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Success, Failure...some of my greatest failures have been a springboard to my greatest successes...the terms are truly fluid.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Soil Science and Other Frustrations

I woke with a start this morning at 2:16 am. This is typical. If you lived my crazy life since foreclosure you would find yourself waking at all sorts of odd times too.

"Where the heck am I?"

I wasn't in my bean bag back at my friend's house. I could hear my 12 year old somewhere nearby so I was able to lay around and get my bearings instead of hunt him down and assure myself he was fine and breathing.

In the last 4 weeks I have been trying to do a soil assignment for my very first ever Ag Science class.

I have always wanted to know more about planting soils and this was a good match for me when I signed up  for it since I love gardening and feel it is a massively important subject. In reality it is way off track.....

Yet I have been doing so poorly in the class I had to sign up for a sort of pass/fail situation. I am almost ready to graduate. This was sort of a required last leftover. Oregon universities need 3 sciences for BA work while my CA world only required one for my subject. Here I am in my last term finishing off with the only biology class I could swing.

Why am I doing poorly? If you read are one of my Facebook friends there is no real reason given in my posts....just a chain of whining about being behind in Soil science and the misery of spending hundreds of dollars this term on dirt and rocks for the labs alone.

But there are very good reasons. Just like people in real life we all walk around judging one another's situations with the scanty information we hold and wonder why others aren't keeping up on their own stuff. But let's face it....WE ALL HAVE STUFF GOING ON....

I am homeless yet again and I have been in 4 weeks of class each time turning in my assignment from a new very different location in California. I have been in the rocky foothills with a loamy soil for week 1. There I turned in an assignment that required a 30 page report on the soils of that region.

During week 2 I found myself in the Bay area...the soil was very different and my assignment was not completed because samples of soil were in complete. I didn't know if it was OK to dig a hole in the ground there...up to 4 feet deep.

Week 3 I was at my daughter's place in another area of the higher foothill regions. There was no place to dig a pit for my next level of the same assignment assessing soils.

Now I am in week 4...I have not turned in my crucial labs since Week 1, but there is a turn taking place and it is reflected in my feelings as of last night....

I had to stay here since my homeschooler has intense Star Tests  taking place back in Sonora.

After a lot of driving, sweating, moving and lifting, we came home to find Joel insisting we all go for a swim.

On the shore of a lake, my boyfriend, suggested I consider staying here...pushing off my sudden move to the coast for grad school until I am closer to my start dates. In the friendly sunshine he reminded me that I can get more aid from the school on covering costs and getting a job on campus. He also practically pointed out that I could use the time at his place to relax, finish my last term and stay with him indefinitely until August.

I was able to take deep breaths for the first time in weeks. And it was nice that he sounded like he wanted me to stick around for a bit longer. I already know that I really enjoy being around him and his kids. So does my youngest who is almost pressuring us to stick together.

But the first thought I had when I was startled awake was the realization that I could dig a hole here and do my assignment correctly. Not only do I crave more time with Joel but I could actually get my work done on my assignments.

The only downside is that we have not been able to spend more then a month together without a blowout.

It makes sense.....for now...


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Bouncing on the End of the Diving Board....

I want to talk about all sorts of personal things that do not make it into my blog, like my son's birthday or my huge disasters as well as some of my greatest excitements, but those seem to be hemmed in by the one factor that is always short in my life, time.

I have never been the sort of person who is bored let's be honest, but I almost never have time to do the stuff that really hits me as "my fun stuff" in many ways like I used to do all the time.

My fun stuff is long luxurious phone calls with family and friends....goofy let's-watch-some-frivolous-fun-TV with my youngest, and squeezing in romantic liaisons with the same person, (life was so lovely when that was always the same person!). Time to pet my dog who is getting older right before my eyes and time to sit and watch the sun set with a slow conversation unfurling around me.

It occurred to me though, this morning before I popped out of bed, that I have been getting some of that stuff during this week of homelessness while I ready for Monterey.

I think I should rush less this weekend and breathe more. I have so much to be VERY grateful, that I adore and feel proud Ex husband I would throw myself in front of a train for...A boyfriend who comes with the bonus of having really nice kids and family and a future for me, that might not include poverty.

I think that is one of my favorite things about studying and loving other cultures and places. I spent 20 minutes last night in the restaurant getting to learn to pronounce how to say "Have a nice weekend" in is so precious to get to spend time just piece-mealing my way through understanding other ways of viewing life. Yet I don't give myself that luxury often enough. I am at the end of my BA studies and am forced to be taking classes that fulfill requirements rather then fulfill my desires.

Even though I am getting all of my dreams, it is fair to say I have not allowed myself to enjoy this moment.

I think my goal for this special weekend is to look around and appreciate what I have already got in my life, even if it means that I have to be late on  my assignments for school.

I am grateful for my children. I am such a lucky mother. I have all the usual guilt that every parent has in their hearts but let's be honest...I have everything I ever wanted for them. They are bright, fun and even my littlest one is so self sufficient he can negotiate many households and interchanging family and friends which his siblings probably would not be able to do at his age since they had such a stable household and life.

In that sense, divorce and financial insecurity have helped him to wind up being a much more resilient child then his older brother and sister. I think the same has happened to me. I am far more resilient than the young mom who was overwhelmed by bills and small disasters.

Walking through the fires of big disasters has made me a much more interesting person.

I loved the Terri who used to spend so much time completely focused on her home life....the one who got up each morning to pick roses from her awning of them that grew over the sunny put those beauties in a vase and place them on a doily in the center of her kitchen table.

I think that kitchen table, used by my Ex's Welsh Nanna, is in a garage at his house and has been since I lived in Oregon.

But this Terri is a much more capable person. I can see a scam a mile off now...I can recognize a court case being prepared against a loved one from a preliminary discussion...I can get accepted to grad school on my own terms and not follow conventional wisdom. I am wading through a final term where I am incessantly behind and know in my heart it will all work out fine for my entry into grad school this fall. I can handle a pretty intense job now negotiating details or analyzing facts in a healthy strong way.

My education has given me many gifts...and most of them are the new me who has a lot more confidence and capabilities now. I can handle a website and see my own products or friend's products filled with my favorite things...or detail my books and put them back on the market.

I have no reason to think that the little house frau from Tuolumne County, California can move forward into successes such as I see for myself...but somewhere inside I know I can do this because of all the gifts of being from Tuolumne County.

It is rugged cowboy country. It is filled with intelligent fun-loving people who enjoy a day's end with a cold beer and a relaxed discussion as they assess the world's happenings from a hill top of security.

I guess what I am saying as I pack up to head out again is that I know it will all turn out fine since I have been seeing that pattern emerging over and over again. The messy stuff seems to create more good stuff in the end....

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Packing Makes Us Nervous

For some reason, we humans find reasons to feel aggravated or edgy even if we get all of our wishes.

I am mortified to admit that I am at present one of those thankless souls. I am going to grad school in a fabulous place that I have wonderful memories of hanging out with my family when little. So here I am packing my family pictures and all my clothes into tubs and boxes and I still have tons of books. But I felt scared....putting my life back in makes me nervous...I am a bit of a homebody who is happiest "at home with my own things around me" (read that with an Irish accent akin to the Mary Kate Danaher character played by Maureen O'Hara in The Quiet Man). Something about slopping it all in boxes or tubs and labeling them with sharpies makes me nervous...and a little sick in the stomach. My shoulders were super tense and it wasn't from tossing heavy boxes....I think it was the thought of moving forward to exactly where I want to be...why on earth should I be tense? I am a success...right? Sort of?

I am truly grateful....but sometimes the scariest thing in the world is to have our dreams come true....

Waking Up....

So I woke up this morning realizing it was high past time to reassess some stuff. I am behind in my two science classes that are all I have left to have my Bachelors from Oregon State University. I am running ragged trying to figure out how to deal with Soil Science...find a home in my new town...finish grad school requirements that need to get turned in even though I have been accepted, and find time to just play a bit and have fun with my homeschooling son who should be my total focus in a perfect world. I wonder sometimes when I look at him whether it will make up for this time of pure focus where I am perpetually soaking in my schoolwork, when I can buy him a car when he is old enough to drive. I find it a haunting thought.

I poured everything I had into my two older kids and now Ex-husband, and I don't have an ounce of regret. I, in fact, look at that time as meaningful and complete in ways no job that pays me well can ever offer.

But now this whole scholarly section of my life is bringing me great joy and confidence to be honest as well. I guess when I analyze did all of my so-called failures like attending my home's auction in 2008 just before my birthday, and losing an excellent soulmate and hubby, and screwing up my attempts at understanding life as it unfolds around me...all of these things are enhancements if you ask the me of today.

Regardless, I woke up and looked around and felt incredible pressure to move forward now. Time to look at what is not helping me move forward and assess what needs to go as far as habits and time usage.

So I have been Facebooking to keep myself busy while I wait for endless downloads for my school to complete. These files always take 10-15 minutes or more to load and I enjoy the communications that alleviate the tedium and help me to network with a large group of friends....people I have loved in the past and still but would avoid saying so at all costs. I have a tendency to really feel strong affection for the people around me and it is always a positive to have people around you who make you feel good about them and yourself.

So Facebooking has been useful in keeping me focused on my schoolwork....otherwise it is my nature to walk away from the computer and go outside to be honest. But will I need that as much when I am no longer an online student? When I am in person the conversations will not be unfolding online....they will be unraveling all around I might need to nix as much of my online communications.

I also have to look around and see what is happening with my inner and outer life.

I have a lot more chatter in my head at the present is as if my school has taken an already active mind and pushed it into hyper drive. I think I am going to shift meditation, yoga and prayer back up to my first priority in the morning. It actually seems to enhance my studies too and help me to keep my focus together. I also would like to do more physical again....I know I have problems with my physical health but even so I am strong and very physical. I think I can go back to running when I get down to the coastline. I am going to go back to walking several miles...I used to regularly, 3-5 days a week walk along the Boardwalk to Natural Bridges in Santa Cruz...came out to 5 miles most days, 7 when it was sunny...

All of these things are worth putting my energy into and seem to also make it easy to focus on my work in front of me.

I am not sure what to cut out...but at least now I have an idea of what to add back in to the mix....I did yoga and meditation every day for over 15 years before getting sidetracked by school. And when I was in Italy, my friends gave me prayer books of Italian prayers that have enhanced my ability to feel calm, cool and collected when I utter them in clear Italian at dawn.

I guess I can start today...maybe I shouldn't wait......

Sunday, April 14, 2013

My Website Is Back Up....

I got up and at 'em early today to make my website. is now working but I don't have any of my books on it yet. I have less then 3 weeks to earn some money to help me support myself while along the coast at grad school.

If I play my cards right I can put two of my books up for sale and be able to make mostly profit on those to help me make ends meet when I am in school. My big goal is to be able to focus exclusively on schoolwork and home time with Spencer and I am hoping a website can help me market some of my favorite products to boot.

So I hope to buy a cache of jewelry created by my facebook friend that I showcased a few weeks ago....and put them up for sale.and other gifted people who help me stay healthy and surround myself with beautiful things.

I bought my site from with the start of buying my own name. I like to use my name because anyone who knows me knows that. Since my blog uses my name too it really is a matter of consistency. So I plugged in again and bought it for the third time. Next I spent the morning loading my website...writing pieces to set up the background for my two books. One was from before foreclosure...the other is a series of essays about life after foreclosure.

I hope to also sell my favorite books to read....upbeat stuff about keeping in a positive frame of mind and how to manifest your desires.

I am hoping to get many readers off of my facebook as well...need to really focus a bit on pinterest since I have almost nothing on it. And I need to use my google-plus and tweets more as well. I am hoping this all creates a secondary income that will make it so I can afford to do schoolwork on the side instead of a part time job that will pull me away from my studies or my son.

I am not sure how much I can sell but I find that my blog's readership is going through the roof as far as being read by lots of here it goes....wish me luck...

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Grad School and Other Concerns...

So Joel and I have been a thing for a few weeks now without a breakup...I think we are both feeling good...the upside is that we enjoy one another's company...the down side is that I am moving away soon...

And I am thinking of Grad school all the time while squeezing in my preparations for Monterey both school and living. I also am working at the reporting gig but not doing the best job at it since my computer has had multiple problems..

On the computer front you can't have issues with your computer when you are a student...but as an online student it could have easily derailed me from finishing school all together. I lucked out though since I spent my school money on buying a quality laptop with a guarantee from Staples...

My older computer has lasted through Europe's very different voltages and finally popped without any way that I could turn it on to retrieve information like pictures and documents from other classes.

So I lost lots of info there...but now there is a loss of info in having to take a brand new computer back to Staples and ask them to fix it..

It took a few hours since I had to reload a lot of programs and get information pulled off the old for the new but they did 90% of the work for was awesome...but it still required a lot of information to be recaptured...I am still reeling form the changes...but hopefully I am back on track for my mobile life I have had since leaving Sonora back in 2008...

Now to get on the stick for moving again...but I am now noticing songs about leaving....I have NEVER had a long distance relationship and that is what is the direction we are headed in...Joel is used to such things...but I don't think it will be fun to be honest...

Monday, April 1, 2013

On the Cusp…



So here I am on the cusp of something great, getting geared up for leaving…and in the end being allowed to leave not in a sudden lurch last month but in a more precise manner. I can now move to the coast in an organized fashion, with at least some of my ducks in a row…so you would think.

Yet I have been finishing off term papers (that was soooo last Monday!!),  embroiling myself in a fairly tumultuous yet oddly easy romance, that includes an awesome family along with it…and squeezing in quality time with my 11 year old and today, I start a new term. When did I have a Spring Break? That felt like it was all squeezed into one breath!


Yesterday was simply the most fun I have had on Easter and Easter Eve in a looong, loooong time.

My youngest and I slept over last night at my oldest child’s well appointed apartment…I can hear the hawk’s chicks peeping from a nest nearby and the clock ticking on the wall. My oldest left a bit ago for her long commute to work so it is the dogs, Roxie and Samara, snoring next to me that are my companions as I reflect on my past few days.


One of the reasons I loved Italy so much was the way they had so much lovely ritual in every little moment. My rituals for Easter include dying Easter eggs, hiding eggs that are filled with candy, and as the kids got older…money…but in Italy it included those ubiquitous church bells peeling out their joy all that Easter week.

Easter Eve morning, Spencer and I woke to another child in the house so Spencer went swimming in the pool with her after our long, hot morning walk and he got to dye Easter Eggs with her as well. They both were like peas in a pod…

On Easter Eve…I had the delight of dying the eggs with Joel’s family, playing in the snow up the road, filling Easter eggs with money and candy…and generally having a great time….I went to bed that night wholly happy and satisfied but the kids and I were awoken by the wild intensity of an after midnight lightning and thunder show that was simply awe-inspiring!! It was the day that just kept on giving.


Easter was also equally wonderful. We had a great morning. It was a lot of fun to see the kids go for the 86 eggs that were hidden in the house while the rain poured outside….It was also just plain fun to really enjoy the moment. I was not worried about grades…money, futures or pasts….it was simply living in the here and now.  Somehow Joel managed to squeeze in some awesome romantic moments when we were completely embroiled in kid time.

As if the morning and time with Joel and his kids weren’t present enough for one day I got to have my oldest along with me on the car ride down to my sister’s house in a valley town 1 ½ hours away. It was nice to listen to her perspective on things as I drove.

By the time we made it down to my littlest sister’s spacious abode, we call it the swanky 60’s pad even though it is a design from 1947 and a bit of a historical beauty, I had already lived more than a day it seemed inside of that Easter already.

But it was a beautiful day where we lived our typical Easter of the last decade. Om Easter we always get to see our extended family on my little sister’s side and it is always nice to hang out with them…the only down side is that we don’t seem to get enough time in this one day to make up for the year since we last saw one another and I found my attention span worse than usual as I flitted from one area to another but not making it far around the room.

Excellent food as usual and glorious conversation and then back home for sleep….

Easter is one of my favorite holidays since it is so easy….just relax and feel appreciation in a way…for everything that brings us the life we are enjoying…I can do that….