Books Read in 2015

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
Gator Bait

Laura's favorite books »

Saturday, November 7, 2015

And Now it's a Printer

     He bought the kids a new computer.  Okay, technically it was his mother who both it with the money from the education fund she established for the kids.  The computer that he is using to write his masterpiece, a book about the Saskatchewan Roughriders and how he became a fan of theirs.  So he is getting utility from it.  But it supposed to be there for the kids to do homework.  Have refused to buy a printer.  A printer that would allow the kids to print their homework when done at home and bring it to school.  A printer that would allow them to be more prepared for school.  He originally told me that he didn't get one because they didn't work well with the iMac.

     So while cleaning out my parents house we found a printer that works with a Mac, it even has to software with it.  All it needs is ink.  It fit the previously assumed criteria.  Assume because that is what he told me.  So I, as a mother who wants my children to excel in school thought perfect!  Just what I need.

     I told my ex-husband I had a printer for the kids all he needed to do is buy ink.  You would have
thought that I asked him to know his arm off at the elbow.  He had a hissy fit because ink cost money and he doesn't make much money.  I'm so tired of this excuse as I see him bring home pair after pair of Nike sneakers.

     I remind him that it is for the kids and if the printer is to be at his house with the computer he really should be the one to buy the ink as I will not be using it and it is not at my house.  He wanted custodial custody of the kids!  He wanted to keep them in the same school district.  I agreed.  It made sense.  He really just wants the control and he keeps it this way.  The more control I take the more unreasonable he is.

     His argument now is 1. Ink cost too much, yes it is costly but it is necessary.  2. Other parents of children in the district either don't have a computer or don't have a printer.  (So what, other parents in the district are not me and their children are not my children.) 3. His mother has to get a new printer every couple years.  Yes, it happens and they cost much less than the new computer you just got when the old one worked.  It just wasn't pretty anymore and needed a memory cleaning.

     The thing is I am the one who has to run to Kinko's to get our son's homework printed.  He could print it at school, but he can't remember to hand in homework that is already done.  The odds of him remembering to print something and then hand it in are not good. His track record supports this.  He gets better every year.  So maybe when he graduates from high school he will finally have it down and not only do his homework but hand it in as well.  He needs adult supervision to do his homework.  So he need adult supervision to print.  I am that adult.  I also and the one person in the family that knows the most about the computer.  That isn't saying much, however.

     So I'm bringing the printer in, I'm connecting it to the computer.  I'll buy the ink but I will hold onto the power cord.  If I am buying the ink for the kids to use I will be the one who controls who prints.  He will not be printing out his book in progress on the contraband printer that I am bringing in so our children can do homework at home.  I know what a concept!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Great Stove Battle

     A few years back, I am honestly not sure when, I wanted a new stove.  We had an electric stove and I wanted gas.  I love to cook and wanted a better stove.  You may have noticed that I used the word I here.  That is because it was for me.  I found it, a friend of mine was selling it because she was moving out of state.  I saved up for it and I bought it.  I told my ex it only cost $50 because it was the only way he would have allowed me (remember he controlled the finances and he didn't know I had this money saved).  I arranged for it to be moved, I had it installed.  The stove was mine!

     When I left my ex, I took the bed but I left the stove because my children still lived in the house and I wasn't so vindictive that I would take the main source of cooking out of the house.  I always told him I would get my stove when there was a replacement.  I have mentioned this to him a few times and the last time he changed from his usual grunt to the stove was marital property and I had no claim to it.

     Now that my father passed away, my parents stove would be sold and is almost as good as MY stove.  It is a gas stove, just not a convection stove like mine.  I let my ex know when the estate was finalized I would bring that stove in and take my stove.  I felt I was being fair.  Of course he thinks I deserve nothing from our marriage so I should have known this wouldn't end well.

     You would have thought I told him I was going to commit a murder.  He told me that he wouldn't allow me to have the stove and he would rather destroy it before I got it.  I give up.  Let him have the stove.  I fully intend on bringing a sledge hammer, blow torch or whatever he needs for him to destroy the stove.

     And it he does I will record it and/or the aftermath of his deed.  For him to destroy a stove to keep me from having it is quite possibly the most pretty and most reveling act.  It lets me know I was right to leave him.  It hurts that he would do something so vicious to me.  I stand up to him and he gets more and more unstable in my opinion.

     Of course he screams at me as I leave the house.  And I feed into it.  I should just disengage.  But I look him in the eye and make sure he knows I am not scared of him anymore.  He has no more power over me.  It is just a stove.  But, other than my children, it is the last part of me in that house.  He got rid of our furniture and offered me it before he got rid of it.  Of course he knew I didn't want it.  I had no place to put it.  The phone is out of his control.  The stove is the last hold he has on me.

     Honestly I hope he does destroy it, that will just show the world what kind of person he is.  Does anyone have a sledge hammer or blow torch?  I'll pop the popcorn so we can watch!  And I will be recording it in case anyone misses it.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Death and Memories

     Dad was finally close to coming home from the nursing facility.  He wanted to be home more than anything.  But he started having labored breathing.  Then the nursing facility after discovering that he had pneumonia and congestive heart failure decided to send him home instead of back to the hospital.

     My brother picked him up and brought him home for what we didn't know would be the final time.  I tried to visit but Dad went to bed early that night.  Then overnight Dad couldn't breath well so my brother took Dad to the emergency room.  I wasn't there when Dad was admitted.  My brother has become my father's and my rock I couldn't have gone through these last 14 months, or even the last three years without him.

    I visited Dad and I knew it was bad.  We met with the doctors and we decided to bring Dad home with Hospice care, but he had to survive the weekend first.  My birthday was on Saturday and I jokingly told Dad, after he told me that he wasn't doing well and I found out he asked for last rights, that he wasn't allowed to die on my birthday.  He laughed and wished me a happy birthday.  I will always remember that conversation and the last time I hear his laugh.  Of course his last laugh was actually passing away on my birthday; bright and early in the morning too.  He always had to do everything early in the morning.

     My relationship with my father has gone through so many different stages.  Some I remember better than others.  My mother tells me when I was a child Dad and I were inseparable.  We would play together and we had a special father daughter bond.  I have no recollection of that.  I have seen photos of us playing together and it is like looking at photos of people I don;t know.  I have no emotions or memories connected to them.

     When I was in fifth grade I went to an after school event involving basketball.  My mom picked me up and took me to piano lessons.  I remember being in the gymnasium that day and not much else.  When I got to piano I ran across the street and hit a car driving by.  The impact was on my knees and I hit my head when I landed.  I received a concussion and I lost most of my memories of what happened before that day.

     I have a flash of awareness in ambulance and in the emergency room.  I have an impression of people all around me and working on me.  It is like they show you on tv.  A flash here, it is blurry and you hear sounds and I can remember the smell of rubbing alcohol.  My first clear memory is waking up in a crib.  I was a fifth grader in a crib, I was in the ICU at Children's Hospital and the bed had a drop side that was all the way up.  I was in a CRIB!  I didn't care, I was in pain, my head hurt, my knees were completely covered in giant bruises and I was alone.

     My first real memory after that event was breakfast in the morning and how HORRIBLE it was.  Runny eggs, I can still smell them, feel how slimy they were and taste their sulfuric flavor.  Dad picked me up from the hospital and when I got home he had me set the table.  It hurt to walk.  My knees have never fully recovered from that accident.  I remember how mad I was that I had to set the table on the day I got home from the hospital.  He didn't let me off the hook just because I was hurt.

     I hate that my first real memory of my dad is me being upset with him.  I am sure we got into a fight and I am sure I was furious with him.  It is a horrible memory and it will always be something I think of when I think of my father.

     Our relationship when I was a teen was not any better.  He and I were always fighting.  We were always at odds with each other.  We were mean to each other.  I hated him when I was a teen.  I think our relationship was worse than others.  I was not a happy teenager.  I was picked on in school, I wen to a Catholic high school to get away from being bullied at school.  I felt bullied at home.  And I couldn't wait to get away from him.

     In my twenties I didn't live with my parents.  That was when I started to reconnect with my father.  Now that I was adult and I was becoming more assertive.  Not like I am now, but compared to how I was in my teens it was a world of difference.  I moved out of state and Dad begged me to stay.  I actually considered it too.

     After I got married he and I had a different kind of relationship again.  We would talk almost as equals.  I still remember dancing with me at my wedding.  He was such a wonderful dancer.  He guided me around the dance floor with no effort.  A skill I never managed to develop. I think it was the best I ever have danced.  Maybe you just need a good leader.

     When I became a mother again our relationship changed and I found myself asking him for advice now and again.  If my teenage self could only see me then.  She never would have believed it.  I seriously hated my father back then.  Will my teen think of me like that?

     Then I caught my husband cheating on me and it was my father who encouraged me to give him a second chance.  I tried for years.  When I finally told my father about the abuse he no longer asked me to forgive D.  My father by then couldn't walk long distances and needed a walker.  I wonder what Dad would have done if he had been at his peak condition.  I was afraid of him when I was younger for good reason.  He was not someone you wanted to make upset.

     It was after my mother was blown over in that windstorm and I finally left my husband that I reconnected with my father.  Our roles were reversed.  I was the one taking care of him.  I had to make sure he took his meds and made him his meals.  He and I would talk and laugh as I took him to visit Mom every day.  He told me stories about Mom that I never knew.  (She almost got in a fist fight with a friend who kept trying to steal Dad away from her.)

     I am the one who brought Dad to visit his wife for the last time.  I am the one who got the phone call when she passed and had to walk upstairs, wake him up and tell him that his wife had died.  When he forgot because of the dementia both my brother and I had to tell him again what happened.  He blamed my brother at first.  Even when I told him I was the one who signed the papers he blamed S.

     It was the 14 months after that that my brother and his family took over my father's care.  When asked I would help out.  I hated to see him deteriorate before my eyes.  He lost his vision in his last year.  He lost most of his mobility.  He didn't even like to leave the house.  He missed his wife and now he is with her again.

     I think he was proud of me.  He saw me go back to school twice.  He witnessed my graduation Magna Cum Laude with my bachelors degree.  He saw me became a mother.  Go back to school and get my teaching degree so I could provide for my children.  He saw me assert myself and get out of a bad and abusive marriage.  He allowed me to move back in with him and taking care of him and my mother.  I have to say those were the best nine months.  It ended being more than I could handle but I will never wish I did anything different.

    He is gone now, but never forgotten.  I miss you so much Dad!

In Loving Memory Of My Father  -  October 30, 1935 to October 17, 2015
You will never be forgotten 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Homework Anxiety

 It has been over three weeks since I broke my ribs.  In that time school has begun for the kids, my grandmother, their great grandmother (Oma to them) passed away at 98 years and I have finally started working again.  Unfortunately in that same time my son has already slacked off in school and is behind in several classes and almost failing one.

     That brings me to homework.  This has been a struggle for the last few years.  I usually let him start the year and step back to see if he will do it.  Then I find out he is way behind and he has to struggle to catch up.  So this year I am on him from the beginning.  I check his homework daily and still he manages to not get it all done.

      Today I found out he lied to me about doing an assignment.  He told me he typed it at school and
printed it at school.  His teacher told me he never handed it in.  I also found out the teacher gave him an extra two days and added to the assignment.  It is the same assignment with an extra 9 sentences added to it.

      Because he lied and I told his teacher he would turn in the original assignment I wanted him to print it after the original 8 sentences and again after the added 9 sentences.  No real extra work, and both assignments would be handed in.  I contacted his teacher and he agreed with my homework solution.  My son however freaked out and was convinced he would be in trouble for handing in the extra page.

     When I say he freaked.  I mean full blown panic attack, hyperventilating to the point that he
almost passed out.  He was dizzy and unconsolable.  I called his doctor and got the service.  A doctor from another state called and suggested all the things I was already doing.  He wouldn't use a paperboy, because he was sure it wouldn't work.  Every suggestion I gave he fought.

      Finally I had to take him to Urgent Care.  It was over 40 minutes and he was in bad shape.  I drove there while listening to his rapid breathing.  Talking to him, trying to keep him conscious.  He was scared.  I was scared.  Okay I think we both were terrified.

When we stumbled into Urgent Care, he couldn't even walk on his own.  I had to hold him up and I sat him down while trying to stay calm.  The person behind the desk got up and got help immediately.    I didn't even get to check him in before they saw him.  I wanted to be with him, but I needed to give them our information.  That was the first of three separations.

     Then they needed to ask me what happened while they got him settled in a room.  So again we were separated.  I had to explain about the homework and the argument.  It sounded so petty with him so upset that his anxiety caused him to hyperventilate.  I finally got to the room where he was.  He was too hot and scared.  This had never happened to him before.  He wanted hugs but he was too uncomfortable to be touched.  My poor baby!

     Then the doctor came in, and asked to talk to me outside of the room.  I didn't want to leave P but I had too.  Then we walked all the way across the building to another room and he closed the door.  Now I was nervous.  Why did he take me so far away from my son?  Was there something really wrong that they needed to tell me so far away from my son so my reaction wouldn't freak him out?

     He just sat down with me and listened.  He wanted to know what triggered the anxiety.  Even
better he didn't want to give my son more meds.  I told him all the things I did to help and they were all what I should have done.  He needs to learn to soothe himself when he feels the anxiety.

     Another doctor came in and told Patrick to try all the things I asked him to do earlier to stop the anxiety and slow his breathing down.  Of course P listened to her.  Deep inside I liked knowing that I was doing what needed to be done.  Now I just need him to believe that those techniques will work.

                    Added September 30, 2015 - My ex-husband has gleefully decided that the panic attack my son had was my fault.  He won't allow our son to see a psychologist or a psychiatrist.  He is willing for P to learn meditation or relaxation techniques if he does;t have to pay anything for them.  It is very frustrating to no be able to get your son the help he needs because the other parent blocks your efforts.  

Sunday, August 30, 2015

I Broke Two Ribs but I Got to go to MASH

This summer is trying very hard to be the worst summer ever. If mom hadn't died last summer I think this one would win. Wednesday I had surgery and yesterday; because I am quite possibly the clumsiest person ever, I managed to break two ribs while walking to the bathroom.  

Yes, you read that correctly! I woke up to natures call and as I walked out of my door got a little dizzy. I could have fallen backwards into my open door and in an instant decided that was not a good option. I could have gone right into the open hallway again not the best option. In front of was the ideal choice the closed linen closet door just a few inches away and I would have been fine.  

But in that instant I decided to go left into what I thought was the latched bedroom door of the 18 year old who lives heres door. Guess what? It wasn't latched and it opened and down I went onto a table.  

My land lady came rushing to my aide. Gave me some water while I assessed the situation. I was in a pile of I have no idea what and I was in pain. I honestly did't know if I could get up. With help I got up, did what I woke up to do and went back to bed.  

Later when I woke up and any movement caused me great pain. I called my brother to take me to urgent care. Usually I drive myself but I was pretty sure I couldn't do it. Luckily he brought the car with dad's wheelchair in it as walking was not even close to fast or painless. 

Its 2 pm on a Saturday and the first Urgent care was closed. Isn't that the point of them to be open when a regular doctor isn't? So off we went to MASH. So now I can say I was treated in a MASH unit. 

If you haven't been in a MASH unit Highly recommend them, well except for the $50.00 copay. They were kind, helpful and took great care of me. There was hardly any wait time and they not only understood my teacher swearing while I was being x-rayed but were amused by it. Basically gobbly gook that let me express my pain while using no words children can tell their parents they heard. 

The announced I had two broken ribs and basically there was nothing they could do. Just take tylenol and rest. Ha! The school year is one week away and if I have to take a pillow into work to do my job I will.  

I lost a second day of pay this week for medical reasons and both days copays added together was more than I would have made.  

I have discovered if I lie very still in bed it doesn't hurt. Sadly I lost the remote at some point tonight so my tv is mocking me because I can't turn it off and netflix wants to know if I'm still watching Charmed. I was but apparently telling the tv that doesn't work. 

Saturday, August 29, 2015


How do you know that you are alone?  Oh I have friends and people on Facebook that I am friends with.  I have my family and my children.  I have people I live with who make sure I am okay and still I feel alone.

Have a surgery, a "routine procedure".  My brother dropped me off and I was alone in the room as I was sliced and diced.  No one was waiting for me when I was done.  I waited patiently for him to come back and get me and when I got home I crawled into bed alone.

The guy I have been seeing for 9 months to the day of my "routine procedure" was in another city on vacation.  Okay he had a cold and was miserable too, but I was not near the top of his list of priorities.

Nine months and I am not a real part of his life.  Nine months and I have to have the talk with him.  Let me in our let me go.  I'm guessing that I will be on my merry way.

So here I am wanting to curl up in a ball confronted by a man.  Even when I was married my ex wouldn't comfort me either.  Maybe I crave it so much because I never had it.  I ache and I am crampy and no one warned me about the grey ash color leaking out of me.

In this last years I sat alone as my mother died, I sat alone as every event happened.  I'm alone and I hate it.

I have tried internet dating and I got nine months of an almost relationship.  Now I want the real thing.  Anyone know someone looking for a 47 year old decent person who is fun and a bit mischievous?  If I get one more request from a 19 year old or anyone under 30 I will scream.

I just want to recover with someone holding me and telling me it will be alright!

Thursday, August 27, 2015



I am the mother of a teenager.  It hasn't sunk in.  I don't even see him today because I am recovering from a  surgery.  I remember what I was like as a teenager.  Worse I remember what my brother was like as a teenager. What was I thinking?

I have some plans for his birthday, he is coming of age and that is a big deal.  So happy birthday my love.  And yes that is my 13 year old still playing with blocks.  He built a city complete with plumbing.  He is one smart little man.  Now if he would just use that for good instead of evil, lol!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

What I Miss and Want Again

     Today I dropped a friend off at the airport to catch a bus.  As I drove away I remembered when I was dotingly ex husband.  We lived four hours apart.  On the occasions that I would take the bus back here to meet him Our time together was amazing.  This was when we loved each other and when I left to go back it was so hard.

      We would send every last moment together, not wanting the bus to leave.  When I finally boarded the bus he would stand by the bus and run after the bus as it pulled out.  He didn't want me to leave.  Sometimes he would follow the bus in the car as long as he could.  I often wondered if he would follow the bus for the whole four hours if he could.

      I miss that.  I miss that feeling that I didn't want to be separated from him for even an instant.  I often wonder how we got from there, from being that couple you see in public that you just want them to get a room to a couple where he is upset that I held on too $2.00.

     People ask me was he always like this and no he wasn't.  Once he would do anything for me and he would sing my praises to anyone who asked.  If he thought I was being wronged he would do all he could to help me out.  We were in love and I miss that.  I miss that part of him.  I wonder where it went.

      Someone recently asked me was it him that changed.  I don't think he did.  I think I was the one who changed.  I was a virgin who did't drive when we met.  I was the one who was afraid of many people and was terrified to even call him on the phone.  I was not who I am today.

     My family noticed the change in me too.  I don't think they all like it.  I've grown assertive, I have faced many of my fears.  I have learned to drive, and started to drive in the time I was married to him.    I am not the same person we were when I got married.

     Now I crave that love that I felt with him 20 years ago.  The man who would kiss me with passion and chase a bus that I was on because I was leaving on it.  I have been seeing someone for many months and I don't think that spark is there.  He still keeps part of who he is separate from me.  I don't want to have that talk with him, but I can't continue if it isn't going to go anywhere.

     I am not looking to get married again, and I don't want to even move in with him.  I just want to know that the spark is there.  I feel it from me, I just need to feel it from him.  I had it once and I lost it.  Is it wrong to want to have that feeling again?

Friday, August 21, 2015

One Year

      One year ago as I was lying in bed I received the phone call.  I looked at the caller ID and my heart sank.  It was the hospital.  Not even two hours prior I was there and had to fight with he hospital staff to have the oxygen removed from my mother.  She in no uncertain terms wanted to be connected to a ventilator as she was dying.

     They told me the oxygen was just a comfort measure like the morphine was.  I called my brother and my sister-in-law and together we made sure the oxygen was removed and after a short visit we left.  

I had signed her DNR on Monday and she was stubborn when she was born, not wanting to come out and now she was being stubborn in death.  I followed her wishes and signed the DNR.  I did my part but it took have two days to finally pass away after the care was removed.  She always was stubborn and it seems I received that trait from her.  

     As we left the room I bent over and whispered into her ear that it was okay to go and that I loved her.  MY SIL laughed and said something like "she never listened to you before why do you think she will start now?"  Maybe not those exact words but the list was the same.  I had no idea that would be the last thing I would say to her.  

It was a whirlwind after that.  Arrangements to make, memorials to plan things I never even thought about.  The worst was telling Dad.  I don't know how many times we told him.  And because my brother and I signed the DNR papers when he remembered he accused us of killing her.  My brother mores than I.  I don't know why he was the target of his grief?

     One year has passed.  The last few days have been hard and I have been surprised by how much it has bothered me.  But today it was crippling.  I couldn't function for most of the day.  The only thing that got me through it was spending time with my kids.  My ex of course either didn't remember or chose not to acknowledge what the day was.   My mom was god to him and bent over backwards so many times to help him out.  

     When the time came and the clock showed the time of her death we lit a special anointed candle for her and shared memories we had of her.  Of course both my children remembered holidays and how she would wrap gifts in the Sunday Funnies.  I told them about the time she wrapped our Christmas gifts in the bags from the stores, plastic not paper.  

I miss you mom!  I don't know how we got through a year without you, but we did.  I love you!!!

RIP Mommy 1940 - 2014

1945 with her father and twin bother

50th Wedding Anniversary 2014



Thursday, August 20, 2015

When People I Don't Know Tell Me About Who He Is

I've had so many emotions today.  Most involve my mom, but not all.  I wonder if losing her and how I feel about that has effected how I behave these last few days.

Of course while I am dealing with the loss of my mother my ex has turned up his attitude a few notches.  And it seems to be about food.  I think it is about control. And he just can't handle that other people help me out when I need help.

He is upset that I have a GoFundMe account.  He thinks it proves that I am lazy and not capable of supporting myself or my kids.  If he only knew how many job interviews I have been on and how I couldn't accept some jobs because I would have had to be working at the only times that I had my children.

He laughs at me because my car doesn't work well.  So I have to hit the starter with a hammer if it won't start.  It will start and it goes where I want it to go.  I wish I knew why he goes to such lengths to make me feel bad?  Does he even know what he says is rude?

I have met three people in recent weeks who have to deal with him as a customer and they all cringe when they see him come in.  It may be unprofessional of them but when I tell them I divorced him and I am so sorry they have to deal with him they open up to me and it saddens me to hear how awful he treats these people.  One told me that he made her cry.  No one deserves that.  Of course he wants to know who.  I refuse to tell him.  I know he will complain and I don;t want them fired because he is a jerk!

He provides me with food for the kids, one meal.  Of course not all the ingredients so I have to supplement with my own ingredients and often sides.  I live in a house with others and they allow me use of condiments and sometimes we will share what we make.  So none of us has to feed everyone.  He found out and now wants all leftovers and any uncooked food.

It doesn't matter if I add food, he wants the leftovers.  If I don't he has contacted his lawyer and because it is my time with the kids was told he doesn't have to supply me with food for them.  We made a deal and I have the text messages to prove it.  He agreed to supply me with food in the summer because I wasn't making much money.  Now he makes fun of me because I don't have a summer job, he says I am incapable, and is threatening to stop supplying the food.

I need to go to family court.  I need to not go through him.  I need to sever all ties with him.  We can't communicate.  I try and he just twists all I say and uses it against him.  I have permission to let me kids live with me.  Now I just need to try to get that ball in motion.