Say Goodbye.

I am so ready for 2013 to be over…not because it’s been all bad, but December has decidedly kicked.my.ass.

Typically, I am the first one to embrace the holidays, to throw up the Christmas decorations and spout holiday yay for all to hear…this was not to be this year…

I blame December.

See…most years, the bulk of Christmas shopping is done by the first week of December…nooooo….not this year and the stress of the retail season hit me between the eyes…please, allow me to share my oh-so-wonderful December moments…

  • We shall travel back about 5 days before December to Thanksgiving…the Boy ends up getting sick on the way to Papaw’s house and we end up turning around and heading home.  I still have another Thanksgiving meal for my family.  We find that the Boy’s toilet has been broken…we don’t know how…but this will be important within two weeks.
  • First weekend of December – we have an ice storm that shuts down school for two days…we are housebound for three days…on the fourth day, the Boy has three, THREE seizures in front of me…which is completely frightening…and we promptly brave the ice and head for Children’s Hospital where we spend two days and I pray more than I can put into words…’member the broken toilet?  we now believe that he had a seizure…we also find out that he’s been having seizures for a year and has thought the seizures were simply “muscle spasms” and hasn’t said a word.  We get a diagnosis of Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy.  They are typically in the mornings and are triggered by a lack of sleep.  We get meds and mommies enact a strict schedule that provides 8-10 solid hours of sleep each and every night.  We haven’t had a seizure since.
  • Second weekend of December – we have Kris’ family Christmas….only with the ice and hospital stay, we haven’t had time to shop…know what that means?  Sprint shopping two days before the celebration, 5 stores, and trips at midnight…we also finally get the Christmas decorations up in the house…lights outside this year????  forget.it.
  • Third weekend of December – we actually took that Friday off work to start and finish our Christmas shopping…and on that morning, I broke my wife’s finger.  I didn’t just break it a little bit…I damn near took it off!!!!  It involves scaring me, smacking her with socks, a chase and the slam of a door…and locking of said door on said finger.  Yes, me, I did it…and we were in the ER getting stitches and pain meds until midnight.  Not a single present was purchased…until Sunday, the 22nd…because yes, I am not at all ready for this holiday.
  • The 23rd requires me to do the grocery shopping for three major meals to take place in the next two days, Christmas Eve baked ziti, Christmas Day breakfast for 11 and Christmas Day Dinner…it takes me 50 minutes to do this shopping, FROM MEMORY.    I get home, holy shit!!!!  Kenner is coming to stay…which requires me to get my house in order, because I have done nothing in 5 days…except cry and cater to the wife…so it’s 5 loads of laundry, a load of dishes, vacuuming, removing my 6 pairs of shoes from the den to my closet, pre-cooking Christmas Eve dinner, finishing the 2nd day of the wrapping marathon, etc…all the while, TRYING to keep the wife still and not helping, because she keeps trying and I don’t want her to…thank God I have the Boy and the Daughter to help with the house and errands…

Why didn’t I do stuff during the week you ask?  Well….the Boy has athletics until 6PM, then it’s home for dinner, homework and other household chores that prevent leaving the house…it’s not like we aren’t busy…we are, constantly…to the point I forget the holiday…

I realize on Christmas Day that I am exhausted.  And there isn’t an ounce of holiday hooray in my bones…and it makes me sad….and angry.  I let my life get in my way.  I took it for granted…and I needed a thump to remind me that I am not actually in control, that He keeps me on my path, that I need to remember to float on my faith…the faith that things will happen as they are supposed to, I am not to try to control everything in my way and to just let.go.

I made a commitment to myself last year on New Year’s Day to allow my family to center me, to allow my family to surround me and support me.  To trust in myself and my faith that I will get through it…and I didn’t do that, so my year has ended in a colossal “F You” to my control freak tendencies…

I need out of this funk…I need some happy…I am sooooo looking forward to staying in tomorrow night, ending the year as I started it…in my jammies and in a very happy place…I refuse to allow it to end any other way…

I’m going to say Goodbye to December and some of the most trying days I have had in years.

I’m going to say Goodbye to worry and doubt and ill will.

I’m going to say Goodbye to others that bring me down.

I’m going to say Goodbye to stress and pressure that I heave upon myself to control everything.

I’m going to say Goodbye to 2013 and HELLO to 2014…and it will be a most epic year…

 

Duck. Duck. Goat.

I have tried like hell all day to avoid all things Phil Robertson and Duck Dynasty.  God knows I have.  I have avoided the TV show for however many seasons it’s been on, well….I watched about 4 minutes of it one time, couldn’t stand the stupidity of it and turned it off.

I often wondered “We have actually made this shit #1 on TV?”  It falls along the same lines as the Kardashians and that BooBoo chick.  There is no value added to my life by the existence of these shows…NONE.

So I posted on good ol’ Facebook that I thought of him as often as he thought of me…no big deal.  Couldn’t believe how rabid folks got about it…but nooooo…it didn’t stop…everyone apparently has skin in this game.

Here goes my two, three or ten cents…

Mr. Robertson is strong in his faith.  He came back to the Lord and it has brought him peace in his life.  Good.on.him.  He deserves to proclaim his faith from the highest mountain top.  Doesn’t like homosexuality?  DON’T BE ONE!!!  Don’t like bestiality?  DON’T DATE A GOAT!!!  Wanna talk about it, fine…buckle up…you’re gonna piss someone off Phil.

See, Mr. Robertson isn’t an idiot.  He KNOWS what he said, he KNOWS what he meant, he KNOWS what kind of response he was gonna get.  He’s a brilliant businessman, right?  I mean he turned a family kazoo business and bad grooming habits into a multi-million dollar empire.  Don’t be fooled, the man isn’t a victim.

However, the man is a human.  And as such, he is allowed his unalienable rights.  As given BY MAN.

He has that Freedom of Speech…you know the one that THOUSANDS have died to protect.  That funny little constitutional right.  We may not like what he says, but he gets to say it without being beaten about the head and face for it.  If he wants to look stupid and small-minded, then by all means, thank a solider and go with it.

He’s right, the Bible does say that stuff.  Sorta, it’s paraphrased and translated.  It’s okay, mankind has been obliterating the teachings of the Bible for hundreds, thousands of years.  Ministers, politicians, families…foes…everyone will pluck one or two passages and memorize them, to help them make their point, to make them feel righteous.  To make them feel like they are on the right side of God in their judgements.

Gay or straight, Democrat or Republican, male or female…we all stand in judgement of each other, of people we know, people we don’t know…we do it everyday…

  • They are such a judgemental idiot!
  • She’s friendly, she must be a whore.
  • He’s talking to that woman, they must be “doing it.”
  • They don’t agree with me, they must be stupid…or wrong…or rascist/sexist/ageist/etc.
  • They are passionate about their opinions, they must be a zealot/crazy/off their meds.
  • They voted for Obama, they must be gay…or on welfare…or black.
  • They voted for Romney, they must be white…and rich…and racist…
  • They don’t vote…they don’t get an opinion in the country.
  • They are a vegetarian, they must be a hippy…I wonder if they shave?
  • They aren’t like me…there must be something wrong with them.

Yes, as much as we don’t want to admit it, we all sit in judgement of each other.  NO ONE is innocent of it.  So if you think you are, sit.down.  You are probably one of the worst.  Doesn’t mean I don’t love you, but it does mean I will roll my eyes and ignore 90% of what you are ranting about.

My sister and I battle this…allllll the time.  She is way more religious than I am.  It’s okay.  I love that she has found that relationship with God that fills her with peace and love.  She has found a church family and home that centers her and fills her faith cup.  She needs that in her life, she was raised with it and chooses to raise her child with it.  I think it’s wonderful and at times, wish I had that.

I am more spiritual than religious.  Church hasn’t been good to me, in fact, the last church I went to actually TOOK SIDES in my damn breakup.  Seriously, I was judged by leaders and people who spoke of love, acceptance and faith.  I don’t know if I will ever step in a church again for anything other than a wedding, baptism or funeral…but I have a strong relationship with God.  I have read/will read the Bible all my life.  I know stories, I know passages.  I live in sin and pray for forgiveness everyday.  I know that God loves me and I don’t need anyone to validate how I love Him. He knows.

Even with all of that…when I perceive that my sister has taken a “right turn” off the deep end into religious fevor…its because (1)she’s pissed at someone, typically me. (2)she wants to piss me off. (3)she’s off her meds (kidding!) (4)she’s passionate about whatever has gotten in her craw.

My sister and I have had more battles over what God wants, means, or flat-out says…when I say battles, I mean BATTLES…like I end up screaming into a phone, she ends up crying or God help us…either of us are near a computer, the e-mails are epic.  Hell, we will even drag our mother into it.  Shamefully, we have dragged my kids, my wife and my best friend into them in the past. I mean…my sister and I get medieval in these e-mails.  And in the end, we won’t speak for weeks, she will call crying (she misses me and I am s.tu.b.b.o.r.n) and we forgive and move past it.

Last time, was about gay marriage.  It was a doozy.  But once my daughter got ahold of me…seriously talked some sense into me, I got it.  And I have changed how I feel and think about others who think differently than me.

It’s true.  Children do end up teaching the parents.  It was humbling.

I tell you this because we are as different as night and day (she is adopted! not really…but don’t tell her)…and despite all these differences, I will take a bullet for her.  Well, maybe not a bullet, but I did’t tell her I would let someone pinch me really hard.  No one picks on my baby sister, makes her cry or hurts her that they won’t deal with me…eventually.  Karma is righteous…and until it comes around…don’t fuck with my family.  My baby sister…she’s the first best friend I ever had…she was my favorite toy…she may be a rabid Jesus loving mommy…but she can put in a good word with God for me…she has her opinions on everything in my life and I, hers…we have grown up and grown together.

She will get wrapped up in all of this…and it will be my job to talk to her about the other side, to listen to her reason, to tell her mine and in the end, pat her on the head, try to sell her for rocks and love her unconditionally.

ANYHOO.  Mr. Robertson paraphrased/quoted the Bible.  Mr. Robertson voiced his opinion and exercised his First Amendment Right.  It’s okay…really.  Whatever he thinks isn’t truly going to change anyone anymore than I will by writing this.  But it’s my blog, it’s my outlet and when I am done, I am done with this and Mr. Robertson.  I still won’t watch the show…I will still think they all need a shave.  I will still not want to run out and purchase a kazoo or marry a man…

I’m still gonna be me.  Gay.  Chubby.  Outspoken and vocal behind a keyboard.

A&E also has the right to Freedom of Speech.  They chose to not agree with him.  They chose to protect their business model.  No one was arrested, no one was stoned to death, no one was locked up in a cell for 20 years for voicing their opinion.  I dare say, the world continued to revolve on its axis.  The rich got richer and there are still men, women and children that went to bed hungry, sad and alone.

Wanna be upset?  Be upset about that…

It’s really hard for me to defend his rights when I have to fight daily for mine.  But this isn’t about gay rights or my civil rights or anything like that.  He voiced his opinion and it’s stirred up a nest of bullshit that is impressive.  Yes, he has the right to say whatever he wants…at doesn’t make him exempt from taking responsibility for those words.  So, no, I don’t believe he is a victim.  At.all.

Please gay people….don’t make this a homophobic thing…please…don’t get down to that level and be as small-minded and judgey as he has been.  For God’s sake, he has Sarah Palin supporting him!!! Please, rise above it…realize that he probably doesn’t have anyone close to him that is gay or dating a goat.  He doesn’t see how it affects us.  Nothing we do or say is going to change him, his beliefs or his opinions.  It’s evident.

Take that passion, that energy and channel it into doing something that makes a positive change in someone’s life.  Pay his judgement forward and turn it into something positive.  For the love of God…show the REST of the world that we aren’t all crazy, fevered fags that will protest everything for any reason…stop.think.love.

And to you, Mr. Robertson, I appreciate that you have your opinion.  I appreciate you have the right to your opinion.  I am sad that you have to deal with the backlash, but sir, you asked for it.

So I’m gonna say a prayer for you.  I’m gonna say a prayer for me.  I might even say a prayer for Kim Kardashian and that BooBoo chick.

Lord knows, we all need it.

Mommy World.

My kids have two mommies.

It’s okay…I acknowledge it isn’t for everyone, but it’s perfect for us.  I am bio-mom.  I carried these two bundles of joy,  I shared a heartbeat with each of them.  I’ve loved each of them 9 months longer than anyone else ever will.  I have made my share of mistakes, I have made your share, my neighbors share, my 3rd cousin twice removed’s share….I have screwed it up more than I care to think about, but I own it.

These two are of me, they look like me, act like me, sound like me.

I have taught them the truth may hurt, but everyone is WORTH the truth.

I have taught them that even though they are head and shoulders taller than me, I can still put them in their place.

I have taught them to respect themselves, because in life, many others won’t.

I have taught them that yes, adults do suck sometimes, and even the ones that say they love you and won’t leave, do.  It’s not their fault, it’s on the other person.  They aren’t to give them any energy.

I have taught them unconditional love.  Period.  No excuses, no reason.  Love is love….and there is always room for more of it.

I have taught them that I will walk through fire for them.  I love them to my very core and there isn’t anything they can do to change that.

Then I gave them the Wife.  And it’s changed our lives, all of us.  I have known her for 30 years, we have been a family for 4 years…it gets better every day.

I once asked the wife why she loved them so much, her answer was simple, “In the beginning, I loved them because I love you and I see how much you love them…how do you not love someone so much? Now, I love them because we have our own relationships, we have our own things…they are as much mine.”  She’s the goods.

She hasn’t “thanked” me yet for these relationships, but she hasn’t run for the hills either.

So everyone understands, my kids have two mommies.  It’s okay.

I had a conversation with the sister today that made me think about what actually constitutes a family.  See, I had two mommies, no…not in THAT way, I had my bio-mom and my step-mom.  Everyone should have a step-parent like mine.  She never felt like a step-parent and she never treated me like less.  I love her everyday and think of her often.  She left my life after the divorce, but in my heart, she left me with a sister, a brother and a 2nd mommy that I will always love and lessons I will never forget.

In today’s society, there are so many single parents, by choice, by death, by separation, the list goes on and on…here’s my take on it….

there are so many that need love, need guidance, need structure and support…why shut folks down?  Because of their sexuality?  Seems short-sighted and petty.  Maybe that’s just me.

My kids got/get asked all the time “your mom is gay???” and both without missing a beat, without hesitation, “yes.” Simple and true.

Yes, they have been picked on.   But I’ll let you in on a secret; kids pick on kids, regardless of whether or not mommy is a fag.  All kinds of reasons….

  • Mommy is fat.  (it’s okay, I am)
  • Mommy isn’t blonde.  (tried it once, not pretty)
  • Mommy isn’t a stay at home mommy.  (Bossman would cry)
  • The daughter’s hair was too short.
  • The boy’s hair was too long.
  • We didn’t live in the right part of the neighborhood.
  • We didn’t have a hot tub.

Kids learn what we teach them.  These two have learned there are lots of different ways to love others, that it’s okay to have one parent, or two, or two mommies, daddies, step parents, foster, adopted, whatever…they have learned family isn’t always genetic.

Sometimes, the right one walks in the door.  This person will take away the hurt and replace it with love and honor.  This person will show a child it’s okay to trust, to love someone who isn’t “the norm.”

Besides, my definition of normal is way different from yours.  Example, I think it’s completely normal to have 7 pairs of the same shoe in different colors or the same purse in 4 different colors.

What? not normal?

told.you.so.

Wife of the Year Dialogue.

It’s October, should be fall, sweater weather, leaves changing colors, the crisp in the air, right?  Well, we are in Texas….its still 90* everyday…

Miss Manners says that you wear white from Easter to Labor Day.  I figure the same goes for footwear, ya know?

So, yesterday morning went like this…

Me:  {looking forlornly at my shoes in the closet}

Wife:  “What’s wrong? Why do you look like someone just stole your cookie?”

M:  “I have to wear pants now.”

W:  “Wha-?  Don’t you wear pants everyday?”

M:  “No, I wear capris.  They’re different.”

W:  “ahem, okay, why do you have to wear pants?”

M:  “because it’s after Labor Day, it’s October 1st.”

W:  “I still don’t understand….”

M:  “I can’t wear flip-flops anymore, it’s tacky….”

W:  “Tacky?  For work?  You work in a junk yard!”

M:  “Yeah, but it’s a fancy junkyard!”

W:  “okay, you work in a fancy junkyard, why again, no flip-flops?”

M:  “It’s after Labor Day, you can’t wear white or flip flops…..I think.”

W:  “baby, it’s Texas, the same fashion laws don’t apply.  It’s 90* in the shade, wear your flip-flops.”

M:  “well….”

W: “did you shave your legs?”

M:  “yes, of course!” {hint of hope in my voice}

W:  “then it’s okay, you can still wear your flip-flops!”

M:  *squee!!!!!*

She.gets..me..

Teachers. Students.

Life keeps changing.  We are entering this school year with the Boy and the Daughter both beginning classes and new chapters in their lives.  They are headed in incredible directions…I am both proud and devastated.

They no longer need me to hold their hands or pick out their clothes. I no longer have to buy crayons or construction paper. There is no more recess or naps. I am no longer as needed as I once was.

I have taught them independence, I have taught them to find their own voice, their own path…we have battled and we have laughed.  Mostly we love.

I am a mommy. To my core. I live and breathe for these two. They are my babies. Always will be. I pray for their successes in life. Every day.

Let’s add some folks to this prayer list…

To the teachers in my life, I pray for your wisdom and bravery. It’s not easy what you do. It’s not easy what is expected of you. I applaud that this is your calling in life, to shape these minds, to teach them. I give you every ounce of support and honor that I have. I will thank you, on behalf of many parents, for taking our babies and giving them the world. I will thank you now, for the future leaders you hold in your hands. I appreciate each of you.

To the returning students and new students, I pray for your adventure. The knowledge you will gain, the friendships you will make. Take these lessons with you throughout your life. You will need them all.

Listen to your teachers, counselors and principals, they will only want the best for you. You may think whatever they are teaching is dumb…I promise, it’s not…one day, you will need to know the square root of something or if “I” comes before “e”and you will realize its because of that teacher….you know…

Remember, not everyone will be your friend. You won’t always fit in. Be yourself. If someone treats you wrong, find people who treat you right. If someone bullies you or wants you to be a bully, say no. Always. You don’t know what someone else is living, surviving, don’t be a shit person. Be a good, stand up person. Be a leader. Lead others to the right path and be encouraging of others. If you are a follower, follow the right path. Life is full of experiences, good and bad…take the lessons from each and pay.it.forward. Surround yourself with people, others like you, teachers and adults that will lift you up.

Don’t ever let anyone tear you down. Be fair, treat others as you wish to be treated. Remember, everyone is equal.

To the parents of students and teachers…it’s up to us, to put ourselves in their shoes before we scream and yell about how unfair it is that little Johnny or Mary has homework. Read to your kids, teach them. Help the teachers. Support them and make sure yours kids get it….that they are there to get the lessons that will carry them, through their lives. Remind them to listen up, stay awake and do the work, no matter how dumb they think that book report or diagramming sentences may be.

To the parents, we did it. We made it through another summer. Congratulations!

To my love….thank you. For staying sane and keeping me sane. I owe you a drink. Or two…

Bossman Rules.

Let it be known I work hard.  Shut.up.  I DO!!!  But I love where I work.  I enjoy the people around me, most of the time and I think they actually like me.  Most don’t fear me, a few ignore me, but over all….they seem to not think I am hideous.  It helps that I pay them bi-weekly, but I am sure it’s my sparkling personality that wins them over.  Yeah, that’s IT.

Bossman is a whole ‘nother story.  We share a birthday, I am exactly three years older than him, a fact he loves to point out every year on our shared birthday.   To remind him that I am truly twisted, I had my staff help me torture him for his birthday, it included bubble wrap as carpet and 160 photos of him as a child.  EVERYWHERE.  I may be older, but that only means I have three more years of experience torturing younger people…he prolly needs a helmet.

Bossman tries to make rules.  Tries to.  But I’m a rebel (Dottie) and I spend my days talking back, ignoring his emails and calls and generally doing what I want.  Don’t get me wrong, I work my ass off, but I can multitask like a demon.

I am going to share with you Bossman’s rules for me.  He has explained these to me many times over the past three years…then I will give you my simple, clear responses to his rules…

  1. Please be at work at 7:30.
  2. Please stay at work until 5:00.
  3. Please be at work Monday – Friday.
  4. Please make sure you complete the Playbook daily.
  5. Be pleasant and courteous.
  6. Complete your tasks daily.
  7. All filing is kept current.
  8. Manage your staff competently.
  9. Answer when I call, respond to my emails.
  10. Don’t be mean to me.

Now, most folks would think these are simply easy rules to follow.  Not me.  In an effort to make him understand I am a rebel (Dottie), I feel I must respond to his requests.

  1. No.  I don’t get out of bed until 8….minimum.
  2. No.  5:00 means happy hour….unless you put a bar in my office, I am out.
  3. Specify which week you wish for me to work.  Otherwise, no.
  4. Playbook?  is this the craft time?
  5. Do.you.know.me?  You might as well ask for the moon and stars.
  6. Are my tasks recess and naps?  Cause I got that down…
  7. Haven’t filed a single thing in three years.  I am working toward the World Record.  Don’t box me in Bossman.
  8. My staff?  They scare me.  I don’t make eye contact, I suggest you don’t either.
  9. I haven’t, I won’t.  Send carrier pigeons, that would be cool.
  10. Why did you hire me then?

In his defense, I was on my best behavior in my interview.  Truly.  I even said “Yes Sir”….and I lulled him in with a false sense of security.  He thought he could control me.  I allowed him to believe that I could be trained.  I tricked him.  bwahahahahaha!!!!

Today was prolly the easiest Payroll Friday I have had in six months.  And I wasn’t able to justify a surly disposition.  Damnit.  SO I had to be nice.  To everyone.  It wasn’t quite as painful as I imagined.

I did however remind Bossman that I am the boss…just in case he forgot….

Knock on Wood.

I live a blessed life.  I do.  I don’t know how or why, but God decided that I had earned it.  I am humble at all that I receive, I am humble because I have things that others don’t.  It keeps me honest.

I have my family.  I have my health.  I have food in my pantry and love in my heart.  I have a job that I love and a roof over my head.

I wake up everyday next to the love of my life.  I have children that are beautiful and smart and driven and I wouldn’t trade them for a moment.  I might sell them for rocks, depending on the day and how nice those rocks are.

I have family that loves me no matter how much we fight.  I get it…we are a dramatic mess, but my mom, my sister…we are the Tullos Women, there’s only the three of us left.  We are small, yet proud tribe and I am grateful everyday that they are here.  I know that at the end of the day, I will be there for them, no matter how much I bitch about it, I will be there.  It’s what we do, us Tullos Women.

I have the best friends anyone could ask for.  All of them, I may have friends I don’t talk to often, or only keep up with them on Facebook, but they are my friends.  I have chosen to share my life with them on Facebook, in person, over text, wherever…they are awesome, fabulous people, here, there, everywhere…I love my friends.

I have my health.  Last year, I wasn’t sure about that…and it’s terrifying and eye-opening.   I can’t take it for granted ever and I want to be here, to see my kids graduate, to see them attend college, to walk them both down the aisle, to see my grandchildren.  I want to grow old with my love in life. I get it now, that this human body is fragile an it’s my responsibility to take care of it, to be here.  And over the year, we have made changes to our habits and we feel better, we laugh more….we appreciate what we have been given.

Somewhere along the line, I was granted a second chance at life…it happened years ago and I only recently realized that it’s a gift.  This love that has walked into my life.  The way my children have blossomed.  The way my life has twisted and turned and led me here.  It wasn’t my doing, it was the path that was laid out before me.  I am lucky that I found my way.

Folks, life is short, life shouldn’t be taken for granted.  We don’t “deserve” anything, we have to earn it to appreciate it.  The most graceful of people get that.  The most honest of people work for it.  I have so many of these people in my life, it takes my breath away.

We had our AC go out yesterday.  In August.  In Texas.  Yes, it’s hot….terrifically hot.  7th level of hell hot.  And we had no less than 5 people offer us their homes, their guest rooms, whatever we needed.  We ended up at a pet friendly hotel last night with the AC at 64* for the entire night.  And then blessedly today, new AC unit and coolness.  And we have had so many check on us, I just feel loved.  Purely loved.  Me and mine.

Tonight, just for a moment, pause and think about all the blessings you have in your life.  From the FB friend across the states, to the person who shows up on your doorstep to check on you.  Think of the job that provides for you.  Think of the family that would do anything for you.

Look at your life, you get to wake up everyday.  You get to love and laugh.

If you are reading this.  Know that you are a blessing in MY life.  I am grateful for each of you.  My world is inexplicably better because you are in it.

Float on faith.  Love one another.  And laugh.  Laugh until your face hurts.  Share your joy….share your story.

Thank.you.all.