Friday, September 28, 2018

My Husband, The Gunslinger

As I alluded in a previous post, there have been some wild stories floating around about us in the trailer park.

The backstory: (Caution: a bit of language...)
When my son first moved back in with us about four years ago, he was one messed up puppy. He was very angry, depressed and had a rather disturbing outlook on life. He had lived with his dad for a number of years, not because he or I wanted him to, but his dad had more money than me and it is a good ole boys network in the county he lives in. So, I lost. I kept trying but didn't succeed in getting my son back until his dad finally fucked him up enough that he couldn't handle him anymore. My son was unruly and argumentative. He was angry at me for not getting him back sooner and angry at his dad for not letting him come back sooner. He was angry at the world. We knew he would need some help. Lord, I tried getting him some help. I made dozens of phone calls. Our insurance wouldn't cover the help he needed. Of course, never mind the fact we had paid in thousands in premiums and never used the insurance for anything, but they didn't cover anything except once a week counseling services. Since I was married, I didn't qualify for help through the state. Too much money, dontcha know. If I had stayed single, I could have gotten him all the help he needed. Alas, that was not the case, so my husband and I did everything we could think of to try to engage him in a positive manner. It seemed nothing was getting through to him. He was doing drugs and drinking. We had to lock all of our stuff up in the vehicles because we couldn't leave it out where he might be able to access it. He wouldn't come home when we told him to. We called the cops several times because of his behavior hoping maybe we could scare him straight since being nice wasn't working. That only made him more angry.

Then one night he came home so drunk he couldn't tell us where he was and could barely speak. I called for an ambulance to take him to the hospital. I don't remember what they told me what his blood alcohol was. I was a bit distressed that night. I do know it was high and I was surprised he was conscious at all. I asked the cop if they could get him the treatment he needed at the hospital and then take him to juvie. He suggested to skip juvie as all it would do was connect him with kids that were actually bad and would probably just make things worse for my husband and me. Not to mention the cost. Did you know, if your kid goes to juvie, you have to pay for it? I didn't either until then. So, I bring him home and ground him for life. I tried to take his electronics away. He just got more from "friends" and the rest of the stuff I didn't find.

All of that leads up to the good part. The gunslinger part.

Of course that night was a spectacle. The neighbors all had to be outside watching the scene. We were both in shorts, no shoes and tank tops. Our guns were right out there for everyone to see. That wasn't really our biggest concern, what with my drunken kid and all. So the ambulance hauls him off with the promise that as soon as we are done with the cops I will be on my way. We talk to the cops about our options for my son, the cops talk to the kid who brought him home (which is a whole 'nother story) and issue him a citation for providing alcohol to a minor, talk to us more. Finally with all the formalities taken care of, the subject turned to carry guns. What the cop was carrying on duty, what his off duty carry was, what my husband was carrying. Through the entire event, not once did they ask us to remove our weapons, nor did they make any attempt to unarm us or take our guns. My husband never reached for his gun, never pulled it out of the holster when talking to the cops, never even acknowledged he had it until the end of the conversation when everything was dealt with.

OH, but the stories that were passed around the next day!! My son was in no shape for a couple of days to even speak to anyone with his hangover and misery. Which he totally deserved as far as I am concerned. Once he was feeling like he was going to live, he heard some very interesting tales. According to the rumors, my husband pulled his gun on the cops! Obviously not or he would have gone to jail or be dead. However, the story going around was that he pulled his gun on the cops and didn't even get into trouble! The cops just let him pull a gun on them and didn't care. Who must my husband be if he can do that?

I never did get all the details as we really don't speak to anyone out here and after this event more people avoided us. I just found it quite amusing that people would think that there was any truth in the story at all. When was the last time you heard of someone, anyone, pulling a gun on a cop and not getting tackled or shot (or at least shot at)? I haven't heard of that. Ever. Apparently, my husband can!! 😁 He's the Gunslinger!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Woohoo! School's Out! and Other Random Thoughts

This past week has been fairly eventful.

The "new journey" that didn't happen. Our anniversary. The visit with my husband's mom. Drying some red onions. (Onions take a long time to dry.)

OH! and one more thing! My son turned in his last assignment for his high school diploma. We should find out what his final grade is sometime this week. Then they send his diploma and he is officially a high school graduate. And it's about time. They saved English for last, which is his least favorite subject. After helping him, I see why. What a bunch of useless crap for the average person. After days on end of reading and writing about things that will never matter in his life, I can see why he wanted so much help. I love to read and write, he doesn't. Even at that, I found it taxing. Hallelujah! It's done.

Now, he can go enlist in the Marines. Right? Ummmm. No. He went round and round about joining the Marines. Or maybe the Army. Well, maybe the Marines. Or maybe the Army. He doesn't have the diploma in hand to physically sign the line yet, so I think it is still up in the air. For now, however, it is the Army. He says that he can get better career offers and more advancement and money if he goes with the Army. He is young and money talks loud, so I am thinking that might be his final decision.

Since we are not buying the camper, we now have more decisions to make ourselves. We do not have enough for a down payment that we find acceptable, so buying land right this minute, so to speak, is something that we feel is not a good choice. If we had found the right camper, the campground would have been a good choice. For now, we are staying where we are and saving until we figure out what the right move is. Who knows? By the time we figure out the right move, we may have what we want for a down payment. We are not keen on staying here, but are not willing to take the wrong path. The right path will present itself when we are ready and looking for it.

In the meantime, I have ordered more seed for our fall garden. We are getting some peas, greens, lettuces, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, turnips. We also have seeds already purchased for beets, spinach, Austrian peas. We finally received our order for onions and garlic. We paid my son to move a garden bed as he is looking to earn a bit of money while he is waiting and we won't just give it to him. Since we are now not moving, we will be planting this week. We will be eating good. :)

Speaking of eating good, for our anniversary, we had smoked pork chops, baked potato and salad with home made blue cheese dressing. Which, by the way, was better than IHOP.

My son is off to take his driver's test this morning. Since he is 18, I do not have to take him. His aunt and uncle picked him up this morning to run him down there and take the test. He learned to drive at 14 and has been studying for the written exam for months, so I have complete faith in him that when I see him this evening after work, he will officially be a driver. Then he plans on going to his dad's house as they found a little truck that he wants to buy. I will be glad for him to have his license as I am getting a bit tired of him needing a ride all the time. Which I really don't do that often, it will just be nice to not need to anymore. I guess until he joins the Marines/Army, I will be trying to find odd jobs for him to do for gas money now.

It has been raining off and on for several days now here. Too bad I didn't get the garden bed moved sooner and all the seeds planted. The rain would have been great for the new plantings. The thunder shirt that we got for our dog has been great. It also seems to help to get him outside when it's raining since he won't normally go out then. Maybe because the rain gets on the shirt and not directly landing on him.

Too bad I have to work today. With the rain, it would be a good day to stay inside and get some stuff done. Oh well, more money to put into the savings bucket. Or pay my son for whatever work I can find.

So how did your week go?

P.S. Supper tonight is navy bean soup with smoked ham.
P.P.S. I am thankful that my son is finally done with his school and that he is following through with the plans that he has been making all year.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Anniversaries, Doctors and Firsts

My husband and I share an anniversary with his parents. By lucky happenstance, we picked our date for getting hitched that was the same as his parents. And let's be honest, how many of us can say what date our parents got married? I know I can't!

Our anniversary was this past week. We went to his mom's house and stayed overnight to spend some time with her and take her to her doctors appointment. We had a few questions we wanted to address and she had some questions to address, and as we all know, you better take someone with you to make sure you don't forget something or miss something. So that is what we did.

Then we went to IHOP to eat. It was the first time we have ever been to an IHOP that had good food and good service. It was also where his mom wanted to go. Would not have been our choice. That being said, it really was not bad at all. I love breakfast any time of the day.

Unfortunately, this was his mom's first anniversary without her husband. He passed away at the end of last year. They were married for 64 years. I only wish we had that long. What a wonderful life to have to live your entire adult life with the one you love like that.

We were glad to be able to spend the time with her. We were glad to be able to be there for her for this first. The first year of everything after the death of a loved one is the toughest. It is the year of firsts for everything and hard as hell. And it sucks. It sucks for my mother-in-law, my husband, his brother, my husband's kids. They have all had this year of firsts without this leader of the family. I am glad that all of my husband's family is close and all help each other out. I am also glad that I can be here for my husband, his children are married, as is his brother, and all have a support system. With that support system, we can all be there for his mom.

We did have a good visit, the doctor appointment went well and she didn't have to be alone on this anniversary.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Cheese Heaven

We found a dip that we really liked at Kroger. It was a smoked gouda cheese dip. So, I figured if we could buy it, I could make it. And probably better. So, I did.

It is one block of any size of smoked gouda. You will most likely find it in the deli or cheese section. Not in the cheese/butter case. That is not awesome cheese. Nor is it acceptable. Pay the price, buy the good stuff. You can thank me later.

Shred that awesome gouda up finely. Add some very finely diced red onion. We use dried cuz that is how I roll, but fresh would be good too. Maybe better.

Throw in some garlic. Fresh garlic. Minced or very super finely chopped. How much is up to you. We love garlic so we use a lot.

Add a pinch of salt and pepper.

Here is where you can go crazy. You can mix in some mayo or sour cream. The first few times we made it, it was with mayo. Since we are foregoing sugar, that means no store bought mayo. We used sour cream. It was just as good. We notice the sweetness of mayo now that we don't use added sugar, so your mileage may vary. Try it both ways and see what you like best.

It should be quite thick. It is not a dip like a dressing, it is more like a spread. Put that shit on anything you like, it will magically become better.

(Hint: We have put this cheese dip/spread on melba toast, pretzel chips, pita chips, bread, crackers.... The list goes on.)

I would show you a picture of it, but it's too late, we ate it all. In one day. Off the spoon.

Why are you still here? You need to add this stuff to your grocery list right now. Go on, I'll wait. I will see you on the other side of cheese heaven.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

A New New Journey

So now we are going to embark on a new, new journey.

We made the decision to get the 5th wheel and go to the campground. We started to make our plans. What size storage shed would we need? What all would need to go to storage? (Hint: a lot!) What could we take with us? Where would the litter box go?  Where will I put my canner and dehydrator? On and on those questions were swirling. It was starting to seem like a Herculean task. One we could accomplish, but wow. However, it was that last question specifically that sent us back to the dealer to get some measurements to make sure I had a home for both of them.

We took ourselves on down to the dealer, they let us into the camper. Our name was plastered on the outside of the door. That was really cool. :)  So in we go with our tape measure and my notebook. I have to write everything down to make sure I don't forget. We start with some of the cabinets. So far so good. We work our way to the back bunk room. There is a wardrobe in there that I thought would make a good place to store my canner and jars. There is also a little shelving unit that I thought would be a good place to store the lids and other paraphernalia for canning. That was when we finally saw it....

Water damage and powdery mold. There was only two little places at the very bottom of the half bath door jamb that had water damage. The mold was in the shelving unit and at the bottom of the half bath door. If we had not been using our flashlight, we may not have noticed it. It was not a dark black mold, it was that really light hardly notice it mold. Except with a flashlight. Loud and Proud then. That right there is a deal breaker.

The guy that we worked with was not there on Saturday, so we are going back tomorrow to tell him the news. Sorry, you didn't make the sale. We will show him why. He will try to tell us it will be ok. He will try to convince us we can just replace the door jamb and door and everything will be peachy keen. Too bad for him, not happening. If they can show us something comparable, something with similar space and price, we will consider. I don't think they have that based on what we saw when we have been there looking. So, I will consider this divine intervention. Thank my lucky stars we didn't jump off into this with no return and now we can figure out our next new path. And maybe it feeling like a Hurculean task was because we were supposed to go back before they did the detailing and cleaning or there is the possibility that we would have never known until it was too late. As was said in the comments on the last post, we don't want someone else's problem child. I already have one of those: he is 18.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A New Journey

Well, we have jumped in with both feet. We made a decision to buy the camper and go that route.

We actually bought a fifth wheel. It has a whole lot more room in it for us and the pets. The dealership we bought it from will deliver it where ever we want (within reason of course) for free. I talked to a friend of mine last night to see if she would care if we parked it there for now. She said no problem and it will not cost us anything. Of course, we will still pay her something as we don't feel it's right to park the beast in her driveway or yard for nothing. Although, she did ask that we leave a key so when she needs to get away from her daughter or grand daughter for a few minutes, she can go have some peace and quiet. I said sure thing.

Part of the reason we made this decision instead of buying a house right away was the campground that we went to for the memorial on Sunday. We met quite a few of the people that live there year round and were quite impressed with them. Everyone was very welcoming and friendly despite the occasion. We also found out that the campground owners and our friend's fellow year rounders put the memorial on for our friend. The campground gave use of one of the pavilions and provided the meat for the dinner that we had. His neighbors are the ones who put everything else together. They cleaned the pavilion, set up the tables and candles, set up the video and picture memorial and music, and anything that needed purchased they all pitched in and bought it. All the folks that came to the memorial, including us, brought side dishes. It really helped restore some faith in people to see them come together like that to help ease someone's pain.

As we drove around the campground people actually waved. I realize that in a campground one would expect that. That being said, I have seen a lot less southern hospitality since I moved down here than I thought I would. In our trailer park, no one waves at each other. Not that we care as we don't want to associate with the kind of people that live here anyway.

At this campground, we met a woman who is a horticulturist (retired), a man who is a professional fisher (as in competitions- not a hobby fisher), and several folks who are retired from various walks of life like mechanics and truck driving. One guy even gave us his number to call if our friend gets back to work and breaks down emotionally while he is out somewhere in the truck. He said he would go to him no matter where he was or how far away. To us, those are the kinds of neighbors you want.

We might have another option for this as well. The friend that is letting us park the camper at her house for the time being is up for a discussion about maybe staying on her property until we are ready to buy. There would obviously be a lot of details that we would have to talk about and work out and it may not be something that all of us want to do. We'll see.

I do, however, think that staying at the campground would be a better bet for us expense-wise. All we would need to do there is hook up so to speak. If we stay in my friend's yard, there would be a shit ton of things that would cost us to get set up. I am not sure that we would save any money taking that route. More discussions and options. :) It does feel as if things are falling into place for us now that we have made the decision. The price was right, a "free" spot to park it until we are ready to move it, a son-in-law that can move it when we need to, a place we both really felt comfortable at. Maybe I'm just being crazy, but I swear even the music on the radio today seemed like it was supporting our decision!

We will just take each of our next steps as they come and it will all work out for us in the end. Also, I will be getting out of dodge! Or at least this dodgy trailer park!! I'll have to become preppin in a campground!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Getting Out of Dodge

My husband and I are looking for a way to get out of this trailer park. I have a feeling that there are some rough times coming down the pike and feel like we need to be out of here before it hits. With the kind of neighborhood that this is, I think it is prudent to not be here if (when) there is any kind of economic downturn.

Most of the people out here rely on either welfare or unskilled labor jobs. Gas stations, grocery stores and fast food. Jobs likely to have hours cut when there is a downturn. Jobs like mine. ;) I have a lot of seniority at work so I'm not too worried about mine so long as the nursery stays open. If not, well we don't rely on my income anyway. My husband is not going to lose his job. We are 99.9% sure of that. What we worry about is all the yahoos out here that will. Thanks to my son, everyone out is well aware that we have weapons. Due to his lack of OPSEC and some other wild stories that were told and gossiped about (which were completely false!), pretty much all the yahoos out here now know it.

We try hard to be circumspect when we bring in groceries, except with no garage and parking by the road, it's a little hard to be discreet when bringing in the bags. I do realize most people are not that observant, I just worry how many people have noticed us bringing in groceries and other items.

We could easily have some money for a down payment and when we sell the trailer would have even more.

So the options we are looking at right now are to buy a travel trailer and find a nice campground to go to or find someone with property we could "rent" some space on, or bite the bullet and just buy a house.

They all have pros and cons. We sat down and worked on a list of pros and cons for everything we could think of for staying put, getting the travel trailer and buying a house with as much land as we could afford.

As far as our list, staying here seems to have the least amount of pros. Not necessarily the most amount of cons, but definitely the least amount of pros. The campground also has a lot of cons. The biggest problem we have with "renting" land from a like minded person is finding someone that would agree to it that is close enough for my husband to go to work without driving for a long time. We do know a few folks that would let us, but two are not someone we think that we would want to have to work with long term unless there was no other choice and the other one is too far away from his job. Buying a house is just scary, especially with the economy needing a reset. Having that much debt hanging over our heads is a scary thought. With that said, it seems like it would benefit us the most.

We still have not reached a decision, but I do feel like we are running out of time. Have you ever felt that way?  How did you reach a decision? Or did you even have options to choose from? I realize without any real details it would be hard for you to say what you would do. With that said, what pros and cons do you see with the choices we have? You might have a thought that we didn't think of.