Monday, October 13, 2014

Who wouldn't want to sit here?

Who wouldn't want to sit here?
Ok. Me. I would not sit here. 

Hard to imagine but the man has been gone for 
25 days already. He is coming home on Wed. I have some mixed feelings. I know that sounds bad.
The reality is that I have no idea what to expect.
I wonder how much of his odder behavior was alcohol and how much was stroke related.

I think he has had some personality changes
from the stroke. He is much quicker to frustration than he used to be. Computers drive him crazy. Crazier than they do the rest of us.

His impulsiveness is through the roof. He sees something and he wants to buy it now... right now.

But I also think it was magnified by alcohol.
So yeah, 
my feelings are a bit mixed and apprehensive.
Loyalty is a huge part of my character make up.
Feeling iffy, feels wrong.
My feelings of excitement are dimmed by cautious curiosity.  Have things change for the better or not?

I will be driving him to AA meetings.
I am trying to find him a group that has other Vets.
I found one that is held in a Veteran's building.
I'm hope other Vets will be there.
That will give him a sense of community with people with other things in common beside

The man needs friends.
Since he had his stroke, his friends have vanished
for the most part. So I am also looking into the Senior Center here. He just squeaks in age-wise.
I am hoping that they will have card games or checkers... something to just drop in and play.
Maybe even crafts, which he loves, or other classes.

He needs a regular group of people to see while I am off working.

His kids are too busy. 
Busy, except for the one who lives so far away. 
He is visiting his dad today.
He's my favorite.

So today I am off on a trip of discoveries...
looking for activities for the man.

I put a pot of Chili Colorado into the rice cooker
that doubles as a slow cooker. I'm hoping that works out well. If not I'm going to be eating it anyway for a while. Waste not want not as they say.

Here are some random things to share:

I have earned a full week vacation.
Yay! Yay! Yay!

I can't have a "requested" day off until after Christmas.  Boo! Hiss! I was ready to take that vacation as soon as I got it. Oh well.

We got a new dress code.
We now have to wear dress shirts and slacks.
And joys of all joys... a vest.
The vest is ugly.
It is made of a thermal weave fabric.
The front of the vest proclaims in print that 
"I am a proud Big Dubbya Associate."
I'd like to know where they got that notion.

If you recall a few years back, some nut job
woke up with the bright idea that all the Big Dubbya Associates who had smiley faces on the back of their vests would make excellent targets for 
shooting practice.
The decided that the happy face vest was not a good idea after all and told folk not to wear them.
The smiley faces are gone, but have been replaced with what I like to call the
 "Big Dubbya Asshole".
They call it a "spark" but that does not make it any less of a big o'l target.

I am less than thrilled about wearing one.
But on the bright side, it will make a nice bib at lunch time.

See what I mean?

And with that snarky comment...
I hope you all find silver linings in your troubles today.


I almost forgot!
Shife's book is here!

Congratulations Shife!
I cannot wait for my copy to arrive!
Isn't it exciting?


Monday, September 29, 2014


Randy has been sober and in rehab for 12 days.  Seems longer but a short time as well. Time gets to play that sort of game.

The in-laws and I drove up to see him on Sunday. I was packing along the list of things that he wanted me to bring; his old army field jacket, a compass,(it is a huge complex and he gets turned around easily), DVDs (mostly avenger movies), a rain jacket, boots, remote wi-fi, a roll of quarters, an alarm clock, and more. It felt like I was moving him there.

The drive up was one filled with mixed emotions. Wanting to see him, excited about that. Worry about how he was taking being there.  Our last communication on the subject of his "being there" included keywords like "prisoner" and "touchie feelie crap". I had not asked about it since and it had been over a week. I had no idea what sort of mood I would find him in. Especially with the in laws in tow. Would he clam up or would he be willing to communicate?

As it turns out, he was happy to see us. He immediately drug me off on a hurried walk by ourselves... to the ATM. Hummmm... not the sort of thing I was expecting, but yes, giving him spending money was fine. He did give me a decent kiss and hug out of sight of "the others" which includes staff and peers. Our initial one was stiff and brief.

Then he checked himself out for a field trip. He wanted to go to an Army Surplus store... which turned into 3 of them. He is looking for particular patches for his field jacket for his training at Ft. Knox and his tank division. We ate lunch out and then returned him so that he could blow into the machine and prove that we had not allowed him to drink.

We sat and visited and then walked and visited. Nothing earth shaking happened. He seemed fine but also on edge. He lost a glove, which we found... and I also found a pack of camels in his pocket. This, I silently pondered and did not share the information. I knew that finding his cigars would not be easy for him, if even possible, on campus. 

I looked over his schedule of classes... a good assortment of themes to do with how one feels about ones self and alcohol issues. That evening he would attend his first AA meeting. Prior to this he had said he would never do AA.  My feeling on it was that he felt it would be embarrassing for him... a blow to his pride... to stand up and admit that he was an alcoholic. I made no comment on his confession that he would be attending. I wait instead for his comments on what happened there and how he felt about it. 

It was exhausting for me. Sounds odd that it would be hard for me when I was not an inpatient, but there was a great deal of emotion flowing in the undercurrent up there. You could see signs of stress on the faces of his peers, and on his own. As we visited one man was begging his wife to reconsider and wait to see how he did in rehab... a projection of desperation not to lose his family... a strained plea over a public phone... his head down to hide his misery while his hand roamed his face and head, pressing and rubbing.

We noted the change in Randy, well many changes in Randy.
But the one I speak of now was an increase in agitation. It was time for us to take our leave and let him get on with it without the pretense of a happy family get together.  He walked us to the car and gave me a long, tight hug. He whispered that he was sorry if he had been an ass. 

"Well, if so, you're my ass and I forgive you." I whispered back.    I watched his back as he hustled down the sidewalk to the smoker's area, a cigarette already lit, clinging to his lip. 

I can see a difference in his walk. He moves at a brisk pace that I have not seen him achieve since before his stroke. His mind seems more alert. His body looks healthier. And he likes being there. While we were off campus eating, he developed that same agitation and we took him back... he feels safe there. That is good. He told me that they all had shared experiences that no one else understood (service related) and he had never had this feeling of being understood since his stint in the Army.

They gave him a new walker that is very nice and streamlined. He uses his brakes like a BMXer. It was clear that he was thrilled to have it to replace the clunky old folk ones he has here at home. I'm giving those away. Anyway, there was much to be impressed with... progresses, changes for the positive. But there is still work for him to do.

My in-laws live about 45 minutes north of me and wanted me to stay the night. Nope. Dorothy was right... there is no place like home. As soon as I heard the clicking of Roxy's claws on the oak floor, I felt all the heaviness of the day slide away.  We exchanged kisses and wiggles. She got a couple of cookies and her evening meal. Then we flopped down to watch Netflix for the rest of the night.

I am doing okay. I have lots that I am sorting in my head. I am not unhappy or upset with Randy. I want whatever is good for him to come out of this. 

He is one of those people who was raised to keep emotions tied up inside... buck it up... be a man... by a man who would not accept him as a son who could ever measure up to his own mighty self.  One of the unfortunate who truly did get a beating when he did things wrong.  There were very strict expectations... these expectations he passed to his own kids to a lesser degree. There is much family emotional cancer to be cut out.

I stand on the fringe.  I see some hard times ahead, but I also see great potential for real growth and happiness.  At this point its not up to me.  I'll just hang out and do what I can to help and support.  

On that note... hope you all had a fine weekend and enjoyed it with people you love, who love you!



Thursday, September 18, 2014


Life has made me a liar... I promised to be back regularly, then I wasn't.  Sorry about that. There have been troubles. I know you all will understand.

As you know, the man had a stroke about a year and a half ago. We applied for his disability right then, within days upon the doc's advice. Still not here. Yet, we have managed to hang on by our fingernails all this time. That will continue. I personally do not require entertainment outside of my  home. Let me read and write and I am the happiest bunny in the warren. I get up, go to work, come home and interact with the man for a bit, then go to bed and do it all again.

Unfortunately not so for the man. He has not been happy. So many things he can no longer do well, frustrations and disappointments. Lack of money is troubling to him. This season we cannot even get our beloved Duck games on TV, let alone afford to go to one. In fact, no TV. Old friends don't know how to react to his stroke, so they avoid coming over. The man's world has gotten very small,boring and lonely. To compensate, he began to drink too much, then way, way too much.

I have known from the beginning that he is alcoholic. Back then it was functional. His job kept it in check for the most part. He would come home have a couple of drinks and stop because he had to work. Then he would cut loose and party for Duck games or bbqs. As alcoholics go, he was mild and pleasant and not over the top.

Over the course of the last year, the man began to get drunk more and more often. He would be drunk before I ever got home. Sometimes he would go on a toot and be up for a couple of days... often waking me up every hour or so to tell me of some thought he'd had making my brain sleep deprived. I get crabby when I am sleep deprived. My crabby was setting off his crabby. Our crabbies fought. Life was less and less fun for either of us.

I decided to talk to him when he was sober, but finding sober was getting hard to do. I tried not taking him to the liquor store. An exercise in futility.  He got out his walker and stoically made his way to the liquor store a mile away and back again.

 ( from

You get the point. Something had to happen. I have always told him that he is an adult and that I was not going to tell him what to do. BUT if he ever wanted to quit drinking, I would back him 100%.  I planted that seed and let it grow. Occasionally I watered it with a mild repetition.

A great many things happened in the span of a few months.  His daughter came over, caught him drunk in the middle of the day and had a fit... blaming me for "neglecting" him and other general bad mouthing about me... leading to why he should divorce and get rid of me. His youngest son and girlfriend have been trying to guilt their way into living off... I mean... with us. Neither hold jobs longer than a week or two and not for many months now. Her family has given them a month to get out.

We talked about alcohol and his health, his family's concern, my concern and his unhappiness. It had to be his choice.  No one can force him. It can't be our choice or it won't work. But he made that decision. So we made an appointment at the VA near us and went in to get him signed up for treatment. It took a while to get in, 6 weeks in fact. He used those six weeks to cram in all the alcohol he thought he might consume the rest of his life if he could continue to drink. Its been a roller coaster.

Yesterday early in the morning, I dropped off my husband 400 miles away. He stood there stiff as a board when I hugged him.  He had a cross between a "deer in the headlights" and "first day of kindergarten" look... shock, fear and abandonment on his fuzzy face while he tried to look manly in front of all the other people around. As we drove away, I felt emptier than I have ever felt before. Empty and terribly sad, though I know this will be good for him and for us. But fear and suffering are not things I like to see, especially on someone I love.

I have been living in that land.  Whatever that land is where discourse and chaos rein and exhaustion is all that is left of you. Now I walk my quiet house with my shadow, Roxy. I don't know what I would do without her. When I finally got home yesterday after the long drive, I opened my door to my tap dancing, tail wagging, wiggly dog and felt so hugely blessed to have such a welcome home. We watched Dexter all evening and then slept in. I don't know which of us snored louder.

His son began to pressure me to let them move in with me to keep me "company" while the man was gone. He told me that he had already asked grandma if it was okay.  He did not bother to add that she said it had to be okay with me and didn't know she had warned me that he was going to ask.

 I said "No. I am aware this is not my house, but it is my home. My first priority is to your father's well being. I want him to be successful in quitting drinking. That means I won't allow stress here when he comes home and I need quiet time until he does come home."

The reference to the house not being mine is because it belongs to their grandma and these two kids like to remind me whenever possible that it is more theirs by family right than mine, because I am obviously not their family. I am only an occupant in their eyes.  I'm less than a tenant who gets privacy consideration.  They walk in unannounced anytime. They planned a going away party for their dad here on last Sat.  I got a text saying "We are having a going away party in DAD's house..."  They used my pots and pans to cook (I don't get to cook, his daughter says they have their own family's recipes.) They did not bother to ask if I was okay with their having the party here or if they used my kitchen and stuff. They ate, talked and laughed, then left me with all the dirty dishes, kitchen and plates, cups etc. strewn all over my home. Complete disrespect.

Venting over.

I should say that his oldest son, Jr. is very good to me. So is grandma. Its the other two kids who act that way.

I gave myself a day to get my head right again before returning to work tomorrow. I'll be a day short on pay day, but this time it will have to do.  I deserve a quiet day.  I intend to have a quiet month too. And I will be back here.  I am losing my blog friends right and left. But then I have not been visiting as promised or blogging at all.  Believe me, you have meant a great deal to me. I appreciate you all.

One last thought that has been bugging me.  Have you ever noticed how we look at babies with their big toothless smiles and think they are so cute?  But when we look at a grown up person with no teeth and big gummy smiles we think "YIKES!"  I guess something gets lost the in gummy smile appeal as we age.

Here's a giggle before you go.  I saw this in a pawn shop...

I think its good advice.

Friday, July 4, 2014


   (Courtesy of

My computer went to the dark side.
But it's back...
and I fixed it myself!

So let me back track a bit.
About the time the computer crapped out,
we took a trip up to see my kids.
It was the man's birthday,
his 55th,
and that was what he wanted in the way of a present.
We got up there and the boys...
Squeaky and Boo...
were working.
So we went to where they work...
The Sawtooth,
which is half way up 
Mount Hood.
                                                                                                       My kind of place!
A whimsical atmosphere...
that is calm and quiet during the day...


And gets rocking in the spring and summer evenings with live music.

This post is kind of all over the place... oh well. We had our diner and dessert on the patio and enjoyed the lovely weather.

There is a river behind that fence.
You don't really see it well, 
but you can hear it sing.

 This is one of the murals painted here and there.
Nice place!
We really enjoyed it.
Bear, Turkey and Bug came too.
You've met Bug...
she's the little chub from my last post.

Boo was anxious for us to see his new house
on the mountain...
and to meet the new grand dog...

Chevy and his steel belt from a radial.
That's his favorite chew toy.
Chevy did not like the man!
Not at all.
He spent a lot of time in his kennel.
Poor guy.
We think it was the fuzz on the man's face.
Eventually he will like him.
This was my "vacation"
We also saw my darling little Olivia and her mommy.
I forgot my real camera, 
so these are not the best pics.

As vacations go...
I can never go wrong with family.
Good food, lots of chatter and joy all around.
I only had one day of vacation that I paired with my days off.
Then it was time to come home
and back to work...
where this sight awaited me...
 I thought one giant balloon bread was funny.
Three is silly squared.
Who says I don't live an interesting life?
I hope you all have a terrific and joyful
4th of July.
As usual,
the man and I will drag our camp chairs down
to the end of the drive way
to enjoy the neighborhood fireworks display.
I think I like the duds as well as the 
successful explosions.
I miss the town fireworks
in DPH.
In a town the size of a small high school,
it was like a very large family party.
There is nothing like the smell of fireworks
combined with barbeque aroma,
children's squeals and adult laughter.
Our neighborhood has that same feel
on a smaller scale.
Very nice.

Monday, June 9, 2014


I found this jolly guy on penterist.
Peculiar things are a foot.
Call it a run of not terribly bad luck.
For example:
Last Saturday was my second of two days off in a row.
I was determined to get some overdue house chores finished.
I got up, and got busy.
I went to start the dishwasher and recalled
that I was not thrilled with the detergent packs
I had gotten at the dollar store.
Sometimes you win there, sometimes you lose.
Off I went to the Store about six blocks away.
It was hot, so I drove.
I wanted to get in and out... no sight seeing.
I parked,
 walked inside and straight to the dishwasher soap isle.
I was almost to the check out near my car
when the lure of pretty flowers trapped my interest.
Ok, I told myself.
One small, inexpensive plant.
As soon as I walked out to the nursery area...
I saw them.
I nabbed them up and was  hardly a tick off schedule.
I slid into my hot car.
We're talking temperature.
I delighted in imagining the cool air
that would be blowing on me as I hauled my keys up to
select my ignition key.
I must take a moment here to expalin that there was a
recall on my year and make of car.
Something in the ingition makes it do things
that can cause it to crash.
Chevy assured us that if we did not put anything
but the ignition key into the ingition...
no possiblity of crashing weirdness was possible.
And as soon as the part arrived,
the joker ignition would be replaced for free.
I was terrified of losing my key if it had to be solo
while its key friends hung out on the key fob.
Those keys are spendy!
They have a security chip in them that allows the key to start the car.
I decided that I needed a clip that I could use to clip and unclip the key
and keep my keys together.
It worked so well.
At least until I made my jaunt down the aisles of the market.
I looked at my keys and it was not on its clever little hook.
Well crap!
Back I go, not worried because I had taken no more than ten minutes.
How far can a key go in that much time?
Apparently it can go to hell.
No matter how many times I walked the same path,
it refused to be there.
I asked all the cashiers... the service desk... any associate I saw.
I had no choice but to walk in the heat, that I sought to avoid, home.
Did I ever tell you that I take a medication that causes
sun sensitivity?
I can burn in as little as 15 minutes.
I had also washed my hair just before I began my sad journey.
Wet head... exposing more scalp.
By the time I got home,
my hair was dry but my scalp was pig nose pink.
I got my spare key and had no choice but to walk back.
Did it occur to me to put on a cap or scarf?
Heck no!
I had things to get done.
I was in a hurry and this was holding me up.
I did not think anything about my hair,
let alone the sun.
My mind was awhirl with visions of the cost of replacing that key.
By the time Otto Mobile and I returned, my head was more the shade of
fresh spanked naked butt...
a shade I recall clearly from childhood.
I did my chores and fell into bed after diner.
I was pooped.
I actually felt the intensity of the burn at the moment,
after oversleeping, that I finished my shower and
grabbed the brush to drag thru
my once again wet head.
It certainly woke me up quickly.
sun bruned head is not a good motivational tool.
I launched off to work using my spare without a spare key.
I made up for my lateness on the freeway.
I chuckled to myself at my awesome ability to still
make it to work on time as I slid
Otto into a prime parking space.
My not terribly bad luck streak was over.
Whoo Hoo!
Sadly the thrill died when I pulled on my door handle and
it came off in my hand.
Such is life.
Hope you all had a glorious and grand weekend
in the company of folk who love you to pieces.

Saturday, June 7, 2014


Avery speaks.
Again, my apologies...
My computer has not been acting well
and would not let me post for some
reason beyond my ability to figure out.
Today it is being kind.
Above is the small yet loud Avery,
who has begun to speak.
She will be heard!
She is also crawling and on the move.
Nothing is safe.
Look at those cheeks!
<*)))<   <*)))<   <*)))<
At the Big Dub-Ya things have been
I have come to the conclusion that the 
meth heads are in high spirits
because the weather is warm enough
not to have to pay power bills.
They have that au de cat piss that is unmistakable.
They also have a distinct shopping style.
They are somewhat obsessive.
One might select a tee shirt it likes and then
fill the cart with every single tee of that kind...
leaving an empty shelf behind.
(This is not at all suspicious!)
They fill the cart with things they like,
sit on the floor and sort through
their treasures for hours.
(Doesn't everyone do this?)
We call them "Pretty Birdies" because they
 are like magpies or crows
that gather things because they find them
pretty, shiny, etc.
They do not see this as odd behaviour,
though... it is.
They are stealing while they do this.
I guess the idea might be that if you fill one cart full of one type of shirt,
how will we ever be able to tell that they have
stuffed just one into their bulging back packs.
The same back packs they showed up with
that were saggy and flat when they came in.
I don't know why, but this is the time of year
for pretty birdies.
I wonder if they are free to get high
because school is ending for the year...
Summer living is cheaper and they have
more money to get high...
subsidized in part by thieving...
'cause you know there is never enough money
to get high.
Whatever causes it...
the Pretty Birdies have returned
to the Big Dub-Ya.
I get to put back all their loot.
I guess I should be grateful...
job security and all that.
There is no real other news.
Life is kind of dull right now.
Better dull than sorry.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Bad behavior.

My Easter Prince and Princess

Life is good.
Gotten a few things done that I needed to do.
After my  yearly physical,
the doc decided to send me to 
Diabetic Obedience School.
You know, where they send badly behaved
Diabetics to be retrained.
 I will let you know what happens.

We have gone fishing and no one fell in.
I seriously do not believe that there are real fish
in that river.
Only ducks and geese.
The goslings have been out learning to swim.
So at least there was that.

We just finished that lovely work tradition
known as "inventory".
Management was so stressed over it...
making sure that we did all the grunt work to 
get a passing mark from corporate. 
They were so exhausted that they 
have all taken long weekends
(except for a few)
and left us cleaning up the mess it makes.
Fun times at the "Dubbaya".

We had a bit of excitement there...
one of our coworkers had 
absconded with a major amount of
goodies from our shelves.

I felt extremely disappointed.
I worked with this person all the time.
I had zero clue that she was a sticky fingers.
I was shocked that they 
took her away in handcuffs... 
while I was working.

She has two small children.
She has a handicapped mother who relies on her.
She has ruined her chances for future
employment, housing and even unemployment.
She has no one to blame but herself.
But I am still sad about it.

If that was not weird enough...
I walked past this the other day.

Oddly enough,
it made me crave a turkey sandwich
and think of all the after Thanksgiving
sandwiches made on "balloon bread".
It is of course just a big balloon.
But the idea tickled me.

not a great deal of substance to this post.
Its hard to get back into the swing.
It will come.

I wish you all a wonderful weekend filled with the people you love...
having so much fun that you don't read this til Monday.