Monday, June 27, 2011

Extreme Couponing

Let's face it. Who doesn't like to save money?

When we decided to move out of our cheap rent situation with John's grandfather and have rent and utilities (much higher) to pay, we decided that we needed to be a little more frugal. Plus, who would complain about free or cheaper groceries and toiletries? Not me.

So we have decided that we would start trying to do a little extreme couponing ourselves. Under no circumstances do I intend to have 12 bottles of shampoo in a "stockpile". Although I have learned that some stockpiling is necessary in order to get the best deals. You take advantage of the super cheap prices and coupons, so you don't pay lots of money for your stuff. I get that. I don't like it, but I get it.

We have had one shopping trip, at Target, where we saved $24. Between the coupons and the gift cards. That's dinner out one night, and doing that 3 times is a free tank of gas.

Is it a hassle? Absolutely. But either way, I'm sold. It's going to take some getting used to and some serious planning until I get the hang of things. But I think that once I get the hang of it we will be saving (hopefully) a substantial amount of money.

It's going to be interesting to see what happens. What's even more interesting is the fact that my husband will be doing the majority of this while I am going to school in the fall. It's going to be fun teaching him how to find everything.

I'll keep you posted on how we do.

Friday, June 24, 2011

5 Question Friday

Thank goodness. I need a weekend to catch up. I need the next two days to finish unpacking. To find a TV base, to clean, to buy groceries. It's going to be crazy busy. But once I'm through unpacking its going to be full. of. awesome.

It's been a long, exhausting week. One I don't care to repeat anytime soon. Just in case you were wondering.

Geez, this week has been busy, but boring. All I've done is unpack, and clean, and unpack and clean. It's like a shampoo bottle, wash, rinse, repeat.

Have a wonderful weekend! Have a garage sale in my honor, then send me the money.

1. What is your current favorite tv show?

We watch way too much TV. I can't pick one favorite, but if I had to narrow it down: CSI and Army Wives. My husband and I had this argument a while back I like all three CSI shows. Yet, they are the same show, just different people. A car is still a car whether it's in Minnesota or Texas. So I say that technically it's only 2 shows, he says it's five. But we all know that I'm right. Unless he wants to sleep on the couch.

2. What's the worst haircut you ever got?

The "Henry" haircut. I was about 4 or so. My grandmother kept telling me about a pixie haircut. To a 4 year old pixie is Tinkerbell. Tinkerbell is cute and sparkly. Sign me up. Well, it was short. Oh my. Short. Like boy short. I took one look in the mirror burst into tears and blurted out the now famous phrase "Just call me Henry!"

Yep, 31 years old and haven't lived that down yet. So now when someone uses a name for a cut or style, I ask for pictures, and a waiver that my hair will look just like that when they are done. Because I'm not paranoid or anything.

3. What was something that you did as a child that you thought you were so cool for doing?

I don't know. I really didn't follow many of the trends. I did my own thing that was so the opposite of what everyone else was doing that it's hard to know where to begin.

I'm still cool, so I'm pretty sure that I never did anything that would embarrass me as an adult. But all the pictures are locked in a safety deposit box and only I have the key and upon my demise all contents are to be burned. Just in case.

4. Do you have any GREAT frugal family fun tips?

Coupons. Groupon. Daily Deals. Living Social.

Do things during the off season. You get better prices, better rates, and less crowds. Is it weird? Absolutely. But Disney world isn't as busy in September as it is in June.

But most people can't take advantage of things like that because they have kids and the kids are usually back in school by then. It's a perk.

5. Would you drive across country if you had the money to fly?

Drive. Think of all the wonderful things that you will miss out on by flying. You see sky and clouds. Driving you can see scenery. Which some might not thing is worth the trouble, but when we drove to Las Vegas a few months ago, it was wonderful to see the beautiful trees around Flagstaff, and the extreme desert of Gallop and Winslow.
It was worth the 16 hours it took to get there. We have beautiful pictures and we got to have a lot of wonderful conversations on those drives. It was worth every minute.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

To Write or Not To Write

When I started this blog (almost 2 years ago), I was a random, when the mood struck kinda poster. I wrote when I had something to say, or when I needed to vent. There were no requirements, no schedules, no deadlines, no minimum requirements. It was just when I felt like it. Sometimes you got one post a week, sometimes you were lucky to get one every few months.

Then I had a brilliant idea. One that involved posting more often. Like most days out of the week. And obviously 5 Question Friday. And that was going OK. Some weeks I had lots of stuff to whine about, other weeks not so much. Then I decided that I needed to go back to college at 31 and holy batman and robin bring on the piles and piles of homework. So the posts were sporadic at best. Mostly when I needed some major stress relief.

See writing has always allowed me to express thoughts and feelings uninterrupted. I don't have someone (other than the voices in my head) interrupting and wanting to add their own comments into what I'm trying to say. I just go on my marry way and type along and suddenly I feel better. Putting everything on paper give me a different perspective and makes me feel better about whatever the situation is that's bothering me. It's cathartic. Most of the time. Sometimes it does raise more questions than answers, but those questions help lead to answers, so it's usually a win-win.

Yet when I decided that I was going to have all these posts each week, it has became a chore. It's became the cause of stress. This blog has became the cause of stress. Which was never my intention. I wanted this to be a stress relief. I wanted this to be something I loved doing, instead of something I dreaded.

Right now you are probably panicked. Wondering if the inevitable is coming. It's not. I'm not shutting down the blog. I'm just not going to put so much pressure on myself to perform either. If I write 12 posts this week (I'll stretch them out over several weeks) then it's awesome. If I write one, even better. This blog needs to be fun. It needs to be me. It needs to reflect me and who I am. And the crappy, awful posts of the last few weeks prove that this blog isn't me anymore. It's simply me, trying to be someone I'm not.

I miss spending the time on my cooking blog too. Did you even know I had one? I haven't posted on there since sometime in January. I'm prepared to lose some readers. I'm prepared to have some people annoyed because I don't write more.

But, no matter what, even though you don't know who I am, or where exactly I live. This blog is still me. I don't do anything but protect the names used. My real name isn't Abby and my husband's not really John. But the content here is me. It's supposed to be an outlet, a representation of who I am and what I stand for, instead of just trying to fill up space with meaningless words and tidbits to fill the space and a deadline that I placed on myself.

Sure, there are still going to be goofy, posts, but the serious posts, the ones that made me cry when I wrote them, the ones that meant something to me. The posts that I was proud of, hopefully there will be more of them. Because this blog was never about pleasing anyone but me, and somewhere along the way, I have gotten lost. I've forgotten why I started it and I tried to give you something that wasn't me. And it's time to remedy that, while I still can.

So check back in. I might surprise both of us.

Friday, June 17, 2011

5 Question Friday

It's been a long week. I just haven't been feeling the words so this week was post light. I have a couple of good ones for you next week, and some changes to announce.

This weekend is going to be crazy busy. We are starting to move tonight after work and finishing things up (hopefully) early in the morning. John's grandfather is going back to the nursing home for a 2 week stay in order to get some rehab that will help him regain some strength that will allow him to continue to live home alone. As of today, it's not completely and totally my problem, and we are gladly handing the majority of the reins back to his son, John's father.

I'm taking the day off work to wait on the internet and cable guy, as well as work on unpacking. Since most of our stuff has been in storage for 3 years, there will be lots of washing and cleaning going on. If you want to come help, I am taking volunteers.

Good news is, we have both agreed that there is so much that we don't really need and can get rid of, so we will be having a yard sale/craigslist posting bonanza as soon as we get all the boxes unpacked and sorted out.

Have a fun weekend! If you are bored, feel free to stop by my house. I'll won't turn the free labor down.

1. What is your favorite summer time activity?

Swimming. There is nothing better than getting in the cool water on a hot (108 here yesterday) day! It is absolutely amazing.

I'm pretty sure that I could live in the water. I think I was part fish at birth, but they cut my fins off, and gave me lungs instead of fins. Must have been a mix up at the factory that day.

Swimming is relaxing, and fun and I love it. If someone would build me my dream house and put me in an indoor pool, I would be in heaven.

And probably unemployed because I wouldn't want to get out of the water to go to work. Maybe I can get my boss to build a pool in place of a desk, then they could pay me to swim and work.
2. Do you have one laundry soap you stick to, or do you buy whatever's on sale?

I'm a Tide girl. I have to be very careful with switching around soaps of any kind. I get the wrong one and I get a itchy, scratchy, rash that itches, and burns and make me just plain miserable.

So I stick with Tide.

I'm not loyal to one particular version, but we usually get the coldwater or the febreeze. We are getting more into couponing and trying to save money, and so that might change, or I might just be that crazy person that buys like 12 of them when they are on sale.
3. What is your favorite dinner to make in the summer?

We do a lot more grilling in the summer than we do in the winter. Although a little snow doesn't deter us. but there isn't one thing that we particularly make only during the summer.

We aren't picky. Food isn't seasonal. Except watermelon.
4. Do you have any talents?

I'm fluent in sarcasm. And while I'm telling you what a moron you are I can crochet you a sweater, cross stitch you a sampler and cook you a gourmet meal.

But I'm sticking with sarcasm.

I actually have quite a few. I can (haven't in years) play the piano, the clarinet and change a flat tire. But I can't do any of it without sarcasm.

5. If you could instantly be an expert in something, what would it be? Why?

Can I change my answer to sarcasm?
The list is long and numerous. I would love to have a lot of knowledge about a variety of things, but an actual expert in one subject is a no go.
But if I had to narrow it down to 2 things, I want to know what a veterinarian knows and what a doctor knows. Save me the hassle with both.
And I can still be sarcastic. It's a win-win situation.

Monday, June 13, 2011

It Ain't for Sissies

There are stages of life that each one of us must pass through. Infancy, childhood, the dreaded teenage years, and finally adult hood, where you realize that your parent's aren't as stupid as you thought they were.

After seeing John's grandfather at home the past week, I have a new idea of getting old. I don't think that no matter what you do, it can't be done with a lot of dignity.

Granted, every case is different. Every person is different, so the struggles that Jerrold has won't be the same for everyone. His younger brother's life is drastically different. He still works, and has minimal health issues that keep him from living life on his terms.

It's been hard to witness the things that have came with old age. It's been hard to see Jerrold have no real desire to do something different about the circumstances. It's been hard to see him have no real desire for a different outcome. Instead he wants our sympathy. He wants everyone to be the optimist and see that in a week or 2 that he will be "back to normal". He wants to believe that. He wants us to believe that.

The last 24 hours have given me a glance into how our lives would be so very different if we weren't moving out. Do I feel bad? Yes. I hate that he can't care for himself. I hate that he pushed and bullied his doctors and nurses into letting him come home sooner than he was ready. I hate that their own desire to make their lives easier clouded their judgement. After phone calls between the nursing home, home health, and adult protective services; they are in agreement. Even Jerrold has admitted that there might be a small possibility that he shouldn't have came home yet.

Yesterday as we packed and continued to prepare for the move this upcoming weekend, I think that a reality set in for him. I think that he began to understand that things were fixing to be very different. That his life would be very different. I hope that his eyes were opened and that he is preparing himself for what's to come. I hope that he understands that this isn't a joke, and that in 6 days, he will be living alone again.

I hope that when Adult Protective Services shows up today, that he doesn't fight them. I hope that he listens to what they tell him, and that he follows their advice, willingly. Because after the past weekend and watching him sit in his own feces and urine for 38 hours, he is out of options. He is going to have to make some hard decisions, or adult protective services will make them for him.

Getting old is hard. Your body is worn out. And with all the abuse and injuries that his body has seen, it's a miracle that his hasn't failed him before now. His feet are healing and look so much better than they did. But another few weeks of the same routine as he has had the last week, he will be headed back towards the direction that brought all of this on. He has already discontinued his diet. which the high blood sugar helped his feet continue to deteriorate in the first place. It's sad and it's terrible to be powerless.

There is no dignity in getting old. You can only hope that you have taken good enough care of your body that if it starts to fail you that you can still continue to use an adult diaper to help with the embarrassment. You can only hope that you are still capable of changing yourself and tending to your own needs. You have to want to maintain some level of dignity, some level of self respect in order to survive.

One things for sure - getting old ain't for sissies.

Friday, June 10, 2011

5 Question Friday

It's been a long week. John's grandfather is probably going back to the nursing home. Permanently. It's been draining.

I'm spending the weekend packing and cooking (so I can pack the kitchen all up and so we have something to eat next week). Wanna come help? I had hoped to just have the garage and kitchen left today, but thanks to a few snags with the grandfather, I haven't got much packing done this week. So this weekend is going to be crazy busy.

1. How close to your childhood dreams is your life now?

It's about as close as the north pole is to the south pole. I wanted to be a farmer. I'm not a farmer. I'm a bookkeeper/office manager/secretary/receptionist/keeps the office running the way it should so the men don't go crazy.

Some days I would rather be a farmer, other days, well I would rather be married to a bajillionaire and be able to be a lazy bum on a beach somewhere.

Today, I'll just settle for the bookkeeper job.

2. What is one must have item for the summer?

Sandals! When it starts getting warm, my sock drawer goes into hibernation. I've been taken over by the flip flop craze too. I have a couple of pair, but my all time favorites are a part of Grazies (similar to Yellow Box) I swore I would never spend that kind of money on a pair of flip flops. But oh my goodness, they are so comfortable that I wish I had a million pair of the them.

Shorts is another necessity. Considering we spend our summers at 95+ degrees, cool, comfy clothing is a must. Otherwise you melt.

And people popsicles aren't pretty.

3. Do you have your kids stay up on school stuff during summer vacation? (Or, if you don't have kiddos, did your parents make you keep up on school stuff during summer?)

Learning shouldn't ever take a break. I was amazed at how much I had "lost" when I started college. I'm a fan of the year round school. Sure, give them the equivalent of summer breaks, but only for a couple of weeks at a time. Like Christmas Vacation.

My mom didn't make me "keep" up with school. But I loved to read and play games, so my mind was kept active. I didn't start back to school and have to play catch up with what I learned the year before. I also grew up on a farm, and I got real world experience with certain concepts to help keep them fresh in my head.

4. Do you can or freeze fresh produce?

No. But I would like to. Because we haven't lived somewhere where we are able to tear up the backyard and grow a huge garden, its a waste to buy the stuff at the grocery store and attempt to can that. Most of it doesn't taste like it should anyway. Now, when I quit school and moving around and have more time again, I definitely might learn. There are a lot of canned items that I miss from my childhood. Like this relish that my grandmother made with green tomatoes and cantaloupe honey.

Now, I'm hungry.

5. Do you get ready for the day first thing in the morning?

When work is the play for the day, then yes. Otherwise, not always. Just depends on the agenda for the day. I'm not a bounce-out-of-bed-happy-to-be-alive kind of person. At.all. I'm more like a leave-me-alone-until-I've-had-a-shower and you might live to tell about it kind of person.
I have getting out of bed and getting to work on time down to a science. It's pathetic. But it's the truth. On the weekend when we don't have something to do, I like to be more leisurely about getting dressed. Saturdays we often have doggies to take to the groomer and other errands to run, so I sleep in, but when I wake up I go take a shower. Sunday's just depends. I'm usually up before my husband and I go take a shower while he steals a few more zzzzz's.
Have an awesome weekend! Make it even better by come helping us pack!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sea of Boredom

I'm drowning. Help! Please! I'm drowning in a SEA OF BOREDOM!!!!!

Things I possibly have done to have something to do at work:

1. I have taken the little "dots" that are left in the hole punch and made towers out of them. Gluing each piece of paper together to make a tower.

2. I have drawn cartoons. These cartoons are rather dark and gruesome because they all involve shooting something.

3. Twirling. Round and round and round and round. This one just made me want to vomit.

4. Played with today's Google guitar. A lot.

5. Facebooked, craigslisted, blogged.

6. Thought about all of the stuff I could be doing at home like packing.

7. Paid the cable, internet, insurance, and phone bill.

8. Discovered I needed a sugar daddy after paying said bills.

9. Tried to text message with my husband, but he is busy at work and his messages end up saying things like "I want to can you." And no, that isn't referencing anything related to sex.

10. Tried to figure out how many sticky notes it would take to wall paper the area behind my computer.

11. Wished I hadn't packed all my books so I could bring one to work to have something to read.

12. Worked for approximately 14.8 minutes.

13. Hoped a telemarketer sales-person would call, so maybe I could get them to talk to me on the phone so I wouldn't be so bored.

14. Didn't have to lie to get this list to #14.

15. I drilled a hole in my notepad with a pocket knife.

I've been out of school for a month today. I'm not sure how I'm going to survive the next 2.5 months before I go back.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Free: To Good Home

People never cease to amaze me.

I have way too much time on my hands that most days I pillage craigslist. I do this for a variety of reasons. It gives me something to do at work. I can make fun of the amount of money people want for things that they are trying to sell, when it all reality they should be paying someone to come take it away.

However, after looking for somewhere new to live, I have spent a lot more time pillaging the free category looking for boxes. I've found a lot more.

I'm a dog person. There hasn't been any significant period of time in my life that I haven't had a dog. Months was even stretching it, and since I got my first inside dog at 16, there hasn't been a time when I haven't had a dog.

As much as a pain in the butt that it is to find a place that we can afford and that accepts pets, I can't imagine not taking them with me. I can't imagine those little furry pain in the butts not going with us. Yet, any given day there are a number of "free" dogs to be had on craigslist.

I understand that there are circumstances that are beyond your control when you have to get rid of a pet. But in my opinion those are few and far between. You don't just get a pet to get rid of it when life gets tough.

You don't get pregnant and then when the teenage years hit or you lose your job decide to give your child away? What's the difference?

No, I'm not crazy. But in reality that's how it works. Pets are easily thrown to the curb and replaced for another pet, or for something else that's less trouble.

I have seen a ton of different excuses. They are moving overseas, moving to an apartment that doesn't take pets; kids are allergic; they are allergic. But probably the one that pisses me off the worst - time. They don't have time for Fido, so they are giving him away.

That's why I have small inside dogs that are relatively low maintenance. Yes, they have to go to the groomers for a haircut every 4-6 weeks, but for the most part they are self sufficient.

Even when I was busy with homework and school, I knew that I was neglecting them. So I made sure, when I had that realization to spend time playing with and loving them on purpose. I cleared everything off my to do list for 20 minutes and gave them some attention. But you know what the funny thing is, I got more out of that time than they did. But when I picked those dogs out, I made sure that my lifestyle and theirs worked well together. I made sure that I didn't get a dog that needed lots of space and to take long walks. Because I knew that when it was 20 degrees outside, I didn't want to do more than shove the dog out the door for their potty break.

When we adopted Bailey, it wasn't supposed to be permanent. But he was older and he didn't want that kind of life either. All those years of abuse and neglect showed too well on him, so he was a good fit. We ended up keeping him longer than we anticipated, and if not for animal controls policy, we wouldn't have taken him in to begin with. But I couldn't let the dog be put to sleep simply because of his age.

Amazingly so I am against these people treating their pets like they are a surrogate child. They aren't. But they are still an important part of many people's lives. When a doctor will suggest that you get a dog or a cat for an Alzheimer's patient, then obviously you know that there is something special about that animal. That there is something there worth treating with dignity and respect.

Isn't that what living is all about anyway? Respect and Dignity.

~It often happens that a man is more humanely related to a cat or dog than to any human being. ~Henry David Thoreau

~Personally, I would not give a fig for any man's religion whose horse, cat and dog do not feel its benefits. Life in any form is our perpetual responsibility. ~S. Parkes Cadman

~Why should man expect his prayer for mercy to be heard by What is above him when he shows no mercy to what is under him? ~Pierre Troubetzkoy

~The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creatures that cannot.  ~Mark Twain

~Heaven is by favor; if it were by merit your dog would go in and you would stay out. Of all the creatures ever made [man] is the most detestable. Of the entire brood, he is the only one... that possesses malice. He is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain. ~Mark Twain


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Flying the Coop

The drama just keeps on churning around here.  I think that I have entered the Twilight Zone.

Too much more of this and I'm going to personally call those men with the little white coats that allow you to give yourself a hug, and have them come pick me up, put me in a little white jacket, and poke me in a padded room all day long.

And no, I'm not kidding.

I dreaded telling Jerrold that we were moving out. I knew that because of his own financial irresponsibility that the situation was going to be difficult for him. I knew that it was going to cause him stress and strain. But we wanted to wait until it was an absolute necessity before we did anything. However, late Friday night we discovered that he was going to be released from the nursing home sometime Monday (yesterday) morning.

Well, needless to say, Plan A was quickly scrapped and Plan B took over. Plan B involved panic. So we scrapped it for Plan C.

We had to go to the nursing home on Sunday and pick up the extremely large quantity of "crap" that had been acquired during his stay. We figured that we would tell him then, considering it was quite obvious when he got home on Monday that something was going on. As some of our stuff has "disappeared". We knew that it would be difficult, we knew that it would cause problems. We knew that his grandfather is not in a financial situation that he cannot live without a roommate or some sort of other assistance. We know that. He knows that.

Until he was in the hospital and we were paying his bills did we finally realize exactly how his financial situation would play out. He is going to have to make some hard decisions. He is going to have to make some big changes in his life in order to be able to support himself financially. He is also probably going to have to apply for medicaid, food stamps and other state programs in order to help to make ends meet.

We had several reasons for our move. My financial aid with school being the primary, and then the stress of caring for Jerrold while we both work and go to school was the second. We weren't just doing this to be cruel, or for the heck of it. It's time that we move on.

Instead I was blamed for wanting to have a life. For wanting to have my dreams and desires fulfilled. I think that he thought because of his situation and circumstances that I would be willing to quite school and my job and care full time for him. He was awful to me. Absolutely awful. He said things that I would have never dreamed he would say.

I realize that we took him by surprise. The whole situation has taken my by surprise. Because this time last week, we weren't moving. We had no plans to do so. We found something we could afford, so we jumped at it. It was just as unexpected to us. But we weren't cruel about it.

Jerrold took the "me, me, me" attitude. He tried to guilt us. He tried to put several home repairs onto us. That we had to pay for. Technically we are the tenant. He is the landlord. Those responsibilities fall on him. We have cooked, cleaned, done laundry, remodeled a laundry room, put tile in the kitchen and bathroom, and those are just the most recent things since we have lived there. We have tried to make his life easier, and now when my dreams are threatened, he wants to take that all away from me.

I felt guilty about moving out, especially with him coming home from a 2 month hospital stay and with him not being able to care for himself without some sort of help and assistance. Then yesterday, and the words that he said to me. I'm just counting down the days. I can't find anything other than a sadness that he had to behave that way; that things had to end like they did.

John and I have had several conversations about what to do and how to handle the situations that keep arising amongst the family. We still don't have any answers. We both feel that they are just trying to cause problems. I just don't know what to do anymore.

What I don't know is how it's our fault that he hasn't been responsible with his limited funds. He is 77 years old. And he has proven to me that you can skate through life and never be an adult. That you can still be as irresponsible as as 17 year old. Because of his poor choices he has managed to alienate all of his family. Sure, they still love him, but they don't respect him. They feel that he has made his bed. Let him lie in it. They are tired of his "me" attitude and tired of bailing him out, and they have washed their hands of him and the situation.
I'm praying that we can make it through this whole ordeal and he not completely ruin his relationship with us completely. I'm afraid it might not happen. I'm afraid that he is going to push us away and turn on us, like John's grandmother had done.

I'm afraid that he is going to put himself into a position to push the rest of his family out of his life. And I'm tired of fighting an uphill battle with family. They should be the one group of people that fight for you, not against you. They should be the one group of people that pull you closer, not push you away.

I just hope that Jerrold can find peace with this, and better control his own actions before it's too late to repair the fragile relationship with John's family that we are both trying to keep from breaking.

On a side note, they never should have released him from the nursing home. He cannot walk or stand long enough to even get out of a chair or bed and into his scooter or wheelchair. Someone has to physically pick him up to accomplish this. He is home alone all day today. I dread going home tonight and seeing what a disaster there is waiting.

Monday, June 6, 2011

As The World Turns

I have decided that my life is being secretly taped and broadcast to millions of people worldwide. They gather round their TV's on a daily basis to catch the latest in, what can only be described as a Soap Opera of Epic proportions.

I'm pretty sure that if I weren't in such shock that I could come up with my own witty and creative Soap Opera name. And if any of my readers would care to share their idea's I'm open to suggestions. (Or if you watch the show, let me know it's actual name.)

We had dinner on Friday night with some friends. Friends that are also friends with John's mother, sister, and family. Andrea and her brother Matt are my husband's dad's best friend's kids. John, his sister, and brother grew up with these guys and they are more like family than friends.

Well, the subject of the family issues came up. And it was a mutually rewarding learning experience. One that really opened our eyes to John's family.

John's mother told Andrea's mother, that if it took them not being a part of our lives for a few years until this all blows over that she was ok with that.

Insert Pause. Insert Big pause, so that your mind can absorb that.


Can someone please explain to me what kind of parent is "ok" with not being a part of their child's life?! Because that's a concept that is very, very hard for me to understand. Even as I write this days later, I want to question that. I want to understand. I want to talk to some friends who recently lost their 22 year old son in a tragic accident. Because I'm pretty sure that they can't imagine their children as not being a part of their lives for days or weeks, let alone years. I can imagine that they would give anything to have their son as a part of their life again. I can imagine that they would give a lot for just 5 more minutes with him.

What kind of person does that? Let alone a mother.

Granted, I don't have children. So I don't  fully understand the bond that mothers and children share, I haven't experienced it first hand. I only know of how my relationship with my own mother works. Sure I have been mad at my mom that we haven't talked for the better part of a month. Mostly because I'm stubborn. But I can tell you that I wanted to call her so many times. But it was a situation where she needed to make the first move. Sometimes I think that parents forget that we are adults and have our own lives and our own agenda's that sometimes don't mesh with theirs. I think that in the situation with my mother, she needed to understand that I wasn't capable of being told, like a toddler what I was going to do and where I was going to go.

But, I digress.

Yet, my family never alienated my husband from the family. They never only invited me to family functions and ignored him. They never pushed, that even though we are married that we maintain our own separate identities. They knew that we would become one. That we would spend time together, and that as my parents that they had to "let me go".

After several conversations over the weekend, John and I have talked, and contemplated and prayed. We had hoped that as time wore on that we would be able to give everyone some time to breathe and space to think about things. We had hoped that time and distance would allowed them time to heal over the hurtful things that were said. We had hoped that it would bring understanding and a willingness to work things out. Instead, I'm still the evil one. And John has never been that great in their eyes either. Otherwise how could they be willing to remove themselves from his life.

I would love to tell you that I feel something. That this situation breaks my heart. That I hate that this is what our lives have become. I really do.

Instead, I can't find anything but relief. Relief that we know, without a doubt how they feel about us both. Relief that we can move forward and re-build our lives and our marriage. Because I would be lying if I said that this whole ordeal hasn't caused us both stress and strain. We have both doubted ourselves and each other, but now we can move forward and start to put our life back together. I'm sad that his family will miss out on so much in our lives. I'm sad that they are willing to sacrifice one child for another. I'm sad that they aren't willing to fight for John. I hope that they can live their life with no regrets. I hope that they can find peace.

We already did.

~When your absence doesn't alter someones life, then your presence has no meaning either. -Unknown

Friday, June 3, 2011

5 Question Friday

It's been a long week around here! We are moving! Signed the paperwork today! Thankful that some of the pressures are going away. Although I'm sure that there will be new ones pop up. But for now, just the joys of packing and moving.

We have a dinner and a movie date with another couple tonight, and I'm excited. First time in a long time that there are 4 instead of 3. Gives us both someone to talk to.

We are painting and doing a few other "home improvement" jobs at our current home. It's easier while we live there than once we move out. So the next few weeks are going to be busy.

Have a great weekend! If your free, come help me pack!

1. If you had to choose, how would you prefer to choose to spend money...on landscaping or a pool?

A pool. An indoor pool. But a pool none the less. I absolutely love to swim, and I would spend most of my waking hours in the water. Then I would buy lots of tropical plants and it would just be full of awesome. Or I could just win ga-jillions of money and do whatever I wanted.
2. (Scott likes to get things stirred up...) Death penalty, yay or nay?

I know that I should be against this. That whole judgement thing. But I say let the bastards fry. If there is without a doubt proof that they committed the murders or whatever it is that they are condemned to death for, then do it. Give them a year on death row, and then fry them. Don't let them be capable of getting back out on the streets or even influencing "new" criminals into following in their footsteps.
3. What's the worst thing your kid has gotten into when you turned your back/blogged/showered/blinked?

Well, I know better than to leave a child alone. But here is a funny story about my father and my niece. Sophie was about 2-3 and she was potty training. She could go to the potty at my parents house alone, but after a few minutes someone was supposed to check on her. Well, after 10-15 minutes my dad realized that he hadn't seen her in a while, and got up to look for her.

Right about now you are realizing that she has probably done something that she shouldn't have. And wouldn't have if my father hadn't been left home alone with her.

Well, she discovered the diaper rash cream (which my mom uses like Windex, and thinks that it will cure just about anything.) She proceeded to cover herself, the sink, the vanity and a few hand prints on the wall with the cream. And you know that stuff repels water. So he tried to give her a bath to get it off. And made it worse. When my mom got home, it took her 20 minutes to be able to stop laughing long enough to tell my father how to clean it up. It was priceless.
4. How often do you REALLY go to the dentist?

I plead the 5th.

I never minded going until about 10 years ago. I went for a routine cleaning and the hygienist cut my gum up pretty bad. And then wanted to blame it on me.

I went a few times last year (only because I thought I had a cavity). I need to go more often. I should go more often. But I don't like it. And I probably won't.

5. What is your favorite animal (doesn't have to be a pet-type animal)?

Probably a dog and a close 2nd would be a polar bear. My husband loves polar bears. They are his favorite animal. And his addiction has rubbed off on me. And do you know that in West Texas polar bear decorations and figurines are hard to find. They are mostly associated with Christmas around here. Which is strange. Because I'm pretty sure that they are around all the time.

Have a happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wordy Wednesday

I had planned on writing a post yesterday. But when I woke up yesterday morning and figured that I would have to feel better in order to die, you guys just weren't a priority. Not puking on my boss, that was a priority.

There is a lot that has happened since last Friday. We have been busy completely turning our lives upside down.

The time has came. We made some serious choices this morning, and now we wait.  We are moving. We are leaving John's grandfather's house, which has been our home for the past 3 years.

Part of me is sad. We have lived there for so long that it's home. We have had the benefits of living cheaply and rent free, but on the other hand it has cost us a lot. We have strained relationships with family because of this, and I'm afraid that what we have witnessed is only the beginning. I'm afraid that there are going to be harsher words and things said, and that we are going to doubt this move.  I'm having doubts. It's terrifying to go down this road. To have to worry about money again, when for the last 3 years, I haven't had to count every penny. We have managed to get out of debt. We have managed to do a few things that we wouldn't have otherwise dreamed of. It's been freeing.

On the other hand we have taken care of a man that no one else has wanted to. That no one else can be burdened with. And sadly to be losing those duties is a relief. Mostly because I'm tired of not being good enough in general, but I'm good enough to take care of the people that no one else wants to. I'm going to be selfish. I'm going to make this about me and my own life and well being. And my own happiness. Parts of the last 3 years I have loved, but the majority of it has been spent with dread and walking on eggshells. And if everything works out, in a few short weeks, I won't be doing that anymore.

Do I feel guilty? Absolutely! I was raised that you took care of family. That you stepped up to the plate. That you didn't shrink from your responsibilities where family was concerned. But John's family sees things differently. Because I'm afraid that when Papa comes home that we will still be stuck with the burden of caring for him. So I go from relief to anger. It's like flipping a switch.

This afternoon, I have simply prayed. I prayed that if this was the direction that we needed to take that God put his stamp of approval on it. If not, to please let my own needs scream louder than His voice so that I might know which path to take. And for patience if this isn't the right time, and for understanding to all of those who will be effected. We aren't only changing our lives, but others as well.


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