May 7

Today marks a very special day in my life.  More importantly, in my friend Julie’s.  Today, she begins a new and better life as a Divorced woman.

Sad as it should seem, I can’t help but feeling downright giddy.

And ultimately, overwhelmed with joy for her.

Until you have watched your best friend become a mere shell of herself, struggling to hold her life together for the sake of everyone else but herself, then you cannot possibly understand why I feel so completely happy.

I understand why she stayed so long and I commend her.  She really did love her now ex-husband, they had a gorgeous son together.  Julie is the type of person who gives 200% to everything.  She needed to know that if her marriage was going to end, it wasn’t going to be because she didn’t give it her all.  It was tough watching her efforts fail, time and time again, in spite of her best ones.

 

It infuriated me to watch him take her efforts for granted.  I will never forget the first time I really cried about it.  Howard was even taken aback.  I couldn’t even tell him what was going on without bursting into tears.  Here I was, her very best friend, and I could do nothing.  But Julie did say something that resonated with me:  “Chris, I will know when I’ve had enough.”

Sometimes, in a marriage, it’s a lot harder to stay and I respect her for taking the rougher road. 

Ultimately though, her statement proved true.  She’d had enough.  She was done.

She took her son and made a new life for both of them and it’s only gotten better since.

I’m incredibly proud of her. 

Julie, you’ve taught me that some relationships just aren’t worth holding on to.  You’ve finally given me the “wisdom to know the difference” myself.

I love you honey.  Here’s some eye candy for you, my friend.  With a very important message.

Here’s to an incredible new life for you and Aaron.

Thank YOU for teaching me some very important lessons in my own life.

 

 

 

May 3

This song “says” so much.  What a year it’s been.  We’re finally getting over the mountain but still have a long journey ahead.

Thank you so much for everyone who has remained by my side through everything.  Those of you who just sat and listened, who got frustrated with me but still said “Hey, I’m not going anywhere.” 

Thank you to those who could look past your frustration and anger and recognized that no friendship is ever perfect and for your patience to remain here still.  You know who you are.

For those of you who allowed me to “Say what I needed to say.”

Should the opportunity arise for me to reciprocate, you can feel secure in the knowledge that I will always allow the same.

 

You mean everything.  This song is for you!

 

Apr 23

The scene:  Approximately 9 years ago, while working in a doctor’s office.  I’m sitting with my friend Chrissy (yes I know AND her real name was Christina…no, that wasn’t confusing AT ALL!) and she’s telling a funny story about her grandma.  It went something like this:

The other Chrissy:  My grandma calls velcro “vulva.”

Chrissy ie Me:  I…um…what?

The other Chrissy:  No, I’m serious.  She calls it “vulva” and I have no idea why.

Chrissy ie Me:  Vulva.  Huh.  Does she know what a “vulva” is?

The other Chrissy:  I would assume she doesn’t.

Chrissy ie Me:  Oh, you are lying.  This is some kind of joke right?

The other Chrissy: I’m calling my mom right now…here I’ll put her on speaker.

The other Chrissy calls her mom and asks her.  Sure enough, her mother’s mother calls velcro “vulva” and no one knows why.

We are both laughing hysterically when our co-worker, Kathy, walks in: 

Kathy:  What are ya’ll laughing at?

The Other Chrissy:  My grandma calls velcro “vulva.”

Kathy gave her a blank stare for a few seconds and then said, and I quote:

“You mean, like the car?”

To which, The Other Chrissy and I were doubled over and in tears.

Random but funny.  Come on, you know you’re laughing.

Apr 10

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Happy Birthday Mom! 

I thought you would get a kick out of this picture.  (I have no idea who it is or where it was taken but hey, it’s funny and I know you appreciate my humor)

Mom, thank you for always celebrating the fact that I’m different.  That I’m odd.  That I march to the beat of my own drum.  I keep that close to my heart on days that I wish I were more “normal.”

Have a great day.  I love you.

Christina

Apr 8

Hey ya’ll, Clarence here.

Alaska 2009 183.jpg

My mom wanted to show me off and told me to post here on her blog.  I don’t know what she was thinking, I mean, I do NOT have opposable paws, therefore I don’t type.  So, I said “Mom?  Take a letter.”  She jumped on it too.  I mean, could you resist this face?

Alaska 2009 348.jpg

That’s me on my dad’s lap.  Mom says I look a little “smug.”  I say “if the shoe fits..”  Speaking of my dad, he and mom have been going back and forth about how to spell my name.  Mom thinks it should be spelled with a “C” and dad thinks it should be spelled with a “K.”  All I know?  Is keep my food bowl full and keep doing that scratchy thing with your hand, dad.

Alaska 2009 347.jpg

Also?  My mom and dad seem to think that I talk like a “stoner” with a southern accent.  I don’t know how that can be, I was born in Alaska and I’m not a stoner.  I mean, just because I go batshit crazy get a little excited about catnip, does NOT mean I’m a stoner.  I’m guessing they think I talk with a southern accent because they are southern and that’s okay, I’ll indulge them.

But honestly, do I look like a cat who gets stoned?

Alaska 2009 076.jpg

Pay no attention to the above picture.

They also think I completely adore my “big brother” Pepper.  First of all, that spazzy, hyper, little furball is the same age as me.  I do not understand how that makes him my “big brother.”  And second, I only make him THINK I love him so that he doesn’t get an inferior complex when he’s around me because dammit, I’m a handsome boy. 

Alaska 2009 066.jpg

Mom also insists that I post some pictures of my brother and me to PROVE that I love and adore him.  I’m just going to humor her but you and I know better, right?

Alaska 2009 089.jpg

(Looks like my “big brother” clearly loves and adores me)

Alaska 2009 181.jpg

Oh please.  I’m simply comforting him because he’s been through a lot in the last year and he keeps trying to find solace in these stupid squeaky toys.  There is no subsitute for real, live comfort.  I am a cat who is all about sacrifices, people!

Alaska 2009 321.jpg

And all this talk of love, comfort, sacrifice, and allegations has me all tuckered out.  Give my mom a break for not being able to come up with anything and go ogle my pictures instead. 

I’m outta here. 

 Alaska 2008 067.jpg

 

Apr 6

After that last post, I was making fun of myself for throwing such a pathetic pity party but still wrestling with all kinds of emotions.

Dusty called Sunday morning and invited us out to their friend’s cabin via snowmachine.  I hesitated at first, feeling safe and comfortable in my home, wrapped in blankets and snuggled up with my boys.

“I have a headache” I whined.

“So do I, but I think fresh air will help” Dusty countered.

“Let’s get up and go, baby”  Howard offered.

What could I say?  Clearly, I was outnumbered.  Dusty and I worked out the details and Howard and I geared up.

Dusty offered us one of his extra snowmachines so that Howard and I could ride separately.  I was a little nervous at first because this would be the longest I’d ever driven a snowmachine solo but I was up for the adventure.

We met up with Dusty’s mom and aunt and set out on the frozen river.  I drove cautiously at first, keeping a relatively slow speed compared to my traveling companions until I felt comfortable enough to catch up.  Finally, on a long stretch of snow covered ice, I pressed harder on the throttle and in no time, I caught up to Dusty who was leading the way for me.  It felt damn good.  The wind in my face seemed to blow the stress right out of my body and left it in the powder behind me. 

As we approached the over land trail, I saw the leading machines make their way up the steep embankment and I initially felt trepidation, then I shook of my inhibitions and sped up enough to zip up the bank with ease and as I topped the hill, I felt the back of my machine lift up in the air for a few seconds and then I landed back on the trail and continued on my way.

I was smiling underneath my scarf and squealed with delight.  

We eventually made our way to the cabin and after I disembarked from my machine, Howard approached me and I excitedly asked him “Did you see my air?” 

“I did!  That was awesome!”  He said, dimples shining.

We spent the afternoon cleaning the cabin, hanging out, sharing a bottle of wine and snacking on salmon and crackers.  A few other people showed up and we shared our bounty as they did the same.  The weather was perfect, the sun was high in the sky, and we soaked it all up.

Eventually, we packed up, geared up, and hit the trail to head back home.  The adrenaline pulsed in my veins as I throttled up whenever I got into a long stretch.  I was much more comfortable.  I was unabashedly giddy.

Dusty and his entourage made their way up the first embankment into town and Howard and I waved goodbye to them and stayed on the river until we got closer to where we live.  As we approached, I realized the embankment appeared dangerously steep.  I was hesitant and waved Howard on around me.  He throttled up and made the embankment with relative ease.  As I watched him, I held my breath as his snowmachine screamed and nearly went vertical and then tipped forward and finally carried him over the bank. 

He pulled up onto the road, got off his machine, then signaled for me to do the same.  He was smiling and encouraging.  I was already looking around for a less angular embankment. I came up empty.  I hesitated and then sped toward the embankment.  Just as I got to the base, I chickened out and made a sharp turn to my left.  I slowed down and turned to face the steep course again.  I took a deep breath and said a prayer of “God, please let me make it up that hill”, then I went full throttle, headed toward the base and felt the nose tip up and I leaned forward and focused on the top of what seemed like a mountain.  In a second I was up the hill and I came flying over the bank and landed right in front of Howard’s machine. 

I yelled a “WOOOO!” and pumped my fists in the air.  Howard smiled and said “You made it!”

Later, after we were settled in at home, Howard looked over at me and said “I’m proud of you honey, you made it up that hill and you didn’t think you would.”

As I drifted off to sleep that night, my body tired and spent, my arms sore and aching, and my face windburned, I felt incredible.  I felt happy.  And I also knew that when Howard told me I made it when I didn’t think I would, he wasn’t just talking about that hill.

I closed my eyes and said a prayer of thanks.

 

Apr 4

Last night, my friend Melissa and I chatted online for over an hour.  We reminisced about all the crazy times we spent back in NC and gave updates on our lives.

And of course we laughed a lot.

It’s no secret (duh) that I’ve been scarce lately.  I’m not sure where to begin so I won’t.

I will say that things have been overwhelming me lately.  At times it feels absolutely suffocating.

Yesterday, as I was trying to tell Dusty something, he walked away from me and I had to follow him to finish what I was saying.  I could tell he was completely flustered and just needed to put some distance between us.

Afterwards, I felt awful about that.  Dusty’s a good friend who puts up with a lot from me.  But even he has his limits.

That’s when I began realizing that I miss my friends more than ever.

I try really hard not to be needy and that can sometimes come off as being distant and aloof to some people.

Ironically, after holding everything in and acting like I can do all things on my own without burdening anyone, when I DO ask for help, it comes off as:  Say it with me boys and girls… NEEDY!

It keeps everyone confused which is why it’s no surprise that I have very few close friends.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have a large network of people I genuinely like and vice versa and outwardly, I really do enjoy meeting new people.  In reality, very few of those people see my ugly side.

It’s hard to be friends with me.  It’s incredibly taxing and takes a lot of effort.  I am complicated, quirky, and my moods change with the wind.  It’s nothing that will ever change.  It’s who I am and I have learned to make no apologies.

In any event, after talking with Melissa last night, she reminded me that though I have very few real friends, I am thankful for the ones who have hung in there with me.  Who have stood by me through all the good and the bad.

You all know who you are.  That goes for you too, Melissa.  I can’t thank you enough for that conversation last night.  It came when I desperately (there’s that word again) needed it.

It also made me realize that I need to practice opening my heart a little more.  To accept the gifts that I’m offered.  Maybe it wouldn’t seem so foreign and uncomfortable when I do accept them.

Who knows?  This post is starting to confuse you now too, isn’t it?

Let me just end it by thanking you, my wonderful, beautiful, albeit few friends.  I know I’m no picnic but thank you for making the effort to see past that.

When the sun shines, we’ll shine together
Told you I’ll be here forever
Said I’ll always be a friend
Took an oath, I’ma stick it out till the end

Now that it’s raining more than ever
Know that we’ll still have each other
You can stand under my umbrella
You can stand under my umbrella

Mar 21

I arrived back in my village this morning after a few days in Anchorage.

Howard met me at the plane with open arms, we claimed my baggage and he whisked me away on the snowmachine and treated me to breakfast at the cafe’.

When we arrived home, Pepper’s entire body shook with excitement and Clarence lumbered excitedly over to rub up against my leg. Howard and I unloaded the groceries I brought back with me, I changed into my pajamas, and after attempting to relax in the living room, Howard suggested we retire to the bedroom for a family cuddle.

After sleeping alone for the past three nights and functioning on very little, I easily caved.

We fluffed the blankets and pillows, Pepper jumped up on the bed and rooted under the covers, Howard and I followed suit. (with less rooting of course)

I spooned up behind Howard, kissed his shoulder, my right arm thrown around his waist, his right arm pulling mine ever tighter around him. His hand wrapped around mine. Clarence hopped up on the bed, felt around until he felt Pepper’s warm lump under the covers at our feet and plopped down next to his brother.

Sleep found me within minutes. My last thoughts before slumber being ones of gratitude.

For the familiar. The warmth of bodies molded together on the family bed. Of the comfortable quiet that settles over us as we all exhale the joy of being back together again.

My boys and me. My life. My destiny.

I slept the best I’d slept in days. It’s good to be home.

The boys.

Mar 7

On Tuesday, my co-worker and I flew to a neighboring village to celebrate the birthday of a very special lady.

She was turning 100 years old.

I first met “Grandma Lena” last year when she was passing through town. I got to spend some time visiting with her, learning that she was once a midwife who delivered over 100 babies in her village, loved to bead, and most importantly was in remarkable physical and mental shape to be (at the time) 98 years old.

I was immediately smitten with and inspired by, this remarkable woman. I also made a promise to her and to myself that if it was at all possible, I’d spend her 100th birthday with her. Even if it meant I had to fly to her village.

Which is exactly what I did. My boss gave me his blessing and even allowed a co-worker to come along.

After we arrived at her home and I appeared in the doorway of her bedroom (where she spends a lot of her time now), her face lit up and she held out her arms to welcome me. I strode over to the bed and allowed myself to be enveloped by her frail yet strong arms. “Happy Birthday, Gramma” I said into her shoulder as she squeezed me tight.

“Thank you” she said through her big smile.

I checked her over and made sure she had everything she needed to be comfortable, and then I told her I wanted to paint her nails for her birthday. (I made a mental note a while back because everytime I visit with her, she’s constantly tending to her nails.) Her windowsill held an assortment of varied and sundry colors of nail polish. I pulled them down and asked her which color she wanted.

She gave me a mischievious grin, raised an eyebrow, and reached for the drawer in her nightstand and produced a bottle of powder blue polish with just a hint of glitter.

We smiled at each other.

Of course she wanted this color. It was different and special and she was 100 years old. It was the perfect choice.

As I gingerly held her hand in mine, her skin as delicate as tissue paper, dipped the brush in the polish, and smoothed it over each nail, we talked about her favorite memories, the best being the birth of her children. We talked about how the world had changed so much since she first arrived in the world. We laughed and giggled like two teenagers at silly stuff and I listened intently when she spoke of serious issues.

It was one of the most profound moments of my life. Here I was, sharing an intimate moment with someone who’d lived 100 years. And was still doing quite well. I felt grateful, my heart swelled with joy and admiration.
I eventually left so that she could take a nap before her big potluck/birthday party and so that my co-worker could have her own individual time with her as well. Later, we both joined the entire community in celebrating with her. Sentiments were expressed. Food was eaten. Photos were snapped. Video was captured. Hugs and kisses were doled out in abundance.

Finally, we heard our plane fly over..signaling the end of our visit. We began saying our goodbyes and when it was my turn, I hugged her again, and she thanked us all for making the trip over to see her.

“I love you, gramma” I said when I pulled away and looked into her eyes.

“I love you too” she said as she stroked my cheek.

As my travel companions and I made our way to the airstrip to meet our plane, my co-worker said through watery eyes: “What a wonderful day…I’m so glad we spent her birthday with her.”

“Indeed.” I said, as I choked back my own tears.

Don’t blink
Just like that you’re six years old and you take a nap and you
Wake up and you’re twenty-five and your high school sweetheart becomes your wife
Don’t blink
You just might miss your babies growing like mine did
Turning into moms and dads next thing you know your “better half”
Of fifty years is there in bed
And you’re praying God takes you instead
Trust me friend a hundred years goes faster then you think
So Don’t blink

Alaska 2009 200.jpg

Mar 6

I just HAD to post about this.

Earlier tonight, I did a few things around the house like laundry, taking out the garbage, and more importantly, cleaning out Clarence’s litter box.  (Which, Oh. My. God.  I could do an entire post dedicated to the size of that cat’s poop)

So, after doing that, I flopped down on the couch with my laptop to do some websurfing, hoping to GOD, I could find some inspiration with which to wax the BEST! POST! EVER! (HA!)

Clarence, hopped up on the couch beside me and began purring and kneading and headbutting me.

Now, I know when we first got him, he did that a lot and without provocation.  But that was also when he wasn’t quite sure we were just another foster home and therefore had to turn on all the charm he could in order to woo us into keeping him forever.  Nowadays, he only does that when he’s out of food or needs something. (little brat…and also knows we’re just head over heels in love with him anyway)

So, knowing I’d just cleaned his litter box, topped off his food bowl, and refilled his water tank, I knew there was no other motive other than the fact that he just wanted to show his mama how much he appreciated her for doing that.

(Insert pregnant pause here)

A couple of hours later, I was transferring laundry from the washer to the dryer, feeling almost smug that I accomplished so much…ESPECIALLY tackling that nightmare of a litter box, when I realized SUDDENLY why my blue eyed, portly, orange point cat was so enamored with his mama.

Because his dumbass mother, though she cleaned the litter box, disposed of the litter, and replaced the dirty liner with a clean one, FORGOT to put clean cat litter in the litter box.

Thank you folks.  I’m here all week.

« Previous Entries Next Entries »