Ever feel like your life is a country song?

Besides the standard household items etc that need to figured out when you break up with someone, we also had a dog.  Maddie was the family dog from the evil twin’s first marriage and when his son got a new dog at his mom’s house, I got to keep Maddie with me full time.  We’re pretty good buddies.  I give her too many treats, pizza crusts and crackers; let her sit on the couch, take her for rides to the places that give treats and get her some at the places that don’t (ie – McDonald’s – who doesn’t love a fry?), buy her more toys than some toddlers have and let her go outside without a leash on.  I think she appreciates it, she sticks pretty close to me.  But she’s not mine.  She belongs to Steve’s family and Steve is her person.  She gets more excited to see him than anyone else.  And sometimes I thought he loved her more than anyone else.

So being the person I am, I was conflicted.  Do I jockey to keep the dog with me, knowing that is just another thing that keeps me tied to this relationship I so badly need closure on or do I let her go back to her people in order to try to make a cleaner break?  I don’t want to keep her and Steve apart but I also don’t want him coming over to see “his” dog once all the moving is done.  After thinking and talking and thinking some more, I realized the best thing to do was to send her back to her first family.  So tomorrow, she too is moving out.  She’s going to live with Steve’s oldest son who will take good care of her and walk her and love her, but most importantly, she will able to see all her people regularly.  I’m hoping she’ll come by and visit sometimes.  I’m keeping the good cookies just in case.

Enjoying today’s sunshine

I’m going to miss her so much but I’m trying to focus on the benefits of living dog free.  For example, she is a shedder and black lab.  There is probably enough dog hair around here to make like 6 wigs for dogs with male pattern baldness.  I’m not going to have to start my day anymore by picking up a huge pile of warm dog crap with only a thin plastic bag to protect my skin from actual direct contact with said crap.  I will be able to forget to put the garbage can away and not come home to the entire contents of the garbage can displayed on the kitchen floor as my punishment for leaving the house with out her.

I’m at the point now where I can see the end of all this clean up crap- the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak-  Things have been moved out – not all – but some- enough to notice.  I’ve been able to start taking over more spaces and spreading out and it’s working out nicely.  It’s actually fun to start moving things around and decorating my way ( read as pink and flowers EVERYWHERE)  The books, dishes, towels and most other things have been split up. I’m optimistic that this will all be done in a week or two and then I can really start finding my new normal.  And once that happens, its only a matter of time before I can put all this stupid crying and sadness and anger behind me and really just focus on living my own best life.

But if you know me at all, you know that once I’m done being sad, that’s when things are going to get super amusing.  Now it’s been like 7 years since I’ve been “dating” and I can only imagine the sweet, sweet cringe worthy stories I will have for you when I do get back out there.  I can tell you this with certainty though – all other traits aside – all of the men I consider for dating are going to eat cheese.

What’s that thing that Scarlett O’Hara says – “after all, tomorrow is another day”?

So, I’ve done it.  I’ve ridden around on two more complete circles of the earth.  I’m still here.  I’m upright and not even crying and yelling because here is the thing, its exhausting emoting that much.  It’s just science.  Eventually you come back to a normal state you body can manage or you explode.  I think that’s why some people have a bulging vein in their forehead – they are closer to exploding – literally exploding – than the rest of us, or so I would like to think.

Last night, I sat down and worked on some glitter projects that in my head seemed like a great/beautiful idea.  (screw you Pinterest)  Three of the four didn’t turn out as fantastic as I would have liked, but that’s ok.  It’s not like I put a huge amount of resources in them.  It also might be ok because I have been wrestling a lot with the question of how much glitter should a 42 year old woman actually have in her home?  I mean, I would like a “grown up” home.  Not one that looks like a 13 year old girl won an endless shopping spree to the glitter rainbow unicorn emporium. ( OMG – do you think a place like that exists??  Can you even imagine??)  I feel that is almost as bad as being a crazy cat lady.

I also had a talk with myself last night about said self.  I have been taking pretty bad care of things lately.  I got out my hypochondriac’s kit and checked my blood pressure ( Gulp) and blood sugar before bed ( not bad at all).  I’m going to try over the next days, weeks and months, above everything else, to work on taking care of me because as we all know, once you do that, everything else falls into place.  Life’s up and downs are easier to handle. You feel stronger both physically and mentally.  You hair looks better and your nails too because you actually care about filing and polish application.

I’m going to put this out there.  Most of you know, about 10 -12 years ago, my dad was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.  He underwent treatment and the cancer has stayed in check since but it is still there.  When this first happened, one of the ways I tried to feel better was to get involved with the Light the Night Walk that raised money for the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society.   I walked, raised money, and volunteered and was quite aggressive about it; some of you might remember.  The Light the Night walk for me was overwhelmingly emotional because the way it worked was that everyone who walked carried a balloon with a light in it.  There were red for supporters, white for survivors and gold for those who had been lost.  I was struck the first few times by how few white balloons there were and it was really heartbreaking.  I was lucky that I was able to call upon my terrific group of friends and they all came and walked with me.  Over four years, if I remember right, we raised over $15,000 dollars for cancer research and patient support.  My favorite part of the walk was when my little team would come together for the picture and I would look at everyone and realized that they were all there because I needed them to do it.  It was the most wonderful feeling.  – So – there is a point to all this.  I registered for this year’s walk at the Duck Pond. It’s Thursday 10/12/17 in the evening.  What I need is at least one other person to register,  and go with me so I don’t not go.  It doesn’t cost anything to register, all the money is raised through donations.  You can choose to donate to yourself and be done with it or you can put a sweet link to your fund raising page on Facebook.  I think you need to raise $100 to get a T-shirt, but if you don’t want to do that much, I’m sure they will take every dollar they can get.  Here is the registration link:

https://registration.lightthenight.org/event-selected/73941/individual

and if you could let me know if you want to meet up and walk together or carpool, that would be great.  Also, if you want to donate – no pressure – I’ll put a link up on Facebook as the walk gets closer.

Old Light the Night Walk Team Picture – Maybe 2007 or 2008
No automatic alt text available.
2009
Old Light the Night Walk Team Picture – Maybe 2007 or 2008

Sunday Funday…moving style

So the day I thought would never  come is finally here.  There is actually movement of the evil twin’s possessions out of the apartment.  Now, don’t get too excited, I mean only about maybe 50% of his stuff is out, but it’s enough that the redecorating fairies are dancing in my head.

It has been a ROUGH day and that is an understatement.  The questions of “Do you want this” or “what did we decide about that” just seem ridiculous.  I mean you used up 6 years of my life, my last child bearing years only to come home one day and tell me you haven’t been in love with me for years.  Do you really think I give a flying fuck who gets the white patio chairs?  You ruined our family, you think letting me keep a chair makes up for that?  It all seems so trivial.

Poor Bailey is so very sad and disappointed and packing up his stuff was so hard for him.  It was frustrating because I did not want to engage in the packing at all, none of this was my choice. This was all his father’s doing.  He decided 4 months ago this day would come.  He should have been the one telling his son how to pack and what to pack.  Not the girl trying to not cry ( and failing miserably) all day.  In the midst of all the tenseness today, Bailey told me he didn’t want to see me for a while and it kind of broke my heart.  But in the end, after a couple mild tranquilizers ( for me, not him), I helped Bailey finish emptying his room out while we ate peanut butter cups, downloaded music on iTunes and waited for Pizza Hut to arrive.  All this happened, of course, after we cried/hugged it out together.  He’s sleeping over tonight now.  It’ll be our first slumber party in the new “normal”.  We’ll figure it out somehow.

Now that I have stopped crying, I’m pretty excited about sitting in my office without all the extra stuff in it that made it Bailey’s bedroom.  Part of me wants to grab the vacuum, get it cleaned up, move the furniture around and make the whole room mine.  I feel like that would really upset Bailey tonight though, so I’ll wait until after he goes home tomorrow!

This day has been such a roller coaster of emotions I am so glad that it is over.  Hopefully we only have a few more days to go until this is all over.

I’ve missed you too!

After receiving nudges from both K-Fo and J-Ho in the past 24 hours, I realized I have let almost two weeks pass without a new entry.  The truth is, I’ve been struggling a bit and I didn’t want to report that.  I mean, I’ve been doing stuff like working on my epic tan, visiting people, leaving the house a record number of times per week but I’ve been struck with, in Holly Golightly’s words, the mean reds.

The evil twin is “supposed” to be out September 1st but as of yet has not confirmed that he has a place to go or even packed a single one of his things.  There is a pile of boxes in the dinning room, of stuff that I have packed up for him in an effort to better organize the kitchen.  I have all these ideas for how I want things to be when I live here alone, but I am unable to do most of it until his stuff is out of the way.

The well-meaning people in my life keep offering advice like “just put his stuff outside”, “put his stuff in the hall”, “tell him you are throwing it all out on such and such a date.” – While I wish it were that easy there are three problems with that- 1) it’s a lot of work to do all that and since I was fired as the live in nanny /caterer / maid/ personal assistant and general life coach, I really think the least a person can do is pack their own crap.  2) It’s not legal to throw out his stuff – He is on the lease until the end of March 2018 – so his stuff has every right to be here.  And 3) I’ve watched enough people’s court/Judge Judy to know that even if he wasn’t on the lease, he still has some implied rights and if I got rid of it all, I would have to pay for it.  Also, I’m not taking him off the lease until he gets his crap out because as long as he leaves it here, I’m not letting him off the hook for paying rent.

So back to the mean reds.  I have been ANGRY.  Ask anyone from the poor guy at Verizon wireless who called me about a work phone bill, the Indian guy at Motorola who needed to help me with a warranty claim and generally any person I have talked to in the last week or so.  I am so angry about this break up and the aftermath.  I mean, he has completely moved on with his life – new girlfriend and all – and just left the mess here for me.  And I have no choice but to the be the grown up, once again and deal with that.  It probably doesn’t help that I have also decided to stop taking stuff to sleep.  So now I’m over tired and angry.

How can someone who said they loved you once treat you like that?  What a shitty, crappy, jerky thing to do. I mean, seriously, man up.  Pack your 40 pairs of perfectly balled socks, your stupid RPG stuff, your ridiculous totes of papers and bills from the last decade and never, ever, come back.

But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that even though I’m struggling people are still showing up and being there for me.  I had an awesome dinner with an old friend the other night, I’ve been spending one day a week working from another friend’s house who is weirdly in love with doing laundry (she does my laundry for me) and makes me lunch and then takes me to a pool in the afternoon. I got to spend some quality time with my teenage sidekick, Bailey, last weekend and another friend brought me French Silk pie. The other night before bedtime I received a text from a friend with some suggestions about honey and cinnamon to help me sleep and it was like a sweet hey we’re all here hug via SMS.

I’ve said it before and I don’t know how to say it any better, but if nothing else comes from this, I will never, ever doubt again that I am so very loved.

 

 

Time marches on

So I realized the other day, it’s been about 3 months since Steve and I broke up.  I also realized I’m ok.  I would lying if I said there still wasn’t the occasional crying about something that completely hits me off guard, but for the most part now, I can clearly picture my life without him and it feels good.

I have been outside this summer more than I have been in years and have an awesome tan to show for it.  I’ve been going to the pool whenever I can ( they are everywhere) and I also have started sitting outside for a few minutes extra every morning when I first wake up and sometimes in the evening.  I watch the birdies and the squirrels and just take it all in.  It’s centering.  Life tip number one – if you’re feeling out of sorts- get outside – even if it is just right outside your own door.

I find myself saying yes to things I never would have before.  Last weekend I jumped at the chance when a friend suggested Thai food for lunch.  If you know me at all, you know I’m not super brave about the ethnic food, and truth be told, it wasn’t Pasqual’s or Perkins, so I count it as a win, even if I did just have pad Thai.  I finally went to the house of my friend in Lodi.  I’m going to be honest -that was a great decision!  She loves doing laundry.  I worked while she did laundry for me and then after a lunch of grilled cheese, she took me to a pool with a scary ladder.  The pool was awesome – the ladder – not so much.  Let me paint a picture for you – slippy, narrow steps, straight up and down.  I thought I was going to permanently damage myself on the way in after a slip and I did require quite a bit of coaxing to get out of the pool.

I’ve also been cleaning, reorganizing, re-arranging things and throwing a lot of stuff out.  When I was on my trip, I realized if I could live without something for a month, I may not need it all at.  I also realized when I got home that I need to not buy any health and beauty aids for the rest of my natural life.  Unless it comes from Lush.  That stuff is amazing.

I also believe now, more strongly than ever, that it is important to trust your gut and believe that everything happens for a reason.  I can’t even tell you how many times Steve suggested we rent a house from someone and move in there with the idea of buying it.  While, it’s not the worst area, all of them were located outside of Madison and in the opposite direction of my family.  I’m so glad we stayed put and I’m not walking away from a house right now that I had invested time and money in with the idea of making it ours.  Can you even imagine how much more stuff I would have if I would have had a basement to fill up??  LOL

I had a talk with the kids the other day and told them I was glad their dad broke up with me.  Everyone deserves to be in a relationship where they are valued and loved exactly as they are, and we had gotten to a point where I don’t think either of us was happy, at all.  We just had differing opinions on what the solutions were.

While I  think it will be a while before I’m ready to date again, I’ve started blow drying my hair again and putting on mascara and a bra before leaving the house and the idea of meeting new people is not completely paralyzing.  and besides, it is pretty much like riding a bike, once you start doing it, you remember why you enjoyed it and how fun it could be.  So I’m going to just keep putting one foot in front of another and trust there is a master plan and amazing things are just around the corner.

I know, I’m a blogging slacker

So I just realized it has been like over a week since I have last updated you on all the happenings.

Since we have talked last I have gone camping and suffered the consequences of some REALLY hungry and smart raccoons, got my hair cut SUPER short – well for me and have really increased my tan-ness.

I took Bailey camping with my friend Jenny and her kids to a lake about an hour northish of where we live.  I’ve camped there before and really like the campground.  I did, however, misread the map when I booked out spot and we were RIDICULOUSLY far from the bathroom.  Like we drove the car there- except when we really had to go and went outside, in nature – which I am no good at.

The first night we had a fire – relaxed and finally went to bed.  We made sure we turned the chairs upside down and everything.  We forgot a bag of candy, marshmallows and Ruffles outside.  When I came out of the tent in the morning, I was greeted by sweet pink candy wrappers- EVERYWHERE!!  See the carnage below:

We cleaned up the mess, ate some breakfast and started our day.  Our friend Lori came and spent the day with us and after a sweet campfire lunch of hot dogs, brats, potatoes and green beans, we all got on our swimming gear and headed to the lake.  The kids swam while the grown up put their chairs at the edge of the lake and enjoyed the cooling effects of keeping your feet in water.  One even enjoyed the cooling effects of dumping your chair backwards into the lake.  ( Not me!!)

Jenny, Lori and I

We spent many hours there and after snacks of melted cheese with crackers and chips and dips, we pretty much decided we were pooped and called it a night.  All 5 of us headed into the tent for quiet time.  2 of the kids watched movies on a tablet, and the rest of us read.  Once it was dark out, we heard some scuffling outside – so Bailey opens the tent window, shines his flashlight out and sure enough, there were raccoons outside and we were like – whatever, we put everything away tonight.  In the morning we found an empty can of cheese dip, an empty half gallon almond milk container and the cooler was missing hot dogs and brats.  Those little imps went into the cooler, stole all the meat and the almond milk and left behind soda in gross, muddy water.  I couldn’t believe it, but as many people pointed out to me, they can get into a garbage can, what makes you think a cooler would be any different.  Needless to say, I have learned my lesson about the raccoons and will never trust a forest creature again.

Bailey and I taking a sweet selfie
Jenny’s awesome daughter Natalee and I and her unicorn. We secretly took the picture on Jenny’s phone when you wasn’t looking so she would find us later. 🙂

Some people really just don’t get it

I’m going to deviate from my normal lighthearted adventure sharing today because a friend of mine is going through something that probably will outrage you as a parent or as a human being or both. I have been friends with her for over 20 years, so I am quite close to her and her children and am so angry.

Get to the point – I hear ya!  So here’s what happened.  Friend has a 9 year old girl child.  Over the summer, said child was enrolled in a summer program through her local parks and rec department.  ( on a side night – Leslie Knope is not involved)  Last week friend of one her older children finds that pictures of the  9  year old are on Instagram, taken by a 17 year old girl who was supposedly to be overseeing the kids at the summer program.  Not only is this little witch posting pictures of a little girl without anyone knowing, she is also making fun of her.  And not just once – there is at least one still picture and 2 videos, all posted days apart – picking on the 9 year old and making fun of her.

Luckily the 9 year old has no idea this is going on and the parents are trying to shield her from this BUT what kind of person makes fun of a 9 year on the internet???  I mean, I’ll admit it, I watched that little boy tell “Linda” he needs a cupcake a couple times, but obviously his mom is in the video and no one is calling him names.

17 year old witch girl had at least 2 Instagram accounts that my friend found – one was public and in it, she looked like a choir girl – the second appeared to be set up specifically to be secret to pick on people.

My friend reported this to the police who talked to parks and rec.  The girl still had her job as of this morning and was “disciplined” and talked to about using her phone/social media at work.  And that was it.  Obviously, my friend followed up and made sure the supervisor at parks and rec realized this wasn’t an isolated incident ( there were 3 posts – at least) and is also working with the school principals.  And from the way it sounds, we don’t think anyone has contacted the girl’s parents yet to tell them what they are raising.

Bailey had trouble now and again with a little boy at school who could be a bully and at times was quite unkind to some of Bailey’s friends.  We would talk about it and I always told him that when someone is mean to you like that, it’s usually because someone is being mean to them and in Bailey’s case, it was true.  The little boy’s father was in and out of the home and the boy had some behavioral issues.  Not that these things excuse his actions, but it made an easier case to not over react.

I just have to wonder- if a 17 year old girl thinks it’s OK to post pictures and videos of a 9 year old girl with disparaging comments about her appearance and free spirited play, what the hell is going on at home?  Are her parents incredibility critical or worse yet, are they terribly permissive and never taught their daughter that there are limits.

What scares me most about this is that this 17 year old girl will be out in the world a year from now and shortly after mascarading as an adult  with little sense of kindness and right/wrong.

I am angry that there wasn’t a crime the girl was charged with.  I’m angry that this girl still has a job and her rights as an employee seem to supersede the need for personal integrity.  I’m scared that this will happen again to someone else I care about.  The only silver lining is that the 9 year old is still in the dark.

Please as parents, know your kid’s passwords, read what they are doing online even if they don’t want you to do it.  Please teach your kids to be kind and decent human beings.  Please teach your kids to stand up against this kind of crappy behavior.