Welp it's happening. I'm turning 22 on Wednesday and as far as I'm concerned the only age related perk I have left to look forward to is renting a car without an underage fee attached at 25; it's pretty much all downhill from here. Other than that I've been in a fairly good mood lately. I completed training for China just a couple of days ago (most. boring. training. ever. seriously, my training to work at WALMART was more fun that anything I learned about teaching these kids but I digress) and now I'm more stoked and scare-cited than ever before! I recently received an additional $70 to my donation pool which knocks me down to only $1680 left to come up with. Slowly but surely (with my fingers TIGHTLY crossed) I'm knocking this fee out. I've jumped through literally ever other hoop they've thrown at me and this is the only thing left standing in my way (other than procuring teacher appropriate attire. Who says they won't learn English just as well if I'm wearing my MSI shirt and not a polo? Apparently the Chinese school, pishhh).
In other nice news, I planted a crop of organic seeds last monday and they are starting to come in wonderfully. My broccoli and lettuce are the CHAMPS MAN! I'm terribly excited. Nothing like cooking with shit from your own garden. Plus I may finally be next to learn the age old art of canning from my great grandma (as I am a disappointment to my ancestors and am the oldest female child who has yet to learn this apparently). Nothing sounds better than spending an afternoon in a 1000 degree kitchen pulling 120000 degree mason jars out of a pot of boiling water and steam. Yep. I'll sally forth with a smile on my face and a mild humming in my heart as long as it means I never have to spend money on canned tomatoes or salsa again.
I've also been bumming around
's sweet new house and yelling at things that should not but are buried in her garden plot. Really I like that house a lot. It makes me want to kick it in the ass and get this adulting thing down so I can have my own little place (invaded by Box Elder Bugs or not) to do with what I please. Preferably in my favorite desert. But I'll settle for pretty much anywhere at this point (except for Pleasant Grove. Fuck that place).
I've decided to open up $10.00 commissions to help with my program fee if you're interested. Just let me know! My schedule is wide open as my other commissioners have decided not to actually pay for their commission (anyone else get tired of hearing "but you're my friend"? I certainly am.) Seriously, anything that floats your boat, NSFW or not I'm down.
Now we come to the not so fantastic news.
My Uncle Wayne isn't much longer for this world. He's been battling a seriously aggressive form of mouth cancer (I'm unsure of the clinical name) for the past year or so and had been doing well until his last MRI a week or so ago. They discovered that it had spread to pretty much everywhere in his body and there wasn't anything more they could do for him. He's in his late fifties and wasn't in good health to begin with, honestly it's surprising he's lasted this long at all. His doctor sent him home with some painkillers and recommended that my great grandmother seek out a hospice nurse. I'm not sure of the time frame the doctors gave him, but death is a rather frequent visitor to my family and it's pretty much been an all around agreement between the aunts and the rest of us that he only has a couple of weeks left.
I uh...well I've been taking this fairly well until just this second. Typing all of that out sort of brought it all home to me just now.
He moved into my (great) grandma's house when I was still in elementary school after a pretty nasty divorce. I remember HOW EXCITED I was all day knowing that he was going to be there when I got home. He had previously lived in Idaho so I only got to see him during the holidays mostly. Sure enough when I arrived after practically running the six blocks from school he was in the backyard sunbathing with a book, fried crispy with a terrible sunburn that didn't seem to bother him one bit. He was an excellent pencil artist and had a knack especially for drawing birds of prey and wolves. Just for me though he drew a unicorn that I still have framed on my wall, and a massive piece with a dragon flying around that I still have somewhere around here. The frame broke when I moved unfortunately. Sometimes when I went downstairs to be a pest, he would give me a sheet of his big drawing paper to practice on, and we would spend the whole afternoon drawing together while he watched whatever TV show he had taped from the VCR that week. When my friends and I got into our Lord of the Rings phase, he made me the envy of the neighborhood by building me a wooden replica of Aragorn's sword and the coolest wooden shield that he hand painted my favorite dragon picture onto. He even added old cupboard handles to the back and put a piece of old leather for the strap under each one. Seriously bitchin'. My friends were so jealous, it was awesome. To my 10 year old self it was as if he'd forged an actual sword from the finest materials and fashioned the strongest and most beautiful shield just for me. With the help of my mighty weapons I protected my kingdom viciously from the back of my noble steed (bright green mountain bike) and enforced my rule as the true King. Those presents are still at my mom's house somewhere, and I need to pick them up on my next visit.
I mean sure, every family has their ups and downs. Despite all my uncle's talent and brilliance they were wasted because he is a pretty severe alcoholic. He was never able to successfully hold down a job for more than a couple of weeks because he usually ended showing up drunk. It's caused a lot of friction between him and his sisters, and my mom gets really upset talking about it. I'll admit there have been times, even recently, that I've gotten seriously pissed off because of things he's done or said because of his addiction. But I'm doing my best to remember only the good times...
I worry most of all for my grandma. She's pretty much been Wayne's sole caretaker for the last 15-16 years, but more importantly he's been her main source of constant companionship. We lost my grandpa (and her husband of 62 years) 6 years ago so Wayne's been the only other one in the house. My cousins and aunts and everyone stops by regularly to keep her busy, so it's not like she's going to be -totally- alone, but I worry for when it's 11 at night and no one else is around and she's in that empty house by herself. She's 86 years old and I guess I'm just completely mortified by the thought of her being unhappy or having something happen to her. She's stubborn though and will probably only move if someone physically picks her up and moves her away.
My mom has told me several times not to worry about it, it's not really my problem, and that I should focus on my trip. But how can I when I'm about to lose yet another person I care deeply about?
I guess that's all for now. I've managed to kind of whip myself up into a bit of a mood so I guess I'll end this here...