tHe haPPy grOUch

tHe haPPy grOUch

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Got a comfy chair?
‘Cause this is a lengthy one…

One week till Christmas, and I have the holiday bug…
I’m chipper, excited, merry.. I know- whoda thunk, right??

I have been itching to write these last couple weeks, but honestly, I have been waiting for the figurative other shoe to drop, and so I have resisted.
I don’t want to curse myself.
Even now, as I’m about to write this, I’m afraid that I’m speaking too soon, counting my chickens, per say...
But since when have I ever acted rationally?
So, on with it.

These last several days, I’ve been so at peace.
I’ve wondered every day if it were a true emotion, or if my brain just finally had enough turmoil, and went and checked out.
I hope it’s the former. 

I have a theory. And I hope that it is correct.
I think that I had to live these last three months, to discover where I was truly supposed to be in my life.

Without further ado, the entirety of the story went like this…

In the beginning of September, Craig magically reappeared, after having left us two years ago. Not a word for two years; not seeing him, hearing from him, or even randomly running into him.
I was assaulted by the memory of him, of our life together, of how much I loved him.
Not only did he magically reappear, but he wanted me. He wanted our family. He wanted to come home. Begin again.
I was literally dumfounded. I’ve never been so irrationally swept away in my life. Overwhelmed. Astounded. So awestruck, so affected, that I could think of nothing else.
And so, without much hesitation, I ended my relationship with Troy to explore the possibility of a life, again, with Craig.
And I won’t lie; it was a very nice three months. I spent the last two years forgiving Craig for leaving us. He is a wonderful man. I loved him then, I love him now, and will always love him.

But what I had forgotten, what I had neglected to consider in my astonishment, was how I loved Troy. How Troy loved me.
And my amazed stupor didn’t last long.
Slowly, I began to remember that I had a relationship, a family, a life, before Craig came back…
And I missed it.

Over the next couple of months, Troy and I texted. We talked on the phone. We met for coffee.
And every time, I left those conversations with a hole in my heart. I told him, and myself, that I had made my decision. I had to stay the course. That it was right.
I continued planning my future with Craig.
He was moving back home. We were going to be married.
I stopped speaking to Troy.
And I kept staying the course.

I loved Craig. I loved Troy. I was cracking. I literally thought I was going crazy. It sounds silly, overdramatic even, but I haven’t hurt that much in as long as I can remember.

And a few weeks ago, I couldn’t stay the course any longer.
I missed Troy too much. I missed Kayli. I missed my family. I missed my life.

I had to end my relationship with Craig. Cut off my own arm, as I mentioned in my last blog. He was so hurt, so surprised. He didn’t understand. Why would he? I had gone along so well and so long without letting him know how torn I was. It was horrible.
And it wasn’t only horrible for him.
I was saying goodbye to a man that I loved dearly. Again. This time by my choice.
And afterwards, I sobbed for an entire day. Somehow, I managed to work that night. With tomatoes for eyes.

But after that night, something terribly unusual and unexpected occurred.
I stopped crying.
And I haven’t cried since.
Like I mentioned above, I have felt very... at peace with my decision.
Now, this does not mean that I am not still sad and disheartened…
But, aside from the occasional fond memory, or the occasional painful one; I am at peace.
I believe I am where I am supposed to be.
And whether or not this is truly joyful peacefulness, or just my brain leaving the scene of an accident, I will take it.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

"Confessions"

A few days after writing that not-so-thankful Thanksgiving blog, I ended my relationship with Craig.
In that same moment, I gave in to my secret compulsion (which I had been fighting for weeks, even months), and made contact with Troy.
(Once again I find myself writing)- I’ll pause here and allow you all to gasp, cough, and choke.
Shake your heads. Form opinions. Pass judgments.

It’s ok. I would be doing the same if I were you.
Part of why I’ve been so quiet (at least with personal stuff, which I usually am pretty public about…), is because I’ve been concerned about the reaction.
And yet I have always claimed that I don’t give a shit what other people think.
How ironic.
Perhaps it’s because I know what I would think if I were watching someone in my shoes...
Why can’t that woman make up her mind? What is she doing to these men? What this must be doing to her children??
I would be thinking all those things. Forming opinions. Passing judgment.
So go ahead. 
Get out the guillotine.

If I took the time to try and explain it all, this blog would take 4 hours to read. Not to mention, no matter what I said, there will still be those who scratch their heads. Who can’t comprehend.
Hell, some of it I can’t even comprehend.
So I won’t bother.
  
But in case you’re wondering, the children are truly okay. They are sad (well, Dawson is) and confused, of course, but they are okay.
They were (of course) my biggest concern (aside from my own heartbreak).
I had the (second) painful conversation with them this past weekend.
I assured them that even as confusing as the last few months have been, the one constant in life is the three of us. Our family. We have each other.
Regardless of whom I choose to spend my time with, I want my children to know that they come first for me. Over any relationship. Or any other thing in existence.
And I apologized. For making the mistakes I’ve made the last few months… hell, the last few years. We all sat on my big bed and cried and cried. And hugged. And exchanged “I love you’s”.
I think they forgive me.

Dawson was my main obstacle. He absolutely loved Craig. However, he also loved Troy (which I may have assumed wasn’t the case). And he absolutely worshipped Kayli.
I allowed him a play-date with Kayli yesterday. Maybe I was trying to ease his pain of losing Craig (again). What surprised me was that he was equally as happy to see Troy as he was to see Kayli. He ran to him and hugged him. Troy kissed him on his head. It was a tearful reunion.
And when we parted, he said- “I can’t believe I got to see Troy again! That was AWESOME! Just AWESOME!”….
Last night on the way home from our play-date, he said “Mom, I want Troy to move back home”.
(Which, by the way, will not be happening. Are you kidding me? Come on, you didn’t actually think I’d so something like that after screwing everything up these last few months??). J
Anyway, it was just nice to hear that come from him.

And as far as Logan is concerned…
Well, when I broke the news to her this past weekend, it allowed her the opportunity to be completely frank with me about things. And she let me have it...
(By the way, none of the following came as any surprise to me… Logan has been very cold to me since the day I told her about my decision three months ago, and that has hurt very much)…

I learned of a private conversation that she had with Craig. The details of which I didn’t really get from him. Only bits and pieces. A conversation in which Logan directly asked him what his intentions were. Asked him if he “planned to stick around this time”.  Told him that they weren’t “buddies”.  That things would never be the same between them. She related to me his side of the conversation, when he tried to explain to her that he was doing the right thing the first time he left us. Her response to that, at least to me, was (and I quote)- “Do you think you’re talking to a child? That’s BULLSHIT buddy.” She told me that after the conversation, she realized she had been clenching her teeth the whole time, and that her jaws hurt for the next three days.
She told me that she was NOT happy with my original decision, she was very angry and upset (although as I said, this I already knew). She did not care for or respect Craig, and certainly had no intentions of forgiving him anytime soon. She said that perhaps sometime in the future (her words- “ten years from now”) she could have changed her mind, but not anytime soon. And so much time had gone by anyway, that she had absolutely no interest in trying. She also said she liked Troy (which is huge for her, if you know Logan. She is much like her mother. She doesn’t like anyone. And if she does, she certainly won’t admit it). And she liked Kayli. She was fond of them. She was hurt when I broke it off. She was happy with our life. She didn’t understand why I would want to move backwards. Had no idea why I would even consider it.

It was the most honest and refreshing conversation I’ve ever had with my daughter. And I will always remember it, be thankful for it, and lover her for it.

The last three months of decision making has easily been the most painful series of events of my life. Larger than any divorce, or child custody battle, or break-up, or any other life challenge.
There is a reason that love triangles only exist in the movies, folks. And that’s because they are the most painful of all of life’s experiences.

Imagine for a second, that you had to willingly sever one of your own limbs. An arm, maybe a leg. Just cut it off. Lose it forever. No one could save you the discomfort of choice or the internal struggle and cut it off for you.  You had choose a limb, and you must sever it. There’s nothing wrong with that limb. It’s not diseased or infected. But you have to do it.

I can function without that limb. I know that I can. But it doesn’t ease the pain of severing it.
I just want to be able to move on now, somewhat handicapped, and find some form of happiness.

Monday, December 5, 2011

November 24, 2011

It’s thanksgiving.
And I have much to be thankful for.
Unfortunately, the holidays exacerbate my already acute affliction that I call “thinktoomuchitis”.

And so, in keeping with my traditional habits, I’ll take this time, regardless of the holiday, and be a little analytical, realistic, comparative, possibly not so optimistic, contemplative…
Aw, hell, I’ll just blog-vent.
And by the way, I woke up this morning trying to be thankful and positive. I really tried, I did.

I am thankful that I sold my Mustang just when I needed to.
Unfortunately, the money got me only this far... and Christmas is coming… and oil season is here… and this mortgage, phew…

I am thankful to have a job.
However, I don’t enjoy it like I once did. And that’s a gross understatement. I have no tolerance anymore.
As much as I enjoy seeing the “regulars” having fun and making merry, I am more disturbed by the sad ones, who have nothing but the bar and the drink… By the ones who consistently get snookered and make bad choices, and live without moral brakes… And by the just plain old morons who drink too much and act like (insert explicative here)…
I am pointedly reminded that this kind of job is no longer a welcome part of my life every time I step behind that bar.

I am thankful for reacquainting with the one man I wholly believed was the love of my life, the “one that got away”.
But sometimes, I remember him, almost bitterly, yet perhaps appropriately, as “the man who ran away”… And yet I love him still.
However, a lot can change in two years. People change. Things are different. Or maybe, some things are the same...
Sometimes, I see a glimmer of those differences, and sometimes, I am begrudgingly reminded that maybe, those differences aren’t parallel…

I am thankful for my children. I suppose that should be at the top of this list. But alas, there is no sequential order to this. There’s no “order” at all, really. But you knew that already.
I am thankful that at 16, Logan has yet to have a boyfriend. Maybe that’s what I’m most thankful for this holiday season.
However, there are times I’d like the option to trade either one of them in for a kid who actually likes me once in a while.
Seriously… a teenage girl and a pre-pubescent boy in the house at the SAME TIME.
Very challenging. Again, another gross understatement.

I’m thankful for my family. As dysfunctional as they may be, they are still mine, and they are (mostly) all still alive and around.
Mom, Dad, Nana, Sharla, Aunt Carrie, Aunt Sue, Rachael, Sarah, Randee, Morgan, Matt-man, and all the other-halves and all the little kiddos…
Family is good. I’m glad I wound up with the one I have.

I am thankful that I have this opportunity to go back to school.
Although, I’m not positive that I’ll be able to afford to stay there.
I fear I will be forced to return to work and give up the pipe dream of teaching sarcasm and profanity to our youth.

I am trying to be thankful, and happy, and optimistic, and excited… but I am finding myself slightly bitter about my own life choices as of late.
And it mainly has to do with money. Well, mostly…
Every time I am pissed off at the bar and wish that I didn’t have to be there…  or when I realize I can’t afford to buy that big gift for Dawson… or when I think- how in the hell will I make my next mortgage payment? …

And then there’s the other part… the part that doesn't have anything to do with money...
Like the eyelash that you can’t get out of your eye, the big piece of food you can’t get unstuck from your teeth, the wedgie you just can’t pick, the itch you can’t reach in the middle of your back…

I suppose I shouldn’t be shocked that I miss some things, that I mourn for some things...
But it still surprises me. I felt so decisive. So resolute.
Naturally (or at least that’s what I tell myself), there are small bits of doubt that live in the corners of conviction.

I pointedly remind myself today, on Thanksgiving, and every day- It’s my life.
Most of it by choice, hardly any of it by chance. 
The insane mortgage, the job, college, the kids, the relationships
Eat it, Crista. Sleep in it.
Be thankful for it.
Perhaps I've never been good at giving thanks.
But happy Thanksgiving anyway.
J

Monday, October 24, 2011

October 24, 2011


Fair warning; this won’t make much sense. Or any sense, actually.

My word of the day is “something”.

Why do we use that word, “something”? Shouldn’t it be “allthing”?
I wonder, you see, because I gave up something to get something. 

But wait, shouldn’t one give up something for “allthing”?
Ah, that’s not the way it works. Not in this world. This universe. This life.
Somewhere, in some parallel universe, allthing exists.

The first something, we’ll call something number one, wasn’t necessarily exactly everything that it could have been. That something, was lacking something, but mostly just something. In most other ways, that something, was really something. Oh sure, it was also polluted with lots of little things that made it something else occasionally. But then again, something always has things like that. But that something, was still missing that something.

And so, that something got traded in for something else. Something we’ll call, something number two.

Something number two is really something, in oh so many ways. It really is something.
But, what if something number two is lacking something as well? Not the same thing that something number one lacks, but something else, something different, something that something number one may have had?

Oh, the somethings…

You know what’s funny about somethings? And not funny- haha, but funny-weird, uncomfortable, displeasing, ironic…
What’s funny about somethings, is that they are never allthings.
If they were, they wouldn’t be called somethings.

And yet, even though these are only somethings, they affect all things. Am I the only one looking that irony scathingly in the eye and shouting angrily- “How is it that allthing doesn’t exist, but  just one something, or a few little somethings can affect all things!?!?” Gah!

But I digress…

Something number one and something number two...
Fact is, they’re both something. Neither one is an allthing.
Which is what I would call them, if they were, even if it weren’t a word.
Which is what they should be.
But they are not.
They’re just something one and something two. Made up of lots of little things, lacking some other things, not quite equating to an allthing, yet effecting all things.

Oh, the irony.

I should go to sleep. Or work on homework. Or watch Two and a Half Men.
Or something.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Here I stand on this proverbial plank,
over an infinite blue abyss.
Jump, it whispers.
I can't
But you can, it replies.
And so I do...


Saturday, October 1, 2011

September 19, 2011


As far as last night's note... I think I was just overtired. 
Those alpha brain waves kicking in and wreaking havoc.
But I thought about it. Was even questioned about it.
And so I want to clarify.

Logan and Dawson are both miracles.
But I've never felt close to God.  

In "sagacity", I was going more for the interpreted definition and not the literal.
To revel in someone else's common sense, or way of thinking, that is different from my own.
Maybe I was actually saying I wanted to crawl into someone else's brain for a while, and out of my own. 

I'm not brilliant. But I long to be.
I wish I would have been born a Nobel prize winner or something. 
Maybe then I would have lived a smarter life. 

I live in trepidation.
Everything is cautious (well, aside from the most recent life's decisions).
I want to feel reckless once. Just once. Ok, maybe twice.
Maybe that's what this is. I don't know. 

I did feel, unabashedly, for a time. The newness of a young love.
But again, I think I was speaking on a broader level.
More about miracles. Feeling miracles. Feeling something bigger and more powerful than you or me. 
But alas, I doubt anything like that to exist. 
There is no feeling anything other than what we experience day in and day out. 
Breathe, eat, sleep. 
"Smell the roses"... Ok, now what? 
They smell good. 
That is all. 

Being profound; reading, writing, living profoundly...
The suggestion to read Dalai Lama is probably appropriate.
However, I think he would just inspire the aforementioned feeling.
And without tangible evidence that the feeling is justified.
And therein lies the conflict. 

I'm already experiencing a change and an earthquake in life.
I've lived through several of them, actually.
So I have no idea what that was all about.

And that is all.
Have a nice day.

September 18, 2011


I want to read profound things. 
WRITE profound things.
Make a difference; perceive a difference.
Affect a change.
Or a miracle.
Or EXPERIENCE one.
I want to be enlightened. Be edifying.
I want to live slightly on the wild side, instead of vicariously through "Desperate Housewives".
I want to sing. Again. Loudly.
I want to be brilliant. 
Revel in anothers' sagacity.
I want to have intellectual intercourse.
I want the wind in my face, on a motorcycle, without the drastic risk of skin graphs.
I want to be swept away.
In a whirlwind of hopless-romantic-ridiculous-passionate abandon. 
Daily, please.
I want to really truly feel. Unabashedly. Without trepidation.
I need a little earthquake. Just a small one.
Something. 

Wow, I should really get some sleep.  :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

 
Been a couple weeks since my last blog. A lot can happen in a couple weeks.
A lot can happen in a couple days.

As some of you can tell from my facebook posts (and Troy’s as well), my most current relationship has come to a close.
I’ll pause here and allow you all to gasp, cough, and choke.
Done?

Troy and I had a fantastic relationship spanning over the last year. Some of you watched it unfold. You all commented on how disgusting I had become.
And yes, it was all sincere, every last bit of it.

And regardless of whether or not the relationship could have continued to thrive, it was me who ultimately decided that we should go our separate ways.
And now you’re all scratching your heads.

I wish I had an entire host of answers for you. Answers for Troy.
But I don’t.

I could go on and on with detail, but for once, I feel that a little privacy (for the both of us) can go a long way. For once, I won’t air my grievances to the world.

Some would say it’s because I’m ashamed.
But I’m not. I have nothing to be ashamed of, no matter what may be said.
I know in my heart that I have made the right decision, and done right by Troy and myself.
That hasn’t made it any easier, mind you.
The “right thing” is typically the hardest thing to do. And trust me, it has been.

So with that I’ll leave you, and go back to my homework, my slobbery sleeping companion Anselmo, the sound of Dawson snoring through the monitor, and my thoughts.

Have a good night all.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Wow, what a busy few weeks it has been.

Three mini-vacations pretty much back to back this summer.
And I barely survived them.
It feels so good to be home, with no plans to travel again anytime soon. I can relax, hang out with my dogs… But then I realize, I only have three more days before I start school. I definitely should have allowed myself more time to “relax” between the vacations and school starting.
Oh well.
I can’t really complain too much. We had a nice time on both trips to NH and on our camping trip. The kids enjoyed them, even the teenager. And I enjoyed them, for the most part.

Speaking of school…
Ugh! I have 5 classes this semester, and next semester as well, and probably every stinkin’ semester for the next three years! Crap. I don’t know if I’m ready for that course load. Guess I’ll be nose deep in homework for a few years. Oh well, all for the greater good I suppose.
Actually, the classes are short, I only have two classes a day with a good hour or so in between, I’m out ever day by 2:20, campus is only a few miles down the road, and I have a three day weekend every weekend (there are no classes on Fridays).
So truly, I worry for nothing. It should be easily manageable.
And someday I’ll be out in the schools teaching those little brats all they need to know about literature and the English language. I think profanity and sarcasm will be a large part of my curriculum.
The only complicated part of it all is that I keep questioning whether or not I am in the right major...
What if I should have stuck with veterinary technology?
I love animals, and yet I love words and books…
I just don’t know.
Damnit.

Speaking of animals…
Just today I found out that Herc’s sister, Ella (a direct sibling, Liberty’s daughter, from my litter in 2009), is pregnant and due anytime. I knew they had bred her to Bridger (a pup also out of Anselmo), but I hadn’t heard much since then.
(So yes, Ella and Bridger have the same father, different mothers. This is called “line breeding”. It is an acceptable form of breeding in order to more adequately continue a particular blood line).
For those of you who were with me (even just virtually) when I lost Liberty, you already know how much this litter means to me.
Maybe a merle female, just like Liberty Bell…

Anyway…

I’m off to hang with my Logie Loge. And my Mustang.
J

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Wow, that last note/blog was a bit of a downer, now wasn’t it?
Fortunately for me, the family, and the few that actually read these blogs, I am in much better spirits lately.
Still a grouch, as always, but once again a happy one.

I’ve finally registered for classes for the fall semester. Who knew coordinating a class schedule could be so difficult? I think it was the source of several new gray hairs.
Although, the class load itself will be the source of even more.
Five classes this semester, when I really only wanted to (comfortably) take four. The following semester will be the same. All due to some prerequisite remedial crap I have to get out of the way, plus my degree requirement stuff.
I won’t have much of a social life for the next year, and will probably be even more difficult to live with. My poor family.
I am excited to get back into school though.

Logan is gone for her two week stint (court ordered “uninterrupted time”) with her Dad. I always hate this time of year. Even though I know she will be with me for my two weeks once she returns.
Every year, I drop her off (or this year, she drives herself away), I tear up. Silly, I know. Been doing this for 13 years now, and I still cry every time she goes.
Sigh.

Dawson has been a little off lately. By lately, I mean, for a couple months, I guess… Which is why I have him seeing a counselor every week. I have seen improvement in his attitude and his coping skills. Unfortunately, the situation in which he lives doesn’t change or get any easier, and so his coping skills are constantly challenged.
He has wanted to spend more and more time with his Mommy. Which is also unusual. Dad was always the cool, fun parent, and I always had to pry him away every weekend (sometimes kicking and screaming) when it was time to come back to my house. I tried not to take it personally. I knew it was that weird phenomenon known as the father-son relationship. But lately, for the last couple months or so, he wants to be here with me. He has actually devised his own plan, of being here all week, and only going to Dad’s for two nights (it used to be three nights, sometimes four, at Dad’s). His Dad is hurt by this (I think), and probably doesn’t understand it. It might only be a phase. We shall see.
In the meantime, I’ll suck up all the love and attention I can get outa the little guy.

It appears that Sharla is moving back to Glenburn. I say “it appears”, because that whole situation is still somewhat volatile, and I approach it with an “I’ll believe it when I see it” attitude. Once the current occupants have completely vacated the house, and we’re physically moving Sharla back into it, it will be for real.
It will be nice having her and the kids just around the corner (and right next door to Mom and Dad) again. It is fitting; it is where they should be.
I can only imagine how she must feel, going back to her house, her home, again. It makes me happy.

Troy is good, Kayli is good, dogs are good, my new car is good…

I won't complain about healthcare, or taxes, or the economy, because I prefer preserving and appreciating life in my own little bubble. I think a few of you could heed that advice as well.

It’s not often that I can’t find much to bitch about. J

Sunday, July 31, 2011


(Facebook "note")
I haven’t been writing notes as of late. Instead I’ve been using blogger. Perhaps it’s the lack of comments, responses, and (sometimes relatively useful) advice that brings me back to “noting” on facebook.
Perhaps it’s just the psychological exhibitionist in me.  Or maybe not. Blogger is definitely more public, and I've recently realized I'm not quite as comfortable sharing there.
Perhaps it’s just my way of using you all as my personal emotional tampon. Which Richie would rather call ET, as it seems less vulgar.

I might be hung-over. I might just be grouchy (as per usual). I may not have had enough coffee yet this morning. Maybe I’m just overtired.
Or maybe my life is facing potential cataclysmic changes.
Whatever the reasoning, I need to vent. I feel like spreading the misery like cream cheese on an onion bagel.
So, I shall have at it. 

I missed my 20 year high school reunion last night. Well, I didn't miss it, necessarily, I just didn't go.
And in looking at various pictures being posted, it seems I only missed the opportunity to hang out with all the cool kids. Which breaks my heart. (Why isn't there a format button, like bold or italics, for sarcasm?)
I do think there may have been a small handful of people I would have been remotely interested in seeing, and even fewer who I would actually liked to have seen. Like Mary P, or Dave W.
But alas, my social ineptitude (and more likely my current frame of mind) prevented me from stepping out of my comfort zone, and I instead traveled to Bucksport to hang out with people I know and love. And who like me a little. Or at least tolerate me. 

I have so much to do around the house, and yet I completely lack the motivation to do any of it. Even though it needs to be done. Some of it with a certain sense of urgency. And yet here I sit.

I have a 29 foot lawn ornament, otherwise known as a Coachmen Catalina. Purchased three months ago with the intent of good times and making memories.

A couple acquaintances of mine were married yesterday. I should be happy for them. I should feel some kind of pleasure in viewing the many photos on facebook.
Instead it just makes me sick to my stomach.
That could just be the hangover. But it’s unlikely.

I’ve been called several things in life. And not many of those times has it been something like- nice or sweet, or loving, or kind and tender, patient or selfless, thoughtful or caring.
In fact, my mothers words (as if it were helpful advice) ring in my ears- “Remember what Craig said his biggest issue was with you? That you were mean…”
Mean. Selfish. Cold. Uncaring.
I allow those kinds of things to define me. But maybe it’s not a choice, maybe it’s more admission, acceptance, recognition.  Maybe it’s inevitable. Some things are just that, inevitable. Like death and taxes. And Crista being mean.

The neighbor is screaming for her dogs, whom she frequently loses track of. She's driving me crazy.
I think Troy left his long range assault rifle in the bedroom... 

I should probably go back to bed.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday, July 8, 2011

Good morning, Wrong Side of the Bed, how very nice to see you again.

Almost three weeks since I’ve written, I’m getting better. Pretty soon I’ll be back to blogging every day, I’m sure.
Especially since classes are out for the summer. And I’ll be home all the time, and the kids, and Troy, and dogs, and cats will all be here, screaming for my attention to this or that, and I’ll be huddled up here in my room, my cave, the “Crista only zone”…

After nearly two years, this morning I dreamt of Craig. And when I woke, I was crying. I haven’t cried over him in, well, a year and a half. Brain, shame on you. And here I thought my brain and I were done being age old enemies. Apparently not.

My grades came back for the summer semester. I received an A in both classes (Interpersonal Communications, and College Writing). The English grade wasn’t surprising to me. Interpersonal Communications, though? How ironic. What probably saved me was my flair for writing entertaining material. Ok, so maybe once or twice I wrote something of depth and substance. But  if I did, I wouldn’t tell anyone, because I don’t like to communicate. J
Which also makes this blog ironic. Completely.

First week of summer vacation down, and I’m bored with lying by the pool in the sun every day. Can you imagine.
I wake up at 6am every morning. Maybe I’ll paint my cupboards. I should get back on the elliptical (I’ve gained fourteen pounds since this time last year). Perhaps I should take up knitting. I’ve read three books. And thanks to my new Keurig, I’ve drank gallons and gallons of coffee.

Have I failed to mention that we got a new puppy? I think so…
We got an Olde English Bulldogge (and yes, that’s how it’s spelled). We had her shipped in from a breeder in Minnesota. She’s a doll. A pain in the ass, as puppies always are, but a doll nonetheless. The plan is, once she’s old enough, she’ll be my highway back into breeding. We’ll see. She LOVES her big brothers. It took a while for their noses to come back from being out of joint, but they love her. Well, Hercules loves her. Anselmo tolerates her.




The other day on facebook, I stated that I needed a hobby. My mom’s comment- “I thought dogs were your hobby”? My Aunt Carrie’s comment- “Target shooting! Hahahahaha!”
Seriously though, how is it possible to be bored when there are so many tasks to be completed? I need to clean the garage, get all the yardsale stuff out and set up. That may not sound daunting, but have you seen the size of my garage? And there’s always a long list of household chores to attend to. There’s always something to do here. I always have something to do. I shouldn’t be bored.

And then I entertain the idea that it might not be boredom. That it might be, more appropriately, disenchantment. But how could it be? I have a great life. Wonderful kids, great man, nice house, no job (in lieu of pursuing my education), good health… Funny, as I type this, I realize that many of those things, as rewarding and fulfilling as they are, are also the major stressors in my life…

I love my children. They are truly the only thing in this world I can actually tolerate.
My fiancĂ© is of course, fantastic. Kind and generous. And his daughter is a sweetheart, as far as kids go. But I am learning (again) that I don’t live well with others.
Owning this house is a dream realized. But home ownership is also a burden. I’ve upheld it alone before, by the skin of my teeth. Working 60 hours a week, missing basketball games, no social life…. If ever put in that position again, I don’t know what I’d do. It would be a behemoth of a weight on my shoulders. Sometimes I just want to sell it. Be rid of the beast.
Going to school (for what I actually want) is something I’ve desired for a very long time. But since I don’t contribute much financially, I’ve lost my feeling of empowerment.

Well, at least I have my health.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

Have I really not written for nearly two months? And there’s been so much to write about. How very odd…

Since my last entry, Troy and I have been to Boston for his Cardiac “workup”.
Although his ejection fraction has improved since this time last year (up to a whopping 25%), his cardiologist still writes- “His MRI today continues to show severe left ventricular dysfunction with moderate right ventricular dysfunction”. He is considered a class III heart disease patient.
Since our visit to Boston, I have had more than my usual (what I like to call) “holy shit moments”. Those are the moments where I realize that this big, strapping man in front of me is actually very, very ill. And that, god damnit, he may not be around as long as I’d like him to be.
Although, based on my hot and cold behavioral habits, Troy would argue that I often times don’t want him around at all.

Anyway…

I’ve been in school now for over a month. These summer classes are very intensive, as they compress an entire semester into 7 weeks. So far I seem to be doing okay. Pretty well, actually.  This week, my Communications professor emailed to ask if I would be interested in the honors program at UMA, as she was thinking of nominating me. Now, I’m not familiar with the program; I’m not even sure if it’s anything more than a status. But it sounds good, and I was flattered. My English papers have all come back with exceptional grades. Which is good, considering I’m an English major. Thank goodness my blogs aren’t graded… I have a love affair with parenthetical speech, the ellipsis, and fragmentizing.
I’m looking forward to classes ending this month, and spending the next two months enjoying the summer with the family. In the fall, I’ll be hunkering down with a full class load. We’ll see how that goes.

Hercules is still stable. As stable as he can be for a dog with multiple neurological/orthopedic issues. He’s still managing the stairs, doesn’t fall down (unless he hits one of the few non-carpeted slippery spots on the floor), and simply looks like he’s drunk most of the time.
Anselmo is still as sweet and slobbery as the day he came to live on Fitz Lane. He’s a good boy, even though he stinks.
They are, easily, my best friends.



Speaking of dogs…
I have introduced the idea of potentially adding another to the household. Before you say it, yes, I am crazy. Why on earth would I get ANOTHER dog when I already have 2 HUGE ones, 7 cats, and 5 people in the house??? Plain and simple- I don’t know. Maybe I am becoming a pet hoarder. But I don’t think so, as pet hoarder defined is- keeping higher than usual numbers of animals as domestic pets without having the ability to properly house or care for them, while at the same time denying this inability. Ok, so I do have a higher than normal number of pets, however, I don’t fit the last part of the description, so I can’t be a hoarder. My house isn’t small (although it is becoming slightly more confined due to added people and pets, lol), and my yard is enormous, with a fenced in area. And we are financially capable (so far). So, the questions goes from Why? to Why not? J

The kids are well...
Logan is 16 now. I honestly can’t grasp that concept. When did I become old enough to have a 16 year old? How did that happen?
I count my blessings (or I at least try to), that she is such a good kid. I see these other teenage girls; they focus on their boyfriends, they dress inappropriately, some are “goth” or “emo”, they’re not doing well in school, they have no moral fiber, they’re not thinking of their futures… And I thank the lord, or the universe, or whatever, that my girl is not any of those things, and in fact, essentially the complete opposite.
The one thing I am unhappy about is the fact that she’s considering a college in Vermont. Can’t she stay here, at home, with Mommy?
Dawson and Kayli are like Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum. I suppose that’s a good thing. Hell, it could be worse. I know, I’ve seen it, experienced it.
Dawson continues his weekly visits with his therapist. I’ve seen an improvement in so many areas with him. He is adjusting to his new living circumstances, both here and at Dad’s. His frustration level (his quick temper) has become less of a problem. He still suffers from a lack of self-esteem, and I’m not sure why. We are working on that. He still has a difficult time with maintaining focus. We are working on that too. Academically he struggles, but not noticeably more than his classmates, so it is still workable. My absolute LAST resort is to have him tested for ADD. We will see how the immediate future goes.
Kayli is a sweet, sweet girl. Sometimes so well behaved that I still look for a microchip, or some wiring, or some other clue that will prove my hypothesis that she is, in fact, a robot. Then other times I am reminded that she is, after all, just a kid.

I’m still adapting to having “other people” living with me. I’ve never been good at co-existing. Not with significant others, not with roommates, and barely with my own children.
Just ask Liza. She came to stay with me for a couple weeks, when she thought she couldn’t tolerate living with her grandparents any longer. We thought it would be great, since we were best friends. I suspect it didn’t take her long to miss her screaming Meme.

Well, I suppose I should wrap this up and do something productive. I have a 4 page paper due on Monday, a 10 page research paper due in two weeks, two separate communications assignments due on Tuesday, two (thick) chapters to read, laundry that needs washing, floors that desperately need to be vacuumed, and a lawn that’s screaming to be mowed.

I certainly shouldn’t be bored.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Friday, April 29, 2011

Well, exactly two weeks from today I will be saying goodbye to the bank.
Oddly, I feel a tiny bit funny about it.
Not about leaving Corporate America, where you’re not allowed to listen to the radio (or even CD’s), where you aren’t allowed to carry your cell phone in your pocket on silent, where you’re not allowed to check the weather online, where you can’t email your advisor (or anyone else) during downtime because your forbidden to email outside the intranet, where you can't wear open toe shoes or capris…
But about the girls.
The first six months or so I spent at the bank, there was discord. Behind the line were 4 women trying to “get along” in a small space. And needless to say, it got off to a very rough start..
And then there were changes within the branch. Pat (unwillingly) relocated, Katie stepped down, Lisa was out on medical leave, new faces came and went, new rules were enacted and enforced…
And suddenly, us lowly tellers started to band together, formed bonds, and developed friendships.
And I suppose, as much as I complain, I will miss those women. 

And then, after my two weeks is up, two days later I will be starting my college classes.
Holy crap.
I go back and forth daily between excitement and sheer panic.
But mostly, I am just excited. 
I have spent the last few weeks getting everything in order… Financial aid, the scholarship program details, immunizations, class registration...
I only have to get my books now, and actually go school shopping. That just blows my mind. I’m going school shopping, not for my kids, but for ME. How surreal.
The girl with lots of credits and no degrees, who could never really decide what she wanted to be when she grew up, who was never afforded the time or opportunity to go back to school, is finally pursuing a Bachelor's degree, and her pipe-dream of being an English teacher.

I pinch myself daily.
I don’t know how I got so lucky in all of this. 
How did everything fall into place so neatly?
I happen to meet a wonderful man, who is moving in, and willing to solely support this household while I go back to school.
I happen to hear about this Competitive Skills Scholarship Program, submit my application (along with thousands of other people), and I get picked out of the lottery.
As most of you know, I have never been the poster child for “good luck”. I’m pretty fortunate compared to a lot of people, but my life has been a consistent stream of hardships. 
And so, I still pinch myself.

The dogs are doing well. Herc is stable. The prednisone seems to be doing it’s job. He is still very uncoordinated, and looks like a dog on Jack Daniels. But he’s actually able to navigate stairs now, which he couldn’t do 6 months ago. He still doesn’t illicit any signs of pain. We are still hoping he will live a long life with us.
Anselmo is a sweet, sweet boy. He is very clingy to his people. Which is hard sometimes, because he is constantly covering us in his thick, gelatinous saliva. It is seriously disgusting.

Logan is turning 16 in a few weeks. Oh boy. She will be testing for her license soon afterwards. Which is frightening, to say the very least. She definitely needs more practice. 
Softball has just started, and I am excited for tonight’s first game. She has been a first-baseman for years, but she is pitching this year, which she has not had much experience with. Hopefully she doesn’t suck. LOL…
She is still a “good kid”. I see other teenagers doing awful things, behaving poorly, making very bad decisions, and I count my blessings that she is who she is. However, there are still days that I’d like to strangle the life out of her.

Dawson is making gains in his personal and academic life. We had a meeting at school this week regarding what he needs in the classroom. We are in the process of getting him evaluated at school, so that he can have a formulated plan that will follow him from grade to grade.  
He was having a really hard time coping with all the changes at both Mom’s house and Dad’s. I got him into a counselor a few weeks ago. Even though he was quite open and talkative with her right from the beginning, he argued that he didn’t need to go. Recently though, he has begun to look forward to their weekly meetings. This week he told her- “I think EVERYONE needs a therapist”. Pretty smart boy.

Kayli is just a lovely young girl. I really can’t say anything else. I often tease Troy, and call her a “stepford child”. She is so good, she must be a robot. Her and Dawson just love each other. Really love each other. Dawson has actually said “I love you” to her the last few times they have parted. And she definitely looks up to Logan. And for whatever reason, she loves me too. 

My relationship continues to thrive.  How? I don’t know. He must be a very patient man. Or he must love me. Maybe a little of both.
We are learning to live together. Or maybe I should say, Troy is learning to live with ME. God knows I am NOT easy to live with.  
I want the toilet paper put on frontward. The shower curtain is to be closed after a shower. The toilet lid must be down at all times. Towels go on the towel bar, not on the shower curtain rod. Windows you open must be closed. Closet doors must be closed, not left open a crack. Empty returnables go in the bag, not on the counter. Big trash items go in the big trash in the closet, not the small trash under the sink.  Jars of spaghetti sauce and cans of vegetables go on the bottom shelves in the pantry, snacks and cereals go on the top shelves. Leaves on the table get folded down after dinnertime.
And on, and on, and on…
Poor Troy.
Seriously though, we have been through some of the typical relationship struggles. And we have managed to come out on top each time. I guess this is how a functional relationship works. When two people truly love each other, maintain the ability to communicate, put each other's needs first... Huh. Who knew.

And now, I must end my rant and go get ready to join the ranks at Corporate America.
Just two more weeks.

Be well.

Friday, April 1, 2011


So, the week started out fairly normal. Then got interesting. Real quick.
Grab a cup of Joe and get comfy for this one folks...

First there was the announcement from Sharla that she was moving off to the lake about 30 miles from here.
Not that 30 miles is a big deal. But it's farther than we (the family) had anticipated.
Why do I care, you ask?
Well, for one, I like to keep an eye on my baby sister, if you haven't noticed. I'll feel especially compelled to do so now that she's going to be "on her own". And the fact is, she hasn't been "on her own", well... ever.
Oh sure, it'll be great spending the summer at her house on the lake. We're all really looking forward to that.
So again, what's the big deal, you ask?
Well, it has been suggested that my 15 (16 in May) year old daughter babysit overnights for her this summer while she's working at the hospital. Truth is, she'd be babysitting the next day as well, as Sharla would need to sleep.
Again, what's the big deal, you ask? Have you met my neice and nephew?
And it's on the lake. And in a neighborhood where they don't know anyone. And it's overnight, and possibly the next day (when the kids will ultimately want to swim all day).  And 30 miles from us. And probably 45 minutes away from any 911 response. 
Huh.
Even given all of those variables, I ask myself- If I were to go away for a night, would I feel comfortable leaving Logan to babysit Dawson alone all night here in my own home and neighborhood?
The answer is a resounding "No".
And so, I am put in a very precarious position here.
Sharla needs help. We as a family, always lean on each other. We always help each other out.
If I make the call on this that I am leaning towards, I automatically become labeled as too over-protective, too worrysome, too paranoid, too unwilling to help my family. 
I become the bad guy.
Great.

So, I get a stomach bug this week. Wicked psyched about that.
Thank GAWD it seems to have passed. Although my guts still aren't quite right.
Upside is, I lost 4 pounds.
Hopefully they won't find their way back.

My den/bedroom and entire downstairs looks like a warzone.
I keep reminding myself it is a temporary inconvenience, all for the greater good.
When this is all said and done, I will have a second bathroom.
At least the crew provided me with some entertainment while I was down this week.

We got Logan a car. Another car.
About a month ago, I had bought her a 98 Saturn. It was all I could afford. I was all excited. I don't know why.
I look at the car and think- "Even I wouldn't be caught dead driving that car"...
She was very gracious.
And yet, she's been depressed for a month.
She was trying to conceal it, to not hurt my feelings. But she was embarassed by her "new car". She didn't tell her friends she got a car. She didn't take it driving every night to practice for her licensing test.
And still, she said nothing to me. But I knew.
Now, I know what a lot of you are thinking- When I was her age, I had a piece of shit car, and I was thankful to have a set of wheels. Most 16 year olds don't even HAVE a car... etc, etc, etc...
And yes, I get all that. I agree.
But damnit, Logan has been through a lot in her life, she's responsible, mature, a good student, and a goddamn good kid. She deserves it.
And we found ourselves in a position to be able to give her something better.
And the look on her face (as you can tell from the pictures), made it worth every penny and every gray hair acquired from the stress of it all.
We are all very happy.
Well, except for her Dad. Who claims (and I quote)- You only did this for your own convenience and your need to be the hero.
Whatever, Dickhead.  :)

Yesterday we went to an appointment for Troy to have an echocardiogram and to see his cardiologist.
Normally, I would not discuss this, as it has been a very private issue for Troy for the last couple years of his life. Now that he has gained a fiance and an extended family, it has become less private. And since there is actually good news to report, it becomes facebook news for my friends. :) With his permission, of course.  :)

We were preparing ourself for the worst yesterday, because Troy hasn't been feeling well for a few months now.
You see, Troy sufferes from "viral cardiomyopathy". Translated, heart disease brought on by a virus. In August of 2009, Troy suffered a heart attack while very, very sick with a virus.
The last time he saw his cardiologist, his heart function was so poor that they were discussing putting him on the national heart transplant waiting list. 

It is said that the heart will improve within the first six months after a heart attack, and after that, that's all you get. But Troy's heart function has actually improved since the last time he was seen. Which shocked all of us (even Dr J, the cardiologist). The last time Troy saw Dr. J was in February of 2010 (bad boy, he's supposed to go every 6 months), and his heart function is now up about a 10-15% increase from this time last year!
His fluid retention level is not any worse (that's one of their main concerns with him, fluid in/around his heart), and his blood pressure and cholesterol are both normal. His meds are doing their job.
Next we will be going to Boston for a cardiac MRI, and a biopsy. Can you believe that? They can actually biopsy the heart.. how weird! 
Depending on the results of the MRI and biopsy, we will re-visit the idea of putting in a defibrillator. 

And so, it seems that love does actually heal a broken heart.  :)
(Although, Sharla said- "Once they take out a peice of his heart, he'll be just like us.")    :)

So yesterday there was definitely cause for celebration! We went to dinner, had a nice evening at home with candles... and then I fell asleep on him.
Doh!

Phew... What a frickin week.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Random thoughts...

I've gone through ONE room in the house. The SMALLEST room in the house (the laundry room). And already I could stock an entire thrift store with the shit that came out of there.

Twin mattresses don't seem all that heavy, right? They're quite light, in fact. Until someone of my stature carries one over-the-head, up stairs, and puts it into a loft bed. Damn.

Dunkin donuts coffee brewed at home is no where near as good as brewed at Dunkin. (Either way, I've probably had too much)

I miss my kids when they're gone. But I like my "me time". 

While shopping at Marden's today with Kayli, she grabs a pair of thong underwear off the rack and says- "Butt floss!" Easily the highlight of my day. 

Life is a lot like "Good cop, bad cop". I would really like to, just once, be the "good cop".

I really enjoyed the last couple family gatherings. I miss our tightly knit core.

I have to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I say this a lot, but now I REALLY do. In order to participate in the Competitive Skills Scholarship program, I have to pick something. Crap.
I always spell "competitive" wrong.

I miss singing. A lot. 
(Don't go saying- "oh get back into it, Crista!"... You all already know that any good musicians are already working. So save it.)

Four days ago, I fixed all the holes in the walls, washed them, took off all the switchplates and outlet covers, and moved all the furniture from that side of the house, in preparation for painting. Four days ago. It's still not painted. What does that mean?

 I'm about ready to trade in this housework shit and an over-active brain for some loud music and a tall ice-cold kahlua.