Because bad taste is better than no taste at all.....

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

#338: Feathers and Fins

So I thought I'd update some of you folks who're not in the immediate vicinity, what's going here in badhairland.

The past 12 months or so have been, in an understatement, a time of major changes, both for Dent and myself. He's been busily doing all that new fangled learning stuff, all in hopes of getting a better paying, more satisfying job. I, on the other hand, took the summer off to get my head straight and figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Because as much as I respect the Burger Flippers of America, I have no desire to be doing this at age 50. (I'm not getting any younger, whippersnappers.)

 I think I have the beginnings of a plan going here, and with the help of some friends (you know who you are, and a huge thank you for your help!) I plan on moving forward.

Dent and I have had a discussion, and it's been generally decided that while we still do love each other very much, we are moving in different directions, and are indeed at different stages of our lives, if not different stages of being--I'm still trying to figure out who I am inside, and I think he's evolving as well. So we've instituted the "let's just be friends" rule.  We're still amicable and splitting the bills and supporting each other emotionally. But we are now officially roommates.

No, stop crying. It's fine. Really. I'm not going to disappear on you all, promise. I'm still the same old Scratch you've all come to know and love. Just changing gears. Trying on some new wings. Attempting to stand up on my hind legs for once. That kind of thing.

Thank you for your patience, and we now return you to your regularly scheduled smart aleck.

Monday evening was spent down by the creek. I find if you kick up some of the sand on the bottom and then stand still for a few minutes, the small minnows come to investigate. After a while they start digging their little mouths into the mesh of my "shower shoes" and give my bare ankles little fishy kisses. I guess they're checking out the skin mites (or eating dead skin) that everyone has. It's not quite a tickle. Almost. It makes me giggle a bit, and I'm glad no one is down there with me, or they'd hear me talking to them.

On the way back to the house, I found a feather. I've been finding them almost every time I go there, now. Maybe some day I'll have enough to cobble together into some sort of Icarus-style wings. This last one was small, and an iridescent brownish color, which makes me think the wild turkeys have been through. I suspect they hang out in the woods down by the creek now, due to the neighbor's putting out corn. It's for the deer but the squirrels (and now the turkeys, too, apparently) seem to be taking care of it now.
   
So Tuesday afternoon I did something brave: I went back up to the school to request a transcript. This probably doesn't seem like all that much; people do this every day.  Other people have no problem walking right up to a complete stranger and talking to them. But other people aren't me.

Said transcript arrived Saturday. Having survived the first challenge, I can now move on a harder one--contacting the other school, which is in another state altogether.

Certain friends and family have been notified of the upcoming possible upheaval, so it won't be so much a surprise when it happens.

The ball is rolling at last, so to speak. Or at least I seem to be nearing the top of the hill......

The tomatoes are a mixed lot this year. There's been a couple of big ones, and a few that weren't so big but were still okay to slice up and eat anyway. I've given away a lot of my cherry tomatoes this year. I think I enjoyed growing them more than I've enjoyed eating them. I've got a few jalapenos going, and cayenne, and some habaneros. But these last ones will take a while longer before they're ripe.

Saturday was spent at a place neither Dent nor I had been to before: Linville Falls. Since it was a million degrees out, why not head up into the mountains? It was certainly cooler.  Seems even the butterflies were keeping their cool up there.....

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

#337: Knock, knock.....

I wanted my life to get weird again, and it looks like I may soon get my wish.
But what the hell?

Am I insane?

Quite possibly.

I'd have to be, to consider what I'm considering.

Change has always been a scary thing in my life. Partially because I never know what exactly will be on the other side of the door when I open it.  And partially because changes have never ever ended well for me. Ever. Usually the change is for someone else's life, which always gets easier, while mine gets a thousand million times more difficult than it has to be. Now I'm contemplating a change of my own, on my own. I don't know if I will float or sink like a stone, or where the ripples will go, or if I will make much of a splash in other people's lives around me.

We'll pause here to state that I haven't been sleeping much due to the stress, and I'm scared shitless.
Dent knows, of course, that I'm contemplating this change. We've both seem to have come to the same conclusion, that we're drifting in different directions, and that for all practical purposes, we're merely room mates now. I honestly thought he'd take it harder than he has (although he may just be putting a brave face on things, I don't know). Life has been surprisingly normal. I still have to roll him out of bed in the morning, but he's been getting to work and school on time when I thought he'd be falling apart by now. I make sure to tell him I'm proud of him often (I am).

I have been at my current address close to 9-10 years. I've worked at BK for 5. Corning was 4. I was married for 4, and I've been here with Dent roughly 8. I lived in Tn about 4 years.  I've been back in NC about 12. I left Ga almost 30 years ago and haven't looked back. My life has been defined by long blocks of time, so when the change comes, it comes hard and fast and I don't do anything half-assed or on impulse.

Part of what is scaring me most about this change is the amount of pull I'm feeling to move in this direction. Yet the pull comes and goes--some days I feel like I'm not wanted in that direction at all, or that life is merely humoring me and giving me a pat on my head, waiting on me to change my mind yet again and do something different altogether. But then the pull reemerges. Names pop up again, people and places and things, in this direction. And I don't know what to think.

Do I?

Don't I?

"Do what you need to do for you." I hear this again and again.

I am going to attempt to do so.

But I don't know what I'll find once I open that door...

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

#336: Filling in the Blanks

A couple of weeks ago, as we sat at the kitchen table after 11 pm munching spaghetti, Dent told me that if it wasn't for me, he "Wouldn't be here", meaning he'd still be stuck in that mold-trap of a duplex, eating junk food for dinner and no hope of advancement in his life.

Flattering, but not what I really wanted to hear.

I wanted to hear "Yes. I'm getting this whole school thing down and can see a way forward, I can see where I'm going in life". I had to remind him that what he's currently involved in (I E school) was for him, we weren't doing all this for me.

As I write this, he's in on his bed (his bed, not ours. Not any more.) dozing. He turned 51 the 10th. He'd looked at me and said, "You know what you can do for me on my birthday? Fix dinner like it's new year's. Because it's a new year for me...."

New years' dinner usually consists of ham, and collard greens, with cooked cabbage and blackeyed peas. And cornbread.

This was actually a sensible request, one I didn't mind fulfilling. Not some goofy tool he'd lose five minutes later (the neighbors actually filled in this blank, along with supplying a cake AND a glass pan of banana pudding.....)

I also made a pineapple upside down cake, for good measure.

He also finally noticed something. Finally. He noticed I'd changed our relationship status on FB to "It's complicated". "Honey," he said, "did you change your relationship status?"

I'd changed it to this, at least three months ago.

This time I managed to look him in the face. "Yes. Because it IS complicated."

Oddly enough, he agreed and didn't seem overly concerned. "Yes," he said. "It is complicated..."

Oh, if only you knew how complicated it is, and becoming more every day.

I've tried to simplify my life, and to some extent it's working. I have less stuff to deal with, and less stress, and have unloaded some people (mostly relatives) from my consciousness. But it isn't enough. I don't know what to do, to more forward.

Part of this involves other people. Some I'm waiting on, and some are apparently waiting on me. And I'm not sure which to choose--in either case, someone's going to get hurt. With each passing day it's like I'm going on false pretenses with the one, and the other, no doubt, thinks I'm out of my mind to not be able to make up my mind. I'm not sure there really is a right answer, unfortunately.

Never thought I'd come to the point where my life'd resemble some sort of soap opera.

People ask, What is it you want to do?" or "What is it you like to do?" and I can't answer either of these things any more. Seems like I used to know, but I don't even know who I am, what I am, any more, and seem incapable of figuring it out. My mind is a complete utter blank. I am unable to see myself for what I am, because I am unable to take a step back and take a long objective look at myself.

I am beginning to suspect I am mentally and emotionally exhausted, from nudging Dent along and getting little in return. Oh, he says "whatever you end up doing, I'm behind." but truth be told, he has little of his own energy, else he wouldn't be taking so much of mine. And I don't think he even realizes he's doing it.

And at the moment, I am unable to leave, or even halt the drain. But what else can I do? I'm waiting on the Megs anyhow, so I wasn't planning on leaving. At least, not immediately.

I have spent the past week or so with the Megs, and am amazed at how much the adult she has become. She's picked up that I am changing, and that things are changing. Dent has adopted my usage of the term "roomie", and she's picked up on this, as well. I had to ask Dent, truly and honestly, should someone ask, what do I say? Is it like, "yeah. I'm with someone at the moment, but we sleep at different ends of the house"? He seems to have accepted the whole roommate idea, but it's hard to tell whether he's really accepted it or just put a brave face on it for the sake of the Megs. But whatever. Maybe if I keep introducing it, a little at a time, the shock will be less if I did leave.........

I also got to meet my grand-niece for the first time. I'm conscious on how much time has passed, is passing, and how much more will slip away before I can do anything.

Time to fill in some blanks.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

#335: Little Sister Syndrome

There has to be a name for my condition.
There is, because I have just made it up.
Well, someone else probably has thought of it first. That's just how my luck goes. But anyway.

Someone suggested I was too used to fading into the background. I can't argue with this--in the past it's been safer to not be noticed. Problem is, that's all I really am good at, when it comes to social interaction. Because when I try to stand out, no one takes me seriously.

It doesn't help that I look like this most of the time.



Now don't get me wrong, I don't mind not looking my age (which is ). But it would be helpful if I didn't look *12*.

Attempts at looking older are met with mixed results. A couple of weeks ago I tried wearing a skirt. Which looked ok. But I still felt like a child wearing mommy's clothing. I am too used to wearing jeans and a tee shirt and just being the tom boy.

And people are too used to seeing a small person and just not taking much notice.

So I apparently have what I have come to call "little sister syndrome". Those of you who have older siblings probably know the feeling--that want to be a part of something bigger or better but no one gives you a chance at it. Hell, they rarely give you a second glance. And attempts at saying "hello? Please notice me?" are met with the proverbial pat on the head. As in, it's ok little girl.

There are some out there who'd just tell me to roll with it. But I'm tired of not being taken seriously simply because I'm small and female. Anyone else out there have this problem?

Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

#334: suggestions

It's getting more and more difficult to look Dent in the eye. Not that I've ever really been all that great at looking people in the eye; I find faces harmless enough, but distracting, and so I look elsewhere when they're speaking to me. But figuratvely speaking it has been increasingly difficult. Because I have been less than honest. Oh, I haven't lied, per se. More a matter of omission. I've kept up with appearances because I don't want anything to distract him from getting his schooling done.

Instead, I've been gradually nudging him away. Or "weaning" him away from me. It's been mere hints; nothing obvious. I say things like "When you finish, you can get a better job, doing something you enjoy more. And live wherever you want".

Wherever YOU want. Not where WE want. I've been encouraging him to find his own interests and his own friends. In the hope that maybe, just maybe, he won't fall apart if I left.... We can only hope.

The weirdness at my end has spread. Things are being suggested to me, that I haven't heard anyone suggest in a long, long time. I'm not quite sure what to make of these suggestions. It's a bit difficult to describe without being graphic on what is supposed to be a family-friendly site. Also, it's difficult to determine if these suggestions will ever be acted on, or if the person is even serious about them (they live a bit far away to just "pop in" without some sort of notice). I've already been asked a couple of times, over the course of knowing this person, and turned it down each time due to one reason or another. I don't know if I've given this person the incentive to ask a third time.

And then, there's the "do I WANT to do these things that have been suggested" angle.

Oddly enough, it's been tempting.

The trees have finished leafing out, finally, and my maters have actually started growing. If I can just keep them going long enough, we may actually have some to harvest in a few months (or less, the biggest plant looks like it's trying to form flower buds already.) I doubt I'll end up with enough to can, but you never know. The peppers are a mixed lot; the cayenne's look ok, but the jals I had to re-seed, as the ones I transplanted looked a bit sickly. I replanted the thyme, and it's sprouted fairly well. The basil looks a bit thin, but maybe it just hasn't all sprouted yet.

As I write, a gray and orange skink pokes a nose around the potted plants, and comes to the edge of the plastic tray, tiny tongue flicking out. It decides it doesn't like the look of my feet propped up on the board next to it, and moves across the concrete block to a opening in the side. I hear it moving through the dried leaves by the car port.

"Mind the black snake," I tell it. Yes, we have one of those, too. Over the winter it'd been camped out in the well house (the neighbor had put a heater in there to keep the pump from freezing), but now with warmer weather, it decided it needed a summer home, and so now there's a rather large snake hole out back, on the tree line. Hey, as long as it's keeping the mousie population in check (and not coming IN the house!), it's fine by me.

Stay tuned.