28 December 2011

looking back, looking forward

I love FutureMe. Exactly a year later, my letter from 27 December 2010 showed up in my in-box yesterday. I suppose it is my resolutions, my time capsule of sorts. Sometimes I am surprised by the things I truly knew back then, if only I acted on that knowledge sooner. Hope springs eternal, right? 

What will I write to myself for next year? 

** *** ** *** ** *** ** ***
27 Dec 2010

Dear FutureMe,

I was remiss in writing my annual letter at the beginning of the year. Life-sucking Vampire project ate up so much of this year. But it also provided me a lot of satisfaction, great press, and wonderful experience.

2010. Suppose I should begin at the beginning. Life-sucking Vampire project was frustrating, fighting the egos of Those Who Shall Not Be Named and Super Dad's desire to keep everyone happy. Super Dad finally saw the light and implemented my house cleaning plan.

Super Dad and I enjoyed working together. He would wave his hand in front of me every time that a man checked me out. I remember racing elevators to the 12th floor after a Starbuck's run. We railed through the front door of the suite. That moment made me realize that my fun side - thought to be long lost during the dark years - is alive and well.

Our nightly dinners took a turn at the Hula Hut, when Super Dad kissed me at the end of the night. The brightness of the situation dulled once his pain returned in July and rendered him out of commission.

The last time I saw Super Dad was Memorial Day weekend. Seven months ago. I don't know where this is going to, if anywhere. He sent me a very lovey romantic Christmas card.

Then The Southern Gentleman is out there in the atmosphere. He made a trip out here in May - in between my ATL trips. I continue to lose faith in him and the life we planned together oh so long ago.

You saw Machu Picchu and Tunisia. Lulu went on Prozac.

Enough nastoglia. On to the year ahead!

For 2011, here are the things for you to focus on and report back to me on in exactly one year: 
* Blog at least three times a week.
* Eat regularly since that is key to weight loss. Continue focusing on the super foods and you will have made it there. 
* Open your heart to love. You deserve love. I can already feel the shift starting because you are looking at your body with much less disgust. Self-Love is key. 
* Continue to travel into bold, uncharted territory. I think the Himalayas and Chile are on tap for 2011. 
* Job. That is so up in the air right now. Austin continues to push you to the next level. You can do it! 
* Continue to enjoy life here in Austin. No matter where the day takes you, Austin has been such a wonderful teacher. Love big! 
* Get back on your spiritual path. You feel the call for meditation. Follow it. Open your soul. Big things are here for you; just waiting so get back on the road, baby! 
* Learn French for your return to Tunisia. You will parle frances.

You are only improving with each year. Be open. Live Fearlessly. Love. Love. Love. Do good. Follow the path that tugs at your soul. 2011 is gonna be grand! Momentous! Indeed. Make me proud like only you can.

Until then.... love you more than anything! xoxo

26 December 2011

lovely christmas

For once I had a lovely Christmas. As I always dread holidays, I have come to enjoy my freedom down here in Austin to celebrate as my heart sees fit. Whether I want to be with friends or stay home on my couch - it is my call. I love that freedom.

Yesterday morning was spent cooking and then heading over to share brunch with a few of the girls. It was lighthearted and filled with mimosa and laughter. The Courier and I exchanged a few text messages during the tail end of brunch.

After getting home, I decided to go for a run. Trying a new route, I clocked 4.7 miles. It was cold but I can feel my endurance increasing. I can feel each run get a bit easier and that is terribly exciting.

As I was getting cleaned up post-run, a message came across inquiring if the red had been opened. Affirming it would be, The Courier then responded he'd be over shortly. And poof! at 6:30 the doorbell rang. Comfortably curled on the couch with our wine, we spoke for hours about a wide spectrum of subjects. At some point we spoke of travel and I showed The Courier one of the travel brochures. I laughingly explained to The Courier that the travel books are my porn filled with so many places to go, things to see, worlds to explore. He put his arms around me holding me tightly to him with his chin resting on my shoulder as we flipped through the pages together.

I am enjoying my time with The Courier so very much.

23 December 2011

another wonderful night

Last night I shared yet another wonderful evening with The Courier. We had a glass of wine before leaving for the party. He told me I looked beautiful, my dress was great. It was wonderful to hear the sincerity in his voice. 

Heading to the party, we laughed about the fact that neither of us remembers the whole evening from the last party. To avoid a repeat, we'd both made a point of eating prior to last night's engagement. The good part is we could laugh at the previous party. The Courier asked if it would be the same crowd. I explained there would be some repeats but some newbies too that are typically fun. 

Arriving at the party later meant we had to park at the top of the killer hill. A fun walk in each direction. The Courier was sweet and carried my party food contributions. It is those small gestures that turn me on. Surprisingly, the overall party turnout was lighter than anticipated. We put down my dishes, said hello to people as we navigated from the sweets table to the appetizer table. One of the gals who fell in love with The Courier lit up when she saw him. I think he was a bit tickled at that. As libations are a must, we tried the sangria and went on to find the host and hostess.

We had some nibbles. We laughed. We chatted up a few people. I truly enjoy The Courier's company. When the band began to play, he put his arms around my waist and held me tightly near him. A few times he kissed my shoulder blade. It was wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. Of course, the snoops eyeballed our every move. We were not over the top in any way; we were simply happy together.

While the band took a break, we went outside on the deck to finish our wine and were thoroughly entertained by the geek squad sitting out there ranting about all things uber geeky. We then collected our coats, said goodbye to the hostess, collected our serve-ware and headed up that big hill back to the car. 

Back at the house, we settled onto the couch and sipped a glass of malbec. We talked of our dearly departed dogs and ex-spouses. The Courier seemed rather curious about my marriage. Later we headed off to bed. He had to go to work this morning, so we were up well before the sun. Oh, I had such a wonderful evening.

It is terrible. For awhile, I have wanted to leave Austin. The get-out-of-Austin clock has started ticking and I don't want to leave. Not now; not while I am loving it down here.

19 December 2011

new perspectives

Last week, I, the non-baker, participated in a marathon Christmas cookie baking session. Surprisingly, my overall neglected kitchen skills came back quickly. In fact, I was one of the more experienced, which I find down right shocking. Hours upon hours of baking resulted in the hostess sending me home with cookies specifically for The Courier. 

I relayed this to The Courier and didn't get much of a reaction from him. As I am navigating this whole Courier landscape rather lightheartedly, I simply let it go. A few days later I received a text message from him inquiring if there were any cookies left. This lead to a fun exchange about the cookies, a few experiencing tragic accidents that lead him to ask if he needed to come rescue them. 

I was multitasking during this and at that moment, I determined exactly where this was headed. I sat on the fence. What is this... a booty call? Do I want a booty call or not? What do I want? 

I sat in that question for a short while. The findings included that I am a 37 year old woman who is very capable of making my own decisions; decisions that are correct for me. My realization is that I want to shed my mother's archaic ideas of love, sex, and relationships that have been smashed down my throat from an early age. The time has come for me to change the tape. Am I always going to get it right? No, but that's the point. 

And so I consented to The Courier coming over. I was pleasantly surprised that even though he's only been to my house once, he got here without asking for my address again. I like boys who pay attention and retain. I had been watching Jackass 3 because I needed a distraction from a few of my other multitasking activities. Imagine The Courier's surprise that I would be watching such a movie but we laughed at the various antics. Of course, we had to enjoy champagne while watching the movie because that's how I roll.

We had fun, caught up on life. Talked about Lulu because she is everywhere and even made a lasting impression on him. It wasn't what I would label as a booty call. Did we end up in bed at the end of the evening? Yes, we did. But I had no reservations or qualms about it. I attribute my comfort level to the fact that The Courier is different because we have known each other for awhile, so it isn't this whole brand-new, getting to know someone situation.

We have a party to attend later this week. I am truly looking forward to seeing him again.

15 December 2011

bittersweet birthday

Happy birthday, Lulu. My dear little girl. Today I celebrate that your sweet, gentle soul came into this world ten years ago.

* ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** * ** *

i carry your heart with me  by e e cummings

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

13 December 2011

dead to him

Ah, we must discuss the ridiculousness of last night's conversation with Super Dad.

So I found out from a friend on Sunday that my "date" and I were a little kissy at the party. I am half surprised but yet half not because we all know Patsy without food and plenty of liquor can lead to things.

Clearly others cannot laugh about some innocent drunk kissing.

So I called Super Dad last night because I too am a stubborn Italian half-breed and also because I now know why he was bent out of shape. Much to my surprise he picked up the phone and barked "what do you want?"

He was very stoic and his ears were closed. His stubborn mind made up and he was not listening to anything. I told him I learned on Sunday why he was upset (and quite frankly between you and me, I don't remember that part). I was honest. He was shut down. He claims I made it clear to everyone, in fact, I flaunted the fact I was with someone, and that he "certainly hopes that this man is worth it".

I corrected him on that assumption - remember bringing a man was his idea - and I wanted to make it clear to everyone that I was "with" someone. Why? Because I am so fucking sick and tired of Ass Grabber and Ass Grabber Jr making aggressive moves on me and in fact I did take it too far with the aid of my fall back behavior of nervousness and forgetting to eat due to said nerves equals Patsy drinking more than she should. My shy nervousness at uncomfortable situations makes that happen - not an excuse, as I explained to him, but a reaction I am trying to learn to control.

I asked him how he could live any sort of life if his sole answer is to radically cut out anyone and everyone from his life that committed a perceived wrong. I told him that regardless I would never stop caring about him and would always wonder how he was doing. He told me that he had cared about me a great deal but that I shouldn't worry because I would find someone else to care about me. As if that was the point of this whole thing!?!

I asked him straight out if there could be any form of fruitful negotiation and he emphatically stated no. He told me that if I was seeing someone else I should have just told him; clearly he'd filled in his own story line. I asked him how he could listen to Ass Grabber's stories to which he replied that he hadn't heard from Ass Grabber but that others had made phone calls to tell him of the show I put on. Honestly, I don't believe that.... I truly believe it was Ass Grabber because supposedly no one has his phone number and secondly who else at the office would give a flying fuck... maybe one chick but that is purely from a place of jealousy too.

I called him out on his Italian stubbornness and asked him if he thinks shutting important people out of his life on a whim is worth being alone. With that he said, I made my choice, that he had truly cared about me but I made my choice and he can't trust liars.

My goal was not to "get back together" but to maintain civility; after all, we are good friends. That isn't going to happen because he hung up on me when he was done tolerating me. But then again, we already knew the way the story would end.

Wackiness my dears, pure and simple wackiness....

12 December 2011

week four

Today marks four weeks since Lulu left. I am amazed at how quickly time is marching forward and how much I want time to reverse... back to the days of...
  • Lulu waking me up at 3:30 AM to go to the bathroom
  • going on our runs
  • putting herself to bed but coming out to check on me, asking me but more often than not demanding I come to bed too
  • tossing her stuffed animals down the cement floor so she could run and slide to fetch them; she loved sliding across the floor
  • bringing home restaurant treats such as french fries, tortilla chips, and rice that I would order specifically for Lulu
  • tucking her into bed each night
  • reassuring her I will be home by 5 PM
  • our daily hug-a-hound moments
  • watching her frolic in the yard
  • seeing the wonder in her eyes
  • feeling her deep love for me oozing out of her every pore
During our last months together, Lulu and I would watch the Friday night webcasts of Oprah's LifeClass. On Fridays, the topic was always "Joy Rising". It should not come as a surprise that Lulu was my joy rising. Knowing that, this week is going to be especially difficult because not only is it a month since my Lu left, Thursday is her 10th birthday.

popping up on the radar

I swear the man has radar!

Without fail, each and every time I am happy or there is new male prospect, he miraculously resurrects and promptly dials my number. Then he proceeds to talk at great length even though he regularly says he dislikes speaking on the phone.

It is none other than The Southern Gentleman who applied his mad Patsy sonar skills yesterday.  Before I would have been over the moon, but not so much anymore. His up-down routine has gotten so very, very old. I am simply amused by his sophisticated tracking system.

He spoke about Lulu a fair amount. Once he found out I was staying in the lone star state for the holidays, The Southern Gentleman started talking about him coming here post-Christmas since the mourning mother needs "cheering up". As our conversation progressed and his wheels began to turn, The Southern Gentleman suggested we meet up somewhere for 4 -5 days. I agreed to entertain the idea. He said he'd figure some things out and call me the following week.

Honestly a getaway would be good for me. I think not being alone for that time away would also be good. At the end of the day, The Southern Gentleman and I are friends.

09 December 2011

the best laid plans

The last few days have been eventful around here. For one thing, I did not cry about Lulu yesterday. While that was a huge milestone for me, my Lulu was sidestepped by the events of Wednesday that bled into yesterday.

I had a holiday party to attend and was dreading it. When I spoke to Super Dad about it, he told me to ask one of my male friends to go with me (remember this key point). I thought about it and agreed. This would be a great way to stop the unwanted advances of a small handful of dirty old men. I asked The Courier if he'd join me and he agreed.

As the party neared, I was excited. Excited I wouldn't have to face the party alone. Excited that a man wanted to go with me. I haven't been excited like this in a long time. A long time. 

The day finally arrives and The Courier and I went to the party. As we walked through the door, he was hanging back. I reached back to grab The Courier's hand to bring him up next to me. Dirty Old Man #1 immediately eyes this and does not speak to me. Touchdown! 

We worked our way through the room. Enjoyed our cocktails, enjoyed each other. I had such a wonderful time. I truly enjoyed being with The Courier. It was wonderful to be with a man. Especially one who is into me. We were a bit tipsy and headed back to his place. From there, my long drought came to an end and it was great. 

My great night changed course at 11 AM yesterday when I received the following text message from Super Dad, "Do me a big favor Patsy, don't call me or bother with me again!!!" From there, Super Dad proceed to hang up on me when I tried call him. Seriously, WTF?! I know without a doubt, Dirty Old Man #1 called Super Dad to report that I had a man with me. Why? Because Dirty Old Man #1 was upset and he had to vent because he had been really trying to woo me (unsuccessfully) since July.

When I honestly look back at the landscape of Super Dad and I, our relationship, and I use that term loosely, was done in May 2010. We haven't seen each other in eons. Phone calls alone do not cut it and even those have significantly waned too. Lord knows I have ranted enough about it here. Super Dad and I are simply friends, really good friends.

Clearly, we are not on the same page. After all, bringing a male friend to keep the unwanted male attention corralled was Super Dad's idea. Not being an active part of my life was also Super Dad's conscious decision. I don't think punishing me and acting like a twelve year old boy is the answer. 

Oh well. That chapter is closed. 

I don't regret a single moment of being with The Courier. In fact, I was thrilled to hear from him this morning. I don't remember the last time I was happy like this and I fully intend on enjoying it.

05 December 2011

a tale of a tail

"Just because you're hurt doesn't mean you're broken."

My lesson for this evening: one should not watch A Dolphin's Tale while mourning a three-legged greyhound girl.

Naively thinking a "feel-good" Disney movie would be the cure to my three week post-Lulu departure blues, I was blatantly slapped in the face with our situation. As I watched the movie unfold, my internal tape kept playing "this is Lulu and me".

The little girl in the movie was crying like a baby just as I was when news of the amputation struck. Similarly I quickly learned the only limitations three-legged Lulu the Amazing would ever know are the limits placed on her by my ego, so I forcibly shoved my ego aside and replaced limitations with unending possibilities. Just as Winter the Dolphin learned to swim with a prosthetic tail, we here in Wanderlust land learned that a greyhound can get on with three legs just like a four-legger can.

As I sobbed through the movie, I also had several realizations. Firstly, if a fish (my biology degree has me grounded in the fact that a dolphin is a mammal... all that live baby and oxygen drivel) can land a major motion picture, surely a doe-eyed pathetic greyhound is ready for the Hollywood spotlight, especially since her mother has been playing paparazzi since the beginning. But secondly, I realized I had my very own personal Winter the Dolphin story and very, very few people get to experience and learn from such amazing creatures as my Lulu or a "fish". I got a rare glimpse into bravery, strength, and true love; unconditional abound.

So while I miss my dear Lulu terribly, I have the awareness that she was a miracle, a radiating miracle. I was blessed enough to be her mama and to give her the love and devotion to help let Lulu's miracle shine. And shine brightly, indeed, my sweet girl did.

I learned so very much from my girl. From the moment Lulu first licked my hand at the racer rescue to our last moments, our hearts were intertwined, our devotion palpable, our love never-ending. Lulu was a rare gift and now it all makes sense as to why three weeks later my heart continues to mourn for such a sweet, kind girl.

04 December 2011

princess birthday party

Mid-October when Lulu was doing better I decided that I would commit to a birthday party for her. We would celebrate her courage and bravery as she marked her tenth year. It was a big, important birthday, so I send out evites for today.

Sadly, today we still celebrated but our birthday hound was not physically here. Today, I remembered Lulu with her favorite aunties. It felt odd not to be looking for Lu before opening the front door. I only cried once when one of the girls gave me a birthday she'd made for Lulu prior.

As we talked about her, I realized that unconsciously I bought several of Lulu's favorite foods, such as shrimp, cherry tomatoes, red peppers, various cheeses and crackers. My girl had a refined palate. She also enjoyed roasted asparagus, green peppers, green chile. Lu was a vegetable eater as well as a carnivore. Boy, that little girl loved tomatoes a slight bit more than steak.

Lu's actual birthday is in eleven days. Tomorrow is three weeks since she went to heaven. So close but yet so far.

28 November 2011

week two

I mourn for my little girl. I mourn for my Lulu each and every day.

Today, Monday marks two weeks at shortly before 6 PM that my little girl left me.

It is not getting easier.

Sundays and Mondays are the worst because I can put time stamps on the day. Markers of our last moments together, decisions made, savoring the precious fleeting time.

Lulu's dog beds have quickly lost her scent. My heart aches to breath her in again, a small comfort of memory. I cannot shake the ingrained alert I have for Lulu's every movement. She had me so very well trained. The tidal waves of devastation continue to beat against me. 

I miss my baby girl. I am lost.

22 November 2011


Somehow I have survived a week without my little girl.

Floods of tears. Despair. Loneliness. Emptiness.

Those same feelings have been countered by gratitude for having such a precious angel in my life, realizations that she was my joy, resolute knowing everything happened as it should.

Right now there is an owl outside my kitchen door. His hooting is distracting me. He is being constant in his hoot, hoot, hoot. I have lived here almost three years and I have never heard an owl. Why is he here now? What is his message? His persistent hooting means I need to listen. I wonder if tonight's dreams will reveal anything?

Yesterday was quite difficult as the clock marked the milestones of the previous Monday. Lulu's last Monday. Lulu's last day. While at home before and after work, I could smell Lulu around me. I was so surprised to notice the thickness of Lulu in air around me. I've never experienced anything quite like it.

So, Mr. Owl, what are you telling me tonight?

17 November 2011

three days

Mourning and grief are strange bedfellows.

I never know when an extreme crying jag will strike. Awaiting what minute every day detail that once only resided in the background will spark a memory: cue the water works.

Today as I crawled onto Lulu's day bed, I finally noticed the bed was filled with her scent. I laid there with my body curled in a ball but my nose was firmed planted in Lu's blanket, drinking her in.

Yes, I am that woman. And I don't care. I never thought it would be this difficult. The emptiness is more than I can bear. Over the past three months, I realized Lulu is my entire world. She was 18 months old when she ran into my life. Taking care of my Lulu every day for 8 1/2 years is something I cannot turn off.

Each day will continue to bear remembrances of my sweet Lulu Bean. Some memories will bring a smile to my face, while others will be sad reminders of the vast void in my existence. For once, I don't mind being in limbo.

15 November 2011

my amazing grace, otherwise known as lulu

On Tuesday August 23, my little Lulu broke her leg shortly after 7 PM.

Tonight, a Tuesday exactly twelve weeks later, I sit in an empty house.

No rustling of the noisy dog collar so I'd know her location. No long nose tapping on the handle of the back door to be let outside. No sounds of greyhound nails tapping on the cement floors. No blue brindle voyeur keeping tabs on me while I am in the bathroom. 

As of shortly before 6 PM last night, Monday November 14, I said good bye to my dear sweet Lulu.

I cannot believe that 24 hours have passed since I last kissed her, told her I loved her, felt her fur underneath my palms, looked in her eyes to thank her for all the love she gives me. Sadly, this the first of many hours that I will have to learn to live without my girl.

Lulu, you were so courageous, so brave, strong and full of love. Momma loves you so very much.

13 November 2011

anything but an amusement park

I am not going to lie. These days life around here is hard. The ups and downs are extreme. Trying to stay strong for Lulu is damn hard. Some days are easier than others. Some days I have to leave for a short while to drive so I can cry in the car.

Lulu responded so well to Monday's chemo. But last night, she whimpered in pain, so I gave her an additional pain pill.

I simply keep trying to spoil her and love her as much as I can. Clinging to every moment. Savoring each minute detail of her fur, her body, her eyes. Drinking in every moment. It is so much harder than I ever imagined. I love Lulu too much.

05 November 2011

learning to live in the now

It's been awhile since our last Lulu update.

Ms. Lulu and I have been getting into our groove. She has been doing good,alert, playing again, trying to run... I say trying because Lulu would run but I am still making her take it slow. I think "slow" is her most dreaded word now.

Monday we had our internal medicine vet checkup. Everything, in terms of the surgeries is looking good. Awhile back, I had noticed a lump on the left side of Lulu's chest on her lower rib. Recently, the lump has grown. Already knowing the answer deep in my heart, I asked the internal med vet to look at it. Chest x-rays were taken and sent off to the radiologist and pathologist for further review.

Tuesday afternoon, the internal medicine vet called with the dreaded news. My sweet, strong baby girl has bone cancer.

All the vets originally suspected bone cancer as the cause of the break, but was dismissed during surgery. According to the internal med vet, this hateful disease most likely had spread from her leg prior to the break. Due to all Lulu has been through and knowing it has already spread, surgery is not an option.

Sadly in the wee hours of Thursday morning, Lulu already started experiencing pain. This is way too fast. Just two days before, she was trotting and playing. Thursday was really bad in terms of both grave realizations and seeing her affected. Luckily Lulu has the best general vet and he immediately put her on a pain management cocktail that is working wonders. Lulu's eyes are bright again and she took me on a long walk yesterday.

On Monday, Lulu has her doggie chemo. We can't eradicate the disease, but we can slow the growth and most importantly keep our girl out of pain so we can make the most of her remaining days.

I wish I had different news to share with you. Over here at Stepford, our focus is remaining steadfast on an abundance of love and making the most out of everyday. Lulu is the bravest and strongest little hound.


30 October 2011

change of plans

As I watch Lulu peacefully sleeping, I think about the months long plans for today.

This morning I was supposed to get on a plane bound for New York, then on to Delhi reaching my final destination in Colombo, Sri Lanka.  After eight days seeing all there is to see and experience in Sri Lanka, I would head back to India to explore the country's southern half for a few weeks. I would completely disconnect from the world. Immerse myself in a magical country. Recharge after a long hard year. Once again celebrate my birthday in a foreign land.

Those plans and plane tickets were cancelled shortly after Lulu broke her leg. I knew I could no leave her while she was still recovering. I cancelled the trip not knowing the road would get more complicated with the amputation and subsequent brush with death.

Would I change my decision? Hell no. I need to be here with my little girl. This morning she sneaked into the office closet where her treats live and helped herself to two big bones. Striding from the office to the great room, Lulu kept her eyes straight ahead walked by me like she was invisible. Those are the antics of my perfectly healthy Lulu.

So while my heart isn't swelling with the anticipation and excitement of getting on a plane to destinations unknown, I am filled with happiness and true joy that my little hound girl is finally back to herself. Sri Lanka and India will always be there, my time with my baby hound girl is finite (Lord knows this was a huge reminder) and I rearranged my priorities based on that understanding.

26 October 2011

nine years ago today

This morning as I looked at the calendar, I had a nagging feeling trying to remember why 10/26 felt like a day I should remember. Nothing came to my coffee deprived brain and physically sore body.

Later in the morning as I literally stared into the calendar trying desperately to remember the importance of today, the lightening bolt finally struck.

October 26th. The day I got married. Nine long years ago. Wow, a date that was once so important is now nothing more than a fleeting memory. I am actually and honestly surprised the significance of the date escaped me. I did not think that could actually happen, especially to me with my date and face steel trap mind. Repression is a wonderful thing, I suppose.

But looking back, shortly before 10/26/02, I knew this union was doomed. Deep within my soul, I knew without a doubt this relationship was not one of equality. At the time, I chalked it up to pre-wedding jitters. Now I know differently. Without a doubt.

Nine years later, I can say that I enjoyed my wedding day. Loved that I shared a special moment with my dearest family and friends, especially since several of my extra special dear ones are no longer on this earthly journey with me. I loved my dress. But I keep coming back to sharing that special time with people I loved, creating special connections with so many family members that I didn't previously know. For the relationship building alone, I would not trade that day for the world.

If it weren't for getting married, I would not have my precious Lulu and Juju. My world would be so pale if it weren't for those two dogs. The same dogs I would do anything for because they are an integral part of me.

I don't look back on today with bitterness and anger. Today's memories are filled with a gorgeous dress and love for my family and friends. Maybe the Beatles are right... all you need is love...

23 October 2011


Let's walk back in time, about four years ago. Remember how thrilled I was to be down here. How I was so sure this place, Austin was where I was meant to be.

Sadly, that feeling, that powerful feeling of knowing has left. In fact, I have become very restless. For some time now, I have been overcome by an intense feeling that my time here is done. With each passing week, that feeling is amplified.

But I know this place is going to be so hard to leave. My friends, the lifestyle, constant activity. Austin has been so special and I know I will be leaving behind so many wonderful people. Saying goodbye is going to be so difficult. But at the same time, I know I need something, some place new.

Conflicted feelings. Stay or go. However, I know I have to follow my heart and my heart is telling me that the end is near.

15 October 2011

leaps and bounds

Lulu is making great progress!

On Tuesday, we had an appointment with her internal medicine doc. The appointment was filled with great news! The doc was thrilled and amazed at her progress. No further surgery required at this time! Yippee! No exploratory surgery! Finishing up pills to get to the point where Lulu will only be on one super heavy duty antibiotic. She gained two pounds in a week! Our next appointment is in two weeks.

While she was recovering from her first surgery when the metal plate and bolts were installed, my only prayer was that my baby would be able to play and be active again. Even though not in the way I had envisioned, God answered my prayers.

Right now, Lulu is actively playing with her toys. Playing like she did prior to August 23rd. She is learning how to compensate for the missing back leg, but Lulu is playing again. She is running a bit again. The smile on my face is so wide that my cheeks hurt.

05 October 2011

the sun is peeking through

I am ever so exhausted on all levels.

Finally, I feel that I can breath because Lulu had a good check up at the internal medicine doc's.

While I felt I was seeing great progress, I felt so much better when all the doctors and staff's comments mirrored my own.

She is better. Lulu is an amazing little girl.

We have finally turned the corner and are on the road to recovery.

03 October 2011

Tomorrow marks week six.  An anniversary of sorts around here. Six weeks since our lives changed in a brief second when Lulu broke her leg.

During my terror of a Sunday, Lulu had responded well to treatment and was showing signs of improvement on Monday morning. Last Wednesday, Lulu was released from ICU. A very happy day. While she was very, very thin, Lulu was finally home with me. 

Friday we had a check up with her internal medicine doc. Saturday morning, her internal medicine doc called with the results of Lulu's culture. The big, bad bacteria we have to battle is MRSA. My heart sank when the internal medicine doc said that horrible word. New, super antibiotics were prescribed and I made sure Lulu was eating them immediately.

Upon coming home from the antibiotic pickup, a new development presented itself - muscle coming through a draining hole. Dying tissue and a phone call to the emergency vet yielded a road trip to the ICU office. The hott emergency vet took care of us. Dead tissue removed, both Lulu and I happy.

Sunday morning, I awoke to find more dead tissue coming out of the drainage hole. My heart sank once again; this time with the thought of surgical intervention looming. Calls again to the ICU. Another trip to the ICU.

Due to the MSRA issue, we were sequestered to an exam room and had to wait until the place was cleared. Hott doc took care of us again. He was pleased with the amount of tissue removed. Several hours later, we were back home.

This morning I braced myself for more dead tissue. But Lulu was all clear and had rosy pink skin. Hopefully we are finally turning the corner. I am especially hopeful since we walked to the mailbox and Lulu handled the walk better than she did after three weeks of a broken leg. Maybe the worst is finally behind us.

Thank you for all your prayers for my sweet little girl.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

25 September 2011

Prayers Desperately Needed

The past five weeks have been an utter nightmare.

On a plain old Tuesday night, I got home from work. Let Lulu out and within moments I heard her scream. I remember thinking that Lulu took off out the door quicker than usual. She was a greyhound at top speed.

She broke her leg.

Not a clean break, but shattered the bone.

After a 6 hour surgery, she had a shiny new metal plate and screws in her leg; to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

After providing her with round the clock care to make sure that leg would mend, on Monday we had the 4 week x-rays. The x-rays showed worse case, the bones were not growing back together. In fact, the surgery had not taken. The only option for her - amputation.

Tuesday Lulu's leg was removed. It has been a tough week but together Lulu and I were making it. Friday's bandage change resulted in high concerns, and she was rushed to the internal medicine doctor and admitted to the ICU for the weekend.

While the other complications are improving, Lulu's surgical site is now the primary concern. The ICU surgeon will evaluate her in the morning.

Please please pray for my little hound girl. She has been my lifeline through so many events. Please pray for Lulu's recovery.

18 July 2011

you and i collide

Thursday night, I returned from my run with the pup to learn I'd missed a phone call from The Southern Gentleman. During our last conversation a month or so before, he'd been a little cagey venting about the careless actions of someone he knew. I had surmised the vagueness equaled a girlfriend. This phone call revealed that the previous story indeed was about a girlfriend.

Why should that upset me? After all, I sorta have a sorta telephone man friend. The Southern Gentleman and I have never openly declared a mutual undying love. But it still hurt hearing about her, the woman who is taking for granted the man that I cannot shake from my being.

Theirs is a long distance relationship that has been in existence about six months. They live on opposite sides of the country. I get the impression he is the one who goes to see her, every four to six weeks. The Southern Gentleman spoke at length about his frustrations, his thoughts, his feelings. The conversation was very one-sided where I merely listened to his inner dialogue being spoken for the first time. He is not impressed with the distance as he said that it has taken much longer to start seeing her more comfortable self. I agreed that there is the rub, whenever the distance is removed for a weekend, it is vacation time. A lesson I learned the hard way and later resulted in a divorce.

She is in her early thirties and lives at home with her parents. He is in his late thirties. The general impression is she is a spoiled brat; while, the main theme was that he is done with her. She flipped that he'd be staying with a female platonic friend when he attended an out-of-town event over the weekend. At that point, the conversation began to incorporate where I fell into the grand picture. He said that he explained to girlfriend that he had long time girlfriends, completely platonic, like me. He went on to say that he has actually spoken about me at great length, on several occasions. That we've shared the same bed together many times. As he really tried to careful select his words, he finally decided to share, "and few times we almost collided."

He then begins my inquisition to determine if I am dating anyone. I did not share with him the story of the shadow dwelling in Georgia. I did share my frustration at being alone despite all the positives.

Before you know it, The Southern Gentleman jumps to speaking of coming to see me and the pup. I wonder where he will sleep when he comes here next. While I tell him that he is always welcome and I would love to see him, on the inside I am reeling from the diametrically opposed messages: talked about a great length but yet nothing more.

I know I shouldn't care. But I also cannot rid myself of the feelings and sparks that I feel when we are together. A connection that has not faded in eleven years. Not for me. Not for him. Maybe I am rationalizing. But he is the self-proclaimed hater of talking on the phone, so why does every call he places to me last a minimum of one hour? Instant responses to email? Even if he is on the other side of the world? Everything he says he won't do, he does with me, for me. Not even my bestest gay friend keeps such close tabs on me.

Mixed messages?


02 July 2011

it's getting hot in here

The heat is stifling down here. Daily it hits a minimum 100 degrees. Throw in humidity and the resulting heat index pushes the temperature over the top.

I can happily do the dry heat of Arizona, but this humidity-driven heat drains me. Leaving the house and my protective air conditioning bubble does not sound appealing. The conditions down here never bothered me as much in past years. I think this is simply yet another sign that I am over this place. Time to move on.

What I do need to do is to reset my bad attitude. I am going to be down here for another year. I need to make a conscious effort to reconnect with life in the ATX. Look past the heat, the pettiness, and redefine, remember the things I used to love down here. Look at this place and my situation with fresh eyes. Enjoy the moment down here instead of focusing solely on my escape plan. 

29 June 2011

lost and found

I sit here amazed that half of 2011 is over. Simultaneously amazed and disappointed because I don't feel like I have done much thus far.

I feel like I have lost a lot of my mojo in the following ways:
  • Work is tiring; tiring because it feels as though I cannot get anything accomplished. 
  • I completely changed my eating - went clean and lost the stubborn bad marriage weight once and for all. Amen. 
  • However, in this eating/lifestyle revolution, I had to isolate myself and have not felt much like rejoining society. 
  • I am over Austin for the most part; living in limbo has finally gotten to me.
  • Super Dad and I remain in this haphazard long distance telephone conversation relationship. No path forward is visible.
  • I decided to try dating again. At least making myself receptive to the concept. 
  • The online dating world is very depressing. But I halfheartedly try since Prince Charming has not knocked on my front door yet.
Maybe rediscovering this little corner of universe will help my mojo search and recovery mission.

27 April 2011

quick update

before i run out the door for the day, just a quick update on super dad.

after a week and a half of silence, i finally heard from him. he was in the hospital. the entire time.

21 April 2011

the leopard shows his spots

yesterday served as a marker. it has been exactly a week since i last spoke with super dad.

last thursday there was only an exchange of voicemail. the following day was complete and utter radio silence. i have called and left messages on both his home and mobile phones to no avail. since the voicemail boxes are not full, he is checking messages. just not returning my calls.

disappointed doesn't even begin to cover my feelings on this silence. we are old enough not to play these childish games. love me enough to tell me that we need a break. but don't simply disappear off the radar. it is not fair to disappear after he was in the hospital over night earlier last week. i was so very worried about the man i love.

but my worry and concern has moved to disappointment and is rapidly entering the anger zone.

08 April 2011

click your heels three times

My acupuncture treatments have made a huge difference in how I am feeling. The veil of depression has lifted. However, what is left behind still doesn't help me a whole lot. I am clear thinking, clear feeling, and both of those aspects are telling me that I am done in Austin. My passion is gone. I have learned what I needed to learn from the city.

The time has come to find a new adventure. I want and need to explore new places. There is a desperate need for balance screaming throughout my being. I need to have a life that consists of more than simply work. I am tired of feeling transient and dwelling in a constant state of limbo. There is no forward or back; only the uncertainty of purgatory. I am tired of limbo. I want to learn something new, have time to make a house a home again, feel a sense of normalcy, build a life with Super Dad.

I am 110% ready to start my next phase. If only extricating myself was that easy.

05 April 2011

how do you feel about me?

As I was cleaning out purses to donate, I stumbled upon a note from a boyfriend of long ago....

"I am a little confused about us. Are we going out? Just friends? I know we're friends, but what do you want? This girl invited back to her place for a drink last night after class, but I declined. I really like you, but I don't know how you feel about me. I know sending an e-mail isn't exactly the most romantic way to ask you out, but what do you think? I know you've got guys lined up outside your door, but I have to know if you're serious about us or not. If you want, you can give me a call tonight and talk about it, or if you're busy, send me something and tell me what's going on. I'd really like to know."

That was back in 1997. It made me realize how much my pattern has not changed over the years. Still cagey, secretive when it comes to matters of the heart. I have finally started to let my guard down with Super Dad and it has been quite nice.

I also laughed at the perpetual fallacy that I have men waiting in droves. I only wish that was true.

Coming home has been good. It is allowing me to clear out the past and dream about the future.

21 March 2011

from a year to eternity

By 10:30 this morning, I had it with this place. For the entire week. I am so tired of feeling powerless, un-respected, tired of being beat up because everyone shoots the messenger even if she is in a nice dress...

I know I need to stop caring. But that do-gooder in me can't be turned off that easily. I am frustrated and tired and a year seems like an awful long way away.

Lulu has gotten worse and I think our set-up down here is a large contributing factor. She has stopped prancing but last night I saw the sparkle is gone from her eyes and that has made me absolutely sick. I don't know what else to do. I will call her vet and see about switching up pills, maybe try acupuncture, walking her (may help both of us), but at the end of the day, I know what she needs - her home, her yard, and me not being gone all day.

I keep reminding myself that I just need to hold on a bit longer... the year is already a 1/4 over... I can make it.... but today, right now, it feels like an eternity.

15 March 2011

test and dev environment

I missed Super Dad terribly when he left Texas last May. But since he came and went a few short weeks ago, I miss him even more. Contrary to my typical behavior pattern, I have freely told Super Dad that I miss him. No holding back, no games, no fear; just like my martinis: straight up.

Long ago, Super Dad coined a term for being under my spell; he calls it being "patsyized".  So below is a text message exchange from the other day.

Me: Is this what it is like to be patsyized? I miss you too much.
Super Dad:  Darling, Patsyized has been around for hundreds of years. It has affected many people especially me. I love you. Being SuperDadized is only a theory. Not in production yet. Miss you baby.

I cannot wait until test and development are over and we move on into full-blown production.

11 March 2011

flying into love

"All it requires is simply the ability to throw yourself forward with all your weight, and the willingness not to mind that it's going to hurt...if you fail to miss the ground. Most people fail to miss the ground, and if they are really trying properly, the likelihood is that they will fail to miss it fairly hard."

Compliments of Douglas Adams'  The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy... ah, the insights on flying are pretty grand.

10 March 2011

buzzing forward

I am shocked how quickly this week has buzzed by. This time last week I was excitedly awaiting Friday and Super Dad's arrival. Now, in the blink of an eye, a whole week has passed. Time keeps moving forward.

The sheets no longer carry his scent. I am alone on the couch. Have not heard "I love you" in the early morning before I even open my eyes. The house is quiet and my solitude here is palpable.

If I could move to Atlanta right now, I would. But alas, it is not that easy. I am committed to at least one more year down here in Austin. This time next year is most likely my first opportunity to bounce out. Before the irrational part of me chimes in with "a year might as well be an eon", I know that as quickly as this week has charged by, so too has the first quarter of this year and ultimately a year truly isn't that long in the big picture. We will be together soon enough. I get to use this year to enjoy the best of Austin before moving on to my next exciting adventure.

07 March 2011

Return of Super Dad

After nearly ten months of separation, Super Dad came to Austin for the weekend. The past three days were fabulous; quite honestly, it was even better than I could have imagined. We are a great team and get on like a house fire. Despite the huge gap in seeing each other, we were immediately and seamlessly in sync.

I found myself smiling so much my cheeks hurts, laughing more than usual and overall being disgustingly happy. The ease I feel around Super Dad baffles me. I can completely be myself, uncensored, unafraid, genuine.

We talked about a lot over the weekend, especially deep conversations occurred on Sunday afternoon. Super Dad’s statements were all future oriented, specifically our future together. Choices were the common theme: where to live, marriage versus committed relationship; Super Dad laid out all things he wanted me to decide when I am ready. The repetitive theme was all that matters is that he is with me.

And so there are pros and cons to be weighed and decisions to be made. Part of me is leery of this giddy happiness, that it might be causing temporary blindness; but the other part is telling me that I won’t know unless I jump in. During this, the Southern Gentleman’s antenna have sensed my happiness and there was an email from the Southern Gentleman in my mailbox this morning. Ten years of ambiguity with the Southern Gentleman versus one year of healthy, growing momentum with Super Dad.

I circle back to Super Dad’s determination to get better, his statements of getting back to making big bucks so we can enjoy our city home together and a beachfront condo too. We feed off each other in positive ways. Separately we light up a room, together sunglasses are required. Super Dad checks every box on my must-have list. I need some time to digest this weekend, to savor it, to synthesize it. 

19 February 2011

pescatarians unite

Since I was a small child, I never liked liver, pork chops, or chicken. Never. Ever.

It was especially difficult growing up with a carnivorous father. Meat all the time. Being the stubborn little miss, I remember several nights where war of the worlds set out to challenge each other - to eat the meat or not to eat the meat. Typically, my unwavering will won. Yes, I was the type of child that my father liked. I wouldn't easily step into the fold. Maybe that is part of my issue with men today... but a whole other topic to delve into on another day....

Anyway, I have never been weak when faced with butchered animals. I have see carcasses the world round and frankly have never felt queasy. As recently as this fall with my holiday in Peru, I had absolutely no issue strolling down the meat aisle at the local Cusco market.

This unwavering penchant changed while on the Marrakech and Tunisia holiday. Practically through my three week adventure in North Africa, I stopped being able to consume meat. Yes, my ability to consume meat was killed while walking the aisles of outdoor markets in Marrakesh and Tunisia. Somehow seeing the "meat" au natural complete with fur, horns,and eyeballs this time was chock full of shock and awe. In Morocco, it was cow heads but more notably, the fur covered legs of the cows that started the road paved to hell. Tunisia completed my graphic journey to meatless when I saw the heads of camels hanging by the butcher's hook along with the legs and hooves. Scarred for life like I have never been scarred before.

During my time in North Africa, I stopped eating meat. Surprisingly, three months hence, I have maintained my meat boycott. After what I saw in Tunisia, I still do not wish to go back to the carnivore life style. I realize that in a group situation, I might bend the rules because being "finicky" makes life difficult and honestly I do crave that type of protein on occasion. But over all, I have become a pescatarian because I will consume fish.

Much To my surprise, I do not miss the meat. I did not think that I could make it this far; but I am ok. I do not crave steaks although occasionally bacon does tempt my palette. Luckily since pigs are taboo in Islam, I did not see any slaughtered pig; hence my ability to enjoy the occasional BLT. I am not a hard core vegetarian but mostly meatless I am. And completely content, to my surprise.

06 February 2011


Remember my giddy happiness at Super Dad's impending arrival?

Remember I was counting down the days?

All that is done now. Super Dad will not be arriving on Thursday afternoon. 

During our conversation on Friday night, I mentioned that he would be here at this time next week. Super Dad was insistent that he was arriving in two weeks as next weekend he has his son. After Super Dad confirmed that his ticket is indeed for 10 Feb, he inquired with his ex-wife as to swapping weekends. Of course, his ex-wife has "plans" with her husband that weekend and cannot possibly keep their almost seventeen year old son.

I am surrounded by disappointed. A ticket is lost as well as a long overdue weekend together. Just when I start feeling revitalized about our relationship, another barrier is raised. Regardless of the man, I am growing incredibly tired of the constant hurdles. In Shakespeare's immortal words 'the course of true love never did run smooth', all my courses, true love, sorta love, or not love, are thwarted with landmines. I am ready to put my flack jacket away and enjoy a smooth newly paved road.

03 February 2011

here, there, and everywhere

A week from today, Super Dad will be here.

And I am excited.

Life has been complicated the past few weeks. Lots of emotional upheaval due to our dreaded friend, Death.  A trip home. Decisions faced. Consequences dealt with.

But as of yesterday, I don't spontaneously cry at my desk any more. Instead, I concentrate on the excitement brewing with in me. The excitement of seeing Super Dad.

17 January 2011

be careful what you wish for

Super Dad bought his airline ticket and will be visiting me next month. We haven't seen each other since May. So you'd thinking I would be overjoyed awaiting his arrival. Oddly, though, I am rather indifferent.

I am truly surprised at my reaction, or lack of reaction at this news. Super Dad and I speak almost daily, sometimes several times daily. I have whined ad nauseum about not seeing Super Dad. So what is this disconnect?!

I am fairly certain our buddy, fear is driving my turtle-hiding-in-my-shell behavior. After all this time and all the medical drama, what is he going to look like? Is Super Dad going to be different as a result? How will I feel when I see him? What will our time together be like? Will his physical problems dominate? Am I going to be disappointed? What is the outcome going to be?

I am trying to put the questions to the back and simply be ready to see Super Dad. To enjoy our time together.

05 January 2011

decisions, choices, roads travelled

Lately I have noticed that children keep catching my attention. Unconsciously I am drawn to taking in the antics of children. Maybe this is my so-called biological clock kicking in, because there are cute little people coming out of the wood work. I never knew so many existed.

Case in point, a little boy about four years old was having an early dinner with his mom at Costco this afternoon. While I munched on my churro, I was enamored watching him and all his fascination with the world, particularly the soda vending machine. From the looks his mother was giving me, I am positive she believed I was planning his abduction.

The realization that I am 36 has hit hard. Sure, women have babies well into their 40s. But there is this little nagging part of me that realizes the die is cast and I don't quite know how I feel about it; I suppose it is that small pang of regret that is bothering me.

My choices have led me here. But I love my life. As I talk out of both sides of my mouth, I truly do believe I lead a charmed existence and enjoy so very much each and every experience I am presented with. A great career, the ability to travel, to be flexible (for the most part, uprooting dogs and such) to go where the wind blows me. I totally know I could not go buy an arm-load of dresses or head off to exotic foreign lands if I had a child. I love my freedom. I don't know that I could not surrender that vital part of myself.

But then I wonder at what point is the dress shopping going to get old. Will Super Dad be my equivalent of Carrie's Mr. Big and we'll be enough for each other? I did enjoy playing Easter Bunny for Montana Man's children. Therein lies the catch-22. I don't want to be a single mother either. While sounding utterly pathetic, I have a difficult enough time being a "single parent" to a 55 pound accident-prone dog that I could not imagine dealing with the demands of a child. Maybe that right there is my answer.

Nothing is perfect though. Some of my married-with-children friends envy my freedom. The grass isn't greener on either side of our fences; it is simply a different length. I just don't want to wake up one day and wish I had gone left instead of right at the fork in the road.