What's the big deal?

The news tonight is all about the "big freeze". Puleez, 30 degrees is just getting a little chilly! Walk to Mcdonalds at lunch with the thermometer at 4 degrees and then we will talk about it being cold! I may be a Texan born and bred, but I know the difference between between cold and merely "cool".


Today was a good day. Spent the day with my daughter. We shopped for groceries and then because we were bored we went window shopping at Target. At least that is what we were supposed to be doing. Target had a small home theater for $100 and I bought it. For a little cheap one it works pretty good. At 150 watts total it puts out plenty of sound for our little apartment. Once we get our stuff from South Dakota I will have my old DVD player so down the road I can purchase a better home theater that does not have a built in DVD player and put this little one in either my or my daughter's bedroom. I love my life and wouldn't want it any other way than it is right now.


A couple of observations....

I have a new take on the old cliche "If a tree in a forest falls and no one is there to hear it, did it make a sound?"

"If my life is going really well and I have no one to share and appreciate it with, is it really going so well?"

Second observation
Each day at lunch I read a book and today I came across something in it that made me stop and think for a moment. The guy was in a predicament (I won't go into those details) and he thought about something from his past. When he had been younger he had been attempting to join a gang. One day after coming home from another of many "initiation" beatings, bruised and in pain, he realized they didn't want him in the gang. He was just something to amuse themselves with and expend excess energy on. How does that fit in with me? I have come to realize that the female part of our society just doesn't want me. I am something to amuse themselves with for a time but not thought of seriously as a lifemate. I know I am sounding like poor pity me, but this is not so much of a pouting statement as it is a statement of fact, an acceptance of how things really are. I have friends, male and female, but that is where it stops. Just how I feel at this moment. Subject to change at anytime.


Staying humble.....

When things are going so well. That is my goal right now. Both problems with the van have been fixed, one by itself and the other with some blood and alot of Dad's help. Today Dad and I changed out the heater core. Took us 7 hours, much longer than I thought it would, but doesn't it always? It is done, and everything seems to be working fine. As for the air bag light flashing, it stopped on the way home Monday night. I found out the sequence it was flashing meant "12" as in code 12. That means the alternator is not charging or the battery is bad. Well, the alternator is charging and the van has started fine so that only leaves that the van has been sitting awhile and the battery had run down some. After the 20 mile one-way drive to work 3 or 4 times, the alternator had charged the battery sufficiently to turn the light out. So everything is looking very very good right now. And that leads me to my title for this entry. With so much going so well, and my personal feelings at an all time high despite my ongoing worries at work and my unsavory dealings with Dawn's lawyer, I have made it a personal mission to stay humble. So many people are struggling, with health, finances, relationships that I think it is important to not lose sight of these things. A terrible tragedy happened earlier this week. A mother, suffering from post-partem depression severed the arms of her 11 month old baby. The child died later at a hospital. A life barely started is already stopped. This is how I tie in the butterfly effect with God's plan. This child's purpose, set out by God, has been accomplished. We don't know what this baby's purpose was, but it is completed and she is now in Heaven with our Lord. I think it is ok to feel good about oneself if they are in a good place in their life, just don't allow oneself to feel too good.


From my mom.....funny.......

*Health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.
*Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach a person to use the Internet and they won`t bother you for weeks.
*Some people are like Slinkies . . not really good for anything, but you still can`t help but smile when you see one tumble down the stairs.
*Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.
*Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
*All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.
*Why does a slight tax increase cost you two hundred dollars and a substantial tax cut saves you thirty cents?--Yeah, Mr. Bush why?
*In the 60`s, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal..
*Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.


The truth.

My daughter got a dose of reality the other day. Her mother was passing through town and stopped to see her for a couple hours. Later when I talked to Jess she told me her mom was a "crackhead", she was just skin and bone and not looking very good. Jess is pretty much done with her. I have tried over the years to make sure they had a relationship but not anymore, Jess is old enough to make a decision about when and for how long she wants to see her. Jess has come a long way and is doing so well as compared to where she was a couple of years ago. She isn't perfect, she has her moments when she needs some scolding. What I am most proud of right now is the fact that when she does go outside the boundaries, she accepts the consequences without an argument. A week ago she left the kitchen a mess when she left for the weekend on her church retreat. So she had to do dishes for the week. She accepted it and did it. Well, it's gone. The Buick was finally picked up today, one of the last links I had to my previous life. In a way I was sad to see it go. Not only because of what it reprented of my past, but also because it had been a good car for me. Moving up in vehicles is a metaphor for what I have been accomplishing this past year. I still am not out of the woods as to my mistake but I will just keep working hard and praying to GOD even harder even harder. I sent my response to Dawn's lawyer today. I am so tired of battling people, especially over silly little bs things. Speaking of battling things, Jess's mom sent a message to me through Jess that I can pick up my truck anytime I want to. Only things is I have to trailer it from Arkansas so it won't be soon when I go to get it. One thing at a time. I am now discovering all the bad points to my new van. Really, there isn't too much. The heater core is leaking when you run the heater, I am going to fix that this weekend. It cost's $30 for the parts and I have someone that may do it cheaply for me. A co-worker is married to a Ford technician. I can do it myself but you have to have a special tool that I don't want to have to buy just to use one time. Also, the air bag light is flashing. I counted the sequence it was flasing in, that is what determines what is causing the light to come on and my co-worker is going to have her husband look it up for me. Challenges come with all good fortune. I read about a guy in New York who had just filed for bankruptcy. He won the 147 million dollar lottery. Now of course I would accept the challenges that come with that kind of good fortune, but still there will be challenges. People will be coming out of the woodwork wanting a handout. His privacy will forever be gone. I am just pointing out that my van is such a good fortune for me but I do have some challenges, as in getting it fixed. But I will take it.


This turned into... This
Go to pauliemacs pics to see more of my former and new rides.

Bluebook is....

$2175 - $3500 so yes I did get a good deal. :)

Just one more comment about the van :)

After reading a number of reviews, mostly positive ones, this van is considered pretty good for pulling small trailers or hauling alot of camping gear. Also, one review mentioned a flasing air bag light, which is what mine was doing for awhile, as being a switch in the steering column. If it does have to be fixed, maybe I can do it myself and save some money. South Dakota, here I come!

1990-97 Ford Aerostar Review, Rating, Prices: Consumer Guide?

1990-97 Ford Aerostar Review, Rating, Prices: Consumer Guide? Well, according to these guys, one like mine in "good" condition, which I classify mine as, has a going price of $2200 - $3100, so I still think I got a good deal. The only drawback is the fuel mileage. The stated mileage from Ford is 17/23 but Consumer Guide's was closer to 13.5 mpg. Still, can't have everything and I am just tickled to have this vehicle.


I can't believe it!!

I have been searching Autotrader.com just to compare my new van to what they go for there. A comparable van, same year model and similiar mileage goes for $5,000 or more! Either I got the deal of a lifetime or I got a car about to fall apart! Only time will tell, but I already know I can sell it as is for more than I have in it.

If there was ever, ever any doubt.....

About the presence and power of GOD, let today's events put that doubt to rest. Today was the last day I was to have use of the rental so I had started looking in earnest for a replacement for the Buick. Thursday and yesterday I started looking on Autotrader.com for a car. I had a couple of leads, I had decided I wanted a Ford Taurus if at all possible, but at the very least a Ford, Nissan, Toyota, or Mitsubishi as these are all makes that are sold and serviced by my company. That way any repairs would be at a deep discount. Since it was going to be at least until tomorrow and possibly several days before I found a vehicle I liked and could afford I was going to borrow my parents Mitsubishi. This afternoon they brought it up to my work and told me they were going to run over to a nearby Mitsubishi dealership. Dad had read that Mitsubishi was having a hard time selling vehicles and they might be willing to make a good deal. I said ok, see you later and went back to work. About a half hour later I happened to be in the shop talking with one of our detail guys when I saw my Dad walking as quick as he could in the rain towards me. Not expecting him, I darted off to meet him at the door. He told me "I have a car for you" and pointed back behind him. Idling in the rain was a Ford Aerostar minivan! We both dashed back to it (it was raining pretty good) and climbed in. The salesman had taken them on a test drive to let me see it. The guy told me it had just been traded in (yesterday to be exact) and they were planning on asking $2500 but since I had cash in hand (literally as I had been carrying it around with me, cash talks B.S. walks) he was going to try to get it out the door for $1600 (what Dad told them he was looking for) so I told him I would pay cash today of they could do that. This was about 4:30 and shortly thereafter Dad came back with his car. Mother had gone on home as her knee was hurting her quite a bit. We returned to the Mitsubishi dealer and in a matter of about 20 minutes the deal was consumated and I had me a mini-van! Now GOD would already be a part of this and all parts of my life but what makes this all the more of a miracle is about four weeks ago I was praying to GOD to help me get my things from South Dakota. I have been plodding along, paying my storage rent each month ahead of time being patient until I could afford to go back and get my things. I either needed $2000 or the use of a vehicle that would pull a small U-haul trailer. This van has a V-6 engine and is rear wheel drive so it will do the job nicely. It is green, in very good condition. It is 3 years newer and has 10,000 fewer miles on it than the Buick. Who knows? It might fall apart tomorrow but the dealer ran a carfax report on it. There were no reports of accidents (the rear bumper is cracked where someone had backed into a pole, but that is minor) nor did the report show any other complaints on this vehicle. It reported that the vehicle had been previously owned by 2 people and it also listed each state inspection and the mileage at the time of the inspections. This vehicle has had an average of 9700 miles a year put on it with the highest year have 13,000 miles driven. This is far lower than the accepted average of 15,000 miles a year. The only potential problem at this moment was the air bag light was flashing but on the way home that even quit, although this may be an intermittant problem and I will have it checked if it comes back on. Everything works, it came with a 10 disc cd changer, the dash, seats and doors look like new and it seats 5 adults comfortably (it is listed as a 7 passenger, but 2 or 3 of them better be kids! LOL). Life is so good right now, and I know that with GOD behind me I can handle anything that comes my way. If Jesus could die on the cross for my sins, surely the people and issues that confront me are not too big to be dealt with. Tomorrow I will post that final photo of the Buick alongside one of the van, for a comparison of how I am moving up in the world. Basically they gave it to me as it ws put in my name but I consider it a family vehicle open to their use anytime they need it. Both rear bench seats are removable so it can be opened up for cargo when needed. It also has a roof rack so eventually I will be able to put bikes or one of those canvas cargo bags on top for trips. I believe I got a vehicle that with maintenance and TLC will last me 2-5 years.



When in South Dakota I had the opportunity to learn about and enjoy Hardee's Burgers. We don't have them anywhere's in Texas. Tonight I read that Hardee's has come up with another monster burger. I have discovered that the closest Hardee's to me is in Oklahoma near the Arkansas border, 225 miles away. I think this will make a good day trip sometime in the near future. I could use a Hardee's burger.

This is too funny!!

Texan as a Second Language
Not very generous
All talk and no action
We've made a brief acquaintance, but not been formally introduced.
He has a pretty high opinion of himself.
We really could use a little rain around here.
Appearances can be deceptive.
I've been around awhile.
Not the most handsome of men.
This would be me!
Slept together before marriage.
Stop arguing and do as you're told.
Rather prone to boasting.
You can say whatever you want about something, but doesn't change what it is.
Things are going well


USATODAY.com - At 73, Shatner's at 'full gallop'

"'I'm aware of the briefness of the rest of my life, so I think in terms of what I'm doing now.'"--William Shatner, 73 years old.
I am not as old as William Shatner and yet I already identify with this quote. All too soon I will be his age (I hope to be at least!) so I focus on what I am doing now. On another note, the letter from Dawn's lawyer was just some medical bills and a threat to take me to court if I don't sign the agreement he sent 3 months ago for the old bills. I will not sign it as it is worded such a way that I would be stating that I agree that I owe the money. I don't agree that I owe it, I just offered to pay it rather than fight about it. If I sign it I feel I open myself up to some time in the future dropping a pile of old bills worth thousands of dollars and tell me I have 15 days to pay them. I feel a judge would see the unreasonble nature of such an act and I have no fear of going before a judge and stating such. This is rediculous and I am just so tired of people and their games.


Nothing....and then WoW! Something!

Today the insurance settled up on the Buick. I think things worked out well. State Farm settled the claim for $1625 so I was happy about that. I already have the check and will deposit it tomorrow. It just depends on how long it is held by the bank as to when I will buy a another car. I have already been looking on the internet and have a couple I am interested. I am going to try to purchase a Nissan, but if not that then something that my employer sells so I can get parts and labor cheap. Tomorrow I will post pics of the buick as it will be gone by the time I return to work on Friday. Now for the second bit of news. After not hearing from Dawn or her lawyer for 3 months I received a notice from the post office that I have a certified letter from her lawyer. So tomorrow I will find out about this. I am looking forward to getting that process going and becoming a part of my son's life but I do hope that it doesn't interfere too much with my Christmas plans. Either way, seeing Ryan would be a great Christmas present in and of itself. We shall see.

I never know...

When God will choose to speak to me, or how. His voice comes in so many ways and forms. This morning, after dropping the girls off at school I pushed the seek button to change channels. It stopped on the next one which happened to be a well known pastor (I recognized his voice but just can't remember his name) and he was talking about patience. As I drove back home I listened to him relate some personal experiences along with an interpretation of some chapters from the Psalms in the bible. He told me that those who do the right thing always win. I have always believed that if you "do good things, good things will happen to you". He also explained that if you are patient, God will reward you. This has strong meaning for me as I have written several times that what I pray for is strength and patience, not riches or wealth. I know in my heart, and I really don't care what anyone else thinks, that this was The Lord telling me that what I am doing and how I am going about it is the correct path. He speaks to us in so many ways but you have to keep your eyes and ears open to recognize when you are being shown the way. It is the proverbial boat coming to rescue you during a flood. I have never been a very patient person before, always rushing to accomplish whatever task is on front of me. I have come to realize I did that out of fear. Fear that I would lose my job, fear that I would lose my daughter if I didn't keep up a perfect household (especially when she was very young). I have lived in fear all of my life. Fear of being alone, of losing everything I have. I have come to realize, and this mornings message reaffirms this, that I have nothing to fear. That all I need is faith. Don't rush to finish something out of fear but instead be patient, do it right and I will succeed. Part of this mornings message was about having the patience and strength to listen to our children. So many times we tell our children what to do and don't listen to them and what they have to say. "I am your father and that is why you do it this way!". Be patient and listen to our children, give them a voice and then make a decision or have a discussion. Allow them to finish. I was not this way, only now am I learning how important this is. I have always been impatient, cut into others conversations, not allow them to finish theirs. Yes, I wish I could have learned these lessons years ago, but I choose to remain positive and be thankful I am learning them now. It is never too late to learn something new. On a similiar note I had an opportunity this morning to try to make a difference in someones life. Mandy, Jess's friend we give a ride to school each morning was looking a little down. I asked her if she had her Christmas list ready. She glumly told me that the last few Thannksgivings and Christmas's were not much fun. So I just made a quick list of many things that she should be thankful for. She is a really good kid but she seems so sad much of the time. She has difficulties with her mother, her mother had her at a very young age. From what I gather, but don't know for absolute fact is her mother sometimes struggles with being a mother of a teen when she is still young herself. Whereas I used to use a sledgehammer to try to get my point across, I now pick and choose my moments to impart a bit of wisdom. I do think I am attempting to make amends for past mistakes. This is all I have ever tried to do with people around me, I just was not very good at it. The more I was tuned out the more frustrated I became so the harder I pressed and it always, always, blew up in my face. I do think I have alot to offer, but I did not know how. I will not say that I do now, but I do think I am better prepared for this. Lastly, today is the day I am supposed to find out about my car. So hopefully I will spend tomorrow looking for a vehicle to replace the buick.


Just another day...

Not much to report in Pauliemac' World today. S left work sick today so I had to cover for her as well as do my job. There are those of us at work that feel a change is going to be made soon, either by management or by those that are the subject of these meetings. K and I are stretched so thin with so much to do. I can use extra money by working alot of overtime but I just don't want to work that much. I burned out once before and neglected my daughter, I don't want to do it again. Things are going so well right not I just don't want to disrupt anything. That doesn't mean I can't deal with anything that does come my way, I just don't need to add to any possibilities. Jess talked to her Mother the other night. I told Jess it was ok for her to see her mother when she passes through town, I have never kept her from seeing her unless her mother was in a "bad" way. But I did not want to see her. Later Jess told me her mother told her she didn't care what I said, she was going to stay here (in my apt) and if I didn't like it I could go stay with my parents! Can you believe the nerve! Another person trying to tell me what I can and can't do in my own home. That is another reason I feel it is in my best interest to stay out of relationships. I don't know why my actions always backfire on me but they do. One cliche you could call it is risk management, whereby I reduce or limit the amount of risk to my well being. If Jess's mother wants to be in her life and visit her, that is fine and I encourage it, but not with me involved other than to take her and drop her off for said visits. I am done with trying to please people only to have it blow up in my face. I risk being alone and alienating people from me, and I understand that possiblilty, but I just can longer put my faith and trust in people only to be disappointed once again. I can no longer take a person at their word only for them to show me their word is worthless. Burn me once, shame on you, burn me twice shame on me. I do believe God will carry me through this period of my life and someday my faith in other people will be restored, but not at this time. The past 8 years is too fresh, I need some healing time alone before I can trust again. On a lighter note I have found the home theater system I want for Christmas. It is at Circuit City and I can't wait to get it! I have only watched a couple of movies since I returned from South Dakota as it is very uncomfortable in Dad's den and I just don't have the desire to go to a theater anymore. As soon as I get it I will rejoin Netflix. I am also going to build a vast library of DVD's. I don't know what changed in me, but as I used to never cared to watch a movie twice, I have grown to want my own library. If I have 200-300 movies, I can watch a different one each week and not watch the same one twice for 4 or 5 years. Walmart has this bin full of videos they sell for $1 each. Old movies from the 30's, 40's, and 50's. I will just grab 2 or 3 each week and watch them. I can't explain the difference but so much about me has changed. The music I listen to, how I do things and talk to people. It is as if I am a different person in many ways. And yet, there are some things that are the same. I still fart all the time! Mostly because I eat alot of beans. They are cheap and filling! Ok, time for bed, will update tomorrow if there is anything worth updating about.


Interesting end to an interesting week...

Well well well....heard from thre women that I had not heard from in a long time this past week. Last night I received a message that Jess's mother was trying to contact Jess concerning her brother. When Jess happened to call me from her retreat because she was bored I gave her the message and the phone number. She was happy to get to speak with her but sad as to what she found out. Her brother has gotten himself into some trouble. But Jess sounded much better today. I went to work for three hours then spent the rest of the day hanging out with my parents. Did the lunch thing and then just wandered from store to store. But I did find a garage sale near their house on my way over there and found some wonderful treasures. I found a small but interesting nightstand and then something that I just had to have. It is a makeup table made out of cherry wood complete with a small swiveling mirror. Upon taking it to my parents house I discovered it would come apart so I dismantled it for the trip home. I have been spending the evening cleaning and polishing it. Along one side the wood had been stripped away so I purchased some craft paint and painted over the bare wood. It came out surprisingly good. I told Jess I had a surprise for her when she called this afternoon. I know she will just love it. Tomorrow I will post a pic of it for all to see as it is such a cool thing for a teenage girl to have.

Pretty cool...


Consequences and other things...

Well, I came home this evening after a hard week at work wanting to just sit down and relax. I am going tomorrow but just for a few hours. Jess was off for her retreat but when she returns she is going to have some answering to do. One of my pet peeves is people not rinsing off dishes before they put them in the sink. I do the disher around here but I expect people to help out. So she will get to do the dishes for the next week. We have a dishwasher but I only use it for a dishrack. We don't dirty up alot of dishes at a time and half of those are plastic which tend to melt and/or flop around. It just isn't worth the time and effort to use the dishwasher. So I do them each morning before I leave for work. Jess knows how I feel about this so she will suffer a consequence. Speaking of that, 4 weeks ago I had to spend $20 dollars replacing her athletic shorts and her agenda. So, for the past 4 weeks she has only recieved $5 per week for her allowance instead of her regular $10. She took it in stride and has been looking forward to the increase in funds without complaing or asking for extra, except for asking if I would pay for the dinner at her Wednesday night bible study (they charge $3 to help cover expenses) which was fine.
On a different note I have given up. I cannot explain what it is that I do wrong in life. I try to do my best, make decisions that I beleive are best for everyone involved, do my job, pick up the slack when others are out and yet I still get labeled the bad guy. I just don't get it. I was told to leave, yet I am the bad guy? I have nothing to do with the incident at work and yet when a person returns they are angry with me because I didn't do all of their job? Hello, I have my own job to do which is an extremely busy and involved position. The first 7 months there I did not feel I earned my money because the work was so easy for me. But since I have become the warranty administrator, even with my raise, I EARN my money. I give up. I quit. I have learned the extremely hard way that it is impossible to please everyone. I have written at length about that so I will not go there at this time.
For most of my life I was a person without faith. I had to know this or that, I had to be in control of my life. But that has all changed. I survived up and moving to South Dakota. I survived returning to Texas with literally nothing but the clothes on my back, a camera, and $200. I am a survivor and I have learned how to have faith. Faith in God, and in turn because of Him, faith in myself. The one thing I have always done, and have been doubted because of it, is strive to better myself. Not monetarily so much, but as a person, a human being. I am proud of that. I learned today that the lady who told me my car was going to be totaled out may have jumped the gun. I called back and was informed I am approved in the rental through the 17th but that it was not 100% approved that they were going to total out the Buick. She did tell me it "looked" as though that is what they were going to do but she could not say for sure. What I am getting at here is that there is no point in fretting and worrying about what is going to happen. I have faith that it will work out. Either the Buick will be fixed or it will be replaced. She told me I would get the rental for a few days more after we settle so that I have time to purchase a replacement. No need to stress out, it will work out. Things always seem to when you beleive.


My daughter...

I thought this would be a good time to talk about my daughter. A few years go she had some "issues" about how life was supposed to be and how to respect others. I, along with her mother, sent her to a hospital in an effort to learn how to deal with her issues. She was diagnosed as ADD and ADHD. She spent some time away, while I was in South Dakota. She eventually was released to her mother, but it was too early. Her mother was able to have her sent to a ranch for troubled youths. Most of these youths had no parents or parents that did not care about them at all. I had put my faith and trust in Jess's mother. Jess really took to the ranch and her attitude improved dramatically. She was released into my custody this past August, and while she struggles with schoolwork she has continued to improve her attitude and trustworthiness. She is responsible, does her chores when asked (does them halfass sometimes) and stays on time. She complained that she lost track of time so her Grandmother bought her a watch. She is always within 10 minutes of the time she has been told to be home. She attends church regularly including Wednesday bible study and has a downright cheerful attitude. She struggled her first month at school to find her place among the different cliques and there were some diagreements with other kids, but I wonder if the drugs she was taking had something to do with that since I took her off of them she has only improved more. I get onto her all of the time, but she is beginning to understand it is because I am teaching her about life, not because I am being mean. Now I don't want to be accused of sugar coating this because she is my daughter and I am disappointed she is not putting more effort into her schoolwork. But compared to how she acted 2 years ago, she is doing so well. Shoot, she climbs into bed by 8:30 each evening. I can't get her to stay up and watch tv with me. Around my home it's lights out by 9:00 pm.

Now for the latest on the car...

I called the insurance company this afternoon and they confirmed that the vehicle has been totaled out. Only they did not have a final payoff amount. So I have no idea what I am going to be driving in a few days. I was told to call back in 48 hours if I have not hear from them, except that would put me into Saturday and the are closed Saturday's. So she told me to call back tomorrow evening if I have not heard from them. I will post a picture of the damage soon.
I have been watching "Without a Trace", the weekly show where the FBI goes looking for a missing person who apparently has vanished into thin air. Tonight's episode is a continuation of last weeks. It is about a single mother struggling to survive, working at the "Everymart", a knockoff of Walmart. She lives in a tiny apartment in one of those pay-by-the-week motels. They showed a shot of her laying on the floor next to her son, coloring in a coloring book and laughing. I relate to that. Jess and I live in a one bedroom apartment, not alot of room and yet we are happy. We just don't let the conditions get in the way of our lives. She knows I do the best I can and she also knows it will not always be like this. She believes in me. I will never, ever again allow anyone, not her mother, my parents, or anyone else to come between her and me. I would rather be alone than allow that to happen ever again. I made that mistake too many times. At the time I made those choices I beleived I was making the right one but there is only one right one and that is to be there with her every step of the way, being what I am, a Dad. I finally have learned that it is not enough to set an example, to be a provider. I have to be a teacher, and a realsitic one at that. I have accepted that she will never be a straight A student. I now focus on teaching her how to get through life, how to be a good employee. She may never get higher than a grocery bagger, but I will teach her how to be the best one there is. I will teach her to be responsible, for her actions and for her self respect. How to be on time, do a good job, and how to get along with others. I will show her to see the bigger picture, that there is an end to the means. She is already figuring it out and I can only keep my fingers crossed.

Update on the car...

The insurance estimator came out yesterday and looked the car over. She wrote down some information, took some pictures and said thanks. She told me I should expect a call either that evening (everything is wirelessly transmitted and she said because of the cloud cover it might take all day to transmit) or the next morning (this morning). So I should know by the end of today what I will have to do in regards to the car. I really hope it is enough damage to warrant a payoff and I can find a small truck. I miss my truck alot, I have no way of hauling furniture and such. Then I can start planning a trip to S.D. so I can bring my stuff home and put some closure on that chapter of my life. All that is left is to get a divorce done. Oh, and I did finally get an email from Tam. I won't go into the details. It is just time to put that part of my life behind me and move forward. I have Jess to think about now and that is where my focus is. Speaking of Jess, she is going on a retreat this weekend with her church so I will be having the weekend all to myself. Even though this is my weekend off I am going in so I can catch up on alot of work. We had quite an incident last week; one person was fired and 3 were suspended so I have been covering for some of them and covering for others that are covering for the rest of them. Of course all of this depends on if I have to spend the weekend tearing the car apart and rebuilding the front end so I can have something to drive. My fear is that they will total it but for much less than what I can replace it for. It is not worth a whole lot but it has proven to be reliable and even comfortable on the freeway. Well, time to go to work now.



Just a quick update to the car situation. If you have ever worked out at the gym after being away for awhile you know the kind of stiffness and pain I had yesterday. Nothing major, but some neck and back soreness and stiffness. I finally got a rental vehicle, a Colorado. It is a mid-size 4-door truck from GMC or Chevrolet (same thing to me). It is ok, I mean compared to my car it is very nice but I wouldn't buy one. Wednesday the adjuster is coming out to look at my car. They just coudn't get it straight. First I was to go to the claims office next Monday, then it was this Friday and finally it was set up for tomorrow. I don't care, I just want things the way they were before that guy decided to backup without checking behind him. The damage to the car is just enough for it to be unsafe to drive because of the headlamps being busted out. I am kinda hoping it is enough that they total it and give me enough to allow me to buy another, old car. Truth be told I am hoping for enough to buy an old truck. Then I will spend the next six months refurbishing it enough so that I can go to South Dakota and get my belongings. I don't want to jump ahead of myself but the other day I was praying to God to help me get my things. Again, I am not get ahead of myself but The Lord works in mysterious and unknown ways. We will find out tomorrow just what will happen. All I know is before I was hit my car was worth maybe $800 and therefore I just don't know if they will feel it is worth sending to a body shop to be fixed. I may have to repair it myself but since there is bent metal I don't see how I can do that. I want a vehicle, not the money. Ok, have to go to work now, will update later. Also, my mistake at work that has kept me worried, I have completed that and hopefully nothing major will come of it. All the documents have been processed and sent off so who knows? Maybe things will come together after all.


Meeting the challenge....

Of life. I had an "event" happen to me this morning that has caused me to grow up a little more. I was on my way, as usual every Sunday, to the bank and then to Walmart for grocery shopping. I was stopped at the light, waiting to make a left turn when I suddenly realized the Dodge truck in front of me was backing up! Yes, he hit me. Crushed the grille and headlamps. Fortunately neither of us was hurt (of course than can change come tomorrow as whiplash takes 24 hours to set in, but I really don't think anything happened to me) and the car is driveable. Tomorrow I will call his insurance to make sure he reported it (I am sure he did, he looks very upstanding) and get a rental car. The car is damaged enough that at its age and condition I am sure they will just total it (it is at least $1500 in damage) and I will do just as Mom and Dad did, buy something for cash off of my used car lot. We shall see. But it is something that I did not need after yesterday's error. I feel it is a challenge, a test of my strenth. And so far, I have done well. Of course I was upset but I explained to the gentleman it was not him I was upset with, just that it was another speedbump in life. He felt the same as he explained he had just taken a job as a FedEx driver and he did not need this on his record. I understand that. The police officer suggested I get an estimate and the guy could just pay me straight up but I will not do that as, even though I feel for him, I need a rental car until they decide if they are going to total it or fix it or just cut me a check and let me fix it myself. Between yesterday and today I have grown up some more. I will explain to Jess that I no longer have time for her games. She needs to grow up and get serious about her life. Games are over. I either want Tam (if you read this Tam listen to this carefully) to get the divorce over with or reconcile. Games are over for me as they probably have been for you for awhile with your health. Tam has had my address (my parents home) since the beginning of this ending, yet I have no idea where she lives. Time to grow up and face reality. She ran from her responsibility to me and to her daughter. Ran away, as always. Time to quit running. The other night I was feeling really down and I smoked a couple of cigarettes. I had not since I had brought Jess back to Texas. Afterwards, I thought about what I had done. I didn't feel any different. My situation hadn't changed. So why did I do it? Two days later I realize if it isn't going to improve my situation it isn't worth it. So I threw the rest of them away. I had not intention of having them more than on night anyways but it was just a waste of money and time. I do feel that my maturity over the last year has cost me some of my innocence. I know most people go through that at a much younger age, but I am behind the learning curve when it comes to the rules of life. Of course Dad was his same accusational self so I just let him go. I just needed someone to talk to as it was going rough but they are not the ones for that role in my life. I will survive and succeed, no matter the odds. I have come too far, learned too much to let this slow me down. It will only make me stronger. It was an opportunity for me to be a man, be an adult with another adult and I did it. I was upset at first but rebounded to stand my ground (not with animosity but just as one adult another). It helped me realize I do belong in this world, that I am part of society. There will be a tomorrow.


How quickly things change...

Today started out well, I was feeling good about my present and my future when "it" happened. I ran some reports that only come at the beginning of the month and that is when I discoverd my $20,000 mistake. That is correct: $20,000! Each month Nissan sends a report requesting several claims to be returned to them for review. I had not seen one in a couple of months so I was under the false impression that no requests had been sent. In all my past experiences, these reports had been presented to me. But as I checked over the past few months reports in the que, sure enough there they were. So I spent the majority of today pulling files and making copies. Kris, the Asst Mgr and previous Claims Administrator (my big title, small authority!) assured me that this money can be recovered. I will go with faith in her and belief in myself. This was a very good opportunity for me to test my reactions now compared to before. Even though I jested with a few people that I had made a mistake likely to cost me my job, I did not feel that way. I remained calm, worked the problem and will just let the chips fall where they may. I am proud of myself. On another note, I have not received a response as of this time to my email to Tam. I admit it was short and probably very cold sounding. Following is what I sent to her: 1. When are you going to file for divorce? 2. When are you going to send me my key? (To my storage unit in South Dakota. I had asked her to keep it just in case the owner needed someone to open it or to check on it. She reluctantly agreed. Now I wish I had not left it with her as I fear her daughter or someone else may have entered it and taken and/or damaged my things.) I then left my current address for her to send them to. Of course I care and wonder how she is doing. She had/has cancer (I don't know the current state of it right now) and is diabetic. I may be a bad person but I just can't be her friend if I am not her husband. Just the way I am. I don't know if I am weird or different, but I am a very, very deeply emotional person. My short term memory is horrible (I make lists for everything because I can't remember to p/u a loaf of bread to save my life), but my long term memory, that is another thing altogether. When it comes to events in my life, things that "happen" to me, they burn in my memory. I remember so much about so many people that have crossed my path that sometimes I wish I couldn't. I remember all the taunting and teasing from grade school all the way until I graduated. I remember details from relationships long past. Miniscule details, mind you, as everyone remembers a certain amount of events in their lives. But I remember the smallest details. And it usually hurts. When I should be smiling when reliving a special moment, I am sad because it was a special moment and now it is gone. I don't know why I have these feelings of sadness. I will admit they are lessening in intensity and I am smiling alot more these days. I also know being alone and lonely for companionship feeds these negative feelings also. When I am with someone I live in the moment and enjoy life so much. This was especially true being with Tam, she was the first to love me just as I was, not telling me what to do or how I should dress. Not that those that came before were mean or cruel or controlling, they were not. But they did let me know what they thought I should do and I don't work well that way. So here I am, in a limbo of sorts as far as relationships go. I live with my memories, but they hurt. I have no guarantee there will be a future with someone. I am enjoying my time with my daughter. My kid has no idea how much fun I am having being her Dad right now. She has issues, and it is going to be a hard challenge to get her through the next 3-5 years, but it is one I welcome and embrace. So that is what I focus on, her and my job. But those memories, they haunt me, enter my thoughts constantly. How can I enjoy what was but no longer is? I don't know how to do that. The cookies, ducks, her Mama's house on a cold Sunday morning, a fire burning making the house all warm and cozy. These are things I never want to forget yet they hurt so much to remember I want them to go away. It is a twisted life I lead and all I can do is keep going forward, one day at a time.


It is done...

Well, I just sent Tam and email asking when she was filing for divorce and when she was sending my key to me. It has been over a year since I left and eight months since I last received and email from her so I think it is time to get this over with. I have been told to "move on" but I can't as long as I have an attachement to her. I just want to put this past me once and for all. Enough crying. Enough sorrow and self-pity. The other day I was making breakfast for the girls and I suddenly realized I was "happy", whatever that may be. I was feeling a small bit of euphoria, for lack of a better description, at where I was. I have a note posted at work, another of Dr. Phil's quotes that says: Be committed, Do what it takes, and you will have what you want. I believe this whole-heartedly. I am committed to my daughter and my job right now. I want to be the best father I can be. I have been a good provider but not a good teacher. I took my daughter on camping trips and spent time with her but I did not teach her. She is ADD and that is something that cannot be cured. I see myself in her. I now understand I am also ADD and have been since I can remember. So, while it is not a handicap such as blindness, really it is more along the line of diabetes, it is something you can live with but you have to learn how. I am now committed to teaching Jess how to live and thrive with it because I do not have the kind of income to afford the drugs used to treat it. I am also unsure of why she was being given mood stabilizers when it was not and is not her mood that is the problem, rather it is her hyperactivity and inability to stay focused on the task at hand. She has changed alot. She is so respectful of her teachers and administrators. She attends church regularly. So, to get back to my point, I am happy with my place in the world right now. It is time to get on with the future and stop wishing for a past that is never going to come back.