Dead to me

I’m so over people who are fake and fell they need to use others vs. simply making their own way in this world. I am not perfect, I’ve said that many times in my blogs, but at least the life I have I earned. I didn’t lie, cheat or steal it. I didn’t play the victim in hopes someone came to my rescue. Yes, I’ve been lucky to have people help me during my 48 years on this planet- be it financially (always paid back by the way), emotionally or as a mentor. I’m not special, I can do it, anyone can do it.

Today I learned that the “house guest from hell” from my first blog is worse than even his behavior at my house portrayed. He is a liar. He uses people for whatever they can provide. Apparently he got into some trouble, the details are sketchy since telling the truth seems to be beyond him, but it resulted in him being ordered some community service. Over the past several months, I have distanced myself from this person, as the social connection was severed, but that didn’t stop him from banking on those ties to get him out of his jam, getting his community service signed off on buy throwing out his former friend, who has less use for him that I do.

This revelation opened the flood gates. This person, who claims to be an animal lover, is anything but. He is neglectful (at best) of his own dogs and based on what one is to believe of his own tales, he can be abusive. My dog didn’t like him, I blamed it on her being temperamental, but no, she knew he was shady and up to no good. Note to self: listen to your dog!


Here we go again

Last night as I was driving home I was listening to BBC World News. A promo spot for a show came on, “Our show will cover today’s natural disasters;  hurricanes, earthquakes and Donald Trump addressing the U.N.”.  Yep, the rest of the world views the Leader of the Free World as a “natural disaster”…. frankly, so do I.

Today the meme de’jour seems to be General Kelley cringing, hanging his head is utter disbelief and perhaps mentally drafting his letter of resignation as Trump spoke at the United Nations, you know, the long-standing body that he has trashed since taking office. Trump is nothing more than a spoiled toddler allowed to say and so what he likes, when he likes with zero parental supervision. With each embarrassing Twitter attack, rambling speech or tantrum worthy outburst, he makes a mockery of the office of the President and this country. I had such hopes that someone, ANYONE in a position of power would come forth and say “enough is enough” and do something, but either there are no strong-willed persons of power willing to stick their necks or nothing can be done.

It is no joke to think Trump is taunting North Korea into a nuclear attack. Calling Kim Jun CryBaby “Rocket Man” at the U.N. is not presidential or diplomatic. Sure, I can call him catty names, but I’m a blogger, NOT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, a distinction I really shouldn’t need to make.  I personally think Trump is hoping North Korea or Iran or someone crosses the line and there will be a war that can us to distract from the endless Russia probe that seems to uncover more dirt on his inner circle daily. The man knows that he is not in the position he is because he is the best person for the job, but because the Russians help the hapless see the second coming of crazy in Trump and they loved it.

I just want someone to make him stop talking….FOREVER. Nothing good comes of him speaking his mind, just put a muzzle on him, take his Twitter away and put the man-baby down for a nap. There are plenty of other folks who can run things while he takes a nice, long, QUIET rest and when he wakes up the 2020 election will be over and the next president can take office…. I’m nominating our new puppy, as he will certainly do a better job this fool.

Short people problems

I am short. This is no surprise to me, I have always been short. Being “vertically challenged” comes with its own set of problems, several that were pointed out to me today. As I mentioned previously, I have been going to physical therapy for persistent back pain. One of the first things my therapist asked was what kind of chair I had at work, since my job is 90% at my desk. While I think my chair is fine for the average person, I know it’s not ideal for me, being that I’m short. So, in an attempt to help my physical self, my work space was evaluated by a professional in ergonomics. Yes, the chair was set too high. The problem is now, I feel like I’m sitting on the floor and LOOK “small”,but at least my feet can touch the floor, that’s a bonus.

I had to laugh then the lady didn’t want to say “short”, like I didn’t realize this very obvious fact about myself. I don’t see being on the shorter side a flaw, it is what it is and there is literally nothing I can do about it. And I’m not THAT short at 5′ 4″. I’m right on the line for “petite” clothes, so some are too short, some are still too long. Its like I’m in the void of the “no win” zone.

So, as I wait for my new chair and tray to lower my keyboard, I feel like I’m a little kid reaching up to eat at the big table at Thanksgiving.  I feel silly, I’m sure no one else will notice….or they will just assume its a short girl thing.

Well, they finally did it

In my many blogs about my friends, Dick and Jane, the running theme has been dad always gives in. While I’m not a parent, I get why, even if I don’t agree with it. They are his kids. No matter what they do or say, he wants to be part of their lives, and them in his, and he has to believe they are better than the behavior they have exhibited. In my last blog things had taken a turn for the worst with his younger daughter, Sue. Dick allowed her a “mental health day” home from school after she threw what was nothing more than a tantrum over a question about a school project being asked at the dinner table. Dick has admitted that was a mistake, especially given how things got so much worse after. My guess is many of Dick’s decisions are made in hopes that his daughters will see the effort he is making to “hear them” and given them some say in their lives, as they claim he is controlling (you know, with making them bathe and attend school- insert eye roll here).

Much of last week the girls were allowed to come and go between their parents’ homes as they pleased- something that had not been allowed in the past, but given how unhappy they both have expressed being in Dick and Jane’s home, why not allow them extra time with mom (aka Medusa). After giving them that control and buying a small fortune in art supplies for Mary to do portraits at a local art fair, Dick hoped for a peaceful weekend. Poor delusional man. After taking Mary to the art fair Saturday morning he returned home to have a talk with Sue about events over the week. She had not been open to talking to him earlier, which led to her stress and need for the aforementioned “mental health day”. Sue said she didn’t want to talk if Jane was going to present, to his credit, Dick told her no, it was Jane’s home too and this affected her as much as anyone, so she was most certainly being part of the discussion. Acting more like a 3-year-old vs. a 13-year-old, she sat with her hands over her face refusing to talk. When she finally did speak it was to say that her mom was there. Yep, Sue had texted mommy and without conferring with Dick, Medusa showed up at their house to take Sue with her. Dick went out and sent his ex-wife away, returning to the house to FINALLY take back some of the parental power he handed over to his girls on a silver platter long ago.

Things escalated quickly with Sue making wild claims as to why she is so unhappy in their home and when they didn’t just except her crazy lies about Jane forcing her only wear clothes she picks out for her and how her father controls every aspect of her life, she ran (yes, RAN) from the house saying she was going to kill herself. Dick went after her, but rather than coddle her and give her whatever she wanted to make her stop saying such hurtful things, he called her mother and told her to come get her- however if she did, she was to keep her. Medusa, not one to give up her social life freely pushed back that she couldn’t keep her overnight, but could spend the afternoon claiming her down. Dick stood firm, if she took her from his house, she was not to return. Being backed in a corner, not wanting to say no in from of her daughter, Medusa agreed.

In the past Dick has said he would never allow the girls to live with Medusa full-time, that it was giving in to both their mother’s coddling and the girls desire to live with no rules or responsibility. I guess with the realization that Sue had been lying for months about being happy with him and Jane only to find out she hates them both and the time in their home is torture, causing her to threaten to kill herself rather than stay there, on top of the journal in with Mary said pretty much the same, he hit that point. He sent an email to their mother saying, on a temporary basis, he feels the girls should stay with her full-time given the threats of self harm, or worse. He also said they will be returning to family therapy to work on these issues. Family therapy had been set aside after both girls expressed the desire to have individual therapy on their own.  Medusa agreed, in theory, but she was pushing for more details regarding the arrangement, all self-serving, not about the girls. He told her that he was meeting with the family therapist on Friday to discuss details and he would meet with the girls over the weekend to explain it to them.

I’m sure what Medusa is concerned with is money, plain and simple. I know a lot of divorced parents and let me say, Medusa has the sweetest deal by far, especially considering infidelity on HER part was the final nail in their marriage’s coffin. She got a lump sum settlement that was enough for her buy her home outright, so no mortgage. Dick paid of the car she had at the time and still has, so no car payment. Dick carries the kids on his insurance and pays ALL out-of-pocket for medical/dental- every co-pay, prescription, EVERYTHING. He pays for tuition for both private schools and any extra school fees. The only expenses Medusa has for her kids is half of any extra curricular activities (which at this time neither girl does) and their needs when in her home (food, clothing, etc). In addition, to all that, she gets $2000 per month in child support, which comes out to $1000  per week that she has them with their 50/50 arrangement. Dick was more than generous when they divorced, for the sake of his kids, kids who treat him like dirt, in large part because their mom has made him out to be the villain at a every opportunity. So now, they have done it, they finally pushed him to cave and give them exactly what they want- but what they didn’t count on is what they will be giving up. Medusa claims to be broke, so all the luxuries the girls enjoyed while in Dick’s care will be gone. No more trips to the coffee shop.  No more cable tv with every channel. No more shopping for expensive art supplies, clothes or make-up. No more vacations to tropical locations. Dick will continue to pay for their cell phones service, however if their phones break or go missing, it will be on mom to figure out a replacement. Same for the fancy laptop Mary enjoys, mom will need to figure out a way to extend the photo editing software when the year is up that dad paid for. But they will be free of their horrible father, evil stepmonster and the prison like environment they made life in their house to be.

And Medusa will not get another cent. In our state child support is not based on the amount of time the children are with each parent. Doubling the time she has with the kids will not translate into double the support. Based on the state calculations, Medusa is currently receiving more than what is typically awarded- so she needs to consider herself lucky and figure out how to live within her means. My guess is that will mean a lot of using the word “no”, which the girls hate to hear, but this is what THEY wanted, all three of them. They will not be happy however. The reason family therapy was put aside was the therapist suggested that they make more effort and change to make their situations better. For years Dick and Jane had been the ones making all the changes, doing everything the therapists suggested to make the girls happier in their home- nothing worked. So they will go back, my guess is the girls will not speak, they will sick in silence for each session. At this point I don’t know if these girls are capable of being happy, which is sad.

Dick is heartbroken, but feels he has done all he can and its time to take this drastic step. His marriage was on the line, as well as the safety of both daughters if their threats were to be believed. He is  good man, with a good heart and the best of intentions, but you can only be pushed so far…. Dick has been pushed past that point.

Happy Birthday to me

Today is my birthday. I have never been one who was overly excited about birthdays, maybe because mine usually fell the first week of school, before friendships had been formed and my mom was not a “send treats for the class” mom. I do not recall a single birthday party with friends as a kid, so as I transitioned to adulthood, big celebrations were never my thing. I am also not one to dwell on my age. I had no issues turning 30 or even 40, but for some reason, this birthday, 48, I’m having a hard time.

It’s not that I feel that 48 is “old”, but more that I am feeling old and it has nothing do with my age. Needing physical therapy for a non-injury pain makes me feel old and weak. And to add insult to injury (so to speak), the therapy doesn’t seem to be helping. And while I also don’t view 50 as old, I think being this close is a bit of an adjustment. I don’t look my age, not that I really know what 48 should look like, but my guess is most don’t expect it to have purple hair. I have good skin, one thing I can thank my mother for I guess. I am often mistaken for being much younger, which is nice, but it doesn’t really change how I feel, it’s not about looking old, its about how I feel, on the inside.

I guess I have 364 days to enjoy 48 before 49 comes knocking… ugh.

Wow…. just WOW!

For those who have followed my blog, the endless drama with my friend Jane, her husband Dick and his daughters, Mary and Sue provide an endless supply of blog worthy material. When last we checked in on the family Mary’s journal had been left in plan sight and was filled with dark thoughts and talk of death. For the better part of the past year, all attention has been focused on Mary and her anxiety and depression, which does not seem to be getting better, so much so the girls’ mother, Medusa, reached out to Dick for a meeting with Mary’s psychiatrist. Medusa has gone out of her way to work against Dick when it comes to parenting and their children, so it’s a rare thing for her to suggest a united front. They met and very little came of it;  more therapy, encourage her to be more open (which to this point she has not been, at all) and a possible evaluation in a few months if that doesn’t help.

During this time, Sue, the younger daughter, has become closer with Jane and expressed on numerous occasions that she is happier in her father’s home than at her mom’s. One reason is she feels that her mom let Mary get away with doing what she wants; no chores, be mean to Sue, not attend school if she is stressed. Sue has a medical condition that causes her great pain and other issues, so she too misses a great deal of school (over 30 days last year, so much so both parents were called in multiple times to discuss). Part of me felt that Mary was being over dramatic with her issues to gain some of the attention that Sue had been getting for years due to her medical condition, as it is normal for kids to compete for parents’ attention. Now the tables have turned, Mary is getting the bulk of the parental attention and concern, and it seems Sue is not happy.

The girls returned to Dick and Jane’s home on Sunday. Monday was Jane’s birthday and neither girl made mention of that fact until Sue came down just before bed to wish her a happy birthday. Sue said she had not forgotten, but had not been feeling well. My guess was she was laying the ground work to miss yet another day of school (she has already missed 4 days this year, this is her 3rd week of classes). Tuesday was the meeting with Mary’s team of therapists and Wednesday Sue had a meltdown at dinner. Out of the blue she got angry when discussing a school project that had been discussed multiple times. At first it appeared to be a typical hormonal teen outburst, but shortly after while in a full sobbing breakdown she told her father she had been pretending to be happy at his house, that she felt she had to be the perfect child to be loved because Mary was so messed up and only her mother understood her. Wow… just WOW. Literally the week before this same girl was texting Jane telling her how her mom and her were once again arguing and she really wanted to live with her father full-time. This has been going on for months , yet NOW she claims it was all lies? I am not buying it. To add to the WOW factor, she woke up this morning and told her father she needed a “mental health” day off from school. That she just couldn’t deal with it and she was stressed over her father trying to control her life. WHAT THE HELL?!?!!? Keep in mind, this kid has missed 4 days in less than 3 weeks and with the holiday she already has had an extra day off this week. She is 13, it not “controlling”, it’s called GOING TO SCHOOL!

Sadly, Dick let her stay home. WOW

There is so much about all  this that makes me go WOW. Personally, given that every member of this family has their own therapist, as well as a family therapist, they need have come real talk, together. Dick needs to take control back from his kids. I say call their bluffs. Tell them that they need to deal with the reality of life in his house. Go to school, treat the other members of the house with respect and civility and do the minimal household chores they have been asked to do (which is pretty much limited to cleaning up after themselves). If they are so unhappy and only mommy understands them, let them try living with her full-time. My guess is they will miss the nice home and all that comes along with it. But Dick will never do that, he parents out of fear and this will continue, sadly until Jane leaves most likely. So, WOW to a grown man being afraid to stand up to his kids.

Jane is now actively looking at job opportunities out-of-state. WOW. I really never thought it would come this, but I can’t say I blame her. Literally EVERYDAY it is something else, and not a small something, but big major shit. She’s not an evil stepmother. She has done her very best to be a positive influence in these girls’ lives, only to have it thrown in her face and be told any kindness showed her was faked. While I know Dick loves her, at what point do you see that your kids are jerks who are looking to ruin your life for no real reason, not like mom and dad will get back together if Jane were to be out of the picture. It’s all so sad, for everyone, but Dick is doing no one any favors by allowing this behavior to continue.

So, wow… just WOW.

Be safe

There are times when local friends and neighbors will complain about being land-locked. To reach the sun drenched beaches of Florida, the East Coast or Gulf Coast require several hours in a car or a pricey plane ticket. This is not one of those times. While the Houston area experienced epic rain and flooding the likes the United States has never seen thanks to Hurricane Harvey, the only thing we got was a nice break from the heat with fall like temps and some much needed, all be it short lived, rain. And now, the Caribbean and Florida are bracing for what could be an even bigger storm, Hurricane Irma.

Yes, there is a trade off to live in paradise, but even knowing hurricanes are a possible trade off doesn’t make it any less daunting when you are faced with it. In Houston, it wasn’t the endless rains that caused widespread flooding on one of the countries more populated cities, reservoirs had to be released to attempt to control the damage. The fact that Houston’s infrastructure is unregulated, allowing for structures to be built between the two reservoirs added to the loss of property and possibly life (nearly 50 people so far have died as a result of the storm). In addition to man-made conditions on the group, many experts have said storms are bigger and more dangers due to global warming. So who is more to blame, us or Mother Nature?

I hope more in Irma’s path heed to the warnings and evacuate. I can only imagine the horrible ordeal it is to evacuate your home must be. To attempt to get all you can, including pets, and find a place to stay, for how long, you do not know. Not everyone has the means to go to a hotel, on the fly, for an undetermined length of stay.  In the Western part of the country, wild fires are raging, over 70 of them from Washington State down into California. May of those are man made disasters, but with a lack of rain the conditions make it easier for fires to spread.

In the Midwest and southern part of the country we get tornadoes. Up North, several winter weather, with heavy snow falls and ice storms create similar hazardous conditions. No one is “safe”, but we can listen to the experts, follow their advice, prepare as much as we can before hand and hope for the best if/when the storm hits, in whatever form it hits. And after, we must all come together, to help in whatever way we can, as you never know when it may be your turn to be on the receiving end.