Archive for 2005

iPod Christmas

Wednesday, December 28th, 2005

The hottest Christmas items seemed to have found their way to our house this year. Jeff got his XBox 360 – it wasn’t a Christmas present per se just one of the hot items. I gave Jeff an iPod Shuffle so he could have something lightweight to listen to while riding his motorcycle. After figuring out which port on his computer was the powered port we got him hooked up and he was busy learning how to add music to it. He gave me a 60GB iPod – now I’m busy adding songs to mine. I can also add photos but I haven’t started trying to do that yet. Megan got the Donkey Konga bongos and video games she asked for. She also got more pink to add to her wardrobe – she loves all things pink!

Megan has had an iPod for a while now, so she has been helping us with ours. Even Jeff’s boss got one for Christmas. What an interesting Playlist I have – of course there’s my The Phantom Of The Opera Soundtrack (the 2 disk version), All Over The World – The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra, various Beatles albums, then there’s are a bunch of singles – Daniel, White Flag, I Hope You Dance, Bumper Of My SUV… Megan got me listening to Green Day. Hmmmm, I think there is a Rob Zombie song or two that I need to add. Yes, I listen to Rob Zombie … go figure. I’ve always had an eclectic taste in music – blame it on AFN (Armed Forces Network). I really need to get Megan to start titling the CD’s she burns for me.

Well, I have the orange juice and champagne in the fridge ready to make Mimosa’s. Think we should get the DDR and the Karaoke Revolution going for New Year’s Eve but 7AM Mass will come awfully early.

Karaoke Birthday

Tuesday, December 13th, 2005

Still enjoying the “Mom-Mode” with Megan here. Jeff’s been working part time at an EB Games in the mall. I almost think that it’s worse than letting a kid loose in a candy store, but it’s had a very fun side to it. We had started off with a knock-off version of the Dance Dance Revolution game pad – to say the least Megan can’t dance. Next Jeff brought home Guitar Hero – a video game but with a guitar that you have to play along to songs in the game. What a hoot! Then Jeff brought home the genuine Dance Dance Revolution with “real” music in it. On the DDR game disk was a demo for Karaoke Revolution Party – it had a couple of songs that we goofed around with.

So for my birthday, Jeff gives me Karaoke Revolution Party (I hope I have the name right) along with two Beanie Baby Christmas bears. I should take pictures of all my Beanie Baby bears. So for my birthday I decided we would do Karaoke ala the XBox. I’m not sure what time we started – it was right after dinner – I just know we quit at 11 that night when my voice was so hoarse. I’m not sure what time Kelley called but we were well into singing when she did. We also made Gingerbread cookies.

The cookies were from dough (ala my hero the Doughboy) that we were going to use to make a Gingerbread house. After a trip to Michael’s we found Wilton’s ULTIMATE (that translates into 10 pounds of sugar) Gingerbread House kit and Gingerbread Tree Kit. We’ve decide to use the dough to make cookies for the Youth Bowling League Christmas party this coming Saturday.

Saturday will be a jam-packed day – coaching the little kids in the morning and their Christmas party, then the filling of the paper bags with sand and candles to be lit that night for Santa On The Roof! Santa has a few new decorations in his yard that I will have to get pictures of. Seems we have taken a liking to the inflatable decorations this year too. We have the huge snow globe, Santa on a motorcycle and now an elevated Santa in a sleigh with 2 Reindeer. Okay, I know I need to get pictures of all this.

So, so much to say – just not enough time to type.

Mom-Mode

Monday, November 28th, 2005

Having the past five days off was really great. I was able to kick into “mom-mode” with Megan. Wednesday was spent baking and getting ready for Thanksgiving on Thursday. Megan wrapped all the Christmas presents I had for Jeff. We checked what time the Pro Shop would be opening so she could drop off her bowling ball to be plugged and redrilled. Took it there that afternoon.

Thanksgiving was spent at Jeff’s dad. His sister and her family came in from South Carolina.

Friday started at 9:00AM – we didn’t do the crazy shopping runs, but we did have a few things we needed to pick up.

We started by dropping off a prescription to be filled. Then we drove by our WalMart and noticed the parking lot was not packed so we stopped off there. I found all the electronic stuff I needed to for the HDTV there so it negated at trip to Best Buy (thank goodness!!!). Megan learned a lesson in doing the right thing. She found a brand new unopened “War of the Worlds” DVD (one she had been wanting) in a shopping cart when she put ours in the “corral”. She wanted to keep it – I said no, it’s got to be taken back inside in case the person who bought it comes back for it. She grumbled a little but we did it.

In the middle of our person meyhem – Jeff calls. All I could hear were sirens – LOUD sirens. At first I thought he was playing a video game. Then I heard “house” “fire” – I responded “WHAT?” Then I heard “neighbor’s” “house” “fire”. Finally I got the info – the new neighbor’s house across the street was on fire and it was pretty bad. I asked if evreyone was okay – they were but the house could no longer be lived in.

After that we headed to Michael’s to find a frame for the Holy Water Font “project”. Found most everything we needed except burlap. So we had to go to Hancock Fabrics for burlap. Back into the traffic. Jeff tried to call me with an update but I was too busy in the traffic – I called him back after I parked the car.

We got the burlap and then headed to PetsMart to get a new feather toy for KittyBoy. Megan picked out something that looked like an animal skin. I got it and a new feather with pole.

Figured we had killed enough time so we could get back into our driveway. We stopped off to pick up the prescription and I asked Megan if she wanted to drive home. We changed sides, she made all her mirror adjustments and we headed into the residental area. She had a few problems with stopping short and swinging too wide on turns but we made it home in one piece. All in all she did good.

Saturday we ventured out to the high school parking lot where I had her practice pulling in to the line and keeping the car in between the lines. I had her get out and look at the lines. She got out each time to look and check. As she got better pulling both forward and backing up I had her imagine that she was at a mall looking for a parking spot. She did pretty good. On the way home we checked to see if the Pro Shop was open so she could pick up her ball. It was so we went back to the house and got her bowling bag and shoes. After she got her ball she bowled a game with it – I told we’d go bowling Sunday so she could practice more with it.

Sunday we did our normal grocery shopping run. Megan had picked up a beginners knitting kit but it frustrated her too much to try. She went to look for something new to try – she found an “inexpensive” ($14) sewing machine and bought a quilting project. I’m afraid she’s going to be frustrated with the machine – wish I could afford to get her one or at least one for me that she could use.

We went bowling at noon. Megan got to see her friend Jason for a few minutes while we were there. I noticed she was flattening out the ball instead of coming out the side – once she made that adjustment she started rolling a nice ball. Since she was working so hard to learn how to relax her hand with the new drilling I tried bowling with my left hand for the second and third game. What a hoot – I have zero muscle memory for bowling lefthanded.

Still trying to work on her being more appreciative of what her father gives her – gosh $150 a week to live on. Granted she is living alone in “his apartment” and has to do her own grocery shopping but I know familes of 5 that live on that much a week.

But all in all it’s been so much fun being in Mom-Mode

Old age hit me

Thursday, November 24th, 2005

And hard. It seems like everything that could gang up on me did. The arthritis in the neck is most likely a combination of the three accidents – the bus accident in Germany, the motorcycle accident in 78 and then being rear ended a couple years ago. I figured it would be my knees that “went” first.

I’ve been in a lot of pain for the past few weeks – just trying to “work through it” – but not much is helping. Heat, ice, a soft cervical collar – taking Loratab for the pain is not the option I want but I’ve had to once last week – that’s what made me decide it was time to get all of this checked out.

I’ve never been to a chiropractor – but I was thinking maybe it would be worth a shot – it’s like if I could just get my neck to pop just the right way the stiffness would go away. I still have a gut feeling that the “neurologists” might all be related to the neck problem, so I checked with my neurologist about seeing a chiropractor. He gave me the name of someone he felt “would do no harm” so to speak. I’m already mentally prepared for it to hurt worse before it gets better – I have days when I don’t think it could hurt much worse.

I can understand too why chronic pain can be depressing. I just want to be able to enjoying doing things – I don’t like hurting and pain takes a lot of energy.

Dear Vanessa

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005


Originally written 11/22/2004 when Vanessa and her husband met me at the Georgia Welcome Center to pick Megan up for the holidays. It was included in a card that was mailed to her.

Thank you for coming to pick Megan up. I was disappointed (but not surprised) when you gave me the cold shoulder. At this point in time I cannot figure out why you haven’t at least told me what you are mad about. Was it because I didn’t come to your first wedding to Jason? Did you ever bother to call me and ask why? Did you not remember my comment to you about your father’s attitude towards me when you came to pick up Megan? That was just one factor – not wanting some huge ugly fight to break out during your special day weighed heavily on my heart. Then right after Megan left, I lost a contract I had with client that was our main source of income at the time. I had no money to pay for the hotel, a dress or even gas to drive to Gatlinburg. Then when you lost baby Jessica I found out about that through Opa – I called you and left you a message. No return phone call spoke volumes – you didn’t want to talk to me any more. I’ve ruled out the possibility that Jason could have erased the message and that he may have been preventing you from contacting me because One: you are too strong willed to let anyone stop you from doing anything and Two: you would have tried contacting me after your divorce.

You now should have a lot better understanding of what happens to someone’s life after divorce. In my case, I had to file bankruptcy after your father stopped paying on accounts he agreed to pay in the divorce settlement. It was the only way I could stop his bill collectors from calling me. I learned the hard way that it doesn’t matter what the divorce decree says when it comes to financial arrangements. Bankruptcy will continue to follow me for years.

There were other items in the divorce settlement that your father has ignored too. He was supposed to provide Megan with health insurance. For quite awhile he did not – bottom line he didn’t honor ANY of the divorce agreement including keeping me informed on the whereabouts and well being of you, Tiffany & Megan. Financially I could not afford to take him back to court and force him to. I continue to pay medical & dental bills for Megan that he should be covering.

I am sure you will have your divorce settlement and stepchildren issues to deal as time goes by. It’s hard enough when a child plays against a mother and father but when there are stepparents involved things like “you are not my mother” or “you are not my father” become manipulative tools the child learns to use rather well.

Food for thought – if things were really as bad as Megan says there were why does she keep coming back? There are always two sides to every story and the story will always be slanted to the listener’s side. Just as Megan will not tell you what’s on her mind for fear of upsetting you. Perhaps you should ask her how she felt about her birthday this year – she will probably tell you something different than what she told me.

But the bottom line here is that I love you no matter what. If you chose not to talk to me that will be your choice. I have made more than one attempt to reach out to you – including sending you a check, which was cashed. I wish you, Rodney and your new family all the best. You will be forever in my heart.