Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Laughing My Butt Off Again and Again

Got my JoJo back!

One of the things he told me he missed the most was sitting around making me laugh.  Oh my goodness, he has no clue how much I too have missed those times.  We giggled all the way home.

Then he took off with the Bubbas to play soccer while I drove Grandma nearly an hour in the other direction for an exact  specific pink flowering 7 gallon dogwood that she wanted to plant in Dad's memory this weekend.  We got there and she changed her mind, rightly so, on a much brighter flowering one, it was called red, but was more of a fuchsia.  I liked it better, but kept my mouth shut until she chose it, then expressed how I felt, it was so much prettier.

Got girl time with Lauren, then the kids hogged her again playing Bloody Murder into the night.

It's the day before Thanksgiving and I'm getting stressed over cooking, but Jojo has two immediate needs.  If his pediatrician makes the recommendation for a higher calorie meal plan, then YCA will feed him more.  Dang y'all, the skinny boy lost 15 pounds, shouldn't that be y'all's first clue?  Need to get his braces looked at also.

"Ma!" he yelled, because he has no volume control, "They think I'm too country there, they make fun of my accent."

What the heck?  He didn't leave Georgia, and all the cadets are from Georgia, there's just a bunch of Atlanta thugs who think they're too cool for the world.

"Every time I try and tell them about our games we made up at the creek or in the meadow, like shoot out where we use the best sticks we can find, they laugh at me."

"What do they talk about?" I asked him.

"The mall and hanging out and how boring it was," he answered.  "So I don't know why they were laughing at me, we didn't get bored, we had creeks to play in whenever we wanted."

My texts started going off before the sun rose, "I'll bet you're already awake for your day and here I am just leaving my yesterday job," CW sent me, now thankfully hired at the warehouse for third shift three nights a week.  I've been arguing that two nights should be enough, but he's game for three.  Dude, you've got to study and you've got to sleep.

Got flagged down on my once-dirt road by a Ryder truck, figured the driver was lost, but it was Big Joe headed to Yolie's for a minute.  Good thing he's a big man, that's a whale of a truck to be dragging around everyday.

JoJo claimed that the racist people put "Jose" under Big Joe's YCA graduation picture there, "Guess they think every Mexican is a Jose or a Juan," he spouted.

I just stared at him.

When I finally quit laughing, I advised him Big Joe's real name is Jose Luis.

JoJo has the biggest, widest eyes anyway, all soulful, but they got wider'n I'd ever seen them.

"How did I NOT know that?" he asked in complete bewilderment.  "I thought they must just've been making fun of him.  He's really a bona fide Jose?"  I could then see his wheels turning within his head.  "Wait," he blurted, "You mean we have Big Jose, Little Jose, this Jose and Jose Antonio?  And I'm JoJo?  Wait?  Am I the fifth Jose?  Oh my frijoles, we are really Mexican aren't we?"  He laughed for 30 more minutes at himself.  Yolie laughed the loudest when we told her this story.

Then he came home and peeled off his dress uniform in the family room, just like he's always done to strow it, but Grandma walked in on him in his skivvies.  They both cracked up, then he ran outside to pee because he can't do that on base.

Oh my, that boy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Turkeys and Locked Thermostats

Just a fun day yesterday, my lovely niece makes me smile.  She brought her boyfriend for the week, a very nice, smart, witty, Catholic man with impressive reading tastes.  My difficult kids would interpret that as me talking bad about them simply because I'm praising something in him that some of them lack, and it's something I admire.

I lack physical coordination, some of my kids value it, but that I don't have it doesn't mean I interpret their reactions as judgmental of me.  Or maybe I'm too thick headed to notice their guffaws?  Or maybe life's too short to get my panties in a wad about it?

This is the logic, or the lack thereof, with which I deal.  It ALWAYS hits me upside my head at unexpected times and I'm like, "Wha???"

Then folks wanna pick a street fight with me about it.  An ugly, ill mannered cussing event in which I will not participate.  I'm so done.  I'm an idiot that it's taken me so long to comprehend the pattern.

But then that which I warned about happens, and they want me to fix it.  I can't fix what you broke on purpose.  If you keep wandering into your job at your own convenience then you're gonna get fired.  How many times do I have to say DUH?  Yes, your electricity will be turned off if you don't pay the bill.  You don't have the money for that?  But you had money for expensive shoes or other bling?

This isn't how the world works, so stop blaming me when things crap up.  I modeled sacrificial living.  maybe they want me to continue to do so for them now when they're grown ups?  Heck no, I still have young kids at home who need me to live frugally for them.

And when my kids are all grown, they best be working and I'll still live sacrificially out of habit, but I'd send any extra money to an orphanage not to a chronically unemployed, self-medicating, non bill paying adult.  Call me judgmental, that just about sums it up.

I can't stand to look at the news about Missouri, all those hard working people losing their businesses due to rioting, it seems like so much just makes me unutterably sad. Then I turn around and see Mae and Hazel running through my house chattering happily together, they'll laugh and grab each other's hands and my heart swells with so much love.

Chuy, being the smart one, figured out a way to fix my shower head for free in a very Duh! moment, preening while I crowed about his brilliance.  Tony's been amazingly helpful, his love of organization, or of the organizing process itself smooths out Thanksgiving routines.

Chuck's presence last night greatly evened out Jacks trepidation about us spreading Grandpa's ashes this week.  Preston's getting me a locked thermostat to put in an area of the house where one person disregards my instructions over the correct setting, jacking it up or down, instead of taking off a sweatshirt or putting on one.  And then lying about it while caught red-handed.  Oh my.

Having watched this one's soul and conscience evaporate due to the diagnoses has nearly sucked the life out of me, my own emotional devastation has been enormous.  None of us saw it coming, but it slammed everyone hard nearly two years ago, leaving a shell of who once was, the deterioration rapid and heart wrenching.  I'm sure I've mentioned how much I hate mental illnesses.

Regulated children don't defy their parents like that constantly, they just don't.  After some 25 or so years of this continuous oppositional, "I'll show you", "You're not my real mom," malarkey, I feel like my head is just gonna split open.  But then sweet Scotty, Nando or Tabby, just to name a few, will show me one of their excellent grades and I melt with pride and happiness for and about them.

My sweet friend, Chris, brought us four turkeys last night as he's done for a very long time.  Words can't begin to express my gratitude.  It's something his company does and he's always included our family in the program.

And Thanksgiving?  Deep sigh.  I invite kids, they say they're coming then end up with a lame excuse or just don't show up.  This happens year after year.  Now I don't even care who is here.  I'm sure there will be plenty of happy and well-adjusted ones to have a great meal with, I just have to emotionally withdraw from those who'd use a holiday as an emotional battering ram on me.

We'll have a good Thanksgiving here, we always do, Lord knows who'll show up.  I don't even ask anyone anymore beforehand.

Monday, November 24, 2014

You Don't Have To Like Me

My oldest and my youngest, Sarah and Tabby.

"You best watch out for pleurisy or pneumonia," both my mom and Yolie had stressed.  I'd asked Sarah yesterday at Hazel and Ray's Homeschool Show if my skin looked yellow to them, plus I've literally slept in my bulky puffy black coat for three nights, coughing up a lung constantly.  "I don't remember you EVER being sick in my entire life," my grown niece remarked yesterday.

I finally feel fine today, thank you Vitamin C and Zinc lozenges, Airborne and some cough medicine. I'm still in my coat though, my body temp out of whack, my nerves shot to heck in a hand basket.

But there's no rest for the weary.  Two grown kids have accused me of talking about them behind their back, one came over and apologized.  The pathetic truth is that they've not even been on my overloaded mind lately, but something inside me snapped hard.  A rubber band that's been stretched way too far, way past its breaking point, not able to resume its normal resiliency, fed up with whatever bullcrap is happening, not allowing a mom to suggest that her grandkids need parents who make the kids the number one focus.

Stories come back to me from my other kids, and everyone on earth might think I'm super puritanical, but I don't think young moms should drink.  I think they need their attention undiluted by alcohol, and I can't imagine they can afford it anyway.

I tell the tattletales who tell me all this, "You are stressing me out, just don't tell me anything, I don't wanna know, there's nothing I can do," because their own truthfulness could also be in question.

So grown kids:  Don't Tell me what your siblings are doing that's upsetting you.  There's NOTHING I can do.  I'm upset too.  Just back off.  Just keep praying for them.

The entire human race is stressing me out.  I wanna lock my gate and stay home and piddle, which is what I was doing yesterday when a strange girl ran into my house, along with two boys, to tell me what was going on with yet another unrelated very questionable heavily diagnosed child of mine.  I eased them all out to the garage under the guise of, "See ya soon," when a freaking fistfight broke out.  I tried separating them, but I'm 60, sick and feverish, fed up, emotionally exhausted, so I hollered for Tony who was frozen in shock, and thank God, Chuy materialized and put four people in four directions.

Martin, Allen and Dubs weren't home, I think Dubs had gotten Serg to his job.

I'm broke and broken.  I've got nothing left to give to grown kids who are disrespectful, hateful and looking for a fight.  I don't wanna fight, I don't wanna argue.  "There you go playing the victim," I heard yesterday when I wouldn't engage.  No, I'm playing the lemme outta here card.  I'm done.  I can't play anymore.  You win.  I'm out.  Finished, defeated.  I'm a boring, straight-laced, churchgoing, gardening old fart, just let me be.  You go live however you wanna live, I don't wanna know about it.

I completely disagree with what I'm seeing, yet if I speak up all Hell breaks loose.  I'm out.

I'm not saying if this is a guy or a girl, I'll not refer to them anymore for any reason as I promised.  I'm too sad, very disheartened, and angry.

I've given all I have, but it'll never be enough for some folks.  I have nothing left.  I'm just glad I'm not peeing in my pants now due to the massive, unrelenting stress, fear, shot nerves, sleeplessness, and worry.  I just gotta give it to God.

I pray for safety and blessings over them all, but I'm backing waaaaaay off from a few of them, I can't allow this into my life.  I wanna heal emotionally, I wanna make sure my mom's Golden Years are just that.

Jimbo, my brother is coming this week,  Sometimes I look at him and Grandma and I am buffaloed at how normal our life was once.  We built each other up and still spend vacations with each other.  60 years of positive family values, the way it's supposed to be.  We've lost Dad and Ellen, two vital members of our family.  I'd jump off Mt Everest before I'd ever speak to my mom the way I've been spoken to.

I was recently referred to as a F%$^ C*nt when I destroyed someone's cigarettes. I was also hit in the process.  Next one who touches me is going to jail.  This same one also hit an adult at youth group.  I've had it.

I'm so done with disrespect.  I still have a large majority of great kids needing me, grandkids who want me in their lives. I asked Yolie to be my date to a Talley's Concert, her response, "Duh," cracked me up, we're the two country gospel fans.

I'm shutting out the darkness, and I'm gonna believe only in sunshine and rainbows, the grief has been too immense.  As a friend said on Facebook, "We'll fart unicorns." Well, okey dokey.  It beats fighting all the losing battles.

I've been reading the long Adam Lanza reports where fingers are pointed and blame is assigned. But what the heck???  I screamed for years trying to get help for mentally ill kids to little avail.  See why I'm completely disillusioned with life?  A hairy legged hermit who just wants to wander around out here unafraid and unbothered.  Maybe I should get rid of electronic devices so I can know nothing and be unreachable?  Nah, some kids need me.  My phone's been blowing up all day long, but with good stuff.

Hazel's Ballet was just what I needed last night.  Yolie might recognize a girl in the class, as Yolie did her home study years ago.  The mom just now figuring out Sarah was kin to me.  I'm not sure this video will load, it's been trying for four hours.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tabby's 12

As Tabby stated, "Time to change your blogs ages, now extending from 12-41.  Ok.  Ok.

Little Miss I Never Get Sick is battling a cold, being a big baby about it, but I still have so much crap to get done, sniffling, coughing or not.  I can't just take to my bed, nor would I, as it's gonna be close to 70 today, in anticipation of a heavy rain to fall tomorrow, therefore it behooves me to spread as much mulch as is humanely possible.

Honey, we've had a gullywasher.

Chuy, Tabby and I stopped three times for truckloads of bagged leaves, I'd like to run back over there twice today, but it's a UGA Game Day in which traffic does not move at all - unless I fly over there during the game, which if you know me, that's exactly what I'm gonna do.  Too excited to not do it.

I'd taken Tabby birthday shopping as we tend to do on these celebrations, she was excited, I'm as usual, appalled at the prices, watching well-dressed women loading their buggies with even more crap to have to go home and find a place to put it all.  I can't fathom that any single person in that store needed another item at all, everyone having over stuffed closets and just too much stuff.

But I grinned at Tabby as she chose to new outfit and accessories, boots and earrings for her day  Then Sabrina took her out to dinner, this after I'd treated her to lunch at her place of choice.

And I read a very cool article that bolsters my case: The Science Of Simplicity: Why Successful People Wear The Same Thing Every Day  - two of the most famous uniformers here, Jobs and Zuckerburg

This is all related to the concept of decision fatigue. This is a real psychological condition in which a person’s productivity suffers as a result of becoming mentally exhausted from making so many irrelevant decisions.

Simply put, by stressing over things like what to eat or wear every day, people become less efficient at work.

The President of Uruguay states: "I’m an enemy of consumerism. Because of this hyperconsumerism, we’re forgetting about fundamental things and wasting human strength on frivolities that have little to do with human happiness."

He’s absolutely right. The vast majority of us are guilty of obsessing over material things. When it comes down to it, they bring no real value to our lives. True fulfillment is acquired by going out into the world and fostering palpable and benevolent changes.

Amen, folks. I know that at my age, I'm getting cantankerous, a bit of a slob, but truthfully, I just wish I'd arrived here earlier.

I almost caved on Friday though, as Tabby shopped for what she wanted for her birthday, I found a purse I liked.  The $19 price tag caused me to scream.  I looked it over several times there in TJ Maxx, and decided I wouldn't literally like it anymore than my one dollar purse, so I walked away.  "You deserve it," Tabby stressed.  No, not really, I don't even need it and I'm doing a No Spend Month except for her birthday.

If I'd have bought it, I double dawg guarantee you I'd have returned it.

Like I said, I just don't get sick, but I woke up this morning craving orange juice so badly that I woke Tony up to go with me at 6 a.m. to get some.  Weird, but I'm feeling much better now.  Didn't make it to church because I didn't wanna disturb anyone with my coughing, which ironically has disappeared, I never ever stop at a convenience store for a drink, this was totally out of character, Tony just stared at me, as if I'd finally lost my cotton picking mind, but I needed juice like you wouldn't believe.

Now I gotta get it together for Thanksgiving, go get JoJo to bring home on Tuesday, I can't wait to see him.  Tabby, Nando and Scotty had a blast last night at a youth group party.

Then I have grown kids with some serious issues through no fault of their own, life kicks everyone's butt at one time or another.  I hate to see my kids so disheartened, it makes me sad because I know they make good decisions.  But bad things happen to good people.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Happy 41st!

Something took me out last night at the knees.  We'd had leftovers and I wasn't hungry which should've been my first clue. I never get sick, but I ran a fever and fell asleep sitting straight up on my bed with my coat on, sending CW to pick up Nando from soccer practice.  So freaking weird.  I literally slept feverishly from 6-6, waking up at 2 in the morning momentarily, wondering what day it was?

A cup of coffee this morning and some saltine crackers and I reckon I'm gonna survive.  I seriously don't get sick so that bout took me by surprise.

Tony'd been super sick, leaving school early one day, likely dumping some germs on me, nothing a dose of Fire Hot Pepper Sauce can't cure.

I feel astonished as each one of Sarah's birthdays comes up, she's 41 today.  How can that be?  It's been the fastest 41 years of my life.  And if, or when, everything else turns to crap, whenever I get blamed for nonsense by others who'd lash out at me for what was done to them before I ever met them, I do have the stability and the security of knowing I raised this one correctly.

I know I raised them all correctly, some of them just went way out of their way to thwart every good intention.

Tony received an award yesterday from his British Literature class at the EPOCHS ceremony yesterday after school, making me super proud of him, he's fought against some long, hard odds, and continues to make huge progress.

I just don't feel old enough to have a 41 year old daughter, nor an almost 20 year old granddaughter.  I don't feel 60 at all, I hauled heavy wheelbarrow loads of wood chips all yesterday afternoon, knowing a big ole rain event is predicted for Sunday, up to two inches, and nothing fills my head with happy dreams more'n knowing the wood chips will slow down the evaporation, will slowly rot and improving the tilth of the soil.

It had warmed up to 61 degrees, me feeling sorry for those folks in Buffalo, NY, with snow over their heads.

Tabby will be 12 tomorrow, but she wants me to check her out of school after lunch to have Birthday Mama-Daughter time.  My pleasure.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Using People Up

Scotty and Tony, a Sam's employee, helped me fill the cart with stuff I don't normally buy last Saturday for the soccer tournament.

Oh my, the stuff I don't blog as if some of my children, whose names you heard for years, are no longer mentioned.

But they're just as emotionally needy, and this Energizer bunny is still ticking, still tending to them, going to the wrong courthouse yesterday, needing to speak to their lawyer even if they are in their mid-20s, the thinking skills are still not up to par.

There's no free pass for damaged children and that thought alone disturbs me but I don't know what to do about it.

I've lost my intractability regarding criminals, now knowing so many back stories, which doesn't give them an excuse to commit crimes, but rather an explanation as to why their misfired brains do not comprehend consequences.  Or the ones so afflicted with a need for adrenaline rushes that a 9-5 minimum wage job just won't do.

I still want everyone to force themselves to do what's right, but that's not likely to happen.

Again this is another reason why we parents need therapy, or else we'd lose our cotton picking' minds.

This bitter cold weather here is fixing to ease up for several days, allowing me back outside to work which helps me process information better.  This being cooped up makes me impossibly difficult to endure. turning me into an irritable turd.

I used to give my older kids money for their birthdays to help them out, but after decades of doling it out, I'm flat broke, needing money that I don't have for major house repairs caused by raging kids.  If I bought gifts, they'd return them for cash or exchange them for other appalling items I'd not have purchased.  Besides, my grown kids would misspend it, buying alcohol and then saying they needed this or that, so many lies and manipulations that I had to withdraw or just sit heartbroken and shocked all the time at the way they use others.

I see societal exposes on TV, news articles uncovering deceit and I remain staggered.  All of this law breaking for what?  For money?  To buy luxury items that bring no peace of mind nor any real satisfaction?  Then folks trust authorities, or those in power, even less, a vicious circle that also tempts others to do wrong.

When I quote the Bible I'm seen as someone from the last century, but it keeps me out of trouble, right?  Those words soothe my soul, give me peace of mind, a gut feeling that it'll all be alright in the end. Can I not be an example for others?

What do I think about the Bill Cosby allegations?  I just don't know, I don't wanna believe it, but with so many accusers?  However I also know that folks have no defense against lies.  Basically the entire issue makes me very, very sad.  Sick if these are lies, sicker still if this is the truth.

I wanna live in Candyland.  I wanna live where folks abide by The Golden Rule and mind their own business, emitting nothing but peace and love.  Seriously, this isn't my inner hippie crying out, but rather it's my deep desire for a better life for everyone.

To sit and learn of dumb, dumb, dumb choices some of my grown kids make, to know how they manipulate others to scam people just breaks my heart.  It's as if I had no influence over them at all, they just seemingly wanna revert to negative lifestyles that aren't sustainable at all as they leave angry, used people in their wake.  Then they move on to their next mark.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Mustache

Yes, my 13 year old is growing a mustache of sorts, my youngest son who has learned some amazing soccer plays from having 20 older brothers.  "Y'all taught him well!" a dad boomed to CW, Martin, Allen, Chuy and Scotty, when Nando'd turned up the heat and scored the only two goals in that tournament game.

My older sons were beaming proudly, hollering praises to Nando who exploded in his trademark grin and constant smiles.

Today's weird brag:  The Sexiest Man Alive was announced and I don't even recognize his name, never heard of him, didn't see his shows nor his movies, zip, nada, but seriously Cindy, you're 60.  He is clearly not in your peer group.  Or more to the point, your peer group isn't sexy.

This article on stress stressed me out, especially after last week.  Explaining how stress changes the brain.  Ouch, ouch and ouch.  I know stress is damaging, but I don't know what to do about it.  If I didn't love them, then their issues, challenges and poor decisions wouldn't stress me out.

Over time, elevated levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, can chip away at our physical, mental and emotional health. The link between chronic stress and the potential for mental health conditions -- such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and other mood disorders -- is well-established. But what kind of changes -- both fleeting and lasting -- are actually taking place in the brain when we experience a stressful event?

Many of us know that we're not pleasant to be around when we're stressed out -- we may get irritable and grumpy. Under pressure, many people get distracted and forgetful and this could be a sign of the destructive effects of stress in the brain.

French researchers discovered an enzyme, when triggered by stress, that attacks a molecule in the hippocampus which is responsible for regulating synapses. When the synapses are modified, fewer neural connections are able to be made in the area.

"These effects lead subjects to lose their sociability, avoid interactions with their peers and have impaired memory or understanding," a university press release explained.

Then I step back and try to imagine the level of stress my children lived under being shuttled from caretaker to caretakers for many years.  Imagine what their brains have suffered?

I saw a text this morning that completely pissed me off from one who initially rejected us, finding a family of sorts who'd enable poor decisions, thinking that over 18 meant freedom from all rules, responsibilities, laws, policies and procedures.  It hasn't turned out well at all on any level.

This is when I withdraw, knowing that the enticing and easy charm of others who would help you break the law, or crap up your life, seems oh so much easier than doing the right thing.

At this point in their life, I truly believe I won't be heard, nor heeded.  Partying seems to be more appealing. Well, good luck with that.

It's challenging to convince severely traumatized, issue-ridden folks that hard work pays off.  Sometimes it takes many more years, and hopefully they finally will learn a little from their many mistakes.

Yolie went to teach an adoption class, PATH, last night, while I kept Mae and CJ through our rowdy dinner time.  We'd not had black bean and rice burritos in a month or so, soccer practice cancelled since it was so dang cold, remember our normal high for this time of year is 68 degrees, so I patiently browned both corn and flour tortillas on the big black cast iron skillet, enjoying the warmth from the stove.

My bones ache in cold weather,

I hide money from myself, an automatic transfer from my checking account to an ING Direct Savings account each month, so that the annual property tax bill plus the annual property insurance bill doesn't surprise me and find me penniless.  I transferred it back on the due date, the only thing putting a smile on my face was the interest earned as it sat and awaited its turn to be spent.  But Thank God I had it hidden there or I'd be sobbing in my oatmeal this morning.

At the grocery store I needed kitchen trash bags - a violation of my self-imposed No Spend November - but not buying them would've created yet another problem.  I took a deep breath, felt like a hypocrite, and bought the store brand box.  Seriously I exhaust myself sometimes with ridiculous conundrums such as this one.

I have a busy day, three different appointments that'll make me leave the emotional security of my home.  Deep breath, I got this.