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.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Chicken Flavored Toothpaste?!

I wanted to write something a little more upbeat than my past
The husband and I attempted to brush our dog's teeth the other night. We figured we should do so as good parents. We bought a little kit from the local pet supply company that had chicken flavored toothpaste...who doesn't like chicken?!
Well, remember how when you were little and they asked you what "flavor" toothpaste you wanted at the dentist? Bubble gum, tutti fruitty, mint chocolate chip...and how those "flavors" always seemed the same awkward, gritty taste? I think the same holds true in the doggy toothpaste world. The instructions told us to put a little on our finger and let the dog "accept it." Bully was not accepting it. He turned his nose up at it...and for good reason. It smells horrible. So. I manned his back end, Kevin braved the mouth and we brushed poor Bully's teeth.
He did not enjoy it at all.
I knew that Bully had a gigantic mouth from the beginning...him being a pit and all, but boy do they have a lot of lip! Try pulling back the lips on a pit sometime. It's impossible....they just keep stretching and pulling and continue to cover the teeth you are trying to get to. If they want their mouth closed, it's going to be closed.
After brushing the teeth we could get to, we let Bully run off to get some water. What does he do instead. Stands there wagging his tail like nothing happened.
Ah, to have the memory of a dog...
But let it be known that chicken flavored toothpaste is not so tasty..
We will stick with milkbones from now on.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Daddy's Day

I am looking forward to this Saturday.
So much.
I have planned a dinner party for my Dad's birthday. It was last Tuesday, but everyone had plans last week. So.
Saturday a group of 10 will head to a local restaurant in Wooster, Ohio to celebrate my Father, freindship, and family.
The people attending the dinner party are people that hugely influenced my life. My Dad has great friends. Very intelligent people that also know how to have a good time. I haven't stayed in contact with them as much as I would have liked, but I am changing that. I reconnected with 4 of them over Thanksgiving and it made me realize how much I missed them.
These are people that I grew up with. Went of vacation with. They were like extra sets of parents. A tribe raising a child.
I don't think any of them realize how much they molded me, helped shape me into who I am today.

I think my Dad is pretty excited as well. We talked last night and he was interested to know who all was coming and I think he was pretty impressed that I was able to get all his close friends together for him.
Now, I just have to get an ice cream cake and we will be all set.
Reservations are made. Plans are set.
Should I get party hats?!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

6 Months

6 Months is not a lot of time.
Half a year.
Roughly 180 days.
A blink of an eye.

That is how long we have with my Momo.
Last Thursday, the bomb was dropped on my lap. I had to tell my mother and then Momo herself.
Her liver is speckled, no, not speckled, riddled, with cancer. Too much to do surgery on. And chemo may not be an option. Even if it is an option, what would her quality of life be for the extra few months it may give her?
I was lucky enough to get off work an hour early last Thursday and the doctor was heading to her room as I walked onto the floor she was on. One of my good friends was her nurse that day and hurried me to the room. The doctor pulled me into a separate room, away from her, and gave me the news. I took it well and I am still handling it better than I ever thought I would. I think my medical background is helping with that...knowing too much sometimes allows you to have mindset of knowing when treatment isn't the best option. The doctor was very kind. A new partner with 2 of my favorite docs in the world. I almost took a job with them in fact. He was honest and pulled up her CT scans and showed them to me. Then gave me the prognosis. I am sure it is one of the worst parts of his job. He was very candid with me and more than sincere. He told me that it would be my job, as both the granddaughter and as the family member with medical background, to be the voice of reason...sanity...compassion.
I called mom and told her to stop by the hospital before getting Papa to bring to see Momo.
She instantly knew.
When she got there I took her to a private room and told her. She instantly broke down. It was one of those moments where I had to act as the adult and she got to be the child. I was honest with her and told her the reality of the situation. It was not a time for sugar coating. We decided to not tell Papa...with his worsening dementia he would only dwell on it over and over and he doesn't need that. He worries enough. Mom left to get Papa and I went back in to see Momo and have the talk with her.
I told her as simply as I could and with as much tact as you can. She took it well. She was very quiet for the first 20 min, but then began to ask questions. I told her that she had to make the mental decision to either fight it to the end or just roll over and die and I told her that I hoped it would be the first. That she was a strong woman and that many wouldn't have made it through the 10 hours surgery that she endured. She agreed. Then she showed just how much she cared when she said, "I can't leave Papa alone."
I told her that when the time came, Papa would never be alone. That we wouldn't let that happen and that it was the least of her worries. That she needs to take the mental standpoint of a fighter and put her stubborness to good use. She laughed at that.

Her personality since the news hit has been like her old self and I am so thankful for that.
My Momo is back.
My Momo from Friday night sleep overs and talking for hours. The gentle care is back in her voice. The bitterness that had set in over the years seems to have melted away.
I am going to take these 6 Months and make the most of them.
Because in is so little.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Valentine's Day Dinner

This past weekend I had the pleasure of taking my Momo and Papa to the Whirlpool Maintenance Departments Charity Fundraiser and Retirement Get-together/Valentine's Day Dinner.
Papa has pretty significant dementia and Momo is still recovering from her colon/liver cancer surgery and still doesn't walk all too well (she took a tumble off her bed Saturday afternoon because she made Joe move it to the other side of the bed...the side of the bed that she doesn't use...nice.) so it was pertinent that someone went with them.
You could tell Papa was excited about going, since he was begging to leave at 4 even though the doors didn't open til 5 and it is only a 20 min drive.
He talked to me the whole way there and he is a man of few words. He told me how back in the day, when he first started at Whirlpool in 1952 and got into the maintenance department, in 1954, he noticed that all the scrap copper was being thrown away. He and another co-worker approached the president of the Clyde division and asked if they could begin collecting it and turn it in for money to then use to fund a dinner event. He said yes and to this day that is what they do. He seemed very proud of that, as he should be.
The copper scrap leaves so much extra money though , that the maintenance department is able to donate to charities as well. Before dinner they read off all the names of the newly retired and what charities were donated to that year. And the charity list was quite long. Plus they donate only to local charities. Impressive.
It was fantastic watching Papa interact with his coworkers and chat about things other than the weather and how Momo is doing. You could tell he was a very well respected man in his days at Whirlpool by the number of men that still came up to shake his hand.
Papa was a self-made man. He started on the floor at Whirlpool and worked his way up to upper management, retired early, then started his own landscaping business. Add this to the fact that he left his Mother and Father's home at the age of 8 due to their alcoholism and still managed to graduate high school and be a 3 sport athlete. He is very intelligent and slow to judge. He is probably the greatest man I will ever know.
I felt very proud sitting beside him at dinner, especially when he would make it a point to introduce me to his former coworkers.
And Lora, you would have had a blast with your stealthy camera at all the "fashions" that Clyde has to offer.
Oh, and Papa remembered every moment of the evening on Sunday night!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Amy Seiffert, Awareness in a Little Gray Dress

Check out Amy's blog.
She is wearing the same dress. Everyday. For six months straight.
The cause?
The Daughter Project.

Very interesting way to raise awareness. I caught my attention for sure.
Toledo, a town that is about 35 minutes from where I live, is one of the main hubs for human trafficking to be exact.
It is sick and crazy how this is happening right under our noses in the heart of the USA.
But it exists and needs to be brought to more people's attention.

Monday, February 7, 2011


"You don't really want to get rid of that do you?!"
The opening line to becoming a pack rat...aka, my husband.

Kevin and I seriously argued over me taking a $2.88 "oak" wood picture frame to goodwill that I purchased in 1996 from Walmart...seriously. His reasoning for wanting to keep it? You may use it some day. So, until that day we are supposed to stow it away in one of the 2 small closets that we have in our house...makes complete sense, right?! Not in my head.
But, Kevin grew up in a home with pack rats. I'm talking first class hoarders. His parents had this HUGE room, probably 45' by 15' that was supposed to be the master bedroom, (complete with fireplace!) stacked full of junk. JUNK. Empty boxes, broken flower pots, newspapers and magazines, coffee cans, clothes that would never be worn again, broken vacuum cleaners, just plain junk. In a room that could have been amazingly beautiful!
I refuse to live that way.
So Kevin and I fought for 3 hours about it. Until I put my foot down, said to get over it, and walked away. Then I handed him the speakers that have been in storage since we started dating (10 years ago!) and told him to do something with them because they were wasting valuable space.
He didn't speak to me for 2 more hours. Then he went and actually looked in the closets and saw how much more organized and junk free they were and apologized.
5 wasted hours over a picture frame that cost me $2.88...

Monday, January 31, 2011


I went last Wednesday night and hung out with my Momo who is still at the rehab facility at a local nursing home.
We played bingo.
Never in my life have I seen people get so worked up over picking cards and discussing if 4 corners was a true bingo. (We later decided that it was fair game because it seemed to be the hardest to get.)
But it was oh so much fun at the same time and I met a lot of wonderful people that were very happy to see such a young and smiling face.
I met a gentleman that played football with my Papa who told me all kinds of funny little stories about him. I met a man that I frequently see at my second job. I told him that his face looked familiar and he instantly said, "I go to Fontana's once a week for the spaghetti and because you have cute waitresses." His name is Paul and he is a sweetheart.
Momo was bragging about me being her granddaughter which made me feel good.
I am glad that Momo is getting out and about more at the facility as well. She has made friends with quite a few people and is becoming more social. I am sure this is helping her recover quicker as well. Walking to the dining hall has to be better for you than sitting in your room eating alone.
It still made me laugh though when the same woman would yell, "Did she say I26?" Apparently that was what she needed every game.
She never got it.

Monday, January 24, 2011


I had a very productive weekend.

Friday was a nice relaxing evening at our favorite BBQ joint...beef brisquet salad and beer. You can't ask for anything better. We went to be early and were able to get up early as well.
I cleaned all day again on Saturday. All day.
I got the soon to be "office" completely cleaned out...closet and all. It is now an empty room ready for us to do with it what we will. That will come later, but having a completely empty room feels kinda nice.
I then began washing ALL the bedding in our home. I mean even the stuff that is in storage and only comes out when we have parties.
I cooked a delicious dinner of stuffed peppers that my friend, Tiffany, came over to enjoy with me. Tiffany and I were once very close, but we drifted apart after she continued to stay with her cheating, nasty husband. She came over Saturday to tell me that she was finally leaving him. I'm very proud of her. And while I never wish a couple to divorce, I worry about her safety constantly because I know her husband doesn't use protection when he cheats. She realized that she didn't want her daughter growing up thinking it was ok for a man to treat his wife that way. She is very sad and embarrassed that her marriage didn't work out, but she tried, by herself, for 2 1/2 years to make things better. She realized that he wouldn't change because he didn't want to. And I think she realized that she deserves better. I know it was hard for her to talk to me about it and I did my best to listen and just be supportive and not make negative comments about him. But I did express my worry over her getting a potentially deadly STD because of him. She agreed that it was a possibility and I think the thought of it scared her.
Kevin came home from helping a buddy on Saturday evening after Tiff left. The first thing he did was hug me and then he told me how he realized how lucky he was to have me today and that he doesn't tell me enough how much he loves me and appreciates me. I instantly asked what he did wrong. He said that he and his friend had a long heart to heart and it made him realize a lot of things about his life. How he wastes a lot of time by doing for everyone else, but neglects him and I, how he drinks too much and how he thinks he is trying to fill a void by drinking and that it needs to stop, that he has gotten lazy and comfortable with our house, that he isn't doing any work to it because he is comfortable, but that he realizes that if this continues our home with deteriorate around us. I told him that this last one especially was frustrating to me because I have so many ideas for our home and that I feel like we live in a shell of a house, a house in shambles. That it is not a house that I am proud of because it looks like no one takes care of it. How I feel like he is very good at starting projects and then just letting them fall to the wayside unless it is something that is solely for the basement "man-cave" area. He agreed that he was horrible about this and promised to do better. He grew up in a home that was not nice, but because it was warm, his parents did nothing to make it look nicer. The home is falling apart now. Kevin is in danger of repeating this pattern because it is what he grew up with. I grew up with a family that took a house that required a lot of work, but we did the work and now it is an absolutely gorgeous home. It embarrasses me to have my family over to my home because it is constantly in the same state with no progress ever being made.
I hope that Kevin holds true to his awakening and begins to make progress in our home.
He asked me to quit my second job so that we can spend more time working on our things together...that maybe if I am there to push him, it will get done.
We will see.
Sunday, I went to dinner with 3 of my girlfriends. It was wonderful catching up with them all. It had been over a year since we were all together last. It was fantastic.
I then went home and made Bully a new dog bed, his being dilapidated from use. He instantly loved did Kevin who curled up with him and took a nap.
I then cleaned out our closet in our bedroom getting rid of a ton of stuff. Most of it is going to my friend that can use the clothes. The rest is going to Goodwill.
It feels so much better to have less "stuff" sitting around.
The process will continue tonight with our dressers!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Boom, Bang, Crash

Oh the joys of winter...
and ice storms.
My poor little red ranger is no more. Wednesday evening, heading home from work, I crashed my baby. It was quite a ride. I was only going 30, but let me tell you, I wouldn't have wanted to wreck going any faster than that.
I am ok. But my truck is not. When the sliding and turning was all said and done and the eerie quiet after a crash had taken hold, I was on my side...on the driver's side. My seatbelt did a fantastic job of holding me in place. I quickly looked for an escape route. The back window being too small, I turned the key to accessory and lowered the passenger side window and began my climb out. I'm no longer afraid of the walls I am going to have to climb over at the warrior dash, because I did a pretty kickass job of getting my butt out of the truck while it was on it's side.
My phone, which I searched frantically for inside the truck was resting in the snow outside the truck. I called 911 and began my wait.
40 minutes later a local city cop stopped by so I could warm myself in his car. 10 minutes later the statey finally made it. Of course, he was on the other side of the county. Lucky me.
Everyone was wonderful and so nice. I couldn't have asked for better help from better men.
Kevin was pretty disappointed and finally, last night, a day after the accident he gave me the comforting hug that I needed that night but never got.
I won't lie, I was pretty shook up and a wee bit nervous about driving this morning...but I managed.
My body feels like I played contact football with no pads, but I'm really lucky that I wasn't seriously injured.
My truck though, may not be so lucky.
I will find out soon...

Monday, January 17, 2011

I spent the majority of the weekend cleaning.
I walked in my home after work on Friday and was just plain sick of the clutter.
Now keep in mind I'm not fanatic about keeping my home SPOTLESS like my mother and father. As long as it is clean more days than not, I am happy. I work 2 jobs and recently started working out again. I just don't have the time to keep it as clean as I would like.
But, living with Kevin, cleaning can be challenging. He treats our kitchen table like his tool box. It is routinely covered in tools from the machine shop. The ones that fit in his back pockets. And tape measures. I find tape measures everywhere...but none when I need one.
Anyways. I walked in the door friday after work and began work on the kitchen. I pulled everything off the counters and scrubbed. I washed the walls, went through cabinets and got rid of some stuff I never used or just just didn't need. I moved all of Kevin's tools off the table to the basement, I swept and then mopped the floors. When I mop I boil my water. Call me crazy, but it cleans much better and I feel like it disinfects...even though I use a disinfectant on the floor as well. I cleaned for about 4 hours straight. Just in the kitchen, hallway, and bathroom.
Saturday I woke up and began on the closets. We have a spare bedroom with 2 HUGE closets that is pretty much our only storage in the house. I began going through all the totes and storage containers and got rid of a lot of stuff. So far, I have 8 bags of garbage. Just garbage. Amazing that I had it all stuffed here and there in those closets. Junk. I pulled out a bunch of stuff that we are either going to sell on Ebay. (My motorcycle ferrings for sure) we may just donate it to goodwill. I'm not about to have a garage sale. They are too much hassle and I live in the middle of no where. I have about 15 collector Barbi's that I have no clue what to do with. Either sell them or ship them out to my nieces. Either way, I want them gone. They are taking up valuable space.
Kevin has 3 LARGE totes to go through. I'm not touching them because I wouldn't want him to go through my stuff and decide what is important enough to keep and what is not.
My job this week is to go through all my Christmas totes...all 5 of them, and get rid of the items I do not use. I hardly decorate for Christmas anymore, so I don't know why I hold on to the stuff. I have one antique decoration from my Momo that pull out, but everything else just stays in the totes. I haven't even put up a tree in 3 years.
So, I'm hoping to change my 5 Christmas totes into 2 Christmas totes.
I'm also hoping to find a book shelf to put all my books on soon.
Kevin is paying for the much needed I beam for our basement this week at work. Hopefully we can get it into our house soon so we can actually start refinishing walls and laying floors. My beautiful slate tiles for our mudroom are still chilling out in the basement. I am dying to see them installed.
It felt good to declutter myself a little. I need to do it more often.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Saturday morning, my friends Beth, Amanda, and I braved a Zumba class. I loved it so much I went back again last night. I have never laughed and had such a good time while working out.
I was skeptical to say the least when Beth called and invited me to come along. It was all of our first times so we were confident in that we had each other.
Some of the foot work was a little tricky, but my cheerleading background definitely paid off. However, I still laughed at myself about 90% of the time and attribute my sore abs more to my constant laughing than from any moves that we did.
Zumba is a combination of salsa, belly, and hip hop dancing. Needless to say, my hips haven't moved this much in a long time. But, it is a great time and I burn calories without knowing it. Win-win if you ask me.
I have scheduled my second job to allow me to go to all the Zumba classes each week. You could say I am addicted.
Better yet, at last nights class I ran into an old co-worker from East of Chicago from my high school days. She was the mom of one of my class mates and one of my favorite people. She has lost almost 50lbs with Zumba. Now THAT is motivation!
Hopefully I can shake, shimmy, twist, and wiggle my butt down 50lbs too!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Kevin and I finished the book we were reading together last night. I made it to the second to last chapter before I had to hand the book off to him to read aloud. My sobs were coming on too strong for me to finish it.
Kevin reluctantly took the book and began reading in his slow methodical way. He thinks he is a poor reader, but he is not. He just worries too much about what is being thought of him.
So. Kevin took over reading right at the part where our hero dog, Enzo, is coming to the end of his life. We knew it was coming, yet we still weren't prepared. Kevin was doing great at the parts I was stumbling over. The parts where Enzo was talking about how his body was failing him. He got to the section where Enzo's master was holding him, and said "I love you," and his voice cracked. I was laying on the couch across the room from Kevin, holding the dog, sobbing. I look over and Kevin has giant tears running down his face. He has to force his voice out to continue reading and has to take frequent breaks to try to calm himself. He is what I was the other night while trying to read.
I take back over when he can go on no more and finish the book.
I put it down. Content but wanting more, like I am with all good books, and look at my husband. Our blood shot eyes meet and we both begin laughing hysterically.
I ask him if he liked it. He says yes, but wishes it weren't so sad. I thought it was a hopeful story. He then looks at me and says "you are making me feel things and I don't like it." I smile broadly and climb onto his couch with him. I explain that is one of the reasons I so wanted to share this book. So we could share emotions together. Not be afraid to open ourselves up. He still thinks I am crazy for developing the characters so fully in my mind, but I know that Enzo was alive in his head.
We agreed to read together again, but he asked me to pick a happier story.
I ordered 6 books today from my childhood that he has never read so that we can read them together.
I am excited to share these with him. They are the books that made me love reading. I hope that they will have the same impact on him.

What Dreams are Made of

I dreamt of you last night.
You, the man that was in my life for so long. A friend. A friend that I am no longer allowed to talk to because our significant others don't understand how our years of friendship override a few on again-off again moments somewhere in the middle. I used to dream of you a lot. Over the years though, they have dwindled down to once or twice a year. But they are always vivid. And I can always feel you.
Anyways. I dreamt of you.
I was back at the 'Berg. I was in the training room. The training room looked as it always has, but when you walked outside of the training room, there was marble everywhere. White marble with thin, stretching lines of the lightest gray. Far from the Seiberling that we spent so many years in.
I was in the training room and it had felt like it had been years since I had been there, probably because it had been. I was working with the head of the program, a man I had never seen before, but he seemed to be a combination of the male professors we had had over our 4 year career there. He handed me a yellow legal pad filled with complicated equations and told me to start completing them. I had never seen anything like them. I looked at him and told him that I never came across anything like this in my pharmacology class. He smiled and sat down next to me at the treatment table-what we always used for desks while in the training room, and began to show me how certain things canceled out so that you could balance the equation and know how much of one substance you were supposed to use in relation to the other substances. It looked like some kind of cortisone equation. It was the only thing I could think of anyways.
I hear something behind me, so I turn around and there is a whole class waiting to start. There was Paul, Brock, Greg, Seka, and Tess. All sitting on stools in a close little group. And right behind me was you. I smile with surprise and touch your knee and say, "I have a lot of catching up to do. I don't know anything anymore." You don't meet my eye and you give a short, mean grunt. I'm hurt and embarrassed so I quickly turn around. You aren't you. You aren't the large, muscular man I love. Your light green eyes aren't shining. The smile that I love so much is not there, no crinkling around those eyes. No cocky laugh like you always had in the training room during football season. That laugh is what made me fall in love with you. You are the shell of yourself you became when you attempted to wrestle at 181 pounds our senior year. Your muscular 225 pounds wittled away into a gaunt replica of yourself. You were a bear to deal with during that time. But I would be too had I only had rice to eat and too many pounds to shed between football season and wrestling season.
I turn my attention back to the treatment table, but you are laying on the one in front of me. Greg is laying on the one next to you. It was definitely football season, but you were at your sick wrestling weight. Greg looked like his usual husky self. Our two trainers that were also football players. All of a sudden needles came out of the wall over the table. It was like something out of x-men. They guided themselves into both of your hands and started pumping something into you. While I stared in fear and disgust, everyone else stared in excitement and anticipation. I didn't know what was going on, but I didn't like it. I kept asking where the 'Berg got the money for this technology, but everyone either didn't hear me or chose to ignore me. When I turned back around you had transformed into some type of monster. You were twice your normal height and your body was rippling with muscles, but the veins were popping out and your skin looked a sickly green and appeared to be slimy. You looked like some type of a ratfink monster drawing. I was instantly scared, but everyone around me was congratulating themselves. Greg looked similar to you, only larger. And he looked excited about his transformation. Flexing his muscles and such.
You looked down at me, you eyes bulging from their sockets. Those eyes I love so much. And I saw YOU. You looked scared but I saw the love in them. Your giant, overgrown hand reached for mine. I took it. My hand could only attempt to grasp two of your fingers. Everyone stopped and stared and then started laughing. Brock exclaimed, "Maybe you two will last longer than 6 month this time with this." I didn't get it. Then someone explained that the drug, whatever it was, caused the user to express his emotions clearly and fully.
I knew what they meant then. Our biggest problem as us being a couple was that we couldn't fully express our emotions to each other for fear of rejection from a person we cared about so much. It was our demise. Our downfall. We were too scared to lose the friendship we had established. Oh, if we only knew then what we know now.
I knew then that you needed me to protect you. You didn't like what they were doing to you. But I had no control over what was happening. Before I could do anything, you were taken away-apparently to the locker room, only it wasn't where it has always been.
The remainder of the dream I spent searching for you. Running down marble hallway after marble hallway, everything looking the same, yet so foreign. I was frustrated and scared and helpless. I knew I would never find you again. I found a bathroom, locked myself into a stall, and cried and cried and cried.
I woke up when I had convinced myself to go back out and continue my search, just as I opened the bathroom door.
Gone again.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cause and Effect

Kevin and I have been continuing our reading project together. We only have a few more chapters left of "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein. On Sunday night I read for over 2 hours. We got through about 12 chapters in that time (they are short.) But it was a hard 12 chapters. Mainly, because I was sobbing through a large majority of them.
I can keep my emotions in check when reading to myself and will usually only shed a tear or two, if any at all. However, reading aloud did not allow me to push through the sad parts, tears in my eyes, to get to a happier section. No. At one point I had to put the book down, collect myself and try again. Sobbing. Voice caught in my throat, tears spilling, hard to breath sobbing.
Kevin thought I was crazy.
Here is where we see how we react differently to books. I develop relationships with the characters and they become alive to me. For Kevin, they are just a character. These people are real in my head and I feel the emotions they are going through. Kevin sits stone faced listening, but not feeling. If I read about the "hero" of my book losing his wife and "grabbing at the last of her" by feeling the dirt that buried her, it's going to be hard for me to not get emotionally upset. I'm tearing up now just writing about it. Kevin doesn't understand how I become so connected with the characters. This led to a great conversation about how the development of a character blooms in my head. How I picture the character and they become real to me. How, even after seeing movies, I still have my own clear picture of a character in my head, and they remain that way. How MY Lestat doesn't look anything like Tom Cruise. How MY Elizabeth doesn't look anything like Keira Knightly, though close. Kevin still didn't get it. I tried to explain how books allow you INSIDE the characters minds and with that gift you are given a passage to someone else's life for the time when you are reading the book. That I become so involved with the character that I feel their pain, their joy, everything. It is why I laugh aloud at times while reading. It's why I will be reading with a big grin on my face, or a frown, or a look of bewilderment...because I am feeling what the character is feeling.
Kevin still didn't get it.
I guess some people just never will.
I do know what is coming in the next few chapters though, and have a feeling it may cause Kevin to actually shed a few tears.
Why? Because it isn't about a human, it is about a dog.
Kevin and the love of his life...