Friday, March 27, 2015


Do I "break" -- fall about, fragment, shatter -- or do I "break" -- pause, take a rest, a respite?

Another flashback. Another reminder of pain from the past. Knee jerk reactions to deny, run and hide, beat myself up. Is this the one that takes me down? The one that smashes me permanently? The heel of his palm to my nose. Searing pain that leaves me staggering, ripe for the attack that follows.

My husband points out that it means I fought back. And he never showed up at my door again. It was the last attack. Something good from this latest reminder of pain? 

So I write about it. I cry on the massage table. I talk to my husband. My therapist. I seek help. I feel all those feeling again -- fear, guilt, paranoia, self-loathing, denial.

I pause and take a respite. A retreat with my husband for the weekend. We may talk about it or we may put it aside for the time being. More than likely it will be a bit of both. 

But I choose the second definition. Because this time I get to choose.

linking up with Five Minute Friday

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . March 23, 2015

Outside my window . . . we have bright sunshine, blue skies with wispy white clouds. It's going to be another lovely day. 

I am thinking . . . about perceptions. It is so easy for me to get caught up in what I think people think of me. I am reminded of the saying, "It's not my business what anyone else thinks of me".

I am thankful . . . the beautiful spring weather we are having! It lifts my spirits and puts joy in my heart.

In the kitchen . . . last night I made a chicken pot pie and you would have thought it was ambrosia from the gods! Sometimes I forget how good a basic meal can be.

I am creating . . . still working on my secret crochet project and spring sewing goodies. 

I am going . . . to therapy, lunch, and then running errands today. Another bike ride this afternoon :)

I am wondering . . . about my trip this weekend with hubby to Los Angeles. He has a business meeting and I'm tagging along. I've never been to LA, and I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed with what to make sure I see!

I am reading . . . The Haj by Leon Uris. I picked it up some time ago from the free books bin at McKay Used Books. It grabbed me from the first page!

I am looking forward to . . . more bike riding and spring weather! Spring isn't at all predictable here, so I have to grab it as it comes.

I am hearing . . . just the sound of Squeaker wandering around the house. We are all getting acclimated to Yaya's absence. It is still difficult, but especially so for Squeaker. At 15, she has never been an only dog, so we are giving her extra love and attention. I don't think I realized how much she got from Yaya!

Around the house . . . still working on getting things cleaned and prettied up for spring. 

I am praying . . . for peace and discernment about life experiences.

One of my favorite things . . . is relaxing with a good movie. I recently read an article about the best "foodie" movies. Sunday night I re-watched "Julie & Julia" and enjoyed it just as much the second time around. 

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . errands, biking, a walk at Radnor Lake with hubby, a massage, meeting with my spiritual director, and then off to LA!

Here's a picture for thought I am sharing . . .

linking up with The Simple Woman

Saturday, March 21, 2015

:: ten things

simple things -- 

:: fresh flowers in the house

:: a new door greeter

:: feathers

:: music

:: a new skill to learn

:: a new mug

:: planning

:: clean water to drink

:: vintage table linens

:: crossword puzzles

Friday, March 20, 2015


Last Saturday I faced some real life.

On Friday night my dog started having trouble breathing. She was 13 years old and had a heart murmur that was progressing to congestive heart failure. I was alone in the house since dh and ds were still out of town on their climbing trip. I texted my daughter (who works for our vet) and she said to bring Yaya in first thing Saturday morning.

We arrived at the clinic and they took Yaya for x-rays. They gave her shots to help ease the situation. Then they started her on oxygen. As I sat holding the oxygen mask for Yaya I began to accept the situation for what is was. I would be going home without her. 

My first thought was, "I don't want this to happen!" But reality kicked in and I had to accept that this is real life. Real life includes loss. 

I began to talk to Yaya, telling it was going to be okay. I told her about the other dogs she would meet on the other side -- what I like to think of as the Elysian Fields. When the vet came in to check on her, I told him I didn't want her to suffer. This wasn't about me. It was all about what was in her best interest. 

We moved her to an exam room, and he gave her a sedative. As my daughter and I stood and loved on Yaya, her breathing relaxed and the panic in her eyes disappeared. We stroked her fur and whispered words of love and encouragement. She slipped away. And we cried. Not for her, but for the realness of her leaving. 

Real live is messy and tough, but it's also full of wonder and love and affection. 

RIP in Yaya.

linking up with Five Minute Friday

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Tricks, No Treats

 A time you were tricked.

For good or ill Mama Kat's prompts frequently remind me of my childhood. I read the list of prompts for this week and was immediately struck by number 1 - A time you were tricked. It wasn't a single time, but rather lots of times.
Tricks and games are the stock in trade of abusers. They set me up, lured me, tricked me into believing a game was afoot, to relax me or wear me out, and then BAM, they'd lower the boom.

The clearest memory and example I have of this happened the day of the barn incident. 

It is after lunch, and we are sent outside to play. It's a hot, early summer day. Her idea is that I should chase her around the yard to see if I can catch her. We run in a circle -- past the swing set, across the carport, through the front yard, and back into the backyard past the swing set again. 

It is hot and humid. A better time for a nap than a game of chase. We run in circles. She is older than I am by 5 years, so there is no way I can catch her. I am sweating and tiring, but I keep chasing, because it is what she has asked (told) me to do. At some point I realize that if I am chasing her in a circle, it could be reasoned that she is chasing me. That I am the prey. But that concept won't become fully formed until much later in my life.

Eventually she changes the path, turning to run into the barn -- the shade with an invitation of a truce, a cooling off period. I follow like a lamb led to slaughter. It is a trick. I have been tricked and fallen for it again. There was no "game" being played. There was merely an execution of her plan. Wear me out and down, and then lure me to the barn to "cool off". Exhaust me so that she can torture me more easily. Assure my compliance(?) or at least lower my ability to resist.

I think about tricks, pranks, practical jokes. As an adult I've never liked them. I feel belittled and betrayed when I am on the receiving end. When it's not me who's been tricked, I feel sympathy and pain for the one who has been. 

Being tricked is like being lied to and then expected to laugh about it. Tricks are lies in disguise, and I don't do lies.

linking up with Writer's Workshop