End Of Summer

Taking a Hike

Here we are at the end of August already.  My gosh, how time flies.  This summer, so far, I’ve done a lot of hiking.  Two of the best trips took place in Sedona, with one being at the beginning of this month.  Years of exploring Sedona and I never knew of these hidden gems.  The most recent hike had us traveling along the red rock which opened up into a swimming hole.  People jumped off the cliffs into the water.  It was a very hot day so the water proved to be very refreshing.  Athletica has also joined the same hiking group that I belong to.  Here is a picture of the swimming hole:

The Rules Have Changed (Apparently)

Athletica was asked out on date recently by someone in our hiking group.  According to her it wasn’t a date, but being the great friend I am it didn’t stop me from razzing her about it.  I texted her to ask her how her ‘date’ was.  She responded with, “It’s not a date!”

“Okay,” I texted back.  “How was your ‘it’s-not-a-date’ date?”  No response (lol).  She told me later that it couldn’t possibly be a date because he had used a Groupon to pay for dinner.  So that’s how it is determined these days.  Guess the rules really have changed in the past decade.  Who knew?

Motorcycle Summer

 This summer has been one of the funnest ones on record.  Outside of the crazy heat I will be sad to see the seasons change.  I went with Matteo about a month ago to a biker bar to see a band play.  Let me tell you I saw some crazy stuff that night!  Very fun though.  I got in at 3:30am!

Its been interesting hanging with Matteo.  Back in Boston in the 1970s bikers there were either stared at in awe or were feared.  We had a biker bar down the street and I remember my father discouraging me from looking at them as we drove by.  I remember being on the freeway in the family station wagon and peering out the window in the most casual manner my 10 year old self could muster, at the couple on the Harley passing us.  A thin tan blonde woman sat on the back of the bike.  She wore leather pants with matching bikini top.  Her long hair was woven into two braids.  I don’t quite recall what the man looked like but most then had long hair and bushy beards.     Riding with Matteo has fished these memories to the surface.  Sometimes I’ll hear his bike pull up to the driveway and I’ll peek out the slats of the kitchen shutters at him, dressed in his bike garb.  I swear I lose my breath for a second.  Maybe it’s just my rebellious Catholic school girl nature.  I don’t know.  But where there is this tall, dark handsome man standing in my driveway next to a Harley, I can’t help myself.  (I can still hear my sister’s voice from that day on the freeway back in the 1970s: “Dad told you not to look”).  I started wearing a bandana around my face when we ride because Matteo has taken the windshield off the bike.  He reminded me that I should probably remove it before we entered a liquor store this past weekend.  I guess I would have made a few folks a little nervous.

Speaking of Matteo, he is off to New Mexico for the weekend for his highschool reunion.   He has become a great friend and sometimes when I’m with him I realize how many great experiences I’ve had since I let go of the past.  I’ve come to realize that letting go, as hard as it is or as scary as it may seem, often opens the doors for new things.   With that being said though, there are still things that need to be let go of.

Matteo’s bike:

   Florida/Race Bound

In a few weeks I will be flying to Florida for another fun trip with my best friend, Quasimomma .  We did this last year and had a blast.  I will fly into the gulf side and we will drive over to my aunt’s condo the next day.  The Smokester will be kenneled at her vet.  Not sure how I’ll handle Abby yet.

We are running in a 5k the first Saturday there.  We have always wanted to do a 5k together so I’m really ecstatic that our dream is coming into fruition.

Letting Go

Yesterday was not a good day.  I’ve been fighting with my ex for pretty much a week now.  While I haven’t mentioned it before, I will say that he has an addiction problem that he refuses to see.  It’s very frustrating.  We are still in contact although he is living really far away.  Sometimes I will call because I need an answer to something and I can hear in his voice that he is not sober.  I wish sometimes I could record his voice and play it back for him so he could hear how stupid he sounds.  When I ask him if he is drunk he will often lie and tell me he was asleep and that’s why his voice sounds that way.  It hit me the other night that I really do need to let go.  It’s not worth getting angry over anymore.  I’ve had a lot of anxiety over this the past couple of days and he is also scheduled to come back to Phoenix for a visit starting tonight.  We need to get together to talk about a few things.  It hit me today that we have been separated for almost a year.  He’s got until January 1st to get himself straight.  If not, then it’s time for me to move on for good.

I call this one Ruben:

So. . .I pretty much fought with him over text messaging on my way to work yesterday (I have the voice activated option so was not texting while driving).  I got into work to find the Internet down.  I looked up the number to our service provider from my phone.  I called and received that stupid recorded prompt which only told me to go their website for technical support.  Luckily I found another number and a man there was able to reset the modem from wherever he was.  I logged into email and found a scathing response from a client I had left a voice mail message for last week.  She had multiple changes to a project we are working on and each time she placed a change request she would promise it was the last one.  I simply asked her to sit with her documentation and outline all the changes in one fell swoop rather than piece mailing it.  I didn’t think I came off as angry or anything, but by her response I could tell she was ticked.  I did call her and straighten it out; however, it did get me thinking.
Was she angry because she felt that I was trying to rush her?  Or did I come off as threatening without even realizing it?  I’d have to say that my rapport with most clients is great.  Still though, I wonder at times if I come off a little abrasive.  I need to chat with my boss about this.

Last night I didn’t sleep well.  It was just one of those days.  Before work though I dedicate at least 30 minutes to prayer and meditation.  I say these out loud and as the words left my lips this morning I could feel such a release of tension.  Just a total letting go.  Letting go of the fight with the ex, letting go of the work stuff.  I felt lighter.

Camp Bound

Saturday morning I will pack up the SUV and head north to camp for another Labor Day weekend.  I won’t have the camper this year because the ex has the truck with him that I would usually use to pull it.  I did look into renting a U-Haul pick up truck but the connector for the brakes and lights isn’t correct.  Another place has the perfect truck that is affordable but the deposit is almost as much as my mortgage.  I just can’t risk that.  Looks like me, the pooch and the weasel are tenting it.  I’ve been so spoiled.  Hope we do okay.

And finally, more hiking. . .

  I’ve joined yet another hiking group and did a night hike Monday night.  It was really great fun and in addition to meeting some new people, one lady from Boston, too, we got to see some of the wild life that comes out at night in the desert.  Here is one of those said critters (yes, it’s a rattle snake): 

There’s another night hike tonight.  We’ll see what this trip yields.  🙂


Live And On Location From Loca Land

After 10 great years with my little SUV it finally broke down for the first time earlier this week.  I made it home and stood in the driveway for a while watching the smoke escape from the hood.  I had no choice but to call the former other half and I hated the fact that I had to rely on him.  Luckily though he has been car pooling to work and has allowed me to use that big gas guzzling behemoth of a truck that screams of ‘Sunday!  Sunday!  Sunday!”  I should have my car back today.  It was also an expense I was not counting on. 

Lately I’ve barricaded myself in my room and it hit me this morning that I really need to pick myself up by the bootstraps and start getting out a little more.  I have not been to the gym.  I have barely eaten the past couple of days so I’m surprised that I don’t feel faint.  I have to return to the world of healthy eating.  There is a race next weekend.

Earlier this week my friend Ana in Boston texted me that there was a certain web site I needed to check out.  “POF,” she said.  She said it was great.  “You’ll love all the cubs.”  Cubs?  So I went to the web address she sent via my phone and it looked like something you had to register for.  Other than the area to type in your user I.D. and password, there was no other info to even say what the site was.  I texted her back, “What is POF?”  Her response was, “It stands for Plenty of Fish and you should see all the hot guys there.”  Oh gosh.  Here we go.  “You are a cougar now,” she told me.  “Meow.”  I’ve never considered myself as such, as if a Cougar were a different species of human being that has had way too much plastic surgery and hits on her daughter’s boyfriends.  Worst off, I’m thinking, why is Ana looking on an online dating site?  She has been married for 20 years now.  I was in her wedding.  A few days later she texted that she is thinking of leaving her husband and wants to know if she can come to Arizona and stay with me for a while.  Looking back the signs have been there all a long.

My guy friend going through the divorce was officially divorced as of yesterday.  So, DGF (Divorced Guy Friend) calls on Wednesday morning at about 5:50 am.  This is actually quite normal for phone calls and texts at any given hour of the night or day.  I open one eye and answer but he has already hung up.  I text him and ask if he just called.  He responds, ‘sorry!’  I respond, ‘dork’ and go back to sleep.  A few minutes later and there is another text message.  It was him again.  He told me that this new friend he has been dating the past few weeks is now his exclusive girlfriend.  This of course gets my attention.  I sat up in bed and let the words sink in.  “It was a whirlwind,” he told me.  While I tried to be happy for him I realized that I was about to lose my partner in commiseration.  The anchor had fallen off my boat.    He had changed his Facebook status to ‘in a relationship’.  Hence the call that morning moments after the status update.  I was as speechless as much as one can be over text messaging.  He said he felt pressured from her.  He has only been seeing her for a few weeks and get this, she is only here visiting.  She lives in Georgia.  I asked him if he was going to have a long distance relationship.  He said, “Yeah, I guess so.  I don’t know if I’m ready for this.  What should I do?” 

“That,” I typed, “is not something I can help you with.  You’ll have to figure out what is right for you.”  He kept apologizing as if he had betrayed me.  I told him he didn’t need to be sorry.  He had been through a lot and deserved to be happy. 

Up until that moment I didn’t realize how much I had been leaning on him for support throughout this whole ordeal.  I went to the new girlfriend’s Facebook page which is suddenly public.  She had changed her picture to a very provocative one which I found odd.  In fact, I find this whole thing odd.  Perhaps it had something to do with a certain recent run in they both had with DGF’s ex-wife?  Apparently the new girlfriend wasn’t too happy about it.  I’m happy for him but there’s a part of me that feels sorry for him at the same time.  What came next still has me spinning.

Yesterday morning a few minutes past six am, there was another text message from him.  Again he is apologizing and telling me how sorry he is and how guilty he feels.  Again I tell him not to be sorry.  I point out that I realized how much I had depended on him and it did freak me out thinking I was about to lose that.  Later on in the morning while talking to my boss, my phone chimes that there is a message.  After my boss vacates my office, I pick it up and am dumbfounded by what it says.  It is of course from DGF.

“I love you.”

I stare at the message for a few minutes, put the phone down, pick it back up.  There it is in plain English.  I place the phone down again and put my head in my hands.  How does one respond to that?  Thank you?  Get bent?  Or does one respond at all?  How would the new girlfriend feel about this latest revelation?  I pick the phone up again, and again stare at the message.    There are his picture, his name, the time, date and of course the message.  I glance at my scanner next to my desk.  and then back at the phone.  A thought crosses my mind like a dark cloud passing the sun on an Arizona afternoon.  I smirk to myself, delete the message and go back to work.  This morning I deleted his contact info out of my phone.

Yesterday afternoon I’m working away when I receive another text message.  This time it is from the same man I had drinks with a few weeks ago.  He asked if I’d be free for Friday night.  Honest to goodness, what a day!  I didn’t realize the ‘deer in the headlights’ look would turn out to be so irresistable.  I let him know honestly that I’m not ready to date.  I did say that several times before but it must have some strange reverse psychological effect.  He wrote, “Well, excuse me for being interested in you.”  Where it was again text messaging, which I’m growing to loathe, I couldn’t tell if he was kidding. I’m guessing he was.  He told me to reach out when I was ready.  I’m thinking the 12th of Never may be an appropriate date. 

I drank my coffee in bed this morning and watched the rising sun dance between the fronds of the palm tree.  Then I got up, looked around at the house and thought about all the things I needed to accomplish.  When things went south last month I made a plan for myself.  I would clean this place up, I would not date yet and I would start to fix anything that is broken.  My car was first on the list.  I think there may be a trip over to The Home Depot this weekend.

Season of Change. . .


It is official.  I have separated from my other half.  No more lies.  No more infidelity.  I waffle back and forth between being completely and utterly relieved to feeling like my heart has been cut out of my chest. 

On Friday morning I took my wedding rings off (see enclosed picture).  My naked hand looks so beautiful to me.  Saturday evening I went up to Athletica’s house and we drank champagne.  We were supposed to be celebrating but instead as I spoke about it I found myself wanting to cry.  I waited a while after drinking the champagne and then drove home and went to bed.  I texted a friend of mine who is going through a divorce and told him what had happened.  He wrote back long after I had fallen asleep that he remembered very well what it felt like and to sleep well.  Then he added that he liked champagne.  Such are the comments of my guy friends.
I spoke with friends and family over the weekend and everyone agreed that I had done the right thing.  I knew I had.  Three years is a long time to be miserable.  Not sure where to go from here.  How do I let people know?  Do I send out a blanket email?  Can you imagine:
“Dear friends and family,
Due to irreconcilable differences my other half and I will no longer be attending your barbecues together.  We have separated.  Please do not call me to discuss because I am fine.   
Hope the Diamondbacks will have a stellar year! 
Although its early, way too early to be thinking about any of this, I wondered what it would be like to date again.  Maybe eventually.  I don’t know.  In all honesty I am terrified.  I can’t think that far ahead so I won’t.  I look forward to having some peace.  Once his stuff is gone I’m going to buy a bottle of expensive wine and sit in my livingroom and sip a glass.  I’m going to breathe in the peace and look forward to the new life I will create for myself.

Happy December!

Well, I will completely admit that I have been a total blogging lame-o this past month.  Not sure what came over me but I seem to have a bit of bloggers block.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Things have been really busy here but I’m hoping that will slow down within the next couple of weeks before the holidays.  There has been some trouble on the home front which I won’t get too much into here but it does make me sad.  Especially with the holidays around the corner.   I’ve spent more time with friends or on Facebook than I have here.

Anyway, during the month of November I had some girlfriends come out for a visit.  One came from Florida and the other came from Boston, where we all grew up.  We had plans to stay in the Bisbee/Tombstone area for one night but ended up increasing our stay for two nights.  I don’t think I have laughed so hard in my entire life.  And I can’t even say what about.  If I tried to repeat it, it wouldn’t make any sense to anyone else. 

The goal right now is to get back to Boston for Christmas so I’m currently working on making that a reality.  We’ll see.

Well, I should probably get down to the business of seeing what you are all up to.  🙂  Missed you guys!

I see the snow is back.  How cool is that? 


Facing the Twilight

Hubby with his Dad – El Paso, TX – 1974

This past Sunday hubby’s Dad was admitted into the hospital.  He has lost the use of his arms and legs, and had fallen the night before. 

While we’ve known that his condition has gradually been deteriorating over this past year, we are losing hope that he will make it out this time.  Over the past couple of days he has lost his ability to swallow and he has had a feeding tube inserted.  Things are not looking good.
Hubby seems to be handling things okay but is really struggling with all of this.  He told me the other night that he just didn’t know how to be or how to feel. 
He’s never been through this before. 
At this point it may only be a few days before he passes.  He is 76.  In spite of everything though he has not lost his sense of humor and even joked with the family about them just strapping a steak to his butt to heal him.  Just like applying a steak to a black eye I suppose. 
Well, he is surrounded by so many people who love him.  He has many grandchildren and now several great grandchildren.  We will miss him terribly.
My question though is this: how do you help a grieving spouse?  Men grieve so much more differently than woman do.  I’m trying to just take my queues from Hubby’s reactions to this.  For instance, give him space when he needs it and then back away when he needs it, etc…  I know Flamingo Dancer went through this not too long ago with her father-in-law.  Anybody have any advice?
Hubby’s birthday is this weekend and then next weekend of course is Father’s Day.  Although the timing stinks, is there ever really a time that is right?