Nopevember 2018

I was quiet all month about my Nopevember curse, hoping it would pass me by this year.

Annnnd… No such luck.

This month has ended in its typical crash, the way it has for the last 10 years.

Every. Damn. Year.

Something happens.

A deer smashes into our vehicle, or there’s an unholy, knock-down, drag-out fight with my brother, or my daughter crashes her car (black ice, NOT her fault), or, well, a mixture of awful things that culminate in totally fucking up the month.

This year?

I spent Thanksgiving week trying to help my son deal with severe anxiety and panic attacks. And spent an afternoon in the ER with him the day before the holiday, making sure he was safe, and not spiraling out of control, due to a bad reaction to his meds.

When he called me that morning, I was at work, & luckily had my cell phone ON me, instead of charging, so I was able to take the call right away.

This kid doesn’t call me for shit.

He hates talking on the phone. Period. But, he called & begged me to take him to the ER, because he couldn’t take it anymore.

Now, I have this weird thing that happens in my brain when there’s an emergency.

I call it my “ER Nurse Gene”.

See, my grandmother was an RN for many years, and my Mom was an EMT, and an LPN, at different times, and for many years, as well.

I’ve had a lot of exposure to the medical field in my life, both growing up, and as an adult.

Mom brushes this aside & says it’s not a “real thing”, but even she’s seen it in action with me, & can’t truly explain what happens.

You see, when there’s an emergency…

Something clicks inside my brain, and suddenly… Everything gets very, very clear.

Like, my vision is suddenly crystal clear, & I can see everything going on. I am hyper focused and can triage with the best of them. My senses are all heightened, my mind has a clarity to it that – even I don’t truly understand, once the whole ordeal is over.

Whatever it is, I knew exactly what I needed to do, where I needed to go, just what to say.

My son wasn’t able to focus well enough to answer many questions for the nurses and doctors, due to the medications side effects he was experiencing, so I asked him if it was ok for me to answer for him. He nodded, so I did.

We were lucky, we got right into a room in the ER, & were seen in a relatively short period. All in all, we were only there for about 3.5 hours, which is fairly quick for our ER.

OnlySon got some help, even if it wasn’t exactly what we were hoping for, more of a stop-gap measure until he can get into his regular doc. But it was at least better than what he was going through before.

And, I talked to my ex, his father, & tried to explain that, yes, OnlySon’s anxiety & depression are mental illnesses, but, they are also –

Physical, chemical imbalances.

They are physical disorders as well as mental, and need to be thought of in that way.

It is a chemical imbalance, that can cause, will cause, mental instability, if it is not properly balanced.

That just like Diabetes, this is something lifelong, to be treated and lived with, not something to be hidden or ashamed of.

He grumbled at me a bit, told me, jealously, how “He talks to you about this, he doesn’t want to talk to me”.

And I told him, that, OnlySon knows that I live with anxiety and depression too. That I understand so much of what he’s going through, and that, unless you live it, unless you’ve been through it, it’s really difficult to explain to someone looking in from the outside.

And, when the day was over, after I’d take OnlySon home & finished my workday, I drove home…

And shook.

Every ounce of adrenaline that I’d been running on all day, rushed out of my body at once.

Thanksgiving with my parents was – an exercise in acting normal.

I wore the mask for their sake, and for Youngerdaughter, who came down to stay.

But, the rest of the weekend was a total bust.

I basically collapsed inward.

I didn’t want to see anyone, didn’t want to talk to anyone, didn’t want to interact with the outside world at all.

That’s the price.

I could never have been a nurse, emergency room or otherwise.

I couldn’t afford the cost of what happens afterwards.

Days in a black hole…


I’m so done with this month.


OnlySon has graduated.

It was a fairly quick ceremony, compared to both of my daughters’, inexplicably, as the class sizes were comparable, but for whatever reason, it went easier. Which was alright with me.

I teared up a couple of times, when they first walked up, realizing that this was my youngest, my baby…and he was now old enough to claim his high school diploma & entry into adulthood…leaving childhood behind.

And when he stood in line to await that diploma, that final walk before he left his mother’s care, and her home, to venture into the wide, wild world as his own man.

A Man in Motion.

He was not to be stopped.

With a grin on his face, he kept going…leaving me to find my own way from here on out.

Happy Thoughts…

Trying to remind myself of the good things that do happen, I decided to make mental notes of small, happy things.

1. My pumpkin patch is growing like mad! I have 1 that’s about the size of a baby’s head right now, & at least one more possible that’s the size of a kiwi…

2. I finally saw a monarch butterfly yesterday! I’ve been wondering where they were this year, with everything I’ve read about the troubles they’ve been having…and I saw one! It gave me a smile, and a happy memory of the kids & me taking care of one a few years ago, then releasing it into the park.

(Sneaky Pete from a few years ago when we released him)

3. I found some new series to watch on Netflix. The Shanarra Chronicles (already hooked on this one, & can’t wait for the next season to come out), Stranger Things, Black Mirror, Penny Dreadful (these last ones I haven’t started yet, so have no other comment).  I finished Gilmore Girls again, and I’m eagerly (rabidly) waiting for the new episodes to start in November!

4. I have a lone daisy growing wild in my yard.  It popped up out of nowhere, it’s small, & not perfect… But, it’s tough, and determined.

5. Onlyson started his senior year today. He is also turning 18 in 2 days! My youngest, my baby, will be registering with Selective Service in just a few days. Oy. Where did the time go? I want to do something nice for this big day, but he’ll be going to his dad’s this weekend, so I won’t see him till Sunday. 

I’m trying to be more mindful, more open to recognizing the happier things that happen from day to day. Some days, it’s easier than others.

Independence Weekend

My surgery on May 26th was more than I thought, and harder to recover from than I anticipated.  A hysterectomy, removal of multiple inclusions of endometrosis, & work on my bladder, all meant that I didn’t recover as fast as I wanted, or as quickly & thoroughly as some others expected.  It’s been a long, tired road, but I’m nearing the end if it.

My 6-week recheck appointment is fast approaching (Tuesday), and I’m fairly sure he’ll tell me I can go back to my normal life.  I haven’t had anymore unexpected pain, or bleeding, even if I do still get tired quicker, it’s not anywhere near as bad as it was.  And, I’ve learned to take it easy when I get home, no heavy lifting on my own, and to rest , at least for short periods, in between more demanding tasks.

Yes, I’m doing my own yard work again.

Yes, I’m digging holes, trimming hedges, mowing, pruning, weeding flowerbeds, moving furniture, all of it.

No, I’m not going to fall down, because, as I said, I’m being cautious. If it feels like too much, I stop, or ask for help, or wait till I’m rested to try again. I need my independence back.

I hate relying on others for things I know I’m perfectly capable of doing on my own. I hate asking for help. I hate being a burden at all, whether the help is willingly given, or done out of familial obligation. 

I’d rather just do it myself, & not worry that I’m imposing on someone else’s time.

OnlySon is home this weekend for the holiday.  We have a standing date for the 4th, having done this for years, as his father always had to work, & worked nights. Now, it’s special to me, because it’s our tradition, something he & I do together, when there’s so very little that we do in this way. When the time rolls around, we get fries & drinks from McD’s, & head out north of town, to watch the fireworks stores put on their nightly show, & to watch all the surrounding neighbor farms put on their shows.

One of the good things about North Dakota? When you leave town, you can see the horizon in 360 degrees, leaving a stunning vista for fireworks, stars, meteor showers, and Aurora Borealis, when the seasons change.

It’s a small thing, this tradition of ours, fries & fireworks, but it’s something he & I came up with together, and I cherish it, because it’s not just the holiday that’s special…it’s who you spend it with.

And all too soon, next year, in fact, he’ll be all grown up, & probably too old to hang with his ol’ ma for French fries and fireworks.

And There Goes Another One

It was my birthday today.
Woo. (Cue laugh track & confetti cannon)

Actually, it was a decent birthday, quiet by most people’s standards, I’m sure, but that’s ok with me. I don’t like a lot of noisy attention over birthdays.

Ha, remembering back to my kids’ birthdays, and how they would fuss & hide, & just, plain, get pissed when the birthday song would get sung to them, hating having everyone staring at them as they were told to “Make a wish!”

I know where they get that stage fright/performance anxiety from.

OnlySon came home last night from his dad’s to help me with yardwork, since I’m not allowed to run the mower or do any heavy lifting yet.  We didn’t get much except some digging & planting done today, but that meant we had time to go grab supper & just hang out together.  We don’t get to do that much during the summer, since he spends most of it at his dad’s,  so it made for a nice change.

Both my daughters & my parents got ahold of me today to chat on the phone & give birthday wishes, plus my nephew  (who I talk to almost every day – one of my best friends,  even though he moved to Georgia last November). Other family members & friends also chimed in through text or social media,  so I spent a good portion of my day responding & chatting with them.

And now, I’m just relaxing, going to work on a new wire tree idea, & read some before attempting to sleep.

Not a bad way to turn 46.


A Little Gaga Giggle

OnlySon and I are both enjoying playing Fallout 4.

If you are familiar with the game, you’ll know that there are certain characters you can seek out as companions who will fight with you as you traverse the Wateland.

OnlySon was playing the other night, & had Preston, a certain human companion working with him, and was telling me about the dynamics of all the different companions.

OnlySon- “You know, you can shoot them, over and over, hit them, again and again, and they will never die- and they won’t be mad at you, either.”

Me- “That’s cool, since you often like to destroy everything you see,  including NPCs,”

OnlySon – “Nah, it’s just a Bad Romance”
*snide grin for his music pun*

Me – “Actually, it’s a Rad Bromance”.

*OnlySon knuckle bumps me*

I Must To Get ALL The Things!~

I – have gone a little bug-nuts.

I'm not crazy...I always look a little bug-eyed!

Ok, so I’m already a little nuts.  I’ve just amped up the speed of spin a little, lately, I guess.

I had a good bit of luck this year, in that I got a decent refund from my taxes.  And it’s going to enable me to take care of a few things that have been on hold for a long time.  My ex was awful at saving money, and in fact used to have the refund already spent long before we ever got it.  And it was never on the practical things, like a new window to replace the living room one that had been cracked almost since the year we moved in (2000).  Or to repaint, which the house has desperately needed.  Or to get new eaves troughs, again, kinda desperately required.  Instead, the money was always spent on “toys”.  Things he wanted, or thought we “needed”, which ended up being things he would then expect me to figure out and run, and take care of, because he was about as handy as a sack full of broken hammers.

(Gah, I’ve gotta stop talking about the ex, I’m getting tired of re-hashing all that old crap, and need to stop carrying his weight on my back)


I’ve been going a little mad, with some of the extra spending money lying around.  I’m still taking care of the bills and everything, so I’ve been indulging in a little bit of long-needed refurbishing.

I love you Marvin, but I don't LOVE you. Stop possessing my TV.

I got myself a new TV, since the old one was about 40 million pounds of Martian TV, always green, all the time.

I was able to get a second-hand couch in really great shape, to replace one of the old, crappy ones, and got the old one out of the house. 

I bought some new large area rugs to cover the floor in the basement bedroom that ED and FSIL are going to be taking over for their own when they move in, since the floor down there is cement.  I don’t want to carpet, just in case we end up with ground water seeping in again.

And last night – I bought myself a new rocker-recliner.  Brand new, chocolate brown suede.  Plush and comfy, it’s yet another symbol to me that I’m regaining my independence and self-confidence.  I took YD with me to look and compare, but when it came down to the choice of chairs, it was all me.  There was no “discussion” to be had with someone who negatively shot down every reason why I should get what I wanted.  There was no mocking of my decision-making process, which basically amounts to “sit in ALL the chairs twice, and pick one” (rather Goldilocks of me, I know, but hey, it’s the only way to get the one that I’m comfortable in!).  And once I made my choice, I paid, picked it up, and brought it home.

After a lovely dinner with A, YoungerDaughter and OnlySon, we went back to the house, where A helped get the chair set up just where I wanted it.  And, after everybody had a chance to check out the cushyness of the new throne, A bogartted the chair for most of the rest of the night!  (It’s alright, if I’d sat in the chair… I’d have been snoring in about 5 minutes – I was ti-red.  Better to remain upright on the couch and stay awake!)

So, there have been a few “big-ticket” items, couch, chair, area rugs (more medium-ticket there)… but for the most part, the purchases have been small.  Touches and flourishes here and there, to subtly change the feel and “Zen” of the house. Maybe it’s not so “spend-crazy” as I think, when I contemplate the changes.  It’s not so much about the Must-to-get-ALL-the-things, but it is more about FINALLY, I get to get the things I want.

I’m taking back my space – by inches, maybe, but each one is mine when I’m done.


The End of the Chapter

I got a surprise tonight from OnlySon.

The ex is dating someone.

And he went to a birthday party for one of the new girlfriend’s sons with his dad, tonight.

Kinda threw me for a loop.

Basically, because the ex was always so anti-social, and almost rabidly, anti-teenager.  I wasn’t sure that he’d date again, much less someone with 2 teenagers, and a pre-teen, all boys.

My first reaction, understandably, was a sort of numb shock. 

Of course, I had a million questions, none of which I felt comfortable asking OnlySon.  I don’t want to put him in the middle between his father and I, and I don’t want him to feel like some sort of “spy” for one side or the other. 

And of course, I had to ask at least a couple of questions.  I found out that his dad has only been seeing her for a “couple of days”, according to OS.  She has 3 boys, ages 15, 13 and 12, and she was nice to OS.

Good enough. 

Then I had a talk with EldestDaughter.  We went out tonight to pick up some baby shower invitations for her big day a couple of weeks from now, and we both had to hash out how we felt about this.  ED and the ex had a rocky relationship, especially towards the end before she moved out. 

And me?  Well, I told her that I wished him well, and wished the new girlfriend good luck.  I think she’s going to need it. 

On the way home, ED told me something, that she “didn’t want the other person to be happy after a breakup”.  She wanted them to hurt, like she did. 

Understandable.  I totally get it.  I’ve had those feelings in the past, too, but I came to some realizations tonight after talking to A, and having him ask me how I felt about the ex dating.

“Are you hurt?  Jealous, angry, upset?”

Nope.  Mostly what I feel is relief.

I know, that might sound strange.  Most breakups are painful, my divorce was painful in many ways.  Not because I wanted him back, I hadn’t really had him for a long time, as I told a friend.  The marriage had died long before we formally ended it in court.

I felt relief, because this meant that I didn’t have to worry about the ex’s feelings for me anymore.  I didn’t have to worry that he might be “stalking” me, like my first ex-husband did for a while after our divorce, until I threatened him with calling the police on him in his own hometown… with the proof of his actions clearly dug into my front lawn, and my landlord aware that it had been him doing it. 

But then, after I got off the phone with A, I started thinking again. 

Do I really wish the ex well?  Do I really want him to be happy? 


Not really. 

See, here’s the thing – I don’t want him to be happy, but I don’t want him to be unhappy, either.

I just don’t care about his feelings at all.

Because the opposite of love isn’t hate.

It’s indifference.

The same indifference I lived through while we were still legally married.

I don’t feel anything toward him… nothing at all.

And so I can close that chapter.  Finally.

And that’s a huge relief.




Thoughtful Moment:  Having someone trust you with something that’s precious to them, is humbling.  They trust you not to break it, not to hurt it, and to treat it with the respect that they hold for it.  The same goes for that person introducing you to the important people in their life. 

This weekend, I was invited to meet A’s 2 children.  “A” is the man I’ve been seeing for about the last 6 months.  He’s met my kids, almost right from the start, but then my kids are older, teenagers and young adults, and it’s a little different then.  A’s kids are younger than OnlySon, and so I understood the wait. 

Not only that, but A’s kids live with their mom, almost 2 hours away, so he doesn’t get to see them as often as he’d like.  I know how badly I miss my own when they’re gone, even though they live with me, primarily, so I don’t want to intrude on time that should be special for him and them.

This weekend, however, he called and asked if I wanted to come over and meet them.  And yes, I was nervous.

(And yes, A, I know you’re reading this and laughing!)

I was nervous that they wouldn’t like me, I know it’s hard for kids to accept someone else in their parent’s life, sharing time and affection.  YoungerDaughter and OnlySon had their individual issues when I started dating again after the divorce, and, for the most part, we’ve worked through them.  I know there will probably be more in the future, it’s the nature of dating when you have kids.  Jealousies pop up in the strangest ways, sometimes, but as long as the kids know that I’m still there for them, and love them (well, DUH), then any little issues can be resolved with minor fuss.

So, when I went over to A’s house, I was nervous.  I felt a little like I’d been handed a Faberge’ egg, and asked not to drop it, while walking on marbles…

Well, of course, once I got there, I relaxed.  A’s kids are a lot like him, and that’s just fine with me.  I laughed quite a lot with his daughter, and his son was a quieter, peeking presence, keeping just enough distance to maintain his shyness. 

We watched Bee Movie. 

His daughter, “E”, and I bonded over fart jokes and talking about some of the weird things boys do.  I told her that her brother wasn’t so different from OnlySon, even though there’s 6 years’ difference between the 2 of them.  (OnlySon is 13, and A’s son is 7). 

And later, E told me she liked me… mainly because she thought I was funny and had soft hair… but hey!  It’s a start! 

It means a lot to me that I was trusted with the two people he holds most precious.  I’ll do my best not to break it.