Thursday, July 24, 2014

Girls Have Gonads!

I thought gonads was another name for balls.  It totally isn't, it's balls AND ovaries.

I am a sociology/psychology major, finally back in some classes that don't make me cry.  Unless you count today.  I did not cry, however we are in the chapter about how brains work.  Seriously, all the stuff I remembered being able to do today.  FMS patients, this post is mostly for you.  Some random things I thought about today.  When I was reading about how our brains work, is when I really really realized just how broken mine is.  It was a surreal feeling.  I had to take a few minutes and come back from la la land.  I had to talk myself back into continuing my studies. 

I really, for a moment, thought that I was wasting all this time in school, when I can't even trust my own brain.  It knocked me over a bit.  FMS patients, I am sure, absolutely certain.. that you know what I mean.  I have a working theory about hormones, birth control and FMS. 

We are studying the brain.  Synapses, cerebral, receptors.  At any rate, I read that chapter and it was like a history book.  I though, whoa, holy shit...  I remember when my brain worked that way.  When I didn't need to take enough shit to kill a horse just for a couple of hours of REM sleep.  It seems like it was a long time ago.  Certainly a long time in my world where 30 seconds from now, if I was speaking out loud... I will indeed forget what I was saying.  Every damn time.  

I feel like a huge ass hole when..  then what am I supposed to do now..  in this silence that feels so heavy I might fall over?  When Skippy decides to show her ugly face while I am on the phone, or having a live conversation.  Do I explain?  Do I apologize for sounding like an ass hole.

My husband and boys would rather I didn't talk about it all the time, and I have gotten better.  However, there is this nagging doubt.  If I can't explain myself then that clerk, or person on the phone, even an extended family member... is going to think I am a giant stoner ass hole.

The reality is I am skipping in my brain.  I have been doing research about FMS, I gave up a few years back because there really weren't any plausible articles in my school library.  However, couple years later and there are finally some articles.  I thought YAY finding some answers.

I have finally found some articles, but at least in this preliminary stage, it seems like all the people doing the studies are also at the same place.  Almost nothing is known, however at least it feels more real when I can find an article about it in the databases.

Now, having said all that I realized something pretty big today.  I realized that no matter what, I would be working in this field.  I want to help people that struggle with this.  I have no choice.  This is my who, what, when, where and why.

I have been totally freaked out about my brain.  I have huge brain farts.  HUGE.  I feel some days like my brain is working in 30 second loops, I can start a sentence and totally forget not only what I was saying, but what I was even talking about in the first place.  (matter fact it happened in that last sentence, I had to go back and read the paragraph.)

 Sometimes I feel like my brain and memory are getting worse..  Then really, I don't remember anything..  ever..  so why be scared right?  Just know, warriors, that you are not alone.  We all feel these things.  AND I forget everything else I was going to say.  I will remember at the worst possible moment..  ie; no computer, paper, or phone to jot down a note.  Also, I lose my notes.  Then it feel like a failure.  And fuck failure..

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Just Pass it Already

This is a little heavy on the use of bad words, if you will melt away or go to your hell for reading a curse word, you probably should not read this post.
I am a little frustrated today.  I am not sexually frustrated, I am not trying to make something, I have done nothing but hang out with my husband, son, and my friends today.  I had an amazing day.  We met for breakfast.  Everyone then went their own way for most of the day.  
Later in the day we went back.  We ate some meat that had been cooked with fire.  We hung out with our children.  We picked berries.  We helped our friend make the tiny dam that they have been working on, at this beautiful spot in the creek.  It was one of those days that when you reach the end you look back over it with a sigh of contentment.

^^ Not vomiting and passing out...
We were smoking cannabis for a portion of the day.  We weren't driving around, we weren't out and about, we spent the day at home fixing cars and puffing on some good stuff.  Now, I am finally getting to a point.

I am The Outcast around here.  I live in Amish Country and I have dread locks and tattoos.  Most of my family won't speak to me because I am vocal about being Pro-marijuana.  Now, some of these same people, who never invite us anywhere, the same ones that talk shit about how awful I am are posting pictures or I am hearing the stories.about how drunk they get.

I know for a fact that some of them drink and drive with their children in the car.  Tell me, please, I want to understand why. Truly, this is fucking unacceptable.  It's totally socially acceptable to get stupid drunk and fight and I can't smoke a joint and play in the creek with my friends?  Fuck every single thing about that.  I am not speaking to legality here really, simply truth.

If they had caught us smoking they would have put us all in jail and taken our children away.  This is wrong and this needs fixed.  I am so fucking tired of being a criminal because I don't want to be an opiate addict, all while I am surrounded by people who think nothing of drinking and driving with their babies in the car.

I suppose this is my issue, because I am pissed.  I am pissed that the same people who talk shit about me, the same people that exclude me, or completely ignore me drink to the point of puking and passing out, with their children there.

I am not usually bothered by this but I am fucking fuck tired of it.  I had to miss a rally this weekend, we only had one car.  I hated to miss it because fuck these fucking stupid ass holes and their ass hole laws.  I don't care what they think.  Please do not mistake this post as me being angry at not being invited to their parties.  I am, and have for a long time, been over that.  I realized that I don't like parties where people get wasted and scream at each other.  

This has nothing to do with what they say about me, or how they treat me; frankly it's a relief that I don't have to pretend to like them.  I do not care one whit what they think.  If I cared I wouldn't be listed at marijuana activist when you click on my name on facebook.  That being said, I am just frustrated.  I wish the laws would hurry up.  Unfortunately, the nature of changing laws is that it takes fucking forever.

Here is where that whole patience thing comes in.  I have more patience once I have shared with the blogosphere.  Once I can write something down, or type it, as is the case with me, I generally work through most of my shit pretty quickly.

I still hate the shame and the double standard that exists.  Occupy Ray Lewis, Captain (ret) of the Philadelphia police stated that in his 30 years as a cop he never, not one single time, got called to a domestic dispute where they were smoking marijuana.  He is part of our movement.  An amazing spirit and a wonderful person.

He has been called to literally thousands of domestic disputes..  every single one involved actual drugs or alcohol.  Mostly alcohol.  I am indignant that this is the way social interactions work here.  I would have the cops knocking on my door if I put up a picture of me smoking a joint... Maybe not even knock, let's be real honest here, a picture like that might get an incendiary grenade thrown into my babies crib.  Okay..  So they aren't babies..  but, surely, you have heard about this.  If not click here for the story, graphic so NSFW.  This same standard does not exist for the drinkers.  It's totally socially acceptable.  GRRRR I know I have to be patient but no one can stop the growling in my mind.

I demand social justice.  I am not a fucking criminal, but I am treated like one because I don't want to be an addict?  What the fucking fuck is wrong with the world?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Let Us Discuss Teenagers. Raising, Worrying, Terrified, Teenagers are Afraid of Nothing

The days when we were young and we were going to live forever.  I remember that feeling.  The one that says, "that won't happen to me".  The scariest part of that is that I am female.  I have been witness to the difference between the two.  They may as well be different species.  I have spent the past 8 or so years asking my husband, "is that normal?...  Do boys really do that?"  

Click here to get some more tips on raising teenagers

I cannot possibly be the only one with these questions.  I cannot possibly be the only mother who wonders what to allow her child to do when they come to me with new questions or requests.  I have learned all the relevant questions, and I have made sure that I have created a home where my children can tell me what they are doing.  I look at most mothers when we are out at events and I know that their children lie to them, because they have to.  They have the pseudo relationship that I had with my mother.  Passive mothering.  I don't get it.   I worked on these particular humans for 18 years.  I will be damned if I am going to ignore what they are doing now.

A good friend had to send her son off to the Navy boot camp today.  He wants to be a Navy Seal.  My heart hurts for her because she is such a beautiful person.  She is one of the few around here who stayed my friend, even after she saw through the camouflage (that I no longer have at all).  She was one that wasn't embarrassed to be my friend publicly.

No one talks about watching your kids grow boobs, or armpit hair.  Knowing they are going through all the normal stages of being a teenager.  There is a dark side that no one talks about.  Especially if you are like me and you have devoted your life to your kids.

Here is a tip that I have if you are the mother or father even, of boys.  When they go to their first school dance, or event with girls..  If they are starting to notice those sorts of things..  warn them about blue balls and what that feels like.  I forgot about it, and it was super awkward for my son to have to tell us his balls were hurting.  The solution is a good wank...  just has to jerk the pickle.  Now, easy conversation, hey..  if you are around girls you might get a lot of boners and that will make your balls hurt..  all you have to do is jerk off.  Saves embarrassment for later.  I hope you have the type of relationship with your child that makes these conversations possible.

I am fucking terrified of losing them.  I am terrified of them flying away.  I know they have to.  I know they are supposed to.  I am a soc.psych major.  I know intellectually all these things to be true.  I watch them traversing Eriksons's stages of growth.  I know that they are exactly where they are supposed to be developmentally, or they are ahead of the curve.

But it isn't really about that.  At the end of the day I feel like I gave birth yesterday..  I remember the first day of kindergarten like it just happened.  I remember.  I forget a lot of stuff, but I remember when they were little.

Now they are out in the world, working, and so grown.  My job to them changes almost every day.  I thought that toddlers made me busy.  I was wrong.  Teenagers keep you hopping, and if you aren't hopping, your teen might end up in some trouble.  They need you all up in their business, we can work together as mothers to work towards trusting our children.  No matter what they tell you, do your best to trust them.  Help them learn better judgement.

I will be writing more about raising teenagers later.  I don't think shitty stupid games and roller rink birthday parties are the answer here.  Teenagers need each other.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Dan Lugo Memorial Candlight Vigil: Beauty and Love

I woke up yesterday with a feeling in my gut.  Of course the first thing I saw when I awoke was the text message telling me they found the body of the missing boy.  He had drowned.  He just graduated from high school a month ago.  His name was Dan Lugo and I believe he was an amazing, warm, friendly, caring soul.  He was taken way too soon.

I knew him a little bit, but my kids were both very close to him and I knew that he was loved by everyone.  Well, I thought I knew, it turns out that he would surprise the hell out of me, even after he passed.  

At any rate, My first thought was for my children.  One was already with his friends, waiting for the news.  I could not comfort them.  But my feelings didn't stop with my kids, it carried over to all the kids that knew Dan. 

I knew that he was more than a person.  He is a force, and always will be.  I knew though, that there were going to be a lot of kids home for summer vacation, with no way to come together until the funeral.  That was unacceptable to me.  They needed each other.  This was traumatic for me and I am almost 40.  These babies needed each other, in an environment where they could grieve in any way they wanted to, as well as being surrounded by others who also loved Dan.

I immediately felt the need to do something.  I do that when there is a tragedy, I want to do something; helpless is not something I allow into my life.  So, I got on the phone.  I needed a spot that was big enough, and there were storms in the forecast, so one that was under cover would be great.  I gave Solanco High School the opportunity to call me back, and get on board.  They did not.

So, I said..  screw you guys, I'm doing this anyway.  There is a park and a pavilion in our town.  I called the Lady of the Park and I apprised her of the situation and attained approval to use the pavilion at 9 pm for the vigil.  Then, this was one of the hardest parts for me, I called the police.  I called to tell them that we would be there and what we were doing.  I would be remiss if I didn't admit that the lady on the phone was very nice, and the police left us alone.

So, I had nearly done it.  I set a time, I sent it into the datasphere..  I had even called the police, which was really hard..  yes I know I already said that...  Then it hit me..  that I was throwing a candle light vigil and I didn't have a single candle.  Plus, I knew that for those things, there would be little paper thingo's that go around the candle so that you don't burn yourself.  Where the hell do you get those right?  I have never seen them in a store.  I been in a few stores..  I started to panic.

However, I contacted my son with a time, and a place, and said candles...  and a church donated a whole tub, full of those candles.  That worked itself out.

Fibromyalgia breakdown, Code 7:  When I am planning, or thinking, I run around in circles, literal circles, I have worn a path around my house.  Yesterday I spent around 5 hours, circling while I planned the vigil. 

 I sorted everything on my end and joy of joys I was able to give some jobs to my son and his friends because it gave them something to do.  I didn't even think about that positive effect until it happened.

Myself and my son and his friends all thought that we should show up early.  It was pouring down rain.  Around 8:30 people started to roll in.  At 845 we were pulling the tables outside the pavilion so that we could fit more people.  In the end, I bet there were 300 people that showed up.  This kid was loved by everyone.  Like I said earlier, I stood in a state of shock, I literally went numb all over my body because first of all, this started with my pre-coffee thought...  only 12 hours ago.

Now there are 300 or so people crowded in and around the pavilion, and a local news van.  What the hell have I done?  I did this and I am feeling elated and dizzy and really dumbstruck all at the same time.  I said, hold it together bitch, these babies need you.  I do call myself a bitch when I am giving myself the internal pep talk.  It works for me.

Everyone, showed up and stood in the sticky hotness that was the pavillion at that point.  It was raining and steamy and gross.  His parents showed up for the vigil, and I put them near the front.  We could not bring the people that spoke forward because it was too packed to walk around.  It was insane.  My whole body goes numb when I think about it still.  It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. 

We all looked awful, smelled pretty bad, and were sticky as hell.  I walked around the perimeter though, listening to what the kids were saying and thanking them for coming.  I didn't hear one complaint.  It was people, candles, and rain.  I spoke first and encouraged others who wanted to speak about Dan to think about what they wanted to say after his parents got there.

I continued my circles, listening to the consensus, ready for the teenagers to start bitching about the rain, how sticky it was..  whatever...  I was listening very intently for those, because I would have not allowed them to bring down the other kids around them.

Not one, not one single teenager complained.  I heard "I don't care how hot and sticky it is I am here for Dan" or something similar, at least 20 times.  They didn't care that they were wet, they were there to celebrate a beautiful soul.

His mother kept the candle that we had given her at the vigil.  When everyone lit their candles it got even hotter.  No one cared.  No one blinked.  Everyone who spoke said positive and beautiful things.  The most magical and beautiful things I could imagine happened, I saw Dan's mother smile.

She hugged me a lot and kept thanking me.  I kept insisting that Dan drew this crowd, I just knocked on a couple of doors, so to speak.  She told me that she hadn't felt any peace, until she stood there in front of hundreds of kids expressing their love for her son.  

Monday, July 14, 2014

Turns out it is a Peaceful and Painless way to go

We sit here at home today, on a hot, stormy monday just waiting to find out that they found the body belonging to a good friend of both of my boys.

I am happy to report that drowning is not nearly as bad as everyone thinks.  I found article after article that talked about how you pass out long before the unpleasant parts happen.  It is actually, quite a peaceful way to go.  I found that comforting, and will take the information to my kids...  who am I kidding I am sure they did the same as me and googled it.

He was helping his dad fix their boat and he went under.  His father actually had hold of him, but let go because he couldn't hold on any longer.  I cannot revisit that particular moment because well, who can possibly even fathom losing their child in such a way?

Let me be very clear here.  Every time someone dies, everyone talks about how special they were.  How it isn't fair that "the good die young".  It is almost like you have to say those things about them, once they are gone.  Now, I make no assumptions, maybe they will still find Dan.  However, I want to state it here that he WAS the kid that literally everyone liked.  You could not dislike this boy.  His energy vibrant, his smile always there.  I hate to use the f word, but FUCK it isn't FAIR that he was taken from us.  Fuck is not the F word I meant either.  This kid was a beacon every time I saw him, the empath in me wanted to be near him.  His presence was all at once comforting and comfortable.

We wait, with bated breath, in a very quiet house for news.  The storms are bad, so the search teams keep having to stop the search until the weather clears.  This is the second night he has been missing.  I loved him through my kids.  Both of the boys speak so highly of him.  He was literally a rainbow on a cloudy day.  There isn't a single heart that isn't breaking tonight because even if you didn't speak to him, you only had to be in the same room, to know that he is special.

I sit here, with the rest.  Waiting for news.  I feel a little like an evil person because the kid with the loaded gun at the boy scout meeting is out.  Harassing my child again.  I am a terrible person, but why the fuck would we lose someone like Dan, and the fucker with the gun gets nothing?  He actually has a home and a whole church is helping him pay his bills.  Yeah, that happens; then we lose someone who embodied light.  Who was nice to everyone.  Whom everyone loves.  What THE fuck?  Seriously, this is blowing my mind right now.

These are not questions that haven't been asked before.  There are no answers and I hate those kinds of questions.  I do know this.  I know that when we go, we become part of the light.  Part of everything.  It is a blissful place where you are warmed and loved and forever safe.  I did DMT to get a peek... I am glad that I did, death no longer scares me.

Dan, friend..  sweet sweet boy, you and your family will be in my thoughts for months to come.  May peace and love enter your house and help your family and friends through this horrible time.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I am Tammie. I Have Fibromyalgia, but that fucker does not have me.

Okay, before I begin, I wanted to share this hilarious picture.  It's so totally funny, because it's true.  Okay..  now onto the real reason I am chatting at ya today.

Going through the tremendous process of finding a life that includes the thing that causes us pain.  Whether it is fibro, MS, Parkinson's, and so many others...  we are fighting debilitating pain every single day.  I think about it now, 5 years in and I realize that if someone would have told me this is where I would be, I would have laughed them out of the place.  I was working full time.  I lost it all.

I decided a year and a half ago that I am really tired of being this disease.  I have slowly been clawing my way back to as close to "normal" as I can get.  I know what my limits are.  However, I believe with all my heart I am going to live my life and push my limits and so what if I hurt myself right?  I'm in pain anyway.  My kid tells me I could not be a rally driver because it would hurt me.  I cannot make them understand that the level of pain I live with on a daily basis would have them in their beds.  It would lay them out.  It has taken me years to get to this place. Now I might hurt after a night of a decent party, that does not mean I am missing the party.

This place in my mind, where I don't feel like I have to tell everyone that I have fibro.  This is a new thing for me, I felt I had to explain why I was skipping all over and having trouble speaking.  Skippy (the version of me that has severe fibromyalgia) likes to be especially naughty when I am trying to have a serious conversation, or when I am at a checkout and there is money, and wallets, and goods, and words and it is so fucking hard.  I used to explain, I have fibro, or nervous condition.  Now, if it is important that they know, of course I say something, but I refuse to continue to be defined by a disease.

Also, alert here.  Most cops do not believe that this is a real thing.  They certainly have no idea what it is, or how to treat someone that suffers.  If you can get away, that is the advice that I have.

Oprah Winfrey once said that she heard somewhere that people have 5 "lightbulb" moments in their life.  I have had way more than that.  You know what I mean?  That moment when you finally get the lesson that the universe needed you to learn.  That moment when it feels like the weight it lifted off your shoulders.  Fuck I hate cliche's, but they are handy little buggers.

Pull it in.  Hang on and pull it in.  If you start a journal or even just making notes about feeling a certain way, you will find out a huge surprise.  You aren't made of chaos.  It feels like you are.  One step at a time, and you are way more predictable than you think you are.

Your family is going to suffer because you are sick.  I am very familiar with the challenges that comes along with illness in a household.  My kids finally told me the truth that my illness messed everything up.  This shattered me.  They said some mean stuff, but they were talking to Skippy...  Not me.  

I took it badly for a while.  It is hard to realize that on top of all the suffering that we go through, our families are suffering as well.  I hated that.  I didn't want to accept that guilt.  I have to own it, though.  Yeah, I am sick and it sucks bad.  However, these boys are trying to grow up and find themselves, of course me getting sick fucked some things up.  We are working through it, mostly they can see that I am trying.

I fail.a lot.  Last night for example..  we went to fireworks.  Life hack, headphones.  However, make a very long track with very few quiet spots and listen to music..  If I hear fireworks with no protection it knocks me to the ground.  I am light/sound sensitive.  Last night, I didn't think about quiet parts in the music.  They decided to light one of those boom boom boom boom ones that go off near the ground.  I was sitting in a beach chair, the ones close to the ground; I slid out of it and landed on the ground.  Pressing with all my might to the headphones to keep the sound out.  It was funny.  You have to laugh those things off.

Changing your life, and changing yourself isn't going to be uphill and positive every moment.  You won't learn a damn thing if you don't fuck some shit up.  You are going to slide out of your damn chair a million more times.  You are going to get back up, a million damn times.  If I can do it...  anyone can.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Do Not Run People Over, Even if They Yell at Your Kid

So, since we are down to one car for a while, I went to pick Shelby up from work last night. This is to all the mothers.  Whether most of you have young ones, or not, this is important stuff. 
  They will grow up and get jobs. Heed my advice. Anyway, I was a little early so I ran and got a picture of Yogi Bear costume. Then my kid pulled up in his golf cart. This big angry black truck pulled up and a smaller, yet just as angry, man climbed out and proceeded to yell at my child. It was an unhappy customer being a dick. To my kid. 

 I started towards them, with the intention of laying that little man on his ass. However, I stopped myself. that is my child's job. He handled that shit face with aplomb. He had manners and was nice. No attitude at all. I was very proud of both of us. Proud of him for handling that ass munching fuck face, and proud of me for not climbing in his big truck and running him over with it. 

 I am a mama bear. I love everyone. I really do. With two exceptions. I see you yell at my kids... I am no longer a hippy, I hand my hippy card over and I was trained by the Marines.... Moral of the story though? if you get the chance, watch your child work. See what an amazing thing you have created.. that is way better than getting him fired for running over ass face customers.

Friday, July 11, 2014

38 with Mommy Issues.. WTF?

I learned something recently.  That's the thing about changing your life, changing yourself, improving on who you are to become a better person.  Most of all, becoming the best version of myself that I can.  I have Fibromyalgia and I still miss making jewelry, and painting, and sewing.  I miss my old life.  That said, I have this new life I am starting to see.  A new start.  A fresh start.  One where I am not defined by any disease, one that I built from the bottom up.

The thing that I learned?  You have to deal with your old shit.  No matter how old, and no matter how insignificant it may seem, in the big picture..  if it pops into your head, you have to work it through.  For example...  I love dance.  It is my art form.  I took dance from 5 years old and it loved it.  It was what I wanted to do with my life.

I developed late.  I went from no boobs to speak of in 7th grade to having a D cup in 8th grade.  I did not get them from my mother, she had no idea what to do with me and bras.  No clue.  Not her fault.  However, I remember after the dance recital that year, post boobies..  she said to me, you did a great job, but I don't think you can be a dancer because your boobs got too big.  When I looked at you all I could see were your bouncing titties.  She was being a mom.  She didn't want me to be a dancer, she never talked to me about what I wanted to be...  but she sure hated it when I talked about trying out for the 76ers cheer squad.  So, I am not sure what her motives were, but she effectively killed my dream.  I haven't thought about that in years. 

 Like I said up there, if it pops up, it is in there and needs dealt with.  I am not angry with her, nor do I blame her.  However, even today I was doing my dance exercise.  I love it.  I cry because it hurts, but I am actually getting better and trying out some of my old moves.  Today I was working on some modern/ballet stuff that I used to be good at.  The second that my tits started bouncing I stopped.  I haven't started back again.  I took the dog out and sat in my contemplation chair for a bit.

I am not telling this story for pity.  I am telling this story because if your child has balls big enough to perform in front of people, no matter what, you tell them how well they did.  How proud you are of the hard work they put into what they were doing.  You never point out your child's flaws, I don't care if it is dance, or sport, or band..  I don't care..  you give them nothing but support.  

If you want to criticize them, you talk privately with your partner and find the nicest possible way to tell them.  You never stomp on their dreams.  If you do, look at me.  A 38 year old woman who can't dance because my tits bounce and I have held onto some anger over that...  I have to work through it.  This is a process.

Just know, whether this helps you with your kids or whether this helps you with your own stuff, know that you are the one in control..  I am in the process of taking mine back.  It isn't easy and some crazy shit is going to pop up.  But if you are dedicated to the process you find it, work it, and leave it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Getting Over Myself

This happened to me today.  I blamed old issues that came up on everyone but myself.  I found out some good things.  First of all, teenagers are supposed to be far away from their parents.  I am learning this slowly.  It has nothing to do with me now.  It has a little bit to do with the fact that for three years of their life I was a nightmare.  I wish that I could do it over and that is against my main rules for life.

1. You don't get a do over.  You learn from your fuck ups and you grow..  or you wither and die

Instead of practicing what I preach, I was angry with my husband for things he said a long time ago.  I could not process it at the time and I held onto it.  It came out today, on a blog, then in real time.

We talked for a long time about my disease and how it doesn't define me anymore.  I don't let it.  But, I still act like they are all treating me like my disease.  I had to forgive myself.  For the years missed, and the crazy shit that I have done to all of them.  They treat me like I am sick, because I am, sick.  If I am taking this thing by the hand, my family wants to do the same thing, they just don't know how.

I want to teach them, or at least work through the issues that we occasionally have.  I know this for a fact, my husband is so supportive, but he shows me this through actions, not words.  I am okay with that.  He busts his ass for this family and I love him more than life itself.

For the kids, I just want to make the most of the time I have left.  It is growing short and I had the practice run the other day.  It paled a bit when compared to the tire changing thing..  but I did drop my child at a dorm at Kutztown University, and it felt really real.

I have done my best to make sure that they can both fly far and live their best lives, whatever that means for them.  I am working on a resume and I am looking for a job.  I am ready for the world again.  I know my rules and my limitations.  Well, some of them anyway.  What can I do but try?

This is the hard part.  My job as mom is changing.  It is a different role that I play for my boys.  I am learning how to let go.  Something tells me that Army hubby crazy time, losing Jason for a while, losing my kids for a while, losing everything more than once...  none of those things hurt nearly as bad as the fact that my role has changed.  I could not be prouder of both of my children.  I just wish I could keep them with me forever...  sometimes ;)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

I Changed a Tire Today. In a Parking Lot. At a Gas Station. By Myself. It Was Awesome.

This is the E30.  My son took this shot.  This one will eventually belong only to my son, which means I have to find one of my own.  Has to be a 5 speed.  I love this car.  I love driving this car.  It makes driving fun, instead of a chore that has to be done.

That having been said, I should add that today I took my younger son to a college for four days while he learns how to be a drum major.  Pretty cool stuff.  It was sort of far away.  I drove him in the E30.  

There has been a slow leak in one of the tires for several weeks.  We have this happen a lot.  We just check it regularly and keep the air up.  Today we put air in it before our journey.  I figured that should do it, and away we went.  I was all emotional after dropping my son off at Drum Major school.  It wasn't that I was sad he would be gone, it felt so damn much like college, that I got a bit emotional.

I made it back to Lancaster and someone told me from another car that I should check my tire, that it was "dangerously" low.  SHIT...  I pull off at a gas station in town.  I went inside to buy a drink and get quarters.  First piece of advice, always have a stash of quarters in any vehicle.  It costs a dollar now to put air in your tire.  A fucking dollar, and it HAS to be quarters.  So..  keep a stash, that is just smart.  Store clerks are not happy to hand out quarters, especially if you don't buy anything.

So, I put air in the tire.  If you don't know the PSI of your tires, (Pressure, how much air it should have) it is written on the tire, usually it is around 33 or so.  There is a little stick that pops up when you are putting air in.  This is usually somewhere on the air gun that you are using to fill your tire.This tells you your PSI.  When mine got high enough, I put the hose back and noticed a hiss..  as though the machine were still running.  No, FUCK..  that is air, coming OUT of the damn tire.  FUCK.  

I have been shown how to change a tire.  There is also a book in the car about mechanical stuff on that car.  I got out my phone, and that book and I opened the trunk and I fucking got down to it.  No one is going to help me.  I am changing this fucking tire, right here in this parking lot...  Alone.  

This is a great informational video on how to do it.  Best bet?  Next time someone you know changes a tire, ask to help...

I laid down on the burning asphalt on my back and slid under the car so that my kid could tell me where to place the Jack..  Step 2..  always know where your jack is, and always know where to put it if you need to jack up your car.  Also, I need to add that usually the spare tire is bolted into the trunk.  It is really easy to get out..  but you have to unscrew a thing.

Now, I got the jack ready because I was already on the ground.  Before you jack the car you have to loosen the bolts that are holding your tire on.  This requires a tire iron and muscle.  I got all but one.  The man that "helped" me got that one loose.  The others were all me.  Then, you raise the car with the jack.  Make sure you have it at the right spot, and boom..  crank that sucker up.

Now, use your hands, or the tire iron to get the lug nuts the rest of the way out.  When you are messing with lug nuts always do it like a star, because tires are heavy and if you loosen it too much on one side it could be tricky to get the tire off.

Now, take off the bad tire.  This wasn't too hard.  Putting the new one on?  Different story.  It was really heavy so I had to put it on my foot and use my foot as a lever to hold the tire up while I lined up the holes.  The good news is, once you get one lug nut in place, the others are easy.  Again, go in a star formation.

There is only so much that you can tighten while the car is jacked up because the tire turns.  Star pattern, get them on as tight as you can, using the tire iron.  Then let the jack down and I jumped on the tire iron so that I could make sure they were really on there.  I figured my fat ass counted as some torque.

This was not nearly as hard as I thought it would be.  I can barely move and I most certainly really hurt myself (my fibro anyway), but HOT DAMN I did that shit..  by myself.

If I can do that.  All of you, any of you..  every single one of you can do anything.