Bye Bye, Baby

booroses

yesterday was my birthday.  it was also the new moon, friday the 13th, and… exactly a week from the day my precious boo left us.

the day started at 4 am, and i busted my ass getting product ready for my sale.  i received many lovely birthday messages and calls, including one from a wonderful chicago friend who has become somewhat of a spiritual guide to me.  i had tagged him in a fb post earlier, because the first thing i saw when i clicked on instagram was this –

god

i felt like it was a sign and asked him if he had planned it.  he said “no, but i prayed for it.”  llllllove.  seeing these words was the perfect way to start the day.  cuz we all know mama needs a BIG situation change.  pronto.  when 2 pm rolled around, i decided to carry out my plans to honor my fluff puff.  i went over to a cute little gallery to buy a card and ended up running into my number one favorite person in this town – leroy.

newleroy

it was truly the best birthday gift i could have ever asked for.  we had a nice long chat, talked about going to the sufi camp in torreon before i leave town because he thinks it will lift my spirit and then he accompanied me to the gallery to help choose a card for boo’s vet.  of course he’s friends with the woman who was volunteering that day – because he knows absolutely everyone – and promptly sat down behind the counter to chat her up while i browsed.  as it turns out, the most beautiful cards were made by a wonderful artist named rebecca who i know from clay class.  because, of course.  i made my choice and i hit the road.

as i was driving north, it started pouring rain.  god it felt so good.  soooooooo good.  i worried for a second that the rain would put a literal damper on my plans, but i had a feeling that it would be a typical wham bam new mexico storm.  and by the time i got to my destination, the weather was perfectly cloudy and cool with no rain.  of course.  i went to the grocery store, bought a few roses, and headed to the animal hospital.  i walked in and recognized the woman behind the front desk as the one who was there last week.  i have to tell you a quick story about her from that day…

after i said my goodbyes to boo, i got myself as composed as i could manage and left the room.  as i was walking toward the desk, i saw her chewing.  i said “oops, busted you eating” and laughed.  she put her hand over her mouth and giggled.  i got up to the desk and she said “so will boo be staying with us?”  um.  yeah.  i paused and said “well, sorta.  i had to put her down.”  and, as you guessed, then i started crying again.  that poor woman was horrified.  so embarrassed, so apologetic.  i felt terrible!  she didn’t yet have my paperwork, so she truly had no idea what was going on.  i think she learned a lesson that day… i still feel kinda bad!  anyway…

SO… i handed her the card and asked her to give it to doctor coleman.  she said okay, but looked puzzled.  and then i handed her a rose and said “this is for you.  just because.”  she looked even more puzzled then, but i just told her to have a good weekend and walked out before i started crying.  which i did in the car.  of course.  i figured it would make sense for her once my amazing doc read his card.

i headed over to the church with “the” cross.  oddly, i couldn’t find it.  that is so weird to me because it totally jumped out at me last thursday.  i had to turn around and really search.  but i found it, turned into the driveway, and saw a sign out front that there are weight watchers meetings there on wednesdays.  alright, boo, i get it… mama needs to drop some ellbees!  honestly.  that was NOT a sign i was looking for… lol.  anyway, i had planned on trying to ask someone at the church if it was okay that i place the roses, but no one was around.  so i headed straight to the cross.  the little field was filled with hundreds of tiny grasshoppers!  they were jumping every time i took a step, it was amazing!  i love grasshoppers!  do you know that they only jump forward?  another sign.  well, i tied the roses to the cross and held boo in my heart.  this wasn’t about “putting her to rest”, it was about honoring her last day on earth.  after all, i believe she led me to this cross AND to doctor coleman.  she had a plan.  dontcha think?  i think.

boocross

after a few minutes, i headed out.  as i was driving, i pulled my lip balm out of my bra – don’t judge – and started applying.  something got stuck on my lips and when i pulled it off, it was… boo fluff.  isn’t that weird???!!  i had been using that (boob)balm allllllll day.  another sign.  i felt like it was a kiss from my sweet little love.  *sigh*

i got back to the house and it felt even more empty.  i truly can’t wait to get out of here.  honestly, not because i hate it, but because i look for boo all the time.  all.  the.  time.  i look for her as soon as i open my eyes in the morning, and when i remember she’s no longer around, i feel the pain.  again.  every time i open a door i worry that she’ll run out.  every time i look for a bite to eat i think about what to feed her.  i hate it.  i can’t wait to live in a place where i have zero memories.  a new place.  a fresh place.  where will that be?  i still don’t know.  but i’ll know this week.  because all the signs are there…

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Road Dog

twopaws

if you and i are friends in life or via social media, you know what i’ve been recently going through.  if not, let me just tell you… i had to put my sweet little boo to sleep on friday.  i will never be the same.  i am beyond devastated, i’m miserable, i don’t know how i will ever get over this.  seriously.  a friend of mine recommended that i write out a list of our adventures as a cathartic exercise.  there were way too many, it would take at least a thousand posts.  plus, almost everything is documented on social media, right?  anyway, i decided that i would instead try to remember every hotel/motel we shared on our road trips.  there were quite a few.  i should start by saying that i like places that are a.) cheap, b.) motor inns – i prefer ground floor so i can pull the car up to the room door, and c.) boo-friendly.  of course.  i have a special place in my heart for motel 6.  i always meet interesting people while checking in – hunters, fisherman, fun grandmas and grandpas, drug dealers, people who got evicted from their apartments, etc. – and it’s just the perfect no frills place.  i actually have a tshirt that says “i’d rather be sleeping at motel 6” that i won in a twitter competition.  truth.

2009

this was the year boo and i met.  in denver.  she came into my life as a six-month-old rescue on january 31st.  we had a very adorable and fun year there, and then left for chicago in december, ridin’ in an rv driven by our pal, matt.  it was cold as fuck everywhere.  very depressing.  we stayed in a super 8 in lincoln, nebraska the first night.  we didn’t tell the front desk clerk about boo – i mean, that $10 was going to break us – but as soon as we got into the room, boo barked for some reason.  and about three seconds later we got a call.  lol.  can’t hide a boo.

2010

boo and i moved to california in late summer of that year.  that was quite a road trip.  very long and arduous.  we didn’t leave until around noon that first day and i honestly can’t remember where we stayed that night!  damn!  i think it was a motel 6 in lincoln, but not sure.  i remember very well that we stayed at a motel 6 in salt lake city the second night.  it was next to a denny’s – my go-to road trip dinner place – but the parking lot of the motel was very “busy”, so i could barely sleep.  we went and got our steak dinner, came back to the room, ate, got a little shut eye, and woke up at four am.  so we just hit the road.  we drove past the salt flats at sunrise and i have to say that was one of the most amazing places i’ve seen.  total wow.  boo christened it.  we drove and drove and drove, got to napa that night, stayed with our friend for a couple nights and then headed toward the coast.

as we were driving through wine country, one of my facebook friends was tracking our progress and invited me to dinner at his gorgeous motel in boonville, which is this funky, cool town halfway between the turnoff from the highway and fort bragg.  we tucked boo under the table, i thoroughly enjoyed an evening with my new friend and his old friends, and then this generous soul put us up at his inn up the canyon.  it’s called the toll house.  and it is in the middle of fuckingnowhereheaven.  we got there, the fireplace was going, there was a bottle of white wine chilling… to date the most luxurious place i have ever stayed.  so.  fucking.  amazing.  as a matter of fact, this was a saturday night and they were closing for a week starting the next day because pottery barn rented it out for a photo shoot.  yeah.  THAT fabulous.

we continued up the coast and when we reached our destination, we stayed – for a week, actually, cuz i had to find our apartment – at this fantastic old school motor inn called surf motel and gardens.  omg it was fantastic.  courtyard style place with the cutest garden in the middle with lots of benches and little walkways.  it was cheap, super clean, and loaded with retirees who were just travelin’ and fishin’.  the ice machine was in the middle and every day boo and i would meet some new fabulous humans.  we all left our doors open in the early evenings and had many a cocktail hours.  so cute.  you know i love that shit.  and, of course, boo loved all her new grandparents and they loved her.

2011

fort bragg was about three hours from san francisco, so we went down for the weekend every three months or so.  we always stayed at this super cool place called the good hotel.  it was all reclaimed wood, white organic linens and towels, clean and modern.  and, for the city, super fucking cheap!  and near the city center!  so we would sightsee and go for walks during the day, get takeout or go to my favorite market for our room picnic food and then just hang and watch tv at night.  it was perfect.  one time i went to see a friend’s band play and left her in the room for the first time.  i left on the tv, left her water and snacks and she was fine. we seriously had been there so often that the front desk people knew her and it felt like being at a friend’s house.  oddly, i remember checking out one time when i got a phone call from boo’s favorite aunt telling me that she had put down her kitty.  the first pet she ever had.  making me cry typing that.  this auntie, lori, is a friend of 25 years and no one has been better to boo and me than her.  she called me yesterday and we both just cried and cried.  anyway… now i’m getting off track.

when we left fort bragg in september – or october… who knows – we ended up leaving late because my inn going away party got way out of hand.  so i took my shit, my hangover and my sweet little boo up highway 101.  our destination was grants pass, oregon and we didn’t get there til about 11 p.m..  that night we checked in at the motel 6, got our usual steak dinner at denny’s and then sat on the bed to eat and watch tv.   and, yes, i always take off the bedspread.  people asked why i would always go to denny’s when i road trip.  the answer is i know i could always get protein and veggies that boo could share.  it’s a known.  never changes.  plus it’s open 24/7.  i tried to bring her dog food in the early days, but it always stayed uneaten and i’d have to throw it out.  she never ate while we were driving, save for a bite of a snack here or there.  i guess she just always wanted to be settled in and relaxed when she ate.  opposite of her mama who likes to eat in bites standing up.

2012

we took a really cool road trip back home to colorado with our friend from astoria who had to get to santa fe  to get the rest of her things because she was getting serious with her handsome firefighter boyfriend – now husband and father of her son!  we left late that first day and ended up staying at a motel 6 in redding, california.  here’s the twist:  i was sick as a dog.  thought i had food poisoning from trader joe’s, but, as it turned out, i had norovirus.  yeah.  road trip with that in your system.  and try not to get your friend sick!  ugh.  that motel 6 was one of the drug activity in the parking lot versions, but we just got chinese delivery and stayed in the room.  the next day we made it to kingman, arizona and stayed at another motel 6.  i seriously didn’t want to leave.  what a cute little place, such a cute little town.  warm, friendly people, a great breakfast restaurant right in the parking lot… perfect.

2013/2014/2015

i seriously can’t remember any overnight trips these years… it was during my innkeeper days and then just working in denver, moving a bunch and hanging with friends… hmmm… i could be missing something… oh well…

2016

i moved from denver to nashville for six horrible weeks that year.  it was may, i think.  as horrible as my experience was in nashville, my road trip there was EPIC.  one of my favorites.  the day we left we started a little late because we stopped in parker to take a walk with an old friend before we took off.  i gotta say, driving through north texas at dusk is pretty amazing.  our destination was amarillo, because i had wanted to go to the big texan for steak.  of course.  i know exactly when we arrived, because we got there five minutes before the restaurant closed and they wouldn’t do a takeout for me.  and i was so sad.  found a comfort inn fairly nearby and stayed there.  and, yes, settled for a denny’s steak.  our room was great, very spacious and comfy.  two beds, but boo would always sleep with me and hog the bed.  of course.  you know when they do the horizontal so you have like six inches of bed?  yeah.  and, yes, i’m crying again.  in the morning, i went down to get us the requisite powdered eggs and sausage, we had our bed picnic and then headed west on route 66.  we stopped quite a bit to take pictures because it’s so fun!

the next night we stayed in an historic little town called fort smith, arkansas.  it’s right on the border of oklahoma and arkansas.  it.  is.  so.  cute.  and it’s right on the arkansas river, which is so awesome and creepy.  i stopped at a place that was right on the main drag, so i figured it was safe.  it’s called the inn towne lodge.  i mean, any place that puts an e on the end of town has to be classy, right?  it was, like, $40 and boo was free, so i took a room.  the room was actually totally fine.  big, very clean, and two queen beds.  one for boo to ignore, one for her to hog.  otherwise it was a total shit hole.  we were right next door to two pipe welders who were in town working for a month.  both so nice.  i had a shot of crown royal with them and proceeded to figure out where to get dinner and a bottle of red wine.  one of the guys came with boo and me.  guess where we got dinner?  bingo!  denny’s!  we got it to go, of course, and our new friend paid for it.  he even got boo her very own!  yes, you’re right.  he was trying to get laid.  spoiler alert:  didn’t happen.  so we came back to my room, had dinner, drank wine, he made a move, i said no, thank you, he was very gracious, left without any weirdness, we hugged, he left his bottle of fancy crown royal for my trip, the end.  he was so cool and had such a great life – just a hard working guy who travels the country for projects.  sounds perfect to me.  maybe i can get leroy to teach me to weld in the next couple of days.  anyway, my new friend and his partner were off to the job site by the time boo and i woke up.  we drove past the site that prior evening and i tried to find it to say goodbye, but, alas….

my next planned destination was memphis, cuz i HAD to get to central bbq.  duh.  it was pouring rain that evening and we shared a rib snack in the car in the parking lot.  just one because people are sweatin’ ya for your space.  so we headed out looking for a place to stay and… huh uh.  i was so creeped out by that town.  i just hopped back on the highway and ended up in brownsville at THE greatest motor inn EVER.  not kidding.  sunrise motor inn.  *sigh*  it was owned by a charming indian family, it was immaculate and very cute!  bright yellow exterior… love!!  i checked in very late and the guy called about fifteen minutes later to make sure i was feeling settled and safe.  i mean… come on.  love.  as it turns out, this place rents weekly and monthly, too.  i met a tween girl who had fallen in love with boo when we were out for a walk in the morning.  she was living there with her mom and mom’s loser boyfriend.  they didn’t have enough money to rent an apartment, and she was super stoked because she had just gotten a job at the subway where she was going to make $7/hr.  thank god.  cuz all they did every day was sit there watching tv with their door open.  the big activity of the day was going to get snacks at the little market a few doors away from the hotel.  brownsville is the home of pictsweet, the frozen veggie company.  i bet they keep that town alive.  lucky town.

we also spent our last two days in nashville at a motel 6.  it was awesome.  i had quit my awful job, it was right next to a waffle house, it was quiet, and felt like a bit of a re-entry into a world without mean, horrible people.  sounds weird, but it was seriously the first time i was able to relax there.  and after we checked out, we drove to chicago.  and life got so much happier.

2017

i have been obsessed with detroit for a long time and boo and i took advantage of a beautiful autumn saturday to head out of chicago and finally check it out.  first of all, michigan is one of the most beautiful states in the country.  lush lush lush!  water water water!  such a beautiful ride.  we stopped in ann arbor for a giant roast beef sandwich from the famous zingerman’s.  we found a little park so we could eat and boo could run around a bit.  got to detroit a few hours later and drove around checking it out.  i had wanted to stay downtown, but… i didn’t feel quite comfortable.  so we wussed out and drove toward the suburbs – where all the scared white people live.  we stayed at another comfort inn, in beautiful farmington hills, michigan.  it was pretty big – compared to our usual motel 6 sitch – and really nice.  of course the staff was wonderful.  we were supposed to just stay one night but i loved it so much that we stayed one more.  on sunday morning we went to a cider mill, walked around, made new friends, watched the ducks… beautiful day.  and then we drove to a place for detroit-style pizza that was super close to one of the great lakes – i forget which one – and walked around.  so so so soooooo gorgeous!  wow.  then we went back to the city to check out the “ruins porn”.  wow again.  but… sad wow.  it was very sobering, i have to say.  i took a bunch of pictures, ended up meeting a security guard at the old packard plant and had a nice conversation.  i went to the whole foods in uptown both days we were there, because they had great roast beef for boo.  also, THE most gracious and lovely staff.  i wanted to live on a cot in the back room.  after our downtown adventure, we spent the evening just laying in our huge and comfy king sized bed, watching tv, noshing and loving the calm.  it was a great two days.  michigan is fantastic.

boobed

2018 – now known as the worst year of my life

boo’s last road trip.  of course we didn’t know this at the time.  deep breath.  this was actually a really great trip, even though it started out so weird.  the last month in chicago was super stressful thanks to a roommate who kept trying to rent out the apartment via airbnb.  like i want to leave my dog with a total stranger.  i think i was clenching my teeth for 30 days straight.  it was awful.  i didn’t leave that sunday until 8 p.m., because i had underestimated what i had to do.  but i was determined to leave, so i got a big ol’ coffee and we hit the road.  there’s something kind of romantic about driving down the highway at night.  right?  all those creepy refineries, the red sprinkler lights… you see things you never pay attention to during the day.  and i always wonder where everyone is going.  do you do that?  i started getting tired near st. louis, but i don’t know enough about the city and the two places i checked out had a bunch of crack heads hanging about.  so we drove a little farther and ended up at the comfort inn in pacific, mo.  we got there about 3 a.m. and the man who checked us in was so lovely.  boo peed in the entry while i was checking in.  he didn’t flinch.  and he insisted that i not clean it up, he would do it.  so kind.  it wasn’t a motor inn, of course, but, fucking exhausted.  plus, these places have the glamorous help yourself breakfast situations that i love… i slept for maybe four hours, went down to the lobby for coffee and the glorious powdered eggs and sausages for our bed picnic, then we hit the road.

i had to see lake ozark, so we headed there and ended up stopping at the vacuum cleaner museum as well as uranus on the way.  yes.  yes.  i fucking love missouri.  we got to lake ozark and had an outdoor picnic in the fresh air.  it was awesome.  the downside was that we never saw jason bateman.  we hit ol’ route 66 again and at about 7 p.m. ended up in springfield at one of the coolest places evah – the rail haven motor inn.  apparently marilyn monroe and elvis had both stayed there.  super kitschy, super clean and a great staff.  i grabbed some deli for our bed picnic and we settled in for the night.  there was a little doggy area right across from our room, so boo made a few little friends, too.  this place had a great serve yourself breakfast, too, and i finally tried one of those mythical make-your-own waffles.  not bad!  took the bounty back for our bed breakfast picnic and then we headed to our final overnight destination – amarillo.

boorail.png

damn if i wasn’t going to get us to that big texan.  and we made it.  have you ever been there?  it’s pretty awesome.  i call it meat disneyland.  we checked in to our room and i left boo up there with her cable tv while i went down to the bar to get our very expensive steak dinner.  the people watching was pretty epic.  i took my corked up bottle of wine back to the room and boo enjoyed the best steak of her life and some delicious broccoli.  she was haphaphappy.  i had two bites of steak, then decided the veg and baked potato were the way to go.  delish all around.  sadly, i awakened at 3 am and started puking.  i had food poisoning.  i blame the highway-side mcdonalds chicken nuggets we ate in a state of emergency that afternoon.  cuz there is no way it was the big texan.  i stopped for gas before we hit the road that morning and tried to get a cup of ice, but they were out, so the girl gave me a bag for free.  the entire drive to mountainair, i had a bag of ice on the floor between my legs.  i ate ice chips, drank gatorade, and wanted to kill myself.  maybe my body was telling me i was making the biggest mistake of my life?  possibly.  it no longer matters, because i no longer have a life.  because i have no chance of more adventures with boo.  what’s the point.  there is no more happiness, no more joy.  i am absolutely dead inside.

aren’t i an upper??  lol.  i guess this “exercise” didn’t really work.  well, i lie a little bit…  i felt a little spark when remembering these times.  so there’s that.  anyway… *sigh*  this sucks, guys.  it really, really sucks.  i miss her SO much.  how do i navigate this?  darkness is everywhere.

Boobaby

 

 

 

 

Locked In or Locked Out?

 

ccafront

yesterday i was driving past the road that leads to a now-closed detention facility.  i saw the sign, thought about it for a few seconds, stopped, turned around, and headed there.  why?  well, for one, i have a weird fascination with prisons and jails and such because… creepy!  i mean… the stories!  fascinating!  they look the most awesomely creepy at night, especially when you can see them from a dark highway…!  this particular facility has significance, as a friend’s cousin – or maybe uncle, i can’t remember – died there and it was shut down shortly thereafter.

so… a few weeks ago aforementioned friend of mine came over to the house to hang out.  at that point we were co-workers, but i ended up quitting the next day.  yeah, that’s a whole other story about victim bullshit that i will write about at some point.  anyway, my friend is a former heroin addict and dealer.  i swear i would have NEVER thought that about him!  he is the sweetest, most thoughtful, gentle and shy man i’ve met in a llllllllong time.  and he’s smart and funny and super cute!  boom!  he’s also 21 years younger than me, so… don’t get any ideas…  anyway, he is absolutely adorable and i always enjoyed working with him.  he – i’ll refer to him as j – popped over around 4 in the afternoon and we had a glass of wine.  as i said, he is super shy so he was being all nervous and our conversation was just superficial stuff about work and customers and our other coworkers.  well, that glass turned into another glass.  and, because he barely drinks, that second glass loosened him up which allowed him to open up.  and then the stories came flowing out.  wow.  we talked until almost 1 in the morning.  yeah.

j was born and raised in new mexico and has never left the state.  NEVER been anywhere outside this state!  isn’t that wild?  he was also born into a family of drug addicts and dealers.  like, this family is verrrrrry well known.  and big.  of course not all of them are part of it, but most of them are.  so, when you think about it, he sort of didn’t even have a choice about getting into drugs.  right?  i mean, he lives in this boring shit hole town of 900.  what the fuck else is there to do especially when all your friends are doing drugs?  well, j started telling stories that were totally shocking to me because i know nothing about this culture.  like, “huuuhhhh???” stories.  one was about a guy from here who i actually know.  *gulp*  this guy is a fantastic husband and very devoted family man.  when j was telling me the stories about family man, he started crying.  not just a few tears rolling down his cheeks, but full-on weeping.  my heart shattered.  and then i was crying.  of course.  the worst story:  one afternoon family man was driving with his whole clan and at one point started feeling really sick because he needed a fix.  he was suffering so badly that he considered driving off a cliff.  he thought about killing himself and his whole family.  because he needed heroin.  what.  the.  fuck.  that is really, really, reeeeeally scary.  the horrible part is it was at a point when this guy was trying to get off drugs.  the GREAT part of that story is that he did.  i seriously consider that miraculous and, it gave me even more respect for him.  he broke out of that prison.

what i found the most heartbreaking was the burden j carries to this day.  he feels incredible guilt for providing something that hurt people.  and not just the people doing the drugs, but their families, friends, coworkers…  of course i told him that they made their own choices, and he needs to release that guilt.  but i get it.  because he gives a shit about people.  and i’m sure even when he was on drugs and dealing drugs, there was always a veil of guilt, as he is wonderful to the core.  it made me sad on so many levels, but mostly because he is a prisoner of his own guilt and of his circumstances.  i’m not saying that he didn’t also have choices, but… if you’ve never lived in a town this small, you won’t understand.  for instance, i rode to the gas station with him after work one night because he needed air in a car tire.  for some reason this stupid gas station only accepts cards for the air and he only has a savings account, so i offered to help him out.  it took all of three minutes, and as i was taking off, i saw a car race into the parking area right next to j.  it was one of his cousins who is heavy into drugs and had been calling to borrow $20.  j knew it would be for drugs, so he kept saying no.  i mean, it was so unsettling watching that loser swoop in.  what a fucking predator.  but this town is SO small, that everyone knows where everyone is at all times.  gross.  new mexico is called “the land of enchantment”, but j calls it “the land of entrapment”.

barbedwire

are we sensing a theme?

back to the detention facility i “visited” yesterday… as i said, j’s family member died while he was there.  well, according to him, this uncle(?) was a big dealer and the cops had been after him for years, so it was a real coup to get him locked up.  also according to j, this guy was super sick with – again, i can’t remember, cuz, wine – something that gave him seizures and often required medical attention.  one night he was having a really bad time but the guards wouldn’t take him to the doctor.  and he died.  and the family sued.  and they got a $250k settlement.

i happen to be buddies with a cop who owns a bunch of houses in my neighborhood.  he’s from chicago and an absolute laugh riot; i LOVE chatting with him.  he works in another town now, but used to be the chief of police here.  as you can imagine, he has scooooop.  plenty about j!  as a matter of fact, when i told him the story about j’s uncle(?), he said it was bullshit and that he didn’t die from a seizure, he died of an overdose.  and the facility didn’t close because of that case, it was just out of money.  well, there WAS that lawsuit… hmmm…  clearly my buddy is no fan of j or his family.  i always tell him how much i love j and so admire him and he always tells me that he’s probably still using drugs and just trying to impress me.  well, i don’t believe that.  and my mind will never be changed, as i trust my friend.  i absolutely respect my cop buddy, and he has a really fucking tough job that i would nnnnnnever want.  j is no fan of cop buddy, and i understand that, too.  his past experiences don’t allow him to see that he is deep down a good guy who is just trying to keep people safe.  cop buddy only sees j as a drug dealer who will never change.  the prison of our perceptions.

hearing stories like this makes me grateful that i was raised to be scared of, basically, everything.  i was so sheltered, and by the time i was ready to break down some of those barriers, i was old enough to make smarter decisions.  of course i was – and continue to be – an idiot thousands of times over, but i’ve never done anything so bad that i couldn’t recover.  i always pull my head out of my ass at some point.  *ouch*  i guess i will always be a prisoner of my own guilt and fears.  maybe i should knit myself a poncho… #dearmartha

 

 

 

Happy Motherless Day. Oh. Wait…

my most vivid mother’s day memory is from third grade when we were making mother’s day cards.  mrs. sharp announced to the class that i didn’t have a mom, so i would instead be making a card for my grandmother.  i was SO embarrassed.  i’m sure her point was that there are different types of mothers but to my classmates that made me a bit of a weirdo.  of course there were many other reasons for those thoughts, but…  moving on…

i haven’t been a fan of “hallmark holidays” for a very long time.  but, trust me, i was in the sucker hole for an even longer time.  is there a greeting card for being jaded?  yeah.  i’m sure.

zig

when i was in elementary school, i loved valentine’s day.  we used to make little “mailboxes” out of shoe box lids and construction paper, decorating with cut-out hearts and crayons and sparkle.  shopping for those bags of cheap little cards was a favorite task.  i would study the options and find the style that i felt best represented myself.  lol.  and, of course, i would choose the perfect conversation heart to put in each friend’s valentine.  we had the whole week to drop the cards in the mailboxes and it was thrilling to watch the pile of tiny envelopes grow.  the anticipation was a killer!  we’d have a class party on “the day”, with heart-shaped cookies, chocolates and hawaiian punch.  after we were sufficiently high on sugar, we’d pack up our boxes, hit the bus, and try to wait until we were home to open the cards.  it was so fun!  and don’t get me started on easter.  oy.  i still love easter.  stuffed bunnies, candy and cute hard-boiled eggs.  what on earth is better than that?  nothing!  and i’m pretty sure the first “egg porn” involved cadbury.

junior and senior years of high school, i worked at a card and gift shop in a mall in boulder, colorado.  i had a boyfriend in those days and found every possible reason to buy him cards – ziggy, boynton (remember those cute animals?), garfield…  and, of course, smurf figurines and russell stover candies.  jesus.  i am old as fuck.  anyway…  i loved finding reasons to give cards and gifts to my first love, and hallmark certainly provided unlimited options.  another day, another “Happy _____ Day!”.  of course.  i mean, it IS genius.  that’s why they are a gazillion dollar company.

i lost the desire to celebrate any sort of holiday – except for thanksgiving because there is stuffing (the side dish and the act) – a long, long time ago.  i wish i could remember the exact day, because then i could send myself a card!

i guess my point is that we should celebrate each other every day, not just once a year.  being thoughtful is a full-time job and it shouldn’t require visits to the mall.  words and gestures are so much more valuable.  don’t get me wrong, i’m thrilled for my friends who still have their mothers and who are mothers!  what a lovely gift!  and celebrate this day if you wish!  i mean, good moms are important.  trust me, i know that i have been an emotional mess my whole life because of 50+ years of crippling separation anxiety.  of course i’ve never dealt with it.  what, do you think i want to be happy or something?  ppppppffffffftttttt.

happy may 13th, 2018, everybody.  especially you moms.  ❤

Hello, Darkness, My Old Friend…

black

i find myself in the dark all the time.  literally.  saturday evening i was sitting in the kitchen doing research for new products and at one point i looked up and, aside from my tablet screen, the whole house was dark.  it just quietly descended and gently wrapped itself around me.  i love it so much.  i find comfort in the dark.  i like the quiet and lack of distractions, it helps me focus and makes me feel calm.  i think i might be part mockingbird, because any shiny object and my concentration is shot.  or maybe it’s a.d.d…. anyway…  i also love being so exhausted that i need a nap in the late afternoon and then when i awaken, the room is pitch black.  there’s nothing like that moment of complete panic because you’re a.) not sure where you are, b.) wonder if you slept through work, or c.) wonder who that person is laying next to you.  lol.  c hasn’t happened in a long time, obvi… *sigh*  but there IS something exhilarating about a tiny bit of panic, don’t you think?  “fall back” has been my favorite day of the year since i was a kid.  first of all, an extra hour of sleep.  boom.  but when it gets dark earlier, i get giddy.  is that weird?  wait.  don’t answer that.

jack

i also spend a lot of time “going” dark.  ya know what i’m sayin’?  yeah.  i am – no surprise here – suuuuuuuper emotional.  and i’ve been feeling guilty about it my whole adult life.  and you know what?  i’m done feeling guilty.  i have finally realized that being angry and/or depressed is, to me, a necessary balance.  being happy is exhausting!  going dark is like a physical and emotional nap.  aaaaand the surfacing of my dark side is a great way to filter the humans in my life.  i don’t hold back emotionally, so if you can’t handle the ride… buh bye.  oddly, when i’m really mad, i am dead quiet.  like, not a peep.  i hide.  let me tell you something… when you’re normally a super expressive, talkative person and you get in a fight with someone and then totally shut down… nothing is more scary and disturbing to the other person.  lol.  i swear i don’t do it intentionally, i just cannnnnnnnot talk when i’m furious.  it’s like i need to rest.  recuperate.  formulate my evil plan.  lol.  just kiddin’ about that last part.  😉  and, you’re right… the fact that i’ve never been married is not a shocker…

i’m totally a people person and give A LOT of energy to friends and strangers alike.  actually, probably more to strangers, because i’m just looking for a positive reaction and then i get to move on.  but once i know someone, i become tethered to their heart and mind and then they start sucking the energy from me.  not their fault, it’s all me.  one of my friends always refers to me as an empath, and she’s right.  i TRULY care about the feelings of others, whether i know them or not.  i do.  and i am always cheering for and attempting to help the underdog.  i cannnnnnot stand when people hurt or take advantage of others, it makes me insanely angry.  and, as i referenced earlier, i’m all love or all donotdarefuckwithme.

it’s so funny, i have netflix on while i’m sitting here in the dark typing and it’s the episode of “comedians in cars getting coffee” with howard stern.  if you’ve never seen this show, do yourself a favor and check it out.  it.  is.  wonderful.  anyway…  i have always loved howard stern.  he is SO brutally honest and – wait for it – he embraces his dark side, too.  i stopped typing for a second, looked at the screen and it was just in time for a little back and forth with him and jerry.  apparently they were talking about someone famous and the name was edited out.  cut to jerry saying “let’s not get into character assassination…” and howard says “who are you?  jesus?  calm down.  i want to go negative, let me go there.  what kind of interviewer are you?  you have to let me get negative, you have to let me be me.  you be you, i’ll be me.”  LOVE.

well, i can see that the sun is about to make an appearance, so i guess i’m up for the rest of the day.  *sigh*  my little boo needed to pee at 4, and i have to stand outside with her to make sure no skunk, coyote, or filthy neighbor dog tries to sneak in the yard.  if it had been 1 am or so, i could have fallen back to sleep, but 4 is so close to a normal waking hour that… here i am.  lucky you!  lol.  but i shall now bid you adieu.  time to find some coffee.  have yourself a great day.  or a shitty day if you prefer.  you be you, i’ll be me.  ❤

Remember When My Grandmother Tried to Kill Me?

of course my grandmother never actually tried to kill me, but she almost did… twice.

the first time was when i was probably about six.  this particular late afternoon i wanted to go with her to pick up my dad.  he worked downtown and took the bus… maybe because he didn’t want to deal with traffic or maybe because we only had one car, but i don’t really remember.  we lived in a then-sleepy suburb southwest of denver in a very quiet little neighborhood.  with very little traffic.  you’ll know why that’s a good thing in a minute…  anyway, i hopped in the back seat of our big ol’ station wagon, gram backed out of the driveway, turned the first corner and… i fell out.  LOL!  yup!  apparently the door wasn’t properly closed, so my chubby little self just rolled right out onto the pavement.  and, like a genius, i didn’t just lay there on the street.  oh no.  i reached up and held on to the bumper!  of course!  so there i was screaming my head off, and my grandmother just kept driving up the block dragging me along.  hahahhaaaaa!  i can’t stop laughing as i type this.  she figured it out, obviously, and by then my entire front was just a big ol’ pile o’ road rash.  i turned into one giant scab and could barely walk for a couple of days, it actually really sucked.  my dad was so pissed at gram!  why didn’t she make sure i had my seat belt on?  why didn’t she make sure the door was locked?  what he should have asked was how am i raising such a stupid kid???

stationwagon

the second incident was a few years later and a liiiiiiittle more dramatic, but also involved a car.  this car was a toyota corolla.  ya know, a big, sturdy car.  lol.  oddly, ours didn’t come with these dreamy flower child models…  and it’s not that my grandmother tried to kill me this time, but she really almost killed us both.  for realz.

toyota

on january 2, 1970-something, my grandmother and i were driving in to town.  at this point we were living on our little rancharito, which was seven miles from the booming metropolis of longmont.  it was very cold that day, of course, cuz, colorado, so the windows of the car kept fogging up.  and i was listening to a.m. radio, cuz, a kid needs her pop music.  so we’re driving along and when we got to the train tracks – with no lights or gates in those days, btw – we stopped for a second, started going forward and… then we got hit by a train.  by an actual fucking freight train!  omg i’m dying laughing again!  how preposterous, right???  i remember lifting up my feet because that’s what we kids did when we went over train tracks, and then BOOM!  a few more inches and we would have been dead meat.  seriously.  i was physically unscathed, but for years i was terrorized by the sound of a train and even just going over the tracks.  and now i’m obsessed with them, which is weird now that i think about it…  hmmmm…  my grandmother just had a minor case of whiplash and temporarily lost about half of her hair because of the stress of the impact.  could have been a lot worse, right?!  basically, the train hit us, we spun around and that was that.  the car engine was pushed so far to the left that it almost snapped off.  this was a pretty big deal in our little world, we even made the front page of the paper the next day!  aside from the time my “love is” poem was published, this was the most “publicity” i have ever had.  sadly, still to this day…

after the train thing, my dad asked my grandmother why she kept trying to kill his kid.  lollllllllll!  for the record, there have been no more near-death situations.  clearly my life became incredibly boring after about sixth grade…

Southwestern Exposure.

moose.png

do you remember the show “northern exposure”?  it was from the early 90s, about a tiny town in alaska with a bunch of very quirky characters?  oh man i loved that show.  mostly because of john corbett, of course.  in those days he owned a bar in pioneer square in downtown seattle and i saw him when i was on a date with astrit, the ballet dancer.  we were all at the bar of a fantastic french bistro i used to frequent and he is just as tall and handsome in person.  *sigh*  anyway, i fancied mountainair to be sort of like roslyn.  and, it is.  sort of.  i’ve been getting to know some of the great characters here a little better, knowing more about their stories, and feeling less awkward about taking their pics.  so, here, in the order of appearance in my life here, are a few of the amazing people i’ve met…

ruthie2

first up is the divine miss ruthie.  86 years on the planet.  *double sigh*  if you’ve read a few of my blogs, you already know how fabulous she is!  she was the third person i met after i moved here, and the first person – and so far, only, lol – to buy me lunch.  she comes in the store fairly often – less so now because she is cutting out sweets.  she told me that it didn’t take her long to not miss her daily afternoon treat, and, as a bonus, lost the fat off her tummy.  huh?  where was that hiding?  lol.  aaawwww.  ❤  ruthie is tiny.  teeny tiny.  but only in stature, as she is an absolute force of nature!  she was telling me about the art class she took last weekend in albuquerque.  it was led by rebecca, an amazing artist i know from the clay studio.  cuz.  of course.  anyway, they were making altars to celebrate spring which is SO new mexico.  love.  she told me that she never finishes the projects in the classes because she doesn’t process things as quickly as other people, so she starts and then takes the rest home to work on at her leisure.  she also likes to watch everyone else work because it inspires her.  i mean, she’s the sweetest.  she has one bad eye and one eye with a cataract.  can you imagine?  makes my heart hurt.  but she doesn’t skip a beat!  oh hell no!  in our conversation, she told me that she tricks herself into being happy.  because no one else can make you happy but you.  you know what… we all say that, but rarely live it.  she lives it!  she also told me how much she loves these taco-sized flour tortillas we carry, because they are the perfect size for her breakfast “sandwiches”.  she cooks the eggs with cheese in the pan, and when she slides them out, they fit perfectly on the tortilla.  you guys, these simple pleasures are what life is all about!  she also uses them to make her ham and cheese sandwiches.  i mean… omg i love her so much!  my favorite part of the conversation involved the back patio of this house.  apparently she was the one who placed the slabs of stone and then jan – the second person i met here – grouted the next day.  ruthie told me when she was taking a gander at her work – pre-grout – that “it looked like a dog’s dinner”.  ummmmm… huh?  that’s her term for things that are not looking so great.  lolllllllll!  she also uses that phrase to describe situations that haven’t been handled well… “i really made a dog’s dinner out of that”.  lovelovelovelovelove!  i would say “i really fucked that shit up”, right?  well, guys… maybe ruthie will make a real lady out of me after all… 😉

josh3

this is josh.  isn’t he adorable?  he’s my new work son.  he’s 27 – or 29, i always forget – and was born and raised in mountainair.  he is related to almost everyone here.  no joke.  the first day i hung out at the store to see if it would be a good fit for all involved, he was the meat counter guy.  aside from the fact that he is so friendly and positive and sweet, he works his ass off.  he is almost always moving.  in addition to being charming and helpful in his department, when he’s not busy he helps restock the store.  he doesn’t have to do that.  he is just “that guy”.  we’ve worked together a few times now so i’ve learned a lot about him.  he’s been through much in his short life, but he is still a ray of sunshine.  every.  day.  he only works at the store two days a week, so i asked him what else he does for work.  he said “anything i can”.  lalalalalove.  he chops and delivers wood, he does construction, he lays tile, he paints houses… he makes his own life in this town where you really have to seek out opportunities.  i SO respect that!  he’s just a kind, hardworking kid.  he lives with his mom right now and takes incredible care of her.  he wakes up at 4:30 every day, makes sure all is good on the property and that she has no needs, and then goes off to work.  i might have had a kid if i could have been assured i’d have one this awesome.  josh was engaged to a beautiful woman he dated for five years.  she was a little older than him, and they connected during a time when he was, um, “unavailable” and their romance blossomed.  one day a few months ago, she was in a car accident and died immediately.  omggggg…  he went with her mom to the morgue and saw her body.  he told me that he was relieved that the only blood on her body was a knick on her head and her lip, because her toddler nephew had been in the car with her.  apparently the steering wheel just jammed into her and the damage was all internal.  ugh.  again… omgggggg…  knowing this makes him even more dear to me.  this kid is a rock.  we worked together yesterday and he got a call from his fiance’s niece.  his voice was so soft and sweet with her… just the cutest.  the plan for him on easter was to hang with that family, and i sure hope he did.  his mom and the rest of the clan went to mississippi for some reason, so he’s alone with his bologna and cheese sandwiches, cable and bud light.  this sweet young man deserves the best.  seriously.

betty (1)

 

this is betty.  i started calling her elizabeth taylor from the moment i met her.  can you imagine what a hot babe she was in her day?  i think she is still very beautiful.  she’s also super damn sweet.  i see her almost every time i work and we exchange little bits of conversation, so i don’t know a ton about her.  yesterday we talked about skin care.  she’s super excited for my stuff, but… blah blah blah.  boring.  my favorite part of the conversation was when she told me that when she was younger, she was a huge partier.  lol.  she said sometimes she would go into work with zero sleep, just add more eyeliner and lipstick and call it good.  ❤  she also told me that she has always washed her face before she would go to bed, no matter how fucked up she was, and that’s why she still has such lovely skin.  i look forward to finding out waaaaaay more about this babe.  stay tuned.

steveanderic

above are steve and eric.  i met them at the very end of the day on saturday when they popped in the store to get a little dinner to take home.  they are a wonderful couple from broomfield!  colorado proud!  they bought a house on the street where i live, but a few blocks up, and will soon be full-time residents.  they are deeeeeeelightful!  they call themselves the aloha trolls, because they love wearing tropical shirts, lol.  gah.  so cute.  i told them that they needed their own mountainair radio show – drive time with steve and eric.  right?  also… very “northern exposure”… 😉  i asked them if i could take their pics for my little blog and they were totally up for it.  i put them in front of the chips because they are all that and many bags of chips.  ❤

well, it’s almost 2 am, so i guess i should take a cue from boo and hit le hay.  until next time, beauties!  xo – k