Sunday, February 21, 2010

I Want This House - So I Pray


Prayer is good. I've decided that I am not really all that in charge of much. In fact, I don't know that I'm really in charge of anything. I like to think I have some control over some things, but in reality I'm only moving along in the direction that seems to be pushing me. It is really so much easier for me to NOT worry, and just let God have the reins on just about every decision. Now, if that sounds all churchy-churchy to you, and/or you think I should stand up for myself and be more of my own person - - too damn bad. I don't purport to be as perfect as Jesus, OK. He's got it going on, I'm just glad He's keeping me around for the long haul.

I've not had the luxury of saying I own THIS house, or I live HERE. I've been renting, staying, resting, waiting, existing for so long. I want to stop! I want to land. I want to own something that belongs to me and I can say this is where I live, this is what I do, these are my things, and I shop over there! I actually did think I would be living in Chicago. At the first of the year I dreamed of living in a high rise downtown, and not having a car, not having kids to worry and think about, not having to do much more than move about the downtown locales - - shopping, going to museums, enjoying parks, and hanging out. Of course, that would mean giving up a few things. I wouldn't be able to feed birds in the high rise, neighbors don't like that. In fact you get turned in, and the management fines you for it. I couldn't open the door and let my dogs out - - so I wouldn't have dogs. I couldn't watch Laura barrel race, rein, or sing. I couldn't really go from one end of the city to the next without catching another bus, waiting on connections or calling a cab, but I was willing to do that much. I didn't want to give up watching the kid play.

Caity doesn't play much. She's on her own, more independent, more into her thing. Laura likes to involve me. She's still a bit clingy and for now that's OK. I'm not sure I'm all that keen on giving her up either. The solution? Pray about it. We did and the answer was quite obvious - - move to Texas and get a house on land. The only problem with that is I haven't been paid yet, so even the house on land is a bit of a dream at this point - - albeit a dream with a more secured direction. At least I have the address, I've seen it, felt it, smelt it, I even have ideas about how I want to remodel, decorate and make it mine. Phase II of the plan - - get paid.

Just as soon as I have the book picked up by a major publishing house I'll either lease this one until I can buy it, or if I get enough, I'll buy it. I'm thinking lease for 6 months, fix all I need to fix with my life, and get the bank to OK a loan with enough down. The owners (current) are so kind. They are from Scotland and I love listening to them talk. I could listen all day! Smart too. I love smart people - - I learn so much from them. OK, good plan....more prayer...and we wait. That's the hard part, the waiting. I don't like that part. I like the getting, the buying, the doing, the working, the living - - I suppose there are lessons to learn at every stage. I just hope THIS stage is short. Very short.

With enough acres for Laura to build an arena, have her round pen, her barn/stalls and horses - - me with my vegetable and flower gardens, my french doors, office with a view and of course US with too many dogs and cats; we'll be happy soon. Did I mention I was going to buy lots of bird feeders? I am! I'm definitely feeding birds in Texas.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Raising Everyone Else's Kids Sucks

I have my own three kids to worry about - - I don't really need (or want) to have to deal with the drama from others who decide to pull me into their lives either intentionally because they don't have parents who care or inadvertantly because they don't have parents who care. I will say this, the ones that have parents who care and simply don't use those parents get the QUICK version of my advice...usually it goes something like this "HEY, you have parents that care about you, grow up and go ask them to help you!" The longer, more detailed advice I find myself giving can be both borish and rude at times. I'm not the best backup plan out there. I tend to treat other people's kids the same why I treat my own, and that is to point out immediately that their drama-filled agony is getting on my last nerve and if they persist in forcing me into the mix I'm going to take over and it may not be pretty!

I sound like I'm ranting, but that's because I don't do blah-blah. I don't have compassion or empathy of any kind for kids who get all "Emo" and pout over their little make-believe would-be problems - - not when they can usually get over themselves and find a more productive way to spend their time. I don't do depression and I actually don't think most depression is real; that being said I do recognize that there is a real and seemingly increasingly growing problem with kids thinking they are depressed and acting as if they are depressed, which in turn manifests itself into reality through self-fulfilled and often self-induced crisis. I know, I sound all mean and nasty for not coddling the kids, but I don't. I never have and I won't allow myself to be coddled or patronized when I get sad or filled with negative feelings. I guess I was just raised to believe that if it's not a chemical off balance of the body and it's not physiologically founded - - you can get over it. EAT CHOCOLATE....work, get up and do something. For Gosh sakes - - EXERCISE, clean the house, or my favorite for students who just wouldn't stop pouting - - write a 5 page essay single-spaced without errors on what's making you so damn depressed! They were cured pretty fast; believe me.

OK OK OK, maybe there are some real situations out there - - but here's why I'm ranting. A kid called my daughter today, he got a hold of me. He called her from Pennsylvania saying he'd just taken twenty (20) 25mm of Benadryl and he wanted to know what was going to happen to him now. REALLY? Is this guy serious? Oh, I don't know kid, you're probably going to die! Call the poice NOW! That's what I wanted to say, but instead I went into Mother-mode and began the interview that no one should have to go into over the phone with a double-stranger. A double-stranger is someone you absolutely don't know, and they aren't someone you're ever going to meet unless something like this happens.

He was calling from a cell phone. I know this because I looked it up on Reverse Phone Look Up at www.whitepages.com while he was talking to me. I also Googled the effects and what he could expect so I could have something to tell him. I was trying to find out his physical location so I could send the police and maybe an ambulance to him. I didn't get that far. After telling him that he could experience dry-mouth, fixed dilated pupils, central nervous system shut-down, convulsions, and death, the kid hung up on me. I hope he was smart enough to use that time he had left to call for help. NOPE, he just wanted to call a few more of his friends. I know this because he got ONLINE (don't they always do that?) and had his little trip - ONLINE so that he could be the talk of the little social community he's involved in.

My daughter was able to call him back, and get his physical address from him. While she continued talking to him, showing him the attention I believe he wanted from her in the first place, I called the Malvern, PA police and filed a 9-1-1 emergency over the phone. I hope they find him and I hope they can get him some help. I have a few questions: Will the police find his parents in the livingroom when they get there? They probably will - - and you know what, they're not really to blame. This kid is 18, he's using his own room, his own computer, his own phone - - probably not even telling his parents the sites he goes to, and possibly even chiding them for asking if they do ask....another question I have is this: WHY is it important for everyone to YouTube their lives? I don't understand. I don't want to have that sort of access to someone's life and in this case his possible death.

Do me a favor - - if you have kids - - PISS THEM OFF and ask them who they talk to, who they hang with, what they talk about, what they do, where they go, what they think, and if they seem pouting, withdrawn or "depressed" get them up and working or exercising, do it with them if you have to. I don't ever want to have to worry about someone else's kid like that again. I just took 2 girls to the Academic Higher Education Center to take their G.E.D. because their parents didn't make sure they stayed in school and at 17 they read and write like 5th graders. Getting into college this fall will be hard, but it is necessary. High School is not the place for kids these days; not if the teachers are expected to be parents.

If you think this is ranting - - you're mistaken. This was the nicer version of Jude sounding off on people who don't parent their kids. Did I screw up - - yes I did! Over and over again, but the good news is my kids aren't going to be calling YOUR kids telling them they've overdosed and if they needed to read or write about it, they could. Sure one of mine has 8 tattoos and another has 6 (I think) but the last time I checked they were volunteering at the animal shelter, taking flyers around town warning people about a con-man in the area, and doing community service without being arrested - - Oh, and Laura took a couple of puppies back to a lady who was 8 months pregnant and couldn't get out to do it herself.

PLEASE...piss off your kids as much as you can!! Find out what they are doing!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Reuben in Pads Again



Just over 5 years ago my son hung up his cleats. He was a senior in High School and December marked the last game of his "career" I guess you'd say. Too small at 6'2" and 220 pounds to play for the University of Oklahoma, my son chose to go to the Army and become an American soldier. He just has that gladiator spirit; both on and off the football field. Having completed his tours and returning from Iraq as well as his 3.5 year duty station of Ft. Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska - - he has now turned his camo in for pads again.

The Ardmore Extreme is a minor league professional team located in southern Oklahoma. Believe me when I say there is NO SHORTAGE of these smaller minor teams around the Texas and Oklahoma border - - as well as creeping into the heart of each state. Reuben's team plays 10 games a season, and has it's own version of playoffs and a championship game. Without 20 or 30 teams close enough to drive to there aren't more than a couple of divisions but lots of football to play, and lots of noise to make. The mud we share with Texas after the recent snow fall this week only gets the players that much more excited to practice tomorrow in full pads.

Breaking out his old high school (Freshmen) jersey that I think he actually gave to me for safe keeping, he's on Cloud 9 tonight. We drove more than 250 miles today looking for the right helmet, more than that last week picking up pads, cleats, socks, the mask for the helmet, and other "Extreme" essentials. The actual jerseys are being made now, the real helmets being painted, but that didn't stop Reuben from going out and getting his own set of back up pads, helmets and shoes. He's even got a visor! He's ready - - he wants to hit something.

I took these two pictures of him and I had to laugh. Five years ago he was pretty big and had the long hair, the big heart, the goofy grin that said "I'm playing football! I'm playing football" but today it's all cropped hair, tattoos and that new foo-man choo moustache peaking out from behind a $350 helmet for practice. PRACTICE...and he almost bought an even more expensive one. I don't think you need a radio helmet for a minor league and I really don't think you need one with a computer for practice - - just sayin'.

The thought did occur to me though that I could learn to hack into it and give another play just for the fun of it - - in practice. I wouldn't do that in a real game. I promise.

Reuben did have ONE thing go wrong today while looking for his new head piece. He had to get a large youth rather than a medium adult. When I think about it, it makes sense. Reuben really is more of a large kid anyway. He'll have so much fun tomorrow - - I think I'll pick up a bottle of bleach on my way home from the field.