Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain


Somewhere Down There

Every once in a while, and less and less often, I get into a funk of sorts. Not a good one like this, either:

It’s like I’m in a deep, deep, hole and can barely see the light of day beaming down through a pinhole at the top. I’m somewhere down there.

Then I envision myself scratching at the sides, piling the dirt beneath my feet.  A little at a time I can build myself up until maybe, just maybe, I can climb out.  When I get like that I feel like I need to kick ass and take names, but just whose ass and whose names I do not know.

So I kick my own.  First I kick it for feeling this way and then I kick it into high gear.  I run.  I do pushups.  I lift light weights.  I ride my bike.  I need to sweat.  I need to punish something.

I want to write but I have no idea what.  I’m blank.  Yet I have a million thoughts in my head that won’t shut off.

I don’t want to cry.  I don’t want to be down in the hole.  I don’t want to take it out on someone else.

It’s time for one of our Little Talks.


Under the Knife

Robotic surgery

I’ve been a little scarce.  There’s a reason for that.

I’ve had this sneaking suspicion that I had a hernia for a while.  A good while.  A couple of years.  But it was small.  Since I didn’t think it was life-threatening I just let it go.

Over the New Year’s holiday I undertook a little project and noticed that the longer I was on my feet that little lump became a large bulge.  Not good.  And it was tender.  But I could still put it back.

I did decide that maybe I might outta go to the doctor about it.  First of all to make sure that my self-diagnoses was accurate seeing how I got my P.H.D. from a Cracker Jack box.  Second of all to make sure that it wasn’t serious.

When I made the appointment the receptionist wanted to know the purpose of the visit.  “Well, I think I have a hernia.  I’ve got a bulge where there shouldn’t be one.” When I get there for the appointment I have to repeat it for the doctor.  Then I have to show him.  He touched it and said, “Hmm…yeah, that’s a hernia. Get dressed and I’ll be back.”

A few minutes later he returned to the room.  A wry smile comes over his face and he says, “That’s, um, impressive.  Can you put it back in?”

“Yes, I can put it back in.  I do it all the time.”

“It’s an inguinal hernia. You need to have surgery.  You need to do it before it becomes incarcerated.  If that happens it’ll be an emergency surgery.”

He refers me to a surgeon.

I’ve never had surgery before.  The surgeon asks me over and over again if I’ve had surgery.   He says this kind of hernia usually happens when someone has had a previous surgery, like an appendectomy or a hysterectomy, and the tissue covering the organs is weakened.

Nope.  All my parts are present and accounted for.  I’ve still got everything I came here with.

Long story short, last Wednesday I had a robot putting a patch over the hole in my peritoneum.  More specifically there was a surgeon using a joystick to put a patch over the hole in my peritoneum so my guts wouldn’t spill out.  Nice, huh?

I don’t remember much about the whole thing.  When I checked in they started a sleepy-time IV pronto.  Thirty minutes later they wheeled me to the o.r. I moved from the bed to the operating table and the last thing I remember was the anesthesiologist saying, “Now I’m going to give you some medicine…” I was out.  I didn’t even get to count backwards.

After the surgery I woke up in recovery and an hour or so later I was headed home. The nurse told me I should take my time getting up for a few days.  “Don’t just spring up, you might get dizzy and fall.”

“Don’t worry. I don’t think I’ll be springing anywhere for a day or two.”

Since I’ve never had any kind of surgery I had no idea what to expect for recovery.  I thought I’d be back to normal by Friday.  Did. Not. Happen.  But I’m pretty much there now. This is such a minor thing. It is minor, isn’t it?

Anyway, I did go back to work on Monday which I may get into a little trouble with the surgeon over. I have a desk job.  I can sit at a desk as well as I can sit on a couch.  Do you know what it’s like to sit on a couch?  For days?  B – o – r – i – n – g!   Ain’t nobody got time for that!






I love these dogs!


Prepare for whinging.  Yes, I’d love some cheese with this whine.  Thank you for asking.

I’m not sure I should even be writing this.  It’s…personal. Perhaps it would be better if I didn’t but writing is cathartic for me.

I have helped to raise children that were not mine who I loved(and still do).  Because of my divorce they don’t really want anything to do with me.  I tried for a while to stay in touch but it became increasingly clear that maintaining a relationship with me was more difficult and awkward than it was beneficial.  I have gracefully bowed out.   They know I love them.  They know I’m here.  There are consequences to decisions we make and we don’t get to choose them.

When I met The Brit a whole new world opened up for me.  I began to hope against hope for things that I had long ago given up on. I was getting a second chance.  For reasons beyond my control but which had nothing to do with an inability to conceive(to my knowledge) I hadn’t been afforded the opportunity to have children of my own. When TheBrit and I got married we decided to start trying to have a baby.

I knew going in that my age was going to be an issue for fertility. I told myself not to get my hopes up.  A year went by and nothing happened.  My doctor prescribed Clomid.  Each month that has gone by since has been a let down.  I’m now in my sixth and final round of treatment.  I’m disappointed.  I’m beyond disappointed.  I’m sad.

I’m not just sad.  I’m angry.  I’m pissed at my ex for not allowing me to have my own children.  I’m pissed at myself for not leaving him sooner.  I’m pissed at myself for having waited too late.  I know it’s irrational to be angry about this.  It’s not fair for me to be angry at my ex for not wanting children with me.  He had a right to his feelings on the matter.  But still.  I am. It’s stupid to be angry at myself for hanging in there and trying to make a thing work that was busted from the start.  But still.  I am.

The what ifs in life can drive a person mad, you know.  If only this.  What if that.

This is the part where the old me would have prayed.  Then prayed harder.  Then prayed some more.  This is the part where I would have begged for healing and forgiveness. This is the part where the old me would wonder and search my soul to find out what cherished sin I had that prevented God from answering my prayers.  This is the part where I would have driven myself crazy wondering what I’d done wrong.  This is the part where I’d assume that God just said, “no”.

I know, I know, I have so much to be thankful for.  The Brit and I have each other.  We have Dottie and Sarah.  And just think of all the things we can do, like travel and have our freedom if we don’t have a child.  I’ve just never heard anyone on their deathbed regret not taking one more trip or having a bigger house or a nicer car.

We could try IVF but  I don’t think I can handle the roller coaster ride that would be.  Not only that, TheBrit and I both started over with nothing.  It’s a side issue, really, but it isn’t cheap. Insurance doesn’t cover it for obvious reasons.  I’m not sure we could afford to pay for IVF and then a child as well.  And if it didn’t work the money we spent on the IVF would eliminate the possibility of adoption.

Adoption is an option.  I may get there.  It’s quite selfish, really, but I wanted the experience of becoming a mother.  I really wanted our children.  Selfishly I wanted children that wouldn’t just flip a switch and just like that I don’t exist.

This is just a rambling rant about something I have little control over.  It is what it is.  It will be what it will be.  I’ll probably get over it.  Maybe.   And who knows…it could still happen.


Another Day Older

DSCF1288I woke up yesterday morning and made the sleepy descent from my bed to the living room where I found this lovely vase with those strangely died mums(?) on the kitchen counter and a card propped up next to it.  TheBrit can be so sappy.  I love that man.  I would’ve taken a picture of them there, on the counter, but…well…I live in my house.

I added a number to the times I’m holding onto thirty-nine.  I’m not saying how many numbers I’ve added.  It doesn’t really bother me, though.  When we were out to a fabulous dinner with friends and family last night one of them asked if this made thirty-seven. Ha!  Somewhere slightly north of there.

My brother-in-law, who knows very well many this makes, told my six-year-old nephew to ask me.  As if that were a dig.  I proudly announced how many this makes.  Bring ’em on, I say!  Bring ’em on!  If I stop having them it’s gonna mean I had a really bad day.  Really.Bad. So keep ’em comin’!

I’ve really had a month-long celebration.  ‘Cause that’s just how I roll! Seriously, TheBrit had a fantastic idea for a birthday present.  I couldn’t be happier with what I got.  So we went together to pick it out.



Give me food because I’m cute!


Meet Miss Sara.  We went to the local animal shelter to find her. She was listed as a Boxer/Beagle mix and was only a few days away from her limit at the shelter.  Isn’t she the cutest thing?  And she’s the perfect companion to Dottie.


I haven’t had my coffee yet – don’t eff with me!

Dottie had been with other dogs, best as I can tell, her whole life.  Her foster family had other dogs and she missed having a companion.  She was kind of sad.  So I had to get a dog for my…dog.  Having another dog around has helped Dottie to come out of her shell some, too.  It’s obvious her first owner either abused her or allowed her to be abused.  She’s still a tiny bit skittish if we walk directly toward her head-on, but other than that she’s golden.  Dottie has mellowed out so much and I don’t think she’s done.  She loves TheBrit to pieces now, which we were unsure about her coming around to.  She got a bit jealous of the new girl and decided to join in on the lovefest! 🙂

Happy Birthday to me!  Four legged friends make me happy.

I can’t leave you without a song, though.  Here’s my birthday theme song for this year:





I Want to See Blood!


My sister, Karen, was four years older than me. As a result anytime mama was at work or out for any reason Karen was left in charge.

Now, I’d like to be able to tell you all that I always did just what Karen said, but that would be a bold face lie right here in black and white.  In fact, being the little sister who resented having the big sister in charge, I most definitely did not.  I usually did exactly not what big sis said.  Maybe not the exact opposite, but not what I was supposed to do.

And, Karen, being large and in charge really didn’t mind lording it over me either.  She dealt out demands and instructions with impunity.  Naturally I thought she was being militant and doling out more of the chores to me than she had for herself because, well, she was in charge.  And who could stop her?

She would give (cough)instructions and I’d say, “I don’t have to do what you say. You’re not the boss of me!” She would get angry and chase me down and I’d stick my fingers in my ears.  I spent a good portion of the time when mama was working with my back on the ground, Karen on top of me, using her knees to hold my hands down to keep my fingers out of my ears, pointing in my face and telling me exactly what I’d do when we got up.

When mama was home we’d bicker.  A lot.

“Yes, you did!”

“No, I didn’t!”


“I’m telling mama!”

“Go ahead you little brat!”

“You started it!”

“Nuh-uh, you did!”

I am quite certain that my mama earned every grey hair she had.  I’m sure there were times when she wondered why on earth she ever had us!

One day we were going on with such childishness – we were children after all – and mama had clearly had enough.  Who knows how many times she’s told us to knock it off.

She ordered both of us out.  “Out! Go on!”, pointing to the front door.  Karen and I, still bickering and mumbling all the way, went out the front door.  Now mama stood in the hallway and we stood on the front stoop, with only the screened door between us.

“Fight, dammit!”

Karen and I looked at each other perplexed.

“None of that, now.  Y’all have been bickering all day long and I’m tired of hearing it.  Go on, fight!  I wanna see blood!”

Now we were looking at each other slack-jawed.

We didn’t fight.  We didn’t know what to make of whatever that was.  We stood there and looked at each other for a good ten minutes, I guess.  It might have only been two but the tension made it seem like at least ten.

I don’t think we bickered anymore that day.  A new day dawned, though, and we were right back at it.

He who fights and runs away, may turn and fight another day.” – Tacitus


*Inspired by the recent grown-up version on various blogs.  Now I know why my mother told us to duke it out.  Sigh…




It’s been a while since I’ve been here.  Writing.  And I can’t stop long now.  I’ll be back though.  That picture up there pretty much tells the story.  That’s me with my hands up, screaming.

I came back to this blog and, to be honest, don’t like what I see.  Nah, it’s got nothing to do with page views or comments or stats of any kind.  Nope.  It’s more about the content.  Wow.  Really?  When did I get so whiny?  That’s not me.  I’m really not a whiner.  I’m more of a glass-half-full girl.  I like the silver lining.   Though, I think all that whining served a purpose though. I did have to work my way through a.lot.of.crap.

I’m sure I’ll still be exploring Christianity here.  But I think I’ve sort of detached from the aspects that made me so emotional about it to begin with.  That’s it!  I’m less emotional about it all.  That doesn’t mean I don’t have feelings about it, but I think I can be more rational.  Yes, I admit it.  I went through a stage where I was, well, less than rational.  Gah! I hate having to say that.

Anyway, for now I’m stuck on this roller coaster.  Not the bad kind.  The good, throw your hands in the air, close your eyes, and enjoy the ride kind.  I’m tired.  I’ll probably throw up when it stops.  Did that sound whiny?

Wheee!  It’s so much fun though!  See?  Silver lining.



A Bad Influence

Leigh and I had been really good friends.  Until her mother decided I was a bad influence on her.  We went to the same small Southern Baptist Church.  We were in the same youth group which, for the size of the church, was actually pretty large.   I’d sat at her family’s dining room table where after dinner they always had a family Bible study.

We had a really dynamic, energetic, youth leader.  She talked to us about Jesus, but she also made going to church fun for teenagers.  There was always something going on.  Not in that ‘lure ’em in with pizza and a movie and then manipulate ’em into getting baptized bait and switch’ kind of way.  Not like that at all.  In fact in her group you had to earn pizza and a movie.  There were all kinds of service projects from cleaning elderly church members yards to scraping and painting their houses.  If you wanted to go to Super Wow you had to work to go even if your parents were paying for it.  We always had fun doing all of it.  But I digress.

Leigh and I were really close until one night when we, Leigh, her younger sister, and me, went to the teenage “nightclub” in Big Town.  I wasn’t ever much for the nightclub scene.  Maybe that night ruined me on it.  I don’t know.  Anyway, Leigh and her sister were bumpin’ and grindin’ with all the guys on the dance floor.  I was uncomfortable and bored and decided I’d go cruise the strip with Folsom.  I’d never cruised the strip before.  Cars were bumper to bumper. There was no way out if you were on the inside lane, which we were.  Curfew was 11 p.m.  I was stuck.  On the strip.  With a guy.  At time to head back.  Sweating.  Nervous.  Crying by the time we made it back to ‘the club’.

I just assumed they’d wait there for me.  That was the agreement.  But when I wasn’t there at the the agreed upon time they got on the strip looking for me.  As if they’d ever find me in the sea of cars.  This was before the advent of cell phones.  There was no instant communication.  I didn’t know they were looking for me.  Folsom and I waited.  And waited.  And when they didn’t show back up we assumed they went home without me.  No sense all of us getting in trouble, right?  Not knowing what else to do, Folsom took me to Leigh’s house.  Where they were not.  Only her mother freaking out.  Leigh hadn’t even used a pay phone to call her mom to let her know she’d be late.  And by this time we were hours late.  Not sure how many.

Folsom and I explained what happened.  But she didn’t believe us.  And when Leigh and her sister couldn’t find us on the strip they headed home too.  By the time it was all over everybody was crying and I was banished.  Leigh’s mother didn’t know what I’d been up to with Folsom, but she was sure it wasn’t cruisin’ the strip.  Her kids had never done anything like that until I came along.

Admittedly starting a cruise down the strip at 9:30 when we needed to be rolling out at 10:30 wasn’t the best decision.  I had no idea that it would take an hour and a half to travel three miles and back.  But a bad influence?!?  And nothing Folsom or I said made any difference. In fact, the more we protested, the worse it made things.  She called my mother, my mother came to get me, and that was that.  I wasn’t welcome at their house anymore and Leigh and I only got to hang out at youth group after that.


Where Did it All Go?


“It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?”   – Henry David Thoreau

The time, I mean.  I seriously have no idea where it went.  I came here on November 3 of 2012 to dish on my marriage to my Englishman thinking I’d get back a few days later with some serious topics and now it’s…well…now!

I’ve been rather busy with family, friends, and work.  Right after The Tour Guide got here I picked up a new client that provided a lot of work on top of my full time job and then I picked up another.  So that’s all going really well and I’ve gotten their books all caught up and I’m on top of that.

Oh, and friends!  TTG and I have met some really cool people through my sister and her fiance.  They don’t care about religious affiliations.  We just get together, have a few drinks, throw darts, play cornhole and frisbee and have a really great time.  Sometimes religion or politics comes up and there’s pretty diverse viewpoints on it.  But we can talk about it, live and let live, and walk away with nobody upset, angry or with their feelings hurt.  And the best part is I’ve gotten to hang out with my sister as my friend.  She’s pretty darned cool and so is her fiance.

Then Christmas rolled around and I decided that I’d make Christmas stockings and fill them with homemade goodies.  So I got busy making homemade hot chocolate mix, marshmallows, peppermint bark. I also made homemade breads, biscotti,pork and poultry rubs, and anything else I could find on Pinterest to give as gifts.

Whew!  There!  The holidays are over and things are finally getting back to normal around here, whatever that is.

Anyway I’ve got ideas and starts to several posts that I’ll be getting up in the next few days or weeks or whatever. I have gotten around to reading quite a few of your posts, though, so I’ve been keeping up with you guys.  I’ve missed blogging but I’ve been so busy having a life and enjoying it I haven’t had time to stop long enough to finish a post.

Here’s to living! Cheers!