This morning I paced the floor. I felt anxious and stressed. Only 8 1/2 months to go. But who’s counting?

He overslept. Things were going so well the whole two days since school started, until today that is. He left at the time he should’ve been at school which is problematic since we moved further away. He had over a half an hour drive before picking up two friends on the way.

My son will be the death of me. If I disappear from the bloggosphere someday, you’ll know why.

Being late stresses me out. But since I am not one to be late, I am stressed out vicariously through my kids.

It put me in a really negative and anxious mood. I know I shouldn’t let my kid’s tardiness affect my day. But it is hard to just let it go sometimes.

Then I opened up Facebook this morning and saw a memory from a race I ran several years back with Lisa and her teen daughter that recently passed away in a car accident. We all placed in the small town race and were showing off our medals. Lisa’s daughter won’t be going to school today. She won’t be graduating, going to college, having a family…any of that. Maybe if she overslept she would still be alive, instead of falling asleep behind the wheel.

It really puts things into perspective.

Will my son’s tardiness be something that I will think about next year? It is incredibly frustrating today. Sometimes I need the little reminders to be thankful for the days we have together. I only have a few months left with him under my roof.

I’m trying to let go and not let his mistakes ruin my day.


That bites!

I feel overwhelmed by the busyness at work. I like being busy, but I don’t like feeling like I can’t keep up. Paul and I have been working hard together, alone. We have been arguing for days. It seems like the stress is bringing out the extremes in our personalities and right now we clash. I have been holding myself tight and my body aches from it more than it does from a 12 mile run.

There is no sanctuary.

At home, my pets still have fleas. They are licking and scratching themselves until they bleed. It disgusts me. I don’t want them around me. They sit in my chair and scratch. I can’t relax. I feel crawly when I sit down. I can’t stand to be in my house. It is unnerving.

The vet said there was nothing I could do, that I might still see a few fleas all winter even after treatment. I never would’ve guessed that something like this could happen. Was it the unseasonably warm fall temperatures??

I blame myself. My husband asked me why I blame myself for situations I have no control over. I really don’t know why.

If only I would have treated the pets a few weeks back when I suspected but didn’t find anything. I only put flea treatments on my pets if I have to. Maybe I was wrong.

I have been strongly indoctrinated as a child that the use of any chemicals was wrong. My autistic brother Matt was supposedly allergic. We weren’t allowed to wear bug spray. My brothers and dad had to take down wasps nests with the end of a rake and run or spray them with a hose. Chemicals were not allowed. Instead of weed killer, we put cement blocks on weeds to kill them.

I am not that extreme, but it is hard to change my mindset.

The one thing I am excited about is picking Angel up from college for winter break. We are heading out to pick her up this weekend and then having a family Christmas party at my brother Luke’s house.

We are also supposed to get a snow storm this weekend. We are expecting a foot of snow. After it is done snowing, we will have strong winds and dangerously cold temps. This is going to make the 6 hour drive downright treacherous for us.

Why can’t my life ever be boring!??!!!!!

Regardless, it is certain to give me something interesting to write about!

Reel to real

I awoke Saturday morning to the steady beat of pounding rain. I wanted to go back to sleep but signed up to do a 20 mile bike ride as part of a fundraiser for our church. For a brief moment, I had an internal struggle while watching the rain fall from my window. There was a brisk north wind and the temperature plummeted overnight.

Then I thought of my friends that were doing the Iron Man this weekend and my cousin that was running a 100k overnight while I spent the night sleeping. Reluctantly, I rubbed my bleary eyes and got up.

It was the least I could do for my church, right??

Once I got to the church, I paired up with another parishioner who decided to bike 20 miles. I eyed her skeptically to see if she would keep up with me since she was over ten years older than me. The funny thing is that she taught me a thing or two how to be a better bike rider while I struggled to keep up with her.

One big mistake that I made was deciding to wear a cheap plastic rain poncho to keep dry. The poncho flapped in the wind like a loose sail. It made a lot of noise and slowed me down. I ended up borrowing the other woman’s jacket at her insistence which I was rather embarrassed about. The ride went well despite the off and on rain. I checked 20 miles off my bucket list.

After the morning festivities, Paul and I spontaneously invited Ted and Cindy over for the rest of the day. It was Ted’s birthday, we had them over to grill out and have a fire even though we had plans to sail with them the following day.

Now, about the fire… A few weeks ago my mom gave me a box filled with my birth announcement, letters, birthday cards from the first two years of life, pictures, and a reel to reel of my first birthday that I need to check out. She gave this box to me right before my daughter left home. It seemed like a very hard time to go through this box.

After Angel left I did open the box. It was filled with cards from people that were long deceased, divorced, or people that I didn’t even know. I read a few letters, some mentioned the struggle between going back to work and staying home. Others talked of new recipes.

Letters seem so strange to me now. They seem so simple with talk of everyday life…baptisms…a new pair of shoes…food.. Maybe it is really not all that different if I printed off old emails or looked at everyone’s posts for the month on Facebook.

We are flooded with so much information day to day in our modern world, that maybe I just tune out things I deem as unimportant without realizing it.

A few things struck me from this box. One letter to my mother said that her life would never be the same again. That much was true, very true.

I also found some pictures of my mom right before she delivered me. My mother being as modest as she is was completely mortified. I called her and asked her if she actually looked through everything in the box before she gave it to me. She asked me to burn the pictures. There is a part of me that wishes that I never said anything because she was so young, beautiful, and full of life… Really it was nothing inappropriate or to be ashamed of…but to her it was an embarrassing reminder of younger days..

Saturday night I had a fire at my house. I burned away every trace of my mother’s life right before it changed forever..

Pushing buttons

I have been here over a year and never deleted a post before.

Yesterday was the first time.

I wanted to delete my blog, delete my existence in this sphere with a touch of a button.

How easy would that be?

Sometimes the truth sets you free.

And sometimes it keeps you up at night, gnawing at your insides and eating away at your soul.

Again, I feel trapped. I long to go away and never come back. Leave the stress behind. Start a new chapter in the last half of my book.

Maybe it is starting to finally sink in that my daughter left home.

I just can’t help feeling terribly alone.

Maybe I need a vacation??


Something is fishy- 911, poison control, and other parenting mishaps

This morning while riding my bike, I thought of what I might write. I was so deep in thought that I almost hit a skunk. Of course, that would have been a very interesting story. The little stinker was two feet away in the ditch. It could’ve had a good shot at my legs if I would’ve screamed like I wanted to. Glad I avoided that bump in the road. Phew!

I was thinking about the time when Angel was a little girl. I had a friend over that had a little boy Angel’s age. The boy was a bit of a stinker. He still is as far as I know. They were playing quietly in the other room. That should have been the first indication that there was a problem.

When I entered the room, I noticed that they emptied a large container of fish food into the tank. I couldn’t even see the fish. A few of them died that day. It looked like a big tank of corn flakes that has been sitting in milk all day. It was a huge filthy mess. I spent the afternoon unexpectedly cleaning out the fish tank with my friend.

It made me think of other stories of fish tanks over the years. Like that time when my youngest aunt took her wild kids over to my cleaning freak uncle’s house. The kids were running wild and they knocked over the fish tank. They got kicked out of the house that day. It probably didn’t help that their parents laughed about it instead of offering to clean up the mess.

Then it brought me back to the time when I was a kid when our fish tank broke. We had our fish tank near a front door that was never used. One day my brother Luke came through the front door quickly. He flung the door open and the handle went straight through the fish tank breaking a hole in the glass. Water leaked all over the floor and was seeping into the basement which angered my dad.

I reached into the fish tank to save the fish cutting my arm on the broken glass. My dad grabbed me and threw me out of the house while swearing at me. It was a very painful moment in my life. I was just trying to save the fish.

As I was riding, I realized that a majority of my most remembered childhood memories are tragic. There is a little drawer in my mind where they are stored. They never change but are starting to fade away. The strange part is that all of the emotions that go along with those tragic events are stored in a different drawer. That drawer is locked, sometimes I can open the drawer and sometimes I cannot. I don’t seem to have control over whether the key works. Mainly, I want the door to remain locked with the key hidden away. Writing about these things sometimes unlocks the door. I can see why people don’t want to think or write about such things.

Then I spent some time pouring over other painful memories. Still no emotions at all. Nothing. Then I thought for awhile if there were any good memories in there from my childhood. Any at all?? Then I thought of all of the evenings that my mom would take us on walks to visit my grandparents and Aunt Grace whom lived nearby. Those were the best memories. I remembered the comfort, quiet, and peacefulness of their houses. I remembered visiting with them talking about nothing of importance. Those memories are tinged with emotion, more of a nostalgia that my grandparents and Aunt Grace are all gone now.

Then I put my bike and thoughts away, took a shower, and headed to work..


Wanted, a few good friends…

Do you ever wish there was an online ‘dating’ site to find friends?  
My wanted ad would go something like this: Looking for a married woman in her upper 30’s to lower 40’s with at least two fairly well behaved children. Must be athletic and adventurous. Must like long walks on the beach. Must not have a fear of water. Must be a thinker who likes deep conversation/debate yet not too serious. Must have a sense of humor. Please no one that drinks, brags, or talks too much. Must be honest with a good personality and morals. Must be a runner, send picture of running shoes or medals.

That is what my ad would be like.

I have been having some problems finding a few good friends. The fish that have been in the sea lately have been rather disappointing.

Yesterday I went out with my friends for my birthday, or should I say that I went out with my friend and her husband. I invited 4 couples. 

The first couple I am not even sure why I am friends with. We have been friends for a decade now. I keep them at arms length. I might even want to break things off. A few weeks ago, someone I know asked me why I was friends with her. She has a tendency to get drunk, be verbally abusive towards her husband, and cheat. I wouldn’t want my husband to hang out with a guy version of her. I had a hard time answering why we were friends. Honestly, I don’t even like her that much. She has gotten in trouble with friends for hitting on their husbands. Believe it or not, she does have a few redeeming qualities. She is fine when she is sober, which isn’t very often. Maybe we should break up?

The second couple I asked were friends for over ten years as well. At one time, I thought we were best friends. We even planned to go on vacation together a couple years ago. I think that is the point where our friendship started falling apart. They asked us on vacation, then ended up canceling out before we really started planning. They decided to remodel their house instead and could no longer afford to go. After that I think they felt ackward around us. Then her mom got cancer. With her mom, four kids, and work she didn’t have any extra time. 

They were on vacation over my daughter’s grad party. They were flying back the day of and said they might stop by which they never did. While they were on vacation, they received a call at 5 AM. The message stated that there was a family emergency and to call the hospital upon receipt. (I can worry about that now because stuff like that really happens). Her mom had a massive heart attack. She keeps saying that we will get together sometime, but sometime never seems to come. Our friendship is falling apart. 

Then there is Lisa. I planned on running a 5k to celebrate my birthday, followed by sailing to the beach, and an evening of dancing at a local festival. 

Lisa stayed out drinking all night the evening before. When she got to my house in the morning, she said that she didn’t sleep and was probably still drunk. At bar time they were so drunk that they ended up walking back to her house. Everyone walked except for her friend and another friend’s boyfriend. It took them a half an hour to walk to her house and another hour after that for the two friends in the van to arrive. The driver claimed that he got lost. Meanwhile the passenger was unconscious in the back seat. It took them 40 minutes to wake her up. It wasn’t the first time she drank that much. Then the girlfriend accused her boyfriend (in the van with another woman) of cheating which ended in a breakup. Honestly, that is not the kind of excitement I want in my life! 

Lisa ended up running the race with me, then cancelled out of the rest of my birthday celebration. I am so disappointed. Maybe I should ax all of these people out of my life for good. Just stop responding to their invitations. Even if we have been friends forever doesn’t mean we always have to be.

The last couple was Cindy and Ted. Cindy is not a runner, but after the race they made us a huge breakfast. Then they spent the afternoon with Paul and I sailing to the beach. We had a great time swimming, sailing, and chatting. They said that they would do whatever I wanted for my birthday. We never did make it out to the festival. The weather was hot and stormy. To be frank, I was tired anyway. They are great friends, the kind that are hard to come by.

It is harder to find friends when you are a couple. The guys have to hit it off along with the girls. It doesn’t work if I end up getting along with the husband better than the wife. Or if I like the wife, but the husbands don’t mesh. Or if I like the wife, but dislike the guy she is with. There are so many dynamics.  

I tried to brush off my disappointment with Lisa. I considered her to be a best friend. Now she is nothing more than an acquaintance to me. Cindy moved up and took her place. 

Do you rank your friends like I do? 

We have tried to make friends with other couples. 

We invited another couple to supper but they cancelled out when the food was on the table because they ended up getting a better invitation. You’re out!

Or the people that we invited over that never reciprocated. One sided friendships suck. You’re out!!

Or the other couple we thought could be friends that kept cancelling out last minute. We rescheduled multiple times to have them cancel over and over again for no good reason. You’re out!

None of those friendships ended up going anywhere. 

It is really hard to find good friends. 

But how do you find new ones that are of high quality? 

Maybe I should take out a wanted ad.

Wanted, a few good friends….

Urgent matters

Work has been busy. Tempers have been flaring. Angry hot words sizzle like an egg frying on the hot summer sidewalk. 

On Monday, I paid for the afternoon I took off from work on Friday. I am afraid to take any time off because I have to work ten times as hard to make up for it. I feel guilty leaving our employee to cover for me when the work load is heavy.  

Over the past couple weeks, one of our vendors was updating their website which caused an order that we spent over an hour placing to be all messed up. This kept our clients waiting longer than they usually do. Our vendor did not return our calls regarding our issues because they were bottlenecked which caused us to be bottlenecked. Deadlines were approaching, clients called in desperation. Tetris again. I made the decision to spend a couple hours after work placing the order again despite the double charges. I asked for reimbursement but we might end up eating the double charges. Stress. It seems to happen day after day.

Paul and I were finally getting along only to fight again. We only have time for the urgent matters now not the important things. I was upset that he had play practice on my birthday. He said that he wished he never decided to try out for the play. He was pressured because he would make a perfect lead. He thought I would understand the commitment that 450 lines would take. The play is only a few weeks away. He apologized.  

I was a little miffed that he took 2 of his theater friends sailboat racing last week. I didn’t like the fact that he took a younger single woman that has the hots for him. He had an open invitation to whoever wanted to crew and she took it. Not me. Whatever. I guess she had a horrible time. He had 2 new crew members on a really windy race night. The boat did a lot of heeling and the woman was terrified. She spent a lot of time hiding in the cabin. It wasn’t a peaceful evening like their first sail. Paul didn’t do too well that night. He apologized that I felt left out. 

We finally were able to talk things through and work things out just to fight again. Friday night Paul exploded. He tends to let it all out in one angry storm. It reminded me of a time last summer when Paul was angry. He made homemade pizza for supper which we were starting to enjoy on our deck table outside. He was angry about something. He set his glass down on the table hard to emphasize a point. The table cracked and shattered into a zillion little pieces. Then he went around the house roaring and screaming as loud as he could with the windows open. I briefly wondered what the new neighbor’s thought. Afterwards, he apologized. 

There have been a lot of stressors for Paul. He is stressed about the play, work, the kids, and his mother with terminal cancer. He had a screaming fit Friday night, the day before the graduation party. It was stressful preparing for the party. Would the weather be nice? Did we have enough food? Etc..  Plus it was hard for Paul because not one family member of his would be attending. How strange is it to have a big party for your child with no one respresenting you there? He is like an adult orphan, all alone. He only really has me.

I have been really stressed out too. My anger releases slowly, just a little steam at a time. I criticize. I condemn. I judge his outburst with unforgiveness. I hate. I consistently pour out whispered four letter “s” and “f” words throughout the day. I am no better. SSsssstttrreesssss…

I think that we are finally getting along again. It took awhile. Marriage can be like that at times. 

I am trying not to let the day to day stress get to me. Paul and I have to be on the same team to make this marriage, family, and business work. 

I need to look forward to some stress free time away. I am starting to plan a business trip out to California this fall. Paul and I have never been out to the west coast. Maybe we can add a couple of days of fun while we are out there.  

Cha cha changes


I just got a hair cut. Seven inches of golden tresses fell to the floor. They were swept up and thrown away. Gone.

My life is changing. I have no control. I just turned another year older. My daughter will be an adult this week.

I still have control over some things, like my hair. I haven’t had my hair this short for over a decade. What was I waiting for?

I took half a day off on Friday to get my hair done. After the hair cut, I felt stressed because things were out of control at work while I was gone. In the matter of two hours, I had 5 voicemail messages and my email was blowing up with problems at work. Big time Tetris. I find it harder and harder to take any time off because I end up paying for it later.

Then I ran into someone that I know. She said she was not doing well because her husband lost his job. That really put things into perspective for me. I have a job. We can pay our bills. This business is going to pay off big time. I just have to make sure the stress doesn’t kill me first.

We had our daughter’s graduation party this weekend. I spent the rest of the afternoon on Friday running errands for the party and preparing food. The party itself went great. The event was rather uneventful which was really good. We had enough food and drinks. The weather was great. It wasn’t too hot or too cold. It didn’t rain. Really, what more could we ask for?? I admit, I had a lot of anxiety beforehand. This was the first party that I planned with so many people attending. Seriously, what was I worried about? Everything turned out.  

We had the party up north at the family cabin. Everyone pulled through to prepare and help clean up which I really appreciated. So many family and friends offered to bring food. 

Alex brought up his new girlfriend to meet the family. Now that he has his license he can drive the old moped that is up there. He gladly drove to the gas station for ice and whatever was needed. I am afraid though that he drove it too fast. He wants to get a motorcycle someday. Oh, that kid is going to be the death of me yet!

Angel had a great party. I am sad that she grew up so fast. She was so much fun to raise. Next month she is leaving to start her own life. I feel happy and sad at the same time. So many aspects of my life are changing. I don’t have control over time. But I do have control over my hair. Well, most of the time anyway.

Birthday blues

Tomorrow is my birthday.

What do I want? Something that can’t be bought in a store.

I want a day of peace and tranquility. Just one day that is problem free. I want an escape from my normal routine.

Every day is the same. I start a couple loads of laundry before heading off to work. I deal with problems at work. Then I deal with problems at home. Sometimes simultaneously. After I make supper, clean the kitchen, and fold laundry I finally get to go to bed. I wake up and do it all over again the next day. Although I enjoy working and keeping busy, sometimes adulting can be monotonous and the responsibility burdensome.

I have to work tomorrow. After work, the kids want to do something with me. All I want from them is peace. I don’t want to hear any fighting. Even when we play games, they constantly tease each other by calling names or saying that their siblings suck. They say that it is all in jest, but I don’t find it very funny.

Paul has play practice on my birthday. I should’ve known to lower my expectations when he got the lead part in the summer play. He doesn’t have time for me anymore. I was hoping that he would go up north with me last weekend. When we got together with theater friends last week, he spontaneously offered to take them sailing this past weekend. So he did that instead. Then he asked me to crew for his race last night, but I was replaced by his theater friends. I was okay with that because I only wanted to be a sub. However, he has been sailing with a much younger single woman (not alone) from the theater that thinks he’s hot. I guess I would care more if she was attractive. I was hoping to sail with Paul for almost a week for our anniversary, but we cut it back to a weekend for play practice. I am getting really sick of it already.

I feel left out. I didn’t know all of the inside jokes. I am just an introvert who wants to feel included, but doesn’t want to go. I feel like no one cares about me. The kids really don’t need me much anymore. Sometimes I don’t really care about me either. I almost got hit by a car this morning while I was out riding my bike. The lady almost went through a stop sign. She slammed on her brakes last minute when she saw me. I didn’t get angry like I usually do. I didn’t really care. Hey, I’m still here!

Although my best friend Lisa moved home almost two months ago, we have only seen each other twice. I don’t feel like running with her. I would rather be alone.

When I was a kid, my mom made a very big deal out of my birthday. It was the one day of the year that my life wasn’t all about my autistic brother. I think because of that I have high expectations of how that day should go. Every year it seems harder and harder to get excited. My birthday always signifies the middle of summer. It is going by so quickly this year. I don’t want summer to end and I don’t want to get any older!

Tomorrow I will be 21 (doubled). Gulp! Ready or not, here I come.

The purge

I was always a writer. I started scribbling in diaries before I could write. Now those old letters seem strangely reminiscent of hieroglyphics found in a dark cave. It doesn’t make sense to me anymore. It is not even me anymore.

I wrote my first book in grade school. I wrote for hours and hours a fictional story about a girls orphanage. It was a childhood dream of mine to give lonely little girls a home. I wrote a story about their struggles and how I saved them. Then my middle school self thought that it was stupid and threw it out. Then I began to write my story.

Almost 5 years ago, I became friends with my ex-boyfriend Brad on Facebook. I asked him for my old pictures back. He sent me a big stack of my pictures to my home address. These were childhood pictures too old to be on digital print. He wanted one thing in return, his diary back. When I was going out with Brad he was in the military and kept a diary while he was on a Navy ship.

I searched through my stack of old journals. I found the diary and started to read it. I was hoping to find a riveting piece of historical non-fiction. But instead found a romantic novel obsessing about me. It contained page after page of personal biography about my life, my family, and my struggles. There was no way I was going to give that back, so I threw it out. We were both happily married to other people. I thought it would be forgotten, but I thought wrong.

It was also at that time that I threw out all of my high school notes written back and forth between friends. My childhood wasn’t the happiest part of my life. I was afraid that my children (my oldest at the time was 13) would find them. I didn’t want them to see me. I didn’t want them to be like the teen me.

Those were hard days. It seemed like I was always searching for that glimmer of hope. I spent a long time in the dark grasping for light before I got out. Now it lingers behind me in another dimension like an abyss or black hole. I feel if I go back it will trap me and I will never be able to leave again. This weekend I felt a lot of sorrow where there should’ve been nostalgia. My demons were restless. 

So I purged away the old high school notes and Brad’s diary forever. Unfortunately, at the same time, I think I accidently threw out all of the letters that my mom sent me when she was in the hospital with my brother Matt. I feel very sad about that. But I don’t feel bad about Brad’s diary. Thankfully I kept all of my diaries.

There was a time (after I was dating a guy named Mac) when the words I wrote were powerful enough to almost destroy me. Mac found my diaries. Unbeknownst to me, he read them and tore out a few pages. He later tried to blackmail me with my own words. He threatened to send pages of my diary to my family members unless I took him back. It was terrifying, but I didn’t go back. Eventually he mailed the missing pages back to me. I certainly didn’t want something like that to happen again. I thought that Brad would move on with his life and forget all about it.

Then something happened, Brad’s wife passed away. Brad started contacting my mom asking if I was happy in my marriage because he still has feelings for me. It freaked my mom out and she warned me. A couple of months after that, I expressed sadness over the unexpected death of my neighbor. Brad sent me a message saying that he would be a shoulder to lean on.  

Then a month ago, Brad sent me a message asking for the diary back. I told him that I threw it out. I sent him a nice message saying how I hope that someday he will be happy again and how that has nothing to do with me. His future is not in the past. We haven’t dated since the early 1990’s when I was still in high school. 

Then this weekend my dad said that he received a long email from Brad stating that he was upset and hurt that I threw out the diary. He still has feelings for me. My dad said that his message was a little “off”. WTH?? I haven’t even seen him for over 20 years. Twenty years!! Two decades!! Why the hell is he bugging my parents about a stupid diary he wrote about me in 1992?? 

This is so insane that I can’t even believe that I am writing about this. Why does this craziness happen to me? Seriously, I wasn’t that great of a girlfriend. I am not even the same girl that I used to be.