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The Bang Bang Theories

Surrender

The Eternal Optimist Returns, as evidenced by the picture-proof of my three kittehs below.

We bought a light cream rug many many many months ago.

It stayed rolled up in the garage.

One of my three cats was very sick. Sammy girl – who rarely used the litter box on her best days – she preferred pooping and peeing in the corners of any room – had gotten old-age-cancer sick and never even attempted to walk to the litter box room in her final months.

Now, before you come at me – I tried, Reader. Put litter boxes in the living room, near to her. She choose not to participate. Who could argue with her? Not me. She got down to a scrawny four pounds. What are we going to do, spank a four pound, twelve year old cat? No. The answer – and the only answer – is no.

We don’t abuse the elderly.

We made the call at the beginning of February and I’m grateful we had a referral for an at-home vet service that wasn’t offensively expensive and she eased out of this world and into where ever a soul goes next. Yes, I think animals have souls. Don’t tell me they don’t. They aren’t built with that much cuteness and charm and then soulless.

But back to the rug.

With much hesitation – we decided to unfurl the solid creamy white rug, that doesn’t have a pattern to hide anything.

We surrendered to it. Whatever is going to happen, happens.

Not fifteen minutes later, Toby started the universal cat puke move, right near the new rug. He kindly missed it by an inch. I’m sure it was an accident on his part. Missing it, that is. He was probably aiming for it.

However!

It has survived for almost a whole entire week unscathed. We put it down on Easter morning, and this is in fact the true Easter Miracle, right here in my own living room.

I remain optimistic.

 

 

 

It Hits Different

Catastrophic blues.

I’m in them.

Some times things just hit different and you’re not even sure why, until you have a Darling who points out the why to you, and validates all your feelings in a simple sentence.

Last night I sobbed – open mouth, tears flowing, gulping breath sobbing – and the tears have lingered into today, and are still right beneath the surface, looking for escape.

I’ve tried all my tricks to snap me out of it – brightsider sunny-side-upper that I usually am. I can stave them off for a while, but the tears are right there, trying to escape my green eyes, mostly succeeding.

My very best friend once told me, “You’re so lucky!”

When I asked, “What part of my life is lucky? The part where I am twice divorced – the last one that devastated me emotionally – or the mom who had a heart attack and died in my arms when I was 29, or the time I almost died at 18 in a car accident – which part of that was lucky?”

Taken aback a bit, she responded, “I forget all that happened to you. You’re just so happy and positive all the time!”

Am I a pretender? I don’t think so. I think I am genuinely happy and feel fortunate.

But apparently, I have Triggers from my traumatic injury from 40 years ago, when I nearly killed myself in a self-inflicted car accident.

For some reason I don’t afford myself the grace to have lingering trauma response to that incident. Thirty days in ICU, outcome unknown. Week-long coma from a significant head injury, which I still try to hide the resulting scars. If I wear bangs, it didn’t happen. Cover up. Move on.  Three months and umpteen surgeries and rods and wires to patch me back together. Ineffective counseling by a hospital physchologist who didn’t know a goddamn thing about helping an eighteen year old deal with a life altering event. An eighteen year old who didn’t know a goddamn thing about how to deal with a life altering event.

Pretend. It’s okay. You’re still here. You’re doing fine. You got this.

But the body keeps the score.

It let me know it was unhappy yesterday, when I tried to Do A Thing that this body – my imperfect and under constant stress and some level of pain – is just physically incapable of doing.

And I have to be honest, because I’ve had an entire bottle of Chardonnay which is Adult Truth Serum, it just shook me and for the first time in a long time, I’ve felt handicapped and incapable and all the Sads hit I have had a full-blown motherfucking crying pity party for myself.

I don’t even want to write this post, because it’s too Raw for me, to admit to my sensitivities and things I literally cannot do, all because of a bad decision and things will never be the same for me. But the body keeps the score, and it might just be time to own it.

My knees need replaced. Eventually. They hurt. All. The. Fucking. Time.

My feet? Same.  Broken toes and ankles will do that.

Hips? Complaining.

All of it. Just. Fucking Hurts. In a constant level of 2, usually more, but we ignore that. I survive on Aleve, 2 at night please, and a CBD gummy and whatever else it takes that’s legal.

I  T. R. Y.

All Caps. TRY. To make the best of this delicious life I have. It generally IS delicious and blessed and a goddamn miracle that I get to walk around in it and do what I do.

But sometimes, Man, it catches up with me, and I see it right in my face and I can’t ignore it, because the Body Keeps the Score and it’s telling me, “hey, remember that time you almost died and also your legs are fucked up and hurt all the time? don’t forget that happened.”

I ordered a Peloton bike. That was the Triggering Event. Seems benign enough. I want to be healthy, skinnier, more bendable, more cardio-vascular. All from the comfort of my home, especially now since I have a delightful basement to accommodate a workout machine.

And then the shoes showed up. I looked at them with trepidation. Are these fuckers even going to go on my feet? There’s a lot of clamps and slick bottoms and how the hell do these cleat things even work and why would anyone want to be CLIPPED IN to a pedal that they can’t easily get out of and put their foot down on the ground??

My bike arrived yesterday. I was hopeful, but also anxious about it.

I figured out the damn shoes – getting them on was a workout in itself – and then had to watch a Youtube to figure out HOW to clip into the pedals and why in the motherfuck is something so hard to do that you have to watch a video to figure it out? and finally got situated and …. I just can’t do it. The bike does not work with my body. It’s too …. not forgiving. There’s literally no wiggle room. You are locked in and that’s it.

My body can’t abide being locked in to a position. It needs some flexible space.

It needs a comfortable seat, with a little extra room for leg rotation.

It could not cooperate within the constraints of the Peloton. I tried several times, to give it a chance as My Mister encouraged.

Even he later admitted, “You looked horribly uncomfortable on that thing.”

I was horribly uncomfortable on that thing. I dreaded even trying it after the first attempt. I dreaded the SHOES. If you aren’t even into the SHOES, how in the hell would you be into a 45 minute workout? You wouldn’t be.

At 9:00, after my last attempt to “get used to it,” – I called it.

It’s going back.

It’s not for me.

I’m not for it.

And then I laid down on the air mattress in the basement that is still up from when we had company last month and bawled. Hiccupping sobbing.

Because I can’t use a Peloton bike.

Who cares that I can use the ones at the gym. I couldn’t use THIS BRAND and I felt all my body limitations rise up and present themself to me in one inglorious moment. Take that, You.

You think you’re a normal girl? You’re NOT.

You’re BROKEN. You’re LIMITED. You’re NOT.

That’s what my body told me last night and it made me cry and cry and cry.

I cried for all the things I want to be and do. The walks I just physically cannot take. I’m talking to you, Camino.

It’s interesting how when one thing is a set-back, we don’t focus on all the set-forwards. I have done so many things. Sky diving and waterfall climbing and general fun things but all that was forgotten as my Body Kept The Score and it was only reminded of the trauma.

I felt ridiculous because the Rational Me knows there are way way way worse things to be dealing with (hey, Gaza, I’m speaking to you). And yet. Yet. My thing was a real emotional thing, too. Both of these things can be true at the same time.

Worse things don’t make your thing a less thing.

My Mister said a nice thing during my crying. He said, “That just doesn’t work for your body. We’ll find something else that works for you.”

And then he spent the day looking online for better bikes that will work for my body, and don’t require me to be locked in because that’s stupid AF, I’m 57 and don’t need my feet clamped into a bike. Ever. I’m not that aggressive.

So. I’m still not over it. But sometimes the body just doesn’t do what we hope it can do. But I’m going to keep trying, even if I’m crying. Some days that’s the best we can do.

 

Rituals & Resolutions

Well, we are 1/12 of the way through the New Year, and let’s take stock.

  1. Written words here twice.
  2. Far cry from my goal for the start of the year.
  3. However, in my defense, I believe I’m suffering from the SAD. I feel blue, and have felt blue for a while now.
  4. We had to make another difficult decision on the Big Sleep for one of my seven three kittens a couple weeks ago. Our poor girl, Sammy, was just withering away before our eyes. She had the cancer, and we’d been trying to treat it to make her more comfy and it just wasn’t working any longer. I am grateful I learned about the affordable at-home service, if there is a bright spot. She was able to sit on my lap and get her sedation shot while eating a Churu, her favorite thing in the world.
  5. We don’t have a ton of pictures of her, poor girl. She never was very into us, she liked living here, but didn’t like us to pick her up and hold her. So we just did the best we could with her.I feel a little badly that she’s getting a bullet-pointed mention rather than a dedicated post, but ya know, take your complaints up with The Management. And also I’m the management, and disregard all complaints.
  6. Speaking of dead cats, I don’t believe I ever fully even gave my girl Purry her dedicated post. She got really sick last summer and died about a week after we found Mean & Scratchy Doryto. She was my good sweet love, and that hit hard.
  7. I’m happy to know, though, that I still have the capacity for deep love. My love for my baby Wha’cha goes all the way down to my toes. And her toes. Last night I asked Almighty Google, “How can my cat know I love her,” because I wanted to make sure she KNOWS how much. Basically, feed ’em their favorite treats (I do) and don’t kiss them on their cheeks because it bothers their whiskers (I do that and don’t plan to stop, because I enjoy it too much).
  8. No wonder I’ve had underlying SADs.
  9. Last year was the year of one unexpected dead father, betrayal, bad-toothed sick and dying cats, and let’s not forget my own chipped tooth that cost $1800 to fix and it still looks … off.

Let’s go over those cat teeth expenses. DJ had a chipped front fang, and it needed extracted since it had an exposed nerve. $1400 in November.

Toby had horrendous breath, and inflamed gums. Two different vets, and he ended up with multiple bloodwork panels, 8 teeth extracted, and now he’s not eating well. We are around $1600 with him right now, and I just got an order of $96 prescription cat food to see if that’ll fatten him up. He’s down to just shy of 9 lbs. and he used to be just south of 20 lbs.

They are all on prescription Revolution for fleas, as nothing else works. $23/a dose times my six three cats….well, you do the monthly math.

I need a Go-Fund-Them.

But! Despite all that, today is the Lunar New Year and I lit my Year of the Dragon personalized candle, got out my essential oils that my cousin sent me some time ago, and I had a little ritual for good luck, good fortune, good health and good vibes only.

While researching the Lunar New Year rituals, I learned the following:

  1. Wear Red Panties for good luck (will do, as soon as I put some on).
  2. Don’t wash your hair, you’re washing away good fortune (I wish I had read that yesterday, because I am not my freshest on my head).
  3. No cleaning the house, absolutely no sweeping (sweep away the good fortune), no washing clothes and no cutting stuff with scissors.

I really can appreciate rituals that involve walking around kind of filthy and making house cleaning off limits. These are some New Year rules I can get behind.

So it’s a brand new year and I will start anew today. I plan on spending the time I would have used cleaning, sweeping and washing my hair baking a cake, the ultimate Repurpose.

Much Ado About Nothing

Reader, Hello! It’s the 108,945 day of January and I’m still excited!

Gus, the greatest outdoorsman of all seven three cats, less so.

That’s actually his happy, loving-mama face. He has decided if he can’t beat the weather, he’ll hunker down on my lap and cuddle up, and join me in comfy coziness.

So. Here we are.  Together on this snowy day, unless you’re in a better climate, and then I wonder why I’m not with you.

Yesterday delivered the snowest snow day we’ve had so far, with more than 10-inches piling up out there. I was going to be ambitious and go out and embrace it and make snow angels, but instead I worked on getting bed sores from lying in the same position on the porn* couch all evening long, watching murder shows and movies.

*no actual porn has been acted out or filmed on my living room couch, but with it’s full recline, slick leather-look exterior and built in sound system to play music, it looks like it should be featured in a porn. So it was dubbed the porn couch when it was delivered. But you can sit on it without caution, Reader, should you like to come over and enjoy our cats and our company.

I’m super into wanting to bake cakes for the past few days, and it’s all because of wanting to cuddle up with carbs. Except I didn’t bake cakes because I also want to be less physical me this year, but while retaining all my body parts – I want to be clear on that point, Universe. Don’t try to amputate any of me as wish-fulfillment. I feel like you have to be super clear and specific on what you ask for or it could all go haywire, and frankly I don’t need that.

This is a big nothing post, Reader. I sat down with zero purpose other than to tell you things you don’t need to know about, such as the it’s cold, I don’t wash my hair when it’s cold, I am kind of sort of dieting, I’m trying a bunch of new things but that’s a different post, and well, that’s it. It’ll get better. Just not right now.

**in full disclosure, I started this post days ago – or maybe even last weekend – and had nothing to say, so I abandoned, and thought I’d have more to say by now and frankly I don’t so whatever. Hi. That’s enough sometimes.

 

 

 

 

Rambling into 2024!

It’s been A Minute, Reader.  I’d like to make a vow to you right now that we’ve (meaning me and my brain and my fingertips) have regrouped, and we have Stories to Tell and will be bringing it all to you in 2024.

Except. I apparently am not a good vow keeper (see: 2x divorcee), except I did keep my marriage vows (the only one of the parties involved who did, ahem), so I’m not convinced that counts against me. In fact, I’m not taking the blame for either of those disaster endings.  I have enough to be blamed for, one of which I’m dealing with at this precise moment.

I’m apparently at the age where my brain is starting to slip.

I can’t remember shit.

I get everything wrong.

Everything I do is the opposite of what I should do.

I miss deadlines (not work deadlines, thank Garth). but other deadlines, like booking my next cruise within 30 days of my last cruise to redeem my free cruise. Who can even think about a next cruise when just getting off a cruise and then stepping right into the holidays?? This little missed date may just have cost us $2000 in future free cruising. I’m waiting for a call back from the cruise casino now, which is why I’m here for you to talk about stuff, like my bad brain.

On Christmas Eve, I tossed out a handful of coupons that expired at the end of December. My brain interpreted that as expiring on Christmas, the following day, when nothing is opened except Chinese restaurants, so I just pitched them right out. Because Christmas is obviously the end of the month. In my brain. I even double-downed on that thought and said it out loud to my brother and My Mister, and neither one of them staunchly corrected me.

Then, I did a whole bunch of other dumb things that made zero sense and well, I’m going to blame my insomnia that I have been experiencing for months now. Months, Reader. Of sketchy sleep –  difficulty falling asleep (despite being so restlessly tired I can’t stand my own skin), staying asleep, and spending those insomniac moments online shopping, and waking up to a porch filled with packages.  No amount of bedtime stretches, warm showers, calming breaths, FOCL deep sleep, 4-7-8 breathing or even Matthew McConaughey reading me a Sleep Story from Calm was keeping me asleep more than an hour.

And I was paying the price, Reader, literally. Bad brain. Bad buys. Not able to put a good strategic thought together. Squandering my evenings laying around. Dreading the thought of having to do absolutely anything. My phrase was, “I’m so tired, I’m already tired tomorrow!” Dreading evenings when I had things to do, even if they were fun things.

And then one of my Night Purchases may have provided the solution! After researching sleep patches, I purchased these and I have slept THROUGH THE NIGHT for the past 3 nights, since I got them.

The first night I didn’t wake up until morning. I was recharged and did Things and got my shit together and tackled crap.

The second night I woke up only once for a 4 a.m. pee, and went right back to sleep. Last night, samesies – only one 4 a.m. wakey to pee –  except I was enchanted by my kittehs and had to grab my phone for a quickie pic because they were so damn adoryable I couldn’t stand it.

Their cuteness was worth not staying asleep.

p.s., don’t look too closely at that photo, you’ll see the dust on the nightstand. It’s My Mister’s nightstand, which holds a cat bed so the babes can look out the window and onto the ravine wildlife. Except My Mister never ever ever dusts or cleans his side of the bedroom. He uses that nightstand as a trashcan, and just throws whatever in the drawers, so they won’t close properly. I avoid looking in that area generally, in the best interest of my blood pressure. I mostly focus on keeping my side dusted and cleaned up. I’ll go so far as to even only make my 1/2 of the bed. There’s a therapist out there would would love to examine this, probably.

Now, if you’re not a friendie on FB with me, Reader, you’re probably wondering WTH (who the heck) is that sleeping with Mean Dory*.

Mean ahDoryable original kitten art.

*while still ahDoryable, we realized just how bitey and scratchy she really is once she’s been compared with her sugar-sweet honey-drip sister. 

Well, Mean Dory needed a sister.

She had zero cats to play with, and was terrorizing my old grouchy boy cats, particularly Wally, who has been irreversibly broken as a result. Wally is so grouchy now, he has to wear a cat calming collar just to take the edge off his personality. All because of AhDoryable pouncing him for five weeks, trying to entice him to play.

So Dory got a sissy, and this match could not have gone any better. We bought* a same-ish age girl kitten from the APL and they have sistered up.  The sister’s official name is Roxy, except she is known by Wha’cha because 1. it sounds like a cute little polish name and 2. she wants to know every single thing we’re doing: wha’cha eating, wha’cha drinking, wha’cha watching, wha’cha doing.  Her nose is in it.

sidebar: *I don’t get the “adopt don’t shop” folks. because adopting at the APL is also shopping, as I’m perusing all the animals, and then paying for the one I want. It’s all shopping, unless you find one in the wild as we did with Mean Doryto. These animals in the APL already exist, just as they already exist in a pet store. Not “shopping” for them in a pet store dooms them to death, too, if no one buys them. So if that’s your stance, please enlighten me what is supposed to happen to all those animals. I’m curious as to the solution. Also, I don’t judge people who want a specific animal brand. People want what they want. Some what labradoodles, golden retrievers, chichuahuas, Whatever makes you happy. 

Our new baby girl is the most perfect perfect perfect kitten in the whole entire world, period, i’ll fight you if you say otherwise. I’ll throw hands.

She single-pawed destroyed the kitty water fountain because she wanted to understand how it worked. We woke up to a Godfather moment, with a wet squishy thing in bed with us. It was the water filter sponge she’d carried in to show us her kill.

But she’s perfect. Perfect, perfect, perfect. I love her so damn hard. She’s the best thing that happened to me in 2023, and I had some stand-out moments.

2023 also delivered some Shit Whopper Sandwiches, so I needed a few “goods” on the other side of the seesaw. But we’re not going to get into the Shit Whoppers because why. It’s a new year, a new day, and life is a cycle and I have to believe it’s going to level out.

Although, I just – in between typing this – found out I missed the opportunity to book a free 10 day cruise to Hawaii because the offer expired 12/23, and what the fuck, that’s an awful time to expire something because we’re in holiday season and who’s even thinking about that? And all I can do is put all my annoyance in the trash along with the no-good certificate and move on.

This weekend my friendie and I should have been in Miami, celebrating her 21st (ahem) birthday, except she caught that damn Covid and is too sick to travel so both of us are grounded and that’s also disappointing. We are going to put that disappointment in the trash with the other disappointment and move on.

So it’s all about highs and lows, Reader. We all have them. It does seem like the highs are a little harder to come by, though, and they are a lot more fleeting. But for 2024, my intention is to not wallow in the low spots, to remember the vibes of the highs and if all else fails, snuggle up with my honeydripper of a kitten. She’s a good reminder of what a perfect perfect perfect little thing feels like.

 

By Design

Dear Reader, if you’re still out here, it’s been a minute and so. much. things. have happened since we last sat down together.

The long winded short story is we found a kitten on the 5th of July and named her Dory, because 1. she forgets she likes us sometimes and 2. she is ahDORYable.

I heart her so hard.

I took vows to her yesterday, stating my intent to love and cherish and take care of her until death do us part. She then scratched my nose and bit my neck.

So for the first time ever in my life, I’m in a toxic relationship, but I can’t quit her.

However! She has SKILLZ. She has demonstrated her expertise in home interior design!

She has been very busy with adding a little rustic farmhouse flare to our decorating.

One of her specialties is Window Treatments.

Her design philosophy also includes adding interesting texture and patterns to ordinary finishes.

This vase would look better on the floor. Obviously.

She can be hired out to redecorate your interior, using your existing furnishings and decor. She’ll make it look like a completely different home!

No job too big or too small. If she’s not available, she can contract out her work to a pack of wild kittens.

 

Re-Routed.

Just like no one wants to look at someone else’s vacation photos, or  – even worse – watch someone else’s old vacation home videos (sorry, Mama, for making you watch my trip to Las Vegas in 1992!) – no one wants to see or probably hear about my vacay. You didn’t get to go, so really whaddaya care.  You don’t.

So rather than rehash it all for you, Reader, or even show you endless photos of palm trees and beaches, we’ll work on story vignettes.

Except see above for my pretty palm tree picture, taken from my beach veranda in St. Croix, where I’m happy to report that neither I nor my Travel Gal got murdered.

What, you never think you’re going to possibly get murdered on vacation?

Well, then I’m original, Reader, because it crossed my mind and then crossed my Travel Gal’s mind because I said it out loud and put it right there in her brain when we got to our spontaneous, expensive resort on a dark and secluded beach in St. Croix where we had a beautiful double set of french doors which opened right to the beach and were insecurely secured by these janketty chains that one swift push from the other side could easily bust through and then I and my Travel Gal would be Taken and sold into the 50+ Sex Slave Group, and p.s., that wouldn’t work out well in their favor because I’m not bendy, have a delicate p-hole, and don’t do much exerting so jokes on you Sex Traffickers.

Janketty Chains exhibit 1 & 2:

How did we end up in a secluded resort where I feared for the safety of my p-hole and my b-hole, you ask? Well.

  1. 1. We missed our cruise ship due to multiple flight delays and divertings due to ferocious storms and low fuel. Long story short. For once. You’re welcome.

So we had to Plan B it and that’s how we ended up there for two nights instead of one simple and easy ship excursion day.

We arrived in St. Croix so late on a Sunday night and had been nothing but warned about the hotel we selected being the Wrong Choice by the locals we talked to, we had All The Reasons to be worried.

  1. 1. It’s SO FAR.  TOO FAR. WAY WAY FAR.
  2. 2. DANGEROUS TO DRIVE. WINDING TREACHEROUS DIRT ROADS.
  3. 3. NO FOOD, NOTHING TO DO, CANCEL!
  4. 4. CANCEL AND STAY DOWN IN THE TOWN! STAY AT THE FRED!

Had we cancelled – and believe me, Reader, we took these warnings to heart and tried to cancel as soon as we landed in their very small airport – we would have had to pay for one of our two nights of accommodations and for $450 we decided to just go and risk it. How bad could it be.

  1. 1. No Taxis were available by the time we tried to catch one at the airport. No one would drive us ALL THAT WAY, IN THE DARK.
  2. 2. Rideshares are illegal.
  3. 3. Option 3. Rent a car. Which my Travel Gal did, and then had her first panic attack that I’ve ever witnessed when it dawned that they drive on the left side of the road.

So let’s do a quick recap:

  1. 1. We’ve been warned.
  2. 2. It’s dark as fuck.
  3. 3. We don’t know where we’re going.
  4. 4. The roads are in “Island Okay” condition.
  5. 5. Drive on the opposite side of the road than what you’ve done your entire whole U.S. Adult Driving Life.
  6. 6. p.s., St. Croix is a U.S. island. Why the trickery?

We plugged in the address to our phones – thank you, Steve Jobs – and discovered our Caramabola Resort was a whole 9 miles away. So far. Nine. Miles. They panicked us over nine miles.

The speed limit on the island is never more than 35 miles an hour. Even I – a slow and steady wins the race driver – could manage that.

We passed a market and stocked up on supplies. Beers, waters, diet cokes, chips, cookies, grapes. The essentials.

p.s. – prices for groceries are so. high. that I asked another shopper, “Are these numbers in U.S. Dollars??”

They were U.S. dollars because we’re IN THE U.S. and he thought I was on crack probably.

We arrived at our lovely enough resort and got settled into a room that was so secluded, a golf cart driver drove us and our luggage to it.

The room was spacious, but less than luxury. But it was fine. Fine enough. And it opened right onto the beach. Location location location.

We were settled, until we realized our main door wouldn’t open from the inside.

Trixie to Travel Gal: “I don’t like this. What if some Bad Guys burst in through the french doors, and we can’t get out?”

Travel Gal: “Well, I hadn’t considered that but now I’m considering that! I don’t like it.”

*I do want to point out how cute I am, that I think I could escape from Determined Bad Guys with my sheer strength and exceptional agility, as long as I have the right doors to open.

I wasn’t even super worried until the golf cart driver, Dave – who was v.v. nice by the way – whistled a weird little tune as he got us settled in our room, shut the door and carted away.

The whistled tune perked up my hairs.

I don’t like a randomly whistled tune.

Trixie to Travel Gal: “That whistled tune was uncalled for. It’s how the horror movies start!”

We called maintenance and they did determine it was not us, but the door and had another guy who specifically “works on doors” – who knew? – come and handle it.

And that’s the story of how we ended up not murdered for two unexpected nights in St. Croix when we were supposed to be in our Spacious Balcony Room on a cruise ship instead. I’d still call it a check in the win category, because 1. we weren’t murdered and 2. beautiful secluded beach.

Best Thing At The Party

First, Reader, let’s talk about THE MOST IMPORTANT THING RIGHT NOW.

Swizzie’s 24-hour release of You’re Losing Me.

Stop. You’re getting me all in the feelings, Tay! Like 17-year old me going through her first heartache, and I don’t even care about you breaking up with Joe, because you’re T-Swiz and are going to be just fine, but yeah, this song I care all about it now and he should have just stopped because you probably WERE the best thing at the party because I wasn’t there.

Shew.

Now that we’ve covered that.

Let’s look at how the foliage has covered in my backyard so far.

Pretty obscure, TG (thank garth).

I ordered and just received a giant curtain rod to install on the downstairs patio because I really do not like to wear clothes in the hot tub and while that was all well and good in February and March when it was dark o’clock and no one could see me from across the ravine, this time of year may hit it a little bit differently.

We have our Hillbilly HotTub emptied and need to give it a good scrubbing and clean up that patio a bit. There is just never enough time in the weekend and I’m getting a little anxious feeling that the SUMMER IS GONE ALREADY and I’ve accomplished NOTHING!

I need to get out my big calendar and start planning out my months like a crazy person; it will be the only way I don’t squander my summer doing nothing.

This Memorial Weekend has been filled with a lot of people-ing. I enjoy people, but I’ve had a lot of it and that’s why my mulch isn’t fully spread in the front flowerbeds yet.

But a couple of my girlz and I went to a new brekky spot yesterday, to celebrate their upcoming June b-days…

…and I saw a building I’ve never before seen with my very own eyes, and lemme tell you, those Olden Days Folks built some rather majestic buildings.

That’s just a simple ol’ library with it’s fancy columns to hold up all the Things That Are Gonna Get Banned If We Don’t VOTE These Nutz Out!  Fahrenheit 451, Reader!

Stop. You’re losing me, Nutzo’s who wanna ban books but not guns. I haven’t heard kids being required to take active book drills, yet here we are, afraid for the youth maybe reading about olden day 1970’s girl’s periods and haffing to understand a menstrual belt.

Girls need to understand how good they’ve got it nowadays and protect their rights, before they lose all control of their v’s, and can’t even file for a damn no-fault divorce when they make a bad mistake and need to rise from the ashes and just should stick to not being the marrying kind, like me and T-Swizzle. We’re same-sies.

T-Swiz got me all rattled up this morning, apparently. I don’t ever even know what I’m going to type up here, and today it’s just a bag of mixed nuts.

At the beginning of 2022, I created a vision board and plopped a photo of a pontoon boat on that board, as that was part of my Summer Fun Visions and it never came to fruition last year because see above, how if I don’t plan out my time, it runs right ahead without me. But TODAY! It’s a new day! And our friends who apparently know how and where to Pontoon, have rented a boat and we are getting our asses out on it this afternoon. I’m up earlier than my usual on a day off to plan for that accordingly. I may go throw two bags of mulch down beforehand, just to feel I’ve checked off a chore. That’s actually one of my personality issues (one of many, I know Reader, I know), where nothing feels important unless it’s a Task or Chore and those have to get accomplished before anything else.

While I hate to blame the parents for that, it really does stem back to your raising, and what was praised and rewarded. Cleaning my bedroom, doing dishes, dusting, vacuuming – all those things received a lot more noteworthy mention than oh, say, when I wrote a short story in sixth grade and it was selected for a writing contest entry by my teacher.

That was just glossed over, and to this day I can’t even tell you how that story did – I think it was 2nd or 3rd place – but it was just a flick of passing in my middle school life and that’s what I blame on not being a writer now, so thanks a lot Dead Mom & Dead Dad, and why instead I’m obsessing that I need to get up and mulch right after this.

I can buy all the coffee mug reminders I want, but if I don’t actually prioritize doing something CREATIVE, it’ll all just be mulch and messy floors.

Because let’s face facts, while I grew up getting Chore-Rewarded, somewhere in my adulthood it’s become less rewarding and more just chore and also I blame my six three a-hole cats who #1. throw up somewhere every day #2. pee somewhere not in their litter box every day #3 kick all my stuff off counters and tables every day #4. may or may not run and poop because he needs momentum to get his constipated ass in gear #5. leave their hair everywhere and #6. generally just create filth and mayhem.

It’s a full-time job, and I need to make a Chore List for the ones who will be left behind starting next Saturday, when I set sail to the Caribbean with my friendie. I don’t believe deep in my core that the two men who live here know exactly how much tidy-ing and scooping of the poop and generally wiping up I do on a daily basis. It’s going to be on a list with their little names written next to the chore board and I don’t give any fucks if it crushes their creativity because mine was crushed and I’m doing just FINE. Ahem.

On that note, I’ve gotta Stop. You’re losing me. To the mulching and the general floor cleaning before I havta get ready for the pontoon.

 

May Days

Finally, finally, we are moving into Patio Season here.

And like the Early Riser* that I am, I’m up and at ’em this morning to write some things.

Things I actually started several evenings ago, but never seemed to circle back.

*Early Riser being the thing I’m the opposite of, and I’ll need a nap at 9 a.m. as a result of this bold move. 

I don’t even know what I wrote the other night so I may as well begin anew.  I do know I was going down another Dead Dad path, because I apparently have a lot lot lot of anger stored up at the folks on the peripheral of this sitch.

In the meantime, I’m practicing my positive morning mediations – which has been a giant struggle, quite frankly. I enjoy me more when I fill my jelly donut of a head with Good Vibes, but I’ve been inconsistent, which should be my middle name because being inconsistent is the one thing I’m actually consistent about.

I’ve signed up for an online writing course, beginning in June. Let’s see where that goes, Reader. I’ve got a bajillion stories bottled up in my brain, but ya know, I read so many awful books that I figure why contribute another awful book into the world. Except why not.

I’ve been working – slowly – on flower pots and herbs and shaking the storage off of the Outdoor Things. I’d like to be Done with all the Outdoor Things before I go on vacation in 2 weeks, but that’s a tall order. We have forty bags of mulch lining the front flower beds, and need to scoop up another forty more. I wanted to write a check to just have it done for me, but that warred with my cheapskate-o nature and I figure I can use the exercise anyway except I probably won’t be able to move for six days after because I’m Old and Broke Down in the knees and general below-the-belt areas.

I’m slowly working through some of my father’s things. I make a goal to do at least two things a week on that, and yesterday I did those two things.

I wanted to have a memorial service for him on Father’s Day, however that is $3000 and I do not have $3000 spare dollars lying about and so we as a collective agreed to skip that for now. He’s resting comfortably on the mantel and just watched the whole 1883 series with us and we all really enjoyed it.

I’m still pretty tweaked about the whole Florida Experience and The People Who Suck.  “Friends” of my father’s and his shitty lady friend, her son and her son’s bitchass wife. Who had the actual fucking NERVE to get thisclose to my face at the funeral home and scream at me while I’m making plans for my father’s body, because I wouldn’t allow them to take my father’s body to their mother’s cemetary and bury him NOT WITH HIS WIFE and OUR FAMILY.

Yep, it’s a real thing that happened and for fuck’s sake, who does that?? These are grown people, Reader, and also the people who willfully kept my father’s things from me. He’s an ARCHITECT partner at a firm in Chicago. Behaving like that in the face of my loss. The Son, Tim, recently Fed-Ex’d an envelop of shit mail to me a couple of Sunday’s ago. I mean, literal junk mail. And a few interesting things mixed in, such as an inquiry from one of my father’s credit card companies explaining why they denied the request for a new credit card. Because I closed his account immediately, the day before they requested a new card. So they were planning some nefarious shit. Rack up $10,000 in charges that his estate – a.k.a, Me – would be responsible for.

Luckily I used the one moment I had while in my father’s house to take photos of every piece of paper I could find in his office, anything that looked like it may be important for me later, and had enough info to begin cancelling things.

I don’t know, Reader. My dad would say, “It takes all kinds of people to make up a world,” and that is a true story.  You just don’t want to think you’re bringing the super shitty ones into your inner circle, which proved to be the case here.

I don’t believe in Karma. I’ve seen in my own life far too many times where the Shit Humans end up just fine. My ex-husband is one of those examples, with no remorse or even apology so it’s not as if he ever got out of the situation and looked back with regret for being so shitty. Also, I don’t believe in asking Karma to extract any revenge. To me, that’s super negative and just trying to avoid owning the being a negative b-hole yourself, but putting all your ill wishes onto Karma’s shoulders.

People don’t always get what we think they deserve. Bad people aren’t all bad. Bad people win.  Good people aren’t all good. Good people lose.The best that we can hope is to make it through while keeping your head faced towards the light.

Would You Like Fries With That

When my father died last month, I was glad I had been in the habit of practicing my morning meditations for the past couple of years.

Because I surely did need it, on so many occasions.

One very minor instance was my motel, advertised with a pool.

That dirt pit, I’m assuming, was maybe once a pool.

But ya know, onward. No big deal in the scheme of things like my dad just died.

What did require every single ounce of my patience happened directly after my father died, in his room. It’s so fucking absurd, had it not happened to me, I would find it a story hard to believe.

But it did happen. I was there.

The morning that my father died, I had just arrived back at his hospice room with my sister-in-law. I always stopped at the front desk and got the over-night report, and I was informed that he was progressing towards his final breath.

Without getting too far into the weeds, I’ll sum it up by stating that by this particular morning, my father’s “lady” friend Penny – lady being used in the loosest sense of the word – she is no lady – she is no friend of mine. She was extremely irrational the entire time I was down there and had to deal with her, and the main reason I spent little time actually at my father’s bedside. She is a very miserable person and is more so with possibly some dementia happening in her head.

But anyway, that’s not the story.

The story happened about two minutes after my father died. I watched him take his last breath, called the nurse back into the room who had just left, and one of Penny’s friends waltzed into the room carrying McDonald’s breakfast for both of them.

That’s not the story.

My father had just been pronounced dead, and the nurse shut off the oxygen machine. The friend, Rod, asked, “How’s he doing?” and the Penny stated, “He just passed,” or something of that nature. So Rod reached over, put his hand upon my father’s shoulder, said something about playing cards up in heaven with a jovial attitude, and then turned back to the lady and they started carrying on a conversation about where he had dinner the prior night – followed up by a story about shenanigans at a tiki bar on the beach – all the while getting both of their coffee’s stirred and generally carrying on.

While I was standing there at my freshly dead father’s bedside.

The nurse came back and I grabbed her and said, “You have to do something about this, please do something about this,” and she told me she’d be right back, she was getting another nurse.

In that short span, Rod opened the McDonald’s bag and passed out McMuffins for Penny and himself, and began to unwrap them.

They were going to eat their breakfast right next to my father’s body, with me standing there looking at them.

I couldn’t wait for the nurse to come back, so I asked Rod, “Can you please eat your breakfast out in the family area.”

And he looked at me, completely offended, and said, “If I’m being FORCED to, I will.”

The backstory on that comment was from the previous day. The previous day, I had to have three nurses force Penny to leave my father’s hospice room so I could spend 30 minutes alone with him and say what I wanted to say. Penny had flat-out refused to willingly leave and it was a whole scene. But she did leave, because I made her.

So now Rod – who I’d never met until that morning – had the audacity to direct his fucking attitude my way, because I had the nerve to ask him to eat his breakfast somewhere other than over my father’s dead body.

When he responded with his snarky “forced to” comment, this is where my mediative grace came in, Reader.

Because without all the work I’ve done in my brain over the past few years, I may have not responded quite so kindly. My response was merely to look him in the eye, wave my hand over my father’s body and say, “My FATHER JUST died,” while never breaking eye contact.

I would like to report he sheepishly gathered his things, but he did not. He gathered, but it was not at all contrite, and he still had an attitude that I had dared to ask him to leave my father’s hospice room.

The nurses came in shortly after and kicked me and Penny out so they could do their thing with his body. There is apparently some preparing that needs to happen. And believe it or not, I don’t think eating an McMuffin over the body is part of the prep work. But maybe in Florida. Florida is crazy.

Reader. I had planned to write this absurd story with a humorous slant, but that did not come out of my fingers. I think I’m still mad about it and would like to punch that Rod right in his McMuffin-eating face. I do not have the good graces completely mastered, Reader. I still have the instinct to be an asshole when I’m pushed. It’s hard being the person you want to be sometimes.

So many things happened during that one-week trip. People can be extremely disappointing. I was and have been very disappointed by some of the behavior directed my way. I feel betrayed by so many things that happened.

Death often brings out the worst in the people. And in some cases, I guess it brings out the breakfast sandwiches.

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