David and Golliath – Thoughts on Independence

As we approach our nation’s day of independence, I had a thought or two that I’d like to share. In honor of all who fought, died, survived, and still fight so we may enjoy…our country’s ultimate day of freedom…Happy July 4th America
IMG_0397
seventeen hundred and seventy six
this day in that year our fate we did fix

we rallied and warred and we bled the fields red
all for the right to our freedom instead

of the yolk from an empire determined we bow
to king and to country, the collective high brow

we started ignorant, starving, and poor
equipped with nothing but freedom’s allure

one hundred times two add to that thirty-eight
the years then to now, the days fate to fate

our beginnings were humble, and not always sainted
to think what we’ve done to the darker and painted

all we can strive for is continu-ed learning
to treat all as equals, we all have that yearning

for the freedoms hard fought and hard won from oppressors
it’s not up to us to now be the aggressors

but when those who still fight for the simplest of freedoms
can’t live and can’t love and can’t grow their own kingdoms

I will not say war is always the answer
but fight we should still against any agenda

that takes away rights to live free and live true
a war worth waging, battles must ensue

to live in a world that allows you to be
everything imagined, the power of we

I hate that our country is still fighting wars
but hate more would I if we sat on the shores

of our own piece of heaven, at the same time deny
the same to others who’d enjoy it but by

the happenstance of geography
but for that they’d be me

but for where I was born
I could easily live in a country that’s torn

should I feel guilty? should I feel blessed?
to one I’ll say no, to the other I’ll say yes

I won’t lay claim to guilt not my doing
but nor condone I, those who hope our ungluing

a believer am I of “get what you pay” for
but not when one has and the other is dirt poor

if you cannot fight for the basic of rights
then why should we feel bad for fighting their fight?

goliaths are bullies, and davids are smaller
but bigger’s just bigger, not better, just taller

the true winner wins when the heart is the weapon
big losers lose when they continually lessen

the right of the people, equality all
pride goeth ‘fore the mightiest fall

in honor of our freedom, in honor of our fight
a prayer I’ll say ‘fore this morning is night

may all who seek peace and all who seek freedom
know you’re not alone as long as we are one

nation of davids, scrappers are we
a nation of davids, who’ll fight ’til you’re free
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Let Freedom Ring

it’s not easy

IT’S NOT EASY IS IT?

trying to find a title for a discussion of this magnitude is not easy.

trying to find a way to speak openly and frankly about this subject is not easy.

trying to come to grips with teen and young adult suicide is not easy.

trying to understand the minds of those that bully, in real space or cyber space, is not easy.

trying to find a solution is not easy.

seeing signs or hearing that your child may be a bully is not easy.

taking responsibility is not easy.

OR IS IT?

justifying their actions is easy.

saying that’s just how kids are is easy.

victim blaming is easy.

changing the channel or turning the page is easy.

giving a silent prayer of thanks that it’s not your child so not your problem is easy.

judging others is easy.

but…

facing facts is not.

easy.

WHERE ARE WE GOING WRONG?

Mattie Yates:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2607248/Im-doing-world-favor-Heartbreaking-farewell-video-girl-16-posted-YouTube-committing-suicide.html

Amanda Todd:

Ryan Halligan:

http://www.ryanpatrickhalligan.org/index.htm

Megan Meier:

http://www.meganmeierfoundation.org/megans-story.html

Phoebe Prince:

http://www.truecrimereport.com/2010/01/phoebe_prince_15_commits_suici.php

Jessica Logan:

Tyler Clementi:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/sep/30/tyler-clementi-gay-student-suicide

Shannon Gallagher: (this one is especially hard to fathom…the teen sister of a cyber bullied suicide victim)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/13/shannon-gallagher-sister-cyberbullying-suicide-erin-gallagher_n_2296488.html

Rehtaeh Parsons:

 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/09/rehtaeh-parsons-girl-dies-suicide-rape-canada_n_3045033.html

Audrey Pott:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/reports-3-teens-admit-assaulting-norcal-girl-who-later-killed-herself/

this list is far from complete, but I find I can look at no more.

those families left behind have not been idle.

they’ve formed foundations, initiated awareness campaigns, and again, the list goes on and on.

as do the suicides.

additionally, we now have, literally at our fingertips, the following, just to name a few of the resources available, as a direct result of this problem:

  • no bullying websites – one example

NoBullying.com features many pages dedicated to parents, teens, teachers, health professionals as well as posts related to cyber safety and the latest news about law making concerning curbing bullying worldwide as well as inspirational bullying poems and famous bullying quotes

  • suicide prevention blogs – one example

http://www.activeminds.org/our-programming/awareness-campaigns/suicide-prevention-month/suicide-prevention-month-blog

  • national suicide hotlines – one example

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

  • cyber bullying studies and statistics one example

http://cyberbullying.ua.edu/index.php/casestudies/

wherein they recite:

The National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center estimates that nearly 30 percent of American youth are either a bully or a target of bullying

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people with approximately 4,400 deaths every year

(and those stats are just here, but this is not an American problem.  this is a world problem.)

PLUS:

  • child protection software
  • web filtering software
  • social media safety programs
  • free teen safety e-books

so…what are we missing?

what are we doing wrong?

or maybe the better question is…

what are we NOT doing right?

I am no judge

I am no jury

I am no winner of any super parent of the year award

however…I am a survivor.

and living proof that

‘it’s a phase’

belongs at the top of “The Worst Things A Parent Can Assume” list

STOP!  DON’T ASSUME!  ASK!  LISTEN!  PAY ATTENTION!

no one knows your child better than you do. and no one does or will ever, care more.

and then there is “The Worst Things A Parent Can Say” list
(and I’m as guilty as the next guy for saying most of these things because I heard those things):

“that’s just how kids are”
“you’ll grow out of it”
“you’ll get over it, you’ll see”
“go find something to do”
“it’s not that important”
“ignore it, they’ll get bored”
“you don’t want to be like everyone else do you?”
“you’re too young to understand”
“sticks and stones…”

i am not being a Monday morning quarterback, at least, I hope you don’t see it that way.

i am not blaming all parents for all things as I certainly couldn’t look myself in the mirror if I took the blame for everything my children did growing up.

what I am trying to do, is shed some light on a few of THE most common, albeit loving, words of advice and/or wisdom we impart to our kids in an attempt to make them ‘feel better’ about themselves.

it doesn’t work.  I know, that’s harsh.

but it doesn’t work.

our children know we love them. they know we’ll say anything to make it better (in our own minds).

but we need to stop putting acne cream or liquid foundation on what WE PERCIEVE to be our kids’ source of their low self-image, and I say that because, if they saw themselves as WE do, this would not be the fucking horrific problem it is.

they don’t see themselves through OUR eyes.

they see themselves through the eyes of their peers.

just as the majority of all of us did.

no…this is not a new war.

it’s an old war on a different battleground.

an anonymous one.

one that affords bullies (who otherwise might not ever have dreamed of pulling the trigger) a haven of relative safety with which to thrust their swords of misguided judgment and fire those malice filled bullets.

all in an attempt to…what?

you know the answer.

to hide their own insecurities, to assuage their own feelings of inadequacy, to belie the perception that they are lacking, to feel big, and most importantly…to mask their own pain.  to make themselves feel better than…by making someone else feel worse than.

this is not a new concept.

and it’s certainly not only employed by teenage bullies.

knowing this…is it a stretch to think that the corporate bullies, the ball field bullies, the ‘my kid is better than your kid’ bullies, were bullied as youths?

nope.

OR

on the flip side…

if not bullied…were bullies as children, left to their own devices because ‘that’s just kids being kids”?

sadly, there is no easy solution.

it’s not easy, after all.

but…there are things we can do, as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, friends…

stop making assumptions
stop making excuses
stop enabling our kids by ‘trying to be friends’

be a parent now and a friend later.
if you feel the no…say the no.
if ‘but johnny has one’ or ‘suzie gets to’ arguments sway you…get to know johnny and suzie a little better so you can perhaps point out to your kids the things they have that johnny and suzie do not.
allow your children to suffer the consequence of their choices but always offer an alternative to better ones. don’t take away the responsibility of their actions because you feel sorry for them.
if they say they hate you now…they’ll love you later, especially when they have their own kids.

no amount of money you spend ‘keeping up with…’ will ever make them feel pretty or popular on the outside if they don’t feel it on the inside. give them reasons to feel it on the inside. teach them compassion and empathy by living it. teach them to see beyond by doing it.

temper the time spent praising their feats by counting their blessings, whatever they might be.

teach them that each of us are blessed in our own way, some on the outside, some on the inside, but it’s all worthy of love and respect.

help them celebrate our differences by being well-rounded, informed, engaged, and interested parents who take the time to get to know their school, their teachers, their friends, and their friends parents.

yes, this is a different age. parents today have very little free time.
but…that was our choice yes?
say what you will…but every generation’s evolution is a direct result of that generation’s choices.
we cannot use ‘I have no time’ as an excuse to not raise our own kids.
we cannot blame society or teachers for ‘not giving’ our children the values we should be giving them at home.

our children need us.
they will never admit to this, but they do.
not just the first 10 years or the next…
it is a lifetime job.
and the job of a lifetime.

let’s help give our kids that lifetime, that looooong lifetime.

please

i dedicate this post to the fire starter, you know who you are, and you know what you mean to me…and i thank you for knowing i had something to say, no matter how small

Proverbs or The Beatles ~ Let it Be

Four friends, who hadn’t seen each other in 30 years, reunited at a party. After several drinks, one of the men had to use the rest room.

Those who remained talked about their kids.

The first guy said

“My son is my pride and joy. He started working at a successful company at the bottom of the barrel. He  studied Economics and Business Administration and soon began to climb the corporate ladder and now he’s the president of the company. He became so rich, that he gave his best friend a top of the line Mercedes for his birthday.”

 The second guy said

“Darn, that’s terrific! My son is also my pride and joy. He started working for a big airline, and then went to flight school to become a pilot. Eventually he became a partner in the company, where he owns the majority of its assets, he’s so rich that he gave his best friend a brand new jet for his birthday.”

The third man said

“Well, that’s terrific! My son studied in the best universities and became an engineer. Then he started his own construction company and is now a multimillionaire. He also gave away something very nice and expensive to his best friend for his birthday, a 30,000 square foot mansion.”

The three friends congratulated each other just as the fourth returned from the restroom and asked

“What are all the congratulations for?”

One of the three said

“We were talking about the pride we feel for the successes of our sons. …What about your son?”

The fourth man replied

“My son is gay and makes a living dancing as a stripper at a nightclub.”

The three friends said

“What a shame… What a disappointment.”

The fourth man replied

“No, I’m not ashamed. He’s my son and I love him. He hasn’t done too badly either. His birthday was two weeks ago and he received a beautiful 30,000 square foot mansion, a brand new jet and a top of the line Mercedes from his three boyfriends.”

For some, you may be thinking “Ah Ha…Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

For others not so biblically inclined, perhaps this…

London Bus advert that caught my eye

For myself…Let it Be

And when the broken hearted people
Living in the world agree
There will be an answer, let it be
For though they may be parted
There is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Yeah there will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

Today

Last night saw the end of the longest running nightmare of our married life.
The move to Virginia
(a.k.a. As the Shade Spins)
(aa.k.a. Two Thugs and a Truck)
(aaa.k.a. The Snap Heard ‘Round the Block)
(aaaa.k.a. Row, Row, Row, Your Washing Machine)

Moving on (yikes, that phrase alone gives me heartburn)…

At 7:00pm we waved goodbye, with heartfelt thanks, to the crew that installed our new floors. Adios and gracias if you know what I mean.

By 9:30pm we’d placed the last piece of furniture, made-up the last bed, plugged-in and set the alarm clock, and hopped (the mattress sits about boob high on me. HE hops…I use a stool) into our bed with sighs (grunts) of exhausted relief.

To say the day went off without a hitch would be completely out of character for me, so in keeping with keeping it real…I suppose I must share that too…

I’m usually the one in charge in all things ‘house’. But due to my slight limitation in mobility, I reluctantly gave up control and took my place as the minion this one time, physically anyway. (For some reason my mouth just can’t give up being the boss!)

Anyway…I was placed inside the frame of the bed, to help place the box spring. But, as my hands were catching the box, my eyes spied the very obvious fact that the bed was NOT in the right place. Why weight it down with box and mattress when we could easily move it first?

So naturally, I dropped the box spring where I stood (I may have spouted something here, but I take the 5th) and turned to exit the interior of the bed frame so I could move the bed to where it belonged.

In doing so, I didn’t quite clear the hurdle that was the side rail…tripped…and landed flat on my face (and boobs and belly and though I didn’t realize it at the time, my left wrist.)

(Did you know that OOF is a real sound? IT IS!)

Anyway, I gave a shout out to the Big Guy upstairs, thanking him for yet another reminder of my bad temper, cradled my wrist, and left the other big guy to finish. Turns out, the tendons on top of my left hand took the brunt, are strained, and yell at me when ever I lift my hand…but other than that, the other bruises will heal.

Considering my history, I’d say this was one of my better days. 🙂

I climbed the mountain that is my bed, and sat up for a while, thinking about the last 10 weeks {‘how the hell did we get through this without killing each other?’ was my predominant thought} realizing that it was going to be the first night since moving in, that I didn’t dread the following morning.

The nightmare was over.

That light at the end of the tunnel that everyone talks about is there.

I can see it.

Today is the first day for the rest of our lives.

Today is a day for emptying boxes, hanging pictures, filling bookcases, marinating steak to put on the grill…

Today is a day for doing NONE of those things because my hand is screaming.

Today is a day for waiting for tomorrow to try again.

Today is a day for blaming no one but myself for things going wrong.

Today is a day for eating humble pie with my grilled steak.

Today is also a day for giving thanks that we’ve made it through the nightmare still optimistic about tomorrow, regardless of what happened 10 weeks or 10 minutes ago.

Today…Is a Good Day!

It is also a day for meeting our new neighbors…they just moved in…next door…a cute couple…and she, like me, seems to be in charge of the house.

I wish them well.

I offer NO advice yet will keep my garden open to them.

Welcome new neighbors…when you get settled, stop by and we’ll sit and chew the suet and reminisce about Moving Day!

Slice of Pie Anyone?

I saw this MEME today…and it got me thinking, actually it got me writing.  I wrote this on a group page I am party to….Politics Vs. Reality, but thought it belonged here as much as there.  This is my mind on white space after all.

These are just my thoughts, opinions, ramblings, whatever. Nothing here is meant to inflame or insult, but I do welcome commentary, which I feel is sadly lacking in our country today, what with all the bashing and name calling, etc. going on.

For me, this is NOT politics, it’s life.

397471_10151861345355509_2094249917_n

It has been pointed out…that the facts laid out in this MEME are not true.
That could well be…Ben Stein is a comedian…and I take him with a grain.
However, this MEME only got me thinking…not speaking on the merits of what is stated on it.
Just wanted to make that clear.
🙂

I have thought about it, as many have, and voiced my opinion to those that supposedly represent me (Eric Cantor), to no avail.  It matters not what We The People want…and hasn’t for a very long time.  Left, right, or in the middle…it all comes down to the same ol’ shit…money, power, and politics.
*
There are some who believe what we have is better than anywhere else in the world.  If so, then why are we trying so hard to be like everyone else? Why is it so important NOT to stand up and stand out? The freedoms we have as Americans have always been the most identifiable part of BEING an American.  The whole reason those coming here, COME HERE!
*
I am not ready, nor willing, to hand my freedom card in just yet…I find I still want a say in what happens to, and in, my country.  Folks who believe conservatives, Republicans, right-wingers, tea-baggers as they are so lovingly dubbed, are racist, poor hating, money-grubbing, anti-this, and anti-that…couldn’t be more wrong.  Why the name calling and hating of everyday folks, whose goal is to live by the Constitution?  People who would like to see laws of the land enforced and not circumvented for some and ignored for others?  People who would willingly give everything we have to those that need it, as long as it can be PAID FOR?
*
I know that when a conservative talks about money, the hackles rise on some…but that doesn’t change the facts.  The government needs it, so it takes it.  As we are in the middle of tax season…how many of you that have done yours, have seen in black and white, on one page, just how much more of your money is gone?  It would be fine if we could see the benefits being rained down, but do you?  I don’t.  We are so far down the rabbit hole and falling farther and farther every second, we’ll never see daylight at this rate.
*
To say the government has the right to take it, without asking for it, is wrong!  The fact that they do it, even more so.  We used to have a say, through our House of Representatives, how and how much.  When did we vote to give up that right? Ummm, never.
*
We continually throw good money after bad.  Good intentioned?  Sure…no one deserves to be left in the dark hole of poverty, scrounging for the very basic needs of life…NO ONE…and it’s the best part of our country and its citizens to want to do something about that…and we can…but currently we are dancing around the real issues…one step forward, two steps back…we need some tough love here.  And yes, I’m talking about immigration, as it’s where we started and if we are not careful, it’s where we will end!
*
I am well versed in the laws of immigration.  I am 32 years into a marriage to one.  And along with his family and the multitudes I’ve met through them, and several of my own immediate family members who work directly with/for immigrants, we DO have a good system in place.  So where did it go so wrong?  I’ll leave that to you to answer because I don’t know, can only speculate, that money, power, and politics have something to do with it.
*
We are a nation of immigrants.  To think we could, or should, survive without the influence and diversity these folks bring to our culture is ignorant and very short-sighted.  BUT, we must do something about HOW they come in…not why, not who, but HOW.  We have the law, let’s use it. If we need more staff, let’s hire them to get the log jam of those waiting undammed.
*
We cannot fix this overnight.  We’ve wasted too much time and too much money already, doing things behind the guise of humanitarianism, while at the same time, adding more and more blocks of concrete on the heads of those in that hole.  The hole is getting deeper and filling faster and throwing money we do not have at this is not going to empty it out.
*
It is not racist, or hate mongering, or elitist, to want our immigration laws enforced.  It is not any of those things to want our country solvent enough to care for our own AS WELL as those who chose to make lives for themselves here.  It IS wrong to condemn people who believe we should follow the law, live within our means, and/or live by the Constitution.  Just as it is also wrong, to conversely, label those that feel we must change those laws or amend that same Constitution…it works both ways.
But anyway you look at it, any way you lean, any way you slice this good, old-fashioned, American Apple Pie…we are out of pie.
*
Before we can invite/welcome/help anyone looking for their slice…we must first, bake a better, more sustaining, pie.  And we can’t do that robbing our future bakers nor by forgetting the most important ingredients…American ingenuity and common sense.  Let’s find a way, or better use what’s in our larder, to do this before we invite the rest of the world over for coffee and dessert.  Can we do that?
*
(the opinions expressed here are just that, opinions, and they happen to be mine)

*

If you want it, the link below offers some food thought, and it IS worth thinking about:

http://youtu.be/LPjzfGChGlE

Caveat Emptor Sucka

For those of you that followed my soap opera, tragic, comedy of drama  “As the Shade Turns” you’ll know of what I speak.

The “moving” company at the center of my little serial has DENIED any and all claims from my husband and me regarding our recent relocation from Vermont to Virginia.

Yes folks, Caveat Emptor has never been more glaring than in our case!

The trouble is…when a company decides to CHANGE its name to hide the fact that the negative star, negative reviews are the norm…what is a consumer to do?

The only thing I can think to do is this

Company A (as we hired them)

Colonial Van Lines Relocation Division

2000 N State Road 7, Suite 300

Margate, FL 33063

Is non-other than Company B

All State Van Lines Relocation, Inc.

2000 N State Road 7, Suite 101

Margate, FL  33063

Had we been aware (had we been Caveat Emptor), we would have read the reviews of Company B…where the MEAT of it is.  The majority of their clients wanted to give NEGATIVE stars, whether it be Yelp or the company’s own website!

Oh to have known…Oh to have CAVEATED OUR EMPTOR!

Oh to have moved our own friggin selves!

Are we done?

Not likely…

Next round…lawyers and banks!

THIS should be fun.

Whoo Hoo!

Meantime?  Don’t you DARE even think about hiring these thuggish bozos!

You hear?

(ps) they are BOTH on FACEBOOK.  OH GOODIE!

Ebb and Flow?

need a paddle

While the recent trauma-drama had not yet completely ‘drained’ from my brain, it had, at least, ‘trickled’ to a minor, albeit steady, unresolved, ‘drip’.

Something akin to Chinese water torture.

However, that said, I was surprised that I was surprised when I found myself, yet again, ‘wading through a ‘puddle of shit’ left behind by another supposed professional’s incompetence!

This time, a new washing machine installation gone horrendously wrong…to the tune of 9,000 bucks (and counting)!!!

[Not to worry though.  The insurance companies are duking it out…and if ours wins, we hope to recover the 3 grand over what the insurance has paid so far to re-build my laundry room and replace 1,296sf of carpet and pad upstairs, along with all the molding, as well as damaged drywall and insulation!  Which of course means I still have basically NO furniture up there and everything still dumped into boxes!  43 Days People!]

To say I was disappointed would be an understatement, I left disappointed in the frozen north about a month and a half ago.

But, surprised?

Yeah, I was.  Surprisingly surprised.  HA

IMG_0043

Are. You. Shitting. Me ???

Because truthfully?  I thought I was on ‘dry land’ once the move was finally over.  Even though I was still having to deal with those numbskulls at Colonial Van Lines Relocation, Inc. out of Margate Florida on a daily basis

(oops, did I just reveal the goon squad’s company?)

…I still felt I’d made strides away from the mind-numb “knuckle-dragger pulling me by the hair” chief cave-cook and horn washer, not to mention head buffalo hide pee-er on-er…

Ugh

…to the “upright walking, slightly behind and to the left of the Neanderthal” can you take me out for a bison burger instead of hacking it off the carcus and throwing it to me to cook cave-slave .

don’t get used to it

In other words, almost human!

Writing about it here helped; receiving validation for my outrage here helped.

Not quite in charge, but gaining power.

Or so I thought.

This is not where I thought I’d be 43 days in

…without a you know what

Ya know?

While you were reading about the moving shade spinning out of control, I was ‘immersed’ in that new ‘flood’ of bad karma.

I know some who’d say that this is just the way things are sometimes, and that I should just ‘ride the wave’.

Others I know might say I should not let this stress me because all things eventually come out clean in the ‘wash’.

And more still who might believe that at some liquid point between the amniotic fluid and the tidal wave that is my life, I did something mighty wrong and am paying for it now.

Am I?

Are these the waters “come to cleanse my soul”?

Maybe.

But then, if that’s true, I’m not sure how happy it makes me to think that my salvation lies in the gushing effluent of semi-rural, semi-agricultural Virginia.

How cleansing could they be having traveled the length and breadth, in 200 year old plumbing, before snaking its way through the plastic portals of my laundry room; sent to bathe me in their healing, mystical, all forgiving, powers?

eeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwww-ah
(that’s a two syllable eew for those that don’t know)

I mean…Noah got rain.  Fresh, pure, clean from the pristine clouds of the pre-industrialized world, never heard of acid rain, sky.  And he only had to deal for 40 days!  I’m already at 43 and I’m NOT done yet!

And I dare say, even HE had a paddle!

anyone seen my paddle?

 I get rusty, fertilizer tainted, used to be filled with poop but now we use chlorine, WASTEWATER!

When is it going to be MY turn?

“Who’s saying ugh now huh?”

Oh nevermind me…a girl can dream can’t she?

(ps…thank you to my grandsons Kyle and Alex for giving me the means to express the faces of surprise and eeeeew)

“As the Shade Spins…When the Door Opens”

The opening of this, the last episode of As the Shade Spins, was inspired by my good friend Mimi, when she commented on the last installment “Why do I feel like this is movie material for the Griswold’s?”  Damn if that ain’t the truth!

Now, without further commercial interruption…on with the show…

As the Shade Spins – Part IV

Last we saw our driver, he was stomping out the door following heated discussions about his practice of hiring thugs and lying to his clients and/or boss.

Well, he huffed and puffed and drove the truck off.

Yes folks, we were officially victims of furniture-napping.  And the ransom was the ‘balance due’

“Pay up or we’ll kill the recliner!”   😈

Since we had signed on the dotted line, and we wanted this nightmare to end, we decided it best to pay up and fight later. So when ‘he with fork-ed tongue’ returned, without a single word, he took the card, processed the payment over the phone, and headed outside. The passenger side door opened and the accomplice disembarked while the napper opened the main door.

“Ahhhhh, free at last” came whispering out of the blackness (I think it was the recliner…it must have overheard the two goons plotting its demise!)

It was already dark outside, but here, at least, we had outside lights. I was a little concerned that we didn’t have overhead lights in the bedrooms on the second floor, nor did we have lamps (they were all packed neatly in a red truck 800 hundred miles north of us), but with the 3 hall lights and a ginormous foyer light on, I didn’t think it would be too difficult a task with the little that needed to go up there.

Of the 3 bedrooms, we had suites for 2 and a small 3-part sectional and the ‘rescued recliner’ were to go into the bonus room over the garage.  Other than that, there was only a kitchen sized dining set and a few accent pieces going on the first floor.  Since the majority of the boxes had not been marked from whence they came nor where they were going, I decided that all the boxes would be put in the first floor living and dining rooms since there was very little furniture to put in either.

Sound like a plan?  Simple enough right?  More work for me later, but hey, I was happy with it.

Uh Huh…you know it’s coming. Now it’s my turn.  Please watch your step, but follow me into the next black hole of our own little Twilight Zone…the one I call:

BREAKING BAD

Once the plan had been relayed to the fearless leader, things began well enough.  I mean, with just two guys, we knew it was going to go slow (oh, and by the way, ZERO sign of any back trouble from ol’ huff-n-puff).  It was mainly boxes coming off for the first half hour or so.  I didn’t say a word when they brought in each box and plopped it in the middle of the room where they’d continually have to go around it to plop the next one down.  I didn’t ask them whether they thought it might be better to stack them against the walls, to open space to move freely.  No, I just did it myself and kept quiet. Until…

I made the mistake of asking the accomplice (in my mind referred to as ‘I swear he’d move faster if he was walking backwards!) to actually place one of the boxes he was lugging in, as I could see it was too heavy for me to do alone.  Well, jumping Jesus, you’d have thought I’d asked him to carry ME up the stairs (no small feat I can tell ya) instead of just putting that box somewhere other than the middle of the dining room!

His hip actually caulked cocked (? LOL) to one side, his head lowered, and he fucking sighed….like a TEENAGER.  Then he looked at me without raising his head (you know, the ol’ eyes rolling up thing?) and said “I really can’t, I’m busy” then plopped the box right where he stood!

Yup. The line in the wood floor was drawn.  The white flag of truce had been lowered and hoisted instead was this:

3189589-617527-vector-cartoon-illustration-of-a-grinning-devil-character-with-heavy-metal-rock-and-roll-devil-horns-hand-signs

Okay, I get it. I’m on board. I left the room and left him to deal with putting the boxes wherever he wanted to.  Let him have to walk around them, who gives a shit. Not thinking that, of course, he wouldn’t be walking around them, he’d just be plopping them closer and closer to the door.  Atta girl Rhonda, you sure showed him!

I’d decided to check on the fearless leader’s progress, he being the one in the truck, passing the boxes forward.  I saw they were close to off-loading some of the furniture pieces, so I mentioned again ‘the plan’…which bed and dresser in which room, the bonus room furniture, etc.  No problem.

I went inside to try to make some inroads in the kitchen while the muscle started bringing in furniture.  Kitchen table, chairs, hutch in the kitchen…check.  Secretary, computer desk in the living room…check. Twin beds, dresser, nightstand in the back bedroom…check.  Double bed, dresser, chifferobe in the front bedroom…check.  Beds assembled? Yes, sure, absolutely, no problem.  Awesome.

No surprise that by this time, the Hubs had decided to dig in for the obvious reason; at the current rate of progress, we’d be there ’til their place of birth froze over if he didn’t help with something!  He was assembling the table in the kitchen while the other two were bringing in the other pieces that had already been designated, so no need to direct this part of the opera.

Yeah, so we thought.

When the time came to bring in the pieces for the bonus room, we ran into some pushback.  Hmmm, ran into some pushback…sounds a tad mild to my mind, but what it boiled down to was this:

They didn’t care to bring those pieces upstairs.  The living room was closer, on the first floor, empty of furniture, and it certainly LOOKED like living room furniture, so they figured that’s where it belonged.  THEY figured that’s where it belonged!  I’ll say it again…okay…I won’t. But REALLY?

Initiate melt down…three, two, one…..BLAST OFF!

Hubs and Me:

(Best guess would be around a decibel level of 95 (somewhere between a lawnmower and a car horn, all the while the two devil-goons are carrying on like we were not even there)

What do you mean they won’t bring it upstairs?
God Rhonda, let’s just get this over with.
But who the hell IS gonna take it upstairs?
We’ll deal with it later.
What do you mean WE? You are always at work and I can’t lug this shit upstairs alone.
They said it wouldn’t fit through the door up there anyway.
What the fuck are you talking about?  It fit through the door at home and it’s NO BIGGER than this one!
They said the legs don’t come off that chair and there’s no way it’ll fit.
BULLSHIT…the legs DO come off, they came off when it was delivered to the OTHER house!
I don’t want to argue about it, let’s just get DONE!
Fuck that…I want this furniture upstairs because it BELONGS upstairs!
I mean it…just LET IT GO!
Bull…tell them to take it upstairs or I’ll leave!  I’ve had ENOUGH!
Rhonda…wait,  wait damn it….where are you going?
OUT…AWAY…I’ll walk and keep on walking or I’m gonna KILL something!
FINE…have it your way, act like a child, LEAVE.

So I did (act like a child).  Grabbed my coat, my purse, and my cell phone (thank God) and walked off into the night.  No violins, no crescendo of dramatic music…just me, in the dark, in the rain (had I mentioned it was raining?), and in a huff.  I’d only known two things about this neighborhood prior to move-in day; how to get to my house, and how to get to the main road.  That’s it.

So, I did what I knew I could…I walked to the main road and took a right.  I knew there was a convenience store somewhere up there at a major intersection…I’d make my way there, get a coffee, and wait.  For what?  I didn’t know.  I just knew I had to get out and I had to have a place to go.

I trekked like a mad woman on a mission, tears mixing with the rain, continuing the idiotic conversation with the Hubs, OUT LOUD and to NO ONE, all the while walking that street like a hooker on speed.  I kept my eyes on the white line, avoided looking up at cars that were flying by lest they see the eyes of an insane person!

I continued on that way for about 20 minutes, and only when the white line disappeared, did I look up to see that the concrete drainage ditch that ran beside all the roads around here was inches away from me, where before then, it had been feet away.  In the noticing, I must have startled myself, for my left foot slipped on the slippery slope (ha!) and rather than go with the flow and land on my ass in the running drain water…I tried to jump the gully.  Tried being the operative word. As soon as my foot landed on the other side…I heard it.  SNAP.  Funny, I did hear it before I felt it too.

Next thing you know, I’ve face planted in the ditch, soaking and covered in mud, crawling my way back up to the road, crying like a baby.  I’d managed to hang onto my cell phone, though I honestly cannot say how.  I had forgotten one thing though…in my haste to escape.  My glasses!  I was blind as a bat.  Traffic was whizzing by, the rain on the road making that sound so much worse.  But, through my tears and over the traffic noise and the sobs, I saw the familiar silhouette light up the screen and heard the ringtone of my husband.

hugh?
Where are you?
i don’t knoooooow laying on the side of the road
WHAT?
i’m laying on the side of the roooooad
Where?
I don’t knoooooooow on the MAIN road just take a riiiiight i can’t waaaaaalk i thththink I bbbbroke my leeeeg
Oh Jesus Christ, stay there, I’m coming
iiiiiiii wiiiiiiiil wahhhhhhhhhhh (imagine Lucielle Ball…yeah, like that, exactly like that!)

A few minutes later, his car pulls up on the side of the road, me in the headlights.  No one else had stopped, and I’ve wondered since if I was even visible in my black coat, on that rainy night.  I think I’m lucky I wasn’t roadkill!

Anyway, Hubs grabs me under the arms, and together, we manage to get me on my one foot…the other one won’t work…and settled into the car.  I instinctively put the seat back as far as it will go and put my right let up on the dash to elevate it.  As there were still two goons at the house, he was obviously torn between taking me to the ER and going back to get them done and get them GONE!

So, for the next two hours, I sat in that same spot while Hubs ran through the rest of that truck like a madman.  And being the kind, compassionate, professional ASSMONKEYS those two were, they watched him.  One stood there folding blankets, the other may have taken in two boxes during that entire period.

After I’d left, they had emptied the truck of the rest of the furniture pieces and a few more of the boxes.  And yes, they placed everything within 10 feet of the front door.  Not another second wasted on talking to them, not another fraction of a second did he spend doing anything but getting that truck empty and those devil-dogs out.  Once that was over, he didn’t even stop to breathe…he ran to the car and to the ER we went.

While waiting for the Ortho to come tell us what the x-ray had revealed, we received a visitor.  Yup, not in town but a few hours and already had visitors!  It was a Virginia State Trooper.  A Captain no less.  Apparently, he’d been in one of those whizzing by vehicles, when his daughter shouted “Daddy, there’s a woman on a cell phone laying on the side of the road!”  Yup, that were me!

The good Captain continued on his way taking his daughter home after a basketball game then returned to “the scene of the grime” only to find I’d gone.  He used his amazing intuitive skill to surmise I’d likely been taken to the hospital and upon further investigation, found me and the Hubs in the ER.  He introduced himself, asked for the scoop, then stayed and chatted for a quarter-hour or so, before wishing us well and taking his leave. What a nice guy (cute too I might add).

Once diagnosed with the broken tibia, wrapped, booted, drugged, and given our appointment for a couple of days hence, we were sent on our way.  Drowsed from the meds, I recall just one thing…walking into a house that looked like a cardboard A-bomb had exploded and left its residue all over the first floor!  I didn’t care.  The Hubs walked me tenderly to the (now thankful it’s downstairs) recliner, propped my adorned leg up (toes to nose you know) and let me sleep.  What he did then, I’m not sure, but I pray it was just fall asleep on the (again, thankful it’s downstairs) sectional, for had he gone upstairs that night…well, let’s just say we may NOT have survived to see today.

This is not the end of what we’ve had to deal with…but it’s the end of this traji-comedy for now.  Perhaps a sequel down the road…one detailing just WHAT we found upstairs and just how incompetent these people were and what steps we’ve taken with this company, and maybe even what has happened SINCE in our new home…I’ll think on it.  I’m not entirely sure I’m up to it (you either for that matter)!’

All I will say, about what’s gone on since, is there is water involved….lots and lots and lots of water!  If you saw the photos from “As Promised – The Opening Line” you won’t be surprised.

Thanks for joining me, sharing it with me, hopefully laughing with me too…hindsight is a funny thing!

R

“As the Shade Spins…the Hubby Loses it!”

I can’t speak to your usual customs during intermission…but I hope you’ve refreshed your spirits, refilled your bowls, settled in the comfy chair, and are anxiously awaiting the next chapter of our little drama.  If so with your permission, here we go…

As the Shade Spins, Part III

We left our cast at the end of a very long, very cold, very anxious, and extremely infuriating day 2…to sleep the sleep of the damned!  The next morning was the coldest yet, frigid is just a word we use because we can think of no other.  Dang it was cold.  But no time to dottle   We stuffed our luggage up, down, in, around, and under anything we could in our two cars and hit the road.  We needed to be in Virginia by 10am the following day for our walk through and our closing was at 2pm that same day!

Yeah buddy.

(Oh, and by the way, the fully loaded F-150 of my father’s?  Yeah, still in Vermont.  We are now 31 days in, and it’s still there loaded with MY stuff.  No help for it though.  What with health issues, weather issues, lack of finding someone able to drive it down here issues, it is what it is.  A truck ready for anything that could possibly occur if the need should arise, as it’s full of lamps, Christmas decorations, books, movies, bookcases, garden tools, trash cans, bedding, ladders, and even a small charcoal grill and a lantern!  So don’t worry Dad, if you get caught out in the weather and need a place to stay?  Climb in the back…you’re good to go.)

I’m sure there’s a post in me somewhere for detailing the wonders and the beauty of the drive down, and you know me, I’ll add some photos…but for the sake of this little drama, I’ll just say good thing it was pretty.  That’s all I have to say about that!  It was a looooooooooong day and my ass hurt, and I get ugly when my ass hurts.  We landed in Virginia late, tired, hungry, and thirsty as hell for something that didn’t need a straw or a cover on the cup!

W I N E…give me wine!

We made our walk through (we’d managed to put it off until noon), found the water heater had mysteriously shit the bed, the work under the crawl space that had been contracted per our professional home inspection was not done as directed, and the gas fireplace wouldn’t work, so closing was delayed a couple hours while the seller/realtor/and powers that be got it all straight that these things would be corrected ASAP at no cost to us.  Great, fine, good to go.

Meanwhile, the movers, who had given me a delivery window of 7 days (yes..7 days) had called no less than 3 times while we were at the attorney’s office, wanting to know when we would be at the house so they could unload.  They were sitting there, parked in front of the house, pretty as you please!!!

Really?

It was already late afternoon.

Really?

What happened to the 7 days and we’ll call you with the exact date?

Are we really going to be doing this IN THE DARK?

AGAIN?

Foreboding.  You knew the feeling was coming yeah?

Forefuckingboding hit me like a brick.

So…no post-closing celebratory dinner for us (or any for that matter).  No moment to walk the empty house, placing furniture (what there was of it) in my head, no looking forward to the first chance at a decent night’s sleep in days.  No, for us…it was ‘same shit different day’ time.

F I N E—BRING IT!

We got to the house after 4:00 and sure enough, there they were.  The moving crew from hell!  Did I say they were from Haiti?  I should have said they were from Hades!

First things first…the driver gets out alone, says he can’t open the doors until we pay him the balance due (50% paid up front).

Not “I’ll get my guys started while we settle the paperwork.”  Nope, plain and simple, he cannot open the doors until we give him a credit card.

Oooooh, I saw the look on the Hub’s face and it was not pretty.  Worse…it was eerily murderous.  He was in the driver’s face in a flash, and I mean Silver Bullet type fast.  The driver never had a chance.  Next thing you know the three of us were in the house, there were three different phones being put to use at the same time…and while we were all waiting our respective call backs (you didn’t think we could actually get anyone on the phone did ya?) this is what the driver had to say…paraphrased in English of course…and my inner most thoughts in parenthesis, per usual:

Driver says:

“Sir, I need to tell you that I hurt my back off-loading a piano from that other load that was on the truck with yours (what? there was a piano in there somewhere? and when the hell did you have time?  oh, those poor other customers) and I can’t lift anything (WTF?) and I only have one of my cousins (you mean crew member right?) with me ’cause I had to drop the other one off back in Massachusetts (you went to Massachusetts AGAIN? and it’s just you and ONE guy? and you can’t LIFT? Wait, WHAT?)”

He continues…

“So, if you’ll just pay me, I’ll go to a truck stop I saw about 20 miles back up the road and hire a couple of guys. (huh? what did you just say?  truck stop? hire? wait, WHAT?)”

Okay…here is where it goes out of control.  Well, at least where my husband goes out of control (mine comes later.  oh and same thing applies here…my inner thinking in parenthesis).

Husband says:

“Are you kidding me?  You expect me to hand over my credit card so you can go hire some fucking random, thugs you picked up at some truck stop?  You are out of your mind! (you go honey)  I hired a MOVING COMPANY…I did NOT hire three thugs and a fucking truck!  (whoo hoo) I want what I paid for!  (that’s telling him babe) You get on the phone to your dispatcher and have him make arrangements to have qualified help here tomorrow. (that did it hon, we’ve got him now)”

Driver says:

“Sir, I do this all the time. I hire people off Craigslist too (did he really say that out loud?)”

Husband replies:

“You what? (yeah that’s what I said) Don’t you work for CVLRD? (good point honey) And isn’t that a CVLRD truck you are driving? (yup) And just whose name is on this paperwork? (it ain’t three thugs and a fucking truck I can tell ya that much) Are you telling me you routinely go out and hire random people, of your own volition, to finish jobs your company was hired to do?  (you’re in trouble now buddy)”

Driver says:

😯

The Hubster:

“I’m telling you right now, you will NOT get one red cent from me for that, or for anything else for that matter, until you get your dispatcher on the phone…RIGHT NOW! (whoa babe, you’re even scaring me!)  You get on the phone, tell him what you told me about being hurt and what you want to do about getting this job done!”

Meanwhile, we’d finally gotten our coördinator on the line, and she passed us to the dispatcher, who as it turned out, is just as knuckleheaded as his driver.  He said no, they were not in the habit of hiring from truck stops or Craigslist; yes, the driver works for them; yes, the truck belongs to them; yes, he understands why we’d react to being told such a thing; no, he had not been informed that the driver was hurt or missing a crew member; no, he’s more than sorry, but there was no way to get him qualified help in time to finish this job because this job HAD to be done that day as the truck and crew were already booked for another job the next day; (wait for it….) and finally yes, we needed to give the driver our credit card before he could open the doors!  Oh, but could he please speak with the driver to find out about this ‘injury’ as he wouldn’t expect him to work hurt.

Remember that clip from Poltergeist?

W H A T  I S  H A P P E N I N G ????

Are we even still on EARTH?

Long story short (hahaha, now THAT’S funny), the driver lied through his pearly whites, told his dispatcher he was NOT hurt and could finish this job no problem, all he wanted was to tell us he needed to be paid first, and we reacted irrationally.  Now, understand, we could HEAR him (amazingly clear English I might add).  Did he not get that?  My husband didn’t let him finish his conversation before getting back on the phone and telling the dispatcher he’d just been lied to.  Either that or WE’D been lied to.  When the driver heard my husband say that, he huffed out the door saying this exact thing (in English and everything):

“I don’t need this shit.  This isn’t even my REAL job!”

Ummmmmmmm…what’s that word?  Gobsmacked?  Yeah, that’s it!  Gobsmacked.  And not because we didn’t believe it (no one would mistake this clown for a professional) but to say it?  In front of us while on the phone with HIS boss?

omgomgomgomgomgomg…can this day get any worse?

Seems it can…join me next time for “When the Door Opens” on the next installment of “As the Shade Spins”

“As the Shade Spins Some More Still”

As we get ready to join our already-in-progress play of numb-nuts and dumb-bells. I invite you to refill your bowls.  There’s a surprisingly large quantity left (what? you don’t like it?) so I’ve kept it warming on the stove. It may be a tad thicker than it should be, but you could always add a drop or two of that Canadian almost beer…the little dirt eaters could probably use it.  And please, let me know if you are in a part of the world where the sun is just rising, I can fry up an egg to top your stew…I believe I can retrieve one or two from the face of our leading man…the driver.

We’ll pick up with our little ensemble right where we left them…in the freezing dark…at the end of day one. To refresh your mind, and get you in the mood, here is where we stand:

Husband  😯

Wife  👿

Driver  😥

And now we return to…As the Shade Spins, Part II

Before the crew left that first night, we tried to find out where they were staying the night and what the plan was for the following day.  Not as easy as one would imagine…owing to the fact that the driver’s particular Haitian dialect was out of our scope and our particular English one was gibberish to him.  Apparently.

We did manage to conclude this though…he was planning on returning to Massachusetts (260 miles one way) because his cousin (cough…I mean, one of his crew) needed to be home in the morning for something ‘important’.

Now, maybe we are just too finicky, or too demanding, or just too damned too too…but if I were to say to you we were more than a little pissed off to find out our stuff was being schlepped an added 520 miles, for something that has absolutely nothing to do with our job, adding an inordinate amount of unnecessary liability…would we be wrong?  PLUS…would you have believed him when he said not to worry because he’d be back by 8am?  Even if he fervently and repeatedly stated he’d be back by 8am no matter HOW much sleep he got?

No, we didn’t either.

And because we lost almost an entire day the first day, we were then in the position of HAVING to finish (finish? shit…start the bloody job) the packing, loading of the house, packing and loading of our storage unit (no electric there either), cleaning and closing both, and making the 800 mile trip to Virginia in one day and not two because we had to be present for our final walk through on the new house in two days time!

Pissed?  Just a little.

So…day two dawns just as cold as the day before and they were just as late.  Yes, it seems our driver has a ‘waking up’ problem. They managed to roll in somewhere around 11:30am, a mere 3 and a half hours past his feverish and fervently promised 8am.  I won’t bother with the emoticons…you can just imagine!  Nor will I mention the many, rather colorful, telephone conversations with ‘corporate’.  And remember my mentioning in Part I the little detail about daylight being at a premium up there (12 miles from the Canadian border)?  Right.  We now have about 4 hours ’til dark, and I mean DARK, and they’ve only just arrived and the entire job still to do!

No. Fucking. Way.  KISS MY ASS AND CALL ME FRED (Now you know why I dubbed this my 50th Shade – what the hell next?)

Well, I’ll tell you what next…Mayhem!  I couldn’t believe it when I went out to the porch to have a smoke, and saw through the gaping mouth that was the open doors of that truck, what could only be considered CHAOS inside!  It looked like a couple of drunks had gotten in and started throwing things hither and yon looking for another bottle!

U N B E L I E V A B L E!

I had to leave; had to get out before I killed someone.  My husband had been so busy doing their job (dismantling furniture because they had no tools, packing boxes using packing paper they didn’t seem to be using, trying to MARK boxes they had packed because they didn’t realize they had to) and I was trying to keep an eye on how things were being wrapped, etc…that we’d not had a chance to see what was going on until then.

Other than telling them to stop, unload the truck, and get the hell out, there was nothing to be done in the time we had left.  So, I had to leave.  I drove down to the house periodically to check on my husband, who was working harder than all three of the others, and each time it became more and more evident that my husband had been right…there was NO way this truck was big enough. Especially with the way it was being packed, if you can even call it that.  Not for what was in the house and certainly not what was in storage.

O. M. G.  Kill me now!

(I’m so sure you all need a potty break by now, or perhaps more stew?  But let’s see if we can at least get out of Vermont before we have a commercial. Trust me though, I need one too!)

We end the day at 10:30pm, in the pitch black, bitterly cold, frozen north…steaming mad.  When all was said and done this day, in addition to the truck, we now have our two cars, my father’s pick-up truck filled to bursting (where to put our luggage? yeah, like that) (how the hell are two people going to drive three vehicles?  yeah, like that) and STILL, items tucked in his barn that won’t fit into either of those three additional transports.

The parting of the driver, crew, and truck wasn’t without a sigh of relief all the same.  They even left us a present.  Yes ladies and gents, never let it be said that these folks don’t respect their customers.  No sir.  They lavished us with two plastic carry bags full of garbage, three empty work boot boxes, a broken Styrofoam cooler, and a sundry of packing material trash…strewn carefully and cleverly in the middle of our driveway!  And as an encore, they even managed to hit the retaining wall on the way out, knocking the railroad ties flat.  Yes indeed…consummate professionals right to the bitter end!

After a few hours of what is sure to be nightmare filled sleep…we hit the road in the morning.  It can’t get much worse, so we’ll see what happens on the other end next time on…

As the Shade Spins, Part III

How about a tease for what’s to come?  Okay…have a look-see below…oh boy!

THIS IS MY LIFE! Toilet Brush and Tooth Brushes? Together? Unprotected in the same box? (yeah, like that)

THIS IS MY LIFE!
Toilet Brush and Tooth Brushes?
Together?
Unprotected in the same box?
(yeah, like that)

(God, I need a drink! I’m just writing it, it already happened, and it’s only 10am…but I NEED it!)