Should We Stay or Should We Goūüé∂ūüé∂ūüé∂

Okay.¬† So, I know it’s been a day or two¬†since my last post ūüėČ and I wasn’t¬†actually planning a post today ‘cuz it’s¬†crazy busy for us right now, but…who the hell could resist?

Not I.

You all know how much I like a good ‘saga’¬† ūüėā ūüė≠ ūüėď

Especially about cars.  Or moving.  Or houses.  Or other Shit-N-Stuff.

Right?

So…after all the blood, sweat, and tears, we shed before, during, and after, moving into our current home, we are considering selling.

Yup…2 years, 6 months in, picking up and moving again is actually being considered.

Nutz! ūüėĶ¬†¬† Looney!¬† ūüėĪ¬†¬† Coocoo for Cocoa Puffs! ūüźí

Why?

Two reasons really.

The first,¬†to be closer to my recently transplanted Mom, who¬†is, apparently, one of those lucky people I’ve heard about when it comes to adventures in moving.¬† Her pack and move went smoothly.¬† Her house¬†behaved when she moved in and didn’t reach out and break her leg or rain down through her light fixtures from the floor above.

IMG_0004

Remember my crying lights?

She has¬†made¬†a beautiful home for herself…and is quite content to remain where she is.¬† But, we are finding that even a mere¬†20 minute/10 mile distance, is 15 minutes too far!

{Hmmm, note to self…A Drive Too Far…Book?¬† Movie?¬† Copyright infringement?¬† Carry on self…}

The second, as important as the first, is because our beautiful Ms. Sadie needs a place to safely run and play in her own backyard, and we cannot give that to her.

Why?

Because we cannot fence it in ūüė≤

Why?

Bureaucratic Bullshit ūüöß

We have a gorgeous back yard…

Northfield in the fall

What…don’t believe that’s mine?

What—everrrrrrrrrrrr¬† ūüĎÄ

Forget the mountains then.

Oh for Pete’s sake…take out the barn if it bothers ya!

Okay Okay (ya picky bitches), take out the fence, the trees, the other barn, and the rolling field in the background and you’ve got my yard.

Happy?

Anyhoo….because Virginia’s disclosure laws are a¬† j o k e, not one of the half dozen professionals involved in buying real estate, not to mention the previous owner, felt it necessary to inform us that this lot is one of the highest impacted lots in the neighborhood, rendering our little slice of Eden…all but USELESS.

Why?

There is a 60′ (yes, that is SIXTY) gas company easement from the back of the property towards the house and runs the entire width of the tad over a 1/3 acre lot.¬† From our way of thinking, that should have been mentioned by SOMEONE in the 2 month buying/closing process yeah?

Yeah……….No!

Add to that 60′ another¬†20′ for the build line which runs from the structure towards the back of the yard, making¬†the total depth/width of what we cannot add to, plant on, or change in a way that would impede….a whopping 80′.

EIGHTY #$#$%#$ FEET¬† ūüėĖ ūüė≠ ūüėē

Even¬†though the gas company¬†could work with us¬†on a fee based waiver,¬†they won’t.

But Wait!¬† There’s More¬† (oh goody)

There are also easements from the county that cannot be waivered.

One is a¬†16′ drainage easement, running back to front, the entire length of the property, but it’s on the side property line, so we didn’t give that one much thought.¬† At the time.¬† Not until¬†we had to.¬† And we had to when we wanted to put a storage shed out there.¬† On the side.¬† Away from the gas easement.¬† Ya know, close to the garage and stuff.

Ummmm….Not gonna happen¬† ūüöę

Then {and I chuckle here}¬†there is that all too common, everybody else must have one…FLOOD DAM FAULT LINE!¬† OR FAULT DAM FLOOD LINE!¬† OR DAM FLOOD FAULT LINE!¬† OR SOME DAMNED LINE GOING DIAGONALLY THROUGH THE ENTIRE BACK YARD!!

You got one, right?¬† And you?¬† And you, and you?¬† And you over there?¬† Everybody?¬† ‘Cause I’m thinking it’s so damned prolific as to be down right common-place.¬† Like we all got grass so why point out the grass?¬† Ain’t that¬†why I’ve never heard of this effin’ thing?¬† Ain’t it?

What the hell is happening?????????????¬† ūüėĪ

The only friggin floods that I have ever heard of around here….were¬†inside my damned house and that fault line didn’t help one daggone¬†bit!!¬† (el squat-o)

Did I say this made me chuckle?

I lied¬† ūüėę

Of course, we wouldn’t do it if we didn’t think we’d get a decent enough return to buy another.¬† The market is good right now, the rates are still low, people may be looking to get into a place before the next school year….all good things right?

So I ask you…

ūüé∂ Should we stay or should we go ūüé∂

(sorry,¬†I can’t help singing it…lol)

Oh geez…after all that, I forgot to mention why I even began this post.¬†¬†While we muse over the possibility of listing (we’re about 98% there to be honest), we figured we’d do what we always do in this situation…invest more blood, sweat, and tears, not to mention ūüíį, into getting our¬†imperfect ūüŹ†¬†perfect so the next¬†ūüĎł of the¬†newly perfected ūüŹį won’t have to lift a friggin’ finger or spend an effn’ dime!

‘Cause that’s¬†how we role…we Hernandezeseses (Hernadezi?)

We buy, we fix, we do……..and we move.¬† So we can then…buy old¬†and broken,¬†fix to new and pretty, sell to others who don’t have to do a damned thing…just so we can buy old and broken, fix to new and pretty….blah de blah de blah!

In that vein…
We have had the¬†fireplace that hasn’t worked since the day after we moved in, fixed.
We had the Jacuzzi tub’s leaky-ass faucets that we haven’t touched since the first time we went to use it and didn’t because it leaked, repaired.
We’re giving our wood floors a facelift so they don’t offend the next matriarch with their little Sadie scratches.
We’re resurfacing our pinkish, post-form, laminate countertops that somehow were good enough for me, but certainly will put off today’s savvy buyers looking for the trendier granite because ‘It’s so shiiiiny’.

And I’ve saved the¬†best for last…

and the hardest for me…

the die-hard DIY’er:

Hiring someone to do what I do, and do well is tough. But time, old shoulders, bad, up close & personal, eyesight, added to my increased lack o’ patience, has dictated that this time around…we must bite the proverbial and hire a pro.

You all know me and my history with hiring professionals.

Though you know I pride myself in doing my due diligence, you also know it has gotten my leg broken, my house flooded, my toothbrush packed with the toilet brush, and my car dying at 70 MPH on Interstate 91 in New Haven.

Shall we agree that you know this Wonder Woman of Wacky Workmen?

Okay then…we’re off.

We hired a ‘Pro” to paint the interior of our 4BR, 3BA home, top to bottom, head to toe, and everything in between.¬† The references were stellar. The estimate reasonable. The time frame – 7 days. Perfect.

That should have been my first clue!

When. Will. I. Learn?

Nothing is perfect, nor apparently, what it seems!

I’m getting ahead of myself…let’s see.¬† To be pro-active, we removed all wall d√©cor, switch plates, outlet covers,¬†electronics, all items in/on/around furniture, packed everything in boxes, moved all furniture to middle of rooms to be covered, placed all non-necessary furnishings, boxes, small items, etc., in the garage, took up all rugs, and basically had the house ‘paint-ready’ for the start date.¬† Oh, and we moved into my mother’s to give them free reign to only have to cover stuff once and not worry about finishing one room at a time.¬† The house was theirs.¬† They had to do nothing but cover, patch, sand, and paint.

Two painters began on Monday the 6th.¬† The owner’s son who is¬†taking over the business, and his¬†side kick with 25 years under his belt,¬†cut-in and first coat, guy.

Come Saturday, the 11th, one was left and the other one gone.  I fired the side-kick for lack of production and sloppy work.  His smoke breaks alone used half his hours and all of his work needed to be re-done.

He blamed the paint.  I blamed the painter.  I win.

Boom!¬† You’re outta here!¬†

I was told he would be replaced with a more professional side kick, but as of today, the 17th, there is still but one.

Mr Painter Man

Who I call IMA

IMA fix it РIMA gonna do it РIMA be here late tomorra РIMA sorry РIMA IMA IMA

By end of business today, there will have been a total of 11 painting days.

Know what’s done?¬† Hah…stop that laughing.¬† Wanna know?

Upstairs.

This is still my downstairs…11 days later

Know what else?

There are 3 walls upstairs that need to be redone.¬† But I told¬†IMA to save that for dessert cause I needed his ass downstairs in the kitchen!¬† I’ve got a counter top being redone on MONDAY!!

I even returned the remaining 6 gallons of my accent color, a beautiful Crushed Oregano green, for¬†IMA because he keeps blaming the paint…I changed my design for him!

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Does this color scare you?¬† It’s on my front door, which I painted, without trouble

 What the hell is wrong with me???  IMA STUPID!

Know what I’m doing right now?

ūüė≠ ūüė≠ ūüė≠ ūüė≠ ūüė≠ ūüė≠ ūüė≠ etc etc etc

Why bother going through all of this some might ask.  Especially when my house always looks good whether trendy or not.  Always up to date, clean, and comfy.  Homey!

Because Lord knows, today’s modern and discerning buyer would no doubt, walk into a home with red in the kitchen and yellow in the living room; green in the bathroom and a cloud painted blue sky ceiling in the bonus room, would run screaming into the street for the horror!

None of which I put on the walls but was perfectly fine with it until the day I decided to change it.

Boy oh Boy…we can’t expect someone else to think that way now can we?

Or so the real estate professionals tell me. After all, this is only the 6th house we will have sold, so how would I know anything about what sells and what doesn’t?

So…next week, it’ll be Mr. Painter-man who best have my kitchen done by tomorrow (or else )¬†and the counter-top crew.¬† That, should be an interesting day¬† ūüėā

ūüé∂ ūüé∂ We Should’a Stayed and Let Him Go ūüé∂ ūüé∂

 

Mother and Child Reunion…

You hope¬†and pray¬†you’ll do it well –¬†But only God and time will tell

their first breath – that moment when

your life begins all over again

completely blind and ignorant of

what lay in store – except the love

such love not imagined – all encompassing

one day you’re you – now they’re the thing

that wakes you, feeds you, and fills your dreams

the good ones, great ones – in others you scream

you give them all you have to give

and though you know better Рfor them you live

the minutes to hours to days just fly

they coo and giggle and laugh and cry

the months and years show on your face

“please don’t go” – now – “give me my space”

you gently fade from their day to day

you open the door – you show the way

for them to taste and see anew

the world once filtered – made safe by you

you know it’s time – they feel it too

to let go of the strings – the both of you

and as they pushed and pulled away

your heart wished, once, for yesterday

when you helped them climb Рwatched them fall

saw them rise and push through it all

you’d let their lives envelope yours

you were the keeper – you kept the scores

of their battles won – challenges met

their struggles to come – those not met yet

you know it’s perspective and balance you need

to nourish the tree – not just the seed

you understand and search for the middle

the line that answers motherhood’s riddle

but the balance you missed –¬†was in not knowing

it was your duty too ¬†–¬†to keep on growing

into the woman – not just the mother

you could be both – not one or t’other

you were just a girl when they came to be

but womanhood stalled for the mother, you see

the trusses you built from that balance not found

kept the woman at bay Рshadow bound

so focused were you on their little lives

you forgot to sing Рto keep alive

that woman in you you’d set aside

so mother shined while the woman tried

to remake the bed already laid

the woman you could be –¬†the mother you made

in the¬†wings she’ll¬†stay – that much is¬†clear

the woman’s hidden for¬†the mother’s fear

that this bed of weeks – without a word

is that¬†woman’s fault – their wants unheard

but it’s mother who pays this price so daunting

you’ve¬†been weighed and¬†measured – and found wanting

now silent tears drop to mommy’s¬†breast

’cause good’s not enough – your¬†best not best

your youth – a down payment – not the sum

and that number will rise for years to come

the life you gave matters not on the whole

now’s what’s important – their happiness you stole

by not staying that mother to them and to theirs

trying to figure it out – but no one cares

You’ve seen women do it – be both – not just one

that mom of the year – and – that woman so fun

but you are found wanting – and that must be the truth

for you allowed her to die Рthat woman of your youth

in favor of the mother you thought you should be

now the mom-ster you created shall not be free

to live the life that you once placed on hold

so that others could flourish Рin happiness you molded

so – woman repent – to the shadows you go

and the mother you are must pay penance to show

that as long as you live – as long as you breathe

your life is for them –¬†it’s what they believe

You hoped¬†and prayed¬†you¬†did¬†it well –¬†but only God and time will¬†tell


On this, the one year anniversary of the loss of my father, my Superman, I cannot help but reflect on the relationships I have and have had, in my life.

As humans, we embody the word dichotomy in so many ways….but the number one in my book is…we are as simple as we are complicated.

We all begin¬†the same way…simply…we are born. ¬†Yet the simplicity ends there and the complications begin.

Our relationships.  Simple yet complicated.

We love simply, yet that same love, complicates everything.

This post: ¬†A simple plea for an end to the silence…and a look at the complicated life of a woman as mother and mother as woman, and where you go from here…

If you don’t know…you’re in good company, for I don’t either.

To be a mother is a lifelong commitment, of this I have no doubt.  But at what point can the woman come out from behind the curtain with the expectation that the child will see her, know her, for the woman she could be underneath the mother she is?

At what point in her life of being daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother…can a woman who mistakenly set herself aside, reasonably expect to fix that mistake of self-denial, with their blessing instead of their resentment for putting herself first?

My guess would be…not today.

At what point in a child’s life did they forget all she did…so as to¬†remind her of what she’s not doing now?

My guess would be…today


 

So…it is time to say what I want to say and hope it’s heard and felt:

They say there is a reason

They say that time will heal

But neither time nor reason

Will change the way I feel

For no one knows the heartache

That lies behind my smiles

No one knows how many times

I’ve broken down and cried

I want to tell you something

So there won’t be any doubt

You’re so wonderful to think of

But so hard to be without

Simon says…

No I would not give you false hope
On this strange and mournful day
But the mother and child reunion
Is only a motion away…

(header photo credit:galleryhip.com)

More or Less is More of Less…only MoreSo

Civilization at the end of 2015

‚ÄĘ Our Phones ‚Äď Wireless
‚ÄĘ Cooking ‚Äď Fireless
‚ÄĘ Cars ‚Äď Keyless
‚ÄĘ Food ‚Äď Fatless
‚ÄĘ Tires ‚ÄďTubeless
‚ÄĘ Dress ‚Äď Sleeveless
‚ÄĘ Youth ‚Äď Jobless
‚ÄĘ Leaders ‚Äď Shameless
‚ÄĘ Relationships ‚Äď Meaningless
‚ÄĘ Attitudes ‚Äď Careless
‚ÄĘ Babies ‚Äď Fatherless
‚ÄĘ Feelings ‚Äď Heartless
‚ÄĘ Education ‚Äď Valueless
‚ÄĘ Children ‚Äď Mannerless
‚ÄĘ Country ‚Äď Godless

We are –¬†SPEECHLESS

Government is –¬†CLUELESS

And our Politicians are –¬†WORTHLESS

I¬†am¬†scared ‚Äď Shitless!

Ain’t it just – PRICELESS?

old

Mommy Dearest

I’ll go out on a limb here and say for most of us, being a parent is, quite literally, the hardest job we’ve ever had or ever will. And, at the same time, it’s the richest, most fulfilling, most rewarding contribution to our own lives and always will be. ¬†alex

One of the most surprising¬†aspects of parenthood’s lifelong journey is finding out that one split second is all it takes for you to come to know the best and worst of being a parent…the span of that second is the distance between loving another being¬†so much it hurts, to wishing¬†you’d gotten a dog instead! ¬†True dat ¬†ūüôā

angry_baby11

But in looking at this¬†most difficult¬†/¬†most rewarding dichotomy, it’s not so hard to understand when you consider first, our tendency¬†to place the highest value on that which was hardest won, and second, our amazing capacity for forgiveness (as parents at least).

But what is it that takes parents to the depths of the difficult to the heights of reward when it comes to loving our children? How do we survive the splintering of our brains in a thousand directions trying to figure them out, yet tarnishes the love in our hearts never?

I don’t question the reward; I think it’s obvious. I do, however, ponder the difficult. Is it because we love too much? ¬†Is it that even possible?

I don’t believe so…

However, could it be that we love too much for too long?  Is that it?  Does parental love need to be doled out in stages or degrees?  Or fit into categories in order to not overload these little overlords once they come into their own?

So what (you ask) are these stages/degrees/categories you ask?

I’m a little cuss who can’t (and don’t want to) function without you so love me, love me more, love me most!

I’m a teenager so love me lots, and with patience, but for God’s sake, don’t let my friends see it!

I’m a young adult now so love me from a distance, but not too far ’cause I may need the car!

I’ve met someone and we’re going to get married. ¬†Can ya help, can ya pay, can we have it there? (ps Mom and Dad…you’re gonna love him/her!)

I’m going to have a baby so love me, love me most, and love me now ’cause we’re going to need babysitters!¬†(ps Mom and Dad…you’re gonna love it!)

Mom? Dad? I’ve never felt this way before…I love this kid so much my heart hurts!
(ps honey…we know!)

And so on…..

The short answer to the too much / too long question is…yes, okay, maybe, a little bit. But we parents come to this conclusion naturally I think. We instinctively know (or learn soon enough if our instincts are not as honed as they will be), which stage or category we’re dealing with or which degree of parental love to douse them with, simply by living it. Organic knowledge. ¬†We just have to choose¬†to go with it.

Does that stop us from loving the same soul-deep way we did when they were newborn?

No.  Perhaps it does in theirs though.  For a time.

I know¬†that they love us the same way we do them…in the beginning. ¬†Outside of themselves, we are their world. Their universe. Their moon and their stars, and they are ours.

Parents and kids grow up together. ¬†That’s a given. ¬†No matter if you’re 18 or 45 when you have your children, you¬†have¬†to grow up with them to be able to give and receive all that these little selves need, and later, need to share.

We may grow up more with our first.  Then again, it may just be that we grow up differently with the next one or two or three.

But…if we’ve played our hands well, we are love. ¬†All of it. ¬†Every stage, every degree, every category is of the love, by¬†the love, for the love. ¬†And they are right there with us.

Completely (in the beginning)

Mostly (in the middle)

Until (still in the middle but getting further towards the…the…well shit…not the end, but you know what I mean right?)

Until…they find out there are more people to love and to be loved by; more stars to shine the light of love on their heads and in their hearts; more room in their world for other loves.

As it has always been.  As it was with our own parents to be sure.  Just another way of experiencing the circle of life.

Consider…

Our children are loved as only a child can be loved and they in turn, love as only a child can love. The universe is secure.

As time goes on, they thrive and grow in that forever, universe-spanning, parental love and love them right back. But as they continue to grow, they s l o w l y  recognize that their world is expanding to include the many, many different kinds of love; each addition a glimmering star to their universe thus far.

But their recognition is as single-minded as their love for us was in the beginning. When they venture out from underneath the love-cloaked expanse of their parental universe, they don’t at once realize that their hearts¬†are big enough to add new loves without setting aside old ones.

Our time will come again (usually around the time the grand-kids show up!), but as parents, it’s only natural that we do feel the initial loss of that connection when our love is no longer the moon and the stars in our child’s heart.

BUT…

Facing this fact head-on is hard, but absolutely necessary.

For our own well-being as well as theirs.

If we don’t, we run the risk of pushing them further out into the expanse by clinging too close, depending too much on their always being there, pining away for their childhood days when they aren’t there, regretting what we didn’t do, or forgetting what we did. Even romanticizing the harder times and not counting our blessings.

We all can probably think of a parent in our experience who has done, or does, this. Think back to the last time you witnessed a parent who cannot let go and re-live what you felt. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling.

I’m certainly not completely innocent of it still. ¬†I sometimes catch myself feeling guilty for not being ‘that mother’. The one who always can, always will, never says no, never says can’t. Who wouldn’t want to be considered ‘the perfect mom’? ¬†But that’s not perfection. It’s limiting to both your life and those of your children.

However, even knowing I am not (and never could be) that mother…(nor is their Dad ‘that guy’) it nevertheless hurts (and in the dark of night, makes me wonder if they’ll still love me enough to ask again- I know, just silly ) to know that we are the ones disappointing our¬†children.

But we get over it because we know we are good parents¬†who have raised good people. ¬†We all¬†deal with disappointments in our relationships. ¬†We have difficult conversations followed by deafening silences. ¬†But we’ve loved each other long enough and well enough to know what’s really important.

So there is hope. Once we’ve matured enough in our parenthood to realize this fact of life, we can recapture¬†that sense of oneness, specialness, absolute love not felt anywhere but in your parents’ heart of hearts. ¬†It is, after all,¬†our hearts that need to make preparations for the day when our children learn there is a love flow-chart. ¬†This will fluctuate during their life spans, but it will always show a solid heart-red line for us. ¬†Mom and Dad. ¬†Steady as she goes. ¬†What more could we hope for?

And an added benefit to this stage of parental maturity is…we can (and hopefully do) look back at our own parents with a new appreciation for all they’ve done, all they’ve been through, and all we’ve¬†learned from them without even knowing it. ¬†Score!

Cheers and happy parenting (and I mean that!)

Dearest Mommy

Dedicated to my Mother and Father and to my Sons
I’m proud to be one of your stars

Hat Heaven

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: ¬†Hats

I don’t often see women wearing hats anymore. ¬†Nowadays, when I see a woman in a hat, it’s usually part of a costume, or a fashion show of clothes no one actually wears but all ooh and ahh over.

We see them on TV when the British Royals are in view, or if it’s The Derby on the news, you see American women sporting rather lavish head coverings, but honestly, they don’t seem to carry it off as well as the Brits.

Men? ¬†They’re a different animal all together. ¬†Put a ball cap on and call it “Honey, let’s go” time!

But I do remember a time when hats were ‘the thing’. ¬†Especially on Sunday mornings in church…hats, hats, everywhere or at the very least, a square of lace pinned in place.

Makes me wonder…where did all the hats go to die? ¬†Well, apparently, flea markets and antique stores!

Seriously, it’s a veritable hat haven! ¬†Or would that be hat heaven…hmmm

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How to Lose Friends and Gain an Ulcer – A Play in Two Acts

Characters:
A small family – Bob, Barb, Billy, and Bubba Brown
A family friend – Cruella
Out of town friends of that friend – Dave, Deb, and Darlin’ Drinkwine
A local family member of those out of town friends of that friend – Sissy

Mom – Mom

Introduction:
Cruella introduces Bob and Barb to Dave and Deb, who seem very nice and they appear to a lot in common with each other. They are around the same age, married, and both have families.

Whenever Dave, Deb, and Darlin’ are visiting Cruella and/or Sissy, they make a point of getting together with Bob and Barb and the kids, and as time passes, these two families become friends in their own right.


Act I: The Plan

Setting the Scene:
The Drinkwines, living in the northeast, are finding it difficult to make ends meet what with the cost of living so high up there, even though they both have jobs. So, they contemplate making a move to the more economically friendly south to raise their quality of life as well as their child. They talk about this with Cruella, Sissy, and their new southern friends, the Browns.

All think it a good idea, provided the out of town family can find jobs and housing.

Enter the main protagonists:
MR and MRS IMPATIENCE (
a.k.a. The Drinkwines)
Upon hearing the positive responses for their idea, our protagonists decide to put this plan into motion immediately because, hey, there’s no time like the present, right?


Dave – “Honey, let’s do this! Let’s do this now. We don’t need to wait, we’re drowning up here.”
Deb – “Oh I wish we could. We could give Darlin’ so much more down there than we can up here. But Dave, we don’t have jobs. We don’t have a place to live. We don’t have money to make a move like this.”
Dave – “I know, but God will provide, I’m sure of it. We can quit our jobs, and just do it!”
Deb – “Maybe we can ask Cruella if we can stay with her?”
Dave – “Great idea honey. Let’s call and find out.”

We hear a telephone ringing in the background

Cruella – “Hello?”
Deb – “Cruella? Hi, it’s me Deb. Listen, you know what Dave and I were talking to you all about? Moving down there so it would be easier to make a living?”

Deb listens as Cruella responds.

Deb – “Thanks, we think so too. Well, Dave and I were talking, and we don’t want to wait. We want to just take the bull by the horns and do it! But the thing is…um, hang on, I’m gonna put Dave on the phone. Okay? Don’t hang up, be right back.”

Meanwhile, we see Deb motioning to Dave to take the phone, but he shakes his head violently and waves his hands mouthing “no no no”

Deb – “Oh well, I can’t find him. Anyway, what we wanted to ask is if you can manage it, could we stay with you while we look for work and a place to live? What? Oh, well, Dave said we’d just quit our jobs up here and that way we’d have more time to look for work there. Huh? Yes, I know, but we really don’t want to take all that time. I mean, what if it goes into winter and then we’re stuck here until after the snow melts?”
Cruella – “Listen hun, I know what you’re saying, and if I could I would; in a heartbeat! ¬†But I don’t think I’d have the room (lie #1). What with you and Dave needing a room, and baby Darlin’ being so young and needing so much attention at this age, you’d need someone to care for her too and I just don’t have the time (lie #2) or energy (lie #3…she takes pills for that) to be able to help.”
Deb – “Un huh, yeah, I guess that’s true. Well, if I said I’d wait to look for work so I could stay with Darlin’ while Dave looks? Would that make a difference? I know we wouldn’t have much money to help, but I could help in other ways.”
Cruella – “Oh sweetie, I wish I could, but I just can’t. What about Sissy? She’s your sister, can she help?”
Deb – “I thought of that, but she’s in a one bedroom apartment and can’t afford to have us there anyway. She’s single and doesn’t make that much money. Do you think if we asked Bob and Barb they could help?”
Cruella – “I don’t see why not! They are good church going, God fearing people…how could they say no? I mean, I have to, but they are so much nicer than me. I don’t mean that I’m not nice (which she is…not nice), it’s just that I have to say no and they don’t really have a reason to [and I’ve taken advantage of them on numerous occaissions, so I know], so I don’t think they would. Their house is bigger than mine (lie #4), they make more money than me ’cause they get (‘extra’) ya know, what with work plus government money for his disability. You want me to ask them for you?”
Deb – “Oh would you? If you ask them first, or maybe just tell them we’re going to call them to ask a favor even? That way, they won’t be surprised when we call. (Deb listens) Okay, good. Thanks. Just let me know when you do, then we will. Thanks Cruella. Bye.”

We hear Deb recall the conversation to Dave, and Dave gives her a big thumb’s up.


As Act I ends and II begins, we see that Cruella has ‘mentioned in passing’ to Barb at church the next Sunday, that Deb told her she was gonna call Barb soon because she said she had something her and Dave wanted to talk with her and Bob about. ¬†Naturally, Barb was curious and asked what it was about, but true to her (deceitful) nature, Cruella just shrugged and said she didn’t know but she thinks maybe Deb and Dave just miss them so much maybe they want to plan a get together?

Very little time passes and Deb does in fact call Barb. ¬†From Cruella’s! ¬†Seems the Drinkwines felt their chances of success were greater if they spoke with the Browns in person rather than over the phone. ¬†We all know it’s much harder to say no face to face after all. ¬†And they were right…Bob and Barb could no more have said no to their new friends in their time of need, than they could have said no to one of their own. ¬†It’s just not in their nature.

The Drinkwines presented their case to the Browns just as Deb had presented it to Cruella. ¬†They emphasized the points that they would help cover the added expense by contributing towards the extra food, utilities, water, etc. and that once Dave found a new job, they’d be in a great position to find a home and they could all live happily ever after. ¬†Happily ever after. ¬†Family get-togethers, cookouts, holidays, watching the kids grow up together…you know…happily ever after!


Act II:  The Invasion of Normalcy

Setting the Scene:
We begin the second act after the Drinkwines have quit their jobs, said goodbye to their northern family, packed all they own into their vehicles (and subsequently into the Brown’s garage), and moved in with the Browns…

In the two months since the invasion, the Brown’s happy home has become a battlefield of bitter silence. Bob has had a set back and is on short term disability from work. ¬†He is staring at what could be a life changing surgery, while trying to manage the added stress and financial strain of carrying living costs for 3 extra people on a percentage of his normal pay, with medical issues that never go away.

Barb is taking care of 100% of Bob’s needs, cooking more, cleaning more, struggling more with trying to stretch one dollar into five without taking away from her family to give to another’s. She’s Trying to make it all work with what she has, but is having a hard time of it. ¬†A buck is a buck is a buck. ¬†No way around that fact. ¬†And the Browns are outta bucks. ¬†How¬†is this possible? ¬†The inconvenient truth is…our protagonists have not quite lived up to their end of the bargain. This is where we continue…

Bob – “Babe, I’m sorry my being out of work is making this so much harder. ¬†The last thing you need too, is taking care of me 24/7. I really don’t know what to do. ¬†I’ve sold the last of my collection. ¬†There’s nothing else to sell. I didn’t think it would be this hard.”
Barb – “I know honey. We need to talk to them. They said they’d help with the extra costs, but we’ve gotten nothing! They said they were going to look for work, but how do you do that when you sleep until 1:00 in the afternoon? Sometimes, it’s 3:00 for God’s sake!”
Bob – “I know. I see it too. But what are we supposed to do? We know they aren’t making any money. We know they’ve applied for assistance, but in the meantime, we are drowning!”
Barb – “Tell me about it. I’m the one doing the bills. I know what we don’t have. I also know I can’t buy groceries again on a CREDIT CARD! I just can’t. We need to talk to them.”
Bob – “Okay. I will. I’ll talk to them.”
Barb – “Thanks, but don’t wait too long. We really do need some help.”

Two weeks go by

Barb – “Hey Mom. Sorry, but I just need to vent. You know all about the situation here, and I just don’t know who to talk to anymore. Bob was supposed to talk to them, but he hasn’t and I know it’s hard to do, but we’re drowning here. I don’t know what to do.”
Mom – “Listen, what you two have done is a very nice thing. You’ve opened your hearts and home to people who needed help. But honestly? Did they have to quit their jobs BEFORE they had new ones? Did they think they could move in and live with you for months on end until they could save money enough, provided they DO find jobs, to move into their own place? What were you guys thinking?”
Barb – “We didn’t think long term. I mean, they said they’d help and we believed they would. They are so nice. But Mom, it’s a disaster. And the stress is coming between me and Bob and even little Billy is feeling it.”
Mom – “All I can tell you is you both need to talk to them. It’s hard, I know, but you have to. You need to explain that you need them to help financially and you also need to have a time limit for how long this can go on. And…if it were me, I’d invite little miss Cruella into the conversation, since I suspect it was HER idea to begin with!”
Barb – “Mom, Cruella said she doesn’t have the room.”

We don’t need to hear it to know what Mom is thinking

Mom – “Can you and Bob talk to them today? Get it out in the open at least? They need to know what’s happening in your family so they can do whatever they can to help.”
Barb – “Um, no. Not today. Not ’til next week.”
Mom– “What? Why the hell not? And why wait another week?”
Barb – “Well, they have gone back up north for a week.”
Mom – “Are you joking? They don’t have money to help you but have money to travel back up there? For a week? And didn’t you tell me they just had a party? At YOUR house? Without asking your permission first? Really honey…what more is it going to take for you and Bob to see that you are being taken advantage of?”
Barb – “I don’t know. I don’t think they are doing it to be mean or anything. I just think they don’t think about what it looks like to us or what we feel about it.”
Mom – “Well why the hell should they? They are doing all of this and you guys aren’t saying a word! You said she had a sister there…why can’t they stay with her? Oh wait, don’t tell me…no money and no room. Right. Just like little miss Cruella. Okay…well, I think when they get back, you need to have this out. Don’t wait.”
Barb – “I know. And we will.”

Another Two weeks go by

Barb – “Hey Mom. How’s it going?”
Mom – “Good. You? Have you talked to them yet? Are things easier? Getting help? Sorry for all the questions.”
Barb – “No, it’s okay. No, we haven’t yet. Dave has had an interview and tested for a job and it looks like it may be a go, but it’s a process. We won’t know for a bit.”
Mom – “Okaaaay…so what does that mean exactly? A process? Does he have the job or not? Are they helping you financially at least? Are they down to one shower a day each or is it still two? What?”
Barb – Okay look, this is the thing. They are still sleeping ’til the afternoon. They still take two showers each, a day. They are getting food stamps, so have given me a little for food. And yes and no on the job. I don’t know, I think he has it, but he has to wait for the process. That’s all I know. It’s a municipal job, so there’s a process. And, in the meantime, he goes back up north sometimes, to work a week here and there for money. They are leaving again today, she’s going with him, for the week. I don’t know..it’s a mess.”
Mom – “Good grief. Are you kidding me with the going back and forth? Answer me this…if he can go from here to there to work, assuming they stay with family up there…why the hell can’t he do that from there then? Use the INTERNET to find work down here like a lot of people do? ¬†Work up there, stay with family, and save enough to move the way normal people move? I do NOT understand why they quit and moved to live off strangers instead of doing exactly what he is ALREADY doing! I just don’t get it. And I don’t get the two of you. Can you not SEE they are taking advantage of you?”

We don’t see it, but can see the steam coming out of Mom’s ears!

Barb – “I know. I know. It’s just so hard to say that to them. I just want my house back. My family back. My sanity back.”
Mom – “Well? Get it back!!! Talk to them. BEFORE they leave, so they can take their shit with them. You’ve done more than most, but this was not supposed to be forever! What about he holiday season that’s coming? You supposed to host their families? Or are you just supposed to be their base camp while they travel around visiting their own?”

We can hear Barb’s frustrated sigh’s and obvious distress in the background.

Barb – “I don’t know what to do.”
Mom – “What does Bob say?”
Barb – “Not much.”
Mom – “Great. Well honey, I didn’t mean to put more stress on you, but you both know what you have to do. My suggestion is for you to take those giant cajones I know you have and put them to use! Speak up for yourselves. You can do it nicely, just as you opened your home that way, or you can let it fester until nice is a thing of the past. Do it now before it’s too late.”


Obviously, no one would end a play there…and I’m not, because it’s an on-going saga with people I know. ¬†The reason I put it out there, in this way and to this point is…I’d like to know

What Would You Do?

It’s hard (but not) to put myself in these people’s shoes. ¬†As an outsider, a venting friend to their vented Mom, I agree with Mom’s view here. ¬†They need to speak up and speak now or forever hold their peace,¬†because people do what we allow them to do!

However, I also feel for the Browns ¬†because I’m the same when it comes to uncomfortable confrontations. ¬†So, I can offer no advice if I’m using myself as an example.

Someone, somewhere, out there, may have some advice on how to approach this for people who, like the Browns, cannot bring themselves to be hurtful  (as perceived by them, not by anyone else I imagine) to a family in need, but also a family that is taking advantage of the very thing that makes the the Browns who they are.

To Dye For

hunza_woman_f

A 65 year old woman had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital.
While on the operating table she had a near death experience.
Seeing God she asked “Is my time up?

God said, “No, you have another 33 years, 2 months and 8 days to live.

Upon recovery, the woman decided to stay in the hospital and have a face-lift, liposuction, breast implants and a tummy tuck.

She even had someone come in and cover her grays and brighten her teeth! Since she had so much more time to live, she figured she might as well make the most of it.

After her last operation, she was released from the hospital.
While crossing the street on her way home, she was struck and killed by an ambulance.
Arriving in front of God, she demanded,¬†“I thought you said I had another 33 years? Why didn’t you pull me from¬†out of the path of that ambulance?
?
?
?
?
?
younger hunzu
God replied: “I didn’t recognize you

***
The lesson here?
Easy…she should have worn her hearing aids!
ūüėČ
Save a life…support your local Audiologist


(random images from google search)

Brother can you spare some CHANGE?

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Change.”

CHANGE

What easier way to showcase change than with the seasons. I’ve been known to take a thousand shots of a single mountain because each shot offers something different. Whether it’s the cloud formations that waft over the top, promising changes to come, or the way the sun strikes it on a sunny day vs. the rays that struggle through to kiss the peak on a cloudier one…IMG_0747One of my favorite changes is the coat of brilliant color that adorns it today when, just yesterday, that coat was green and brown…Jay in the distance

And tomorrow, it’ll be gray as ash, soon to be white as snow…snow cappedThe once empty horizon now filled with the winds of change in the form of wind powered turbines. ¬†All in the name of progress and, for some, the sacrifice of beauty…a change some do not like.IMG_0039
But…there’s more to change than the obvious. ¬†Some is predictable, some inevitable, some wanted, some not.
But it’s always coming. We all know this to be true.
Below, a slideshow with photos and thoughts on what I think about change.
I’m not afraid of it.
Much.
But like it or not…it’s coming.
So I’ll celebrate it here.

Please enjoy and thanks.
FOR A CHANGE….R

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An Age-Old Question…

For An Old-Age Mind…

What is it about later in life birthdays?

They often find one
sitting alone in a room
4 hours past the witching hour
with naught but
the eerily compelling
softly alluring glow
of artificial light
and mechanical heat
for company?

Whether alone by choice
or by insomnia
is beside the point
it’s the kind of alone
that’s not lonely.

It’s that kind of…

Alone in the dark
snugged in a corner of the couch
covered chin to toes but for the exposed
elbow that bends
the hand that holds
the wine that fuels
the brain to ask

So…

She gives in to the pull
sets down the glass
throws off the throw
unfurls the limbs
settles in front
and kisses the lips
of her secret keeping
story telling
question asking but
answer withholding
companion

Hoping that somewhere
out there

She’s met or
has yet to meet
at least one or
even better
a good number of you
older and wiser
new friends

And may it please you and to
whomever
whatever
wherever
you pray…

Can one of you?
Any of you?
By all that you hold dear?

Please?

Tell me?

Which came first?

The Chicken OR The Fucking EGG?

This, my friends, is what it
looks like
sounds like
feels like
to get old

Sitting alone in the dark, blahddy fucking blah, at what is now 3am, trying to celebrate another year, ONE HELL OF A YEAR AT THAT, of getting fatter, wrinklier, forgettier, and grayer.

I’m up to 54 shades and I haven’t found the answer yet!

Maybe that’s the point…

To keep on looking?

Still…

I Want to know!
I Have to know!
I Need to know!

Boggles the mind….