I would be nothing without her #Anniversary


It’s been 17 years of marriage, nearly 20 years of being together. And I cannot imagine life without her.

Happy Anniversary Sweetheart!

Kim you are my rock. You keep me going, keep me working on being a better man, and a better father. You are there with me through the tough times, whether it is just being a solid foundation when my brain decides to screw with me. Or when we are vacuuming up water in the basement in the wake of 3 weeks of torrential rain. Or recognizing and accepting when I cannot do certain things, and stepping in, without question or criticism.

You are the Super Mom four our kids, pitching in to run Scout troops, organize events, run concession booths. Keeping me realistic and level when I try to do things that make sense at the time.

We may argue, have disagreements, maybe not eat as well as we could, and probably encourage some bad habits in each other. But when the rubber meets the road you are there for me, just as I am there for you.

I love you, my Goofygirl

You Complete Me

It can’t rain all the time (can it?)

3 weeks now, starting Mother’s Day weekend, stretching into Memorial Day weekend. But the weather report seems to indicate that it might begin to lighten up for a while. And it cannot happen soon enough. Poor Kim has just been pushing herself every afternoon working on the basement. But there are some real good things happening to look forward to.

School is out for the Little Ones! This has felt like a really long school year, even though it was no different from any other one. But summer vacation is finally here for them (Jimmy has 3 days next week.) Which means I can look forward to a different morning schedule for a while. And evening schedule as well. It is all a good thing.

It’s a 3 day weekend. An official one at least. And I am ready for a little extra time off. Even if a fair amount of that time will be spent working on clean up, I am still pretty excited to have that time off.

Tomorrow is our Anniversary, which is always nice, get to look forward to a dinner out with Kim. It’s not a special number (17) but it always feels good to mark the occasion. We will also be taking the time to get a nice family photo done, which should be fun, and good to have an updated one.

Sunday we will be going up to Denver for a gathering of friends, which I am looking forward to as these are folks I don’t see nearly enough, and I am really looking forward to the chance to do some catching up. I just don’t spend enough time with these friends these days.

And Monday is a day off, I might sneak out to go see Mad Max, or we might just get some work done around the house (or both.) Just a good time for some rest and recovery.

Because the reality is these last couple of weeks have just felt like a never ending trigger. The rain, the flooding, the constant work, feeling like Sysiphus. The pent up energy that comes with the end of the school year, as the kids are so wired they are like a Jack in the Box. First Danny, then Jimmy got sick this week. I have done my best to cope, and I like to think that I have done pretty well. It has been hard. But I just kept reminding myself, it is just like the song says: It can’t rain all the time. And if I just held on I would make it.

I reached out, and made my day better as a result

Yeah, it has been a pretty crappy couple of weeks. The house is in disaster stage right now. The weather has been crappy. I have not been getting exercise due to the weather and resulting arthritis flare up. The kids are in such a pent up stage with school almost over.

Kim figured out an efficient method for getting water up yesterday. And with another pump coming today we should be able to better handle these deluges, at least as far as getting water out and off the carpet quickly. And we are expecting an official reports with a number of recommendations of ways to mediate the problem. But none of that takes away the fact that we have effectively lost use of the basement for a time. We even have Jimmy sleeping in the living room. And I am beginning to think that it is possible that the mold that is there, however dormant, could be behind some of his health problems (other than injuries.)

And of course all of that is a serious trigger for me, which means I have been fighting moods. Constantly going back and forth between crisis management and trying to relax, and then back to crisis is really hard. I am doing what I can to cope, keeping up with posting here, trying to get time to myself, etc. But there are times when it feels like I am hanging by a thin thread.

But I did something yesterday that got me a little out of my comfort zone, and helped me finish the day better. There is a new person at work in the cubicle next to mine. And I noticed he had a role playing themed background on his workstation desktop. So yesterday I just asked him, what games do you play? What editions? And that led to a lengthy conversation with him, and then another new guy came over and joined in. So I spent a couple of hours talking role playing. I don’t expect to get anything out of it, but it is nice to know there are some people here that I have something in common with for a change.

And I used that momentum to stay social and chat with some other people. Which kept my mind off of other things for the rest of the day, and meant that I could go home relaxed and just help Kim get things done, like picking up, getting dinner ready, and then do some mopping up.

I may be an introvert, but there are times when it is nice to open up and chat with other people about things that I enjoy. I don’t expect a set of life long friendships or anything, but it is nice to be able to share once in a while. If for no other reason than it takes my mind off all of my worries for a time.

Just a brief note, as I try to hang on

Well it rained, again, last night. And not just a nice light spring drizzle like Sunday night. Nope this was a serious downpour, which continued until around 7 AM. And of course that means that, as expected, the basement carpet was soaked, again.

I woke up a little before my alarm this morning, and just laid there, knowing what I probably would be dealing with when I got up. Kim came in and gave me the expected news. And after I showered and got dressed Jimmy and I went down and moved all the boxes of books I filled up off the floor before they got soaked. So no new damage, but the water is probably about a half inch above the carpet at the deep points, it was more like walking through a low creek or puddle than on wet carpet this morning.

I am hanging in, going through the motions. I know there is nothing I can do, and burning vacation hours to stay home and suck up water isn’t worth it. I figure that long term the carpet is toast (well a sponge actually.) I just don’t know if it will ever dry out enough before it turns to mold.

So, deep breaths, trying to keep the mental pressure at bay. That which I cannot control must somehow be endured. No other real choices at this point, but it sure as hell is not going to be a good week to think about kicking any bad habits.

A very satisfying weekend

I got a lot of things done, got in some good alone time, and had some fun. It was a good weekend. I made some very good initial progress on the basement. I enjoyed some painting time. I had a good game in Denver. It was a very satisfying weekend.

The finished bookshelf

The finished bookshelf

That was my first priority for the weekend. I needed to do something constructive. And I really got a lot done. There is still some organizing to do, but even where I am it is a very good start. I started with a premise, it was time to let go. I was raised in a house of books, by book lovers. And I became a book hoarder as a result. And also hoped to raise my children the same way. But there were 2 very major things I had to just accept, and both stem from accepting the times. First, in this era of the Cloud, and electronic publishing, I can get pretty much any book I want from the cloud and/or library. There really isn’t any reason to own a book unless it has some sentimental attachment. Second, my kids are simply not the readers that I am. For a variety of reasons, and that is not a value judgement, it just is. So keeping books around on the off chance they might pick them up and read doesn’t make much sense. And a last point, if I want to use the main room for my hobby stuff I need room.

So I enacted a serious purge. The only books that got kept were those that either had a serious emotional attachment. Or represented something. I was ruthless. It wasn’t easy, but I am very pleased with the end results. I think that when we get some of the other stuff out, and the carpet dries out, I should end up having a nice area for my hobbies.

Viper and Fang

Viper and Fang

I did some painting this weekend. I had picked up that snake figure a week ago for my Pathfinder game. And this weekend I was able to sit down and get this one done. I wan pleased with the results. And it was mentally relaxing to take some time to work on that.

That was part of how I had some fun this weekend. It wasn’t all work. I did get plenty of me time and relaxation. I painted, I gamed, I watched some shows, I played with some pictures. It was a good time. And I did get out and walk some.

Gorgeous Colorado

Gorgeous Colorado

I am done with the Spring rains. The flooding and water damage, the chill air, it is getting old. But when I went for a walk in Red Rock Canyon on Saturday morning and saw this I had to admit 2 things. First, wow did we get a lot of rain last week! It wasn’t just a fluke that the basement got so much water. There is so much water in the canyon now, where a couple of years ago this pond was nearly dried out. It is pretty staggering. Second, while the flooding and damage is a pain in the neck, when it results in views like this it is all worth while! Just some stunning shots and scenes out there.

But that does lead to a sour note. I hate my feet, specifically my toes. They need to be recalled. When I was in Middle school I fought an infected, ingrown toenail for a year and a half, making it even harder for me to overcome my natural tendency for lethargy. Now, just when I was really overcoming a life time of slug like approaches to exercise and eating, running half marathons, my toes betrayed me. Both of my big toes are arthritic, and even doing what small amount of walking I am doing now, with good shoes, I end up in serious pain.

There are other forms of exercise out there, but I really like walking and running. And those sadly are the ones that cause the most pain. I am not sure what or where to go next with this. I will talk to the doctor in a few weeks, maybe there are some things I can do, because the pain is beginning to take a toll.

But all told, foot pain aside, it was a good weekend. And I am looking forward to more, getting things done and still enjoying myself.

Getting back up, dusting myself off

Well it has been a rough couple of days, a week really. But I have hope for the future, with plans and excitement for the weekend. School is almost done for the kids, 1 week for the little ones, and 8 days for Jimmy. We are taking advantage of the opportunity given us by the flooding to reconfigure things in the house. And this weekend I have my Denver game, which is something I really look forward to.

I am definitely excited for school to be over. It will be nice to be down to only 2 days a week at most having to get up and make lunches etc. I can really take advantage of that to resume a better morning schedule and maybe get in some exercise again. And of course the kids are just as excited. I may make the occasional remark about the kids getting older and bigger, but in reality that excites me more than anything. Get Older! Get Independent! Become Interesting Human Beings!

This weekend I move from emergency basement clean up to doing some honest purging. The bookshelf has become a disaster (again.) And to be honest, if the kids are going to read, they are more likely to read e-books. So the time has come to clear out everything but a few essentials, books I cannot get or series that I worked hard to complete. The plus side of this is that I will get the chance to move at least some of my hobby stuff out to the main room as a result.

I envision the basement becoming a recreation/hobby room. With space for Lego, kids play toys (barbies etc.) And also room to play games, where I can run D&D games. And also maybe get a hobby area for myself where I can have my painting projects set up semi-permanently. if I am honest, I miss having that kind of space in the house. So I plan to seize this opportunity with both hands and not give it up.

I am excited for my monthly Denver game this weekend. It is nice to get that time to myself, the long drive alone does not bother me in the least. And it is a great diversion and escape for a day. And definitely needed at this point.

Last, on the mental health front I have found something out, that might help. I recently have begun to notice something. Often when I get these bad days, or anxious or whatever, just drinking a soda helps things (and sometimes some junk food but that is a different issue.) So I did some research on Depression and Caffeine, and it turns out that Caffeine is actually a bad thing for Depressives. And what is likely happening is a bit of withdrawal. Which leads me to a course of action that I plan to undertake: namely dropping all caffeine. I plan to wait until after the dust of school end settles. But at that point I am just going to have to do it. It is not going to be easy, and it is entirely likely I may fail, or at the least will be pretty anxious for a little while.

I have tried this before, but for different reasons. And this time I have considerably more motivation. Because I know that if I can cut out the caffeine entirely I should be able to level out my moods better. All the research indicates that is the case, and I need to keep doing things like this for my own well being.

So yeah, I took a couple bad shots last weekend. Got knocked down. But I am getting back up, dusting myself off and moving on. With some exciting plans, and some things to really look forward to.  And I have come to realize just how important that is, without something to look forward to life just feels like a death march.

Experiencing a delayed reaction #mentalhealth

You know how when you put in a real good workout, one that leaves your muscles all rubbery, that the soreness takes a while to appear? Like it isn’t always Monday that you feel sore from Sunday yard work, but instead it really hits on Tuesday? And that it makes it that much harder to get the kinks out of your system on that second day.

Well today feels like that, only for my mental and emotional state. The stress of the weekend seems to have caught up with me hard. It really hit last night, as the kids and the dogs were all being difficult, and it was just little stuff for the most part, but it still really got on my nerves. And then this morning everything felt like I was in a fog, just blah. It took a lot of work to get everything done that I needed to do.

I am sure it is just that delayed reaction. Everything from the weekend finally caught up to me. The way it takes a day for your muscles to really feel the toll from a workout. So I am struggling a bit today. Wanting to hide and cover up. I just have to honest about that, be aware of it, and do my best to practice some self care. And I should be able to get through the day.