When Worlds Collide Part 1

You hear people talk about “rock bottom”.  For me, rock bottom was a nearly three-year period in my life, from 1993 to about the middle of 1996.

In late 1994, I left my first husband and began what would end up being one of the most painful times of my life.  Our separation was as ugly as our marriage had become and getting over him and the loss of the life I’d thought we’d share together was painful and long.

 

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Mini-Me and I, 1994-95

 

The summer of 1995, a friend and I decided to go to the flea market (jockey lot) and walk around just to get me out of the house.  I was working three jobs at the time and single parenting Mini-Me.  My social life was non-existent and I rarely left the house except to go to work.

While we were at the flea market, we ran across a table with a small tear-drop camper parked behind it and a sign for a reading of the future from the resident gypsy.

At the time, I didn’t know if I believed in all of that stuff or not, but it seemed like a fun idea to see what she’d say.

My friend, we’ll call her “T”, and I figured that we’d go in together and she’d tell us some outlandish crap, we’d get a laugh and a funny memory and be on our way.

As we approached the camper, the door opened.  She was everything you’d expect a gypsy fortune-teller to be.  Multi-colored flowing dress with a headwrap to match.  A dark olive complexion and dark eyes.

She sized us up and down and motioned to T to come inside.  I started to follow and she stopped me and said that she would speak to us separately.  I thought it was odd because in every movie I’d ever seen with a fortune teller in it, the person getting the reading and any number of friends, family, and relatives pile in around the table with them, but it was her show, so I did as I was told and waited outside.

I’d hoped I could at least hear them, but I couldn’t hear a word.  After about 15 minutes, T comes out with an odd look on her face.  After exchanging a long look between us, she nodded towards the door of the camper and I hesitantly walked inside.

I guess I expected a crystal ball, but there was none in sight.  The lighting was softer than I’d expected in broad open daylight and I found it hard to see for a moment.  When my eyes adjusted, I was motioned to sit across a small two person table from the gypsy and I took my seat.

She reached across the table and held out her hand for mine.

After gazing at my palm for what felt like a very uncomfortable eternity, she looked up at me and said,

“The one that you have lost was not the one for you, although your heart believed that he was.  You have received what you were meant to gain from that relationship and its time has passed.”

“I see travel in your future.  You will travel some distance to find the one that is meant for you.  I see a tall man in a uniform.  Red hair.  He is the one you are meant to find.”

At the time, I was caught off guard but as T and I compared stories later, I decided that although she’d hit the nail on the head about “the one I had lost”, she clearly was mistaken about the rest.  I was a single mom with a toddler and three jobs.  I couldn’t even afford to pay my whole power bill at one time and still eat.  There was no way I’d be traveling anywhere.  I promptly put the whole thing out of my mind and went on with my life.

1996 did not start out as a good year.  My first marriage had ended once and for all (we did the get back together and split up again thing for a bit before I finally managed to make myself stay away from him) the year before, not long after my encounter with the gypsy, and all of the ugliness that’s associated with people getting divorced who have a child, especially when one seems to make it their personal mission in life to hurt the other person as much as possible, was finally over.  He’d done his worst, and I’d survived it, but just barely.

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My Papa

There was a day towards the very end of it all when I found myself sitting in my garden tub crying as hard as I’d ever cried in my life and thinking about how easy it would be to just let myself sink down under the water and not come back up.  To be honest, even all these years later, I know that the only thing that really stopped me that day was knowing that my grandfather, who’d come to live with me to help out with Mini-Me, who was two and a half, would be the one to find me and I was afraid that the shock of it would kill him.

I didn’t realize it then, but I was having a nervous/mental/emotional breakdown.  What I needed more than anything at the time was for one of the people who claimed to care for me to put me in the hospital where I could get some help, but as is usually the case with people who are suicidal, my family didn’t notice that I was not doing nearly as well as I tried to act like I was.

What ended up happening was that I somehow ended up in another state, standing at the front door of a friend from high school and her husband’s house with a bag, a picture of Mini-Me clutched to my chest and a piece of paper with their address on it.  I have no memory of going there.  Even now, no one, including me, knows how I got there.  I had no car, no money…and no memory of at least three days.

According to my friend, we’ll call her “SR” and her husband “TR”, I spent several weeks in a kind of daze on their couch, barely speaking or eating.  I remember bits and pieces of those weeks now, but not much.

When I finally started to pull out of it, I decided I needed to get a job while I figured out what I was doing.  I was too embarrassed about just showing up like that unannounced on their doorstep to ask them to give me money to get back home, so I figured a job was a good place to start to get myself back together.

It was a military town, TR was in the Army and was stationed there.  They lived off-post in apartments and all up and down the main drag were bars.  I ended up landing a job at a little place called the Rock N’ Rave as a waitress, even though I was only 20 and technically not old enough to serve alcohol.  I guess the lady that hired me, who I became very fond of, by the way, saw something in my eyes that day and decided I was worth the risk.

I’d been working there a few weeks, long enough to start getting good at my job (I’d worked waiting tables since I was 15, but never in a bar and my knowledge of alcoholic drinks was more limited than you might imagine for 20 year old).  I’d started to get to know my co-workers and was even making friends with some of them.

One day I was scheduled to open, which meant that I had to be there late afternoon/early evening before the bar opened so that I could get the tables set up, get the kitchen up and ready and all of the things waitresses do before customers show up.

I was in the main room alone with my back to the door setting up tables when every little hair on the back of my neck stood up and a chill ran down my back.  It totally had the vibe of a Final Destination movie after all the characters start to realize that Death is stalking them and some kind of close-call happens.

I turned around and looked at the door to see a soldier in BDU’s standing there looking back at me.  He had red hair.

 

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Draco when he enlisted nearly 3 years before we met

My reaction was instant.  I threw a “we’re closed” over my shoulder, spun on my heel and headed for the kitchen where one of my coworkers had gone and immediately told them there was someone at the door, could they please go see what they needed.

In spite of the odd look they gave me, they went out and talked to him and when I finally came out of the kitchen, he was gone.

TO BE CONTINUED….

 

SOC Sunday ~ 5/7/17

What a week!  Things have been even crazier than usual around The Lair this week.

Mini-Me had oral surgery to remove an impacted wisdom tooth and was put under for the first time on Wednesday.20170503_135622

Bless her heart.  She looks so pitiful all curled up on my couch and to Dutchess, our pug.

Overall, she handled it like a champ.  I got a video of her coming out with The Pain after it was over and a few more of the car ride after where she was laid over on my shoulder, petting my arm and telling me how soft my arm was, lol.  It reminded me of when she was little.

There’s been a lot going on with Paul’s job, too.  The store manager was at a seminar most of the last week and he was the fill-in manager while she was gone.  He worked over 50 hours in five days and finished off the week with nearly 60 hours.  Tonight he goes on 3rd shift for a least a few days, possibly for the week while the regular 3rd shift clerk is out with some medical issues.

Tonight he goes on 3rd shift for a least a few days, possibly for the week while the regular 3rd shift clerk is out with some medical issues.

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My beast

Chicklet had my truck off and on all week since the transmission went out on her truck at the beginning of the week, and went on a camping trip Friday and Saturday and came back yesterday evening.  And speaking of my truck, I got a Facebook notification the other day saying we’ve had the truck for a year now!

Having the house to ourselves would have been great, except, of course, Paul’s phone didn’t stop ringing.  Sometimes I think his number is the only one those people know!

Yesterday, Paul and I spent most of the day in the kitchen rearranging.  We’re in the process of doing a whole house reorganizing and the kitchen was the first stop.

To me, if my kitchen is out of sorts, then I can’t get, or keep, myself together.  I’ve been unhappy with the way the kitchen was set up since we moved in.  Nothing felt like it really had a home.  We moved in in such a rush due to weather issues last winter with it deciding to finally to snow while we were supposed to be moving that we just kind of crammed everything wherever we could fit it.  I’ve tried to organize it here and there since we moved in, but I finally realized that mild reorganizing wasn’t going to fix the problem.

I wish I’d gotten before and after pictures but with his phone ringing off the hook and him even having to leave for a couple of hours to go help with something at work, I forgot.

I still need to paint and redo the kitchen table, but just having it organized better and less cluttered has helped tremendously!

This morning while making coffee, I looked out the kitchen window, which has become

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Magnolia Bloom at The Lair Spring 2017

kind of a habit of mine and one of our two magnolia trees that are on the property is right outside that window.  I noticed that there are the beginnings of blooms all over it!

Of course, I should have known based on how congested I was when I woke up this morning.  I have chronic rhinitis and one of my worst allergy triggers is tree pollen, so this time of year, and again in the fall, are two of my worst times for allergies.

Ironically enough, Spring and Fall are my two most favorite seasons for the exact reason my allergies get so bad, lol.

That little pod though, that’s what’s got my allergies in such an uproar this morning!

But, they are beautiful when they bloom (Magnolias and Weeping Willows are my two favorite trees) and allergies or no, I feel blessed to have two rather large ones on our property.

Well, that’s been the highlights of my week.  What have you been up to this week?  I love to hear from you, so leave me a comment and give me some of the highlights of your week!

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52 Week Blog Challenge ~ Week 4

If you missed Weeks One, Two and Three, you can find them by following the links.

This weeks prompt is Top 5 Places I’d Like to Visit.  This one is hard for me since I can’t really travel much anymore.

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Last year, we drove all the way to Florida to see TimberLeaves and the trip was super hard for me.  By the time we got there, I was exhausted and in a lot of pain, not exactly how you want to start your visit with someone you haven’t seen in 20 years.

Now, when I think of the places I’d like to visit, I wonder if I’ll ever actually get to see any of them, but it never hurts to dream!

  1. Scotland – It’s beautiful.  I’d like to see the lochs and rolling green hills.
  2. Whales – I found out I’m Welsh on my bio father’s side.  Explains the red in my hair and the blue eyes, I suppose.
  3. China and/or Japan – I’ve always felt a connection to Asian art and culture and I think it looks beautiful over there.
  4. Titanic – Again, something I’ve always felt drawn to.  I’d love to spend some time over where the remains of the Titanic are and pay my respects to those who perished.
  5. New Orleans – I’ve always wanted to attend Marti Gras and walk the Garden District that I heard so much about in one of my favorite Ann Rice series, The Mayfair Witches.

An odd little list, but those are my top five places I’d like to visit one day.

52-Week Blog Challenge ~ Week 3

Meet My Family

I’m not sure if I’m supposed to include myself here or not, but I figured, what the hell?  Right?  So, here is a peek at my family!

Me (1)
Dawn (Kena), The Hearth Witch

 

I am 42 years old, as of March 2017.

I’m a wife, mother, and grandmother (GiGi).

I’m also a Hearth Witch (Domestic Pagan, Domestic Diva), blogger and avid gamer.

I like to make homemade things like cleaners and beauty products, and I support Green Living and Sustainability.

I like to grow things.

I love to cook.

I struggle with Mental Illness.

I am an Animal Rights advocate.

I support the LGTBQ movement.

I drink lots and lots of coffee.

My family, or The Tribe, are my world.  They mean everything to me.

Paul Fav
Paul (Drako)

I met this guy in December of 1995.  He’s my soulmate, Twin Flame and the love of my life.

We met while I was having a nervous breakdown in 1995 (another story for another time) and he loved me anyway and helped me through it.

In 1997, we married and he became part of mine and Mini-Me’s life and he helped me raise her.  He’s been her Daddy since she was three years old.

He’s a Taurus, the strong and silent type.  He was in the Army when I met him and that period of his life helped to shape the man he became.

Because we were so young when we met (I was 20 and he was 22), we practically grew up together.  We’ve both changed a lot, and trust me when I say that we have been through a lot, but my love for him has never changed.

Me n Heidi on P's 44th
Me and my Mini-Me

The product of my very short-lived first marriage (again, another story for another time).

This girl is what my world has rotated around since I was 17 (almost 18) and first heard the words, “You’re pregnant”.

She has made me the woman I am today and although my first marriage didn’t make it, I consider her a gift and a blessing every day.

She’s gifted in ways that I never was.  Very artistic, has the voice of an angel, can make just about anything.

She loves to bake, sew, sing and make things.

Bell & Wayne
The Pain

This guy will officially be our son-in-law in June 2017.  He and Mini-Me have been together for four years now and are the proud parents of Squishy.

At first, Paul and I were upset about the age difference between Mini-Me and The Pain, but he makes her happy and they love each other.

He’s good to our family and is always there if I need him for anything.

He’s very protective of The Tribe.

He loves to hunt and fish and is almost always covered in camo.

Belly
Squishy

This little girl has stolen my heart, just like her Mommy did.

If you had told me when I had Mini-Me that there was any love that compared to the love you feel for your own child, I would have told you that it wasn’t possible.  No way could you feel love as intense as what you do for your child.

I was wrong.

At the tender age of three, she has each of us wrapped around her chubby little finger, me especially.

She already shows signs of artistic abilities and loves music and Scooby Doo.

Trista
Chicklet

Sometimes, adopted family can mean just as much to you as your actual family.  That’s certainly the case with Chicklet.

About 10 years ago, Mini-Me found her locked out of our next door neighbor’s house trying to get in to get to her dog, Smooches, who has now gone on over the Rainbow Bridge.  Mini-Me came and got me and we got her furbaby for her.

Somehow, she ended up sleeping on our couch a few weeks later and she never really left.

Since then, she’s become like a daughter to us and has been there for our family through thick and thin.

She loves our family and is fiercely protective of us.

She enjoys performing arts, music, reading and is very active in politics.

Daddy
My Daddy

This guy right here is super-special!

He wasn’t always my daddy, but he’s always been a father-figure.

When I was born, he was my mom’s best friend and he and his first wife were asked to be my godparents.  I called him “Uncle” until I was 10 when he and my mom finally decided to get married.

Since then, he has been Daddy.

He’s smart beyond reason and I’ve called him a “walking encyclopedia” most of my life.

He loves me and my little family and there’s not much he wouldn’t do for us.

He’s intelligent, artistic, loves to read and I have had some of the best conversations of my life with him.

He instilled in me a love and respect for nature and taught me nearly everything I know about everything.


So, now you’ve met the core family.  There are other people, like TimberLeaves and Sweetpea, that I do consider part of our family, but this is my Tribe.

What’s a FlyBaby and why I follow this system?

Just a note:  I am not affiliated with FlyLady or her website in any way.  I do not get paid for anything to do with her or her system.  All thoughts and opinions are my own and are not associated with any type of monetary gain, I just think she’s awesome!  🙂 


So, what’s a FlyBaby?  A FlyBaby is a term coined by The Original FlyLady, Marla Cilley, to describe the people who follow the FlyLady system.  It’s a term of endearment she uses when speaking to her “FlyBabies”.

I first found The FlyLady about 10 years ago thanks to my sister-of-the-heart, TimberLeaves.  I was a young mother, Mini-Me was about 13 years old and had just come to live with me full-time.  My entire life was in an uproar, but my house was in C.H.A.O.S., or Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrom.  (This is also a term coined by The FlyLady which basically means that my house was a mess and I was embarrassed for anyone to come over beyond one friend who’s house was in worse shape than mine.)

I was just over 30 and that was one of those milestone ages for me.  I was so stressed over my weight, my home, my life, my marriage, everything.  I was helping one of my best friends, SweetPea, raise her three special-needs teens as well.  Then my teenage daughter who had lived with my first husband for 10 years suddenly decided she wanted to live with us.  To say my life was a literal madhouse would be an understatement.

Although I’d been raised by a woman who I distinctly recall on her hands and knees in six-inch heels and a dress, cleaning the corners of the kitchen floor with a toothbrush when I was very young (my mother was very OCD and a clean-freak), it seemed that I had not gotten that gene, a fact that greatly disturbed my mother and caused us many problems throughout my life.

Dust coated everything in my house.  Clutter was everywhere.  Mt. Washmore was climbing the walls.  Paul had a very bad habit of sticking dirty dishes in the oven and not telling me they were there and I was too unorganized to remember to check myself.  My refrigerator was a science project unto itself.

I was disorganized and overwhelmed, something that it seemed like I always was.  It seemed like the only good habits I’d developed as an adult were meal planning, frugal shopping and keeping the pantry organized.

Truth be told, when I first found FlyLady, all I did was “flutter”, another term used by The FlyLady to describe FlyBabies who tried to follow the system but couldn’t quite stick with it.  It helped, but I was still prone to Emergency Cleaning whenever my mother would call to say she was coming over and I was still in a constant state of stress 99% of the time.

I kept going back though.  Her system seemed like it should be so simple, yet I was having the hardest time with it and I couldn’t understand why.

Truth be told, it took me years to understand what I was doing wrong and a few more years to start to break the habits that were keeping me chained to my stress.  Looking back now, I realize part of the problem was that I was still young myself, but the biggest problem that was holding me back was perfectionism from being raised by an OCD mother that rarely did anything but clean and who constantly made me feel that my efforts at cleaning were not good enough.

When I would start back on FlyLady’s system, I was forgetting some of the principals her system is founded on.  No whining allowed. You can’t clean clutter.  You’re not behind, just jump in where you are.  And my favorite, Cleaning done imperfectly still blesses your family.

I was like my mom in that I was a housekeeping martyr.  When I did clean, I did Emergency Cleaning to the point that while I was happier with how the house looked, I was completely exhausted mentally and emotionally, then I guilt-tripped my family for all that I had done, and their part in letting it get that way, and was too tired, stressed and overwhelmed to keep up with it.

Before the accident, I felt that I had finally figured out the system and how to keep myself on track with it.  My house was reasonably clean at all times, I didn’t mind if someone stopped by unexpectedly, and I’d finally stopped stressing and obsessing over all the little details.  I stayed busy, but not so much so that I couldn’t get up and do it again the next day.

Then we had the accident.  We couldn’t go home for nearly 6 months because of my wheelchair and then my walker.  When we finally did go home, I was still in incredible pain, barely able to walk and unable to stand for more than a few minutes at a time.  Paul tried to help, bless his heart, but he’s no housewife, lol.

Eventually, I sent him back to work and then he didn’t have time to help.  I was improving my physical abilities, but it was still so hard.  I fell back into the old habits of guilt-tripping myself for all I wasn’t doing.

We moved in with Chicklet a few months ago, and I was overwhelmed by the state of her house, too.  An ex-girlfriend and some family that had lived with her had not done anything to help around the house and it had fallen into pretty bad shape while she worked insane hours and tried to have some kind of a social life.  Again with the bad habits, I busted my ass trying to do everything at once and burned myself out again physically, mentally and emotionally.

I was keeping up with the day-to-day stuff, but just barely and I realized I was entering that martyr mindset again.

Then this morning, I got up to dishes everywhere, clean laundry climbing out of a laundry basket, boxes all over my living room from trying to go through things that had just been shoved here and there when we moved, and the thing that sent me over the edge, Paul had to go into work and didn’t have clean work pants.

I had to shuffle clean clothes from basket to basket to get an empty basket to gather up the dirty clothes that were piled up on my bedroom floor.  I saw my unmade bed and realized that although I’d washed our sheets over a week ago, I never got them back on the bed.  I very nearly sat down and cried.

Instead, I put the clothes in the washer, made a cup of coffee and sat to down to evaluate what was happening and what I needed to do about it, a new habit I’ve been working on to try to manage my stress and anxiety.

I realized that while I thought I was following the FlyLady system, I really wasn’t.  I was missing the main principals again and was about to run head-first into a crisis cleaning that was only going to make me hurt again.

You’re not behind, just jump in where you are, right?  And while you’re at it, No Whining!

So far, I’ve gotten the dirty clothes washed, all the clean clothes folded, hung and put away including what I washed this morning.  I got dressed and fixed my hair.  I swished and swiped the bathroom and gathered all the dirty towels and rags to be changed out and started gathering trash from the small trash cans around the house.

In between when I sit down to rest, I’ve been writing this blog post and feel like I’m finally overcoming that weird kind of writer’s block I mentioned in my post about not sleeping and suffering from mild exhaustion.

It also helps that I have managed to sleep better the last two nights than I was for nine days straight.

It’s not even quite noon yet and already I feel like I’ve got a game plan, a healthy attitude and have made progress on the house.

Now, I’m off into the rest of my day.  Time to think about what’s for dinner and get something laid out and wash the dishes so I can shine my sink.  🙂


If you’re not familiar with The FlyLady, hop over to her website and check her out.  I also found a wonderful lady on YouTube named FlyLady Kat that follows the FlyLady system and she helps break things down and explains some of the steps in her videos!