Life thru the haze of cat hair.

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So I found out at the end of last week that I have been accepted into a 10-day meditation retreat. Here’s a link to where I’m going: http://www.dhamma.org/

When I first found out, I was ridiculously excited. “I want to go NOW!!!” 

Then I started to look around the inter-webs to see what other people experienced. I’m a little terrified now. I know it is different for everyone. And I know it will be hard. So now I’m excited and terrified and anxious and afraid. 

My big fear? Food. Because, of course it is. We get breakfast at 6:30am and lunch at 11am. Supper? Yeah, that would be tea and fruit. I’m afraid I am going to starve to death. Food is one thing that none of the posts about similar events mentions outright. They say things like “food becomes less important” or something like that. 

Maybe I can sneak something in…


Happy New Year!

Like everyone else, I look at a new year as an opportunity to start fresh. I have set my own intentions for 2014, but instead of focusing on me, here, I would rather come up with a different list here. A list of wishes for the world for 2014. I’m sure this won’t be exhaustive, but these are the things I’ve been thinking about.

My wishes for the world in 2014: (in no particular order)

` that celebrities or other famous people who “come out” do not generate headlines. I’m not saying that their owning who they are is not a big deal, it is. Nor am I saying they should not “come out”. But why should it be such a huge deal that Mr. Celebrity loves men, not women? The important thing, to me, is that there is more love in the world

` let’s do away with labels. Gay, straight, bi, asexual, fat, thin, etc. Does it matter in your life who I love? Does it impact you if I weigh more than “normal”? Probably not.

` let’s stop being hypersensitive and litigious. People say stupid things. *I* say a lot of stupid things. Recognize that the deficiency lies with them, and move on. You are better than that. It doesn’t make them right. Voice your countering opinion, and move on. And do we *really* need to sue people for every bone-headed mistake or accident? I shouldn’t think so. If someone drives drunk and hits your mother/brother/dog, yeah. I can see that. If you get a fast food meal with a hair in it? Maybe not. Just raise a stink on social media and never eat there again. If someone on a reality show makes a comment that you deem idiotic, consider the source, turn of the show, and move on. The point is, we don’t all have to agree on everything, because wouldn’t the world be so dull if we did? 

~ let’s celebrate people who are true artists – actors, singers, painters, dancers. Let’s let people who are famous for no apparent reason fall by the wayside. Stop buying the tabloids, stop clicking the links. If they don’t make money for the news outlets, they will go away.

` if you are vegetarian/vegan/frutarian/carnivore/omnivore/gluten-free/gluten-rich/whatever – GOOD FOR YOU! But don’t try to ram your beliefs down anyone else’s throat. Trying to force someone else to believe as you do makes a mockery of what you DO believe in, and negates what you are trying to accomplish. Same goes for religion. I may change my opinion to yours at some point, but unless I come to it on my own, the change is meaningless.

` let’s encourage suicide bombers to force their leaders to lead by example. If a cause is so important that Mr. Dictator feels the only way to get the message out there is for a suicide bomber to hit a playground, then let Mr. Dictator be the first to step up. The world will be rid of folks trying to bring about the destruction of the world in no time. (Ok, this one is a little tongue in cheek, but you know what I mean. Osama bin Laden told all kinds of people to go do his bidding while he stayed hidden. Step up there, Mastermind, and put your money where your mouth is. If it’s so inmportant to you, prove it.)

~ let’s stop hiding behind the bible and/or constitution for arguements. The bible is conveniently thrust into the fore anytime you don’t agree with something. You can’t pick and choose the parts that suit your needs. Same goes for the constitution. What was written more than 200 years ago *might* not be relevant today. And for both – just because something has “always been done that way before” doesn’t mean that it is the best way now. Change is not always a bad thing.

 I’m sure I have others but I’ll stop here. I just think the world would be a nicer place if everyone stopped trying to find fault and pigeon-hole folks and just tried to live the best life they know how.

Here’s to a 2014 filled with love and adventure and daily wonderful surprises.


After too much time, I decided to dust off the old keyboard and write something. Yeah. But since I had forgotten my login information and had to reset everything and then the dashboard thingy indicated that I had never written anything… I’m going to call it a night and perhaps try again tomorrow.


(This is the 2nd time I’m writing this. The first one is out in the ether, even though I hit “publish”. So if that one does show up, this one won’t be any better.)

Ever since my unfortunate run in with chicken at Thanksgiving (*shudder), I still cannot bring myself to eat it. There are times when just looking at chicken can bring me back to that day and put me off whatever I am eating now. In fact, I am experiencing what I call “chicken-gross-out-overflow” at times – I can’t enjoy the steak (or whatever) I am eating.

So, back in my early 20s, I claimed to be a vegetarian. I say “claimed” because I didn’t really do it right – I didn’t take the time to really learn how to eat, or how to get my protein, etc. I missed bacon and I loved the smell of burgers on an outside grill. So after a few years, I went back to being a meat eater and never looked back.

Now, though, I’m thinking about cutting out meat again. Except bacon. I can’t seem to give up bacon. It’s just so yummy. And before you say – there’s turkey bacon, or fake-on, or whatever, NO. If it’s not real bacon, then it shouldn’t even have bacon in the name.

So is there such a thing? A vaconitarian? A flexitarian?

I know I can’t go vegan. I love leather. And cheese. And being in Maine, I don’t want to give up lobster. I don’t eat it very often, but I like knowing that I can. There is a pescitarian – a vegetarian who eats seafood. (I’m sure I’ve spelled that incorrectly, but spell check wants me to change it to “nonsectarian”. *snort)

So, I am leaning toward a pescitarian who eats bacon. A flexitarian. That’s what I’m trademarking.


When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing.

~ENRIQUE JARDIEL PONCELA

After I hit “publish” on yesterday’s post, this quote came up. Perhaps I am misunderstanding the point of it, but I don’t think this quote holds true.

Anyone who has read anything I’ve written can tell that it can be read without effort, and I can assure you that great effort did not go into it.

On a larger scale, anything by Danielle Steel, for example – read without effort. And so formulaic that you KNOW it was not great effort to write. On the other hand, anything Toni Morrison has written? Very likely, there was much effort in writing and that writing takes A LOT of effort to read.

So, what am I missing? What is Enrique Jardiel Moncela trying to say that I am missing?


Thanks to my friend Debra, for the past few years I have decided on a word to describe how I want the new year to unfold for me. I could go back and look for the posts for the past few years, but I also think it has been well established here how lazy I am. And besides, I’m pretty sure that whatever those previous words were, I didn’t stick with it for the full year.

Moving on.

In previous years, I also typically spent the last few days of the year scrambling to come up with The Word. Maybe I didn’t stick with it because it was a word I settled on – sort of felt right, so go with it.

But this year? This year the word for 2013 came to me in November. It woke me out of a sound sleep and took up residence with me. It has been patiently waiting for January 1 to arrive, slowly unpacking all its meanings and possibilities for my perusal, giving me plenty of time to know it is the right one this time.

So. What is my word for 2013?

CLEAN

Yes. You read that right. Clean. Why am I so excited about “clean”? Yes, it probably has some to do with how long I wait to actually clean my house. *shudder*

But I can see that for me, it also is going to be:
~ clean mind
~ clean heart
~ clean eating
~ clean goals

I think the possibilities for this word are tremendous. And as I mentioned before, 2012 was not a great year, so I am looking at 2013 as a clean start.


Hi! Come on in. I don’t have much to offer you tonight. Cut up fruit – pineapple, cantaloupe, mango.

*****

So, I had all sorts of plans about new posts to put in this lonely sad blog. However, I gave up July to help out my family, and work has been crazy.

Now, I’m fairly sure that my family has broken up with me. 

I’ll concede that some of them have reason to be angry. But in the past 24 hours I have been accused of some horrible things. And the members of my family who knew about the situation beforehand? They have left me swinging out in the wind by myself. 

This sucks. 

I am officially alone in this world. I know that we all are, and we all reach this point eventually, but this was an abrupt and rude introduction to self sufficiency. 

Now what do I do? All day, things have been popping into mind. Who do I list now as my beneficiary on life insurance? Who do I list as my emergency contact? How do I go about listing my house for sale in the spring? What’s the best resource for finding a new job?

Maybe some of these reactions are actually over-reactions. But as devastated as I currently am, there is a tiny little voice in there somewhere that is whispering that maybe this is an opportunity. If the people who are supposed to love you best are able to judge so quickly, perhaps starting over might not be a bad idea.

I won’t do anything in haste. Or something I will regret. And maybe in time, this will settle down. But the relationships are irrevocably damaged. Of this I am certain. 

So. What do I do now?


PHOTO CREDIT: http://livingalimitlesslife.wordpress.com/2011/11/29/its-over/

Dear John,

Or as your friends know you: “Target”,

It’s over. We’re through. I cannot do this anymore. It’s time we go our separate ways. We are breaking up.

Don’t tell me  you are surprised. You had to have seen this coming. Over the 14 or so years we were together, you continued to get bigger and more influential. I relied on you.

You, Target, were my happy place. If I had a bad day at work, I knew I could visit and wander your halls and somehow, you would lead me to that certain something that made me feel better. I don’t know if it was your bright lights or the clear hallways or the bright red symbol, but you comforted me when I needed you.

Remember when I was in graduate school? I would visit you for a highlighter, and come out with $150 of stuff I *had* to have. You did that for me. You were there for me. You comforted me.

But then? Gradually, you started to change. It was just the small things at first. Your parking lot was full. Or the size I needed was not available. Or the items offered in my size were dated and unstylish. I ignored the fact that you stuffed “my” section in, between maternity and the fitting rooms, all the way in the back as if you were ashamed of how I looked. As if I were to be hidden away.

Then it was bigger things – you decided to contribute to political campaigns that went against everything I believed in. I *still* defended you. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, right? I didn’t like it, but you were still my happy place.

But this weekend? This weekend was the last straw. The camel’s back is broken. This weekend convinced me that I need to make a clean break with you.

I can accept that you want to remodel. I can! I encourage it, in fact. Brighter lights! YES! Shinier stuff! ABSOLUTELY!

And then I walked in.

Your shelves are now lined with higher priced items. Items that, in my opinion, don’t warrant the higher price tag given the fact that you are *Target*.

You have made “my” section even smaller – the 4 racks and wall display of unattractive options has now been reduced to 1 rack in amongst the Maternity section and Boys section. I can take the hint. I am not welcome there.

You have put the Pet section up front, in the Frozen Food section. You heard me. Frozen Food.

You have put *some* of your Health and Beauty items in a random display between Girls and Greeting Cards. The rest are over near paper towels.

Your aisles are now wide enough for a single cart. There is no wiggle room. Another person in the aisle? No problem, as long as they back out of the aisle. Perhaps that is your way of giving people some privacy; that “alone time” that some people need.

At the checkout, your clerk was complaining about computers. I might even say whining about them. But she rang up my items and then…..

The computer froze. The clerk’s response? “I wish this was mine so I could take a hammer to it!” Followed by “WHY ME!?!?” No sign of “I’m sorry for the delay. Let me get the manager.” The manager wandered over at the sound of the whining and said she had to reboot and it would take a while so I had to go to another register. No sign of “I apologize for the inconvenience. Let me help you move your purchases.” It was just “You should go to that one. She’s not doing anything.”

So, my friend. You are no longer my happy place. You are dead to me. I will find my items elsewhere. You aren’t the only big box store on the block. I will no longer go in for a birthday card and come out with a cart full of stuff.

It’s not just that you let me down. It’s that you let me down, and had your people brush me aside like “I” was the problem. I deserve to be treated better. I deserve respect.

As I said before. It’s not me. It’s you. It was fun while it lasted, but it’s over.

Regards,

MaM

 

PHOTO CREDIT: http://livingalimitlesslife.wordpress.com/2011/11/29/its-over/


I have arthritis in my neck and spine. I’m sure I’ve mentioned that.

Part of what my physical therapist recommended was a smaller purse. One that wouldn’t put a lot of pressure on my shoulder, or cause me to walk with one shoulder higher than the other trying to keep it on my shoulder.

*blink blink*

I’m sorry. What?

I love nothing more than a big bag. Huge. I love knowing that I can carry anything I need and it’s always handy. How do I go from that to something smaller? How can I carry a book with me always??

After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, I decided to go see what else I could find.

Le sigh.

In the meantime, I was using one of those big clutch/wallet things. I didn’t love it, but stopping the pain became more important.

I was shopping in January in my neighboring tax-free state (and of course I kept records of anything I bought, for IRS purposes….). I went into this little boutique that had shiny things in the window. I am a kitten around shiny things.

In this shop, I found the most exquisite little vintage clutch. It was black, and satin, and boxy, and sparkly. I carried it around with me while I looked. I opened it and petted it a little. (Don’t judge!)

But, in the end, the exquisite little clutch went back onto the display. I could not (and believe me, I tried) justify spending $217 on a little clutch. Even a tax-free one.

So I went to Etsy.com. There must be something yummy there, right?

My first stop was at ME2Designs.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/ME2Designs?ref=seller_info
Pretty, right?

It’s gold, missing some beads, heavy and allegedly from 1950’s Japan. I just know that I feel very girly with it.

 
Then I went to PoppyPunch, and I found this:

 

http://www.etsy.com/shop/PoppyPunch?ref=seller_info
It’s even prettier in person!

This shop is in Thailand. They packaged everything beautifully, shipped it right away, and even with a delay in customs, I got it quickly. There were a bunch of others I wanted to get, but I’m trying to not be greedy.

 
And the best part? Both of these together cost me less than $40. Win!
 
So, there you have my latest addiction. Cute clutch purses that allow me to carry next to nothing, but also don’t aggravate my spine.
 
(There are a few more, but they aren’t as fun.)
 
No, I didn’t get paid or asked to post this or link to the shops. I liked both of these sellers a great deal and wanted to share them with you. That’s all.

This has been a week and a half in 4 days. So to end the week, I’m going to fluff. I heard about fluffing from here who heard it here.

Clearly, the survey is written by a young person. But, this is a way to chill and be silly.

Without further ado:

Do you have a crush right now?

A Orange Crush? No. I do like Orange Crush, though, even though it’s so sweet, it makes me need to spit. Which is hella attractive. So no wonder there isn’t a person I’m crushing on.

What is your favorite color?

My favorite color what? M&Ms – green. Hair color – red. Sky – blue. You really need to be more specific in your queries.

What about your favorite animal?

What about it? My cats are pretty freakin’ awesome. I love puppies. Flamingos are slamming. OOO! I know! Fainting goats.

Choose one … 😉 =) >:D :-{D

Um. No.

Did you ever have an F on your report card?

Would I be alive today if I had? I’m going with NO.

What about straight A’s

Often. I’m really quite brilliant. Or nerdy. Maybe that.

If you could go back in time and change one thing that you did, what would it be?

I don’t know that I would. Everything that happened made me who I am. I might change that I didn’t stand up to those bitchy mean girls. That was f*cked up.

Do you enjoy singing?

I do. You should hear me in the car. The acoustics are FANTASTIC!

If so, has anyone ever told you that you can sing well?

I tell myself that all the time.

Again…Choose one… , * , @(^_^)@

Um. Again. No.

Are you listening to music right now?

Yep.

If so, what song are you listening to?

Who knows. Everything sounds the same these days.

If not, what song do you WANT to be listening to?

Relentless, by Audry Sessions.

What is your favorite subject in school?

Um. I don’t go to school. School is wack. Not really. I liked English. And math. Latin was fun.

What is the month of your birthday?

May.

Do you like country music?

Sometimes. I think I like the earlier stuff though.

What about rock?

Rock is always good to liven things up.

….rap?

Not so much. I like Luda in some other people’s songs.

If you had to eat one fruit for a month straight…what would it be? oranges, bananas, grapes, apples, or kiwi? (or other)

Any! Except bananas. Bananas have a very short window of opportunity for perfect ripeness. Otherwise, I’d pick any.

Do you like roses or tulips better?

Of those? Roses. White roses. But Gerber daisies make me smile. And lilies. Gorgeous.

QUICK THINK OF A NAME!!!

Gwen

Was the name that you just thought of a member of your family?

Nope. I don’t know anyone named Gwen.

What about a close friend?

No.

Ok…what about your crush?

No.

Do you watch SpongeBob?

What exactly is SpongeBob?

What is the name of your best friend?

Growing up it was Julie. Then Cheryl. Then a different Julie. But Cheryl and Julie II both f*cked me over. So now, my closest friend is Kim. But I hang most with my brother. But not in a creepy way.

Do you like fish or chicken more?

I like fish if it’s done right.

Are you a vegatarian?

Not anymore.

What about your steak…Rare, Medium, or Well done (for me … well done :P)

Medium Rare. YUM!

Did you like this random survey?

No. This was long and sort of boring.

Last thing…..Pick a # out of these… 1,2,4,7,14

14

Hmmm. Ok. Maybe this wasn’t a good one to start with.

Don’t stop reading this blog based on this fluff.