Category Archives: Family

“Relax,” she says…

I spent the weekend at Mom’s, helping with her annual neighborhood yard sale. My Sis gave me a (belated) birthday card. On the front is a cartoon woman doing yoga. It reads, “Life is a lot like Yoga. Relax. Be Flexible…” The inside reads, “…and try not to Fart.” Funny, yes? Underneath she wrote, “Really…relax a little!”

I asked a couple of friends if I seem tense. They glanced at each other, panic in their eyes, and replied that I seemed just fine, while giving me the Side Eye.

Huh. I guess people are noticing that I’m a bit…stressed? More aggressive than usual? A bit more outspoken about douchebags and their assholery? Less tolerant? Sigh.

Okay, let’s get it all out there, then, shall we? I am a bit stressed, but my reasons are sound, IMHO. Tell me if I’m wrong, ‘k?

Reason The First: My son is still on my couch. He is still unemployed. He says that he’s looking for work, but he’s been growing out of my couch for almost four-and-a-half months now. He worked for maybe one of those months. He has not paid any rent. He has food stamps for food, so he’s not draining my resources there. He has paid his cell phone bill only once since he’s been here (I can’t just stop paying it as he will need a phone to schedule all those job interviews that aren’t happening.) His feet smell because he wears an old pair of boots that probably have enough genetic material in them to become fully animate any day, therefore, Towanda smells. He does not feel the need to shower every day – it’s a waste of water, he says*, therefore the first thing I encounter when I get home from work is Man Smell.** He will not do any type of housework until I have okay-ed it. Explicitly. Yes, you can wash the dishes any time you want to – please trouble yourself to get them clean, though, ‘k?!? Yes, by all means take out the trash and recycling. Feel free to vacuum any time you get the urge, ‘k? Gaaaaahhhhhhh!

So he spends all his time, as far as I can see, playing games on his computer, using my Wi-Fi, watching TV and generally amusing himself. He doesn’t go anywhere. I don’t believe he’s looking for work but can’t prove it. He just sits there on the couch, silent for the most part, living inside his head, convinced everyone in the world is “stupid” and “useless.” There is no reason to get up, go somewhere, do something, become a functioning part of society. It’s all just a waste of time. He isn’t suicidal, though. He can be coaxed into conversation of a limited sort but would really rather be left alone. Right. It’s like I’m living with a sullen 13-year-old again. Didn’t I do this already? When does this Mom Gig end?

On top of all this, he is an alcoholic. When he’s drunk he agrees that he has a problem. Sober, he is a Special Snowflake, so special that no one in the universe could possibly understand him and his troubles, therefore making AA meetings or therapy of some sort a worthless waste of his time. Yeah, he’s pretty much said exactly that.

“Why can’t I just have a beer and relax in the evening?” is his plaintive cry.

My answer, “You are an alcoholic. One beer leads to another and another and pretty soon you’re on your lips. It happens every time. It will always be this way. You can be drunk or sober, there’s no “relaxing” in between. It sucks, but that’s the way you’re wired. Get a grip and admit you have a problem so we can move forward.”

I am sooooo over this bullshit. So. He lost his job. He wasn’t fired or laid off, he was simply not put on the schedule any more. This is a new tactic used by Slaveway and other large companies to make sure ex-employees can’t claim unemployment benefits (not that he worked long enough to get any) and have no cause to file suit for being laid off or let go for reasons other than poor performance at their job. Okay. Fine. I get it. He’s feeling sorry for himself. Whatevs.

What does he do? He starts (continues, actually, but it’s a long story) to spend all his money on beer. Not regular beer, but the fruity, 12% alcohol beers the homeless people around here drink. The kind of beer that has a stench like dorm rooms and cat shit. I can smell it the second I open the door. It pours out of his body like toxic sludge for the next couple of days as he sobers up. He drinks until he passes out. I finally took away his debit card (yeah, Slaveway doesn’t even hand out paychecks – they put your wages on a debit card that is not tied to any bank, therefore you can’t put any money on it, but they can take money out if they “make a mistake” with your pay. Cheap and crooked…) I made sure that my wallet was within my grasp at all times (I’ve been here before with his father…) and told him that there will be no drinking in my house. Period.

Things went well for a month or so. Last weekend he went with me to Mom’s. He did some yard work for her which she paid for in cash. Can you see where this is going? Oh, yes he did! I know he spent about $15 of the $40 she gave him, leaving him about $25 in his pocket. Sure enough, when I came home from work on Monday he was passed out drunk. There was no point in even talking to him – he won’t remember a word the next day, as past conversations have proven. I took to my bed with a glass of sweet tea and a book, ignoring his drunken stumbling to the bathroom some time later***.

Tuesday evening basically a repeat of Monday. The beer he likes is cheap. It takes 2.5 for him to be on his face, wasting the last .5 unless he manages to slam it down before passing out. At $2.50 each, he has about five days of being drunk before he runs out of cash.

Is this reason enough to be stressed? Wait! There’s so much more! Tune in tomorrow for Reason the Second.

* Nevermind that an RV shower is the height of efficiency, using less than 10 gallons of water per shower, compared to a “real” shower that uses as many as 4 gallons per minute. I mean, as an argument that is absurd.

** Man Smell is not a bad thing, in and of itself, I just chose to live a life without it and being forced to endure is making me really cranky. No, it’s just flat pissing me off. No need to sugarcoat, now is there?

*** I have told him that if he pukes he will be out on his ass. Period. Towanda is far too small to have a drunk puking, even in the bathroom, and he’s not known for making it to the bathroom in time. Yeah. Picture that and listen to him assert that he’s not an alcoholic.


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Will this never end?

Spent a lovely day at the Studio Sunday. Sadly, the evening was shot.

The Kid has been fairly meek the past weeks that he’s been living with me. He has been going out to help Awana at the alpaca ranch and looking for work. He’s been respectful and (sorta) helpful around the place. We’ve talked about his alcoholism and he has seemed remorseful about where he finds himself due entirely to his own poor decision making. He has been sober and as “normal” as he’s ever been.

Until Sunday. I left the dog with him because she’d have to stay in the car otherwise. I left instructions about airing the place out as soon as it warmed up outside. I put the dog’s harness on and gave him very specific guidelines about how to handle her – there’s a new dog in the park that she doesn’t like and I don’t want to have any incidents.

I arrived home at 7:30 PM to find the door open, the screen door shut and the dog inside with her leash on. I told him specifically that the dog will push the screen door open and be GONE at the slightest provocation and he is not, under any circumstances, to leave the dog loose inside with only the screen door between her and freedom. I was VERY clear and made him repeat my instructions back to me.

The Kid was passed out on the couch, curled up into a ball. Snoring. I smelled something not quite identifiable the second I stepped inside. It wasn’t foul, but it didn’t belong. I tried to rouse him but was not successful. Okay, he hasn’t been sleeping well, so I’ll leave him alone, take care of the animals and we’ll talk about it later. I had drafting to do for The Other Boss.

He came to as I was getting settled in at the computer and when he sat up I knew what the smell was – booze of some sort, definitely not beer, his drink of choice.

Sigh. Fuck. Oh, yeah, he was totally wasted. He said he bought one 12 oz beer and that’s all he had. I told him he was lying. He stuck to his story. I continued to disbelieve him. I searched for the source of his inebriation and finally found it at the very back of the pantry – the tequila bottle was no longer sealed. He had drunk half the bottle. He continued to assert his innocence, but there was no way one beer fucked him up that badly.

After a couple of hours I went to bed, after supervising him pulling out the couch and assuring him that if he puked anywhere but in the toilet he would face my wrath. I was angry enough to chew nails.

Monday dawned and he looked like shit. I had locked all the liquor in my car* so there would be no repeating of this particular episode and I was pretty sure a tequila hangover would be punishment enough but I couldn’t resist a bit of lecturing. He admitted that he couldn’t really remember the previous night. Sigh.

Yesterday when I got home from work he was busy filling out job applications online. I tried to be calm as I told him I understand he’s a grown man and I have no right to dictate how he lives his life but this is my house and I won’t have him drinking while he’s staying with me. He was very apologetic. He made no promises. I, however, did promise to do my best to hound him into staying sober, to pound into his head that he is an alcoholic and a potential drug addict (his father was both, as were/are many of my relatives) and he will not be able to drink casually and I will not put up with his self destructive behavior under my roof. Get help or I will get it for you.

We’ll see where it goes from here. I’m still hopeful he’ll make the right choices but on the alert in case he stumbles again. I’ve been here so many times. I’m really tired of it now but I can’t abandon my son.

* Yeah, I should have done it before I picked him up, but I kinda thought a sealed bottle would dissuade him and he really prefers beer. I had no idea he would be stupid enough to drink half a bottle of tequila. Live and learn, as they say.


Posted by on February 24, 2015 in Alcoholism, Family, The Kid


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Second Verse

Finally talked to The Boy on Monday night. He had plans to visit an Army recruiter Tuesday. WTF??? Now, no offense to my son, but that kid would not make it in the military. I just. I mean, srsly?

Hiding my skepticism, I said encouraging words, offered once again to pay his rent this month and promised to be there for him whatever he decided.

Yesterday morning I get this text –

“I need help”

Nothing more, just those three words. After catching my breath I dialed the phone. He was in tears and the background noise was traffic. I asked him where he was and he said he didn’t know. All alarms ringing now, I told him to get to somewhere safe, that I was on my way and would call when I was in the neighborhood. He texted 30 minutes later that he was at a friend’s and would wait for me there.

So. The Rest of the Story is that he did not try to get a job or find a roommate and vacated his apartment on the first. While he never told me a direct lie, he did leave out some facts and talked around some of my pointed questions. We’ll deal with that later.

He carried most of his stuff down to the dumpster – the remainder (minus his bike which said friend is storing for him for now) fit into the back of my tiny car. His glasses* were a smashed wreck, no screws, one lens falling out, so our first stop was Visionworks in the Washington Square Mall. Lemme tell you what – those guys know their job! Mike (hope I got his name right) was able to clean, repair and adjust what I thought was a hopeless cause and The Boy looks respectable again. It’s a miracle, I tell ya!

I brought him home with me and we’ve been talking about his life and where he wants to go. He is rudderless at the moment, not knowing what he wants to do next (but still talking about the Army) depressed and confused. He’s spending the today out at the alpaca ranch with Awana doing the heavy lifting she can’t.

Rest, food and hard physical work will clear his head. How long it will take remains a mystery, but he’s welcome to stay as long as he needs to.

Sigh. I am tired.

* He has always been hard on glasses – the screws just fall out no matter what we do to prevent it. I told him to go over to the mall and have the screws replaced, that they do it for free so you’ll come back, but he always denied that they do walk-in stuff like that for free. Hah! Mom Was Right. AGAIN! “I never thought it would be so easy…would have come over sooner if I’d known I could get them fixed for free…” and so on. Prolly won’t let him forget this any time soon…


Posted by on February 5, 2015 in Family, The Boy, You're kidding


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So glad the weekend is over!

I am so tired today! The show went pretty well for the Sweatshop Girls and we’re all happy that it’s over for this Season. We’re gonna take a week off and then get together to plan our next move. Stay tuned…

The Boy and I went back to his apartment early on Saturday to get it cleaned up and habitable again. After five nights with Mom, he was looking like his old self again, sarcastic sense of humor back in evidence and his eyes clear. Constant pleas to take a shower had finally worked their magic and he no longer smelled like the barroom floor on Sunday morning. Couldn’t get him to eat as much as he should have, but at least he was hydrated.

He was not looking forward to going home. Neither was I, to tell the truth. I was hoping it wasn’t as bad as I remembered but fearful it would be worse.

I won’t go into details. It was filth like I’ve never seen. It took seven hours to haul out the trash, wash the walls and carpet and haul two full shopping carts worth of empty bottles and cans out of there. I’m not even exaggerating. I wish I was.

We went shopping for the essentials, including a floor lamp – there is no overhead fixture in his room and Mama can’t have that! If he can see the dirt he will clean or I will know the reason why. We bought hangers and a dirty clothes basket and talked about organization and what I expect to see when I go back up this weekend.

We talked about how and why the room got to be in that condition and I’m not as worried as I was about his state of mind. At the first sign of backsliding, however, he will be placed under house arrest (my house) and will be flogged with righteous indignation and The Rules of his childhood that he so hated until he begs for mercy.

He was ashamed that I insisted on getting right in there and cleaning and worked as quickly as he could so I wouldn’t see some really nasty things. I just don’t even have words.

Anyway. His room is as clean as bleach, soap and water can make it, when I left there was no alcohol or empty containers in the place and there was food in the fridge. We’ve been in contact by text and phone every day and will continue to be into the foreseeable future.

He has printed out his resume and is riding his bike around looking for another job. His financial position is fine, provided he gets a new roommate and a job by the end of the month.

Sigh. I’m glad it’s over but so sorry for the experience. Mama Bear has been awakened and her cub better keep his shit together or face my wrath…


Posted by on December 9, 2014 in Family, The Boy



Detoxed and ready to roll

It’s been a long week and I am tired. The Sweatshop Girls will be in Albany at the Willamette Event Center peddling our wares if you’re in the area.

The Beast seems to have made a full recovery – he’s back to his usual self, making me wonder if it wasn’t alcohol poisoning on top of not enough sleep or food that sent him over the edge. He has no obvious signs of withdrawal (and I’ve been looking hard!) and his appetite has returned.

This episode has certainly driven home the fact that I need to be more involved in his life, no matter what his preferences might be, and you can bet this will not happen again if I have anything to say about it.

He’s been concerned about this little “vacation” because he needs to get a new job ASAP and sort out his roommate situation. Tomorrow morning I’ll be taking him back to The Big City where we will take care of business.

I texted Brian, the roommate, to let him know what was what and make sure he doesn’t think I’m crazy, based on my behavior on Monday. Because H has regained his sense of humor, although he doesn’t read this blog, here’s a comparison between him and his roommate.

H on the night in question –

Jesse Pinkman. Please tell me you know who this kid is...

Jesse Pinkman. Please tell me you know who this kid is…

Actually, H looked worse, but I couldn’t find a picture horrible enough. The baggy pants, beanie, totally out of it expression, loose layers of coats. Jesse at his worst.

In contrast, Brian, the roommate –

Tom Keene from The Blacklist. If you know the show, you know who he turned out to be...

Tom Keene from The Blacklist. If you know the show, you know who he turned out to be…

Bizarre! They would never live in the same space if they hadn’t been thrown together by the apartment management office.

Anyway. All is well. Mama Bear is not done whipping her cub yet, but at least he’s traveling in a straight line 🙂


Posted by on December 5, 2014 in Family, The Boy




I haven’t written much here about my son, for good reason – his story is his to tell – but the events of yesterday negate any further silence. Buckle up, this will be a long one.

H (sometimes referred to as The Beast or TB) has been living in The Big City, on his own for just over five years now. Getting him out of the house and motivated to live his own life was not easy and maybe I’ll toss in a bit of that story as events develop, but leave he eventually did, off to live his Dream Life with his best buddy, B, away from all the rules and regulations life at home entailed.

Life seemed to be going well for him for awhile – he had a good job, an apartment he shared with B and B’s fiance, M, and the bills were paid on time. The Family gave him cash at the Holidays but he refused any and all assistance, keeping up a cheerful demeanor and insisting that he was doing Just Fine.

B and M moved out, got married, had a baby and that’s where I think things started to fall apart.

Last year about this time H lost his job. He said it was because he was late to work and someone else had to open the restaurant for him. While I don’t have the facts, I believe he was drunk or hung over and that’s the real reason he was fired. What matters is that he was hiding his drinking and The Family helped him with bills while he looked for a new job. We didn’t give him much because he swore he was on top of things and didn’t want our help.

We thought everything was fine, and maybe it was. He and I have been close in the past, but our schedules have been opposite for awhile and we haven’t talked as much as we should have. I should have been a more involved Mama, but he was adamant that he was a grown-up and was just fine on his own. Life was peachy. Life was good. His job wasn’t the greatest but he had money and clothes and didn’t need me to stop by for a visit. Red, Flags, I know, but ya gotta let a baby bird fly, right?

On Thanksgiving I went by his place to pick him up to go to dinner with The Family. We had texted the night before and he said that he’d worked a 14-hour graveyard shift and might be sleeping when I got there. I rang the bell, called his phone and knocked for half an hour before giving up. I texted him (his voicemail box was not set up yet) to call me when he woke up and that was that. I was irritated, but he sleeps soundly and maybe he just wasn’t up to dinner. This was 11:00 AM.

He finally called at 5:00 PM and sounded like shit. Claimed he was sick, very sick. I asked how much he’d drank and he laughed me off and wouldn’t give a straight answer. Not being able to verify his story, I lectured him about staying hydrated and to call his Mom once in awhile and rang off.

Cut to yesterday afternoon. He called me, sounding very unlike himself. Said he didn’t tell me he loved me enough and he really wanted to call just to say, “I love you.” Said he’d called Grandma, too, and alarm bells began ringing in my head.

I was at work and the connection was bad, so I headed outside to see if the reception was any better. H talks very fast and quietly so it’s hard to understand him even in person but I got the gist. As I was talking to him Mom started calling me, so I knew this was something serious.

H started to ramble and say that he hates his life and doesn’t know what to do and apologizing over and over for “everything he’s put me through,” admitting that he’d lost his job, on and on, pretty incoherent and I finally just asked if I should come up there and get him, bring him back to stay with me for awhile for a change of scenery.

That stopped the conversation entirely.

“You’d do that?” he asked.

“Of course – I’m your Mom! I’ll leave right after work. Will you be okay until then?”

We chatted for a few more minutes and I became more worried. He sounded very unlike himself, crying and, well, suicidal. He was so moved that I would drive up and get him. I was debating calling 911 to get someone over there but he seemed to calm down a bit when I promised I would come.

I told him I was on my way, hung up and dialed Mom. She was packing a bag but reluctant to drive to The Big City in the dark. I told her I was on my way and would call when I got eyes on the situation.

The car was full of stuff so I had to make a quick stop by the Studio where I told Awana what was going on and Sabu and I hit the road.

As I was stopped at a red light I checked my text messages and saw – “I’ll leave the door open in case i cant get to it.”

WTF?!?!?!? Almost lost my shit right there. Tried to call B to see if he’d go check on H, but the number I have is no good. Texted back – “K. On the way.” Hoping he’d see it and not do anything rash.

The entire ride my mind was flipping over the possible scenarios and what I should do in each case. I was really hoping I wouldn’t be dealing with a body. Or a situation that would require a hospital stay. I was loaded for bear in any case.

I bounded up the stairs, rang the bell and waited about five seconds before trying the door. Locked. I knocked and heard footsteps inside. The door cracked open and a handsome, bearded and bespectacled face peered out. I’d found myself a genuine Hipster! WTF he was doing in my son’s apartment was not readily apparent, but I had no time to think about it.

“I’m looking for H,” I said, pushing my way forward.

He had the gall to block my way and say, “I don’t think he’s here right now.”

“I’m his Mom and he better be here,” and I pushed my way inside.

Taking a deep breath, I knocked and then opened his bedroom door. It was pitch black inside, the only sound a very faint wheezing. My heart was in my throat, I can tell you! I reached for a light switch, but there was none. I couldn’t see a thing but my Mama taught me to be prepared, so I whipped a flashlight out of my pocket and shined it around the room while calling his name.

He was passed out in an office chair, head back, headphones on. He was very hard to rouse, finally coming to a groggy consciousness and looking around himself like he wasn’t sure where he was. I was worried he was going to need a trip to the hospital but he soon came to enough to realize that his Mom was standing in the middle of the wreak that is his room.

Beer cans piled three feet deep on the floor and stacked on every horizontal surface. Cigarette butts spilled everywhere. Food wrappers tangled into mounds of filthy, stinking clothes and who knows what else. One hole in a wall, the closet door off its tracks, the bed a greasy, nasty mess. Every surface coated with a sticky residue that turns my stomach just to recall.

He began to cry and apologize profusely, standing on unsteady legs, swaying and telling me that I shouldn’t be in his room – it was too awful for me to see. I asked him to step out into the living room where there was light so I could see his face and he kept turning in circles, telling me I shouldn’t be in there.

Sigh. It was so very sad. He started thanking me for coming for him, that he didn’t deserve such a sacrifice and so on – the typical things drunks say when they know they’ve fucked up and can’t bear the thought of themselves any longer. Sadly, I know this place all too well – his father is an alcoholic and drug addict. This is all deja vu for me.

I told him to pack a bag, that I wanted to talk to his roommate for a minute. Poor Brian! He was obviously not prepared to face an upset Mom on this night. I quizzed him, trying to get a handle on how long H might have been like this, how often it happened, etc. but Brian has not spent much time with H – their schedules are opposite and they aren’t friends; he found the place through the manager’s office and had only been there a couple of months. Was, in fact, planning to move back to California in a couple of weeks. I got his number and promised to send some cash ASAP to be sure the rent and bills are taken care of. He was a nice guy, understanding, or faking it very well.

Somehow I got H to pack a bag with the things he HAD to have, bundled his blankets into a paper bag and got him downstairs in one piece. He seemed to be waking up, but he was not in good shape.

The ride down the freeway terrified him. Living in The Big City, he rarely rides in a car, preferring to walk or ride his bike. The alcohol-fueled paranoia only made the trip more bizarre for him and it was hard to get him to talk about anything else.

By the end of the ride he was sounding more normal and I was in full on Mama Bear mode. He WILL be attending AA meetings. He WILL disclose his financial situation. I WILL be taking him back to clean his room and there will be no arguing about it. I WILL be making a key so I can get into his apartment in future if he doesn’t answer the door. He WILL be in better contact with The Family in future.

The smell of stale booze was so strong I insisted he take a shower and put on come clothes I had stashed in the closet. We set off immediately for the laun-dro-mat because there was no way any of his nasty things were going to be inside my trailer!

He was still pretty out of it, but talking like a human being, so we had a long conversation about drinking and alcoholism and his genetic predisposition for being an alcoholic and drug addict. I did everything but take a hammer to his head and he admitted that he has a problem and totally fucked up.

He thinks the drinking is mostly situational – when he and B get together they drink, but he also drinks when he’s alone. Riiiiiigggggghhhht. Sounds like classic alcoholic justification and I said so.

Anyway. He’s here with me for the time being. I have to work today, so I left instructions for him to eat whatever he thought he could hold down and drink as much lemongrass tea or water as he could. I called at lunch time, hoping he was asleep (he didn’t sleep at all last night) and had a little chat. He doesn’t want to go to an AA meeting alone but there isn’t an open meeting tonight, so tomorrow it is.

I just hope this change in his routine will get him back on the straight and narrow and enable him to get a grip on his life. If I can swing it, I want him to see a doctor and have some blood tests to make sure there isn’t anything serious wrong with him and to see a counselor of some sort – he said some very disturbing things about not feeling like himself and “freaking out” about his life.

I’m just thankful I was able to dash up to get him – if I was still with the narc it would have been impossible.

Stay tuned for the rest of the story…


Posted by on December 2, 2014 in Family, The Boy


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A Blast from the Past

I was searching through some CDs last night looking for pictures for a new project and came across some shots from a family vacation to New York.

Every year when I was growing up Mom watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV. It was her dream to see it in person one day and in 2004 that’s what we did – Mom, Dan, Sis, Harley and I* flew to New York for Thanksgiving week to see the parade and everything else we could fit into a week. It was wonderful! Okay, I didn’t really care for the parade because of the crowds, but I was there for other reasons. I wanted to ride a horse in Central Park. Crazy, right?

This is Gillespie, one of the school horses from the (sadly gone) Claremont Riding Academy located two blocks from Central Park in Manhattan:

NYC 139The stable itself was amazing to someone who was used to horses being housed at ground level. A woman yelled down into a door for Gillespie and in a minute there was a thundering of hooves on wood and here came a lovely dappled palomino up the steep ramp, saddle and bridle on. He paused in the doorway, looked around, saw me and walked right up. This horse knew his stuff and was ready to get out of there.

Not being a total idiot, I mounted up to ride a bit in the arena and was disappointed to find Mr. G (as I called him in my mind) was rather nappy and not at all happy to be trotting circles around the other riders and the support columns spaced regularly around the very small arena.

As soon as we stepped outside, however, he perked right up and heaved a big sigh as if he’d been waiting for days to see the sunshine, and maybe he had. The picture above makes him look sleepy, but what you don’t see is the ambulance with sirens on and flashing lights that had just passed. Mr. G stood firm, not even flinching when it came roaring up and around the corner. I was terrified that he would do something stupid, but he was not at all fazed by the Big City.

NYC 141In order to get to the bridle paths in Central Park, we had to walk with the traffic (one way) two blocks and then turn two more corners (more one way traffic) and cross a very busy street into the park proper. It was quite an experience – no one batted an eye to see a horse calmly walking along, cars zipping by on one side, bikes and pedestrians on the other.

NYC 145Once we reached the park there was just enough time to circle the lake before the rental time ran out. It was a beautiful November day, partially cloudy with no wind. In fact, the weather the entire week was wonderful for November – chilly but not cold and dry most of the time, almost like Winter was holding off so we could enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

We returned to the stable and Mr. G went right back down the ramp after I gave him a couple of carrots for being such a good boy. I thought it must be a hard life for him, not being able to graze outside, but he seemed happy enough and didn’t hesitate to head back to his stall.

It was an experience I’ll never forget and I hope someday to ride in Hyde Park in London, although it’s been a few years since I last sat a horse. This post makes me miss my equine friends and think about taking lessons at one of the nearby stables…

* The narc (of course) refused to attend because his privacy could not be maintained and so he stayed home. I was instructed to call him every evening at 7:00 his time (11:00 PM in NY) to report in. We were running all day and he expected me to call him after everyone else went to bed. I resented it and lost a lot of sleep just to please him – after all, I had “abandoned” him to go gallivanting off with my family instead of staying home to take care of him. Whatever.


Posted by on January 28, 2014 in Family, Happy, History, Horses


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Holiday Cheer

I’ve been AWOL for the last five days, doing all that Holiday Stuff that’s so popular this time of year. Awana came over to spend a couple days with us. Here you see her spinning and trying to enjoy a piece of toast. Sabu was doing her best to get that last bite for herself, but Awana was oblivious:DSCN0477


Awana is one of those people who hasn’t lived with pets for some time and is either unaware or has forgotten what it’s like to eat anything with a critter in the house. She is able to leisurely have a bite of toast, set it down, drink a sip of tea, talk awhile and pick the toast back up, confident that it will be right there under her questing fingertips when she’s ready for it again.Sabu (mostly) doesn’t steal from her. Yet.

I, on the other hand, must grasp my food to my chest, balancing a tea cup on my lap (setting it on the table is an invitation for getting it knocked over,) taking quick bites and swallowing fast, before dog or cat manage to knock something free and gobble it down before I can rescue it. Revy is always at my elbow, or even trying to climb onto the plate if there’s chicken or ham involved, and Sabu is forever leaning on my knees, bumping my arm or leg with her nose to get me to hurry up and get to the last bite already! She always gets the last bite and is not at all patient about waiting for it. It can be exhausting, I tell you.

DSCN0479On Christmas day we drove up to Portland to my Sister’s house for lunch and catching up. Sadly, most of my pictures turned out awful (I truly hate my new camera and moan about the one that was stolen each time I bring out the POS) but there are a few that are fit to show.


DSCN0480Sis’ tree. Cool, yes? It was much prettier IRL. It disassembles and goes into a box after The Season. Easy-peasy!

DSCN0484This is Maya. She is an odd cat. Very interested to see what you’re eating, but not at all interested in having a bite. It’s like she needs to know for the sake of knowing.

The quilt was well received and we all settled down for taco soup, which was fab-u-lous! Even better heated up the next day!

A couple hours of visiting and we were off to the dog park and to take Harley home. Turns out The Boy did not have many clothes fit to wear in public (at least by Mom and Grandma standards) and so I insisted that I would be back on Friday to take him shopping. And for a haircut.

Sadly, it was unnecessary to humiliate him by forcing him to try on clothes and model them for me at the crowded store – I had five pairs of new jeans in The Stash (don’t ask) that fit him perfectly. We did venture out for some thrifting and food shopping as well as a haircut. Another trip to a dog park and Sabu and I headed home.

Awana was gone, so the beasties and I started in on another project and cleaning house. I spent a couple hours Saturday and Sunday in the Studio working on a scrappy quilt that is now ready for tying and binding. The trailer is clean, the plants are behind a new protective barrier that looks slightly less White Trash than the cardboard I was using before, and I even managed to do some cooking for lunches this week. Sabu got to go to the dog park six days in a row. Lil’ Dude got some new clothes – more about that in another post 🙂

All in all, it was a very happy and productive five days off!


Posted by on December 30, 2013 in Family, Friends, Happy, Holidays


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My Boy

I believe it was Sunny Days in DC who asked (months ago, but I eventually get around to everything 🙂 ) for a picture of my son drinking tea. I mentioned it to him several times but it never happened.

The day Awana and I drove up to pick up Revy I mentioned it again.

“Oh, yeah! I have a cup right here!” he declared. This is the result –

DSCN0077My son, the comedian. Sigh. Apple, tree, not far, obviously. I am happy to say he has a better haircut now. He (silly boy!) let his almost-exploding pregnant friend cut his hair and he thinks she might have had a little man-aggression to get out of her system and he was the unwitting victim, her own husband being close shaven, and perhaps not dumb enough to let his hormone-crazed wife near him with anything sharp.

Somewhere in my archives I have a picture that Awana took of me taking this picture of Harley that I will post later today. It was a hilarious photo shoot.

Happy Friday, everyone!

UPDATE: Found the pic:

IMG_2582His apartment was surprisingly clean and empty (he’s a Minimalist – no idea how that happened) with the recycling on the counter ready to go out the door and the smell of cleaner in the air.


Posted by on November 1, 2013 in Family, Memes



Playing Hooky

Totally remiss in not getting this posted sooner, I know. No apologies – I’m busy and couldn’t be happier about that. I’ll likely refer back to this weekend often in the near future because it won’t all fit into one post. No pics today, but here’s another promise that I’ll get to it when I get to it 🙂 There are pics on the latest Travels with Towanda post if you find posts with only words too boring.

Okay. I work 7:30 – 5:00 with a half hour lunch* M-Th and 7:30 – Noon on Friday at the new/old job, making Friday afternoons perfect for traveling.

Friday dawned hot and sunny. Sabu and I left the office around noon, had a quick lunch and were on the road by 1:30, headed North and East. As I drove out of town I could hear M’s voice in my head. Not his voice exactly, but I could feel his disapproval at what I was doing and where I was going. The fact that I didn’t respond to his voice mail nagged at me, knowing that he disapproved and there would be consequences sooner or later. Thoughts of his arguments against spending the weekend at Mom’s ran through my head and I found myself feeling apprehensive about the whole trip.

Knowing that it was all just left-over bullshit, I tried to tune it out. It took about 30 miles to shake him off and start to look forward to my destination and the adventures that awaited. It pisses me off that he is still in my head, if not ultimately making me decide NOT to do things, at least nagging at me about so many things. The poison is not totally out of my system, it seems.

The first stop was Camping World to pick up some things for Towanda. I spent too much money, but there are things one must have to keep all systems functioning as they should in a travel trailer. Detailed post on that another day.

We arrived in my home town, Hood River, later than intended, but safe and sound. The weekend was wonderful, filled with laughter and good times with people who “get” me. Or if they don’t, they are kind enough to just shrug and think to themselves, “well, she is family…” 🙂

The weather was perfect – dry, sunny and warm enough for me to wear a short-sleeved t-shirt. Oh, sure, some people were complaining about how hot it was, but like a lizard, I was soaking it all up!

We went yard saling, ate outside on the deck and drove around town, stopping wherever we liked. It was perfect!

Many thanks to Mom who sent me off with a car full of Good Stuff for Towanda’s decor and maintenance. I’ll be back soon 🙂

* Half an hour for lunch is not enough time to eat AND walk the dog. It’s not enough time to run even one errand. I kinda resent that, but if they don’t need me in the office full time, well, I plan on changing up my schedule if The Boss will allow, and it sounds like he will after a short phone conversation this morning. Oh, I am writing my own ticket now, but that’s another post…


Posted by on June 13, 2013 in Digging Out, Family


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