Friday, July 31, 2015

The Brady Bunch Redux

Scary fact.....I used to be able to tell you which episode was coming on within the first few opening seconds of the show  =/

Have you ever wondered what the Brady Bunch would look like if it were written for today's TV audience?   I started thinking about it as I got ready for work this morning because these are the things that go through my mind.

Divorcee Mike Brady meets Carol at a Divorce support group.  They go for coffee and start talking about the challenges of raising kids and dealing with their crazy and super crazy ex's.  Before you know it, they realize they are perfect for one another, yes it is time they become a family.  Cue the theme music!   
Episode 1: the Wedding: 
The kids all hate each other.  None of them like their soon to be step parent.   Alice, Mike's house keeper is having issues with her boyfriend Sam. He keeps trying to give her fashion advice for the wedding and she is confused.  Carol's ex husband moves in with a 20 year old and Mike's ex wife comes to him on the eve of his wedding to Carol to make a play to get him back.  Of course, this is a sitcom so everything works out in the end and only Tiger the dog is an issue because, of course, he still topples the cake.  Dogs never change.  

Episode 2: Bobby and Peter break Carol's iPhone: 
Forget that stupid vase, nobody cares about that stuff anymore.  Bobby and Peter break the iPhone.  Carol is a working mom now, because with 6 kids and a live in house keeper to support in Southern California nobody can live on one salary.  She is expecting an important work email and naturally they shatter the screen.  Who plays football with an iPhone anyway? 
Episode 3: Jan wants to be the next Teen Mom
Tired of Marcia getting all the attention, Jan hatches a plan to become the next Teen Mom. She will be famous and everyone will love her.  There's just one problem, she doesn't have a creepy boyfriend ...but there is always Peter. Come always thought that was an odd relationship right? 

Episode 4: Greg decides to become the next great white rapper
Don't we all know some 18 year old who thinks he is the next Eminem?  Really, Eminem has delayed  more delusional 18 year old white boy's college careers than beer.  Greg is no exception.  You will have to wait a while to see if this version of Greg Brady gets it together and becomes a doctor. 
Episode 5: Sam cheats on Alice
Alice finds out Sam is cheating on her with the Fred the baker at Wally World.  Sam tries to explain to Alice it isn't her, he always felt like he was born to be a woman and shows her his closet full of women's clothing then asks her to call him Samantha.  Alice dumps Sam and takes up with Eddie the plumber. 

Episode 6: Mike's got a problem
With six kids, one pregnant with the others baby, one failing at rapping,  a depressed housekeeper, and a workaholic wife, plus 2 ex's causing all kinds of mess,  Mike is just not feeling frisky no matter how many blue pills he takes.  Carol is frustrated so goes shopping and starts acting out her favorite scenes from 50 Shades of Grey. Just when things get a little interesting in walks Cindy with a tummy ache.

The Brady Bunch - meet the new Jan Brady - the "un-Marcia" of the Bunch - LOL

Episode 7: Cindy and Bobby and the Facebook Hack
With Jan preggo and Peter in hot water with the folks, Greg off in the recording studio, the folks too wrapped up their um....problems and Alice calling the plumber every 5 minutes to come fix some imaginary leak, Bobby and Cindy are feeling pretty left out.   They think about faking being abducted by aliens, running away to Hawaii or getting thrown in jail in an abandon mining town but decide instead to get back at the family by hacking into their Facebook accounts and posting a bunch of photos and embarrassing status updates.  Marcia is the most upset, naturally. They posted that photo of her with the busted nose from the family tackle football game.  She can't be ugly, she is the most popular girl in school!  Marcia and Greg hatch a revenge plan.  They get Cindy and Bobby in the attic and lock them up telling them nobody will miss them anyway with everything going on.  Sadly, it's true.  Nobody notices they are missing for 3 days!

At this point the shows ratings suck.  Nobody is watching because it is too real and if we want real we will just eat some Ben and Jerry's and watch some Housewives or one of those stupid Bachelor shows and pretend that crap is real. 

I am really glad the Brady Bunch wasn't written today.  I like the innocence of the original much better.  I think I will go find a rerun now. "Here's the story of a lovely lady..."

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Random thoughts


This is a random blog stick with me please. 

If you have been following my blog lately you may have picked up on the fact I am going through a lot of transition. 

Seriously, if I shared everything going on right now you would think it was the plot of some bad Lifetime movie.  I don't know that I have handled it well. I mean last night I cursed out Twitter because I am sad about Matt Harrison being included in the Cole Hammels trade.   That's just not me.  That's not who I am. I ended up sitting in my backyard crying over a baseball trade!  

I have a lot of stress.  My company was sold and there is a lot of transition there.  An incredible a amount of change and the unknown. I lost a dear co-worker to death and several others have left for other opportunity.  Tomorrow will see me at the memorial service of yet another friend, one of the best men I ever had the honor of calling family.  

Someone did their best to try and hit me on the way to work today.  My nerves are shot. I realized I simply have to let go of all these things I can't control.  They are driving me crazy! 

Little things can eat you alive when they build up and multiply.  They end up becoming big things and you end up crying...over a baseball trade.  I know better. I really do.  I don't get attached to players.  I don't let little things build up but sometimes life takes over and before you know it everything is a big thing.  Before you know it everything is overwhelming and you have to step back.  

So I am stepping back and taking a break.  I need to clean the slate and concentrate on the stuff that actually matters.  I need to find me again.  It isn't that I lost myself it's that I let all the craziness from the outside take over.  

I worry about so much that I can't let get to me.  I can't be responsible for other people's insanity.  I can't control other people's feelings. I can't let other people's hate get to me.  I have had to remove people from my life because of it.  

I am going to share a story now.  My grandfather's story.  He grew up a Catholic in Indiana in the 20's.  When he was a child there was Klan.  They would come to his home at night and burn crosses in his front yard.  One night he went out into his yard as they were riding around on their horses and he made note of those riders shoes.  The next day when he was in town a man came up to him and greeted him at the hardware store.  He looked down and saw the shoes of one of the horseback riders who had burned the cross in his yard the night before.  My grandfather, just a kid, looked at this grown ass man and said "the next time you burn a cross in my front yard you may want to change your shoes." He turned and walked away.  My grandfather was a great man to his dying day.  He was a medic in World War Two and I am pretty sure there wasn't one man who's life he saved who cares that he was Catholic.  My point is, we let our own hate and bigotry shape our lives. We need to stop.  It eats me alive to see how this country is being torn apart.  I hate it.  

I know this blog is all over the place and I am sorry for that.  This is the stuff that has been on my mind and I don't know how else to share.  We have to stop.  We have to heal.  We have to step back. We have to quit blaming each other and put an end to the finger pointing.  We are all the same.  We are all children of the same God.  When we die we are going to one of two places.  

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Saying goodbye to Toxic Friendships

2 of my best friends 

Okay as promised yesterday, the fish! This is the 18lb catfish the kid caught.  Yes she is a beast.  She caught this Saturday morning.  Hubs has a rule we don't keep anything over 10lbs so this fish lived to swim another day. We did catch 2 bags full of keepers.  My biggest was 8 lbs and let me tell you, those catfish can fight like crazy and while I get why they call them catfish (whiskers) if you have ever heard them oink they could just as easily be called pig fish.  They are also slimy and I always end up looking like I had a run in with the ghost from Ghost Busters


Okay, so on to the blog....Toxic Friendships.  They suck.  I know, understatement of the century.

I have been doing a lot of friend purging lately. I realized that there is a lot of drama happening in my life and way too much of it  almost all of it is coming from outside sources.  I can't control the negative people in my life but what I can do is thank them for what they contributed to my life and say goodbye.  A lot of this is Facebook and I am not sorry to say goodbye.  I react negatively to the things being said and while I am ultimately responsible for letting it get to me, I have decided to remove the source of my anxiety.  I am not dumping the people, I am dumping the negative behavior from my life.  Some of these people I will be there for if they need me but I just can't be Facebook friends with, others I really just want to say goodbye too forever.   Toxic. 

Because of my job and my personality I do not trust easily and tend to be just a tiny bit paranoid but often times I find I trust wrong. I can think of at least 5 friends in the last 5 years who I should have never invited into my life.   It takes a long time for me to eliminate the negative and give up on people but when I do, I am done.  There are no second chances in toxic friendships. 

Sometimes there is no way to salvage a friendship. It is sad but it is true.  I feel like often times there are misunderstandings that happen but the truth is, it takes two people to be friends and it takes work. You have to evaluate what you have and what the relationship means.  When I go home upset because a friend said something hateful or mean on social media and I let it effect my mood that friendship has turned toxic.  When I have friends who tell me I am doing the wrong thing or my relationship isn't solid I have to ask myself "are they just trying to destroy my relationship/other friendships/marriage?" if so, that is toxic. (Not all are, sometimes it is actual concern or misunderstanding.)  When I have friends who judge me and tell me I am going to Hell, they are toxic, controlling people and they do not belong.  I have removed these people one by one because of their meddling and because they are wrong. Toxic. 

Sometimes things are my fault, I am by nature an over sharer.  It's a hazard of being a blogger and being a social creature.  I try very hard to not complain when I am upset about things in my personal life because something I say is bound to be misinterpreted.  My marriage is sound and good and full of love.  We bicker like any married couple.  Nothing means anything. I don't post about it and I try not to dump on friends because I know that when we ultimately get over it, they may not understand that he is stubborn and I am stubborn and that's just us. For example, he likes his brownies crispy and I like mine chewy.  World War 3 has been fought and the war is over.  Peace reigns. (If you are married you will understand how something that stupid turns into battle royal! BTW, my chewy brownies must have been pretty okay because he ate 6!) What makes us happy is being together at a baseball game, in the boat, shopping for groceries or just sitting around the house and watching the chickens play in the yard.  It isn't as exciting as a trip to Spain but it is who we are.  

Some of the people I have cut ties with probably think I need forgiveness.  I don't want their forgiveness and I will not accept it.  Why? Because I didn't do anything wrong.  I decided to live my life the way I choose and didn't ask their opinion.  They did however judge my choice but I also don't want their apology.  Why? Because the hurt is real and the trust is gone partially but mostly because I just don't care.  They don't matter anymore.  They alienated themselves from my life little by little and to that end, they are nothing more than strangers that I use to know.  It is a harsh reality but it is real.  They made their choice and I made mine.  I can't be responsible for their judgement or jealousy or anger.  They may bring down good people in the process and that is sad but they are so toxic that eventually they will end up alone.  I don't pity them.  I don't hate them.  I just do not ever want to see them again for the rest of my life.  

What I must do now is evaluate how I continue to attract these screwed up people in my life.  I have had more than one friend who seem to meet the classic definition of narcissism. I have been reading up on this personality disorder a lot.   If you are lucky enough never to have been in a friendship with a narcissist count your blessings.  They are always down and blame the world for their problems. They think they are always right, about everything. They lie and cheat and they brainwash people into believing their side of the story. They are completely delusional.  They are exhausting. You spend your entire friendship trying to lift them up.  Nothing you do is every enough and you will never be right. They con you with charm and suck you in and before you know it, you are stuck in a never ending spiral of telling them how great they are and listening to them moan about how unfair life is while they explain to you how great they are. It's sad. It's toxic.  It's hard to cut ties.  It can be deadly. 

Don't misunderstand me, I have gone through bouts of depression.  I have had to apologize to a lot of friends for stupid mistakes I made after a very bad relationship. I was a really draining person to be around and I know that.  I was selfish and sad and I just wanted the pain to end. I never blamed anyone but myself however for what happened to me.   I took responsibility for being naive and stupid but I was still a real pain to be around. I was given to random bouts of crying and it was ugly.  I feel bad for what I put my friends through.  I swore after that relationship I was going to change and I went to counseling.  I changed my expectations and I met my husband not long after.  It was totally an act of God that he came into my life at just the right time.   

I have tried very hard to dump less and less on my friends and share more and more of the good stuff.  Does this always work? No, of course not.  They are my friends and they know when things bother me. (Again, I am not great at hiding things.  Especially right now. If I shared the stuff going on around me in my life, you would call me a liar.  There is more drama than on any given year of Days of Our Lives.  I am just lacking someone returning from the dead to make life complete!)   I will get the text here and there when I am obviously upset and it is one of my friends checking on me.  I love them for that.  Still, I lean on my husband now.  He has big shoulders and he can handle my melt downs.  Plus, he has a way of calming me down when others can't.  (He also has a gift for pissing me off when others can't but that's marriage.)   

Several of my friends and I have had discussions on toxic relationships and the purging process.  We all agree that there is something very liberating about eliminating these people from your life but it is an internal process as much as anything. I have to change my views and make better choices.  I have to not allow them back in and I have to stop giving them power to control my emotions.  I have to stop being sad that they are gone and start realizing that they are sick.  I also have to understand that I am a good, true, honest and worthy friend and that anyone who can't see that, just isn't worth being in my life.   The process is as much about taking control of yourself as anything and it is hard.  Ultimately, life is hard enough and there are enough things we have to battle without inviting these people into our lives to complicate us and make us miserable. 

Here I outline a few of the most important qualities of a true friend, as well as the importance of defining what friendship means to you
The most amazing thing does happen when you cut ties with the toxic people in your life, the friends left are the real ones. They are the friends that will be there to laugh and cry with. These are the friends you invite to your wedding who help with your hair and laugh at you dancing.   They are the friends that will come over at the drop of a hat and sit on your deck and watch the chickens play or swim in your pool.  They are the ones that you will shop with and have a glass of wine with and laugh-cry over a bad old photo.  Those friends are gold and they should be cherished.  I do cherish them.  I cherish my husband who is my best friend and I cherish my friends who have and always will be there. That's the way it should be.  Non-toxic.   

Monday, July 27, 2015

Living with the Sociopath and Narcissist: You can't

Words A Help for narcissistic sociopath relationship survivors

I had a great weekend with friends and I had intended to share that blog today but this one is not going to wait.   So I just want to give a shout out to Monica, Lynn, JB, Harold, Joe and Jeanie for spending a lovely night with us Saturday and tell you that I cherish each of you.  XO

So on to this blog.   Lies:  This has been my pet peeve my entire life.  I hate people who do not understand the truth and I can't stand people who use lies, manipulation and half truths to control other people.  Some people who walk this earth are just sick be it sociopaths or narcissist.

Traits of a female sociopath:  The consequences of her behavior are always somebody else's problem, not hers. She is never to blame for anything. Because she's out to control, she manipulates and punishes at will. She is the witness, the judge, the lawyer, the jury, the executioner - but never the accused. She will break the rules without a second thought, if the end justifies the means. - An excerpt from the book Venus: The Dark Side by Roy Sheppard and Mary T Cleary
I have intimate knowledge of these people and you probably do too.  Let me tell you what I have learned.  You can't change them. The best advise I have is to get them out of your life before they destroy you.   They will hide behind anything and everything, especially God.  They will use everyone in their lives, family, friends, children, the elderly and the sick to get what they want.  They play the victim and they seem to actually believe their lies.  Do NOT be a fool. They make their beds and someday they will pay the price for their deception be they Sociopaths or Narcissists.

Praying for those who hurt and hurt other due to such a terrible disease.
The common thread between sociopaths and narcissists is a lack of personal responsibility.  The world created their pain and not their own actions or how they choose to react.   You can't fix them. You can't help them.  You can't be there for them because they will drag you down with them.  

I won't say why I am writing this or who I am talking about because there is more than one of these creatures that have darkened my life.  Yes, I call them creatures because they are not people.    What I can say is that I have seen people I care about deeply hurt, even destroyed by these things and no matter how much they  we tried to help the individuals, the individuals kept on keeping on.  They don't want help, they want pity, guilt, a free ride.  They want you to give them what they feel entitled too and they feel entitled to EVERYTHING.  

If you know someone in an abusive relationship with one of these things, all you can do is try to point it out and love them through it.  Be there for them when the end comes and they break free of the chains.  Hope they wise up sooner than later because the longer they are in the clutches of the sick minded individuals the harder it will be on them to break free. 

If you see the person for who they are, they hate you immediately.  They make it out to be your fault, there is something wrong with you.  Trust me, there is nothing wrong with you. you are the lucky one that sees through them.  They hate you for seeing them as a fraud and not buying into their manipulations.  They won't acknowledge you or they will try their best to manipulate you but you will see it for what it really is and you will become outcast by them.  You may lose friends and relationships.  Walk away.  Nobody and nothing is worth being in the hands of these predators except children.  If you are tied to them by a child, you must continue for the child's sake because they can't protect themselves.  

Don't misunderstand me, these things are cunning and charming and they are so able to abuse good people that they will have you thinking you are the problem when they are the problem.  They will wrap you up in their deceit and lies so deep that you forget the truth and forget the people who have been good to you or were there for you when you needed them.  It's okay.  We are all victims of this evil. 

If you are one of these people, you are sick and need help. You are also manipulative, cunning, hateful, evil, and just down right going to Hell so I guess I will see you there...wait, I probably won't because I am not like you and I take responsibility for the things I have done.  Peace OUT!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

7 things My Husband changed about me

I am pushing total meltdown mode so forgive me for not blogging much.  First I have sort of a big decision I want to share, I am looking at finally finishing my degree.  I have contacted the University of Texas system to find out the easiest way to do this.   I obviously am not moving back to Austin to finish there but I would like to finish with one of their schools. 

Okay so that, work is crazy, and I am old, worn out,  and almost married a year.  I can't believe it either.  

Anyway, so a few days ago...a week ago my friend Military Wife and Pug Life sent me a challenge to reveal 7 things you may not know about me.  I thought there is no way there are 7 things left but I'm going to try. I am putting my spin on it, because that's how I roll.  

These are 7 things I never, ever did and probably would never have done without my husband.  (Nothing nasty people...come on now!)  In other words, the 7 ways my husband changed my life.  There are more, but these are the obvious ones. 

1. Guns: 
I would never have shot a gun without the hubs.  I shot once when I was a kid and walked away, totally afraid of the power.   It still scares me but now I shoot and like it. 

2. Fishing:  
I fished when I was a kid and hated it.  Now I find it therapeutic.  Being on the water is amazing and I truly enjoy our time together. 


3. Hunting:
No I haven't shot anything and I may never shoot anything but I understand so much more not only the value of responsible hunting but the reasons why hunters respect the land, environment and nature way more than the average Joe. They feed the animals all year, not just during hunting season and without them, there would be a lot of starving animals on earth.  More than that, they respect the animal and give thanks for it.  They are careful in their kill and they are providing renewal.

Our tomatoes are growing!

4. Gardening: 
I never grew my own veggies before my husband.  Now we have onions, tomatoes, beets, cucumbers, squash, zucchini and a lot of herbs to make me smile. There is something about growing your own that just makes it better. 

5. Camping: 
Let me start off by saying I prefer hot and cold running water and a flush toilet any day but sleeping outside, under the stars, the way people use to, is amazing.  Yes, it can be hot or cold.  Yes, it can be full of bugs.  No, it isn't as comfortable as my bed.  Still, there is a peace sitting around a camp fire and eating a hot dog.  

6. Baseball: 
It isn't that my love for the great game has diminished it is simply that my life has become so much more full and being so full, I don't lean on baseball to fill my emptiness the way I use to.  Now, I watch when and I can and cheer always but I don't live and die by the game.  It's balance.  There is nothing wrong with loving your team or the sport but there is something wrong with falling into a depression when November comes and there is no baseball.  Now, I am looking forward to Thanksgiving with my husband and kid and camping and roasting marshmallows. 

7. Faith: 
It isn't that my husband has any special religious affiliation, he does not, but what he has is a faith in God through his love and respect of nature.  It is amazing the joy he has shown me in the simple things like watching a hummingbird or trying to get a mockingbird to copy your call. Every night we spend time outside, even though he spends his days working outside in the Texas heat.  Every night we enjoy the simple things like watching our chickens chest bump each other and run around the backyard eating bugs.  The man has a love of all living creatures, even the spiders and ants that our chickens eat, and a true faith that God gave us domain over all creatures on Earth.  He respects every living thing in a way that is unique and loving. 

Okay, those are the 7 things that have changed about me thanks to the man.  There are more, of course.  
I share baseball with him--Texas Rangers Baseball!
Thank you honey for putting a smile on my face and teaching me so much about our planet! 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Smiles aren't always Smiles

Stick with me for this one because it isn't an easy blog to write. 

Sometimes the biggest smiles hide the most unimaginable pain.  Sometimes people touch your life and you never get a chance to tell them how much they helped you or meant to you. 

In the last 12 months my office has suffered 3 unimaginable losses. 3 young people who left too soon.  1 to cancer and the other 2 for reasons we do not know the answers to the question "why?"

Sometimes there are no answers and we are left with only an emptiness and sadness that can't be expressed.  That's where I find myself today. Without answers.  So I write to say only, your lives were too short.  You smiles too few.  Your gifts too many to be taken so young.  

I don't know God's plan.  I don't know His reason.  I know only there is a hole where once a person was.  A person who smiles and held the door for me when my arms were full.  A person who teased me about the terrible way I park my truck.  A person who was always willing to help a co-worker lift pallets into her truck after work.  

Sometimes a smile hides what's really going on inside.  Sometimes a smile is just a smile, genuine and true.  

Sometimes tears come too late. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

What's up, Doc?

Sorry I have been MIA.   We have had a few challenges and some kind of crappy news here and there the last two weeks which put me in a funk and threw my game off.  

Anyhow,  just thought I would stop in with a quickie and share a few things.  

First up, my coop sign.  

The chickens were there for creative consultation throughout the process of turning this old pallet into a Texas flag.  So here is the story.  We built the coop elevated to keep predators out but once we got it up we realized the chickens needed some protection from the elements when they hide under the coop in the rain. Hence the addition.  Then it sat dull and unpainted for months while I fought through moments of lack of inspiration.  I knew I wanted to do a "best little Hen House in Texas" sign.  I mean it was the perfect play on the Chicken Ranch from the musical "The Best Little Whore House in Texas."   So I painted it white and lettered it black and left it for a week before it became clear that the sign was a flag.

So I redid it all, turned it into the Texas flag with the help of the hens, and my husband who cut out a star for me.  I love the finished sign.   (We have 20 chickens and the 2 types you see above total 8 of them but they are the most friendly for some reason and they are the only ones that will eat out of my hand, so far.) 

Saturday my hubs and I met up with 27 friends at the ballpark.  (23 sat with us and the rest we saw during the game) 

My friend Felicia was in town from Oklahoma.

We were hanging with my friends Sandy and Darren and....

Joe telling fish stories?  Only Shelly & Lisa know.  

Hubs is a ham
These are my hubbies hunting buddies.  I was so happy for them to see me in my element for once instead of me in theirs. 

Dennis wasn't here for this picture but his beautiful wife and daughter were. 

Brent and his kiddos!  So good to finally meet in person after talking for a long time!  
American heros...everywhere. 
My friend Janetta and her son and his girlfriend.  Austin is in the Coast Guard so he just got home the day before. 

Okay it was a big group and included some of my favorite Ranger and non-Ranger buddies and I have tons of photos but I think I covered everyone except Larry and his sweet guests from  Australia who I forgot to get photos of for some dumb reason!  

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