An earlier time

An earlier time
My autographed "Bobby Seale" copy

Monday, December 26, 2005

Getting Back to What Is Right

Amazing to me is the great percentage of misfortune that can amass around a person vs. the small amount of good. This Christmas season has been one awash with tribulation. My wonderful aunt Cecile had cancer surgery and had a leg removed. Pain has continued to worsen for me with each passing day. My sweet little boy Lennon came down with strep throat and I shared that with him. Luckily my fine oldest son Zak didn't catch it! I dropped my cell phone (almost brand new....see previous posts) into a glass of grape koolaid. I am currently working on getting it to work again! We had as merry a Christmas as humanly possible under the circumstances. I have had to try to find the time to work on renewing my faith in what I believe. The greatest difficuty is considering myself Christian but having so many differences with the Christian teachings of the Christian churches and their interpretation of the Bible. I have many qualms about the Bible in its present day form. I won't go into all that here but suffice it to say that I truly believe that a Christian has to take the Bible and sift through what has been left that actually is a message of God and overlook a lot of mans twisting to fit the times. I also do not believe that the Bible is the ONLY word of God. Over the years my opinion has changed mainly due to my children. The Bible teaches that as Christians we are obligated to follow the rules of Christian conduct or suffer consequences of our misbehavior. My children are both ADHD and I have watched them struggle with trying to do good when there is a definite hormonal imbalance that prevents them from being able to do that until their medicines help restore the balance. Then they recall their misbehavior and consider themselves bad children. My question is...What about all the children that have come before the advent of modern medicine and were as afflicted as mine are? The world has considered their behavior as bad and I am sure that no one ever told them that perhaps it wasn't their fault at times. I have to continually tell myself that our Maker will sort that out in the long run but some Christians of today would look at these children and have no understanding of what is involved. Well let me tell you children are raised as Christians and yet they are told the truth about the entire situation! Just the other day my oldest Zak came to me and asked if people who followed other religions were all going to hell. From a biblical Christian concept they are...In my understanding?...No they are not all going to. I do believe that God walked among us in the form of Jesus Christ but I also believe that the same teachings of Christ are found in many other religions and God has walked among us more than once and has introduced his word in a way that others would understand. All the major world religions have been contaminated by man and it takes a great understanding and patience to see God's message. One of the truest things that appear in the Bible is that few will actually understand the true message of God. Well, what started out to be something simple has now turned into my lengthy opinion so for now I will close. Thanks for the blog...It really makes me feel better and stronger just to talk about this. One thing I will never do intentionally is hold against my children what is not their fault and no one can convince me that MY maker will either.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Curse

Many times I have encountered explanations for mysteries in my life. Perhaps I should say "possible explanations". It's always nice to have something that will very easily explain troubling situations.
Such is the case with the recent "blanket curse" possibility put forth by this French psychic that saw fit to email me with a warning and for a fee would protect me from the 35 year old curse. She told me that the reason for all my bad luck, especially my physical state, was the result of the transgression by one of my close family members against someone (she says I was 13 years old) who retaliated by putting a curse on my entire family. She further stated that the person who had cursed us was most likely dead and that I could lift it with her help and of course $29.95. Oh if only that were true!....Heh! Heh! Heh! Wouldn't that be a hoot? The sad truth in all this is that there are people who would actually believe this and she's making a living off the stupid. Many times in my life I have paused in wonder at my percentages of good fortune vs bad. It seemed that the law of averages at times was being manipulated overwhelmingly in favor of bad.
Here's the scoop on why I am not cursed and in reality have been blessed. How could anyone in their right mind not know the difference in man's work and that of God? All my misfortune has actually been God trying to get the attention of a stubborn man by allowing me to have it my way to the point of misery. The solution to my "curse" certainly doesn't cost $29.95....It's always free!....Love to all, Jeff

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Breaking Down and Rebuilding

Just a short add-on today for anyone out there caring at all...Here's hoping that everyone had a happy Thanksgiving! We did and we now give thanks because God graciously provided us with the loan we needed to purchase another vehicle and to pay the major portion of our debts. We close on it Monday November 28th. We have so much to be thankful for in spite of the things that I personally consider hindrances to happiness. Obviously God considers the same to be training (or conditioning) tools. Trust me, he knows how and when to use them and they do work. I am much more patient and understanding in dealing with the situations that are beyond my control...believe me there are many! The boyz seem to be maturing a little more each day and they too seem more understanding of those same situations. I recall what a doctor once told me when I had come to see him about possible depression. The appointment had been at the request of my lawyer when my conditions had forced me to apply for my Social Security Disability. My lawyer had stated that my physical ill health must surely be accompanied with a good bit of depression. After my examination the doctor said that my outlook on my situation and the world was unique and depression didn't seem to be a major factor in my life. It goes back to my distaste for things in my life that appear to be out of my control. God had to allow many things to be sent my way to break down that stamina I had and reduce me to the point of admitting that I had reached my limits. You see, God wants you on your build someone you must break down all the garbage accumulated and rebuild with the basic structure. It's comparable to remodeling a house. It's also the same way the US Marine Corps has of building good marines. It works the same way with kids in a way. You have to make children understand that they always have more to learn but at the same time you have to build them up by making them feel proud of what they have learned. To put it in a more "mountain" way..."Ya gotta let them know that their knowledge is next to nothing but ya gotta make them feel like something special and make them want to know it all." You could compare it to flowers...if you don't plant them correctly, don't water and feed them properly, and just allow them to grow unsupervised then you end up with flowers with defects engulfed by weeds or dead flowers! So let's all work at building something decent...Love to all...Jeff

Saturday, November 19, 2005

And the Breaking Point Is?

Don't think for a minute that I have no idea of prison! After declaring my beloved van beyond hope I had it removed from life support and it passed into that new car dealership in the sky. This left me without a vehicle at all. My ex helped out by running errands for me and occasionally taking me where I had to go but for the most part I have been a prisoner at home. I rise early each day and begin the "School Day Marathon" (which, by the way, is no marathon after they are at school....the school day just isn't long enough then!) After they leave for school I have the pleasure of spending time on the planet "Garbage Dump" (at least that is the appearance of the world around me!) I certainly cannot tolerate living in a mess so no matter what kind of pain I am in...this planet must be eradicated or left behind. As previously stated though, I am now trapped so flight is no longer an option. So, with my constant companion Shadow Dog (a mentally disturbed planetary traveler that fate has placed in my cell here at the "rock") I begin the monumental task of debris removal. Simple, huh?...Well, you just haven't been paying attention have you? Nothing is ever simple for me. Nothing! I have been in the process of obtaining a loan to purchase an escape vehicle. Since my home was completely paid for I attempted to get enough money on it to complete the task. All appeared to go well until I discovered that the data tag that is glued to the inside of manufactured homes was missing on mine. The appraiser has to photograph the HUD label on the outside and the data tag on the inside or the loan won't go through. Okay, since mine was missing I had to contact the company to obtain a copy. Simple, huh?...That's right!...No way! The following problems came at by one! 1.) The plant that manufactured mine had since shut down!...(Couldn't have seen that one coming, eh?) 2.) The company that owned the plant had sold out to another company...(Wow! The powers that be had to work to set me up for this torture!) 3.) Numerous phone calls resulted in a chance to meet (and despise!) people in at least 5 states...each person giving me a number to another place where the plant records may have been sent. 4.) My lender, in the meantime, is continually asking me if I have checked the closets to see if it is posted there...(Guess there's many people not bright enough to look in 3 closets at least 5 times and be trusted when they say, "It's not there!!!")
The powers that force this kind of situation on me on a regular basis obviously haven't taken note of my tenacity in dealing with trauma and don't understand that I believe in the tactic of attacking until something quits moving...(and so far I haven't!) soooo....After spending my time on the phone and kicking through "earthchild debris" I finally found a human that told me, "Oh Plant 59...those records are in storage up the hill and this afternoon I will go there, pull the records, and email you a copy!"....I WANT THIS WOMAN!...SHE WAS THE ANTIDOTE TO MY POISON!...THE LIGHT IN MY BASEMENT!...I DECLARE HER MY QUEEN!...Upon receiving the document via email I proceeded to save it in 3 places on my computer, burn it to disc, and make enough copies to distribute to my next 300 descendants!
Now you may be saying to yourself..."Okay, now he's fine!"...Simple, huh?...You know. After many beautiful days of lower humidity the weather turned nasty...high humidity...colder temperatures, some rain and a great deal of pain! This all comprises only a small part of my tortured daily life of late but all is well. Once I figure out a way to escape...I will attack those powers that seem amused to abuse me and I will begin the quest for their breaking point. Hope they have been taking notes...I have!...Love to all and always remember...children are a lot like gasoline...when ignited, someone gets hurt...the cost is outrageous and the more you have the higher the risk of explosion! ...Jeff

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Faith Is Difficult

Growing up in the church I was always told that many things in religion had to be "taken on faith". I also discovered that "taking things on faith" applied to other areas of life. I learned that many things told to me by parents, teachers, friends, and business required certain degrees of faith to facilitate virtue.
Raising children in todays climate has all of the generations prior saying "I just don't understand why kids today are like that" or "Things sure aren't like they used to be" and pointing to all sorts of reasons to explain the lack of moral fiber in children today. In my opinion the lack of moral fiber can be explained as lack of faith. Why is there a lack of faith? It's no wonder. Children put their faith in parents and so many parents destroy that with their own selfish concerns. They are asked to put their faith in teachers, who in previous generations seemed to work to build a child into an adult earning a child's trust and admiration, yet many of todays teachers treat them merely as statistical data to fund their livelihood. They are expected to put faith into scientific information that is constantly being changed or reversed. They try to put their faith in friends and are devastated when those friends put more emphasis on material things than trust and loyalty. They try to "take on faith" a government that they have been told is supposed to be aware of and responsive to the needs of its people only to see that government allow needless suffering instead.
Sometimes I just didn't understand why my children had no faith in what I was telling them considering the fact that I don't lie to them. After trying to look at the big picture from their perspective I understand their difficulty....and mine. Faith is difficult...especially when you can't see it work. The lack of faith in the world makes faith in their creator much more difficult to build! We're working on it and my faith must remain strong to get it right...yes, faith is difficult...but not impossible...Love to all, Jeff

Sunday, November 06, 2005

What it Takes!

Sometimes I have to marvel at the wisdom of our creator for the ways he has of getting our attention. I used to think that the deterioration of my body and its functions was designed to effectuate my submission to his plan for my existence. Obviously it wasn't enough!
On the way to visit my father, who is in a nursing home in Bryson City, my van broke down on the interstate. What a wonderful thing to happen with two ADHD children and a Shih Tzu with a separation anxiety complex in tow. Well, at least the dog seemed ok! As I sat smoking a cigarette and waited for Triple A to come tow us home, I actually managed a smile at our situation. I thought it an opportune time to show the boyz how one should take advantage of an unfortunate incident and use it as a positive. " Boyz! Isn't this something else? You know, if this had happened a year or two ago your dad would have been cursing this van and probably hurt himself kicking it. I've learned though that God wants us to use times like these in a different way. Right now we'll just enjoy watching the traffic go by and take in the scenery while we wait. Let's just call this another adventure!" My oldest son Zak looked up and said, "But this adventure stinks Dad!" I had to laugh at his reaction. "Yes son it does!" I agreed. To make a long story even I find myself without transportation and it seems to be taking some time to get something done about it. Yet this has given me more down time to examine myself and turn this into a positive. I walk a short distance each day to the bus stop, dog in tow, and have a few minutes of observing nature before the lions return and the struggle begins anew. God knows what he's doing and I am sure he's saying,"About time you admitted that about that 'callin' out the angel of death for a fight' thing you do when you get upset."

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Holidays! Step Into The Millennium!

Holidays! 'em or hate 'em...they still happen! Personally I think everyone should design their own holidays. It's time we made business more responsive to us! Let's start by removing all present holidays. Each individual should be allowed one day each month as his/her own holiday (total of 12 a year as individuals). If you desire to have a number of people celebrating the same day that's ok...everyone participating would have to use one of their monthly days the same time as you thereby ensuring that there'd be no "Bah humbugs!" Holidays would then all be festive occasions for all involved and if you didn't want to celebrate someone else's holiday, a polite, "I don't want to use up my day this month for that but thanks for the invite!" would suffice. Businesses would have to continually keep in stock all different types of major celebration items if they wanted to remain competitive. The greatest drawing card for me would be that my kids would have to design their own holidays. My kids,I'm sure, would try to keep most hated holiday (besides Valentines Day)! For me Halloween is too much a reality holiday. How?...Kids threaten to do something you don't want them to do (tricks) to receive what they want (candy) while putting on their ugliest faces (masks) and they bring it to public attention (door to door) and you have to pay out money to be abused in such a manner! Here, in my world, that occurs on a daily basis! My first monthly holiday would be "Daddy Ain't Right Day"...all day my responses and reactions would be just off the top of my head and any request for money would bring out the Daddy dollars (computer made with my picture on the front!) Requests for ways to relieve boredom would result in helping Daddy to design his own headstone with that famous quotation "I hate meeces to pieces!" at the top. Any attacks made from brother to brother would result in a firing squad atmosphere where disgustingly sloppy food items would be flung at the perpetrator of the attack by the victim as Generalisimo Daddy coordinates. Any bad manners at the table would result in removal of utensils...plate in the floor and the bad mannered one would be required to eat like the animal he has become. Wow! wouldn't it be nice?....Ok!...I now have a new quest!....Throw off tradition America!...It's time for Designer Holidays!...hmmm! wonder what I could cook up for "Nasty Smellin' Food Dishes Day" to all....Jeff

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Music Again!....well almost!

Anyone that knows me very well knows my distractions...the greatest being music. I nearly went into cardiac arrest (evidenced in a previous post!) when I found a legal download site that had full albums as low as 72 cents or you could pull any song off the albums as low as 10 cents apiece! They also gave me 100 free songs when I signed up. Now after sinking to a new, lower level of poverty I have been downloading free downloads from many websites of unsigned artists. Using a very selective process I have found so much wonderful music! Many of these artists should have a recording contract. Much of the small amount of time I actually spend on the computer anymore is spent amassing one amazing library (and backup!) from around the world of sounds and styles that I love!...It appears to be my only form of release at the present! The parent/s of ADHD children need some form of release and I am saving the serial killer thing for my enjoyment in later life should I be fortunate enough to live that! Headphones come in handy on those bad mornings when I awake at 3:30 AM and have to sit up to ease the pain and these type of mornings occur more frequently of late. Besides, it affords me some form of entertainment until my body loosens up enough for me to be able to position my signaling device outside in hopes that the beings of my home planet will one day home in and rescue me from Earths gravitational pull and thereby reverse the damage it has caused to my body.
I can't help but feel guilty for not posting more here but music is also a release, my major distraction, and my hearing needs to be used often before it deteriorates with the rest of that unfortunate mass that is me. Love to all and I am truly sorry that your planet seems to be deteriorating at the same rate....Jeff...or as my homeboys call me...kinutuplee

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

First Dance

Isn't it wonderful when your children reach certain milestones, especially ones that you remember reaching yourself? My son Zak came in excitedly yesterday and handed me a pair of pants and a shirt and said "You need to wash these Daddy, I need to wear them to the dance!" When I inquired as to what dance where and when, he proceeded to tell me that a friend of his in the neighborhood had set him up with her girlfriend at a different school to go to the dance with her. "She sounds nice Daddy, I talked to her on the phone!" He added,"You know girls talk on the phone an awful lot!" Oh the world of discovery begin! After a period of silence watching TV he looked at me and asked,"You aren't going to make fun of me are you Daddy?" "No way! I think it's great!" was my reply. And I do. I want every transition and experience in life to be fantastic for both my sons. This is his first inning in a lifelong ball game and win or lose in the end I want him to enjoy the game. He is beginning to care about his appearance and desires to make a good impression. I have been waiting for the day to come that he would do just that. It makes all the hardships of raising children worthwhile when you experience something like that! I also let out a sigh of relief that he is interested in members of the opposite sex in a normal, healthy fashion. I feel as if there is a different feeling between us too and it uplifts my heart to know that he is willing to ask for my help and advice.
First dances can be great and I remember my own. I only hope he enjoys the total experience at least half as much as I did!...Love to all....Jeff

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Designated Assignments

I am convinced that children have designated assignments as they go through the stages of life. Furthermore it seems that having more than one child causes them to work in shifts to insure that a parent experiences as much hardship and pain as is humanly possible. That also applies to joy and happiness although it depends on the perception. My children have become experts in terrorism excelling in torture tactics and demolition. They derive their joy and happiness at times in using their "gifts" to bring their dad to the brink of a stroke or, at the least, a nervous breakdown. If one child slips up, begins following the rules by giving it his best, and making Dad happy, the other child picks up the slack by utilizing all the torture tactics in his repertoire to counter Dad's happiness! Case in point....Lennon has normally given me the most problems in school to deal with. The problems are varied...behavior, reading comprehension, math processes etc. but not all at the same time or during the same year. Until our move east Zak was an A/B Honor Roll student. This year in particular, Lennon is progressing satisfactorily but Zak.....AAAAARRRGGGGHHH!....MIDDLE SCHOOL!!!....He has become Mr. Know-it-all (yet knows little!)....Mr. Mouth....Mr. Uncooperative....Mr. I-Am-Way-Too-Cool....Mr. I-Don't-Like-It-So-I'll-Just-Forget-It. The only mark so far as to his favor (if you want to put it like that!) is that the school personnel in an oversight did not give him his medication at school for the first 20 days. Now I am left to wade through the mess and must help get this wonderful little boy back on track. I have encorporated the help of his doctor and staff and we're going to get the problem solved. This is only one case among many.
Being a parent is the most difficult job I have ever had and I am determined to do it to the best of my ability. I only hope that soon the law of averages will kick in and give me a break with both of them performing wonderfully at the same time. It sure seems as if their assignments are designated and designed to keep me busy for years to to all.....Jeff

Saturday, October 08, 2005

The Cycle of the Ages

Man!...What is a supposed semi-intelligent human being supposed to think in light of recent happenings?...Is this actually a "cycle of the ages" coming to a close and another beginning? Or is our dear planet Earth wearing out from the stresses and strains we've put on it?...I happen to believe that this is the final dawning of the earth as predicted by many religions especially the Christian. Think about it!...One of the signs of the end times are earthquakes, floods, and famines and those that have always discounted Christianity have said that we have always had earthquakes, floods, and famines, so that particular sign is not a major consideration as to the truth of the religion. Seems to me that the disasters of late indicate that perhaps this was the actual type of changes Christ was referring to. Probably the single most indication to me of the validity of Christianity has been that of it's followers. Keep in mind that this is only my personal observation and interpretation!
I look at those closest to Christ...his disciples...Christ had died and in spite of his instructions one must consider the following..If Christ was dead and the disciples still alive human instinct for survival would have been the recourse for those he left other words, had there been any doubt whatsoever that he was who he said he was and that his words were true then the smartest thing the disciples could have done was to survive through any means at their denying their association with him (those that were with him were hunted individuals) or by fleeing. Not one of them would speak out against him after his resurrection and if you consult known historical documents especially "Fox's Book of Martyrs" you will find that all except one met a violent death as they still professed him to be the Messiah and his words true. Some will argue..."But look at Jim Jones and the ones that took poison for him in Guyana." Ok...true....BUT....that was a mass suicide whereas the disciples were standing alone over a period of years. I'm sure that there are some that would love to debate the point but it is one of the things that convince me.
These recent disasters are shocking to all of us that have grown up believing that such things could not possibly occur in modern times. They have certainly in the least alerted us to the fragile position we all occupy and should cause us to reflect on what is truly important in life and the degree to which we should savor each day of our existence. Whether it is the normal cycle of the ages in the growth and evolution of our planet or God's way of bringing a cleansing to his creation, suffice it to say that man must now acknowledge his lack of control and open his mind to the possibilities. Love to all....Jeff

Monday, October 03, 2005

All Things Are Temporary

One of the drawbacks of aging is truly understanding the meaning of the word "temporary". Each day as we grow older we experience not only the temporary physical states of hair, muscle control, eyesight, hearing, and memory but environmental ones as well. Weather, seasons, friends, homes, good, evil... Everything becomes temporary! When you have children, these temporary things (all of them!) become more apparent since you now have constant reminders of that temporariness.
Ah! Yes!...You hear all your life that children keep you young and living! Then why are you constantly feeling old and dying while raising them? The secret is understanding that word "temporary". I used to struggle with getting children to be able to feed, dress, bathe, and go to the bathroom on their own. Those struggles had me feeling so drained at times both physically and mentally but they all were temporary. Now before you get the impression that I feel better realizing that fact let me burst your bubble! Those temporary struggles are replaced by OTHER temporary struggles as children age too! Do you see where this is going?....Right!...I stated earlier that the secret is understanding the word "temporary". Here's that understanding...Since everything is temporary and is replaced by other temporary things then feeling better through it all has to be the acceptance of the futility of worry at the beset of each temporary replacement. For those of you who just read that and come to the conclusion that I have absolutely too much time on my hands and some kind of mental disorder let me sum it up simply. For me it is not enough to tell me not to worry because I have no reason to worry. I am the type of person that has to convince myself through my own system of observation, thought, logic, and testing before accepting the fact. It is my curse and each of us have curses, which brings me to my new temporary state of contemplation....If all things are truly temporary then sanity becomes an issue on a daily basis and perhaps I can dismiss my mistakes simply by saying...I ain't right! (For you "Northern" folk among us that translates to "Jeff's just not right in the head!")...Love to all..."If toast always lands butter-side down, and cats always land on their feet, what happens if you strap toast on the back of a cat and drop it?" - Steven Wright.....As if you didn't have enough to wonder about today....Jeff

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Alien or Questionable Sanity?

Does it ever seem to you that the entire rest of the world is geared toward the braindead?...Sometimes it so overwhelmingly seems that way that I am forced to question whether it's truly the world or maybe just me. As there are mixed races of people here in America, perhaps Earth is a planet that is abundant with mixed life from other planets!'t laugh!...Lately I have to consider that as a possibility. Ok! So you DO think it's just me huh? Let's do something that normally I despise. Let's make a list!...Here goes!
1. Our nation's leaders can send in an army to another spot in the world within 24 hours and can't do it inside the continental U.S. (Alien life forms would be more adept at providing support from a staging area away from their planet than they would at me, that's why their planets are constantly in danger of destruction and they feel the need for universal expansion to preserve their kind!)
2. I have never had a drive thru order ANYWHERE that came to me completely filled even with each item shown on a variety of screens and the order checked by more than one person! (Perhaps automation reigns on their planet!)
3. My oldest child wasn't given his medication at school for the first 20 days because of an oversight. (Alien life forms are more advanced's true!...they aren't necessarily more intelligent...just more advanced...they have arrived HERE and we can't seem to get THERE! Therefore keeping up with paperwork is so primitive to them that they become confused with no available robots to aid them!)
4. I ordered a new cell phone online and checked the box to associate my present phone number with the account of the new one but when it arrived it had a totally new number and new account. I was told that I must return that phone and go to the local store and get another of the same kind of phone I had ordered and they could associate my present number with it. Yet they were unable to do that with the new one I had received. (Aliens don't want us to stay in perfect communication with each other in fear that we will get together and sniff them out...therefore confusion has ALWAYS worked with humans!...Check out our history!)
5. It is a constant struggle to survive. (In order to take over Earth we must constantly be not only confused but distracted as we attempt to wade through the confusion! Aliens know this and use it well!)
6. My children are wonderfully strange at best and much like the beasts of science fiction stories at worst! (Aliens are among us and we have interbred with them producing offspring with attributes of both...This I know because of that with which I bred can't possibly be all human!)
So there you have it! Only a handful of the many things occurring on a daily basis that either have me wondering one of 3 things...Are aliens here and taking over?....Am I from another planet and sent here as punishment or as an advance party?....or....Is my sanity now an issue for a professional to address? to all...Jeff

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Kiss of Death For Me

It's been nearly a week since I posted here. The reasons are many for not doing so earlier but one stands out as the main. Music!!! For those of you who know me well, music has been an integral part of my life. It's not that I have been blessed with any musical talent at all just that I love to listen to many different genres of music. My collections have ranged from heavy metal to country, bluegrass to classical and back. My favorites range from Beatles to George Jones to Toxic Viceroy to Vivaldi and sprinkled with Bowling For Soup just to name a few. Imagine my delight at finding one website in particular that I could download music from at a mere 10 cents a song. I have downloaded many songs from many places for free, mind you, but at 10 cents a song getting an excellent sound quality with no worries about bad files and so many good artists to choose from has held me spellbound during my small amount of free time. I have found many tracks that I used to have on vinyl. (I sold an extensive record, tape, and cd collection before moving, so I basically started over!)
So having so much music to choose from has truly been the "kiss of death" for me and so many beautiful days with no rain has allowed me to have good health enough to get lots of house/yard work taken care of. This has given me little time to post here!..To those of you who actually care enough to read here what I write I apologize for the gap in posts and hopefully won't happen again!...Love to all, Jeff

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Experiment

I have long believed that my children are dead set sometimes on trying to reverse the tone of the day from good to bad. Lately I have experimented to find out if this belief is valid. Upon completion of a satisfactory period of observance I found that not enough circumstantial evidence exists to say the belief is true but there is enough to say that it is probable. In light of that revelation I have endeavored to answer the question "Why?"
First let me enlighten you how I set up this experiment. Each morning when we awaken I struggle to keep the boyz on a regular tight schedule since I take them to 2 different schools and they have to be there at 2 different times. I am unable to give them their medicine immediately after rising. Meds must be structured so that they can focus at their full potential for school and beyond so I am forced to deal with full blown ADHD symptoms before and during breakfast! They focus on fighting with each other. Their impulses cause distraction from their meal and helps to delay the rest of getting ready for school. I began to notice that each time I began the day with a very happy mindset somewhere along the line their behavior worsened and certainly gave me no opportunity to remain happy. On the mornings that I openly expressed my feeling that it was such a wonderful day their negative reactions were almost immediate. I decided to try to express that feeling every day for 4 days. Each of those 4 days the boyz began the day in a good mood UNTIL I voiced my opinion. Lennon went from a clinging "Daddy, you are great!" boy to demon child. Zak would say anything he knew would upset Lennon and I would be exhausted, after dropping the last one off, from all the refereeing and pushing to get ready.
Then for 4 days I began the day with a solemn manner and said little beyond the normal pushing that it takes to get going and keep order. On these mornings they seem to try to determine my mindset by sometimes trying to impress me with doing the right things thereby getting a reaction from me or by trying to get me to talk more. The mornings, for them anyway, seemed to go easier. I concluded that, although they sought to exhort some type of control, it was me that actually controlled the outcome based on my reaction to their actions. The more stable and determined I seemed the more they tried to control my mood. They seemed aware when I was in such a happy mood that their good actions only made me happier and they seemed to feel more controlling by countering with that which they were already prone to do...give in to the impulse to be difficult.
I suppose that from now on my best recourse is to keep most of my happiness to myself until I figure a way to make it contagious!....For me there again is a song that describes my life....Ringo Starr's "It Don't Come Easy". Love to all....Jeff

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Yeah...Right!..Labor Day...hmmph

Labor Day...well they named that one right!...With school out an extra day to celebrate such a vile holiday makes me recreation director, cook, chauffeur, nurse, and referee one day longer at a stretch than normal. That should make Tuesday MY holiday. It could be if it wasn't for the laundry goading me with the cries of, "Wash me Jeff, I promise that I'll fold myself...Tee! Hee!", or "They'll wear more Jeff...they'll wear more!" Big mouthed piles of threads!
Mornings on a schedule, as I've evidenced in previous posts, are exhausting enough with ADHD children especially when you have to schedule the medicine to coincide with school. Holidays present you with a different twist. Since there is no school I always let them sleep as long as they want and of course they awaken at different times so I go through the breakfast, medicine routines at least twice. Lennon is an early riser and Zak a later one. This puts them taking their medicines at different times and therefore much more difficult to keep up with.
Weekends and holidays are also the only time during the school year that they are allowed to play their playstation and/or gameboys. I have to also keep track of whose turn it is and when it's time to switch. Granted, it should be their responsibility but when they play separately (and often they do) both the one playing and the one watching are totally oblivious to time until after the fact. At some point you have to MAKE them go outside. My how times have changed! My mother had to fight to keep us inside.
No matter how you look at it Labor Day is certainly not my day to rest and with this foul mouth doesn't look as if Tuesday is either..Love, Jeff

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Time For Introspection

As events have unfolded in New Orleans I have taken extra time to examine the importance of many areas of life here with the lions. All of a sudden picking up after themselves, making more of a mess than necessary, keeping certain time schedules, and matching clothes properly didn't seem to matter much. You see whole neighborhoods on the news flooded to the rooftops and you realize that the day before Hurricane Katrina hit that many households too put emphasis on all those things. The big difference being that many of those people not only lost their homes but the lives of family members. You can't help but look at your children and your life differently. Except for the grace of God.....
I took the time this morning before getting the boyz ready for school to sit them down and have them reflect too. I explained to them that if we had lived in New Orleans we'd most likely wouldn't have made it and they should be so very thankful of being where they are and having all they do. I try to use every opportunity to get them to be appreciative of each other because there may come a day when each other is all they have. Tragedy should cause that kind of introspection in people who place importance on virtue. It's just that sometimes we tend to prioritize our lives improperly and it takes an occurrence of this sort to steer us back the right way. The stories unfolding are heartbreaking and some scenarios you'd never have thought of. For example, think of the members of the armed forces overseas in Iraq. There they are, putting their lives in danger, believing that their families are safe back home and then finding out that they now have no home to come back to and are unable to determine if those families are even alive. All the more reason to end the garbage heap we are in over there and get our people back here.
There's not much of a positive feeling in my heart today but I have taken positive action...I have prayed and taken the time for introspection...Love to all...Jeff

Monday, August 29, 2005

Bad Examples Aren't Always Bad

Until recently I struggled with setting a good example for my children and was distraught at the times when genetics and my own human tendencies caused me to give them a bad example. I felt to teach them the right way I had to be the perfect example of that right way. The truth of the matter is that people are all very different and possess also different morals with which to deal with the world they encounter. I can never hope, no matter what my beliefs, to deal with situations in the same manner as Gandhi would. This would only be possible if all the factors in human existence were the same. Environmental, social, physiological, and psychological differences all cause reactions to stimuli to be handled differently as well. No human handles every situation perfectly and I am no exception. Making mistakes is a very human thing that happens and children need to be aware that they too will make them even as adults. That is not to say that I intentionally make mistakes for that purpose, only that I have come to terms with the fact that I have and will make them. In this manner sometimes a bad example becomes a good example.
My father was a case in point. He is considered to this day be a recovering alcoholic. At the height of his disease he exhibited a host of undesirable reactions to the world around him which adversely effected his family. I won't elaborate on them individually. I saw what was happening to him and through his bad example I became determined not to let the same thing happen to me. From his example I can teach my children from firsthand information which bears more authority than experiences of people unknown to them.
In my case, those times that I have been a bad example have aided in my growth as well, only if I worked at changing it into a positive.
My son Lennon's behavior at school used to get worse once he made that first mistake of the day. He was under the impression that he had disappointed me and I would consider him bad for the day so he continued the misbehavior. It took a great deal of work to convince him that one bad incident (or even a couple!) didn't ruin the entire day. I had to show him that he must start over after the bad incident and work at making the remainder good. Since bad can't always be avoided many things must be figured on a percentage basis. If the bigger percentage is good then he shouldn't consider the whole to be bad. Bless his heart! That is one way that ADHD children slip into feelings of low self-esteem. Many of them have parents who lack the understanding to show the ADHD child that his natural tendencies and his occasional giving into his impulses do not make him a bad person. Likewise I had to first convince myself that I was not a bad person because I set a bad example, only my failure to acknowledge it and correct it would label me as such. Love to all...Jeff

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Weekends

I used to love weekends...well, actually I still do to a certain extent but with the kids home ALL summer there ought to be a law that forces schools to be in session for the first 6 weekends too. Since there isn't I can only escape to the above pictured place in my mind...and rarely can I picture the above without it bursting into flames before being thrust into my referee or riot control job!
With ADHD children, structure is very closely related to parental sanity. Anything that disrupts the normal routine has the potential for magnifying the symptoms of the disorder. When this happens the day can go from enjoyable to a living hell in a matter of minutes. Parents that care spend a lot of thought as to how to structure the ADHD child's free time and still allow it to remain "free". It's always a good idea to sit them down and outline the plan for the day. Always keep in mind that you must take care not to detail too much at one time or you will find yourself repeating constantly. The first 2 letters of the disorder stand for "attention deficit" so you really can't expect too much here. Sometimes though I am amazed at how well they handle plan outlines. I am blessed...well or cursed (matter of opinion!) with having 2 kids that have 2 different types of ADHD. I have one child that is the MOST hyperactive-impulsive type and one that is not as hyperactive but consumed with the inattentive type. Couple that with 2 very different personalities and perhaps you can imagine the work involved in structuring anything. I must first forgo any thoughts I may have had as to my own rest and relaxation. Doing this right (or as close to right as I can get) is a time consuming process. These guys left to their own devices for any extended period of time could have you searching frantically for tranquilizer darts to use on them or yourself!
Teachers may have a difficult time with children of any type but with so many things going on to shift the attention of an ADHD child their problem is mainly in proper focusing. I do not envy their job but on the weekends I become the abused and that makes every precious moment I spend at my "lake" like a vacation!...Love to all...Jeff

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Thought Begets Wisdom Begets Depression

My favorite books in the Bible are Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. No matter who is credited with the authorship the majority of thought contained therein appears to be that of Solomon. Gotta love this guy to a point! God gives him whatever he asks for and he asks for wisdom. Looks like he was already pretty wise! Wisdom should be the quest for all humans empowered with more than a primal mind. One must have the opportunity to reflect in order to understand what is observed. Observation followed by reflection oft times becomes very disturbing when applied to humans because of predictability. Our creator certainly was wise himself in not endowing the human race with the power of divine clairvoyance. How depressing it would be to be able to foretell with 100 % accuracy the outcome of the actions of men! In spite of that power there would be those that would carry on with the same course of action all the while knowing that the outcome will be disastrous at best.
I am nowhere near the top of the wisdom ladder and many is the time that I curse the window I look through. When I take the time to read what some people have written I can feel their frustration at trying to make sense of it all. In a previous post I stated that John Lennon was one of those people. Consider the following statement;"I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right." Here Thoreau sets himself up for medication in observing the human race on both sides of that cultivation, and indeed he is wise enough to realize that the law and right at times are not in sync.
There is a positive side to the quest for wisdom, nay, there are several positive aspects. There is satisfaction, in the conclusion of the truth no matter what that truth may be. There is hope, that in understanding, wisdom can bring about positive changes, and joy as wisdom appears where skepticism once reigned.
Alas! Round we go! Wise as he was, Solomon should have heeded his own wisdom, for his actions divided a kingdom. Perhaps I need my medication now!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Enjoy It While You Can

In spite of the difficulties in raising ADHD kids I look back at the last 10 years and they have passed so very quickly. I seem to be the type of person that always has to have something to worry about. That in itself is strange because it's been said that there is never anything to worry about. The things you worry about that can be acted on should be so. The things that are out of your control as such do not merit worrying about in the first place. I see how quickly 10 years have passed and I think of it only being 8 more years until my youngest son reaches 18 and I worry, not so much about them but myself. At the outside chance that I survive 8 more rapidly disappearing years I may possibly find myself alone and though I fear little, I fear that. With the shape of the country, even the world, perhaps the boyz will need to stay with me much longer than that so my worry may be moot. Amazing isn't it? There are times when I have pulled out what is left of my hair and screamed aloud of not being able to wait for the day they go out on their own. Honestly though, I secretly pray that the day never come. Enjoy it while you can! Time is an enemy.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Do What Must Be Done

I am in a unique position. Not many fathers have an opportunity to raise their children on their own. Rarer still are the fathers from that category that are able to spend the amount of time with their children that I have been awarded. Being encompassed by them at this stage of their lives, I used to struggle with attempting to maintain a life of my own and still fulfill my obligation to them. That was all wrong and it took me a long time to discover the truth. Let's face it, my kids are my life, and from ages 1-12 (at a minimum) I must center everything around them. That's why computers are so great! You have the library of the world at your fingertips. I have the boyz to sit beside me each day as we learn something new and interesting. I have invested a great deal of time searching and trying different programs and websites. I now have enough interesting things to keep them busy forever. Homework time is my time to teach and is a fun time IF you utilize the tools you have. Life works out the same way.
Raising children you must understand that being a child is adult training and as much as they are learning to be children, I am learning to be a parent. I am never satisfied with at least 2 things in my life. I am never satisfied in considering myself a good parent and I am never satisfied in considering myself as an asset to my creator. I am always working on both trying to achieve perfection all the while knowing that I never will. I just keep doing what must be done. Love to all, Jeff

Thursday, August 18, 2005

A Price to Pay for Everything Good!

I believe it!...Here everything comes with a price!...The last 2 days building up to the first day of school for "The Wrecking Crew" were very calm and the boyz were putting forth a great effort. I have noticed that over the summer they have matured a great deal. Strange isn't it? Nine months of school, nine months of other adult influences, nine months of observing their classmates and friends (both mature and immature), and they end up maturing more in 2 and 1/2 months of playing, fighting, and paying no noticeable attention to anything worthwhile. Ah! humans...such complex creatures! On my home planet we sleep for the equivalent of 2 1/2 months and spend the remainder of the year foraging for chocolate. My planet is much less stressful too which accounts for my suffering here. I am hopeful for returning home one day but obviously I have been sent here as some sort of punishment as there has been no response to my signal. Oh well!...Anyway, after such good days with them, I prepared for a new experience...getting 2 ADHD kids off to 2 separate schools. Never have I seen so many forms and things to keep abreast of! The alarm actually woke me at 6 am. I had a rough night sleeping (as usual!)...bed at 10...up at 12:30...up at 2:30-3:30...anyway....I got the boyz up at 6:30 and I swear I must have accidentally opened the gates of Hades!...After getting Zak to put the dog out repeatedly and my head in a spin getting breakfast, the correct forms in the correct folders, their supplies in their bookbags,all the while encouraging Lennon to eat, get dressed, and to leave Zak alone it came time to leave....Then rush to Lennon's school, drop him off, rush to Zak's school, get his medicines straight with the school nurse, get his PE uniform from the coach, and deliver his papers to his teacher...then rush back to Lennon's school, get his medicines straightened out, deliver his forms. I headed back home...totally drained, blessed the dog, and turned my head toward the storm dropping buckets of rain outside. Yes! Rain....pain... all of this before noon!...Awfully high payment for such a short time of calm and sanity!...No Virginia....there's no Santa Claus!...he costs too much!....Love Jeff

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A Bad Feeling and Explanation

Feelings like the following I hesitate to put out there for people to see normally but when you have children you want to share most of your feelings with them so that if the worst ever happens they will have some sort of understanding. For the last 2 weeks I have had this recurring pain that appears from my left shoulder up my neck. It's a strange pain that is unfamiliar and very uncomfortable. It comes for only a short period and then goes away only to return seemingly without any common thread to its previous appearances. It's not predictable at all and worries me that there may be some sort of blockage in that area. I am ever mindful of my poor state of health and with Michael and Daddy both having blockage problems I just have to pray that I am overly concerned. I know the high risk I carry for stroke and/or heart attack. I plan on calling my doctor today and see what he thinks. The strange feeling I have comes from a combination of that pain and the recent peaceful feeling I have derived from successfully dealing with a lot of inner struggle. Suffice it to say that I hope and pray that I am wrong. I have 2 jobs that are uncompleted and will require much more work to see that they are finished to the satisfaction of my boss. I hope that he is willing to allow me to finish but I concede that he knows better what it will take to wind it up. I have put it on his agenda. I only want a record of my concerns here. I love my 2 sons more than I ever thought I could love anything and I cannot imagine a world without them. I know that they love me and should anything happen to me I am more concerned with how devastating it would be to them than I am of what would happen to me. Sorry for the downer to those of you who actually take the time to read my ramblings but it was something that needed to be said. Love Jeff

Can Anyone Hear Me Scream?

A typical night for me last bed by 11...asleep by 12...up at 2 am...back to sleep by 3:30 am....then an unusual twist...I actually slept from that point until 7 am....Wow! 3 1/2 hours of solid sleep!...Upon arising I began my day thanking God for the opportunity and then did what I normally do until the boyz woke up...I checked the news!...If ever you need any kind of reality check these days or you somehow find the need for a shot of depression (not enough of those huh?) just read the news. In having the time to reflect though it occurs to me that perhaps I'd try what a friend keeps telling me to do...make everything into a positive experience!...Yeah!...I know...same question I came back with...ARE YOU KIDDING?...but in a perverse sort of way it works! least temporarily...Let's try this from my window a moment...I live in a country lead by a president that actually stole the office in front of the entire world...okay...but I can say that out loud and not be shot!...That's positive...I read each day where someone digs into civil rights cases of the past and there is acknowledgement of the wrongs committed back least we are compensating the only way we can for those atrocities...That's a positive thing!...Fuel prices are skyrocketing upon the lamest of excuses by oil companies as usual...This one is a little more difficult...There's a positive side to this?...Well those of us who have seen this garbage before can predict that, eventually (until Labor Day), gas prices will rise closer to $3.00 a gallon and settle back down to what they are now and we'll be conditioned by that time to live with the prices we see now...ok! that's as positive as that gets!...Earthquake hits Japan and tsunami warnings are issued....hmmm!...well...It did hit Japan and not Buncombe County (my apologies to the Japanese!)...The Lutheran Church struck down (by a close margin!) having clergy who are in a committed homosexual relationship be able to lead some congregations...This one's easy to be positive about!...God's gonna handle that one and it ain't gonna be pretty!...See?...In a perverse sort of way my friend is right!...I feel better!...but...CAN ANYBODY HEAR ME SCREAM!...Love, Jeff

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Humor Has to be Included

The elephant! One of my favorite of God's creatures. The elephant is big, strong, and intelligent...everything I have perceived myself to be at one time or another. Now the only one of those descriptive words I can identify with is big! Rarely is the elephant prone to violence...only if it feels that it or it's family appears threatened. As the world becomes more densely populated and technologically advanced the elephant's existence becomes more difficult. That seems to be happening to me as well. Sometimes it seems as though life is overwhelming! To deal with it you have to condition yourself to not take everything so seriously. God created humor! (If you don't believe that take a look at the people around you!) I have a problem with allowing the balance of humor and seriousness to become lopsided on the seriousness side. Hey! I am working on that too! ADHD kids have a certain amount of humor associated with the symptoms of the disorder if you pause sometimes from the seriousness. They become so predictable in their reactions to certain stimuli and anyone that has known me for a while knows that, if I feel good, predictability opens the door to my "sometimes" twisted humor. Case in point...The boyz always delight in picking out, for their treats, some of the most sour tasting candies and drinks known to man. They delight in getting their otherwise distracted dad to taste them and they roll with laughter as it puckers my mouth and my eyes roll back in my head. They constantly try to do this and it's rare when I retaliate but a couple of days ago I did! Zak had chosen a sour watermelon drink when we were out running errands. I really didn't pay much attention to what type he had purchased. When he told me how good his drink tasted and told me to try it I did so without thinking. He howled in laughter as I spit and complained. Later the drink ended up on the coffee table in front of me. It soon became medicine time and Lennon was in the vicinity. I thrust his pill toward him and handed him Zak's drink. He was watching TV and was mindlessly taking the meds until he sipped the drink! He then ran to the bathroom and began spitting, whining at the sour taste and the fact that Daddy got him. Poor guy! After my brief victory celebration I, of course, had to console him and remind him of all the times he had done the same thing to me. Small bit of humor in life but helpful.
Many times in the mornings I will wake them to the sounds of some juvenile theme song from their past stored on my computer and played at a loud volume (such as the theme song of Barney the dinosaur!) knowing that they will awaken in anger and wishing me harm for doing that! Little do they know the extent of their Dad's humor as they grow older and if they did, they would delight in this harmless side of it!...They will learn!...Someday they will have to have their dates meet their Dad so the opportunities for payback are countless depending on my continued survival. Maybe sometimes they do realize this and that is their reason for trying to shorten my lifespan with their actions! they slowly realize that God has allowed them to inherit portions of their Dad's humor and I certainly hope they don't refine it because then my existence becomes threatened and, like the elephant, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to find jungle to hide in!...Love Jeff

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Up to Me

Saturday morning and so much has run through my mind since my last post here. As a result I feel much better about my spot in the universe. I took a step that I needed to take and I have much more inner peace and a determination not to let my earthbound human portion interfere any more.
As we grow up we are inspired by many different things. One of the greatest inspirations in my life has been my family. My mother I credit with instilling in me the regulating voice of right. It's this voice in my head that tells me what is the right thing to do or the right way to feel in any situation. Many times this voice has been nagging or screaming when I stubbornly refused to follow its instructions but so many more times it has been calming in its support and reassurance when I do what is right. My mother was also instrumental in being an example of faith and love in the way she lived her life and as I grew up I became aware of where she received that same installed voice. It had been handed down as goodness and truth should be from my grandparents. I had wonderful grandparents! My grandfather was a proud, protective, and honest example of not just what a father should be but what a man should be as well. My grandmother was a very devoted wife and mother and the perfect example of a life led in the right direction. I love them both very much and thank them both for what they have given me, the best of that being my mother. Now, with both of my grandparents gone, and my mother too, the example carries on in my aunt and uncle. They too have had their influence on me over the years and since my mothers passing each time I talk to my Aunt Cecile it's so very much like talking to my mother and I also can hear my grandmother too. There have been times when I have really needed that. Many is the time that I have felt the presence of my grandfather through my Uncle Tom. My grandparents can surely look at the children they raised and be proud of the job they did and I am certain that they produced a smile upon the face of God that will never be erased. They were a shining example of following God's word. This is the way it should be and only now has it become crystal clear that my job is to pass the same thing on to my children. Don't get me wrong, I have spent a lot of time trying to teach my children right and wrong. I have attempted to pass on what they have all given me but one thing has, until now, stood very much in the way of my feeling that I am doing it right. That stumbling block has been self. I have always been the type of person that likes to feel in control of the situations I find myself in. I have many times justified my actions with reason tailor made to falsely convince myself that I was right while all the while that instilled voice given to me by my family was screaming in the background. I felt that I HAD to make my self right! God has invested alot of time in showing me that I am certainly not the one in control and he has designed my life to teach me the limitations of my human control. As I have stated in a previous post I have found myself going to God's rehab clinic many times. In this world of ours we see daily how people struggling for the proper control of self go to rehab clinics over and over again either failing from lack of desire to place something ahead of that controlling misbehavior or success by finally coming to terms with their limitations. I feel that I have finally come to terms with my limitations and feel as though I have laid down a blueprint for success to keep me following the proper path.
Each person has to be ready and open to any positive changes in their lives. Trying to make those changes without proper understanding are only spinning their wheels. As Bob Dylan sang "I guess it must be up to me" and it is. In a final note I'd like to add another line from that same song, "I was just too stubborn to ever be governed by enforced insanity" but that's a subject for another post. Love, Jeff

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The 60 Second Rule's been another of those nights but the day has kind of made up for it. Yesterday I took the boyz (along with my ex, Andrea) to Davidson River to do some rafting. She was off and had agreed to go so she could float down with them. I was grateful for this as I just am unable to do that anymore and the boyz needed that experience. They loved it! I set them out with the raft a mile or so upstream and I (and my dog Jasper) waited for them downstream at Sycamore Flats. Of course it began to rain shortly after setting out but as the kidz put it "We are gonna be wet anyway Daddy!" True...but I'll be hurtin'...and I did.
We have begun a rule here at home and it seems to be working rather well. I call it the 60 Second rule. I told the boyz that we need to reflect on happenings as if we had 60 seconds to live...then we stop and ask ourselves "Is this the way I want to leave this situation?" So far it has caused them to stop and think about what is going on right now. Lennon has taken it very seriously...Zak too, only not as much. Yesterday Lennon had tried to hurt Zak and I shouted,"60 second rule! that the way you want your brother to remember if you died or could you live with that being the last thing you remember doing to your brother?" He stopped and said "No...I am really sorry Zak." Zak then forgave him and things settled down. The key in dealing with ADHD kids (when I can keep my wits about me!) is to make things immediate. Their attention window even with medication (medication helps them to focus but doesn't remove the symptoms) is very short and you have to act rather quickly or the focus turns somewhere else. We all try to work on ourselves inside here. Over the years I have been increasingly dissatisfied with myself and my pain has made me much more vocal about the injustices I see. Sure, I have always been a pretty vocal person when dealing with perceived evil entities but not often when dealing with family members and loved ones. The main exception to this from years back has been my father. We have butted heads as long as I can remember. Many times that is the norm for the first born son and his father but our relationship was strained way beyond that because of his alcoholism. He was a very different person when he drank and you could tell what and how much he had been drinking by his actions. The pain he felt inside came out with a vengeance most times. Sober he was a fine man, but as the drinking continued it began to alter even the sober side of him. He always had a quick temper that became even quicker when dealing with me, the vocal one. I know he loves me and I love him but there were many times you wouldn't have thought that to listen to us. I only wish I had thought about the 60 Second Rule years ago, perhaps it could have saved at least one of us from feeling so bad about the things we said to each other. As they say "hindsight is 20-20" so no sense rehashing what should have been. It should be used as a learning experience to hopefully prevent that happening with my children. Of course I do not have a drinking problem to compound my relationships and my thinking but we all have our demons and my mouth continues to be my worst one. This 60 Second Rule is a good thang and 'round these parts they just ain't enuff good thangs. But weez lookin' for em. Well it's 6 am and I've been up since 3:30...but I do my best thinking around then....Jeff

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Just the Chance to Reflect

Amazing what just a short time to reflect can do for you. My ex-wife actually took both boys twice for a period this weekend and with the weather we're having I certainly welcomed the gesture. There are times with ADHD that you actually find yourself feeling that your child may be possessed of the devil and that your entire body is ready to shut down or explode. Then, when they settle down and have had their medicines you hear them pretending together, putting their arms around each other as brothers you say to yourself "How could I have ever felt that way toward my child?" Ask anyone who is raising ADHD kids and they'll most likely tell you that it happens. I find myself often thinking about just how awesome these guys would be without having to not only deal with normal stages of development but fighting with Mother Nature within and it saddens me that I just can't remove this stumbling block in their lives. These guys are so very intelligent and can be so loving, giving, and caring and God has certainly blessed me with their presence in my life. I know this...I feel this...and yet there always comes those moments when you wish they could be tied to a chair and forced to watch continuous reruns of "Leave It to Beaver"...hoping that somehow something might rub off. (Frankly between you and me, Ward Cleaver would surely go on a killing spree if he had 2 ADHD guys by himself.) I have very little time to work on my own pain much less time to reflect on what's worked out right and what's going wrong. One of the big drawbacks to this fibro thing (You'll find me commenting more on the fibro than anything else that's wrong with me because it is a most awful syndrome) is the memory fog it produces...I forget more often, I have less patience because, in part, I become frustrated from forgetting so much, and I am constantly having to take more time to find ways to remind myself. Many people can't quite grasp fibromyalgia because at present so little is known about it. First of all it is the most painful thing I have ever been through. I hurt constantly and I can no longer remember a day without pain. Coupled with the arthritis that has been eating at me for years there are days when I find walking at all difficult and I feel as if every ounce of energy has been drained from my body...even gripping a pencil is a painful event. I wake every 2 hours or so and the pain is almost unbearable. Doctors aren't sure exactly what causes it but there are some that say it could be caused by a virus but no one has yet isolated it...some say it is the result of some kind of major trauma to the body (with all the operations I've had and the close brushes with death a couple of times it's possible I guess)...some say that as the result of major stresses there has to be a breakdown somewhere and fibro is the result...I don't know...I do know that although the sleep apnea and the diabetes I have may kill me the arthritis and the fibromyalgia will make sure that every day will be most painful. I could (and eventually will!) tell you so much more but no one wants to hear it so enough for now. I know deep down that every thing is for a reason and many times our discomforts we curse are the very things that allow us the opportunities for experiences we would never have had. No matter what you believe the balance of the universe to be...karma....reincarnation...a supreme creator...EVERY THING SERVES A PURPOSE! In that respect I have reason to rejoice in my pain. Logic dictates that the world is far too structured to be a chance happening. Something is in control. MY LOGIC tells me that there is a God. I was once asked by a doubting friend how I could feel certain that my belief in Christianity was well founded besides taking most of it on blind faith based on the writings of men. I told him that the writings of men weren't the complete basis for my beliefs. Logic and observation had their parts in it. I told him that I put myself in the creators place. For whatever reason, I have decided to create a world and give it structure. Structure requires certain rules of order or laws that make everything work the way it is supposed to. The first thing he asked was "If you are the creator why didn't you make everything perfect?"...well I have my reasons and I am the creator and I have created you so I owe you no explanation of that....I have given to my world beings capable of living there in peace and harmony as the highest forms of life therein...I have given them all the resources they need for things to BE PERFECT and very few rules to make it happen. I allow them freedom of choice so the opportunity to see what there is to choose from must exist hence good and evil but make no mistake I am the creator so I am the strongest. My creations make the choice to abandon the easy way I have given them so I assure them that although the choice was wrong I will still allow them to correct their way but not without great effort on their part since they wanted no part of my effortless way. As an incentive I provide them with a reward for a job well done. Down through the ages as their choices would worsen I would send messages on what they needed to do to fix it. After sending countless messengers I feel the need to walk among them as one of them with the same structural laws applied so that I may SHOW them how success could be accomplished and how truly uncomplicated my requirements are. I show them things to convince them that I am the creator and my purpose is to give instructions firsthand and then proceed with a demonstration. My demonstration would involve showing them that under the worst possible conditions that they could accomplish this. They must, as a condition for their choices, lose something of great value to them to gain something of greater value. What would they value most? Life would surely be of the greatest value to them. What I offer in return would have to be of greater value than the structured short term existence they have now. My friend then asked "Why go through all that when you have the power to do anything you want?" Well, because all things must be structured for I cannot create anything greater than or equal to myself. I am not saying that I am correct in my logic, only that I BELIEVE I am correct in my is, after all, MY LOGIC. At least it gave my friend something to think about. One of the reasons I identified so much with John Lennon as I grew up was that I could feel and see the conflicts he had inside through his music...John didn't hide his pain well and he, like myself, was evolving through the complications of this world and trying to make sense of it all. The difference between us was that I was more willing to understand that somewhere amidst all the structure something was in control and it's logic reigned supreme. Amazing what you think about when you are given some time to reflect.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Hard to Find Home

We moved to Asheville in October of 2004 and basically started life again. The boyz had to get used to not only a new neighborhood but new schools as well. ADHD kids (at least mine) don't deal well with changes in settings and routines. The more activity there is in a situation the more the distraction too. The boyz grades lowered and it was a struggle just getting them through the forth and fifth grades. I guess the key word there is "struggle." Everything is a struggle in our world. Waking up and starting the day, mealtimes, chores, games, and bedtime are all struggles where a single parent comes to understand why things such as suicide prevention are necessary. My inner strength is tested on a regular basis and in the small amount of time I have to reflect on my "grades" in the school of life with the lions I find that I average just barely above the survival (passing) level. This means I am either stronger than I thought or insanity has its rewards. Parents of "normal" (and I use that word hesistantly) children have no idea just how much struggle there is in getting a child through a day in a totally distracting world. I am so lucky to have had a mother that taught me where to find the strength I need to make it to the next day. The boyz know of Daddy's heroes and why they are his heroes. They know that Jesus is my ultimate hero and they see my struggle with the human side of me to become more like him. That in itself is enough of a struggle to keep me busy. I often wonder though that if Jesus had ADHD kids and had them on his own and could only use human means of dealing with them just how much time would he have had to find a quiet place to pray. I pray on the run. I have no one to cover for me while I step back and examine how to deal with the situation at hand. I have no way to find a place to go lick my wounds. The boyz know me well enough by now to know that I am trapped. Sometimes they are like a pack of wolves and at the first sign of pain or weakness they go for the throat. That too is the nature of the beast. I know they don't mean to have total disregard for my feelings and no sympathy for my situation. I know they love me and certainly don't want to do without me but the ADHD doesn't provide a platform for putting yourself in the place of others and if by some miracle they do sympathize, for even an instant, the short term memory associated with that instant causes it to disappear before the proper amount of attention can be applied to make it a learning experience. I guess you could term ADHD as a "ME" disorder. The entire focus, fleeting as it may be, and the impulses are to "satisfy me right now...damn the torpedoes!" Believe me it's very difficult for me to sympathize with what I know is going on with them when not only am I hurting so badly but they have eaten on my last nerve. If I could ask for one thing associated with this disorder it would be that I be allowed to think for a moment before having to regulate or referee the situation at hand. That's why ADHD households for the most part are tense, loud, and active places and parents become easily frustrated, many times compounding the situation. I end up hating myself because I can't always deal with happenings the way I know I should be able to. I am a Christian and not a very good one if you judge by how things run when they both are "on the jazz". I spend more time in God's Rehab Clinic than most people. God probably tires of hearing me say I am sorry for some of the things that come out of my mouth during times like these! It is only at times like these (4 am, hurting, kids asleep, and me with time to think) that I can reflect and arm myself somewhat for the day that is about to begin. Hope your day goes well...we'll see how our day goes shortly!

Friday, August 05, 2005

One of Those Nights...

Here lately I've had nights that really stink as far as getting any rest...It's been years since I have been able to sleep for more than 3-4 hours straight without waking. Usually I awaken hurting and have to sit on the edge of the bed for a few minutes to work out the kinks and then try to get some more sleep. The arthritis was bad enough but with arthritis you can get moving and it kind of loosens up a little...but this fibro!...pain I reckon!...every muscle in your body aches and your energy level is down to zero...I am on oxygen and a CPAP machine at night for my sleep apnea and that doesn't help either...I have never been able to lie right down and go to sleep....I hate the mask that I must put on and it still bothers me so I have to be very tired to get to sleep...Last night we got to bed about 9:30...I was up at 11:30....1:45....and 3:30....I finally gave up and got up in a chair at 7 am...The boyz both sleep with me....They can't sleep in their own rooms by themselves....Even if they start out like that eventually during the night they will end up with me...My youngest, Lennon is always afraid in other rooms in the house by himself...I asked him why he was afraid and he at first told me that he didn't know why....As I questioned him further he said "Because I am afraid I'll disappear!"...I assured him that he was safe in his own home and I'd certainly not let anything happen to him but then he said he had heard about Jessica Lunsford and she was in her own home yet she disappeared...Man! How can you convince a child amidst news like that?...I can understand now and it no longer troubles me in not knowing...The thing that really bothered me was that many times with an ADHD child not only are some things blown really out of proportion but ADHD is sometimes accompanied by some other disorder or form of it. I have 2 children with 2 different levels of ADHD and things work differently for both....One of my main worries was that one could be bipolar and that would develop into a totally different ballgame (I strongly suspect that their mother's problem is that she is bipolar...the symptoms fit!)...So far the doctor assures me that all the recent changes in our lives have probably magnified the ADHD symptoms but she feels sure that bipolar disorder hasn't reared it's ugly head ...yet!...Lennon is the most hyperactive-impulsive type of ADHD...This child consumes nearly my every waking moment...You have to push him through each day and each activity except for that which he really wants to do...And those activities are rare to say the least. He is my true test in life. Zak, on the other hand, isn't quite as impulsive but he has a healthy level of hyperactivity too...That mouth will run a mile a second and he gets goofy and tries his best to stir up trouble when that happens...Most times it doesn't take much to get Lennon going and then the war is on....Also they have the normal sibling rivalry things going on for their stages of development and that too has to be addressed...(Can anyone hear the clicking noise of the gun to my head?) what?....The boyz are getting up and I must return to finish later....Pray for me always!...As I slowly drag myself into the den of death.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Hatin' rain....

Rain!....I used to love it!...Sure it makes flowers grow!...but it makes me hurt!...Kids! they do too!...As a general rule no one here engages in any kind of game or competition UNLESS their medicines are not only taken but working!.It always leads to disaster!...I remember reading in Moe Howard's book on the Three Stooges that he always knew when Curly (who by the way was an extremely good ballroom dancer!) came in drunk...He would hear Curly holler "Swwwing it!"...Moe says Curly was on one...Same here...when Lennon is "on the jazz" (full blown ADHD symptoms) His eyes light up...his tongue hangs from the side of his mouth and he has this maniacal laugh...even if you didn't know when to give him his'd know you were late!....Give him the meds and live with it for 45 mins. to an hour and there'll be better livin' through chemistry...It's so hard to put anyone with normal children in touch with what happens in an ADHD household unless you live it...nothing is ever easy...Mealtimes...outings in public....bedtimes....gametimes...all instill a certain fear unless that hyperactivity is taken care of where the boyz can focus...separate...even with full blown symptoms, they are never much of a problem...people often times tell me...."Whatever are you talking about, they are the best behaved children?"...Yeah! Right!....if they are at that time you have no idea what has to happen to get them there....and you'd be totally unaware of the living hell you must pay later...but I can't complain much....God knows what he is doing...Had I not been disabled I'd never have been able to care for these guys like I have...and I guess God knew of my determination to not be beaten in spite of the odds...Just when I think I can take no more and my body is riddled with pain...the boyz are wide open and I feel my 1st stroke or heart attack is right around the corner...I somehow get a grip...drop back and punt!....I am definitely convinced that my lesson in this lifetime that God is trying to give me is one of patience...The Crisps are well known for having little to no patience....And I always used to pray for patience...a minister once told me to never pray for patience because God would send all kinds of things your way to test you...I told him that I was always taught to pray for whatever you needed...and I have always needed will continue to pray for what I need. (Well...I never pray for morphine! always have to be on your toes and creative in an ADHD household...NOTHING WORKS CONSISTENTLY!!....they catch on quickly and will try to out maneuver you...Case in point...One of my sons thinks the only vegetable to eat is a most to get him (and the other too!) to eat some green veggies I would puree asparagus in the spaghetti sauce....They never noticed!...but one day they heard me tell a friend on the phone what I did and now they turn up their noses at ok...I started making salads out of spinach instead of iceberg lettuce and I would place little pieces in sandwiches...sometimes they'd bite and see one and complain...I'd take it off then while protesting a mistake...but they ate's a true test of life to raise kids like this and the sad part is not everyone can handle it...I read all the time of parents whose kids are ADHD and they are driven to the point of giving them up to someone else to raise...I can understand their agony but at the same time that which tests our strength must make us stronger or we lose...many is the time I have closed the door and cried....many times I have sought advice and tips from other parents and people who deal with kids like this but always at some point I step back and say "Man...if anyone else can do this...I can too!...And I do!...Many people say "My hat's off to you I don't know how you do it"...and some say I deserve a medal for the job I do....No...I don't think so...I am doing what anyone is supposed to do for their kids and I am certainly not the best at what I do....but I am getting better...and besides that I don't do this for the rest of the world...Frankly I have become fed up with the turn this world is taking and I care not of anyone's opinion of me or how I do things...The main thing is that my children feel loved by me....they love me...I spend my time trying to make their lives better and no matter how misunderstood by the rest of their world they always know that Daddy understands and even if he becomes upset, angry, or demanding that once Daddy has a chance to regroup all will be taken care of...and that's the bottom line!....Jeff

Monday, August 01, 2005

And the week begins!

The Three favorite comedy team of all time!...They always make me feel better, not only because of their antics on film but mainly because I can only imagine the home life for their mother...(Moe, Shemp, and Curly were brothers in real life!)...With the thought of having them for sons at the age of mine I instantly feel much better. You know how that goes!...there's always someone worse off!'s 8:49 am and of course I have been up and hurting since 5:30 and for a change the boyz are sleeping late...I should say at least Lennon is sleeping late!...Zak always likes his sleep and is irritated at being awakened for any reason! This means that Lennon gets up early (and wired for sound!) just as I am trying to find a corner to crawl into to lick my wounds. Then we begin by having to get him to eat (*load pistol Jeff! mental note!) before his medicine takes effect because it will kill his appetite. I finally finish with all the "Eat Lennons" and the medicine takes the hyperactivity out so that he can focus then up comes Zak with attitude!...I get his breakfast amid him trying to upset Lennon and with him needing his medicine too but having to go the same basic routine as with Lennon so that he will eat!...BUT!...since Lennon is finished and otherwise distracted (reading...playing...something other than being in my way!) Zak wants to skip breakfast and go right to play or into Lennon's world at the moment and the struggle begins anew!...Ah yes! Did I mention how bad I feel this morning?...and did I mention the mental notes of just how much around the house I have noticed that needs to be done today?...anyway after the medicines kick in it looks like Daddy will be leading an expedition into the wasteland and begin assignment of recovery efforts to 2 little boys that seek only playtime!...and the war rages on!

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Ah yes! More Attitude from Madboy!

Here's a prime example of Zak's poor attitude...I told him of this blog I was working on and he expressed an interest in having one too..."Great!", I said, and proceeded to set it up with him and show him how to post and publish. Prior to this I had been online checking on bedroom furniture for him since he wanted to eventually "trick out" his room in Dragon Ball Z style. After setting up the blog and showing him the how-tos, I told him that when I finished what I was doing in a couple of minutes that he could get on and blog his little heart out. Immediately he scowled, stomped his feet and said,"If I can't get on RIGHT NOW then I don't want to have a blog anyway...Just cancel it!" This always is his little boy way of thinking that talking to me like that, in that tone of voice, will cause me to stop what I am doing and turn it over to him....but Daddy don't play that! Instead, I said,"Fine then I certainly will delete it now and I won't help to set it up again!" This is only one example of several times TODAY that he has done that. It occurs most often when he is at the tail end of his medicine before the next dose...HOWEVER, it is a part of his normal behavior too so ADHD can only brought into consideration as pertaining to the quickness of the onset of the attitude (ala impulsiveness). Not only do I have to deal with the ADHD side of these guys but they also go through the normal "kid" stages of development and the pitfalls there too! Is it any wonder that I find myself trying to run into oncoming traffic sometimes?...It's a rough life to say the least and certainly extremely rough on a single parent in poor health!

The Boyz

This is Lennon, my youngest at 10...yes, of course I had to name him after one of the more emotional and complicated Beatles!....Couldn't I have named him after a calmer George?...Nope...John's thinking was more in tune with mine as I grew up!...Lennon's ADHD manifests itself in him through his physical got to have his hands on someone!
Zachary at oldest child and becoming increasingly vocal and rebelious! A true test of my patience and understanding! A very intelligent, loving, and opinionated child. The ADHD manifests itself in him through his attitude and his mouth!

Let's Start My Reality!

Ok Folks! Let's get acquainted!...This is me obviously on a day when I am able to function happily!...or maybe the boyz are unleashed elsewhere on an unsuspecting world! I have good days and bad due to a) my health or b) the state of the boyz!