Checking In, Part 3

What else have we been up to? Let’s start with the trip back! I probably should have led with that but what fun is that? I’ll take you up to the present and then take you all the way back two weeks.

I got there Friday night. He picked me up. We stopped to grab something to eat along the way home. It was Dairy Queen. It was on the way and it was fast, plus since my plane didn’t get in until after 9:30 it wasn’t like we had a huge selection of choices. He had promised his parents we would stop by on our way home. We didn’t get to their house until after 11. We didn’t get back to his house until around 1 and then of course, he wanted to show off his Air BnB and all the hard work he has done.

It looks gorgeous! He’s done a great job. But the tour meant we didn’t get to bed until around 2 am, which wouldn’t have been a horrible thing but we were meeting his son and his wife, plus his parents he’d invited the night before, for breakfast at 8:30 the next morning (or more appropriately- later that morning). I would like it to be known that I was ready the following morning. He was still in bed at 8:15. We rushed over to the restaurant and had a leisurely breakfast and visit. His son and I are united in our unhappiness over our lack of coverage in the mobster’s father’s Christmas newsletter. T’s new boyfriend got a full mention and a picture in it last year! I’ve been around for four years and my name was not mentioned once! C apparently wasn’t happy with his coverage either. I think he might have been given a single line and he’s been in the family since birth! So it’s nice we can bond over that.

We met up with one of our Pokemon friends so I could do a lucky trade (not that means much to anyone who doesn’t play Pokemon Go) and then headed back to the house so that the mobster could pack. Yes, in all of his zeal to finish up the Air BnB he neglected to pack anything. Thankfully he was only planning on taking clothes until he finds a place and can move everything up. No sense in paying storage fees when he’s got a perfectly good house. Long story short by the time he was finally packed and everything was put into the car and truck (oh yes, he bought his truck back so he drove that while I drove his car) and we had gassed up and were ready to be on the road it was around 4 pm. 

Let me tell you how the original plan was going to work. First, we were both going to be in the same car. We were going to leave sometime in the morning- not super early but probably no later than 11 or 12. We were going to stop along the way at various places and spin new PokeStops and play some- Lover’s Leap, Charleston. I even had hope that if the restaurant at Chateau Morrissette was open again we could have brunch there. It was going to be a leisurely trip. We might stop and actually eat at a sit down restaurant instead of grabbing fast food. And we would spend the night in Chillicothe, having one last night in our home away from home. We would wake up and have brunch at The Pour House. I would have a mimosa. We would go to the park and play Pokemon Go for a little bit. And then we leave again around noon or so and make various stops along the way so that we could play Pokemon Go, because we’re Pokemon Go geeks and that’s what we do. We would stop in Dayton, Van Wert, and Fort Wayne, and finally get into town sometime between 6 and 8 probably.

As you can tell from the previous paragraph this plan did not go well. We drove separate vehicles. We left way later than we intended. We didn’t go by way of Lover’s Leap, which meant we weren’t going to be near the winery. We took the way that was about 30 minutes longer but didn’t include going over a mountain. We stopped at a McDonald’s to get food but the line was so damn long and slow that we ended up going across the street to the Wendy’s which only had one car in front of it. That was a lie though because they were just as slow! We finally got to Charleston right as it was turning dark and we quickly realized it was not a great part of town. Plus, it was very busy! There was a huge, bustling hospital not too far from where we were. We had planned on parking and then walking around to play Pokemon. That was not going to happen. One of us drove, while the other person spun, and all total we spent maybe 20 minutes there before heading back to the truck. I was tired. He was tired. Plus, in the dark with all the bouncing he couldn’t see out of his mirrors real well so we opted to stop for the night as soon as we could. We didn’t make it to Chillicothe. Instead we diverted to Ripley which was another city we had spent time in. The best part was it was only 30 minutes away.

We got to the hotel. They only had king suites available. I didn’t care at that point. We ordered pizza and breadsticks from Dominoes, watched some TV, and went to bed. We were both exhausted.

The following morning we ate breakfast at the hotel and went out to play some Pokemon Go in a new town (while we had been to Ripley before we hadn’t been there since the mobster introduced me to the game). I had already checked to see if Chillicothe was too far out of the way for us and as it turned out it only added about 20 minutes to the trip. So, we drove to Chillicothe, played in our favorite park for a while, met a very nice couple who had just three Great Dane puppies (they were super cute!), and hung out at High Five Cakes bakery for a bit while enjoying the treats there. We were on schedule to be taking off at the targeted time when the mobster got a message about a booking for the Air BnB. That resulted in us not leaving for about another hour. We did not stop in Dayton. We did not stop in Van Wert. We did not stop in Fort Wayne. I’m positive we did stop to eat somewhere but I couldn’t tell you where.

Oh yeah, and on our drive from Chillicothe I had to abruptly pull off the road and find someplace to go to the bathroom because I got intense stomach cramps about 20 minutes into the trip. One too many fiddlesticks, I think. It was almost the bike trail all over again and I wasn’t having it!

We finally pulled into my driveway around 10:30 that night.

It was not the trip we envisioned but it got the job done.

My mom left the next morning to go visit my niece in Kentucky and our cousin in Virginia. That meant we did a lot of eating out or bringing food home. I’m not much of a cooker. I know I did make one casserole that they both wanted.

His first weekend up here I took him to the Farmer’s Market. He was as delighted as I knew he would be. He loved it! We bought a ton of fresh produce, amongst other things. I introduced him to the diner there as well.

Later that day we visited a few wineries. I took him to Lemon Creek first, which is one that my mom and I had been to before. After that we went to The Round Barn and that’s where we stayed for the next several hours. It’s a beautiful venue. We ended up doing lawn seating. For some reason they only offer one pre-designated flight and it includes a beer sample. We each tried a flight and a glass of the cranberry wine. The flight samples were huge although we both dumped out the beer after tasting it. I also ordered chili cheese nachos and a lobster roll for us to share. Later on he went back and got me a frozen vodka lemonade and he had the frozen wine slushie. We hung out in the sweltering heat and watched all the bridal parties come and go. Wineries seem to be the new place to go for your bachelorette party. And everyone is dressed up. I keep forgetting to put a dress on before going.

I don’t remember what we did on Sunday. Saturday took a lot out of me. Wait! I know we went down to Plymouth so he could face off his products in two stores. I also know that during the week between my mom leaving and coming back he spent a lot of time cleaning out the closet room to make room for a dresser and to get my home office up and running, and cleaning out the shed to make more room for all the things I now have placed in bins out there. I have winter clothes I will probably never wear again because they’re out in a shed and I’m not going outside in negative degree weather to dig through a bin to get clothes to wear.

My mom got back on Wednesday and the following night we went to a baseball game. I had some fantastic Philly cheesesteak nachos while I was there. Friday they both came downtown to meet me for lunch. Our city has Playtime on the Plaza or something like that where a band comes and plays from 11:45 until 1:15, and food trucks are on site. Unfortunately the only truck selling food was only selling fries so we ended up going to one of my favorite Mexican places instead. We sat out on the patio though so we could still hear the music.

And now we’re back to the beginning with him dragging me to a park in my jammies after promising me coffee. It’s been a whirlwind. I’m not sick of him and I don’t think he’s sick of me. He’s quite excited about everything that’s going on in my town. Like I said earlier, golf lessons and cross country skiing seem to be in my future. We’ve both sloughed off on our eating and exercising but the trails at that park, along with all the different paths we can explore, have us both excited to strap on our shoes

Checking In, Part 2

Life with the mobster so far has been bliss, aside from the fact that I think he’s going to kill me. Seriously. Just the other morning we were out to grab a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. That’s his most favorite place in the world. We had not gone since he arrived in town so we were woefully overdue for a visit. I jump in the car in my jammie pants and a long sleeve shirt I had just bought because it was a little chilly out in the morning, especially compared to the 150% humidity we had just experienced earlier in the week. I only slightly exaggerate on that statistic. Anyway… we hop in the car, go through the drive-thru and then he says to me, “Where’s the nearest park?” I’m thinking, “Oh that will be nice. We’ll drink our coffee and have our donuts in the park.” That is not what happened.

We drove to a beautiful park that I don’t recall ever going to. It was huge! Trails all over the place. We got out of the car and began walking the trails. Folks, I will remind you. I was in my jammie pants. They were obviously jammie pants. A long sleeve shirt. No bra. I was a walking advertisement for one of those People of Wal-Mart memes. I think we walked a mile. And we encountered numerous people, most of whom we spoke to! By the end of the hike I needed to arrange for golf lessons and buy cross country skis. ‘Cause we’re going to start doing all of that.

We then went to the Farmer’s Market (for the second time), bought way too much stuff, had breakfast, took our wares home and put them away, drove to Ironhand Winery and bought a bottle of East Race Red for the three of us to share (it was cheaper than all three of us buying a single glass) plus an appetizer, picked Picasso up from work, dropped him off, then drove up into Michigan to go to Gravity, another winery. We had samples there and ordered food from the food truck. We stayed until closing time, and then drove back to Indiana and went to McKinley Tap where we had another drink, ate some more food, and then played two rounds of darts. That was Saturday!

Sunday we took the dogs for a walk and then as we finished up he asked me if I wanted to take a bike ride. No! We were planning on going down to the Blueberry Festival and would be walking around for the next four hours or so! I had to stop the insanity.

Again, I bought way too much. Of course, every year I buy my dogs gourmet dog treats from one of the booths. I also bought some other little things. I also ate way too much. We had the most delicious steak tips with mashed potatoes and mushrooms, and then we each had a grilled pork chop. They wrap it in aluminum foil and give you a napkin. It’s amazing! I ended up having a pineapple whip after the fireworks and didn’t eat a single blueberry donut so that’s something to be proud of.

The fireworks were outstanding! They always have an amazing show. Honestly, this is a small town. It’s a mostly rural county. But they have the best fireworks I have ever seen. Mid show they have what would normally be most town’s grand finale. And they do it several times with all sorts of fireworks going off at once. At this year’s grand finale the fireworks created a canopy of color in the sky and the show ended with a loud boom and the hillside on fire. And I do mean on fire. Flames were shooting up from the hillside. I have watched this display every year since 2017 (minus last year when Covid canceled the festival) and every year I know I’m watching it with an expression of awe. The mobster filmed some of it but I’m not sure how well it looks on the small screen. In person though it’s wondrous. Absolutely marvelous. If you’re ever around Plymouth, IN on Labor Day weekend I highly recommend the fireworks at the Blueberry Festival.

Last part of my check in rolls out tomorrow!

Checking In

I meant to publish this at the beginning of the month when I was actually in D.C. but I had some problems with the internet. I wouldn’t mention this except I do mention timelines a little bit so it may be a little confusing. Just imagine you’re reading this at the beginning of September, instead of the end.

My, my, my…. time flies when you’re having fun! It’s been two weeks now since the mobster has made his big move. So far, so good. He doesn’t seem to be sick of me yet. He starts running his new business this Thursday which is why he’s back there and I’m sitting in an Air BnB in Washington D.C., waiting for my son and his friend to wake the hell up so we can get on with our day!

This was my graduation gift to him. We didn’t do anything else. No party. No graduation announcements. He chose not to walk. Hell, he almost didn’t graduate! He had an English final to take by 11 am on a certain date and that day came and went without Mr. Chill Guy bothering to take the final. Must have slipped his mind.

Yes, yes, yes. There was something I was supposed to do today. Can’t, for the life of me, think of what it was. Water the grass? Nah. Feed the dogs? No, that’s not it. Oh yes! I needed to take an English final so I could graduate. Hmmm…. bummer. Oh well! Maybe next year!

I swear to God, when I pressed him about it, all shocked and outraged as a mother with PTSD from arguing with her kid about school since freakin’ 2nd grade might be, he looked at me, not a worry in his eyes and said, “Whatever will be, will be.”

Are you fucking kidding me? You don’t get it, son. This is not about you not graduating. This is about me not being able to take another year of fighting you on the importance of graduating from high school.

I’m dead serious. I have been fighting this kid on the school issue since he was in 2nd grade, rolling around on the floor having a meltdown because “school is boring!” Of course, when I talked to the teacher, who in turn talked to the gifted and talented specialist, he then complained that he didn’t know why he was being punished for being smart by having to do more work. He had seen the other kids, the ones that struggled with school, be rewarded with getting to play video games when they completed their work. Why couldn’t he get that deal? Second. Grade.

He did well in school through eighth grade and then came high school which was a nightmare. He went from being an A/B student to being an A/B/C/D/F student, depending upon the class and the teacher. Sometimes he was pretty much a one A and the rest Ds and Fs student. Except for that one grading period where he got straight As, of course.

I went from, “I’ll support your decision to not go on to college but don’t shut any doors; you might change your mind later,” and “Do your best whether you’re going to continue on with school or not. I know you’re capable of this,” to “Just get a fucking D and pass the class!” And again, he had problems with that stance. I apparently had given up on him. Jesus Christ! I had to explain to him that I hadn’t given up on him but I had certainly given up fighting him. As you can probably tell it has been a blissful four years. Not!

Thankfully, the counselor called me the next morning, also freaking out about this (See? She didn’t want to have to deal with him for another year either!). She let me know that another student also hadn’t taken the final and the teacher was willing to unlock the test so that both of these lovely students who obviously didn’t understand the importance of taking the final in order to receive credit for the class so that they could graduate could, in fact, graduate.

The funny part of this is the final in his English class consisted of two questions- both essay questions. Question 1- Describe your high school experience. Question 2- What advice would you give incoming freshmen? I think the teacher asked for a couple of paragraphs and the boy wrote a book. It basically boiled down to: High school was the worst experience of my life and depressed me beyond belief, and high school is an absolute waste of time and no one should bother with it unless they’re planning on going on to college. He pretty much advocated for homeschooling. Thankfully, he passed.

So here we are. We’re in a lovely basement apartment in the middle of D.C. I passed out around 11 our first night here and all I can tell you is that both boys were asleep when I woke up to take out my contacts at 3 am.

The next day we walked all over the nation’s capital. My phone registered over 26,000 steps. We’re still recovering today. I got up around 9:30 this morning and both boys slept until after 2 pm.

This was supposed to be about the mobster and his big move, though. Sorry. Seem to have gotten off on a tangent.

This seems to be as good a place as any to stop. This check in got way too long so I’m going to break it up a bit.

She Said What?

My mom is back at it again. We were walking through Lowe’s or Menard’s or some other home improvement store when she starts talking about these uber expensive toilets- like almost a thousand dollars for a toilet.

I asked aloud, “What in the hell does that toilet do for $1000?”

“Probably gives you orgasms,” my mother replies.

My son happened to be walking with us at that moment. I’m sure he probably knows what an orgasm is even if he hasn’t experienced one but I don’t think he needs his grandmother going around loudly proclaiming that the thousand dollar toilet gives you orgasms.

If that wasn’t bad enough we were out all day on Saturday. She complains about being bored if we’re not running around all weekend so I kept her busy. At one point she wanted to go check out a park and see what was going on there because she had heard there was some event going on.

Clearly there was some kind of race happening. She was insistent upon walking down the trail close to where the race station was set up.

“We can’t go down there! That’s where they’re racing.”

“Says who? They can’t stop me!” she declares.

Yep, she’s going to crash a race in order to get her leisurely walk in down by the river.

Busy Weekend, Expensive Weekend

I must note the fact that we have now moved into August. That’s so hard to believe. We are more than half way through 2021. Five months until the ball drops. Five months until Christmas. And, seeing as how it’s August it won’t be long until the temperatures drop and we have to put away our sandals, which is a bit of shame because I bought five pairs over the weekend. This is why I try to be a couch potato over the weekend. If I’m out I’m spending money and this weekend I was definitely out.

Last weekend I spent the entire weekend in my jammies. It was divine. I watched YouTube clips and perused Facebook. Slept naked and put my jammies on in the morning. They were ultra comfortable. Didn’t wear a bra all weekend. Moved from my bedroom to the couch to the table. That was pretty much it. My mother was not happy. She’s always on a quest for adventure during the weekend. 

“Where are we going to go? What are we going to do?” She’ll go places just to be able to say she’s done something. I knew I was not going to get away with another jammie weekend.

Friday I got home a little late. I had an eye appointment at 4:20 and afterwards I did some shopping for my office. I have an office now, you know, and it’s pretty sparse. I’ve been in it for 2 or 3 weeks now and I haven’t really decorated aside from the things I had on my desk previously. So I bought some fake plants and a new lamp because my office is very dark. I got some things for my “office kit”- ibuprofen, chapstick, eye drops, lotion. All those little things you don’t necessarily want to carry around with you but it’s nice to have. I also got some snacks and drinks to store in my office.

Saturday morning we went to the Farmer’s Market. We got a late start so we started off with breakfast. I had an omelet if you’re interested. I also ended up buying some products from a very nice gentleman who makes all sorts of products with lavender. I got 2 Christmas presents because I bought my daughter and my niece a salt scrub. Got myself one as well, along with a linen spray, a tea diffuser, and one single tea bag as opposed to an entire tin so I could sample the tea. Then I bought two cute little air ferns that I’m told will be difficult to kill along with their adorable little planters.

After that we went over to Howard Park to take a walk. We probably walked a good hour. Stopped and got a burger at little tavern right across from the park where we were served by a very nice but barely dressed young woman. Took our food home to put it in the refrigerator and then headed out to Costco so I could get gas and replenish my protein shakes. Plus I bought wine. I didn’t need it but I bought it. And some Keto crackers which I’m excited about. Next stop was the mall where we got mani/pedis.

Oh how I’ve missed this. I’ve been telling myself for the last few weeks I need to get one but I’ve been too damn lazy to move my ass off the couch over the weekend. To give you some kind of an idea of how long it’s been… My last pedicure happened in January when I went to see Rock Star. I used to get them monthly. My last manicure happened in March of 2020, right before everything shut down. I used to get them done every 2-3 weeks. I’m definitely going to get another pedicure sooner than 8 months from now.

Now that my toes were looking pretty again I was ready to buy some sandals. I have been wearing the same pair of cute little black flats all summer. I have worn another pair of black flats maybe 3 or 4 times since the weather has been warmer, but aside from those few times, it’s been this one poor pair of shoes. I desperately wanted some appropriate work shoes since the two other pair I had worn the previous summers had both worn out.

Let me tell you, it was not easy. They had lots of cute shoes on display but most of them were not in my size. They were either a half or whole size too small or a whole size too big. I was getting so frustrated.

We ended up walking the mall from end to end, hitting up different shoe departments before returning to our first stop. I finally found one pair that I could deal with, and I found 4 new blouses that were on clearance.

After the mall we tried TJ Maxx. I did find a pair there as well and I bought my dogs some dog treats since I was already there and they were in the checkout lane.

Then it was onto DSW Shoes. I hit the jackpot there. I paid a little more than I intended but I got two pairs of sandals and a really cute pair of boots that were already on clearance and I got another 40% off.

Written out like that it doesn’t seem like a lot but we left the house around 9:30 in the morning and didn’t finish up our day until around 8 pm. It was a lot of shopping. And we were going to do even more the next day.

We were going to go to Kohl’s on Saturday but it was getting so late we decided to do that on Sunday. Plus, I had forgotten to pick up a few things at Target when I was there the night before. Sunday ended up being a day for Target, Marshall’s, and Kohl’s.

I picked up deodorant, saline solution, Cards Against Humanity, and a crockpot for Rock Star at Target, plus a light bulb for my new lamp. My mom wanted to go to Marshall’s so we walked over there after I put my stuff in the trunk. That’s where I found yet another pair of shoes, two tops, and a few cute signs for office along with two cute plants. One is tiny and the other is an arrangement of sunflowers in a pickup truck. Trust me when I say it’s cute. I also spoiled my dogs and got them another bag of treats along with some new toys.

We made a stop for lunch at my favorite Mexican restaurant. I skipped the margarita because I knew it would make me tired but I did indulge in chips and salsa.s

Finally we headed to Kohl’s. I got a $50 gift card at Christmas and I hadn’t used it yet. I got myself a really cute new dress, 2 new bras, and 2 more tops.

I topped off my day with a visit with Sweet J who is finally back home for a little bit.

It was a very busy and very expensive weekend. And that is precisely why I try to stay at home in my jammies all weekend!

Oh What the Hell… Let’s Keep Going

Yesterday it was the picture my mom put up back in 2016 when I picked up the U-Haul that would transport what few belongings we were taking with us back to Indiana. Sam the truck driver, read the caption.

Today it was the little timeline notice showing that I had moved to South Bend on this day five years ago.

Wow- let that one wash over you for a moment. Five years since Jerry Lee lost his job and decided financially supporting his children wasn’t a priority. Five years since I walked through my house putting price tags on everything I owned to attempt to sell it. Five years since I sold off my furniture piece by piece. Five years since I packed up and moved here. Five years since I cried as I drove out of my neighborhood. Five years since I’ve lived in a house that is truly my own.

My view driving into my subdivision.
My house
My pool
My enclosed porch

A lot has changed in those five years, as you might imagine. I finally got a better job. My daughter is beginning her final year of nursing school in a month. My son has finally graduated high school. Shockingly, I found love again. I lost my beloved Beau. My mom lost her dog. I beat Jerry Lee in court over and over and over again. Fingers crossed he’s finally learned. And in about 3 weeks my love, my mobster, will be moving to my area. Hooray! No more weekends only. No more 2, 3, 4 weeks between visits. I’ll write about that more later.

I could be sad. I could wallow in sorrow over all that was lost. My word of the year is attitude and the word the year before was change. I’m going to look at it like five years ago my life began all over again. One chapter ended. Another chapter began.

One More Stroll Down Memory Lane

Since I seem to be in the middle of the dog days of nostalgia I figured one more post on the topic wouldn’t hurt. 

I was going to throw this in with yesterday’s post but that one got kinda long so I’m doing a separate one. Facebook hasn’t just been busy reminding me of all the “lasts” we did on our bucket list before we moved from Utah to Virginia. The kids and I created a list of everything we wanted to do one last time before we moved 2000 miles away. It isn’t just busy showing me pictures of the the new house we bought and then furnished and decorated. It has greater tricks up its sleeve than reminding me of our expedition to Indiana to see my niece graduate. We left the day after Rock Star and Picasso got out of school and Jerry Lee took that opportunity to shift his affair into high gear. It’s not content with taunting me with happy pictures of our return visit to Utah, one year after our move to see friends. All while I’m sending him pictures of me in my new dresses, smiling and checking in on him. And, of course, it’s not going to settle for only reminding me about our family vacation in Florida, the one that happened without a care in the world while he screwed his cousin. No, those aren’t the only pictures it likes to have pop up. It also likes to show me the progress being made on my pool.

I believe as far back as April I get a reminder: I signed the contract for our pool today! Hooray! Then again in May: They are finally out here digging! Progress!

I think I’ve told the story of how the pool construction was cursed. The surveyor who was supposed to verify where the power lines were didn’t do his job; he simply signed off on it. The guy who came out and began digging the hole for our pool ending up running over and cutting a power line. I had what felt like the entire electric company out in my backyard attempting to fix the problem- the problem being, of course, exposed live electrical wires.

It didn’t stop there. It rained like crazy that summer so construction was delayed. Then someone else was building a home and putting a pool in at the same time and I agreed to let them go first since it was supposedly an easier job. We had large boulders where the pool was supposed to go and we weren’t sure they were going to be able to dig 6 feet, much less the 8 feet I was hoping for so we could have a diving board. It cost $11,000 to remove them, on top of what we were already paying. It kept raining. Then the dye machine exploded on the day they were supposed to come over and do my concrete. Three weeks turned into six weeks turned into nine weeks. I know it was at least ten weeks. Instead of enjoying our pool sometime in late June or early July it didn’t get filled until August. Our contractor had someone come out and run the basic electricity so that the kids could swim, but we never had it set up completely with the lights.

This picture pretty much sums it up. My mom had captioned it something along the lines of: Sam enjoying her pool. Not!

I remember trying to be very Zen about the whole thing. I kept telling myself that while this was taking a lot longer than it was supposed to in the long run it would all be worth it and we would have years and years of enjoyment. Next year there would be no waiting. Ha! Next year it would be so impossibly dirty we couldn’t ever get it clean and we never swam in it again.

Believe it or not, I’ve made peace with that particular pool. In fact, I would go so far as to say that pool was my saving grace. Had it been finished earlier I would have already paid for it. That money set aside for our pool was what gave me a cushion. Plus, as I’ve always said, if he’d had more stock options he would have simply spent more money on the whore. In the end that big hole in the ground actually saved me. It’s disappointing as hell to know how much we paid for that and how little we got to enjoy it, but it saved me and my kids. There’s got to be some kind of metaphor or catchy saying here. You know, like, “It wasn’t the pool I wanted but it was the pool I needed.” Something like that. Maybe it’s as simple as that pool came into my life for a reason and everything worked out exactly like it was supposed to. 

Anyway, I try not to dwell on it. I loved that pool. I made all the decisions regarding it- the liner selected, the color of the concrete, the deck jets, the solar lights built into the pool deck, the colored lights, the bench, the steps to enter the pool. All of those things were my choices. Knowing what all it took to get the finished product it tugs at my heart a little when I see these updates in my memories. One more thing he took away from me.

I’m going to be glad when September rolls around. LOL

Damn You, Facebook!

I hope everyone reading my blog by now knows that I am completely over Jerry Lee. That shipped sailed the moment The Saint told me he had been spending his weekends with Harley while he lied to me and made up story after story. And I am probably somewhere in the 95-99% range of being over all the shit he put me through and the havoc he created. With that said Facebook can be a real meddlin’ bitch who stirs shit up!

If I let triggers rule my life I would have to be put into a coma somewhere around the beginning of May and be kept unconscious until the end of August. That’s pretty much when Jerry Lee pulled all his shit- both times! Much like my children have June and July birthdays which means I can pretty much always say, “They’re two years apart,” Jerry Lee was “kind enough” to make sure that both of my D-Days were in August. Four days apart! Except for the original D-Day which was not much of a D-Day because I was so stupid. That one happened in May- hence the medically induced coma beginning in May.

I looked on my Facebook memories and was treated to pictures of my kids and I on a “family” vacation in Destin with my mom, brother, sister-in-law, 2 nieces, and a nephew. I’m not triggered by the pictures of us on vacation so much as I am by what was going on behind the scenes.

See, poor Jerry Lee couldn’t come with us because he had to go on a “business trip” to Tennessee. That was the trip where his counselor and I both coached him on the arduous drive that he was unsure he was going to be able to make. We cheered him on and gave him all the atta-boys his little heart could handle. And then while the kids and I were in Destin Jerry Lee drove to Tennessee and met up with Harley. We’d been in Virginia one year exactly.

I look at those pictures and I see me and my kids enjoying our vacation, having a great time, with absolutely no idea what was ahead of us. We were carefree and happy. Approximately two weeks later I would find out my husband was a lying, cheating shit eating chimp, and about two weeks after that his kids would find out that the family they grew up with was no longer. In a 10 minute come-to-Jesus confessional they both found out not only had their father been spending his weekends hanging out with his new girlfriend in Kentucky but also his entire family knew about it and condoned it. His mother organized it and went on a date with them. It was to a funeral but still…

While the kids and I were on vacation, thinking that life was going on as normal, my husband was busy stabbing me in the back. I look at those pictures now and I think, “Oh my God! You were completely clueless.” And it makes me kind of sad.

Of course, this was also the trip where I spotted the Walmart purchase in Whoreville, otherwise known as Winchester, Kentucky. Looking back on it it’s quite insulting how stupid he thought I was. “D’oh, I gave my debit card to my mom so she could get a new tire for her minivan. That’s why that’s on there. I don’t know why it says Whoreville. She bought it in Lexington.”

Actually looking back it’s kind of insulting how stupid I allowed myself to be. In my defense I thought he was a whole lot smarter than that. Who in their right mind moves their family across the country, buys a brand new house, fills it with brand new furniture, buys their wife a brand new car, and agrees to install a brand new in-ground pool in the backyard which takes almost all of your stock options and requires a loan, and then turns around and cheats with the same damn whore you cheated with 2 years prior? Even more stupid than that, who in the hell buys the whore something from Walmart and uses their damn debit card when they know damn well that the other spouse can see the bank transactions and is checking on a regular basis because they’re on vacation with your kids? I do remember saying to myself, “He can’t be that stupid. He’s a smart man.” Not smart enough apparently.

God, he was such a shit. I remember being in Florida and him telling me the trip lasted longer than he expected. Then he told me that since he was already in Tennessee he was going to “try” to drive and see his mom. Would I be okay with that?

Would I be okay with him seeing his mom? Absolutely. I said as much. Something along the lines of, “She’s your mom. Of course I don’t have a problem with it. How could I say no to that?” Would I be okay with him fucking his cousin? No. I had no idea that to him they were one and the same. Okay with him continuing to slough off on our family vacation? Well then I must be okay with him fucking his cousin. And going to a goddamn family reunion that was set up knowing his wife and kids weren’t going to be there. It was probably their fucking engagement party knowing those inbred motherfuckers.

I don’t remember what set me off. All I remember is thinking that if he could spend money freely on his “mother” then I was no longer going to be keeping the purse strings closed for my kids. I took Rock Star on a very nice shopping spree. All the clothes she wanted. A Coach purse. Another Coach purse for me… after I had already bought a Kate Spade purse and wallet because the Coach purse I liked was a little too expensive. Oh you better believe I went back there a day or two later and bought the one I wanted. It was an outlet mall; it wasn’t that expensive. I bought for Picasso as well, but he had no interest in coming along.

I guess that seeing these memories pop up so close to my return trip to Utah has hit me in some way. I don’t want him back and while I freely admit I miss the lifestyle I used to have I can’t envision still being with him. The thought of being married to him and living life with him makes my skin crawl. I am 100% happier in this new life. Yet I look at those pictures and I can’t help but know that I thought I was happy and I was definitely a lot more innocent. I had no idea the hell that was about to be unleashed. I had no idea the changes and the hardships that were about to befall me. I was a sheltered, pampered stay at home mom with no financial worries and plenty of (maybe too much) time on my hands. Those pictures represent me before life kicked me in the throat. They’re a reminder of my old life, a life where I didn’t struggle and where I thought things were okay, maybe even mostly good. Those pictures are me and my kids before our lives were imploded and we were forced to change everything.

It’s not a bad life anymore. I’m not even sure I’m sad about it. It’s more like seeing a picture of a loved one shortly before they die. You look at that picture and you think to yourself, “I had no idea at the time that this would be the last time I saw them.” That’s what those pictures do to me. I look at the happy faces, the smiles, and I think, “That’s the last time my life was normal.” Approximately two weeks later I would join the ranks of women whose husbands had cheated on them and were planning on leaving for the other woman. I went from being a stay at home mom to being a working mom. I went from being a great mom to just being a mom. I went from living in my own home to living in my mom’s house. I went from no financial worries to worrying about money constantly. I went from being married for 20 years to being single. I went from living in Virginia to moving back to Indiana. I went from having furniture and dishes and towels to getting rid of probably 95% of everything I’d ever owned. Absolutely everything changed. Those pictures are the last pictures taken of me before I died, along with my old life.

Oh, don’t worry. Like the Phoenix I rose from the ashes. Maybe I’m even better than I was before. All that forged in fire shit. Not waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain. I did that. I’m still standing. But that woman in those pictures? She’s gone forever.

Back In Time

We got back from Utah last Sunday. Rock Star, her boyfriend, Picasso, the mobster, and I all went out for 10 glorious days. We went horseback riding, rafting, and hiking. We visited some of our favorite places and visited some new ones. The mobster finally got to see the Great Salt Lake and if asked, he would tell you, it smells to high heaven. We probably wouldn’t have gone if not for the fact we went horseback riding on Antelope Island and Antelope Island is in the middle of the Great Salt Lake. It was a great time and yet… I felt myself overcome with the feelz more than a few times.

I don’t know why. It’s not as if I haven’t been back since DDay and everything that happened. Then again, our other two trips were pretty quick and were for a specific purpose. First trip back was for Rock Star’s college visit. It was a long weekend and we weren’t even back in our area. We flew into Vegas and spent the entire time about 4 1/2 hours away from our town. Our second trip back was for our friend’s son’s wedding. We flew out Friday morning and flew back home Sunday afternoon. It was the mobster’s first trip to Utah and we tried to cram as much as possible into the time we were there, but the wedding itself took up almost a full day. Again, there was a purpose for the trip.

This time we were there to relax, reconnect with friends, and do all the things we used to do but could no longer because we don’t live there. There were a few bumps in the road but overall it was a great trip. I missed seeing some people but a week really isn’t long enough to see everyone, do everything, and eat all the food you’ve missed. You think it will be, but isn’t.

I didn’t spend my whole trip bemoaning the loss of my old life but there were times I did get hit with jolts of nostalgia. They were mostly tiny triggers but I could feel them some days. I would have the question, “Why was I being triggered?” but the answer to that is in the first sentence of this paragraph. I was constantly being reminded of my old life, the one that is gone, obliterated. I will never have it again.

So many things have changed out there and it was super frustrating. I kept feeling like I should know where I was going, especially considering the entire city is set up on a grid, but I kept getting so turned around. It’s not just that there are new stores and restaurants. They have new roads and highways. The Mountain View Corridor had just opened a year before we left, or rather, parts of the Mountain View Corridor had just opened. I remember it ran much further west than it did east. Now it connects to the freeways. 

I also remember driving along the opened parts, talking to myself or envisioning what I would say to Jerry Lee, Tammy Faye, or Jezebel, when shit first started going down. I remember screaming and crying after Tammy Faye had commented on how pretty Harley was in one of her profile pictures. I wondered at the time how on earth she could possibly compliment my husband’s mistress, knowing we were together still. It hurt me to the core that she could spend so much time telling her how pretty she was every two weeks when she changed her profile picture, but she couldn’t be bothered to tell me even once.

That new-to-me, finally completed corridor brings up a lot of memories, and not all of them are good.

The highway with the funny name (Bangerter) that ran from one end of the Salt Lake Valley to the other and which was dotted first with stoplights at the major streets, and then with weird left turn interchanges has been changed to overpasses with exit ramps where most of the lights used to be. There is still endless amounts of construction going on.

I would get on a freeway and think I would know where I was and then pass a store I recognized and realize I wasn’t where I thought I was. That, or the freeway was taking me in circles and I didn’t realize it before. Or perhaps I forgot.

There was the moment at Lagoon when we were standing in a massive line to buy tickets, only to turn around and stand in another line to enter the park. I looked over at the kiosks where the season pass holders could enter and recalled all the seasons we had summer passes. We’d go up for a few hours sometimes because it didn’t matter if we rode everything or not. We’d be back later that week, or maybe the next week.

I did laugh about the time I lost Rock Star and her best friend. They had gone off to ride the roller coaster and we somehow got separated. I came up with the genius idea to crumble up Doritos so I could spell out a message for them: Stay here! I came back twice to find the crumbs were scattered all over and thought birds had pecked at the pieces and helped themselves to a tasty treat. I found out much later that those two rotten girls had seen the message and just wiped the Doritos away so that they could keep riding the rides without interruption.

As our week progressed I pointed out places that meant something to us. Here’s Scheel’s, a huge sporting goods store with an aquarium that goes around the store and a giant ferris wheel in the middle of the store. That’s the aquarium I took the kids to; they just moved from Sandy to Draper as we were leaving. They’ve got penguins and an anaconda. Lots of cool displays and set ups. Here’s where we lived. That’s the grocery store I ran to when I was out of something. There’s Jordan Landing. Look at how much it’s changed! They’ve got a Cafe Rio and a Waffle Love now. That’s the Walmart where I grocery shopped. There’s my kids’ dentist office. This is where my kids’ pediatrician was. That’s where I used to get my hair done until my stylist started doing hair out of her house. Hey, where’s Lani’s Snow Cones? They used to be right here, in the parking lot across the street from my former vet’s office. And that’s the Real soccer stadium. Huge controversy when they built that despite the voters saying, “No!” Oh, and there’s the ER where I spent many a days with my kids. And here are the malls we went to. There’s the Trax station; that was just built about a year before we left. We used to take it downtown so we didn’t have to worry about parking. We even ended up stopping in Park City and going right by one of the gyms where Rock Star competed every February once she reached Optionals. And although we didn’t spend a lot of time hanging out downtown going back there and seeing the outdoor shopping malls, especially the one that opened shortly before we left, was difficult. This all used to be at our fingertips. There was so much and we gave it all up to move to Harrisonburg, VA where they didn’t even have an Olive Garden and the food court at their mall consisted of one Chinese place and an ice cream shop. There were so many memories that accompanied this trip.

The hardest part though was hearing my friend tell the mobster stories about me and who I used to be. It wasn’t a bad thing. She was being very complimentary. More of a, “Oh my gosh! Let me tell you how amazing Sam was!” 

Let me preface this by saying I don’t spend a lot of time talking to people in my day to day life about what my life used to be like. I’m pretty open about what happened to me as far as my husband cheating on me with his cousin, leaving Virginia without a word to me or the kids, and abandoning his children, but I don’t talk about what my life used to be like. I don’t go on and on about my former life as a stay at home mom, or a PTA president, or all the places I took the kids, or the things that we used to do. I do occasionally talk about missing my pool, but aside from that I don’t talk about the big house I used to live in or the shopping sprees I used to be able to go on. I don’t talk about my walk in closet or my multiple bathrooms or how I decorated the house because I had nothing else to do. The mobster and I talk about that part very little because it doesn’t matter anymore. It used to be. It’s not anymore. And to be clear it’s not as if that’s all my friend wanted to talk about but when telling the stories of our girls growing up together you end up talking about that previous life because that was the way things used to be.

My friend works full time. Always has. Our girls were the same age and best friends. I frequently took her daughter to Lagoon and the water park and hiking and the roller skating rink and all the other places we would go in the summer. Her daughter was the only kid I allowed to spend the night on a school night and vice versa. On late start days in middle school, if she slept over, I’d take them both to Kneaders for breakfast. The mobster was regaled with stories of how I did everything with and for my kids. I was constantly running them from one activity to another. I took them places constantly. I was always busy and always doing things with them.

My friend went on to tell the mobster how her daughter would come home and tell her, “She’s the best mom!” Yeah, that was me. I was the best mom, was being the important part of that sentence. Now I’m the barely-ok-sometimes-adequate mom.

The mobster was also treated to stories about how I was Ms. PTA President. I knew everybody. I did everything. I was so involved up at the school. As my friend put it, “Sam worked her ass off up at that school!” Yes, I did put in quite a bit of effort for Teacher Appreciation. I wanted my teachers to feel appreciated and loved. I enjoyed doing it. Everyone knew me. Everyone raved about me. Everyone loved me. I had a purpose. Today? I couldn’t tell you the names of Picasso’s teachers the last four years, with the exception of his biology teacher. That’s only because it was the same damn teacher I had for biology back in 1983.

Don’t get me wrong. This new life is not the path I thought I was going to take; it’s not the life I thought I was going to live. But it’s a good life. Most days I enjoy it and I’m happy. I met the love of my life. I have a job finally that will actually support me. I just moved into my new office. I didn’t sacrifice my kids for this new life and my happiness. Despite both of them struggling with mental health issues they are doing well. Rock Star is entering her senior year and moving in with the boyfriend. I have high hopes Picasso will return to work soon. I have accepted that the old life is gone. But damn- all of those memories, even if what my friend was doing was bragging on me and lifting me up, they still hurt. It was another realization that that life was over. Who I was back then is nothing like who I am now. I went from PTA mom who knew all the teachers to the mom whose son barely graduated high school. I went from being the mom who kept my kids busy five days out of seven (I rarely took them places on the weekends) to the mom that can literally stay in her pajamas all weekend long. I went from having good, close friends that I hung out with, went to lunch with, went on trips with, to having mostly acquaintances. I am not the same person I was and I don’t necessarily think it’s a positive change.

I think my kids got cheated out of a great mom. I had to go back to work and I had to work a lot in the beginning- 6 and 7 days a week in the beginning, crazy hours, very little sleep. Even now I don’t have time to myself like I once did and they suffer because of it. Instead of running everywhere with them and trying to find things they might like I would rather hang out at home and chill.

Going back there brought back how much Jerry Lee took from us, especially how much he took from Rock Star and Picasso.

It’s a bit overdramatic to proclaim that I will never forgive him for what he did; however, out of all of the things that he’s done moving us out of Utah and then ditching us for Harley is definitely one of his all time lows. I truly don’t think I’ll ever forgive him for that.

Ironically, my daughter’s boyfriend fell in love with Utah the moment he landed. They are legitimately looking into moving there after she graduates. It’s not only because of the boyfriend. 

Rock Star recalls her childhood as being amazing (and it was). Her friend told her she really appreciates how I didn’t let them stay on their screens all the time and took them places, which I found a little funny. I never restricted TV or phones. I just found things to do with them and took them. Plus, I didn’t have a smart phone myself for most of their early childhood. They didn’t have phones either until they were 5th or 6th grade so it wasn’t even me keeping them off of them. Rock Star envisions raising her children the same way, keeping them off of their phones and making sure they have plenty of adventures outdoors. The problem is my kids had that life because I didn’t work. I’m about 99% sure we would not have had season passes to the amusement park if I had to take them on the weekends throughout the summer. The lines are horrible. I hate crowds. I wouldn’t have done it. Our weekends probably wouldn’t have been jam packed with activities because I would have been tired after working all week. She’s comparing what I did for her and her brother as a stay at home mom to her being a working mom. I hope she’s better at balancing the two than I am. But she also talks about how everything feels so much safer out there. She wants to feel comfortable letting her kids ride their bikes and wander around their neighborhood.

If going back to Utah is what she really wants then I hope she gets the chance to do that. I know Picasso would return in a heartbeat as well. The mobster loved it out there and was ready to move, too, but he needs to be practical. His kids are all in the eastern part of the United States- West Virginia, Virginia and New Hampshire. As for me? I would love to return but there’s no way I could ever afford it. Thanks to the smartest man you’ll ever meet we sold our house for $20,000 less than what we purchased it for 8 years prior in order to make this cross country move for his “dream job”. Seven years later it’s going for around double what we sold it for. His genius continues. Because he let our house go into foreclosure neither of us has any money for a down payment, not that we would have made much of a profit seeing as how our mortgage was less than a year old when Jerry Lee took up with his cousin again.  Average homes in average subdivisions are going for $500,000 or more out there. I can’t afford a $200,000 home, much less a $500,000 home. You need a $100,000 down payment and your mortgage is still over $2000 a month. Unfortunately, it looks like I’m stuck here because returning to Utah permanently is out of the question for me. Instead, I’ll have to be content going back every few years and trying to relearn my way around the valley. Grrr!

Here’s to my next trip and fewer triggers.

The Terrible Tragedy That Time Forgot

Do you know what today is? It’s June 11th. That means yesterday was June 10th. It went by without notice by me. I mean, obviously I knew the date. I wrote several reports that day at work citing the date, but it did not give me a single pause.

I went back to see what I wrote about the date last year. Apparently I forgot about it last year as well. The year before I didn’t realize the significance until the day was almost over.

When my world came crashing down on me on that date back in 2016 I thought for sure I would never forget that day. That was the beginning of a very dark period in my life.

These last two years it’s gone back to being just another day and I am so thankful for that. Life does indeed go on. 

If there is one thing I could burn into the brains of those people who are just now going through what I went through it would be that it gets better. It really does. You may not believe it now but the pain will go away. You will gain a life. You will smile and laugh again. You may or may not find love again. You will find happiness. And you will forget those horrible dates.