April 5, 2008 – Saturday

Kids, life, random thoughts
S. was sick last week, so R. stayed home with her Wed and Thurs and I stayed home with her Friday. I dropped J. off at a friend’s house today. She’s sleeping over there tonight. It’s one of her friends from school who was at her sleepover last week (which I didn’t blog about – been a busy week – but J. had a b-day sleepover last weekend with 6 of her friends, talk about chaos!)T. went with his dad today to the driver’s ed orientation – he starts driver’s ed on Monday. Tonight he is going bowling and then he and his bf, who both bowl on the league, are going to another friends house to watch movies – apparently she has a 10-seat movie theater in her house!Ahhh. Living vicariously through my children and their social lives since I have none to speak of. I am happy for them though. I think I have given them a much better life and much more opportunity than I had as a kid to do things and make lasting friendships and memories. I was thinking about this earlier, and by the time I was my daughter’s age (9) my mom had been living off the State my whole life, I had been moved and switched schools 3 times (and again 3 years later), experienced being molested – being subjected to watching a man (a member of our family by marriage) masturbate repeatedly when I was between the ripe old age of 7 and about 9, lived with my mom’s drunk boyfriend who kicked in our TV and punched a hole through the glass in our front door, and watched this same man tie my dog up to a tree and shoot it in the head and drag it into the woods behind our house. There were times we lived on Mac and cheese or less, we were exposed to second-hand smoke all the time – not unusual for that time period – cigarettes AND pot. We lived in a shack with no running water in the bathroom and no hot water, a woodstove to cook on. We never had an abundance of food, toys, clothes, money for extras – forget the braces that I realized I needed when I started to become self-conscious of my underbite (I looked like a “pekingese” as a “friend” liked to say) but of course mom didn’t have any insurance for us, or money for things like braces.My children have no idea how lucky they are to have the normal suburban life that they have with a mom who works to provide for them, dads who love them and provide for them, a stepdad who loves them like his own, and a decent home, decent clothes, school supplies (I don’t ever remember getting much in the way of clothes and school supplies in preparation for a new school year), plenty of healthy food to eat, health insurance and dental (my older daughter is beginning to show the same underbite that I have).My son is in the 10th grade and he has been here since he started Kindergarten. This is his hometown and this will always be where he will come back “home”. I don’t have that place that I consider my “hometown”. My kids have had a stable home with opportunity to make lifelong friendships, which is something I lack. I am not someone who opens up very easily and believe it or not, I am a very private person – I don’t talk to people much about my life, and definitely not about my past life. I moved a lot when I was a kid, but I also had a hard time making friends – I was a very shy, homely, untrusting child with such low self-esteem, of course living the life I did, I can look back and see why I had such a hard time.Even my adult life has been far from perfect. I have dropped out of college twice, still not really sure of what I want to do when I “grow up” (author), I got pregnant early – 19 and single – and each of my kids have a different last name. My first child’s dad, when I was with him, was a pothead and I became one right along with him I guess to fit in – so he would spend time with me instead of leaving me with T. all the time to go hang out with his pot-smoking friends. Still, I spent every day that I was with him hearing about how he was only there because of T. and he didn’t love me – he’d find someone else someday. We had our rollercoaster ride until the summer before T. started Kindergarten. Then I met J.’s dad who I regretted almost from the very moment we moved in together, except that he didn’t smoke so at least I quit smoking pot everyday and he adored me so that gave my ego a boost. We managed to stay together, had J. after two years together, and then split when J. was 4. I met my husband online and he moved here from out of state to be with me. I became pregnant with S. I think the moment I met him (and when he came here to meet me for the first time in person, he came with a U-haul!) S. has been the test of our marriage – she’s our daughter with special needs. We’re still going strong.
When I get to thinking about the life I have had, I have not had the friends to help me through all of my rough times – I had my sister through many bad times, but I have mostly relied on myself, that demon on my left shoulder and angel on my right, and dealt with my struggles internally, and by getting things out on paper – or computer screen – and looking at that person in the mirror and asking her, “what do you want from me??”, and a lot of crying in dark corners wishing that I could just be dead. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen that broken, distraught girl in my mirror and a long time since I’ve really experienced how it feels to have your heart ripped out of your chest, but I have been in that dark place before and always alone. My hope is that my children never have to feel pain like that and never feel this alone.

As an afterthought while I was looking at my blog and editing some things – about marriage – we are still going strong but it’s difficult for me dealing with the irony (I guess – I’ve never exactly understood the meaning of irony) of finally meeting the man you feel is your love story and you are going to have your “happily ever after” with and then have a child who seems like she will probably consume every aspect of your lives forever after. Will we ever be a couple who happens to be parents rather than parents who happen to be a couple? Maybe that doesn’t make sense, but with Sarah – she’s like age four going on two – our perpetual baby. I would just like to get around to feeling like a married couple again. Our lives are consumed by work and kids (mostly S.). I love her, and she has brought a lot to us, I just wonder when I’m going to get some of my life back.

Betty and the Hippies
Ha ha! I have found Bettycrocker.com and am addicted. I’ve been finding and saving recipes I want to try. I love this time of year when you can get out the crockpot and cook actual hot meals to warm up with. All summer we grilled which is good too, but I love throwing stuff together and having it cook all day and be ready when I get hom from work. I hate making the shopping list every week and trying to think of something different to have. Seems we always have the same meals from week to week. Can’t wait to try some different things. I actually made an apple pie yesterday (my first attempt was years ago) and I couldn’t believe how easy it was. It helps that I have one of those apple peeler/corer/slicers. I want to make more pies!
T. thinks we’re going “hippy”. I actually have been buying soy milk, making fruit smoothies by throwing in a blender vanilla soy milk, organic vanilla yogurt, and frozen mixed fruit and frozen blueberries, and simply orange or simply apple (the BEST juices ever), and the kids love it! I’m buying natural peanut butter, whole wheat pasta and bread, better cereals, nuts, sunflower seeds, dried, fresh, and frozen fruit, salad stuff, smart balance margarine, and straight “Simply” fruit juice – nothing with high fructose corn syrup in it, and this morning for breakfast we had turkey sausage, buckwheat pancakes with sugar free syrup, and eggs and cheese (still real eggs and cheese!). And then I had an apple for morning snack and have been eating more fruit lately and salads with most meals. What is happening to me!
Well, my husband has lost 20 lbs in the last 3 months – gone from 221 to range of 201 to 206 fluctuating (which started because of a challenge at work), and I don’t weigh myself but my clothes are looser.
So if that is hippy, I guess we are going hippy, although I doubt that dead heads ate this way. I just call it “healthier”.
So us hippies are off to go for a walk at the Bangor Forest.

January 20, 2007 – Saturday
Walmart is SHIT. And this is sooo much an understatement. R’s managers over him expect him to do the amount of work it takes to run a department 10 aisles big, in the same amount of time and with the same number of people to delegate to, as a guy who runs a department that is only 2 aisles big. They have been watching him like a hawk but not giving him the people he needs to do his job. They tell him “Just do your job. Manage your department.” but doing his job depends on other people (who are managed by other people) doing their jobs and pulling their own weight. He picks up the slack and ends up stocking shelves, so his stuff doesn’t get done. He is a department manager but has no power to actually manage anything. He can’t hire people, fire people, discipline people, and he is expected to control things that he can’t possibly control, like the fact that the night crew doesn’t do their job which in turn makes it impossible for him to do his job. Say the night crew completes 800 pieces one night, if there are only 400 pieces the next night, rather than getting that done in half the night and then working on other things that need to be taken care of, they slow down and just do the 400 the whole night, and usually they don’t even finish what comes in. These people don’t have to work around customers like R. does during the day! So R. got “coached” for losing his temper and he straightened out and tried to get more organized. He got a “D-day” as they call it at Walmart (Desicion Day – do you want to keep you job and what are you going to do to do your job better) because his out counts were wrong. Well, mistakes are bound to happen when, as I said before, you’re expected to do the job for 10 aisles in the same time and with the same amount of help as the guy doing 2 aisles. This manager over R. has a higher manager breathing down his neck so he’s using R. as a scapegoat rather than admitting that the problems are with overnight people being slugs and with lack of people during the day because they get pulled over to other depts. by higher managers. (R’s is the largest dept. in the store and gets the least amount of help.) R. has no control over these things and he is doing the best he can. Now he is backed into a corner and basically being forced to step down to a stock person because if he stays on as dept. manager, he is afraid they are going to nitpick through his dept in the next week, still not give him the help he needs, and he’ll be fired in another week because they are sure to find just one more thing that they will blame him for and send him on his way. This is a great way to treat employees isn’t it? R. is a man who constantly thinks about his work, he takes pride in his work, he is still thinking about work hours after he gets home. He calls on the weekend to check on his dept., we can’t go grocery shopping without him stopping to see how the weekend is going and make sure the guys are working on this or that. He has been managing this dept since the store opened and has never had a problem with the managers over him, in fact he had interviewed a couple of years ago and was accepted for assistant store manager training but declined because we don’t want to have to be relocated out of this area. He recently interviewed for garden shop manager and was their only choice but he declined because he didn’t want to leave his dept hanging in the middle of the holiday season! They never did fill the garden shop manager position because they were SAVING it for him for after the holidays! Does this sound like a guy who should be on the verge of being fired for not managing his dept well enough! He now cannot go to another management position because he has had a coaching and now a D-day. Assholes! Hopefully this will turn out to be a positive thing sooner or later and we’ll look back on it and think it happened for the better. I know he can do better than Sprawl-mart. They squeeze as much as they can out of their employees just like they do their suppliers I guess. Sorry to hang your laundry out here hun, but you know I blog and this is definitely something to blog about. People need to know that Wal-mart is one big asshole and to them, their employees are just pieces of their shit floating in the toilet of retail and when they’re done with you they will just flush you away.

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