Great news, yesterday was a banner day and now I feel silly for worrying about it as much as I did. My aunt got a late start so we had a light lunch when she arrived. I thought the girls would help us, but it was just the two of us out in my front yard for the majority of the time. She picked up some plants for my pots and I wasn't sure how they would work, but we put the red plants in the blue pot and the orange and yellow marigolds into the green pot and left the dark purple sweet potato vine in a smaller green pot by intself. She had brought her gardening tools, I turned over the soil near my hostas and about twenty minutes into it I was ready to give up, thinking that we would never get my yard looking the way that I wanted it to be. Fortunately for me, my aunt, all of my aunts really, are made of sterner stuff than I am so my aunt kept weeding and trimming while I went inside to get a drink. I had told her that I needed to stay out of the sun, but I ended up getting scorched anyways so today I am sore in many places both inside, and out. We got the kids out for a few minutes, we were playing with my exercise ball and my daughter told me that I was never any fun which hurt my feelings, but is probably not far from the truth as far as she's concerned. I wanted to shoot back a comment about having more time for fun if I would get some help with the work, but decided to save that for another time.

I went to bed on time after taking my youngest daughter to the dollar store last night since that was as much of a treat as I could afford. My oldest is spending the night with my sister and my niece. My youngest and I looked at each other and started jumping up and down we were so happy to be alone. She sat in the front seat which is something she almost never gets to do as her sister sits there and one thing I didn't intend to do as a parent was introduce my kids to a wide variety of music, but I change the station a lot so they know some of the lyrics to a lot of songs that were popular before their time. I try to let them listen to music they like to on occasion since that wasn't permitted when I was a kid, but it was fun hearing her sweet voice sing along to Dude Looks Like a Lady and Billy Idol. I bought her a new lip moisturizer which is the last thing that she needs, but it was the mini one that she's been trying to collect and it was only a dollar. I bought some denture cleansing tabs for my mouthguard, it really needs to be replaced so I'm going to have to start saving up for that, but apart from the gas out there, a two dollar and ten cent night out made both of us feel like we were bonding with the other person. I need to buy gas, I'm trying to figure out if it's better to put a specific dollar amount in and tell myself that's what I have for the week, or to fill it up and see how far I can get on a full tank. 

My sister is getting a German student to stay at her house for two months. It's funny how people will work so hard to get what they want and not expend a lot of effort in other things. I'm the same way, it was just interesting to observe in her. She was late again, I had told my aunt she probably wouldn't be on time, and it's not like we were doing anything that was very time sensitive, but it's annoying that she's chronically late. I was late to meet my youngest sister last night so that's on me. My aunt took us out to eat and we left the restaurant on time only to get distracted by talking in the parking lot. I felt really bad since my youngest sister had rushed out here which she wouldn't have done had she known she had more time. Today I'm speaking with a radio guy about my footwear interests, after that I'm going to meet with my pastor. I need to start riding my bike more. I could take it to church, but my neck and arms and shoulders are so sunburned I'm reluctant to expose them more. I didn't drink enough water yesterday, my throat was so dry I kept having to run in and guzzle more water. We have a good sized yard so we didn't make as much progress as we would have liked, but the difference is dramatic from the front. My aunt scrubbed some chairs my neighbor gave us, I swept the back patio and we spent a very pleasant afternoon sitting outside and talking.

My aunt told me that she had spent about twenty dollars on the plants she had brought. A friend of hers had given her some irises so we planted those next to a downspout near the front of my porch. Years ago my neighbor across the street came over and helepd put in some flowers. She's gone now, but the irises by my address sign the town makes us have are in bloom and the lilies by my lamp post are tall and green. The hostas she gave me are a luxurious cool blue green, I need another one, but my aunt thinks we can divide the ones I have and transplant them. I have two smaller hostas of a different variety, but they haven't done as well for some reason. I was really mad when we first started gardening and weeding. My sister and aunt asked where all of his money had gone and the truth is I have no idea. He gets whatever he gets, he gives me a certain amount and I don't know what happens to the rest. It really says something about his character that he doesn't share the money and lets the house go when it needs some fairly major repairs and things like landscaping. The splashes of color my aunt and neighbor gave me are all the plants I have outside and I fumed as I thought about how he always told me we didn't have money to make the yard look better. Weeding is free and I should have been better about doing that and going out and buying myself some plants since they make my life brighter and more cheerful. 

He came over while my sister and aunt were there. We invited him out to eat, he said he would go and then told us that he was going to go back to the condo to get some work done. That is so typical of him. I'm sure he does want to get work done, but you can't tell me that's the only reason he wanted to get out of there. He could have taken the girls, sat with us while we ate, or picked them up after supper, but he didn't so I had them for the entire day and most of the night. I think he was here for a grand total of twenty minutes and he spent more time with my nieces and talking to us than he did to Jill and Jane. People in my family love and care about him, but they are really not happy with the way that he's behaving and it really helped to hear that. I talked my sister about it in the parking lot after suppoer. She and her husband had discussed the divorce and some of their own problems. Now that I have more clarity I can see how completely dysfunctional some relationships are. I haven't felt married for years so the actual legal part is not hard for me to deal with. They asked if I was jealous or hurt or wanted him back. I laughed when they asked if he would come to me and tell me he was sorry and he was going to change his ways if I would take him back. I am so done living with someone who is that selfish and such an ass.

My aunt said that she could tell that I've been working hard to keep the house cleaner and neater. We talked about the paperwork she has to do and other things in her life that are overwhelming her. Tackling big projects really does build self esteem. I can do a lot of the things I didn't think that I could and now I can see how he subtly tore me down by implying that I couldn't. Of course I can plant flowers as long as we have flowers to plant. He didn't give me permission to spend money on plants and I was too naive and stupid to realize that he was trying to control and subdue me by mowing over my raspberry canes and garden. His priorities are his problem from now on, a lot of the things I used to stess about are losing their stranglehold on me. I'll probably always worry about money to some extent, but I have six more years until my youngest turns 18 and I'm setting my sights on what my life is going to be like then as far as my longer term strategies go. High on my list is moving somewhere warmer, maybe Florida or Texas although Florida appeals more to me right now. There are things I like about Wisconsin, but the winters are really hard on me. I may no longer want to leave when Jane graduates from high school, but for right now, I have that as a goal in the back of my mind. 

I could write more, but I need to start getting ready for the day. It's still pretty cool this morning. I wnat to take a short walk before it heats up too much and I have that phone interview at nine. I got a text message from my personal trainer yesterday. I'll have to give her up eventually, I took a break for a while, but I've already paid for most of this session so I'm going to just enjoy the remainder of the times I have available. She's going to be another thing I'm working toward. I've been thinking about what kind of a job I could get, my sister was part of a project from hell that went so well they want her and her group to do it again. She's so good at what she does, I'm glad she has a good job, but I wish she had something that was more fulfilling and brought her greater joy. My next oldest sister has lost a lot of weight, we're doing things and I'm proud of us for not getting stuck in ruts we could have. We have had to overcome a lot and today I'm happy I have the family that I do. I couldn't ask for greater blessings than the children and siblings that I do and I'm hanging onto that realization today, tomorrow, and going forward. 

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