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Harley's And Ink

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I totally meant to have this kick ass post today, but I got lost in fixing my books for work, homework, making chocolate vodka infused strawberries, awesome Jello shots with lemon jello and sweet tea vodka in orange peel wedges and all the other things that come along in my daily mess of a life.

Why all the alcohol you ask? Well my brother is coming up to visit and I only get to see him tomorrow. I'm leaving town Friday for a business (read mostly pleasure with a little business thrown in) trip. So we have to get our party on while we can.

Eric AKA Uncle Moose

I haven't seen my brother in forever and I can't freaking wait!

I also wanted to introduce you to Secrets of a Sweet Southern Girl. She interviewed me the other day about my Harley and my tattoos. She's a great writer and a wonderful blend of sweet and sexy. You can find my interview here.

So swing by and say hey. I think you'll like her.

 Oh, and wish me luck I have this nagging feeling there will be a surprise quiz in algebra tomorrow.....ugh!



Because Mama Tink Said So

Friday, February 24, 2012

So Mama Tink tagged me and since I have absolutely no braincells of my own left after that dreadful algebra tests yesterday, and need inspiration, I shall accept. Plus  and I love Mama Tink.

But seeing that I can't follow rules and have such a terrible time with choosing I'm going to change it up a bit.

I can't tag people, I just can't for some reason. I feel like I'm going to leave the one person out that has me in their will and all will go up in smoke. And because I don't tag people I can't come up with questions for them to answer so I will tackle Mama Tink's other requests.

 Post eleven fun facts about yourself on the blog post. ELEVEN you say? Now this is going to be difficult.

  1.  I'm a staunch Reagan Republican but many, many of my friends are, well, are not. I think they're entitled to their view as I am, even if I'm Right. Ok, that was an attempt at humor, I guess it didn't go over too well. 
  2. I have 8 kids and none have the same birth father, yet they all have the same dad. 
  3. I have to watch myself when I go to a school conference or doctor appointment with one on my kids with fetal alcohol effects. I always end up saying something like "because of their fetal alcohol effects....." You should see the looks I get. Ha. I guess I should mention they're adopted and I'm not always a sot. 
  4. I'm kind of scared of one of my aunts and there's no way in hell I'm gonna say which one. I think that in itself is funny since I'm generally fearless.
  5. I DON'T think I'm too old to wear feathers in my there, you, you, well you know who you are. 
  6.  Not sure how fun this is, but I'm having a difficult time here, but I only wear one contact to read. I use my contact-less eye for distance. The only problem is that at night if I have my contact in I have no depth perception. 
  7. My service tech at Mercedes just told me, besides just needing service on my car, my power steering pump is failing. Funny thing is that when he told me the price to replace the pump I allowed him to live. I may change my mind in the next hour or so. 
  8. I can't wait to drive to Texas in May with my 22 yr old daughter. We'll be staying two nights in Vegas and I'm excited about spending general adult debauchery time with her. heehee. 
  9. When I was a kid I was bitten by a snake and am now terrified by them. Not fun, but true. 
  10. I think I've run out of facts about me. 

 Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post.
  1. What made you start blogging? When I first began to write it was to try to understand the world that was swirling around me in the days after my parents died and before bipolar was diagnosed. Now I write because i love it and because I'd like to help shatter the stigma of bipolar. 
  2. Have you ever been to a foreign country? Yeppers, and these days America feels more and more foreign to me.
  3. What was your favorite book? Usually the one that was the closest that I could throw at a moments notice.
  4. What dead celebrity would you like to meet and what would you talk about? Ronald Reagan and we'd talk about everything. And maybe Marilyn Monroe about what she did to piss off the Kennedy's.
  5. What is your current favorite musical artist/group and why? Funny enough, Hugh Laurie. I got the CD for Christmas and I LOVE it, after that it's Kid Rock, Santana, Clapton........yada, yada, yada
  6. What was your first job? I was a candy girl at Sears.......shiver
  7. If you could live anywhere, where would that be? Santa Barbara, if it was in another state.
  8. Who do you like better? Britney Spears or Christina Aquilara? That's like picking a Kardashian.
  9. Do you have a fake or real Christmas tree? Usually a fresh tree but in an ambien induced, after Christmas, half price sale I bought a 7.5 foot tall white tree for next year.
  10. What is your favorite current TV show? Sons Of Anarchy......I'm still pissed they canceled Brothers and Sisters.....oh and I love NCIS LA, but only because I really, really love LL Cool J.
  11. What is one thing you would change about yourself? Nothing, I'll stay the same, flaws and all.


Legislating Morality

Monday, February 20, 2012

My indignant side came out the other day, Thursday to be exact. It wasn't pretty. As I've grown older I've learned to let things slide that I never would have before. Thursday was not one of those days.

The following incident struck me the wrong way (I was in a pissy mood anyway) and because one of my kids was involved, morality was involved and teaching my kid something that I feel should be left to the parents was involved, I went into overdrive.

I guess I should preface this with  I CAN, and do, see both sides of the situation, I really can. The thing is, the school does NOT know more about my child than I do, I've been a stay at home mom for 24 years, I know my kids. I get really fired up when I feel the school is trying to take on my role as a parent.

That's one reason most of my kids were homeschooled for the majority of their education. When they did go back to school they went back as socially rounded, confident, honor students. They did amazingly well except for my mischief maker.....he knows who he is.....but he did go back with an outstanding grasp on his education, his social skills and his balanced outlook on the world. He just happened to be my kid that loved fun, pranks and making kids laugh, which meant he spent a fair amount of time the hallways. But as far as academics, he had them more than down.

My son that was "forced" into this objectionable, to me, program is an eighth grader. I approved most of the curriculum for his health class. Evidently I dropped the ball and didn't read the fine print before I crossed out what would and would not be acceptable for them to teach him in health, or in any other class. 

The cause of my, now kind of kind of  embarrassing unleashing, is a program called RealityWorks. That's where school kids are given a choice, complete a HUGE packet of work or take a RealityWorks, real life, simulated newborn home for the weekend. What kid is going to choose to do a HUGE packet of what they see as voluminous work over a baby doll?

Not so bad you say? I agree on most fronts, especially after seeing the doe eyed girls in the class claim "their" baby, naming them, and cuddling them like the dolls they are. I remember those days, the days thinking a baby would be the answer to everything. I also didn't have parents that dared mention such things. Nor did they explain how a baby would complicate my life. So maybe Realityworks would have been good for me, a child that had very little parenting and very little parental direction.

BUT ( see how big a "but" that was), as a VERY involved parent with my kids' morality and sex ed, it pissed me off that the VICE PRINCIPAL admitted to me that it was indeed a morality program. She got quite the earful from me. It's for me to indoctrinate my kids, haha, not them!

No one legislates morality to my children. They learn that from what goes on within the walls of our home and within the confines of our conversations. They learn from our mistakes and our triumphs. I don't appreciate the assumptions that are being made by the school.

I can see the doll as a tool used to educate about child abuse, I can see it used as a tool for teaching children that have no concept of the reality of a how a newborn changes lives permanently, kids that have uninvolved parents or at risk youth. 

In this program kids are fitted with an electronic bracelet, they are given a bottle, two diapers with sensors and the creepy baby that always has it's eyes open AND following you. 

What I have a problem with is the school system legislating morality to kids. That job belongs to the child's FAMILY.

Yes, I've had kids that have made mistakes, yes I've made mistakes. But when someone else steps in to take my place as a parent I get a little pissed off.

This has nothing to do with the lessons the simulated baby teaches the children, but it should be my choice, not the school's.

Also that damned baby cried ALL WEEKEND and, as we all know, I am SO over babies! 

You know what my kid learned about the baby? He learned  that new parents NEVER get a hot meal. Another thing he learned was how to prop the bottle up so he didn't have to feed the screaming plastic Nero, well, I guess we've all done that at one time or another.

Even though I can see the benefit, don't shove your morality, cloaked in "good intentions," on my kid....let me do that. 


The Loss of Love

Saturday, February 11, 2012

We've all had, and have, friends that we love, that we really connect with. Ones that are just incredibly special to us.

I lost one of mine last night. He was in a motorcycle accident on Tuesday.  I haven't been able to get a hold of family yet but through our circle of friends I have heard a car ran a light and hit him.

They did surgery and amputated his leg.  Evidently his injuries were too substantial and his ventilator was removed last night.

I'm in shock. I think I always will be. My heart is broken, shattered.

Jay and I were close, close friends and will always have a huge place in my heart for him that can never be filled.

Please people, please, watch for us out there. Don't be in such a hurry that you run lights and hit innocent bikers. Watch when you turn left. We watch, we're hyper vigilant, more than you know.

Jay we love you and always will.


The Stronger Force

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The fog has lifted, the clouds have fled

And with them went the barrier that had prevented

The radiance of the sun from being impressed upon my soul

Its essence able to reach the innermost depressions of my being

While being anxiously absorbed by my parched and trampled spirit

Benefits of this new found energy are difficult for my mind to recognize

Instead it fears that the strangeness brought forth may instead singe my naked soul

Logic and heart will bond and the perfect balance Intended by the Creator will be experienced

One day surely the haze will come again but its grip quickly loosed by the brilliance of this radiance

And this light shall remain the stronger force.



Wednesday, February 8, 2012

It was seeing the red ladder on top of the work truck that brought back the memory. It was a memory long ago filed away, but one never forgotten.

I was sleeping soundly one Sunday morning when Jeff came into my room and tried to wake me.

"Teri, is there any reason there would be a ladder up to the boys' window? Is the window broken?"

I turned over and pulled the blankets over my head as I said, "One of the boys must have climbed down in the middle of the night. I don't want to deal with it now." With that I tried to go back to sleep, but my mom alert wouldn't allow me to do so.

I kept going over the facts in my head.
  • 24 foot ladder out of the second story window
  • four boys sharing a room
  • narrowed down to two suspects
  • now I'm down to one
  • 15 year old Taylor must have had a midnight excursion
I drew in what I hoped would be the breath that would propel me through what I knew was going to be one long ass day.

As my kids grew up there was one word that put the fear of God into them, "office." When they heard that lone word they knew they were toast. They were going to be in the office with one, or both, parents until they broke and it wasn't going to be pretty. They always thought since they grew up with so many kids there might be a slight chance that we could never be 100% sure which child actually did the deed, and sometimes they were right. But not that day. Taylor's fate was sealed. I just had to get the confession.

Taylor was a hard one. He was tough to break, but it could be done, after all I was the master at getting to most of the truths behind the lies of teenagers. Lies like, "oh, my hair smells like smoke because the people I was with were smoking."

"Oh yeah, give me your hand." I'd smell their fingers. If they smelled like smoke or smelled freshly cleaned they were B.U.S.T.E.D.

I pulled on my jeans and threw on a t shirt as I thought through my line of questions. I walked to the boys' room and said, "Taylor, office, NOW." I turned and walked through what Taylor would think was the hallway to hell.

When we got to the office I sat in the comfy swivel chair and Taylor sat in a hard wooden chair. All I needed was a bright light to shine in his eyes, a cigarette and a bag of rice for the, "are you lying or not," rice test.

Here's a little trick. Think the kid is lying? Tell them the answer is in the rice. Give them a spoon or two full of dry rice, but don't tell them what you're looking for. Just say it's an old lie detector test, one used for decades by detectives before lie detector machines were invented. If they're lying, or hiding something, their mouth will be so dry from nerves the rice will be dry too when they spit it into a bowl. Works every time.

But back to Taylor's tale of terror. I always start with having the kid in question raise their hand to swear to tell the truth. You see, the closer the fingers are together, the more likely they're trying to hide something. If their fingers are tight together AND bent've got 'em. Taylor raised his hand. His fingers were tight together and barely off of his palm. The kid was going to be nailed.

We were in the room for hours. He had questions coming at him from all directions. I wasn't really sure where I would go with the questions until I heard a few lies first. The lies always lead to knowing what to ask next. I had the boy so confused he didn't know if he was coming or going.

He refused to break, he stuck to his story. The screen had broken on the window and they were trying to fix it before Jeff got home. The funny thing was that I was in the backyard that evening and there was no ladder up to the window. And why were they messing with the screen in the first place?

I continued to pelt him with questions and with each question I watched his body language. I watched as he swallowed, I watched as he squirmed. With each swallow I knew I was closer to the truth. With each squirm I knew he was closer to breaking.

But damn, after about two hours I was tired but there was no way in hell I was giving up. That's another little trick. As a parent you can't back down when you know there's a rat in the woodpile. It only makes it more difficult to get to the truth the next time.

I called for someone to bring me something to drink. Taylor got nothing, yes I'm the bad cop when it comes to the kids. Their dad likes to give them the benefit of the doubt. I, on the other hand, know the ropes. I know the lies, I know because I lived that sneaky teenage life.

During hour three I knew we were getting closer, did I mention no bathroom breaks for the offending child? The pressure was building in more ways than one. I was asking questions, pointing out inconsistencies and getting closer to the truth. Kid's mouth was getting dry, and I knew that nerves were making him want to pee. Everything was going my way, but damn it was taking F.O.R.E.V.E.R!

This kid was good. He was wearing me down, but I refused to retreat and he knew it. Just when I was about to give him a five minute break, after about 3 and 1/2 hours, he all of the sudden blurted out, "I did it! Lindsey picked me up at midnight and we went to a party on the hill. She made me walk the three miles home. I didn't get home until 4:30."

He was sobbing at that point. He explained there was drinking, partying and general teenage cahooting going on. Then I got the little nugget that the mom of the house was there and told the kids to "do what ever, just not wake her."

Great, just great. I was going to have the whole conversation again with a less than responsible parent, and possibly a cop or two. 

Finally the questioning was over, the truth was out. I called all the parents involved and all the kids were busted. I let another irate parent question the irresponsible mom.

All this happened because a kid was too lazy to climb into the window, walk out of the back door, put the ladder away and go back into the house and get into bed.

Moral of the story.....finish what you start. 



Sunday, February 5, 2012

When I think about it I guess we're all bound by something, but there are times I want to go back to the days before I was diagnosed with bipolar. I want to be free of the label. I want to just be me.

I want the carefree times of not having to count out meds, of not having to make it to psychiatrist appointments. I want the freedom to be what I thought was me, impulsive, daring, and outgoing.

Most of the time I felt I could conquer the world. I felt so good I knew if I had been younger I could have done back flips. I liked the adventure and the ever changing scenery of my life.

My psychiatrist would call those times "hypomania," and they came with a price. They came with the price of being chained to deep bouts of depression. They came with relationship problems. They came with bonds of the lure of self harm, of destruction.

Today, even though sometimes I wish I was in the days before the term bipolar entered my life, I realize I truly am free. I'm free of the bondage caused by the carefree times, the impulsive times, the throw caution to the wind times. I'm free of the depression that consumed me at times, that kept me in bed and away from the people I love.

I'm free to make my own decisions, not ones marred by an emotional roller coaster. I'm free to enjoy my life without damaging others or myself. I'm free in knowing my demons have a name and I'm free to conquer them.

Now I am free. Truly free.

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