Sunday, May 31, 2009

Talking me off of the ledge

I have known, since I was 8 or 9, that my dad is nuts. Sorry, organizations that want to keep the word "crazy" out of the vernacular, but it's true here. He is wacko, bonkers, off his rocker.

The hard part, of course, is that his crazy always centered on me. During his psychotic breaks, he blames me for every ill ever bestowed on him - from the mailman's misdirection of mail to the fact that the radio talks to him (and tells him to do bad things). I wanted to point out the fact that the radio waves are beyond my control, but it didn't seem to make much sense when I'd be hiding in the cellar, waiting for him to come completely unglued - or show up with candy to apologize.

I don't talk about my dad much. I try not to relate the state of marriage number 1 being so completely and total tangled up with the state of relationship with dad (this would be the guy that caused me great harm). Those two men were cut from the same cloth. It just happened that both of them are fractured in all the wrong places.

The past week has been full of opportunities to hear about his impending meltdown. I knew it was coming, yet I still, as usual, had hope that it wouldn't impact me, at 41 and with a family of my own, as deeply as it has in the past. But he found a way to get to me, through the kids. And the new scars that appeared today were deep and mean and just as vicious as if I'd been 9 years old and helpless.

This man leaves me feeling helpless when he finds a happy memory of my childhood - a very rare and magical thing for me - and he finds a way to destroy it. This time, it was a place he ripped to shreds, a memory or two of happy times with a family that wasn't in crisis. I so lived for the few, rare glimpses of normalcy. I had it in my head that these two or three locales were safe from his destruction.

But nothing is safe when a madman is involved.

He made what was once a beautiful place feel dark and sinister. And he took a beautiful day of freedom that I greatly needed feel like a sham.

I still have my mountain, and all the places that he has not touched in my world. And I refuse to allow his dark agenda touch my life, or the lives of my kids, anymore. Tonight I had to have the "grampa isn't a safe person" talk. Again. But this time it's for good. I don't intend to see him again until his funeral.

Because sometimes you just have to choose to be safe, no matter how the rest of your family treats you for this decision. And the grief that will pour over me will be like a tidal wave. But I will be safe. And my children will be safe from his poison. And the world will be as it should be - it will be mine.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Another blanket story

I've had lots of neat stories shared about making forts, watching monster movies and Sunday afternoons from the last blog, Under Covers. It got me thinking about how much I like having a blanket in the back of the car to throw down someplace and picnic, nap or play a game with the kids.

When the kids were little, we used to make frequent road trips to the beach, the mountains and lots of local adventures. There wasn't a park that we didn't try out in our neighborhood. Games of wall ball were organized, sandwiches and juice boxes were shared, cookies were devoured.

As they got a little older and I went to work, I kept a blanket in the back of the car for days I needed a little sun, an escape, or some time spent with a friend. I really believe blankets must have magical powers - kind of like the towel joke that runs through The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. I can't leave home without it.

As I pack for an adventure to Frog Lake today, I remember years of special moments this blanket has shared.

When the kids were about 7 and 8, I babysat to help make ends meet. The kids loved our little adventures and we went to the Shakespeare Garden at the International Rose Test Gardens in Portland's Washington Park for a romp. Check out some beautiful rose photos here.We got to see a magical moment in some people's lives when an impromptu wedding happened to take place. I still have that blanket we were sitting on when this beautiful group of a dozen or so people appeared.
That day will forever stick in my mind as magical. As will another one, when I fell in love in this garden. Walking hand in hand with someone very special through the mazes of flowers and plants, talking about dreams and hopes and sharing stories. The blanket that was our nest that wedding day as we enjoyed the magic still travels with me. Maybe it's ready for another adventure. Picnic, anyone?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Under covers

When I was a little girl, I used to hide under the covers with my best friend and very cool neighbor, Jean. She was a year younger and very quiet and shy, just like me.

We'd spend our Saturday afternoons watching Monster Movies - Godzilla, Gamera, Mothra.... and hide under blankets when we got creeped out by the giant monster on the humongous 14" color tv screen. Under the covers was safe from anything and we would tell each other secrets where nobody else could hear us.

We also liked to make tents and spend hours under the blankets reading our favorite books. For me, it was Laura Ingalls Wilder and Little House. For her, it was Nancy Drew mysteries. I'd imagine myself in a family where dad loved his kids, worked hard and was kind. She imagined danger and adventure.

As we grew up and grew out of the monster movie stage, our lives went in different directions. I still think of her fondly - and I'm especially grateful for her introduction of under the covers. For me, that's a perfect place to feel safe and to share.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I'd like to thank the academy...

Wow. My first Blog Award!! I'm almost speechless. Really! (I know, your inner voice is saying, "What does she mean? She never shuts up!!")

So, my darling friend Fireblossom, who believes the spirit of Bill Cosby lives inside her toaster, has nominated me. If you haven't seen her fantastically twisted alter ego at Objects d'Art, get thee over there for a peek. She isn't just the most expressive writer of beautiful words at Word Garden, you know. I laugh so hard I have to wipe tears. I think I could have a thing for RRRRRRaoul... where do I get me one of those house boys?

Anyway, the award comes with strings. I have to write about why I blog and then I get to pass the torch. WAIT - don't touch that dial!! I've asked this question before, but I think I've discovered one of the minor eddies in the space time continuum here. And it's a doozie.

I blog for different reasons at different times. Sometimes I don't write at all - and usually not because I have nothing to say (does she EVER shut up??? somebody throw a monkey at her!!) Wait - does that make me COMPLICATED??? I probably have 30 blog posts in my queue that will never see the light of day. I read and reread them over warm strawberry pop tarts.

I've had people ask me if I write because I have to get things out or they'll make me nutty. (Like I'm not already there. I mean, who has peanut butter on their multi-grain eggos?) I didn't write for days over the holiday weekend and I saved up ideas for posts that should last me for a week. When I'm blissfully happy, I have a tendency to write less, if at all. When I'm busy and stressed, I write a lot more. How does that work?

Writing as therapy? Yeah, probably, but not always.

The most important reason I write is to stay connected. There are people that are extremely important to me that are too far away. I miss them. I want to keep them close. I write little hidden messages into my posts for them, because they're always with me that way. Many new friends from the blog world visit me and I visit them and we share our love of sharing silly things and important things. That's pretty cool.

I write because I love words. Because my 9th grade English teacher, Miss Leppart, used to sing opera as she walked the halls and was the coolest teacher ever. She taught me to form thoughts with a pencil before you say them in your voice - and never to start a sentence with "and". Oops...

Now, I'd like to bestow the lovely award upon Dawn, who, I recently discovered, I have lots in common with. Plus, she's cool. Hi Dawn!!

Now go out and write something, people!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Please hold while we access that information

Apologies, first of all, that the last 2 blogs I've written have disappeared. I'm having google blogger issues - as I've heard other people are, as well - and I will try to recover and repost them. They were fabulous. You'd laugh, you'd cry, you'd endeavor to comment.

Random is a word that suits me well. I am a very random person at times. Currently, I'm on heavy duty allergy meds and feel less random and fun that usual, but that'll only last a couple more weeks. Can you imagine how dull I'd be if I was still taking those antidepressants that turned me into a zombie? Talk about the dead zone... So I though some fun of the random sort would be good the first day back to work after a holiday weekend.

So, today's game, boys and girls, is a game of random things. The photo below was taken at the NAMI walk a couple weeks back. Make a comment about it and provide the dialog that you think was going on. The photo's subjects will vote on their favorite comments and the winner will receive a monkey. Seriously. OK, not a LIVE monkey. But a monkey*. To allow for easy commenting, the girl on the left in the braids is Girl #1 and the girl on the right is Girl #2.

Go to town, people, let's see how creative you can be.

*Monkey will be selected upon completion of contest. You may enter as often as you'd like. Any monkey-borne diseases or monkey-related injuries are not the responsibility of the contest sponsor. Any monkey received by the designated winner will be shipped to the address of such person at sponsor's discretion and leisure. No guarantees are made on monkey's friendliness or huggability by sponsor. Replacements will not be made for pet-eaten-monkey-disasters. Contest ends Monday, June 1, 2009. Non-transferable. Void where prohibited.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


A horrible evening followed a truly hideous afternoon here in pheromone land. If it weren't for best friends like Riot Kitty, the world may come to a screeching halt. Or, a gallon of ice cream might be consumed under the covers.

BUT NO! A new solution has appeared on my horizon and I have developed a new, improved alter ego. And she's badass.

What Would Betty Do? Yes, boys and girls, Betty Page - that maven of rubberized clothing, long before her time a gothic princess in white face and red lips. She kicked butt back in the day - and took crap off nobody. I want to be like her when I grow up mommy! Check it out...

1) Your boss yells at you. Your coworkers snicker behind your back. You have to take ugly, creepy carpet salesmen to lunch and end up groped against your will. Mild mannered Pheromone Girl would only report it to her boss and ask to not have to talk to said creep again. BUT NO! Enter Betty, ruler of her own domain and a couple belonging to strangers.

REWIND: Creepy carpet guy starts his hijinx. Out comes the Betty in you and you smack him in the head with a margarita glass the size of a rhino and laugh all the way out the door. Wow, that felt good.

2) Your children are whiny and annoying. A lot. They won't do what they're told or leave each other alone or even get out of bed sometimes. You try to reason with them and they ignore it. You go to bed, frustrated that they're too old to spank. Or leash.

REWIND: Kids are whining, smacking each other and basically behaving like cave people. Out comes Betty, roaring like a lion, and the kids are so scared you don't even have to crack the actual whip. Twice. But you do it anyway, because you're Betty.

3) You're having a bad day. Yeah, nobody has cancer and everyone has enough to eat, at least for now, and you shouldn't have anything to complain about. But someone to talk to would be nice. However, the male figure that's supposed to take that role is too busy wallowing in his own muck. Spend hours reaching out, sending little messages and being oh-so-syrupy sweet, all the while seething that you are invisible. Designate yourself as invisible in your facebook status. After continuing to be ignored (hello??? anybody out there???), go to sleep and pout.

REWIND: Poor me, boo hoo, life sucks.... and here comes Betty. She shares her bustier collection, paints your toenails black and reminds you that sometimes, you just need the girls. (Go Betty!!)

4) Stupid dog walkers at your park decide to let their dog off leash. Isn't that cute? Except that its making a mess of the duck pond, eating all the flowers and terrifying the ducklings on the bank and basically making a nuisance of itself. You try to be reasonable and talk to the owners with no luck. Go inside and debate the merits of living in a high rise.

REWIND: Betty emerges, leash in hand, and proceeds to tie the dog to the pole in the center of the casting pond. Owner has a choice - wade out about 50 feet in unsanitary, green, slimy water to rescue the dog paddling pet or let it drown. Betty recommend the latter. One less golden retriever in Portland would be no big loss.

5) At a meeting, a stupid, bigoted, slightly insane person starts threatening you and spewing toxic garbage. You spend the next ten minutes getting the meeting back to order and trying to get the moron to shut up. A martini is the only thing that saves your sanity.

REWIND: As the idiot starts to scream at you, Betty enters quietly from the laundry room. The stupid little bigoted bitch doesn't see the whip coming, but she'll feel the welt when she wakes up tomorrow.

Oh, my. I like this Betty. And talking about her just makes me feel better. I think I'll save her for next time and ask myself "What would Betty do?"

At the carnival with the freaks and geeks

All the balls hit the floor this afternoon. When you're a juggler, having any one of the items you're juggling hit the floor amounts to a fiasco. When you're a human being, having everything crash down around you amounts to the same.

OK, I'm being overly dramatic. Running on a little too little sleep and even less patience. Some people are mean, some people suck, some people don't understand the challenges someone besides themselves can be facing.

Yesterday, I ran a complete fiasco of a meeting, right into an oncoming train. I was called every reverse-bigot name in the book - stupid white bitch, whore in the fancy car, nigger hating white fuck, gold-digging whore, as my boss sat by and did NOTHING. Because, after all, as a kind, considerate white girl (why does my skin color matter?? unless she's a bigot??) who sits at the head table, I don't deserve the same respect I show people of any color, orientation or personality disorder.

I wish I'd been juggling fire. Maybe one of the stupid, drunk, loser of a human being's in the back - who wouldn't even identify themselves - would have caught. Instead, I have every intention of making a statement without saying a word.

There will be a security guard at the next meeting. And I'll personally escort the president of the board out if necessary. Revolt happens, and I will not put up with this from anyone, especially my boss. Or her drunken husband. And I have a majority of votes that say the same thing.

She shouldn't have messed with me on such a perfect day.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Giddy on a Friday

I don't know about you, but I've had a week fully of crazy. A very busy weekend full of good things is coming up. I've spent so much time trying to get ahead and make space for those good things that I had officially stressed myself out by about 7:00 last night.

So I did what I like to do when stressed - I took a nap.

I haven't always allowed myself the pleasure of naps. But as I got older and the kids started to wear me out daily, I decided to view them (naps - not the kids! Oh, wait a minute...) as a necessary evil, a nice respite from the exhaustion of 2 little kids on different sleep schedules. Finally, when they were about 3 and 4, respectively, I'd break out the sleeping bags, set-up a room full of places to curl up, and plug in the movie "Babe" on repeat. I could sleep anywhere, during any kind of noisy chaos at that point.

So now, on this day that will likely be sunny and beautiful, the hammock is out, the iced tea is brewing, and Ezmond, the best napping partner in the world, is ready to join me. He likes that hammock, let me tell you, and he'd get up there all the time, by himself, if he could figure it out.

What makes you giddy this Friday? Do Fridays still feel for you, like they do for me, so nice and full of possibilities? Have a most glorious end to your week - and beginning to the fun ahead!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Can I be your Yoko Ono?

I always wanted to be someone's muse. You know, have some starving, crazed artist draw me, paint me, write a song about me. Cut his ear off if I'd just love him for a day. How cool would that be?

I'm happy, though, to be known for the things I do for others. But I have some hidden, special qualities that make me think a position of muse may be in my future. And that makes me think it's time for a little meme, a shout out to my best friend, Riot Kitty, who I'm fortunate enough to be lunching with today. We have to have something to giggle about over tea and spring rolls!


1. I have great hair. Isn't great hair necessary to becoming a muse? Since I highlight my hair now, I wouldn't be able to donate it to charity like I did before. So, until or unless it makes me nutty and I implore Kevin to chop it off to my shoulders again, long it stays.

2. My toenails are painted sparkly blue. When I wear sandals, people comment on them all the time. A muse should be someone who's not afraid to march to the beat of their own drummer. Yep, that'd be me.*

3. Monkeys love me. I attract them from near and far. The six I have now are Rabies (currently visiting my pal Fireblossom), Asthma, Syphilis, HIV (who we call hivvie), and the newest (and softest and bluest), Gangrene. Who wouldn't want to write a story about a girl with monkeys?

4. I attract dragonflies. Or at least I used to. I hope the stream in my park is good for making them hang out here - that and the beautiful trees. A good, healthy population of dragonflies brings good luck and happy dreams. They're like pretty dinosaurs.

5. I can be moody and difficult and tempermental and brooding and.... um.... isn't that a requirement for being a muse? Kind of like being aloof. And good at making tea and apologies after being all those things.

I could add more. I like to talk in incomplete sentences, even though I'm often called the grammar police. I like banana cream pudding - the world's perfect food, especially with whipping cream. I like to be random - or maybe it's just that I AM random and I've learned to like it? I talk to people and make friends wherever I go. All things that I would think set me up perfectly to be muse material.

OK, boys and girls, I want to hear what would make you a good muse. We all have deep, hidden things that would make just the right person want to paint a beautiful picture of us - right before being locked up in the loony bin.

*No actual toes were harmed in the making of this blog. My lawyer (um, daughter, I mean) demanded that I add that. Goofball...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The end of me

Planning to write about something silly and light, that just doesn't seem to be a possibility with so many things on my mind. I don't know about anyone else, but sometimes, writing something here that is difficult to talk about makes the need for talking about it disappear. Free therapy in the form of a keyboard. Not bad.

I've joked before that I'm kind of empathic - I can feel other people's emotions, I know when someone needs me, I absorb the energy of a group or a room or a person. Quite a cool party trick until someone is in emotional pain. Then things get a little dicey.

All these years, I have felt like this was some kind of prize I won. Like it was a cool thing to be able to share someone's joy at that level, to be able to drop everything and give a hug without even needing to be told that it's needed.

Except, of course, for the fact that, just like the character of Counselor Troi on Star Trek:Next Generation, sometimes other's feelings can overwhelm me. Make me feel like I am suffering when I'm not. If I am sick or if I am feeling overwhelmed myself, other people's emotions can add to my own, making me feel like a bird caught in a strong downdraft, spiralling dangerously close to earth before a catch that glorious updraft and right myself again.

I hadn't ever admitted this to anyone before, but this blog started as an assignment. I have a very good counselor that was helping me through some issues with which I wasn't making any headway. She noticed I keep a diary and asked me why I don't blog. Well, at the time I thought I didn't have anything interesting to say. But she told me it didn't have to be public unless I wanted it to, that I could use it like a diary. Writing about something, especially something old and painful, can be cathartic and many times it helps us let go of the last threads of pain that were still holding on. Or so I was told. Funny, she was right.

So I write. I write every day, at least once. Some I post, many I don't. Most are about insignificant little sound bites in my world. Sometimes I don't post them because they're too close to the surface still. I go back and read them again, remembering when I wrote it and I might even post them later, when I'm ready.

A life, by the way, is something I highly recommend all of you make for yourselves. A year ago, when I started writing, I didn't have one at all. I was unemployed with no prospects of any good things, living in a house I couldn't afford in a neighborhood that didn't suit me. I felt very alone. But I found, as time went by, that my definition of good things changed. Time to write, walks with the dog, a phone call with someone important are all things that make my day - and my life - complete. I have so many new friends that I have made in this past year and old friends that have reconnected, the bank that is my heart feels full to bursting.

A year ago, I was mourning the end of me, as I really couldn't figure out who I was supposed to be any more. I guess I was there the whole time, just waiting for the sun to come out again, for the world to give me another chance to fly.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A wish for wings that work

For S.S.

When losing a feather in mid-flight, weaker creatures may plummet to the ground.

But those strong enough will right themselves on an updraft and regain altitude with little effort.

You should feel the love I'm sending when it hits. I'm also sending chocolate cake and a jar full of daisies to catch any tears. Please excuse any moisture that was added before shipping.

I love you
I'm here
And I have spare feathers, as needed

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday nights

Remember Friday night when you were in high school? We'd watch Miami Vice and those pastel shirts, no socks, and fast boats. Or Friday Night Portland Wrestling, watching Rowdy Roddy Piper and many other soon-to-be-famous names, interrupted frequently with Tom Peterson's "Wake up" commercials for really bad furniture. We'd almost always get Papa Murphy's take and bake pepperoni pizza, have homemade root beer or Crush orange soda. It was high society in my family.

It's Friday night. I sit, feet up, watching a movie with family after a nice and mellow dinner. A nice, peaceful feeling settles over me.

It's been an intense week, full of memories that were painful and sad. I feel blessed to have this day with my kids at the zoo, a night spent without stress or fear, the way it could have been - had I stayed the path I originally chose. I am here because I was not weak. I am content because I take what I am given and embrace it. I accept the bumps in the road for what they are - lessons that teach me who I am. I love with wild abandon and refuse to change who I am, anymore, for anyone else, unless it feels right.

That doesn't mean I don't want for things. I have a new wish I've made, and I look forward to seeing what comes of this. My wings could use a little Featherbrite, Fireblossom. My life will not be the same in a year, and I look forward to the adventure on which I embark. My summer is full of new beginnings and my future is full of hope. I wonder if my park will be full of dragonflies again? It's been a long, long time.

Music makes the world go 'round

A bad case of the blues almost always brings out some dark music on my iPod. Yesterday, I was putting away the last of some old boxes and ran across that old restraining order from 1989. How random is that, to run across it 20 years to the day later? I hadn't thought about it in such a long time and yet taking that small action had shaped the course of my life.

It made me angry to remember how small and afraid I felt and those feelings came back for a bit. So, I stomped around, slammed some doors, stomped some more and finally thought it best to just be left alone. Mom, obviously, needed a time out.

So, I picked up my little red iPod and looked for music to suit my mood. Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden was first on the list. Ther's nothing like a little Chris Cornell to sooth the angry beast. Then, I switched over to Alanis Morrisette and Tori Amos.

Somewhere in the midst of all that stomping and slamming - and I'm good at both, by the way - I discovered myself looking at my self portrait.

I'd started it last fall as part of a friend's art class. He wasn't pleased with it because he wanted me to have a face. But in the painting, which is oil on board, I am facing away and have my arms raised. I think I'm railing at the sky. A gigantic funnel cloud comes in from the right - and I felt like that storm represented everyone's expectations of me. There are words swirling around in it. All of the things that people say I am - good and bad. On the left is another storm, this one reaching out for me but to protect me from those expectations. It is also full of words but words that protect me from those expectations, remind me of who I am. And that I'm strong.

Then, I added wings.

I finished that painting last night. When you paint, there are times you work on a painting and keep wanting to come back. This one, I can tell you right now, is done. And if it wasn't for that anger and pain I faced, by myself again, I would not have had the inspiration to face the painting - and the storm.

Would you like to see it?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Sentimental Reasons

Anniversary time can be difficult if it's the anniversary of losing someone, or a marriage ending, or any number of unpleasant things.

Today is the anniversary of something interesting that happened in my life. A big turning point that started out as something small.

I was 19 years old and married to a very controlling man. He would follow me places and watch me to see who I was with and what I was doing. He would wait on the curb until I came home from girls nights and grill me and my friends about who we saw, where we went, what we did.

Today is the anniversary of me filing a restraining order against him. And tomorrow will be the anniversary of my first major hospital stay, when he found out about the restraining order and proceeded to break it - and me - into tiny little pieces.

That day in 1989, 20 years ago today, I took the first step toward being my own person and taking his power away. I had learned to be quiet, not rock the boat and to behave myself or else. Or else what? I mean what could he do, kill me?

He didn't. Kill me, that is. He did a damn fine job on my self-esteem and an even better one on my jaw. I sat in the dark hospital room, in shock and unable to even cry, pain dulled with morphine, jaw wired shut. When I'd given him my heart, it did not come with instructions, he'd once said. And I needed to learn how to be a better wife so he wouldn't get so mad at me. If only I'd done what he needed me to do, he wouldn't have lost his temper and hit me. It was my fault.

I have to sit here and laugh about that little girl I once was. The one who believed in the good of all people. Who looked for the good in everyone, no matter how difficult they could be.

A nurse sat with me that night for a while. When she left, a police officer and my best friend sat with me. He had been caught and arrested. I didn't have to testify because their were neighbors who witnessed what he did. Neighbors, by the way who are still my friends and are probably reading this. They can tell you about the girl who lived before May 7th and the girl who lived after May 8th. She was not the same person.

Many people would crumble after such an event. I admit that I can't watch baseball because I hear the sound of bat on ball and it chills me to the core. I admit that I become angry whenever I hear a story of a woman mistreated, the man she goes back to, wishing his "I'm sorry" meant anything more than "come back so I can do it again". There are too many who didn't get the talking to that I did that night, 20 years ago. A man in a blue uniform, a complete stranger, looked me in the eye and said I was beautiful. Even amongst the bruises on my face, he said, he saw beauty and joy and life. "Don't lose today. Don't ever forget that you are strong and powerful and perfect, just the way you are. And anyone who doesn't believe that and cherish you, every minute of the day, does not deserve to walk with his hand in yours."

May 7th is the anniversary of the end of one future I could have had. Tomorrow is the anniversary of the beginning of a new path I chose with the help of a man in blue.

My song for today is "Sentimental Reasons" from the 50s. I sang it all day long, as I felt silly and sentimental about all I've lost. And the abundance I have made room for in giving up pain.

Sam Cook sang "I love you for sentimental reasons... I hope you can believe me, I've given you my heart."

Happy May 7th everyone. Care to sing along?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Surviving - what?

The big headline today at yahoo news is the recent interview (by Oprah, of course) with Elizabeth Edwards. About her husband's affair - and how it's not his fault.

OK, sore spot with me, based on my long time friendship with someone willing to be "the other woman" I know, but this kind of crap being considered news is a very sad thing. First of all, does she really believe this is the first and only time? Sounds like it from the sound bite. Poor John, he was "targeted" by the woman, of course how could he resist? Because he is, after all, just a man.

*just for clarification purposes, I firmly believe that most men don't cheat - I just abhor those that do and especially those that do and try to weasel out of responsibility*

I would like to believe that people who are committed to each other can walk around in the real world and - oh, I don't know - resist temptation? Have a moral center? It makes me think that there should be 5 questions you have to answer truthfully before you're allowed to get serious about someone. And married or not, once you've made the "you're with me, baby" comment, I think this should apply. Call me old-fashioned.

Hey - maybe they'll make this into a commercial? I'm playing the part of Elizabeth. Enjoy the show.

1. I promise to be the best person I can...
OK, wait a minute. That's too broad. And stupid. Let's try again.

New, improved #1:
No matter how hot she or he is, and even if they show up at my office in a bikini/speedo/toga/trench coat, I will never, ever touch another person "that way". Unless you tell me to. Which we all know isn't going to happen. And sitting next to someone who is going through cancer treatment and being supportive during that trying time does NOT give me a free pass to mess around when they're better. Or while they're sick. Will you agree to that, John, with God and our $300 an hour marriage counselor as witness?

2. Those little traits I find so cute about you now? I promise to still pretend they're cute even when they feel like nails on a chalkboard. Because they will. Especially the way you leave empty cartons of stuff on the shelf in the kitchen. Or drink all the milk then act like it was the dog. Or have affairs and expect that it was an "oops". Or me thinking this must have been the first and only time, poor John... I wonder how you'll look on this leash, because there must be some way to reassure me that this won't happen again. Really. A fluke, that's what it was.

3. I promise you I will never be a victim of our relationship - why would I want to survive it? Shouldn't this be the GOOD stuff in life? Why should you be a victim of it, either? What kind of silliness is that? If you want to be here, then be here. If you don't, then leave - and don't forget to drop off all the cooking, cleaning and child raising done for you on your way out the door to whatever 20-something you think actually wants you in her life, along to the keys to the Navigator and the house in the Hamptons and your checkbook. You should have thought of that sooner. Me? I have a girls week in Tahiti I'm heading for - sans you. And I'll look damn good in my bikini, thank you very much. I'll pick up the drycleaning on the way home, I promise.

4. Those "just friends" male-type people I keep around for entertainment? That's what they actually are. Not that you'd know, since you couldn't stay away from the "wow, you're so hot" girl outside a hotel who gave you her key. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to get a pedicure and rediscover my self esteem. Don't worry about the bill - you get what you pay for, and you'll pay, John. I'll just work really hard so you'll find me attractive again and you'll never notice those little star fuckers that follow you like paparazzi.

5. Finally, define marriage, please, John. You redefine the whole concept of marriage. Or maybe your idea of this commitment was a little different than mine (you, I think you go off and do whatever you want to while traveling the world, shaking hands and kissing babies, and I'll sit home and raise your family, cook your meals, and have coffee with my friends. Me? I define myself by this "being John's wife" thing and I've made a commitment and, damn it, I intend to keep it, come hell, high water, or a sleazy girl that "tricked" you into taking off your pants).

Poor John, it must have just been awful. And look, I survived "with my marriage intact". Go me.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A meaningful Meme

Scarlet posted a cool Meme this morning. I spent the whole day thinking about what photos I want to post. Her's were all of meaningful places, meaningful times in her life. Here's the Meme:

Post 5 photos along with 5 comments to explain what each of them say about me.

Mine, however, will be a little different...

This is Ezmond. And Buddha. Don't ask me how Sean got the dog to hold still for this shot. But he, more than any creature that's ever been a part of my world, is like a little Buddha. Open, joyful, always living in the moment. I want to be like him. My dog is my spiritual advisor.

I had long, long hair for a very long time. I cut it off to donate to a little girl with cancer who lost her beautiful, silky blond hair to chemotherapy. She's not here anymore, but I will never forget sitting with her, brushing her hair - which had been my hair - and singing "Where is Love" from Oliver while I gave her mom a break. I used to be afraid of tears, now I embrace them, because they mean I am alive and I remember.

My dad loves me. He may not be a good dad, sometimes he's not a good person, but he tried to do better than his family had done. I realise, as a parent, that this is not enough. We have to be the best parent we can be, the best person we can be, overcoming the things we learned as kids, and I hope mine would agree that we don't have to follow our parents path.

Ah, the Banyan trees in Maui. A wonderful trip, a most wonderful day spent - just being, feeling the sand. I looked at the teeny seashells that make up the sand on this particular beach. Shared a Corona with the beach shack attendant, out of a bucket, lime in the neck. I dipped my toes in the water. That day, I realized how little beauty there was in my life and pledged to find it, seek it out, bring it close.

After all those serious and somewhat sad posts, I wanted to remind you of the fun I like to have. I rarely take things seriously for very long. Have a tendency to be playful. Never turn down a challenge to make the better snow angel. Even during one of the most difficult months of my life, I was able to play with my son, in the front yard, ad laugh at the melting, frozen snow we shoved down each others shirts.

With new adventures spread out in front of me, I have a feeling these pictures will change this year, as my hopes and opportunities do. I can't wait to see where life leads me.

Sending my love off in a box....

I have made many friends, online and in person, in my wonderfully full lifetime. I have a tendency to be silly and playful as often as I can. With silliness come these wild and crazy adventures I plot and plan and sometimes even make happen.

In keeping with tradition, I'm about to start something silly - and I'd love participation if you want to play. Rabies the monkey is hitting the road.

His first visit will be to Fireblossom. He's packing his suitcase now, preparing his journal (which his hosts will add to about his adventures) and ready to blog on his very own blog. I'm poking holes in his box right now.

Yes, the stuffed monkey has a blog. Check out Rabies Travels the World and see how he's doing, where he's hanging out (literally) and what his new friends look like (there is rumor of a Sean the Sheep and a fellow monkey over at Fireblossom's).

When it's time to come home, he'll need to move on to another part of the country or the world. Would you like a house guest? He's house trained, doesn't eat much and is a great conversationalist!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday on the pond with ducklings

After weeks of wondering when we'd see the first new offspring, I have discovered our first hatchlings that made their way out into the world. They were swimming madly around the gigantic casting pond yesterday. 11 ducklings, all about the size of a coffee cup. Still very fluffy and yellow, they are probably only a couple weeks old. I wonder when they begin to show signs of their male or female coloring?

We have been without internet at home since the big storms on Saturday, which seemed to knock my modem out for good. Once we're back online, the kids owe everyone a final blog about their trip (or they get bad grades on their assignments - fear = motivation) and Rabies will be starting his own blog this week, with the encouragement of my buddy Fireblossom.

Rabies misses being on the road and is planning to visit the country - and the world - to see any of my blogger friends that would like a visit. He likes to see the sites and is a camera junkie so some fun stories and photos should ensue. Drop me a line if you'd like to join the fun!

Friday, May 1, 2009

"I don't know"

It was another interesting day on the road trip. We spent a bunch of time on the road and had some fun in between.

We started packing at about 11:30. We were slowly making our way out the door and when we still had about half of our stuff in the hotel room. We had about 5 minutes to get out. We were in a frantic rush to get out by checkout time at noon.

After getting the car loaded, we decided to go to a couple malls in Spokane. The first mall was kind of boring because it just had a Barnes & Nobel and empty building space. Then the second mall was cool and had a bunch of fun stores and Sara and mom went on the carousel. Sara rode a goat. Mom almost threw up because she was on the miniature pony. The girls say it went really fast, but I'm not buying it.

We went to this cool store called Boo Radley's - where we went because mom's friend Trevor said we had to and because it had a cool name. But Sara keeps giving me grief because I don't know what the name has to do with To Kill a Mockingbird so I guess I'd better read it and find out. I got a cool t-shirt and the crocodile from Pearls Before Swine.

We drove to Yakima, almost getting lost a couple times (hey - no we didn't!) and we stopped at McDonald's in Ritzville. Everyone kept staring at Sara's but this time nobody took any pictures.

We finally arrived in Yakima and we went the wrong way on the street trying to find the hotel. We brought all our stuff in from the car and went on a quest to find a good place to eat food.

After about 5 minutes of driving we found a nice restaurant called Tony's. It was a really fancy restaurant at the west end of town in Yakima. We were driving by and it looked really good so we decided to go in. It only took a couple minutes for us to get seated. They had really delicious food. I ordered the pork chops, Sara got the Kobe Prime Rib and mom got the Kobe beef salad.

After we ordered, the owner and his wife came up and introduced themselves and talked to us for a while. I was surprised when he told me he was "Tony" because I thought he would have been an Italian guy. The owner and the waitress and everyone else were really nice.

When we left, Sara forgot her purse. We went back in to get it and Mom tried to drive around to pick us up but got stuck at a light and we ran back and forth until she finally got there.

When we were settled in for the night, Sara kept sitting on my crocodile so I put him on the fridge where she couldn't sit on him anymore.

Hi from the road

Withdrawal has set in big time and I can't WAIT to tell everyone about my strange and wonderful journey. A true adventure. I even had a most amazing meal tonight in, of all places, Yakima, Washington. I honestly don't believe I've ever had a better time in my whole life.

Sean will be guest blogging today's adventures shortly. Then, tomorrow, we will do a little wrap-up, including responding to the wonderful comments from my blogging friends.

You guys rock!

PS: The photo is of the lobby of the Davenport Hotel in downtown Spokane where just down the hall a lovely martini was indulged with rather awesome company. I understand it's haunted...