Cricut

Cricut Creepy Critters image set

Every year I tell myself I am going to stay ahead of the holidays…and every year I fall short of that goal.  Miserably.  As in…I’m usually still making Halloween decorations when the kids arrive for “Tricks or Treats”.

This year was different thanks to one of Cricut’s newer cartridges: Creepy Critters

If you’ve been a procrastinator like me, you can still log on to Design Space and get some of these awesome things made!  Trust me…it was a cinch!

A few of the things you can make with the Creepy Critters cartridge
A few of the things you can make with the Creepy Critters cartridge
Some more examples of files available on Cricut's Creepy Critters image set
Some more examples of files available on Cricut’s Creepy Critters image set
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Autism

I don’t need another hero

I’m continuing on with my exploration of what goes wrong in my relationships.

One of the biggest obstacles I’ve had is parenting and having a relationship.

Since before Master Owen (MO) was even born, I knew he wasn’t going to have the classic two-parent-relationship he deserved. Owen has never experienced life with two parents.  Why, you ask?  Well, quite literally, MO’s biological father and my former husband was incapable of being a father, plus his presence in our lives proved not only counterproductive to us but also harmful, due to his ongoing battle with drugs and alcohol.

I learned of my husband’s addiction problems about halfway through my pregnancy; I remember the exact moment it happened.  I was about five months pregnant and scheduled on a 6am flight  for a “last hurrah” vacation with my sister.  At 2am, just a few hours before my flight, my husband woke me screaming and cursing; he had just been arrested for “possession with the intent to distribute”.  According to him, It was a “bogus charge” and he was “going to fight it”, because he “had his pride to think about”.  Seriously?!?

Well, I did what any sane, pregnant women would do; I told him to clean up his act and then I went on vacation.

He didn’t clean up his act, of course.  He got worse.  And I got more and more pregnant and, unfortunately, very sick.  Sick to the point of being hospitalized sick.  And then ordered on bed rest for the rest of my pregnancy.  All while my indignant husband sat on a lawn chair in front of a chiminea gabbing on his cell phone, drinking and drugging and unable to work “because of the stress”.  Oh? Did I mention he fueled his drug habits by siphoning money from our accounts and selling all of my jewelry?

The icing on the cake was the morning I went into labor and tried waking my husband to take me to the hospital.  I was met with refusal that left me waiting for my sister to take me.  The husband later admitted he was so high he couldn’t drive, but it didn’t stop him from being a total ass to me as I sat crying on the sidewalk with my Pullman suitcase.

So, by the time MO was born, I had prepared myself for being a single mother.

Yup!  It was pretty clear it was going to be a “you and me against the world” scenario.

Sure there was help along the way.  I had my two sisters’ and my dad’s help in the early days, but for the most part I managed on my own.  In addition to caring for a newborn, I also had to care for my animals (two corgis and a bunch of cats) and a very old, large house, both inside and out.  Remember I live in New England, so that means snow removal!

Add to that the enormous stress of fighting with my former employer over benefits I earned, having little to no income and dealing with some obnoxious in-laws and I was an enormous ticking time bomb.

Needless to say the first few years of MO’s life were not MY happiest.  Just when one thing got resolved, another reared its ugly head.  I was dealt several almost overwhelming blows in the decade that followed MO’s birth, the hardest of which was losing my father in 2011.

And through all of this, I realized I was always looking for a replacement father for MO.  My needs did not matter as long as MO was happy.  Which led to some pretty weird relationships as well as a few men taking full advantage of my situation.  I labored under this delusion that Master Owen was missing out on something I was so grateful to have…that is a wonderful, healthy relationship with a stable and loving father.

It wasn’t until a few months ago that I realized–no matter how hard I tried–I could not be that for MO, but I could be something better.  I could be what the late Nora Ephron so aptly described “the heroine of my own story”.

Which I have pledged to continue to be so long as I live.

recipe

Who am I without you?

I recently ended a two and a half year long “relationship” with a person who was so wrong for me in so many ways.  

I didn’t want to go into all the crummy details, but you know, I just HAVE to talk to someone about it or I’m going to backslide and end up back with a guy (maybe not that guy, but A guy) just so I feel complete. 

Because I’ve realized I don’t believe I am whole when I’m alone and this is a lifelong issue for me. I would rather be with someone–anyone–than be completely alone. There. I said it. 

I’m an introverted person that needs an adult companion–even in theory–so I can feel complete.  

So my next few blog posts are going to be about what went wrong in this last relationship, because I need to take it out of the box and examine it, before I put it back on the shelf and hopefully learn from it.

Warning: It’s going to be personal and it might get really messy, so it may not be for everyone. You were warned. 

Autism

Don’t call me, I’ll call you…maybe.

For as long as I’ve known how to use a telephone, I’ve pretty much avoided them.   

Phones–to me–have always been a disturbing interruption of my day.  Basically anyone can just call you anytime they want with no regard for what you might be doing, which I have always perceived as rude.  I suppose that makes me antisocial, but it’s just how I am.

I grew up with only having a house phone and, for a long time, no answering machine.  In those days, people had certain rules about calling and things were civilized. Everyone knew you didn’t call during the dinner hour or after 10pm unless it was an emergency.  

My aunts, who lived in different area codes, even developed a way to contact each other without incurring additional charges for a call, because in “those days” phone calls were always cheaper at different times.  If my aunt in Watertown wanted to speak with us in Peabody, she would call, let it ring once and hang up; that way we knew to call her later.  So, of course, we never picked up a call on the first ring.  

When the phone company–“Ma Bell”–changed your area code it messed you ALL up, because then you’d have to figure out if you needed the area code to make a call.  This was a real problem growing up, because you didn’t always need the area code like you do now.  Furthermore, in some places, like Amesbury, which was too small for more than one exchange, you only needed to call the last four numbers.  Yup, if my neighbor wanted to reach me, he’d  simply dial “6788” and *poof* we would be connected!  This was a real time saver, because most everyone had rotary phone then.  Remember rotary phones?  I loved the noises they made.  

Back in those days, we remembered phone numbers.  I’m pretty sure I could recite a list of numbers from thirty years ago today.  Of course, we memorized phone numbers, because no one had pre-set numbers in their phones.  And, if you forgot the number, you’d have to whip out the gigantic phone book and hope the number was “listed”…because being “unlisted” was a thing then.  Ah! Phone books! I miss them, truly I do.

Anyway, as I was saying, I have a weird relationship with phones.  It got worse when everyone started getting cell phones, because they seemed pointless and just another expense.  If you called me and I wasn’t home, you either tried later or you left a message.  What was so urgent that I needed to be available 24/7?  I’m not a doctor.  I’m not the President.  The world is not going to collapse if I go out for groceries, is it?  So, of course, I resisted getting one for the longest time and reluctantly jumped on the band wagon when I began traveling for work. 

After I decided to leave my professional life to raise my son, MO, I once again fell into the house phone routine, but maintained my cell phone for “just in case”.  So, basically, that meant I only ever used it if I was going out of the house, which was rarely. Naturally I didn’t carry that dumb cell phone around all the time when I was home.  Needless to say, this irritated many people!  

“Call my house phone!”, I would say, which usually led to an argument about why I didn’t have my cell with me.  I’d forget.  It needed to be charged.  Plus I needed both my hands.  And, besides, yoga pants, which was my daily uniform, don’t usually have pockets. 

But my attitude toward my cell phone has changed a lot in the past few years, which I can attribute to the iPhone.  I know some people don’t like them but I think the iPhone is the best invention in the world.  It does everything–takes pictures, plays music and videos, keeps track of my schedule and even stores all my telephone numbers.  Plus I can check all my social accounts with it, too! Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Quora, my blog, my website. Oh! And texting? Love it! 

Do I use the phone part though?  Um..not really.  I’d rather let my fingers do the talking.  Talking takes up too much energy.

I’m pretty sure the idea of talking on the phone will always be something I dislike.  It’s just a part of who I am.  People I talk with know this and have just adjusted.  Some people think it’s weird or I’m weird, but I don’t care.  

I’m weird. 

So what? 

Tell me something I DON’T know!   

Best,

Ritamarie

P.S. You know how to reach me now, so feel free to leave me a message.  Just don’t ask me to call you back.