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The Red Pump Project

Monday, March 31, 2014

March, trees, lions - Oh! MY!

Forget the lion, for me March was the tree and I was the antelope!

While most of what went on this month didn’t happen to me, it definitely affected me.  Being in a zombielike state, you’d think that I could just cruise along without so much as a by your leave but for some reason, anxiety just never goes dormant.  (Oh! Speaking of zombies! Are you watching The Walking Dead?  “ … Just look at the flowers, Lizzie.” OMFG! And Daryl and Beth?)

 Before I get distracted again, lemme just break this down for you.  Somewhere around the last week of February, my niece called me to say that she and her brothers were buying me a plane ticket to go to New York for my sister’s 80th birthday party.  I’d be leaving on March 26 and coming home March 31.  “YAY! A vacation,” you’re thinking.  You’d be partially correct – time with my sister &; brother-in-law, staying in their house, can be thought of as a vacation … in a psych ward. But what the hell, it was free and I was going to get to Manhattan. Plus my sister is going to be 80 and I might not have another chance to visit. 

 My grandson’s first birthday party was planned for March 8.  We wanted it that weekend because of my niece’s birthday and ex-mother-in-law’s birthday would be celebrated the following weekend.  As you can tell, I like a plan.  Now comes the first stress inducing, heart-breaking monkey-wrench. My son’s girlfriend gets a call from her stepfather on March 2; her mother is in the hospital.  She is not doing well.  Her mother has been battling breast cancer for 15 years.  She’s been in remission on and off but has been very sick for the last year or two.  She has now come to the end of her fight.  

My son and his girlfriend are off within the hour to go to Georgia (a six-hour drive).  Mulder and I are babysitting.  (Seriously, how to older mother’s do it?)  They come back very early Monday morning. Tuesday afternoon, her mother passes away.  They decide to miss the wake but will go up Thursday for the funeral.  I get to be a stay-at-home grandmother for the day!  I enjoyed the time with my grandson ‘cause he’s the cutest, sweetest baby in the world but I was utterly exhausted by the time Mulder came home.  I also had to notify the party attendees that the party was postponed until March 22. 

 Being zombified, I’m not the best person to comfort anyone, let alone an already a girl/woman that has had a difficult mother/daughter relationship when her mother dies.  I did my best.  In hindsight, having the party three days before my scheduled trip wasn’t my most brilliant idea, though. 

 Next was Mulder getting a job in the company he’d been contracting for the past six years.  Now while this is AWESOME news, he was and still is stressing out over the background check and because our luck is usually bad, somehow Murphy is going to step in and fuck things up.  There was a minor mix-up with a drug test but that was taken care of.  Still – STRESS!!! Because we aren’t normal. Oh! Yeah, we have to buy a car.  THAT should be lots ‘o fun and totally stress free, right? 

On March 15, I spoke to my sister.  She tells me my brother-in-law is very sick and they are putting him in the hospital on Tuesday.  “Should I still come up?,” I ask. “Yes,” she said because they have paid for tickets to a show at Radio City Music Hall.  Okay, no worries.  On the 19th, I call my niece for an update.  My BIL has congestive heart failure (he’s had this for awhile), has been retaining water, is really very sick and they can’t get in touch with his cardiologist.  However, my trip is still on as is the big birthday bash.  

Saturday, the 22nd,(day of my grandson’s birthday party) my sister calls me at 8 am to tell me that by BIL is still very sick, no end to the hospital stay in sight, he has hospital induced dementia and the show at Radio City has been cancelled, so let’s postpone your trip.  No NYC for me. 

 I am, to be honest, somewhat relieved.  My sister is difficult on a good day but throw in the added possibility that her husband of 60-plus years might die at any moment and you have one bat-shit crazy old lady.  As of this writing, her birthday party is still on but could be cancelled any second.  My sister and BIL have had an unusual (putting it politely) marriage.  He’s an alcoholic, has been abusive, he never really was playing with a full deck but was a wiz at the stock market.  They have managed to cheap themselves into being richer than Croesus but don’t enjoy what they have – now it’s probably too late.  I always thought that they’d both live forever because neither one wanted to leave the other alone with all the money!

 Here’s some hospital humor from my goofy as a box of rocks brother-in-law – 

  • The Pope is coming  to the hospital gym. 
  •  I played golf in Ireland.  (He used to be a fantastic golfer. Should have gone pro.) 
  • The pubs here are excellent.
  •  I’ve had sex with all these nurses and barmaids. 
  •  I met the Pope last night. 
  • When are they bringing me my beer?

The baby's party went very well, which made me feel better about this whole month.  I'm definitely hoping April will be tranquil even though there are no lambs in sight, yet!

From Millan.Net (OH! Day-um!!! Rick is THE MAN! October is far away, I'm sad!)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Time to go Medieval!

Tomorrow we're off to the Florida Renaissance Festival.  This will be the baby's first major trip.  We figure it's never too early to get your geek on!  


From Millan.Net

Friday, February 7, 2014

Kids! What's the matter with kids these days!

 My son informed Mulder and me that we ruined his life because we were too good, too generous and didn't show him how cruel real life is.  

For anyone out there that is feeling sad because you don't have children, I want to punch you in the throat. From Millan.Net

Sunday, February 2, 2014


Friday, January 17, 2014

Go see ....

What music moves me!  The beautiful Britnie at  IT'S ON RANDOM asked me to guest post!

While you're over there, check out her blog - she's FABULOUS! From Millan.Net

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy 2014!

Hope y'all have a silly, sparkly, safe, wonderful New Year!
(hopefully 2014 will bring us all amazing times, prosperity, good health and happiness!)
From Millan.Net

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it 'Christmas' and went to church; the Jews called it 'Hanukkah' and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank.  People passing each other on the street would say 'Merry Christmas!' or 'Happy Hanukkah!'  or (to the atheists) 'Look out for the wall!' 

  ~Dave Barry, "Christmas Shopping:  A Survivor's Guide"

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Away in a manger ...

I'm goin' to hell ....

From Millan.Net

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Bring some cheese, I've got the whine!

There are people who have money and people who are rich.
       ~  Coco Chanel

I’ve been struggling with my feelings and how to express them about an incident that happened with a friend since my return from North Carolina.  I know it is extremely difficult for some people to imagine the life of another if they have never had the same and/or similar experiences.  It can be like describing snow to a person that has never seen or felt it.  Because of the difficulties I’ve have gone through over the years, I try to explain my “snow” the best I can without having an avalanche of memories/pain/hurt come crashing down on me.  Perhaps that is my problem – I can’t paint a realistic verbal painting, I can only sketch in the abstract. 

Before I meander down this tangent any longer, let me give y’all some background.  In 2008 when I decided to go to esthetician school, I applied for a Sallie Mae loan.  Since both my credit and Mulder’s sucked by then, Sallie Mae asked for a co-signer.  My sister turned me down.(My sister and brother-in-law are millionaires but live like paupers.) However, my friend of 20-plus years said she would be more than happy to co-sign the note.  My boss would be reimbursing me a portion of the tuition upon graduation, which I would use to pay part of the loan.  I did not envision bankruptcy at the time nor did I know that my attorney was not going to do his due diligence when filing my bankruptcy.  Sallie Mae loans cannot be included in bankruptcy unless they are an adult education loan, which mine was.  The attorney failed to note this and my loan became my co-signers responsibility when the bankruptcy was finalized.  Brilliant.  In January of 2010 when I discovered the error, I did everything possible to rectify the situation without success. The only solution was paying another $600.00 to get different attorney to fix it. (There is much more to the story but I won’t go into it, as it proved irrelevant.)  To keep everything simple until another solution could be found, my friend and I signed the paper to have the monthly payment deducted from my checking account.    I informed her of every thing I did to have the loan returned to me and I have never missed a payment. 

My friend has never experienced financial hardship. She has often said how smart and lucky she is to have a husband that worked for the government. She also is very astute when it comes to finances which she also acknowledges that it's easy when you have money.  I'm not jealous of my friend because I know what it's like to not have to worry about money. How could I begrudge someone their life because mine isn't as their's? About a year ago, my friend began making suggestions about how to pay this loan off more quickly and other comments.  I should have been more perceptive and reacted accordingly. I did start to pay a bit extra each month but apparently not enough and/or my actions weren’t satisfactory. 

Here is where your appreciation of abstract art is going to come in handy, my lovely readers.  I am not going to describe in minute detail my financial problems.  Suffice it to say, they are many.  They require much manipulation and creativity every damn month. There is going without, making do, making last, etc. etc. etc. I have days when the repercussions of what happened back in 2005 are too much for me to bear and I scream like a banshee driving home then go cry in the shower. I did not plan for a life like this at my age.   It is like an ever-present shadow in my life.  However, I will not let it destroy me – after all, it’s only money.  I still have a home, can buy food, have a job, am healthy, have good children and an adorable grandson among so many other things. I so, usually, consider myself “rich”. That way I can deal with the shadow most of the time.  

Mulder and I planned the four-day trip to North Carolina approximately a year before we went.  It was never definite until we knew we had the funds to afford it.  That meant money that was not going to be used to pay the mortgage, food, loan, insurance, etc.  The money for the trip came from some overtime he made and the profits I made from selling on eBay and Etsy.  Our trip was made possible by hard work.  I don’t think I had to keep it a secret nor did I think I had to explain how we got the means to take a trip to anyone.  My obligations were/are taken care of.  

The day we returned, there was a letter from my friend.  She had written to Sallie Mae about having the loan returned to me.  The response she received was the exact same response from the same person that I had received 3 years prior, a copy of which I had sent to my friend.  Since my bankruptcy had been discharged over three years, I had planned on writing to Sallie Mae to reapply for the loan but I guess I didn’t do it quickly enough for my friend.  I should have taken the comments and suggestions more to heart but I thought my friend was a friend as I am.  Apparently not.

Mulder and I have a small emergency savings account.  There was enough in it to pay off this loan.  We discussed it and did just that. The $3,300.00 was a tremendous amount to us – the “what ifs” are many but the fact that by paying this loan off took a huge stressor away from me is worth ten times that amount.  Hopefully, we will be able to replace the savings before we actually have an emergency. My feelings for this friend have been forever altered.  This is a person that has known me for a very long time.  We worked together for many years, we’ve been in a club together, we’ve spent weekends away.  We’ve laughed and cried, we’ve shared our lives. But I cannot look at her the same way any longer.   She will still be my friend but she won’t be my friend. Am I wrong?  

From Millan.NetI know she has money but I now know she will never be rich.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

 photo Thanksgiving.jpg

To all my American friends and everyone who celebrates with us!

I'm thankful for each and every one of you.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

North Carolina and Georgia

Why is it that when you take a vacation, you need another vacation to recover from the vacation?  Maybe I'm just too old for all this shit - traveling, grandbaby, children, work, cleaning, breast cancer walk, etc.  I definitely should have been born rich and not witty.  I need a wife.

I'm posting a slideshow of pictures I took on the vacation.  The leaves had just started to turn so not much autumn colors but it was crisp and cool.  YAY!  Murphy, North Carolina is my kind of town.  I could very happily live there the rest of my life.  Ellijay, Georgia was very cool, too!

Since I missed wishing y'all a Happy Halloween, here's my pathetic late wishes ~  From Millan.Net

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My wish came true!

I'm off to North Carolina and the Georgia Apple Festival this weekend.

Lord love eBay and people that want jewelry and other stuff that I don't need anymore and Etsy and a boss that gives birthday presents!

See y'all next week!

From Millan.Net