The Hands On


We got to unexpectedly spend time with the grandkids today.

It was so unexpected that we had nothing planned to do.

So what did we do when we had nothing to do?

We found something to do.

That’s what grandparents do.

I found a discarded table by the dumpster this morning. I figured I could make something out of it. A little beat up but whatever.

The boys wanted to paint.

So….

We decided to allow them to paint the table.

However they wanted with any and all colors that we had available.

We stripped them down to underwear….

Because…

Paint…DUH

And went to work-

They are 4 and 2 and not surprising like to get into paint.

Of course I got involved. I couldn’t let them have all the fun.

After we finished with the fifty eleven different colors that went on and all mixed together, we let it dry.

I then put some leg braces about a foot down from the top and painted those.

Then brought out the black to personalize our creation with our handprints.

The hands of the boys and Nona And Papi

Three some polyurethane to protect our artwork and brought it in to display in our main room.

Total cost….nothing

But priceless memories and something we can talk about for years to come.

Being a grandparent sure is…..

Grand.

The Teething Ring



My siblings and I are at the age where we all have to keep tabs on our Mother.

She is over 80 now.

She lives with my younger brother in Colorado.

I live in Texas.

I have another brother in another part of our expansive state.

I have a brother in Vermont.

Lastly, I have a sister in the Big Apple of NYC.

Big family.. all spread out.

Yesterday, I received a text from my sister-

“Have you talked to Mom lately?”

“Yeah, I talked to her a couple of days ago… Why?”

“Shes kind of slurring her words and having a hard time with sentences…”

“Ok, I’ll check on her when I get off work.”

“Thank you. I’m just worried shes old you know.”

“Yeah, I got it.”

So…..

I get off work and call my Mom-

Me- hey Mom, just checkin in what’s going on?

Her- nothing just hanging out with your brothers daughters making cookies having a good time…

Me- your daughter called me and said you were having problems talking last time she talked to you. Is everything ok?

Her- Huh? I just talked to her this morning about going up to see her and to get arrangements set for flights and all. I was half awake when she called and didnt have my teeth in yet.

Me- You…didnt…have..your…teeth…in…
Ok. Shes a moron.

Family…sometimes I just cant sink my teeth into why they cant get all the information before jumping to conclusions.

Uggh.


The Forecast


Every other weekend a hurricane devours my sanity.

Every other other weekend and weekday it’s just a constant monsoon that eats away at it slowly.

This is the hurricane weekend.

From Friday until late Sunday our small 3 bedroom home is at over full capacity.

During the monsoons the occupancy is as follows-

Myself
My younger than me wife
My 22 year old daughter
Her 1 year old daughter
Black dog
White dog
Spotted dog 1
Spotted dog 2

But…

This is hurricane weekend…..

The occupancy is as follows-

Myself
My younger than me wife
My 22 year old daughter
Her 1 year old daughter
My 25 year old son
The brothers of destruction (my sons 3 boys)
         >4 year old Cody the Destroyer
         >2 year old B Rich
         >4 year old 1/2 brother AJ the Brawler
Black dog
White dog
Spotted dog 1
Spotted dog 2
Orange dog

I have been up since 5 am. It is about 7.

I have been up with black dog and spotted dog 1 preparing for the first signs of the oncoming Sunday version of the hurricane.

The wind is starting to pick up and the first droplets of hard rain are beginning to fall.

My son just took orange dog outside to do his business and has now left to buy donuts to help ensure the hurricane lasts longer and starts earlier.

The brothers of destruction are getting sugar.

I’m taking this head on.

Sanity or no sanity its coming.

The Adoption Roadblock


I have reached the point of the adoption process where I have to talk about something that concerns me.

As wonderful and exciting as the prospect of adopting a child into our family is….

There is certain roadblock that is preventing me from being on the same level of wonderful and excited as the young pregnant woman, her mother and my younger than me wife is (I don’t know why I keep calling her that. I just do)

This roadblock could possibly end our dreams of having this child as our own.

And, I’m the only one concerned. At least so it seems.

If you’ve gotten this far, I’m sure you may think my is that the young lady will back out and want to keep the baby.

That’s a fair assumption….but not my concern.

Here is the rundown to the roadblock-

If she chose to have an abortion, she could have….without parental concent or any other consent. It is her choice.

But….

In choosing to have the child and give it up for adoption…it is not her choice.

She needs her parental consent…

AND

The baby daddy’s consent along with his parents consent.

She is underage at 16. Baby daddy is underage at 15.

Which brings us to the roadblock…..

Young pregnant girl and her mother haven’t and don’t want to tell baby daddy that he is going to be a baby daddy.

I wait a minute and let that sink in…..

……….

……….

My younger than me wife is going along with it.

………..

………

I’m sure they have a reason. I’m not privy to what it is….but I’m sure there is one. It seems like a bitter man hating thing, but what do I know…

So, we asked our lawyer.

He had a few questions..

-do you know who the father is

-was she raped or assaulted

-is he of legal age while she is not

First question answer was yes. The 2nd to answers were no.

He’s using his lawyer ways to look into it but to this point he can’t find anything.

Here is what he told us-

It’s admirable that you 2 want to adopt this child, but, if I don’t find any new information about not telling the father then here’s the deal….

Mr. And Mrs. Good2begone…you are outsiders in this process. Until the situation with the father and his family is resolved you all have no stake in the game.

So, there it is.

Even with this information. The ladies are carrying on like the adoption is a done deal.

My wife says the I’m just pessimistic and need to be more positive.

I say I’m realistic and can’t set myself up for a fall that I KNOW is coming.

But, what do I know….

I’m just a man.

The Storm


I wasn’t planning on this being the second installment of the adoption files…

But such as life, things change quickly.

The young lady who is pregnant with the baby we are planning to adopt and her mother just had a huge blowout.

My wife had the mother on speaker phone. All I heard was yelling and screaming.

A short time later. A car pulled up and a door slammed. Then the car hastily drove off.

I opened the door right as the the young pregnant girl was walking up….crying.

The end result….

The young lady who is pregnant with the baby we are planning to adopt is moving in with us.

My wife is off to pick up her things.

I’m setting up the room for her, which is usually for my son when he is town too see his 2 sons per the custody agreement, which is every other weekend.

Next weekend is the other weekend.

Is anyone else’s life like this?

Magnum Come loud


20140509-230617.jpg
Tomorrow we are headed to the college graduation of my oldest nephew.

He is receiving his bachelors degree.

I am not college edu-ma-cated, so I’m not sure what degree of black belt he is getting but I think along with it he gets a gun and ear plugs.

I think the college term is magnum come loud or something in Latin….

He got a big brain.

He is graduating with a major in biochemistry and a minor in biomedical engineering.

His parents, and the entire extended family, are very proud.

My family will be venturing in from all parts of the country to attend.

Mom-Colorado
Brother-Dallas, Tx
Sister and husband-Chicago
Me, my wife and stepdaughter-the sticks.

My brother, who is the father of the graduate, didn’t attend my sisters wedding because he didn’t want to, and was the only family member not in attendance. My sister, who will be attending the graduation, has told said brother to never talk to her again. My brother from Dallas, who made a spectacle of himself at my sister’s wedding by getting belligerently drunk and kicked out of the hotel will be there….freshly single after he and his partner of over 13 years ended their relationship with every harsh word and accusation broadcasted over Facebook where sister and older brother chimed in for good measure. My sister is not pleased with him and has said he ruined her wedding. Mom will be there to enjoy a Mother’s Day weekend with her grown ass kids who will undoubtedly make her feel like none of us never left home.

Next week, Mom will spend a few days with me and my family here in the sticks. We are really looking forward to it.

Since I was out of town last week, my wife has been cleaning the house top to bottom, room to room to prepare for her visit.

I have had to slip melatonin into her coffee to get her to relax. I keep telling her

“She won’t be here until next week, honey…..we have time.”

Her reply,

“THERE IS NEVER ENOUGH TIME. WE ONLY SEE HER ONCE A YEAR….EVERYTHING HAS TO BE PERFECT!”

Ahh….

Another day in the life of good2begone.

I graduated from my childhood with a degree in drama…minored in crazy.

The White Coats


My stepson got home from work and was complaining of abdominal pains. We took him to the local ER.

Here is what happened…..

9:30 pm-arrive and check in at desk, waiting room is over 1/2 full…..or half empty…depends on how you look at it….

9:45 pm- enter triage, get wristband for my stepson and masks….have been told to put them on, the flu is rampant.

ANYONE ELSE NOTICE THE :15 WE WERE THERE WITHOUT MASKS?

10 pm- I begin to look around….we are the only ones wearing masks….should I be worried?…..or should everyone else be worried?

11pm- ONE name has been called in the last hour and fifteen minutes.

11:07 pm- I take off my mask. My head tells me the :15 minute lapse upon arriving until we got masks has already doomed me….

11:09-I get a soda from the machine, turn around and notice that none of the backwards ass rednecks in this town cover their mouths when they cough….a really fat 3 year old is rubbing boogers on the floor.

11:10- I put my mask back on.

20131224-045123.jpg
11:20- two names called at once. Things are starting to pick up round here.

11:27-Can’t tell if others patrons in waiting room are sleeping….or victims of the impending superflu outbreak. Make mental note the self that if I make it out of here, I need to watch the TV version of “The Stand” much more closely than I did the first time.

20131224-045448.jpg
11:45- walk around waiting room while using the greatest iPhone app of all time (with the volume on high), “iPity” a collection of Mr. T audio quotes from the A-Team.

20131224-045016.jpg

20131224-050048.jpg
11:48- I am instructed by my wife to stop.

12 am- I walk up to the restroom sign and close my eyes. I put my right hand on the sign and try to read Braille…..Result- I would fail as a blind person.

12:20-My stepsons name is called. My wife and stepson head to the back to be seen by a doctor. I stay in the waiting room to oversee the possible pandemic outbreak.

1:07- a text from my wife states that he has peed in a cup. Almost :50 minutes and all that has been accomplished is he has peed in a cup.

1:08- I have to now pee.

1:24- The triage lady calls the name “Rodman”. I immediately turn around hoping to see Dennis Rodman, former NBA basketball player….

20131224-045222.jpg
to my dismay it was Cletus Rodman…..

20131224-045346.jpg
never a basketball player.

2:06- awaiting test results from blood work, EKG and x ray…..

2:30 am- still here. That is all.

2:59 am-played 18 holes of video golf on my phone.

20131224-045604.jpg
My wife and stepson are still waiting for results. I finished the round at 5 over. My wife is tired and is about to lose it.

3:45 am- I am about to lose it.

3:50 am-test results in…..all negative. But I am positive that my frustration level is off the charts.

9:30-4 and we got sent home with anti nausea prescription….

He wasn’t even nauseated.

But I am.

Happy Christmas Eve.

(Orna)Mental Peace-Reprint


He looked at the Christmas tree from the comfort of his recliner and got lost in thought while the lights randomly blinked….

Strand 1 and 3-ON
Strand 2-OFF

Strand 2 and 3-ON
Strand 1- OFF

Strand 1 and 2-ON
Strand 3- OFF

The clock read 2 am. The house was quiet. He just watched the lights blink and shimmer off the ornaments that hung off the branches.

Strand 1 and 3-ON
Strand 2-OFF

Strand 2 and 3-ON
Strand 1- OFF

Strand 1 and 2-ON
Strand 3- OFF

They never bought ornaments. Always homemade. Each year was a family event to hang the newest of the family collection along side the ones from years past.

Some the kids made in school with their pictures from that school year. Each year they would go on the tree. And each year comments would be made of the changes each child was going through and how big they were getting.

Strand 1 and 3-ON
Strand 2-OFF

Strand 2 and 3-ON
Strand 1- OFF

Strand 1 and 2-ON
Strand 3- OFF

Some were from the grandparents. Each year a new set would arrive the week before Christmas. Always a coupled ornament for Mom and Dad and an individual for each child. On Christmas eve those packages would be opened and the ornaments inside would be hung on the tree with smiles from all.

Strand 1 and 3-ON
Strand 2-OFF

Strand 2 and 3-ON
Strand 1- OFF

Strand 1 and 2-ON
Strand 3- OFF

One year, they even carved their own ornaments out of wood. The local hardware store had family oriented do it yourself classes on the weekends. They all went and participated and brought their creations home and hung them on the tree. He looked at these ornaments in particular and laughed to himself and said quietly,

“Those have zero resemblance to snowflakes or snowmen…but what a time we had.”

Strand 1 and 3-ON
Strand 2-OFF

Strand 2 and 3-ON
Strand 1- OFF

Strand 1 and 2-ON
Strand 3- OFF

He looked around the den and watched the small different colored lights illuminate the various family pictures that hung in frames throughout the room.

Six Flags from the summer of his sons 8th birthday. Cinderella on Ice for his daughters 6th.

Strand 1 and 3-ON
Strand 2-OFF

Strand 2 and 3-ON
Strand 1- OFF

Strand 1 and 2-ON
Strand 3- OFF

The second honeymoon he and his wife took the Bahamas. He fell asleep in the sun and got so sunburned they spent the last 4 days in the hotel room. She stayed right there with him the entire time.

Strand 1 and 3-ON
Strand 2-OFF

Strand 2 and 3-ON
Strand 1- OFF

Strand 1 and 2-ON
Strand 3- OFF

A tear began to run down his cheek. He was brought back to the present by a nudge from his constant companion that got his attention.

“What’s up, girl…you need to go outside?”

BARK BARK

He got up from his recliner and let the dog out to do her business. After shutting the door he stopped and walked back to look at the tree.

He let out a sigh and said,

“It’s been 3 years since the car crash that took you all away from me….and still….I do all this in hopes you will be coming home. One day we will be together again….one day. Until then, Merry Christmas.”

He walks over to the table and picks up 3 ornaments. The first is 2 angels arm in arm. The other 2 are single angels. He hangs each on a branch on the tree.

Strand 1 and 3-ON
Strand 2-OFF

Strand 2 and 3-ON
Strand 1- OFF

Strand 1 and 2-ON
Strand 3- OFF

20121223-233057.jpg

I wrote this last year around this time of year. I decided to post it again.

Bond…Step Kids Bond


Building relationships with step kids is difficult. When my wife and I married, the kids were 9 (girl) and 11 (boy).

They are now about to be 15 and 17.

I am still building.

Today must have been my lucky day. I had the opportunity to spend individual time with both of them today….

Sans the Momma.

Just me and them. It was quite the adventure.

First up was my step son.

I picked up a job for Saturday fixing a porch and needed some help. You know…man stuff. Start time 8 am

A little destruction and then construction.

And to his advantage I told him I would pay him. Teenage boys like cash.

Not so much the work for it part but the cash was the bait.

He took the bait and for the next 4 hours I struggled to reel him in.

I kept my wife informed, through text messaging on the progress….

20130907-221247.jpg

20130907-221332.jpg
Next up my step daughter.

Mom went to a meeting. Step son went off to his job.

She asked me to pick out a movie for her to watch on Netflix.

I thought to myself….

“Self….she is about to be 15 and is in high school. What would she enjoy and what could I bear to sit through at the same time? That is quite the conundrum, self.”

I ruled out Army Of Darkness.

I ruled out Corvette Summer and Eat My Dust.

All classics but not for 15 year old girls.

Then it hit me….

20130907-221417.jpg
I get to relive my infatuation with Molly Ringwald, and she gets ’80’s high school teen drama.

It was a win win.

Here are the observations and questions asked during the viewing-

1- OMG Is that the lady from “The Secret Life Of An American Teenager”?

2- OMG Is that the guy from “2 and a 1/2 Men”?

3- Did you dress and have hair like that back then?

My replies were as follows-

1- Yes that’s the lady from the “Everybody gets pregnant show”

2- Yes, that was before he was even 1/2 a man.

3- Who me? No I would have never dressed or had hair like that.

20130907-221502.jpg

Sometimes bonding with the kids brings back horrible flashbacks.

The Write Start


I have made the decision to jump into the realm of possibly putting the time and effort into considering opening up my imagination and carefully piecing enough words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, pages and chapters together to create a book.

For this venture into the unknown, I needed something to create the words on.

My iPhone works great for posting on this blog but not so much for creating my subsequent masterpiece.

For Father’s Day, my wife commandeered a PC from her parents to aid me in my journey.

To steal a term, I call it-

“The Dark Tower”

That’s the name of the PC….not the book. I’m a few shingles short of a roof but I’m not crazy.

My step daughter who loves to type wanted to try it out. So she pushed the “on” button to the monitor and waited….

And waited….

“I think this thing is broken…” She confidently stated.

“Ummm..it’s not broken, you need to turn the power onto the black rectangular box that is next to you on the floor for it to work.” I replied

“Oh…my bad.” She said with a hair flip and a smile.

She hit the power button. It sounded like a aircraft was leaving the runway.

She then asked,

“Where is Microscope Word, so I can type?”

“Ugggh…”

“Thanks. What should I type?”

“I want an essay on ‘Why chickens don’t have lips.” I said.

And here is what she wrote…..

20130616-193734.jpg

I may have to rethink my plan. How could I possibly top that?