Today is November 2nd. Two days ago children, and adults everywhere dressed in costumes, went trick or treating, and played pranks on friends and family. Three days before that I walked into Walmart to pick up milk, which I forgot on my weekly grocery shopping trip, and was assaulted by Christmas trees, santa hats, and tacky ornaments.
The Halloween costumes were on clearance, and the retail world seemed to have forgotten Thanksgiving all together. My mom called while I was driving home, to share with me that some store (I can't remember which one) was opening at 6AM on Thanksgiving Day to start their "Black Friday" sales.
I say ENOUGH! I miss the days when no one got excited about Christmas until after Thanksgiving, and on Thanksgiving people actually spent time with their families, laughing, talking, being thankful. Maybe they did go shopping the day after, but they at least waited until the day after.
I miss the days when Thanksgiving and Christmas were about peace, and joy, and being thankful. When the things that mattered weren't pictures of your turkey dinner on facebook, and tweets about the deals your getting at the "pre-pre-black friday sale" while your grandparents sit alone, and stare at each other across an empty table wondering when it all changed.
I miss the anticipation of giving the one perfect gift to the one person it was made for on Christmas morning. Instead of 40 meaningless gifts that little or no thought were put into.
I miss the days when people slowed down, enjoyed their families, and lives. When they put less value on stuff and more value on the joy of the experience.
I have often been accused of being an old fashioned girl. I don't have a facebook page, and I have no clue how tweet. I sometimes, go an entire day without looking at my cell phone, and I often ignore my email for a week at a time.
Instead, I call my parents and laugh with them over the phone (the one on the kitchen wall) I send a card to a friend I am thinking of (with an actual stamp) and I drive three hours to sit on the couch and hold hands with the man I love.
I can't prove that my life is better for being low maintence, and unplugged, but I think it is.
So Happy Halloween. I hope your Thanksgiving reminds you of how much you have to be thankful for. And when Christmas finally rolls around, I hope you get the one perfect gift, from the person who put so much thought into what would mean the most to you. Most of all I hope you slow down, and have experiences you remember and cherish throughout the next year. I know I will.
I caved. I spent the money, bought into the hype, and am now on my way to developing a Brazillian Butt. It turns out there is a reason I don't have one of those already.
I was enthusiastic. I got up early. On a Monday. To work out. I pop in the DVD and there he is...LeAndro! The Brazillian Butt Master. Plie squatting and arabesquing his way across my television screen. All the back up exercisers are plie squatting and arabesquing right along with him, like some perfect precision drill team for butts.
I however, did not make the drill team. I can plie. I do it often...it really does slim your inner thighs. After that the whole thing became an exercise in balance which I rapidly failed.
"Kick, step, lunge, reverse" Shouts LeAndro! All the while smiling like he recently used some form of mood altering substance. I kick (I can do that) I step, sort of, but I don't look like the girl doing modifications when I do it. I lunge, a tiny lunge, because my leg is still so weak from my knee surgery 3 months ago. I go to reverse and promptly trip over my own feet.
At this point Cedric feels the need to help. He wanders over, chew toy in tow, and lays down. Exactly where I'm supposed to be stepping. So now I have to avoid him, because once he's down there he refuses to move. I would move, but that would entail stepping away from the chair I am using for balance, and I know what will happen then.
This goes on for about 30 minutes, and by the end my thighs are tired. My butt muscles feel tight (and not in the toned and tight sort of way) and I am thankful for the stretching portion. I stretch. I start to breathe normally. I say "That wasn't so bad" I go to check off the workout on my little calander and discover I also have to do a core workout today. So...down on the floor I go. Now Cedric is trying to lick my forehead where there is sweat, and I am being forced to try and hold my hips off the floor while I twist at the waist. It's not good.
By the time I finish the second work out I decide that a Brazillian Butt might be overrated.
I got up at 5 for this?
I used to come home from work, pull into the garage, turn off the engine, and...sit in the car. I would stare at the door into the laundry room, and feel a tight ball of anxiety form in the pit of my stomach. Why? Because once again I would be facing an empty evening in an empty house. Alone.
No amount of company,alcohol, food, or sleep could change the fact that I had to come home to an empty house where no one waited for me. I tried them all to fill the void. I know. I know. I've heard it all a million times. Your life is what you make it. Water your own garden. Be happy and happiness will find you. You know what? I call bullshit. No matter how many gallons of water I pour on my emotional garden the house is still empty.
But I digress. I found Cedric and things got a little easier. Then they got a lot easier. He was waiting on the other side of the door. He wanted to see me. He wanted a hug and a kiss and to know where I went when I left the laundry room after feeding him. He would leave his dinner to check on me.
Then things got even better. I met someone. I fell in love. We talked and laughed and we planned. We dreamed of a marriage and babies, and a house filled with the kind of family we both dreamed of as kids. We imagined the wedding. We named our kids. We talked of Sunday dinners, and church potlucks, and Christmas mornings where our beautiful and perfect children were filled with wonder and excitement.
We've been talking for three years now. And we still live so far apart that barring a major catastrophe I never get to see the man I love on a Wednesday. He's three hours away.
I've been patient (mostly) I've cried. I've asked him to change things. I've searched for a job in his city. I have looked into selling my house or even just walking away. I have looked into the price of storage units for all my stuff, and alarm systems so I could leave my home sitting empty. I have called complete strangers and all but begged them to help me find a job. I have made every effort I can think of to get myself in the same city. He has done...nothing. He doesn't want to live here. We just need to be patient. Things will work out. He can't leave his (unfinished/too small/haunted) house. He has obligations. If he leaves who will fix things for his sister and water his dad's garden when they go on vacation? But mostly it's just that he doesn't like it here. Oh...I believe he's trying to be reliable and responsible. I believe that when he finishes re-modeling the house it will be absolutely gorgeous. I believe that he doesn't really care for the area where my job (which pays really well) is. I believe he doesn't think Cedric needs a place to run because we can walk him in the park.
But here's the thing. Lately, no matter how hard I try to pretend differently I feel the empty calling from the other side of the door. Cedric is still here, and I force myself out of the car because he really needs me, and I really love him. But at night when I turn off the lights and lay there in bed alone, all I hear is the silence of a house meant for a family but instead missing it's destiny as I wait.
And all the sudden Mr Wonderful doesn't seem so wonderful. All the sudden he seems selfish. And like he's taking a lot more than he gives. And then I feel selfish. And guilty. And like I need to try harder. And I lay there praying that sleep comes before my tears, because if I start to cry I'll never get to sleep.
And the next night when I come home and lay down with Cedric laying against my legs, the house is just as empty.
I find myself awake at midnight, and unable to reach the place of peace that will allow me to sleep. My crazy dog is quite ill, and actually in the hospital receiving blood transfusions as I write.
I have written a lot about Cedric in the past, but I don't know if I've ever mentioned how we came to be a family. He was the runt of a litter of 11 and the owner of his mom couldn't find anyone to take him. He wasn't pudgy and as playful as the others and kept getting passed by. She was frustrated that no one would take this pup because she couldn't afford to raise another dog.
Around the same time I went through a break up with a man I planned to marry. It was bad. It tore at an already fragile self esteem. It made me question not only my worth, but my judgement in choosing a man who would walk away without so much as a goodbye.
More than that though, if I were being honest I would have to say that throughout the relationship he hadn't been very nice to me. And I sat here, night after night, beating myself up for losing him. For failing to be enough to hold this man's attention.
I didn't want to work, or eat. I couldn't sleep. I cried constantly. I felt betrayed by him, but also I felt I had betrayed myself. By being less than he wanted, I felt I had thrown away my one chance at love.
I decided that life wasn't worth living. I wanted to die. Really. I prayed for death, I thought about dying, and I thought about ending my own life. And every day as I dragged myself through work, I heard this woman talking about these puppies. Until the day she said she was going to have to send this little one to the pound. She couldn't keep him, because she couldn't afford him.
It broke my heart to think of that puppy being put down simply because no one deemed him good enough. Or even as good as the others. I said "I want him" She brought him over the next night. She put him in my arms, and suddenly someone needed me. Suddenly I was enough. And I was loved. Suddenly my life seemed worth living and I didn't care that my life had been turned upside down. Because suddenly I realized I might not be holding this pup if it hadn't. In about 5 minutes he restored my will to live.
I always say Cedric saved my life. I believe that's true. He has seen me through some trials. He has been a loyal and loving friend. He has been my guardian angel.
So, now as I pray that he will be okay, I wonder if he knows. Does he realize that he truly is the best thing that ever happened to me? That I love him more than anything? That I will do what I can to ensure his comfort. That if the moment comes when I see his pain is greater than he can bear I will do right by him and let him go?
That I will take my turn and be his guardian angel? It's the least I can do for a dear friend like my Cedric.
I had a mammogram yesterday. When I left the sweet technician said "You'll get a letter in a couple of days telling you the results." I didn't. Get a letter. I came home to a message left by the hospital asking me to call back right away to discuss my results.
I am a physician assistant. I practice medicine for a living. I know that when you get a phone call instead of a letter it's not good.
It's scary. Sitting here with 10 hours between me and the center re-opening. I have never felt so alone in my life. I have Cedric and thank God for him. But my "boyfriend" is three hours away and unreachable by phone because he's working. And I'm not scheduled to see him again until at least Memorial Day. I told my sister. But there is no one here. To hold me while I feel scared. And there is no one to be here tomorrow morning when I make that phone call.
I never thought I would end up this alone.
My friend committed suicide this weekend. I can't say I'm surprised. And I can't say I could have done anything to change this. I can say I should have been a better friend. Because I should have.
I met Jen quite a few years ago. She was the nurse assigned to work with me in the small town ER where I spent my days back then. She came to me after my former nurse was murdered by her husband in a domestic violence tragedy.
I liked her. She was nice and funny and really cared about the patients. She believed the way I believed. She had a husband and kids and sometimes I was jealous of her apparently perfect life.
As I got to know her better I figured out that her life was not perfect. It was sad. Her husband who seemed to love her so much was an alcoholic. He was constantly getting arrested for drunk driving, he lost his license and his job, he was abnormally attached to her. Almost obsessed. He eventually ended up, years after we met, hitting and killing a child on bike and killing her. While drunk. Years after he should have been sent to the state prison for multiple offenses of driving under the influence.
Jen was never happy. She was constantly trying to save this man. Her success at this endeavor determined her self worth. He would fail and she would drink to much, take pills, end up in the very ER we worked in getting her stomach pumped. She almost died several times. She used to call me and I'd go pick her up and take her in. She would shout she wouldn't forgive me for leaving her there instead of just letting her go. I got tired. The emotional burden of this friendship was huge and took a toll on me.
To this day I never understand why people can look at a situation, identify the reason for their unhappiness, and continue to live it. Not change it. Just go on living in a world where they are so unhappy.
Anyway, when her husband killed that small child she was humiliated. The community blamed her. She packed her kids and her bags and moved 3,000 miles away. She needed a fresh start. I last saw her a couple of days before she left. We sat on the bed in her room and she told me how much I'd always meant to her. Like a sister she said. She told me she loved me and she hoped I would find good things in life. That I would be happy. She promised to write and call. She didn't. I sent a couple of notes in care packages her friends put together but never heard from her.
About a year ago, I heard she moved back to the area. She had a new boyfriend and she was very happy. I wanted her to be happy. I hoped she would call as I no longer had her phone number. She didn't. I thought maybe she just wanted to leave the past behind her and left her alone. She got married in December. Her 3 older kids were out of the house and doing well. She had a four year old who she was raising with her new husband.
And yesterday I got a call. From a friend. Who said she had passed away, but no one knew what happened. And last night I got another call that she had chosen to end her life by overdosing on presc
My friend, who never found peace in this life, is gone. I wasn't there. Pushing her and reminding her that life is worth living. I wasn't there to pick her up and take her to the ER this time, and this time she succeeded and died.
I know I couldn't have changed this. I know it's not my responsibility to fix the problems of others. I know people drift apart. I know that she had family and friends she was close to now, who are probably wondering why they didn't see this coming. But just this once, I wish I had been a better friend.
I am a 41 year old woman. I was born in the seventies to working class parents, who let us ride bikes without helmets, spend the entire afternoon playing in the woods without being certain we would be murdered by vagrants, and allowed us to be sick for more than 24 hours without rushing us to the emergency room.
They also taught us to take care of the things we value, work hard because you make your own way in the world, and how far you get is ba
I find it troubling when I look at todays young(er) people. I really do. I see people who fake injuries to get out of work, who lie in hopes that you won't check their story, who prefer to work the system instead of working to get ahead. These are the same people who live a life far above their means, financed by the great American credit card, call in sick when they sneeze, and have no idea how to make do with what they have.
I used to just roll my eyes and thank the Good Lord above that my parents didn't raise me like that. But, now I find myself angered by these people. I realize this is my problem, but this is also my blog, so I can b***h if I want too. What makes them so much more special than the rest of us? What gift of genetics allows them to assume they are entitled to do nothing, expect the rest of us to pay their way, and get angry and act like a victim when we say no.
I am sick of the manipulative people I see in my everyday encounters. I am sick of those who think the world owes them a living. Mostly I'm sick of listening to them whine about it.
I know there isn't a thing I can do to stop it. All I can do is control myself, and my actions. And I do. But I pray that one day these people are all gathered together, put onto an isolated island (it will have to be huge) and a nuclear bomb is dropped directly over it, thereby wiping out their gene pool entirely, so that maybe we can start over and raise responsible, hard working, decent people who don't piss me off on a daily basis.
End of rant.
I chose medicine as my career, because I feel great compassion for those around me who are suffering. My heart is filled with love, and a need to help. I don't have that"I don't give a shit" gene. I do. And when I go home at night you are on my mind. You make me worry, and cry, and laugh, and pray. I take the lessons of my day from you. I learn how to be a little more patient, loving, compassionate...from you. I also learn to be a little stronger, a little tougher, a little more willing to bend from you. Your lives touch me. And I feel that. Deeply.
I listen to your story about a sore throat or a sprained ankle and I am looking underneath...to see if there is another story. One of emotional turmoil, addiction, depression, pain. I believe God put me here to share the love He fills my heart with, with the broken people of the world. I take that task very seriously.
I sometimes wonder how I have anything left to give. Where I find the fortitude to get out of bed and give the very best of me to 40-50-60 of you a day. I think God gives me that too. Because the truth is I'm exhausted, and I am impatient, and I have a short fuse.
I do these things by choice. And I try really hard. I really want you to get better. I really want you to be at peace. I really want to help you. Because I really love you. I know...you shouldn't say that or even admit feeling it to people you don't know. But I love each of you, for who you are, where you're at, with the very best I have to offer. And I do it everyday. I do it for 10-12-17 day stretches sometimes, without a day off.
So, when you accuse me of being selfish and greedy because the corporation I work for insists that after a six month grace period, you pay your bill, that hurts. When you tell me I look at patients in terms of numbers and dollar signs, that bothers me. When you try to trick me into giving you vicodin that you will turn around and sell to high school kids, that will turn around and become abusive to me in the office, because I won't feed their habit it makes me angry.
When I come home from a 12 hour day of people being self absorbed, and rude, and accusatory, and I am exhausted to the point of tears, I feel like I didn't do a very good job today. Because of the way you responded to me, I don't want to come back, and be loving, and spend my evening worrying about you, and hurt over the pain in your eyes. I don't want to love you. I don't want to be filled with compassion. But I do it. Everyday. For you.
So the next time you think that your doctor doesn't care, or is treating you unfairly, or isn't giving you a week off of work under the guise of illness so you can go to Mexico and drink for seven days, remember something...I have your best interest at heart. And I am taking care of you, even when you don't want to take care of yourself. And I have bad days too, and I am still here, filled with compassion that drives me to give the very best of myself to you.
This isn't a rant about my hours, or a complaint about the uglier side of medicine. This is a gentle reminder that I, and most of the doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants I know, really are trying and maybe, you could remember that instead of yelling, storming out, threatening a law suit, or standing in line at the grocery store and announcing the Dr. fill in the blank is a quack. Maybe you could remember that you aren't perfect and you aren't God either.
I see you in my mind. A secret...a fantasy, deeply buried, yet playing like a movie over and over across the screen of my mind. I see you...in shadows, cast by candlelight, hair falling across your eyes, and I ache with the pleasure of brushing it away. I see you moving over me, leaning forward, pausing just before your lips brush mine, and a need I've never known fills me. I see you...hours later, exhausted, lying next to me, looking into my eyes, and I hold nothing back. I am open and give you all that I have. All that I am. I see you...letting go, letting me in. Giving me everything you have, everything you are. The screen darkens, the lights come up, and I realize that my fantasy must remain where it is. A secret. Deeply buried.
The re-run of our movie haunts me when I least expect it. It surprises me with the intensity of the desire it creates. It is not real, and yet I cannot pretend it is mere fantasy. Because I know, that given the opportunity, I would take the chance, I would open my cautious heart and let you in, for an hour, a night, a lifetime.
No one knows. No one suspects. They look at me, and see...laughing. Talking. Dreaming. Loving the man I love. Sharing my life, my hopes, my dreams. Making plans for a future I can't quite see. No one looks closer, catches a glimpse of me...wanting you.
I keep it to myself. A secret buried in the ocean of my heart. A dream that will never come true. A thought I won't act on. But I hope, one day, you'll know, you'll look into my heart and see yourself reflected there.
I've been stressed lately. Holidays, work, relationship stuff, and all that contact with my family have made me tense. It's understandable. Everyone gets stressed at times.
I was chatting with my boyfriends sister on Christmas Day and she mentioned that I seemed a little tense. Okay. She's not the first person to mention it. She said maybe yoga would help. Okay. She's not the first person to suggest that either. She even recommended a beginner DVD. Eight bucks on amazon. I can afford the eight bucks. Particularly if it helps me sleep better. So...I ordered it. I waited anxiously for it's arrival, certain that it would be the cure to many sleepless nights, and that constant anxious feeling I carry in the pit of my stomach.
It came very quickly. Six days after I ordered it, it was nestled in the mailbox among late Christmas cards, and credit card offers to "help me pay off the holidays" I was very excited. I had multiple other obligations that evening, so it didn't get opened until the next day. I pop the DVD into my computer and push play. The scene opens with a lady (who has the best butt I've ever seen) sitting on a mat in the yard of a mansion with a view of the ocean.
I confess it's here my expectations start to fall. After all, I'd be relaxed too if I lived in a mansion with perfect grounds and a fantastic view of the Pacific. But I ignore my envy and watch anyway. The lady (who has the best butt I've ever seen) is sitting on a mat, cross legged, breathing. That's it. Breathing. I don't know what I was waiting for. I've never experienced yoga before, but I thought there was more. But...its early. Just started watching, this won't last long. Five minutes later she's still breathing and I am getting frustrated. I mean...come on. I have stuff to do. I can breathe while I do dishes, vacumn the floor, wash Cedric...you get the idea.
My frustration continues to grow, and the phone rings. It's my boyfriend. "Whatcha doing?" he asks. So I tell him. "I'm watching this yoga DVD and I find it very frustrating." He wants to know why. So I explain how slow it is. How she's just breathing and turns her head once in a while. He laughs at me. LAUGHS. He says the point of yoga is to slow down. Relax. Focus inward. He asks me to please give it a try because he worries about how stressed I get.
I love the guy so I agree. After watching the rest I change my clothes and pop the DVD into the pla
I am trying to focus on my breathing, so I ignore it. Which isn't a good idea because my darling dog decides that maybe I don't like the rubber newspaper and gets the red rubber fish to throw in my lap too. It's equally slobbery. I ignore them. He whines. I ignore, he whines louder. I say "Cedric lay down" He minds pretty well and he immediately drops to his belly. He whines. I ignore. He whines again. I open one eye to peak at him and see him doing the Army Ranger crawl across the short distance between us, whining all the while.
I'm no longer focused on my breathing and I'm trying not to giggle. I close my eyes and ignore him as he arrives at my knee and nudges me with his nose. The lady on the DVD says we should rise into a...I don't know what the yoga word is, but it looks like a lunge. As I try to rise (not gracefully) the slobbery toys fall to the floor. My foot lands on the newspaper, and slides. I collapse in a heap, now giggling uncontrollably. Cedric sees this as an invitation and pounces. Licking me, and wagging his tail in his excitement over the fact that I'm on the floor waiting to play with him. I stop laughing and reach for the remote, because clearly, I can't do yoga with the dog in the room.
The last thing I hear as I'm pushing stop, is "Now shift into a DOWN DOG" The giggles return as I pick up the newspaper off the floor and toss it into the air watching my beautiful black lab leap up and catch it effortlessly.
WARNING: This blog is really just me bitching about things I can't change and spewing negativity, so if you want to stop here...I understand.
Okay. hose who are still with me, 2013 isn't looking so promising. I am in a really bad place right now. Struggling with a relationship I don't want to lose and am pretty sure is falling apart. I don't think it's a good sign when he says he doesn't want to spend New Years Eve together, because "holidays just aren't that important to me" and when I am standing in the kitchen crying because it's important to me, he just says "you'll be okay"
I hate my job today. Not every day, but the last few weeks have sucked. And I was informed that even though I haven't had vacation in over a year I can't take any until May because it would be inconvenient from a scheduling stand point.This pisses me off because if anyone has earned a vacation in the last year it's me. I worked a lot of 60 hour weeks. I am thankful for the job but today I'm exhausted and pissy.
I just feel angry and stuck in my life. This will pass I'm sure. But honestly I don't know when. Would I be happier just to end my relationship? Go back to spending every single minute of my life alone? Cry myself to sleep? Wake up wondering what the point of it all is? Or just forgive this and move forward? Because tonight I'm lonely and hurting and I just want someone to lean on. And he's not here and he didn't even call. And I hate him right now.
I guess that's it. Happy New Year to the rest of you.
My crazy neighbor lost his kind but equally crazy wife to a long illness earlier this year. I was sorry to hear she had passed on because she was a good person, and I liked her. Also because her mere presence made him want to keep his trash piles in the yard semi-organized.
He seemed to have a hard time dealing with her death. I heard very little from behind the fence all summer, with exception of his acquisition a horse which he kept chained to a dismantled pick up truck in the back yard. But he seems to be bouncing back. He recently purchased a flock of chickens. Full grown, free range chickens, which range freely all over my yard.
I discovered this by surprise a couple of weeks ago. I came home from a Saturday shift and it was a beautiful day. Not to hot, not to cold, and sunny. I was anxious to get Cedric out in the yard for some fetch and maybe do a few outdoor things before the first snow fall.
Cedric bounds into the yard excited to be freed after a tortuous 6 hours alone, and is happily peeing and sniffing as I search around the garage for his frisbee. I grab it and head out into the yard and as I'm walking out of the garage I see a large black and white speckled chicken run into my garage.
Now may be a good time to mention I don't like chickens. Actually I don't like birds. But I have a particular aversion to chickens, and I know they are messy, dirty creatures who aren't very smart. So the chicken races to the far corner of the garage hops up on my tool caddy and roosts between the shovels and rakes. I stand frozen in near terror unsure how to proceed as the chicken seems to have taken control of my arsenal of weapons. Maybe they aren't so dumb after all...
As I'm debating my next move and eyeing the chicken from a safe distance I hear barking from the front yard. Cedric is out there unattended getting into who knows what kind of trouble. I decide to brave a chicken attack and race out of the garage. I hear Cedric, but I can't see him. I call, and he comes into view...right behind another chicken who is taller than him. He's chasing it around a pine tree. I stand in awe as my dog runs after this bird. He and the bird continue to circle the tree, neither tiring of the game. The chicken is squawking and flapping it's wings, Cedric is barking and every few steps he snaps at the bird, making it flap and squawk harder as it picks up it's pace.
I live in a nice country neighborhood. Everyone mows the yard, and weeds the flowers, and fertilizes the lawn. It's lovely. The absurdity of the situation hits me, and I start to laugh. Hysterically. Tears roll down my cheeks, and I double over laughing as the dog chases the bird. Cedric stops. He looks at me as if I've lost my mind. The chicken keeps running and is now behind Cedric. Never one to panic in a crisis, Cedric looks over his shoulder, barks, and reverses direction, running around the tree after the chicken.
Finally I gain control of myself, at the site of yet another bird wandering around the fence. I'm being invaded and I must take my property back. I call Cedric, and in some sort of freak happening that must have been orchestrated by the Good Lord Above, he listens. He give one final snap at the birds tail feathers, and comes over and sits quietly by my side as his new friend takes off for home flapping and squawking at a dead run.
The newcomer senses danger and turns back the way she came. This leaves only the one holding the yard tools hostage. It's the scariest for me, because in order to remove it I'm going to have to corner it, and I'm not sure how the chicken will take this. I'm not sure how my heart will take it either.
I herd Cedric into the house. He spots the chicken and wants to say hello. "No C dog," I say, "she's armed" He can't help his enthusiasm. He barks the chicken huddles further in the corner and I grab his collar and say "In the house" in my stern, I'm not taking your crap, there's a chicken in my garage" voice.
Cedric is devastated that he can't help, and stands on the other side of the door whining, with a bark thrown in now and then for good measure. I stand on the step of the garage eyeing the bird. It's huge. When did chickens get so big? I head for it. It puffs up. I go back to the step. My good neighbor texts to ask if I knew the crazy neighbor got chickens. I text back that there's one in my garage holding my yard tools hostage. He calls laughing. He laughs harder when I explain I'm deathly afraid of chickens. I guess I must have sounded like I might cry, because he pulls in the driveway 5 minutes later and calmly walks over, gets the broom out of the tool rack and chases the chicken away. It runs flapping through the front yard, and around the fence and I sigh in relief.
I haven't seen the chickens lately. Maybe they are in the crazy neighbor's freezer by now. We can't go into the garage without Cedric checking the tool caddy for visitors, and I still see flapping wings and hear squawking in my sleep.
It started last week. The annual arguments about when all the family gatherings for Christmas will be. The pleading and bribery, and questions about how Christmas can occur if we aren't all together on the magical chosen day. Other families are planning camping trips for Labor Day, and fall bonfires, but not mine. Of course, as previously mentioned, my family is crazy.
My parents are divorced. They can't be in the same room without anger, bitterness, accusations, and old wounds boiling to the surface and tearing open. We have two Christmases. One with my dad, and the new Mrs. (who can't cook, and acts like she's doing us a favor by showing up) and one with my mom, who is hurt at the mere idea that we might have enjoyed Christmas with my dad.
My brother has a significant other with married parents, so we have to work around their family gathering. Same with my sister. Until last year I never had to deal with this. But now, I too, have someone special and am expected to make an appearance at the annual get together.
So, my mom calls a week ago, to let me know, that due to custody issues in my brothers SO's family they are all getting together Christmas Day, leaving Christmas Eve for our gathering with her. My dad called, to say that due to his new family wanting to have their own gathering, without us, we need to do it early in the month.
And Frank's sister called to remind us that as always we are expected for dinner at his dad's and the annual all night card game on Christmas Eve.
Throw in work parties, gatherings with friends, and a family birthday, and I won't have one free weekend between Thanksgiving and the second week of January. And, I hate it. I hate the constant rush. The arguments between my family members, the hurt look on my mom's face when she inquires about Christmas with my dad and I say "it was nice" I hate listening to my dad point out all the ways his three children have failed him, while bragging continously about his new family and their wildly successful lives. I hate that Frank and I will have five minutes alone together the entire month, and we'll both be exhausted. We'll exchange gifts with each other as one of us is rushing out the door Christmas Day, so we can get home and get ready for work on the 26th. He'll call as I'm falling asleep and say "Merry Christmas, baby" to which I'll reply "bah humbug"
I wish it could be simple. I wish instead of running from activity to gathering to activity and never relaxing enough to enjoy any of it, that we could slow down. Put aside differences, and instead of handing out gifts that aren't meaningful, and no one really wants, we could just talk and laugh, and maybe decorate some cookies. Instead of flying in and out in two hours, and leaving someone feeling disappointed and let down, we could just stop, and remember what the season is really all about.
I suggested as much two years ago. My family ignored me and went back to arguing about the dates and times, and how much to spend on gifts. Last year I said to Frank, why don't we combine a couple of these things, so we aren't spending a month driving all over the state to make everyone happy while we feel cranky, exhausted, and miserable. He said we can't let our families down.
So the season will rush on, and when it's over I'll just sit here, in front of the computer without much in the way of memories wondering why we forgot what it was all about.
I collect them and they show up in the little activity bar to the right of my screen name. So far I have 16. (I haven't been around much lately) They sit there, in a little gold pile, and I never use them. I am a token hoarder.
I think about spending them. What will I use them on? If I spend them and then decide someone else is in more need of a rubber ducky, or a hug will I regret my irresponsible, impulsive token use? If I spend them and the person I have deemed worthy of my token use isn't fully appreciative will I be hurt?
So, there they sit, doing nothing, while I search EP for free ways to show my affection to those I care about on this site. I feel the freebies somehow don't always convey what I'm trying to say. A wave and a wink are nice...I always appreciate getting them, but somehow it's not the same as the rubber ducky or the kiss you really want to give.
I was thinking of all this during my work perusal of EP. My token hoarding ways. I started wondering if this is a reflection of my true personality. Am I closed off and always waiting for a better "right" moment or opportunity? Am I missing out on life, by being cautious? Have I lost wonderful opportunities because deep down inside, I'm afraid to spend my love, affection, and sense of adventure?
The answer is...probably. I work 60 hours a week and spend my free time catching up on the stuff I have to do at home, instead of playing. I am afraid my relationship won't work out, so I won't risk taking another job and moving three hours away from my life here. I don't have many friends because I don't like to let people too close.
I am in every sense of the word, afraid. I won't take risks, because it might cost me the valuable tokens I keep so well tucked away.
I confess. I log into EP at work. For instance, right now, I'm sitting here waiting for a sweet little old lady to come back from xray, so I can look at her films and tell her if she broke her hand when she fell...so, I think, what better time than to check out the happenings around the world. The internet has truly changed our lives.
I hit the little blue e in the corner of my screen, and up pops MSN. I peruse the headlines...more about the slaying in Aurora. Sigh. A four year old murdered by a teenager. A parent who abandoned her child. Not just bad news, like war and drought. The news is filled with the terrible atrocites that man commits against his neighbors, brother, parent, friend. The news is filled with hate, and anger, and lack of self control, that makes me question where America is going. Perhaps other countries have similar stories fighting for headline status, and I, who barely has time to read my own countries news, just don't realize how wide spread the problem is.
I always ask myself, "what is this world coming too?" I wonder what motivates people to walk into a movie theater and start shooting, what makes them plant a bomb in a building, or fly a plane through the world trade center. What makes hate so strong, that killing or wounding is the only answer. And what are we doing wrong that these aren't rare and isolated events, but a way of life?
I have lots of thoughts on that. All my own far right opinion of course. We need prisons that treat prisoners...like prisoners. We need to follow the advice of the old testament and practice "an eye for an eye" justice. We need to re-institute the death penalty and set the execution date for a year after the conviction. Enough time for new evidence to show up, but not enough for the person who raped and murdered countless women to write a book, or have not one, but two biographies of his life filmed.
We need our parents to be responsible adults, who discipline their children. We need family dinners, and for people to pay attention. We need to discipline our kids, instead of slapping an autism diagnosis on them and ignoring their acting out.
Everyone has a million opinions on how to fix the country, the world, mankind. I'm no different, sitting here in my chair spouting off because the news makes me sick to my stomach. I don't know the answers, and I'm sure they aren't as simple as I make them out to be.
Here's what I do know though. If we don't figure out a way to be kinder, more respectful, more aware of others, the world will continue it's downward spiral, and it will be a place no one wants to raise children. A place where no one wants to go out after work, or stay out past dark. It will become a world of isolation and emptiness. That makes me sad.
Ah...xrays are back. No fracture. Gotta go break the good news.
The love of my life has a sister. His sister fell in love with Cedric the first time Cedric curled his 80 pound lab self up in her lap and fell asleep. (Cedric loves her too) She said it made her remember how much she loves dogs, and how much she needed a dog in her life.
So...she went to the shelter to rescue a dog. After many meetings with sub-par dogs she met Henley. Henley is a Boxer-Husky mix. He's beautiful. She fell in love again and brought Henley home to be her best friend. He is a mild mannered dog with a good nature. She called and asked me to bring Cedric by to say hello.
I don't know if I've ever told you...but Cedric is a bit jealous. We once rescued an 8 week old puppy someone dropped off along the road, and every time I tried to pet it, Cedric tried to kill it. He would knock her to the ground wrap his mouth around her throat, and growl in this fierce angry way. So introducing him to the dog who would be stealing Laura's attention seemed like a bad plan to me.
My darling boyfriend however, instantly agrees and starts getting Cedric excited about a ride in the car, assuring me the whole time that Cedric has grown a lot, and he needs to be socialized with other dogs. I know that's true, but I'm still nervous. Off we go.
Cedric gets out of the car and is excited to be there, we open the gate and head into the backyard. Laura opens the back door and Henley comes flying into the yard. They stop. They stare at each other. Cedric growls. He turns his back. Apparently in dog world this is some sort of invitation, because Henley thinks Cedric wants to play. He comes closer, and Cedric wanders off and comes back with a toy. He wants to play fetch. He prefers the company of humans.
We stand around and I throw the toy. There is fierce competition to get to the toy first, and Cedric wins. Multiple times. Henley is just enjoying the running around. Eventually Laura suggests coming in to the house for a glass of tea and water for the pups. We all settle in the kitchen and Cedric is doing his best to ignore Henley. He's leaning against Frank's leg, and seems calm. Henley is wandering around saying hi to everyone. Cedric won't look at him and growls if he gets too close.
Frank is trying to keep him calm and Henley in what can only be called a moment of poor judgement walks over and imitates Cedric by leaning against my leg. I in what can also only be called a moment of poor judgement, reach down to pet Henley on the head. Cedric notices right away.
The kitchen is not big. It takes Cedric less than two seconds to cross it, and dive between Henley and myself. He pushes Henley on his back and is on top of him growling fiercely. He clamps his teeth on Henley's throat, still growling, and must be applying pressure, as Henley's terrified yelps are filling the air. I react as quickly as I can, but it seems much to slow. I say "Cedric, Release" as I jump forward and grab his collar pulling him off Henley.
Henley gets up avoiding Cedric as if he has a deadly disease and runs to Laura. I want to die of embarrassment and apologize. Cedric feels he has proven his alpha dog status and lays at my feet. I have scolded him. He doesn't have any idea what he's done. He is acting according to the rules of dogs.
We leave shortly after, and I'm not sure we'll be welcome again. I wish I had a dog who loved other dogs, but as I look over at him, sleeping in the back seat looking so sweet and innocent I know...I wouldn't trade Cedric for anything in the world.
My crazy neighbor got a horse. Nothing wrong with that. I love horses. I really do. They are beautiful, majestic creatures, and I wish I had the time, money, and knowledge to have a couple of my own.
However, I do not believe that a horse is meant to be chained to the fender of an old truck with only enough room to run a few feet. I do not believe the horse should have no shelter. I do not the believe the horse should be kept out behind a trailer between the old abandoned cars in the yard, and the pit you dug to throw your trash in.
But, I digress. The story I'm trying to write is about the horse, and Cedric. He spotted the horse long before I did. My 300 foot 6 foot high fence, which blocks my view of the garbage pit, also blocks my view of the horse unless I'm standing up on my deck.
We went out for a morning game of ball on Wednesday. I threw the ball Cedric chased it. We did this several times, and then...Cedric stopped. I have never seen Cedric stop chasing a ball. Ever. He stood still in the middle of the back yard staring at the fence. Another new thing...Cedric never stands still. I look over at the fence and see nothing. I say "come on boy, bring me the ball" Cedric stares.
Suddenly, he takes off charging toward the fence, barking as if my life is in mortal danger. I look again. I see nothing. Cedric is staring at the fence, barking and occasionally jumping up against it. He's furious. I head toward him and here the sound of hooves running. Apparently the horse has enough chain to run a bit. I walk over and look between the cracks and see the horse. I say hello to him.
This gets Cedrics attention. Why am I talking to the horse? Don't I know he's our sworn enemy? That he is likely plotting his take over of our back yard at any minute? Cedric stops barking and works his way between me and the fence hair on end, growl in his throat. I assure him all is well. The horse apparently can hear us, because he looks disdainfully at the fence and turns his back to me.
Now we go out in the back yard, and Cedric looks suspiciously at the fence for a moment, and goes back to playing ball. I'm not worried. I know the horse will likely escape his chain and wander away eventually. Or meet his fate in the middle of the road, like the crazy neighbors $100 fighting cock did.
And here at our house the ball game continues...
That every single time the phone rings at 11pm and I see your name on the caller ID I debate answering it, because it's as likely as not that your words will be slurred, you won't make a lot of sense, and that you won't listen to me, you'll just talk until I finally say "I have to go to bed." Just to get out of a conversation I'm not really a part of anyway.
Did you know that I understand why you drink? I really do see how you ended up here. And I ache for the person who was treated that way. The person who felt like his only option was to drown his concisousness. I ache for the person who doesn't see his own goodness and value. And I think it's time to start. To look at your life and how things have spun out of control, and how you can regain that control. Because when you say you don't need it, you're wrong.
Did you know that on the weekend I rush to your house hoping to get there before you start, because it's not such a need for you when I'm there, and dreading the possibility that I may be too late. Even though I know I can't change you, I hope somehow being there will ease the need.
Did you know that I feel like your alcohol problem puts a wall between us? Because you are not the same man drunk that you are sober. And when I look for the amazing man I fell in love with after a few beers, I can't see him anymore? Did you know that I cry myself to sleep when you have a bad night and drink way too much.
Did you know it breaks my heart to think of the emotional, mental, and physical toll alcohol takes on your body? Or how I worry about the illnesses you will likely suffer at some point due to drinking way too much?
Did you know, that sometimes I wish I'd never let you get so close to me, because then I wouldn't dread the day I have to say goodbye because I can't take it anymore? That there are days I think maybe it would have been better to never have known you at all?
Did you know that thinking about a future with you, drinking the way you do now, terrifies me? It feels like a prison with walls so high I can't see the other side. Or that I sometimes plan my escape? Plan how I'll deal with no longer having you in my life. How I'll sort through the pain, and sadness that will come with having you gone.
I don't want to go. Because I love you. But I know enough about alcoholism to know that you won't change for me. You can't change for me. Because when I let you down or disappoint you, it will make you wonder why you stopped. Why you thought I was worth that much effort.
But I have learned that I do deserve good, and honest, and pure things. I deserve a man who values his future with me enough to invest in taking care of himself so he can be here for it. I deserve a man who wants to see the world through clear eyes and make changes in himself, instead of hiding at the bottom of the bottle. I deserve the real you.
People always say I'm stronger than I think I am. I don't know if that's true. But I do know that I get stronger all the time. And at some point my struggle with the idea of hurting you will come to an end, and I will realize...you're hurting me too. And you don't care.
Did you know that no matter how much I love you, and value the things we've shared, I will find the strength I need? Because I get tired of crying myself to sleep, and worrying about how long it will before you get sick, or drink too much and hurt yourself or someone else.
Did you know that I will always love you? Even if you aren't here in my life you will always be here in my heart.
I just wanted you to know.
Did anyone see the new show "Strange Addictions"? Actually I don't even know if it's aired yet, but I've been seeing commercials for weeks. People who eat nail polish, and cat treats, and who have sex with their cars. An interesting group to say the least. Bet a new dating web site comes out of this.
Anyway...I had the tv on Sunday while I cleaned the living room, and I heard the commercial (again) about the guy who wants to have sex with his car. Which I find very strange. I got to thinking about addictions. What is mine? I used to think it was sweets, but I gave up sweets at New Years, and I don't really miss them much. And for a while I swore it was Diet Pepsi, but I sometimes go a couple of days without it, so I don't think it's that. And then...I heard the familiar sounds of yet another infomercial, and I knew. I am addicted to the Brazilian Butt Lift infomercial. (And fitness gadget infomercials in general.)
Have you seen it? Leandro! is the Brazilian Butt Master. He swears (with a 30 day money back gaurantee) that if you give him 60 days, he'll change your butt (and the rest of you) so completely you'll want to do nothing but zip around in tight jeans staring at your posterior in mirrors. Men won't be able to resist your high, tight, glutes. Other women will be envious. I have to fight with myself not to call the number and whip out my credit card.
Why? Because I want a great butt. I want a great everything. And it looks fast and easy. And humans love fast and easy. For me the lure of these commercials is that certainly this time, this workout, this 60 days, will make me the perfect woman.
So, I'm telling the love of my life I want a Brazilian Butt, and I'm thinking of spending the 60 bucks. He's not a typical male, which is why I love him. He pulls up the web site, and starts pointing out all the things he thinks are wrong with the gorgeous model on the screen. He then launches into a 10 minute diatribe on air brushing and how the advertising industry is ruining the self esteem of beautiful women everywhere.
I'm in awe of this man, who never fails to surprise me as he finally stops talking, looks at me and says, "I'm sorry. I just hate it. You're beautiful and you have a perfect butt. And you don't even know."
Wow. Turns out when a man loves you...really loves you...he thinks your body is perfect even if it isn't. I turned off the tv and now everytime the infomercial comes on I change the channel. I work out, I eat well, and I do the best I can. And instead of comparing myself to fitness models, and covergirls, I'm just going to be me. Cedricsmom. Average woman to the world, and beautiful to the one that matters.
Cedric weighs 80 pounds. He's not small. He has long legs, and huge paws, and he sometimes trips over his own feet when he runs. Bathing him is quite a chore. In the summer we do it outside with a hose and plenty of space for him to shake off the excess water.
Last week I noticed him itching more. Then I noticed the smell...he smelled like a dog. A stinky dog, who has clearly been wading in the swampy area behind the house. The unseasonable warmth of late, has given him spring fever. So I went to the store and bought a bottle of oatmeal shampoo and decided to bathe him indoors. A chore we both detest.
How does he know it's bath time? Usually I have to fight to keep him out of the bathroom, but yesterday as I wander in the direction of the bathroom, he takes one look at me, and runs in the other direction. I catch him on the far side of my bed lying on the floor. He never lays over there. I coax him over to me, and pet him. Then stand up and head to the bathroom. I look over my shoulder...no Cedric. I retrace my steps, and he's lying on the far side of the bed again. I sigh, and grab his collar. It takes me about five minutes to drag him down the hall because he's pulling so hard in the opposite direction.
Finally in the bathroom I shut the door quickly. I take his collar off. And I turn on the water. The bathroom is pretty small and Cedric hearing the water start, cowers in the corner by the door. I smile, and try to reassure him as I strip down to bra and panties, because I have to actually climb in the tub with him.
The sides of my tub are unually high which i love when I am taking a bubble bath, and I hate the rest of the time. I also have a glass door, which presents some challenges when I bathe Cedric. Namely he feels the need to fling himself at it, in hopes of escaping.
I bring him over to the tub and lift his front legs over the side. So far, so good. I let go to lift his back legs, and he quickly twists and jumps and somehow ends up back in the corner by the door. Okay. No more Mr. Nice Guy. I mean business now.
I guide him over to the tub, lift his front legs in, and say, still holding onto him..."STAY" I move to the back legs, and miraculously he stays. I finally get him in the tub, and climb in after him, closing the shower door. He immediately flings himself against it, while I cringe and say a little prayer it will hold up. It does.
I say "SIT" and then proceed to use a large plastic cup to dump water over him while he hangs his head as if he has committed some horrible crime. I lather him up...he doesn't like it much. He keeps standing and turning in circles and trying to get away from me.
We move onto rinsing. It goes fairly smoothly and finally we're done. I turn off the water. He gets excited because we're almost done. I'm amazed I've come through this fairly dry. I climb out, shutting the door behind me to grab his towel. More flinging. I open the door thinking I'll wipe him down once before lifting him out. He shakes water all over me and leaps from the tub, knocking me against the wall in the process. I'm drenched and twisted my knee. But Cedric is clean.
I dried him off. And trip over him trying to get to the door of the bathroom so I can let us out. The floor is slippery. The dog can't hold still and I'm still half naked and soaking wet. Why does my boyfriend need to do drywall when these occasions present themselves?
I open the door and watch Cedric tear through the house for the next 10 minutes shaking off water and basically feeling great. I lay old blankets on the furniture and head to the shower. When I come out 10 minutes later, he's curled up in a ball sound asleep and still wet. I cover him over with a blanket so he won't get cold, and I whisper I love him. He snuggles in and sighs, but never opens his eyes. It was the best night of sleep he's had for a week.
Previous PostsHallowgivemas, posted November 2nd, 2014
Working Out, posted December 16th, 2013
Empty House, posted October 25th, 2013
Guardian Angels, posted September 3rd, 2013, 1 comment
Waiting, posted April 30th, 2013, 1 comment
A better friend, posted April 29th, 2013
Rant, posted April 5th, 2013
Dear Patient, posted February 20th, 2013, 2 comments
My Secret, posted January 25th, 2013, 5 comments
Down Dog, posted January 9th, 2013
2013, posted December 31st, 2012, 1 comment
Chicken Alert!, posted November 2nd, 2012, 2 comments
Christmas...In August?, posted August 12th, 2012, 2 comments
Tokens, posted August 7th, 2012, 6 comments
Waiting For Xrays, posted July 25th, 2012, 2 comments
Cedric -vs- Henley, posted June 30th, 2012, 2 comments
Neighborhood Horse, posted June 22nd, 2012, 3 comments
Did You Know..., posted May 3rd, 2012
Addictions, posted February 9th, 2012, 8 comments
Bath Time, posted February 5th, 2012, 1 comment
Family Christmas x 3., posted December 29th, 2011, 2 comments
SomeGuy, posted December 21st, 2011
What Am I Doing?, posted November 1st, 2011, 3 comments
Going the Extra Mile, posted October 28th, 2011, 2 comments
The Best You Can, posted August 23rd, 2011, 8 comments
Yard Work, posted July 17th, 2011, 2 comments
What Words Can Do, posted June 6th, 2011, 2 comments
EP Romances, posted April 19th, 2011, 2 comments
Just Go!, posted April 14th, 2011, 2 comments
Cedrics Great Adventure, posted April 10th, 2011, 2 comments
Talking Cars and Other Miracles of Modern Technology, posted March 22nd, 2011, 6 comments
Rest In Peace., posted January 4th, 2011, 1 comment
Tis The Season..., posted December 15th, 2010
APPRECIATION DAY, posted September 14th, 2010
Wandering Through The Zoo, posted August 14th, 2010
Choices, Conversations, and Consequences., posted August 12th, 2010
Untitled Poem, posted July 18th, 2010
The Single Life, posted July 14th, 2010
Miracle, posted July 2nd, 2010
Mad Season, posted June 29th, 2010
A Dogs Life, posted June 27th, 2010
Who Said?, posted June 24th, 2010
I've Been Thinking, posted June 20th, 2010
Sorry...I Don't Cyber, posted June 14th, 2010
On Dying, posted June 5th, 2010, 11 comments
Inner Peace, posted June 4th, 2010
Jacobs Rain, posted June 1st, 2010
Memories, posted May 23rd, 2010
Haunted, posted May 19th, 2010, 1 comment
"How do you feel?", posted May 7th, 2010, 2 comments
BlogrollHere are some friends' blogs...
HelpEmbed Photos Embed Videos