We adopted a new kitty last week named Loki. He’s about six months old, very sweet, and pretty fearless. He was nervous at first. I think he was missing his family who are moving, and sadly could not bring Loki with them.
Loki brought so many toys, and tunnels and fun things to play with that we hoped Licorice would soon accept his company.
It was pretty tense at first. There was a considerable amount of growling, and hissing, and some paws were thrown.
To make matters worse, Loki just seemed to instinctively know where all of Licorice’s favorite spots were, and he sat in all of them. The nerve!
Then we had a few hopeful close encounters.
After a few days the growling and hissing subsided and gave way to some interesting cat noises, like squeaks and chirps.
As a growing boy, Loki gets very excited about food! He growls when he eats and he likes to eat Licorice’s leftover food.
Luckily, Licorice is not a big eater. But when she catches him at her food dish, she pops Loki with her paw just in case he forgets who’s the boss around here.
Licorice has been the solo queen for several years, ever since her companion, Lily, passed away. As I recall, Lily was not thrilled when we brought Licorice home either but she adapted.
Maybe Licorice remembers this experience, it’s hard to know. Luckily, Loki has decided he’s fine with Licorice being the queen.
I can’t believe it’s been a week already! I wonder what that feels like in cat time?
I think it all comes down sharing a sunbeam, because what’s better than that?
Time will tell, but I believe they are very close to playing together, and becoming best friends.
Five am is an ungodly hour to wake up for the daily grind, but here I am, nonetheless. I make my morning oatmeal, which I am eating for “health reasons”. Does anyone really like oatmeal? I follow the microwave cooking instructions to a tee, and this happens…
I don’t have time for this BS because I hit the snooze button a few too many times this morning. The sticky mess is now stuck to everything, the mug, the microwave, and me!
Is this really my life?
I accidentally touch my hair before washing my hands, and am now frantically searching myself for any remnants of oatmeal. I think about Billy Schwartz from the second grade. He showed up to school with a speck of “oatmeal” on his chin. Someone shouted, “Ewww! Billy has a booger!” Poor Billy was forever after labeled “Billy Booger”. Lucky for Billy, his Dad was transferred before third grade, and his family moved to South Carolina.
I toss a bunch of food items into a bag and call it “lunch” before sprinting to my car. I cannot be late for work. My boss has a thing about tardiness. I’m an Office Manager for a medical practice. It is not my dream job, but I was lucky to find it. I gave up my Sales and Marketing career years ago to stay home, and raise my two children; a decision I don’t ever regret until I look at my bank statement.
I look down at the gas gage and see that I am on “E”. I shout a few curse words to no one, and speed off to the gas station. Now I will definitely be late, and that means the entire day will go downhill from there.
My job is OK. I get wear scrubs. This is a big plus. But, I also get to listen to patients complain, and sometimes get agitated about the limits of their insurance plan, demanding to know why it doesn’t cover hardly anything. I agree. It is a problem. Most patients forget everything I tell them prior to their procedure. I see their eyes glaze over while I explain how insurance benefits work. There are limitations, and in-network versus out of network coverage amounts. There are percentages, deductibles and maximums. It’s confusing. Despite the fact that money is extracted from our paychecks every week to pay for insurance, insurance really does not cover a whole heck of a lot. The average person is terrified, and overwhelmed by the whole thing. I want to say, “You should write to your Congressman and let him know how you feel. Maybe then Congress would then get off of their butts, and fix our broken system.” Instead I say, “I am so sorry that your service was not covered. How would you like to pay for this?” I am also the collections department.
On the way to work I am stuck behind a minivan with an OBX sticker on the back. This makes me think of Billy Booger again. I wonder what Billy is doing now? I wonder if he still lives in the Carolina’s. Why don’t I live in the Carolina’s? I find myself suddenly jealous of Billy. I’ve spent the summer avoiding everyone I know just so I don’t have to listen to their fabulous vacation stories. I am also ducking social media to avoid seeing their happy vacation photos with palm trees and captions like “Best vacation ever!” Vacation shaming should be illegal. My hot, sweaty “vacation” week was spent moving my eighty-six-year-old mother into assisted living for the second time. She WAS living with me, AND she has dementia (more on this next time), so her new living arrangement is a blessing. Plus, I spent my vacation money paying a bunch of medical bills.
I want to pass the van with OBX sticker, because I’m sick of looking at it, but I’m trapped in the endless Northern Virginia traffic!!! What is with the sticker shaming? I don’t care how many stick people, stick dogs, and stick cats you have in your family! And now the runner’s mileage stickers are all the rage: 13.1 and, 26.2!!! So what? If I don’t run marathons I’m not good enough???
I need a bumper sticker that says: “ You win! You’re better than me! Can we please move on now?”
I consider rear-ending the minivan just to crumple that OBX sticker a little bit. Some small, sane, section of my brain tells me that these thoughts are not normal. I decide that Northern Virginia is full of people who are full of themselves, and vow to move to another state as soon as possible!
I get to work, and my first patient has a billing question. No one ever wants to pay their medical bills. I get this. I push them to back of my bill pile as well. Mind you, not five minutes earlier, this same patient was going on and on about the two weeks he spent with his family in Machu Picchu over the summer. Now he’s telling me he that he wasn’t “prepared” to pay his bill, and we will have to send him a statement.
I try a little medical bill shaming and say, “You’ll have to bring your vacation pictures next time.”
“Oh, I will!” he says, no shame, “Peru was amazing!”
I give up!
I ask my next patient if she had a nice summer, and she tells me it was a lot of work, and that she and her husband stayed in Virginia.
“Really?” I ask, suddenly hopeful. Someone else’s summer sucked as much as mine!
“Yes, we had to go down to Virginia Beach. We’re updating our beach house there, and we had to supervise the contractors. Renovating is such a nightmare! Oh, buy the way I think you have something on your shirt,” she says.
I make a mental note to stop asking patients about summer, and go to the bathroom to look in the mirror. There’s a glob of something on my scrub top. It looks like a wad of boogers. Freaking oatmeal! I wash it off to the best of my ability, and now I have a big wet mark on the front of my shirt above my left breast. I think of Billy Booger again. I should really look him up on Facebook. I just need to wait until October when the vacation shaming has fully run its course. I’m thinking I’ll have some time then before it all begins again on winter break.
Happy Monday all! I hope reading about my life makes your life seem a little better!
My father was a Professor of Horticulture, but I have a black thumb. My family jokes about my keen ability to kill plants, flowers, and sometimes shrubs. It always ends the same way with me saying: “I just don’t know what happened.”
The innocent plant was fine one day, and then suddenly it wasn’t.
Plants are not really all that complicated. They require water, and a certain amount of sunlight. Somehow, I mange to screw this up, either by over watering, or by under watering, or by allowing too much sun, or too little. So maybe for me, it is not so simple after all. I have had moderate success with a few cactus. But any houseplant unlucky enough, to come and live with me, does not do so for long.
I believe that the quality I lack, and that most plant lovers possess, is patience. You cannot hurry nature. Nature moves at it’s own pace.
A friend of mine grows Orchids. For years I had been in awe of her amazing green thumb, and certain that these exquisite, delicate flowers, were surely beyond the limited nurturing capability of someone like me. Then, a coworker, (who obviously did not know me well), gave me an Orchid as a gift.
I panicked! I tried to give it away, but there were no takers. Then, I read the instructions. I was careful. I treated the flower like the fragile thing I believed it to be. I was diligent. Attentive. Patient.
And it bloomed! Even better it remained in bloom for weeks. I could not believe how simple it was to care for. I gave it ice cubes, not water. I let it sit in a sunny window. Sometimes, I forgot the ice cubes. This was wintertime, so sometimes the sun stayed away for days. Still, it bloomed! Such a remarkable plant, I thought, that blooms at random times of the year.
And then, one day, this happened:
One at a time, the flowers went limp and fell to the floor. I had murdered the beautiful foliage, after all.
I was saddened, but did not have the heart to throw it away. This once living thing had brought me such joy! I let it sit in a corner, on the windowsill. I dropped an ice cube into the pot whenever the spirit moved me. I went on to kill other plants, like Poinsettias, and Easter Lily’s.
Several months later, something miraculous happened. It bloomed! I had brought it back to life…or at least nature had. My new discovery: Orchids go dormant, and then they have a blooming phase. This cycle continues as long as you take care of the plant.
Do not let anyone fool you, if I can grow Orchids, anyone can!
Here are some great resources should you decide to grow an Orchid of your own:
Thanks for reading, and keep writing!
Got children? Then you know what I’m griping about.
From the moment my two, sweet, bundles of joy were born it was clear nothing was mine anymore. I can tell you that as they grow older the issue only magnifies. For the most part, as parents we resign ourselves to this. We embrace sacrifice. It’s a big part of the job. Although, I would be remiss not to admit that sometimes, I’m driven slightly mad by the smallest of missing things.
- Scotch Tape: I don’t mean just at Christmastime, when there is never any tape left, and I’m certain I’m contributing to the soaring stock prices of CVS and 3M. I mean every other day of the year. I search the junk drawer, I rifle through the office – no tape. I finally find a wad of it wrapped around a piece of red construction paper with little sparkle hearts stuck to the outside – under my daughter’s bed.
- A Pen That Writes: There are pens everywhere in the house and each one has exactly enough ink to write the first letter of the item that I’m desperate to add to the shopping list. The rest of the letters are written in invisible ink. I’m sure that I’ll remember what I was trying to write once I get to the market – not so much. Picture a middle-aged housewife standing in the center of the canned goods aisle, cursing at a mostly blank piece of paper.
- Toilet Paper: There is nothing more infuriating than being stranded on the potty, and then noticing the empty brown cardboard roll. The more I buy, the more they use. I wonder if I am really raising two baby elephants, because the size of their behinds are grossly out of proportion with the amount of toilet tissue used.
- A Brush: I love that my daughter has long, golden locks that she brushes all on her own now. I don’t love using the ‘free comb’ leftover from school picture day to try to make sense of my hair. I know for a fact, that there are at least five brushes in the house because I purchased them all. What I don’t know is where on earth they went. One guess is under the seat of my car, a place I cannot go easily without risking throwing out my lower back.
- The Good Snacks: I know, I ask too much to even fantasize that I should share in the good snacks…even the few that I hide. That’s right, I just admitted it, and if you’re honest, you’ve done it too. Squirreling away food is an all time parenting low, but I never claimed perfection. Snack stashing is futile anyway. No matter where I conceal them, they are always eventually found, and not by me. My parental brain is so scrambled most of the time, I forget my hiding spots. The worst is ‘the look’ and the comments when they discover the treats, “Wow, Mommy! Seriously! You hid these?”
My own mother raised six children and is a saint by comparison to me. Although, I do remember her having occasional outbursts of, “Don’t touch my things!” It was usually over something small, and seemingly insignificant like a safety-pin. My siblings and I would look at each other and shrug, “What’s her problem?” I know it took awhile, but I get it now, Mom, and someday so will my kids.
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Just some #Friday #Fun! Have a great weekend all!
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I had a perfect mother’s day weekend, and hope you did as well!
For starters, I finished reading a fabulous book: “Easy Like Sunday Mourning (A Page Turners Novel)” by Jennie Marts. Style-wise, Marts’ women’s fiction reads like a cross between a Janet Evanovich and a Sue Grafton novel.
Jennie Marts witty, and face-paced novel, truly is a page turner. Humorous and engaging, I fully enjoyed my moments of escape, tucked away with this ‘cozy mystery’. Marts is a talented writer who will keep you guessing ‘who done it?’ right up until the end.
Of particular note, I hope to see more of the “Page Turner book club” in future books, especially the character Edna, who is a both a hoot and a holler. Finally, I will never again look at a ‘porta potty’ without giggling!
I just picked up Marts’ first novel: Another Saturday Night and I Ain’t Got No Body (A Page Turners Novel) by Jennie Marts, anticipating another great read.
For more on author Jennie Marts, see her author page on Amazon.com: Jennie Marts, author
To see my review on GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/910871894
Q. Name three things couples fight about.
Do I have your attention?
What is all the fighting about? Most would agree the problem is a matter of not enough.
It is interesting that man and woman ever managed to procreate. For women, intimacy in the relationship is a physical manifestation of our emotional state. For men it is a physical act bringing about an emotional state. Do you see the difference? So how do you bridge this gap? The easiest way for men to get what they want is to give us what we want, emotionally. First, men would have to know what that is and women refuse to tell them because we think they really ought to know already, right?
Confused? I am not surprised.
Here are a few hints for men: It may involve listening. It may involve role reversal. On the other hand, it may involve role-play.
Now women cannot expect men to take on all the responsibility for this task on their own. For women, connecting with men may involve less talking. It may involve role reversal. On the other hand, it may involve role-play.
Then there is the problem of the other two things that we argue about getting in the way of #1.
A former employer of mine once said, “Money is only a worry for the middle class, because the poor don’t have any and the rich have more than they need.” He, of course, was wealthy. I was middle class. He was also a jerk, right?
Although, he may have been correct. For the middle class ‘striving to do better’ has become our mantra, even if we never feel as though we are making any headway. In the US, we worry about our lackluster economy. We wring our hands while watching our elected officials throw our money away with both fists. Food and gas prices soar, while salaries shrink. We feel, in a word, hopeless. It is difficult enough to support oneself in this environment but then add-on a spouse or a family and the stress multiplies.
We have only two options: spend less $ or make more $. Well, there are only so many hours in the day. With all of this weighing on the mind, how does a person ever get any…?
Adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. According to the experts at Webmd, getting less than this can cause a “sleep debt” which leads to impaired functioning, memory loss and/or lowered immunity.
What if you are working two jobs to secure more (#2) money? When do you sleep? What if your spouse is the cause of your sleep problems because he or she tosses and turns or snores all night long? When you are so exhausted, so worn out, how do you ever find the time or the desire for…?
Here we are right back where we started! Get some sleep folks! Guaranteed you will feel a whole bunch better.
Some good sources for Sex, Money, Sleep:
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