29 June 2014


I don't resent Father's Day as much as I resent Mother's Day.  This does make some sense as Mother's Day I do take a bit personally.  But I do find myself concentrating on not eye-rolling during both holidays. Some of my annoyance is the not having kids thing and some of it is the cynicism that not all families are Hallmark Channel families.

Conversely, I do enjoy seeing friends posts on the social media celebrating their parents. I know, it makes little sense. Welcome to my brain.  I decided to participate and posted a picture of Kevin's dad, wishing him a happy Father's Day.

Next I posted a picture of my dad on Facebook for my brothers.  It taken by me it a very, very long time ago with my brothers camera. He is ice skating on the lake in front of our house.

I've been scanning pictures into the laptop whenever I can.  I have three photo albums from my parents house that I brought home.  I've looked at it numerous times, even helped put some of them into the albums. Sometimes I notice photographs like I've never seen them before.

There's something about perspective.  I was disappointed with the photo when I took it but now some many years later, it is the perfect representation of my dad. Solitary.  Independent.

As I thought more about it: Me.

Like you do, as you age you realize that you are more like your parents than perhaps you're willing to admit. Specific to me, I was raised by alcoholics so the need to be different from them and/or put a distance between me and them is natural.  So it was with more than a little startling realization that I understood that I've become like my dad.

I'm perfectly content doing things by myself.  I'm content to not see people for days on end.  (other than Kevin, obviously)  I know that I've absolutely gotten the "I'll do it myself!" attitude from my dad.  My family says I've always been that way.

As much distance a person may try to create, sometimes genetics just overcome everything else.

A Legacy in Red

The dedication of the new fire department that my dad served as chief for many years was last Saturday.  It was a beautiful ceremony, with quite a few similarities to the firefighter memorial that they held for my dad.  For that reason, the ceremony was bittersweet.
During the dedication they did all the traditional stuff; the transfer of the flag from one station to the other, the speeches, the ribbon cutting. It was very Hallmark Channel.

Afterward, the crowd broke apart and we met the current fire chief, who is like a son to my dad.
He was teary, which always undoes me.  My mom broke down in tears as well.  There were just so many similarities, I'm sure it wasn't lost on anyone.  Also, to hear your family name referred to is honoring and a little strange.  There wasn't an inch of that fire department that my dad wasn't a part of and it was a big part of my childhood as well.

It's one of the first times that I've actually missed my dad.  He would have loved to have seen how everything turned out; what a great job Brett is doing, the incredible new hall, all of it. 

Brett did something that just undoes me when I think about it.  He had to stay out in the public space to greet everyone but told us to go look in his office first thing, before we saw anything else.  We did and it was just one of the nicest things that I think anyone has ever done. 

Prominently, the first thing you see entering his office are these:

The photo on the left is my dad in the old restored engine.  He was the marshal in the local parade shortly before he died.  He was so proud and happy that day.  The one on the right is before the parade, posing with Brett's sons who are nearly grown now.  Both of them were flag presenters at Dad's memorial and again at the dedication.

The dedication was just a really good example of two things: life goes on and that people do leave a legacy behind, whether they know it or not.

14 June 2014

You Know It's Ugly When

Your loving husband puts where you almost can't see it.

Kevin's mom brought home a god-awful planter that her sister made using sea shells.  To not hurt people's feelings, we kept it kind of out of sight at the corner of our house.  After an appropriate amount of time passed (two years) and it started to fall apart, Kevin finally moved it.

He's letting it return to nature, in all it's glory. 

Specific in it's ugliness
This is better

Return to nature ugly planter. Go toward the light. (hidden to the left of the misshapen rhody)

13 June 2014

May is usually our Happiest Month

I believe that things come in threes: deaths, disasters, etc.  The month of May was one of the more brutal and strange examples of that theory.

As we discussed, our friend Dale committed suicide.  My stomach still churns with this thought, it's just unbelievable.  The shiny side is that we've become closer with his brother so that's good.
Then on Mother's Day one of my childhood best friends dad died in a tractor accident. Ugh.  Just ugh.
And then this, the most brutal of them all maybe.  Our friend and track photographer (the one whose pictures I post here) lost his dog in the most god-awful way possible.  The dog walker he employed had a mental break and the dogs (six of them) died of heat stroke.

It's one of the few times that I've questioned existence.  What the HELL, Universe?

May is one of those cluster months: birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays are all clumped together within a thirty-day period.  I love May, usually.  Just not this May as much.

To offset the awfulness, we did have our annual birthday party for Kevin and the littles.  We counted 47 adults, 12 kids, 2 babies, and 3 dogs total.  Although it rained all day, we had a really good time. We ended the day exhausted yet pleased at how many loved ones spent the day with us.

We also celebrated our 21st anniversary. As the last two years were spent healing from injury and illness, this anniversary almost felt strange; as if we were unsure exactly how to celebrate it. We took an extra long weekend, spent a very rare weekday together, and just spent time together alone.

Then, Kevin's mom, whose health is already frail, contracted C. Diff.  For those of you who've been reading here a while, you will remember that I had this about three years ago and it had me home sick for two weeks.  (it jacks the chemistry in your stomach when you take antibiotics that either you don't need or your body doesn't enjoy.  The cure? Antibiotics.)  This resulted in a three day stay at the hospital, including a 11:00 at night ambulance ride.


It seems like we've had our three bad things, plus one. We've had two happy things so I'm fully expecting another 1.5 happy things to arrive any time now. Especially since it's June now.

11 June 2014

Lightening Rod

Work has still been all GAAAAHHHH!!!!  It's bad enough that when I come home I just sit down to watch reruns of Greys Anatomy and/or Veronica Mars because my brain is just FULL.  It simply cannot accept new information at this time.

I never expected that the ways things have played out in the workplace would ever have taken this direction.  I thought the last major change was going to propel us into a new, happier, shinier future. 

Yeah. Not so much.

The temporary new person is just as bad as my former boss, if not worse.  Well, probably a little bit worse as she is non-communicative and apparently doesn't like white girls.

This is the first time that I've been discriminated against (to my knowledge, I am blissfully unaware at times) and it's just not good.  There is simply no descriptor I can use that is appropriate there, "not good" is what I'm choosing as the least inflammatory.  (and if you're a person that is not white, please feel free to comment and  tell me to pipe the hell down. I accept that fully)

Now I'm not equating this person's nearly blatant hatred of me to the struggles of other races because I am well aware that this one person being mean to me is in no way possible, not even in the neighborhood, of being equal to blatant bigotry.

In fact, speaking of blissfully unaware, I didn't realize that was the problem until it was pointed out by a co-worker who happens to match the race of my new temporary boss.  It was pointed out that she treats the other staff  much more respectfully and while most of them match me, they are all older than me and some even older than the new temporary boss.  Age trumps color, perhaps.

So, if we're keeping score: I'm a younger, white, blonde person in a small pool of mostly older and more diverse backgrounds.   To add to the mix: I'm the last remaining staff member from the original organization and apparently that is threatening.

The fighter in me wants to just flip the table, yell, and demand to be treated better.  Fortuntately or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, the more mature part of me says "Don't make permanent decisions over temporary problems."  I can wait this person out and just hope that karma visits justly. I'm just focusing on doing my job, in my quiet little office, and waiting for the storm to pass.  The fighter in me also wants very badly to call her out so that she cannot go victimize anyone else.  This, sadly, is not my battle to fight though.

One of my co-workers described herself as a "Delayed Reactor"  (Swistle, I thought you'd like that description)  She processes things slowly and often finds herself having to circle back to a confrontation.  I, as sometimes an immediate reactor, wistfully stated that I wish I was more like that.  She disagreed and thought I possessed the more enviable trait.

But being a reactor means that I am sometimes a lightening rod.  Because I speak my mind and defend myself, it attracts others that, shall we say, don't appreciate that trait.  This is exhausting and why sometimes I wish I was a delayed reactor instead.  I can only wish to develop a meet in the middle sort of reaction.

It's complicated and this is why I have been coming home to see what Veronica or Meredith & Christina are up to after work.  Their lives are so much more simple. And they live in television.

08 June 2014

Put Me in a Bubble

I have a new allergy.  I'm so unexcited about this.  There are two weird things at play with this new allergy though:

I have two blisters on my ELBOWS randomly and without warning.  I think I also had a small one on my thumb but I just can't tell if it's a scratch or cut. It healed almost immediately but not so much the elbows. The elbows are obvious.  I look like I'm six years old and took a spill off my bike.

We thought it was strawberries because I've recently had some in both fresh, jam, and yogurt form.  I'm not a huge strawberry fan so it's rare that I eat them but I was just bored with eating the same flavors over and over.

When discussing the apple allergy with the doctor, she mentioned that strawberries are usually the culprit when it comes to reactions and to pay attention. Turns out: she wasn't kidding.

Today I googled the symptoms because I think Kevin's convinced my elbows are going to fall off. Also, the left elbow won't heal after three days.  We're having a disagreement over whether or not to use band-aids. Turns out I'm right: blisters should be covered. If this wasn't such a stupid topic I would be all "I was right, you were wrong" but Blisters on My Elbows.

(And no worries: I went to MayoClinic.com, which is a recommended site from Kevin's doctor.  No WebMD for me, thank you.)

It turns out that it might be cashews.  I've tried to implement nuts into our snacks instead of salty chips, etc. so I've recently eaten cashews; again something that I don't normally eat.  Maybe I'm just allergic to healthy foods.  My body is all "Nope, can't do it. I can readily identify the ingredients."

I swear if this allergy thing keeps up I am going to have to become a vegetarian and pray that I don't ever have to have medicine of any kind. Or I'll become Girl in the Plastic Bubble, that might be more realistic.