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May31

Buy a country pile that is basic ruins and fix it up? Sure why not. At least that is an idea looming around in my head as I try to sleep these days. I have not been a great blogger lately but that is what it is because I have been very busy.

Later today I will be graduating and be able to teach. I have not decided if I will actually walk with everyone or not, I know it is a big milestone and all of that but there are other things going on that are bigger and the idea of sitting in a large space with a lot of people most of which I don’t know seems a bit meh to me. We will see how my brain swings in another few hours however. Never know, I swear I am getting as bad as Amby.

Gwen said notice came through that everything with Mom’s will and the stinking pain in the rear insurance is finally settled. So that is a weight off the shoulders. Still deep in mourning and I miss her everyday but it feels a little better to have those things closed at least.

Next month I will be leaving for Thailand to get my residence and the school ready for the at least 6 months I will be there, it could be longer. But I am also left thinking about what to do after I am done with that. Nothing in my life really looks like I thought it would right now. I thought I would have a significant other with me when I graduated and I thought I would be factoring all of that into my choices as I moved forward. That is not the case however, so I am left kind of going well what now.

Having been a student teacher in both the US and UK I can say the school system in the UK is superior and a much better environment for teachers and children. Funding is cut everywhere in the US and everything is so focused on standard tests and pushing students through to the next level, it seems to me that the art of teaching is being forgotten. Especially when it comes to children with special ED issues. I am sure there are some good places and programs but on a whole it really is a bit of a sad state. Common core math…..don’t even get me started on that one. So then what?

Within a series of instructions left by my Mom she asked that I think about home and hearth with my inheritance. It was not a you have to do this or you get nothing sort of thing, but it is something to think about. I am blessed that my cousin doesn’t mind keeping me around as a lodger but it would be nice to think about the future a bit and my own space. Even if it is something that hurts sometimes because I thought that would be done with another person as well. Can’t linger and waver forever right?

Cue watching some programs with Amby as neither of us could sleep and the BBC series restoration house. People taking on these historical properties that are falling into ruin and fixing them up. At first watch there is a cringe and wince and lord look at how much all of that costs! Entertaining to watch but nothing to consider seriously as something a modest income person could do, until the episode about Landshipping house. A stunning estate that is basically a ruin. A man and his partner who do 90% of the work themselves and re-purpousing materials they get for low cost to free. Taking a ruin that had no roof even and making it livable. Now that is something I could do.

I love working with my hands. I love building things. I am going to be building the modest quarters I will stay in while I work in Thailand. I can find some peace and solace when I am creating something with my hands. The idea of taking something that has a deep rooted history and bringing it back to life appeals to me a great deal. Maybe it is a laughable thought but I am seriously considering the idea. Maybe someday I will even have the family of my own (aside from the cousins and those kidlets which I LOVE) to put within the home. Maybe. Or maybe not. Either way I find myself looking at some listings and giving them some serious consideration. Foolhardy, maybe but I am enjoying the process at any rate. Mom loved history so I know the idea would please her as well, she always wanted to have a little “English cottage” to retire too and a couple of goats. She never said why the goats but it was a nice picture to us when we were kids.




Apr27

Last couple of days have been a bit of a whirlwind after the usual boring day to day stuff. I don’t like last minute planning but this is such a great opportunity it would be silly not to do what I have to do to make it happen. During lunch on Tuesday I got a tentative message about interviewing for a chance to get some teaching experience for Graduation while also helping underdeveloped areas in Thailand. Yesterday that got firmed up and later this evening I am going to be flying out for the interview process.

Normally something like this is something I would feel the need to plan for a long time for. Luckily I have known about this chance for a while so I am somewhat mentally prepared. They had a cancellation in the schedule and I went ahead and went for it. Why not right? Of course one person I do want to talk to about this bit my head off over a neutral reply to something and it just went down hill from there so whatever. That is a whole different kettle of fish that I just won’t air out here right now. Trying to get into a positive mind set I have a 12 hour flight ahead of me.

I of course have a song stuck in my head from Chess..so there is that. I really hope the interview goes well, I would like the chance to work with this program for 2 months (minimum) maybe longer. So time to get packing and of course get my anti malarial medication picked up from the pharmacy (precaution).

Get ready Thailand!

thailand




Mar14

Was not going to do Musical Monday this week as I have slacked about it anyways and I have not felt very musical the last couple days. However, dropping in and visiting A while she was at work I happened to come up as she was singing this song a capella just because. Stuck with me big time. Great song anyways but yeah one of those moments where without knowing it she was doing the right thing at the exact moment it was needed.




Mar12

I am very clearly a glutton for punishment. Or maybe I am way to Semper Fi or maybe it is a combination of all of it. Hard to say, but I think the time has come for me to take a card from a character in my favorite movie, enough now.

Funny how in the last three weeks this pair of songs has been constantly popping up for me on playlists and out in public.

Big flashing neon signs maybe and couple that with the very honest and pointed conversation with my buddy. I should have gotten the hint a long time ago.

I am by no means a perfect person. I make mistakes. I fuck up and I totally understand life is a shit and then we die. Doesn’t mean we can’t try to make the shit a bit better right?

I have gone through several tours of duty. I have worked hard to claw myself back from very bad PTSD I am the Son of a man who as murdered and yet the last year of my life has been perhaps the worst.

While my Mother was in what would become the decline before her death I was rather spectacularly dumped by the woman I love. Blamed for things that were not my fault and that I did not know about and called a lot of names among other things. Mom died and the one person I wanted to be there for me wasn’t. There were many fights with my sister about my evening wanting her around because of the spectacular dumping. The fights are on me I understand my sisters POV but still couldn’t change my wish at the time.

It is still an epic daily struggle to deal with the grief and loss rather then just give in to it. I promised my Mom when she first got sick I would do my best and that is a promise I work hard to stick to. My Mom also left a list of things she wished me to do and I am trying to do them.

Funny that one of the last things she added to that list had to do with the woman I loved. I didn’t think Mom had been lucid enough to remember when I told her about the woman. The time she was still having lucid moments was some of my hard PTSD time and I told her about things to tell someone. I guess I never should have under estimated my Mom.

Well Mom, I am sorry I have tried. I have tried very hard but I don’t think this list item is going to be a complete task.

Not to long before Christmas, she came back into contact. Her life imploded, things happened it has been hard. I get that. I am not some evil person who doesn’t get that. Despite being made to feel like I am so mean demanding person lately. I had a lot of emotions flare up when she came back. Pain was a big one, the biggest probably. But I loved her. I felt for what she gone through even though so much of it was brought on by particular choices that were made. Shit happens. We all make bad choices and no matter how bad the choices are there are somethings that no one should have to deal with. Period.

I listened. I was supportive. I thought about killing a guy. I got in the car to do it. I decided that wouldn’t be the most helpful thing to do and someone else handled some of it. I have worked hard to not only forgive but heal. I have been open and honest. I have dealt with mixed messages, getting snapped at and other things. I have tried. I am not perfect by any means and I have had my hard times as well. So I have tried.

I have begged. I have encouraged. I have given space. Now I am just at a loss.

Friendship seemed to be something that we both wanted after all the fall out. It seemed like a place to start and try to salvage what was had. Wasn’t going to be easy right? But if it was something we both wanted it was doable right? I thought so. Despite everything that happened I wanted to try.

Despite everything that happened, she & her Daughter were still the first thing I thought of every morning and the last thing before I went to bed.

Despite a heavy school load for graduation this year, two full time jobs and helping out with the family kids. I still thought about her often, tried casual and sometimes not casual (trying to open up and share some vulnerable times) text’s. Researching ways to help her Daughter. Delving into a massive crochet project (like a twat) in hopes of helping with some issues.

My reward? Feeling like the pestering jackass and basically being told I am a High maintenance asshole.

The basic reply I have gotten to a lot of things lately is, “Things are really hectic right now.” I get that. See the whole school and two full time jobs thing. Here is the problem if someone really means something to do you, if a relationship is really important shouldn’t you make an effort once in a while to at least say hey how are you? Or make an effort to have a little contact that isn’t all about complaining while the other person listens and doesn’t get to share their bad stuff? Or without being told time and time again how hectic things are.

I took the time to write a hand written letter back after telling everyone else in my life who writes that way I was on break with that until June. Why? Because I thought it was a kind gesture. I thought it was what was wanted and I thought it would be a nice building block for friendship again.

Even that blew up in my face.

Today was the last thing I needed to see to make me really see what a complete fucking moron I am. I finally get it.

After another round of life is hectic right now and a short list of why I finally as politely as I could manage spoke up. Friendships like any relationships take work. Friendships that are being built from the tatters of things, take some work too. When you tell someone you want to be their friend, try to be there for them isn’t that what you do? Yeah again I am not perfect I SO aware of that and have worked hard to be super understanding. But when I as politely as I can put out there that I think even in hectic life sending a text once in a while that says Hey how are you isn’t that much to ask and get slapped down about it. I have to reevaluate it.

The response I got was that friendships should be easy. That there are best friends had who can go for months at a time without being spoken to and aren’t offended. That I am going to push her farther away and excuse me for having a hard time putting my life back together.

I never claimed a need for every single day messages. Never claimed putting back together things wasn’t hard. But clearly I was asking to much. Clearly I am some big pushy asshole for needing to be reached out to once in a while to try and grow and nurture a friendship. I guess being asked what I needed and wanted in the hand written letter was just habit? Matter of rote? I don’t know but I can’t keep feeling like the bad guy for what I need. I can’t feel like the bad guy for despite everything not wanting to give up but need something, anything small that says I value you. I value us in whatever form that comes in. I am having a tough time but I care about you too.

I think about you too.

Trying not to feel like I am groping around in the dark looking for a hand that will never be there.

I was completely shattered almost a year ago when dumped but holding the pieces carefully I tried.

But I can’t be the only one and I can’t keep chasing.

I guess friendship was not in the cards.

Yeah I have friends who I can go months without talking to and talk to them and things are fine too. Those aren’t really close friends. Those aren’t friends I share deep emotional truths with. I value you them for want they are but that isn’t the kind of friendship I thought we both wanted. I was wrong.

I didn’t think I was being High maintenance in what I said. I was wrong.

I didn’t think I was that bad of a guy, I was VERY wrong.

I hate my life most of the time. I try and be positive, I try and keep going and I try to better myself. I thought I was doing a decent job of that. I was wrong.

Not holding a grudge, guess things just are the way they are.

But enough now.

I am of course going to complete the blanket I started because I made the commitment to do it who knows maybe it will be tossed or I am being an even an even bigger fool then I already have been for finishing it. Don’t think I can or should trust my instincts on anything anymore. Anything at all.

This has been a big epic moronic bunch of prattle and probably a big moronic idea to not make it private but I haven’t said anything here I haven’t already said personally to her and writing and posting and then writing later again in the journal privately may help muddle through.

Think my instinct and desire to try and make a difference in kids lives was misguided too. I am a Marine. I am a solider. As I was reminded with a job offer, I was built for one thing and trying to do anything else is foolhardy and a pipe dream.

I will graduate because like the blanket I made a commitment but the General was right. Guys like me are only good for serving the country when asked too we will fail at everything else be it jobs or relationships.

Time I accept that and stop trying to be anything else. At least a broken Marine is still a Marine. Time to accept the facts and take the generals job offer. Will have to let the blog domain expire when it’s up again if I do, drop instagram (was kind of having fun with that one or at least getting into it.)

Some jobs require you to go dark.

Semper Fi.




Mar02

JJournals

 

Another set of full journals. A sign maybe or of course could just be that I have been writing in them a lot. I don’t know. Been struggling and out there a bit lately. My friends comment hit home pretty hard and then I finished the last pages of these journals today. Kind of felt like the universe was saying something. I could be reading into that too. I do not seem to have much luck lately in reading signals of any kind. So I have pretty much no faith in my here is a sign picker these days.

I have a plain back up journal because of these ones being full and I knew they were getting there, but I don’t feel like writing in it. Not sure that is a good thing either. I just don’t know right now. I have been up and down and all over the place. I miss my Mom a lot. I am upset that she isn’t going to see A’s first born reach 1 year. I am sad that she wouldn’t  remember even if she did. She would have been so happy for A. Then there is other things, I just won’t go into in public. So yeah my picker is off. Apologies to anyone reading who is saying woah man depressing much. I work on the positive a lot and I manage most days but sometimes I don’t. I am human and I feel like I have been long chasing someone who doesn’t want to be caught. So stopping the chase. That can be hard too.

On the bright side, I seem to be pretty okay at crochet and I enjoy it. Met another solider who does it to keep him calm, like myself. Might not seem like a manly thing when you first look at it, but it is therapy and can save lives. Yeah I said save lives.

 

 




Feb29

Was looking forward to meeting with a few of my platoon pals today and overall it went well. Until I basically got called a big dumb ass fool. I know he meant well, I served with this friend for a long time and both of us have been walking a hard road back through PTSD and handling things the best we can. So I understand he came from a place of love and concern. It still wasn’t something nice to hear. Maybe he was right, maybe he wasn’t either way it hit like a big punch right to the face.

I was happily showing patterns, charts and plans for some blankets I am going to make and that is when the comment and the rest of it came up. Maybe it is stupid to think about these things everyday. Yeah he pointed out I am doing it for someone who dumped me, went poof and has been a bit spotty with the communication since. I mean yeah I get it we all deal with our shit and life is life. While I am still not sure how I feel about everything he said one thing was spot on. No matter how busy life is it doesn’t take long to send a text and just say hey whats up, or I am thinking about you. I don’t know maybe I just read messages way wrong in the letter I got and responded too. Maybe I am a a big fool for thinking as much as I do about her and her daughter. Several times or more a day. More when I am planning things like I have been recently to make and try to help. I basically told him where to stick it and that he didn’t have all the information and he doesn’t because I don’t always share everything, but I don’t know.

It is hard to work with mixed messages or like I said maybe I just read things wrong. I am still struggling everyday with my grief. I miss my Mom everyday. I miss what life could have been if she was still here and healthy. I miss that she could have seen more of the big milestones in life. Maybe that is how it is maybe I am not supposed to hit some of those milestones. Maybe those are just meant for other people in my family. I had the dreams, could see a life married, a step dad, maybe a Dad. Now I just see a big black void. Makes me wonder what I am fighting for so hard in trying to continue to move forward from the PTSD and move through Moms grief. Would be a lot easier to give up. The gods know many of my fellow comrades who have lost less (not down playing their struggles at all) have given up and called it a day. Most days I can struggle through and hold to the positive aspects of things. Work my program that the migraine give me. Today was not one of those days.

Might not have been a physical blow but it is one that still hurts a lot and has put me on my ass for the time being. I know not my friends intention and he said he was sorry about it after I told him where he could stick it, but still.




Feb17

SometimesItsOkay

Sometimes it can be easy to forget that everyone is dealing with things that we don’t see. When you look at a life it can appear to be a dream life or perfect from the outside but you never know what battles someone is dealing with. It is amazing how much can be hidden behind a smile and the phrase I am fine. Which should always be the first hint that something is up.

I am sorry I failed to see past things earlier, I take it as one of my jobs that is what family does.

Blessed be A for she very rarely asks for help for herself. As so strongly shown when I came upon her this morning, sitting in a heap on the floor sobbing. When I got to her all she could hiccup out is, “I’m sorry. It’s fine. I am fine, I have no right to be having trouble when I have so much to be thankful for. I am blessed.”

I am probably going to get smacked ala gibbs for saying anything but I had to. Because dear sweet cousin you do have much in life to be thankful for and you give thanks for it all the time. Generous warm hearted cousin you are blessed but that does not mean you can’t feel overwhelmed by things from time to time. Especially when you carry so much on your shoulders and in your heart for so many.

So I put my cousinly foot down and declared this weekend will be the weekend of Let it go. What does that mean? It means a trip to the middle of nowhere mother nature, with the chosen fur kids (I am not a moron the Dutchy is a must) but no two legged kids. They will be perfectly fine and taken care of. You, Me the furballs and whatever nature has to offer for the weekend.

We all need to recharge our batteries sometimes no matter what life has. We all have our struggles, our burdens. No matter what. But family means no one is life behind, not even the strongest of us. When you fall you will be picked up, strong weak it doesn’t matter. Maybe I am old fashioned or maybe I am to strong in some beliefs but to bad I am who I am and I protect those who I care about to the best of my ability. Even if it gets me gibbs slapped once in a while. Small price to pay. Everyone needs shelter once in a while.

FamilyStitch




Feb07

Grief is something I would not wish on my worst enemy. It is one of those things that hurts so much you can’t see a way for it to stop and then it may lessen a little before it hits you full bore again. It is terrible. I think grief is one of the worst things there is in the world. It sucks. I am stuck in my own circle of grief and I hate dealing with it but what can you do? You can’t escape it. No way out but to try your best.

I hate watching my loved ones go through grief. My sister is dealing with the same grief I am and I hate watching it. I hate it because I know what she is feeling, I know how much it hurts and there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it. Not one damn thing.

My cousin is now grieving too and I feel helpless there. Oh she is trying to put on the brave face, I know her she doesn’t want anyone to know how much she is hurting. But I know her so I know how mush she is hurting. On Thursday she had to say goodbye to one of her beloved pack members. Watson had only been with the family for about a year but he was one of those dogs, a special dog. A perfect gentleman always with the best manners and always right there when he was needed. He took treats gently, gave kittens baths and all around was just one of those dogs that everyone loved. He was impossible not to love. But a few months ago he got Bile Duct Cancer. This is a really bad cancer, it is aggressive does not respond well to chemo and the prognosis is never good. But A tried. She had to her pack is her family just as much as I am or her two legged pack is and family tries. Through it all Watson was a perfect gentleman, always. Never complained, never fussed and was super embarrassed with himself when he had to pee and couldn’t hold it so he pee’d on the Christmas tree. We thought it was pretty funny, I mean he was right a tree was in the house and tree’s are for pee.

Then he stopped eating. A tried to tempt him with all of his favorites. Chicken, cheeseburgers, yogurt, cheese anything and everything. He didn’t want any he only wanted to drink water. He was still comfortable though. Until he wasn’t. The exact moment he started showing discomfort A picked him up and told C to call the vet and tell them they were coming in. I went with for support, A is strong but I knew she wouldn’t be able to carry Watson the whole way not with the emotions flooding hard. Watson road with the top down in the car on the way to the vet, in his Moms lap, he loved the top down and he seemed peaceful with it. I carried him into the office and into the room for A. She was with him the whole time. Talking to him, comforting him and telling him he wouldn’t be in pain anymore and that she would see him again and that she loved him with all of her heart. He passed very peacefully still in her arms the last thing he saw was her looking right into his eyes and saying how much she loved him, with a smile even through all of the tears.

It killed me to watch knowing that pain she felt at his loss. But also knowing she did the right thing for him. She always says it is our duty when we take in animals to our lives and hearts. It is our duty to do the best thing by them that we can and when the end comes our duty is to let them go with dignity even through our own pain. A is one of the most selfless people I know. She gives of herself a lot. I hate watching her go through this pain, it is not the first time I have and it will not be the last I know. But I still hate it. I want to take the pain away from her and I want to take it on myself but that is of course impossible. I miss Watson too. Everyone does. But she was his Mom. The vet offered to take off the minion tshirt he was in for A to bring it home but she told the vet she wanted him to have it with him and his blanket that we brought in. So those items will be cremated with him. She has his ugly santa sweater that she has been keeping on her pillow.

If I could make a wish I would wish for grief to be gone from the world. It is a terrible pain. I hate grief.

Rest in peace Watson. Across the rainbow bridge. You have many friends there and one day we will all see you again. It was a true pleasure to know you buddy.




Jan29

Took a bit longer to feel settled back in to London this time around. Likely because of a lot of the up in the air feelings floating around about other things right now. I had a fun bit of shenanigans in LA before coming which was nice so there is that of course. Maybe I am reading situations wrong or maybe I am just the optimistic idiot. Who knows. Wouldn’t be the first time.

Up early again this morning because I still have not adjusted to the time difference and there is some wicked winds going on out there today in London. Ouch. Seriously very loud. Maybe London wanted to turn on it’s big wind for the release of the Finest Hours today. The good side of having trouble getting to sleep is that I was able to complete a little thing for a student called a twiddle mitt.

Making the twiddle mitt (check instagram for more about it) really made me feel that in everything that feels screwed up and up in the air in life I made the right call with continuing my education and becoming a teacher. I really do love my students and this is just as a TA intern guy, but I enjoy working with them. I enjoy puzzling out and finding new ways to help them learn and feel more comfortable in class. My biggest worry is that by the time I get my certification all the uniqueness will be sucked out of the American school systems. Things have gone down hill since no child left behind and it just seems to be getting worse. I am glad they got rid of no child left behind finally but still unless children are in a private school it seems teachers are all a bit cookie cutter. Maybe that is just what I have seen lately but I know I do not want to be cookie cutter.

I want to help students. I want to help them not just get by but thrive with school. I want students who are autistic or have other issues to be able to learn in a way that makes them excited about learning! You can’t take students like that shove them in a desk for hours and just make them learn in a cookie cutter way. I don’t think any child learns well that way but especially those with unique issues coming to the table. I won’t be a cookie cutter teacher. If I do one thing right in my life make it that because I want to help as many kids as possible. They deserve it.




Jan07

Skol Vikings, let’s win this game,
Skol Vikings, honor your name,
Go get that first down,
Then get a touchdown.
Rock ’em . . . Sock ’em
Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!
Go Vikings, run up the score.
You’ll hear us yell for more. . .
V-I-K-I-N-G-S
Skol Vikings, let’s go!

Seriously though play off hopes are still alive! Wild card round! Come on Vikings. Okay I know I never post about sports, let a lone football. I am more of a hockey guy and everyone knows that. I still enjoy a football game though and will always be a Vikings fan. I just found out this morning however that I need to pack an overnight bag and I am heading to the Sunday Vikings vs. Seahawks game.

Apparently my wonderful ever loving still surprising me even though she has left us Mom made an arrangement with the Vikings ticket office (and left directions with A the executor) that I would attend the first play off game the Vikings were in after she passed. This Sunday is the first play off game since she passed. I suspect she did not expect it to happen so soon. It is the Vikings. I am pretty excited about going though. It is in Minnesota though…looks like I need to take the parka out of moth balls. Can’t handle it you say? Of course I can handle Minnesota cold, though perhaps not as well as pre-Tucson move lol. The game is going to be held at TCF Stadium (no more dome and the other stadium is just now being built) and TCF stadium is an OUTDOOR stadium. The Sunday Forecast says it will be a BALMY 1 degree above zero …. but with a nice wind blowing it will be -9….I value my fingers, toes and other limbs so parka and Vikings hat are a must. I wonder if I can complete a scarf before the big day!

Skol Vikings! Or as I am being corrected by a Swede and a Dane..Skål.




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