Sunday, October 7, 2012

I'm Ready

My Dad called me earlier in the week.  Normally most people would think that wasn't such a big deal, but when my Dad calls me, it is.  He's usually the one who asks my Mom to call me and she relays back to him whatever is my answer.  Every once in a while though, he calls me and I pay attention.  His birthday is later this month and that may be why he suddenly is emotional and all mooshy.

He told me how he thinks about me every day and that, while his mind is sharp, his body is not-so-much and that he doesn't want to "go to the great beyond worrying about me. Even though I am 50 years old, he thinks of me as his little girl".  We left it at "Dad, you can worry about me.  I can't stop you.  But please, don't fret about me.  I'm much better now than I was this time last year."

He seemed OK with that.

My Dad is the sort who shows his love with gifts and financial help.  While I was married, I can honestly say I never asked for any help at all from him but he always sort of knew when I was close to the edge of some sort of financial crisis.  Probably my ex getting laid off again was a good clue.  And my Dad never failed to offer help just when I needed it most.

He helped with the mortgage, the girls' tuition, a new van when the rear wheel drive one I was driving couldn't get up the driveway in winter.  He offered art work he tired of to fill the walls when I moved in to a place that had lots of walls and higher ceilings than I'd ever had before.

When both girls were born, he gifted them money to start a college fund and added to it every birthday and Christmas.  My oldest got to enjoy the benefits of 4 years of college at a state school and graduated with no debt.  My youngest has a father who pillaged her college account to the tune of about $25,000-$30,000 in less than 6 months and now she struggles on a day-to-day basis trying to deal with the knowledge that a) her father ruined a future that she was guaranteed at birth and b), see a.

Back in August 2011, I had the option of changing my name as a part of the divorce and in my heart, I knew I wasn't ready to make that decision.  I had had my married name longer than my maiden name and my kids had my same last name and I agonized and spoke to everyone I knew who had been through this and I ultimately decided I would keep the status quo and I could always go back and change it at some other time.

Fast forward to this past week when my lawyer forwarded to me correspondence that my ex had sent her...the most condescending load of crap I had the misfortune of reading and he closed his email with a derogatory comment about my parents,  people who had helped us in our marriage and loved him as a son for 28 years and here he had the audacity to bad mouth them all while asking me for a "favor".

And it all became clear.  The man who has stuck by me, loved me and even still to this day worries about me even though I am 50 years old has proven to me what the true character of a man is.

I'm changing my name back.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Water's Fine

I have spent quite a few years of my life trying to be a collector of this or that.  Usually it starts with gusto and then comes to a fizzling hissssss...

Case in point (long time readers of the other blog may even remember this).  My painted birdhouse collection.

Last I saw of them, they were in a picture on top of a soon to be aflame bonfire.  Peach of a man I divorced, no?  What did I expect from a man who gave away all my clothes though, really.

I have also tried to be a hobbyist of some sort.  Gardening was a way of life that I suppose could be called a hobby.  I have over the years attempted candle making, latch hooking, crossword puzzling (and really, all the puzzles are just what I do for sanity so I don't call them hobbies.)

A few weeks ago though, I made beer with my best friend Mike from the hops we grew on his brother's farm.  Now really, what can be better than combining a hobby (growing) with a collection (er, empties on my counter?)?  And so it went!  And it was spectacular.  We made 6 cases and will now home brew smaller batches with the knowledge that we gleaned from the experts at the local help-you-brew place.

And I am thinking I may want to try and make wine now.  Anyways, a tiny spark has been lit.

Friday, September 7, 2012

So, How Are You?

I have a new post, all written and ready to go and for the first time in my life I am holding back on publishing it.  I need to make sure all my facts are straight, lest I hurt one of the ones I love the most.  I may just get enough satisfaction in the writing of it.

So I have this new job and have been busy there.  No news on the relationship/love life but that's OK.  I'm no where near ready for that.  I need to one day assume not all men are assholes but I am no where near ready to admit that.

Next Thursday the 13th I turn 50.  50.  Fifty.  Fif-ty.  5-0.


I am definitely NOT my mother's 50.

I feel good.  Based on the many comments that people love to give over the course of a day, I think I look good.

At least my hair isn't falling out from stress.

Speaking of hair...I lost my hair virginity last week.  Did I tell you about this lovely conversation with my Mother?  I think I may have.

Her: Let me know when you get those highlights.
Me: Mom, what highlights?
Her: I though you said you were getting highlights in your hair?
Me: No, I never said that!
Her: Well, you need to decorate the bait!
As if I...need, from my Moth...OK I DID IT!

I admit it and also I did not do it to cast bait to reel anyone in but I really do like it and the reaction from people has been varied from "you look so well rested after your trip to the lake" or "have you lost weight?"  A couple streaks of blond hair is so fucking powerful!

Monday, July 16, 2012

It's Been a While

In fact, it's been so long, Blogger went and changed their format so the dashboard looks very similar to Wordpress (once I remembered my sign-in, that is).

It has been an interesting couple of months.  I got a new, 3rd job to go along with the two I already had.  The two I already had were fitness jobs (that I have done for the past 16+ years) and I was so hoping I wouldn't have to quit those.  I love my older folks and the group is so spectacular to work with.  It took a while but I found a job that is completely unrelated to fitness but is just as physically demanding.  I could not work behind a desk for 8 straight hours, even if you paid me :).

The new job is working in a flower shop that is attached to a high end boutique.  It's in downtown Frederick so I can walk to that job as well.  I work on the flower shop side and will be learning how to make bouquets on demand for customers as well as boutonnieres, bouquets and centerpieces for weddings etc...I have already done some things that were incorporated into various parties and weddings and as far as I know, no one has complained at their amateurishness.  My boss is pretty demanding in that anything not up to par would be re-done anyways.

My oldest daughter has been living with me since her discharge from the army.  She started a new job last month and is starting to look for an apartment.  I've told her there is no rush and that she can take her time to find a nice, safe place to live.  We spent the day yesterday in DC after looking at a promising apartment in NW, then found some nice dive bars amongst the ritzy hotels of Dupont Circle to chill in for lunch and cocktails.  Fun times.

I'm continuing to meet some very interesting people and am slowly learning how to trust people (or at least whom not to trust).  I've been burned once since my divorce and I am learning how not to make that same mistake.  I've made it a priority to nurture the friendships I've made with women.  It's interesting.  Women in our forties are just not as bitchy to each other as women in our 20's.  Well, I should say, I've learned to spot the bitches and steer clear of them.  I feel strong and confident.  More so than I have ever felt in my entire life.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Heron Now

I've been obsessed with the Heron nest cam at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  For many weeks now, I haven't been able to get enough of those birds.  I got to see the 4th egg laid and the 5th egg hatch.  I've watched the videos of the owl attacks and my heart raced even though I knew everyone was OK well in advance of watching it.

It's pretty sweet, seeing how the Great Blue Heron couple works as a team, taking care of first the eggs and now the chicks.  It's been unseasonably hot in NY this week and the way the parents stand over the chicks in the path of the sun, shielding them from the heat from the sun is just so sweet.

So, this time of year is weird.  I want to plan and plant but I can't.  So what did I do instead?  I signed up for a Tough Mudder. (noisy site so be warned.)  I know.  Insanity.  I've started training and changed the way I eat and am working with an acupuncturist and a chiropractor to alleviate the chronic issues from stress that have manifested as pain in my body.  The Tough Mudder is 5 days before I turn 50.  I think it's safe to say that this is going to be a life changing event.  It's going to be 10X more Roar-worthy than other things I have done and I intend to take it very seriously.  If nothing else, it's a fund raiser for the Wounded Warriors.  Which? How can you find fault in that?

In other news:

I have daughter #1 back home.  She is on the job hunt, or will be eventually after globe trotting all over the place getting re-acquainted with her old, non-army friends.

Daughter #2 just finished her first year of college and has a job at a restaurant on the Eastern Shore and loving her 3 kittens that her cat had.  If she knew this site existed, I'd say "fix those cats, A!"

As for me, I'm even more aware how women need to be there for each other.  I fucked up this week and let some people down. People that I care deeply about and all I can do is hope they forgive me.  Thankfully I have made some good friendships with women and one in particular reassured me, after I told her the whole story tonight, that I didn't do anything so terrible that it can't be repaired.  I thought so too, but time will tell.  I hate feeling like this.  I don't like feeling like I let people down.  But until they talk to me, I won't know exactly how much damage I have done.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Every first Saturday of each month, my town has a themed street festival. Most shops stay open later than usual and restaurants are packed full of locals and tourists alike. Since I moved downtown, I haven't attended a single one of them.

I didn't really understand why. I mean, all I have to do is walk a couple blocks and I am there. I do that walk all the time but for some reason, the idea of walking down there during any "event" just paralyzes me.

It's not the walk itself of course. It's the idea of wandering through large groups of friends and families stretched the width of the sidewalk. Of negotiating past lovers holding hands and laughing together, young parents pushing strollers and keeping toddlers entertained.

This morning, I realized I haven't left my house since Friday afternoon. I've just hung out, reading my library books and cooking meals for one. I'm getting much better at being alone but sometimes, the loneliness can be crushing. Still, I'd rather be lonely and alone than lonely living with someone who ignores me. There is always that.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

It's Hard to Focus On Just Me...

...when I used to blog about 3 other people, 2 dogs, 2 goats and occasional cats.

Not to mention my garden. This is the first time in 30+ years I haven't had a garden to plan, plot, nurture, tend to. Then plant, weed, pluck and basically figure a way to keep the damn goats out of there.

I'm not asking for a garden at someone else's place. I'm not saying I necessarily need one. Maybe I do. Not here where I live though. I worry that my old asparagus patch has done nothing but been sent to fern. I wish I could have donated my finally fruitful blueberry bushes to someone who would have appreciated them.

Don't even get me started on how much I miss composting. I've done the city plot composting before and needless to say, I'm pretty sure my new-ish neighbors don't want me attracting rats.

I want to know how my crocus did, how my daffodils spread, how my Nanking Cherry bushes have fared during this unseasonably early spring. If the deer are eating everything, if the bird feeder is getting filled.

I want to know that everything I did in my life before has meaning...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


So, I almost forgot this blog existed. I think I have vented and purged as much as I can here and so now we shift gears a bit. I am done dwelling on the past. The past is done, over, and I am ready to move on.

A good friend asked me recently if I wouldn't be happier to have a boyfriend. Someone who is local, and ready to become part of my life. The answer is, um, NO! It's not to say that if someone came along who was nice and interesting that I wouldn't consider going out with him. Guaranteed though, the first time he asked me why I didn't answer his text right away I'd lose it and tell him to get lost, controlling bastard.

I have met a ton of new people, none of whom ever knew me as a wife, mother, sister or daughter to anyone and that has been awesome. Right now, I feel like the most good I can do for myself is to nurture the female friends that I have made. Believe me, I thought I had some good local ones before, but nothing says seriously? you've lost your touch on the judge of character thing when they all disappeared as soon as I needed them most.

I have made some great new women friends over the past 8 months and while I miss my old friends (the college ones that I don't get to see that often), it helps me to get through most days knowing I have this new, local support system. Let's face it, women can be the best medicine for each other. Just stay away from the bitches! :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sweet Emotion

One of the hardest things for me to have learned about myself through all this intense counseling is that I am an all-or-nothing, do-or-die, black-and-white perfectionist procrastinator.

That's a helluva-lot to digest.

Especially once one realizes it is indeed all true.

(I just looked out the window, swung side to side in my chair [that I put together, ROAR!] and took a deep breath, heavy sigh combo)

The theme this week was: emotions. I couldn't figure out why I wasn't getting the A-Ha! moment that I wanted from all the goddammed crying I was doing last week. And while my counselor today was explaining to me about how my dominant logical self wants resolution to every! damn! thing! that comes super-suppressed Emotional side is clamoring for someone, anyone to recognize she exists.

So blubber away, emotional side. I see ya, and I'll raise ya. Because now I know the secret. I can let you and your emotions into the pool, but I know now where the ladder is so that I can climb out. I'll meet you at the Balance Beam...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

In The Mean Time

I am able to handle quite a bit. I've lived through a nightmare of false accusations and punishments for someone else's imagination. I can suffer with the best of 'em and still come out the other side relatively whole. I am way stronger than I ever thought I could be and I have managed to survive an exhaustively gut-wrenching series of counseling sessions that would fell most people.

And yet.

I am naive. I am innocent. I like to think I am a good judge of character. I am (apparently) not. I trust people when they tell me things. I believe them when they say they are going to do whatever it is they say they are going to do. I look for the positive and want to help my friends if they need an ear, a shoulder, a hug. Respite from the chaos of their own lives. I assume they would do the same for me.

And yet.

I am hurt. I have feelings. I am capable of feeling sad, hurt, angry. Confused. I never expect the same level of interest in my life that I show to others' problems, issues, concerns. But I have problems that I wish someone would want to help unburden me from. It's not easy for me to bring someone in to my life. It's not easy for me to feel vulnerable.

And yet.

I have never felt so vulnerable, so confused, so hurt and so foolish as I do tonight.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


One of the consequences of living in a constant state of fight-or-flight preparedness is that for the time being, it's perfectly acceptable for one's body to survive on cortisol and adrenalin and maybe insulin as well. I'm no doctor (or crazy scientist) and have probably only scratched the surface of that subject doing my research. But it's a fact that the body is flooded with hormones that keep us prepared to react to whatever happens in our lives. That's what it is supposed to do for survival.

These reactions are only supposed to be a short term solution to a temporary situation and eventually we are supposed to right ourselves out. When that doesn't happen, eventually the body experiences consequences that can lead to chronic problems. That is what I think happened to me. When I had pneumonia in October of 2010, it was a wake up call to me that I had let myself become run down and I knew that my defenses couldn't defend me. It was only a scratch in the surface of my wall of defense. Little did I know that pneumonia would be the easy part.

Fast forward to now. I am in constant pain. Every joint in my body is achy but I don't have any redness or inflammation. I diagnosed myself with having chronic pain issues due to an overabundance of stress. I have to diagnose myself because I don't have health insurance anymore. I paid it as long as I could (about a year) after my dead-beat ex stopped paying it soon after his own daughter was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I just couldn't keep up the huge payments.

So I am doing what works for me. So far at least. A combination of chiropractic care and acupuncture treatments for the past three weeks seems to finally be working. That, along with my continued counseling. Today I feel pretty good for the first time in over six months. I truly believe that once my body feels better, all the other pieces will fall into place; better sleep and a more positive attitude will go a long way towards improving my general health and well-being. Cheers to that!