Category Archives: Sadness

Burned

Burned.

Some time ago, someone I considered a friend decided our friendship was too much of a bother. All communication was cut. No explanations, no apologies. I spun scenarios in my head, trying to determine how I messed things up, what I did to cause such a rift to happen. Nothing made sense, every recollection seemed normal. I worried I had hurt feelings, made possible transgressions that were not easy to forgive. In public the banter is still friendly when our paths cross, adding to the confusion. It seemed disconnected, forced.

And then I realized that all I had done wrong was offer an ear. I’m a big believer that a trouble shared is a trouble halved. I lent my shoulder and my ear, and perhaps sharing was something akin to breaking a confidence. I’ll never know. It’s a habit of mine to reach out and try to help others when they are distressed or sad. I’ve offered total strangers the comfort of my shoulder as they grieve for a sick relative. This time I got burned. But unlike other people who would learn a lesson from it, I refuse to let it dictate reaching out to others in the future.

There’s Bactine for that 🙂

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Craftoholism

Seems I suffer from that affliction.

Ever since Hubby’s job took him to DC, I have been trying to fill my days doing something besides cleaning. Yes, I have kept the house relatively clean but I have some things that hinder my progress in organizing it. First, I have the old bathroom mirror still taking residence in my dining area. My niece’s fiance wants it, but doesn’t have the transporting capabilities at the moment. Second, my son’s loft bed is still intact. My BIL wants it, but has not had time to come disassemble it, and transport it back to Houston. Frankly, I am getting ready to disassemble it.

With an ax.

Anyway, because of the absence of Hubby and Son, and because I have only one other person to cook for (and that person doesn’t eat much), I have been trying to keep myself busy enough so that I don’t miss them too much. Eldest has now been gone for a year, so that void has lessened. But the house still echoes sadly, even with the dogs here. So to counter the loneliness, I have gone whole hog and begun a series of projects:

  • Refinish thrift store dining set
  • Repaint thrift store nightstands
  • Repaint flea market frames
  • Make headboard out of old frame
  • Convert old sewing machine to a vanity
  • Make statement mirror for above mantel
  • Make coffee table stand for traffic light
  • Refinish and paint thrift store folding chairs
  • Make pumpkin topiaries for front door area

I think that’s it. But before I can do the big stuff, I have to get rid of the loft bed, so I can move Son’s stuff upstairs and move the office stuff to his room along with the chess table that is also taking up residence in my dining area so that I can finally do the dining set and place THAT in the dining room, once the mirror is gone. So now you know why I want to take an ax to the bed.

Until stuff leaves this house, I am in a holding pattern, but at least there are small things I can do to keep busy. I have finished the drawers, and painted vases, and managed to complete a wall project for my room. So I have that going for me, which is nice.

Keeping busy is the best antidote for loneliness. Well, next to eating ice cream. But until Blue Bell™ supplies stabilize, sanding and painting will have to suffice 😉


Soldiering On

Yesterday, we took Son to his parental units’ alma mater. He has chosen to follow in his dad’s and his late uncle’s footsteps: joining the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets. Already he has made new friends and reconnected with old ones. He has learned many traditions and aspires to be the quintessential Aggie. I have no doubts about his abilities and his aptitude. Anyone who enjoys calculus and argues physics will succeed in his chosen field. And being a member of the Corps cuts down on your laundry chores, so there’s that.

As an Aggie, I’m totally psyched to have one of my kids share in my scholastic experiences. As a mom, I’m terrified. Oh, I’m not afraid of something happening to him or of him doing some boneheaded stunt. That’s bound to happen anyway. But I do fear him growing apart from his family. I know the time will come when he makes his way in the world. I’m just hoping that happens after he graduates and goes into the military. At least I get to see him some weekends, so the loss isn’t so acute.

But today is a dark day compared to yesterday. Today, Hubby leaves for his new position in Washington, D.C. I keep telling myself it won’t be as bad as Iraq or Egypt, since we will be at least in the same country and only one time zone difference. Even after experiencing deployments before, this still leaves a hole in my heart, knowing he won’t be walking through the door to the bark of the dogs, or enjoy his video game (don’t worry, he took the console and games with him), or watch a B movie after a long day at work. My family of five is down to two for now, and it feels so lonely in this house without them.

But that’s what we do. We go on and adapt and hold down the fort until our loved ones return. I can only hope and pray that they will adapt faster than I will, because I can’t be there to help them through it. Already I am counting the days until Christmas when we can be together again, fighting over the the last of the doughnuts and waiting for dinner to be served while watching Christmas movies. Until then, I can only be there in spirit, and through Skype 🙂


Going Tharn

For days I have been trying to think of some fluff to post here. Sadly, my mind keeps turning to current events and all I can think is, the country is going tharn.

Priorities have changed. There is more value placed on a fish or an eagle egg than on a human life. Some are more concerned with the killing of one dangerous man-eating beast than they are with the harvesting of thousands of unborn babies for profit. Our president compares Republicans to Iranian hardliners instead of trying to unite the country. And on the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, I see people blame the US for the war in the Pacific.

I take it back. The country has completely gone tharn. Values, social mores, standards have all gone down in the past few decades, and it seems like people choose to forget rather than make the effort to employ them. I keep wondering when people will finally say “ENOUGH!” and begin the path to betterment again.

Or if they will do so.


General Random Stuff That Makes Me Not So Happy

Sorry I have been absent from the blog so long. It has been a rather weird few weeks since school let out. I find myself making list after list of things to pack up and things to purge and things to finish and the only thing I have done is write the lists. So much fail, I know.

Yesterday I was in the checkout line at the grocery store wondering what to make for dinner even though I was actually purchasing food when I saw a little girl looking at the magazines on the rack. She was looking at some young actress who was on the cover with her hair blown away from her face, her arms at her hips, and her face a mask of what I can figure is “anger” (but most likely a product of “Pout for me, dahlink!!” from the photographer). And in what can only be described as sadness, I watched her pretend to be just like that glossy, unrealistic photograph: arms at hips, lips pouting, hair being tossed back. I hate those magazines. I really, really do. They are in the business of making every single woman feel UGLY!!! I have zero respect for a periodical that tells me I need to dye my hair and lose those pesky pounds or I will lose him and not get promoted to my dream job. We women are contrary creatures. You tell me I need to lose weight, and I will grab a quart of ice cream and eat it all while smirking in your face. And I will love every single spoonful!!

I went to make an appointment for my dogs to be groomed because I am far to busy making lists to do that, and when I whipped out my iPhone 3 to put the date in my calendar, the receptionist told me I should upgrade to a better phone. She told me. First, it isn’t anyone’s business what phone I own, and second, her name was not Graham Bell. I was a bit stunned at first, but then she went on about how new phone have better technology and you can do so much more with them. I politely asked what, and she informed me that Candy Crush and some muffin game were in HD now. I asked about GPS and she replied (and I kid you not), “I don’t play that game.” I took the opportunity to let her know I prefer a phone that is so outdated the NSA can’t track me. She asked if that was my parents’ service. I said yes and then just left. Honestly, I can’t even.

So that has been my week so far. I realize it is only Tuesday so there is plenty more that can possibly set me off like a firecracker, but I prefer to be positive and look on the bright side of things. Well, metaphorically speaking anyway, since another storm system is moving through here. And of course, Blue Bell™ is not yet back in production. This whole positive thinking is hard without Blue Bell™ and sunshine, so I’m going to stop rambling and go watch Ghost Whisperer and eat some yogurt. If that doesn’t work, five o’clock will eventually come around 😀


Relax, There’s Vodka For That

This is the last week of school, y’all.

I am not looking forward to the summer like most people are. Son is graduating and getting ready for college. And that means my anxiety is growing as the apron strings get cut once again. For someone who has big plans for an empty nest, I sure have issues when the chicks decide to leave it. I admit it was difficult to get used to Eldest’s departure for the military. Now with Son’s impending departure for college, I am left behind with one chick, and she isn’t the most amiable towards my melodramatic angst.

I think her exact words were, “Get over it.”

Sigh….. It will be difficult but I am sure I will get over it eventually. It’s not like I am constantly checking up on Eldest. So what if I know her work schedule and know when she should be in her barracks? I’m her mom, so I can’t be charged with stalking, right? This parenting thing is hard, learn-as-you-go and sometimes thankless, but they never tell you that all you go through is a piece of cake compared to them leaving you. At least Son will be able to come home for some weekends and holidays so the break will be slow, like ripping a bandage or twisting thumbscrews.

I did mention my melodramatic angst, right?

I know my parents are laughing at me. Come to think of it, so is my sister. And most of my friends. I know this isn’t as bad as I make it out to be, and it definitely isn’t the end of the world. It’s a new beginning, and I just hope and pray that each one is ready to face the world alone. My apron strings are being cut and Hubby tells me they can’t be sewed back on.

But there is always Velcro™!! 😀


A Little Rain Falling

I received word this afternoon that my uncle had passed away after a long illness. I cried a lot, I prayed a lot, and cried some more. He was a special man in many ways. He was a victim of a hit-and-run accident while he was helping someone stranded on the road. As a result, he was mentally handicapped (he never did like the “challenged” description, so there), but that never stopped him from living Life. And as I grieve, I am remembering how he grabbed Life by the horns, twisted its neck and threw it down yelling, “CHUPATELA!!!*”

Some of you may know of my credo of being happy every day. I’m not happy ALL day, mind you, but I do find something to be happy about every day. I learned that from him. He had a zest for life that made Zorba look like a piker. I remember once his sow lost a few piglets during birth. We were all sad, until he told us he “planted” them snout up, so the tree would grow and give us more piglets. I kid you not. And then there was the time when someone ask him to call them back, so he breathed in the word “hello” (because it was air going in, not out). Oh, and one time he decided that he wanted to sleep under the stars, so he got a photo of Marisol Malaret (the first Puertorican to win the Miss Universe title) and taped it to the ceiling. He was unstoppable.

He wasn’t perfect, but he was an inspiration to all of us. He is preceded by his oldest son, and I know they are both in Heaven, laughing at the rest of us who still have to wait to get to the party.

Because he was the party.

Te quiero mucho, Tio Papo. Esperame, que vengo con chismes y con ron de barrilitos 😀

* The equivalent of saying “SUCK IT!!” And the last sentence: I love you very much, Uncle Papo. Wait for me, because I’m coming with gossip and single barrel rum. 😀


One Year Like Yesterday

It has been a year since my brother-in-law Draco passed away. Time has made it easier for us to bear the loss, and to enjoy thinking of his exploits and funny stories. I think he would have appreciated passing away on the anniversary of Francis Scott Key’s penning of the Star Spangled Banner, too. Draco always did have a flair for the dramatic, though he was careful not to show it. Unless it concerned a martini. Then it had to be the right glass, the right garnish, the right vermouth, even the right pick. He was hilarious.

Sometimes I am caught unawares and the pain of the loss grips me. I was cleaning out a closet and found a shirt he had left behind, and suddenly a torrent of tears let forth, taking me by surprise. Before she left, Eldest’s biggest regret was not being able to wear the bracelet Draco made for her while in basic. And today Texas A&M plays Rice University. He always looked forward to every game, but the Rice games were special, because of the band. Rice’s MOB is rather…. unique, to say the least!

Draco my brother, you are still missed every day. And not a day goes by that I don’t offer up a prayer in Heaven for you and know you are there, looking down and screaming at Manziel to get it together while giving Dallas a scritch. And I promise not to wear any Aggie or maroon stuff. We both know I can jinx it if I do. So, I shall make your favorite dish for dinner in your honor, and we will raise our glasses of lemonade and toast to your memory. We love you…. then, now, and always 🙂


Sunshine and Puppehs

I’m sorry I haven’t written lately. I am now a “band parent” and no longer in control of my destiny. Well, as a mom I’ve never been in control, but at least I was able to pretend most of the time. On top of that, I am still feeling lonely now that Eldest is gone. I shouldn’t whine since quite a few of my friends are in the same boat as I am, or went through the same thing she is going through. But lately I have found it more difficult to feel cheerful about anything. As usual, the social-site-with-faces keeps me entertained, but I can’t be a slave to it, no matter how attractive that can be. Internet meth is what I call it. I have been so mopey that Hubby offered to let me buy a Lolita™ wine glass, and I turned him down!!!

Yes, yes I did.

So, I am trying to cheer myself up. Eldest’s goods arrived yesterday, so she is adjusting as expected. And my friend Erin sent me a huge box of old Reader’s Digest™ condensed books for me, so there will be altering in my immediate future. I really SQUEE’ed when I opened the box. Of course, I have to find a place to store them, but that’s a small matter. I have an attic. And I think there is room under my bed. Maybe.

So for now I am cheering myself up with small things like taking walks and enjoying the sun and thanks to XBradTC, with lots of puppehs.

twin puppies

Yes, I SQUEE’ed again.

Anyway, time to go give my doggies a cuddle and maybe start folding some books. Or paint something. That’s always fun, as long as I don’t get paint or glue in my hair 🙂


In Defense of the Ice Bucket

A new fad for charity has gone viral in social media. The Ice Bucket Challenge has been going on for about two months, but it has just been in the past two weeks or so that the challenge has skyrocketed. It has helped to raise money and more importantly, awareness of Lou Gehrig’s Disease, also known as ALS. Between July 31 and August 18 of 2013, the charity had raised $1.8 million dollars. In the same time period of 2014, they have raised over $42 million. The rules are simple: first, accept the challenge, and pour ice into a bucket of water; second, you pour the bucket over your head; third, you challenge others by name to do the same. You donate a certain amount if you do the challenge, but if you choose to pass on the challenge (as some have done), you must donate a larger amount. The point of this challenge is obviously to raise money for research, so both challenger and the challenged should donate. That’s the bare bones of the whole thing.

Now to my rant.

I have been following along on social media a certain trend, if you will. Some people deride the challenge as being a “waste of water”, and a “chance at 15 minutes of fame”, and even “selfie grandstanding”. Others think the challenge is stupid because it’s not “jackass” daredevil enough. I have seen friends of friends say that it is better to send bottled water to Africa than to do this challenge. I have seen friends complain about it filling their media feed. Well, my turn to say something.

WHAT THE HELL, PEOPLE??

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Every day for a month we are inundated in pink. PINK!! And I don’t mean her music, either. Every organization, from the NFL to Hollywood to airlines to grocery stores to every single thing wears or decorates in pink to “bring awareness” of cancer. Hell, you can get a Kitchen Aid® mixer in a special shade of pink just for that campaign. They wear pink to “support awareness”. What the hell does that do? Who DOESN’T support awareness?? Putting a pink ribbon on everything doesn’t mean a thing. Most people are not aware that when they buy a pink ribbon pencil or a pink ribbon apron that the money is not necessarily earmarked for a breast cancer research foundation like the Susan G. Komen Foundation™. In fact, most of it isn’t. Only certain things specifically endorsed as having its proceeds go to a foundation are earmarked. But people still do it, and charities (plural) raise MILLIONS towards research. And yet some of the same people who complain about the Ice Bucket Challenge have no problem with Pink October. Seems a bit hypocritical to me.

Look, I’m not saying you have to do the challenge. I’m not saying don’t send water to Africa. And I’m certainly not saying you shouldn’t donate to breast cancer research. What I am saying is, no harm, no foul. You don’t like it on your feed, adjust your damn settings and quit complaining. Social media doesn’t belong to you. This has done more to increase donations to a worthy cause than anything I can recall. I do think that whole “it wastes water” is a bunch of hooey, seeing as most of the water ends up on a lawn in most videos. But it makes you seem rather small when you complain about a challenge that is harmless to you and to the participant. My grandmother-in-law passed away from ALS, and a very good friend of mine has lost family members to it, and now her mother has it. Unlike breast cancer, ALS cannot be treated so research is vital. Taking the challenge is a way to show others that you aren’t afraid. If you would rather donate directly, as we do every year, go to the ALS Association website.

And enjoy the fact that you can help, and cool off at the same time 🙂