Divorce is FINAL!!

divorced

What a fitting word for today’s prompt–final!  Many of you have been along the journey with me as I obtain my uncontested divorce.  Who would have thought an UNCONTESTED divorce would take so long?!?!  There were many hold-ups all along the way, but I was able to learn quite a bit through it all.  At one point I even researched the credits I would need to become a lawyer.

One major hurdle was the process the Monroe County Supreme Court has in place for people submitting paperwork to obtain a divorce.  Ed Gangarosa was assigned the responsibility to review my paperwork prior to it being sent on to the judge and he caused frustration, confusion, and unnecessary obstacles.  I actually never received a letter stating my paperwork had been signed off and ready for me to be picked up, which is a complaint many have about him.  After being contacted by someone stating that they did not receive notification that their paperwork was ready I decided to give them a call and ask for a status update on mine.  I was told my paperwork had been sitting there for weeks waiting for me to pick it up.  They insisted Gangarosa sent a letter, but I’ve been stalking out my mailbox and nothing was sent!  I picked it up that day (Monday), and immediately filed it with the County Clerk’s Office–so the divorce is FINAL!  I can’t even put the feeling into words, but the sense of peace that overcomes you as you sing a favorite church hymn is the closest I can come to attempting to describe it.

I did take the time to write up a detailed letter of complaint to Gangarosa’s supervisor stating how difficult he made the process and how I was trying to remove myself from an abusive situation, but he made it even more difficult.  I’m confident that if they conduct an investigation into his communication with people they will find that he needs to go!  People of Monroe County deserve someone who will take that responsibility seriously!

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Happily divorced and ready for what God has planned next.

 

Some previous posts about my divorce:

Rebuild:  Divorcing a Pedophile

Blood, Sweat, and Tears

A Somber Week, Still I Shine

Endless Possibilities

Trusting HIS Timing

Another Step Forward

 

Crystal

via Daily Prompt: Final

 

Wanderlust-Spring Break in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

wanderlustI have not been one to follow the crowd down to Myrtle Beach for Spring Break until this year.  My son’s friend’s family invited him on vacation with them (also to Myrtle Beach), so it was my youngest daughter, boyfriend, and me.  This wasn’t one of those vacations that was all planned out months in advance, but all went smooth.  As I’m a teacher I receive breaks throughout the school year and need to start taking advantage of the opportunity to travel more.

We looked around at options and Myrtle Beach was close enough to drive, affordable, and the weather would provide us with plenty of vitamin d and sea that we have been quite deficient in.  We decided that we wanted to find a resort with a lake-front view, be close to the boardwalk (but far enough away from the noise), and we wanted a resort that included breakfast.  We found all of that and had a wonderful time!  We decided to drive an additional two hours for one of the days to spend time touring Charleston which was another pleasant adventure!

Myrtle Beach is a 13 hour drive from Rochester, New York…we stocked up on snacks and drinks and left when the school bell rang!

Top 10 Favs:

  1. Sunrise:  Every morning we set the alarm, so we could watch the sunrise…this was probably one of my most favorite moments on our trip!  Each morning the glow was different, yet still mesmerizing.

     

  2. Pleasant surprises…jellyfish, seashells, and shark teeth…Ohh…my!  Walking the shoreline we stumbled on a variety of washed up treasures.

     

  3. Food, food, and more food (more food pics coming…my phone broke and all the food pics are on it)

     

  4. Brookgreen Gardens (Former Rice Plantation)  I teach African American Literature, so touring a former plantation was something that was on my “must do” list.  We learned quite a bit about rice plantations as this was an area I didn’t know much about.  I’m still struggling with some emotions and thoughts from our tour.

     

  5. Charleston & Magnolia Plantation  Another former rice plantation we toured…there really are no words I can type to properly describe my experience…

     

  6. Animals/Wildlife  No matter where we are, when we see animals we are interested…isn’t everyone?  We saw a bird fight on one of the plantations, which ironically one was white and the other was black…just after they fought a peacock opened up to show its beauty off.  Whether it was an otter scratching its back, a fox in a tree, an alligator sneaking up on us, or a snake crossing our path we were in awe!

     

  7. Boogie Boarding  I prefer to lay on the beach and soak up the rays and dip in once in a while, but Craig and McKinley are like fish when it comes to swimming.  They were in the water for hours boogie boarding and I enjoyed capturing them riding the waves.

     

  8. Boardwalk  Such fun we had on the boardwalk!  Shopping, eating, shopping, snapping pictures, talking to people, the Sky Wheel, and the arcade!  Tip:  Even if the morning starts out chilly, don’t wear pants to the boardwalk…it will warm up.

     

  9. Arcade:  I’m not one to play arcade games, but Craig and McKinley had a ball…they hit the jackpot a few times and tickets were everywhere!

     

  10. Ocean Being mesmerized by the beauty of the ocean or just listening to it while in bed was one of the best parts of the trip!  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

I thought this vacation would satisfy my wanderlust cravings, but they have intensified!  Suggestions where I should travel next?

For more photos follow me on Instagram!

Crystal

Wanderlust

Trusting HIS Timing

My vision for this post was to announce that my divorce is final, but unfortunately that is not the case.  I was sent a letter from Edward Gangarosa who is assigned by the court to review the documents before being sent on to the judge.  He wrote in the letter that I needed to file two more papers and then resubmit them.  That sounds easy—although I was annoyed I figured it doesn’t take that much time and went to pick them up to file them.

When I picked them up there was a blank form, paper-clipped to the form I already completed.  I was confused and asked the employees in the Supreme Court office if they knew what he meant by doing this (as this is not mentioned in this letter), and they were also confused.  I decided to call Gangarosa for clarification to avoid any additional hold up.  Well he said I needed to redo the form because the one I submitted was an old form that has been revised—ok, so why didn’t he say anything months ago?  This paper has been completed since September and he is just now requiring this?  He also seemed incredibly bothered that I am not seeking maintenance in the divorce.  I told him that I’m sure he is used to women wanting every last dime from their ex, but I have everything already—everything I’ve worked for and care about.  I’m no ordinary woman!  I have zero desire for my ex’s retirement and want to just move on with my life.  I was crying out of frustration and told him that I will resubmit this form (which also requires me to send it to the prison to be signed by my ex and notarized), but after this if he continues to pull this I will be writing a formal complaint.  I really don’t like to pull that card, but I have had enough!

I’ve spoke to several people already who have shared similar stories and I will not allow him to abuse his position and prevent me from obtaining this divorce.  I was also informed that I should write a letter to the attorney general, which I am considering.  There is even a complaint online about him that is similar to my experience.

I wouldn’t mind if this was one time, but every time I submit the paperwork he writes me a letter of corrections that need to be made and when everything is fixed he finds something else.  He has even stated that I did not include documents that were clearly there.  Not to mention he is a lawyer, but has many grammatical and spelling errors in his letters.

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The paperwork is sitting here on my table ready to be sent to the prison…God willing this will be the last paper I’m asked to re-submit.

I have been living my life mindful not to be negative and part of me struggles to understand why God is prolonging this—I do know I am where He wants me, and He is working things out even if I can’t see it.

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Crystal

 

Along The Road Taken…

Whoa!  Sixteen days since my last post…I am slacking!  I was doing well with my posts and then my computer just. stopped. working.  I thought it just needed a new battery, but nope it was dead.  RIP Asus!  Unfortunately I did not have an external hard drive to back up all of my work and pictures…lesson learned!  The positive is that I can still retrieve my data off of the laptop, but the past couple weeks have been difficult without my files, photos or the use of my laptop.

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Then…a surprise came my way.

My thoughtful boyfriend knows how much I use my laptop and ran around on his day off to find the perfect one for me…this was definitely a surprise!  He has not been able to surprise me at all, but this time he did!  Never imagined he would buy me a laptop!  To top it off he gave me a pair of wireless earbuds because I made a comment how they would be nice to use while working out.  I’m one lucky lady!!

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Divorce:  On another note…I received the paperwork back stating my ex was served, BUT they left out the one important detail…they never wrote on it that the “amended complaint” was served.  Incredibly frustrating because I called the prison ahead of time to make sure they wrote it on there and put a note in with the document when I sent it.  Not to mention this is the third time I sent the paperwork to be served!  Holy frustrating!  I called this morning to see if they can simply resend the document and write “amended complaint” on it, and they are going to call me back.  They have one more hour, and then I’m going to call them back. *insert hour time laps here*  I called and they said they were still looking for the file and will call me back.  *insert another time laps here*  They called me back and asked that I resend the paper…they do not have internet access to print another form out.  I’m remaining calm and friendly on the phone through all of this because I know it isn’t their fault, but they don’t know how all of these little mistakes have added up to prolong this divorce! *insert yet another time laps here*  Paperwork was filed and submitted to the court on Friday.  Now I’m hoping Gangarosa doesn’t find another list of things he wants done before moving forward…this should not be that difficult!  Now I’ll be stalking the mailbox as I wait!

I do believe this is the last time I will have to submit them…as I left the court building…a building I have spent way too much time in, I looked out and took in the view and began to tear up.  Along the road I’ve taken I noticed something for the first time…a bridge…why it brought me such peace I’m not sure.  It isn’t a newly built bridge, but I’ve never really noticed that you could see it from the court building until that day.  Earlier in the week I had been on a walk where I took photos of it.

Did I mention it’s the Frederick Douglass-Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge–ahhh…the symbolism!

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Since it has been sixteen days since my last post I’ll leave you with sixteen pictures…

 

*hugs*

Crystal

 

 

 

 

Another Step Forward

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Divorce: I’m beyond excited to announce that I received a the final paper back in the mail Friday that I needed signed to move forward with the divorce.  I have one more step and then I can re-submit them to the court which will most likely be in the next week or two if all goes according to plan.  I found out the mail accidentally sent the envelope to another address which happens quite frequently for some reason, and then it was returned and took much longer than it should to arrive.  I’m just thankful I finally received it!  Positive start to my weekend for sure!

Love: I came home from work on Friday to find a thoughtful surprise from my boyfriend.  He has been working a lot of overtime lately, so we haven’t had much time to spend together–he crafted a delicious healthy dinner and planned out a Saturday date day.  He knows how much I’ve been stressing as I wait for the paperwork.  This was much needed for us!

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Fitness:  I’ve been consistent with my workouts, routine, and eating healthy.  I haven’t ventured out to try new machines like I’ve wanted, but I will.  I did reach out to a couple people for some advice and one will be helping me out this week.  I am feeling and seeing the results which motivates me even more.  Next step…add some weights to the mix!

Rochester Public Market:  Saturday morning haul…only spent $23 in produce and $10 on the roasted nuts!  Who said eating healthy is expensive?!?!

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Fun:  Made a visit to Rick’s Recycled Books to add to my already lofty stack of books begging to be read.  Highlight was Craig finding one he liked that happened to be autographed!

 

We drove to Mendon Ponds Park to take some wintery shots.  I wanted to stay out longer, but I wasn’t quite layered up enough to keep warm.  I did stay long enough to stumble on quite a bit of these little ones…moments like this is pure happiness!

As Sunday night comes to an end I’m finishing up the last half of the Super Bowl…and the commercials of course.

Ready for another fabulous week to begin tomorrow!

*hugs*

Crystal

 

Weekly Fav: Rick’s Recycled Books

My weekly favorite is a small hidden gem here in Rochester, New York…Rick’s Recycled Books.  I have been going to this bookstore for years and always walk out with a stack even though I have several unread ones at home!  Bookstores are my weakness…especially used bookstores.

I have to admit my boyfriend planned our weekend and surprised me with a visit to Rick’s…yes, he is pretty amazing!  This isn’t a place to sit on your laptop and sip your coffee, but it is a lovely hole in the wall, bursting with an assortment of books begging to be chosen.  Most are $1-$4 and even though it looks like chaos he has a method to the madness.  I think of it as the House of Guitars for books.

On this trip my boyfriend was able to find a couple books he wanted to read, and then realized one is autographed!

 

If you are looking for something to do make a stop at this lovely treasure on Monroe Ave.

Rick’s Recycled Books

737 Monroe Avenue

Rochester, New York  14607

Share in a comment:  What is the last book you read?  What are you currently reading?

Crystal

Reading well is one of the great pleasures that solitude can afford you. ~Harold Bloom

Holidays at the Rochester Public Market

One of my favorite places is the Rochester Public Market!  It is a unique place where you feel as if you stepped into another world.  I always find something new to experience when I’m there.  I avoid crowds like I avoid opening my son’s lacrosse bag after a weekend long tournament, but the market crowd is pleasant…does that make sense?!?  It has been exposure therapy for me and I have never had a negative encounter from the crowds of people who flock to the market.  It can be a bit challenging when taking pictures, but that should be expected.

The market has become a place my boyfriend and I visit early Saturday mornings even if we don’t need anything in particular—we just enjoy the atmosphere and energy there. (I wish I could insert a smell of the market here…it’s simply amazing)

This Sunday was the first of Holidays at the Market which includes vendors with holiday gift items, wreaths, trees, art, clothing, stocking stuffers, specialty treats, and tons more!  On our stroll through I snagged a few photos of our top 10 favorite finds.

 

  1. Pierogies:  This is always a must stop when I visit the market…I looovee pierogies and they make the best!
  2. The Florida Nut House: You will smell the amazingness of this place before you see it.  Not only are the nuts delicious, but the people are friendly and make you want to come back!  You will hear some hilarious nut jokes while you’re there, so bring one to share (a joke that is)!  My favs are the cinnamon pecan and cinnamon almond!
  3. Juan and Maria’s Empanadas:  They have the best empanadas…if you have never had one you must try them! 47
  4. Treemendousness:  There are trees everywhere and the prices are lower than I have seen anywhere!  The pine scent wafted throughout the market as we walked…we loved this! (We cut our tree down last week otherwise we would have bought one…maybe next year)

     

  5. Wreaths, wreaths, and more wreaths:
  6. Dog Treats:  A variety of vendors offered items for pets.  This is one I thought was super adorable!17
  7. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables:  On Thursday and Saturday mornings the market is filled with vendors selling everything from fruits, vegetables, herbs, meats, fish/seafood, breads, condiments, and an assortment of other products.  We love buying our produce, cheeses, meats, and fish from the markets rather than the grocery store—so much more fresh and you can ask them questions about how to prepare, cook, and store your items.  The prices are much lower than the grocery store as well.  I’m always shocked at the amount I’m able to buy.

     

  8. Handmade items, crafts, gifts, and trinkets:  You will be able to find a perfect item for that person on your list who has everything or who is a difficult one to buy for.  Perfect place to find that white elephant gift or Secret Santa gift!  Everything from products made with essential oils, soaps, handmade furniture, wine, honey, bird houses, wind chimes, stocking stuffers, and tons more!

     

  9. Baked Goods:  If you enjoy breads, cookies, donuts, pastries, and other treats you will find a huge selection!
  10. FREE Carriage Rides with Santa:  Super cute watching the horse-drawn carriage pull children as Santa tells them to make sure they are cleaning up their toys!18

 

Tips:  Bring cash (small bills), bring your own bags or a cart/wagon (even if you don’t plan to use the wagon you can keep it in your car and use it to transport large items), leave large purses at home, there are bathrooms in the office if needed along with an ATM and pay phone

Holidays at the Market are Sundays throughout December:  4th, 11th, and 18th from 9am-3pm

The market hosts additional themed days throughout the year such as Flower City Days, Garage Sale Days, Food Truck Rodeo, Bands on the Bricks, and more.

Click here for more information on the Rochester Public Market.

Have you been to the Rochester Public Market?  What is your favorite part of going?  Do you have a market in your area?  Share your thoughts!

Crystal