29thMarch

Is it just me???

I just can’t seem to get or stay upbeat these days.  It just seems like one frustration after another.  I get moving and have plans to accomplish so much and then it’s just one snag after another until I get so discouraged I just want to give up and go to bed.

I went to Terry’s and picked him up from the hospital.  I stayed with him for an entire week.  Keep in mind, I had just been up to see him for a week, came home for four days, and then had to go back up there because he had to get a heart stint.  When I get home I have so much that I have to do to get caught up and nothing ever seems to go according to plan.

I was exhausted Sunday morning because I just got home Saturday evening and I didn’t even get up for church Sunday but listened to the sermon on line.  I rested most of the day yesterday.  This morning I got up early and went to Bible study and I came home with a long list of things I wanted to get accomplished.

I tried for more than an hour to make an appointment to get my Covid vaccine.  I would find a location that had it, log on and enter all my information, go to schedule the appointment and then come to a screen that said they were out of the vaccine and not taking appointments at this time.  I did that at eight different locations and then gave up.

Next on the agenda was scheduling a haircut.  I called and my hair dresser is on vacation for the next week.

I’m overdue for routine maintenance on my car and I have to take it to Elizabethtown, Ky to have it done.  I’m having a problem with the automatic door lock on the driver’s side and the computer screen sometimes goes off when I’m driving and then restarts but loses my GPS settings and radio settings.  I asked them if both of those things are covered by my warranty and they couldn’t tell me.  So I had to make an early morning appointment on Thursday to get it looked at and I don’t even know if it’s covered.

I logged on to the website to pay my mortgage payment and the site is down so I can’t get that done.

I’ve now spent close to two hours of wasted time trying to get things done and I’m tired and frustrated and I don’t want to do anything.  I know two hours is not much but two hours of frustration can take a toll.

I got pretty irritated with Terry while I was at his house last week.  He’s not nearly as attentive as he used to be and he acts like we’re just an old married couple.  I worked my butt off while I was there and it seemed like he was really dismissive of everything I did.  He has a way of doing that.  If I accomplish something, he either trivializes it or he says God is the one that really did it. I went up there because I wanted to make sure he took it easy after his heart stint was placed but he got it in his head that we needed to get his house all cleaned up.  I was already doing all the cooking and dishes and daily housework.  He has six cats and I was cleaning out six cat boxes every day.

He wants to sell his home so he wanted the walls washed.  He did the upper couple of feet on a step stool and I did the lower six feet.  Where is all the dirt and grime?  On the lower 6 feet.  He would just spray and wipe and I was scrubbing all the hand prints and dirty baseboards and crap that gets splashed all over the walls.  He was taking things off the top of the cabinets and handing them to me and I was washing and drying them and handing them back.  When we were done, he looked around and said, “I think I did a pretty good job.”

His carpets were filthy so I bought a new carpet shampooer because I need a new one for home anyway.  He has tons of clutter and I cleaned out closets and organized and moved a lot of really heavy stuff.  I moved all the furniture myself, cleaned under it and moved it all back.  I vacuumed and scrubbed carpets for three days and they looked a hundred percent better but he didn’t really even comment on them.  I was really tired the third morning and I woke up at 9:30, drank some coffee and took my shower and then I commented, “Oh my gosh!  It’s almost 11:00.”  He said, “Yeah, you better get started, you’ve got a lot to do today.”

It felt like he kept baiting me.  He would say something to the effect that he didn’t feel good and then turn around and say something like, I’ve got to get this done or that done and I would tell him to just take it easy and wind up doing it myself.  I worked my butt off and my back was killing me.  The morning I left, he said he was going to cut the grass and it didn’t even need to be cut.  I told him to give it a couple of days but when I got back to Louisville and texted him that I was home, he texted back that he was cutting his and his neighbor’s grass.

Sometimes I don’t know why I’m with Terry.  He’s racist and he’s sexist.  I try to talk to him about it but he has a way of twisting things around.  He tries to make it seem like I’m in the wrong and doesn’t really listen to what I’m trying to tell him.  He’s so self righteous and arrogant.  I tell myself that he’s that way because he’s really insecure and needs acceptance for who he is but he makes it difficult.  He talks about women as if each and every one of us is only interested in sex.  I have heard at least a dozen times since I’ve met him that on his very first evening of the cruise, two young women were chatting with him and asked him if he was on the cruise by himself.  He says he couldn’t believe they were coming on to him on the very first evening.  I told him they were probably just chatting but that’s not what he wants to hear.  The manager of the mobile home community gave him a letter reminding him that he’s not allowed to park on the street and he gave her flack about it.  She retaliated by telling him that they would have to do a criminal background check on me because any guest that stays overnight more than 14 days a year has to have a background check.  He got furious and has been ranting about how she’s just jealous of me because she has the hots for him. He called her and told her I have a four bedroom home, a pool, a hot tub, own a corporation, and my car cost more than her entire home.  I was really mad and told him I have nothing to be ashamed of and I don’t like the way he portrayed me and lied about me.  He said, “Do you have a four bedroom home, do you have a pool, do you have a hot tub, do you have a business?  I said, “I have a small four bedroom home, I have an above ground pool and an old hot tub.  My little jam and jelly business is gone and it was never a corporation.  I’m not embarrassed about who I am and you don’t need to lie about me to make yourself look good.”

He said he couldn’t wait to sell his place and move to his property in Des Arc, Missouri.  I said, “Terry, that’s going to make it really hard.  That’s a seven hour drive from where I live.”  Then he said, “Fine!  I guess I’ll just have to find a new girl friend.”  I said, “You have hurt me three times in just the last 15 minutes and I don’t need that.  You insulted me by talking about how the manager is consumed with lust for you, you lied about who I am, and you say you’ll just find another woman when I bring to your attention that it will be difficult to drive 7 hours just to see you.  I don’t need this.”  I told him I was leaving the next morning and then he apologized and begged me not to go.  I told him I don’t tolerate disrespect and I am not going to put up with it.  He said that’s just the way he is and he doesn’t mean anything by it.

He is arrogant and opinionated and I’m beginning to get really tired of it.  I used to tell Donnie I love you because of some things and in spite of some things.  Your “because of” list is much longer than your “in spite of” list.  Terry’s “in spite of” list is getting to be pretty long.

 

I was afraid yesterday morning.  I’ve struggled for a long time and sometimes fear can be paralyzing.  I was like that yesterday morning.  I got better as the day wore on.  I accepted that I had funds to work with and I got my bills caught up.  I had to pay two house payments and I’m paying my property taxes today.

Yesterday evening, the neighbor came over and said he got $3200 for his stipend because of his dependents.  I claimed four dependents last year on my taxes because I care for David, Scout, and Andrew.  I didn’t claim Steven because he works and wanted to claim himself.  That explains why I received such a large deposit.

Even so, I had already decided to accept the amount and use it to lift some of the burden off my shoulders.  How ironic that the sermon I listened to this morning was talking about how fear can break us down and stop us from being able to function.  I envy those who are able to have complete faith in God and just accept whatever comes their way.  My faith is strong but I’m not that strong.  I still try to take care of everyone and do what I can to support them.  I can’t just sit back and relax with the attitude that no harm will come to me and the ones I love.  I am the matriarch.  The provider.  I  have faith that God has given me that role and I have to work to fulfill it.  I can’t just sit back and sing la, la, la.  It’s not just me.  I have a family to provide for.  I can’t forget how devastated I was when Donnie died.  Not knowing how on earth I would be able to pay all the bills and support my family.  And then, having finally gotten things under control, my sister destroys my business and the pandemic prevents me from restarting it.  My faith is strong enough to let me know that it will all be okay eventually but I can’t just sit back and do nothing.

Moving on, Terry was not happy that I was pushy yesterday but he did go to the hospital and he called me yesterday evening to tell me that they were treating him very well.  They were attentive to his needs and did their best to keep him comfortable.  They ran all kinds of tests and scans and procedures and determined that hormones in his blood indicated that his heart was really struggling.  They decided to keep him overnight and schedule him with a cardiologist today.  At 1:30 this morning, he was having a series of heart attacks and they called in a team to do an emergency cardiac stent through his wrist.  So, yes, it was good that I was angry and insistent with him yesterday and made him get his ass to the hospital.  I talked to him this morning and he says they’ll be keeping him for a couple of days and he’s not supposed to use his right hand for a few days.  I guess I’ll get things in order around here and plan on going to his house to help him out for a few days after he’s discharged.

17thMarch

Jump Start

I’m trying to make decisions today.  I’m like an old car that has sat too long and can’t be started.  I’ve been deeply depressed and so worried and stressed that I can’t seem to move.

I was so far down yesterday that I went to my room and cried.  I got down on my knees and prayed for some relief.  All I did yesterday was make dinner.  I didn’t clean house, I didn’t go to the store.  I didn’t do anything but feed my family.  I couldn’t even muster enough energy to do the dishes.  I walked around in pajamas all day and didn’t even get dressed.

This morning, my bank account shows a deposit from the IRS for $5,600.00.  Where did it come from?  What is it for?  On the one hand, I desperately need it.  On the other hand, I called the bank and they couldn’t tell me what it’s for.  I tried to call the IRS but I can’t get through.  I’m almost afraid to touch it.  The government sent out stimulus checks of $1,400 and I was hoping I would get mine this week but that doesn’t explain the amount.  Stacy owes back child support but that wouldn’t come from the IRS.  It’s not from unemployment.  It has to be stimulus.

So I’m sitting here, thinking about the bills I need to pay and how that money will really help me bring things current and yet paralyzed with fear that maybe it’s a mistake.

I could pay my property taxes, get my car tags renewed, catch up my mortgage, and bring all my bills up to date.  Yet, I’m sitting here doing nothing and I feel frightened.  I’ve struggled so long in a deep, dark hole that I’m afraid to climb out.  The last thing I need is for the IRS to come after me because they made a mistake and I spent money that didn’t belong to me.  I guess that just shows how much mistrust I’ve built up with the government.  They have always let me down and I don’t feel like I can trust them at all.  Still, I’m going to lay down my fear, trust in God, and start paying bills.  Being afraid doesn’t help anything.  It’s time for me to jump start this old car and get moving again.

I just got a text from Terry while I was writing this.  I’m angry with him.  He texted me that he’s been having chest pains.  He was a medic in the army and he thinks he knows everything.  He told me he thinks he’s probably had and is having a series of small heart attacks.  I told him to go to the emergency room and he tried to give me this line about how he made an appointment for a stress test because he’s pretty sure it’s just angina.  I’ve suspected for some time that he’s a lot sicker than he lets on but he’s really stubborn.  I got confrontational with him and asked him why he hadn’t told me he was having chest pains and suspecting that he was having a series of small heart attacks and he said he didn’t want to worry me.  He said it will take months for the VA to get around to doing a stress test for him and I reiterated that he needs to go to the emergency room.  He got stubborn and told me that’s why he didn’t tell me about it sooner because he didn’t want me to worry.  I got really angry with him and told him he doesn’t want me to worry about him but he seems to have no problem with breaking my heart if he dies.  I texted him and told him to leave me alone.  I don’t want to listen to him play games with his health and my heart.

I’m so sick of men.  I really am.  They refuse to take care of themselves, they ignore serious problems and make excuses to avoid going to the doctor and then they die and leave broken hearts all over the place.  Donnie didn’t take care of himself and I still suffer his loss.  My brother, Dennis, didn’t take care of himself and I didn’t even know how sick he was until he was gone.  My son is blind because he didn’t take care of himself.  David walks around with a huge lump on his neck and constant pain in his foot but he won’t go to the doctor.  Men are so fucking selfish.  They partake in this quien es mas macho attitude until they’re destroyed and they don’t care who gets hurt.

I am strong.  I have been beaten down time after time but I always get back up.  I get depressed but I always pull out of it.  I have never needed a man to take care of me.  I have always taken care of myself and my family.  All my adult life I worked at least a full time job and a part time job.  Sometimes two full time jobs.  But I always managed to be there for my loved ones.  I am sick to death of men thinking women are weak.  I NEVER give up.  I have had my heart scarred time after time but it’s still beating.  I’m still juggling bills and taking care of my family even though it’s a family of men who should be doing a lot more to help than what they are.  I don’t depend on them, they depend on me.

Terry just called me and told me he’s going to the hospital.  He acts like he’s only doing it to make me happy.  If he wants to think that, that’s fine.  As long as he goes.

That’s what I feel like today.  Like I just don’t have anything left.  My bank account is overdrawn.  I get a small check tomorrow that will bring it current but I’m so tired of struggling with it.  I got home from Terry’s last Wednesday and this is the following Tuesday.  I haven’t done much except lay around and eat and watch TV.  I did go to church on Sunday and went back Sunday evening to join the choir.  I don’t know any of those old hymns they sing and my voice is shot but I just feel so bad for them when their choir consists of only four people.  The pastor is trying to get a choir together for Easter and asked for people to join so I did.  About 15 people showed up. We have two weeks to try to pull something together.

My house is a total mess.  No one else would say that but I see all the hidden dirt.  The dirty walls and the dirty windows.  All the dust and grime.  I just can’t seem to get motivated to deal with it.

Terry has a CT scan scheduled for Thursday.  I don’t know what it will show but I’m worried about him.  He told me last week that if anything was wrong, he wanted to leave his house to me.  I told him I absolutely would not take it.  He needs to leave that for his children.  He has a strange relationship with his children and grandchildren.  He likes to say he raised them in the church and they are strong and independent.  His son has a very good job and makes plenty of money and he seems to have a decent relationship in that they speak on the phone every month or so.  We’ve been to see his son twice in the last year but they don’t seem to have the kind of intimate, loving relationship that I would expect.  There’s a kind of distance between them that I wouldn’t expect.

I’ve never met his daughter and he doesn’t talk to her very often.  In fact, I only know of once in the past year that he has spoken to her over the phone.  I don’t know what’s going on with that.  He tells me about being a long distance truck driver and being unaware that his wife was leaving the kids alone while she went out and got drunk and slept with lots of men.  He says she told the kids to tell him that she was asleep or in the shower or at the store when he would call and that, when he discovered that the kids were being left alone to fend for themselves, he divorced her, got custody of the kids, and became a local driver so he could take care of them.

His description of those years seems to indicate a good relationship with his children but he says Matthew was always really gifted intellectually and Lindsey wasn’t.  He says Lindsey always felt a little bit inferior and was more withdrawn.  She married her high school sweetheart and they have two children.  She lives about 30 miles from Terry and, shortly after I met him, we happened to be in the area and he said, “Why don’t we go by Lindsey’s apartment and I’ll introduce you to her.  I haven’t seen my grand-kids in about 10 months and it would be nice to see them.”  I can’t imagine not seeing my grandchildren for that long and it seemed strange to me.  He pulled up to her apartment building and called her to let her know that we were in the parking lot and he would like to bring me in to introduce me.  She told him that one of them had an upset stomach and had just gotten sick and it wasn’t a good time.  Really?  I couldn’t wrap my head around that.  We were actually in the parking lot and she didn’t want her father to come in?  And he hadn’t seen her or the kids for almost a year?  I thought maybe her apartment was a mess and she was embarrassed about it or something.  Since that time, it has now been another year and Terry hasn’t seen her or the kids.  He says he calls her occasionally and leaves a message but she never calls him back.  I find that to be very strange.  He told me she and her husband want to buy a house and he offered, a couple of years ago, to let them move into his home and live there rent free while he moved to his property in Missouri for a couple of years to work on fixing up his cabin.  He thought not having to pay more than a thousand dollars a month in rent would enable them to save money for a home.  She told him it would be too far for her husband to drive to work but he’s a teacher and the school he works at is only about 15 miles from where Terry’s house is.

I don’t understand that at all but Terry told me Lindsey has a bit of a “victim” personality.  She is always feeling sorry for herself and is very over protective of her children.  She home schools them.  She works at a day care but it closed down from the pandemic.  I’m friends with her on Face Book and she posts lots of pictures of the kids.  He apartment looks clean and neat and she’s very pretty but I’ve yet to meet her.  I just think that relationship is very strange.  If I were her father, I’d be a lot more persistent about calling her and making efforts to stay in touch.  I can’t imagine not seeing my daughter or grand children for two years when they live less that 30 minutes away.

At any rate, I told him I would not want him to leave his house to me and that he should leave it to his children.  I told him if he left it to me, I would give it to his children anyway.

Enough writing.  I need to get to work.

I was reading some of my recent blogs and realized how selfish I sound.  I get depressed and I get confused and blogging helps me think about things and get it off my chest.

Too often, I blog about all the bad things and I don’t recognize the blessings in my life.  I get depressed and blog to clear my head. It’s a coping mechanism.  The only place where I express my true feelings.  Things that I don’t share with others. I already blogged once today and I read it and gave a little thought to how someone else would see it.  So I decided to write again.  Not in self pity or depression but to shine a little light on who I really am.

I am a beautiful woman who is living a beautiful life.  I have a beautiful family that’s full of love and goodness.  Most of the time, I’m running around in my black Ford Explorer with the sunroof open, wind rushing through my hair, singing along with my favorite music.  I turn the music up loud because I need to drown out my own contribution to it.

I am full of grace.  God has blessed me in so many ways and I can’t begin to measure the goodness of my life.  I am healthy.  I am loved.  I have traveled extensively and had the dedication and love of three good men.  Men are attracted to me.  Women are attracted to me.  I’ve had complete strangers tell me I have a radiance.  Most of the time, I’m very outgoing and I have a smile on my face.  It’s because God has shown me so much mercy that it creates an inner glow.

I can converse with just about anyone and I see that people are good.  I keep dollar bills in my car for giving to the homeless.  It is not my place to judge them.  I’m pretty sure none of them would choose the life they live.  Whether drugs, mental disease, or alcohol have brought them down, it’s still an illness or addiction and I know I am no better than they are.  I don’t hate.  I have a heart that is capable of endless love and I know that, in itself, is a treasure that is not given to many.

I have traveled to some of the most beautiful places in this world.  I have sat on mountaintops and been speechless at the splendor that surrounds me.  I have traveled by plane, RV, and cruise ships.  I have seen sunsets that are so overpowering that it has brought me to tears.

I love so many people.  I can’t help it.  I see their pain, I see their goodness, I see their needs.  And I can’t help but love them.  If they don’t measure up, if they hurt me, if they disappoint me, I still love them.

I have integrity.  I’m not perfect by any means but I try.  I really try to do good.  I don’t cheat, lie, or steal.  I respect other’s privacy.  I don’t snoop or pry.  I don’t try to get dirt on people.  I have enough of my own.

I cook big dinners for my friends and family.  I turn the music up loud and dance and slice and dice to exhaustion.  I drink shots of peanut butter whiskey or tequila with the best of them. And then I feed people.

I go outside almost every night after dark wrapped up in a beach towel and then I drop the towel and sit naked in my hot tub and listen to music.  I jump out of the hot tub and run barefoot through the snow to get back inside the house before my feet freeze to the concrete.

And that, people, is who I am.

I just finished paying bills.  It’s a tremendous weight off my mind.  I still owe lots of money but I get a sense of relief just to get the mortgage, charge cards, utilities, and insurance paid.  I know my credit is slowly going down the drain but at least I manage to feed my family and keep things going.

I had a big argument with David last night.  I am a doormat and I know that.  I’ve always known it.  But I have always felt a strong need to take care of my family.  I don’t really know why.  I just do. I don’t want them to do without.  I always wanted to be there for them.  I thought by always being there for my children and grand children I would raise them in a way that they would always be there for their own loved ones.  Instead, I have a family that thinks I will meet their every need.  They think what is mine is their’s.  I look at them and all I can see is their needs.  David is an alcoholic.  He doesn’t take care of himself or his children.  It’s like he’s just given up.  Andrew is schizophrenic and he spends a lot of time in his own little world and I can’t get him to go to the doctor or take medication.  Scout and Steven have Asperger’s syndrome.  It’s almost impossible for them to see beyond themselves and look at the big picture.  So I try to take care of everyone.

Sometimes it just gets to be too much.  David is in a dead end job and doesn’t seem motivated to do much about it.  He wallows in self pity and yet he doesn’t do anything to change his circumstances.  He continues to love Stacy and lets her control his life.  And yet, he has a heart of absolute gold and is loving and kind.

David is a junior.  His name is the same as Donnie’s.  Donnie and I had a joint checking account.  Stacy ruined David’s credit so I gave him Donnie’s debit card when Donnie passed away for emergencies.  I’ve had to take it away from him twice already.  He always has good intentions about paying me back when he takes money out of my account but those intentions never seem to work out.  He’ll get rained out and won’t work for a couple of days.  He’ll go to work and then be home in a couple of hours because there was a problem with the job. His boss treats him like a boy Friday and, although he’s supposed to be working construction, he treats him like a personal slave. He’ll have David go all the way to a job site, unload backbreaking loads of supplies and then send him home. He’s even had David work on his car in the freezing cold. I shop like a hoarder to make sure there’s always plenty of food to feed everyone around here and I know he gives some of it to Stacy.  I go out of town and he takes Stacy out using my bank account.

David will withdraw $60 because he’s broke.  The next day, he’ll take out 40, then he’ll take out another 60.  By the time he gets paid, he’s used up all his check and yet he thinks he’s giving me money.  I will get upset and tell him he owes me money and he’ll swear he doesn’t.  I sit down with him and look at my bank account and list all of the withdrawals and charges he’s made and add them all up and he’s always shocked to find that he’s taken out way more than he’s put in.  I know he’s not lying to me.  He really believes he’s replacing what he takes out but he isn’t.

I love him so much.  I know he’s hurt and disappointed at the way his life is going but he just can’t seem to get it under control.  He can see that Andrew and Steven and Scout take advantage of me but he can’t see that he does too.

I was thinking the other day about how much money I could save if I wasn’t paying all the household expenses, life insurance, phones, internet, and food for everyone else.  I would save over $2,000 each month.  I have no idea what they would all do if I wasn’t taking care of them.  Then I get angry because I sacrifice my own desires so that they won’t do without.  I feel guilty about the money I spend on myself.

Not today.  Today, I’ve got a little light shining.  My hair looks good.  My nails are done.  I’m going to get my lashes done and then I’m going to Terry’s tomorrow.  Doesn’t take a whole lot to make my light shine.  Just knowing that I’ve gotten my family taken care of for a few more days and I’m going to spend some time with a man that loves me and is much more concerned about making me happy than taking care of himself.

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t need a lot.  I just need to be with him.  He works hard to try to make me happy.  It shows in everything he does.  He makes me little snacks like a mandarin orange and some cheese and crackers when I’m reading or watching TV.  He’s always exhausted when I arrive because he’s worked hard cleaning the house to get ready for my visit.  He stocks the refrigerator with whatever kind of food he thinks I’ll like.  He washes my car.  He can’t give me a lot but what he gives is from the heart.

Sometimes I lose sight of how blessed I am.  I get so stressed and depressed with everything that’s going on that I just have to stop, go to my room, get on my knees and thank God for giving me a loving family, a wonderful man that loved me for 47 years, a life in a country that’s the best in the world, a home that meets all my needs, and a little light in my heart.

26thFebruary

Patchwork

I can’t fix things but I’m trying to patch them up and hang on for a while.  I’m so sick of this pandemic.  It has drastically affected my income and I’m angry that I’ve been waiting close to a year for my unemployment.  Everyone tells me they have to pay it.  Eventually…I just don’t have any faith in our government anymore.

I’m affected in so many little ways that it just piles up until I’m faced with depression and lethargy.  I was looking at how many little things I’ve given up in the last year and I decided to try to patch a few things to make myself feel better.

I was going on at least two or three cruises a year.  I had a little play money and some savings.  I felt attractive and I know a lot of that attraction came from a sort of inner glow of happiness.  People liked to be around me.  Men found me attractive and flirted with me. I was confident. I was fun.

It’s not easy trying to look attractive at my age but I spent $70 on haircuts and I got regular manicures and pedicures.  I had my hair colored and highlighted.  I get lash extensions.  Nothing gaudy but attractive.  I got compliments on my “beautiful eyes and hair”.  I got complemented on my fashion.

I don’t have any of that anymore.  I started doing my own nails.  I started coloring my hair out of a box.  I can do the color but I can’t do the highlights.  I started going to “Great Clips” for $9.00 haircuts.  They do a lousy job and I usually wind up cutting my own bangs.  I don’t shop for clothes anymore because my savings are gone and I have to feed everyone and keep this place functioning.  There is no extra money for these things.  I have four turkeys (after the holidays, ten cents a pound) 12 pork loins (clearing out at 89 cents a pound) 14 semi boneless hams (reduced from an average of $25 each to $4.00 each).  My family is never going to go hungry.  I have three freezers and when I come across a fantastic sale, I stock up.  I have an overflowing freezer.  I deprive myself to make sure I can take care of everyone else.

The cruise-lines have been shut down for a year.  I haven’t shopped for clothes this year.  I don’t go out with my friends anymore because most of them are paranoid and there’s really no place to go anyway.  I’ve become very sedentary.  Watching TV, playing on the computer, and eating lots of junk.

So I’m doing some patchwork this week.  I colored my hair two days ago.  I did my nails yesterday.  I have an appointment for a hair cut in an hour.  I’m trying a new place.  Haircuts cost $20.00 and I can get my brows waxed for $10.00.  I have an appointment on Monday to get my lash extensions.  I decided to spend a little over $100 on myself and see if I look a little better.  I get a free gym membership because of my age and I’m going to go to their tanning booth for the next few days.

Just writing this makes me feel guilty but I’m just so tired and depressed.  My clothes feel tight and uncomfortable.  I feel anything but attractive.  Terry tells me I’m beautiful.  He says I don’t need to color my hair or get my lashes done but then he calls me his little red headed filly and he always says I have beautiful eyes. He likes to hold my hand and he says my hands are so pretty.  I really think he would still think I was beautiful if I let it all go but I wouldn’t.  I’ve given up all the things that I’ve always done to make me feel pretty to myself except for my lash extensions.  Every time they start to disappear I hate it.  I get them done every month.  Vanity.

I try to keep up.  I feel so guilty when I do these things for myself.  It seems so shallow.  Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m passable.  No one would ever call me a total disaster but I miss feeling pretty.  I miss people complementing me on my clothes and my hair.  I miss going on cruises and going to parties or going out to eat with my friends.  Is it ever going to end?

9thFebruary

Way down in the hole

I’m tired.  I’m sick and tired.  I went to the doctor today because I’ve had a pain in my side for a while.  Just an occasional stinging, burning sensation that seems to come on for no reason and lasts a few seconds. It’s getting a little more frequent so I thought I’d go in.  I was shocked when they weighed me.  My scales haven’t been working and I showed six pounds more than the last time I weighed in at his office.

He’s concerned about it.  Said it could be my diabetes (which I tend to ignore) progressing.  He made me promise to start checking my blood sugar so I guess I’ll find that thing and start checking it.

I told him about going on an intense diet and exercise the first ten days of January and not even losing an ounce so he did labs.  Said it might be thyroid.

I left the office feeling like I HAVE to start taking better care of myself.  The feeling lasted about ten minutes.  Now I’m just tired and my back hurts and I want to go to bed.

sigh…

6thFebruary

Down the Rabbit Hole

I’m still down.  Still feeling depressed.  I actually started crying last night.  Sitting on my bed listening to music and I started thinking about Donnie.  God, I miss that man.  I guess I always will as long as I’m on this earth.

We had a good relationship.  There were problems, of course, but it was still good.  We knew each other so well.  I miss that.  I miss having a man that knew absolutely everything about me and loved me anyway.  We could look each other in the eye and know what the other felt and needed.

I’ve been lucky, I suppose.  I’ve loved two men since he died and they’ve both been good men.  They’ve both loved me and tried to make me happy.  But it’s not the same.  It never can be the same.  They will never know me the way Donnie did.  Sometimes, they cut me to the bone.  I get hurt because I want them to give me what Donnie gave me and they can’t. And they don’t even know it and I can’t tell them.   I know it would hurt them.  I hurt Carl and I never intended to do that.  I don’t want to hurt Terry.  I can’t tell them what I need because I need my husband and it’s not fair to expect them to compete with a dead man.

We were so in sync.  He knew me so well.  I miss his impulsive love.  The way he would be sitting across the room and his hands would spell out “I love you!” for no reason.  I think it was the only real message he knew in sign language but he did it often.  Across a crowded room.  In the kitchen when I was cooking or cleaning.  He’d just randomly sign “I love you!”

He would walk up to me for no reason and envelope me in a warm hug and just hold me there.  He seemed to know what I needed without me having to say it.  He’d often say, “You and me, babe.  It’s just you and me.”

I do pretty well most of the time but, sometimes, I just break down with longing for him.  He was so strong and so big.  I never had to worry about hurting him physically.  He always made me feel small and protected.  I look at old pictures and he’s always towering over me.  I look so small next to him.

Carl was so sweet.  He’s a big man. He had that ability to just hug me for no reason and give me the security of enveloping me and making me feel small.  Still, he couldn’t read me.  He couldn’t see how much pain I was in.  He made me happy for a long time but when things got really painful for me, he couldn’t fix it.  I felt like he didn’t even see it. After I cheated on him with Terry, I tried to explain what happened and Carl told me he knew I was hurting but he thought he would just step back and give me time and space.  All that did was make me feel like he didn’t care.  Even after I met Terry, I tried to tell him.  I asked him if I could come and see him and he said, “You’re always welcome at my home.”  I said, “That’s not what I need to hear.  That sounds like something you would say to your sister. I need to hear you say, “Yes!  Come up here, sweetheart.  I miss you like crazy and can’t wait to see you!”  He said, “Pat, I just don’t say things like that.”  And I said, “But I need to hear things like that.”  I decided not to go to Carl but to wait for him to come to me.  Our relationship had reached a point where I would go to his house about once every three weeks and I waited for him to tell me that he needed me and make arrangements for us to get together. It just wasn’t in him.  He got a little lazy and started taking me for granted. He would text me every night like clockwork but he didn’t make the effort to come to me.  I don’t think Donnie ever took me for granted.  We were always together.  We even went to the grocery together.  We cooked and cleaned together.  “You and me, babe.  It’s just you and me.”

And there’s no replacing that.  I can love again.  I already have.  But it always feels like there’s something missing.  Terry has a lot more enthusiasm than Carl did.  He does little things all the time to show me how much he loves me.  He reaches over for no reason and gives me a hug.  He’s not afraid to hold my hand in public.  But he’s small and frail.  I worry about him.  Sometimes I feel like I’m the one protecting him.  I’m the one enveloping him.  Terry feels fragile to me. Donnie always felt so strong and powerful.  Maybe that’s why I was in denial about how sick he was.  Terry can get on my nerves and he doesn’t even seem to realize when it’s happening.  He can be so stubborn and he goes on a rant about something and goes on and on about it when it gets to the point of beating a dead horse.  After a while, I just tune out.

Human love is never perfect.  I know that.  I’m blessed to be loved at all.  I’m certainly not perfect.  Sometimes I feel so guilty for wanting something from men that they can never give me but I still feel like I’m not getting what I need out of the relationship.  I can’t help feeling like there’s something lacking.

The first real date Donnie and I went on was back in 1968 to see the movie “Funny Girl”.  It was loosely based on the life of Fanny Brice.  More fiction that fact but it was a heart breaking love story of her relationship with Nicky Arnstein.  They had a wonderful relationship and she adored him.  He got in trouble and went to prison and it broke her heart.  In the sequel, Funny Lady, she meets a new man and marries him.  He adores her but she never loves him the way he loves her.  She can’t get over Nicky.  At one point, he’s trying to figure out what he can do to make her love him and he says, “Don’t you realize that you’re my Nicky Arnstein?”  I think that’s my problem.  Donnie was my Nicky Arnstein.

I listen to a lot of music.  Music has always spoken to me.  There’s a song I was listening to yesterday evening called “Every little thing” by Carly Pearce.  It’s what made me cry.

 

The scent that you left on my pillow
The sound of your heart beating with mine
The look in your eyes like a window
The taste of your kiss soaked in wine
Every little thing
I remember every little thing
The high, the hurt, the shine, the sting
Of every little thing
Guess you forgot what you told me
Because you left my heart on the floor
Baby, your ghost still haunts me
But I don’t want to sleep with him no more
Every little thing
I remember every little thing
The high, the hurt, the shine, the sting
Of every little thing
I remember every little thing
The high, the hurt, the shine, the sting
Of every little thing
They say time is the only healer
God, I hope that isn’t right
‘Cause right now I’d die to not remember
Every little thing
I remember every little thing
The high, the hurt, the shine, the sting
Every little thing
I remember every little thing
I’m haunted by the memories of
Every little thing
The high, the hurt, the shine, the sting
Every little thing

5thFebruary

Down, down, down…

I have the blues today.  No particular reason.  I’m just tired and depressed.  I don’t know if it’s stress, Covid 19, Terry, finances,the kids and grandkids or what.  I’m just depressed.

I made a doctor’s appointment for Tuesday.  I have a pain in my lower left abdominal area that started about 6 months ago and seems to be getting more common.  It’s a sort of sudden stinging or burning that hits me for no particular reason and continues for about ten seconds. Best to get it checked out.

I know I’m depressed and I’m caught up in a vicious cycle.  The more depressed I get, the more I just want to lie around in bed eating and watching TV.  That makes me sluggish and I feel fat and bloated.  That makes me just want to lie around more.  I’ve got to break the cycle.

I’m up.  It’s 1:30 in the afternoon and I just took my shower and got dressed.  I’m going to go to the tanning booth.  First time in almost a year.  I’m pale and bloated and I feel gross.  I don’t think I’ve ever been this pale in my entire life.  It really hurt my ego and motivation when I dieted and worked out those first ten days in January and didn’t lose an ounce.

My brother, David, has cancer.  He’s scheduled for surgery on the 12th to remove the upper left lobe of his lungs. He said he’s not sure if he’s going to be able to drive to and from the hospital and I told him I would be more than happy to drive to Elizabethtown and pick him up to bring him here to Louisville and take him home.  I’m supposed to go to Terry’s on the 11th and stay through Valentine’s Day but David is more important.  He said he would let me know.  I also told him I could stay with him for a few days after he got home if he needs me.

Not much more to say today.  Terry told me he went out and cut firewood for his fireplace yesterday and his back is fine.  I don’t know if that’s true because I told him not to go so he’s certainly not going to admit it if he’s in pain today.  He has this sort of “survivalist” attitude and he hates to pay for electric.  He keeps his thermostat low and burns wood all winter.  He also buys bottled water because he says the water from his faucet is full of chemicals and garbage so he won’t drink it.  I don’t know if he does these things out of necessity or a desire to be more self-sufficient.  He doesn’t have much of an income anymore.  Just social security but he can take money out of his 401K if he needs extra.

Nuff said, I’m going to go to the tanning booth.  Maybe a little bit more color will make me feel better.  At least I’ll be getting out of the house for a while.

 

I was looking back at some of my old posts and looking at the pictures.  I guess this site is outdated but I can’t figure out how to upload pictures on it anymore.  It seems like it all works okay but the pictures just won’t post.  Maybe it’s me.  Not much of a techie anymore.

Terry came this past weekend and stayed until Monday.  He had to go back because he was supposed to get his first dose of the vaccine on Tuesday.  He went to the VA and they said he was scheduled for the 9th.  Don’t know if it was their mistake or his but it didn’t work out.

I’m thinking about how things went this past weekend and I’m concerned.  Terry has this image of himself as a hard working, macho overachiever.  I know he loves me and wants to make me happy.  I also know that I tend to focus on the good and ignore the bad.  We always sit out on the back patio in the hot tub and have a couple of drinks.  It’s cold outside and Terry didn’t join me in the hot tub because he has COPD and he said it’s really hard on his lungs to go from the warm house into the cold air.  Especially when his body is in hot water and his lungs are getting cold air.  Still, he’s been in a lot of pain with his lower back and I was surprised that he didn’t go to the hot tub.  He chose to take a long hot soak in my soaker tub in the bathroom.  I have an extra deep tub with a reclined back and arm rests that is specifically designed for soaking.  His back was bothering him so much he took a long hot soak every night that he was here.  We went shopping and I noticed that he was having a difficult time keeping up with me even when I made a concentrated effort to walk slowly.  In one store, I left him looking at shoes and walked a couple of aisles away.  I told him where I was going but he never showed up.  I spent a considerable amount of time looking for him.  The store wasn’t that big, but I couldn’t find him.  I texted him but he didn’t answer.  I looked a little bit longer.  I called his phone and he didn’t answer.  I was puzzled but I got in the checkout line.  I’d been in line about ten minutes when he called me and said he was in the car.  After I went to the car, he told me he’d looked all over the store for several minutes but couldn’t find me.  I told him I’d been looking for him, too, and I couldn’t figure out how we missed each other in what was really not a very large store.  I had to pick up a couple of things at the grocery and it was raining.  He told me he’d drop me off at the door and wait in the parking lot.  It was the only time he’s not gone in.  He just waited for me in the car.

It really wasn’t until this morning that I started putting all these things together.  Terry tells me I’m naive and I know that I can be.  I just tend to put my fingers in my ears and sing “la, la, la”.  See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.  This blog is about the only place where I try to be totally honest and examine my thoughts about things.  Now I’m looking at the events of this weekend and I’m wondering if he was really hurting and not letting me see how bad it was.  I’m wondering if the reason I couldn’t find him in the store was because he was in so much pain that he went to the car the minute my back was turned and just sat out there for several minutes trying to recover before he called me back.

I’m worried about him.  His back is really hurting but he’s too stubborn to do anything about it.  I told him to go to the doctor but he said they’ll just tell him to take it easy, take an over the counter pain medication, and put heat on it.  Maybe…but it wouldn’t hurt to get it checked since he doesn’t even remember doing anything to bring it on.  I could see if he was working and bent over or lifted something and it immediately started hurting but that’s not what happened.

He has a lot of faith and believes God has a plan for everyone and everything.  He says when God is ready for him, he’s happy to go.  I feel the same but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to go to the doctor when something hurts.

Terry has COPD.  He says it causes blisters on his lungs.  He tends to just accept it as the cause of his breathing issues but I wish he would be more obedient to his doctor’s recommendations.  He was in a wreck, not his fault, the year before last and he broke a couple of ribs.  He told the police he was fine because he figured they don’t do anything for broken ribs anyway.  His ribs never healed correctly.  He tells me they healed in the wrong position and they press on the left side of his lungs so that he can’t expand his lungs all the way.  There are lots of times when we’re together that he has to use an inhaler to help him breathe.

He tells me his doctor found lesions on his lungs.  He detests his primary care physician and resists anything she tells him to do.  His mother was an alcoholic and ran around with a lot of men, his first wife became an alcoholic and did the same thing.  He got custody of his kids and raised them himself.  There have been other negative issues with women in his life and I’ve noticed that he can be very negative and demeaning about women.  Of course, he doesn’t do that with me because I would never stand for it but I’ve noticed how he reacts to other women.  So maybe he shouldn’t have a female physician.  He can’t stand her and complains that she is totally useless.  She sent him to a pulmonary specialist and the specialist said he can’t do a biopsy on the lesions in his lungs because his left lung is so compromised by his ribs that he doesn’t think they can do the biopsy without collapsing that side of his lungs.  So the specialist just wants to keep an eye on the lesions.  He told him to return in 3 months and at that visit, he told Terry the lesions were the same size, maybe even a little bit smaller and they probably were not malignant because, if they were, they probably would have gotten larger.

So that’s it.  Terry did not return to him at the end of the next three months.  His primary care physician sent him a letter stating that if he didn’t follow her recommendations, she could not be responsible for his care.  He ignored it and ranted about how incompetent she is.  He’s lost a lot of weight just since I’ve known him and he wonders why but he doesn’t eat much of anything.  It’s embarrassing to me because, when we eat, I’m just getting started and he’s full.  Makes me feel like a pig because he just doesn’t eat much of anything.  How can he be “stuffed” by eating one chicken leg and a bite of green beans?  For dinner the other night, we bought fish sandwiches.  I fixed some leftover green beans and leftover mashed potatoes to go with it.  He ate about a teaspoon of the potatoes, a bit of green beans and half his sandwich and said he couldn’t eat another bite.  Like I said, makes me feel like a glutton.  And now he’s having all of these problems with his back and his neck.  It’s scary.

I’m left to wonder…is he okay?  Is there something he’s not telling me?  Is he really sick and just not willing to accept it?  Or, is he really sick and just not willing to tell me?  Is he lying to me about what the pulmonary specialist said and that’s why he’s not going back? I don’t know.  He has an excuse for all of it.  If I try to get aggressive with him, he just reverts back to his standard, “when it’s my time to go, there’s nothing I can do about it.  You just need to trust in God’s plan”.

In examining my thoughts, I’m remembering something puzzling that he told me after I first met him.  His brother is a pastor and I remember him telling me that he drove over to his brother’s house and told him that he had met me.  He was looking for advice and told me he couldn’t figure out why I had come into his life at this point.  He said he’d been searching all his life and couldn’t believe he had found me NOW.  He said his brother advised him to go with his heart.  And he did.  I was puzzled.  I always go with my heart.  I don’t need to agonize over feelings of the heart.  I just trust my feelings.  And then Terry just poured out his love for me.  He held nothing back.  He tries to make me happy and he puts a lot of effort into our relationship.

I think about loved ones I have lost.  It’s a well known fact that when anyone or anything is dying, they lose interest in food and just stop eating.  My dad did it, my mother did it, and Donnie did it.  I can’t help getting apprehensive when a grown man just nibbles and doesn’t want to eat.  Maybe that’s just the fat girl in me.

I don’t like to look at the things that scare me.  Forty years ago, Donnie had an affair.  My head told me things weren’t right but I didn’t want to face it.  I just kept denying and denying until he confessed and then I felt like such a fool.  All the signs were there.  I knew, in my heart, that it was happening but I pushed those thoughts away and refused to see it.  I was totally shattered when he told me and yet, the minute he told me, I realized that I had already known and just wouldn’t allow myself to see the obvious.

I was caught totally unaware and unprepared for his death six years ago.  I didn’t see how bad it was.  I figured he would struggle with cancer for several years before he succumbed and I was totally shocked when he died.  I just didn’t see how sick he really was.

Am I doing the same thing with Terry?  I just don’t know.  Am I refusing to see the obvious?  Why did he have to go to his brother agonizing over whether or not to start a relationship with me?  Why is he losing so much weight?  Why doesn’t he have any appetite?  Why is he in so much pain and yet not going to the doctor?  Am I making mountains out of molehills or am I just trying to hide the truth?

 

 

 

22ndJanuary

Fuzzy Socks

Definitely on the chilly side today.  One of those days when I grab the first pair of fuzzy socks in the drawer.

I’m reminded of a Beth Hart song this morning:

Take it easy on me, I break easily, This still butterfly will learn to fly eventually,

Feeling a bit fragile. I think I’ll get back on track today but not all the way.  Fix a healthy dinner and read the Bible.  Do some housework.

I had an interesting encounter yesterday.  I went to the salon to get my hair cut.  The new method is to drive up to the door, they send someone out to the curb to take your temperature and ask if you’re feeling sick, if you’ve been exposed to Covid, if you’ve traveled out of the country, etc.  Then they give you a buzzer and tell you to wait in your car until they page you.  They have a small reception area and it would force patrons to sit next to each other if you waited inside.

I was sitting in my car playing solitaire on my phone when there was a knock on my window.  A woman said her car battery was dead and she wondered if I would pull up in front of her car and give her a jump.  Of course I said “yes”.  It wasn’t a problem at all.  She had jumper cables and she did all the work.  All I did was pull up and pop the hood.  She attached the cables and told me she had AAA but they told her it would be an hour and a half before they could get there so I was more than happy to help.  It didn’t work so I got out and tried to help her and make sure she had done it correctly.  She asked if we could just give it a couple of minutes and see if it would start.  I told her I was more than happy to do so and if they paged me, I would tell them to give me a couple of minutes.

It just didn’t work.  We tried for several minutes and then AAA called her back and said they would be able to get there in 20 minutes so we gave up.  I got back in my car and continued my solitaire game.  A couple of minutes later, she knocked on my window and handed me a ten dollar bill.  I absolutely refused to take it but she was insistent.  She tossed it into my car and kept insisting.  My car is notorious for eating things.  I reached for it to give it back to her and it slipped between the seats.  While I was digging for it, my beeper went off and I had to go in so I thanked her and assured her it hadn’t been any trouble and I was more than happy to have helped her.

I went inside for my appointment.  When I was finished and returned to my car, she was gone and there was an envelope under my windshield wiper.  I removed it.  It said, “For my guardian angel!”  Inside the envelope was a really sweet card and a chocolate bar.  She wrote the nicest note inside telling me how much she appreciated that I would take time and help her, a perfect stranger, in her time of need.  There was a business card inside, she said her husband was an attorney and if I ever needed anything, she would love to return the favor.  It made me feel good to know such a simple thing would mean so much to her.  Her note talked about how she was amazed that during the pandemic, I would take the time to talk with her and try to be helpful.  She said I was an amazing person.

It’s a little sad, don’t you think, that such a simple kindness would mean so much to her.  What kind of world are we living in where someone would think I was “amazing” and a “guardian angel” for doing such a simple thing.  She actually did more for me than I did for her.  We couldn’t even get her car to start.  Such random little acts of kindness should be happening all the time.  I don’t know why they don’t.  I remember a few weeks ago when an elderly, heavy set woman stepped off the curb at the gas station and fell.  Of course, I rushed over to help her.  Got her up and back in her car.  Asked if she was okay and if she needed me to call anyone.  Pumped her gas for her while she sat in her car.  She, too, went on and on about how much I had helped her.  Maybe people have forgotten that it is better to give than to receive.  Little things like that are blessings.  They remind us that we are here to love and help one another.  It must be a very hard world when people are overwhelmed at such simple things.  We should do no less.

21stJanuary

Hanging On

Now it’s been another week since I blogged.  Terry was supposed to come last week but he did something to his neck.  He said he didn’t do anything, that it’s caused by a pinched nerve.  I don’t know about that stuff.  All I know is that he suddenly had excruciating pain and he said it actually brought him to tears.  He said he was in so much pain he was shaking all over and could barely move.  I asked him if he wanted me to come up there and he told me there was nothing I could do.  I let it go a day but it was even worse the second day so I got things caught up here and drove up to St. Louis to try to help.

Poor Terry was miserable.  Couldn’t turn his head to the right and couldn’t get comfortable to sleep.  I stayed a few days and did the housekeeping and fixed dinner.  He improved a little bit each day and I came back home yesterday.  He’s still having trouble with it but it’s just going to take time for him to get back to normal.  He’s not in so much pain now and I think he’ll be okay.

Terry has COPD and it gives him a lot of trouble so he’s on the fast track for the Covid 19 vaccine.  His appointment is February 2nd.  I won’t be able to get it until sometime this spring.  I’ll continue to be careful and hopefully remain healthy until then.

My diet is in the toilet.  I’m still stressed about money and really struggling.  It makes it difficult for me.  It doesn’t help that I’m always running up to Terry’s.  I know he tries but it’s disruptive to my routine and then I have to get motivated and focused all over again.  It would be so much easier if I wasn’t so depressed.  I’ve gotten down to bare bones.  No savings left.  Two payments behind on my mortgage.  I owe two years of property taxes.  My car tags are expired.  I try to keep in mind that I’m so much luckier than a lot of people.  I can pay my utilities and keep us all fed.  I pay my car payment and everyone’s phone bill.  Still have insurance and all the necessities but I’ve pretty much given up on unemployment.  I’ve lost faith in the system.

Our government has never done much for me.  I’ve never been on unemployment, never been on food stamps or welfare.  I’ve always worked hard and done the best I could.  The court system let me down when they gave Stacy custody of the kids several years ago.  That didn’t work out and she eventually gave up and I wound up raising them anyway.  I lost faith in the child support system because she never paid it and they never did anything about it.  I lost faith in Social Security because I never got any and I didn’t get Donnie’s survivors benefits.  Steven was approved for social security disability but they paid him for 1 1/2 years and then decided to take it all back so they didn’t do anything for him either.  I worked hard to get my business going and then they shut it down due to Covid and haven’t given me a penny of unemployment even though I was approved close to a year ago. I like to think I’m a strong woman but it just seems like I can’t count on anything or anyone except myself and I’m getting old and tired.

No, I don’t have any faith left in our government.  Good thing I have faith in God.  He won’t ever let me down.

13thJanuary

WTF

Crazy times we’re living in.  I’m tired and depressed.  I haven’t blogged for a week.  It’s been frustrating.

I went to Terry’s.  Bless his heart.  He bent over backwards to support me on my diet.  We dined on steamed broccoli, kale, almond milk, and cauliflower.  I snacked on cherry tomatoes, tangerines, and dill pickles. I didn’t work out.  He doesn’t have a treadmill and I’m not likely to bounce around his living room doing aerobics so I was pretty sedentary.  My plan was to start dieting hard.  Keep my calories extremely low for the first week and then start eating a little healthier.  Always worked well in the past. I came home on the 10th and weighed myself.  Ten days or extreme dieting and several days of treadmill.  I didn’t lose an ounce.  I couldn’t believe it.  Not an ounce!  Kept my calories down to around 600 or 700 each day and didn’t lose any weight at all.

I was disgusted.  It hit me hard.  I’m tired and I’m depressed.  Worried sick about money.  Really struggling hard.  It was a big blow on top of everything else.  So I gave up.  Just sat around for a couple of days being depressed.  Eating whatever I wanted.  I’m not saying I went wild and ate everything in sight but I just cooked normal meals and ate them.  Had a couple of pieces of cake.  Went for seconds a couple of times.  Yesterday was a really bad day.  I had asked my mortgage company for a three month extension.  They exempt you from payments for three months and just add it to the end of the term.  They turned me down.  They already gave me one for April, May, and June and I would have to fill out a 12 page request form, attach my tax return from last year, attach all my bank statements from the last six months and a list of all my expenses to appeal their decision.  I’m not going to do all that just to be turned down.  So I just said, “Forget it.”  Then I went to my bedroom and had a good cry.  I just stayed in my room all day, periodically crying and watching TV.

But I’m not a pessimist.  I’m back up today.  Back on my feet.  Back on my diet.  I weighed myself and it shows I’ve gained a pound.  Really????  Give me a break.

I’ll go through my bills.  Try to figure out what I can do so I can make a house payment.  I have a very large balance on a credit card and it’s eating me alive.  I don’t share my finances with Terry.  It’s not his problem but he’s always after me.  He knows I worry and he wants to help.  I’m not the kind of person to accept that kind of help but I did tell him about my credit card one day and how it eats me up.  I didn’t really understand about credit cards.  All of this financial stuff is new to me after Donnie died.  I had a credit card for $15,000 with zero interest.  I thought that was great.  The house needed a lot of work, the fence was falling down, the driveway was full of holes and I thought that was the solution.  It had an interest rate of 24% but I thought zero interest for the first year meant anything I charged the first year would never have interest charged on it. I know…really stupid… but that’s what I thought.  At the end of the year, they added all this interest on it and it skyrocketed.  I only manage to pay a little more than the minimum payment each month. Terry wanted to take out a loan and pay it off for me and I absolutely would not allow it.  Not going to happen.

Yesterday he suggested that he take out a loan and list me on it too.  That way I could pay off my credit card and have an account at a much lower rate.  It would make the payments a lot less.  Again, I told him no but he said he’s going to check into it anyway.  He says I’m being stubborn.  Maybe I am but I know from experience that anything can happen.  Look at my situation, Donnie died and I lost his income and was stuck with huge bills.  The same thing could happen.  What if something happened to me?  Terry would be stuck with the bill.  But then a thought occurred to me.  I carry a very large life insurance policy.  What if I were to change my will to state that in the event that anything happened to me, the balance on the account would be paid in full?  I don’t know.  Something to think about.

I need about another thousand a month to keep my finances straight.  My business is closed down.  I’m paying a very large premium on my life insurance every month, paying car insurance and homeowners insurance, paying for everyone to have a phone on my account.  Providing all the food, internet, all the utilities, paying the mortgage, and no one else is paying anything.  I can’t keep doing this.  Steven, Andrew, Scout, and David are getting off Scott free.  I even have Jake still on my phone plan and he’s been living on his own in an apartment with his girlfriend for over a year.  I’ve always tried to take care of everyone but I’m rapidly reaching the point of no return.  Something has to give.

David has a horrible job.  It’s in construction and half the time they don’t even work.  He gives me money when he gets paid but then he winds up borrowing it back so I can’t count on anything from him.  Steven has Asperger’s and struggles to work part time.  He’s paying off a student loan and uses his money to buy all his own food and keep gas in his car.  Andrew is still suffering from Schizophrenia and is unable to do much of anything.  I took him to an appointment with a psychologist on Monday as part of his application for disability but he isn’t getting any income at all right now and hasn’t for more than a year.  Scout also has Asperger’s and has never worked since he graduated high school.  I just take care of everyone.  I look at all their needs and try to do it all myself but I’m rapidly approaching 70 and I’m just worn out.

It’s not just me.  The entire country is in turmoil.  Thousands and thousands of people are waiting for unemployment just like I am. Covid 19 has forced many many businesses into bankruptcy.  The presidential election was riddled with problems.  It was a very close election and Donald Trump is convinced he should have won the election.  He’s calling it unfair and I agree.  I ordered an absentee ballot and it never came.  What happened to it?  They found stacks of absentee ballots in trash cans that were never delivered, they found violations and inconsistencies in the count.  Nevertheless, they declared Joe Biden the winner.  What else were they supposed to do?  Redo the entire election?  Trump was furious and a bunch of protesters gathered at the capital.  Trump told them the election was a farce and urged them to fight even harder.  So what did they do?  They stormed the capital.  Five people were killed.  Today they’re voting on whether or not to impeach Trump for inciting the riot.  Seems kind of pointless to me.  We do still have freedom of speech in this country and we all know things went wrong in the election.  Trump will be out of office in a week anyway.  It’s just indicative of the pain and frustration going on in America these days.  We’re all suffering in one way or another.  The only purpose for impeachment, in my opinion is that Trump would never again be allowed to run for office and they don’t want him to run in 2024.

I could go on and on but Terry is coming on Friday and I need to clean house and get to work.

Still hanging in there.

4thJanuary

Ramblin’ Rose

I’m hitting the road again today.  Heading up to Terry’s for a few days.  He went to the store yesterday and says he has everything I need for my diet.  He’s working hard today to get his house cleaned up and ready for me.  Sweet man.

So now I’m facing the first challenge to my New Year Resolutions.  I won’t have access to my treadmill, my diet is in his hands, and I won’t have access to the programs I’m using to study.  I wanted to bring my own food but he wouldn’t hear of it.  Says he bought almond milk and Special K and salad makings and he’s got it covered.

It’s still going to be a challenge because I seriously doubt if he has any idea about dieting.  He’s a skinny love and his challenge is to gain weight.  Not something I’m familiar with.  I’ll have to stay focused.

Life is full of little irritants all the time.  I am on automatic refill on my prescriptions.  They mail them to me automatically when it’s time.  I went to pack my medications yesterday and realized that I only have a week’s worth of one of them.  They usually refill when I’m down to a couple of week’s worth so I called them to see why it hadn’t been refilled.  The representative said that was not one of my prescriptions and I told him it was.  He said it wasn’t on his list and I told him they had been supplying it to me for three years.  I offered him the RX number from the bottle and he said it didn’t help because it was not one of my meds.  I asked to speak to one of his supervisors to straighten it out but he said no one was available because it was Sunday.  I just called them and the recording says they’re having technical issues and the wait time is longer than usual.  I’ve been on hold for 25 minutes.

Okay, jumped the first hurdle of the day.  Finally got a representative.  The prescription is on my list and a refill is on the way.  Now I have to get moving.  Terry’s place is a four hour drive.

12:17 Update

Dammit!  Weighed myself and I haven’t lost an ounce.  I am very versed in dieting and I know there are ups and downs.  But I also know from experience that when you have a lot to lose, an intense diet and exercise plan usually results in a dramatic weight drop the first week.  Of course, that will not continue in the  long run but it always gives a big boost to my morale and keeps me going.  This is the fourth day of exercising and taking in no more than 700 calories a day and I’m not showing any loss at all.  I’m right where I started.  I’m even more determined to be strong while I’m at Terry’s and, hopefully, the scales will register a nice loss when I get home in a few days.

 

3rdJanuary

All About Structure

I said I needed structure in my life.  I’ve definitely set some up.  My plan for this year is taking a lot of time.  It’s 12:30 and I’ve been busy since I got up.  Just now getting around to eating my breakfast of tomato juice and a hard boiled egg.

This is Sunday.  Covid 19 has shut down a lot of places.  Those that remain open require wearing a mask and staying at  least 6 feet away from others.  It’s just a whole lot easier to stay home.  The masks get hot and stuffy and make my glasses steam up because I don’t wear them all the time so I’m constantly pushing them up like a headband and they never get acclimated to the warm breath caused by the mask. I put my glasses on only to read something and they steam up.  I wait for them to clear, read what I need to read, and then push them up on my head.  Five minutes later, I need to read something again.

Ironically, the pastor that worked with Terry years and years ago, after the problems with his wife, left Red Bud, Illinois and is now the pastor at Beechmont Baptist here in Louisville.  The very first weekend that Terry came to see me, we went to the church and he introduced me to Pastor Paul.  Shortly after I met Pastor Paul, churches and gatherings of more than 10 people were shut down and most churches began providing sermons on line. So that’s what I do.  I log into Face Book and watch the sermon on line.

Now those restrictions are no longer in place but most churches are continuing to broadcast the service live even though the congregation is now allowed to meet in person as long as they wear masks and practice social distancing.

I logged on and watched Pastor Paul’s sermon this morning which happened to focus on how lazy we have become and how we’re supposed to be meeting in support of each other but we’re choosing not to do that.  Sigh…I texted him and told him I would be in attendance next Sunday.  I’ll be the first to admit that on-line activities are certainly not the same but I don’t know anyone there and it seems like a hassle to get up early, get dressed, and drive all the way across town to wear a mask, sit by myself, and not get within 6 feet of anyone.

So I have read my bible this morning, used a study guide for what I read, and listened to the live broadcast.  Now it’s almost 1:00 and I’m still in my pajamas and just now eating breakfast.

I have said that Terry has been instrumental in my renewed faith but he has a strange attitude about church.  He likes pastor Paul but he doesn’t like many of the people at his church.  After Paul left, he just doesn’t attend.  The first time I went to see him in Red Bud, at his house, he took me to his church and I have to admit, they weren’t very warm and welcoming.  Terry told me they have a lot of little cliques and there’s a lot of bickering so he just doesn’t go.  Although I haven’t regularly attended church for many years, I do remember good things about the fellowship and church activities and I miss being involved in them.  Every church is going to have problems because we are people, after all, but you can always just be happy and try to encourage each other and avoid the drama.

In fact, I’m texting Terry as I’m writing this and he’s discouraging me from attending.  I’ll have to talk to him about that this week.  In fact, if I’m going to leave for Red Bud tomorrow, I’m going to have to get moving and get the house clean, do laundry, and get organized.

 

Thirteen years.  I’ve been blogging on this site for 13 years.  As I logged on this morning, I noticed the subheading on my blog.  It says “Sistah Pat – Just trying to find method to the madness“.  Funny how I never noticed what I had written until this morning.  I’ve been looking for it for 13 years and I’m still looking for it.

How ironic that I have made new year’s resolutions to help me bring method to the madness.  My life is so conflicted.  I keep looking for answers and can’t seem to find them.  But then, I’m beginning to realize it’s not about the top of the mountain, it’s about the climb.

I made resolutions to try to bring some order to my life.  I’ve been struggling with my weight and my relationships and I understand enough about myself to recognize that I need structure.  Having understood that, I’m trying to set up routines that help me focus and find some success.

Going through my routines this morning, I’m beginning to realize that I’ve set some tough goals.  It’s going to take a lot of commitment to stick with it.

I got up and texted Terry.  I had my coffee and checked my email and my facebook account.  I listened to three chapters of the Bible and then I went through a study guide of those three chapters. I weighed myself. (shows my first day of eating healthy and exercising had a net result of gaining 2 pounds…sigh) I forced myself to eat a healthy breakfast of Special K with almond milk even though I didn’t want it.  I logged it into my fitbit, entered my weight and my breakfast, and then listened to two sermons from Dr. David Jeremiah.

So now it’s 1:30 in the afternoon and I’m still in my nightgown and have to get on the treadmill.

This is going to be pretty demanding.

On top of that, Terry is asking me to come to his house and I told him I would come on Monday.  I know I need structure and I’ve certainly planned a program that will give me that.  Not much time for anything else.  It will be difficult for me at Terry’s.  He knows I’m dieting and says he’s got it covered but he hasn’t had much exposure to me when I’m fixated on something.  Donnie used to say I would get obsessed with dieting and exercise but I know myself and I know what I need to do. Terry has a high metabolism and I doubt if he’s ever had to actively try to lose weight.  Probably the opposite.  He’s definitely hyperactive.  He likes to smoke a little weed because he says it slows him down but he’s usually running around like crazy.  I’ve noticed that when I’m trying to read the bible or work on something he interrupts me a lot and I lose my focus.  He gets off track and I get sucked into his vortex.  Carl was kind of the opposite.  He was a soothing breeze.  A quiet haven in the midst of my upheaval.  Not really what I needed but tranquil, nevertheless.  Terry is many things to me but he is not a quiet and tranquil breeze by any means.

I’m on a journey to increase my spirituality.  It helps.  I feel so much better but I have a lot of regrets.  I don’t know why but I’ve always had Christ in my life.  I received his grace and I’ve always known I was blessed.  I’ve had so many hardships that I know others might have let it destroy them but I have never doubted that God was with me.  I’ve always been able to look at my losses and be grateful for having been given such a blessing instead of focusing on how I lost them.  I’ve always compared it to having received a wonderful gift.  For example, what if someone asked you where you would like to go more than anyplace in the world and you told them Hawaii.  Then they handed you a plane ticket, a prepaid vacation staying at a luxurious resort and all the spending money you wanted for a month in Hawaii.  When it was time to go home, would you be angry and heartbroken that the trip was over or would you treasure the gift they gave you?

I choose to treasure the gifts.  I was a beautiful woman.  I didn’t realize it at the time but I was.  Now I’m getting old and saggy.  Every day seems to bring new wrinkles and age spots and aches and pains but how can I complain about it or resent it?  I was given a handsome, virile, and loving man and adored him for almost 50 years.  What a gift!  How can I be angry that he died?  I had a wonderful family with good parents and brothers and sisters that loved one another and remained in loving relationships for almost 70 years.  How can I be angry that the family is splintering?  I’ve been loved by two good men since my husband died in spite of no longer being a beautiful woman.  I have nothing in my life to complain about.

And yet, I have regrets.  I have enabled my children and grand children until they are totally dependent on me.  If it were just me, I would sell my house and move to a condo in Florida and live the good life but I stay here.  Paying a small fortune in bills and life insurance every month because I don’t see how on earth they would survive without me.  At a time when they should be helping me, I continue to take care of them.

I regret that I did not raise my children and grandchildren in the church.  I didn’t go to church a lot when I was a child.  Just occasionally.  But I knew enough to accept Christ as my savior when I was just 14 years old and I have known his grace all my life.  I didn’t need church.  I had a strong faith without it.  I didn’t need to read the bible because I had Christ in my heart.  I never doubted it.  And, somehow, I thought my children and grandchildren would know Christ just through living with me.  But they don’t.  I started to notice it a couple of years ago.  With David, especially.  He is very anti-Christian.  I thought with the love of Christ in my heart that he would understand just through the way I live and the occasional remarks I made but I was so very wrong.  I started to notice it a couple of years ago when he started complaining that his boss invited him to church. The more the man invited him, the more angry he became.  I suggested he go, check it out, and then he unloaded on me about how the Bible and Jesus Christ was just a bunch of fiction and how no intelligent person could ever believe in all that crap.

After seeing how David felt about Christ, I started tentatively exploring how Darryl and my grandchildren felt and I was dismayed.  They seem to have this vague idea that there’s “some kind of higher power” but not really Jesus.

Terry opened my eyes when I started dating him.  I told him I recognized Jesus as my savior and I had been so very blessed in my life but he knows the bible so well and I didn’t understand a lot of what he said so I began to read and study.  The more I learn, the more I want to share but my family is very much against it.  And I blame myself.  It was my job to teach them and to make sure they were raised with a good foundation.  It troubles me.

I’ve had a couple of confrontations with David about it.  He never seemed to object when I would say Grace over a holiday meal or occasionally remark that I wasn’t worried about something, that I knew God would take care of it.  It was only when I began to read the Bible in earnest and watch televised gospel in my bedroom that he became confrontational and angry.  I’d be watching a sermon in my bedroom and he would come in for some reason and start saying things like, “How can you watch that crap?” or “That’s total fiction.  It’s scientifically impossible.  That’s nothing but brain washing.”

I told him I had always believed that way but I’d only recently decided to study my spirituality in more detail.  It puts me in a difficult place because I don’t know enough about the bible to contradict some of the things he says.  I do know about Christ.  He has always been a part of my life but I guess I failed to show that as much as I should have.

I’ve asked David, “I’ve always had Christ in my heart and in my life.  Look at my life, look at all the blessings I’ve had.  What is it about the way I’ve lived my life and things I believe that is so terrible?  Why do you feel that I should defend my beliefs and actions to you?  I’ve always been this way and I’ve always been grateful for everything that I’ve been given and yet you want me to agree with you that my beliefs are wrong.  Why don’t you spend some time reading the bible and learning about Christianity before you condemn it?”

But he won’t.  The anger that he has about Christianity is puzzling to me.  What is it that has happened in his life that makes him so angry with God?  It’s not that I’m shoving it down his throat.  It’s the way I’ve always lived but now that I’m exploring and learning more, he’s become very angry.  No, in thinking about it, I realize that statement isn’t true.  I first saw his anger a couple of years ago when he talked about his boss inviting him to church.  That was before I met Terry and started looking at my beliefs more critically.  I started listening to sermons and reading my bible about ten months ago when I met Terry but David was angry even before that.

David was furious about what Donna did to me and my business and he kept trying to get me to report her.  He wanted me to take revenge on her and couldn’t seem to understand why I wouldn’t.  I kept telling him that I’m not like that.  It is not my place to judge her and I will not do it.  I don’t know why she did the things she did and I spent way too much time trying to figure it out.  I have to let it go.  She’s my sister and I will always love her.  I tried to tell him that it’s much more difficult for me to let it go than it would be to retaliate but I choose to take the high road and I will not be persuaded to “get even with her”.  He seems to think that what I consider to be the more difficult road is what he considers to be a cop out.

I tried to use Stacy as an example.  I told him Stacy has hurt both of us ten times worse than Donna ever has and yet I continue to love her and forgive her.  He responds by saying, “Stacy is ill.  She can’t help it.”

Yes, she can help it but it’s difficult.  Donna has difficulties in her life as well.  Why would I continually forgive Stacy and not forgive my own sister?

As of right now, Stacy hasn’t spoken to me for almost six months.  I did nothing to her and yet she shut me out.  She doesn’t respond to my texts or call me.  She comes to my house and sleeps in my bed whenever I go out of town but she leaves whenever I’m expected home.  David finally asked her why she was mad at me and she said she invited me in to see her new apartment six months ago when I drove her home and I told her I didn’t have time.  Really?  That’s what I did?  In the meantime, I gave her things for her new apartment to help her out and I brought her some fresh melons from Utah when Terry and I traveled last summer.  I texted her and told her I brought her some wonderful melons and she never even answered me.  Just called David and asked him to bring it to her.  She didn’t come over for Thanksgiving even though her children were here.  She didn’t come over for Christmas even though they were here.  She has not spoken to me for six months.  It hurts.  I bought her a nice purse for Christmas and I finally just told David to take it to her a couple of days ago.  She hasn’t texted or called to say Thank You.  And yet I continue to love her and care about her.

I try to spread love and joy everywhere I go and to everyone I meet.  David appreciates it where Stacy is concerned but he doesn’t seem to get it when it comes to my sister.

I don’t know where I went wrong and it’s difficult to fix.  Donnie and I talked about religion and Christ but I guess we should have done it as a family instead of in bed before drifting off to sleep.  I failed them and now I’m trying to figure out how to fix it.  Terry has helped my spirituality to some degree but it’s difficult.  One thing I learned as a teacher is that you have to tell kids what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them.  Then you have to review it the next day before taking the next step.  Terry would have been a terrible teacher.  Whenever we begin to discuss religion he gets wound up and overwhelms me.  He doesn’t serve up his wisdom as an appetizer to get me to want more, he lays it out like a buffet and I leave feeling way too full.  I can’t digest it all at one time.

So I go it on my own.  A couple of chapters a day.  Listening and studying and trying to take small bites.

5:30 Update – Did 1.2 miles on my treadmill.  Not a lot but it’s better than yesterday.  Now to figure out how to fix a dinner that everyone will eat that is low cal and low fat.

Things have got to get better.  Right?  Not so far.  I text with Carl a little bit now and then.  I sent him a text that said Merry Christmas and he didn’t respond.  I sent him one that said Happy New Year and he didn’t respond.  So I texted the woman that works for him to make sure he was alright.  He lives alone and I always worry about that.  She texted me back and told me he met a woman and had her delete my phone number and unfriend me on FaceBook.  Dee said they’re practically living together and he didn’t want to mess it up so he had Dee remove me from all his contacts.

Not sure how I feel about it.  On the one hand, I’m so happy for him.  He deserves to find happiness.  On the other hand, I’m feeling a little sense of loss.  A selfish little tinge of wanting to keep him around.  It’s a good thing.  Time to put that chapter of my life to rest.  I don’t know why he didn’t tell me about her.  Just the first of November he was telling me he didn’t think he could ever love another woman the way he loved me.  On Thanksgiving, he sent me a text that said Happy Thanksgiving Day!  And now, a month later, he’s taken me out of his life and is practically living with another woman.  I would have encouraged him to find love again.  Or not.  I’m not sure.  Probably best that he removes me from his life.  Time to let it go. I just wish I didn’t have this sense of regret and loss.

So, I thought about that for a few minutes and decided to move on with my plans.  Time to weigh myself and focus on getting back in shape.  Went in the bathroom and my scales aren’t working.  Not a good way to start a diet.

Next, I checked my bank account.  No stimulus payment.  Nothing yet. Almost makes me want to crawl back in bed and give it up.  But I won’t.  I’ll listen to my Bible reading and maybe that will boost me up.

12:43 Update

I did my Bible study and took my shower.  Then I got a text from Carl.  Saying “Happy New Year, Sorry I’m running a little late. Busy chasing the ladies”.

So what’s that about?

I texted him back and said, “Only chase the good ones, Babycake! I was worried about you.”  And then he texted me and said “Why were you worried about me?”  So I said “Because I sent you a Christmas greeting and a New Year’s greeting and you didn’t answer.  I always worry about you being alone in your house.”  He didn’t answer after that.

I’m so seriously fucked up.

So today is the first day of the new year and I’m trying to focus.  I need a daily grid to check off all the things I have to do each day.  Study my bible, drink enough water, wear my fitbit, exercise, and keep track of calories.

I changed the batteries in my scales and I weigh 188. Fuck!

I’m going to grab my ear buds and hit the treadmill.  Going for 15 minutes at a slow pace.

Done!  Did 15 minutes and it felt sooo good!  Only did 15 minutes at 2.5 mph but I had forgotten how good it feels.  I could have gone longer but I know I should start out slow.  Now I’m going to scrub up my step platform so I can do some step aerobics.

Final Update for the day:

I’ve done well today.  Got some exercise in.  Drank lots of water.  Did my Bible study.  Went to the store and stocked up on healthy food so I have plenty of stuff to meet my needs.  Now I’m entering the danger zone.  The time when I start laying around watching TV while I eat everything that can’t run fast enough.  I hope to fill that time by cleaning my bedroom and doing some laundry.  Having a few problems with my fitbit.  I don’t know why but it’s showing that I only get another 250 calories for the day but I’ve only eaten 330 so far.  Must be something wrong in the settings but I can’t figure out how to fix it.  Maybe I’ll try to play with it this evening.

 

31stDecember

Die 2020! DIE!

Last day of the year.  I can’t say I’m going to miss 2020.  I’m sure there must have been some good things but I can’t think of too many.  Actually, I have a lot to be grateful for so I shouldn’t say that but I’m just so tired of dealing with things I can only hope that 2021 is better.

2020 brought an end to my relationship with Carl.  I lost my nephew and my sister in law.  Lost my business.  Got a huge rift in the family that will probably never be put to rest.  Gained 16 pounds.  The end of the year finds me deeply in debt and struggling to take care of everyone.

Today is a fitting end to it.  I was awakened to Steven telling me he locked his keys in his car.  I drove him to work.  This is New Year’s Eve so I decided to go ahead and call a locksmith while he’s at work because it will be a lot more expensive to do it this evening after hours or tomorrow on a holiday. That’s going to set me back another hundred dollars or so.  I will make him pay me back but who knows when. I’ll probably get it in dribbles and drabs.

I got a text that my car payment is overdue.  I can’t pay my mortgage this month and applied for an extension.  The government approved another $600 stipend to help us through the pandemic.  I checked my bank account but I haven’t gotten it yet.  Ironic, they gave everyone $1200 last spring to help with the pandemic and now we get another $600.  Not sure who pays the bills around there but $1800 over ten months doesn’t do much good.  I’d be okay if my unemployment came through but it still hasn’t.

I went to take my shower and the shower spigot is broken. The water will only come out of the spigot but won’t divert to the shower.  Don’t know what happened to it or who broke it but I’ll have to get it fixed today.

So let’s just be done with 2020.  I’m over it. Let’s talk about 2021.

I have a plan in place.  I’m not much for New Year’s resolutions but maybe this is the year to do it.  First off, I’m starting a diet tomorrow.  I have a fit bit watch and I’m going to wear it.  A constant reminder on my wrist of how many calories I’ve burned during the day and how many I have left.  A nagging little conscience that wraps around my wrist and helps make me accountable.  I’ve cleared off my treadmill.  It’s waiting for me.

Locksmith just left.  Set me back $70 but I talked him down from $100 so I guess that’s okay.

Terry has been good for me in some ways.  He has helped restore and refresh my faith in Christ.  I’ve never read the bible all the way through but I’m going to do it this year.  Actually, I can’t see the text very well and my eyes get stressed pretty quickly but I found an app that is designed to take you through the entire bible by reading it to you a couple of chapters each day.  January 1 starts with Genesis 1 so it’s a good day to begin.  I actually started reading it a few months ago and I’ve read all of Genesis, Exodus, and some of Leviticus but I’ll start over.  I’m constantly jumping around from one chapter to another but it will be good to do it chronologically.

Terry has helped me focus on my beliefs again.  I had become lazy and just drifted through the years knowing that God loves me and Jesus saved me and I’ve been incredibly blessed my entire life.  Terry doesn’t drift.  He’s focused on the gospel all the time.  It can be frustrating to try to talk to him about it because he doesn’t really discuss it so much as hammer me with it.  He talks fast and is so knowledgeable that I get lost and that’s not what I need.  Terry knows the bible and the gospel a lot better than I do but he doesn’t understand love nearly as well as I do.  I know about love.  I have so much love in my heart for so many people.  He can be very judgmental about people and condescending.  He can be racist and he can be sexist and he’s stubborn.  I’m more accepting of people’s faults and try to spread love and compassion.  Although he is secure in his faith and his love of Christ, he doesn’t always understand that Christ speaks to people in many different ways.  To me, he has always spoken through love.

Enough for today.  I have to go buy a spigot.

5:30 Update

I’m feeling the urge to write today.  So many thoughts are going through my mind.  I keep thinking about my relationships and the men in my life.

I’m surrounded by testosterone.  Lived my life with my husband, my sons, and my grandsons.  Even my pets have all been male. Maybe that’s why men love me.  The only women in  my life have been my mother, my sister, my daughter in laws, and my grand daughter.  Mom was good but she had a sort of negativity to her and an innate sadness.  I love my sister but she always seemed to have a sort of jealousy that was hard to define.  I felt like she always tried to put me down or embarrass me but most of the time I just kind of let it go.  My daughter in laws have been pretty worthless.  Clingy dependent women who want to blame everyone else for the problems in their lives.  My grand daughter was so spoiled it was ridiculous.  She’s sweet and loving but pretty flighty.

And then I have my men.  Good men, for the most part.  I LOVED my husband.  I got angry with him but I always loved him with a passion.  Most of the time, he could read me like a book.  He knew what I needed and did his best to make it happen.  I will always love him.  My sons love me.  I have enabled them so much it’s pathetic but that’s my fault.  Not theirs.  So many of their friends call me Mom and think of me like a mother.  David will run into an old friend and he often tells me they ask about me.  My grandsons have my heart.  I love all of them to the moon and back.

I can walk out the back door naked and jump in the hot tub.  I run out there when it’s snowing.  I prefer a shot of tequila to a mixed drink and can down a double shot without even blinking.  I roll my car windows down and drive a little too fast with the music blasting.  Men seem to think I’m just a little bit wild.  Maybe that’s why they love me.   I don’t know.  I’ve never been intimidated by men and I’ve never had a problem attracting them.  And that, in itself, is a problem.

I seem to get into serious relationships and then I get a little bored or aggravated with them.  I loved my husband, I love Carl, I love Terry.  I know no man on this earth will ever have my love like Donnie does.  I never cheated on him.  I never felt the desire to cheat on him.  He was everything I needed.  Maybe it was the bond of marriage that made it special.  I know Carl wanted to marry me.  Terry wants to marry me.  I just can’t bring myself to make a commitment to another man that doesn’t measure up to the one I had.  Does that mean I should just give it up and become a celibate old woman?  Not likely.

I miss Carl.  Sometimes I have to really discipline myself not to call him because I know he would forgive me and take me back in a heartbeat.  He’s sweet and generous and kind.  Why can’t that be enough?  He didn’t understand how much I was hurting.  He couldn’t fix it because he didn’t even know how bad it was.  Donnie would have.  He would have understood how much I was hurting without me saying anything.  He knew me in ways that no other man ever has or ever will.

Terry considers me to be his wife.  I’m not.  I love him.  He notices the things I need and the things I like.  He makes sure he has my favorite foods on hand when I go to his house.  He took me on a two week trip out west last summer and paid all the expenses.  He cuts down trees and burns wood to cut down on his electric bill but he pays to take me on a cruise.  He restores my faith and then he makes me crazy talking about the bible because he gets too wound up and it becomes too much.  He talks about flying planes non stop.  He wanted to get his pilot’s license years ago and never finished.  He hasn’t flown for ten years but he constantly talks about the instrumentation and the lay out of airports and wind velocity during landings and it makes me want to scream.  He gives me a full body massage for an hour and makes love to me for an hour and then gently caresses my back until I go to sleep.  He loves me but he’s not what I would call a gentle and loving man when it comes to others.  Marijuana is legal in Illinois and he likes to smoke a doobie with me and share peanut butter whiskey. He’s a little bit on the wild side but he’s spending so much time living in the past.  I prefer living for today.

Why can’t I have both of them?  Why can’t I be satisfied with either of them?  I don’t know.  I don’t want to ever hurt anyone but I wind up dissatisfied and just trying to cope.  I feel horrible about cheating on Carl and sometimes I just want to run back to him but I couldn’t live with myself if I ever hurt him again.  And I don’t want to hurt Terry.  Terry says he would die for me and I believe it.  He says he’s waited for me his whole life and I’m a gift from God.  Really?  I don’t feel like a gift. I feel like a confused woman that can’t be satisfied by anyone.

 

29thDecember

Covid Blues

December 29th.  Christmas has come and gone.  I’ve been sitting here at the kitchen table playing games on my computer and trying to get motivated to do something but it’s hard.  I got my monthly retirement pay today and I’m trying to figure out which bills to pay.  I’m so tired of struggling to stay afloat and at the same time trying to be grateful that I have a roof over my head and food for my family.  I know I’m supposed to get a big fat check from unemployment at some point but I’ve almost given up on seeing it. It’s difficult to count on it when a process that should have taken 2 weeks has already become ten months.  So I sit here at my table.  Afraid to pay bills and yet afraid to let them go. I can’t pay all of them so I have to decide who’s going to get what.

I need to plan a vacation.  I need to get away.  Not to Terry’s and not to some place that’s actually feasible but I need some big, fat, vacation gluttony.  I got used to taking at least a couple of cruises every year but the cruises still aren’t traveling.  They’re still cancelled.  Terry actually booked a cruise for us for my birthday last year but it was cancelled.  He’s really irritated with Norwegian Cruise Lines because they won’t refund his money.  He has $3,700 credit with Norwegian.  They will allow him to use it for future cruise credits but they won’t refund it.  He rebooked the cruise twice but it’s been cancelled each time. Time after time, the cruise lines have said they’re going to resume cruising but the ban just keeps going on and on.  As of right now, they say they will resume on April 4, 2021. Who knows?

I saw a report on TV a couple of weeks ago that said airfare is at an all time low.  Covid has limited the number of people that can go on flights and a lot of people refuse to travel. Just out of curiosity, I looked up air fare to Hawaii and found that it was $400 for a round trip flight.  That got me dreaming of beautiful sunny beaches!  I keep thinking how nice it would be to go back to Hawaii.  I might plan a trip just for the fun of it and see how much it would cost.  Airfare alone is usually more than a thousand dollars.  Of course, without my unemployment, it will never happen.  But, one can dream.

Maybe I should talk about my man problems.  Lord knows, I have them.

The biggest problem is that I’m still in love with my husband.  No one else ever measures up. Carl was so sweet and innocent.  He thought I was a wild woman.  Just because I like to drink tequila, turn the music up loud and drive with the windows open.  He never quite realized that I wasn’t a wild woman.  He was just a sheltered man. I love him and I enjoyed my time with him but he started taking me for granted and just didn’t seem to be there when I needed him most.  I was hurting so much when Donna betrayed me and Dennis died and my business floundered.  He just didn’t understand me enough to see the writing on the wall.  It’s not really his fault.  Donnie knew me for 50 years.  He could read my moods and meet my needs and, while I understand that, I still keep looking for that kind of understanding in other men.  Even while knowing I will never find it. Carl was selfish and I didn’t feel like he was there for me when I really needed him.  I still love him, though.  I’ve texted with him a couple of times and sometimes I just want to go back to him but it’s pointless.  I’ve already hurt him so much and I don’t ever want to do that again. I think what I did to Carl was one of the worst, if not THE worst thing I’ve ever done.  And sometimes I miss him a lot and want to go to him but I know he loves me and I would just wind up hurting him again because, even though I enjoy being with him, he can never fill that void.

So now I’m with Terry.  Funny how I always seem to connect with men that others say are not “my type”.  All my life I heard that Donnie and I were totally different but we worked.  We connected.  I was a high strung workaholic and he was laid back but in a powerful way.

Terry is skinny.  There’s no getting around it.  If I lived with him, I’d be thin as a rail.  He eats so little at meals and then he says, “I can’t eat another bite”, and, even though I still want more, modesty makes me agree with him.  “Oh, yeah, I’m stuffed!” I love food.  I love cooking big beautiful meals and trying new recipes and new combinations.  Terry will cook a small rib-eye until it’s so overcooked it’s tasteless, throw a small potato in the microwave and open a can of green beans.  That’s his idea of a good dinner.  That’s my idea of last minute stuff when I haven’t had time to plan anything.  For example, I just put a pork loin down to thaw and I’m going to try a new recipe with dinner for Pork Loin in Garlic Mushroom Sauce with rice pilaf and fresh brussel sprouts. It’s almost like Terry doesn’t have any taste buds.  I love to go out to eat but he’d just as soon have a frozen dinner.  Really, it doesn’t seem to matter to him at all.  I don’t think I’ve ever heard him rave about any food.  It’s just all the same to him.  Food is fuel and nothing else.

He’s also a huge contradiction.  He’s incredibly devout and he can quote any chapter or verse of the bible but he doesn’t go to church.  He believes God is in charge of everything and he lives his life accordingly. He believes all humans are dripping with sin but it’s okay because Jesus died on the cross for our sins and they’ve all been forgiven.  He initiates sex almost every night but only because he considers me to be his wife.  He is totally committed to me and gave me a ring which I wear as a sign of my commitment to him even though I certainly don’t consider us to be man and wife.  No, I love him dearly but I know I could never be with him full time.  It would make me crazy.

Terry has COPD and he struggles a lot with it. Yet he still forces himself to do heavy labor.  He seems to have a biblical parable for every single situation.  Although he needs to rest more than he does, he likes to bring up the parable of the fig tree.  When it stops producing, it should be cut down.  He has some very strange beliefs about money.  He believes all money comes from God and we should be thankful and use it wisely.  With that in mind, he is extremely frugal.  He cuts down trees and burns firewood in his fireplace to minimize his heating bill.  He drives way out of the way to buy gas because he lives close to the state line and gas is cheaper in Missouri. And yet, he is very generous with others.  Helping when he can.  All of this came about as a result of his first wife becoming an alcoholic and gambler.  He was working two jobs as a truck driver and putting in 70 hours a week to save to buy a house for her and his children.  He didn’t find out until much later that she was sleeping with half the men in town while he was on the road. When the time came to buy the house, he found out that she had spent every penny of their savings and run up charge cards to the tune of $40,000.  Keep in mind, this was 25 years ago. That’s a huge debt. He told me he was livid when he found out and his anger was so great that he stopped himself on the way home and went into a church because he was truly fearful of what he was going to do to her.  He said it changed his life.  He tried to help her but she was unwilling to change so he eventually divorced her and got full custody of his children.  He raised them in the church and they both seem successful and well adjusted. He has been good for me.  I can’t say he restored my faith because I’ve always had faith but he has helped me clarify my beliefs and renew my love of Christ and the sacrifices he made for me.

Having said that, Terry is very critical of others and can be annoyingly self righteous.  He is kind and loving to every critter on this earth but not nearly as forgiving of humans.  He has six cats and he feeds the rabbits, birds, squirrels and raccoons that come around his home.  He is constantly finding homes for animals and caring for them but can be very demeaning when it comes to people.  Especially women.  It’s a bit of an enigma to figure him out but he loves me like crazy.  He says I am God’s gift to him and he has waited for me his entire life.  He has told me he would die for me. He is very gentle and generous with me.  He’s very focused on my needs and constantly picks up little gifts for me that I might have mentioned or he noticed that I needed. He’s very complementary towards me. I get aggravated with him sometimes because he dresses like a pauper and it can be embarrassing but he just doesn’t think those kind of things are important. I love to go to Tequila’s restaurant in his home town but I always insist on buying because I know he considers it to be wasteful. Then, when we get there, he wants us to share an entree.  And yet, he spent a small fortune taking me on a road trip out west last summer for two weeks and he wants to take me on a cruise. He says the best thing about the only cruise he’s ever taken was meeting me and he knows we’d have a blast if we were to go on one by ourselves. He calls me his wild filly. The only reason he took a cruise with his girlfriend last year was because he thought she would enjoy taking one as a Christmas present.  It didn’t help.  She spent most of the cruise in the cabin and only came out to eat. He said she was a pain in the ass and he dropped her like a hot potato when he got home.  But, of course, that’s because he met me on that cruise.

So, yeah, everyone says he’s “not my type”. He can be annoying and condescending to others but he shows his love for me every chance he gets.  He lives 4 1/2 hours away but we manage to get together almost every week or ten days. In fact, he just left my house on Saturday and he’s already wanting me to come to his house. It’s more difficult for him to come to my house because he has to make arrangements and pay someone to take care of his cats every day and we can’t get any privacy at my house because I’ve got four other people living here.

I’ve been writing forever.  I really need to get to work but I’ve got the blues today.  I think I’ll plan a trip to Hawaii for Terry and I.  It will probably never happen but…it might.