"Your words have no power to alter the truth. Your perception does not affect any reality but your own... it is your words and deeds that cast your reflection. "

~Luna Jade, musician

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Still at Carrollwood...from the school to TRU

That night when we got home, I fired up my computer and started looking for another job. Of course idiotboy couldnt be bothered to cook or do anything to help out while I was trying to find a job. All he could do is whine that I lost my job and that we wouldnt have our summers off together anymore. So I started supper and scanned positions when I could sit down for a couple minutes or so. Nothing. I spruced up my resume and did a coverletter so we could go out and fill out apps.

One of my stops while we were out was at Toys R Us. I dropped off a coverletter and resume packet at the service desk. It was a Sunday afternoon and they were kind of busy but the clerk at the desk called the manager on duty so I could hand it over to him. I remember thinking he was a grouch and a half and figured my chances werent good if that was the manager of the store (thankfully it was an assistant manager). The next evening I started looking online to see if I could narrow my job hunt down some and lo and behold I found an ad on Monster for Toys R Us. The store I was targeting was hiring bigtime...all department manager positions. I took the time to fill out an app and emailed the coverletter and resume to the store. Within 30 minutes I got a call...from Toys R Us. It was the store manager wanting to talk to me....could I possibly come in for an interview tomorrow? Hell yeah. The next day I go in and meet with this 6'3" black guy in a clown wig. My first words? "Wow, umm, I feel completely underdressed now... I knew I should have worn my big red nose and floppy shoes..." It was so good to have my prospective boss laughing already. We hit it off famously and I was invited back for a second interview with the district manager the following week. I was told, however, that if it was his choice I'd be hired now. *WHOOT*

The next week I walk in for my interview and end up in a room of 8 other prospective associates. Hmmm. Needless to say Im worried and beginning to think Im not going to get a job here. I didnt realize they were hiring for so many positions. Nearly everyone that was in that room got hired on that day. Anyhow, I get called in the office to meet the DM and the store manager. Yet again I hit it off with them. I had to laugh because the DM looked at me strange when I opened my mouth the first time. I asked him what was wrong and he said.. "you aint from around these parts are you?" LOL I told him nope...I'd only been in state since 1996. He goes "I thought so...you sound like a Yankee....New England maybe?" *laffs*I said yes. Once I said yes he fine tuned it to New York, central New York. I just looked at him and figured he got it from the resume but Mr J (the store manager) looked just as baffled because the DM hadnt seen any of the paperwork, it had been locked away until the meetings. The DM smiled and explained he was from Syracuse, NY (infact he still had the NY accent from that area) and said I sounded like home to him. aww *tear* After another lengthy conversation, I was informed I was hired for the receiving area. Cool. Plus I was making a good $3/hr more than I was at the school....even better.

This new job meant things lightened up on me at home for a couple weeks. When school started back up though, it was a different matter. I was still expected to type all his crap up for him and cook and clean as though nothing had changed. It didnt matter that I was pulling 40 hours a week. Things got rougher still when Mr J started giving me a few more hours during the week. It got to 45 hours then 50 hours and idiotboy was still wanting stuff done around home. I told him he needed to pick up the slack some because obviously I cant do it all. This comment fell on deaf ears. It didnt matter that I was going in every day at 6am and then not getting out until 7 or 8pm.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

More Memories of Carrollwood Village Drive continued

You can imagine how unhappy my bosses were that I was going to be laid up that long. Thankfully that year almost everything closed down during the week of Mardi Gras so I was only going to be missing 1 week of work. I spent most of the time either in bed or at the computer with my leg propped up on a couple milk crates. Needless to say I spent ALOT of time at the computer (when my hip and knee werent bothering me from being in an unnatural position while seated). Thank goodness we were on the ground floor as Im sure my moving around would have bothered any neighbor that was living downstairs. I tried my best to just roll around as much as I could in the office chair but plush carpets arent really conducive to easy rolling around (well really no carpet is except the cheap shit the school used).

During the week when igmo went back to work, I was on the computer all day. Mostly for the company but also mostly because it was easier to get out of the chair and hop to the bathroom or kitchen if I needed something (thanks to the post at the corner of the kitchen being close to the refrig, sink and bathroom doors). I remember as igmo was going out the door the first day tossing him the keys to my office so that whomever that was filling in for me could get in to do the work. By midweek, around 10am or so I got a call from my supervisor (southern momma) to ask how bad I needed to stay home. I asked why and she said that they were very short staffed to start the day but then another teacher went home sick. Is it possible I could come in and sub if she provided students to help move the books and stuff I'd need? *ugh* As it wasnt a day that the nurse was due in (if she'd shown up and I was out and about the insurance wouldnt cover the expenses becuase I was *supposed* to be homebound) I told her ok but I HAD to stay seated. She said she'd send her D-I-L (who was covering me) to come pick me up. Great...I had 30 minutes to get ready. About 5 minutes later I remembered that I'd sent the keys off with igmo and the house key was on the same chain as the office key. SHIT! So I called back to tell her to send the ride with the keys so I could lock up. The girl had already left and was on her way so I had to think fast. There was no real lock to the frontdoorhandle and a deadbolt that you needed a key for to lock it (gotta love the hotel rooms with those automatic locks....). When the gal showed up the only thing we could think to do was have me climb out the window because that DID lock automatically (go figure). So here I am, with an injured leg....in a DRESS (I didnt have any pants that were "legal" work pants) climbing out the window which was about 5-6 feet off the ground. I ended up bumping my leg on the way out and of course it started to run again (thank goodness I had presence of mind to pack extra bandages and saline). *sigh*

We got to the school and I had to butt scoot my way up the staircase (aint no way I coulda hopped it). It took me 15 minutes to get up that staircase. I got to my boss's office and immediately asked for a bucket. The boss lady got a real good look at what I had when I unwrapped and rebandaged myself. Once I was set, I hopped to the classroom that I was covering and relieved the staff member who was sitting in. Thank goodness it was a upperclassmen class and not a jr high one. At least these ones wouldnt give me any lip and all I had to do was shoot "that look" to shut em up. Of course, that didnt happen because alot had been worried when I didnt show up for two days and had questions as to my leg (it had been hard to miss it getting worse and worse up to Mardi Gras). So we sat and discussed that (nothing better to do than for them to work their homework and most were done already anyhow). They had the usual questions...what happened...how long was it going to take to heal etc etc. About 5 minutes to the end of class, I sent one of the more responsible ones with the teachers books to my next classroom. I stayed in that first class while the kids were changing classes and kept watch while the next teacher was on her way. While I was there the teacher in the class next door to the one I was going to watched both her class and mine. When the bell rang I quick hopped to the next room. *ugh* A jr high class *bleah*. Ok this group was the 6th graders and for the most part werent too bad. They were used to the one teacher (who was very strict) and didnt give me much hassle. Most classes usually didnt. I expected they follow the rules, but was more lenient than most staffers. Why? Because although I love paperwork...I dont really like to generate it unless the kid is truly out of hand and I'd seen some really petty shit come through the office.

The day was a breeze the rest of the day as I had the same classroom and students for the remainder of the day (it helped that there were several in there that had known me for a few years and I knew some of their quirks and could head off trouble before it could begin). It also helped that a couple of the senior kids had periods free and were sent to check on me off and on.

The rest of the week and all the following week went the same way, if the nurse wasnt due...I went in and things were made as easy as possible. I healed up nicely....well if you can call a huge scar measuring nearly an inch- inch and a half in diameter nicely. To this day I still dont wear shorts or certain skirts in public.

That was my last year at the school. Stupid putzes kept me in limbo the entire summer before telling me I wouldnt be working for the same lady. A real shame because I was really liking working for my southern momma. The excuse was that I wasnt "professional enough". Yeah great. Wait until the end of summer and worse yet the only way I found out is because I confronted the headmaster himself. I was told that they could put me in the kitchen staff...gee thanks. Four years of hauling my ass up and down the stairs covering everyone else's asses and Im only good enough for kitchen staff? No thanks. I can make more in the retail industry. When I left the building that day I heard a door slam in my mind and my last thoughts leaving the property were, well that's ok because this place aint lasting much longer anyhow. On the way home to the apartment, we passed a Toys R Us and I pointed to it and said that that's where my next job was. Turns out I was very correct.

Monday, October 1, 2007

More Memories of Carrollwood Village Drive

There for awhile, after that one hurricane hit and our eldest cat pissed on my computer, all Jim's tests had to be handwritten as there was simply no other way of getting them ready for the kids. He attempted ONCE to handwrite a quiz for his classes and so many complaints came in because of his handwriting that the head secretary called me in and said she understood why the tests and quizzes had to be handwritten but if they were going to be done like that, it had to be in my writing. *insert huge eyeroll here...and here and.......here* It would have been a whole lot nicer if she'd found an old not in use computer at the school for me to take home and use for said projects. Unfortunately, no one thought of that and I spent a few months writing everything out (and people wonder why I always type everything out...I dont think I've actually handwritten much of anything since then...except that diary...)

After 3-4 months went by, Jim and I saw a cute little computer at WalMart. It was going to run us about $400-$500 for the whole works. Thankfully, it was back when they still had layaway. It took 10 weeks but I finally had my first computer. There was only one problem with it. The discs that I had saved all the previous works on....wouldnt work on the computer. This meant everything that I previously had typed couldnt be salvaged for any of the fututre classes. *sigh* Yeah, it meant I was back at zero for the test and quizzes....AGAIN. Ah well.

Shortly after we got the computer I discovered this thing they called online and email. Oh was I ever thrilled that I'd be able to contact my friends and family without having to handwrite a letter and snail mail it. So long as I kept up with the tests, quizzes and worksheets for his classes AND so long as I wasnt bothering him during his tv/reading/alone time, Jim didnt seem to care. I was much like I am in chat now, talk to anyone that wants to talk and cut up really good when Im with friends. I made several friends in no time flat. Sad that my only true friends existed in my online world. They were always wondering why I was online all the time if I was married.

~smiles~ There was a group of us that always managed to gravitate together no matter what nick I was chatting under. They always said that I radiated this certain something and they could find me a mile off with the way I talked. There was a core of about 6 guys that managed to stay in the same room I was in and would make sure the scums and players werent harrassing me and my female friends. There was the Brit that was living in Saudi (who was old enough to be the granpa of most of us), the guy from Indiana (he was married, 2 kids and I was on speaking terms with his wife), the guy from Florida who was a single parent, a guy from Boston and a few others I dont remember. This was back while I was in CheetaChat. I remember a voice chat of sorts going on there...Indiana dude sounded like he was from Bama and the Boston guy...holy cow what an accent. My best times then were in chat with my friends. The Brit was in the process of teaching me some Arabic and was helping me brush up my french somewhat. It was funny watching us talk because we'd end up in Franglais (french and english) or Frarabic (french and arabic). Our damn sentences never were the same language all the way through. He had 2 sons all grown up and living far from him and he rarely got to talk with them. In a way I became a daughter that he'd never had and it made him happy. There was a several hour difference between us though so he got so he'd get up a little earlier in the morning on days he knew I'd be online and I'd stay a little later at my nighttime just so we could talk. I miss him. Last I knew he'd had to relocated to Taiwain due to the hostilities in the Middle East. I havent heard from him since.

During the time I knew him as a friend, I managed to get hurt at the school. It started out as a silly little wound but turned into something extremely serious. One day while decending the metal staircase outback of the school and heading for the multipurpose building (it was built to be used as a gymnasium/ cafeteria/ after school holding tank for the elementary/ summer camp rec hall) to get my then supervisor's lunch (southern momma) so she could keep working. Well I was talking to a friend and my then husband and misjudged a step. Damn I'd been down this set of stairs a hundred or more times and never once an accident. Of course the other hundred or so times I had been alone and not trying to hold a conversation at the same time (ok, so, I cant walk and chew gum at the same time...*sigh*). This time I caught the heel part of my sneaker on the edge of the metal stair and slipped. No I didnt go down completely, but I did manage to nick the back of my right leg. It didnt look serious so I figured I'd get it looked at in a bit when I got back in. Mind you a good 75% of the year down there is unbearably hot and you can break a sweat just thinking about breathing. It was one of those days where even standing in the shade made you sweat. Needless to say the 30 second walk to the air conditioned multipurpose building had us all drenched in sweat. Sweat which trickled its merry way down my back and over the wound and into my shoes. It burned like hell but sweat has alot of salt in it and I thought nothing of it. I got my boss's lunch and something for myself, then headed back to the main building (more sweat into the wound). When I got to her office, I cleaned up the nick with warm water and applied a bandaid with neosporin to it. The rest of the day went without major events. I got home and the wound was hot pink all around but this is normal for me and I thought nothing of it so I cleaned up the wound again...more neosporin and a bandaid. The next morning was about the same. Over the course, of the week it seemed to get worse though so I tried hydrogen peroxide to bubble the infection out. I figured it had worked before and it should work now. Several days of this and nothing worked so I tried Benadine solution to clean it up. Nothing. It got hotter, larger and more weepy with each day. Southern momma's friend got worried that I could be diabetic so she used one of her lancets and tested my blood on her glucometer. Even after 2 sodas that day I still was reading normal in the blood count. The wound got so bad I was using large gauzes and wrapping the leg with an Ace bandage to keep them from slipping. Nothing worked and the wound got worse and my leg went hot and pink all the way around from the knee down to my ankle making walking extremely uncomfortable). Southern momma finally had it and told me to call a doctor and get an appointment or she was going to toss me down the stairs and get me sent to the emergency room. *sigh* The only reason why I hadnt gone up to this point is because I didnt have a dr because the one I had been going to quit his practice and the office he was working out of no longer took our insurance. I hadnt been overly ill and no doctors that I knew of in the area were taking new patients at the time. Thankfully southern momma had connections and told me to call her dr. *whew* Her dr told me to come in right away. I was really lucky she took me so soon as it was the Friday before Mardi Gras and not much was open at the time (most locals played smart and would leave town during that time because of the crowds that come from out of state). Good thing I went. Turns out it was a nasty case of cellulitis. The dr ended up telling me I needed to do a wet/dry bandaging twice a day and take antibiotics. I also needed to cut out the salt from my diet (to this day my salt intake needs to be watched because even the slightest extra salt can bloat my feet). She put me on bedrest for 2 weeks and assigned a home health nurse to come by every other day to take my vitals and check on the wound. Wet/ dry bandaging is no fun and hurts like hell. What it entails is rinsing the wound with a saline solution, placing a gauze on the wound, soaking the gauze with more saline and then placing another dry gauze on top. You wait for it to dry and you pull it all off. The saline draws the infection to the surface and it gets removed (along with any dead skin) when you pull the gauze off. *ouch* Having this type of bandaging also means no getting the wound wet by other methods (ie baths or showers) so showering got to be a pain in the ass as I'd have to dangle my leg outside the tub to get cleaned up. Bed rest meant I could either be in bed (which was still in the livingroom at this point) OR at the computer with my leg propped up. Trips to the bathroom were a chore as I couldnt walk on the leg for the first week and spent the time hopping to the toilet (thank goodness for small apartments). During one of the nurse's visits she told me it was a good thing I went to the doctor when I did because I could have lost my leg because of this and worse yet if I'd waited too much longer it would have spread and become fatal.

Monday, August 20, 2007

More memories of Carrollwood Village Drive

I remember one here was particularly bad. Im thinking it was during the third year at the school. I was still doing alot of typing because of new classes but some of the work wasnt so bad because I still had some stuff from the first year that we could use. This was the year we were driving the Pontiac Grand Am and the year we had to run from a hurricane. We'd gotten used to hurricane season...alotta wind and alotta rain most times. Some flooding at best but that was par for the course because New Orleans is below sealevel so any good soaking rain will flood the roads. Most that had hit up to this point had been Cat 2 or lower...mostly lower. You got used to going to the store and just stocking up on the off chance you lost power (and most times you did for about a day). No big whoop. This one, however, spent a bit more time in the Gulf and built itself up bigtime. Southern momma said she was packing and leaving town. She'd already talked to a friend (who'd worked at the school the first couple years I was there so I knew her too) and Jim and I were welcome to come as well. This was good because I didnt want to sit through anything stronger than what we'd already been through. Besides if we were with others, he was less likely to be obnoxious and find a way to blame me for something (you can bet he would have...somehow). We packed up a bag and nailed down what we could in the apartment. I stripped the bed (which was still in the livingroom at this point) because it wouldnt be needed, unplugged the word processor and put it up on the counter, put the cat food and water pans on a board on top of the bed so the cats could get up incase there was flooding in the apartment (we were on first floor). All books and such put up on tables and the electronics unplugged. Unfortunately, we werent going to be able to bring the cats but there was space on top of the cupboards for them to get up and out of the way if it did flood. It would need to be ALOT of water to do that though. It was going to be bad, but wasnt supposed to be anything like Katrina was recently.

We left and headed to southern momma's as we were all going to leave together. It was the day before it was scheduled to make landfall. I remember everyone in town having the same idea as the traffic was horrendous. It took our little caravan of 3 cars 3 hours to make it what would have normally taken only 30 minutes to drive. So southern momma got us to pull over. We all got out and discussed it. While we were trying to decide what would be best, we watched the traffic crawl by slower than a snail. The traffic was so slow that the back of a van opened up on the road and a kid got out, grabbed his bike from the back of said van and pedalled off....he was going faster than the vehicles and was out of sight in seconds flat. This pretty much made our decision for us. We loaded our cars and turned around headed back for southern momma's place. We werent going to get out of there that night and at least her place was shelter. If we'd stayed out, it was possible we'd be caught in the mess. We got back to her place and settled in for the night. Her daughter in law and the dil's son were in the downstairs bedroom, Jim and I in the livingroom and southern mom n daddy upstairs.

Southern momma couldnt sleep all night and spent most of the time napping and praying. She awoke with a start around 2am or so with the distinct impression we had to leave NOW. I heard her come down the stairs and turned over....I heard her at the dil's bedroom saying "Im taking the baby and leaving in 10 minutes...if you want to go get up right now." I rolled over and asked as she went back upstairs what was up. She said it got worse and that she'd seen that now was the time to go.... our path would be clear sailing. I shook Jim and told him we had to get up and go now. He looked at me like I was nuts....so I told him that either he gets up or I was taking the bag and going with them period. We were all ready to go by the time "momma" came down the stairs...in exactly 10 minutes. I'd like to say it was clear sailing...well it was but we had some problems. The Grand Am was leaking oil like a sieve and we kept having to stop. "Momma" finally said...talk to the people in that shope...see if we can leave it and lets go". So we abandoned the car in a small store's lot and went. Made great time after that.

We arrived at the mutual friend's in time for breakfast. The friend's husband was a pastor in his own church and they were living in the large apartment over the church. The livingroom was huge and plenty of room for the 7 of us refugees to spread out bedding to sleep. We ended up there for 2 nights. It was rather strange watching the storm on the news. I'd never seen such flooding and was really glad we werent there. The lot of us were going to stay another night but when "momma" called our boss (who was hunkered down with his family in Houston) he said no, school would be open the next day as the roads were clear in the area of the school. *grumble* So we all packed and left. We stopped off at that one little store to pick up our car which was leaking worse than before. Every mile and a half we had to stop and add oil. It got to be a pain in the ass. "Momma" ended up sending her DIL on home so she could get her kid to bed and "momma" n "poppa" followed us home. We got back to her townhouse and got settled in. I started up the washing machine and got several loads done that evening before bed (I didnt get to sleep until 2am). While I was doing that Coach G called and asked how we all were and if anything was damaged when the tree across the street came down. HUH?? "Momma" went out and noticed that yes indeed the tree on the corner across the street had been cut down. According to Coach G, it fell right in "momma's" driveway and if it had been another 2-3 foot taller it would have landed right in her bedroom windows (right where the head of the bed was located...). As it was it landed in her driveway where all three cars had been parked. "Momma" said if she'd been smart we would have left our lemon because her insurance would have paid for a new one if it had gotten smashed as she was insured to the hilt. Damn.

We ended up staying several weeks with her until we could get the car fixed as it was truly undrivable the way it was. She'd bring us home Friday nights after school with enough groceries to get us through the weekend so we could care for the cats and clean up the place some. Everytime we went back to the apartment, it was a wreck. Misti (the oldest female) had gotten so ticked off at us that she climbed up on the counters and did her business on my word processor so pretty much it was shot. I didnt even bother cleaning it up, just pitched it in the garbage. We'd have to vacuum, and wipe up. One of the cats was severely sick during this time but we couldnt figure out who. We'd come home to blood splatter everywhere...on the walls, the bed, the rug....but when we stayed there Friday and Saturday nights....no one showed any signs of being ill. We originally thought that there had been a fight but none of the cats showed signs of wounds. We had no money to take them all to a vet and no way to get them all there.... *sigh*

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Memories from Cross Creek to Carrollwood Villiage Drive #395

Do you have any idea how hard it was to find a place that would take us and accept all the cats? No place, really. Most would accept 2 at best. To be honest the place we ended up looking at and renting only allowed 3. Thankfully, although we had 5 cats, there were only 4 that liked the sun coming through the sliding glass door and 2 of them looked enough alike that it all could be fudged. Oh I hated having to do that but we were desparate to get out of the townhouse. The apartment was too small for us and all his junk nevermind 5 furbabies. We ended up staying, as this was the best we could afford on what we made, from 10/97-04/01. During our stay here we ended up back at southern momma's a couple different times for upwards to a month (more in one case) due to transportation trouble as we never could afford a new car and ended up always buying someone else's problems.

Not to say the apartment was small, but with all his junk the bedroom area became relegated to storage and "HIS" room. The actual sleeping area was in the livingroom. So basically we were in an efficiency with a small storage shed hooked. I dont remember when we managed to begin using the bedroom as it was meant to be used there. I know it was after one hurricane because we'd gotten our first computer shortly before the bed was relocated. Im thinking maybe 1999 or 2000. Probably the former because the first computer we owned ended up as someone's "5 finger discount" and I ended up on a Rent A Center model after the break in.

I remember always being overly stressed in this place. We had a big sliding glass door that led out to our patio. Unfortunately, we were on the first floor and other tenanent and visitors were continually crossing our patio putting them less than a foot from the glass. Of course, while crossing the patio they had to talk at their loudest and look in the window. I dont know what it is about humans that have to look in every window they pass. I dont know if it's reflex or what. Top things off...we do remember Jim was claustrophobic right? Needless to say there were constant tiffs about whether the blinds should be open or not. He liked them wide open so lots of light came in. Personally, I hate people that close to my windows and dammit we were still sleeping in the livingroom. The whole world DIDNT need to see that! I felt like I was in a fkn zoo (and 5 cats did NOT help this feeling any). I personally always liked the blinds mostly closed. Open enough for a bit of light but closed so not everyone could see our business. Besides open blinds make it impossible to walk around in comfort. Being a bit on the heavy side, clothes can be somewhat uncomfy for me so I pretty much run around in night clothes when I can and not much else. Plus, with the proper drapery, if you keep the drapes closed the house stays cooler because the sunlight is being reflected out and as such the energy bill isnt so bad because the A/C aint on all the damn time. Even with the matter of it being cost efficient, do you think he'd leave those damn drapes alone? Hellll no...had to have them whipped open nice and wide.

You'd think with such a small place it'd be easier to keep clean. Notta chance. Everytime I got things looking just so within 2-3 days there would be a minimum of 15 books in various piles everywhere in the livingroom and then he'd wonder why he was tripping over everything. *DUH* He couldnt just read one book at a time, he always was reading at least 5 at any given time. Did I mention he'd "watch" tv at the same time or tape things so I couldnt watch what I wanted while he was reading? Oh..I did?

*Quick flashback to the first year* I remember a day that southern momma noticed how frazzled I seemed and asked after me. I told her that I was really tired because I'd been up all night typing something for Jim and that day was hectic downstairs in the offices. She replied that some of that was my fault because I ALLOWED Jim to use me as a slave and that I needed to put my foot down. Then I wouldnt be so frazzled. Thing is everytime I tried to do so things got ugly so I basically had stopped standing up for myself.

*Return to the time we were on* That first summer in the apartment was weird. The days would start out so horribly muggy, by 11am the temps would spike and by 1pm at the latest it would rain, then it would be muggier than it was in the morning. You could just about set your watches by the weather. When working, you'd come in around 7 or 8 am and leave by noon to be home before the rain started. Jim actually took a summer job at the school this year. Was I surprised to say the least. After 3 days of going to work and with me being home, he started insisting that I come with him. Work at the school entailled patching up the sheetrock walls and slapping fresh paint on them after. This particular year they'd decided to do new carpeting upstairs. This meant hauling all the books downstairs to be cataloged and reviewed to see if we needed any new ones, moving ALL the desks and chairs down stairs as well. After that all the carpeting had to be stripped out, rolled up and hauled down to the dumpster. The headmaster obviously had no clue as to how the carpeting had to be dealt with to be honest as he'd told Jim to rip up the carpet and leave the padding down because "he could save money" that way. Im all for saving money but honey you cant reuse the padding when you rip up carpet, you have to get fresh padding. Not that I'd call what they had down padding...it was just some mesh shit. Anyhow, Jim's first day had been removing all the books, desks and chairs. What he didnt finish the first day he completed on the second day then he was told to strip up all the carpeting. He stripped out about a 1/3 of a room on his own. The third day he finished the first room and started the second. He was doing it alone, they sent him no help the whole day (he had help to get the books n stuff out the first two days). A whole day in the summer is about 4-6 hours because the school wont run the A/C upstairs in the summer. Why? Because there arent any students and there isnt any sense in cooling the entire upstairs for just the one or two people to work up there. So day 4 shows up and my ass is hauled in because he wanted me there, not because they asked him to bring me in. We managed to strip that whole room and get a good start on the next room when the headmaster came through with the dude that was going to install the carpeting. He brought this guy to the room we were stripping out and they were discussing what was going to go in when the dude asked why the padding was being left down. So of course I answer that we were TOLD that it was going to be reused and I said I thought that stuff like that had to be replaced each time new carpet was put down. The guy said I was right....Oh if looks could kill the headmaster would have keeled over with the look I gave him. This meant we had to go through the other rooms again and rip the padding up as well. I should have given him the look I gave that Rottie...maybe I would have been successful. The rest of that room we were working on went quickly once we didnt have to be careful. It wasnt bad enough that my work was volunteer and that it was 100+ upstairs, but stupidity that really fkn irks me. I was mad enough that we ripped up that last room and managed to get the other 3 rooms that were being done completed before I'd go downstairs again... 2 hours later.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Memories of Crosscreek Dr

It was a bit of a tight squeeze in that 2 bedroom townhouse. Im not even going to try and sort this stop out as there were so many comings and goings with this family. There always seemed to be some drama going on. I ~think~ this first time in her house (yeah later we were there a couple other times again for a different reasons) it was just the 5 of us, her & her hubby, me & my hemorrhoid and her pregnant daughter. I dont remember why the daughter's husband wasnt there. I do know he was a loser and a half. It could be that they were in a rough patch and he was off living with his mother. It was a good idea he wasnt under that roof as I wasnt overly fond of him. Kind of hard to be fond of someone when he's done dirt to you personally. What did he do you ask? Well, while we were packing and cleaning up at the Randolph location the daughter, her hubby (the one that gave my then spouse run for the Idiot of the Year award) and a friend of her hubby's were hired to clean up the back yard. There was mowing, weeding and several other things that needed doing that we didnt have equipment to do and they were hired to take care of that. What a mistake that was. Yeah granted I didnt have nothing nice to say about the landlord at the time, but that doesnt give you the right for you and your buddy to come in and trash the house that Im desparately trying to clean. We'd gotten a call while packing and needed to leave the house for a bit. With the gal being pregnant and trusting her, we'd left the house unlocked incase she needed the bathroom or they needed something to drink. I gather that she'd had to leave for a bit, leaving the guys to work and while unattended the friend (possibly the husband too) came into the house and took catshit and wiped it all down the wall coming down the staircase. When my then hubby and I came home, everyone was gone. The house was completely unattended at all. Granted the yard was done, but still. They knew where we were headed so there was no real excuse...unless her water broke and that wasnt the case. I get in the house and damn it stunk! The house didnt smell this bad when we left. That's when I noticed the shitmarks on the wall. Jim called southern mamma at the school (she worked summers there too in the offices) and talked to her while I was crying. I had worked so hard and it was just awful. Top things off, they wrecked the door to the shed out back. I was hysterical. Well our friend sent the son-in-law and his bud over to make things right and you can be sure I ripped in real good when they arrived. The shed was explained that the wood was old and it came apart as they cleaned up (BS...it only gets that way when you put a foot through the door). The catshit was explained as "maybe the cat did it". That one I ripped into....and told them that was fkn BS because it would have meant the cat started at the top of the stair case, jumped up 3' in the air, put her ass on the wall and magically slid down the wall at a 45 degree angle somehow managing to keep ass-wall contact the whole way down. Needless to say a physical impossibility. They had been instructed by southern momma to call when they got there and she could hear me ripping into them over the phone. She told them that I was right and they needed to clean it up and not to expect payment after that (although I did at least pay the daughter half for her work). Anyhow...it's a good thing he wasnt under that roof at that point as it wouldnt have been pleasant AT ALL.

I remember little of this stay at southern mamma's house as we were under her roof a couple other times as well due to vehicle or weather problems and all the stays are pretty much running together in my mind. I do remember the fights werent as frequent here and when they did happen they were done quietly after all were in bed. The daughter gave birth during this visit too. The child was a little boy and had the misfortune of looking alot like his dad.... right down to the wrinkle on his forehead.

I remember having to put my babies into a cage in the backyard because southern mamma ended up allergic to Fizzi and not only were the allergies bad, but it turned into asthma as well. I remember trying to fix things by cutting Fizzi's fur down some but she wouldnt sit still and that's why we ended up opting for the cages. It was so damn hot out there too. I felt so bad but there wasnt much else we could do at the time short of making sure there was alot of water and put tarps up to shade them. I remember hearing the dogs (she had 2 chihuahuas out there in their own cage) acting up and someone yelling something about a Rotty heading for the backyard. I was on my feet and out the sliding door to the backyard but fast. As the Rotty took the corner and came into the backyard I had gotten between it and my cats armed with a heavy shovel. It slid to a halt when it realized there was a very angry human back there. Not only did I look enraged but I was actually growling...showing my teeth and all. There was no way in hell I was allowing that thing near my babies. The dog's owner followed in close pursuit and I could hear my southern mamma saying something about "we'd better go rescue your dog". When he made the corner he saw what she meant and got his dog on a leash FAST. Imagine chasing your dog around the corner and coming face to face with a woman who looked (and sounded) meaner than your dog...yeah you get the picture. It took my southern mamma to get that shovel out of my hands.

I remember spending alot of time typing at her house. Same as I had been in the house on Randolph. I had different classes to type up this time so little of what I typed the year before could be reused for the second year there. While we stayed I typed not only Jim's stuff but the occassional thing for southern mamma. I did it so she had some free time and since she was cooking for us I figured it was an even trade. After a few weeks we got tired of being cramped in there and damn I was tired of my poor babies suffering in the heat so we decided to move. It was bad enough seeing my southern mamma suffer from the allergies and the cats suffering the heat, but the daughter relished in reminding us that that's precisely why mom was sick. Yeah the daughter was a real bitch at times. I dont know what it was, but I hear she treated most gals who got close to her mother the same way. I think it stems from her being the only girl in the family for a long time and maybe a fear that she was going to lose her mom's love. That wasnt the case, but who knows.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Additional memories of Randolph heading into Cross Creek Drive

So here we were, in this big beautiful house. Four bedrooms, 2.5 baths and an actual garage. Something we should have been able to afford easily *IF* things had gone as planned. Which of course they didnt. I was working the morning care, parttime in the office and afterschool care. Basically I was gopher and not making a helluva lot at it , but it was something different so I didnt complain much. We never seemed to have enough money for anything that year. Alot went into the rent for the house and top things off we had to purchase a few things to make life easier.... namely a 'frige because the house didnt come with one. So here Im working all these hours for every penny I can get because Im hourly, right? We dont have enough money so what's the first thing you think to do? The one with the set hours should find a second job...even if it's just parttime to help out right? He worked 7am-3pm M-F. So who should be the one to get the second job? The school's in walking distance from the house so there isnt any transport issues in this case. No excuses. I offered to get a second job working weekends and some nights and he tells me no that he should be moking the money for the household. Well then get off your lazy ass and make more money. Ohhh no. He insisted at staying at the school until I was off so he could "get the next days lessons done and grade papers". Ok, so why in hell am I typing up all these tests, quizzes n stuff and still having to help grade papers after I get home and WHY am I having to keep his gradebook for him?? OK in his defense he had HORRID handwriting and couldnt keep a legible gradebook if he tried. He also could ever keep the grading straight either so I give you one guess who ended up in charge of figuring out the grades every 3 weeks for the interrim reports AND filling them out. This last bit wasnt just him asking me to it was the heads of the school begging me for it because my handwriting looked more professional (remember this word for a later entry).

For several weeks into the year, he had no problem bringing me to the laundrymat to get the clothes cleaned. When he realized it was going to be a 2 hour trip every week and all there was for him to do was sit and read....that's when the complaining started happening on that. I gave him the option of just leaving me there and I'd call when I was done, but ohhh no we couldnt have that. What he was hating was I wasnt slaving at home cooking or typing while we were there doing the wash. Within a coule months it was all of a sudden an inconvenience to go around the corner to do this every week and why dont we save money by doing them in the tub? So yet another chore was added of manually doing the laundry in the tub. Once in a great while he'd help by setting a batch to soak and manage to say he was doing a favor. Yeah right....setting them to soak and leaving them for me to rinse out and hang was some great favor. My poor hands were so chapped it was pathetic.

That first summer and it was OMG....no money coming in for me because I was hourly. No money for him either because of his contract. We had some put away for the lean months but not nearly enough because he was always skimming into the account for one reason or another. Loose change didnt last long with him as he was constantly sending a kid out of class to get him his diet coke and if he didnt have change he'd send them to me to get some. Yeah real productive there buddy. All that loose change could have paid for a week or two worth of groceries in the summer. It got to be a 6pack at LEAST of soda per day on work days. Anyhow, because I knew no money was going to be coming in, I went and got a job at one of the temp agencies. I could have gotten a permenant job through them but I had already made a commitment to go back to the school the following year. Unfortunately, all the jobs for the temp agency were in the business district across river. I ended up with a 3 day job at one company and a 2 week stint at another one. He'd bitch about driving me and the bitching got worse when the car started acting up. Damn thing would overheat in the Louisiana temps and there wasnt a blessed thing we could do about it. Yet it seemed to be all my fault. Yeah we had to drive but at least we had some funding coming in! After that the jobs dried up. There was one offer to work at this other place (and this one would have hired me as permenant if thngs went well) but it wasnt in a good section of town and Jim refused to take me there. Yep, yet again he cost me a chance at a job (and it would have paid well too!).

When school started up again in August, I was taken off the hourly payrate and shoved onto a contract. I would be making a little more than what I got the year before but that's only because I would be getting paid during the holidays as well now. Of course with the contract meant more work. I had all the jobs from before plus attendance AND I was designated to be Coach Greener's (Hap's) assistant. This was the year he was the disciplinarian for the highschool kids. Again the excuse was that my handwriting was more legible and therefore more professional. Very quickly it went from just handwriting the notices and giving them to him to deal with to actually having to make rounds and deliver them myself because he was conveniently "unavailable". Coaching was more important to him than this extra duty he'd been given. As a result, other duties of mine got pushed aside and yeah I got in trouble for not getting everything done. *sigh* With the task of delivering the notices came doing the detention listing as well.

A couple months into the new year, we discovered there was no way in hell we could keep up with the house lease payments. When we'd gotten it, it had been listed in the ads as a $700 a month payment. When we'd called we found out it was a typo and should have read $750. However, the landlord honored the typo and we'd gotten it for the $700 with advance notice that it would go up to $775 the next year. We realized there was no way we could handle that extra a month so we decided to move. Unfortunately, with all the money going out on rent, utilities and insurance for the car....we had nothing to fall back on (thank you idiot for not pulling a summer job). This meant no first and last months rent for an apartment. Our only choice would be to see if we could go to a month to month lease (which the landlord said no to) or move out to the streets. Thankfully, we had a friend in the school that kept her eyes out for us. She is about 3 months younger than my mom so it was an easy attachment for me. To this day I call he my southern momma. She took pity on us (or maybe it was just me...I dunno) and told us we could move in with her for awhile until we were on our feet. Thank you Lord for angels on earth. She lived in a 2 bedroom townhome at the time with her hubby, her pregnant daughter and her hubby (never thought I'd find someone worse than Jim but this one was it) and eventually one of her sons came back to live with his wife....and Jim and me in the mix. The son was never home because he worked on a boat on the river and so showed up only now n then. His wife was moved in because their apartment got broken into while she and her child had been home (her kid is southern momma's favorite grandkid) and "momma" said hell no bring em here. The daughter worked now and then for the school and her husband.....well he was as lazy if not lazier than Jim. We took and sold what we could from our house and stored the rest. The only money going out should have been the rent on the storage place right? I dont know how it was managed but it took us several months to come up with just the first payment (first and last month's rent). In the time that we were there, southern momma developed allergies because of our cats (particularly my long haired tuxedo girl named Fizzgig ). Needless to say, we ended up having to get a big cage and set them outside while we stayed. I'll tell you that was enough incentive for me to want out of there. I loved "momma" dearly but I couldnt have her suffering and damned if I was going to let my cats suffer for her allergy.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Memories of Randolph St

We didnt even last a full week in this new place before things were bugging him. Oh he was happy we moved and glad for a place so close to where he worked. What irritated him was the realization that his schedule and mine werent going to match up no way no how. I was supposed to train for a week during days to get me register ready (I ended up being ready to run one in less than 2 hours and was running it alone with no supervision in less than 3), as well as train me in the department I was going to be stocking by having me work some of the new displays (oh puh-leeez that's so old hat...I had the layout figured out in 10 minutes and had it set in 30...). They werent used to someone picking up so quickly...nor someone who was willing to help the stockers out. I had one of those boys tell me I couldnt help him because I was a female.....ohhh the new asshole I ripped him. I can just imagine how the nightshift would have been trying to work with a crew of guys. My luck, since it was a 24 hour store, I'd be relegated to cashier simply because I was a female. This really bothered the daylights out of me. To make things worse, I had the jerkboy at home pissing and moaning about how I was going to have to make sure to run on time because he had to pick me up and drop me home before he got to work (he'd need to be in at 630am and supposedly I wasnt getting off until 6am....but during Christmas, you always run late so I knew this was going to be an issue). Making matters worse, there wasnt public transport for me to fall back on (kinda like the position Im in now), just cabs (ka-ching). By the end of the week, I was so miserable that I was in tears by the time he picked me up. I cant believe I got that miserable that fast. He ended up getting what he wanted as I ended up taking a position in the office at the same school he going to be working for. What a mistake that was.

Dont get me wrong, I had some really good times at that school (none of which really involved him). I also had some bad moments. Most of the bad ones involving him of course. Inspite of the way he tried to keep a wedge between me and everyone else, I did manage to make some decent friends....although I never felt comfortable enough around them to just out and out tell everything. It wasnt like now where I say what I want and pretty much when the hell I want to. The school was small so whatever was said to one person made it to someone else pretty quick. In otherwords, everyone knew everyone else's business like it or not unless you kept your trap shut.

The first year was really rough. I was working at the school now and making half or less what I was making at WalMart. This year I was paid by the hour and only on a parttime basis. I was lucky if I saw $250 every other week. It wasnt so bad when school was in session, just very very tight. I liked the fact we lived so close to the school that I could walk home if I felt like it. When it was cooler out, that's precisely what I'd do. As the temperatures rose in spring...I'd stay at the school and sit in the sanctuary to read my Bible. My trips in midday back to my house were fewer and fewer because they found more and more for me to do. I was recruited for the afterschool program and so stopped going home because there wasnt any sense in going home and coming back later. When I stopped going home it got easier and easier to toss me in a classroom to substitute (glorified babysitting is all that is). They figured out pretty quick they got a twofer deal with us. This kind of sucked because if idiotboy ever needed to be away from class, guess who got stuck with it? All because I knew where they were in any given class and could just about teach the class (did I ever mention...I HATE HISTORY!!). This happened alot during football season as his job wasnt to just teach, but coach the junior varsity teams. When they were at an away game and *IF* they came back after midnight, then the students on the team and the cheerleaders AND the coaches (Jim and Hap) were allowed to come in 2 periods late. This sucked for me because since he was going, and they needed a monitor for the cheerleaders...I had to go. Why? Because Jim was there...it just made sense. Yet I still HAD to be to work at 530am because I also managed to get drafted for before care (so parents could drop off their darlings at 6am for a small fee and not have to worry about them not getting to school on time). I give you one guess how much sleep I got on a nightly basis with all that and the fact Jim insisted that I type all his crap up for his classes "because I was so much faster and accurate". Needless to say a few weeks every year I was busy typing up everything for all classes for the entire marking period. My Christmas was shot to hell because I spent the entire 2 weeks we had off typing the whole semester up (well why not, didnt have any money to go anywhere anyhow...).

After a couple months at the school, he started getting pissy with me on a regular basis. I had to be in at 530am and never got out until after 6pm. Sometimes it was later if the parents "forgot" their kids. There were times I was there as late as 630 or 7pm. Id get home and have to cook and clean and damn if I didnt type up something (pop quizzes...whatever) for him that night I'd catch hell (Lord help me if I got angry because then I was a bad wife). Yet he wouldnt pitch in and cook or at least do the dishes so I could do this "favor" for him. Many nights it was after midnight before I got to bed....only to be up at 530am to place a phone call (I had a soft spot for this one senior student who had to take asthma treatments and I was trying hard to help him get through and actually graduate that year) and then get ready for the day. Somedays I felt like a gerbil in one of those plastic balls....had to keep moving and no escape.

I remember one night I wasnt required to go on an away trip because they were leaving mid-day and I was needed more to cover his classes than to chaperone the girls (they sent one of the other female teachers that didnt have any classes to teach the last 2 periods of the schoolday). Would have made more sense to have her teach as she was qualified to be teaching and I wasnt, but that's ok. I got home after a long day and made supper, cleaned then typed for a bit. It must have been 9 or 10pm when I crawled up to bed. As I was getting under my sheets, I realized that I had thrown the deadbolt (seems to be a pattern with us) and I knew we had no key for it. I was so comfy and thought I'd hear the doorbell if it rang as the chime was right outside the bedroom door. It was loud enough it had woken me up every other time. Well not this night. I was so dead tired that I heard absolutely nothing. Well not at first. The phone and answering machine were down stairs in the front office while our room was the master suite in the back and up stairs. Between the bed and the phone was a door (which was kept closed in the winter to help with heating and to keep the cats out of the Christmas tree) and the staircase. Even with the ringer full blast, it was seldom you'd hear the phone ring. Well he got home this night around midnight or so and found the dead bolt thrown and he couldnt get in. He tried ringing the doorbell.....repeatedly. I heard nothing. Now mind you if I had any idea how exhausted I was I would have hauled my butt downstairs when I thought of it and unbolted it in the first place. He rang and rang and still I heard nothing. He ended up going to a payphone and calling. All he got was the answering machine. He came home and rang some more (and swearing at this point Im sure)...then back to the payphone and swore at me more there on the machine. How do I know? Because I listened to the messages after (the words stupid bitch came into play on this occasion). Now mind you, how foolish would he have felt if I had been in the house injured and he'd sworn on the damn phone? He tried throwing rocks up at the windows to get my attention. It would have helped if he threw them at the right window....he had aimed for the front bedroom windows thinking they were the master bedroom. The cats, I guess, had been going nuts with all the activity out there....and I never heard them racing around in a panic. One of the neighbors heard all the ruckus and called the cops (maybe they shoulda kept him in the firstplace...). What can I say, when Im tired I sleep!! Next thing I know I hear this really really loud noise coming from outside. So I get up and wander down the stairs...hearing this loud talking and boy it's got me pissed to be up . When I got downstairs there were lights everywhere. So I go in the office and I hear some female on a megaphone (yeah it took lights and a megaphone to wake me...I was REALLY TIRED) calling my name asking for me to step outside. Not only were they using the megaphone but they were broadcasting it into their phone so the voice was being broadcast into the house over the answering machine's speakers. I stepped outside and had a cop in my face...did I know this man? I stepped a bit farther out and there Jim was....a cop on each arm holding him back from the door. I remember muttering...yeah that's my husband...I must have thrown the dead bolt on accident. They let him go. He managed to hide his anger til he got in the house and the door was closed. Yeah...I caught hell for throwing the bolt and for embarrassing him like that. Hey, he knew when he married me I was a sound sleeper. The next day it was like nothing happened. Not even an apology for swearing at me on the phone. The worst part of it? The fact he had his driver's liscence proving that he belonged there the cops offered to help him break in to his own house. They made this offer BEFORE trying to get ahold of me. What would have happened if I had thrown his ass out because of a major fight and hadnt had a chance to call them yet?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Final Days at Peck Road

Like I said in my other entry, the game plan was to stay with WalMart as that would give us a huge leg up. He'd be making a bit more than me (for a change) and things should be fine right? Anyhow, on the trip back to NY I was looking over the app for the school and at least considering a parttime position on my off days to help out with phones or filing. I kind of put it in the back of my mind for future reference.

When we got back, I had to let my lead over at Home Depot know there wasnt a chance as hubby finally got a job and it was out of state. She was dissappointed but very happy for me at the same time. I let my bosses know that I had to move and would like a transfer to a store in the area where we'd be. They told me I had to call and talk to the manager down there, if it was ok with him, it was ok by them. The manager in the Marrero (Mah- rare- roh), La store. He really balked at paying me the amount I was making in NY but eventually said yes because I was willing to work nights and he needed another person on receiving.

We had 3 weeks before we had to be in Louisiana for dingbat's job so in the last 2 weeks at WalMart, I'd come home with boxes upon boxes and pack. We had a few arguements on what could go and what was to be pitched (books I can understand...but cardboard squares you've been hanging on to for years and years because you use them for "elections" and "war simulations" should become BBQ fodder). I ended up having to sacrifice our sofa (which was in awesome shape and was gotten for free) to make room for some of his shit because he "simply couldnt live without it". A 24' UHaul trailor PACKED solid ceiling to floor (I worked in receiving for a while remember...I do know how to pack a truck and not waste space), front (even in the overhang over the cab) to back and 1/3 of it was easily his books, videos and games. We even had to load the car up (it was being towed behind)...yes he had that much stuff. We did end up getting a donation from his folks of the white wicker loveseat and chair set so we'd at least have SOMETHING to sit on in the livingroom.

So I'd work all day and then pack for a few hours each night. I got as much as I could done each day. Would it surprise you if I said that easily 1 box out of every 5 I packed managed to get unpacked the next day because there was something he simply could NOT do without? No, I didnt think you'd be surprised. Oh, and NO he didnt help pack until the last couple days at which time we were in panic pack mode. What, you're not surprised there either?

The trip was rather uneventful. He was happy he had a real job and so there wasnt much fighting. There wasnt time for fighting anyhow because alot of the time I was either reading out loud (Star Trek books, something we both seemed to enjoy reading) or sleeping. I travel real well so long as we stop every couple hours or so to stretch and grab a break and then shut up so I can sleep. I simply dont stay awake during long trips. It took us 3 days to get to our new home. We even had mail waiting on us when we arrived. You'd think with all the schmoozing the headmaster was doing that we'd have some help at the house when we arrived. Ummm nope. Not a soul showed up to help out. Yeah. Some southern hospitality there. It was hot as hell that day too. The kind of day you step outside and think you stepped into a pool but without the benefit of the cooling sensation. Needless to say we ended up unpacking after the sun went down. We had the UHaul rented (thanks to his dad) for a week so we got half done the first night and the rest the next day. When did help arrive? The next day when all the boxes were unloaded and we had to return the truck.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

More Peck Rd memories

The first year here was hard. Neither of us was used to checking tanks to make sure we had enough fuel to do things. One of his other chores besides keeping the litter clean and taking out the trash was to keep an eye on the fuel tanks and make sure to order a shipment in enough time. When the colder weather hit, I reminded him that we'd be going through the propane faster so he needed to keep a real good eye on it. Of course, I came across as a nag and a half. I simply didnt want to be cold at anytime during the winter, is that too much to ask? And NO...I wasnt the one who insisted on running the heat at 80 degrees in the winter. In fact, I was quite the opposite. I didnt want to be cold, but I also didnt want to roast to death. When I'd get cleaning in the house, I would have the heat nearly off in the dead of winter (and I'd only be in a tank, shorts and barefeet). He'd come home and bitch because the trailor was freezing. He'd crank the heat up to 80 and damned if it didnt climb 5 degrees and it'd be too hot for me to want to do anything....then he'd bitch because I refused to do anything else. Well excuse me, I'd been cleaning all damn day and do you THINK he'd notice the walls were waxed and everything polished nicely? Nope, just the fact the sofa was in the middle of the livingroom and the tv was unhooked. *shakes head*. Oh and NO he wouldnt pitch in to help finish the last little bit of cleaning up.

This first Christmas, I had asked him not the week before to make sure we had enough propane as the tank had only been half full when we rented the place. There had been some really cold weather this particular week. What do I get but the "We just moved in a month or so ago and there was half a tank, we'll be fine". MMhhmm. Well..Christmas Eve came up and I'd been cooking all day to bring stuff to one of his sisters' house for supper the next day. I'd had the oven going from noon til 10pm making cookies and a pie. As such we'd had the heat turned down because the trailor was cozy. When I was done around 10pm or so, we stayed up another hour or so. The trailor was so warm it never dawned on us that the heat didnt kick in later. We crawled into bed that night and I asked him, "did you turn the heat on at all?" It was getting quite cold in there. He couldnt remember and said maybe I should check. We wont go into the fact that the bed was against the wall and he was on the outer edge so he should have checked....ohh no...make me get out of the warm bed after working all day at the oven. I had to climb out of the covers and down to the foot of the bed to get out and then he had the nerve to bitch because I let the cold air in the bed. Stupid shit. I went out to check and turned the heat up to 90 just to get it to kick in.....it didnt kick in. Not at all. We were out of kerosene on Christmas Eve because someone hadnt done a chore. We hadnt noticed it because I'd been running the oven (propane) all day and it had managed to heat the trailor nicely. Of course, somehow, I was to blame for this (not one bit of it was his fault).

I remember taking up painting plaster pieces sometime while we were in the trailor. I know it wasnt the first year as we were still in the bedroom located in the middle of the trailor and not the big one in back. It must have been the summer of '93. We'd gone to Ames (kind of like a KMart or WalMart) for something or other and I'd seen these 2 plaster pieces that were absolutely adorable. They came as a kit... piece, paint brushes and paints. I had bought a house with Santa and his reindeer on the roof called Santa's Last Stop and another with like 7 Santas in various versions of the Old English Santa costuming. The last one was called Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho and Ho. These two pieces brought me such delight as I would sit on the edge of our bed with the pieces on a folding table and paint for hours. I found I would relax a bit as I painted as my mind had to be on the instructions and not worrying about other stuff, otherwise I'd make a mistake. The pieces were big enough that once I finished one color I could move to the next as the first color was dry enough to handle. I also learned an appreciation for Yanni about this time as I could play his music while I painted and it wouldnt be distracting like some of the other stuff I'd listen to (cant really sing to Yanni...just hum...no words to distract). The first couple days I chose to paint, he was good and left me alone. Day three though brought him wandering back every few minutes to "check on me". Yeah, like I was going to get in trouble sitting there quietly painting. It's because he no longer had an audience...I know this.

It seemed that our whole time together we got challenged. When an opportunity became available for one, an equal opportunity would come for the other. Never were they things that would go hand in hand. So we would always sit down and decide which opportunity would be the better one to follow. Nine times out of ten, mine would be that untaken road. It was always one thing or another....not enough money, or he was in school and I needed a certain schedule so I could work...whatever. While we were in the trailor, WalMart opened a store nearer to where we were living. I needed a certain schedule due to his schooling because of trasportation issues. If I had known alot of my friends were headed that way, I certainly would have applied for a position over in that store because any one of them would have given me a ride. Thankfully, the opportunity presented itself again a few months later when the girl who had the position I was wanting was leaving the company. I told Jim I was going to go for it. It would at least save us on gas. He wasnt fond of this turn of events but when I came out of the interview not only with the job, but a raise to boot, he had no arguement there. This raise didnt help us much as he still wasnt teaching and was only pulling parttime jobs...not even attempting to get fulltime work ("because he wanted to be available in case a school called for him to sub" *ugh*).

While I was at this store, he decided that he was going to go through this company he'd read about in one of his Christian magazines. The company was called InterChristo and what they did was match you up with a list of Christian organizations that would fit with your profile. You'd then take your list and send them your resume and see if you could get a job with them. Ok, it was a bit pricey but well worth the money considering they gave you a packet of several pages of leads. We (yes I said we as we all know WHO wrote the letters and sent the resumes) sent out to nearly every school on his list. At this point I was becoming miserable at WalMart. We'd had some management changes *again* and I was tired of showing them who boss of the backroom was (and it wasnt them). Between that and Jim moping and making my homelife miserable, I was considering a change of job myself. I had a lead over at the local Home Depot and was considering heading that way as it would have meant an extra $2/hr just to start...as a cashier mind you. The day I decided that I wanted to go for it, I talked to Jim on the way home and let him know what I knew about the position and he agreed that maybe the change would be good. The minute we got home all that changed as there was a message on the answering machine. At first we thought it was the ole lady (the ole lady was a ghost in the trailor...she was harmless thank goodness and settled down when I told her firmly it was my place now, dammit. She was welcome to stay as long as she left me and my stuff alone) playing around again as she'd taken to messing with that machine regularly. Surprise surprise there was a hit from one of the schools in Louisiana. The headmaster wanted to talk to Jim and left us a school number and home number. Jim said he'd "call tomorrow". I told him hell no...this man left a HOME number, obviously he wants to talk to you NOW. God Jim could be so damn thick. Anyhow he called and talked to the headmaster and the guy wanted to set up an interview. So now we had a decision, again. I had to take a 2 week vacation because idiotboy didnt want to go alone...he was afraid of getting lost. Ugh...that's what a map and directions are for. Not that it matters as I dont drive and even if I did he'd need the car to get there. Although there were friends at the store that would have dropped me off home.

When we got down to Louisiana the first time, we stayed with the headmaster and his wife for 3 days. They were so kind as to allow us the the master suite because there was a bathroom attached and we'd have some privacy. Jim pretty much had the job when he walked in the front doors to the school. He'd shown his commitment just by coming clear across the country to make this meeting. So it fell on me to find us a place to live....while he went out and schmoozed with the headmaster. All I wanted to say was priorities guys!! You'll have all this time to go fishing n stuff later. Surprisingly enough, I found us a place to live that would allow us to bring all our cats (we had 4 at the time). It was going to cost an arm and leg per month, but the lease was only for a year and I'd still be with WalMart. At least that is what the plan was....

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Heritage Park to Peck Road

After we got married, things calmed down for a bit. The only arguments we had were still over money but they werent as frequent there for awhile. I think part of the problem is that I was making substantially more than him (but not enough where I could have lived on my own if I had attempted it). He had his masters degree at this point and damned if he could find a teaching job. History teachers, unfortunately, seem to be around forever. When they *finally* retire, the schools look for someone with a proven track record. Although he had paperwork saying he COULD teach, he didnt have much in the lines of field experience. All he had was the student teaching and by the time he finished that, there wasnt any openings. So where was he working? In jobs like the ticket booth and Taco Bell (both were only parttime jobs)....definitely places he didnt want to be because he couldnt utilize his education. Meanwhile where was I? I was working an 8-4 M-F making one third again what he was...and I didnt have to deal with customers (I was at WalMart by the time we moved from Heritage Park). Yes, again with that little jealousy monster because the grass in my job looked greener. The one good thing that came out of his theatre job was that the lady who managed the place owned a trailor on an acre plot of land nextdoor to her own property. Well it was good because we didnt need to worry about neighbors and it had some property that we were told we could do nearly anything to.

The trailor would have been perfect for one person or two with minimal clutter. The key word there is minimal. With all the stuff he had, there was not much room for any of my items. All his books (and many were rare editions) took up the spare bedroom and the backporch. The rest of his junk took up the shed out back. Thank goodness I wasnt really collecting anything at this point.

Other than his clutter...the trailor was quite pretty inside. I loved the fact it was all wood inside (all the rooms had a light colored panelling) because it glowed so nicely when everything was polished. I used the china hutch in the dining area for my wedding showcase (hey, I didnt have any china) and during Christmases I lined under the china cupboard with white lights and used the counter area for my all white nativity. It looked so pretty.

I remember the day we moved in. Unfortunately, we'd picked a day when there was a huge football game on the television and we couldnt get any of his family to come out and help get things at least unloaded. We did manage to get G* out to help us load and unload. Poor guy had forgetten he'd promised to help and got himself quite pickled the night before so he had this wretched hangover while trying to help us. His family showed up around halftime to help unload the truck. The only things left to do were get the furniture into the trailor. Everything else was done (short of unpacking) at that point. Im picky about how things are unpacked so there was nothing else left to do. All I could think was "Gee thanks...if ya showed up earlier we'd have gotten more done faster.... could have been done BEFORE the game and all watched together...". Oh well.

Things went well for several weeks. They always did right after a move as we were trying to get used to a new place. Then the usual started up about finances. The trailor was cheaper so it shouldnt have been so bad right? Wrong. I told him once we moved we'd need to account for trash pickup, water useage (this one was a big fight especially in the summer when he insisted on 2 showers daily), propane for the stove and kerosene costs in the winter for heating. Of course, it became my fault that the money was moving out as fast if not faster than it came in. Do you think he'd get a second job to help out (he was only working a parttime one...20 hrs a week at the time) so we could afford things? Nope. I suggested me getting a second job a few times. I could have easily done it because my hours were the same 7am-4pm, M-F. I was told no as I was already pulling 40 hr weeks that he should be the one to get the second job. That would be the end of the discussion. When I say end, I mean absolute end as he didnt want me pulling the extra work (I think it's because he didnt want to have to drive me anywhere else plus I out earned him as it was) BUT YET he wouldnt look for the extra job to help out either. There were months when we hardly had anything to eat in the house...the cats actually ate better than we did. Peanut butter sandwiches for lunch, toast for breakfast and noodles-butter-salt and pepper for supper. Yes, that same menu for the whole damn month....every.single.day.

His locking himself away never faded either. Many times I'd sit in the livingroom, alone, for hours on end. He'd never go in his room during hours when he knew there was something I'd like to watch on the tv...always when nothing at all was on. Then I'd find something and actually get interested in it and suddenly his "alone time" would change so I couldnt watch that...something more important would be on. *sigh* We fought enough as it was, why bother fighting over something as trivial as the tv programming? My only respite at this location was that he was going back to school 2 nights a week for a degree in Special Education. The reason why he was going back is because he couldnt find a teaching job in history and all he could find even close to it was teaching in a GED type program for the East Syracuse Minoa school district (yet again a parttime job). Besides....his daddy was paying for it. After a couple semesters, he got a certified letter stating he shouldnt bother wasting the time or money coming back as he wasnt cutting the grade. He took this real hard. Somehow this was my fault too. Maybe it was because I had a steady and decent job making a fairly good wage all on just a high school degree and he was getting bubkuss on his master's. Is this really supposed to be my fault that I did well and he didnt? Not my fault he didnt have the drive to really succeed at things. He didnt even cut it as a salesman for a perfume company. Why? Because he didnt want to put the work into it. Well not unless I was doing it too. If I was, then he'd bitch I outsold him or something else and find a way to let me do it all by myself while he sat back and reaped the profits.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

More Deerfield Park memories...planning a wedding

By the time we'd gotten into the apartment, he'd proposed to me. The only thing we had at the time use as an engagement ring was the one my gramma had given me for my graduation. The only thing he'd put towards it was the cost of resizing it ($10). The bands were purchased by me a couple months before the wedding. I remember dad being upset that Jim hadnt bothered to call and ask for permission for my hand as is custom. Dad had to find out from me. My mom was happy because she was finally going to be making the wedding dress that she'd been dying to make. There was alot of back and forth with my mom with materials, styles and sizing. There didnt seem to be as much fighting at this point as I was totally consumed on making everything just perfect and when I had my questions answered, he'd slip off to his room to be alone. Unfortunately, Im a champagne taste and we were on a cheapo bogo (buy one get one free) store brand soda only type budget. Much of what I had was handmade, which is fine. The quality of the supplies I had to work with was debateable to be honest but it was the best I could get with what I had. I made my bouquet, the maid of honor's, the arm bouquets for the bridesmaids (3), the basket for the flower girl, and the boutonnieres (8).

He wasnt thrilled with having to give up his room for a month though. My folks came in the week prior to the wedding as mom had to do some last minute fittings on the dress. I seem to remember that he was on his best behavior for the ~most~ part. It's either he was or I've totally blocked any unpleasantness out at this point. I dont recall being made overly miserable though. There was one episode while my folks were there though that came to mind the other day while I was writing about the time he stepped on me. That one was the first and not the last time I got hurt by him. Both were accidents...as they were done while he was dreaming. This particular one we had gone to bed and my folks were sleeping in the livingroom. I had suggested the bed for them but they'd said no, they brought stuff so they could "camp out" (Im glad they did as Jim gave me hell for just suggesting it, cant imagine what he would have said if they'd said yes to the bed). I dont recall him reading anything much before bed, but I could be mistaken. This particular night he had a humdinger of a nightmare and unlike most nights when he yelled out first, there was nothing but silence. All of a sudden I woke up crying and having trouble breathing. To say I was disoriented would be an understatement. I had no clue why I was crying and damn why couldnt I breathe? Then I realized his arm was over my chest with a friggin deathgrip on the other side of the mattress. Next thing I remember, mom was at my door knocking and asking if I was ok. I seem to remember saying yes, I think so. "Are you sure starshine?" "Yes mom, Im ok. I love you." After she left the door I addressed the situation on hand and asked him WTF he thought he was doing. I got the response that I was falling off the bed and he had to save me. *Ugh*. I told him that my ass was quite firmly on the bed as I was lying on my back and he could let go. Next morning, he of course had no friggin clue where that bruise on my chest showed up from. When I asked him... "so...how'd you sleep last night?". He knew there was a problem. That seemed to be the last episode like that in the apartment.

Flash to the wedding rehearsal. I still couldnt shake the feeling that this was definitely not right. Why I didnt discuss this with mom I have no clue. I couldnt talk to my friends as at this point I didnt have many and those I had werent opening up on the feelings they had of my to be hubby. The bridesmaids were all his sisters so they wouldnt have been any help. I felt like that scene from the Emperor's New Groove where Kronk is dealing with what he calls his shoulder angels. One was saying, "Look the church doors...your folks are here...it'd be so easy to just leave right now and not look back."...the other one was telling me "but all these people came and some from out of state just for this occasion". I felt trapped. I knew what I was wanting (run, run, run!!), but then there was the other side of me who felt obligated to go through with the motions. Man, I wish I'd gone with my gut and allowed the instinct for survival to do what it wanted. He was upset after the rehearsal dinner because my mom had said he wasnt going to be allowed in the apartment the night before the wedding...and all 5'0.25" of her stood her ground about it. He ended up having to sleep at his folks that night. God it felt great to have that bed all to myself.

After the rehearsal, my family, maid of honor and me retired back to the apartment. Maybe I should say mom instead of my family as I think dad and my bro took off for part of the night and it was mostly us girls. I remember sitting on the floor as we were all talking and having my hair put up in ragcurls for the night. It took several yards of fabric and 3/4 can of mousse to get them set. I looked alot like a Raggedy Ann doll once they were all in *laffs*.

I remember getting ready the next morning. My mom undid the ragcurls while I was polishing my nails. Damn hair didnt get dried so she had to use the blowdrier with a diffuser attachment to get it finished up. A curling iron and half a can of hairspray later, my hair was done. Once my nails were dry and my warpaint was in place (just kidding THAT didnt take as long to do), I got into a shirt and pants for transport. You should have seen the excitement at my apartment building when the limo pulled up to take me to the church.

Once at the church, we went to the basement (it was their banquet/meeting area) to get ready. Up to this point I hadnt walked in the dress with the train on (mom made it detachable so it'd be easier at the reception) so I was walking circles in the center of the room. Mostly I was trying to work out a case of the jitters. I guess at this point I was still trying to convince myself it was all in my mind and nothing was truly the matter...things would get better. It was just wedding day nerves right? As my party and I ascended the stairs to the main level the jitters got worse and I really did NOT want to be doing this. "Oh look...there's the door...last chance to change ya mind..." I managed to get down the aisle without incident. That's not to say the wedding went without it's hitches. There was the incessant kicking noise because the ring bear wouldnt sit still and was hitting the mic over there on accident. Now before anyone gets on me about harping on this...the child in question was 8-9 years old and more like a junior attendant than anything. Yes it was boring but still. I could understand a child of 4 or 5 acting up but he was certainly old enough to sit still for an hour... at least he always managed it when he went to church on Sundays. Then there was the father boutonniere that ended up on my chest after we went through the hugging of the parents bit that a Catholic ceremony has you do. How do I know it was one of the fathers? Because it was white and they were the only ones with white roses. We had a photographer that held us hostage in the church longer than he should have for pictures. Why? Because it was overcast and the location I chose (a restaurant with a great view of the local lake) wasnt going to make a good backdrop with the choppy waves. Needless to say the happy exit the bride and groom make with everyone lining the walkway throwing birdseed...didnt happen. When we *finally* were allowed to leave, the limo driver was pissy because he had another wedding after ours and the long, romantic drive that usually gets to happen? Well it didnt happen either....not that I blame the driver any. On the drive we had champagne in the back. Let me rephrase this...I had a half glass, my maid of honor and the best man each had about a half glass (it was pretty noxious stuff anyhow...definitely NOT Asti). The groom, however, managed to polish off the entire rest of the bottle (LARGE bottle mind you) and was pretty much pickled by the time we got to the reception. Let me tell you he had a pissed off wife when we arrived. I put on my theatre face and just kept going. The rest of the day went without much of a hitch...well except when we went to leave. They (the groomsmen) had messed with the car as is custom. In the process of "decorating", they'd removed a sparkplug and replaced it with something else that exploded when the car was started. So our decorated glitter spewing out of the vents (4 damn vials worth!!!) car now didnt want to work and the only one who didnt think it was funny was the groom. Have you guessed yet that he said something about it when we were headed back to his folks to the other reception? You did? Well damn.

That night was escaped to a hotel before heading out for our 2 week honeymoon. Let me rephrase this....1 week torture going through all the damn battlefields from the Civil War (he INSISTED on going...I thought this was supposed to be fun for the BOTH of us?)....THEN a 1 week trip to the Poconos (and the only sun we saw was on the first week...I ended up having to wear longsleeves because I ended up with sun poisoning...it rained during what was supposed to be the romantic part of our trip).

Sunday, July 15, 2007

From Schepps Lane to Heritage Park

During my stay there, I usually slept on the sofa. It was actually quite comfortable in the autumn as the temperature wasnt really all that bad. Come the cold weather, however, sleeping on the sofa wasnt exactly the best place to be sacked out. his mom liked to do what most people up north do, turn down the thermostat a bit at night to save on energy. They had small bedrooms so the rooms for the most part stayed pretty cozy all night so long as the doors were closed and you threw on an extra blanket. Woe to those who were stuck in the livingroom to sleep though as it got very very chilly even WITH the extra blanket. Jim, noticing one night how chilly it was, suggested that I sleep in his room. Mind you, there was only a twin size bed in that room and no way in hell could both of us fit which means SOMEONE was going to have to sleep on the floor. Do you think he'd give up that bed even once in my stay there? Nope. Not even once. Not EVEN after the one night that he managed to hurt me.

Jim was (and is) a history buff. So much so that every waking moment is used for learning more history. History games, books, documentaries etc etc ruled his days. I should have known that there was no way in hell anyone would come between him and that mistress for sure. When I say every waking moment, I mean even up to lights out he'd be reading about something historical and he had this tendancy to lean towards wars. Did I mention that he also walked and talked in his sleep? One night he woke me out of a deep sleep because he was screaming "In COMING!!"...he'd been reading about one of those wars again and there were missles involved. *sigh* Ok I can handle an episode of this, really, so long as it's not every night and it didnt occur every single night. One night was particularly bad. Im not sure wtf he was reading but he woke up screaming. I was lying on my left side with my back to the bed as usual and as I started to turn onto my back and get up to try and calm him, the dream took a turn for the worst and he tried to get out of bed. Yep, I took both feet to the ribs as he swung his legs out of bed and attempted to stand up. God that hurt. Of course I screamed out and began crying which shifted his dream I guess because he sat there and tried to comfort me. Thankfully I could still breathe and it didnt feel like anything was broken. The next morning when we got up and were getting ready for work, he walked in on me changing in his room and saw the huge bruise on my ribs. He asked me where I got them from , figuring I got them while at work. I looked at him square in the face and said "You stepped on me asshole...those bruises are your damn fault". Last I knew, he never set his feet straight on the floor again while getting out of bed. He'll sit up with at least 6" between his feet and the floor and then slowly set them down.... even in his sleep. Yeah I should have left him then, but it was an accident and not purposefully in anger.

We looked for several weeks for just the right apartment in the right location. I should rephrase that to say, I looked for several weeks. Even though he was all set to get his own place, he just didnt have the drive to actively look on his own. This was a huge flag of things to come when it came to something as simple as job hunting. I found an apartment in that week's ads in a very nice section of town close to where I was working at the time and wanted to go see it. They had a good deal in the ad. Lease with them and get the third month rent free. He waited until the next week to bring me. Can anyone say too late? I know you can...go ahead. We all know the deals in this week's ads are good only for how long? Usually this week only. We want to remember this.

Heritage Park apartments were (are) located in Liverpool, NY. They were a few minutes away from the Stylish Women warehouse where I was working. Granted he'd have to drive a ways for his job, but it at least cut our travel in half as he wouldnt need to make 2 trips to Liverpool for me. Plus if he had to work late there were a couple gals that lived close enough where they could drop me off if need be. We talked with the leasing agent and had mentioned the ad. She had verbally said yes to it but never put it in the lease. When the error had been discovered (that the ad was from the previous week and she shouldnt have said yes to it), it had gotten to that third month so I didnt pay the rent. A week later they called looking for the rent and I told them that the agent had said the third month was free. I was told that the ad was for the week before (it had been a month ad and we'd seen it on the last week of the run for the special) and that we'd leased at the first of the month which didnt fall under the special. We went in and worked out an arrangemet with the leasing agent (the dimwit) and arranged to pay the rent every 2 weeks as it had thrown our finances out of whack. A couple months later we get a call from the owner and no we cant be paying it that way and no that other agent no longer works for them. *sigh* Needless to say we ended up having to move again.

Im not remembering any specific fight here to be honest. I do remember there were alot of them and most of them about money or how I embarrassed him for this or that or I kept him waiting too long when he came to pick me up from work....like I can really control that. I remember alot of times going to a closet to cry. I dont know why, I just felt safer there...not that the doors would have stopped him if he wanted to do anything. I do remember being miserable, especially when that crap came down with the leasing office. Damn jerks. Stupid me for not getting it all in writing though and boy you can bet I caught hell from him over this even though HE had alot to do with the problems too.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Memories of Schepps Ln

Schepps Lane was the next step in my housing. His folks had (and still do for all I know) a beautiful 2 bedroom home in Kirkville, NY. It used to be a 3 bedroom but when Jim's sisters all got moved out and into their own homes, the small bedroom in back got converted to a den. The area that used to hold the room's closet got converted to an office cubby. It was just big enough for the desk and a file cabinet.

They had a front door which wasnt used for much but deliveries or during trick or treating. The front door led straight to the livingroom. The entrance that everyone used was through the garage and to the side door which led right into the kitchen. Ruth had (has?) a very nice kitchen that always smells so damn good. Very often she'd be making bread, lasagna or something else and if not that then she was canning or making homemade pasta. Yummy. I loved her to death. She was always sweet and kind and very rarely got overly angry about anything. Oh dont get me wrong, she'd reprimand you but never yell...it was all in the tone. His father is where he gets his temper from Im sure. Jim Sr had quite the temper on him. Sr had worked on the railroad all his life and when things got lean and the money wasnt there to feed his kids, he went out and did what he had to to feed them...fish, rabbits, deer...whatever he could get is what they ate. As such, he held his kids to very high standards as he didnt want them to have to go through what he did Im sure.

I never felt overly comfortable in their house as Ruth kept it spotless. I swear she wiped things down, vaccuummed and cleaned everything on a daily basis. Everything was spic n span at all times. Martha Stewart would have been proud to call her a sister...guarantee you that. Jim's 2 main chores at home (like they were to become in our household) were to clean the litterbox and take out the trash. That's it. Nothing else with the exception of upkeep on the pool in the summertime. That's not much to ask is it? I dont think it is. Well, when he knew his folks were out of earshot he'd bitch and complain about having to do any of it. Now wait...you are in your 20's, living room and board free with your folks and you are going to complain about 2-3 chores? *shakes head* I shoulda sold my shit and moved then because if he was going to bitch about it under his folks' roof you KNOW he'd do it in our home.

I spent that Christmas season with him and his folks. On New Years, his parnets pretty much got tired early and went to bed while we stayed up to watch the specials on for the night. Jim decided this night he wanted me to play one of his damn war games with me. I hated those friggin games as they were boring and much to complicated for me to keep track of. Anyhow I figured at least he wasnt locking me out of his room and so I played. Then idiotboy did the worst thing possible for him. He told me he was going to play it historically. This in and of itself isnt bad because I hated history and couldnt have told you what happened during this particular part of the war (the game was called D-Day). What WAS stupid on his part was to tell me what all happened and then tell me where all the troops were going to come into play. On top of all that he decided he was going to be the Americans and they won that day. Stupid man. Give me an underdog position and tell me how you're going to play then expect me to lose? Oh game on. I proceeded to disassemble his troops one group at a time and where the "good guys" had historically made it onto the beach? Well his troops never got off the damn boats because as they did...all my dudes were there annihilating them ;) (if you are afraid to come off the boats, dont try to invade Normandy). LOL !! Well we only got half through the game when he threw a fit (poor loser again) and tossed the game all over the livingroom. Then he stomped off to his room. He never asked me to play that one again. A few weeks later (?timing?) his best bud came G*came over and Jim decided to play another war game. He figured , I guess, that since it was a 3 way game I'd have a harder time defeating him and maybe he'd have a better shot at it. Nope. G* wasnt much of a wargame player and not so good on the strategy. All he was doing was slowing me down a little so I took out G* first and then went after Jim. Pretty much started whomping on him then too. If I recall he stopped playing that type of game with me.... I cant help it, I was raised to do my best and win if I had the skills to do so. He simply couldnt handle this. Ohhh...I should have used this tactic with the relationship...maybe HE would have walked out before me. Maybe this is why I stayed around so long, I didnt want to be beaten at this game. Maybe this is why he was the way he was, he was trying to get me to quit before him....so he ultimately won overall. Well damn that sucks.

As Im thinking back, Im beginning to realize that his folks seemed to treat me better than him. I rarely got hollared at...just a disapproving look now and then. I always tried to live by their rules though. I was under their roof so it was only the right thing to do. One has to wonder if there was something going on well before I showed up....was there relief when they realized that someone was taking him off their hands *finally*. If there was, one has to wonder if they understand why I left the way I did. I guess I'll never know. I could have found out for sure in May as I was in the area, but I didnt have the guts to face them then. I dont think I ever will.

I remember a blow out he had with his folks around Christmastime. Two of his sisters were over with their families celebrating the day. Their children (4 for the one and at the time the other had 3 + 1 very little one - this same sister has 7 or 8 now) were in the finished basement playing (Jim and Ruth had a tv and bar down there as well as Jim's weightset...there was also a wood stove to warm the place up). When they all left, Jim had gone down for something and raised a ruckus because the kids had gotten into my boxes of stuff which we had temporarily stored down there and strewn alot of my belonging everywhere (including some clothes I would have rathered the kids not find... if ya know what I mean). His folks had a point that the stuff shouldnt have been down there any how, but on the other hand I had no where else to put it. I think it was shortly there after Jim decided we were going to move the minute we had the money (yet he'd never save, he'd still spend it like water).