Friday, August 31, 2007

It took an episode of "Brisco County, Jr."

Watch out, world: Jesse James will ride again! And you can thank the TV show, "Brisco County, Jr."

The REAL Jesse James, famous outlaw, is not who I am talking about here. We have been watching the ENTIRE series of "Brisco County, Jr." on DVD lately. (Hubby is a HUGE Bruce Campbell fan.) The other night, as we watched the episode "And Baby Makes Three," the part where Whip Morgan (played by Jeff Phillips) names a Chinese baby "Jesse" is what prompted hubby to turn to me with a look on his face and say/sign, "Jesse."

I studied him at first, then it hit me. That was a name he liked for the baby. (Somebody call Guinness!! I couldn't believe it!! He FINALLY found a name he liked! I swear I almost fainted.) I scowled and said/signed, "That's one of the names I suggested before and you said no!"

He shrugged and said/signed, "I can't even remember half the names you've suggested."

Hard to believe, given I've been throwing names at him since I found out we were expecting in March.

So to refresh his memory, I made up a list of ALL the boy names I really liked and printed it out for him to go over. As amazed as I am about his new attitude in picking a name for the baby, I'm relieved, too. I'm almost 7 months along and think it would be NICE to just choose a name and get that over with. I've constantly been dreading giving birth to the baby and not having any name to give him! So from that list, hubby crossed off almost every name on there, except two. "Jesse" and "James."

How ironic. The very mention of the name "Jesse" had me thinking of Jesse James.

I can't name the baby "Jesse James," though. We already have a middle name picked out for him. It's a middle name hubby has, as does his father and grandfather. And I'm not crazy about giving the baby TWO middle names....though the "James" name was once seriously considered, since it's the name of hubby's father.

Still, it's a funny thought that our son would have the name similar to a famous cowboy. I had to chuckle over this whole thing, even with the character Whip saying, "It's a good cowboy name." Indeed it is, though I doubt that is a factor with hubby. He's a guy who hates horses (my daughter and I adore them). I guess he just likes the name itself, though, despite who it reminds me of. At least it's a "J" name, something both of us wanted. All the same, would be nice if he'd picked a name from one of the characters in my novel, November's Child. At least in this case, the reason behind selecting the baby's name would be more closer to home.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Friends whining about the rules

Sometimes, parents have to deal with their kids' whining over certain rules. Lately, I've been getting the whining not from my child -- but her friend.

My daughter has a young friend who she adores. I usually have no trouble when this friend comes over to play or when the two of them hang out.
It's when I try to maintain the status quo that the friend's whining really gets to me.

Take, for example, this morning. Her friend came over shortly after we finished breakfast, asking if my daughter could play. I said she COULD play, but first she had to clean her room. The friend's smile faded and she displayed those typical hound-dog eyes. She turned to my daughter and said, "But I have to leave in 3 days."

I bit my lip, wanting to scream, "IT'S NOT GOING TO TAKE HER THREE DAYS TO CLEAN HER ROOM!!" Instead, I took a deep breath and calmly explained that, sorry, this is just one of the rules my daughter must follow: She can't play with her friends until her room is cleaned. Could she PLEASE come back in 20 minutes? JUST 20 minutes. Not 20 days. We had done a MAJOR clean-up job in her room yesterday, so there was very little she had to do. Just put away some toys, fold up and put away her nightgown, then make her bed. That's it! Hearing the "rule" bit, the child nodded and (reluctantly) went back home.

This is not the first time I have had to do the "sorry, we have a rule against that" speech. That little reminder comes after I first say my daughter can't do this or has to come home now, which is then met by whining and pleading. Once, I even caught this little friend being very much UNfriendly when she suggested my daughter "tell your mom this, tell your mom that" to get me to change my mind.


Sorry, kiddo. A rule is a rule.

My daughter is NOT allowed to be walking on the streets after dark. My daughter MUST be home by 8 p.m. My daughter is NOT allowed a sleepover on a school night. My daughter MUST eat dinner with the family when dinner is ready. My daughter MUST be in bed at bedtime. There is a rule about how she can't play out front without adult supervision (we live on a busy street, so that's mandatory). I also have a rule that if a friend hits, kicks or pushes my daughter, that friend is promptly sent home and her/his parent is informed of the infraction. AND my daughter is not allowed to watch those R-rated movies with the kind of sexual innuendo and foul language I have caught the two of them watching at the child's house!


I have considered discussing this with the friend. Even with the friend's father. Sometimes she can play, sometimes she can't. That's just the way it is. And, there are rules my child must follow, friend or no friend.

While other parents may see my attitude about this as a little overbearing, I make no apology for the rules I try to enforce.

Am I doing something wrong here by sticking to my guns? I won't bend on the ruies, but it sure is frustrating to deal with the whining that ensues because of them.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Casting call

Sometime ago, we received an advertisement in the mail for a local casting call here in Eugene. There was a talent agent or director (it didn't specify) scouting out new faces among children and teens. As I looked over the advertisement, I debated whether or not I should take Jennifer. I have come across so many horror stories of child stars growing up addicted to drugs, committing suicide or going bad. If Jennifer was selected, what kind of future would that mean for her? And what kind of childhood would that mean for her? I sure wasn't going to let her grow up being a prima donna, but I also didn't want her to miss out on having a fun, NORMAL childhood. (Normal? Gee, what IS normal, anyway??)

Still, I decided it couldn't hurt. We could do it just for fun. On a whim. Just give it a shot and see what happens. And, ultimately, I could see what the LIKELY future in television would mean to her.

So today, the big moment arrived. I waited until late afternoon to take her, partly because I was DREADING a huge crowd and dreading standing in line for hours. So I did my writing work (started work on a new book! woo-hoo!), made lunch and cleaned the house. On our way, I explained to Jennifer what it was about and that she'd be on TV. Hearing this, she said, "Moooom. I'm nervous."

I smiled, patted her leg and said, "Don't be nervous, sweetie. Just be yourself. You'll do fine." I remembered my own time in front of a camera, when I was on the news at age 11 because of the toe-to-thumb transplant on my left hand. I had been nervous then, too, but I didn't think about the camera filming me. I only thought about the reporter who sat next to me, talking casually and asking questions. I just focused on THAT and not on the camera. For Jennifer, she'd HAVE to face the camera. They weren't going to give her a script to read because she was under 7 but she WOULD have to talk in front of it.

As I continued the drive, though, I wondered if I was setting her up for a future she'd end up resenting me for. I tried to imagine seeing a movie or TV show with her name in the cast of characters. How would I feel about that? How would SHE feel about that? Would she even be happy with this career "forced" upon her??

I tried to stay positive, though, as we got closer to our destination. We were on a mission to have FUN! We were just doing this on a whim. If they didn't select her, it wasn't going to ruin anything. At least we gave it a shot!

And I guess my determined enthusiasm rubbed off on Jennifer because when we got there, she was practically bouncing in her seat and going, "I'm gonna be on TV!" I mentally applauded her, thinking, 'That's the spirit!'

Once inside, I was soooo relieved to see that there wasn't a looong line. Hoozah! I filled out an application about Jennifer, puzzling over why they wanted to know what size she wore. Then we got in line. Jennifer is normally very sociable but while we stood in line, she clung to me, locking her arms around my stomach. I half expected her to at least talk with the other children in line, but she barely noticed them. How strange she acted so insecure! I had to smile over the teen boys in line who kept fussing with their hair but soon I was fussing with Jennifer's hair, too, wiping away imagined hairs on her clothes and making sure her pants weren't wrinkled.

When they called her up, I handed the lady at the desk the form as Jennifer took her place in front of the camera. I was nervous she would crack but she LOVED it and even asked to see what the cameraman saw. He asked her to state her full name and age, then to smile for the camera as he took her picture. She did her "babydoll" pose and he laughed as he took her picture. They were both smiling as they told us they'll let us know if she's accepted and we both left.

Wow! With that done with, every single sense of apprehension I had faded away. That was SO EASY and no trouble at all! Neither of us cracked and we both walked away from it energized and happy. Even if they don't select her, it doesn't matter. We still had fun and I'm glad I got past my doubts to take her there.

Later, when I took her to PlayLand, Jennifer bounced in front of the guardian there and announced, "I was on TV!"

I smiled, briefly wondering if that's an announcement she'll be repeating ten years down the road.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Gone fishing

Yesterday, we took our daughter on her first fishing outing. She was sooo excited about it, which isn't surprising since she's been bugging us about going fishing for months and even pretended to fish with a makeshift fishing pole with her toys. She's always talking about fishing and with summer coming to a close, I decided we can't end her summer without going fishing! So on Saturday I decided "we're going fishing tomorrow!" and that was that.

We went to get the fishing gear and I was so clueless over all the different kinds of fishing stuff they had at the store. Fortunately, hubby knew EXACTLY what we needed and what everything was, so I pretty much blankly stared at the fishing stuff while the two of them huddled together over this part of the aisle or that part. Jennifer was so into all of it and I had to smile when she kept asking her dad, "What's this for? What's that for?" Her enthusiasm waivered, however, when she was looking at this book on fishing and saw a picture of someone gutting a fish. She made a face and said, "That's so gross." I laughed and said, "That's part of the fishing experience." (One which, thankfully, I haven't had to experience yet.)

After we bought the gear, we took it home and the two of them sat at the kitchen table getting everything ready and together. Meanwhile, I got the camera stuff ready, made lunch and threw together a bag of snacks. Then we headed out to a nearby park, which borders the Willamette River. I LOVE this river. It's so BIG and beautiful! We've been to it before -- once when we went out to Blue River -- and it's just really inspiring to sit on the shore just looking out at the river. The current, however, is normally strong, and that was a problem for Jen because the current kept leading her hook to the rocks where it got stuck. Three times it got stuck and one time, her dad couldn't free it so he had to cut the line and rehook it.

One thing Jennifer couldn't catch on to was the patience that fishing requires. Even as she sat on the tackle box with her line in the water, she kept fidgeting and moving her pole up and down. I kept reminding her to be patient and not move her line around so much, that the fish take a long time to bite. She got a little casting-happy with her line, and even though I was sitting about 3 feet behind her, I said, "Careful where you throw that thing, Jen. I'm right behind you." (Well, the casting was good practice for her.)

I didn't get to fish while her and the hubby did, but I DID get to snap some photos. I tried to get a good picture of hubby while he stood to the side fishing, but darn if he would even HOLD STILL for a shot! (Like father, like daughter.) I did take one photo of him, though. The thing about the pictures is that they weren't very bright. It was an overcast day, with bits of sprinkling here and there, and hardly a sign of the sun to allow for good quality pictures. Despite this, I did take a picture of the both of them along the shore which I thought was still nice. I'm sending the pics to the fam and posting a few on my dA scrap book. (The above picture is one such pic. I know it's grainy. I used PhotoShop to brighten it.)

The fish weren't biting that day so after a while, we packed up and went to another area of the park where there was a "duck pond." There were A LOT of ducks!! Along with geese and pigeons. I sat on the bench taking more pictures while hubby and Jen fed the ducks. She tried to pet the ducks but they kept running away. It was so cute to watch, though.
Despite not catching any fish on her fist fishing outing. Jennifer still had a great time and she's looking forward to going again. I'm looking forward to having a chance to get some fishing done next time, too.

Monday, August 13, 2007

I am ME!

I recently posted a response to someone's comment about a poll on dA which I ran. The poll was asking what people would do if their spouse/significant other got all possessive of them. This is what I said:

"The thing a lot of people tend to forget is that the basis of a relationship is about acceptance. When you get into a relationship with someone, you are essentially ACCEPTING them for who they are."

Even though I was talking about romantic relationships/marriage, I kept thinking about how this would apply to friendships, as well. Too often, we end up in a friendship with someone who is VERY unlike us. But in some way, we manage to make the friendship work, because we accept each other as we are. Well, not ALL the time. I know there are the manipulative type of "friendships" out there. And the kind of friendships where everything is so conditional. (Not much of a friendship, if you ask me!)

I know all about the ups and downs of friendships, and the types of friendships that are out there. But what I have to wonder about is why, in an ADULT friendship, ADULT relationship, one person expects the other to change who they are, because they don't like something or another about them. It's like they're trying to change this person into what THEY want them to be like.

And I just really think that that kind of thing is uncool.

I am lucky to have friends who accept me 100% without bugging me about something that I do or without ditching me for little things that I do. (I think the latter aren't much of a "friend" if they do that.) I can understand that we can choose our friends. Believe me, I'm all for it! I'm definitely for that kinda thing, because I know some friendships can be bad for us. They can be unhealthy and we have to just step away from those kinds of things. But the "things" I was doing weren't BAD things. It's not like I was going around spouting hate at others or trying to talk crap about anyone. You know? I wasn't doing anything BAD. I mean, one person I recently got into an argument with had a grievance over the fact that I wear shoes in my house!

You know? I'm talking about LITTLE things.

But, be that as it may, I guess these little things really can bother people so much that it causes them to ditch me or just get all riled up with me about it. How sad that there are people who let LITTLE things, things that aren't even WORTH getting upset over, affect them so much. But, I guess there are people like that. This is not something that would wave a red flag in my friendship with them, though. I pick my battles in life and I'm the same way with my friendships. Should they choose to ditch me or start up an argument about it is their choice, and this I respect. And if they DO ditch me, I will at least now know what kind of "friend" they really are.

That said, it made me think about acceptance among others. I am NOT going to change who I am just because a "friend" of mine has a grievance with it. If I want to wear shoes while I'm in my own home, I'm going to do it. If I like to participate in a FUN activity with family members online, I'm going to do it! They don't HAVE to let these things ruin their lives, or anything. They can just....move on. If we are friends, we have our OWN little things going on. You know? The fact that they have a problem with it is NOT going to make me stop and get all worrisome about it. I'm not going to be like, "Oh, gee, maybe I shouldn't do this because it will make him/her upset." That's the kind of thinking I had to deal with EVERY DAY for a loooong time in my first marriage. When I was going through the emotional abuse. Dealing with a control freak who tried to change me into somebody else. Nowadays, I don't do that anymore. I don't walk on eggshells anymore or censor what I am going to say anymore.

If it was something unhealthy, I wouldn't have a problem with it. If they were bugging me about something unhealthy or dangerous I was doing, then I would allow for that kinda thing. I would KNOW these things are unhealthy or dangerous and while I may be defensive or even ignorant of what they have to say, deep down I'd feel appreciation for my friend for saying something about it. You know? Because I would understand their motives, which are POSITIVE motives. But when it comes to something that changes who I am or something fun I like to do...well, that's when I question their motives. That's when I will question the friendship, too. And wonder if those motives are more NEGATIVE than they are personal.

I am me and I'm going to STAY me no matter what these "friends" of mine have to say. If they don't like it, that is THEIR problem but not mine. I broke free of the whole "maybe I shouldn't because of someone else" fears I used to live with. I don't have those fears anymore, and I will NOT have them again in my friendships -- with ANYONE.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Poison! Poison everywhere!

I didn't meet with my friend on Wednesday. I decided that because I was coming down with a cold, it would be best not to meet with her because I might get HER sick, too. I called her on her cell phone about cancelling the meet and we talked briefly before she suggested we have an e-mail chat instead. So we did. And the last thing she said to me in her last message was: "Let me know if you need anything!!!" I didn't think I would take her up on that, even though I started feeling a lot worse later on in the day. Jen and I split a can of chicken noodle soup and I took a nap, and that helped me feel a little better, but I eventually started feeling a whole heck of a lot worse. I was tempted to e-mail my friend and say, "Nik, help. I need medicine."

But, I didn't do that. I figured I would tough this thing out until Friday. Friday, when I should FINALLY have my check in the bank! And I can FINALLY get some medicine. Meanwhile, I thought of relying on this medicinal tea that I have to help me feel at least a LITTLE better. Or at least to soothe my sore throat. But when I looked up the ingredients in a vitamin/herb encyclopedia I have, I was dismayed and frustrated to learn that the ingredients in this tea (lemongrass and licorice root) were harmful to the baby. Darn! So was chamomile, so drinking chamomile tea to help calm my nerves was out of the question! Double darn!! (My nerves were pretty bad last night. I don't know why. I was SO jittery! I tried to relax on the couch and close my eyes but I kept nervously opening them again and when I felt footsteps behind me, I was literally shaking when I turned around and looked left to right before seeing it was Jen. Ironically, after I had REGULAR tea and some toast later, it helped calm my nerves.)

I tried to remember what kind of home remedies I could use to alleviate my stuffy nose, head congestion, phlegm buildup in my chest and body aches, but with my head feeling like a bomb went off inside of it, it was hard to think! I DID take hot baths, and that helped the body aches. I had no idea how to help my stuffy nosel I had some Halls cough drops but that did VERY little to help. So, without much relief in sight, I soon grew miserable in the SHORT span of just two days. (I'm one of those people who don't get sick very often, so when I DO get sick, I get REALLY sick!) I was feeling a sense of panic to get my hands on some medicine SOMEHOW! Of course, I wasn't going to use anything that would harm the baby. I have NyQuil in my medicine cabinet, but I was NOT going to take it because I knew it wasn't safe.

Then Jennifer ended up getting sick, too, much to my dismay. I tried my all to avoid her catching my cold, but it happened. The both of us were just a couple of sickies lying on the couch, watching her "Peter Pan" movie. (When Mama gets sick, EVERYBODY gets sick!) Fortunately, we have children's cold medicine -- AND fortunately, it wasn't yet expired. So when I gave her some medicine to help her sleep without struggling to breathe and without being up all night, sneezing her head off, I took a moment to read the ingredients. It had an active ingredient which a nurse had told me I needed to make sure was in the cold medicine I bought for myself. And it also had....pseudoephedrine.

My jaw dropped. Pseudoephedrine??!! Seriously??!! The same stuff cops and city officials have been cracking down on the sale of because it's used in the production of meth??!! Yes, there it was, in plain ink. Pseudoephedrine. And I knew that very ingredient is a COMMON ingredient in cold medicine. I wasn't updated on any changes that have been enforced in the sale of such medicines. Would they ask for my ID? Look up my record? (Not that I even HAVE one!) Make me give a thumbprint? Blood? A sworn statement I am NOT a drug addict?? I had no idea what would await me in my attempt to purchase cold medicine for myself when the time came, but I knew exacyly how I would respond to it: "Listen, lady/pal. I have been sick for 3 days and I feel like crap! If you don't let me buy this cold medicine, I'm going to tear somebody's head off!" (Well, at this point, I'm desperate for relief!)

Fortunately, it didn't come to that. When I went to the drug store, I talked to the pharmacist. He asked me about my symptoms. I pointed out the medicine the nurse told me to get and he shook his head and said, "This is for a cough." (Something I don't have. My BIGGEST grievance is head congestion.) I asked him if pseudoephedrine was even safe during pregnancy. He asked how far along I was and I said, "I'm in my sixth month." He said it should be okay. All the same, he picked a medicine that was pseudoephedrine-free. I wondered if there were any other medicines with the pseudoephedrine in them or if he was just choosing this one on account of my concerns. In any event, I'm happy to FINALLY have some kind of cold medicine to take! I am looking forward to FINALLY getting a good night's sleep -- and being on my way to a quicker recovery!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Day 8 and still no check

Well, the 3 days I had to wait for my company to process my "electronic funds transfer" forms have come and gone. I thought that after 3 days, the money would FINALLY be in my bank account. But, it was not. Angered, I called the company, only to find out 2 things: 1) They have to process it AGAIN before 2 p.m. EST (I wonder if they would've even done that if it hadn't been for me calling them??) And 2): I have to wait TWO MORE business days until the money is finally in my checking account. I could not believe what I was reading. When they told me that, I screamed, "You've GOT to be fucking kidding me!!" But apparently, they weren't. I askerd why I have to wait two more days and they said it's not their fault; it's the checking system. It's not the same as a wire transfer. It takes 2 days for it all to go through. It has to go from them to a middleman THEN to MY bank account.


I am sooo frustrated with this. I mean, I was looking forward to FINALLY buying some food. But I guess I'll have to wait until we can freaking eat! On top of this, I'm coming down with a cold, and I don't have the kind of cold medicine my doctor said is safe for pregnancy. PLUS there is very, very little gas in the car, which I am saving for when I have the money in my bank to go put some more gas in there. So if I want to go somewhere, I have to bum a ride, use the bus (which I don't have fare for) or walk. Or, not go at all. I'm supposed to meet my friend today and I'm debating whether I should call to cancel or just walk there. (My back pain will be the determining factor for this.)

Plus, we're still late on paying our bills. Thank God my husband got paid yesterday; we were finally able to pay our rent (along with the late fee). That leaves us with less than $500. So we'll be relying on THAT to get some food.... that is, IF he doesn't have to make his car payment right away. Plus he has to pay car insurance on the same day my check money should be in the bank.

I sure hope it is. If not, I am seriously going to contact an attorney. This is just ridiculous!

On the other hand, it has also made me realize something. Something I should have realized a lot sooner: I CANNOT comfortably rely on this monthly check anymore. Sure I'm guaranteed this income for life. Sure I have a contract and a court order that it be enforced. But, you know, you can NEVER rely on this kinda thing. Hell, you can NEVER rely on anything!

For this reason, I am once again going to work from home. I mean, that does it! This is the last straw! I hate working from home because I'd rather be around PEOPLE! Err....ADULT people. But, I am six months pregnant, deaf AND not exactly equipped with a history of job skills or experiences. Right now, working from home seems to be my only option.

I have no idea what kind of work I will do. I don't want to freelance again, because that kinda thing does not gaurantee a weekly or biweekly paycheck. But I'm definitely going to check around, look into EVERYTHING, and see what I can come up with. I am not going to let us fall into this kind of situation again. I will do EVERYTHING and ANYTHING that I need to do to start working from home -- because, apparently, not even a court-ordered income is something to be relied on anymore.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Career quiz results

I took this quiz "What career will suit your personality?" and here's the results:

[SITE DISCLAIMER]: This description is a generalisation. If it rings true, you've found your career type. If it doesn't, return to the quiz, decide whether you answered truthfully, and not by what you think you should answer. Redo your answers and read your new results.

You would be very happy in a career that utilised your level-headedness, and allowed you to work mainly on your own. You want a career that allows you to be creative, without having to be involved with lots of people. Some careers that would be perfect for you are:

University Professor
Graphic Designer
Online Content Developer
Managing Director

You like working and being alone. You like to avoid attention at all costs. You tend to keep to yourself, and not interact much with the people around you. You enjoy spending time with a few a close friends. You like to listen to others, but don't like sharing much about yourself. You are very quiet and private.

You are very practical, and only act after thinking things through. You don't like being forced to answer quickly. You have to evaluate the situation completely. You make decisions based on what you can verify with your senses.

You like to be deeply involved in one or two special projects. You like to be behind the scenes.

You are very logical and fair. You feel you should be honest with others and protect their feelings.

You trust your gut instincts. You are easily inspired and trust that inspiration. You are very innovative. You analyse things by looking at the big picture. You are concerned about how what you do affects others. You worry about your actions and the future. You tend to use a lot of metaphors and are very descriptive and colourful in your choice of language.

You are very creative, and get bored easily if you don't get to express yourself. You like to learn new things. You don?t like the same old routine. You like to leave your options open.

Quiz link:

I thought this was interesting. I DID used to want to be a nutritionist. These days, though, I truly think I have figured out what I want to do in life: Manuscript editing. The book world is my passion. I have ALWAYS wanted to be an editor. And I've ALWAYS, always corrected typos and improper writing in my siblings' writings. Hah! Right now I'm thinking of doing freelance editing, but I know that, ultimately, I want a position as an editor with a book publishing company.

And that's my goal -- something this quiz missed. ;)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Check lost in the mail: Good or bad?

Posting a "moaning meme" over at my DC blog had me thinking of YET ANOTHER huge thing I have been moaning about lately: My monthly income check getting lost in the mail.


This is the same check I use to pay rent, buy food, and pay the bills. Because hubby chips in on half for ALL of that, there's a little left over which I put into my personal checking account. (Yes, we each have our own personal checking accounts.) But hubby doesn't get paid until the 7th and with my check going MIA this month, that means we'll be late on paying our rent. *growls* NOT! HAPPY!

Of course I've been through some pretty tough times financially -- times that taught me how to be resourceful with food and necessities. But it's still so annoying that I have to eat a combination of a bowl of rice and a peanut butter/jelly sandwich for dinner instead of a BALANCED meal or that I have to elect to either not go somewhere or walk just to save gas. (I'm in my 6th month of pregnancy and the familiar back pains associated with the last trimester are NO FUN!)

But not being able to pay the rent on time is the BIGGEST grievance I am dealing with because of this lost check. Thankfully, my landlord has been understanding about this situation. I assured him we'll pay the late fee AND pay in cash just as soon as we have it. (He likes being paid with cash. LOL) It never looks good when you're late paying rent, though. It can hurt later on down the road when applying for a mortgage. I've always taken pride in being able to pay rent on time. Now I won't be able to for this month. Darn!! :(

Another problem is the fact that we owe money to my daughter's preschool. In fact, we owe them $167, money I was hoping we'd have from said lost check. *groan* Her teacher has been VERY patient with us but today is the last day and she asked me this morning if I had it. I told her I'd talk to her about it after school lets out at 3:30, hoping my check would MIRACULOUSLY come in today's mail. It didn't. And I don't know what to tell her... *cries* I HAVE thought of asking my mom if she could lend us the money until my check gets here, but I don't want to be one of those people who run to their parents for money in a financial emergency. I want to try to get that money myself! I HAVE thought of applying for a temporary loan, but I hate loans and I'd rather not go through that hassle again. I don't know what else to do, though!

Of course, aside from those two prolems, I AM trying to be positive about it. Having no money means we can pay more attention to good old fashioned fun and spending time together as a family. And I can take solace in the fact that at least I STILL know how to take care of the food problem in the face of having no money to buy food. (Oh, yeah. It's been a REAL test of my creativity!) And of course, I am reminded of ways I can try to make some extra money. I DO have books and furniture I've been wanting to sell -- why not get started on it?? And I can call in a couple of favors from people who owe me money. That would sure help, too.

I just hope my check ends up getting here at some time or another. So I can FINALLY pay my rent and utilities. AND finally pay my daughter's teacher the money we owe. This pressure has stressed me out and it has made me feel anxious and unsettled, but I'm still trying to be positive and optimistic about it all just the same.