It has been almost ten years since my mother took her own life.  She struggled so hard with her inability to communicate and enjoy her once robust life after her last debilitating stroke.  To this day there are so many questions and what if's that follow.

You know what has helped me?  Birdwatching.

Some say I am obsessed with birds as I collect figurines and I love to watch the birds that visit my back porch. 

Filling the bird feeders and taking pictures of them as they come visit is one of my favorite things. 

The following is a true story.
My Mother's Roses

My mother once planted roses
in the backyard where I used to live.

In the spring following my mother's death,
I ventured outside
as the snow had melted from the hard ground.

As if they were silently urging me,
my mother's roses beckoned me over to them -
to bare witness to their eruption
of colorful, fragrant blooms.

One cannot simply look at such beauty.
The necessity to touch and smell
becomes of utmost importance.

As I bent down
to touch and smell a particularly beautiful flower,
a tiny gray bird burst out of those roses
onto that cold, hard, unforgiving ground.

I watched it as it flailed and hopped, hinting at
an injured wing.
Its struggle clearly evident yet I could do nothing
but watch it struggle.

After a few moments,
this tiny bird stopped the hopping.
It sat on the ground- perfectly still.

At once, as if suddenly inspired
and rejuvenated,
the bird took off toward the sun
with both wings helping its ascent!

I watched that bird for so long
until I could no longer make it out
in the daytime sky.

My mother's roses belong to another family now
and I thought of taking a part of them with me
on my new journey
away from the past into my future.

In the end, I decided to keep the roses
as they were.

Just like that tiny bird.

The Time My Dog Ruined My Life

.....or to not be so melodramatic....the time my dog ruined my week.

I will from now on nickname one of my two current dogs "ruined bedspread". That is not her actual name, of course, but for this blog that is what she will be named.  You will understand.  She will be RB for short.

One day, RB got the doggy runs in her kennel.

Being a responsible dog owner I could not just leave her in her own filth.  The logistics of being able to free her from her filthy kennel was insurmountable.  The only idea I could come up with was to carefully remove her, pick her up and run to the bathroom and bathe her.

 The problem with that was RB was not finished and still had the doggy dribbles.  In addition, RB HATES water.  A serious phobia.  Trying to keep her in the bathtub required all my strength.  Holding her back worked for about...two seconds.  Doggy poo and water were all over me and floor and RB managed to free herself from what she considered the worst place in the universe - the bathtub with the running devil spit which was trying to kill her.  

Running free she needed to find a safe location.  She could have picked anywhere.  

(in numerical order):

Back into her dirty kennel:

 Or the laundry room:

Even an empty closet would have been better:

anywhere would have been better than......

My bed with brand new bedspread.

 While dogs do not like soiling their own sleeping quarters, they have absolutely zero qualms about soiling anyone else's.

Depression is a Brutal Beast

There are so many nuances to depression and no two people battle it the same.  

I have begun to name my chronic depression - the byzantine beast.

a :  of, relating to, or characterized by a devious and usually surreptitious manner of operation <a Byzantine power struggle>
b :  intricately involved :  labyrinth <rules of Byzantine complexity> 

3. something formidably difficult to control or deal with

Beyond that, for some people like me, depression comes and goes and when it reappears it never feels the same as the last time.  My last recurrence happened in December 2012 and I was non-functioning.  Going to work was impossible and I had to just not go.  Calling my boss to let her know I would not be in was a lie fest because I could not admit the real reason.  Instead there were vague excuses of "not sure what is wrong" but I was "feeling under the weather" and "need to get into the doctor to see what the problem might be".  I knew what the problem was.....fucking depression.  The bitch that is now known as the byzantine beast. 

This time around I can feel that I am in another round of the beast's return but this time I am in a functioning stage.  I can pull myself out of bed and go to work and actually do really well there. 

Getting up is a constant struggle but a cup (or three) of coffee helps.  Pulling on something professional to wear instead of just wanting to wear the dirty/smelly clothes I wore the past week while not working is an exercise in restraint.  Putting makeup on - only after arriving to work - helps mask the dark under eye circles and pallid complexion.  

I don't have time to sit around and feel awful.  The new job I am working in leaves no time to sit around and wallow.  I know I am still depressed but I am able accomplish what I am supposed to do.  It is like each work day as the day progresses I start to feel this hopeful feeling that perhaps the depression really isn't there and that I was having a bad evening the night before.  I end the workday feeling a sense of accomplishment and think that "today is the day where it all turned around for me".  I end the work day and start my drive back home and can physically feel the motivation pour out of me so that by the time I arrive home I am back to my Mrs. Hyde the Motivation and I am back to physically and emotionally looking like this:

The weekends are the worst.  
The byzantine beast can go the hell away forever, and soon!

In more ways than I can say I think this round of depression is worse than the debilitating form it took last winter.  At least with that depression, I felt more like I was actually ill and there was something physically wrong with me and in my mind I knew it would run its course and leave more quickly.  But this time around the cruelty that it shows of making me hopeful every day only to daily pull the rug out from under me is beyond shitty. My family is so supportive of my issues, but the guilt I feel for putting them through this ongoing battle is something that does not go away even when the unpredictable byzantine beast goes to sleep for a while.   

Is This Really Necessary?

Clarence the Fu Manchu Wearing Orange

I have seasonal allergies.  Actually, seasonal allergies have me.  Every year I get allergy induced laryngitis and it is safe to say that it is my husband's favorite time of the year.

When I get sick for any reason, I crave vitamin C for obvious reasons.  This time I reached for an orange, but you must realize that I don't like to eat regular oranges because they are too high maintenance.  When I eat a fruit I do not like to spend an uncomfortable length of time preparing it for consumption.  Beyond that I also don't like fruit spitting in my eye every time it is pierced.  

That is why I love clementine oranges.  They are not nearly as high maintenance and I can enjoy the citrusy yumminess quickly without having to wear an eye patch afterwards.
This seems like a perfect time for me to introduce you to a new friend of mine. 
  • His name is Clarence.  
  • He is a fruit.  
  • He is a clementine orange.
  • He wears a Fu Manchu like a boss.
  • He doesn't spit in my eye when I poke him unless I stare too long at his Fu Manchu.  He doesn't care for that.  At all.
Clarence is also very timid and does not like to be surprised.  When this happens, Clarence gets very surly.  Like the time I surprised him after he was undressed.

(Please note:  I am definitely high on allergy meds right now.)

Ditch Guy

Yesterday when I was driving into town, I came across some guy just lying on his back in a shallow ditch off the side of the road.  On his head, he wore a dirty trucker cap with no writing, only a drawing representation of Sasquatch walking a wiener dog on a leash.

I inquired about his well being, and he said he was fine.  I repeated my question and he repeated he was fine.  I asked him if he lived around here, and he just laughed, like lying in a ditch on the side of the road was the most natural thing to do.  I half expected him to start talking in riddles.  

I think he may have been that special person who lives in Everysmalltown, USA.  Seen walking around, going into local establishments - like the barber shop.  Sitting there, listening in on the conversations and not speaking a word, only eating the candy from the shop candy machine that happened to be bought using a found quarter coin from the sidewalk outside or forgotten candy left in the machine by the previous patron.  After a few minutes, he walks back out moving onto his next journey.  

This goes on all day until evening when he heads back to his home (wherever that may be) only to do the same things, in the same order, the very next day....and the day after that...and on and on and on.  Although every day is spent the same way and would drive a "normal" being mad, he doesn't seem to notice any monotony.  In his mind, his day was a blessed event that was vastly different from the day prior.

In the end, I went ahead and drove away from the mad hatter lying in that ditch.  On my way back home, I looked at the place where he was lying in the ditch before, and he was gone.

Some people may have found that whole experience strange but, for me, I arrived home with a sense of gratitude to that odd, little gentleman.  For he took me back to my childhood where, I too, was as free and without fear and worry.  Craving candy and adventure and lying in the grass looking at the clouds that, were in my mind, spectacular kinds of pictures of fancy only the imagination of an innocent could conjure up.

P.S. I also Googled his trucker cap.  Two days of priority mail shipping later, I also will own that very same cap and am as giddy as can be about it.

Sasquatch's Best Friend

Zombie Apocalypse Romance

Zombie Apocalypse Romantic Gesture

Don't Hold Me To This

Which is the truer statement?...

  • "Crazy people are put in straightjackets."
  • "Normal people put in straightjackets become crazy."
  • "Crazy people put in straightjackets stay crazy."
  •  "All of the above."

  • "Even just the thought of being put in a straightjacket makes me insane."

Truest statement of all.

Paint Ball Janitor

If I lived alone I would have no need to clean my toilet every day. I could go at least a month without a full clean to the commode. Just a quick swish of the brush a day because of the hard water stain issue and everything would be fine. However, living with men and the game plan changes. It becomes a point and shoot game involving pee. 
I'm like the janitor who comes in every evening to clean up the paint ball game facility.

Tyrannosaurus Rex is Hungry

My very first job after high school was working in a movie theater and it was delightful.  Really, really delightful.  Sure, weekends were busy and there were asshole customers, but all that said, the position had major perks such as Free Movies!

This will show my age but my friend and I were hired the summer of 1993.  The movie theater was conducting large hiring because the original Jurassic Park movie was getting ready to open and history now shows what a huge moneymaker that movie turned out to be.  Honestly, this was the first big blockbuster..a massive breaking records kind of deal. 

With the rest of mankind, I also watched the movie when it came out and since it was free I saw it many times.  I also saw so many scenes a million times because it was my job to walk in the theater to check on the patrons and see if they were up to any inappropriate shenanigans.  One walk down one aisle with my little plastic flashlight and then back up the aisle where I would then find a seat in the back of the theater.

The thing about Jurassic Park is it is the kind of movie that, when you watch it years later, you really see the age in it and how it doesn't really stand the test of time; in this day and age when two years even makes a difference in technical effects (not to mention almost twenty).  The point I am getting to is I happened to be watching television the other day with my boys and stumbled upon across Jurassic Park on the television.  I felt it would be a wonderful, bonding experience to talk to them about my first job and how this movie started it all.  They weren't impressed but I didn't think they would be.....I was just happy to be heard.  Once I got done gabbing and reminiscing I saw the scene on the television was the one where the two children are trapped in the car while the ferocious T-Rex is staking them out.  All while this is happening the protagonist hero paleontologist played by Sam Neill and sidekick oddball mathematician played by Jeff Goldblum were in the car behind them.

Watching this part of the movie reminded me of the time I would watch it sitting in the back of the theater with my little flashlight.  The same thought happened almost twenty years later as I had twenty years prior and that thought was - Sam Neill's character was such a coward asshole!

I mean, could he have waited long enough to take action?!  He was the supposed main character hero of the movie, right?  It was a very long time of watching the terror unfold in front of him to the two children before he thought it would be a good idea to try to do something to prevent the gruesome mauling.  Open mouthed and wide eyed, it was as if Sam Neill's character was just sitting back engrossed in watching a movie himself.

The poor kids had to endure giant razor sharp teeth pushing a windshield down on them, almost drowning in mud, bleeding from the face, T-Rex using the jeep like it was crushing grapes; not to mention the ear shattering dinosaur roars.  In real life those kids (if they were to survive) would have been deaf, dumb and catatonic that no amount of therapy or alcohol could have fixed.

Forget Jeff Goldblum...he was useless.  No one would ever believe Goldblum could save anyone from anything and the director knew this.  The only purpose he served was to somehow make Sam Neill - hero paleontologist - look competent in comparison.

I'm sure you all have seen the movie and know how that scene played out:  T-Rex gets distracted, T-Rex nudges theme park jeep and kids and hero hang off the side of overpass, T-Rex bites the head off the hiding/trembling man in the bathroom outhouse.  What the hell? Why was that even there?  What purpose did that part serve?  Oh, yeah, it was a comedic relief insertion to break up the horrifying imagery that was playing out in a PG-13 movie.

Also, why were these experts (Neill, Golblum, Dern) there to certify Jurassic Park safe for the public?  In my estimation a reputable expert would not have needed to travel to the park to know that the Tyrannosaurus Rex is not safe to have around.

The Importance of Proper Cropping

Picture Source

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