Anastasia Diaries: Shhh…Can you hear that?

The silence. It is so loud.

I am sitting on my couch at 5 a.m. contemplating the mess that my life has become. I am trying to work up the courage to move forward with a sense of normalcy amidst the chaos. The political and social climate we as Americans find ourselves in affects everything the sun touches. We are powerless to ignore. Even those who are proudly, publicly, progressively sitting outside of the world climate are touched as we retreat to our bubbles. I sit in silence….

Prisoner of so many things that are and yet I run free with fear. Can you hear the silence roar? It was so loud it woke me before my alarm and all I could do was sit up and listen. The what ifs, the could be’s the maybe’s. They all dance before me in the still darkness of the living room. I reach for someone I know. A loved one. Seeking the comfort of a warm hug, a reassuring hand to yank me out of this hell and I find nothing.  Do I even exist? Do I matter? The air conditioner wakes and silently caresses my hair with its fake, gentle breeze. I begin to think I am invisible. 

With my screams, I call out, begging…screaming for someone to help me. Yet I open my mouth and there is nothing but silence. In the darkness my mind falters and I begin to question everything. The air conditioner begins to rattle and racket…saying to me…no. Rage is not the answer.  It is hilarious that it is dying on the inside too. It will be 90 in the shade today.  The weather app on my phone silently told me so. At least something is talking to me. 

If I shaved my head would you notice me?

If I took a baseball bat and broke everything would I have your attention?

If I put everything on Social Media would it matter? I haven’t put anything on there for six months…

If I scream and cry so loud the heavens can hear would you listen?

If I cannot fix me would it make you sad? Glue does not fix everything…

Here I sit. Drowning in the silence I find uncaring, unforgiving, uncanny. It envelopes me. Squeezes me so I cannot breathe. The air conditioner finally pauses…and the silence…it roars. I want to jump up in a rage and fight back. No! You cannot do this to me!!! But the coming sunrise peeks through the part in the curtains. Daylight begins to pierce the darkness. To bad it is only the room because it never reaches me.

I take that with what little hope is left and fight the urge to rage and I begin to walk the rut I have paced into the worn carpet. Another day. Another day I will not be me. Another day to be ignored. To feel helpless. For no one to see.

My cries for help remain unanswered and I  going to explode soon.

Would it matter? Would anyone care? ……..,

Posted for work: Working In-Office vs. Working at Home

This post is originally found on my work place’s FB page ans was initially written for there. However, it is my creation and I would like to share it with you!

Working In-Office vs. Working at Home
We all have our validated reasons for working from home and what makes the lifestyle work for us. Once again, my decision to remain an at-home professional was validated by something simple as walking my son to the bus stop this morning. Here is my little tidbit as to why I am making working from home work for me.
Lets back up by saying I woke up before my alarm clock to start my day. Rarely this happens but it can be a glorious thing if you embrace it! Out of bed I sprung…getting some house hold things done prior to walking the kiddo to the bus and clocking in for my daily grind. Normally, I will have started on my coffee rations prior to walking to the bus. However, this morning, I was so busy that I failed to get that far. So, as I was on my way out the door, I grabbed a cup of that morning happy and took it with me to enjoy while chatting with the kids at the bus stop. Just as an aside here, everyone knows that a full cup of java and any article of clothing that happens to be white are not friends. Try as they might, it is just not a happy situation. Thankfully, I make it a habit to try and not wear much white because Murphy’s Law dictates that my coffee will find its way to the white article of clothing and make me look like I am a slob. Or at least like this:
Sure enough, as we walked to the end of the driveway, what did I do? I sloshed the coffee and there it was: coffee on my shirt. It never fails. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not very graceful when it comes to walking and I try to find ways to fall over things that are not there. (Ghosts! They are tripping!) Add to the long list of talents: The inability to walk and carry a full mug of joe. So yeah, while minor, that was a valid reason to add to my plethora of excuses (well, not really excuses but list was too…repetitive) as to why working from home is the lifestyle that works for me.
What is on your list validating that remaining an at-home professional is the right choice for you? What do YOU say?

Snuggly Poop

Anyone with a dog can understand where I am coming from when you have to be snuggled every time you have to go # 2. It is a standard in the dog owners world and nothing less will do. Even if you try to shut the door, your fuzzy children believe that they have to watch over you while you handle your business. However, if you think about it, they are simply returning the favor ten-fold.

Seriously! When they were puppies and you brought them into your home, you had to train them to go outside. With the yard as their toilet, when they did their business, in the right place, you cheered for them and hugged them and gave them praise. Obviously, pooping outside was a better thing than doing the same on the carpet. You watched them poop. No doggy parent has ever taken their puppy outside without watching them cop a squat and download a turd. Face it, you would even watch them out of the corner of your eye to praise them the very second they turned around to sniff their creation. It is the essence of potty training. There is no other way to sugar coat it or say it. There. It’s out in the open. Every dog owners poopy little secret is out. Too bad.

But this is a good thing. Now they are indebted to you because you have shown them the basic communication device of what it means when you speak the song “Wanna Go Potty?”  they now understand some of your language and you have taught them English. Next, they will try to engage you to have you sing that glorious song to them when they feel their back door barking at them to go. Good for you!  As time goes on, they discover that the smell they can make with their butt often will occur when you sit on this big, cold, white chair that is in the same room with the spray hose nozzle that you use to make them feel all clean. Yes, the toilet as it is often referred to in human speak. “Oh joy!” says the dogs of the world. I can make sure that they are rewarded with snuggles as they make the smell that I do when I drop a turd in the grass!

“I therefore shall make sure you are safe, human, and ensure that your feet never get cold on the floor in this cool room!”

Some will even make sure that the monsters that make all that noise when you get up stay away as long as you sit on this “chair.” Let’s think about that too, for a moment. Whenever you get up from sitting on this thing, it makes a terrible racket and your dog probably wants to make sure that you are not going to be attacked by the noisy monster while you are sitting. They dog obviously feels that sitting on this thing relaxes you or you would not do it nearly every day. It never makes that horrid noise until you get up. I bet, if you get down to their level and flush the toilet, you will find that it makes more noise than it does from your level. I find that there is always a difference in the way things look when you take a gander from that other person or animal’s point of view. Seriously! Go to your kitchen and sit on the floor and see exactly how it looks from below the door knobs. You will probably note that the corners need attention and the cabinets could use a good wash. No matter how clean you are, looking at things from a different perspective, give you a different perspective. Even the noise from the toilet from your dog’s perspective can give you a greater appreciation for why they insist on being in there with you when you have to lay some logs.

So just appreciate the poopy snuggles. They are just repaying you for helping them out when they were but a pup. It is not to annoy you or to get some extra time in with you because you are sitting still. They are protecting you from the noisy toilet monster while you relax and make a smell that they know they only make in the grass.

Gotta love our poopy little puppies! They love their poopy humans!

What do YOU think?

#SOCS #JusJoJan: Glass



Saturday mornings are my dream. If I could have a Saturday morning every day, I believe I would be the most sane person on the planet. This morning, I had already played my games on my phone until I had run out of lives and it was all done before Coffee! YES! I did something that some zombie-like human would do in the BC era of my day. BELIEVE IT! Anyhow, I decided I would do the kids chores, left over from last night, just to make my time standing in my corner of the kitchen more pleasant. Reality is, I was trying to 1. not make more coffee, 2. Drink less coffee than normal and 3. Not feel so nasty in a kitchen that was not cleaned up from dinner last night. So I start with putting up the dishes.

You remember those glass casserole dishes your mother used to have. The things that were heavy, white and had that old country design on what should be the “front” (despite them being square. You know what I am talking about. They are heavy, have a thick glass lid with a knob in the middle? Yea. Those things. I happen to have two of them. One smaller than the other. While the smaller one does not have a lid anymore, the larger one does.

Some back story here: Cal recently purchased a new set of glassware and Tupperware bowls for me for Christmas. To enable us to continue to trash and break the older set, I made space in the cookware cabinet for them and pushed all the glass bowls and bake ware to the top two shelves of said cabinet. This means I had to artfully stack somethings. Being that it was like 4 AM and I didn’t feel like taking out a stack to put the larger of the glass, white casserole dish away, I tried to ‘slide’ it in underneath the smaller one and some other heavy glass bowl on top of it. Oh, it slid in there alright. It also didn’t sound quite right when it appeared to have slid into place. I stood there and looked at it for a minute. Because I am the most graceful person in the house, I did the automatic look-around-to-see-if-anyone-saw-that. Thankfully they didn’t. However, I know I am going to be busted. I recycle everything I can possibly recycle and, as we all know, glass is a recycle material so it is going to sit by the back door until the kid tasked with taking it out does just that.

Now, I thought it would be easy to just pull the glass dish back out and reach behind the smaller one to grab the other piece. No, that wouldn’t do because when Momma does something she has to do it right, ya know. My only intent in the kitchen this morning, before sunrise, was to put away the clean dishes and be proud that I did something today. It is my day off and I really don’t have to do anything if I don’t want to. Ah, but now, I had to move everything out of the cabinet, including the stack of stuff in front of the stack of bake ware that I was trying to…well…stack.

I pulled everything out on that shelf of the cabinet and noted it not only cracked, it broke into about 5 pieces and shattered part of it somehow. I also discovered it was the dish with the lid. I said to myself “THIS, my friends, is how history gets destroyed. Yet another piece of the past that no one will be able to appreciate any longer.” Funny how we think about certain things and still take them for granted. Especially a piece of old, glass bake ware that certainly has brought many a fond memory. As I stand there, 40 years old, in my kitchen, my subconscious shed a virtual tear at the fact that this dish was no longer going to bring back fond memories. **sigh**

Not only did I have to get rid of the lid too, (there was nothing else it would fit. Gotta love commerce.) I had to wash the tray…carefully…that it was sitting in. Thank goodness that it did not scratch that tray up as it was yet another piece of “history” that I would likely take for granted. Speaking of which….I fail to remember what happened to the smaller tray. Hmmm….

It is amazing how something as insignificant as a piece of glass bake ware can have such an impact on someone. Even more amazing is that it is over 40 years old. Elder bake ware. Is there such a thing? It is even more amazing that it’s demise happened on the #SOCS day for the word: glass.

What do YOU think?


Disclaimer: This post is part of Stream of Conscious Saturday and Just Jot it January.

Little Sea Gull…You Saved Me

Amidst a swirl of emotion, I walked to the seaside in the misty rain. I stopped by the grocery store to purchase a couple of this alcoholic drinks that look like a soda. I guess Karma was taking pity on me because the store was extraordinarily busy today. I ended up leaving my intended purchase on a closed register counter and angrily stomping out. Though, in hindsight, that was a good thing. I didn’t need to make an alcohol induced decision upon reaching the shore. So I walked. I rearely listen to music anymore. Well, I do during part of my working day but, for me, music was only applicable to miserable times in my life. Appropriately matching my mood, I dusted off the old Apple earbuds and listened to my death metal as I made my way out into the dreary day. 

I made it to the ocean. It was nearing high tide and with the dreary day and threat of rain, the ocean was loud and angry. I welcomed its noise.i looked out to the edge of the Earth and wondered how far it was I could actually see. The waves crashed at my feet and felt icy cold. I stepped further into the surf. Pondering…if I were to take off my coat and dive I. Which would hit me first? Heart attack from the cold? Hypothermia from the temperature of the water? Shark? Or just the massive strength of the undertow? Surely, the way I felt the world has dealt my hand today…no one would miss me.

Something told me to pay attention to my surroundings. There were, all of a sudden, several sea gulls coming from every direction but heading south….hurriedly. But there was one little guy walking in the icy surf just like me. He was exceedingly smaller than the other gulls and he walked right up to me. Most of the time, sea gulls won’t get that close unless you have bread or some other edible goody. He came up and stood only a foot away from my soaking wet sneaker. He tilted his head to the right as it to say “why do you want to do that?” Immediately I thought of our youngest son with his random hugs and quirky little things he does to make me smile. 

The feeling came over me as if I were taken over by one of the angry ocean waves I was hearing. God gave us that surprising bundle of joy to save me. I may be in a rough spot right now but our numba nine was sent to remind me that there is something I have to accomplish and leaving this existence is not what I should be thinking about. 

Standing on the beach, staring at the angry ocean, thinking about suicide was not where I needed to be today. That sea gull spoke volumes with just one look. He told me that the baby boy, despite his age was my saving grace and that the rest of the children needed me too. All the way up to the oldest who has a family all her own. 
Upon my return to the house, both girls showed me a side of them I never have seen but needed in that moment. I love my life. Sometimes it is just hard to accept the trials that comes with it. That little sea gull saved me today. I took one last look as I left the beach. He was still standing there, in the surf, regarding me with his inquisitive eyes. I swear he nodded at me in approval. Telling me that walking away from the icy edge of my existence was the best choice ever.

Daily Prompt: Pungent (The Light Fixture [Fiction])

via Daily Prompt: Pungent

“George, I told you never to remove the cover for that light. You don’t know what is up there.” Jasmine nagged. She was always nagging him about something. Whether it was touching the kitchen door knob with greasy fingers or not wearing his shirt right, it was always the same: NAG! NAG! NAG! Ah, but his life would be dull without that hen always clucking about something int he background. Am I right?  Any-who, it was dark in the bedroom and while things that went on in the bedroom were best done in the dark, sometimes you still needed to see. Remember what Mamma always said. “You are going to ruin your eyes reading in the dark like that!” Enough was enough, the light bulb had to be changed.

The house should be mentioned here. It was built around the turn of the 20th century and was suitably registered in the city’s record of historical places. They sure didn’t make houses like this anymore. The only sucky thing was that I had to file an application to paint a damn wall. I own this house, why should I ask permission to do something as simple as change the color of the wall? The world may never know. Now, the changing of a light bulb was something on the ‘have at it’ list and this was exactly what I was going to do. Nagged or not, I am going to do this!

The fixture was an oblong, oval thing that was quite the stinker to get off the ceiling. It was held in place by several screws and was almost a two man job. One was needed to hold it in place while the other was removing the screws. However, if you held you lip right, you could do it yourself. I knew that Jasmine was not going to help me so I did the thing myself. I nearly dropped it. As it was made of glass, it would likely have not survived the fall. However, with luck on my side, I was able to get the thing down unscathed. As I laid the dusty cover on the bed, Jasmine snorted at me something about having to was the bed clothes now that that filthy thing had touched it. NAG! NAG! NAG! Upon successfully putting the light cover on the bed I looked up. It was almost like looking back in time. The part of the ceiling which was protected by the fixture had withstood the test of time and must have been the same antique yellowish color that the house was originally painted in. There was a hole where the light had come down out of the ceiling and was hanging there, as if held in time. It didn’t even swing with the new air surrounding it. It could have swayed ever so slightly as some of the hot air escaped from the ceiling into our bedroom below it. It had a pungent smell that those of us with attics can only know. While I had only stuck my face up into the attic to see if there were any treasures up there, I found only that wonderful pungent attic smell.

After marveling at the time machine that I had found, I noted that the light fixture inside the cover was just as much as an antique as the rest of the house itself and this two-prong light that I was holding was not going to work. I had to purchase a standard light bulb. With the rest of the house pushed in on the wave of the future, a standard light bulb was not something that I had laying around. “Off to the store wench!” I said in my Scottish voice as I poked Jasmine in the ribs. She giggled and hugged me in only the way my Jasmine can do. She grabbed her keys and off to the store we went. Now, a trip to the store was always for more than what is intended. Those marketing freaks to a helluva job when it comes to enticing you to buy something more than what you went there for in the first place. So, it was going to be a while before we got back. I knew leaving the cover off would stir up some dust but figured it would be alright. I was gonna wrap this project up the minute we got back anyway.

Upon our return, I unlocked the front door. When I opened it a rather LARGE wasp floated out as the door swung into the house. Now, wasps are not small in their own sense but this thing was almost the size of a tennis ball. With concern, I told Jasmine to stay on the porch as I went in to investigate. Another thing that was out of the ordinary was that the dogs were going bezerk. They were put in their cage in the master bathroom just off our bedroom before we left. As per our custom. Thinking about that wasp, I grabbed the broom out of the foyer closet and cautiously made my way to the bedroom. What I seen when I pushed open the door could only be described in a dream…no…a nightmare.

From the light fixture were several of those same wasps hanging on the light bulb as if it were their nest. There were several others meandering around the room in a sleepy, flying gait, which only wasps do when it is this time of year. There were other things falling, no nearly pouring out of the hole in the ceiling. Leeches, bugs and…..turtles? Yes. I am sure of it. They looked like those sea turtles that were all laid back and hippie like in that movie with the blue fish. Funny, in this moment, that movie name escapes me. Weird how we forget things when faced with…things.

These things were all over the room. Upon taking inventory of what I was looking at, all the sound in the world came back to me. However, I could not figure out why. NAG! NAG! NAG! The primal scream which emanated from the hallway behind me snapped me back into reality. Jasmine! I turned to look and found her with inordinate fear written across her face. As if to make it more real, she had her hands up to her cheeks as if they were meant o put that scream in quotation marks. She was screaming “THE DOGS GEORGE! WHAT ABOUT THE DOGS!!??” Immediately I turned and made a vee line for the bathroom. Two of them were barking at the smallest one. She was covered in those leech things. I tried to open the cage and then heard a whisper in my head.

“They’re poison.” I paused for a moment. Where did that come from? Why was I not being touched by the things falling out of the ceiling? I knew I could not touch this dog. I was sad that it was lifeless and unmoving. However, these animals were like our family and saving 2 of 3 was what I had to do. I opened the cage and while one snapped at my fingers, I was able to snatch the other one out of the cage. The one whom I was unable to catch shot out of the cage and into the bedroom. A moment later, I heard Jasmine squee in delight as she made it to our Jasmine. I knew I had to get out of there. I still considered the third dog and grabbed a towel. It wrapped around my arm as I yanked it off the towel rack on the wall beside the shower. Again, I heard that voice in my head…whisperingly…”Nooo….They’re poison.” In that instant, a leech which had found itself on that towel landed on my arm. It sizzled and burned like acid! I scream and stumbled back. Falling into the tub, I grabbed the shower curtain and again, leaches landed on me with their sizzling, burning,. slimy skin. I swiped at them and got them off me. It was instinct. I faintly remember the dog still barking in my arms and she took off like a bolt when I fell into the tub. I remember hearing Jasmine outside call for her. It was likely that Jasmine was outside and seen that the one I had in my arms had made it outside. My turn to flee had arrived.

As strange as it may sound, the idea came to me that it was the house speaking to me. Why was it taking up for me but unleashing this horror into my home? And why turtles?  No time for that now, I had to leave. I got out of the tub, nearly falling 2 or 3 more times before gaining my footing and went for the bathroom door. The room had become covered. It was a living, breathing, MOVING room. I guess this house wanted the bedroom to be in the dark. Bugs give me the willies but in my adrenaline-induced state, I didn’t think about that. However, the brief pause at the bathroom door was likely to be my demise. The more I thought about my fear of the creepy crawlies, the more fear replaced the adrenaline. At this realization, the turtles began to speak to me in that creepy children’s voice…”Come on George! Let’s Play!” (Yea, I now know why I never liked children. Creepy little things.”

It was as if my feet were glued to the floor. I was paralyzed. Unable to move and feeling my throat closing in, I couldn’t even scream. All I could do was watch with horror as the things moving and churning in the bedroom where I spent many wonderful nights with the love of my life seemed to consume first my shoes, then my legs. They were making their way up my lower extremities with that sizzling, acidic touch. The brighter the pain and fear became, the more I swirled into blackness. In a fear induced high, I passed out fully believing I was drunk and was going to bed…for the last time. Funny how things work out when you have your last thoughts. My brain’s last transmission? Well, as the things in the room covered me and left only an impression of their body under their business, you can say it was:

“I was consumed with fear.”

Outside, in the front yard of our back-country home, miles from any neighbors, you could hear Jasmine in that nagging voice….”George? Georrrge?  GEORGE!”  Unbeknownst to her, George was unavailable at the moment. Suddenly, she could smell the pungent odor of the attic. Then, she noted turtles flapping their way out the front door. “Hi Jasmine! Let’s Play!”

What do YOU think?


Walking Down a Different Road…Poorly.

This title may not be what you think. I have found that I have grown tired of “just making it.” It weighs upon my mind a lot. I have also found that when you do finally start heading toward a point where you can do slightly more than “just make it.” The higher powers tend to see an opportunity to squeeze you for whatever extra it is that you have and put you right back to where you were to begin with. Yes, I tend to not write about things like this on my public blogs. However, writing is a form of release for me and today, I will, walk down a different road.

My family is not your typical american family when it comes to paying bills and debt. We are not drowning under credit card debt or a crushing mortgage. We have abstained from refinancing or taking out additional lines of credit against our house. While that may be the thing to do, I simply don’t feel it to be the right thing to get our bills paid when we can do it just fine without that. Borrowing from one source just to reduce the payments on another or to combing a bunch of nickle and dime things just does not seem like the thing to do. (Oh, Daddy, you should be so proud!) In hindsight, no credit card debt and the fact that we can pay our necessities without worry is great. We have TWO extra things that we have been working on to pay off over time but it is not so much that we have to struggle to make bills. These things are just to improve our credit score. Now that I think about it. I am only feeding into the corporate monster and living the Sheeple life by doing that. However, it seems to be necessary if we want to get ahead in any area of life like to purchase a new car. (Example only, walking is so much better for the environment.) Well, that will be over soon and we will only have to foot the bill for “necessaries” like power, water, mortgage, and internet. Yea, internet is a necessary. Well, at least until the world goes to heck in a hand basket. Then we can do away with THAT bill. Yay?

Still, none of the above is what weighs heavily on me. I think a lot about the vacations my parents took me on as a kid. Those were vivid memories which stood out against the bland backdrop of watching my previous year of school become a fading memory on the highways of this country. Remember, every ending school year meant that Daddy was going to sign a new contract with his company and they would ship up off to yet another state to live for the year while he straightened out the mess of a kitchen they sent him to. He provided for us and we had our vacations. I just never had any roots to grow until I became older. My roots are spread all over this country from coast to coast. Dry, brittle, and long forgotten, the things that stand out the most were the vacations. Maybe that was what they did to make up for uprooting me from potential friends and opportunities which could have been afforded to me growing up. Still, I would not have changed anything.

It’s not that our brood prevents us from taking a vacation. We have a support system and family who can watch the kids while we pick and choose or even watch the dogs while we are away. It’s the fact that, while this country tells you to make memories with your children, they put the financial portion out of the reach of the average person. The nuclear family has to make nearly $50, 000 a year to be able to put away something into savings and even then, you need nearly $5,000 to even think about a 3 day trip for a couple. Everything is taxed and everything is overpriced. When Reagan was president (yes, I know, cost of living, etc. BS to that,) purchasing a brand new car did not mean that you were taking out a note that was near the equivalent of the market value of your home. It didn’t cost $50 to PARK at a resort area only to again pay near the same PER PERSON to get in. Never mind the fact that you then have to pay just to breathe inside the park. Corporate greed, my friends. They try to make smiles only attainable for the extraordinarily rich and, frankly, I am tired of it.

On a different note, do you know why this country has become so fanatically engrossed in the fact that they love to watch the prepping shows and extreme couponing?  It is this: the poor are tired of being sucked dry and being pushed around by the rich. They remember the Great Depression and they know what it will take to hurt the rich. Not to assassinate or rob them. Let the stock market drop. Let the zombie apocalypse happen. Let there be some fantastic computer glitch that takes out the internet. Who is going to survive? Those of us who know what it is like to live without. Those of us who can survive on skill alone and not believe it to be the end of the world simply because your investments took a wrong turn. Snatch those comfy pillow out from under the stuffy rich who sit upon them and what do you have? Sniveling, snarling, rich bastards who believe they have just lost their entire world. Oh, sure, there will be a few who will move on and think that they can do it all over again. However, when the world goes to shit, their money is going to be nothing more than fuel for the fire. With their clean, unscarred hands and the inability to know how to do a hard day’s work, they will not last long. I can assure you of that.

OK. I feel better now. I put a foot on my soapbox and chewed the gum for a few minutes. Thanks for listening peeps. Oh, yea….

What do YOU think?

Daily Prompt: Passionate

via Daily Prompt: Passionate

I used to check my WordPress as part of my daily routine. I would write to it once a week, if not more. However, whenever there is a change in my routine, things tend to get left on the side of the road. Unfortunately, my WordPress was one of them. A lot has happened since then yet, a lot has remained the same. On the change side, I have dropped nearly 60 pounds, I was provided the opportunity to write for nearly half of my working day every day, and my marriage has become all that it ever should be and more! These are all good changes and hindsight welcomes them. The things that remain the same are that I still go fishing and think a lot, I am still married to the world’s most wonderful man, and our Elder Dog is STILL kicking! She is Passionate about checking on her people. We love her for that.

There are things that I often do out of routine that I do take for granted. Writing to my blogs was one of them. However, there was another joy in my routine that I have failed to appreciate over the past months as I make every attempt to get my routine back under control. After I get up and do the usual, you know, get dressed, brush teeth/hair, make coffee, start up the computer, and let the dogs out. I do some yoga or pilates (this is a new thing) and then go about waking up the remainder of the house.

Often, the Elder dog is my shadow. Upon opening each bedroom door, the elder dog goes in and makes sure that all is well. I follow her in and as she sniffs out every nook and cranny for trespassers, I go about waking up the children and the Husband. In each room, she will snort her seal of approval and sit in the middle of the floor until I am finished and then follow me to the next room. Sunday is a day of rest for me and I generally do not do anything in the office other than study and write. I make Sunday’s my day of not work and it has become a welcome “me time” custom. This morning, I had made the error of checking on everyone before letting the dogs in. Upon noting this, I let them back into the house, the two Chihuahua’s (aka, the Chia Seeds) went to their respite places and Elder dog looked at me like “Welp, let’s do this!” I became aware what she was trying to tell me and I walked down the hallway to prevent a disruption in HER morning routine. Instead of waking everyone, I just opened the door and stood there while she did her thing.

As always, she did her thing. This time, however, I was able to observe her. She would walk the perimeter of the room sniffing about then make a second round and check out in between things that she may have thought needed more investigation. If a child fell asleep on the floor watching TV or something, she would check them out and make sure they were OK. Finally, she would sit obediently in the middle of the room waiting for me to tell her “come on!” Today, I let her lead the way. She would go to the next door and wait for me to open it only to do the whole procedure all over again. Thinking about her doing this, I have notice her try to do this before. She does it at seemingly random times of day on the weekends as well as once or twice in the middle of the night. Should she ever encounter a door that she cannot push open with her snout, she would sniff along the bottom of the door and then move on.

Elder dog is Passionate about her duty and has been doing this without fail for years. She came to us nearly 13 years ago and there has not been a day or place in which she did not do this. When my father was living, we would take her to spend Christmas with him and my mother. Dad asked me once why she checks out every room in the middle of the night once. I dismissed it at the time because I had no answer but I find comfort in that she would ensure that the place was safe even for her GrandPeople.

I went in many directions with this post but remember, your animals love you as much as you love them. Sometimes people take that for granted. Sit back and watch them sometimes. They are forever our guardians. Even in old age. I believe in angels and even then, they will remain Passionate with a constant eye over us.

What do YOU think?

Whatever happened to Miss Ingold?

Back in my lat teens and early 20’s I was a breakfast manager at a local fast food restaurant named Hardee’s. The hours were perfect: 3am-1pm. For me, it was an easy job and presented challenges as well. One such challenge was some of the people that worked the same shift I did. One was the hostess, she is a topic for another story. The other was this big ole German lady named Ingold.

Ingold was not by any means your normal person. To begin with, she had to warm up to you. It was not easy to gain her confidence in your abilities as either a manager or a co-worker. Also, she hated everyone. However, she was good at her job. Ingold only worked breakfast. When it was time to transition, she was out the door. She was a good worker but you had to get her on your side to work for you. You see, Ingold liked to be prompt and start things on time. While the manager was technically not supposed to start or arrive to open the doors until at least 3:45 am, if you showed up at any point after 3:00 am, you were certain to have a bad day. Showing up late made Ingold grouchy and boy…you never wanted that woman to be grouchy. (Grumpy doesn’t even come close to what this woman could be if she was…grouchy. Even Oscar the Grouch was mild compared to when this woman was on a roll. Ah, but I digress.) I liked to show up early just for her because I knew if she started her day off right, I would not have to worry about the kitchen because Miss Ingold handled things. Besides, at 4:01 am, the time the schedule says we are supposed to clock in, she would get in her car and go home. THAT, my friends, is a bad day. Without her, it was difficult at best.

Other workers knew that too. Because I worked hard to get Miss Ingold on my side, she eventually warmed up to me. I think there were a few mornings that I totally earned her respect. “Why? How?” You ask? Like this:

Ingold worked six days a week. The days I was blessed to have her on my shift, I knew I was going to have a good day. She kept that kitchen running and things were hardly ever late. I would giggle at her when there was a special request from a customer during the busy part of the morning because she would yell through the window at me “What the hell do they think this is Burger King? This is not have it your way!” Begrudgingly, she would make the special request anyway. If she was particularly chipper, she would offer to make your breakfast for you on your break and hook a sister up!

Anywhoo, back to the how and why. There were a few times I had overslept. Upon waking, the only thing I would think would be:

“Shit! Ingold is gonna be pissed!”

I would jump straight up, throw on my pants, button 4 of the 7 buttons on my shirt, grab my shoes, brush, toothbrush, toothpaste, and other “get ready” stuff and run to the car just so I could make it on time. One particular morning I got lots of laughter from her (which was rare) because I showed up at 3:05 am and had all my stuff randomly in my arms and was dropping and picking up things all the way from my car to the door. I was apologetic every step of the way. One sock on, one sock off, she actually told me not to worry that she was in a good mood because of me. This thoroughly confused me because in Ingold time, I was late. I think the that she seen that I was stressing out over her being grouchy more than I was at my appearance at Good God It’s Early in the morning. To be honest, I think that was the first time I did that. After that day, I think I had Miss Ingold on my side and we got along famously. Even when she was grouchy.

She was old then and this was in the mid 1990’s. I moved on and life went on but I thought of her often. I really liked that old Broad. I wonder what has become of her?

What do YOU think?


Good Morning Stranger

I get up and go about my usual morning routine. Only, I stop for an extra moment to ponder what I see in the mirror. Who is this looking back at me? I have not seen you for a long, long time. Good morning Stranger! Where have you been? Can it really be you? From way back when? Thinking back, I don’t know where you went. Did you hide? Was it time well spent?

Why do I say these things to the mirror? After all, it is just a reflection. A reflection of one’s self. However, that reflection can become someone else. Someone you hate, someone you don’t recognize and remain that way for many years. Sometimes, it is not even the fault of oneself that we end up this way. Sadly, in my case, I think it was. You see, the reflection I have been staring at (screaming at) for nearly 20 years was not me but someone much larger, lost, and different. I avoided her. I didn’t take pictures, I didn’t look in the mirror. When I did, I wanted to throat punch her and scream in her face until spit rained upon it. WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH ME!!!!????

But this morning was different. I have yet to wash my face and brush my hair but I can only smile at what I see staring back at me. I don’t want to scream at her. I don’t hate her. I know she has come a long way and has a long way to go but I can see her. My best version of me. She is beautiful. She is a mess. However, she is no longer a joke. She is wiser. Things like fat jokes are not funny anymore. She sees the world through a different filter. I like what I see. After all these years, I have found the person I was searching for and I can get back to loving myself. No more happiness in the bottom of an empty plate. That was the same kind of happiness a drug addict chases when they are trying to get high. I am beyond that now. No more turning to food and bad habits when things become stressful. Because I can love me and I am able to stare at the face looking back at me in the mirror, I am a stronger person. I can love me now.

It was strange, this morning, staring at my reflection. I liked what I see. Bed-hair and all. I have not felt that kind of comfort in a long time. Stranger, I don’t know where you went or where you have been, but please, please, don’t go back there anymore. I have a funny feeling you didn’t like it much. I know I didn’t like it when you were gone. I can smile at you and you will smile back. It will be a true smile. One that is not hidden behind a puffy face and slits for eyes. One that is not obscured by more than just a chin. It is you. Beautiful you! While you are not completely back, I can see that you are there and you have that determined look. You are here to stay!

I love you reflection. I know you feel better and I know you are working hard to show the world that you are still here. That you still exist. Thank you for caring enough to come back. Thank you for taking the journey to get here. Thank you for being…me.

Hello Stranger! I am glad you are here. Stick around and show pride without fear. Welcome Stranger, you’ve been gone so long. I can never apologize enough for steering you wrong. Hello Stranger! Where have you been? Can it really be you? From way back when? Thinking back, I don’t know where you went. Did you hide? Was it time well spent? I am glad you are back. Our journey will see, just how we both can stay on track. Stranger no more, I love me. My reflection, I love, is staring back at me.

What do YOU think?

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