Saturday, December 8, 2012

Presents and Presence

Call me crazy but I believe that if someone gives someone presents it should be because they have a presence in the recipients life. I also believe that to have a presence in someone's life there needs to be more than just presents. Obviously there are some exceptions, but in this there are none.

I recently drew a line in the sand with someone, not to be hurtful, though I suspect it was anyway. I am not her favorite person and she is not mine, but through fate we are tied to each other whether we like it or not. Her spouse, while someone near and dear to to me, is also currently extremely pissed off at me and that has caused a suspension of all communication from him with me and my family. She still communicates with me enough to keep up some knowledge of the goings on with our children.

Last year at this time, she was extremely generous with my children and while I appreciate it very much, I was also a little uncomfortable with that generosity. Back then the differences her husband and I had were newer and I suppose I thought they would pass after a short time. They did not and to this day, there remains a blinking beacon of a reminder that this rift still exists.

As this year passed I grew ever more uncomfortable with my kids receiving gifts from someone they had a limited relationship with to begin with. The fact that her spouse is family and has, through his anger with me, punished my children in the process really just smells bad to me. So, when I was asked this year what my kids would like, I expressed my discomfort and thus I drew the line in the sand.

This line is not meant to hurt her or my kids. It is meant to make a point. They are a couple and though he/she/they may not be happy with me, there is no time when it is acceptable to penalize my children for that. I respect that she wishes that my kids know she is thinking of them. I respect the fact that she has made the effort for my children when I know she probably would rather drop-kick me. What I cannot ignore is that her spouse's behavior has not gone unnoticed by my children. They are pretty savvy and things like who signs their cards and whether or not they get a call on their birthday do not go unnoticed.

My position now is that they be united in their presence with my children or they shouldn't send presents to them. I do not want my kids to feel they are entitled to fancy gifts and come to think of them as a requirement or definition of the relationship. I believe gifts should have meaning and the relationship between the two parties should be healthy and active.  I also believe that if you are a couple then you should act as such towards my children regardless of how you feel about me. I am not the important person in the equation -- not by a long shot. Children already have far to much of a sense of entitlement in this world, I do not want or need to foster it any deeper than it already goes.

I was told that my relationship with her spouse was between us and that she wasn't trying to do anything but let the kids know they were thought of. That I cannot argue with. I believe it is an honorable intention and I agree that my differences with her spouse are between the 2 of us. He has made them affect others and that I cannot abide.

As to the disagreement, I have made my position clear and I have made some concessions for him in the face of his clear position. I have made apologies and admitted my guilt and faults. No concessions or admissions have been made towards me.That is his choice and he will have to live with that. It has, thus far, been a one way street, but as of now it becomes a dead end, unless the innocent victims are given reprieve. Penalize me all you want, penalize my kids and you can bet I am not going to put up with that.

I love my family, every single one -- even when we do not see eye to eye. I have been cut off and cut out by most for a lot of reasons. I have made my apologies for my parts in the problems that afflict the family. Only one has given me the same courtesy, though I believe it was to keep the door open to my kids. This family uses silence and withdrawal of presence AND presents as punishment. It has been that way for my whole life. I watched older relations who are no longer with us do the very same over the years, so it comes as no surprise. None of that means I am required to go along with it and since I have given over a year in time to see where things will go and have seen no change, I choose to bow out and save my kids from the same fate in the future.

Do my kids deserve presents? Possibly. Do they deserve presence? Definitely. Do they deserve punishment? Yes, when THEY misbehave. Do I get hurt by them being punished through this situation? Yes, inasmuch as I love my kids and don't like to see them used as pawns. Otherwise, no I don't. This is an opportunity to use the circumstances to show them how to treat people you love. This is a chance for my kids to learn that talking to each other about things, no matter how hurtful it may be to do so, is the only way to go. This is the time to teach my kids that not talking it out and not owning your part in a disagreement is just plain wrong.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Period... end of sentence, start a new one

Ahhh the period. It ends something and signals the beginning of something else.

Girls and boys alike are sentenced to childhood, simply by birth.

Boys become "men" the first time they use their penis on another human being, generally for the purpose of removing the much hated stigma of "virgin" in exchange for -- they hope -- the stigma of "stud" though I am betting most fall severely short in the stud department. Once this occurs they are sentenced to a lifetime of "manhood" aka. attempting to find a home for their penis. Some find many temporary homes others find one they are comfortable with and move in forever. This is obviously an extremely simplistic characterization of things, so please no hate mail...

Girls become women when they get their first period and thus are sentenced to a life of tampons, pads, cramps and the very obnoxious red river running through them. Thus, when a girl gets her first period, she begins a new sentence that while much anticipated following the sex education classes, neatly disguised under the new name of Family Life or some other such similar moniker, is quite anti-climactic once it occurs.

My little baby, uhm I mean 12 year old, E is a "woman" as of yesterday. Poor kid got it at school and had to go to the nurse for assistance and a call to Mom. She was crying a little, but she was alright by the time I got there. The nurse gave her a handbook, given it had been 2 years since the classes. Then, I was talked into letting her go home for the day. I still haven't figured out how I fell for that! We stopped at the drug store and proceeded to stand in the feminine hygiene aisle, discussing the different types of pads and tampons. Seriously, not the conversation I  thought I would be having with the same child who, just the night before had morphed into the biggest raging bitch with a serious streak of disobedience unlike anything I had EVER seen in her. Maybe I missed the clue of what was to come, you think? First thought that came to mind when the nurse said period was holy crap no wonder she was such a snot last night, followed by the next thought of hoping like hell this is not a sign of how it will be over the next few years. UGH! That will not go well.

The memories of K getting her first assaulted me on the drive to the school. I don't remember exactly when that was, but I do remember the "first time using a tampon" drama. That was a hilarious day. My friend R was over and I think we were having a party as well. It was summer and the kids were swimming so when she got her period in the middle of all this, K decided tampon time had arrived. R and I ran like mad to the drug store and bought a ridiculous selection of options for her to choose from. Geez, it had been YEARS since we had to think about size, shape, brands etc... so we were having a time of it.

I was snitching my mom's tampons and practicing from the time we had sex ed class until I got my first period, so I was prepared and knew how to do things. K on the other hand was not prepared. We'll just leave it at her having a near meltdown while R and I sat outside the door dying of the effort to suppress the giggles while attempting to explain how to work it. I had to draw the line when K begged me to do it for her. THAT was simply NOT going to happen! After what seemed like a week, she finally managed to get the job done and all was settled pretty quickly after that.

Needless to say, I was expecting a bit of tampon drama with E. Oddly enough, she did not have the same issues. This kid had apparently already gone to youtube several times and watched (NON-graphic) videos of ladies explaining the procedure and discussing the merits of plastic vs. cardboard. She read her new handbook cover to cover before she popped up and announced she was ready to go give it a try. She was back in just a few short minutes having accomplished the deed on the very first attempt. Kudos to E for studying!

Right before Hubster arrived home, E asked me if I had told him yet. I had not. She surprised me by saying that she wanted to be the one to tell him. Very different from K who said she would DIE of embarrassment if I told Hubster. I did, of course, simply because when she would get whackier than usual he needed to know why. Truthfully though, there was NO WAY I was going to be able to keep  that jewel to myself, but he was good about not letting on. So, E announced her woman-hood to him and wore it like a badge of honor.

Let's just hope the beginning of the NEXT sentence that girls must face does not begin for a REALLY LONG TIME. We all know that, while boys may wear their loss of virginity proudly, girls do not get the same kudos. I hope E hangs on to that last vestige of childhood, for the next sentence is an even bigger burden that the one she has just begun.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


16 years ago today

I married my best friend
The love of my life

My heart and soul
My amazing Hubster

I love YOU
like no other

Free Clipart Images 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Day of the Hubster

Today is Hubster's birthday. Hopefully he will find enough good in it to have a happy day.

This morning we awoke to find out on Facebook that his Father passed away. Gotta love Facebook. At least the manipulations involved in the dance his Mom insists upon dancing will be fewer.

We are saddened by the loss of a good man, whom we all loved. He lived a long full life, and we are glad for that. I am relieved for him that his difficult health struggles are over. RIP...

I love you Hubster, Happy Birthday!

I think Hubster has suffered enough!

Back in June Hubster was told-- yet again -- that his Father was to die any day and he needed to come home right away. His Mother nagged, used guilt and finally, to guarantee she would get her way, decided to pay for his ticket home. So Hubster, who had already made his peace with what was to come was bullied into going home to see his Father. Upon his arrival, there was a sudden miraculous recovery that took his Father from the hospice death bed to large family gatherings at the VA and essentially no sign the man was knocking on death's door just days before.

For his trouble, Hubster got to see his Father, which was good. He got to see family that he hadn't seen in a while which was also good. However, he also got the privilege of being there for his Father's Birthday/Father's Day combo celebration, as this year they were, as happens every so often, the same day. Ultimately this was his Mother's goal in getting him there. Not to actually see his Father, but that he be there when SHE wanted him there. She cared not about the shameful behavior she had to employ to get her way and was more than happy to lie, manipulate and guilt trip to get it

Hubster is a wonderful, loving, caring man who misses his family greatly -- but his family keeps him out of the loop -- so much so that he has NO IDEA where things stand. Whenever he asks to be informed, he  occasionally gets a vague report and then a lecture to be more involved in the family. So, he cannot win no matter what he does. Eventually he decided that he had parted with his Father on very good terms when last they were together, in spite of his Mother's best efforts to hold us hostage with her desire to control how that went. Knowing he was OK with that, he decided that he was resigned to being left out and went on with life. He knows he and his Father were in the right place with each other and felt that was enough for him.

Last night, instead of a phone call, he received a FACEBOOK message from his sister that his Father is in hospice and is not expected to live. Guess what? Today is Hubster's birthday! SO, yet again an important date in the life of my Man has been hijacked to be a weapon in the precarious balance of his Father's imminent death. Apparently, Hubster is no longer allowed to have Father's Day or his own birthday, instead they must be used by his family as weaponry to make his Mother feel better. This is SO FUCKED UP! I cannot even begin to describe how pissed off I am at the ugly insensitive and disrespectful manner in which Hubster is treated.

If his Father dies, he will be sad, as will we all. Of his entire family, that man was my absolute favorite. He was goofy, told wonderful stories and NEVER made me feel like I was a bad person for marrying his son. I hope, when he does go, that he gets peace and I hope then that Hubster get's relief from being treated like a pawn and a puppet by that manipulative bitch who calls herself his mother. She has no idea what she has done. Rather than achieve what she wanted, which was to get him under her thumb, she has pushed him away. I hope she can live and eventually die being OK with that...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Book On My Nigtstand...

The current book on my nightstand it The Calligrapher's Daughter by Eugenia Kim. I am about 1/3 in and I am enjoying the story a lot. The flow is easy and relaxed, yet gets across the historical attitudes of the time frame very well. The feel of the characters is genuine and with each page I feel I know them like family. I have never read much about Korea, so I find this story engaging for the historical information as well. Asian culture is a wonderfully fascinating thing to learn about and I'm really glad I grabbed this one.

Years ago I was enthralled with Amy Tan's books. They were wonderful and heartfelt. I learned much about Chinese culture and attitudes.After finishing my current read, I am inspired to go back and re-read them AND get my hands on those I haven't yet read. I never saw The Joy Luck Club movie, but Amazon has it both on DVD and Prime rental, so I plan to check it out.

The same fascination held true for James Clavell's books. Not many of my teenaged friends were even remotely interested in his amazing Asian Sagas. I was hooked like an addict and read them as fast as I could. While I enjoyed the t.v. mini-series adaptations as well, I never thought they were given quite the justice they were due for such in-depth stories. Personally, I think it would be awesome if they were re-made into current t.v. series. That is probably the only way to truly get into the characters, stories and history.

 If Asian history and culture interests you, I think all of the books above would go a long way to fulfilling your curiosity, while providing deep characters and masterful story telling. Others you might consider include From A Far Land by Robert S. Elegant, though this is hard to find a copy of. Another I enjoyed was Shinju by Laura Joh Rowland. I intend to read more of both author's books if I can get my hands on them.

I can't remember a time I didn't like to lose myself in books. As a kid I read a lot of young mystery and who-dun-nit such as Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys, plus books like The Outsiders series. Around age 10 or 11, my Grandfather got me reading more serious material when he decided I could borrow his Agatha Christie books. One at a time he lent them to me until I completed the entire collection and I loved every one of them. Next he tried to get me into Ian Fleming's 007 stories. Those books did not do it for me, but who didn't love Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? On a side-note, would you believe I never saw a James Bond Movie until I was dating Hubster? Oddly enough, I LOVED the movies. Go figure, huh?

Anyway, that's what I'm currently up to, when I am not tackling free Craig's List furniture refinishing and upcycling projects...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

? 50 Shades of GREEN ?

Well, I finished book 3 and it was about the same as the first two... Lots of sex and 2 people who really need to learn how to communicate with each other trying to navigate those choppy waters, especially since Christian and Anastasia got married. C.G. was his usual controlling self taking precautions against the crazy people who want to bring harm to the Grey clan. A.G. was her usual self trying to be both who she is and what he needs her to be.

I was bummed that I couldn't find a good quote for this post's title,  but I decided on GREEN for a pretty good reason. It would seem from book 2 that a former sexual subordinate partner went bat-shit crazy and was jealous of the latest girl in Christian's life, especially since she very clearly is NOT a subordinate. Then there was Anastasia's boss that tried to get her to perform sexual favors in return for giving her the job. Well, C.G. had his ass bodily removed and not very nicely if you know what I mean. Turns out he was jealous of Christian for his money and position. Sooo there was plenty of green envy and big green money going around in this book. Lawdy, but these jealous folk must have been apoplectic by the (unsurprisingly to me) very happy ending!

The story read and felt the same in as much as the author was consistent across the series in her style and characterizations. This book brought more information about less prominent characters and answered the lingering questions. You know, all was tied up in a nice neat package with a bow and everything! The bonus at the end is a very short but very informative bit from the perspective of Christian Grey, which was nice as the entire series was written as Anastasia telling the stories.

Tell me... What did you like and/or dislike about it if you read it?

Monday, September 3, 2012

? 50 Shades of "Kinky Fuckery" ?

Having just completed Book 2, I am still trying to figure out what all the fuss has been about. Uhm, yeah there is plenty of sex and some of it you might call adventuresome and playful, but none of it has been mind boggling or mind blowing. Could be I am not easily impressed. Could be I am not lacking in that department. Could be these things aren't so off the wall to my way of thinking. Who knows? I'm not telling! :)

I have enjoyed these books so far, in as much as I enjoy anything most people would call a Summer Beach Reads. There is more to them than sex and the wary dance of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele still getting to know each other after such an ugly break up is sweet to follow along.

C.G. is a man with a wounded psyche. Though a man of money in this story, he did not enter the world as such. Hideous things were done to him as a small boy and while he was rescued and adopted into a loving family, he carried a low sense of self worth into adulthood. He has long sought to find a way to mend himself, though he has only just found someone who challenged his way of thinking enough for him to realize he has value to those around him.

A.S. has had so little worldly experience and yet she seems to naturally want to help C.G. learn that he is truly loved and cherished both by his family and her. The reality of this is most evident following a time when he has gone missing and everyone is gathered together fearing the worst but hoping for the best outcome. When he encounters this group of people upon his return, he is overwhelmed by the knowledge that he matters much more than he ever imagined. Here it seems he finally has the epiphany I was waiting and hoping for.

The kinky fuckery, (this hilarious phrase could not go unacknowledged!), may have been part of who C.G. was before, but now he is feeling freedom from its hold. There are parts of the sexual pleasures that he once practiced in mature and agreeable forms with consenting adult women that A.S. wishes to learn about and participate in with him, both for herself and for him. That to me defies the outcry from many about the nature of this book, She WANTS to know about what she enjoys and is WILLING, with restrictions, to try some of those things. That shows love, curiosity, willingness to try new things and daring to follow through. This is not a woman dominated by a man this is a woman dominated by love for a man. That is a far cry from the ugliness many would have had us believe that this series is really about.

I challenge those people who cannot see past the fact that sex is a major portion of the story line to rethink and reconsider that as such a negative. After all, how many who are condemning these books have a long history of watching Daytime Soaps and nighttime "Soap" dramas of yore (Dallas, Falcon Crest etc...) many mainstream movies? Hell, a significant number of the books they read are probably no better or worse.

Personally, I think that the women who are enamored of this series are so simply because they dream of being loved like they are the center of someone's while universe. It isn't a far cry from the relationships most of us experienced in High School. Emotionally those relationships are extremely intense. New and young love is always like that. These stories evoke that kind of emotion and it is one I think we all miss from our youth. Sure, some of those relationships sucked rotten eggs in every way possible and some were mighty alrighty with the fair to middlin's in there for good measure, but that doesn't mean that as adults we don't occasionally feel misty for that simpler love. HAHA, I know simpler sounds funny, but in comparison to what we know now and what we knew then, I truly believe it was simpler!

Friday, August 31, 2012

? "50 shades of fucked up" ?

They say never judge a book by its cover. I personally hold the additional opinion that you should never judge a book by its reviews. Especially when the reviews are creating such crazed emotions in all directions.

I am not usually swayed to read books based on the hype surrounding them. In fact that puts me off them, sometimes for good, often until the hype dies down and I can read it without the static in my periphery. Now that all the excitement over the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy has pretty much abated, I decided to go ahead and read the series, mostly because my daughter bought them and left them for me when she finished. Otherwise I would have put it off until I had a justification for spending $30. I have reached the end of book 1 and have come to some conclusions about all the crazed opinions - regardless of whether pro or con. My biggest observation being that I don't think a lot of the detractors even read the flippin' books! That is shameful! It is as maddening as when churches decry books and movies based on minimal information without ever having read or watched the entire thing and ensuring they know what the fuck they are condemning so vehemently... I really hate that!

For the sake of clarity, I went into this book with nothing more than curiosity to paint (taint? ;-) my imagination. I intentionally cleared my mind to be able to form reasonable thoughts of my own because the opinions out there were so varying and sometimes over the top outrageous.

I know little to nothing about BDSM. It is not something I personally want to become intimately knowledgeable about. Based on what I have read, I can see where folks might have a very strong love or hate for it. I can even see where some could see it as demeaning to either sex. I've come to realize that, unless you know what it is all about, having an opinion like that could well be considered ill-informed. I was actually somewhat disappointed that there was so little of it, simply because so much focus was placed on it in the media and on too many blogs to count. Granted that there is no shortage of sex, but who doesn't have sex a lot in a new relationship? I suppose on some level I wanted to satisfy some (morbid?) curiosity about it as well.

I am befuddled about the hatred of the Christian Grey character by so many people. To me he reads like someone who is injured in his heart and soul and is looking for a way -- any way -- to heal. That the BDSM he wishes to perform on/with Anatasia Steele is an outlet for him is not in question, but he makes it very clear that she can CHOOSE to or not to do ANYTHING in his bag of tricks. That shows more respect for her than many men show in relationships around the world. The effect of A.S. on C.G. is intriguing as well. It is very telling that he wants to learn to be what she needs in order to have her in his life. That appears to be a HUGE concession for a man who must maintain control in every aspect of his life. C.G. was HONEST about his nature and oddities. He flat out told her to stay away from him because he was "50 shades of fucked up" and therefore no good for her.

A.S. is an extremely unique individual in that she was a virgin when she met C.G. To make it all the way through college without having relationships of any depth and without sex to boot is an accomplishment to some and a failure to others. [Looking back, I myself sometimes wish I had waited longer for the sake of maturity and understanding about sex and what it means to me, but the children I have because I didn't are too valuable to be traded for a regret.] In just a short period of time, A.S. learns what she likes and does not like, forms deep emotional attachment to the one she lost her virginity to and she struggles to believe that she does have value to C.G. She chose to pursue this unusual relationship with C.G. fully aware of his "predilection" as she so aptly called it.

As picky as I am about what I read and how well written it is or isn't I was pleasantly surprised. This story has not been written as poorly as some reviews would have you believe. In spite of the fact that the various forms of the word clamber are quite over-used, the author did develop the characters well. Is it a literary masterpiece? Not by a long shot. Is it any better or worse than some of the Harlequin romances so many of us grew up reading (and that some still read...)? I would say it is better written and has better depth of character than many of those. That said, it definitely has bigger, dirtier, racier and hotter sex scenes than a lot of those and that could be over-whelming to some readers.

I have to question whether those who say this book is demeaning to women have actually read it AND if they have whether they even really understood what they were reading. From the get-go these characters had to learn how to make concessions and negotiate the choppy waters of new and unfamiliar emotions. In any relationship, talking things through is of utmost importance. Hubster and I still struggle with that sometimes even after 19+ years, as do most of the couples we know. It is normal and more difficult for some than others. C.G. and A.S. began to learn to communicate with each other. That it all fell apart at the end of book 1 is no surprise, as they hadn't figured out the dance yet.

50 Shades of Grey made me laugh, cry and hold my breath throughout. That is a wide range of emotion to capture and because of that I was very pleased. I would say that if you have chosen not to read it, maybe you should rethink that. Judge the story for yourself rather than based on what others have had to say. You might be pleasantly surprised like I was. I plan to ask Hubster to read it, because I really want to know what he thinks of it. Maybe I will even nag him into writing a review here from the male perspective.

I haven't read book 2 but I intend to. I look forward to seeing whether the integrity of the writing holds up through it and book 3. Many series begin to fall apart and others completely derail. I will definitely revisit my opinions and expand them after. I just hope I can find the "perfect quote" from the book for my title as easily as I found this one. As soon as I read the words on the page I knew it was the title.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Engaged? Engaged to be Engaged?

KC has this way about her that makes me give her my opinion whether she wants to hear it or not. Given a choice, she would choose "not" every time. In fact, even when I say my piece she is choosing "not" by her facial expressions and body language.

The thing is that she is constantly bitching and moaning about the way others act or talk or treat her. So, the Mom in me knows that she must be in need of a reminder that she is full of shit, since she does all the same crap to everyone around her -- especially her parents and siblings.

Around her birthday she pulled her usual "I am entitled to the whole world because I have a birthday this week" attitude. The boyfriend/fiance was home on leave and had been staying here. We placed her in the uncomfortable position of having to make some adult decisions which she 100% failed at. She demands regularly that she be treated like an adult, but she regularly acts like a spoiled brat and treats her family so poorly that no one can find a way to treat her any different than the child she acts like. Could be worse, we could treat her as shitty as she treats us and life would be extra grand then.

The boyfriend/fiance was brought into a discussion intentionally so we could make clear where we stood on all the lies and deceptions and failures to keep the promises she made to us last summer when we allowed her back home after serious BS on her part. At the end of the conversation, she left and he stayed. He wanted to clarify the "Engagement" with us, because we were apparently mistaken to be under the impression that they were actually betrothed. He told us that they were promised to be engaged in the future, but NOT engaged now. He gave a whole speech about how he would have done all the right things by talking to us and such if they were really engaged. The kicker was that he claimed not to know how she could have misconstrued that in her mind. He went on to request that we not say anything to her.

What, you say? Don't tell her? Well at the time, we agreed but said he should fix it. Since then it has apparently not been addressed and KC talks and acts like an engaged girl and is planning and pinteresting away to decorate her future home and create her magical upcoming wedding, still quite unaware that she is only PRE-engaged.
Today she was doing that thing I mentioned up top - the holier than thou act. Once again, my "Mom is calling you out" instincts jumped onto my vocal chords and started strumming away. There came a point when I decided we were having it all out in the open. So now she has to wade through both her own and the boyfriend/pre-fiance's big pile of BS.

Kids never seem to get that the one place you ought to be kissing some serious ass is the one place they never do. What's worse is even parents have their limits and we can shut down anytime. KC found out we were and are serious that the "Bank of Mom and Dad" was closed indefinitely when she came home in May, and yet she still cannot see that the way to get to us is by kindness and decency. She said she doesn't tell me things because I don't seem interested... She's right. She's made the environment so hostile that I don't care about the minutiae of her life anymore. Only she can fix that and I don't really see that happening. She has made a career of hurting and alienating those who love her most, and it's one of the few things she hasn't quit...

Monday, August 6, 2012

Arrested Development

Sometimes, The Google is not your friend!

Today I accidentally learned that one of my brothers was arrested early this year, 2 days after his birthday. It doesn't appear that the charges were jail worthy as they appear to be traffic related, though it seems he had his/a child in the car and that made things worse -- possibly enough to cause the arrest instead of a ticket? Worse is that what I saw shows that some places that broadcast this information over the internet have labeled him a child abuser!

I am flabbergasted to say the least and worried for my brother and his family, as this is not something anyone ever wishes to have on their plate. I love him, wish that this had not happened to him/them and hope that he has found a resolution to whatever caused things to go this way in the first place.

The fact that no one felt the need to share this awful thing with me is no surprise in a family that is super-skilled at secret keeping and intentionally excluding me from important things/information simply because they are not happy with me. Funny thing though, if I act like that I am labeled unkindly...

Must be hereditary...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Olympics... or PROlympics?

So the Olympics are on and for some reason, I just don't give a shit this year. My lack of interest has been building up the past few Olympics. There is no one specific reason that I can pin-point, but if I had to guess I would say it is no longer really meaningful.

Maybe I am the minority, but it has galled me since they began to allow the sponsorships to be so blatant. These people seem more professional than they ought to for the Olympics. I almost feel they should have an age cap or something. Obviously it would have to be based on each sport as some cannot be as young or old as others.

There are surely those who will say I am crazy or will disagree, and that's OK with me. I will read one of my many free Kindle books and be happy rather than annoyed with the sad state of affairs I believe the Olympics have become.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Late Night Phone Calls AND Insensitive Family

I don't know about you, but in my book, if the phone rings after 11pm. It'd better be for a damned good reason. Last night Hubster's cell phone began shrieking in it's obnoxious way at midnight. 9 times in 10 it is a wrong number, because he rarely if ever uses it for more than letting me know he is safe when riding his motorcycle. As he had gone to bed, I almost shut it off and continued on my way to bed. Instead, I answered and got hung up on. That to me is most obnoxious. I mean, if you made or think you made a dialing mistake, a simple "sorry wrong number" would suffice. I might be aggravated at the lateness of the hour, but if it was in error, it is at least excusable by use of manners. I no sooner put the phone back in its home when it began shrieking again. According to the display, it was the same number. I very nearly didn't answer it, because my dander was already up, but instead I chose to answer simply because that thing could wake the dead and all our kids were in bed.

Those of you who know my voice might say it is deep, possibly due to smoking for a number of years. That said, my voice DOES NOT sound like a man, nor does it sound anything like Hubster's. SO, when I answer the phone and the person on the other end says M? like I am Hubster and they can't tell the difference, I find that strange. What is more strange is that this person on the other end is Hubster's Brother T, and I think he ought to know what M sounds like, right? Instead, this happens EVERY time Brother T calls. Naturally I said, NO this is ME, it is midnight here (1 am there), M is asleep. I am then told to wake him up please. Now at this point Brother T has double plucked my aggravation nerve, but I go and wake up Hubster.

The call was to tell M that the family had been called down to the facility where their aged father has been slowly slipping closer to death. Apparently they were told he could go anytime. Now, this is heartbreaking, and we are both deeply saddened by this news. However -- I really must ask, given we are more than 25 hours away by car, did Brother T really need to call here at midnight?

What exactly was the purpose of this call other than to cause unnecessary upset? Hubster's siblings and parents routinely forget to consider him with regard to just about anything of import on a regular basis and have done this for most of his life. (YES! That's way longer than he has known me, and NO it does not take the sting out!) They do stupid things like send him a text message to tell him his Mom had a mini stroke. Seriously... WHO DOES THAT, that was just plain heartless? If he had ever been that callous to them about anything they all would have had a fit!

BTW, no additional news over night, so again what was the point? Realistically, even had his father passed away, there was still no need to call at that time of night. The facts were not going to change...

If his family was treated the way they treat M, and ME for that matter, they would put on quite the performance of "woe is me" for any and all who might possibly bear witness. Even reactions to their  mistreatment of us are met with some form of them trying to make their feelings more important than anyone else's and manipulating those not involved into thinking they are the innocent and damaged party rather than the aggressors causing damage. As they are all older than he is, one would think childish games of manipulation would have fallen by the wayside, especially since they never gain the reaction they seem to desperately want from M.

Sometimes, I have to wonder how Hubster turned out so well. He is nothing like the rest of them!

Friday, May 25, 2012

What are you doing about finding a job today?

That is the question I asked KC today.
The answer...?

Can you say

So, KC came home from school on Wednesday the 16th. She spent a few hours on Monday the 21st "job hunting" out of the house. Reportedly she has a babysitting job lined up occasionally throughout the summer. Whoopdeedoo. If it pays enough to keep gas in the vehicle, it'll be a miracle. There is also an upcoming interview at a local rec center. GREAT. Interview does not equate to HIRED.

In the meantime, no following up of the other job applications she supposedly filled out and turned in. BRILLIANT PLAN... Cuz that gets your name and face noticed, shows you are eager and makes the powers that be see YOU repeatedly until just maybe you get hired for being persistent and following through. UHM, NOT!

Oh and the grades (3 B's and an A) are in for the semester and once again the 3.1 GPA requirement -- YES, once again -- is not met for the car insurance discount... SO guess what, no school in the fall. We cannot afford it and she was told the consequences of not getting her nose to the grinding stone and pulling her grades back up enough to get the discount reinstated AND prove to her parents that she gives enough of a shit to do the things that are required of her like have a job and get any discounts possible for having good grades. Let's not forget that trust is NOT running thick around here where she is concerned, so obviously this was wise planning on her part.

Is that not enough excitement for you? How about some more... She came home with yet another piercing even though she has been REPEATEDLY told that while she lives under our roof and we pay 100% of her medical and other expenses -- because she has NO JOB -- piercing is FORBIDDEN. You want to destroy your body? Do it on your own fucking nickel with your own fucking insurance -- AFTER you pay us back for all the money you owe us! HELLO? She has already had ENOUGH big health issues over the years. WE don't CARE if all your friends and your, only one year older than you, aunt all have a belly piercing. We DON'T CARE if your boyfriend wants you to have one -- he is irrelevant in the grand scheme. This is about KC doing the right thing not KC trying to be one with the rest of the damn population! We might have made some concessions IF the trust was there and she had earned anything along the way, but no... instead she continues to do all the wrong things just to thumb her nose at us.

We are SO done.! We are in debt up to the sky for her and she continues to fuck us over.

Message from us to KC:  You wanna keep biting the hand that feeds you? Fine, GET THE FUCK OUT. We don't need this shit from you. Your time for acting like a spoiled little brat has long since PASSED. GROW UP! IS THAT CRYSTAL ENOUGH FOR YOU?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Falling Apart

Do  you ever wonder if the so-called advances in the making of products we use every day really are advances? I have to say that given all the things falling apart in my house of late, there is little to convince me of this.

We bought our first house in 1998. That home was built in 1973. While there were many things wrong with it, I was never concerned about the soundness of it's construction. While the heat and A/C were original, we never had more then minor hiccups with them. We did eventually replace them, but the need for more efficient machinery was the motivation. We bought good quality equipment and in the 5 or so years we lived there after had no problems. We had to replace all the appliances in the house, because each was not functional enough to do what they were meant to do with any reasonable reliability. Again, we bought good quality equipment and paid more for them to get  that. We communicate every so often with the folks that bought our house and they always have good reports on how well things are holding up. That makes me feel good, because it made spending the extra money for good stuff, really worth it. Most of them are about 8-10 years old now.

The house we have now had "new" appliances in the kitchen and original heat and A/C. The previous owners took the washer and dryer when they moved. Luckily I had  my old set, so I used it until the washer sputterd it's last breath at age 10. What a bummer! So, I had to buy a new set. I did research and read reviews and spent several weeks trolling the internet, going to the various stores and picking the sales people's brains in my quest for the best or at least as close to it as I could afford. I was disappointed by the salespeople. Each store I visited did not seem to care to give their own opinions. Rather I received canned answers and was often pushed towards a certain brand. In testing this theory, I visited several branches of the stores I have to choose from and each store pushed the same stuff on me -- regardless of my wants and what I was asking for. That is suspect in my book, because it means that even if the one they are pushing is a good product, if it has a better product next to it they may not tell you. This is why I did so much research.

So, late in 2008, I made my choice and selected a highly rated set. I wish I hadn't but that is because I hadn't seen any complaints about top load HE washers with no agitator in the middle leaving clothes knotted and uber-wrinkly. Since then I have found many such complaints, so be warned. :) I have adjusted how I wash things and adapted for the most part to get around that, but it is a pain in the ass. To boot, the machine just doesn't always do what it is set to do and seems to have extreme difficulty dissolving powder products. Last week the dryer began making a noise that could wake the dead. It has apparently is the drum roller and it needs to be replaced. It ain't cheap either at $135 before labor! YAY home warranty... $75 deductible!

Right now I am thanking my lucky stars that we decided to keep the home appliance warranty going each year since we bought this house in 2007. The previous homeowners had replaced all the kitchen appliances and the hot water heater in the 3 years they owned the house. So far, in addition to the 4 year old dryer, we have had the 5 year old dishwasher start burning up its electronic parts. (Apparently this has happened a lot with our model and yet ours was not included with the recall that the maker had for a whole bunch of other models from the same time frame. No logic there! OH and the recall only gave those people $250 towards a new machine of their brand AND these people had paid TOP $$ for their DWs!) The water heater was maybe 6 years old when it died and had to be replaced.

The A/C is original to the house which was built in 1992. When we moved in, it promptly died and the home warranty repair man said there were no parts for it, so he flat out said he was going to jerry-rig it to make it work. Since then it has been re-jerry-rigged 2 more times by the home warranty. Uhm? How is jerry rigging safe?

The fridge makes ice but not water, because the line freezes. I gave up thawing it out, and the home warranty doesn't cover ice makers. It also randomly freezes things in the fridge, and the freezer has to be kept on the warmest setting or else everything freezes so hard you cannot even scoop ice cream! The gas stove doesn't heat evenly in the oven and the burners do not regulate well which really messes with cooking! It is so bad that I was using the gas grill almost year round for the vast majority of my cooking. That is until the tornado last year knocked it over... Never has worked right since... :( I miss that! But that was all that was damaged... Unlike the neighbors who lost the whole top of their house!

All these problems in products that are not very old are very disturbing. For all the things that are amazing in the advances in our world, appliance manufacturing has gone down hill in my book. Efficiency is a wonderful thing for sure, BUT The cost of the things we buy is SO HIGH and there is NO EXCUSE for the paltry warranties they give for the products. It seems to me that they would warrant them longer if they actually believed in their own stuff and weren't such greedy bastards! Advances are only good if  they improve a product AND keep the quality to last a good long time at a high standard. They don't anymore and we are ripped off in a big way because of it!

Let me know what your favorite appliances are and why. It looks like I might have to start looking for some new ones soon... UGH! Like I have money for THAT!

Friday, April 6, 2012

The "SCARY" Revolution

Sometimes at
just the right moment in time
just the right person will strike
just the right nerve with
just enough people to start something
just a little bigger than they had intended.

It would seem that is what happened to Blogger cum Author Jill Smokler, adoringly known (to most) as SCARY MOMMY. Her blog took off in a way she never imagined. So much so that the wise ones over at Gallery Books have now provided us with her hilarity and honesty in book form. And what fun it was to read!

Confessions of a Scary Mommy was released Tuesday and my advance purchased kindle copy appeared quietly without fanfare. From the outset I had repeated giggle fits. Mostly because nearly everything she said I could relate to my own experiences. Sometimes in an eerily similar fashion. What struck me most was that things I had not thought of as funny when they happened to me now have a humorous quality that makes some obnoxious mothering memories far more tolerable in the memory banks (What is left of the memory anyway... HAHA!)

I would totally recommend this book to any mom, new or seasoned. Either you will learn ways to toughen up your maternal skin or you will nod your head with the memories it brings back to you. Hubster and I enjoy the Confessional immensely and I have definitely put one or two in there. The confessional provided plenty of comedic value to the book, as Jill used some of her favorite quotes to introduce chapters.

I finished my copy yesterday evening. I plan to go back and read it again. Reading it in bed the other night, I got a case of the giggles. Hubster would have tossed me out if I didn't realize pretty quickly that it would be more enjoyable to read when I could let go and literally LOL!

Does Jill know who I am?
Does she know I enjoyed her book?
Possibly, since I said as much in a comment.
Did she ask me for a review?
Not personally.
Did she ask her Scary readers to review it?
Yes...on bookseller sites.
(I might just do that...even though I don't usually.)

Little bloggers like us only dream of the big bloggers viewer numbers. One day maybe another one of us little'uns will strike the right nerve like Jill did and take off. Meanwhile, I for one will continue to enjoy Scary Mommy both on-line and on my Kindle. Oh, and I totally plan to be there when she comes to town next month!

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Engagements

An engagement should be a wonderful thing, but when it is tossed at you in a way that feels hurtful by your own flesh and blood it really makes it difficult to feel good about it.

Since February, my 2 eldest daughters have both become engaged. Granted the first, was not raised by me and my feelings are not the primary ones of importance, but it still matters to me. Most certainly it matters that I was never told by her. Rather on her birthday a photo of a ring that looked nothing like an engagement ring was posted on the FB. What I naturally thought was a birthday gift from her boyfriend turned out to be much more. The worst part is that her biological grandmother, who is my very dear friend, called me and told me it was an engagement ring. Better yet, she told me that not only did the boyfriend ask her father's permission he also made a similar gesture  to her biological father. While I was left to hear about it through the grapevine.

Well, if that is how it is to be then so be it. I, the one who has carried the hurt the most for having lost that child to the selfishness of her biological father, have been shown my place. My place being nowhere and of no value or importance. To them all there is left to say is have a nice life, and in that life it is apparent I do not fit.

On Monday KC sent me a text asking me if Hubster asked my father for his "blessing" to marry me. I said no, because he didn't, (if he was going to ask anyone it would have been my mom in that time period of my life) and I said she better not be getting engaged. To which she only asked Why not? At this point I now know that my daughter has made an announcement to me in her usual ass-backward and most harmful way possible that she is indeed engaged, without ever having said so. I replied that we had already talked about it and I was not going to have the conversation via text. Still I held out the vaguest of hopes that I was wrong, but alas I have not been her mother for nearly 20 years for nothing and I read her like a book as usual.

I heard nothing more from her until today. She added the announcement of her engagement to the end of another unrelated conversation so that it seemed more like an after thought than telling me something she is supposedly excited and happy about. Well guess what, I am not happy and why the hell should I be? She KNEW already that I was hurt by what happened with her sister and even said she thought that it was shitty what was done to me. Now she is doing the same shitty thing to me and I am supposed to act like I am running in a field of roses in a love story movie. Screw that!

First of all, we talked about the boyfriend's impending deployment over Winter break. We discussed  engagement and she flat out told me she was not anywhere close to ready for that kind of commitment and that she didn't think that it was the right thing to do just because he was being deployed. She still has 2 years left of school plus she had also told us she possibly wants to go to grad school. Given the maturity of the conversations and how smart she sounded in them, I actually believed that she was finally getting some real adult common sense. Even her various posts seemed more rational, more honest, more true and more adult.

Shortly after she returned to school I began to think I had been played by her, when on Pinterest she began posting wedding and engagement crap like it was going out of style! Over spring break I asked about it and she said that yes, they had talked about it but she also implied they weren't planning anything any time soon. I even commented that I was glad to hear it for all the same reasons that we had discussed over Winter.

Well since there is no respect or consideration for me, my husband or the rest of the family, all I can say is she better remember that when next she wants me to pick up the pieces of one of her mistakes or screw-ups for her, because I don't think I will be so inclined to do so anymore. Maybe she can try relying on her bio-dad for a change -- HAH! We have reached an all new level and I personally do not feel very good about any of it at all.

From the moment of my very first pregnancy I have put the best interest of all of my children first, which is not necessarily something that is always easy to do. For my trouble I have been given the shaft on a very regular basis by my children. Hubster and I have taught respect, how to treat others and right from wrong. Obviously there is something severely wrong with me that I cannot manage to raise children who give one flying fuckola about me, and as to the first born I can only say that this must be genetic since the treatment is the same.

My parents will say I was the same way, but that only goes to provide further proof that it is genetic -- which leads to an entirely new set of questions and lends a completely different light to much of my relationship with them. (NO this is not an invitation for my parents to begin an all new round of the oh-so-worn-out point the blame to the other parent game) The difference is when I was about 19 or so I became an entirely different, more mature and more considerate person than I ever was as a kid. Adulthood and shortly after wards, single-parenthood brought a near immediate change in my personality and viewpoint of things.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

water water everywhere...

Well, when it rains it pours! What a week...the one directly from hell!

Friday the Hubster came home from work. I looked at him and asked who hit him. He had a very red splotch on his face. He said it started at work. Well, by Friday night it had spread over the rest of that half of his face and he had a fever. By Saturday morning it had spread to the other side of his face and the fever was creeping ever higher and off he went to the urgent care center. Diagnosis? Cellulitis -- I had never heard of it before. Basically it is an infection under the skin. Antibiotics were prescribed and home he came.

Needless to say all the stuff we had planned on doing over the fine spring weekend wasn't done... and I was running like a mad chicken to do get other things accomplished. Hubster began to feel better on Sunday night. Monday he stayed home and in the afternoon was mobile enough to keep his appointment with the DR to get his pre-colonoscopy interview out of the way. Ahhh the joys of being over 50! Poor guy! Today he stayed home, since he was still feeling a bit run down and his face, while very much improved is still somewhat swollen.

This afternoon, I mowed the lawn and was doing some clean up. The recycle tub needed a good hosing out from the winter, so Hubster hooked up the hose and commenced to giving it a rinse. A couple minutes later, EC came running out of the house and was so freaked out she could barely get out the words to tell us that there was water POURING out of the ceiling in the Family room downstairs. Bet you were starting to wonder what this post had to do with water, huh?

Inside, I kid you not, behind where the front yard hose faucet is in the wall outside is the top of the ceiling of the basement wall and water was spewing - much like a small geyser! If it wasn't so awful it would have been awesome. The water was spreading fast and we literally grabbed all the beach towels in the house and started tossing them on the pool. Hubster went in the back room to get the steam cleaner to suck the water up with and found that it had also gotten in there and was spreading fast under the stairs and across the concrete floor.

We started to feel like we had gotten through the worst of it when I felt a little splash of water on my cheek. I wasn't even near where the water had been spewing forth into the house, but when I looked up, the hideous boob* light the previous owners had installed was fast filling with water and it was dripping from the nipple.

*I found a photo online of one that is very similar to the light we have -- and now you know why I call it the boob light:

Hubster removed the light, put a bucket under it and we proceeded to continue with the clean up. We stopped to eat since it appeared the worst had past. After dinner we started collecting wet towels and checking the state of things only to discover that several seams in the ceiling were oozing water and a wall on the other side of the room now had pouring water down its face AND into one of our picture frames! Couldn't be a crappy one, oh no... instead it had to be a limited edition pen and ink given to Hubster by someone back home. It is possible I rescued it in time, but water dripped out from the corner of the frame when I tilted it, so I am worried that the mat will have wicked up some and become an ugly stain on a professionally framed picture. GRRRRRRRRRRR!

We then had to move more furniture, because the ceiling was obviously very wet and I was concerned  that it could fall onto the computer and book cases. Hubster stared poking holes in the ceiling to help the water get out, so we have a series of buckets catching drips now. The plumber is set to come in the morning at 10 am.

Hubster was already scheduled to be off tomorrow, because he has to go have a cancerous spot in his back removed -- they didn't want to reschedule that when I told them about the cellulitis, because they have no place in  the schedule until late May. UGH! I feel bad for poor Hubster. He needs a break! Hopefully there will be no more major upsets between now and April 10th when he gets his colonoscopy... Let's just hope everything comes out ok that day!

They are calling for a chance of severe storms tonight and possibly off and on the next few days.OH GOODIE, cuz oh yeah 2 weeks ago on the other side of the basement, the bedroom down there flooded. We have been trying for years to get that to stop. Every time we think we beat it, mother nature throws us a curve ball. That bitch needs to pick on someone else -- SERIOUSLY!