Dying Of Embarassment On The Road To Hell’s Intentions

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, or so they say. I’ve personally never been on the road to hell, not even the one in Michigan so I can’t say for sure what the pavement is made of or even what it’s like.

Of course people also say they about died from embarrassment and I can assure you, I’ve been more than a tad embarrassed and never actually died from it. I may have wanted to die, or at least have the earth open up a hole to I could fall into it and then have the earth just close back over again.

I had intended to walk the entire distance of the path today. I knew I wanted to walk it the minute my friend told me about its existence. Taking a page from Beloved’s book, I started to check the forecast to ensure I would have optimum weather for the day I went down the path. Today, according to the weather experts, was supposed to be the most ideal day of the week for the trip.

With a soft, warm glow to the morning sky, I made my way to the entrance of the park where the path begins. I brought with me just a light sweater to deal with the early morning coolness; I packed water and made sure I was wearing my walking shoes. I stuck my phone in my pocket and chose to listen to the birds singing in the distance as I started down the path. It was, in fact, a very peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.

Not even halfway down the path the sun dipped behind a cloud and the wind picked up a bit. I was grateful to have brought my sweater with me. To be honest I was feeling a bit smug about remembering to bring my sweater. The problem with feeling smug is that there is always something to bring you back to your humble senses. In my case it was an incredible downpour. From out of nowhere or so it seemed.

In less than a minute I was soaked and cold, no longer interested in walking the rest of the way. I just wanted to go home, get dried off and warm up with a nice drink. Naturally I turned to head back the way I came. And just as naturally my good walking shoes found a nice muddy puddle to go into. It was the kind of puddle that resulted in muddy water going more than half the way up my legs. And the rain didn’t seem to be doing a good job of removing the mud from my pants or shoes.

As luck would have it, or at least as luck goes in my world, when I got to where I parked, the sun was back out and shining as if nothing had happened. Except I was soaked, filthy and cold and there were more people in the parking lot preparing to go for a walk in their nice clean clothes, suitable footwear and water-repellent coats in hand.

No the earth did not open up to swallow me, I was probably too dirty. And yes I did want to die or at least hide right then especially because where I had parked meant I had to go past everyone looking like a disheveled drowned rat with squishy shoes.

He Loved Her

He loved her so much that he couldn’t stand the thought of being away from her. His love meant that he had to know what her schedule for every moment of the day although he didn’t feel that he needed to share his schedule with her. His love made him entitled to know who she was spending her time with, this included knowing her co-workers. Because he loved her so much he wanted to make sure she wasn’t being influenced by negative or “bad” people. This love of his let him pick who she should spend time with just as it let him show her that her own friends weren’t good for her.

He loved her so much that he would do anything to prevent her from making a mistake. This included him using his fists upon her body as a means of a deterrent. He always, but always, said he was sorry afterwards. He was sorry that she didn’t or couldn’t listen to him when he knew what was best for her. He was so sorry that she forced him to go to extreme lengths to keep her safe. His love caused him to hurt himself at times by hurting her. The physical beating she took was surely not nearly as painful as the internal pain he went through when he was forced, by love, to beat her into submission.

He loved her so much that he couldn’t stand the thought of her having a life without him. And it was the act of ultimate love when he shot her or stabbed her to death. And this love surely is what drove him to then take his own life too, for what would his life be like without the love of his life in it? Or so that’s how the story goes.

The reality is no matter how you try to pretty it up, not even the best make-up artist or stylist can hide the horror of domestic violence. And if you think it the same scenario as above couldn’t be altered that the abuser was a female you’d be sadly mistaken. Domestic abuse comes in many different forms and it isn’t always obvious to see what happens behind closed doors or drawn shades.

It’s hard to explain why people stay with their abusers. Love is part of it for some. Just as fear is a factor for others. Sometimes your abuser does an excellent job of telling you things in such a way that you cannot help but believe what s/he says to be true. Some may believe they deserve exactly what they are receiving. For some, at the drawn out end, the death is just a matter of when or by what means it will be carried out.

It’s a sad day my friends when the newscasters can tell us of these murder-suicides before handing it over to the weather person or breaking for a commercial and none of us are fazed by this; nothing more than an unfortunate yet somewhat routine story. But at least he loved her enough to love her to death right?

Stepping It

I never get in enough steps during my day. I know, the answer to walk more, but it doesn’t always work that way in reality. Some days require less walking for a variety of reasons up to and including lupus. Some days I walk to every place I need to go and came back by foot as well and still my steps do not add up to the magical number set out for me.

I once thought about hiking the Appalachian Trail, but it never went further than the thought because do the trip would require camping. Camping, for some strange reason, has a number of requisites that I am not a fan of, such as the lack of running hot water; the lack of indoor facilities and plumbing; an insanely high exposure and therefore interactions of bugs. So it never became more than a thought, although if I had hiked the AT I would have more than reached the number of steps required every day. Granted I’d probably have been miserable the whole time and thus likely to quit before I reached the end of the trail, but hey, I would have had my steps in! 🙂

Someone suggested just walking around the room more, not because I need anything, but as a way to get the steps in. I suppose I could do that at times, but frankly that’s highly unlikely because the room bores. The weather isn’t always ideal for walking in either and some of the steps I take outside are dependent upon the four-footed one and how far she is likely to travel.

Now if the steps I take when I’m reading count, then I would be well over my required number. In each book wherever the character is going, I seem to travel with them. Currently what I am reading is a historical account of a family moving westward for better land and opportunities. They walk a lot. Every day, no matter the weather or how they are feeling, they walk. They’ve walked on water in the form of frozen rivers and creeks. They have walked up hills and down into valleys. They have climbed from one rocky place to another just to find themselves walking along a very narrow spine to get to the west. They are foot sore, hungry, exhausted and not exactly smelling like they did back in their previous place. Surely that can count as my steps right?

It’s amazing to think of how our ancestors got around, how far they would have travelled by foot without too much worry. It’s amazing to realize how hope, a dream and faith can fuel a person’s desire to the point where it’s nothing to putting one foot down in front of the other over and over again. For days on end even. Whereas I struggle just to get a measly 10,000 steps in during my day. And I remind myself that I travel further in a day for things like food etc. than the people in the book I am reading because I am not self-sufficient; add in the fact that I don’t live in the heart of the city and well it isn’t always practical to walk to places to get one’s groceries. Excuses? To a degree sure, but also to a degree a reality that many of us who live in suburbia face. So we find purposeless ways to get our steps in; some of us better than others at meeting the goal.

In Real Life Acts Of Love

In the movies things omits always work  out.  Fingernails don’t get broken, the most unruly of hair can be turned into something wonderful and amazing, and love conquers all.  But that’s in the movies, and in Hollywood anything can turn out to be a happily ever after.  Heck racial intolerance or religious differences can be overcome with the magical idea of love.  For Hollywood, fairytale so and romance novels all tell us love conquers all.  We just have to find our true love, and we will know when we find it for it shall feel perfect.

Now I’m the owner of a patch of unruly hair so I can attest to the fact that sometimes there ain’t nothing that can be done for unruly hair.  Other times a gallon of hairspray and a pray may make it hold still enough to look decent.  And a broken fingernail can be filed and will somehow grow itself out in time.

And true love in my life, is a man who sings slightly off-key as he struggles to create flavors from back home.  True love, in my books, is a man who doesn’t get his feathers too ruffled when I change my mind and tell him it’s still not right.  And love is a man who puts up with the uncertainty that is part of the package that comes with me.  No questions asked.

Of course that man who done that cooking left me a mess about as wide as the Mississippi herself!  And love is part of cleaning up that massive mess, perhaps not happily so, but cleaning it because love and good intentions is what made that mess in the first place.  And by no means is my life a happily ever after, but it’s sure got a lot of happiness in it.

Perfectly Imperfect or Who Put Lipstick On The Pig And Can S/he Be Stopped

Some days you just know are going to be a bit more of a handful right from the start. Not every day can be perfect. Some days the only shining example is that of the glaring imperfections in the day. Now some people have this cute little bit of magic they do where they can find the humor or the opportunity within those glaring imperfections.

They call them opportunities for improvements. I call that putting lipstick on a pig, but hey I get the idea. Except have you ever put lipstick on a pig? For the record I’ve never done it and I would never do it, but at the end of the adventure you’d still have a pig, just one wearing lipstick. So these opportunities for improvements are still pointing out the imperfections that need fixing, it’s just a fancy way of saying it.

Other people have these magical skills that have them prepared to deal with the fact that nothing in life is perfect, that everything needs improving and that into every life must fall some rain. (For the record for some of these people the definition of “some rain” is actually a deluge.) I mean if you know it’s going to be wet and windy or just dreary you can prepare for it. I wonder, though, if these people ever have the idea of hope in their lives. Do they hope for the perfect moments, or are they content for it to be less than all the time.

And now back to the story…this morning I woke up to a day that started with hope and a touch of perfection to it. I mean good coffee (yes I know I may have a crazy addiction to the stuff), plenty of time to do what needed doing, no insane traffic snarls on the way to work (this includes no crazy livestock roaming the roads which is on occasion a major drama) and somewhat decent weather. (I mean it can always be better weather here, but I’m not really going to complain about that.) And the first bit at work was good too.

It was part way through my work morning that the wheels fell off and we headed from a good day to the day of utter and complete imperfections. Imperfections which ranged from technical failures (such as a system failing when I was using it for demonstrations) to people failures (people deciding to do things without first having all the information) and let’s not forget everything else in between those two items as well. Oh and we ran out of coffee too. So that was the icing on the cake that slide on the floor, out the door and into the mud. Where it was eaten. Eaten by a pig, that happened to be wearing lipstick.

But of course there is a bit of perfection even in this day of utter imperfections, frustrations and what have you. Because you see, the perfection was the fact that everything was so wholly imperfect that in a way, it all lined up to a perfect storm of “let’s not do this again”. So I guess in a way it was a somewhat balanced day.

With Open Eyes And Heart

Friends of Beloved recently adopted an eight year old boy.  His biological parents had placed him up for adoption because they couldn’t handle life with him anymore. And they wanted to provide him with a better life than they felt they could give him.  Alan, they learned, was a low functioning autistic child.

Low functioning as in not able to take care of his own basic needs, or life skills.  Low functioning as in they didn’t offer a lot of hope for him.  Non-verbal as in incapable of speech and communication in the normal way. Not silent, not in the least.  He makes noise.  He just doesn’t speak.

Beloved’s friends, we will call them Lucy and Ricky, were told not to adopt Alan.  That Alan would be best served in a hom.  With people like him.  As though he had been written off already.

Lucy and Ricky were undeterred.  Their positive outlook told them they oiled learn from Alan and help him.  If nothing else they could provide him a nice home and hordes of therapy and fun.

In the short time Alan has been with them, he has come out of his shell so to speak.  He seems to enjoy finger painting and their house displays his master prices.  Some of the art work shoes interesting textures and colors.  But it isn’t all rainbows and sunshine, and I would sign Alan up as an artist just yet.

Lucy and Ricky admit it’s a long road ahead of them.  One full of tears and frustration as well as joy and learning.  Beloved asked them, if they knew then what their lives had become now, would they have adopted Alan. Without hesitation they both said yes, because despite the hard work, frustration and fun, they believe everyone is worth a home life with adventures and working to each person’s highest potential.

Water Everywhere or How We Got A Swimming Pool

I may have mentioned before that neither Beloved, nor myself, are really all that good in life skills. Sure he can cook gourmet meals, but we can’t grow the vegetables. We probably could raise the animals, if we had the space, but I’d promptly turn them into pets. And once you name the animal you cannot eat it. No can do. Home repairs? Not Beloved’s thing, and I’m only good at minor things. You know the sorts of things like fixing small cracks in the wall, repainting and things of that nature. Rewiring the electrical? Not happening. Well unless you want to see fireworks.

In keeping with the degree of our inability to actually fix things, the house decided it needed a water feature. A “built in” kind of water feature that normally costs tons of money to get have added. Let’s not talk about the maintenance and the upkeep of said water feature. Our came free of charge. And it’s not exactly wanted. Mostly because I’m not sure how to treat the water so one could swim in it.

Yep the rain has found it’s way into the house. Not through the roof, which is where I expected it to come. And not through the foundation corners either. Not that either of those would make life any easier. But the water found it’s way through the cement slab the house is built on. The floor has enough water covering all of it to go splashing through.

The only fix we could do, between the two of us, is hook-up the wet vac. and suck out the water. But that only lasts for so long. So we did what we always do when the house decides it needs attention. We called in an expert. Who told us nothing can be done. After he collected his pay.

Why you may ask can nothing be done. Let me share with you something called ground-shift and something else called water table. Let me share with you the idea that when the ground shifts, it can alter the water table. The water table rises and falls depending upon the amount of water falling into the ground.

The very wet spring caused some of the ground up from our us to shift and altered the water table. The bottom of the cement slab is now technically sitting in the water table. Not above it. Not near it. But in it. Think swimming pool that fills up from the floor. That’s the house.

I’m not sure what all needs to be done as Beloved decided to have man-to-man talk with the contractor. Which is basically the same as having a conversation with someone who doesn’t speak the same language as you do because Beloved has no more of a clue about this stuff than I do.

Me? I’ve been looking for arks, but there doesn’t seem to be any on the market. I’m not sure we can actually handle any of the boats for sale, but I think we can manage an inflatable raft. After all Beloved can “explain” to me everything he learned from the contractor and that hot air can fill up the raft. He knows how to paddle and so do I so we have that going for us. We should be okay as long as nothing punctures the raft because if something does I think we will just go down with the ship.

My So Called Fairytale Life

Once upon a time there was a princess who lived, quite naturally in a castle. The castle was, of course, located in a beautiful setting where there was never any “bad” weather or fearsome animals. The princess wasn’t lonely, not exactly, but she sensed something was missing from her life, that is when she was awake. You see not only was the princess trapped in the castle, but she had been poisoned with a sleeping potion that left her much like a narcoleptic.

At the same time, in a distance land, a prince had come back from a quest just as he had many times before. Only this time he came back feeling as though something was missing. Perhaps questing was becoming too routine, which would never do. So he sought the advice of a wise-man who was also the keeper of secret knowledge. The wise-man told the prince that he needed a more challenging quest, as he had mastered slaying dragons and finding lost treasure.

The wise-man, after a few drinks, pulled out his magical sphere to consult with the All Knowing One to find out what the prince needed to do next. The All Knowing One told the wise-man that the prince had to rescue a princess of course. Once he rescued a princess the prince would be complete and much happily ever after would ensue.

So the wise-man consulted with woodland friends to learn about princesses in need of rescuing. He heard of a princess who lived in a beautiful land far far away. This princess was trapped in a lovely castle with no way to get out on her own. She, the wise-man discovered, was who the prince needed to rescue.

So a GoFundMe page was set up to help finance the prince’s latest quest (the celebration from the last quest had resulted in the found treasure being lost again…to bill collectors this time) and when the amount was reached the prince set off to rescue the trapped princess. Along the way there were many obstacles, such as construction, one-way paths and a spotty magical positioning system. But the prince would not be deterred from his quest.

Meanwhile back at the castle the trapped princess awoke again, and once more started to search for a way out. As she sat down wearily on the floor to see if there was any trapped door the potion took hold once more.

By the time the prince overcame all the obstacles and arrived at the castle, the princess had managed to fight off the potion, which had clearly been placed in her tea and now that she had finished all the tea and it was no longer in her system she was wide awake. The princess was able to shout down to the prince that the door was stuck in the jamb and she couldn’t get out.

After a few shows of strength and a million uttered unpleasant words, the prince was able to get the door unstuck and rescue the princess.

And…well that story is the same as mine, minus all the sleeping and the whole castle thing. Well unless you accept that a person’s house is his/her castle. And the prince didn’t consult a wise-man. Okay so the doors have needed fixing for a while and today the decided to get stuck while I was in the house. Beloved had to come and force the doors open and the happily ever after? We are getting new doors! 🙂

Of Humans, Clocks And Fools, Why We Look Foolish To Nature

The dogs do not get this time change nonsense.  Saving daylight to them is some silly human tradition.  I have to say that I kind of agree with them.  I mean we end up with daylight it’s just spread differently in the day. The same amount of hours still make up a complete day.  It’s all because we have ceased to live in a more natural rhythm with nature.  You see, and I know this will be a shock to some, nature doesn’t believe in clocks.

It is this human need to mark time, to track and keep tracking time, that has created this weird situation.  A situation that pretty much goes against the natural movements of, well, nature.

So the dogs, who are creatures of habit after all, are confounded by the starting of their morning ritual before it should be starting.  They also cannot grasp why a few short days ago it was acceptable to still be thudding around in the house at an hour that now has them settling n for he night.  Heck who am I kidding, I simply get them situated so they can settle down.  They aren’t setting down any earlier.  Why would they?  This time change means nothing to them.  Other than the fact that the crazy human has once again successfully foiled their good routine. 😉

Chances are, if we weren’t so bleary-eyed from messed up sleeping cycles, we probably find the whole ing a little silly to!  Then again, humans tend to mess up good things because routines seem somehow to rub us wrong if it’s a long-term deal.  I mean we change things up on big scales and little scales so why should I expect us to get it right now?

Overextending And What’s In Arms Reach

cup vat of coffee was within arm’s reach and reach is exactly what my arm did, as my hand grasped the handle so I might have just a wee sip of the much-needed drink.  I had gotten it into my head that what I needed to do right now was make a flourless orange cake.

I know, I must be ill because my inner cook hardly ever feels the need to be called upon. Regardless, I was simmering two oranges and trying to figure out the food processor when I reached for more coffee.  I have come to the conclusion that I may, in fact be possessed.  I have no other way of explaining this behavior and not even a vat of coffee is going to solve the problem.

Making the cake itself is super easy and you only need a handful of ingredients.  It just happens to be time-consuming and given that you can’t make more time, I should have taken that into consideration before I started down this path.

But it was too late to do much of anything other than forge ahead and remind myself I had only me to blame for this.  Well okay technically I was blaming someone else because this nameless person just had to have a taste of the cake.  And I decided they needed to taste it today.

I always marvel at how far people extend themselves when it comes to loved ones, whether blood relatives or dear friends.  You’d think these are the people we would be most comfortable with and therefore more capable of saying no.  But somehow these are the very people we want to please, keep or make happy or simply surprise them with something.  Even if it means overextending ourselves or running out of time!

this time of year, no doubt countless people will overextend themselves, their energy and their money.  The real special part isn’t really the time of year, and we shouldn’t feel so compelled to put everything it o one day.  We should allow small and meaningful gestures each day, show those we care about how important they are every day.  Rather than use a holiday as a reason to shower them with various symbols of our appreciation. Because the words spoken from our hearts will always be more precious than a material gift.  Or a flourless orange cake.