Monday, December 29, 2008

He made my mom cry

Yes, that was my husband's Christmas gift to me - making my mother bawl like a baby. In a good way, though, really, I promise.

You see, back when I was just a wee tyke, me mother began collecting Hallmark ornaments for me every year. She chose one series in particular, the longest running ornament series for Hallmark. She had every one except for the first one. Every year, it was my job to put my ornaments on the tree, and every Christmas Eve, I got the new one for the year. One of the very very few happy memories of my childhood.

When I grew up and moved out on my own, I moved a LOT those first few years. In one move, I made the mistake of trusting someone I shouldn't have, and suddenly, 75% of my belongings came up missing. Wanna take a guess at what one of the casualties was? So a few months ago, as my husband was cruising Craigslist for outdoor Christmas decorations, he comes across an ad from some guy who has the entire series, including the first one and several special editions. And so, taking the money he had been saving for a new snowmachine, my husband, the man I love with all my heart (most days anyway), he got me the set, wrapped each ornament (in their original, mint condition boxes, by the way), and put them under the tree after I went to bed on Christmas Eve. And when I called my mom to tell her what he had done, I think she cried harder than I did. It takes a lot to impress my mom, so more than buying me my memories back, he also bought me peace from my mother for several months at least. A better gift, I don't think I could ever ask for.

Merry Christmas, and happy New Year everyone.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Save As Draft

Oh lordy, I had no idea I had so many posts waiting in limbo. Oops. Let me see what I can do about that.... Hmm, in reading some of those posts, I'm not really sure I can finish them at this point, because I'm not really sure where I was going with them, but they are interesting, so here we go:

From July 23, 2008:

No, seriously, GO AWAY already. Ok, let me tell you people something you may not know about me. I live in Alaska, but I hate the cold. I grew up here, and I moved back home, deliberately, but I still hate the cold. I love winter time, I love watching the snow fall, I love looking at the trees all covered in frost, I love snowmachining, I love watching the kids play in the snow, hell, I even love clearing the driveway, as long as I get to use the snowblower to do it. And in all honesty, I am cold here less often than I was when we lived down South. I think it has something to do with more consistent temperatures, and a lot less wind, not to mention wayyyyy less humidity. Yes, I do have a point, hold on, let me find it again... Ah. There it is. Alaska has some of the most beautiful summers in the world. We have incredibly rich, moist soil, which produces simply stunning vegetation. The mountains, the lakes, seriously, I cannot describe to you people how beautiful it is here. Every summer but this one. I don't know what the deal is, but this summer has been nothing but rain, rain, oh, and more rain. See, this is how a typical Alaska summer should go:
April = Break-up month. Lots of slush, lots of mud, cool temperatures, a little rain as the sky adjusts to not sending snow.
May = Clean-up month. Seriously. The first weekend of May, all the schools hold contests for who can pick up the most litter. The dump has several free days, where you can clean up your house/yard/garage/whatever and dump anything and everything you don't want for free. Local charities, organizations, and military groups hold donation drives, and have volunteers out cleaning up the highways. Very little rain, lots of sun. Not a lot of green, and the ground is still too cold to plant in, but warming up nicely.
June and July = Summer! Beautiful sunny days, warm temperatures (75-85 usually, but because of our location, it feels about 15 degrees warmer than the actual temperature). Everything is green and gorgeous, flowers are blooming, vegetables are growing, blah blah blah.

OK, now how sad is it that I can't remember what it was I was going to say about August and September? So anyway, it rained. A LOT. We're not talking drenching downpours that lasted a couple hours and moved on for a week or so, we're talking nasty cold wet drizzles that lasted weeks at a time with maybe 12 hours of relief. It was AWFUL.

Moving on, from 8/5/08:

I had the weirdest dream last night...You were there, and you, and you too! And there were munchkins, and flying monkeys, and a wizard- oh, oops, wrong dream.
Seriously, though, I had an interesting dream last night. And that's unusual for me to comment on, because I am one of those who either doesn't dream, or I forget about anything remotely resembling a dream instantly upon waking. A couple times a year, though, I will have a dream that seems to come out of nowhere, and is so vivid in some aspects that it's like I'm still living it. Last night I was so blessed.
A lot of the details are already starting to fade, but I know this - I was supposed to be in a little town about an hour south of here, fishing. The hotel, the shady car lot next door, and the town in general looked NOTHING like the real thing, and I vaguely recall something about changing our mind about where we were going, so I don't know where I really was. The beginning of the dream is so weird that I'm having a hard time holding on to the details, but I remember us checking the trunks of every car on the lot next door to the hotel, trying to see if our keys would open them. I remember the guy who owned the car lot being one of those mob types, and a whole lot of weird stuff going on, and we were spying on him. And then, I remember pulling up in front of the hotel, and someone pulling in right after me. I was scared, because we had just witnessed "something we shouldn't have" the night before over at the car lot, and the people in the car behind me were watching me. They followed me into the hotel restaurant, where I was eating with my husband and my kids. And then, out of nowhere, they produced a gorgeous little girl, about 9 months old, and handed her to me. I looked up, and saw this young

Hmmm.... GOSH I wish I could remember this one!!!! I know it was strange, but cool. Somehow or another, I ended up with the sweetest little baby girl ever. I remember her name: Piper Anastasia. Where the name came from I couldn't say. This is one I never would have come up with on my own, I promise.

Ok, next... From 8/15/08:

For the last several years, I have noticed some strange things about myself. I've always been a good, strong sleeper, but lately, it seems like I can't ever get enough sleep. It takes everything I ave to force myself out of bed in the morning. Then at night, I know I'm exhausted and I know I need to go to bed, but the peace and quiet after the kids are in bed is so seductive, I cant seem to force myself to go to bed. I've always had relatively low self esteem, but it seems like I can't do anything right, EVER. Everything I touch turns to shit. Where's Midas when you need him? Gold is a lot prettier than shit... I've always been somewhat impulsive (umm.. ok, a lot impulsive), and had a short temper, but now, the slightest little thing sends me into fits of absolute rage. Sometimes I scare myself because of how angry I get. I'm afraid I'm going to hurt someone sometimes. Although lately, it takes too much energy to even care about being angry. I've always been a loner, spending hours, days even in my room alone, reading books, writing stories, drawing, bu now? I spend the majority of my day (when I'm not sitting there, staring at the wall, thinking about how futile it is for me to even start a project at wok, or start the laundry, because I'm going o screw it up and not finish anyway) imagining what my new life will be like. The life where I just walk out the door one day and never come back. Walk away from my job, my home, my kids, my husband... everything. It' not like they'll miss me, I'm not really a lot of fun to be around anymore. And if I leave, I'll be alone. And that's all I want sometimes, just to be alone. No noise, no touching, no having to think about everyone else in house's feelings, when it seems like no one ever thinks about mine. Not having to be anything for anyone, other than just plain old fucked up me. I've noticed the headaches that I used to gt about once a month, now come about twice a week, sometimes so bad I will be willing to sell my soul just to make it stop, but I can't because who wants a soulless mommy? A soulless mommy won't get you milk even though you ask 15 times 30 seconds like you're trying to break some kind of screwed up world record. A soulless mommy wouldn't care that you've lost your mittens for the 3rd time this week an we have to go to Walmart RIGHT NOW because if you are forced to go to school without gloves you're hand will fall off and die, oh and don't forget, sister has a project due tomorrow morning that needs supplies we don't have. It's exhausting, and sometimes I just hate my life.

Not sure where I was going with that one, obviously a pity party, but I think I was leading towards something positive there at the end. Or maybe not, hell I don't know. I've slept since then.

From 11/26/08:

It is time once again for our annual Thanksgiving free-for-all. Let us all pray we will survive it again this year.
When I was growing up, I always wanted to be that family that went all out for every holiday - you know the one, that obnoxious Ned Flanders-y neighbor who has all the decorations, and the stay at home mom who only knows how to cook from scratch? Yeah, well, that wasn't us - not by a long shot. One year for Christmas, my mom was so depressed that she informed me if I wanted my gifts wrapped, I'd have to do it myself. So I did, complete with the surprise face Christmas morning. That worked so well for her, she did it every year after that. I always swore my kids would have better holiday memories than I did. Then I married a broke loser, bounced around from house to house to house for years, losing most of my inherited holiday decorations, and rarely having a place to put up what I did have left. I had high hopes though, that things would turn around. When I met John, his family was completely Christmas obsessed. They also celebrated various other holidays throughout the year, like the 4th of July, with a vibrancy I had never before seen. However, his family did not pass along the holiday bug to him , at least not for any holiday other than Christmas. The year after I first met John, his grandfather passed away. For several years after that, John wanted nothing to do with any of the holidays, including Christmas. He slowly starting coming around though, and started celebrating the one holiday his family never had before - Thanksgiving.
Now, I personally have never really seen the purpose of Thanksgiving. I have always hated it, mostly as a kid because my birthday always falls within a week of it, and so my birthday meal almost always consists of dry turkey. Not to mention, it's hard to have a birthday party as a kid when all your friends are visiting relatives for the holiday weekend. When we lived near my grandparents, my grandma would do a big Thanksgiving meal, but since we didn't get along with my mom's brother, and all his kids are at last 10 years older than me, it was never what I would call a happy or fun day. All through John's childhood, his family went hunting over the holiday weekend (deer season almost always opens that week), so no one was ever home to make the big meal. I'm still not entirely sure how it started, but for some reason, about 5 years ago, John just decided one day he wanted a real Thanksgiving, and since none of his family was going to do it, he decided we would. So we did.
His mom came over for the day. His sister and her boyfriend dropped by on their way back home from hunting that morning. His good friend and his family stopped by. We watched movies, played cards, drank a little, ate a lot, and had a fantastic day. We never set a time for anyone to be there, we just started cooking around noon, and cooked a little at a time so there was fresh stuff to serve all night long. Nobody was on a schedule, everyone just came over when they felt like it, stayed as long as they could, and moved on. I thought it would be a horrible stressful day, but it was actually pretty nice. Our house was teeny tiny, so there's no way we could have accommodated everyone all at the same time for one big sit down meal anyway. The next year, we did it again. We invited a few more friends to stop by when they were done with their family events. Every year, it got a little larger.
Then, we moved here. The only family anywhere near us is my dad. His girlfriend has 3 adult children, one with kids of her own, that have never been to my house for some reason I can't explain. They've been invited, but they never show up. My best friend since I was 4 lives down the road, but all of her family and her husband's family are nearby, so their day is usually pretty full. I figured our annual Thanksgiving party was going to be a huge flop, but then, a guy my husband works with decided to move over the holiday weekend. They didn't have any Thanksgiving plans because they were going to be so busy, so John invited him and his wife and their 5 kids over. I had never met any of these people, but it ended up being almost like our previous holiday parties, so it was really nice. I remember being horribly embarrassed because our home was less than stellar at that time, literally falling down around us, and I was so afraid of what they were going to think of us, but I ended up with a new friend, a great babysitter, and Princess got two new friends out of the deal too. Last year, we had moved into a nicer home, and we did the hosting thing all over again, with a few more people added in to the mix.

Not really sure how I was going to finish this one, but I can say we moved into our new house, and it actually had much better play space for all the kids and pets that invaded us. We had a great time, up until Chunky started puking all over the couch, the floor, me, my friend who just had surgery, his bed, his brother, and anything else within easy reach. I'm probably going to get in trouble for saying this, but we thought it was just a hangover. My dad and my friend's asshole husband both thought it was hilarious to slip the baby beer every chance they got. Seriously, who gives a 2 year old access to open beer cans? Every time I saw them I'd take it away, but as soon as my back was turned they were at it again. Grr. Anyway, his brother woke up the next night with projectiles shooting out of both ends, and then I had it, and later the next week my friend's 5 kids all got it, so turns out it was just a stomach flu, but still....

Overall, my life has been crazy, but no more so than usual. I make a lot of excuses, especially for not posting. I started this for me, I'm really the only one who reads it, so all I'm doing is making excuses to myself, but I can't seem to stop. So I will try to do better, but I guarantee nothing. I do have tons of stuff to post about though, everything from finding my birth family to suing the airport to buying my first ever home that I love more than I could ever describe, just because it's mine. There's also stuff about that crazy wedding, and the ridiculous decision to make all of our Christmas gifts this year, and so much more. So stay tuned, and I promise, there will be new postings, and less than a month apart.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I'm baaaaccckkkk

So, in the time since I last talked to you all, LOTS of things have happened. My office has moved, I moved, I arranged the wedding from hell, I broke my foot, then put so much use on my walking cast that I broke IT, Princess started off at her new school with one hell of a bang, we missed Halloween, I survived what should have been Pumpkin's 6th birthday with a minimum of tears (but lots of stress, since it was the same day as the wedding), and more. All of which I will get to, eventually.

However, there is one topic at the front of my mind today, as it is with most of America. Now, as I have mentioned before, I normally take very little interest in politics. I scraped through high school government with a D-. I honestly don't know the difference between Congress and the Senate. And normally, I don't care. This election has been different though. Alaska has taken center stage in this election, for several reasons (namely Palin and Stevens). Everywhere I go, especially at work, I am thrust into a political discussion. Most of the time, I am left standing with a stupid look on my face, not really following the conversation. I do have opinions, but I can rarely coherently defend them. Frankly, I would have gladly voted for Hilary. I like her, I like her style, I like the way she ran the country the first time she was in office (oh come on, you really don't think Bill had any real input, do you?), and I think she would have been good for our country. I like McCain too. As far as Republican conservatives go, he's a pretty decent guy. I'm not a big fan of Obama. Mostly because I'm afraid he's more flash than substance, but to be honest, I don't know that much about him, so my fears may be completely ungrounded. I think some of the people against him because his name "sounds like Osama" are so fantastically stupid that I no longer wonder why our country is in the toilet. Palin, on the other hand, scares the hell out of me. She is a fantastic governor. I'm glad she will be returning to our state. I think the whole "Troopergate" scandal was blown ridiculously out of proportion, and while I'm not a conspiracy theorist, I can definitely see where a certain element in our state is just hunting for any excuse to throw her under the bus. The idea of her in charge of our country, however, just gives me chills.

Despite what she has demonstrated thus far, she's not stupid. She is actually a very intelligent, friendly woman. She brought about huge changes and fantastic growth to a previously neglected area of our state. I remember driving through Wasilla when I was a little girl, on my way to our family homestead. There was a gas station/convenience store on the corner, and a stop sign. Now, there's a booming city, rivalling Anchorage in options for shopping, dining, entertainment, etc. The one and only thing I disagree with is the addition of a sales tax to the area. It's one of the few locations in Alaska that have a sales tax, but with expansion comes the need for expanded wallets, and so I do prefer this method to raising yet again the property taxes, as Begich chose to do in Anchorage. It's a small percentage, it has cap, and it's spread more evenly among the people. A LOT of people in Alaska choose to rent simply because of the ridiculously high property taxes, so a relatively small percentage of the population carries the majority of the tax burden in our state. Anyway. She does, however, have some seriously scary opinions of home and hearth, and the treatment of women in general. Granted, I have a decidedly liberal attitude. But even so, I cannot see how turning back the clocks 50 years or so will help us NOW. And it seems to me somewhat hypocritical for someone who believes that women should be at home raising the kids and doing the housework, to actively seek out a national appointment, dragging her kids along with her, pulling them out of school, and forcing them into the spotlight. But I digress (alright, I digress a lot).

The point of all this is that this morning, I had a conversation with a coworker. Generally, I like this man. I think of him as very intelligent, friendly, funny, and he usually has some interesting news tidbit to drop on me in the morning, generally one that makes me chuckle all day (he was the one who broke the PETA and breast milk story to me). The day before the election, however, he morphed into a Republican demon - telling me how he had talked to his grown son the night before, discussing the vote, and how he had never been more proud of his son when he said "Don't worry Dad, I've voting for McCain, and so is everyone I know. We all know Obama's full of shit." Now, again, I do have some concerns about his sincerity, but I truly believe the man has some wonderful ideas. And while I don't expect him to completely solve this country's problem in his time in office, I DO expect that he will put forth one hell of an effort. While I think he may not be able to accomplish all that he has set out to, that doesn't mean I think he's full of shit, and while I understand that everyone's political views are different, I think dumping that kind of statement on someone, who you haven't bothered to even ask first what their views ARE, smacks of the exact type of arrogance that has helped to flush this country down the toilet. Anyway, so I replied with "Well, I wouldn't go that far. I think he has great ideas. I just don't know that he will be able to accomplish them all. My choice would have been Hillary, but I'll take him over Palin any day." The look of shock was almost comical. After he stuttered out "WHHHHYYYY?" in a whiney tone more reminiscent of my 4 year old than a grown man, I said that I think she was the single most "anti-woman" candidate since I was born. The thought of her making decisions for me and my daughter terrifies me. And he looks at me, and says with the deepest of scorn, "Are you talking about the abortion thing?"

And here it was my turn to sit with the deer in the headlights look of shock. The abortion "thing"???!!!! Are you kidding me? Even sweeping aside her views on religion, sexual orientation, and everything else she stands for that I 100% do NOT support, the abortion "thing" alone would have been enough to sway my vote against her.

Here's the thing - I actually don't believe in abortion as a personal choice for ME. That does not mean that I won't support and defend the right for every other woman on this planet to have SAFE access to that choice. One of my favorite bumper stickers, which I think sums the whole thing up so well, states "If you can't trust me with a choice, how can you trust me with a child?" And how much truth is there in that? As an adoptee, I am grateful that my mother's choice was for life, but that doesn't mean she made the best choice for everyone involved. What it does mean i that she was able to make a choice. And that's what counts. I personally believe that abortion should be used only in the direst of circumstances. I hate that there are some women in this world who routinely use abortion as a method of birth control. I also know that when we start drawing lines, there are people who fall through the cracks. If we say that only women who have been raped can have abortions, well, what kind of proof is required for that? Do you have to have a police report in hand, taken immediately after the incident? What about those women who, for whatever reason, never report their rapes? What about those cases where the continuation of the pregnancy would cause death for either mother or child? Who determines that? And really, what are the percentages of women and young girls who have no medical access to be able to afford the type of doctor it would take to make that determination? What about the drug and alcohol addicts, who are unable to care for themselves, let alone a child. If they are forced o give those children up for adoption, does that make it better? In most cases, it actually continues the addiction cycle. And then there are the other cases... the women who actually used birth control and it failed. The women who were doing everything in their power to prevent an untimely pregnancy, and it simply didn't work? What about the girls in college, who have a one night stand, or even a steady boyfriend, but aren't ready for marriage and family? How many of them would be forced out of school and onto welfare? How many failed marriages start with the words "I take care of my responsibilities?" (and yes, I actually do know someone who was using protection, got pregnant anyway, and this was how she was proposed to by the father, who ended up dumping her 5 months in because they were completely incompatible, and has yet to contribute to that child's life in any way, leaving the entire burden on her. Would she have chosen abortion had she known from the beginning he wouldn't be there? Probably.)

You know, I could go on and on. But it just absolutely kills me to hear the basic human right to choose summed up as "that abortion thing." I just cannot understand how, in our supposedly enlightened world, anyone could possibly refer to such an important decision as that.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

What happened to romance?

I admit it, I'm a sucker for a good romance novel. I just love the happy endings. I love how sure the happy couple always is of their love for each other. I love the sappy speeches, the expressions of undying devotion.

But I always wonder, just how much of that is real? I know for some people, it probably is. But not for me. It always is in the beginning, but something happens, and as time goes by, I find myself more alone than when I started. Is it that way for everyone, or am I just not with the right person yet?

I remember when I first met John. I had just broken up with The Jerk. I was on my own for the first time in my life. I had just turned 21, and had just attempted to go out, by myself, for the first time. Let's be honest with each other here, shall we? I have ZERO self-confidence. I mean none. I am terrified of going places alone. Most of the time, I still dread going to the grocery store by myself. Whenever possible, I'll either beg John or Dev to go with me, or even better, to go for me so I don't have to leave the house. And maybe part of the problem is that I am surrounded by such confident people. Both John and his mom can start up 30 minute conversations with anyone they meet. Whenever I try, it comes off as a desperate attempt by a crazy person, and I get a lot of "uh huh, right, OK, whatever you say, I'vegottogonowBYE!" Maybe it's because I was raised by a self-hating, social anxiety-riddled, abusive single parent. There was no balance. I think I certainly prove the theory that social behavior is learned, not inherited, considering I was adopted at birth.

Anyway, I was terrified to go by myself. I tried all night to find ANYone who would go with me. By midnight, I'd given up, and just decided to go alone. (Which is pretty silly, considering in the heart of the Bible Belt, bars close promptly at 2am.) So I went to this bar. It was loud, it was dark, it had good music (as a matter of fact, they were shooting a music video that night, so it was extra crowded). I was hit on by a couple of really drunk guys. I never had a drink, or danced, but I thought that maybe, just maybe, I could do this. So the next week, I went back. I convinced a coworker to go with me. She met a guy earlier in the week, so she brought him along. They were drinking, and dancing, and having a great time. I was sober as could be, feeling really weird because everyone around me was having such a great time and I just wasn't a part of it. And then, out of nowhere, this guy walks past me, and whispers in my ear "Smile, it gets worse." Then he's gone. A few songs later, he walks by again and asks for my name. A few songs after that, while I'm at the bar getting a drink, he asks me to dance. And before he left that night, he asked for my phone number. I gave it, partly because I was intrigued that this guy, who so obviously knew the regulars, had friends that included girls much prettier than me, had stopped to talk to ME of all people. He could have talked to my friend, who at that point was all but stripping on the dance floor. He could have talked to anyone, but he chose me.

I had never been singled out of a crowd like that, and I think it went a little to my head. It was all I could think about for days. I didn't expect anything to come of it, but then, a few days later, I came home from work to a message on my machine from John. I called him back, and we talked until 6am. That night, and every night that week. Pretty much from that moment on, I spent every available moment with him. He was a bouncer at that particular bar, so that amounted to me spending three nights a week there after work, until closing. And then I ended up either going home with him, or he came home with me.

We talked about EVERYTHING. I thought, for once, I had found someone who really KNEW me, who understood me like no one else ever had. And even though he told me things about himself, I don't think I wanted to listen, or believe. He told me that he was a difficult person to be with - stubborn, mule-headed, and raised in a different era. He told me that sex was the single most important factor in his life - that everything he was was tied up in it. He felt similarly to me in some ways - he felt unattractive, unwanted, outcast as a child, but he had found that he had a knack for pleasing women. So therefore, he gauged his entire life from that point on based on sex - if he wasn't getting any, it was because he was no longer attractive, or wanted. It was because he was a failure. I heard all that, but I sure as hell didn't understand it. I also heard him say that he had just come out of a nasty divorce, his second, and that he didn't want to get married again, or even truly settle down, anytime in the near future. I took that as a challenge. I figured that meant I had to change that about him.

Now don't get me wrong, he wasn't all bad. I felt more loved than I ever had in my life. He treated me exceptionally well - he bought me flowers, he rubbed my back when I came home from work, he held my hand when we walked through the grocery store, he pulled me over to sit next to him on the bench seat of his truck because he wanted to feel me as close to him as possible. He danced with me, and only me, every night he worked (which may not sound like much, but the bouncers were supposed to make themselves available, to dance with the lonely girls to help drum up business. He could have been fired for what he did.) He gave me pretty much anything I asked for, whether it be something frivolous and romantic, or boring and practical, or even just his time and attention, which I was desperate for.

And a month into the relationship, I was head over heals in love with him. And I made the mistake of telling him so. I don't know if he truly didn't feel it for me, or if he just wasn't ready to hear it, but he told me that day that he wasn't in love with me, and that he wasn't ready for a serious relationship. That while he would be faithful to me, he wanted it no strings attached, something he could walk away from at any time. He told me that he would call me and let me know if he had the urge to sleep with someone else before he did it, just so I would know and I could decide if I wanted to continue our relationship. And he broke my foolish little heart into thousands of tiny tiny pieces.

I lived with it for a few weeks. I had a "friend" at the time, who turned out to be not so friendly after all, who convinced me that he was doing me wrong (even though he hadn't told me anything he hadn't said at the very beginning - I just hadn't wanted to listen). I let her convince me to go out with her one night, alone, without John. I hadn't done that since that very first time. I was terrified, and I latched onto one of John's friends, a fellow bouncer, and also his boss at his day job. He was off work that night, and was drinking with a few of the other bouncers. My "friend" dumped me almost as soon as she hit the door, and I didn't know what to do with myself. So I proceeded to get shit-faced drunk. And when he offered to drive me home, I said yes. And when he kissed me in the car, I didn't say no. Partly because what John had said about wanting to keep his options open had hurt me so deeply, and I figured if he could play that game, so could I. Partly because I was so unsure of myself that it never occurred to me to say no. So when he got to my house, and followed me in the door, I still didn't say no. I certainly wouldn't call that experience rape, but I sure didn't want it. I cried myself to sleep that night, and woke up with one hell of a hangover to the phone ringing at 0-dawn-hundred. It was John, and I don't know how he knew, but the first words out of his mouth were "So who'd you end up fucking last night?" And when I told him, he told me he never wanted to talk to me again - that I was to burn his number, and forget he ever existed.

And my poor little heart, that had already been broken, disintegrated. I was numb to everything for the next couple of hours. And when the phone rang again, and John said he would talk to me, I jumped at the chance. I went to see him, and I cried, and I begged for forgiveness. I told him how sorry I was, that I hadn't meant it, that I had done it because he said he was going to sleep with other people, that I thought it was what he wanted, that I was drunk and stupid, anything, anything at all he wanted me to say, I would, if he would just love me again. And he told me that I would have to earn his trust. That he wouldn't really want to be around me for a while, and that I would just have to deal with it, ride it out, if I wanted to be with him.

So, I did. I felt him flinch every time I touched him. And so I stopped touching him. I dealt with the absolute silence when I told him I loved him. And so I stopped telling him. I learned to get over the pain when he would dance with other girls. And so I stopped asking him. I waited for the phone to ring every day like it used to, and I accepted that it wouldn't. And so I stopped hoping. I went around in a daze for months. And then The Jerk pulled a stunt that got me arrested. And then I lost my home, and was put in the position where I had to send my daughter to live with my mother for a while, because I was living in my car. And then, when I went to visit my baby for Christmas, on the way home, I totalled John's truck - the truck his son had picked out with him, the truck that meant more to him than any other possession. And then, while I was being treated for the hip injury, I found out I was pregnant. And then, I lost the baby. And I think I lost my mind a little. I know I wanted to die. I know I wanted everything to end, that nothing was worth living for any more. And John came back to me, at least a little. It was never again like it was in the beginning, but I wasn't being actively punished any more.

And I lost two more babies that year, but I dealt with it, moved on. None was as devastating as the first. I think I was just so numb after that that I really didn't care. Then I got pregnant one last time. And 9 months later, my beautiful little boy was born. He was my miracle baby, after all I had been through that year. He was John's too. Pumpkin and John had a connection like I have never seen. I was so jealous, but so proud of it, that I didn't care that John and I were still just drifting along. We had so many things happen over the next two years, I didn't have time to worry about it anyway. Between the job changes and losing our home and vehicles, starting all over again in a crappy trailer with borrowed cars, horrible jobs, and no money, plus the ongoing legal battles with The Jerk, it was so draining, so exhausting, that I didn't care about anything else.

That's when the sex issue really started coming up. I was so stressed, and so tired, that I had no interest in sex, at all. I was fat, awkward still with all the baby weight and the stretch marks. I'd never been particularly pretty, but at last with Princess, my body went back to normal. With Pumpkin, it just got bigger and bigger, even after he was born. I was disgusted with my body, and with myself, for being so weak that I couldn't fight my way through our problems, and just "pick myself back up." The less I wanted sex, the more insecure John got, to the point where he was downright nasty to me if I didn't put out. Sex has been, and still continues to be, a battleground for us.

After Pumpkin died, it go even worse. Something in John died that day too, something none of our other children has ever been able to fix, or even start to fill back in. His health has tumbled downhill, he body has gotten out of shape, and all of his years have suddenly crept up on him. He is feeling his age, and now more than ever, he needs the sex to reaffirm himself that he's still loved, and desired. And now, more than ever, I need to be left alone. I have spent so many years, locking away everything from him, that I can't figure out how to bridge this gulf that stands between us. And until I have an emotional connection, I can't enjoy a physical one.

And even though he'd never admit it, John needs the emotional connection too. But he still, after all these years, distrusts me, or maybe it's just a habit by now, I don't know. But mostly, because he doesn't get laid very often, he prowls the personal ads, and talks to other women online. That's all he does, is talk. I've seen the emails, there's never any cyber sex, or anything even like it. He's never met any of them, but he flirts, and has the lighthearted chat that we used to have way back when. And it hurts me so much, to see him have with other women what he once had with me.

I don't know which part hurts more - the fact that I see basically everything he said and did back then was just a line, designed to get in my pants, or that he can just continue to throw it out there, knowing how desperate I am for that kind of attention from him again. It's funny, back then, I would have given the moon for him to say he loved me. He acted like he did, but it wasn't enough. Now, he says it all the time, with about as much emotion as he uses when he says he loves toast. And I would give the earth for him to just act like he did again.

And so, I read sappy romance novels. And I wonder, what happens 5 years down the road? 10? At what point does happily ever after stop being good enough? Is there even such a thing?

Friday, July 18, 2008

My blog style - no entries for a month, then 50 in a day

I suppose I could just make one great big entry, as that would be the sensible thing to do, but when have I ever done anything sensible? What is incredible to me though, is my motivation for this blog. The whole point was to use this as a form of therapy. I tend to internalize all my problems, feelings, whatever, until I can't take it anymore and I explode, all over all the people who don't deserve it. And so I thought, hey, here's a good idea. I can let everything out every day in a non confrontational, relatively nonjudgmental way, and then my kids never need to see me in all out pea-soup spewing, head turning demon possession mode. Not to mention I like writing, it makes it easier for me to say what actually needs to b said. I have discovered that when I get upset, I develop some crazy form of Alzheimer's, where I forget common words and all I can hear is my brain screaming "I hate you!" at anyone who comes within 5 feet of me. Just in case you're wondering, THAT is why I have never let my children have a birthday party. I am still scarred by the few attempts my mother made at letting me have a normal life - the sleepovers with new friends that started out with my mom being the coolest mom ever and ended with her screaming at me "Don't ever ask me for anything again you ungrateful little bitch!" while locking herself in her room for days on end. Not exactly the highlight of the evening. And then explaining to my friend's parents why my mom wasn't available to talk to, and where their precious child had learned such lovely language... well... you get the idea. And so, when my daughter was 2 or 3, ad I recognized this side of my mother in me that seems to get worse with every passing year, I put a stop to all functions that expose me to other people's children. Hey, my kids may be scarred for life because their mom's nuts, but at least they won't have the added embarrassment of it happening in front of their friends.

Hmm... where was I again? Oh yeah, so anyway the whole point was for me to talk about everything, every day, so I don't have these little meltdowns. But umm.... as you can see, that doesn't happen. Partly because I have discovered that I need time to process events. Otherwise all I ever talk about it my initial knee-jerk anger response. Sometimes I feel like I should just be carrying around a sign that says "VERY angry person, stay out of my way!" And partly because I am lazy. I know, I know... I told you all from the beginning I was lazy, but really, I don't think any of you believed me. And this latest laziness? Well, it's all your fault. Every day when I flip through my daily blog list, no one else has written anything either. There's weeks between posts sometimes. So there.

So give me a little time, and I will tell all. It may take a while, but really, I got all day, and nothing much better to do.

Summer vacation

Ahh, that magical time of year when your normally mostly well behaved children turn into Gremlins (and not the cute fuzzy one either, the howling, slimy, yucky ones with an attitude problem). My 10 year old's angry with me because I won't let her leave our street by herself, and none of the kids on our street want to play with her any more because she called another girl a name. My four year old is in the stage where some days he takes a nap, some days not, his allergies are bothering him, he's interested in everything, except when it comes time to do it, which all equals a great big bundle of whine. And the baby, well... if he isn't outside at least 2 hours a day, he becomes destructo boy. Which would not be a problem, except for the mid 50's temperatures and the constant downpour of rain. I don't care if they play in the rain when it's warm, but cold and wet, not a good combo.

All in all, I have a house full of howler monkeys.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The End of the World

Hmm, a little dramatic much? Perhaps. But nonetheless, that what it feels like. It's been an interesting month folks, one like I've never known.

For starters... Remember that last weepy post? You know, the one where I'm all crying about how I have no idea who I am and if I can just find my family, all will be right with the world? Well, guess what? I found my family. No shit. Don't worry, it caught me a little off guard too. Here I have been looking off an on for the past 10 years, admittedly more off than on, and I sign up with a search group, and here's my family, found for me in about a week and a half. Right before Mother's Day, to be exact. Talk about irony. So, how is it, you ask?

Well, here's the thing. I like to pretend that I am a happy, well-adjusted, non-judgemental type person. I mean really, nobody on this earth is perfect, and I am a shining example of the opposite of perfect myself. Maybe it's just because I have always had this romanticized notion of my "real family" coming in to save me from the insanity of my adoptive family, that finding out the truth is a little, well, disappointing. My mother is a meth addict. Actually, the way she was found was through her most recent possession arrest. That was last year, and she has done the rehab thing and is clean for now. Apparently, she goes for long stretches at a time, being clean, holding a job, being a parent, etc., until the stress overwhelms her and she turns back to the drugs. OK, I'm not talking to her here, or to my friends and family that are all hanging on my every word, waiting for me to show some sign that I'm NOT thrilled with this whole deal. I can be honest with you people, right? Good. Boo freaking hoo. You know what? We all have stress. I understand she had a lot to deal with at a young age (more about that some other day), and still carries around a lot on her shoulders. I don't mean to make light of that. I really don't. But I have never once in my life used drugs as a crutch to forget about the crap in my life. There are so many times I wanted to. Do you know I have never once in my life tried an illegal substance? That I didn't even start taking TYLENOL until I was over 21? I always said it was because I was raised by an addict and was scared that something like that would happen to me. And that's true. But now I wonder if perhaps I didn't know somehow that there was a hereditary weakness in there as well. Because guess what? I have a sister in jail for stealing cars while high as a kite. Oh, and a brother who's been in and out of jail 3 or 4 times on meth charges. Gosh, let me tell you, I am just so freaking proud of my family right now.

It's funny. I started this whole blog thingy because I was depressed and feeling sorry for myself. Why? Because amongst my so called friends, I felt like trailer trash. Hmm, I'm a felon (for something not entirely my fault, but whatever), I'm married to a felon (for an idiotic act when he was 18), and I have spend an alarming amount of time in trailers that were literally falling down around me. I'm always broke, even though I make good money. Nothing I own (OK, very little) is new - I buy everything at thrift stores and off Craigslist. I don't own a home, and my credit is in the toilet. So yeah, not exactly the friend you're proud to show off to your family, right? But at least my parents are semi-respectable. Yeah, my dad's a drunk, but by god he can hold a job. And yeah, my mom's crazy, but when she's medicated, she's great. Not to mention she's a financial genius. So to find my "real" family, and have them be what they are, well, right now, I'm just a little sad about the whole thing I guess. I don't love them any less. I had just hoped for less... I don't know... drama I guess. I just wanted one thing in my life to be normal, or as close to it as I can ever hope to achieve, and it's just not happening. And it makes me sad, ad it makes me angry. But you know what? I'll get over it. I always do. Just not today.

Speaking of today, how was your Father's Day? Mine was great. I spent the morning cooking my husband and my dad a huge lunch (if I want to see my dad while he's sober, it has to be before noon). My poor husband is working nights right now, and he only gt a short nap before we had to wake him up for lunch, so he was grumpy. The whole time, I just felt really disconnected from him. Like he would have rather been anywhere else. Which, hey, with my family and his combined around, I can see that. Not to mention, this is his first Father's Day since his dad died. So he's a little bummed. He left for work tonight without telling me goodbye. Again, I figure he's having a bad day. And I don't blame him for that. Then I find out that he had logged into my email earlier to forward something my dad's girlfriend had sent me on to his mother. Umm, what?

OK, prepare for me to be a giant hypocrite. Ready? Good. I am a private person. I won't talk on the phone if there are other people around me. I can't stand having people read over my shoulder. Someone reading my emails gives me the absolute creeps, even if it is my husband. It's one thing for someone to ASK first. It's even better if they just ask me to log in myself and forward the message on. It's royally pisses me off to have someone just take it upon themselves to log in and send away. HOWEVER, I freely admit to reading my husband's email when he's not home. I have my reasons, none of them very good, but they do exist. Although, to be fair to me, I haven't done it in over a year. Until he started acting all distant and moody, I probably wouldn't have, but that coupled with the email intrusion on his part, well, I kinda lost my head.

Ever heard the expression curiosity killed the cat? I understand exactly what that cat feels like right now. I feel like someone just stabbed me right in the chest, or possibly back, I don't know, but my chest literally hurts, and I feel so sick to my stomach it's all I can do not to throw up right now. Maybe it's blowing things out of proportion, but " please don't call after 5 , that's when she gets off work usually . course that isn't to say i don't go places without her and might be able to call if you wanted sometimes . " kinda sounds like perhaps there might be something going on behind my back. Best news? That was dated April 29th. I found another message from a week or so ago from the girl he wrote that too. Nothing overtly incriminating, but oddly enough, even though I could see that it was a reply to something he sent, there was no record of any other emails between them, including the one that he sent her to get that reply. So, my dear sweet computer innocent husband has started to learn how to cover his email tracks. Not to mention all those motorcycle rides he's gone out alone on. And all the calls he makes when I'm not home. And why his cell phone went over his minutes for the first time ever last month.

And so, I'll be doing one of two things over the next couple of weeks. I'll either be blogging like crazy because if I don't I'll scream, or I'll shut down completely and deal with everything internally, like I am trying to teach myself not to do but have been doing anyway (hence the several long absences).

Someone out there, please send some happy thoughts my way? I'm seriously tired with dealing with the shit pile all the time, for once, I'd like to see the flowers at the top.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Are you my mother?

So, once again, I've been off in my own little world. It took me a little longer to process this one into even a semblance of coherency, and honestly, it's still not over, but I have to spill some thoughts now or I won't be able to deal with what's coming. To protect the innocent, I have tried to use initials only, but that may get confusing, so we'll see how it goes.

I think I've mentioned before that I'm adopted. I've known from birth that I was, my mom never wanted me to "find out" in a bad way and hate her for lying. I still have the book I got on my second birthday - "Why Was I Adopted?" which, incidentally, is an awesome book for adopted kids. Perfect for probably to 5-8 age group, but works well outside of that too. My adoption was a little outside the norm, in that it was arranged between a friend of a friend and handled completely privately, through an attorney, as opposed to an agency. All that really means for me is that in some ways, information is a lot easier to come by. In others, it can be 10 times harder.

Now, for as long as I can remember, I have known certain things regarding my biological family. For starters, I know my BM (birth mother)was 17 when I was born, and that she already had a 2 year old. I know that my AM (adopted mother) used to take my BM and BS (birth sister) shopping. I know that my BM was working as a babysitter to G, a guy who worked with my dad, and his wife E. Which is how they met - G & E knew my mom and dad were considering adoption, and they knew about my BM's circumstances, so they introduced everyone. And by waving the magic attorney wand, I had a new family.

I have tried a few times over the years to find my BM and BS. The fact is though, I've never really put a lot of effort into it. Why? I don't know, really, other than even though my life has never been easy, I'm comfortable with it. I don't hold any animosity towards my BM, I don't really have the need to demand answers from her. I guess I've always viewed it pretty simply - she was 17, she already had a kid and likely no education, life is hard. Maybe it was because I have always known I was adopted and there was never any attempt to hide anything from me. Maybe it's because even though my life was difficult, mostly through my own choices, it was comfortable. I have never been hungry, I have never wanted for anything I have ever needed, and very few things I truly wanted. I went through a restless phase about 15 years ago, that lasted probably longer than it should have, where I felt like I was searching for something, but never during that period did I attempt to search for my birth family. John doesn't understand that while the act of searching is something I want to see through, and I want to hold that information in my hand, I have never given any thought to actually MEETING my family. I don't know if that's because of my inherent social awkwardness, or if it's because I'm trying to protect them from any pain or discomfort, or if it's because, while the idea of having another family is something I've always dreamed of, it's not something I need. Yes, my family is a train wreck in it's own right, but I wouldn't change them - they are who they are, and I have accepted them, flaw for flaw, as they have accepted me.

After my son died, a few things became very clear to me. First of all, tomorrow is never guaranteed. Never live your life so that it's full of regrets for all the things you never "had time" to do. You have the same amount of time as everyone else in this world - it's how you choose to make use of it that counts. And so, for myself, I never want to say on my deathbed, "Oh, I wish I could have just met them once, just o see what they're like." Second, there are a lot of truly terrifying health issues in this world. My son died of a type of leukemia that is not genetic, that is truly an accident, but there are other types of cancers and other diseases that are hereditary. My husband comes from a family with lots of heart disease and diabetes (and, accordingly, lots of obesity as well). At 36, he became the youngest member of the family thus far to be diagnosed with Type II Diabetes and chronic high blood pressure. Even though I know I am adopted and that I share no genetic ties to my family, their medical history is remarkably similar to my husband's, and I worry about setting my kids up for early deaths. And so, I would like a complete medical history, or even just a general picture of what I can expect. And third, I learned from my son that family is everything. My definition of family is a little looser than most - blood ties mean very little to me. My mom and dad may have their issues, and I could discount them because there's no blood link between us, but they are my parents. They chose me, and now, I choose them. As an only child, I have no siblings, so I have made my own. I had a Big Sister when I was a little girl, that I still keep in contact with today. My kids call her aunt. Likewise, I have known my best friend since we shared a table in kindergarten. Her house was home to me sometimes more than my own was. Her mom is my "second mom." Her grandparents loved me and took care of me like my own would have had they lived here. She is my sister, in all aspects but blood. And so, I figure, if I already have two moms, why not a third? And you can never have enough sisters.

The point of all this is that I started searching again. So far, I've only researched some things myself, and signed up for a few adoption registry's. One in particular has been incredibly helpful and supportive, G's Adoption Registry. I also just found another group through Google Groups that I have been using. In the past couple of weeks, I have been on an emotional rollercoaster the likes of which I haven't seen since I was dealing with my son's illness and death. One day I'm ecstatic all day long, thinking I've found a clue, or maybe even found the right person - all the names add up, the locations kind of do, everythings great, and then.... The next morning, you find out that nope, it's not right after all. So you come crashing back down again, and start over at square one. And then you find another clue, or another name, or another phone number. And then no one will return your calls, so you're not sure if you've found SOMETHING, or if they just think you're crazy and are ignoring you. I tell you, it's crazy making.

I actually had started this post over a week ago, wanting to tell you all how I had found E and was meeting with her and she was going to answer all the questions I had about my adoption. Guess what? That didn't exactly work out. I talked to her once, made tentative plans to go to dinner, and never heard from her again, even after leavn several messages. So I have continued my search without her, and so far, no luck. So I'm just gonna stop here, and say, Mom, wherever you are, please contact me.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Monday, March 24, 2008

And the stupidest thing YOU'VE ever done?

I grew up mostly in Alaska and Colorado. Winter sports capitals, right? Maybe when I was younger. My dad was a big outdoorsy type, lots of fishing, hunting, camping, ice skating, skiing, ice fishing, sledding, etc. My mom? Not so much. So when they divorced, when I was 6, my outdoors education came to an abrupt end. While I may have started out as a tomboy, I very quickly became as citified as I could get. John, however, grew up in rural Oklahoma. His mom's family surrounded him, and his dad's family was up the in the wilds of Minnesota, so he got a thorough education in all things outdoors. One of our goals when we moved here was to spend more outdoors time with our kids, and to get us some "toys" to help with that goal. And so, about 2 weeks ago, we bought snowmachines.

Now, some people may disagree with the way we went about this, but we thought it was best. We went out and bought the oldest, ugliest machines we could find that were still in running condition. We had many reasons for this, mostly centered around the fact that neither one of us was an experienced rider, and if we were going to break something, we much preferred it to be an old crappy machine we didn't really care about, as opposed to a nice new machine that cost more than my car. John had spent quite a bit of time on snowmachines when vacationing in Minnesota in his youth, but not much since then. The last time he rode was over 10 years ago. Me on the other hand, well, I've never even seen one up close. A word of advice to all of you: A few months shy of your thirtieth birthday is not really a good age to take up this particular hobby. Let me set the scene for you:

We had been trying, ever since we bought them, to find somewhere with enough snow left to take them out and test them. Yesterday, we discovered a nice spot about 2 hours away from the house. We saw the tracks running along the highway, and came upon a turnout with several empty trailers, so figured what the heck, looks good. We pull in, and a few other people come in behind us. Everyone is unloading these gorgeous, snazzy new machines - and looking at us like we are the worlds biggest idiots. (Turns out they were right, but we didn't know that at the time.) We finally heave our old dilapidated machines off the trailer, and commence the starting up process. They are a PAIN to start, like an old lawnmower that doesn't feel like working anymore. Anyway, finally got them started. Now, I wanted to go to the right, where I had been watching all the other people go, and where I had seen the trail from the highway. John, however, decided we needed to go to the left, where there was only one lonely track that had been snowed over a couple of times and could barely be seen. His logic? Less people and less chance of us hitting anyone. My thinking? Let's go where everyone else has been so we know there's no water underneath us. Needless to say, he won. So, over the embankment we went. At the bottom, we came to a rather sudden stop. It seems that all the warm weather we have been having has softened the snow crust, and therefore putting a heavy object on it makes you sink. So off we get to dig them out. Snow up to my waist, I'm tugging and pushing on this poor machine for all I'm worth. Turns out that the older machines do have one serious drawback - they have much shorter bodies, less height, and less lug depth. Which basically means, if you aren't on a well-packed trail, you aren't moving. A rather grueling hour later, we get them both unstuck, turned around, and back up the embankment. At this point, John says maybe I was right, and off we go on the path to the right.

I am actually beginning to enjoy myself at this point, all the way up until I hit my first big series of bumps. My right foot slides right off the running board, and gets stuck in the snow. As I can feel myself being pulled off the machine, I get a death grip on the handlebars to pull myself back up. Bad idea. See, when I grabbed the handlebars, my hand covered the throttle. So, not only was I still moving, I was moving FASTER. So here I am, holding on the to handlebars, sliding all over the seat on my belly, legs flying straight out behind me, can't see anything but the gas tank right in front of my face. I finally muscle myself back upright on the seat, whimper a little about my pulled groin muscle and twisted knee, and keep going. We get to the end of the trail and have to turn around. I go up the embankment and back down, and while the snowmachine makes it through the turn, I don't. Off the side I go, rolling about 10 feet before I finally come to a stop, face first in 4 feet of snow. After I dig myself back out, we resume the ride. Over all, we went through the trail several times, and those were my only major accidents, so I guess I did OK.

This morning, however, was a whole different story. I hurt, like I haven't hurt in years. I found muscles that haven't been used in decades. My right side is one giant owie. My arms are so sore I could barely get dressed this morning. My back is resolving into one big ache. Surprisingly, my legs are OK, my knee only hurting when I'm on the stairs, so I didn't do as much damage to it as I thought I had at the time.

So tell me, what idiotic stunts have you pulled, thinking you were still in the prime of youth?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Science Fair

I have come to the conclusion that the school science fair project is a new torture device, intended to punish parents for sending their kids to school all year long to annoy the teachers.

When I was in school, the science fair was never mandatory. I participated one year, in middle school, for the extra credit points for my flagging science grade. It was a pathetic attempt, with virtually no display, and a poorly thought out project done in a rush the night before the fair. I had no help at all (my mother was not the help-with-homework type), and while it was obvious some kids did, it wasn't the norm. My project was on growing crystals. There were several projects on growing plants with different fertilizers/liquids/sounds/etc., projects on building bridges out of wood, projects on the amount of insulation required to drop an egg and not break it, projects on changing the colors of carnations with colored water, and other similar, simple experiments. Elementary school has changed a lot in 20 years.

First of all, for grades 3, 4, and 5, science fair participation is mandatory. It's encouraged for K-2. Second, and most alarmingly, the packet my daughter brought home explaining the rules and restrictions had the line "While genetic experiments are allowed, experimenting on live humans is against the rules." How many 4th graders do you know that are out splicing genes? I mentioned this to a co-worker, who informed me there were quite a few. The elementary school her children went to, an "ABC" school held to a much higher academic standard than your typical public school, had demonstrations at this level, starting in 2nd grade science class. WTF? I think we have officially reached the point where we are forcing entirely too much pressure on our kids. Maybe it's just me, but it scares the hell out of me knowing there are 7 year olds who know more about genetic engineering than most adults.

Anyway, her school wasn't quite so bad. Most of the experiments there were at the levels I remember from middle school. A lot of the projects were hand-written, which I thought was interesting. I honestly figured they would all be typed. Princess's project turned out really well, I think, but we shall see what the judges have to say Friday afternoon. (That would be my other big complaint - it takes 3 whole days to grade them? Is there just one person doing it, or are all the teachers participating? I'm not a teacher though, so I have no idea what all is involved in the grading, and I am probably the most impatient person I know, so teachers, please don't hate me for that comment!) I''ll update as soon as I have her grade. And, if I can ever figure out how to put in links and pictures, I'll show you what she did.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ahhh, spring... Kinda.

A lot of people that happen to meet randomly on the internet, as well as in person when I been traveling all over the country, have told me "You're so lucky you live in Alaska." Most of the year, I whole-heartedly agree with this sentiment. Except in April. April is what we in Alaska refer to as "break-up season." That's when all the snow melts, and combines with all the gravel that was spread all winter long, to make giant slushy mud holes out of every intersection and turns every yard into a swamp as the ground unfreezes and tries to adsorb all the extra water. When the snow melts, it also reveals all the trash and animal feces that was covered up by all that gorgeous whiteness all winter long. It's an ugly, messy, disgusting month. And then, in May, summer begins in earnest. Volunteer clean-up crews scour the cities, picking up every spare scrap of litter. All the water eventually soaks in, along with the gravel, and the flowers start blooming like crazy. It's beautiful, but you have to make through April to get there.

So, I was fully prepared to enjoy the slightly warmer but sill snowy climate of March, when all that global-warming-crazy-weather-patterns bullshit struck. The last week of February and first week of March, we had temperatures in the mid-50's. That's virtually unheard of here until April. Several days in a row of gorgeous, sunshiney weather. The ice in my driveway melted enough I could attack it with a big stick, breaking out chucks of 6 inch thick accumulation. Half of my backyard snow melted, revealing last years accidentally uncut grass. Of course, the bad thing about the snow melting at the top of the hill in the back yard, is that it all ran down into a giant puddle at the bottom of the hill, trapped their by our fence. So my swingset was mostly underwater, but I bought a pump and a new garden hose and prepared to pump the water out into the front, where it could flow merrily on it's way down the city sewer system. Then, I woke up the next morning, and everything was frozen. It's back down into the teens, it's spitting snow, just enough to drive you crazy but not enough to play in. The lake in my backyard is now solid enough to ice skate on again, but after acclimatizing to the warmer temperatures, now no one wants to go outside and freeze again, so everyone is sitting in the house, moping. The streets are completely snow free, but the melt hasn't reached the sidewalks yet, so there's no where to ride bikes, and only dirty, icky snow left in the yard. In short, we all have a serious case of cabin fever.

In an attempt to relieve some of the cabin fever, we took everyone on a drive down to Kenai the other day. I found some cheap snowmachines on Craigslist, and thought what the hell? It will give us something to do next winter. So we all piled in the car and away we went. Keep in mind, this is a 4 hour trip, with 2 small boys, a grumpy husband, and a bitchy mother in law. Princess wisely chose to stay home and take advantage of the time alone to complete her science fair project without the assistance of her brothers. The trip down is relatively uneventful, although long and pretty boring. We found the place with no problems, picked up our new toys and headed home. Silly me, I had thought we could take the opportunity to do a little sight-seeing, maybe scope out some good fishing spots, and look for wildlife, since I had not been in that area since I was 10 at summer camp, and nether of the other adults had ever been there. But Mr. Grumpy, as the driver, chose to just turn around and go straight back home, no stops, no nothing. Now, I can't say that he was right or wrong, but I can say the return trip was hell. About an hour into the drive home, the blowing snow started. Darkness had fallen, and visibility was down to next to nothing. The best part? There's nowhere to stop on these roads. No gas stations, no hotels, very few houses, in most places no cell phone service, and just a two-lane, extremely bumpy road stretching out in front of you. The snow started to accumulate, making the roads, already a hazard due to frost heaves, even more treacherous. Twice, we slid all over the place, even in four wheel drive. The first time wasn't to bad, we were going up hill, with a pretty good sized ditch on either side, but nothing a tow truck couldn't cure if worse came to worse. The second time however, we were going around a curve, no guardrail, and only a big partially frozen marsh on either side. Some areas of that marsh are over 20 feet deep. We approached the curve, everything was fine, and then all of a sudden, we aren't turning, even thought the wheel is pointed in the right direction. Thank goodness for the extra weight of the trailer behind us, it really is the only thing that saved us from going over the side. A very tense three hours later, the snow suddenly stops, like it was never there. We have reached the south end of Anchorage, and the rest of the trip home was completely uneventful. So now, no matter crazy we are all going in the house together, I ain't leaving my house again until May.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Wasn't I just here a month ago, apologizing for my lack of blogginess? Ai yi yi, what a month it has been. Mostly, a lot of sick. I mean a LOT. As in, all my boys have pneumonia. Even my big boy, John. And it may be very stereotypical of me to say this, but my god, men are the biggest babies when they are sick. Other than a really annoying cough that wouldn't go away, I didn't even know the boys were sick at all, but John on the other hand, well... Between the whining and the PMS-like symptoms, it was pretty obvious something wasn't right. I think the thing that pissed me off the most, though, was the trip to the doctor.

John is currently laid off, meaning he is staying at home with the kids, while I work M-F, 8-5. I had been telling him for about 2 weeks that I thought the boys needed to been seen, the cough was really bad and getting worse. He argued that as long as they had no fever and were just as active as ever, they were fine. As he got whinier and whinier, and refused to do pretty much ANYTHING, because he didn't feel good, I finally just asked him why he wasn't going to the doctor too. His response, "I will, as soon as I find a babysitter for the kids." WTF? They are sick too, and their doctor and his are in the same building. He's sick with the exact same symptoms as them, and he'll take himself to the doctor, but not them? Needless to say, I was a little perturbed. After listening to my boss carry on for a week about the RSV epidemic that's hitting our area, especially those that use the Native Hospital (like us), I finally took a day off work and took them in. And what do I find out? No, not RSV - pneumonia. Two weeks, and two antibiotics later, Chunky is much better. Peanut, however, is about the same. I've taken him in twice, and they all say his lungs are clear, but every night he starts coughing again. He has huge circles under his eyes, and looks absolutely miserable. He's stopped eating for the most part, especially at night. So I'll be taking him in again later this week.

In other news, my mother in law, Dev, has moved back in with us. Last year, she came to visit in July, and stayed on as our nanny through October, when John got laid off. Now she's back, and will be staying until October again. God help us all. I love her, I really do. I even worked with her for 3 years at the same company, sometimes even as her boss. But living with her is a whole different animal. For starters, she smokes. I don't. My husband used to, but since we moved 2 years ago, he doesn't either (thank god). My son is allergic (we think, most of his breathing troubles/rashes cleared up almost instantly after John quit and we moved). She doesn't smoke in my house, but the smell clings to her all the time. And she smokes in my truck - she seems to think cracking the window a half inch is good enough. John thinks I'm crazy about this one, but it drives me insane - I fold up the kids clothes and put them away. I match up all the outfits that came together, shirt on top, pants on the bottom, on one half of the shelf. On the other side, I put all the pants in one pile and all the shirts in another that don't have "matches" but can be worn with anything. She picks out their clothes for the day by going in there and digging though all the piles until she finds something she thinks will work. Yesterday, my son wore the pants to his dinosaur outfit (complete with little dinosaurs embroidered down the sides) with his big red Elmo sweatshirt. GRRRRRRR. I know, in the grand scheme of things, it's a tiny thing. But it's not like she doesn't know that's how I put them away. I have even laid out their clothes myself, and she will completely ignore them. I don't get it. Part of the reason I do it that way is because it makes it easier. Just go pull the matching outfit off the top of the pile, and go. What is her freaking problem?

I have a feeling this blog is quickly going to descend into "my mother in law is crazy and let me tell you why" territory, so I will attempt to keep myself in check on this particular subject. But be forewarned, it may get worse before it gets better.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Isn't it Ironic?

I started this blog as an effort to relieve my stress. An online diary, someone I can talk to the minute I start to feel overwhelmed, without judgement or differing opinion. Ok, so maybe my readers ( Hi guys!) will judge, and will have differing opinions, but really, this is all about me, so I can ignore you if I want to. Hmm, that sounded a little callous. But, jeez, it's not like I'm sleeping with you people, I don't have to be nice if I don't want to. So there. Anyhoo, the irony part is this... the second anything happens that causes me stress, the first things I do are panic, cry, analyze every single minute aspect of the issue with John, including every possible hypothetical what if scenario, and sleep a lot. In other words, I run screaming in the opposite direction from my poor neglected blog.

So what am I stressed about this week? Well, work for one. It's been a very busy week, which has been very nice, but it leaves me with brain-numbing exhaustion, making me not want to do anything that requires even the slightest hint of effort. Secondly, we got a gym membership this week. I am already feelign the pressure. Partly, it's an attempt at weight loss, which is good, but adds stress because all I can think about is failing. Partly, it's an attempt to aleiviate some of the depression. Everyone says exercise is good for that, so I thought I would give it a try. But so far, all it's done is trigger the social anxiety. I feel like everyone is watching me, and I'm fat, ugly, and stupid because I don't know how to use the machines. I know that it would have been easier to just get equipment for home use, but I know myself, and I know I'd never use it. This way, I'm forced to. John's emplyer reimburses us for the cost of our membership, but only if we go at least three times a week. Otherwise, I'm eating the $100 a month. So, no presure, right?

And for the grand finale of stressers, I got an interesting phone call yesterday morning. First of all, our phone rarely rings, and NEVER in the morning. And who should it be? Why, my ex husband's wife, of course. Wait a minute, what? I haven't talked to either one of these people in over 4 years, and I can't honestly remember a conversation I've EVER had with her. And, last I'd heard, they had separated and were filing for divorce a couple months before my last conversation with Jerk Boy. Well, it appears that she was calling for several reasons. First and foremost she was calling to warn me that Jerk Boy may be fixing to intrude in my life yet again. It seems she was filing for an annulment for him, because their separation was never legalized. Basically, he just moved out and they never talked again. In the course of trying to serve him, he told her he wouldn't give her anything, including his new address, until she sent him all the old files from OUR divorce and custody battle. What in the world that has to do with his and her relationship I have yet to figure out. So, she figured that he wanted all that stuff to start the battle all over again with me. Also, she was calling to apologize to me for not believing me and heling him drag us all through a year of hell over our daughter. To which I frankly replied, "Well, you're not the first. You're the third one of his girlfriends that has called me after you all broke up and said the exact same thing." And that's the truth. It's funny, he's very good at weaving a spell of bullshit, but he makes it smell like a rose. But once you get the slightest whiff of pooh pooh, you suddenly realize that you're living in a house made of cow patties.

Nonetheless, John and I both think that Jerk Boy's hesitation comes from another factor, and we are hoping it has very little to do with us, but who knows, really? People are unpredictable. And really, if I had thought him capable of even half of what he put me through last time, I would have at the very least went with the good lawyer to begin with. But, one of the benefits of having the good lawyer, even it he was late to join the party, is that he put us in a fantastic position if we ever need to fight again, so here's hoping any new battles aren't nearly as brutal as before. Wish me luck....

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Please excuse my absense

I have been incredibly busy at work the last week, and I was so freakin exhausted this weekend, I barely moved off the couch. I'll go ahead and throw a little something at you I started last week, and I'll finish it in a couple days. Bear with me, it's gonna be another busy week.


Can I make a confession to you all? I read romance novels. Yes, I know, they are the literary equivalent of SPAM, but you know what? I don't care. I love them. Especially the Regencies, circa early 1800's. I don't know if it's just because, as an adoptee, I have never really felt like I belonged anywhere, and so it was easy for me to imagine myself somewhere (and someone) else, but maybe because I have never had the restraint of saying "Yes, those are my real actual parents and there's nothing even remotely fantastic about them," I've been able to easily imagine myself as a long lost princess, or duchess, or whatever. Even knowing some of the story behind my adoption, it just gives me more ammunition for my little fantasies. For a long time though, I stopped reading them, because I stopped believing in love, and romance. And all I read for years were sci-fi and fantasy novels. Still full of imagination, but not so sappy and predictable. And then about 6 months ago, my local bookstore was out of anything I had any remote interest in, so I picked up another romance novel. And instantly spiraled right back to high school. I now have a slight obsession (OK, fine, a big obsession) with them again, in particular those by Christina Dodd, Julia Quinn, and Anne Gracie. We're talking staying up until 3:00 because I can't put it down, reading 2 books a day or more, hiding them under my desk at work and reading at the dinner table obsession. What does all that have to do with weddings? I'm getting there, bear with me. I recently (OK, about 5 minutes ago) discovered the website of Christina Dodd, and as I was going through her old blog entries, she had one discussing weddings, and what funny, highly entertaining things have been known to happen at those events. And it invited her readers to respond with their comments, and all I could think of was that I have never been to a wedding.
I guess that's technically not accurate. I have never been to a wedding as an adult. I was a flower girl in several weddings before the age of 5, and I attended my cousin's wedding when I was 7 (which, by the way, was the biggest, most beautiful event I had ever seen at such a tender young age, and set the bar for the wedding I wanted to have when I grew up). Oh yeah, and I was the maid of honor at my mother's third wedding, when I was 14. A marriage, by the way, that lasted less than 6 months, and I had actually forgotten about until just now. Other than that, the only weddings I have ever attended have been my own. And those were such spectacularly horrifying events, I really try not to think about them very often. And being the little drama queen I am, here are the stories, in all their gory detail, for your enjoyment:
Wedding number 1 -
When I was 16, I had a "falling out" with my parents. I was living with my dad at the time, and when he told my mom what I had done, she insisted on putting me on the next plane back to her. I disagreed, but there was nothing I could do about it. So to Colorado I went, with my little 16 yr old heart full of hatred for the world, but most especially for my mother. A few months after my move, I met a guy through an online bulletin board system (this was back before the "internet" was really popular, I am older than dirt, people). My mother hated him, with an irrationality that was actually kind of distrubing. She refused to be introduced to him the first time he came over to meet me in person. She refused to speak to his face when he picked me up for our second date (she just screamed at the back of his head as we were getting in the car "You better have her back in time or I'm calling the cops!"), and I think it was after two months of dating that she finally would look him in the face, but even then, she wouldn't talk to him if she didn't have to. So why did I date him? Well, obviously, because she didn't like him. Isn't that why any girl dates an inappropraite boy? So we dated for several months, before I finally had enough of his crap and dumped him. Mom and I started getting along again, and all was well. Then she went on vacation by herself. And by chance, somehow the word got to him that I was alone at the house, so he showed up, got me in world's of trouble and I ran away with him because I didn't know what else to do. Long story short, we were broke, stupid, and stuck 2000 miles from home with no food, no shelter, and no way home. So we called home, admitted what idiots we were and begged for permission to come home. And my mom refused. She told me that I had my choice, I could either move back in with my dad, or marry Loser, but no way could I move back in with her. So, expecting sympathy and tears, I got rejection. And I made the worst decision of my life - I said "Fine, I'll marry Loser. So there." So we got the money to come home from his aunt, and three days later, my mom picked me up, took me to the courthouse, otained a special license, and marched us both down the street to the little wedding chapel and told them I was there to get married. I was wearing jeans and a Western dress shirt, which, while nice, was not exactly equal to the Cinderella style wedding dress I had planned. And the chapel? Ummm, let's just say, not quite equal to the big beautiful church. As we trudged apst the rather startled patrons of the video store to the back room, I heard several people wonder what on earth was happening. Then the video store owner announced to the store she would be back in 10 minutes to check people out, but she had a weddin' to perform first, and anyone who wanted to watch could. So surrounded by my mom, his parents and his cousin, and all the strangers who wandered in wanted to rent a movie, I exchanged vows with the boy I really didn't even like, all to get back at my mother. And as I watched the minister/video store owner read the sermon, little white flecks of spittle flying out of her mouth and onto my hand, all I could think was "Wow, this is one crazy dream. I never have nightmares, what's that all about?" And then, she said "You may kiss the bride," and I kept thinking, "ewww, lady don't touch me," and Loser grabbed me and kissed my check in this pathetic little peck (he said later he couldn't kiss me on the mouth in front of his parents), and out the door we went. We walked about three casinos down to the Midnight Rose, went downstairs, and for our wedding feat, we ate lunch at Wendy's, and then everyone left. The end.