cats… or lack thereof…

I have no cat, not even a beautiful, growing boy of a bengal, spotted to perfection and utterly perfect for this girl and her tiny house in the Big Woods. Alas, I am grieving for said cat’s presence, although he was never here, but so desired already. Plans of his perch and bed and treats and Paul-made cat tree melt before my eyes, in the fashion of rain sliding down panes of blurry window glass in a storm.

I am not being overdramatic here, not if you know me. I have a penchant for feeling slightly melancholic and nostalgic and reminiscent, even for things that I have not yet experienced, if they are things I have held onto long enough, if you get my drift. I am ok, content even this evening, except for the nagging knee pain from my appointment today, and the dull throbbing headache I get after being injected by my talkative Ortho guy. I guess that the dreary day coupled with the lack of fuzzy cat to drown myself in has me a bit out of sorts, but what is really going on here is that I do not want to adult. Not today, or tomorrow, just not right now, please. I would prefer to just chase the ice cream man down the block in my skates, Sony Walkman banging against my neon-clad hip, shouting “WAIT FOR ME” at the top of my lungs, words fighting around Fruit Stripe gum to escape my Nestle Crunch Limited Edition Lip Gloss-covered lips. I do not feel like making those hard decisions, such as pay rent to take 4 night Bermuda cruise. Insurance or new phone? Groceries or brilliant new Doc’s? I know, I know… first world problems. And I AM being responsible… I just had to whine for a moment…

So I am doing what any self-respecting 40something cliche of a divorcee would do at a time like this, namely watching a Janis Joplin biopic while surfing Pinterest for childhood memories to sigh over and drinking a Heineken. I know, I know… probably not helping.

Of course, this is also a break for me, no school books strewn all over me and the floor, and no test to prep for. One class, few responsibilities for the next 8 weeks. All in all, more a time for contemplation and renewal than sadness, but I still can’t help feeling a bit perplexed like Holly-go-Lightly searching the tub and fridge for phone… sans Cat, of course. =)

Were this a Tuesday thru Friday night, I would be curled into the shoulder and arm of Paul, who would be smelling faintly of dirt, grease, and Axe body cleanser, with pale undertones of smoke and the gummy candy he “sneaks” during the work day. As if I didn’t know, with his watermelon and strawberry breath. =) This ridiculous yet perfectly intoxicating blend of his day has the ability to melt away every bit of angst in me and before I know it, I am a snuggly kitten again, smiling and purring away. Where hiking used to be my connection to peace, he has become my comfort object. As sweet as this is, tinkling bells in my head remind me that I need to find some other way to sooth the frayed edges, something I have access to regardless of day of week or knee pain. Swedish fish, you may suggest? Ah… but you forget I am off sugar. Sobs quietly.

So I push the button and Netflix disappears from the screen, leaving a smoky black reflection of myself. I close the Pinterest tab, down the last of the cold beer, and say goodnight, peeps. Off to find some quietly happy-making music on the iPad, I leave you with one last thought…

Summer time, time, time, child… and the livin’ is easy… nothin’s gonna harm you so hush, baby, baby, baby… yup. What Janis said… =)

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the sum of my days…

Currently READING… Among the Islands, Eloquent Essays, Rereading Women, a memoir of Susan Sontag, you all’s blogs.

LISTENING TO… To Kill a Mockingbird (awesome, btw), French Cooking Music, George Michael, Michale Buble, Chris Botti, Coldplay, Vivaldi, and any manner c=of country music that catches my ear while in the car/shower/gym.

WATCHING… last season, disc 3-4 of Dexter, yeah I know, yuck, but srsly great show, Love and Mercy, Scandal.

EATING… popcorn, salad, burger sans bun, yogurt, haricot vert.

DRINKING… coffee, water, more coffee… did I mention coffee… and a solitary margarita. Actually, it was Tequila in a Margarita dress. Don’t go to a Mexican Steakhouse and order their “special” margarita unless you are ready to find walking impossible for the next 24 hours. Give or take a day.

BUSINESS TAKEN CARE OF… dmv for renewal, managed to remember enough paperwork and dan samples to get the highly sought after “Real ID” type. Now I am official. Good thing I paid all that money for my passport, which does the same thing… finished up my contract, out to lunch with former co-workers, obtained 2 business references, ordered a second copy of the Member 4 copy of DD-214, as other three copies are apparently useless for CT.

PLANS BEING MADE… a nice lunch out on Friday for Paul’s birthday (yay), grocery shopping at Aldi instead of other pricey place, hosting end of year sleepover for kiddo and pal, researching pc laptop for school within my budget, next week mornings on patio in sun with books, relaxing and working on my tan.

And that is about all for today, peeps. None too exciting, but there you have it. Love to you all, have a lovely! =)

 

 

unable to even…

Ah… this love thing. Other than 30second dance party, assorted recipes, and narcissistic rants about child/ex/professors, love is the one thing you can count on in these here parts, in copious amounts, in fact… ad nauseam to some, of this I am certain.

As I sit here in a storm cloud-darkened living room,  I am bemused that the calendar says “June” yet I am bundled in a furry coverlet and drinking hot coffee. The high-80’s temps of the last few days are but a memory, and the soothing patter of rain calming my frayed nerves.

I threw on “The Way We Were” for background noise, as well as a healthy dose of nostalgia. Happily ensconced as I am in this thing with Paul, Katie and Hubbell’s story brings my mind back around to another time, piles of BDU’s in the corner of the bedroom, haphazardly discarded in the same fashion that Paul employs as he strips and flings filthy jeans and safety-green shirts while growling my name…

I love Paul, I love how he loves me, and I love how I feel enveloped in the possibility of many moon’s passings as we while away thousands of days in the sun… but there is a small part of me that is jaded/distrustful/pragmatic (?) enough to know that nothing under this sun is permanent, and that I can (and would) live a happy life even without him next to me. I suppose this is part of my charm, the ability to be happy and flourish alone as much as with a love by my side. So while I am drafting future plans that include full-time cohabitation, sharing bills and responsibilities, and buying a home or boat with this beautifully understated man, I also have a second set, secretly stashed away in that dusty corner of my brain where old library books and childhood memories reside. This set is mine, completely and without apology, and something of which I am rather proud. They include moving to New Mexico or South Dakota, and teaching on a Native American Reservation. Then a year or two in New Zealand, teaching in a Tribal School as I putter happily through my PhD requirements and collect anthropological information for my book. Then back to the US, perhaps to FL or San Diego, or maybe even my beloved El Paso, where I will graciously accept an adjunct position at a small college and grow hot peppers and roses and have a large rocking chair on my small back porch. Very, very simple, a small but full life in the sun.

Most days, I see a future sleeping curled in his arms, his snoring making me laugh aloud every night still. But there are the days when our natures seem to defy melding, and I wonder which of us will be the one to decide that our differences are just a bit too much, that the scales are tipped no longer in our favor. Then I wonder why I am borrowing trouble, when there is none here? And of course, that leads to me wondering if everyone thinks these things, or if it is just my personal brand of insanity? And of course, I think of cognition ideology, and that reality is not even real, and that every little thing is our own perspective and version of “it” and not really “it” anyway… and I dive into work and popcorn and parenting and cleaning the house and car and plucking my eyebrows…

Ah… there I go again, elevating wool-gathering to an art form. Rain makes me contemplative… and think of working on an old Olivetti Studio 42, sipping bourbon while a cat named Hemingway curls around my ankles. I was born in the wrong time and under the wrong circumstances, I fear.

So, what have I been up to this month, you ask? Paul and I shopped the garden center where he got us the most beautiful plants for the patio and front stoop! We are now in joint possession of a good sized Thai chili pepper bush, a huge cascading cherry tomato plant, petunias, Bee Balm, Chocolate Mint, Pineapple Sage, and several unidentified “Full Sun” plants, grey in color. There are two Hummingbird feeders and the ruby-throated darlings make daily appearances, amidst the afternoon sun, various scents intoxicating them and me equally. I have only two work days left on my contract, and other than online classes, will be relatively free to enjoy the blossoming bounty for the next 6 weeks, give or take the odd day at the DMV or farmers market.

I have been busy also making vocabulary lists for the upcoming semester of Italian, and reading about Reagan and the history of the US Congress. Trying to think of simple, tasty, and inexpensive summer meals easy and light enough to please me yet substantial enough for a man who has been working in the sun all day. Trying to chose my PC-type laptop for the next semester and my next model phone, as this one actually answer itself on whim. You know, the usual grown-up stuff. =) My foxling is spending a month with her grandfather in CA beginning mid-June and while I am beyond excited, am anticipating a bit of time feeling slightly lonely without the presence of sweet child of mine. These moments will no doubt be tempered with plenty of I’M FREE!!! bouts of clarity as well, so I am sure I’ll survive. =)

What does the summer have in store for you all? I hope plenty of sun, fun times, and pretty flowers to capture your eye. =) Have a lovely, my peeps!

in search of subject matter…

Managed to sleep last night, take THAT 6 million degree day followed by torrential rain, drunk and rowdy neighbors, and bouts of allergen-fueled sneeze-fests!

Had an absolute gorgeously quiet, memory lane strolling kind of day. Talked to an old Army buddy, made some soup, reminisced for hours, and worked on summer art history course. Peaceful and drizzly, calm and collected, self-soothing kind of day… the best kind of day when a wickedly busy week is looming ahead.

Yours truly will never be a rocket scientist apparently, for besides my dismal grasp of Calculus, I also seem to have lost my critical thinking skills and powers of deduction. Example, Art History course, thinking “Ooh, I love the Impressionists!” Erm, yeah… not. As I read, outlined, and flash carded my way through the introduction and Chapters 1-2, I realized that the key word in the class title is “History,” and that there are WAY more cave paintings, ruins, and frescos than anyone could ever imagine, all hoping to be cataloged and memorized for a spot on my CUMULATIVE final, and hopefully even a permanent place in my brain. I hate to disappoint, but there is too much literary analysis, psychology, music, and sex in my head for any of this to permanently stick. So much for the easy “A” that I anticipated… sigh.

On a lighter note, I didn’t let it bother me, and think that while this experience will reveal itself to be a giant waste of my time and resources (that I should be spending on Mojitos, 30second dance party, and sex ’cause come on, it’s almost summer, dammit), I will at least slightly enjoy the class. A familiar “face” popped up in the online forum we utilize, and this person and I had several classes worth of friendly banter and respectful debate in the past. WOOT! I think that from a sociological perspective, I should have a good time, as studying context will illuminate the relationship to subject matter that the artists were trying to explore with their available resources and technology.

Speaking of subject matter, Paul is still around, hanging on in what seems to be happiness and desire rather than out of duty… YAY! =) We are over a year now, and things are going strong. He has a critter at his house at present, of the small, furry, and uninvited type, so I have been avoiding his house like the Pope would a brothel. This means more driving for him, and him purchasing all manner of scary-to-contemplate things with which to rid his house of the terrifying beast and ensuring he can wake once again in the morning in his own bed, curled against a certain satin clad scholar of a certain age. I have to admit, while I am a homebody only truly comfortable in my own sleep space, I do miss being in his place, so foreign and male…

I am totally babbling, and the point of this post has completely escaped me… I guess this means bedtime. Goodnight, peeps. Will get back in a few days with something of substance to share, with any luck. Until then, listen to some happy-making tunes, dance in your undies, and have a lovely!

in between days…

I just love, love, LOVE in between days ! =) =) If you’re lucky, you get two or three a year… you know, the days smack dab in the middle of a season where the weather turns so dramatically you think you’ve pulled a Rip Van and missed a couple of months, in either direction. Spring into Summer is not so dramatic, after all, the days are warming little by little… but when you have a mid-80’s summer day followed by cold rain, dreary and enveloping like late Autumn… that is my FAV ! =) =)

I awoke this morning to a dark house, chilly and smelling of rain and the drenched woods I inhabit. Walking out on the patio wrapped in a beach towel, I was wet and shivering in moments, but too happy to move, allowing the rain to water down my coffee and mash my bangs to my forehead. Ah, bliss… for as much as I love the sun, especially when in the middle of the ocean, if I am landlocked, my heart belongs to the Pacific Northwest. Anything that gets me remembering all those languid years, those Redwoods, the trips down the PCH on a Ducati, weaving in and out of beach traffic… sigh… happy-making, to infinity and BEYOND !

So I did what any normal woman would do with a couple of free hours on her hands in the morning… I baked a cake. Yup, me, Tish, baked an ACTUAL cake… with eggs and everything ! Ok, so it was a mix, but I added and tweaked until it resembled something less mundane… with chocolate buttercream icing to boot ! Only took 4 hours, two tries and a pound of butter… here’s snaps of the finished product, I was going for a marbled look but ended up with yellow cake with mud on top. But STILL… it’s the thought that counts, right ? And knowing how handy I am with a cake pan and oven (snicker), I am certain Paul will be duly impressed… =) Anything to put a smile on that man’s face is worth the effort… and chocolate covered kitchen, lol ! I know it’s not so pretty or professional, but I think he’ll love it, right ?! Breakfast was a quarter cup of icing washed down with a cup of coffee… and WOW did I have an energy burst… sugar is TOTALLY my new bestie…

image1  image3

Speaking of loving things, and photos, this is as good a time as any to show you a photo of the bouquet he picked for me that day when he came home late… every time I see this, I grin like Chessie and my heart melts a little more…

image1 image2

He was so sweet, saying “they needed some greenery, do you think it’s too much ?” CUTENESS OVERLOAD ! To which I replied “No baby, it is exactly, just perfectly right”… dissolved into tears yet again, and as he kissed my breath away, he told me I am the crying-est woman he’s ever loved… sigh… just… ohhh…

This coming weekend he is off to race the ’61 Corvette at the speedway, so I will be utterly alone. I am looking forward to the quiet, actually, and the ability to sleep and get stuff organized for school. Plus, this will be good practice for hunting season… I was already told absolutely NO texting, as he will either be stalking deer or up to his elbows in blood cutting steaks in the really big woods a few hours from here…

I am off to consume some calories from veggies and protein, and perhaps indulge in another cup of smooth coffee… whatever your day brings, friends, I hope it can be in some small way a magical one… have a lovely !

 

one little word…

CATHARSIS = the purging of emotions, an emotional release, eliminating tension to attain spiritual renewal, liberation…

This morning has been cathartic for yours truly. Dreading the alarm at 0430, which is my normal Monday morning wake up, I did laundry last night and picked up the few groceries that could not wait. Then I allowed myself time to putter about the house mindlessly, sleepy and confused, utterly alone, but in a solid and good way. I slept when my body demanded it and did not set the alarm, not something that happens in this den…

I slept fitfully, awakening as the morning light brightened the bedroom, wondering what I was late for, then remembering “Tish, it’s all good, go back to sleep, no one depends on you today”, and I put my head back down for another few hours.

I am almost ashamed to admit I did not crawl out of my cocoon until nearly 0900. This is extremely late for a girl who thinks sleeping in means a 0700 alarm, lol. =) Got up, brushed teeth, fiddled at the computer. Sat on the patio in the cool air with a cup of coffee, the good stuff, because life is too short to drink bad coffee… yes you read that right, the cool morning air. Although only August, the days are already an hour shorter and the nights have been in the low 60’s here, prompting the crisp smell in the air that calms my soul almost as well as days on the open water can do…

My neighbor is cooking that mystery dish that smells faintly of wet wood, vinegar and cinnamon, reminding me of last fall… my first time living relatively alone since 1995 ! Completely alone this morning, the world feels new, and the sunlight is watery… Paul just pinged, he is working on the car today, getting it ready for the races this coming weekend. Although I have much to do, I am enjoying the renewal that comes from being still… I should be baking a chocolate layer cake… but there is simply no way I am undertaking such a huge and disastrous task on this fine day… besides, I have no flour or cake pans… must needs pick up a treat at the grocers instead, lazy cat that I am. =)

Although I have not shared this, things have been rather insane with my foxling as of late, and I was beginning to feel wounded on a base level, like a cornered animal desperate for a break to simply lick the wounds and be left the hell alone. I don’t know what the fall will bring, but in true Tish fashion, change is afoot. For some, spring is the time of renewal… but for this little girl, it is always September that brings winds blowing life akimbo, and righting myself becomes a wanted and much needed way to spend my days.

I will admit to a bit of nervousness where Paul is concerned in these coming months. He was there for the end of a semester, and a relatively calm summer, but he has not experienced the fall semester with me yet. The constant change, the routine that cannot be duplicated from last year but needs to be tweaked, taking much of my spare energy. He is used to coming home to dinner, calmness and hours spent dancing in the kitchen. I wonder how he will react to coming home to an empty house and a full crockpot ? I wonder how I will adjust, that late class being the hardest and also my favorite, but knowing he is here alone while I am there ? I wonder if I should eat “That’s It” fruit bars in class or if the crinkling will be too disturbing to the lab ? No, my brain really never shuts off… hence the NEED to spend some time just breathing…

So I am off to enjoy the rest of the day, grab some steaks to marinate for tomorrow, and probably hide out in the forest or at the dam, listening to the water and just breathing in all that fresh air. My hope for you all today ? Peace, happiness, a lightness of spirit… I know this is Monday, the dreaded day for most, but try to take a moment to be nothing but the best version of YOU, and enjoy ! Much love to you all… =)

 

words for the day… take 11

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

LAO TZU

Words like these should be expected from a person turned philosopher turned poet turned deity… beautiful, but simple; valid yet captivating… words meant to be read, uttered aloud, mulled over. Taste them in your mouth, roll your tongue thru the vowels, then silently say them to yourself, and think about the difference…

220px-Laozi_002

I’ve never been to Mount Qingyuan, but would dearly love to crawl up in this stone lap, lay my face against the large, cool fingers and just breathe… think about strength, and courage, and love, and my small place in this wide world… of the warm, willing arms that hold me close; whether I am strong enough to remain in the embrace, or if I even want to… ponder until moss grows over my back…

 

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