Friday, October 26, 2012

J Talks Football

My husband talks about things in his sleep that he would never talk about while awake.  Like football.  Not only is he not a "sports guy" the only sport he really follows is baseball, and he's so superstitious that he wont watch a game because when he does, his team inevitably loses. 

I know, I'm so lucky.

The other night he fell asleep pretty early, I wasn't tired, and I was off from work the next day so I was up reading in bed when the following occurred.

J: *Sits up in bed*, "They changed it."

Me: "What?"

J: "They changed it."

Me: "Changed What?"

J: "The head coach." *Lays back down*

Me: "The head coach of what?"

J: "The football team."

Me: "Which one?" *Thinking of professional (American) football*

J: "Both of them."

Me: "Oh" *realizing he must be talking about school* "Do you think they will do better now?"

J: *disgusted scoff* "No."  *Snore*

Later that night J got up and headed for the bathroom, he stopped to pet one of our beloved pooches and I figure he was awake enough for real conversation.

Me: "Hey, were you dreaming about high school?"

J: "Yeah, why?  What did i say?"

Me: they changed the head coach."

J: "What?"

Me: "Yeah, apparently they changed the head coach of the football teams.  You were unimpressed."

Then I related the entire conversation to him.

J: *chuckle chuckle, snore*

The next morning.

Me: "Anymore high school dreams?

J: "What are you talking about?"

Me: "You don't remember?"

J: "Um, no."

So I retold both stories to him.

J: "Hm. Love you! Have a good day."

Then he went to work.   Not only did he not remember the sleep added madness of the first conversation, but the second one, when he was supposedly awake was even wiped from his brain.  And the next morning he could not have cared less. 

This is my life.  And I love it!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dealing with Writers Block

You guys, I got it bad.  Like, bad bad.  I do not know what to write about.  Nothing seems to be striking me lately. 

I mean, interesting and funny things happen to me, but is any of int funny enough to share with the world?  Not really.  And I feel ways about things, but not all of it is worthy of space on my blog.  And then there's all the junk that "responsible adults" won't write about cause, you know, what if your boss reads it?  And then there's all the fun sexy stuff that I don't/can't write about 'cause:

a) My husband is a private person and I would never do that to him
b) My Dad reads this shit y'all
c) It's none of your business and why do you care (Stalker)

What do you do to combat writers block?  I have a few go to's but they aren't hacking it, so I just decided that writers block should get it's own damn post.

Here are some of my go to's:

Free write

I know, gag me, I remember HATING free write in high school.  I never knew what to write about so I would always, always, start with just that.  And eventually I would get a good idea and run with it.  That's often how I get my best stories.  My Novel (currently at the editor aieee!) started out as a free write. 

Writing Prompts

Just Google writing prompts.  Ah, Google, what would I do without you.  There are like a million and 12, read through some and pick one.  It gives you something to focus on.  There are writing prompts for all age groups and writing ability.  You can even look up specific kinds of prompts if there's a particular thing you want to work on.  Like Description, or dialogue.  Even if you don't decide to use one of the prompts it gets the brain juice flowing and can give you an idea of your own!

Story Starters

Google is my best-freaking-friend.  Type in story starters and you get a veritable schmorgass board of answers! A story starter should be one or two sentences to get your story started, and then it's all you from there on out.

Those are my go to's for getting my creative on when my brain refuses to produce.  What do you do?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Things to do when the power is out at work...

So, the other day my office was subject to a power outage, and even 2.5 (ish) hours later when the power came back on, the Internet and our network were down.  This meant very little work was getting done.  Okay fine, NO work was getting done, except for the people with fully charged laptops and/or battery backups.

I decided to make good use of that time and surveyed the office for things to do at the office when the power is out, here are the results!  (WARNING: Some are boring, some are hysterical)

1- File
2- Journal
3- Chat w/ Co Workers ( You know, cause this never happens when we have power)
4- Play flashlight Tag
5- Read a book (Assuming you have an office with a window)
6- Draw/Color
7- Do yoga!
8- Covertly check if the toilets work (Ours do!)
9- Truth or Dare
10- See if anyone is brave enough to eat the "thing" in the fridge that no one claims
11- Pictionary!
12- Charades
13- Practice braiding hair
14- Paint your nails (or a friends)
15- Coat room sex w/ the hot intern (We don't have any interns, let alone a hot one, so.... yeah)
16- Have a camp style sing along
17- Play Hide and seek
18- Play Duck, Duck, Goose!
19-Have a Fashion show
20- Waste Paper Basket B-Ball Tournament (Or in my office a regular one, because we totally have a basket ball hoop int he warehouse)
21- Have a Photo Shoot!
22- Learn Origami
23- Reorganize other peoples offices
24- Have a scavenger hunt
25- Play Red Rover
26- Play Simon Says
27- Play Red Light Green Light
28- Play Dominoes/Cards (Assuming someone had them)
29- Play Eyes Spy
30- Play Black Magic (No one but me seems to know this game....)

Clearly my office is run by 10 year olds and we should have a full on playground outside!  This is why I love them!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Creative Writing Promts II

I found this via google.  It's 5 seemingly unrelated prompts that should give me a unique description of a person I love and/or admire.

Begin by thinking of someone for whom you have strong feelings, and then complete each of the five steps.

You'll notice that each brief instruction is on a separate page. This was done to prevent you from looking ahead. The exercise works best, and is easiest to do, if you really take one step at a time. Don't worry if the steps -- and your responses -- don't seem immediately related to each other. Seemingly illogical associations often result in more interesting and truer work.


They were small and weathered.  Chipped yellowing nails attested to a life of hard work and nicotine addiction.  Her hands were not soft, even at this advance age, and being as vain as any other elderly french woman.  Her hands were rough and callused and a testament to her nature.  Resilient and strong, but tiny and fragile too.  There were liver spots here and there, and deep set wrinkles in her dry skin.  Her hands were so thin you could see her veins protruding, and if you looked hard enough you might just be able to see the pulse as her heart pushed blood through her veins. 

Her hands sat in her lap, a cigarette hung loosely between the fingers of her right hand.  Occasionally it would lift the vice to her lips, or adjust the volume or station on the radio. 

The humidity was thick like fog, and the sun hung low in the sky.  A ball of molten lava turning the sky orange and pink, with simmering lines of evaporated moisture radiating skyward.

"How can you sit out here in all this heat?" I ask wiping the sweat from my brow.  "I'm surprised you can breathe with the smoke and the air feeling so thick."

She looks up from her daydream, seemingly just noticing me.  "I'm not hot, it's nice out here," she responds before looking off into the sunset once more.

The end tells you to take your responses and use the to create a poem or use them as a juming off point for a freewriting session.  But I like mine the way it is.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

What? Or, the joys and sorrows of writing ideas from the middle of the night.

So, the other night I had a weird awesome dream that gave me an excellent writing idea.  I wasn't sure if it would be a fiction piece, or a blog entry, but it was phenomenal!  So great in fact, that I got my ass out of bed at like 3 in the morning to make sure I wrote this nugget of excellence down.  Thereby ensuring that I wouldn't forget it.

Isn't that the worst?  Having the best idea ever in the middle of the night, then forgetting it by morning?  I hate that.  But there was simply no way that was going to happen to me.  I wrote it all down.

Y'all, my notes make no fucking sense. 

Here are my notes, as they appear in my notebook.  They are almost  coherent, but not quite.

Necklace and Pendant.
Brings Statues back to life.
Destry! Hide forever.
At A School.  Island.
Giant Nose.            Flying.          Dragon?
Driffin?  PEGASUS!!
Black Lake.  hole.

It seems to be making sense at the beginning.  then it goes downhill from there.  Giant nose?  hole?  What was I thinking?

I do remember the part of the dream where I am flying over a lake.  But it wasn't black.  I don't recall being on any kind of animal.  Also I'm pretty sure Driffin=Griffin. 

Maybe I was thinking of Harry Potter?  Who the fuck knows?!!

Do my notes make sense to you?  Have you ever had your middle of the night best ideas notes come out as complete dreck in the morning?  Or forgotten what you know was your million dollar idea? 

Spill it in the comments!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

To Write Full time or Not?

So I have a dilemma, or an idea, a scary terrifying idea.  It's one I have kicked around before, but I am a giant chicken shit and will never actually pull it off.

I want to get paid to write.  I want to be able to write for a living.  I want to be able to give voice to my thoughts and ideas.  I want to talk about important issues, and frivolous bullshit.  I want to write relevant articles that help people and awesome scifi- fantasy YA Fiction. 

Y'all I want to write with every fiber of my being. 

But...  I have bills to pay.  Not just little bills like the telephone, I have major bills, like rent and a stupid high car payment and Insurance and vet bills for my boys, who I would NEVER EVER IN A MILLION YEARS trade for anything.  Plus you know food and lights and electricity and all that. 

My Babies! Boomer and Hunter!

My husband works, but we live in an area that is scarce on high wages.  Hospitality is the name of the game and hospitality jobs don't pay. 

It's frightening to think about taking a chance to do something I love.  I mean what's the trade off?  I get to be spiritually fulfilled, but have to eat dollar store hamburger helper?  (No judgement, I have done this many times)  I just don't know if I can willingly put myself in the situation. 

I come from a background of barely making ends meet.  My mother had government assistance at a few points, and my father has had assistance for most of my life.  I remember surviving off of ramen noodles, not because I liked them, which I do, but because it was necessary.  I even recall getting a can, with just a picture of cartoon cow on it.  When we opened it it was corned beef, and we had sandwiches.  It was delicious, but we had no idea what we were getting into. 

12 for $1.50!  Boo Ya!
I don't laugh at jokes that include, government cheese, or poke fun at people for being less fortunate.  That shit is not cool. 
I remember going "school shopping" with my best friend.  She, along with her mother, would ooh and aah over the excellent things that they found at places like Macy's and the Gap, while I watched and tried not to feel badly about not buying anything.  To this day my mother swears she sent me with money to spend, but she never did.  If she needs to tell herself that to feel better, it's not really hurting anyone, so I let her have this indulgence.  Later on, after everyone else was done shopping we would schlep to Wal-Mart or K-Mart and get me the things I absolutely needed. 

Let me clarify, I never went without the things I needed.  But we rarely had extra.  Of anything.  I remember having to wait to flush the toilet because the water bill was going to be too high.  I remember having no water, and having to shower across the street at a friends, or not at all. 

My mother and father both worked very hard for what we had, my mother even managed to put herself through college, and now, has a wonderful job, doing something she loves.  But the fear instilled in me from growing up in a place where we weren't always sure where we were going to get the money for rent, or where the next meal was coming from, or if I would have to make sure I didn't gain weight so that I could still wear my last years jeans for school have made me terribly afraid to take a risk when it comes to money. 

Is it a fair trade off to be comfortable and miserable?  I still don't know.  I have been taking steps to write more, and often.  This blog being one of them.  I am also in the process of having my first novel edited so that I can submit it to publishers.  This is a long process.  I recently submitted an article pitch to  Baby steps I suppose. 

My dream is to eventually make enough money between my writing, and my husbands job, to support ourselves and our family.  The one we don't have yet due to financial constraints.  Because let's face it, if I have to pay for Daycare, It will take most of my current paycheck.  If I am a writer, I can potentially write from home, and care for my child(ren) at the same time. 

It is unfortunate that we live in a time when this is the kind of choice that has to be made.  My job and money VS My happiness and raising a family.  What kind of choice is that?  the sot of living nation wide has gone up so significantly that it is rare to get to have both.  You can make money OR be happy.  You can have a family OR have a job you like.

I have a dream... to write the words

More and more people are choosing not to have families, or to delay having families.  I am running out of time.  Granted I am only thirty, but women in my family have a history of early menopause.  My Grandmother was done by the time she was  40.  That give me a rough estimate of 10 years to have my family.  The pressure is on, and there is no starting line in sight right now.  It seems like I am not the only one in this kind of situation, birth rates are down in the US, and I am pretty sure that the economy is the #1 culprit for that. 

Do you find yourself in a similar place?  What would you do?  Say fuck all and write?  I mean I get that the whole starving artist is supposed to be sexy and trendy, but starving is not sexy, ever.  Ugh!  Help me out with advice in the comments!

Monday, October 15, 2012

You better blog about that sh*t.

So, the hubs decided that this must  be blogged about.

My dogs have rules about where they can be in the house.  They can't be on the furniture, (this makes me sad but the hubs is actually allergic to dogs), and the can't be in the kitchen.  For two reasons, they would beg, and that's just a no-no and my kitchen is tiny, like crazy tiny.  We have a "galley style" kitchen, which is a fancy word for "hallway that barely fits appliances and cabinets."  Seriously y'all I cant open any 2 appliances at once. 

Anyway, the one rule that my dogs cannot seem to get, is stay out of the kitchen.  I am constantly turning around and tripping over a dog.  I mean, I get it.  It's hard for them to resist, that's where the food comes from.  It's hard for me to resist too.  But Jiminey Cricket!

So the other night I was scooping ice cream for J.  Sure enough, there was Boomer.  So I put on my best crooner voice and sang, to no discernible song:

"Boomer, get the fuck out of the kitchen, before I stab you in the eye with this spoon.  But then I'd have to get a new spoon because I don't wanna scoop ice cream with an eyeball spoon."

giggle, giggle, "What was that last part?" asked J.

"Huh?  I was singing to Boomer."

"I know, what was the last line again?"

"Then I'd have to get a new spoon because I don't wanna scoop ice cream with an eyeball spoon."

J Burst into hysterical laughter.  "You had better blog about that sh*t so everyone knows I'm not the only one who says crazy stuff."

And so I did!  The end! :-)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

On Loss, and Rememberance

On October 8th, 2005 my life changed forever.  On that day I lost two people very close to me.  My Step-Mom (Donna) and Paternal Grandmother (Grammy).  They passed form different causes, hundreds of miles away from one another, and from me.  I can't even imagine being my father.  He lost his wife and partner as well as his Mother within hours of each other.  By far and away the most important women in his life.  Loss of any loved one, pet, family member, friend, is hard.  And it never gets easier.  Having such sudden, unexpected, significant loss all at once can give you a little perspective. 

I'll talk about that later.  Right now I want to talk about my loved ones.

Grammy was, well, a grandmother.  She was soft and kind and loving.  She played Bingo, smoked like a chimney, and did plastic canvas.  She bought TONS of Avon Jewelry, not the good stuff, the cheap plastic kind. 

When I list things about her on paper, she sounds dreadful, but she wasn't.  She was just kind of old-lady-boring.  In the very best way. 

I had to watch a ton of old western movies (BARF), but I got to have my nails painted (usually hooker red) and wear her dangle-y earrings.  I also used to take her silk night gowns and wear them like princess dresses.  But I think I was a movie star, not a princess.  I mean it was the 80's, we weren't princess crazy back then. (Thanks Disney!) 

She taught me to do my very first crafts; I remember making a DREADFUL plastic canvas heart.  I couldn't decide what shade of red/pink to make it, so she chose a giant needle and strung up all 3 colors for me.  It was insanely difficult to make because pulling 3 strands of yarn through a tiny plastic hole at the age of 8 was so not easy, but I did it, kind of. 

As I got older I saw her less and less, I moved away and got married, she wasn't able to be there.  But on a visit shortly before my wedding I asked her if she had anything she wanted to send.  I had a necklace from my great grandmother who wouldn't be able to attend, and wanted to know if she had anything to send so that she too could be a part of my day.  She gave me a plastic purple flower.  I gave it to my florist and asked them to incorporate it into my bouquet.  I never saw it again.

I still miss her.  Every Day.  Every time something wonderful or awful happens to me I want to call her and tell her about it.  And I can't.  This particular instance is a good example of not knowing what you have until it's gone. 

She was in the hospital in Maryland when she passed.  She had been ill for a while but everyone had expected her to recover.  She had a bad heart, and I think the news of my step mothers passing, just hours before she passed herself, was just too much for her to bear. 

Donna was, wow, I don't really know where to begin.  She was wonderful.  She was young and vivacious, a mother, and wife.  She loved horror/mystery novels, particularly Stephen King.  She was into Angels and Reflexology.  She loved unconditionally and fully. 

She was honest, brutally so.  And thus often came across as a bitch, but she simply thought honesty was important enough that it didn't matter if it wasn't what you wanted to hear. (This was prior to the I just feel like being a bitch and cover it by saying I'm being honest BS that is all the rage right now)

She loved my father, and made him so happy.  She loved and was loved by her children, My Brother and Sister, as well as myself, her step daughter.  She taught me a lot about a lot of things.  Growing up I wasn't close with my mother, but I was close with Donna.  She was still an authority figure, but she was one I was much more comfortable approaching.  My mother and I are very different, but Donna and I were kindred spirits, making it easier to talk to her.  Whenever I need advice or to share a truly great novel with someone it hurts just a little because I would have been sharing them with her.  And though I love my friends and family no one will ever replace her in my life. 

Donna passed just a few hours before Grammy leaving behind my father who was just 42 at the time my sister who was 10 and my brother who was 13. 

She had been suffering from insomnia and depression, and was also a recreational drug user, she liked pain meds.  Her Doctor (idiot) prescribed both antidepressants and sleeping pills.  Which you are never ever supposed to mix.  She had a terrible headache and took some sort of crazy strong pain med that she had in the cabinet for her recreational use and her sleep aid, and her anti depressant before bed.  She never fell asleep, but she did get fucked up and forgot she had already taken her sleep aid, and took another and another and another.  She died of an accidental overdose, sleeping in bed with my little sister in the room.  (Thankfully she never really knew what was happening)

I had just started a new job.  It was teaching mommy and me classes and preschool readiness.  Still in training, I had just taught my first class on my own.  It was the last class of a sunny brisk Saturday morning, the kind of morning only autumn in the North East can bring.  Turning on my nearly dead phone I saw that there was a message in my voicemail.  Two actually.  The first had been left that morning by my frantic and obviously crying father.  The second was an eerily calm message from my grandmother.  The same one who I would learn had died before I ever got to call her back.  There wasn't enough battery life to call them back.  My job was locked up and I couldn't get into the building to use the phone there.  I went to a few other stores in the strip mall, but no one had a phone that would call long distance.  I was in a panic, terror stricken.  I don't remember getting in the car, or driving up the road to a friend’s house. I do remember ringing the doorbell a million times and banging on the door as hard as I could.  I just needed someone, anyone, to come and give me a fucking phone.  No one was home.

Hysterical crying at this point I am certain I should not have driven, but what else as I going to do?  I got back in my car and made the 45 minute long drive back to my house.  My husband met me at the door and told me to sit down.  I wouldn't, I kept screaming, "just tell me what happened!" 

At this point all I could think about was my siblings.  That my brother had had a bad dirt bike accident, or my sister had a broken leg, maybe someone was in the hospital.  These were all things I expected, and though I would be upset, I could handle it.  I was not expecting what I next heard from his mouth.

In the calmest voice he could effect and with a bounty of sorrow in his eyes, "Donna died."

I didn't recognize the noise that came from my throat as human, let alone coming from me.  My knees gave way, he managed to catch me and keep me from hitting the floor too hard.  And then he just let me cry.  I sobbed longer and louder and harder than have ever cried in my life.  I could hardly breathe and my vision got a little blurry at times from the lack of oxygen.  It was slobbery and snotty and ugly.  I was shaking, and heaving my chest to try and get air.  It was physically painful, and mentally excruciating.

It was all so surreal; I kept hoping that it was just a horrible dream and that I would wake up soon.  Each time I would slow in my crying, I would hiccup "Is this real?" my husband would have to tell me that yes, it was, and my sobbing would begin again.  This was so sudden and such a senseless tragedy that my brain couldn't process it. 

Smack in the middle of my melt down his grandmother came in.  I didn't look up until she spoke, and then it was a good thing that I was unable to move in my grief stricken stupor, because I would have slapped her.  She said "These things happen, now get up off the floor."  The shock of what she said still gets me each time I recall it.  Of all the things that have been said to me, hurtful, hateful, mean things, this sticks out more than most.  Like she was making this huge thing, insignificant in a way that it clearly was not. 

I called my father once I could speak and he sounded like I felt.  Raw and open and hurting in a way we had never hurt before and we would hopefully never have to again.

I don't really remember the words, so much as the mutual feeling of devastation.  We cried and said I love you, a lot.  I remember being worried about my siblings staying in the house where their mom died just hours before.  Daddy had sent them to a friend’s house.  They weren't going to school for a few days.  My Dad wasn't alone either, friend and family were everywhere.  You really learn a lot about your friends, family, and community in general when tragedy strikes.  There was more crying, and my assurances that I would be there ASAP and I would help him with everything. 

I remember him telling me he felt responsible for her death.  For not realizing something was wrong until it was too late.  He had performed CPR on her, praying that it would work until the paramedics arrived. Not only had he "failed" to notice something was very wrong, he also hadn't been able to save her, so a double dose of failure in his eyes. 

I reassured him that it wasn't his fault, (it wasn't) that he had done everything he could (He did), that it was just her time and all the other things you are supposed to tell someone.  Some of them I believed others not so much, but I would have said anything to try and take the hurt away. 

Once I could stand again I started to pack, because we were leaving for Maine right fucking now.  I never really stopped crying, but it would let up a little, and I could go through the motions, without really knowing what I was doing.  Then I would break down again.

I was later convinced that in order to not cause another tragedy via fast driving and bad weather and grief, we should wait to calm down and get some sleep before the seven hour drive.  My keys had to be physically removed from my hands.  I was allowed to finish packing.  Then I was forced out of the house, and chauffeured to get some (free) food at the restaurant where my brother in law worked.  My husband’s phone rang while I was attempting to compose myself in the car, still in the parking lot. 

My father had called my husbands grandmothers house, we were staying there having just moved back to NY from FL, and told her that Grammy had also died.  She told my husband over the phone so he would be prepared when I lost it again, I wasn't supposed to hear, (but I did) I was just supposed to call my Dad.  I screeched and my hard won, barely there composure was gone.  People stared as they walked past the car, unwilling witnesses to my worst day ever. 

I called my Daddy again.  I remember him not really being able to talk, and I told him that I knew.  He was mad, he was supposed to tell me, but I think he was secretly glad not to have to say it again. He expressed more grief and feelings of being responsible.  My Grammy was sick, she had a heart condition, and hearing about Donna's sudden death was just too much for her.  Since Daddy had called and told her, this too must be his fault. 

Clearly this was not the case; his other option was to just not tell her, which in reality was not an option at all.  She loved Donna too, and she had a right to know.  It would have been so much worse for him to not tell her.

After I got off the phone with my Dad, I called my voicemail; Grammy had left me a message just that morning!  I could hear her voice again!  It would be calm and comforting, and I could hear her tell me she loved me just one more time.  What a precious gift!  Except when I got to my mailbox it said I had no messages. 

In an attempt to ensure that I got home safe, my husband had dialed into my voicemail and deleted the messages, hoping I had not yet heard them.  Instead of being thankful that he cared enough o try and ensure my safety, I was incensed, beyond angry.  How could he have taken that from me?  Looking back, how could he have known that she would die that same day?  He couldn’t have, and he was actually trying to do something nice.  But at the time I was outraged.  In my already hyper-charged emotional state I was unable to understand the logic.

Eventually, when I was out of tears to cry I was led in a fog into the restaurant and as much junk food as I wanted was set out on the table.  I'm sure I ate, but I don't really remember.  I was exhausted when we returned to the house and slept like a rock until we left at 3 in the morning to beat the traffic.  I slept the entire way there.  By the time I got to my Dad's I was numb.  Thus began the absolute worst day(s) of my life.  The next few days were spent at wakes and funerals, making sure that my brother and sister and father were fed and clean and ready to go face the music.  I don't really remember much of the days leading up to the funerals, which were, of course, on the same day. 

Donna's was first.  And two things stand out to me from that event.  One was amazing, and one was awful.  I will tell you the awful part first.  I sat alone.  Like, all alone.  It was horrid.  There was no spot for me at the front with my Dad, and Brother and Sister and Donna’s parents and step parents, and brother.  I wasn’t even in the second row, close to my family.  I was 4 rows back sitting next to Donnas Step-brother and his girlfriend.  My husband went and sat at the back of the room with my best friend, who had taken the day off from work to be there for me.  I sat alone, and cried the ugly cry through the whole thing, without tissues, or a hand to hold, or shoulder to cry on.  They played Free Bird and to this day I can't hear that song without getting emotional.

The second thing that happened, which actually happened first chronologically, was that one of my best friends from High School showed up at the funeral.  I hadn't seen him since we left for college, and it meant so much to me to know that he saw that this awful thing had happened to me, and my family and wanted to be there to support me.  You really learn who cares when your world crashes down around you.
Earlier I mentioned perspective.  And I never ever thought I would use that word in respect to this particular topic.  But let me tell you, losing two people who you love dearly on the same day within a few hours of one another gives you some effing perspective. 

In the late winter/early spring of 2009 my now ex-husband came home and said "I want a divorce."  It was heart wrenching.  We had been together for TEN years, I was attached to his family, they were my family, I was going to miss so many milestones of people I now loved.  He had been there to catch me when I literally fell over getting the news of my loved ones passing so many years ago.  It was hard, living in the same house as him for the two weeks it took me to pack up my life and my dog and move away.  And I cried, but not every day, and only two or three times after I left our house.  I cried as I left, but was done before I got to the highway, and I never really looked back. 

You know why? 

Because compared to that day in October 2005, it wasn't that bad.  Yes, it sucked.  No, it wasn't easy.  But everyone came out of it alive, and in the long run we are both happier people.  I have been able to remain close to the family I left behind, and I love my life now.  We were miserable; he was just the one brave enough to admit it. 

In March 2010 I lost my Great Grandmother, Memere.  She was 92 years old and she had lived a long happy life.  She had gotten to see her daughter grow up, and her grandchildren, and ever her great grandchildren.  She even got to meet her great-great granddaughter.  She was the last of her siblings and in laws left and she was ready to go.  She spent her last few weeks in hospice care, and we never left her alone.  Family and friends came out to ensure that she always had a companion with her who loved her.

I had spend the entire day with her, singing to her and holding her hand, and as much as it hurt, telling her it was okay if she couldn't hold on anymore.  She hadn't been awake since the second or third day there.  I got the call while I was making dinner.  I was strangely accepting of the news, and just a few stray tears escaped until dinner was finished. 

It all boils down to perspective.  As humans we naturally compare ourselves to others.  I call it "Joneses Syndrome", you know, keeping up with the Joneses. But we also compare our current circumstances with those of our own past. 

For me losing two people on the same day, one very young, she was only in her 30's, has made other traumatic experiences pale in comparison.  My divorce really wasn't that bad, Memere passing was heart wrenching, but she had lived a full life and was ready to go.  She made peace with us and herself.  With her demons and God. 

These were also major life changes, total uprooting of my life and the loss of another family member, but I was able to see the positive, the silver lining if you will. 

I mean, I had my Great Grandmother until I was nearly 30.  I was so lucky!  I still have one complete set of Grandparents now, just past my 30th Birthday.  My parents are so young, especially to have a child who is 30, my mother is 47 and my father is 49.  I have many, many years left with them.  My ex and I were miserable, now we are both happy.  He is re-married and I am engaged.  And I am as happy as all get out!

My point is that this one truly horrific day, has made me so much stronger.  I am able to see the silver lining on nearly every cloud.  I am able to be calm and reassuring to those around me who aren't able to be as strong, and I know, that even when it hurts, and ever when we are at our most devastated and desperate, life does indeed, go on.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Ifyou have ever read my blog before you should know I ADORE Halloween!  It's my favorite and I will have my wedding on Halloween so that I can have an Awesome Halloween/steampunk/victorian Masquerade Ball, with a Star wars twist.  I know right!

Anywho, I am looking for fun easy work appropriate crafts to do for my desk.  I have this big empty space on one corner and I don't know what to put there.  It's not really useful for work space as I can't really reach it from where I sit.  My Birthday is in the Summer, so there are usually flowers there and after thanksgiving I have my Christmas Tree.  (Which is Awesome and I will post a tutorial on it later this year!)  But, From September through Mid November and January through June it's a big glaring empty space.  And it drive me crazy.

Here are some Ideas I have had and their pros and cons:
Jack O'Lantern:

Pro: Takes up enough space!  Fall colors!
Con: rots quickly, more Halloween than Fall, might look silly after Halloween.

Glitter Pumpkins!
Good right through thanksgiving!
Paint will seal it!


Leaves of some kind
Good all season

Would have to be fake because I live in Florida and we dont get foliage...

Im thinking glitter punpkins?  You?

Whatever I decide I will make it this weekend! And pictures will come soon!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mandee's Musings

Men are Weird

I realize that if any of you are men, live with men, or know men, this comes as no surprise.  But seriously, I. Don't. Get. It.
The purse fear in particular is one that I struggle with. 

Me: Hun, can you get my phone for me?

J: Sure, where is it?

Me: In my purse.

J: ...

Five minutes later brings me my entire purse.

J: Here you go.

Me: Thanks, but I only needed my phone.

J: Yeah I don't look in purses.

Me: But it's my purse.  You already know what's in it.

J:  Yeah, no.  You keep lady stuff in there.

Me:  What?  so you can go to the store and buy me tampons, but you cant look in my purse because you might see one?  That's fucked up.

J:  I'm sorry I learned when I was a kid never to look in any woman's purse.  It stuck.

Me: ...
Walks off.

I mean, reallyWomen use tampons/maxi pads.  Is this some sort of secret?  I'm pretty sure most people are aware of this from about age 10.  What is so intimidating to men about purses?

Seriously, my husband will go to the store and buy tampons.  No big deal.  Why is it different once it's in a purse?  I mean, it's not used it's the same exact thing you buy in the store.  Maybe because it's out of the box? Is there some crazy secret out there that I don't know about?  Like does seeing a tampon outside of the box give you "lady parts"?  Or do your eyes and ears start to bleed if you look upon feminine hygiene products as a man?  WTF?

 I dunno.  This is making my head hurt.

Monday, October 1, 2012

I was plannin' on a day off Mother Fucker.

This is an actual conversation had with m husband driving home from picking him up at work late on a Sunday night.

J: Freedom!

Me: Rough night?

J: just tired, and hot.  Can't wait to get home!

Me: We have to stop at the grocery store for soda and corn bread to go with the chili I made.

J: Fine.  Then I am going to play SWTOR* until my eyeballs fall out.

Me:   that might be a problem.  I mean, I would still love you and take care of you if you were blind.  But it would be a real downer and a pain in the ass.  I mean if you could just stop right before the actually fell out that would be really helpful.

J: You totally just killed my buzz.

Me: I mean I guess if they fell out but didn' like Detach or anything we could go to the emergency room and have them put back in right?  Just give me some warning so I already have pants on and I'm ready to go right when it happens.  (Pause) Plus!  then I can call in and get to have a day off!  Awesome!

J: Uh yeah.  But don't go planning on that day off or anything.  Cause I'm not sure if my eyes will actually fall out and I'd be kinda pissed to wake with you taking a fork to my eye all like "I was plannin' on a day off Mother Fucker"

Me: Spoon.

J: ?

Me: i would use a spoon, not a fork, cause then it would be all holey and useless if they put it back in.  (Pause) The bad kind of holey not the good Jesus kind.

J: ...

True Story.

*SWTOR = Star Wars The Old Republic.  Its a game, like WOW, but WAAAAAAY cooler

Mandee's Musings

Like Chicken.

Someone used the phrase, "Running around like a chicken with it's head cut off" the other day.  And I had a chuckle.  As twisted as it is, watching headless chicken run around sans it's head, can be kind of funny, in a seriously dark way.  And if you are a child when you witness said act, it could cause trauma and thousands of dollars in therapy.  Just sayin'.
Like this, only more headless and bloody
Anyway then I thought about a human being running around all headless and I was entertained.  Then OI thought, how would one become headless in a way that would leave you running around?  Oh!  I know!  T-Rex!

You may of may not already know this, but I have an irrational fear of Dinosaurs*.  So immediately anything bad that happens inexplicably, I blame Dinosaurs.  So of course  that's how one would end up headless and running around.  It was dark, and the T-Rex was all still and you didn't notice it then BAM!  It takes off your head!  And thus you are running around like a chicken with its head cut off. 


*I know what you're thinking!  "Dinosaurs aren't real"  Yes, yes they are.  Fossils and science have proved it.  Now you're thinking "But they're extinct".  No. They. Are. Not.  I give you exhibits A-E: Crocodiles, Alligators, Giant SeaTurtles, Giant Squid and Nessy**!  THE END.

** What do you mean you don't know who Nessy is!  The Lochness Monster!  DUH!  You really need to get out more.