CastleRain

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Tag: Love (page 1 of 3)

Plot Twist

Plot TwistLife for us this past year has been very… fluid.  To say the very least.  “Such is life.”, as it goes.  The plot twists to reveal new decisions, new directions and things that must be handled prior to going forward.  So things are going to slow down as Darla and I remain engaged (just want to make that clear right now), but will put the wedding even further back.  In the next few months, Darla will relocate back to Bay City to handle family matters.  Once her daughter, Alexis graduates high school and moves on with her own life, then Darla and I can resume our own.

I know what you’re thinking.  Why don’t I move to Bay City with Darla?  I’m still working on my own things dealing with my own family.  I’ve explained this time and time again.  I don’t feel I need to explain it further.  Get down on me all you like.  I made my decision and Darla understands.  I’m not about to break promises just because something gets in the way.

We haven’t decided on a new wedding date yet.  Likely be May 3, 2021?  It’s hard to say.  A lot can change between now and then.  But I assure you, like always, we’ll keep you up to date.  We’ll also update our wedding site as well.

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It’s been 3 Years

Clock / CalendarToday marks 3 years since I’ve returned to Michigan.  Unfortunately many of my plans haven’t gone as well as I had hoped for.  There has been plenty of obstacles to overcome, death of those I knew but thankfully who weren’t close to me and lots of changes.

On the upside, I’m still alive.  Which is a good thing.  Still have pains in my chest fairly regularly.  Haven’t had the time or the money to even bother with a cardiologist since I’ve been here.  My family doctor has been watching me, knowing I can’t afford things like stress tests and fancy fees.  I’m healthy enough to work, but can’t afford decent health coverage on my wages.  I’m so pissed at Obama and yet our current available replacements don’t look any better.  Can we vote to get new candidates?  I digress.

Sadly some of the things I wanted to really do, like get close to my sons again, hasn’t really worked like I had planned.  I had hoped to move to East Jordan, but it’s hard to find an affordable place and there really isn’t any work for me in that town.  Even if I did, I don’t know if it would help much.  With me working so much, it’s hard to find time.  Though I’m less than an hour away.  Perhaps things will progress this year.  There have been good things happening though, such as Adam and Laura’s Wedding and the birth of my 3 grandsons.  Judah Allen Fowler, Noah Allen Fowler (notice a pattern?) and Hayden LaPradd.  So far I’ve only got to meet the two Fowler’s once, other than that, I’m watching them grow up on Facebook 😐 I so hope for an invite once in a while.

I’m very happy having gotten back to being able to play the drums.  It’s been years upon years since I gave them up.  When I got back, my first tax return afforded me my new drum kit.  Sadly it’s not an acoustic kit, but I’m sure the neighbors are pleased not to hear me practice 😀  I had hoped to build up to doing an actual concert with my talented children.  Still want to do it very much.  I’m not giving up on that yet, but it’s certainly been postponed.  Just one concert though.  Not looking to make a career of it, simply fulfilling a dream.  I’m anxious to share the experience.

I had also hoped to reconnect with old friends.  In this time I haven’t been successful in making any new friends either.  All of my gamer friends have disbanded and moved on to either a game free life or console gaming.  Of which I’m still not into.  I’m still a PC gamer, but try as I may, I’m a lifer when it comes to World of Warcraft.  As before, I’m only playing by myself.  Darla has expressed an interest in playing with me, but hasn’t really put much time into it yet.  We were still working on just moving around before she ended up in surgery.  She hasn’t touched it since.  I even switched back to the Alliance so she wouldn’t have to play ugly monsters 🙂  I don’t play as much though.  Work gets in the way 😉

As it was, finding a part time job was a hell of an adventure and I’m still seeking what I want to do for a career change.  Something with less customer service stupidity would be nice for a change.  Although as of May 22, I had to finally relent not working on Sunday to help sustain our household income while Darla heals from her colectomy and removal of an ovary.  She’s healing quite well, but will be some weeks before she’s strong enough to work again.  Hopefully soon we will be able to go on the long walks we planned to get exercise in.  We have an exercise bike, but getting out of the house while it’s summer would be much nicer.  Even if the town isn’t as pretty as it used to be.

I still don’t find my town as charming and pretty as I once did.  It looks tired and worn out.  The roads are horrible and the maintenance they do is an absolute joke in town.  The interstate got a nice make over between Gaylord and Waters.  Thankfully it’s finally spring, so I have the trees and flowers to distract me from the time worn buildings and trash laden sidewalks.  Seems I’ve pretty much run the gamut on nostalgia around here already.  Didn’t think it would be so lackluster…

The best I’ve experienced since my moving back is Darla and me reconnecting.  Though that hasn’t been without it’s series of challenges and changes.  From our engagement, to the multiple changes in plans and the unfortunate postponement.  My mom seems to love her to death, which is a pleasant change in my life.

All in all it’s been an experience.  Can’t say it’s been good or bad when you add it all up.  It’s clear I still have work to do with my sons.  I just don’t want to force myself into their lives.  I’m not asking anything but forgiveness and acceptance.  I also hope to make some new friends eventually.  As well, I pray for a few more good years in health so I can spend them with Darla and my grandsons as well.  Play my concert and die fulfilled in the knowledge I made some impact in this world.  And leave some good memories for others behind.

Don’t come to my funeral to show how much you cared about me.  Show me how much you care about me now..  While I’m alive.

~ Unknown

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Wedding Postponed

If you missed Darla’s Church Announcement, our posting on Facebook or missed the private message we sent to some of you…  The wedding has been postponed for a year.  We still wanted to keep the date, so we moved it a year back.  Although we hope we caught everyone before anyone shows up at church Tuesday and realizes it’s closed.

The reason is, that Darla has some unfortunate issues that need surgery.  So we made that the priority so she can use her existing insurance.  As we said earlier, she has been diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  Being diagnosed so late in her life, the symptoms had gone unchecked all this time.  Creating an issue in her intestines.  Something that has been causing her discomfort for the past couple of months.  Another minor issue was also found during her doctor visits and will also be rendered during this time.

Your prayers and thoughts are welcomed and appreciated.  We will keep you up to date with the progress of Darla’s surgery and recovery.

May 3, 2017

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Closer

Time’s getting closer until the big day.  There’s excitement to be sure.  Yet there are still those frustrated with our choices.  That still blows my mind.  Darla and I agree on everything going on, so it is what it is I guess.

Nothing really going on outside of that.  Pretty much the same routine.  For me it’s work, practice, work, sleep.  For Darla it’s Work, sleep, work.  Wash, rinse, repeat.

When I can, I teach her how to play World of Warcraft.  We agreed on playing Alliance as they are more appealing visually.  So we are doing that.  Renamed the guild to Paladin’s Hammer.  She says she really likes it.  Will take some time, but perhaps finally open the guild up to the public and create new friends.

Hopefully this spring and summer (if this freaking snow would ever go away and stay gone), I can get to know my grandsons more.  They are some cuties 🙂

May 3, 2017

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Our First Castle

Our First CastleIt seemed like it would be an eternity before we’d find a place of our own, but now we have.  Darla and I have finally gotten together in our first home (castle).  It’s not exactly what we wanted as far as price and location, but it’s a start.

It’s a lot of long drawn out circumstances, but here we are.  I technically didn’t move at all.  Rather, the person I shared this place with moved out and Darla moved in.

We certainly have a ways to go to get finally settled.  Darla has yet to move all of her stuff from Bay City to Gaylord.  Basically to afford the truck needed, we are waiting on tax returns.  Then we can move her stuff.

So it’s a little bare in here.  No real furniture to speak of and we still have many things we need to acquire to complete our home.  Still we’re making it work rather nicely.  Sure it won’t be easy.

To our family and friends, you are welcome to visit.  Just please call ahead as we both work weird schedules.  Don’t have our numbers?  Ask 🙂

What you see below is what we have going so far.  Don’t mind the camping chairs, they are more comfortable than you’d think 😀

As for that giant Ford double cab truck, that was just a rental truck I had while my car was getting a new oil pan installed.  Only had 821 miles on it when I got it from Enterprise.  Sadly I really didn’t need it 🙁  But in order to have 3 photos on each row, I added it in 😉

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Frequently Asked Questions

faqDarla and I have been getting a barrage of the same questions over and over.  So…  To put it in writing, here are our answers to these questions.  Of course, it won’t stop people from asking, but hopefully it will slow it down some.  Because honestly these questions are getting a bit frustratingly annoying.

Why Gaylord?

Why did we choose to live in Gaylord?  It’s a middle ground.  See, I (Denny) left Michigan in 1993 to join the Navy.  I was freaking out about my marriage ending and needed time to get away and think.  What better way to do that and serve our country at the same time.  While I was there I learned to be the geek I am today.  So I came back in 1998 just to move back to Virginia in 1999 for a job at Gateway.  Which was outsourced in 2001.  I got married and stayed in Virginia up until Summer of 2013 when I moved back.  I moved back because my being away has not made me very close to my sons.  They are why I came back.  I promised them I wouldn’t do that to them again as I want to try to reconnect and get close to them.  I wanted to move to East Jordan to be able to spend more time with them.  But I couldn’t find work or a place to live there.  So here is the deal.  They live nearly an hour away from Gaylord depending on weather.  Darla’s family is an hour and a half south of here.  Denny makes this drive every weekend.  It’s not a horribly long distance.  So in not breaking my promise to my sons, this is a good middle ground between the two families.  Darla and I agree to this arrangement.  Tough noogies if anyone else doesn’t like it.  As for Alexis moving, we’ve both had to make moves in our life times as children and adjusted just fine.  She will too.

What are the details of your wedding?

Some folks think we should have everything planned by now.  Down to the last detail.  We are still working on finding a place for us to live in.  Outside of that, we spend a few hours together on Sundays.  We’d rather not waste that precious time with each other planning.  We’ll have plenty of time for that once we get settled into a place.  We will let everyone know when we have all the details.  Stop bugging us until then!

For one, our wedding is many months away.  We have only a small clue how many people want to come as they have yet to let us know.  Why?  Because it’s months away and they don’t know themselves if they can come.  We don’t know if the weather will play nice, so we aren’t sure if we are going with plan a)  Carroll Park or plan b) the Christian Assembly Church.

Why a Pot-Luck Reception?

This pot-luck thing is a topic of discussion.  It’s simple, we don’t have money, thus we can’t afford catering.  Don’t like it?  Don’t come.  Simple answer.  Also it’s not unheard of.  Try using your favorite search engine and looking it up.

We’ll tell you what though.  If you want to pay for our reception’s catering, then we’ll let you.  We’ll drop the pot-luck in a heartbeat if you want to foot the bill.  Let us be clear though, you’re paying for it and it’s not a loan.  Otherwise, pot-luck is the only thing we can afford.

Why is the wedding on a Tuesday?

Because that date is special to us.  We want our anniversary to always be May 3rd.  Sucks that it falls on a Tuesday.  But we aren’t about to change the date just to please others.  It’s that simple.  We moved the reception to a weekend to appease those who can’t make a Tuesday wedding.  We’re OK with only a handful of people coming to the wedding itself.

How come you’re having the reception on a different day?

Read the above paragraph.  If you’re still confused, we can’t help.

Why is the wedding being held in Bay City?

Darla has the most people coming.  For one, Carroll Park is the place I proposed to her.  We’d like to have it there.  Plus, it’s far better to inconvenience a few folks to drive from Gaylord or East Jordan to Bay City than to inconvenience a lot of people.  Those coming from out of state will have an easier time getting to Bay City than to Gaylord.  Besides decent hotels in Bay City are cheaper.  Gaylord the only affordable place is the Timberly and it’s not recommended.


The most frustrating part of all of this is we don’t understand why folks can’t just accept our wishes and go with it?  Instead there are people who feel the need to push their opinions on us.  As if that will somehow make us happier.  When in reality, it’s not what we want, it’s what someone else wants.  Frankly those are the things that almost make us want to skip the whole damn thing and just find a Justice of the Peace and do it quietly.

Also, as a side note, Denny works two jobs.  Not just one.  It seems even though I’ve been a geek doing tech support for computers since 1994, people seem to ignore that fact.  Or the fact that I’ve been working for the same internet company for nearly 13 years.  Instead they hear I do delivery for a pizza place and suddenly I’m just some low life minimum wage person.  The fact is, there are not many tech jobs here in Gayrock.  So I make fairly decent money in wages plus tips doing my part time second job.  It’s a SECOND JOB, not what I plan to do for a living.  Sure my future may not be in the tech world, but it isn’t in pizza delivery either.

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Over and Under Whelmed

Over and Under WhelmedIt’s that time of year again.  Where almost nothing seems to go according to plan.  What’s more, is since 2012 things have been different for me.  Suddenly I’m allergic to peanuts.  And I’m also 10 times more emotional than I’ve ever been before.  It makes for a very very difficult time to deal with all these things coming at me.

Healthcare

I can’t help but hate our new government assisted healthcare plans.  I was perfectly happy with the one my day job gave me.  However, thanks to Obamacrap, his premiums skyrocketed and now I have to suffer with Healthcare.gov’s crap offerings.  The first year I was able to find a decent plan and it cost me $163 per month.  The second year that same plan cost me $222 per month.  It was the only plan I could find that covered all my medications to where my co-pays were a total of $85 per month.  It’s an expensive way to go, but it was what I could get.  In 2016 that plan is going to be replaced with one that makes two of my most expensive medications uncovered.  Well a co-pay of $300 each.  Since they only cost $250 each, that’s $500 per month on top of all the other co-pays and the monthly premium of $217.  That’s way too expensive.  I’m in a panic trying to find a new healthcare plan and it seems that they all have similar offerings.  I can’t afford that.  Period.  I don’t know what to do and I don’t believe I know anyone who understands healthcare insurance that I can sit down with.  So if anyone does, I need to get with you before December 15th.

Christmas

On top of all that panic, here comes that holiday that always comes before tax returns.  Why is that?  Between dealing with snow removal, higher heating bills, tires and winterizing our cars, as well as more electricity usage due to shorter daylight hours; lets throw in a holiday where you need to spend a bunch of money to decorate and provide gifts to family and friends.  Since I’ve been a one person income, I’ve found it next to impossible to have a decent Christmas.  This year is no exception.  It’s going to be a cheap Christmas at best.  I’m sorry but a few gift cards, my popular Christmas Cards and a couple of gifts is all I can hope to achieve.  Especially since it’s the off season for both my jobs.  I’ve had hours cut from my night job, and it’s barely enough to cover my monthly expenses.

Moving

Speaking of money.  It’s been a very long year as far as saving up money to move out of this tiny room I live in.  Come January we hope to move into a place of our own and finally get our lives started in the right direction.  It’s going to be tough to get it done in time let alone moving heavy furniture in the cold weather.  My not being as spry as I once was isn’t going to help either.  Damned old age and heart conditions.  Then again, I always manage to find a way.  Just wish it was the easy way for once.

Wedding

Then… When we finally get settled in, we need to start saving for our up coming wedding.  This is part of the reason it’s going to be a low budget ordeal.  We have 5-ish months to save up for the basics and making sure we have a place secured for the reception and nail down tux rental, decorations, and someone to marry us.  Though from the lack of response to our recent Facebook posting, it seems not one person will be coming to our reception.  Or our wedding.  No one responded at all.  We had hoped to get a rough idea of what we need to plan for.  It’s been a huge question, “How many people are you inviting?”.  So when we asked who wanted to come, no one responded. ?

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Reception Date Change

King and QueenDear Loved Ones, Family and Friends.  After some discussion, we decided to move our reception to another day.  As May 3rd falls on a Tuesday, many won’t be able to take the day off.  The date is far too special to us to move the wedding itself.  So we will marry on Tuesday May 3rd.  We are not sure when, as we are unclear if the Pastor we have chosen to wed us can get the time off himself.  We may need to seek a Justice of the Peace or alternative qualified person to perform the ceremony.

We will move the reception to Saturday May 7th @ 2pm.  Still hoping to have it at Carroll Park in Bay City if the weather is decent, or will we will have it at the Christian Assembly church as the alternate location.

This means we will be in full dress for the reception, but not so much the wedding.  As the wedding will be a small party of family and friends, and the reception will be more of a photo opportunity.  (that and we only have to rent the Tux once)

Also, we would very much like it if anyone planning on coming to the reception to contact us.  You can use our wedding site wedding.castlerain.com and let us know who wants to come and how many you will be bringing.  Also please make sure we have your current address.  This is a dry run to get numbers.  We will ask again just before we send out the official invitations in April.

Please keep our wedding site bookmarked, and check it frequently for any changes.

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The Wedding Site

Please bookmark, add to your favorites or what-have-you.  Wedding.CastleRain.com  An all-in-one location for info and photos (coming soon) about our up coming wedding.  It will remain after as a place of very fond memories and images.

Wedding Site

Please use it to update your address with us if you wish to attend, offer to bring a dish to pass for our Pot-Luck reception, and if you share your photos with us of our wedding, engagement and all the adventures in between…  We will add the photos to the online gallery.

CTRL+D (Windows) to bookmark in Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge and Opera
COMMAND+D (Mac) Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Opera

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Huh.. Well…

Best ManThe past several years I’ve had habits most unbecoming compared to most men apparently.  When I was in Virginia, I opted to come home every day to be with family rather than making guy friends and hanging out with them.  I don’t go to bars, so I haven’t made any new guy friends here either.  That, and the internet has certainly changed the way we make friends.  Be it gaming, Facebook, YouTube, etc…  Gaming friends are all I’ve made over the past decade.  In short, the only friends I have don’t live any where near me.  The only guy friends I have live out of the state or out of the country.  This has put me in an odd situation with my upcoming marriage to Darla.  I have no best man.

The best friend is usually tapped for such a task.  My best friend is my soon to be wife.  So that won’t work.  Outside of that, I have my four friends I talk to from when we all used to play online MMO games together.  My best male friend, Tyler lives in Illinois.  Try as I might, he’s been far too busy to even have a conversation with lately.  Outside of that, there’s Jeff in Kansas who has gone offline for the most part.  Paul and Nick live in England.  Don’t think they can hop a plane without a whole lot of money to cover not only their expenses but lost wages for being here.  This wedding is low budge to begin with.  So yeah.  I know they’ll all want to be here in spirit.

Truth be told, I’d love to have my wedding there, but that’s only because I’ve been dying to go to England all my life.  Granted, that won’t happen.

I’m not about to rent a best man.  Thankfully I don’t need any groomsmen.  It’s not that big of an affair.

I’ve read on various websites that some guys opt to be their own best man.  Unless something changes, I may have to do the same.  Thankfully I’ve got 8 months yet before panic mode.

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