Things You Didn’t Know You Needed Thursdays

While I’m struggling with mom-guilt about the techniques I used to raise my kids, I kind of wish I had this book.

download

 

There is a handbook, after all. :D

Of course, it can be purchased on Amazon.

This is not a serious book, the author’s intent is humor.

 

 

 

Some of the, “About the Author”, has the following synopsis in the description:

At Knock Knock our sensibility is proudly distinct, in contrast to the overwhelming homogenization and conservatism that characterize committee-created corporate product. We believe that many people are intelligent enough to appreciate wit, wordplay, and conceptual thinking, so we strive not to dumb down as we create.

Humor makes everything better.

Idiosyncrasy, eccentricity, humor, controversy, and opinion are infinitely more interesting than corporate homogenization, committee-decision-making dilution, and widest-possible-audience scheming.

Common sense is uncommon.

Turn signals should be used.

Maybe my mom-guilt is unwarranted. I did the best I knew how. We have some great adult kids, and are very proud of them.

Here is an excerpt from the book.81gczBtjgIL

I could have used a bit more humor while raising our kids. Why did my sense of humor fail me? It helps me to survive most situations–usually after I get mad or frustrated–but I can usually find the funny in any given situation.

Oh yeah, I was raising kids.

They left me brain damaged.

p.s. None of my words are meant to insult the innocent. They’re merely my unique twisted sense of humor.

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People Change, What’s their Motivation?

Change. It’s something we can always expect. What we choose to do with it, or how to deal with change, is up to us.

Our kids grow and change right in front of our eyes. We watch every new achievement, and the pride they have in their accomplishments. Independence and allowing them to think for themselves were important to us. We wanted them to resist peer pressure, and make wise choices. We felt as if they grew up with confidence.

I always told them that the person they fall in love with, will be the person who brings out the best in them.

So far, all is good. The Wee One is a bit young to be contemplating marriage and kids because he is still in college, and jobless. Sensible Girlfriend is not quite as sensible as we originally thought. She talks about their future wedding and children. Um? They are only 20, and while I think they are mature, I don’t think The Wee One is part of this conversation. He sees it in his future. His long-term future. I know, because I asked. :D

We have only met Little Missy’s boyfriend a couple of times. They have been together for years. I’m thinking 4 years? I know he brings the best out in her. She has grown to be a wonderful young woman. She is happy—truly happy.

The first born, The Dooper Doo, I don’t know, and I’m afraid. I don’t see the partner he has chosen bringing out any good in him. In fact, he is almost the opposite of what he was before meeting her.

We were hesitant, but ready when our kids took their first solo drive. We were happy for them when they went on their first date. We had such pride in their accomplishments in high school, and loved the choices they made for furthering their education. We helped them pack and move into their adult homes.

We were ready for these changes. (kind of)

I know I have written about this, but it is one of my daily challenges that really beats on my heart and mind, bringing me to the edge of that pit.

The Dooper Doo has changed. I have finally accepted that I have lost him to what I would call manipulation. We certainly feel manipulated by both of them, but that is our fault. Sometimes, I wish I weren’t so stinkin’ nice, or had a little more Tough Love under my belt.

Amish

ooo! I think I could do more to make this photo better. However, it’s kind of my point. See how the semi-truck is leaning left, while the Amish buggy is leaning right? That’s exactly what I am seeing and feeling at the moment.

If I were to compare and contrast, this photo explains it all for me.

Change is one of the things we can bank on in life. My hope is that change will come again, and I will get my son back. My first born. The one who is so much smarter than I, but thinks like I do. The one who struggles with mental illness, and is intertwined with a person suffering from mental illness—or is extreme manipulation? The latter is what appears to be happening from our viewpoint. Either way, not a great combination to bring the best out in each other.

Hey you! Change!

……………….I’m waiting.

 

 

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From Suburbia to Farm Land

Well, working on a ladder–or maybe it was a step stool, isn’t exactly something I should be doing while trying a new medication. However, I only fell one time. Actually, if the time I landed on the kitchen island counted, that would be two times.

Meh, maybe it’s the stinkin’ bifocals I’m required to wear these days. Or…lack of gracefulness. It has been a curse of mine forever. I move to my own drum beat, and it’s a little off at times. Sadly, I passed this trait on to our daughter.

Anyway, not that I’m thinking we will be able to live in farm country, and never smell the unique odors cows produce, I choose to believe the people who have told me I would get used to it. I had a friend who lived on a farm, we used to go to rodeos together. She would always laugh at me tiptoeing through the horse doo-doo, and told me to just walk through it. Yeah, she was one of the people who told me I would get used to the smell.

While in Missouri, my husband called me to come look at something. He said, “April, we can look out our bedroom window and see cows”.

A photo opportunity! Exciting!6K2A1315

I tried very hard to stand on my toes to avoid getting the barbed wire in the shot, but it wasn’t working. I have yet to force myself to sit long enough to learn about post processing, so I usually get what I get.

Yes…I wanted to get closer. That meant tromping through weeds and tall grass. The part of the side of the road with all kinds of creepy crawlers.

All the cows were staring at me. I felt honored, even though they were probably thinking–look at that stupid human. Yes, in my world, cows think. I hate that they have to have single earrings, and I’m hoping the ear tag replaces burning a brand into their skin.

So—to get closer, I stomped in the grass to scare anything off–such as a snake.

Oh.

I caused a stampede.

Photo opportunity, over.

Now I know.

Cows interpret stomping on the ground a bit differently than a human does. I’m pretty sure a snake feels the same way.

6K2A1319

So I took a photo of a weed. Or is it grass?

Today, I am oh so grateful for a treat of a summer day in the Deep South that is cooler, and the humidity is low. Doesn’t happen very often in July.

Happy happy, joy joy.

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Where Do I Go Now?

Reaching the half-century mark, it’s easy to look back on all the decisions we made that took us in one direction or another.

Most of my adult life, to avoid depression, I had to constantly change things up. Do something new. I would move a lot. Apartment to apartment, state to state (between 2 states). A new pair of shoes always improved my mood–in fact, they still do. I’ve replaced my high heels with cowgirl boots, sandals, and tennis shoes. I couldn’t hide from depression—it was always lurking, waiting to strike me down.

That’s the frustrating part of depression. You can run all you want, deny you have a problem, but you won’t be able to manage depression if you don’t admit to yourself that you need help—and now is the time to address it.

Anyway, that’s a little straying from what I wanted to write about. It’s really about the paths we take. Post child birthing, I chose stability for the healthy growth of my kids. Looking back, I see where I struggled to keep myself together and managed to get out of bed to take care of them. I neglected myself. In my eyes, that was a poor role model, but my kids are great in spite of me—thanks to their dad, and my acting skills.

Some of us have to decide if major moves are right for us. With a partner, there are more people to consider while choosing a new move. It would be pretty selfish to pick up and do your own thing without considering how it affects your family.

There are choices to be made that are beyond our control. My life, especially my mental status, changed after my cancer diagnosis. However, I’m done worrying about it. I will deal with any changes if they happen. Until then, I will live life.

Then—there are the choices you want to make because it will make your partner extremely happy. It actually isn’t a choice, but an act of love—in my opinion.

When my husband and I discussed buying his siblings out from the house his father built, I have to say that I was a bit excited, but very wary. I would have to find a new Primary Torturer, a new Oncologist, Pulmonologist, Lady Parts Torturer—and heaven forbid I have to have another surgery on my lungs, a new Thoracic Surgeon. Not to mention the hunt for a new Veterinarian.

We aren’t considering a move across town, or across the States, just several states further north. This move will include many life style changes as well. I’m ready, just wary.

The long drive we took this week to work on the house and have various things taken care of, the ride reminded me of my dad. Maybe my dad enjoyed driving, but we crossed the US in 1975, and I have been in every state, except Alaska and the New England area. Long drives were not my favorite, but every time we went on a camping vacation, it was almost a guaranteed bet that we would be in the car for many, many hours.

The quietness and beauty of the spot my father in law’s house is situated, also made me think of my dad. He would have loved it there.

With my hesitations, the first thing I saw while entering the house last week, was a penny on the floor, in the middle of the barren house.

Dad.

While stripping out the contact paper in the kitchen cabinets, on the second shelf where my husband’s parents kept their dishes, I found a penny.

Dad.

As I stepped out onto the deck in my pjs to take some photos, I found a penny.

Dad.

No matter what choice we make, my dad will always be there with me. I believe he’s telling me that this place is a great choice for my husband and I. One thing I know for sure, my husband is happier in the town his father called home, than any place we have ever lived.

That is reason enough for me to embrace our decision.

For love.

 

 

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What Was I Dreaming?

I think I have some stories to tell, but I’m a bit mentally exhausted, and I’m sure they are hiding somewhere in my brain, but I’m too tired to even make that work.

We drove from Georgia to Missouri, as the budget didn’t include a line item for plane fare and a rental car for four people, for a week. Even with the high price of auto fuel, it was cheaper to drive. Duh. Besides, we had the Grandpuppy.

Oh. My.

I think I’m going to save pennies, and cut corners to never have to travel that way again. Well, my husband did most of the driving. I only drove for a short while because our mode of travel was his beloved truck. I seriously think that this is the ranking of his life…Deer Killing, The Truck, Me, Family, Work. The order may be mixed some, but that truck is special.

Every time I changed lanes, my husband made sure I provided enough space to move over, and not take off the front of the car I was passing—or probably better explained–damaging the back end of his truck. His eagle eyes made me tense. Then, we had an issue with the GPS, and I ended up driving toward St. Louis, Missouri. Another, Oh. My. At one point, I simply hoped I wouldn’t sideswipe anybody—and I was mad. We weren’t supposed to be anywhere near St. Louis.

I have complained about the GPS in my car because if you miss a turn that was supposed to be made, the thing will nag until you make a legal U-turn, or turn the stinking thing off. My husband’s little hand held GPS, recalculates a new route. We were heading to the Western side of Missouri, ended up in the Eastern side of Missouri—from her stinkin’ calculations. Ugh.

Funny thing, when we finally reached the rural area we were supposed to be, all the roads were identified by letters of the alphabet. We were traveling the road H. We passed intersections with streets named HH, J, or JJ. Quite quaint.

On the way back home, a different story—I wrote down all the turns we would have to make, and we missed one. We were following my instructions along with the GPS. Then something went wrong. Just as some of us don’t listen to the GPS, we don’t listen to the backseat-wife-driver either. So…we had a scenic tour of the State of Missouri.

I will never take a trip without our road atlas.

Never.

But, I may never take another road trip that lasts 15 hours.

I better stop at this point, because I know I can find something funny, which included the two days of driving, but today, I’m rebounding, and trying to pull out the decent side of myself. You know, the kind of person people would want to be around.

However, I did want to complain about wallpaper. The inventor of that crap, had to have a wicked side to them. I can imagine what the person was thinking. “Let’s find some paper, stamp a design on it, place some glue on the back so that it’s a permanent fixture”, and laughed their silly head off. “One day, a person will buy the home and want to remove the wallpaper”–again, laughing hysterically.

Um. I don’t think my father in law put all the wallpaper on the walls? However, the person who did, placed it right on the sheet rock. No primer on the wall. Just gluey paper stuck to the paper of the sheet rock. I got a little excited in some places because the stuff was coming off pretty easily—until I learned that there were two more layers. The first layer of paper glued to the paper of the sheet rock. Many methods of removal were tried. I gave up on the 5th day. Now I know what’s waiting for us, and I want to cry a little.

Let’s just say I have to learn a technique called skim coating walls. Either that, or we tear down the walls and start over. However, neither my husband nor I are experts at that home improvement skill either.

I have always had a dream to live in a rural area, and to have a house to remodel. We have reached that goal. There are some slight differences to my dream, but that’s what happens…it’s called life. We may get close to our dreams, but we can’t expect our vision of perfection.

All I can say, be careful what you wish for.

…I have some blogs to catch up on, and some new ones to check out.

Oh! My bit of gratitude for today? My bed, and the Cat Farm.

 

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Dog Dancing

Okay, so here is a scheduled post to give y’all a little chuckle at my expense. Just in case you miss me.

Friday, before we left, I had a bunch of that last minute run around crap, that a Pro-crastinator does. One of them being the annual veterinarian visit for the dog. (I told you I should live in the parking lot)

Boogie, is a huge baby. I can only lift parts of her body, because she becomes dead weight while trying to move her when she isn’t having any of it.

So….I get her into the car fairly easy, but I have to listen to her noisy panting, so I jacked up the air conditioning and the radio. All is well, again…until we reach the parking lot of the veterinarian.

She wouldn’t get out of the car. I tried pulling on her, using my big tough Alpha voice, I tried lifting her front end, I tried moving to the other side of the car. I tried pushing on her butt.

I finally had to do some jumping up and down, and a ceremonial-type dog dance in the parking lot, to coax her out of that car. The dance didn’t work at first, but eventually, she put her front feet on the ground, and I lifted her butt out. It took almost 10 minutes to haul her hind quarters from the backseat of my car.

All this, for the entertainment of the office gals waiting to see how I was going to get her out of the car. You see, my husband usually takes her due to this difficulty. He doesn’t have the same experience with Boogie. No, that behavior is reserved for me.

She weighed in at 110 pounds, which is where she should be. Then I maneuver her to the farthest edge of the waiting room, in order to avoid scaring any little dogs, or be challenged by another big dog.

We are finally shown to the exam room, where someone came to take her for her annual blood draw.

I sat down and waited.

I sighed and put my head down, as this was the last, last-minute thing on my agenda besides packing.

My pants were unzipped.

Perfect ceremonial dog dancing attire.

 

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I Don’t Belong Here

I was going to write this as if it were a story of someone else, because I felt like someone else. Not the person I thought I was. I also have to hurry because my time is limited. I will be without internet service for a while, but look forward to catching up on all your blog posts I’ve missed.

Today, was my visit to my Pill Pusher (Psychologist).

His office is located in a place with Institute included in the name. It’s a huge complex in Suburbia. There is a huge sign stating that the premises are monitored 24-hours a day.

I have to pass by the “Day Hospital” section, to reach my doctor’s office.

Past the lovely little bridge over a small creek.

It’s a lush looking place when all the leaves are on the trees.

There are many different buildings in the style of 1970’s architecture. I swear, I could hear chimes and soft music playing in my mind, as I wound my way around the parking lot. It’s one of those zen places for the mentally ill.

The parking lots were quite full, and that made me sad, but good at the same time. The people from those cars are getting the help they needed today.

And that’s when I realized that I am there because I suffer from mental illness. I felt a tear fall down my cheek.

I don’t ever want to be a visitor at the Day Hospital, or the long-term care facility. I will do as my doctor says, even if I think I’m flattening out. There always has to be a solution for me, and I am determined to find it.

I don’t belong there.

 

 

 

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Things You Didn’t Know You Needed Thursdays

Since I was on the subject of Ms. Neighbor, Destructor of Vegetation, I thought this may be of some use in our yard.

DB383049_1-w335Yes, a life-sized Bigfoot, or Yeti–whatever you want to call it.

Where we hail from, it would be called Bigfoot. I’m not sure why they are calling this life-size, because the large statue is only 6 feet tall. I always thought that Bigfoot was larger than man.

But, what do I know—I’ve never seen one, and we have camped in their stomping grounds.

 

bigfoot-tree-sculpture-xl

Or better yet, maybe this one to hang on one of our oaks to let New Neighbor know I have my eyes on her.

These can be found at the link highlighted above, or—yes, you can find them on Amazon.

I thought they were totally useless items to plunk down hard earned money, but now I’m rethinking my original thought.

Hope y’all have a happy Thursday!

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They’re Taking Away My Sanctuary

I do have a gratitude entry, and I will post it after my bellyaching.

I can’t wait to move to Nowhere, Missouri. I now have some more motivation to kick my ass into high gear and get our house ready to market, and that house ready to move into.

I have written about my love of sitting on the deck and loving how the trees kind of block us in. I can pretend we’re not in suburbia, but in our own little backyard haven.

We have new neighbors.

The neighbors who moved, were the only people in the neighborhood that we knew beyond the nod and wave. She was more of a “naturalist”, had very little grass in the yard, and grew fruits and vegetables instead. The rest of their yard was left native. While I don’t miss her fertilizer of choice, which produced the steamy smell of manure during the humid days of summer—I do miss having them next door.

We have left a good section of our property native for the privacy, but that’s a long, boring story, and part of it has to do with the stinkin’ County and their cruel design plan for a portion of our property.

The point—because of all the native undergrowth and trees, during the summer, we have quite a bit of privacy. Without the leaves, we can see 7 or 8 backyards of the houses in the neighborhood behind us.

Ms. New Neighbor is taking that away, and I am extremely sad.

The worst sound to me, other than incessant dog barking, is the sound of a chainsaw. They’re a buzzing next door, and the freakin’ dogs are barking their silly heads off.

I’m plotting some revenge—mwahahaha!

But I made an agreement with myself, and even though I want to run next door to make sure she knows exactly where the property line is, I have something I’m grateful for.

Miralax.

Yes, that old-fart supplement to keep our bodies on a regular schedule.

Obviously, I don’t need to go into too much detail, because — well, I’m sure details are not necessary.

However, it isn’t supposed to have a taste, but I beg to differ. It isn’t a nice compliment to my morning coffee. I add it to my water with lemon. If my tongue tells me there is a taste to it, the lemon takes it away.

Miralax is what keeps April happy–which makes the rest of the household relax.

Okay, now I have some work to do purging some crap, because next week, some of us will be in Nowhere getting rid of 18 years of nicotine build-up.

I hope you find something to be grateful for today.

 

 

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Hey! April! What Are You Grateful For?

Day 1

A new day.

Another random challenge for myself—write what I’m truly grateful for. Some big things, some very tiny, but wonderfully beautiful things nonetheless. Hopefully, a way to stop the noise of negativity, self pity, and outright frustration. A way to reduce the overwhelming feelings I sometimes have.

I write what I do (the venting), because I’m not perfect. I’m not always positive. I haven’t reached the peaceful mind yet–but I won’t give up. There are times I can’t even find something funny.

I will probably throw in a bunch more of my struggles, because there is someone out there who feels alone. It’s not okay to be ashamed of depression. It’s what matters to you, not what other people think of you. Hiding from the stigma is added fuel to the growing fire of depression.

So…….

Today, I am grateful for the man who chose to marry me 26 years ago.

He has been the best support person, father, and friend. He has held my hand even when I wanted to withdraw and isolate myself–actually, I’ve never been successful hiding from him, and I’ve even contemplated under the bed as a hiding place.

He laughs at the same things I do, and we compromise when it comes to the form of entertainment we share. What I find enjoyable, is torture to him. What he finds enjoyable, is torture to me. However, there is always, always a middle ground.

Even though I don’t think he understands depression, he sees how it tortures me. Because of him, I have grown to be the person I am today. Even though I’m still a work in progress, I’m pretty sure I will reach some peace as long as he is standing beside me.

I want to be the person he sees through his eyes. The me he sees is much more beautiful than my view. For that, I’m truly lucky. For that, I know I will eventually believe the same.

 

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