Herding cats......

I must have lost what few brain cells I had left.

We are now the proud parents of 2, 5 week old kittens. This makes 6 felines living comfortably in our home. The kicker ~ we are fostering 6 other kittens also. One is a desert rescue = some jackhole tossed little black kitten out into the desert to die. He was captured humanely, hubby brought him home wrapped in his shirt (BIG GUY with a little kitten! lol) and he's being fattened up and tended to, we refer to him as Papago. People that just toss animals away need to be tortured! The other 5 kittens are a rescue of sorts. Family in crisis asked for help, me being a sucker for animals & friends, I said I'd help and here I am with 6 extra kittens. Not to fear, someone has reached out and many people WANT these precious babies.

The sad part is that I want to keep Papago. I was apprehensive about this kitty at first. No clue how long he was out on his own, he's scratched up, malnourished and yet he is the most loving kitty ever! I had figured kitten + desert = wild kitty... so not true. He waits on the loveseat in the room for me. When I grab his food bowls and tell him I'll be right back he sits there and waits till I get back. When we play he never scratches or bites too hard... the head boops and cuddling are so sweet. I will let him go if that is the way it is supposed to be. The nice old lady that originally wanted him said goodbye to her precious furbaby and it left a huge hole in her life. If any cat can fill that void it's Papago, the kitten that survived a long walk through hell and came out the other side full of love!

Ok, need to prepare the travel kennel for 5 and dig out some candles for another round of storms!


Random Life Observation

Being a mom to lots of kids and a wife sometimes leaves a woman running in circles.
Now that most of the kiddos are out on their own I am noticing things still happening that I used to just think happened because we were all tripping over each other. 

Here’s the tip of the iceberg:

1.     Why can’t I have an uninterrupted phone conversation? I am here, awake all damned day and half the night and nobody in this house wants/needs to talk to me until the phone rings!
2.    Can I use the bathroom ALONE…. PLEASE? Don’t talk to me from the other side of the door or from the bedroom. Just give me 3 minutes alone in the Loo and for Pete’s sake don’t let the frigging cats in!
3.    There are plenty of chores to be done around the house… why do people wait until I am doing something in a room to begin a chore? I sit down to watch the news ~ time to vacuum! Trying to prep dinner ~ must be time to put away dishes and load the washer! Trying to read ~ trance/techno music mixing session!
4.    I did not set my alarm for a reason… I don’t HAVE to be up early! If you’re going to be up early BE QUIET! Do not get the dog riled up and please keep the tv on low volume!
5.    Sit down to write a little bloggy something and I get ~ have you seen my _insert thing-a-ma-jig_? Can you help me look for it? Do I look like google?????

Is it just me that this happens to?
Is it a mom thing?
Is it a wife thing?
I need wine!
Where did the corkscrew go?
Where’s my wine straw?
Everyone takes off like F-16’s leaving me to search alone!

I gotta pee….. come on kitties, let’s go to the bathroom.



Life with a PTSD family member

The ‘New Normal’ is a phrase I loathe! When they come back from deployment they will be different, you will be different, the kids will be different… this is your ‘New Normal’. WTF? He came back and we weren't so different than when he left. Sure we were older but it was the same old routine going on. Yes I know we were different but it was subtle. What was not subtle, HE was different! Withdrawn, edgy, emotionally unavailable, unable/unwilling to participate with the family, not sleeping more than 3 hours… he even ate dinner in another room away from us. A trip to the store required lots of planning on my part (knowing exit locations, plotting non-busy hours, etc) and a shit load of coaxing and encouraging him it would be ok to go outside. Once there I felt like I was the recon guy, peering down aisles to see if there was anyone there – 2 or more people on the aisle and he’d FREAK OUT! Night terrors and sleepwalking meant I didn't sleep at all! Driving was a whole other nightmare for me with his constant shouting out to ‘watch that car’, ‘exit now’, ‘speed up faster, faster, FASTER!’ I still have trouble being the passenger when he drives – imagine the Le Mans car races, high speeds and abrupt lane changes all while 8 feet behind the car in front of us.

A year of medication and some crappy therapy did not help much. They verbally gave him ways to cope (once every 2 weeks) but did not take him into the world to actually teach him how to apply these techniques to everyday situations. Of course the family was NOT part of his treatment either, we were left to walk on eggshells and wonder what in the world we were supposed to be doing. The one time I did get to go with him the therapist questioned WHY I needed to know what was going on.

I have since learned how to effectively talk him down from anxiety attacks and to handle his night terrors by ‘pulling rank’ on him. He has learned how to shop in crowded stores without losing his mind and how to talk to Hootie like the 10 y/o boy he is. How to keep in control of his anger when the SOB in front of him truly needs an ass beating (at work and on the road).

So now almost 3 years after his return the biggest thing that triggers his PTSD is fireworks. This one will never go away. While everyone is getting ready for tonight's sparkles and BOOMS we are checking the list of items to keep him from hearing anything.

Ear plugs – CHECK
Headphones – CHECK
Techno Trance music – CHECK
Xbox moved to the most insulated room in the house – CHECK
He will play video games till the wee hours of the morning. I will be awake half the night listening for the BOOMS from the neighborhood jerks.
And just in case he does lose it I have his Battle Buddy's # and his Valium.

This is what I mean when I say ‘Freedom Isn't Free’?


So much for finding a balance

Just when I think things are calming down…. BLAMMO…. something new comes along to take priority! Lately it’s meetings. Meetings about membership, meetings about target groups, Meetings with the new people, monthly meeting with my group (I like that meeting J) and of course meetings about meetings for meetings yet to be scheduled.
I have never seen so many people patting themselves on the back for doing virtually nothing.

We had a generous donation at work and while we are happy about it this has created a whole new level of stress for us. The donor insisted that the furniture sets stay together so we now have to hold drawings for these things. This means more rules and enforcing the rules. That’s alright, I do that part very well and I have my gals to back me up.

One of the meetings was about our facility. We received funding for some brand new shelving units. Took the General’s wife on tour of our facility and painted a very pretty picture of what could be if we had a little more space… Cinderella’s Closet may become a reality very soon!
I really like this woman. Most people will say she’s putting on an act but I have been around her so much the past few weeks that I really do believe that what we see IS what she is. She was ready to roll her sleeves up and get dirty with us cleaning and was excited about painting!

We dropped a jet last week. 
Pilots ejected safely and the investigation continues.

In 4 short weeks Hootie starts school! Summer break was 2 weeks shorter this year due to the restructuring of the school year. No big deal for us. We have been getting ready all along so there is no last minute shopping to be done.

Yesterday we lost 19 firefighters in the Yarnell Hill wildfire.
I discovered soon after that one military spouse I know is related to one of those fallen men. There are no words to express the grief being felt right now yet I can empathize and sympathize with these families. Being a military spouse we don’t like to think, or talk, about the very real possibility of losing our spouse in the line of duty, but we prepare for it. We know people who have gone through it and quite a few of us have attended funerals or sat with the surviving family helping them through the first few days/weeks. In this aspect we have an advantage over most civilian spouses. Wills, estates, every possible thing is planned out down to the last detail, my hubby even picked out his urn!

I hope everyone has a SAFE & HAPPY 4th of JULY.

Choppy J


A little more attention

So I am trying to find a little more balance in my life. Trying to do more of the things I like and less of the things I don't like, the laundry and dishes are getting done less often as a result. I have never been much of a people person but in the past year I have met some AMAZING people both online and in person. Some of you give me hope for the human race and others help me laugh and see that we can't take life to seriously because nobody gets out alive! For that I say THANK YOU!

Last month I watched J-Bird graduate, move across the country and then come back home a week later. :/ She's trying to figure her life out. 
I know she will in time but it is hard to watch your child hit the bumps in life.

My beautiful daughter in law is preggo with baby #2. It's a boy! 
Because of her wanting/needing family history I am learning so much about my ancestors, and what a rebellious bunch they were. Very colorful lives they led. A few skeletons popped out of the closet too!

I am hoping to blog a bit more as I have quite a bit of fodder for it.

I hope all the daddy's have a great Father's Day.
If you are a single mom ~ Happy Father's Day to you too!


“People In Your Neighborhood”

~ Sung to the Sesame Street tune “People In Your Neighborhood” ~

Oh, who are the people in your neighborhood?
In your neighborhood?
In your neighborhood?
Say, who are the people in your neighborhood?
The people that you meet each day…..

A pervert is a person in your neighborhood,
He drives by staring at your ass as you’re weeding the yard
He drives really slow, you just know he’s getting…. ummm, hard
He makes a u-turn and goes by again
You realize you can only see ONE HAND!

A snobby bitch is a person in your neighborhood,
She’s condescending and believes she is above it all.
The real truth is she’s nothing more than trailer trash.
She looks down at you disapprovingly and talks behind your back
You’d love to punch her in the face and put her in a garbage sack!

These are some of the people in MY neighborhood
The ones that I avoid each day!


Hello Darkness My Old (and unwanted) Friend

Dear Migraine,

I still don’t like you! After decades of dealing with you I now know most of the signs of your stalking and have become pretty adept at side stepping your unwanted physical advances. I have told you before that I have no use for you, yet you periodically come around demanding we be friends. Yesterday you completely blindsided me when you ran down my poor cranium with your semi truck full of cinderblocks. THAT was uncool! I knew the low pressure system was moving out and high pressure would be moving in and I was prepared for the nagging pain to begin. Instead you hijacked that semi and rammed my head before the nagging pain could start. You knocked me on my ass and totally screwed up the family routine. I had a shit ton of things to do today but most of it is on the back burner now. I even had to get out the prescription strength Naprosyn just to see straight.

Thankfully GI Joe came to my rescue and Hootie did not starve.
He made the house quiet & dark for me and did NOT hover over me.
I will admit the pain in my cranium seriously overpowered the toothache.
I was going to do some yard work and house cleaning today but the sun is still way too bright and the neighbors dog is yapping at 300 decibels so it will wait till tomorrow.

I will enjoy laying on the couch watching tv while dinner cooks in the crock-pot.
2 loads of laundry are done and the trash is taken out.

YOU did not win… I always push through.
I will not let you run my life, nor ruin my life.



The roller coaster of LIFE

I just love the ups and downs, the highs and lows, the anticipation and calmness.... most of the time! Lately it seems to be more like anxiety and frustration on the family scene with lots of chaos and 'make do with what we've got' on the work side of things. It all comes down to hurry up and wait in the end.

We are now trialing a third medication for Hootie (the first 2 had too many side effects and HE voiced his dislike of insomnia and constant cough) and so far this non-stimulant med is doing well for him. Annual state testing is next week so we'll see how well he can focus and stay on task.

GI Joe had yet another medical procedure and we have to wait to hear the results of the biopsy so they/we can determine which way to remove the damn cyst growing inside the jawbone. Still have shoulder surgery to schedule too.

My mother is being evicted and still has 4 rooms full of SHIT from 30 years of hoarding! This is not something I want to deal with EVER so I am being the voice of reason (I hope I am anyway) and supporting her in her efforts to get rid of it all without actually doing it for her. It is very difficult to NOT go over there, rent a dumpster, and just throw it all away... she got herself into this so SHE must do the work, emotionally and physically, to get herself out. It honestly is like dealing with a child!

The volunteer work/manager thing is a good distraction but at times is overwhelming. One day we have 2 volunteers show up and other days we have a dozen show up. The schedule and sign ups are great. People sign up and fill the slots on paper but then they don't show up.... CHAOS & CRISIS!!! In the past year we have turned the program around, weeded out the riff-raff, and made lots of positive changes. Still working on educating the military side that this is THEIR program and supplies are needed and when we ask for things we mean within 6 weeks NOT 6 months or longer.

This is all being done in the midst of making new friends, having dear friends move on to another base OR country, and all the home stuff going on simultaneously.

So I sit here and look around the house. Floors need vacuuming, laundry needs to be put away. I started the dishes and dinner is in the crock-pot but I just wanted to sit down and type some stuff up to get it out of my head.

The highs and lows balancing each other out... and all along this ride I keep my warped humor beside me!
Haven't throat-punched anyone YET but I do mutter 'google that shit, bitch!' quite a bit now.


LandLord & LandLady

Nothing strikes fear into the heart of a renter like the visit from the LandFolks!
I will admit that when Mr. LandLord said he wanted to stop by and check on the house I went through quite a few emotions. FIRST I was pissy about it... I mean we aren't young-uns in our first place, trashing the house and wrecking the place, we are grown responsible ADULTS! Then I thought back to when I was a home owner and how I might feel if someone were renting my biggest purchase EVER ~ I'd probably do bi-weekly drive-by's ~ at that point I lost the pissy feeling. 

Next came FEAR... is it clean enough inside, too cluttered, smell funny? Is the yard being kept to THEIR standards? ~ The HOA has rules but the LandFolks may have higher standards ~ had to remind myself that we LIVE here & the LF have kids and pets so they can understand why it is the way it is.

More FEAR... Do they want us to move out so they can move back in? ~ I have no strength to do a move in the next 18 months let alone in the next 6 months. With GI Joe's medical stuff and upcoming retirement, trying to get Hootie stabilized in school, and then dealing with my mothers issues. Everything we have in our plans and goals is factored on the rent and utilities of this house, yeah not a chance I can handle another move!

So as the visit date got nearer my anxiety level went up a bit. ~ Internally it went up a LOT but I hid it well, I think. ~ I did the normal house chores and continued going through the left over boxes of 'stuff' from our move into this home. I just went on about my normal every day routines.

Visit Day... LL arrives, looks around the frontyard, makes a few GOOD comments. ~ YAY! ~ Enter the house and he says "You found a way to utilize this HUGE room, we never could figure out to use it, it looks really good." ~ BOOM! YES! ~ He looks out the back door and sees the little tree... GROWING... he heads out back and I am floored by his next comment. "This looks as good as when we lived here, if not BETTER." ~ OMG all my fears and worries were for NOTHING! ~ We go through the rest of the house, address some small concerns and he tells us to fix what is needed and deduct cost from rent. If it's a big fix just call them and they'll arrange for a pro to come out and do the job (plumbing, a/c, roof) otherwise would we be interested in renting it for a few more years? 

... wait a minute, what did he just say? Rent the house for a few more... did he say YEARS? 
You mean you don't want us out so you can move back in? 
Yes he did say YEARS! 
HUGE, GINORMOUS sigh of relief. 

Now I can relax and just LIVE in this house and put my focus on the family matters.

Next week LandLady will be in town... think we'll invite her over for a visit. :)


In a tizzy today

Not quite sure how or when this day took a wrong turn.
Everything was going along really well and then BLAMMO my mood was in the crapper.
I seem to be having a really hard time understanding all this crap about how entitled everyone thinks they are. I catch myself wanting to say things like "why are you waiting for someone else to do it for you?" or, "do I look like information and referral?" or, "they don't pay me enough to do that!" I actually don't get paid at all.
I am not allowed to say those things.
I have to schmooze and make nice nice with some people I'd rather not have ever met.