Friday, May 26, 2006

School Days

The summer is almost here and school is almost out for the kids. That's a good thing because I really hate the hassle of getting the kids up every day, fighting for the bathroom, looking for homework, looking for clothes, etc. How my mom managed her way through the school year with nine kids is nearly impossible for me to comprehend, as the two I have still in school are making me an old man fast. Summer is a welcome occurrence for me, although now that I'm older it passes by so quickly that it's August before I know it and I'm depressed that the kids will be starting back soon. I would love to be able to quit my job for the season and have all summer to do whatever I want. I should have been a teacher. :(

One thing that does keep me in the summertime spirit is baseball. Although I don't get to play much anymore I can still watch and listen to the Indians games... when my wife lets me. There's nothing quite like a hot summer night with a game on the radio and a fishing pole in your hand. If you are a quick thinking person you might have caught that I didn't say "a fishing pole in one hand and a cold Bud Light in the other".... yes, sadly I still haven't attained my goal of fitting in with the Redneck socialites because of my lack of a drinking problem. Darn my wholesome upbringing! I think there are some things we just weren't meant to achieve, like being a millionaire or a hillbilly. The millionaire part I'm getting close to... if you count how much in debt I'm getting. But to be a redneck good ol' boy is something you can't just decide to become one day. Most people are either born that way or have a special knack of fitting in that I've spent years trying to duplicate - with no success, although my myriad of uses for duct tape certainly should count for something. Anyway, I've found that I can still enjoy a good game of baseball and for three hours not even think about the fact that I'm a "city slicker". Hope your summer gets off to a great start!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Blame it on the Weather

It's been a "blah" kind of a week. We went to the surveyor's Tuesday to tell them to add two more acres to the land we're buying and to bill it to us. So yesterday (Thursday) we got the new platte map and an invoice in the mail! I was thinking "Great! They really got that done quick!!". So I gave the broker - that we're getting the loan through - a call and told him it was all ready for the appraiser to go out and look at it. He was mightily surprised, also, that they got it done that fast. Then my wife and I drove out to see what our land looked like with the added two acres. Well guess what... it looked exactly the same as before. The pins and stakes hadn't been moved. So today I called and asked what was going on and the surveyor said it wouldn't be repinned until next week some time. Sooo... I called the broker back and told him not to get the appraiser just yet. Oh, and I think we're going to get stuck with yet another thing to pay for, and that's the transfer of the deed. The seller is really making out on this deal because so far the only thing they've chipped in is for the survey of the original property, which was supposed to have been done before they put it on the market. I think we have to pay all the closing costs too... our realtor kinda sorta not quite said something about them paying them, but he didn't want to write that into the offer so I think we're hung with them.

Other than that it's been a dreary, dismal week of rain, clouds, thunderstorms, cold temps and...did I mention rain?

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Moving Forward

We got back the recent offer we made on the property we're trying to buy and the seller accepted it, so now we have a couple more things to do before going to closing. Since we got pre-approved for the loan I'm hoping that part goes through smoothly. We did get the two additional acres so it's seven total. I can't wait to get things going so I can get started on doing things that I want to do.

In other news it was Prom night last night and middle son and his girlfriend were looking sharp and ready to have fun. I guess he had a good time - he's working and I haven't seen him all day but my wife said he told her all about it. She took a few pictures of them before they went... as you can see, my son tries not to smile when he's having his picture taken... he doesn't think it's manly or something like that I guess. But he was grinning a lot... I think he liked being all dressed up and walking around looking spiffy.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

New Roads

I said I would try to log my progress with my driving/panic, but I haven't written anything about it yet. Last week I drove down a new road that I'd only been on a couple of times before. Yes, I did have a panic attack, but I made myself drive sensibly and got through it. For anybody who might have just happened here I am prone to panic attacks when I go anywhere, which are so severe that I've been almost homebound for many years. The shortest distance outside my "safety zone" can cause great anxiety. But last week I took a small step toward improvement, and today was another small step as I traveled a different road and went about a mile or so farther than I had. To most people this would be laughable, and when I was younger -before all this started- I too would have said "so what, you went another mile". But when the anxiety starts and panic sets in my mind goes off on another tangent, out of touch with reality...unable to reason. I've been using Xanax and have had a bit of success with it. It really dulls the sharp spike of panic and helps tremendously with the physical symptoms. I've also discovered something else that helps. If I can stop someplace, a store or gas station... anywhere I can move around and talk to someone. I have been a loner all my life except for having my family close and I guess it's been a detriment to my recovery to be alone all the time. Being around other people helps me keep my focus on reality. In fact, the one counselor who was helpful with this problem told me that I need a good support system. Normally, for most people, this would be their spouse. Although my wife has put up with my problem far longer than anyone else would have she does not know how to be supportive and helpful. She's gone above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to filling in when I can't go somewhere and I love her tremendously for that, but it's just that her personality is not geared to move me forward. I do all my driving "practicing" alone because, frankly, she makes me even more anxious when she's in the car with me. Since I have very few friends and since I don't like to tell many people about my problem it's been impossible to find someone to ride along and talk to who doesn't think I'm weird. But, as I said, in my thinking I'm starting to make some real progress, both in my acceptance of my problem and controlling the physical symptoms.
Hopefully I can keep improving.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Lazy Day

I was off work today and will be tomorrow again. It's extremely rare to get two days in a row like that, so I had planned on getting a lot accomplished today. It was a bit on the chilly side this morning so I thought I'd wait until later to get some yard work done, and in the meantime do some cleaning inside. However, after an hour of chatting on Yahoo to someone I rarely see online I was feeling tired so I sat down for a little while to rest, and lo and behold, the Sci-Fi channel was running The Incredible Hulk today! Since I love going back in time via old songs or tv shows there was no way I was going to let such an opportunity pass by without floating back to when I was young, terrific looking and in A-1 shape and physically able to mimic all those Hulk moves including throwing 300lb. boulders at passing aircraft.... ahhhh the good old days. I'm quite certain my wife will understand my apparent idleness once she knows the Hulk was on the tube today. She will. We have an understanding about that. Honest. No lie....................................ok it looks like I'd better kick it in gear to get this place cleaned up before she gets home. Oh, by the way.... for some reason my blog has been altered... not of my doing, but it appears to have lost about.... most of it's content. Maybe they're working on things today, I don't know. At any rate maybe this post will make it, if not then no one will know the extent of my slothiness.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Ups and Downs

This land purchase is really stressing me out. We got approved for our loan and called our realtor about getting more acreage. He had spoken to the seller's realtor and come up with a price for more acres. We were hopeful that since the rest of the land is on a steep hill that they would come way down in price, since it would be hard to build on. They did come down... but only by $110 an acre... hardly any change at all. So we've been talking about what we want to do and I think we're going to go ahead and get two additional acres, even though it will be more than we are wanting to pay. The seller also gave an offer for ten acres, but it wasn't much of a deal at all.

The best thing happened the other day when we went out to do some measuring at the land site. As we were getting out of the car there was a deer about 30 feet away just standing there looking at us. My wife and 10 year old son were with me. I told them to stand still and start talking to it in quiet, pleasant tones. After a few minutes of staring at us it came a little closer...then closer until it got to a barbed wire strung across an old road. It came underneath the wire and right up to our car, then right up to me and started to sniff and lick my hand. I started to pet it then got my son and wife over and we all were petting it. I've never seen a deer in the wild do that! He looked like a yearling, so maybe he had gotten lost, or his mother had been killed or something, but it was pretty incredible. He hung around and played with my son for about an hour, right up til we got in the car to go home. He even came and stuck his nose in the car like he was gonna climb right in. Luckily I had the sense to get the camera phone and take some pictures or no one would have believed it. Pretty cool!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Funny Sight

My wife and I were at the drive-thru of the bank yesterday and saw something funny. We were waiting behind a car at the ATM and a guy walked up kinda beside our car, waiting to get to the ATM. My wife motioned for him to go ahead of us since he was an older guy and was walking with a cane. When he walked in front of us he had his back mostly toward us. His pants were partly down and his shirt was pushed up a little bit and he was wearing - I kid you not - duct tape underwear! I couldn't tell if the tape was holding together his regular underwear or if it was all made of duct tape. My wife was trying to hide a giggle until I said something about it, then she busted out laughing so hard we had to put the windows up and try to hide our faces from the bank tellers in the window right beside us. I knew duct tape was versatile, but I had never thought of it as underwear before. I'm going to go right now and fashion myself a thong.