Updating the Cabin for Dad to Stay

Now that dad’s happy at the cabin, and :: gasp :: dating!

Looking at installing a stairlift. And a bath lift. Getting housekeepers. Even finding doctors in the area. Wow!

We sold the other lot so that he could afford some things for the cabin and up here. Yes, I miss that lot. That was my lot. It’s the one I loved. With the flat area, and bit of a meandering inlet to the lake, lots of trees, pretty trees, … but that’s over now. Someone else is building on it. Ah, well. Proof that not all dreams can come true.

But this post is about dad, so, back to that.

He’s happy. Every time I talk with him. It’s wonderful. It’s amazing. It’s beautiful.

It’s been a very, very long time since I’ve heard him this happy. Of course last time it was with mom. When I was young. Like I said, it’s been a long time. Hopefully they were at least that happy when I wasn’t around to see it. A lot.

This cabin was their dream retirement spot. They designed it themselves. Now he’s updating it for himself. He’s learning to make it all his own. And he’s trying to make his life his own.

This is very hard for him. And I’m very proud of him. I’m happy if he’s happy, and he seems really happy, so I’m happy.

Dad & Jim in TN

One of dad’s best friends for the past several decades is a motor cycle riding, tool & die, and guitar playing roughneck dude who loves to pretend he’s both god’s gift to whatever the conversation is about, and that he’s some of kind of “bad ass”.

Yes, the area is gorgeous. Jim loved the music room and thought the place was gorgeous. However, he discovered that he was definitely not the best guitar player ever. This was a major problem for him. He spent a great deal of time trying to justify why he actually was better. When he couldn’t, Jim declared he was bored and it was time to come back home.

Dad stayed here for about a week, remembered how much he didn’t like winter, and then headed back to the cabin.

That’s when he discovered that his best bud hit on some of the married women. That are dad’s friends. As are their husbands.

The really good news is that these friends recognize that the problem lies with Jim, not my father, and the cabin-area friendships have stayed in place. Not so much with the long-time friend.

See, mom never liked Jim. Then it occurred to us that just maybe he’d made moves on her. Given her personality, she’d never tell dad, likely out of fear that dad would get very upset, and some physical stuff might happen. Charges might occur, and so on. Yeah, she could be a bit paranoid, but hey, she grew up in a fear-based home, so it only made sense that she would be, too.


Which takes us to our next post …

Catching Up is Hard to Do … Again

Hello, readers!

Sorry for the VERY long delay in writing. So much going on, mostly good.

You’re about to see a lot of stuff to hopefully catch y’all up.

Short versions:

  1. Dad went to the cabin with his friend for a couple weeks, then brought his friend back up north, stayed here back for a week, and then travelled back to the cabin. And maybe kinda sorta has a girlfriend.
  2. Tons of things happening to make the house more “old fart” friendly. Meanwhile, now that he’s staying at the cabin more, he’s also converting that to be “old fart” friendly.
  3. The roof’s been redone (I think that was already posted?), the siding’s been done (also already posted?), and the air conditioning’s been fixed (broken when the siding was done; also written about?).
  4. Alex is in the process of moving out. Thank goodness he’s planning to come back for a bit when my surgery/surgeries happen later this year, and probably next year.
  5. There’s been some health stuff … panic attack in the MRI, left shoulder fell out of the socket, lots of PT, new doctors, dental challenges, and so on.
  6. Spring has sprung, and I need gardening help because, well, I can’t physically do it. Probably going to have to get professional help this year to make things look as nice as I’d like.
  7. Jr’s doing better, but clearly the dentist’s eff-up took some time off the puppy’s life, making each day both precious and precarious.
  8. Work has had some specialer challenges.
  9. The finances are finally getting settled from all the years off of work or being under-employed, and then being effed over by the disability insurance carrier last year.
  10. Haven’t had much time to help Lauren help me sell stuff on-line, so all this crap is still eating precious space, and not bringing in the desired cash.
  11. Including all these old photos. Had a buyer, but then there are so many that the company’s owner can’t figure out a price. I’m like, buy what you know about now, and we’ll figure out the rest later but hey. Anyway. Looking for new buyers for those, too.

There you are, all caught up-ish. Look for full articles for more details coming soon!

The Nature Physique — Book Review

Today’s book review is called The Nature Physique, The Amazonian Warrior Workout by Braeden Baade, available on Kindle.

Wish I’d come across this 25 years ago!

Unfortunately, I’m too arthritic to do most of the exercises nowadays.

If you’re still healthy enough to squat and jump, have good shoulders, and a healthy back, this exercise regimen will probably work for you.

However, I have very little knee cartilage, torn rotator cuffs, two broken bones in my spine, and arthritis in all of these areas and more.

All that being said, it’s well laid out, has some great salad recipes, and links to videos showing the correct ways to perform the exercises.

All in all, I could physically do about a quarter of the exercises to some degree, and no modifications other than “do less” was covered. For example, if you can’t squat, it says to work your way up to it. Ok, that’s good advice, but what other ways can the same muscles be targeted if my bones are scraping together?

The good news is that the equipment needs are minimal, basically, some resistance bands and your own body weight. Meaning if your body is up to the challenge, it’s pretty to easy to do these workouts just about anywhere.

As an added bonus, the pictures are lovely, and for once, the inspirational sayings actually are inspiring instead of the usual warm fuzzy, be a good girl tripe.

In short, I recommend it for the positive, woman-power feels and food ideas even if you can’t do many of the exercises, especially at such a nice, low price point.


Don’t Let the Really Big News Stories Blind You

A local school system just settled by giving a family almost $700k for a teacher locking a younger, smaller, disabled boy into the office with an older boy who routinely sexually abused him. The teacher told the courts that this younger disabled boy had “consented” to this. The judge, thank goodness, tossed that back into the teacher’s stupid face.

So I mentioned that I know a neighborhood girl (yes, I really do know several), who’s stated a teacher in the same district is acting inappropriately toward her. She hasn’t told her parents. I don’t know the teacher’s name. She was merely asking for advice.

I said that this is a big issue the adults really need to handle for her, and to let her parents know. Oh, and here’s an app that will help you prove he’s doing this, and it’ll only look like you put your hand in your pocket.

Now I got some dumbass telling me I should be ashamed of myself for not doing something about it. Really? Like what?

This neighbor tells me it’s my civic duty to go to the girl’s school, obtain her schedule, figure which are the male teachers, and accuse at least one.

Yes, sexual abuse of a minor is deplorable, at best.

Yes, the guilty must be punished, preferably in a jail with real criminals who will help him understand the true difference between consent and coercion.

But, let me make this very, very, very clear …

If you don’t know who the perpetrator is, and the victim is unwilling to tell the adults who legally have authority to look into the matter, you do not have the right to break the law or re-victimize someone just because you happen to think you know what’s best.

Maybe you’re right. But if you don’t have a single fact, chances are pretty slim. Even more so if it’s outside your locus of control.

How would this same person feel if I did this to her daughter? If I went to her daughter’s school, obtained her daughter’s schedule without the mother’s permission, and made seemingly wild accusations about any teacher who happens to be male?

At a minimum, I’m betting this mother would be outraged that someone outside the family would even try to do this. She may even sue the school for letting me do it, and press charges against me because I took the onus upon myself to “do my civic duty” without any real information. She may even rail my name in the news because I interfered into her daughter’s life and the family’s private matters.

Yes, this is a terrible situation. Yes, I wish I could fix it for her.

There are many excellent reasons why I can’t. And shouldn’t.

It is especially important to be an adult now, and act rationally, even though every fiber of me wants to rip someone to shreds.

People, if you truly want to help, figure out how to put safeguards in place so this doesn’t happen. Ensure victims have safe places and people available to tell their stories to.

But first, do no (more) harm.

This, above almost any other issue many normal adults have to deal with in their lifetimes, absolutely must be handled legally and with respect to the victim and family.

Give the victim realistic advice. Not just go tell the principal. Clearly the school system doesn’t give a shit. It went on for a year while the child and his family brought it up several times.

I know that it seems like a lot of the laws protect the guilty. They’re actually there to protect the innocent. We’re now seeing way too many instances where the person found guilty gets incarcerated, maybe even on death row, really was innocent. Years, maybe even decades later, the innocent person is exonerated and set free. Meanwhile the guilty party was out there getting away with murder, assault, and so on.

A few hundred years ago, we weren’t packed in like sardines. It was a lot easier to say it’s more important to let the guilty go free than to call the wrong man guilty. But the weapons weren’t as powerful. The number of people packed into any space (except slaves’ quarters, which was also and still is a crime against humanity) made it difficult to harm more than a few at a time, and those times were likely spread across months or years, rather than days, or even hours or minutes.

The laws haven’t kept up with the capability to do great harm.

But that doesn’t mean it’s up to me to show blatant disregard to someone who trusts me, further victimize her when she’s at her most fragile, and do so without the permission of her or those legally responsible for her wellbeing.

What is up to me is to make sure I provide a safe place for her to talk, and repeatedly encourage her to seek assistance from the people who really can help. I cannot make her do anything because I am not legally responsible for her. Not can I do anything “for” her, because I am not her guardian.

I can’t even hug or hold her because then I could be seen as the creeper. Any lawyer would pick that apart in a heartbeat … well of course you want the family to accuse the teacher, to withdraw attention from yourself.

Now I can’t even be a decent human being, all because the real assholes know how to get away with it for their own nefarious reasons, whereas I don’t because I want to do is make things better.

Too bad there are so many vigilantes who’d rather make things worse instead of solve the problem. Let’s just accuse a male teacher! Someone must pay!

Um, no. The guilty person must pay. And only the guilty person. Not the person who held out a helping hand, not the victim’s family, and most definitely not the victim.

Don’t allow yourself to get so outraged by these new stories that you become part of the problem. Use these stories to guide your actions to make things better.

And most importantly, stop being a dumbass who thinks you have all the answers, because you don’t.

Dad says 🦆 a lot when …

Macs have this very helpful feature that normally works quite well and actually is helpful. It automatically adds folks to the auto-complete options IF they EVER appeared in a mail message to or from you (such as hitting Reply All when a friend sends something funny or politically enticing, etc.).

Totes has Dad WT🦆ing like crazy.

Because he had no clue who this one person was, he’d hit space, which auto-completes and adds the person to the To list, so he starts typing again, 🦆s, hits space, starts typing again … I think he ended up with 20+ on there. Of the same person he doesn’t know. Or doesn’t know he knows. Or something like that.

It was so messed up, I selected and cut all from the body, closed and didn’t save the draft, started a new message, and pasted the stuff back in.

Of course he was totally miffed when everything got erased, and then calmed down when he saw it magically reappear.

On the one hand, this really is a very helpful feature. Most of the time.

On the other, it’d really help if the Mac was smart enough to think, golly, this address is already on there, maybe I can stop suggesting it now and pic someone else that the user might mean.

It is, after all, a Mac. People such as myself have become accustomed to someone using Design Thinking and good UX so that I never have to think about how to use stuff. It just works. Well, worked. With Jobs gone for good and Woz not really involved anymore, there’s no one to be the user-advocate. Sure Jobs could be a jerk. But he was the boss and he usually right, and Apple customers got spoiled.

Don’t Should on Me (or Yourself)

Don’t Should on Me

“You should be grateful” …

  • That I did this thing for you
  • For how easy your life is
  • Because you’re <pretty, rich, smart, talented, or any other “enviable” descriptor>

First and foremost, stop shoulding all over me. That should is all you, it’s your should … own it.


Merriam-Webster Defines Should

1 — used in auxiliary function to express condition, if he should leave his father, his father would die—Genesis 44:22 (Revised Standard Version)

2 —used in auxiliary function to express obligation, propriety, or expediency

’tis commanded I should do so —William Shakespeare

this is as it should be —H. L. Savage

you should brush your teeth after each meal

3 —used in auxiliary function to express futurity from a point of view in the past

realized that she should have to do most of her farm work before sunrise —Ellen Glasgow

4 —used in auxiliary function to express what is probable or expected with an early start, they should be here by noon

5 —used in auxiliary function to express a request in a polite manner or to soften direct statement

I should suggest that a guide … is the first essential —L. D. Reddick

— past tense of shall

Did you happen to notice the level of negativity in each example? While “should” is supposed all about softening a statement (5), express adherence to norms or best practice (2, 3), set expectations (1, 3, 4), our colloquial uses often extend “should” to express judgement or manipulate emotions.

Time and again, I’ve heard foreigners use it in the intended nice manner. Many Americans, however, use it to sound nice while being mean, or even cruel.

How many times does the word should come with a punishment? How frequently is it used to blame someone for being in an undesirable state such as poor or victimized?

‘You should’ve done your homework. You’re grounded until …”, “You’re getting spanked because you should have …”, or even “She should’ve known this would happen, dressing like that all the time / walking alone.”

You Should Be Grateful…

Now let’s explore the statements at the top of this post, You should be grateful…”

“you should be grateful that I did this thing for you.”

Um … huh?

  • Did I ask you to do it? Did you save my dog’s life or stop the house from sliding into a wormhole?
  • Do you trust me to be thankful?
  • Do you trust me to get it done?
  • Are the victim of my inability to take care of the thing?

Maybe I had a plan. And maybe you just totally messed that up and now I have to go undo or fix that thing you just shoulded on me about.

Or maybe I would’ve been genuinely grateful had you simply said, “hey, I noticed the dog was still outside and asking to come in while you were downstairs doing laundry, so I let him in.”

Chances are pretty good that I’d respond with something like, “oh jeez. Thank you! Things took a lot longer down there than I thought they would and I totally forgot.”

But now that you’ve made it about measuring duck sizes because you’ve done something and felt the need to be recognized for the great job you’re doing at taking care of my life, well, I’m a lot less likely to say thank you, and may well just happen to remind you that my uterus is bigger than your manly parts will ever be by either pointing out your childish ploy or ask a question or two in the hopes that you’ll pick up on the utter lack of grace or manners you’ve chosen to display.

So, yeah, keep your shoulds to yourself. And if you happen to should all over someone, including yourself, ask yourself why you feel the need to do that.

You might be surprised by how much baggage you’re still carrying from controlling, abusive, or narcissistic family members. Or that you forgot just how small your locus of control actually is. Or one of a million other reasons I “should” know but don’t 😜.

What’s the baggage, assumption, or judgment behind your shoulds?

About That Judgment or Superiority Thing

Anytime someone tells me I “should” do something, my first reaction isn’t something like, “Wow! You’re right! I’m so glad you know how to run my life and deigned to share that with me today!”

Actually, it’s more like, “wow, you sure assume a lot and have an overdeveloped control streak,” or “judgmental much?”

Similarly, I see my telling you what you “should” do is like me saying, “hey, you suck at life and need my amazing wisdom … in fact, you ain’t sh-t if you don’t take my advice.”

What’s utterly hilarious to me is how indignant folks get when the inherent, underlying judgment is pointed out to them. Or better yet, how oblivious they are to their own assumptions about understanding all the facets of my situation well enough to know the one correct course of action.

Or another favorite is when they approve so much that I took their shouldy actions before our conversation even happened. Like I’m a puppy in training who needs their love and approval to survive.

But the absolute best is how peeved they get when the actions I’ve taken are either superior to their recommendation or show that I’ve thought through the actions more than they can even dream to do. Here again, mainly because I have knowledge of the full situation and they don’t.

Do I welcome input? Absolutely! I ask for it all the time. I also trust myself enough to know that I’ll find a way to make the best out of whatever comes out of my chosen actions.

It’s not that I’m smarter than the person shoulding all over me. In fact, chances are pretty good that I’m not.

No, the real difference is that the only person’s judgment of me that matters is my own … I have to live with the benefits and fallout of my actions. And I’ll probably ask for several opinions and do some research before making a decision.

And then I’ll do what I believe is the best course of action … not because it’s what someone said I should do. It may not even be what I want to do.

If it later turns out to not be the best course, I have sufficient self-confidence to know that I did the best I could with the tools, resources, and information available to me at that time.