Day 13 of 2017

Today I am trying to get this post done early. It seems that the time I usually do it is when my brain starts turning to cement.

It has been a pretty uneventful day. We are amidst an ice storm so we are just staying in and staying warm. Of course we really don’t go out except for appointments so the ice storm really makes no difference to us. Where it does make a difference is in how my wife feels. She suffers from SAD and dreary days like this do not help. She has been feeling blah all day. She did make dinner rolls though. Her speech did not improve today so that is a little worrisome. Unless something major happens we will just have to wait till Thursday to see what the MRI shows.

This weekend is also hard on my wife because her 2nd oldest son is staying with us. He came over yesterday after work and will probably stay till Sunday or Monday. He works here in town but lives 20 mins out of town, so when the weather is bad he stays here. This only presents a problem for my wife because he has the tv on the whole time he is up. My wife can not handle the tv on all day. No, she will not tell him so and would kill me if I did. Of course if it does get too bad for her I will put my foot down and get her the quiet she needs.

today my wife made dinner rolls, or at least the dough. I step in after that and get them proofed and in the oven. We did not have a power outage today – very real threat with the ice storm. I made it through this day unscathed :). And last but not least we started the day with a laugh and we ended it with a laugh.

The results of the ice storm:

Working at getting my office organized so that I can start back on my art. My OCD makes it hard for me to do things if everything is not perfect. I am not very creative in chaotic environment. I actually don’t function very well at all in that kind of environment.

Thank you for walking with me on this icy, superstitious day.

Advertisements

My wife has brain cancer :(

I know it has been a long time since I posted. My art has fallen by the wayside. July 11, 2016 my wife went into the ER because she was having trouble talking. Next thing we know she was having a tumor removed from the left side of her brain (that Thursday). Pathology came back on the tumor – it was a GBM. A grade 4 (incurable) glioblastoma multiforme. The most deadly of the brain tumors. It has been a roller coaster ride since then.

I am on here today to promote my go fund me account set up to help us with Laurie’s treatments and getting her a deck.

Here is the link to the account – help Laurie

Thank you so much for even just looking.

This is not the kind of walk I want to ask anyone to take with me.

Alex

 

Train of Thought

Come ride my train of thought with me. It should prove to be an interesting ride, since my train rarely stays on track. You might say that my thoughts have ADD. They easily get distracted and head off in another direction. My wife will attest to that and how it drives her batty :). Why don’t we begin with my wife.

First off I would like to plug my wife’s blog Mama Bear Laurie’s Den of Writings. She is a wonderful writer. Stop by and take a look, you won’t be disappointed. I met her through an online dating site, Plenty of Fish. Being a fisherman it seemed like a good site to try out. Looking back I have to say that the universe had a hand in bringing us together. I kept going back and looking at her picture. I did this many, many times before I connected with her. I also did not look at her height. This was something that I was doing with every other. I was looking for someone who was shorter then me, or so I thought :). Well lets keep the train moving shall we. We eventually met and my world was changed for the better. When we had our first date I was at the beginning of a nasty divorce, I was living with my step-son, I had no vehicle. I had to borrow my step-son’s car to even be able to go on a date. So we had a second date that took place in our vehicles and was interrupted by the police. No it was NOT that kind of date, we just had nowhere else to go. We kid each other that we are still on our 3rd date. She invited me to come stay at her place for the Labor day weekend and I never left :). We will be married 3 yrs end of June and together 5 years end of Aug. She has been an amazing presence in my life. Aside from my daughter she is the first person that I have felt total and unconditional love from. This is my 3rd marriage and my most successful. We laugh everyday, even on the rare days that we argue. She is the first one that the thought of not having her in my life scares me. I know I would survive, but I would never find what we have again. She has gotten me through some pretty rocky times. The divorce I was going through was the divorce from hell. It ended with my adopted twins living with their biological mother (my stepdaughter) and wanting no further contact with me, two years of federal probation and a felony on my record (my ex is a drug addict and I got caught up in that). Anyway back to my wife and one last thing. I call her mocking bird because she is always mocking me but in a joking way. It is one of our fun times :).

The train of thought that started this whole blog actually has to do with compromise and trade offs. My wife and I have made some compromises and trade offs over the past year. Family is super important to my wife and don’t get me wrong it is important to me too, just not to the extent as my wife. Her life revolved around her 5 kids (she was a stay at home mom) and that is something that has not changed now that they are all adults. Her mom was a stay at home mom and I think she gets that devotion from her. My mother was a manic depressive alcoholic and not always there for us and I think that is where I get my let them be adults attitude from. So to get back on track, three years ago we bought an acreage that was a 2 1/2 hour drive from Laurie’s (my wife) kids (my daughter lives in Canada and the twins are in MN). It was just under 5 acres and the house needed to be renovated. We lived there a year and a half. During that time we did quite a bit of renovating in the house and a lot of work fixing up the property. We had chickens and enjoyed fresh eggs every morning. It was so quiet and peaceful. I actually had started blogging about the renovations. It was the perfect place for us considering we are both introverts and really don’t like to be around people that much. At least it was perfect until the kids didn’t start visiting and empty next syndrome hit Laurie real hard. You need to understand that my wife would be perfectly happy with all the kids living with us all the time. At least she feels this way until they do live with us and then she starts needing that time away – it is a viscous cycle. So after giving it a try for a year and half we decided to sell and move back to where the kids are. We sold the house (fairly quickly) and bought a mobile home and moved it into a park in Washington (MO). So now comes the compromises and trade offs. They come in the form of giving up the peace and quiet we so dearly love in exchange for having the kids around. When I say around I mean the youngest, her boyfriend, and new baby (our granddaughter) living with us while they get back on their feet. Child number 4 visits regularly to do laundry, pick up packages, and just visit. We are now watching our grandson (he will be 7 next week) after school several days a week, which means we also get to see his dad, child number 2. Our two oldest both live a distance away so we don’t see them as often. The second oldest we see mainly at family gatherings at my mother-in-law’s. So we went from having neighbors that were half an acre away on either side to neighbors a mere 10 feet away. They are so close we can hear their kids running up and down the hall, with ours and their windows shut. What makes all of this a little harder is my wife’s battle with major depression and anxiety.

So, I have been carrying this train of thought around with me for several days. I am not even sure if I have put it down the way it was rattling around in my head. All I know is that it had to do with the compromises and trade off’s we make in life and especially for those we love. Laurie talks about moving when we have the finances. I know that is something that may not happen for a long time if ever because right now having the family around is far more important then peace and quiet.

Thank you for taking this train ride with me and I hope we didn’t go too far off the track.

Alex

Letting Go

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA
Blair and Brittany

This is my adopted son and daughter (in the middle is daughter’s girlfriend at the time), Blair on the left and Brittany on the right. We (me and my ex-wife) adopted them at birth. Their biological mother is my ex’s daughter – she was 15 at the time.

This picture was taken Aug 3rd, 2015. It would be one of the last pictures I will ever take of them. The time between then and now has not been easy. It has been very hard letting go of them. Below is the story that leads to this point – I will try to keep it short since it is a rather long, twisted story.

Just over 5 yrs ago my life took a drastic change from the path it was on. I was married to an addict (prescription pain killers), had 12 yr old twins, and 3 adult children (2 step, 1 biological). We had a nice 5 bedroom house in a great neighborhood. The kids went to a top rated school. The only kink in all of it was my ex’s addiction. I am not going to say I was happily married because I wasn’t.

It was Dec of 2010 that the first step was taken that would start the domino effect that would lead me to this post. It started with my stepdaughter wanting to find her father, which lead to her finding her uncle. Which it turned out was the lost love of my ex. They were reunited and he moved in to our home (I never knew she was in love with him at the time). All this took place in Dec. In Jan 2011 she told me we needed to get a divorce (this is when I found out she loved him). From there things just got worse. I ended up in a hotel and they ended up in the house with MY kids.

To keep this short – we ended up in court sometime that summer (2011). It did not end until the summer of 2013. By this time my stepdaughter had gained custody of the twins and they were now living a 12 hour drive away (about 3 states). Also during this time I met my wife (Aug 2011) and she changed my life. She has been by my side every step of the way and I am grateful for that every day. During this time I have only seen the twins once and that went very badly. My ex and her “mistake” had managed to turn them against me. My stepdaughter managed to change that some, but she also had her own agenda – which was pretty much getting the twins for herself.

So leap forward to 2015. I have been keeping in contact with the twins on a regular basis. They no longer consider me dad (that ended when my stepdaughter got custody of them and introduced the to their biological dad. Also the ex and her “mistake” and managed to mess with them on that too). We are all working at me being grandpa. Anyways, I have not been able to go see them this whole time because I just did not have the money (we live on my Canadian disability, which has taken a hit because of the exchange rate). We finally had the money to go for a visit in Aug of 2015. Everyone seemed excited about the visit. It was great being able to see them. I was getting used to being grandpa. They are now 16 and I had not been around them since they were 12 so there was some reconnecting that was taking place.

So we spent about 5 days there. Towards the end of the trip things seemed to have changed and not for the good. Brittany was spending less time at the house and seemed distant. Blair didn’t seem any different and him and I spent some time together. So we come to the night before we are due to leave. Brittany takes me outside to have a private talk with me. She basically ends up telling me that she no longer wants any further contact with me. When Blair gets home from work he does the same thing and tells me the same thing. It was the worst thing I have ever had done to me. We packed up the truck and headed home that night.

Since then I have been struggling with letting them go. I have gotten rid of all the pictures of them. I sent them the few baby pictures I had. Every time I find myself being able to just let it go I start to feel guilty. They did this to me, I did not do it to them. So this post is my final farewell so to speak. From this day forward they are totally gone. I can not keep torturing myself with what ifs and if only I had done this.

The really hard part comes when I am asked how many kids do I have. I really don’t know if I still count them as my kids. They don’t count me as their dad anymore, so maybe I should just let it go and not count them either.

Comments on this would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for taking this walk with me.

Alex

 

Forge of Empires

via Forge of Empires.

Well this was not the post I had planned on when I opened WordPress. I could have just deleted this and moved on to what I had planned. However, since it is here I may as well talk about one of my favorite online games.

I was drawn to the game by its TV commercials. I love Sim City and this looked like a game similar to that. You start out building a village and work your way up to the future. So far I have made it to late middle ages. Like all online games you can play for free and move along at a moderate pace or you can invest some money and shoot right along. I play totally free (my finances dictate that) and do fine that way.

You build your city and your army. To advance to a new age you have to research various stuff like production and military items. In your city you build housing, armies, production building, goods buildings, and buildings and decorations that do nothing but increase the happiness of your population. Every building has a purpose.

Anyway, if you like games that require some thinking this may be the game for you.

Check it out and if you start playing let them know I sent you :).

Thank you for joining me on this walk down the gaming trail.

Till next time,

Alex

Triggers

The kind of triggers I am talking about here are the ones that trigger a memory. You know like smells, sounds, etc.

One of my triggers is the smell of lemon furniture polish. Every time I smell it I am taken back to an apartment we lived in when I was about 10 yrs old. It was in Whitehorse, Yukon. I remember a report I did on the kangaroo. It is like I am back there. There are some not so good memories of that place, I am just glad that the trigger brings back good ones.

Another trigger is the song Knock Three Times by Tony Orlando and Dawn (yes I am aging myself). Every time I hear that song it takes me back to another apartment we lived in (we moved a lot). I don’t remember how old I was or where it was. It does take me back to a specific Christmas in that apartment. I remember that me and my little sister could not sleep on Christmas eve we were so excited. I remember my mom giving us our stockings really early in the morning so that we would be occupied till everyone else got up. It is one of my “happy” memories.

So what triggers a memory for you? Is it a sound or maybe a smell. Whatever it is I hope it brings back fond memories.

Thank you for walking with me. Take care till we meet again.

Alex

Christmas spirit.

My Christmas spirit left me a long time ago and I don’t know how to find it again. I am not even sure what it is. If I was hard pressed to define it I would have to say for me it is about family. About being together and creating traditions. Driving around looking at the light displays. Walking around from store to store trying to find that perfect gift or making it. It is a gentle snow fall on Christmas eve while sitting inside snug and warm watching a Christmas movie. It is listening to Christmas music, the traditional stuff not what passes for it these days.

What gets you into the Christmas spirit? Are you a humbug or poster child for Christmas? I would love to read your comments and views on this subject.

I am not religious but we do attend midnight service at my wife’s church on Christmas eve. It is not about putting “Christ” back into Christmas or having enough money to buy all the gifts I want to (we don’t have money for any gifts and make what we can). There is something else missing and I just don’t know what.

Take care and thanks for walking with me down the Christmas trail.

Alex

Not so easy

When I revamped my blog I had every intention of posting daily. I am finding that is not an easy thing to do. It is not because I don’t have anything to post. My mind is filled daily with stuff I would love to get out of there and down here. It really isn’t about not having the time. I spend a lot of time playing Forge of Empires, Candy Soda Crush, plus a few other facebook games that I do in the morning. So what is the problem?

I think part of it is energy. It takes a great amount of energy for me to do anything that requires a mental effort. It is one of the CFS (Chronic Fatigue Issues) I deal with. Physical exertion drains it too, but I seem to recover from that easier.

Right now I am dealing with a lot in my life. We have adult children who have moved in with us and that is not a positive thing. My wife is dealing with withdrawal from her anti-depression medicine and it has been a nightmare for her. She is my world and I will not let her go through a minute of this alone. I have not fully dealt with the loss of my twins (that is a separate post). We sold our acreage and moved back to the area my wife grew up – this was a positive thing, except the move was a nightmare.

I have been sick 26 yrs and just about 9 mths (on the 13th). In all that time I am still reminded daily of the limitation of my illness. I still try to a normal life. Each and every day my body reminds me how foolish I have been. That is what makes doing this blog daily not so easy. I will sit in my office/art room and not have anything to do but write this blog. What keeps me from doing it is the mental exhaustion I am feeling. Today I have pushed past it and written this one. I am hoping I can keep it up.

Thank you for the patients, your time, and your ear to bend.

Enjoy the walk and don’t forget to look up and take in the wonderful colors the world has to offer.

Alex

A new direction

I am taking my blog in a new direction. I originally was blogging about renovating our house. It was actually the main reason for starting the blog. We have sold the acreage and the house so there are no renovations to blog about. There is however lots of other things to blog about. It has been a stressful year for myself and my wife. I will be using my blog as an outlet for all that stress.

I hope you enjoy the new direction and the content I hope to post daily. It will be my therapy of sorts. I am hoping to talk to anyone who reads it like you are a friend sitting here with me.

Here is to new beginnings and new friends. I think we all can use both at times.

Take care my friends.

Alex

Dew, webs, spiders

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA        GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

These are pictures of the back part of our field, taken from our bedroom window.  The white stuff you see is not snow, rocks, dirt, etc.  The white stuff you see is dew on spider webs. That is a crap load of spider webs and that would mean a crap load of spiders.  I know they help keep bad bugs down but I still don’t like them.

I was looking at it with binoculars and handed them to my wife.  I asked her what that was and was not happy to hear her say spider webs.  One of the joys of living rural I guess :).