All Good

I'm glad this blog is still floating around even if it's never seen by anyone except me. I've learned it's not healthy to partake in chronic reminiscing but there's a level of comfort in reading some of my old personal entries and knowing how different my life is now, in a good way.

I'm married and happy. My wife is sweet and loves me as much as I love her although she claims her love for me is stronger. "I love you more than a woman should love a man," is what she tells me.

This year I turned 50. It's weird to see that typed out because 50 sounds old like, "if you haven't figured it by now you probably won't," old. But then I imagine there's never a time when you have it all squared away and figured out. Life is unpredictable.
Two cats
Three birds
Good job

I guess my annual post..

It's boredom that brought me here as usual. I'm glad I keep this blog bookmarked and it's weird to read some of the old entries; really coming here is like stepping back to a the life of a different person. So many things have changed over the years for the better. That's not to say I have not faced some trials since I posted here regularly but overall life is significantly better.

I'm in my 16th year of business now and I guess around my 12th year in full time capacity. When I was working at the bank I really just wanted to have something that would sustain enough to allow for what I perceived as a normal life. My vision was to make enough money to pay my bills and be home at night. It's been a number of years now but I remember what that felt like to find myself in a dead end job with low pay and next to no chance for improvement, at least not in the way I wanted so I remain grateful and never lose sight of what it used to be like.

Today I went to visit Rick. His health continues to decline with a recent hospital stay that almost took him from us. Just a year ago he could at least communicate somewhat, sit in a wheelchair and had the ability to eat. His current position is that he's in a bed without the ability to anything for himself, not unlike an infant. It's hard to say what will happen but I also think it's obvious his health will not improve. Next week I'll be meeting with my brother at a local cemetery to discuss a place of rest for Rick and our mother. Her ashes currently rest on a shelf in my living room but I think a marker at the cemetery will be better.

We have two cats! I can't remember exactly how it went down but around a year ago I contacted someone who breeds Cornish Rex cats and asked about availability. The next thing I knew we were picking up our first kitten who we named Gypsy. She would later get a sister named Birdy. They're both the best cats for us as they don't shed at all and actually act like dogs in the way they want to be right next to us always.

Out of the six finches I got from my mother only three remain. You would think having grown up around finches I'd be better at caring for them but as it turns out avocado is toxic to finches. Two of the birds were dead within 24 hours of snacking on what I thought would be a healthy treat. The third finch to die just died for no apparent reason. With three remaining finches I'm determined to make sure they don't pass away prematurely.

Lastly, after years of putting it off and just dealing with my anxiety I've gone to medication. The result has been life changing for me. I'm not completely free from anxiety but there are some days when I don't even think about it. Overall I'd say it has been more than worth it!
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July / August

My mother passed away on August 3. Her body just gave out. The last issue, this time a UTI, was just too much for her already frail body. She made the choice to stop any medical treatment so she went home under Hospice care. It was 12 days or so of sadness for me. I tried to stay strong but you can never really prepare yourself for taking care of your parent in that capacity. She just got weaker and a few days before passing away she stopped talking. I remember her staring at the corner of the room with eyes void of any emotion that I could understand. The morphine was the only thing I could give her that I hopped would limit her suffering. I said the things I wanted to say and I hope she felt loved and cared for.

When I first got the news she was in the hospital I rushed there and was allowed in the ICU unit. My mother looked like a different person. I'd never seen her or anyone in that position; grasping for air but without her own conscious effort. Her chest would rise and fall quickly as if on autopilot. Her eyes were yellow and open, wide open but just looking straight up and her mouth dry and open. I asked the nurse if she could have something on her lips because they looked so dry. My initial thoughts were that she would not live more than a couple hours but the doctor said they're getting her fluids, antibiotics and whatever else is needed. Within a day mom started to come around, something that really surprised me considering how she looked just a day before.

Having been in a hospital bed dozens of times over the years she grew to dislike even being in a hospital at all. As a result she'd become quite vocal about her displeasure even to the point of cursing at staff, they somehow seemed unfazed by it. She demanded to go home and that's exactly what she did. She was done with the procedures and medicines she'd counted on for so many years. Mom left this world on her own terms as much as anyone could in her position.

The passing of my mother was difficult for me and my brother but our step father would be the one who would suffer the most. His partner of over 30 years was gone and there he was in the townhouse they shared just alone. We were there every day but it wasn't enough, his heart was broken and he was distraught. One week after mom passed away our step dad had two major strokes. He's not recovered from the strokes and is currently in a nursing type facility needing full time care. Unable to walk, talk with clarity, see straight or even bring a fork to his mouth he somehow manages to smile and laugh at times.

Even now it all seems unreal.

Death by Windshield

Over the summer a stone hit the lower left side of my windshield and made a small crack. I've had those before so I figured, "ah that sucks but I can get it repaired." You know those little parking lot set ups where they put some glue in it and bill your insurance? That shit works.

I was in between inspections so I stopped home, as I usually do, to complete a report before heading back out to another inspection. It was about a two hour delay between jobs. That's not much time but apparently it's enough time for that small crack to spread.

When I went back out to my truck I noticed the crack had moved from the lower left, up about six inches, back down and all the way over to the far left, what the hell? Later on I scheduled a windshield replacement but then while on my way home fro the last home inspection I realized I didn't even look out that side of the window, lower left corner so perhaps I could just deal with it and I did.

Forward to just last week and I was out waiting for the truck to warm up so I could be on my way. It's been unreasonably cold and snowy here this winter like arctic cold at times. They call it a Polar Vortex. I hate it. This morning as my windshield was defrosting I had the heat up to full blast then I heard a sound like ice splitting. The crack decided to take a turn and expand across the windshield stopping just short of fully reaching the far right side, shit.

I thought for a minute about how I might be able to still let it be but then I thought about driving in a heavy wind. Would the windshield fall in on me? Or how about when I drive into one of the automatic car washes where the brush climbs up the front and sides of your vehicle then the hurricane gust of wind pushes the water away, would my windshield fall in on me in the car wash? Then there's this. Around here a cop can pull you over for obstruction of view when you have something in your line of sight, like a cracked windshield.

The cost is $180.00 to replace, not bad. The cost of having to take my truck somewhere and not have it for the the lost fee's from not being able to take a couple inspections today.

That and my anxiety has returned with a vengeance.


Well hello old blog.

Been spending most of my time over on WordPress but I like this place too. It's an old blog and I like to read some of the early posts.

Life now...things are moving forward finally after the waiting game. Before long I won't have to worry about what could be or should be.

The Grind

Thinking back to when I was so looking forward to self employment I always pictured it to be a life of ease and harmony, anything but the bank. While I will say I am so much happier now than I was there I am finding myself looking forward to my days off lately, something that I have not experienced really in these four or so years since leaving the bank. Wow I can't believe it's been that long. It seems like just yesterday I would drag myself in and sit in front of the PC for hours surfing the entire internet day after day...whatever that's done now I need to stop comparing things to the bank. Why do I always do that?

So here I am now busy as hell and working day and night basically. The only time I worked more was at the factory (Sweepsters) and it's interesting that I still think about that place too. Actually I have dreams about that place once in a while and find myself working there again with the old crew. In my dreams I am always going back to the factory after a time away but nothing has changed and I am not sad to be there, it's almost like a reunion or a "coming home" where I belong type feeling. In the back of my mind I've always thought I could go back if nothing else worked out as if it was a safety. My departure was quick but not a lateral move at all as I left the place for a desk job but making less. I was only there for around three years but it seemed like much longer. Here I go again reminiscing about times past again.

Now I am REALLY self employed, yup that's right. I've passed that three year mark out on my own relying only on referrals, hard work, determination and a bit of luck I suppose. At first I really leaned on the "luck" part and really could not figure out how the work just keeps coming though I've always felt I did a thorough job and that by doing so I should make it. My philosophy has always been to hold fast to the idea that a thorough inspection with only the client's best interest in mind is what will build your business. Along the way there were times when I had doubts, as things slowed down a bit, but I learned too that's business. Sometimes it does slow down but now instead of going into panic mode I enjoy those times a bit more knowing that business will, has to, resume. These days, and for a long time, I am working a full load even turning work away consistently enough so that I have hired another inspector. That process is going slower than I hoped for but I am patient.

I suppose as with anything you do there comes a time when you get into sort of a rut and take things for granted, I'm good at doing that I know, but I do appreciate where I am in business. I have to think back to the long nights working at the bank wishing I was home or seeing my kids for only a short while before heading out the door to work. Now at least I am home each night although there are times when I wish I was not home but that's part of being a parent I guess.

Hmm boring blog but just some thoughts I wanted to put down here. Oh there's always vacations. I am heading up north at the end of this month and again the end of next month. 

Silverlake Sand Dunes

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A favorite vacation destination mostly for nostalgic reasons. My father would take us here when I was a kid. Last year I took my own boys on a trip up west Michigan all the way to the U.P. We stopped wherever we wanted, ate candy, rode go karts, played in the sand and water. It was an amazing vacation with so many memories that will last a lifetime. 

Favorite places

Yesterday I had some time to take a couple of the kids out to some of our favorite places in Ypsilanti. When we go to Ypsilanti we either go to Hidden Dragon restaurant for excellent traditional Chinese food which I'm glad all the kids but one likes. Or we head over to Sidetracks in Depot Town for great all American food. Really it's hard to pick my favorite but I tend to spend more time at HD. After eating we always go to the co-op for treats to be enjoyed down at the Riverside Park. Our trip yesterday was actually pretty nasty with a recent deposit of a couple inches of slush. Almost immediately our feet were soaked from walking in it but I was determined to make it to the bridge. My thought was once we got under the bridge it would be a littler dryer and it was even if just a little. We sipped on soda and ate pineapple for a few minutes before the cold got to us. One the way back to the truck Audrey fell but didn't drop the pineapple, what a champ. Next time I will be better prepared with boots, hats and gloves. Actually it would have been fun if we were dressed for it.

Frog Island Ypsilanti Michigan

Revived Blog

I've been neglecting this blog for a long time but today I read something that encouraged me to continue, something about recording your memories to help you remember them..something like that. So the problem is thinking of something to write because life is to be honest kind of boring right now. Day to day is for the most part the same, I get up at around 7ish to help get the kids off to school, get ready for a morning job, do a report before the afternoon job and eat dinner..sleep and just repeat. Of course there are those days when I might not have a job or only one job but I've dropped the ball recently with filling the time being productive. My intention is always to work out, go explore or just do something but often times I just don't. I've taken up a new favorite pass time of taking one or more of the kids to Hidden Dragon restaurant followed by a trip to the food co-op for organics and such. Those things are not a waste of time at all and in fact plan to do it tomorrow.

What I would like to do is start working out more but that seems to always be the case. Reading some of my earliest blogs I see that but still I fail to get in that regular routine. In a few short months I'm going on this 51 mile bike ride but right now I don't think I could so I need to get back at running or something. I would get the bike out and ride but there's snow and well other things like..just things.