Where to begin?

  • Wednesday, May 23: Rock breaks a family room window with one of HardPlace's toys. Ron arrives. We grill steaks and simply enjoy being together.


  • Thursday, May 24: We all go to the circus and have a great time.

  • Saturday, May 26: Rock overfeeds the fish, requiring an emergency water change 1 hour before our party starts. We have a fabulous cookout, with lots of friends over. The kids have a grand time in the sprinkler, and the adults enjoy margaritas and conversation.



    Before the last guest leaves, Rock dumps two cans of food into the fish tank, requiring another water change.
  • Sunday, May 27: One fish is alive, three are dead, including the treasured loaches that Ron had shipped to me a year ago. I take HardPlace to buy a rocket, because I had PROmised.


    We all go launch rockets and have a great time (and I actually buy ice cream for the boys!).



  • Monday, May 28: Because of a technical malfunction (read: User error), we need to exchange HardPlace's rocket for a new one, and Ron wants to go to the hobby shop, and and and. Before we even get home, HardPlace starts whining: You PROmised we would go to the pool this weekend. I drive by the pool to see how late it's open. I'm seething inside: I've been driving, doing good things for my guys, still angry with Rock, and don't even get a nod of appreciation. Just You PROmised. Grrrrr. Rock pulls some other stunt and doesn't go to the pool with HardPlace and me after dinner; but the pool is closed at 7:30 even though we had been told it would be open until 8:00.
  • Tuesday, May 29: HardPlace has his new rocket assembled, and since Ron is leaving tomorrow, we decide to dash out during the last 25 minutes of daylight to launch it at the school. We can't go to the best launching field because it's too far away. HardPlace cops an attitude about which other field is good, arguing about which one to use. No, he's not arguing: He is declaring in that insufferable 9-year-old-knows-EVERYTHING tone of voice that Ron and I are wrong and he is right. Fine. We'll go where you want. But if anything happens to my rocket at that field, I'm not gonna be responsible.
That was it. I drove straight home, Ron sent both boys to the shower, and he and I sat there seething. And I sat there sobbing. The next day, I posted the following declaration of war on the board:

I am now officially declaring WAR on my children:

1. I will no longer accept the word no.
2. I will no longer tolerate whining.
3. I will no longer yield to you PROMised.
4. I will no longer tolerate punching, hitting, destroying.
5. I will no longer tolerate that awful disrespectful tone.

I am DONE with it.

For the last 2-1/2 years I have tried to make things as easy as possible for everyone, myself included. I have theoretically picked my battles, but that approach has not worked too well. Now, I am out to win the goddam war.

Wish me luck.

Waves video

Find the waves video at You Tube. Search for "Waves at Hornsea 2". Coming soon, waterfalls on video, bet you can't wait! Actually, we're going away for a few days and internet access won't be available, so no posts until next Saturday/Sunday. See you then.

Wedding wishes

Today's entry is dedicated to the wondrous Trish. Oh all right, to the miraculous Brad as well.

Tomorrow, at 2:00 pm central time, these two amazing widoweds will bring their lives together and become one. They will promise to love and honor each other, to parent each other's children as their own, to be grateful for every day they have together.

Trish, Brad ... there are no words to express how very wonderfully happy I am for you, how I thank God for you, how I hold you and your hopes and dreams in my prayers.

I love you!

Waves......again


You know me and waves. Can I interest anyone in the movie version of this? or would that really be overkill? Oh, and Gawpo, if you look real careful, this time you might see some Jasper.

Never enough time

Never enough time
Nick's life was over too soon
Without a goodbye.

Ron arrives today
We'll have a week together
Never enough time.

Garden....again


You've already seen the vegetable end of our garden, this is the prettier end, near the house where we sit.

"Do you still feel married?"

That question comes up on the board from time to time, and I've never bothered to post a reply to it. Early on, my answer would have been a resounding yes! My answer gradually evolved to I'm widowed, with all the emotions wrought up in that. It's not a question I think about very much, so I was totally unprepared when a recent widow (her husband died just 8 weeks ago) asked me, "Do you still feel married?"



I stammered. Grabbed the rings on my finger. My voice broke.

Nick was the great love of my life. I will never love anyone the way I loved him. I will never be loved by anyone the way he loved me. We had something ... amazing. But are we still married?
When the subject comes up on the board, someone will point out that marriage is an ongoing changing relationship; hence, with the death of one spouse, the marriage is over. Our marriage vows included the words 'til death do us part. Death parted us, the marriage is over. But our souls rage against that. In fact, those words are not a part of the Eastern Christian marriage rite. Since Christ has destroyed Death, how can Death destroy the Mystery of marriage?

Nick will always be my husband; I will always be his wife. These rings will always be on my finger. Even if I remarry, these rings will stay on this hand. Are we still married? Yes, but ... it's different.

I guess it depends on your definition of the word are, on how you think of time. In chronos, the time that we measure by seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years -- no, I'm not married. Nick and I were married for nearly 12 years; we will never be married for 15 years. In chairos, the sacred time that is the presence of God, Nick and I are married, always and forever, unto ages of ages. Amen.

It's different.

The next question that always follows is If we get married again, how does that work in heaven? I have no idea! If R and I get married, do I kiss him goodbye when I enter Eternal Life? I don't think so! Our relationship is so different from the ones we had with our beloved spouses, and our marriage would be as well. A different relationship, a different marriage, a different union. But no less sacred.

It's different.

Allotment to be happening


The bottom of our garden is dedicated to growing vegetables and fruit. This little patch has Broad Beans, peas, cabbages and courgettes. Everything in the garden is looking good at the moment, despite the best efforts of next doors cats and squirells!

Camera Obscura - LLoyd, I´m ready to be heartbroken

I haven't posted any music for a while, so here goes. Dodgy video, great tune.

Blue eyes, Brown eyes

I attended a seminar today called The 'Anatomy of Prejudice'. the speaker was a lady called Jane Elliott who developed the blue eyes, brown eyes exercise in discrimination. I found it equally inspiring and depressing. Still it's nice to think that in Hull we are at least trying to do something, it's a start.

It's all true

NICKNAMES: If Laura, Kate and Sarah go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Kate and Sarah. If Mike, Dave and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Godzilla and Four-eyes.

MONEY: A man will pay £2 for a £1 item he needs. A woman will pay £1 for a £2 item that she doesn't need but it's on sale.

BATHROOMS: A man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel. The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify more than 20 of these items.

OFFSPRING: Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favourite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams. A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.

ARGUMENTS: A woman has the last word in any argument. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Any married man should forget his mistakes. There's no use in two people remembering the same thing.

Happy Mothers Day

A joint work of art ....


Flowers crafted by loving hands ...


and a card with an afterthought to break your heart.

Click to enlarge the writing, but in case you can't read it:

Thank you for helping me
with my homework. You
make me feel better when
I feel sad. I hope you have
a very, nice, good, awesome
Mothers Day!
Love,
Nxxxxx and Dad

P.S. I love you so, so so, so much!!

I know you miss me. I miss you to. I [appreciate] what you did for me and the boys. Happy Mothers Day!
Love Dad
P.S. I will allways be with you.


Today was a strange day at work. very unproductive... Lieb said the same thing.. spent most of the day still converting videos, MOBI launch should just be round the corner now.

Took an amazing girl out to dinner last night, the place was great and the food was better but she took the cake...

Waves at Hornsea

let this wash over you for 30 seconds.

Quick blurbs

I love Earth Day at the Rockville Quarry. Who wouldn't?




















That was on Saturday. Monday featured an emergency trip to the dentist because I'd popped a crown Sunday night (on jelly beans ::rolling eyes:: )

Tuesday I helped chaperone Rock's pre-K class on a field trip to an outdoor center. It was great fun. (pics to come soon) Friday, I'll chaperone HardPlace's 3rd-grade class to Clara Barton House and the C&O Canal. I am really looking forward to that.

I'm starting to make plans for our summer out West. My mom and I spent 3 hours going back on the phone just to make reservations for 1 night at the Grand Canyon... rates, availability, options... jeesh.

Ron is coming! Ron is coming! :: happy grin :: He'll be here for a week at the end of the month, and we hope to have some of our good friends over for a Memorial Weekend cookout.

I've taken Rock out of pull-ups overnight. Maybe he's not ready yet, because he soaks himself then wakes up, puts on dry panties and crawls into bed with me... a stinking pee boy. Ugh. I really want him to be sleeping dry by the time we go to Arizona.

I got my Federal tax refund. :: happy dance :: Now I don't feel so guilty about all the money my summer trip will cost.

Blurb this. Blurb that. Sorry to be so boring.

Sanctimonious gits

I made a complaint to the BBC today, I felt strongly about something, and decided I couldn't let it go. I feel better now I have complained, I am still angry, but I feel better. I think I should complain more, I think I should become a thorn in the side of corporations and bureaucracy, yeah I feel good.

Castles in the sky


An aerial view of fortress Bazza.

Bank Holiday Monday


It's a bank holiday, so it has to be the seaside. We chose Hornsea.

Bobbins




Hull FC lost and Paul Cooke didn't get laid out once. Hull City lost their last game of the season. We've had the in laws down all weekend. I suppose there's still tomorrow to go.

A thousand days

A thousand days since Nick died.
A thousand days without him.
A thousand days times a thousand sighs.
A thousand days times ten thousand tears.

It seems that I should have something more to say, something from the depths of understanding and wisdom.

But really, what more is there to say?

A thousand days is a very long time. Or was it just yesterday?

I posted this on the board earlier today, and one response to it struck me: To make it through these 1000 days seems like an impossible task..... you did it. It took its toll, but Pentha is still there. We're proud of you. -- Tanja & kids

Pentha is still there. But who is Pentha? How can Pentha still be there, when Pentha never existed until Nick died. Is ALICIA still there? Would Alicia recognize Pentha?

Would Nick know me? I have changed so much, in ways that I cannot even begin to describe. I have been shaped by grief, by having my guts ripped out of me. I have been shaped by everything that has happened in the last thousand days -- things that Nick never experienced, like the devastation left in the wake of his death.

Or HardPlace's learning to read. Or Rock's learning to ride a bicycle. Or my mother's getting a divorce. Or my sister's getting cancer. Or my brother's dying. Or my falling in love with Ron.*

So much has happened in the last thousand days. And it has all changed me. Or unfolded me.
Time does not change us. It just unfolds us. -- Max Frisch



* Please don't tell me that Nick has been here all along, that he has been watching. He may well have seen all this, but not in any way that is meaningful for me. And this pity party is all about ME.

Shew Im So Good Looking



As soon as i get some time i will post something of relevance...

First Blog


Good Times

At Splashy Fen

A bit of fun

Saw this on Dr. John's blog and thought I would try it. You have eight things to put behind your name like “needs”, “is”, “ wants”. You take your name and one of the them like “ John is” and Google it. Put the results here.

1. Bazza "needs" Hi energy tea (surely this should have said Jack Daniels)
2. Bazza "is" what Bazza is (of course)
3. Bazza "likes" to sky dive (only off the top of the wardrobe!)
4. Bazza "wants" a non milking cow (always wanted one of those)
5. Bazza "gets" turned away at the door for being too drunk (hmmm!)
6. Bazza "says" just keep taking the tablets dear (usually after 5.)
7. Bazza "does" a crunk version of copacabana (very passable to)
8. Bazza "eats" up the worms (I would have to slip off the vegetarian wagon)

I have to be honest and say I didn't always pick the top entry, but all were on the first page, and number 2 was the top answer, which I'm quite proud of.

Bridge


An alternative view of the Humber Bridge.

I am loved.

Thank you, God.

Yes, that's all I have to say. I was just overtaken by a deep sense of well-being. Thought I'd share it with you.

An unexpected screed

A popular columnist for the Washington Post wrote: "I'm not AGAINST marriage sans kids, I just said I don't see the reason for it."

I couldn't help myself. Here's my response:
Don't get me started!

I was widowed 3 years ago, during which time I have met MANY widoweds who were not married. Even if you think you have lined up all your legal ducks, if you die without that itty bitty piece of paper, your surviving spouse is likely to be pierced by a tapered shank with a helical thread

Without that itty bitty piece of paper, the not-quite in-laws can make all the decisions about burial and disposition of belongs. Even despised ex-spouses can step in and claim things the deceased would never have let them touch.

We all know about wills, medical directives, blah blah blah. But how many cohabitating couples under 40 actually HAVE that stuff? How many under 50? How many change the beneficiary of their office life insurance or their pension plan when their beloved moves in? How many write down how they want to be buried/cremated/etc? How many remember EVERYTHING that the survivor might need access to?

Even if you lived together for 15 years, without that itty bitty piece of paper, you are "just the girlfriend" or "just the boyfriend." You can't change the phone service or utilities to your name. You can't access non-joint bank accounts. You can't even add money to the SmartTag transponder without that itty bitty piece of paper. And you sure don't get Social Security benefits or death benefits from the deceased's employer.

Religious aspects aside, marriage is a contract: What's yours is mine, what's mine is yours, unless we make specific exemptions to that agreement. Theoretically, it is possible to write up enough legal documents to address the myriad issues a marriage license covers. But isn't that one itty bitty piece of paper a lot easier?

I was married -- my husband died unexpectedly at the age of 44, leaving me with two small children -- but even so I have had to deal with bureaucratic nightmares. And I could tell you stories about widoweds who weren't married, stories that would make your toes curl.

You got me started, and it was hard to stop. I apologize for the vehemence of my reply.

Shaun the sheep

The whole family is addicted to this, see what you think.


This lamb had been born about 1 hour when I took this picture at Far Ings nature reserve. No jokes about the black sheep of the family please!

"So, how was your honeymoon?"


That's how my sister greeted me when I called her this morning.
Uhhh... It wasn't a honeymoon.
No? Mother and I thought maybe you would use the weekend to elope.
Uhhh... No. And we didn't do anything that will require planning a honeymoon either.

??? oka-a-a-yyy ???

We didn't get engaged.

Oh! Okay, thank you for clarifying. That answers that question.
Well, I know that's what inquiring minds want to know.










But we did have a WONDERFUL time on our romantic getaway. It was so nice to have time for just the two of us, without one boy or the other clamoring for our attention. We relaxed, walked in the woods, sat by the lake, talked, cried a bit, laughed a lot ... it was just wonderful.

AAAAnnnndd ... as part of the getaway package at the B&B ... drum roll ... I got my first-ever manicure and my first-ever pedicure. I can do without manicures, but I am totally sold on pedicures.