I wanted to hate it

                                                                              

I was recently introduced to a book series known as Outlander by a radio show I listen to when I drop my son off at school (The Bob and Sheri show). I downloaded the first in an eight book series on my iPad and there it sat for about a month. I was skeptical. 

As a self proclaimed bibliophile, I’m also a book snob. There. I said it. Usually, when someone raves about a book, I go into it with probably the worst mindset. What’s all the fuss about? Why is it so amazing that I should read it? I’m also always hesitant when a book series becomes so popular that it warrants a major motion picture or television series. Outlander has been made into a television series on Starz and that made my skepticism skyrocket.

It is not uncommon for me to read a book in a day. I become so engrossed in that world that it becomes my world. My reality. Reading is an escape of sorts for me from the mundane. Reading is the way I travel and see all the things I may never actually see. Seeing it with the mind’s eye is better than not at all right?

One of my biggest hesitations with this book series was the historical fiction concept. History is not so much my thing. I have a quite extensive knowledge of history, but no thirst to know more or to focus on it. I have to admit however, I was intrigued in the ability of an author to tie together romance, time travel, adventure, and historical fiction together in one book series. And that’s where a new obsession began.

Outlander begins with nurse Claire Randall in the 20th century, on a second honeymoon of sorts with her husband Frank in Inverness, Scotland.  Claire manages to accidentally be transported to 18th century Scotland in the middle of the uprising between England and Scotland. Claire runs smack dab into British dragoons and is saved/kidnapped by Highlander rogues. This is where you meet Jamie Fraser. A juicy piece of Scottish yumminess.  I don’t believe in spoilers, so I won’t go further into the plot. I will say there are quite a few tastefully written sex scenes, but I understand this will be a deal breaker for some. I am in love with this series, but take it for what it is. An awesome and amazing trashy read.  I highly recommend it. 

Rating: 🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷

Dark and Twisty

Dark and twisty on the inside. That’s me. I’m not peppy, or bubbly, or obnoxiously happy. Don’t get me wrong, I have happy moments, but happy is not an adverb most would use to describe me. I’ve tried to be happy, I want to be happy, but I can’t be. I am incapable of conventional happiness.

I love my family, I love my husband, I love my children. I am fortunate to have them in my life. Yet, I am still dark and twisty.

“Who ate your soul?” This is what my now husband asked me once while we were dating when I made an insensitive comment to a friend about her boyfriend’s cystic fibrosis. In hind sight, it was not the most sensitive subject to shed light on, and definitely was not my best moment. I did what I do best. I told the blunt, brutal truth.

Why am I dark and twisty you ask? Well, that fact remains to be seen really. I had your average childhood, with an average family, with above average aspirations for my life. Now maybe the beginning of my dark and twisty nature began when my life plan fell to pieces in front of my very eyes in an instant, never to be seen again.

From the beginning of my dark and twisty nature goes to the state of today’s world may be the reason why I have remained dark and twisty and probably had the effect multiplied a million times. Recessions, riots, the heightening of racial tension once again, etc. Turning on the news anymore is like saying “how depressed and enraged can I become today? Let’s find out shall we!” So I don’t. Ignorance is bliss right?

I also think my environment growing up had a huge contributing factor to my dark and twisty, introverted nature. MY MOTHER.  I love her because she’s my mom, she gave birth to me and made endless sacrifices so I could have all the opportunities in life, do better than she did, etc. I don’t know if she was so hard on me just because she expected so much of me or what, but she can go from sweetheart to raving lunatic in .01 seconds (a new record). 

She can be the best mother in the world, and then bam, she hits me with condescending remarks about my parenting, my job, my housekeeping abilities, my appearance, my weight, my choice of husband, etc. You name it, she has something to say to me on the subject and it isn’t going to be positive. I’m not sure if she realizes how much she hurts me or not, but encounters with her usually leave me seething in rage  and crying. I can’t talk to her about it because there is no way in hell she can be reasonable and hear me out. I’ve tried telling her how I feel, and am hit with a guilt trip of epic proportions. 

I think a lot of her judgement stems from her disappointment in the road my choices have taken me, but isn’t hindsight 20-20? I realize I’ve made many mistakes, but without those, I would not be with the man I love, I wouldn’t have my children (of whom I adore 90% of the time) and I wouldn’t have found what I believe to be my calling (nursing). 

This is where my philosophy comes from. You cannot please everyone and will break your spirit trying. So do what you can. Make yourself happy because at the end of the day, you have to be able to face yourself in the mirror knowing you’re doing your best. 

Besides, dark and twisty has become part of my charm. 😝

Kids should really come with a manual

                                                                       

Yep. That’s me, or at least the way I feel when dealing with my children on occasion. As a mother of 3, the younger two have been a breeze since I’ve been there and done that. However, the territory we are entering with my 9 year old is another story.

P is in the third grade this year, and we have had a rash of behavioral issues. I almost wish we were having academic issues, because I know how to correct those. P has been bullied since his first day in kindergarten, and I do believe it has had a significant impact on his psyche and sense of well-being. His self esteem is low and I worry about his emotional state daily. 

I think the low point for me was last school year when P’s bully was in fact his own teacher. The adult responsible for his education, safety, and overall well-being at school. I entrusted my child in her care and was blindsided by her behavior. She picked on him constantly and I had conferences for HIS behavior until I was blue in the face.

Once I began standing up for my child, it only got worse and the school system only backed her up and defended her, treating my son as a problem. If I had the resources available to me necessary to take charge of my children’s education, I would. Unfortunately, I am now and will always be a working mother. That’s the luck of the draw in the state of today’s economy.

I received a phone call from my son’s third grade teacher today and while I feel she has been exceedingly patient in our plan for P’s behavioral issues, I feel she was upset by my response to her call. His teacher emailed me Friday about an incident that had occurred at PE on Thursday. He was grounded all weekend as a result. Then another issue today. He has periods where his behavior is great and periods where it isn’t. It gets frustrating when you do all you can to no avail. Therefore, I told her I no longer knew what to do and would continue to try what we had been but didn’t know what else to do.

Not long ago, at my wits end, I decided to try therapy and possible medication to see what happened. After a month and a half of therapy and about a month on a sleeping medication and antidepressants, it seemed we had turned a corner. We weaned him off of the medication and things were great. We do not spank him for his punishments because he isn’t a child who responds to that sort of discipline and we don’t want him afraid of the ones he should be able to come to no matter what.

Parenting is probably the most rewarding yet frustrating journey I’ve ever been a part of. But one thing is for sure. Since it doesn’t come with a manual, it takes a village.

And the douchecanoe of the week award goes to…

  

So, the other day, I was in my home town Wal-Mart, and encountered this. I first want to make it very clear that I have no problem with guns and am actually a gun enthusiast of sorts. I do however, find it ridiculous to carry said gun on day to day errands on a grocery shopping trip at 8:30am in Smalltown, USA. The other aspects that earn this individual the Douchecanoe of the Week Award (DWA) are the fact that he’s running around with a gun holstered to his hip, a knife secured in his pocket, wearing his fancy toe shoes, sporting Ralph Lauren polo shirt, and buying all organic milk, all natural this, no GMO that… The list goes on and on. He was an arrogant douche and he was just asking for someone to make him the butt of all jokes for the rest of the day. 

 Every Monday a new DWA will be awarded. Why Monday you ask? Because Monday sucks! Why not have something to laugh at while suffering through yet another Monday!? Seems legit to me. Until next time!

42

                                             
“The Ultimate Answer to Life, The Universe and Everything is…42!”  Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Nothing in this world makes sense to me. We’re born, we grow, we become educated, we become adults and enter the monotony we all know as life. Day in, day out, we wonder, “Are we part of a bigger picture? Or is it all simply a means to an end?” Typically, my answer depends on the day, or what the recipient of the answer wants to hear. Today, my answer will be the truth. My truth at least.

Life makes about as much sense as 42. It doesn’t! We’re born, we live, we die. We just happen to have a multitude of significant and insignificant moments that may alter the direction of our life that really means nothing in the grand scheme of things. Some people have better lives and moments in life than other because of nothing other than sheer luck. Luck of who you’re born to, luck of opportunities given, and the dumb luck to make good decisions all the time. You’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t. If you’re the lucky ones, the unlucky hate you, and if you’re unlucky the lucky ones are disgusted by you and you struggle and scrimp and save in the hopes that one day your luck will change. Can you change your luck or does fate determine where you fall on the spectrum of luck?

Side note: I feel it necessary to say that I do believe in God, however, as a God that has given us free will to fuck up, it seems a bit callous, like a parent setting their children up for failure.