The Dream is ALIVE

Hello blog readers!  It is September 10, 2015.  I have not posted on this blog since May.  For that I am truly sorry.  But for what I did with my time, I am not…

My life has changed drastically for the good!

  1. I enrolled in real estate school this summer and became a licensed Real Estate Agent in the state of Texas last week.
  2. I have developed a great relationship with my girlfriend
  3. I will be moving into her house and out of this apartment in the next couple weeks
  4. We went furniture shopping together.  Bought a iComfort bed that is sweet as hell!  It is remote controlled to raise the head and feet.  Wow….  We are remodeling one of her rooms to become my “Man Room”.
  5. The girls have new beds being shipped for their room
  6. My educational career is doing great.  It is paying the bills and allowing me to develop my new part time job as a real estate agent.
  7. We took family vacations to Arkansas, the beach, Austin, etc…. All with my girlfriend, her two kids and my two girls.
  8. Life is so good I just can’t help but smile

Please note that I will no longer update this blog.  I have decided to remove the veil of anonymity and direct this link to my new website and blog for real estate.  http://www.cbowie.com

If there is anyone that still reads this blog please jump over to cbowie.com and join me in my next adventure of life.

For all of you that helped me battle through the roughest point in my life…. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  You and I will probably never meet.  But you are just as important to my “well being” as any real friend I have known for years.  Without your support, understanding, attention I would of never made it through the separation and divorce.  Each night that I could not sleep I always knew I had a window in to a world online that could add a balm to my anxiety.

Thank you and follow me.

Oh, yea… If you need any real estate needs please contact me!  Even in different states other than Texas.  I can get a referral fee! haha… Hope to see you on the other side.

A Proud Father Moment

I know my girls will never read this because this blog is anonymous!  But I just wanted to put it in writing.  Not so much for them; but for me.

Another proud Dad moment!

Last night the girl’s high school held their Soccer Banquet. It was a great night of awards for my two girls.

R – (Junior) – 3 year starter
3rd year in row of 1st Team All District,
3rd Year in row of 1st Team All Academic District
Voted Team Captain
1st year of Defensive MVP for District 19-5A
2nd year in row of Team Defensive MVP

B – (Freshman) – 1 year starter
1st Team All District
1st Team All Academic District
1st Year Team Offensive MVP (led team with 23 goals and 5 assists)

What I am most proud of is the fact both girls are able to dominate on the soccer field at the same time they dominate in the classroom.  Both girls have a high 3.7 GPA while carrying ALL advanced level courses.  (AP, dual credit, etc…)

I love you two and am so proud of all that you have accomplished and the excitement that the future holds for both of you.

I love being your father.

Apartment Love

When I first left my beautiful home I moved into a single 1 bedroom apartment in the only complex in my girl’s school attendance zone.  I had to get the 1 bedroom and go on a “waiting list” for the larger 2 bedroom.  At first I was a little perturbed.  They stuck me in this first floor apartment in the very back.  I was isolated.  My patio faced the boundary fence and on the other side was a 24 hour clinic.  I would never see another human being.  Sitting on my patio with wonder dog Fred was quiet.  Lonely even…  No noise…  The guy next to me backed into my truck causing a simple scratch.  He left his name on number on a note under my windshield wiper.  If I would of not got this note I would of never talked to anyone by this apartment.

I finally got to move to the 2 bedroom.  It was in the center of the complex.  Downstairs and full of the hustle bustle activity.  I’m sitting here at 7:11 pm typing this looking out my window and watching people walk by.  This place is like grand central station.  Every neighbor makes more noise than you can possible imagine.  On Friday and Saturday nights I think they have Fight Club in the parking lot.  Luckily I am a sound sleeper and don’t really give a shit about noise.

I’m actually entertained. I absolutely love to be in the center of the world.  I think I would prefer to live in a studio warehouse apartment above a bar in downtown Houston.   I will grab a beer and sit on the patio and watch the 20-somethings argue about what-nots.  Its cheap reality television for me.

My blinds in the bedroom rarely are closed.  I notice that I get ready at 4:45 AM and its still dark outside.  I shower and then stand naked at the sink fixing hair, applying deodorant, etc….  I leave the bathroom door open because it fogs up the mirror if I don’t.  I know the people in the parking lot probably get to see my ass every morning if they would care enough to get up that early for a fun show.  But due to the fact I walk Fred at 4:40 AM every morning I am all alone again.  Nobody in an apartment wakes up that early.  This is a night crowd place.  Most of the young 20-somethings go to work in the afternoon wearing restaurant aprons, tight fitting shorts, or uniforms.  I have multiple college degrees make enough money to put me in a high tax bracket and I’m living in the same type of place I drank myself silly when I was in college.

Living the dream!

I ran across this video and had to crack myself up.  I think this is brilliant.  I’m thinking of moving upstairs just to come up with these ideas.

What a way to pass time!

Soccer Season comes to an end

Readers  –

I know I have posted a few times about my daughters playing soccer and our quest for the state championship here in the little state of Texas.  Well that will end until next year!

We ran into a buzz-saw on Friday night.  A team from SW Houston came in and destroyed us.  It was not so much they destroyed us; it was the fact that a few of our players just “quit” after going down.

That bothers me more than anything…

My two girls have grown up around me and my silly motivational speeches, quotes, videos…  They understand that integrity of playing hard on a team.  Never giving up… Fighting harder than everyone else.  I always explain that they may run into players or people that are better, stronger, faster, prettier, etc… Because you can not control that.  But what you can control and should never run into someone that “wants it more” than you do.  The heart of a champion.  The heart to fight longer and harder than your opponent.  To live harder than others… You can control that.  You can make yourself keep going…  You can will yourself to the next level.

So….  Watching my daughters get upset at the players that “gave up” was hard on so many levels… But made me proud on so many more.

Congratulations my two fabulous daughters… What you have accomplished this year is extraordinary:

  • Maintained all A and B in school.  Both girls taking all advanced level classes.  AP and Dual Credit.  R gaining 21 hours of college credit as a junior in high school.  B gaining 3 as a freshman in high school.
  • B making and dominated the varsity soccer team with her junior sister as a freshman… Accumulating 23 goals to lead the entire district… again, as a freshman!
  • R playing rock solid defense and never having her side of the field give up a goal the entire season.  Only giving up 2 goals all season as a team.
  • R making state in UIL choir
  • B becoming the editor of the school newspaper (as a freshman!)
  • B being named Athlete of the week for the entire city of Houston, Texas

I could go on with this list but you get the drift.  But whats so impressive is the fact they did all of this as their home life BLEW UP around them.  Their parents exploded.  As you can read in the blog, this past summer we went from a perfectly normal family of 4 to a divorced, divided family.  The girls living in my apartment and staying a few nights a week at their mothers 30 minutes away.

That is what I call heroic.  I can not be more proud of my two and the people they are growing up to be.

Grilling in a skillet

Grilling in a skillet

The last few posts have been filled with sorrow and melancholy.  Okay, lets be real… It has been a rough ass week!

So, talking to Melly last night we started talking about food.  What does a newly single bachelor eat?  I posted a blog entry not too long ago about my food budget.  But seriously, what can I cook?

Back in the married days…. (Remember I had 21 years X 365 = 7665 days…)  I would often grill.  That was my form of cooking.  Truthfully, I grilled maybe once or twice a week!  I was a wizard.  I had a sweet set of tongs (not thongs).  I could cook the best steak, chicken, fish, pork chops, etc…  I could slow smoke a brisket, ribs, or a chicken.  I had more fun messing with new recipes.  My favorite was the Beer-Butt Chicken.  The girls first noticed the Beer-Butt Chicken when they were little bitty carpet rats.  They loved it because they got to say, “butt”.  Then run off getting lost in the carpet and giggle.  T would looks exasperated with me and I wouldn’t run off but would stand there and giggle.

Back to the point…

The state of Texas has as silly law against grilling in apartments.  But what I don’t understand as I drive through my complex is every other patio or porch has a grill on it.  But I have never smelled anything grilling… What gives?

SO here I am in the apartment with my $5.00 red skillet and a tub of Smart Balance fake butter.  I am ready to cook road kill.

I was trying to think of a good list of what I have cooked in the past 6 months I have been living the single lifestyle.

  1. Spaghetti. I buy the jar of regular meat sauce, fresh mushrooms, ground turkey (a habit from T… I may switch to ground beef next time I’m shopping), onions, and spices. I did purchase regular noodles for a dollar. I recognized the noodles T would buy for $3.75. Some sorta wheat thing. YUCK
  2. I can put chicken breasts in the skillet with butter and spices… Then cut it up and put ontop of some egg type noodles. Again, I find the bag of noodles for a dollar. I’ll usually cut up some mushrooms, veggies, etc… Pour some white sauce from a jar. I find it next to the red sauce for spaghetti. Taste like a small touch of heaven.
  3. I have bought and thrown pork chops in the skillet. Those are divine.
  4. I usually go out to eat or am able to score some leftovers from visiting my mom.
  5. If I go out I often get a take home box. Never did this before but heck I’m thinking another dinner can be had!
  6. I have gone to the Mexican restaurant around the corner from my apartment a few nights and sat at the bar and make friends with the bartender and wait staff. They have a smorgasbord of nice televisions mounted all throughout. This is a great place to sit alone, watch a little sports, and eat. I will usually order fajitas for two and bring half home for another meal.

As you can see of my sad pitiful list; I need some help.

I don’t appear to be losing any weight.  I actually gained back a few of the pounds I lost during the separation.  So I feel pretty good.

What do other single guys do?  I am tired of smelling up the apartment and setting off the smoke alarm constantly grilling in a skillet.

skillet

Courage is needed.

Feeling poetic this morning.

Two poems that I have learned to love and try to live through…  I felt were important for this day, D-Day…

Kipling has always inspired me when looking on how to live my life.

If

 

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling

And the old favorite from Thomas… I woke up chanting this at 5:30 AM this morning.

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas

Walmart, My Saving Grace.

  Walmart, My Saving Grace

Think on this, for the next 3.5 years I am chained to this lovely apartment.  It is two bedroom apartment on the first floor.  Has a nice little patio that has the most breath-taking view of the parking lot.  I am able to sit on the hard plastic chair and allow the gods of wisdom and inspiration to cast lightning bolts of knowledge into my entire being.   Why am I imprisoned here?  This is not where I am supposed to be!!!  I am a professional, 44 year old relatively wealthy man.  I have a 401k that will enable me to retire at 54.  I play golf, fish or hunt most weekends.  I drink Vodka martinis, smoke cigars with my buddies while sipping Drambuie, and wear sports coats when I go out on the town.  I now live like I did 24 years ago in college.  I am thinking of buying a funnel to drink my beer out of.  Maybe buy a pack of Ping-Pong balls for nightly games.

drambui beerfunnel

After the split of my wife and I, we sold our beautiful home we had built and she scattered off to a cheaper area of Houston.  It was up to me (why?) to stay in the high school attendance zone that my girls attend school.  They cannot move due to the state of Texas UIL rule in athletics.  If you are on a varsity sports team and move you are required to give up a year of eligibility.  B has 3.5 years left of high school.  Archaic rule.

Shots from the real estate agent on our old house:

house house2 house3 house4 house5

So when I embarked on this rental adventure, I soon discovered there is only one apartment complex in the school attendance zone.  I jumped on the first place they had which was a tiny 800 square foot one bedroom apartment and got on the “waiting” list for the next two bedroom.  The one bedroom was my home for a couple of months.  Very quiet, very small.  When the girls came to visit they had to pull out the couch bed.

On December 19, 2014 we moved to the two bedroom and the girls moved in 3-5 nights per week.  This place is in the center of the complex.  Party central I should say.  We went to the mattress store and purchased a couple of single beds for the girls.  Great Christmas presents!

aprt3 aprt2 apart

Apartment aka, Bachelor Pad and Fred

I have labeled this place the Bachelor Pad.  Very original but hell it fits.  Adopted dog, Fred, and I are living the dream right here in apartment heaven.  I can hear all these 20-somethings fighting in the parking lots, babies crying in the apartment next to me, and the best is the herd of cattle that run above my head in the middle of the night.  LOVING IT.  I am not sure what is sadder; the fact that two nights ago two guys were actually beating the hell out of each other disturbing my patio view OR the fact I did not react because it was in the middle of my Rockets game.

But I will say, the 55 inch flat screen appears so much larger in the living room of this place.

Now for the kitchen!

When I first arrived to the kitchen I was lost.  What am I supposed to heat up my macaroni and cheese in?  Off to Walmart I go.  I find that you can purchase anything there!  I was never much of a shopper.  Honestly, I only shop online.  But hell I need a pot and pan!  AND geez is this shit cheap!!!  I remember purchasing a set of cookware for my wife off her Amazon list back a few years ago that was over 400 bucks!   She ripped me off!   I got this sweet set of red pots and pans for $55!!  I also got a badass wooden spoon to stir my vittles for .99 cents!

Each day presents a new problem.  I am slowly building up my arsenal for battle so I can defeat these problems.

The other thing that cracks me up is the grocery bill.  I had never shopped for groceries before this split up.  I am not helpless; I had been to a Kroger or something and walked in for a bottle of wine or a twelve pack of beer.    SO I am not a complete imbecile.  The budget for the food was always around $600-$800 a month.  I paid the bills and noticed T always kept it in that area.  I shop now for the girls and I and swear the budget is only about $400 a month.  What the hell was T buying???  There are so many more snacks and drinks in the apartment than were ever in the house!  I have stockpiles of things.  I’m lost as to understand what she spent all the money on.  I try and buy healthy stuff.  But I noticed the bread she purchased was in the isle for over $3.  I buy the wheat bread for $1.  What is the difference?

As for toilet paper and paper towels… after a bad experience I understand now why you purchase the top name brand stuff.  I bought some cheap toilet paper thinking I was savvy… whooo hooo.  Lets just say that my ass is used to soft stuff.  I think I am in love with Charmin Ultra rolls.  Paper towels that are cheap absolutely suck!  They can’t do anything.  So Bounty it is.

Kitchen supplies are slowly building.  My first experience with a can of vegetables was a nightmare.  I realized in the middle of cooking that I don’t own a can opener!  I sawed that bad boy off with a buck knife.  The next day I grabbed a can opener on the way home from work at Walmart.  The little guy that welcomes me at my local Walmart is named Tom.  We are buddies.  He knows all about my hardships and just shakes his head laughing at me every time he sees me walking in.

“What shit did you stumble in today?”  Tom usually asks.

“Tom, being single sucks…”  I snort back. “here is a $20, have a Merry Christmas Brother…”  I say as I pat him on the back and amble lost into the comfort of what has become my saving grace, Walmart.

Isolation

Writing this blog has me thinking again.  This is usually when I get into the most trouble with life.

We are a couple weeks away from the court date that finalizes the end of our 21 year marriage.  January 13, 2015 to be exact.  No arguments, no fights, no drama.  I already turned in the divorce decree, took the parenting class (mandatory in our county), and paid the court fees (not to mention my attorney fees to write the decree).  All I need to do is go to court and the judge will electronically sign the decree and I can purchase a certified copy from the courts for $1.00 a page.  (41 pages total)   Oh joy!

This is it?

I keep watching tv shows and there is a lot of dysfunctional couples that always fight harder to win the girl back, etc…. Did I fight hard enough?  Who is supposed to tell me this?  But I really don’t want it back. Or do I?

I kinda like my isolation.  My gut tells me to move on.  I try and listen to my gut.  It keeps me going forward, usually.  These thoughts and emotions are raw.  Exposed, isolated, but mostly just raw.

How does one know?  What if I am making a mistake?  Life is just a crap shoot.  Roll the dice, smile along the way.

The girls went back to their mothers today.  I am alone all day.  No work, no responsibilities (other than taking Fred, adopted dog, out to take care of his business)… Nothing.  NO noise

I miss the noise.  But then again I don’t.

What stage of grief is this?

Let me go back to my life motto.  You may have heard it before.

Is the juice worth the squeeze?

I honestly don’t think that if T walked to my door with her emotions exposed and begging to return to what we had before that I would take it.  I don’t think the juice would be worth the squeeze.

I saw the movie, The Girl Next Door, many years ago.  I watched this scene and I thought of my relationship with T at the time.  I remember having to convince myself that the juice was worth the squeeze…. Then I just shook it off to everyone has small doubts.  Or do they?

World Series

Kansas City Royals are playing well!  They are up 4-2 as I type this post in the 2nd game of the Series.  They lost the first game but I believe they will win this one.  I just love George Brett.

untitled

Whats ever cooler is that they had Phil Phillips singing the National Anthem before the game!

phil phillips

 

August 17 – 21, 2014

Continuing the story…

T and I talk and try and work out the problems.  It is hard.  She is telling me that she has “fallen out of love” with me.  How can we continue to build our lives together if she does not “love” me anymore.  She actually said, “I like you… I just don’t have romantic feelings for you.”  How do you respond?

She tells me that her wants and desires out of life do not fit the schedule that the girls and I follow.  NO SHIT???  We only have 3.5 years left of the girls and then we are empty nesters.

We travelled down to Galveston just a few weeks prior to this to look at our future home.  We decided to buy a bay house on the water.  A canal house.  We looked and searched for the exact area.  We dreamed of parking a boat and jet skis on the canal.  When the girls had a family of their own the grandkids could come visit.  We talked about hobbies.

I spend my entire birthday this past July telling people to get me gift cards from Bass Pro Shops.  I was going to buy bay-fishing rods and reels.  Making a complete turn in my future.  Bay-Fishing was the calling.

Saltwater-Fishing

The week of August 17-21.  It begins great.  T finally agrees to see a therapist.  She is so worried that “shit will come up from my childhood”  She is scared but brave.  After the first visit she learns that she must heal herself before she can heal us.  I hear psychology talk, “We are a whole together and we can not be whole if one of the pieces is broken.”  So I leave her to heal.  Or at least attempt to.

She becomes rude… becomes angry… becomes hard to deal with.  I am not able to deal.  I get paranoid.  I get needy.  I get nervous that this is not going to work.  She tells me something for the 1st time.  She proceeds to tell me this 3 more times over the next 3 weeks until I interrupt and tell her I don’t need to hear it again.  T says, “I have been so unhappy with you that my saving grace is that I realize I am healthier than you.  I should live longer and when you die I will be happy.”  I keep remembering the song, Angry all the time.

Here we are
What is left of a husband and a wife
With four good kids who have a way of gettin on with their lifes.
Well, I’m not old,but I’m gettin a whole lot older everyday.
It’s to late to keep from going crazy, I got to get away.

The reasons that can’t stay,dont have have a thing to do with being in love.
And I understand that lovin a man should have to be this rough.
You ain’t the only one who feels like this worlds left you far behind.
i dont know why you gotta be angry all the time.

Our boys are strong, the spittin image of you when you were young.
I hope someday the can see past what you have become.
I remember everytime I said i’d never leave.
What I can’t live with is memories of the way you used to be.

The reason that I can’t stay don’t have a thing to do with being in love.
And I understand that loving a man should’nt have to be this rough.
You ain’t the only one who feels like this worlds left you far behind.
i don’t know why you gotta be angry all the time.

Twenty years have came and went since i walked out of your door.
I never quite made it back to the one i was before.
And god it hurts me, to think of you
For the light in your eyes was gone.
Sometimes, I dont know why this old world can’t leave well enough alone.

The reasons that I can’t stay dont have a thing to do with being in love.
I understand that lovin a man shouldn’t have to be this rough.
You ain’t the only one who feels like this worlds left you far behind.
I don’t know why you gotta be angry all the time.

August 20.  I come home from a hell of a day at work.  I am threatened and attacked by a crazy ass student.  18 year old gangbanger that is pissed at anyone that tells him “no”.  He is strung out on drugs and running from the lifestyle he has chosen.  I have to suspend him and he goes ballistic.  Luckily the police officer is with me and arrested the punk.  I just want my wife.  I just want to go home and tell her I’m too old for this crap.  I need to decompress with someone.  She tells me that she does not have the strength to deal with me.  She avoids me.  I have never felt more alone.

August 21.  When I walk in the door T is in another foul mood.  She won’t make eye-contact with me.  She is fussing at the girls.  Fussing at me… I finally tell her that if she is this miserable.  If the simple sight of me is that bad then she needs to go stay with her sister for awhile and heal.  She tells me that when I walk in the room it feels like all the air is sucked out.  It becomes a scary place.  WOW?  We argue.  I tell her to, “get her shit and go.”  She starts to pack.  B tells her to stay but just be nice.  I try and tell her that I do not really want her to leave.  She ignores me and tells everyone that, “I kicked her out!”

The girls and I just look at each other.  B is pissed at T.  R walks into the living room and tells me, “Dad I noticed that you guys were falling apart last year.  How did you not see this coming?”  Remember R is only 16.

This begins the downward spiral that I find myself in now.  Everytime I play that song it stings.  I remember in 2001 when it came out.  T and I made eye contact in the truck.  She teared up and looked away.  A sign back then?

to be continued…