Friday, December 16, 2016

There is nothing like family. 

I have been so busy! We decided to move.  I have never had such a crazy time moving.  The amount of stuff here is astounding. Worse, both the man and his mother are terrible about letting things go.
We had so many office things; shelves, storage, old programs, clip art, and others. Tons!

I got sneaky. I got up early and hauled off boxes and boxes of "things that are still good" to charity because we will never use them again. Someone should! Every room has been filled with things that are still good. I swear that I have given a whole household away.

How can we move into a smaller home if we don't reduce the clutter? Sheesh.

So that's been happening.  There's also been a clash of agendas.  Mine is to reduce clutter and get packing. But there were pauses, like pulling up the carpet that covers the office floor... to expose the oak flooring because that will help sell the house. Common sense said, pack the office and when all packing is done, worry about getting it ready to sell.

We don't use common sense. Let's leave it at that. So there have been detours along the way.

That includes weather issues. We are currently living in ice world.  My movers (my kids) can't get down to help. Then the gorge closed from snow storms. It's been a challenge.

That's why I haven't posted or lurked.  We are now hoping to move the day after Christmas. Cross your fingers and think good thoughts. I may be off until relocation. So happiest of holidays to you all!

Sunday, November 20, 2016


A while back, we lost our grand dog, Sadie to cancer.  Many tears were shed.

She is greatly missed.

But this week, this happened!

Say hello to Layla.  She is so cute and soft and sweet. Bear and Mikey P were down with the kids to help us pack and Bear decided to surprise them with this little girl.

Spoiled dog has three blankets.

Roxy surprised us all by being very motherly to Layla. She laid down next to her crate the whole time she was here and nervously watched the children play with her. Roxy is getting old. She is 9 or 10 if her paperwork from LA can be believed.  We know she had at least one litter of pups and likely more. She still runs around like crazy now and then, but for much less time. She is also concerned about the move. She knows that something is going on, but not what. She spends much of her time with her head on my knee when I am sitting down, as if to say, don't leave me behind. Never, my friend. Never.

So we are in moving limbo. Half of the house is packed, and half is in the process.  I am making many trips to St. Vincent dePaul.  How can we have so much useless to us junk? I don't know, but St Vinnie's is the best at putting money to the poor and not to themselves, so they get my business.

I made a Thanksgiving meal for Bear's family  and Mom and Dad.  The guys worked hard and the Bear is amazing at packing and cleaning.  Mom kept Randy on task, which is not as easy as you'd think. They deserved it. There is nothing that I like more than the sound of happy family gabbing and eating all around me. 

Good thing. We have a "down here" family Thanksgiving on Saturday.  Something to look forward to.  The Bear and Mikey P said that they would be back in a week too. We shall see how that works out with school and their family up there.  Sometimes the best laid plans go wonky. When ever it happens, yay!

Have a wonder filled holiday. Be safe and be happy!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Hello, it's me!

Hello, it's me!

I know, I fell off the radar for about 2 years. Very stressful years. When I get stressed or depressed, everything else goes out the window.

I truly do not know if anyone will notice that I have returned.
Or if I am just sending words out into the web to dangle. It doesn't matter. Either way is fine. I just want to use my voice.

My husband had a stroke close to 4  years ago now.  I see those FB posts that ask "If your spouse became disabled, would you leave them?"  What a stupid freaking question. Not if  you love them. Duh. That being said, it is a difficult adjustment. We had a sudden, massive loss of his income... and a 3 year battle to get his disability to start.

Eventually it did and bills were paid, family repaid and we ate real food again. Yay! I was the only one working and the only one cleaning, keeping up a large yard etc. Being the only one who handles pretty much everything gets exhausting when times are difficult.

Working at the Big Dub-yah ended for me a few months ago. In 3 months I had been to the urgent care 3 times for work related injury. Tendons in my arms went crazy and my back had fire across it and down my leg. There wasn't a box I picked up or something I reached for that caused any one problem. The problem is that I'm getting old. I'm 62 and the Big Dub-yah was wearing me out before my time through overuse.

I left work one day feeling miserable physically and emotionally and when I tried to get up  the next day, my arms refused to lift and function. Just call me T-Rex. The doc said to do nothing at all for 10 days. This does not fit into the Big Dub-yah's idea of how long  you can miss work. You can bring in a note from your doctor, but unless you get cleared by the no pay time off police, you can be fired.

I did not give a damn. Fire me please! But they did not want to fire me. The day before I was supposed to return, I phoned to say that I wasn't. I "retired" without pay. 

You have no idea how much that elevated my attitude. Slowly I have become human again. My body still gets sore, but I can stop and wait for the pain to pass and then continue whatever I need to be doing. I am now waiting for my Social Security to begin... in a month or so. I have no faith in their ability to keep their date promises. If it shows up on time, I'll be thrilled.

Then, a little miracle happened. Our home that we live in is my husband's inheritance. There was, when we first became engaged, a total drama melt down by his daughter over thinking the house was hers. But as long as Grandma lived, it was Grandma's house.

No Grandma did not die and hopefully will not for a very long time. But what Grandma did do was come to a decision that she wanted to sell this house.  There is still money owed on it from a second mortgage. If she sold it, she could pay off the mortgage and pay for a house in full for us. A house that was not as large and hard to take care of... because it is a handful. Randy is to get his inheritance now instead of when she dies. 

Our house in our name, including mine. The deal is that if Randy dies first, I live in the house as long as I live. Then Randy's children can sell the house and split the money. And its all in writing. 

So we began to look for houses. The market here sucks. Not much is available. Then Mom suggests that we look where I used to live so that we can be closer to my kids and our grand kids. I have missed them so much! What a total joy.  My kids love Randy and he's Grandpa Fuzzy to their kids. The family we have here are not close. They live 10 minutes away and do not visit. (Residual divorce bitterness.)

So I called the Bear and together we began hunting the internet for houses in the Gorge. It was amazing how many nice homes were available. Mom was just as excited as we were. Two days later, Bear had a real estate agent lined up with a tour of possibilities. Off we went with Mom and Dad to look at houses.
The third one we saw was it. No doubt. Perfect for us in every way. 

It's got 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, dining, kitchen nook, living room, an oversized garage and a covered porch. There are already bars in place to help Randy go safely up the two stairs from the garage to the house and in the master bath. He has some balance issues. The shower is big enough for two people in the master bath... which is great because he needs help making sure he gets rinsed on his left side. His brain forgets that his left side exists.

So we are ready for a new adventure. The town we chose is not Dumb Potters Hell. It's further east. But close enough to Max and Eli (pictured above who still live there), the Bear who is 15 minutes west, and Boo who lives in the same town.

I go now to continue to pack... ugh. I hate moving. So much junk! Where does it come from?  BTW, my Ducks suck this year. I still love them. Sniffle. Roxy thinks something weird is going on and is watching to be sure that we don't run away again. Life is full of adventure once more, and I can hardly wait to experience what it holds.

Same time next week!

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.