People often ask me where my stories come from.
Actually, anyone who knows me knows exactly what my life is like and where my stories come from.
Here’s an example and it will explain what’s been going on.
On January 11, 2010, I gave my resignation at my job so I could move from my home in Arizona to my new home in North Carolina. I don’t really have a new home there, but I would be staying with friends until I could find a new home. My family was going to join me in May once the kids were out of school for the summer.
I gave my notice and I was moving to North Carolina to open our bookstore, Barnhill’s.
Did you really click that link? I’m not there yet! Save it for later. I’ll tell you when. Now pay attention.
Within an hour of giving my notice, my husband arrived home to discover we had been robbed. My first concern was the saftey of my fifteen-year-old son, Joey. He hadn’t felt well that morning and stayed home from school. My husband leaves before me in the morning and didn’t know my son was home sick.
He was still in bed, sleeping.
However, earlier in the day, he woke to discover the kid who lives behind us coming in the back door. They scared each other with Joey yelling, “What the hell are you doing in my house,” and the kid taking off running and jumping back over the fence. Joey went through the house. The living room looked fine and my bedroom door was still closed so he went back to bed.
My husband came home, opened the bedroom door, saw the blinds askew, the window open, and my laptop gone. Apparently, when Joey surprised him, the kid was coming back in the house after taking his first load of stolen goods out.
Word quickly spread through the neighborhood and reports of seeing him carrying my laptop began to circulate. The police came and took a report. Word from the grapevine got back to us that the kid was trying to trade my laptop for a gun or enough money to buy a gun and he was coming back.
Everything that was gone was just stuff. Sure… my laptop had my latest book on it and some personal stuff like our Christmas pictures, but I have most of my book on backup and the pictures are just pictures and video.
The scary thought was that if this little punk had a gun when he broke into my house, he probably would have shot Joey. And if not at my house, he wouldn’t stop breaking into people’s houses and someone would die.
This was supposed to be a happy week for me. After a lot of planning, it was time for me to take the next big step in my life. I was packing and planning my trip.
On Tuesday, my husband remained home in case our visitor returned as promised. He was seen several times and the police were called but they didn’t come out.
On Wednesday, I was coming down the street from work when a neighbor tried to squeeze between me and parked cars. He hit the mirror on my truck and it folded. His broke. He called the police and said I hit him. Hours later, when the police came out, they stopped by just to let me know that he wasn’t pressing charges but he did have witnesses. The “witnesses” didn’t mention they spent every Friday drinking with the “victim” or that they weren’t actually outside or in view of the accident.
After that, we changed our plans. We’re all moving. I’ve been packing. This neighborhood has gone downhill and I don’t feel it’s safe for my children. Yesterday, they arrested the kid, but he will probably be released today. He had one of my rings in his possession and the police impounded it. It’s now being held as evidence. The kid confessed. They’re still going to let him out.
Welcome to my world. I’m leaving.
The other day, my daughter ran into my room wearing a long black cape and her brother’s skeleton halloween mask.
She said, “I’m a cat burglar!”
Then she grabbed the fluffy sleeping cat off of my bed, tucked him under her arm, and ran out of the room.
Several things have happened since I last saw you. So without further ado, here’s an update:
Halloween came and went.
I added a new bear to my collection and he promptly took over my favorite place to hang out:
My oldest son turned 19. He still doesn’t have a job.
My next oldest son was promoted from freshman football to varsity football and he got to play in the last two varsity games. He would have played in the final varsity game, but he was sick all week and missed two practices so he couldnt play. We can’t wait for next year. He will be the only Sophomore on the varsity team.
Everyone got sick with some weird stomach bug. I hope it was H1N1 because if so, we all had it and survived and should be good to go for the rest of the year. Right?
My kitchen cabinets have three shelves. Well, one cabinet now only has two shelves, but that’s ok because I don’t have nearly as many glasses as I used to since that one shelf decided it was tired of holding up all of those glasses.
At least 3 times in the last two weeks, I haven’t had more than three hours of sleep because my husband snores and when the weather changes, his snoring gets worse. As soon as I drift off, he wakes me up. Poor guy, he doesn’t do it on purpose, but one of these mornings, he’s going to wake up with tampons shoved up each nostril and a sock in his mouth.
Most nights, I only sleep about 6 hours anyway.
We had record heat. It was ni the 90’s all week. It’s November.
We had our fiscal year end at work and that inculded taking inventory. I worked 12 hour days and weekends.
Somewhere in all of that, I worked, slept, ate, cleaned, laughed, cried, lived life, made decisions and talked to my family.
At least I assumed I did all of that. I don’t remember much of it in the blur of my life.
So, I’m back now, but quite frankly, next week doesn’t look much better.
Finally, do you guys miss my posts or me coming to visit you and leave comments?
I’ve been working.
So, I really miss everyone and I hope you haven’t forgotten me.
I will be making the rounds soon to say hi.
Until then, Please feel free to hop over to my sister’s blog and help her make fun of me. Or maybe she’s making fun of Molly Ringwald. I can’t be sure.
What are sisters for? No really, because I’ve been trying to figure that one out for decades.
My kids lovingly refer to me as “Bear”.
The nickname started because I’m just not much of a morning person and if I attempt to talk too early, my words come out more like growling than speaking.
My growl is much worse than my bite but I guess I can be a pretty scary mom. A girl who liked my son refused to come to the house and meet me. She met my husband and the other kids, but I scare her.
My kids know the truth. I’m a big ole teddy bear. My daughter was in trouble for something a couple of weeks ago and I was laying into her in my mommy tone and she smiled, patted me on the head and said, “Mom, I still love you even though you’re yelling at me.”
As a side note, Happy Birthday to the Mad Hatters! I hope they reach Julie’s goal of 250,000 visiters by the end of the day on 9/11.
I’ve been missing for a week.
What do you mean you didn’t notice? Gee, thanks. I’m going to write anyway.
So, for the past week, I’ve been working like crazy and spending a little time living life. I’d much rather Live life like crazy and spend a little time working, but it just isn’t working that way. Someday it will.
Yesterday, my fourteen year old son played his first High School Freshman football game. He didn’t get to play Pop Warner or football in junior high. The closest he’s come to getting to play on a team has been the rag tag session of all of the neighborhood kids tackling each other in my front yard and throwing passes the length of the street. I assumed that Joey wouldn’t have enough experience to play and I anticipated he would be on the sidelines for the entire first game.
How wrong I was. This boy played defensive end for most of the game. I’m usually proud of this kid anyway. He is in three advanced placement classes, he is the first one to encourage other kids, he always treats his dad and I with respect and even when he picks on his little brother and sister, he doesn’t overdo it to hurt their feelings. All around, Joey is just a great kid.
He’s number 84.
Towards the end, he will turn and look at me and then you can hear the group of girls sitting behind me yell his name. Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks he’s a great kid.
Here’s another short little video of him playing. It’s grainy because the camera was full and my battery was dying thanks to my younger children recording themselves jumping on the bed – but that’s another story for another day.
I cleaned out my camera, so next week I will get more video. Every Wednesday for the next couple of months I will be taking time out to share a few moments of life.
Sometimes, you just have to stop and catch a football.
My kids went back to school this week. This time of the year is very stressful for me. Not only is there the expense of buying new clothes, backpacks, and supplies, but there’s also the emotional hold of letting go of my children a little more.
Each school year means they have grown up and away just a little bit.
My daughter started the third grade and she’s still only seven years old until Monday. She’s the youngest in her class and the youngest in our family. My only daughter. The one who takes my kisses, peels them off her face, puts imaginary glue on the back, and sticks them back on her cheeks to keep them forever.
My third son is a walking brain, always thinking and continually questioning the world around him. He’s already determining what his science project will be and tickled that his teacher always gets all of the “smart kids”.
My second son sailed through gifted classes and now finds himself taking advanced placement classes as he enters high school as a freshman. He’s also over 6 ft tall and as cute as he can be with long dark hair and big brown eyes. He’s preparing to play football knowing that it’s a pass to play situation where if he isn’t passing his classes, he can’t play football. This is going to be a tough year for him, but he’s ready for the challenge. As long as some girl doesn’t side track him, I think he will do just fine.
Finally, my oldest son is finishing up his college classes and I hope he will be able to find a job out in the real world.
I watch the kids grow up measured by a calendar based on new clothes, pencils, and teachers. A school year paused by a summer break where kids can just be kids before they leave again to return to the educational institution and remind me how fast they are growing up.
My birthday party this year was a grand event.
The day started bright and early with my family of six piling into my truck like sardines. We drove for four hours, the wind coming in the windows growing considerably cooler as we drove north. The speakers maintained a continuous stream of music ranging from brand new pop music that made the teenagers happy to the classics that make my husband and I feel young while at the same time, reminds our children how old we are.
The Grand Canyon is incredible.
We left the Natural wonder of the world at 9:30 pm and didn’t arrive home until nearly 2 am. The radio crooned quietly to not disturb the sleeping children, both big and small alike and the wind through the windows changed from chilly to fiery as we drove south.
I’m sharing some of the pictures, but this post isn’t about the beauty of the grand canyon.
This post is about spending over seventeen hours in close quarters with my husband and children and enjoying the experience.
It was a great birthday.
The drive-in – not just for making out!
If you’ve never been to a drive-in movie, you are missing a part of Americana that is surely going to be extinct soon.
I don’t care if you call me a hick or archaic or an archaic hick. There’s nothing like loading my truck up with lawn chairs, the cushions off my couch, a full cooler, all of the kids, and parking in front of a huge screen in the dark. We lounge around in the bed of the truck, seated comfortably on the couch cushions while the big kids hang out on the tailgate or in the lounge chairs and the little kids curl up on a stack of pillows and blankets. We take fast food or pizzas in with us and the cooler is full of snacks and sodas.
The local drive-in is cheap, only about $6 for an adult and about $4.50 for kids 11 and younger and we can stay and watch two movies in a row for the price of one. Last weekend, we saw “UP”. The second feature was the Hannah Montana movie and my daughter and I wanted to stay, but the four males in our family outvoted us, two of them threatening a murder – suicide if we didn’t leave after “UP” was over. I almost stayed just to prove they wouldn’t go through with it, but part of me was worried they would.
The drive-in is much better than a jammed movie theater. I hate those places. I haven’t been inside of a movie theater since 1994. Honestly. The movie I saw was “Sixth Sense”.
I remember sitting in the crowded theater thinking, “No one in here will shut up, I’m sick of hearing cell phones, the guy behind me is drunk and about to upchuck on my neck, and if there’s a fire, I’m going to die.”
I don’t have those thoughts at a drive-in.
Besides, if it’s a crappy movie, I didn’t waste a ton of money and I can look up and watch the stars instead.
My oldest child is technically an adult. He isn’t the kind of adult who is legally old enough to drink or gamble, but he is old enough to vote.
This adult lives in my house because technically, he’s still a kid too. MY kid. This man-child doesn’t have a job, but he does go to mechanics school at night. He also doesn’t drive because neither my husband nor I will let him near our vehicles. This “adult” has issues with responsibility. Come to think of it, I know a lot of thirty-something adults who have problems with responsibility.
Anyway, back to what I was saying. My son, my child, my spoiled rotten brat. He isn’t allowed to drive our cars. There’s actually a car sitting in the driveway and we told him if he got a job and paid for the gas and the insurance, the 95 T-bird would be at his disposal. He’s never driven it. Not once. The tags on it expired last year. I didn’t bother renewing them.
Where was I? Oh that’s right. I remember. So, four days a week, as soon as I walk in the door from work, my husband leaves to drive our young adult son to school. Every night at 11:00, I am in the parking lot waiting to pick my son up and bring him home. Sometimes I don’t fall asleep until after one in the morning.
There are two alarm clocks in my bedroom. The first one goes off at an ungodly 4:30 am to wake up my husband who has to be at work at 6 am and the second alarm goes off at 6 am so I can get my tired ass to work by 8 am. Both alarm clocks wake me up. We both push the snooze button as long as we can. I’ve learned to sleep in 9-minute increments.
Back to my son. Before summer vacation started, I would wake up the three younger children and get them all ready for school before I went off to work and the oldest child (adult) stayed in bed until after we’d all left.
Now the younger kids are out of school and summer vacation has begun! The older two are responsible for watching the younger two. Let the good times roll!
Except, I called home at eleven in the morning a couple of days ago and discovered that the older two children were sleeping. I gave the younger children permission to beat the hell out of the doors until their brothers woke up.
I have no idea why the adult in my house was irritated when I spoke to him on his cell phone that I pay for. Employer’s are supposed to be calling that phone, not girls. No potential employer has called that phone. Ever.
I was on the phone at work, speaking with my grouchy, irritable, spoiled rotten son of a… um me. Uh. yeah.
Anyway, While talking to my son, he complained to me that he was tired.
HE was tired.
I had a moment of inspiration while I was sitting there with a pile of work threatening to collapse and bury me. The light bulb over my head zapped then lit up with a blinding realization as I spoke to my adult child on the cell phone I pay for. And I KNOW he was lying on my living room couch, staring at my big screen tv, eating the last brownie that I was saving and complaining about how tired he was.
I get him from school. We ride home together. We enter the house at the same time of night. I drag my tired ass to bed and he stays awake. I drag my tired ass out of the bed and he stays asleep.
So I’m a little slow sometimes. It’s because I’m SO DAMN TIRED.
But.. I got it now. Guess what, kid. Son of mine. You’re about to be tired too, because your ass is getting up every morning when your dad’s alarm goes off.
Okay, maybe not when the alarm goes off, but once dad stops pushing the snooze button and actually gets out of the bed, you’re getting up, too. You better be awake when I stumble out of the bedroom on my way to the coffee pot. If you aren’t, you can kiss that cell phone goodbye.
Tell me how tired you are then. Welcome to adulthood, Son!