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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in comic_mom's LiveJournal:

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    Thursday, December 4th, 2014
    8:42 am
    Pity Party Over
    Thank you, Joni! I would like to say that my pity partyin' days are over, but they are probably not. For today, however, they are.

    God has given me some ways of dealing with these "I -want-to-kill-myself" moments. I am beginning to see a couple of those ways.

    I am thankful that I'm not drinking alcohol right now.
    Wednesday, November 19th, 2014
    7:25 am
    Birthdays, We Love Birthdays!
    Okay, I'm very, very behind on birthday stuff. Usually, I take time and post an individual journal entry about what happened the day before the birthday, the day of, and lots of stuff before and after. But I am tired this year. I am overwhelmed. I feel overworked and underappreciated. So, it's taken me until right now, while everyone is sleeping in a hotel room, to sit down and write. Part of that reason is because of the Indian editing work. Boy, have I ever had a lot of that lately. And I'm thankful for it. I have no idea how long it will last, but while it's happening, I am thankful.

    So, please note that although I am overwhelmed this year, I would like to write down some stuff about birthdays.

    November 3:

    I recently made the comment to S.F. that I married into the right family. Indeed, the only birthday cards I received this year were from his father and his aunt. Both of those cards made me very happy. Having said that, I did receive two homemade cards, one from Nine and one from Eleven, but that was probably because I asked. Still, I love a good homemade card. Thirteen had nothing to share with me. Oh well. Underappreciated. Overwhelmed. Maybe I'm expecting too much. I did also receive a happy birthday wish via text and for that wish, I am very happy. I heard nothing about my birthday from S.F., but the boys did get him to join in on the happy birthday song on speaker phone.

    At the time of my actual birth, I was carting three Scouts around, finishing popcorn orders. I did manage, later that week, to go hiking with the boys and that was fun. I counted that as a birthday present as well. Considering all the stuff that could have gone wrong this year, but did not, I am also thankful that I have my three boys with me. Really, what good would any present do if I didn't have my boys.

    November 14:

    This was the day that Thirteen turned Fourteen. Maybe I'm cheating a bit here, but I'm going to post what I did on FB about Fourteen's birthday:

    I'm so thankful that God blessed me with Fourteen. Fourteen years ago today, I was in Cedars-Sinai, waiting for my 9 lb. 12 oz. son to come out. No, I didn't know he'd be that big. He came out crying loudly, as if he was mad that the lights were on in the delivery room. His daddy was quoting "Goodnight Moon" as the nurses cleaned him and the wonderful Dr. David Kline just smiled and said "Congratulations" as I experienced being a mom, with the baby on the outside, for the first time. I was scared and elated and I've pretty much stayed that way ever since.

    It's so hard to believe that it's been fourteen years since that day I first became a mom. Wow. Time is surely flying.

    November 18:

    My third son was born four days after his older brother's fourth birthday. I remember being quite pregnant at TravelTown, where we had a party for our firstborn, hoping that I would not go into labor. I waited until Wednesday to do that. Evidently, my now ten-year-old didn't want to be born on his brother's birthday. Here's what I wrote about him on FB:

    Happy Birthday to my now 10-year-old, Jadon! Welcome to the world of double digits. When I was pregnant with you, I had a dream in which a fortune teller told me, "You know you're having a boy." A few months later, I found out that my dream came true. My water broke with you around 2 or 3 a.m. On the way to the hospital, we saw that street workers were putting up Christmas decorations in Beverly Hills and I asked your daddy to circle around the block so that we could watch them putting up the decorations. We got to the hospital and I waddled across the Cedars-Sinai parking lot, worried that you would come on out before we got inside. Turns out, you had turned sideways and when Dr. David Kline got to the hospital soon after, he started cutting me to get you out. You had the cord wrapped around your neck twice. And you were 11 lbs. 1 oz. So many things could have happened that day, but everything worked out beautifully and my third son is still as beautiful as he was that day. I thank God for giving me this healthy growing boy and for allowing mother and son to be okay that November day.

    I am very thankful for my boys. And those three are some wonderful presents from S.F.

    Regarding S.F. and his family: I may or may not have said this previously, but I have certainly been an awful wife and not that great of a mother. I've been arrogant and stupid and brought a lot of shame to their family and to my own. I'm sorry about this. In the past year, I've realized I have a drinking problem, been semi--diagnosed with two conditions I never thought existed a few years ago: Attention Deficit Disorder and Asperger's Syndrome (a.k.a. high-functioning autism). I'm not making excuses for my behavior, but I can definitely say that my strange behavior now has a reason. It's not just because I'm adopted or grew up as an only child, although those things certainly contributed to a lot of stuff. I've been a relatively crappy friend also.

    I guess I've been a pretty crappy person overall. Maybe it's all finally catching up with me. I don't mean to say all this out of self pity, although I'm guessing that my self pity is part of my crappiness.

    Also, this traveling across the country thing, while I am thankful for it, is stressing me out. Fourteen has talked about going to high school next year, in North Carolina. The therapist thinks this will be a good thing for him. Maybe for all of us. I do love California, but I'm not crazy about the educational options for high school, at least in the public realm. There are private programs, but they are often costly. Also, I signed all three of them up to play basketball in N.C. this winter, but only two people signed up for Fourteen's team and so, he will not get to play. What's it doing to my kids also that they are not around their dad so much? We are skyping with him most every day and that's awfully nice, but it doesn't make up for being there.

    I've put myself and my children in a super awkward position. Please pray for us and that we will do what God wants and what's best for my boys.
    Monday, October 27th, 2014
    5:43 pm
    Sitting at Cup-A-Joe's
    In addition to getting a speeding ticket, I ran over one of the puppies a couple of weeks ago. It died. There is nothing I can do about that now except to learn from it. I was completely sober and even on time when this happened. The puppy was under the wheel of the Odyssey and I had no idea that it was. Sometimes sucky things just happen.

    I'm sitting at Cup-A-Joe's, in the same place where I translated Beowulf during graduate school. My kids have all been at Nice Price Books, reading. We are a family of geeks, if nothing else. So much stuff has happened since my translating Anglo-Saxon into English at this very table. Across the street, there is a new building, probably student apartments, going up. Poole Equipment with its cut-out machine on top of the building is still there. The old brick building welcomed me to Raleigh in the 80s. Long before children. Husband. House. HO.

    I love the way that Nice Price Books still has stuff arranged more or less the way it did when I was in graduate school. Sometimes I really miss teaching English here in Raleigh. I really miss it today, but I don't always miss it.

    My boys are growing up now and I would totally love it if one or all of them wanted to come to NCSU. I have learned so very much in this city and I do love coming here. Do I want to live here again one day? Maybe. I think about all the wonderful and some not-so-wonderful things that have happened here.

    In many ways it is much less restrictive here than it is in the City of Villa Villekula, which isn't really a city at all.

    I am listening to WKNC-FM here at Cup-A-Joe's; I used to work there. Ah, the good memories from that. We are planning to meet the McCarthys at Cameron Village for supper. Elizabeth, now a mom of four, used to have a gaggle of graduate students that met here more or less every night. I miss those days, but am so very thankful for the days that I have now, days where I can bring my children to this place and let them read, which they are doing right now.

    How easily that all could have changed last January, or in February, when Eleven stepped out in front of a car in Sherman Oaks. The truth is that at anytime, something awful could happen and life would change dramatically. I am so very thankful that my children are with me today. That I did not get a DWI. That I am relatively healthy and alive. We'll work on the speeding ticket, but the puppy is gone, buried in a grave that my neighbor dug. I did not mean to run over that little girl, of course, and I cried and cried about it, but it happened. Today, we picked up the entries at the NC State Fair and Eleven's picture was of the puppy. "Is that your puppy?" the woman asked when she handed him the picture he'd entered. "Yes," he said. I thought of how alive the puppy had been when we took the picture to the fair.

    I don't have the answers to everything, or even a conclusion to this entry. But I am very thankful that we are here, at this time, in this space, with each other.
    Sunday, October 12th, 2014
    7:43 am
    Screwing Up, In a Big Old F'in Way
    Let's just say that several things have been screwing up lately. Or maybe, better stated, I have been screwing things up a lot lately. Have I been doing that more than usual? I'm not sure. Or is it just if I am noticing it more now that I am not drinking alcohol?

    And sure, I feel bad about getting a speeding ticket yesterday, going to a soccer game that turned out to be cancelled. Yikes. I do feel bad about that, although the boys' friend who'd spent the night Friday night and was just along for the ride, announced that yesterday was the "craziest day" he'd ever had. I told him that I was glad to be a part of that. I'm sure the ticket helped, too.

    But one thing I am really super duper sorry about is that I screwed up with Legos and the North Carolina State Fair. S.F. and I have been having lots of money issues and well, there's that whole executive function thing in my brain. That's a real Aspie problem. There's also other stuff that I let get in the way, partly because I feel sometimes as though all I do all day is to monitor computer activity and try to edit for the Indians. I also try to do some schoolwork, but that hasn't happened so much this week, mainly due to the fact that the last time it happened, at the end of last week, I said I would do no more school work (because that last day had been so very painful) until I could buy some desks at IKEA (around $100 for everyone's). Oh, that money stuff is coming up again. The Indian stuff got to me Friday night, which is probably why I woke up at 4:30 a.m. on Saturday morning and cried for two hours. I felt better after that. So much better that I didn't end up even crying one bit when the policeman clocked me at 22 mph over the speed limit (I  had thought that the speed limit was ten miles more than it was, but I also was more worried about getting to a place on time--because, of course, I was late getting started, as usual)--than I was with whatever my speed was.) I had thought a lot of stuff but I wasn't thinking about how fast I was going and I wasn't watching for the po-po. At all. I've got to deal with a ticket an a court date now. But as the police officer, who had gotten a backup police car--as they tend to do in this town--being that there are too many police officers and not enough people to stop. Yes, it was indeed a speed trap that had been set up.

    And so, with everything else that's been going on, I waited until the last minute--my usual modus operandi--to order this Lego stuff. I did what I usually do, which is to wait until the last minute to order stuff and rely on express shipping. Only, when I finally put this order in last Monday did I learn that Lego does not have express shipping, does not allow it, and I also found out that these pieces cannot be gotten at the Lego store. Oy vey. I had screwed up big time, being that we have to turn stuff in today and the Legos may not be here until last this week. If then. I feel awful. Nine and Eleven seemed able to build their stuff anyway, but as of last night--and no, I did not make it the priority that I probably should have. I also somewhat delegated the agenda item of the fair to the boys' dad, but I did not check up on S.F. I did not oversee it the way I usually do. And so, here Thirteen is, ready to give up Legos after having wanted to be a Lego designer only last spring, after our trip to LegoLand. How much of this is my fault? All of it. As always. And I have had way too much responsibility lately for an Aspie like me to handle.

    The soccer thing is great, but I was told yesterday that I would hear if the game had been cancelled, but the person who told me that, my soccer boss, if you will, was supposed to hear from the other teams rec. director, but their rec. director, according to my soccer boss, called someone else instead of him. I wasn't the only person on the team who went the 30 miles or so to the game, only to find out that it was cancelled. My soccer boss apologized profusely. But I had already gotten the ticket, which was completely my fault, but if I'd known . . . . woulda, coulda, shoulda.

    I'm overloaded these days. And I've had to spend large chunks of time socializiing this weekend, which always takes it out of me. Whew.

    Load the mommy guilt--I'm all about carrying burdens these days. I'm trying to hand them over to God, but they keep coming at me, fast and furious. Or maybe I keep bringing them on. The good news is that CoCo the Wonder Dog, realizing that I needed some help, took one of her three puppies to a neighbors' house. And the puppy ended up sleeping with the neighbors that night. I guess she'll end up like her chihuahua/beagle mama and just sleep with anyone (sorry, I couldn't help myself on that joke, if it was even a joke). Thank you, CoCo the Wonder Dog, for helping out this well-intentioned Aspie mom. Now, if we can only get rid of the other two before I fall in love with one or both of them (S.F. will rightly skin us all alive if CoCo or I don't give away another puppy soon).
    Wednesday, October 8th, 2014
    5:26 pm
    Me and My Big Mouth
    Sometimes, I write things just to get a reaction. Or to express my anger. Or my fear. And that is exactly what happened with the entry that I deleted. There is a lot of fear that I have and I thought that writing about someone else's stuff instead of my own stuff would be somehow comforting. I do this kind of thing a lot. I think it's probably why I don't have a lot of friends. And that kind of thing, in a non-blog form, may just be why I have had two marriages and lots of relationships that did not work out. It's the Aspie thing, I think, that lack of social awareness and lack of concern for other people's feelings. It's thinking all about me, me, me. I thank God (not using His name in vain on this one--I really mean it) that I have people in my life who will tell it like it is and not pussyfoot around. That happened today, from someone I never expected it to happen with. God is doing some crazy wonderful things in my life and for that I am thankful.

    It's funny how my friend Angie said a few years ago something about "God is in control" and I got all mad at her and at the world because I thought that I was in control. That's an alcoholic thing, for sure. I have wised up and when I let go of my ego for a few minutes and let God truly be in control, a magical thing happens--I can get on with my life and let God do what needs to be done. My stress level goes way down. It's not become a habit yet, but more and more, I'm turning things over to God. More and more, God is helping to bring things and people into my life that help me to be more honest with myself and others. Sometimes, I really love being sober and now is one of those times.

    I stayed up editing a document from the Indians last night and watching the lunar eclipse on the Internet. It was cloudy in N.C. and I started missing L.A. a bit, where the moon was clear and there was a telescope that was being broadcast from the Griffith Observatory, one of my favorite L.A. places. Even watching it on the Internet was magical. There is just something about an eclipse.
    Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014
    3:29 am
    Editing, et al.
    I've been doing a lot of editing lately. Then, I thought the Indians were mad at me and didn't send me documents. Then, I followed S.F.'s suggestion to e-mail one of the Indian guys and voila, I asked and received. So, that's great. It's hard to work in schoolwork and such with editing, but it's not impossible. I am working on integrating stuff that's important in my life and forgetting about stuff that isn't.

    I'm seeing everything through this Asperger's filter now. What I meant to say yesterday, but I don't think I did, was that a few weeks ago, on that Wednesday in August, when I sat in front of the MT and we talked about the autism spectrum, that I identified way too easily with other Aspies, I realized that she saw me in a different way than anybody else in the world had ever seen me. She saw a part of me that told her how my brain works, that it works in a different way than many people's, that sometimes it helps and sometimes it hurts, that I will never wake up one morning and be rid of the awkwardness of communicating with people when part of me would rather stay in the house and cocoon all day, that I will always misunderstand and be misunderstood, that I will never outgrow this, that it is who I am. Perhaps the MT didn't mean for all that to happen that day. She merely suggested that I am on da spectrum; she helped me to see a part of me that no one on this earth knew was there. To me, that is magical in and of itself. How would my life had been if I had always had the compassion that I currently have for myself, the knowledge that my brain is wired differently, that no matter what I do, I will always be a bit strange, that I have to work really hard to appear normal. And that it doesn't always work when I try to.

    That I have worked so hard to be where I am right now doesn't mean that social interactions don't stress me out--they do. But I am trying to be more accepting of myself and of my autistic brain.
    Monday, September 22nd, 2014
    4:27 am
    It's 3:47 a.m., for goodness sake.
    I guess I have insomnia a lot lately. Well, not around 11 p.m., when I fall asleep or have been asleep for an hour, while the boys run all over Villa Villekula, looking for that horse that Pippi Longstocking was rumored to have left here. Funny thing is, they looked in the same place for her that they have looked for everything else in their very young lives--on the computer. Monitoring the computer is half of the mommy job when you're a homeschooling, stay-at-home mom. Monitoring tends not to be my particular cup of tea, being especially that managing other people tends to use my "executive function" part of the brain, something that's not particularly strong in those of us with Asperger's, hereafter which will be called the more affectionate term of Aspies. Now, please allow me to say here that I neither have nor want an official diagnosis of Asperger's and to jump through all the hoops I'd need to have that done. Then again, I may do that someday. I leave myself open to that.

    Oh, and to get back to that first sentence, I woke up at 3 a.m., needing to get into my jammies.

    It was my therapist who suggested that Thirteen and I may be on "da spectrum," as I have been calling it lately. There may just be a rap song one day for "On Da Spectrum in the Gingerbread House 'Hood," which also may double as a reality show. When people ask me why I spend so much time in California--and really, only maybe one person has ever asked me that--one of the reasons has to be the fabulous medical care. We have found a lovely orthodontist that is treating not only Eleven but also treated with success his crazy maligned mouth mother (CMMM) a few years ago. So that has been wonderful--if I'd been in North Carolina only, I would have missed the magical Dr. Waldman and his lovely office staff. To fix what he fixed, I'd have had to have surgery, probably, and spent $20,000 or so on that. These little things seem to tell me that I'm where I'm supposed to be.

    So does my therapist. A few years ago, in one of the mommy groups we were kicked out of, before we were actually kicked out, I met a really cool chick from Nashville. She had been to this therapist and recommended her. Let's call her Miracle Therapist (MT). Things got so desperate around the GH a couple of years ago that I gave her a call. I liked seeing her because she was a homeschooler herself, and sees many homeschoolers as clients. So, there was not that hurdle to overcome.

    As I've been thinking about the whole alcohol thing a lot lately, I am realizing that, in hindsight, seeing that I am an alcoholic was not such a crazy or far-fetched thing. In many ways, it didn't surprise me. Or rather, it shouldn't have. Many, many, many moons ago, my therapist in Raleigh gave me a pamphlet that had these questions about being an alcoholic. I wondered why she was giving it to me. I really did. It took me that long to see why she gave it to me. I really can be kinda stubborn.

    So, the alcohol thing was not so much of a shocker. But this Aspie thing has taken me for a crazy loop. That I am at all on the autistic spectrum is totally changing the way I have thought about everything. And knowing that part of my personality--due to brain wiring--will always be socially awkward, that I will misunderstand people and they will misunderstand me; that I will never be and have never been a popular person; that my thinking is different from a majority of people on this planet and it's not like I will ever be part of the mainstream. Those things really rock my world. I'm beginning to understand not only that I say and do hateful things, but that I am unable to realize that they are hateful. Until or unless someone points them out to me. In that sense, I am socially retarded. Yeah. And while I am taking homeopathic medicine to help with a problem that often co-exists with Asperger's Syndrome, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), there is no medicine that I can take for being an Aspie. As I read on one Aspie blog, when the person found out about the Aspie diagnosis, she said something like nothing is changed, everything is changed. And that's how it is. I will wake up tomorrow with knowledge that I did not have three months ago, knowledge that doesn't change who I am, but does explain it.

    And so, for those ones (or more likely, one) wondering why I was in L.A. so long in August and September, one thing was because I live there (and in N.C., too).  Another is because there were orthodontist appointments, for me and for Eleven. And then, there was this appointment on Wednesday evening in August that I had with my therapist and I was very angry for her because of something she'd said to me that previous Sunday. I was late driving to Sunland, fussing all the way in the HO and telling the boys that I was engaging in shame-based behavior by being so late. Some people may say I've been analyzing a little too much lately. Sitting before the MT in her office that day, looking at her and telling her how closely the Aspie traits I'd been reading on the Internet have been to me, how much I identified with stuff I've been reading about the autism spectrum, on the high functioning end. I told her about how I'd danced with a guy who asked me when I was with my first boyfriend at a dance and how my boyfriend was mad at me and I knew I'd done something wrong, but it took me days and help from my adoptive family to figure it out. "That's Asperger's," she said, without missing a beat. So, here's this thing that's been with me, shaping my behavior and my world for as long as I can remember and yet, I kept just thinking I was stupid.

    It's good and discomforting to know the truth.

    Btw, the beginning of soccer season this weekend totally rocked!

    Maybe I can sleep now.
    Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014
    6:51 am
    It's 3:30 A.M., For Goodness Sake
    Here I am, getting ready to mop the bathroom. True, I am having some kind of insomnia thing tonight, probably. It's been a long day. We signed our living trust, which will leave all our earthly stuff to our children, without the mega-expense--in California--of probate. I read one estimate that it would cost around $14,000 to go through probate in California. It cost around $100, as I recall, when my adoptive father died in North Carolina, to go through probate. And so, this living will avoids that kinda thing. It got me to thinking about death, though. I don't feel as though I'll screw anybody over when I die. Neither will S.F. And we've got people we trust in charge of things. So, now we can live without worrying about that aspect of dying. And we did it for far less than $14,000. It was a bargain in comparison.

    As with everything here in SoCal, nobody wants to think too much about death or getting older. So, no one really does think much about it. The boys and I and their daddy are no exception. So, after spending some time with the estate planning lawyer in the City of Orange, we went to Redondo Beach for an hour or so. Then, we went to the Lego store in Glendale. Each boy got a free Lego airplane that he'd built.

    I was exhausted after all that driving, even though S.F. was driving the entire time. He'd taken the day off work. I used my time in the HO's passenger seat to work on a document that I was editing for the India people. Yes, India. Anyway, I finally got that turned in, although not without a tantrum or two. From me, that is. I'm working on the tantrum thing, but sometimes, I still act like a 2-year-old.

    Oh, and so now, here we are a few days from traveling across the country to the beautiful and bucolic land of North Carolina, and I go outside just a few minutes ago and look across the street and see two LAPD officers standing beside their SUV. I was just going to the recycling bin to throw in a sour cream container lid and a Coke can. One of the officers said, "Go back in your house and lock all your doors." And so, I did, failing to put the recycling in its final resting place until the bins are picked up on Thursday. I didn't even hear the sireens. They were just over there. And I saw a spotlight or two. I haven't heard a helicopter since much earlier this evening. So maybe this person's on foot. Maybe that's what Roscoe the incestuous dog was barking at earlier this evening, the LAPD mobiles. It was only an hour or so ago that he was barking and I couldn't figure out why. I'm almost afraid to go around back and walk around our swimming pool, which is the only allowable walking I'll be doing tonight, or so it looks like. I wonder who they're looking for and what the deal is on finding him--I'm assuming it's a him, but you never know. The dogs will let us know if anybody's trying to break in. Unless, of course, whoever that is brought some steak to share with the dogs. So, let's assume that's not happening and that all dogs will be good guard dogs. Still, this whole LAPD in da 'hood, right across from the Gingerbread House, is a little bit stressful. I need to mop--that might be an excellent thing to do until the LAPD leaves, which I hope they do soon--unless they haven't caught him (or her).

    Yikes--if ever I needed a drink . . . .
    Monday, September 1st, 2014
    4:26 pm
    Happy Labor Day!
    Here I am in sunny Southern California, happy and writing in the dining room of the Gingerbread House. I realize that I never did quite write a nice, happy Mother's Day entry, but I did have a good Mother's Day. I was awfully busy thinking about those who didn't, though. Why am I thinking about Mother's Day on Labor Day? I don't have a great answer for that, but I am thinking more these days about behavior that doesn't benefit me anymore. Did I come up with that phrase? Of course not. Similar wording is on the yoga c.d. that I work out to, but my therapist mentioned it to me yesterday. I say my therapist, but it's probably more correct to say our therapist, being that our whole family is seeing her. Yesterday, I saw her by myself, though.

    In the past year, I've found out a lot about myself. It's labeling, yes, but I guess it's more descriptive and honest than simply weird. And yes, I know that a few years ago, I was railing against these very labels, claiming that parents have been duped into believing there's something wrong with their child, mainly because the pharmaceutical industry wants to make money. Not that I still don't believe that--I do. It's just that I'm a bit more compassionate with these people, mainly because I am trying to be more compassionate to everyone. I have been very self-centered all my life. Those who are familiar with alcoholism will know it's a trait of that very disease. So, that's one thing I've found out--that I am an alcoholic. What that means is that I can't really just have that one glass of wine that normal people can have and be more or less okay. It got to where, in fact, that I couldn't just have that one bottle of wine that might last a normal person, oh, about a week or so. It got to where it was lasting me less than 24 hours. Consistently. That's all I'm saying about that right now, but I do now consider myself a recovering alcoholic, which means that I have been sober--for almost eight months--and I am actively doing things that will help me not to drink again.

    Okay, that's enough of that.

    I've also figured out, with the help of some online diagnostic tests and a therapist who is hip to such issues, that I have either Asperger's Syndrome or High-Functioning Autism. Or as the new theapeutic lingo goes, according to my therapist, I'm "twice exceptional," which means, in my own words here, that I'm really really smart about some things and really really dumb about others. Well, that's a lot to digest. For sure.

    Let's not forget about my "Attention Deficit Disorder"! I'm betting nobody was surprised about this one. I am taking medication, btw, but it is homeopathic medicine, and, as far as I can tell, there is no connection between my medicine and the pharmaceutical companies.

    Last year at this time, I was so very sure that I was perfect. My imperfections are there and as I begin to digest them, I am even more thankful that I and my children and healthy, alive, and more or less happy. Their dad is also alive and healthy. Yes, I am quite imperfect and just beginning to realize that I am, but I have these wonderful children that God has blessed me with and I am very thankful for that life that I am leading on this very day: I went to ballet class this morning and we are going to a friend's house for a cookout later this afternoon. There are so many good and wonderful things in my life. I hosted a rockin' comedy show at the Tribal Cafe last night. And so, life is pretty good, even though my illusion of perfection has broken into a million pieces.

    Today would have been my mother-in-law's 70th birthday; September 3rd would have been Grandma Chambers 109th birthday, or something like that--I may be off a couple of years with hers--but it's hard to believe she's been gone so long. I really miss talking with her.
    Saturday, August 16th, 2014
    5:41 am
    The Wonders of Travel
    Last week at this time, we were probably somewhere in Arizona, hoping to get to L.A. by sometime in the morning. Sunrise in the Mojave desert is gorgeous, although my kids kinda just take those breathtaking views for granted these days, being that we've seen them so much. I think they slept through most of the desert.

    We did get here by 9 a.m., just in time to go to Knott's Berry Farm, which the company that S.F. works for had taken us for their family day. So, we went from a fabulous VBS in North Carolina to Knott's Berry Farm, within a few days. It always used to amaze me when Thirteen was an infant and we would stay with Aunt Joni sometimes while we were in N.C. I'd be in Burbank Airport in the morning and in the tiny little town I grew up in, in northwestern North Carolina, by midnight. Oh, that was so cool, knowing that we'd transported ourselves so very far in so little time.

    It helps that we are able to stay in our own house. You'd be surprised how much of a motivator taking a shower is when you're going across the country. We are very fortunate indeed that we are able to have that motivation right now, whether we are going east or west.
    Wednesday, August 13th, 2014
    5:37 am
    Where Are We Now?!?
    I just read an article about simplifying your life. One thing it said was that you should always ask, "Does this simplify my life?" If the answer is no, we should reconsider. Oh my. I'm kinda sorta glad I didn't ask myself this question back in June, when we were trying to get to North Carolina. I don't know what is more simple than going 2,400 miles across the country, do you?!? We made that trip, accounting for time changes, in about 54 hours, just in time for a July 4th parade I'd really wanted to attend. S.F. slept in the car while the boys and I, and two cross-country-traveling dogs, watched the parade. Last Tuesday night at this time, we were thinking we'd had our last night of a really cool VBS at a church in N.C. We'd originally planned to go for two nights only. Then the boys wanted to go to that VBS instead of going to a Boy Scout pool party. Then, the next night, I let them go while I finished packing. We ended up going to every night but that last one. We left on Wednesday night, after VBS, around 11 p.m. We got to the GH the next Saturday, around noon Eastern time, just in time to attend Knott's Berry Farm, where S.F.'s company had so graciously sent all staff and their families. The trip west took us 61 hours or so.

    More later . . . I'm tired.
    Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014
    9:58 am
    What I Should Have Posted Last Week
    Much of this entry has been on my computer desktop for a week. So, here it is:

    Last week, when S.F. was with us in North Carolina, Nine was our only child for the week. His older brothers were at Boy Scout camp. I did not realize that life with one child could be so very tranquil. It was as if I had nothing at all to do, no one to yell at. Not that we didn't do anything--Nine not only attended Vacation Bible School at a neighboring church, he also had a friend over to spend the night. It was his friend's first sleepover. I was so very pleasant, not the yelling bitch I tend to be with my three. I'm realizing that having three boys is a lot of work. If somebody isn't plotting or planning some nefarious action that will just fall short of burning down the house, somebody has touched someone or something that's not supposed to be touched and somebody else is yelling about it. That's pretty much my life and it fulfills a dream of mine, to be able to stay home with my children. But it's taxing to do that very thing and I get very frustrated at times.

    I'm beginning to see that all the alcohol deadened my feelings, giving me the illusion that things would be better someday and not allowing me to see that things can be better today, if I choose to make them so. Someone at a twelve-step meeting the other day said something I can really relate to--he said that every day we're handed a 100 lb. bag of manure and it's how we deal with it that really makes a difference. I've been looking at it as a stinky nuisance instead of realizing that I can use it for my compost pile. Worse, I've been expecting all kinds of things instead of the bag of manure. I think in the back of my mind, I've been expecting that I will receive a bag of gold or silver. And I've been pretty darn disappointed and frustrated when I haven't received that. I've been blaming everybody else instead of realizing that we all get a bag to deal with. I'm learning that my brain functions in a very stubborn way and that I have trouble often seeing things that are really obvious to other people. When I think of all that I've put my children and husband through with this way of thinking, I am really sad about it. But I am also thankful that I am finally realizing that I am no different from anyone else in receiving the bag o'manure. I can deal with it positively or I can be angry and blame everyone else. Lots of stuff I fantasized were in my control are actually not; but I can control my reaction to that manure bag. Every day, I have an opportunity to do that very thing.
    Tuesday, July 8th, 2014
    6:07 pm
    Traveling Across the Country--Our Modus Operandi
    I am just now getting into the North Carolina vibe. Last week at this time, we were at the Gingerbread House, getting ready to go. The boys took an afternoon class in making your very own Lego movie, taught by a couple of guys who actually worked on the Lego Movie. We were planning to leave at 8 p.m. and were only 4 1/2 hours late in leaving! That may be a record for us.

    With three children, two dogs, and two tired parents, we rolled into North Carolina just in time for my favorite July 4th parade. We still haven't gotten all the dog hair out of the HO, but I think we did eradicate the dog poop. I sure hope so.
    Wednesday, June 25th, 2014
    1:05 am
    What's Been Going Down at the GH
    I'm so very tired right now. And yet, it's been over a month since I wrote (sorry, Joni!). I have been doing a lot of Goodnight Universe shows and I must admit that the lazy part of me is so very happy just talking and not having to write anything.

    A fabulous month it's been and I'm so thankful for that. The boys and their dad and I went to Las Vegas for a chess tournament on Father's Day weekend. The boys and I had never been to Las Vegas, although their dad went there on a business trip (no, really, it was!) when I was pregnant with Thirteen. Gosh, it's hard to believe 2000 is so far from 2014. The chess tournament was great and I hope to post pictures here as soon as I get the money to upgrade my Live Journal membership. Yes, I really need to do that.

    Speaking of $$$$, we are still having problems with the money thing. Boy, are we. I'm working on finding more editing work, as the company I edit for seems to be doing fewer proposals these days.

    I think I mentioned Legoland in an earlier post. That was fun, too. We have had a lot of fun and I'm thankful for that. We need some fun.

    We're still seeing a therapist and I am enjoying indulging myself, when possible, by talking to her. Sometimes, I even get to see her alone. I love my boys, but I have a lot of issues that are affecting my job as a parent. The therapist is helping me to sort it all out. And she is helping us all to communicate better.

    SF and Nine are at Webelos camp and they come back tomorrow. I miss Nine and am anxiously awaiting his arrival tomorrow.

    I'm sleeping soon, but more later, I hope. :)
    Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
    10:36 am
    It's not as though I haven't had this North Carolina/California conflict going on for a while. I remember writing in my journal (the old-fashioned Amish kind, with pen) when I was pregnant with Thirteen, saying how confused I was about whether to be in North Carolina or California. I think I wrote it in a Super Shuttle, on the way to LAX, headed for N.C.

    We're seeing a therapist, all of us are, but the bulk of everything is for S.F. and me. We really need to learn to communicate.

    Right now, we are at Legoland resort. I have cobbled these few sentences together over the past few days. I plan to write more soon.
    Wednesday, May 14th, 2014
    2:20 am
    Mother's Day, Not A Happy Day for All
    Before I write anything about my Mother's Day, I would like to ask you to pray for Ashley. She's actually a cousin of mine in my adoptive family--her grandpa is Beauford's brother. I remember him, my Uncle Glen, really well, but Ashley was just a little thing when he died. She has always reminded me so much of her grandpa. Last year, a few days before Mother's Day, Ashley, a single mother, had picked up her gorgeous daughter, Dylan, and they were on their way home. It was raining in Asheville, where Ashley moved after growing up in Florida, and Ashley's car hydroplaned out of control, hitting another car. Ashley was hurt, but Dylan was hurt much worse. A few days after Mother's Day, the beautiful Miss Dylan died, so very close to her 18-month birthday. I never met Dylan in person, but I felt like I knew her because of all the photos I saw of her on FB. My heart breaks for Ashley and her family--her Mother's Day will always remind her of this tragedy. Please keep her in her prayers. I kept thinking this whole weekend that there are so many mothers who've lost children--some through death, some through adoption--and Mother's Day is not, for them, the joyous occasion that so many consider it. Please keep moms who've lost a child in your prayers.
    Friday, May 9th, 2014
    9:56 am
    Moving On
    I guess tomatoes are technically a fruit. So maybe my previous journal entry should be "Losing A Fruit." Whatever the case, I posted the entry on FB and got some helpful responses. Look, I have feelings and when someone treats me the way that T.G. has, I really need to do something to get back to equilibrium. It's really easy to think that everybody  hates me, at least in my own pity party. But the truth is that while I am not that great of a person, I'm a lot better than what T.G. thinks. And I need to remember that. One person on FB had this to say:"Repeat after me: This is reflection on him, not on me. Yeah, sounds simple -- but it is. Make any sense?" Oh, how I did love hearing this. Yes, it is simple. And yes, it is.

    Actually, it's becoming more simple the crazier T.G. seems to get. Yesterday morning, I called him (maybe not the smartest move ever) and he immediately asked me if I'd been seeing my neighbor. And he knew my neighbor's last name, which means that he and his wife looked up my friends on FB and found my neighbor. Oy vey! I also don't want to forget that when I called him (around 8ish West Coast time), I wasn't perfect in saying something--I forget what exactly it was--and of course, he called me a drug addict and implied that I'd been ingesting pot.

    Not to be outdone, our West Coast neighbor has been chiding me (not anyone else, of course) for our dogs getting out yesterday through a hole in the fence. A really mean note--I didn't read all of it--was on my side door when I got home from taking the boys to Ventura for classes. We also went to a really cool play in Thousand Oaks about the California Gold Rush. So, we'd had a long day. To come home and find a note that tells me I'm teaching my children to neglect their animals is a bit too much. Although I guess, being all my fault and everything, that I should have come home and fixed that hole in the fence. Nevertheless, I'm trusting in my husband (nothing is ever his fault) to fix it this weekend. I'm very thankful that Steve the Great at LCIM (formerly ECCM) has given me some herbs and treating me so that I will be a bit more calm about things. And I certainly was last night.

    What I really should be asking is why in the world I am attracting such negative people into my life.

    Here's another FB comment from a woman who is like a mama to me. I went to high school with her daughter and during some really deep and dark times, she helped me then. Here are the beautiful and helpful words that she wrote me:
    "Trish, just consider the source. The guy is a loser! He sounds very controlling and narcissistic. Nobody has a right to control someone with threats. I don't know a single woman who deserves to be treated like that. I believe you are on the road to "fix" yourself and if you will let God control your life you will make better choices that will bring you the happiness that I feel you deserve. Praying for you."

    This almost made me cry--I really need a mom sometimes and she was right there to help me.

    There was also this comment, from JK:

    "First, congratulations on your three months off the booze. That matters more than this whole story with Tomato Man. In your life, what you do matters more than what anybody else does. You are taking control of your life. Keep doing it. I salute you, as someone who is still swimming in an aquarium of beer, over here.

    Your time away from alcohol, that interests me. Has it been difficult? How have you dealt with it? Does the world feel different now (other than in the obvious ways)?

    You often mention this radio show that you are involved with. Who are these people? How did you find them?

    You are far more interesting than these cut-rate comic book villains that you mention. I don't care if you mention Tomato Man again. He could get pureed, diced, or turned into paste for all I care.

    "Pureed, diced, or turned into paste"?!? I can't help but laugh at that.

    JK's comment asks some very deep questions and I do want to write more about why I am not drinking. I will say that there was an event that very easily could have been very tragic and fortunately, so fortunately, it was not. I believe that event was God (with my cousin, Jan, whose spirit, I think had something to do with it) showing me that I need to stop drinking. I am trying hard to listen and obey.

    As for Goodnight Universe, I met Cole Young and Chris Ramirez doing comedy. We known each other for years. Now they have this podcast and it's really cool. They do two hours each night except Sunday and I call in, usually toward the end of the show, three or four times each week. Last Saturday night, I was able to co-host the show for a couple of hours. I used to make my living in radio and television in the Raleigh market. And so, I am very thankful to be getting my radio feet wet again.

    And I'll end this entry with a really nice quote. I know I have not been a nice person in a lot of ways and I am working on that, but I hope that more people in North Carolina will feel like SBS:

    "You always have friends in NC! You are a great person!"

    Tuesday, May 6th, 2014
    12:07 pm
    Losing A Vegetable
    I knew this day would come, I guess. Maybe it should have come earlier. And I really, really wish that I could deal with this in a way that didn't include writing about it. But it's not like I have a lot of friends and it's not as though I have time to sit all day and brood. I've also been sans alcohol for three months and would like to keep that up. It seems as though the writing and comedy part is exactly what Tomato Guy had a problem with. If you don't know about Tomato Guy, you are welcome to listen to episodes of Goodnight Universe. I'm crying as I write this and right now, the pain is so very intense.

    Basically, Tomato Guy (T.G.) is a neighbor in North Carolina. I think that even he would agree, or at least what he told me this morning, is that he is no longer going to talk with me because I did the Goodnight Universe show Saturday night. I co-hosted because Cole couldn't be there and I had an opportunity to take his place. As a comic and radio person, I looked upon this as an opportunity; he looked upon it as some kind of strange betrayal. He's told me he'd never speak to me before, but I think somehow he's serious this time: He told me in January that he would never talk with me again if I crossed the N.C. border into Tennessee. He also told me back last winter that he would never talk with me if I called the "wetbacks," which is what he calls Chris Ramirez and Cole Young, who produce the show. It's as if he thinks I'm dating them or something, which I am not at all doing. And then, this morning, he got angry with me because I told him that I had pictures of me with comics on my FB page, years of pictures that I've collected in Los Angeles. There is a part of me, of course, that says "good riddance" to someone like that. He has more than once implied that I am screwing my neighbor and comics out here in L.A. and that I stay out all night and don't come in until 6 a.m. He actually believes that I do this. Part of me thinks that really he (and his wife) and effin' with me. It certainly seems that way. His wife, who doesn't like me, has intercepted so many of his messages that I now leave cell phone messages for him and for her. The end of last week got especially bad and he would leave messages on my phone such as this one: "I guess you were out with [Neighbor]." and "I guess you ran into [Neighbor]'s arms." and such.  "Neighbor" is a neighbor here in L.A. that T.G. got especially weird about. I am friendly with neighbors here, but I have had romantic relationships with none of them. The only man I've ever slept with in SoCal (no secret here--I've mentioned this even on Goodnight Universe) is S.F. T.G. also accused me of not being able to do anything "without having a guy around." True, I don't like most women and yes, since I was 17, I've pretty much chosen jobs and careers that had a lot of men in them. That's nothing new. And it's nothing I didn't tell T.G. From the getgo. I also told him that I was a stripper (years ago) and that I am a comic. I also called Goodnight Universe in his presence one night. To me, that was a compliment to T.G. I trusted him enough to let him listen to the call. This was a few months ago, but boy, did it ever pi$$ him off.

    Ever since that time, he's threatened not to talk with me if I call the show. Well, sometimes. Sometimes, he's been okay with the show. However, this past week, he has not been. And he has not been okay with me, either, accusing me of all kinds of things that I haven't done.

    It would be easy, from what you've read so far, to think that it's a good thing that I'm rid of him in my life. He has been refusing my phone calls and asked me never to call his house again. I will certainly honor that request. But there is a good side to him as well. He is wonderful in a lot of ways. He has also told me a lot about myself. He has told me that I am very selfish and he is right about that. There are a lot of things that are wrong with me and I'm working on those things. I am thankful for that. He has also done a lot of good things for me in my N.C. yard. And for that, I am very thankful. I have paid him some money, but he has done most of this stuff from the generosity of his heart. He has a very big heart. He can be a lot of fun to talk with.

    I'm not sure what exactly the problem is with Goodnight Universe or why it is that he told me a few weeks ago never to call him if I've called the show. I call the show a lot. But now, I have lost what I thought was a friend, even though I'm thinking that a true friend accepts you as you are. I don't think I've ever met anyone who threatened to stop talking with me as much as he has. And now, he has stopped. But why, oh why, would anyone do that?!? And how could I let myself allow someone who says such mean things to me into my life? Do I need the abusive words that he has so easily thrown out? Part of me thinks that I may indeed feel as though I need someone to berate me. He is certainly not the only person in the world who thinks I'm not funny. He has told me over and over how not funny I am. So what, though?!? I do comedy because I enjoy it and it seems to me that God has led me to this point in my life. Does T.G. have a closer link to God than I do?!? If so, as I told him this morning, I really need him to tell God to tell me because I'm not so much hearing God through T.G.

    This post may seem jumbled and incohesive, but I am in a great deal of emotional pain right now.

    I am also coming to terms with the fact that I am so very weird that it may be no one can stand being around me. Perhaps that is the hardest thing of all to accept.
    Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014
    1:23 am
    L.A., Exciting, As Always
    The dog that S.F. is about to take to the pound is now barking.

    There's been a lot of good stuff going on lately. We found an Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday in Sunland, the boys were in a chess tournament on Saturday, their mother is slightly less crazy these days.

    Well, maybe that last part isn't true.

    But the dog is barking, very loudly.

    Today, we went to Sam Ash to buy Thirteen a guitar and we ended up buying one from "Rockin' Dave Alford," who used to play for Ratt. It was before-my-time kinda Ratt, be fore "Round and Round," but it was Ratt. Now, that's something you'd probably only find in L.A.
    Sunday, April 6th, 2014
    2:45 am
    Looking Up
    In case you haven't noticed, I've deleted the self-deprecating entry and decided that I will try very hard not to listen to idiots anymore. If you advised me of this--and you know who you are!--I appreciate it.

    April 1st was my adoptive cousin's birthday, the one who was killed two weeks before her wedding, when I was much, much younger. Jan would have been, well, she would have been still older than I am--Ha! I love it when people are older than I am!

    I need to go to bed and yes, I do have a lot on my mind these days. And yes, I'm trying to cleanse my mind (or something) by appearing on the Goodnight Universe show two or three times each week.

    And I'm thinking more clearly without alcohol.

    I'm trying to clear my life of negative people, of people who try to bring me down.

    Oh, and we've still got one more puppy and SF says we must find a home for it this week. He has been pretty patient about this whole puppy thing.
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