I'm trying to walk the walk, but my knees are killing me.

I go to bed each night hoping for a visit. Each morning I open my eyes and reach into my heart to see if perhaps they came.

But they been unusually quiet as of late, and I am trying to see that as a good sign.

This path I am walking has continued to be a rocky one. It's like being in a dark, scary forest. I navigate as best I can, all the while dodging a different challenge that blocks my path. I remind myself that nothing in life is easy, and that the journey itself is what life is all about.

However, I could without some of the obstacles. And frankly, it would be easier if these obstacles didn't cost so much *$&#% money. (Hey all you crazy people in Washington, D.C. - can you think about the people you serve for ONE MINUTE? And I mean the little people, not those rich ones who take you to lunch.)

I've decided it's time to count my blessings. My kids are on the top of the list- but then some of these blessings include "things I've learned" throughout this process.

I've learned that every woman living on her own needs her own tool box. Be sure it includes all variations of screwdrivers (and I include the one that involves orange juice); a wrench; a hammer; a mini-flashlight; and various washers.

I've learned that a brand new toilet is only $60.00. And if you have an incredible brother who knows how install one, you are golden.

I"ve learned that you need to keep a stash of light bulbs, Drano, gas for your mower and lots of garbage bags.

I've learned that the only real way to rid your house of millipedes involves a call to a local exterminator and about $130.00. (THAT was money well-spent.) I've also learned that about a billion dead millipedes smell just like skunk.

I've learned how to turn off the water for the whole house and how to re-set the fuses in the fuse box.

I've learned that if you run your air conditioners for a thousand humid days, they will freeze up and leak all over your hard wood floors. (Nice touch, Mother Nature. Nice touch.)

I've learned how to put salt into the water softener, and how to determine how much oil is in the oil tank I've also determined that my hot water tank is electric-and will be conducting a crazy experiment to see how long I can actually go without ordering the oil that is apparently loaded with specks of gold. (I'm stocking up on wood and big wooly sweaters.)

But in the end I've learned far more.

I've learned that your friends will wrap you in love and comfort. Reach out to them and they will lift you up.

I've learned that self-respect and loving who you are is priceless.

And while last but certainly not least, integrity is something we teach our children through our actions. And I am so proud that I have chosen to act.


Mel said...

What a great learning legacy to leave your kids.

Chelle said...

You are my hero. Seriously, I have a hard time opening my own bottle of wine; fuses and the like would be my undoing.

JoAnna said...

You absolutely also need to add a cordless drill to that list. Upon graduating from college, I bought myself one and I cannot tell you the endless amount of things I have done with that baby from putting in some screws to drilling holes in planters to building floats for a parade. Money definitely well spent. And men quiver a little when they see me whip that bad boy out.

booksandcandy said...

Sept 3,2008 the "nice" doc told me she was sorry and there wasn't a heartbeat that I lost my baby. Mach 21 2009 the day before the EDD. I had a dream of a little girl waving to me. I am still waiting for the apperance of the baby I lost in April. Love those dreams <3 peace and love


Brian Miller said...

and we love you too...a million dead millpede does not sound lie a good way to freshen the air...glad you are learning things along the way...all prep for thenext step of the journey....smiles.

Hope said...

what a lovely post.

Zephyr said...

There is a huge amount of satisfaction and power in KNOWING that you can make it on your own when you have to... and in knowing that you have friends who don't mind helping you out so you're not always on your own.

Mimi Lenox said...

Lord Deb, we have to catch up.

Kimberly at Rubber Chicken Madness said...

Oh, so true about single woman homeownership!

And more importantly, true about the most important blessings in our lives. Kids, friends, self-resepct, love. And orange juice/vodka screwdrivers.

Vodka Logic said...

sounds like, even though it is hard, you are learning valuable lessons that many of us never learn.

Stay strong and continue to set the great example you are setting. xx

Leslie said...

I think heating oil prices rise in winter...you might not want to wait for desperate.

Trooper Thorn said...

Sounds like a great education. I learned more in marriage thought, like towels need to be washed. Who knew? I always figured you were clean when you used them.

Karen Harrington said...

Through the challenges, you sound strong and inspiring. Keep going! I admire you. :)

Mr. Halpern said...

You are the wind beneath my wings... I know that song is corny as all hell, but you're a hero. Stop what you're doing right now (reading your blog), stand up, walk over to the closest mirror and take a long hard look at yourself. You ROCK.

Gigi said...

You aren't kidding about the oil having flecks of gold in them! Jeez. What we've been trying to (harder since the "situation") is order every few months, to "top" it off just to stave of the cost of a total re-fill!

And thanks SO much for this..."I've learned that your friends will wrap you in love and comfort. Reach out to them and they will lift you up."

I've been avoiding mine - not wanting to bring them down. But you've reminded me why I have my friends - to lift me and my spirits.

SkylersDad said...

I am with Trooper, I learned many new, but different things when I got married.

Things like:
Women get out of the shower to pee. Who knew?

The oven has a self cleaning cycle, that when activated for the first time in 5 plus years will burn like a son-of-a-bitch just before popping the breaker.

Lynn MacDonald said...

My dad gave me a tool box when I went to college. Learning to be self sufficient isn't easy but it's worth it. I'm so, so proud of your journey.

You know that of course.

Scope said...

I'm hoping your days get better.

And your nights EVER BETTER! ;-)

Maggie May said...

What a freaking awesome list. I can't believe a toilet is only 60$!

You are awesome.

♥ Braja said...

HEY!!!! I've been in that house!!!!


Kyddryn said...

Also handy in the tool box? Needle-nose and channel lock pliers, a set of socket wrenches, a drill, a set of allen wrenches, duct tape (this stuff is so useful, it should be sainted or something!), a bit of sand paper, a multi-tool, a ball of kitchen string, a level, some kind of super glue, and some safety pins.

I don't know anyone who can replace a toilet, but I have a friend who can do wiring, which is really very useful, too.

Sometimes walking the walk feels more like crawling the crawl...keep at it, sugar, we're rootin' for ya.

Shade and Sweetwater,

Judy said...

So True, so true! Are you in my head? Your take on life is both amazing and refreshing. You have quite a gift with words. I am married and still need my own tool box. Took some time to keep hubby from stealing my goodies. He laughed at me for having one, but now he uses it more than I do! When I grow up I wanna be just like you... ;)

Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

So very proud of you!

Ice Queen said...

I learned to have a toolbox while in college. I was too poor to buy my own so I just grabbed the roommate's tools on the way back to my home state.

(Yes, THAT roommate. I deserve his tools!)

Joanna Jenkins said...

High Five Vodka Mom-- You're doing a great job.
xo jj

Cora said...

I always love your categories. "Yard sale paid for the toilet" made me snort out loud.