Friday, April 30, 2010

Bitches Ain't Shit

Do you see this dog?  This adorable dog, half Great Dane and half German Shepherd?

This dog was scheduled to be put down in a pound when a lady from a pit rescue found him.  The reason he was being put down?  Because of his size and breed.  No other reason.  So she took him in but had no room to board him amongst her other rescues.

So I took him.  We have a small house, two dogs and a cat already, but I could not let him be put down.  Look at that face!  He is a sweet heart, and I fell in love.

Patrick and I immediately began looking for a new home for this pup.  I put out ads, we called friends, family, and coworkers, knowing we could not be his permanent owners.  And finally, someone responded that fit the bill.

They were a young couple, married about a year.  They had a chow and a pekingese, and wanted to find a third dog to round out there house.  Perfect!  They came, met him, and took him home, all in one night.

I checked on them a couple of times, just making sure everything was working.  Everyone was happy.  Everything was fine.  So I checked it off as a successful placement.

But then I got an email yesterday.

The couple have just found out they are pregnant.  And Hank (that's the pup) is just going to be too much for them to handle.  So they need to give him back to me, so I can find him a new home.

I'm sorry?  What?

If you had any indication to believe that a baby added to your mix would be too much, you shouldn't have gotten the dog, or you shouldn't have gotten knocked up.  One or the other.  I am a firm believer in getting a pet and keeping a pet.  You do not suddenly decide you have tired of your family member, then drop your responsibilities off on someone else.  This is most likely how he wound up at the pound to begin with.

I told her I appreciated the email and her not just taking him to the animal shelter to be put to sleep.  But then I explained that he was their responsibility, and they should find him a good new home.  Because obviously I had not done so well in the first place.  Which may sound harsh, but I have a soft spot for animals.  But if the pound is their last option, I won't allow that to happen.  

We'll just have to squeeze him in somewhere between the bookshelf and television.

If you think you want a dog, send me your information, and I'll forward it on to her and her husband.  I don't want Hank back at the pound and on death row again.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


DISCLAIMER: Do not continue reading if you are squeamish, just skip the next couple of lines, then continue on down the page...

I awoke this morning in a pool of my own blood.

No, I had not been shot or stabbed in the middle of the night.  The curse of the bitch came upon me while I slept, and thus I bled.
We are a strong gender as we can bleed for a week and not die.  That's pure evil right there...

But the worst part is the feeling I get whenever I get my (I'm going to say it; prepare yourself) period.  I've only noticed this emotion in the past couple of years, which makes me believe your body can betray you in numerous ways.

I am always terribly relieved to find that I am not pregnant, as I am definitely not ready for a baby.

But I am also so sad... that I am not pregnant.  I know, contradictory and nonsense.  But that's common for most women to not make sense with their emotions.

How can you want something and not want something at the same time.  For almost the entire month I had dreams of a dark headed baby girl with green eyes.  I had her at my breast, bouncing on my knee, watching her in her father's arms... and it was a wonderful dream.  I woke each time with a smile, a warmth, and a slight ache.
There is a happiness there that I cannot explain.  I am terrified of having my own children.  You give up yourself, your wants and desires, for the wants and desires of someone else.  I don't know if I am that type of person.  Can I give all of myself to someone else?  Someone that is literally half of me?

Perhaps.  But for now, I go back to cleaning a bloody red stain out of the sheets.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Clarification: A Post For Will

Definitions of the Day:

WITCH: A person, usually female, who practices or professes to practice sorcery.  Some believe these powers are derived from the devil.  That may be the case in rare situations, but usually this person is a believer in Wicca or the supernatural, and most work good and not evil...

DEMON: The Biblical definition includes evil spirit or fallen angels.  This is an entity that does not have its own human form, but rather posses the bodies of others to do its evil works.

As you can see, these two terms are definitely not synonymous with each other and should not be treated as such, Will.

That is all.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I have so many things I want to write. I just need that thing called time. Too much to do.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cue The "Rocky" Theme Song...


The man and I have decided that we have gotten way too comfortable with each other and started letting ourselves go.  Neither of us are disgustingly fat, but we are not in the prime shapes we were about a year ago.  And me with the ever present eating disorders, I could slip back into a dangerous routine fairly easily.

We've decided to start running in the mornings, drink smoothies in the morning, and eat healthier meals all through the day.

We started today.

Day 1:

The alarm clock goes off at 5:40 AM.  I roll over to wake him up.  He's a bit sick...

So we didn't do the running thing this morning.  But we did enjoy a delightful smoothie made from fat free yogurt, blueberries, blackberries, and pears. 

I already warned him.  Tonight, no excuses, we make it up.  And tomorrow morning... well... let's just say I have a problem with early mornings.  I hope we keep this up.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I Scream, You Scream!

An honest to God ice cream truck just drove down my road.  

In this area of south Nashville, most places feel a little... sketchy.  But my neighborhood seems to be in some sort of time warp from the fifties.  Kids play in the streets, riding their bikes, talking to neighbors.  All the neighbors know each other and have cookouts together... Its so homey!  

Maybe it's too good to be true...

It was either an ice cream truck, or a well disguised molester van...

Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book

Porch Talks

"Not everything in life is hopeless, you know?  At least, that's what I'm sticking with.  Otherwise, well, I don't know what any of us are doing anymore..."

The cigarette burned slowly, the cherry an acid red competing futilely with the outside light.  The bulb was so bright, it made her feel like the porch they sat on was by itself in the middle of eternity, nothing but black and nothingness all around.  Just her and him on the porch (and the big beetles and mosquitoes drawn to that light) drinking and smoking.

She liked listening to him, him and his stories.  He had a story for damn near everything.  All most likely true, from the life he had lived.  So she just sat, twisting her cigarette and staring at the ice melting from the summer heat in her glass, sucking everything up like a sponge.

He turned his head towards her, after his last revelation, little boy smile on his face.

"I know I talk a lot.  Just have to tell me when to stop; its not often I get a listener."  He sat back in his rocker, a sip of his glass and a drag from the cigarette.

"I don't have a lot to talk about."  She watched the bugs dance along the wooden slats under her bare feet.  They attempted to fly, turning in circles as if only one wing was working.  The light seemed to make them drunk.  It drew them in, the way it did to her, night after night, and trapped them in this microcosm.  Even if they, if she, wanted to leave, it was impossible.

She had been coming here every night, since she was probably 8 or 9, running over from her parents house for a bedtime story.  Titus was an old man then.  Not fragile old, just old.  He had a strange way of looking 90, but then acting 25.  No one really knew how old he was at all.  He had always been in this neighborhood, always lived in that white one story farmhouse. 

After her parents passed away when she was 15, she got the house, stayed living there, quit school and worked a job to support herself.  Some money had been left, but money doesn't reproduce on its own.  She knew how to work, and she was proud to depend on only herself.

And him.  His stories every night after that had become almost a life's blood to her.  She couldn't sleep unless she had sat, leaned against one of the porch columns, a cold drink of water in her hands.  Then when she was old enough, a cigarette, and eventually a whiskey and coke.  And Titus was always there, drink and cigarette in hand, waiting for her arrival at the end of the day.  She felt safe here.  It was stable and secure, and she would never give it up.


Her head jerked to attention upon hearing her name.  He was staring at her, an odd expression on his face.  Anxiety, worry, something she had never before seen cross his countenance.

"Julie, as much as I love having a listener, a companion, I have to be honest with you."  Was that guilt she saw, also?

"Not everything in life is as cut and dried as it seems.  Some things are a mystery, even to those living in that mystery.
"I don't know how much you'll understand about this, but you have a choice to make.  I made this choice too, once long ago, and some days I regret it.  Some days I embrace it.  But I'll never be able to change that choice.  Neither will you.  You'll make this decision, and that will be it.  Forever."

"Titus, sir, what are you talking about?"  She could feel the blood beating at her temples and in her chest, speeding up at his strange change in attitude.  What choice?

"Tomorrow Julie, tomorrow is your destined day to die.  You will wake up, go to work, go about your day, as you have for over thirty years now, come home, and a heart attack will take you as you prepare dinner.
"Now, the choice is.  Do you want that?  That life and death?  Or do you want this.  This porch, these stories, this world, forever?"  His eyes had turned from golden brown to grey.  Slate grey.  And they stared into her, bored into her own eyes and into her soul.

Was he correct?  Was she over 30 now?  She counted the years in her head... yes probably 36 or 37 now... How had life passed her by like this?  Why were her only real memories about this porch and this man and the stories he told?  She shivered, even though the heat was oppressing.  

"I'll die?  Tomorrow?  How do you know?"  She knew this was a stupid question.  Of course he knew.  It wasn't a question of how.  He just did.  And she knew he did.  In that moment, she felt he knew everything, from the moment of creation to the sound of the Lord's trumpet.  And she was not afraid.

She made her choice.

Little Julie ran next door and climbed clumsily up the steps of her neighbor's porch.  There her neighbor, Titus, stood, an extra cup of ice water in his hands, a smile on his face, and a story on his lips, ready for her return.
Her laughter filled his heart.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Look Into My World

A tumbler of Sailor Jerry sits at my right hand, cooling on the rocks.  The day behind me, the night before me, I wait for the last rays of the sun to dip down behind the horizon.

I still cycle.  I go up.  I go down.  I get manic.  I lose all energy.

I have lost all energy.  I am at the bottom of the trough in my mood waves.  And I never know when I'll hit the crest again.  It could be tonight, it could be tomorrow, it could be next week.  I take my mood stabilizers, but sometimes I feel they aren't enough, that they don't really help.  Although I really have noticed an improvement in myself in comparison with the me even just a year ago.

Wouldn't it be easier, I think, just to completely numb to yourself?  To feel nothing, to have the doctors prescribe something so strong that completely knocks me off my feet.  Able to function, but with none of the anxiety or fear or mood and attitude swings.  It would be easier, far easier.  And sometimes I am tempted.  I have been tempted by many many things.  I have done many many things.  But I still can't make myself do this, to numb myself completely.

I still want to feel.  For what is life without a little pain?  Are not the good times more sweet because we know the ache of disappointment and hurt?  Are not the times when I am finally stable and not manic or depressive better and more precious because I see the extremes?

I get so pensive.  We have constructed a fire pit outside our house in the backyard, along with an outdoor patio type building.  Each night, I stare into the fire and think my private thoughts.  Things that haunt me, things I wonder about, things that I think are yet to come.  I try talking about these thoughts to other people, but the words don't come to make sentences others would understand.  In my head, I can mull these things.  I am having trouble even wording in this post how and what I think.

It is truly beautiful out here.  Blue sky turning purple, grass green and lush at my toes, tumbler half empty, or half full, depending on your perspective.  Cool breeze barely moving my hair at my neck and temples.  I could sleep.  

And perhaps I will.

A Word of Thanks

A few of you read my "Happy Birthday" post and commented.  A few of you sent me private emails, thanking me for writing it, telling me your own stories of loved ones lost.  It is amazing to me how we are all drawn together as a human race and species by these small moments, these shared experiences.

We rush through, day to day, seeing ourselves as so different from the ones around us.  But none of us are really that different.  Deep down, we are all the same.  We all love, we all hurt, we all have opinions, we all want our voices to be heard.

We all live.  We all die.  We all want something from this life other than pain.  We all hold on to those precious to us.  Inside, we are all the same.  Outside, our physical bodies and beings may be different.  But inside, all the same.

I thank all of you who read and enjoyed the letter to my Papa.  And I am glad so many of you feel the same way about your own family members or friends, and stop to talk with them during the day.

Peace out for now.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Happy Birthday...


You would be 80 today.  And I would bake you a coconut cream cake, and we'd joke about the number of candles and burning the house down before you could make a wish...

It'll be 2 years in May since you've been gone.  It's hard to believe it has been that long.  I stopped by the other night, with Bradford pear branches in hand.  Did you notice?  Did you know?  I still wonder about that.  Do you stop by to see us ever?  Do you kiss us goodnight sometimes?  Do you hear my thoughts, see our tears when we miss you so much we can't stand it?

I know, we shouldn't be crying over you when you're so much happier now.  I know.  I remember you talking about your funeral before... before it was feasible to me, to any of us that it would actually one day come.  You wanted us to be happy, you wanted a celebration.  Just like mom wants too.  And we all laughed, of course we would do that.  Yeah, that didn't happen. :)  We cried and held each other.  I fumed and felt angry at God for the longest time.  And at the "church" people who we had known for years that turned out not to be so Christian like.  I am still learning to let go and forgive all that anger.

I can see your face sometimes, in Matt and Eddie and mom and Aunt Mary.  They all have your steel blue/grey eyes.  And that twinkle.  And I really think Matt is getting your laugh.  I wish I could see something of you in myself.  I thought about that the other day, and I really think I inherited your strong will, your tenaciousness.  Definitely your stubbornness.  Patrick could attest to that.  I think you would like him.

I miss your hands most of all.  How they were so rough and strong, but they could be gentle and heal any hurt.  I loved holding your hand.  I loved when you'd pinch my cheeks, or let me lay my head on your leg and you'd stroke my hair until I fell asleep.  I miss that.  I miss you.

So, happy birthday my beloved Papa.  80 years young.  Stop by some time, blow a breeze my way, visit my dreams.  I love you still, and I will always remember.

Your Mandy 

Monday, April 5, 2010

Rebels of the Sacred Heart unite!
No ball or chain nor prison shall keep, we're the rebels.
Rebels away!


I spent last night in the garden.

I have a garden.  Vegetables and fruits, planted for a future harvest... as long as my brown thumb doesn't kill everything.  Hoeing, weeding, watering, planting, I got a few things in before night fell and before I ran out of materials.  I need fertilizer and some small pots to start the tomatoes and peppers inside the house.

We also constructed a fire pit for cool summer nights outside to enjoy a beverage by the fire in the great outdoors.  We christened it yesterday.  Took awhile for the damp logs to get burning, but the pyro inside of me was satisfied.

At the end of the day, walking to the bedroom, and immediately changing my mind to take a shower once I really smelled myself, I felt fulfilled and accomplished.  If your hands and feet and clothes and hair aren't covered with dirt, mud, grass stains, and small cuts and bumps... then you may or may not be living life to the fullest.  I suggest trying it some time.

After clean me put her head on the pillow, I slept the sleep of the weary and warm hearted.  No insomnia to haunt my midnight like normal.  Just peace.

 Today will be the sleep of the weary and bedraggled student.  Tomorrow I will be in the sun again.  Oh how book learnin' gets in the way of my education.

  Felknor Ventures 82506 Topsy Turvy Upside-Down Tomato Planter

A Lesson Before Dying

May 2002, I sat in my AP Psychology class, a junior in high school.  We were a week away from summer break, chatting and discussing our plans for the summer, and for next year as we became seniors, while the teacher lounged in the back giving us a break for the day.
The intercom crackled to life, and all of us ignored it, not even bothering to quieten down.  Until we heard the words our principal was saying.

Jeremy killed himself.
We were passing from juniors to seniors, almost kings of the school, and he killed himself.  We were just starting out, our lives taking flight, and he killed himself.  As we listened to the intercom, he killed himself.

Rumors flew, as they will in a small town.  Everyone had an opinion or an "I-know-what-really-happened" story.  He was overly depressed and on drugs.  He found out his girlfriend was cheating on him or about to dump him.  He wanted to make his mom hurt, and blamed her for his suicide.  His suicide note claimed the world was ending, and he did not want to live through the tribulations coming.  

But the darkest rumor of all - he had no reason, no explanation, no note to give us an insight to his decision.  Just shot himself in the stomach.  What if he hadn't meant to die?

The details were gruesome.  EMT's leak information, so one story was the same running through town, and that was how he died.  He had sat in the floor of his living room, back pressed against the couch, a short barreled shot gun pushing into his abdomen.

No one heard the gun go off.  They lived in the rural outskirts, houses few and far between.  His mother at work, his sister at school.  He sat in the living room bleeding out.  That was the worst and hardest part to hear.  The shell hadn't killed him as it cut through his stomach.  It was enough to hurt, it was enough to stun, but it wasn't enough to kill immediately.  He could have survived, if he had been found in time.  But by the time his sister got off the bus, the life had drained from him, like the pool of blood in the floor.

He wasn't the only one to "end it" at my high school.  "End it" was the euphemism, a way to say it without saying it.  There were several suicides, some accidental deaths.  But Jeremy was always a mystery to me. 
I really don't think he meant to die.  He was smart, intelligent, not like some of my fellow classmates.  He knew a shot to the stomach didn't mean death.  At least not right away.  I think it was a cry for help that ended tragically.  Especially when you think that his mom's shift ended at work about an hour after he pulled the trigger, but she decided to work a double.  

At the funeral, I saw the guilt and pain on his mother's face, the tears pouring down his sister's cheeks.  I saw his classmates and friends gather at his coffin to say a few words, promise to remember, tell him goodbye.  
Everything happens for a reason, everything has a purpose.  Jeremy did not die in vain.  His death had a purpose, maybe more than one.  But I knew one small reason. 
I held it close, I hold it close, and I remember my lesson every day.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Once you lose enough people, it's hard to believe someone will actually stick around. Will anyone stay indefinitely? Can you trust people?