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This is why I shouldn’t go outside…

I almost never post pictures of myself here. I’m usually behind the camera and there aren’t many photo taking opportunities, but Saturday found Awana and I at an outdoor Fiber Event. I thought the natural light would be great for taking pictures and Awana was willing to take some shots.

I wore my favorite yellow linen tunic – the one that makes me look thinner than I really am. I was very careful with breakfast so as not to slobber all over myself.

We arrived at the venue unsoiled. And then IT happened. We were putting up the pop-up for the first time and I managed to whack myself square in the mouth with the top of the upright while trying to make it “snap easily into place.”

Awana says I cried a little, but I have no memory of that part. I do remember feeling carefully with my tongue and being grateful I hadn’t broken a tooth. Fuck! My lips started swelling on the spot and I hoped that I wouldn’t end up looking like a loser in a boxing match.

20140802_102044Favorite shirt? Check. New prescription shades? Check. Big ol’ fat lip? Also check.

Sigh. The shades are cool, though, right?

20140802_102136Where did all those gray hairs come from? What about the “anti-glare coating” these glasses are supposed to have?

Gaaaahhhhhhh!!!

I did get hit on by a lesbian, so it must not have looked that bad…

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2014 in Crazy, Fiber Arts, Friends, right?, You're kidding

 

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Share Your World – Week 15

Week 15 already? How time flies when you’re having fun! Here’s another installment of Share Your World brought to you by Cee’s Photography. I really must get my act together and join in some of the photography challenges…

This week’s questions and answers:

For your blog do you basically use Windows or Mac, laptop, desktop, pad, or phone?

Until a couple of weeks ago I used a Windows desktop. Now I have access to a Windows laptop. The tablet is too small and annoying and my phone is dumb…

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Alone. Maybe independent is a better word. I wanted to be on my own so I could make all the decisions and not have to cater to anyone else. I’d have a cat or two and live in an apartment in a city and work and spend my money however I wanted to. Obviously that didn’t work out as planned then, but it’s working just fine, now 🙂

Did you grow up in a small or big town? Did you like it?

I grew up in a small town and I hated it at the time, but looking back I really had it easier than kids in larger towns do. I knew it was great to live where there weren’t shootings every day and no traffic jams, but I really wanted a bigger library and more places to go for entertainment that was free. Yeah, I was a nerd. Still am…

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? 

19 – old enough to be out of school but still excited by every day’s possibilities.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last week was busy! Had a lovely working visit with Mom and get to repeat the fun next weekend. More on that over on the other blog.

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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On the cusp of a New Year

Wow. 2013 went by faster than any other year I can remember! My personal New Year doesn’t start until January 21 (my first narc-free day) but since most of the Western world uses January 1 as the official day, I will too. For now.

A year ago I was still living with the narc, enduring his constant complaints about feeling “under compensated,” enduring his lectures about how I “control” every aspect of our lives, especially the dinner menu, how he’s helpless and can’t contain his emotions but he loves me very, very much. I was done making excuses, fully aware of what a monster he is and counting the days until my escape.

I’m proud to say that 2013 has been my happiest and most productive year as a fully-fledged adult person 🙂 I have learned more, accomplished more, lived more this past year than any that went before.

I have bright hopes for the future and wish all of you a safe, happy and prosperous 2014.

For those of you in toxic relationships, I wish for you the strength to get out – there really is a good life here on the other side. Jump on in, the water’s fine 🙂

For those of you who are recently out of toxic relationships, congratulations! The hard part is over. Really, it is. Go forward with hope and courage and good things will be yours.

Thank you all for following along on my journey back to life and for being so supportive and wise when I thought I was all alone.

Since everyone else is doing it, here’s my annual report, just for fun.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 24,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2013 in Happy, I totally Rock!

 

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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!

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

 

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The Little Cowgirl

As I work on my NaNo project and pore through my old journals I’ve been reflecting upon friends I met along the way. Sadly, there’s only one. Oh, sure, I had acquaintances that I saw every week at knitting, but I never saw them outside of the yarn shop. There was only one person I could confide in during the earlier years I was with the narc because he would not allow friendships with anyone he didn’t know first and who was loyal to him. It took me a long time to figure that out.

RobinRobin was our neighbor when we lived on the little farm. She and her boyfriend of many years, Dave, were the first people we met when looking at houses and they were a big reason we chose the house we did. The other neighbors were assholes, but that’s another story.

Robin had two horses and we became fast Horse Friends, seeing each other at her barn but not otherwise. Horse Friends share everything horse-related, but may be total strangers away from the barn. I met her kids only a couple of times, but she talked about them enough that I felt like I knew them.

Robin’s old paint horse, Bear, had cancer when I moved in and he went downhill fairly quickly. She held on to him as long as she could before making that final call to have him put out of his misery. It broke her heart – he had been with her through a failed marriage and several temporary relationships and she loved him more than anything but maybe her Jack Russel dog, Jake.

I moved my horse into her barn and pasture and we rode often. The narc was pressuring me to get rid of my horse. Junior was too much horse for me and I was being pulled in too many directions to give him the time and miles he needed. The narc was a total asshole about how I spent my time and not a day went by that he didn’t have something to say about the “horse situation.” I was spending too much time with the horse or not enough time with the horse and I couldn’t take it any more. One day I just snapped, put an ad in the paper and the Junior was gone two days later. I was out of the horse business.

The narc was not pleased. “I didn’t mean for you to sell your horse!” he declared. “I meant that you should get another horse and I would ride Junior.” Say what? I choked back my rage and said nothing. He was gaslighting me about the “horse situation” and I was not going to go there.

Anyway. Robin procured another horse so she and I could go riding together. I would fall in love with the lovely chestnut Morgan mare, but again, that’s another story.

When we rode we told our stories and Robin asked often why I stayed with the narc. I shared that I felt trapped and obligated and confused as to why he was such a dick for no reason. She was an invaluable sounding board, wondering aloud why the narc and I were together when we were so obviously not suited.

She eventually left Dave and moved in with another man. She kept her horses at Dave’s and we still rode often. Then I moved to Lebanon and we both had to drive to see the horses. It was fine. Not as good as it once was, but we still saw each other every week and between us were able to ride the horses enough to keep them in training.

Robin broke her back in an accident when she was a teenager and had three fused vertebrae which caused her a lot of pain. She was able to do her job at Safeway most of the time, but her back began to get worse and she took time off to go to the doctor and let her back rest. The doc recommended surgery but her company insurance balked at the cost and delayed approving the procedure. The doc was happy to prescribe pain pills, which she enjoyed way too much with her beer.

Her back pain became so bad that her doc demanded she take a leave of absence from work until she was approved for surgery. Guess what? You have to work a minimum number of hours or Safeway will drop you from their insurance policy. They delayed her surgical approval until she basically couldn’t walk and had to take enough time off (all with doctor approval) that they could drop her insurance.

Maybe you can see where this is going?

She was in pain and caught the seasonal bug going around and couldn’t make it out to the barn to care for the horses. She had bought feed and shavings but hadn’t been able to deliver them so Harley and I drove over to her house to pick them up.

She was very slow to open the door and I knew as soon as I saw her face that she was dying. She wouldn’t let me in. I didn’t have her boyfriend’s number. She refused to let me call an ambulance or take her to the hospital. She swore that her boyfriend (why can’t I remember his name?) was on his way home to take her to the hospital and she would be fine. She gave me the keys to her car and I loaded the horse stuff into mine, and knocked on the door once again.

I repeated my pleas that she get to the hospital. She swore she was fine. I returned her keys and drove away, tears in my eyes because I knew I would never see her again.

The next evening I got a call from Dave. Robin was in hospital. In a coma. Organs shutting down. No visitors allowed. He called again a few hours later to tell me that she had died. It was February 5, 2008. Every time I think of her I regret not dragging her to the hospital myself, but the little cowgirl was stubborn and would have fought me the whole way.

I can’t touch a horse without remembering our happy rides together. She was the first person to tell me the narc was an asshole and that I deserved better. She always told it like it was and I loved that about her. Her death is the reason I rarely shop Safeway. I find myself missing her today and hoping that she and her beloved Bear are riding the trails in a better place.

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2013 in Friends, Horses

 

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Visiting

stuph-rantTwindaddy, author of the very first UnShitty™ blog on the internet, has granted me a guest post spot today. Hop on over there and see what I’m bitching about on this Friday and stay to read some really UnShitty™ Stuph!

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2013 in Friends, Rants, Stuff that Pisses Me Off!

 

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Whirlwind

There’s a lot going on around here and my mind feels like a tornado every waking moment, which unfortunately is the majority of the time as Lil’ Shithead has been moving up Wake Up time for the past week. It was three days of up at 0530, followed by one day at 0500 and this AM he decided that he needed to get me up at 0230. Yup. That’s 2:30 AM!!! WTF he was thinking, I just don’t know.

I’ve decided that he’s just not a cat at all; he’s a yappy, spoiled dog in a cat suit. He cries like a little dog; he insists that he will do what he wants like a little dog; he wants to go OUT at all hours of the night, nevermind that he’s never been out; he constantly re-arranges everything on every flat surface. Gaaaahhhhhh!!!

Now, I have had kittens before. Quite a few, in fact, but I have never had one be quite so difficult and active. If he sleeps, it’s only because his batteries are suddenly depleted and he just falls over and passes out for an hour or so. Then he’s right back up and raging for hours.

That’s not what I intended to blog about, but he’s inciting the dog to riot at this very moment and I’m getting ready to put him in his crate out on the patio to see how he likes that! If he wakes me up again in the wee hours, you can bet he’ll be getting his wish of being outside!

I got the word at knitting last night that the knit shop owner’s offer was accepted on the 1910 Craftsman house down the street and she will be moving shop. The really fabulous news is that there are four rooms upstairs that she will be renting out as studio space and I managed to procure one for myself!

This means that I will finally have a Room of My Own where I can set up my sewing machines and cutting table and work on the projects that have been on hold for years! I will be able to start the projects that have been percolating in my brain without anyone criticizing my materials, color choices, sloppiness, speed or anything else! I will finally be able to open the totes and air out the smell of the narc’s house from my fabric stash.

I can’t tell you how happy this makes me! The rooms have great lighting (they were used for offices so they have nice, bright lighting) and each room has one or two windows and a walk-in closet. The basement will be used for washing fleece and dyeing and having classes while the main floor will house the yarn shop proper.

Sigh. It’s all coming together. Now I better get moving on updating my patterns and website. And do some laundry…

Anyone participating in NaNoWriMo this year?

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2013 in Cats, Digging Out, Dogs, Fiber Arts, Friends

 

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Last Weekend

On Saturday I traveled up to Portland (1.5+ hours by car) to help Roxy hand out samples of her vegan dog biscuits at VegFest 2013. She’s a sweet older woman who has a heart of gold, but damn! She steps on my last nerve some days.

She requested that I meet her at the house of her long-time friends no later than 0830. Fine. I got up at 0530, made the long drive and arrived on time. My first clue that the day was not going to go according to plan was when I knocked on the door and saw a woman in a bathrobe approaching. Sigh. It was Roxy’s friend, and no, she was not yet dressed for the day. Turns out Roxy was not dressed either, and was in fact still doing her morning yoga. She also hadn’t eaten breakfast yet. WTF?!?

I had to make small talk with her friends for nearly an hour before Roxy was ready to drive to the convention center. I sucked it up and behaved like an adult, concealing my irritation as best I could. I mean, really – if she knew she wouldn’t be ready until 0930, why did she make a special point to request my presence at 0830? Just to fuck with me? To annoy her hosts? To see if I could handle the pressure of meeting and making nice with people I have nothing in common with? I don’t know, but it wasn’t the first time I sat cooling my heels waiting on her.

Anyway. Roxy drove to the convention center while I navigated. Holy crap does she drive fast! And she’s not all that concerned with staying inside the lines, either! I managed to yelp in fear only once, which prompted her to look over at me and ask if I was alright. A long, lingering look while doing 65 in a 55 zone on the freeway! I swallowed all sounds other than what exit to take after that.

As we were walking into the convention center, I noticed some garishly dressed people heading in the same direction. Roxy was marching along at warp speed, not looking back, so I only caught glimpses as I rushed by. It all became clear as we neared the hall where the VegFest was being held – the Rose City Comicon was going on in the very next room! That’s right – my people were right there and I was stuck with the vegans all day!

There were storm troopers:

Rose City Comic Con 2013 - Day 1

Storm troopers! And they looked like they’d been crawling through the sand for days…

And ghost busters:

Rose City Comic Con 2013 - Day 1Characters with a message:

Rose City Comic Con 2013 - Day 1

I loved that show!

Oodles of sassy women dressed up as characters I couldn’t readily identify:

Rose City Comic Con 2013 - Day 1

I wish I’d gotten a pic of the girl in the Original Series Star Trek uniform – beehive hairdo and everything – she was awesome!

Quite a few dudes who take their cosplay VERY seriously:

Rose City Comic Con 2013 - Day 1

Lots of family groups all dressed up together:

Rose City Comic Con 2013 - Day 1

Do you wonder if this little girl has nightmares, or will she grow up to be a bad ass, take-no-prisoners woman?

And even more storm troopers:

Rose City Comic Con 2013 - Day 1

All photos borrowed from KATU.com because I was not allowed to leave the room to take pictures. Sob!

But, no. Since I was there, Roxy took the opportunity to visit with everyone selling and giving samples away, leaving me at the table to talk and talk and talk to militant vegans all day. Nothing against vegans – this group was just weird. She did allow me a couple of bathroom breaks, but since we were quite close to the restroom I didn’t need to go far. By the end of the day my voice was gone and I was exhausted from standing on the concrete floor leaning over the table for hours and hours.

I was bummed, to say the least. My reward for this day (and lots of hand holding and computer work over the past couple of months)? A gift certificate for a 90-minute massage by Roxy’s favorite masseuse. In Waldport, which is a 2-hour drive away. Sigh. She really doesn’t get me at all. She knows my story, yet she thinks that I should be thrilled at the prospect of a total stranger rubbing my naked body for 90 minutes. Really? I specifically asked for dog biscuits for Sabu. Or chocolate. Something cheap and easy so I didn’t feel obligated, but that’s not how Roxy works.

I really have nothing against Roxy, just venting. I would have loved to see if I could find a Star Trek communicator pin, or a mini Tardis to set on my desk. Instead I saw the most amazing variety of facial piercings and dreadlocks and smelled “vegan seafood” cooking all day. Let me tell you, it ain’t bacon.

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2013 in Friends, I totally Rock!, right?, You're kidding

 

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How does that happen?

Thank you all for your happy weekend wishes. It went very well.

Sabu and I arrived at the dog park in Newport about 3:00 PM. The skies were overcast and the mist was rolling in off the Pacific –

DSCN0039

That ain’t fog, that’s salty mist blowing across the trees.

Quite refreshing after the heat of the Valley. For about ten minutes. Then it’s just fucking cold.

DSCN0040

August in Newport, Oregon. Nary a tomato in sight!

No dogs were out and about so Sabu had to fetch the squeaky ball all by herself.

Friday night was spent at Roxy’s cottage where we had almond chocolate torte and vanilla ice cream for breakfast on Saturday. I know! Oh, woe is me 🙂

Saturday we met up with Awana and Rebecca. The car was stuffed full and it was with immense relief that I handed off the old spinning wheel and accessories to Rebecca; she’ll be using the wheel to learn on. As an added bonus, it won’t have to be stored in Towanda’s limited space. Win-win!

We couldn’t replace Awana’s sink because the RV shop is closed until later this week, but that was fine because we had fleece to sort. That’s right, once again word got out that I was making a visit and people came out of the woodwork to give me stuff! When I drove away on Sunday the car was packed to the gunnels. How does that happen? And why do I stop at other stores on the way to get even more stuff?

I have lost my mind, obviously. Granted, the fleece and fabric is already earmarked for projects that will later be sold, but still. Sigh.

In order to get The Curtain Project underway, I needed to purchase some velcro and fusible fleece. Simple, right? I stopped at Jo-Ann’s Fabrics with those two items in mind and came out again with fantastic, pretty storage boxes and two yards of muslin. I did get the fleece and velcro, and the boxes were 70% off, so it wasn’t a totally insane stop. Sabu was not happy about being so crowded, but it wasn’t for long and we made it home safe and sane. Debatable, obviously.

Anyway. We’re back, supplies have been laid in and the Sewing Marathon will commence this afternoon.

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2013 in Friends, Happy, You're kidding

 

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Go ahead and hate me now…

I know! Way behind posting about Current Events, and I’m afraid this post won’t make up for anything in that department, but in the interest of getting something up here before you all die of boredom, here’s last weekend in photos –

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Lovely cottage in Yachats where Sabu and I stayed in exchange for doing some website work.

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One of many outside sitting areas, but it was too chilly to stay out there for long.

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Dogs loose on the beach! Sabu got to run and run and run off leash on the beach for the first time ever with her pal Beignet. She was a very Good Dog.

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The perfect Saturday night – a tub full of hot bubbles, a good book and a cup of tea.

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That’s right – birthday cake for breakfast Sunday! Toast and tea, too.

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This is a dog with NO birthday cake. Such a sad picture.

And then we drove back to the Valley, Sabu passed out flat in the back seat. She ran on the beach, she ran in Beignet’s yard, she worked herself into a frenzy and is still recovering today.

And here we are at Monday again. Lots of things going on in the background today. Post later…

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2013 in Digging Out, Dogs, Friends, I totally Rock!

 

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