Tuesday, October 27, 2009

trying to get back to life as normal, whatever that is

well we made it through the event, (move it, dig it, do it: the science of machines) and it was a blast!! things turned out very well, even if the numbers weren't anywhere i hoped they'd be. everyone that attended was happy and really enjoyed the event! yay!

mary ellen and i worked our butts off on that event and we are already gearing up for another! looking into one for the spring that will include an egg hunt. that gives us 6 months to plan and we are still fired up from the success of move it!

but i must still get my house in order...slowly but surely...and get back on a schedule for homeschooling. its still difficult to walk around here since everything is a total wreck from the week or so of neglect while i worked on the event furiously in the final moments. all those last minute things makes life crazy!

today we have to go pick up the tables we borrowed from st paul's and take them back...and start working through the mess in the barn (we just piled everything back into the barn after the event, to go over later.)

but i'm feeling very proud of all we did! it helps make living here tolerable, to be making a difference in things. the discovery center needed help and mary ellen and i stepped up and took it on. we are helping to bring attention back to it. we are not doing it alone, so don't think that i think i'm single handedly or even double handedly (w/mary ellen) doing all this. we couldn't possibly do it alone. but it feels good to be the fire that is lit under those that are working with us and to be the organization that is needed for something like this to happen.

i learned a lot from the 6 years i helped organize (and in the final years, solely organized) the babyfest. this event, however, was very different and i learned even more from it, i think. it was an event focused on fun for kids, not education for parents. totally different focus. and i have to say, MORE FUN! so we are talking about taking the best of babyfest and combining with the best of move it, and making a spring event (we're tossing around the name "springfest") we need vendors to help pay for it, and we need the fun to draw all the people with their kiddos! :)

anyway, i was just reading a thing about this controversial mural in the tower district, and it led to something about the controversy of the thing that talked about fresno being dumb. just got me thinking because i wasn't entirely surprised by that thing. not that i put any major stock in it, but there's a lot of ignorance and uneducated people here. hell, there are everywhere. i'm not saying there's not fantabulous people here as well...i know a heckuva a lot of them. i know a LOT of people in fresno, believe me. i'm actually shocked by how many i know sometimes and how many know me that i've forgotten. lol! what with my website and all my mommy group connections, things i've led, things i've started, things i've done...i do truly know a lot of the good in fresno. but like i said in another post, there's good people everywhere. i can say that because i have lived a LOT of places. (grew up in the military, went to 9 schools in 13 years of school, if that's any indication...grew up literally all over the world). and i just truly believe there is a lot of good in the world. everywhere.

so why do i struggle so much with my intense dislike of where i'm living now? its not that there's no good people here...i guess its just that it gets so very hard to overlook all the ugly here. i suppose i need to figure out how to better shut it out. but that is difficult when crime is rampant, grafitti has even hit my own house, neighbors scream nastily at their children waking us up in the morning occasionally, a drive-by shooting occurred on my street that led to the death of someone, there's very little high quality educational things to do with your children such as museums and such (there isn't a children's museum in fresno! that still blows me away! visalia and oakhurst both have them...and really good ones too! but they are 45min away). the only real nature you have to travel to get to (i'm sorry, woodward park doesn't cut it...even lost lake mostly sucks because people have graffiti'd and trashed it...it just depresses me) yes i know we are close to yosemite...but its far enough that we've still not made it there. i know, our fault. but i long to live in the foothills where it is beautiful...but i've heard of a KKK influence there that was confirmed by a friend that used to live there...things like gang fights happen right next to the children's play place at the mall a block from my house (a friend of mine was there for it and saw the knife)...i can't even watch the news because it scares me to know all the bad stuff happening around here...the other night there were helicopters over our house and my daughter watched, with her father, out her bedroom window, as about 12 cop cars took over our neighborhood and went into our neighbors yards directly across the street with dogs to find a fugitive in their backyard...she saw them walking a guy in handcuffs down the street afterwards!! out her bedroom window!!

so is it any wonder i don't like living here? is it any wonder i don't feel safe in my own neighborhood. yes, i could move (if we had the money, which we don't) to a safer neighborhood...but that doesn't change what's still going on all over town. and it still doesn't change that there are not enough trees, and not enough green space (hell, that is evident when the parks & rec are drooling to get their hands back on the discovery center property because they say there isn't enough green space!!) not enough beauty. yes, there's beauty here. if i want to feel good about where i live, i go to parts of the tower district, or fig garden, where its pretty...and there are neighborhoods that have the kind of tree-lined streets that feel wonderful to drive through. ashlan has a whole strip that i regularly drive on our way to our friend's house on margaret hudson's property...who's property, by the way is a green oasis in this concrete town.

but its not enough. there is so much more i want for myself and my kids that is missing here, or not in enough abundance. i want more opportunities for green, for tall trees, for kids places like museums and play places that are full of ever changing fun and educational opportunities...for a lower crime rate (i know you cannot get away from crime comepletely, but a more tolerable level, please!) i want a place that doesn't have people driving down my street at all hours with their offensive gangster rap music vibrating the pictures off my walls...where being "gangsta" isn't "hip", even in the non-gang bangers...where an organization like FCASH doesn't have to fight so hard to make visible the cultural opportunities that are here but are overshadowed by the ugly...i just want so much...i guess it just gets to me sometimes.

but here i am. and here i'm stuck, maybe forever. so i must make the best of where i am and not instill on my children the feelings i have about where they are growing up. but i'll be damned if i'll raise them to not ever see all the wonderful and beautiful things that are out there that some natives of this city seem oblivious to. i WILL find a way to take my children to other parts of this state, this nation, and the world...somehow...i WILL expose them to all the wonderful things that i was exposed to as a child that helped me to see that this big world is full of SO MUCH BEAUTY. they won't get to live in sicily and live on a volcano like i did at my daughter's age...but they will get to visit, dammit. somehow i'm going to make it happen at some point. and before their childhood is over, dammit. they are not going to grow up only knowing this town and nothing of the wonderful world around them. i do not want them using this city as a measuring stick for everything else. i have to find a way to get them out of here even for short visits. i have to.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

feeling better today

yesterday's post was the result of feeling overwhelmed. the house falling down around me was part of that. so today i'm determined to attack this house with vigor and clean up our home so that we can have a calm place to live again. it really does make a difference. its dramatic, the stress the mess induces in me. i'm guessing everyone else feels it too.

anyway, i'm going to just not think about money woes today and only focus on getting the house in order.

oh and the fliers are going to the schools nearest the discovery center on monday. mary ellen and i spent a couple hours yesterday packaging them into classroom packets for them. i called and got permission to bring them and how many to package up. so that should take care of most of these things. plus mary ellen took the rest of what we had afterwards and is taking them to the halloween stores around town. i have some left still in my tub outside my house if anyone comes by (got one person say they were coming by, so i'm grateful for that! every little bit helps!) and i may even get more made and hit more schools. i think that might be a really good way to spread the word about this event, get it directly into the hands of those that live near TDC. we'll see.

but anyway, i'm feeling better today and i'm not going to let the stress get to me. going to attack my house with vigor and make things tidy and calm around here. damn it. :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

very frustrated

i need to get these fliers out about "move it, dig it, do it", and usually i ask the moms on the local moms groups to help me, and they usually come through like gang busters. but i've not had a single mom pick any up yet, or even say they would. :( and normally i would say, ok, no worries, I'LL hit the town hard and go everywhere. but right now things are so tight financially that its seriously getting scary to figure out how we are going to pay our bills. for the last couple months we are coming up short on the necessities and having to scrape harder then i think we've ever had to scrape before. so that means gas is a very valuable commodity and i simply cannot use up our precious fuel going everywhere all over town.

i'm not sure what to do at this point.

TDC paid over a hundred bucks for these fliers because they had run out of toner for their copy machine and i thought i had a team of moms that would blanket the town, as they usually did, and that i needed to get them copied pronto so janet, the director of TDC, said to go ahead and have them printed. that's money TDC really doesn't have. they are not making ends meet even worse than our family right now. which is why this event is so very important for them, so advertising like this HAS to happen.

anyway, so now i have this stack of fliers sitting outside my house and one inside my car, that i'm not sure how i'm going to get it out and i'm really frustrated because the event is a week away.

for babyfest every year i've had a whole slew of mamas that email and say they'll take even just a handful and they really came through every time. i thought it would be like that again, but its just not happening right now and its stressing me out!

not to mention our money situation is adding to all my stress. i swear, we are actually doing WORSE now than when adam had his 10% pay cut! its insane! the only thing i can figure is that PG&E just went up $88/month and he's not getting all the side jobs that helped us through the pay cut times. there's money out there that people owe him, a fairly good amount too, and he's just not getting paid what he's due because they don't have the money to pay him.

so we are having to stay home more because we cannot afford much gas. we are stretching our food at home and we have debts that we just cannot pay right now...medical bills up the ying yang because i don't have health insurance and the insurance adam has is pretty crappy. oh and the kids have healthy families but i only use it for emergencies so we have bills to their ped. then there's the credit card that we were so proud of being paid off, but now has about $1000 on it because adam had to buy some gear for work on it (for his freelancing) and we thought would be able to be paid off pronto, but then everything went to hell and we ended up having to use every penny he brought in for necessities and still are.

i know that people all over are struggling. i know that. but it doesn't make it any easier from where i stand right now, very stressed, over how i'm going to pay for my daughter's birthday party coming up which she has her heart set on and realizing that we again will have to cancel our homeschool day at marine world because we cannot afford it. not the end of the world, but still depressing. i don't even want to think about xmas.

oh and then there's the fact that i can barely see out of my glasses, they are so scratched up, our big room is still a nasty mess because we cannot even afford to pay the bills much less get that fixed up again, adam's car has been in dire need of new brakes for a LONG time (scary), the van needs some work, just about every electronic device in our house doesn't work (no joke--stereo, boombox, dvd/vcr sucks big time, cordless phones died, etc), tyren doesn't have a bed because maeven broke the box spring and while i managed to find one on freecycle the crazy lady for some reason decided i was someone that always asks for everything and never shows up and is suspicious that i may be selling things as a business when i've never actually emailed this woman before and she wanted to report me which is ludicrous and she gave the thing to someone else apparently (*sigh*), i have barely enough coming in to my websites to pay for the websites themselves right now, i don't even know how i'm going to pay the $10 for the art club that my kids really love that is next week, my computer has been blue screening again, and everywhere i go in my house i see things that need repairing or replacing and i cannot even begin to think about when we will have the money to do that.

yeah, i'm whining, and yeah others have it worse. at least we have a home and adam has a job. i know that. but if you cannot vent on your own blog, i don't know where you can! GRRRRRR.

ok now that i got that off my chest, i need to go buckle down and work on "move it, dig it, do it" so that i can get more help on it. and try desperately to find people to help me with these damn fliers. they HAVE to go out, TODAY!! hmmmm, i think we'll be doing some walking around our neighborhood today. save on gas and get some exercise. :)