Category Archives: Uncategorized

IT HAS BEEN QUITE A YEAR

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IMG_5448I haven’t written anything in one year.  Technically, 371 days.  I have a lot to say, just not a lot of time to say it.

So, here is what has kept me from writing for the past 371 days.

1.  I was married on December 30, 2012.  I spent a little time being a newlywed (about 3 hours) and then it was back to reality.

2.  I spent most of the year trying to build a business.  ANGEO INTERIOR PAINTING is something I never thought I could do.  I never thought I would own a business.  It has been a series of trials and errors when it comes to spreadsheets, advertising, invoicing, estimates and painting.  I want this to be a success.  I need this to be a success.  I need to contribute.

3.  Depression.  It has been a thorn in my side for a number of years.  I don’t think anyone needs to hear these things that are swirling around in my head.  They confuse me.  I can only imagine how others would react.

4.  It seems selfish.  Spending time alone upstairs in front of a computer seems selfish to me.  There are a hundred things during the day/evening that need to be done.  Writing seems to be an excuse not to do what needs to be done.

5.  Some of the things I want to say are not particularly nice.  I don’t think I am ready to be that person.

6.  Some of the things I want to say are probably not very interesting to anyone but me.

7.  Exposure.  Am I ready to give myself to everyone?

8.  Reaction.  I have little self-confidence and everything scares the hell out of me.  I take everything personally and even a hint of disappointment from the people I love would send me into a tailspin.

9.  Topics.  The file folders in my head are full.  How on earth do I choose?

This may take baby steps.  Maybe a blog about cooking or crafts (NO, I  am not a Pinterest person) but do enjoy a craft now and then.  And I love to cook.  Or I can always write about cleaning.  I have been called not-so-nice names because of how I keep house.  But I have seen the alternative and no thanks, it isn’t for me.

So I am going to cross my fingers and see how this goes.  Who knows, maybe this is a start of a beautiful relationship.

Happy New Year to all.  Here is hoping 2014 is just as wonderful as 2013.

Angie

P.S.  I hate snow.

What does it all mean?

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Each year holiday preparation comes earlier and earlier.   We become consumed by excess and all things material.  Our children get excited by the mere thought of multiple christmas celebrations (more gifts than ever).  There is never enough candy at Halloween even though most goes uneaten.  The same is true for the endless Easter baskets and birthday gifts.  

Most of the time we feel the need to show off and compete with our Facebook friends.  Which family has the most obscene picture of the family christmas tree with gifts stacked around the tree and several feet high?  Who is taking the family on that expensive vacation during the holiday?  Which 7 year old is getting an iPad, iPhone or other expensive gadget that most adults don’t have?  What are we teaching our children?  That all this crap will make them happy?  It won’t.  That they have a RIGHT to have these things.  They don’t.  That they can’t live without these things?  They will.  

It has been said a thousand times before me and will be said a thousand times after me…this is not the true meaning of Christmas.  I am happy to be with someone who agrees with me on this point.  This is our third year of “the twelve days of Christmas.”  Our christmas tree and decorations do not go up until December 13.  Not a day before.  And this year we have taken our distain for the commercialization of Christmas another step further.  Three gifts and three gifts only.  Our children will receive three nominal gifts each along with a modest stocking.  PERIOD.  We have told the children this and as you can imagine, their response was less than thrilled.  And when they asked why they are only getting three gifts, our response….”it was good enough for baby Jesus, it is good enough for you.”  

So let us be reminded:

First the Gift of Gold:  The heart. Matthew 6:21, “. . .for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  

The Second Gift of Frankincense, the Fragrance of the Christ:  When we remove all forms of evil from our heart, we spread the fragrance of Christ.  

The Third Gift of Myrrh, Unchanging Faith:  We give to the Lord that which does not perish.

Our renewed outlook of our faith has changed our lives and the way we live each day.  We are not perfect and on any given day at any given moment, we fail.  But we continue to learn and follow our path.   Hoping to be better people and better parents.  

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I was minding my own business….(warning, adult language)

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Weird things happen when you least expect them. For the second time in as many weeks George heard stories about him from two different sources. One source is someone he hasn’t seen in over two years. The other source is someone he has NEVER met.

The first involved his former sister-in-law saying disparaging things about him to one of George’s fellow firefighters. His friend simply told this woman it was none of his (their) business and ended by telling her that in the 15 years he has known George, he has never seen George this happy! (take that!).

The second was when I was volunteering at Krohn Conservatory and took my position at the exit door. About 45 minutes later a young man, all of 16 or 17 years old came to help. As we were working, an employee of City Parks, who manages the green space, came walking through the exit. George and I had met him while planting flowers with the CFD earlier in the spring. He and I began talking and he remembered George but could not remember his last name. I reminded him that his last name was Bredestege. We chatted a few more minutes and then he left.

The young boy working at the exit with me then said to me…”I know someone named Bredestege, she is my math teacher at LaSalle.” I said “Yes, I know her.” Without prompting, or knowing who I am, he proceeded to tell me what a “terrible time” Mrs. B. is having with her divorce and that she and her children are “suffering” at the hands of her husband. He indicated that her students have been offering her guidance and advice and that he, in fact, is her “mentor” thru all of this. He continued to tell me that everyone at school, including all of her students, knows what a “tough time” she is having and what a “terrible man” her husband is to her and her kids.

He finally stopped and asked me how I know Mrs. B. To his surprise, I told him that I live with Mr. B. His eyes widened, his face reddened and he said to me “well I hope you have better luck with that man than she did.”

That comment was the last straw. I had stood there quietly listening to him talk badly about George, say things about the divorce that were completely false and that George is a bad father. I looked this boy straight in the eyes and politely said to him…”I am positive that you know NOTHING about George B. or what kind of a father or man he is. And for you to stand here talking about him in this way is slanderous.”

I also told him that while he may have heard his teacher’s side of the story, I was positive that he had never met or talked to George directly or ever heard George’s side of the story. And that while he was hearing Mrs. B.’s interpretation of events, I was also positive that he was unaware of the full truth of Mrs. B.’s behavior during the marriage and also since the time she had asked Mr. B. for a divorce. I also let this young man know that I spend significant time with their children and he could rest assured that no one is suffering. I politely told him that Mr. B. is a caring father that loves his children and they love him as well. Finally, I told him I was fairly certain that his continual gossip was a direct contradiction to what he is being taught at LaSalle High School. A place where young men go to practice and build their faith. I doubt parents send these young men to this expensive school to be caught up in a teacher’s personal life and gossip.

At this point things became quiet between the two of us for several minutes. After which I approached the young man and asked him if he had heard me say anything hurtful or mean about Mrs. B. during our conversation. He answered quite simply, “No.” I told him that is how I and Mr. B. have remained. While George and I both have frustrations at the lack of this couple’s ability to come to a solution on how to raise their children together, he and I have kept our mouths shut about Mrs. B.outside of the walls of our home. Some people who know George didn’t even know of the divorce until a year or more after their separation, that is just how much he DOESN’T talk. Unfortunately, we are not being afforded the same courtesy. We know the names that George and I have both been called by Mrs. B, her family, and her friends. Everyone is eager to pass that information along to us and we have seen it in writing via text messages. George has been called an asshole, a tool and a mother fucker just to name a few. Me, I am a whore, a slut and a home wrecker (despite the fact that we didn’t date until after their separation.)

I have been waiting to say this for a long time, but let’s get some things straight right now. George and I dated AFTER Mrs. B. asked for a divorce in June 2010. They have been operating under Shared Parenting since that time. Mrs. B. has now asked for full custody of their children. Since June 1, 2010, George faithfully financially supported his family by giving all of the monies he made to them until December 21, 2010, only keeping enough money to eat. After December 21, 2010, he gave his family HALF of his pay for the next three months. During this time, he went into debt creating a home for himself and for his children to spend HALF of their time. In January 2011, Mrs. B. filed for divorce. In April 2011, he made the house payment for Mrs. B. because she said she was unable to afford the payment. In April 2011, Mrs. B. obtained a 75N Order from the court and Mr. B. was ordered to pay child and spousal support of over $1,500.00 per month. At that time Mrs. B. stopped making the house payment and their home went into foreclosure in September 2011. Child support has been deducted from his paycheck each week without fail. George has continued to care for his children HALF of the time. Spousal support was discontinued when it was determined that she should no longer receive that money and child support continues to this day for three of their children (one emancipated in April 2012 when he turned 18). He has NEVER been an absentee father, nor is she destined to raise these children all alone as one of her family members is quick to point out to various patrons at a local bar. And she has been faithfully receiving child support since May 2011 contrary to what his former sister-in-law is telling people.

We have been largely quiet about this situation. Until now. We have been talked about behind our backs by people who are cowards and don’t have the common decency to talk to us face-to-face. Most of them have NEVER met me and most have not seen or talked to George in over two years. So, here is the deal. We are through being treated like crap. While we have no intentions of being mean or spreading gossip, the next time someone approaches one of us and begins to tell us the stories they have heard, we will talk back. We will tell them the truth. We will tell them everything. And I mean everything.

If Pigs Could Fly

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I shook my head when she put on her clothes that morning. Her pants are too short, her shirt does not match. But George looked at me and said…”she’s fine.” So off we went. They dropped me at volunteer training and they headed to the fountain. George and Carissa time. As I look at these photos I realize…her pants and shirt do not matter. It is all in the smile. Thank you George.

There, I said it

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Being a parent to your children for the past 15 months has not always been easy. It took some time for us all to adjust. To learn to live together. They have done remarkably well. We have two different homes, two different parenting styles, but the children have thrived and are happy. They love you and they love their father. So why do you hate me? I have been there for your children. I have fed them, cared for them when they are sick, bandaged their injuries, taken them to school, and picked them up from school. I have gone to extra-curricular activities and purchased clothing, school supplies and gifts for them. I have hugged them when they are sad and shared in their happiness. I have disciplined them when needed and praised their achievements. I have never said ANYTHING unkind about you to them. I have put your picture in my home so they won’t miss you. I have loved them as any parent or mother should love the children of the man she loves.

The decision you made in June 2010, was yours and yours alone. And while I know the circumstances that led up to that decision, I also know some of the role you played in what happened. All of us who have been married know the role we play in our marriage. You tell anyone who will listen how wronged you were. How his actions were to blame. How he hurt you. But you know the truth. Your actions during the last 10 years of your marriage were just as hurtful and devastating to him, but I doubt you saw that. And what you have done since convinces me that you have no intention of moving on. Your desire to hate and punish is what keeps you up at night. No one with those feelings inside of them can ever rest peacefully.

I know you were hurt when he was able to move on so quickly. But I did not cause your marriage to end. I did not lure him away. I am not a home wrecker, a whore, or a slut as you and your friends have put it. I am someone who fell in love with someone you were eager to be rid of.

Let your eyes look directly forward…

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Proverbs 4:25-27 tells us to keep our path straight, do not stray, do not swerve. The path is clearly in front of us. It is not hard to recognize. So why, so often, does my path take a different direction? Am I not paying enough attention to my feet? Am I distracted from the path?

I have let others dictate my path. Some are people that I have never met, others are people that I barely know. Why do they have an influence on my path? Why am I letting them push me from my path? How do I find the strength to push them away from me and get back on MY path. Good or bad, I will take a lesson from all those people who drift in and out of my life. Today is no different. Although the people that drifted into my life today did so on paper, I will try to take a lesson from them.

Today I learned that words hurt.

Is anyone in the mood for ham?

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George and I seem to see a lot of strange things when we are in a car. One of the most memorable events happened in July 2011. We were driving U.S. 52 from Indianapolis to Cincinnati. It was a beautiful night and we decided to get off the highway and take a leisurely drive. If you know anything about U.S. 52, it is dotted with small towns every few miles. Very small towns. Mostly farming communities. And none with a dedicated full-time fire department.

As we were driving in the middle of Nowhere (I have decided to call it Nowhere as to not offend anyone from the actual town in which this happened), George noticed a thick column of black smoke several miles ahead of us. Of course, being a firefighter, George got slightly excited and wanted to see what this was all about. And I have to admit, seeing that much black smoke peaked my curiosity. I knew there was something big on fire and I wanted to see what it was.

So we continued east towards the smoke speculating the entire way. As we got closer to our destination we assumed that we would see the smoke change from black to white as the fire department arrived and began to extinguish the fire. The black smoke continued to fill the sky and we could see that things were going from bad to worse. We found a country road that we thought would take us to the fire and made our turn. Jackpot. Less than a mile down the road we found the blaze. WE found the blaze. We were the only ones there. No fire department. No noisy neighbors. No one. Just us and the pigs. Yes, the pigs. Because what we found was a pig barn. On Fire.

We drove in for a closer look and I rolled down my window to snap a few photos. I was not remotely prepared for the blast of heat that hit my face. I can not possibly imagine what firefighters deal with on a regular basis, but if the heat is anything like what I felt, then there is no way they are paid enough money for what they do.

As I snapped a few pictures, George noticed the pigs off to the side along the fence. I didn’t think much about them as we hurried to make our way back to U.S. 52 for fear that when the emergency vehicles arrived, we would be trapped. We made our turn back on to U.S. 52 and immediately George noticed the vehicle coming up on our tail at a high rate of speed. “Here he comes” were George’s words. A young man sped past us in his car and we presumed (rightfully so) that he was a volunteer firefighter making his way to the firehouse. A few moments later the firetrucks sped past us and headed back towards the fire. As they passed we began commenting on the fact that they needn’t rush to the fire. It was completely out of control and roasting wieners and marshmallows was probably the best plan of attack.

As we approached the firehouse, we noticed the young man that had passed us a few moments earlier. Wearing shorts, a red t-shirt and boots. He bolted from his car and began running to the firehouse. His arms pumping feverishly and his legs running as fast as they could in boots. It was an odd run. One that looked awkward and not quite right. And at that moment I realized…this is what a fireman looks like running with a boner!! Oh now don’t go gasping and acting all prudish on me. It was hysterical. And if you give yourself a moment to get the visual, you will chuckle too.

So we continued on our journey towards Cincinnati. And of course the topic of conversation the entire drive home was the fire. It was the source of many jokes and a LOT of laughter. Mostly it was us trying to think of pig jokes.

All I could think of was a bunch of pigs standing around looking at the fire and one of them saying…”hey, has anyone seen Carl?” And another one answering…”no, but does anyone else smell ham?”