Been a long three weeks….


Must be something in the water. These last three weeks have been extremely stressful. Work has provided insurmountable evidence that the gene pool in my area has seriously been tainted. We have had some financial challenges with vehicle problems, medical bills mounting, and of course Christmas approaching. Things will be tight – but we will make it through just fine.  I have a teenage son that believes he knows more than me. Aaaaarrrggghhh! I have been taking Crossfit very seriously and hitting the Box (aka Crossfit gym) daily – sometimes twice a day. Diet has been extremely good. Mental stress + physical stress = I am flat worn out.

Looking forward to the weekend!

I have enjoyed reading so many comments to several of the recent posts lately. Some controversial information and not everyone agrees – but that is OK. Thanks everyone.

You know – some of my stress comes from listening to the radio and watching the news. So frustrating listening to speeches by politicians that won’t give a straight answer to save their life – and fail to use common sense and logic. You’ve heard it all before…I know. They make decisions based on polling and plan strategic ploys to disrupt whatever the “other side” has planned and is trying to accomplish. Unbelievable that both sides can claim to have the same goals – lower unemployment, lower taxes, lower costs for health care, a bright future and to live in a safer world. What do we have as a result? You already know the answer to that.


So – work has been a beast, finances are tough, been working my arse off at the gym – and the future for my kids aint look’n so bright.

That’s enough to make you a little stressed.

I think it’s time for a stiff drink.


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  1. Relax. As an old business partner used to say:

    “In a hundred years we won’t remember this anyway.”

    Everyone knows that teenagers are sure they are smarter than their parents. However, by the time they have been on their own for a couple of years you will hear, straight from them, “You know.. . . You were right”. It is just that by then we don’t remember what we were right about.

    On the other note, Christmas isn’t really about how much you can spend, though the store owners try to convince you it is.

    Be content with what you can do, spend time with your family, spend twice that time alone with your spouse. Do that for three days then see how you feel. (It works for me)

  2. Hang in there, Rourke! One of my former teenagers, my daughter, went through a rough patch but is on the right path now, and has thanked me for all the crap we went through. She is even like minded and frugal as she can be. On the other hand, my other former teen hasn’t spoken to me in 2 yrs. But I keep faith that the way he was brought up gave him at least a basis for being able to survive. Workwise, I am on the verge of losing my job, but I am secure that we have stores to get us through and I am not above taking a minimum wage job while continuing to look for something in my field.

    Have to share…was at the dollar store the other day, and the girl didn’t have enough change in the drawer to break a 20…so I had smaller bills and was able to give her close to the cost…AND HAD TO HELP HER COUNT THE CHANGE BACK because she couldn’t figure it out! And this was NOT a kid, she was maybe 30ish…talk about reliance on technology…I’m sorry, I guess I’m showing my age, but how can you NOT know how to count back change? SMH, cuz it’s so simple….

    So hope you all got a kick out of that one…

    CM, with impending job loss, I am disappointed that I won’t be able to spoil my grandson like I would like to, but it is all about the REASON FOR THE SEASON after all, isn’t it! I will be grateful to be spending time with my family!

  3. Hi Roarke, when I find myself getting stressed by the news I go on a news diet. My listening to their rambling on and their excuses isn’t going to change my life at all so I stop listening. If anything really important happens someone will tell me. In the meantime I can spend that time bonding with my husband or doing something creative. Fortunately my daughter likes my hand made gifts which makes Christmas easier for me.

    And if you are too stressed in total then doing too much at the gym will reduce your muscle tone, and contribute to a fat belly all the while cutting muscle elsewhere. It will reduce your health in general, so might I suggest you listen to your body and only do as much as is good for you.

    • Thanks Harriet! Took the weekend -Fri, Sat, and Sun – off from working out. Two more weeks of working out and I will take a week off. I generally do a 5 week on – 1 week off rountine to get a break and let the body “heal” up.


  4. Rourke,
    One of the most difficult and rewarding “jobs” you can have is that of a parent. My 21 yo son who is currently serving (third generation) actually told me in a moment of “weakness” a few months ago that he was so grateful for me being the disciplinarian when he was growing up. It set the stage for self-discipline and enabled him to be well on his path of being a successful and happy man.
    I now have a 16 yo high schooler who will tell you that his level of knowledge surpasses mine on every topic of importance, including life, money and politics. I then inform him in a gentle manner of his miscalculations and proceed to introduce hard truths, not opinions he has learned in public school.
    As for the other stressors in your life, we all have those. We all have times when the family car dies and the washing machine spins out of control, and daughters need braces. It seems there is a conspiracy against us at those times. As much as you may feel alone and sometimes helpless to fix everything when these things happen, rest assured, they happen to all of us. Life is not supposed to be easy. It is difficult, but when you can remember the important things, it seems to get better. You have a home to go to at the end of the day, a family waiting there for you, and there is enough food in the pantry to feed your family. God does care about each of us. He will never give you more than you can handle.
    So, when everything seems to be in chaos, take a deep breath, and follow the OODA Loop.

    Take Care & God Bless.

  5. Rourke, you have heard the Good News and know the ransom has been paid. Every since the Garden there have been and will be worries. ‘Tis the lot of a fallen mankind. We are told to put our trust in the Lord. He knows what we can bear. Above a large stone fireplace in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia is carved, “No one knows the work I’ve seen.” Anyone who has cut wood in order to heat with a fireplace understands. Well, no one (on earth) knows the woe and misery I’ve seen. This is true of each of us. We all have our burdens and I’ve created mine all by myself. I have relatives who laugh at my preparedness mindset. Their faith is so great that that the Lord will provide (a cousin once jokingly remarked to them that old Stephen might be the one the Lord will provide to keep the larders filled). Almost a Quaker mindset they have. There is a fine line between using the abilities and resources we are given and depending upon the Lord to provide. Rourke, perhaps this is one of those times you must lean on faith.

    My prayers go with you,
    Panhandle Rancher

  6. Good advice, all around, Rourke. I especially like Harriet’s suggestion. Heck, I’ve been doing it! Taking a much needed break from all the “bad news”. It’s harder to find, of course, but there is also GOOD NEWS out there!

    As to the teenagers, well, there were plenty of times I understood why parents went crazy, while trying to raise our daughter. She was a challenge, indeed! Every word I spoke, every action I took, was “wrong” in her eyes. Sadly, a lot of that came from the influences she received from her peers, and the way they were allowed to interact with their own parents, and the world at large. She is now 30-ish, has established her own business, and spouts things at times that make me KNOW that she was listening, after all.

    Sometimes, I think the best response, even with kids, is silence (believe it or not, I DO employ those tactics!). With teenagers, the more you argue against, the more convinced they become that they must surely be right, and they will “dig in” on their position. Sometimes, as heart-rendering as it can be, we have to allow to learn by making their own mistakes. As I once told my mother, not intending to be mean, “you made your mistakes; now let me make mine”. Like most mothers, I tried to shield my children; I did not want them to learn the way I learned; but I could not stop it, not all of it, anyway.

    My DH’s approach was fairly effective, “what do you think the outcome will be?”. “How do you feel about that?”. “What would happen if?….(fill in the blank).

    I know this is getting wordy, but I want to offer one more “tool”. I picked this up from a child psychologist/school principal who weight 110 lbs wet and dealt with teenage boys no one else could handle. Here’s her “tool”:

    It’s called, “With or Without My Help”. The end result will always be the same, but the question is, “will you get there with my help, or without? It’s up to you. But, get there, we will”.

    Example: Sue’s daughter, Kim, was only 15 1/2; Sue didn’t want her dating yet. But they had a young man they knew, Paul, who was very interested in Kim. Sue and her DH approved greatly of Paul’s character, but still didn’t want Kim dating just yet. But, when they both came to Sue and her DH and asked if Kim could go out with Paul Friday night, they relented, with clear ground rules, including, “be home by 11 pm”. Paul came Friday, gathered his date, and off they went. 11 pm came and went, and no Paul and Kim. At 11:15, Paul and Kim, come rushing through the door, offering all kinds of “excuses”. Sue and DH said very little, except, “you knew the rules”, told Paul goodnight, and off he went. Nothing more was said all week, until Wed., at which time Kim came and asked if she could go out with Paul again on the coming Fri. night. Sue & DH discussed it, then said, “yes, but the rule remains: be in by 11 pm”. Fri nite Paul shows up to get his date; Sue grabs her sweater and purse and says, “come on, let’s go; I’m ready”. Kim and Paul just stand there looking at each other. “You’re kidding, right?”, they ask. Sue answers, “NO, I’m not. I told you to be in by 11 pm; you could not do it without my help, and so, now, you will do it with my help”. And she made it clear, “if you want to go out tonight, this is how it will be done”. So the 3 of them went to dinner and a movie, all of which Sue paid for, and then were home by 11:00 pm! At which time Sue & DH said, “Now, you could not obey the rules without my help; if you want to date, either follow the rules on your own, or with my help; it’s up to you”. Kim and Paul continued to date; they were never again late or defied the “rules”, and they all had a strong relationship.

    I used this method to get my son to clean his room, a job he hated to do, and would spent hours in his room avoiding the task at hand – without my help. But he didn’t want his Mom in his room for hours, either. So he learned to clean his room without my help.

    Do you see how it works? How could you apply, “with or without my help” to your teenager?

    PS: May I suggest relaxation techniques and valerian root powder to keep you calm during stressful times?

    You are a good man, Rourke. You have a heart for the Lord. He loves you dearly.

  7. I feel for ya , Rourke. . . . I am there with you- been self-employed for 25 years-in the construction industry- so there are always ups and downs, but these downs seem worse than before. Wish i had your gym commitment, but i don’t, it is what it is. Turn off the news crap- which is what it is, the limpballs crowd is as bad as the lefties- all shilling for one thing or another, trying to get you to buy their products. It is tough to do, but remember GOD is in control- that is the only thing that keeps me on the rails sometimes. Keep prepping, love your family( I am there with the teen/young adult thing too), and keep on.

  8. I have gone on a news diet recently…Can’t take all the lies! On Halloween, I got all of the Christmas CDs out and put them in the car player…What a great mood changer!!! I am singing and praying and praising as I go merrily on my way!!!

  9. Saying a prayer for you – God is with you and with GOD nothing is impossible! Luke 1:37
    The hard times make us spiritually leaner and meaner for the future. Keeping body, soul and spirit in shape is where it’s at.

  10. Rourke,
    I am not sure if this will make you laugh or cry. If it is in the water then it has not gone away. I too had on going Vehicle Tire issues this week even after spending $500 on new tires. Next my car got hit in a parking lot & the repair on it looked like it was done by 3 headed monkeys. My once teenage twin sons now 30 & grown went to great lengths to come & visit me together. Afterwards I felt like I had been through an intervention. Was I performing at the best level I could, was I solving all my economic issues by myself living on Social Security, was I eating appropriatly & to make sure would they approve of my friends & activities. They of course reminded me they were there for me and always available if I needed them. Does any of this sound familiar to you? Perhaps in reverse? As to the mounting medical bills thats just amazing. It seems like modern medicine is designed by the Pharmaceuticals without a cost threshold. Well like you I decided exercise & returning to long walks on the beach for fresh air was the way to clear my head & confirm at least I guess it had been a job well done. But Global Warming & peculiar weather had generated extreamly rough seas & high tides that made it seem more like a storm survival effort. I gave up came home settled down in front of the TV with a tall glass of ice tea & the only programming seemed to be murder & mayhem or life after the Apocaplypse. Yesterday I went over to the mainland only to discover a major Blockbuster Movie TOMORROWLAND was being filmed in out little beachside town. Movie Stars, Production Crews & Studio Trucks were everywhere. All the businesses had to be closed up before 6:00 for the film crews. I went home. TOMORROWLAND, Hmmmm maybe there is a message there!

  11. Sorry to hear it’s all coming at you in a cluster. It just seems to be the way it works. Hang tough and don’t sit where you can’t see the door.

  12. Rourke, as Dale said, hang in there, it seems the Christmas Season always bring hard times. I think this is God’s way of testing us and I know your will make it

  13. The old saying goes, When I was a teen I thought of how much my parents didn’t know, When I turned 21 I realized how much they’ve learned.

  14. Buckup Lil Buckaroo, things will be just fine. we are on the down side of the B.O. side of life. When things look the bleakest we have another election………deep sigh.ron

    • ronnysam –

      I guess the glass is half full with only having three more years of this Administration left – however it is the next, and the one after that – that has my concern still elevated.



  15. Rourke, If anything can really rattle your soul, it is teenagers. My little ones are now 26 and 29, and they have both thanked me for the times when they knew that they were smarter than their parents… To echo others in this string, you hang in there and don’t worry about tomorrow.
    Keep your family close and our Lord closer! God Bless! Ted

  16. First time to this site, so I might as well add my 2 cents. As for stress I had a major dose of it back in 2001. I was trying to cope with a husband (many years married) that was going through his mid-life crisis (worse than any teenager), and then an elderly mother (80) at the time, and I was right in the middle.She moved in with us and they didn’t see eye to eye on most subjects. This of course caused me stress,and over a short period of time it escalated to high blood pressure and a trip to the E.R. I was only 53 at the time. I do not smoke or drink now or then, this was all caused by “stress”.
    At the hospital I was admitted and during a test to check the strength of my heart, I died. I had a flat line, code blue and no vital signs at all for 2 minutes, which is a long time for the heart not to beat, even though it doesn’t sound like a long time. Had to have a pacemaker put in 2 days later. Spend almost a week in the hospital, but now I am still here to tell about it so GOD is good, he is merciful and he is faithful. Apparently he isn’t finished with me yet and it’s been 12 years and 8 mos.

    Raised 2 daughters so I also know about the “teenage years”, and they are tough but this to shall pass. Relax, take a deeeeeeeppppp breath and “DO NOT” let this stress you, as life does go on. Been there, done that.

    Went bankrupt also way back, maxed out the charge cards, had to have all that I wanted even if I couldn’t afford it. Had tons of medical bills as well, had cars break down, and many other things along the way but it’s all more now than I can remember so that to is the past. Thank GOD for the past, so we can learn and improve.

    As for the holidays, please do some research and keep in mind that they are man-made and not GOD made. His feast are what counts and not the holidays of this world. It’s all about money, it’s so commercial and Satan even has his holiday right along side of the man made one called Christmas. Halloween and Christmas on the same aisle in the stores, one right across from the other. Shop til you drop, and spend until you can’t spend anymore, then charge it and worry about all of it next year when the bills come in.

    Read about the life and times of the Emperor Constantine and you will discover why we celebrate what we celebrate. It’s all about tradition, pure and simple.

    Now, relax, enjoy the wife, family, friends, neighbors and their dogs and let the LORD do the rest. He’s on your side dear. De-stress yourself so you don’t have the same issues that I had.

    • wandakate –

      Thanks for your comments and welcome to the site. I am so glad you are OK and certainly there are some lessons to learn from your story.



  17. How about some good news today?

    and my favorite, for all you parents out there:

    Pay attention to the “most important” skill in the above; “CRITICAL THINKING” – Rourke: as difficult as it can be to remember, give yourself a “well done” for raising a kid who asks questions and doesn’t just swallow the pablum!

  18. Welcome @WandaKate! I think your shared wisdom will help us all [email protected], TY for the GOOD news you shared…I agree that CRITCAL THINKING is a very important skill…All we can do as parents is try to teach our kids to think…@Rourke, give yourself a break…we give our kids the basics, what they choose to do with it is ultimately on them….as much as that might stress us…

  19. Rourke-thanks for your honesty -that takes courage.
    SOMEDAY your son will be thanking you -maybe age 25 0r 30 ? Our daughter has finally-smile !!
    Do something nice for yourself !!
    Please e mail me your address to make a donation-for the site . You are in my thoughts and prayers, Arlene

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