About Me

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Watkinsville, Georgia, United States
We lost my beautiful wife of 20 years on 9/12/07. Lisa was my world she was my everything and now she is gone. We are learning to live without Lisa now. I say we because I am not alone. My children are stuck in this mess with me. These are my notes, my vent, my way of letting you all know that we are doing well (some days). This is for myself, my friends and my family that want to know how we are doing and what we are up to. Along the way I hope this might also help someone else who has been dealt a similar hand.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


One holiday down and one to go.  All I need to do is get New Years behind me and I am good to go for a while when it comes to Holidays.  The main task laying ahead of me at this point is returns and exchanges.  I am caught up on all the house work and other chores so this is pretty much it.  That is except for Matt's bathroom...  I have been putting this off for as long as I can but I don't think it can be put off much longer.  There are things growing in that bathroom that Lisa would have loved to study.  After all, she was a science teacher.  There are things in that bathroom that I have never seen before but I am sure most of it can be killed with a couple applications of bleach or Tilex!  I have found that Tilex can kill just about anything up to and including small animals.

Now if I can just get that little turd out of the bed, we can hit the stores before things get too crazy.  My plan is to complete as many exchanges and or returns as we can before the masses come out.  I suppose the only things worse than shopping for gifts is completing returns and exchanges.

Maybe I'll bring a bottle of Tilex for a defensive weapon!

Wish me luck people.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

I know I have not wrote much the last week or so.  I am fine...I have just been busy with the run up to Christmas.
We just got back from Callaway Gardens and it is Christmas Eve.

I am missing Lisa very much and don't have much to say...

Merry Christmas to all my wonderful friends and family.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Surprise Factor

As much as I would like to avoid Christmas, the kids won’t let me. For the past three Christmases they have insisted that we put up a tree and decorate the house.

That first Christmas was the worst… I almost imploded and gave up at more than one point along the way. Yet, I plowed on through it and we made it happen. Last year was not much better but was still not as traumatic. This year has been a bit easier and I have no doubt that as the years creep on by, it will become somewhat less difficult each time it rolls back around.

The kids, in particular Matt, refuse to let me off the hook for much when it comes to Christmas. I know there is no Santa and they know it too. Matt, nevertheless, asked me to not put out all the gifts. He said that I need to keep some back under a blanket in my closet. “That’s how mom did it” he tells me. I have not heard that phrase in a while.

He still wants to be able to get up on Christmas day and see a surprise pile of gifts that have miraculously appeared under the tree. I suppose in his mind that while he knows there is no Santa, that surprise pile of gifts gives him some sort of hope that maybe he is wrong.

I don’t blame him. I miss getting a few surprises myself. Lisa was a great gift giver. It was like she could read your mind and find just the thing you actually wanted. In all actuality, it’s not the gifts I miss. What I really miss is knowing that someone is there that cares enough about me to find just what I wanted. When I get up on Christmas morning, I know that there will be no surprises for me from Lisa. There will be no box tucked away in back of that pile that she will pull out and hand me. There will be no hand holding or snuggling on the couch as the kids rip open their gifts. There will be no us, just me…

I guess that’s my depressing thought for the day…

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dough Boy

I used to give Lisa a lot of crap for not being a better cook.  I always thought that it was due to the fact that she really did not care about food.  She could have cared less about food… In fact, her view was that food was a pain in the rear.  It was a pain to shop for it, it was a pain to prepare and it was a pain to clean up.  She never found comfort in food and seemed to only eat because her body would not have it any other way.

On the other hand there’s me… I love food.  Food is my friend.  I have a pallet that is excited by flavors of all different kinds of food.  Simply put I like to eat… However, I like to eat good food. Not fast food, not bagged food, not boxed food…
I also have a bit of a sweet tooth and enjoy a little something sweet after dinner.  Just a cookie or two will usually suffice.  Due to this, over the years I have consumed my share of the mass produced dry and crumbly store bought cookies.  I would from time to time ask Lisa to make cookies, Toll-House cookies to be exact.  The kind mom used to make when we were growing up.  It seemed every time I asked Lisa for them, she would laugh at me.  She would walk off laughing.  Not some wimpy laugh either.  She had this full laugh that came from the depths of her being.  It drove me crazy when she did that to me.  She would just keep laughing as she walked off.

So, last night it was my turn.  I decided I was going to make Toll-house cookies.  Not the kind you find in the refrigerated section of the local grocery store.  The real kind with lots of butter and extra nuts.  I even found a recipe that suggested increasing the flour by fifty percent in order to have a fuller more cake like cookie.  That’s the kind I like…

Everything went pretty well except for one tiny thing.  When they say add the flour to the butter, eggs and sugar slowly, they really mean very, very slowly.  Here’s the thing, I used the big Kitchen-Aid mixer that sits on our counter and for the most part just collects dust.  All was going well… I mixed the sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla extract as per the directions.  What you wind up with at this point is a somewhat fluffy paste.  As things progressed I found that if I turned up the speed on the mixer the fluffy paste looked better and seemed to have a better texture.  I was at about half power when I figured that the mixture was good to go and it was time to start adding the flour.

Since its kind of difficult to pour the flour straight from the bowl into the mixer while it is running, I figured I would just use a big spoon.  I also figured since the directions said add it slowly, a spoonful at a time would be my best bet.  The first couple of spoonfuls were not too much of a problem.  However, on about the third spoonful I guess the mixture had not had time to absorb the previously added flour completely.  Not to mention, I decided to add a great big heaping spoonful and had turned the mixer up to about three quarter full power.  As I added that big heaping spoonful of flour, I guess I got my spoon a bit too close to the mixing blade.  The blade caught the spoon and the whole mess quickly became a cloud of flour dust.  It was kind of a perfect storm in the cookie making process I suppose.  While things started to unravel a bit from there, I quickly figured out that the mixture really needs time to completely absorb each addition of flour before it can safely and without consequences take on more and more flour.

I quickly rebounded and finished up the process and cleaned up the mess.  The cookies were delicious and Matt thought that I was some kind of super hero.  He said that it had been so long since he had tasted real homemade cookies that he had forgotten how good they were.  Matt finished up his cookies and as he walked out of the kitchen he said that I should consider making some peanut butter cookies.  I just couldn’t help myself, I just laughed at him and turned and walked away.

Sometimes, things become a lot clearer when you when you are forced to look at life through someone else’s eyes…

Friday, December 11, 2009

Little Miss Can't Be Wrong

One of the last things that I think I need to teach my kids is how to be financially mature.  While I believe it may be one of the last things, I think it’s one of the most important.  Even with the world that we live in today.  A world that seems to think that it is owed something and if you get in trouble, so what, someone will come and bail you out.

That’s what I am struggling to help "baby girl" understand at this point.  I have over the past year or so, found that my constant hovering and advise in this area has been seen as just a nuisance.  Every time I’ve spoken on this topic I can see her eyes roll back in her head and then I know what I will hear next.  I know that I will hear that dreaded comment.  The one that has haunted me since middle school “I know daddy”.  That statement cuts me to the bone and sends chills up my neck.  That comment just drives me up the stinking wall “I know daddy”.  Well if you know, why do I have to talk about it so dang much??

So I stopped…  I finally gave in and let her run free without adult supervision.  Go little one, go spend freely… Show me how smart you are… show me how superbly you can swipe that little plastic card through the scanners at Target, Wal-Mart, Bulldog Sports and every fast food joint from Watkinsville to Milledgeville.  Show me how you “I know daddy”!

So how did that work out?  Not so fricking well…  I looked yesterday for the first time in about a month and found that her spending had spiraled out of control.  I think her shopping is her new hobby or even her drug or choice.

Seriously sweet heart, Target called and wants to know if you would like them to set a sleeping cot for you in the stockroom!!  Since you have basically lived there for the last month, why not??

Anyhow, I digress… 

We have had a couple of text conversations and one or two not so cordial discussions.  The crying is over and she is ready to sit down and talk about how to get this under control.  She’s a smart girl and I saw this coming so I am ready.  Tonight we will have dinner and talk.  I am armed with plenty of experience and patients.  I think I will start with the Need vs. Want lecture and see how things go from there.  As for me, I am going to sit down and read “Rich Dad Poor Dad” this weekend and garner some much needed guidance for myself.  Wish me luck as she truly inherited her Mothers stubbornness and tenacity.  Fine traits to have at times, but this is not one of those times!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I am totally bummed out… I missed super club again! That appointment I had last night ran over, way over... This is the only social event that I have. It’s the only place that I go and can be surrounded by adults and forget about everything for a little while. Other than church, it’s the only thing I do just for me. It’s my own fault and I can’t blame anyone else. When I made the appointment I just assumed that I would be able to finish in time to get to the dinner. Once again my lack of skills in balancing my schedule and not biting off more than I can chew came back to haunt me. To top it off, I had to deal with roommate drama from baby girl.

I wish I could start yesterday all over again!

Well, I suppose if I could do that I would go back to September 12th 2007 and lock Lisa in the house for the day. Unfortunately, there are no do over’s or mulligan’s in the real world. So, I suppose Ill stop winning and move on. After all, there is always next month for super club.

This has made me think about a few things, however. I think my new year’s resolution will be to find more to do for ME. I don’t know what that will be but I have to find something. Maybe I can find a woodworker’s club or take a class of some kind. Hey, maybe I should look for a class that teaches flower arranging? I might meet an interesting woman that might want to tutor me in the fine art of flower arraignments. Nah, with my luck they will all be 70 years old and/or married. I don’t know what to do but I know I need to do something. Missing dinner last night and knowing how that has made me feel tells me that I need to start taking care of me as much as I have been taking care of the kids. It takes me back to a divorced lady that I know. We had a discussion some time back in which she told me not to just focus on the kids. She told me how after she got divorced she did nothing but take care of her son and work. Now, her son is gone, she is alone and has zero social life. She said that if she had it to do over again she would do it differently. Well, like I said, there or no mulligan’s in real life!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Define Covered Dish

Dinner Club is tonight. It’s my big once a month social event and I may not be able to make it. I have a late evening appointment that I must make and am afraid that it may cause me to be too late. Matt has been great about encouraging me to go. He hates to eat alone ( I totally understand that ) but has encouraged me to go anyhow. The last couple of months he has even tried to make dinner plans with a buddy just so he does not have to eat alone and I am more inclined not to use his eating alone as an excuse not to attend. So, I hope that things work out and I can attend this last dinner of the year.

Dinner Club is always a enjoyable event. It’s great to be around a group of adults for one evening. Also, it’s a nice distraction from my otherwise total lack of social activity. I have only been able to go to a few of the dinners this year but have enjoyed each one of them. There is one older lady that has figured out that I am single. I think she has got it in her mind that she might be able to fix me up with someone. I am pretty sure that she makes it a hobby of fixing folks up. I don’t want to ruin her fun so I just play along and answer the myriad of questions that she always asks me. Little does she know that I am getting back to my old self and really have no interest in “dating”.

What is my old self? Well adjusted, confident and secure and comfortable with my life. Dare I say, even content…! I totally have no interest in “dating”. That’s not to say that I am not interested in finding someone that I would enjoy spending time with. Like I told my friend Janine earlier this week, I don’t want someone else but I don’t want to be alone either. That might, and very well may not, make sense to many. Basically, I am at the point if someone comes along, great! However, if that doesn’t happen that’s fine also. Lisa and I always lived by the mantra “if it’s meant to be – it will be”. I still believe that to be true… So, while I have not closed any doors, I am also not out seeking either.

I am supposed to bring something for supper club. It’s really a covered dish dinner where everyone is supposed to bring a dish. There is no way I can pull that off this month. Like I said I’ll be lucky to make it at all. I wonder if a bag of chips is considered a covered dish?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Paper & Bows

I have not gotten any better at wrapping gifts… Lisa always wrapped all the gifts. Heck, I can even remember her wrapping my brothers gifts for him a couple of times when he was still single and spent Christmas with us. He would roll in on Christmas eve and have bags full of stuff for the kids. Lisa didn’t approve of his wrapping paper which consisted of big black hefty bags and some of those pre-made bows. She would wait until the kids went to bed and then she would wrap his stuff for him. That was some years ago and now he has a family of his own and a wonderful wife that wraps his gifts for him.

Yesterday evening Matt was out and I was alone again. I decided to spend some time at the kitchen table wrapping the few gifts that I have found time to purchase. It was pretty quiet so I did the same thing Lisa did. I put on some Christmas music went to work on the gifts. The memories flooded back to me. I tried to live in the moment and just enjoy the task at hand. I could imagine her in my mind tenderly wrapping each gift and making the bows by hand. I was always amazed at how wonderful her wrapping looked and how beautiful her bows were.

I could think of nothing but her and all the years that we had spent together. It continues to get easier to think about her without it hurting so very much. Two years ago, this task would have meant a melt down and the feeling of complete and utter devastation. Yesterday, though, it felt good to think about her. I was comfortable in my thoughts and delighted with her presents in my mind. Yesterday it was almost like she was there looking over my shoulder with disapproval as I stuck those tacky little pre-made bows on the packages. I am sure, however, she was approving the fact that I at least did not use those big black hefty bags for wrapping.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tree Time

Well our tree is up and Lisa would be proud that I got it completed on her normal schedule. As we always have, Matt and I got out early Saturday morning and found a tree. It’s a bit depressing finding a tree for our little farm house. In years past, when we lived at the old house, we could buy the biggest tree on the lot and it would fit. The old house had a very high vaulted ceiling, in contrast, the farm house has eight foot ceilings.

Matt and I reminisced a good bit Saturday. He remembered the year that we cut a huge Leyland Cypress tree off of our friends farm. That thing had to be about twenty foot tall. It reached to the top of the staircase just outside of Matt’s old bedroom. He talked about how he used to look down on the tree and how different it looked from up high looking down. I suppose all those memories got him to thinking about his mother. Matt never talks about his mother but this weekend for the first time that I can remember he told me he was “missing mom” . We talked about that for a little while. As you can imagine, that’s the sort of thing that hits you right in the gut and leaves one without any appropriate words of comfort. I just told him that I too missed her and that I missed her every day. I reminded him how much she loved him and told him that I understand his pain. He and I continued to plow through the process and got the tree fitted to the stand and brought in the house. That’s about all either of us could stand for the day. Although Abby had told me to go ahead without her, we decided to wait on her to decorate our little tree.

Sunday evening we finally got together and decorated that tree. Abby insisted that we put on some Christmas music to listed to while we worked through things. Probably the hardest part of the whole process is unwrapping each of the ornaments. So many of them have a special meaning and bring back particular memories. With this being our third Christmas without Lisa, I think the kids have gotten used to the fact that I can only do so much and that I need to work through the holidays in short stages. We got the tree finished and I told them that the rest of the house would have to wait till I could emotionally recharge a little. I finished the night out by making the kids some strawberry crepes.

With getting the tree up it dawned on me that I have not done the first bit of Christmas shopping. I have been so focused on getting things done around the house and farm that I had complete missed the fact that Christmas is only a short four weeks away. With that in mind, I scheduled my little shopping buddy (Abby) to spend this coming Friday at the mall. “Yippy Skippy” ! There is nothing I hate more than spending the day at the mall. On the bright side, I do get to spend the day with my baby girl Abby.