Almost a Valentine’s Day Article…

So I entered a submission for “love stories pertaining to bodies of water” (specific, don’t I know it) from a Canadian environmental magazine. Now, I work for a Canadian manufacturer in the environmental field even though I am based out of Texas, so that’s how I can see these sorts of things. And lo and behold- I DO have a love story that pertains to a body of water… it just happened to be in Texas. Unfortunately the whole article concept was scrapped because I was the only one who submitted anything and a lone Texas story in a Canadian magazine wasn’t really what they were after. But I’ll be damned if I won’t share it here! So I give you… a love story.

Continue reading “Almost a Valentine’s Day Article…”


Insert round is a shape joke here.

Truth is, I’m not round is a shape. 149lbs for 5’7 is still 9 pounds within the ideal range of 121 to 158lbs. Squeaking by, but good enough for a Liberal Arts diploma, you dig? (I would know, wouldn’t I?) Nope. Tell it to my Ukrainian Endocronologist. Who also is a metabolism and diabetes specialist. Here I went in to get my thyroid medication level checked and slightly adjusted and an hour later I’m mid lecture about how I’m becoming insulin resistant and phrases such as “as we get older” and “no more flour tortillas” and “all the lettuce you could want” are getting bandied about WAYYYY to liberally for my taste. (My taste runs towards flour tortillas.) And I have to lose 10 pounds. Which I wanted to do, aesthetically, but to have to do it for medical reasons feels much different. Shittier different.

So here I am. While the shape was never really the issue, per se, it was, I believe, a firmness issue. See… I’ve become SUPER sedentary. I used to be a bit of a hardbody in my youth, what with full contact karate  twice a week and distance biking 3 times a week… and even when I went to college I was able to maintain hard abs and thigh muscles of a size that made fitting pants tricky through no effort. But that muscle tone? So long gone, and I for one blame the children. I think that lack of muscle and the level-of-movement-of-a-knick-knack lifestyle is the issue really. So while it’s 10 lbs to lose it’s really a muscle to gain thing I think. Plus actually losing 10 lbs.

Plus the thing about no more bananas. Or sugar. Or watermelon. Or yogurt. Or beer. Or bread. Or mangos (which have an undertone of garbage- so no issue there).


Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, Mango.    (Image by Pat Herman)

Supposedly no flour tortillas or potatoes. Does my doctor know she’s talking to a Viva La Raza Irish chick? I’m a rule follower in general, but cutting down on those is going to have to be good enough. She’s Ukrainian. She’ll understand my Orange Revolution on those two. Hmmm… how many carbs in oranges? *typing sounds* And no more god damn oranges either unless I add THOSE to the dietary Orange Revolution… and frankly I think that’s almost required, really. So minimal flour tortillas, potatoes, and oranges- this I pledge.

Turns out my diet was about 86% carbs, so cutting them out actually gave me the “low carb flu” that felt, I assume, what withdrawal from heroin feels like. I’ve added some carbs back- but it’s a slippery slope of “I’ll just have one” or “I’ve been so good I deserve a reward” turning into full on former eating habits… sigh. I’ve lost, bouncing around, about 5 pounds so far. I worked out for the first time in hmmm- checks watch to see what decade it is– a long time. And I’m trying. Work to go. But there is all this life to be around for. And that’s the issue.

It rocked my world more than tweaking a fairly healthy existence should. Because it meant more than my shape. It meant health stuff. And me no like the health-stuff concerns. Having recently gone through a health-stuff loss and having family going through serious health-stuff currently it’s all just a little to close. But just because I have a toddler in diapers doesn’t mean I’m not getting older. How often have I said or thought “I’m too old for this shit?” ala  Roger Murtaugh. Well turns out that’s literally becoming true. Tell me what you joke about, and I’ll tell you what you are.

Anyway. Also found out I have the genetic markers for heart issues making me 5+ times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke and excessive inflammation and other scary things. But jesus, we all die of something- is it weird that scares me way less than the insulin resistance thing? As long as my heart doesn’t go before the catastrophic porch swing accident at 93 while holding my 98 year old’s husband’s hand … well then I should be fine. 37 years down. 56 to go.

Wish me luck.


 Other odd details not directly pertaining to the narrative here:

I measured at 5’5″ the first time I was at the endocrinologist. Was like WHAT THE FUCK I”M 5’7″ AND ITS INTEGRAL TO MY IDENTITY. Had myself measured at the chiropractor… 5’7 and 1/4″. Measured the next time at the endocronologist: 5′ 6″. NONE OF THESE SCALES ARE DIGITAL WHAT IS GOING ON?! I’m god damn 5’7″ and that’s final. I’ll be making them take my height again on Wednesday when I go back.

My doctor told me my thyroid medication levels were too high due to my height and weight, but my height is measuring wrong at your twilight zone of an office so what do we do now?

My blood work results were NINE pages long and went into genetic stuff and vitamin deficiencies. I now take COQ10 (whateverthefuckthatis), Fish oil supplements, Vitamin D, Vitamin A (whateverthefuckthatis), Sour Cherry Extract (whateverthefuckthatis) and I SWORE I’d be a “I get my vitamins from leafy greens” type of person and not a “I take handfuls of vitamins” type of person like somebody’s mother, but look at me now.

And my regular hypothyroidism has morphed into Hashimodo’s type hypothyroidism and I for one and glad someone with a cool name discovered that one. *Casts pitying glance at the folks with Asbergers*


Linking up with Fake Fabulous HERE


On Overcoming

There was a point when I was shy- or described that way, at least.


The gradual loss of most of my sight from 6th to 8th grade played a big role in eroding my self confidence. Friends and I drifted apart.  Hormones betrayed me and I became super sweaty- even though I tried everything to not be. I was growing out a terrible haircut and had holes in my shoes and weird pants. I was 5′ 7″ and towered over everyone for a few years there. And I was more interested in space than in New Kids On the Block. From a peer perception standpoint all of those things matter in middle school. They matter a lot.

It got to a point where my words just stayed constantly locked in my head and I started getting described as shy. And I was meek now too- because it’s hard to fight all of that all the time. Tiring. A boy I had a crush on spit on the ground in front of me once, so that he and his friends could laugh about how the weird girl stepped in spit. I just kept walking, head down and shoulders so slumped they might have been trying to meet in the middle. (Crushing- in the original sense of the word. At least I had the good sense to stop liking him after that) I was just generally having a difficult transition from child to whatever the hell it is that comes after. It’s hard being a teenage girl, let me tell you.

I had been an outspoken and strong willed younger child, I vaguely recall. But I had become really isolated and awkward. And one day- I decided to do something about it. I signed up for Theater Arts in 8th grade. I didn’t join because I thought it’d be fun- I knew it’d be a slog. I joined because I didn’t want to be like this forever. I needed to learn- not how to act differently- but how to be okay with being different, maybe? To find A voice, even if at first it wasn’t mine. To force myself to make a change, maybe? Something. I knew it’d help.

Now, I am NOT a theater fan. I have an intense dislike for it, actually. And oh, did my contempt show- that teacher hated me and I hated him right back. And I was so odd-man-out on that front because the rest of the students loved him. That was another revelation- I’d never disliked a teacher before. I’d never been disliked by a teacher before. I learned a lot that year, let me tell ya. (Years later I’d mention how much I hated that guy and people would gasp because he’d been their favorite. That happened more than once.)

But I worked hard in that class because I’d be damned if I was going to be behind the scenes- I wasn’t there to learn how to work lights or open curtains- none of that stagehand shit for me. So even with the teacher’s intense dislike of me… I could remember lines. I could project. I could do more then stare at the ground while grinding my toe in a circle… and so I got pretty prominent parts even if I’d ignore occasional stage directions. He never gave me the parts I wanted, mind you. Not even once. But what the hell did I care? I hardly wanted the ones I wanted, after all. And that part about ignoring stage directions? That’s why that teacher hated me. I remember once my character was some vapid movie actress- sister of the main character- but during this long ass speech I had to recite I wouldn’t use a compact with a brush to touch up powder on my nose like he wanted me to do. (Everyone knows you use a puff for that, you evil twink) He threw a god damn desk because of it during practice.

The true lesson  was not that I was shy- it was realizing just that I had gone quiet. There was a difference, and it was an important one to learn.  I’d still be awkward for years though- don’t let me pretend I wasn’t. But “quiet” and “meek” got crossed off the list before I started high school. I was on my way. I’d learned my lesson.

Birth. A Stream of Conciousness Love Story

The best way to describe parenthood is that you’d walk barefoot down to hell to rescue your child and bring her back up to the surface world- a modern day Demeter, out to rescue her Persephone- if you ever had to. And once you realize that is the depth of your devotion, the fact that this is EXACTLY what you’ll go through to give birth makes it a decision. A choice. I CHOOSE pain, it doesn’t choose me. It’d happen anyway, but setting it up in your own mind as a decision makes it akin to signing up for the Marines instead of being drafted. (Lot of similes and metaphors in this one- prepare yourself.)

My mind broke from pain and painkillers during the birth of my first daughter. I went to my mindplace, as Sherlock would call it, except mine turned out to be our living room, staring down at my cat, asleep on the arm of our red couch. I don’t know how long I was lost in that image- it felt like hours, but I can never be sure. And before that… or after… I had a dream of buying a teddy bear at some kind of used car lot for stuffed animals, standing under the shade of a live oak tree. (I bought your standard brown teddy bear with a red bow and passed on the undercarriage rust protection and extended warranty.) But that whole teddy bear dream happened between closing my eyes, turning my head, and opening them to look at my husband and tell him about the dream. It happened in 2, maybe 3 seconds. The mind does really weird things to escape pain, is what I’m saying, and I obviously waited too long for the epidural that first time. Or wait- they wouldn’t give it to me earlier, is actually what happened. I never used any painkillers other than an epidural during labor again.

With my second I remember a feeling of panic that I didn’t verbalize as we walked into the hospital. It all came back as to what I would be facing in mere hours- I’d forgotten the really scary bits until that point. I walked in to do it all over again- because what choice did I have? I was also in pain when I got that epidural. Hunch over. Remain still. Arch your back. Now do it through mind snappingly painful contractions. That’s a good girl. My second daughter was 8lbs 14oz. when she was born, and the first thing I said was “Thank God I don’t have to do that again.” And that god I don’t believe in must have laughed and laughed…

And my third. This one I opened the mail one day and it was my draft letter. Report for duty in December of 2015. This one I didn’t volunteer for. D-Day was coming… and somehow I could never, through that whole surprising and unexpected 9 months, wrap my head around this coming baby. I was stuck in pregnancy zone. A rough, rough pregnancy zone. And I’ll skip ahead in the story here and tell you that being uncomfortable can be worse than being in pain. It’s more insidious. It’s harder to verbalize, low level misery. Pain you can fight, but discomfort just IS.

I stayed up the whole night before the induction (we went in at 4am, and this daughter, well she’s thought playtime was 1-4am for months so sleep wasn’t possible anyway.) When my husband woke up I told him it was time to go to war. It would have been easier if that was true, in a way. Because pain… pain makes birth like a car wreck- you’re never scared while it’s happening. Adrenaline kicks in, you’re an active participant in saving your own ass, to busy to be scared.

Third birth though, the nurses listened to me- I told them how it would go down: Pitocin, break my water, but I won’t progress till I get the epidural because I can’t do anything but fight pain- I can’t ever relax into it like you’re supposed to. (I have such a weird sense of pride about that fact. I guess I think it might say something about my character.)  The nurses nodded. Decided the old hat must know by this point, and told me I’d get the epidural REALLY early this time. As in not long after they broke my water and before the contractions really got painful.  And… I wanted to balk. Something about that seemed… wrong. Ish. But great! Right? Right.

I was itchy, throughout all my pregnancies (bear with me, this isn’t a non sequitur.) It was worse with each successive one, so this last one was the least comfortable. (Helllllooo understatement)  And it’s a reaction to pregnancy hormones, so no amount of scratching helps- not that I didn’t try, mind you. Claritin helped a little. Anyway. Everything touching my skin made it worse. And during labor the fetal monitors and their scratchy straps around my ridiculously heaving belly were AWFUL. (This baby was STILL active at 7am… one final hurrah, bouncing around the womb before eviction.) The tape for the IV itched. My shirt itched. The sheet itched. The paper pad I sat on itched. You’re naked from the waist down. And then the being tied down part. I had a blood pressure cuff. An oxygen sensor on my finger. My IV line for the pitocin. A catheter. Two monitors strapped to my belly. The worst is when they break your water. You gush at every contraction- and it’s so hot. So you’re wet. And gross. (you’re welcome) And strapped down. And oh we need your blood pressure again. You’re thirsty? To bad, have some ice… And NOW- totally stone cold sober and not actually in pain… hunch over, gush a TON of fluid, watch out for all the lines and wires tying you here… and contemplate the huge needle about to go in your back and the reality of this moment with it all compounded into one small block of time.

Will you believe that was the most miserable I’ve ever been? It was the most miserable I have ever been- I don’t have the ability to convey it properly. I started to cry. Silent tears.  Lots of snot. I had to ask the nurse to wipe my nose. My husband knew. I think I saw him turn his head away, at one point. Everyone always thinks husbands have it easy during birth, but I disagree. I’ve watched him through many a cluster headache in our years- and nothing is worse than watching the one you love suffering. No. I don’t think he had it easy.

It was worse than pain, somehow, that misery. So lookie there- I did walk down to hell for this one again after all. My blood pressure dropped after the epidural. And my blood sugar, I could feel. I was light headed. Didn’t feel right (I didn’t eat anything before we went in. I should have.) I made my husband go get me an illegal Dr. Pepper. I took a few sips, and lo and behold, my blood pressure went back up a little. We didn’t tell the nurse about that. Or about the Claritin I took to help with the itching.

The epidural kicked in. I slept for a few hours. I woke up. It was time to push. I did, and over the quick course of 1 and a half contractions my third daughter was born, pretty much painlessly. (Bless you, epidurals. Bless you.) We laughed and cried happy tears at our new reality. Parents to this new human, who’d come screaming into the world.

And love, just instantly, for this little stranger. For our sweet little unexpected dinner guest… to every dinner from here on out. For the girl we’ll watch graduate high school when we’re in our 50s.

My little medal, for the military service I was drafted into. My third daughter. Unexpected, but once here so instantly welcome. And wanted. And loved. Babies are fun, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

I brought pictures this last time, but didn’t use them to focus on, I didn’t need to. What I really focussed on was the phrase “Already back from the Pecos.” My husband went on a week long kayak trip down the Pecos River a few years ago. And as much as he prepared, and as long as the trip was… when he got back it was this feeling of it already happened. You did it. It’s now in the past.

This pregnancy. Birth. it already happened. I did it. It’s now in the past.

Welcome to the world, little human. We have so much to show you.



The Occasional New Post After a Few Months Delay…

So… forgive your poor blogger over here for my extended hiatus- my husband and I were handed a bit of a head spinner that took up a lot of our time recently. And then I seemed to think that my blogging delay was getting too long for just a casual post to be my return and that I should come back with a REALLY deserving post. And then I’d built up the expectations of it and so never got around to actually writing it- until now. (“It’s going to be better than 10 Super-Bowls! I don’t want to oversell it… judge for yourselves!”- Yes. This post is Poochey… and that’s okay.)

So, here’s the deal. Turns out my husband and I are expecting our third daughter! Yes, there was such a delay in posting this news here that we already know the gender!

Continue reading “The Occasional New Post After a Few Months Delay…”