Friday, December 28, 2012


maybe its being the end of the year. maybe its being 42. maybe its just me being me. but i cant help but be reflective. i dont think i spend too much time looking back, but you have to look over your shoulder from time to time to check in. steep into the moment, turn around chin up and press forward. its life.

sometimes i feel like my life moves at an unreal pace with unreal moments flying in and out. streaks of comet flashes across the sky of my life. people drop in, fly across, move out. some stay awhile. some dont. some stay a part of my permanent orbit, but their roles might change. i try to recognize the special ones, and keep them from getting too far away. i dont always do a good job.

the important part, for me, is recognizing what the gifts are. i simply cant look at each situation that presents itself, and moves on, as a loss. they are gifts.  it hurts when things dont work out how you plan.

sometimes you enter a situation knowing, oh, this one is going to sting when it ends. maybe that sounds cynical. its not cynical, its life. things begin. things end. i do believe there are people who's path is to find that "one" person and live with them happily for a long(ish) period of time. sometimes, for all their life. i already know thats not mine.

i've tried at times in my life, to try to form what i always thought life should be. husband. wife. kids. house. cat. dog.  simple.  attempt one didnt work.

i tried to try a new "family" life. the blended family.  all i have to say is respect to the blended families. you dont know hard till you throw different kids from different households with different rules and sometimes different values, stir in a couple ex's and POOF. that shit is hard.

so for a year i've been trying to figure out my new path. i made some decisions about that path. i know what i will and wont be doing. 

 i'm so so so thankful that i've been able to stay friends with chris. that we see each others kids. that we can bounce things off each other. i learned my lessons from that relationship. he took a really broken, self loathing human and gave me a toolbox full of gifts. there is rarely a day goes by that i dont use a gift he gave me. that was his purpose. and i know what mine was for him.

i've had other people fly in and out of my life this year. i tend to focus on the emotional and metaphysical gifts i receive.   this year i happened to receive physical gifts as well. from friends and acquaintances and a secret santa.  small tokens, HUGE tokens, of the friendships i treasure.

then probably the best gift of all. a mirror. a mirror with a message. be more. own this. push forward. a mirror who see's exactly who i am. who wont let me lie. who forces the best from me. who pushes me hard. who sees my chameleon soul but wont let me shift. 

a song inspired a movement. a message inspired a blog.  an impulse inspired a song. a song inspired a story. it all inspired h2.0.

"you're a wildheart. you'll never be mine. you'll never be anybody's."

my mirror.


h2.0 - In the wind. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

holy shit moments

one of the things i learned a long time ago are is there are holy shit moments. i used to think that once in a while,  you would get one. one that smacked you upside the head. but what i came to realize is, there are those moments. every day. you just have to be able to see them.

around a month or so ago a friend i had not spoken to for awhile had one of those moments. i was peeking through my fingers at him via fb. we werent connected there, hes one of those users that really doesnt like the forum, and has only a handful of friends. but there i was, peeking at him.

we realized a few years ago that our friendship is unique.  we both see the world through a fisheye lens. all the time.  there is a connectedness to everything. and we feel and see that invisible string.  its comforting to think something or feel something that most people look at you sideways for. and have the other person go "oh i KNOW".

so this morning i was thinking about the shape of my life. the long and current view. what step do i take next. because you have choices to make. every day.  

sometimes those choices are out of your hands. and you learn and adapt. but most of the time. the choices are sitting there. i can often see clearly, the path my choices bring.  not that i can necessarily see how it will all play out. but i usually have a pretty good sense of if something has legs or not.

this morning i was thinking about the same thing ive been focusing on all year. what do i want. who do i want to be. and where do i want to end up. pretty big stuff frankly. i mean. i think about the people who cross my path and how often do you deeply mull over your core? it feels as tho a lot of people are on a course for who they are and dont often mull over the big picture. they just keep moving forward.

i often feel like i'm juking every few years.  or months. or days.

and then my super awesome, most amazing friend said this: "so this is what i'm doing in December. because what i'm doing now, matters in July". This was relevant to his life and his goals. but it was one of those HOLY SHIT moments for me. because the choices i make now. damn well impact my next 7 months.

i have goals. i have projects to do, because they are not only necessary, but they are vital to my growth.

i have personal goals. things that i want to accomplish. some silly and small. some feel momentous and huge. but i have them. and im not willing to give them up.

and the choices i make right now. affect those.

my "where do i want to end up" is a big fuzzy picture.  one that consistantly changes scope and picture.

i do know. what i want from my now. it sits in my hands.

i want the opportunity to continue to explore all of those questions unfettered.  to know at the end of the day that im asking nothing of myself but to be me. and that no one is asking me to be anything other than me. because being me, really needs to be enough.

to stand next to me. to match me step by step on that quest. because at the end of the day. that should be enough.  push me to be the best. push me past the point of my comfort. but recognize, this is me.

that is my main goal of 2013.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


two separate but connected thoughts rambled across my brain this weekend. the second was today. i was at the gas station by my house, the place i go when i need, well gas. or milk. or smokes. or a diet coke. you know. that place. its my neighborhood gas station.  i'm a creature of habit.

i primarily shop on the southside.  i go to the same blockbuster. the same butcher. the same hardware store. the same grocery. 90% of the time. in most of these places, they at least recognize my face.

what crossed my mind today is that i know roughly a dozen or so people who live on the southside. like within a mile of my house. probably more than a dozen. and in the 8 years i've been in this house, the number of times i've crossed paths with any of those people, is nil. like it never ever happens. like ever. (sorry. im listening to swifty, i cant help it!)

how is this possible? its not like we are teeming with options over here. i mean. on top of the places i drive to, i walk alot. i walk the park and the neighborhoods surrounding my house. how am i not running into anyone?

so there was that thought.

the other was a conversation my sister and i were having at thanksgiving about dating. in general, neither of us partake in that particular ritual.  and i mean that in the sense of, being set up, or going on line and setting up some sort of dinner. drinks. coffee. etc. time with someone you have never met before.

there was a 7 month period, 6+ years ago where i did a little of that. mostly people i met on myspace. maybe a half dozen of those over a 6 months period. the problem is, within less than 5 minutes i know if i want to spend even one more minute with that person. 99 times out of 100 its going to be a no.

now i realize how that sounds. but its true.

at this point in my life, well i'm even more selective than i was 6 years ago. the bar is set pretty freaking high. add to that, that i'm, well me.  i have low thresholds for, quite a few things.

my sister is pretty much the same way. so we clinked glasses to someday living together and having 100 cats.

so what does one have to do with the other.

its really freaking hard to meet people  it just is. if i dont run into a single person i know, who live and shop in a few mile radius, then what are the odds i'm going to run into someone randomly that makes me go "huh, thats interesting".

and the percentage of people i find really really compelling in a "wow, that might be something to take a look at" way? low.

well i can understand why so many of my really amazing, wonderful friends are single.
i can also see why most of them are totally ok with it.

Friday, November 23, 2012

nature vs. nurture

i find it fascinating how things present themselves and how we view them and what sort of weight to apply to them.

a friend asked me last night, about the concept of nature vs nurture.  and while my belief system goes so much farther than that simple concept, there are some interesting points to examine in that simple scenario.

from as early back as i can remember i was drawn to the darker elements. i grew up in an urban working class neighborhood and there was a various and ever changing cast of characters. the hippy neighbor who dried seaweed on her porch. the hispanic family across the street. the pot smokers and the drunks and for awhile a prostitute. there were the familys who lived there awhile, like mine and my couple best friends. and the transitory ones who moved in one summer and were gone the next.

the kids in my neighborhood, when i picture them in my mind, are the kinds of kids who are wise and older in their eyes. we had a swagger and a bravado. we grew up with working parents and often very little supervision. in the summers we lived at the park and ate free sandwiches provided by the city.  we made plastic lace keychains and crafts out of tongue depressors. we got in fist fights, climbed trees. snitched cigarettes from our parents and smoked them behind garages. parking lots were our playgrounds. dumpsters our treasure troves. we were outside from sun up to sundown, thats just what you did.

there is something you learn about life, and people when you grow up in a time and place such as the one i did. you learn to read people and situations.

the walk to the park was about 6 blocks and you had to pass a whole lot of houses from point a to point b. most houses were nice. but here and there would be a house that you crossed to the other side of the street. you develop a certain antennae. you learn to read people, not based on how they look, but on how their energy is. i've tried to teach this to my kids. you meet people and you get a feeling right off. and when your antennae goes off, and you get a bad feeling about someone, no matter how they look or who they are or weather or not you are "supposed" to trust that person, listen to that antennae. but i'm not sure its the same if you arent listening to that, all the time.

but using that knowledge, there were people i liked to be around. there were homes my parents had concerns about me being in. i remember my mom asking me if my friends mom smoked "funny cigarettes". she did. all her friends were pot smokers and i loved them.  they seemed so care free and relaxed and fun. no one hurt me. no one tried to influence me. we had to leave the room when they were smoking but we'd hang out with them while they'd listen to music and listen to them talk.

these are things i didnt think about much as a kid. it was simply, life. i remember a night there were gun shots right across the street. sometimes he hispanics liked to get a little squirly at the holidays with shot guns, but this was different. my dad came into our room to let us know it was nothing to worry about, the prostitute across the street was just shooing at her john, she missed. nothing to worry about.

fast forward to high school. one night we are hanging out at a house. somewhere off broadway no clue whose house. it was a mix of hs people. and adults. men and women in their 30s, 40s. career partiers who dont think its odd to be passing around joints and bottles with teenagers. the men who leer openly at 16 year olds in mini skirts. and i remember very clearly thinking "these are my people."

i was told from a very early age how terrible drinking was. i was cited examples of relatives who's lives were destroyed from it. a common theme was "do you want to end up like uncle larry?"  Uncle larry being the flagship of failure. the problem was, I LIKED uncle larry. yeah, he was a drunk. my dad repeatedly had to bail him out of jail. pick him up from the hospital after he'd get rolled.  for awhile uncle larry stayed with us. i'd sit up and watch tv with him. usually drunk from a night out. he'd say "you shouldnt drink kid". and id say "yeah i know. but i do" and he'd say "yeah, i know" and he got it.  it was simply. my nature. it simply could not be contained.

so with my nature being so evident and my will being so strong, it would seem like the obvious path was one of complete self destruction. and that was pretty much the plan. live hard, die young. but there was something in the way i'd been nurtured, that kept reigning me back in.   i fought it i fought it hard. at somepoint in my late teens, it occurred to me that i had a choice to make.

and i met this beautiful boy. he was dark and moody and brooding. he drank alot, played hard and had the same live fast attitude i did. but he was also extremely intelligent, well read, well spoken and deep. and he came from a nice family in the burbs. i remember thinking very clearly, we will live fast, but we will pull up and out of it and settle down and live like normal people this can be done!

and thats sort of what we did. we moved to the burbs, had a couple kids. tried to live like grown up people. tried to meld.

but that dark part of my nature is still there.  i still prefer dark dive-y bars. i'd rather sit and talk to a career alcoholic than a ceo. there is still a part of me that could easily be a barfly, who could live a nomadic life, making my family from people along the way.

but thats not the choice i made. i chose to live a different life. that belies my nature to some degree.

choices, free will.

that doesnt answer the question of nature vs. nurture. but i dont think we can be contained or defined by either. we simply have a path, and free will. and all the dna and all the coaching and direction we get along the way only change or influence us to a certain degree.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

lazy no good piece of shit.

you know what i'm sick of hearing? "well where do i get in line for my free money?!" because obviously since President Obama has been re-elected not only has the world gone to hell, but we get to resurrect this tired mantra by "those guys". yeah, they say it. i said it. get over it.

so here is a little story. once upon a time there was this strapping young man and he got a job at a Dairy. yes, a dairy. its a place where you get your milk from. you see all this milk gets packaged up and put on trucks and people drive around and deliver it to your store. crazy right? well this 20 year old kid had never dreamt of making this kind of money, it was glorious. the only down side was, well milk is fucking heavy. i mean, have you ever grabbed a gallon of milk along with all those bags of groceries and by the time you get to the door you are like "damn milk is heavy". Well put 4 gallons in a crate. and then stack 6 crates up on top of each other. then fill a truck full of those stacks of crates of milk and spend 12-15 hours a day taking them up and down ramps, stairs, hallways. do it in the rain. and the snow. and the sleet. and the hail. do it when you have the flu. do it when you have bronchitis. do it while your wife is in labor. because you are the milk man. and no one cares what else is going on. the milk has to be delivered.

sometimes your milk stacks fall over. sometimes the milk cartons break and get all over the place. the floor is slippery. sometimes you fall. sometimes you fall in the truck. sometimes you fall on the ground. sometimes you fall off the lift of your truck. sometimes you fall off the dock. sometimes you get hurt. sometimes you get hurt so bad you are black and blue. but the milk has to be delivered and you cant take that hit to report you are hurt. so you suck it up. you're young. you're in your 20's. you heal. you think...

you come home at night exhausted. you peel those wet socks off your feet, take a hot shower. play with the kids. kiss your wife. fall into bed. and do it again. day after day after day after year after decade.

somewhere down the road, after thousands of miles spent driving and hundreds of thousands of pounds of milk later, your back is fucked up. and you go to the dr. and they do xrays. and take mris. and schedule you and schedule you and schedule you. and no one really has an answer for why you cant sit. or stand. or lay down. without severe pain.  and they keep sending you for tests and you still dont get answers and your 3 months of disability (and your insurance) are winding down. and you beg for faster appointments. beg for answers. no one gives a shit. you are now, unemployed. and broken.

you have to be insurance free for 6 months before you can apply for insurance through the government. medicaid. it takes months, almost a year to get qualified. to supply all the necessary paperwork. by the time you have insurance again you have fallen. multiple times. fallen in the street and crawled to your house.

now you start the process all over again. and finally get a surgery. but guess what. your fucked. because your nerve damage is so bad now, from that disc that ruptured during your long wait. you are now, permanently damaged.

you will no longer go camping with your sons. you will no longer go hiking. you can barely sit through a movie. but you cant really afford movies anyway. you walk with a cane. you sometimes fall down because your nerves dont tell your legs what to do properly. you are never, pain free. ever.

Now. I fully recognize that there are things in this story that could have changed some outcomes. my ex husband could have sought medical treatment every time he got hurt. (he did visit a back dr many times over many years and received treatment along the way)  We could have saved better in our 20's. Instead I chose to stay home and raise our children. so money was always tight. we figured we'd save better when the kids were older and I went back to work. and then we got divorced. i really fucked us both with that one . . . he could have.  what? come up with 30, 40, 50K to pay for the surgery himself? yeah, i suppose if we had planned for that that would have been a good idea. we wrongly assumed thats what we had paid for health insurance for all those years . . for the one off cataclysmic event.

My kids receive government money. my ex husband receives government money. I dont know how much. it is based on his payments into the system all those years he was working. i do know he lives mean and lean. i also know that for over two years we were all hanging in there by a thread. i know there are strict guild-lines on how the money can be spent, and he keeps every receipt for every penny that is spent. if i use any of the money for things like clothes, or shoes for my kids, i have to make sure that receipt ends up with him so he can make sure that when he is audited, he can account for every penny. ...

i know he will never take a vacation. he can neither afford it, nor can his body tolerate it. he will never do a lot of things my strong, hardworking husband could once do.

so when you ask me. when you with your able body asks me where you can get in line for your "free money" - because you think thats a funny way to say you arent happy about our president . . .  its worse than a slap in my face. its a slap in the face to MY FAMILY. to the man who worked his fucking ass off so i could be home with my children. a PRIVILEGE.  one we never took lightly.

you can say "if you need money - get a job!" I ask you. what job? what job would you suggest for him? He can not sit, stand or lie for extended periods of time. like an hour. you have a job he can do? HE WOULD FUCKING LOVE TO WORK. He would love to not be stuck. He stays as active as his body lets him. What job would you suggest.

he is one. one of millions of stories of people who genuinely and truly and need help.  do we hate them so much. do we rue them so much, all of them? you can say oh no. i didnt know about your ex husband. i mean the OTHER ONES.

fuck you.
just fuck you. if you cant have some empathy for humans and trust that maybe, just maybe there are people in the world that you cant even begin to relate to. then fuck you.

Friday, November 2, 2012


In January. As a way to keep from going mad, I made a project list. Things I wanted to do to the house. For the last three years, most of my efforts had gone into, what I will now refer to as Chris's house. Not that i did much to it. I was simply rarely in my house.  It was time to re-nest. 

I'm writing this out, not because I want accolades. But because I want to see it. Not just the scratched off list, which in and of itself makes me feel pretty damn good. 
There are a lot of emotions that I feel about this year so far. And this list of things accomplished, encompasses them all. 

Empowerment. Fear. Pride. Anger. Exhaustion. Sadness. stubbornness. And a little peace. 

I've shared some of these with Chris. He's still my biggest champion. That doesn't keep me from occasionally muttering, or yelling, "fuck YOU Ochs" from time to time. 

Productivity is my therapy. My way of controlling the chaos of my mind and my emotions. If I push hard enough, do better, am stronger, accomplish more, then I will somehow be worthy. And in the process my house looks a little better, piece by piece. 

As of November 1, I'm putting away the power tools. Stowing the tool box and slowing down for the last two months of the year. This is for two reasons. One, even simple projects cost money and the holidays are coming as well as tuition dues. Time to start squeezing pennies. Secondly, I'm aware that running at 120mph all the time doesn't bring healing. I'm heading into the holiday season and I dont expect it to be easy. This will be my first holiday season completely single, since the 80s. Yeah I know, boo hoo, poor me. Regardless, I'll sink into the smith family traditions me and the kids carved out years ago. And we will continue with the sm/ochs traditions, hopefully with  Kc and Bear. And I'll look forward to 2013 as a year of fresh starts and  less pain in my heart. 

And a whole new year to work on the house. 

Accomplished- 2012

Cleaned and purged basement
Switched Harrison and Taylors rooms. Purged and repainted
Replaced back door knob/lock
Bunny re-homed
Red room purged and converted to man cave
Created white trash garden, city version
Built two new garden beds in back drive
Hung lattice in back yard
New perennials planted
Painted kitchen nook
Installed new to me dishwasher
Installed new sink and faucet
Hung new sconces in living room
Removed carpet from living and dining room, stained and conditioned wood
Purged my bedroom and closets
Purged dining room and living room
Scraped and primed garage

Goals for 2013

Redo kitchen. Rip out carpet. Repainted cabinets. Countertops. Floor. Walls. 
Make curtains for taylors room and man cave
Paint living room
Paint fireplace
Paint garage
replace wood trim in living and dining rooms
New flooring in downstairs bath
New cabinet & sink in downstairs bath

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

12 reasons

A helpful guide to identify if you. or someone you know. is an asshole about beer.

When your best friend raves about her new favorite beer, Summer Shanty, and you roll your eyes. You might be an asshole about beer.

 When you ask the waiter to see the craft beer list, and the highlights are: Blue Moon, Shock Top, Sam Adams and a token Bells, and you roll your eyes.  You might be an asshole about beer. (note Bells is awesome, but come on, pathetic!)

 When you know what year your favorite craft or import was bought out by big beer, and now refuse to drink beer from those sell outs, . . you might be an asshole about beer.

You freak out when the bartender brings you a frosted glass for anything other than a Farmhouse ale, (just kidding, you NEVER drink craft beer, even a farmhouse ale,  out of a frosted glass! - god im such an asshole about beer!)

 If you have more than 3. Ok 4. Ok 8 types of beer glasses and use them all. Guess what? yep. (if you just realized as you typed this that some people might not realize that different TYPES of beers go in different TYPES of glasses and that this is IMPORTANT INFORMATION -oh god. I'm such an asshole)

 If you "let" someone drink one of your good beers, and they try to drink it out of the bottle instead of the proper glass, at the proper temperature and you scream "you are desecrating the BEER!"  Well you might be crazy. But if you have a silent panic attack. You are an asshole about beer.

If you are really digging a guy, and still rip his favorite beer, not only are you an asshole about beer, but you should probably buy a bigger box of batteries.

If you have the Find Craft Beer app and plan your trips, hotels and restaurants around it when you travel, you are an asshole about beer.

 If you know absolutely, that you could never date a guy who calls Budweiser his favorite beer . .  well thats just good sense.

 If you are a total beer snob but can still justify drinking high-life. Well you're an asshole about beer and a hypocrite.

If you are writing this blog... Well yes, I'm an asshole about beer.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

did it my damn self. almost. sorta. v2.

plumbing is hard. the end.

(seriously, i learned a LOT. and dishwashers really are easy to replace. so let me know if you want info about either). 

Monday, October 8, 2012

did it my damn self.

I may start a separate blog for just my home improvement projects. Until then i'll leave them here. So, in January I made a list of everything I wanted to do to the house. It was pretty long. With living in two houses for 4.5 years, mostly at the other house, I had let a lot of things go. There was also a bit of . .  lets say resentment, about the fact that there were things broken, that my super handy can fix anything bf, never quite got around to. (and because I know he sometimes reads my blog, yes, thank you for all of the things you did fix. I do appreciate it . .) That being said. Some things were long neglected. So I started on the easy stuff. Mostly painting. I like to paint and I get bored so I do paint a lot. Then I moved on to things that i perceived to be slightly intimidating. Or heavy labor. I put in the garden. I hung some lattice. Replaced a broken lock on the door. Little things. Then one day I'm dorking around with this new mirror for above the mantle and I broke the ONE sconce that worked. When i moved in there were two. The first one broke about a year after I moved in. I covered it up with a picture and a plant. There was no way I was going to deal with electricity. Well it never got fixed and when I broke the other one I decided I better figure this out. So I found some sconces on lighting I had been looking for years for something I liked, that wasnt pricey.  For a cheap bitch I have expensive tastes! I finally found some that were $31.00 a piece, with free shipping. whoot! (yes, I do normally implore you to shop local, but I found NOTHING local that I liked in my price range) 

So one evening when the kids were home I decided to give this a try. Now. I have plaster walls. plaster is a bitch. I knew I had to go into this project with some patience. And measure a lot. I had to obviously use the existing wires coming out of the wall. But i also needed the sconces to be a certain distance apart so i could fit my bitchin new mirror between them. I had my directions and the first issue was there was no handy electrical box like you would find in a new home. There were simply two wires hanging straight out of the wall. whoot!

 First I had to flip the breaker, which was not labeled correctly. This entailed me standing in the basement flipping breakers and having Harrison yell NOPE NOPE NOPE and me yelling ARE THEY OFF? ARE THEY OFF? ARE THEY OFF?, it was fun. really. Once we were reasonably sure there was no electricity to the wires (i do have this meter thingy that the ex left for me, i did use that to see if there was juice), I was ready to start. I measured about 18 times. Because I suck at measuring. And got the new brackets attached to the wall. I only ended up with one small chunk of plaster in my eye which i deem a success. Now it was time to wire the new lights in. This is super easy. You just grab two wires that are the same color and twist them together in one of those little plastic cone things. The problem is electricity really does terrify me (i wonder how many times i stuck something into a light socket as a kid? too many i think). So i'm standing on a chair to reach all this. And I have chase standing next to me with a 3 foot piece of wood with these instructions. "if i touch that wire, and I'm getting shocked, I need you to swing that at me hard enough to knock me off this chair. you got that?" I think he was torn between pure fear at holding this responsibility and pure fascination at the possibility of knocking me off a chair with a stick.  Harrison was simply horrified. I touched the wire. It was dead. I sent the kids on their merry way. I consider this also a successful teaching moment. But that is another blog.

The install, in total took less than an hour. And they look awesome. Here is a bad picture of them. Trust me. They look good and are practically straight.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

mutterings and nonsensicals.

my computer says nonsensicals isnt a word. but its a pc so what does it know? (probably that its not a word. oooh wellllll)

so tonight the boys and i are watching the season opener (that's not right. the..  the..., hell the first new episode of the season. whatever) of Raising Hope (which is just a damn funny show) and Jimmy and Sabrina get engaged. And because I'm a blasted sucker for that crap, I get all Awwwww. And Immediately think, "well that wont last".  How can someone be so cynical and such a hopeless sap at the same time?

i spend a lot of time, too  much time trying to break things down. i've really been trying to NOT do too much of that since the break up because, really, nothing can be UNDONE now. its done. but you have to LEARN something from it dont you? learn where you turned left when you should have gone right. so maybe next time, if you are brave enough for a next time, maybe you do things differently?

i was in a relationship for 5 years. there is a certain expectation that after you date someone for a certain period of time, that you think, you know, I'd like to do this for a long time. I'd like to by an appliance with this person. maybe get a cat.

 when i was younger, when i was YOUNG, we kind of took it in steps. we purchased a fan. and then a chair. i mean the chair was a recliner and required credit. that was a pretty big commitment. then we got a cat. and after living together for a year, and acquiring a fan, a chair and a cat in one year, while laying around hung over one sunday I said "you know. dont you think we should just get married?" and my hungover boyfriend said "sure". so we went to the mall and picked out the most expensive ring we could put on our credit card ($300.00!), and voila! engaged. (ok, at some point i think he got down on one knee in front of our apartment and mumbled something at me, it was a long time ago, its pretty vague). And 6 or so months later we were married. (no, i wasnt pregnant, i was having so many anxiety attacks me moved the wedding UP, brilliant move. anxiety attacks dont mean ANYTHING IS WRONG HERE)

so fast forward 3 kids and 12 years later. ew. no,i want to skip that part, thats a terrible part and lets just sail on another 4 or so. or 6. yeah 6.

so i'm two years into my last relationship and sparing you the details, there was some talk of getting married. a few "man i fucking love you, will you marry me?" moments. moments you cant take seriously because of the location and the time and maybe the beers, but they sit in your brain and you wonder "can i do that again?" and part of you thinks "YES YES YES. ask me in a real way. ask me in the most charming and sweet way, let me believe that you MEAN IT. and that it might last. let me believe in this again . .. " and part of you is having an anxiety attack.

well life zigged. or he ziggged and three years later it was pretty fucking clear we were never even going to buy a fan.

but i really wanted to spend the rest of my life sitting next to that person. he just couldnt see sitting next to me.

so whats next. dating. good god. i dont date. i think i have gone on . . . less than a dozen dates in the almost 11 years i've been not doing the marriage thing. i meet people. its the digital age. i could meet new people every day if i wanted. i have friends. i spend time doing fun things. i have laughs. and i wonder, do i want to fuck that up just so i can get 1, 2, 5, 10 years down the road and go "huh. well this isnt working". because the recovery period SUCKS.

well yeah, i do. cause i'm a relationship girl. i always have been.

but its terrifying. its terrifying to have so much as a shred of hope of being swept off your feet. most of the time you are just hoping to be happy and not get screwed over. once upon a time i thought i could re-create a family in my home. the whole, mom, dad, kids. even if it was mom, step dad, kid kid kid kid kid. I've been running my own home since 2002. Just the thought of sharing is overwhelming. I want it. I cant SEE it.

i write this because i have a lot of single friends. some with kids. some without. and we talk. a little. we dont talk too much. about what we want, what we are afraid of. we joke. we put our chins up. are we are good, solid people who are getting on, getting on. what else can you do? not a damn thing.

something will turn up. turn down, round the bend. show up. just not being able to see it. its just scary, and frustrating  and sometimes damn lonely.

but mostly its ok. and i dont say that because i want to end the blog on some fucking cherry note. it just is, mostly ok. right now. its ok. im surrounded by awesome people. and i enjoy every bit of that i can.

I cant help but think how much easier it was at 19. buying a fan. a chair. and getting a cat, and having it seem like getting married was of course, the next best step.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy (non) Anniversary.

in 5 days, it would have been our 6th anniversary. the milestones are hard. his birthday, my birthday. all 5 kids birthdays. summer. our anniversary. then halloween. thanksgiving. christmas. new years. and finally, the one year mark. i'm3/4 of the way through. but this one. this one brings quite a bit of reflection, where the others i can  . . do my best to skim over

sept. 15 was the first day we spoke online.7 days later I met him in person. i can still see him clear as day, standing outside watching me walk from my car, across the parking lot. the grin from ear to ear. it took about 30 minutes and i knew. this was special.

i could write a novel based on what life put us through over the next 5 years. mistakes we made. both of us. i can see it much more clearly now. the things we could have fixed. and the things we never could. none of that matters now. you cant go back and undo things said. actions taken. decisions made. we held on for all we were worth. and in the end, love WASNT enough.

so. what would i say.

thank you.

thank you for recognizing that all the love and respect in the world wasnt going to change who we inherently are, and what the structure of our life was. thank you for having the balls to sit here and cry with me and tell me, that it sucks. and it hurts, but we were done.

thank you for letting me go so i could find myself again. i loved our life and i loved our family but the stress had sucked me dry. i was tense, and stressed and FRUSTRATED and unhappy. and i didnt even recognize how bad it was until i had some time to get back to me.

thank you for 5 years of filling me up. for taking me when i was broken and angry and patched together and soothing out the edges. for holding me late at night when i would cry in my sleep. for encouraging me to leap. for respecting me for the woman, mother, citizen i am. for being my biggest champion. i have no doubt that every bit of good that i accomplish, has a bit of you with it.

thank you for teaching me. teaching me to be softer. kinder. gentler. teaching me grace. and also to have a back bone. teaching me how to have a system (tho i still dont load the groceries right), how to run a chain saw, and how to drive a boat. it takes infinite patience to teach someone who already knows it all.

thank you for the late nights. the hours and hours of social commentary and parent brain sessions. it always felt like we could solve the world.

thank you for letting me love your boys. i know they are the most important thing in the world to you, and i'm thankful for my time with them. i miss them every day.

thank you for teaching me spontaneity. that its ok to decide to go on a road trip with two hours notice and no planning. there is always a shit hole motel somewhere to crash in.

thank you for 5 years of better than most people ever get. we were pretty fucking lucky.

there are so many things. so many over 5 years. i could fill pages and pages of things you brought to my world.

thank you for being my best friend. i can still say, despite the anger and sadness,  that only your best friend could possibly end what we had, knowing it was best for everyone. it sucks. but its true. you were right.

Happy (non) Anniversary. Love h.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Man its hard to keep coming up with ING headings! So i'm trying to write this without being AGGRAVATING (wait, thats what this should be called ..  . changing heading . . )

Ok. So, to make a long story short, I was an athlete most of my life. Ok, well I was an athlete the first half of my life. Then I wasnt. And for 20 years I really didn't do any sort of exercise. I had three kids. I ate like a beast for three pregnancies.  And my weight went up and down, up and down and after all three kids I settled in at a weight marginally above my HS weight. I wasnt thrilled but all things considered I didnt have much to bitch about. Then I got divorced when my kids were little and I lost a ton of weight. and life was good. except for the poverty and stress and panic attacks. but i digress. 

Then I discovered craft beer and for four years my partner and I drank a ton of it. Tons and tons and tons of exploring, road trips, the quests for the best beers. Well you know what happens when you are pushing 40 and drink lots of really good beer and have almost no form of exercise?

You put on 25 lbs and wake up one day and go WTF?!

Well then I had this break up and my sister was fearful I might fall down the well and not be able to climb back out, so one night after a few vodka cocktails she offers to pay for 6 weeks with her and Mariah and their personal trainer.

So for the first time in a long long long time, I went to a gym and let someone abuse the hell out of me, in a totally constructive way.

And it was HARD. And i didnt like it at all. Because i was slow and thought i might die. But I was pretty sad and angry about the break up so i pushed myself. And i went for 6 weeks and then my free ride ran out and i quit.

Well,  Jason (the owner of catalyst) convinced me to come back. And the thought of skinny as revenge was pretty appealing so back i went.

Well that was 8 months ago. I've not gone every week. Sometimes work gets in the way.  I wouldnt say that i'm dying to get to the gym. I dont think i'll ever  be one of those people who gets all excited to have someone make them want to puke. But i do enjoy it. Its an AMAZING stress relief. When i feel moody and blue and depressed, exercise actually HELPS with that.

I've not lost the 20lbs i went in to lose. In fact, after 8 months I have lost 1lb. 1.  Now that might sound like maybe its not working. but it is. I'm building muscle that i havent had in a long, long time. I'm not pushing 40 anymore. I'm 42. What a difference a few years makes. I can see the changes in my legs, when I wear heels I see the definition in my calves that hasnt been there for a long time. I can see it in my face, I'm starting to see cheek bones again. Small changes, slow changes. But changes.

I feel stronger. my back feels 1000x better than it has in years. The trainers work with me every single time on stretching. One of my major issues is that as a former gymnast, I've let my muscles completely tighten up (my phrasing). I have very little flexibility. They work with me on that.

But the main benefit, right now, is walking in that door, knowing I'm doing something positive. I'm getting stronger. I'm being pushed to the max of my limits. TO THE MAX. And I give 110% every single time. And leave with my head up knowing that while I may not look like the buff girls in the gym, I still kicked ass.

Revenge no longer matters, and really it would never have mattered to him anyway. This is about me and how I feel. And as long as i feel good. I'm happy.

I know a LOT of my friends right now are hitting the gym. Either at Catalyst or other places. I know friends who start and stop. Ones who yoga and ones who Zumba. Everyone has a different reason and i think all of us at some point get discouraged. I have found that having a time slot with my sister and Mariah has helped me tremendously. I'm less likely to call off unless work demands it. I push myself harder because we are all type A competitive people and no one wants to wuss out. I always in the past felt like i didnt have the time. That was my number one excuse, which with my life then, it was really hard to work in. But once you work it in, you find its totally do able.

I wanted to share this because I know how easy it is to get discouraged if you have set a goal and its taking longer than you would like to see results. There have been several times I've thought "screw it, i'm 40.  This is how I look". Then i notice how my back feels if i miss a gym day. And i realize how important this is to my over all health, physical and mental.

So yeah, I just booked a time slot for 7:30 am on a SATURDAY MORNING. Voluntarily.

If i can do this. You can do this.  (oh hell, most of you are, I think I'm late to the party).

So thanks to all of my FB friends who have been out there this last year or so, posting about their accomplishments and challenges with exercise and changes in eating habits and all of the positive things you all have been doing. I may not always comment, but it has really helped keep me motivated.

Mostly I just dont want my sister calling me a wuss.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


So, we’ve all been pretty up in arms lately. The GOP appears to have lost its collective mind. In Arizona conception now starts on the first day of a womans period, before semen is even introduced to the equation. Public officials are running around saying asinine things like “legitimate” rape and “forceable” rape and in general just collectively pissing off self- respecting women everywhere. And I’ll be frank, I’ve been so frustrated, so completely and utterly aghast that sometimes my only recourse has been TEARS of frustration and anger.  
And tonight when I was driving home I was reminded that the picture, while it already looms, is so much bigger and darker.
Im driving down Fairfiled, and there is a woman sitting on the steps of her sidewalk, down from her porch. Shes in her 20’s or 30’s, its hard to tell. She’s wearing an oversized plain white t-shirt. Her hair is pulled back. Her head is in her hands.
Standing in front of her is a thinnish man, maybe a little older Hes standing above her, pointing his finger her direction. There is maybe two feet between them. He’s obviously unhappy, hes obviously verbally berating her.
Standing off to the side, toe in the dirt is a little boy watching the man out of the corner of his eye.
In less than 10 seconds I feel like I can see their whole life.
And all of these arguments and debates and rhetoric that all of the politicians go on and on about. How does any of that affect these people In THIS moment?
There is a cycle to this life. She didn’t grow up in a strong household with loving devoted parents. She probably grew up in a similar environment, of poverty, abuse, neglect and defeat. I would guess that any fight she may have once had in her, is gone.
This man, this man pointing his finger at her, dominating her head and her heart and her soul, probably grew up watching his father intimidate his mother in the same way. Yell, belittle, beat down, demean. Take away. Hurt. It was probably done to him as a child as well, turning what was once a fragile child into an angry little man.
The cycle.
This is not isolated. THIS is our epidemic.
Poverty. Lack of education. Lack of strong role models. Cycles of abuse. Addictions. All strong contributing factors. But what is the solution? Its not trickle down economics. As a society we don’t even CARE about these people. We want them off our tab. Cut their funding. We don’t want to feed them, or clothe them or give them a hand up. We want to drive on by and look the other way and pretend they don’t exist and get our skinny latte and  type on our macbook about how the system needs changed damn it and where are MY tax breaks! Maybe buy a family Christmas and write it off as our good deed for the year.

I drove on by. I debated going back. What the hell do you do? Grab that skinny fucker and drag him into the dirt? Shake her and say “wake UP!” don’t you see your son there? Is this all you want for him?  To see you slowly decaying and allowing him to suffer as well?

I don’t have any answers. I’m still just frustrated and angry and shaking and wondering how to make some kind of damn difference in a world that feels like its gone mad. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Coming out.

So Entertainment Weekly ran a spread on celebrities and their official announcements of their sexuality. I didnt read it. But its sitting in my mail pile. Following closely on the heels of this it seems, Anderson Cooper has made the decision to make his sexuality public as well. Now I understand how this is helpful. De-stigmatizing and all that. I also understand that there are people in the world who decry this "lifestyle". The problem I have is,  what is the big deal?

When i was 8 or 9 or somewhere in that range, my dad was doing a play at the Civic and somehow the world of homosexuality was introduced to me. And it wasnt a big deal. I think one of the female actors was a lesbian, and somehow it got brought up and it was all very casual. Now dont get me wrong, it kind of blew my tiny mind. Woman liked WOMEN? Men liked MEN? And they were in relationships. Mind Blown! But because I had open hearted and open minded parents, it wasn't a big deal. Just another fact in a long line of facts you collect and move on with as a child. 

The whole concept didnt stay at the forefront of my radar. I recall there being guys in HS i was pretty sure WERE, but no one really talked about it. I dont recall there being much negative speak either, but i also might have been oblivious.

Sometime around my high school years, I found out my cousin in CA was gay. And a few years later he wasn't any more and was married, with kids. This is when I first was introduced to the power of the church and their ability in the right sects to take a perfectly fine human being and shame them into being someone they aren't.

Homosexuality is one of those things that simply never crossed my mind, unless I needed to defend it. When Steve and I had our first house in the burbs occasionally someone would say something mildly racist or homophobic (mildly? sigh, but you get my drift). Offensive, but not, HATEFUL. And it would infuriate me. And eventually they learned you cant say things like that around me.

I dont recall the conversation coming up with my kids, I've simply tried to raise them in a household of love that accepts all people (except mean people. and possibly Republicans - i kid.  . .). When Taylor was in 7th grade her boyfriend at the time invited her to the Aids Task Force Ball. Which I thought was adorable. One of her Bf's moms called me and very gently tried to explain what the Aids Task Force  was and what the event was. I calmly and gently told her my parents had been involved with the ATF since its inception and that I didnt have a problem with Taylor attending the event. I remember talking to Taylor about who would be there and about same sex couples and I believe she rolled her eyes in a big "duh" moment and that was the end of that.

Our culture, has been pretty open about gay characters in the last 15 or so years.  Will and Grace being one of the first I recall. Im sitting here trying to think of another show, another character, and I know they are out there. But i'm not coming up with anything. To me, its so woven into the fabric of our society, I hardly take note.

So when I saw the article, "Anderson Cooper is Gay", the first thing I thought was, who cares? Because really, why should I care? And then I have to remember, I should care. I should care that he is being open about it. Because its the being OUT THERE, that will hopefully over time de-stigmatize the whole thing.  Where once upon a time it was SHOCKING to have a gay character on TV, now there are just gay characters on tv. And once upon a time it was SHOCKING (and possibly career killing) for an actor to come, out, now its like "well duh".  But really, cant we just have characters on tv and actors who play them? Well no, because . . .

 . . of that segment of the population, who are so filled with fear and hate.  They are out there, sometimes lying low, sometimes shouting from the bell-tower about this SIN. This sinful behavior.(which i still cant figure out. is it the LOVING of another human? or where all the pieces fit in the bedroom, cause i'm pretty sure there is a whole lot of wacky that goes on in hetero relationships that arent in the bible either . . .)

I try to remember, that once upon a time (and i realize in some circles it still is) completely taboo for different races to procreate, to love one another.  If you were white and your partner was any other shade, you were SHAMED. It went against GOD and the CHURCH and society and well anything they could think of. I remember in the 70's it was SHOCKING to see an inter-racial couple on TV. But in most circles, even religious ones, its now ok . . you would think at least THOSE people would be more open minded. But sometimes even they are not . . how quickly we forget what oppression feels like?

So maybe it is very important for people like Anderson Cooper, to come out when they feel its appropriate for them. Maybe the cliched ONE PERSON will see that and go, huh . . maybe this isnt something that will collapse civilization as we know it.

I only hope that one day, its no longer an issue. Really, who cares?

Monday, June 25, 2012


For some reason Sally popped into my head this weekend. And i thought it would be nice to write about something other than my current emotional state.
After steve and I split (really, it does all come back to being about me tho), I spent a year cleaning houses as way to generate income but spend as little time away from the kids as possible. I had mentioned to Taylors 3rd grade teacher that I was looking for cleaning jobs if she knew of anyone looking. She mentioned Sally. Luckily Sally lived not too far from me in a condo off of Airport Expressway. We met for the first time and she showed me around her place and talked to me about what she was looking for. I was completely overwhelmed.

To this day, I dont have a clue how old Sally was. She was simply, old. And her house was a WRECK. Like, OMG wreck. Not hoarders wreck, but someone who hadn't picked anything off the floor in a good long while wreck.  But, when you have three mouths to feed and no other source of income, you will take what you can get. This started a 5 year relationship that overall is probably one of the most interesting and gratifying relationships I've had.

The first order of business was to get the house back to some reasonable sense of organized. Sally was a very active woman. She volunteered for more organizations than I could possibly list here, and loved to entertain. She was also fairly obese and had a host of health problems that made getting around and staying on her feet a challenge. So she maintained her extremely active lifestyle, but anything around the house that wasnt deemed important, was left for me each week. The entry way woud have an assortment of mail and papers laying about, she would simply drop the unimportant ones as she came in. Often there were bags of groceries strewn about with the cold items (usually) removed and put away but the rest left for me. Dirty clothes were piled in her closet and shoes and jewelry could be found anywhere, across a string of rooms and most often in a pile next to the shower or toilet. The kitchen was always a hodge podge of pans and dishes piled mostly in the sink. Tho sometimes I'd have to remove a whole stack of items from the oven. One of her favoriate hiding places when company was coming before I was . . .  and often she'd forget to tell me they were there till weeks later. I learned to check.
I'd occasionally have to deal with a pan that had all but caught on fire as she'd sometimes start dinner, and then fall asleep before it cooked. That wasnt frightning.
Despite the chaos of the house, Sally was very particular about certain things. Sometimes it baffled me, how she determined their importance.  For instance, I would want to clean all of the rotten food out of the refrigerator, but only if i had time to feed the birds first. That was her priority.

After several weeks the complete chaos of the house was mostly dealt with and we were heading into fall. Which meant the switching of the closets. First off, her closet was such a diabolical disaster, that was one area i hadnt even started to tackle. And this "switching of the closets" seemed like an AMAZING waste of time. But this is what she did, every spring and every fall. Take everything out of the closet in her room, and put it in the guest bedroom closet and vice versa. The amount of clothes this woman possessed was baffling. This seemingly simple task was quite possibly the most dreaded of all tasks. It took HOURS.

One of the better tasks was every holiday she decorated. EVERY HOLIDAY. And she had what felt like 60 years of accumulated decorations for each one. And she knew where every last piece went. So down came the pictures, pack up the 20 miniature tea sets. Put the hummels away, and get out the Easter eggs, ornaments, flags, hearts, or whatever was the theme of the holiday.  . . . and three weeks later, undo it all and prepare for the next one . . .

Entertaining was always a BIG event. She had special plates, special decorations, napkin rings, cups, for every single type of gathering. She taught me what it meant to entertain old school. The tables were set with precision (she always had to correct me on the order of the forks!) and she was the consummate hostess. And the following day I'd go back and clean it all up again and hear all the stories about who came, who didnt show and who was having what health issue.

Not a single holiday or birthday went by that I worked for Sally that she didnt surprise me with a gift, not only from her, but also from her dog Murphy. Cute quirky items that a broke ass single mom often had little use for, but they were thoughtful and sweet and almost always made me cry at her kindess.

About a year after I started working for Sally I went back to work full time and she asked me to stay on. So I did. I dropped to every other weekend and would spend my sat or sunday mornings working as fast as possible to get her caught up. She'd follow me around as best she could from room to room updating me on her last two weeks and asking about mine. Apologizing again for having done no laundry and leaving it all to me, and me explaining that I didnt mind.  All the while, trying to be patient and trying to deal with two weeks of disaster. At times getting impatient but trying to understand and be gracious knowing how much she looked forward to our visits.

Over time, we developed a nice friendship. I found out in the 80's she had had a partial mastectomy from breast cancer. Of course she tells me this as I walk in on her in her room buck naked as she was struggling to get dressed for church one morning. Sally wasnt shy.

She did find some of her other physical ailments more disconcerting, and would call me from time to time in the middle of a week and ask if I would come clean up some accident or another that had happened. She hated these episodes. And if you know me at all you have no idea how hard it was for me to handle these incidents. But you cant hear the voice of a woman who is embarrassed and upset and not run over and take care of things, as awful as they sometimes were. It was life.

Sometimes I would take the boys with me if I needed to go over on a kid weekend. They didnt particularly like going, but they liked sally well enough and I'd often find them fun little jobs to do. She really enjoyed having them around. Sally had never married and had no children of her own but she had adopted several families over the years that she became a surrogate grandmother to. Every holiday season I would help address and stamp hundreds of cards and hundreds of Christmas Gifts for her to mail all over the country. She was a generous soul.

She was a passionate MI fan and was very proud of the fact that MI was the first major university in the country to allow women to attend. I cant tell you how often she told me this. She had the picture of her class hanging in her bedroom.  She had gone to MI to become a teacher, and taught school for somewhere around 35 years.

I found my visits to Sallys to be, sort of a respite from my life at the time. I didnt have grandparents anymore even at that age and she filled the role nicely. With stories and anecdotes. and gossip about her friends. The ones who she liked, and the ones she found to be irritating or phoney but that she had known for 45 years . . .she distracted me from my own angst.

So Im sure you know whats coming by now. The day came that I went to clean and the entry way had its usual amount of strewn papers and mail. The living room had another stack of mail and newspapers next to her recliner under the tv tray where she ate her meals and watched her shows. Her omnipresent can of coke sitting on the tray.
It was a Sunday morning and she was often at church by the time I got there and would leave my check in the kitchen. The kitchen was surprisingly clean. No pans in the sink.
And the mattress was missing from her bed.
I found the number of the woman who had initially told me about Sally, she was one of Sallys "adopted" children.
"Mary? It's Heather. I just came to clean Sallys . . ."
"Oh my god heather. It never occurred to me to call you. Sally passed this week"

I sat in the living room I had dusted for the last 5 years, completely stunned. And just cried.

One time when I was cleaning, sally gave me 6 large insulated cups with cards in the plastic. They were the cups she used for card night but had found new ones she liked better so she gave me the old ones. At the time I remember thinking "what in the world will i do with these?" But I took them home. It was about a year later that she died, and I was so grateful to have those 6 silly cups.

There are a lot of things I learned from Sally. Family is who you surround yourself with. No matter what life hands you, keep moving forward. Give of your heart generously and you will receive more back than you can imagine. Entertain even if the dog pees on the carpet, your friends wont mind (except that bitch Edith, she ALWAYS has to make a comment!) . And when you get the the point that you have to chose between volunteering at the zoo, or visiting a friend and cleaning your house? Hire a young single mom to do it for you. You wont regret how you spent your time.

Monday, April 16, 2012


you know how you read those corny motivational sayings and you think "man, what a bunch of crap" and then one day a situation comes across your life and you think "danm, that cat hanging upside down on the branch was freaking right!" Yeah, i had one of those recently. i was thinking about when people say 'well, the heart is a resilient muscle, and you cant quit working it . ." and i mean, really what a dumb thing to say. but when you consider loss and pain and how it really does, feel as though your heart is physically being ripped from your body, when you are grieving you think "how will i EVER recover from this". Yeah, thats still pretty fresh for me. a lot of people dont actually know, that chris and i have split. I didnt make a grand pronouncement. i was dealt the blow. i spent 30 days inside a bottle, 30 days almost completely prone on my couch anytime the kids werent there and emotionally hemorrhaged. 5 years of life, 5 years of raising kids together. 5 years of road trips and more projects than you can imagine, 5 years of late nights, good beer, endless conversations and 2 people who lived 1000 mph all day, every day. ended on the note of "i dont know how to break up with someone i am still in love with, who i respect and admire and love and adore, but i am". And ignoring the hours and hours of trying to understand why, thats what it came down to. It wasnt working.

And i still feel so much grief. For my kids. for my life. for us because you've never met two people so stunningly well suited to each other. i miss the two boys i spent 5 years helping raise.  . . . but, this is life as we know it. and life is filled with loss.  people come into your life, and people leave and all you can really do with that is to get the lessons. And i do get the lessons. i know what i got from that 5 years. i also know what i'm taking with me, what i'm shedding, and what i hope i can bring to the table in my next relationship, that will allow me to be an even better partner in life.

chris taught me about being kind. about how a smile to a stranger can change a day. he taught me it was ok to be soft. that approaching a situation with kindness is almost always better than approaching it from any other direction. he mellowed me and softened me. and taught me how to properly run a chain saw. 

i know what lessons I didnt get. and what I still have to work on. and the whole time i spent laying on my couch, trying to breathe, i knew, that i would be ok. i've suffered loss. its just a matter of allowing time to do its thing, making it better day by day.  and it gets better.

and the heart IS an amazing muscle, because if you let it, it can still feel and beat and hold the capacity to care for others regardless of how many times its been bruised. i left that relationship with my eyes and heart open. instead of closed and jaded as i have so many times before. maybe it was knowing chris was sending me off on my own, with love and respect, as opposed to humiliation and anger as so many of my friends get left to deal with the rest of their lives. and while i have no plans to look for something or someone to fill the void and place of chris and that life i was leading, i'm keeping my heart open to meeting new people who bring something to the table. in whatever capacity that may be. and its interesting how the universe says "here. check this. this is something you need to look at and learn from." and I think i almost always do.

i'm not sure exactly where i wanted to go with this post. but i'm kind of amazed that 3 months and 11 days after what felt like the worst day of my life, i feel this positive about the rest of it. yes, i miss my family. yes, i miss my best friend. every day. but im also very much enjoying my life right now and all the fun and sad and hard and delightful things that go with it. and all the people i'm meeting along the way.

Monday, April 2, 2012


ive found it almost impossible to tap into my creative side these last 3 months.

2011 was a year of uncovering and uncloaking and digging deep to find some authentic to my world. to slow down. focus on some things that brought me true pleasure. i was working through the Mandala on the soul journey program and was amazed at what gifts that brought. when i look at a few pieces of writing and some photography from that time i can see it. i felt like a balloon being filled up with lightness, that I hadnt felt in a long time.

then the shotgun blast and i'm trying really hard to fill that ballon back up.  to not let the circumstances and decisions keep me filled with lead on the ground.

its hard. its hard to sit and be in my own company. i havent picked up my camera. and i need to. i realize now my pleasure in taking pictures was closely tied to his pride in me. i also realize it was a way for me to be seen. because i had started to be very invisible. and trying to be visible can be exhausting. trying to prove your worth on a daily basis, to someone else, is soul crushing work.  its hard when you realize, that your value to the person you are sharing your life with, is gone. but if you keep spinning, you can kind of blur the frame and ignore it.

and i need to be still. i just have no clue how to do that. i hum with energy not being tapped. i feel frenetic. and i want it to all be better. now. not later. now. i want to move on and be healthy and strong and whole.

im tired of looking for the lesson, the silver lining. i just want to BE.

 i want to write about something happy. like love stories and romance and pretty things.
flowers and sunshine. not lighting and bricks.

and i wonder if im even marginally capable.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


**this is from my accident in Jan . . . .***

you know i'm rattled when i dont take a picture and post to facebook.

so, i got in this wreck today. and it sucked. i learned some things tho, about myself. a). im not sure i wreck well and i really thought i would. i saw that the suv was not stopping, i double checked my light, and i hit the brakes and for all intents and purposes, i closed my eyes and yelled FUCK. In reality, this may not be the case, but in my memory, until my tire hit that curb, thats all i got.
b). i'm one calm ass mother fucker. i do not like people to see me cry. i wanted to cry. that was scary! but that bull head side kicked in HARD. the cops kept asking me questions and what i really wanted to say was "my fucking bell just got rung man, give me a minute, and maybe a cocktail?"  But i gave them my license, called my agent. handled it.

I"m thankful for the people on site. the witness to the woman who hit me, who ran the light. the woman from the church who helped me focus so i could grab my dog food out of my truck.

despite, being very calm and "i got it" y.  i resented very much having no one to call. to say "hey, i got in a wreck, and i'm ok" and have the other person be ever so thankful. yes, i have lots of friends who are glad i wasnt hurt. yes, my ex husband was very supportive, as were all my friends. but the aloneness of that moment.... that stung.

there has to be a lesson in getting dumped, and wrecked in a two week time period.
that. im still trying to figure.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cooking. (with Chicken)

so i bought a whole chicken a few weeks ago. i debated heavily on the purchase. i usually will ONLY buy skinless, boneless chicken breasts. But at 7$ a package (all natural, free range, happy no steroid chickens), it wasnt being very economical. so they had this whole chicken from the same company sitting there for about the same price as the breasts, so, despite the fact it looked SO MUCH LIKE A CHICKEN! I bought it.

And it sat in my fridge.

eventually, i had to cook the bastard.

so one night after work when i felt too guilty to give my kids more pasta, i just dealt with the issue. Cut that sucker out of its plastic package rinsed it off and threw in in my stoneware baker. (yes, i removed that icky bag with unmentionables out of its neck).

I threw some onions, potatoes & carrots in the bottom of the baker. slathered on some butter. and poured a generous amount of cooking sherry over the sucker. cranked it up to 400, stuck my digital therm into it and let it cook.

about an hour (1.5?) it was done. I took the top off the baker in the last 25 min or so.

so that night we had the breast meat. it wasnt as flavorful as when i cook it in a skillet, but the boys liked it. the hormone free chickens are pretty small but it fed the three of us.

next was the hard part. getting the rest of the meat off of the bird. there really is only one word. disgusting. so i went to my happy disassociated place and picked it as clean as i could. i separated the white meat and the rest of it. The white meat that was left was my lunch the next day. the dark meat i put in a seperate bowl and saved it for "something else". I also put the drippings from the bottom of the pan in there, thinking the sherry would continue to season the meat, which it did.

so yesterday i decide to cook up some soup. and it was fab. and here is the recipe.

saute two onions in a little olive oil until translucent
press 3 cloves of garlic. dont burn
1 container (box) of vegetable broth
3-4 carrots sliced
2 potatoes, diced small
add in left over chicken (1.5 cups?)
i added some left over coconut milk
a generous amount of curry
a couple shakes of cumin
a large dash of cinnamon
a little tumeric
a bit of parsley
i actually did add a little salt

let it simmer.
its delish and it took me maybe 10-15 min to throw it all together.