Saturday, October 30, 2010

Keeping the Faith

Faith is courage; it is creative while despair is always destructive. ~David S. Muzzey
This morning I spent a few hours at the park across the street, doing repairs on the community built playground that I got to be a part of 3 years ago.  It was one of the most amazing 5 days of my life.  I met some incredibly nice and giving people and got to be reminded of how a community can pull together and do amazing things.  The park across the street from my house was nothing more than a large campground for homeless transients, who used the park to drink and do drugs in.  This city park has been around for many years and has beautiful established trees throughout, but because it had been taken over by less than savory people, it never got used by the children it once attracted.

The crew of volunteers getting the playground done in an amazing 5 days!

The city finally listened and there was some available grant money to fix up the park itself, then some wonderful community members got together and formed a committee to build a fabulous new playground.  I could go on and on about the build and all the meetings and organizing that led up to it, but I will just tell you that the playground is now the best in the city.  Everyday, this park that hadn't entertained kids for years, is now full of them all day long.  I have never been so proud of something I have worked on.  I have a vested interest in this park, because it's so close to my house.  Even though my girls were grown by the time the park finally got cleaned up, my nieces can  play there when they come to visit me.  They love to play at "the park across the street", it even has a tire swing :)

Spending the morning sprucing things up, really helped to put my mind in a good place.  With all the stress I'm dealing with over the trial that is coming up this next week, I really needed some positive perspective.

One of the food tables, our  job (the food committee, all 2 of us!!) during the build was to feed all the volunteers.

I am trying to stay strong, but I worry everynight as I try to fall sleep, how will I pay my bills if my ex gets his way? How will we have enough money for groceries?  Will I have to work two jobs to keep us afloat, and how will that affect my daughter who will be home alone so much?  I have never felt so unsure and anxious before, and it's hard not to let it all get to me. 

Faith, Love,  and Courage, that is what I am focusing on.  The faith that things will turn out how I need them to, and the courage to figure it all out if it doesn't. And most importantly, the love I have from my daughters, who know exactly where my heart is.

Last week, my oldest daughter posted what she likes about me on my FB page.  You can't imagine how good I felt when I read her beautiful words:

i like you because you're an amazing mom who is a positive, strong, selfless and beautiful woman and perfect role model. you don't care about material things or money, you would rather devote your life to making sure your daughters have a good education & life & it's sad that some people choose not to see that. you know what's important in life and have taught me & lissy that we can do anything we set our mind to & to never give up on our dreams. :)"

My wish for you is that you will always have Faith, Love, and Courage in your heart, to see you through the good and bad times.

Happy Thoughts,

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A slight detour...

“Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength.” -unkown

Today I am blogging about something that I wish I wasn't.  I decided to address something publicly that I am dealing with personally.

As I've mentioned before, I am a divorced mother of two beautiful daughters.  My family and my home are the two most important things in the world to me, if you know me personally, you already know that.

I decided to keep our family home when my ex-husband and I separated, and bought him out of it by refinancing the mortgage.  

I've talked about my house before, and how hard I've worked on it over the years, especially the last 7 that I've been living alone with my daughters. 

The house was in bad shape, still needing major work done when he moved out.  I pride myself in knowing how to make something out of nothing. I am a true DIY person.   I have improved my house by my willingness to work hard and my passion for crafting, sewing, painting, and gardening, whatever it takes to make my home warm, comfortable, and welcoming.  I live on a shoestring budget, but I was lucky enough several years ago to inherit some money from my grandfather, so that I was able to finish up most of the major rennovations and buy a few new pieces of furniture.    I finally put in the picket fence that I had dreamed about for years.  We don't have the latest technology, no large flat screen or surround sound, no fancy stereo equipment, laptops, cameras, or luxury cars.  My yard was not professionally landscaped, I did most of the work myself, after I had the lawn put in, I planted everything else and finished the sprinklers on my own.

I am now being questioned about everything I have done.  My ex-husband has decided he no longer wants to pay the spousal support he agreed to when we divorced.  We were married over 16 years and we both made concessions when we came to our final settlement agreement.  He had an affair, and chose to leave our marriage.  I was devastated at the time, but over the years I have come to be comfortable with my new life and cherish it. 

We are now back in court.  It's a very unsettling thing to go through, not to mention an invasion of my privacy, filled with accusations that question everything I have worked so hard for and what I do that makes me happy in my life.   I truly wish I did not need this money, but living on a single income, and paying for the needs of my daughters, especially with one in college,  I do at this time.  I have struggled financially since my oldest daughter turned 18 and I not longer receive child support for her.

He has been following me my on my blog, even printing some of my posts, submitting them as exhibits, so that he can somehow try to use it against me in court.  I cannot begin to tell  you how stressful and upsetting this has all been.  He has taken something I love doing, my way of expressing who I am and what I love about life, and is now bringing it into a courtroom so he can try to show it in a negative light.  It has caused me to question whether I should even continue writing a blog.  I can't help but feel a little bit like I am being stalked.

I am not asking for sympathy,   I have put myself out there, my blog is open for anyone to read, it certainly does not detail everything going on in my life, I have tried to focus mainly on the positive.  I have struggles just like anyone else does, but my blog has been a place talk about what makes me happy and meet others with similar interests.

I don't have money for a lawyer, but my ex has one.  I am going into court alone, hopefully with the strength I need.  This week his lawyer is taking a deposition from me.  I have never done anything like this before, so of course I am nervous and don't know what to expect.  I feel like I am at a disadvantage by not having an attorney to represent me.

All the stress is taking a toll on me, I am not sleeping well, I've had to spend hours preparing paperwork and filing documents with the court.  I work full-time so I've had to take my own personal necessity time off work to take care of everything.   

I feel like I am forced to defend myself about how I live.  My daughters are behind me 100%, they know first hand how hard I've worked and the sacrifices I've willingly made so that I could give them a good childhood filled happiness and fun.  Without their love and support, I couldn't do this.  I feel a deep sadness for my ex-husband, he has lost what it is to be a father.  He refuses to speak with our girls, and I can't imagine the emptiness he must feel, not having them in his life.  I worry about them and how this will affect their future relationships with men.

I will hold my head high in the next couple weeks,  and remind myself that I cannot control the outcome.  I can only speak from my heart, and that's what I intend to do.

Happy Thoughts,

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Girl can dream...

Someday I dream of owning and running a bed and breakfast...I think it is the perfect job for me.  I love cooking and baking, decorating, gardening, taking care of others, all things related to home and family.  I've been like this for as long as I can remember.

When my sister and I were little, we used to play restaurant.  She happily played the customer, while I was both waitress and chef.  I'd make menus and create my own dishes, pepare her food and serve it to her "resaurant style".

I have always been fascinated by bed & breakfasts, the personal service and homey atmosphere, so different from a normal hotel stay.  I have so many ideas of what I might do, special events for holidays, appetizers in the afternoon, treats set out at night for guests returning from a dinner out, a big beautiful breakfast, where I could try out all the recipes I want to make someday.  I would love to have outdoor seating as well, where guests could sit and read the local paper in the morning with their coffee, or enjoy the sun setting at dusk with glass of wine.

Doesn't it all sound so dreamy? 

Recognize this beauty from "Father of the Bride"?
I dream of buying a big, old white house and having guests who I can pamper and fuss over.  Meeting new people while they are away from the daily stresses of their normal lives really appeals to me.  

How about this charmer, one of my favorite movie houses from "Practical Magic".

I love meeting new people and hearing the stories of their lives.  Making people feel good is something I truly enjoy. 
This is actually a realBed & Breafast I found for sale in Mendicino, CA.
Who knows, maybe someday my dream will become a reality...I'm never going to give up on it.  Without our dreams, we really have nothing, at least that's true for this Dream Girl.  Maybe someday I will have you as my guest....

Happy Dreams & Happy Thoughts,