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  1. Finding Home by Diana DeRicci My rating: 5 of 5 stars Sometimes, I like a feel good story. Diana DeRicci's story, Finding Home, starts out rough for our main character, Parker. He's gotten the crap kicked out of him by life. Sometimes, pride is all a person has left but Parker takes the ride and the $20 offered to him by a well-meaning older man. Even more amazingly... just a short time later, he takes the help offered by a local gay couple, one of which is a local cop, to stick around for a while. People pop up to help Parker settle in to Jasper. No one offers him a handout after the initial effort of the ride and a bit of money for food, but they certainly offer him a hand up. I loved the realism of the struggles Parker faces as he begins to stand on his own two feet once more. Diana could've given us a pat romance device of uniting Parker with his first love, and the reason for his journey on the road, but she's a better writer than that. I loved the interweaving of Parker's past life and people from it with the connections he was making in the present with Ian and Caleb's families. I adored Summer, as we were meant to, of course. Okay, so the plot moves a bit fast for all the changes and the emotional leaps for the characters. I'd have enjoyed more story and getting to know Parker and his romantic interest more as a couple. That, however, is exactly what every really good story I read leaves me wanting. I know as an author that isn't always the way it works, but as a reader, I WANT! lol All in all, I definitely recommend reading this story! Oh, and I read this outside of the series, having never read the first or second, and had no troubles keeping up with the story as a stand alone. I'm sure I might have been more familiar with a few of the other characters had I read it after them, but it wasn't necessary. View all my reviews
  2. Okay, I have been in physical therapy for two weeks now, and have finally found my first bit of relief. Yesterday, my therapy took a new direction. In addition to the chiropractor , I have begun trigger point therapy. Basically, they insert needles into the muscles of my back and inject something to force the muscles to relax. I hadn't realized how tight the muscles were, but a day later my back is in constant ache mode. I will take that as a success. At work one of the women I really get along with is leaving. Her position is open and I am applying for it. It would mean a set schedule, no closings, and Saturdays off. It would be the closest I come to working a 9 to 5 job while in retail. Wish me luck. Dad is doing okay. My second cousin is up to see the family, her friends, and take care of a few odds and ends before her wedding. With my back an hour is the outer limits of what I can do right now. Traveling down to Western Pennsylvania for her wedding isn't something I can do by next month. So I got to see her today. A friend is going through what can only be a really rough patch in his life. No one should have to deal with the blows he has had recently. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. Meanwhile, another friend has graced me with a package. I love and look forward to a card so you know I was like a little kid at Christmas. Thank you Jo Ann. Your thoughtfulness is appreciated. To my friends, well beware started another round of postcards. Stay well and be happy.
  3. I dunno but i’m just going to write down everything that is running through my head right now. but I honestly do not understand any of this. It started with small argument between my parents in the past year or so, slowly building up getting more and more severe over small things neither would listen to the other because the other wouldn’t listen to them. Things got worse but they concealed it from me and my little sister who is still ignorant. Slowly my dad got more and more possessive and controlling, while my mother slowly ceased to really care. They got agitated over more and more trifling subjects. It took a while but things started to look up when it seemed like my sister had a shot at getting on the junior british squad for her sport. The pair of them went to the pub, it seemed like a normal evening of mid november, but when they came back they came back separately. My mum went to go back to bed and my dad smashed open the back door and started screaming at my mum, and my mother screamed back complaining that he had kicked her in the shin. (Her lower legs were swollen at the time due to “underlying” health issues according to the doctor. So i went down to mediate the situation and remind them that my sister was asleep. I left once the situation looked under control. A short while later the shouting started again, this time more serious than before. I didn’t intervene as my mother left the house. I found out later that evening my father had threatened to kill my mother. But before this i thought everything would calm down. But i could hear smashing and crashing so i thought perhaps he’d hurt himself. So i went to see what was happening to find my dad smashing everything up, from the kitchen to the front lounge. Only to end up haveing bit of the kitchen unit lobbed at me. So i swiftly left to my room. I sorted out my room with enough space for my little sister, I got her from her room and put her near me. Cause ever fiber of my mind had judged my dad as a threat to myself and my sister. I thought maybe he’ll calm down and go to sleep. Not too long later he stormed in screaming “I’ll kill her, if she’s not back in 10 minutes. I’ll kill her. Tell her that.” It took him awhile to realised he’d scared the shit out of my sister. As soon as it was quiet enough to leave, i took my sister and we left the house. I didn’t care that it was 4 am. All I knew is my dad wasn’t sane, sober or thinking straight and a danger to myself and my sisters well being. I walked down the road with my sister and across to the local shops planning to go to my friends. Yeah i was just going to waltz into my best friends house and sleep on the sofa with my sister. but my mums friend phoned me telling me she’d phoned the police and they were coming to drop us off at hers, which is where my mum had fled too. We waited for the police, until they came. My little sister rather panicked, over what had happened was occurring. My mum decided we were going to go stay with her parents for a while so we spent almost two months there. No college for me, no school for my sister. My mother she was and emotional wreck and still is. Well both me and my sister decided we’d see him on weekends eventually. But currently they’re both bitching about the other. neither has realised that they issues upstairs arn’t going to be solved like that. You know for a while I was the sane mind, in the family. Ha yeah me Who trusts almost no one. And certainly relies on no one. But in the end I became emotionless as i was over my nans death. Yeah i liked her. But for some reason I had still have no feeling on the event and what occurred. But you know its not just that, my mother is trying to be someone she’s not and is now seriously suffering from depression and barely getting anything done. My father he’s spinning a web of words into my little sister ear, he can try all he likes to spin his web with me but i know the trick as i taught it to myself to knock the bullies down in school. So now my father probably doesn’t realise he’s polluting my sisters mind and she is saying thoughtless things around my mother that is sinking her deeper into depression. What are my feeling on this, I think about what each of them has done to wrong me. Then tally them up. But for some reason on this whole matter i have no emotions, all I want to do is LEAVE. but i know i can’t leave my sister to sit there and be broken by both of my parents shattered emotions, words & deceit. But when it comes down to it both my parents have made me feel like i’m worthless, and never going to amount to anything. It is one thing to be told these words by your peers but when your own parents say the words, it becomes a part of you. That you never escape. And to be honest, ever since my father backed up the word of my peers. I’ve felt like even if i try i’m going to fail. So why bother smiling and trying and continueing if you're only going to fail and never amount to anything. I’ll tell you something if it wasn’t for my best friend who fell in to anxiety issues and depression. I wouldn’t be here. Cause everyday I wake up thinking how stupid I am how fat, worthless and how i’m never going to make it through life, every single Stupid, Dumb or things i’ve done wrong throughout my life flashes through my mind. And everytime I try to sleep the same things flash through my mind till i have to cry myself to sleep. But that one thing that keeps me going everyday, is that I care for my friends before I care for myself. So I try to forget, everything that makes me upset, feel worthless all for the sake of my friend I smile and pretend i’m okay. I have this issue that I can’t cry when people are around, because after all I can’t trust or rely on anyone but myself. So I try my best never to look like these are the thoughts running through my head. So in the end I just become numb, neutral. It looks like i don’t care but I care, I do. They think no matter what we say you’ll be fine, it won’t affect you. they’re words and actions sting more than anything else. In the end the person I can’t forgive the most is myself. So today I wrote this to tell you all, because you can’t alway not explain sometimes you need to explain it to another to explain it to yourself. When I was younger i wanted to kill myself. Today I just want to leave and start anew, somewhere away from where I grew up and different from how i’ve lived till now. If you read this thanks, just for reading it. Just knowing that someone had read about my situation from myself I hope it lift my burden slightly. Cause I know that just writing this has lifted it a lot.
  4. I spent the 4th of July at my sister's house in the boondocks. She had a lot of friends over, as well as the in-laws-to-be, and we sat around and had lots of food, set off fireworks, and got to know the people that I'll be calling family soon enough. Seven years ago, my sister Chrissy was in this horrible relationship with a loser cokehead named John. She was engaged to be married to him, and luckily, that fizzled out and she met a much better guy named Mike. They're getting married in September at this nice country club on the outskirts of my college town. It was a happy day for me- watching how my sister at 28 has found a certain peace that you wouldn't expect with the kind of background we've had. She has a nursing career she loves, friends that adore her, and a wonderful fiancee that I will be proud to call my brother-in-law soon enough. I'm walking her down the aisle (since, you know, our dad is nowhere to be found), and I'm glad I'll be gving her away to this nice, sweet guy that loves her. Contrast that to the girl she was at 17- barely passing 11th grade, in a relationship with a guy that our family couldn't stand, working her ass off at a dead-end job in McDonald's to help keep the light on at our apartment- and I just think, "Wow, she's really come a long way, and she's matured into one hell of a woman". As a guy who's trying to navigate the road to adulthood, and sees the end of his college years looming, it's nice to have a sibling that can kinda "show" the way. I mean, not that I plan on taking the same sort of path- but it's nice to know that she, along with my oldest sister Jenny, found a way to a good, stable life despite all the hardship we all suffered as children .
  5. So Sister #3 told Sister #1 that I got money from our mother. I got an extremely nasty voicemail from my sister about how I need to stop accepting money from Mom, because I'm too old to do so and I need to support myself. You would think she would have a point, except 1.) the only reason I need money from Mom at all is because my mom used my credit cards for things like keeping on the utilities- nearly everything on my card comes from that, it's why I have to pay 300 dollars a month, and that is why my mom sends me money to pay for it, and 2.) my sister who sent me that nasty voicemail was living with us for very little money when she was bouncing between jobs at the age of 24 to 26. She has no room to speak at all. Sister #3 complains about the power being cut off at the house, but that sure didn't seem to stop her from going on multiple trips to Syracuse, Washington State, and the Outerbanks while not giving any kind of rent money to Mom. And it's somehow my fault that the power got cut off at the house, because of 75 dollars my mom sent to me. Right. I am starting to think that getting away from home for grad school instead of staying close by is the best decision I've made in my life.
  6. My whole family is bitching at me right now because I'm applying to this school called Millersville Univeristy, which is, at an hour and a half away, 'too far' for me to go, and 'isn't a good school'. They keep bitching at me to apply to a closer school in the area, and look at closer area schools, which I have! They are either too good for me to get into, or they don't have my program. Then they bitch about me about how I need to take educational courses if I'm going to be a community college professor- which isn't even true, because I've asked professors time and time again. They tell me I should apply to my undergad school, like there's a chance in hell I'm going to get in with a 2.64 GPA. They don't seem to understand that I don't have a whole hell lot of options. Ugh, ugh, and ugh.
  7. After a few rocky weeks, our lives are returning to normal. Well, normal for us. Two working adults, with one car, mornings starting at 4:45 AM. Two kids in high school, one with a job, the other with after school commitments until 9 PM. Weekends are full of their events, family time, household chores and on and on ad nauseum. People are often shocked at that. Well, yes, it seems a lot. But it’s normal for us. Normal, now there’s a word I’m not to sure about. What is “NORMAL?” We hear about “the new normal.” Kindergarten kids have lock down and active shooter drills. “Oh, well, that’s the new normal.” More and more people are utilizing food banks, and low income housing. “That’s the new normal in this economy.” But, they aren’t normal. They’re outside the norm, aren’t they? So, is normal a fluid concept? What was normal to our great grandparents during the Great Depression wasn’t normal to our parents in the 1960’s. And it sure as hell heck isn’t normal to this mom in the 21st century! And, the definition of normal is boring, and I mean like BOOORING!! Merriam-Webster says: conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle But who wants to conform to a norm, or a type? Why? Who wants this? Aren’t we all individuals? Why do I have to conform to some outdated definition of a word that changes its meaning. Okay, okay, I know there are societal norms that we all need to follow, you know, like wearing pants when you go out in public, and not talking with food in your mouth. But really? Who wants to be normal? I live near Austin. Their motto is “Keep Austin Weird.” There’s a statue going up of a homeless man known as Leslie, who roller skated all over town in a bikini, and ran for mayor 3 times.(He actually came in second once! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leslie_Cochran) I raised my kids constantly telling them that normal is overrated. And who wants lock down drills and not being able to buy your own home “normal?” Normal sounds like an insult, “Why can’t you like chocolate like a normal person?” “Why don’t you wear a dress like a normal girl?” “Normal boys don’t take dance class.” Normal sounds so blah. Normal sounds like average, like beige, the four door sedans of the automotive world. I don’t want to be average, or blend in. Now, I can understand the concept of NORMAL, as it relates to me and my family. But it’s really an illusion, isn’t it? Because MY normal isn’t YOUR normal and it’s not HIS normal. So why should this word be applied willy nilly to all things? Is there anything that is really NORMAL anymore? Was anything ever NORMAL? And is that good, or not? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
  8. Drove up to see my Aunt this morning before she passes. Mom and I went over once I got into town. There was enough of an awareness that when mom said we were there, her breathing rate changed. Almost like she was struggling to the surface. I told her to relax -- that she didn't need to respond to us, and sat holding her hand. Told her I loved her. Weren't there too long, but by the time we left her breathing had settled back into a calm and regular (if shallow) pace. Her blood pressure (top number) was in the 50's when I left to come home. They expect she'll go this weekend. My youngest Aunt is, again, holding everything together for everyone else. Just once I'd like for her to be able to be the one to fall apart -- let someone else "hold it together" to help everyone else cope.
  9. I'm back, getting my creative juices flowing and trying to earn discreetly online. A lot has been happening at home and it's been driving me up the wall. It hasn't been the most pleasant experience and it makes me sad that I've been on and off with all my projects mainly because I'm in hiding with my family. But, I refuse to just stop and give up. I keep holding onto these little bits of myself that I feel matter. In the society I'm in, creativity is a waste of time most of the time. It's rather half-assed. I'd like to believe in the potential of a creative and adaptive mind. I'm definitely brooding something personal. Fights and arguments with my folks just fuel this fire to just be better than all of them, and hopefully step on them when the time comes. I've lost most sympathies for them, which I didn't plan and yet can't help but feel. So I came back with a few story updates. I'd been revising the flow and pacing for some of them, so I hope they're to your liking. I posted updates to my long-running series A Frigid Grasp and His Happiness. So have a read and enjoy! I'm aiming for weekly updates so please follow the stories if you enjoy them.
  10. It's been a long and crazy year. SP just left for work; we'll stay up & have a glass of Champaign when he gets home. Spent some time this week working on his house, but not as much as he would have liked. We have got a lot accomplished (I think). We made Hoppin' John for supper tonight, and there's enough for lunch tomorrow (a VERY Southern US dish for New Years that, in it's most basic form, contains rice, black eyed peas, ham and/or bacon, green bell pepper, and some cayenne pepper for a bit of heat). I'm going to attempt to make a tourtière [Quebec mixed-meat savory pie] for supper tomorrow night. Hopefully, it turns out well. Wish me luck. Our professional photographer should have our wedding pics done in the next few days; possibly as early as tomorrow. But thought I'd share this one of SP and I that my brother took [hope the link works]. We make each other very happy.
  11. August 29, 1987 Los Lobos were on top of the US charts with “La Bamba.” In the UK it was Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.” Nolan Ryan passed the 200-strikeout barrier for a record 11th time. Ronald Reagan was President, Margaret Thatcher was the British PM, Brian Mulroney was the PM in Canada. Actor Lee Marvin died that day as well. It was a really warm Saturday afternoon in Denver, Colorado. The church was pretty full. The bride was crying happy tears. The preacher got angry when someone stood up to take a picture of the bride and groom. They were certainly very young, she was 23, He was 22. When they left the church, there was about 2 pounds of birdseed tossed in the air. Some of it got stuck in the bride's corset. The bride and Groom made their way to the reception venue slowly. The Groom’s aunties were providing the food, it was good and it was plentiful. There was no dancing as the Groom doesn’t dance. There was a string quartet playing quietly. There was, however, lots of hugging, and more tears. After the food was gone and people had eaten some cake the bride and Groom made their way to a nice hotel for the night. They decided to order a pizza and have a shower. He helped her out of the dress and corset, wiped the birdseed off and told her He loved her. After they showered, they called for pizza, turned on the Denver Broncos preseason game (Denver 24 - LA Rams 20) and promptly fell asleep. The pizza delivery guy woke them about 30 minutes later. That was 34 years ago. A lot has happened in those years. 2 cats, 5 dogs, 9 cars, 3 kids. 10 different addresses. 2 different states. It wasn’t all pretty, there were some really dark times. Even looking back, it’s sometimes hard to believe that they made it through. The one constant has been their love for each other. And the laughter. She told Him today, she’d do it all over again.
  12. Today, my younger brother is the bravest person i know. 2 years ago, my nephew was killed on his first day of university. Today, he and my sister-in-law, took my niece to school to begin her freshman year. What makes this so much more than just hard, is that not only is this a reminder of that day in 2019, but my niece is out of state. 848.2 miles; 1365.0456 km; 12 hours; 29 minutes; two days by car; away from anyone who knows her. my Husband and i talked about this on Wednesday when they began their trip. We can’t begin to imagine the painful memories this drags up. How hard it is to leave your only child that far away. i can’t stop thinking about it. Heck i had a hard time when Daughter went to the coast with her high school culinary team. Number One Son is in Denver this weekend, and i’ve already tracked his flight to make sure he landed safely. i’ve reached out to him, offered him virtual hugs, let him know how proud i am of him and his wife. And how proud i am of their daughter, for following her dream and working through this grief. i imagine it's pretty damn scary for her too. It’s important, i think, to tell people things like this. If you’ve done something hard, whether other people see it as hard or not, be proud of yourself. i’m proud of you too.
  13. Never mind the title; that was just a cheap ruse to get some views. I know how your filthy minds work, but this is a family blog. It’s been more than three years since I last had a vacation, so now the restrictions have eased, I’ve decided to visit my sister out west. She is the third of my five sisters in terms of age and was the oldest of my adopted siblings still living at home when I joined the family as a young teenager. We bonded quickly, and she soon became my closest confidant. She was the first person to guess my sexuality at a time when even I wasn’t entirely sure, and she helped me to hide it from our parents until I was ready to come out. I even met my first boyfriend through her. He lived further than I could walk, so she would drive me to his house after school and pick me up later in the evening. Everyone knew I was up to something, but they assumed I was meeting a girl, and my sister did all she could to encourage this misconception. Such loyalty deserves a reward, and in return, I would open the back door so she could sneak in late from her boyfriend’s house. We didn’t have air-conditioning, so in the summer, I used to sleep in the basement where it was cooler, and she would tap on the window by my bed to wake me. Needless to say, we’re pretty close, and I’m looking forward to seeing her again, four years after she left for the boonies, but it’s not going to be easy. In Canada, everywhere is far away, and my sister lives three time zones from me on the Pacific coast. For someone who spent most of his childhood living in a city where you couldn’t drive for more than a few hours in any direction without ending up in the sea, it took a while for me to appreciate the sheer size of this country. To visit my sister, I have to endure a five-hour flight to Vancouver, followed by an hour on a small seaplane and another hour’s drive from the dock into the wilderness. I’m told she has a Jeep; I suspect a bull-whip too. Indiana Jones springs to mind, and I can remember watching those movies with her as a teenager and sharing the same unhealthy obsession with Harrison Ford. Door to door should take about sixteen hours. Of course, it’s quicker and easier for me to get to Europe and only slightly less distance, but it will be worth the hassle to see her in the flesh again. That sentence alone will ensure her favourite sibling is treated like a king. I’m a sly fox; she taught me well. Until now, Calgary is the furthest west I’ve been, and I shall never forget watching the bareback riding with my brother at the famous Stampede a few years ago. Make of that what you will, but it was an experience not for the faint of heart, and I’ve been dying to get back there ever since. Cowtown is a cool place to be in the summer, especially during the Stampede when the city is thronging with cowboys. If you’re reading this, I hope you appreciate the plug, @wildone. I'll be back there someday. On a serious note, I enjoy travelling; it’s in my blood. But I’m not irresponsible, and I understand that this virus has yet to be defeated. I’ve followed the rules from the beginning, isolating to the point of depression, but now I crave close family—something I took for granted for so many years. Living on my own hasn’t been easy, but my life is comfortable, and despite often working in areas of high infection, I haven’t been sick. I’m grateful for that and looking forward to finally crossing the Rocky Mountains.
  14. This has been a long, weird week. Am i glad it's over? Well that's a loaded question. Last Monday the process of getting new flooring started. See, the landlady is having tile floors installed. Phil & the boys were shifting furniture around the house each day. It's an enormous mess & stressful for me to be in such a chaotic environment. i have an online class i'm taking & with the mess at home i've had to find other places to do that. Luckily, we have a great coffee shop in town that has fast WiFi. At work, there is more change. Two of my favorite co-workers are leaving. One is retiring. i am so happy for him, but dread losing him as a teammate. The other one was poached by one of my best clients. He's been with us since he graduated from University. He was a manager and we have no one internally who can take on that role. We'll manage of course, but he was a big part of our recent successes. So, Friday was emotional to say the least. The tiling crew, two guys, finished late Saturday afternoon. We worked until 8 or 9 putting things away. For the first time since Monday night, everyone was in their own beds. Today, i went thru a box of Swiffer dusters cleaning. There is dust everywhere! i have swept the floors and lightly mopped them to get grout residue off them. We are grateful to have the landlady we do, & the floors look nice. But it took a toll on all of us. Yesterday would have been my nephew's 21st birthday. i called my brother to tell him they were in my thoughts. it was a hard conversation. What do you say in those situations? Lastly, today is the anniversary of my mom's passing. i have missed her. much more than i thought i would. i talked to my dad & my sister today. They both sounded rough. For the first time in a long time, i wanted to be with my sister. So, yeah. A weird week. As for being glad it's over, i think i am. thanks for reading
  15. Brother [M] called at 1:44am this morning. Dad -- who would have turned 100 on Oct. 7th -- had been sliding a bit but not rapidly. We expected something soon - but not this soon. He was hurting quite a bit last night so Hospice gave him what M called "a very tiny amount" of morphine just to knock the edge off the pain. Before he left they said his vital signs were really good. He hadn't been sleeping that well. The morphine allowed him to relax enough to go into a deep sleep and...just didn't wake up. Much worse ways to go (like watching mom linger for four days), and he had a long life. He'd outlived everyone except my brother and I -- all of his siblings, all of his friends. And we know he was ready to go. He's made that statement for some time. So, a lot of conflicting emotions at the moment.
  16. A "transmission arm" broke early this afternoon in the city where my brother and parents live, leaving about 1/5 of the town without power (just under 10.4 thousand). Naturally, my charming brother didn't bother to text me until FOUR HOURS LATER to say that he still had power and mom & dad were with him. I hadn't had the TV on all day and hadn't heard anything about it. Aunt was without power too. Heat index there today was 108° F at 3pm. Can't find anything that gives trivial little details like why the line broke. 😕 He txt'd back a bit ago to say that mom & my Aunt had power but don't know about dad yet. Just glad that mom & dad had a place to go. Hate to think of the other elderly people in their buildings that didn't have anywhere else they could stay.
  17. SP and I are going to start pre-marriage counseling next week. Expect it to be a bit rough, but good in the long run. There are things in his past he thinks he's dealt with, that I don't think he has. We've had a few difficult conversations the last week -- not helped by my pain level having been extremely high for three days now -- but we'll work through things.
  18. Okay, so approximately two and half months ago my part of the world shut down. Public transport became empty, restaurants shut down, doctor offices closed, and life as we knew it came to a standstill. My job also closed but I was lucky, the pay kept rolling in. Then a month and a half in the company furloughed all part-timers and 20% of the full timers. However, once again I was lucky and the pay keeps coming in. They decided last week to reopen. We are paid for 36 hours and any hours we actually work we get an addition $2 an hour for. I am not complaining. After three years of health issues, I have been blessed not to catch this. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean everything has been great. Back in November my dad began to complain about his sense of smell. He was going to see his doctor and a lung specialist. He had been put on a nebulizer and figure that might be the issue. February rolls around and he heads to see the vein doctor and again is having issues and mentions it. The vein doctor suggests dad go see a nose, throat, and ear specialist. Enter Covid 19 and the close down. The second to last week of May, dad wakes me at one am. He is in deep pain, in his eyes. I call his eye doctor, who calls back before two am and has us meet her at her office. She states dad has an infection in his eyes, prescribes meds, is grateful that we listened and didn't take a chance to expose dad to covid by going to the hospital. Woman is a saint of a doctor. We feel things are looking up. The last week of May he finally gets to see the doctor for the nose. He finds my dad's nose has a lot of growths and has basically sealed the left nostril and part of the right. He doesn't do that surgery any more. He sends Dad for tests and an associate who works 30 minutes away, towards the city. The second Doctor sees the growths but also believes he spots a tumor and wants us to see a brain surgeon and go for better testing. The test was last Wednesday. There is a tumor growing behind the nasal passage, warping the bone between the nasal passage and the eye socket. However the brain surgeon is in Great Neck, minutes from NYC and has my dad panicked. He wrote the first doctor back begging him to do the surgery. He stated he doesn't handle that. He agreed to find him another doctor to handle the growths, not the tumor, and he is going to have them removed this Thursday. He wants to cancel the consultation with the brain surgeon on Friday. Meanwhile I am now stressed out, eating things I should not, and trying hard to just keep myself going. I was lucky to have two beautiful people help with a story I'd written for the Anthology but never managed to get fixed in time. I'll get it up when I can. Just didn't want things to crash and burn but they did. Wish me luck. At 81 my Dad is stubborn and a trip into NYC probably isn't going to happen.
  19. i have a "Grateful Jar" and it's been a little lonely lately. i'm finding being grateful is a little harder these days, with so much “taken away.” i thought about that tonight while i re-read some blogs, poems and stories here. Looking back at what people have written, stories about hardship, blogs about overcoming obstacles. i heard the kids hanging out together while Phil and i were on the couch. It was a combination that had me thinking about what i have, what makes me happy. i am grateful for my Husband He has been calm and steady through this whole “thing.” He’s had His own issues to be sure. He wasn’t able to bring His large monitors home. Not that we have room for them, but having to figure out how He’s going to do His job when He can’t see everything on a small laptop screen was just the first obstacle. He is always there with an encouraging word, or glance. He’s running all those errands to the store when we can’t get a timely pickup, to the pharmacy so i don’t have to. i am grateful for my family Though our house is small, and noisy, there is a genuine feeling here that we all like each other. Several times recently i’ve almost been in tears hearing the laughter, whispered conversations, and the not so whispered conversations, between the kids. We’ve been making it a point to eat together as much as possible. With work schedules being what they are, that’s usually just lunch. But when we’re all home for dinner, we eat together. It brings me great joy to fix meals that everyone loves so much, there are no leftovers. i am grateful for my job My 5 year anniversary is Tuesday, and the people i work with, and for, are pretty great. Our CEO has been holding regular “all hands” meetings to keep us in the loop as to what’s going on with our parent company in Brussels. We found out this past week that the entire upper management level has taken pay cuts so that those of us below won’t need to make bigger sacrifices than we already have. i know that i am lucky, many people have lost jobs, or have taken significant cuts to their income. My team, 14 when we’re all in the office, is having weekly virtual happy hours. The “Fun and Games Committee” has planned a rotating get together next week to say farewell to one of our guys who is being deployed to North Africa. There’s been a great pulling together to cover tasks that are “usually” done by others. i am grateful for technology This thing called the internet has it’s problems. Cyberstalking, the ability to hide behind the keyboard and be snarky, and mean. But, it has allowed us all to connect in so many different ways. We can send pictures almost instantaneously, no need to wait for a week, or even one hour for photos to be developed. Then you’d have to mail them to someone to share. i can hear my sister say she’s fine, but through video chat i can see dark circles under her eyes. We can work from the safety (and comfort) of our homes. No need to wait for a bus, or fight through rush hour traffic. Also, working in yoga pants is pretty great! i am grateful for my friends, local and online Throughout this whole time, there’s been a lot of contact. Instant messaging, texting, emails, phone calls. One night, there was even a driveway/tailgate happy hour. Messages of support, offers to run errands. Quick text messages, “I got a pick up time at the grocery store for tomorrow. Need anything right away?” One friend is a retired nurse, she made everyone masks. It helps, you know, to know that other people are having the same problems with isolation. It’s good to know that you aren’t the only human feeling this way. My online friends have shared news, interesting, fascinating articles with hints on handling the emotional aspect of isolation. They’ve been here to listen to rants, and raves. We’ve shared recipes, physical and mental health issues. i am grateful for online shopping i had been doing the weekly groceries online for some time before “all this” and it was very convenient. It became a little less so with everyone else using the system, pickup times went a week out, some of our favorite items were now “out of stock” or “limited to XX number per order. (We can only get five fresh meat items with any order still). That’s eased a little now. For example, i placed the grocery order Saturday, before 10:00 AM and the earliest pick up was 5:30 PM Sunday. There are still limits, and there is a chance that what i've ordered i won't get. But i don't have to go into the store, packed in with everyone else. i am grateful for my dogs Now that they’ve calmed down with everyone hanging out at home all the time, they’ve been great. Our Border Collie, Bella, stays by me most of the day, she sleeps under the table while i’m working. Rubin, the lab mix, well he’s busted into a couple of Phil’s team meetings. Jumping up on the couch for a cuddle while the meeting’s going on. It’s so funny to hear everyone going on about the dog, and the meeting being derailed. They’re always there for a cuddle, or a laugh. i am grateful for comfy sheets Sleeping has not been as easy as it once was. i’m thinking it’s the increased stress. But we’ve been keeping the comfy flannel sheets on the bed. i make the bed up every morning because i like the way it feels sliding into a crisply made up bed. Also, because of this. There are mornings when those comfy sheets try to coerce me into staying in bed a little longer. i am grateful for long drives in the country What a boredom buster those have been! Just to get out from within these four walls. No destination, just a direction! Sunshine, fresh air, music and talk. Nothing big or heavy, just … talk. There are still an abundance of wildflowers on the roadsides. There are sheep, goats, cows, and their babies. Occasionally we’ve seen small herds of deer back in the trees. The hawks and buzzards are soaring in the sky. We’ve driven through small towns with restaurants we might want to come back to, when we’re able. i guess finding things to be grateful for just took a little thought. And now, if y’all will excuse me, i think i’ll go drop these things into my Grateful Jar.
  20. My brother got dad moved into his new facility yesterday -- or, more accurately, watched as staff got him moved. Sent me a pic of the room through the window; looks nice from what I could see. Said dad was able to walk [using a walker] from the car to his room, but also asked if he would still be in the Army. 😢 Dad's not been in the Army since the end of WWII. Hoping that by the time SP and I am able to get up there to see him he still remembers who I am. It's been very upsetting and I'm glad to have SP by my side supporting me emotionally through this.
  21. my mind went wandering today... Having a tall son means that the windows of your SUV get cleaned well while he pumps gas Having mostly grown kids means you can say "This house needs cleaned up" & no one asks "What do you want us to do?" Daughter started assigning jobs & they got busy (ok there was some sighing & eye rolling). Having mostly grown kids who can think for themselves (mostly, lol!) means they know to take the big trash can to the curb when you say "i need someone to come take the trash out." Having mostly grown kids means that the laundry gets done without intense supervision Having mostly grown kids who all have jobs means that when you leave something they needed off the grocery list, they say “That’s ok Ma. I’ll order it from Amazon.” Having mostly grown kids means you can share questionable online jokes and memes Having mostly grown kids who all have jobs means they’ll spring for lunch when you’re out running errands. Having mostly grown kids means hugs and cuddles are fewer and farther between. but when they come, they’re a little bit sweeter. Having mostly grown kids means they need less and less from me. Having mostly grown kids means that soon they’ll all be gone from home. Having mostly grown kids means that my job description is changing, and i don't know how i feel about that.
  22. Dad is getting settled into the new assisted living facility. We've been told he could be confused for a month or so still. Went up yesterday to help my brother sort through the remaining things in dad's old apartment in the independent living center - piles for me, piles for him, piles to move, piles to donate. Extremely depressing. Like dividing up someones things after they've died - thought I guess there is a bit less emotion to doing it now. Brother has finally admitted that dad is 98 and is pretty much done with things. I really don't see him hanging around much longer because he has no real desire to do so. Will need to try to go back up in a couple of weekends, and maybe take SP with me this time.
  23. Warning: This is me whining, but trying to get my thoughts in order by writing them out. I left work early today not knowing if I was going to start screaming or crying; or just start doing both. This week has not been a good one. The weather keeps shifting back and forth by large jumps so the joints can't get back in balance before the next front hits. This is keeping my pain level above normal, and that is increasing my depression, and that is increasing my level of irritation. Partly because of this and partly -- I think -- because of the increased feelings for SP, C has been on my mind a lot the last few days. SP knows something is up because he reminded me he was there if I needed to talk. I wasn't going to because I don't want him to think he's competing for my love with a ghost, but I'm finding that to be deceitful; lies of omission. So I've decided I need to talk to him about C being in my dreams and how that relates to our beginnings. I'm pretty sure that SP will understand where these things are coming from. I've already said that my love for C will always be there. That won't fade as my love for SP grows, and he is aware of that. He actually brought up polyamory, and that is what led to that conversation. It's nice to be dating someone who is open to the idea of polyamory and the possibility of finding a third -- for the long term -- once our foundation is set. I Will Love You by Gin Wigmore came on this morning and I thought I was going to break down in my office - "So if you die before I do, I know the heartache will kill me too. So if I ever live again, It will be to find you." My brother sent a txt this afternoon telling me to call him when I had a chance. He never does that so I knew it wasn't good news. They brought dad from Skilled Nursing back to where he's been living for the last 9 years. Both my brother and I thought his memory would be better once he was back in familiar surroundings, but... doesn't look like it's going to be. He really didn't remember the building. He remembered the tractor in front of his door and a few other things but asked if he had lived there before. He didn't quite remember the person who's been cleaning his room for the last several years (who was sweet enough to come see him when he was in the hospital). Dad's also lost weight (11 pounds), which isn't good, and he's not as strong walking as he has been just a few days ago. Something is still wrong with his back. Nothing is broken but there's still too much pain for there to be nothing wrong. He did ask my sister in law if "this place can take care of my needs" so there is some self-recognition that he is going to need help. A good chance he'll be moved either to Assisted Living or Nursing Home in the morning. I know my brother is bothered by this, as am I; but it's the best thing for him. I need to try to call my brother back and get more info. He had to hang up when we were talking this afternoon because dad needed something. I hope to see SP tonight, but it probably won't be until tomorrow. I know I'm a mental mess at the moment. I need him but, at the same time, am afraid of letting him see me in this mental state.
  24. Cake was a hit, but.... Morning before I left my brother called to say dad had fallen (again) and this time shattered his leg just below the hip. They did a partial hip replacement yesterday morning, using a spinal block instead of putting him out completely. Doc said his leg / hip bones looked like someone who was 48, not 98 so that was good. He was doing ok this morning. Came back home to find a car from the AirBnB across the street parked in my driveway. They moved it pretty quick after I used the word "IMPOUND" and I filed a complaint through AirBnB Neighbors. Have a date stopping by in about an hour. Need to eat a small supper. Nervous, and not sure why -- was nervous at our lunch last week too. Just want to relax this evening, with him in my arms, and forget about the rest of the last few days.
  25. Like the title says not all things in life work. It's a shame, but it's true. My desire for our new boyfriend to become more in our little family didn't come to fruition. He decided it wasn't right for him and moved on. I've talked to him, but we'll leave it here for the moment. All of this was hard on tim. Especially since he'd grown so close to Jim. tim is willing to continue on this adventure - he has a big heart and wants to make me happy - but we will see. I am aware of other things he wants to explore, more related to our lifestyle, perhaps that's the best way to go. Hearts are nothing to be played with.
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