Friday, December 29, 2017

Have I really not written in over three weeks? I must be ill. There's always fodder, so it's not like I don't have anything to write about...

I still miss the lake, I still miss my son, and I still miss the Brookside. There, that's all out of the way...

Seriously, though...

I miss my boy. I see him when I drive him back and forth to/from school. And once in a great while when he pops in. I wish I could turn back time to when he lived with me. To when we spent our time together. My life is so empty without him.

And not having the Brook anymore has been terrible. I have no purpose now, really. I miss the Brook. I miss my customers, bosses, and coworkers. But it's more than that, those people became my friends and family. And not having them and the Brook in my life on a daily basis anymore is just awful.

Even when I do find a job, it will never compare to what I had at the Brook, the worth I felt, the connections I made.

Speaking of finding a job...

I counted the other day, and now I'm up to 36. 36 resumes/applications out since the first of December. This is crazy. How many interviews have I had now? Just a handful, I think. Counting the one I am going to today, I think five. Six if you count the phone interview with Olive Garden. Seven if you count the one that's scheduled next week with Dysarts. 7 interviews out of 36 applications. Geez! But the ball does seem to have begun rolling just this week. Maybe the calls will start coming in now. We shall see.

Now I find myself facing a new set of questions... What if I get offered a job that I don't really want? Should I decline the job and hold out for one of these other jobs I've applied for that I do want? What if the job pays really well, but I know that I won't like it? Or, what if I get offered a job that I might like, that pays considerably less? What do I do? Because I do think I might be faced with that decision. I think I may get a job offer for a job that I think (am fairly certain) I will not enjoy. But the pay is very good, and so are the benefits. And the employees there love the company. But I know that I will not like the job itself. So, what do I do?

I'm sitting here writing, looking online for jobs, while listening to the sounds of running water from all over the house.
Yesterday, my pipes froze. I wasn't smart enough to remember to leave my faucets dripping during this cold snap. What and adventure that was. Thankfully, Phil was here to help. We had to borrow a salamander (a large, tube shaped kerosene heater), dig out the snow and ice so we could get to the skirting and open it up, and get the heater under the trailer. Frozen plastic doesn't like to be moved, so my skirting/border took a bit of a beating. Oh well, we'll repair that in the spring. The pipes had also frozen in my water heater closet (which is on the outside of my house), so part of our time was also spent out there with a hair dryer. The salamander finally thawed the main line and the water returned to most of the house, but the end bathroom was still frozen, So, back out and reposition the salamander and wait. Finally the bathroom thawed as well, sink first, then finally the tub. Phew.
So now I have every faucet in the house dribbling. Kitchen sink, both bathroom sinks, and both tubs. Cold and hot water alike, because the hot water pipe was frozen as well. Geez. Friggin Maine winters. I'll be glad when this arctic weather passes. Wind chills of 30 below is just not right.

Christmas was, well, it was Christmas.
No, really, it was actually pretty nice. Christmas eve Phil and I made dinner and wrapped gifts, and Mom and Nana came over. We ate and visited and played a dominos game that Nana brought. Dawson actually called and wanted to come over, so I picked him up and he visited with us for a while too. After everyone left, Phil and I exchanged our gifts. Christmas morning, Phil left to be with his kiddos, and I immediately started getting ready for my family to come over. I made cookies and got the ham dinner ready. Logan and her boyfriend, Dawson, Mom and Nana all came over, even my niece and nephew came over too. We all opened presents and ate lunch. Everyone left around the same time, around mid-afternoon.
All in all, this Christmas was really quite nice.

But the after effects are always so hard. The Christmas crash, I call it. It happens every year. As soon as everyone left on Christmas day, I was immediately sad. I spent the rest of the day crying off and on, watching tv, scrolling facebook, and playing mahjong on my laptop. The next day was more of the same. The day after that I happened to have an appointment with my shrink. We decided to up my antidepressant. Maybe for now, maybe for good. We'll see. I'm on the maximum dose now, so there's nowhere else to go with this one. Speaking of which...

While filling out all of these online job applications, there is always the part where you're asked if you have a disability. The application goes on to list examples of disabling conditions. In every instance, major depression and bipolar disorder are cited in the list of examples. Now, I don't consider myself to have a disability because I have those things. Yes, they may have affected my work this year. My bosses noticed, my customers noticed. It was difficult to work, to socialize, to exist. But they didn't keep me from going to work, or performing my job. Ok, I wasn't very good at it for a while there... But I went to work. Anyway...
My drug regimen has been therapeutic, though. I have noticed a difference over the last several months. I have been taking the antidepressant, the Latuda for bipolar, and Topomax for mood stabilizer/anxiety. I'm not one of those people who believes meds are always the answer, but in some people, it truly is organic, biological, chemical. And meds are the answer for that. Some say medicinal marijuana is the answer. And maybe there is some truth to that, I'm not sure. I've not tried it. And I prefer not to. Even if it relieves the symptoms, I have a hard time believing that it treats the chemical imbalance, which is the underlying cause. What I'm doing is working for me, and I'm suffering no side effects, so I'll stick with that.

I have another interview this morning. A friend of mine messaged me yesterday and said her (insurance) office was hiring a receptionist, and told me who to email my resume to. I emailed my resume, and within the hour, I got a call asking me for an interview that same day or the next (of course, yesterday afternoon I was busy thawing pipes, so I couldn't interview same day). I think I may enjoy a job like that, a receptionist position. My concern is, I think the pay will be nominal compared to the job I wouldn't like, that pays more. Sigh. What to do, what to do.
Wait and see. Figure it out.

Well, I guess that's enough rambling for one day. Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas, and didn't suffer the Christmas crash too badly.
Be well.

Monday, December 4, 2017


I miss the lake, I miss my son, I miss the Brookside. But you all knew that already.
And, forgive me for a moment, but I might just spend some time feeling a bit sorry for myself.

This year has been pretty shitty.
Life, seems pretty shitty.

I spent over half of this year trying to come to terms with my decision to leave the lake. I still haven't come to terms with it. I don't know if I ever will. I'd probably still go back, given the chance. I know that I would. In fact, I spend a lot of time daydreaming about the current tenants leaving the place so that I can go back. I miss it so much. It's funny how a place can become such a part of you. And that spot on the water was more a part of me than I realized. And leaving it was a mistake that I have to live with. And it fucking sucks.

Sure, I've seen a little more of the boy since I've moved here, but not a lot. These last couple months it's mostly just when I drive him to and from school. A brief car ride a few times a week, that's the quality time I get with my boy now. I ask him to come over, but he just doesn't. Always has a reason or excuse not to. I look at pictures from when he used to live with me, when we would hang out and do things together, when he wanted to be with me, not that long ago... And I wonder where that went, what happened... I miss him so fucking much. It breaks my heart every single day.

And then of course, the Brookside.
That's a story you're all familiar with, too. The little bar on the corner. The place we all called home. The second family we all had. And now it's gone.
It was more like my first family... My father is gone, I don't often see my mother, I have been estranged from my sister for four years and I have no other siblings, I hardly ever see my one living grandparent, I don't see my cousins or aunts and uncles. And so, The Brookside truly was my family.
It was the one constant in my life, through four moves, a divorce, break ups, tragedies, my son leaving me, living alone, battling major depression...
The Brook kept me going through all of it. The last four years have not been easy, and it was the one constant bright spot in my life, the one thing that brought me happiness, comfort, solace, and gave me purpose. Most times, I felt like the Brook was all I had. Almost all the time, actually. I lived for it. And that was ok with me.
And I don't know what to do with myself now without it. I don't know what my purpose is anymore.

Not to mention, it was my only source of income. And a decent one, at that. I don't know how I'll make enough to cover everything.... The house payment, the car payment, the cable, internet, cell phone, electricity, car insurance, homeowners insurance, and anything extra...
I do have the opportunity for a few hours at Ramona's, but not many, and it's a huge pay cut compared to the Brook. And unfortunately, it's only temporary. Only until just before Christmas. And so, I'm on the desperate hunt for a job.
I'll have to get a very good paying full time job, or two ok paying jobs and work myself to death. That second choice doesn't sound very fun, but it may be my only choice. It's not like I have a ton of recent work experience in any field other than bartending. I've applied for a few office jobs (I do have some office experience, but it's been YEARS, and I studied secretarial science at Beal). But then again, I've bartended for the last 15 years, so... not sure I'll see many interviews from those.
It's all so frustrating.

And Christmas won't be bleak this year, as I feared. Because I went and spent about half my savings, as I knew I would. I should have held onto it, and not bought presents. It would have been the practical thing to do. It would have been the wise thing to do. But I've never been wise or practical at Christmas time. I guess I'd rather worry about how to pay a few bills than letting my kids go without a Christmas. Not very practical, I know.
We'll see how I feel about that later when the car payment is due, or the house payment.

I've worried and worried and worried, and stressed and stressed and stressed.
So much that I almost can't even do it anymore. Like I've run out of the strength to worry and stress anymore. I never thought that possible. I just can't anymore.
I don't know what's going to happen to me. I may lose my cable, or my cell phone, or worse, my car, or my house. Who knows.
Or I may get a good job and not lose those things.
I just don't know.
And I haven't the strength to stress about it anymore.
I haven't the strength for much of anything.

Life seems pretty shitty.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

I dragged my ass out of bed at 4:30 once I realized that I wasn't going back to sleep this time.
I've been awake off and on all night. I'd wake up about every half hour to an hour, roll around and around, think about all the things that have been bothering me all week, all month, all year... doze a little, wake up again, think some more, toss and turn... rinse, wash, repeat.
It's going to be a long day. Yawn.

Yesterday was a tough day, I'm sure that's what did it to me. The boy found out that he couldn't play basketball this year due to one of his grades. You can imagine what kind of reaction that induced. It was an awful afternoon. I picked him up at school and dropped him at his dad's. begrudgingly. He was quite an emotional wreck. I asked him to come to my house, but he didn't want to. He didn't know what he wanted to do. So I went home. Within a few minutes he showed up at my house, had come over through the trail. He was hysterical. In a fit of rage (about basketball), he had thrown his phone and smashed it to pieces. He said he didn't know why he did it, couldn't control himself. Now he had two reasons to be a mess.
His father came over looking for him and we all had a talk of sorts. As much of a talk as we could while the boy was in the state he was in. His father and I were both angry with him for doing what he did, but we were also both very upset to see him in such hysterics. Neither of us really knew what to do for him. His father went back to the house and the boy spent the afternoon here. He cried the whole time. I let him. I talked to him a little. Calmed him a little, reasoned with him a little, advised him a little, but mostly just let him cry.
It was a rough day.
I sent him back to his dad's with my tablet, so he could at least keep in touch with everyone through snapchat (which is essentially his lifeline).
Neither his father or I have the kind of money to go out and get him a new phone. That one was an iphone 6plus, and still had a hefty pay off on it. Fortunately for the boy, my boyfriend just upgraded his 6plus and offered it to him to use until he gets a new phone.
When I snapchatted him to tell him last night, he wrote back- "I need to fucking hug that man".

As far as basketball is concerned... I did spend my evening composing an email to the principal, vice principal, guidance director, and athletic director. Yes, under normal circumstances, the boy would be ultimately responsible for his grades. In this case, I don't feel that to be completely true. The boy has an IEP (Individualized Educational Program), and he qualifies for special education. At Hermon, I feel that his support system is failing him. I don't believe he is getting the assistance or the considerations he needs in order to be successful in school. I feel that his grades are a direct reflection of that. I feel if his needs were being met, his grades would be considerably better. I have been very frustrated by this, and more so now that it has effected his ability to play basketball.
Not to mention, the boy is still dealing with a severe depression from the tragedy he experienced last year. That happened right before basketball season. Last year, he said he was going to play basketball for Jayden. He lives for basketball. If he doesn't play, I am afraid he will feel that he has nothing to look forward to, nothing positive in his life. He has already said- "without basketball, I have nothing". If he doesn't play, I have no doubt that he will slip deeper into that depression, and I truly fear what that looks like for him.
And I basically said all of that in my email to them, asking them to make an exception for him, perhaps with some kind of strict academic plan where he has to maintain a certain grade in order to play.
I will wait and see how it is received.
Worst they can say is no, right?
Either way, I will continue my pursuit of better services for him. I don't feel that his IEP is doing him much good there. Sadly, that is why I wished he would have chosen Orono High. I have heard wonderful things about their special education department. Oh well.


The Brook...
The bosses invested and renewed our liquor license, even though we may only be open for another month. And it was quite the battle. The city was nowhere near as easy to work with as they have been in years past. They put us through the paces this year. They knew we were on a time crunch, they knew we had to get our application to Augusta by a certain day or we'd have to close. They didn't seem to give a shit. Our problems were not their problems. Every time we thought we were close to getting them to sign off on our application, they'd make us jump through another hoop, or throw another curve ball at us. And they were certainly in no hurry about it, either. They finally signed off on it, on the very last day we had. Literally, if we hadn't gotten the application to Augusta that day, we would have had to close our doors that night. So much for supporting local business. Thanks, city of Brewer.
And the renewal came with great cost. Not only did the bosses pay the state's hefty renewal fee, but in order to pass at the city level, they had to pay off $2000 worth of back taxes on the building. You guessed it, leftover from when Charlie ran the place!
And so, for the customers, for their employees, and for the tiny hope that we still may end up with the building, they rolled the dice and spent all kinds of money to keep us going for now.
As for that tiny hope... We have heard that Charlie is having a hard time getting his financing. And time is running out. He has until the beginning of December to close the sale, and the bank hasn't even heard from an appraiser yet. He is running out of time. If he cannot close the sale in his allotted time, the property will then go down the chain of being offered to the next highest bidders. It will get to us if it the next bidder passes on it. So we have to hope for a couple things to happen; that Charlie does not get financed, and that the next highest bidder passes.
That's a lot of hoping. But at least there is a little of it.

I still have the opportunity to go back to work at Ramona's if the Brook closes. And for that I am thankful. It will be nice to go to a place that I know, and that knows me. I hear a lot of people are anxious to have me back. That makes me get the feels.  :)

The band seems to be doing well. Right now we are trying to cram a lot of learning into a very short time frame. We were convinced to do a benefit show this coming weekend at the Exiles clubhouse for a friend/customer of mine. We realistically weren't ready to play out yet, but we decided we could make it happen. So we very quickly learned a bunch of new music (much faster than we should have or even thought we could), and are now trying desperately to try to polish it all up enough to play out. And with everyone's conflicting schedules, we only have a couple short practices left before the show. I don't know how we'll end up doing. Hopefully alright. I may be less nervous than a typical gig, because I'll know everyone there, and it'll be more relaxed. Or maybe not... Maybe I'll be even more nervous, because I'll be performing in front of a crowd of my peers. Oh damnit. Shit. Balls.

It is that time of year when I start thinking about Christmas. I always think of Christmas early. Usually by now I've started decorating. Yes, I'm usually one of those people.
But not this year.
I fear that Christmas will be bleak this year.
I have a little left in savings, but I believe I'll have to live on that if the Brook closes. Even though I'll pick up work at Ramona's, I don't think it'll be the earnings I'm accustomed to. And so, I'll need my savings for living expenses, not for Christmas, unfortunately. And if I'm barely making enough, and living on my savings, sadly, there will be nothing left for Christmas.
And I have kids. Yes, one is grown, and one is a teenager, but I still buy for them. I still try to spoil them every year. Still love to buy for them at Christmas time. Don't we live to do that for our children, young or old? And this year... This year just looks so bleak. I cry every time I think about Christmas this year.
Don't tell me "they'll understand". They might. My daughter is old enough to. My son is 16. They may understand, but there will still be a bit of disappointment. And even if they do "understand", it doesn't change my heartbreak about it. I love to give to them, and not being able to, kills me.
I know me.
Black Friday will come. And I will shop with my savings.
Because I can't not give to my children. I just can't.

Well, I've drank enough coffee and wasted enough time so that it's almost time to get ready for the day now. Although, it's my day off, and getting ready for the day just looks like- driving the boy to school, coming back home, coffee, vacuuming, mopping, coffee, changing catboxes, doing laundry, coffee, picking the boy up from school, watching netflix, coffee, going to band practice, driving back home, and going to bed. Exciting stuff, you know.

Be well.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

It's a new week, so I can blog again, right?

I've taken to writing more often lately, and I'm not sure why. Could be that I need the outlet, could be out of boredom, could be a little of both.

This morning I don't need an outlet, for once. And I'm not terribly bored. So what compels me to write? Well, it could be something.. good. Gasp. Maybe even, multiple good things. Gasp.

It really is the simple things...

Yesterday was just one of those days, filled with simple pleasantries.
And, I figured, for once, I'd share them, instead of my usual woes.

Firstly, this terrible wind storm which knocked out power to most of the state and has caused a tremendous amount of damage, has been devastating. I lost power very early in the morning on Monday. Fortunately, my power came back on in the middle of the night that same night. There are people still without power today, and who could be without power for potentially two to three more days. I was very fortunate. I offer up my home to anyone who needs a hot shower, to recharge cell phones or tablets, fill water jugs, get a hot meal (ok, maybe a microwaved meal, lol), a hot cup of coffee, a netflix fix, or whatever.

And so, yesterday...

Yesterday began with some great news. News which I'm not at liberty to share quite yet. I will, but just not yet. But it was great news. And it really set the tone for my day. It was more than great, it was awesome. It may only be temporary, but it is still awesome. And it will be awesome for lots of people. My day truly couldn't have started any better. If I could have reached through the phone and kissed the deliverer of said news, I really would have.

Later in the day, I had an oil delivery coming. Let me back up... I've had no heat for the last week or so. The fuel company and I were going through the process of elimination to determine why. One remote possibility was that I had a leak in my tank (which is under my trailer), and that the oil I had delivered this summer had slowly leaked out into the ground, and I was now out of oil. It seemed a remote possibility, because one would think I would have smelled a leak like that over the last few months. But still, it was a possibility, and not a very good one. And so, when the oil came, and he only delivered 18 gallons, I was quite relieved.

However, that did mean I had an entirely different problem. The issue was my furnace.
And so, I called the company's owner, who does the servicing. Fortunately, he was available same day, and came right out yesterday afternoon. Another bonus. The entire time he was here, I was hoping- oh please let it be fixable, oh please let it be fixable; I can't afford to replace my furnace, just please, let it be fixable...
After about a half hour, he packed up his things and said- "you had a plugged line and a bad wheel" (whatever that is). "So, I'll only charge you $95 for the service call and the wheel". I was ecstatic! As I was writing out the check, he asked if I could make it out to him. I said- "well, in that case, I can pay you in cash". He said- "cash works, make it 80 then".

So, the whole heating issue was fixed, for far less than what I was prepared for (and worried about), and it made my day even better!

Then, I went into work for a task... I can't really write about that yet either, but I will, soon, I promise! Let's just say, I had to complete an altruistic act, that me and a friend had put together, with the help of lots of other friends. And it went over SPLENDIDLY! When you're afraid the recipients are going to be angry or unwilling to accept, but they end up being speechless and moved to tears, you know you've done well! Oh it was so wonderful. I almost cried myself!
What a feeling I left with...
...And what happened, then? Well, in Whoville they say – that the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day...

And then I walked into my home, and there was a meatloaf in the oven (I actually put that together earlier, lol),  and my boyfriend, in his work suit and tie, playing guitar at my table, smiling that unconditionally loving smile at me...

As if my day couldn't have gotten any better... :)

That's it. That's really all I had to write about today.
I still have woes, gripes, sadness.
I miss my boy.
I worry about my work and my financial stability.
I miss the lake.
But I'm going to save all that for some other blog. Today's blog is happy.
Because, well, just because. Because sometimes it's just what we need.

Be well.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Twice in one week.
I must need the therapy.

I really do.

Last night was our annual Halloween party at work. It was a bigger turnout than usual, I think that's due to the fact that we'll be closing soon.
But let's back up a little...

Before the party I went to the boy's steel pans concert. I left work early so I could go. It was really cool. I was pretty proud of him.
Thing is, it was also very strange. It just happened to be one of those random enlightening moments. Unfortunately for me, not a very pleasant one. And I think it was a spill over from earlier in the week, actually, when the boy and I got in a huge fight in the car on our way home one day. And not even that, it's something I've been noticing for several weeks now. Probably even months.
After his performance, he came and sat with all of us. I noticed the way he talked to and interacted with his father, and even his nana and papa (his father's parents). And I noticed the way he talked to and interacted with me. And they were very different from one another. He's very cool with me. He's been becoming that way for a while now. Like I'm not his mother, but just some outside person.
He generally only calls on me when he wants something; a ride to the mall, or the movies, or when I take him to and from school three days a week. And sadly, he has a habit of being fairly unkind to me at times. More often than I would like. And it comes easily to him. That's something I've been struggling with for months.
His visits have become shorter and fewer. I'm pretty sure that he never plans on staying with me again; I could probably turn his room into a craft room.
Last night, he showed up at his concert with his dad, stepmom, and half-brother, and he went home with them. I showed up alone, and I left alone. It was just a reminder that this is what my life with my son looks like now.
This distance that has developed between my son and I is heartbreaking. It no longer feels like the normal separation of a boy from his mother that my male friends keep telling me about. This is something else. It's cold, and hurtful, and sad, and unusual.
And I'm afraid we're going to become one of those stories of a parent and child who lose contact with one another and never speak to or see one another. Because he doesn't care enough, and I'm growing weary of the heartache.

And I drove home crying.

And then I got ready for the work Halloween party.

It was packed with people, as I said, primarily, I think, because everyone knows we are closing soon. I was afraid I would get stuck working; I usually do at all the big events. But when I got there, the kitchen manager was acting as the second bartender, and another bartender was heading up the costume contest voting. Things were chaotic, but fairly well under control. The only thing I had to do was make change out of the safe, and go to the store for ice, because our ice machine is on the fritz.
I only stayed for an hour, hour and a half. There were so many people. And I was just upset, I guess. About a lot of things. And I just wanted to go home.

I was upset about my son.
I was upset about the major lifestyle difference between my boyfriend and I, that I can't seem to get over, no matter how I try, and no matter how silly it might seem to some people.
I was upset about the bar closing.
I was upset about all the regret I live with. So. Much. Regret.
And I just wanted to go home.

And I sit here in the dark, at my kitchen table, drinking my coffee and smoking cigarette after cigarette, trying to cope with the fact that so many things are screwed up in my life right now. Most of them are out of my control.
I can't do anything about the bar. It's certainly out of my control. And it's a goddamn scary thing. One of the scariest things I've been through. To lose your only source of income, your financial stability...
I can't do anything about what's happening with my son. I can only wait it out. See what is to become of us. Continue to deal with the heartbreaking distance that forms between us, his unkind outbursts, his lack of interest... Just live with the heartache, until something changes. For worse, or for better.
There's really only one thing on that list I can do anything about. And just because I may be able to affect it in some way doesn't mean that it has a positive outcome. Because, let's face it, I really only have two choices where that's concerned, and neither choice is ideal. Live with it, or don't. Decide.
And the regret? There isn't a damn thing I can do about that. People say- "let it go"... or some other stupid, peaceful, relative mantra. But it sure as hell ain't that easy. Regret is a poison that doesn't leave you. It's not that easy to get rid of. And it seems to be killing me lately.

I'm finding it hard to be that positive person I've been trying to turn into. I'm starting to unravel.

More coffee. More cigarettes.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Gayle said to me yesterday... "I'm sure we'll see a blog in the morning".
She was right.

How could I not...

I've been up since 4am. I've been awake off and on all night. I couldn't really sleep.

The auction came and went yesterday, and with it, came the end of an era for the little bar on the corner, the watering hole, the hole in the wall... the place that so many people call home, employees and customers alike.
Our family is being disbanded.
And to add insult to injury, the winning bidder at auction was Charlie, the man who began this from the start, the man originally pursuing the civil foreclosure months ago.
Long story short... While he was operating the business a few years ago, he made a substantial loan to the owner of the building, Jane. She didn't pay him back all of the money owed, so he placed a lien against the building. He ran the business into the ground, turning over employees and driving away customers, racking up debt associated with the business. Jane eventually evicted Charlie, took the business back over, and then leased it to my bosses, Matt and Annette, with the agreement to sell to them once she "took care of the loan with Charlie". Matt and Annette worked diligently to pay all the debts associated with the business that Charlie had incurred. They turned that bar around completely in the last few years. In the meantime, and unbeknownst to us, Charlie was preparing a lawsuit against Jane for the money he was owed and the lien against the building. That eventually went to court, and she went completely unprepared. The judge found in Charlie's favor, for a ridiculous amount of money, and he was able to file a civil foreclosure based on the money he was owed. And that is where this all started.
Once his foreclosure was filed, the bank that held the first priority mortgage decided to also foreclose, which essentially wipes out all subsequent 2nd, 3rd, (etc) mortgages (including Charlie's), and held their own auction.
And here we are.
That's the long and short of it. I know, its a bit confusing.
But anyway, Charlie won the auction.
And to top it all off, while in the conference room, after winning the auction, he had the balls to say to Matt and Annette- "You guys can stay right there, you guys can continue to run it"... Well, that set Matt into a flurry... in a conference room full of attorneys and bankers... Leaning over the conference table, pointing at Charlie sitting in his chair, yelling... "I'm not running shit from you, you fuck! The last time you ran it, you ran it into the fucking ground! I'll be seeing you around, mother fucker!"
I have to say, I was more than a little bit proud of him. Even though I was devastated, I left that room smiling.

And then we all went back to The Brook. We told the other employees, our friends, our customers, our family. It was like being at a funeral. We accepted hugs and condolences. We drank. And drank some more. We gave out condolences. We cried. And cried some more.
The place filled up with regulars, as I suspect it will for the next nine days.
That's all we have. Nine days.
Our liquor license just happens to expire on the 2nd of November. It obviously makes no sense to pay the couple thousand dollars to renew knowing we are closing, so that will be our last day.
Nine days. The end of an era. A family disbanded.

And I'd be lying if I said I wasn't also devastated about losing my job.
I don't have a significant other who works. I don't have a second full time job.
I'm so scared. I'm afraid of losing my house, or my car. I'm afraid of not being able to pay my homeowners insurance, my car insurance, my cell phone bill. I'm afraid of having to cancel cable, or internet. Or quit smoking, or quit Dunkin. Oh hell, who am I kidding, like Kristina said, I'll quit eating before I quit smoking.

Fortunately, an opportunity did present itself at just the right moment. My old boss from Ramona's (the nice young man that I trained behind the bar over ten years ago, who now owns the place), asked me if I'd like to come back to work down there. It would only be part time, and it would be a significant pay cut, but at least it would be something. I'm not sure what the tip potential will be, I guess I'll have to see when I get going. I will most likely still need to get a second job to make ends meet. I'll have to keep looking for something that will work around my hours in Bucksport.
As of right now, it looks like I'll be tending bar down there on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from open to close (2-11ish), Fridays 2-7, and some Saturday nights if a second bartender is needed. I am really hoping that some of my Brookside customers who live in the Orrington area will come and see me in Bucksport. It's just a hop skip and a jump away. One of my favorites, Grumpy Jim, said he'd come down. I said- "Oh Jim, you'd really come down to Ramona's?" And he said- "I'll have to! It's the only way I'm going to be able to see you!" Kinda made my cold, black heart melt.

It will be easy to start back up there, comfortable. It's almost like a second home for me down there, too. I know everyone there, from my years and years of working there. It will be nice to see the old faces across the bar again. And I think they will all feel the same when they see me back behind the bar. Many of them have told me, and continue to tell me how much they miss me working there. So it will be nice. And an easy transition.
Now I just need to look for a second job to fill in the financial gaps.

I am scared shitless.
My job, my income, my comfort, my stability, has been taken from me.

And a family disbanded.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Up at 4:30. Couldn't sleep. Too much to think about.

Today is the year anniversary of Jayden's death. One year ago today, that young man succumbed to his demons, at only 13 years old. My boy's step-brother, his best friend. They were inseparable... I'll never forget that day. The nightmare. I relive it often. My heart broke that day, for my boy, my boy's dad, for Jayden's mother, his sisters. For Jayden. Life changed that day, for so many people. I'll never understand how it can be so cruel. I relive that night with my boy often, too. The pain. The heartbreak. The trauma. What he went through is unimaginable. I hate life for giving it to him.
There is nothing that can take away this kind of pain for them. There are no words of comfort. Nothing will ever be the same. Life is cruel and unfair.
I dreamt of Jayden this morning. Of him and my boy. They were riding dirt bikes, doing stunts that made me cringe. I could see them both so clearly, dressed in their gear, riding in the pit. And I woke up crying. I wish it weren't a dream.

I also dreamt of the bar last night. I wish it had given me some glimpse of how the auction would go. In fact, people keep asking me- "Do you have any idea how it might go?" But there's just no way of telling what will happen. It has been posted in the public notice section of the paper. Who knows... 50 people could show up, or 5. We could have 2 bidders, or 20. Who knows if bidding will go high quickly, and far above what the bosses are willing to spend, or if it'll stay low, and we'll end up winning it. There's just no way to predict. And it's so fucking stressful.I continue to send out resumes, just in case. I've received one call so far, from Walmart. I applied for a department manager position there. It wouldn't be my first choice for employment, but I may end up in a position where I can't be picky.
Four days. Four days till auction.

The band is stressing me out a bit too. Something that is supposed to bring me joy... It always seems to become so much work. That's usually why these things fail. Of course it's work, much like a relationship is work. But when it's too much work, is when one begins to reconsider. It's not to that point yet, though. Christ, we haven't even gotten it up and running yet. It does seem like deja vu... Before it even takes off, it crumbles. Just like last time. It's so frustrating. Last time it was guitar player issues, this time it's a bass player issue. Our original bass player turned out to be a space cadet who isn't totally committed (as we are). We auditioned a couple over the last couple weeks, with no luck. We've got one more coming to audition (for a second time) this weekend. Then we have to decide on whether or not we take him or start advertising. So frustrating. Why can't these things just be easy!?!

I miss my son.

Sidenote, and not relative to anything, really... I realized something again this week that I kind of already knew. I don't really have any friends. I have two, I think. Becki, and Stacie. Those are lifelong friends. The kind you have had for decades, that you see once in a while, when you can, but are always still close to. But otherwise, I don't really have any friends. I know lots of people who would call themselves my friends. But I doubt they'd come to my aid if I needed something... like if I needed help moving (and I've moved a few times over the last two years). Or invite me to a gathering... I'm not included in those things, I don't get an invite. Or sit and listen to me if I needed a shoulder, instead of talking to me about themselves, or the weather, or politics, or work, or whatever else (maybe that's why I blog).
I would have lots of attendees at my funeral. Many would even weep. But I don't know how many of them would have actually been my friend.
Many would say that it's my own fault that I don't have friends. I'm too hard to get to know, I'm too hard to warm up, I don't socialize often enough, or attend if I actually do get an invite to something, I'm too closed off, or I'm just too much of an asshole, or something. Who knows. Maybe all of those things are true. Maybe people just don't like me. Or maybe they just don't take the time to get to know me, maybe it's just too much work. They have enough friends already.
Anyway... I guess it's ok. I guess I don't really need friends. Although, it does make me sad. Or maybe just envious. It's fine. It's really fine. Who needs friends, right?

Anyway, I have the cats.
And my cat still hates the kitten. And she hates pretty much everyone since the kitten has moved in. She's still so angry, that she's unpredictable and attacks us when we pet her. She still attacks the kitten if he gets too close to her. She hates being inside, she'd rather be outdoors all the time. I'm beginning to think it won't work itself out. But I'm still hoping it will. The kitten is really sweet and friendly. I really do hope she comes to accept him.
Maybe she's sad and lonely, and really wants a friend, but she's just hard to warm up to... She takes a long time to make friends with, to get to know... Maybe she just needs more time, and then they'll be best buddies, best friends for life.
Or maybe she was just fine without a friend.
Who friggin knows.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday coffee and blogging... I keep staring at this blank space, trying to find the words, make my fingers type... Because I know I need to...

I'm still suffering from an emotional hangover from the celebration of life yesterday. I'm drained. Sad. Exhausted. Depressed.
I spoke at the ceremony, and sang. I don't know how I did either. It was a long day. A nice ceremony, followed by food, music and mingling. There was karaoke and a band. Norton would have loved it. We were there for several hours. I sang a few times throughout the day, begrudgingly.
I'd like to share what I said at the ceremony yesterday...

"I was going to try to get up here today and just wing it, but this morning I realized I wouldn’t be able to do that, so I wrote some things down instead.
I met Norton (that’s what I’ve always called him, Norton), almost 20 years ago, at a little karaoke bar in Bangor called The Heritage. We were both singers, but neither of us were just karaoke singers, we both had a gift, and I think that’s what really drew us to one another. From there on out, and for quite a time, Norton, myself, and my best friend Stacie were pretty much inseparable. We were always together at karaoke, and we were always together at Norton’s apartment. Ed was usually hanging with us as well. And Norton’s poor roommate Brian had to deal with us at our afterhours gatherings... I’m Sorry Brian.
Over the years, Norton came to see me in my bands, and I would go to see him in his. Or we would go together to see someone else’s. And there was always karaoke. There were boyfriends and husbands, girlfriends, jobs, I had children, life went along, and Norton and I always remained in close contact, and always saw each other when we could.
Last week I was going through my old photos, and I found so many of us.. so many of him. Him and I, him and Stacie, us at karaoke, us at Halloween parties, us at his apartment, him and I and my mom, when he came to see me at work, him dancing with my sister at one of my gigs, him and I singing together with "Fishwhistle"…so many photos. So many memories.  We certainly had a wonderful couple of decades together.
That gift that originally brought us together developed into a friendship that I can’t really explain. I know Stacie can relate. And maybe some of his other female friends can as well. It was just super close, so close that our significant others were probably a little (or very) jealous of it. I know a few of mine were over the years. But we were just that close… Well, that, and Norton was a terrible flirt! He was quite charming, that one. But seriously, we were just so close, and there was no denying it. You just couldn’t. We just loved each other. We were best of friends, and more than that. It’s hard to describe the connection that we had. And I know that that’s not specific to me. Every one of you in this room would probably say the same thing, it’s hard to describe the kind of special connection you have when you’re dealing with such an extraordinary person.
Norton and I loved each other. And it was unfazed by time or circumstance, and it was genuine, and it was real; and we never refrained from telling each other, and showing each other, always, all through the years. I will miss that love in my life, so much, but I will always remember it, and be grateful for it.
And now, I’d like to sing a song, for Norton, for all of us who loved him. I could have chosen any song about love, or friendship, or memories… But instead I wanted to sing a song that Norton always sang. He had many signature songs over the years, but this was one I remember him singing all the time, and I loved it when he did. I’ll try to get through it as best I can."
I sang "If You Could Only See", by Tonic. And somehow, I got through it.

As I sit here, I keep looking at Norton's microphone. He used it in his band "Fishwhistle" all those years. It was framed in a shadowbox and gifted to me yesterday. That nearly brought me to my knees. It is probably the greatest gift I've ever been given. It now sits on one of my shelves, along with a couple of photos of Norton and I, that they had enlarged and framed for me as well.
Yesterday somehow made this nightmare really real.
It's real now, he's gone, and now we have to live with it.
I cannot find solace in the well-meant words of people who say "he'll always be with you", or, "he lives on in your heart"... Because the fact is, he isn't, and he doesn't. I don't have him anymore.
He's gone. And there is no comfort for that.


The bar.
9 days till auction. 9 days, and I'm starting to freak out.
As I've said before, my bosses will attend the auction and bid (and I'll be there observing, gnawing at my nails and pulling my hair out). But they are aware of the building's condition and needs, and they are financially wise; they know what they are willing to pay for it. If bidding goes above that amount, we are done.
I've been sending out resumes, just in case.
But what skills do I have? No college degree, and I've been tending bar for 15 years. It's not like I'm highly qualified for a full-time office job. I don't know what I'll do. Take a couple of lower wage jobs (no experience or degree required), most likely. Probably retail or something like that. Maybe, or hopefully, a serving job of some kind as well. Two or even three jobs. Work as much as possible to make ends meet.
9 days and I'm freaking out. I could be unemployed in 9 days. With a mortgage. A car payment. A mound of bills. Yeah, freaking out.


The boy just completed all his driving for driver's ed, and we'll be going to DMV tomorrow to get his permit. Holy hell. Holy HELL! He'll be wanting to drive my car everywhere we go now!
Does this mean I have to call my insurance company and watch my premium go through the roof?

Speaking of the boy... Nothing's changed there. Nothing ever seems to. I'm beginning to think it never will. This is how it will be with him from here on out. And that sucks. He still doesn't stay with me. But he does still visit me often. Drives through the trail and comes over to visit. Sometimes only for a few minutes, sometimes longer.
It's premature empty nest, and it hurts. I have to start letting go at some point. I just don't know how. And I don't want to. It's too soon. It's not fair. The fact that my son left me this early, is not fucking fair.

Living alone hasn't been the greatest thing I've ever experience. Some people enjoy it. Some find it liberating, or empowering. I don't find it either of those things. Sure, some would say it's best for me, considering how "nazi" I am about things (as Dawson would say). Yes, I want things a certain way, yes, I'm somewhat inflexible, yes, I'm a little OCD, yes, I'm a bit of a neat freak, yes, I'm a little controlling... But, but, but... I could adapt, change, adjust, compromise. It sure would beat being alone all the time. And I certainly don't look forward to more of it. But I guess I'll have to deal with it.

My cat, whom I thought was lonely and bored and needed a playmate, absolutely hates the new kitten. It's been just a bout a week. I know it takes time with cats. It could take a month. It could take longer (but hopefully not). She hasn't killed him yet. They can be in the same room together. But if he gets near her, she attacks. Not harmfully, really, just a warning attack. And she's basically miserable all the time. Walks around hissing and growling, all the time. She's so unpredictable now that you can't pet her, because most of the time she's going to bite you. She's really pissed. The kitten is persistent, though. He follows her around and keeps trying to make friends. And she keeps getting angrier.
I'm hoping this will work itself out. I'm still convinced that she was bored and lonely and needed a friend (like me). She just doesn't know it yet. We shall see.

The band is trudging along. Nothing good comes easy, and that proves itself once again with this band thing. We're having bass player issues already (jeezus, deja vu?). We have options, just maybe not exactly what I had in mind. And, being the "nazi" that I am, not up to my expectations.
It's so much work. Is it worth it? I hope so.

The boy just stopped in for a few minutes. His now typical surprise, brief pop ins. It seems I live for those now a days.

I look back on my last blog and see how positive and upbeat I seemed. That was nice. It must have been a good day. Granted, there are more of those good moments then there used to be, but there are still a fair share of bad ones. It's still a constant struggle.

I suppose, I should go try to do something. Not sure what.
Vacuum? Make myself go for a walk? Watch Netflix? Look online for a job?

Be well.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Norton & Stuff

So  much happening lately, so much to blog about. And yet I haven't written for almost three weeks.
Maybe it's just more of the same.
More of a country divided, violence and terror, mass shootings, a world on the brink of nuclear war, friends and family turning against one another over protests, amendments and political viewpoints...
Whoa. Back up. That shit's way too heavy for a Crista blog.

So anyway...
Coffee and blogging. At 4 pm, because anytime is a good time for coffee.

The bar... Oh, the bar.
Twenty days. Twenty days till auction.
The bosses will attend and bid. We all have our fingers crossed. And toes. And legs. And arms. I'm not the praying type. But jeezus, I've been praying my ass off.
I can't imagine what it would be like for there to be no Brookside. I also can't imagine what it would be like to have a house payment, a car payment, and a mound of bills, with no job. So yeah, praying my ass off.

As most of you have seen on Facebook, I lost one of my very close friends last week. I don't know what to say about it. I had a hard enough time keeping it together at work over the weekend. Every day something makes me think of him and I start crying all over again. His services are next weekend. I have chosen a song to sing at the celebration of life. I don't know how I'll do it, but it's important to me that I do. That's what him and I did; we sang. That's what drew us to each other nearly 20 years ago, and it's what we did together in the most recent of times. I miss him so much. I still can't believe it's real. My heart is broken.

Anyway... Onto lighter stuff...

I decided not to get a dog. Sigh.
As much as I want one right now, I'm just too busy. And last weekend I met the sweetest maltese. She was with the rescue I was working with. And she was all ready to come home with me... And mom wanted me to get her, said she'd dogsit all the time. And it all sounded great, but I just know how busy I will be with work and the band. Damnit.

My cat is miserable. At least, I think she's miserable. A couple weeks ago I spent two days at Phil's house. Since I've come back, she walks around meowing, ALL. THE. TIME. If she's not sleeping, eating, or being petted, she's walking around meowing. It's actually quite infuriating. SO much that I put her outside. She's not sick. She's eating, sleeping, voiding, not seeming lame, seems perfectly normal. Other than this INCESSANT meowing.
So I think, maybe she's bored and lonely?
So today I went to the Bucksport animal shelter, and picked out a little boy kitty to adopt. He's got to be neutered next week and then recover, then he can come home. Now, Samantha is quite bitchy, so it's going to be interesting. I did a bunch of research and have (I think) chosen the ideal fit for introducing a new cat to an existing cat household- younger, smaller, and of the opposite sex. I have an "isolation room" (Dawson's room) all set up for new kitten, so the two can smell each other, but not get to each other for the first few... days? Weeks? How ever long it takes?
We shall see. He comes home a week from Sunday.

The band is cruising right along. We're learning songs at a pretty quick pace. At this rate, we might be ready to play out in 2-3 months. I'll give it a bit longer, and then start making some phone calls. Start marketing, peddling the band, trying to get some gigs on the books.
I am curious to see if I will still have the stamina to sing an entire weekend. I guess I'm going to have to!

Nothing has changed with the boy. He still pops in to visit when he feels like it. I bring him to and from school three days a week. He still stays with his dad, and not with me. And I am still trying to understand it, cope with it. I miss him so much.

Even considering all the sad and stressful things going on in my life right now, I am still generally in a good place, I think. There are still things to be happy about, grateful for...
Like a man who mows my lawn after working a long hard day, and when he plays guitar it feels like it's just for me, who loves me unconditionally.
Two Bosses who appreciate me, and express it often. A solid and sweet staff of ladies (and Hazen) ;)
My mom; I still have my mom.
Even though the boy doesn't stay with me, I do see him more often than I was.
A sweet, smart, wonderful grown daughter.
My own home, a nice car, my bills are paid (well, for now, all of this, lol)
My health, for now, I have my health.
A really cool group of musicians to get my band back together!

Two months ago, six months ago, a year... I wouldn't have been able to appreciate these things, to feel this way, to see any happiness through my depression. It was so consuming, for so long. I don't know what's changed for me. But I'm glad it did, and I hope it lasts.
Hey, maybe they finally got my pharmaceutical cocktail right!

Oh, just about time to go pick up the boy from driver's ed.

Be well.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

"Every day is like Sunday, every day is silent and grey"...

That's just a lyrical quote. And it's not true. Every day isn't like Sunday, it just seems that way, on Sundays. Sundays are my hard days. I just have to remember that, on Sundays.
There's no job to go to, no work errands to run, no boy to deliver to and pick up from school, no boyfriend around, nothing pressing to do to keep me occupied... There's just a whole lot of nothing.
Sundays suck.

Today I did get to take the boy out for a few hours for some mini golfing and go-carting with mom and my nephew. That was fun. But it ended as all other days with him always do, with me dropping him back off at his dad's, where he prefers to be. I'm so tired of that. I'm just so goddamn tired of missing him. My heart hurts. Still.

It's funny, sometimes I think I'm almost getting used to it, this being alone thing, the empty nest thing, the being ditched as a parent thing.... seeing him only when he swings in for a few minutes, or when I take him to school and/or pick him up, brief visits here or there... I get through every day and night, get used to living alone, being forgotten, go about my life... But there's always a void, an emptiness, a great sadness that's left from him not being here. And it'll never go away.
I never imagined this is how things would be. Especially considering how close we have always been. I never saw this coming. And I'll never understand it. Or get used to it. Or get over it. Sigh.


I fucking hate Sundays.

Things at the bar are status quo. The first priority mortgage on the building is now in foreclosure, and so we wait for that to complete its process, and for the bank to hold its auction. At that auction, my bosses will bid (they know what they are willing to pay for it), and we will all hope and pray that they will be the highest bidders. I don't expect to see an auction until late October, at absolute earliest. And I think that's being optimistic. We could be well into November before the auction takes place. The foreclosure process still has to be completed, and then they have to advertise for three consecutive weeks before the auction, so we have a bit to wait. Hurry up and wait. And stress, and stress, and stress.

I want a dog. Almost so much now that I dream about it. You ever get that way? When you really want something, you start having dreams about it? Anyway... I've been looking and looking and looking. I've been going through the adoption process with one rescue in particular, and I'm not real impressed with the process. Lots of people put in applications for this one dog in particular. I happen to be one of the "qualified candidates". It took a bit to get there, too. A lengthy adoption application, references, veterinarian reference, a home visit... Well, I have more questions for the foster family, and I wanted to meet the dog before I made any final decision. Unfortunately, I was told that IF she's still available when she comes to Maine on the 23rd, then I could meet her. Because if one of the other "qualified candidates" speaks up and says- we want her, then basically, viola, she's adopted and no longer available. So essentially, once you are determined to be a "qualified candidate", from there it becomes first come first served, I guess. Huh.


As it turns out, my life may have just gotten far too busy for a dog anyway. Unfortunately? Fortunately? I haven't figured that part out just yet...
As many of you may have seen from my various social media posts (facebook, instagram, snapchat), I may have begun a new musical venture. My old drummer from Bitter Grace brought a couple guys to our attention recently and we all got together last week to test things out. Now, you know me- musical snob, extreme critic- I didn't go into it with great expectations. By the end of the night I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome. It shows promise. As far as I can tell, we're all on the same page as far as level of interest, commitment, etc. We all want to learn, work, and play out. And none of us suck, lol. Sadly, I learned I've lost quite a  bit of my register over the years though, when I attempted to sing one of my all time favorites (and a song that I've been well known for singing for many years). Damnit. Anyway...
We just might have ourselves a Bitter Grace rebirth. Stay tuned.

I dreamt of my dad twice this weekend. It was nice to see him. Sad, but nice. He looked young in last night's dream. It was too short, though. I wish I could have spent more time in it. I miss him so much.

I still miss the lake. But it's becoming a fuzzier memory. It's funny how memories do that; become less and less clear the farther you get from them. Even though it has only been a few months. Maybe it's not becoming fuzzier, maybe it's just becoming less painful.
I'm getting used to my new home. It's not so terrible now.
Although, I can't help but think I won't be here forever. Not for very long. Maybe only two or three years. Maybe I'll relocate once Dawson is out of school. Maybe to a coastal town.
Maybe a place like Belfast.

Time for Netflix, I guess. Get through the rest of this silent and grey Sunday.

Be well.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

It's Sunday, so, coffee and blogging, right? Besides, Sundays are my hard days. It'll give me something to do, right? It'll give me a bit of therapy. It'll pass a little bit of today's time. Although, not nearly enough. There's still the rest of the day to get through. I'll have to figure out what to do with the rest of it.

Still missing the lake. I hate my facebook memories. Nearly every day is a photograph of the lake. I've learned to not look at them, but sometimes facebook starts your newsfeed with one.. "we thought you'd like to look at this memory from a year ago" bla bla bla... No fucking thank you, I really wouldn't like to.
I am still hoping my place's new tenants will suffer some kind of emergency and have to move back to Florida, or something. Just get out. I want my lakehouse back.

I want my son back, too. The kid that used to spend four nights a week at my house, for the last 13 years. That one, I want that kid back. I hardly see him still. And it fucking sucks. I still don't understand. And it still hurts so fucking much.

I post photos every day on the Brookside facebook page. I've saved photos to my phone over the last year or so (happy hour photos, TGIF photos, various bar memes, etc), so every time I want to post one, I unfortunately have to scroll through all the photos on my phone to find them. And so I have to leaf through all these pictures of the lake and my old house, and all these pictures of the boy when we used to hang out together, when he used to actually live with me.
I can't even look at any of them with fondness or happiness.

I keep thinking about getting a dog. I so miss having a dog in my life. I don't miss the dog hair, or having to let the dog out in the middle of the night, or rushing home after work to take care of the dog, or scooping dog crap out of the yard, or all that other stuff. But damnit, I do miss having a dog.
I should have just taken Kaya, the mastiff/lab that I was spending time with and posting pictures and videos of. She was pretty near perfect. But I just couldn't commit. And now she's gone with another family for her forever home. Sigh. I'm so concerned about what is going to happen with the bar. What if I lose my job? Will I be able to afford a dog? What if I have to get two jobs? Will I have time for a dog?
I suppose I need to wait and see what is happening with the Brook before I take that step.

Speaking of the brook... Still status quo, nothing new. We await the auction for the second mortgage (if it's still going to happen.. he hasn't advertised since his very first notice almost a month ago, and it has to be advertised for three consecutive weeks before the auction by law). Although now the bank is also foreclosing the first mortgage as well, so the situation has grown even more complicated. We really don't know what's going to happen. We'll wait to see what happens on the 31st, if there is still an auction for that second mortgage, and what happens there. Go from there. Wait and see. We still believe it's Charlie's intent to get the building. We still hope he won't be able to, and that we will. Wait and see.

And so, it seems I have lost or am in the process of losing everything that gives my life purpose or happiness. The lake, my son, and now probably my job.
And people wonder why I'm not a ray of fucking sunshine and super jolly to fucking be around.

I made the mistake of bringing the boy to my ex-husband's house this last week in an attempt to promote a relationship between them and his step-sister. He does miss them a lot, his step-father particularly, unfortunately. And unfortunately that only opened the door for confusion, for everyone. And hopes for the boy. I probably should have known better.
(Not that it matters, the ex never did make any attempts to maintain a relationship with the boy all those times we split. I don't know why we'd expect him to now.)
Today the boy stopped in and asked me what was going on. I told him I didn't know, but that basically he was doing what he always does (without specifically stating that that basically means inviting me to ride the emotional roller coaster again, but, the boy already knew that's what I meant). I also told him that no matter what, that doesn't mean that he can't continue to maintain a relationship with him. To which he replied- If he's going to mess with my mother's emotions, I don't need to.
He may not stay with me anymore, but I guess he still feels protective.
And, by the way, no, I'm not getting on the ride.

In the midst of all this bullshit in life, I did have a really nice weekend.

Work was really good this week, take out, nights spent in, my giant lawn was mowed (which to me means a lot) but I also actually went out; for real, no kidding! There's even video proof! Lol...

I went out Friday night with a few friends, and actually had a very, very good time. I got up with the band and sung. I needed that! I danced most of the night; I needed that too!
I also met a potential new band-mate. Yes, you read that right, a potential new band-mate. My old drummer has brought a couple guys to our attention. Really talented, serious guys, who want to get something going. And so, Bitter Grace (if I have any say in the name, Lol) may experience a resurrection. We shall see. I'll keep all my fans posted!
At one point Friday night, all us girls were out on the dance floor, and one of my friends noticed that I was all smiles. She brought it to my attention, and then I realized it too. I was literally smiling the whole time. She asked me what I was smiling about... In that moment, I didn't really know. But I recall quite specifically now, considering it. I was on the dance floor with a few girlfriends, dancing and listening to great music by one of my favorite local bands, looking across the bar and meeting eyes with a man who has been nothing but good to me for two and a half years (regardless of our circumstances or what I've thrown at him), and in that moment, I wasn't thinking about any of the shitty things going on in my life. In that moment, I was... happy.
Although in the moment all I could think of was- "maybe it's the meds!"
If only I could have bottled that feeling, to save it for moments like Sundays.

I need to weed whack and push mow a few spots, that should help eat up some of this day. I could walk down to the mailbox. I need to vacuum, but that doesn't take long. I could read my book, that usually helps these moments, if I can stay focused on it. I could scroll through the pages of Petfinder for the millionth time.

I need to do something, though. Get off this computer, out of this chair and get occupied, lest I fall victim to the Sunday blues.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

In case you couldn't guess, this will most likely just be another blog about the bar, the boy, and the lake. So if you've already heard enough about all that, you should probably hit your browser's back button.

The bar. Sigh.
The public auction for the building is the end of this month. This auction is very confusing. I've had to try to explain it to everyone who asks. The auction is actually only for a second mortgage on the building (the mortgage that's in foreclosure that's held by Charlie). Whoever bids the highest is buying Charlie's second mortgage, and then still has to pay off the first priority mortgage held by the bank. My bosses will attend and bid, and we will hope for the best. But we still assume that Charlie will bid the full amount (yes, on his own foreclosure) so that he can then pay off the first mortgage and own the building. That is what his attorney told us when they finally turned down our offer to settle.
He has been made aware that if he ends up owning the building, we will dissolve the corporation and the Brookside will cease to exist, and he will be left with nothing but an empty building., but he still seems to want it. I believe it must be some kind of personal vendetta at this point for him. It certainly wouldn't be a wise investment on his part. But who knows. I think the man is probably crazy.
We can only hope that he isn't able to get financing for the first priority mortgage, and we don't get outbid at the auction, or that somehow, we are able to purchase the first priority mortgage from the bank.
We are still hoping for a miracle.
I say we... But I'm a realist. A cynic, really. I don't believe much in hope or miracles.

I spent all my savings on the down payment for this place, but I've been putting a little bit of money away for the last couple months. Plus I got a small deposit back from my rental. I was so proud for being able to squirrel away so much in such a short time. And it looked like a lot, until I realized I've enough in savings right now to pay all my bills for one month of unemployment. I've got a lot of bills. Shit. One month.
If the auction is the end of this month, and then assuming the buyer (assuming it's not us) closes with the second mortgage and the bank in about 30 days, we've got about a month and a half, maybe two months in business.
That's not much time to try and save more.

And what do we do about an income? Do we job hunt? I know I want to stay on right until the bitter end. I know we've all promised to. I also know that the other girls have other jobs or working significant others. I don't. I don't have anything but this. When it's gone, I have nothing. We'll all apply and qualify for unemployment. But it will take time to start coming in. And it'll be a fraction of what we claim, and will only be a tiny fraction of what we actually make (tip income). So it won't be nearly enough to sustain.
We're screwed. Or more accurately, I'm screwed.
I did put my resume in for two different jobs this week. If for some reason I get an interview, I'll hope that they'd be willing to wait to take me on after the business closes. That's IF I get an interview, and IF they'd hire me. Both positions I'm a bit unqualified for. But I figured, what the hell. Might as well throw in my hat. I've got a few years of management experience now and I come with excellent references.
I hate the thought of job hunting again. For so many reasons.

I miss the lake. Every. Fucking. Day. So. Fucking. Bad.
When I don't have work to keep me occupied, I literally cry off and on all day. It's awful. At home, at the grocery store, at the bank, at the drive thru at Dunkin. It's beyond my control. When I'm home it's worse. It's all day. I can't stop it. I don't remember a time when I've been this terribly unhappy. I wish every day that I could turn back time and change my decision to leave. I daydream every day about the new tenants not working out and me being able to go back. It's not healthy. It's all I can think about. I've talked to my old landlord. He knows to contact me as soon as one of his properties opens up again. Even if it's the one across the street from the lake, where I first started. I'll go back. I'll sell, re-assign my owner financing, or just walk away, and go back. Crazy, I know. But I would. I am so miserable.
Who knows. Maybe someday I'll feel settled here. Happy, even. Maybe someday I'll learn to love it here, and won't want to leave. Somehow.
Or maybe someday I'll end up with a husband and leave here to live with him.
All kinds of things could happen.
Although I admit, that last one is probably pretty unlikely.
I belong on the water.
Someday, somehow, I will get back to it.
Until then, misery.

I still don't see the boy much. So, no lake, and still no boy.
At least when I lived at the lake I had that to entice him. To swim, to fish, go boating. Now I have nothing to offer. And I don't see him a whole lot more than I did before. Maybe a little, but not much.
The only difference here is that he stops by for just a minute while he is out riding the trails. Usually once or twice a week, only for a minute. Does a wheelie on the lawn, says I love you, and he's off again. It's really only a minute or two, here or there. A couple times I've asked him to come for dinner and he has. He stays for about 45 minutes and heads back to his dad's. Once last week he bribed me into picking him up late at the fair by saying he'd spend the night at my place. I was so excited. I thought maybe it would make him see that staying here wasn't so bad. He came home late and I took him back to his dad's early. I'm not sure it accomplished anything.
This isn't quite what I had in mind. Maybe someday he'll want to come home again. This is his home, too. I am his home. He just doesn't see it for some reason. And it breaks my heart. He truly is all I have anymore. I still don't know how to cope with losing him, too.

I have been primarily alone for a couple years now. Yes, I have seen someone, but they live away, and have a life and kids and lifestyle, all separate from my own. We have been together, but separate. It has always been the way. And as long as it lasts, it always will be.
I haven't had a real "partner" for two and a half years.
I often wonder what my life would be like if I did. Would I be so miserable if I weren't alone?
Of course there are things I miss about having a partner. The friendship. The togetherness. The coupling. Always being together, always having each other. Never waking or falling asleep alone. Spending your days and nights together. Doing things together, or nothing together, every day. Yes, you can be lonely in a relationship. But in a good and healthy partnership, this awful loneliness doesn't exist. Maybe I would be happier if it didn't.
Who knows.

I was going to go to the lake yesterday. I shaved my legs, put on shorts and a tank top, got my folding lawn chair out of storage... But I couldn't. The only landing is the one where you can look across the cove and see my old house. I just wasn't ready for that yet. And so, I didn't.
I still think that maybe I need to spend some time with the water. So yesterday I decided that today I would go to a beach. I don't know of very many (even though I was born and raised in Maine), so I would just go to the one that I know. The one where my father last gave me away. Even given the circumstances, it's still one of my fondest memories. I was happy then. I loved life. Everything was perfect. I had my children, my family, my father...
But it's cold and it's raining.

Maybe I'll just stay home and try to escape in a book.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

I turn 44 tomorrow. Holy shit. Where has the time gone? Where has my life gone?
I could get all philosophical here, I want to, but I won't. But I will say... the time has flown by. My life has flown by. One minute you're in your twenties, living it up, having the time of your life, struggling with the woes of youth... the next minute you're aging faster than you ever realized, and your life is close to over. It's bizarre. Time flies. Life flies.
But I digress.

I dreamt of the lake again last night. I still do, every night.
At least I don't wake up crying in the morning anymore. Not all the time, anyway. I still long for it, mourn. I'd still move back if I possibly could. I continue trying to accept my decision and move forward, but it's still a work in progress.

I still don't see a whole lot of the boy. I have seen a bit of him by default lately. He had to come here on Sunday to meet his sister to do some algebra homework for summer school. The week before, he spent two nights here because his dad was out of town. But generally, he still stays at his dad's. He hasn't really popped over to visit much lately. I'm hoping that will change.

I keep telling myself I didn't give up the lake for nothing. It wasn't just for the boy. It was for me, too. Even though I loved the lake more than I even knew I did. I gave it up for home ownership. For a future home for myself. For not having to search for a rent somewhere when I'm older. For stability.
At least, I keep telling myself those things.

There are all kinds of things I'd like to do with my savings. I'd like to buy a pool. I'd like to have my lawn treated (there are an abundance of ticks here), I'd like to buy more plants and trees for my property, to "make it my own" and to pretty it up a little, I'd like to make improvements to my fire pit area, buy some outdoor furniture, the car needs a brake job...
But I don't dare spend any of my savings, with the bar being up in the air.

We still have yet to hear from Charlie on our offer. He has had our proposal for a week and a half now, and still no answer and no counter offer. And he has yet to post the notice of public auction yet as well, even though he could have posted it since July 9th. I have to assume he hasn't posted the notice yet because he is considering our offer. At least, I hope that is why. We all wait on pins and needles. A few of us, including myself, with our lives hanging in the balance.

I continue to consider the possibility of getting a dog. Many of you saw on facebook that I had a doggy visit last week with a friend's dog. She was so sweet and easy. But so big and drooly and sheddy. Lol... And I wonder, if the bar closes.. How would I afford to feed her??? How would I afford any dog, let alone, one that big? Part of me thinks I would be better off with a small dog. One that eats less, poops smaller, a non-shedder would be nice, one who's easier to travel with... One like Pixie, the one I got when I first moved in with Mom. She ended up staying with Mom when I moved to the lake. She was/is a sweet little dog. Maybe I'll start stealing her from Mom on occasion. Mom said I could.
I just don't know. Maybe I'm just not ready yet in general. Sometimes I feel like I can hardly take care of myself. Although, I bought a bunch of dog stuff (dishes, toys, chews) while I was shopping yesterday, and I don't even have a dog. What the hell... Who knows.

I had better go get ready for work.
Be well.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

I'll try to make this as positive as possible... Ok, that's a lie.
But I do have a bit of a story to tell about a little bar on the corner, so stay with me, if you can stand the negativity.
Besides, my psychiatrist only sees me once every two weeks for 30 minutes, and that's primarily to handle my meds. And I haven't been seeing my therapist lately, so this blog is all I've got. So, on with it. Get comfy.

I miss the lake.
I dream about moving back almost every night. And every morning I wake up in tears. Over and over, sleeping and waking in the same repetitive torture.
Call me crazy if you will, but if it didn't work out with his new tenants, I would probably sell this place and move right back.

It certainly hasn't proven to be the answer I was looking for with my boy. Not yet, anyway. I mean, I have seen him a few times, and more often than I was seeing him, but it's only been for brief moments. He stayed here for two nights the first week I moved here. The first night, begrudgingly, because he promised he would, and the second night was a surprise, who knows why. He came for a short visit with a friend. He came over to do some algebra homework. He came over yesterday for a couple hours. He was planning on spending the night, maybe even a couple, since his dad has gone out of town for work for a few days. So by default, I might get some overnights with him. I was so excited. But then, at the last minute, he decided not to. Even when his dad is out of town, he still won't stay with me. That hurt. I can't possibly express just how much. I cried all night.
Losing touch with him has been the most painful thing I've ever experienced.
And leaving the lake, in an attempt at "getting him back", has proven to be unsuccessful and even more painful. I gave up one love for another. And it has yet to be worth it. I don't know if it ever will be. Right now I'm just left with nothing.

I've tried and tried to see this in a positive light. Tried to "retrain my brain". Think of all the positives. How I own my own place now. How it will benefit me in the future... I mean, really.. If I look ahead, who wants to be 55, 60, 65, and searching for a place to rent, that you can afford? I'll have this. It is affordable. It'll be paid off by the time I'm 53. And the lot rent is minimal. And the lot is lovely and private, the last in the park, so it's almost like having my own land, kind of. It'll be low cost, low maintenance living, and it's mine. All positives, right? And besides, nothing says I have to stay here. Because it's so nice, and it's location is so nice, it would be easy to sell if I ever want to move on.
But it's so hard to see the positives right now. All I can see is the fact that I'm still missing my boy. And the lake. :(

In other news... As many of you can see from my facebook posts, I am having a visit right now with a potential new doggy friend. A couple friends of mine have a dog that they've been considering rehoming due to their lives becoming super busy, and they heard I was looking, so... We all thought it might be a perfect coincidence.
She has been with me a couple days now, and has proven to be super easy and super sweet. And my cat who typically hates dogs has decided that she's ok. She was actually caught (on camera) rubbing all over her the other night. That was shocking. She's hopped in the car with me and delivered the boy to basketball practice and summer school and to his dad's, and gone to the bank, the pharmacy, and pretty much all over town. She loves to ride. She hung around the yard with me while I put plants in the ground, she slept in bed with me (and what a bed hog!). As I'm writing this she's laying at my feet. She's easy, sweet, friendly to everyone she meets... She's pretty close to perfect. So, what's my hold up? I don't know. Am I ready? Am I ok with dog hair and drool everywhere and poop in the yard? Am I ready to be tied down to caring for something other than myself and a cat? (Not like I have a very happening social life). And what happens if I lose my job in a couple months and can't afford to keep her? Because, there is that possibility...

You see, the little bar on the corner is in trouble. And we've been trying to find a way to explain it to our customers for some time now. So why not start here.
A long time ago, the lady who owns the building that we do business in borrowed money from a man named Charlie. Charlie placed a lien on the building. He eventually took the lady to court and filed a foreclosure suit against her. Charlie ended up winning that suit and was granted a civil foreclosure. Her right of redemption ended on July 9th. At this point, Charlie is now able to begin the process of conducting a public sale of the property. If there is an auction, bidders will be bidding on his mortgage only, and the sale will still be subject to the Credit Union's first priority mortgage. So essentially, at the public auction, he is only selling his interest in the property, his second mortgage, so to speak. Which is an astronomical amount.
As far as we know, it is Charlie's intent to bid for himself at the auction, and outbid anyone there (which would be no one other than us, because who the hell would want to buy a second mortgage on a property???). We assume that he intends to outbid anyone there, and somehow try to pay off the credit union as well, with the intent of walking in and taking over the Brookside as it stands. Well, that's NOT going to happen. Both the credit union and ourselves have recently made that pointedly clear to him. The Brookside isn't part of the deal. He'd be buying the building ONLY, and NOT the business. And we've recently reiterated that to him in a proposal we sent to him. We offered him a settlement in lieu of foreclosure. In that proposal, we made it clear to him that the business was NOT going to transfer with the sale, and that his interest was in the building ONLY. No business, no inventory, no licenses, no equipment, no utilities, no nothing. Not to mention, probably no customer base. Just a building. We are in hopes that this will sway his way of thinking. We now hope and pray that he will agree to our proposal and accept our offer of settlement. And then we would finance his second mortgage (our offer), and the first priority mortgage with the credit union, and become the final and sole owners of the Brookside. And when I say we, I actually mean Matt and Annette, not me. I just say we, because it feels like we have been a team through all of this.
Although I don't believe in the power of prayer, I guess it can't hurt. So if everyone could keep the little bar on the corner in their prayers and thoughts... It has been in existence far too long, as long as I've been alive... too long to see it come to an end. It's a legacy, a staple. It is home to so many customers, and a living to several employees, me being one of them. I'm still hoping that it will turn out in our favor, but we just don't know.

What will I do!?!? A house payment, a car payment, all these bills, and no money coming in... file for unemployment (which won't be anywhere near what I actually make), search high and low for a job that will pay me what I make now in order to make ends meet, who knows how long it will take me to find a decent job... And so much for going back to school.. I don't know what I'll do... And because of my down payment on this place, my savings is gone.. I'm not prepared.. I'm so afraid.. And that's a gross understatement..

To have  all of this weighing so heavily in my mind, added to everything else in life right now, is entirely too overwhelming. I feel like I can't possibly cope with it all. Losing my boy, losing the lake, losing my job, my sole source of income, and quite possibly the only thing I have left that gives my life any meaning...
It's too much. It's just too fucking much.

Well, I guess I should go. I have to deliver a pair of sneakers to basketball practice because the boy forgot them in my car. Even though he doesn't want to hang with me, I'm still a sucker for doing shit for him. That either makes me a good mom or a pushover.

Be well.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

It's Wednesday. I've been in the new house three days now. Three mornings waking up to no lake. And a lifetime more of them to come.
I've had a very hard time with the transition. I cried all weekend at the lake before the move on Sunday. I went to the lake house to clean it yesterday and cried the entire time. Every time someone asks me how the new house is, I start crying. I'm on the verge of tears, always. I miss the lake.
I am hoping I'll be at peace with my decision soon.

On the upside, my boy spent two nights with me already this week. It has been over a month since I've had him overnight.
He promised he'd spend the first night with me in the new house, and he did. It was tense for a bit at first; he missed his dad. But then it passed, and the next day he actually decided to spend another night. It was so nice having him around again, I have missed him so. He really likes the new house. And I think the idea of his Dad being practically next door is a big part of what makes him so comfortable. His uncle Matt lives here in the park too, and a few of his Dad's close friends are in the area as well. It is home to him. I hope it will become home to me soon, too.
When he left last night he gave me a a few very long hugs and promised to come back again very soon.
So, on the upside, there is that.

I keep telling myself I made the right decision. Talking myself through all the reasons why this was the right thing for us, for me...
It's mine, I own it. It'll be paid off in a few years. It's affordable, low maintenance living in preparation for future retirement age. I'll see my son more (I already have seen this in effect). It's close to mom. It's far less expensive than renting. Oh, and.. it's mine.
But living on the water always was my life dream. And I was living it. And I gave it up. And I am in mourning. Seriously. If I could stop crying, that'd be great. Jeezus. I fucking hate being a girl.

Speaking of which...
I saw my shrink again this week. She suggested adding an anti-depressant to my current cocktail. I was actually going to ask for it if she hadn't suggested it, so we were already on the same page. We have to watch it closely though, as bi-polars don't always react well to stimulants. Hopefully it helps. Pretty soon I'll be a walking pharmacy.
Sometimes (a lot of the time), I wish I were an alcoholic, or an addict of some kind. Just so that I had some kind of substance to help me get out of my own head once in a while.
I hate my father for drinking himself to death, but god damnit, I can almost understand why he did.


The damn cat keeps getting outside. She's like a little escape artist. Scooting out by you as soon as you open the door. She was doing it at the lake too. There she'd scoot out by you, or she'd push the screens out of an open window. Here I worry about living in the country, and something getting her outside. She spent our very first night here outside overnight. I worried so. But she finally came back around the next morning. Damn cat. I've been able to keep her in since, but it's just a matter of time before she gets out again. Damn cat.

She's not going to be very happy if/when I bring a dog home. She hates dogs. She'll especially be wanting out then. I'm supposed to bring the new dog home this coming Sunday. I'm excited and nervous all at the same time. Will I be happy about it? Will it be added stress in my life? Will I regret it? I have been looking forward to it for weeks and now I'm hesitant. Is it just because I'm depressed about the move? I don't know. I am worried. I worry about everything, though. I worry about and overthink absolutely everything.
And not that I am preparing for the worst, but this is a different kind of scenario, and in this particular situation, if it doesn't work out for some strange unknown reason, the dog can always go back to her original home. Again, not that I would want that, and I'm certainly not expecting or preparing for that (and not that it would be ideal for her, I know).. I want it to work. I am planning on being her new forever person. But it's nice to know that there is that insurance, so to speak, just in case.
Again, I overthink absolutely everything in my life. Of course I would overthink this. Beat it dead into the ground until it becomes something enormously overwhelming. Why wouldn't I? It's what I do. Sigh.


Work has been a little more stressful than usual lately. My one happy place in life, damnit. That's what happens when you're short-staffed I guess. I've had to pick up a  night shift, which I absolutely abhor, for a couple reasons. First, it's way past my bedtime. I'm used to being in pajamas by 7 and in bed by 10, at the latest. Secondly, bar patrons are way different at night. When the sun sets, the level of crazy goes up, and my tolerance level goes down. Lord help me.
Lord, Universe, Buddha, whomever, whatever, please, please, please, let me hire a new bartender , STAT.


I'm sitting here alone in the new house for the first time. Dawson was here the first couple nights, and Phil last night. But they're both gone, and now I get to see how it feels here alone. I'll be alone until Phil comes back on Friday, for one night (he's only around a couple nights a week), or until Dawson pops back in for a visit. I'm so glad I was able to have them for company the first few days here. This transition has been hard enough as it is, going it alone would have been awful. Now to see how it will feel being here alone, as I will be a lot of the time...
Guess this'll help me figure out how much I'll need that dog, won't it?

Be well.