Currently browsing: Loved Ones
Well, where do I start?
I’m finally working again! The job I thought I had a couple months ago fell through. Somewhere between getting the verbal offer and waiting a week for the written offer, they decided to hire someone “a little more experienced” (either younger or asked for less money?), so I took the next offer I received, working as a tech operator for a small web hosting company here in Birmingham. Basically I’m doing Linux and web hosting tech support for account owners and resellers. It’s really interesting, and has instilled a greater appreciation for the support staff at my own web host, Lunarpages.
I’ve been learning my way around WHM (the back-end of cPanel) as well as other control panel applications, as well as re-learn Linux because I hadn’t touched it in YEARS before this point. o.O But it’s cool, and I like the guys I work with, they’re a good bunch. I wish the pay and benefits were better, but it is what it is — a low-level tech support job. And let’s face it, IT jobs are very hard to come by in Birmingham, so I know I’m lucky to get this.
It feels good to be working again. It feels good to be needed and useful.
I spend my lunches reading books. That’s another hobby that I dropped over the years and wished I hadn’t, so now I’m reading as much as possible. I renewed my library card and have been dropping by there every other week or so to drop off what I’ve read and pick up new books. One of the librarians giggled at my selections because they range from animal behavior to ancient folklore to religious studies to paranormal romance. LOL
Things at home are OK. Bruce is adjusting to me working, which I was really worried about. I worry about him being lonely when I’m not there. I felt guilty for not adopting his brother when I had the chance, but I couldn’t afford a second cat. Perhaps I’ll get him a play buddy later after my finances are caught up. I have a ton of reviews still needing to be written for his blog, so hopefully I’ll get time to work on that this weekend.
I’m still working on the redesign for my site. I think I’ve started over 4 times now in the last 9 months. There are a set amount of characteristics that I absolutely want in a design, but every solution I’ve come up with so far is missing something or I just hate it in general. I’ve been looking at a lot of HTML5 and responsive designs from other sites, but have not seen anything remotely close to want I want in functionality and aesthetics … and after a while they all look alike to me, which I also absolutely hate.
Maybe I’m just too picky?
Jessie is doing well in school. She’s almost completed her first year of high school, is studying for her driver’s license, and has had her share of boy troubles … she’s a typical teenage girl. She’s going to spend a month or so with her mother this summer (oh yeah, her mother moved to Nebraska some time back, that’s a long story for another time!), so she’s really looking forward to that. I think the time away will do her some good, though I’ll miss her like crazy.
The change of scenery would be good for her, and though she hasn’t said it directly, her mother would be providing something she desperately wants — a stable home with 2 parents. She posed the question once if she wanted to stay longer would I object. I told her if that’s what she really wanted and would make her happy, then I would support her decision. I added that I would miss her terribly, but it’s not like we can’t keep in touch via phone/texts, Facebook, gaming, etc.
It’s stability she needs, and I want what’s best for her. As long as she’s happy and safe, I’m fine … even if it’s not with me.
I’ve started looking at going back to school again. I’ve applied for a Pell grant, and have been approved for some financial aid at a few places. Now I need to figure out how I’m going to attend, where I want to attend, and what I want to take. Part of me would love to stay in IT, but given how hard it has been over the past 10 or so years to find and keep an IT job here, I wonder if I may do better in another field.
But I love IT the most, hence my dilemma … oh well, I have plenty of time to decide I guess?
Things with my folks are still touchy sometimes. My father is back to not speaking to me again. My mother and I have gotten closer and our relationship has improved a lot over the past year or so. I have to be careful to avoid the subject of my husband. Both of my parents feel that he’s used me, and that I should not be as accommodating as I should be to him. But then again I think my mother would feel better if I hated him too …
I am still very angry and resentful about a lot of things, but I have no desire to hate anyone. It’s wasted energy and honestly would undo what little progress I had made in therapy before I lost my job (and my insurance/benefits) last August. I want to be better than that, and I want to move forward. That said, yeah maybe I am too accommodating to him than I should be, but hurting him would hurt Jessie. And there’s no way in Hell I would ever purposefully hurt my child. She’s almost grown, and eventually she won’t be a shield for anyone to hide behind anymore. As far as I’m concerned, the issue will dissolve itself. Anyone who has more than two brain cells to rub together would be wise not to burn any bridges left with me.
So what else?
Oh yeah, I had another birthday. It sucked. No phone calls, no cards, no visits from friends who have dropped off the face of the planet for whatever reason since whatever point in time. I went to see my parents and regretted it — my father spent the meal picking apart my life choices. I left there that afternoon feeling worse than ever and wishing for a do-over.
Actually a do-over for the last entire year would be nice!
And actually, I’m still pretty angry about my birthday …
Mother’s Day was emotional but OK overall. I was afraid I was not going to have one, but Jessie came to stay with me for most of the weekend and gave me a movie and some chocolates. Her visit meant more to me than anything, but it was nice being appreciated and remembered. I’ve missed that so much since our family has broken up.
I felt unappreciated before … and I’ve felt pretty much forgotten ever since.
I’ll tell you, that sucks more than anything in the world, so I’m a little emotional when it comes to holidays now. Maybe it will get better, or, I’m hoping it will.
So, I think that’s most everything that’s gone on … I’m concentrating on working hard, paying off my debts, and trying to keep myself from falling back down into that dark pit I was in for so very long. I feel a lot better now than I have in a while, but I know I still have a long way to go until I’m “me” again.
I haven’t been “me” for such a very long time, and I kinda miss her.
I’d like y’all to meet the newest addition to my family. Bruce, meet the Internet. Internet, meet Bruce Wayne Faulk.
Click the above image for a photoset of images.
He is about 5 months old. He was originally named Bandit. His mother was a Siamese rescued from a shelter in Tuscaloosa while very pregnant, and she and her kittens were fostered in Birmingham by Have A Heart Animal Rescue. The staff were absolutely wonderful and quick to answer any questions I had. I highly recommend them if you are looking to add a new furry member to your family!
He started answering to “Bruce” right away, and acclimated really quickly to the new surroundings of my home, as well as to Jessie. He’s very affectionate, but not quite a lap kitty. He constantly wants attention or to be held, but only stays for a few minutes before going off to play, hehehe. He’s surprisingly well-behaved for a kitten — except, of course, when it comes to meal times. He’s a little ninja when it comes to my food, so I have to keep a sharp eye on him! LOL
I haven’t quite had him 3 weeks, but he’s without a doubt the best Christmas present I could have ever received. (My mother helped pay for everything from his adoption fees to food and other supplies as my present.) He’s established himself as a member of the family, and Jessie and I couldn’t be happier!
He doesn’t sit still for photos so I’ll keep working on getting better pictures, but I was able to get him sitting still enough for a few minutes playing a game on my iPad and recorded it:
I’m doing OK. I’m still job hunting. Things have been really quiet. It’s now heading into the holiday season, and this is typically the worst time of year to be looking for a job. I’ve had a couple of call-backs, but no offers. Money is tight, and I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to be able to pay my bills next month. But I continue to pray and ask for help … and He’s listening. I just wish He’d direct me towards a job. LOL
Otherwise I think I’m doing alright for myself. I haven’t been posting for several reasons. Jim is apparently reading my site now. I’m surprised that it never bothered him that I wrote about stuff on here all these years. I mean, I had this site before we met … this blog grew out of my private newsletter from my Phrozen Crew/SATUF days and has always been here. In one of our last big fights he chastised me for posting personal stuff in public on my “piece of shit blog.” I don’t know what surprised me most: that he’s actually reading this stuff NOW after all this time, or he really cares what I tell others. I mean, Hell, if he’s that curious, I’ll tell him straight up what I tell other people. But I will say this, he should be more worried about other parties telling a HELLUVA lot more than I am, and that’s all I’ll say about that.
Jessie is doing well. She’s enjoying high school, though a little too much. LOL Her report came back with a couple D’s on it, which she has never had in her entire life. She’s also heavily grounded at my house, which she whines about on a daily basis. Her mother chooses not to ground her for grades, much to Jessie’s delight. Jim has grounded her, but I don’t know to what extent and Jessie tells me I’m being the strictest, so …
I’m working on repairing my relationship with my mother and we’re getting along a lot better now. In fact we’re supposed to have lunch together tomorrow, so I’m looking forward to that. I went to see her and my father this past weekend and visited with family. I have to admit my father showed a great amount of restraint keeping his mouth shut, but I have a feeling that was mostly due to the amount of glares my mother threw in his direction every time he said something. LOL!
My dad’s not doing too well health-wise. He’s lost a lot of weight and has been having bad leg pains from what my mother tells me. He won’t go to the doctor and has been taking a lot of over the counter pain meds — something he NEVER did while I was growing up! That man doesn’t believe in taking pills, which tells me he’s in a lot of pain. Mother said he’s recently started falling, but doesn’t want anyone to know about it. I kept asking him if he was taking care of himself, which he brushes off and says “Yeah, I’m fine.”
Stubborn as a mule …
So I’m filling my days reading, playing video games, and piddling around the house. While I’ve enjoyed being at home all this time, I’m ready to go back to work now.
I never much liked being at home during the day, but I must say that having a DVR helps. I watch my night and weekend shows during the day now. The only real problem I’ve had is lack of sleep. Some days I’ll go several days without sleeping more than an hour. Then I’ll sleep OK for a night, maybe two … then the cycle starts all over again. I know it’s stress, and I know once I’m working that will even out, but it sucks in the meantime.
So, there you have it … I’m doing ok, really. Just trying to find a reason to smile, and keep looking for work. I’m trying to take better care of myself and unplug completely on days I’m not doing so well. I keep telling myself: all I can do is all I can do. And am trying to believe that.
I didn’t post about this last year. Things were still too hard. I’m doing a little better emotionally, but this day is always very somber. No matter where you go, when this day comes around, the question always remains the same: Where were you on September 11th, 2001?
I remember that morning very clearly. I was at work — not too far from where I was working until recently, in fact. It was a slow morning, so I had hopped onto IRC and was happily chatting in several of my favorite channels. Someone announced in #phrozencrew that a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center buildings. I jumped onto the CNN website because they had live streams on their site, so I could watch the TV feed in real-time.
“Surely it was a mistake,” I remember thinking. “No one would do such a thing on purpose.”
I had just tuned in when the second plane had hit. As tears streamed down my face, I couldn’t believe my eyes. One was a mistake. Two was on purpose. The crash on the Pentagon soon followed. Someone was attacking us. Someone wanted to send us a message. It came through loud and clear. All those innocent people! Who would do such a thing? It would be hours later before we all knew for sure.
At that moment, my mind shifted to loved ones who I knew were in New York that day. One friend, a teacher at NYU, who I knew was located near the Towers couldn’t be reached. Another, who I knew for certain worked in the WTC, and I couldn’t reach either. A handful of other friends I knew were in the area, but not sure of where exactly they were located. I spent a good part of the morning frantically dialing and emailing anyone and everyone I could think of, all the while watching the atrocities unfold live, right before my very eyes. I remember hearing coworkers trying to reach their loved ones. One woman I knew was desperately trying to page her daughter, who was in flight somewhere over the East Coast.
At this point no one could concentrate on work. A TV was rolled into the breakroom and we all huddled around it. We all watched in horror when each tower collapsed, then reports of another plane crash (Flight 93) flashed across the screen. The rest of the day was spent in complete shock. I don’t remember anything else about that week, just that day. As a people, we all embraced and pulled together as one. This was not just a tragedy for New York, it was a tragedy for us all. We were ALL affected.
What worries me is that there is a large number of people now who seem to have forgotten what happened on that day. That number multiplies exponentially with each passing anniversary. Why has complacency set in?
I can’t be complacent. I can’t help but feel, and remember. I remember the horrors — seeing people jump to their deaths over and over again, the heroes that raced in to help who were never seen again, the bodies pulled from the rubble, the agony of the poor souls still looking for lost loved ones. I remember everything. I still have the nightmares. And every September 11th, I must mentally and emotionally go back there and re-live everything all over again …
… Because to forget would be the greatest tragedy of all.
So, where were you on 9-11?
December 7, 2011 by Nicki
I always think of my grandfather when this anniversary comes around. He enlisted in the United States Air Force shortly after the Pearl Harbor attacks. My mother still wears his wings pinned on her coat. Gramps never talked about his time spent serving our country, but did instill in me a great respect and admiration for our nation’s military. He’s been gone just over 15 years now, but I still think of him often. I pray for those with whom he served and their loved ones, and wonder — how many are left today? According to this article by Reuters, there are about 2,700 Pearl Harbor veterans still among us today.
And that number shrinks dramatically every year.
I never got the chance to thank my grandfather for his service. But if you have someone in your life who is serving or has served, or even just someone you see in passing, thank them for me.
A few recommended reads:
- National Geographic: Remembering Pearl Harbor
- BlackFive: Remember Pearl Harbor Dec 7 1941
- Hooah Wife & Friends: Pearl Harbor: 70 Years
- Michelle Malkin: Remembering Pearl Harbor: 70 years
- The Birmingham News: Pearl Harbor important then and now
- MSNBC/Reuters: Pearl Harbor veteran recalls bewilderment of attack
October 3, 2011 by Nicki
I know I kept promising personal updates. I kept holding off thinking things may settle down for once and I’d have something new to report. Things between me and Jim haven’t really progressed forward all that much in the grand scheme of things. Sure, we have our really good days and on those days, he’s hopeful and things look and sound promising. Then we have our “not so good days”, which were pretty much like what we had this weekend.
We had a huge fight Friday night, then another one Saturday. He wants me to leave him. He says he sees no future for the two of us and the sooner we separate, the better. He even deleted me from his Facebook friends list (AGAIN), telling me that he never wanted me on there in the first place. When I asked what that meant, he had no explanation other than “I like my space.”
Um, EXCUSE ME?!
I pointed out that I never post on his wall. Rarely ever “like” his postings, and even more rarely comment on anything he posts. How much more space could I give him? Of course, I when I asked why he wanted his daughter on his Facebook friends list but not his WIFE, he got all defensive saying, “How can I answer a question like that?”
I don’t hear from him unless he needs something. PERIOD. No texts, no calls, no emails. NOTHING. He sleeps on the couch. We don’t speak at all on some days. Heaven forbid I ever bother him with what needs to be done around the house, how Jessie is doing in school, or how her behavior has been. He doesn’t want to hear anything, he just wants to be “left alone.” Pardon me, but how much more fucking space could I give him???
His mood swings are radical some days. One minute he’s fine, the next it’s all “Get away from me, don’t talk to me, I don’t want to hear from anybody.” God bless Jessie, she made the comment Saturday that she knows where she gets her fits from (she’s become quite the handful, but she’s a teenager and I would expect some attitude and unreasonable behavior once in a blue moon). I laughed, but it’s true. His fits are only bigger and more drama-king-ish.
I think I cried most of this past weekend and even though he never verbally apologized, it was visible that he felt bad. I think I’m more mad than anything today, but honestly I swear I’m about to lose my damn mind. I mean, what else can I do?
I brought up his medication. He claims that he spoke to our doctor about it “months ago” and it was changed at some point, but I’ve gone over his prescription history. The only thing I could figure is maybe she gave him some samples to use, and even that couldn’t have been more than a month or two’s worth at the very most. I’m not doctor, but I know these things can sometimes take SEVERAL MONTHS to show ANY sign of improvement!
What’s worse, I’ve gotten second opinions from other doctors I’ve talked to, and they have all suggested he talk to our doctor about getting his medication changed ASAP. But I can’t make HIM see that. He’s refusing to even consider talking to our doctor again. He’s refusing to consider counseling (yet promised me just a few months ago that he would try “everything possible” before considering us parting ways).
So I’m stuck in limbo … and that’s about it in a nutshell.
He still says he loves, but is not in love with me. He keeps telling me I need to find someone to make me happy while I’m still young, that he’s too broken to give me what I need.
Dammit, I just want my husband back.
Jim’s been itching to replace the shrubbery in front of our house for a while. We’d talked about several things to replace them with, but honestly I wasn’t looking forward to the arduous task of digging everything up. These shrubs came with the house and there’s no telling how old they are. Then one day, one of our neighbors suggested a more “manly” way to rid our front of the unwanted plants … yank it up with a car.
More specifically, MY car!
Jim thought this was a great idea and brought home some heavy duty tow cables last week. While working on some paperwork yesterday, Jessie came up to my desk to give me the “damage report” (i.e. tattle on Daddy, LOL). I asked if anything was broken. We still had power, so that meant the roots weren’t deep enough to yank up the power lines, but those aren’t the only utility lines buried in front of the house. She says “Oh, everything’s fine, but the cable box moved some!”
I walked out onto the front porch to see for myself:
Notice the cable line running in and out of the roots, you can see it pretty well in the 3rd image. When I pointed that out to Jim, he says “Huh. Well, good thing that wasn’t yanked out. ”
It’s more funny than anything, I couldn’t even get mad at him for making such a mess or almost knocking out our phone, internet, AND cable tv. And I’m glad it didn’t mess up my car, LOL!
The pictures really speak to me though. They say “Jim was here.”
I hope everyone is having a great holiday weekend. It’s rained here all weekend, so the headaches have been abundant, but luckily my meds have helped tremendously with that and have been able to enjoy most of my weekend.
This morning I read an email from one of my Cotillion sisters linking to an article by Dennis Prager outlining a ceremony suggestion for honoring the holiday. He’s succinctly summed up several key points about our Independence Day that I think a lot of people have forgotten, and I’d like to share them here.
Today, we take a few minutes to remember what the Fourth of July is about and to remind ourselves how fortunate we are to be Americans. Before America was a nation, it was a dream — a dream shared by many people, from many nations, over many generations.
It began with the Pilgrims in 1620, who fled Europe so that they could be free to practice their religion. It continued through the 17th century, as more and more people arrived in a place that came to be known as the New World. In this new world, where you were from didn’t matter; what mattered was where you were headed.
As more and more people settled, they started to see themselves as new people — Americans. They felt blessed: The land was spacious. The opportunities limitless. By 1776, a century and a half after the first Pilgrims landed, this new liberty-loving people was ready to create a new nation.
And on July 4 of that year, they did just that. They pronounced themselves to be free of the rule of the English king. We know this statement as the Declaration of Independence.
Three ideas summarize what America is all about. They are engraved on every American coin. They are “Liberty,” “In God We Trust” and “E Pluribus Unum.”
“Liberty” means that we are free to pursue our dreams and to go as far in life as hard work and good luck will take us.
“In God We Trust” means that America was founded on the belief that our rights and liberties have been granted to us by the Creator. Therefore they cannot be taken away by people.
“E Pluribus Unum” is a Latin phrase meaning “From Many, One.” Unlike other countries, America is composed of people of every religious, racial, ethnic, cultural and national origin — and regards every one of them as equally American. Therefore, “out of many (people we become) one” — Americans.
As we gather with friends and loved ones enjoying the festivities, let us also remember this holiday’s origin and meaning.
My grandmother passed away quietly yesterday morning. My father called me at work just before lunch to relay the news. She had been ill for some time, and I’m going to miss her. Even though I’d been trying to prepare myself, it still hurts. Last night I came home to a very understanding husband and daughter to hug me and tell me that they love me very much. Despite the differences I’ve had with my parents, I’m going to see them this weekend and will be there to support my mother.
If you’re so inclined, please pray for my family.
Mildred McDonough Thompson,of Hueytown passed away peacefully on June 14,2011 at the age of 89. Mildred was born in Shelby Co., AL to James Robert McDonough and Blonnie Galloway McDonough, the sixth of their eight children. Mildred is survived by her brother, Billy C. McDonough of Pleasant Grove, AL. She was preceded in death by her husband, Sidney Bennett Thompson, whom she married in January of 1937.
Mildred is survived by her three daughters: Bonnie Thompson Bowman, Donna Thompson, and Linda (Paul) Sherer. She had been in the loving care of her daughter, Donna, at the time of her passing. She leaves 8 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren and 1 great, great grandchild.
Mildred and Sidney lived the majority of their lives in Docena, AL where Mildred was active in the Baptist Church and community. She was an exquisite cook and accomplished seamstress and generously lent her talents to family and friends.
Mildred will be remembered as a true southern lady who always had a kind word and gentle touch. She embraced a loving relationship with all her children and grandchildren and made herself available for family and friends. Mildred touched many lives and her loving devotion will remain in the hearts of all who knew her.
Y’all please excuse my lack of updates, as well as the lack of funnies for the last couple of weeks. I haven’t exactly been in a humorous mood lately. I’d like to say that things have gotten better, but in all honesty they haven’t. That which I’ve feared looks to be coming to fruition unless something drastic happens — a separation. I had thought things were getting better because we’d bought my new car, and replaced some large appliances in our kitchen. I thought the latter was a smart move, as it would add value to the house when/if we decided to put it back on the market again. I had thought these things meant that things were slowly progressing towards ‘better.’
Apparently I thought wrong … again.
Jim and I had a talk a couple weeks ago and he told me flatly that he still wanted to separate, and us committing to these things wasn’t because “we” were getting better, but because he thought they would make me happy. I would give everything up in a heartbeat if he asked that of me.
Then last week I brought up counseling again. He still believes that it would not help us, BUT he did agree to think about it. I thought that was a small victory. It wasn’t a yes, but it wasn’t a no either. A win, right?
Maybe. Then again, maybe not.
We had a huge fight last weekend. And we had two this past holiday weekend. It seems all we do now is fight. Even Jessie has noticed this. And it’s not over anything big. Each incident has been his overreacting to something, or him acting like a jerk and me calling him on it.
Last night I said something that I hoped I would never have to. I reminded him that he knew where the door was, implying that he was free to leave whenever he wanted to.
The truth is, I don’t want him to leave. But I can’t keep living this way either. I told him that I wasn’t going to let him continue to mistreat or bully me.
We didn’t speak again for the rest of the night, and I was out the door headed to work before he got up this morning.
I’m still really angry. I don’t know what his deal is recently. He’s snippy, always making snide or just plain rude comments. If I call him on it, he flies into asshole mode and we fight. I’m tired of being the first to apologize just to make things easier. But I’m tired of the fights too.
The thing is, if he were always like this … we never would have lasted this long. We’ve only been married three and a half years, but have been together for nearly nine.
A friend of mine advised me to be patient and let him work out his demons on his own; that he doesn’t mean to be taking it out on me. There have been far too many good things between us for me to throw this away, but how much is too much? But how long should I take this before putting my foot down and saying “You’re being a jerk, get your shit together or get out!”
Some days I’m still hopeful and think to myself “Hey, we’ll get through this and everything will be OK!” and others I think “Oh God, help us, I don’t see how this will ever work itself out.”
I just know this: I’m so very tired, and I miss my husband, my best friend, my hero, that sweet strong man that I married. I’m afraid I’ll never have him back.