Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Well, well, well. I have been cruising past my favorite blogs and notice there is an alarming trend going on out there. Either everyone is fibbing in hopes of getting on the nice list next year or my life just sucks. There seem to have been quite a few (gasp!) Happy Holidays this season.

Really? Were they really happy or are you just doped up on candy canes and sugar plums?

My holiday was not one of the worst I have had in my life, but it was far from the best. Honestly, I thought I had finally broken the curse of Christmas angst last year. Guess I was wrong.

Since, there were some financial issues; I shopped Tuesday evening after work. Wednesday, I had my spine injections. Count me out most of the day. Now we can get to the Drama.

Wednesday evening, despite promises to, Big B refused to take the family to see the Gift of Lights @ Sunset Park. I couldn’t take the kids due to the anesthesia given earlier in the day, I could not drive. Also, Big B informed me he wanted to take the daughter out of town for the weekend to bond like he did with our son the previous weekend. He wanted to leave Friday afternoon. Santa was scheduled to come Saturday, since it is a 24/7 town, he makes special arrangements for working parents. Lots of tears and umm discussion over this. Ultimately, I left it up to Little Miss and Big B to work out a schedule. I figured the less I said the better off it would be. Turns out that was a good plan.

Thursday morning we were up and out early. This was my first time ever—A) cooking a Christmas meal; B) cooking for more than 4 people; C) cooking at my Sis-In-Law’s; D) making some of my mom’s traditional holiday favorites. (Big B knew how big of a deal this was for me. I've been in the family almost 14 years and never been asked to cook before)

The cooking and cleaning went great. I was so excited to make this for the family. We had Turkey, Ham, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Green Beans w/onion and bacon, Corn, Sweet Potato Casserole, Cornbread, Rolls, Cornbread Stuffing, Ambrosia Salad, and Marie Callendar’s Pie for dessert. It was delicious. It only took a half dozen calls for advice or so. (Dishes I made)

During the entire day, which everyone knew how important it was to me, Big B never called once. Sometime during the evening, his sis and the boy both called him and he never answered. We got home at 9 pm or so, and he was there. Honestly, on the way home, I was a little worried, 15 hours and not one word on Christmas Eve. Really?

Friday, we had plans to spend with friends since Big B had to work. Little Miss wanted to stay home with daddy where he wouldn’t be alone. I had to lay down the law. It is Big B’s choice to stay home. You are a child and I expect you to attend, I RSVP’d as a family. You will go.

I left their house feeling overwhelmed and sad. **more on this later**

Saturday morning, Santa came. It was very nice. Big B and Little Miss took off around noon. Mr. Man and I cleaned. Then we had dinner and a movie out.

I have to admit I am so freaking tired of being a single mom every single holiday or birthday. It is very old. Even in a room full of loved ones, I am lonely.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Dads—Not sure if that should be some form of plural or not. Grammar is not one of my strengths.

I was toying with a different idea for this post, but a few things over the past 48hours or so, has me thinking about dads and dads with their kids.

I adored my daddy when I was a little girl. I was “daddy’s little girl.” Now in my blended family of 8 kids, I cannot claim to be the first ever daddy’s little girl in our family, but I’m fairly positive I was the last. I am number 7 of 8; and 6 of 7 girls. When I was little I wore my crown with pride. I was the only child in the house that was allowed in the special drawer for gum, I went on day business trips with him, we had donuts most Saturday mornings at the local shop, I ran lots of errands with him, helped change the oil, etc. Pretty much I was his little sidekick. Much to his (and my mother’s) dismay—I repeated many things he said, often at a very inappropriate time and/or place. Boy was I forever getting in trouble over things I repeated.

Somewhere around 12 or 13, things started to change. He didn’t want me to hold his hand, or hug him as often. It was very strange. In some ways, one of the former “daddy’s little girls,” in the family had a lot to do with it. She so kindly pointed out, the impropriety of a girl my age being that close with him—Thank you for that. Not.

A couple more years and he added in name calling and suspicion. The trust we always had was gone. Honestly, I do not recall breaking the trust. It was just gone. I have my suspicions. See above reference to other female relations. He would call me tramp, whore, etc. Jezebel—yep Jezebel and many other things.

Now, during my reign as Princess, he was not perfect. One of the things I will never forget he said was “You are so stupid you can’t poor piss out of a boot with the instructions written on the bottom.”

Not to say there weren't a lot of good things, too. There were I'm just saying not even your hero is faultless.

There is much more I could delve into, but I won’t because this is about dads and not just mine.

Big B (my spouse) had a bad dad. He was mean, verbally abusive, and this is the worst in my opinion—neglectful. When Big B was about 12 or so his folks moved 3hrs away to UT, he stayed home with a 96yr. old grandfather for 4 to 5 days a week. They would come home for a few days at a time. Big B got into some bad stuff. He did recover.

After we married, the two of them had a huge fight and quit talking for 12 years.

After much soul searching (needling from me) Big B returned a call to his dad 2 years ago and attempted reconciliation. It went well for about 6 weeks, and then all hell broke loose. Last year we received a lovely letter from him calling him horrible names and quite frankly I could not believe you could say such hateful things to the baby you held just hours old.

If you can still keep up, let’s fast forward to the future.

Big B is a good dad. Except when he has been drinking which is most every night. So we have a good 10 hours of “good time” with him. (this includes work time)

This past weekend he spent 60, yes 60 one-on-one hours with our son. I’ve heard it went very well. After the fact, he admitted he was nervous since I have always been there to step in or he knew, he could go gamble or whatever if he wanted. He said he’d like to do this with our daughter, and I agreed. I told him at her age (11) she needs to solidify that bond. I don’t want her to become a statistic of a girl looking for love in every other guys pants.

Then Sunday night, the kids and I went with my brother and sister to a Christmas Event. We were home late and the boy (9) was helping to put the wheelchair away, when he hit the couch Big B was sleeping on. Big B went on to tell him, “(Son) you’re just not that smart. You should have went around the other way.” So, Monday before the drinking commenced, I confronted him and he gave son a (in my humble opinion) a very lame-assed apology. It went in circles about math and age smart, and sorry I hurt your feelings dude. Not 'I was way out of line and only an ass would talk to a kid the way I did you,' which is what I was expecting for him. Since, I was neither party and son accepted the apology I kept my mouth shut.

So, I was re-telling the story of the lame apology and the young-un, says, “Well, aren’t the kids used to Big B saying stupid things?” Ummmmmm, hello? What do you mean? She says don’t you tell me about his big mouth every couple of weeks or so? How he says dumb things to them?

Do I? I mean have I made it acceptable for my children to accept verbal
abuse, since I don’t have the cajones to leave an alcoholic? I can
rationalize my staying every which way but up, but how fair am I being to
them? They even tattle when he gets his “soda”. They found out about
the drinking during our darkest days (more on that later) It was hard for
them to deal with, especially since they take D.A.R.E. in school, etc.

These are the things I am thinking about dads today.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Coping with Alzheimer’s

My dad has Alzheimer's and has for years. He has been doing fairly well considering. Aricept had really helped slow the progress of the disease. Then all of a sudden, wham, it is progressing rather swiftly.

We went to visit (they moved away 4 yrs ago why? why?) and he took my son to get their traditional haircut together. Mom and I were watching from the car outside. Luckily. He comes walking out and totally forgot that cute little boy in the barbers chair was his grandson. I later ask JR why didn’t he stop Papa from leaving and he says “Mom, I looked up and wham he was gone—I didn’t know what to say—it scared me.” Then I went into the barber to make sure he was paid, and the man was telling me about it—so, I had to let him know I was aware and keeping an eye on him. God Bless the barber—he really looks after my dad when he goes in there.

Also, we arrived on Sunday night. By Monday, he forgot who we were. My former bro-in-law spends a lot of time at their farmhouse and often times, dad is asking—“Fannie, who is that guy in the ______ backyard? Living room? Patio? you get the idea.

The family, to cope, we laugh and joke. Sometimes, it seems mean. There are certain rituals that he has that we imitate often. But we all talked about it and decided since it wasn’t mean spirited and helped us cope. Why not? Of course—when we are burning in hell for doing this, we’ll have the answer to why not?

But this strong, brilliant man has changed so much it breaks my heart and I know if he could see himself, he would be so embarrassed. I hate the anger that he has. But what really kills me is seeing him cry. He has become so emotional and cries over everything. He is 83--one of the strong silent generation. To see him curled up sobbing like one of my children just rips my heart out.

My half-sisters--their mom also went through this though much more rapid. I see little symptoms in one of them. It worries me. Of course most days I worry me, too.