Where is Duch?

This week has been so busy; I haven’t had time to post about a little change in my life. 🙂

This week was back-to-school week for lots of parents. My teen-boy started high school on Monday. What I haven’t had time to post about is that I started back to school that same day. Yes, that’s right, I’ve gone back to college. It’s been years since I’ve been in an instructor-led environment, and I know I could do these classes online. I made my decision to go on campus for a couple of reasons:

  • My learning style
    • I do better in an ILT course. With the instructor there, if I have a question, I’m more likely to speak up rather than email or post in a discussion board.
    • I’m taking graphic design courses. In a classroom environment, working on projects, students can “bounce” creative ideas off of each other and get on-the-spot feedback. That’s a little more difficult when you’re taking your course online.
  • I had to get out of the house
    • I’d found there were days I’d been in this house all day long. This gets me out, and OMG it feels wonderful!

That being said… I’ve been looking for a job for a long time (over a year). I hadn’t realized just how long that left me moping around the house, sitting at the computer doing the job search all day. I’ve spent more time at home than I thought. Of course, this lead to a downward spiral of depression. The times I did leave the house, I had the urge to just “go back home”. It wasn’t an anxiety reaction; I just wanted to go home where I knew my routine. I realized I’ve spent the last few months hiding under the proverbial bed.

When I enrolled in classes, I jumped right in. I’m taking 12 hours. It’s just 3 courses, spread out Monday through Thursday. I figured, this can’t be too difficult. But by the end of the day I’m exhausted! I know it’s just a matter of not being used to the routine. It’s the first week. Once I settle into things, I’ll be fine. 🙂

I’ll post details about my classes soon. Oh, and more pictures of Missy kitty. We’ve introduced her to the other furry children. Our 2 dogs are curious. Our 2 other cats aren’t speaking to me. This, too, shall pass. 😉

Such an amazing weekend!

On Friday, the step-parent adoption was final. My husband adopted my son and the wonderful father/son relationship they’ve had over the years was finally formalized. Our first family photo:

Later that night, my brother-in-law gave us a very special treat! Journey was in concert!!! Opening for them? Loverboy and Pat Benetar! Ok, these are all way before the teenboy’s time, but OMG!!!! But wait, there’s more! VIP Backstage Passes for Journey! Yes, we got to meet Arnel Pineda (and yes, he does sound just like Steve Perry). Pics or it didn’t happen? You got it!

OMG, the concert was incredible! I felt *mumble mumble mumble* years younger as the music took me back to the day. I sang all night! But you know, some things are just passed on from generation to generation. When the band played Faithfully, I looked over at my boy and his girlfriend; there they were… she was swaying back and forth to the music. He was behind her with his arms around her… :: sigh :: they really do grow up too fast.


Saturday morning came way too early. We had to get the teenboy to high school for his orientation. Class schedule, locker assignment and combination obtained. Found out one of us has to be there Monday morning to deal with the name change thing; they were just too busy to do it then (really, at orientation they weren’t prepared for “Oh, we just had an adoption finalized”… I kinda’ expected to have to handle this on Monday).


Saturday night a good friend of mine hosted a get together at her place because there was absolutely no way I could have done anything at my house. I had out of town guests, I’d been losing sleep for a couple of nights leading up to the adoption (don’t ask me why… excitement? who knows??) By the time Saturday night hit I’d been running on an average of about 4 hours sleep for 3 days straight. I have pics, but I haven’t had the energy to download them off my camera yet. I’m still exhausted. 🙂


We were supposed to get together for brunch with the girls today, but by the time this morning rolled around I just couldn’t go anymore. Brunch didn’t happen, which kinda’ disappoints me. I wanted to take my best friend, Lyl, (who just happened to be the attorney who handled the adoption). We’ll have to do Ladies Brunch next time she’s in town.


This leads me to the last little bit of my tale… Lyl’s son had gone to a friend’s house while they were down here this weekend. Evidently, his friend had these two kittens who were in need of a home… The plan was for the two kittens to go home with Lyl and for her to foster them, find them a home, etc… Well… the calico of the litter kinda’ found me while they were here at my house. Missy stayed.

So, yeah… my husband gained a son and I just got a new baby girl! An amazing weekend all around. 🙂

And she gave him a son

October of 2009, Mr. Magick Man asked me to marry him. This wasn’t the first rodeo for either of us; but we both know we did it right this time. We’d been dating a while before I moved in with him, and been living together for almost a year when he asked me. I have one son I brought into this marriage. Mr. Magick man has no children of his own, but he loves my son and treats him like his own. I’ll never forget that weekend after he proposed to me, when he asked me what I thought of him adopting my son.

I was ecstatic!! But this wasn’t just my decision. My son was almost 12 years old at the time. I said we should ask him.

We asked my son, and being the serious boy he is, he said he wanted to think about it. I found out he was really planning a special way to answer Mr. Magick Man. That month, his school was selling “Boo Pops” for Halloween. Students could purchase these and place messages inside. He got one for Mr. Magick Man and all it said was, “Yes.”  That’s my boy. 🙂

With wedding planning, the adoption got put on the back burner. Then things started going downhill at work and I saw the layoff coming. This took longer than we had planned. However… Thanks to my best friend (and attorney), the big day is finally here!!!

Tomorrow morning, we all go to court and finalize the adoption. I’m posting now because tomorrow is going to be a very busy day. By this time tomorrow, my son will have the same last name as the rest of us. Mr. Magick Man will no longer be “step-dad”; he’ll be “dad”. I’ve often wished I met Mr. Magick Man at least 15-20 years ago so we could have maybe had a kid or two… but he’s adopting my kid. We have no complaints here. 🙂

Make it stop.

I contemplated making a blog commentary on MO Senate Nominee (R) Todd Akin yesterday, but I changed my mind. Todd Akin has said some ignorant, horrifying things about rape that no apology can take away. The words reveal a true window into the man’s psyche. That being said, with all social media coverage on this story (my own post, here, included), there are more serious matters to consider. What I’m trying to say is this news item is full of trigger issues for many survivors.

We’ve all had our say and given this poor excuse of a man enough attention. It’s time to think of the the anger, the pain, and potential triggers survivors have to cope with every time they see a headline on rape and how, once again, someone thinks the victim is responsible for any part of what occurs during or after the fact.

The media is doing enough damage. Please, make it stop.

A friend in need

Many of you know Sholo the Nubian (Hilton) from Texas Renaissance Festival, and other renaissance festivals. We’ve seen Sholo at the front gate, throughout the faire, and heard the warrior speak poetic words of war and of love, moving our hearts and our spirits.

Those of us who know Hilton know he’s a kind-hearted, gentle man. He has a great laugh, and this world is a better place with him in it.

Friday of last week, Hilton had a severe asthma attack that shut down his lungs, putting him in the ICU. It was a close call there for a while. The good news is he’s breathing on his own now and he’s out of ICU. He’s been moved to a regular room and, with healing energy and prayers, will hopefully be out of the hospital soon.

This has taken an incredible toll on his family’s finances. Due to health reasons, his wife, Ellen, is unable to work; so their funds are rapidly being depleted while he is in the hospital.

A PayPal account has been setup to take donations for the family, to help offset expenses. If you can, any amount donated would help Hilton and Ellen in their time of need.

Direct Link to Sholo’s Recovery Paypal Account:

All the King’s Horses, and All the King’s Men…

My, what a week it’s been; and it’s only Wednesday. It all started on Sunday night, when the teenboy was doing dishes. I went through the ‘fridge and cleared out the scary things. One of those things was a leftover dish of chicken, too old to eat. Well, unless you’re Vlad the Impaler and you plan on serving it to your dinner guest. But I digress… Part of this baked chicken dish was Black Rice. I’d found it at our local H.E.B. and thought I’d give it a try. It’s really cool, quite delicious, and turns the baked chicken purple. 🙂

Again, I digress. Please forgive me. I’m working on the first cup of coffee.

When used in my baked chicken dish, black rice comes out sticky every time. This is good when serving. Not good for running down the garbage disposal. I know I’ve mentioned this to the teenboy.

I’m working on a business card design for a client, so I’m hyper-focused in Photoshop. In the background, I vaguely hear the noise of the garbage disposal running intermittently; kind of like someone doing short bursts of food. I think nothing of it. Suddenly the teenboy hollers from the kitchen, “Mom! We have a problem!”

I pull my focus away from the lovely design I’ve made and go see what the problem is in the kitchen. Oh, dear… Not only is the kitchen sink backed up, but it seems to have backed up into the dishwasher, too. We had this problem last year, but not so bad as to backup into the dishwasher. The plumber left something rather potent with us that wouldn’t damage the pipes. I try that, knowing it will have to sit overnight.

The next morning, the sink is still clogged. Mr. Magick Man tries the plunger (ewww… I know where that’s been!!! Now I really have to clean the sink!!!) No joy. We really don’t want to call a plumber and bend over for them… again… the last one didn’t even have the decency to wine and dine us first. So, before calling one of the major plumbing companies, I called the guy that came out to fix our washing machine when it broke. He’s a local handyman, has his own business. I know, it’s kinda’ like working with a “shade-tree mechanic” when your car breaks down, but when you find a good one… Anyway, I called Tommy. Turns out he does work on some sink repair issues.

While we’re waiting, there are dirty dishes in my kitchen. I can’t stand it. I put my bikini on, have the boy haul dishes to my bathtub, and I start washing dishes. No pictures were taken (thankfully…). I was done, dried off and changed before Tommy showed up.

Tommy brought an assistant this time. He and his buddy Frankie gave it a try. No joy, but they didn’t charge me for their time, either. While he was here, Tommy called his friend who works on this stuff, and he came over that day. Well, he couldn’t fix it either, but he didn’t charge me for his time. Ok, I figure that’s two service calls I didn’t have to pay for.  This second guy says he has a friend who works for one of the major plumbing companies during the day and during off hours he does his own gig. I should hear something tonight to schedule for Tuesday.  OK…

They leave the sink rigged up so I can do dishes in the kitchen instead of the bathtub. The pipes are disconnected at the bottom and I have a pot of water to catch everything. So I have to watch the water and haul the pot when it gets full.  Oh teenboy!!!

Tuesday rolls around… no call from any plumber last night. So I call the guy who knew the plumber. Got voicemail. I left a message but I don’t want to wait. I’ve had to deal with this since Sunday. I call Tommy. Tommy makes a few calls, then suddenly I get a call from a plumber named Vincent. Vincent can be at my house at my convenience. I told him between noon and one. He shows up at 12:30.

Tommy (the first guy I called) called me while Vincent was here, asking if I’d heard from William yet. I said, “No…. but some guy named Vincent called me and he’s here now working on the sink. Does he know William?” Tommy determined Vincent works with a different company but said he’d drop by to check on things. I think he did this to ease my concerns. Really nice guy. Tommy did do just that, within 10 minutes of the phone call.


He does his best, but he can’t fix it either. He may have been the apprentice because another plumber came in behind him who seemed to supervise his work and this guy couldn’t fix it. He left Vincent to pack up and went to the next job. I asked Vincent how much I owed him for his time. He didn’t know… he said George would be in touch. I don’t think George has my contact information and I didn’t sign anything. OK…. Something tells me I just got another free service call.

At this point I gave up. I called ARS. They came out that night. With heavy machinery, they unblocked whatever was clogging the line and preventing the previous guys from “snaking” the pipe. I don’t know what they did, but $230 later I have a kitchen sink and a dishwasher again.

Oh, and btw, I just got a call from Tommy and Frankie, asking if they ever got my problem taken care of yesterday. Those two may not have been able to solve this particular problem, but they are good at follow-up and other household “fix-it” issues.