Category Archives: Lady stuff……

Poof! Anxiety is Gone… or something… And I do not have ADHD… Yet

I have spent the last week with an old acquaintance named anxiety.

What a jerk.

He comes over uninvited, makes himself at home, doesn’t explain the reason for the visit and commences to wreak havoc. I did what I could on my own then threw up my hands and called my good buddy, tequila. We sipped a shot together and my stomach untwisted enough for me to get my shit together and show anxiety the door. The problem is, anxiety has his own key.

And we all know tequila can’t stay forever or he turns from the solution into the problem.

Like I always, eventually do, I started the backtracking inventory, researching and figuring out why my head seems to be so far up my – uh – why I’m anxious. Is it psychological, physiological, work-related, stress-related? Am I not getting to the gym? Am I not saying no enough?

For me, anxiety is almost always self-induced by the mythological I-can-do-it-all syndrome that affects women from 9 to 90. I work full time and have a lot of obligations, just like millions of my sisters around the globe. Is it menopause related? I don’t know. I can’t tell you what point of menopause I’m in because there’s no map supplied by life – thanks God – and we will be discussing this later….. I have a mental picture of me saying these things to God and God sitting at his laptop reading them, eyes going wide, clapping his (we’re going with ‘him’ as no woman would ever do to herself or another female what menopause does) hand over his mouth to smother naughty giggles…….

Yes, I personify The Almighty as a 13-year-old nerd, pranking womankind.

Sometimes.

In this case.

It’s a testament to how close to the edge I can get when desperate for answers. I mean, come on. I can’t walk around with my heart in my throat all the time. It makes me grouchy as hell. Neither do I want to be zonked on Benadryl constantly. That stuff makes me cantankerous after a while too.

<sigh>

……….I went to have my hair colored yesterday.

Not cut. Just colored.

I’ve never split my appointments up before, but because I waited until the last minute (read three inches of roots) to schedule them, my colorist and stylist couldn’t be booked on the same day for a month out. I took what I could get, which was a color appointment right before Mr. Smooshy Kissy Cheek’s Kindergarten Moo-sical. I was sure I’d have at least 45 minutes between completion of the appointment and the start of the barn show. Plenty of time.

And I don’t know what my colorist was doing with her time but I felt neglected. She put the foils in my hair, had someone else wash the color out (which is normal). She put toner in, plopped me in a chair and I never saw her again.

I sat, waiting, for long enough that I wondered what the hell was happening. There was a brief moment of fear in which I remembered the girl who does my color was a classmate of one of my daughters and said daughter told me they did not get along – in fact the words “can’t stand,” “mean as hell” and “such a b!#ch” might have been thrown around. However, as that was 10 years past and the “mean as hell” girl is nice to me, does fabulous color, and it’s my hair, #1 agreed sucking it up was in order. But – had my colorist suddenly remembered the animosity between them and decided to take it out on my hair?

I tried not to panic. It wasn’t as if I could just leave. There were mysterious chemicals on my head, of which I was (and am) completely ignorant.

I took deep breaths and watched a girl sweep the hair from three different stations, empty it into the garbage and take the garbage outside. She then came back, introduced herself as Maddy and said she’d been sent to wash and blow dry my hair.

Okay.

Everything was good. Normal.

The speed at which Maddy moved was neither. It took her five actual minutes to comb out my hair and 32 actual minutes to attempt a blow dry. I knew she was a student and learning and was fine with that – unlike the student in the teaching hospital where Kimberly was born…… I made it clear, at that time, to my doctor that I wanted no residents anywhere near me. Brandon’s birth had been a horrible ordeal, during which we both could have died and I wanted nothing but seasoned professionals around for the birth of my second child. So, when the unfamiliar doctor came in to check my progress during labor I asked if he was a resident. He said yes. I said how happy I was to meet him and that he should take the goddamned glove off because that hand was going nowhere near my cervix…….. But this was just hair.

“Just hair.”

Seriously. 32 minutes.

At minute 20 I told Maddy how much I appreciated her efforts but was in quite a time crunch.

“Oh, of course,” she said. “I understand schedules.”

At minute 30 I released a sigh that sounded more like a growl. Maddy just continued on with the little, tiny section of hair she was drying.

“May I ask a favor,” I said at minute 32. “Give me the dryer. Just hand me the dryer.”

I grabbed it, flipped my head over and had the top of my head, which was literally still wet, dry in about 30 seconds. I mean, Jesus, it’s the desert and I have fine hair. Unless I’m standing out in the 100 degree sun and am in the middle of a frigging hot flash, it takes me, at the very most, 10 minutes to dry and style my locks.

Finally all was well.

Then I saw it.

In the middle of my head there was basically a big blonde mass. A forelock so brightly colored it looked like a bald spot.

“Is everything okay,” Maddy asked nervously. She reached toward my hair.
“Don’t touch me,” I said. “I’m going to use the restroom, then pay and I have to go. I’m late.”

I walked away and reached the bathroom right before I burst into tears because damn it, now I’d have to think about my hair and that’s my one rule. I don’t want to have to think about it. I get it cut and colored three or four times a year and I don’t have to think about it otherwise. But now I would because there’s a big blonde bald-looking spot right in the middle of my face…………

………And it’s a couple of days later…….. I’ve calmed down and had my hair washed and cut and the “spot” is blended and makes sense with the style……. Sort of……..

Maybe I’m just too picky. Maybe it’s wrong of me to insist that my hair look more like my natural color from 25 years ago and less like a photo of Bonnie Raitt.

Does anyone get that reference?

If you want to feel old, make jokes around people in their twenties. One of the guys at work started complaining about his hair the other day. Because it resembled Greg Brady’s from The Brady Bunch I said, “Oh calm down Greg. You’re getting it cut this afternoon, right?” His face was completely blank.

“What? Why’d you call me Greg?”

I had to explain the joke and show him a clip from The Brady Bunch. He’d never heard of it.

And just in case anyone wonders, google photos of Bonnie Raitt.

Later I was on break and scrolling my Facebook feed. Sean Hayes had posted one of his lip sync videos and I was watching it and laughing. Another of the babies who works for me asked what was so funny and I said I was watching a Sean Hayes lip sync video.

He gave me a blank stare.

“Sean Hayes,” I repeated. “You know, Jack, from Will and Grace.”

Same stare.

From somewhere in my brain I heard the words, fire him.  Instead I threw him a nasty look and told him to go back to work.

Almost everyone with whom I work is younger than I.

And it’s okay. I don’t mind. Most of the time.

It’s just…… Well, if there’s any levity it almost has to be on their level because it’s one thing for me to stay current but if we have to go back in time, I have to give history lessons and we all know I have no patience for that crap. I mean, I know Will and Grace has been off the air for a while but….

Oh God. I am a dinosaur.

Seriously. I just looked up when Will and Grace was on the air and I can’t believe it’s been OFF longer than it was on.

What about Friends? BRB

12 years off the air!

<sigh>

So my humor, my newest humor, is at least ten years old because, seriously, I don’t think much of what’s on now is funny. I like The Big Bang Theory and Amy Schumer, but Vine and Snapchat? Ugh. Olivia will, every now and then, find me in a weak moment – I’ve just gotten out of bed or the shower and can’t move quickly enough to avoid what I know is coming – and force-feed me six and a half second videos that she swears will simply tear me up with laughter.

They don’t.

I’m sure some are funny. I just haven’t seen those. Yet. Because my daughter insists we keep on trying. And because it puts me in close proximity with my youngest, I agree.

But they’re not funny.

Karen Walker is funny. Lucy and Ethel are still funny. Barney Fife is still funny. That big, dorky guy who does the Chrysler Pacifica commercials – Jim Gaffigan – is hilarious. So I guess, if you count him and Amy Schumer, I like current stuff.

Over 30 stuff.

To each generation their own.

I remember when Mark showed a clip of Robin Williams Live On Broadway to his father and Pops very calmly told us exactly how unfunny Mr. Williams and his crass, profane brand of humor was. Pops hates swear words. Robin Williams used them liberally. Mark and I use them liberally – unless Pops is around. I tone it down then. Mark, not so much.

I’m a lady.

See. That, right there, is funny. If you know me.

And the kids at work are getting there.

They laugh. At me. When I dance. And trip. And am myself. And I laugh back because – because it’s just the best thing and –

Then.

Poof……….

……..Anxiety is gone.

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Filed under Daily Life, Lady stuff......, Parenting

50+ Shades of Gray Steel Wool

I found two serious gray hairs on the same day I used my AARP discount card for the first time.

How did that make me feel?

Well, I won’t go right to “good.” But I did okay. I plucked the hairs, of course. More because of their location than anything else. I mean, they were the wiry, iron gray, steel wool variety and in the temple area, so even had I wanted to leave them, they were impractical as they stood straight out to the side while everything else was gathered back in a pony tail.

Bitches had to go.

And where do they come from? I mean, hand to God, they were five inches long and of a texture and variety that has never graced the head of a person without at least some Mediterranean or Eastern European heritage. Had they been my color hairs I’d have happily welcomed a head full. However, they were loners and literally appeared overnight. Overnight, people.

I had a talk with myself, reminding us both that we are of an age where gray hair is likely to appear on a regular basis, so it’s time to get ourselves A. Used to it or B. To the salon.

My appointment is next Wednesday with my regular colorist at Toni & Guy.

All of this took place while I was getting ready to take Mark out for his birthday supper. He loves Outback, so that’s where we were going. As we were walking up to the restaurant, funny man grinned at me.

“You’re buying, right?”
I nodded – obviously I was buying, though it’s completely symbolic because we have a joint account where our paychecks are deposited and our money mingles for the 13 or so seconds it lives with us before being called upon to pay a bill. Still, it’s the thought that counts.

“So,” Mark continued. “You brought your wallet?”
                                                                “Of course.”
“Sooooo, you brought your AARP card?”
                                                                                        “I suppose,” I answered, not following him at all. “I’m sure it’s in there. Why?”
“Well, we get a 15% discount here with our cards.”
“Oh. No. I’m not doing that.”
“We get a discount.”
“I don’t do that.”
“Get a discount?”
“Use that card.”
“That’s stupid.”
“You’re stupid.”
“Lorie.”
“Mark.”
“Listen, you’re kidding right? It’s fifteen percent. That’s considerable.”
“I agree. You use your card.”
“It’s my birthday.”
                                                                                                                        “Okay.”
“I’m not paying.”
<sigh>
“I found two real life gray hairs today.”
“Perfect way to celebrate.”
“I was kidding when I said you’re stupid, but just keep going in that direction. You may change my mind.”
“I didn’t bring my wallet.”
<sigh>

I paid. And used the stupid AARP card. I’m pretty sure the 15% wasn’t worth my last youthful illusion. Between you and me, I took it out of my wallet. Mark can sacrifice the last vestiges of his belief that it’s still 1978, but I’m not down with that. I’m still a kid.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s 4:00 p.m. and you know what that means.

Yep.

Party time.

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Random Hump-Day Thoughts……

It’s Wednesday.

Glenn Frey is still dead. It wasn’t some big, nasty, stupid joke. I’m still sad. He was the third thing I thought of this morning at 3:30 when I woke up and my brain kicked in. I’d have given him more thought but it was 3:30 and I knew that if I didn’t shut things down I would be up for the day. So I drifted back to sleep with the tune of Tequila Sunrise playing in my head.

Someone posted a picture of the Kardashians on Facebook the day after Glenn died with a caption that said something like, Dear Universe: Stop taking the musicians from my youth. Take these instead. Not funny, but I get it. You always wonder why the good ones are taken and the – well – you know….. are left. But really, if you don’t like them, just change the channel, don’t wish them dead. Even the Kardashians serve a purpose.

I don’t know what it is, so don’t ask me……

Who else thinks wearing colored contacts is like wearing butt enhancing jeans or guys wearing heels? The truth is gonna come out – or off – eventually. It changes who you are – which is a person’s prerogative but it’s your eyes. Am I overreacting?

I’m a week and three days into a six week training period for a half marathon I’ve (sort of) committed to running with Kimmy and Matti (Bodington). The first week everything hurt in a way I didn’t know existed. I truly thought my joints would just crumble into dust. I took the first three days off into the second week because my body said so.

I started whining at one point.

Mark said, “Maybe try some glucosamine and condroitin.” I said, “How about I try tequila and beer.” Mark said, “No. You decided to lay off the liquor to do this. You can have your five ounces of Cabernet with dinner, though.” I said, “Well, isn’t that just fine for you to say, missy boy, lucky duck, with your hurt back and dumb injured heel.” Mark said, “That and my lack of stupid.” I said, “What’s that supposed to mean?” Mark said, “It means I’d have told Kimmy no a year ago when, at the end of the last race she asked you if you wanted to do the race with them this year.” I said, “I totally thought she’d forget.” Mark, looking at me with pity, said, “Honey. This is one of our offspring. How many times do they forget anything we want them to forget?” “Never,” I whispered. Mark patted my shoulder softly, so as not to hurt me further because I tend to forget he’s my friend when the pain is too much. “Come on,” he said. “I’ll run you a hot tubby.” “That’s right you will,” I told him. “And next time shut me up.” He rolled his eyes and muttered something that sounded like, “cause that’ll ever happen.”

Hot flash update. Still having them. Hate everyone from God on down during certain ones. I have a sugar low during some and still others bring on a brief panic attack that literally stops any forward movement. I was freezing all day long last Friday. Decided about four o’clock to take a nice warm bath with lavender oil. Put my icy toe in the water and the rest of me went up in flames so hot I had to lay face down, naked as the day I was born, on the bathroom tile and pant till the steam went away.

Mark put the winter, flannel sheets on the bed because he thought they’d “be a better option” for the woman who sweats then freezes then sweats then freezes.

“You can just sleep naked on these, hon,” he said. “You’ll be cooler that way.”

It’s not that he doesn’t understand that this is a from the inside out heating issue. He’s been trying to get me to sleep naked for 30 years, saw an opportunity and took a chance. I walked out of the room at that point in our discussion because I felt my vagina start to heat up and not in a good way. In case it was one of the “hate everything that lives” flashes I didn’t want to be in arms reach of anyone I actually care about. After it was over I stomped back.

“I will never sleep naked so stop asking,” I said. “It’s a texture thing for me and you know it! I dress in layers for everything!”
“Yes I do know,” Mark said. “Now, so do the neighbors.”
Whatever. And wipe that smirk off your face. You are not the sane one in this relationship. I am calm. I am pragmatic. I am no nonsense. I am down to earth.”
“Yes, all of you are.”
Do not make fun of me.
“I swear I’m not,” he said. “It’s just the hormones – ”
“Or fucking lack thereof! Whose idea was this? What kind of sick joke is it that women go through this? And do you know what else? I bought a frigging Vogue the other day expressly to read an article about a so called “female viagra.” Wow, I thought. It’s about time. I waded through all the 12-year-olds wearing incredibly ugly clothes, found the article on page 1080, got two sentences in and you know what? It’s for pre-menopausal women. Seriously? What the hell do they need it for? Till I hit the big M, sex was always on my mind. I still think about it if someone reminds me! I mean, you – when you remind me, I think of sex but I got all excited thinking there was something that would restore that all the damn time thing! Not that I don’t love it. I still do. I love sex. You know that. We have sex all the time and I like it. Super a lot! I just, you know, think – female viagra – a good thing……..” <sigh>

God is not a woman.

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I Am Horrified

I had the nicest afternoon yesterday. Had to go to the bank at work. Yeah, instead of allowing us to walk the 100 feet from the front door of my store and put deposits in a secure drop box, the company I work for insists we walk to our cars in an unsecured parking garage and drive the money 1.5 miles to the actual bank where they have exactly one teller and a line of 20 crabbier than hell people waiting to see her.

Stood there for 30 minutes.  I didn’t mind.

Smart phone. Facebook.

I had to take my lunch after, so I sat on a bench in downtown Scottsdale, soaking up the sun and 78 degrees, while the sweetest little breeze lifted the hair off my the back of my neck.

I do love my living in the moment moments.

My mind started to wander 13 seconds in, but I brought it back to nothing by breathing so deep I got a dirty look from a woman walking by with her husband. He’s a hundred and three, honey, I’m old enough to be your mother and I’m pretty sure he was checking out the busty mannequin in the window of the vintage clothing shop behind me. Probably reminds him of his first wife. Let him look.

That was it, though, concentration broken. So I looked around. Scottsdale is really pretty. To my left and across the street was a restaurant called The Sugar Bowl. It’s been there since 1953. Pink clapboard siding and huge darker pink and purple letters spelling out the name. To my right, two blocks down, The Poison Pen.

Ooh! A book store! A real, old fashioned bookstore. There are several around the valley I like to frequent, including Bookman’s and Changing Hands, both second hand stores. They smell weird, though. Like old, somewhat dirty attics of people who had a lot of cats without proper ventilation. When I walked in The Poison Pen it smelled like books. And incense, of course, because anyone who owns a bookstore that doesn’t say Barnes and Noble has to be a hippie.

I only had ten minutes, so wasn’t afraid of dropping a hundred bucks because I felt as though I was in, like, an antique store and needed to buy shit that would preserve the moment in time. Still, I managed to find one thing I couldn’t leave without.

Because I’m not as smart as I think I am.

A Stephen King novel.

What the……..

I know better. I don’t read Stephen King. He’s scary. He even looks scary. Seriously, if I met the guy in an alley – light or dark – I’d run in the opposite direction.

And only an actual bookstore could possibly make a Stephen King novel seem like a good literary choice for someone such as myself. It was under, “Staff Picks,” on a separate shelf, next to Moby Dick and Anna Karenina. If, anywhere on that shelf, I’d seen Eat, Pray, Love, a James Patterson selection or anything with the words, “Shades of,” I’d have backed away and walked out empty handed. Instead there was the shiny, red and black cover of Dr. Sleep, the sequel to The Shining, staring at me, reminding me of how much I admire Mr. King. And I do. I love his book on writing and his imagination seems endless.

However.

After reading Carrie years ago, I vowed to stay away from scary stuff. I broke that vow with The Amityville Horror, (not King, I realize – just scary) then The Shining.

At that point I was done, with a capital D.

My brain does not let go of those horrible, frightening-to-the-bone images. If I happen to wake up in the night anywhere near 3:15a.m., let me tell you, so does Mark. Colorado mountains in the snow? The idea horrifies me and not just because I get a chill at anything below 75 degrees. Charming old, secluded hotels? Give me a Holiday Inn next to a freeway.

I’ve never seen Psycho, The Exorcist, or more than the first 20 minutes of any of the Halloween movies. I won’t watch any of the current crop of fright night offerings because – well, I’m frightened. I watched some of American Horror Stories, The Coven, but they weren’t very scary. Just gross and I stopped because I felt like I needed to shower after. Like I was dirty with negativity or some sort of spiritual illness.  My dad let Micah and me watch The Blob when we were little and I, literally, still have a nightmare about it every couple of years.  No idea what triggers that short in the connections of my gray matter.

So what was I doing marching out of a bookstore with a Stephen King book, anxious to settle in and read it like it was the new Great American Novel?

<sigh>

Half a page in, Half. A. Page. In., I said to myself, “Lorie, you are an idiot.”

Still, with tax, it was $18.00. That’s four iced venti, non-fat, one pump vanilla lattes from Starbucks or five large iced coconut milk lattes from Dutch Bros. It’s half of a french pedicure with tip. It’s – it’s……….. It’s the reason I am still reading.

The book is great so far. I haven’t flipped out and I even found a way to keep it from scaring me when I’m not reading and see it laying around, staring at me. I got the idea while binge-watching Friends on Netflix last week. It’s the episode where Joey is re-reading (what else?) The Shining. He claims it’s the best book ever written and he loves it. In between readings, he puts it in the freezer to protect himself from being scared. I laughed along with Rachel and Chandler while I was watching the show. I mean, how ridiculous is that idea?

You know what?

It works.

I don’t have the book in the freezer. Between the vodka and chocolate there’s simply not room. I slipped it into the lower left of my nightstand drawer, as far away from me as possible, with my rosary, energy crystal bracelets, angel cards and a miniature statue of Buddha in between it and me.

I’ll keep you posted.

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Filed under Daily Life, Lady stuff......, Memories

Welcome Home, me……

September 22, 2014

Rockaway, New Jersey. It’s a crisp first day of Autumn. I can see the tree tops outside my hotel window, waving back and forth in the breeze. Every appendage I own is also crisp – numb with cold. They said it was 73 degrees today, but with the wind? I know how that shit works. I lived for six years in Casper, Wyoming, the windiest place on this planet. A stiff breeze, north of the Mason Dixon line, east or west of the Mississippi, changes balmy to brrrrrr in a heartbeat. Things are stiff today.

It’s my first day of training:

Second week in. Last week I was in Tucson, freezing, due to tropical storm, Odile. At least there, the topography was familiar and I knew, if I needed to, I could get to Phoenix in under two hours. I am, at this juncture, pretty much as far away from home as I can be, and still be in the same country. Traveling for business is not for sissies. Oh, I suppose, at some point I might enjoy it – if Mark came along and I could take an extra day for sight seeing or something. Now, though. I’m just lonely, jet lagged, exhausted and on the first full – worst – day of my period (is this supposed to be a joke, God?) and reduced to eating Panera Bread pasta and drinking Barefoot Cabernet out of a paper cup in my hotel room – debating the wisdom of just drinking or actually eating the food I’m, for some odd reason not hungry for, and slowing down the buzz considerably.

I know, quit bitching, right?

It was just SUCH an awkward day. I feel physically depleted and psychologically impaired. This makes it different from any other Monday, how? It’s hard to explain. I think it’s the jet lag. I’ve never experienced it before. I’ve never flown for business before. Mark did that. I was the stay-at-home-mom. Now he is.

Well, and he works.

And the kids are, “grown.” But he’s home. And warm. The last time I was this cold was – that’s right – it was the late June day in the last summer we spent in New York when I looked at my husband and said, “If you don’t get me out of this goddamned freezer, I will make your life a living hell.” K, I never said those exact words, but bless the man, he read my mind. Hence the move back to the desert and triple digits.

I’m just not at the top of my game. I thought about doing an extra shot in my latte this morning, but all that usually does is make my heart race. I get anxious, my eyes bug out and I jump around like a chihuahua. Not a good look for a woman pushing six feet.

My training manager was extremely understanding. Still, I found myself apologizing, like 16 times.

“Truly, Genevieve, I am smarter than it seems,” I told her. “I would so hate to have you judge my competence by this one day.”

“That’s fine,” she replied. “I’m sure you’re brilliant. My name is Jennifer.”

I want to go home.

Day six:

I’m sitting at gate A38 in the Newark airport, waiting for it to be 3:45 so I can take my Benadryl and drink a beer at the Ruby Tuesday’s at gate A39, medicating myself into a relaxed enough state to be deposited on the plane.

I am a pop-sicle. Have, literally, not been warm since I got out of bed on Monday. The outside weather has been pretty good for this time of year, but the store I worked in was a refrigerator. Long story. I was way too under-layered to cope. Today, half an hour before I was slated to leave for the airport, my body just gave up trying to pretend it’s not a wuss and slid into a shivering state that hasn’t yet eased. My fingers and toes are swearing at me and my every nerve is trembling with a, “we better be on our way to somewhere warm, bitch,” vibe.

I don’t blame any of them.

There is a guy sitting across from me, whom I assume is headed west as well. He’s dressed in sandals, shorts and a tee. I lack only a parka and boots from being covered head to toe. The pretty black, decorative scarf I bought at Gap a few weeks back (that felt thick as hell), has been my lifeline, adding a thin layer to the other three thin layers I’ve worn daily. I’ve been so cold, so long that I can’t even remember what it’s like to sweat. I hit the treadmill at the hotel the other night and started to perspire, but it was so cold in that room, it froze on the edge of my pores.

Home:

I walked off the plane last night and encountered a blast of warm, moist air that had monsoon written all over it. I almost cried. I have never been so happy to get home. I have never been so happy to realize I have a home.

Someone asked me not too long ago what place I think of as my home. I replied that I don’t really feel like I have one. I love the memory of New York when I was a child, but it’s no longer my home. I don’t currently own a home. I’ve been a wanderer, a vagabond, a nomad since I was 14 years old – and really, before that. The first cross-country move I made was as a three-month-old, when my parents left Ogden, Utah for Belmont, New York.

It’s all temporary, in any case. The whole of the earth is simply a tool we use to give ourselves a permanence that is a complete illusion. When not having a home seems like never feeling at home, I comfort myself with that bit of sageness. I’m probably not as smart as I think I am.

Returning to Arizona from two weeks of traveling-not-for-fun, though, made me grateful-up. You know, like, “cowgirl-up,” or, “man-up,” or pull on your lady panties (though that last sounds ambiguous in an I’m not sure I want details, sort of way).

I grew up a little. Had a moment of clarity.

I felt that warm rush of air and thought, “Yay, monsoon. Maybe it’ll rain while I’m off this weekend. Ooh, or we could hike early, if it stays dry – or even head to Payson. Or – ” Or a dozen other things that tumbled through my mind.

I know this place. I know the palm trees (that are not, I realize indigenous to the desert, blah, blah, blah), the saguaros, the dust, the Superstitions (that I couldn’t see, but knew were there, because they are less temporary than I).

And I know my husband. He was waiting at the curb – eventually, after driving past me, waving at him like a fool while a dozen others watched, on the south side of baggage claim. I called him quickly and told him to circle around to the other side because I was running back through the airport baggage claim area to the north curb. There he was. Picking me up to take me – home.

I do have one.

And I have to tell you, unless it’s in a limo taking me and my entourage (Mark, Mom, kids, grandkid, significant others and grand-puppies) to my private plane because I’ve suddenly become Beyonce, I really don’t want to travel for business again. It’s hard to focus on your job when you know at the end of the day you’re in a hotel room with take-out food, drinking six dollar wine from a paper cup instead of being where your heart (and much better booze) is.

I am overjoyed by this epiphany. I have a home. I am home. Temporary or not, the reality is not built on sand, but on the brick and mortar of the life Mark and I are still in the process of building. Today, and for the foreseeable future, it’s in Arizona. Tomorrow, who knows? The most important thing is that every day, wherever we are, there we’ll be. We might as well feel at home.

Welcome Home, me.

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They call me The Flash………..

I started a new job about a week and half ago.  It’s full time.  While I’m profoundly grateful and enjoy my new gig, I have to say, working is so cutting into my blog time………..

In other news, I’m having hot flashes.

I count myself fairly lucky because having heard a lot of things about them, I expected worse.  Maybe worse is yet to come, but at the moment, they’re only inconvenient – on different levels, depending on the kind of hot flash it is.

I made a list.

Mark has it memorized, keeps himself armed with Doritos, chocolate, ice packs and alcohol and is actively lobbying congress for more money dedicated to finding a safe and effective way for women to bypass this horrible idea someone, who shall remain nameless, must have had at the beginning of time.

Here is the list.  In order.  From not too bad, to, does it honestly get worse than this?

There’s the, is it stuffy in here, variety.

There’s the heat creeping up your spine like a snake trailing Icy Hot, kind.

There’s the throwing off the covers because it’s so hot it yanks you out of a deep sleep and a damn good dream, only to pull the same blankets back on two minutes later because you’re freezing your ass, type.

There’s the sweaty, if you don’t get your hairy, 16 pound arm off me this instant you will become a flying projectile, sort.

There is, and this would be my personal favorite, if I had one, which I, of course don’t because why? Right.  Hot flashes are a baaaaad badbadbadbad idea.

This one is the, instant sweat from every conceivable pore, so hot I can barely breathe and my effing ears are burning like I’m an embarrassed red head, strain.  It is the granddaddy mother – grandmother f#(%*^ of hot flashes and it makes me want to plunge myself into Lake Erie in the middle of a Buffalo, NY blizzard, hot.

Instead, depending on where I am – say at work in front of other humans who expect a certain amount of normal behavior of a person in a public setting, even in this day and age – I refrain from ripping my shirt off, take deep breaths, slowly in and out, lift the suddenly sopping hair off my neck, grab the nearest object that will work as a fan, and try to bring relief to my body and calm back into my brain before the swear words clanging around in there have a chance to spew out of my mouth.

And the hot flashes are not, “bad,” yet……..

They make me want to punch small kittens.

I can feel them in the pool and under an ice cold shower.

I can feel them walking across the black top parking lot at the mall when it’s 110 degrees, which confuses the crap out of me.  How could I feel hotter than 110 degrees?

In an effort to ease the stress of these sporadic little previews of what the priests always told me was waiting in my future if I didn’t get right with the Big Guy, I looked up what causes hot flashes online.

Turns out it’s pre-menopause/menopause that causes them.

No shit kidding?

WebMd did give pointers to ease the flashes.  They said to avoid stress, caffeine and alcohol.  I can do all none of these.  I mean, seriously, I can only keep the former in line with the latter, and the middle one?  I’m expected to be awake at work and while driving.  Well, and in parent/teacher meetings and the grocery store and a whole bunch of other places I have to go.

I cling to the hope that I’m one of those women for whom hot flashes ease as time goes on.  So, desperately, does my husband, though what he’s got to complain about I can’t say.  He, like the other males of the species, is not affected personally by hot flashes, which I remind him of each evening when as he makes his bed on the floor so as not to bother me with his body heat while I try to sleep.

God he has it easy.

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P otentially M ajor S tuff (g et it?)

WARNING:  PMS has hit with a bang, and not the good kind.  This blog is a compilation of shit that’s aggravating me this month – and in no particular order of importance, because, honestly, it’s stuff that is normally overlooked by most sane adults……..

Um – yeah.

So, Kristen Stewart cheated on Robert Pattinson.  In case you don’t know who they are – they play the leads in the Twilight movie series and currently own much of the collective attention of American pre-teen and teen girls.

I’ve read all the Twilight books and seen the movies.  Olivia was into the books at first, so I wanted to make sure they were age appropriate. Let me tell you, there’s more eroticism in a Paula Deen cook book than in the pages of that literary mess.  Hey Yawl!

The movies…… As annoying as Kristen Stewart’s character’s affected twitch and stutter. I saw them because sometimes a mother will do anything to spend time with her daughter. In my world – watching a Twilight movie is, “anything.”

As for this affair Stewart had – I can’t decide if the dumbest part of it is the ugly ass older guy she popped, her apology to her live-in boyfriend via People magazine, the fact that I get updates about the latest from Good Morning America on Facebook…… Or that I read those updates.

Sometimes I’ll do anything to avoid getting on with the day. In my world, Kristen Stewart’s personal life constitutes anything.

Olivia is sad that this happened.  She likes Stew-Patts.  You get what that is, right?  I don’t feel one way or another – unless you count mind-numbingly bored as a feeling.  But this is Liv’s generation of, “stars.”

I cared when………… hmmmmm……….  I don’t recall ever caring about this sort of shit, but I must have.  I was a little upset when Andy Gibb started dating that old woman, (Victoria Principal – does infomercials on late night geriatric TV for skin care), from the TV show, “Dallas.”  Sure she had huge boobs, but she was approaching the middle years – definitely old enough to be my mother if not Andy’s.  I didn’t care when Donny Osmond got married – I only cared when I had nothing to do on a Friday night and wound up watching him and Marie be a little bit Country and a little bit Rock and Roll.

It’s different now.  Our culture has moved from the days of Hollywood glamour – gazing at the, “stars,” in their fabulous gowns on the pages of magazines, to watching non-stars – a la the Kardashians – tromping around in their tightey-whiteys on E!

I mean, did you read what I said?  Stewart apologized to what’s his name on the pages of People magazine.

She is only, what, 21?  If only she’d stuck with Facebook like everyone else.

Which brings me to another annoying as ass issue.

What, in the name of public consumption, makes people think that everything they do is of interest to everyone they know and some they don’t?

I don’t need to know about each thought that passes through someone’s mind.  I don’t need to have access to their fantasy guys/gals/dachshunds/etc.  And, I’m telling you, I’m going to start answering some of the, “rhetorical,” questions asked.

“Why oh why can’t I have Brad Pitt/Christian Bale/Channing Tatum?”

Me: Married/smacked his sister and mother around/married and they live in a world you will never occupy.

“Why are people mean to me behind my back but won’t say anything to my face?”

Or:

“I hate it when certain people do stuff to upset me and I’m not going to put up with it anymore.”

Me:  I hate it when people put vague threats, aimed at who in the hell knows, on Facebook.  If you want to say something to someone in particular – message them privately.  If you’re too frightened to confront them honestly, then forget it, get over it and move on.  If you refuse to give me any names or details, don’t, for God’s sake, involve me when I don’t have enough information to take a freaking side and decide if the drama is worth my time and attention.  I could, after all, be reading up on Kristen Stewart and Rob Pattinson.

You know what else is irritating me today…. This month?

Debby Boone and her stupid Lifestyle Lift commercials.

It is, apparently, a non-surgical alternative to a face lift.  I’m not sure if she’s actually had one, but she looks good.  She was always pretty.  That’s not the issue.

In the commercial, she sings the opening lines to her one hit song, “You Light Up My Life.”  It was an annoying, cloying, sickly sweet song when it came out in 1885 1976, and it’s worse now.  She looks, no joke, like she’s either in rapture, the middle of an orgasm or eating some really, really amazing ice cream as the freaking five minute commercial starts.  Pretty sure it’s not the ice cream, however, because she’s skin and bones.  Her chin is so pointy she could open cans with it and her perpetual smile tells me there’s not enough of her lips left to stretch over those great big horse teeth.

Ugh!

I’m so cranky!

Mark keeps telling me to turn the TV off, relax and remember that this too will (again) pass.

At least that’s what he said during a hot flash, as I was tying the gag over his mouth and shutting the closet door.

Juuuuust kidding.

If I left him incapacitated who would pour the vodka and hold my drink while I get on the pool float?

Lastly, the thing that’s bugging me the most – the Chick-fil-A controversy.  I’ve been trying, since the thing began, to put into words, how I feel, in order to say it right.  Which, as you know, means I spent a few saying it wrong.  I think I have it now.

It’s not about Gay Rights.  The right to live and be who you are, without the fear of negative consequences resulting from the same, whether it be color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, nationality, or whatever, is a Human Rights issue.  A friend posted, on Facebook, a list of logos from companies who support gay rights.  Though I understood why he did it, I felt defeated that he had to do so.  When will we be past this place where we’re arguing someone’s right to live as freely as everyone else?  When will someone post a list of companies who support human rights, period?  When, in fact, will no lists be needed because we are a society of people who accept others as they are and nobody blinks because a same sex couple walks into the room?

I’m pretty sure, when this happens, I’ll be able to relax more and concentrate on things that truly matter.  For instance, will Rob Pattinson take Kristen Stewart back?  Is there an ass reduction that could help the Kardashian sisters?  Did Debby Boone have a face lift?  Did her father, Pat Boone have one and was it a Lifestyle lift or did he go under the knife?  Can I get their commercials on tape because I’m sure they’d put me to sleep on those nights insomnia is my only friend.

Should I untie Mark so he can make me a margarita……………

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