Sunday, March 31

Hoppy Easter

Before I start bitching, I want to share that yesterday the Wife and I celebrated our 22nd anniversary. We did so by going grocery shopping, and a lunch at Souper Salad. Extravagant, I know, but nothing but the best for my baby.

That brings us to the sun rising this morning on yet another day of religious fervor and merchants sitting back with contented sighs because they have my money. A portion of yesterday's shopping included the requisite candies in order for the Wife to make baskets for the kids. I don't see the purpose in the baskets anymore. Just give the kids a plastic shopping bag with assorted candies and say, "Here, kid. Happy Easter. Don't eat it all at once." I did not see here going out to the storage room looking for the actual baskets, nor did I see her searching for any plastic grass, or additional eggs, so I may get off easy, and she'll just throw some candy at the mob. I have no clue as to her plans, but I am not waking her at this hour to find out.

Today will be spent with the Wife and kids attending church, with the MIL. however, I guess the MIL feels she is not quite up to being sociable (with other families for a holiday meal) and does not want to go to Sis' today with us. I have not made up my mind of I want to attend church this morning or not. I will probably stay home. Though, I know it would make Rev. Mother happy to see me in church, but my comfort level is more important than doing that just to please her by faking an interest in practicing religion. But that's a WHOLE other topic.

With that all being said, best wishes to you that you enjoy your holiday, however you spend it.


Friday, March 29

What Can I Scrounge Up Today

I have sat here for about twenty minutes so far this morning, trying to come up with something even remotely interesting for you to read about. Nothing really comes to mind, so I guess I shall just ramble. It is Friday, and this particular one is Good Friday, as it is Easter weekend. Like many families, ours will be getting together at Sis' house this Sunday for lunch. With the passing of my FIL, Sis has offered invitation to my MIL to join us, rather than be alone for the holiday. The Wife is supposed to be checking with her mom this morning if she would like to go with us.

Wednesday night, my buddies and I discussed if we were going to attend OTL this year over in San Diego. I was the first to admit that I had to back out, as money was a problem for me. Even if they put in enough to cover the hotel, the money needed for our drinking and eating would still be a problem. One of the other guys admitted he more than likely would not be able to go as well. He has had some car problems of late, and they don't know what is wrong. Added to that, his wife and he have a family reunion in VA they are going back for next month. So this year's Days of Debauchery will not be taking place in San Diego. I doubt we would have it here in town - too easy for the Wives to know what we were up to.

But that does leave me Phoenix Comicon to attend! It takes place Memorial Day Weekend, and has a few fantasy authors doing panels and signings. I am looking forward to meeting a few of them. I have been in contact with one, that mentioned he may have some early published book copies of the new anthology he is putting out. One that has at least 5 of the authors at that Con. Plus, two of the authors are from here in the Valley area. Yeah, definitely would like to go do that. Would be my first Con.

Well, guess that is about all you get today. Not bad considering it took less time to type this compared to me sitting here trying to think of something to write.


Thursday, March 28

Local Judicial System

About a month ago, I got my summons to appear for Jury duty for my county. As I have stated over the past few days, I dreaded going, mostly because of the sitting and waiting that seems to happen most of the times I have been previously. Plus, you hear the "horror stories" that others tell: of being on an 8-week trial, or having sat there all day and not being called to serve. I have had those days (the ones where you sit all day) but never an 8-week trial. My most recent previous time, I did get to serve as a juror, and the trial only lasted 2 days. Two half days at that.

Either way, I had a decent time of it yesterday for the most part. Having been summoned so many times over the years, I reflected yesterday about the changes they have made for the jurors. No, the random selection is still done via names that 1)registered voters, 2) have current AZ Drivers license, or 3) current AZ state ID card, which I had not known the last two were included in the selection process. Which could explain some of the "weird-o" people one sees when called to duty. But overall, the changes the court system has made for jurors, to make things more comfortable for them, to provide them with certain means of access for work, or entertainment to keep from being bored off their asses.

I think back to around when I first served, about 20 years ago. The waiting area was packed. The only thing they provided was two televisions, which aired whatever was on a local channel. Yes, that means in the afternoon it was soap operas. If you didn't bring a book, or other materials, you sat there watching TV, or went insane. Climate control was horrendous, and being summertime in AZ, cramped in an area where seating was like sardines.... you can imagine.

Over the years, I have seen several changes. Most were great changes. This trip, showed some of the best ones yet. The was wider seating and legroom, almost like theater seating on level ground. They had a kitchen where you weer allowed to bring in your own food/drink, plus a micro, toaster oven, vending machines, FREE COFFEE AND TEA, lockers to store personal items (free of charge). You did not have to sign out to go to the restroom, that other times would have been clear across the building, making it a 5 minute walk both ways. They play movies for those that want to watch one. They have a 'quiet room' where people can sit and work/read without noise distraction. Free public wifi, plus a few terminals you could use to do whatever. Their opening was with a video that helped explain the basics of what was to happen that day, for those that have never been before, and had an actual judge come down and speak about how much they thank us for appearing to do this duty. I was duly impressed. WAY better than the last time I was down there about 2 years ago.

Appearing for my Jury summons yesterday was overall quite nice. There were a few moments I did not care for, and I am actually glad I was not selected for the trial my group was sent to. Reverend Mother and I texted a bit before I needed to report in, about how I should watch for the weird people, and see what sort of blog post I could come up with. I really didn't see any though. Most of the crowd were my age or older, though a few were younger (not very many). By 1:30, I was back on the road headed home. Not much to say other than that.


Tuesday, March 26

Losing Things

This morning I did a regular trip to the gym after dropping the oldest son off at school. I needed to get in for the weekly weigh-in, as tomorrow could be a bit hectic. I dropped three pounds since last week, which brings me back to the lowest I have been (again) that matched two weeks ago. I am only four pounds away from the goal I had set for my self for last year. Four pounds, four months late. Sigh. The good side of it, is that at least a goal is being made, and it is a healthy one for all involved. Except all the companies that make the food that I don't eat as much of.... a whole other category in itself.

I mention that tomorrow may be hectic as the possibility of Jury Duty looms over me. I just don't like having to go. Tonight I will find out if I will need to attend via the recorded message I am to call after 5pm. Bah! I just don't want to do this.

One of the Wife's four older brothers supposedly arrived in town last night from Ohio. This was the one that could not make it out here when FIL was in the hospital/hospice. This one won't be staying for the memorial services scheduled for he 6th, either. Due to issues I won't go into here, he is only allowed so much time to come here and visit, but yet he couldn't schedule it for the time that services would have been held. Thus he avoids most of everyone that would be wanting to see him. Personally, I think he could fuck off and shouldn't have came out here at all. I get along with all my BIL's fine, but this one. It's been that way for 22 years, and I don't see it changing anytime soon. The Wife was telling me how long they are here for, and the 2 BILs that live in-state will be in town to see them. I told her I guess I got other things to do.... like Jury Duty and pool league.

Speaking of pool league... I need to win some games this week. I play on a 5-man team, where each of us play three games. I haven't won a game in two weeks. Though they have been close, the win just has not come in my favor. Tired of losing. Need to step my game up, if it is possible to do that.

Leaving the gym this morning, I gave Preacher Tom a call. We have not scheduled a breakfast for a couple weeks, and I was feeling hungry (plus I lost those three pounds) and offered to meet up. Unfortunately, he had some other things planned that needed to be done. I guess we will see about later this week. I was so looking forward to an ultimate omelette from Denny's, too. Oh well. Guess I will just have a granola bar here at home instead.  Cheaper and probably better for me.


Monday, March 25

Feeling A Bit Gassy

Spring Break is now officially over, and it is back to our somewhat regular routine of things. Except it isn't quite the same today. I guess there is a gas leak at the Holiday Inn just down the street from us that has re-directed traffic all around the place. It has been going on since about 5am. The hovering helicopters making all the damn noise isn't helping any, I assure you. More irritating then the five seconds of video footage they will show on the news.

This week brings me to doing my voter registration penalty of having to possibly serve for Jury Duty. I am scheduled for Wednesday, and as the norm, will not know for sure if I need to go until Tuesday night. I last served about a year and a half ago or so. It seems to me that I have been selected to appear at least 9 times in the past 23 years. Of those 9, I have only served on a jury once, for a criminal charge of burglary, which we found the defendants guilty. Though I have the time to serve since I am not working, I would still prefer to not have to attend the whole event. I dread the drive to and from downtown Phoenix. At least parking is free for jurors though. I have my Kindle, and they have wifi available, so it may not be too bad.

As yet another helicopter arrives to make noise, I got to thinking I hope the Reverend Mother didn't get too caught in the traffic snafu this morning. She would normally drive by the area where the gas leak is, and get on the freeway on her way to work. Maybe she was detoured just a few minutes out of her regular route, and still made it to work on time.

Welp, I am off to fix something for breakfast.


Friday, March 22

Craft Idea: Building Rock Cairns

Friday has finally arrived, and surprisingly, the boys are still alive. Mostly I think it is because I am too lazy to want to dig a hole in the sun-baked hard desert soil, and the idea of carrying who knows how many rocks to make a cairn is even more effort. I could be like some of the drug cartels out here, and just drive to the west side of the valley and dump the body on some empty stretch of road. Nah. My house is the first one they would come to when the ID the body...if I left enough evidence anyways. All in all getting to be too much work to even enjoy the thought of killing the boys - even when they are fighting among each other.

The mood to write has been bothering me more of late. I thought the other day I had slipped into the fugue that I like, and tried to hash out some stuff. Looking back over it later, it was crap. I mean, crap worse than my usual stuff. I guess I can't just whip out some really short story like I used to be able to do. I guess now I need to outline a form, work in character development, and pray for some sort of plot that can go somewhere. Kind of makes me want to give up just even writing anything. But I am sure I shall persevere.

Tomorrow is the 100th birthday celebration of one of the ladies that attends the church the Wife goes to. She is a family friend of Rev. Mom from back before I moved out here. She had 3 sisters, 2 of which have passed away since then. We called all of them "Aunt ****" as did so many of the younger generations. I have no idea if we are going or not. I am not sure I can tolerate being around the crowd I expect to be there.

Well, I guess I should enjoy this quiet time while the boys are still asleep. I still have the day to change my mind about the craft idea....


Wednesday, March 20

My Plans Foiled Again

Welcome to my mid-week crap-and-bitch festival.

The boys, already I have gone through two days that were exact replicas of each other. If any two are awake, and in the same room, there is fighting and yelling going on. The only time there was quiet (it seemed anyways) was when one of two of them were still asleep, and at lunch, when everyone had food in their mouth. By the time the Wife got home, both nights I put in a dvd on my computer and turned up the volume to shut them all out. Then I go to bed. So, the bed problem.....

Last night I was awakened by the Wife shutting the bedroom door. As a rule, we always keep it open, in order to hear if there is a sick child, or the animals knock something over and break it, etc. She had shut it as the middle son (with the problem) was whining and crying about not wanting to sleep anywhere but with Mom. It as 1am, and I was awake. I got up, and proceeded to berate him that this was enough. Within 15 minutes, he had tried twice more to creep into our room and into the bed. Both times I caught him, and the second time he got swatted. The third time, about 20 minutes later, was his last attempt, and he was grounded from the computer for the rest of the week, plus he had to go to his Grandma's (at least for Wed.) and work pulling weeds from her yard. He didn't try again, but everytime the Wife moved, or the dog jumped on/off the bed, it woke me looking to see if he was trying to sneak in again. So yes, I am a bit cranky and tired today.

I was able to get to the gym for the first time this week. I am sure if I tried harder I could have been there more, but - anything I say is just an excuse now. I did go this morning, and not happy about the weight as I gained a little back. The boys were all sent with the Wife to her mother's this morning, the goal being for them to work at pulling the weeds from the yard, so there is not just an infestation in what little grass she has growing. I have my doubts it will happen. Also, today is Pool Night, so I don't have to worry about leaving them at home alone for an unspecified amount of time under the command of the oldest. He has a "bossy attitude" like his sister does, and it reflects quite openly.

Did I get enough bitching in? Not yet.... The Wife, though I love her to death (most days) and I love her cooking. But WHY does she have to fix my favorite dishes on the night before I weigh in at the gym? Last night she fixed Turkey enchiladas (one of my favorites, obviously) and I could only have a small helping, as I knew I would weigh in this morning, and did not feel confident. This having to do with a weekly bet with a friend. She seemed disappointed in me (moreso than usual anyways) for not scarfing down two helpings, even after I explained to her why I had not done exactly that. Going to bed with a "feels pretty empty" stomach was not a joyful experience, though I know I actually had enough to eat.

Every bad thing/day seems to have a bit of silver lining though. Guess what I get for lunch today!


Tuesday, March 19

It's A King-Sized Something

I grounded the two younger boys. Or rather, I will be once they both are awake this morning.

The bed the Wife and I share is a California King. I think the only difference between that and a regular King is ours is a bit bigger, just enough we have to buy harder to find, and more expensive sheets. We had not bought it, but was a hand me down from the In-Laws. Either way, the two younger boys have very recently started a new bad habit of getting up in the middle of the night, and sneaking into our bed. In a normal sense, that wouldn't be a totally terrible thing, except for two reasons: one, they wake me up half the time crawling over me to get to the other side where Mom is, and two, they are 10 and 7 years old, and a little old to be doing this stuff. They had been warned about a week or so ago, that each time I find out they were sneaking into our bed, they would be grounded from the computer for the day. Usually that is not a problem as after school, between supper and bedtime, there isn't much time to spend on it anyways. This is Spring Break though. Yesterday, I went ahead and let them play on the computer, though they were warned, if it happened again, I was going to stick to the plan. The 10 year old is out in the family room, sulking already because I told him I hoped there were cartoons on, as he was not getting computer time at all today. The 7 year old is still asleep... on my bed.

I am hoping that their desire to play games on the computer will out weigh whatever the need they have to climb into my bed at night. The older one says it is because he wakes up and is scared (of what, he won't say, so it must just be of the dark - even though they have a night light on). The younger seems to wake up shortly after he older one, sees his brother is gone, and comes in, too. Now I have to listen to them whine,fight, cry and whatever else even more today, because I am not using the computer to separate them at least for a bit. Who wins today? Sigh


Monday, March 18

Last Sane Post ....

This may be the last sane post I am able to get put up here today, as only one of the boys is awake at this hour. Doesn't sound terrible right? Wrong. It is Spring Break this week, and all three boys are out of school. Granted, in some ways it makes things easier, as far as planning where they will be, etc, but the sibling bickering and fighting drives me up the wall. I know, someday I will wish I had all three of them back home again, after their grown and gone out into the world. Well, they say that, but I have not had a chance to believe it yet.

I turned down the job. After thinking about it for a couple days, it felt more and more that it would be cold-calling people, and that is something I just won't do. I suppose if it was the difference between eating or not, or living on the street or not, I would do it, but I still have a bit of time before we are that drastically affected. If I have the chance, I may be picking up some applications this week (if I dare take the boys in public) and have the time to complete them, then return them the next week, asking for face-to-face interviews. I have given up on the 'computer application process' as being a complete waste of my time.

One of the guys I know from the bar I go to, owns a racing horse. An honest to goodness horse that does the races like we see on the OTB televisions, etc. She has raced a few times, losing me money ore often than not. The horse was racing yesterday afternoon, and 5 of us guys each put in $20. So we had a bet for $40 Win, $30 Place, and $30 Show. The horse Won.... we ended up with $407 dollars before splitting it the five ways. My share was $80, so I took the family out to the Chinese buffet for supper. We love this place. It is called Hibachi Grill. Last night I tried the sushi they had. I think they had like six different dishes there, and I tried one piece from two of them. Unfortunately, they do not have the signs saying what every dish is, so no idea what I liked (the first one) and didn't like (the second). But I did see frog legs there (not in the sushi area) and had a couple of them, trying to encourage the kids to try them as well - with no luck. Oh well, their loss.

Anyway, I guess that is all I have today. Maybe more posts later if I survive (and not go to prison for murder).


Friday, March 15

Is It Nerves, or Something Really Bad?

Yesterday afternoon I went to the scheduled interview. I was 15 minutes early (I always try to be early for everything) and felt confident. Those butterflies were not going on as I sat and waited to meet with Mr. Interviewer. Within a couple minutes, he was there and we were walking back through the cubicles to his working area.

Though this is a call center, the cubicles and random shouts of "We have $500 over by so-n-so!" what I hadn't expected was for him to sit me at the desk nearest the door, and leave the door open. I am a bit hard of hearing to start with, and the random noises from the call floor had me straining to hear his words, and not ask often if he could repeat what he just said. It probably really didn't matter as there was no "real" interview. I was asked about 8-10 questions that were pre-printed on a piece of paper, then he would summarize and write my answer for each one. Questions like: What would you do if you saw a co-worker doing something against the rules/policies of the company? How would you like to be told if you were seen going against rules/policies? What would your past employer(s) say is your best trait? What would your past employer(s) say is your worst trait? Every question was followed by it's reverse. I wanted to shout out "Is this for real?!?"

After the questions, Mr. Interviewer went on in basic detail the job description, and what the company actually does (collects donations for mostly Republican groups for elections/campaigns across the US and also some non-profits for other reasons). At this point, it is a somewhat different description than what I had been told by the Office Manager, whom I know. It sounds like random cold-calling, not calling those that indicated they could be called for donations, as I had been led to believe. Needless to say, I followed through with the interview, inquiring about time off. Pay schedules and amounts were discussed. At last, he copied my ID and SS card, though did not require me to sign anything to secure employment. I was a bit miffed about that. My training is scheduled to start Monday.

When I walked out of the interview, I felt weird. I expected to feel nervous, as it has been many years since I had to do one, but it wasn't nerves. I almost felt 'dirty'. Seriously, I felt that way. Just talking to the guy, and walking through part of the offices, I felt like something had sort of oozed onto me. I went home, thinking about the job, the details, how much I need to get back to working. But every time I start thinking about this company, and me actually working there, I get this 'bad feeling' in my gut. I can't describe it, but you know what your "bad gut feeling' feels like, so I know you can relate.

I think I may be calling and turning down the job offer. Even though I could supposedly work there until I find another job, thus making some money. I don't think I could do that - my moral compass, broken as it is, doesn't like that idea. And it just feels dirty. I have a couple more days to debate and think on it all.


Thursday, March 14

More Changes Coming ...

It looks like my early morning blogging is coming to a close for a bit. I turned in the app yesterday, did the required phone call, and within a couple hours was called back to set up for an interview today. I was asked to bring my ID and SS card/birth cert. as well, so it sounds like they are ready to hire me already. I am still holding out on the completed thought of working there until I have a few questions answered this afternoon at the interview. Either way, with the start hour being at 6:30 am, the morning blog posts are going to disappear. I expect them to be moved to afternoon or evening, where you will be able to read the rants about how snobby Ms. Pritchard sounded as she gave me a riot act on the phone, then pledged $5,000 to the cause.

For a Thursday, that is about all that is happening.


Wednesday, March 13

Attempt Number Two

I made it to that place I was talking about yesterday. You know, the one I was applying for a *ack* job. The application process is a little more detailed than what I had been told from the head honcho there. I'm to fill out an app, leave it there, then call a number to give a phone "spiel" that they provided. The call may be recorded, or if someone answers, I am to treat it like a live call with the script. The purpose makes perfect sense considering it is a position where they are represented via the telephone. I was just not prepared for it. So I took home the app and script, and plan on returning today. I figure I will just sit in their quiet lobby and make the phone call.

Things here have pretty much returned to a normal routine. Well, normal I guess for us. The only thing that has changed is that I no longer need to go to MIL's to sit with FIL so she can go grocery shopping, or pick up the ids, etc. It is kind of nice to have those times free again, though this whole job thing may change that even more.

Since FIL's passing, a few of the ladies from the church have brought dinner by for us. I queried the Wife last night, that I thought the dinners were to go to the family with the loss, so shouldn't these be going to her Mom rather than us. She had mentioned the same to the ladies, and their response was that it was for us, so that we have the time to help MIL be sure she eats and takes care of herself. It was a bit of "different thinking" and either way I don't care. I get a little more variety this way, though I am sure it won't be for much longer. Last night someone brought by El Pollo Loco (chicken restaurant sorta Mexican style). I don't recall having ever ate there (not one in a near vicinity) so when I saw what was there, I got a bit excited. Turns out, I don't care much for their style of seasonings. Nothing too hot or whatever, just not as 'original' like I was hoping. I mean, it was baked chicken. Thank goodness there was a bean and rice burrito for me to eat.

Tonight is another pool league night. I think I am losing the weight challenge my friend Jan and I are doing. I weighed myself in yesterday, and had gained a pound since last week. Them church ladies fault I do declare. He has been losing some each week, though I have been dropping more. He may get it this week.

And that is all I have today.


Tuesday, March 12

Going Out and Trying Again

I am going out today to put in yet another job application. I have talked to some of the staff that work there, and it "sounds" like I would be sure to get the job. The main downfall is that there isn't really an "open position" at this time. Sooo, I could be put on hold until a position becomes available, they could let someone else go so I can have that slot, create an open position, or I may not even get hired. At this point, I am looking on the negative side of things for so long now, I really don't care. But the need for a job is getting more and more pressing for our family financials. I do feel hopeful, even if this isn't my first, or second-fifth, choice of a job type.

That being said, I will be spending this morning going through my resume and making sure my info is handy and available for me as I fill out my app. What sucks is the last employer I had is out of business, so getting in touch with them for reference is non-existent. Such is my luck. Makes me glad I was able to get my last paycheck from them years ago when I left there.

So the butterflies are starting up already and I have about three hours before I was told the best time to submit an app. Not going to be a fun time....


Monday, March 11

It's Been .... Tiring

This past week has been very, very tiring. This morning I feel almost back to normal, like I have caught up on my sleep. The weekend even felt like a typical weekend for me. I didn't do anything special, but it was good to get back into a routine so to speak.

The family seems to have rebounded pretty well with the FIL's passing. MIL is doing fine as far as I can tell. Services won't be until April, so there is yet a couple weeks (plus) before things will get all emotional again for them. Definitely not looking forward to that time.

It will be nice to day to get the new tire for my van. I have had that dang donut spare on there since Friday, when one tire decided to give up it's last breath. The tire was nice enough to wait until I was parked before doing so, at least. In the process, I found a good tire place that is cheaper than Discount Tire by quite a bit. I shall be going there this morning in the next few hours.

Still dealing with a bit of a sore throat. Had what seemed a minor sinus infection come on last week, and thought it appears to have cleared up, there is some residual going on. Hence the sore throat. I a hoping it hasn't actually turned into something else. I didn't want to go to the doctor to only have him give me some antibiotics and say to rest. I'll give it a few more days to see if it clears up or gets worse, though at the moment, it seems to be getting better.

That's all I got today. I am sure I will be piecing together what plans need to get done this week as I go.


Friday, March 8

Almost a Happy Birthday

Today would have marked the 65th birthday of my Dad, if he were still alive. Over the past 28 years, the memories I still have of him in my life have faded somewhat. Many are fuzzy, and some are just more of a feeling than others. I don't get over sentimental about today, though, I admit in certain pass years I seemed more depressed on this day, or around this date, than other years. This year, I don't find my self feeling bad about Dad not being here still. Though, I am a bit heavy-hearted about my FIL's passing away.

I've been trying to come up with a memory of time with my Dad to share with you today. One that isn't too personal, but yet reminiscent of the time we had together. There are always bits that keep popping up in my mind, but no particular story to go with them.

Back when we were bachelors, Dad & I, before he remarried, we had a few "hobbies" we liked to partake of. In the nicer weather times, we would often spend most of a Saturday afternoon on his motorcycle, cruising whatever direction called to us. At times it felt we had been on every country road and highway in the Clinton County and surrounding areas. Trips via farm roads towards Kokomo, or Monticello, were common. Sometimes we would just head north through Logansport, Rochester, through some of the Amish area around Wakarusa, to visit my grandparents, uncles and aunts in Elkhart.

When we weren't on the motorcycle on the nice days, we probably were fishing. While living in Kirklin, we fished the reservoir at Cicero. We also had a nice spot by this bridge on a county road I can't remember the number of, where we could fish in Sugar Creek. Once we moved into Frankfort though, we found some place new. There was a couple man-made lakes about 10 miles out, that they would charge like $3 a day per pole. If I remember right, it was called B&B Lakes. They weren't large, but they stocked them well. Many a weekend we would pay the extra to camp overnight in the tent there, cat fishing in the dark hours with the bells clipped to our pole ends. One year when I was in scouts, trying for a hiking merit badge, we even planned out a 10-mile hike that ended there. Carrying our packs stuffed with our camping gear, MREs, fishing tackle. Dad had served in the Army (Vietnam '68-'69) so he literally out marched me there. That hike was spent doing civic duty as well, as we collected tin and aluminum cans from the roadside. When we returned home, a magnet would help us sort them, then send to a recycling center for a few dollars. Also about that time I had a beer can collection and was able to add a few to it.

I always had a great time fishing with Dad. He taught me about how to tie hooks on the line, that to not bother catching carp because of the mud vein, how to hold the barbs on a catfish so you didn't 'stick' yourself when getting the hook out. we would sit there watching our lines/bobbers and he would eventually start telling me stories of his younger days, or occasionally one of his war stories. We would make plans about where we would like to ride to on our next trip, about family, and racing. The Indianapolis 500 was the first race I ever attended. It was 1978, and two of my uncles had driven down from Elkhart the night before. We lived in Kirklin then. I remember staying up most the night learning to play poker with the men, using chips, and then the seemingly long walk at the track. We sat on the inside track on the grass. I recall seeing pictures years later that Dad had taken at that race. I don't have them now though. I fell in love with Formula 1 racing back then. Now it has moved on to Nascar, as I don't care much for the open wheel racing much anymore. I was back a couple years ago to the 500 Museum, and though it had been remodeled since my first visit so many years ago, I still felt like the kid I was when Dad took me there. Even did the ride around the track. That was something.

Enjoy your Friday.


Tuesday, March 5

After the Party is Over

Edit: This is a canned post. Mostly because it was on my mind, and I wasn't sure when I would have time to post otherwise.

Tuesday 3/5

From the past few posts (days) I've shared that my FIL had been hospitalized, and things were not looking very well on him recovering. Today, the hospice people showed up and got the ball going, to get him transferred from the hospital to their facility. It isn't far, being maybe 3 miles away from the hospital. By noon, he was in the hospice, and I had arrived. Mostly I went to help give support to the Wife, and see if there was any needed errands, etc for me to do. I could have done it by phone, but better to appear in person. Within minutes of me being there, my FIL passed away.

Tears flowed, as expected. Calls made, planning for cremation (his choice) and all those needed things done. The hospice was allowed to have his body at rest there for up to 16 hours, as the family was hoping on the son driving from FL would be able to at least say goodbye to the physical body. I found out later, he would not make it to town in time, as he needed some sleep, having drove over 20 hours to get here. We expect him in late tonight/early morning. MIL has been going strong through it all. This was expected to happen, it was a matter of when. The Wife is there to help with MIL burden the shoulder oft hings to be done, to be sure she eats, support.

Personally I have had a somewhat hard time. Old scars breaking open, as I, too, know what it is to lose a father. My FIL has been a father to me over these past 22+ years, that it is almost like losing my first one all over again. My tough man facade has been dropping to pieces and I feel like I can't control it at times. All part of the grieving process I know. That doesn't help any though, the knowing.

Bill Jones, my FIL, was a good man. HE worked for the American Missionary Fellowship for over 40 years, over-seeing the state of Arizona for almost all of them. Started so many congregations in the smaller towns, that I lost count. He was a man that would drop everything to come help you with a problem, even if he didn't know how to fix it, he would be there if you needed it. He gave so much time to his work for Christ, to his family, to everyone. Bill gave me his daughter's hand in marriage, and we know how much that means to me. Dad will be one that so many will miss by the loss of his physical presence.

For you Dad, heard it within minutes of you passing.... and you are now part of that number.


Just a Follow Up

This morning, as I was preparing the two younger boys for school, I called the Wife. She had spent the night at the hospital with family, the Daughter, and the oldest son, in the even that FIL passed away. This morning's update, as of an hour ago, is that he is still hanging on.

The Wife has four older brothers, and two live close enough that they were able to be here yesterday for the family decision. Both were there till with their families when I brought the two younger sons home last night. Another brother is driving in from Florida, since it would be a minimum of 32 hours to get here for a flight (from where he is at I guess). This morning, the last update I heard was he was in Texas somewhere, so he is over halfway total distance, though I am sure he is very tired.

The Wife mentioned on this morning's communique that she felt FIL was holding on, knowing that the one son was driving here as fast as possible to see him before he passes. I blow it off to wishful thinking, but what do I know about death and all? I only feel bad that the other son is not able to make arrangements to be here, all due to things beyond his control at the moment.

So, basically, I feel I am sitting in limbo. I told the Wife if she needed me to call. I am spending the morning here at home. I don't handle hospitals well... some mental carry-over from all the days spent there when my Dad was sick with cancer, and other things. Obviously this has brought up many memories I don't care to re-hash.

Not a great thing, but I wish I had some booze around right now....


Monday, March 4

Losing The Battle

I am taking a moment to talk about my FIL tonight, rather than the morning, as I have no clue as to what/where I will be.

As I mentioned before, my FIL has battked Parkinson's for the past few years. In that struggle, his health has deteriorated, lost his ability to communicate, and all of his mobility. Thursday, after noticing his breathing was more labored and raspy/croupy sounding, we found out he had what they described as mild pneumonia. A prescription antibiotic was given. Friday, his breathing was worse, and he was admitted to one of the local hospitals. Dad's Living Will called for a DNR, and if treatment was needed, it was to be non-invasive. At least, that is how I understand what was told to me. The hospital had to put him on IV's and a BPAP machine to assist in breathing. As of this morning, he had not been asleep for over 24 hours, and the Wife had the impression it may be that he was scared to sleep - of not being able to wake up again.

Either way, we spent the day at the hospital, excluding a side trip for me to pick up the boys from school, and the family made a decision to go with a 'comfort care' program with a hospice. Basically meaning all machines IVs etc would be removed, and if he able to be transported, would go to a hospice facility, where they would administer whatever drugs needed for comfort, and basically, he would be comfortable until he passed. The doctor said that once removed, he did not expect my FIL to last the remainder of the day. It was about two hours ago (from now) that they removed everything, and he was still holding on, though had "relaxed" a bit due to the morphine they gave him. The Wife is there with most of the family, waiting for him to pass pretty much.

Obviously the tears have been flowing from the family, especially the Daughter, Wife and MIL. I am a bit mixed about it all. I have been on edge due to lack of sleeping well (the Wife being gone at night) and trying to get what needs done, done. I have been through the passing of a parent, and understand it is an emotional thing. Today I spent the day trying to support the Wife, being that shoulder for her. In some ways I feel I have been an asshole, my apathy for such things taking over. Maybe it is just my way with dealing with it. I don't know.

Life is going to be shitty for awhile, so don't be surprised if I can't any dumb posts up for you to ignore.


How Much Longer...?

Last Thursday morning I got a call from the MIL about getting the FIL to an emergency Doctor's appointment. She said his breathing was becoming a bit labored, and wanted to have it all checked out. So I spent the greater part of the morning lifting FIL from bed to chair, to car, to chair, etc, etc. And sitting int he doctor's office...waiting. He ended up being diagnosed with mild pneumonia, and they sent him home with a prescription for something for it. I am sure it was some sort of antibiotics.

Friday night, whilst at home the Wife gets a call from the MIL, that FIL's breathing has gotten worse (again) and so the two of them take him to the ER. As typical for emergency room service, unless you are bleeding out, they spent most of the night getting him looked at. He was admitted. Saturday, the Wife spent the day with her mom at the hospital, where it looked like the FIL was getting better. Sunday came, and I spent the morning with friends, the Wife was going to swing by the hospital after church, and see how things were going. I guess they got worse. Throughout the afternoon and evening, the boys and I worked around the house: cleaning, removing one large bush from the front yard, and misc grass clipping.

The Wife made it home about 3 am. I had been waking almost every 30 minutes since about 10:30pm when I went to bed, as I was waiting to see when she would come home. One of the BIL and his family have come to town with the FIL being in the hospital, and the Daughter came up from Tucson as well. Needless to say this morning I am the one getting the kids up and ready and to school (something that is not my norm).

No clue if FIL is going to pull through this. As of last night the breathing was labored. They were waiting forever for a pulmonologist to come by last night, but he never showed. I guess I will find out more later, as the Wife has today off work to return to the hospital.


Friday, March 1

Friday Is Here... Thank Goodness

Normally Fridays are somewhat hectic for me. Trying to get everything done that needed to get done that week, that somehow got pushed back. But today shall be a relaxing day. I was going to start it off good, by going to the gym after dropping the oldest at school. But that didn't happen. I wimped out. I decided I did not feel like going, and would just be a good boy and eat better this weekend, then start the cycle over on Monday. I had mentioned to PT that I planned on being there this morning, so I am sure he will eb looking for me... oops!

No big plans for the weekend. Some friends and I were talking about meeting up at another friend's house tonight, but I am not sure it is going to happen at this point. It's only morning though, so who knows. No softball on Sunday, so I will sleep in that day I guess.

Yeah, life sounds pretty boring about now.