Dashing Disaster(s)

I haven’t updated in some time, so to anyone who checks this regularly, I apologize.

So, what’s happened since February 6 and why have I been remiss in updating?

I’ll start with the heavy first and end on a lighter note. My father was born the last of 10 siblings. Everyone had kids. When I was growing up, that meant that there was around half of a decade where there was a wedding every year. Sometimes several weddings in a year.

Fourteen years later, we find ourselves going through a series of funerals. It’s heartbreaking to watch to watch as the siblings lose one more. They were all extraordinarily close, and given that my father is nearly twenty years younger than his next surviving sibling, for me, it was like growing up with extra grandparents. On February 11, we lost my aunt who was in hospice. Several days before that, my cousin and his wife lost their baby who had been born premature in December. It’s a tough time, not just to experience the feelings of loss, but to watch your loved ones who are still here suffer.

Okay, that’s as heavy as I plan on getting.

Since I’ve last updated, I also managed to nearly sever not one, but TWO, fingers using a mandolin while slicing bell peppers. My middle finger on my write hand (right hand, get it? ūüôā ) is the most eff’d up. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve cursed after bumping that finger into something, I could buy myself a new handbag…or dog!

Wait – I did buy a dog!

I know, I know. Trust me, I know.

But I felt bad for poor Theo, he needed to have some company, so on a whim one day, I called a local breeder and asked if she had any morkie pups. As luck would have it, she had one left, so we drove to Crosby, TX to go take a look. I brought Theo along because I wanted to see how they’d get along. In the car, the entire way, I waxed poetic to my brother about how I wouldn’t buy the dog if it didn’t get along with Theo because that was really important.

My brother tells me now, that flew out the window the second the puppy scampered onto the porch. I barely listened as I watched him, fascinated. I only heard pertinent things, like his shots were up to date, he seemed to have no issues, he was weaned…I only asked if his parents were okay and all of his littermates.

The entire time, the puppy ran in circles with another one of the breeder’s dogs and Theo, who was enjoying new smells. Theo didn’t growl or seem to mind the puppy, so in my head, that meant they got along. I then whipped out a wad of cash and cradled my new puppy as the breeder filled out paperwork and gave me his records. When we were trying to decide on a name, the breeder told us she’d been calling him Marko, but that didn’t seem to fit his personality.

We named him Dash.

I should have named him demon…or tazmanian devil. Two point eight pounds of delicate bones and fluffy fur, this puppy is a serious humper, biter, explorer, and general ball of mischief. His only saving grace is that he sleeps nearly 18 – 20 hours a day, and I’ve been crate training him and his potty training seems to be going well so far. But seriously – this dog has made me lose my breath on several occasions.

He disappears under the furniture, he likes to wind himself through the bottom interconnected part of the coffee table, squeeze himself behind couches, etc, etc. It’s like there are twenty of him because the nano-second I turn around, he’s somewhere else. The other day, I found him UPSTAIRS. He’s not even the height of a single step, and I didn’t think he could get up the stairs, but he managed it while I searched the entire downstairs of the house for him. Getting up is fine, but if he tried to get down, he’d end up breaking his skinny neck.

He licks everything off the floor, so I’m constantly cleaning because the tiles in our house get dusty fast. He wants to jump off of everything and is annoying as hell, especially to poor Theo, who just barely tolerates him, but…

It’s totally worth it.

This little miscreant has me wrapped around his tiny paw. So freaking cute, I can’t stand it. Here are some pictures:

theo3 dashcapri dash2

In case you’re wondering, those are both giraffes in the picture above. The yellow one on the left is his favorite thing to hump. It’s just a little hysterical.

And how’s the writing going?

The finger slicing was a perfect excuse, but I’m now back into the full swing of things. I have to finish this third manuscript, getting ready for the re-release of new versions for my first two books, and I’m eager to get started on something new once I wrap up this novella.

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Acute vs. Sustained Stress

So I’m going a little out of my mind here.

And the thing is, I’m¬†less stressed.

Let me explain.

My gray hair is coming in much more slowly, the lines on my face have seemingly softened instead of deepening, and I’ve lost a few sterling. I’m spending less, eating less, and drinking less.

But I’m annoyed for what feels like¬†all the time.

Whereas, in my previous existence, my grays were coming in faster than Walgreens could keep my L’Oreal Feria color in stock so much so that I stopped dying my hair. Every morning, I’d wake up and see a line that wasn’t there the night before. I had the liquor store across the street on speed dial and the old man who ran the store¬†knew my name, face, and address.

Don’t even get me started on how much I spent on Seamless each month which inversely correlated with the amount of sleep I got each night (the numbers are not ideal).

But I smiled more. I think I laughed more too. I remembered those times with fondless¬†while doing math homework with my seven year old nephew who was wishing his attention was on Minecraft or Lego Marvel instead of my how many pennies Julie had to begin with after she was left with thirteen but sold a record for five cents. Let’s just say¬†that experience had me wishing I had grays to pull out or an adult to put into his or her place.

ASIDE: Math homework writers, seriously, you guys are STILL constructing problems about selling their wares for pennies and profit??! How about dollar bills or credit card balances or gallons of fresh water left for starving countries? Or what about volunteering materials for habitat for humanity and needing to figure out the cost of the lumber? No wonder each generation grows up to be more isolated, self-deserving, selfish, and worldly yet ignorant at the same time. Sheesh. Okay, end rant.

So here is my hypothesis:

Previous existence: Stress level was high but so was my level of Patience — because it was required to be! I couldn’t explode, become overtly frustrated, although trust me I did skirt the line there. I had to be the face in the calm of the storm, the voice of reason. (Again, don’t know how well I did in that regard.)

So: Stress High, Patience High because it’s superficially inflated, physical and mental toll high

Here: Hakuna Matata. Anything goes. If I’m feeling pissy about something, I make my feelings known. I’m sure my seven year old munchkin was breathing through these arithmetic problems I forced him to go through with the new Sponge Bob movie at the end of the tunnel (we’re going tomorrow). I can get cranky with each of my siblings, and you know what? They avoid me. They know my temperature so they know when to get me…and when they don’t get it, the beauty of it is that I can shout “Hey I’m feeling cranky, leave me alone!”.

So my feelings of stress are acute, I have less patience to deal with them, which means they get dealt with and I move on and I think this has a more positive experience on the aging of my body which is transitioning from sustained stress, forced patience, and vibrant exposure to people, places, and cuisine.

Go freaking figure.

Anyway, my eyes are crossed all over the place after thousands of lines of editing (i HATE HATE EDITING) tonight. I need to get 1 weeks worth of work done for my FABULOUS VALENTINE SURPRISE – Re-release of 2 books plus one previously unpublished! Yay!

I now leave you with this gem from tonight. I can’t help it. This is what it’s turned into. I’m the only one home so I’m constantly cleaning and then five savages traipse through and disrupt all my hard work while I’m in the middle of the study arguing and yelling at my heroines for being dumb. Then I exit the study, examine the disarray, ingest one healthy glass of Syrah (8% alc vol.) before I start to go batty on the post its. Like these:

IMG_0214In all likelihood the toothpaste culprit is 7, but he needs to learn sometime.

Adult Things

I found a new general practitioner!

This is great, because I normally take a long time to get to things like that, but one of the up(down?)sides to living in the same home as your mother is that things that formerly took a while to do (writing not included) get done.

(Although, for the last week, she’s been bugging me to see if I’ve finished my 3rd book yet. I haven’t.)

Anyway, it was a sort of a general visit (the webs don’t need to know all of my health issues), and as I was giving her my general health history, I started to tear up when we got on the topic of my much former, slimmer weight. We had a good discussion about some things I could do, but then I had a nasty reality check after a routine EKG, so to be safe they’ve also scheduled a follow-up Echocardiogram.

The good thing is, I’m young and I can take steps to un-wind the damage my last few years of unhealthy living have caused. Bad news is it will be a long salt-less, alchohol-less, dairly/cheese-less filled journey.

I definitely did not imagine having this conversation with my doctor at 32. It always seemed on the periphery of reality like a wedding or a baby or buying a house…one of those things that seemed slated to occur on the normal timeline of this thing we call life, but it’s not necessarily a sure thing.

Anyway, it happened. Nothing to do but move forward. I’m going to take advantage of all these delightful little green belts, put on some tennis shoes, and listen to Michel Buble and the Eagles and hope it all¬†melts away.

Baby Steps

I know I’m always ailing, so I wont’ bore you with my latest malaise, however tomorrow morning the sun¬†will shine, I will get my ass out of bed no later than 8 AM, brew a yummy southern pecan roast for my carefe, and then I’m fleeing the house.

I can’t write at home. Someone always needs something, someone always wants to talk to you, someone is always talking to someone else about a topic on which you are itching to intervene and it’s IMPOSSIBLE to tune them all out.

One would think, given the last set up at my beloved former job, that this would be easy peasy.

It’s not.

I now have a lengthy list of places where I can escape and write.