I will never claim to be a good person, a nice person…but I do try to be an honest person.

 Some years ago I made a friend, Dawn.  And quickly, in that way that sometimes happens, our friendship became not just aquaintances, infrequent get to-gethers, random phonecalls, but a strong welcome bond that came from being mothers, of being people with conservative hearts and optimistic ideals that would seem to be at odds with each other and yet weren’t.

She was a ‘good girl’.  She’d grown up in a whole home, in a sheltered but loving environment.  Bad things had sadly happened to her, changed certain things about her but through that she had overall overcome them and become a strong viable adult.  She married her highschool sweetheart, her only sweetheart, and embarked upon the life of an adult.

When I met her, she was a relatively happy person, granted at the time their finances were in shambles but they were working to fix that - a common downfall of many of our generation and certainly nothing to be ashamed of-, they had three kids, and a fairly good life. 

And during the infancy of our relationship, I learned that her husband, while an exemplary provider…had taken a rather distant view of family life as a whole.  He was a sporty type guy, a real ‘man’s man’ and his boys were…a bit bookish, quieter,…different.  And his wife, while still very attractive and who took care of herself, was wrapped up in the day to day duties of taking care of the house and kids and those challenges that came with it.  He’s not a bad sort, they just fell into a pattern, he managed the money in his own fashion, went to work…and took care of most anything that involved ‘outside of the house’ contact.  Not because he sought to isolate her, I don’t think that in any way.  Dawn was dealing with unique challenges, one of her sons showed signs of Autism early on and with two other very young children, she was understandably consumed by these things.

 Unfortunately, it appears that these two grew apart without even realizing it.  The sacrifices they made were not only necessary but sometimes were made because they were easier than the work it takes to maintain a relationship to a certain standard when so many outward forces get in the way.  This trend has continued.  At one point several years ago, a few before we met, she sought assistance for her depression and rather than counseling, the MD gave her medications, which she later went off of due to the muffled dead feeling it laid upon her emotions.

When Dawn and I began our friendship, it easily morphed into a very constant companionship, we lived very close to one another and at the time were both stay-at-home moms.  When I went back into the work-force it changed, but only slightly, we could always make time daily to get together, for a quick cup of coffe, or even just a smoke break.  I began to get to know her eldest son, he was roughly 10 at the time…and I was frusterated, appalled, at the disregard he showed his mom, how he’d argue with her…and the tired beaten look on her face each time, she felt powerless and tired to really push the issue.  Generally this was because this is how she felt in dealing with her husband as well because she didn’t approach things as they were happening, she bottled it in (I’ve learned this is her usual coping method) rather than confront it openly and with suggestions on solutions, until she exploded, and then the confrontation would become more about her approach than the problem itself.

So, as a die-hard proponent of treating your parents with respect, and doing what you’re told, I would often step in, joking or even sharply and remind him that he was the kid, she was the parent and he should get to it.  This made him despise me initially, but at least it quelched the problem at least in front of me.  When he struck up a friendship with Poppabear, this change in attitude began to bleed into the normal day to day interactions…sometimes…at least, remember he’s now a teenage boy and still has the dismissive example of his dad.  Since then we’ve become friends and he is often a guest in our home and our outings.

I had hoped, vainly, as if I were important, that my advice on maintaining control over her kids, my examples…would help her take control in a situation that had so obviously overwhelmed her and compounded the clinical depression bouts that randomly desceneded on her.  Unfortunately, over the years, and as much as we enjoyed it, my time with her I think began to take the place of the companionship that she desperately needed from her husband.

I know I fell in love with her, and while she claimed the same sort of love for me, it was more the interest I showed in her, the time I spent with her that she loved, not me in a romantic sense.

Dawn had the unexpected surprise of a 4th child, and at first she avoided telling me, because she knew Mommabear was doomed to not have any more cubs.  We got past that I thought (though months later she admitted to completely hiding her baby-shower from me, thinking I would embarrass her in front of her ‘other friends’ or that my own jealousy would infect the festivities.  We discussed that and moved on, I was hurt but could see her point.)  During the pregnancy were the usual if higher spiking than normal hormonal rages and crying fits, the tiredness and so forth.  After there was the letdowns of postpartum depression that never really seemed to go away.

In the year leading up to the pregnancy, and during it, and afterwards, the signs were there…I missed them, her husband missed them, and she missed them.  She was slipping deeper into a heavy depression but felt powerless to do anything about it.  After the baby was born and life began a semblence of routine…it didn’t get better and the routine went awry…She was still a dillegent mother, making lunches, washing clothes, keeping house…but she felt hemmed in, boxed in.  Again I always tried to inject something ‘new’ a movie, tv show,.. recipe,…thinking I was doing the right thing.  And I was except I was the only outlet she’d found, and I didn’t do the right thing and encourage her to find others.  I was selfish with her attentions and enjoyments, I enjoyed showing them to her, spending time with her.

2 years ago there was a change in residences, common during the last of the house market boom.  If the evidence wasn’t there before, it very soon became glaring.  The frequent ‘naps’ that you didn’t begrudge her…she was after all running a very full house, became hours long dead spaces on the couch.  The baby, now quickly becoming a toddler, has the run of the house, of her own schedule, and most of all, what she will and won’t eat and when.  She badgers her mother, tantrums, screaming, …and simply being told no gains an angry response from the child.  Dawn simply moves forward and gives in, because it’s easier.

About a year ago, Dawn began to spiral, her moods were almost always black, depressed, angry, jittery, …unahppy.  And finally, finally, she made a scene that caught her husbands attention.  He navigated the insurance company and found a psychologist nearby and she began seeing this woman.  Dawn chose to go only once a month, and almost immediently also chose and accepted the referral to a psychiatrist to gain medication to help her get started on the path of recovery, to gain a modicum of calm inside herself as she sought to work forward with this.

Unfortunately, initially the medications were almost worse, she became manic, high frantic ups followed by sluggish heavy downs…and meds were adjusted, added, changed….

And this is where I would like to say that she began the slow, painful but rewarding and freeing path of recovery.  I can’t lie thoug.

 

Dawn hasn’t gotten better, I think she needs to make an effort to see her counselor at least every other week, because she bottles so much up in between sessions that she’s exploding the topical stuff each time but not really examining the roots…maybe she doesn’t want to.  I think at least the current medications are not the right ones for her.  I have watched her life, her family, and how they all act…She has no authority in her home, in her life, over her children…Her husband isn’t a bad sort but they’ve made it easy on each other for this to become the norm.  He loves her, but since she does everything he wants, bows to his likes/dislikes, and is always there to watch the kids, he can pretty much do what he pleases, he is the breadwinner after all.  And she keeps going, slowly letting her attention to the house and her children erode to the point of merely getting through the day…each day is a bad day, a blah day, nothing is worth looking forward to…

 She’s not a bad person, and I don’t think badly of her.

I finally told her today that I couldn’t help her anymore, that I was her friend, that I am here for her, but that the time we spend together needs to be pushed back, limited because I feel frusterated, that she wants help, wants opinions, wants advice, but never follows through, I related a direct situation this weekend, where I had attempted to instill a boundary with her youngest, who had been told she couldn’t have a treat and proceeded to throw a tantrum about it.  Dawn sat back and let me…and then 10 minutes later refuted it by giving the child precisely the treat SHE had denied in the beginning.   I told her how I felt like I was a band-aid for the time she needed to spend, and the things she needed to do with her husband.  That I was a panacea and an escape from the things in her home and life that she didn’t want to put the effort forth to fix.

I also told her to find a support group, talk to her counselor more, listen to those people who were trained to help her, trained and knowledgable and with the resources to really help her….but that it all wasn’t worth shit if she wouldn’t follow through with it and do it herself.

Dawn, should you ever read this missive,…I love you and I want you happy, wherever I figure into that, but right now I am not part of this equation.

 

I could have chosen the news to pick from today.  I could have spoken of many things.

I chose family.

Momma comes from a rather fractured background.  I won’t call it unique.  My mom met my dad when she was barely 17, gave birth to me halfway through 18 and married my dad several months later, stoned and barefoot and laughing fit to bust or so the stories go.

The preacher told them it’d never last.

27 years later, till death do us part was proven true.  As was in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer, and to have and to hold.

Neither of my parents are religious, my mother was an adamant atheist.  They maintained one truth between each other and that was love.  I won’t say honesty, there are lies, fibs, half truths everywhere, even you can’t say you are totally honest with yourself.

It’s an odd but proven quirk that in our family, the male bloodline is hardworking, and hard hitting.  This is not to say they are all abusive because that’s far from the truth.  But it does give a sense of the very ‘good ol boy’ mentality.  Nearly all of the men in my bloodline are to some extent are addiction ridden.  The exceptions come almost to a man, due to  the women in their lives who pluck them up and say no more.  I love you, but no more.

Sometimes it takes a few trials by fire to get there but they do get there.

My dad and mom never quite attained the same prosperity exactly,…two of the boys went on not only to successful careers, but lives with generally comfortable amenities, yet they too have had their crosses to bear.

Recently, the bearcave that we aquired a few years ago has come in dire need of some repairs, major repairs.

Home owners insurance of course is a rip-off we are are legally bound to maintain and when the time came due, it didn’t give us a lot to work with.  So we made the best of it by using a company that made us feel like we were pulling teeth to get things accomplished.

Still, more work was required but the coin was not there to do it.  Finally, one of my uncles, and how they got on to this conversation I have no idea, had my dad bring him up and within 15 minutes he had quoted me a price, well below the ‘professionals’ and two days later, he arrived, complete with tools.

 

IN THE POURING RAIN!

I stopped him before he could do more than unload and said how about another day.

You see lovelies, despite the bad blood, despite the possible disasters…this man came through for one of his own.

More than I can say for people in general.

 

 

So Mommabear had a restless night last night.

Coudln’t sleep.  Threw Poppabear into a right tizzy.  He was like a nervous jack russell terrier, kept coming out of the bedroom and checking on me.  He said it felt wierd for me to be the one up so late.

 I was awake till about 2AM which for the Momma on a non-partying night, its bizarre.

So I got up this morning to check on the news and most of it was the usual slog through about war and terror.  And then this headline caught me:

Caught on Video:  Whales steal fish!

Sneaky little sperm whales have been stealing from fishing lines!   I love it.  I mean we know that animals steal food, it’s survival of the fittest obviously. 

But really, to know that they are stealing fish off lines?  It’s brilliant.  We keep pushing the boundaries and seeing how much we can take.

 

Mother Nature’s a bitch and taking it back.

 

It’s that time of year again, the time when snow flakes are made from paper, christmas music is piped in through the speakers at the local stop and shop. And the war on Christmas begins, this year it caught my eye when a Jewish Rabbi, in Seattle, decided to appeal that a menorah be placed visibly at the airport, just like the christmas trees were being displayed. the Port Authority however, over reacted and yanked the Christmas trees from sight, prompting a backlash ‘from people of all faiths’ to quote a source in the news story.

As a pagan, and a moderate, and a hermit, I find this intriguing. You see the Christmas tree itself does not belong to the Christians, pine tree’s certainly didn’t exist in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago. The star at the top of the tree is perhaps an ode to the Christians, and the lights upon it reach to the jews, the use of pinecones, and popcorn garland speak to the pagans and earthy religions. So in truth, you could say that the tree already encompasses a majority of major religions if those who were so concerned about it would quit being so self centered and see the tree as a whole.

It’s a short post, I know, deal with it

Starting last week, my best friend and I decided to do yoga 2 times a week, the idea was, that if we did it together, we would be answerable to each other. She had a baby several months back and I,…well lets just say the name MommaBear isn’t because I’m exactly a cuddly person.  So we did the workout once last week and our schedules hitched us from getting together again.  This week, we managed it on Tuesday and plan again for Thursday, so I’m deciding how I feel about it today, the workout was fairly short and while tough, wasn’t unbearable.  And I feel tightness in some muscles and it’s not unpleasant but the worst part is the vapid blonde who does our video… she doesn’t sound perky, but ethereally breathy, like she’s poised to transcend and leave her wasted bone protuding husk behind…I know this sounds incredibly judgemental, and perhaps I am being unfair.  In either case, we intend to buy a Belli-dance dvd to alternate.  I used to have one that I loaned to a friend and never got back, so we’ll see where this new venture takes us.

 

Alternatively, I came close to finally deciding to quit smoking…. until my boss jumped my ass about it and started harping on me… what is it about my personality that makes me do that?  I’ll be going along, doing something, then some pushy broad makes it her business to tell me not only what to do, but how to do it and so on and so forth and I dig in my heels and say piss off.  I honestly know I should quit, I realize its a bad habit, but it’s also one I enjoy, and I think it is more difficult than just ‘choosing’ to quit.  I know that I’m a big girl and make my own decisions, but I also know my smoke breaks are excellent breathers from the torrid bullshit in the office.  Ideally, I intend to use them for walks instead, just short ones around the building perhaps… I haven’t decided yet.

 

Than again I haven’t decided to quit either.

So I sat down tonight with no intent to write really, but something fired up the coffee pot and away I go.

We all agree humans are entirely stupid people and this last week proves it. In Montreal Canada, some guy pulled a shootout at the college…. A’la’ Columbine, to paraphrase his intent. Now, within a few hours the media had links upon links of this guys website where he preplanned this, where his intent was CLEAR! His friends saw it, other random people saw it… and yet… noone thought to intervene? To talk to him? His family? I’d have risked the anger of this young man and talked to his family, shown them his musings, his pain, his psychosis…. perhaps if someone had the tragedy of not only the people’s lives he hurt, destroyed, and changed forever… but the depth of mental anguish this kid went through to get so low. could have been prevented.

That sappy paragraph is now expunged from my soul cause I’m not in bitch mode.

Do the people of the 15 to 35 bracket really listen to themselves when they talk?  The majority of people in this group are the most self-centered, whiney moronic, grasping, annoying people I’ve ever known. I mean I went through my highschool poetic, noone understands me phase… I admit.    Then I grew the hell up. I mean, come on, these school slayings, the cutters (not all, the ones who do it where it can obviously be seen), the tortured souls of wasted youth, cast adrift on the sea of apathy, the flotsom and jetsam of a society who’s blinders keep them from viewing thier fellow mans pain….See,… I used to be a whiney lil snot too, hehehehe. These ‘people’, for I refuse to call them humans, they are the Americans that Bush claims ” won’t work the jobs the illiegals will do”. They are the ‘fringe cults’. I’d like to create a true Goth-am city, pun intended, and sling all these sadsacks into it, we could tape it… it’d be a hit! Hollywood I have a new show for you!  Did thier parents not beat them enough as children? Were they exposed to too many soap operas? Is this the era of ‘Lifetime” ” Oxygen” and “WE” networks spawn?  I’m not perfect, I have my times of despair, of anger over things, hence most of the things you read on this blog,… but still… what have we created?

Then there’s the really crazy people, like the woman who hired a detective to kill a woman she didn’t know, simply because a photo of her appeared on the girls boyfrieds Myspace site.

And the guy who claimed to be Jon Benet’s killer… cause he’s a pedophile who wishes he’d done it.

These types should probably be summarily strung up…our court system has loopholes a mile wide for these people, thank you BoonDock Saints, and The Crow for putting it so eloquently.

These types of subjects wear me out.

“If you’re looking for happiness, go and live in Denmark.

It is the happiest country in the world while Burundi in Africa is the most unhappy, according to a report by a British scientist released Friday.”

…..

Wow, it took an official study to make this news?

Danes are happier… who knew?

Thier economy is more or less stable, thanks to the intelligence of tracking and taxing certain luxeries as that hash cookie you have on friday night to start your weekend, to the prostitute your buddy plowed last night. Furthermore, Danes have gotten over social stigma’s of homosexuality, race and people who hold various religious beliefs.

Now admittedly, there are problems in the country, its not perfect but overall Danes have learned that everyones human, everyone needs creature comforts, and as long as thier not hurting someone else, then make a profit off them with taxes and let real freedom reign.

I should point out also, that pot makes a big difference. Maybe you don’t agree with me, and thats all good. When offered in localized, comfortable settings, most people would rather take a few hits of weed and sit back for an hour and unwind, eat some dinner and go home feeling relaxed and in control. They don’t feel like picking a fight, thier more likely to listen to the ‘other side of the story” and the tension of the day, or week, has been released. Your more likely to smile at the incessant questions of your child and play tag with them for a few moments as you make dinner.

Compared to the effects of Alcohol, which makes people mean, withdrawn, melancholy and vicious. People rob others for the money for alcohol, beat thier wives and children, disengage from thier family and friends, forget the heinous things they do and say, and feel like crap in the morning.

People die, driving, being hit by drunk drivers, alcohol poisoning… The list goes on.

We’re willing to make smoking cigarettes illegal, but you can still drink

We’ll send you to your death in the hot sands of the Middle East for freedoms

And we’ll book you 5-10 years for pot according to federal laws.

Enjoy

So my friend ” Grunt” plays city of heroes online and chats on yahoo, and about a year ago, he met this girl “Canuck” and they chatted and such, before long they were doing alot of talking.

Apparently around Valentines, he drove, 14 hours to where she is, met her and 2 days later, married her and brought her home.

He didn’t tell any of us till after the fact.

I met her, a week or so after they returned, she seemd ok, but I was skeptical, after all, she was still sharing an apartment with her ex boyfriend who apparently was insane enough to have caused a scene at her work that ended up with her quitting her job out of embarrassement.

I was wildly skeptical to be honest, she sounded a bit unstable with all the baggage from the ex boyfriend and such. And when I didn’t hear anything from my friend for the next 6 months, my skepticism grew.

Now Grunt, he’s my best buddy, when i had my little one he’d sit with me while i breast fed and chat, like nothing was happening, he’d come over and watch wrestling with me, all kinds of buddy stuff.

He even escorted me and baby bear around once when poppa bear had to work on Halloween and we lived in an iffy neighborhood.

So, yeah, I was looking for the flaw, the insanity, and for him to have his heart broke, it sounded like she was using him to shield her from the Ex and as soon as she could she’d probably go her own way.

6 months have passed, and he called me the other night, just to say hi, to chat, to see if we wanted some company one night this week. During the call, he had to hit the head so he put canuck on the phone.

We talked….
Not the completely fake, silence ridden talking, she actually talked, about the stuff they were doing to the house, painting and such, about some of her hobbies and how they were going, …. about life in general.

So they came over on Thursday to hang out, and Grunt and the hubby sat to one side of the room and talked about playstation games, and Canuck got out her photo albums and started showing them to me.

She’s even got the first chat her and grunt had online, printed and saved, the notes she leaves him before he goes to work including little grocery lists on the bottom,…..

Her and I sat on the couch and shared, friend to friend, wife to wife,… We had coffee, and tea and talked,

When she left, I looked over at my husband and said ” I’m not supposed to like her!”

But I do.

So, Canuck darling, here’s my toast to you.

Be proud for having changed this old sow’s mind about you,
Be proud for making my friend as happy as he is

And thank you for loving him.

Momma Bear

So here’s my next rant,….

Remember when I stated me and Poppa Bear’s income? A whopping 2700 a month, if we’re lucky and get the hours, that’s before taxes,

Supposedly, this comes out to 32000 a year, before taxes,….

Trust me… it doesn’t come that way on the paycheck

So Matt Blunt, Missouri’s excellent right wing prick governor, looks to cut the budget, a well and right aim for a politician, but he raises his pay, and all the other fat fuck politicians in our state government, yet again,…

So where does he cut? What unnecessary baggage gets removed from the budget? What frivolity does he ferociously attack to achieve his goal?

State Health Insurance.

Poppa and I don’t have health insurance, we can’t afford it through our work and have a hard time finding a plan that we can. But we striven hard to put our child into insurance one way or another and finally had to use state insurance to keep her going.

Thanks to Blunt’s bright idea of Missouri Senate Bill 539, we’re no longer eligible for medicaid without paying nearly 100 dollars, a month.

Now, I can deal with not having my own health insurance,… I’m a big girl, I know when I’m actually sick or not

But DON’T GO MESSING WITH MY FUCKING CHILD.

This stupid fat cat now has my daughters health in a bottle that he’s tossed into the flames,…. Poof,… there it goes and there’s nothing we can do about it. Even if we tried to pay the fees, they’re tacking on co-pays and other fee’s now,… Why? Because minimum wage is low, prices are high and our society has gone to hell,… and those who don’t indebt themselves, who don’t walk around with thier hands out, those who actually work and try and raise a family,…. we’re out of luck.

So thanks a lot Matt Blunt, when it comes time for my daughters next round of allergy meds, I’ll tell the doc to mail your ass the bill you stupid son of a bitch who deserves a fucking impeachment for the hell your putting us through, you right wing conservative bush ball sucking sack of shit.

So me and Poppa Bear have been together for 7 years, which in todays day and age,…. is a long time. And up until now, we’ve always rented our abodes, be it our first apartment from hell, or the houses that we wished we could have bought.

Now, when we moved into our current home, we did alot of talking first. I mean… a trailer? We’d spent all our married lives trying to go above and beyond the places our parents had raised us in due to thier mismanagement of money. When we finally decided to go looking, it was with the idea that we’d find one, go in to buy it, and once it was paid, sell it off and finally have that elusive lump sum to use as a downpayment on a real house. Seemed like a very intelligent way to handle our money, sure, it would take time and work, but we liked that. We would be living within our means without tying an anchor to our necks.

Eventually we found a place we felt we could handle, a nice 3 bedroom , built in 1999 ( no more scary 70’s and 80’s metal crackerboxes) vinyl siding, 2 bathrooms, monsterous tub, walkin closet in the master,.. all around a good deal. The place we would be living had a rent to own set up, a portion of our rent would go into an escrow account, and that would be the downpayment on the trailer, in les than 2 years, we had gained over 3,000$ (usd) . Then, the lending company called, offering us a full mortgage for the place,…. a place only worth about 20,000USD. Sounds good? Nah, a 15 year mortgage, during which our land rent continues to rise by about 15 dollars a year, this breaks down like this, our house payments = about 200 a month, currently our land rent is 333 dollars, add 15 bucks a year, and we’re looking at paying well over 500 dollars a month, just for this little piece of yard we have at the end, and then add our housepayments on top of it.

The average mortgage here for a house, with yard, is 30yrs, and we’re talking houses in the 90,000 range and up,with nearly the same kind of payments we’d be paying for the house and land here. and during that time you can refinance, borrow against, and other things, none of those are options here.

So Poppa and I got to thinking real hard, and decided maybe it was time to go for a real house, we’re not evil picky, 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, a basement, and a yard. Away we went to the bank, we have no bad debt, no credit cards outstanding,… nothing, just his student loan which is paid current.

Turns out, our lovely bankers don’t really want us, we’re a no risk, no gain income, they can’t expect us to fail and go bankrupt so they can reap the benefits, nor are we the kind to go for a house so expensive they gain lucrative fees and charges for it.

And thanks to the housing market boom, houses that would have normally fallen in our price range, houses that needed a bit of paint, or had some old disco ugly carpet and a slightly sagging front porch…. are now at least 15,000 out of our modest price range of 75,000

This bubble is killing the honest person, if we had 3 credit cards, and were using one to pay off the other and just making minimum payments on one of them, so on paper it all looked paid up ( when in truth it would be slowly mounting outrageous interest and fee’s) We’d look better to the bank, Makes perfect capitalistic society sense huh?

Poppa and I make maybe 25,000 a year and we’ve made our home a modest success for it, good food, noone goes hungry, yes we’ve had help, family members ( his grandma is a garage sale queen, which is awesome for 15 bucks she usually outfits the lil miss for a year in kids clothes) bargain shopping, serious budgeting,…. and yet, we can’t move a head, even in the slightest bit.

We’re stuck, we can’t own our own home unless we want to move to the inner city slums ( which I can’t do, I know how easy it is growing up in those places to become like the people who don’t care and I’d rather not risk my daughter that blindly) or try and reach well beyond our means for a house that’s going to be a nightmare.

We see our American Dream, fall into the hands of people much less responsible,… and we wonder why?

To Be Continued:

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