Strawberries, Scandals and Cloud Punching

 

 

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It’s been a long productive week at the new office.   Punctuated by singing along to awesome songs, random dance breaks and lots of laughter with my bosses.  The new business I’m so fortunate to be a part of  became official last week and my desk is amazing and stocked and I am now the Operations Manager of ‘Company X’.

This is one of the parts of  my life I don’t share here.  No last names, no addresses, no personal identifying information.

Seriously though, if anyone did some minor sleuthing, the gig would be up.

Still, I try to maintain some anonymity for the sake of others more than for myself.

This has been very difficult lately.  I want to burst I’m so full of scandals and hypocrisy that I can’t share.

I mean, I COULD, but then I’d have to live with myself.

This is occurring more and more often by the way.

The live with myself part, not the scandals and hypocrisy.

I’m still without my son.  He’s spending his weeks staying with my mom across the river and his spare time with his first love  who will be leaving the state next month for college.

It has been weird without him.

Okay, I have been weird without him

I’ve taken talking to myself to a whole new level.  I’ll have internal dialogues, then out of no where, verbalize a portion of it.

Example: I’ll be having a conversation with someone in my head (please tell me I’m not the only one  who does this) then say something like “because it’s blue” out loud.

I’m one more week alone away from shopping cart mumbler.

Oh, and I can’t be still.  I’m not reading anymore, not sitting outside listening to music while looking up at the stars – I’m not drawing or painting or taking my camera out on adventures.

I am back in my little hamster wheel of ‘wake up – bathe – dress – tend to animals – exit house – work – return from work – eat something unhealthy – prepare for bed’.

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Here’s me on the couch trying for a serene look – mostly I just liked the light and since the dog now leaves when I start to put my ipad in camera mode (how does she know???) – and since NO ONE else is in my house, I have become my subject.

So fake though.  Which is not how I am.  It’s a snapshot of the shell.  Inside I was still hurting and thinking and not serene at all.

The point is – this past year has left me so spun and undone that I can’t seem to find the energy to do the things I used to enjoy.

I put so much effort and faith into a person and project that I lost a bit of myself.

I put myself on the back burner and looked forward to promises of such an amazing future that I was okay with that.

Of course, gullible me believed what was never to be.

There are two people on my shit list right now.  They need to be very cautious how they proceed because I’m not above doing a public service and sharing what I know and supporting it with evidence.

I would do this in case any other gullible person might have either of them on a pedestal and be naive enough to trust.

Wow.

That just came out of nowhere.

Still, I have not named names.

Just watch it – you both know who you are.  So ‘good’ and selfless in public and so not in reality.

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Let’s talk about sandwiches for a moment.

With Nic gone, I haven’t really been shopping for food.  I have made random stops for ice cream, but I don’t think that counts.

It has been enlightening though, pretty sure this allergy free girl might have a touch of lactose intolerance.  Although, the quantities in which I’m consuming said ice cream may render anyone intolerant of dairy.

Sandwich.

I was making lunch last week – and since I was out of greens for my cheese and veggie sandwich, I decided on peanut butter and jelly.

I got as far as the peanut butter and realized there was no jelly.

Okay, there sort of was jelly … it was in the pantry in a container and had liquified to jellorage status (Jelly/beverage – does that work?  Might that catch on?)

It sure as hell wasn’t going on my sandwich, I knew that much.

I had some strawberries that weren’t getting any firmer, but hadn’t reached ‘throw me out!’ stage yet – so I got creative and chopped them up and placed them on the peanut butter.

(This may already be a thing.  I’m reminded of when I opted for flour tortillas in lieu of bread when making a grilled cheese and meat concoction – ‘savory crepe’ I called it.  Then had the embarrassing moment of my friend Micah pointing out ‘did you just invent the quesadilla?’ Groan.)

Anyway it was amazing!

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And life is like that too.

Improvising when something is lacking in life – coming up with a solution that turns out to be better than the norm.

I actually did sit outside yesterday at sunset – and saw the most amazing cloud with sun streaming through it.  I snapped a bad photo of it on my ipad (Butters fled) and shared it.

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What I was thinking was it was beyond silver lining status – it was light and goodness breaking though the dark cloud with determination.

And that’s my next plan.

Stream through the dark clouds with truth – and sunlight and metaphorical chopped strawberries.

Still looking for good.  Still believing in light and love.

But not afraid to call ‘bullshit!’ either.

Gullible girl is gone.

 

 

 

 

 

Musings From The Laundromat

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“To Delete or not to Delete, that is the question.”

Wonder if Shakespeare had the internet if he would have erased any of his works.  Maybe a poem he re-read in the morning and thought ‘That is crap – what was I thinking?’ (That is crapeth?)  But because someone took the trouble to type set and print and distribute, he couldn’t do a take back.

You know who I think would post something and have writers remorse?

Poe.

I can imagine him having a particularly morose day and  ingesting a bit of opium and pouring his heart out about unrequited cousin love.  Then waking up the next morning to the caw of a raven (Do ravens caw? I think they caw.  You’d think they’d crow.) anyway, waking up and slapping his forehead and groaning “Nevermore.”

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I bet he’d delete.

What I’m getting to, via the scenic route, is that I contemplated taking my last post down.

I guess I wasn’t using large enough capitals when I said that I would never have done it.  (Take ALL the medicine.)  One tweet to me said ‘glad you didn’t kill yourself’ and I actually giggled – then thought, wait – did people not read ALL of my words?

It’s not a funny topic.  I’m not making light of it.  And believe me, I was disturbed by how easily the thought came to be – and if I’m going to be disturbed, I’m bringing you along for the ride.

Because that’s  what I do.

I will not delete.

There are diaries I threw away from my days of debauchery that I so wish I hadn’t.  I’m not making that mistake again.  Authentic – unedited – Me.   That’s what you get.

I share the Good, the Bad and the Ugly with you.

Only when it is my story to tell.

Trust me when I say, if I felt comfortable naming names of some people in my life, and completely removing my moral filter, there are posts that I  could write that would go viral and change lives  – and not for the better.

Which is why I don’t write them.

Great segue to my next random thought.

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My Prince of 14 months finally traveled to my country very recently – however, not to my Kingdom.

That was a shot to the heart.

(Now I have Bon Jovi singing in my head)

I have eased some of the pain with lots and lots of ice cream.   Which is such a stereotypical ‘girl-with-broken-heart’ thing to do.  Yet SO unlike me.

I have never been a big ice cream fan.  But my son and I got into a little phase of banana splits recently and I got hooked.  I think mostly it’s all the whipped cream and nuts I put on top.

Maybe I should just have a ginormous bowl of whipped cream and nuts?  Or skip it and just go straight for the cream directly from the can.

 

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I spent quality time yesterday with two bowls of rocky road ice cream (with copious amounts of whipped cream and nuts on top of course) and watched a couple of movies.

Last weekend my son found a blu-ray player that was a steal and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

(He’s still not here much by the way – I’ve mentioned him twice, which would give the impression he’s been around, having banana splits and buying electronics and whatnot. He returned late last night and I only have two nights with him before he leaves the nest again for another week.)

SO back to the fuss.  To be honest, I couldn’t see much of a difference.  Although, to be fair and even more honest, my eyesight isn’t what it used to be and HD and non-HD look pretty similar to me.

I rented these:

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First let me mention that this deal Nic got on the blu-ray DVD player didn’t include a remote.

Next let me mention that not all ‘Universal’ remotes are universal.

I spent the better part of an hour trying to program one to the Sony BDP S360 with no success.

I almost threw in the towel and lamented the $4.75 I had spent on the rentals.  Then decided not to throw any towels and spent another half of an hour googling my little ‘want-to-watch-a -movie-and-don’t-want-to-have-wasted-this-money’ heart out until I found a code.

(I do this as a public service – if you have a Sony blu-ray HD DVD Player – and if you have a cable remote – try 21516 for Comcast and 1516 for Suddenlink.  It worked.)  Thank GAWD!

The Wolf of Wall Street was okay – probably all the hype elevated my expectations to an unreasonable height.  Leonardo is aging well though.

This Is 40 was okay as well.  I love the actors in anything they’re in.

When they said the part about the time between 40 and 60 being the best years of your life – I did a cursory glance around my empty living room and thought, well, I’m 5 years in and have 15 years to catch up.

American Hustle I did not watch.  The laundromat and DVD return box needed to be one trip – god forbid I exit the house twice on a Sunday.

Besides, my boy is home and laundry is done and the couch across from me won’t be empty today.

I’m staying put and enjoying what will be one of the best days of my week – and maybe sharing some of my ice cream.

Deleting trips away from loved ones is ‘to be’.

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*late breaking news – after publishing, and excitedly showing Nic the salmon and pie I planned for our dinner,  my boy announced he has plans for the day and night.  :/  #@&*!!

I’m refraining from heading to the freezer …  but let’s face it, it’s inevitable.

Empty couch and ice cream are in my very near future.

The truth of it …

It’s been a rough few weeks.

And because I must always be honest in order to feel any serenity at all – I’m sharing an ugly part of it with you.

Last month I shared that I lost my job – since then my son gained one.  He’s been away a lot, staying with my mom in a neighboring State to cut down on his commute.

I on the other hand, had been home a lot, and his absence filled every room with a palpable foreshadowing.

I then received an urgent call from my landlady.

She was warning me that she had finally presented my nightmare neighbors with paperwork,  and that it did not go well and they were angry with me apparently.

The truth of it was that after all the traffic, drugs, domestic violence and general disregard for the community – the community had had enough.

She tried to tell them that it was more than one complaint from more than one neighbor.  But they had decided the closest to them was the snitch.

I knew what they were capable of, so to learn this was in short, terrifying.

My routine had to change – I feared they might harm Butters, my dog, in my absence.  I feared another attack on my car during the night.  I wasn’t so concerned about them breaking in and doing me bodily harm, but still had a hard time falling to sleep – and am keeping weapons at my bedside.

Add to this that I found myself in the middle of a triangle of toxicity when it came to matters of the heart.

I was lonely.  Scared.  Had too much time to think and had too many things going on – my serenity was shot and my stomach cramped with emotional discomfort while my heart ached.

Night after night I looked across at an empty couch.

 

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It isn’t so much that Nicholas wasn’t sitting on it. He’s spreading his beautiful wings and while I miss him, I’m proud of his ability to fly.

It was that nobody was sitting on it.

Problem is, I know myself well enough to know that I don’t want anyone constantly on the couch across from me – and yet I was lonely.

I walked around the house in a fog.

One night – as I was taking my medicine, I had the thought ‘I could take ALL of my medicine.’

This thought didn’t hang uncomfortably in the air – it blended into the room as if it belonged there.

I could take ALL the medicine and cease to be.

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At that moment of time, I was terrifyingly okay with that.

I felt I’ve seen and done more than 100 lifetimes.  I felt my role in my son’s life was shrinking to nonexistence.  I felt I would never be loved the way that I loved.  I felt so completely depleted of all my hopes and energy that I had nothing further to do here.

And God how I love life!

I do.

I have SUCH gratitude for my humble shelter – the food in my kitchen – the pictures in clouds and the beauty of weeds.  I seek out good everywhere I look – I love to the nth degree and I cherish every friend and loved one in my life.

And still I stood staring down thinking ‘I could take ALL of my medicine.’

It breaks my heart.

But at the same time, there was a beauty in letting myself feel that pain and hopelessness – I knew I was being what I always strive to be.  Authentic.

I wasn’t brushing the thought away like an annoying gnat with a ‘Don’t be silly.’

I KNEW I would not do it.  I knew this.  But I knew the thought was very, very real and could not be discounted.

It forced me to look at, then let out – all my pent-up emotions.

It forced me to stop for a moment – without flitting from dishes to dog and errands to emails and look myself, literally in the eyes.

I stood at the mirror, leaned over my bathroom sink and noticed myself.

There she was.

Amanda.

A real person who had been wearing herself so thin and worrying herself physically sick.

Miss independent – unsure if she could provide.  Miss solitary – needing company.  Miss brave – afraid to go outside.

And as Butters looked sadly at me, missing her boy – and not understanding why she had to be locked in the house all day –  I felt completely lost and vulnerable.

But I felt.

And I always do – so deeply.

And though sadness overwhelms me – so does joy.  I love in vibrant color with a panchromatic heart.

And I am content with ‘enough’ and I do not want ‘ALL’.

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I could poetically end there – but that would not be honest.

Things are looking up, they always do.

There is always hope waiting for those who can look at their lives and choose to live it.

I have an amazing job opportunity just around the corner, although, I’ll probably always have a healthy fear of not being able to provide the necessities.

I’m still sleeping with several weapons at my bedside, but so far so good as far as the neighbors go.

I’m still lonely, but this is a good thing for me!  I used to think I didn’t have the capacity to need anyone.  Craving human interaction is definitely a step in a healthy direction.

I have incredible friends that love me and show up.

I have a loving family that I can count on.

The world is so beautiful – and the universe is carving new paths  all the time.

And I’m willing to walk them.

 

 

 

 

 

Musings from the Laundromat: Innocence lost – From Shar Pei to Smooth (and crunchy) Criminal

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Butters and I have a delightful ‘thing’ we do.

Every night during the Summer, when the sun goes down – I say to her “Wanna go see your lizards??”  She understands this and eagerly stands wagging at the front door.

It’s adorable.

The porch light attracts a myriad of Summer winged bugs and is prime real estate for Summer winged bug eaters.

We have a little family (maybe their not related – maybe it’s more of a commune?) of lizards living above the light, just under the eaves.

Butters will run out, sit staring at the wall and jump up to interact with one if she spots it.

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Last year she accidentally killed one – she placed it in her outdoor day bed and curled up with it. It was the most heartbreaking thing to witness.

Dead lizard, belly up – drying in the sun.

Dog treating it like a pup.

I let her grieve for her lost friend for a day or two, then disposed of it.

Last night, before bed – I asked ‘Wanna see your lizards?’

We stepped outside and she flew at the wall and BAM!

She must have nailed it just right.

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Those manatee lips of hers may be cute, but they seem to be an impairment when it comes to getting anything flat or small past them and into her mouth.

Porch light lizard, (that I didn’t even have a chance to see) successfully (or, unsuccessfully from its point of view I’m sure) arrived in the mouth of my dog.

I stood in horror.

I thought she would spit it out – and what was I going to do to end the suffering of a mangled lizard??

No need to have worried myself with that ‘what if’.

My innocent, lover-not-a-fighter, cowardly manatee started chewing.

Intently.

I was still stood staring and my eyes widened with every crunch.

She then trotted over to her water bucket and delicately drank – it was like watching someone gingerly dab their lips with a fine linen napkin after tearing into a slab of raw meat.

It was then I noticed she had not devoured all of it.

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I was disgusted – my stomach roiling.

Then I remembered she sleeps with me.

I was not taking any chances.

While she doesn’t often snuggle too close, many nights I wake to her standing inches away from my face, breathing heavily.

I washed her face – lips and tongue – and tossed a dental hygiene bone on the carpet for her.

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I wonder if the other lizards have noticed their friend is missing??

What if I find tiny little ‘lost’ posters near the porch light tonight?!?

What if they spot the tail at the scene and surmise there was a struggle?

I shall have to get rid of the evidence.

Which makes me an accomplice to my canine criminal.

*sigh*

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Slipping through my fingers

I just returned from a special day with my mom.

Driving home it was 111 degrees in my car, but I had goosebumps on my skin while listening to this song.

It is our song – no doubt.

We both cried the first time we saw this scene in a local movie theater.  For different reasons I thought at the time, but now I’m not so sure.

I had chosen the soundtrack for the car ride today as it was our special mother-daughter day.

She mentioned Dancing Queen and how she related to it and to the part of the movie when Meryl Streep said “I used to have fun.”

She told me one day I would understand.

I reminded her that ‘one day’ had come.

I look back now at the days before I was a mother.  When I was the Dancing Queen – young and, okay, not so sweet.  But God did I live!

I know she did too.

She was young and beautiful and had hopes and dreams.

I do understand.

I keep catching up to points in her life all the time – and all the while she’s having new experiences that ‘one day’ I’ll understand.

“Do I really see what’s in her mind
Each time I think I’m close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time”

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I wonder if my mom knows how much she still means to me.

I watched her today, on a spa table.

She was on her back, eyes closed – golden red hair splayed out around her and she looked … so beautiful.

“Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it …”

I said nothing for a while – just stared at her.

This woman who was my entire world when I was that school girl.

She lay there, very still, lit by artificial light – as if she were no longer alive.

I couldn’t bear the thought of it.

“You’ll make a beautiful corpse.” I said.

She smiled.

We have a wicked sense of humor.

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“Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture
And save it from the funny tricks of time
Slipping through my fingers
Slipping through my fingers all the time”

The thing about becoming a mother, is that it’s the exact moment we realize how much our own mothers love us! 

Then in necessary irony, the universe shifts the pull of gravity from her to our own children.

But as my child becomes a man, I find an unmistakable pull back to the woman who once had my whole heart.

Today I wanted to soak up every second I had with her – catching glimpses of the woman who once sat brushing my hair, making my porridge, stroking my forehead.

“Sleep in our eyes, her and me at the breakfast table
Barely awake, I let precious time go by
Then when she’s gone, there’s that odd melancholy feeling
And a sense of guilt I can’t deny”

As I dropped her off home –  we both said our I love you’s and good-bye’s …  I suddenly wanted to never say good-bye.

I wanted my head in her lap as she stroked my forehead  – I wanted to see her dance and to talk about her hopes and dreams.

She got out of the car and turned and waved …

“Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile
I watch her go with a surge of that well-known sadness”

Slipping through my fingers all the time.

 

 

 

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