Giving Thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  This my favorite holiday, a time to really focus on and appreciate what I have.  I have so many great friends, I love the family I’m close to, and I really enjoy my job.  I’m very content with the way my “new” life has turned out… I’m very lucky – I’m healthy and happy.

So, onto a life update.  First, I apologize for being so out-of-pocket.  Work has been busy, and I’ve just not had the energy to write.  I’ve got a ton of things to share, but no time to share them.  A quick update below as I have to go and get ready for my big Thanksgiving dinner with GFP’s family.  GFP is currently on the roster, but over the year, we have become very good friends.  I love this man, he is definitely one of my best friends now.  He will be moving off The Roster and onto my About Me page here shortly. 

Work wise, the meeting in ATL was great, but the deal isn’t going to close this year.  Mama may not get her diamond ring for Xmas.  😦   Good news is that we did what we went to do, and there is potential to close the deal in Q2 of next year.  Works for me.  It’s a deal still on the table. Yeah. 

Family wise, AbFab, the Hubby, Mayonaise, and Shanayhay are heading to CA.  They wanted to drive vs. fly (crazy kids I tell ya). They will be here in a few weeks and will spend a week here…  I can’t wait!  I’ve taken a few days off to spend with them. A lesson I learned while my parents were here.  Yes, my parents came out a few weeks ago and I did not take any time off.  I know, what was I thinking?!?  I absolutely loved having them around, spending time with them in my hood.  My dad wasn’t feeling well so they only met one person. That person?  GFP. Yep, GFP came over and we all watched football together.  It was a very cool evening.

On the dating front, I met a wonderful man unexpectedly.  He was sitting at the bar at my favorite bar/restaurant one evening when I was hanging with CLicious.     He is smart, energetic, fun, has a job that he enjoys, loves his family (he has a 23-year-old son)..  I’ve been out with him 6+ times now.  He is a gentleman thru and thru.  He is older than me by quite a few years – by 23 years.  As you know, I like them older so this doesn’t bother me.  He is so nice to me, always thinking about ways he can take care of me.  I’ve never had a guy want to take care of me – focused on how they can contribute to my happiness.  It’s very different for me.  I’m still uncomfortable with having someone be so kind to me but this is definitely something I need to get over (I’m so used to taking care of myself, why can’t I just let that go a bit and let someone else do something nice for me?!??! This is a topic for another blog).

I’m also thinking about my New Years Resolutions.  I love setting goals for myself..  I’ll spend the next month formulating them… I don’t like Christmas – the commercialism of it all, so I choose to ignore the holiday, be a good person, and think about where I want to go/be next year…  This makes me love this part of the year. 

O.k.. I’ve got to go, get ready to hang with GFP and his family.  Please enjoy the friends and family you’ve chosen to surround yourself with, appreciate what you have, and let go of the rest.

Weekend With Family.

I’m in Utah this weekend, enjoying some time with family.  It’s a quick trip, our annual school clothes shopping adventure.  I’ve been doing this with the girls in the family since my niece AbFab was 6 years old.  She would come out to CA and hang with me .. we would shop for school clothes. There are so many things we got for her that we both loved – the fabulous green dress with a scarf when she was 8, her down puffy coat years later.. 

This year the event occurred with my twin, my two nieces AbFab and LilDarlin’ (my twin sisters daughters), and AbFab’s two darling little ladies Mayonaise and Shanaynay.  We did all our shopping in one long afternoon.  It’s the shortest shopping trip we have ever had, but it was enough.  Mayonnaise kept calling us “The Family”, and wanted all 6 of us to do everything together.. everything.  Mayonaise is not a quiet child, I do wonder if other shoppers thought we were part of a polygamist family (we all look so much alike).  Either way, a GREAT day, we got everything we needed to go back to school in grand style. 

We shopped until 6:30pm or so, then had dinner with my parents.  It was so good to see them and spend some time with them. Even though they all live in Utah, they do not get together as often as they would like – They don’t live close and they all have family obligations (kids, jobs, you all know the drill).  Anyway, it’s nice when I come into town they make a point of getting together (to spend time with me, how awesome is that??!?) .  It was a great dinner.

After dinner, AbFab and my twin went home, and my niece LilDarlin’ and I watched the little ladies.  I booked a hotel with a pool so that we could swim (and boy did we ever!).  It was late by the time we got to the room, so we just did girls stuff (manicure and pedicure, chit-chat, etc).. .   We had a great time at “Paula’s House” (that’s what Mayonaise calls the hotel) – Girls will probably remember painting fingers and toes, swimming, and jumping on the bed the most.. 

The next morning we got up early and swam for almost 2 hours!  We got ready and then headed over to McDonald’s for fries and Payland, finally making it home around 3pm.   LilDarlin’ and I relaxed on the couch for a while… then off we went to the Family Dollar for a few things..  AbFab made a great dinner, and after the kids went to bed, AbFab, LilDarlin’ and I hung out and reviewing pictures of past experiences.   AbFab left for work (she works graveyards) and put LilDarlin’ and I “in charge” again….  And we did not disappoint!

We got up early in the morning, hung out, and enjoyed each others company.  Kids had Otter Pops while I had my coffee, then had yogurt and granola for breakfast.. pizza for snack all before noon.  It is so fun being the Aunt – I think that anything within reason is o.k. as long as they treat each other with love and respect.. so a few popsicles during their morning ritual will not kill them.

Anyway, I did have to leave and it was hard. Very hard.  I cried as I drove to my parents house.  I love all te kids – it’s so hard to not be around as much as I would like to be.  But it is what it is, and I will be back in a few months.  I do have to say, the weekend would NOT have been over the top fun if LilDarlin’ wasn’t with me – she is the coolest aunt in the world to the girls – they idolize her and she loves them to pieces back.  She helped me with their schedules, guiding me on the best way to take care of them…  She is such a sweet, loving,  and kind person.  She is  heading into the 6th grade with more wisdom and independence than I’ve seen in most 6th graders. 

I did arrive to my parents house at a reasonable hour, had some time to catch up with my parents.  I love coming home and catching up with my parents.  My mom always makes me a very fondly remembered “favorite meal” and my dad gives me the update on his store – he owns and manages a small computer business in Utah.  He’s just moved into a new building and is working hard at building up business at his new location.  My mom made me meatloaf with a baked potato and canned green beans.  I loved this meal growing up, and it tasted sooooooooooooooo good this evening.  She even made one of my favorites for dessert – brownies!  We had a great dinner, great conversation, and it’s just so good to see my parents.

Ok.. I’m exhausted, I’m heading to bed in a few minutes. I have a few blogs to write about specific events/experiences.. I will try to get to these on the airplane.. .. I’m heading back to Atlanta for my last week of on-site support for the immediate time being.

Good night folks.

Winding Down The Family Weekend.

Here I sit, in my bed, ready for sleep, thinking about my weekend…  here it is, in a nutshell.

Today, Sunday was a great day.  I went with my mom to our favorite thrift store and found my favorite pants in my size.  So I lost weight last year, and my girlfriend FreeBird told me I had to get rid of them…  I gave them to my mom this weekend. She loves them.  I was sad to part with them, but happy that they fit my mom and she loves them.  So, we go to the thrift store, and what do I find…. the EXACT SAME PAIR of jeans IN MY SIZE.  Honestly, I have done some very good deeds to deserve something like this to happen to me.   Oh, and they cost $8.  I know! Awesome.

This afternoon was my great-niece Mayonaise’s 4th birthday party.  She officially turns 4 next weekend, but we celebrated it this weekend.  I’ve attached a picture of her here – how adorable is she?!?!?!   She received the usual – shoes and sidewalk chalk from great grandma, clothes from grandma, coloring books from mom and dad, these bracelets from her cousin, and of course you can guess what I got for her – hula hoops!!  Yep, we went outside and I showed her the ways of the hula… she was adorable moving her round little belly around trying to keep the hoop up.  Just adorable.

Yesterday, Saturday, I spent the morning with my mom, lunch with mom and dad, a long nap, then dinner and drinks with AbFab and her hubby.  We ate at Red  Lobster.. I had Maine lobster with 2 glasses of wine… Fantastic company, great food, superior service.  The only bummer is that the evening ended too soon. 😦

And on Friday I worked all day, then had a fabulous dinner with my realtor.  Learned that 47% of all Utah properties on the market are distressed…   which means that I won’t be selling my condo anytime soon.

All in all, I was able to relax a bit, spend quality time with family and friends, and still manage to get my work done.  How great is that?

Waiting For Moms Test Results.

So, a lot of you have asked how my mom is doing….   She had another episode (shooting pain in her shoulder that is so immense she had to lay down…. she was at work).  My dad took her to the doctor and she had an MRI… . we get the results back today.

I’m in Utah now, hanging with her.  She says she is fine, but she’s also taken 2 loratabs (if any of you know pain killers, this is the good stuff)..  I’m not sure there is anything I can do at this point, but just talk with her, get her water, etc… 

I also have a few people to see, mostly AbFab, Mayonaise, and Shanaynay.  I will also be visiting with my other niece, LilDarlin’, and celebrating my fathers birthday…  All good stuff.

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yes, that’s right, I was born 40 years ago, on Mothers Day.  I know, what a tragedy blessing for my parents.  Oh, and I think I’ve forgotten to mention that I’m a twin – so my mom and dad had TWO of me at the same time. 

I have been celebrating my birthday for the last two weeks.. out almost every single night with a friend or two.  I am SO LUCKY to have such love and friendship in my life.  I know, I don’t have the “trappings” of a successful 40-year-old – I don’t have a man, I don’t have kids.  But I’m so happy!  I don’t think I’ve ever been so consciously happy.  So I’m 40 .. look at me – happy, healthy, and with a tremendous amount of love in my life.

Here’s a quick list (umm hmm, surprise, a list!) of my celebratory activities:

  • I went dancing last weekend in SF with a few of my best girlfriends – Love In The City Weekend
  •  spent the week catching up with really good friends, even had  a ‘pool party’ with one of ’em!
  • this Friday night I went out with my local crew and had another impromptu dance party.   Trapeze is my all time favorite restaurant and they treated us like royalty.  Then a few of us headed over to the Vinyl Room, a local bar/dance place, and danced the night away until others started arriving…  We are always up for starting a dance party (we love an open dance floor)..
  • Last night I had dinner with my fist best girlfriend – Bitter Betty (my name is/was Pissy Patty)… more about our friendship below…

Bitter and I were inseparable…  we did everything together.  Our friendship waned when I lost all confidence in myself and became a recluse (yes, much like what happened a few years ago)…  We talked about this last night.  What I love about Bitter is that we haven’t skipped a beat – its like we’ve never been apart.  I love this woman – she is amazing, smart, absolutely stunning, and the nicest person I’ve ever met.  When I was feeling ugly towards other people, I used to think to myself, “what would Bitter do?” … Bitter would always smile and just move away from the bad energy.  O.k.. so yes,  I love this woman!  So glad we have reconnected after all these years, and that she is still her same, sweet fabulous self!  Go Bitter!

O.k.. as you can see I’m living life to the fullest … I am finally 40 (been waiting years for this moment)…   as a friend said to me this morning, “Glad you finally grew up and have joined us at the adult table”…    That’s right, today, I’m officially a grown up!!

Mom Is Down.

Wow, Mom is in the hospital.  She is down.  This woman is the strongest woman I know.  I’m numb.  She may have had a heart attack… may have had a bad reaction to something.   Either way, she ended up in the emergency room.  When I spoke to her, she was “drunk”…   I made light of her condition, largely because I have no idea of how to deal with this situation.  Mom, the rock of the family, needs help, whether she admits it or not.

God, my heart is heavy tonight.  What do I do.. go home to her home….   stay home and deal….  I love this woman. She is the most significant woman in my life  – so much of her experience is who I am, what I am today…. What do I do???  Definitely makes me think of what is important in life…

Thoughts and Reflections.

So, I’ve been busy with work this week (all goodness, its been a very successful week professionally), but in the back of my mind, relationship “stuff” has been swirling thru my head.  This has largely to do with a couple of events:

  • My Niece’s sperm donor (guy got my sister pregnant and took off, without even a good-bye) has reached out to her – on Facebook no less. She hasn’t seen/heard from him since she was 6 (so almost 15 years).
  • The fact that I reconnected with my first San Francisco girlfriend after 8 or so years…   its like we haven’t missed a beat. She’s the best, fun, most gorgeous friend ever!!  Love Her!!
  • Having a man drop off the roster…. and not being interested in adding another person to the roster.

I’ve been thinking about the relationships I most care about, the ones that are/have been the most honest, most rewarding, supportive. 

  1. Of course, the first set of folks are my girlfriends.  They have been with me thru thick and thin.  Most I’ve been friends with before I met my Ex…   stayed with me and supported me, no, propped me up and got me active and engaged during my divorce and recovery….   I wouldn’t know what I would do without these folks in my life.    My friend C-Licious, who got me out for runs, let me cry and run without judgement…   Who adopted me and let me go everywhere with her and her husband (and family, friends, etc..)…  My other best friends, HOPR team, who, hung out with me in “the danger zone” (aka house on Kehoe), who never judged my crazy, reclusive tendendies…  who were always up for taking me out and showing me a good time, even if that meant walking to Celia’s and letting me have too many margaritas.  To all the other friends who wouldn’t let our relationship die with my marriage, and who I adore and cherish every moment with today (thank you ladies for that!!!)..   I could write a book on how fan-tabulous all my lady-friends are.  
  2. The second set would be my family – mostly my niece and my parents ( I’m not real close to my other sisters).  These folks have been nothing but supportive, being my cheerleaders thru thick and thin.  I remember when I told my parents about my divorce (I was apprehensive about it – they liked him)… I’ll never forget my dads first words – “lifes to short to be unhappy”.  Not “are you sure you know what your doing (dumbass)”, “what about kids”, etc..  but, “we support you and your happiness 200%”.    Makes me tear up just thinking about it.  And my niece, who doesn’t forget about me ever, even though she is 20, married with 2 kids, and working full time.  Always calls me, reaching out to me, keeping me updated with her and the kids’ goings-on.  I love that.
  3. The last would be the last 2 guys I’ve dated.  I know, I don’t like that Dear Paula Letter writer broke up with me via email, didn’t communicate with me about how he was feeling and just reacted to his thoughts and feelings with total withdrawl.  I get that he was doing the best he could do, but the shutout hurt.  Anyway, what I liked about the relationship was how easy and fun it was.  I dont really know how honest he was as I didn’t have the time to really get to know him, but he had a great energy, and we had a great energy together.  Who knows where it could have gone, but it got me thinking that people can connect in this crazy world.   The other would be the man I saw on and off for almost 18 months before that… the first man I dated after my divorce.  It was and still is the most honest, open, caring relationship that I’ve been in.  We had a lot of stuff going on in  our lives, but our time together was about spending quality time together.  He definitely took care of me in a way I could appreciate.. and I did the same for him. We laughed all the time… there was a connection and energy that we shared that I’ve not had with anyone else.   I miss him.

Because of these folks, Iam finding dating a lot less interesting now..    I’ve not met anyone I’ve really connected with …  and I’m just not sure if its something you can go and find on a dating website.. I think it has to hit you upside the head at the most random and unexpected times.    I’m pretty sure I’m NOT going to add a new guy to the roster, I think I’m just going to see what happens with the two on the roster right now.  I dont know if I’ve just not spent enough time with these guys, or if there is just not something there… but none of them knock my socks off …  and I don’t want to miss spending time with peeps from 1 and 2 above for just anyone. 

Oh, and one more thing. Its so funny that this post is in list form.  I have created at least a 1/2 dozen lists this week… I’m a list-maniac right now!!

My Dad Has A Twin.

O.k.. so I do NOT have many dating experiences under my belt, But I’ve had my first “rock your world” date …  but not in a good way. 

First, Dad, Mom, I love you dearly. This experience may be offensive to you, so if you proceed to read, do so with caution and remember to be strong – I love you!

So, tonight, I went on a date with a nice guy – he was a happy individual, has great relationships with his sons, has an intersting and well paid profession… but when he came to my door to pick me up for our date – it was over.  He looks EXACTLY like my father.   We spent the first 15 minutes at my house, gave him the tour, talking about where we wanted to go…   he was very nice.  But in my head, all I could think was that I was about to go on a date with my FATHER!  Poor chap, after one look it was over –  I do not want to date him OR think about having sex with him.  Ewwwhhhh.

Now, the date wasn’t planned.  I’ve been very busy and focused on work for the last couple of weeks,  but I received a call, out of the blue,  from this gent asking me to dinner.  I needed a break and I enjoyed talking with him, so why not?  As a matter of fact, he actually flew in a day early so that he could have dinner with me… I was definitely impressed with his level of interest.

WE went out, had a couple of drinks at a local watering hole, then had a really nice dinner at a local restaurant.  Everything about our surroundings was perfect, and we actually had good conversation.  However, there are thoughts that ran thru my head, that no matter how great this guy was,  the date was “over”..  I don’t even think I can be “just friends”… I have a dad, and I can’t get past that “dating my dad” thing..   O.k.. so the things that I wanted to write down in my little red pad (while he was talking!!!)  include:

  • He sweats profusely.  At first I thought he was just nervious or thrilled to be with such a fun, good looking, and intelligent person, but it just never stopped.  He was wiping his forhead and neck all night long.  It would have been better if he turned to me and told me about a gland problem he was afflicted with… but he did not.. I have no idea why he was sweating for hours straight..   maybe he is detoxing from something??  No idea.
  • Nervous habits.  He was so fidgety… always moving around.. back and forth, hand movements, facial expressions, bulging eyes….   Maybe  its the drugs?  Or he is just really really expressive…
  • Loves VW’s.  Collects them.. loves them.  A VW Horder if you has me (he has more than one).  My dad, too loves VW’s.  Just ask me and/or my mom about my fathers passion for anything VW.
  • Bad Knee. Nothing wrong with it, it is what it is.  But my dad also has a bum knee.  Lots of stories about the knee, what happened, recovery, and living with an aching joint.  Again, nothing wrong with it, it just reminds me of dad…  It also means he doesn’t exercise and thats a deal breaker – running is my therapy and I love a man with a nice firm body… 
  • Face.  The man looks exactly like my dad!!!  Same receding headline, scar near his laugh line, grey hair…..  

So, I need to say again, I love my dad, he is awesome.  Love talking with him, catching up with him, and taking care of him (as much as he will let me)…..   but I dont want to date my dad, and I certinaly do not want to have sex with my dad! 

Given all of these things, there is just absolutely no way we can have a relationship. Friendship maybe, “Friends with Benefits” – no way.  Poor guy, didn’t know/doesn’t know yet he’s out….. or why.  How do you tell someone this?  I would love to hear what you would recommend I say…. I know he is going to call me again. Grrrrr.

Road Trip.

I spent the weekend with family.  It was a busy but rewarding weekend.

The fabulous A’s came out, my niece and her daughter, and we drove a car to UT, the one she will  use to get herself to and from school.  Its a great beauty – an older truck that has been very well taken care of (thank you Dancing Queen) but has plenty of life left in her.  Her name – Ethel.  We loved Ethel, she is in the prime of her life.   I’ll post pictures of Ethel in a few days. 

We started our drive on Saturday morning, stopped off in Winemucca, NV (where “there is always something going on” according to the 100’s of billboards up to the Hills Have Eyes town) for a bite to eat, slept in Elko, NV, and finished our trip in Lehi, UT, which is where I’m now.  My flight from SLC to CA was cancelled this evening, I’m heading home to the cats tomorrow. 

I would normally be annoyed by the airlines not being able to get their act together, but not this time.  I feel relieved as now I am able to spend time with family.  My mom is taking caree of her a few of her grandkids – my youngest sisters kids. One of them is Bubba, a nephew that is near and dear to my heart. I fell in love with this little guy the minute I met him – named him Bubba myself.  Not because he looked like a fat man who played a part in Deliverance, but because he had the warmest spirit and biggest smile of any little boy I knew.  My heart melted, and Bubba has had a special place in my heart since.

Anyway, due to a family emergency, the boys are are here at Grandma’s.  And tonight, I’m the lucky one – I get to sleep with one of my favorite men of all time – Bubba.  I’m headed to bed soon, he is fast asleep…  so adorable!  I hear he snores and likes to kick….   who doesn’t?!??!

All in all, this is an experience I will remember.  Glad I did it. Puts a smile on my face just thinking about it.  And who doesn’t like a lady who smiles?

New Horizons.

So, today is the last day of my vacation. Tomorrow, Sunday, I’m on my way home, begin work on Monday, and fall back into the basic routine of my everyday life.

But today is one of the most memorable for me.  I just completed a vacation where I got uninterrupted time with both my mother and my neice. 

I spent 3 days, 2 nights with my mother, who told me stories about she and my father, about their parents, and their grandparents.  It was fascinating to learn more about my parents NOT as parents, but as people; as children, teenagers, and young folks; to hear about their lives, growing up, and the history that has influenced who I am.  I will share some of these stories as I process them.

I also  spent 3  nights, 3 days with my niece, who I feel as close to as a daughter (I imagine).  We talked about anything and everything; her children (3 and 1, the darlingist little ladies in the world!!), our family, our relationship, our past, her future….   I am so incredibly proud of her.   You see, I had custody of her years ago, during her teenage years.  Unfortunately for all of us, we needed to place her in a girls school for  a year.  We chose a school in Hurricane, UT because of its program to counsel vs. punish…  Today, 5 years later, my neice and I went to the school, drove thu Hurricane, and relived that difficult time.   The experience feels both like it happened yesterday AND forever ago.

The reason that today was so special for me is because of how much my niece has matured and what a great person she has become.  I knew this day would come, I had confidence in her, I believed in her… and today, her plans for herself and her girls, proved to me that the difficult experience we had was all worth it.   Its hard to believe that the 2 year old I fell head over heals in love with is now 21, a mother of 2 very happy and healthy girls, and a  college student.  She amazes me.

I have a few pictures of us, with town of Hurricane, UT behind us (so fitting).  What I’ve shared here is a view of Hurricane without us as to not blow my cover.  BTW, the pictures of us turned out fabulously – we are absolutely gorgeous!!  🙂