Friday, November 1, 2013

Holiday Blues or am I just blue, period?

Halloween has passed.  Now onto Thanksgiving.  Then Christmas.  Then New Years Eve AND Day.  Then what? We all start to make promises we secretly call "resolutions" and stick with them for about a month, two if we are lucky.  Then we wait for the next holiday. 

As a child I couldn't wait for the holidays.  All of the family getting together and SO many traditions we have made over the years to follow.  But hitting mid-life and finding out how much the world has changed, or how much MY world has changed has left me in a deeply dug hole.  One I put myself in but never saw me digging.

I was going to go somewhere and do something.  The first 30 years seemed to be everything I wanted, even if I didn't follow society's trends or do what everyone expected me to.  Then I seemed to "grow up."  Whatever that means.  I got my BS followed by my Masters and got a job teaching.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my job but the people who run it, who TRULY don't know what they are doing, are ruining the entire public education system.  I am so far in debt with student loans to pay more and more in taxes and "benefits" and bring home less and less.  And funny how the requirements for me, even though I am considered highly educated and highly qualified in my field are left to politicians, who aren't trained in this field, to tell me what I have to show.  And honestly it's just more hoops to jump through to look good on paper.

Now comes the time where I am an adult.  But I did what I thought was right and I'm not happy.  I liked being the gypsy that I was the first 30 just trying to find out who I was...though I don't know if I ever did.  I need to figure out the other side of 40.  I keep hearing this decade is all about doing IT.  But I feel like my feet are in cement. I can't make changes? But why? Why the monotony? Why the sadness?

Because it's a time of family.  Not everyone has the Rockwell picturesque of a family.  Facebook is handy to make everyone ELSE think that YOU have it all figured out. Liars.  Inside those four walls there are more secrets that I think you are afraid of others seeing, so you play the game of "My life is perfect."  IS this the life you dreamt of?  Or are you playing the hand you dealt, due to your choices.  I know that some can honestly answer they really enjoy this time of their life.  But deep inside my soul I just think that when all the good is erased and it's my turn to make my own memories...I am not sure what to do.

I do know I need to escape.  Not with alcohol or drugs.  I've been there.  I mean I need to leave tomorrow and leave the last 40 behind and go somewhere where I can begin again.  Will it end the sadness?  I know that grass is always greener analogy but I can't get out of the mindset to run away.  Leave everything and everyone behind and whatever happens no one has to worry or think about me because me, as you know me, is left in infamy in the memories we carry around in our hearts and the pictures we leave on FB.  I always loved when my mom told me to run away, just don't leave the front yard. Hm.  How simple instructions and could only wish someone could put those restrictions on me.  To save me from that big, bad world that is ready to crap on me.  Or continue to.

I just want the holidays to pass so I don't have to remember that my family is gone.  Not all the members.  Just the family I knew.  And with that gone, I don't see a place for me here.  At least not now. I want to face freedom with no fear and go...

Monday, August 19, 2013

The leaves are changing


I have always heard that if you love your job you will never work a day in your life.  I love teaching but I am not at all excited for this upcoming year.  Maybe that is because I have went through a LOT of changes in the past year.  Maybe it's because we have a huge new staff or maybe it's because I've lost my passion.  Perhaps it's all a combination but I am definitely not ready.


I know I need to spend probably three days in my classroom setting up, organizing and creating lesson plans.  We have to tear our rooms down at the end of the school year so now I have to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.


Since my sisters move to Phoenix I have had time to reflect and then it dawned on me.  Vickie won't be here to go to Staples on Teacher Appreciation Day.  They have it every year.  You go to a store and they have donuts and juice and then a bag with goodies.  Being the honest girl we are, we arrive at our first Staples at 9am walk in, get our free stuff and get out. Next, we look at the navigator to the next closest Staples and drive there, walk in, get our freebies and walk out.  We do this for a solid three hours from Tacoma to Seattle and from Burien to Issaquah.  You would be AHmazed at how much ground we cover.  And although everything in our bags are samples, by the time you've been to 10 Staples you have lots of "stuff" to stock your classroom with.   And of course there are raffles so within a week you may get called for that prize, as well.  When we're all done we have lunch and go home.  The following weekend we go to the outlet stores and cheap stores (Ross, TJ Maxx..etc.,) for school clothes shopping.  We start out about 10am and literally go until 9 or 10pm.  Of course there is eating throughout the day, as well.  Then we come back to Vickie's house and try on clothes and give my other sister, Anita, a fashion show.  But this year it's just me.  My husband, Ricky, will have to drive me over to Ross and then pick me up when I call him.  Neat, huh?


My driver's license has ben revoked from June '13 until June '14 because of the auto accident I was in on November 2, 2011.  I drove from about 2 weeks after the accident in '11 through May of 2012 and no issues/tickets/accidents...nothing.  So imagine my amazement that the DOL was REVOKING my license a year and seven months after my accident.   Did I mention I have a spotless driving record (up to the accident?)  So now I have to rely on everyone to drive me places or come pick me up if I want to do anything.  And it was an ACCIDENT for heaven's sake.  My insurance took care of everything and it's almost been two years.  But leave it to the DOL to not be on top of things.  Another reason I can't wait to get out of WA.


My sister Vickie has a dog, Simba, who came from the same litter as my dog, Harleigh.  While I was in Phoenix I saw a spot on her leg.  Vickie went and had it checked out.  It's stage two bone cancer.  That makes me very sad.  Now I look at Harleigh every day for lumps.  Vickie had the tumor removed and they found one in her mouth, as well and removed it.  So now she will see an Oncologist to see how to proceed.  The girls are only eight.  I know Simba is a tough cookie (they are Rhodesian Ridgebacks/Lab mix) and if Vickie gets her on the right meds she could last two-four more years.  I get sad when I think about Harleigh OR Parker having to die.


Speaking of death, a classmate of mine from high school has stage 4 breast cancer.  She's beaten stage 3 TWICE over the years but this time, the cancer will win.  Tumors are throughout her body and attached to every organ and now her brain.  The doctors said she wouldn't be here by Xmas of 2011 and here it is almost three years later.  But my friend went to actually say goodbye to her.  We all know it's time for her to be out of pain and be laid to rest.  She says she's not afraid and she's ready to let go.  She was always so nice to me and although not BFF's she was the first to lend her hand to comfort me when I went through cancer, twice (I am in remission.)  I get so nervous everyday because I don't know if we'll hear through the phone or by text or over FB.  But we all know it's coming.  So much death seems to surround me lately.  I never think about it but nowadays it seems like it can't get off my mind.  My prayers go out to you tonight, Lisa, that you may pass peacefully and the horrific pain you are enduring will forever be gone.  You will be missed but your kindness will live on through me.  I remember my friends, Laura & Cindy's mom once told me, "When someone dies, take ONE thing you loved about that person and incorporate it into who you are. Then, in a way, that person will live on through your actions.  Thanks, Sally.


I have a week and a 1/2 before I have to go back for good.  I bought my ticket to Phoenix from Dec 20th - Dec 31st. 


My friend, Caren and I are going to see Blondie in concert at Marymoor Park in Redmond on the 17th of September.  I am hoping for my bday Ricky will take me to Snoqualmie Casino as they have The Price is Right LIVE! (which originated in Vegas) playing there on the 28th.   Caren and I will also take a road trip across the mountains for the last few days of sun and relaxation.  I also heard that Carl's Jr. has a Green Burrito in Ellensburg (center of WA state) and since I had those at Rocky's (San Diego) I haven't stopped thinking about them.  Sad, but true.  We will stop by the North Bend Outlet Mall on our way home to do a little clothes shopping for school, too.


Another school year and summer complete.  Here goes a new school year, with most of my family gone, waiting for the outcome of my hearing against the district (who is trying to argue that zero tolerance=under the influence) and getting our "Moving to AZ" checklist ready and start getting on a role.  I still ant to be a 911 operator.  Maybe I'll change when I get to AZ.  Who knows. I need something different because this life has become CRAP.


Teri C

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Hitting a wall


After driving with my sisters down to AZ where they now live, and spent 2 weeks with them I flew to San Diego to stay 10 days with my BFF, Rocky, and her 2 daughters.  As usual we had so much fun.  We laughed and we cried and once again parted ways.  Now I'm back home and the realization that I am just not happy here has really set in.  I can't remember a time I have ever felt this sad and alone.

I am trying to get in contact with people and be social because I realize the more I sit here by myself the further I sink.


I have always listened to Fleetwood Mac since I can remember.  I was a huge Stevie Nicks fan in High School during her 1st solo career.  In May my husband and I went to see Fleetwood Mac at the Tacoma Dome.  Something was different.  When they sang I listened.  I mean LISTENED.  I couldn't believe how some of the lyrics to songs were connected to my soul, my story.  The concert was over 2hours of JUST FM.  No opening act-just their iconic music.  I think of all the music and lyrics I have in my head.  People always tell me, "How do you remember all these lyrics?"   It's just something I know, I guess.  Since the concert I started listening to FM's greatest hits and fell in love with them all over again.  I started listening to the songs and thought, "I should look up the lyrics."  That lead me to researching the meanings behind the music  Stevie has always been known as a mystical persona.  I started watching film, interviews, clips...whatever I could get my hands on as I learned about this woman from Phoenix, AZ who never settled for content...through everything she held out for what made her happiest, her music.  The story of Stevie is bittersweet because she ended up with everything she aspired to be and had very sad/heartbreaking romance that lives on in her music.  I see Taylor Swift doing the same thing and we rake her over the coals.   You listen to most anything written by Stevie and you'll hear a story.  You will make a bond with the song, and with her that will never break.  Because everytime you hear that song it takes you to THAT place. Good, bad, happy or sad I can actually feel the words in my soul.  Perhaps it's my age, perhaps I never THOUGHT about what I was saying as I sang (to any song.)  I even listen to the music my students do and it's all so sexual and violent "but the beat's good" so we continue to let them listen.  My mom let me sing Elton John's "The Bitch is Back" because saying bitch wasn't me swearing after all, it was a lyric!  I used to make kids pick their favorite song of all time and then re-interpret the words for exact meaning. It's amazing what they learn about what they sing. 


Stevie's "Gypsy" (recorded by FM) is a haunting song that reminds me the gypsy in me is gone and I can look back but now that I'm older I need to continue on in life and remember that girl, but get past her.  She's not coming back.  Keep the memories alive but be in the present making new ones.  It tears me up, every time.  I think about the song "Dreams."  I remember I was sitting outside of Taco Time in Federal Way, WA and the song came on the radio and I sang it as if I were Stevie and I would look into the rear-view mirror as if it was the camera and I was making a video.  I can replay that in my head, but I have no idea why I have THAT memory.  But, she made that bond with me that day. A bond that still exists.


I heard that Stevie had made a documentary while writing/recording her latest album, "In Your Dreams (2011)."  So I went to listen to the music and just found, of course, TONS of videos of Stevie.  I started watching anything and everything I could get my hands on.  Her life story is Unreal.  She speaks about it freely but guarded but doesn't let the message escape you.  SHE made the mistakes that if, in your life, some mistake from her life pops up in your head and leads you to make a good choice, then she knows that her story has benefitted another.  She already made the mistake so I don't have to.  As I read the lyrics to her music, especially For What it's Worth and Secret Love, they seem to eerily speak to my heart.  I can lie on my couch, put on my headphones, and close my eyes to hear Stevie's latest words.  I decided to download the documentary In Your Dreams, which follows her for 13 months as she records the album.  You get to learn so much about what goes into production of an album but you also see the friendship of Stevie and Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) and Mike Campbell.  They're artistry and poetry are so beautiful together.  You can FEEL them in the words they play.  In the videos of the two songs I mentioned you can see it, hear it and feel it. The documentary shows how each song on the LP was made/written/discovered.  It also shows her connection with Lyndsey & Mick Fleetwood.   I realized that this lady is 65.  I am 20 years younger than her and I am officially obsessed with her.  Last time I felt like this about an artist was in 1984 with Rick Springfield.  


I don't know how to get through this bout of depression because I have never been this low or this sad, ever.  But I know at least I have Stevie to turn to because her words are hitting me like a brick.  I've ran into a wall and feel at this time I'll never get over or around it, but w/her music, which is about HER life, I know there is support.    I don't know what I am supposed to do from here so I'll have to bring down that wall one brick at a time, for what it's worth.

~Teri C

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Vacation, pt. 1

I drove from Tacoma all the way to Phoenix, AZ in the range of 3 days.  While there were good times to be had, day 2 had to be the sickest trip ever.  Well, we went through OR, ID, UT and a bit into NV and then into AZ.  My sisters decided that, after Mom died, that there was really nothing left in WA for them.  They decided to move to Surprise, AZ.  They made the move in about 3 months.  So the final steps were to drive their cars down with the last luggage and the dogs.

Once we got down there we had to sleep on blow up mattresses because we didn't know when the furniture would arrive.  That night we took Vickie's friend, Lisa, to the airport as she had to go home.  We came back to the house and laid on the mattresses and kind of started playing a game but Vickie stopped responding so Anita and I decided to sleep, as well.

The next day I was excited to go lie by the pool and realized that my sisters were now going to spend everyday setting up their home and not have pool time with me.  So I laid out for a few hours and then went in to shower.  After the shower I realized I had a 3rd degree burn on my right shin.  However, nothing else got color??? 

 While I was there we saw Now You See Me and The Heat.  I really liked the first movie and the latter was OK.  I had popcorn both nights.  When I went to bed the 2nd night I awoke at 3 in the morning and my stomach was churning. I raced to the bathroom only to realize I was going to hurl.  And boy did I ever!  The next day I didn't move out of bed.  I finally woke up around 5pm only to find blisters on my right shin.  I got the Neosporin on it and knew the pool was out for a few days.

 We spent that weekend shopping.  And driving.  We never knew exactly where we were at. Someone told us that if we saw mountains, that direction was W.   So what are we to think when we see mountains in every direction?  I am sure some were hills but when none of them have snow on them, how does a Washingtonian tell the difference?  I have never felt so lost in all of my life as I did during those 2 weeks in Surprise.

 After our weekend of shopping I realized that a blister appeared on my big, right toe.  And it had popped and bled.  Last time this happened, 3 years ago at Disneyworld Parks, on my left, big toe, the hole started to eat itself inward and I had emergency surgery and remained in a boot for 11 weeks.  It hasn't healed.   That's neat.

 When the moving crew finally came the movers were Mexican and made some racist comments yet gave us their homemade tamales.  They could have killed us, the tamales, not the Mexicans, but we ate them anyhow.  Never seen a Long girl turn down a tamale.  Once all the furniture was in the next week was full of emptying boxes, washing, drying, cleaning things, moving things around...etc.  At night we always went out to dinner.  The best meal had to be at Pedro's in Glendale.  The most authentic Mexican dinner I have had, since I was IN Mexico.  Weird part was the cook was Asian and the servers were older (over 55) and white.  Everyone else...Mexican.  I really didn't think of it again once I started eating.  We also ate at Texas Roadhouse.  Chili, Cesar Salad, 6oz sirloin, baker with everything and 4 yeast rolls with cinnamon-honey butter.  Two of the best meals I had.  YUM.

 As the days dwindled down towards my departure more things got in place and it started feeling like home.  The 4th of July was pool time for us all and then we bbq'd.  After dinner we swam some more then came in and watched The Call with Halle Berry (so fricken good!!) and Identity Theft with Jason Bateman and Mellissa McCarthy which   We also had Banana Splits!!  Good ending.

 The next a.m. I had to get up and pack because it was time to leave. I was sad to know I had to leave my sisters and fly away.  The good part was I was flying to San Diego, CA to see my BFF, Rocky.  I've known Rocky since I was 10.  She is one person that knows EVERYTHING about me and my life and has been there for me, although she has lived in UT or CA longer than she's lived in WA.  But our friendship only grows stronger every day.  I am not sure I could live without her.  As my sisters drove me to the airport things were fine.  When I got out of the car, however, I knew I had to turn and say goodbye.  No more could I just get in the car and drive over to see them.  I know there is phones and texts but to not have my sisters by me, and to know Mom is no longer here, makes my heart hurt badly.  I know I am headed back to WA, and to be alone.  I hugged them goodbye but tears silenced my words as they told me how much they loved me and would miss me.  All I could do is shake my head for them to understand that I felt the same, I just couldn't get the words out.  I went into the airport and found a corner and completely broke down.  Once I could breathe, even just a bit I checked in and went through security and got to my gate.  I called my husband and broke down.  He did a good job talking me out of my tears.  It was time to board and before I knew it we were up in the air, had a drink and we were landing 15 minutes early!  I got out to the curb and there was Rocky and her girls!  I broke down immediately and within 10 minutes we became the true idiots we always are and the laughter began...

 I have 10 days here in San Diego and we will start off by heading to Palm Springs, then it's Riley (Rocky's eldest) bday and then we'll go to Knott's Berry Farm for a day of roller coastering and THEN I still have 5 days left to do.....????  But I know there will be lots of love, laughter and FOOD.  The only thing missing will be my sisters.

 Until next time, all my love,

Teri C

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Life Story- June 20th

I finished up with the end of the school year and will miss my kids so much.  Teaching is one of the hardest jobs I have ever had as it wears down every sense you possesses.  But if you are not a teacher you hear from that crowd how easy you have it because all you can do is sit and color with them.  Hm.  Haven't done it yet, but I'll keep hoping.

Now it's time for summer break. My sisters are moving to AZ and I will drive down with them starting tomorrow a.m.  2 cars, 4 people, 2 dogs and our luggage.  Should be a phenomenal road trip. Very serene.

After that I will fly into San Diego and spend 2 wks with my bestie, Rocky.  I need her so much right now I can hardly wait to get there. 

Coming home will be the hardest to know that my husband is here, and my one friend...the rest have either passed, or moved away.  I think emotionally I will not prepare until I am hit in the face.

I woke up with a 102 temp Mon morning and my neck looked like Frankenstein.  I got some antibiotics and already feel so much better.

On a sad note,  I found out that one of my long time friends decided not only to sleep with a married man but go on to ruin his marriage and take him for herself.  It's hard because it's something that I just don't believe in.  I know it's not my place to judge so when we do talk I don't bring it up.  I lost one of my closest gf's for this same thing and I'm terrified to lose this other woman, too. But what about their kids? Those kids all know that their mom or day didn't do the things God has asked for them to do, yet justify it all as "it was meant to be."  How bout divorce and THEN SEW YOUR WILD OATS?  I just swear, at times when I just want to run out and do things because I am so over my husband's antics but to lie with a man outside your marriage and make it known, is more than I can handle.  Perhaps I'll lose her, too, because of my stance, but for now I just had to ask her to stop talking about it.  It's ruining a marriage, not a bragging right.  It tears me up inside.

I am so ready to get away from WA and all the drama that surrounds me here.  I am sickened that I must stay one more year!  I can see that getting older has solidified those beliefs that I wasn't really sure of when I was younger.  But as I continue to grow and learn, hurting others to give in to your temptations is definitely not the trait I want to possess.

It's bad enough having Bullies as my Administration at the district level whom have it OUT for me even though I have not ONE discipline record in my 12 year history with the district!  Never a benefit of doubt goes to me.  It's like mom always said, "In the in, the only loyalty you will be left with, is your own."  The school district is a prime example  13 years of my life to be treated like a piece of crap because of my battle with cancer, GBS and disabilities got in their way.

Please pray I make it down to AZ, SOON.  I just need out of her and make some new friends and people who learn about me, FROM me, not something that precedes me.  Take time and watch what others are doing in this world.  Take a lesson from their life book.  We all have a story to share that just might help another to make it through another day.

All my love,
Teri C

Monday, May 27, 2013

45 is the new....No. It's just 45.

Today is Memorial Day of 2013.

It's been 3 years since I wrote.  I don't know why.  Maybe because I was so busy living life that I never took the time to stop and say what was happening.  Now if you ask me what happened in the last three years I don't have a lot to say.  I was in a car accident.  I passed out at the wheel, crossed the line and hit an oncoming car head on.  Because of that I now have a felony on my record for a car accident.  I had my license revoked for a year and I will have to take the test over AGAIN as if I was 16 in June of 2014.  I've never had a ticket but now I'm a felon.   It's not even really a felony because when you have to check off that box on any type of application for ANYTHING and you say it's for a car accident and the other guy had a few stitches in his forehead and was let out of the hospital in a few hours people look at you like you're crazy and you continue as normal.  This has just been surreal.

How about my husband losing his job?  Yeah, this was pretty neat. He was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure and COPD.  For the next two years he just sat at home and let me go to work everyday and pay for everything on my own.  He never did anything at home to help and when I did get paid, he took my debit car and went and drank money away at the pub.  My resentment built up so bad I felt my depression spiral downward and out of control.  He never understood me.  He only understood, "He was dying."   Which, aren't we all?

Last December 29th I got a call from my sister, Anita, and when I answer I can't get the words out of my head. "Mom passed away."  I just had spent four days, including Xmas eve and day with my Mom and two sisters.  It was so great.  We talked about growing up and where we were going.  The dogs were running around.  I sat with my Mom for what would be the last time and took her through my pictures on my iPad that she had never seen, even pictures of her after her last round of chemo a few years back.  She was appalled at those few pics and said, "I never want to look like that again!"  I said, "But look at you now!  You look so good and that's amazing!"  As we dropped her off at her home I hugged her, told her I loved her and got into my truck and drove home.  To a home where I was in a severe depression.   Who knew four days later I would be told that she had left me forever?

The viewing was the worst thing I have ever endured in my life.  To stand beside my mommy and ask her about all those plans we had that will never come true.  What about all those questions I still have?  What about all those things coming that I won't know how to handle?  What about when I need help?  What about when I want to die and I really am ready to go and only my mother's love can tell me that I AM somebody and that she loves me so much?  Who will tell me I am pretty?  That I am talented?  That I can do anything?   I don't think anyone understands that her body lying there, with her eyes closed, and not responding was the WORST thing that could ever happen to me in my life.  She was gone.  And there was nothing I could do about it.  And I don't know anyone who understands how I feel.   So I stay to myself and cry so hard, until I'm empty and then pretend I'm okay because that's how I'm supposed to be, right.

Five months later...I've lived through my brother's bday, my sister's bday, my dad's bday, my parent's anniversary and mother's day. All without my Mom. Now its Memorial Day.  I can't go to the cemetery.  I went there once for my dad after he died.  Ricky took me.  I walked to his grave and placed flowers on it.  But it felt so cold and lonely.   I've never been back.  Since my mom's burial I haven't been back.  It might sound stupid, but since watching Long Island Medium I am just believing more and more that maybe Mom and Dad are around me all the time and with me.  It's just the hollow feeling inside that I don't know how to restore.  I don't know who I am.  45 and I have no clue who I am.  I am Iris' youngest daughter.  I'm her baby.   Not anymore.  I'm just Teri.  45 year old Teri.  Who is that, really?

Next sisters are moving to AZ.  I was supposed to move, too, but it just didn't work out.  I am aiming for next summer.  But they will leave in three weeks.  When they insides will grow a bit more hollow.  I am just that much more alone.  My best friend lives forever away.  I can't drive to go see anyone.  All of my friends were lucky enough to have children and have lives.  I'm not hating, it's just a realization that I am trying to come to terms with that as I look at MY life, this is what *I* am dealing with.   School is coming to a close.  I will drive with my sisters to AZ for their final move, go to San Diego to see Rocky, my best friend, go to Mexico with my husband and then a small jaunt somewhere with my good friend, Angie before next school year begins.  Hopefully somewhere I find healing in this search for myself while saying goodbye, for now, to my sisters.

So, take this love, take it down
Oh if you climb a mountain and you turn around
If you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well the landslide will bring you down, down 
Fleetwood Mac Live 2013, Tacoma Dome 5/20/13

 ~Teri, 45

About Me

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T-town, WA, United States
I am 45, MWF with 3 dogs: Molly (My Mom's pup), Harleigh and Parker. I teach 8th grade and absolutely LOVE my job. I've been married 8 years to Ricky, whom I love with all my heart. I also like to go to movies and love the drive in! I love Netflix and reality tv (which, is truly more of an obsession.) I am on facebook so look for me! Life is changing all the time, I am just not sure if I am keeping up with the changes.