I can’t believe that a whole week has passed. So much has happened that I have a hard time putting it into perspective.
Let me start off by answering a few questions I’ve received. Linda did make it safely to Sturgis, Kentucky. She sent a text message to me the day after she arrived. She wanted to have a chance to talk with Stella. I had her call me when she was at Uncle Bill’s house and I would call. This was one way for me to verify that she was actually in Kentucky. Not that I really thought she would lie, but just to make sure she didn’t decide to make a detour. Over the past week she has talked with Stella maybe three times and that included one phone call from me, because Stella wanted to talk with her. The roughest part was when she called on Saturday. She was finally willing to go over the Separation Agreement which just turned into another excuse to talk about our relationship and how much I don’t care about her. She also didn’t like it when I told her that we were expected to be at a party.
Stella has, for the most part, accepted the new arrangements at home. Doesn’t seem to be affected by Mom’s trip to Kentucky and has shown improvements at school. On the 20th and 21st the elementary school had half days for Parent / Teacher’s Conferences. Stella’s was schedule for Thursday and so was Paige’s. That allowed for both Karla and I to travel together. Stella’s grades were quite high in all areas except paying attention and following directions. Mrs. Zimmer and I agreed that it was primarily due to Stella being bored with the subject. We came to joint solution and better communication to help Stella get better in this area. Paige has been doing really well in all areas too. Stella has missed the last two days of school due to a cold and Paige has helped to collect homework for Stella and bringing it home for her to keep caught up. It’s nice when your child has so many friends looking out for her. Stella’s doctor noted that Stella has another ear infection. (3rd this school year.) He will be putting in a referral to see an ENT specialist. These ear infections could lead to a tonsillectomy in Stella’s future. Ouch! She has her cheerleading registration complete and is looking forward to it. Cheerleading does not start back up till January, so I hope to have all medical problems resolved before then. Other then all of this she’s has been doing really well.
Keri has been…. Well… A teenager. Hormones and drama has become her middle name, but I guess that is normal. She’s a good kid, but sometimes it takes a lot of patience to help her muddle through. Her biggest problem right now is her Boyfriend, or should I, her Boyfriend’s parents. Apparently, Jamie has been grounded and she hasn’t been able to visit much. To keep her mind off of things, she’s been helping more around the house. Keri will be taking Child, infant CPR courses soon, along with babysitting class. This is to set her up to become a registered babysitter on post. This will help her in the form of therapeutic retraining in the area of child care. I have watched how she handles the children that has been visiting on the weekends and have become a little concerned. She shows a little too much of Linda’s habits when taking care of kids; nothing really detrimental to the kids, but a concern none the less. In January, she will be registered for snowboarding classed; something she’s been looking forward too.
Karla, Alysa and Paige have spent the week preparing for a trip to their family’s house up in Maine. They finally departed today. Keri and I will be responsible for her animals and house while they are gone. The girls have spent the normal weekend with me and nothing has really changed in that area. On November 20th, Paige turned 8. She was able to open just a couple gifts; she had a birthday party planned on Saturday. Karla went out on the same night after the kids went to sleep at my house. This idea of Mom going out on Paige’s Birthday seemed to have bothered Keri a lot. She did not like that at all. But to me it’s all good. Paige wanted to spend her birthday evening with Stella and Karla didn’t go out until the girls were at my house. This meant that she was home alone and had nothing better else to do. Paige’s party went great. One of Karla’s friends made sure that the cake and ice cream arrived on time. She had at least 9 kids over, which included the normal ones that I have every weekend. During the party, I became a jungle gym for the kids. Between the running back and forth, dealing with Linda and playing with all of the kids, I certainly got my exercise in for the day.
Heather has been my biggest concern this week. The girl is going through so much and I truly wish I could help her out. My Niece is not looking forward to a very good holiday season. This concerns me a lot. With her going through so much legal and financial troubles, I can’t help but feel for her. If and when I get my situation repaired or at least stable, I will then be able to focus my attention her direction. I have been able to set up Keri and Stella with their own blog, chat and e-mail. With this they have both been able to chat with Heather. I am hoping this will convince her that she is not alone and that she has family that cares. Between giving her an ear to vent to and prayers, it seems that’s all I can help with for now, but I hope to change that soon. I was relieved to here that my Brother Walter will be able to spend Thanksgiving with her. I do hope it will help them both. Heather wasn’t planning on having much of a Thanksgiving until he told her about his plans. Walter is going through a divorce himself and could also use the company of family. It appears that some of my prayers have been answered in that regard.
I haven’t heard from my friends in Iraq in a while and this has got me concerned a lot. I am use to being able to chat with them at least once a week and really don’t like being out of touch. One of my friends keeps a blog that keeps me informed, but it’s not the same as being able that talk with them. One of them has usually given me the best of advice and that advice is really needed. They are probably really busy and haven’t been able to chat much. I also miss just being there and part of the action. I feel like I am letting them down somehow.
The weather has been bouncing form rain to snow all week. This is probably why Stella has been getting sick. This evening has ended with Keri and I shoveling snow at least 3 times.
Next ten-day forecast; you’ll love this: I’m dreaming of a… White Christmas? Only in the North Country.
Highs 35°Lows 30°
Fri Nov 28
Highs 37°Lows 27°
Sat Nov 29
Highs 35°Lows 21°
Few Snow Showers
Highs 34°Lows 28°
Highs 36°Lows 23°
Highs 32°Lows 23°
Highs 35°Lows 25°
Highs 34°Lows 23°
Highs 32°Lows 17°
Highs 29°Lows 13°
The biggest question that I have been hearing is; “What about the Court Hearing”. Well, I showed up on time. The Judge had to wait for the customary 30 minutes for Linda to show up. When I went in to see the Judge, I told him Linda’s need to be in Kentucky and she would not be able to show up. He noticed that Linda was served and declared the case closed in my favor. This means that the protection order stays in place until April of 2009. It also means that I have been awarded sole custody of Stella with future visitations with Linda to be controlled at my discretion and the well being of Stella. The hearing lasted all of about 15 minutes. This was a large undesirable victory, but one that is necessary.
The US Army and my Chain of Command have sent me by the way of chapter from military service. They have denied my request, once again for leave, with their needs as priority. This was proven by a VTC (Video Tele Conference) with the forward Battalion Commander. He still is one of my biggest supporters, but is powerless, unwilling or unknowing about my situation to interfere with the subordinate Commander’s decisions. Needless to say the VTC included CPT Adams, who for some odd reason did not wish to talk directly to me. LTC Parker made a statement that I found amusing. “SSG Cartlidge let me ask you this; seeing how everyone else appears to be incapable of talking with you directly…” I think I have found a way of staying in the military though, but that will have to wait for the future a complaint to the Inspector General and possibly a Congressional Investigation. I will explain these things later.
-Have a great Thanksgiving! Believe me, I will, because dispite everyting, I have a lot to be thankful for. Ken