Sammy on the trails

Another week passes and another week’s worth of challenges were met and survived.  First of all, I receive the very unwelcome news that my hours are being significantly cut.   My boss assures me that she’ll send more work my way as soon as she can, but warns that it won’t be until after the new year, at soonest.   Luckily, I still have the second part-time job, but it’s still a blow.

Then, my dog Sammy has a abscess burst on his cheek and that brings about more stress and a few sleepless nights.  I have no money to take him to the Vet’s, but the good news is that he’d just started a 4 week course of antibiotics  because Lyme disease had been detected in his system (he was asymptomatic) and the antibiotics promptly clears-up the infection and he seems fine.  He has a large bald spot on his cheek, but hopefully, he’ll have plenty of fur on his face again soon, without having to apply to Hair Club for Dogs.

And, there’s the T-Mobile drama.  I’ve had trouble with them since we started service with them, but it wasn’t a huge issue as long as we had a land line.  I couldn’t afford to keep the land line, so I had it shut off and unfortunately, my cell phone reception got even worse.  Not only was it bad, at least 50% of the time, it was non-existent.  My phone just had the message “No Network”.  So, after many phone calls to T-Mobile, I finally asked what it would take to break the contract.  The first person said $150 dollars.  When I called back with more questions, the next person said $200.00.  I didn’t really have $200 to spare to have the phone service canceled, but I also couldn’t afford to keep such poor phone service; especially with a psycho-ex husband who had a history of violating our restraining order.   So, when I finally decided to just pay the piper and shut it off, I am now told that it will cost $400.  I was stunned, flabbergasted, appalled…. and more!   I explained the whole situation and was shrugged off; I asked to speak to a manager, who could have cared less about my service issues or personal problems.  I finally wrote an email to their head of customer service, but I haven’t heard back.  I guess my next step is to contact the Better Business Bureau.  AAAAARGH!

To finish off the week, my little Ford Ranger breaks down.  Fortunately, I was going to meet my brother at a local sportsman’s club where I used to be a member, but when I arrive there, steam suddenly pours out from under the hood of my truck.  We determine where the leak is coming from and my brother tapes it up for me, with some electrical tape I have on the glove box.  But, the tape isn’t a water-tight seal and the broken part (a 4-way heater valve, by my on-line research….  I used to manage a marine parts department for 3 years, so I’m used to looking for parts) still needs to be replaced, so my truck is down for the count until I can find a new valve somewhere.  Thankfully, my brother is off work this week and he will take me to pick up the part and make sure I’ve put it in correctly, so I will be able to look forward to having my little Ranger on the road again, soon!

To add to the fun, my ex-husband has been sending less-than-pleasant emails (again) lately.  He’s still mad about the pistol that he bought in Florida, but is not allowed to carry in Massachusetts, since he didn’t bother to get a Massachusetts firearms license (or even a driver’s license, for that matter) and because the restraining order doesn’t allow him to have any firearms, anyways.   In his mind, this is all my fault.  He’s also mad that I’ve resumed my maiden name.  He doesn’t understand why it’s allowed.  He’s in a dither about his health care insurance, which he says I should just cancel (wish I could) but I’m legally required to keep up until our divorce in final in December.  He’s supposed to reimburse me for the expense, seeing as he makes three times as much as I do, but he doesn’t make any effort to stay current in those payments.  Once a month I remind him how much he owes but he never addresses the fact that he is behind; he just harps on either the pistol, my name change or whatever comes to his worm-ridden head.  I still have nightmares about him almost every night; last evening I dreamed that he had killed several people and was trying to kill me by trying to trick me into drinking poison.   After what seemed like hours of trying to avoid hidden poisons, he gave up on it and finally came at me with a knife, saying he’d kill me, anyways.  In this dream, I suddenly had a 12 gauge double-barrel shotgun appear in my hands and emptied both barrels at almost point-blank range, wounding him, but he just laughed at me.  Then, an old friend came to the rescue and finished him off with a large caliber handgun, but I woke up shaken.   It is really tiresome to have to endure these nightly mis-adventures and narrow escapes.   I can only hope that he moves away as he claims he plans to do, so that at least I don’t have the daily visual reminders of him working across the street and his pile of sand that he left in the middle of our hiking path can be cleared away without the certainty of him dumping more dirt there, again.

Mount Lorne

But, the rest of our woodland hiking is a trip into an autumn wonderland.  The leaves are beginning to take on their scarlet or golden fall hues, the wild grapes are a vibrant deep purple, and the skies and the waters of the ponds are a lovely shade of azure.   Most of the wild flowers have passed on, but there are still plenty of golden rods and asters.  We see ducks and geese daily, making the long migration to their  southern homes where they can wait out the ice and snow of New England winters in comfort.  The weather has been spectacular, almost summer-like, with only one night down into the mid-30’s so far, but I know it can’t last.  I try to make the most of these beautiful, sunny days; hiking, walking, getting my outdoor chores done and of course, hanging out wet laundry, even if the days are too short and the sun too weak to dry it completely, at least it cuts down on the dryer time.  I’m grateful for anything that helps to keep my household expenses down, these days.

Despite a tough week, I’m just trying to keep looking forward and staying focused on my goals.  I have faith that I’ll get there eventually!