Posts Tagged ‘personal’

So yeah, I am still here…

October 21, 2017

Just been a lot going on. Specifically, WE CLOSED ON A HOUSE!

The actual closing date was September 29, but as I put it elsewhere, it’d been in the works for a while. We have a pretty big family, but the rents for something like a 4-bedroom house were…out of the question, let’s just put it like that. So, Sabra’s best friend Mark and his husband built a house last year and he made it his mission to get us into a house also. Mark put us into contact with a friend of his who works at Gold Financial, and the process was on…

ZOMG. ALL THE DOCUMENTATION. Some of it I was afraid I wasn’t going to be able to get because of my work’s HR policies. And every time I thought I had gotten everything, they would come back and say, “we need this, this, and this.” I do understand why it’s that way, but to me that was probably the most exhausting part of it all.

That’s not to say finding a house itself wasn’t a real pain in the ass though. We looked at several houses in different parts of the city before making an offer on one back in March, on the city’s east side just off Roland Road & Rigsby Avenue…

…and then the house inspection came back. Foundation issues, wiring, and other stuff. It was so bad that the inspector offered to refund our money or hold it for another inspection. So, back to square one it was.

(Sucked too, because we could literally have WALKED to Whataburger from that house.)

So from there, stealing from Sabra:

Mark has a friend, Kimberly, who works for the city. She is administering a program with a certain local developer who is buying and renovating houses on the East Side. They had a house that needed to go to a low income family, the developer had no idea how to market it, but Mark had made sure everyone knew we were looking. So we got referred.
The developer was nice enough to take my input on the house. We bonded over the awesome tile in the bathrooms and the wood paneling in the family room. A LOT of work needed to be done–plumbing, wiring, roofing, etc. So it was a long wait. But it enabled Erik to build up some credit, and we worked with the city for down payment assistance.

So, to make a long story a little shorter:

We got all the docs, threw all the money, and signed all the papers, and we now have what might as well be a brand-freaking-new house tailor-made for us. And we got a screaming good deal on it in several different ways. I am so happy I could scream. Once upon a time I thought I’d be making $10 an hour and that we’d be renting until we croaked.

I am ever so thankful. God is good.

Now, back to your scheduled bitching commentary…

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Harvey didn’t stop at the county line…

September 2, 2017

It looks like we’re seeing the same dynamic at work after Hurricane Harvey that we saw after Hurricane Katrina and, to a lesser extent, Hurricane Ike: big city gets most if not all of the attention while the smaller metros and towns get ignored.

Granted, it IS understandable. Major American city under water, tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people displaced, and all that not-so-good stuff. But the flooding and devastation didn’t stop at the Houston city limits, nor at the Harris County line. I saw a graphic that outlined the area that was affected, ironically enough just to show the size of the affected area…and it completely excluded the area east and northeast of Winnie.

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Interstate 10 just northeast of Winnie, Texas, in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Photo seen on Dade Phelan Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/DadePhelan/status/902683973696065536/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonpost.com%2Fnews%2Fdr-gridlock%2Fwp%2F2017%2F08%2F30%2Fharvey-turned-part-of-interstate-10-into-a-roaring-river-with-actual-waves%2F

For those who don’t know the geography of Texas, that’s the Beaumont-Port Arthur-Orange metropolitan area, aka the Golden Triangle, which (as defined by the Census Bureau) is home to just shy of 390,000 people. A pretty good bit of that area got flooded too…

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Ninth Avenue in Port Arthur, Texas, after Harvey. When I lived in Port Arthur, from August 2001 to February 2009, I lived less than a mile from where this photo was taken. Source: https://www.facebook.com/richard.hudson.718/posts/10211580283801856?pnref=story

…and while it’s not Houston, it’s not exactly insignificant either. They’re about to get even more water coming down both the already-swollen Neches and Sabine rivers with the impending releases of water from the Steinhagen and Toledo Bend reservoirs. And then there are the small towns all up and down the coast, from Liberty to Loyola Beach, that were affected to varying degrees, some catastrophically.I don’t know. I remember having much the same thoughts after Katrina, and Rita too. Maybe I just take it more personally this time because I could been right in the middle of this all had things been different. Maybe I just feel a special bond to that place and the people I knew when I was there, many of whom I keep in touch with here on Facebook. Since I left Texarkana, I’ve lived in several different places around Texas, and so far I lived in the Golden Triangle longer than I lived anywhere except for Texarkana.

(That won’t be true for much longer, though!)

Southeast Texas, a lot of us are thinking about and pulling for y’all, even if we’re not there.

8 days. — ***UPDATED***

May 24, 2017

UPDATE, 24 May, 9:30 AM Central: WE HAVE POWER! FINALLY!

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What’s the significance of that number, you ask?

That’s the number of days that we’ve been without power. But it hasn’t been for lack of trying.

Tuesday morning, May 16 — the day after the fire — I took off work and made calls. — to SAWS (water), Time Warner/Spectrum (Internet), and CPS Energy (power). The first two are taken care of. The third, well…

…if everything was good there, you wouldn’t be seeing this blog post.

The power was scheduled to be turned on at the new place on Thursday, May 18. They said they would contact me if any problems arose. I didn’t get any calls or emails, so I thought everything would be fine. But I decided to be proactive and call CPS Energy on Thursday.

Guess what?

It got delayed because they had to do an investigation into the request due to power being stolen at the new location. I could either wait for the investigation to take its course, staying in the hotel all the while, or pay the over $1000 for the power that was stolen and have them turn it on immediately. Because, of course, I just have that laying around after losing all that stuff in the fire and having to restock, right? They need a lease, and ALSO, I find out that there are repairs that need to be made.

I provide a lease.

They can’t read the lease.

I call the electrician, he comes out and says everything is fine.

I give them a better copy of the lease.

And then I find out I have to call the engineering department to get a line and meter put in.

I call the engineering department, I tell them what’s going on, and they transfer me to customer service to get things set up as a new move-in.

All the while, here we are, paying out every bodily orifice for a hotel and food (mostly with donations, and all of you who have donated have my eternal thanks for that).

Did I mention that I had to be the one to reach out to CPS Energy for this, every step of the way? Yes. They NEVER ONCE contacted me about any delays in the process.

(But they’ll for damn sure send me a bill and call me when my payment’s late, won’t they?)

Supposedly everything’s going to be on by the end of the day…

…but if we get to the weekend, we’re probably going to need to go back into a hotel. I am not sure, but I do know it’s going to get very hot, and I can’t just have my family out in that. So, and I hate hate, HATE to do this, but anything you could spare for donations for the emergency fund would be greatly appreciated. You can either donate to the fund I talked about here, or send donations to Sabra’s PayPal at the following email address:

sabramorse at gmail dot com

Again, thank you all so much for your help in this trying time.

I wouldn’t normally do this, but…

May 16, 2017

Gonna make this quick & dirty.

I got a text from Sabra yesterday afternoon saying a fire had started in the kitchen. The fire was contained to there, and everyone’s OK. We were able to secure another place from our landlord, and Sabra got all our electronics out and items of sentimental value…

…but there was a lot of smoke damage and the house is uninhabitable right now. Because of the smoke damage, all of our clothes are lost, as are all of the kids’ stuffed toys and other things, as well as all our furniture — beds, everything. The lovely and gracious Erin Palette has set up a fundraiser for us. Anything you can spare would be greatly appreciated.

Oh, hi there!

February 29, 2016

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Mr. Duncan-Mark Thomas made his grand entry into the world at 1:15 this afternoon. 8 pounds and 9 ounces, and baby and mother are both doing just fine. 😀

Vaya con Dios, mama. Te amo por vida.

September 26, 2014

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Psalm-Angel Guadalupe was born Wednesday evening, September 24, 2014, at 6:10 pm. She lived about an hour and a half before she went home to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. She got to spend time with Mama and me, as well as her sisters and brother. She knew nothing but love her whole life. It was the absolute best we could have hoped for. I’ll be a grown-up and admit I was scared to watch them clean her up and dress her, but even with all the abnormalities she was still the most beautiful and perfect baby that I have ever seen. It was at that moment that I learned down to the fibers of my being what love truly is.

Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for being there for us.

Well, that was fun.

August 23, 2014

Hey, did you know that circling around to the back of your trailer park so you can dump your trash is probable cause to get pulled over in the trailer park?

Well, a few minutes ago I learned that apparently it is. TWO fucking Bexar County sheriff’s Tahoes with four deputies pulled me over in the trailer park (read: not on the public roadway) and gave me the third degree, because I was “driving around in an area known for high drug dealing” or some such nonsense, and they had never seen our van in this trailer park before, even though we’ve been here for just shy of two months and the damn thing has been in our driveway every Saturday night before this one except for one. I also got asked when the last time was that I used methamphetamine or any other kind of drug, why I was sweating, AND why my hands are shaking.

Respectively, NO, it’s August in South Texas, and neuromuscular diseases that make people’s hands shake are totally a thing!

(I really, REALLY need to learn to assert myself better.)

Like Sabra said, it’s a good thing I’m not black, or I’d have gotten myself shot. Yay for the War On Some Drugs, amirite?

An update.

July 9, 2014

So, here’s where we are now…

As Erin Palette told you all, in addition to the situation with our baby, we were also being kicked out of our home and had to find a new place to live as well as needing our van fixed for issues with leaking coolant. Those issues are now taken care of; we got the van fixed, found a new place, and just got moved in last week.

I do sincerely apologize for not updating you all sooner; the last few weeks at least have been quite a stressful blur. I never mentioned it on here, but the landlady (who bought the building from the man we originally rented it from) wanted to remodel the place and got to the point of calling me almost every day asking me when we were going to be out so she could schedule painters and whatnot to get in the building. She whined to me about it costing her extra money, as if that meant shit to me.

And ohhh, yes! Sabra reminded me that the woman actually tried to get us to move into the city’s homeless shelter so as to facilitate this remodeling. In other words, this creature wanted to move a pregnant woman  — again, whose baby has a fatal diagnosis — and said pregnant woman’s family into a germ incubator to save herself some money.

I wanted to tell her, “If I could trade our issues for yours, I WOULD DO IT.” I finally had to write her and tell her that if she said one more word to me about it, I’d consider it harassment and report it to the appropriate agencies.

You’re probably wondering, “Would you really have her dealing with a dying baby?” Yup. It might make me sound like an asshole, but considering that she knew about the situation with the baby and still harassed us and still whined about her financial situation vis-a-vis the remodeling of the building, I’d say she could use some perspective.

ANYWAY…

Psalm-Angel Guadalupe is, well…just fine, other than the aforementioned issues. Heart thumping away just like normal, s/he kicks around in the womb like it ain’t no thang, it’s just…something else. I felt a kick (actually, a head-butt) last night. It was pretty neat. 😀 Were it not for the diagnosis we got one would never know the baby wasn’t going to live long past birth if s/he is born alive at all. As Sabra put it, it’s bittersweet, but mostly sweet. We hope to get a 3D ultrasound scheduled in the next couple of weeks and are still working on funeral arrangements as well…

Thank you all for your support. It is all very, very much appreciated.

I don’t even know where to start with this…

May 24, 2014

…so I suppose I might as well start where it all started.

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“When those thoughts won’t come, I know that the shakes will. I’ve got no gun to my weary head. Hell, I couldn’t even hold the barrel still. Everybody loves a catch twenty-two. Damned if you don’t, son, damned if you do. Outside it’s another day that I got to make it through.”

— Jason Boland

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Not sure I said anything about it here before…but Sabra’s pregnant. She’s a little more than 18 weeks along. We went to her midwife’s appointment Wednesday to have an ultrasound done. She had gone for another ultrasound about three weeks ago, and everything was fine. We were thinking everything was gonna be fine this time too. We were gonna have the ultrasound done and bring home a DVD with pictures and/or video, we were gonna share it with everyone, and it was gonna be great.

We were wrong. We were so, so horribly wrong.

They did the ultrasound…but they had to call another ultrasound tech in because of some abnormalities they saw. And we got an appointment with a fetal medicine specialist for last Thursday to confirm what they suspected at the midwife’s office. And it was. Our baby has a very rare condition called limb-body wall complex. (Limb-body stalk the doctor called it.) It occurs in 0.7 of every 10,000 births. Completely random, not a chromosomal defect, no known cause or prevention. The baby has no pelvis or diaphragm, one of his/her legs is missing, s/he has a severe case of scoliosis, and the baby’s heart and intestine are outside the body. They are attached directly to the placenta, and there is only a nominal (2cm) umbilical cord. The heart and lungs aren’t going to develop like they should. I knew it was very bad when Sabra asked if they could tell us the gender. We’ve always been adamant that such remain unknown until the baby is born.

The condition…this limb-body stalk…the condition our baby has is fatal. There’s nothing that can be done about it. We’re going to take the pregnancy to term and hopefully be able to hold our baby and say goodbye; the baby won’t live long if s/he makes it out alive at all. We have chosen a gender-neutral name due to the inability to tell our baby’s gender. Our baby’s name is Psalm-Angel Guadalupe.

I am holding up the best I can, and I am finding my shelter and comfort in my precious family’s embrace, but right now I am just absolutely destroyed. I have dealt with death before, but never has it been so up-close and personal as it’s going to be in the all-too-near future. It’s one thing to deal with the death of a beloved relative who lived a somewhat long life, but quite another thing to deal with the death of your unborn child, and I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t utterly horrified at the prospect. This too shall pass, of course, but I know that this is a wound that will never heal and that none of us will ever be the same. I have so, so many questions, most of which I won’t find out the answers to in this life, but that I’ll probably be asking until Sabra and I see our precious little baby again in that land where there is no more death, no more sorrow, crying or pain.

Please keep us all in your thoughts and prayers.

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Love is everything. It’s a rose on a stone, it’s the words in a song that the choir sings. It’s the tears of goodbye and the place that you fly to, to get your wings.”

— George Strait

I’m so white…

February 13, 2014

…that I forget to lock the door behind me when I get home. Last night I did it again, and to be honest, I was quite surprised at myself, considering what I found out about earlier in the day.

What’s that? Well…

I checked Facebook when I got to work and saw a status from my mother talking about how a longtime family friend back in the old hometown was an inspiration from the day they met and that her heart was broken. So I called a little bit later — and come to find out, this old friend was found shot to death in her home early Wednesday morning. As far as anyone knows at this point, it was domestic violence. She was a really nice lady, who left behind five kids and an untold number of friends. The whole thing left me rather shaken, to the point that I almost called Sabra to tell her to make sure the gun was loaded — even though this happened 450 miles away.

And it made me wonder what the hell went on in the days and weeks leading up to that. Is that sort of thing predictable? Does it happen right out of the blue? I would really think human instinct would allow one to pick up on that sort of thing. I don’t know, I just don’t know…