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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Plethora of Pictures and Updates

So on the subject of bugs, here is a little picture for you insect lovers:

Yes, the highlights are blown out a little bit on the edges but you get the point.  You'll be happy to know there is a piece of glass between me and the nest.

So some more pictures.  Here is a before and after picture of some drywall work I did this week:

Isn't it interesting what happens when you take your time and do the job right the first time?  I was pretty happy with this patch job.

And lastly for those who like the artistic flair, because you know I do, here is a picture of the art studio:

I love how the light flows into the studio, we keep the blinds open just for this reason in the morning. 

So now for some updates.  Ninja mouse is gone.  We have had no more sightings of a mouse, bug, insect, anything!  I like to think Spooky scared the mouse off, but that is just my imagination running wild. 

Isn't it funny how you can spend $1900, in about 3 hours?  New brakes, new tie rods, new tires, new belt and then the next week your water pump begins to leak?  Safety is important for my drive to and from work.   Well, didn't procrastinate on that and $20.00 for a water pump and a couple of hours on a Saturday and the thing is changed out.  I almost took it to the shop but thought, I can do this.  Seems, in fact, I can do that. 

Ginger and I have been doing lots of counseling, of others, as of late.  Our ministry you could call it.  What I find funny is someone asks your opinion, they come to you, read that, THEY COME TO YOU.  You give said opinion.  You know, the proverbial, what should I do?  Well, from experience this is what you should do.  Thanks for your opinion, and thanks for sharing your experience, but I'm going to do it my way.  No problem.  Wait a couple of weeks.  Hey, you were right, everything you said would happen did.  How do I fix this?  Sigh.  Listen to the opinion that I gave you a couple of weeks earlier would have been nice, but this.  I don't want to do that.  Then don't.  But I want it fixed.  Then do what I suggested.  But that's too hard, or confrontational, or etc.  Then keep living the way you are.  But I don't want to.  AHHHHHHH!!!!!!  Okay, new plan.  Buy a ticket to Iceland and go on vacation for 6 months.  Don't take a phone, computer, tablet, or any electronic device.  Have no communication with anyone you know.  Come back and see if your problem is there.  Now your just being silly, they say.  Really?  Like you coming to ask my opinion when you knew you weren't going to listen?  When I speak about addiction, I speak from years of experience and because I've been on the other shoe above.  I think this is God's way of reminding me of how insane I was in my addiction!  It's always good to have little reminders of why you don't do things you use to, like drink alcoholic beverages.  As it is, I'll take a lemon filled jelly donut instead.  

So as you can see, the craziness of our lives continues!  And we love it!  Ginger is still the most beautiful girl in the world to me and she gets prettier by the day.  Some people may get tired of me saying that but I know one cute girl who doesn't....and she's mine.  In the end, who cares what people think, after all, those who love me know how much she means to me.  Just sayin.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Double Date

So Friday night Ginger and I went out on a double date with Brandon, a very good friend of mine, and his new girlfriend Olivia.  Here is a picture:

It was a great Friday night.  We ended up at Chili's and ended up staying for 2 hours, just talking and enjoying each other's company.  Olivia fit in quite well with the rest of us and it was fun to see how Brandon and Olivia reacted to each other.  They look at each other like Ginger and I do and it is fun to see love blossoming right before our eyes.  There is lots of playfulness, fun, and oh yeah, over 2000 text messages!  Before you go 2000!  May I remind you that Ginger and I sent that many at least when we were first going out.  Ginger actually used to write them all down for a keepsake.  We kept the early email's too and it is fun to go back and look at how our own love was birthed and blosssomed.  Olivia uses a wheelchair at times but I won't call her handicapped.  Oh no, not me.  She has never let her disability define her and it is obvious in the fact that she owns her own cattle business with her Mom.  I'd call her a spitfire.  And her and Ginger seemed to hit it off quite nicely, in fact they play scrabble together on the iphone now.  Small world.

The funny thing is, these two lovebirds have hit some of the early road blocks Ginger and I did when we first went out.  Olivia has been "warned" about Brandon by those in a certain ministry and yet her counselor, mom, and grandmother adore Brandon.  Hmmmm, seems to me that if those who are closest to her approve that you might think twice about those warnings.  Oh yes, and Brandon's sponsor loves the fact that Brandon has found Olivia, should I mention now that I'm his sponsor?
Ginger had people at that ministry and another warn her about me.  I was damaged goods.  And yet, almost 3 years into our marriage we are still in love, crazy about each other, and will break out in thumb wars if given the chance (we were seperated at one ministry for this act). 

So it is no coincidence to me that these two lovebirds have been brought into Ginger and I's path.  Brandon has been very open to me about this relationship, no one is trying to hide anything.   For Olivia's side, I think that people try to "protect" her, thinking she needs protecting because she has a wheelchair and has dealt with certain issues.  My issue with this is, did she ask for your opinion?  Did she ask for your protection?  Because the young lady I met at Chili's, well, she has a very good head on her shoulders.  When leaving she asked Brandon for help at one point, so she is capable of asking for help when needed.  Her Mom, who we met briefly, we could tell in that brief moment was quite a capable protector of her daughter.  I wouldn't want to incur the wrath of her, just sayin. 

If you have misgivings about this relationship, your welcome to express your opinion to both of them.  To use the ministry as a backdrop to try and prevent it is just wrong.  Of course they didn't figure that Brandon's sponsor was me either, who keeps up with the rules.  And just like Ginger and I, Brandon is keeping everything in the open.  And when people hurt Ginger's feelings, they dealt with me and already I see that same fire in Brandon, and that is a protection I'm sure that Olivia will welcome.  

The fact is blooming love is an awesome experience to witness.  It is beautiful and fun, with lots of laughter.  In just one double date I knew there would be more because to be a part of their experience is a walk down memory lane for us as we remember how our love grew.  And the fact that they've allowed God into their courtship, that they want Him to guide them, well, I can already see that as well.  After all, many thought Ginger and I's love would wane after the excitement wore off.  Funny, almost 3 years into marriage and I'm just as excited to see her now as I was back then.  Show's you what the naysayers knew.....


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Black Widow and Boundaries

Okay so as of the last post, ninja mouse has disappeared.  Seems all the unwanted attention has sent him (or her) back to the field, or someone else is serving up a better meal!  That or me sealing all the cracks I could find (love that spray foam!) has given them no access to the traps.  As it is we have another memory, and story, that we have a lifetime to share!

So I have some fun little pictures to share with you:

I hope your not scared of spiders!  This deadly but beautiful spider was at work where the water shut off valve is at.  But it allowed me to lead into my topic for today which is boundaries.  The shot was taken with a 55-250mm zoom lense, so I was able to be a good 4 feet away and take the shot.  I learned a little about lighting, this was about my 5th shot and as you can see it turned out gorgeously.  The funny thing is whenever I showed the picture everyone asks, did you kill it?  No, I left her alone.

But I got to thinking this weekend about boundaries.  I have them in my life, but it is funny how people really want to test them.  Not my loved ones.  They absolutely don't.  But it is interesting how when my boundaries conflict with what someone wants to accomplish, they see my boundaries as secondary.  For example, I have two boundaries I hold steady with.  One is, on Saturday if I am working or helping someone, I don't work past 4.  Period.  Why Paul?  Because from 4 on as I get home to get cleaned up, it's date night.  I'm Ginger's.  I don't care how much money I'm, being paid that time I have alone with Ginger is more valuable.  The other is during the week, I will not stay out past 9:30.  Again, has to do with Ginger.  First of all, Ginger has meds she takes at night, typically around 9:40.  If I am not home for part of the night Ginger typically will fall asleep, even if I am home she will take a little "nap".  If I am out and call, she will usually not hear her phone, texting or calling.  So it is important that I am home so that she gets up and takes them. 

But isn't it interesting that when I tell people these things, how their agenda seems to be pushed to the front.  In my former codependent state I would do what they wanted instead of what I wanted, wanting to please them instead of holding firm to my boundaries.  Now I push back.  I stand firm.  Just because you have something that you feel is more important than my wife, that is not my problem.  Especially since I'm up front at the very beginning of whatever I'm doing with said person.  I don't mix words, I don't beat around the bush.  It's why I could never be at a job that I'd have to be on call.  Because the minute the choice would be between a call and my wife I'd get fired because I choose my wife every time.  Read that, every time. 

You see, for those that don't know my wife is bipolar.  Don't worry, she is more apt to tell you than me, she is very open with her mental illness and is quite candid in spreading the word that you can live a very successful and fulfilling life with the illness.   It takes work though, work that she and I both happily embark upon together to make life happier.  But it saddens and angers me when someone continues to try and push the above boundaries for their own agenda.  There is alot to taking care of someone who is bipolar.   I take on the responsibility happily because I love my wife more than life itself. It takes time and it takes a commitment beyond the ordinary. 

The reason the spider reminded me of boundaries, well, she is about a foot from the turn off valve.  Respect her boundaries and she leaves you alone.  Cross into her boundaries and your liable to get attacked, for even though your bigger, she doesn't see that, and she is powerful enough to take you down.  The only way besides not crossing her boundaries is to kill her.  I feel pretty strongly about my boundaries.

We have a very happy life.  God provides for us abundantly in many ways.  I've seen too many marriages and relationships get ruined because work or ministry took priority over a loved one.  It's either "God's work" has to be done, or "we have to provide for the family".  Got a novel idea for ya, trust God to provide for you and let Him lead you in ministry.  Ginger is my number one ministry.  Period.  God didn't give me this beautiful, priceless jewel of a wife to neglect her, to put her on a shelf while I go work or do ministry and leave her to collect dust on a shelf.  There is a time for work and yes, there is a time for ministry.  But you also have to make time for your family.  After all, if work is taken away, or ministry, what will you have left?   An empty home?  Just something to think about....


P.S.  This blog has been Ginger approved.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Ninja Mouse!

So how many of you like pictures that tell a story?  Oh yes, the above two pictures have quite a funny story behind them.  

So the ever loving hubby that I am walks into the living room last week and sees the top off said peanuts.  Ginger is in the kitchen and I say, "Ginger did you eat some peanuts?"  I was confused because the top was off.  Ginger looks at me with a look that says, no, I did not eat any peanuts!  And says, "no I didn't have any."  When your wife is watching her food intake any accusation about eating food that has not been partaken of is a good way for hubby to get the look!  Husbands know EXACTLY what I'm talking about....

It was then that I noticed red particles that use to be the lid.  My thought, we had one hungry mouse to eat that lid!  It was gone!  Not only that but the peanuts were gone and the canister was not tipped over.  We had one heck of a acrobatic mouse.  Ninja mouse coming to a home near you!  

Well Ginger gets a hold of our landlords who graciously give us the items needed to catch the elusive mouse.  So I seal up any cracks that may be an entry way and we set our traps up ready to catch our thief.  Nothing.  The mouse is gone.

Is the story done, oh no!  Ginger is cleaning today and I'm doing the walmart run (at 12:00 pm it is a mad house in that store.  Little old ladies are staring you down for the last package of toilet paper. ) Anyway, I digress, I get back and Ginger says I've got something to show you that will blow your mind.  Hmmm, great!  Walk over to the couch and she has a cushion up.  Behind the cushion is a chewed on peanut lid and several peanuts, our missing peanuts to be exact. 

So here is the mystery for you sleuths out there.  How did all the peanuts (about 30) get from the coffee table inside the container to in the couch behind the cushion?  With the chewed on lid, which had pieces of the lid by the canister on the coffee table but ended up behind the cushion?  All this without knocking over the canister, no scratch marks on the couch, and no droppings anywhere in sight. 

We have no entry ways that would allow a critter bigger than a mouse to get in and those cracks have been taken care of. 

Of course now ninja mouse has disappeared.  Maybe instead of almonds as bait I oughta use peanuts.  That or all that joking around about Spooky our resident ghost (he's a stuffed ghost for those that don't know) is really true.....

Anyway, the good news is, no sign of any mice.  None.  It's like they got together and said hey, let's play a trick on the humans, this should really twist their mind!  Yep, sufficiently twisted.

So if you have any ideas, feel free to let me know, as it is Ginger and I are laughing our heads off at the insane theories we are coming up with!