I'll Have The Venti Vent

Writing to vent.

A form of therapy. Give your hands free license to fly across the keys with out pause.

Get it off your chest.

The frustration, the gratitude, the ideas and woes.

Life is meant to be shared.

Share what comes up, free from worry of what others will think.

Have you had a week of weird?

Me too.

It started with excruciating pain.

Then a consult at a pain clinic and making the decision to move forward with ketamine infusions in a couple weeks. Getting more blood drawn. Reading the MRI report, finding the neurologist failed to share there’s a cyst on my left kidney, and the cyst on the left side of my spine is causing severe spinal chord stenosis. What the hell is up with the left side of my body?

Continue on to driving up our mountain last night in yet another snow storm, having to back up and let some neighbors pass. Getting stuck and blocking us all in. Another neighbor towing my back end, practically sending me soaring off the edge of the mountain. Eventually getting underway, climbing up, hitting ice, loosing control of my truck as it slid backwards down the mountain, yanking the emergency break, slamming it into park, still sliding, eventually, miraculously coming to a stop. Shaking, hyperventilating, blindly making it up, safely home. Getting a message from neighbors that three cars slid down into one another in the exact spot I did. Thankful no one fell to their deaths…………..having to call into work today, even though my bank account continues to dance with a negative balance.

There is much I’m grateful for, but holy shit, sometimes I need to verbally vomit the nausea of existence.

Determination

Cricket the Cat

I am determined.

A puddle of tears, in the worst body pain I have ever felt.

I thought I was improving.

Jase and I saw an increase of energy over the past week.

I am determined.

I’m not giving up.

Determined: having made a firm decision and being resolved not to change it.

Stop Should~ing On Yourself and Others

What good is it when you find yourself in a precarious situation and exclaim “I SHOULD have done it differently!”

Why should on yourself like that?

All the shoulding in the world, will not, can not, change the fact that you did it the way you did it, and you are in the situation NOW.

What’s done is done.

Let us also put and end to shoulding on others.

“I think you SHOULD do it this way.”……………”You SHOULD have done what I suggested.”…………..”I told you so.” ……..”Why can’t you do it like me.”

The past is the past. It happened. No one can change the past.

There are Should have’s from the past, Should have’s for the future and Should be’s for the present moment.

Can we remove the shame of shoulding on ourselves and others?

We hold tightly to our shoulds.

Our parents, our exes, our friends, and children should have done it differently.

News flash: THEY CANT DO IT DIFFRENTLY.

No one on the face of this planet can go back and change the choices they’ve made, and we hold the power to give others the benefit of the doubt that they did the best with what they had, knew and felt at the time.

AND we hold the power to forgive ourselves. I here by excuse you from the shoulds you have weighing on your shoulders.

Poof! You’re a million pounds lighter.

~ Funny story about the above pictures. This past Thursday, I was backing down the drive and my truck slid into a pickle. It took us all day to get it out and ended up destroying the fence. The miracle is my front tire was an inch from the edge of the deck wall. My truck could have rolled over onto the deck and into the house. Miracles do happen and Jase never once told me what I “SHOULD” have done. ~

Follow The Sun

Somehow the light gets in.

We have dark spaces with in. No one, I repeat no one is alone in this.

I am thankful for the moments in life that have cultivated awareness and compassion.

Times that have knocked me off the “high horse” I’ve so arrogantly put myself on again and again. When I boast about all I “know”. When my mouth is a loud beacon beckoning others to see the world as I see it.

I’m thankful that the Universe keeps kicking my ass.

It was simply my ego’s attempt at trying to be special, to stand out among the rest.

There is no standing out.

There is equality. We are together. We are ONE with the Universe, dancing to the rhythm of life. Each of us hearing our own drummer. We were each given our own tune.

Put and end to dancing to someone else’s tune.

You’re unique rhythm is in your heart dear friend.

Here’s a favorite song of mine. I appreciate the lyrics:

When you feel life coming down on you,
Like a heavy weight
When you feel this crazy society,
Adding to the strain
Take a stroll to the nearest waters
And remember your place
Many moons have risen and fallen long, long before you came

So which way is the wind blowin’,
And what does your heart say?

It's OK To Lose Your Focus

Ever feel like a loser?

Like you waste your seconds, minutes, hours, days?

Placing labels on your momentary loss of focus?

Saying things like “I wasted an entire day by feeling miserable and doing nothing.”……….”I’m such a fuck up.”…………..”I never do anything right.”……………..”Why does this always happen to me?”

Do you get caught up in the loop? Unable to see anything other than your perceived mistakes?

Once in the loop, it’s not enough to dwell on the imperfections of the current day, the mind must dig up the corpses from the past.

By the day’s end your brain is a tossed salad of rotting produce. You crawl into bed with a gaping hole in the center of your being. A vortex of black where you’re sure your heart is meant to be. A nameless fear clinging to your gut.

Errors, mistakes, lapses in judgment………all they need is simple correction. We mustn’t hold them in our grasp trying to solve them as if they were a puzzle.

We can set them down and walk away.

They are simply attempts to keep you unaware of your True Self.

Dwelling on our perceived mistakes, puts them in a place of power. All we are doing is delaying our learning. We clog our senses and can no longer hear the soft whispers of the Universe.

The greatest harm we do to ourselves is to remain in the loop.

Take a flying leap my friend! Redirect your course and move forward.

It’s merely a momentary loss of focus.

{Photo above by me}

Your Truth Is Yours And It's Beautiful

My heart is a tangle of thoughts, emotions, experiences, circumstances, and beliefs.

Stuck in a web of spiritual knowing and medical information.

This journey so far has unveiled that I never enter into deep sleep, there’s a cyst on my spinal column, vitamin deficiencies and Epstein Barr Virus.

We learned of the spinal cyst this week. It explains why my hiking and running abilities have slowly diminished. Why riding a bike is nearly impossible. Walking up stairs requires such mental focus.

They can run tests on my nerves to see the extent of the damage. I can also speak to a neurosurgeon.

So, here I sit.

More blood work is scheduled, I have an appointment with a pain management clinic etc…….I am on sleep meds to reset my body and hopefully get it back into deep sleep. I have a candy store of muscle relaxers, vitamins, and some weird pain med.

As I type, the entire left side of my body is numb and tingling. There’s aching and burning in all muscles and joints. My eyes feel sunken in and my face feels like it’s sliding off. My feet are frozen, my hands are hot.

I have 2 choices.

#1: Focus on all the sensations and go stark raving mad. Dive head first into anger and hatred over how my meat suit feels. How I feel betrayed by the body I thought I was taking care of with exercise and nutrition. Resistance at its’ finest.

#2: Accept what is, breathe deeply, and focus on what I know to be true for me.

MY TRUTH.

My truth can not be taken from me.

I do believe the key to surviving the human experience is to find your truth. Find it, cling to it, understand that it’s yours, and if you tend to it, it will grow deeper and more beautiful over time.

In a world where numerous beliefs are circulating, you have the right to find what is true for you without making anyone else wrong. (I am guilty of going though a phase of thinking I had it all figured out.)

A belief that says “this is the ONLY way” is a belief of fear and controll.

That’s all I have for today. Be well, be kind, and find something to laugh about.

Thank you for reading.

Ping Pong Ball

Photo by me

It’s 7:30 am.

Sitting in my cave eating gluten free rotini with meat sauce and gobs of cheese.

I have to leave for work in an hour.

I have nothing to say. No ideas for a post. My mind feels fragmented.

D-I-S-C-O-N-N-E-C-T-E-D

There’s a ping pong ball in my brain, bouncing around, igniting random thoughts.

I’d like to unzip my skin and step outside for a bit.

It’s one of those mornings where meditation feels bland like rice with no salt or butter.

The information I read does not invoke emotion. It’s dead in the water.

The most poignant thing rolling around in my spaced out brain: “Don’t FEEL spiritual, BE IT!”

No matter the “feelings”, truth will remain truth.

I could spill forth a run on sentence of thoughts that make no sense. The fear of going to an outing with a couple I clean for is like being a child and seeing a teacher outside of school, it socks you in the gut, because it shifts your comfort zone so radically, how do I shift from being the cleaning lady, to being dressed up and having fun? How do I let go of the irrational fear? For most of life I’ve seen birds of prey soaring above my car as I drive, a reminder to soar, to not give up, to believe in something greater, lately I see numerous birds of prey and they are ALL sitting in trees. No soaring, perching. Am I being reminded to rest and trust the process. To cease trying and to be? Why is there such a fuss when a famous person dies when hundreds, maybe thousands of deaths go unnoticed around the globe. They are no less human than those in the “spotlight”.

Bouncing bouncing bouncing goes the ping pong ball of thought.

Today is just one of those days.

The Awesomeness Of Awe

Photo by me

Letting go.

Relaxing into life.

The results provoke awe.

There’s a spot I like to visit near the home I clean every Friday. I stopped there a few weeks ago and while getting back in my truck, I heard “Hey!”.

When I first moved to Colorado, I took a job at the homeless shelter in North Boulder. There was an intelligent young man who was participating in a program to help him get back on his feet. He happened to be the one who urged me to up my cleaning rates from $25 to $35 an hour. (In this area $35 is still relatively low)

I had an overnight shift and wondered why he didn’t check in.

Long story short, he had a bad night. He phoned the shelter and I was on the phone with him until 3 am. He was drunk, on meds and threatening suicide.

I never saw him again.

2.5 years later the “Hey” I heard was this young man.

He had been wanting to apologize to me for the past 2.5 years. I had wondered if he was alive for the past 2.5 years. My coworkers and I held a candlelight ceremony asking for his protection.

Funny thing is, it was a cold windy day, and I wasn’t planning on stopping.

He wasn’t planning to drive all the way out to this particular spot and take a long lunch break.

Letting go.

Relaxing into life.

The results are awe provoking.

The Manure Of Life

Photo by me

Bloom.

Where ever you find yourself, no matter the circumstance: BLOOM

Each and everyone of us is capable of kindness.

My first thought when I opened my eyes this morning was “I fucking hate life.”

Second thought: “Don’t believe everything you think Mare. Now get your ass up. Get out your journal and cue up some meditation. Today is in your hands. You can either wipe your ass with it, or make the best of it.”

Bloom anyway. Bloom because we all hate life at some point or another. Bloom because it feels better than walking around like a sourpuss.

Bloom because we all feel like negative assholes and do our best to cover it up. Bloom because you believe in being authentic and you know damn well your authentic self is down to earth, loving and kind.

Sometimes life feels like a pile of manure.

Let’s not forget that manure is chock full of nutrients that plants need. Manure keeps plants healthy and green.

So Bloom baby! Soak in all that shit and bloom.

Poo Poo Magoo

Jase lured me out of “the cave” at 5pm to do the above puzzle.

I spent Sunday in the cave with the blinds shut, leaving for brief moments to pee and feed on junk food. Yes, junk food. Sometimes a girl has to live on the edge. Considering, I feel the same regardless of what I eat, I do indulge from time to time: Cookies with coffee, 1/2 a cheese pizza, chips and dip, champagne, and the book “how to build a girl.”

All junk and all delightful. The book is absolute trash, but in a good way.

Oh, and Jase handed me a grilled pork chop sometime around noon and said I needed protein. Literally, handed me a pork chop.

No plate, no fork and knife. Just a napkin, and said eat.

The healthiest thing I did was read in Gabby Bernstein’s “Super Attractor” and did 2 meditations where I learned the name of my guardian angel is Emily.

Yes, Emily. It means “hard working and industrious”. Fuck yeah, you have to be to watch over my ass.

Last Sunday, I made the grave mistake of leaving the cave, which resulted in me cleaning the house and trying to walk on a trail. In other words, trying to be “normal”.

Both resulted in further fatigue and pain. I then began the work week at an unimpressive deficit of energy.

Not wanting to make the same mistake, I remained a cave dweller until the sun began to sink. If I stay in there with the blinds closed, I feel better about missing the day. It tricks my brain into believing it’s perpetually night.

We still have no answers as to why I’m falling apart. The doctors are working on ruling everything out.

This morning I set up a science lab in the bathroom. I shit in a paper hat and put my excrement into viles with popsicle sticks. It was both humiliating and disgusting. Off to the lab with my poo poo magoo to check for parasites.

Angel Dust: May Be Hazardous To Forgetfulness

How quickly we forget Spirit.

Yet, we are never forgotten.

We run.

We leave a cloud of dust in our wake.

Spirit gently guides us back.

Yesterday, at my retail job, a customer asked me to hold out my hand. She placed something in it and said, “This is magic, put it in your pocket and go do something fun. This is meant to make you feel good.”

I put it in my pocket as I was asked to do. After she left I went to the restroom to see what magic had been bestowed.

A $50 bill. What a kind gesture.

Funny thing is I had been reading about Archangels over my morning coffee.

I know that I know that I know, the lesson meant for me is: “help will show up in unexpected ways. Not on my timeline and not according to my outline.”

My job is to ask, and invite Source to be a part of my life.

When we align ourselves with Source, and focus on love, the rest is taken care of.

Asking for guidance creates movement.

Mighty Modification

Photo by me with my refurbished Canon

You’re never as crusty as you think.

Pull away what’s dead in your life.

New blooms are on the horizon.

You are still you, only the blooms renew.

Yesterday at my retail job, one of the managers complimented me on not losing my personality, though I don’t feel well. She commented on how the “energy” of my being has not changed, I still make her laugh multiple times through out my shift.

What a lovely comment.

I’m thankful that the tempest within has not spilled onto those around me.

I’ve been upfront with many in my life as to how poorly I’m feeling. I believe there’s healing in being authentic, truthful and open about life’s struggles.

I’m not as crusty as I thought I was.

I carry the fear of affecting others negatively. I especially worry about Jase and the hit our life has taken.

I can’t be adventurous in the way we are used to, but we can make modifications.

MODIFY: make partial or minor changes to (something), typically so as to improve it or to make it less extreme.

Currently we are working on bringing “happy hour” to the house.

Our plan is in it’s infant stage, but we want to make each day of the week something fun to look forward to.

There’s something magical about having a focal point when you’re not feeling great.

Peppered Peter

Jase here. It was said in our loving nursery rhymes that….

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. I can’t really speak for Peter. At least not the Peter from these kids stories. I can only speak for another Peter. Mine, and what devastating results I had by picking up a few Jalapeno peppers to put in my Pho yesterday for flavor.

Ya see Mare and I went out for lunch to get some Vietnamese noodle soup known as Pho. It’s all the rage out here in Colorado. You can find it on every street corner. During lunch i joked to Mare….”hey babe remember to tell me to wash my hands later in case we are feeling our oats and decide to get a bit frisky”. We had a great laugh and forgot all about it.

That’s the problem. We forgot all about it!!! When we got home I had to pee before throwing on my bike shorts and going out for a ride. As much as I forgot about my unwashed hands, the jalapeno pepper oils didn’t forget they coated my fingers.

Five minutes later I felt like i rubbed BenGay ointment or maybe isopropyl alcohol on my junk. I had an inferno raging in my spandex tights. I rode my cyclocross bike for about two hours. The extra pressure on the nose of my saddle coupled with the abrasive sliding back and forth as I was climbing kinda took my mind of the burn in one area and spread it to the lactic acid in my muscles.

But, when i got home and hit the shower, the blaze started back up. It was like when you eat “atomic” hot wings and you take a drink of water. It doesn’t do crap for you mouth. In fact it feels like it spreads the burn to other areas. Same with the shower water. It intensified the burn.

As we all know from wings, you need blue cheese to extinguish the flames in your mouth and lips. Unfortunately, we didn’t have blue cheese in the house to put my junk in. We only had ranch dressing and well we only had enough for our salads last night…..

Put Your Fangs Away

Cricket the Cat

I seem to be moving in and out of gratitude, anger and fear.

I’ll take movement over stagnation any day.

Millions of people are suffering daily for multitudes of reasons, I’m well aware.

But this is my story. My corner to vent, show my fangs and then put them away.

As of late, I use all of my energy for work. When I say “energy”, it’s a lie, because I don’t have any. A better description is, I’m forcing myself to work, and my bank account is still at a negative balance, but on the bright side I have February’s rent.

Is it weird to say it’s a relief to not have enough money? I’ve been afraid of not having enough since my divorce and now that it’s happening I’m kind of relieved. I’ve traumatized myself for years and the trauma is over. My worst fear has materialized and it’s not as bad as I thought. Put rent first so you have a roof over your head and let the bill collectors do their jobs so they don’t get bored. I’m all about helping others.

Illness is slowly dissolving worries about certain subjects. The situation is too big for my humanness to figure out.

Everyday I feel as if I pedaled a bike up Mt. Everest through quick sand.

Being angry doesn’t feel good so I’m moving on. I’m putting my fangs away until further notice.

Write Damn It

Photo by me

Sit down and write. It’s what you love to do.

Ever since I was a little person I’ve enjoyed writing. Once I learned to read, I never stopped. A “bookworm” through and through.

It’s easy to pick up someone else’s writing.

Knowing you love writing and actually taking action, not so easy.

Especially when you’re the type of person who’s been waiting for the perfect first step their entire life and then you get so fucking antsy standing still you make impulsive decisions and take risks that make other people say WTF?

Perfect does not exist, nor will it ever exist.

Write because you love to write. Write because you see the miracle in constructing millions of words out of a measly 26 letters. Write because it makes you feel better. Write because it’s beautiful and it gives you a release. Write because freedom is found in words.

There are no rules here.

Throw off whatever you think is holding you back.

Become light as a feather and don’t overthink it.

I'm Glad I'm Not A Lobster

Holy balls, this made my day 🙂

Food.for.Thoughts gave me the Liebster award. At first I thought it was the lobster award and that lobster was misspelled.

‘Liebster’ in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

Whew, I’m grateful I’m not a Lobster, although they are tasty, can be a bit “pinchy”.

Seriously though, Food.for.Thoughts is a great blog. I appreciate her honesty over burnout, depression and how to care for yourself. You will find interesting and informative posts with sprinkles of fun and humor along the way. Check it out!

She’s also lefthanded, as am I. We may be left handed, but we are always right. Ok, bad jokes aside………..

Here are the questions for me to answer:

  1. If you had an intro music, what song would it be? Why? Resiliant by Rising Appalacia because no matter how shitty things get I keep getting back up. I’m like the terminator for Christ’s sake.

2. What’s popular now, but annoys you? I don’t know what’s popular, so I can’t be annoyed by any of it. I’ve always done my own thing.

3. If you opened a business, what kind of business would it be? Someplace cozy and welcoming. A little bit of everything for every mood. Art supplies, yummy snacks, amazing books, smooshy sink in deep furniture, board games, puzzles, a climbing wall, cats and dogs roaming about, a few fire places, real cameras for people to play with etc…

4. Who in your life brings you the most joy? Jase is one funny fucker. My kids. Cricket the Cat. I also have amazing friends.

5. Where is the most beautiful place you have been? Where we live is pretty great. I grew up in the Midwest, so Colorado is a step up for me.

Being Bland Is Beautiful

Photo by me: “Bobcat Ridge” near our home

Do you ever feel “bland”?

It’s how I describe my mood and life at the moment.

I appreciate bland. For years I’ve been a “seeker”, looking for answers, looking for hobbies, looking for “IT”.

I’ve been addicted to novelty and the adrenaline rush of newness. I’ve never been settled.

It’s safe to say most of us go through a seeking phase in our youth. Feeling compelled to carve out who we are. Stand out. Be seen.

For years I sought physical and spiritual perfection. Subconsciously I wanted to prove I deserved to be here. I look back and chuckle at my antics.

Here I am with failing health, barely able to keep weight on my little body. I fluctuate between anger and gratitude.

I’m grateful for the slowing down. I’m letting go of fear, letting go of control, letting go of everything I thought I knew.

I am reminded that I am a spiritual being having a human experience. I am learning to be quiet and listen to Source.

Source is what I refer to as the “non-physical presence”. Call it whatever you want. God, Buddha, Universe. It’s all the same. I prefer Source.

I’m thankful for the stillness within, it’s why I feel bland. It’s a stark contrast to my constant “doing” that I’m accustomed to.

I have a feeling that my being forced to slow down will be one of the best things to ever happen to me.

Here’s a song by Rising Appalachia that I’m currently addicted to. They are sisters with powerful lyrics and music.

Shit's On Tap

When life serves up a pint of shit, you’ve got 2 choices. Pinch your nose and drink it or find a different tap.

I’m working on finding a different tap. The shit in my pint glass is unacceptable.

I accept that it’s there, but I don’t have to drink it.

Accept and adapt.

Find a new tap.

Giving In

I’ve considered deleting this blog. Thought about what a drag it is to write about pain and fatigue.

Wrestled with Jase over the idea of letting it go. He’s urging me to keep going, I want to give up.

Fact is, our lives have been over taken by my pain and fatigue. When I go to work, I can’t give full vent to the intensity of what I’m feeling. I stuff it down, dig deep, and find a way to do my job until I can fall apart in my car and then back at home.

While at work, there are multiple times my body screams at me to throw in the towel, to give up and go home. There’s a tenacity somewhere with in that keeps fighting, keeps reminding me there are bills to pay. It’s getting harder and harder to “fake it till I make it”. Fuck that.

I can’t find the words to describe what my body is experiencing. Dragging yourself through quicksand with cinderblocks tied to every limb.

Washing my hair zaps my arms with the feeling of burning lactic acid in a matter of seconds, and I have to find a way to clean a home from 4 to 7 hours or work retail for the day?

Survival.

I prefer a bed in a house over an air mattress in a tent. That’s the only thing that keeps me going. I don’t desire homelessness.

I’m terrified that one day my body will protest to the point of just not working anymore.

I’m jealous as hell of those who can navigate illness with no thought toward their finances. Yes.

I. AM. JEALOUS.

I fantasize about not having the added stress of keeping a roof over my head or a car to drive to work to keep the roof over my head.

I question why I’m not in a better position this late in the game.

Well, fact is, I’m not. This is my reality.

All the “why’s” and “what if’s” will not change what is in my life right now.

The co~worker who is so steeped in her high vibrational frequency that when I share a crumb of my depth her response is “I’m so happy for you! That’s wonderful!” I want to rip her head off and shit down her neck for being such a superficial piece of garbage. OOOO but it’s not socially acceptable to feel that way.

If you can’t handle a watered down version of my truth, don’t fucking ask.

In my recent pod cast listening I’ve witnessed Lady Gaga and Gabby Bernstein share their struggles with chronic pain and mental health. I appreciate and love them for speaking out. For having the balls to admit to their followers they struggle. To overcome the stereotypes. They are badass.

I have yet to hear someone speak about illness and financial lack. I’m sure if I do enough digging, I’ll find what I’m looking for.

I don’t know where to put the feelings and challenges I’m facing. They are new and unexpected.

I’m not versed in not wanting to be outside or go on a new adventure. I don’t know what to do with physical lethargy when my mind is saying it wants to go have fun.


The Chore Of Living And The Number Seven

I feel like a dick saying this but being alive feels like a chore. With numerous tragedies happening in the world, I’m an asshole for not feeling better about life.

My deep appreciation for life is buried under physical exhaustion and pain. Covered by the fact that every task I take on is stealing energy from the future.

I’m sick of writing about it, you’re sick of reading about it. It’s like a fucking straight jacket holding back more than my arms. It’s a full on body suit of chains.

Instead let’s look at the 7 Elk I saw on the way home.

Number 7 is the number of perfection, security, safety and rest.

That sands off some rough edges.

The Bedding Leprechauns Are Not Real

Woke up in the pile of sweaty bedding. You know the pile. The tail end of the flu pile.

Once you get out of the clammy pile there’s no getting back in. You have no choice but to wash the bedding. But you’re so weak and dehydrated, you wish the bedding leprechauns were real.

Well, I assure you, they are not real.

Not much of a post. But if too many days go by, before I know it a year will pass………….

All The Things I Didn't Do Today

photo by me, as usual

I didn’t construct the bed I woke up in.

I took no part in sewing the pillows, sheets or blankets wrapped around my body.

Didn’t come up with the design for my jockeys, t-shirt or hair tie.

I did not design, glaze, cast, dry, spray, fire or test the toilet.

I peed.

I did not grow, cut, then grind a tree to create pulp. Nor did I mix pulp in water and chemicals and then bleach the pulp or remove the lignin.

I wiped.

I did not install the plumbing or dig the 300 foot well.

I flushed.

I’ll speed this up. You’ve got the point? There’s so much I didn’t do today. I didn’t grow, pick or grind the coffee beans. I didn’t manufacture the coffee pot, the fridge, the counter tops or sinks. I didn’t put together my truck, or pave the roads.

In fact, I did not participate in the creation of the many objects and materials that served me today.

What I did do, is mindlessly use all of these things without an ounce of gratitude. I was busy feeling anxious and overwhelmed by life. By not feeling like “myself”. By mere survival. By wishing my life were different.

The reality of this grabbed me by the heart.

For years I’ve read about “mindfulness”. I’ve listened to podcasts on how to achieve it. Spent hours meditating.

A scavenger sniffing out morsels to consume, in the hopes they would change me. A caterpillar munching away, getting fat on information to wrap myself in a cocoon, hoping for metamorphosis.

I became a robot forcing myself to think or say “I’m pouring the coffee.” or “I’m wiping my ass.”

Nothing felt authentic. Just failed attempts at “fixing” another fault of mine. I’ve spent my life feeling as if my existence is a mess to be cleaned up.

I’ve let go of trying to get it.

It’s beginning to sink in and I had nothing to do with it.

When truth works it’s way into a pliable heart, you feel the changes on a cellular level. At least I do. I can’t speak for you.

Thank You For Recognizing My Sunshine

Thank you Goldie and Maja for these lovely nominations. Thank you for writing and sharing your thoughts on blog land. Your presence and bravery is appreciated here. Thank you for reading what I have to say and for not being offended by my sarcasm and liberal use of the word fuck.

Since I’ve never been a rule follower I’m going to wrap these into one post. Also this is my first blogging rodeo and my first awards. I am in the infant stages so bear with me.

Display logos: done 1. Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and provide a link to their blog. CHECK
2. Write a post to show your award. WORKIN ON IT
3. Give a brief story of how your blog started. ON A WHIM BEFORE HEADING OFF TO WORK. I KEPT SAYING I WANTED TO START A BLOG, SO WHAT BETTER TIME TO SIGN UP THAN RUSHING OUT THE DOOR. MADE ME FEEL OBLIGATED TO TRY. I FOUND I REALLY LIKE IT HERE. IT HELPS TAKE MY MIND OFF FEELING LIKE GARBAGE.

4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers. WRITE. WRITE.
5. Select up to fifteen bloggers you want to give this award to. THAT’S A LOT. I ALSO HAVE A HIDDEN FEAR OF IMPOSING ON PEOPLE. NOT SO HIDDEN ANY MORE. I WORRY TOO MUCH
6. Comment (or pingback) on each blog to let them know that you’ve nominated them, and provide a link to the post you’ve created. ALSO ALOT AND I HAVE A REBELIOUS STREAK OF NOT LISTENTING. I CAN BE KIND OF AN ASS HOLE SOMETIMES.

  1. Do you write like you think, or do you look up words to make your writing seem more “fancy?” SCARILY ENOUGH, I WRITE LIKE I THINK. I ONLY LOOK UP WORDS IF I’M SCARED OF USING THEM IMPROPERLY. I TRY TO KEEP THINGS SHORT AND CONCISE.
  2. How does your average Sunday look like? WAKING UP TOO EARLY AND BEING PISSED THAT MY BODY WONT SLEEP IN. NURSING MY WOUNDS FROM WORKING TOO HARD. THERE’S NEVER A PLAN. JASE AND I JUST DO WHAT FEELS RIGHT.
  3. What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done? I MOVED ACROSS THE UNITED STATES AFTER A DIVORCE. I HAD NO JOB AND NO PLACE TO LIVE. SHIT WORKS OUT
  4. How do you sharpen your writing skills? BY WRITING. HITTING PUBLISH ESPECIALLY WHEN I FEEL LIKE WHAT I’VE WRITTEN IS CRAP.
  5. Do you snore? NO, BUT APPARENLY MY BUTT DOES

You've Got Rings In Your Trunk

This is a reflective time for most.

I crawled out of my cave to join Jase and the kids at the climbing gym today. (now yesterday) I peek over my screen and catch a glimpse of the people I love. It stings that I physically cant participate. I think back to the spring when my oldest son took me on my first climb.

Hard to believe that was me.

Just another “ring” in my trunk. Metaphorically speaking that is. It’s different than having “junk in my trunk.”

Each spring and summer, a tree adds new layers of wood to its trunk.

The wood formed in spring grows fast and is lighter because it consists of large cells.

In summer, growth is slower; the wood has smaller cells and is dark.

So when the tree is cut, the layers appear as alternating rings of light and dark wood.

Count the dark rings and you’ll determine a tree’s age.

The rings indicate everything the tree has lived through: drought, sun, water, fires, insects, shade, being crowded by other trees etc……

The inside of the tree is literally a map of it’s years. There’s a cool diagram here.

Since I’m not a fan of long posts, and my head hurts from trying to choose a direction to go with how much richness and correlation there is between our years and the rings of a tree.

I’ll let you chew on it yourselves. Feel free to share any thoughts in the comments.

Happy 2020 folks. The start of another ring in our trunks.

The image above is the tree we cut down this holiday since the kids were visiting. I’m sad we ended it’s life. It’s looks like 2019 was a good year. Thank you tree.

New year, new start!

Oh my, where do i start? Hello! I’m Kasu! You know, the 11 year old you can find in the factiods about us. I am an anime artist, animator, and cosplayer! I’m writing this post because I’m interested about how the whole thing works! So I guess i will introduce myself! As i said I am anime artist and animator. I post my pieces on youtube just for fun! I am also a cosplayer! If you don’t know what a cosplayer is, it is where you dress up as a character from a video game, movie, anime, show, etc. I own a little gerbil my sister named Caffeinated Buns. A silly name for a silly boy!

Living the way I have has been hard but i could not have done it without my friends and family! I love them all dearly and have gotten so much support and love from them throughout my 11 years of living, shout out to my school and online besties! Also having to deal with middle has really given me stress with trying to get good grades and try not get bullied everyday. Though i’m dealing with all of these issues, I still try to push through it all and show the world who I really am!

When you meet me you would probably think “what’s with her?” or “why is she like that?” and i’m ok with that! People can think whatever they want, but I am me! They can’t control me (unless they are my parents). There are parts of me that are brave but I still lack some self confidence. When it comes to my beauty i’m not all that happy with it. I am trying to change and gain confidence, but it will be a big process. On social media I try not to show my face and just show them my art or animations. I try to ignore comments and believe in myself as much as possible

So yeah. I’m excited that 2020 has arrived and so has more of my creativity!I hope to post on here again because it was fun writing this all! Happy new year!

Mom, You Could Have Said Your Son Has A Vagina

My son Archie is comfortable with the fact that he’s rockin a vagina.

I told Archie about a conversation I recently had with a stranger. She made a comment that teens will blame their parents for their problems and hate them etc…etc….

My response was, “I have 4 boys, and am pretty close to all of them.”

That spurred her on to rant about how it’s only because I have boys I’m close to them and they have to individuate. If my children were all girls they’d dislike me, so on and so forth.

Archie’s response, “Mom, you should have fucked with her head and told her one of your sons has a vagina.”

There’s a million and one reasons to love Archie. He’s a trans man fully comfortable in his own skin. Embracing the journey as testosterone deepens his voice, thins his hair, and catapults him simultaneously through menopause and puberty. Gone are the days of wearing a binder to flatten his breasts. The grace with which he evolves humbles me.

He’s the bravest fucking person I know.

How did I get the privilege of being his mom? I swear he popped out of my vag wise beyond his years. I feel like I barely had to parent him. He came with inherent goodness oozing out of his soul.

No, I am not biased because I’m his mother.

I remember meeting his 5th grade teacher for the first time. In tears I told her “this child is special. I know every mother believes this, but this one, this one is truly special.”

A few months later I received an email telling me how incredibly off the charts this kid was.

In 3rd grade he said “Mom, I want to the play the oboe”

Me on the inside “Holy fuck, what’s an oboe.” ………..on the outside “sure, you can play the oboe.”

I’ve now been to Carnegie Hall twice to see the kid play. Seriously.

He plays other instruments and sings. This is one of my favorites. His voice is even deeper now

He’s in school for music therapy. Yes, to help people. You see this kid has ginormous amounts of anxiety and depression. Does that stop him, no. He makes all his own therapy appointments and takes the medication bull by the horns.

In fact I didn’t know what anxiety was. He is the one who came to me one day after he sought treatment for his and said “Mom, I figured all these years you just chose to live with your anxiety untreated.”

Talk about feeling like a fuck up as a parent.

The top photo was taken yesterday before his flight back out. I knew the hike and then the drive to the airport would land me in bed today, but it was well worth it.

What could be better than laying in bed, drinking a milk stout, blogging about one of your kids while Jase entertains the rest of the brood at the climbing gym?

Sure my muscles and joints feel like they’re fresh off the grill, I’m slurring my speech from exhaustion and thoughts feel furry like my teeth after too much sugar, but you do what you can.

I’m thankful for the distraction of blogging and that Archie’s comfortable with his vagina.

Cricket Cracks The Code For 2020

Cricket doesn’t give a rat’s ass that one decade is ending and another is beginning.

She doesn’t give a flying fuck that its a new year.

On January 1st she will wake up to her daily routine. Life as she knows it will be unchanged.

She’s not anxious about getting in shape, eating less meat, making money, being mindful, reading more books, writing a book, obtaining more followers, being green, helping others, getting out of debt, sticking to a budget, saving for a dream vacation, getting more organized, eating more vegetables, making better use of her time, using her smartphone less, learning the ukulele, or purging from social media.

She lives her life unencumbered.

She might stop and wonder what all the fuss is about. 2020……….it’s a number, a moment in time.

If she could talk she may ask you to recall 1998. Do you remember it? Was it good, bad, indifferent? What did you learn? Did you reach your so called goals? How about the year 2009? How was that year for ya? Were you still fat, in debt, hating your job and eating Cheetos at midnight while reading a trashy novel? Was that the year you finally “got it”? Really changed your life around? Or maybe it was 2015, that was a good year, right? You got out of debt, stopped drinking alcohol and learned to whittle. So which was it? What was the year of “magic”? Will 2020 be your year???????

Cricket doesn’t place her value in timelines. She takes each moment as it unfolds and lives in it.

While she’s laying in the sun licking her butthole, she doesn’t think to herself “I better clean this shit hole fast so I can get to reading another book. Mother fucker I have 11 months to get in 1,238 books. Last year I missed it by one! ONE, can you believe it?”

She cleans her butthole and then takes a nap.

While I do not intend to begin licking myself to get clean or shitting in a litter box, I do intend to live carefree like Cricket.

She seems to have things figured out.

If I Could Do Anything

If I could do anything.

I would drive a “happiness” van around the world

I would visit those with chronic illness in the hopes of interrupting their pain with joy.

It would be my own form of “distraction therapy” tailored to fit the interests of each individual.

I would take my pain and fatigue to the streets. I would meet others and we could share a belly laugh until we cry and there’s snot everywhere. Why not take our snot, sprinkle it with glitter, and use it as paint. There’s a distraction…….

I’d ask each person to describe what their body feels like. What it feels like to be them in just a few sentences. It would be a book written by thousands.

Yes, if I could do anything.

Sleep Time Lumpy

Emotions are messy. They blow up like the kitchen after a meal and a baked potato fight.

Yes, Jase and I had an Olympic potato toss with the kids last night. Pure impromptu impulsivity.

The best kind.

Fucked up emotions have a way of hitting you in the gut like a flying potato. Completely unexpected.

I’m doped up on Klonopin ready to sleep off the muck of the day. Yes, klonopin, the forbidden drug. Sadly the only drug that makes me feel human. They won’t give me a prescription. It’s too dangerous.

So sorry something works for you: takes away all the body pain, stops anxiety in it’s tracks, depression heads for the hills and you sleep like a fucking champ.

Nope.

Can’t have it.

I have a question for you. Say you have a child who is 20. They have tried at least 5 anti anxiety/depression meds to no avail. A wee bit of pot smoking eases all their symptoms. Would you buy it for them?

I sure would and I did. Why the needless suffering? Also we’ve seen too many kids who had to hide the fact that pot helped from their parents. Most are now dead or in jail………..what do you make of that?

I’m curious.

Troy, The Voice In The Ceiling and Other Gassy Tales

The sleep clinic didn’t know what hit them.

5 minutes before Jase had to leave he fucked up the sleep number bed, pushing it to the max of 100 and then quickly down to zero. Yes, zero, where no sleep number bed has gone before.

It looked like we were laying in a taco.

The deflated bed jacked up my anxiety to the point I was sweaty and nauseous. I could barely look Jase in the eyes for fear I’d pluck them out.

Jase had been with me for 2 hours to ensure I could handle my new identity as a circuit board. We we spent our time joking at a loud decibel. We are not sleep clinic material.

Once the bed was restored, the dismayed tech politely demanded it was time for Jase to head home.

I was alone with “Troy” as the voice in the ceiling, the camera at the foot of the bed and a costume of wires.

Ready. Set. Sleep.

I’ll spare you the stressful details. It was a long night.

I recall being startled awake by my passing gas. Yes, I let one rip in my sleep and felt like I should say “excuse me” to Troy, the voice in the ceiling.

No snoring, no holding my breath, no restless arms or legs. just farting.

At 5 am when Troy removed my costume he said, “You are very sleep deprived. When you actually do fall asleep, you go right into REM. The doctor will tell you the rest. “

“Is farting a sleep disorder?” was at the tip of my tongue. I held back.

I figured I’d spare us both the embarrassment and wait for the doctor to tell me……………

Perfectly Imperfect.

Our blended family founded on imperfection. Divorce, mental illness, physical illness, financial ruin, along with gobs of laughter, awareness and radical acceptance…….the only thing perfect here is we truly love one another and know we have nothing to hide in each others presence.

We’d like to extend warm holiday wishes to all and thank you for being a part of our lives.

We appreciate the stories and talents you are kind enough to share and for reading ours.

May we look toward the new decade embracing our difrences.

Peace and love xxxx

The Decorated Carcass In The Room

Meet Lucy.

Came with the house. Diamonds is on the other side of the room. Our landlord is a hunter.

Lucy stares at me from my corner on the couch. Comforting in a morbid sort of way.

There’s a decorated carcass in the room.

So many directions to run with this idea……..the things in life we need to let go of but refuse to ……… the masks we wear…..the addictions we have “under control”……..etc….etc…etc….

Get’s me wondering how many decorated carcasses are showing up at holiday parties across the globe.

“Honey, please put a different tie/dress on your carcass so it blends in better, Uncle Frank will be there, you know how he gets.”

No matter how you cut it or slice it and pare life down to a minimum, there’s a carcass in the room.

I’ve got my own this year. I have one gift a piece for each of my 4 children. Had to use my credit card so I can pay rent. I can’t shake the fucking carcass of Holiday’s past, even though I have changed, my beliefs have changed, and my children have changed.

They are so excited to be here, all TOGETHER. Here for each other and for us. My 2 oldest live an hour from us and they asked to spend the night X-mas eve.

Excited to meet Jase’s girls for the first time. Our first blended family Christmas. All 9 of us.

News flash Mare, they don’t give a rip about gifts or that you didn’t bake cookies.

Let go of the carcass. Put both feet in the present. Show up as your vulnerable authentic self. Lucy is there reminding you to be free…………

Shouldering The Pain

Jase the blog jacker here again.

I always want to write funny stuff. I know it comes from writing when I was traveling around the world. I used to fill my brain up with beautiful landscapes and funny adventures. I now realize I was filling a pot. The pot was my brain and it had tons of vivid material to draw from when sending correspondence to people on over five continents.

The last few years have been exciting. I moved to Colorado, started a new life and met a wonderful girl. We’ve had tons of adventures together. When we first met we were traveling every weekend camping and staying at ritzy resorts while spending on a shoestring during the offseason.

Over time Mare’s energy level has plummeted. Pain has spread across her body like wildfire. Her sleep has become broken and patchy. She gets constant headaches, numbness and tingling in her extremities. Anxiety and depression can hold her hostage at times for days.

I have experienced much of what Mare is feeling currently. I had comparable symptoms while being disabled from Bipolar depression and Fibromyalgia. In my own way, I felt the similar mental, emotional, physical and spiritual pain she feels right now.

What distresses me now is that I thought that my experiences would have better prepared me to handle what she’s going through. The fact is they haven’t.

It’s one thing to journey through difficult times yourself. It’s another to compassionately sit on the sidelines cheering someone to better health. What I see is that no matter how much shit you go through, it doesn’t take away the sadness you feel for when your lover has to go through it. I am not a great spectator. I want to take this pain off her shoulders. I want to carry it for her.

The Icy Truth

photo by me

Here’s the skinny: this is a strange time of the year. I just read a post by stormsoutside reminding me of this fact.

The holiday’s are not a jolly time for everyone. It’s a time of the year that’s questionable at best.

For those of you that read this blog regularly, you know I clean homes and work retail. You also know I’m navigating mystery health issues that a team of doctors are guessing at. The recent brain scan had 2 professionals saying “oh, this is not good” and a third saying “Your brain is good, lets get an MRI of your neck and lower back”……….ok??????? I suppose I’ll gather all my “scans” and get a second opinion, blah fucking blah……..blood work, sleep studies, x-rays……. Long story short:

I FEEL LIKE CRAP.

I HAVE NO ANSWERS

Add to that the laundry list of other worries, kids, finances, bankruptcy, homelessness etc…..

I was punched in the gut with the icy truth.

I don’t know when I will feel better. I may never feel better.

So who am I and who do I want to be? This is my life, like it or not.

Only I can find a way to be ridiculously, genuinely happy. To smile kindly and keep my energy in check while working with the public.

TO REMEMBER:

I AM NOT THE ONLY PERSON STRUGGLING.

Every single person is worried or struggling with something. Their outside may look polished and put together. I assure you, it’s not.

We are gifted with the freedom to choose our perspective. No one can take that away from you. You choose how you act and which lens you look though.

I am by no means telling you to ignore you negative emotions. What good would that do? Acknowledge and work through them. This is not a fake it till you make it plea. It’s a realization that we are all going though “stuff.”We can go though it and be happy at the same time. Our emotions can learn to live side by side.

I am skilled at setting up my own private pity party camp, building a fire and wallowing in my slop. After a few day’s it gets very uncomfortable, I tear down camp, and chuck it in the fuck it bucket.

Rather than being overwhelmingly burdened, try being annoyingly happy. I’m talking crazy town happy……….I just might wear a santa hat to my retail job today…..I just might.

…when you lose yourself you find the key to paradise.

Jase again.

A key idea in religions is the idea of finding yourself by losing yourself. Christ said it. I think the Buddha hinted at it. Even Jimmy Buffet makes light of it with Zac Brown in the reggae-ish jam “Knee Deep”. This paradoxical enigma is one theme i have encountered in my life multiple times.

I grew up an athletic and scholarly nerd who finished at the top of his class in high school with a ton of varsity letters, plenty of friends, a chip on his shoulder and big fat silver spoon in his mouth. See, I was an only child with a dad who was a college professor and a mom who was an operating room nurse. We had a decent amount of money, a house in town and a ski chalet a half hour away where we spent winter weekends.

I never wanted to go to college. Instead, I wanted to continue my climbing and snowboarding somewhere out west because I grew up in small hills of Pennsyl-tucky. I fondly call it that because i lived on the Appalachian trail. Never too far from the sound of banjos as joked about in the movie Deliverance. Having a father who was an academic, I was strongly encouraged to attend a university. In fact, I was pretty much bribed to pursue a bachelor’s degree by being given a fat bank account, a credit card and a brand new car. My only stipulation was that since i grew up inland, I wanted to go the ocean so i could learn to surf and dive. I chose the University of Rhode Island. In fact, that school picked me. Because i had a pretty good GPA, I received an academic scholarship in the school of ocean engineering. I liked ocean engineering because it was challenging. Lots of math, physics, laboratories on boats…. and I figured I might be the next Robert Ballard or Jacque Cousteau. The next great adventurer to find another Titanic or Lusitana.

College life was great in the beginning. I got accepted onto the crew team. I became a founding father of a fraternity. I was on the deans list. I went to tons of raves during the early techno scene and I became a whitewater boater traveling every weekend between regattas to paddle class V rivers.

Then BAM!!! I joined a religous group at school. I don’t know why really. Maybe because i was feeling empty. Perhaps I was looking for the meaning of life. Anyhoo, this decision changed the course of my life for years. The group turned out to be a cult and I went from being a super duper happy and fun person to someone who felt he was alway wrong in the eyes of God. I felt like a constant sinner and disappointment.

Long story short, I declined in mental health for the next four years. My genes expressed themselves in a way where i became bipolar. I was in and out of mental institutions for years. It took a psychiatric cocktail of mood stabilizers, antipsychotics and antidepressants to get me back. Two years after hospitalization and seventy pounds heavier i got my life back. It was me. Just a new me. I little more compassionate with a lot more understanding of what people go through in life and a shit ton of stretch marks.

Five years after recovering i dropped my 46 inch waist back to a 32. I was training for triathlons and was in great spirits. I decided to leave the corporate world as an engineer to help a friend open a snowboard shop. It was uber successful and we had a great season. In the spring, I embarked on a sixth month road trip to visit all of our lower 48 states. I decked out my Subaru to live out of and bought a one man tent to sleep in when i didn’t feel like crashing in the car.

My expedition went well. I dove, climbed, snowboarded, ran, biked, camped and everything you can imagine from Maine to Oregon. Unfortunately however, i also picked up six parasites, Lyme disease and an intense reaction to steroids used to suppress a wicked case of poison oak i contracted in Glacier National Park.

When i returned to Pennsylvania, I planned to sell my car and move to Asia to teach english. Instead, I fell bedridden. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. For the next 19 months I was chained to my mattress. The infections I sustained caused my body to shut down. My hormones plummeted. I couldn’t sleep. I was constantly in a state of fight or flight with panic attacks daily. For nearly the next two years I was a guinea pig. Bioidentical thyroid, adrenal, and testosterone hormones. Months of different antiparasitic drugs like Yodoxin and Flagyl. Six months of Azithromycin, 30 days of Doxycyline. I took Klonopin for anxiety. Xyrem, Soma, Lunesta, Ambien, Trazodone, Doxepine, and a million other drugs for sleep. None worked. Instead, I went from being an athlete and adventurer to a raving addict.

I craved alcohol and drugs instead of sports. I got three DUIs in a short period of time. I lost my driver’s license for 13 years. I was sentenced to 2 years in prison with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. I’m not talking county jail. This was big boy prison. By the end, I would be housed in Five of PA’s state correctional facilities.

In the duration between being charged with 3 DUI’s and going to the Big House, I recovered from Fibromyalgia. I found the drug Seroquel. It was an antipsychotic medication with a heavy sedation that helped me finally get sleep. I also found the drug Lyrica. It was a nerve pain killing godsend which allowed me to move. Six months after these drugs came on board I was finishing Ironman triathlons. I was also maintaining a blog and a Facebook presence where I was helping people like me and giving them hope for recovery.

You see, Fibromyalgia was my second loss. Bipolar was my first. Bipolar robbed me of my mind. I lost it. Fully and completely. I always said going “crazy” is like going behind a waterfall. You finally reach a place of peace with everything mentally crashing down around you. You can hear the “crazy”, but you’re behind it. One with it. No longer resisting the intrusive and painful thoughts sinking daggers into your stomach 10 times per minute.

Fibromyalgia was losing my body. I could no longer do. No longer train. No longer walk. No longer be mobile. Everything I prided myself on being able to accomplish up to that point…the ability to be mentally sharp. The ability to move my body quickly, for long durations with lots of skill…..it was all gone. I had nothing left to establish my ego on.

The very last thing i lost was my freedom. I was imprisoned. Sometimes in a box so small I could reach across it’s dimensions with both hands and touch its cold gray walls. Walls filled with the grafitti of other inmates before me who struggled to make sense of what they had done and how they would spend the rest of their lives.

I was petrified of being cattle in a stall, a pig in a pen, or chicken in a coup. I went from spreading my wings over 3000 miles of our beautiful American landscape to being confined to a twin mattress for two years to conquering 140.6 miles of swimming, biking and running to eventually landing in the Department of Corrections.

As frightening as my anticipation of being incarcerated was, it taught me a lot. I will be ever grateful for it. Many of my cellmates will never be able to walk the ground i do now as a free man. They will forever be bound and confined. It makes me sad. Some of these men had big hearts, but unfortunately got caught up in the web after injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan. Other men deserve their fates for what they have done to other innocent people. For me, I walked out a different person. An individual grateful for every breath he can take in the free world.

I came to Colorado because this state offered me a new life. It is the only state in the nation which will look at a persons criminal record and loss of license and evaluate if they believe someone is worthy of having their drivers license reinstated early. Colorado ruled in my favor. The DMV reinstated my license 6 years early. The state also provided me with medical and food assistance so that i could get back on my feet and and have a second chance.

…and isn’t that what this whole blog post and all of the lessons we read in our in our religious texts about. A second chance. What is that second chance? It’s the opportunity of receiving back and incorporating what we have once lost in a way that our Egos no longer measure itself by. For me it is using my mind, my body and my freedom in a way that i will be eternally grateful for what i have; never forgetting where i’ve come from. Also, it means to not forget all those who are still stuck in those holes I have been lucky enough to climb out of. To shine a light back down into that darkness for them to see and extend them a hand or ladder to help them climb out themselves.

The cherry on the top of my loss was that within a few month of moving to Colorado I met Mare. The love of my life and my sexy little hippy monkey. If I had never gone through the hell that i did, I would never have been in the right place at the right time to meet her. She is one precious gift i have no intention of losing.

…and now a word from the other person in the room….thank you Santa!!!

A word from Jase…

My holiday gift came early this year. Way early. A week to be exact. I say holiday cause i’m not Christian, Jewish … or as you guessed it …not African American either. I’m white and pasty; mostly English with a dash of Irish. So i don’t celebrate Christmas, Hanukah or Kwanzaa. Okay, truth be told I might have a secret endearment to the jolly ole fatman who can shimmy down chimneys without burning his chubby ass. That fondess might exist still cause my 10 year old still believes in him.

Nonetheless, I am celebrating today. The reason…the beautiful love of my life got another lease on life. Ten scary days ago we received a brain MRI impression from a radiologist that said Mare….the owner of this blog, had angiopathic ischemic changes in her brain. Fuck….thats scary, right. What the “F” does angiopathic and ischemic mean even. I can tell you….it means blood vessels clogging, circulatory pathways dying. In other bodily systems it would mean a heart attack. If your a dude, it could mean you’re never getting a boner again cause you ate to many McDonalds cheeseburgers and ya can’t pour “Draino” down your Jean Thomas to unclog the block. For Mare, with this prognosis it could mean that she may have been dealing with a disease called small blood vessel disease of the brain.

In layman’s terms if your brain blood vessels are dying you could experience early onset Dementia, Stroke, balance issues, pissing yourself….you know all the great fucking things that come with being geriatric after age 80. The only goddamn problem is Mare is 44. That’s half the age you expect such fun caregiving experiences of epic humilating proportions.

Just to let our readers know….I don’t mind taking care of Mare. Saddling her up with Depends sexy diapers. Personally i’d get the form-fitting ones with the floral pattern and the smell of coconuts and Jasmine. Or maybe wiping her ass with sensitive skin huggies flushable wipe…i certainly strike the balance between form and function. I would never want a huggies wipe that doesn’t biodegrade and instead ends up in “Flippers” mouth 5,000 miles away in the north atlantic.

It’s just that….well….i’m not ready to lose my sexy little monkey to brain loss and forgetting who i am. I am her Silverback. Her gorilla. The one who adores her 24/7 365. I love our everyday life together. Our intimate evenings. Cooking, drinking rum and cokes with a side of muscle relaxors to help us melt into the couch while singing our own perverted lyrics to Disney cartoons , reading poetry and instruction manuals next to each other on the green velvet microfiber couch, blogging from our our slightly larger than twin mattress and at times professional wrestling in a kiddy pool filled with KY jelly.

The bottom line. We found out that Mare’s occluded cerebral blood vessels are few in number and small in magnitude. So that is my Christmas gift. Our Christmas gift. It could be the best one that never ended up wrapped in box and a bow placed by Santa under the Christmas Tree. Instead the gift is right here with me conveniently placed directly under the mistletoe.

When Christmas Hits Like A Brick: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

We don’t own a bed.

We are minimalists who rent fully furnished.

Christmas is next week.

Our blended family has 6 children. They are ALL coming for the holiday.

Well, that’s a brick in the gut.

Jase’s girls are 9 and 11. Oh me oh my! My boys are 25, 23, 20, and 15……….been there done that………

Time to raid the shed.

Halle~fucking~lujah

We found the mother load. We are all about a recycled Holiday. Thank you landlord.

The only thing absent is a tree. We live in a fucking forest on the side of a mountain.

Now comes the ethical decision.

To kill or not to kill. To look for a seedling in the name of forest thinning.

I appreciate the shift in perspective as we age. My thoughts are with Jase’s girls and their upbringing. Too young to understand the outrageousness that Christmas has become.

Their holiday is in our hands.

It’s too soon to lay the burden of the illusion of life on these young souls.

In the end we will kill a small tree. We will honor it and thank it for giving two girls another year of innocence, wonder and magic.

Their time of awakening has not yet come.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

The truth is, we are all doing our best with what we’ve been given.

Fuck The Bike

There are days, oh there are days.

You don’t have to get back on the bike.

Admit you’re too tired to pedal.

You’ve gone as far as you can.

Abandon the fucking bike.

It’s 3 am. I’m holding vigil, what ever that means. Really I’m freaking in, worried sick and at the same time grateful.

My son checked himself in yesterday with the help of his older brother. I remember when they were the cutest little shits and I could make it all better with a snoopy band-aid, a hug and a freezy pop.

The days of all 4 boys running around without a care. Skinned knees, bloody noses, snotty tears………

Fuck you life. Fuck you and the heavy burden you place on the youth today.

I think of friends and family members with struggling children. What are we supposed to do?

I am reminded of funerals attended. Friends of the boys who succeeded in snuffing out their lives.

We are no stranger to this thing called depression. It has been an uninvited visitor many times.

Where the hell did I leave my roll of bubble wrap? You know, the one you keep hidden in the closet. You’re sure you’ve wrapped the kids in at least 10 layers.

Honey, there’s a gaping hole in your bubble wrap. Please let me fix it. I’ll have it patched up in no time.

If only it were enough………………if only………I forgot, you’re an adult now. My magic bubble wrap became invisible…..

Fuck you life.

A Simple Thank You

I didn’t know what to expect from starting a blog. I had no preconceived ideas. I needed an outlet.

I found something to look forward to in this strange land.

I’m excited to read the latest and greatest from athousandbitsofpaper, patchworkmomma, millenniallifecrisis, floatinggold, KNJtalesandsnippets

I’d like to extend a simple thank you. Thank you for being here and for the time you put into writing. The time you put into your responses.

Thank you for sharing your lives and talents.

Thank you for giving me a reason to drag my tired ass out of bed in the morning and for something to look forward to after work when I’m sentenced to more rest.

I appreciate you.

Wash Your Dirty Bits

There are days I feel like I’m falling out of a tree like my cat pictured above.

Shower?

Fuck no. That requires energy.

Jase kindly tells me when it’s time.

“Honey, you look like you brushed your hair with a pork chop.”

That’s when the hippie showers no longer cut it. You know, the 1 minute dirty bits rinse with the detachable shower head. Pits, tits, and ass as Jase refers to it……(I also include my vag)

Homage To Your Hands And Feet

Hands and feet are put through the ringer.

Consider your hands for a moment. Scan through a day from start to finish.

Check the clock, pull the covers in tighter, pet the cat, hug the man

Potty time, wipe front to back………hands wipe butts and crotches, your own and others if you’ve got kids or care for the elderly. It’s a fact of life. One we don’t often give thanks for. I do not enjoy the idea of someone having to wipe for me. What a vulnerable position to be in, please let me expire before that day comes.

Hands.

They dress us, feed us, cleanse us. They wipe our tears and the tears of others. They bring animation to our words in times of intensity.

Hands.

We can use them in unspeakable ways. History and daily news tells the tales we don’t want to know.

Consider the hands of your loved ones. What do they see on a day to day basis? Books, pets, steering wheels, wheelchairs, kitchen duties, computers, phones, hugs, sex, saws, drills, jackhammers etc..

Hands.

Those of you who have lost your hands or were born without. You are hero’s. Truly you are. Thank you for reminding us anything is possible.

Shout out to our feet.

They withstand the weight of our body and extensive physical activity.

Hours suffocated by socks and uncomfortable shoes.

If bare they are stubbed and covered in dirt.

They protest when we expect too much of them.

Sometimes we listen and put them up for a reprieve and a much needed breath of air. Other times we tell them to shut up and force them to keep moving.

It’s good to pause and think about the places your feet have taken you or not taken you. The places they’ve gotten you out of because it no longer served you.

Thank you for reading my random thoughts about these valuable overworked body parts. May we use them wisely. May we notice the work of others and say thank you.

Remember How Strong You Are

There are times you need to look back to remember your strength. To remember where you came from and how far you’ve made it.

To remember that things work out in unexpected ways.

These photos are from 3.5 years ago. I had been divorced for a full year, living in Wisconsin in my first apartment ever after 4 children and 20 years of marriage.

My 2 oldest boys lived in Colorado, moved there after high school.

I laid in my bed one night and made a deal with the universe. “If I can get rid of everything I don’t need in the next 2 weeks, I’m moving to Colorado.”

Easy~Fucking~Peasy

Poof! All furniture gone.

I ran it past my 2 youngest kids who were living with my ex, (he made all the $ so the kids stayed put, no need to make them economically struggle). They told me to go for it and we’d figure out travel plans.

I grabbed my $1,000 in savings and off I went. No job, no place to live.

My first weekend in Colorado I took a backpacking trip with my oldest son.

There’s so much more to this tale……..so much…….but I look at the photos and ask myself, “Where is that Mare? That brave little woman who moved across the country and let the divine lead her?”

She’s buried under financial strain, buried under poor health and not enough answers. Buried under a scary brain MRI result and waiting for the next doctors appointment. Buried under intense physical pain and fatigue.

She took 6 different jobs when she got to Colorado and literally worked herself into the ground. Physically she’s a train wreck.

That spirit, the one that believes anything is possible, it’s in there. It’s still there. The divine is always speaking…………..”Mare, get your head out of your ass.”

A Thousand Bits of Genius

If you go to the Loo daily, keep reading.

If you’re into the whole holiday gift buying thing and you have avid readers on this list, then I have solved all of your gift buying problems. You’re welcome……These are available on Amazon through Kindle or in Paperback.

“By the Loo and in the Waiting Room” is a collection of short stories that are guaranteed to hold your attention. They are witty and will keep you guessing as to how they will end. You feel transported, like you are part of the tale.

Put a copy in your Loo and in the Loo of your family and friends. We all need entertainment in the Loo. Everybody poops, might as well enjoy it.

“Healing the Broken Things” is therapy through poetry. If you’ve ever been at a loss for words because of the highs and lows of emotions or circumstances, these poems will fill in the missing puzzle pieces.

There is a divine knowing written among the pages. Not in a creepy religious way either. You won’t feel like you’re 5 years old in scratchy tights, with sweaty feet, not being able to see over the pew. This is more like a divine hug, divine freedom to feel what you are feeling, divine acceptance.

These come to you by the author of the blog Athousandbitsofpaper. Do yourself a favor and visit her blog for a daily divine dose of genius.

Life Feels Like…….

Sometimes the only thing that feels sane is the idea of a giant chocolate Bundt cake.

The center is filled with the softest squishiest blankets and there’s a never ending pile of books.

You read. You eat cake. You nap. Repeat.

Life should be like that. A giant chocolate Bundt cake.

Oftentimes life feels like a burnt casserole dish. You can’t quite make out what the casserole was made of, and you can tell it tasted like shit. You let it soak overnight and still have to scrape for all eternity to get the dish clean. You curse, freak out, and throw the dish at the wall.

Yeah, life feels like a burnt casserole dish.

Gypsy Soul

This gypsy soul visits us from time to time. She gets close enough to pet, but I never do, I respect her wild heart.

Sweet gypsy soul.

You crave adventure

The pulse of nature is your life line

Staying in one place is not an option. There’s too much to see and so much to do………

The search never ends………

Creativity is at your core

Your yearning is never quenched…….

Sweet gypsy soul, I see you and I know you.

I am you…………stuck in a cage…….longing to be free…….longing to roam…..

Forced stagnation is a demon holding me by the throat.

I’m being held against my will. Looking for the keys to unlock this hell.

A prisoner in a body that refuses to cooperate. Rebellious bitch no longer bending to the rules I have set.

This gypsy soul shall not be tamed by such a pathetic attempt.

She will run free once again.

Just wait and see…………..

The gypsy in the photo visits us from time to time. It was a privilege to capture this photo.

Life Can Be A Poke In The Ass

I’m short on laughter these days. This photo makes me laugh.

I want so badly to construct an inspiring blog post. To piece together something wise and well thought out.

I got nothin.

I feel like a piece of shit. My body feels like there’s static running though it. Every muscle and joint feels like someone took a blow torch to them. My head feels foggy and dizzy. My thoughts are dark and my sanity is faint. My brain is in a daze, it’s hard to talk in complete sentences.

I want to give full vent to the depth of how intensely awful my body feels. Letting go is terrifying. Letting go means admitting and accepting I’m falling apart. I’m angry. So fucking angry. I’ve lived a relatively healthy existence compared to most. Healthy choices are no guarantee to good health.

Life is a poke in the ass. I’ve never been poked in the ass, so I can only relate to the slang of the phrase.

No amount of meditating, pod casts, music, healthy food, deep breathing, stretching, spiritual books etc can touch what has taken over my body and mind.

I’m sad for anyone dealing with physical and/or mental illness. No one asks to feel like garbage. No one asks to have the rug pulled out from under them. This stuff can not be planned for.

I am stripped bare. I have nothing to offer physically, mentally or financially to another living soul. There is nothing boast worthy about this life. I am a shell.

The part of me that holds on to hope says, “My dear, this is the best place to be. An empty vessel. You are walking through the fire. Let go, there is a purpose to everything. “

Going To Seed

Photo by me

You there. Yes, you……..

You have gone to seed.

You may not be the ripe, flourishing beauty you once were, but how lovely is your depth.

Your seeds carry life. Your DNA written on each one.

You were planted from a seed and over time became an individual, yet still part of the many seeds before you.

Looking up the phrase “going to seed” produces negative idioms: to decline or fall apart. To become worn or shabby.

Aren’t we all going to seed? None of us are aging backwards.

As we decline into old age, what will be left?

I’ve been a negative asshole the past 2 days. Weary of feeling like shit, I’ve been dropping seeds of negativity like a rabbit with colitis.

Chronic pain has turned me into a complaining slob. I’m obese with the seeds of anxiety and worry.

My head is spinning from tests and more doctor referrals. I’m dizzy from riding the same unicorn on the medical merry go round.

Eventually the weeds I’ve planted will choke out the wild flowers that are my heart. The weeds will turn into reins and capture this wild mare………..

Where the fuck are my gardening gloves? It’s time to get to work.

Manly Man For Hire

Hard working and plays well with others.

He’s a slob in “training” (I’m the trainer), but don’t let that stop you. He has immaculate work ethic.

You see, the work he’s doing in this photo, he’s doing for free.

No one asked him to. He’s a man like that.

He knows his girl has to get to work and, her truck, well, it’s a ways away.

He’s a man like that.

He knows his girl has a lot on her plate and he wants to clear the dishes.

He’s a man like that.

On second thought, I think I’ll keep him for myself. This ad is officially closed.