A new chapter of living

    We are planning to move in February 2019.  We have two companies interested in buying our home in a short sale for a reasonable price without any effort on our part as compared to listing our home the conventional way.  We are stuffed to the roof and would have to place allot in storage to show the benefits of our house off.  We have been living here five years and twelve days and accumulated more than we have given away or sold in yard sales.  To my husbands’ joy, I am decluttering my office. We have a lot of boxes now designated for the community thrift store.   For example: in my home office, I have 15 rolls of transparent tape and 6 bags of ink pens. Really, who needs that much?  I use the computer and printer daily. And there is limited space for hanging things on, so too much tape.  But it’s new stuff, and I don’t want to throw it away- hence, community thrift store donation.

     Making decisions is tedious, do I keep my knick-knacks or downsize by donating them? I don’t even have a new house picked out. We are wanting to leave the city and move to the countryside again. I miss raising Llamma’s. This time I am going to try Alpaca for the show, rather than the full sized Llama. I could never replace RJ in my heart, and it would be too painful to replace him with another full-sized llama. Robert wants to raise other less exotic animals like a horse for equine therapy and chickens for the eggs. We still have our two lovable and ornery dogs, Summer a Bagle puppy (Beagle and Bassetthound) and Macie a Labrador, who is 14 years old. We also have a parakeet and lots of fish in a 40-gallon aquarium.

     We have had aquariums for at least 35 years. One time we had twenty aquariums working and wound up selling them to the fishery store when we moved 50 miles away in the Arizona heat. At least us moving in February in Texas, the hot heated days won’t be a factor- watch it snow just for kicks on moving day… I made the last sentence with hilarity in mind because Texas , USA is known for wild temperature shifts you can have snow one day and 80 degrees Fahrenheit the next, the only thing we can agree upon is the summers are Hot, HOt, HOT!

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A tribute to Raymond

Tonight we had a viewing of Robert’s brother Raymond Challis. Afterward, the Chaplin led the family into sharing stories about Raymond. I would have liked to have known the man they described instead of the broken man I knew. He a world traveler, fisherman, and humorous person who loved life. I am happy that his other brothers and sister has fond memories of him; they are missing him greatly.

My husbands’ memory of him that stands out was a painful one. He was in high school, and his parents had a custody fight in court over the two young boys in Kindergarten and 1st grade; Raymond and Patrick.  His mother threw him under the bus lying about him to the court so that the court ordered a restraining order against Robert. His mother excuse later was that she had already lost him (Robert) and she didn’t want to lose the other two boys. Robert had to observe his little brothers from a distance, and he died a little each time.

Fast forward five years, I am in the picture now.  Raymond and Patrick take turns visiting their dad and brothers in another state. There was a lot of tension surrounding their visit so that we were discouraged by dad and step-mom to not go around and visit them.  My mom and dad Jack- an electrician- would visit with Raymond every day when they lived in the country and Ray was working on a job site near their home as an electrician. Raymond ate dinner with them and just visited on many occasions until the job was done.  I learned about him through mom’s phone calls, as we lived in a different state. Dad was pleased that Raymond had chosen to be an electrician too.

Ten years later, Robert & I move our little family back to Oklahoma.  We meet a damaged Raymond and his co-hab wife who had two children from another marriage.  We put effort into trying to get to know Raymond, but the wife discouraged it as they were too busy to get involved with us and I was a “holy roller” (I was involved in church).  All our children grow up without being involved in each other’s life.

Raymond visits his mom, and Robert gets to see him occasionally as Raymond visits because Raymond had moved out of state and married Kris. Unfortunately everytime I saw Raymond as a teenager and adult he was buzzed or just plain drunk,  with alcohol drinking and couldn’t carry on a conversation of substance.   Finally, Raymond moved back to Oklahoma four years ago, but Robert & I had been re-established in Texas by then, and I didn’t get to see him but twice for a few minutes when I went to Oklahoma to visit my mom. Robert talked over the phone with Raymond a few times and visited him in the hospital a year ago.

The tension was thick; Robert & Raymond didn’t have anything in common save being brothers, the damage had been done, their fate had been sealed a long time ago.  It’s easy to blame the mother and dad for the fighting that destroyed the brotherhood at such a young age and set into motion a change of events to where we were gathered at today.  It is tragic.  Raymond was an atheist and Robert, and I believe and worship GOD. Raymond was an alcoholic, Robert and I are tea-toters by choice.  Although they were separated 40 years, Robert still loves the Kindergarten Raymond very much and misses the boy he was and mourns the man he never really knew.

 

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving 2018

It could’ve been worse!

2018 brought perils of its own in the New Year. Robert’s health declined, and he had to quit his job on Feb. 06th. March 20th he had a widow maker heart attack at the hospital emergency room and was taken into surgery where stents were used; the hospital wanted $18 thousand down to do the heart surgery- the emergency heart attack made them forgo the requirement and admit him into the hospital. We had to make some hard and fast decisions about our finances liquidating assets to survive on while keeping our home. We don’t have any medical insurance, so we pay as we go on smaller charges under $300.00. Our central heat and air condition went up in the dust. We made temporary changes with portable a/c units, then we finally bit the big one and had the unit replaced. God and the lawyer got him SSDI in September. We began attending church regularly in March and are active participants in two ministeries. Our brother Raymond passed away in November. God has seen us through this time of transition and change and given us the wisdom to make drastic changes for survival. I share this with you because I want you to know that God is faithful and loving and he wants us to prosper in money, health, and spirit as we develop a relationship with him.

I am thankful that my husband is alive- for I am not alone

I am thankful that we have a mortgage- for at least we have a place to call home

I am thankful that we have reliable transportation

I am thankful that my five grandchildren and two daughters and son-in-law love me

I am thankful for my church where I can freely and securely worship God

I am thankful for having a mental illness- I can be very emotionally astute and appreciate and relish the good days as they come

I am thankful that I am healthy and have plenty of food to eat and clean water to drink

I am thankful for the internet- communication has never been faster while reaching the multitudes at once

I am thankful for the curve balls- at least I am still in the game

I am thankful for exercise classes- I can still move my body

I am thankful for your feedback- I touched your life briefly

 

An Ode to Alcohol

You let me say whatever I thought,

you gave me courage when I fought,

you came before relationships that I sought,

and even food when I bought.

You lied to me when you said you were my friend,

You couldn’t see the pain on their faces that you caused,

Or smell the alcohol on your breath as you cursed

and blamed and shamed yourself.

You were my everything, and now my body is wasted and my enlarged heart is very small as I take my last breath while drinking you- alcohol.

 

I

 

 

 

 

 

3 Bones About It

Reba McIntire said, “You need a wishbone, a backbone, and a funnybone” to be successful.

My wishbone is telling me that I want my family to happy, healthy, and wise, spiritually and physically.

If I could wave a magic wand and wish all my bills paid, good health, and mental wisdom, I wouldn’t use it. It is bad that allows us to see the good. It is not the struggle that defines us, but the result of the struggle.  I would prefer to have a wisdom all the time, but there is something good to be said about exploring an idea and creativity in solving it.

My backbone is telling me to stand up for what I think is right, just, and fair, otherwise, my silence is an affirmation of agreement.

I would love to stand up to people and tell them what I think, but I have discovered through patience that listening to what they have to say is often more rewarding. Sometimes it is in the telling that truth slips out through the folds of  “its all about me”.

My funny bone is telling me to live life fully but understand that humor goes a long way in lightening the burdens on one’s heart.

Do you ever get the impression that ‘that one zipped by’ over your head? It’s not a comfortable feeling- being a tad bit slower in recognizing sarcasm and humor.  I am often the brunt of that one got by her, again. It’s not that I lack funnybone- I have a refined pallet of what is actually funny.

I don’t take life too seriously, but serious enough to moderate what happens with my wishbone, backbone, and funnybone in place.

 

 

Seasonal-affective-disorder

Seasonal-affective-disorder (SAD) is the pits.  I have the fall version of SAD and it is difficult to function. Having Bipolar (schizoaffective-disorder) and Major Depressive Disorder is making my symptoms worse. I have depression that ranges from sleep deprivation to excessive sleeping.  Last Sunday, I slept all day- getting up to take a shower after my daughter thoroughly made me angry about being SAD.  She goes through this every Fall with me and see’s me sink into depression and apathy.  So she deliberately goaded me trying to get me to snap out of it.  Well, it worked… after I got over being angry the next day I got up 5:00 a.m. CST and stayed up and have been doing this every day since. I still wake up in the middle of the night for about three hours no matter how late I stay up.

I force myself to stay awake and be active even though everything inside me is rebelling at the notion.  I have been unable to write in my blog for a month now because of the depression. It dries up my creativity and desire to be positive in nature.  The overcast days and reduced hours of light aren’t helping. I use an overhead light and a desk lamp both with daylight brightness LED bulbs to help stimulate the hormones that prevent SAD.  They have professional light boxes available for sale but they are expensive so I make do without them.  The doctors recommend cognitive behavior therapy, aka talk-therapy in addition to anti-depressants. I am already at the maximum therapeutic dosages for my illnesses and have to manage with mind-over-matter thinking on a daily basis. SAD just makes it more difficult.

This year I am actively acknowledging SAD and asking for prayer from my church families and support group.  I continue to write the “welcome to our church” and “get well and sympathy” cards even though my heart really isn’t in it to be encouraging to others. I rely on scripts that I wrote when I was not depressed to help me provide this much-needed service.  One of my support groups has ended for the holidays till January 2019. This makes it harder for me to have fellowship and get out of the house. That’s one of the triggers for me is hibernation and wallowing in despair, not wanting to do anything to help myself.  Hence, getting up early to combat this notion.

Are you or someone your support going through SAD, write to me in the comments and let me know how you are dealing with SAD, maybe we can encourage each other.

For Professional information go to:  https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20364722