Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Oh Man!

Well tonight I went to a baseball meeting to sign up both boys. Steven will be in rookies and Dean in T-ball. Dean was a little apprehensive about playing because he isn't good, but once we all reassured him that t-ball was to learn how to play he seemed excited. That poor kid wants to be perfect at everything the very first time he tries it. I hope he outgrows that. Anyways for the next couple of months we will be baseball, baseball, baseball. I am not looking forward to all the traveling. I don't know what I'll do the first time their schedules overlap. Hubster is currently off for spring breakup so at the beginning we should be able to split up with one kid each when needed, but once he gets back to work will be a different story. How do you choose one kid over the other? I guess I better figure it out because I've got years of sports ahead of me.

The last couple of days have been warm enough that the yard is starting to hold the promise of Spring days. We don't live too far out of town, but what a difference. In town the grass is green, people are raking and flowers are coming up. Here the grass is soggy & brown and the snow piles still have a ways to go to be gone. Soon enough I'll be whining about the heat. We haven't had too many sunny days as of yet and boy am I in need. Sunshine = attitude adjustment.

I'm still having problems with my sinuses. Throughout the day the gunk moves from one side to the other, down to my ears and back to my nose. Swallowing is killer at times. I tend to hold my saliva because it hurts to swallow. I've even found myself spitting to avoid the pain. Hey! I'll fit right in at baseball!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Happy Birthday to me!

Yep another year gone by. Wow they sure seem to be going by faster. I had to work of course but arrived at work to find cards & 2 plants on my desk. So apparently I'm not that bad of a boss. One of the waitress made me a cake and brought that in also. So it was a good day.

I talked to my sister's husband tonight for a couple of hours and I got a lot of questions answered that were bothering me. It was good. I feel like I can make progress to closure. I still don't see where her children will ever be able to come to peace because there is just no good reason for the no communication. Sher being busy with work just doesn't cut it for them. I hope that they can come to terms with the fact her job brought her happiness. Her first husband, their father mentally abused her to a point of self loathing. She finally found respect in her job and brought her self worth. I'm afraid they're too hurt to ever see outside themselves.

I've got a lot of dvr'd shows to watch, so this birthday girl is going to kick back in her pjs and watch some dancing & singing. Take care.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Ax Yea Men

I am so excited! I just saw a show on the H!story Channel that is featuring loggers. I have always loved De@dliest C@tch and this new show is done in the same format. Its Ax*Men and the reason I love it is that this is the job my Hubster does, he runs a yarder. I've gone up with him a few times on weekends when he has mechanic work to do, but I've never actually watched him at the real thing. The boys haven't watched it yet but I recorded it so I'll have them watch tomorrow night. Through the years of Hubster talking with fellow loggers I've gotten the gist of what he does, but now I can truly visualize it. The only downside is I've always known how dangerous it is and he has lost several buddies due to accidents, so now I'm seeing a lot more of the dangers than I'd like. But I'm also seeing why he loves it. I feel like this will bring me closer to him because I'll understand so much more of what he goes through. Now if they'd have a series on being a general manager he'd understand my job better. Yeah, don't think that will happen.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Kicking Mud Off My Boots

When we bought this house the only thing I was not happy with was the carpet. Its an icy blue color and shows everything that gets tracked in or spilled upon. We're currently going through our Spring thaw with the snow slowly ebbing into patches in the yard. But with that comes the damn mud. The boys will be boys and often in their excitement of coming in from play they forget to kick their boots off at the door. By the time I scream "Boots! Boots!" they're half way across the livingroom. Dean is pretty good about remembering, but it seems Steven will never learn. That kid lives life in fast forward. I often look at the boys and miss the babes they were not so long ago. They both haven't felt good this week as they came down with a cold (that I their loving mother passed on to them) and I actually have had the opportunity to rock them both to sleep this week. It amazed me as they lay sleeping in my arms that Steven at 8 and Dean soon to be 6 that it has truly been so long ago since I did that nightly. As much as I miss those times I do enjoy the changes as they grow older. They are both developing such great sense of humor and I really must start writing down here some of the things that they pop off with. Steven has developed my "smart-assness", but he hasn't quite gotten the gist of when enough is enough. So I'm trying to get him to understand when being a smartass is funny and when it is rude. Damn he does crack me up though.

Steven has been asking for portable CD player for the last few months and I told him he would have to show me some responsiblity by cleaning his bedroom and playroom and keeping it straightened up for a period of time before I would even think of getting him one. He has yet to clean up at all, but keeps hinting about the CD player. So yesterday he tells me if I get him the CD player he'll then clean up the rooms. I was like no deal bucko, clean the rooms, keep them that way and then I'll consider it. He looked at me with this pityful look, shook his head and said "Woman you are obsessed with clean." I couldn't help but laugh.."Woman!" he called me woman! I told him he was just going to have to deal with my obsession if he truly wants that cd player.

Dean will turn 6 on April 6th. I cannot believe my baby will be six! He is still definitely my baby though. He must tell me he loves me a dozen times a day. The last few months he has come to terms that he is no longer a toddler. Dean cherished being a toddler and did not like it when someone would comment that he was getting to be a big boy. He would immediately correct them and say "I am a toddler not a boy!" I don't know if he thought he wouldn't get the same attention from me or what it was but now he takes great joy in his milestones. He is however keeping the bandaid production lines into overtime. Dean's solution to any ouchie is a bandaid. Stub your toe, put on a bandaid. Have a bruise, put on a bandaid. Take off a bandaid, cover the pain of having bandaid removed with...yeah you got it a bandaid. Any given day he has at least 3 bandaids on his body. I'm sure other people probably think we abuse the poor kid. The only positive thing is the bandaids still require mommy's kiss to go along with. That I will gladly give as long as I can. I look at the difference between Steven's & Dean's needs and it saddens me that I'm not as needed when it comes to Steven. Yeah I'm still Mom, but he doesn't need his booboos kissed. I hate when bad things happen to Steven, but those are the only times I get to feel like he needs me. I know thats him just growing up, but damn its hard on this mommy's heart. My biggest fear with both boys is not staying connected with them. I don't ever want either them to feel like they can't come to me with a problem. Lately Steven has had problems with a kid in school picking on him. I first found out about it when Steven came home with this 5 inch scratch on his back. He brushed it off and told me it was an accident & that the kid tripped resulting in this scratch. Through the following weeks I noticed changes in Steven's behavior and finally through several talks he admitted this kid was punching & kicking him. When he was telling me this he was sobbing. It broke my heart that he felt he needed to cover for this kid and not tell me the truth. But I could see where he was coming from, he wanted to be a big boy and handle this on his own. The way I need to see it is that he did finally come to me for help. I can only hope he always will.

I'm dealing with the loss of Sher, well... I don't know. I think because my contact with her has been so infrequent through the years that I keep finding myself forgetting she is gone. Does that make sense? I'll find myself having a good day and when I get a quiet moment this thought pops up "Sherrie's dead." And its like I mentally go "oh yeah she is." Its like I remind myself. I don't know how to explain it. I know time will help. My birthday is coming up on Tuesday and even though Sherrie hasn't acknowledged my birthday for...shit..I can't even remember the last time, I guess when we lived together probably, the thought will pop in my head "I wonder if Sher will send me a card or call". What the heck is my mind up to? I feel like some mean old bitch that keeps bringing up a bad subject to somebody just to make them feel bad. Do I have guilt? Maybe so.

Anyways I am looking so forward to feeling normal. With all the losses and the concern for my cousin and then to top off with a nasty sinus infection I just want to wake up and feel good. Hell I'd take fairly descent. I have so many things I want to get done but I can so easily talk myself out of doing them. Every morning going to work I talk to myself and give myself goals for the day of things to accomplish. I feel like if I don't I wouldn't get anything done. Can we say depression?

I need to post some pics of the boys as I haven't done so for quite some time. So I'll do so in the next few days. In the mean time.....take care.

Monday, March 03, 2008

In the cobwebs of my mind

I want to note a few memories I have of Sherrie down here for myself. Since she died I've had moments when something will flash about Sherrie and I'm afraid I'll lose them forever if I don't write them down now.
When we were living together, Sher & I had a mutual friend Kathy. Kathy bar tended with Sher and that's how I came to meet Kathy. At the time I was a waitress and attending beauty school. Kathy had at one time been a hairdresser so that was our common ground. The three of us had a blast when together. About 3 months after I moved up here with Hubster, Sher called me with the sad news that Kathy had committed suicide. A few days later I drove down to Sher's house so we could attend the funeral together. As we were getting ready to leave the house I asked Sher if she had Kleenex. Sher was out of Kleenex so we each grabbed a wad of toilet paper in preparation for the tears to come. The service was beautiful and of course found us dabbing at the tears rolling down our faces. Sher and I had sat fairly close to the front of the church so as the service ended we followed the family out of the church. As we were walking down the aisle I noticed quite a few people give Sher and I questioning looks. I assumed they were trying to figure out if we were family of Kathy's or who we were. When we reached the truck in the parking lot Sher opened the door and turned towards me to let me in the truck first. When she turned we both gazed upon each other and burst out laughing. Sher and I each had pieces of toilet paper stuck all over our faces. We had it in our eyebrows, eyelashes, cheeks, chins, noses everywhere we had dabbed our tears. We looked like we had a shaving mishap. Now it dawned on us why we were getting these strange looks from the other people as we exited the church. I tell you it was one of the best laughter through tears moments I've ever had and I know Kathy enjoyed watching us two idiots from above.

Last week I was coming home from work and was thinking of Sher as I was driving. I was recalling a time when she and I were driving around town we were listening to tapes I had in the car. I put in Night R@nger and the song Sister Christian came on. Sher was always kind of a cool cucumber and didn't get too excited or act goofy. As soon as that song started she cranked it up and started singing along. I joined in and soon we were both belting out the song as we were sitting at stop lights with not a care to who saw us.
As I continued driving home I sang the words of the song I could remember and pulled into the driveway with a smile on my face. Later that night I was watching American Id0l and afterwards a show came on that contestants could win money for completing lyrics in a song. Lo and behold if one of the songs she chose wasn't Sister Christian. I felt as if it was a reach out moment from Sher.

Another thing that I am so glad Sher and I did was that we got tattoos together. We decided to get them somewhat spur of the moment. The day we found a tattoo shop we stopped off at a bar first for some liquid energy. It was about 11:00 in the morning when we went to the shop and the owners wife greeted us at the door. We told her we wanted to get tattoos and she gave us some books to look at designs while she went to wake the owner up. Yes almost noon and the owner wasn't awake, should have been our first clue. Anyways this long haired biker dude comes out of the back and introduces himself as Scootin Newton. Since I was in beauty school I knew the importance of sterilization so I questioned Scootin about his tools. After showing us that his equipment was indeed sterile we picked our designs. Sher went first and got a blue rose bud that looked as if it came up out of her cleavage. As she was getting hers done this loud chopper pulled up in front of the shop. This guy walks in and oh my oh my...he looked exactly like Bruce Springstein. This was the 80's so yes he did look mighty fine. Brucey boy sat down beside me and asked me what I was going to get. I had hand drawn this beautiful rose while I had been waiting so I showed him my rose. He said "you know what I always find sexy is chicks with cross and skull tattoos" and he looked into my eyes with his sexy eyes and he smiled. Yikes! He had absolutely no teeth, not even a nubbin. What a downer, I couldn't quite picture myself on the back of his chopper riding off into the sunset anymore. So it comes my turn and I give Scootin my drawing with no skulls or crosses and he begins. I chose to get my tattoo down by my bikini line, so I was fairly exposed. Thank goodness for liquid courage. Shortly after Scootin begins we hear another bike pull up and this guy with long blond hair comes in and proceeds to hold a conversation with Scootin. So the three of these biker dudes are standing on each side of me as I'm laying there semi exposed discussing plans for the night. Well it didn't take a rocket scientist to realize they were more or less planning a drug sale to take place in an alley downtown. I'm lying there trying to act all cool and Sher is sitting off to the side snickering. Little shit. My tattoo is finally finished and I pull up my pants and we got the heck out of there pronto. A few weeks later Sher and I are eating dinner and watching the local news when this blond guys mug shot comes on the screen. He had been convicted of killing 2 girls and dumping there bodies out of town. Then to top it off they show Scootin's shop and report how this was their main hang out and the murders were related to a drug deal gone bad and they found pounds of marijuana in the walls of Scootin's shop. Needless to say Sher and I didn't feel too smart about our choice of tattoo artist and felt damn lucky. But we got tattoos and a story that will last forever. I'm glad we chose to do that because I have a lasting memory of Sher on my body. Even though now after two kids I have to lift my tummy flab in order to see the tattoo. I remember laughing with Sher about our tattoos when we last talked and telling her how I had to shift the flab to see my tattoo and she commented her rose bud was getting closer to her belly button every year.
I've got good memories of Sher and for that I'm thankful.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Spring Will Come

Whoa, the past few weeks have been a struggle. After losing Uncle Deno then Sherrie we found out my cousin (Uncle Deno's eldest son) has bone cancer. He has a very positive attitude and I'm sure will be around for many years to come. Its just that at this point I'm wondering what is God trying to tell this family. Or is it simply that we are getting to an age where this is all typical. This may sound terrible of me, but I am glad that God took Uncle Deno first and that my parents got home from Arizona before Sherrie was taken. I can't imagine what it would have been like not being together when we lost Sherrie.
The sad thing is that long ago Sherrie was lost to our family. When I heard that Sherrie had died my first reaction was anger. I was mad at her. I was mad at myself for not taking time to reach out to her. Sherrie and my brother are 7 & 8 years older than me. Sherrie and my brother were very close when they were young and being 11 1/2 months apart were often mistaken for twins. When I was little I gravitated towards my brother more than Sher for some reason. I liked to shadow him and his friends. I know alot of that had to do to the fact that by the time my memories of Sher begin she was deep into her first love. She became pregnant and gave birth to my niece at 16. She married the father and moved out of town. I truly don't remember a whole lot of what occurred amongst the family, but I do know Sher held resentments. Sher went on to have two boys by the time she was 20. Alot of responsibility for a girl so young. Her husband was abusive more mentally rather than physically, but abusive none the less. When I graduated high school I moved away to go to school. About 2 years after I had moved my mom called me one day and told me my sister needed help. Sherrie had finally had enough of the abuse and was leaving. She left her husband and 3 babies behing and moved in with me. For the next year and a half Sher and I lived together. I cannot tell you how grateful I am that I had this time with her. For this is when I truly got to know my sister. After she died I would lay at night and try so hard to remember Sher when we were young, but I just have fragments. My memories of her are as adults. When I moved back here to live with Hubster is when we first started losing Sher. I know why she drifted away and I understand. After I moved Sher got a job at Sh*pko in the bookkeeping department which was so much better than the bartending jobs she usually held. She had minimal bookkeeping experience from when she was married and to tell you the truth I didn't think this fit the Sherrie I knew. Sherrie wasn't your typical office girl, she was more of a bartender type. But none the less I was proud of her. Eventually she got interested in the security department at the store and soon she was on the floor as a decoy shopper. I never knew this before but they have people on the floor that pretend to shop. To this day whenever I'm in a department store I look at fellow shoppers and wonder if they are really a fellow shopper or watching my every move. Anyways, Sher moved up pretty quickly and had a couple of good stories about apprehending shoplifters. She actually had a shoplifter roll a car window up on her arm when she reached into shut off a ladies car and start to drive off with her. Luckily she came away with a good story and nothing more serious. She got offered a better security position with J@Penney and worked there until Targ@t came to town and offered her the head position with them. Through the years she worked hard and transferred from Montana to Oregon to California where she ended up the Northern California district head security officer. Not bad for a girl who got pregnant at 16 and graduated with a GED. The only thing is that during these years she became so engrossed in work she left everything else behind. That includes her parents, her children, her siblings. She has not seen her youngest son since he was 17 years old, he is now 29, married and has two children. All of her kids have children that she never held, never saw except for some pictures I sent her 2 years ago. She has never seen my two boys except for in pictures. The last time my parents, my brother and myself physically saw her was in 1993 when she came for a visit. 2 1/2 years ago I found myself thinking of her. Her birthday was coming up and I felt a need to talk to her. I called a number I had for her in Oregon and came up empty. I searched on the internet and finally found an address for her under her husbands name in California. I called the Tarjay here in Montana and begged them for information. Since she was in security the only thing they would tell me was that yes she still worked for the company. After several calls, eventually a gal confirmed that she was working for them in California. So I called information down there with no luck to find they had an unlisted number. I then started calling the Tarjay's down there. Finally somebody took mercy on me and gave me her cell phone number. I called her on her birthday and got her voicemail. I left a short sweet birthday greeting and really didn't expect her to call back. You see my theory is that Sher got so involved with her job and that job gave her so much. It gave her something to be proud of. She wasn't a teenage mother, she wasn't the wife of an abusive husband who told her she was stupid, ugly, and a whore, she wasn't a disappointment to her family (even though she never was) and she wasn't a bad mother. I think that she got so involved in this whole new life that when she didn't call one of her children on their birthday or acknowledge a graduation it became too embarrassing and too hard to make that first initial step to make ammends. To my suprise later that day Sher called me back. After some uncomfortable moments we eventually shared our lives. I told her I had two boys and told her she was a grandmother to 4 at that time. She went on to tell me that she had been seriously ill. Her zinc and copper levels were creating havoc with her blood and immune system. In fact she had almost died 3 months prior. All of my anger towards her was gone and the present was what mattered. For the next 3 weeks she and I conversed quite regularly on the phone. I got reports about her doctor visits and through it all we discussed the family. The doctor's were finally finding a solution to her mineral levels and she was regaining her health so she was slow beginning her return to work. During this time Hubster's boss and friend lost his life in a horrible logging accident that my hubby witnessed. Hubster was going through a terrible time, he no longer had his friend along with no longer having a job. He needed me more. My phone calls to Sher became less frequent, but during this time she made plans to come home for a visit. A few days before she was to come she called to tell me that due to work she couldn't come. This was in October when I last spoke to her. My life was topsy turvy at the time with Hubster's grief and that December I started my current job as business manager. It wasn't until one day in May that she was on my mind that I decided to call her to see how she was. We were occasionally emailing back and forth, but I wanted to hear her voice. I got her voicemail and told her to call me. She called back a few days later while I was out at the grocery store and spoke to Hubster. She was on her way to a company picnic and said she'd call back in a few days. I never did get to talk to her. We played phone tag for a few days and eventually she slipped from my mind. The end of that month Dad had his stroke. I left a message for Sher on her cell phone and emailed her also to let her know what had happened to Dad. I never got a response from Sherrie. I don't remember really being mad at Sher for not calling back, I guess I kind of expected that out of her. I was disappointed in her. I never attempted to call her after that. I figured the ball was in her court.
So when I heard Sher died. I was mad. I'm mad because I don't know what my sister looked like. I don't know if she has as much grey hair as I do and colors it the same shade of blonde. I don't know if her hair was long or short. I don't know if she still wears too much eyeliner around those beautiful blue eyes I always envied. I don't know if her chin still quivered when she was nervous or upset. I don't know if she was still overweight like I am or if she finally won the battle of the bulge. I know her voice. I do know she loved me. I do know I am the one, the only one she felt she could call. I do have that. Now that I think about it her voice is vital to me because she and I have the same voice. Her kids often tell me that they hear their mom when I speak. I know at times that has been hard for them. When I have called them they often are taken back for a moment until they know its me and not their mom. My anger towards Sherrie is no longer strong. I have good memories of our young adulthood together. Many laughs and many tears. Her husband is going to send some current photos of Sherrie to us and in a strange way I don't know if I want to know what she looked like. I don't know if I want to know as if in a way it will make my memories of the Sher I know fade. I'm sure that doesn't make sense to anybody else.
May 10th, Sherrie's ashes will be spread here where we all grew up. She told her husband that if she ever died she wanted to go home. So that gives our family peace that she did truly want to come home at some point. I just wish she could have done it when she was still alive.
One last point and I'll close. Sherrie died from a birth defect. The same defect that took John R!tter's life. I see he has been in the news again, but I change the channel whenever I see it coming on so I don't know why. I do know that there was absolutely nothing anybody could have done to bring Sher back and I know she didn't suffer. I think Sherrie had already suffered enough with the "what if's" her life held. Have peace Sher. I love you.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


She's gone. My sister is gone. She died today. Either a stroke or heart attack. She'll be cremated and sent home as she wanted. Come spring we will lay her to rest. 49 years old and she is gone.