Lights will guide you home…

Today’s song…

My way of eating has changed. I crave fresh – only fresh stuff… and olives and cheese… who wants to eat only fresh veggies for a meal? Me. I do. (Raising my hand – LOL)

Here is my first attempt at “real” pizza. The crust is not right… close, but not right. This will require tweaking to my recipe. I probably need an authentic Italian flour (and a pizza oven).

Here is my take on a salad I had in Greece – I marinated the onions and cucumbers overnight in olive oil, vinegar and caper juice. I could not find caper leaves at the grocery store the other day…

I made a lovely croque monsieur last night with croissant loaf, gruyere, and thinly sliced white ham… so yummy. (No picture… sorry)

I tested negative for Covid today but got a call this morning I was exposed again by another person – my business partner is sick now. He was not on my trip but I did go to work Friday so was around him ☹ – Side note: he tried to blame me for him being positive… he’s the dumbass who runs around mask-less all the time telling people they are stupid to worry about a “cold”… and he went to the funeral I did not attend yesterday ☹ – which makes me sad because I know he exposed everyone to Covid and he shakes hands still and gets right up into people’s personal spaces to talk to them…

I keep dreaming about France. I can’t wait to go back… maybe I need to marry a French man so I can stay – LOL

(Pardon the slouch and tote bag full of water… I wasn’t expecting my picture to be taken).

I should be working on this laptop while isolating back in the bedroom again… but it’s Sunday… I don’t really want to. Instead I am making far too many Amazon purchases… I now need a French linen duvet cover…

…lost and choking on hello

This song is on my mind today for some reason…

I’ve been up since 3am… seems to be my new normal – LOL. I get “messages from the Universe” in my email. While sorting the 4,000 emails waiting to be dealt with this morning, I read this one… (I’m sharing it because I liked it)

“Being spiritual means a good many things, Adrienne, and most of them are misunderstood by a good many people. So, to clarify, here’s how I see “it” and you:
Being spiritual means seeing yourself as divine, not just of the divine; a creator, not just the created. You needn’t be saved, forgiven, or fixed. You’ve already changed the world, added to its brilliance, and done enough.
You’re in time and space today, Adrienne, because in some long-forgotten time, you already earned your wings.
From a longtime super-fan,
  The Universe”

I am going to a funeral today… somehow, they waited for me to get back from Europe… Funerals are not for the person that passed away. They are for the people left behind. How do you keep going when your partner dies… how do you even keep breathing… you have to learn to all over again – moment by moment – one breath at a time… I am going for Pam and her children… I will hug them tight and remind them to breathe. Oops – I guess I am not going… I just found out one of the girls has Covid from our trip.

Looks like I’m on lockdown for a while. I would not forgive myself if I unwittingly passed on the germ to someone medically fragile. I have masked around people since I got back – especially my immune compromised daughter – because I was in proximity to hundreds, if not thousands of people, in multiple countries. I masked in crowds and on the plane, but still was exposed to so many people… and I know I was near at least two people with Covid – both Americans who pissed me off. One was in the airport – unmasked – coughing his ass off in Italy, having his wife get all the luggage because he didn’t feel well. I was sitting next to him until I realized. The second was staying next to us in Greece and was coughing like crazy when we arrived but checked out the day after we arrived… I wondered about the maid staff servicing that room before coming to ours (if you are sick, don’t let the staff in and keep to yourself) … and there was a wall between our patios and pools but made mental note the wind was blowing our direction when he was outside unmasked coughing. People are still dying from this, yet so many people – especially Americans – are so fucking cavalier and insensitive. I did take some risks… it was hot as fuck and staying masked didn’t always make sense… but I knew I was, and they were “calculated” risks – but risks none the less – hence the masking since I have gotten back, just in case… I better go Lysol wipe all the things I’ve touched in the kitchen and other communal spaces… heavy sigh. The girls and I shared food, drink and tight spaces/small places. We share – it’s what we do… sample each other’s choices and experience more great stuff.

Adventure – Conclusion

We left Greece and went back to France for a day… I am not homesick – which seems odd… the only thing I have longed for is my comfy bed. I have so thoroughly enjoyed this adventure. It makes no sense, but I feel more connected to myself and everyone else on the planet… I can’t wait to go again as well as other places. If you see a woman on a corner holding a sign “Will work for travel money” – that’s just me… gathering pennies for my next travels – LOL. I almost bought a shirt on vacation that showed a woman on a corner with a sign that said “Need money for Chanel” … it made me smile… I, too, need more money for Chanel… just kidding – I appreciate quality very much but don’t need the name. I have a pair of Gucci flats I have been wearing for 7 years – they are still fabulous, and I wore them quite a bit on vacation. Quality lasts. I saw other shirts I found humorous – a couple pictures to follow…

Home now, I just have no desire to go back to the fast pace of normal life… I just want to linger in my bed thinking about the places I went, the people I met, the wonderful food I had… My hair still smells like French shampoo… I’m craving those little Greek tomatoes and some Italian coffee. I have over 4,000 emails I have no desire to read. I called my business partner and told him I would not be in today. I alluded to jet lag… but I don’t really have any – other than needing to wake up at 3am and eat something… I made an omelet but wished I had some French cheese for it… I just feel contented and happy and want to linger in that feeling a while longer. Maybe start planning my next trip… Ireland is still calling to me… I also dreamed about renting a house somewhere in France near the water…

I feel different. My soul has been soothed… but at the same time ignited to new levels of passion for life.

Adventure – Part Four

Greece is lovely. Significantly more touristy than I anticipated- but lovely. We were here for the annual volcano fireworks show… amazing and difficult to describe… they simulated lava! The food here is scrumptious. We grew weary of all the tourists and chartered a speed yacht to explore the island from the water side, and asked to be taken to “locals only” type areas. We went to a restaurant where the catch of the day (sea bass) and other things I can’t pronounce or spell were a life altering culinary experience.

We spent hours with a lovely man named Nikos… and another named Christo filled us in on the history and culture. I am feeling so satisfied…content… filled with joy. If I had taken these travels in my 20’s I would be a different person… we snorkeled and swam in a cove near where the fishermen live… I’d rather be a “traveler” than a “tourist”.

Which reminds me – I have seen the most egregious behavior from other Americans here… obnoxious, entitled…disrespectful… may I never, ever, be that kind of human.

It makes the locals incredibly happy if you attempt the language… it seems so few even try here. Either that or I’ve said the wrong thing which makes them beam because it’s so funny? When I attempt the language, even though I’m quite sure it’s mangled – it makes people extra kind and they try to give you free extras – which I think is funny. The ice cream man taught me to count in Greek, then gave me free ice cream. Which reminds me, I now believe affogado should’ve a breakfast alternative… love it… want it all day please.

Adventure – Part Three

I have a problem. I seem to fall in love with every place I go… Rome now has a piece of my heart as well. The people are warm and friendly and resilient. The food amazing. Italian coffee is true delight. I thought I might get one the other day “to go”  so I could drink and walk. The sweet man behind the counter said, “no go with it… sit, enjoy” as I looked at the stack of “to go” cups… then he says, “do you have appointment to be somewhere?” I said No” so he ushered me to a table outside to “sit and enjoy”. Oh my God… best coffee ever… that then became my “thing” sitting to enjoy a coffee and people watch. 

At lunch we ordered some pastas (too incredible to even describe)and salads at a highly acclaimed restaurant (a Bourdaine place) and toward the end of the meal, the waiter asked if he could tell me something without offending me. I told him absolutely – tell me anything. He wanted to tell me we ate the bread wrong. You don’t eat it while you wait for your food and spoil your appetite – you use it to sop the sauce. He brought us more bread and said “please try – use hands- break and sop”. Wow… he was so right. Now I had to eat more although I was full! 

One thing I have enjoyed in both Paris and Rome is early mornings and nights. Having coffee at an outdoor cafe early in the morning watching the city wake up and come to life. Both cities are beautiful at night and have things to see and do. Street performers are also amazing. Jazz played on a street in Paris, an amazing operatic singing and circ de soleil type performances in Italy. 

Tiramisu.  I thought I had eaten it before… the “real” thing is like nothing I’ve had before. Again I am now forever spoiled…

Sitting, eating, visiting… lingering over wine. That’s what people do in these cities. No one hurries to bring your check. Food is not meant to be inhaled in a hurry as sustenance between things. It is a “thing”. An important, soul satisfying, “thing”. 

Seeing the sites is lovely but I love it more in the rain or in the evening – then it’s more personal – if that makes any sense. So many fountains in Italy… they are all… I’m overusing the word amazing (reminder – must expand my vocabulary to fully express all this amazingness) and they are all so beautiful. 

Paris has these special fountains installed by Sir Richard Wallace in the 1800’s. I did not bring my laptop and I’m blogging by phone so I can’t go into detail, but Google “Wallace fountains” and you will know the story. It brings my heart joy that a wealthy man cared enough about others to have these installed. One local said they bring happiness and prosperity to your life like “magic”.  I have found two… 118 to go – so I will need to go back again. 

Arrivederci Italy… I will be back here also. I ensured that with the backward right arm coin toss in the appropriate fountain 😁

Adventure – Part Two

I love Paris… I will be back. I even felt comfortable enough with the metro to go to the Eiffel Tower at midnight to watch the lights (most definitely a different vibe and more colorful people in the middle of the night though). There is still so much I haven’t seen! I hate to leave. Plus other places in France I’m sure will be different and wonderful in other ways!

I left Paris from the other airport (Orly) and arrived in Italy today… and yes, today we had a driver. (So appreciative!) I’m in the Campo deFiori part of Rome. The buildings are amazing… almost feels like a ruins in places… amazingly old, yet full of life. We have rented an apartment. The building is very old, hundreds of years… FYI if you turn on all the air conditioning units and the washing machine at the same time in a building this old, you will blow a fuse and you may very well sweat to death waiting for a fix! After our lesson in fuse panels, we went walking. I discovered at lunch that I thought I knew what pizza was, and I was so incredibly wrong! The pizza here is so amazing I have been spoiled for life now. I’m sorry but no American version – even at a fancy Italian restaurant can compare! Not even the same food! (Mental note – must buy a pizza oven and learn to make real pizza). 

Also after wheeling heavy luggage down cobblestone streets in two countries now, then hoisting it up two flights of the craziest randomly sized and heighted skinny marble steps, I will never travel with normal luggage again. Besides, I’m finding I don’t need much… I have some favorite dresses I keep throwing on… all I really need is a backpack (this time of year anyway). 

I’ve also learned you can’t always be open, friendly and trusting… sometimes you have to be cold and shut someone down (not a natural strength for me)… in Paris a Serbian man decided he liked me, wouldn’t leave me alone… sang to me, followed me, and kept trying to kiss me. The girls had to step in and get me away from him. Apparently making eye contact – which I am accustomed to doing when I speak to people – can be misinterpreted in other countries. Who knew?

I have also learned that Google maps combined with Google translate opens the entire world to me! I do not speak Italian (yet), the girls do – but with these two little tools, I feel like I could go anywhere! 

Welcome to Rome… dinner was meat from the butcher, fresh veggies from the market and bread from the bakery, followed by a walk for gelato.

Adventure – Part One

I am a very relaxed traveler… I just always assume it’s all part of the journey. I packed 15 dresses, 2 skirts, 6 tops, 3 swimsuits, and 7 pair of shoes… which may seem excessive, but my suitcase was only 35 pounds. I had a carry on with two changes of clothes(just in case), and snacks. I had to leave for the airport at noon – which is perfect… not stressful. The girls arrived frazzled, with overweight bags – so we repacked them, put some of their things in my bag, and had them leave behind a few things they honestly won’t need. I managed to get them to take some deep breaths and get less stressed. Although one of the girls can never really relax about flying. 

We left for the airport on time. We all had TSA pre-check so smoothly made it through security and to the gate with plenty of time to spare. The flight was delayed an hour so we had a lovely meal at a sit down restaurant (vs a bag in our lap at the gate), with lovely dumplings and tempura green beans… normally I fly first class but that is VERY expensive for a flight to Europe so I conceded to fly not first class… I’m happy to be going – no need to be a diva. 

We boarded the plane and got settled. I pre-loaded an iPad and a kindle in case we were bored with selections offered on the plane. I had 14 movies, a few series, and many books available.  Good to go 😁 – it was going to be a very long flight but we were all set. 

The plan was to change from our plane clothes into something clean and more chic at the airport, then drop our bags at the hotel and go exploring. In coach it feels as if you have a one foot square space to be in. Sleep was not possible.

We arrived at Charles deGaulle airport at 11am with all of us tired and one of the girls feeling sick (mostly from being overtired but she also has a very delicate digestive system). We decided to skip changing clothes and just get our luggage and get out in the air and maybe eat something. As we were walking down the ramp from the plane, following signs for baggage claim, I saw a huge herd of people. I thought to myself – gosh, they look uncomfortable… mental note plan to be early when leaving… assuming they were all waiting to get to gates. Winding down and around, I realized we were joining them… there must have been a thousand people… I have now been in a mask for about 16 hours, I’m tired, hungry, my ankles have swollen to an unrecognizable size, my body hurts from being cramped up so many hours … and this is the only way out. The lines do not appear to be moving at all. It took a moment to figure out the queue system and we got in the line for those with American passports. 

It took 3 hours to get through customs to be able to get to the baggage carousel. The entire time we were questioning ourselves if we were even in the right place… the girls took turns being agitated and/or frustrated as this wasn’t the plan in their mind. Me, being the annoyingly optimistic person I tend to be, kept telling them “It’s okay… we’ll be through soon… just go with the flow… it’s all part of the adventure…” meanwhile it’s hot. It’s sticky. The people around us are unhappy in dozens of languages… I remember Mercury is in retrograde and that is likely part of the problem- we just need to chill about everything… so I announce that to make us all feel better – which makes a man near me literally roll his eyes… (yes, I am aware I can get on a nerve… I am very sweet and lovable though). 

We finally get to the bags and I assume we will taxi or Uber to the hotel. I usually have a car service lined up but I was being easygoing and allowed the girls to take the lead on this as they felt it was unnecessarily extravagant (although I was so tired by the time I had my bag, I looked at all the drivers holding signs anyway – on the off chance the Universe gifted me a chauffeured SUV with air conditioning). Consulting their phones, comparing prices, they decided we would get a train pass. “Affordable and convenient” we could use it multiple times navigating around Paris… okay. In line for the train pass. Oops wrong line – must get in line for photos first – then back to the train pass line. Two more hours pass. (Welcome to Paris) we have now been off the plane for 5 entire hours but have not managed to leave the airport… which, by the way, is absolutely humongous! 

Finally, train pass in hand, we are leaving the airport. I’m just going with the flow… happy for a moment of fresh air… I see a train but they say that’s not ours. Ours comes in 8 minutes. Then at last minute the girls decide it IS our train – they were looking at when it departs- so quickly we get ourselves and the three suitcases and three carryons on to the train and find a seat. It’s not a spacious train… it’s like an above ground commuter train… there is not a lot of room for our suitcases and we really wedged in with them. I asked the girls where we get off, how many stops, etc. They are busy trying to read the map… one of them says it’s a hour and 18 minutes until we get off – but then just a 4 minute walk to the hotel. I said I didn’t understand that… we are in Paris and the hotel is in Paris so why so long? They weren’t sure, but indicated Paris must be rather large… okay… I’m going with the flow… it’s all an adventure. 

I chatted with a few people on the train. People got off… others got on… the plastic seats were hard and uncomfortable… there was no air conditioning and it felt like 100 degrees of stagnant air… the windows wouldn’t open and I’m still masked… apparently “rush hour” happens all over the world and this train just kept getting more and more full… people are packed in standing in every available spot… no air flow… then the train stops unexpectedly and stays stopped. Announcements are made… that I do not understand… no matter what country you are in, if announcements are made and the speaker doesn’t annunciate well, it’s hard to understand what is said and even harder if it’s not your language… factoring in various accents… you get the idea. The train is broken. Something about switches. We finally get moving again for it to break again a few more times… then a very tall man – maybe 7ft tall, very thin, dark skin, a woven looking thing on his head (akin to a yamaka) and wearing a long white priest-like robe makes his way through the people to where I am seated. Meanwhile I am so overheated, fatigued  and smothered by my mask which has now been on my face approaching 20 hours, I’m feeling like I may faint – which I never have, but I imagine this is how you feel when you are going to. 

This towering man in the white priest garb flashed a card at the man seated across from me. That man got up and the robed man proceeded to yell at me in French. From what I could gather, my luggage was taking up too much room. He was pointing at a sign, which I believe said the seat was for pregnant women, or those with disabilities or age… none of which seemed to apply to him… I apologized and tried to explain I had nowhere to put the suitcase and indicated I would ride standing. Others on the train started telling me to sit and just ignore him.  He picked up my bag and hoisted it in air and set it on Meg’s bag – making me wonder how I would ever get it down again… I continued trying to calm him and ask him what he needed from me. The other passengers were angry with him and just kept telling me I was fine. I sat back down… tears welled up because it was such a long day. I put on my sunglasses so no one could see and pondered the fact he seemed to regard himself as some sort of holy man and no truly holy man would act so boorish. Then he picked another argument with a man who had to ride standing – indicating the standing passenger was encroaching on his space. It was getting very heated and more passengers were joining in against this bully – all yelling in French. I’m pretty sure swearing was involved.

Communicating with sign language, the girls and I agreed to get off at the next possible stop. You have roughly 30 seconds to get out – not an easy task with standing room only and all our luggage. With many pardon mois and much lack of grace we managed to get out… barely… suitcases tumbling over. That’s when they told me they made a mistake and we got on the wrong train, we were not in Paris and we were actually lost. That was my breaking point… the final straw… no more going with the flow… no more Namaste. I had to cry for a minute. The girls were overflowing with apologies about the wrong train, the mean man, their earlier grumpiness…(which just made me feel worse – I never want someone to feel bad because I’m having a moment). But also had to say I would never yell at someone who clearly was not from where I was and was struggling with the language… that’s just rude.

I told them to just give me a minute, it has been too long of a day. Then we ordered an Uber to come and find us and take us back to Paris and to the hotel. That did require some translation assistance… but I was so thankful to see a beautiful black Mercedes with air conditioning arrive to save the day. The good smelling driver loaded the bags and opened our doors further accentuating the fact I had spent hours smelling body odor and urine of countless strangers… merci beaucoup… I think I love you… still rush hour(s) but leather comfy seats and AC – I was beginning to feel human again. 

Our hotel is in the 7th Arrt with beautiful old buildings all around. We pulled up to building with a discrete hotel plaque (no gawdy neon here!) and was greeted by the very pleasant hotel staff who wisked us to comfy chairs with lemon water as they sent our luggage to the room, eager to hear why we were so late to arrive and then offered us free adult beverages to help us relax and recover. 

The concierge then made us dinner reservations at a place she thought we would like, ushered us off for showers and said she would show us where to go when we were ready. Dinner was a pleasant walk away and was absolutely amazing… after sumptuous food (that I should go into great detail about because it was so wonderful), more adult beverages and lots of laughter we went back to the hotel and went to sleep.

Today has been really lovely. I have mastered “le metro” and am now zooming all over Paris doing all the things… the metro system is fabulous! We went to a lovely boulangerie for breakfast and have taken a walking tour through the 18th Arrt sampling the food, hearing about the history, seeing the sites and then had wine, champagne, and cognac with the other people on the tour – a couple from England, a couple from New York, another couple from Colorado, and a couple from Spain – we had a special room we went to drink and toast to love and life in the hotel where Edith Piaf sang and met the love of her life who inspired her famous song La vie en rose. We are the three American women who made friends (and made them laugh for a while) with them and the 1/2 French 1/2 Italian tour guide who is working his way through interior design school. We laughed, shared stories, and had a wonderful time. I discovered I like cognac. Now we are resting a bit before showering again and taking the metro out for more adventures. 

The time change has me a little thrown off. If you are in the western United States, I’m actually writing this from the future… it’s tomorrow here. It confuses me – LOL.

I am really enjoying Paris… a baguette with salted butter and white ham makes me very happy… I could just stroll the streets with one in hand forever and be deliciously content… and croissants make me happy. I can get behind a people who eat bread at every meal… and so many wonderful cheeses… I have not had anything not absolutely superb. I have found most of the people I’ve met are quite warm and friendly. I’m having a fabulous time now. I have two more days here before we journey off to Italy.

Internal rambling…

Warning – I’m going to talk about some stuff that may make you uncomfortable… but remember this is my personal diary – so if you don’t like it, don’t read it. This is where I sometimes sort stuff out. It makes me feel better to type it out… sometimes it even helps me make sense of stuff.

I have been on a self-imposed sex desert… the Sahara. I have forgotten why I put myself there… I suppose I could go back and read through old posts and figure it out, but whatever. If you’ve been here a while, you know sex is important to me… it’s part of being human… and alive. Even if I’m not in a loving couple relationship, I need the physicality. I’m ready to leave the desert and go back to swimming in the lake. Lately I’ve noticed I get a little tingle when I see email from GoDaddy and move it over to the GoDaddy folder… saying the word in my mind GoDaddy… Am I alone here? LOL – Probably… also the “submit” button… that gets me too. Yeah, I know… I’m a freak.

The other day, while making the long drive to work, I was thinking about penises. (You were too? See… we are friends – LOL) There is one in particular that is perfect for me… but I can’t have that one… I had even forgotten at one point how perfect it was for me – then when we reconnected a few months later, I was so pleasantly surprised and thought “Yes, this is perfect… the perfect penis for me!”… but those are thoughts for another day. There is a close second that I have enjoyed a number of times… I had recently considered texting the owner of that one but talked myself out of it a few times. At a meeting with a builder the other day I found myself wondering if he was married… if he had a good penis… if he was good in bed… I realize this is not considered “normal” female thinking. It’s the way I’m built. I’m very sexual and when not in a relationship and having regular sex, these thoughts crop up. So sue me.  

While driving and thinking about penises I went ahead and texted the owner of the runner up. (I know – don’t text and drive.) I was prepared for a wide range of possible responses… from “I’m seeing someone” to “Why haven’t I heard from you in so long?” to “Not interested” … I was even prepared for silence. What I got was an instant, very warm response.

I didn’t go immediately straight to the point… I did say “Hi” and “How are you?” … then asked if he’d like to fuck one day soon… He wanted me to come over right away. I had to explain I was working, so I couldn’t go over now, but could later. He was so pouty about the “I can’t this moment”, I thought it was going to turn into a “forget it”. I did have to explain I didn’t know his current status or receptivity and had anticipated needing to plan ahead a bit if he was receptive – most people would not be like “yes it’s 8am on a Thursday, let’s do this”. He did get over it and we made plans for after work. I talked about it with him, and he is completely up for me swinging by any time for sex. No “relationship” just sex. No scheduling days or weeks in advance or coordinating calendars – just “let’s have sex now” or “let’s fuck” works for him. This makes me happy. He is right off the freeway I drive up and down every day. It’s convenient.

When I was going through my divorce, I had a fuckbuddy. I had one accidentally for a while last year. In this case, neither of us has any illusions this will be “more” or “different” than what it is – just sex. I’ve known this guy a while… about a year and half. He’s not soft, sweet, or “romantic”. He manages IT for a very large organization, very analytical… very direct… he is a guy that will competitively race motorcycles at 100mph for fun and cares more about his pit bulls than he ever would any woman in his life. I’m okay with that. He’s good at sex.

I think if I ever talked to him about energy, intention, or meditation he would think I was soft in the head. He and I have trouble talking about anything really… we have tried. I seriously doubt he will ever stop being a quintessential “overly hard and jaded masculine” bachelor. There was one time last year when he tried to be sweet… I told him I wanted to have conversation and food… he tried… it didn’t end well… That’s okay – that is not what we can have together – we fuck.

There is one thing he said the other night that I keep remembering though… it’s weird. And kind of under my skin a bit I guess if I keep hearing it in my mind. We always have some pleasantries – like “How was your day?” or “Drive safe – text me”, but we don’t try to go “deep” or “real” or “soft”… it’s just all about the sex. In the middle of sex he said something that caught me off guard and was not something he would ever normally say… he said in a soft, almost vulnerable way “You know how sexy you are… don’t you?” Normally if he were to ask me something, it would be in a different tone of voice, and I would answer – it’s part of the game… the role. This was different. I chose not to answer. I think I may have paused for a moment… but said nothing. Then we went back to our play… but it has kind of haunted me for some reason. He probably meant nothing “real” by it, but it stuck with me.

So now I have to analyze it… my first thought was “No… I’m a middle-aged chunky woman whose tits have succumb to gravity.” Then I think – “middle-aged” is generous… I will not live to be 116. I like to “feel” like I can be sexy and desirable… but let’s face it – I am not a hot 20 something (anymore anyway) … I look okay for my age… some I know have not aged as well… I could be better if I worked at it… who decides what “sexy” looks like? Robert found me sexy… but he’s dead. Do people ever think I’m sexy? Does it matter? My therapist said I don’t need therapy why? In my mind, maybe “sexy” is more of an attitude? A way of “being” in the moment? It doesn’t matter – it only matters however I am makes my fuckbuddy’s dick hard – right? The neighbor is always looking at my ass or my boobs… does he think I’m sexy? I don’t care if he does… he needs to buy a house – I focus on that. I did the same mental spiral once when someone asked me if I knew how pretty I was. I had assumed people just said that kind of thing to be nice, but I finally did concede that I have pretty moments… we all do. I have always been taught it’s the inside that matters. I never learned to use my feminine features the way most girls and women do… I have always felt I was broken in that regard… someone finally taught me how to put on lipstick when I was 40, and I rarely ever wear any make-up. I went through an eyeliner phase as a teenager, but I have never been a make-up person. I just work. I make things happen… it doesn’t matter what I “look” like… it just matters who I “am” – right?

That’s why it’s so easy to pack for my trip. (Suitcase is open – I’m ready) I don’t need to take a bunch of things. Hairbrush, toothbrush, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, razor, moisturizer, swimsuit, dresses, shoes, money, passport… done. I am going to get a manicure before I go, so I don’t look like a homeless person… and have a little more drive-by sex so I don’t end up getting random international sex… although… would that be horrible?

There you have it. Welcome to the rabbit hole in my mind. Okay… my dirty mind and I must get back to work.

Thoughts on a Tuesday

The last couple weeks people in my outer perimeter seem to be dying.

It started with my nephew’s best friend, whom I had just seen a few weeks ago at my nephew’s “Congrats on being drafted by the Astros” party, dying in a motorcycle accident. He was only 22. It’s really sad. Then a friend lost a parent… (I’ve lost all mine and know it feels extra strange… a parent always feels like an important touchstone or last ditch savior). It sucks to feel like an orphan – even if you are “old” (ish). Today my ex-husband’s cousin’s husband died (I know that sounds far removed, but he was family and I saw him regularly… really nice guy). He was only 62. Dean – the ex’s cousin’s husband, had just reached a point in life where he was really happy… he had recently repaired a strained relationship with his two older children from a previous marriage, had finally achieved some business things that were really important to him, gotten to a new level of happiness in his marriage, and he and his wife were making plans to travel and have fun for a change… all gone in a instant. I suspect a heart attack – but don’t know. He woke up this morning having trouble breathing (had not been sick – had been feeling fine), his wife called 911, he died while the paramedics were there. To top it off, last week one of my brothers-in-law had a mini stroke (he is 69). One of my business partner’s friends also tried to commit suicide… he is in ICU. I guess he is just unhappy with how his life has played out… don’t know if he will make it – he aspirated.

Life is fragile. And short… really… Having lost many people in my life (parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, lovers, sister-in-law, ex-husband, fiancé…), I am not a stranger to death. Or grief. But… it seems the Universe is reminding me (very loudly) that we never know how long we have… we have to do the things we really want to do… you can’t wait… It also reminds me I really should not spend so much time working (she says after another 14 hour work day) …

How many people wait to travel and have fun after they “retire”? How many still have the vim and vigor to really enjoy it at that point in life? How many people hold back in expressing their love and admiration for things in life… and more importantly, people in their life, until it’s too late? Tell someone you love them. Tell someone they did a good job… that you are proud of them… or appreciate them…

I am one of the weirdos who looks people in the eye and tells them how wonderful they are and that I love them. Most people are not that kind of person. How many regret not expressing themselves before it’s too late? I vow to continue to be someone who never holds back… I’m also going to continue to try and get all the joy out of this journey I possible can before it’s over…

I hope Dean’s funeral is before I leave for my trip… Where I will see all the things… eat all the foods… go all the places… meet all the new people… and soak up all those countries have to share with me while I’m there… I’m ready… should have started going on these types of adventures 30 years ago.

Day off… kind of

I took today off unexpectedly… I had not planned to – it just worked out. It has turned out to be quite a dilemma. I’m tired… I should sleep – but I hate to waste the time. I had all kinds of imaginary plans for my day off… the whole day was at my disposal…

I started out by thinking I would go to the gym, but first real quick I would learn google docs and OneNote and put some documents for collaboration in them and then figure out how to combine databases. Then my business partner called and told me to “stop working” and take the day off I had decided to take… by then it was noon… I made a sandwich. I looked for new housing alternatives… thought again about going to the gym… contemplated mowing the grass… played with tarot cards… listened to a couple of youtube things… tried to find something to watch on tv… got the bright idea I should go to the naked lady spa and get a massage – but found they are closed today… thought about cleaning the house… riding my bike… going shopping…

I thought about texting a guy I know for sex – I could really use some – but then changed my mind because it seemed like I would be using him and I’m behind on personal grooming (sorry for the TMI) besides I haven’t even texted him since March – he may be in a different situation plus I’m not in the mood for conversation of any kind… plus interacting with him is complicated – he is a different kind of guy for sure – INTJ, horrible at communication, not very fun because he takes everything seriously and tends to be very rigid in thought so nothing just flows effortlessly (which means extra work for me) – besides he’s probably golfing with his best friend… so here I sit – with a day off but can’t figure out what to do.

I swear I have hundreds of channels – plus “on demand” at my disposal and there is nothing on… I also have Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and others – but not one thing looks interesting! I have a stack of books waiting to be read… but feel antsy. I tried napping but couldn’t fall asleep.

Now I feel frustrated because I’m wasting my day off! If I had planned it I could have scheduled a massage… and a playdate for sex…Ugh! If I had a partner this wouldn’t be a problem… I should rearrange my closet… I should write something meaningful but don’t feel inspired… I could go to the beach (but why). A day off is supposed to be relaxing – not stress inducing!

The last day off I had was my birthday and was planned by my kids… I just did as I was told… why is this so hard? You would think it would be easy.

Fuck it. I’m going to work.

Lunch Break

I have been working 65-70 hours a week. I haven’t done this in a minute… I spent decades working these kinds of hours but put an end to it (most of the time) a number of years ago. Here I am doing it again. I’m not complaining… it’s what I do when I’m “building” things… it’s just not completely within my control right now and I don’t like things not being in my control – LOL. I do get out of balance when I do this… I’m trying my best to get to the gym today…I am planning to leave for Europe in a couple weeks (2 ½). I still have to figure out what I’m taking… probably just a handful of dresses and several pairs of good shoes. Anything else I need; I will just get while I’m there… I am not planning on answering my phone while I’m there. The world will have to find a way to keep spinning on its axis without me!

I am really trying to focus on being thankful for my daily “miracles” while I’m working like a crazy person…

The definition of miracle:

miracle [‘mirak(a)l]

  • a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.
  • a highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences.

For me, “miracles” are welcome and extraordinary events that actually are probable and should be expected every day… “awesome normalities”… I’d like to call them.

I know that everything is always working out for me… the Universe has my back (LOL). I have to just keep going with the flow and being appreciative of all those awesome normalities.

I’m not perfect… I did have a meltdown on Wednesday and yelled at my “business partner” (I am not a “yeller”, so it actually takes an enormous amount of frustration and lack of sleep to cause that!). I can only take so much shit from an arrogant, racist, misogynistic, Republican white cis-gen male who feels privileged and entitled… my “namaste” approach went out the window for a minute. Please Universe, grant me the grace to help him be more evolved and a better human… amen. I already gave him and his wife marriage counseling this week… and they made me sleep over (which was just weird – I am not a “sleep-over” person even when I’m dating, much less a “sleep-over” person with people I am not dating). I like my own space… I like to sleep naked… I like peace and quiet. Then I had to make it through the day showing houses and meeting with clients in yesterday’s clothes and no toothbrush… like a party girl doing the walk of shame…

This cup cracks me up..

One of the ways I get out of balance working so much, is I stop eating regularly… and writing… and meditating… I’m killing two birds right here – eating lunch and writing – LOL… back to work now.

Thinking out loud…

Is it completely unreasonable to be irritated by someone who insists everything should be in Times New Roman when Calibri is more my style? Ego… I dislike people so caught up in their own ego they spend all their time mentioning their value and failing to acknowledge anyone else’s. I swear I know how to partner and collaborate… I put down ego and focus on the client… the job… doing my best… “building” things. I don’t feel the need to talk about my accomplishments all the time while simultaneously downgrading the people around me. I have some sizeable accomplishments but don’t need to talk about them all the time… that’s the past… I live in the “now” and what needs to happen right now to create tomorrow. We are still in the negotiation phase of this business partnership… maybe I won’t move forward with it. I do know that I do not thrive when I am feeling undervalued… I have some unique value to bring to the table… I am long past the point of feeling like I should have to hit someone over the head with it. And the words… all the words… I like to listen more than talk. This potential business partner talks five times more than listens. My ears are tired. I don’t need that many words in my life. I have a headache. And a sore throat. I hope it’s not the vid.

I was at a wedding Saturday and had so much fun… reconnected with people I haven’t spent time with the last decade but have known for three decades… I was a little shocked by how old some of them looked and seemed… but I still convinced them to do shots and dance – LOL. These people all said how much they missed me (which was nice) and hugged me so much I felt like a stuffed animal lovey thing (really hope I don’t have covid and passed it around). They all want me to move north again… I’m considering it…Isn’t it crazy you can’t even have a headache these days without worrying?

Today someone asked me if I had plans for the rest of my life (they might want to make some with me – LOL). Here was my response.

Upon reflection, it sounds kind of cheesy… but that’s me… Queen Cheese… it’s how I really think…

This is where I wish I was right now…

Peek into my world

Big changes are coming…I’m restructuring every little thing in my world…

I will have much to share when I’m done. I just had to take a moment to share my current music interest (loving Rosenfeld’s sexy vibe) … and remind anyone who stops by to take a leap of faith in life. You don’t usually find happiness by coloring inside the lines or sticking with something that no longer fits. Follow your joy…

Happy Friday

It’s Friday morning… it’s been a busy week. Today is my birthday. I have not been blogging much. I guess I have just been busy… happy… momentarily less reflective and needing to share. I did go to a workshop in downtown Seattle last weekend that I thought about sharing about… I convinced my friend Sandy to go with me. I get tired sometimes of always doing stuff alone… so it was nice to have someone to share the experience with – LOL.

This week one of my nephews was drafted by the Astros. I have learned some things about baseball and the draft process and how things in that arena work. His parents are having a big celebration for him tomorrow… so I ended up getting called first thing bright and early Tuesday morning by my ex-brother-in-law again to say “Help me… My office is a disaster again and we are having a big party and I have to pull it together but I’m too busy to even see straight.” I threw on some clothes and went right over.

As you may recall from a previous post not that long ago, I recently unburied him, so it wasn’t as bad as it had been but was out of control again. He had tubs of miscellaneous stuff dotted with receipts all over the family room and piles of paper in his office again… along with golf clubs and tools (he has been doing some remodels as part of his real estate business) and “Oh by the way” he says, “I have about $60K in outstanding reimbursements I need to somehow find the receipts and make reimbursement requests for before my wife divorces me.” Day one I dove right in… 12 non-stop hours of controlling his chaos. Around 4pm both of them poured drinks and kept offering me wine or whisky or a margarita… both of them shocked because I continually declined. Every time I am there, they try to give me alcohol… I’m not there to party – LOL.  

Day two I told him something I had wanted to for a while now… I told him “Ed, I know that change is a big deal for you. I appreciate that, but are you aware not all real estate brokers are drowning in paper? I, for one, am completely digital when it comes to my real estate business. I don’t have to file mountains of physical paperwork anymore unless I come to your house. You know everything is energy, right? All these up-files and overflowing file cabinets disrupt the flow of energy. This computer you have… with a rat’s nest of cables and cords… and multiple monitors (so 2005) and peripheral pieces of crap everywhere… it looks horrible and is a mess and not even efficient. They have these wonderful computers now with all-in-one systems and over-sized screens instead of multiple monitors… with much more memory and so much speed… you need to move all this paper out of here, get a new computer, and quit printing every little thing. By the way – this printer you have is wireless, you are just using it wired because your computer isn’t wireless, and they also have wireless keyboards and mouses also (I resisted the urge to say mice). I’ve been mostly paper free with my business for 10 years now.” He surprisingly agreed to all those changes. So, I carefully boxed up and removed a ton of old, dead weight from his office and helped him choose a new laptop and a new desktop computer. Mostly I had to box and move everything by myself because his wife was having a very bad day, feeling stressed out and screaming at him every time he came within 10 feet of her. Plus, he was still juggling deals and coordinating contractor things while doing other chores in preparation for the party. Another 12 non-stop hour workday… with no food (must remember to keep a protein bar in my bag).

It’s not comfortable to be around people fighting. But I have known them for 37 years. I’ve been in this spot before. Even when he was gone running errands, she was still pissy and saying things out loud (LOL) like “I’ve put up with this shit for 30 years. I’m sick of it. I don’t want people coming over seeing everything torn up (they are in the middle of a kitchen and master bath remodel) looking like “white trash” with lumber in the yard and tools in the living room. I’m tired of his bullshit promises and never finishing anything.” I tried to soothe her occasionally by pointing out the things that are going right… “It’s getting cleaned up… we are making progress now… you guys have a lot on your plate” and the like. It did no good – but what can I do other than try to soothe her? Meanwhile when she would snap at him over this or that or go off on a tangent at him dredging up things from 20 years ago, I would tell him “She’s stressed… just soothe her, tell her she is right and you are sorry – even if you don’t really think she is, or you really are because you can’t reason with or have a rational conversation with someone this mad and stressed.” At one point she was out back with a pressure washer, and they were arguing about if and how it should be used. He came in shaking his head and saying, “What the fuck?” I did tell him I know she is not feeling appreciated based on many things she said during the day. Don’t forget to tell her you appreciate things she does to make the house and the family work (they have three mostly adult now children) and the fact she does all those things while also being a loan officer – she doesn’t have someone who does her laundry or makes her a meal like you do… You get your sense of worth from being a “provider”, but she is also over-worked (because that’s the way modern life is) and needs you to appreciate her so she feels self-worth (wrong… but a fact). I took her a big, cold, glass of Rose to drink while power washing which calmed her down a bit, poured Ed a whiskey, and called it a day.

Day three I got all of his new computers up and functional with everything he needed. Put his email on his iPhone for him because he had gotten a new phone a few months ago and for some reason couldn’t figure out how to do it (??) and I rearranged his drop box to make it all more user friendly and explained you never want 15,000+ documents you have to scroll through… we use folders and sub-folders (Wish my laptop had emojis – need a face slap here!). When we went to pick up his new computers, we talked about the previous day’s issues with his wife. He shared she remained unpleasant all night and today she was being quiet. (Quiet is not always a good thing when it comes to a spouse…) I am not a screamer. I always approach things rationally, but for some reason many women do not… we talked about that and how she might be feeling and what he might do to improve the relationship. I refrained from talking about her drinking – although it crossed my mind… very much NOT my business… but I have thought for a long time she was self-medicating other things with too much wine and that creates other issues… especially with communication and processing of stuff and having a healthy relationship with your spouse… but again – NOT my business.

Today, since it’s my birthday, they are on their own. I am spending the day with two of my daughters on a boat that belongs to one of them. We will have a fun and relaxing day. But I did wake up thinking about being 58. There was a time (feels like yesterday) when I thought 58 was really fucking old. I know my daughters think it is (LOL), The youngest spent time researching and scheduling doctor’s appointments for me yesterday for some reason… I’m not sick, nor do I “need” anything – LOL. She scheduled a physical, an allergist (she seems to think I will have a big allergic reaction to something in Europe – I have no idea why) and indicated she wanted the doctor to give referrals for other things (I have new health insurance) and scheduled me for my second Covid booster for tomorrow. I appreciate (I think I do… LOL) that she wanted to do this for me… “un-asked” for… I guess she likes me and wants me to stick around. Also, since she is immunocompromised, she knows a lot about the health care system and getting things done. We lovingly call her Dr. Chelsea although she is not a doctor because she knows so much about everything body and medical related. She recently requested and read her father’s autopsy… 26 pages… she was (I think) looking for clues about her issues since they evaluate every major organ when they do an autopsy. He died of a heart attack at 53, but there was information about his fat (only 4% – note: skinny does not equal healthy), his liver, kidney, lungs, etc. I think she was hoping to find some little thread to follow to give her doctors information so she can get resolution to her medical issues (she has Cushing’s disease and a brain tumor).

Life as a 58-year-old woman does not look quite like I had envisioned. I have a lot of thoughts about that… but choose to find positive things to focus on instead. Although I come from a line of women who live to be in their late 90’s, realistically I have between 10 and 30 years left here this time. I don’t really want to be 90 something and all that entails… after caring for my grandma her last years, I know I don’t really want to be trapped in a body that doesn’t want to cooperate. (I will be back for another life – it’s okay – LOL) I do truly see the mortality in this life experience… I don’t want to waste the time that’s left… it goes by so fast… there are so many things I still want to do and see… especially before I get “too old” to really enjoy them… I want to be one of those 80 something year old women who still do yoga and move their body… and have a zest for life and a twinkle in their eyes… and maybe a little child-like wonder left.


Reminder … all we have is now.

I am out of town for the holiday weekend. I have been out of town a lot lately… it’s nice to have a change of scenery. It also gives me space to rethink my life a bit… you know different energy is good sometimes for a reboot. I’m going to the Oregon coast next week, then up north the last week of the month. I have actually traveled a lot this year. I guess I’m making up for time lost. Lost for so many reasons… including the pandemic. I am intentionally being in the “now” every day.

There is a bit of drama going on between my daughters… they are all adults – they don’t need me to intervene, but I sure wish they wouldn’t have drama with each other. When they aren’t getting along, it makes me think about the past. It makes me question my choices, my influence, how I might have done things differently – but really their drama with each other has nothing to do with me or the environment I tried to create for them. It’s human nature I guess… they will work it out. It is such a bad habit I have that my first reaction to things to be to try and take some sort of personal responsibility. Not everything is about me – LOL. Nor should it be. I did the best I could with the tools I had – that’s all that could be expected. They are adults and can sort out their own shit. (Except if it gets to a point where one won’t talk to another one – I will not tolerate one of them trying to opt out on having a relationship with a sister… that is not acceptable.)

We so often live in layers. Layers of stuff from the past… past hurts, past misunderstandings, past hopes and fears. Our past is not a template. It was just a period of time… it doesn’t define you or your relationships – unless you drag it around with you. The future moments don’t have to follow the structure of the past. Sometimes we try so hard to control the future too… and fret and twist inside about how to make things happen… creating anxiety and paralysis by over-analysis. Or worse yet is random, incorrect perception. We think we know what someone thinks or feels – yet we never can… you have to ask. All we really ever have is right now… this moment… to enjoy, feel, live… then the next moment that comes… and as we get older, we realize we don’t really know how many moments we will have – so to fret over the past or the future is just a waste of time… a squandering of precious moments that should be enjoyed, felt, and savored. Yeah – sometimes things don’t work out well or as good as intended… they are just a big clusterfuck… but even if things get messed up, you can make it a glorious clusterfuck – and maybe laugh about it.

Last year my theme was first dates, this year it seems to be traveling… which is good… I’m savoring all the moments – but maybe I should find a yoga retreat to take my daughters on. I have so much scheduled… Maybe I could squeeze it in between Europe and the holidays? If I book it and just tell them they need to go with me, maybe I can corral these kitty cats and someone else can help them realize the beauty of focusing on “now”, moment by moment.  Sometimes adults can no longer hear what a parent has to say but could hear it from someone else. Or maybe if I just continue to be an example of it, they will catch on?

By the way… taking photos for Instagram is not being “in the moment”. I am so tired of seeing people living life with a phone in front of their face and taking pictures of things instead of actually doing them… but that is a rant for another day. At least my girls have learned that. Around me, let’s just put the phones down and talk face to face and remember the awesome food and conversation instead of posting it! I love technology and all it can do, and I do like to take a pretty picture once in a while to preserve the moment, but I wonder if future generations won’t be able to have the depth needed for real interaction and we will need 12 step programs for social media. What if it turned out today was your last day? Have you told people you love them? Have you squeezed in enough appreciation for all the great things around you?

Take a Leap

A while back I announced (in my blog and to the Universe in general) that if something isn’t a “Fuck Yes!” then it’s a “No”. I trust that everything is always working out for me if I just flow with the energy… Admittedly, I did forget that for a while…. Lots of things in life can knock you off your intuitive path.

Lately, I’m just flowing along… doing my thing… remembering to be appreciative of all I see around me without a business plan or a 5-year plan… just an idea of the general direction I’d like to go, but open to any surprises the Universe wants to throw in there to make the journey even better. So many awesome things have flowed right in. And I am so very appreciative. So many things in life require a leap of faith… just a knowing it will all work out the way it’s supposed to.

Yesterday I was having a conversation with myself in the shower (I do that sometimes) … thinking about all the times I have just taken a leap and gone for stuff. Then I said out loud – “Universe, it would be cool if you would send me a sign that I’m doing the right things – just trusting… and doing things that bring me joy – with no real plan.” Then I went on about my day and forgot about it… I read an article about yoga and the phrase “take a leap of faith” was in the text and it caught my eye… Then I listened to a real estate podcast while doing dishes – yeah, they used that phrase in the talk too… Then I got in the car to run to the store and a Bruce Springsteen song came on – Lucky Town – and he was singing about a leap of faith. I just had to laugh. Got it Universe. Came home and turned on the television and some car commercial immediately came on that said it too! I was like – Okay Universe… I really got it… very funny – thank you. If the Universe wants to answer so quickly and clearly, maybe I should ask for the winning lottery numbers – LOL.

I was talking with a friend recently about taking chances and trying things. They said they prefer to mostly just stick with what they know works (kind of) for them… something about “the devil you know” and that it is too scary to just put themselves out there and take chances. In a nice way I tried to tell them if you don’t take a chance – you will never know. The worst that can happen is it won’t work out… you will “fail” but that’s okay because you will learn something and besides you will for sure “fail” if you never even try… wouldn’t you rather at least try? Sometimes you might have to try more than once but you won’t regret trying… you will only regret not trying. They then told me they might try “a little” … fuck… that’s just as bad as not trying at all. If you are going to do something – do it all the way… give it your best! Take that fucking leap of faith and try your best with your whole heart! If it doesn’t work out, at least you know you really tried … and you will have no regrets! Really living requires leaps of faith… so does love… especially love.

They said they would still have regrets because what if they looked like a fool and people knew they didn’t accomplish what they went for. My attitude is who cares what someone else thinks? It’s not their life. You are in charge of yours… give it all you’ve got… but that’s me… we are having lunch next week; I hope they went for it and surprised themselves. Especially in love, you have to take chances… reach for the fruit higher up on the tree… not the bruised shit on the ground – LOL.

Freedom is what it’s all about… freedom to go for what brings you joy. Freedom in everything… love, work, life… happiness is freedom. Sometimes freedom requires a little courage. Small acts of courage can change your whole life. Even tiny things can change the whole trajectory of everything… stepping down off my soapbox now – LOL

I will not speak of SCROTUS … I have no words – not any positive ones anyway.

Shine like the sun

Last week I was reading a blog that I follow. The author went through a shocking breakup around Christmas that really left her devasted. I am watching the rise and fall of her recovery and the process of her finding herself again. It totally caught her off guard – which breaks my heart. I empathize completely… I think all of us have been there at one point or another and the journey is gut wrenching… and personal… and empowering. Last week she said she knows she is supposed to love herself rather than look for it in other people and has heard you can’t truly love someone else until you know how to love yourself. She said she isn’t sure how… how does someone love themselves she wanted to know… That really pulled at my heart. I wanted to reach out and give her inspiration, but I stopped myself…. All I could think of were sappy Hallmark card type sentences.

My mind has gone back to her question many times this week… honestly, I did not always love myself. I have been there… I realized that if I didn’t love me – how could anyone else really love me? Afterall, I was showing them I wasn’t worthy. If I didn’t love myself, how would I know what it felt like when someone else was loving me? It actually isn’t someone else’s job to make me feel loved… when in relationship, two people who respect and love themselves automatically spill love onto each other, but it’s not reasonable for someone else to be your whole source of love.

When you watch a puppy, or a kitten… or a small child, they aren’t looking for validation from an outside entity yet… they are just being joyful and loving themselves. They are playing and napping and eating… and being happy. When we are children, our sense of “self” gets contaminated because we get taught that our worth is tied up in what others think of us or some small accomplishments we achieve that reflect nicely on those raising us and give them external validation they are doing a good job. We are taught to disengage from our inner selves and look at what is reflected back at us by the people around us for our sense of value, worth and love. We are taught we aren’t worthy of good things or love if we aren’t pleasing everyone around us or accomplishing great and significant “things”. We are trained to perpetuate the search for external validation. I sure hope I did better with my own children because it just isn’t accurate, healthy or well-rounded.

To love yourself, you have to remind yourself you are a piece of the divine that creates worlds – the spark of the Universe in everything living … you are born worthy of all good things – you just forgot. Then you have to treat yourself the way you would treat someone you loved. It can be challenging at first when you’ve been taught to “earn” your worthiness of those around you. You have to decide… I am worthy. Worthy of love, worthy of kindness, compassion, trust, joy… happiness. You have to stop what you are doing and say to yourself “what would I do… how would I respond to someone I love?” Then do it.

The more you do it, the more of a habit it becomes. If you show yourself love, you don’t have to do it at the expense of someone else… you feed your own soul and as a by-product, you have more to give others.  Some of the ways I show myself love are feeding myself fresh food, resting when I’m tired, lingering in a bubble bath when I want to, spending a day reading when I need to recharge… it’s a million little things… doing yoga is a way of showing myself love, giving myself something that brings me joy (even if it seems dumb to someone else)… allowing myself to indulge in random things that make me happy. Today was the first full day of summer – the weather was beautiful – and I decided I really needed to just lay in the grass and appreciate the trees and the grass and watch the world go by… I was being kind to myself and indulging in a kind of childlike activity that brought me joy – it was loving myself. Signing up for a class about something that interests me, allowing myself to be silly, or focusing on things that make me happy, are other ways I love myself.

I imagine some people would perceive it as giving in to every whim… like eating ice cream for dinner every night… you wouldn’t encourage someone you love to do that – it isn’t healthy – but you would encourage it once in a while – if it brought them joy. So it isn’t over-indulgence or spoiled-ness… it’s loving kindness – there is a difference. I can save up for a spa day, take that trip to Europe for the joy of the experience of it, buy that expensive handbag – but tempered with responsibility because you don’t want to harm someone you love either.

So Libby… I will have to go find your post and tell you it’s a million little things. It’s honoring your body, your mind and your soul. It’s honoring your relationship with yourself and with the rest of the world. It’s being kind and gentle with yourself… and following your joy without worry of what it looks like. It’s remembering what other people think really doesn’t matter. It’s treating yourself like you would treat your most important love and soulmate of your life. It’s allowing yourself to be happy regardless of your circumstances. That’s really your biggest job in life… to be happy and love yourself. Everything else good in life flows as a result of that.

Sunday thoughts

When I was cozy in bed this morning, all snuggled down in my feather pillows and feather blanket, my phone buzzed. I opened the incoming text “I didn’t do anything wrong!” It took me a number of seconds to get my brain straight and know who this was. It was momentarily jarring. Michael. I had already deleted our text thread… I was tempted to respond “You didn’t do anything wrong, per se. We just aren’t a good fit.” Or “The fact you are unaware of might be wrong is the problem.” But I did not. Yesterday’s text of “Seriously?” Did not evoke a formal response either…

Michael was/is a remnant still hanging around from the days on the dating sites. I’m sure he is a nice enough person. I have never met him. I was patiently waiting for him to ask me out on a date… letting him take the lead and be the “man” – I get tired of being the leader in things. He finally did ask me out – but it was last minute, and I already had plans, so I had to decline. He had a friend who is in a band that was playing at a Farmer’s Market, and he invited me – spur of the moment – to meet up to hear him perform. I would have, had I not already had plans. I can be spontaneous…

I’m sure he is a “nice enough” guy… he retired early from Boeing as a mechanic, takes care of his elderly mom whom he lives with in his childhood home… he was raised Catholic, and I sense he has some hang-ups, but we all have our idiosyncrasies… I’ve seen this brand before… hell, I’ve been married to this brand before… not 100% sure I have the inner strength to help yet another person get rid of their hang-ups deeply ingrained since childhood. His hobbies include – in no particular order – sex, Big Foot, sports, taking cruises, and Vegas (he has a timeshare there… or more precisely – I think since he said “we”, it must belong to his mom, siblings, and him).

The situation is this… I’ve been at these dating interactions for a while now… he wants a “Good morning” and a “Good night” text – but no real substance in between… unless it’s something with sexual innuendo. That’s not necessarily “bad” but it’s empty… meaningless… and not a relationship. He asked for pictures – often – but would not send me any. I refused to send any “sexy” pictures without knowing him better… I didn’t feel like it and didn’t want a potential relationship based on that. The only picture I had seen of him was a dark one from a number of years ago in front of a bright Vegas happening – which presumably is why he appeared dark and hard to see. I’m a mental person – so I don’t really care if someone is considered “attractive” by societal standards, but I would like to see who I am talking to… it feels weird to give someone what they ask of you – here is what I look like today – and not get the same in return.

If you don’t have meaningful interactions… know what the person you are interacting with looks like… and have never even met them (He did invite me to join him in his bed in the middle of the night once… but I took it as a joke. I’m not that hard up for a penis if I want one.), then it’s really a reach to feel anything. When I stopped replying to him a number of days ago, he was in Alki having ice cream. I told him “I like ice cream…”. He asked for a picture – which I took and sent, asking him for one as well. He said “I don’t do pictures. Nice fun-bags.” I had taken a random, spur of the moment photo but since the weather was nice, I wasn’t wearing a turtleneck – LOL… The term “fun-bags” grated on me… they are breasts, boobs, undoubtedly a number of things… but “fun-bags”? This is a red flag… I know this type of man that uses this phrase… typical blue-collar Boeing worker. Nothing wrong with blue-collar or Boeing workers, but No. Nope. (Engineers are more creative in bed – she thinks in her judgy non-judgmental way…) I sent a face slap emoji and haven’t responded to him since.

I can see how it all plays out already in my mind, so I don’t really need to do it in real life… I know the type of guy this is… I know the sex is not mind blowing (or even adequate) … I know his days will be spent in front of the TV watching Big Foot shows on the Travel channel… I know there are no deep, soul satisfying conversations to be had… no inspiration… no deep passion for a sunset, a sunrise, music, art, a beach, a mountain top… no spark of joy… no curiosity… no wanting to learn something new… so why bother?

After my face slap emoji, he had sent a number of messages that day and in the following days. He said “Clearly I can’t joke with you” – which he knows is not true… we have joked back and forth many times. He also said “I can’t be with a prude” – ha! Anyone who knows me for more than 5 seconds is well aware I am not a “prude” … I just won’t throw my naked “fun-bags” at anyone who possesses a penis…. The fact Michael has a penis does not make him special. We had even talked about threesomes… Does a “prude” have those conversations?

It’s less about what Michael did wrong, than what it is he didn’t do right. How do you explain that to someone? The fact I would even have to is a clear sign he is not for me… I think it is less mean to ignore him than it would be to help him be better. In my experience, guys like this don’t take constructive criticism very well… they get hurt feelings and become instantly defensive.

Maybe I’m overly judgmental? Robert didn’t “do” pictures either… but he did do charming really well… Michael hasn’t been charming… Nah – not my job to try and mold someone his age into anything awesome. Mr. Awesome will be along… I will wait. Or if he doesn’t come along, I’m okay with that too… I will be busy finding joy in sunsets and sunrises, and places, people, music… all the things…

I’ve also been failing to respond to repeated texts from the 4 1/2 weeks guy… I didn’t delete the text thread from this guy (in case I need a restraining order at some point). He went from calling me a cunt last summer to now sending me texts saying he really wants me in his bed… I haven’t seen him in almost a year and now in the last month random texts? He is a little ADHD – I wonder if he thinks he is texting someone else?

I also got a text at 1am from a number I don’t know … they knew my name… I always have to think twice – I use the same number for business and personal… but a client or potential client shouldn’t text at 1am… I have a gut feeling (don’t know why) that it is related to someone who wants to borrow money that I have been avoiding… (I don’t have any to lend and historically have a hard time saying “no”).

Sometimes maybe no response is just best for everyone?

I sent a couple Father’s Day messages to guys I know who are fathers… and I thought about sending one to a “Daddy” who is not a “father” but decided that was potentially not appropriate – LOL… I pondered for a while if I would still be grappling with sending Father’s day messages to both of mine the way I have in the past if they were still alive…

(By the way – Happy Father’s Day to a couple of bloggers that I just know are good fathers … Wendigo Mountain guy and Girlyboy69… hope you are both having a satisfactory day – big smooch virtually sent your way. A good father is not quite as common as you might think… both of you actually care about if you are or not.)

Fish, unknown whispers, and changes

Sometimes… often…. okay always… the last 5 years I listen to things while I sleep. That happens when your guy dies, I guess… For about 3 or 4 years it was ocean sounds through Alexa. Then I decided to switch it to rain since I don’t live at the beach anymore. (Side note – recently decided I must live at the beach again – so that will be happening in a year or so) The last month or two I have mixed up the rain sounds with binaural beats, meditations, or other things that cross my path on my phone ( I got bored with Alexa’s offerings). Last night I woke up from a bad dream and realized whatever I had on when I went to sleep was no longer playing. I grabbed for my phone in the dark and tried to press “play” on the appropriate internet screen. A surprising thing happened… I heard a man’s voice whispering “Hey baby… come closer… snuggle in… I will hold you close while you sleep” and I heard his heartbeat and rain. I thought “What the fuck?!” and sat up and looked at my phone. YouTube had decided I might like this… it’s funny YouTube, Alexa, my TV, and Amazon all do this… they often suggest they know what I would like. Can you even imagine if we told someone about this 20 years ago? That our devices would have the algorithms built in to do this? Well… I think I had Tivo 20 years ago and it did it – but I feel like they were the first. Anyway… I decided to just go with the flow and sleep to this man’s heartbeat. It was weird, random, and somehow… comforting (and his whispery voice is sexy).

He has a whole “gentle dom” series that I’ve taken a peek at today. This gentle dom has “ASMR” on everything. I had no idea what that is… of course curiosity got the better of me and I had to look it up. It stands for autonomous sensory meridian response, and it involves things that promote comfort and relaxation. Being a big fan of both comfort and relaxation, I am surprised I’ve never heard of this. Turns out there are people out there who make ASMR content, and it is readily available.

My bad dream involved finding a fish in my water that I was drinking (have no idea what that means…may need to google it) and I was doing stuff with my adult children and my ex-husband (who is dead so we can’t do things with him) and a friend that I realized has been in more of my lives than this one. I was having a frustrating day in the dream and had emotions of feeling left out and misunderstood. The fish was not horizontal – it was vertical which is so… un-fishlike. Maybe I was out in the pollen too long? I was outside for many hours… Maybe I just ate dumplings too close to bedtime?

My latest obsession is long bao (soup dumplings – you know the kind with the soup inside them…making me wonder how they get it in there… yet another thing I need to Google).

When I started booking my trip to Europe, I started with the flight there and the flight back (paid for – nonrefundable). Then booked all my flights within the trip… to Rome… to Santorini… back to Paris. All paid for, booked, and non-refundable. I have the Santorini accommodations chosen, booked, and paid for. I still have to decide on the in and around Paris and Rome accommodations.

Now I have an email from Air France… they changed my flight home to a different day. Why would they do this?? I will still be in Greece! How can they do this?? I checked for other flights… mine is still there… it is paid for, and my seat even selected. I am so confused. I’ve never even heard of this kind of a thing. How can they change my flight to a different day randomly without my consent, and why would they when it stills shows the flight on-line as a flight? If this changes, it fucks up all my other flights and plans… all nonrefundable. I am going to meditate about this before I call them. On the one hand – it seems really unfair and like I should fight it in some way. On the other hand, I have really been trying to “go with the flow” and trust the Universe always has my best interests in mind. What if I’m for some reason NOT supposed to be on that flight? What if there is a reason I am supposed to be on this other flight? When I miss my exit or the GPS mapping isn’t clear and I end up doing or not doing something, I always take it as a sign that I need to just know for whatever reason – I was meant to go another way. But that does not involve money… it’s easier to go with the flow about.

A weird night has now turned into a weird day…

Thoughts about resilience

One of the benefits of being self-employed is the ability to do random things you feel like doing… today I spent a few hours at a beach. I love the ocean… the tides were extra low today.

While I was walking up and down the coastline, I did a lot of thinking…

One of the things I was thinking about was that my therapist had asked me to write a book about my life. She felt if I shared all the crazy things I have lived through and have mostly not only survived, but thrived in spite of, that it might help other people to learn how to be more resilient. I said, “Sure… I can do that. If it would help someone else, that would be cool.”  I started writing it… and I have pushed through some really ugly chapters. I’ve taken some rather long breaks in writing also, because to tell the story you have to relive everything a little and that doesn’t feel great. I have already relived everything multiple times to process different issues and patterns and heal from trauma. I don’t need to pick at those scabs anymore. It feels like going backwards.

It occurred to me today that my story will not help others to be more resilient. Dragging someone through tales of abuse, neglect, drugs, murder, mental illness, ignorance, intolerance, and death does not make them stronger. Especially having always been an intuitive empath, I have a “different” perspective of some things… which just makes it more complex because I have to sort out what I felt that was mine and what I felt that belonged to other people and try to express it in a way that isn’t overly complicated (not to mention deciding if spirit interactions detract or are just part of the story and should be shared with everything else). At best – the reader may be thankful they haven’t had the same challenges in life, and at worst they might actually feel some of the ugliness… but none of that would inspire resilience. For instance -Reading about hardships the soldiers at Valley Forge faced never taught me how to keep going through something – LOL. Watching the news or some abusive/violent movie is never uplifting or inspiring. I stopped watching the news 12 years ago… it’s too negative.

What might be useful would be explain the actual mechanics of resilience…

The definition of resilience is “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness”. The decision to move forward through challenges feels like the only choice to me. Curling up in a ball and giving up was never an option in my mind… I guess because of a couple of things. First – we are all a piece or the divine. Our soul is part of the collective consciousness that is in everything. As a piece of the divine, we all deserve to be joyful. We are not here to live a miserable existence – it’s not why we incarnated here… and anything we are experiencing is temporary unless we hold the vibration that is creating it… so you get back up and keep going. Secondly, we are responsible for creating the life we want to experience. Granted, there are things and times that are not within our control at that moment – a child can’t create a stable home life for themselves for instance – but I could choose to try to look for the good… find the things that could be learned… and know what I wanted to create in the future and decide to be resilient anyway.

The basics of the mechanics we need to be clear on for the foundation are: We are made of energy. Everything is energy. Thoughts and feelings are energy.  Energy vibrates at different frequencies. Positive thoughts and feelings vibrate differently than negative thoughts and feelings. Like attracts like – so whatever vibration you are experiencing, you will attract more of. You have the power to control your vibration through your thoughts and feelings and you get to decide what you attract. Solutions are never found at the vibration of the problem… and what you focus on expands (like attracting like). Because what you focus on expands and draws more of the same to you, the thoughts we think are important.

Resilience is like this… If you imagine a really long stick – negative thoughts and feelings on one end and positive thoughts and feelings on the other end. You can’t jump from the place on the stick that is “depressed” directly to the place on the stick that is “joyous”. You have to work your way to another place on the stick somewhat gradually or methodically and on purpose… one thought and feeling at a time. You could call the long stick a “vibrational scale”. If someone is experiencing challenges or setbacks or not enjoying what they are experiencing, they have to raise their vibration through the thoughts, feelings and beliefs they choose to have/feel/think.

For example; If someone is experiencing a financial setback (I’ve been here too many times to count – LOL), it is common to feel very unhappy about that. It is not uncommon for them to think about the way things were before and that it may not feel “fair” that things changed. They might compare where they are to where other people seem to be. They may think negatively about where they are, feel stuck, feel sad, feel angry, and may even say negative things to themselves about where they are at this moment – tell themselves bad things always happen to them, and they are a loser or some such other negative self-talk. They focus of the lack of money, the lack of what they can do or have. Focusing on lack creates more lack to focus on. They are on the negative end of the stick and attracting more based on their vibration and the vibration of their thoughts and feelings.

To be resilient, they first need to slow the momentum of the negative thoughts and feelings. Stop negative self-talk immediately. Catch it and correct it to slow the negative momentum. Not by lying to themselves, but rather by choosing a better thought. Instead of saying something like “Bad things are always happening” (or whatever the thought might be), stop it, correct it… say something true and somewhat soothing, like “This is a temporary situation”. “Things always end up working out for me.” They have to begin changing their vibration and the vibration of what they attract by spending time with no thought (meditation) and through spending time finding things to be appreciative of… even if they are so small they seem silly – like “I like petting my cat… the fur is so soft… they love me and are contented in my lap…” – if they were to walk around just looking for things to appreciate, they would begin to feel a little better – which attracts more thoughts of things to be appreciative of. They can remind themselves everyone has challenges like this at some point in their life. Not wallowing in the sad and hard things… softening, finding ways to comfort themselves and their thoughts… gently moving up the vibrational scale.

They can slow the momentum by changing the focus (thoughts and feelings), pause (meditation is a great way to pause), and start going the other way… attracting better and better thoughts and feelings, and eventually reaching the point where they can remind themselves that we live in an abundant world and as a divine being, in charge of their own energy, they can attract everything they need… The tides will turn, and they will attract more money (provided they don’t have some limiting beliefs that need to be changed – like that there is a finite amount of abundance… there is a never-ending amount of abundance.)  When they are feeling better and attracting better, they will be inspired to take actions that are in alignment with having more abundance. That would be being resilient to the setback.

Am I explaining this in a way that makes sense???

Being resilient from things like divorce or death of a partner, the process is similar, but I tried to find things I learned from the life altering experience to be thankful for and appreciative of in addition to other things to randomly appreciate. You also have to make time and space to comfort yourself a for a little while before you can start moving up the vibrational scale. I learned so much from my marriage… and I created three amazing humans. I learned so much from the person who died on me too. I don’t regret those experiences, although if I had to do them over again, I would try to have more grace – LOL.

I’m tired… It’s been a long day. Maybe I will figure this out tomorrow.

In the wild…

I am no longer on any of the dating apps. If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know I have been on and off them the last year to year and a half. I know they work for some people, and almost did for me with a couple of people – especially when we couldn’t meet people out in the world due to the pandemic. I was cleaning up my computer files and found a document – a “manual” for being in relationship with me. This was a document someone actually had me write for them in 2018 (how fucking crazy is that?!). Funny thing is, he didn’t use it (It is also still very accurate also which is a little weird). Since he was/is/has been a serial dater, I think it was actually his way of making a woman feel heard (even if she wasn’t) and building a new level of intimacy with someone quickly – kind of a not bad idea… Our “relationship” didn’t progress because he was poly and I did not want to be. Fast forward to now and he ended up dating another man and starting a dating business.

We aren’t “back to normal” for dating yet really, but the Universe is going to have to send me someone a different way because I am not built for the dating apps. Maybe for most people it’s a fine way to start interactions, but for this snowflake it doesn’t work – LOL. I just have a few observations to share about the on-line dating experience… If you are going to travel this path, you may want to think about some things to make your experience better.

A large percentage of the time people seem to use old photos for their profile. If you meet them in person, your first thought tends to be “Fuucck… can I have the person you used to be?” So – pro tip here – use your current photos so no one gets disappointed before you even open your mouth.

Some guys have every photo doing something… like the first photo is them standing in front of a national monument (Eiffel tower is popular one), the second photo they are hiking to the peak of something, third photo doing a complex yoga pose half naked on a mountain top, fourth photo playing a sport, fifth photo in a long distance bicycle race, sixth photo golfing someplace nice, seventh running a marathon, eighth photo is them feeding children in a foreign country, ninth photo on a motorcycle… you get the idea. They are really fucking busy doing impressive things. I may want to do all those things… but will you want to do them again? Do you even have time for a girlfriend? Maybe I’m too boring for you because I am a normal person, doing normal things?

Other guys have pictures of them doing “guy things” … Here is the fish I caught, here is the campsite from my camping trip, here is the football game I went to, here is my truck… and my motorcycle. This makes me think, “What do we have in common?” Do you want a female friend or a male friend?

Some have their profile photo taken from waist height giving them 14 chins, or in a darkened room so you can’t really see them…the dark ones make you think they may be a serial killer or generally unsafe in some way (and not in a good way). A disconcerting number of men take their photos in bathrooms… just don’t. Bathrooms are not that appealing. Also, be aware, people like me will pay attention to the background. If you are going to bother to try and take an attractive photo of yourself for promotion in your profile, why would you not make the bed or tidy up your space a bit? I have to look at the photo and say to myself “Would you like to be in that space?” The answer is a resounding “No”.

Next the words in your profile… this is such a problem area. No words often mean they are only looking for sex… and there is nothing to converse about to start a meaningful (or even light) conversation with… except body parts. Some start out with a list of hard and fast what they don’t want in a connection. “No drama” is a common phrase in those profiles. Isn’t it interesting in life that the people who say they don’t want drama are usually the ones that have it or create it? It would be so cool if more people just honestly stated a brief summary of who they are and what they are hoping to find… after a while, the profiles mostly start to sound all the same… everyone on the planet likes walks on the beach for fuck sake. Often you find yourself spending time just trying to decode what they are really trying to say. See what is behind the words and figure out who they are… or maybe that’s just me. Speaking of decoding… Someone who uses a lot of actual “codes” in their dating profile, I think might be serial daters… 6’1” D W male ISO FWB – HWP w/GSOH for GGG SPIRA must be DDF. It shouldn’t be so hard to know what they are looking for… Don’t make your potential partner google everything, just use real words. Be lighthearted… I tried to be funny at one point and started my profile with “I’m just here for the free t-shirt” (followed by a “just kidding” – to which some actually wanted to know how we get the shirt… what part of “just kidding” was unclear?). If you are smart, you should let it show… (if you aren’t, it’s okay – there are lots of others that aren’t also) but don’t make people get out the dictionary either… I’m speaking to you – Mr. polygot (just say you speak multiple languages, thank you.). Try to be the “real you” would be my best advice.

Once you and another person have both gotten past the photos and first profile words (or no words) have decided to take a chance on the other and now have the opportunity to exchange words, you still aren’t on smooth ground. One of you has to start a conversation. I can’t even tell you how many people I had a “mutual match” with, but no conversation ever happened. So… if you are going to “like” someone, go ahead and say something! This part of the process can be so challenging. You try to start a conversation and so many people don’t seem to know how to have one… (heavy sigh). They might answer questions you ask, but never ask you anything about yourself. Or you end up talking about really safe things… favorite movies, music, then get stalled out and have nothing else left to say. It’s hard. I like to ask questions that require a little thought and tell me something deeper about a person – warning, not all people like those kinds of questions. Also, if you take a while to think of something else to say, sometimes people respond to your not quick response to them with aggression or hostility assuming you don’t like them… which is just dumb and definitely a conversation killer. Specialists say, “Keep it light, be flirty, be fun” and that works for a little bit – but if you really want to get to know someone, at some point you have to go a bit deeper. If I were to do it again, I would have a list of questions ready to help me keep things rolling along (but that’s me… Polly prepared).

At some point, if you want to go further, you exchange numbers so you can text and then some day speak on the phone (talking on the phone is less common now than you would think). Texting is not a great way to communicate on a regular basis… so much can be misunderstood. I think I may have to actually speak on the phone more in the future… which is actually an unpleasant thought for an INFJ. And by the way, lots of phone conversations can be great in knowing someone better, but it doesn’t necessarily guarantee you will mesh in person. Energy is a tricky thing… a good energetic match is something you can’t really predict.

Meeting in person is the next make or break part. There are so many I have met in person, and we never spoke or texted or interacted in any way after that first meet. If you met this person organically, instead of on a dating app, you would have known instantly they were not for you. A coffee date is good for this… not committed to a meal and not committed to a big chunk of time. Treading lightly here… but a sex date is appropriate sometimes if you have had conversations about that and it’s important to you (don’t judge me and I won’t judge you).

There is so much that goes into finding the right person to actually “be” in relationship with… all the apps can do for you is help you say hello to someone. All the sifting and sorting is just amplified because you can say hello to so many people. Finding your person is just a lot of fucking work. If you are going down this road, all I can say is “I wish you a short and joyful journey”.

Here are dating tips I actually put on my profile at one point: (It should be noted, not everyone found them humorous or enlightening)

***Unsolicited dating advice for people my age:

It has become apparent to me a public service announcement should be made (only partially joking here)…If you are serious about finding a quality partner, I suggest you keep the following tips in mind.

1.    Try not to be a one word or one sentence response type of person. It’s really hard to have any sort of interaction with someone who just answers what you ask and does nothing more. You may not be much of a “talker” – but you’ve gotta give a girl something to work with.

2.    Even if it’s out of your comfort zone, ask questions. How are you going to know someone if you don’t ask them questions? It also lets people know you care about something other than yourself…which is a good thing.

3.    Be unapologetically straightforward. If you’re just looking for a hook-up, be honest. We are all adults here (well…“adultish”) and there is nothing wrong with sex – it’s normal, natural and healthy. If that’s all you’re looking for, there are dating sites specifically geared toward that.

4.    Don’t be shallow. Women over 30 have curves. We have grown other humans inside our bodies…life and gravity have an effect. I’m willing to bet you don’t look like you did in your 20’s either. Get over it.

5.    No response is a response. Get over that too. It’s okay…none of us floats everyone’s boat.

6.    Don’t play games…say what you mean and mean what you say…unless you want to spend the rest of your life playing the games – that’s a different issue.

7.    Don’t make assumptions. If you don’t know, ask. You know what they say about someone who assumes…they make an ass of u and me.

8.    Don’t ask for a woman’s number or to meet her until you’ve had enough conversation to generate some amount of interest. It’s just creepy.

9. Don’t take your selfie from down low – making you look like you have 14 chins when you might not…you can do better. Limit the number of “fishes you’ve caught” pics unless that’s what you do for a living. Forget putting pictures of your motorcycles, cars, houses, etc. so you don’t attract the wrong kind of woman.

10.  If you are talking to multiple people (good for you), you need to keep them straight. Repeating yourself or forgetting what someone has told you about themselves is not sexy. Make notes if you have to – or at least re-read the past conversation.

11.  Be a gentleman – even when a woman considers herself a “feminist”. Opening doors, having manners, not trying to divide a restaurant tab like she’s having a meeting with your CPA…be a man – a gentleman, and let the woman you’re with, be a woman – a feminine woman.

12.    All of us have baggage (mine is designer and very cute) – try not too drag yours out too early in the interaction (mine is neatly stowed under the seat in front of me).  Focus on the positive in your life – what you focus on expands. Who knows- maybe you’ll forget you have it and lose it.

***This signifies the end of this PSA. You may now return to whatever you were doing before this interruption occurred. ***

I’m tired. I have dating fatigue. Too many people are on the fickle, “next bright shiny object” dating quest -not even really taking the time to see who someone really is…

My new way of dating (try not to laugh too hard) is to just let the Universe bring me someone. Now that I actually go out in the world again, it will be significantly easier for the Universe to do this. There was a time I would have only met the Amazon delivery person (who now doesn’t even wait at the door – they drop and flee). Someone actually started a conversation with me in a parking lot yesterday – go figure. I have placed my order so now I will just do all the things I want to do and at some point, they will show up… reminds me of a coaster I have – it says, “Do what you love and money will follow. Ate pizza, drank wine, took a 5 hour nap in my underwear and took selfies with my dog… Now I wait.” LOL

This is my bed head self, typing a blog… no make-up… no filter… authentic… still sporting the same hair style I had when I was 4…LOL

Seriously, when I get done traveling and doing things that interest me, if I still haven’t had Mr. Right show up and I get on here and whine… feel free to tell me “Get back on the apps you silly twit”. But I do believe in energy and that we attract things and people in based on our energy… so I will keep you posted.

Authentically yours… Wayward Yoga Girl

New Chapter

I have made some choices in the last week… One of which is to go to Europe… Today I began planning out my trip 🙂 I will be going to France, Italy and Greece in a couple months. Next Spring I will go to Ireland, Scotland, England and Denmark.

I am back to the gym daily… I was only able to go a few times when Piper was sick. It feels good to be back in the groove there. And I am taking up space in the “off limits” area (free weights) like nobody’s business… and I now have two of my adult daughters doing the same thing in their respective gyms – LOL.

Dating… decided to only date for fun. Not looking for a relationship anymore. I am totally okay alone – on my own – unpartnered. I like doing what I want to, when I want to. I did have to look something up today. Someone indicated I was “thick”, the guy said “I like thick girls”, which I assumed meant fat. I felt shitty for a couple days. Women are always comparing themselves to media projected images of what we are supposed to look like, and we rarely can make ourselves look that way and I have been curvy since I was 12! Today I looked up “thick” in the Urban Dictionary. It does not mean “fat”.

I realized this week, when I picked up a check, how much I really make per hour at my primary career… which of course got fucked up when Covid began, and I’ve been waiting for it to go back to “normal”… but I am reminded I can’t waste time with bullshit side jobs any more… I have to focus on my primary career and finding new ways to get business in that career. No side job on the planet pays $2k an hour and I deserve to get back to a nice life again… the kind I had before the death of my guy, and taking care of my 94 year old grandma, and a pandemic. Time to get back to my real job… even if it means adapting to find new sources of business.

Another new normal

My dog died yesterday. Although her inner fight made her walk again, run again and even play again in the last two weeks, her liver didn’t have the same determination. She was the final piece of the life I had with Robert…

Maybe dogs are here to remind us of what unconditional love looks like. They don’t care if you haven’t showered in a couple days and don’t brush your hair… or if you decide to eat ice cream for dinner. They don’t care what your credit score is or what your accomplishments are. They don’t care how many mistakes you make in life. They just adore you and cuddle you because you’re you.

Cats are independent. They give you cuddles when they want them and don’t really care if you come or go – just that their meals arrive on time. Dogs know when you are sick and try to comfort you… or will at least hang out in close proximity like “I’m here if you need me”. I guess I’ve had cats that do that too… they are just more independent. Piper hated for me to go anywhere without her. It’s going to be weird not to have to tell someone (or something) where I’m going and that I will be back. I won’t have to worry about how warm the days will be in the summer – she won’t be in the car waiting for me. She won’t be hogging the middle of the bed anymore… or keeping me warm on a winter night.

I guess I will spend the day deep cleaning the house… and finish power washing… getting used to a new “normal”.

What’s in a name?

The year I didn’t exist… by my name anyway.

My parents had moved to Burbank, California after leaving the house in Topanga Canyon where the basement was inhabited by some who would become to be known as Manson Family followers, friends, and “family” members… Not all of them lived there, only about five with others coming and going. One of them had gotten the basement rental and moved the others in. My parents had been friendly with them at first… then they weren’t. They used to invite me downstairs and marvel at my dime bag weighing and rolling abilities. They would smoke a lot of weed and blow it in my face. They thought it was funny to get me high. My mom told me to stop going down there at some point… she said one of the guys gave her the creeps. Then they killed our dog and had a physical altercation with my parents. My parents started sleeping with guns beside the bed because the basement people were not safe shortly before the fires broke out that caused all of us to have to leave that house. It was a pretty house with huge windows and very sleek design – Frank Llyod Wright style… with lots of natural wood and built-ins. You could see for miles out the big windows and it backed to huge thick trees. I would sit and look out across the valley and mountains while Joni Mitchell songs played and mom sang along. The day of the fire, I was in kindergarten but had reading with the first grade. I could see the smoke from school. Then I saw the fire on the top of some of the mountains or hills. They closed school early. I got a ride home from one of the neighbors… which was good. My parents never seemed to know when school was cancelled or there was an early release. I was prepared to just sit and wait until they figured it out, but my teacher said I couldn’t. The neighbor told me everyone was being evacuated and my parents and I would be leaving when I got home. I didn’t really know what that meant but asked about the horses that bordered our property. I spent a lot of time with them, watching them, petting them, and trying to draw them. She told me they had all been moved. When I got home all the doors and windows were open and the firefighters had hoses running through the front door out the back. My mom was very upset – not as much about the fire or the house or our things but about a deer. A deer had been scared by the fire and ran toward our house – she saw it coming. It ran right into the slider door and hurt itself and died. She was upset she hadn’t thought to open the door.

We moved to Burbank after the fire. I think we lived there almost a year… maybe 9 months. The elderly neighbors had a pool and taught me to swim. The lady said she used to be a teacher. We lived in a brick one story with an olive tree in the front yard. The backyard was grassy and had a lemon tree and an orange tree and a row of enormous sunflowers along the fence. This was where I started learning to do yoga. Mom and I did yoga while Indian ragas played for my dad’s meditation time which sometimes lasted for hours… he liked to meditate on LSD. I wasn’t able to go see the nice people anymore after they called the police on my parents a couple times for child abuse and neglect. It pissed my stepdad off and he said they needed to mind their own business… they didn’t know us… and it had caused some drugs to be flushed. In the middle of the night one night, kilos of marijuana were delivered to our family room. So many… some wrapped in pink paper, some in blue, like flat bricks in brightly colored paper. I built a fort out of them. My dad said it was okay for me to do that as long as I didn’t break the paper or hide any or move them to a different room. Every so often he restacked them and counted them, explaining they didn’t belong to us… we were holding them for a while. He and my mom had hushed conversations about the kilos – she was worried, and they both seemed very stressed. One morning I woke up and they were all gone. Shortly after that my parents said would be moving to a farm in Tennessee. They put all their things in storage while I was at school, sent the dogs we had at the time to boarding, and when I got home from school, we walked through the empty house to gather last things and left. We went to a Chinese restaurant and had a Poo-Poo platter – I thought that was a terrible name for food. They explained to me over dinner we were taking a trip. The final destination would be our new farm, but we would travel around before then. And for this trip, our names would be different.

My stepdad tried to make it fun by asking me what I had always wanted my name to be. I told him “Cherry”. He wanted to know why and seemed surprised. It’s my favorite flavor and it’s a pretty color, I explained. (Note – this is the same child who named her dog “Flower” – go figure). My mom objected to the name “Cherry”. He said I needed to be able to remember my name no matter what, so we would come back to that. He asked me if I remembered the record he liked to play with the man on the front. I said I did. He asked if I knew the name of that man. I said “Yes, Leonard Cohen.” He said, that’s right. That will be my name for our trip. He was a Canadian Jew also, he explained, so they looked similar. He reiterated, “Your new last name is Cohen”. I asked why I couldn’t keep my name. He asked me if I knew what my name used to be before he married my mom. I said I did. He explained that I used his last name even though no paperwork said I could – I just did. We would do that again, just for a little while and it was very important. I said I still wanted to be Cherry. My mom said absolutely not. He finally said I could keep my first name, but don’t forget your last name or your parent’s names. Leonard and Marianne Cohen. He quizzed me periodically through dinner to make sure I kept answering correctly. I had been told not to lie. I had been punished harshly every time my dad decided I was lying about something (even if I wasn’t) but had told me what to say to police about many things if they ever came – those were lies. I had been taught to lock myself in the bathroom and flush drugs down the toilet, but I wasn’t allowed to lock a door ever growing up unless the police came. Now I was supposed to lie to everyone… except my parents. What a crazy world.

We drove somewhere and stayed in a motel. We looked at maps… they showed me where California was and where Tennessee was. They studied the map and talked about places they wanted to go. Mom wanted to go through New Mexico. The next morning our trip was officially underway. I read in the backseat, looked out the window, as was occasionally quizzed some more about my name. I think it was around May. School wasn’t over yet for summer break. My dad decided I would learn other things – like reading a map, telling him what exits were coming up, telling him the names of towns, and doing math and spelling questions while we were driving. My mom was pregnant with my brother and car sick. She couldn’t read very long without feeling sick, so I read to her sometimes. I also learned to drive. I sat on my dad’s lap and steered on the freeway if there weren’t too many cars. We talked about lane positioning, what the lines meant, and how to pass. I learned to count money on that trip. I also learned about the mint marks on coins and what they meant and read all the years off and put them in order. We stopped at truck stops and Stucky’s where I got long flat taffy. My mom had apples for me and peanut butter along with saltines. Sometimes I said I was hungry because I wanted to get out of the car… so they had snacks for me instead.

We stayed in motels as we zigzagged up and down the United States. I marked our route on the maps with a marker and marveled at the way trees and landscape looked so different in different places. One motel we stayed in, I woke up in the middle of the night and saw a man sitting at the desk at the end of the room looking at us. I was terrified. I was afraid to move. I laid awake, pretending to be asleep for hours… every so often peeking to see if he was still there. I eventually fell asleep again for a little while and when the sun started to rise and it got lighter out, I woke my dad up and told him about the man and how scared I had been. I explained although there were colors in the room, orange carpet, etc., the man was in shades of grey and I didn’t understand why. After checking the door and locks and looking around the room, he told me I had been dreaming. I explained, I had been awake all night since I woke up and saw the man. He told me if it ever happened again, to scream and wake him up. I told him I was too scared to say anything… or scream. My mom took me aside and said to just drop it because I was annoying my dad, but it was most likely a spirit. Spirits won’t hurt you. My dad said that was bullshit and I was picking up on their unconscious thoughts and fears.

We went to Texas on my 7th birthday and saw my grandma. On the way I was reminded not to talk about our new names or anything grandma wouldn’t understand (drugs, etc.). We stayed there for a few days until my stepdad got into an argument with grandma and we left. Grandma lived on Lake Worth in a house she and my grandpa built. He was an architect and they not only designed the house, but built it mostly themselves. My mom grew up there. There was also a guest house and a bomb shelter. The bombshelter grandpa had put in when mom was a kid. It had a musty smell but grandma let me go down there and explore. They walls were lined with these canvas beds that I imagined were like beds on a submarine because the bomb shelter had the same long cylindrical shape. I couldn’t imagine why she ever wanted to leave as much as she always said … the lake was so pretty and there was a dock and a boathouse. One of the things they argued about was that she thought my bio dad had a right to see me while I was in town. Grandma made it clear she didn’t approve of their hippie lifestyle and my dad kept saying how uneducated and ignorant my grandma was. Later we found out someone who said they were an official from the State of California had called her because stepdad made calls from her house on someone’s card (not sure what that means – were phone cards a thing back then? Or maybe you could give credit card numbers to an operator?) and they wanted to know who made those calls. Grandma never got over that… decades later she was still pissed off he had done something that might have gotten her in some kind of trouble she thought.

We also stopped in Kansas and visited my Aunt and Uncle and their fainting sheep for a while. My Aunt played cards with me and I helped her in the barn. I thought it was funny to make the sheep faint. She explained to me that could kill them and I shouldn’t do that… besides Uncle Calvin would kill me if one of them died because of me. He was so grumpy I believed he might. I didn’t tell her but I already thought several times I might die in my life. My aunt and all her kids played musical instruments and sang. I thought that was amazing. My parents got into a really bad argument there (usually those were reserved for at home – just us). It upset my Aunt – the things they were saying and the names they were calling each other. She woke me up and asked me if this was normal for them. I shrugged my shoulders and said “yeah, kind of…I guess” and she told me she thought I lived a scary childhood and I would never be alone if I remembered Jesus was with me. She taught me how to pray. She also asked if I would like to live with her. I said I would. I also told her according to my parents, there was no guy in the sky to listen to our prayers… we are on our own. God is just the energy in everything not someone who can save you from bad stuff. That fact made her cry and promise to pray for me every day. She told me she had a vision in the cornfield and Jesus is real and she was saved. I didn’t care if he was real or not or who anyone prayed to. I fell asleep thinking about what it would feel like to live in the same place as long as Aunt Betty had and how nice it would be to have someone like her looking out for you and making you food to eat. When she suggested to my parents that I should stay with her “while they got settled”, they were angry. We hit the road again.

I liked when we stayed at motels with pools now that I knew how to swim. I would watch the billboards and point out the Holiday Inn and Ramada Inn exits coming up if they advertised they had a pool. We arrived in Tennessee in January. They woke me up in the middle of the night and told me we were getting gas and to go use the restroom. I was in a summer dress and there was snow on the ground. It was shocking to see the snow. I had seen it once before when we went hiking in the Redwoods but I didn’t know it would ever be somewhere else. I was half asleep and accidentally walked into the men’s room instead of the ladies’ room. I had never seen urinals… I was shocked about that too. I was confused and got back in the car vowing to ask for explanation of what I saw when we were back on the road – which I did. We ended up at a motel where we planned to stay a while waiting for the paperwork on the farm to finalize.

My mom went into labor early – with complications – and they left me at the motel while they dealt with that. I wasn’t allowed to go outside or open the door to anyone. One of them would call me every day. My little brother was born with a collapsed lung and had to be airlifted to Nashville. They came and got me at some point and we drove closer to Nashville were they left me at another motel. He had to stay after they fixed his lung because he was born premature. We would camp out at the motel until he could leave. It was cold outside so there was condensation on the windows. I started drawing on the windows with my finger. My dad got upset and freaked out thinking I might be writing my real name on the windows. I had to explain I was just drawing horses and flowers.

Then we moved into a travel trailer on someone’s property for a little while. I wasn’t really sure who I was supposed to be… the real me or the new me. So I was just very quiet and didn’t really talk to anyone. The first night we were there, I couldn’t sleep. I had anxiety about the farm we were moving to. What it would be like… what about school… what about friends… what did it look like… At some point my parents noticed I wasn’t sleeping and started talking to me from where they were laying. It seemed like a friendly conversation… I asked them questions… they gave me answers (they had been to the farm several times when I was alone at the motel, they knew what it was like)… then I heard a rooster crow. I didn’t know what it was and asked. My dad came flying out of his bed charging at me saying “That is enough!” and started hitting me. I curled up in a ball and tried to roll away. He had always said he didn’t hit out of anger. He was mad and clearly hitting me out of anger… breaking his own rule. Normally he would tell me I was going to be punished for something and I would have to wait… wait for him to decide when and how and how long it would last… all of me filled with dread and fear… making me wish I could disappear. I didn’t expect this. No matter how much I tried to roll up and disappear he just picked me up and moved me where he wanted me… hitting me over and over saying “If you can’t sleep you will just lay still and be quiet so other people can. You don’t keep talking all night and asking questions. ” When he was done hitting me he said “Go the fuck to sleep.” I layed there crying trying not to make any sounds, that might make him come back over… wishing I was with Aunt Betty or grandma instead. The next day my mom was hanging laundry on a clothesline and I asked her where the road went. She didn’t know. I thought about walking away while drawing in the dirt with a stick. Walking down the road and never coming back. My dad had already told me if I ever ran away, I couldn’t ever come back and I would never see my mom again. She needed me. I had to stay. The people who owned the property had cows and I was bored so I learned to milk the cows, feed them and asked way too many questions about everything surrounding horses and cows. I wanted my own horse someday. My brother came home to us the first time there.

My parents bought the travel trailer and it was moved to the farm for us to sleep in while my dad made improvements to the house… it had no running water or even a bathroom. There was an outhouse. They got a couple rooms fixed up enough to be habitable pretty quickly. There was no kitchen. The main room you walked into had a woodstove and a long wooden table with benches on each side (that would be where I first learned to meditate later) and a couple rocking chairs. There was a room to the right with a beautiful handmade door, my mom called that “the parlor” – it would eventually be the family room once we were able to get electricity to the house and a TV. My mom took me to a K-Mart where we bought kerosine lamps to use in the house at night. They moved into the house and had me stay in the travel trailer beside the house. There was another room that was supposed to become the kitchen and another room beyond that that would be my parent’s bedroom. The kitchen room had stairs to the attic – which was supposed to become my bedroom. There was a big front porch and the roof extended over it. My mom was super excited to have rocking chairs out there to watch fireflies and listen to the rain on the tin roof. Acres and acres of land… we owned as far as my eyes could see. The road was made of dirt and it made a cloud whenever someone drove on it. My dad installed a mailbox that said “Genesis Farm” and was very excited to open the handmade, embroidered bean bags that had seeds hidden them. His sister had sent him seeds from a kibbutz in Israel mixed with beans in the bean bags to get through customs. He was going to plant some special things along with feed corn and tobacco. The farm had an old barn, a pond, a chicken coop, the house on stacked rocks (which used to be a sharecropper shack), a fruit cellar dug into a hill with a house door on it and the little travel trailer. On one of our first days there, my dad made a bonfire. We gathered around it while he cut up IDs and credit cards and announced we were having a funeral for those temporary personas. I was allowed to be “me” again. Although I didn’t know the rules of this new environment … and I missed all of 2nd grade and would be starting school again in 3rd grade… (I wonder why it wasn’t an issue with the school… of course they never asked about my name being different than my birth certificate either.)

After that, my last name always felt like a lie, but I couldn’t use the original one I was born with, without upsetting someone… and there was always a promise he would adopt me some day. It almost felt like I had to prove I was “worthy” enough in some way before he would actually do it. Sometimes over the years he would say he had decided he would and would start the process. But he never did. The last time he said it I had already taken a married name… it didn’t mean anything to me anymore.

I still can’t listen to Leonard Cohen songs without thinking about the time I was a Cohen. (Maybe I should have changed my name to that after my divorce – that would have given him heart palpitations… and told him I still remembered that – although we never spoke of it after the “funeral”. )

I’m defective

A few days ago, I started having stabbing, zinging pain in my left leg and hip… then some in my left elbow too. For a minute I had to think about if I was picking up my dog’s issues and feeling her since she is having neurological issues on her left side. As an empath, it is not uncommon for me to feel something someone else is feeling – but I have not done that with a dog. Then the other symptoms hit, and I was reminded I have fibromyalgia. Sometimes I can go quite a long time with no symptoms. My last flare-up was about six months ago… this feels too quick for another one. The weird thing about this condition is it isn’t always the same. Sometimes you are exhausted, and your body hurts but you can’t sleep. Other times all you can seem to do is sleep. Just taking a shower is exhausting and requires a nap afterward… you just physically can’t keep your eyes open… you must sleep. Sometimes your brain wants to do things, but your body doesn’t cooperate. Other times your brain gets uncooperative also and you can’t remember basic words when you are trying to have a conversation, so you have to improvise (hummingbird becomes fast moving midget bird I can’t remember the name of). I do not focus on the fact I have this condition. What you focus on expands…

It first started showing signs in my teens but got a little scary in my 20’s when I started having trouble walking suddenly. Every flare-up, I try to minimize its severity and duration and when it’s over, I move on and forget about it. Yesterday was a “can’t keep my eyes open” day. A trip from the bed to the bathroom felt like a 10 mile hike. Medicate the dog, fall asleep. Eat something, fall asleep. Check email, fall asleep. Feed and potty the dog – go back to sleep. This morning after sleeping 8 hours I fed and medicated the dog and went back to sleep for 4 more. I only woke up because my phone alarm told me it was time to medicate the dog again. This is actually easier to deal with (although equally frustrating) as flare-ups that cause a lot of pain and exhaustion without the ability to sleep. On those times the pain is inside my bones and gnawing and if my hips are affected, it’s hard to walk. I slept through the Banksy art show tickets going on sale, now they are sold out (heavy sigh).

Over the years I have been tested for Lupus, MS, and other random things I can’t think of the name of… I am told there is “no cure”. There are medications I can take – so far I have declined to take any. That may change as I get older, I think now… I just don’t want to take medications if I can find lifestyle changes to keep it mostly under control. Stress is a huge trigger. Yoga, meditation, the removal of toxic people and narcissists from my life, eating well… that all helps. Maybe the issues with my dog gave me more stress than I thought. Combined with other stresses…

All I know for sure is if more men had this condition, there would be a cure already. Last year, a man I dated for a minute was very alarmed and angry that I didn’t disclose this condition up front. I had mentioned something about a fibro flare-up and he freaked. I was surprised… I hadn’t asked for his complete medical history… I am an independent woman – my issues have nothing to do with anyone else really. When I was married, I did what had to be done… I pushed through… granted, it sometimes involved drinking coffee all day long like an IV drip and sometimes I had to go down the stairs in a hurry on my butt instead of walking down them, but I got shit done. I got the kids off to school, I made lunches, I made my husband breakfast, did the laundry, cleaned the house, ran my business, made the money… and still ironed his shirts and his dinner was always on time. I learned quickly my husband would not pick up the slack or take care of stuff for me. When I was with Robert it was a different story… he was understanding and supportive and would often pick up the slack for what I couldn’t do at that moment – it took me years not to feel guilty when he did. He would just get into bed with me and say “Sleep baby love. I will put on a movie”, and he would rub my back while I slept. Or he would make me a bath and bring me a snack to eat while I soaked in Epsom salts… I learned to accept his love and allow him to take care of me a little. But now I’m thinking in the midst of this flare-up, maybe it is a defect that needs to be disclosed. Maybe no one wants someone with unpredictable flare-ups of a condition that has no cure and some people still think is psychosomatic and not real.  I’m still me… even if I’m sleepy or in pain… but maybe it’s too much. Maybe it makes me unlovable?

It’s okay. I take care of myself. I am lovable to myself… and my kids… people that matter. I haven’t eaten since yesterday morning… going to make myself chilaquiles.

Can you hear me?

When the world shifted on its axis two plus years ago with the worldwide pandemic, the way people interact with one another changed.  I think it had already begun, but the pandemic sped it up. We as a society are so disconnected…  Thanks to texting, tweeting, social media posting, etc. we have talked “at” each other more rather than talking “with” each other. It feels like everyone is a slogan or mini commercial. No one touches deeply doing that. We don’t even physically touch as much. We all need warm physical touch. I had a conversation with someone during the pandemic about creating “hugging centers”. Everyone needs a hug… especially when feeling isolated. Maybe now we are more accustomed to this isolated feeling – it doesn’t make us not need it, but we may have forgotten that we do.

I met with an old client last month because they referred someone to me and showed up with the new client to see a house. I hugged them. It’s the first time I have hugged clients in more than two years! For a moment – just a split second – I held back… thinking we don’t do this anymore. Then I thought fuck it – we are all vaccinated, and it’s important to acknowledge these people mean something to me. Admittedly – we all got teary eyed for a moment. I knew it was the right thing… they needed it (I did too). Actually Covid almost killed him in the last two years and she was T-boned on her way to work and almost died… I may never have seen them again. Always hug someone – you might not see them again.

Helping these people they referred, I realized I miss the interactions I used to have in business. With my clients, I have always gone pretty deep into who they are, and what they want and need. They felt understood – because they were. That is one reason why I am so good at my job and I can match people to the right house for them.  With my new clients, I dug into who they are and what they need, and they told me they felt more understood and more helped than they did with other brokers they had tried to work with the past couple years and were thankful my past clients introduced us. It felt good – I had a “connection” with a client again. They close on their new home in 9 days.

I have never really been a dating person. In the past, someone would basically “choose” me, and I would then be in a long-term relationship with them. I never did the dating thing… That’s why I didn’t understand it. I didn’t really need to sift and sort and make small talk. I would just decide if I liked the person who “chose me” enough to move forward. I don’t know if that was lucky or unlucky… After Robert died and I decided I should “date” – I really had no fucking idea what I was doing. You don’t know what you don’t know so much of the time. I guess I was waiting to be “chosen” again, but when people don’t really “connect”, they are on to the next shiny object before they even see how amazing you might be.  

I have officially been actively out in the “dating wild” now for more than a year. I realized something this morning… what I really miss in relationship is actual connection. We trade some random data, see if there is any chemistry and then move on. We have forgotten how to actually “connect”. Or maybe there are some who never even really learned to? The random data doesn’t make “connection” – it doesn’t tell you who someone is at their core. It feels like when you are a kid and try to talk to someone through dixie cups and string.

When I saw my friend Sandy last week and I said, “How are you?” I realized that question had more depth with her than the other dozens of times a week I say it, because I really know her. We connect. That was her invitation to fill me in on what I missed since the last time we spoke. When you ask someone you don’t know deeply or have a good connection with that question, all they can say is “good” or “fine”. Which is not usually the whole truth, doesn’t create a safe place to open up and share because the level of intimacy isn’t there, and is a connection killer instead of an opportunity to create better connection.

Being an introvert, I have wallowed in the isolation of the pandemic a little too much. I actually felt a sense of relief at not having to have real interactions with real, live, people for a time. But since I don’t have a partner, I have missed real connection. The deep, sweet, soul connection you have with a partner. I have connection with a few friends and my children – but that of course, is different than a partner.

Trying to date, I have made mental connections, physical connections and a couple emotional or energetic connections – but not the full meal deal… maybe it’s because we don’t really know how to connect anymore on all levels? Even though we didn’t truly connect, I connected with some more than anyone else has on some level – which is why the people tend to boomerang back and try to connect with me again and I get texts from random people I have interacted with (like Poly Paul)… maybe.

So how do we create real connection with people? I think one way is by being authentic but mostly by actively listening while being authentic… which is especially hard to do over text or instant message. I don’t know the answer. And of course so many people aren’t even vulnerable enough to be authentic. Sometimes when you are open and vulnerable… being authentic, the other person doesn’t open up at the same level of openness… or they try to coach you instead of actively listening and then returning the level of vulnerability (I can be guilty of this too). I will be thinking about this a lot this week to try and understand it.

Piper update: she is walking much better and has even started running a little. She is still adjusting to being blind in one eye. She started trying to jump yesterday, but has not been successful… and I’m not encouraging it yet either – can’t have a dog that can’t see falling off furniture and injuring herself. She has finally let me sleep longer than an hour or two at a time (last night I got 7 hours!) but it’s going to take me a few more days to feel caught up on sleep.

Observations on a Friday Morning

Must be something about being born on July 22nd… right now my dog is reminding me a lot of myself (we were both born on that day). She is fucking relentless. Persistent as fuck… it’s like something clicked in her brain and she knows she needs to get control of her limbs again. Every hour she is up trying to walk (all day and all night… heavy sigh). I have had to babyproof everything – block the stairs with gates, cover sharp edges, move things that could be a potential problem… It is very clear now she is blind in one eye and even though two of her medications are supposed to make her sleepy, they don’t. She walks around the kitchen and family room in a big loop (or the bedroom depending on where in the house we are) – sometimes successfully and sometimes slipping, sliding, bumping into things and falling on her chin because her back left leg is the least cooperative and her left front leg is the second least cooperative. She will walk round and round until she is very tired then will plop into a dog bed or face plant somewhere and take a little nap – 10 minutes later she is up and on the move again. I’ve gradually been shifting medication times so that one day next week I will be able to have 7 hours of sleep in a row… right now she is like and infant – but worse. I had it timed to get 5 in a row last night, but that didn’t happen… because she must try to walk every hour, or I will be subjected to her screaming. I decided fuck it and left the crate open – she has been putting herself back in… so at 5am she decided she needed to knock all the things out of the bedroom shelves because she needed to… I don’t know – walk in and out of the cubbies? Eat the dried starfish stacked in one? The past 24 – 36 hours she has decided she needs to not only walk but walk fast… gosh she is fast – I have to really be on my toes now. The prescription dog food brand and type the vet prescribed cannot be found. I went to five pet supply places yesterday and also tried the manufacturer and on-line stores. I finally had to order a different brand and wait for that retailer to contact the vet for a new prescription – which of course is going to delay the food. My plan today is to go beg the vet to sell me a couple cans… or completely lose my shit and scream at him for the wild goose chase for something no one fucking has – which is not the way I prefer to operate but I am approaching complete exhaustion. Today is officially an entire week of very little sleep. I had to get all her meds refilled yesterday… fuck that was expensive. So far – all in – the dog has caused me to spend enough for a 7-10 vacation in Hawaii… which I was in no position to afford at this moment in time (and sadly at this moment, I would prefer the vacation).

A friend has been by twice, which has been really nice. It was nice for someone else to help with the dog a little and to talk about random shit. She has finally, successfully broken up with her guy. They have been together for 8 years – he is half her age… I was always supportive of whatever made them happy but couldn’t really see what they have in common other than love of sex. She told me she has been trying to end it for 18 months. He is finally letting go and moving out. She is tired of the age difference, lack of commonality in all things – conversation, plans for the future, careers and drive… she has been made to feel like she has an appendage she is responsible for and does not wish to have that “mothering” type role. She is ready for an equal again. I showed her the current options on Match and Tinder… she agrees with me it is fucking pathetic. I think she and I both look younger than we are (and feel younger than we are) – although due to the current lack of sleep situation, I am looking a little older today. She agrees the men that are age appropriate for us (most of them) look 10-20 years older than men in their 50’s and early 60’s should. Maybe some of them are lying about their age? She also wonders, just like I do, why so much facial hair? Just… why? We do not want to date Santa Claus or a Duck Dynasty character. Some she wanted to see their profile just because of the horrendous choice of profile picture… We played with tarot cards and talked about life choices… I appreciated her companionship. Some people in my life basically said, “I know you will figure this dog thing out” and disappeared not even offering companionship via the phone … most likely to reappear later – when they want something.

I did on a few occasions ask my daughter to please take the dog duty for a little while, so I could go to the gym. She also babysat so I could power wash. In the Pacific Northwest, we get this green slime… well it’s slimy when it’s wet… and slippery. This time of year, when the yellow pollen flies everywhere, it sticks to the green PNW slime and creates this brownish green coating on everything. If you don’t get it gone, next fall it will be even more slippery (and even harder to get rid of). Hours of power washing has been completed – still so much to do… for the most part, everything I need to do has been put on a back burner to deal with this dog issue. Something has to give. This can not be the “new normal” … it is not sustainable for so many reasons. I am holding onto faith this is just a speed bump toward wellness.

My daughter has been on me about something. If you know the MBTI personality types and their traits, I am an INFJ and I do have a thing where I shut people out of my life instantly if I feel betrayed. Turns out it’s not just me – but common with my personality type. It’s called the “INFJ door slam”. We don’t yell or throw a fit – we just ice the person out. They are dead to us… gone… poof. I door slammed my friend Kevin earlier this year and she won’t let it go. She liked the person that he is (I did too) but readers of my blog know I have abandonment issues. He abandoned me after making a promise, so I told him I didn’t want to talk to him, that I had counted on what he said and he let me down, and that I didn’t want to say things in anger that I did not mean because I felt abandoned. Which I thought was actually a reasonable, mature way to handle things (there are some people I have door slammed who I didn’t even communicate any of it to – they are just shut out… done… gone from my life). She is sad about the Kevin situation because she saw we were good friends and she felt he was a good influence in my life. I agree, but I won’t reopen the door without appropriate acknowledgement and apology from him. I used to be the person who gave endless chances for decades, always assuming the person would show up the way I needed them to if given another chance… I’m just not that person anymore, I guess.

While driving around trying to find dog food yesterday, with the dog safely tucked into her crate snoring (also just like a baby apparently car rides make her sleep – too bad I can’t sleep while driving…) I realized I pay attention to cars. You should while you are driving but what I mean is I associate certain cars with certain people. Maybe all people do this? White Range Rovers make me think of the ex-con drug smuggler I met last year… what was his name? Dave? Horrible looking lemon-lime neonish Subarus remind me of Mr. 4 ½ weeks crazy psycho narcissist guy – Randy. I probably do this more when I’m over-tired. I had so many thoughts about why people choose the vehicles they do… and what it all means. I won’t share because it sounds very judgmental and not based on anything “real”. Which brings me back to the dating sites with my friend Sandy… some guys show pictures of themselves standing next to their vehicle. If it isn’t a classic, a collectable, or something special that indicates a passion or hobby… then why? Gee… you have a Ford… it’s what I’ve always wanted to ride to McDonald’s in – you are my dream date. Or a picture of their motorcycle. Gee… I’ve always wanted to risk my life with a guy traveling down the freeway on the back of his crotch rocket while his grey Santa beard flies back to smack me in the face… yeah – sign me up. Or one of the million guys who shows his truck with a camper thing on it positioned next to a tent in the woods… sure let me sign up for no showers or toilets to be on the hard ground with you and cook your fish you caught on an open campfire while you listen to sports before we hike and kayak – Go Hawks… No fucking thank you. You can find me somewhere clean, preferably with room service, reading a book or on my laptop.  Not that I don’t hike or appreciate nature – I just become “one” with it differently. You really want to impress me? Drive a Bentley or a Rolls and don’t brag about it or act like it is anything special – just own it because you like it. Or for that matter just drive what is practical for your life and don’t post pictures about shit that doesn’t matter.

I need a shower and 8 continuous hours of uninterrupted sleep. Maybe later… Piper is on the move again. I should change her name to Tri-pod Langmore (tiny little girl with only three semi-functioning legs, from a trailer home, with bad breeding and fierce unstoppable determination).

Faceplant nap in her sunshine bed between laps around the kitchen and family room… I need a sunshine bed.



Mercury in retrograde, lunar eclipse, … and the sun, moon and Saturn creating a “harsh T-square” in the sky… it’s a fucked-up energy trifecta. I was already having a funky week, then it got worse.

Piper is my dog… she was born in a trailer park and taken away from her mom too young. When I rescued her, she was this tiny flea ridden little mop that didn’t know how to eat real food yet and tried to nurse on everything. But – they knew when she was born… on my birthday coincidentally… so I figured she was meant to be with me.

I brought her home against my fiancé’s wishes… (he was still emotionally recovering from the loss of another dog) but I knew he was a softie and would fall for her. He did. And she adored him… he was her favorite. Of course, he cooked for her, so that might have helped, and he was willing to hold her in the crook of his arm for hours while she slept as a puppy. Whenever he cooked a meal for us, he made Piper her own little plate. She is the only dog I know of that grew up eating Filet Mignon.

After Robert died, she waited on the stairs for him, watching the driveway… waiting for him to come home every day for months. It broke my heart. Eventually she allowed me to be his replacement. We have moved several times and life has changed a lot for us in the last five years… she started having a health issue a few years ago. Her genetics are not particularly good… kind of an expected risk with rescues. She went on a special diet for dogs with genetic liver issues. Even though she is approaching 8 years old, she still tries to nurse on things to fall asleep.

Last year I bought her a really expensive flea collar – supposed to be “the best”. It poisoned her and caused neurological damage (Seresto – if you google it you will find it has killed many dogs and cats). It took about 12 hours and a very expensive trip to the vet in the middle of the night to figure out that was the cause and get it off her. They told me she might never return to “normal”, there was permanent neurological damage. I worked with her and nursed her back to health, taught her to walk again and after a few weeks she was back to about 98% of her former self.

Friday night she started having Grand Mal seizures. She had 17 of them within two hours… I rushed her to the 24-hour emergency vet, and they admitted her to the hospital. The medications they gave her to try and stop the seizures didn’t work at first due to her liver shunt issues. After 48 hours and several thousand dollars later, she is back home. She is still having seizures, but not the big ones… they are called focal seizures. She is on five medications and can’t walk again. I’m keeping a seizure log to track her progress. First night home she had 57 seizures… She has the on-going liver issue and a brain issue.

I’m trying to nurse her back to health again… there is a chance her brain can form new synapses and she can improve again. There is also a chance she could have more big seizures and need to be euthanized. The first few hours she was home was really rough. She’s doing a little better now… I’m helping her learn to walk again. I made a sling with dishtowels to hold her up while she tries to move her legs to move forward. It’s a process… sort of like physical therapy. She tries. She has a desire to walk, run, and “do” stuff… her limbs just aren’t cooperating yet. I had to work with her to get her to eat again – her tongue was just pushing the food out… but she has successfully had two meals now. I am definitely a soft touch when it comes to animals… I won’t bore you with the list of animals that have ended up on my door step and been cared for over the decades.

I know it’s probably crazy to put in so much effort, but pets become part of the family… and I am not a quitter… ever. She is not in pain, so if I can give her more life to enjoy… and her quality of life can be good, then I owe it to her to try. She has been my little buddy. She has seen me through a whole lot of life “shit”. She lights up when she sees me, is super excited to go with me in the car when I’m working and unconditionally loves me. That’s more than I can say about a lot of the people in my life – LOL.

Change is inevitable. I know this. There will come a day when I will have to make a hard decision about Piper. I just can’t do it today. May is a tough month for me. I don’t need another event in this month… June isn’t great either… She’s a tough cookie… we will get through this.

(Update: she is showing improvement already… less seizures, more time of body control… took some steps without assistance.)

Rainy days and Mondays

I am feeling melancholy today. There is no one reason… when I feel this way, I do stuff. I mowed the lawn (and the neighbor’s lawn too… didn’t want to make a line between our houses like some sort of selfish dick). I cooked… a lot. It’s what I do when I feel like I don’t have as much control over the world as I would like… I cook. I can control that. I can accomplish something.

I used to love the Spring. Fresh starts. New beginnings. Longer days. More daylight and sunlight. I still do… but now it also comes with other stuff. Mother’s Day I was alone – which is fine… I don’t mind being alone… I actually like it. My kids postponed our celebration of the day… which truly is okay – it’s just a day… I was alone Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s… I delivered groceries for Instacart on Easter.  My mom has been gone a long time. She was killed on Memorial Day weekend in 1995. I came to terms with it and have been at peace with it – for a long time now. When I was married, I was often unhappy that holidays carried so much obligation – obligation to family gatherings with in-laws… the day was never my own back then. I never want my kids to feel obligation like that. I want them to be free to spend every holiday doing whatever makes them happiest.

Maybe I am melancholy because I spend too much time alone? Maybe it’s just May. May 15th was the day Robert and I met. We considered it our anniversary since we never left each other after that day… until he died of course. This will be the 5th anniversary without him. His birthday was May 23rd. He died June 26th, 2017. So maybe that is what’s bogging me down… These upcoming dates… combined with mom’s murder date.

Maybe shedding holidays and other “dates” is just more letting go of ego things. Part of the process of being a more evolved, more aware consciousness. Maybe it’s okay to not try to control anything external… or maybe I just think too much. I found myself watching for death beetles today. They were on the deck and a few in the kitchen the year Robert died. I did not mention them to him… I told myself they didn’t mean anything except maybe there was some rotten wood somewhere. I saw some the year Grandma died too – different house. She died May 15th, 2018. Now it’s May again, and I don’t want to see more beetles…

When my mom died, I knew she was dead before anyone called me. I felt a warm wind for no reason, that reminded me of Texas and made me think of my mom and I felt “watched” – I just didn’t know for sure it was her until an hour later, I got the call. She was 49 – she should have had a lot of time left… Robert was 47. A palm reader had told him he would live to be in his mid to late 80’s. He owed me 40 more years together. Grandma was 96. She left me a card – I found it after she died… she thanked me for taking care of her the last years of her life and said she was ready to go now that she knew I would be okay… I guess she was worried about me managing the loss of Robert. Mom died before – she died for a few minutes during my birth. She told me she saw the room from up at the ceiling in the corner of the room. She could see the doctor and the nurses start to panic and calling to her to stay with them and telling her to breathe… she said she went into the light… had a conversation and then came back.  She said it wasn’t her time. She tried to kill herself 7 years later… she told me when I visited her in the hospital afterward, it didn’t work because it still wasn’t her time.

I pulled a tarot spread this morning… it was all good… it showed new beginnings, and someone coming forward with love… the end of old cycles – there was not a single negative thing in it. There is no reason to be melancholy… maybe it’s a habit for this time of year now… I want to go back to Spring feeling hopeful and magical again. Cooking does make me feel a little better… I even made pudding from scratch for my youngest… food is a love language for me.

As far as “new beginnings” and “someone coming forward with love” … well… I’m not sure exactly what to say about that… There is someone who likes me – maybe a lot… I’m waiting to see how that shakes out… not getting carried away. There is another man that really, really wants to have sex with me and says he has been waiting for someone like me his whole life (that seems a bit melodramatic) … so far, I keep turning him down… mostly because it would hurt the guy that really seems to like me. I almost feel like I can’t really truly commit to being with anyone right now… which is weird, because I have spent the last year trying to get into relationship. But I’ve made a lot of mistakes, so maybe I’m just going slow now. All I really know is I don’t want to hurt anyone.

People seem to be trying to change me lately too. I know they mean well, but right now I seem to be attracting lots of conversations about religion and politics. I don’t do formalized religion – nor do I want to. I don’t do politics… it makes me feel helpless. And I don’t follow sports… it seems boring to me… I would rather read about science. Right now, I’m reading about quantum entanglement (giving string theory a rest for a while).

Off to do some yoga now… trusting I will be my sunny self again soon.