (Did I mention she's the lead?)

So I loaded us all up into the car anyway and headed to the base gate. I had to plead my way off base by basically promising not to come back. But besides having a big meeting at school this morning, I figured I could meet up with my son at the science museum and make a day of it.

Well, it turns out the field trip was canceled. The meeting was short. My daughter damn well better have had that dress rehearsal or we could have just stayed home!

I spent a couple of hours driving around flooded streets just waiting for them to open the base gates so I could get home. And just as I drive through them I hear on the radio that they are closing all the public schools. I figured our school wouldn't be far behind. Especially since they had three feet of water in the fine arts wing (which also houses the school's historical archives, which sucks!)

My husband came home right then too, as his building has no power and he is locked out of his office. Since his truck keys were in the office, he got a ride home from a friend.

Ten seconds after he walked in the door, every phone we have rang at the same time with an emergency message from our school. They are closed now too.

So I drove my husband back to his truck with spare keys and he is off to pick up the kids. They say the base is closed until noon now. I had a hard time just getting back though the flooded streets of our neighborhood.

I really hope he can make it home with the kids. It would suck for them to be out in these horrible conditions. The waters are rising fast.

Man, if only I didn't love my kids so much, we all could have slept in and avoided all this crap this morning!

I hate to be a typical mom, but I'm really kind of worried about my family out there. My stress level is thought the roof.

Oh! Have I mentioned that the house will be inspected for cleanliness on Friday and the packers start packing on Monday and I am not even close to ready? I've barely done anything! Stress!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Friends in High Places

We found out this weekend that a friend of ours is running for Congress.

This is the strangest thing. We think of him as this big, goofy guy. Even though he is a lawyer, we never considered him as anything more than a...well...big, goofy guy.

His wife is currently the president on the Junior League here, which always struck me as strange because she just isn't the type. I guess now I know why she took the position.

Suddenly their family's faces are all over the place. The wife and I have been joking about the stress of being celebrities. We've been calling her Oprah because she was on the cover of a magazine.

It's funny. My friend SW and her doctor husband are opening a very big new business here (a fat clinic, more or less). Our truly celebrity friends have been gaining more and more celebrity. It seems like things here are on the brink of blowing up big.

And off we go.

Eh. We wouldn't have fit in with our new swankified friends anyway. But still...we've got to think about it. Maybe that new congressman will need a military friend on Capital Hill.

Or maybe we should remember just how middle class we really are.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Farewell Ye Other Blog

I just spent a couple of hours wrapping up my Other Blog.

I've been jokingly telling my friends that I was fired for not writing enough. But really, they consider their site a local online community for local people so they are not interested in having me write for them once I move. They politely asked me when I would like my last day to be.

Since the site was officially launched last Mother's Day, I thought tomorrow would be a nice day to end my blog.

I thought I might be a little sad, but I'm not. I won't really miss the pay. It never really seemed to make an impact on our finances. I also won't really miss the responsibility of writing. I always felt like I was walking on eggshells over there.

Truthfully, I will miss the attention. Aren't all bloggers attention whores, at least a little bit? It was sort of nice to have my real life friends and family keep up with my blog.

It makes me consider sharing this address with them. And then I think of all things I've written here in the last four years and I just can't do it.

So I decided to keep up a little blog to update my friends and family about our lives. I foresee short blurbs and pictures, nothing like what I used to do here back in the heyday of Tuna Girl.

I don't know how Tuna Girl will fit into my new life, but I'm hoping that I can get back to some of the writing I used to do. All I know right now is that I am feeling quite a bit of relief to have finished being the voice of military moms for a whole metropolitan area.

Now I can go back to being me, an emotional, friendless, wordy, dirty girl with a penchant for overshare. Isn't that why you loved me in the first place?

Friday, May 09, 2008

Emotional Tease--Hurt and Anger

From an emotional point of view, today has truly sucked. Hard.

This has been worse than the day I put the dog to sleep.

News at 11. (We're headed to a crawfish boil.)

***** (5:36 a.m. Saturday morning)

So I'm glad we went to the crawfish boil, even if I spent the entire evening swatting bugs, answering questions about our move and not eating crawfish. It gave me some time away from real life to cool down a bit.

I was having a perfectly normal day of cleaning and escapism when things started to go sour.

When she got home from school, my eight-year-old daughter managed to hurt my feelings worse than they've ever been hurt. It's hard to believe that a child could hurt someone she loves so much. She is normally sensitive to a fault.

But I'm not angry at her or anything. She is a child after all. I am furious and disappointed with myself for being the kind of person she would ever even think to say those things about.

Imagine if someone made a list of everything you hate about yourself; a list confirming the validity of all of your insecurities and then presented it to you in a birthday card.

That's how my Mother's Day weekend started out.

Yeah. Yay for mom. Woo fucking hoo. I suck.

Then while my son and I were off practicing the violin, my husband's relationship with his father changed forever.

I wish I could talk more about it. I can't say the things my heart is screaming for me to say to my husband or anyone else because my husband will always be...well...loyal. "He is still my father," he tells me and I want to shake my husband and wail, "He never was! Can't you see he never was?"

I am so angry I could burst apart at the seems.

I've always stayed out of their so-called relationship. I've been cool, but cordial. I have over and over again through the years wanted to declare that my children would never be exposed to that man and his wife.

Now I have valid reason.

My kids don't even know who Grandpa B is. It will stay that way. That man has been dead to me since my husband was a teenager. Now he will be dead to all of us for good.

Except my husband is still open to a reconciliation if his father should ever realize what an idiot he has been.

There is a fine line a woman must walk when she wants to protect her own. Deep down inside, I want to call my own father and have him (in his very impressive way) put my dead-to-me-father-in-law in his place.

But I love my husband too much to overstep my bounds. Should I ever meet that man again, I will tell him...well...I can't tell you that. But I already have the words memorized should I ever lay eyes on him.

I have always wondered how my husband could have been raised by such a horrible little man and turned out to be the wonderful husband and father he is?

No matter his flaws, my husband is a wonderful man. I think it is proof that people can be born with everything good already inside of them. With enough strength, they can overcome anything.

This man is walking away from a happy, successful son who has committed his life to his country, his loving wife and his two amazing children. That is the definition of loser.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

I have a cold so...

I have a cold.

So my ultra sweet husband got up and took the kids to school yesterday and I slept in until 11:30.

So when he went to bed at 11:30 tonight (last night really) I wasn't tired enough to sleep yet.

So I stayed up and hunted for houses on the Internet, which is a really stupid thing to do since we close on our house next Thursday. Luckily, I didn't find anything even remotely interesting.

So I turned on the TV and started watching the USA Softball team slaughter De Paul on ESPN2, which reminded me of how much I love softball, even though the stress of coaching my daughter's team has sucked the joy right out of the game and made me declare that we won't coach or play next year.

So now I've changed my mind and I am somehow going to miraculously turn my daughter into a stellar player in the next ten months, so that she'll love the game and won't ever cry when she strikes out.

So I've spent the last hour online researching softball leagues and camps in Virginia.

So now it's 3:16 a.m. and I'm wide awake.

And I have a cold.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

A Village of Idiots

I am so over this place.

I worried about telling people we were moving because I knew people would start to disassociate themselves right away. But I knew I would start to disassociate too. And I have.

The biggest thing I've noticed is that I've lost all tolerance for idiots. I mean, I know my tolerance wasn't high to start with. But I could always make nice and laugh them off. (Or write about them on my blog and let it go)

Now that I know I'll probably never see these people again after May 23 I have absolutely no reason to be nice.

One thing we've always hated about living here on the bayou is that it seems like there is a disproportionate number of idiots around. Now I'm worried that the entire world has exploded with idiots in the last ten years and because we were stuck down here we just thought it was the bayou effect.

I'll miss my friends a lot, I think. But I am not going to miss most of my life here. It will be so easy to say, "So long!" to most of the people we have to deal with here.

Virginia is starting to look like Nirvana to me. I have to keep reminding myself that there must be idiots there too.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Headmistress for a Day

Can you imagine, for a moment, what a kid would do if she could run her school for a day?

Today, I got to find out.

At our school's auction in March, my husband placed the winning bid on Headmaster for a Day for our daughter. I may have guilted him into it just a little by saying, "Aw, come on. Wouldn't that be a great way for her to end her time here?" But he's the one who raised his paddle.

Today was the day she got to be Headmistress for a Day.

She got to lead the school in the Pledge of Allegiance at flag ceremony this morning. She also got to make proclamations (with guidance for the administration of course). She proclaimed that there would be no homework for the third grade. And she proclaimed that the whole school could have extra recess.

I'm sure she's quite popular among her classmates now.

She also asked if her little brother could be included somehow. So he got to be the Associate Headmaster for the day. I let him wear his little tie and he was pretty cute. He was so eager to get to the microphone and sing God Bless America. I was very proud that my daughter would want to include her brother and share the limelight that way.

Toward the end of the flag ceremony, our wonderful art teacher stepped forward to announce the winners from the local art fair. My son crossed his fingers and chanted his sister's name in a quiet whisper. "I hope she wins," he said. "I hope she wins."

How sweet is that?

As it turned out, it was his name that was announced. He won a little Showcase Award. I was so proud of him. We think of him as our little math wizard but he really loves fine arts too.

I can't wait to go pick them up today and see how the rest of their day went. I'm also really looking forward to a homework free evening. But I didn't push her to make that proclamation at all.

I swear. (I'm just getting my 600 bucks worth.)

We are going to miss our school so much. I don't know how I kept from sobbing this morning.