Friday, December 13, 2013

Color Me Flabbergasted

I have to say, I have come to an interesting point of self-revelation.

My friend L got me this job at the flower shop.  It was a call out of the blue.  A random, oh yes!  I need a job...what? Sure I can come in today, I have no other plans...

And then a mad scramble to re-do my plans...

It took a while to settle in and I have to say, with my friend L working there and being so obviously unhappy, it was a stressful situation for sure.  But she and I had been friends for a while and I stuck it out because she put in a good word for me and I needed the job.

L ended up leaving for a job that better suited her and honestly, my life became easier.  My work situation lost a lot of the stress and after a tentative, albeit brief, trial-of-loyalty, I proved myself to be exactly what my boss needed.  She described me as the "glue that holds us all together".  Which was fine with me.  At the time.

I've been there almost two years now and wow, how things have changed.  I had a chance to talk with my boss about things and she told me she hired me, not just because of my friend L but because I have been at my other job for 17+ years and that I have gardened all my life and I had a hops yard at my friend's farm.

I told her I wanted the job originally because I have never had the opportunity to explore the creative side to myself.

Suddenly I find myself creating arrangements that are being quite well received.  I don't in any way consider myself a designer yet but I feel like someday I will legitimately be able to call myself one.  I have the faith and confidence of who I consider the best designer in the Mid-Atlantic, telling me that my creations are beautiful and she's putting her name behind everything that goes out the door.

It's hard work, the pay sucks and I couldn't be happier.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Time. It gets away.

I think I have officially bored myself with this blog.  I feel like...grrrrrr

I feel like screaming.  And maybe throwing stuff too.

This fucking laptop just deleted everything I wrote and I have no idea what I did.


And now I'm afraid to get back so I will not try and remember what I wrote and will forge on...

My 24-year old daughter and I took an awesome road trip last weekend to, believe it or not, Cleveland, OH.  She won tickets to a Browns game so we drove up and had a leisurely weekend strolling the streets of downtown Cleveland and staying in a hotel (rather than my parents' house).  We managed to sneak in and out in between storms so the timing was perfect.

The Browns, however, continue to break our hearts.

Oh, and today we got 7.5 inches of snow.  While I was out watching the weekly heart-break that is my favorite team, someone came along and shoveled my sidewalk and walkway to my front door.  I have no idea who to thank for that but it was probably not the two drunk guys who offered to shovel a path for me while I was walking home this evening.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Hey Hey, My My

Yeah, it's been a while.  Once again, I forgot to see where I left off before I started this so I apologize if I repeat myself.  Did I tell you I got hit by lightning?  Again?  So I have a lap top now.  And all of my old pictures and important legal documents are all on an external hard drive now.  Thankfully I have a kid who knows how to put them there.  Sadly, I have no idea how to access them if I need them.

Remember back when my ceiling caved in during Hurricane Sandy?  We are in the midst of some good hard rains now and when I got home from work, I soon recognized that sickening drip...........drip, drip.....drip..dripdrip and my heart sunk.  Because I have the best landlord and I hate giving him bad news.  Of course the alternative is to own this house and have to deal with this myself. I choose plan A.

You know, apart from having to learn a whole new keying system with this laptop (I hate it, quite frankly), I am pretty darn happy these days.  I think I may finally have figured out the secret to being alone and happy.  I think you actually have to be happy while alone.  Simple really.  But not so easy.

There is a sense of peace once that sweeps over you.  Once you realize, hey, I've got my shit together and I am in the driver's seat of my life. Both of my jobs are going great and I'm learning a whole new creative side to my personality and abilities I never knew I had. And everything feels right.  Because I think I may have found what my right-sized life is.  It's simple.  It's uncomplicated.  And I finally get to put myself first. (Plus I occasionally sneak out of town and no one has a clue where I am.  And that is pretty damn cool.)

Friday, July 12, 2013

I Apologize

I hate to sound so bitchy.  I really do.  There are some good things in my life and while I miss hanging out with certain friends of mine, I am very happy that they are happy.  I really mean that.

I miss so many people.

But my days are filled and for the most part things are going pretty well.  I love both my jobs.  I just signed a lease for my third year in this house.  That's important to me because at least my home base stays stable and constant.  I couldn't ask for a better landlord.

Speaking of my house, my cable got hit by lightning for the second time since I've lived here.  Last month, I heard the exact same pop and fizz that happened when I got hit soon after I moved in.  This time my old trusty desktop just couldn't take the punishment and refused to be resuscitated.  I'm now typing on a new laptop and quite frankly, I don't like it. But, it was what I could afford at a time when I really didn't need an added expenditure. This time, I told my landlord about it, since this house is the only one in the row of rowhouses that has been affected.  Hopefully he can figure it out.  Or he can perhaps hire a kid who can explain it to the both of us.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Still Waiting...

...although I am getting smart enough to realize that that good mojo is not happening any time soon.

Knowing that gives me some control over the situation.  I guess.

It's interesting, this world of ours. The things we notice from different perspectives are, well, different.  When I was part of a couple, I never realized how couple-centric everything was.  But hey, as a single woman, I notice it all...the 2-for-1 world we live in is so geared towards couples and dates and gahhhh...

I am increasingly becoming the third wheel in so many aspects of life.  From the lovely family beach photos on Facebook (which I am starting to resent...I mean really.  How many fucking pictures of your vacation at the beach am I supposed to look at and pretend that I am happy for you?  I sense a mass un-friending about to happen) to the ever insistent bargain deal at Applebees/Olive Garden/Friday's nastiness promoting shared apps and desserts.

I'm so tired of being surprised by all of this. I shouldn't be.  I've been single long enough to know all this.  But lately...lately it has been harder.  My single divorced girlfriend, who I had a ton-o-fun with has a new boyfriend and I never see her anymore.  Even my daughter who I love to hang out with a couple times a week has a new boyfriend.  At least he likes me and we get along great but I don't want to be that pity inclusion anymore.

The funny thing is...I don't want a boyfriend.  I want my fun girlfriends to hang out with again.

I might change my mind about that boyfriend thing.  Someday.  Once I find someone who can prove not all men are assholes.  I'm not that desperate to join the couples world.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I Need Some Good Mojo

They say bad things come in threes.  Or is it celebrity deaths only?  I think it's all bad things so I am sticking with that.  Can they also come in multiples of threes?  Or like, say, three days/weeks/months/years in a row?

I need some good news.  Some good happenings.

On Mother's Day, I was walking with my daughter in sandals and in an unfamiliar part of town and while I was talking, I tripped over an uneven sidewalk and landed on my wrists and knees.  One knee split open and is taking forever to heal.  The other just bruised nicely.  My hands are another story.  They hurt like a sum'bitch.  I haven't had a chance to rest them at all.

I work in the flower shop, you may recall, and the past three weekends have been crazy what with First Saturday (Mayfest) in Frederick in which every merchant in town gave away a free flower in a "build-a-bouquet" progressive shopping deal.  Guess who opened all those boxes and cut in the thousands of flowers for the pleasure of being harassed all day for a fucking free flower from a Flower Shop.  Dudes, all those free flowers you have in your hot little hands?  Yeah, those ones right there...I touched every damn one of them but this here is our livelihood.  Shit here ain't free.  Go away.


Then there was Mother's Day and the beginning of wedding season the next weekend.  Plus, a funeral.

Then yesterday, after spending about 5 hours pulling weeds in the hops yard (by hand, lest we break any of the new growth) and just about crying from the pain in my hands, I got hit by a deer heading home= on a twisty county road in rural Pennsylvania.  And I know I had to have been squeezing the crap out of that steering wheel as I was sure that poor thing was being dragged under my car.  So yeah, more hands drama.

I finally got to the only service station in the area about 10 minutes after the accident.  I did inspect the car at the scene and to my surprise saw the doe running off in to the woods.  It didn't seem too bad until I got out again at the station and saw all sorts of things that had the potential to fly off the car on the highway home.  A very nice truck driver helped me bungee up the car and tomorrow I go for the estimate and probably a rental car.

Also, I did not win Powerball.

Wait, that is three.  Maybe I'm due for an upswing.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Gingerly, walking

I tell ya.  I've never, ever experienced a situation like the one I had tonight.

Dude, I don't even know.

So...I have this friend who is under massive stress.  And also, I've been there.

This person means the world to me but his flat out, bat shit attack on me has made me wonder...I I fucking have to deal with this again??  I am reeling with the events of the evening.

So, what does that say about me?

How much am I supposed to accept?  I think I  know the answer.  I just don't want to make the decision to end it.  I think I have to, but it is not what I want.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Hey, Hey, What Can I Say?

I admit it.  I miss so many things about my former life.  No, not the drama and  the targeted abuse.  But I dearly miss my garden.  I had a fairly well established garden that was pretty "edible landscaped" inspired.  By the time I left there, I was well on my way to a decent asparagus patch, a prolific blueberry garden and all  the bees, birds and butterflies that wanted to hang out were welcome.

I suppose I should be happy that my ex's girlfriend is a gardener.  No, I don't suppose.  I am actually quite happy about that.  For how destructive he was (burn, baby, burn) I am glad he at least picked a woman who can carry on with what I started.  And run with it.  Lord knows, she needs all the distractions she can get.  By all accounts, she seems to understand what I started.

The flower shop job satisfies a bit of that.  Going to my friend's farm will hopefully do a better job at that this year.  Either way, it will never be the same.  It just won't.  I'm going to have to find a new way to satisfy that part of me.

Saturday, March 30, 2013


I've discovered something pretty darn wild.

Back when I lived in the woods, early on, I spent so much time paying attention to the sounds of the wild.  I remember soon after I moved in there, I almost called 911 after hearing what I thought was a woman being assaulted deep in the woods.  Once I paid attention, I realized it wasn't human at all and it and was moving at such a fast rate along the creek that it had to be some sort of mating call/ritual.  I'm thinking bobcat/fox.  I never did figure it out exactly.

The funny thing is, I didn't realize how much I really did not hear actual human voices there until I moved back in to town.  When I lived in the woods, I heard birds in unison. In town, I hear them one by one.  (Which helps me when I lie in bed on weekend mornings, identifying them by their unique voices.)  Same goes for squirrels.  I'm not quite at the point of naming the critters but when I do, they will have names like "Yappy", "Squeaky" and "Get off my porch ".

I told you about the bat in my house right?  I can't remember...but in 11 years in the woods, I never had a bat in the house.  In the city?  Yup.  That was a wild night.

So, back to voices.  I think the hardest part about moving back in to the city was getting used to the voices of people.  Just the ordinary conversations.  People walking by, talking.  The mrrmmmrrrmmmrr through the walls of the row houses.  The laughter, the screaming, the day-to-day unrelenting chatter.  And I thought I was going to lose my mind, just a little bit.

When Emily was living with me, she named the neighbors (Smoking Guy, Lady with 7 kids from 4 different fathers, Naked guy with open curtains, Grandma on the porch all day...) and I was fascinated by her insight because I was trying to tune them all out.  They were all Noisy Neighbors and I heard them all in unison.  Now I am learning to hear them one by one.

But something else...I've also learned to not hear them.  Today, my neighbor was out screaming his head off at another neighbor and I think it had been going on for about 5 minutes before the message got to my brain that there was a commotion and maybe I should pay attention.  It was sort of entertaining in a way.

A week ago I texted my daughter that she moved out and is missing all the excitement up here on the North end of town.  Firetrucks, ambulances, police cars, and she said "go out and see what is going on" and I was all "eh, I'm taking a shower but I hear some guy out there screaming about how much it hurts"  and she was all "Go investigate!" and I said, "nah, I'm naked and getting in the shower"  and then she said "perfect, you can cause another accident!"

She has my sense of humor...

(As it turns out, some 20 year old woman got in a fight with her baby daddy and when he got out of the car, she sped up, jumped the curb and hit him with her car then sped off.)

I didn't think I could get used to all the human voices when I first moved in here.  Turns out I can...and then some.

(His injuries don't appear to be life-threatening.)

Friday, March 22, 2013


The other night, my daughter and I went to a bar that I never go's been open for about a year and I think I have been there about 3 times.  Ever since she has moved out, she's been trying to decide what her new local bar will be.  (Seriously, she moved about 10 blocks south of here.  Pretty much all of downtown Frederick is your local bar but I'll play along.)   We hadn't been there for a minute and a half but, while I was talking to a friend of mine, I realized the bartender was, sort of, talking to me only he was calling me "Barbette".  Which, of course I don't answer to Barbette.  But I wanted a beer so I'm inclined to notice when the bartender is nearby and as soon as I turned my head to give him my order, I could see the disappointment that I was not, in fact, Barbette.  And then he told me how I was not Barbette (as if I may not know that) and then decided to get on with his job of gettin' me that beer.

About 45 minutes later, I'm walking back from the bathroom and a woman at the bar yells at me, "Hey Barbette!  Hi!"  And then when I look right at her she says (you guessed it) "Oh, you're not Barbette, but wow!  You look so much like her!"  And all I can think is damn, what sort of mom names a kid Barbette? And also?  Now, I have to see this woman who two separate people mistook me for in one hour long period in a bar in Downtown Frederick Maryland.

I have to now wonder about an incident that happened the previous weekend (the same day Red Beard thought I was pregnant).  I went to the flower shop where I work.  It was a Sunday and my friend Lisa was working the boutique side (the flower shop is not open on Sundays) and I knew she would be bored.  Plus I needed her to tell me I did not, in fact look pregnant.  Anyways, she had a spurt of customer activity so I hung out in case she needed me or needed to use the bathroom or what have you and this one woman came in and sort of started a conversation with me only it was kind of like a fishing expedition.  She finally said, "I know I know you from somewhere..." and then rattled off all the improbable ways she could know me.  Me: No, I am not in a band, No, I don't go to Hagerstown to watch bands.  No, I'm pretty sure that I was not involved in that...

And then she said, "I know we will see each other again someday".

That crazy Barbette.  I hope she is some smokin' hot 30 year-old babe that people keep calling "Liz".  But wouldn't that mess up her day if we ever meet and she finds out Liz is a 50 year-old mother of two?  Yeah, not likely, but this is my blog so I get to make up that ending.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

So, here we go

Today, in the span of about 2 minutes I went from way up here to way down there.  That's a bit of an exaggeration and so you are warned.  It was a beautiful day today and I guilt-ed myself in to getting up and at 'em because all I did yesterday was lie around bra-less in sweat pants, watching sappy movies on the Hallmark Channel.  Prior to yesterday, I didn't know the Hallmark Channel existed.  But I was in that sort of mood.  Actually, I did go for an appointment at 9AM and then got a pedicure so it wasn't all a lost cause and okay, yeah...I was hungover and so the Hallmark Channel was the result of the remote being wayyy over there and I'd already taken my bra off and the blanket...the COUCH blanket was somehow positioned just so and, well, I'm sure you get the idea.

So, today.  I got up, all fresh from all the rest I got and realized I could not waste another day, another nice early March spring tease of a day, bra-less in my sweat pants on the couch.  I even decided to shave a few things.

I got out my old skinny jeans, a black t-shirt with sparkles on it (I am not a sparkles-type girl..this was a donated item), a black sweater and some super cool boots I own (read:comfortable, but also cute) and set out to do a few things but not a whole lot of anything.  I got about three blocks in and a dude did the 'ole, look good...

I did what any normal 50-year old would do which is to first check...are you talking to me??  Then the hahaha, of course you were, I do look good. And hey, thanks!  Swagger, swagger.

You know none of that happened, right?  Except the hey, you look good and the thanks.

A block and a half later, I saw one of Frederick's homeless, Red Beard and asked him about his health and made sure his cane was near-by and as I turned to continue on down the street he shouted at me "hey!  Your're pregnant??!!"

I am throwing away the black sweater.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


So...where was I?  I removed the last post I wrote because it was such a downer.  Sure, I have downer moments but I don't want to give the impression that my life is in any way reflected in a negative way.  Every day can be whatever I want it to be.  That in itself can be a bit daunting, or at least it was when I started this whole process but I have mellowed and am now very comfortable with the new, day-to-dayness my life has become.

It's hard for me to believe that I have lived in my new rental house for over 20 months now.  There is something so carefree in it.  I take care of the basic needs the house has but when I have any problems, I call my most excellent landlord and dump the mess in his lap. I'm pretty sure I never wrote about how, when Hurricane Sandy swept through the area, my whole ceiling over my staircase caved in, after hours of me using every bucket and bowl to collect the water from the many leaks (and keeping my landlord up to date at the same time).  Quick tip that I learned from necessity: if you are ever faced with a leak that requires several buckets at once, to avoid going ape-shit insane from the variety and randomness of the drip...Drip...DRIP...drip..dripdrip...(arggghhhhh!), tear up an old sheet or towel and put a piece in the bottom of the bucket to muffle the sound.  It helped me to get a bit of sleep before the whole thing caved in.  That was a fun night.

The next morning though, my landlord was here with a shop-vac and a roofer was on the way.  So, that was cool.

My oldest daughter has been living with me since she has returned from the army, four years earlier than expected.  She has had a rough time of it during this transition and we have had our ups and downs as roommates but she seems to be pulling herself up and out of it and has made a new plan, one that I think will be very good for her.  She has found half a house to share and will be moving out mid-March.  I'm happy for her and will miss her.  But she'll only be about 10 blocks away so we will still be able to hang out a lot.

If you know me at all, you'll know that I have a thing for puzzles.  Always have.  Now I am beginning to understand the reasoning behind it all.  I like for the pieces to all fall in to place.  I like to restore order from chaos.  I like to see the big picture and have it make some sense.

I finally feel like I am on my way there.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Officially Official

It's done.  I went through the legal process of changing my name back to my maiden name.  On Tuesday I got my new driver's license and changed my bank account.  I'm a little overwhelmed by all the things that need changing still but I can honestly say I never wavered once I made this decision.

It's a little strange though.  This feeling of in-between-ness.  A lack of identity.  Sure, this name was mine, the one I was born with but still, I haven't had it since 1985.  I had it for less time than I had my married name.  Learning a new signature was weird.  My new-old name is harder to say than my married name.  I see it written and it's familiar enough.  My siblings and my parents all have it.

And yet, now at 50, I'm looking at my name on my new driver's license and the god-awful picture is not of me at 22, the last time I had that name on a driver's license.  It's a 50-year old woman who checks the 'yes' box that her height and weight are still the same.  I've been checking that box through several licenses so it must be true, right?  In the larger scheme of things, 10 pounds isn't really that big of a deal.

Good thing I'll have this license until 2020.  Is that a real date in time?  I never knew Maryland had licenses that lasted 7+ years but I figure when I renew on my 58th birthday in 2020, I'm pretty sure I'll still weigh the same.