Dog Dilema

About 5 minutes after telling the kids about our upcoming divorce my daughter who was 12, asked if I would then buy her a dog. My ex has severe allergies and asthma and the kids couldn’t ever let the idea of pets go. In the last year she still hasn’t let it go. And there was a big part of me that wanted to give that to them.

Everyone who knows me and I actually listen to has told me that dogs wouldn’t work for me right now. My schedule is erratic with work and they can be expensive, and I would listen… mostly. Then one day one of those same people, my best friend called to say there was a dog at the shelter who desperately needed a foster home and I would be perfect. She was a rescue from what is called the griffen mud dogs, she was neglected and left in cages along with 30-50 other dogs living in mud and poop. She was in the shelter for a year and not adopted. Her online profile says she needs a saint.

They weren’t kidding. She won’t let us within 5 feet of her. The only time we can pet her is when we get her on a car ride and she is so mesmerized by the ride we can touch her without her flinching but eventually she looks at us through baleful eyes for ruining her ride and moves out of reach again. She only eats food if we toss her a piece at a time and only if she feels like it. I let her play in a fenced yard without her leash on and it took us 3 hours to corral her back into the house because she wanted to keep sleeping in the lettuce. I’m told by my friend that she just needs time and I’m told by another that my life is too complicated for a dog especially one that won’t bring me joy. One child think we should take her back, this is the one who had to chase her down when she slipped through my legs at midnight and raced off. It’s a miracle he caught her. Two of my other kids think I’m terrible for even considering taking her back.  As of now we are her foster family, so she can go back.

Pros:

She never barks

She doesn’t have accidents in the house

She sleeps for long periods of time so isn’t as bored when I work.

She’s adorable

Cons:

Can’t pet her

She doesn’t come when I say even when she really wants to go on that walk

Won’t jump in my car, I have to load her into a crate and then into my car

Looks at me like I’m planning on cooking her for dinner

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Hiking With A Gymnast

I had a lovely family reunion last week in Bear Lake Idaho. I think the final count was 26 people in a large cabin by the lake. It was the first time my entire family has been together in 6 years or so. My kids are the oldest of the grandkids and so we did a few things on our own so they could have adventure.

On the plane trip over I saw a Instagram of someone doing a yoga type move on top of a mountain at sunset and I showed my gymnast son. We both agreed it was a awesome video and that he needed something like it lol. We couldn’t get to the top of the big mountain but we did climb this one and find the perfect rock for him to do his move on. And then of course he had to do it shirtless so we could properly see the muscles it takes to do it. My kids are used to the fact i need pictures of just about everything and I enjoy when they want the picture as well.

Family Reunion

I have had the beautiful experience of spending the last week at Bear Lake Idaho with my family. We haven’t had all my siblings and their kids with my parents in one place in roughly 7 years. Its been a cacophony of sound, smells and conversations. My kids and I leave tomorrow and suddenly it hasn’t been enough.

Did I kiss the baby enough? Have I had enough conversations with all the women? Have I hugged my brothers enough? I find these events to be such a balancing act. I have limited time with my son as well, as he is about to leave for 2 years, so when he wants to go hike a mountain instead of boat rides with everyone else I feel the need to go hike, but I miss the chance to see everyone.

Isn’t that the gist of the Robert Frost poem? Both paths looked interesting and would have lead to new experiences but we have to make a choice. So many choices and paths I’ve gone down this year.I need to work on finding peace with my choices and to stop looking over my shoulder at the might have beens.

Repurposed

I have strong feelings towards recycling objects as I frequently feel like my new life is me being recycled. I have been drawn toward the antique keys at the local fairs and began collecting them. I already had the stamp kits to make jewelry and stamp on old silverware to stick in the garden. So when my daughter asked if we could stamp some words for her on some keys she really loved it was the perfect activity. She chose to stamp “home” and “courage” on her keys. Once we started we just didn’t want to stop until we thought of all the words we could and we ran out of keys. We’ve been taking turn wearing the different ones depending on our moods. One day just for fun I posted a few on a brand new Easy shop called BoBelleCo that we started together using a blend of our names. We’ve only sold a few keys but its been such a fun thing to learn and do together.

My daughter is at girls camp this week and last week was with her dad so I feel like we haven’t had a lot of time together lately. I know it’s important to find ways to hang out with her while she has the time and interest. Lots of days she is so busy chatting with her friends by video I have a hard time getting a personal conversation in.

My Graduate

This lovely son of mine finished his final day as a senior in high school today. We needed to see how he did on his Lit final to make sure he was graduating. He has this thing,  he doesn’t do well for the first half of the semester and then somehow saves it at the last second. It isn’t my favorite way to deal with school. This last month has been incredibly stressful for everyone.

Even though it was a close call, I chose to believe that he would pull it off like he usually does. I ordered graduation announcements and mailed them out. I posted on social media how proud I was. This morning as I was procrastinating a run I realized that it was his last final and I hadn’t done anything to show him that it was cause for celebration. I raced to the store to buy balloons to tie to his car but the line was awful. And me being me I didn’t have my genius idea until he was due to get out of school any minute. So instead I raced to the grocery store while calling my super creative sister who told me to decorate his car with whip cream and Oreos!!

When I got to the church parking lot where he has to park due to the horribly small school parking his car was already gone. I was so bummed I missed my chance to surprise him. But why waste the effort? So I found his car at his dads and I proceeded to decorate his car in the driveway. I went inside to congratulate him and thats when he told  me his last final hadn’t even started yet. I grabbed his hand and brought him outside. His face when he saw his car was everything I hoped for. He lit up from the inside and circled the car and laughed like my little boy. He didn’t even mind that the whipped cream was already melting in the Georgia humidity.

He drove to school to take his final with the cookies still on. Tonight when he stopped by, the Oreos are still there despite the rain we’ve had today. It was very validating.

Facebook Love

As a mom of 3 boys and a sister to 3 brothers I have always felt a kinship when I see other moms of 3 boys. I feel it with all moms, no matter how many kids of course. But this felt like we knew something about each others lives. I always wanted us to high 5 or do a knowing super hero nod to each other.

For this purpose I started a Facebook page a few years ago Mom of boys, there are others that are really closely named lol.  I’ve only had maybe 150-200 followers and I mostly post little memes that I find, little pictures.

A few months ago a fellow mom blogger asked me to write a blog post for them and they tied to to my Facebook account, and all of a sudden in the last 5 days I went from 500 followers to 5000! It was such a fun week to watch the numbers climb higher then I ever dreamed! I believe it is slowing down but I was so amazed! I’ve been responding to all comments and posting a little more often and even creating a few memes of my own to help be interesting. I don’t know if it will last , but it feels like a cosmic pat on the back.

This is the link to my page. If you go there let me know what you think!

Off the Beaten Path

I am really enjoying spring in Georgia. This little pasture I found on a walk today was so green and beautiful. I was sad to see several “no trespassing” signs and this little bit of barb wire blocking me from exploring such a wonderland. I enjoyed the view and the gorgeous smell of honeysuckle that softens the barb wire.

An Old Dude Manifesto

I adore his thoughts. I want to not care about people and what they think of me, I want to live fully and deeply. I want to find joy and be my own warrior and not a wilting sideline flower.

The Muttering Mormon

I know you folks at the gym were enjoying a giggle at the sweatband on the scrawny middle aged dude who is only there to ride a bike.  I knew it looked goofy when I put it on.  It made my bald spot show.  But, the thing is, I sweat a LOT, and it sometimes drips on my book when I’m on the recumbent bike.  I hate that way more than I worry about how I look.  So I go with what works.

That’s what us older dudes do.

All of my life I’ve had a hard time understanding the eccentric old person.  For the first half of my life (and least I hope it was only half) I’ve worried about trying to encourage other people to respect me and like me.  I figured everyone else starts off the same way.  So what comes over a guy that makes him turn…

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Let it Go

I remember the night in the hospital when I held my first child, a son. I wrote graduation speeches, practiced wedding toasts. I was a little delirious from the drugs I admit. But I don’t think I’m the only one that begins to plan their future from the first moment

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Not many of my plans worked out very well. Turns out kids come with their own personality and this spawns ideas and plans of their own. Some days I love the ride and the journey of it, they are so much more then I could have ever imagined. Some days I feel like my heart is breaking from the pain and loss, to see them go down hard paths that won’t end well. When they blame you for everything, point out all your faults in detail. Those days suck.

I find it’s important to let go. Let go of the fantasy, let go of the planning, it’s practice for letting them go. I can’t believe my son graduates from high school in 2 short weeks! I can’t wait to be done with his life in high school! School with him has been difficult. He is very smart but not at all interested in sitting in a class room.

A few weeks ago our church put together a night to celebrate all the graduates. They asked the parents to submit photos of their child growing up and prepare a small speech about their child. I didn’t know about it until 10 minutes after it ended. My ex didn’t tell me about it and he was receiving all the emails and requests. He called right after it ended to casually mention where they had been. I have been the photographer of their lives, the keeper of the scrapbooks and photo albums. I have been waiting to show anyone my kids growing up. My ex sent in a few pictures he had on his phone and Facebook. My son had half the time the other kids had. I have had a really hard time letting this one go. I called my son and cried that I hadn’t been there and that I hadn’t known. He laughed and told me he hadn’t even wanted to go and didn’t know I wasn’t invited. But this is my child who has always been sensitive to things and people around him, I know somewhere inside it was another strike on him from the divorce.

Next week he gets his yearbook. I made his senior post and chose the pictures and the really awesome Tony Hawk quote (my son is a major skateboarder lol). I have that.

Light Bulbs

I made a comercial a few months ago. I still haven’t seen it on tv and I’ve tried searching the internet. I guess maybe if I watched tv on occasion there would be a higher chance of me seeing it! It was for Icy Hot and Gold Bond with Shaquille O’Neal. I’m the lady using the rowing machine and suffer from sudden painful knee problems lol. If anyone sees it let me know!!

We filmed in early December so it was freezing and of course wardrobe puts me in tiny workout shorts and a tank. It was in a lovely home that had a living room with giant glass walls that looked out to a pool and cabana. It was easy to put myself into character and enjoy my lovely yard while working out!

The hard thing about it, besides the cold, was the expectation that an actress has a perfect body. Which I don’t. I work out, but it isn’t my life.Ii’m also a mom and a busy person who really loves food. So i’m in good shape but I have some lumps and bumps and I dreaded it when I saw the booty shorts they pulled out. I tend to wear workout shorts that go longer, or capris! I heard two people having a conversation while I got into place that actresses shouldn’t have fat and it made me sad. Of course I wish I didn’t have fat, and no wonder it’s so hard on women actors trying to be perfect.

This week I was helping film a new tv show and I met an actress I have loved watching on screen. Its always amazing to meet actors we admire in person and see they have normal skin, a few wrinkles and some lumps of their own. It’s amazing what the crew does with makeup, great lighting and some editing. I wish I could walk around in the perfect lighting all the time.

Perhaps in our heads we insist on seeing our selves with ugly fluorescent lighting. How do we build up some beautiful warm lights in our mind to see our best selves and to be kinder in our self assessment?