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We Surrender…..

Well, we finally had to wave the white flag of surrender where the house is concerned. We met with our attorney today to discuss what needed to be done. It was rather easy to be honest. She was very kind and understanding and reassured us we were making the right decision. I held it together while we covered all the details and signed the paperwork. The attorney I spoke to a few weeks ago about this came in and introduced himself and talked about how difficult this decision must be and he was very kind as well….but that’s when the water works started.

I keep reminding myself how much better off we will be. How much stress will be off us. How we will be able to stay in Portland and it’s just a house……but at this very moment….right now…..it isn’t just a house. It’s the home we built during much happier times…..times that are so long gone….it’s just heartbreaking.

We chose everything in this home….tile floors because I knew we would have dogs and I didn’t want to worry about the kids spilling kool aid on the carpet….my fireplace that we used every winter while the kids decorated the Christmas tree, the perfect display for our family photos….Paul’s music room where gorgeous music would pour forth while I prepared a family meal…..the carefully selected kitchen that had all the cabinet and counter space 2 avid cooks could ever want…..parties, holidays, a place for friends to crash……finally harvesting tomatoes from last years garden after years of failure……my whirlpool bathtub where I have shed a tub full of tears this last year…..and we have to leave it all behind.

Honestly, I think this is less about losing the house and more about losing the life we had. Just another example of how the ideal life we once had is completely gone…..the days when we had successful careers, financial stability and most importantly, good health.  We struggled so hard for the last several years to hold onto this house. Scraping by, legal maneuverings, sacrificing….and to lose it all in the end is just devastating.  Just another thing I don’t get to keep….another loss….lost the business…..losing the house….losing my husband? Is that going to be my rock bottom?

It feels good to vent, get these things off my chest. It isn’t the end of the world. The benefits most assuredly make it worth it. I want my husband concentrating on getting well….not stressing out over making this mortgage payment. So tomorrow I will pick myself up, dry my tears and move on. God will continue to guide us on this journey and we will end up in a nice, safe home that I am sure we will enjoy…because we will be there together 🙂



Mother’s Day Was a Drag

I am going to keep this short and sweet…’cause I hate whiners…..but my Mother’s Day pretty much sucked….church was nice, we went early and by 10 am I was laying in the sun….something I NEVER do but I have been craving sunshine and outdoors….too much hospital/doctor office air I guess…..anyway, the day just went on and on and there was nothing…..I made my own lunch…..Paul cooked dinner, like he does several times a week, chicken on the grill….like we have on a regular basis…..nothing special…..

at 6:30 my daughter strolls in with her grandma…..with whom she spent saturday night and all day Sunday with…..she did have a cute make up bag for me which I really appreciated…..but the day was pretty much over by then……and the bottom line is she spent Mother’s Day with everyone BUT her mom…..so that conjures up awful feeling of how I am the inferior STEP mother and she really wishes she was living with her grandma anyway….blah, blah, blah……I have raised this child for 7 years……so yea…….that hurt…..

And my son…..he spent the day just like any other…..glued to the TV……and my husband spent it like any other day….glued to the computer……that boy should know better…..I will say, he offers to help me around the house every day….and that is the part that surprises me……I can’t believe he didn’t think to himself, “I’ll clean the house for mom” or wash her car or make her a card or SOMETHING…..but he didn’t……and he isn’t a baby anymore…..and that hurt….a lot…..

And it’s too late now……I sure as hell don’t want to see even a damn daisy at this point…….sometimes you don’t get a second chance and THIS is one of those times……

But I can’t stay mad at Paul…..the kids, yes……Paul, no…….he is always so sincere when he apologizes to me and he never makes excuses and he just takes all the blame…..how can you stay mad at that? And that’s the thing about my husband…..no one knows me so perfectly…..he may screw up from time to time….and it’s RARE let me tell you…..but he isn’t perfect of course…..but when he does screw up he handles it just perfectly…..he knows just the right things to say to make all my anger and hurt go away……and NO ONE has ever been able to do that with me……

So we came close to our first fight last night but no dice…….that just isn’t in our nature….and let’s face it….Paul is WAY too smart to get into a fight with ME!

Why am I so ANGRY??

I almost didn’t write this….I have labored for days trying to decide because #1 I don’t like to bitch….it really isn’t my nature….#2 I hate to bitch publicly about my family……I don’t air dirty laundry…PERIOD…..ask my mother, she will tell you! My divorce from my first husband caught everyone off guard because they had no idea anything was wrong…..because I just deal with it in my own house….and I am a pretty private person these days…..and I can’t stand people who just go on and on and on about how miserable their life is…..so I tend to go the other direction and not go into much detail at all….

Now that’s not to say I don’t have people I can talk to…..my mother has been my ROCK through this entire thing. Sadly, she went through the same experience with my beloved step-father almost 20 years ago….so she has “been there and done that” ……and I visit with a therapist through my church Methodist Health Ministries….it’s a good place for me to go and say all those things that you CAN’T say to someone you ‘know”…you know? ……

But even with all that…….I have been “bent out of shape” since Paul came home…….actually, I take that back……it didn’t start until late last week…..when things got “back to normal” for the children……that’s when things start to lax around here…..made a specific request “feed the dogs, now please” as I walked out the door Saturday night….come home several HOURS later…dogs fed? Of course not…..assign someone a load of towels…they wash them, dry them then leave them in the basket in the middle of the laundry room. Seriously, I want to CHOKE them…..

I mean, my kids aren’t BABIES….they are 17 and almost 13 for crying out loud! Am I expecting too much when I look at a destroyed kitchen and say to myself “no one could take 10 minutes to load this MESS into an empty dishwasher?” I sure as hell NEVER would have left something like that for my mother……

And it isn’t just that……it isn’t just the kids……a lot of it is me…..my stress level is through the roof and I just want everyone to sit down and shut the hell up so I can take care of my husband…..that’s all I want……just BEHAVE for Christ’s sake……Keep your GRADES up….I am spending $150 a MONTH on ADHD meds for 3 F’s…..yea, that makes mom pretty happy…..

And we just lost Paul’s unemployment benefits……so yea……we are really under a lot of pressure to get Little Dog Entertainment back up and running.  That’s a whole other blog post in itself…..the downsizing of LolaBelle’s Treats and pouring our energies into LDE. But again….pressure…..Pressure…..PRESSURE>>>>>>>>>>

I suppose all of this is normal……but damn……it’s intense…….



So after I wrote this blog post I had a sit down with the kids and they seemed to get it…..there were lots of offers to help….a few excuses…which I made very clear I don’t want to hear anymore…..and a general “let’s all work together” feel to the entire thing. Hopefully that will get them back on track otherwise I made it clear I was going to “shut their shit down” (that translates to: Mom will TAKE your COOL STUFF like your stereo and video games unless…)

I hate to admit it but I have gone almost militant around here. I don’t give them 50 million things to do but the 2 or three chores I DO assign I expect to be done…..and not done half ass either……

The bottom line is if I want this house to continue to run smoothly….I am going to have to do it…..manage it I mean…..I don’t want Paul worrying about anything other than getting better……

Settling In…..

Paul is doing really well. He is settling in nicely and had a great nights sleep last night. He is also napping some today. I think his body is finally starting to realize he is home 🙂 He has spent his time surfing, working on The Producers score, watching the movie with Rachel 😀 and just taking it easy over all.

He is eating well…things like crackers and peanut butter, yogurt and I made baked chicken with rice and green beans and he ate all of that! Of course, his portions are SIGNIFICANTLY smaller. He and I split the chicken breast. Pre-surgery he would have had a whole one…if not two! There is a reason I call him Big Daddy! ha ha! But those days are over….and that’s ok. If there is a silver lining in this is its we will be much healthier as a family.

The problem Paul and I have is we view cooking and eating as entertainment. We get all excited to try a new recipe….well, I get excited anyway!….Paul goes at it more like a man on a mission. He likes hunting down the perfect, freshest ingredients and using all kind of pots and pans and new and interesting seasoning combinations…..sometimes he is very serious about his cooking….for example, his last real meal was his favorite, corned beef brisket. Now, he didn’t  buy the ready packed one at HEB with all the seasonings in it….Noooooo….not Paul Klemm. He made it from SCRATCH! It took 10 DAYS to make it and so help me God it was one of the most incredible things I ever ate….and I am not a big fan of corned beef…..so that gives you an idea of the scope of culinary love and talent we have here! <3…….we both really enjoy our culinary successes…..and if I may say….we are good……REALLY good…..so it’s been very easy to over indulge……and it’s been a “ton of fun”…literally! rofl! ….But the Party in Portland is over…..and that’s ok 🙂

I have managed to lose 50 pounds more than ONCE in my life so I know how to do it. You can’t tell to look at me now but I used to work for Jenny Craig! So fortunately, both Paul and I are educated enough to know WHAT we need to do and now we are FORCED to do it. And the timing is really perfect. I have been enjoying a Zumba class for about 2 months now and I am dancing my ass off at Full Monty rehearsals so we are going to embrace our new lifestyle and come out the other side of this experience looking FABULOUS!! Ha ha! How about THAT!?!

Besides, we already have a jump on it with both of us seeing significant weight losses so far…..and truth be told, Paul is really looking good…..I mean I see nice muscle definition, he looks so much thinner in the face, his color is good…..I can’t believe I am going to say this….but he actually looks HEALTHIER to me than he did before his surgery! So I view that as a good sign that we are getting the bad out so the good can flourish!

Thanks you all for the many prayers, love and support we have received from our beloved family and friends! You are all a true testament that our God provides for us! And His works are done through your hands and my family is so grateful and are so blessed!

Ladies and Gentlemen…Start Your Ovens!

He is home! He is Home! HE IS HOME!!!!!!!

Paul arrived home last night around 6pm courtesy of our good friend Margot! She just happened to be in the area yesterday and offered Paul a ride home if he were to be discharged Tuesday, which he was, so an angel of God delivered my husband right to my front door! He looks great and we are still all amazed at the progress he is making!

I filled a prescription for Tylenol 3 (believe it or not, it’s enough!), served him some homemade beef noodle soup I had made and frozen before we left then I scooted off to Full monty rehearsal. But before I left, I had the pleasure of giving him his dog back.

Paul and I are dog people…..SERIOUS dog people……so separation from his beloved Lola was difficult but they both endured and I was witness to one of the sweetest reunions ever! All the dogs were outside so we could get him in and settled without total puppy chaos. After greeting the children and getting him all settled in on the couch with pillows over his tummy, I brought in just Lola. That little dog was QUIVERING with excitement but was so incredibly calm and gentle. I gently set her down on the pillows and she sniffed all over his face and gave him little kisses. She didn’t jump and get over excited …. she was as perfect as always! She did insist on licking his head (like she ALWAYS does!) and snuffled in his ear several times which we all know sends that a delightful shiver down your spine and makes a grown man giggle! It was darling!

So he ate very well and got a decent nights sleep last night and looks pretty refreshed this morning. There is no doubt in my mind his healing with begin to accelerate even more being able to sleep in his own bed and eat normal food and have his family with him.

Now LOTS of people have asked about food….what can Paul eat…his doctors said he needs to be on a Low Fat, Low Salt Cardiac Diet. Click the link for specific menu items. It’s really pretty basic. He can eat just about anything just lay off the spices and especially the salt. Low fat so no fried foods. Also NO RAW FRUITS OR VEGGIES at the moment. He has already eaten and tolerated eggs, breads, mashed potatoes, cooked carrots, beef noodle soup, pop tart, fish, chicken…..so like I said, he can eat just about anything but it all has to be cooked. It’s really a relief since they told us to be prepared for him to be on a liquid diet so we were ready with Carnation Instant Breakfast so this is WAY better than THAT! 😀

Like we said, Paul feels pretty good and is definitely up for phone calls and visitors! Just call before coming by please in case he (WE! lol!) is napping 😀

Mom’s Home!!!

I made it back yesterday around 3pm……leaving him behind in that hospital…that just felt totally wrong…..we have a “no man left behind” kind of attitude here in our family and it just……let’s just say I am glad it’s only for 24 hours.

Of course there were lots of sloppy puppy kisses and hugs and a few tears when we all reunited. My home was clean and neat and there wasn’t even a DISH in the SINK! I was so proud of them and it appears everyone held up pretty well. I have some concerns about my daughter but I prefer to leave those private……I worry about her so much…..this sweet child loses her mother to cancer at age 9 and now she has to watch her father go through this too? My heart breaks for her every day…..over and over……but she is doing MUCH better than we expected but there are just a few things I am keeping a special watch over…..I am such the mother hen……

So we got to spend some time together, the children and I, until it was time for me to go to my first dance rehearsal for The Full Monty! I had missed the entire first week of rehearsals but am confident I can catch up! Since my character Jeanette doesn’t show up until the end of the first act it looks like I might also get to play a dancer getting a lesson early in the show! There will be random couples dancing while Debra sings “Life with Harold” , one of my favorite songs! Cyndi’s choreography is terrific and with some practice we are going to look GREAT! And it was so nice to see so many friends and get hugs and I didn’t break down and cry once! It really recharges my soul!

Even though the house looks great, we still have food (I am SHOCKED!) and I am forever grateful to my incredible mother in law for the kid care services, it’s easy to see “Mom’s HOME”. I was greeted with ride requests, $ requests (of course) “I need this from the store”, “Mom I forgot my band uniform!” at 7:30 AM….thanks Daniel!

 (-_-) …..*SIGH*………..Mom’s Home………

You know, the part I didn’t anticipate was how much my body would hurt…..physically……I mean, I feel like I have been run over by a truck….and this was BEFORE the dance lesson! ha ha ha! The dancing actually helped me feel BETTER! But I wasn’t really prepared for what spending 12-14 hours in a hospital room for 7 straight days would mean….they had a lot of construction at the hospital and I would thank God every morning for the gorgeous weather for my one mile hike thru barriers and fences to get to the hospital entrance….

San Antonio reminds me so much of home….Cincinnati….and it comes with better weather! Here on the Gulf Coast it’s flat…now we have gorgeous palm trees and beautiful water but I always enjoy the rolling hills and huge oak trees of San Antonio. And I relished every walk to and from the truck…..because hospital air sucks……it makes me tired and it’s so artifical…it has to be of course….but it isn’t natural to be in that environment for so long without breathing in fresh air…..you just can’t believe the difference you feel sucking that into your lungs the minute you hit the doors….it’s like my body was desperate for it……but I have never been very comfortable in hospitals over all…..but that is changing….

So not only does the air suck but, for me anyway, I have muscle soreness all over. I have this habit of tensing up when I get nervous. After a few minutes I will realize it and relax but then minutes later I will be doing it again…..unconcious habit…..toss in the fact that I am handling IV’s and tubes and plugging things in and out and helping him in and out of bed has left me feeling like I fell down a flight of stairs…..missing 2 weeks of my Zumba class didn’t help either and a hotel with no workout facilities….I can’t imagine what I would have felt like if I hadn’t been taking those classes for the last two months…..

But I am home now and Paul is right behind me! Provided no fever shows up, he is scheduled to be released today!! He really progressed over the weekend and shaved 2 more days off his anticipated release date! Such the over achiever! Even better it looks like he is HITCHING a ride home to see his girl! My good friend Margot, who came and sat with me while Paul had his surgery, happens to be in the area today and said she would be happy to bring him home and save me the TRIP!! Can you believe? God is so good to send these wonderful people into our life to help us out! At almost $4/gal (WTH??!!) for gas we appreciate the ride!!

I will be really happy to get him home. He is going to heal even FASTER being able to sit on the back porch with his little dog by his side…..or working at his desk and listening to his music on his stereo……it’s just a better environment for healing…….and then I can relax……a little…….

I’m Turning Into My Mother……

and I am ok with that! 

For those that don’t know, my mom and I are tight…..VERY tight……I am an only child and even though we have had a few rough years (who doesn’t?) we are closer today than we have ever been…..

There is one thing that my mother taught me, which is probably my favorite thing she taught me, and that’s how to love.  My mom and dad divorced when I was 13 and she remarried the love of her live when I was about 18. I spent my early adult years being witness to a couple who was crazy about each other…..who still looked at each other 10 years later like they had the day they married…..who cuddled and touched and kissed and hugged and called each other pet names….seriously….it was disgusting……and I would spend the next 20 years looking and longing for that very same thing…..

I knew what I wanted….a man who adored me like Doc adored my mother….a man who would hold my face in his hands and look into my eyes and tell me he loved me more than life itself…..and man who I would catch looking at me across a room with love in his eyes…..

and I found it…..

She/they taught me to cherish every moment together……and not to get annoyed at the little things…..and to embrace his charming little quirks….and not to be afraid to love with all my heart…..

As I walk into this hospital every morning and say hello to my sweetheart….I hear my mother’s voice….full of cheer and love and hugs and cuddles……and I love the fact that I love just like her……

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