what i wish...



i have not believed in the big fat man with the long white beard since i found the presents "he" brought me stuffed under my parents bed weeks before the day...

these past two years have re-iterated with grave injustice just how much Santa truly does not exist – and not simply because there have been no gifts under my tree… 

life brings all of us thorns and ills and things that, without warning, knock us down and hold us there with hands around our throats…    

the lesson, i think, in all of this is that in any life, at any given moment in time, we are exactly where we are meant to be and there is always always ALWAYS something there to be thankful for...

even if it seems extremely small and insignificant...

"it only takes a tiny spark to get a fire going..."

and so; from me to you with a full and thankful heart;

I wish you health.  i wish you warmth.  i wish you love.  i wish you laughter. i wish you wonder.  i wish you blessings untold...

but most of all; i wish you a heart filled with all the wisdom the universe has to offer and the willingness to share it with your neighbor...

Merry Christmas and "God bless us, Every One." 

placing blame where it belongs

after 21 years of living with my parents and 32 years of marriage it has been one year since i have been living alone for the first time in my life...

i thought to chronicle my journey here, but nobody wants to hear wailing and gnashing of teeth - if they did the stories of a glamorous hell would be far more popular than those of a pearly gated heaven...

besides, for the most part you - like 99.9% of all the people in my life - would have believed the life i live to be completely fabricated and/or twisted to make it appear something it is not...

that other 1% - which includes my children - who know me well realize that no matter what or who i am, have been, or am becoming the one thing i am not is a fabricator of lies...

i also did not want to complicate things for my children because they are the very best and most amazing thing that my life has been blessed with and i love them far more than i want to make my story known...

time will open the eyes of everyone else, because lies are lies are lies... and they will always catch up with you. 

for now that 1% who always saw things clearly are finally finding the strength to stand firm, speak out, draw boundary lines that cannot be crossed and placing the blame where it belongs...




and i am finally starting to feel life is changing for the better for myself, my children and my tiny tornadoes whom i love far more than myself....   

measured by the few

so i ran errands today and decided to look at some new shoes....

these are the shoes i wanted...


but they only had one pair that fit my tiny wide fred flintstone feet - and one of them was the display shoe. you can't tell it from this photo, but the other side of this shoe was gouged and scuffed so i reluctantly put it back and went on to the store across the street where i bought these utilitarian runners;


 um... no i do not run...

unless maybe there is a fire...

even then i'm not sure how fast i could go before i passed out...

the point is, as i was wandering to the check out i found some other stuff i couldn't live without - like a bag of chocolate - and i was trying to perch these things on the shoe box but they kept sliding off so i opened the box and put them inside with the shoes.  job done. nothing fell after that.

of course when i got to the check out i had to then take everything out of the shoe box and place it on the belt...and evidently it looked very suspicious because after the cashier rang up everything else she took the shoes out of the box.  then she shook the box.  after that she unlaced the shoes.  and shook them. and then she put her hand up inside the shoe and felt around. then she pulled the tongue back as far as it would go and looked inside the shoe...

i'm standing there knowing full well that she was just checking to see if i was trying to get anything out of the store without paying for it.

she finally rang up the shoes, tucked them neatly back in the box and sent them to the bagger.  then she looked at me innocently and said; "Oh don't mind me, I was just making sure both of your shoes were the same size."

"that's very nice of you." i said with a knowing voice; "so what size were the both of them?"

fifty shades of red later she had to admit that she didn't know what size they were at all.
that i was "obviously" not attempting to steal anything..
and that next time she would have to be a bit more tactful.

(do you think??)

"you know," i said; "i think that most people in this world are honest - including myself - so how sad is it when we all have to be measured by those few who choose not to be?

by the way, they were both a size 6."














don't you forget about me...

hey hey hey hey....

oooo oooo  oh....

i couldn't help it.

i saw this in a facebook post.

i laughed very hard...

and i knew i needed to keep it somewhere....

i so  love it when extremely creative people think of things that i haven't....



i say la..

la la la la   la la la la

la la la la la la la la la

la..a..........

do i hear wedding bells?

i've been single again for nearly a year and though i was not interested in looking for a new mate whatsoever you know what they always say... (or maybe that's me who always says this)

you don't have to make things happen because when the timing is right everything will just fall right in your lap...

and it did.

unbeknownst to me, a man whom i have been sharing a drink or two with here and there over the years has been secretly and completely in love with me...



i know because this week while sharing my favorite drink with him, this happened:




i was so completely shocked i had to give that cap another serious look; did it actually say what i thought it said?

 oh my god! it did!

i had no idea this was coming....

i am not even sure how to respond...

i really have no idea if lizards are my type...

then again, he must have one seriously large bank account....

....and as my wise friend said; "go for it!  you can always squish him if things don't work out..." 

i think i just may say yes. 


a hug from beyond...

i have been feeling very stressed for the past 11 months...  things started rolling down hill when mr petite told me he was seeing a lawyer about a divorce which he filed for less than a week after.  and things have continued to roll down hill picking up other debris on the way...

so at the moment i am under a gigantic snowball of stress and even though i know there are people who love and care about me, i have been feeling like i am in this winter storm all by myself.... 

but today as i was begrudgingly headed out for the yearly family rebellion on moms side of the family - the first one without mr. petite - i was thinking of my dad.  his family rarely had family rebellions because none of them could be in the same space for longer than a half hour without some sort of fight ensuing - verbal or physical....

and, how my uncle recently passed into that great family reunion in the sky where no doubt he and my dad and my uncles and aunts who went before are able to spend an endless amount of time together in the same space - without episode...  i bet they are probably still laughing about old times and confessions regarding what sort of fishing lure they really caught that huge fish on so long ago...

because it really doesn't matter so much any more.  and love truly IS enough.

i was grinning at that thought when i looked up from my driveway and saw something very peculiar in the sky.

peculiar enough that it warmed my heart.  it even made me feel like part of an entire universe of things that i have not and can not ever imagine with my small human brain or heart...

things that i may need to wait for that great family reunion in the sky to figure out...

the point is; i stood there looking at the sky knowing that no matter what i have to endure - or why - i am loved by something far greater than myself and i would be wise not to forget that...

as silly as it may sound i felt embraced and cared for...

so i went into the house and got my camera to document this...



my great hug from beyond...

you can believe what you will, but i believe this was a huge hug just for me from the great beyond....

and dad,  i love you more!

Trouble Jr and Grama B



Contrary to our belief system that stated Trouble and I would be the only siblings tolerated in our family, The Commandant  mom and dad decided to throw another brother into the mix many years after we'd both been honored as the residents who most inspired migraine headaches...  go figure. 

it was summer time hot in august and mom was running wet laundry through the wringer when Tj (Trouble Junior) decided it was time to move himself into the sunlight.

Dad came home from work early to take mom to the hospital with his own mom in tow...

Grama B was to be our temporary Hitler commandant for a week.  (do not underestimate my hitler reference; though this woman wore a dress when she was not posing for photographs in her new underwear, she was tougher than nails and frequently spit them amongst the descriptive words we were never allowed to use.

Trouble and I decided we'd better behave.  and behave very well.  

and we did for the most part...

but there was this one day (isn't there always?) when we were entertaining John and Trouble's sister - whose mom and dad were visiting at the hospital with our mom and dad and the little brother named Tj that we'd still not seen - no doubt they were downloading orders into his head to avoid us at all costs....

anyway because we'd run through all the possibles; lighting fires with the magnifying glass, digging tiny holes to china with the lawn hose, sneaking off to the beach for a swim that we knew would come with a consequence we weren't certain we wanted Grama B to dole out, we were busy counting blades of grass on the lawn under the clothesline.

Grama B came out of the house in freshly washed hair that was wound into hundreds of tiny circles and bobby pinned tightly to her head in an effort to form fashionably soft curls once it was dry.  she was carrying a basket to collect eggs from the hen house.  on her way she wagged a boney finger at all of us; "I know you are up to something... the four of you! you had best behave or a storm will suddenly appear and lightning will strike you down!"  

Lightning?  HA!  we weren't ascared of no lightning.  Grama B yes.  But lightning? not a chance...  besides, the sky was gloriously blue... 

Grama B disappeared into the hen house and we decided it might be fun to hold hands and chant around the big oak tree the clothesline was hung from just to see what we could conjure up.   (hindsight is always 20/20 and though we did not realize it then, Grama B could not only see ghosts, she could see the future too!)

so there we were, the four of us,  holding hands around the tree chanting random words and giggling until our sides hurt so much we would fall to the ground, lay there a while and then do it again.  but suddenly out of nowhere Grama B was standing there beside us swearing like no woman in a dress should be able to swear.   amidst the profanity we realized she was saying we needed to get in the house fast.  

and then the words simply turned to; GDitALL!!!! RUN!!!!!!

as we ran the sky behind us looked like a big black blanket was being unrolled very fast.  Grama B made it to the door before we did and just as she opened it huge drops of rain began to fall. 

GET IN THE HOUSE! GET IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOM! AND FOR GODS SAKE  STAY AWAY FROM THE WINDOWS! 

so there we are all huddled in the center of the dining room in the sudden darkness listening to rain and debris hit the windows.  the huge claps of thunder were so loud none of us dared to move or speak.  and then Grama B quietly said; "I think we need to go into the basement now. I will go first but when i open that door you run down the steps and i will follow you."    

we all agreed.  we all held hands and followed a few steps behind her...
 
she made it as far as the kitchen when a huge clap of thunder rattled the house and was quickly followed by a lighting bolt that lit up the sky and the ground before it snapped and crackled and sent a huge ball of light and fire right through our screen door.   

the ball of light and fire hit the floor next to the sink and began spinning like a top for what seemed an eternity... Gram B screamed like a little girl, told us not to move and then in one quick fluid moment crossed the room, grabbed the broom, swept the ball of fire back out the door, dropped the broom and yanked out every last one of the 2004 metal bobby pins she had just placed in her hair and threw them on the floor.  we then proceeded with the plan to go into the basement.  where we huddled in the north west corner until the darkness was gone.
 
once it was, but for the massive pile of bobby pins on the floor, we found no signs that the lightning had ever come into the house....

outside was an entirely different story.  there was debris everywhere and the huge oak tree that we had just been circling had been shattered into millions of splinters - some of which had gone directly through other trees in the yard as well as produce in our garden.   

 
wow! we kept saying, for lack of any other vocabulary to describe what it was we were seeing....

and as we stood there amongst the splinters at the bottom of a jagged stump in awe,  Grama B stood us all in a line, waggled her boney finger and said;  

I WARNED YOU BUT YOU ABOUT THAT LIGHTNING DIDN'T I? NEXT TIME YOU HAD BETTER LISTEN!! 

Trouble swallowed hard trying to blink back fear.  Trouble's sister started to cry.  John stood quietly squeezing my hand while trying to look as innocent as he could....

and me....  i tried very hard to remember exactly what words we had used in that circling chant because i knew i never wanted to use them again....   EVER!

Tj came home crying the next day.

the day after that Trouble and i started reprogramming him.  

and we knew he learned very well the day the first real words he had ever spoken were explicative's...  

but that's a whole other story....

i hate when this happens

evidently my lawn tractor wasn't feeling well...

it spent the last mowing session coughing and spitting.

it seemed some minor surgery was required and so were two new spark plugs...



spark plugs that no one seemed to carry... 

for four days i searched.

i came across several helpful men in several different stores to whom i handed the old spark plugs.  each one of them tried their best find them for me, but no luck.


and then i came across a woman...


i felt a surge of confidence asking her for help, because, after all, women stick together and understand how tough it is trying to survive in a "man's" world - especially when it comes to "mans" toys....



or maybe not.

since i'd gotten tired of fishing around at the bottom of my purse to find the old spark plugs two days before, i conveniently wrote the number on a piece of paper.

i told her what i needed and she snatched the paper from my hand, already acting like i was fully and completely in her way and then marched me back over to the spark plug isle...

where she looked and looked but couldn't find any plugs that matched the number i had given her.

"oh well." i said; "that's just my luck.  maybe i can order them online." 

her left eye twitched, she slapped the paper back into my hand and said in a very condescending tone;

"'lady'.... (you are old!) this isn't the right number." her eyes rolled (are you stupid?); "you wrote it down wrong.  (she patted my back) why don't you go on home and bring me back the spark plug. once you do then "we" can see what "we" can do."

and then she started to walk away.

yeah... no. this, i thought, is not going to happen. not today.

today was the wrong day for her too infer that i am not only too old but too stupid to copy 5 numbers off a dying spark plug...

she will not treat me like that and walk away...

"'lady'....." (you just stood on my last nerve!) i said; "i did not copy the numbers wrong and i do not need to 'go on home' and bring you back the spark plug, because i have the spark plugs right here in my purse."

she stopped, came back, took my piece of paper and stood there tapping her foot while waiting for me to fish the plugs from my purse.  i have no doubt she only did so to prove that i was indeed stupid.

well gee.  guess what?!?! I WASN'T!

"um... well gee." she said; "maybe "we" can google it and see if there is a replacement plug."

and indeed there was.  and she wrote down the number.  walked me back over to the spark plugs and put two in my hand.  job done. 

except;

i was not in the mood to allow her to get away with treating me like she did, not today. so i used the same tone of voice she had used on me when i said;

"are you completely sure these are the right replacement plugs? because if i 'go on home now' with the wrong spark plugs because you wrote the numbers down wrong i will not be happy."

"no they are correct. i am sure of it..." she said.

and then the sky opened, the angels sang and by the look on her face i knew that she completely understood that i was giving back exactly what i had received...

you may think i was completely out of line.

and maybe i was.

but believe we all deserve respect....

and i am slowly learning that i have a right to demand it.










 





listen to my heart...

well. 

i did it again.

opened my mouth and not only stuck my foot in but swallowed my entire being...

or maybe my entire being was shoved down my throat...

i don't know any more...

my lines have become very blurry...

truths are coming back wrapped in so much deception that even i now question what i know....

but i thought i was talking about how i felt about something very important to me...

and i thought i was being heard.

until the a voice came back on the defensive and then went on to say something meant to cut deep enough to shut me up.

evidently what i was doing was offering unwanted advice in the form of something that did not want to be heard...

and maybe i was....
 
like i said my lines were blurry...

and those ugly truths sure do look a lot better once they've been formed into something they never were and wrapped up with a big bright bow....

"see" the voice said; "this is why i left you... because we can't talk..."

i felt bad. 

i felt guilty.

i apologized... 

and then later i stood in the shower with tears running down my face wondering why it is always wrong for me to share how i feel.

or why i always have to feel guilty about something i did not do...  

and i realized something;

he did not leave me because we could not talk... 

he left me because he could never hear - or understand - my heart...




ten don'ts and one do in dealing with separated or divorced people

I am growing so very weary of the dramatics that surround people who make a show of knowing everything about something when they know absofrickenluty nothing at all.… so this was written for them… 



This is a list of ten Don’ts and one Do for those of you who have never been abandoned by your spouse but may know someone who has…

No doubt this list would work in any situation – though maybe that’s just the wee bit of pride I have left talking.  Or maybe I’m just in one hell of a serious Clark W. Griswold Jr. Don’t Piss Me Off Art! frame of mind - because I think everyone should understand the art of conversation/communication, and so few really do...

On with the list: 

Ten Don't s and One Do When Dealing With Separated/Divorced People 

1.  Don’t tell someone you know how it feels to be living alone for the first time ever because your spouse is always outside, in the barn, watching tv, working on a hobby…  excuse me, but doesn’t that mean you still have a spouse?

2.  Don’t ask how someone feels and then respond to their heartfelt turmoil with a four paragraph story about why you are too busy to respond properly - and then never bother to respond at all…

3.  Don’t spend time explaining to someone why certain people can’t live without a mate after you have just been told their ex is showing off a replacement a few short months after their marriage has legally ended…  stick a knife in and twist it why don’t ya?

4.  Don’t tell someone to call if there is anything they need if you are only going to spend time telling them why you are not available when they finally gain enough courage to ask…

5.  Don’t offer advice in the form of an order…  (any sentence with “YOU NEED TO” in it is an order) If you don’t live in their house, pay their bills or live their life; you got no clue and you got no right.

6.  Don’t tell someone who just poured their heart out to you that their spouse would have never done that – obviously they did and it took a tremendous amount of courage to share that secret with you.

    On the other hand;  

7.   Don’t simply believe what you hear.  There are always two sides to every story but in this situation only one of those stories will be completely true – care enough to look for, and at, the truth.    

8.   Don’t assume someone’s grieving is ever over – assume instead that YOU just got tired of listening.

9.   Don’t say you know how it is, you understand how it feels, or ever EVER offer advice unless you have been there in the same exact form.  Meaning; if you are the one who abandoned your spouse you know jack $*** about  how it feels to be abandoned so keep your mouth shut.
                                
     In the same respect;

10.   Don’t play the ever so lovely; “My situation was far worse than yours because…” card… the object is always to GIVE support not GET support.

And, finally the ONE and only Do:

1.   LISTEN. FOR AS LONG AS IT TAKES. AND, unless you are opening it to validate someone’s feelings or offer genuine support, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT.





counting sheep and cutting beds...

in case you don't know who the Serta Counting Sheep are... sheeplink

the Serta Sheep are cute.  however, after sleeping trying to sleep on a Serta mattress for the past 8 months i know those little guys will NEVER lose their job...

i will spare you all the sleepless details and simply state one thing;

NEVER BUY A SERTA PERFECT SLEEPER MATTRESS!!

oh?!?

you don't believe me?!

ok...  here then are the sleepless details - don't say i didn't warn you...

i bought a king sized eurotop perfect sleeper comfort mattress during Serta's 90 Day Perfect Sleeper Comfort Challenge -  try it at home for 90 days and if FOR ANY REASON you don't like it you can bring it back NO QUESTIONS ASKED...

fourteen days later not only did i not like the mattress but my mr decided he was leaving. 

ms. petite, as you know, does not need a king sized bed - a crib would probably suffice in a pinch - so i called to ask where they wanted me to bring it when i returned it.

long story short, both the store and SERTA said i did not purchase the mattress during that promotion and after a few heated back and forths i was politely told i was; "shit out of luck."

well damn! 

i was now stuck with a mattress i didn't like in a size that threatened to swallow little old me...

two months later it actually thought it could... 

a very large sink hole formed under me...  since you cannot turn this mattress over, i flipped it end for end every few weeks...  meaning there is now a sink hole on both sides of the bed... 

and to answer your current thought bubble;  YES i AM overweight (deal with it) but 145 pound (shhhhhh) girl should not be swallowed whole by her mattress....


but wait!... because the mattress has a warranty longer than one year, back on the phone i went...

and i got nowhere...

so i tried email...

nothing...

so i finally went the route of snail mail and sent a copy to the store and the Serta Company.

did Serta contact me?  nope.

but, thankfully, the store did...

and they said if it was sinking they would replace it, BUT they would not deliver the replacement or dispose of the old one...

ok!  wonderful!  finally!!  wait! i'm stuck with an uncomfy mattress?  how does the rest of it work? 
do they come out and look at the old one to make sure i am not just weaving a story?  nope.

you take photographs and bring them to the store and and they either approve or disapprove...

here are those photographs; 

can you see the sinkhole?


no? can you see it now?
how about this time?  better?
(it may look like i am forcing the measuring tape, but i assure you i am not. the mattress is tufted)


my replacement was approved!

yay!

now comes the fun part... to get that replacement  i have to cut a 3" deep piece of the mattress out AND remove the "do not remove under penalty of law" tag (i am still waiting for the cops to show up - they must still be with Max and Roth) and bring it to the store as proof.   (sigh)

anyway, if you ever wondered what your mattress' interior might look like here you are:

marked for the cut;

 yep! it's a Serta;
 the first cut; *crocodile tears - such a waste*
 mattress guts coming out;
 what it looks like under there;
 what it looks like gone (ooh springy);

but wait!  regarding those tears and wasting things - necessity is the mother of invention and i still needed a place to sleep until i can find somebody to help me pick up the replacement right?

well, brilliance happens!

i found an old foam chair pad, carved it to fit the hole in the mattress i have to dispose of myself, wrapped it with batting, sewed it in place and flipped the mattress end for end - again...



 can you tell?

no?

would you like to buy it?   i promise to place fabric over the chair foam so it's prettier....

your answer is still no?

well then, plan on sleeping on it when next you come for a visit.  ;)

Happy Sheep Counting!!! 

ps; yes, that IS Henry  ;)   










  

free parking

i went shopping today... got nothing but a vanity plate for my jeep and a few bottles of whine wine...

which i would suppose isn't all bad...

anyway,  i strolled out into the parking lot and saw a woman trying to back into a space that her vehicle was really too big for.  but with a few back and forth tries she managed it...

ah but could she open her door and get out?

nope.

but she did try...

succeeding only in wedging her car door open against the drivers door of the car she parked next to.

i couldn't help it, i had to comment;  "a little tight?"  i asked.

"yes" she laughed; "i got into the space and now i can't get out of my car and...."  

"your door is wedged open?"  i laughed...

 "yes, and i can't get it unstuck to shut it...." and she laughed more.

"looks like it." i laughed;  "need help?"

"yes, please!"

so i pushed on the door as she pulled and together we got it to come free. 

but before she closed her door completely she said with a laugh; "good thing i don't know whose car this is huh?!?" 

"oh but you do."  i said; "it's mine."

she laughed and laughed and laughed and then shut her door.

after which i went around to the passenger side of my car, crawled over to the drivers side and saluted her as i started my engine.

yeah.  sometimes you just gotta make em squirm a little...





little boys and butterflies

my tiny tornadoes and i went to see a butterfly exhibit...

how much fun is it to go from a foot of snow to a tropical room filled with butterflies from around the world?

butterflies were free roaming and everywhere you looked.  some even landed on us.
some were gorgeous on the outside and some appeared ho hum until they spread their wings to reveal unbelievable iridescent colors...  

i pointed out this little beauty to the tiniest tornado because i thought it looked like it was wearing a super hero logo

he was enamored...

as we stood there looking at it pondering what it's powers might be a photographer with a serious camera stopped beside us...

i know she was a photographer because the lens on her camera was at least two feet long and she spent a lot of time adjusting it to get it just right...

as she was adjusting it my four year old tiny tornado saw it as an intrusion...  he looked at her lens and then looked at her and then politely said;  "excuse me.  i am looking at this butterfly right now."

she didn't flinch.  she didn't acknowledge. she just kept adjusting her lens... and we continued looking at the butterfly...

or so i thought...

because in that second between her placing her finger on the button and the noise of the shutter snapping open his little hand went up over her big fat lens and his once polite little voice said; 

"EXCUSE ME!!  I SAID I WAS LOOKING AT THIS BUTTERFLY RIGHT NOW!"


gotta love little boys... 


and me?  well i have this mental image of a prize winning photo hanging on a wall titled;  Butterfly Between Tiny Fingers. and when it shows up i am going to demand royalty fees.  because, my friends, that's how i roll...



if i go before i say...


i am working on some dribble... seriously i am but while i am doing that this Train song keeps running through my head...

and it seems appropriate that i share it with you.

am i planning on going soon? no.  but if its in my head there may be a reason i need to share it with all of you...

so i have...

enjoy :)



If I go before I say, to everyone in my ballet; let me take this chance to thank you for the dance...

If I run out of songs to sing to take your mind off everything,  just smile and sit a while with the sun on your face and remember the place we met...  take a breath and soon I bet you'll see; without you I would never be me - you are the leaves of my family tree...

And when I'm past those pearly gate, I will find some real estate where we can settle down and watch the world go round.  We'll send down all the love we got and let them know we got a spot for them to be - and it's all free...

So sing together, if you knew me from the very start... or we met last week at the grocery mart... or not at all, you are still a part.

Sing together, it's the least that I can do.

It's my final gift to you...


 
give this song a listen on Youtube

the four agreements...



i was given this book to read and its simple vision made sense to me...

maybe you've read it too?

and maybe it changed your life as i hope it will change mine...

if not these are the four simple agreements one must make with themselves to create a world of inner peace and exterior happiness. they are being placed here so i can return to them when i need to.  please feel free to do the same.


Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity. 
Say only what you mean.
Avoid using words to speak against yourself or to gossip about others.
Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love

Don't Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you.
What others say and do is projection of their own reality and their own dream.
When you are immune to the options and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering

Don't Make Assumptions

Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. 
Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. 
With just this one agreement you can completely transform your life.

Always Do Your Best
Under any circumstance, simply do your best and you will avoid self judgment, self abuse and regret.