Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Same chick, different life

It's been a long time since I wrote in here, and it's mainly because life has been reconstructing from the ground up for the last few years. Don't worry though - things are good now. What's been up, you're asking? Well I'll try to catch you up without being too boring.

First of all, Incrediboy, the darling and precocious baby in the beginning days of this blog, is now 15 years old. He is taller than me now, and I'm not short. I know, I can't believe it either. To make it even better, he is an awesome young man and I am really proud of him. He's a great kid.

I am sad to say that Most Beautiful Dog crossed the Rainbow Bridge in January. We were blessed to have him for 16 crazy silly years. In his last year he slowed down considerably, and one day he just kind of collapsed, frighteningly disoriented. I took him to the emergency vet and they found he had a mass inside his ribcage that had ruptured and he was bleeding internally. There was nothing that could be done and he was going to pass on his own, but I decided to help him along to ease any suffering he may be having. I held him and stroked his sleek body as he took his last breath. I miss him every day. Every moment.

I now have three beagles. Yes, three. I love them all, and the newest one in particular has been very healing as I have grieved MBDog. More on that lot in a few minutes though.

After 22 years together, 20 years married, the Hub and I split up a few years back and are now divorced. I will not go into detail about this, as it's really a private matter. I will just simply say we grew in different directions, and grew far enough apart that we couldn't find our way back. We have remained amicable and are successfully co-parenting Incrediboy. It was a hard time but we all have adjusted.

I quit my job. I hated it from the time I started but I gave it 2 1/2 years. I swear it shortened my life. It certainly poisoned the rest of my life while I was there (no, it didn't have anything to do with the divorce. That road was paved long before then). The company is successful enough that the owner is rolling in dough, but it is a shockingly mismanaged and unethical organization. Quitting was like being released from prison. What am I doing now? I'll get to that later.

My Mom, who had a stroke in 2013 and has been in assisted living, passed away Mother's Day weekend 2018. I miss her. We never seemed to achieve that same closeness like most mothers and daughters, but we did get along and had grown closer since Dad died, and I miss her so much.

In happier news ... I have recently remarried.  It probably sounds really quick, especially since I just told you I got divorced a few lines back. But I have known him since 1986. We dated in high school and then went our separate ways, each getting married, having families, and building lives. He had been divorced several years when we got back in touch and I was in the process of reorganizing my life and filing for divorce. After an extended period of getting to know each other again and catching up on our lives and trials, we found we were still great together. He and Incrediboy like each other, and while his girls are grown and don't live with him, I get along with them as well. All important things.  He had two beagles who also accepted me into the pack, so everything fell into place. :)

I make this all sound so quick and neat. It was not always. When I first filed for divorce I went to a lot of counseling sessions to gain balance and perspective and to begin healing. My counselor was very helpful and I respected and applied all of their guidance. It was the best thing I could have done for myself and helped greatly with my healing and progression.

My now husband (whom I will call Studsband - as he is indeed a handsome stud) and I got married in March and when we got back from our honeymoon launched our small engine repair business. It's something he has been doing on the side since high school, and upon talking about both of us being fed up with job dissatisfaction, we decided to go full time with it. What's the worst that can happen? We have to go back to getting jobs? There will always be jobs waiting. Time to chase some dreams, and so far, I'm happy to say the business is doing great. 

To be honest, I would have married him when we dated the first time. We always had a remarkable connection and relatability to one another. We just met too young. I went on to have a life with a lot of love and fun mixed in with the struggles. But I can tell you that for the first time since we dated initially, I feel like I am exactly where I am meant to be and with who I belong. I am ecstatically happy and wish nothing but the best for the former Hub as well. 

The third beagle just came into our lives about a month ago. She is a rescue, very tiny for a beagle and has clearly suffered some abuse. She was so timid and skittish when we got her. We have spent a lot of time gaining her trust and while she is still very cautious of the Studsband which makes me think the source of her abuse came from a male - because the Studsband is, while a tall and formidable man, such a gentle person - she is coming around. Her little personality is coming out and she is very sweet and so funny. I can't help but feel we were led to her. Healing for her, and healing for us. There will never be another MBDog in my heart. But there is plenty of love still to give to other puppers.  

Well, that's the short version of what's been up. Why now, after all this time am I back? I dunno. I miss writing. I actually have been writing ... but not like I did here. Maybe I can find my way back to happiness here too.

So how have y'all been?

Saturday, March 25, 2017

100 Words: Feast or Famine

This week's 100 Words challenge at Thin Spiral Notebook is to use a food colloquialism. I'm not sure how well I did this, but here is my brain's offering.

I was always certain you felt the same undeniable rightness of us. I saw it in your eyes, even when the rest of you refuted it. It was extremely hard to give up, but it was killing me.

When you allow for second choices, by default you make your first choice your second choice. I have never been big on being second choice. I refuse to be content with scraps thrown on the floor from your banquet table.

Sour grapes can provide powerful nourishment when it's all you have left.

I am stronger than you know. Than even I knew.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

100 Words: Sorry Not Sorry

Sometimes even when you leave hurt behind you, it follows close behind, waiting for the opportunity to pop back out. This week's 100 Words Prompt from Thin Spiral Notebook is RISK.

I saw her obituary by chance while scrolling through the alumni facebook page. She would be greatly missed by her loving husband, two children, and a host of friends.

She had always been cute and very popular.  So sweet, everyone said. I never would have described her that way. She degraded me daily, making fun of my knockoff clothes and my awkwardness - my bad skin and good grades. She made going to school feel like a daily risk, as if navigating a minefield.

I hated her.

Part of me felt obligatory sadness at the news. 

A bigger part did not.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

100 Words: ADVENTURE

Be it for a person, a destination, or an activity, all great endeavors sprout from attraction. The prompt for this round of Thin Spiral Notebook's 100 Word Challenge is ADVENTURE. 

You showed up like you had always belonged, the missing element laid bare. I had been riding the current, an oblivious fool waiting for life to start, and suddenly found myself perched on the edge of intoxicating calamity.

I saw it right away. A barely there jolt in your casual stance, irises flashing for just a nanosecond. A tiny pucker of a dimple in your cheek as you try to play it down. That's when I knew it wasn't my imagination.

My off-guard mind scrambles to assemble a dazzling opener.

I stand up, and take a step toward epiphany.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

100 Words: Hungry

This week's 100 Words challenge over at Thin Spiral Notebook is HUNGRY.

According to the cycles of daylight through the glass block windows, it has been five days since the storm. Five days we'd been trapped.

The case of water was lasting, but the meager food supply was almost gone. The bucket I'd used for waste was beginning to reek. So was I.

I opened the last tin of potted meat with a skrrrrik of the lid. Daisy looked up at me with bright expectant eyes.

My stomach rumbled furiously as I gave her the tin. She devoured it, tail wagging gratefully.

"Enjoy it ... That's it."

Help will come soon.  I hope.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Topic Prompt 1: Rain

The rain was laughing.

I shot out of there like a scalded dog. Not out of shame or defeat, but because I didn't think I could contain myself any longer. And I didn't want to go to prison.

I had been running for I don't know how long. I'd run until I couldn't see the lights. Until I couldn't feel the brutal impact of the ground through my legs anymore. Until broken glass shredded my lungs. I'd run and run and still could not escape myself. Could not escape my fury.

I stopped. Cold blades shaved down my back and bled beneath the waistband of my pants. The ache in my feet caught up with me, sending flames up my legs. I raked the glass through my lungs some more.

I looked up at the bruised sky. Fat, pea-sized drops hurled down, striking and banking around me. I had a flash of a memory, a spaceship's viewpoint of traveling at warp speed. For a second I felt my feet elevate, and then it was gone.

I wondered if I waited, if I stood in this spot and stretched my energy as high up into the sky as I could, if I could draw a lightning strike to me. If I could will the unforgiving lance straight through me, through my heart and down into the aloof earth, taking my anger and sadness and spirit with it.

Lightning sizzled my retinas, leaving only static in my vision as the thunder squeezed me in its giant fists.

The rain was laughing, and I was still here.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

100 Words: You Can't Go Home Again

I am delighted that 100 Words is still being carried on, now over at Thin Spiral Notebook.  The 100 Words format was always fun to me - working with a topic I did not pick, in a strict minimalist flash fiction format. I felt it pushed my tendency to prattle on into an a la Hemingway strip-down. It is always fun, always invigorating.  

This round's prompt is HISTORY.

I moved away thirty years ago. Had the house number not been the same I'd have thought I was in the wrong place. Nothing looked familiar. The aqua paint was replaced with taupe. The sled-hill front yard barely an incline. The pine tree was gone. Was my parakeet still buried under where it stood? Even the cement porch where I'd carved my initials as it set had been demolished at some point. I considered knocking on the door, asking if I could look around - but drove on. Sometimes history doesn't stay with a place - it stays with a person.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Fish Tales

Several years back, while I was away on a girls’ weekend, Incrediboy came home from a local festival with a goldfish he had won in one of those ping pong toss games.  I was less than pleased. I have nothing against fish, but I had fish in college and really didn’t care to go through the ordeal again.

I glared at the Hub, who just shrugged and said he had no idea the boy would actually make one of the ping pong balls into its target. I was pretty annoyed that he couldn’t have steered him to a game with stuffed animals or pop guns instead.

I had to admit though, the little drop of sunset orange with big moon eyes was pretty cute.

I took Incrediboy to the local department store and we picked out a nice tank and filter set, some cheery gravel and an assortment of aquarium plants, along with a ceramic Spongebob Pineapple house with lots of windows for the little babe to explore and swim through. I had no idea how long “Flounder” would survive. Who knows how healthy those poor fair fish are to begin with. But if we were to bring an animal into the house, we were going to take care of it as best as we could.

A few years ago Flounder changed from orange to shimmery white, in gradient blotches.  Incrediboy was in a panic and I didn’t know what to make of it.  With a little internet research I learned that goldfish often change color several times in their lives. I had no idea, did you?

Flounder is now 5 years old.  He has most recently turned a soothing blush tone - his body has quadrupled in size and his tail streams out behind him like a gossamer veil.  The pineapple has long since been replaced with a rock cave, which Flounder enjoys hanging out in. Incrediboy adores him.

Over the past few weeks, Flounder has not been himself.  He hasn’t been moving much, and his fins and tail are beginning to deteriorate.  He is losing scales near the base of his tail and is barely eating.  We have been giving him some antibiotics in his tank water as suggested by the pet store, and change his water frequently to give him the most optimal environment.  Most recently he seems to have perked up, but he struggles to swim and has difficulty staying straight up, listing to the side or flipping nose-up like a rocket on a launchpad.  I don’t know if it’s due to his fins and tail being injured or if he is reaching the final mile of his road on earth.

Incrediboy includes Flounder’s health in his prayers every night.

Many people file fish in the category of disposable pets.  They come and go, no big deal. But this particular fish means a lot to this boy.  It will break his heart when Flounder moves on - and while I hate for anything to bring him pain, I appreciate that it will. Such a compassionate heart he has.

Fart and Relax

I think I know what my problem is.

The thing about artists is we want things to come out as perfect and utterly life changing as we envision them in our minds and hearts.  It rarely does, and that makes us brood and struggle with infuriating frustration.

As I shared the other day, I have finally been inspired to start writing again, and will use this dear old format as my starting point.  I toss ideas around in my noggin all day as I work, commute, and go about the chores of the everyday. I barely know where to start once I get the time.

Tonight I sat down to write.


Instead I spent about four hours reading through old posts.  I now feel rather melancholy.  I feel like I will never write like that again.

But why wouldn't I?  I just need a little bit of practice. Loosen up the writing muscles.  Maybe the next stuff will be the best yet.

I just need to "fart and relax", as my BFF says.

I turned 48 earlier this month. Can you believe that?  And remember Incrediboy, the precious toddler from my earlier posts?  He's 13 now.

Time's a-wasting.

Be back tomorrow (or as it were, later today), with some kind of post. Even if it sucks, I will be writing.  :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Hello, it's me ...

It has been nearly six years since my last post. Wow.

Is anyone still out there? I wouldn't blame you if you weren't.

That's okay ... nobody was here when I started this blog either.

So what have I been up to? All kinds of crap that hasn't been much fun. But some of it has. For one, a good friend of mine asked me to help him with a book project. We had a lot of fun with it - the story line was his concept and he had written it all out and I handled editing, rewrites and embellishments. There are now two novels out there and a third in progress. Pretty cool huh? All three of our fans are very excited.

 But I digress.

My friend brought his project to me, asking for my help. But in the end he helped me.

I started thinking about writing again. I started thinking about how much I enjoyed keeping this blog and participating in the challenges and writing groups I found. I have decided to pursue a solo project. I have some ideas of what I want to do, and even have a few items to use for it.

The problem is, my writing joints are stiff, my muscles atrophied. I need to start experimenting again. What better place to start than back at the beginning?

Let's see what happens.