Johnny Jump Ups & Trees Removed

I’ve really wanted pansies or Johnny Jump Ups. I didn’t get any in the spring like I normally do, and I missed their cute little pixie faces. So yesterday I got out and got myself one pot of Johnny Jump Ups.

The tree removal guys, which turned out to be about a half dozen men, worked on the two trees for hours. To get the one down that was between my yard and the guy’s yard behind me, it took about three hours of six men working. 

They left the stumps. I asked them if they could bring one of those machines in to churn up the stumps. They said no, because there is an electrical transformer right outside my gate.

About that time, I was so nervous with the dogs barking and the branches I feared would fall on my patio plants, that I got in my car and went to run a few errands.

Once I got home, around 2 p.m., I saw that the second tree was down and the tree men were gone. I called the manager and told her the maintenance man could start putting the fence back up. 

It took him hours to take three fence sections and a gate down. So I was worried he wouldn’t get it back up. And guess what? He didn’t. 

So I wonder if the fence will remain unfinished until Monday. Oh joy. The dogs refused to
go out all day because of the weirdness and machinery.

This is the guy that you very rarely see without a cigarette hanging out the corner of his mouth. I’ve heard they’re not supposed to smoke on the job.

I hate cigarettes. Those cancer sticks have killed so many people. I realize that no one makes someone smoke. But people become addicted to them.

Addiction of any variety is such a problem in this country.

I’ve lived with an alcoholic, so I know what addictions do to your family. What havoc it wreaks. 

Alcoholics, in my experience, always have an excuse for their bad behavior. They don’t remember anything.

How many times have I heard that tired old phrase?

You seethe with resentment, but they can’t remember their behavior, so you try to hold your anger in. Until you just can’t do it anymore.

After I left Texas, my ex drank himself into a stupor at work one day. At the hospital where he was a doctor! 

We were divorced four months by then and I was living here. He ended up with alcohol poisoning and of course was fired.

He was so intelligent and talented in his field. But he could not shake his demons. After years of being married, he finally told me that he’d been drinking since med school. He said he had to drink to handle all the pressure and stay awake for nights on end.

I was just shocked by this admission.

I didn’t understand, until close to the end, that some people can drink and still seem to function. Even at work. I truly thought if you were that drunk, then you’d be passed out. I was wrong. 

Horrified and wrong.

His girlfriend (now his wife) was living with him, so I guess she got to handle that one. I was so relieved to be gone.

It was all over the news and so of course I heard about it. I wondered how I had lived so many years with him and not realized that much of the time, he was drunk? 

How could I not have known?

That was the most scary and troublesome relationship of my life. 

The fear and the humiliation one can suffer when living with an alcoholic is something I finally escaped. 

And I have never looked back. 

I hope you have a good weekend. And I sincerely hope there is no one at your house drinking through the many football games and making your life miserable. 

If there is, I truly know and feel your pain.


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  1. Not all alcoholics forget things and don't remember what they have done. There are 'high functioning' alcoholics. My father was high functioning for 50 years until cancer took his life at age 70' He drank hard alcohol every day, always knew what he had done, where he was, who people were. Dressed impeccably. His first marriage was to my mom for 32 years. His second marriage was for 17 years and only ended because of his death. He was actually a very nice guy, just needed his alcohol every day. But, the cancer sticks are what took his life in the end.

  2. Brenda, I love the pot of pansies (in Atlanta we call them little monkey faces), one of my favorite flowers. People with addictions are so very good at hiding it from those at work and at home; I'm glad you and the girls are in a good spot now. You make me want to go out and buy some pansies for my pots. Have a lovely Monday! Carol

  3. We've always had a fenced lawn and our pups had never had to do their business while on a leash. Now that we take road trips in our RV, we've had to train pup to do so on a leash. It only took a few tries and now she's fine with it, thankfully!

    1. You must be a good trainer! I tried with mine but they were very stubborn. One of my neighbors in TX, a retired teacher, said that was ridiculous and so she tried. She failed too!

    2. Happy to hear the trees are finally getting the attention they need but sadden that your fence is still down. Sometimes the HOA in my case and the rental office in your case, can move like molasses when something isn't as important to them as it is to you.

      Guess what Brenda, I divorced a man that I loved dearly and was married to for almost 20 years because of alcohol as well. I've been divorced from him now approximately 28 years but the memories are still as vivid today. He is such a sweet and easy going guy when sober. Great provider and loving husband and father but that alcohol totally changed his personality. I loved him so it was difficult to leave but I had a daughter and I did not want her to grow up in that environment. So I left the house on the hill and moved on to a more predictable life. I totally get it! Lord I could right a book about the dual personality of an alcoholic.

      I hope you get your fence up very soon. Blessings.

  4. Oh, I envy you that beautiful bowl of Johnny Jump-ups! I don't think you could find those or pansies to save your life at this time in these parts! I would surely buy some if you could. I had a few pansies this spring but they didn't do well. Some kind of bug just ate them ragged. A worm of some ilk, probably.

    Well, I'm glad there seems to be progress on the tree/fence issue, such as it is!''

    I dated an alcoholic once after my divorce. He hid it very well. I only found out when I went to his house once unannounced. He would drink himself into a stupor on weekends–spend the whole two days in a stupor. But he didn't believe that he was an alcoholic, thought he could quit any time. I read quite a bit about alcoholism at that time and what I learned was that the brain of a chronic alcoholic has been damaged to the point that they can't grasp reality. Their denials and forgetfulness are really the result of actual damage to their brain cells. They don't perceive things normally. After so many years of alcohol use they sometimes can quit, but the brain damage can't be reversed. When I learned that I decided I didn't want that can of worms to deal with and I broke it off. It was a narrow escape and I feel for anyone–in particlar you, Brenda, who has had to deal with a person who is an alcoholic. It's just a terrible, terrible affliction.

    Hope you can have a somewhat peaceful rest of the weekend, Brenda.

  5. Been a recovering alcoholic almost 8 years,really messed up after hubby passed.
    Sadly,I think we dont always see ourselves as addicts as the word connotates someone in a dirty gas station bathroom with a needle in their arm but we are just as much…alcohol does something to our brains and in very short order we need it to barely function but boy are we con artists at hiding it from others..
    Hope all goes well with your fence and patio and the pupsters settle down,my tuxie cat likes to sit in the window and growl at the goings on,it makes me laugh,I tell her she's the watch
    Fall is slowly hitting NY,the nights are getting cold but the days are staying warm,no gripes though,the heat is staying off.
    Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

    1. Well I'm proud to call you friend. You fought the addiction and made the change. We all make mistakes. The important thing is whether we learn from them. Addiction is a terrible devastating disease. A sickness. I don't know if I'd have your bravery.

  6. I think I know how some people get hooked on smoking. They get it from second hand smoke from their parents. Once I had a friend who smoked and in those days it didn't bother me. We had coffee every morning at her house because she had kids and I didn't. Then she moved and all of a sudden I had the urge to smoke. I actually went out and bought a pack!!! Now imagine kids who have grown up with smoking parents. About the time they start spending time away from home, in jr or sr high school, is when most kids start smoking. I think they got hooked on second hand smoke and felt the urge when suddenly away from it.

    1. I think you're right, Jane. For a long time, they didn't think second hand smoke was so bad. I am so glad I didn't have cigarettes in my childhood home. Just when relatives visited.

  7. what a gorgeous bowl of johnny jump ups! I bought a autumn pot of flowers yesterday and was surprised to see it contained some lovely pink pansies too. I wasn't going to bother to buy plants until next year but couldn't resist, they give me such pleasure. So sorry for all of you that have had to deal with alcoholism, luckily I escaped that in my family.
    Have a good weekend Brenda and the pupsters. It is a very dreary day here in Canada (at least where I am) so think I will stay in and work on my blog. Have only just started, haven't written anything yet!

  8. Oh that tree and fence. But there is progress.
    No he shouldn't be smoking on the job. We lost a good friend this week. Terrible death. He didn't quit smoking until his last days in Hospice. He had throat cancer. And get this, his wife has lung cancer in late stages.
    My family members are drinkers. I don't at all. I'm still dealing with my 90 year old mom that drinks and takes narcotics . She takes her "pain pills" and drives.
    Hope the pups calm down and the fence gets fixed soon.

    1. You can die of lung cancer and it isn't smoking related. It happened to my cousin. Smoking is horrible and I honestly don't know how anyone can stand the smell. Sorry if anyone on here smokes as I certainly don't mean any disrespect. My sister smoked and had a fatal stroke at 63 from smoking. So I have a terrible aversion to it!

  9. I had an uncle who drank himself into a hepatic coma! He was on Iwo Jima and had his own demons of war to deal with; there's still no support for our veterans and what they go through. I hope you have a happy weekend too and congratulate you on getting out of a situation that you had no control of–you're a strong person.

  10. I would be upset about the fence not going back up too. Our whole life revolves around the dogs, it seems, and having to leash them up every time we go outside is so annoying!! I'm sorry you had such a miserable time with the alcoholic; but glad you got away. Isn't it funny how the news media loves to report these things when it happens to such a public figure? Sad thing is, it happens to others everyday too. Side note: About 30 years ago, we had a local female doctor charged with shop lifting. (her hubby is a doctor too) Apparently, she put some make up items in her purse at a local drug store. The media was all over it! (or course) I saw her pop up on tv yesterday (30 years later) for something good she had done. My mind went immediately to the shop lifting thing! What does that say about me? ha ha!

    1. I don't even have collars and leashes for them. They hate them and I don't make them wear collars. I have the patio closed up with the chicken wire, so they can't get out.

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