My Stubborn Mule

Bucket-headed dog

Bucket-headed dog (Photo credit: Paul Kidd)

The sun shines through the slated blinds on my red dog’s face. As much of a pain in the bleep she is, I can’t stop loving her. She’s my girl, Lexi, the one I rescued from the shelter and even though I can’t walk her (she is ridiculously strong) in public, she’s still mine. She PULLS me everywhere, I have to stay in my neighborhood. You wouldn’t believe how many times members of my extended “family” have told me to give her “back” or “give her away.” But there is no way I will do that, I can’t. I love her.

Admittedly she is one of the toughest dogs, strongest dogs I’ve ever known and on the advice of three, yes, three, dog trainers, they have all agreed she is a “wild one with a stubborn streak.” Frustrating? Yes. Do I love her less? No. I rescued her from the shelter when she was tiny, curled up in a little red ball, sound asleep and my heart fell in love immediately. This was MY dog. I played with her, she let me cuddle her, nothing could stop me from adopting this sweetheart.

Sometimes love is blind, we know that. And, admittedly, maybe I missed my dog Callie so much (she had cancer) that i didn’t give myself enough time to recover from that grief. I probably should have waited longer to adopt my puppy but I didn’t. That’s my fault, not hers. I needed to hear the sounds of a dog in the house, I missed them so much and I need to have a dog in my life. I have become a dog person, through and through.

I should have known, when she was the worst, evil puppy in the world, that she was Trouble. She would go after our hands, feet, like I would go after a chocolate layer cake, sink her sharp puppy teeth in and not let go. Screaming in pain, little” Honeybadger didn’t give care.” Her grip would tighten. She was a really difficult puppy but still I didn’t love her any less.

She will be two in February, February 16th, 2014. I’ve had people tell me that she will NOT slow down, not this dog. She is muscular (all muscle) and strong (like an ox) and she still pulls me around that I’m scared to go out with her. It doesn’t help that I am very weak and have no balance. We have about nine different collars, leashes and equipment and Ms. Stubborn defies the odds. But that’s okay.

I love her and I won’t give her up, I could never do that. She is my dog and when I have to take her to the vet I will ask someone to come out and get her since she loves going there and pulls me dangerously across the street. I will make compromises, she will not. She is sleeping on my bed now looking like an absolute dog angel. She doesn’t show affection very often but this is her way. She keeps me company, gives me kisses. She’s going nowhere except in my arms for a big hug. She is not an easy dog, for sure, but I love her, I picked her and she makes me laugh. Sometimes.

PS: Remember the book and movie “Marley and Me?” Marley is a sweet kitten compared to Lexi, I kid you not.

photo credit paul kidd

words copyrighted lf

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The Songs I Sing

Music ~ Be There For You

Music ~ Be There For You (Photo credit: Daniel CJ Lee)

I have written songs in my dreams for many years. I don’t write songs every night, but once in a while I write the lyrics in my sleep, beautiful words are strung together that blend into a harmonious chorus. Upon wakening, I forget everything. It’s time to take out the notepad and put it right next to me for these times, to try to force myself to remember my dreams and to remember the words to a song that needs to be sung.

Consciously, I don’t know what the songs are about although anything that has to do with me must have love in it and probably conflict too. They generally go together, don’t they? Love spreading it’s wings, love in nature too: the ocean’s symbol for how unpredictable life can be, the sun, darkness, tragedies, the magic of birth, love, that unite us all.  It only takes one lit candle to give light to another. When I was young I thought the world was a friendly place, united and peaceful but I have given up hope. I’m not innocent anymore; I’ve seen too many senseless tragedies to believe that the world is good, too many jaded memories, too many senseless killings.

Physically, my body aches, I can tell when I have a fever when my legs hurt and my skin is sensitive. The throbbing in my head has been constant, aspirin and allergy pills have done nothing. My dog is having a barking competition with the dog next door and that is making my head ache even more. Music, which always soothes me, doesn’t help, even on the lowest volume so I turn it off and lay flat on the bed. My blankets cover me, I try to close my eyes but my arms shake and there is something uncomfortable about me, an illness I cannot define.  Is it Fibromyalgia? Is it a virus? Is it a reaction to the flu shot? Is it my auto immune disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis? Whatever it is when will it go away?

It turns out it takes the better part of the week but it is leaving my body now and for that I am grateful.  I realize, however, that I am saddled with two difficult diseases that make anything hard to live with and to diagnose. Sorry, I don’t mean to be disrespectful but that part alone sucks. I try not to dwell on the chronic illnesses they just pop up in situations like these, I know I have to live with them, co-exist, not in peace but in acceptance.

I look around my bedroom and I feel uneasy, it is the one room I would like to organize and fall in love with again but I certainly don’t have the energy to do it now. I need to love my bedroom, but I can’t, there is too much clutter. Clutter everywhere, this room used to be my sanctuary, a place I would go to be at peace. Now, it represents too much garbage and disorganization, books, perfume, two kinds of deodorant, an old coffee mug, a bottle of water, a flashlight, a phone, old photographs and that is just in one space. I know this is not good for me, I realize it.

I need to clean, to put things in their proper places, to organize my space, my world, inside and out. Whether or not I capture the words of my songs on paper, I need to sort things out in all aspects of my life.  I know that once the physical space is clear, I will make the choice, that the music will be a wonderfully complicated, song with a lot of tenderness, love, warmth, grief and of course, a touch of the blues. It’s real life, after all.

photo credit to above named photographer

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Did I Say There Was HOPE For Fibromyalgia? WRONG.

Flower alone

Flower alone (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

9/13/13

Earth to me. Earth to me. Calling all hallucinogenic hopefuls down to reality please. Yes, I know, I was one of them. Me, optimistic, me. Funny, quirky, stupid, friggin  me. What the hell did I know? DId you believe me? I believed me. I really did until I woke up in reality which was just recently. I used to think of the world as a good place but that stopped a long, long time ago, probably with September 11th. That shook me up and the world still keeps shaking me up and not with good things. I know, I’m a late bloomer and gullible as all heck. There will always be two different “Me’s.” Before and after.

I’m jaded, Jaded and faded and disillusioned. Know what my mother’s advice was to me? “Lower your expectations, “I did. No rah-rah speech from her which is not exactly her style to begin with. My dad used to be Mr. Educational Talk when he was alive, think positive, be optimistic, you can do it if you THINK you can do it. He gave “pep” talks to anyone who would listen and yes he believed it and I tried to believe it too, tried to change. But, at the end of his life he was terribly sick and depressed and didn’t want to get out of bed or listen to his favorite Viennese waltzes that had delighted him all of his life. He was a shadow of himself, a shell of a man, it went so quickly and so slowly at the same time. It’s hard to remember when he was last really happy, I have a photo of his birthday, I treasure that photograph. The birthday candles were lit, he was beaming with joy, but it was many years before his death.

I’ve gone to the dark side. Plain and simple. Life is about love and love is about abandonment. Gone. Hello, I am here. I love you. I now will leave you. Good-bye. You are born alone and you die alone. You should pretty much plan to be alone a lot in your lifetime because no one loves you like your mother or father does, or your spouse/partner. You love your kids more than anything, they are your heart and soul, the true essence of your being but it is not reciprocal. It can’t be. Their children will be the lights of their eyes, you need to stand back and make room for the next generation. You may still be in the picture but not upfront, from now on you are in the background and that is where you will stay, forever.

Remember that post I wrote on feeling blessedly numb and peaceful? Yes, that’s gone, it left as fast as it came. Had to do with children and my dead father and abandonment issues.  Just saying the word in my head brings tears to my eyes. Good old abandonment, am I the only nut job that has this umbrella issue? I would bet not. Life is scary sometimes, it’s the truth.

Many limitations from chronic illnesses: Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto Thyroiditis, I can not walk a straight line, my balance is worse than ever, my stamina is non-existent. I need to go into the city for an appointment to see my rheumatologist and I don’t have the strength to get there. Taking the train and a cab seems impossible, hiring a car service is ridiculously expensive and I can’t afford that. So, I keep postponing it which is the worst thing I can do.

I have to suck up my pride and ask my best friend for help, she’s already offered but I am not good at asking for things. I rather help than ask for help. So, today I have to promise myself that I will ask her for a ride to the city, pay for everything and appreciate that I have a friend I can ask albeit begrudgingly. I know I won’t get better, if anything I’m getting worse.

photo credit:@doug88888

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The Art Of Keeping Pancakes Warm

Pancakes

Pancakes (Photo credit: Creativity+ Timothy K Hamilton)

Emotions often overlap, sometimes they are hard to distinguish, or they are hard to separate, sometimes they coexist, they hold each others hand, their fingers intertwined. Sometimes there’s a base and if not resolved things pile on top of it like a stack of freshly made pancakes, each one giving off heat. The first pancake starts the flow of the heat which rises into the air. Soon, we add another pancake and then another to make a stack; each pancake produces heat adding heat to the bottom, the first  pancake, not taking heat away from it.

Usually its easy for me to figure out what I’m feeling, I generally pride myself on knowing how or what I feel, not that I think it’s a fabulous trait to have because many times it is overwhelming. Recently, In the past few weeks I seem to have lost that trait, I have absolutely no idea how I feel, I don’t feel anything strongly, hate, compassion, appreciation; I don’t feel anything at all. If I feel anything its emptiness in a very cool, detached way, like reading a book of a different culture that I have no interest in whatsoever. I feel like a different person, cool, calm, detached.

This is not me.

If I stayed like this my life would be a million times easier but somewhere, deep in the bottom of my soul, I know, that there is a catalyst waiting to happen, a word or a memory, that will make all my emotions come flooding back. For now, I’m probably resisting it and I can’t lie, it feels like a vacation. A dull, boring vacation in a zombie time zone but for a roller coaster woman like me, I’ll take it. I will jump in with gratitude In one split second because now, I don’t want to analyze it, think about it and most of all, deal with it. If this is a break from dealing with heavy things, I’m in, thank you very much.

We have all gone through love, hate, grief but now I feel numb. I choose numb now because numbness gets me through the days. I am not sobbing on the bed, my cheeks and eyes are not swollen and red, I’m taking a breather.  I know, soon enough, that dam will break and I will probably learn new information that I need to be ready for because once again, if I choose to hear the new information, my life will change forever.

For as long as it lasts, numb will be satisfactory. I know it’s not a steady job, just temporary, a respite from unhappiness and doubt but if happiness and knowledge elude me than I would be honored to take up residency. There’s also: Sad, Mad, Love, Grief, Hate, Happy, Sensitive, Unaware, Raw, Grieving, Disbelief, Guilt, Sorrow, Pain, Game, Delusional, etc….No person is just one thing. We are all complicated beings, we all make mistakes. We are faulty human beings so pick whichever traits you want or have, learn from mistakes and then move on. Do the best you can in the present. Don’t look to the past, don’t worry about the future, your destiny is here with you now, staring you in the face, the sweet smell of pancakes wafting in the air, warm amber-colored maple syrup poured from a white pitcher to enjoy on your pancakes while you contemplate. Treat yourselves well.

Yellow Magic Madness # 34

English: the forests in new hampshire in autumn

English: the forests in new hampshire in autumn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is officially Autumn, leaves are changing and the chill is in the air.

We know that Summer is over. We can’t change things, enjoy

the changing beauty that we have now:  vibrant colors,

leaves changing colors on trees. What you can’t change,

APPRECIATE.

Plinky Prompt : Write A Story…

  • Write a story about yourself from the perspective of an object, thing, animal, or another person.
  • ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Tinker Bell and the Mysterious Winter Woods

    Tinker Bell and the Mysterious Winter Woods (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Peter Pan’s Best Friend, SHE
  • Welcome to my world, and let me introduce you to my very best friend and NO, it is not Tinkerbell if that’s what you are thinking. Tricked you!! It’s “SHE.”
    SHE tries to act grown-up once in a while, when she thinks she has to, but I NEVER DO and I’m PROUD. Yup, that’s me, Peter Pan and the best part of me is child-like, fun and I so love to make myself laugh, ha ha, I do it constantly. I think I am hysterically funny don’t you? You don’t? I don’t care, I DO!! I can amuse myself for hours and hours, so silly I know but so fun. SHE is very much like me, child-like, some say childish, but she doesn’t care really, she enjoys herself, yeah, most “grown-ups” should have as much fun as she has.
    The only damper to her style once, years ago, was when her son actually told her he preferred if she acted a little more “adult.” Wow, she shocked but for her children, she would do anything and so she tried. I think she was successful for a time. Now the “children” are adults and she is in her 50’s and basically she doesn’t care who or what anybody thinks. WE are back together like we once were, Peter Pan and SHE. We may grow older, at least SHE does, but WE DON’T WANT TO GROW UP, NOT ME, NOT HER, NOT US, NOT EVER.

Maybe “Safe” Is A Better Word Than “Stuck”

English: The Mother Orange Tree, the oldest li...

English: The Mother Orange Tree, the oldest living orange tree in Northern California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I often refer to my husband and myself as Empty Nesters, stuck between two worlds. We still live in the home where we raised our children,  paying outrageous school taxes even though both kids are in college. My mother and sister both live nearby and my husband’s parents live close by as well. But, I know, deep inside, this is not where I want to end up for the rest of our lives.  I’m sure you have heard the term  “The Sandwich Generation” before, it defines us as it does most of the aging “Baby Boomers.” I shudder when I even think of the term “Aging Boomers.” Us? Really?

I have wanted to move to the West Cost for a long time since I was a kid and my dad mentioned he had a possible job interview in California. For someone who is not good with change, I was so excited about the prospect.  I imagined a little white house and garden with bright red flowers on the boarders, an orange tree in the back yard and a red dog named Rusty.

Here, in the Northeast the weather is too cold and I’ve always hated cold weather. For those of you who enjoy the cold and love its sparkling freshness, enjoy it. For all you skiers out there, have a great time racing down those sleek, icy hills, I would be in the chalet drinking hot chocolate with whipped cream anyway. The cold weather makes me hurt all over in general and  living with the chronic pain illness, Fibromyalgia, the cold, bone-chilling weather makes my bones and muscles hurt even more. There is nothing I can do about that except accept it.

I admit, I used to feel closed in not knowing when and where we would move in the future but now it feels alright, in fact it feels safe. Chaos will surely occur if there is any major change and for someone like me, change is always hard. For me, ” A Good Change” is an oxymoron. For little things, I need 24-48 hours to get used to change that is even mildly disturbing, imagine a huge change? The mere thought of moving away from my sister and mother brings tears to my eyes. My children will come visit when they can, it is their turn to live now. So maybe being “stuck” is not so bad, maybe being stuck is just being “safe.” If I look at it that way,  I’m doing alright. Actually, pretty good. I’m enjoying nature in the suburbs, the sweet red cardinals chirping in the trees, the changing of the leaves, the different seasons. Change will happen by itself, there are things we can’t control, health, employment, our children moving away, us moving away, sickness, death. Life brings us one change after another, so right now where we are “stuck” is really a time to rest and appreciate. Whatever comes next, will be very, very different; we will get used to it in time but it won’t be easy to call that place home with all the pieces in the puzzle fitting right into place for a long time. I’m just going to appreciate what I have now, not look backwards and not look forwards, be in the present. Sounds good, right? I’m trying the best that I can.

a drawing of a 4 piece jigsaw puzzle

a drawing of a 4 piece jigsaw puzzle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Plinky: What’s Your Biggest Regret?

  • Bungee jumping podczas Juwenaliów Śląskich 17....

    Bungee jumping podczas Juwenaliów Śląskich 17.05.2008r Lotnisko Muchowiec w Katowicach. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    What’s your biggest regret? How would your life have been different if you’d made another decision? See all answers

  • Regrets, I’ve had a few….
  • Looking back is easy, isn’t it? But, I wasn’t the same person 30 years ago as I am now, hadn’t learned enough about myself or the world, didn’t have the confidence or the drive (or the psychotherapy!) My biggest regret is not having the ability to take CHANCES in life. I say ability because I really was not able to take a chance, I was crippled with self-doubt, and fear and I could not get out of my very limited social comfort zone. I had been that way since I was a child. Back then, there were no child therapists because if there were, I would have not lost so many years of my life to being scared and always anxious and afraid.
    It carried over into my adult life too. I lied to people saying “I couldn’t go places” when it was pure, stifling anxiety. It took many years to relearn but even at my old decrepit age, it’s never too late to learn something new.
    And, as Oprah has said all along “when I knew better, I did better.” And, so I did. I’m grateful for the years that I have had the courage and not upset that I didn’t have them longer.

*Bungee jumping: JUST KIDDING

Yellow Magic Madness # 33: Late Afternoon Sun

English: The rear of the Shires A view looking...

English: The rear of the Shires A view looking east across the ASDA carpark, towards the geometric shapes of the rear elevation of the Shires shopping centre catching the late afternoon sunlight. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Bridleway in the Late Afternoon Sunlight.

English: Bridleway in the Late Afternoon Sunlight. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Late afternoon sunlight. Late September’s gift. I love this light,  my favorite time of day. The warmth of the day is a gift, the reflection of the sun as it shines on this surprising warm day. Warmth before the cold. Appreciate every minute you can, at night the temperatures drop quickly, we know what’s ahead. Count your blessings.

Photography credit to Photographers

lf copyright

Employment Application, 2013

So freaking delicious, from my favorite restau...

So freaking delicious, from my favorite restaurant Le Madeline 🙂 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Hiring Manager:

Wanted: Full or Part-time Job involving food, writing or any combination of the two. Traveling with car service a must: ( I have NO sense of direction and that is an understatement)  It is NO joke. It is NOT covered by the ADA but  why isn’t it?  Mode of transportation:  Airlines: Private jet or first class preferable, business class necessary, economy, okay..if I must. Stand by: Been there, done that.

Interests: Food, Special Interest: Dessert, Food TV shows, Favorite all time dessert: Sacher Torte: Original or Fake, German or Austrian or American from Kew Gardens, Queens at the Homestead Gourmet with raspberry jam.I had it every year growing up for my birthday and I miss it. RIP Teddy.

Special Skills: Having traveled (for free) in my childhood I am extremely knowledgeable to rate hotels in addition to their restaurants and room service if you would like me to do that. I do not shy away from extra assignments, in fact, I just offered a very, informative link to the hotel industry. Can someone call ‘The Hilton’s’, please?

Proof of Expertise: Reading my blog, references, and restaurant owners in the area. I wrote a review of “The Flying Pig” for the local newspaper, it is not my fault they closed the restaurant, we still miss it, I assure you. Receipts upon request.

Good Points: Very amicable, charming, an excellent communicator, doesn’t like alcohol. Does not consider sorbet a dessert, perhaps as a palette cleanser and no weird flavors like octopus or lizard. Prefers cakes over pies, ice cream in addition to the cake never in lieu of the cake. Fresh fruit on request, ha ha ha ha ha. For a special occasion our family went out to a fancy restaurant and our daughter, the vegetarian, ordered blueberries and strawberries for $12 or $15 dollars and we said “no.” She was beyond furious even after I offered to make her some at home. Cookies: any time, all the time, but if you don’t want to make them, that’s fine, go to a bakery instead, Just sayin’…

Bad Points: I confess, favorite comfort food is still Kraft American cheese slices on soft bread (not Wonder bread. Anymore.) with light spreadable “butter and a chocolate related drink, this could include hot chocolate, Yoo-Hoo or chocolate egg creams. Diet Pepsi/Coke/Root Beer acceptable too. There are certain food items and beverages that go together well. Something salty would go with this dish, chips, pretzels, nothing special.

Additional Experience: Watching TV shows with my husband on our couch while eating our dessert not to be confused with Pre-D which immediately follows our meal but is a predecessor of the real “D” (which as you may have figured out is: Dessert. Ice Cream, pastry from French bakeries, even an occasional cupcake will do if we have nothing else. (Okay, maybe a Twinkie) and Baklava, yum, (another post on Baklava is also a blog post.)

Market Reach and Development: I need to be the first person or close enough to TRY NEW PRODUCTS, that is a natural field for me, I spy them on the shelves, I immediately buy them. Case in point: “*Candy Cotton Grapes.” I did not stop until I found them, it took 3 stores but I HAD TO HAVE THEM. I excel at wanting, finding and buying new products, my mother said I’ve been like that since I was 5, haven’t stopped. (see the entry “Cotton Candy Grapes” on my blog.

Cooking Skills: I make a mean chicken soup, I can roast a chicken with lemon and love, my baking skills are superb but limited to Banana Bread with the following options (plain, chocolate chip or chocolate chip and raisin) The latter being my son’s absolute favorite and the one thing he actually brags about (and hoards) from his friends.  I can also bake Pumpkin bread with or without raisins (without for my daughter who doesn’t like the texture of raisins and many other things) Oh, I knew I would forget something an award-winning Pea Soup. (Okay not a real award but it deserves one.) I learned how to make Chopped Chicken Liver when I was ten by a neighbor…

Excellent Writing Skills: To summarize the meals, service, attention to detail and I interact beautifully with all levels of  employees. Note:  I believe that you need to be kind to everyone and yes, it’s hard but at least try. Karma is karma, I’m not perfect, neither are you.

Overall summary: Delightful person with excellent communication skills and a love of food (junky or refined), enthusiastic, funny, silly, and a charming dinner companion. This applicant plays no games, she can’t wear high heels because they hurt her feet, although she would try fancier flats if necessary, she is willing to adapt. She has dancing green eyes and brown curly hair and only wears lipstick which her mother has bugged her about for the last two months. She is thinking about being dragged to one of those fancy stores like Nordstrom (which I used to call Nordstrom’s before my daughter corrected me for the 19th time ( with the ever so charming and obvious eye roll to the sky) for a make-over. Plus, I need new clothing too.

This candidate, I can assure you, will never, ever be late. She will always, unless there is a natural disaster, be early because she had/has  European parents and there WAS no other option. She is honest, she can keep secrets and is always reliable.

Take a chance. At the very least, bring her in for an interview.

Pretty please with rainbow sprinkles on top?

Yours truly,

Me.

PS: If you call my friend Maureen she will tell you that at times I do eat pizza with either grape or strawberry jam on top. I do not deny this one bit. In fact, I am proud of it.