Saturday, December 29, 2007
He figured out pretty damn quick those were the wrong words to use. I think it went something like...Don't you dare tell me that I don't have to yell, because apparently, I DO have to yell in order to get anything accomplished around here. HOW many times have I asked you nicely to do this or that...and is it done? You're sure doing it now, though, aren't you..so I guess I DO have to yell. And I wish I had a job so I didn't have to do dishes like everyone else in this house.
I pretty much hit all the older more adult people in my house ...and some of the ones that don't live here, too.
And I ain't done yet.
Friday, December 28, 2007
I know, I don't have the lighter next to it like V-man but honey, this is still a one stick, one-half rotation knife. Doesn't have to have a huge reach because I'm cute enough to get in to use it and nobody would ever suspect I was even carrying it to begin with. That's a fact Jack. Check yourself..before you wreck yourself.
See, I like stuff you only have to do once. If someone gets close enough to me to be a real threat...well, I don't have to stab twice, now do I? Ha..the senior chief loves him a well armed woman....
Ha! It's good to be an alpha! Dammnit Joan, I want an eyepatch...
Merry Christmas to me...from the man who ALSO gave me some kick ass lingerie. Nothing like some cool lingerie with a kick assed knife strapped somewhere. Now THAT'S hot, I don't care who ya are.
Just fucking forget it. You know, you see all those movies with bachelor parties and the talks of how it's your last day as a free person..blahdi, blah, blah, blah...
Well..it's because of the damn kids, let me tell ya. Even when they are grown enough to appreciate the need to just take a damn day off and chill..YOU are always the parents...you cannot be too drunk to drive them somewhere ...even if they are damn adults and on their own and supporting themselves...
THEN their dadgum girlfriend is going to call with some nonfuckingexistant baby emergency because her mother was too drunk to take care of her all these fucking years and you are the only goddamn competent people on the fucking planet that is in their lives at this particular point in time
I was going to blog about this chick in Pakistan that got killed..and I am still..but before I could formulate a coherent thought on that other that just how utterly fucked up it is and how I wish I were young enough still to take up arms and teach those fucking bastards a lesson...well, y'all read the first couple of paragraphs...you can see what happened to that idea.
Whatever..the baby and the momma are now safely ensconced downstairs and if there is an emergency or even perceived emergency, all she has to do is climb some stairs to find us. But Jesus H. Christ.
I'm just saying. Whatever...I walk into the house and there's her mother...acting like she knows what the fuck is going on ..so if she knew what the fuck was going on...WHY is everybody at my house?
Man, I want my time to be able to drink whenever I want, dammit...or whatever I want to do. My son was all kind of specially pissed off, too, because it's not like he didn't come home from work to deal with this.
Just ugh. I had a plan today...well, a half of one..but it has been all shot to hell by one thing or another and all that's left at the end of the day is me hopping up and down on one foot, pissed the fuck off.
Welcome to my world, people.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
I do not know what it is...a combination of things that leaves a path of destruction and broken toys wherever they go.
There are two kinds of houses in the world...nice houses where there are nice things and pleasant to look at ..and then there are houses that occupy boys. No china or breakables in houses like that..no, you need sturdier stuff than that.
It used to drive me just NUTS. Every woman would like to have a place to display their fine stuff. In my house, you must get on a ladder in order to reach any of the displays. Makes getting up there and dusting a bitch, though. You won't find any kind of nice stuff within reach of any boys...not even climbers. Life lessons, those are.
As a result, I learned just to not take my kids certain places. Hey, nothing against them, or the places I decided would just not be fun for them. It's never fun when you're getting in trouble because you accidentally broke something. Social graces..they can learn those when they've quit growing long enough to get over being awkward.
That is some of it...boys grow so fast and so long that they are just awkward. They go through that phase where they are just all elbows and knees and when you combine that with the fact that they RUN everywhere...anything sitting on the edges of tables and whatnot...is going to wind up on the floor.
Then, there is the fact that they just do not know their own strength. That goes back to the growing thing. So, they always test their limits because those limits change... And, manufacturers, well, very few of them design things that are able to withstand torture testing by boys. If they did, then we'd start seeing some quality products out there. They design things for WOMEN, who are notoriously gentler with stuff.
There is a mindset that boys have, too. If it won't budge, put more force to it. And, if you don't have enough strength, then that is what they made tools for. It's a little cavemanish, but it is what it is. Brute force it. That right there leads to a LOT of broken stuff because if it's stuck, it's stuck for a reason. Women tend to find a different way because the brute force stuff we just cannot pull off.
Then there is the neverending fascination with how stuff works. I cannot tell you how many times I have walked by one of those boys rooms and seen them sitting there screwdriver and toy in hand, intense look of concentration upon their faces, tongue stuck out just a little...surrounded by a pile of toys that have been taken apart. Radios, any kind of motor, clocks, you name it, they will take it apart just to see how it works. Never a thought of how to get it back together, of course.
No matter the reason, and understand there is ALWAYS a reason..when you go to a boy's house, that's just what you are going to see. It's how they learn. Me, I learned to quit questioning it and shop a little wiser and just not take them anywhere where that would be a problem..until they were older and a little calmer.
That and you learn to wipe the tears and teach them how to take things apart properly, and most importantly, WHEN it's ok to take something apart. And, you keep breakables out of the reach, or air reach (when they go running by and cause that big gust of air)...or, you have one room they aren't allowed to go in.
I do love me some boys, but I do enjoy my daughter too. She just enjoys...quieter activities..hehe.
There is a mound of dishes and a mountain of trash...
and my car is broke again. Only it's nothing that can keep it from being driven...except by me. Sigh. Somehow the seat broke and I cannot move it forward enough to drive my own damn car. He's going to have to take the seat completely out to fix it, I think. I jumped up and down and said "Just FINE, dammit" upon receipt of this news. It IS just fine. He can drive the damn thing until I have enough money for a new carpet kit and a new seat. THEN he can take it apart. I told him that I was damn sick of getting my car back broke every time I let him drive it. He grinned...
All I know is ...is one of those damn cars I'm going to be able to drive and that's all there is to it. Hell, he can finish fixing his car and I'll drive it..won't bother me none.
So, yeehaw, I get to share the damn blazer with the 19 yr old. Well, goody..that means today I have a designated driver and I have no place to go. I have a miracle fix for the little dude's broken toy. Yeah, he broke the antenna right off his r/c car.
You can hear this kid coming from a mile away because he only has two speeds..full tilt boogie and dead stop. There is nothing in between. So, when he walks, he runs...and if I say it once, I say it a thousand times...you do not run in the house. So, then it's a slow jog for a while before back to full tilt boogie.
Anyway, he runs differently when he's upset. Yes, I can tell the mood of my children by the way they run. Of course, the sniffling he was doing was a dead giveaway. So, I go into his room and he's sitting on his floor ...arms around his knees and rocking back and forth...big ol' blue eyes filled up with tears..and he wails..."I broke my car.." and the story proceeds to gush forth...in hopes of some magical solution from mom to make all the pain go away. He tells his story...hope springing alive in his eyes...and I finished for him.."And dad yelled at you?" And he nods his head yes...tears to the spilling point now. And, I looked at him and said..."I'm sorry son, there's nothing I can do to fix this." And the senior chief came up and had a talk with him and at least got him to quit crying.
So, later, he's back to his usual happy self...full tilt boogie again, right? So, we started talking about the car and how it could have POSSIBLY gotten broken...and I explained to him that you have to gently lower the antenna, not beat on it with the palm of your hand...and his eyes got big and he said..."That is EXACTLY what Dad said.." and he was suitably impressed about that somehow. I decided to go with it..hehe..
You know what's really screwed up? He is the sixth kid. I've had these conversations every year with one or the other..and usually more than one when the other guys were smaller...why is it that I have never thought of ordering spare damn antennas until now? Why did it take me until the sixth kid to catch on and be able to prevent some of these meltdowns? There's a lot of peace and quiet I could have procured for myself over the years for PENNIES. I feel like such an idiot, really.
Just FINE, dammit...
Friday, December 21, 2007
The whole point of keeping up a daily sketchbook is letting your imagination go where ever it wants. No judgement. Even it turns out a bit obscure.
ALL YOU YOUNGSTERS OUT THERE WHO WANT TO DRAW FOR A LIVING: Draw every day in your sketchbook! VOLUME, VOLUME, VOLUME!
It's the simplest advice you're ever going to get and it doesn't matter whether you are an artist, a writer, a professional nose picker, really...if you do not practice your craft every single day, then you will never master it.
Every. Single. Day.
Half the battle is discipline. If you aren't disciplined in your work, then it won't get accomplished. If you are in the habit of letting everything else take priority over your craft, then you can't really call yourself an artist or anything else, now can you?
Practice, practice, practice.
Most people look at artists and think that their stuff just..comes..it flows out of them like a river. Well, it's not true...there's stuff that flows out like a river, but it isn't art. The object then is to ..ummm...clean up...the stuff that came out like a river and sometimes you have a gem left, and sometimes...just a nugget of corn. Ever spent time with a comedian? Yeah, well, they just aren't that funny in daily life..they practice, practice, practice and then take little snippets out and make us laugh.
Racecar drivers..the very best of them practice all the time. When they aren't in their cars, they are in the simulators. Hell, sometimes, persistance alone and discipline alone can get you the dream job.
Know any talented people who just waste their stuff...who could be utterly brilliant, if only they would apply themselves? Yeah, me too...are they lacking talent? No, they are lacking ...discipline.
Remember...discipline is the real key to success...
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Especially during this time of year when no matter where you are, there are people who are far away from home. It's where the adopting thing comes from, too, really.
Anyway, as a civilian, I have kept some of the things that were good, only with ..you know, civilian rules. Not everybody is aware of the open door policy...that we are available if someone needs a person to talk to us, and with the kids, the open door policy has some pretty damn strict rules. And one of the rules is you call before you come over. Just give me a 10 min. warning...and it's all good.
Thankfully, we are set up to where we can do this without having to worry too much. There are rooms that are always people friendly...and all the sleeping rooms are completely cut off, can be locked up separately from the rest of the house. It's a unique setup, really, and pretty darn secure. As well, in certain areas of the house, I can see everything..every entry and egress, I have a view of. Pretty cool, huh?
You can't have an open door policy in a suburb or a neighborhood, really..you have to be out where you can see who's coming and going. Anyway, it makes for an arrangement that can accomodate the needs of all the people here. I pop downstairs at random times to check on things too. The eldest was the worst..geez, he has such an adopting people thing, but even he didn't invite untrustworthy people over here.
The others have limited it to one or two friends each, thank heavens. Soon, I'm going to have a whole other crowd. To me, it's easy. I want to know what those damn kids are up to. The only way I can know what they are up to is have them here. Then I know, and they aren't up to all that much because they are in a house with rules. I'm doing my part to keep them off the street. They can play video games, play pool, the soda fridge is always stocked, and there's always snacks. There's a cool yard to throw horseshoes, and plenty of room to have a small fire and a cookout...
They come from far and wide to be able to be here. They always get fed, good advice, a swift kick if they need it, and love. Some of our methods would probably be considered a little unorthodox, but, not really. There are rules and they are unbendable. You break a mom or dad rule and you are out of here. You don't come back. I have never had anyone test that too much.
One recently came over while we were in Texas and brought his animal into my house. No animals in the house. My own animals do not live in the house. I won't live with an animal in my house. It's my house. Anyway, I told buddy boy never to bring an animal in my house again and he looked at me and said..."Why?" Oh lord. He's been kicked back to the after hours crew, now and he's on probation. There's only two words I want to hear from you when I tell you a house rule. That is Yes and Ma'am. He was over in the evening and the senior chief saved his life. He told buddy boy..."You don't want to talk to her right now...she's been drinking." Hehe...yep..I affirmed that, too. I hadn't been, but that kept me from ripping his head off. That's just never effective. Calmness is always the secret but with boys, they make it extremely difficult.
It's the word games...and trying to get around rules. That's why I don't have a TON of rules...it makes the ones I do have a lot easier to enforce. And, the rules have to make sense, too. It's cool because that keeps me into my logic side. A lot of times I'll make a rule just based on pure emotion...and thinking like them forces me to put words and define the reasons for the emotion and when you can justify stuff with facts, boys are a lot more responsive. Most people are, really, regardless of their gender..in a lot of ways.
The number one rule...no girls. The girls have to leave at a certain time. Hey, I know how teenagers are and I ain't having no babies made in my house unless I'm the one making it. Just how it is. I am not dealing with all that hormonal crap. And, because I have boys living here in the majority, it is by majority a boys place. When my daughter gets old enough to have her little friends over, the rules will change..but all her older brothers are going to be gone from the house by that time and it will be no big deal. This will become the girl's club for a while...I'm sure looking forward to that time, honestly. Sometimes I'll let them bring some dates over for an arranged thing, and some of the girls who are part of the crowd can come and hang out..the adopted sisters of the crowd...I mean there are provisos and quid pro quos, but that is just how it is.
Besides those problems, my daughter, I am finding is one jealous little girl. She isn't keen on sharing her mommy with any other female. Anything I could be doing with any other girl, I could be doing with her. Every time the daughter in law comes over, my daughter is right up our asses...stuck to us like glue and hugging me every other minute...it is so funny. We haven't been able to nearly do the things together that we would like...of a girl type nature, so I can get where she's coming from. She likes to be part of the decision making process..and whatever, it's just funny as hell.
I cannot complain that life isn't interesting. That is a fact.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
So, if you cannot behave yourself around Kelly and The Senior Chief, then your ass gets kicked to the after hours club. There are no snacks and special treatment and no free counseling or any of that at the after hours club. That means the privileges that come with associating with mom and dad are gone, as well. The after hours club is a sort of punishment in a way.
Some of them are just on that schedule, too, and find ways of making their presence be known and earn some brownie points..make sure they are invited for supper. That's what they all want. The coveted supper invitation...hehehe.
So, Friday night, we went to bed and there were six beers in the refrigerator. When we woke up Sat. morning, the beer refrigerator was cram packed full. You couldn't fit another damn beer in the refrigerator. And the kitchen fridge was full of juice and whatnot. After drinking some on the beer in the fridge, Sat. night we go to bed. Sun. morning...ALL the beer in the fridge is gone..but sitting next to the fridge was a whole case of some completely different beer. Hooray!
Now, those kinds of mysteries...I can live with.
Sandy brought up an excellent question though..(you'll have to let me know how you feel about links, hon...)How DO you get your kids to talk to a professional and be honest?
It helps to know what they are going to be dishonest about and why they would be dishonest about it. And, when you are dealing with mental illness, that's not so hard to understand, really, is it? Besides, they find all kinds of ways to tell you, if you're paying attention. One of my neighborhood kids would get me to type papers for him when he had to write on certain subjects...very rarely, do they just come out and tell you what is going on. One of mine leaves me messages on myspace..and some of the others rely on their friends to tell me what is going on. Putting themselves into a situation where they are SURE to get caught..that's another way of getting the truth out there...crafty people, kids are.
The key here, is making it all about what the KID is going through..not what you are having to deal with becasue of the kids problems. Not what their problems are putting YOU through. You volunteered when you had the kid. Some of this shit parents pull, drives me nuts. The kid is ill, and people say...or think..."I'm sorry YOU are going through this." Hell, I'm not going through anything...he's the one that has to deal with it, I can only stand by and watch a little helplessly, honestly.
By making it about them, you then give them the tools it takes to overcome said obstacle.
And, let me tell ya, teenagers do not like to have smoke blown up their ass. Oh no, if you aren't honest with them, then you haven't a prayer. Every now and then, one of them will call me on a behavior of mine or an attitude of mine and ask me about it...and if you give them some half assed, excuse making, it's different for me because I'm an adult kind of answer..you just done screwed up.
The very first time you let one of them get away with crap because they can't help it, you've done screwed up. Seriously. Sounds harsh but you know, in the real world, there isn't anyone who cares what your problem is. All they care about in the real world is can you get to work on time, do your job, and pay your bills on time. The electric company does not give a flying fuck about what your problem is, that voices told you not to pay or whatever...no money, no electricity.
THIS is what they want to hear..why? Because it is the truth.
I had one young man about 13 or so...he has ADHD and he was running all over the place and acting like an idiot. I told him calmly once or twice that he needed to get a grip and he stood there and told me..."I can't help it." Oh bullshit. So, I said, Yep, kid, I know exactly what you mean...hey, let's go jump on the beds upstairs and that couch looks really bouncy too.
He says...YOU can't jump on furniture..you are an adult. Yep..sure am, but I have the same excuse you do. I have ADHD too, and I can't help it either, if what you are saying is true. It was cool and funny watching the wheels turn around in his mind and watching him reach his conclusions. You know, he looked at me and grinned, the little shit...and that kid is my BESTEST buddy when we are around. The last time I saw him, he launched himself at me and hugged me so hard, he nearly tackled me in the aisle of church.
Yeah, they do all try to get away with stuff, but, if you want to get somewhere, you kinda gotta make sense in your arguments, too.
For the harder core stuff, the whole solution is try, try again. Never give up, never quit, and keep searching for the answers.
With a lot of those kids, validating their feelings while giving them alternative ways to handle those feelings is pretty much the approach I take. A lot of them will think that feelings equal action and when you can separate the two, then you have half a chance. Feelings are fine, but what counts is what you do with those feelings and how you choose to express them. Violence is never ever the answer.
One of our kids that comes over here is bi-polar and that kid was messed up and has completely turned his life around in the last few years. I am so proud of him. Logic won the battle for him, too. The thing that drove him over the edge in a lot of ways was not the physical abuse that he suffered...it was his mother telling him that he was just like his father and that he was going to turn out just like his father. Understandably, that made him angry, as it was his father who abused him so much. I guess I would look at that like maybe his dad had some undiagnosed bi-polar as well. We gave this kid anger management and kind of put where his mother might be coming from into perspective ...and yeah, it sounds simple, and it is, but simple is not to be confused with easy.
Logic works with mentally ill people, believe it or not. The problem with any mental illness being that the chemistry in our brains acts as a filter and causes a certain perception. Talking with someone you trust and getting a proper perspective, logic, can often help the person evaluate things and make better decisions. The problem lies in people feeling isolated, weird, and unaccepted. The end result of any mental illness is to make a person feel that way...like they are freaks. If you can take the freakiness out of it, then they never get driven to desperation.
It's just chemistry..nothing to be scared of, really. And if you aren't scared of them, then they won't be scared, either.
Friday, December 14, 2007
This is a joke we've all heard before and it's funny, it really is...
However, with most humor, the reason it is funny...is because it's true.
Reading about all these latest shootings in Colorado makes me really sad. Sad that there are so many people out there who said the kid needed help...but nobody that has come out and said...I did this, this and this to help him.
Yeah, I'm taking the shooter's side here. Why...well, because this particular kid was obviously suffering from an untreated mental illness.
Sometimes, mental illness needs to be treated with medication and if you have a kid telling you that they are hearing voices, you should take them seriously. Really.
Why do I say this? Been there, done that.
One of my children, suffers from a psychotic form of depression. Many people think of depression as just sadness or the blues or whatever but there is a very strong psychotic component with depression. This kid suffered for 5 years before he got a proper diagnosis. As well, with his misdiagnosis, he was administered medications that actually aggravated the situation.
In recent years, he has learned to manage his condition without medication, but it took a few years of being on the right medication in order to achieve this. And, still there are times in his life ..under periods of great stress, that his psychosis will become more active.
Is it a big deal? No, not really. For him, the support and sanity check of his family along with some practical advice to silence the hounds of hell, if you will, is his coping mechanism. Could he have been one of those kids that was a shooter? Absolutely. Not a doubt in my mind that it could have driven him that far.
It nearly did once. But he did the absolutely correct thing and came and told me and his dad what was going on. He finally got old enough to articulate his feelings. A seven year old with an active imagination cannot articulate what a psychosis feels like, they just cannot.
What was the most healing for him? Being able to name the demon. You can't tame the demon until you name the demon. And that is a fact.
Mental illness like that ..there is no cure for. Part of the recovery process is learning to accept your brain chemistry for what it is and then taking measures to alter it. No, he cannot ever make the voices go completely away. He has to carry them around with him. What he can do is change his attitude towards them, he can change the message they carry to him, ..etc.
Pure logic is a defense I use and I use absolute honesty. People with mental illness..have very skewed perceptions of things, however, over the years the trust has been built between us so that if I can show him a different way of viewing things..alter his perspective, then he doesn't resist trying to view things that way.
The biggest way to manage it is to manage the depression and the best way to manage depression is through proactiveness, diet and exercise. Proactiveness, means not thinking like a victim. Realizing you are a part of any scenario and that you have an influence on it. As well, realizing that the only part of it you can change is yourself, your reactions, and your perceptions.
The test to tell if someone has a true psychosis or not is pretty simple. If they tell you they have auditory hallucinations (or hear voices) then the likelihood that they are a true psychotic is high. If they tell you they have visual hallucinations (see things) then the likelihood is high that they are faking it.
He was one of my hardest kids to raise as a younger one. He was hostile, angry, paranoid, fearful and it all seemed like a big play for attention and in some ways it is...because they are miserable and they want someone to fix it, dammit. Seriously. And kids like that will be the worst to those that are trying to help them, because their only way of communicating symptoms at young ages is to act out. They hope that you will be able to interpret their behavior more easily if they just let it all hang out.
The only people that ever know if he is in an active state of psychosis or not is me and the senior chief. And at this point in the juncture, it means talking with us to get that perspective change and get a sanity check.
But to achieve this is a lot of work. You cannot just tell someone..and a kid especially..."You need help" ..you have to get more specific than that. It's not a character flaw that is wrong with these people. They do need help. Who do they have to ask? It's sad because a little love and understanding goes a very long way.
We spent a LOT of time in counseling to learn what we needed to learn too. No way did we do it alone, but all that stuff is just help. As the parent, you still have to do the work, make the adjustments and come up with the practical day to day treatment and coping plan. You are still the one that observes the child in his natural environment day in and day out. You are the only one, really, with the answers.
You have to teach them about their own brain chemistry, help them find their triggers, help them find practical ways to either avoid the triggers, or cope with them and all that takes time and patience and love. Because often, the first treatments don't work, or there's a relapse or whatever. It's like other stuff..it waxes and wanes with change..it mutates...very insidious stuff.
He says in some ways, it's ok, because he doesn't often feel terribly lonely. He says his voice doesn't always tell him bad stuff, sometimes it just acts as a running commentary, sometimes it's a comedian...hey, that's cool..that's very cool. But, sometimes, it's not so good. But he has a firm enough grip on how to make it stop that it doesn't slow him down that much...and that's the whole goal.
You know, you can't put it on a resume...but I'm very proud of what we've been able to accomplish with that particular kid. He's not a victim and he's in control and he's able to laugh at himself. In some ways, he's more mentally healthy than most people who don't have a mental illness. Odd, huh?
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Yeah, pretty much, I just don't feel like blogging. The things that are on my mind are personal and not in perspective.
My goal here is to keep perspective. The few times I've allowed my emotions to rule me while I was telling a story, I don't really know how I feel about. Part of this stems from my desire to offend no one, no matter what the truth is. I'm a black and white kind of person and so, if I tell it, I have to tell it all and that means living it and I just don't feel like it. Ya know? I have to live it inside anyway, so I'll just do that myself. I'm a firm believer in taking a secret to the grave. There is only one way a secret stays a secret and that is if you tell not ONE soul.
Part of me is scared I'll come off sounding as crazy as I feel...and then I get pissed because I don't like feeling afraid. Don't like it one bit. Well, I used to..I used to like riding roller coasters...now when I think of roller coasters, I think of who the stoner is or meth head is that is doing the maintenance. Crap. I think I'm getting jaded.
I did notice that man, oh man, do you think about your blood kids differently from your stepkids. My 17 year old...wanted to walk down the road and go to a friend's house, which with my stepkids, I never had an issue with. Of course, when my stepkids were that age, there wasn't the sheer volume of traffic on these roads either. Back then, they were still just mostly pasture lands they could cut through and country roads. Anyway, it was after dark and I didn't want to let him go. OMG, what the hell is wrong with me...LOL! Thankfully, I have a backup, and that is the senior chief. We take turns being the sane one with the kids and we trust the other implicitly. All he had to do was give me that look...and I knew I was being nuts. I knew it anyway...
I feel very fortunate to have the basis for comparison because I recognized that my outlook with my stepkids was pretty damn healthy. I'm a damn snoopy parent though, but I keep my findings to myself until it's necessary to reveal the information. I used to search their rooms..pretty openly, too. They'd bring back the ladder I accidentally left in there...LOL. I learned not to OVER react with my stepkids and it's made me a better parent by far, I think. I learned perspective from the sheer numbers. Crap when the third one in a row exhibits certain behavior, you then have a pattern and patterns are normal. So, when you have a pattern, you tend to learn what's abnormal and therefore needs to be worried about or corrected, and what is normal, and therefore to be tolerated, but pretty much dismissed.
This may sound a little cold hearted, but there is a part of me that is able to shelve emotions and feelings and pull them out to deal with whenever I feel like. I don't know if this is wierd, or training...probably training...but it's cool. Some say it's not good to stuff your emotions and feelings, but me...I think it's good to an extent. It merely means that you don't let your stuff stop you from taking care of things that are necessary for survival..you know, stuff like work and whatnot.
Anyway, blah, blah, blah...not much information or whatever here, is there? I'm the master at that...haha!
Saturday, December 08, 2007
My starter went out on my car, or so it seemed. It was wierd, it would get hot and then it wouldn't start but it would fire right up cold. Anyway, it turned out to be a loose wire. You know, the first thing you are always supposed to check when you are having any kind of trouble with anything is...Is it plugged in? Same damn principle..are the wires tight? 275,000 miles will tend to back a screw off here and there. The last time I had trouble with the starter it was because it was hanging by one bolt. Yeah, that sucker wanted to just fall right the hell off.
Then, the damned blazer went. He went to go up the ramp to get on the highway and it just quit and would not start again. We are still troubleshooting..man, I love troubleshooting, I'm pretty damn good at it, surprisingly. Anyway, he thought at first it might have been the fuel pump but it turns out there is no spark. It's probably the distributor and rotor, which were pretty trashed. I don't know if we pulled a spark plug yet and checked the wires, but he's getting spark at the coil, so that's a good thing. Hey, though, I knew exactly where to look because that happened once on my car, and it turned out to be the electronic control module. I love learning about how things work, I really do.
So, it looked bleak for an hour or two, but once again the car gods have smiled upon us and the solutions are not only fairly simple but cheap too.
His car is almost back together. The damn manifold is a very precise fit with the gasket. Very precise, so when we go to do that, there will be nothing but concentration. The funny thing about this is, until he can get his car worked to take regular unleaded gas, that's the one I get to drive around and do my grocery shopping in. Ha! I sort of like how that worked out..his car is beeeuuuutiful. I mean, oh hell yeah!
So, that's what I've been doing. You know what? I can put a 2.5 ton floor jack into the back of a truck. I do not know how much that sucker weighs, but it isn't one of the aluminum ones. I think that's pretty damn good for a 40 year old lady. That's about the limit of what I can lift, though and I can only do it twice..once in and once out. Well, then I went to the grocery store and a lot of the stuff I buy there weighs a lot.
Anyhoo, this post must be cut short as a kid from the old old old crowd just came by...ahhhh, life interruptus...
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Army boy announced that he wants to sell his car. Which makes sense, in his position. He's going to have to find a place to store it while it's gone and either he has to take the time and take the engine apart and drain the fluids and store it someplace airtight or he has to leave it at his grandmother's, where it won't get driven, or here, where it will, but it won't be the same car he left, it will have been driven. So, anyway, he decided to sell it, but he wanted us to be able to have first shot, bless his heart.
As it turns out, the truck that my 19 year old is working on is the one Army boy wants. It was his, too, at some point. Tall Boy (19 yr old is 6ft 5 and still growing..)so we'll just call him Tall Boy or Cool Hand Luke...He'd probably like Cool Hand Luke better. Ok, so Cool Hand Luke and Soldier Boy get together and since Cool Hand Luke is already working on the truck, if he puts all the time and effort into making it a good truck, then he can have the car. That gives Cool Hand Luke a year or so to get it done, and get it done right and that will be pretty damn cool. He now has a price limit, too and if he puts into the truck to rebuild it what he was going to pay Joe for the car, then it ought to be a fair trade.
Bless them, but the eldest son got cut out of that deal altogether because everybody just reckons he'd only wreck it. He needs a station wagon at this point in his life. ha ha..I'm so glad the station wagon days are over. Getting older DOES have it's advantages.
But, it shows that they are close and that is good. I'm glad my kids are close as adults.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Out in East Texas where we stay, it truly is the sticks. Kind of like I USED to live in the sticks, but moreso.
Funny how country living has less to do with small towns, friendly people, and safety..than it does meth labs, ice labs, riff raff, and fear.
But, I digress. At Mom's house, the choices for internet are dial-up, dial-up and dial-up. Well, you could get DSL, but they sure don't charge there what they advertise on tv..here. You have to pay a pretty penny for it. I'm pretty damn impressed that my mother in law has dial up. She doesn't think that she needs to go faster yet. If someone were to be able to show her the difference, she'd be there real quick, though. You do not mess with that woman's computer and inevitably someone in the family will forget to hang up the dialer and that phone will be busy all afternoon and someone in the neighborhood will come over and check in on things.
Hell, Verizon even earns it's commercial out there because that's the only cell phone service that will work out there. Lots and lots of trees. No armadillo this year. It has really filled in with people the last few years, so the armadillos may have moved somewhere else. I didn't get over to my sister in law's house and she usually has them over there. And, she was bitching about her yard being all tore up.
This year, I forgot to put all the damn movies away in their boxes that the kids get out.
Oh and Mom's neighbor...I do not like that lady. When Dad was alive, she would show up right at supper time and want to chat and show her grandchild off, that she is raising. I mean, this kid is the only damn kid in the world and she's the only damn kid that's EVER been mistreated and whatever, you know? Oh, and this lady ..she's a hero for taking the child from it's parents and raising it. Again. Whatever. This wouldn't be such a big deal except that Dad had diabetes ...it was wierd, he got it late in life from a cortizone shot. The senior chief says it put his blood sugar so high, he should have been in a coma but wasn't. Anyway, it was like it rang his bell, because his blood sugar never stabilized. For the next 35 or so years of his life..it was up and down and a struggle to keep in the range. Mealtimes were crucial to the success he did have managing it. And this woman would show up at suppertime..every time.
As well, when she saw how many kids we have..she decided that I didn't mind kids and that she could just leave hers with me anytime we were out there. Well, I do mind. First of all, I am not a little kid person. My kids are older and able to fend for themselves a little more. This kid is like 2-3 years old...you know, require constant supervision...
So, last summer, while everyone was at the hospital with Dad..I was at home with the 4 children...children that are very close to their grandparent and great-grandparent..right? So, it was my job to let them know what was going on, when it was going on, in an age appropriate manner..telling them the truth, while at the same time preserving their childhood. We talked a lot about God that day and all kinds of groovy stuff, really. Four kids to deal with in any given situation is good enough, but two of these kids I did not know very well and had to earn their trust and all of that in order to help them through the ordeal. This was no ordinary babysitting job.
Anyway, this woman shows up with her kid and starts telling me her story and blah, blah, blah, and I swear to God, left that child with me. She KNEW what was going on, yet her sad story took precedence over the story that was unfolding that very minute for the four kids that were down on the dock. Yeah, I didn't do anything about it then, but I will never like that woman again. I'm kind of like that..once I make up my mind about a person.
And damned if she did not do it AGAIN, this visit. We were all out visiting with Mom and whatnot and this lady shows up and Mom is a very formal person. She felt as though she had to get up, take this lady and her child into her home and spend time with them instead of her family. Then, this kid runs all over the damn house and who is left to watch it? You got it. And there was two of them this time and she just left those kids there. Oh, this little chick spun up...whew. My sister in law was scared and my niece laughed...She said, "Well, Kelly, what would you do? Tell her to watch her own damn grandkids??" and she laughed like she thought I was too nice for that. Ha. I told her that if we were at MY house, and it was MY neighbor..you bet your sweet ass I would. Maybe not using those particular words, but there wouldn't be any doubt in anybody's mind that there wouldn't be any just leaving some kids around for me to watch...
And none of us wanted to take it out on the kids...because THEY were having fun. But the fact remains, that in certain situations, certain houses, certain ages...kids must have constant supervision. And, you better freaking ASK ME if I mind watching your kids. And there better be a time limit if they are little. Older kids..say 14 and up...that's fine...but them little ones...no way. Not unless they are MY grandkids. But that is altogether different.
Man, that lady bugs me. I made it clear to my sister in law, whom I know to be like minded, that I felt that way. That woman lets her child do stuff in my mother in law's house that I wouldn't let MY children do in anyone's house...and especially not my mother in law's house.
The ignorance of some people never ceases to amaze me.
Oh, and after further analysis, moving to Texas is back on. Land is cheaper in Texas. Period.
Y'all have a great day, now. Sorry for the bitching..but hey, it's all part of the perspective...
The Rogers Indicator of Multiple Intelligences
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|You scored as Intrapersonal|
You prefer your own inner world, you like to be alone, and you are aware of your own strengths, weaknesses, and feelings. You learn best by engaging in independent study projects rather than working on group projects. People like you include entrepreneurs, philosophers and psychologists.
Monday, December 03, 2007
I've WATCHED how fast news gets around in Texas. You can be in the kitchen ..walking towards the back door and people outside will have the news faster than you can walk and that's a fact Jack.
This is one of the elephants I've called out within the family, so amongst the older set, they are pretty open about talking with stuff.
I wasn't sure how to introduce my eldest son's woman and situation to Uncle P. when he was here, so I said to him..."I don't know how much you know..." and he replied..."Well, I read the email you sent to Mom..."...well, ok, now that I know that for sure, I will be sure to take into account my audience the next time..hehe.
My mother in law has always told me how much she loves the emails I send. They are long like my blog posts and all newsy, right? Anyway, I believed her but it was still unnerving to find three different copies of it laying around the house when I got there...
After having that experience, I wander out to the carport to find one of my nieces all in a tizz because everybody knew some piece of her business. I laughed my ass off. What else could I do? I mean, they only do it because they care and they want to help, or they are proud...what the hell is the big deal?
This is lead by example at work, really. We have the relationship with our elders that we would like to have with our kids. Shit every now and then, you know, one of those older folks throws out a good idea or two. More often than not, really, but they have a MUCH better chance when they are not dealing with half-truths and lies.
And one thing is for sure. If you do have a secret..take that shit to the grave.
How can you lose by giving love? Trust, now, is a whole different other issue. Just because I love you doesn't mean I trust you...
And you never know, unconditional love may just affect someone in a positive manner.
That's what I'm telling myself anyway about my son's fiance. Oh yes. They were engaged all along. The more of her story that comes out...well...sigh.
But, still, taking the high road and embracing their 'love'...that can only be the best thing because if it blows up in his face, which I am afraid of but not as sure of as the senior chief..anyway, if it blows up in his face, then he's not alone. He doesn't have to feel alone anyway...because when you have the numbers of people doing the right thing, as we do, then well, that tends to validate one's feelings after all.
It's not like I'm not honest either. I told little gal the other day that did she realize that what she was doing, was in effect, asking my son to support her entire family. Yeah, that is what is EXACTLY going on right now. I make sure and have them over twice a week or so for supper and make sure they get to eat good then. But dayum.
I cooked Thanksgiving dinner, sort of..I did a mini-meal this weekend. I did turkey and stuffing and green bean casserole...Emeril style, which is where you basically make the cream of mushroom soup from scratch kind of deal. Which is good. Well, according to his recipe, you fry the onions first, too, but I go ahead and stick with the ones out of the package because I don't have THAT kind of time. My cooking is a mix of Emeril and Rachael Ray, haha! I mean, I do take shortcuts, but I'm just choosy about when and where.
Anyway, I don't see how telling him he's making a mistake...or being negative in any way is going to help the situation. He's going to do what he's going to do. All we can do is support his decisions, really. I mean, nobody likes it, not one bit..but what are we supposed to do? We certainly don't think alienating him will help. He's really been burned enough by women in his life and even recently...
So, by taking the high road, we can't really get burned...we are older and more experienced than that...thank God..but when HE gets burned, well, then he won't feel like we're going to say I told you so or anything. Which is exactly what he felt about the last time he got burned. But, the fact that we knew it and he didn't believe us does carry some weight too.
Anyway, we shall see.