Written In The Sand

 

I heard this song this morning.

If it had existed 7 yrs ago, it would have been Brad’s ringtone.

Because this was basically how I felt for months in the beginning. I have a journal entry from almost exactly 7 yrs ago, to the date, where I was wondering the same things.

I’m happy to say though, I’m pretty sure now  I can say we are written in the stars. It’s a tattoo’d name, it’s dancing in the kitchen. This is my favorite song right now.

 

Psycho Sister

Good news! I am down to yearly MRIs, I don’t have to get them every 6 months, because I’ve been stable so long!

In other news, I have briefly mentioned my sister. We’re going to refer to her as ES. (Evil Sister.) she’s 5 yrs younger than me? Maybe. When we were growing up, my parents would leave me to babysit, and would leave a list of chores that had to be done before they got home (not doing them meant bruises, broken objects, and being grounded from church, the ONE time a week I got to leave the house), I’d split up the chores, and ES would flat out refuse, knowing I would do them all. I’d tell my parents, and they would say the important thing was the chores got done.

Fast forward. I’m 19, married, pregnant with my 2nd baby. She’s 14/15-ish. Exhusband and I go swimming at my parents. She jumps in the pool, climbs all over my husband, tries to dunk him under water, ends up his face buried in her boobs. I tell them both to knock it off. He says he can’t stop her. She says I’m just jealous, and they basically continue their foreplay for the years until I divorce him.

I get a divorce, now she is telling anyone who will listen what a huge slut I am because I have condoms in the medicine cabinet, and I work in a bar. Literally steals my car keys so I can’t get to work, because she’s protecting my soul from my vagina.

She gets married, and her and her husband Mike, have the bestest, most Christian, God-blessed marriage in all of history, and if you ever make a choice differently, you are doomed, and stupid.

She cheats on Mike, a bunch. They get divorced. Another woman’s husband gets her pregnant, she goes running back to Mike, they get married a month after the divorce. She has kid. Mike’s name on birth certificate. She is cheating again. She is pregnant again, they are divorced again, she’s getting married next month. She’s been divorced for 6 weeks.

Are you getting the picture yet? She’s just a crappy person.

She tries to add my Son13 on Facebook, maybe a year ago. I block her. Basically all her posts are about the sanctity of marriage. How immigration is ruining our country. How gay marriage is the reason for hurricanes. How atheists are the reason for school shootings. etc. So, I’m a bi-atheist-chick, married to an immigrant, and I’m not in the mood to have to defend myself all day, every day, especially from her attacks. S13 doesn’t like her anyway. And, I think she is a terrible influence in general.

She tries to go around and keep talking with him. I video message Mike (they were still married) because she has me blocked on everything. Mike and I were friends. I genuinely cared about him. And, I explain, I’m everything she hates, and I want her to leave my family alone. I know this probably means we can’t talk anymore, and I’m sorry. I’m a little teared up at this point. Whatever.

Fast forward. I realize I’ve been deleted by several family members on Facebook. People I don’t generally have a problem with. The few family members I am in contact with never comment on anything I post, never like anything. Ok, whatever. I’ve been posting more political stuff lately, and I know our politics are different, so, I assume that’s it.

My brother comes to visit me last week. He has his wife, and 2 kids with him. His wife is sweet, but, naive, and very chatty. So, she babbles on all day. And, she starts talking about evil sister. And, how unfair SIL thinks everyone has been to me.

Wait…What?

Turns out, Evil Sister is SO MAD I’m keeping my kids from her, she has demanded everyone in the family take sides or they will never see her kids again. And, they need to choose her because I moved 700 miles away, so, we’re gone anyway, if they choose me, it will be like losing me, and my kids AND her and her family. So, she is the logical choice. And, a vast majority of my family agreed.

So, to make sure she wasn’t being lied to, she went through the phones of everyone she could get her hands on, and blocked me. On Facebook. On apps. Blocked my phone number.

And everyone is fine with this.

She took my video message to Mike, and showed to to everyone so they could make fun of me. SIL said ES had it posted to her Facebook page for awhile, because I was so lame to be crying while I said good-bye to Mike.

So, what the hell? Like, I’ll be honest, I’m hurt that everyone chose her, and to have nothing to do with me. Ok? That hurts. I haven’t done anything, except tell her she’s a bad influence and leave us alone. I wan’t trying to destroy her, or her family.

But, I’m angry. Angry I moved 700 miles away and she thinks that sides need to be chosen. What? Why? I’m not inviting everyone else to birthday partied and leaving her out. I’m not shunning her at Christmas. Nobody in my family is actually involved in my life, so, her little ultimatum was just about hurting me as much as possible. And, they let her. They let her manipulate, they chose her, instead of telling her to grow up.

I’m angry I moved away to get out of the drama, because it is actually dangerous to me, and she keeps trying to ramp it up. So, she can literally hospitalize me with her bullshit, and that’s fine. But, I’m the bad guy here because I said “No, your grown ass doesn’t need to add my 13 yr old on Facebook”

I completely removed myself from the situation, and she’s like, chasing me around to make me involved?

Fuck that shit.

 

New Orleans

Sunday was our 5th anniversary, and like usual, we went on a trip. This year was New Orleans. I’d never been before, though Brad had. We decided to rent a car and make the 6.5 hr drive. We rented convertible, and we got to the rental place, and there was no convertible. The guy at the front said he was going to go find one. So, we wandered, looking for our 2nd choice. We found a convertible, but, it was a BMW and $100 more a day. We waited and waited. Finally the guy pulls up in front of us and says “I can’t find one! just take that one.” And points to the BMW. So, we happily put our stuff in the back and left. We had a red, BMW 4-Series, convertible for the weekend. So, that was fun.

We got to New Orleans with enough time to walk around Canal Street and go to the river.  Our hotel was about a block off Canal and Bourbon. Unfortunately, they are fixing the road on Bourbon, so a lot of the street was shut down, even though the bars and restaurants were still open. IMG_1040

We spent Saturday morning going to a couple museums, drinking coffee, riding the trolley, seeing street art, going to the cemeteries. Brad said the morning was mine, but night was his, and he wanted alcohol and strip clubs. I agreed. So, after a busy morning, we went back to the hotel, changed clothes, etc. and went back out. We walked up and down Bourbon, luckily the last couple blocks were still open and there was a lot to see. We went to a strip club, and it wasn’t our kind of place. I said I’d like to try one of the Cabarets, and we went. I got a cranberry and vodka, and it came out basically clear. It was strong. Brad started with whiskey and coke. Girls kept coming over, and Brad kept saying no thank you. I think he wanted a couple drinks in him first, but, the waitress was super slow, and eventually he stopped being approached. I said we may as well wander again, odds were good he’d see boobs and the drinks would be cheaper. I was right.

I said I would like to go dancing for a bit. We made our way into a bar where there was dancing, and we started drinking. A lot. Brad had never been drunk before, but that changed Saturday night. I know we danced and were out until 2am-ish. i woke up Sun morning and my fitbit had logged 6,500 steps after midnight.

We spent Sunday morning just driving the convertible. We went across Lake Ponchartrain. We drove the garden district. Brad wanted to see the 9th Ward, and I couldn’t bring myself to take a $50,000 car into a neighborhood where the houses weren’t even worth that. It seemed insensitive, at best. So, we went back to the hotel, got dressed up, went out to a Brazilian Steakhouse for dinner. Walked to the river again, watched the river boats come in from the dinner cruises. Talked about what we want to do next year.

Current plan? Saint Maarten. And, I’m going to start taking my diet seriously again, because if you think I’m going to a topless beach and wearing a top, you are mistaken.

It was a great trip and I am looking forward to going back sometime.

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Almost 5 years

Would you believe my 5 yr anniversary is coming up this weekend? Brad and I are headed to New Orleans! We figured we got married on a trip, why not keep up the tradition? So, we always go somewhere.

I dyed my hair yesterday, my friend called in Mardi Gras colors. It’s a little too pastel for that, it’s more mermaid hair. It didn’t turn out at all how I had planned. But, I love it.

In other news, the kids and i started volunteering at the animal shelter, to walk dogs. It was going well. And, there was a small dog there, who would just sit in her crate and tremble. Never made a sound, never came up to the door. Just hid and cried. So, we’d get her out. (Well, the kids would, I was too short to reach, and they are taller than me now) We’d try to play with her, but she would find the nearest corner and get as small as she could in it.

We went a few times when there were a LOT of people there wanting to adopt. And, I tried SO hard to get people to pay attention to the sad pup nobody noticed. And, people said she didn’t seem like she would be any fun. They wanted a puppy. They wanted a playful dog. Etc. For weeks this happened. Finally I asked Brad if he’d be upset if I brought her home. He said no. So, I got her. It’s been about 3 months now, and she’s finally starting to come out of her shell. She still would prefer to hide, but she doesn’t shake much anymore. She can be coaxed out with hot dog chunks or cheese. She likes to lay on the sofa in Brad’s office while he works, and she likes to jump in bed for cuddles with me in the morning. She’s about 2-3 yrs old. She is a mountain cur mix.

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The kids are great, they are currently spending the summer with their dad, but apparently can’t wait to come home. They are both taller than me now. The 13 yr old is 5’4″ and the 11 yr old is 5’7″! They played soccer during the spring, but the coach was horrible. So…I guess I’m coaching fall soccer.

My MS is alright. I haven’t had another big flare up. Just small things, that last a day or two. It’s annoying, but not debilitating.

I’ve been enjoying hiking, kayaking, going to the gym, gardening, and walking dogs at the shelter. We made the spare room into a library, which I think is pretty awesome. I have a pollinator garden, that I was super excited to start, and it’s been taken over by poison ivy.   We got a fence put up because asshole kids wouldn’t stay out of the yard (and garden) and when I went to tell their mom they were destroying my garden, she literally GRUNTED at me, and slammed the door shut.

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I think that’s about it from me.

 

My Grandpa

On Monday I was making plans to take the kids to their dad for the summer. I had the basics down for months, I told Brad, I’d like him to come with me, so I could go visit family (I don’t visit my immediate family any more without him, because they are horrible to me, unless he’s there, and I didn’t think there was a way to avoid it). I’d said it for months. I got the flights booked Monday for all of us. Then he told me he had to work, he couldn’t get out of it. I was mad. He asked if we could push it until July, and I said no, I’d already made plans, and it something happened to my grandparents before then I’d hold it against him. I meant, if anything happened between June and July.

My 80 yr old grandfather was in El Paso, visiting my Aunt. He was building houses with my Aunt’s husband. Yesterday, my aunt messaged me. Grandpa was in the hospital, maybe a stroke. I told my kids he was fine. He wasn’t “sick”. He wasn’t hurt. I told my aunt to tell him to get better, because I was visiting him in June, and I didn’t want to go to freakin’ El Paso in JUNE.

A few hours later, I got another phone call. My grandpa was dead. It wasn’t a stroke, it was sepsis, which caused him to have a heart attack, which killed him.

My family isn’t really speaking to me. We haven’t spoken more than a few words in years. My husband is 2,000 miles away. My grandpa is dead. And, I just want to cry and get a hug. It looks like that won’t happen until Saturday.

Anyway, now they have to get him back to Indiana. My cousin flew to TX because she has power of attorney, but, I’m not sure when everything will happen. I just know I have a 700 mile drive coming up within the next week.

So, since I don’t really have anyone to talk to, I’ll say it all here. My Grandpa Bobby was the only stability I remember having, until I met Brad. When I was a baby, I got told he was Bob, and as babies do, I added the EE sound to the end, and he became Bobby. Once, I addressed a Christmas card to Bob LastName, and my husband saw it and said “who is that?” And, I said “Grandpa Bobby.” And, he said “Then why didn’t you write his name right?”My mom had me when she was 18, and we lived with my grandparents until she got married a year or so later.

I remember my grandpa being big and a little scary. I remember visiting and having to be quiet because he was sleeping, he worked 3rd back then, doing maintenance in factories. He’d come home so dirty my grandma wouldn’t use HER washing machine for his laundry. She went to the laundry mat. i remember getting yelled at when he was watching ALF, and told to be quiet and get out from in front of the TV.

Most of the rest of the grandkids got a very different grandpa, he’d retired and chilled out by the time most of the rest of them came along.

My grandpa was a soldier who was sent to fight in the Korean War. He didn’t graduate high school. He came home, he got married, he had 5 daughters, he was a police officer, a fireman, a farmer, a semi-truck driver and then a factory worker.

When I was 13 I ran away from home, and took my parents to court. It was a long process, that began with me talking to the police, and to CPS. I was put in foster care while we waited to see a judge. The woman at CPS told me that they usually try to keep the kid with family, but, runaways were always trouble, and nobody wanted to invite trouble into their lives. Who did I want to live with? I said I’d stay in foster care if nobody wanted me. They told me to pick a family member anyway. I said Grandpa Bobby. I cried so hard because nobody wanted me. The court date came, and the judge said “Well, your grandparents have offered to take you, if you will go. Will you go with them?” I nodded. And my giant, tough grandpa stood up in that courtroom and cried. My grandma told me later that they had been told I refused to go with them, I didn’t want anything to do with any of my family, and grandpa was afraid I was going away. When I said yes, he cried. That has ALWAYS stuck with me. No matter what, I knew he loved me.

When I got pregnant with my oldest son, I was about 8 months along and we were waiting to close on our house. And, didn’t have a place to live. Guess where I ended up? Grandpa’s. I always knew I had a place to go, no matter what. Now I don’t.

My Grandpa had the worst case of resting bitch face ever. And, several of us inherited it. I know I did. It resulted in everybody thinking he was always mad at them. I think I only ever saw him MAD a half dozen times in 32 years, but, he sure always looked like he was. He probably did 40 hrs a week of volunteer work every week since he retired. He mowed his 5 acre lawn twice a week.

My grandpa was the strongest, most dependable man I knew. I suppose the way he left was fitting. He worked and stayed busy… until he didn’t. He wasn’t stuck in a hospital bed, wasting away. That would have been terrible. I can’t even fathom that. He was doing what he loved up until the last few hours. And, that seems right.

My grandpa hated being late. If you told him you were having a party at 4pm, he’d show up at 2:30. But, by the same token, if you said it went until 6, he’d leave at 4:30pm. Whether leaving for something, or leaving something, we ALL have said a million times, “You don’t have to leave so early!”

So, I’ll say it once more, and it’s probably the most fitting time ever. Grandpa, you didn’t have to leave so early.

Life update-Things are good

I didn’t post about it, at the time. But, in June we got a letter saying we were being sued for a medical bill. The next day, we got an letter about filing for bankruptcy. I was very dismissive of it, and went to throw it away, and Brad stopped me. He said maybe we needed to think about it. Wait…what?

After some time, and back and forth, Brad told me how we had about $30k more in debt than I knew about. All the credit cards were maxed out, the min. payments were more than we could afford. We probably did need to file for bankruptcy, actually.

I was in shock. My nice life was ruined. How could he not tell me? How did this happen? I was furious, I was scared, I started to open my mouth to say something, and the words just wouldn’t come. Thanks MS. I literally could.not.say.a.word. I cried, and we didn’t speak for 3 days.

I’d been asking him, repeatedly, to let me help with the money stuff. Because, if something happened to him, I had no idea what our financial situation was, what bills we had, who I had to pay. I was brushed off time and again. Well, now I wasn’t going to give him a choice.

We sat down and laid out everything. Our bills alone came out to about $400 more than he brought home every months. That wasn’t counting food or gas or anything like that. So, we canceled cable. We rolled one cell phone into another plan. We had some tax return left we could put on a credit card. That helped some, little things had our bills down to exactly what Brad brought home. I turned off the A/C and opened the windows…in GA…in June. I hiked a lot in June. The kids were in Indiana, I was furious at Brad, and it was free. We changed his withholding, we paid off a credit card, we called and got some interest rates lowered.

I made him write down everything. Every dollar we owed, every asset we had. Up until then, he said he had a handle on things, but, he didn’t actually know how much we owed. Payments came do, and he clicked pay. We ate a lot of ramen and mac and cheese while the kids were gone. And, I told him we were going to have a big budget meeting every 3 months.

So, fast forward…we’re now 6 months in. We were able to pay off a small credit card right away, with left over tax return There were a couple instances of random money coming in…an overpayment to a dr coming back to us, a MS survey I took that paid, and, at some point my ex went to one of those unclaimed money websites and found the state owed him $3000…well, he owed me more than that. So, when we clicked to cash out, it came right to me. Another credit card got paid off. Those payments rolled into the next credit card payment.

At the last budget overview, I was able to cross a debt off the list and I told Brad “Next year, I want these 2 things paid off”. He said he didn’t know how that was going to happen, but,  if that was my goal, we’d work toward it.

Around June, Brad was also offered a “promotion”. But, his boss wouldn’t tell him pay, or responsibilities. The company had a history of doing this, Brad had gotten 3 “promotions” that never came with the pay raise he was promised, and meant he continued to do his old job while they piled on more responsibilities. So, Brad said he’d love the title, as soon as he knew pay and responsibility. For about a month, his boss pushed. Brad kept repeating himself. They then forced the job on another guy. Who hated every minute of it.

New boss comes, in late Sept. Other guy makes it clear he’s not going to keep the “promotion”. New Boss (Who is also the VP of one of the departments) goes to Brad, asks Brad where he sees himself in the company. Brad goes out on a limb and tells VP  “Actually, I want your job.” VP takes it well, is very encouraging. Brings up the promotion again. Brad lays out his terms, again. In late Oct Brad is told the job is his, he’ll get paperwork. We’re skeptical. He hears “you’ll get it tomorrow” for a few weeks. Things seem to be moving along, but, he still doesn’t know pay or responsibilities. He starts backing out of responsibilities for current position, to prep for new position. He picks the guys to replace him. (Yes, they had to promote TWO people to do the work he was doing. A fact that was causing a decent amount of stress for everyone).

The day after Thanksgiving Brad gets the paperwork. It outlines the new position, and his 20% pay raise!!!! He signs it and sends it back in. So, he has less work, he’s looking forward to the work he has to do now. He thinks it’s fun. And more money.

After I saw that, I said “Remember how I said I wanted to pay off those 2 debts next year and you said you weren’t sure how to manage that? I think you just did.”

All in all, in 6 months, we’ve paid down about $9000 in debt. We’ve still managed to have fun. It’s really opened up our communication, because Brad has tended not to tell me things because he’s afraid I’ll get mad. Well, this happened and it was a pretty big deal. And,I got mad. And…guess what? We were ok anyway.

His promotion also came with a requirement to be in CA for one work week a month. Which sucks. But, it’s great for the frequent flier miles account. And, that lets me fly the kids to IN to visit their dad, instead of having to drive them. If this had happened a few years ago, I don’t think we’d still be together, California weeks used to be really, really rough. But, we’ve grown a lot and now they are just annoying. I did tell him if he’s gonna be out there that much, I’d like to go out once or twice a year too. Especially since the plan is to live there in 10 yrs or so.

In other news, my MS is basically a non-issue anymore *knock on wood*. There are days I hurt a lot, or I’m tired. But, it’s been just over 2 yrs since the diagnosis and they told me to be prepared to be in the hospital a couple times a year. They told me the medicine I wanted wasn’t strong enough to prevent a relapse. They told me it was really bad…and, I’m fine.

My kids are doing well. They have adjusted well to the move, and the new schedule. They are getting used to flights to see their dad, and him driving down to surprise them. He’s getting married Jan 1. Because they wanted the kids there. I told him I’d fly them up for his wedding, but they picked a date the kids would already be there. They’ve been dating like, 2 months. But, the kids seem to like her, so, that’s nice (and a definite change of pace.).

I tried to change out my nose stud for a ring, and my nose is not happy about it. But, I really love how it looks, so, I’m spending far too much time using the saline solution trying to get it to heal up. img_5140

 

No, I don’t

Zoey is gone.

I came home from football practice last night, and there was a man on my front porch steps. I rolled down the window and he said “Can I have my dog back?”

He showed us pictures. Said a woman from his church saw me walking her and told him I took his dogs. Zoey (Allie) had been gone for almost a week at the point. She was happy to see him.

So, I opened the gate. He yelled for her to get in the truck and she ran to it.

He informed us she’ll live on a chain now because she runs off.

She has no shots.

She is not fixed.

I said we could keep her if he didn’t want her.

He said we don’t want her, she has fleas and chews up garbage.

I told him I knew she had fleas. I was taking her for a bath tomorrow, and 2 days ago I gave her flea and tick meds. I told him we had an appointment to have her microchipped tomorrow.

He took her.

She already had sores on her tummy from sleeping on concrete.

My kids are heart broken. img_3812