Saturday, March 31, 2007

Because everyone needs to pull up a seat

especially with a view like this...

This is one of my favorite parks. I post pictures from here each year. I'm sure I'll post again later in the season once the flowers change over. In the mean time, I'll take lots of pictures during Spring Break.

Because I am that way.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Bring on the forgiveness

We interrupt the "Because" pictorial series for this announcement...

Alpha Theta Training is supposed to be emotionally healing for wounds of the psyche; it is often used to treat addictions and PTSD. The benefit of AT over hypnosis or talk therapy is that all the crap doesn't have to be dredged up again. It just happens spontaneously instead, almost like a tangent.

I've had close to 20 AT sessions. I find they relax me and are more productive than the other forms of EEG biofeedback (regardless of the fact that AT isn't specific for ADHD treatment) and, thank goodness, the Ph.D. generally lets me. She of the ADHD antsiness herself made me try some other things after about a dozen ATs and I fiinally had to tell her they didn't work as well.

For the last three or four AT sessions, I have worn headphones. Although they're mono and I wear a plug in the opposite ear, they intensify the sounds I'm supposed to hear (gurgling water for Alpha state and rolling waves for Theta state, plus bells or gongs) and block the misc office noise that I find so distracting.

The situation with the headphones is kind of like bringing on a blessedly hard orgasm after you've been marginally satisfied with fizzlers previously. Now I often get a rapid succession of images, things I can't identify, but they bring such a general release. The relaxation can last for some time, up to two days. I can judge this by the muscles of my shoulders and back, how long they stay loose.

On Wednesday, I had a new sensation and it was very unexpected. My mother closed on a new home this week. I am so proud of her and all she's been able to do on her own. During that AT session, I was filled with such overwhelming, glowing, warm love for her, I began to cry. Wow, what a concept, to love and respect my mother and to feel it so deeply as to cry. Then I moved on to forgiveness, for her personal demons that prevented her from being a good parent, plus for her merely being human.

I mused whom else I should forgive. I tried with my father, but didn't do that well, and moved on to my sister, forgiving her for reacting to the same background and foibles as me.

I went on to ex and how I could forgive him for us basically not being suited for each other.

And I wondered whom else was left to forgive. P, of course. He'd tried to enter my mind previously, but I shut him out. Finally, I allowed him in my consciousness. I balled harder with this one, forgiving him for having no backbone and truly being a victim of his upbringing, never able to rise beyond that.

I fully realize that each case has a backhanded element, but I think it is best to forgive someone for who/what they are rather than make light. I have hated the excuse of being human to explain people's faults, but I need to accept it.

Forgiveness has been a conscious goal for some time, but I am entirely too mired in the past to do it. Perhaps I can do better now. It's days later and I am still filled with calm forgiveness. I never anticipated it to happen, but I hope I can keep it up.

Let the forgiveness stick.

Because bulbs bring in the season

and I no longer harbor ill will toward the Dutch, but will explain later...

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Because star magnolias are stunning

and because I love this new camera so f'in much, I must flaunt what is right and beautiful in my life.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Because it's such a beautiful day and much better than typing

Weeping Cherry



Virginia Bluebells

Tomorrow, star magnolia, I think.
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Monday, March 26, 2007

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Timeline for my edification

Mem.phis kicked into overdrive Friday night around 10pm. He's been at my house about 7.5 hours, mostly hiding under my bed, under the old office desk, under the couch, or under the china cabinet.

He kept me awake almost all night - pacing, purring, playing in my bedroom. Very sweet. Good bonding time.

Finally, I started sleeping around 7am on Saturday and slept to 10 or 11.

I didn't see him all day, although I did search/call/use flashlight. He seemed to have eaten and used the litter box. I figured his clock is off and I need to reset it, although he'll probably be most active at night for a while.

He finally woke up and came out of hiding around 3. He let me pet him in my bedroom, not quite as vigorously as during the night, but very much there and interested. However, as I was getting ready and re-entered my room too quickly, he scooted under my bed in fear and I lost track of him.

When I left at 4, I thought he was under my bed.

I met Ted for a movie (300, good but not great, as much as I am a Gerry fan. Not really understanding all the hype.) Ted actually paid for our two drinks ahead of time, the movie, and part of dinner. I decided to print off some certificates from - got $120 worth of food for $18.40. Current code is "madness." So, I paid only about $4 for the $25 certificate we used, with a $35 minimum purchase and he paid the balance. Somehow he figured out that I really can't afford this. [Hey Ted! Did you find my blog? I know you're interested again and I will not be encouraging you to update your computer any time soon. So there.]

After dinner, I came home for an hour to make sure the cat had not devoured the fish. He didn't. I put a box over the fish, but never saw the cat. I also closed the three bedroom doors and both bathroom doors so I might figure out his hiding place. I arranged his hard food in the kitchen, so that if he were downstairs and not locked up in the bedrooms, I'd be able to tell.

I stayed at Ted's and got home at noon on Sunday. The food downstairs had not been touched. There was no misc poop in a closed off bedroom as far as I can tell.

Either he's still in hiding upstairs someplace or he's dead downstairs. There's no way he got outside. I do have a junky house, but jeez this is ridiculous.

I am at a loss. It's been almost 24 hours since I've seen him. This cat is driving me crazy. My ears are prickly, wanting to hear the bell and jumping at every creek.

Ted just called after getting my message. He thinks it's a hiding cat like his mother's. He thinks I'm sounding like his senile mother, who can never find hers. He thinks I don't need to spend the next dozen years looking for a cat who doesn't want to be found, particularly after having a gem like Sad!e.

I just don't know, as I sit and wait for a little bell to tinkle.

Ted and I were planning on a long walk shortly. Don't know now.

I wanted a cat for comfort, not stress. Please let us all adjust gracefully.

I have a vet appt for him at 5 tomorrow, per the adoption agreement. It'll be mighty embarrassing to say we could not find the cat to go.

Almost 4pm, I was dejected and went to lay down. The covers had been folded down to the end. I put my feet under the comforter. It was warm and fuzzy. It was a cat, very ahppy to see me.

Perhaps he's very tired from what he's been through, but I was inches away from him several times today. He's skinny, but ate half a can of Fancy Feast (not on the killer list). However, I am glad to have a vet appointment for him tomorrow. The booger.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Bustin' out


Casing the new place


Mem.phis was on to the red indicator and the flash of the camera right away. I got two pictures in the pet store with his eyes open, then none again.

It took almost eight hours, but Mem.phis decided he was comfortable last night around 10. Feeling safe, he came up from downstairs, where I wasn't sure of his hiding place, and scooted under my bed again. I sat by him and talked to him. Within a minute or two, he leapt at my hand to pet him and that was all she wrote. He throws himself into being petted, pacing and purring so loudly you can hear him across the room.

Like any new baby, he kept me up all night.

When I told ex, he reminded me what he did with Jell0. If he caught him sleeping during the day, he'd squirt him with a squirt gun. I don't want to resort to that, but I will.

He's eaten and used the litter box, so I think he'll be a good house cat.

His only real misbehaving is with his fascination for Janie Betta. The one time I dozed off last night, I woke to find his head in her bowl. At least he wasn't wet yet. Janie was frightened to death and is now sleeping under a rocky ledge on the bottom, darting quickly to the top to breath. I put a knee high stocking over the lip of the bowl, even used a light colored one, but the bowl is darker and I'm sure it'll be cooler. May need another solution.

I emailed J at his dad's and followed up with a call, but haven't heard back. I thought it would be good to do this while he was away, just so the cat would be bothered less. As it is, I think the cat likes being bothered. They'll be great together, although Memph does like playing hard. It's fun having a younger cat around; I am doubting that he's six.

This would have definitely brought out the inner bitch in Sad!e, but she'll always be Queen. Now we have our jester.
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Friday, March 23, 2007

RIP Aar0n, Welcome M3mphis

When I called the pet rescue place this morning, she said that one animal at the pet store was removed last night because of a drippy nose. She said to call the store to figure out which one. At the store, they said that two were removed, A.aron (the affectionate tuxedo I loved on Wednesday afternoon) and another, but not Mem.phis.

So I figured that made up my mind for me. Mem.phis for now.

I inquired somemore at the store, wondering if I could get A.aron later and one of the techs said that A.aron wasn't expected to make it. He's lost a lot of fluids and was ill all over the place.

They think it was his food.

Which they now say is rat poison.

I hope his statistic counts, even if he was an unowned pet.

I am very sad about him and will call the pet rescue people next week to ask about him. I wonder how much vet care they'll put into him.

In the meantime, Mem.phis is home and hiding out, per expectations. I did get a collar with a bell on him, so I can tell his movements inside. He cried in the pet carrier coming home (I liked hearing his soft voice, as he isn't a talker like Sad!e was), but he still nuzzled my finger. He has such a great disposition. Later, he was happy enough when J pulled him out of hiding to be held even by ex, who was quite surprised at his laid back nature. However, until Mem.phis gets all the junky nooks and crannies figured out, he'll be relatively anti-social, I think.

I just hope he is a bed kitty.

I can hear him finally eating, good progress.

Pictures when he comes out of hiding.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Working on it

We are in cat withdrawals around here. Yesterday, I realized that I am severely touch deprived. J is kitty kiss deprived. In fact, I kissy-kissy-kissed his shoulder yesterday morning in an ill-fated attempt to make him purr. He kinda shrugged and stated that he misses kissing Sad!e, too. She had a great head she'd bow for kisses.

I've looked at a couple pet stores that house rescues. The costs vary tremendously and, of course, the one(s) we want are $135 each. I've inquired about a multi-cat discount and found out who to call tomorrow. J said he wanted to take $50 out of his savings at his dad's to help toward the cat and then came home with $60 this morning. I kinda doubt that his dad went to the bank, so I guess ex is contributing, too.

A different rescue outfit showing a few cats in another pet store chain only charges $85 each, but has a manifesto of an application which states that writing down your vet's name constitutes permission to contact the vet and make sure that all the care is up to date. If not, there is a $700 penalty fee. Although I don't believe they wouldn't check up on things without cause, I would have to have that hanging over my head.

Another rescue place only houses cats in foster homes, so it's more difficult to see them. They don't have another adoption day for a month, but adopting two from them is only $99 total.

There is a county shelter that only charges $45 for cats, very reasonable.

None of these require a home study (heh), but many others do.

With the application process of the $135 one, the earliest we could have them is next week. Problem is, J is already attached to Neme.sis who will be renamed Mem.phis, a black version of Sad!e with his slender build and quizzical gaze. The other, who I met today for the first time, is A.aron, a b/w tuxedo cat who just acquired his name in the last month and will potentially become Geron.imo, after Jell-A-Mo and Moe.

I am also working on the lawsuit stuff. Huzzah! I called my insurance and they are looking to re-open the case; they seem to have extra interest when a law suit is involved. I am figuring to know something by next Friday.

I also inquired with my old credit union to see about my account and a loan. Turns out, my account was terminated, but for some stupid reason J's wasn't, so I am re-joining through him. Once processed, I can apply for loans immediately.

This is all significant progress for this terminal avoider.


Lastly, I didn't get laid last night. I decided to work on a facet of our relationship. There are three areas I want to address: trust/honesty, hair.piece, and finances/cheapness. I figured doing one at a time was enough.

I told him that the way he declared himself ready for sex made it all momentous to me, inhibiting me and making ME sexually shy even. The way it was transpiring made me visit more fully questions I have. I specifically said I had red flags and have gotten burnt in the past by not being more forceful about red flags. He feels strongly that I am holding baggage of my last relationship over him and it isn't fair, that he had no other girlfriend, isn't cheating, etc. I said those aren't even the issues. I don't like when he's evasive and can't even tell me his age or height. He countered that I could just look at him for either, but my stated point (and Richard's) is that he won't come clean on the most basic things and how could I trust him on something bigger. (And he didn't even take the opportunity to come clean then.)

I also said that when I ask him where he is when he calls (he called on Tuesday, unusual, during the day to try to prompt me to take care of the calling I needed to do - a sweet and caring gesture) and he responds, 'here and there,' it is not appropriate. He drives around the county with his job; it's not that I am checking up on him, but I do expect answers within the context of a conversation. Unfortunately, I've learned to not push him for answers; meanwhile, he asks me about everything and I chat away. It is quite lopsided and I am sick of it.

He says he asks all the questions and I need to ask more, however I believe that one offers up what they can in a conversation and it should not be contingent on specific questions. I am also learning that when someone asks you a question, their real goal is to be asked the same thing back.

I am making this conversation sound more civil that it was. He has a bad ADHD habit of taking a small, tangential detail, going down the slippery slope, then making a joke about it. I feel unacknowledged and demeaned, unable to go back to my original point. I did raise my voice (not yell) and I did get frustrated.

He also kind of plead at the outset that things are going really well, so please don't get all serious in bringing up a topic for a deep conversation. He couldn't get past his okay-ness to see my doubts and realize the only way to dispel my doubts is to talk.

By the end of that conversation, he admitted that it is very difficult for him to open up and he knows this is a problem, that he will try to work on it. He always concedes after a while, but it is so stressful to get to that point.

Norma, who I talked to today, countered that he ought not give me his baggage concerning trust about opening up. Tit for tat in her book.

While I am no nonsense about dating, he is what I call 'best behavior' dating where you have this honeymoon period which is fun but lacks fundamental truthfulness and initiates bad habits for down the road.

For the third facet to be discussed, I want to talk some here about the cheapness issue, as I cannot afford us dating. He kinda wants things split 50-50, except I am on a fixed income and it isn't possible. On Saturday, when he, J, and I spent 13 hours together, I chose not to create a scene two different times relating to money and I have not had the chance to bring it up, because I believe one topic was plenty for the discussion last night.

We'd gone to play pool/darts. There is free pool until 4pm, so I had to turn in the balls then to get my license back. I had to settle up for our pitcher of beer and nachos, plus J's kid's meal and drink. It totalled $32, including tip. I went back to play darts and told him that I'd settled up.

We ordered another pitcher, but I only had one glass. When it was time to leave, he said something to the waitress about the previous tab and I said again that I'd paid already. He didn't ask how much and I didn't volunteer.

Later, we went to a diner for dinner. The basic bill there was $28, almost identical. He looked at it, then turned to me and said I should get out cash to cover the tip.

My jaw dropped perceptibly and he asked what was wrong. I could not fathom how he didn't know what was wrong. I didn't want to have words in the restaurant or in front of my son.

But jeez, isn't that tight? That's something you do in college, split the bill and tip.

As it was, he'd met us at the train show, so he only paid his $6 admission and got over on the $9 it took for J and I to get it.

See, I can't afford chauffeuring duties and $50 each time we go out. (In fact, he's still not paid me for the $50ish I told him he owed me after our 'feed the meter' fight two weeks ago.)

He asked yesterday what I am doing this weekend, because J will be gone and I just stared blankly and replied, "Nothing." Rather than take the bull by the horns, he offered nothing in return, as he is incapable of planning something in advance and making such a commitment. As it is, I don't think I can afford going out with him.

I do not mean to make him out to be an ogre, because he does have many redeeming qualities, not to mention that I seemingly make him very happy. He gazes at me so sweetly. He generally fawns over me and it feels very good. I fear that the things that don't feel good are terminal, or that I have to work too damn hard to affect change.

ETA: He just called and asked if I'm still angry. I said I was never angry. So he asked annoyed. And I said I wasn't annoyed. I was trying to get something straightened out and, if I didn't give a shit (to coin his phrase from two weeks ago), I wouldn't bring it up. He seemed to understand, however, in a bonehead move he didn't need to revisit to the past baggage claim again, but he did and I told him it was irrelevant and he needed to get over that.

I am guessing he walked around on egg shells today. Good.

He did fess up to a single's group friend (who I also know and had an email relationship with about four years ago) that we're going out; the guy called him today. The guy invited us to a gathering next Friday, but I have my son. I hope Ted goes anyway. Ted also mentioned to him that we play pool/darts a lot and the guy was very interested in joining us. The guy is a cutie pie who loves to dance, a real Romeo, but with a philosophical depth to his partying self. I like him, although we don't suit. He's been married about four times and maintains a lot of relationships with exes etc (read: fuck buddies) and, goodness knows, I'm not up for that type. But, man, he can fill out a pair of Levis.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Conquering the head rug demon

I've been talking to my friend, Richard, a lot lately. We'll go through spells where we talk once a month, but we've been talking/emailing a few times a week for a while. It is perfect having a guy friend as a sounding board, especially one who knows you so well and loves you so much.

I'd told him about the hair.piece last week and he was rather incredulous. Richard has a receding hairline and doesn't exactly have black-guy-bald going on, but it is clipped very short so you just barely see the outline of his hair. I envy his confidence about everything and he just takes it all in stride. He makes me laugh, too, and that is so sexy.

When I complained yesterday about how hard it is to kiss a guy whilst avoiding the third party, that I am all over the whole head gripping, petting, stroking, and grabbing for all a passionate kiss is worth, he replied heartily with a laugh, "It's been a while, but oh I remember it quite well, Honey."

I am shocked at the passion Ted elicits from me, that I do want to grab him that way.

So I thought of a great line for today. I do not think I have the nerve to use it, but it's an ace up my sleeve as I contemplate.

"I've never fucked a guy wearing a hair.piece before. I'd like to keep it that way."

Richard said he'd be ripping the sucker off.

It gives Ted a choice, but it boarders on ultimatum as well. I'm curious how Ted would take it, as he is the sensitive sort as much as he would not want to admit it. I don't know how long he's worn the thing, if he might have plug scarring or something, and I figure it probably looks funny naked with all the longer hair around the sides. I think it is dyed to match the top. Oh, yeah, dyed male hair is just one more thing I am loathe to see. How on Earth could I get him to lose the top and naturalize the sides? This project feels daunting.

If I had my druthers, I'd probably prefer the bald or close to bald look like Richard.

On the flip side, I wonder, "Who am I to say?" However, if I don't say, then, "Who am I to stick around and feel uncomfortable?" And, goodness, wouldn't it be stupid to waste a relationship over a squirrely slab of acrylic?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

She was there

I am numb and broken inside. Too much stress.

I need to try to figure out the law suit thing, not sure how. Plus received notification that my house payment went up $77/month yesterday. That makes a $225/mo increase since June. I do have an ARM, but in 4 years, it's only gone from 4% to 5.85%, so the increases are all in the tax appraisals. I do not understand how property values can drop and my appraisal goes up. Repeatedly.

I feel whipped.

I did see Ted last Wednesday night and he's finally decided he's ready for sex (I was on the rag and opted out then), the concept of which completely stopped me in my tracks. For once, though, thank goodness for the rag, huh? Too much pressure. Why now? I feel such weight about it. I swore to myself that I would find a way to talk about it with him before THE day, tomorrow, but I haven't.

We sorta got the argument of the previous Saturday taken care of: he feels that my ADHD gave me a false self-observation/self-monitoring (an ADHD characteristic about which I was unaware) when I sassily told him to feed the meter per (my take...) our prearranged agreement and the tone we often use with each other. He also said he didn't yell, then he said he didn't yell much, then he conceded that perhaps his ADHD induced some false self-observation/self-monitoring of his own.

When I finally said (although I'd thought it for 24 hours) that I was meeting him half way in the argument, but he wasn't meeting me, that he finally broke through. I think us coming out of the argument made him feel stronger for us. While I like and enjoy him, I think it served to do the opposite for me. I do not like to be yelled at.

While I don't know if it's too late to be friends again, we did have a good time with my son on Saturday. We all met at a train show, went to a darts store to buy a replacement for a broken piece on my darts, went to Low.e's to 'borrow' their tools because my dart had a broken piece stuck in a piece I needed, went to a bar/restaurant to play pool and darts, went to two pet stores to look at dogs and cats, and went to J's favorite diner. Total: 13 hours. I'll admit to not feeling it the first couple hours, but I was pretty much fine with him after that.

Okay, if you must and because I have to provide a laugh in here someplace and because I a dying for some advice from someone with experience in the matter, I must confess: Ted wears a hair.piece. He's short and it adds a couple inches to his height. He also has a small head and it makes it look bigger. He has a ring of natural hair around the edges.

The more I see it, the more I hate it. When he yelled at me a week ago, all I could see was that hair.piece; it gave him a measure of the absurd that I cannot shake. Since then, I have felt like I am the woman with the guy with the hair.piece, a hypersensitivity I didn't have before. I am conscious of people looking at him, then his hair. Or laughing behind him when he doesn't see. Surely he must sense? I think it is another case of ADHD self-observation/self-monitoring gone awry.

I'll admit that the sides and back look alright, it's mostly where it meets his forehead that it looks fake. I remember telling my therapist two months ago that I think he wears a hair.piece, that there's something funky, and she relied, "If you think it is, then it definitely is." Okay, then. She thinks it is funny and is useless in helping me try to tactfully bring up the subject.

Now I wonder if I could sleep with a guy in a hair.piece, so I feel like I need to tackle both subjects by tomorrow. As it is, I feel like there's a pink elephant in the room, a third entity in the bed - his head is essentially off limits. Imagine kissing a man (or doing anything else) and the man has a wiry, bristly, yucky, synthetic rug. I've brushed it by accident, certainly never run my fingers through it. I like touching a guy's head, bald or not. I don't care about bald and I've said so many times to him, for example, with Jack Nickl.eson at the Oscars.

Whatever. Thing is, he's pretty good in bed so far and I really enjoy talking to him. He's gotten to where he calls more routinely now. Some things are good. He's good with my son. He likes the sense of belonging with us. I need to figure out if the yelling that turned me can get turned back.

Moving on, the following tribute is not finished, but I need to get it off my chest. It covers my adulthood and my cat.

I love my cat. She is in my freezer awaiting me getting the nerve to get ex to pony up on the taxidermy money. I found a guy who will do it for $400.

My son wants another cat, but he's not understanding that shopping is just shopping for now. God knows, I don't have a couple hundred dollars for replacement(s) considering I spent $360 on Sad!e this month. Yeah, if I got another, I'd actually want two that are already pair-bonded or at least could be.

My Sexy Sad!e: With Me Night and Day

She was there for my adult life, my Sexy Sad!e.

Her namesake:

He's got a good ol' friend name o' "Texas Ben"
Tells him all the spots to play
And a sweet little lady, he calls her "Sexy Sad!e"
She's a' with the boy night and day
Brand New Country Star
By: Jimmy

She was there for me when I moved to this state all alone in August 1988 a few months ahead of my husband so he could end his job and I could start mine.

She was there in the pound only five weeks old. She sat sanely in the kitten cage amongst the melee, calm with her head cocked slightly to her right, huge lavender ears tilted askew, her watching me back with a tiny smudge of kitten goo on her forehead.

She was still there two days later when I decided to pursue the adoption, the smudge gone and her amongst the melee of all the other kittens. I knew the calm wisdom she was capable of, though.

She was there for Jell0 the 5+ yo stray I'd just moved up with me, in his transition to being an affectionate stray to being the sweet, wheezy purr you could hear throughout the house.

She was there on my shoulders quickly after I went to answer the door. I'd scooped her up in my hands to keep her from going outside, but I learned the hard way she did not like to be held, so she clawed her way up to pace around my neck. I learned. Do not pick up the Sad!e.

She was there for me as I worked third shift. Floppy, I could position my tiny pair bond how and where I wanted, she was always so easy. Her favorite place was curled up behind my knees as I slept on my side.

She was there on the stairs on the weekends, eyes swollen with tiredness as she tried to persuade me to go up to sleep my customary daytime shift and provide her the 24/7 bedtime co-sleeping company she enjoyed so much.

She was there with Jell.o as we bought our house the next year and they could go outdoors on the more quiet street.

She was there with me in the shower, making me buy clear shower curtains so she could sit on the edge of the tub inside the cotton curtain and watch.

She was there two years later in my deep, lonely sorrow as my husband left for what we thought was a one year tour to Korea in 1991, but painfully lasted 26 months until 1993, negative ground our marriage could never make up.

She was there when precious Jell.o was hit by a car days later and I was otherwise alone to deal with this added layer of sorrow.

She was there on my lap always. She didn't mind the ugly recliner that my husband insisted upon, then Sad!e and I commandeered.

She was there, jealous as many other cats and dogs filtered through our lives, yet retaining her status as Queen.

She was there sneaking in the living room where I spontaneously decided to store the foyer's oriental rug in there last thing before I left for Korea in 1993, still there when I closed tight the French doors.

She was there and alive, somehow, two weeks later.

She was there as I was ill with endo and depression, working full time and going to graduate school, stretched and stretched beyond my means.

She was there as I gardened, by my side and intensely interested. She always thought I did the neatest things.

She was there as I walked outside down the sidewalk, her crying and only following so far, fearful I was going to fall off the edge of the Earth.

She was there as my ex-SIL commented that Sad!e liked to play rough. Sad!e didn't mind a vigorous rubbing, even enjoyed hanging by her tail. [Note to self: sure wish I had videos of Sad!e swinging by her tail and purring, wanting to do it again.]

She was there as my husband left for a new job in Germ.any or Bos.nia in January 1997, there when I learned the next day that I was pregnant after eleven years of marriage.

She was there on that same recliner as I suffered otherwise alone, ill and gestating for the duration.

She was there, my runt of a cat larger than my runt of a baby, although they weighed virtually the same. [Note to self: find the pictures.]

She was there making room on my lap for the new addition, her nine years old by then.

She was there only four months later when we moved and I could only bring one cat, leaving four beloved kitties to be cared for by our friend-renter.

She was there and quite scared with the new digs, but she came to love it and how she could sneak out on the balcony and hop off to go for adventures - and to freak out the dog downstairs.

She was there as a pet for my son, him constantly lectured that other cats aren't so nice, so don't play hard with them.

She was there for me when we moved here in 2002, me heartbroken from my failed marriage and spending too much time in bed.

She was there in the sliding glass door, sunning herself and watching the birds.

She was there on the warm cable box; thank goodness replacing them is free.

She was there, hogging the desk.

She was there minding her own business, not able to hear conversation any longer, but able to hear if I shouted her name.

She was there, following the beam of the flashlight and comforted by it when she could not hear me.

She was there, waiting on me to finish a yummy food so that she could like the plate of microwave dish. Her most recent favorite was TGIFriday's spinach and artichoke dip.

She was there at the entry door glass, staring at the world and entranced with the notion of the outside.

She was there under the lawn chair, secured by a shiny fuchsia ribbon as a leash.

She was there prowling behind the fences, enjoying both her freedom and her escorts.

She was there in the middle of the game board just last week, like a proper cat.

She was there talking, purring, and responding to me for almost two decades.

She was there by her water up on the bathroom sink, waking me up with her collar tag, drinking the day she died.

She was there by her food, wanting to eat, but couldn't.

She was there downstairs when I left, but climbed upstairs and onto the bed while I was gone on the day she died.

She was there as the daughter I never had.

She was there with such a big heart and wanting so much to live.

She was there peeing on my pillow as an extra, strangely appreciated gift.

She was there laying parallel with me on the bed and sharing my pillow. That's how I remember her the best.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Time Traveler's Mom

Thank you so much for your thoughts, comments, emails, and cards. It really means a lot. We lost a member of the family and you understand. I especially appreciate Karen's sentiment: 19 years is a long time, but obviously not enough.


I have one more post about Sad!e beyond this one. It gives insight into what she saw me through, if you don't know about my tortured life. She was the one abiding influence throughout my adulthood and she spent it on my lap.

I wrote the following yesterday and you'll see why I hesitate to post it.


As you probably know, I am not a religious person. Nor am I spiritual. I used to be both. Very much so.

Nowadays, I cannot separate the idea of spirituality and religion, as they both speak to something higher that I do not feel. In single's ads, there are often separate tick boxes for each. Sometimes the non-religious, yet highly spiritual, think they have something in common with me, but it is quickly evident that they don't. I have no affinity for any of it.

Back when we were together, ex and I used to comment, "Sad!e knows." She had this wisdom about her and I'd secretly wondered if she was a reincarnated human. She was uncanny.

Speaking of uncanniness, something strange happened here yesterday. I cannot rationally explain it, so I won't really try to be logical. I need to record it, so I am.

The night Sad!e died, I spent until the wee hours at Ted's. Around 4am Thursday morning, I crawled into my own bed, Sad!e's collar in my tight fist. My stiff neck doesn't like high pillows and I was using the edge of a pile of three, the same Sad!e had been using all week. Even though she wasn't there, of course, I think I didn't jostle them to flatten them out of habit, a respect for her.

Lately, she really seemed to like facing the fish bowl on her pile of pillows. Maybe it was the light, maybe the gentle movement of Janie Betta.

Here she is on Tuesday, except the pillows are too far from the fish bowl. Please excuse the cat boogers and Vitamin B12 stains.

When my son got home around 7am Thursday morning, I gave him the top pillow to sleep on as he feistily grabbed Sad!e's collar for his own fist. I slept on the edge of the remaining two. Around 8:30, he got up for school and I piled the three pillows back together.

My goal for the day was to wash the crusty sheets, but I could not bring myself to do it.

Mid-afternoon, I decided to lay down until J got back from school. It was around 3:30, 24 hours since Sad!e died. I pulled the top pillow downward to finally adjust it for myself when I realized it was wet on the bottom. It had a circle of wetness about 3" across toward the center back edge. I looked at the next pillow down and it was even wetter, with the same circle that had abutted the top pillow.

The moisture went no further downwards or upwards. It was a pocket between the two pillows.

It smelled distinctly of cat pee.

When he got home from school, I showed the pillows to J, matching up the circles. They were still moist, although they did dry completely a very few hours later. When prompted, he said they smelled like cat pee.

As ill as Sad!e was, I had marveled at how she never had any urinary accidents, in particular during the stress of that last week. Even if she had, there's no way these spots could have remained wet for over 24 hours between when we took her in and when I found them, especially because the pillows had been apart and exposed to air. J had the top one for several hours and the pillows definitely didn't smell of pee before that. My bionic nose would have picked up on it.

Sad!e came to visit.

It makes no sense, but Sad!e knows everything. I trust her.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Chronicle of a Beloved Cat: Our Sad!e

With Jell0 in the kitchen window, 1988. He doted on her. She tried to nurse from him.

With kitten ears only a mother could love, Sad!e in the kitchen window, basking in the sun on her skinny bones as she did her whole life.

In the house we bought in 1989, very early on (brown carpet covered beautiful oak hardwood from the previous owners) as I was transitioning them to be inside and outside cats on our quiet street. I'd put the chair in front of the door and they'd sit for hours together. The neighborhood thought the cats on the chair were a circus attraction.

For many years, my Xmas tree was exclusively decorated with ornaments I'd created. As the time, I loved stitching samplers, so combining elements for this 6" stocking truly defined me. I designed a pattern for precious Jell0, on the left who towered a bit over tiny Sad!e on the right, permanent reminders of and tribute to our little family.

Another one of her favorite places.

Our house had beautiful radiator covers and Sad!e commandeered this one in the living room.

I had hand quilted the runner - should try to find it as it is still covered in her. That's a dapper ex pictured in the background and various antique toys scattered about. I got the pinball game on the right for my eleventh Xmas. One of those planes was my grandfather's. That was our decorating motif: antique toys, i.e. junk we could play with. Yeah, we decorated with toys and cats.

For many years, people would comment that we needed to have children and I would reply that my cats satisfied my every maternal instinct, as I didn't have my son until I was 35 and married 11 years; Sad!e was 9 when J was born. Before him, these pets were valued children who did not require babysitters.

This was the rare 'five on one bed' maneuver of one incarnation of our cat family. Some of the kitty competition: Bob, a manic Manx; Moe, after Jell-a-mo who'd gotten hit by a car and a XL scardy cat; Callie, the mother to Sallie and Moe who had the sweetest kitty voice imaginable; Sallie, intense, beautiful, clingy, and clunky; Sad!e, seething at Callie, whom she hated.

Fast forward through years I don't have scanned, Sad!e wore that same yellow collar for probably a decade. Finally a mischievous toddler took it off. Although the lining was felt, it wore away the fur around her neck, so she had a permanent bald strip.

J's aliens, Sad!e's bald neck from her yellow collar.

Last June, when I contemplated our summer travel and feared me or a caretaker misplacing our deaf cat, I got her a pink collar with a pink disc identifier. This tag was no ordinary tag, as both sides were engraved with four lines each, packed with everything anyone would ever need.

On the go last summer: she'd become enthralled with the outdoors again and I allowed it due to her new labeling. We would often take her for walks around the neighborhood and I began having to watch the door so she wouldn't sneak out. Notice her tail held straight up, the ultimate sign of kitty happiness. You can also tell between this and the chair picture, above, that she had prissy, slender legs with very flexible feet, which combined to give her gait a frilly, dance-like quality, almost like she glided on her toes.

The new pink collar came with a little bell, handy when seeking a deaf cat. It was so familiar, hearing the clink of the bell and the metal tag, even though it hasn't been that long since she began wearing it. I came to identify it with her and would listen a little more acutely when I would hear the first jingle as I waited to figure out where she was going.

Since beginning on Fancy Feast a year and a half ago, she'd often carry around a bit on her mouth for later. She never had hair in front of her ears and it seems more obvious in some pictures.

A peaceful moment in January. Deaf cats sleep very deeply, many waking startled and mean when frightened. Sad!e's disposition wouldn't have allowed that; she never hissed or scratched.
She'd groomed herself less and less over the years, finally depending on J and I to keep her coat smooth, something you can tell we did with varying regularity.

The last time Sad!e woke me up yesterday morning, as she and her pillow-hogging, sneezing ways woke me often, was the sound of that bell. She'd gotten down from the bed, gone to the bathroom, jumped on the commode, and onto the counter in order to drink some water per usual; that's when I heard the bell, after she was at her destination. She wanted so much to live, still doing all she could until the end. Not long after that, I'd carried her downstairs to her favorite window, but when I returned home after biofeedback, she's climbed back upstairs and onto the bed. By herself.

Tough, persistent little kitty. She loved our bed until the end.

My son says goodbye.

I weep goodbye. Her head, usually bowed in anticipation, is instead bowed in simple exhaustion, waiting for me to kiss it yet again.

Sleep, My Pretties. You'll always be my babies.

I slept with her collar clasp in my hand last night. When my son returned from visitation early this morning, he snatched it up and slept with it until it was time for school.

We still feel her so much.

Per my son's wishes and ex's willingness to pay, Sad!e will go to a taxidermist. I didn't really care one way or the other, but this evening I had a change of heart. She's been in the refrigerator and the taxidermist said to get her in the freezer. I decided to look at her during the change over and she looks absolutely beautiful, so peaceful. Kissing her felt like normal and filled such a need. I think I'd like to be able to kiss her in the future, too.

Completing this life cycle post, picture below of a gorgeous, happy, loved dead cat who the veterinary staff did justice by wrapping in a very special blanket....













Gosh, I love this incredible cat.

A Birthday Roast: Redux

July 19, 1988 - March 14, 2007
A Tribute in Many Parts

Originally posted July 19, 2005

To my Sad!e, who turns 17 years old today.

To my booger licking companion, who sneezes in my face regularly.

To my pair bond who must stay so close that she's earned the nickname BC Cat, for Birth Control Cat.

To my intimate friend, who grips her perch atop my chest, as my man puts me in the grips of an orgasm down below.

To my buddy who never strays more than a foot or two, except when that yummy new food is involved.

To my aged friend, who now takes two medicines and is on a prescription low protein diet, I love you with all my heart and my greatest desire is to do right by you, as you have done for me these 17 years.

Monday, March 12, 2007

As we ready ourselves

Our beloved is dying. She's still getting around, but for the first time in her long, happy life, she is content to be picked up and carried up the stairs. She calls us to tend her. Right now, she's sitting here on the desk under my chin, her head within easy kissing distance. It is one of her favorite places to be. There were times I got tired of the awkwardness of her head on my mouse hand, but I know how much I will miss that.

All these pictures were taken today.

Another favorite place of hers is sitting on the commode as I shower. She's been showering with me for almost 19 years now.

Today, she has had some water, her pills, her fluids. She ate a bite or two, not much. I made the mistake of feeding her a little yogurt twice yesterday, something she liked more than anything else, but it made her ill. At the time, I didn't realize the problem and figured it would be the end last night or today I would choose the end.

Based on that, I kept my son from school today thinking we would take her in. I also asked if ex wanted to come in today as he dropped J off, if he wanted to say goodbye. He was quite sweet, coming in, giving me a hug, and calling at lunch to see if we'd gone in.

My poor son. I cannot comfort him, as I am too torn up. Those are both of our tears on the pillow. Grief is difficult, yet I do not want to shield him from it.

I haven't been able to call about going in with her. She's old and sick, but she doesn't seem ready to die. She's still following us around and participating, albeit slowly. And I don't want to do it today merely because it is more convenient than the coming days.

Yesterday, I researched buying some yard markers and found options. I also decided I need to find something to bring to the vet when we carry her home. At our old house, we once buried a black lab, Elw00d, in a cotton chenille bedspread from my grandmother. I buried Sa.die's best buddy, Jell0, with a Chinese porcelain bowl full of milk.

I thought to bury Sa.die with a cotton receiving blanket from when J was tiny. Then it popped into my head the three piece set I've kept in the closet for eight years awaiting my new arrival who never came. Instead of ever using it on a human babe, the blanket will escort my true love into the ground and she will be wearing such love and hope, laced with sincere appreciation for being in our lives.

Play, my Sweet Sad!e Belle. Play.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

If that weren't enough

My cat is sick. She started with a cold on Wednesday, probably the drippiest I've seen and she is master of the cold. Gets them routinely.

However, this time her appetite is shot; she's interested in food, hovers around it, but doesn't take much. I started with B12 injections on Saturday to see if it would pep her up. She seems to feel better, but is not to the point of being good again. They wanted me to bring her in to the vet on Saturday, but I said I would not bring her in and pay $100 for them to tell me she needed to be put down. I sort of forced their hand in prescribing $20 worth of B12.

She's still climbing stairs and jumping on my bed, so she's functional and aware. The sub-cutaneous fluids help tremendously. She does not feel well, but I do not think she is suffering.

I'll do the B12s for now. I also started her on a course of antibiotics I had left from her cold a year ago. If they don't help, I will make a decision. I could not do it with my son at his dad's this weekend. If it comes to it so soon, I'll see about tomorrow, when he gets out of school early. It's important to me that he participate.

I have no clue what to do with her body. I remember my mother declining recently on getting the ashes of her dog. I have no idea how much something like that must cost. At our old house, we had two pets buried in the back yard. I do not know how I could possibly dig a hole for my cat, but maybe that process would be helpful for my son. To bury her and get a plaque.

What have you done for special pets?

PS - Checked the mail today to find a civil suit against me for $4500. I was not aware of the problem and would have appreciated a heads up before hand. I'll have to re-fi or something to pay it, but I am checking with my insurance, as they may pay. It's complicated. Anyway, does anyone know if can I just pay it and not go to court? Do I need a lawyer if I plan to pay somehow? Anyone?

My high beta has exploded through the top of my brain.

I guess I complicated things too much by asking

Ted was supposed to be here at 3pm Saturday, but I tried calling both of his numbers to tell him that I was running late. He didn't answer. I learned later that he mother had tried to call about 20 times. Between that and other things (of his invention), he was frazzled.

He finally arrived here about 3:30, having called when close and complaining about various stressors and what all he needed to remember before leaving his house. I think he felt rushed working with my timescale, which was what we actually agreed on. Thing is, I am apparently the only one of us time-conscious enough to follow through. That said, thirty minutes late isn't so bad for him, yet his take on it seemed to carry over on the evening.

We drove to the other city. Yup, it's the same city that I broke up with P and Luke in. Perhaps I should learn my lesson and not go back? Funny how relationships are seemingly fine one-on-one, but the stress of family/friend socialization is too much.

Along the way, Ted's demented mother called, he actually answered per my urging, and she yelled a lot, saying that she hated him and hanging up. I know how difficult for him this all is for him. Later in the second bar, his mother's neighbor called, too, but he didn't answer because he didn't want the bar sounds in the conversation, because she's very religious. I do not know if he listened to the message from the neighbor, but actually come to think of it now his mailbox was full as I'd tried to leave a message before 3pm, so there probably was no message.

(His mother was freaking out that she had no food. It is an ordeal taking her to the grocery store on Saturdays - she's fallen at least twice since I've known of her - and he'd told her a week ago to get two week's worth of groceries, but she refused, even as he prodded her throughout the store. In dealing with her, he pretty much has to treat her like a child and not encourage behavior he doesn't want. She yelled on the phone that she had not had lunch or dinner and it was his fault. The truth is that Ted feels she's quite dramatic, a PITA her whole life, and that she didn't have cookies or ice cream - there was plenty of food. Now he says he's going to start buying her groceries for her, because she won't buy enough when he takes her. He loved my idea that he should have a speed dial for Chinese or pizza so that he could surprise her at times like this.)

That said, his mother is always freaking out, so this isn't anything new - mother, neighbor, yelling, hanging up. He usually takes it in stride. I have so much respect for what he goes through.

However, when we were almost there, he spilled some Pepsi on his shirt and had a hissy fit about the spill, equating it to other spills in his past, ruining clothes, and generally being inconsolable. He was yelling about his shirt and I was baffled - heck it was charcoal gray knit, so really, what would show? He raged that one thing will go wrong, then another, then another, and he'll explode as a result. So he refused to open his trail mix because it didn't come with a zip up bag and he was sure he would spill it, too. Tizzy, I tell ya. He was acting like a child himself.

I was nothing but gracious through all of this, figuring he started off the evening on an odd foot, but it would get better. Everybody gets PMS of some sort, I guess. It was only at the end of the evening that I added all these elements up in taking notes, wondering where the dynamic went wrong.

We went to one bar to meet folks and it was fine. We each had one beer, then moved on to the next bar. We each had two beers there (my point being that we had 3 beers in over four hours, so we were not drunk), then went with the crowd on a walking tour in which he flirted unmercifully with the tour guide, but I thought it was rather cute. He had this imp face and was really enjoying himself; the guide goddess was a real ham, so they fed each other. Precious. He had that same exceedingly happy look as when he played pool/goofed with my son a few weeks ago.

Turns out, without me knowing, he'd taken offense at me having given him a heads up about another guy at the first bar. Ted knew this guy had stated an interest in me several weeks ago at the Valentine's thing. This guy had IM'd me about two weeks ago and I had ignored it as if I had not received it, me wrongly thinking one guy at a time is enough. Ted said to go ahead and invite him to our table anyway, because the guy is a nice guy. So we included him. No big deal.

I had no idea the scope of his insecurities or jealousy issues. For that reason, I had no idea of the potential scope of the following conversation, which occurred in the midst of an otherwise good time.

Almost an hour after arriving at the second bar with this other guy coming along, too (but Ted strangely sure to get between that guy and I during the walk over), to join the larger crowd before the tour, I finally mentioned the issue I'd brought up in my last post about being discrete because of his desire for privacy, that I figured PDA was out - which was true as far as I could tell, because there's been no couple-y PDA and we'd been there two hours by then. We acted like animated friends, nothing more. Although I didn't realize it at the time (because he kept grabbing my butt - even holding my hand once - and making me laugh during the walking tour as he joked about the PDA concept) he took this all wrong, but I later told him that I know his privacy is paramount in his actions. For example, I had understood his desire to soon stop doing stuff with this group to mean that he didn't want anyone to know we were going out, but I did not know if that was his true intention. He doesn't like people knowing his business. I thought I was being respectful.

After the tour, we went back to the first bar mostly so I could use the bathroom. Lee, the Republican guy with whom Ted had had a big verbal fight was there. (During my and Ted's fight later, I said that he and Lee had argued a month ago and Ted sternly corrected me to say six weeks, so who the fuck is counting and affected? Then he railed on me for pointing out how specific he was being and how it must really matter to him.) Anyway, I hugged Lee; Ted shook his hand. It was good. I figured we'd all be able to hang as a group.

I then realized my parking meter had just run out and asked Ted to go feed the meter, per our agreement that he'd pay for the second half of the evening's parking. He seemed indignant that I would ask, as I was simultaneously incredulous that he wasn't following through with the plan. Finally, per the way we often loudly, jokingly spoke to each other (as in him calling me Bitch or telling me to be quiet), I was silly and yelled at him to go pay for my damn car and held out my keys.

He apparently felt like a whipping boy and refused. So I said I'd go do it myself, because I didn't want a ticket. I was two blocks away doing it myself (and planning on proceeding to another bar by myself in this not-so-great neighborhood) when he came along behind me for a shouting match. Well, it was a one-sided shouting match as I had nothing to shout about. He'd had a difficult evening, I spoke to him and joked the way we always do, he misunderstood my intentions, and I apologized for what I said and how it was taken wrong.

Not good enough.

I also said my feet hurt from wearing boots and I didn't want to walk to the meter if he could do it in tennies. He countered that at the beginning of the night, he commented on my square toed boots and I replied that they are more comfortable with the extra room in the toes. From this, he felt I was lying that after four hours on my feet and a walking tour that I wasn't justified about the rest of my feet hurting. Man, my feet don't follow the rules.

At one point after I was tiring of the verbal abuse, I interrupted him and pointed out how he was yelling and I wasn't, that it was reminiscent of his parent's house, him yelling being precisely what he said he was trying to avoid. (He'd previously said he feared marriage because he did not want to recreate that atmosphere and had repeatedly over time asked if I yell, which I don't. This concept is a big deal to him.) I didn't use the word hypocrite, but it is what I meant. I also told him to notice who was speaking calmly, logically, and rationally, the very ideals he criticized and found lacking in his previous arguments with women... and Lee.

He'd also heard something in the bar that I didn't say. His ears heard me say something about him and therapy to get over the situation with Lee - or something - within earshot of Lee (in a noisy crowded bar?) I don't know where he got that from, but by the time he brought it up, I could not recall having said anything. (Heck, when we saw Lee, Ted and I had just left from sharing the men's single bathroom in this hole-in-the-wall bar - the women's was locked and he'd wanted me to see the graffiti anyway. I had to go badly after the tour and could not wait, my point being that we were in the midst of levity when this transpired.) Ted was mortified that I would say anything in front of Lee and later blasted me for saying he's sensitive. Also, I pointed out that on the ride over, he himself had just said his ears aren't what they used to be, that he was frustrated about his hearing.

A lot of stuff collided and I am still gobsmacked. Others would be pissed that this occurred in public in the midst of a city square with lots of pedestrians, but I'm not. I guess I'm more embarrassed for him, the public-conscious one throwing a fit. A newly dating pair from the group came by and talked to us, Ted being the one to fess up that we were arguing, as I would not be admitting it. That guy, a really attractive and polite yet interesting guy, had parked right behind me and had kindly gotten Ted and I an umbrella to share. I joked to him I preferred standing in the rain, as there is not an umbrella large enough.

We drove in silence back to my place - it was big of me to even have him in my car and that was part of the discussion beforehand, too - I did not want to drive him home after the way he'd spoken to me. Just before we got here, I summarized with some of the stuff above. With his silent treatment, I saw him blink his eyes in agreement (or so I choose to think, heh.) When we got to the parking spaces, he said nothing more than to ask me to let him know what he owes me - for the MP3 player I bought and loaded for him this week, for a couple weeks of food on Wednesday nights he'd planned to reimburse me, for gas/parking/whatever from the evening. I'd already calculated it as I drove, but he wanted an email with it "itemized or whatever" because he didn't want to deal with it at the time and I said I was telling him right then instead. I refuse to have to earn that $50 or $70 (depending on what he wants to follow through on) he owes me; I will not grovel for it because I have more dignity than that.

Cheap ass dick.

He walked toward his car and I nicely and sincerely called out, "Bye, Ted," and got nothing in response. I didn't give up trying, but he'd dug such a hole he could not get himself out.

Guess it's better to understand his character now than two years from now, huh?

Seriously, though, it didn't have to be this way. He has some misplaced ego problems and a sincere need to lay blame when anything goes wrong, while I am always trying to figure out the dynamics to see what were the roots of what happened so they don't happen again. We're generally good communicators, but there were some serious break downs that his pride made terminal.

Heck, even if I apologized for something specific, it is not that I think I am wrong overall and I think that's where his bruised ego got bent further. Innately, I think he wants a woman to behave irrationally so he can blame her for the tendency, then he's given free reign to behave irrationally himself in return. I guess he's never been with someone smart or eloquent enough to not yell back or to have the audacity to step back in perspective to call him on it all. That's where my label as bipolar bites me in the ass; I'm usually the evolved, centered one while others act crazy but expect crazy out of me instead.

I guess another, another, another one bites the dust.

I feel on top of this right now, but I also feel there is no hope. I loathe myself for keeping on trying this dating crap.

ETA: I decided to leave him a phone message to say I am sorry how things played out last night, that I am sad today, that I hope his mother is alright, and that I hope he is feeling better.

I do not want ice between us when we see each other again with the group, but I suspect he'll stop going. Entering this 'more than friendship' phase, I repeatedly told him that I just don't want to hate him, meaning that I didn't want a relationship to go awry, because I really did enjoy him more than anyone I've gone out with in some time. Remember, he was the first one my therapist ever heard me compliment as someone who I really liked how he spoke to my son.

Last night, I told him that I was angry at myself for liking him. He took offense at the angry part and did not focus on the liking part. Then I countered that it is natural for me to feel this, as I have been seriously betrayed and took the risk of letting him in.

I really don't want to hate him. Seriously. He had a bad night.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Quite thoughtful

Ted considers himself to have good insight and I agree. Sometimes he's a couple steps ahead of me and it really feels good to be taken care of. I don't always have to be the smart, progressive, observant one.

A week ago when I was there on Wednesday evening, he had the ceiling fans on in his bedroom. And I sneezed myself to death. When he asked if I had a cold, I said I didn't, that I suspected my nasal distress was from the dust streaming off the fans. I commented the week before that the massive bunnies on the blades must be a guy thing.

Not only did he promptly turn them off, he later told me he thoroughly cleaned them in the coming days. When I was there this Wednesday, I was blissfully unaware of not sneezing. The next day, he drew my attention to it, asking if I'd sneezed and saying he'd dusted and vacuumed right before I got there, too, plus sprayed to get the dust down. Wow. Just wow.

That is so incredibly considerate; it creates just the right attitude for blow job reciprocation, now doesn't it? He made observations and followed through on getting things more comfortable for me. He's not even the allergic sort, but he was conscious of what it means.

He really does have some great qualities, but moving slow is also very good as well, what I need. Probably what he needs, too.

Tonight, we're meeting a group out; some we know, some we don't. It'll be the first time seeing any of them without us honestly saying, "We just rode together. We're just friends," although I am happily unsure what we really are. He's so very private, I'm sure he won't want to be public about any definition of us, besides carpooling buddies, which is absolutely fine by me. I don't need to be a 'couple' in anybody else's eyes, as I am quite content for now with our definition of 'couple' during our expansive phone calls and in his cozy bed for our DVD picnics.

Come to think of it, I should probably bring it up in the car as we're driving in order to get his take, as I don't know what to do with the idea of PDA. Goodness knows, I don't do well with PDA restrictions or mandates. There, I had to go and make this complicated. Damn high beta.

Friday, March 09, 2007

I guess that's good news

I got my ADHD test results.

-1.8 considered positive for ADHD

-5.5 my first score, off the scale for ADHD
-4.5 my second score, not at all the improvement the Ph.D. wanted

-1.3 my third score this week, considered normal on the low side

It is so laughable that I want to cry. I am not unADHD all the sudden. I prepared for the test and had specific strategies, told her so, too, except for the aromatherapy part. Because of what I told her, she said she'd like me to be able to increase my speed and keep my accuracy, so she'll keep me on.

[Ted told me this evening that he can see where it'd be tough to be my doctor, because I'm probably smarter than they are. heh. I can't help but to like him.]

She wanted to wean me down to one session per week, but I asked for more, as in two per week. So I'll be scheduling the next twenty visits tomorrow, followed by another ADHD test in which I will use no aromatherapy or ear plugs, i.e trying to mimic normal life during the test, unless normal life for me actually translates to forever walking around with a bottle of pleasantly scented oil to apply around my nose and yellow foam sticking out of my ears.

Maybe the next block of sessions will help it all stick, seeins how I'm pretty much cured and all now.

Edited to Qualify whilst trying not to be flip:
Neurofeed.back is considered a way to train your brain to compensate for many ADHD tendencies, meaning controlling things like the sleepy waves (alpha and theta) that overtake concentrating waves (beta) when the ADHDer tries to think/perform, especially the mundane - or in my case, clean my house, pay bills, do taxes. In Ted's case, it means studying for a test. Of course, it really isn't this simple, but it is remarkable for many people.

It's not that I don't think it works. Not at all. But, per my usual course of events and my personal black cloud, it is not working in a grand fashion for me, despite me performing better on the test. I cannot generalize to my overall life how it went on that test - my focus/concentration occurring in a darkened room with no distractions - to regular existence and normal/abnormal stressors. It will take considerable more practice for the tiny skills to become routine skills, if that is even possible for me.

The frustrating part is that I know how hard I try on everything and this is something I was led to believe I didn't need to try on, that it would come. Hook me up, give me beeps, and my brain would know what to do. Not. I am so very hardheaded.

After 20 sessions of rolling with it, when I went in for my second test, the one I didn't improve on like Ph.D. wanted, the receptionist asked me beforehand if I'd had a light bulb go off/big differences. I said I could tell miniscule things, but nothing life altering. She seemed surprised in almost a condescending fashion, that most people have marked improvement by 20 sessions, definitely by 23 or so. Yeah, I felt like a complete loser and drove sobbing to my therapist afterwards, completely upended. [I related this stuff to the Ph.D. yesterday on the phone, so I feel better to have gotten it off my chest, but it feels so very awkward, too.]

I decided then that if this will not come to me, I must go to it.

Nothing is ever easy for me. What I've gotten only came to me after I worked very hard, but even then it is slow and not profound.

That's what I want, profound. I may have to settle for a smidgen.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


My son and I love board games. It's great one-on-one time. I often give them as gifts to him, but sometimes I'll get one just 'cause.

He can now whip my butt in Connect Four. It's embarrassing. I used to cream him. I guess that's how he got better. Goodness knows, I am too competitive to coddle.

Him being so mechanical/military vehicle oriented, he got Battleship a long time ago. In my frenzy to always win, I remember fearing him not reporting accurately whether B3 was occupied or not. It led to a lot of frustration on my part, because sometimes B3 was occupied, yet ill reported, and it took me many turns and a lot of divining to find out. I can trust him now, thank goodness.

He's a math kid. Grids are more natural to him.

It's well established that he's not the best in the verbal/reading/spelling spectrum, so I decided to surprise him yesterday with Parker Brothers Hangman. Games are great for sneaking in skills practice. Yahtzee is how I learned to multiply.

As you can see, Hangman looks amazingly like Battleship and I soon had the same fear.

We began with simple words. He chose "plane" to begin.

The next word, I had such trouble figuring out that my man got hung. I believe I had it down to A _ _ _ B E T. I had visions of being on Wheel of Fortune and being laughed at for the puzzle's simplicity and my ignorance.

So, my son won and he was very proud of himself. Anxious, I got to experience the reveal.

A _ _ _ B E T



Yeah, and there is no battleship located at B3 either.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Not wanting to be ripped off or put to pasture

First, I forgot and am carrying around the rings in my purse, still. Showed them to my therapist this afternoon and looked again at the estimate for the center stone. I'd mis-remembered by close to a grand. So it is a nearly $10000 set they wanted to give me under $1500 for it. This was the first time she'd seen the set and she was absolutely gaga. Could not believe they were giving me a mere $90 for the wedding ring. I think she was close to claiming it herself.

She feels I did the right thing not leaving it. I think if I sell it on ebay for only $1 more, I will have avoided this jewelry rip off store their unearned commission and not lost anything further in the process.

What I figure they should have taken into account is that I already made them over $2500 a few years ago with the other diamond. They have lost a repeat customer in which they USE MY ASSETS TO EXPAND THEIR INVENTORY FOR FREE, TO THEN MAKE A COUPLE GRAND OFF OF ME. Now THAT is good business sense.

Second, in other pertinent news to my psyche, I took the ADHD test again this morning. Although my self reports afterwards sucked royally the other two times I took it, this time I truly feel I did well. I remember once before in tallying my errors during the test, because I am so overfocused and am compelled to count, I actually stopped adding at 14 errors. This time, I only had 7, excepting for any the machine felt were too slow in response. I'll admit to wanting to slow my response time today - the first time I was at 60th percentile in speediness and the second in the 85th. Such speed is not necessary, as accuracy is weighed equally against it.

Based on my previous experiences which could serve to aid in my test taking (which makes the whole fucking thing invalid anyway), I made some changes. This time, I wore ear plugs. I also cheated a bit and put some soothing aromatherapy oil on my nose and hand, thus introducing a new relaxation variable. Fuck it. Between all the variables, I was consciously aware of better concentration and ability to control my frustration at incorrect responses. In other words, I did not have the domino effect as I made errors. Or so I believe.

The Ph.D. is off on Wednesdays, so I have to get the report by phone tomorrow. She is scheduled back-to-back Thursday, so I have no idea when I'll find out more. Although Ted joked to loosen me up that I'd learn the results next week or next month even, I requested that I learn before Friday (her other day off) because I go to my doctor Friday afternoon and that was scheduled specifically after the ADHD test. On Friday, my doctor may prescribe a med that lowers high beta and brain chatter; I'd tried a different med that does that several years ago, but it gave me successive shingles lesions for about six months. Maybe the new would work. Like I need another prescription.

As a last resort, and because the EEG officially diagnosed me as ADHD, something my doctor previously refused to believe, I will try some ADHD stimulants. I would have to do the cheap generic ones which are tougher to regulate (ie, not extended release), but I HAVE to do something productive to get my life in order.

My therapist was insistent today that the Ph.D. would not cut me off, even though it sounded that way the last time I took the test. With what I've read, 80-90% of people respond to these treatments, so I fear being in the balance. My therapist, who knows how vulnerable I feel as a gratis patient not knowing how vesting the biofeedback people might be in my welfare, believes that it would be unethical for the Ph.D. to leave me hanging. Regardless, I fear her wanting to cut her loses because of things she's already said.

To outline the progress I have made and presented in my written survey to them today, I'll outline some good:
  1. Most ADHD people read and re-read passages in books, with reading comprehension suffering. I have had to re-read passages much less, thus my attention and focus are better.
  2. Despite coming off my sleeping med, I have generally been able to get 4-6 hrs a night, particularly the last few since I added soy for the hot flashes.
  3. I have been able to curb negative thoughts, able to tell myself to not go there. This was especially evident this morning as I was mentally preparing myself for the test, stuck in a city-wide traffic jam. No, I would not have been ruminating about the traffic as I have enough other crap to think about, but I did well not ruminating about anything else, either. This means my high beta is coming down and I can control it better. Putting in Bach's Brandenburg Concerto helped, too.
  4. Okay, there was a fourth. It'll come to me. Damn ADHD.
For most people, a light bulb comes on by 20 sessions, almost definitely by 25 sessions. I am now at 40 and I have no new, clean windshield to view life. I can see little inklings, so I am not a lost cause, even if I am a tough case. Some people take 60 or 80 or 100 sessions. All I can say is that I have the time if the Ph.D. has the ethical inclination.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Phone, rings

I think he has a phone phobia like me.

I decided to call around dinner time at his house, figuring he would not be home from work yet. I was surprised when he answered and he was very glad to hear from me. He mumbled about getting ready to call me. Then he asked question after question about stuff in my life because we hadn't talked since Sunday.

He said he was just about to go to his mother's to fix her some dinner; he did that last night and it was a big hit. The woman is quite hard to get along with, but she mostly just wants company. She does have neighbors who visit, but she needs more.

So I told him to be off to his mother's, then he kept talking and asking questions about my day. Oh, that got me started about the jewelry store and I told him he really needed to go. I made him hang up and tend his mom, even as he kept trying to talk. He said he'd call when he got home.

I assume he's home by now. It's 11pm. No phone.


About the jewelry store - they called yesterday and said my estimate was ready, so I went by there today after my Old and Esteemed Woman's Organization luncheon. When I saw the estimate, I was flabbergasted and was quite verbal about it. The ring (total 1.4 ct, with center at 1.04ct; engagement band has center plus 4 smaller diamonds, wedding band has 5 smaller diamonds, all set in platinum) cost $5000. The appraisal that came with the diamond said $7100 and the $1100 bands were supposedly worth $1800. So, it was almost a $9000 set.

Although I'd gotten about half value from this store on a previous diamond (.96ct, value $6000, paid $3000 in a 18K setting w/2 trillions, got $2500 for the diamond alone) and was satisfied, the sales guy when I dropped it off said to not be surprised if I got 1/3 of what this one is worth. Going in, I'd figured half of $9000, so $4500. His statement knocked my expectations down to $3300, or so I thought. I told him then I was surprised, but he didn't know if there'd been a change in policy.

Well, they said they'd give me $1400 for the engagement ring and $90 for the wedding. Yup, almost a carat and a half in platinum.

So I asked to speak to the appraiser and spoke of my surprise, particularly in comparison to my previous experience with a smaller diamond in no setting. She said they changed their consignment system from before. She said the appraisal that came with the ring is not to believed, that they are essentially trash. I was told that the setting is gauged as scrap, so it is worthless. She said she cannot appraise at wholesale because they are selling used jewelry in that showcase and people expect it cheap. I said it is nothing out of their pocket for them to sell my rings on consignment. They don't pay me until it sells, then I've made them a couple grand. She said they are doing people a favor by selling their jewelery. It is a business decision. I replied that they are using other people's assets to boost their own inventory and that's the part that's a good business decision. Using others is fine, not taking advantage of others.

I'm still mad.

As I was saying that I wanted to take the rings back, the stoooopid sales guy asked me if I wanted to put them back on!?!?!?!? I replied that I want nothing to do with them, that's why I brought them there, I do not want to touch them, put them in something for me.


I refused to pay their $20 evaulation fee.

I can live without $1500 better than I can contemplate someone profiting like that from me.

Sorry, DD. You said to take what I could get. I feel a distinct need to profit from P a bit more than that. I've lost so fucking much already.

Ted called about 11:20 and we talked for two hours. I guess I am too impatient. He is wonderful for me to unload on - for example I have my biofeedback test in a few hours and am quite nervous, yet he can joke and make me calmer. I like him despite what I don't like. He listens to me without judging. Priceless.

I feel relaxed, like I just left a good biofeedback session. Nice.