I have to share this. Too good not to.
I had to be out in the North Ranges at 6am this morning for a lengthy inspection. I drove my little work ranger around the base of the hills, at the edge of the dry lakebed, and the sun rose copper red behind smoke from a fire in the North. The light was dim, but not dark.
As I drove slowly over an unfinished road re-pave, a coyote wondered out of the desert in front of my truck. I stopped. He stopped and sat down. We stared at each other for an eternity. It felt like he looked in to my soul. It felt like we were the only two beings left on Earth. The last man and the last coyote.
With a Yip, he finally stood up and walked away.
I drove on.
What is a wife and stay at home mom worth? That’s the question that has been raised in a couple of venues I have been in recently. Now, I am not talking about the love aspect, because love is priceless. I can’t and won’t put a price on my love for my wife, that just IS.
My beautiful wife and I both worked when we were first wed a couple of months ago, but due to totally opposite and conflicting schedules, money that wasn’t worth the time, and just her physical well being, we decided it would be best for the family if she stayed at home. So now she is a stay at home mom and housewife and I absolutely love it. Money is tight, but the girls have their mom all day, which I believe is important. She isn’t taxing her body like she was before, which always worried the hell out of me. Also, she doesn’t have to stress and worry about her safety being a waitress working a graveyard shift.
To me, this is all priceless.
Lately she has shown some concern over money as things are tight, to which I have this to say: Babe, you are contributing more than you think. I don’t worry about things like I used to, we will get through the tight finances and debt and we will be okay. Don’t worry about not bringing home a paycheck. You do things that are just as important, if not more so, on a daily basis. I love you.
This article says these things in a much better way than I can, so I will share it for your reading pleasure: http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/parenting-roles/value-of-stay-at-home-moms/the-value-of-stay-at-home-moms
Now, if some of you disagree with me and this article and think that this is all easy and stay at homes mom have it easy, I say try and do it without one. See how hard it can get. Better yet, hire out to other people. Get yourself people that do all the things a stay at home mom does and see how much it costs you. The average stay at home mom puts in 96.5 hours of work a week according to Salary.com and Forbes. Imagine paying a housekeeper, a cook, a launderer, a driver for errands, (etc.) for all of this and then having them on call for nights too. Yup, it would run you a huge bill.
In the end though, as I already said, it is all priceless. You can’t put a value on what a mom and a wife does, it will never come out right. Just love them and help them when they need it.
I can see this working.
Hell’s Kitchen will never be the same….
We absolutely LOVED the Marvel/ Netflix series “DAREDEVIL” and were beyond excited when they announced season 2 was in the works. Today we get some incredible news in that Jon Bernthal will be taking part as Frank Castle, AKA The Punisher, and we couldn’t be happier.
Here is what Marvel had to say about the announcement over on their OFFICIAL WEBSITE.
The dynamic actor will punish Hell’s Kitchen in the next season of the Netflix series, coming in 2016! Jon Bernthal (“Wolf of Wall Street,” “The Walking Dead, ” “Fury”) joins the upcoming season of “Marvel’s Daredevil,” streaming only on Netflix in 2016!
Bernthal will portray The Punisher, one of Marvel’s most popular characters. He is a vigilante who aims to clean up New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen by any means necessary, no matter how lethal the results.
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I’m sitting here at work and waiting. Waiting for a phone call from someone I need to talk to about running a class and waiting for someone to come in so I can fit test his respirator. Sometimes this job is a lot of hurry up and wait. Waiting leads to thinking and pondering.
This morning getting out of bed was not high on my priority list, though it had to be done. I hit the snooze button on my alarm, only for it to magically go off again right away (I’m sure to the annoyance of my wife). I looked at the clock and it said it was five minutes later, but I know that was a lie. I had just hit the snooze button, no way it could be five minutes later. I dragged myself out of bed and in to the bathroom, cat weaving in and out of my feet, to discover the top hinge on the bathroom door was broke. Mentally cataloging another fix, I closed the door, turned on the bathroom light and looked in the mirror. It wasn’t my eyes looking back at me.
I saw my fathers eyes in the mirror looking back at me, clear as day. Sure it was my face, but it was his eyes. Not the eyes of my dad in the months before he died, but the eyes of the man I remember from 20 years ago. Still blue, but bloodshot and wrinkled in the corners, a bit of a permanent sun burn, and tired.
There is a picture of my grandfather (mom’s dad) when he was still in the army, but after he came back from Korea. He was around 21, in uniform, and sitting on some grass looking up at the camera. I first saw this picture when I was about the same age as he was in that picture. We looked just alike, scarily so. My cousin looked at the picture, looked at me, and said “You could have been twins!” Scary, especially as you know if you read my blog, my mom says that him and I are very much alike. However, as much as I may look like my grandfather, act like my grandfather, and in many ways think like him, the eyes staring back at me in the mirror are not his.
They are my fathers.
Today is National Gun Violence Awareness Day and a day where you are supposed to wear orange if you are against gun violence. Though most people I see promoting the day are more anti gun than anti gun violence. There is a difference, though some would disagree.
Anyway, I am not here to change anyone minds, to argue, etc. I am here to tell a story and ask a question. If at the end you want to respond but cannot do so in a respectful manner, no matter what your views are, please depart now.
First, a little background.
As I have stated before I am originally from the small town (2,000 people or less) of Boron in the middle of the Mojave Desert. Boron is located pretty much half way between Mojave and Barstow, on Highway 58. The closest police (unless things have recently changed) are the Kern County Sheriff’s Department (KCSD) substation and Highway Patrol, both located in Mojave. Mojave is 30 miles away.
A while back the Borax Mine in Boron was going through a lock out, sort of a reverse strike. The union and management couldn’t come to terms; but instead of the workers going on strike the management locked them out of the mine and brought in scabs. The scabs were all bussed in from out of town hotels, and by out of town a mean places like Ridgecrest that are an hour away from Boron. It would be stupid to house a scab in Boron unless you wanted them dead, which brings me to my story.
I went to Boron one morning to visit my grandparents. I arrived earlier than I had originally told them, mainly because I couldn’t sleep. Instead of interrupting their morning and eating them out of house and home, as I was starving, I decided to have breakfast at the local diner, sip coffee, and read a book. I did notice that there were three good ol boys at a booth a ways down from me, but I didn’t give them much thought. In hindsight, they did look over at me an awful lot. I was there maybe an hour drinking coffee and reading, when the waitress came over and asked me if I wanted another cup of coffee, I politely declined telling her that I would finish the mug I was working on and go. I noticed the good ol boys got up and went outside at that point, but didn’t think anything of it.
See where this is heading?
I paid, went outside, and immediately found two of the good ol boys between me and my car. The third was behind me, evidently he was around the corner of the diner, waiting to see if I would come out that door. They started threatening me, telling me that they were going to kick my ass, accusing me of being a scab at the mine and taking their jobs. I tried to protest and I tried to head back in the diner, but I was cut off from that avenue of escape by the guy behind me. As they all started advancing I drew my .357 and yelled at them to stop. The two in front of me immediately began backing up and a quick glance behind me showed that the one in back was also backing up. It was at this point that I reiterated to the men that I was in fact not a scab, I did not work at the mine, and that actually worked for the DoD. They backed away further with one giving me a half assed apology and telling me I looked like one of the scabs they had watched come in to the mine on a bus. My response “If I was getting bussed in, why would I be here in my own Explorer and why would I be stupid enough to just come in here alone to eat?” They had no answer, but did immediately leave. I sat in my Explorer after that, just trying to calm down. I am man enough to admit I was unnerved by the situation after it was over. I’m also man enough to admit that I screwed up and did not call the KCSD afterwards. Potentially a big screw up.
So….Yes, I had my 357 concealed on my person. I have a legal California Concealed Carry Weapons Permit which allows me to carry a gun, concealed, on my person, in to most places within California. I had to pass a firearms safety class, and show that when I shot my 357 I could hit my target. If at anytime anyone was unsafe with their gun during the class, they automatically failed.
Now, here is my question: If I hadn’t had my 357, what do you think would have happened?
Nothing like giving my baby a slow hot bath. Running my hands over her curves while lathering her up. Touching every line and crevice. Running clean water over her body, and gently rubbing her down afterwards. Yup, I do love washing my car. My Challenger is all clean and shiny now.
I posted that a while back on my Facebook. My then girlfriend, now wife, at first was embarrassed because she thought it was about her. After that she was just supremely annoyed that it was about my Challenger. 🙂
Today is my birthday, I am 34 years old. I don’t really know where the last ten or so years have gone, they are very much a blur. I know much of my early through mid twenties was spent in a haze of drinking my way through nights and spending my days working for peanuts. Mid to late twenties was getting myself together and going back to school, getting my heart broke, starting a job that has become my career (at least currently), moving out of my codependent mothers apartment, and just being me without someone there trying to tell me how to think and feel. Late twenties to early thirties was becoming more established in my career, reconnecting with old friends, losing old friends, getting my heart broke again, and then finding the woman and girls who would become my wife, daughters, and the loves of my life. I gained 20lbs, lost my dad, gained ten more pounds, and then got married.
My life has been easier than many other peoples in this world, but I know people that tell me I had to grow up way to fast and that I had it hard. All I know is that the preceding 34 years made me who I am as I sit here, killing time at work, writing this, and wanting to go home to my family. All in all, the 30’s have probably been the best part of my life so far.
Maybe it just gets better from here?
Today was kindergarten graduation day for my oldest daughter. She stood up there with the rest of her class, sang songs that they had learned throughout the year, obtained her Kindergarten Diploma, and looked all kinds of adorable in her little cap and gown. Behind her was a sign that read “Class of 2027.” I did the math, that will be 28 years after I graduated High School. I will be just turning 46. I will be 48 when the youngest graduates. Making me feel old already.
Other than that, It was a fun time.
Except…it was Kindergarten graduation. I asked my wife, “Did you ever have a Kindergarten graduation?” “I seem to remember a swift kick in the butt (in reality probably a hug) and the teacher telling me I was off to 1st grade.” She responded that she didn’t have a Kindergarten Graduation either, but she had a Elementary School Graduation, and 8th Grade Graduation, and of course High School.
I don’t remember a elementary school graduation, but I do remember 8th grade graduation and High School Graduation. It was cold and windy in June when I graduated High School in 1999, we wore jackets over our robes. Unusual for the Mojave desert. I digress.
I asked my wife, “Why a Kindergarten graduation?” She said that all the schools around here are doing them now and they are graduating from every grade. Evidently they hope that if they make a big deal about kids moving on to the new grade and make a celebration out of it, more kids will stay in school.
I don’t really follow that logic.
Whatever happened to celebrating true accomplishments? Why do we have to give a participation medal, ribbon, graduation to everyone? I can understand Kindergarten graduation actually, moving on from getting your feet wet in school to actually jumping in to the numbered grades. That makes sense to me. But a 1st grade graduation? How is that going to give a kid incentive to stay in school? Same with a 6th grade graduation? If you make school fun, but educational for these young kids then they will learn to love it. Teach to the individual student, not to the “common core” masses. Maybe then our High School grades will improve.
However, nothing will improve unless the parents of kids make an effort with their kids. I know this isn’t easy as most households are two income, everyone works to make ends meet, everyone is tired at the end of the day, and you don’t always have time to help little Susie, or 16 year old Johnny with his home work. The same is especially true of families that maybe only have one parent that works a shitty job, trying to pay the bills.
Life isn’t easy, unfortunately kids tend to take the brunt of that. As time goes on, this affects their outlook, grades, etc. I haven’t seen any studies (but then again I haven’t looked for them), but I bet when good paying jobs are plentiful and the economy is good, you have better grades, higher attendance, and less drop outs.
This post didn’t go where I thought it was going to go, I kind of meandered off my original topic and now I don’t know how to get back to that path. I’ll call it a day now.
It’s been a life changing couple of months and I have been spending time adjusting to a new life, new schedules, etc. As I stated a few weeks ago this is why I haven’t been writing much, though I have wanted to.
On April 10th, in a small outside ceremony that was attended by most of our immediate family and close friends, my beautiful bride and I were married. My sister Margaret officiated the ceremony, making it not only short and sweet, but special. She incorporated our two daughters in to the ceremony, so for the last half they stood with us. As this was thrown together on somewhat short notice, we had no groomsmen, bridesmaids, etc. It was just us. We said our own vows; hers were written down, heartfelt, sweet, and beautiful. Mine were not written down, just a jumble of things I wanted to say and in no particular order. I kept going over it in my head in the days before the wedding so I wouldn’t forget…..I almost forgot in the moment and stumbled a little.
A word of advice, write them down.
Our reception was a small, intimate, pot luck affair. Old friends caught up, new family met, and new acquaintances were made. At the end of the day, we were so tired we went to bed early and crashed very hard.
The next day we met DjMatticus, his Queen, and the little prince for breakfast. This is the first time my Queen and their royal family have met, and everything was great. Matticus will always be my brother, part of my Ka-tet (Read the Dark Tower series).
From there it was the honeymoon weekend at a Bed and Breakfast in Bishop. That was a mixed experience. The owner of the B&B didn’t really believe in privacy, going so far as to enter the room without knocking once. My new wife was very upset. We balanced it out with a little shopping, some great bbq, the Laws Railroad Museum, Shats Bakery, and she faced her fear of ducks and survived.
She still doesn’t like the wooden duck I keep in the bedroom. She says it stares.
From there it was seeing her family off, me moving in to her rental with her and our daughters, and learning cohabitation. Our friends say that we have been acting married for a long time now, so they are glad we finally made it official. These are the same friends that say they never thought that I would get married; I was the perpetual bachelor. Perpetual bachelor no more.
I gotta say, I love being married.