Monday, July 27, 2009

Peace and quiet at last

What a whirlwind week of kids and parties! Alex, our 13 year old, is seldom around other kids. Max, Rowan, and Bean are used to that hard scrabble life and so it was good for all of them. Max, who is 10, was properly respectful to a big kid and they got along and did stuff together and hung out.

Rowan, who is an 8, with tons of attitude, pretty much ran circles around Alex. One day, they argued about something and she danced around in the hallway yelling, "Make me, Make me! Come on!" She lectured him and argued with him and drove him crazy. Finally one day, while they were eating he yelled, "Rowan! Shut up! I'm trying to eat!"

She never shuts up. She's the only child I've told to shut up. Actually said the words. Not that it had any impact on her.

Bean, he ignored, and she him. Each kid got to sleep over (Max, two nights, they slept out on the tramp) and spend time with their cousin.

We went to a family picnic with Brad's family, the last before he goes into the Marines next week. Then had a big dinner with bbq ribs, corn on the cob, salads and cake here in our back yard. Brad's family is the first family I've met who makes our family seem quiet and demure. They all talk at once. They are really nice and I enjoy them. Just loud.

I'm deeply saddened about Brad's decision. I think it will be good for them in many ways because it will pay their school loans and give them a step up for the future. But the odds are he will be deployed to the middle east and we will have had little chance to really get to know him. I'm sad that the kids will be apart so much so early in their marriage.

But this morning, Bill has taken Alex fishing (he asked to stay for another week, but Bill said no---he's pretty burned out on kids :)) and the house is wonderfully quiet. Although I have mountains of laundry and the downstairs is a jumble of blankets drug in from the trampoline and toys and game boys.

I need to be more grateful. Bookslinger, your agreement with that goes without saying. LOL

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My sister, Annie, is raising her three young grandchildren, Jonathan, age 4; Jasmine, age 6; and Mariah, age 7. I have so much admiration for her because my grandchildren would definitely be in the orphanage and I'd visit. Old age just takes the wind out of one's sails.

Annie's a good writer and these are some of the funny stuff she's written about her kids, her grandkids, and our mother:

Kids say the darndest things.

When my children were young, we prayed together every morning before they left for school.
We stood in a circle, holding hands, as each member of the family took a turn to offer a prayer. Each child got their turn to offer their thanks and requests to God.
We encouraged them to prayer from their hearts and to always say thank you for something specific. We also encouraged them to remember to pray for someone else.
“Dear God,” began my ten year old daughter’s prayer. “Please let me get an A on my math homework”.
“Dear God”, she continued, after an unusually long pause, “Please help me find my math homework.”

There is less than 13 months between Only Son and Daughter #3. (Daughter #3 – aka known as Child #4 – was a surprise present)
I left them to play with their toys in the bath-tub as I went to grab their pajamas.
“MOM!” came the blood curdling scream from 4 year old Only Son.
I dropped their pajamas and ran, expecting the worst.
Three year old, Daughter #3 was looking down, completely bewildered. Only Son was looking in the same direction at Daughter #3’s body with complete terror.
“What’s the matter!?” I demanded, not seeing anything apparently wrong.
“Jennifer’s penis is broken!” came Curtis’ anguished cry.
That was the last time I bathed them together.

Cuddling and competing with who loved the other more, was a favorite part of our four year old grand-daughter’s visit.
“I love you as big as the sun and the stars” I told her
I had to admit defeat when she exclaimed, “Well, I love you with the sun and a horse”.

As I was doing Mariah's hair, we overheard Jasmine, the 6 yr old, ask Jonathon, the 4 yr old, how to spell "I love you."

Jonathon: " A. 16."

After a long pause, Jasmine responds, "Jonathon, that's not how you spell 'I love you'".

Monday, July 20, 2009


Dessie died April 20, 2008, one year and 3 months ago. I cannot believe it.

These are pictures from the last time I saw her, when she showed up unexpectedly (and drunk) at my house. Six month later, she was dead. 14 months later, Mom was dead.
Dessie was four years younger than I, and always, until the end, more beautiful and vibrant and alive. She lost herself. I think she's found herself again now. I feel her sometimes. I might feel my mother, but since I never really knew her, except as a childish and selfish person; childlike and sweet at the end, I don't know what she would feel like. I don't feel any great maternal loving spirit around me, though, to my great disappointment and disgust.
I think, "I can't believe she isn't there for us now any more than she was there for us when she was alive. You'd think seeing Jesus would have changed her somehow. No, she's still feeling sorry for herself somewhere in the ethernet of the spirit world."
But Dessie, she's dancing around all of us.

Got the recommend

The stake president (counselor, who was my former bishop) signed my recommend yesterday. He asked me how I was and I said, "I'm being good." and we both laughed. I told him about leaving because Bill yelled at me a lot (among other things) and he hasn't seen that side of Bill, but everybody and their dog has seen that side of me, so he looked a bit askance.

(my little sun porch in my little trailer)

The truth is I'm really pretty nice to Bill and always have been. I objected to his being gone every spare minute he had fishing and hunting instead of family, but mostly he's been free to pursue his dreams, I never nag him to do stuff, he spends whatever he wants and never gets in trouble if he makes a mistake in the checkbook.

I've had to fight for every inch of personal freedom I've gained in the last 27 years, if he asks me to sew on a button, he'll remind me hourly till it's done, he criticizes my cooking (and I'm a damn good cook), my cleaning---he can't stand any clutter, I can't even have anything extra on my dresser, and if I make a mistake in the checkbook, I'm in deep deep shit and not forgiven until I give a pint of blood and pay back the mistake with interest. My interests, including church callings, have been resented and supported grudgingly even to "babysitting" his own kids. He never asked me to babysit the kids while he went fishing.

It's been a hard way to live. Nerve-wracking.

But...crap, I digressed. The bishop asked me the garment question, which I took to be his assumption I'd taken my garments off. I corrected him and he said that's a standard question.
I shared that with the stake president guy and he said, "yeah, that's a standard question" but then he congratulated me because I'd been tempted and looked at the dark side and didn't go there. "You know what I mean," he said.

"No, actually, I don't." I said. "what are you talking about? I never looked at any dark side. I lived quietly and peacefully in a little retirement trailer park in Parowan."

And he stammered a bit and extrapolated to the extent that I realized people thought I'd left Bill in a fit of rebellion and I was expected to take up drinking and whoring. (my office)
(my kitchen/living room)
I told him clearly, "I never was like that. It isn't in my nature, although that might be hard to believe. It never occurred to me to do any of that stuff. I was tired and spiritually exhausted and in a lot of personal pain. My husband betrayed me in many ways and I would never have come back except to save our family. I didn't want to hurt my kids and grandkids."

Geez Louise, it wasn't about me partying.

This all goes to show that people look at appearances. My iconoclastic big mouth nature makes people think I could easily sink into serious sin and Bill's on-the-face-of-it orthodoxy makes them think he's solid as a rock.

Really unfair. But I got the recommend.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I love my son-in-law but I'm mad at Bill

Brad is without conceit. This is what he did last time he visited us: he forgot his church clothes and shoes. So he wore Bill's white shirt and pants and tie and his keds. He and Bill are pretty tall, but Bill is a lot bigger than he. He looked kind of funny with this big old clothes, pants cinched up tight in a belt, with his keds. He didn't care, he just went to church. I just think that's so cool.
(Brad and his grandma--he's that kind of guy)
...because Bill is so conceited about his looks he would never do that. He has nicer clothes than I and spends more time in the bathroom than I do. I find it tremendously annoying, I can tell you, to be married to a handsome man who knows it.

And now I'm ticked because I want to go to San Antonio to visit our grandchildren and he's sort of dragging his feet. He doesn't want to spend the money. He's telling me we are poor. But, I know he's really trying to save $$ and vacation time so he can go on the week long hunt with his friends in September. He has never once in all these years (27) put a family event above his fishing and hunting plans. And even if I gripe about this, he will just suddenly magically find the money to go to San Antonio AND hunting.

Last week, he said he had this great idea. We are getting our grandson Alex for a few days and I wanted him to stay for a week and spend time with the his cousins. Bill said, "hey you know I could take Alex back and take him fishing with my sister and her family for a few days." This has nothing to do with taking the grandson fishing. It has everything to do with fishing. I put the kabosh on that because hell, if he's going to spend time with them fishing, why go get him at all?

But I bet you $10 he will still go fishing with his sister's family.
(the fashion plate at the wedding)

I'm ticked. Thank you for listening.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Kids Coming Home

I used to envy my neighbors whose kids came home to visit. It seemed like our kids didn't come very often--or want to. We had the grandkids a lot, but in my hermit stage, it was nice not to have company.

Sarah's been coming back regularly, though. I've treated her as a kid and not prepared at all. But last week, I realized that we don't know Brad very well and he's going in the Marines, so I got up out of bed and killed the fatted calf.

This weekend, we have my granddaughter, Madison age 14 and Beannie, age 5 (so cute) (I'll try to post pictures) and now Sarah and Brad are coming up for overnight again. And next week, our grandson Alex, age 11, who will be joined by Max, age 10 (he and Alex bicker endlessly) and Rowan , age 8, (Alex adores her and calls her Rose and they get along, probably planning on abducting somebody for ransom or some other crime). Then we're having a bon voyage party for Brad, who's leaving for boot camp August 3---and a big family birthday party for Jared, who turns 32 on July 24.

Well, the kids are coming home. I'm tired already. Today, instead of killing the fatted calf, I'm getting the fatted frozen lasagna out. :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Finding Myself, not poaching Seraphine

Seraphine on Zelophehad's Daughters wrote a wonderful post about finding herself that expressed so much of my struggle the last few years---I think this is the link, I can't figure out how to do that anymore.

I get people mixed up all the time and thought she was an older woman I'd corresponded with but you know, the sentiments are much the same.

I believe my dark night of the soul came from many sources including my unhappiness in my marriage, my health problems exacerbated by menopause, midlife and depression crashing in, as well as the terrible problems in my ward and neighborhood. I also believe I'm seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

I told Cathy & Bridgette (sorry if I misspelled it hon) that I wish I was dead every day. And that's true. I honestly wish all the time I'd succeeded in my suicide attempt. I just think about all the screwups since then and think "I could have avoided that...or that...or that."

I read something the other day in the Book of Mormon, I think about people who get discouraged and "curse God and wish to die" and boy did that hit me. I also read something about people who are more afraid of life than death. And that also hit me. Because truly I am. I'm ashamed of that but cannot find enough shame to change my mind.

I'm not sure if it's because I'm tired or sick or discouraged, probably a combination of all three; but I struggle every single day.

However, I'm getting better. I can feel it. I do not feel that awful blackness I used to feel. Healthwise, I totally struggle and probably always will, but I feel half decent more often than not nowadays.

Sometimes I see glimpses of my old self. Sometimes I have hope. Sometimes I look at Bill and delight in him and his goodness and don't think of all the awful times and feel hatred.

Sometimes I feel hope that we aren't such a failed family after all. Sometimes I get enthusiastic...about music or blogging or a new book or a project.

I believe intellectually that God is going to bless me if I can endure, if I can hold on, if only by my fingernails. And sometimes I feel like I'm finding myself.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sick Today

Well, I said I was going to get a migraine today because I thought this funeral today was going to be an unorganized mess (it's going to be just fine actually) and I guess God didn't want to make a liar out of me.

I feel just awful. My ears hurt, I'm coughing, my whole body aches and I spike a fever every time I get up and walk around.

This is nothing new to me. I hate it. This Epstein-Barr, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, whatever is actually behind this decades long illness (I'm hearing that Herpes might be the culprit, for people who have had bad cases of chicken pox as children seem vulnerable---and I had a memorable case of chicken pox) kicks my butt over and over again. My younger sister was just diagnosed with MS & Lupus, which are factored into the illness as well.

I bitch and moan and complain and whine and am not suffering with great dignity, I must say.

It would be easier if I had an illness that Dean Edell says doesn't exist except in my imagination, if there were something more conclusive than vague "I just don't feel good" symptoms. If I were in a wheelchair.

I've been telling myself lately to pretend I have some terrible illness and try to be like somebody in the movies, gallant and smiling.


I wish I were normal.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

On Napping

I'm not sure, but I think I fell asleep during a call the other day. It was rather embarrassing, but it was 11:30 at night and who cared if that guy couldn't get his voicemail. It was about a half second doze, but all kinds of things went wrong. He was very nice about it :).

Working until nearly midnight and having other obligations during the day are seriously cramping my style. I do take quick naps in my car during lunch (I'm waiting for the day I fall asleep and come back after a couple of least I'll be refreshed).

Jared is here and he and Bill are putting in a walkway, they'll bring the grandkids over in a little while. I'm giving them strict instructions that Grandma is napping and they have to play outside or play stealthily in the house. Hmmm.....we'll see how that goes.

Yesterday I met Cathy Can & Bridgitte of Life in Red Shoes fame for lunch. I was hungry, and they were late, so I ordered appetizers---potstickers, brie in phyllo, and stuffed mushrooms. Then, while they had salads, I had soup and a french dip sandwich. Then I had dessert. Well, they were paying, so I had a good old time.

Awesome women, both of them. I felt so comfortable, you know how you feel when you feel you've known someone forever? Old friends.

Then I went home and had to lay flat for two hours before work because I was so full and sleepy.

Bill waited up for me last night, usually, he's sound asleep when I get home (I often wonder how soon it would occur to him to look for me if I was abducted after work...I think maybe two days) and it was nice to touch base. I usually just see him for a brief moment in the morning when I'm still half asleep and then we talk during the day, but we never see each other, really, until my days off. He objects, but it may be one of the reasons we don't fight anymore.

I have had sleep at the forefront of my mind since July 14, 1971, when my first child was born. I've been sleepy ever since. I count the hours till I can go back to bed again. It's not the greatest way to live and it occurred to me the other day that maybe everybody doesn't go around sleepy all day. I drink coke, I drink lots of water, I eat, I take drugs and I cannot wake up.

Amazing what you can accomplish in your sleep.