Thursday, January 29, 2009

bring it on....

I've always enjoyed skiing....the fresh scent and crunch of the snow, the wind in your hair (I don't do helmets, yet), the excitement of the downhill speed. It's always better when there is a fresh covering of snow. We join another family and go to New York skiing every winter; an annual event...but being in the North East, you just never know what Mother Nature has in mind. One year it was below zero, without even the windchill factored in; one year we could've been wearing shorts. You always pray for good snow, point the car east and hope for the best.

I was at the store when I heard the first newscast warning of the impending storm front coming. It was supposed to be one of those that would threaten the record of snowfall set in 1978. Everyone within earshot was groaning about the weather. I, on the other hand, was jumping for joy at the thought that for once I have good timing. Our ski vacation was already planned, our accommodations booked, lift tickets in hand. Everyone else was heading out to the grocery to stock up on canned goods. I was packing the car with our equipment.

As we were leaving Cleveland the weather really was rather bad. The roads had yet to be plowed and traffic was at a snails pace. I've always been slightly amused that people seem to forget each and every year HOW to drive in frozen precipitation. It's not as if it doesn't get like this every why the memory loss? The further we got from downtown, the deeper the snow as we entered into the snow belt. But oddly enough the roads were in better shape out here. Once we got past Mentor the traffic had all but subsided.

I drive a Jeep Commander, and I have to tell you it's awesome in snow. It drives well in other seasons, but you can tell the way it drives that it just LOVES being in this deep fluffy stuff. Makes me feel pretty omnipotent as well. Traffic on the road was pretty light, most people with brains were at home, readying themselves for the onslaught of bad weather. At times I was the only car I could see in either direction. I love the feeling of the road being all mine. But every so often there would be a big semi that seemingly appear out of nowhere. I was cruising along at a pretty good clip of 55, which was pretty aggressive with the condition of the road, and a truck would blow by going at a speed that I would consider 'reckless'.

At one point there was a pick-up that was right on my tail, less than a car length behind me....and there wasn't anyone else around. I was thinking, "Go the f**k around! There's PLENTY of room". But no, for more than 25 miles he dragged behind me....On one hand, I was patting myself in the back that he felt that I was worthy of following for such a long time, on the other I was expecting it to be some sort of freak ready to run me off the road and kill us right out of the movie "Wind Chill". But then he too disappeared off one of the exits and I was alone on the road again.

A few times Kim, my friend and matriarch of the other family, would call and ask about the condition of the road. They were a little behind us as they had to stop and find new wipers blades for their vehicle since there's failed to keep up with the conditions. I sensed she was on the fence about whether to continue onward or to turn back and maybe leave in the morning instead. I suppose my answer was a little padded and driven by selfishness. I wanted them to be there while I was there and if they turned back, that'd be one less day I could spend with them.

"How are the roads?"
"Pretty good. The further east, the better they are." (lie)
"Any traffic issues? Accidents?"
"None that I saw" (blatant lie)
"Do you think it's okay to keep going?"
"I think it's alright. Might take a little longer to get there, but it'll be worth the knuckle driving." (truth)

When we pull into Ellicotville there is an easily 14 inches of fresh powder on the ground...and it's still snowing. It's maybe some of the best snow I've been in...including the 'out west' snow that is my rule to gauge snow. Holiday Valley is like a little Snowmass in Colorado...smaller and about $10,000 less in expenses. It's only taken us 5 hours instead of the normal 3 1/2, but hey, by the looks for what I see right now it'd have been worth 10 hours of driving.

I got a pair of skis to handle this particular kind of snow, shorter, fatter and really easy to turn in this deep powder. I need to keep reminding myself though not to push too hard...the last time I skied in snow this deep I blew out my knee. Trust me, you don't ever want to do that. The slopes weren't busy at all, some runs you were the only one there. It was perfect. I even skied the glades it was so nice. I really don't do tree skiing, so it had to be nice. I have to admit though as I was going through the trees, I kept thinking, "Don't do a Sonny Bono, don't do a Sonny Bono." (for those who don't know, Sonny Bono demise was when he hit a tree skiing and it killed him) I clipped a branch once and had a fleeting thought that perhaps I should pick up one of those helmets, but I didn't do it.

There were, with the two families, 4 adults and 5 kids. They have a great ski school at Holiday Valley. Mike and Rosco were our kids instructors...great guys, superb skiers and they have patience that is commendable. I would like to emulate these guys. The kids have had them as instructors in the past and were excited to be there. The routine is you check them in at 10 and then you don't see them again until 3. It makes a fun filled day for them, and a time for the adults to get a little alone ski time in as well.

When we went back to get the posse, we would then ski with them for a bit until the lift ticket expired. See what they learned that day; see what the progress is. Apparently this time Mike and Rosco were teaching them the art of tree skiing as well. Every run we went down, all these little kids are taking the tree line and swooping in and out of the trees like nothing. Taking jumps, skiing backwards, even doing a little on slope ballet with the poles and swinging each other around. The joy and lack of fear in their faces is contagious...and here I am in the trees, again.

Little Sophia is 6. She was the youngest in the ski pack. We are buds...I help her with her boots and equipment and she gives me hugs. It's awesome. I hung back with Soph and her dad, and let the older kids ski ahead. She said, "You stick with me. I'll show you where all the secret trails are." And she was right...she did. We finally had to pawn her off on someone else in our group, who is an excellent tree skier, because he was the only one who could keep up with her through all that.

I was amazed at my own daughters progress in skiing. She's only been at it for 3 years now. If you get close enough you can hear her humming while she skis. She's got her own inner beat. I saw her take a few spills when she was airborne and had a bad landing (which scares me...but what can I say)...but she just picked herself up and went on her way. It's very cool.

Both my daughter and I were positioning to stay an extra day the company and snow was so great. I called around, even to a neighboring town to see about lodging. Nothing. Nada. Our friends offered to let us camp at their place, but that was just a few too many bodies crammed into a small space with all the stuff. I mean, even for the 6 of them it was cramped. But that was really sweet and heartfelt...and it crossed my mind to take them up on it, but then I thought about the 1 available bathroom and changed it quick. There was a condo efficiency for rent; but that was going for a cool 3 bills....and in this economy we couldn't quite feel right about that decision. Plus then another day of lift tickets, food, ski school and've already racked up another $300 plus. Maybe that's why the slopes were as empty as they were. It's definitely not the cheapest sport on the planet. It's one driven by accoutrement's. LOTS of stuff. Lots of EXPENSIVE stuff. Perhaps that's the reason the slopes weren't packed.

But I suppose I can wait on that commentary another day. Today, everything is right with the world...the snow has that effect on me.


Monday, January 26, 2009

get your sleep

I'm one of those people that gets 8 hours of sleep a night. Not because I prefer it....but because I need it to function. For the past three nights I've had maybe two hours tops each night. Restless. Nervous energy keeping me awake. Brain unable to shut down and body unable to relax to get any much needed rest. Have you ever been so incredibly tired that you can't hardly think straight? But you can't sleep?

I had a black eye through the holidays due to a freak hide-n-seek accident while playing with the dogs. It was sooo bad. I mean bad. Like movie make-up bad. I had a direct hit on the weakest point high on my cheekbone. Ouch. Major ouch. So I took some aspirin because I thought, "this is going to hurt like hell later".

Well, yeah. It did. It hurt like bloody hell. But it was the aspirin that did the most damage. Can you say "Blood Thinner". Duh. My 'trying to be good to my body' and not take any of those other pain killers, Acetaminophen/Ibuprofen, that have warnings printed on one entire side of the bottle. Aspirin...good ol' miracle drug, aspirin.

When I woke in the morning the left side of my face was completely swollen, the white of my eye blood red, the bruise running all the way down my face to my chin line. I was shocked. I went to the doctor to have them look at it. There couldn't possibly have been this much damage from that fall! My face! And right before the Christmas holiday. No parties for me this year. No shopping. No lunching with friends.

So they gave it an ex-ray and here was this hairline crack. The doctor asked me if I had taken anything for it..and I proudly announced, "Why, yes. Aspirin. The miracle cure-all. So much better for my body and liver than those others". You should have seen his face....apparently that's the LAST thing I should have done. So what might have been still a rather bad black eye now looked as if I had taken on Evander Holyfield and lost in the 8th round.

So I spent the entirety of the normal Christmas shopping season, where one usually goes about drinking Chai tea while strolling the heated sidewalks of ritzy shopping centers...I was stuck in my home office, shopping online so as to not scare small children. Poor timing. Had it been Halloween I would've won every costume event. As it was, even at my local drugstore, where they see me every week, they would be silent as mice while giving me the total of my purchase.

The Christmas photos this year, I look rather cheeky with my face turned....away from the camera.

So, here it is seven weeks later and the most of the swelling is down, the red in the eye gone...but still a hint of bruising under my eye. NOW combine that with my recent lack of sleep, the other eye has a dark circle so deep that they both look the same. At least now I'm uniform. I had begun to think that if the swelling wasn't going to go down I'd have to have a cheek implant on the right side. Now it just looks as if I've been bopped on the bridge of my nose with BOTH eyes dark. How fun for me.

I wonder how it's going to look when out skiing this week in the bright sunlight on the stark white snow. Thank God large sunglasses are back in fashion...I'll just look like I'm a bunny from Vail.

Note to self: Don't ever play in the dark with the dogs again. Don't take any medication until referencing the Internet first for solutions. And get plenty enough sleep!

But my sunglasses sure to do make me look like a movie to find the solution when out at night. The glasses just don't cut it after dark.

Sunday, January 25, 2009



"Look for something, find something else, and realize that what you've found is more suited to your needs than what you thought you were looking for." Lawrence Block

I'm resistant to change. I like to think myself as adventurous...or at least I once was. But I've become kind of grounded, if you know what I mean.

I've always been the ultimate optimist and quite logical to boot. I have continued to be that through the years, no matter what barriers arise...I will always be that, a positive thinker. There are things that pop up and get in my way, events that happen to slow down my progress, things that make me unhappy. But I usually find a way to 'make it work', or 'make it right'...for me.

For instance, as you know (if you've read the earlier two blog posts) I just split from my significant other of 5 years. Big change. I don't like change. BUT...once I get my proverbial arms around it, my mind kicks into 'make it work' mode, and then; voila!...I'm okay with it.

Now, I'm not going to say that at present I'm perfectly fine...but I'm not going to allow myself to wallow in this. Depression is not an option. I don't have the time or patience for that. I did that once when I when I got divorced from my husband of eleven years...not gonna go back there, ever, if I can help it. However, that was a whole different ballgame.

Last night I was hanging out with my daughter (whose positive mojo has a healing effect all of it's own....LOVE HER!) and I started to cry after passing his area of the dressing room.

My house is a tall three story affair built in 1905. Four bedrooms on the second floor and the third floor is a spacious master suite; complete with bath and dressing room. My previous husband and I bought this house. We didn't have children at the time, so there was quite a bit of room to spread out. My husband had the entire dressing room and bath upstairs for his things. He had a lot of clothes and it worked out just fine. On the second floor, I converted one of the bedrooms into my own walk in closet, another bedroom as my office and I used the larger bath on that level for my own spread of stuff. When he and I split the third floor looked vacant. But I went into 'make it work' mode and transferred all MY clothes up to that larger, more spacious dressing area...and was pleased. Yeah, that's about all it took to start on the path of healing. It took a little time, but I was definitely on the right road.

Last night as I passed the empty area up there that is now cleared out (as I had shared my space this time), I had a twinge of self-pity; hung my head and cried. My daughter came in, hugged me and said, "mommy, it's going to be just fine". And she's right. It is. I am. We are.

So today I start filling the void of the empty closet, spreading some of my more cramped clothes into the space that HAD been mine, that I had shared, and now is gone. He made a couple of trips yesterday taking his things to his new apartment. He said, "You need a man, not a boy trying to BE a man." I found the thought rather poignant. If there's a void...we fill it. It's all in how we make it work. It's all in how we heal. that word. It works for me. It makes me feel good. It lets me know at all times that there is something else out there. How cool is that.

And how serendipitously? It comes in the dictionary right before serene - to be free and clear of storms or unpleasant change.

Now THAT, my friends, is true serendipity.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

you broke my heart

If you're on this post and you haven't read the previous that first, then come back.

My heart is broken.

I'm sure it will mend, as all things do. But right now, it's shattered.
I'll be honest...I thought I wasn't going to cry. I thought I could hold onto the anger long enough for the pain to subside and then this would blow over, I wouldn't cry. I could stay strong, this wouldn't hurt me. I could be cavalier about my 'break-up'...."aw, that? I was just passing time".

But I can't.
I invested over 5 years of my life with this person. I thought we were a team. There was "the future" for us. But to help with packing up his breaks my heart.

There were times in the past when there were moments that I had thought this day would come, his moving out....but in actuality I didn't think it would really happen. At least not like this. In the past I think I was just screaming inside to be heard over the din, to be be loved. I didn't believe it would get to this point. That he would say, "you're right, I'm wrong. I love you. Things will be better, I promise".

I might have accepted that. I wanted to accept that. seems, I can't accept that.

That was then and this is now. The finality of hearing him on the phone, setting up utilities for his new place, my gathering up extra sheets and towels, packing his toiletries....this isn't an overnight trip. It's not a vacation. This is IT. The dreaded "it".

The "it" that tear jerk movies are made of, and cry your heart out books. Of wet computer keyboards for bloggers. IT has arrived.

And it is too late to send "it" on it's way. This is for real. No dress rehearsal. This is the jump on in and get it over with variety.'s been so long since I've been this miserable I'm not sure what to do! Hunker down and wait for time to heal the wounds? Go out and party to show everyone how 'fine' I am? Post an advertisement for "I'm Available" on the Internet?

I don't think I'm going to do any of those things. But I do have some old toothbrushes and three toilets in the house....that might keep my mind off "it" for awhile.

Soon, I'll have the cleanest toilets in the neighborhood....but,
my heart is still broken.

Friday, January 23, 2009

the text of infidelity I've had the view of the bus from the underside after being casually thrown under it time and time again. I err on being too nice, too trusting, too naive. I've decided to be 'pro-active' with my life and never have that particular view again. If it takes a little sleuthing once in a while to make sure I don't see that view, then so be it. Early this morning I started to get the glimpse of an axle approaching and decided it was time to move out of the way.

The whole high tech era has made emotional infidelity easy. Cell phones, 3g Internet, texting, FaceBook....all of these things pose a threat to monogamous relationships.

In the past you had to worry about calls at odd hours, spouses/significant others talking in hushed tones. But you can be sitting right next to your spouse and they can be carrying on a texting relationship right under your nose under the guise of 'returning a work e-mail'; 'gotta take this call' or the best; 'I'll be up late writing'. Writing. I should have asked "writing to whom".

At first I wanted to pretend, that I was mistaken. That he really was just up late writing. I mean he IS a writer and a night owl too. The quiet of the house at night helps him put his thoughts down. But over the years there have been just too many inappropriate communication late at night to make it anything but looking for something other than what I can give him.

My first reaction is to be upset with the 'other'. But it's not necessarily 'the other''s him. (However, if there were more women out there spending their time tending to their own relationships, I wouldn't be writing this at all.) If it's not the girl at Akron U with the sexy librarian glasses, the hussy in a bad marriage with two kids in Washington State, then it's the past friend from High School living in Arizona. I realized it didn't matter who....there will always BE a who.

"Ur my SWIBFAZ - just an FYI"
"Your my sexy woman I'd bone from AZ"
"Ok, cool. ur my SSAFBD"
"Sweetest sin and future baby daddy"

"I could make u happy and enjoy life"

You've got to be F**king kidding me! Okay. What do you DO with that information. You can either sit on it and never say a word. But that would fester in my soul and eventually make things unlivable for me. You can confront him and see what he says....although you still have to be ready and willing to make a change no matter what the response. If he says, "yes...I've been having inappropriate communication for someone that is in a committed relationship"....what do you do with that! Trust him? Think everything will be 'okay'? With the past history, over the last 5 years, of someone every 8 months starts 'flirtations' when his ego seems to falter?

I mean, c'mon. How selfish.

Well, that's when I decided that enough was enough. I've been through too many of these 'writer' explorations into the human psyche. "It's for research", he said. Pleaze.....Done. Kaput. Get the *expletive* out!

A strong word of warning to those out there who think that this behaviour is all innocent. It's not. It's hurts people. Take a moment to think about how you would feel if your girlfriend boyfriend/wife or husband were texting or emailing someone SSAFBD? Wouldn't do much for you, would it. It's an emotional bomb. On many levels. You've taken the word TRUST in the relationship and thrown it out the window.

If you think that there is something out there that is better for you than the relationship you are in....then GET OUT of your present relationship BEFORE you start hooking up, virtually or otherwise, with someone else. The majority of people who split up would have been better off emotionally if the spouse/significant other had had the balls to make the separation BEFORE their infidelity. They would perhaps be able to remain friends. But in this instance? No...I don't need a friend who wants to bang the girl in AZ while I'm sleeping upstairs.

So I'm taking the ultimate high tech offensive. I dropped his link off my blog page and changed my status on FaceBook to I'm no longer "in a relationship".

Oh, and I'm posting this.

Good luck with the SWIBFAZ.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

motherhood; wow.

I have a 10 year old daughter. Amazing. Completely amazing. SO amazing I have to say it again.

I have a 10 year old daughter.

This is something that I can't hardly fathom. a.) Where did the time go? b.) When I was growing up, I never...I mean NEVER babysat. Had no interest in it. The extra money would have been nice...but I just didn't know how. c.) I didn't really like little kids. Or babies. I remember when our pastor came over to visit with his new infant son. We were sitting in the living room and he said, "Would you like to hold him?" and without waiting for a reply, put the baby on my lap. You'd have thought someone just dropped a bag of poop on me. I didn't know what to do! I kept thinking, "Get it off me, get it off me, GET IT OFF ME!" I think my facial expression must have given it away...they took the baby back rather fast.

I was the youngest in my family so there was never anyone younger than me to torture or practice on. The torture was reserved for my OLDER brother. It was my life. I studied and figured out the precise point at which to inflict pain. My favorite was to jump on his back and stick my chin, the second strongest point in the human body, into that soft area between the clavicle and shoulder. He would scream in agony and start yelling for our parents.

"Mom! She did it AGAIN!", he would cry.


"She did it AGAIN."

Of course with my cherubic face and shrug of my shoulders I usually didn't get into too much trouble. Besides, it would have been worth it anyway. Like the time I spent my whole allowance on my brother at Cedar Point buying him french fries, cotton candy, hot dogs....the works. All so I could see that perculiar shade of green that only comes when someone is about to puke.

Charles's is his name. Not his Christian God given name, although close. Charles; Chuck to his friends. Charles's to me.

Everything was Charles's growing up. Charles's room, Charles's records, Charles's stereo and toys and books and pets, Charles's car. Charles's, Charles's, Charles's. He calles me 'Trub'...short for Trub-L-Maker. Guess I got that one because of my chin.

I love my brother. He never had the opportunity (yet) to have he's stuck being the Uncle to Trub Jr. - my daughter. She hasn't perfected the chin move yet, but is working on it. She has her own tecniques in which to bug my brother. I've been training her well.

20 years ago it seems all my friends could talk about was getting married and how many kids they were going to have. Please. I had no interest in either. But yet, here I am with my 10 year old daughter wondering how futile my life would have been like without her gleeful face to look at, to hear her wonderful laugh, to share in lifes fun and quirky moments. I no longer have the husband, but he gave me the best gift of all - the gift of life. Everything changed with her first breath. I can't imagine how empty the world would be without her.

Having her in my life has changed my perspective on life, children, the world and the people in it. I've always been of an optimisitc nature...but my daughter just brings out the best in me. Although I can no longer watch movies where children get hurt; emotionally or otherwise. The movie Dark Water with Jennifer Connelly tore me up....for weeks.

I can't think of anything more rewarding than being a mom. Sometimes it can be hard....but boy, I tell ya, it's all worth every moment. My old pastor would be so proud.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

the art of contortionism

If needed, I have found my new line of work - a contortionist. I've been practicing this art for almost 2 years now. Ever since Stuey and Sienna decided to lay claim to my side of the bed. It all started innocently enough...and then, WHAM! I found myself to be involved with the nighttime act of contortionistic ritual.

I used to own two perfect dogs. Cameron, a 120lb. golden retriever whose only goal in life was to play ball and make you happy. Oh, and the occasional stolen plate of food; Ferris, a bouvier mix that was the coolest dog ever. Both of them were aging...although aging well, nearing the 16 year mark...which as you know is pretty darn old for big dogs. One fall day we happened into a pet store and there was Sienna, the cutest Labradoodle you've ever seen! Chocolate lab and Standard poodle mix....she's a Rastafarian lab. Gentle brown lab eyes, doesn't shed, doesn't bark except for a few yips here and there and fast as the wind. She has this habit that when you pull in the driveway she runs like mad toward the back of the property...over the koi pond, around the playhouse, around the garage and tries to reach your car just as your pulling into your spot.

When Sienna was a puppy we had to cage her - first time in my experience of dog ownership to do this. At first, it upset me...but then she would just sleep in her cage even with the door open. That was her 'safe haven'; her home. By this time we had put Ferris down and Cameron was too old to even make it up the stairs to sleep at the foot of the bed where he always was. Then the day came when we had to put Cameron down too. That was a sad day.

But then Stuey came into our lives. He's an American Bulldog. A white muscle dog with a big head and a black eye. Like Petey in The Little Rascals. His owner had had a tragic accident that took his life and Stuey was too much to handle for a couple of homes he had been transferred to. I had been asked to watch him 'for a few days' while my ex-husband was traveling and he in turn was 'babysitting' the dog while Stu's temporary owners were on vacation. He came to my house and he's never left. I am in love.

When Stuey came we gave away Siennas' cage. I think that's when the problem began. Both dogs then began sleeping on the bed - MY side of the bed. It would start out okay, they would both curl Yin/Yang style right below my feet. But somehow in the middle of the night I'd wake up, find myself with no covers on parts of my body in some weird contortionist pose just to lay stake to a PART of the bed that used to be mine. I'd push or shove with my feet with no results...both dogs lying happy and dead asleep. There have been nights when I'll leave the bed to go sleep with my daughter it's so bad. On other nights I get fed up and push them both off, rearrange my covers and start over. But then one dog will slink up and then the next crawls under the covers and 3 hours later I'm in that same proverbial boat. The one cruising down Contortionist Lane.

But so be it. It's a small price to pay...a night stretched out. I'd rather the adoring looks I get when I awake. They follow me when I get up. I'm up rather earlier than usual after awaking without my covers, my legs askew curled into an unnatural position at the top quarter of my bed, sitting at my computer writing this. Both dogs having left my comfortable bed AFTER I got up and sitting here at my feet. Sleeping stretched out is something that now I experience on vacation only...which makes the vacation all the more sweet. But even then I find myself waking up in the same position that I did on this morning.

They've trained me well. :-)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

the pilgrimage home

Back from the pilgrimage to my parents house....224 miles, 3:45 minutes, $7.00 toll road. It was a nice visit and yet so sad all the same.

My mother suffered the first of several strokes about two years ago. The doctors gave a prognosis that she wouldn't recover beyond how she was at that time....stable physically, but mentally scrambled. She DID recover...somewhat. But that with the age factor, the onset of Alzheimer's and another stroke has left her pretty weak and feeble. Her eyes have that glassy, cloudy look that older people have....and twice during my visit, she thanked me for my help and then asked what my name was.

She's the sweetest woman on earth. She was a well respected Home-Economics teacher for the Toledo school system for 40 years. People love my mom. She's quiet, smart, independent and quite a remarkable woman. She's very modest, caring and loving yet strong as nails. To see her in this position of being dependant and put into situations that would have embarrassed her breaks my heart.

Alzheimer's is a strange thing. Some days my mother can recall events that happened 20 years ago and tell you details like what she had on or who all was there. Other times, it's a blank. When we were having dinner we set the table with some place mats that had some recipes on them for cream cheese deserts. So here's this place mat with all these pictures of pies and cakes on them and as we're eating my mom keeps taking her fork from the real plate of food and is trying to scoop up some of the cheesecake! We finally just took it away as it was too distracting.

Things have a funny way of disappearing and reappearing at my parents house. I have 'my' room there that is equipped with all the duplicate personal belongings that I need so I don't have to bring everything with me each time I visit. I have all the toiletries one would need; shampoo, conditioner, robe, soap, razors, Q-tips, hairdryer, curling iron and make-up get the idea. So I'm there at my parents my room and go to take a shower. First off; my robes gone. I look around for it. Where could it possibly be? Can't find it anywhere. My hairdryer is there, but my curling iron is not. The Q-tips are there, but my make-up is gone. So I ask about it..."where's my stuff?" Blank faces. My parents have no idea.

Last year for my mom's birthday we got her a new pair of Reebok walking shoes. Then they disappeared. I found them while looking for my robe. They were in the spare bathroom under some towels in the linen closet. Funny place for shoes. Not in the original box but in a Oatmeal box....slightly odd. I wonder if the Oatmeal is in the Reebok shoe box somewhere.

I went to make breakfast and couldn't find the toaster, or the can opener. The toaster was downstairs in my dad's utility room on the shelf next to the drill bits. The can opener is still missing.

I bought my mom several pairs of new slacks. 10 pairs! That way they don't have to worry about laundry that often. There's only 2 pairs in her closet and I couldn't find any in the laundry or laundry basket. I looked around for those....haven't a clue. Missing. Gone. I'm sure they'll turn up on my next visit in the garage or somewhere. I found the skillet in the freezer and the crisper drawer in a cabinet under the stove.

I'm learning that each day is a new adventure at their house. I didn't have a lot of sympathy for my dad caring for my mom early on. I thought he was being whiny. My mom always took care of everything and I figured it was now his turn to give back. My dad never had to really do much but show up. I can see that this has been draining on him as he's learning a new skill pretty late in life. After my stay this last time....I give him some credit. It's a hard road; being the caretaker. I hope there's someone that will watch over me if the time comes....maybe they'll find my robe.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

the burden of responsibility

re-spon-si-bil-i-ty: n
moral, legal or mental accountability

2. something for which one is responsible: burden.

How many of us have the burden of responsibility for children, a spouse / significant other, or elderly parents. I have all of them including an ex-husband/friend. Sometimes having all of these I find I put myself on the bottom of the list....low man on the totem pole.

I normally don't make New Years resolutions. It's just another way to fail throughout the year....but this year, this year I DID make a resolution. To put myself BACK on the priority list.
Whether it be something as small as taking time to read a chapter in a book, take a walk, go to the tanning bed (yeah..I know it's bad for my skin but it makes me feel a little better, especially in the winter) or frivolously buy that pair of black boots that I just don't need.....I'm going to try to do 'something for ME'. Now not everyday, mind you. Who has that kind of time? But at least once a week.

That being said, here it's the middle of the month and I've squeezed about 2 things into the 'Me" schedule.....

Like today for instance! It's snowing outside with another 3 inches of fresh powder. What I WANT to do is stay at home...light a fire....order junk food and call it a day. What I HAVE to do is go visit my parents.

Now I love my parents, don't get me wrong. But it's hard to please them with what they expect of me. And I don't wish to disappoint them, but it's one of those things that it's never enough. If I go once a month, they want twice a month. So then I go twice a month and they want 3's never ending. But the worst part that it makes me feel matter how I approach it. I feel guilty that I'm not there enough, I feel badly that I am disappointing them, I feel sad that they need more than I can provide (not $, but emotionally) and I get angry that I'm put in a lose/lose situation ....all the time.

So here I am, packing a bag so I can head out into the tundra to go for an overnight visit. All those staying at home today eating McDonald's....I hate you. But we'll cover that another time.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

global warming? huh?

You ever REALLY listen when out on these super cold days? I was out yesterday in this crazy "global warming' -13 degree weather. I just had to take my camera and get some shots of the ice on the trees in the backyard.....absolutely gorgeous. Stunning really. With all the ice covered branches....the sun shining on them to make them glisten like diamonds. But it wasn't just the LOOK of was the SOUND they were making. Like chimes could hear the branches straining under the extra weight, like the trees were talking amongst themselves. Complaining probably like I was of this extreme cold....

But the sound of the trees, the crunch of the snow under foot....the absolute silence. Fascinating. Mesmerizing. But after a taking a few's time to go in, leave it behind....and try to pry my fingers, which are now frozen, off the lens.