Friday, September 30, 2011

Give and Take

It has been a long time since I have written anything, and a lot has happened.
A lot of life-changing events.
Things that I never thought I would deal with, live through, even be associated with.
It has been a humbling, yet empowering time and I have really come to appreciate my family and friends more than ever.
Kevin and I are working on a new chapter of our lives. It is a very stressful and scary time for us. There are a lot of unknowns. There are a lot of unanswered questions that I don't think I will ever have answers to, but I have learned to hand those questions over to a higher power and not obsess about them. Sometimes. I still have trouble letting go from time to time.
But "It's ok to let go" is my new mantra.

A positive outcome of all the terrible things I have been through in the past 3 months (wow, has it only been 3 months?!) is sobriety. Kevin is working on being and staying sober. Which is a huge deal. Sometimes I guess people have to hit their rock bottom before they make the changes necessary to be the person they are in their heart.
I see glimpses of the man I fell in love with 10 years ago more frequently now. The anger is slowly starting to slink away. Evaporate. Dissipate. Whatever you want to call it. It is leaving and I am happy about this.
We lost our son, our pup, Bully. He was a very hard person to lose. I still think of him daily, hourly, all the time. I hate that he was a casualty to Kevin's drinking. But I am glad that he was all that we lost. I think he knew he was a martyr as I held him in my arms and watched the light fade from his eyes, them pleading for me to make the pain stop. My hands, face, clothing was all covered in his blood. I heard the final sigh of his breath leaving him. His spirit sliding away. I carried his body back to the house and sat over it for a very long time. All alone. My husband not there to share my anguish with me. So many thoughts went through my head that night. Too many. All jumbled. But one thing that stuck out was Bully's eyes pleading me.
I don't have nightmares about his eyes anymore. I don't have nightmares about trying to save him night after night. But I did for a good month and a half afterwards. The same terrible nightmare over and over. Sometimes I was barefoot, other times it was just like when it happened. Always the same outcome. I let down my son.
I can't imagine losing a real child. I don't think I would survive that heartbreak.
It makes me have so much more respect for parents who have.
But like I said, Kevin and I are making steps towards a new life. A new direction. A new lifestyle.
A much needed change.
But at such a terrible cost.
I held two people that I loved very much and watched them slip away this year.
I lost 2 of my best friends this year.
I lost 2 people that loved me unconditionally this year.
But I did gain a second chance to get the man that I love back...
It is amazing what alcohol can take away from you.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Big Let Down

How are you supposed to act when someone completely and totally lets you down? When the one person who you have vowed to spend the rest of your life with treats you with such disrespect that your heart can't handle it?

This weekend was a throwback to my early 20's and it was awful.
I have already been through those tumultuous years between the ages of 18-25 when you party hard and have complete disregard for anyone other than yourself. I barely survived those years once. I can't do it again. This past weekend I was forced back into that mindset. I was disrespected by the person that I love the most in this world and my heart aches so much because of it. It is amazing what beer can make a person do. It is amazing how people still blame beer after all these years. It isn't the beer. It is the person drinking the beer. Period.
And if I continually, year after year, made stupid decisions that hurt the ones that you love because of a stupid drink, you should stop drinking. And maybe get some friends that are a little older. And maybe act like a 30 year old married man. But that is just me. And I am a woman, and sometimes women are just smarter than men when it comes to relationships. Or maybe I should say that women are more respectful than men when it comes to relationships. Or maybe we just think of the other person before Every. Stinkin. Decision. We. Make. Even toilet paper. I mean damn, I've been in your life for 10 years. How do you forget about me just because I am not in your direct line of sight? Am I THAT forgettable? I certainly hope not.
What I truly don't understand is how you can think that your actions don't affect me. How you think that i won't find out about things. How you can make a decision in a split second that gives you happiness for 3 seconds but creates hours, days, weeks, months of pain for me.

The big question is: How am I supposed to ever trust you again?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Playing catch up

I've been MIA again.
It had been a very busy time here lately.
Crazy busy.
But I'm hoping things will slow down a little now.

We spent last weekend on our friends boat. Just tooling around on Lake Erie. It is nice. But for the past week I feel like I have no equilibrium. I'm blaming the boat even though I am sure it is from lack of sleep and dehydration. I get the same "spins" that you get when you have had too much to drink when I turn corners or go from sitting to standing or standing to sitting. It is more than slightly annoying and if it doesn't stop by the end of the weekend I will be forced to go to the doctor. Which I really don't want to do.

Kevin and I planted our garden. A ton of tomato plants. I am covered in mosquito bites from watering them late at night. Why late at night? Because that is when I get time to do it. We are planning on doing a lot of canning this summer. Tomato juice, stewed tomatos, salsa, maybe some spaghetti sauce if I can find a good recipe.

Momo's headstone was placed last week. It makes everything very final. I can't pretend that she is just away on vacation or in a hospital anymore because there is a start date and an end date. I got pretty emotional and Kevin didn't know what to say. Sometimes I cry at night in bed because I know he won't know that I am crying the. I miss her so much and sometimes I just get overwhelmingly sad that she is gone and I can't hug her anymore. I have done a lot better than I ever imagined I would with losing her, but sometimes I just need to cry. I don't know if that urge will ever go entirely away. My birthday was a rough one, not because of my age, but because it was the first one without her. She wasn't there to make my cake. She wasn't there to sing harmony during "Happy Birthday" and her infamous "and many moooore" line. I'm finding it is truly the little things that you miss the most. Those little things that where exclusively Momo.

I have a base tan. That is amazing because I haven't had one of those in years. At least 3. I would burn, peel, and be white again. I managed to find the right amount of shade to let me get just a little color.

We just found out that my brother is having a baby boy. I am pretty excited. I can't wait to meet the little man.

I want to go to Germany. Bad.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Twinkle Toes

I could watch Gene Kelly dance all day.
He instantly makes me smile.

I started watching Brigadoon last night. I saw the play for the first time while in College, but nothing beats the productions done back in the days of Gene Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire and the likes of those amazing actors and actresses.
My love of Gene Kelly began when I saw Funny Face. The dance scene while Audrey is on the balcony blew me away. Even my husband was impressed. And for a dancer to impress my husband is something.
There is a certain style that Mr. Kelly brings to his choreography. A slight goofy-ness that makes you smile without realizing it. But the lightness of his feet is amazing. Floating. Even while tapping away at a million miles an hour he looks like he is floating on air; and truly having a great time doing it. There is just a certain something about him.
It is not uncommon for me to watch him dance and be slightly teary eyed with a giant silly grin on my face. It is just what he does to me...

He choreographed all the dances in Brigadoon and I especially love whole elagant he made all the womens dances...long, beautiful lines.
Check out this little clip from "Heather on the Hills"
Or check out "Go Home With Bonnie Jean" for his sillier side.

I could watch it all day.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Young at heart

Today is my husband's birthday. He turned 30. And is having a melt down.
He thinks he is old.
By this statement you can tell he has never worked in the medical field...

He is struggling with this number for some reason. Not sure why. I told him you are only as old as you feel.
I'm 19.
and a half.

We laid in bed last night talking and laughing about our recent choice in movies:
cheesy 80's action films including:
Delta Force
Red Dawn
Navy Seals

We take turns drawing on each other's backs. It is something my Papa used to do when I was small enough to curl up on his lap with a giant pillow. It is super relaxing.
I couldn't think of anything to draw last night so I started a game of hangman.
Hilarious. I don't believe that Kevin ever played it before. Instead of guessing letters he would just yell out words. Needless to say he didn't do very well until I gave him a 8 letter word. The clue: A band.
2 guesses and he got it. Megadeth

He only did 2 on my back. A 5 letter word with clue of game=BINGO
The second one was hilarious.
For some reason he thought I would know this.
Two words, clue fishing, first word 7 second word 6
I guessed letter after letter and couldn't come up with anything.
I reminded him that the only words assosicated with fishing that I knew were lure, sinker, bobber, fishing pole,
He swore that I knew it.
So what was the mystery word: Whisker Buscuit...

Except that he spelled it Whisker Buskit
You have to love him.

It was nice though being silly like kids again. Like when we go to one of our favorite restaurants that has playing cards on all the tables and play rummy until our food comes and then again after.
We need to be kids more often. Let loose. Be goofy. Laugh. Smile.
It's these small things that keep us young.

Happy birthday to my Tom Selleck-chest haired, green eyed baby.
Just no Tom Selleck mustache please.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Blind Stitch

I remember the first time I picked up a needle and thread. I was at my Great Grandma's in Alabama on vacation with Momo and Papa. I watched my Great Grandma and Momo work on quilting pieces all week and I wanted to try.

My great grandma found me some old square scraps of fabric and showed me how to piece them together. I remember being told to face the pretty parts inside and sew along one side, then you could flip it open and you had a pretty line connecting the two pieces together.
I wasn't able to thread my own needles at the time.
I could only do one standard stitch at a time and the length of the stitches were uneven and nothing close to straight.
I would look at the stitches my Great Grandma did to show me how it was done. They were tiny and completely straight. I couldn't fathom how she did it. I spent the majority of the car ride back to Ohio stiching together blocks of teal, magenta, green, and black in the backseat trying to emulate my Great Grandma's stitches, more than once stitching a block on with the wrong side out. My Momo showed me how to make a 4 piece square because I was stitching the blocks in a singular long line. I was amazed at what I was creating. I was maybe 8 years old.

Momo continued to provide me with fabric, but moved me from sewing blocks together to the art of quilting. She would give me pillow tops to quilt. She showed me how to pin the fabric together to make sure puckers didn't form and how to place a quilting ring. I gave up trying to use the quilting ring though because I needed to feel where my needle was going and I manipulated the fabric more than the needle back in those days. Simple, single stitches, but I loved how the design would raise up from the fabric and I especially loved how the stitches looked on the back on the plain fabric. I was hooked. I quilted everything I could get my hands on and luckily Momo had a cabinet full of fabric that I could use at my disposal.

Quilting is a family tradition. I learned on my last visit to Alabama that my Great Grandma used to quilt for extra money for the family. She showed me where, in the dining room, Great Grandpa had put up a board where she could hang the quilt from and she would stitch that way. She laughed when she told me that she got paid $15 for what would equal a Queen size quilt. She said that was a lot of money back in those days but I don't think she realizes just how much work she put into those quilts. The HOURS.

I remember growing up and watching Momo quilt in her basement with her friends. She had a quilt rack that took up a large portion of the basement, but it held the quilt so that it could be worked on in the best manner. She and her friends would spend hours around the quilt, each person taking an area, and they would gossip and laugh and tell stories as their quick little fingers created a piece of art work. I would be sitting in the corner playing with my dolls, occasionally getting up to see the progress, but being comforted by the talk and laughter of the women quilting.

I was lucky enough to get two handmade quilts made by my Momo. One for my high school graduation, an Americana themed beauty, and one for my marriage, a traditional double wedding ring. I love the fact that not only did Momo work on this, but also her friends that I grew up with, Jeannie Bell, Nonnie, Laura, and Mary had a hand in creating these treasures. I used to be able to identify their stitches. Momo's are very uniform, just like Great Grandmas. The only thing that gives away that it wasn't done by a machine is the slight variance of the line. Jeannie Bell's are sometimes a little long...usually this happened when she was on a roll talking and Momo and I used to laugh about this. I love having something that her hands made.

The love that goes into the making of a quilt is usually overlooked. It is quickly becoming a lost art form due to the convenience of quiet, quick sewing machines...not many people are willing to put in the amount of hours required to finish a hand made quilt. Momo logged her hours on the king size double wedding ring quilt she made me....over 400 hours. That is like working 40 hour work days for 10 weeks. That is a lot of time. I will treasure that quilt forever. It makes the 40 hours I put into a baby quilt look like nothing...or the tie quilts I have been making that I can knock out in 20 good weekend.

I look down at my own hands and see the signs of my recent quilting...the small nub of hardened, punctured skin on my right middle finger, a similar mark on my thumb. I rub it constantly throughout the day. Everytime I do I think of the tradition that has been passed down to me and how proud I am to be carrying it on. I hope I get to pass it on to someone.

I went over to Momo's last night and mom and I went into the basement to look at the totes of yarn that Momo has that we are going to donate to a local women's group that makes afghans for hospital patients to make them feel more at home. She and I discussed Momo's quilts and what would happen to them when she and Papa were gone. Momo recently finished a quilt that is intended for Joe when he gets married. It is complete except for the bindings...I told her I would finish that for her. Mom and I picked out another double wedding ring quilt to put away for Jake when he gets married. It is important that everyone in the immediate family gets a quilt made by Momo's hands. So very important that they can feel her after she is gone. To be able to wrap yourself in a quilt and feel close to her again. Amazing treasures that don't mean much to most people, but mean the world to me.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Is a fajita still considered a fajita of you eat the filling on crackers?

I made some pretty killer steak fajitas on monday night using a recipe from a crockpot cookbook. Working in Lorain equates to me working 12 hour days thanks to drive time. Getting home at 6pm and trying to cook a good dinner that doesn't include a box of mac and cheese gets to be difficult so I am turning to my crockpot cookbook for support. The recipe was easy and is pretty good...missing a little something something, but I will do some adding of spices the next time around to cure that.

So I am on day 3 of leftover fajitas and ran out of tortilla Iam reduced to eating it on crackers. It's surprisingly delicious! But then again, club crackers are the most delicious crackers and have a similar quality to bacon, in that they make everything better.

Im going to be creating bbq pulled pork of my all time favorite things to eat. We will see if I can beat Papa Jimmie's....highly, highly doubtful...check out their reviews...greatest bbq I have ever had...and it is 7 miles from my house...bonus! Proof that the small town mom and pop shops will forever beat out national chains. All I can say is Pulled. Pork. Fries.