2019/11/28

Happy Turkey Day!

Da Goddess @ 00:07

Monica with the turkey

Happy Thanksgiving

Da Goddess @ 00:05

Wishing everyone a very happy Thanksgiving!

I have much to be grateful for and I find myself adding to the list every few minutes. Just as I think I’ve reached the end, another thing pops into mind. I’m almost embarrassed by how many reasons I have to be thankful. But this is one of those times when you thank God for every single item on the list and hope you’re doing justice to the gifts you’ve been given.

Funny how gratitude can change your attitude.

I hope you all have a beautiful day.

2019/11/02

Happy Birthday, Mojo!

Da Goddess @ 00:27

The birthday girl as she was so long ago…

Happy 27th, my sweet one!

2019/10/31

Boo!

Da Goddess @ 02:34

Are you ready for Halloween? I am. And I don’t think Halloween can serve up anything worse than what I’ve been through this week. Yes, I’ve already had my scares. And, yes, I said scares. As in multiple scares.

Let’s start with the winds. And the fires. They’re here. All we can do is be prepared for evacuation at this point. I am totally prepared. Thankfully, after one particularly tense afternoon, I realized we were going to be okay. Others aren’t so lucky and my heart goes out to them.

Today’s humidity stands at 4%. FOUR PERCENT. That’s very, VERY dry. And the winds are alternating between calm and the Wicked Witch is coming for you and your little dog, too.

The winds cause the weathervane on my roof to turn. Unfortunately, when it does turn, it sounds like a ghost crying about how heavy its chains are.

Also, being that my home is about 90 years old, windows sometimes open randomly. Not so much a problem for the windows with screens, but the ones without are usually the ones that pop open. And they usually have the most giant spiders and giant spiderwebs. No bueno. I have enough spiders, thank you very much. I’ve learned to jam paper, cardboard, old gift cards, and everything else I can into the gaps in an attempt to keep them closed. Most stay shut. However, one, in particular, proves difficult. The one with the most giant spider and web. Needless to say, I have been known to wake suddenly and sit bolt upright when I have even the slightest suspicion it’s opened up again. I’m not sleeping well, obviously.

Despite all that, I’m better off than those who are in a fire’s path. I keep praying for firefighters to gain the upper hand on all the fires and let people return home…provided they still have one. Please say a prayer for them.

On to other things.

Then there was the other evening when I returned home after having dinner with my sisters and our mom. Normally, Fletch is waiting at the door. No Fletch. I called for him. Nothing. Panic set in. If he somehow got out, he wouldn’t stand a chance against the local strays or the coyotes that are frequent visitors in these parts. Then, in a burst of inspiration, I rushed to my closet and opened it to discover a VERY upset cat. He bolted out of the closet, practically knocking me over. He’s been known to sneak into closets and cupboards and pantries and just about anywhere he could possibly get closed in. I’m usually very careful about checking for him, shooing him out, and closing doors. I missed him sneaking in behind me as I prepared to leave this time. I was gone all of three hours. He wasn’t happy to have been stuck in the closet, but he was relieved to be let out.

Unfortunately, this was the one time Fletch really really really had to pee while trapped. After tearing apart just about everything stored on the floor, he chose to pee on the two worst things to pee on: a leather backpack (KA paid $5 for it, but it was immensely useful and a personal favorite of mine) and — oh, God, this one really hurts — my camera backpack, complete with three lenses and my old camera. The camera and lenses survived, though I lost a variety of ephemera I can’t replace. The important stuff survived and that’s what matters most.

Throwing out both bags made me want to cry. It was a ridiculous reaction. For one thing, both bags can be replaced (or, y’know, not) and all turned out okay gear-wise. Secondly, I hadn’t used either since moving. Whatever importance they held was strictly (weirdly) sentimental and didn’t warrant tears. Thirdly, Fletch did what he had to do. I can’t fault him for heeding nature’s call. Bodily functions are bodily functions. In fact, I’m kind of proud of him for not getting the urine all over the carpet. Quite thoughtful, if you ask me! Actually, I’m guessing nothing got on the carpet. Every time I’ve opened the closet, I take a significant breath and can’t smell anything.

Now, my new fright is having to find a replacement camera case. I’ve started my search and am overwhelmed. Do I want a rolling bag or a backpack or messenger bag or something else? Do I want a bag capable of carrying two camera bodies, five lenses, a flash, my laptop, and the other accessories necessary for a successful shoot? I don’t have a camera shop nearby where I can dig around and try bags on for size. (I miss you, Calumet!) So, I’m trying to sort through the plethora of options online and finding myself paralyzed by the prospect of making a choice.

After all this, I think I can manage whatever Halloween has in store for me. I have candy for my landlords’ daughter as well as any other kids that might show up. I doubt I’ll see anyone else, but I’m prepared nonetheless. I can always eat whatever’s left.

Saturday is Mojo’s birthday. It’s also the landlords’ daughter’s birthday. Mojo’s gifts were sent and a card is on the way. Little Miss Tiny (Fletch’s name for her) has a couple little, inexpensive presents to open because she’s quite honestly one of my favorite kids I’ve ever met. I can’t help but pick up a book or some other little item for her. Fletch adores her and that’s a ringing endorsement if ever there was one.

I got way off track here and it’s late. This is where the post ends. Except to say:

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

2019/10/05

Reminders

Da Goddess @ 15:02

Reminder of Dad

There are reminders of Dad everywhere I look, everywhere I go.

That succulent? In my sister’s backyard, from Dad’s memorial.

In my home, he’s everywhere even though he never set foot here. He’s responsible for the roof over my head, the food I eat, and sometimes even the clothes I wear were his. There are china cups and saucers, a tiny little teapot, artwork on my walls, shorts and shirts I’ve been wearing now for over a year, and the oddest thing: I feel him in the moving shadows as the winds push and pull the big tree outside.

Mostly, I hear him in the crows as they choose their squabble corner right in front of me. Or maybe they’re gossiping. Probably both, as I’ve seen just about everything with them from my windows or from the porch.

Even on my walks, I get the sense he’s not far away. The arguing neighbors, the orange trees pregnant with an endless bounty — or so it seems — and the grapevines that stretch from post to post along the wires between, with their pale green fruit slowly turning purple.

All of it reminds me of Dad. Not in a sad way, though I certainly feel sad sometimes. What I feel is more like…I’m not entirely certain…but, the closest I get to the right words is comfort and gratitude. Dad’s still here, watching over us, and sending reminders of how much he loved us, even if he didn’t say it often.

Isn’t that the best kind of love? The kind that needn’t be spoken because it just…is?

I miss him. I always will. I know this to be true. I also know he’s still close because he’s everywhere — in the little things, the big things, and even in the things we can’t see or hold.

Sometimes, when I’m out walking, I get the sense he’s not far and I always nod my head and say, “hi, Dad. Thanks for everything. I miss you.”

2019/10/03

Happy Birthday, LD!

Da Goddess @ 00:23

He’s not little any longer, but he’ll always be my Little Dude.

Happy 23rd!

This photo was taken back in 2010. Can’t believe how time has flown. From this cute kid to a man in what feels like the blink of an eye.

2019/09/09

Serious as a Heart Attack

Da Goddess @ 18:44

Looks like Mom had a heart attack yesterday.

They’re admitting her to the hospital tonight. She refused to go to the hospital yesterday, so C took her down today.

In addition to the cardiac issues, she was very constipated.

As I told my little sister, Mom’s full of shit and had a heart attack. Sounds about right. This is life as we know it.

Also told lil sis she better not cancel her trip abroad.

Excuse me while I go stand in the corner and bang my head against the wall.

P.S. prayers for Mom are greatly appreciated.

2019/05/07

Dear Dad: One Year Later

Da Goddess @ 10:30

Dad, it’s been a year since you left us and so much has happened. I know you’ve been looking out for us because we’re all still here. So many things could have taken any one of us, especially C and Mom, but, again, we’re still here. Thank you for that.

Thank you for also making it possible to get set up on my own again. I’m not 100% myself yet, but I’m getting there. I keep wanting to call and tell you about so many things. Then I catch myself and remember you’re no longer here. Physically, that is, because I feel you around all the time. I’m so grateful for that. I’m grateful to be reminded of you at every turn. The crows remind me. My landlord’s cars remind me. Just having a place to live, to call my own, reminds me. Thank you thank you thank you.

There are still tears and I think it’s safe to say there will always be a chance of tears. I know you lived a lot longer than you thought you would. I’m glad you did. I’m glad you got to know your grandkids and even happier they got to know you. Thank you for loving them so much!

I also know you felt you were ready to go. I understand. Rather, my head understands while my heart continues to struggle. 87 is a great age. There were times I thought we were going to lose you before — heart attacks are as scary for the family as they are for the patient! You were always too stubborn to go early. I guess a part of me thought you’d defy death forever, as unlikely as that is. All those years of “rehearsals” you’d think I’d have been more prepared. You could have been 105 years old and that would still have felt too soon to me. That said, I get it. It was your time. I’m just glad you didn’t have months or years of pain and suffering. Going as quickly as you did, I consider it a blessing.

I’m going to miss you forever, Dad. I will. All of us will. I’m going to keep thinking of all the good times we had. I’ll remember some of the bad, too. It’s only natural. But I won’t dwell on those because your goodness, subtle kindnesses, inner marshmallow, and your love for your family were stronger than any flaws you had, even that wicked loud roar when you were mad.

It feels like only yesterday I was rushing to hospital. Again, it’s been a crazy year with grieving your death, Mom in and out and in and out of hospital, C’s stroke, the uncertainty of my health, the greater uncertainty of housing…the year was occasionally going by too quickly or crawling along, depending on the memories I was facing, the way things usually go. It pretty much feels like one great big surreal fever dream. When grief engulfs me, I let myself feel it. I acknowledge that heartbreaking sadness washing over me. I accept it as one would any pain you feel because that’s part of life and loving. I’m glad you were my dad. I’m glad you ARE MY dad. I just wish you were here with us live and in person. Since that isn’t possible, I focuse on how lucky I was to have you as a father. Thank you.

I miss you. I miss you. I’ll always miss you. And I love you. Always. ALWAYS.

Thanks for being my dad and for loving me.

With love from your odd child,
Me

2019/01/04

Moving Day

Da Goddess @ 20:56

In just about 12hrs, I’ll be loading up trucks with my little bit of furniture and clothing and heading south. My new home awaits and I’m excited/nervous about the whole thing.

I’m a bit worried about the cat. We had an emergency visit to the vet yesterday. He was lethargic and floppy, showing no interest in food, and just looking miserable. He perked up a bit as I was getting in the car, but then just settled in on my lap. Then he was super chill at the vet’s in the waiting room. Didn’t give a shit when barking dogs came in. He just stayed on his chair and looked at me with sad eyes.

When we finally saw the vet, he was less than happy. A thermometer up the old keister has never been his thing. Nor is someone trying to look into his mouth. Or when they put stuff in his ears. When they put stuff on his back? He’s not a fan. By the time they got around to jabbing his rear end with a needle, he’d definitely had enough.

Getting into the car to head home, he wrapped himself around my head. Belly completely covering my face and four sets of claws trying to hold on to the back of my skull.

He’s doing lots better today, but still having moments of blech-i-tude. So I have been cuddling with him as he wishes and pretty much watching him carefully in case he has any distress.

Which is why I’m nervous about the move with him. I’m worried it’ll be too stressful on his system. I’ll be watching him closely!

Other than that, I’m just excited about getting moved. Nervous, too. I keep thinking about the million things I still need to get. New bed. Groceries. Etc. Etc. I have a notebook with three pages of things I need, things I have to do. Address change, phone calls, transportation issues to solve, and more things I haven’t yet considered!

Nervous. Excited. Anxious. Thrilled. Trepidatious. Liberated. It’s enough to turn petrified dinosaur turds liquid.

And this is where we are tonight.

Back to packing and arranging my belongings. I find 30mins at a time is about all I can do. My breaks are spent with Fletch and TV.

Fingers crossed for tomorrow!

2018/11/22

Happy Thanksgiving!

Da Goddess @ 08:55

Wishing each and every single one of you a very happy Thanksgiving! May you have blessings so numerous you lose count.

I’m so grateful to have made it through this rather trying year in one piece.

I’m grateful my sister has recovered from her stroke.

I’m grateful my mom is still with us.

I’m grateful for my beautiful children.

I’m grateful for my very sweet cat.

I’m grateful for my friends.

I’m grateful for my doctors.

I’m grateful I’m still alive.

I’m so grateful for so many things I can’t think of them all!

Happy Thanksgiving, my dear ones!

2018/08/04

Yes!

Da Goddess @ 22:49

Talked with my big sister on the phone today. First time since her stroke. Her progress is remarkable! C’s speech is still slow, but it’s clear and that’s an amazing accomplishment. So many stroke patients don’t get back to even 50%.

Thank you for all your prayers! C still has a ways to go before she’s where she wants to be, but for me, this is a miracle and I will never not be grateful for her surviving this and for your support.

2018/07/29

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Da Goddess @ 08:35

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2018/07/23

Upper Limits

Da Goddess @ 21:59

I’ve reached maximum capacity emotionally.

My older sister, C, had a stroke. Thank God, she’s already home and improving!

I’m about a month away from being homeless. Fingers crossed for a miracle.

The entire ending of a relationship over the course of…however long this has been…has reached peak impact. Especially with circumstances being what they’ve been. (Long story.)

Health 4/10. One life left.

Patience 3/10. See above.

It’s fucking enough already.

2018/07/14

Overwhelmed

Da Goddess @ 09:40

I’ve spent much of the past couple weeks overwhelmed by emotions. Just about anything and everything reminds me of Dad. Sometimes the memories bring smiles; mostly, though, I’ve been drowning in my tears.

One of the most overwhelming thoughts running through my brain is the last truly lucid conversation I had with Dad. I cringe when I think of it. I know it caused him distress to think of me unhappy and in a precarious situation. I regret that so much. I want to go back and just talk about everything except my troubles. I want to go back and just ask him to tell me stories about his life.

The thing is, I can’t go back. Nor can I change the conversation we had. I also know I can’t live with regret over something that cannot be changed. So, for now, I let the tears fall and focus on his final night, our conversations throughout the night, and the fact I was able to be there with him. It brings some comfort, but it’s also a work in progress. I’m a work in progress.

I know grief is a process and can’t be rushed. I know this will take as long as it takes. I’m just going to keep working through the emotional jungle of life and hope I get it right at some point.

Getting older and adulting ain’t for sissies.

2018/07/06

Sucker Punch to the Gut

Da Goddess @ 20:22

It was already over 100° in the shade before 11am. The forecast called for 110° at some point. My first thought was to call Dad and harangue him into going somewhere with adequate air conditioning. I had the phone in my hand, pulling up my directory before it hits me: he’s gone.

I sobbed.

Twice more throughout the morning, I reached for the phone to call. Both times I practically doubled over as if punched. It physically hurts to remember he’s gone.

Even as I type this, it hurts. Tears rolling down my face, I’m gutted.

I keep waiting for everything to stop hurting when I think of Dad. I don’t think it’s going to happen any time soon.

I miss you, Daddy.

P.S. it was 112°+ on the porch, in the shade at 1900. If I’d wanted temps like this, I’d’ve stayed in Vegas.

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