Sunday, May 31, 2009


I've been feeling rather contemplative and have been reflecting a lot on my life the last couple days. Okay, I know, that's really nothing new for me since I do it constantly. I guess these reflections on my life are just more pronounced than usual. Honestly though, I wonder if everyone thinks about their life as much as I do. While I do try to live in the present with an eye toward the future I do spend a whole heck of a lot of time thinking about the past. And I do mean A LOT of time. Okay, I'll admit it, I dwell. There, I said it. I am a dweller.

I do try not to dwell and for the most part I think I do a pretty good job of it. I can't change other people or what they feel or how they act, the only thing I can control is myself and how I act. I'd say I can control my feelings, but I am old enough and wise enough to know that isn't always the case. I can control my temper far better than I used to be able to. I can see the good even during the bad. I know how to deal with stress and frustration. But as I said to a friend this week in relation to her working toward an understanding with her girlfriend (ex-girlfriend?, estranged girlfriend? not really sure right now), the heart wants what it wants. And no matter how much we know intellectually that what the heart wants isn't going to happen or maybe isn't even good for us, our heart still wants it and that is a feeling that is difficult, if not impossible to change.

Anyway, I've been all reflective and contemplative and just thinking thinking thinking lately. There have been no earth shattering revelations about my life. No, ah ha! moments so to speak. But there have been lots of fond memories reminisced over and lots of moments of gratitude for all of the fantastic things I have in my life right now. I have wonderful friends (love you all!), I have a great house (with a new roof!), I have a good job and great pets to keep me company, I have food to eat and clothes to wear and blankets to keep me warm, and no matter what it is I always seem to have enough. I have so many moments in the day when I think about just how lucky I am. And for that I am very grateful.

I took a drive last night after an evening of bowling with some friends from work. I love driving. I especially love driving in the country on a clear night with the music blaring. I only wish I could drive AND look at the stars while driving, but that's pretty much impossible, believe me, I've tried. I drove somewhere I hadn't been in a long time and I'm glad I did even though I wasn't sure if it was a good idea for me to do it. It reinforced for me that I am in a good place and content.

My dilemma now is do I or don't I. I'm not going to say what I'm trying to figure out if I should or shouldn't do. That's really not important. What I need to figure out is how I will feel if I do it. What will the cost be to me and will there be a benefit? And I'm really not sure of the answer to that (I suppose that's obvious though since I haven't decided what to do). I'm hoping I'll wake up with the answer in the morning. And when in doubt I have to ask my self "what would Paul Rudd do?"

Tonight I went to the 4th annual poker party thrown by a friend and her husband. I won last year (miracle of freaking miracles since the sum total of my poker experience is these parties!) but was unable to defend my title this year. It was still a lot of fun though. Last year I brought FMHW with me to this party to meet a couple of my friends. They loved her (and still ask me about her) and I could not help but think of her tonight and smile.

And in honor of poker night I'll leave you with The Gambler by Kenny Rogers. Fitting no?

You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em,
Know when to walk away, know when to run
You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table
There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done

Ev'ry gambler knows that the secret to survivin'
Is knowin' what to throw away and knowing what to keep.
'Cause ev'ry hands a winner and ev'ry hands a loser
And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Oh beautiful weather wherever have you gone? I cannot believe how cold it has been here the past couple days. The perfect weather we had this weekend was just a tease. I know I should not be surprised, I do live in New England after all. But still, it will be June in a few days. I should not have to be wearing layers in my house and running my space heater at work to ward off the chill.

It's gray, damp days like this that make me realize how much I'd like to have either A) my tub working so I could relax in a nice hot bath or B) a clean chimney (as in one that doesn't have dead ivy vines sticking out of it) and some firewood so I could have a fire in my fireplace. There's something so, I don't know, so zen I guess for me about a fire. I love camp fires, I love bonfires, I love fires in fire places or wood stoves. I love watching the flames flicker, red, yellow, orange, white, sometimes even blue. I love the crackle and hiss. I love watching the sparks shoot up off the wood and dwindle from hot red embers to black/gray/white ash as they float away.

Maybe it's the Aries in me that has such a connection to fire. We Aries are fire signs after all (could also be why I feel so calmed by being near water). Or maybe it was growing up in a household that burned wood in a woodstove as their primary source of heat in the winter. Who knows why I love it so much, but I do. In my dream world I own (with Ms. Right of course!) a quaint old farm house some place out in the country (but not too far out, been there, done that and have learned to LOVE the convenience of grocery and department stores closer than 40 miles away). This farm house has a big wrap around porch and at least one working fire place. On cold winter nights we'll light a fire and sit together and watch the flicker of the flames while snow falls gently outside enjoying the simplicity of the moment and the contentment we find in our togetherness. And on beautiful summer nights we'll sit on the porch and watch the fireflies dancing in the dark or heat lightening far off in the distance.

Also, in my dream world I own (again with Ms. Right, of course!) a house on the beach in Southern Maine. I have no idea how I'm going to afford the purchase of these houses or their renovation and upkeep, but that will of course work itself out (the universe provides). Interesting that I assumed both houses would need to be renovated. I typed that without even thinking. Hmmmm.....

For now I will settle for my beautiful house on my beautiful piece of land in a semi-rural suburb with my (mostly) wonderful cats and fantastic dog (who apparently has me wrapped around her paw as she CAN jump up on the couch, she just prefers that I lift her). I really do love my house. There are things I wish it had (besides a working tub) such as a deck or patio or porch on the back of the house. Or a place to hang a hammock. But when in life aren't we wishing we had something we don't have? Everyone wishes for things they don't have. The key is of course to be happy with what you DO have and knowing that happiness doesn't come as a bonus with the things we buy that we think we need (33% more happiness free with purchase!!) A bigger TV will make me SO happy, until it doesn't; these new jeans will make me SO happy, until they don't; and on and on and on.

But we all have dreams of some sort which may or may not ever come true. We all have our "someday I will..." and our "if only...." That's just part of being human I think. Part of the way the human mind works, part of what keeps us sane during the really hard times and part of what keeps us moving forward toward our goals during the not so hard times.

Right now, at this minute, one of my "if only" wishes is for a return of the nice weather. Mother Nature, if you're listening, I know rain is important and all that, but can you warm it up 5 degrees or so while it's gloomy and raining? Just for a couple months? It really was a long winter....

For this post, in honor of fire and warmth and Ms. Right (or something like that) I give you Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash (written of course by June Carter Cash). I'd like to thank Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon for introducing me to this song in the movie Walk the Line. Incidentally, it's Joaquin Phoenix singing the song in my head as I type right now, not Mr. Cash.

Love is a burning thing
And it makes a fiery ring
Bound by wild desire
I fell into a ring of fire

I fell into a burning ring of fire
I went down, down, down and the flames went higher
And it burns, burns, burns the ring of fire
The ring of fire

Monday, May 25, 2009

Reason number....

Happy Memorial Day. What a beautiful weekend it was. Great weather and I got a ton accomplished. Of course I always set lofty goals for what I think I should accomplish in any given period and even though I did do a lot this weekend I still feel like I didn't get enough done. What is this drive in me? Why is it so hard for me to just take a damn day and do nothing and NOT feel guilty about it? Anyway....

I washed my car today (among other things). It was so good to be in the sun, not too hot or cold and no humidity. It could stay like that all summer and I would be extremely happy. Anyway, I washed my car and as I was washing it I could not help but think about how fantastic it was to wash a car and NOT have to get out the q-tips. Because whenever Ms. Ex washed a car she went beyond anal retentive while doing it. Honestly, she took it to the extreme.

And if I didn't also take it to the extreme then I didn't do it right. Like today, I only washed the outside of the car and I didn't vacuum the inside or clean the inside or windex the windows or take a q-tip to clean out the air vents or anything like that. In Ms. Ex's world that was nearly a mortal sin. The sheer freedom to NOT have to do that was such a relief. I could simply enjoy cleaning the outside of the car on an incredible day. So awesome! And I have a nice clean, shiny car to boot!

And when I meet Ms. Right (just around the corner, I know it and if not, then that's fine too it'll happen when it's meant to) she won't care that I don't get out the q-tips when cleaning the car. She'll appreciate the beauty of the day, the blue sky, the birds at the feeders and the blooming of the flowers. She'll enjoy sitting quietly in my greenhouse (or on her patio or deck or whatever) after washing the car and mulching the flowerbeds and watching the world go by. Or maybe reading or listening to music or chatting or having a drink or all of the above.

I am not ready to let the weekend go. I've enjoyed it so much. I really needed some time away from work to recharge and get my hands dirty in my flower beds. And I think, knock on wood, that I even managed to steer clear of the poison ivy this year. Woo hooo! Last June was way too itchy for me to want any sort of repeat of that. And now, for some reason, I have decided to end my weekend by watching The Nanny Diaries. I have NO idea why. I'm not even a fan of Scarlett Johansson.

The song for this post is Magnolia Street by Catie Curtis. I first really heard this song at a friend's wedding a couple years ago. It was the song she and her husband first danced to. I don't know why it spoke to me so deeply at that time. Ms. Ex and I had just sold our house. I was now single and very much alone for the first time in a very very long time. I was struggling to figure out who I was and where I wanted to go, which direction I wanted to take my life. I'd forgotten who I was, who I used to be after being someone I wasn't for so freaking long. I won't say hearing this song changed my life, but I will say that it definitely spoke to me. And then months later when I met FMHW it spoke to me again, this time as a metaphor for that budding relationship. And it speaks to me again now, a year later, as an example of what I'm looking to find.

I knew that I loved you the first time you got into my car
Your cheeks were flushed and I felt a hush come over me in the dark
I got us lost but at the next cross you said I don't care where we are
I'm in the right car

I drove us slow down a fast food strip and you turned the radio on
I was confused, all the signs were lit and you said I love this song
I wanted to say that I loved you but I knew too soon too strong
This is the ride I'm on
This is the ride I'm on

And I recall in my sleep how you changed my life on Magnolia Street
A dream, but it's true I'm not the same since I met you
And I feel like I'm going home
But not to the one I've known

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ahhhh Spring.

The past three mornings have been glorious Spring mornings. The sky has been crisp and clear, the sun bright as it glides up through the blue. Flowers are blooming. The leaves on the trees are growing, growing almost visibly. These have been the kind of mornings where you take a deep breath of the cool, but not cold, air and rejoice in being alive.

Of course, I've been out the door and on my way to work on these mornings so I don't get to enjoy them as much as I might otherwise. But it's the memory of these mornings that helps get you through the long New England winters. The promise and hope of Spring is something that can't be replicated.

On Monday evening as I was putting my trash out I could smell the sweet, Spring-like scent of my neighbors lilacs. I stood there for longer than I intended just inhaling their scent before I decided to just cross the darned road and put my nose right up to them. I love lilacs. They are one of my favorite flowers (plants? trees?).

My grandmother had a huge patch of lilacs at the side of her house. They were (and I assume still are) tall and full and fragrant. She would cut bunches of the blooms and put them on the enormous stereo cabinet that also served as a table in her living room. Their fragrance filled the room. Now that I've cleared out more of the ivy on the north side of my house I've decided to find a lilac tree (bush?) to plant there. It's the perfect spot for it (them?). Now of course, I just have to find what I want.

I know my last post was rather woe is me, but we all go through those nights when we're down and out for no particular reason. I just chose to write about mine. Overall though, I'm happy with life. Life is good as they say. The only thing lacking is that special someone to share these splendiferous spring mornings with. But that will come in time. No need to rush the Universe who I am confident is working behind the scenes to bring Ms. Right into my life at the right moment. Until then, I'll just drink in the beauty of the mornings and hope they inspire me to write about them.

While thinking about lyrics for this post this song popped into my head. I haven't heard or thought about it in a very long time. But it seems apropos so here you go! Shiny Happy People by R.E.M.

Everyone around
Love them, love them
Put it in your hands
Take it, take it
There's no time to cry
Happy, happy
Put it in your heart
Where tomorrow shines
Gold and silver shine

Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people laughing

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

In a funk

I'm in a funk. Really that's all there is too it. I think it's the gloomy weather that has persisted for three straight days. At least that's what I hope it is. But really Mother Nature, would it be asking too much for a little sunshine in the next few day? I thought it was April showers bringing May flowers, not May showers bringing, well whatever they'd bring in June. If I promise to be a good girl can we please have a little sunshine? Please?

Okay, begging and whining are now out of the way. Honestly though I can't seem to snap out of it, this funk. I thought I was getting there this afternoon, but not so much apparently. And tonight I got the phone call I was expecting with confirmation of something which isn't a surprise, but still. Not helping my mood at all. I'm sure that's part of my funk as well.

And then I get to thinking what a difference a year makes in your life. I know I've written about this before, but I'm pretty sure I've never written about it here. Two years ago I was in the process of dissolving my relationship with Ms. Ex. It was nearing it's end and in fact I believe we were just about to put our house on the market in the next week or so. At that point I still wasn't ready to let it all go and I can distinctly recall a yelling match held in our front hallway which occurred when I tried to stand up for what I wanted (or thought I wanted). That was not a good night and it ended, as was standard for that time in my life, with me in tears. Again.

I'm a pretty peaceful person. I like things calm and quite and, well, peaceful. But my god could Ms. Ex and I get into it at the end (and by the end I mean the last 18 months we lived together). She knew how to push my buttons like no one else ever has. I'm an Aries, a fire sign, we are supposedly passionate and fiery and to some degree I am, but in most cases I am very even keeled (to quote a friend). Ms. Ex knew how to evoke the fire in me, and the ire in me.

Fast forward a year from that fight with Ms. Ex in our front hallway and you'll find me beginning to fall in love again. Learning that not all relationships are like the ones that I'd previously experienced. Learning that it was okay to just be me. Learning that someone would like me for that, maybe even fall in love with me for that. I was giddy with the newness of it, heady with emotion, feeling so full and alive for the first time in more years than I care to think about. I felt like a whole new person.

A year ago I was learning how to live my life again. Figuring out what it was that I wanted out of my life. I'd spent so many years living for what someone else wanted that I didn't know anymore what it was that *I* wanted. I was following my heart even though that scared the hell out of me. But as "they" say, the heart wants what it wants. And my heart wanted FMHW. And no matter how that all turned out I would not change things. We both needed to experience that. For different reasons of course, but it was good for both of us, of that I am sure.

And that brings us to today, to this year. To where I am at this moment in time. And that is sitting in my pajamas on my couch with a dog on one side and a cat (taking up all the space) on the ottoman and feeling like I'm stuck in a funk that I can't snap myself out of. This year I am not suffering through what can only be described as a less than pleasant divorce without all the legal aspects of a divorce. And this year I am not falling in love again. This year I am just me, alone, a loner and if truth be told a bit on the lonely side tonight. And that's okay. The lonely comes and goes and mostly now it goes which is the way it should be. I like my life, and dammit I have a pretty darned good life when you boil it down. I love myself even if other's don't love me. And frankly, I've always been a bit of a loner.

I am exactly where I am supposed to be in my life right now. At least that's what I keep telling myself. After all, everything happens for a reason even if you can't see the reason clearly as the thing is happening. Okay, enough with the cliches, time for the lyrics. And when you're feeling lonely what better song to quote than Alone by Heart?

I hear the ticking of the clock
I'm lying here the rooms pitch dark
I wonder where you are tonight
No answer on the telephone
And the night goes by so very slow
Oh I hope that it won't end though

Sunday, May 3, 2009


There are some artists who seem to speak not just to my heart but directly to my soul. Ingrid Michaelson is one of those artists. Not only is she vocally talented, no make that vocally gifted, she also writes excellent songs and does a mean cover (examples here and here).

I also like to think in the silly little world that I live in inside my head that she and I could be friends. She seems like a very down to earth, slightly goofy, person with whom I'd love to spend time. Of course I might always be asking her to sing for me which she would probably get rather sick of after a little while. All in all she seems like a regular person who would enjoy sitting and chatting with me and my friends and not some high maintenance superstar who doesn't have time for all the "little people."

I honestly cannot give her enough credit for what she does. And here's where I admit publicly that I do believe she is my favorite artist. She's dethroned a woman who has seen me through a lot of ups and downs in my life for that number one spot, Sarah McLachlan. I came to love Ingrid after hearing The Way I Am on that Old Navy commercial a while back. And thanks to the miracle of the internet and iTunes I was able to figure out who she was and buy her music.

I've yet to see Ingrid in concert. Hopefully she'll play someplace close to home the next time she tours in the US. And of course in my head I go to this concert and somehow manage to run into her, you know, all accidentally and such, and we become immediate BFF's. What would really happen of course is that I would sit through her concert mesmerized, walk out in a daze afterward and never see her standing right next to me. And if I did see her I wouldn't know what to say and would likely say something stupid or something that comes off sounding creepy instead of witty. Because really it's me we're talking about and "smooth" is NOT my middle name.

I repeat, I heart Ingrid. Love her. She's incredible.

And of course I couldn't post a blog detailing my extreme Ingrid love and NOT post Ingrid lyrics with it could I? I give you Porcelain Fists. The first line says it all.

"Follow your heart," he said.
Your heart will take you there.
"Swallow your pride," he said.
For pride is anything but rare.
So I walked into your eyes without a raincoat on
And in the salty sea, I find you're all but gone.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Slightly offended

Tonight when I logged into one of my e-mail accounts (yes, I am one of those people, the ones who have multiple e-mail addresses and yes, I do use all of them) I was asked to pick two security questions in order to reset my password should I ever forget it. This doesn't bother me. Lots of places make you do this so its not a new thing for me. It makes sense, it helps prevent hacking (or so I assume), no big deal.

I was however slightly offended or put out or something that the first selections for BOTH questions had to do with being married and/or your wedding. The FIRST selections! I totally understand why you would include selections such as these for security questions. Hopefully you'd remember where you met your spouse or the last name of your maid of honor or best man, but what about those of us who aren't married? What about all the kids who will have to fill out these questions?

Yes, I realize this is something very trivial to be offended by, but I will admit it, I am offended. Not offended enough to send them a nasty message but still offended. At the very least they should change the sort order so the standard questions appear at the top and these questions appear further down in the list. Would I feel this way if I were married? That's a great question and I imagine the answer would still be yes. I don't, however, plan on ever getting married (of course since it's only legal to marry for me in a few states right now.....). I don't want or need for my relationship to be put on display like that just to prove to the world that we love and are committed to each other. Also, being the center of attention like that isn't my thing. Would I have a wedding if it was important for my partner? Absolutely if that's what she wanted and I was completely and utterly certain that she wasn't going to come home from work a few weeks later and tell me that she didn't "want this anymore."

I filled out their questions and no I didn't pick ones about my non-existent spouse or wedding. I hope I don't have to fill out these questions again or at least if I do have to fill them out that they appear in a different order. Maybe I'm just grumpy tonight. There's a good possibility that's true.

Also? My black cat, the one who is actually a decent hunter when need be, brought a dead mouse into the dining room tonight. It was still in the mouse trap. What a good hunter he is. I'm still wondering how I didn't hear him coming up from the basement through the cat door or up the stairs with the trap in his mouth. I didn't even notice it until he dropped it on the floor and it made a distinctly NON-cat toy like noise. Pets, you gotta love 'em!

So,, I didn't think about those before I started writing. get these.....Hey Mickey by Toni Basil. Get it? Hey Mickey? Mickey Mouse??? No?? Just me??

Oh Mickey, what a pity, you don't understand
You take me by the heart when you take me by the hand
Oh Mickey, you're so pretty, can't you understand
It's guys like you, Mickey
Ooh what you do Mickey, do Mickey
Don't break my heart, Mickey

I know, I know. These were a stretch....