Dusting Off the Cobwebs…

I have started and restarted this post so many times that I have lost count.

I’ve been a horrible blogger. Honestly I’ve just been bad at social media in general lately… and by lately I mean the last few years. Once upon a time I was fairly decent at keeping things updated, but after the move to Washington, and getting kiddo into a decent rhythm at school, and jobs, things just kind of fell to the wayside. But with Twitter set to implode at any time due to a certain billionaires poor management skills, I feel like it’s time to get back into the saddle once more.

A lot has happened since I last posted.

I started sharing City of Ashes on Kindle Vella last year… and then I realized after a couple months that the opening chapters weren’t really working and the characters weren’t very likable, so I tried to rewrite them. The chapters still weren’t working after that, so I did it again, only to realize that they STILL weren’t flowing well. But before I could tackle that problem, a lot of things happened very rapidly in my family that put us all into a pretty big slump for awhile.

We lost Murphy cat at the beginning of the year. This hit my son pretty hard because, while Murphy was originally my husband’s cat, Murphy and Boyo had gotten very close over the past couple of years. He slept at the foot of Boyo’s bed almost every night. So while we were all broken hearted over his passing, Boyo really missed him.

About a month after that my father in law was put into Hospice care because his Parkinson’s had progressed to the point that my mother in law could no longer care for him on her own. Normally when one thinks of hospice or palliative care, it’s for end of life measures, but we learned when our son was going through his health issues as a baby, that hospice and palliative care can also be used in situations were there is a severe illness but still a chance of recovery. It’s rare, but it can be used for that. So we honestly thought that this would just be for a short bit until his medicine could be adjusted or he could get into physical therapy. Unfortunately the hospice company that my mother in law was referred to for father in law’s health issues considered these extreme treatments because the type of palliative care they offered was purely for end of life. The family was in the process of transferring his care to a different company when my father in law’s health took a sudden and severe turn for the worst and he passed away at the end of March.

While that was going on, my husband and I were in the process of selling our house and buying a new one. We had always known that our first home in Washington was just a starter home. Originally we had planned to stay in that same area so Boyo could continue to stay in the same school – however as time had gone on, issues with the school had cropped up that resulted in Boyo being sent to a different school in a different district. Between that and my husband’s job moving him to a different location, we saw no point in staying in that part of Washington any longer and we made the decision to move closer to friends. Considering how the market and house hunting process was in 2020 and 2021, we thought the process of finding a new home and selling ours would take a lot longer than it actually did. So you can only imagine our surprise when the very first offer we put in a home was accepted.

Unfortunately we found out our offer was accepted on the very same day we received the news that my husband’s dad had passed. On the upside we had something to distract us from our grief because we had to hurry to get our house ready to sell, get it listed, and schedule viewings. Thankfully because I was a real estate agent I was able to handle everything, while my husband helped his family plan a funeral from two states away. Then we were off to the funeral itself while the house went through the inspection and appraisal process.

It was an insane couple of weeks.

Prior to all of this happening, I had just switched from Keller Williams to a new brokerage that had promised me more leads. As someone who doesn’t have a large local social sphere like my fellow real estate agents (a majority of our friends live in other states and have no desire to move up here… which is totally understandable – Washington is not for everyone) getting in with a brokerage that promised leads was a big deal. But the leads weren’t what they claimed they were, and the support for newbie agents like me was non existent (new agents in Washington must have a designated broker sign off on every contract for the first two years of their career – the new brokerage did not have any designated brokers monitoring the contract email on the weekends and expected the mentors they assigned new agents to handle everything. Only the mentors were just as hard to reach.) So when problems cropped up with both contracts (and they did crop up because it’s rare that transaction doesn’t have a few road bumps) I was pretty much on my own, having to make calls that could have gotten me into some pretty severe trouble if I said or did the wrong thing. Thankfully everything worked out, but after all that stress I decided that this new brokerage was not the one for me and I left due to all the issues. At first I planned to go back to Keller Williams, but then after reviewing how much I had made as an agent, and how much being an agent cost, I decided to take a step back and take a break from being a realtor for right now.

We finally got settled into the new house, and immediately Boyo started having issues at school. Due to his previous principal having a vendetta against him, and her deciding to send him home for any little infraction, he had learned that if he acted up he would get to go home. So at his new school he decided to act up in an attempt to get sent home. His new school didn’t send kids home unless they were sick though, so that backfired spectacularly for him – but it didn’t stop him from trying. It was a rough couple of weeks while we worked together with his new school to figure out a better IEP that would help address these issues.

We had plenty of plans for Summer. We were going to work on the house, starting with the back yard. We suspect the previous owners may have been elderly and unable to properly care for the land, because it’s pretty overgrown in spots and some of the out buildings have seen better days. We also wanted to go on a couple of trips to see more of our state. We’ve spent so much of the past couple of years either going back down to California, or visiting friends in Oregon, we wanted to explore more of what Washington has to offer.

Did we get to see any of it? Or do anything else we had planned?

Nope.

Instead the Summer was pretty much spent in a fog. You know how in New Moon, there’s a section where it’s just pages with the months on them. At the time it was published, a lot of us who didn’t like the Twilight series and the writing style, really picked that choice apart. In retrospect, I think it’s because we just didn’t understand what going through a depressive period is like. I don’t think my husband and I were depressed, but we had just been through a lot of stuff in a short amount of time. Combine that with the collective trauma that everyone has suffered as a result of living through a pandemic/endemic – and we just did not have the energy/bandwith/spoons (choose your preferred terminology) to do anything outside of the basics. Were we able to mask really well when we were around others? Yes. We could pretend like everything was fine and dandy and dandy and fine. We could cook and clean and go to work as regularly scheduled. But when we were alone and left to our own devices we turned into couch potatoes – endlessly scrolling through our phones, watching YouTube, or playing video games. Our Summer felt a lot like those blank pages in New Moon.

That brings us to now.

It’s almost Winter. Both my husband and I are doing much better – we’ve dragged ourselves out of our collective holes and we’re starting to tackle things around the house slowly but surely as the weather allows. We’ve managed to figure out how to work the wood stove, which helps us save on electricity because we’re not running the heater as much. However we still need to trim back the blackberry vines out back, and tear down a shed. We also need to fix the leak under the kitchen sink and install a water filter like yesterday, but our home has polybutylene pipes which makes things interesting. I’m trying to get back into writing and reading (though I confess it’s slow going for an entirely different set of issues which I’ll address in a later blog). My husband is now a steward with his union. And thanks to his new school, and a new pediatrician who has more experience with Autism, Boyo is doing a lot better and he’s had several 100% days.

And that is really all the news that’s fit to print.

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