Friday, September 29, 2017

National Days

I love how Geege is in the background of both of these photos
Today is National Coffee Day.

Listen...can we talk about this? Every day is National Coffee Day.

Just like every day is National Dog Day. And National Best Friend Day. And National Don't Be an Asshole Day. And National Book Day. And National Grammar Day.

Some days are National Siblings Day, but only the days when my brothers text me back, which they don't always do. Rude. And I wish every day was National Hot Dog Day because I love them and I don't care what's in them or how bad they are for you.

Today is also apparently National You Need to Wash Your Hair Day, which I found out when MFD examined my hair before bed last night and said, "You're washing your hair tomorrow, right?" Right. Sometimes I push it on the hair washing days. It's nice to have a person to tell you when it's really time. Thanks, marriage.

Today is also my cousin Tyler's birthday. Happy birthday!

And of course today is Friday. Sweet sweet weekend bringer. This weekend has many good things on the horizon for us. I hope yours does as well.

Oh! And what color is your coffee? Mine is iced, but it's D.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Thursday Thoughts - I need a photo opportunity I want a shot at redemption

1. I just like to trot this one out once a year. Hashtag never forget.

2. Last week I was going to buy a windchime for the downstairs porch at the shore, but I didn't for some reason, walking away from quite a few. Monday I opened this awesome one from Amanda and Frank for Geege. And my bracelet arrived too. Yes, I'm that lady, and I don't give a fuck. I read something about not being the same as you were before a period of grief because the loss has reshaped you. I feel that in my physical makeup, in my bones, and it's weird. We're doing okay except for Mae who has not rebounded. She will be the impetus for getting another dog.

3. In the past three weeks I have lost a pair of glasses, a pair of sunglasses, and six bars of soap. Poof. Gone. Where the hell are these things?

4. On Tuesday morning I opened my Gmail to over 500 emails dating back to mid-July. I had read them all at some point but I didn't act on them. I deleted 375 of them. I'm sorry. I'll do better. But I had to wipe that slate clean.

4A. Speaking of emails...Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump Kushner, Reince Priebus, Stephen Miller, Steve Bannon, and Gary Cohn all used private emails while serving in the White House. Probably for shit that was as boring as Hill's emails, but still SO WEIRD that no one cares. That's what everyone was upset about right? I mean, they literally ran an entire campaign against HRC for her  emails. I can't imagine why there is not more uproar over this right now. There are differences, sure, but given how fucking nuts everyone was over this I would assume the first order of business for everyone would be to absolutely not go near their personal email accounts to discuss White House business, you know? Well in any case trump supporters were really hung up on hers and we got him. So here we are. And aren't we great? Things are awesome. ps - about that voter fraud...Jared Kushner is registered as a female voter in NY. I'm sorry, these people deserve all the slag they get for the incredible general incompetence they exhibit.

5. I need to wipe a lot of slates clean. I got rid of two bags of shit this week and still am not satisfied that I've culled my wardrobe enough. I wear the same things all the time, why am I keeping everything else?

6. Puerto Rico needs our help desperately - there is little to nothing about it in the news - ask your local stations why that is. Call your Senators and ask why no aid is being rushed there. Contact your president and ask why he spent days tweeting about NFL athletes he has no fucking power over instead of working out how to get aid to PR. Nine tweets from him yesterday complaining about McCain, his made up NFL problem, and other inconsequential bullshit that is not his business but this major leadership in a catastrophic situation that is his business? Not a fucking peep. He finally waived the Jones act THIS MORNING. MANY DAYS TOO LATE. People had no water, food, electricity and he diddled around on Twitter and played a time game with their lives. PR is part of America. To act differently is nuts. USVI, FL Keys, and TX still need help also.
-HuffPost article with links to organizations to help PR.
-PBS links to organizations to help PR
-Ricky Martin also started a YouCaring fund.
-To get on a list to volunteer on the ground once infrastructure is secured in PR: PR VOAD
-For PR info: PR Informa
-Business Insider list for best charities to give to for victims of Harvey, Irma, and Maria
-One America Appeal - the five living former presidents have joined forces to raise money for the devastation from Harvey, Irma, and Maria. You can designate which hurricane recovery effort and I think you can designate where also.

7. Speaking of those NFL athletes, I have been quiet on this latest debacle. Sort of puzzled too, since we are talking about a league that knowingly harbors perpetrators of domestic violence and literally no one cares. Physical violence against women, no big deal. People kneeling during the anthem? FUCK THE NFL! Seriously, it's fucking nuts. I support #takeaknee and I'm frankly surprised at the insane backlash over the past week over something that's been happening for well over a year. Even if taking a knee is not something I would do personally, I am sure as shit not going to sit around as a white person pontificating how, when, where, and why it is appropriate for black people to protest racial injustice that is undeniable in the United States. It's a sore fucking shame when we are nuclear over people not pledging allegiance to a flag rather than wondering what we can do about them not being equally represented under that flag. I'm also surprised at how many people I know who would make really good Nazis.You stand for that flag no matter what! Just like in Germany you proved your love to the fatherland and Fuhrer or you were ostracized or sent to work camp (aka gas chambers). Then we invoke the veterans, who fought against that exact thing. Making this about the flag, anthem, OR military is willful ignorance of what the protest is actually about, and we all fucking know what it's about - it's about racial injustice and a huge need for criminal justice reform - and if you deny those things that is also willful ignorance. Forced fealty is not supposed to be American. Exercising your first amendment right to dissent and protest is very American. Be careful about labeling people who exercise the first amendment rights as unpatriotic. Be careful about demanding patriotism on your terms. Be careful about telling groups of people what they are and are not allowed to do. Be careful about speaking for others, especially those not afraid to speak for themselves.

8. At least Graham-Cassidy died before getting to the floor. Don't worry, they'll resurrect that hideous sewage of a bill. People who are under or want to be under the Affordable Care Act, open enrollment begins November 1 and is only 45 days this year. The website will curiously be down for maintenance during some of those days. Please be vigilant in getting yourself on there.
9. Reminder: If you have something you want to say, you never have to be quiet to make other people feel more comfortable.
10. E-card of the week: And even this is a stretch.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Lifestyle Changes You Can Make to Improve Your Personal Finances

Happy Wednesday friends - today I have a post for you from Jacob who runs a personal finance/lifestyle blog called He actually paid down $25,000 in debt in under 15 months so when he approached me about a collaboration and post exchange, I said absolutely. Then I lost track of it and of course have not written a post for him to share over there. One day at a time, am I right? Anyway I figured you guys would like this because the info is good and it's not in my usual repertoire. Be sure to check out his blog and follow him on Twitter.


What many people don’t realize is that their lifestyle contributes to their debt. You may think that you’re cutting expenses as much as you can, but you are going to find out within the next few minutes how you can make additional cuts and live even better.

If you’re buried under debt from all sources, you’re not alone. Starting with college graduates, there are over 40 million people who struggle with student debt. Opening it up to all of America, the average household credit card debt is around $6,000. Finally, the average mortgage debt is around $300,000. Yikes!

The fact is that you don’t have to be buried underneath tons of debt. You don’t have to be looking at disconnect notices or wondering how you are going to pay your living expenses. None of this has to happen to you. If it is happening, you can stop it. You just have to make some changes.

Start Downsizing Right Now
It’s time to start getting rid of stuff you don’t need and things that are costing you money. You can capitalize on the nice things you have that you have no use for by selling them on Facebook groups, eBay, or Craigslist or simply have a yard sale.

I’m all about not keeping unnecessary things around. In fact, I won’t buy new clothes unless I absolutely need them. I remind myself daily that the goal is to retire by the time I’m 35. I really want that because I have seen too many people work their lives away and have little to show for it by the time they reach retirement age.

Once you eliminate the clutter, you can take a look at what you really have. These are the things that you need, so make sure you use them. Instead of going to the store and buying something you already have because you need it and can’t find it, organize everything so you know what it is.
It’s amazing how many people clear the clutter and find that they have four or five of something. In that case, put those online sales platforms to use so you can get some of your money back on them.

Eat Well and Cheap
Food is another area you have to watch. I had to start watching how much money I spent on food. I knew nothing about couponing or discount grocery stores until I started exploring ways I could buy groceries cheaper without starving myself.

The internet and the Sunday newspaper are great sources for coupons. Look at the sales papers for individual stores to find the best deals. You also need to review coupon policies so you aren’t surprised at the checkout. 

Some communities have couponing classes at the local library or another location so you can learn how to stretch your dollar as much as possible. Do a little Facebook search to see if there are any events scheduled in your area.

Also, don’t forget about the discount grocery stores, like Aldi, where you can get your groceries at 50 percent to one-third of the cost you would pay elsewhere. There are few name brands in these stores, but they tend to carry healthier options so that you can eat well without paying a fortune. Due to the lack of name brands, there may be no coupons. You can combine coupon shopping at other stores with discount grocery shopping and still come out better in the end without putting your nutrition at risk.

It's also good to go homemade with your meals. It can be tempting to drive through a fast food restaurant because it’s convenient, but your wallet and your cholesterol pay the consequences.

Hygiene without the Cost
Hygiene products tend to cost. If you are the type that has four bottles of half-used lotion sitting on a shelf, commit yourself to using those before buying more.

As with grocery shopping, health and beauty products can be purchased using coupons. You can also explore products that are very good for their price. Just because it is cheap doesn’t mean it’s bad. You have to look a little harder to find the shelf tags for these cheaper products, but they’re there.

Pay Cash for Everything
Of course, paying cash for everything has some major advantages. First, you already have the money. You won’t owe anyone for spending that money. When using credit, you are spending someone else’s cash and you have to pay them back with interest. The interest is how they make a profit.

Therefore, paying cash for everything should keep you from overusing your card. You won’t have to pay any interest which is especially helpful if you tend to overdo it. Everything you purchase is free and clear. Just make sure you don’t overdo it with cash either. The whole point is to save money.

Budget Strictly and Save
Lastly, you need to create a budget that you stick to and save money every chance you get. This is something you have probably heard a million times, but it works. Budgeting can be difficult to get used to at first, but you will love the result.

Jacob recently entered the personal finance blog world with the advent of Dollar Diligence. He’s new, so if you want a fresh voice, feel free to read a few articles. Twitter: @DollarDiligence

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Seven marriage things that have worked and seven that haven't

Yesterday marked seven years of marriage for us. This year has not been one of the easier ones on many levels but we're here, looking forward to the next year in this world together. Speaking of the future...when we were engaged and going through all the hoopla, I was told or read many pieces of  time honored advice and closely held convictions of others about what marriage is or should be. If we would have listened to them over doing what worked for us, we'd be sunk. The truth is every marriage is different. Every couple is different. You have to do what works for you. Chart your own course. 

These things have not worked for us.
1. Don't go to bed angry. Fuck that! Fuck that right now. We've gone to bed angry many nights, sometimes more than one night in a row. Marriage and life in general are complicated. Some shit is a big deal and takes time to sort through. Having to pretend to not be angry anymore before bed would go up my ass sideways. 
2. Keep date night. We're married. Isn't every night date night? 
3. Keep her happy with flowers. I appreciate them, especially when they are the cheapies from Produce Junction but am totally okay with buying my own. I'd take no dishes in the sink over a pretty bouquet any day of the week. 
4. A house is not a home without children. It is a home. Sometimes it's more than one. Wink wink to everyone out there who thinks they have the okay to comment on the reproductive choices of others. We don't need kids to start a family. We are a family. 
5. Nobody likes a nag. Nobody likes shit that doesn't get done for days. If I asked for it to be done and it's not done, you'll hear about it whether you're my husband, my contractor, or God. 
6. Be everything to each other. Good for you, not for us. See number four below. Also, MFD is not my best friend and I am not his. We are very good friends though. 
7. Act like divorce is not an option. It is an option. It's good when you know you'd choose to stay. That is not possible in some situations and I'm not participating in that farce. 

Things that have worked in our marriage: 
1. Share experiences, not gifts. I am a practical gift giver, which is not MFD's favorite. He is an expensive gift giver, which gives me anxiety. We both enjoy shared experiences, dinners out, travel, etc. much more, so that's what we do now. Or we buy what we want and say thanks, you got me this and I really love it.
2. Not freaking out over being out of sync. Life is long. So is marriage. It'll come around. It will require some work like all things worth having, but it'll come around. 
3. Sit beside each other in pain. You can't fix some things, you can't take away pain, you can't solve things, you can't heal things but you can sit and BE there through it. You are the constant and the constant is enough. 
4. Space. We do not do everything together. I cannot think of something either of us would hate more. 
5. Appreciating the little things. The little things add up to more than the big things.
6. Practicing self care. If one of us is not doing that, our marriage buckles under the imbalance. You need to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else - including being there for your partner. 
7. Laughter, always. 

Here's this year's collage - see this anniversary collage in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
1 - 9/24/16 whale watching in Cape May; 2 - 9/25/16 anniversary sunrise in OCNJ;  3 - October 2016 Powerscourt Waterfall in Wicklow, Ireland; 4 - November 2016 in Edinburgh, Scotland; 5 - December 2016 at Crystal & Drey's wedding; 6 - New Year's Day January 2017; 7 - February 2017, a 70 degree day prompted a trip to the beach with the dogs; 8 - March 2017 a frigid day to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and see Book of Mormon; 9 - April 2017 Regina Brave event at the Peace Center; 10 - May 2017 a cold Memorial Day weekend at the shore; 11 - June 2017 in Corsons Inlet; 12 - July 2017 in Emerald Isle, NC after a few days in Ocracoke; 13 - August 2017 Friday afternooning in the North End; 14 - 9/24/17 late anniversary eve on the beach

What works and doesn't for you? 

Linking up with Lauren & Bre

Monday, September 25, 2017

TWTW - the anniversary one

After getting my hair fresh by Kristi and hitting Target on Wednesday, the dogs and I fled to the shore. Thursday was sunrise, putting two lamps together (old lamp on left, new on right), checking out the new carpet on the stairs, painting my nails fall-ish colors (Zoya Aubrey and OPI Go With the Lava Flow), spending the afternoon on the beach with a book, and running some errands including a little shopping. MFD arrived around 7 and we were asleep by 9.
Glorious sunrise Friday. MFD put a new bed frame and boxspring together to replace one on the third floor and worked in the morning while I read. Late afternoon we headed to Beach Plum Farm in Cape May, then stopped by the Mt. Vernon to see Dad and Carol and family, then an anniversary dinner at the Lobster House. We rounded out the night with a family walk down to the bay, the first one with all of us without Geege. 
Saturday was sunrise, a big haul at the Linwood Farmers Market including poop soap (come on you know I had to get it, if you do too she sells on Etsy), coffee at Drip n Scoop and a bike ride on the boards, a long hot day on the beach with a book and some pizza and some yahoos singing country music louder and more terribly as they pounded Miller Lites, dinner at Del's, and ice cream at Hobby Horse where MFD of course attempted to get on the damn horse. 
Sunday sunrise, crapping around with the dogs, a quick clean of the top floor since the MS City to Shore Bike staff that were staying with us this weekend left, and a long day on the beach staying well past sunset. It was so crowded because the weather was hot and awesome. We ate dinner at Luigi's and took a 9 pm bike ride on the ghost town boardwalk. Fab day.
Weekly food prep: breakfast is scrambled eggs and a power breakfast muffin, snacks are siggi yogurt and cucumbers with hummus, lunch is PB&J on Dave's Killer Bread with an apple, and dinner is pork tenderloin with sweet potatoes and green beans and zucchini taco boats. Ole. 

I needed these four soul soothing days. For the first time since November 2016, my out of office was on my email. I thought about Geege and didn't cry. I rambled around not knowing or caring what time it was. I drank as much coffee as I wanted and I read 3.75 books and just peaced the fuck out in my brain. We were just together and that was nice and enough. 

Happy happy birthday to one of my BFFs Amanda. 
Happy seven years of marriage, MFD. More on that tomorrow. 

Ciao for now. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile - William Cullen Bryant

Happy Friday, happy fall, happy some of my favorite fall photos. As I was looking for these I was amazed at how huge of a difference there is in phone picture quality from like 2012 to now. #thingsoldpeoplecommenton
This is my favorite season, although I have come to hate the words hoodie, pumpkin spice, bonfire. We've killed them, you guys.
Meanwhile, this weekend is supposed to be like summer at the shore.
Have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thursday Thoughts - I try and comprehend you but I got a dyslexic heart

1. Have I mentioned that I have been caught in an early 90s listening pattern? The title might have given that away. It's fitting since I was in Target last night and the clothing section was like walking into my closet in 1997. There's a lot of inexplicable crushed velour out there right now and someone needs to answer for it.
2. I want these signs posted everywhere.
3. I  have a problem with athleisure shoes. Whatever they all have homes, I wear them all, and I got rid of 10 pair of shoes this week. I would still kill a small woodland animal to get these TOMs in a 9. They are out of stock online. I know because I check every day.
4. Flowers make things better. Thanks Peters!

5. It was my youngest brother's 23rd birthday on Tuesday. Kind, smart, and funny. Happy happy kid. I can say kid since I'm almost 18 years older.

6. This cretin, retweeting a GIF of himself striking Hillary Clinton in the back with a golf ball. He is the most unpresidential woman hater ever. This slimy maniac exists fathoms below the dignity of the Office of the President of the United States of America. You don't get a pass to make light of violence against women because you sit your ass in the Oval Office or because you think it's funny. Go to hell. Wait, you're in charge...we're already there. MAGA!

7. This stopped being about healthcare a long time ago. It is about money and power over people, making the rich richer no matter how many people have to suffer or die for that to happen. The GOP needs ONE vote to flip by the last week of September to ruin healthcare for all of us - every single one of us - including those of us insured under employer healthcare. Get on the fucking phone, send a fucking letter, use ResistBot to text a fax, hire a fucking skywriter, show up at your Senator's office, I don't care. Do something, anything, everything to kill this fucking Graham-Cassidy bill from hell. This is your responsibility.  And mine. And theirs. Everyone get on the fucking phones.
8. I'm off today and tomorrow. I'm going for the salt air cure: sweat, tears, or the sea. Probably all three. I'm going to eat bad things if I want to, sleep when I want to, and read. Peace.

9. Reminder:

10. E-card of the week:

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Still, like air, I rise

For many years I've told everyone I know I'd need a week off when my dog died. I thought I would be a saint-style stoic person until the moments surrounding the actual death, then lose my shit and take a week off of work to ramble around my house like Miss Havisham.

It happened in reverse. I lost my mind over a declining dog for over a week, remained stoic while my dog was dying, found peace in the moments after, and needed to go to work the next day for some semblance of normalcy.

I am working consciously towards my new normal. That tag is on that tattoo for a reason. I'm here. I'm okay. I can bend, stretch, be compressed, withstand. I am resilient. If I think honestly about who I am and what I'm made of, I realize that resilience is what makes me the most me.

I heard from so many people after Geege died. People I know, but also a lot of people I don't know. Broken hearts over dead dogs brings people out. All the dog people were so great in letting us know we were not fucking nuts for feeling so bad over a dog. Amanda told me that many times leading up to it and I am so glad I had those words in my head because I felt legitimately insane for reacting like this. I pride myself on moving ahead with dignity, and doing so quickly. There is not even one fuck to give for appearing put together in this incident.

Grief is one of the great equalizers, and it exposes us in a way that allows real connection. But man, it's uncomfortable, showing your pain to the world. And it's really fucking uncomfortable for the world to hear about it. Have you ever listened to or read someone express their pain plainly and cringe a little, inadvertently turning away from it, like it's something you need to shield yourself from? I have. You just want them to stop talking about it, to get over it, to move on. We do not want to sit down to a plate piled high with raw emotion because it requires us to respond and it's easier not to. Just pass the ketchup and let's eat in silence.

Throughout this I kept asking myself why the fuck I was putting this all out there, not once or twice or on one medium but on many. It's showing more of the man behind the curtain than I am usually comfortable with. I have no answer aside from the fact that writing is a great purge. Even so, I certainly do not share everything in this space that I write. I don't know why I shared this grief stuff. I don't know why I'm still sharing it. I'm not asking for permission or forgiveness, I just truly have no idea why I refuse to write about most things more than once but this I've theme I have let have free rein. If it wants out it gets out and it gets published without getting a re-read so good God please don't let there be grammatical errors.

Maybe someone will need it in the future, and here it will be. I don't know.

Grief is weird.

Here are some pretty frank descriptions of my thoughts this week. These are not solicitations for sympathy. In fact maybe there's something that makes you laugh. Grief can be ugly but it can also be funny. In my world nothing can get better until things can be funny.

-Attempt real things after Geege's body is taken out but end up on couch in basement where I never go because it sucks down there hiding from MFD, Gus, Mae, life. 
-Spend afternoon obsessing over ordering a Geege bracelet and painting my toenails because what if I die from a broken heart and people see my toenails like that?  
-Leave house simply so I can return to a home without Geege for the first time even though that means subjecting my family to my surly company. My husband is much nicer for them to be around, as always. 
-Fear hugging my niece because I don't want her to feel my sad. 
-Interrupt mourning to receive phone call from Dunkin Donuts owner in an effort to secure social justice for her workers, succeed, go immediately back to sulking
-Tired of life and in bed before 9
-Talk to Geege before bed like he's still there
-Ignore all phone calls, 9/10 facebook comments, and some texts

-Wake up and cry because I immediately remember Geege is not here.
-Forget sunglasses which makes crying on the train awkward.
-Cry twice in the office before 8:30 a.m.
-Exhausted to the point of propping myself up by 9 a.m.
-Tell one coworker so she can spread the news. Most people avoid me, which I prefer, except for those who have put dogs down, and we whisper in my office because we can't speak and cry together four different times like a secret club no one wants to belong to.
-I eat literally all the brownies that come with the staff lunch and since I work with great people no one says a fucking word or tries to take one.
-I fantasize about acting out all of my small, mean thoughts on people who do not deserve it then worry this will happen on public transport. Contemplate working from home for the rest of the week/my entire life.
-Should I wear a my dog just died sign to explain possible erratic behavior?
-Try to care about things, fail.
-Wonder why the fuck I am so upset when I know dogs don't live long and I have never been so upset about a human dying
-Have to face the wall when I tell my boss who is a huge dog lover and who has been there, it is really awkward because we are both almost crying and that is totally not what you want to be doing on a Monday afternoon with an employer
-Consider contacting TOMs and telling them a pair of plaid shoes in my size that are no longer in stock might help heal the heart of a woman who just lost her dog, realize I am opportunistically insane and refrain.
-Spend time looking for myself in the mirror because my face feels physically different from crying so much for the past seven days
-Begin to identify with a straw person someone puts on a bench as a fall decoration because I am lacking human response today.
-Answer most people but avoid one on one interactions like the plague.
-Spend the evening lost in a book.
-Notice Mae is really in distress and vow to do better tomorrow.

-Wake up certain I am in a different stage of life as I no longer physically feel like every part of my body is a nerve ending, nor do I feel sunk into myself. I feel lighter. The bags under my eyes do not. Yikes. Eye cream applied.
-Still talking to Geege like he's here, realize I might do that forever, realize I am fine with that
-Mae goes to the vet and as suspected nothing is physically wrong with her, just the loss.
-On the train I am angry about something on a neighborhood facebook page. Self? Is that you?
-Post some feminist post on Instagram. I know this woman. 
-At lunch I am angry over the shitbox healthcare burger they're attempting to serve up again so I call my Senators. Self! That is you.
-At work I listen to a coworker complain about her husband without thinking shut the fuck up don't you know my fucking dog is dead! I actually feel sympathy because seriously why can't they just fucking call someone to fix something instead of pretending they are going to fix it
-I make a list for the weekend. I'm back. 
-Watch Geege videos and smile. 
-Hug my Dad without crying
-Observe Gus sniff the entire house relentlessly looking for Geege without crying 
-Re-engage with people 
-Go to bed at 11 and realize I have not cried all day for the first time in eight days

Today? Today is a new day and my hair stylist will remove the 314159 grays I have gotten over the last week which will bring me great joy. I will return to the shore alone and that might be hard. I will miss Geegie boy forever. I will be in real pain for a while. I expect to burst into tears at inopportune times. But I will do those things while laughing as much as I can and feeling joy. Joy and pain can co-exist in me if I allow them to. I don't have to choose one or the other. 

I had an idea in my head not only of how I grieve compared to others, but how and for how long I grieve period. I gave myself a hurdle that I then had to get over when I had no strength to do so. I think we have an idea of how we should properly grieve and that holds us back from grieving how we need to. Fuck proper. Grieve in your own way, every time. Even if it's different from the last time. And look for the laughs because they will move you forward.  

L'shanah Tovah, friends. I'm ready for a new year myself.

Monday, September 18, 2017

TWTW - the last one with Geege

Geegie boy, forever would not have been long enough with you. Thank you for one more weekend of cheeseburgers and ice cream and a trip to the beach, of burrowing into my leg, of letting me lay with you and cry my heart out, of just being here. We tried to give Geege the best day ever Saturday so he went to the beach with us solo, rode in the front seat to feel the wind on his face, had ice cream, and didn't spend any time without one of us next to him. 
Geege, I will love everything about you always. I will miss everything about you always, especially your huge heart that in the end was not strong enough for all the love you had in it. I will remember everything about you always, especially never spending a day in your presence without your eyes on me all the time, how you greeted me ecstatically every time I came in the door even if I was only out front for two minutes, how you were always the best boy, how you had your own rabble rabble language, how you were a weekend warrior and always so tired on Mondays, 
how your tongue was always out when you were tired, how you liked to pause during walks and roll around in the grass, how much you loved to eat, how protective you were of babies, how you would wrap your tail around my wrist when I gave you your last pet at night, how we had a nose kiss/inside of the ear whisper ritual before I got in bed every night, how you lay on your dad's pillow before burrowing under the blankets in the winter, how bad your breath smelled but how much you loved to give soft kisses, how you loved your birthday cheeseburger on May 8, how I woke up with you laying back to back with me arching your head every once in a while to make sure I was still there, how you cried throughout our wedding ceremony because you were behind me and couldn't see my face,
how you were the only well behaved dog on car rides, how valiantly you patrolled the bay window ledge and front door, how you both barked and wagged your tail with your whole body, how much you hated fireworks and loud noises earning you the names Heebie Jeebie and Shakey Jakey, how you endured costumes stoically to humor me, how you always waited on the bathroom floor for me to get out of the shower, how you followed me around the house overseeing my chores, how good you were at putting up with Gus's jackassery and Mae's insertion into everything, how you loved the sun and the beach, how you were the best head tilter, how you always sniffed my eyes especially when I was upset, 
how you responded to each of your 190 nicknames, how you would sit languidly on my lap relaxing in the late afternoon sun letting me hold you during our porch sits, how you hated the heat but loved to dash through the snow, how you squeezed yourself into Mae's tiny dog bed, how you dug a nest to make yourself spots, how you weren't shy about making the other two move so you could sit with me, how you made every day okay even when it sucked, how much you loved all of us, how patient you were,
how very much you loved to run, and how you always ran like the wind but stopped at a certain distance to look back for me and wait for me to say go ahead Geege, mama's okay. So like I told you yesterday...go ahead Geege...mama's okay. Run like the wind forever. It is physically painful not to have you here but I am happy knowing you are running like the wind on the beach, through the fields near our house, all over Treat Lady's woods, and along Lake Chrisann as well as anywhere and everywhere I am. I'll carry you with me forever. You are at peace. I am at peace. So many people and dogs were there to greet you.
We are grateful that we had one last weekend together in the sun and in the comfort of our home, which will be okay of course, but never ever the same. We had the best life together, the four of us, then when Mae came the five of us.

Much thanks to Lap of Love for taking my phone call Friday night and for coming out on Sunday to our house so Geege could go peacefully at home on his couch surrounded by his pack. If you are local and you need to make this decision, please consider them. They are kind when you need it, truly compassionate, and make everything as easy as it can be. They left us with a paw impression and a lock of hair, and Geege's ashes will come back to us in a few weeks so he can be scattered in his special places.

Thanks so much to everyone for the lovely words and thoughts last week and especially this weekend. I absolutely loved sharing Geege with all of you - he was the best good boy and we all know it. I want you to know he was ready and at peace. If I have not responded individually, know that in that moment I could not and likely will not but I have read and absorbed and appreciated all of your kindness. Thanks for being with us in spirit, reading the terribly sad things we have posted on various forms of media way more than once, and being patient as we try to get the sad out so it can't take root inside. Thanks also to Kim and Mario who gave us Jake just before he turned three on May 6, 2007. He will always be one of the best gifts of our lives. This weekend was terribly painful but I would not give up one second of our 10+ years together to avoid one second of the grief.

Geege was thoughtful even at the end. I had all last week alone to grieve what was coming, and he knows I grieve best alone. He has watched me do it many times. Do you think dogs can be soulmates? He was mine. I will have other dogs but not another soulmate dog. He also knew his dad would need a few days when he got back, and he gave him that too. Yesterday we told the vet what we did with him on Saturday and he was shocked because by Sunday morning he was so very ready to go. We thought Geege's Best Day Ever was our last gift to him but it was actually his last gift to us. His heart and generosity with his love were huge even when the rest of his body was finished. 

Knowing it was time and having the vet confirm it does not make it any easier. I feel at peace because he is at peace and his comfort is more important to me than my own. Yesterday I learned that peace is not solace. I don't find solace anywhere right now. 

Universe, please be gentle with our household this week as our pack attempts to navigate the world with four instead of five. I feel like my skin is on inside out and I think every other living thing in this house feels the same. It's a very raw feeling like a small touch would burn. Sunday I did my food prep and over cooked my eggs and purged my house and read my book and acted in any way I could, because that's how I get through things. Action. Movement. And Geege was following me around like he always has and always will, watching that I do things right.
Goodbye for now in the physical sense, my best good boy.

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