Monthly Archives: April 2013

Another Anniversary

Tomorrow marks our 12th anniversary. It’s not the actual date, but the date that M insisted he wanted to use. Typical Narc control behavior.

He made a big stink about me being busy house sitting on this day, saying that we should be spending it naked and healing our relationship. I told him that I had pug-faced dogs depending on me and couldn’t change my plans. Poor, poor, pitiful him!

He has always made a big deal about these days, but only after he makes me feel like shit for not doing what he expected of me to celebrate. Nothing I ever did was good enough and after a few years I gave  up. The last two years slid by with no action by me and he didn’t even remember until a few days later, so it’s not like he was pinning all his hopes on the actual day.

Just one more way for him to show his “superiority” and knock me down. I am so done with that bullshit. Can’t even muster up the outrage that this post deserves. There’s just too much Happy ’round here 🙂

I plan to spend this Special Day drafting (provided the whole Key Code debacle gets solved) earning more money than he would ever be able to earn in one day. Afterwards I plan on meeting the ladies for knitting, followed by a rum & coke and a soak in the spa.

Today was not as productive in the drafting department as I was expecting it to be. In fact, no drafting was done at all as I waited for something to happen with the Key Code so I could open the program. Luckily this particular assignment is mostly about labeling and I can do that in my sleep.

Every morning about 10:00 Da Boyz expect to be locked into their kennel for their morning nap. I gather that D&D are out of the house by then and Da Boyz are sleepy. If I don’t leave there are wry looks and murmuring as they pace back and forth.

Today Sabu and I headed out to Towanda, huge desktop computer and other stuff loaded into the car for the beginning of the move home. The neighbor (he of the free WiFi and awning advice) was out with his two Boston terriers and for the first time I let Sabu get right up in their bidness with no fear that she would bite them in half, no matter what they did. This two weeks of training with Da Boyz has done her (and me) a world of good in the Doggy Socialization department.

Royce and I chatted, the dogs sniffed and then we went inside. Towanda is soooo my Home. Sure, she’s small, but all of my favorite things are there and she smells right, if you know what I mean. Also, there are no pug-faced dogs snuffling about and getting into things.

Got the computer hooked back up and confirmed everything was working, then looked around wondering what to do next. A nap seemed like a good idea, but I made lunch and watched TV for awhile instead. D&D have satellite TV and they record stuff, which you have to watch while it records, so I haven’t been able to see anything interesting for days. Yeah, that couch is where my butt belongs 🙂

Finally got an email saying what to try next on the AutoCAD front so had to say goodbye to Towanda and head back to the Pug-faced Posse. Didn’t work. So I took a nap.

Da Boyz woke me up just before 7:00 demanding dinner. I took them all outside to pee first, and Sabu took the opportunity to show them how we play at the dog park. She picked up a squeaky elephant toy that she’s been trying to destroy since we got here and started running circles around the little guys. Around, and around, and around.

Bailey half-heartedly chased after her a few steps, but he has no hope of keeping up and tonight she was willing to bowl them over with her exuberance. They were soon gathered around my feet making squealing sounds of horror. I hope the neighbors didn’t hear – it sounded like someone was being disemboweled.

And here I am. Shall I put another coat of varnish on the tables you know nothing about yet? Shall I do laundry? Already ate the ice cream, so that’s out. Soak in the spa? Or have another cup of tea and watch Storage Wars?

Yeah, that’ll do…


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The Road Trip

Oh, man, it’s been a long day!

Made it over to The Valley in time for the meeting (after a stop at Winco to pick up supplies for the Sweet Shop – I always combine my driving trips :-)) which lasted longer than usual with The Boss.

Found out that we have an AutoCAD compatibility problem – I have an older version (not that old, but AutoDesk put up a Do Not Cross Until You Upgrade barrier) on my desktop  computer that won’t enable me to do the work. A few minutes of trying to find a solution without re-doing anything led TB to give me a sooper-dooper souped-up laptop to take home! Score! It also opens some new portability options and I have permission from D to work on the drafting at the Shop if it’s slow, so long as customers come first. Double score!!

Had to fuss around with the darned thing to get it online and the anti-virus up and running, but all systems are go.

Except for the one that I really need – seems the program is in “trial” mode and wants a special code or $6825 to load my drawings. Le sigh. Blasted off an email to get that corrected and will try again tomorrow.

Where was I? Oh, yes. Came sliding back into town 1/2 hour late, forgot the inventory sheets I needed to take to the Shop, ran back out to D’s, and opened late. Damn! If it hadn’t been for that slow-moving car on the highway, I would have made it.

Errands and more errands, but everything is done, the pug-faced posse and their fearless (and shedding terribly) leader are laying around in various poses awaiting the next adventure. If I can get the laptop going as it should I can start moving out of D&D’s house and back into Towanda.

I wonder how well the pug-faced posse would travel…


Posted by on April 29, 2013 in Digging Out, Drafting, I totally Rock!



Sunday Night Crazy

We’ve invented a new game, the Pug Posse, their Crazy Leader and I. Racing around the house, sliding on the hardwood floors in my wool (natch) socks, singing, “Come! Follow me, my evil minions!” The dogs trailing behind in a line: Sabu, Bailey, Conner, Mason, all panting heavily.

Gotta do something to wear the little shits out. Sabu and I need to get up at o’-dark-thirty tomorrow for The Meeting with The Boss, which will cement the direction the rest of my life (in the near future, at least) will travel.

Shit. Just spilled tea on the tablecloth. I swear, I should never be let out of my cage…


Posted by on April 28, 2013 in Dogs



Another phone call…

M sent me an e-mail to update me on Snowball’s injury. I left a message on his answering machine (that I paid for, as I did the phone – shit like this keeps popping up in my memory to piss me off all over again, but that’s neither here nor there) saying that I would be out Saturday morning before work.

He called last night to tell me that I didn’t need to go out there and that he had the neighbor lady coming over to learn the feeding routine as he is going out of town and she will come over to take care of the animals while he’s gone since I’m house-sitting and not available. Fine. Perfect. He has other options.

I thought that would be it, but he said that a couple of (married) male friends of “ours” asked him how he could stand not knowing where I am and if I’m “okay.” This was meant to be an opening for me to tell him where I am and how I’m living, and prove how pitiful my existence is without him, but I was instantly angry.

First of all, neither of these “friends” has made any effort to contact me to see if I’m even alive, so what business is it of theirs what I’m doing?

Next, does anyone who knows me think that I’m too fucking stupid to be able to live on my own? It ain’t Rocket Science, folks! I’m 44 years old and very capable of taking care of myself. In fact, I have always taken care of myself and one lousy, worthless male all of my adult life. Add one belligerent offspring for nearly 20 years and you have an accurate picture of just what I’ve been able to handle for the last 25 years. Assholes.

I told M that I resented that anyone would think that I’m not capable of taking care of myself. That I don’t have to answer to anyone. I am fine. I am Fine. I am FINE! I probably threw in some profanity before I rang off, but I don’t remember.

After I hung up (no talk of how much sex he’s not getting this time) it occurred to me that it’s quite possible M made up inquiries from “our” friends to goad me into telling him something that he could “pass on to them.” What a dick.

Coincidentally, I met one of my former neighbors at the dog park this morning. Sabu hated when he and his Aussie, Shadow, walked by because Shadow was off his leash and that made her crazy with jealousy. They played nicely today, though.

Anyway, I recognized both dog and owner and said so. He has talked to M and M told him that I left and his life is in the crapper. The man was totally on M’s side – big surprise. Not. I told him that life is too short to spend it with people who make you miserable.

He asked if there was any hope for M and I and I said only that we were still communicating. I couldn’t help tossing in that until M owned up to some things, I was not willing to discuss getting back together. I found myself hedging, not saying what I really feel on the off chance that he takes my words back to M and he does something drastic, and I hated myself for it.

As I was leaving, he gave me a little lecture on how sometimes you just have to forget the bad stuff and move on from where you are.

Spoken like a man who is single and has been for years.

Not a chance.


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We’re having a parade!

Yesterday was my one-year blogiversary! It all started with the first sad post and has continued rolling along and now here we are. Thank you all for stopping by my little closet in the blogisphere.

I am tired. Up way too late last night working for The Boss, but I wouldn’t change a thing. When I have more cylinders firing I’ll try to write up something that marks this date in a flashier way.

Da Boyz, as I have started calling D&D’s dogs in my mind, are starting to exhibit some interesting behaviors. What at first seemed to be a chaotic rabble racing off in all directions, barking shrilly, has now morphed into an organized hunting unit. I blame Sabu for the change.

Let me explain. Here are Da Boyz a few days ago –


Clockwise from upper left: Conner, Bailey, Mason

Possessed for sure, right? Here they are hanging out in the kitchen watching Sabu and I Doing Stuff. They are not interested in anything but barking and darting about on their clicky-clacky toenails.*

And here they are today:


Note the crazy-eyed ringleader front and center

Now they are a (mostly) silent pack of hungry mouths watching my every move. If I walk into the kitchen (look at that floor! To die for, I tellya!) they move as a well-oiled machine, taking up position almost-but-not-quite touching my feet. Hoping to trip me so they can eat my face, probably.

All of a sudden if I look at one of them, it will sit down with a thunk and look up expectantly. These wild creatures have some training! They’ve been holding out on me, but no more – they have to perform for their cookies and Sabu is a pro. A good teacher, too.

If I get up from my chair at the computer, I’m not fully upright before my entourage is poised and ready to follow. Sabu in the lead, the black pug next, then the brown pug with the Boston bringing up the rear. Round and round the house we go, nobody stopping until I sit again and there is no hope of another cookie. Round and round the yard, too.

Doing laundry is fun – Da Boyz dearly love to steal panties from the basket when my back is turned. Fun times!

If I try to sneak into the bathroom for a little break from four pairs of staring eyes, I hear the protests through the door. There is no hope of ignoring it, even with the fan on. They will not be locked out. They will not be denied.

9:00 is the beginning of Couch Time, which runs until 11:00. All small dogs** and humans must be seated on the couch by 9:05 or they will be harassed until they comply. Da Boyz take turns marching up to me and making it very clear (Bailey by barking, Conner by making a high-pitched squealing noise, and Mason by reproachful looks) that I am not following The Routine.

Once seated, Da Boyz begin the nightly ritual of The Cleaning of The Feet. It takes a long time and is rather noisy. Seems pugs are more picky about the cleanliness of their feet than cats are. Weird.

A short nap follows, then one final trip outside before Time For Bed. They sleep in D&Ds bedroom, a little set of stairs allowing them up onto the tall bed. They march into the room in order: Mason, Bailey, Conner.

Bailey thinks he’s in charge. Conner is a follower. Mason is really in charge but only asserts his position if Bailey does something out of line. They have all decided to defer to Sabu concerning matters of security and cookies since she gets faster results.

A bit chaotic, but it turns out that short-nosed dogs are quite entertaining. One more week and they will have their proper people back again and Sabu and I will start preparations to move Towanda East. One adventure after another!

* D tells me that pugs hate to have their nails trimmed, but since I have a way with shithead stubborn dogs I’m tempted to give it a go as a surprise. And for the quiet, too.

** Sabu is not welcome on the couch, even though she would fit. She refuses to be part of a dog pile anyway, preferring to lay on me by herself all.night.long. on the bed instead. She has standards after all…


Posted by on April 26, 2013 in Dogs



The Latest Narc Crap

Last week he said that he wanted Thursdays to be “our day.” He wants me to come out there and take care of the bunnies and he will cook me a meal and we can work on getting back to the good stuff that he wants me to believe we had in the beginning. Thing is, we never had Good Times. It was all a lie. I see through his mask and I remember how it really was and I’m not going back there ever again.

So he sends me an e-mail asking if I’ll be paying his cell phone bill this month. I replied that I would be paying it in return for his caring for the rabbits, as we agreed – very business-like. And then he sent this:

I was thinking I could BBQ a burger for you or a sausage, or maybe both. You have to eat sometime! It could be early or late. If you’d like to do that and I know about what time you’d be there, I could have it ready as soon as you’d looked at the bunnies so it wouldn’t take a bunch of extra time.

We’ve just begun on the food you got, there is still a pile of old shavings. They have started eating hay, which they didn’t all winter. I’m giving them the long stalks of bolted kale, which they love. I don’t think there is anything needed right now but some of your special attention.

Apparently Larry bought three new guitars (of course they are very valuable and collectable) so he bought Pat one too, I imagine as a panacea. She had time to tell me she was learning to play and had trouble with the size of the fretboard and then Larry took over. Twice in our conversation she tried to interject something and he pretty much told her to shut up, he was talking.

I just stopped at Wallyworld to pick up prescriptions and they have bags of composted manure for $1.38. I think 20 bags should do for this year. Are you interested? If so, I’d like some help loading, unloading and spreading. The garden is ready to plant otherwise. 

Uh-huh. So the rabbits are fine, he wants to cook for me, he saw a couple that we’ve met a few times (more on that in a minute – it will relate) and he wants me to commit to working on the garden this year. Got it.

I didn’t respond because I have too much on my plate right now to care about his plans and I just couldn’t be arsed to muster the energy. I figured I would call when I was on the way, blast in and out again and that would be that. You know a Narc can’t let anything get out of his control, so he called last night and I picked up so I could tell him I would not be coming out today. Or any time in the near future 🙂

I told him that I had heard from The Boss and he wanted me to work a miracle (my specialty, actually) and that there was more on the way from The Other Boss and I would be booked for at least another week. He pretended to be happy for me that I have some work. Made all the appropriate noises and then veered off into his favorite subject – himself.

Blah, blah, blah about last weekend’s boat show, blah, blah, blah. Gave examples of how he could have “taken control” of situations but he stood back and let the people involved fuck up and blah, blah, blah, hasn’t he grown? Yeeeaaaahhhh.

Then he went on to describe (I was sitting at the computer drawing as quietly as I could because he hates to be ignored. I need to get  headset) seeing Larry and Pat and how Larry is a Piece of Work and blah, blah, blah. He then asked me if he behaved the same way as Larry (a Narc for sure, likely a Socio as well. He has (figuratively) beaten Pat down so far that it radiates off her in waves and I saw it clearly before I left M.)

My reply? “Not in public.” Long silence on the other end.

He asked me why I never pointed it out to him (!!!) and that he really regrets that I see our relationship that way. He’s a changed man, now, and wouldn’t dream of treating me that way, blah, blah, blah. By this time I was getting bored and, message delivered, was not concerned with what he thinks.

I gave him the truth about Larry and Pat’s relationship (I’ve spoken to her alone, he has not. I am confident that I have a clear picture of what her life is like and it’s an ugly one, painted in shades of gray and despair) and then I told him that he treated me the same way.

That hurt, so he changed the subject and asked me to compare him to the men we both know that are real assholes. Yep, that was edifying for him. I gave examples of how he does the very same things that he claims to dislike about them. On and on. God, I was a bitch.

He tried another tactic, questioning me about TB and TOB and the work they sent over and asking how far down on my list he is. I told him that spending time with him was much less valuable than the $30 per hour they were paying me and that I would let him know when there was room on my list of Important Things To Do 🙂

Blah, blah, blah, whining, more blah, blah.

I told  him that making money in my career field is the most important thing in my life right now and that I can’t even consider turning it down.

“You could always tell someone ‘no’,” he whined.

“I’m telling you no,” I replied.

Oh, he did not like that one bit. Too fucking bad, though, that’s the way things are. I did not tell him that I will be moving Towanda over to the Valley ASAP. He doesn’t know about Towanda and he won’t hear about it from me. I will be good and gone and come back for the rabbits and we will be officially OVER.

His last words to me were about how he wants to hold my naked body some time real soon. Couldn’t have a conversation without reminding me of my Primary Duty. Asshole.


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Six Foot Town

It’s been a very busy day, week, April, and I couldn’t be happier, even if my left shoulder is screaming with tension and overuse.

Today was a constant stream of Things to Do and I’m not done yet, but I need a sanity break.

Met with Awana and Elise for breakfast at our favorite coffee house (they also carry a nice Darjeeling and brew it in pots, the proper way :-)) to decide the direction our little fiber enterprise will be going in over the Summer.

Then Awana and I were off to meet up with the LGD owners. They have a lovely 40 acres up in the hills and we got the Mini Tour (Sylvia was concerned that Jim was going to walk and talk our legs off) and left with more ideas.

Back to The Boss’ (D from here on out just to confuse you more. If I speak of he and his wife as a couple I’ll use D&D just to get that into the search engines :-)) house to check on Da Boyz and get to work.

The neighbor girl came over to take the pugs for a walk. Sabu about lost her mind when two of her herd (I had no idea she was so attached to the little shits) walked out the door with a couple of strangers. Curiouser and curiouser. That dog surprises me nearly every day.

The only table available for my keyboard is too high, the cause of tightness in my left shoulder, but it’s nothing the spa* won’t deal with later. I know! Hate me if you must – I have a rough life. Not.

The Other Boss sent over some drafting that he wants the first part of next week, so, yeah, feeling a bit overwhelmed. And then one of the other two people who work at The Shop called in sick. Sigh. Luckily Mario was willing to cover because I can’t leave the computer until this job is finished or I pass out, and the drafting better get done first or there will be some unhappy engineers over in The Valley.

Just before 5:00 I got the e-mail I was waiting for. The Boss formally offered me a job in The Valley in his office, picking up where we left off three years ago, full benefits after 90 days, matching contributions to the company retirement fund, earned vacation time from day one, etc. TOB is out of town until next week, so I won’t know what he thinks until then. Meeting 9:00 AM on Monday to pick up redlines and show off the New Me.

Feeling kinda Big & Rich tonight.

My brakes are on fire
From trying to slow down
I’m always burning my tires
And my horn is to loud
I catch people looking funny at me
When I step to the window and I toss a TV
Sometimes I get crazy and it makes a big scene
But when I hit 21 I wanna stand up and scream
I’m filthy rich with laughter, I’m too big for the room
You know from two stories up
A Zenith makes a big boom

It’s hard to get around in a six foot town
When you’re ten feet tall everything is so small
I’m always bumping my head
I’m way to long for the bed
It’s hard to get around
In a six foot town.

Some people live inside a tiny little box
They’re preoccupied about mismatching their socks
I never been one to worry about much
I just wanna laugh and love
I just wanna live it up

It’s hard to get around in a six foot town
When you’re ten feet tall everything is so small
I’m always bumping my head
I’m way to long for the bed
It’s hard to get around
In a six foot town.

Sometimes I stumble just because of my size
But hey y’all that’s alright
That’s the way God made me
I am what I am
And I can’t do nothing bout that

It’s hard to get around in a six foot town
When you’re ten feet tall everything is so small
I’m always bumping my head
I’m way to long for the bed
It’s hard to get around
In a six foot town

I am so lucky and blessed to have these opportunities and I wonder if they would ever have happened if I hadn’t left M. He surely would have sabotaged me while insisting that it was all my own fault when things went south. The Narc Crap to follow…

* You might not believe this, but even with the amount of crap I’ve brought over to D&D’s house, Towanda is still Home Sweet Home, my Bat Cave, the place that feels the most real to me and I can’t wait to get back to her full-time.


Posted by on April 25, 2013 in Anxiety, Digging Out, Friends, I totally Rock!


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Confession Time

I had contact with the Narc this week. Three times, in fact.

He called me up Tuesday evening and asked if I was free for dinner. I was starving and said yes if I could pick the place. We met at my favorite Mexican restaurant and I ordered my favorite meal. He started out polite and mellow, very like the mask he presented when we first met. I’m sure he was thinking that I would fall into his arms, a victim of his charming demeanor. It sounded to me like he’d been working on his sound bites for quite some time – the delivery was so smooth. I was ready for Mr. Hyde to show up and curious to see what form he would take this time. It’s like a fascinating experiment – I can’t look way because I want to see what the blob turns into next.

About half way through the meal, his tone changed. Oh, no one on the outside would have noticed it, but it was like a red cape in front of a bull to me. He went from asking questions that any stranger would ask to trying to pry out of me where I was living, what it cost, what “things” I might have bought, etc. My throat closed up and I went into Evasion Mode. I gave no outward sign that he was getting to me, and I think I was pretty convincing. When I drove away I headed for the library (not a direct route home as I didn’t want to take a chance that he would follow me, but there’s no way he could be stealthy in a big ol’ Ford F350 truck), seething the whole way because he thinks that I’m the same person he has tortured for the last 10 years. Does he think I’m stupid? Don’t answer that 🙂

This little meeting confirmed that I can hold my own with him, not losing my temper or allowing him to walk on me. I did divulge that I’m house-sitting for the next couple of weeks and will not be available to watch the cat for him. He said that he would try to make other arrangements. He asked if he could come over and watch TV “or something.” Yeah…Hell NO! I told him it was not appropriate, was not going to happen and not to ask again and he dropped it.

I was angry that he was still trying his bullshit all the while protesting that he is now enlightened and understands why I would be punishing him for his transgressions now. He raved about how the Celebrex takes the edge off his anger and anxiety and that he’s a New Man. Whatever.

Then on Wednesday, after a day full of good news, he calls me and says that he was cleaning Snowball’s butt and cut her with the scissors and would I please come out and take a look before it got dark? He was worried that it was serious (Angora rabbits have incredibly thin and delicate skin and they don’t always flinch [being prey animals they don’t show weakness] when you’re getting close to their skin like a dog or cat will and you can’t feel the difference between hair and skin as you cut – you have to be careful and know where you are, anatomically speaking) and he “valued” my “expert” opinion. Sigh. Well, the day had been awesome up ’til then and nothing could possibly get me down. I do have an obligation to the buns.

I hurried out there and examined Snowball. The cut was bleeding, but not seriously at that point. I washed it out some more, sealed the edge with a bit of super glue (relax – it’s exactly what the vet would have done with this type of wound) and went on my way. The whole time he was chatting with me, telling me…actually, I don’t really remember what he was babbling on about. I was bubbling with my good news and almost told him that I would be working a lot over the Summer, maybe moving over to The Valley and how happy I was about it, but he was droning on and I didn’t want to share. I left after he thanked me profusely but before he could invite me to stay for dinner.

And then yesterday I went out again to look at Snowball and make sure she’s not swollen or anything (the wound has closed and is well on the way to healing – rabbits heal very fast) start her on some antibiotics just in case, check Steve and groom them both. M said that he had a doctor’s appointment in the morning, so I tried to get out there early enough to miss him, but no dice – he showed up about 10 minutes after I arrived. He came out to the rabbit yard and talked while I did the bunny stuff. The topic was how I should move back out there and how he could live on his boat much cheaper than whatever I was doing (what am I doing, by the way?) it would solve so many problems, blah, blah, blah.

We sat and drank a cup of tea. He nattered on about how he is a New Man and he hopes that I’ll have the patience to see him through his Personality Transplant (my words) so we can go back to how it used to be when we were happy. At that point I had heard enough and began to get testy. He told me that what I am doing is “punishing” him. He kept interjecting phrases like, “I don’t mean to accuse you of anything…” and “I don’t mean to discount what you’re saying or feeling, but…”

I had told him when he arrived that I had to meet someone and was going to leave at a specific time. He kept up with his bullshit, delaying my leaving, trying to control me, and that really pissed me off. I left in a rage and it wasn’t until I was well away from there that I figured out why. He told me that by doing something for myself (leaving his ass) I was “punishing” him for things he still doesn’t believe he did. That’s the whole crux of the matter. It’s always about him, and it will always be about him and what I want or feel will never matter.

I blew off his bad vibes and got packed to go take care of The Boys – two pugs and a Boston terrier. They are Princes in their home and they know it. Sabu has her nose a bit out of joint, but we’re working it out. At the moment, all is silent, but it can’t last much longer so I’ll try to wrap this up.

M called last night. I wanted to tell him what I thought about his “punishing” statement, so I picked up. What followed was a long dialogue. He had obviously prepared his statements. I shot holes in every one of his “epiphanies.” I refuted each of his statements and gave examples of why he is wrong. Oh, yes, I was prepared, too. He was not expecting me to fight back, and I think he was surprised. I told him to keep studying, that he is getting closer to the answer to his psychology, but he’s not there yet.

Yes, I was condescending. Yes, I was rather nasty at times. He has to know that I see through his mask. Maybe he doesn’t want to believe that yet. He said that he’s totally open to whatever I have to say and that he will listen to me. If I find that he’s not listening he gave me permission (!!!) to yell at him to get his attention. Hah! I wish I had recorded him so you all could hear what a desperate Narc sounds like. I need to figure out a way…

I don’t think he got any satisfaction out of the conversation. Oh, sure, he got me to talk to him, but he didn’t hear what he wanted to hear and he’s not going to.

You might think that this was a ridiculous exercise that will only lead to pain, but I’m hopeful that it will lead him to understand that I’m never coming back, that it doesn’t matter how he “changes” or what he thinks, it’s over. If he comes to that conclusion on his own, it will be easier for me in the end, as he will be able to complete his Narc Cycle and move on, forgetting me forever instead of stalking me to the ends of the earth. Every time he tries to convince me to come back I emerge from the confrontation with a stronger conviction to stay away. By sparring with him this way, I feel powerful. He is not physically threatening to me and now he is no longer emotionally threatening, either. I feel no qualms about moving for work and telling him some time after it’s done. Or maybe not at all. I will need to come back to care for the rabbits, but there might be a chance to rehome them over in The Valley, and that would solve all of my problems at once.

Time and distance solve all problems, just as saltwater washes all cares away. Bonus points to whoever can name the author I just paraphrased. Hint: he wrote 20 books in a series and a movie was made that incorporated pieces from three of them.


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It doesn’t rain but it pours…

Wednesday was very interesting. An odd quartet of events may have changed my plans for Summer. It went like this –

I emptied out the storage unit and brought everything back to Towanda, put out the awning for the first time and settled in for a relaxing day off.

A clothing designer in LA emailed me about my angora rabbits.

I randomly came across your website while searching for the best process to dye my angora yarn. But what got me super excited was the fact that you have your own bunnies – as I have been looking for someone who has angora rabbits – and creates yarn from their ‘fluff’. I prefer to live a vegan life style, but as a fashion designer, there are certain fibers I am completely in love with and have a hard time letting go of. It is my hope to find a ‘bunny ranch’ that provides their rabbits with an awesome, cruelty free life- and proves me with awesome yarn! Do you still sell angora yarn?

Huh. I don’t recall ever advertising finished yarn, but the interwebs is a big place so maybe I did. End result is that I will be spinning up some samples for her to see if I can give her the quality she desires for “embellishment on some haute couture style dresses.” I’ll be charging her a pretty penny, too.

And then I received a response to an ad I placed to sell some of my sewing magazine collection (20+ BWOF if any of you know it) and when she asked what I wanted for them I found myself inflating my original price because all of a sudden I wasn’t so hot to let them go. She paid. Happily. Crap. Sent them off yesterday.

And then Sabu and I went to the dog park. We were alone for about half an hour when an older couple drove up and two ginormous white dogs squeezed out of the back of their minivan. Oh, shit! I had been told stories about this pair of dogs and was warned to leave right away if I didn’t want my dog bullied and perhaps injured – the dogs are wild and their people have no control over them! I mean, I heard the same story from at least four different sources, so I was worried.

I put Sabu on her leash and backed away from the gate. The two dogs (almost a foot taller than Sabu and three times her weight – these are LARGE dogs) bounded over, looking rather like giant puppies, but with a purpose. They moved as a team, surrounding Sabu and aggressively sniffing.

I said, “if they’re going to gang up on my dog I’ll have to leave,” to the man and he replied, “Fine! Goodbye then!” which made my hackles rise and I decided to ride it out and see what would happen – neither Sabu nor I are cowards!

There was some growling and snapping, but none of it was serious and so we stayed, and I’m glad we did. The dogs are a brother/sister pair of Maremmas, a legendary livestock guardian breed, and for those who don’t know, they generally live with the flock they protect. They are not generally “family” dogs that go about riding in cars and visiting dog parks. Why? Because they have been bred for hundreds of years to patrol in pairs or trios around their flock, investigating and killing any predator that comes near. They are not what you might call “domestic” dogs – they are bred to be suspicious of unknown humans (potential thieves) and their duty is to kill anything on four legs that threatens their flock. Not exactly dog park material.

I have read about people who try to keep Maremmas and other LGD (Livestock Guardian Dogs) as pets in their home or apartment. It doesn’t go well. LGDs are bred for independent thinking, spending all of their time out in the weather, patrolling their territory 24/7 and you just can’t give them what they need in an urban or suburban environment. They will be miserable and they will surprise you with the variety of their bad (and destructive) behavior.

Anyway, I asked the man if he had a farm and livestock for his dogs. He has goats and recently started boarding 10 sheep for a friend. I asked what kind of sheep and he gave me the strangest look. “I don’t know what breed, just that they’re huge!” As always when I ask people about their sheep I have to explain that I’m a fiber artist and I spin wool into yarn, etc. etc. etc. so they understand that I’m curious for a valid reason, not because I’m mental 🙂

We chatted a bit about the dogs and I asked if they were their first LGDs and how it was going with them (the dogs are about 2 years old.) The wife piped up, “the last two years have been a nightmare!” before the husband could get a word in, so I can guess that these people did not know what they were in for.

We didn’t have long to talk but they invited me out to their farm to see their animals and talk wool as they want to get some sheep of their own some time soon. I’ll try to get some pictures of the three dogs together so you can see how tiny Sabu looks beside Lilly and Logan.

At this point it was only about 1:00 PM so I headed back to Towanda to check e-mail and maybe get a nap. There was a note from The Other Boss (TOB from now on) asking me to give him a call about scheduling some upcoming projects. Huh. It’s odd to actually talk to TOB directly, it’s usually the less senior engineer who works out this stuff with me.

So I get him on the line and he says that we have a very busy Summer coming up and I tell him that I’m ready. There are two very large projects coming in and he wants to be sure I’m on board and have the time he needs. I assured him that my job here on The Coast is part-time and I’m ready to rock.

That’s when he told me that The Boss (the engineer that I worked for over in the Valley, not the owner of the Sweet Shop) told him that if I were to walk into his office that afternoon he would put me to work full-time for the foreseeable future. Now it’s getting interesting! Seems TB and TOB are going to be working on these two large projects together, one will do the Private Utility part and the other will do the Public Utility part, and I will do ALL of the drafting. We’ve done this before and it means long hours for me (8-5 for TB and 6-11 for TOB) but the money can’t be beat and I love the work. Sleep becomes a problem after a couple of weeks, but I’ve done it before and can do it again.

And then he started talking faster, saying that we would all need to discuss if I would do the work here or go over to The Valley. TOB said he was sure that I would need to make at least a few trips over there – would I be okay with that?* It was at that point that I decided to reveal a bit of my private life, not something he has ever been interested in. I told him that M is out of the picture and I live in a 30′ travel trailer, just me and the dog, so I am perfectly mobile and unencumbered and if he needs me over there, I will come over.

I could hear the wheels clicking over in his mind. He has a slab with hook-ups on his property, conveniently located only yards away from his office building up on a hill in the woods surrounded by chirping birds, cows and horses. TB is only a short car ride into town. I asked for a couple of days to think about it (he didn’t offer to let me park on his place, but I think he will when I give him a final answer) and get back to him.

Pretty sure I’ll be moving myself and Towanda East for at least the Summer. I can’t wait to have a Summer where it’s warm enough to wear short sleeves, warm enough to go barefoot all day and wear shorts! Not only that, but a friend over there has just acquired a fiddle and wants to learn to play. What fun! It’s about 1.5 hours from The Coast, so it’s not like I will be abandoning my friends here and I would be a total idiot to pass up the opportunity to make some Real Money again.

Sigh. Life is good!

* I used to travel over there on a regular basis, but as you can probably guess, M made it difficult in many ways, often insisting that he drive and rushing me through every meeting and then rushing home as fast as we could go,  no shopping, no eating, no visiting, just right back to the prison that I lived in. I resented him for it at the time and am grateful he will never have that hold on me again.


A Busy Week

Long time, no blog, eh?

Before I get started on today’s rant, let me say that I am sorry for those who lost loved ones due to the latest tragedy in Boston. Please don’t take my words as an insult to you – I am merely shouting out to the clueless sheeple who thrive on news of events like this.

I know it seems very self-serving to say, but I don’t watch the news. I don’t read newspapers or visit online news sources very often. I don’t know much about Current Events and because of that I don’t live my life in perpetual anxiety and sadness. Or rage.

There are tragic things happening all over the world, every minute of every day. I don’t adorn my car with ribbons or pepper my FB with memes and other crap to show “support” for whatever the cause du jour is today.

I believe that if you are going to spend all of your emotional energy lamenting the latest bombing or “terrorist” action without doing something about it, you are a hypocritical sheep wandering aimlessly through the pasture the Powers That Be have allotted to you. Guess what? Those in power have always used diversionary tactics to keep the rabble in line. Think about it.

As a society we (I speak of the USA here) have been trained to stay inside and watch the Idiot Box (IB from here on out,) eat hollow calories and exclaim loudly over the sanctioned violence (sports in case that allusion swept by you) and the latest “reality” shows streaming (at only $99.99 a month!) into our homes. As the show plays out, we Twitter, Blog and FB our opinions about what’s on the IB to all of our “friends” and eagerly await their response, portable device in hand.

When the weather is good, we are commanded to go outside, spread toxic chemicals around our yard and then mow the resulting greenery while keeping our latest gas-guzzling credit trap clean and waxed.

When not engaged in these approved activities, we are taught that if we do not look like the Hot Young Thing on the IB we need to be working on our appearance in the hope that some day we might achieve the goal of looking like an anorexic pre-pubescent girl or Justin Beiber. Or whoever is “hot” at the moment.

We are taught that if we feel inadequate in any way we can buy a pill/lotion/scrub/extension/cover-up product to bring us more in line with today’s Ideal Image. None of us is Good Enough the way we are and most of us should be ashamed to be seen in public in our natural state.

Is it any wonder that maniacs blow shit up? How can we question the effects of all of the bullshit coming into our brains from every direction? Duh!

A much more fulfilling life can be found in concentrating on what is around you – your immediate community, the one place where (unless you are a high-ranking political* or business person) you can have a lasting effect.

Take a look around, really see what’s right in front of you and find your place. Talk to your neighbors – if yours are like mine they each have an interesting story about how they ended up where they are and it’s a valuable lesson about Life that you won’t find on the IB. Discover what’s happening right in your own backyard and stop obsessing about what starlet wore what to the latest Big Deal That Doesn’t Matter.

Stop putting chemicals on your greenery. Stop competing with the mythical Jones’ for the better lawn, barbeque, car, golf score, whatever, and live the life you really believe in. Plant a garden. Plant some flowers. Take a walk.

What will happen if we get to know and like our neighbors? Maybe that depressed teen boy will find a mentor and begin to live again. Maybe that shy young girl will speak up about the “games” her uncle likes to play and get the help she so desperately needs. Maybe that “uncle” will land in jail where he belongs. Maybe the young mother, overwhelmed with two toddlers, will discover a kindly grandmother with a bit of time on her hands to help out and not end up beating her kids out of frustration and exhaustion. Maybe the dog who just had puppies will get a chance to see her offspring grow up in homes around the block rather than be drowned by an uncaring owner who doesn’t want more mouths to feed.

The possibilities are endless, really. How many tragedies could be averted if we just woke the fuck up and took a look at the world directly in front of us?

Wow. Not where I was going when I started this post, but there you have it. The other stuff should go on Travels with Towanda anyway…

* I personally don’t believe anyone can reach high political office with their Original Principals intact. Because of the very nature of politics, in order to reach a rank of any importance one must sell their soul over and over to various “causes” in order to acquire enough money to campaign effectively and move up the food chain. I don’t believe a word out their mouths. I don’t trust any person of means to have MY best interests at heart – I am such a small fish that no one would notice me disappearing into the mouth of a larger fish. I am under no delusions that I matter to any political party.

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