Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday Morning Weekend Wrap Up

Another busy weekend has gone by, and just the words on a screen to mark the time.

Spent a bunch of time coming home from Michigan and writing. When I got home, I wept in Maria's arms. I missed her terribly, and really needed to have her hold me. I also really needed to see The Boys, and hug them and know that they were OK. The Oldest went to his first school dance, and The Youngest came to dinner with Maria and I. The Youngest admitted that he missed fencing class on Thursday because their father convinced him that he would have to work later that night if he dropped The Youngest at fencing & picked him up. My child was crying when he told me this, which means he was likely torn about the decision he made. He wants his dad to not have to work so hard, but he also wants to fence, enjoys it, and wants to honor that commitment. He's only 10, and placing that kind of burden on a kid isn't fair. We picked up The Oldest, and he didn't stop talking for a half hour about how much fun he had at the dance. He didn't even care that we went to dinner, that's how much fun it was. I'm glad he had a blast, and he said he'll never miss another dance. Good for him!

I slept in after waking up severely early a couple of times. Then I decided to steam clean my downstairs carpet, which reeks of dog pee. I know it does. It pisses me off. I can't stand it to the point of wanting to rip it out entirely, which I may do if my cleaning doesn't kill the smell. I used my mom's steam cleaner, the shampoo it calls for, and added cleaning strength vinegar and a few drops of lavender oil. It took my four hours. FOUR. HOURS. It is one room. The room is maybe 15 by 15 feet... FOUR HOURS. After that, I scarfed down a sandwich and took a nice hot shower. I got dressed, did some writing and some laundry and went to a friend's birthday party at a local pizza place. That was pretty fun. I got to visit with people and just chill. Maria and I spent the night at her house because...

Maria's BIRTHDAY!!! We started around midnight - celebrating in private ;-) The thing that made me feel bad was we woke up her roommate because we were especially loud in bed... I apologized later in the morning though. we had coffee and a bite to eat, showered and dressed and headed to the Pinball Museum. This was beyond cool, and fun and they have machines from the 1930's to today. It was interesting to see the evolution, and be able to play them all too! We had lunch nearby and played more pinball. Made a side trip to see the USS Hornet, grabbed some coffee and walked downtown where I grew up. Had a late dinner and came home. My carpet cleaning continued with carpet deodorizer - we'll see how effective that will be in the morning though.

All in all a fun weekend, and now I need to sleep before work beckons in the morning. I hope you all have a fabulous week!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Funeral For A Friend

This was a difficult week. I travelled back to Michigan to attend Diane's funeral. I was able to stay at Diane's parents' home and they made me feel (as they always have), that I am not a house guest, but a close family member. I was surprised repeatedly at how generous and open and wonderful the entire HUGE family is. This is what I feel family should be, if most of us weren't so caught up in past wrongs or current gossip. It is what I will strive to attain. Over the 30 years I've known them, I had never had the opportunity to live among them (sounds a bit Jane Goodall, but couldn't help it ;-)). It is only now that I understand what compelled Diane, her sister and their parents to move back to Michigan after living in California. It isn't the snow, or the weather, or the crappy roads... It's the people. And in this series of villages and townships, it is her entire family. Oh sure, there are Aunts & Uncles in Kansas and Florida (all of whom drove upward of 24 hours to attend), but my running gag for the week was that you couldn't throw a stone in any one of these places without hitting a relative. Every time we passed a place and someone remarked that, "Well ya know, that farm belongs to aunt..." or, "The person doing the sound is related by...", my only response was "Of course it is."

The one weird thing was that Aunt Helen, Liz (Diane's mom) and Terry (Diane's brother-in-law) all said repeatedly that I sound like Diane, or I remind them of Diane. I guess it was our similarities in sense of humor that kept us friends for so long, and it was bound to happen that our speech patterning and expressions would be similar.

I cried when I hugged Sue at the visitation. I cried when I hugged Diane's estranged husband as well, but not for the same reasons. I had such a tremendous anger built up toward him that I could no longer contain it. It was the last I will ever see or talk to him. That he could not, or would not see the value of Diane as a person, a mom, a wife, a sister, daughter, niece cousin and friend infuriates me. Her value to him was only as much as she could make him look good, and he truly had no idea who she really was. He will move on with his life, grieving in his own way. We all continue to live, but I have the joy of being able to share my grief with those who did really know Diane, and for that I am grateful.

I cried at the funeral service when Uncle Dan sang "On Eagle's Wings". It is one of my favorite church songs and fitting. I cried when Aunt Helen gave such a beautiful and touching eulogy. I also laughed during it, as she really did capture Diane's humor. I cried when Diane's youngest played "Amazing Grace" on his trumpet. I cried at the grave when he played "Taps". I avoided Cousin Julie because I just knew, and when I did finally talk to her and we hugged, I cried even more. I cried when the minister choked up and when I saw her dad cry. I cried when we touched down at SFO when I realized I will never hear Diane's voice again. I cried like a mess when I got home and was able to put my arms around Maria, and when I saw my kids again.

And now for the gratitude to all who lent a hand, an ear, a shoulder:
Maria - for being here for me, holding me when I cry, telling me it will get better, and whispering all the soothing things I need to hear. For loving me and giving me safe strength which allows me to do what I need to do. Also for missing me terribly and thinking I look beautiful even when I'm bawling my eyes out.
Brian - my ex brother-in-law and Diane's first boyfriend. He gave me companion passes for the airline so that I could afford to actually go.
Sandy - my sister. She picked up our folks at the port when they arrived from their cruise to Mexico (a job I was supposed to do, but couldn't).
Ron - my ex husband. He took The Boys an extra day, got them to where they needed to go and attended a band parent meeting in my place. He also gave me time with The Boys when I returned because I'd asked.
Nicole - my BFF. She took care of the cat, feeding and socializing with her so that the wrath I felt upon returning was minimal. She also agreed to be the backup in case The Oldest needed to be picked up from school.
Chaela - dear friend. She agreed to be the backup in case The Youngest needed to be picked up from school and hugged and cried with me.
Bill and Liz - Diane's parents - They welcomed me in as one of their own, insisted I walk in with and sit with the family, and even in their grief found time to catch up, chat, laugh and cry with me.
Aunt Pat - She loaned me her car, which allowed me to not have to rely upon another grieving family member to come get me.
Aunt Helen - she included me in the eulogy. (Yes, that also made me cry.)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday Morning Weekend Wrap Up

If you've seen the post from Saturday Morning, you can guess how the rest of my weekend went.

Physical with my Dr. in the morning, and tie dye the rest of the day. Came home and pretty much collapsed.

Saturday Night
Went to Dinner and talked to Diane's mom, which made me feel much better.

Spent the day doing actual work, and coordinating a trip to Michigan for Diane's services this week. Also did laundry and started to pack. I may be offline most of the week, so no guarantees of posting, though I may journal some stuff depending on how the week plays out.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Good-bye Dear Friend

This has been a particularly difficult week. My dear friend Diane has been battling cancer for over three years. Today she died. I was able to speak to her on Thursday, and after we said goodbye I cried for over two hours. I knew it was the very last time I would ever hear her voice. She knew it too. She was done fighting, her body was tired. It was her decision to not pursue further treatment, and Hospice was in this week to help care for her at the end of her life. Her family was around her, and her Mom and Sister were there this morning. I woke up around 5 because she came to me in my sleep - to say goodbye. When I woke up, I knew. This has happened before - my grandmother and great grandmother both said goodbye. It happens to my mom too. I waited for the phone call, and it was Diane's mom who made it. I saw the area code and she was her usual straightforward self, telling me how it went. I couldn't say more than to thank her for letting me know because I was too close to tears. She was too. I then let a few people know who had been asking about Diane lately. I imagine I will travel back there for the service.
I am actually happy for Diane, and sad for the rest of us. I will miss her laugh, and her wit, and her smile. She loved her family and friends, and didn't beat around the bush to let you know exactly how she felt. She was trying to live a happy and healthy life, which is all I'd ever wished for her.
I've known Diane for 30 years. We met around when the above photo was taken, in High School. We remained friends all this time, talking on the phone often about our lives, our loves, our kids, and our struggles. I was very fortunate to be able to go back to Michigan and visit her last year (where the two below photos were taken).

I've written about Diane multiple times on this blog. You can find it all in my first Wicked Wednesday Post, and Thoughtful Thursday posts here, here, here, here, here, here, here, herehere, and here. Diane has also popped up in lots of other places here, which is what happens when you are a part of a person's life in a significant way. My hope is for her sons to know exactly how much she loved and adored them, and for her parents and sister to find comfort in each other and in the memories of her happiness. For the rest of us? Hug and love those around you now, for you may not have a tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tableau Tuesday 9/17/2013

Hi everyone! It's been a tiring bit of time lately with all the back to school activities and schedule changes and having a girlfriend ;-). But I carved out some time this past weekend for a photoshoot. These are all directly out of my camera - no edits at all. Waiting to see if I even want to edit these.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.
I hope you all enjoy the rest of your week!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday Morning Weekend Wrap Up

Happy Monday all! This was a good weekend for me update here:

A friend from High School was in town for the America's Cup races, and wanted to get together. Corky came with us, and I drove another 2 from HS. We met at Scoma's and had dinner, which was fun and funny and yummy. I laughed, and Corky said she had fun, though I am sure she was kind of bored hearing about our HS experience. We did manage to not talk too much about it though. We came home after dinner. Corky had to work the next morning, early, and my other two friends wanted to come back then too.

Slept in and took a drive to scout a photo locale for Sunday. Stopped by Corky's work and joined her for lunch. Drove around downtown for a bit, and then came home and trimmed 3 rose bushes and pulled some weeds in my backyard. Showered and relaxed until Corky came over. We fooled around a bit and tried out a new section of my house ;-). It was fun, but required a bit of coordination.We had a late dinner at a Chinese place that has been on town forever, but I'd never been to. The string beans were close to what I loved, but a bit on the spicy side, and not enough garlic. Was goofing around after that with just my jacket, no shirt. It was driving Corky crazy, and she was blushing like crazy.

No time to sleep in, had a photo shoot at 9:00. Went well and visited Corky at work on the way back again. I love seeing her, and don't go to her work often enough. Stopped by to see how S was doing, and he looked good, but is still having issues. The Boys were due home at noon, but didn't arrive until 2:00. I just love sitting around when I could be doing other things...My nephew N had his birthday dinner at my folks' and this was the time he brought his girlfriend. I like this girl. She's sarcastic and funny, and completely like me :-). It went fairly well. Mom seemed unusually stressed out, and The Boys pushed all of her buttons. I am looking forward to the week ahead - I am just out of sorts.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thoughtful Thursday

Love and hug those around you while you can.

Today I am asking for good vibes and prayers and any other positive thoughts for my dear friend D. She had an MRI last week, and I haven't heard from her since. I am concerned for her health (physical & mental).

Update from last week: S is back home and getting stronger, and D from work is getting better too.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wicked Wednesday

I know what today is, and I know there will be MANY posts remembering what happened 12 years ago in the US. I remember where I was, how I felt and the actions I took to try to maintain a peaceful setting for the people around me. However, today is also Wednesday and I am choosing to focus on the fun in my life at the moment.
Wicked Wednesdays all began with this post.

This week's wickedness is not courtesy of drunken debauchery, but a close call bordering on cautionary tale. So I am on my period at the moment. No clue how long it will last. The last one went for 15 days and ended only 16 days before this one started. I have an appointment with my OB/Gyn this Friday to discuss how much this is cramping my style and what to do about it. I cannot enjoy my own climaxes with Corky at the moment, but there is no reason she should be on lock down. I think practice makes perfect and LOVE bringing her pleasure. After The Boys went to bed, we were in the kitchen and I really wanted her to climax. We were getting there, and I moved us to the garage futon. We managed to get to her climax pretty quickly which was a good thing. As she was coming down and still writhing in pleasure (possibly pulling an already strained butt muscle), the dogs caused a commotion rushing to the door separating the garage from the kitchen. I jumped up and over the back of the futon, leaving Corky in her partially dressed state, rushed to the door and almost knocked out The Youngest opening it. It surprised him & he asked what we were doing out there. I said looking for something and cleaning up (not entirely a lie ;-)). He was quickly followed by The Oldest - at about the time Corky emerged, blushing... I washed up a bit and asked them what exactly they were doing back downstairs, and I honestly don't have a clue what they said, or what our discussion was. I did manage to get them to go back to bed, and Corky and I just had a laugh and I told her that life with kids means carving out time whenever you can. She was relieved that The Boys didn't walk in on us (me too)!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday Morning Weekend Wrap-up

Corky and I have been having still more fun. She spent a couple of nights at my house last week. Neither of us slept that much the first night because of late night in bed activities, and having to sleep on the uncomfortable futon. Also, the sides of the futon we slept on didn't really work for us. The second night, we switched sides, and were exhausted, and slept really much better. The in bed activities were planned, but not executed because I was so punchy when we went to bed and broke out in a complete giggle fit that lasted about 30 minutes, with her joining in. We just laughed so hard - me almost to the point of peeing... The risk associated with being of a certain age and having given birth to two HUGE babies. Not to be undone, we continued activities in the morning. :-D. She has changed my mind on so many things (none of which I am at liberty to discuss in a public forum...). Suffice it to say, I now enjoy my sex life more than ever.

Worked while Corky hung out for a bit at the house. Spent the afternoon working in the classroom and preparing for the annual Tie Dye extravaganza at school. Picked up The Boys from school and let them just relax while I napped for about an hour. Corky joined us after dinner and we all hung out. The boys argued with me about bed time because it was Friday, but I wanted to go to bed early too. I did, after giving them an extra 90 minutes and a warning about being ill behaved in the morning.

I slept until 10, which ended up being about 12 hours of sleep that I must have desperately needed. The Boys fought to the point of losing screen time for the day. The Oldest finished his homework, we talked about the incomplete work he turned in during the week and how that impacts his grades. We ate lunch and went to the pool. We all swam and goofed around until the water in my ears got to be too much and I couldn't hear and had a really bad attack of vertigo, with a headache. I got out to lay down and Corky stopped by after work. It's been about 100 degrees for a couple of days and it was nice to cool down a bit. Came home and I balanced my finances, which always bums me out. After a summer that included three trips for me, I have to stop doing anything for myself for a while, lest I go broke... We had dinner and played cards: fibber, 21 & no limit Texas holdem'. I gave The Boys no bed time with the agreement that one whine, complaint, attitude or fight tomorrow will result in them losing 30 minutes from their bedtime permanently. We'll see how that goes. If they can maintain a civil discourse for the day, I give them 30 minutes added to their bed time permanently. They chose to go to bed at 9, at which point I fell asleep on the couch with the dogs. I woke up at 11:20 and hauled myself to bed. By then it had cooled off to a reasonable 75.

Woke up a little earlier, to a call from animal control for a noise complaint from Labor Day. I'd been home most of the day, and locked the dogs inside when I went to dinner, but 2 people assertion that the dogs were on the patio barking. Not sure how that could be though. I think my neighbor (the bully) is trying to get me to move, and has his friends call in when he knows I'm not home. Ass hat. I may have to go back to having The Oldest practice his instruments on the patio. Crap start to my day, though the officer is pretty cool. Going to research bark collars now. Because the heat continued, I let The Boys pick our activity today within financial reason. They settled on The Jungle, though I was pushing for an outdoor free activity that would include the dogs. While there, I realized how grateful I am that they are no longer toddlers, and that whistles make a seriously annoying party favor for a 4 year old's birthday party. This was evidenced by my twitching for the first 30 minutes while that party wound down with the whistles, building to full blown tantrums before leaving. The boys sweat it out climbing all over and played a bunch of video games. We had water, but I couldn't do a full blown eating spree. Came home, made pizza and guacamole and Corky came by. I'd missed her all day and was so glad to see her. She sat in on our poker game, and we had another giggle fit started by her pouring ice water down my top, and my smacking her butt, which caused her such surprise that she may have pulled a muscle, which caused us to laugh even harder, and when I tried to stop, I swallowed, but she said I looked like a chicken - cue another giggle fit. I played the below video - cue another giggle fit.

The Youngest jumped out from around a corner, making all three of us scream - cue another giggle fit. We were laughing to the point of my snorting and both of us sounding like Muttley (of Snidely & Muttley). I pointed that out - cue another giggle fit.

I said I'd have to call her Old MacDonald because of all the farm animal noises I was making - cue another giggle fit. Really glad I didn't pee myself, because we were seriously doubled over for a good 40 minutes, just laughing.

I hope you all have just as fun a week as mine has begun - to a great adventure!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Thoughtful Thursday

Love and hug those around you while you can.

Today I am asking for good vibes, prayers, positive energy, light and love for two of my dearest friends and a co-worker.

My co-worker, D has a slipped disc in her back - bad enough to pop a rib out causing her to be out of breath and unable to use her arms. I am hoping she will have seen a medical person about this prior to you even reading this blog.

My first boyfriend, S has been very sick for two weeks, ending up in hospital over the weekend with nearly failed kidneys. He was doing better on Tuesday, and may in fact be home by now. He is waiting on cultures from his intestines, and further treatment, but at least he is hydrated and keeping food in his system. He either lost 30 pounds during these weeks, or hospital gowns and non-slip socks have become more slimming than I remember. I hope this will be the kick in the ass he needs to take better care of himself.

My most dear friend D had a brain MRI yesterday and is awaiting results. My hope is that the full brain radiation she had did it's job and her scan is clear. Or at least, there is no further growth of her brain mets. If so, it means she can go on another drug trial, that will hopefully be the one that saves her from this cancer.

I hope you are all well, and grateful for the state of good health you enjoy.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tableau Tuesday Weekend Wrap Up

A four day weekend? Sweet. With pics? AWESOME!

Took a vacation day to go with Corky to San Francisco to see Priscilla Queen of the Dessert, and it was fabulous! Dinner at Market Street Grill was OK, the musical was so fantastic. The costumes and makeup and music - just spectacular! Drinks after at the Pied Piper. the only weird thing was that we were with (among others) two of Corky's exes. They were playing games to provoke us. I couldn't care less though. Corky and I spent the night at the Palace Hotel - historic landmark, and the most comfortable bed I have EVER slept in. EVER. Of course, being physically exhausted following the late night, in room activities could have something to do with it...

Slept in a bit before heading to the Garden Court for breakfast. There is just something about being under that stained glass atrium. It makes you feel important and valued. Spent the rest of the day working our way around the city taking pictures, walking around, touring the Walt Disney Family Museum and the Presidio, and then in traffic on the way home. I failed to mention earlier that this weekend is when the Bay Bridge is switching to the new span. The span has been in the works since the last big earthquake in 1989, when a portion of the bridge collapsed, causing fatalities. The drive home across the bay bridge usually takes 45 minutes. Across the Golden Gate in stop & go, then the Richmond bridge - over 2 hours. Got to my parents to pick up my dogs & FINALLY told them about Corky. I was so nervous. Regardless of the fact that I am a 46 year old ADULT, I was freaked. Corky waited in the car and My mom came out to help me load something and met her. I gathered the dogs and was on my way out, but had to tell them. Bolstered by Corky's presence, this is how it went down:
Me: Before I leave I have to tell you (pause for a deep breath) I am dating someone and SHE is waiting in the car.
Mom: I figured
Dad: You aren't going to bring her in to meet us?
Me: Well I didn't think it was fair, considering I hadn't told you.
Mom: So, have you always been attracted to women and men?
Me: Yes, I have. Always.
Mom: So you are Bi then?
Me: Yep
Dad: Is everything OK?
Me: Yeah, Dad. Yeah it's really good. (smiling)
Dad: (Gets up and heads out to meet Corky) What are your intentions with my daughter, broad? (smiling)
Me: Dad, please don't.(rolling my eyes and smiling)
My dad met Corky, we loaded up the dogs, drove about a block and a half before I pulled over to cry and call Sis to warn her of the inevitable phone call from Mom. I am so honestly relieved, and proud of how far my folks have come since my childhood. Sis is thrilled that I finally did it, and so is Corky. So am I. Really REALLY happy.

I slept not at all. The cat woke me up at 3:00 and again at 4:30, and 6:00. She was pissed that I'd been gone overnight and spared nothing to tell me this. She batted me in the face, bit my hand and sat on my dresser while knocking things to the floor. Spent the mid morning and early afternoon shopping with Mom at the outlet center. We walked a little over a half a mile. She bought stuff for their upcoming cruise, and I found a blue leather moto jacket that looks AWESOME! I love it! Grocery shopped, did laundry and Corky came over for dinner. We hung out and just spent time together. I was still tired from the lack of sleep the night before, and my nose bleeds from elevated blood pressure. I cooked dinner and she took care of me while my nose bled. Found out that S, who has been sick for over a week is in the hospital and they are thinking his kidneys are having issues. JFC. I offered to harvest some from our enemies. He didn't respond.

Slept in like the dead after a couple of wake ups - one from the cat, and one from god knows what - sounded like a giant pogo stick echoing off of the buildings in my complex. Was likely the people across the street having new windows installed. At 7:20 in the morning... At 10:00 I woke up slightly disoriented, but feeling well rested. Bathed the dogs, and cleaned the house, and finished laundry. Also talked to D and told her about my coming out, and she is also relieved. She has a brain MRI scheduled for Wednesday, so I am keeping good thoughts of a clear scan. Corky is having roommate issues, and I feel bad because there is really nothing I can do for her about it. Ran errands and had dinner out with Corky. After Dinner there was an amazing double rainbow - really stunning! The Boys came home at 8:25 (5 minutes before their bed time...). Means that this morning will be oh so much fun getting them up for school.

And now a series of photos from this weekend's adventure:

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

May you all have a fun filled and peaceful week!