Thursday, March 31, 2011


The one on the right is a bobblehead - I found that out when I nearly knocked over the speaker they're sitting on. I've got a bunch more pictures of these guys - Jimi's brother has all sorts of neat knick-knack stuff. I love it here.

I'm so glad to be on vacation. There's no internet here, so contact will be spotty. I love you though, so you know I won't stay away long...even if it means honing my thumb-typing skills on this here blackberry. I have so many things to tell you already - remind me to tell you about how the trolls ward off evil and how Jimi's brother is pretty sure he's not on the internet.

Ta-Ta for now!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Man, fuck work.

Sorry, not the best way to say "Happy Wednesday", huh?  It's been one of those days, though.  One of those day-before-you-leave-on-vacation-and-everything-sucks sort of days.

But it's 6:30 p.m., I'm posting my billing, and then I can finally head home and try to pretend I don't have any responsibilities for days and days. 

I decided against the guest blogger posts.  I'll post pictures straight from my phone and call them blog entries.  I don't care.  (Honestly, I meant to email the few of you who were awesome enough to volunteer, and then the days got away from me and now it's way too late, but I do appreciate the offers and I'll totally take you up on them the next time I go somewhere...assuming i can get my shit together before the day I'm supposed to leave, of course.)

I've got more, but for now, the posting is done and so am I.  Homeward bound, I am.  Till then, friends...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I have this bad habit of eating chocolate chips straight from the bag.  Last night, they were milk chocolate.  They were good.

Finn thought so too, it seems.  Apparently, I failed to put away the bag of chocolate chips.  (I do things like that pretty regularly.)  Finn found the chocolate chips, and then ate the remaining half bag of chocolate chips.  And then he puked them all over the floor.  And then the puke smelled so chocolatey delicious, he ate it too.  (I'm gagging while I type this, in case you were wondering.)

Fortunately, he was still able to greet me at the door.  And he seems just fine, all happy puppy bouncy crazy like always.

And I didn't vomit while I was cleaning the vomit from the floor.  Miracle of Miracles!!!  Seriously, I've got a bad aversion to vomit.  When I was 21, I worked in a daycare for about a year - 18 months to 3 years was my "class".  I've cleaned diaper explosions that spread the love from the top of the neck to the bottom of the feet without gagging (too much); the one time one of my charges puked on the floor, though?  I had to find the daycare director and ask her to clean the mess for me.

So I got the mess cleaned without making a mess of my own.  And then I went outside to check on the pup, and he's fine.  And then I came back upstairs, to crack open a beer and watch Judge Judy and pretend that I don't have a list of things that need to get done tonight - and then I found the shit on the floor.  Literally - he shit on the floor.  Not in our nook room, but the other, less-traveled room at the other end of the hall.

This entire situation is only kinda okay because the dog's not dead.

Monday, March 28, 2011

15 minutes of free-writing - again

I've done it before, but I'm not going to take the time to find it now.  I've been reading blogs for days, weeks, months - forever.  Fertility/infertility/parenting - it's everywhere.  I think I need to take a break from it all.  Maybe vacation is coming at the perfect time.  I can't wait.  I'm dreading the next two days at work, the fullness of them, but I can't wait to have so many days off in a row, to be away and doing things that aren't work.  With my favorite person by my side.

We moved our bedroom into the front room, the fire room, today.  The room that was our bedroom until about 7 o'clock tonight, we were going to turn it into a nursery there for about a week - now it'll be a big-ass walk-in closet.  I'm cool with this.  It's cheaper, for one.

I like this moving, upheaval thing we've been doing.  i like the change of it, the newness, the freshness.  And the fact that we're vacuuming each room as we go.  My sinuses are forever grateful.

I shaved my legs this weekend.  I don't think I had since the last time I blogged about it.  I'm not looking up how long ago that was, either.  It was too long.  Kimmie said I looked like a teenage boy - I let that marinate for a week or two and finally decided I was shamed enough to do something about it.  I always have the best of intentions - Kat used to shave every day.  Why can't I be more like that?  When the hairs are only a day old, it's easy to run a razor over your legs real fast while you're in the shower.  But I skip a day, then two, then a week, then four...and then you're hiking up your pantleg to show your co-worker/friend your shamefully long leghairs and for some reason it jars you when she says "you look like a twelve-year-old boy".

What the fuck am I talking about?

Let's talk about you - you there, reading this.  I love you.  I do.  You make me feel special.  Less than a month ago I had fewer than 45 people subscribed to this here life-expose'; now there are 90.  Whoa.  Really?  90 of you think I'm saying things here that are worth checking in on regularly?  I'm flattered.

And I love reading the things you all have to say.  I find so much comfort in the day-to-day of your lives, the struggles we share, the thoughts you have that I recognize as ones that I thought were only mine.  I had no idea this is what blogging could bring to my world, and I'm grateful to have found, or been found by, each of you.

And now Jimi's yammering something about something making fun of something on TV and this is my life and I wonder how in the world I got so lucky to be here, in this place, right now, at this time.  There is nothing I would change.  There is nothing I'd exchange or trade or switch.  This is my life, and my life is so good.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday: A Week In Review

Sunday again already?  Don't get me wrong, I love Sundays, I do - but Monday's right around the corner when Sunday comes around, and Monday's a bitch.  Let's not look forward and ruin our day just yet - let's look back.

This week, I showed you pictures of our upstairs that was transformed from empty storage space into hangout area when Jimi discovered one of our outlets was way overloaded and about to catch fire and kill us all any minute.  Oh, and we reconstructed the lamp and put up some better window treatments last night:

Better, no?  And I swear I've dusted that little table.  That table has a story, by the way.  (Of course it does - everything I own has a story.)  Anyhow, it was my Momma & Daddy's, years before my existence was considered.  And when Brother was 3, he busted his lip on the top of the table.  I remember watching it happen - I couldn't have stopped it.  The sound his little face made when it smacked that tabletop, and the look of pain and surprise on his face when he raised his eyes to mine just after - I'll never forget it.  Poor kid.

Moving on - I put a line out this week about guest bloggers, I got some new elephant rainboots, I showed you some pictures of my cluttered (AWESOME) desk at work.

This week is also ICWL, or International Comment Leaving Week.  (In my head, I replace "leaving" with "love" - international comment love week.)  Anyhow.  This was my first time, and I knew nothing about it before I linked up...and was a little concerned when I discovered all the other blogs that were linked up shared a common theme of infertility.  I didn't want anyone to think I was trying to crash the party - but my concerns were baseless and silly.  The women I've found and who've found me via this comment-love party, they're just amazing; strong, well-written, inspirational, encouraging, kind, funny, honest, open, brave.  

I got another odd-as-a-box-of-hair phone call from Mr. HR Director on Tuesday and decided that the next time he thinks it's appropriate to bring up my miscarriage at 8:15 in the morning before I've even had a chance to pour my first cup of coffee...well, we're going to have to have a chat.

Patty over at Another Cookie, Please! gave me the Incredibly Sweet Blog Award, and I finally got around to passing it along on Monday.

I've been putting off cleaning for forever, and I think the jig is finally up - today is the day the work must be done, if for no other reason than because we're leaving Thursday for 6 days and it's pretty rotten to come home exhausted from a vacation and find your house is just as much of a sty as when you left it.  Those damned cleaning gnomes, I just can't get them to stick around.  So I'm going to go do that.

And I'm so sad there's not Comment Love Sunday over at FTLOB today.  :(  <---That's my sad face.

Happy Sunday, Friends!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Images from the Upstairs

The room is small, and in desperate need of things to go on the walls (especially to cover the attic access - where the raccoon lives.)  But it's cozy and perfect for our needs.  We probably could use some proper window coverings.  Finn destroyed the blinds the first time we left him home alone with access to this room - he NEEDED to see outside, you see.  NEEDED.  Blinds be damned.  I use that old blue sheet to cover the windows at night - to keep the peepers out.  We don't own curtains, other than the sheers that cover the windows on the front of the house (sheers that were here when we moved in); well, Jimi "made" some light-cancelling drapes for the living room. (By "made", I mean he found some burgundy corduroy and cut it to length and hung it on a curtain rod via those rings that have clips on the bottom.)  Basically, we suck at decorating.  We live in a world of hodgepodge and I love it.

This is Squiggs.  He was Jimi's before we knew each other and he's one of my favorite pieces of art that we own.  He's had a rough go of it (note the flaked paint around his neck, where he's been folded for moving and storage), but I think the marks add character.  

Everybody needs a little Buddha.

 Hobart belonged to my Granny, and I've loved him since I was a small child.  I'm amazed that his ears haven't been destroyed over the years, but Granny was sure to let us know what was and was not appropriate when handling her breakable things.
 Hobart became mine after Granny died - but I wasn't able to take him home to El Paso with me.  For one, I'd flown to Kentucky, and while these were the days when you could still check most bags for free, trying to check a two-foot tall ceramic owl seemed a little intimidating.

And my husband (ex-husband) - he said the owl was ugly, and he didn't want it in his house.  This was all happening, I later learned, about 6 months after he'd decided he didn't want to be married anymore - just over a year before he would tell me his decision.  Looking back on much of the way he was to me during this time period, I can only conclude that he was trying to be as big a dick as possible, in hopes that I'd ask for divorce and save him the trouble.  That's the only reason I can imagine he would've used such mean words with me the day after we'd buried my beloved Granny, in regards to something that would always be cherished and remind me of her.

Jimi, though - Jimi was helping me get the last of my things that were stored at my Momma's house, shortly after we'd signed the lease on our first place together.  I'd shown him the owl sheepishly, apologizing for its appearance, but shyly explaining that it was my Granny's, and that it'd been one of my favorite of her possessions when I was a child.  Could we maybe find a place for it in our new home?  Somewhere out of the way, but a place where I could see it every now and then?

Our rental was a shotgun in the ghetto between Old Louisville and Germantown, and our master bedroom was the living room and held the entryway once-upon-a-time.  As a result, there had originally been no closet in the room, but somewhere along the way, someone built one out into the room - a 6' x 6' x 3' box that took up a corner, with plenty of space on top for storage due to the fact that the house had 12' ceilings.  We'd already piled up there disassembled chairs and boxes of crystal and such that had no place in the small confines of this new abode.

"We'll call him Hobart," Jimi declared.  "Hobart the Hoot Owl.  And he can live on top of the closet in our bedroom, and watch over us while we sleep to keep the bad things away."

This man makes me swoon.

Stuff about things.

I'm going shopping with Momma this morning and I'm going to be late because I'm doing this instead of putting on clothes or drying my hair.

ICLW is awesome.  Despite my trepidation that I'd waded into someone else's swimming hole, I've been welcomed to the party with open arms, kind words, and well-wishes.  There are some pretty amazing women out there in the bloggy world.

And what's up with the full moon this month?  Did it get like the whole world knocked up, or what?  Seriously - I think I've found eleventy hundred new blogs this week, and every other one is (tentatively) celebrating a BFP.  (Big fat positive - as in, on a pregnancy test - for those of you not in the know.)  Six months ago, I would've been tempted to chuck the laptop out the second floor window, but today?  It's super exciting and gives me hope that it'll be my turn one day too.

Jimi moved our hanging-out area to the upstairs this week because if he didn't our house was going to burn down and kill us all.  No, really.  The outlets in the front bedroom where we'd previously housed the TV and such were all old-school, with no third hole for the big plugs.  (I don't know what any of this shit is called - do you know what I'm talking about anyhow?)  We'd been using an adapter - it plugs into the two-hole plug and then has a 3-hole outlet on the side facing out of the wall.  Into that, we'd plugged our surge protector (I realize, in retrospect, that this was a horrible idea), and into the surge protector, we'd plugged everything else; TV, Blu-ray player, stereo, humidifier, space heater.  (The space heater scared the fuck out of me regularly, because the cord gets so hot the plastic on the plug becomes pliable, so for the last few weeks, I'd unplug the heater when it wasn't being used.)

Our internet was out on Tuesday (and not because I forgot to pay the bill this time - it was an actual, legitimate outage in our area.  And the bill wasn't even due yet - I know, I called and paid it just in case.).  I'd left - I had a date with Kimmie to shampoo her bedroom carpet for her; her pup, Casey, hadn't been able to control her bowels or bladder for her last few months, and Kimmie's carpet had suffered for it.  Anyhow, so I was at Kim's, and Jimi decided to reset the modem and the router to see if the issues had been resolved.  When he was reaching back behind the television, he bumped the cord to the surge protector and something crackled.  "That doesn't sound good," he thought, and his eyes fell on the outlet where it was plugged in.  The misshapen, brown, burned outlet.  The outlet that had been slowly melting and charring for who knows how long.  Immediately, he pulled the surge protector plug from the adapter, then the adapter from the wall.  Both were hot, and one of the two prongs on the adapter stayed in the wall - Jimi used a pair of pliers to pull it out. (I'm as shocked as you are that he wasn't electrocuted.)

Our house was going to catch on fire and burn to the ground and kill us all any minute.  
I'm justified in being scared shitless by this, right?

Obviously, we couldn't keep the television, and blu-ray player, and stereo, and all of our other gadgets plugged into this outlet, or any other old-school outlet in the room.  Obviously, shit had to be moved.  By the time I got home at 9, he'd put away our messes and cleaned the carpets upstairs, moved the television, reconnected the modem and router - he had us set up and ready to go.  Now we've got our chairs and the Jaxx Sac up here, I've moved a plant and a Buddha into the room, and we're all set.  And the plugs up here?  Three-prong.  That's a mistake we won't make twice.

I'm going to be so late meeting my Momma.  Oh, but I'll be back.  Yes I will.

Happy Saturday Friends!

Friday, March 25, 2011

I need a babysitter. Sorta.

In a week, I'll be in Virginia, preparing to spend my day sightseeing in Washington, D.C.  I'm gonna see all kinds of neat-o stuff.  I can't wait - just to be off work will be awesome. 

So.  Who wants to babysit my blog while I'm gone? 

I can't imagine trying to post on the regular while I'm on vacation, but I don't want to leave up some stale "See ya next Tuesday!" post for 6 days, either.  I imagine the point of guest bloggers is probably to keep the clicks coming for those blogs that are turning a profit - keep the advertisers happy and whatnot.  This isn't that sort of thing.  There's no money being made here - I just don't want to see a flat line on my stats page when I get back because that would make me sad in my face.

I'm looking to line up a bloggy friend or 6 to write something each day between 3/31 and 4/5.  And not that I'm begging or bribing or anything, but if you help me out here, there's a good chance a souvenir of some sort will show up in your mailbox a week or two later.  Come on, people, you know you all need more kitsch for your desk.

So yeah.  Anyone?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Boots Arrived!!!

I'm a shameless copycat.

I found a blog called Elephants & Rainboots a while back.  I love elephants, and since Jimi bought me my first pair of rainboots, I'm a big fan of those too.  This chick, though?  She found - wait for it - ELEPHANT RAINBOOTS. 

Elephant Rainboots!  Can you believe it?!  I had to have them.

Mine arrived yesterday, and today, after days of sunshine and warm, it's chilly and rainy and just oh so serendipitous:

Is it Friday yet?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Things and Stuff

On my way to work, I see downtown Louisville, every morning.
Then, when I get to work, these guys line the top of the map on my wall.  They're mostly Homies, but there are a few Bok Choy Boys there on the end, a California Raisin or two, one of the Bernstein Bears, three Smurfs, Barney Rubble, and Sylvester with Tweety on a platter.  (I'm assuming I don't need to link to explain those last characters, right?)  The cool ones were given to me by a man who works in the plant, and a man who drove for us for a while.  He had to stop driving because his cancer came back - I haven't heard from him in over a year and I'm afraid to call.  


Moving on with the day...I put my things down and go out back to get the "mail" - delivery receipts and trailer movement information and logs and such from the drivers.  This is what it looks like looking out my back door.  At work.
The rest of these are pictures from the shit that clutters my desk.  
I'm such a clutter bug.
   Chick-fil-A Cow (next to a chicken - how appropriate?)  Got this guy before I decided I had to hate Chick-fil-A because of their lame anti-gay thing; still dream about chicken nuggets on the regular.  On the left there is the green ducky my boss got me last week.  And if you look real close, you can find part of a lovenote or two from my sweet.  Oh, and that's a manatee behind the cow, hanging out with a rubber crab. 

This is the corner of my desk that hides behind the phone.  I love that plant, and that Buddha, and those Pirate Bandages (birthday gift from my boss a few years ago).  

In 2008, after about 9 months of employment, I was promoted into my current position.  Before, I probably did, on average, about 10 hours of real, actual work in a given week.  I spent a lot of time on the internet, there was always time to research was awesome.  Immediately upon being thrust into this new role, my workweek rocketed to 55 hours, minimum, just to keep my head above water.  My boss praised my talent for multi-tasking, and I rolled my eyes, thinking, "If he only knew..."  Less than a month into the new job, I got this fortune from the Chinese place down the road.  Oh, and that's a tiny little zombie that lives on top of my monitor.  And you know happy bunny, right?  (And my workweek isn't 55 hours anymore.  I'm averaging maybe 42.  Not that it matters - I'm salary now, so they can have as much of my time as they deem necessary.  Just ask 'em.)

This is the fortune I got the week after I came back to work after my miscarriage.And a little dog.

Another zombie.  And Monkeys!!!

A parrot, a French Moodle, and an egg clock.
Part of my official title is "All Around Good Egg".  
No, really.  It's on my business cards and everything.

 A Piece of Flair (I've got a red Swingline, too), Urban dictionary daily calendar, self-inking WTF stamp (demonstrated on said calendar), stress-relief lotion.

It's not such an awful place to spend 10 hours a day, really.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

ICLW - ...wha...?

If you've found me from there, I feel like I should apologize.

Wait.  Don't go away just yet - let me tell you why.

Okay, I found Sparkles and Fairy Tales via Single Infertile Female a few months back.  The other day, Sparkles mentioned this here ICLW.

This is the part where I'm going to start to sound like a jackass, if you're from there.

I read her post.  It (ICLW) sounded cool.

I found the link, I read the post with directions and instructions, and it was 3/21 - last day to link up!!

Quick, hurry!! Sounds awesome!

So I did.

And it asked for three words that described my blog.  Hmm.  I've never answered this question before.  No, really.  I click the x at the top of the page when things ask this question.  Three words?  Really?  I'm bad at brevity.

But I thought about it for a minute.  "Life, Love, Happy"

Cool.  That's pretty good.  Yeah.  That'll work.

Here's the thing - I didn't read anything about any of the other blogs entered before I linked up.  I didn't pay any attention to much of anything beyond the post content - the rules and regulations of participation.

Okay, my next goal was to find 6 blogs to comment on for day 1 of the "hop".

I started noticing a trend.  Each of the blogs was following a similar theme - 2 of the first four were announcing BFPs.

I went back to the link-up page.  The three words describing each blog?  They were appearing there at the right of the blog titles, in parenthesis - ttc, miscarriage, IVF, multiple loss, infertility, adoption.

"Oh shit," I thought.  "I don't belong here - how do I take back my link?"  I looked - nope, no button for that.

I don't mean to intrude, if that's what I'm doing.  As I told Jimi tonight when I tried to explain this particular situation, I feel like I've got the tip of my big toe in your pool, but I'm not really part of your group.

Does that make sense?  God, I hope you don't take that the wrong way.  Here's what I mean:

The idea that I might be infertile scares the holy fuck out of me.  I've had a miscarriage - my one and only pregnancy.  But I was 30 before I got pregnant for that first time.  And we've not used birth control for the last three years.  According to my gyno (whom I've met once, when I was mid-miscarriage), that qualifies me for the title Infertile.

Holy fuck.  That's an awfully big word.

I don't want to be part of the infertility world.  I'm not strong enough to deserve that title.  I'd rather be the one sitting over on the side, saying "Eh, if it happens, it'll happen" and then, if it doesn't, "it just wasn't meant to be for us".  I can't fight that battle; I don't have that sort of strength.

Somehow, I've found my way to the world of infertility blogs.  In a bizarre, fucked up way, I'm jealous of these women, who KNOW what they want, and they're willing to risk so much - emotionally, financially, physically - to have a child, to be a mother.  I'm not selfless enough to fully convince myself that I'm ready for all that.

I'm screwing this all up.

I want to have children.  I knew that before I had my miscarriage.  But all of a sudden, I'm 31 (in like 3 weeks - may as well accept the inevitable), no kids, one pregnancy that ended in a horribly emotional miscarriage (as I imagine they all must)...and suddenly my hormones are insane, suddenly I MUST HAVE A BABY...

...except, I'm still pretty selfish, and OMG, what if I can't get pregnant, or what if Jimi's sperm count is like way low, or what if my womb is just an inhospitable wasteland, or what if or what if or what if...

And each and every month I've not gotten pregnant since, when, December?  I think that was the first month we were cleared to "try" (like somehow that green light would magically make it automatically happen, is what my head thought, I believe) - each month, when my Aunt Flow showed her ugly face on that swipe of TP, I've felt defeated.

And relieved.

And none of it makes any sense.  I'm very confused.

It felt like, as I scanned the list of bloggers on that ICLW list, I didn't belong.  I don't know that I do.  Compared to the struggles of the women whose blogs I've found so far?  I need to STFU.  My challenges are nothing compared to what these women have experienced.

But then I think - was my desire to carry my pregnancy to term any less than the desire of any of these other women to carry theirs?

No.  I don't know all of you, but I'm certain I know the answer to that question is no.

There's no litmus test, I guess, to determining who belongs to this world and who doesn't - there's not a "you must go this many years trying" or "you must suffer this many losses" before you're accepted as part of the crowd.  No offense intended, I don't want to be part of the world of infertility - but then again, I'm guessing there's not a person who's reading this who'd choose that path.

I've not experienced much of what many of you live as day to day reality, but I love you and hope the best things for you just the same.  I want you to find your happy, to find a way that brings you a child of your very own, no matter what path brings you there.

And if it works out for me too, well, that'd be cool.

More on Religion with Mr. HR

The HR Director called me this morning, and while he waited on the phone, had me get online to find this article, specifically so I could read this:

But most poignantly, Colton described meeting a sibling in heaven — even though he had no way of knowing that his mother had miscarried two years before he was born, since his parents had never told him.

Obviously, I made a bad judgment call when I shared that particular piece of myself with Mr. HR.  Again, I really do understand that he’s trying to be kind and compassionate and helpful.  I know he believes that telling me I could know my child in Heaven is a comfort – but in reality, that topic of conversation makes me uncomfortable.  First, I’m not comfortable saying to someone I don’t have a close, interpersonal relationship with, “I don’t believe in your God, or your version of Heaven, but thanks anyhow.”  I don’t want to take the time to try to explain my beliefs to this man; I don’t want to feel that I have to defend myself.  I don’t want to be told I’m wrong, or that he’ll pray for me, or that one day I’ll see the light.  I especially don’t want to have that conversation at work, while I’ve got truck drivers standing in the window, a mechanic sitting in my office, and 3 customers on hold waiting for me to take their calls. 

And while I’m comfortable with the fact of miscarriage being briefly touched upon in an exchange, I don’t want to talk about anything that comes too close to the emotional facts of it.  Talking about “my child” is too personal.  Me and Mr. HR?  We ain’t that kind of friends. 

One more.  He gets one more; the next time he calls and brings up this topic, we’ll have a conversation about appropriateness and couthe.   Again, he really should follow that “know your audience” rule. 



Monday, March 21, 2011

Patty thinks I'm sweet.

(Don't tell her the truth, okay?)

She gave me this:

She blogs over at Another cookie, please! - we found each other through For The Love Of Blogs, and she's the best bloggy friend.  She leaves the best comments and she said that she'd cut my hair if I go to her and she shoots too!  Chicks with guns - automatic awesome.  

Now I'm supposed to tell you five random things about me.  I'm hoping I can come up with some things I've not told you before.  Give me a minute...

1.  I sucked my thumb until I was 9 years old.  I had a blankie (an old crib sheet) that went everywhere with me, and I held it wrapped over my first finger so I could smell it while I sucked.  I moved the blankie around often - like the other side of the pillow, a cool spot to breathe on the sheet was the best.  I tried to quit a few times, but finally my dentist told me I'd need braces if I didn't give up my habit, so I wore socks on my hands for about 6 months and was cured!  Kinda - I've woken up with my thumb in my mouth at least twice since then, but not since I was a teenager.  

2.  I started trying to read Stephen King when I was 10.  His stuff was a little advanced for me then - but I finally got through Pet Semetary for the first time when I was 12.  (It was the first book that ever made me cry, true story.)  After that, it was on - I read every King book I could get my hands on.  I read The Stand, all 1300 pages, in 3 days, taking breaks only to eat and pee and sleep.  At 13, I read 'Salem's Lot...and promptly rearranged the furniture in my bedroom so I could face the door even while asleep.  I also slept with a light on for 6 months after that - that book scared the fuck out of me.  I think Mr. King's quality declined with time, but I recently read Lisey's Story, which is a relatively new (within the last 10 years) release, and it was really good.  I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for this master of horror.

3.  I have a memory of when I was little (whether I was 9 or 13, i don't know), I went to the Property with Granny and Papaw - Papaw was working on the barn in some such way or another, and Granny and I were hanging out in our lawn chairs over in the shade.  She'd brought her boom box, and there was a blank tape from somewhere.  She sang Cowboy Jack and I recorded it - later when I played it back, Papaw's hammer was a sharp staccato in the background, totally not in time.  There were birds chirping, and Granny's voice warbled a time or two and I'm pretty sure she got choked on a high note and coughed.  I'd pay $5000 to have that tape in my hands right now. 

4.  Another being-little memory:  I was 5 or 6, and I'd found a pair of nail scissors, and they were fascinating.  I wanted to cut something, so I went into Papaw's bedroom, shut the door, walked around to the far side of the bed, and cut a square of fabric out of the flat sheet on the bed.  I thought no one would ever notice.  Granny did, nearly immediately.  (Turns out, the sheets were new.  Like, it was the first time they'd been on a bed, new.)  Stacy and I were the only ones there; one of us was guilty.  She asked us, I lied, Stacy denied.  Granny asked again, our little selves lined up in the hallway.  I kept thinking, "Eventually, she'll give up.  Or Stacy will confess."  She didn't, and neither did Stacy.  She pulled out the Bible - the same one that's downstairs in my Momma's house right now, on the end table, with Granny's obituary inside.  Granny held the book out to us, told us to put our hand on it and say if we'd cut the sheet or not.  We both said we hadn't.  Granny knew it was me, but she didn't call me a liar; she said one of us was hurting God and Jesus very badly and that we would have to live with that.  What I wish more than anything is that I'd told Granny the truth before she'd died.  

5.  Brevity?  It's not my thing.  No, really - I can't tell a story to save my life.  I get caught up in the background and the details that don't matter and forget to focus on the point. 

And now I'm going to introduce you five blogs I love (and the timing is great, because I ran out of steam working on that shout-out post the other night and didn't get to several I wanted to name):

And now I'm going to get back to work.

Happy Monday, Friends!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Stuff and Things

I sat out in the front yard yesterday afternoon, my chair positioned just-so, lining my body up directly into the rays of the sun, no shadows anywhere if I sat just right.  I tried to read, but the book I've got right now is some bullshit fluff mystery novel that is poorly written, if not entertaining on a base level - it wasn't enough to keep my eyelids from getting heavy as that warm light beat down on me, so foreign and welcome after weeks of rain and dreary.  Finally, I gave up and put the book down on the arm of my chair (breaking the spine, of course, because that's how I roll), leaned back, closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep.

I woke probably 20 minutes later, my hands asleep and numb because of the way I'd had them positioned, Finn lying next to me, sniffing the air, watching for interlopers into his yard (squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits - we've got them all).  The world was blue-tinted - that weird off shade that comes from sleeping in the sun, even behind sunglasses.  My skin was warm and tight - when I showered before bed last night, I found I had a new pink tint on my chest, and my freckles are a darker brown.  I think I remember briefly wondering before I drifted off to sleep if I should put on some sunscreen, but I was so comfortable, so warm...

I think Spring is going to be here for good any minute now.  It feels new and sunshiney and bright and promising out there.

We took Finn for a long walk in the park yesterday, too.  I'm starting to really enjoy movement, exercise, and it's a new and welcomed thing.  Not that the scale's moved at all, but that's cool.  It feels good, and I only ever do anything because it feels good anyhow.

Red Hot Chili Peppers on my Pandora Ben Harper Radio station.  I'm not going to give it a thumbs down, either.

Jimi just suggested pumping up the tires on the bikes and going for a ride down Southern Parkway.  OMG, yes, yes, a thousand times YES!  Getting him to walk with me is like pulling teeth, but he went yesterday and didn't make too much noise about it.  We're going to DC in less than 2 weeks, though, and DC?  It's nothing but walking.  Walking here, looking at that, walking there, looking at this.  Spending the next 10 or so days doing some form of physical activity daily is a really good idea; otherwise, I fear there will be trouble.  And by "trouble", I mean we'll get to DC and he'll have a hard time with his hip or his ankle or some such other thing and I'll be super pissed off and I'll want to be a complete bitch to him over it and say mean things but I won't because I love him so I'll sit there instead and not talk at all except to answer in one-syllable words and he'll know I'm pissed off and he'll feel like shit just like if I'd said mean things and I'll feel awful and he'll feel awful and we'll get back home and be like "wow what a great vacation" in a monotone itsucked sort of tone.  No one wants that.  And I'm going to try to find some non-walking things to do up there, too, just in case.

I love the weekends.  I love having all the day to myself, to do whatever my little heart desires, even if that means reading the internet and napping outside and eating quinoa twice in one day.  (Quinoa with walnuts and cranberries?  Holy smokes, yum!  And the fact that it's good for you?  Double yum!)

That's all I've got for now.  Oh, except that it's Sunday again, and that means Comment Love at FTLOB.

So that's pretty awesome.  Happy Sunday, Friends!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Wanna hear what my HR Director said to me the other day?

Of course you do - it's a great story.

Background:  I don't like our HR Director.  He's (in my humble opinion) an idiot who should be declared mentally incompetent by the State and supported via Medicaid and Social Security for the rest of his days.  And then they can give me his job.

Okay.  Now that you know where I'm coming from, I'll commence with the story:

I called him because I needed the pay rate for our employee who'd filed for unemployment so I could respond to said unemployment claim.  Our conversation turned to the sad state of American Work Ethics - he told me he'd been at our facility a few years back, promoting our 401k program (which offers a badass match, by the way) and enrolling interested employees, when he got to talking to a couple of lifers - guys who've been working here for years and who will work here until they die or are able to somehow miraculously retire.  They told him they couldn't afford to put into a 401k, and he was confused; these guys have seniority, with first dibs on OT and such.

"I can't afford to work Overtime," the man told the HR Director, "If I work over 40 hours I'll lose my benefits."

"What benefits?" says Mr. HR.

"Food Stamps, Medicaid, Section 8," came the answers.

It says something that a man can work 40 hours a week for 20 years and still make a wage so low that allows him to qualify for public assistance, but that point is for another day, another post.

Our conversation turned from this blatant abuse of the system (though I'm not certain Mr. HR and I were talking about the same system) to the cost of healthcare, and how most of our employees don't opt into the best plans that are offered due to the cost.  Then we progressed to the cost of catastrophic events, or unplanned medical situations that can present unexpected costs if you're not adequately insured.

I told him about my miscarriage.  I told him about the cost of my RhoGam shot if I'd not been insured.

He made all the appropriate noises; the I'm so sorries and I've experienced that toos - told me about his wife losing twins at around 9 weeks.

And then he said this:

"I believe in God-given visions that come through dreams.  I read a book written by a very Godly woman, (insert her name here - I can't remember it), and she was given a vision from God, and in her vision, she saw Heaven, and she saw Hell.  And in Heaven, there is a room where all the aborted and miscarried fetuses are.  And there are Angels there, sewing together the torn apart and misformed and broken pieces of those children, and the Angels are weeping as they're sewing together those babies.  And those babies will go on to inhabit Christ's Millennial Kingdom, and they will get to grow and become adults.  And if you live a good life, and if you are right with the Lord, you will see your child one day.  You can know your child.  Isn't that wonderful?"

Lesson One, Mr. HR Man:  Know Your Audience.

His intention were good; I realize that, I do.

But dude.


Momma and Daddy have letters they wrote to each other over the course of four years while he was in Germany.  My Momma wants them destroyed; my Daddy swears they'll be kept safe for me to find eventually.

There's a lot about my Momma that I don't know.  I hope one day she'll tell me her stories.  I want to know about her.  I think she's afraid she'll lose face, like she'll be somehow less authoritative or respectable if I know that she's human, more like me than she's willing to admit.

My Daddy?  He's like me; he was ready tonight to spill some tales I've never heard before, but Momma stopped him with a look and mouthed words I couldn't read from my position next to her.  He'll tell me anything; and while I know how much he loves me, I think he also really likes me, too.  There's a difference.  I know I sure really like him.

Jimi and I went over tonight and took Momma to dinner; Daddy was working then, but was home by the time we were back to their house.  We hung out downstairs and talked and remembered and laughed, and it was full of that coming home feeling - that happy, I-belong-here, I'm-part-of-this feeling.  That I recognize this is proof that I don't spend enough time with my parents.

And this is how the rest of my night went, after we returned home and Jimi had begged off to bed:

This is Squirrel.

He's Finn's baby.

Oh wait!  
Here comes Kitten!  
Q the Cat.)

He's after the wrist-strap on my camera. 

It's fascinating 
and delicious.  

Oh no!  What's that?

It's the puppy!!!  
And he will Kill the Squirrel!!

You can't tell, but they're all three in this picture.  
That's Kitten there on the right.  

For some reason, I really love these pictures.  They're so jacked up - the epitome of my life.

I'm watching Hustle and Flow on MTV2.  Have you ever seen it?  Whoop That Trick! - it's a motto in our house.  Actually, the movie is almost painful to watch, and the lyrics aren't much better.  But I love it.

There are 427 blog entries in my Google Reader right now.  I'll never get through them all.

I didn't know about the Blogger's Day of Silence until I found my Notie Kari's post - and then I couldn't figure out how to participate so I just waited until after midnight to start blogging again.  Actually, I was really busy at work and then we went out with Momma and hung out at their house and didn't get home till after midnight, but I swear I was somewhat actively participating sorta.

My brain is tired and I cannot word anymore.  G'night and I love you.

No really.  I mean it.  I love you.  If you read all of those dumb words, I love you.  True story.

I have to tell you about some of my favorite bloggers.

Do you guys know Patty/Slidecutter?  She blogs at Another cookie, please!, and she is like the best commenter ever.  She gives love on even the worst blog entries - and gently, kindly, lifts me up and helps me see what I need to see.

And Hel?  Over at Dal, Hel & Bel?  A few months ago I read her words:

Is it my turn yet?

I want to have a baby.

Just putting it out there. Hellooo Universe - it's my turn again.

And I was >rightthere< with her - FINALLY, someone had said what I wanted to say, in the simplest of terms.  And I was so glad I wasn't the only one.  And the other day?  My reader popped up with the news that, FINALLY, the Universe agreed - it's her turn again!  Oh, I was so super happy for her!  And a little bit...a little bit it gives me hope that maybe it'll take time, but maybe it'll be my turn one day too.  (See?  It's always about me.)   She left me a comment on my Ifeelsorryformyself rant saying some nonsense about her timing being off - girl, are you kidding me?!  I'm super happy for you, and I'm so glad it's your turn.  Now, go put in a good word for me, would ya?

I'm sure you guys all know Narragansett No. 7, right?  Okay, okay...I don't know her know her - I admit, I don't even know her actual, inreallife name - but she's left a few sweet words for me here and I really like what she writes over there.  You should check it out.

And Chubby McGhee!!!  (I don't know her inreallife name either.  Shit.  I'm bad at this bloggy friends thing.)  Have you been following her progress?  If not, check it out - she's amazing and I want to be more like her.  That running thing I've been doing?  (still doing that, BTW)  A few people said "What's your inspiration?" and I was all "eh, I don't want to be fat" which is totally true at the very core of it - but read her blog for a few minutes.  Click back a page or two.  See where she's been and where she's going.  Dude.  She's working her ass off, and she's chasing two little ones at the same time!  And she doing things that are so much harder than I'd ever attempt.  She's my inspiration.

Mollie (finally! a name I know!!!) over at OK in UK is bloggy friend I found through FTLOB recently, and she's so much fun.  I really like reading blogs written by people living outside the US - I want to know what the locals call things, and how they talk, and what their habits are, and what sort of food do they eat there...?  My Momma asks questions like that every time she meets someone with an accent.  People from Oklahoma count as people with accents.  Yes, even to a Kentuckian.  People from Oklahoma living in the United Kingdom?  Too much excitement for one Kentuckian to take.

Kari.  My sweet Notie Kari, from Know-It-Not-So-Much.  She's been leaving me words of encouragement and support for months, and I look forward to her posts to see what's new in her life and what new pictures she's taken.  And she accepted my Facebook friend request.  And she didn't punch me in the face and call the police when I told her her daughter is pretty and that I want to play Barbies with her.

Kristen writes at Confessions of a Graphic Design Student; she said she loves me and that makes her AT LEAST as crazy as me because that's the sort of thing I do and then I'm all "Gosh, i hope they get when I was saying and don't think I'm some sort of crazy creepy stalker person".  I like her art, and I like her way with words.

Another inreallife name I don't know, my new bloggy friend Rancher Mom writes at Rancher Mom's Realm and Taylor Ranch Goats.  Guys, she uses the f-word and raises goats and chickens - how could you not love her?  And dude, she gets me.  She probably doesn't know it yet, but she totally gets me.

Ixy at Illusion. Read her latest post - the five-minute one.  It's way deep.


I've had this post in the works for days and then reality hit and so it's been hanging out in blog limbo - I felt like it needed so much more work and I needed to add so many more names, and I do, but for now, this is all I've got and now I'm to the point where I'm just saying this is going to have to be good enough.  
I'm sorry if that's lame.  

This post was born from two things:

1.  Jennasaurus tagged me for the Versatile Blogger Award because she's awesome.  And she told me I don't have to follow the rules and so I'm not gonna - I'm not even going to tell these amazing women that I've said nice things about them.  I think maybe they might show up around these parts semi-regularly anyhow and they'll see it eventually, and if not, that's cool too.  
They've each said things to me that have put a smile on my face and warmth in my heart.
2.  OMG, you guys are reading this crap and commenting on  it!  NO WAI!  I can't hardly believe that so many awesome women have found me and so now I've found them and we've found each other and the world can only be a happier place for this reason.

I love you all.  I don't know you, but I love you.
You know that, right?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

From Dark to Light

I started a detailed post about my last 30 hours or so, but then I paused to tell Jimi a story and ended up having a meltdown.

I feel like there's a big heavy wet blanket of sadness hanging on me - but none of it is for me, except maybe a little piece of that breakdown that involved thoughts of "why can't I just be happy and ignore all of this?!"  This whole week has been full of shittiness and awfulness, but none of it is mine, not really.

I haven't watched the news in 2 days, or read the internet for more than a few minutes, so I don't really know what the latest is on the situation in Japan.  NPR has kept me up-to-date on the goings-on in Libya while I've driven to and from work and to and from Kimmie's house, but I haven't yet heard/seen the results of the UN vote that was going to be happening this evening.  Jimi's watching Destination Truth From Iceland on Syfy, and really, I've already had one crying fit tonight - I'm not interested in expending the energy it would take to ask him to find some news.  He's not really watching TV - he's got it on, and he was watching it, but now he's playing Radiohead's Creep on his ukulele - and he's singing.  He's good.  It's like having my own personal minstrel.  Why would I interrupt that for more reality-based terror?

I laid on the floor next to my friend today, and rubbed her back and squeezed her arm and kissed her head while she said goodbye to her faithful companion of 13 years.  I sobbed with her.

This afternoon I got the latest on my brother, and maybe one day I'll be brazen enough to blog about it, but tonight is not the night for that.  Suffice to say there's been a setback with his homecoming plans; it's his own fucking fault; I'm pissed and heartbroken, for him and for my parents.

That's the story I was telling Jimi, the one about the brother, when the waterworks began.  There's just so much sadness, so much heartbreak, so much tragedy, so much helplessness, so much ignorance - sometimes it's all so much.

I'm scared.  Like, viscerally, makes-my-stomach-hurt-if-I-think-about-it-too-much scared.

I'm scared that everyone I love is going to die and leave me (one day, they will, unless I beat them to the punch - and that's a whole another set of fear stories).

I'm scared that my brother has fucked up his life beyond repair, or that he's too fucking stupid to realize how serious his situation is, or worse, that he knows and doesn't care; I'm scared he's given up on himself, before his 22 birthday.  I'm scared that he's not going to spend his 22 birthday at home; I'm scared that he will and he'll get wasted to celebrate.  I'm scared that he's going to spend years in prison, that he'll become institutionalized, that he'll never do anything other than exist, and marginally at that.  I'm scared that he's going to be raped; I'm scared that he's going to die; I'm scared he's going to end up beaten horribly and paralyzed or worse.  God, I'm so scared.

I'm scared that Japan is going to suffer a nuclear meltdown and hundreds of thousands of people will be killed slowly over the next 5 decades.  Well, 5 decades - or 2012, whichever comes first.

I'm scared this 2012 shit is real.

I'm scared some shit will hit the fan while I'm still thinking about planning to maybe talk about buying some supplies to put together 72 hour kits.  I'm scared that I don't have much in the way of food storage yet; I'm scared that if I build up my food storage it won't matter anyhow because I'm scared we'd have to flee our home.  I'm scared that we don't have enough of an arsenal built up, or piles of boards and windows and foil and duct tape and plastic sheeting to cover all the windows in the house.

I'm scared that we're going to go to war in Libya.  I'm scared of what another war will mean for that region, and the impact it will have on the world.

It's just a lot, all in my head, all at once.

Life is scary.  Most days I can block out all the scariest parts; I can ignore most of it because it's not all up in my face and touching me and getting its slime on me.  A gradual building up of sucktitude, this week has piled all the worst parts right on top of me - none of them are my burdens, really, but they're all RIGHT THERE, right in my face, and it's just a lot.

But I have Mista Jimi and his ukulele; my personal minstrel.  And we've got our little sanctuary here, where sometimes things suck, but mostly things are pretty awesome just about all the time.  And sometimes, I have to step away from reality, turn off the news and enjoy the lame Syfy programming (we're to Leprechaun now, how appropriate), hug that man of mine as close as I can, kiss his lips and remind him how much I love him - even if he's heard it a million times before.

You know, the WHOLE week hasn't sucked.  On Monday, my boss brought me two "Kiss Me I'm Irish" Mardi-Gras-esque necklaces, two shamrock-laden rubber duckies, and 3/4 of a dozen cupcakes.  And I've run 3 out of 4 days this week.  And Jimi and I cleaned the kitchen together and cuddled and he played lots of music.  And I spent hours with Kimmie last night, and as sad as the undertones of the evening were, we had a good time.  Here's proof:

We're ridiculous.  And awesome.

Life can be so happy and good.  

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Circular thoughts.

Human emotions are complicated things. 

I've been hearing the tales coming out of Japan for days, and while it horrifies me, and makes me shudder to my very core to think of those who are left behind and what they must surely be experiencing right now - it doesn't really impact my world.  Does that make sense?  I'm not trying to be callous or cruel, but their plight, the challenges that face them now, right this minute, I can't do anything for them.  I can't change it or make it better.  The money I've sent will have an impact, minuscule as it may be, but when it comes down to it, I can't do a thing to help the suffering. 

Or I won't, I guess is more honest.  I could quit my job and hop the next flight over and get right there in the thick of it, untrained and without supplies or an idea of what to do.  I could start a blanket drive or food drive or try to raise money to send one of those boxes that provide enough supplies to support a group of 10 for several days/weeks.  But I won't.  I'll talk about how awful it all is and how sad it is, but beyond my Red Cross donations and typed words, that's all I'll do. 

Kim is going to have to have her longtime friend and companion, Casey, put to sleep some time in the next day or two.  This dog means the world to my friend, and watching her today, as she realized it's time to let her friend go - it broke my heart.  It's so sad.  Casey has had a long, happy, good life - Kimmie's been the best doggy mom in the world, but the arthritis is too bad and poor Casey can't hardly get herself up onto her feet anymore.  It's time.  It's awful.

This tiny tragedy - one that isn't really a tragedy, but just the natural way of things - this impacts my world and brings me closer to tears than all the suffering and loss of life happening on the other side of the planet.  I'm seeing this hurt and pain first-hand; it's written all over my friend's face.  The devastation in Japan?  I can turn off the television, I can turn off the radio.  It's so far away and it's so much - I can't wrap my brain around it or feel what I probably should feel.  Shouldn't we all be huddled on the ground in sad little piles, weeping for our fellow man, unable to move for the shock of it all?  But I'm not, and I'll bet you're not either - for us, life goes on, and we carry on with our day-to-day, and we do what we're able to help those in front of us or next to us, because they're here, they're real, they're now. 

It makes me feel like an asshole, to be honest with you, but I can't help it.  My empathy for Kim is off the charts; one of these days, Jimi and I are going to have to make that terrible decision for Finn - I can put myself in Kim's shoes and somewhat imagine what she's feeling right now.  Imagining my home shaken apart by an earthquake and then washed away by a giant wave and then being in danger of radiation exposure?  Having my entire family missing and unaccounted for?  No.  I can't imagine that at all.  Can you?  Who could?  Oh God, and the woman I talked about yesterday?  The one who's a teacher in Japan whose parents were on the Early Show yesterday morning?  So full of relief because their daughter had been found safe?  Yeah, they found the wrong woman; the teacher is still missing.  What that mother feels today?  Can't fathom.

I'm sad for my friend.  I just want to hug her and kiss her and tell her it will all be okay, but I can't fix her broken heart and I can't fix poor Casey.  I'm sad for Japan and everyone who is a part of that tragedy, too, but I can't do anything to fix that, either.  So much sadness. 

And then there's the guilt.  Guilt because I'm sad for others, but I don't have a lot of sad of my own.  What makes me so special?  Why do I get it so good?  Or is it just not my turn yet?  That starts the fear...

Human emotions are complicated things. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Real quick...

Turkey and sausage - I don't like them much anymore.  Turkey straight from the bird is okay, but lunch meat turkey?  No thanks.  And sausage has all those questionable white chewy pieces - yuck!

I was going to get up early and be at work by 7.  It's twenty after now and I'm not dressed.  My hair is still in a towel.

Watching a woman hang on her husband - they just learned their daughter, who teaches English in Japan and has been missing for 4 days, is safe.  I can feel the relief that's written on the mother's face.  I want to cry for her.

Jimi and I had a conversation last night - "I know how much you love me, Nat.  Everyone tells me."  "Who's everyone?"  "EVERYONE.  My brother; my co-workers; Steve; Maria; my sister, the day you met her.  You love me so much, everyone can see it."  I laid there, with my head nestled on his shoulder, listening to his words, and the tears started.  I don't know why - I suddenly felt vulnerable.  Sometimes it's scary to give that much of yourself; it felt like my heart was laying out there, bare, for anyone walking by to poke and prod at.  I laid there, and I let the tears roll over the bridge of my nose and down my face, pooling in the space where my ear met Jimi's arm.  "But you love me that much back, right?" I asked when I was able to find my words.  He squeezed me closer, both arms wrapping me to him, "Of course!  How could I not?!  How could I not love someone who gives me so much love?"  God help me, I really did think "the others didn't."  I didn't say it, though.  For once, I was able to keep my mouth shut and not ruin the moment.  I know my heart is safe with him.  Like I know my name, I know that.

I really have to get ready for work now.  Happy Tuesday!  Is it Friday yet?


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