"Love My Way, It's a New Road"

Archive for September, 2015

Wildfire – Part 2

I had the first conversation with Taz about Wildfire and it was not pleasant.  In case you missed the story behind Wildfire, click here.  Based on my Dear Reader comments, I decided to try the honesty approach and broach the subject with her.  The conversation started out with a casual “what have you been up to” and finally I had to say it.  I told her that I had spent close to $36,000 since Wildfire went into retirement 7 years ago.  She stopped me and asked the timeframe of that amount.  When I reiterated that it was when she went to college, she dismissed the number as “inflated because you were still married.”  Oh yes, she really said that.  It just continued down that same vein.

Her response was:

  1.  She will not have the horse put down just because I “refuse to pay”
  2. That my timing couldn’t be worse due to her high stress levels with residency applications, wedding plans, etc.
  3. She is facing $300K worth of student loans, so she doesn’t understand why I am refusing to continue paying for the horse.

I responded that I knew the timing sucked and I wouldn’t bring it up if it wasn’t necessary.  I told her that due to the pending litgation and some other issues, I simply cannot afford to continue this expense.  I told her that obviously this isn’t an easy conversation for me and that I have thought long and hard about it first.  Finally I told her I could give her some time to think about it.

I called the Hunter and said one of the most painful things a parent can say.  “I don’t like my daughter.”  He responded by saying that she is being very selfish.  He asked if at any time did she thank me for all that I have done previously.  No, she is not wired to appreciate the sacrifice of others.  <<Sigh>>  I rarely get words of affirmation from her, but I know that and usually accept it.  The Hunter also commented that it’s interesting how different my kids are and that I am right — my daughter is just like my Ex and my son is like me.  Told you so.

I have decided that I will continue paying for Wildfire through the end of this year, however, as of January 1, 2016, Wildfire will be her responsibility.  I am hoping that in a few days she will have had some time to process what I am saying, and hopefully we can have another conversation so I can let her know the timing.  I hope that when she discusses this with her fiancee, she gets some clarity about the situation.  I also hope that our upcoming weekend for the MIL’s engagement party doesn’t become a shit storm.  <<Sigh>>

Doing the right thing isn’t always the easiest solution.  Shit.  This honesty crap is hard.

Wait – here’s a news flash update:

As I was wrapping up this post and about to hit Publish, Taz called me back.  Very business-like.  When do I need a decision?  I told her that I would continue paying through 2015.  She asked if she contributed, would I be able to continue paying longer.  I said yes (I think that is a very fair compromise actually).  She asked who else I have spoken to this about and I told her onlly Wildfire’s caregiver.  Taz is going to get back to me.  I love this fiancee — I feel his influence in this call.  Perhaps I did impart something good with her.  Time will tell.

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Make It Happen

If you believe in yourself enough
And know what you want
You’re gonna make it happen
Make it happen
And if you get down on your
knees at night
And pray to the Lord
He’s gonna make it happen
Make it happen

Mariah Carey

Panic – I cannot let it overtake me in my line of work. I have been in a slump. I have written about it extensively as I try to work my way through it. This week I have had a tremendous break through. I completely re-did my home office. I moved the Hunter’s belongings out and into the master bedroom. I got rid of the futon I have been threatening to trash and went on to completely re-decorate. I bought $60 of used Ikea furniture, two used file cabinets for $50 that I then painted a fire engine red. I changed the curtains to some cute ones my landlady had left behind. I bought a used computer monitor for $20 and a docking station so I am finally back to two screens. All in all, for about $250 and a weekend of hard work, I have turned this office around.

Now my desk sits under the window where I gaze from my second floor into the sky and treeline. It’s lovely – I feel like I’m in a treehouse. I feel a new energy and push to develop new business. That’s a good thing. I eat what I kill and guess what, Maggie hasn’t been killing a lot lately. I am not too worried about winning new business – I am good at that. What I am worried about is cash flow during this ramp up period. I don’t want to dip too far into savings or God forbid, my retirement $$. I don’t have that emergency savings equivalent to a year’s income that is recommended for folks like me. I don’t want to borrow. As Ben Franklin said, “Never a borrower or a lender, be”. I have trimmed expenses, except that damn horse. The Hunter chips in and when his new job lines up, he’ll contribute more. But I know that winter is coming – in more ways than one.

I have had this dip before in my work and it’s not pretty. I know I will get to the other side, but this time I don’t have the Ex’s 6-figure income to pull me through. Plus this time I have Taz’s wedding and my sizable financial commitment to it. Plus I have over $30,000 of receivables tied up in litigation and another $12,000 tied up in a reluctant client now questioning our fees. Really? When you were scared, you wanted me to do all this work and I provided you a complete business strategy which you then executed. It saved your sorry ass and now you have amnesia about our fees? Seriously? People never cease to amaze me. This guy is also a personal friend of my boss. Go figure. My boss is handling the collections. Let’s see how it goes.

Anyway, I am happy. I know I have to work hard. On the plus side, I now have an assistant who actually knows how to do stuff – imagine that! So that is a huge help. I know what I need to do; now I just have to do it. No more sulking, no more waiting. It’s time to get moving. Action begets action – that’s what my business coach always says. I gotta go – time to wrap up my day with some planning for tomorrow.

Wildfire

Oh, they say she died one winter
When there came a killing frost
And the pony she named Wildfire
Busted down it’s stall
In a blizzard he was lost
She ran callin’ Wildfire
She ran callin’ Wildfire
She ran callin’ Wildfire

Michael Martin Murphey

Only on this blog can I confess the horrible/morally questionable things I do. This post is no exception. This has nothing to do about sex, but it is about family and the horrific lie I am about to perpetrate. Settle back, it’s another one of Maggie’s stories.

19 years ago, I bought a horse for my then 6-year-old daughter. I was bamboozled by a trainer about how we would “share” the horse 50/50 so she could use him for lessons. It was only a ploy to get me suckered into the horse ownership world. Don’t get me wrong. I was a horse crazy kid and having a daughter with that same gene was fabulous. She rode and was able to do everything I didn’t. I lived vicariously through my daughter for years.

Wildfire is an awesome horse. We got him on the young side, but he is smarter than you can imagine. Together they learned to jump, dressage, trail riding – whatever she wanted to do, that horse willingly learned with her. He kept her on her toes with his feisty personality and the ability to make sure she would fall off on a regular basis, but he also made sure she was never hurt.

Once she went off to college, I had a conundrum. He was about 18 years old – too old to be sold to someone and of course, Taz wouldn’t hear of it. So Wildfire went off to college, because Taz’s college town was surrounded by country where he could live a great retirement. I found him a luxurious retirement farm who has provided him with the best care imaginable….at a cost. It has been 7 years of retirement and I have spent about $36,000 on a horse who is now approaching 30 years old and blind in one eye. He is still fit as a fiddle. His monthly board fee is standard and anything less will equate to substandard care.

I just spoke to his caregiver, who I completely respect and trust. I handled all of Wildfire’s upkeep issues, so Taz had no dealings with the caregiver. I have been struggling with broaching this subject for about a year. I can no longer continue paying for Wildfire’s upkeep. I need to cut expenses wherever and whenever possible. This $425/month cost is ridiculous, but sentimental. The caregiver cannot take on his upkeep just to have him hang around. In order to keep Wildfire from becoming a can of Alpo, I have to have him put down – killed to be brutally frank. I feel awful. The caregiver has promised that this conversation will stay between the two of us. I will tell Taz that he died of natural causes. She hasn’t asked about him in over 6 months. I don’t get regular updates. I feel like I am throwing $425 into the fire. It has to stop, but I feel awful. The horse is healthy, albeit old. He frolics and lives an idyllic life with friends in a beautiful pasture.

I tell myself that the alternative for Wildfire is horrific. Due to his age, he would end up on a feed lot or some substandard horse rescue operation that can’t afford him. Forever homes for old horses are few and far between. He has lived a great life and I have protected him for about 20 years. It’s time to let go. My plan is to tell Taz that he colicked (bad intestinal issue that kills many a horse – he has suffered from this in the past occasionally). The caregiver will tell no one the truth. It will be between me, the vet and the caregiver. Now the question becomes when to do this. I think it will happen by November. I plan on being there because if I am going to do this, I want to say good-bye. Ugh. I hope my karma can sustain this blow. Time will tell.

  

Taz’s Future MIL

Sorry, I couldn’t come up with a song for this — I am just lazy today.

This past week I had the pleasure of spending a day and a half with my daughter, Taz’s, future MIL. I really like this woman. She is a divorce attorney and reminds me a great deal of my own attorney – no nonsense, pragmatic, smart and a “get things done” Alpha female. My kind of gal.

She flew down to scout out rehearsal dinner venues and I had volunteered to be the tour guide. We were able to quickly identify the right venue and then had dinner there so we could have a secret tasting of the items she wants for the event. Taz and the groom prefer a heavy hors d’oeuvres to facilitate more mingling. They don’t want folks sitting around. I love this idea and we found the perfect spot that is next door to a casual bar so later on everyone can join us.

Anyway, this post is not about wedding planning. It’s about relationships and divorce. The MIL had some interesting insight about relationships and divorce. The rest of this post bounces around a couple of topics, so sorry for the lack of great segue ways.

We were sitting at lunch and talking about her husband’s obsession with hunting. This came up because the Hunter is spending most of Saturday and Sunday in the woods this weekend. The conversation wandered to how she dealt with her husband’s extended hunting trips. It was interesting to hear the perspective of a woman who has been married 36 years. She began with the statement that her language of love is Time. How funny that she brought that up. I was fascinated because I haven’t come across someone whose primary love language is Time. I have written about my Love Language here.

In any case, that’s a compatibility issue if her husband is headed to the woods frequently. She said that when her two sons were young, she decided one time when her husband was gone that she was going on strike. No home-cooked dinners. Instead they ate out every night. Fast food, fancy restaurants and everything in between. It became a ritual for her and the boys that they all grew to love. Now that she is an empty-nester, she fills those weeknights with dinners with friends. When her husband gets homesick and wants to come home, she tells him that’s fine, but her evenings are booked.

I loved this story. I found it fascinating that with her primary love language being Time, she was able to shift it from missing her husband to spending quality time with her sons by going out to dinner.

The other interesting conversation was about the effect the loss of a child has on a marriage. She said that statistics show that 81% of marriages end in divorce when the couple loses a child. We talked about couples we know and how they dealt with such a horrific situation. Our experiences mirrored the statistics.

When we were bouncing around the first day, I asked her if she had contacted my Ex. With a guilty face, she said no. I told her that her breakfast the next day was open, so she loved that idea and they ended up having a nice breakfast together. I felt good about that. She told me that he still is recovering from the divorce. She didn’t mean that in a bad way; it’s simply her business and she notices those things. I laughed and told her I wasn’t surprised at all. Then I told her about my lunch with him back in February. She commented that people, especially men, need to spend significant time alone after a divorce so they can learn more about themselves. I told her that I spent a year alone prior to dating and she sagely nodded her head.

It was a good trip. We bonded, got the job done in the way that efficient, Type A women do and my daughter was very happy with the results. Life is good.

You’ve Got a Friend

When you’re down and troubled and you need a helping hand
and nothing, whoa, nothing is going right.
Close your eyes and think of me and soon I will be there
to brighten up even your darkest nights.

You just call out my name, and you know where ever I am
I’ll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call and I’ll be there, yeah, yeah,
you’ve got a friend.

Written by Carole King, Sung by James Taylor

I haven’t had a rant in some time, so I guess I am overdue. Last night I went to dinner with a friend. Well, I think she is a friend, but it remains to be seen. We haven’t seen one another in a couple of weeks and had a great time catching up. Her daughter just started law school in a new state, my daughter is rocking her final year of med school, you know, the run-of- the-mill catch up stuff.

Now my girlfriend is an elected official. She sits on the council of a small suburban community where I lived for ten years. She was, in fact, my neighbor and I met her during her first campaign. I provided some strategy and policy development assistance during her second campaign when she won her race. We get together regularly for dinner, etc. I went to her daughter’s going away party, she always joins my birthday celebrations. Get the picture? About three months ago, I came up with a fabulous idea for the community. It is a business idea in my field of expertise. I told her excitedly during a phone call about my idea and suggested that we work on this together. We needed to meet with two key people, so she said she wanted to run point on this.

OK, I hope this background is making sense. At dinner last night, she talks about having a meeting with the first guy, who isn’t interested and an upcoming meeting with the second guy. WTF?! She never called me about these meetings. Not once during the evening does she mention that we had previously spoken about this idea or that it was my idea. WTF?

I didn’t confront her that evening and came home simply fuming. The Hunter was asleep but he woke up and let me vent to him. He had some great advice about how to have a conversation with her, so tomorrow I plan on calling her to chat about all of this. I simply cannot let this fester – one way or the other it will erode our friendship.

As I sat stewing this afternoon, I go on Facebook and there is another somewhat friend forgetting who helped her – ME! I met this friend when our sons played sports together and we sat on a booster club for several years. She had contacted me for career advice, so I took her out to lunch and spent about 1-1/2 hours discussing her options. She asked for a referral to a specific company, which I provided. She announces on Facebook that she got a job with them. I comment, “Great company, congratulations” and put a winky face. She doesn’t thank me, she simply says, “Yes, all the people here have been really nice.” WTF – where is the “thank you, Maggie, for your great advice. I owe you lunch.”

The Hunter says I need to stop being helpful and nice to people. I guess I need to keep my mouth shut and my wallet in my purse when the lunch check comes. Good grief!!

Gangnam Style

Eh, sexy lady
Op, op, op, op
Oppa Gangnam Style

Psy

OK, I picked the song primarily because the video never fails to entertain me.

The Hunter has not smoked pot in about four weeks. He smoked two joints during a weekend in the woods, but prior to that he had been clean for three weeks. He misses it a lot, but if he wants to get a new job, he must be clean for the drug test. I am so proud of him. He doesn’t complain, whine or get agitated about it. He just occasionally mentions the fact that he would love for us to get high and fuck like crazy. I would like that too, but right now he is waiting for a call back on a great job, so we have to be good and clean. Since we rarely drink, we are living a very sober life which is funny. I am a woman of moderation, but right now, I am a woman who is basically living a cold turkey life. I don’t want to drink too much because my weight has jumped up to a number that makes me cringe (and now I am solidly fighting back). I also find that just two glasses of wine can produce a lovely headache in the morning (I have always been a lightweight, but this is seriously ridiculous).

Having said all of the above, I have decided that it is time to create some excitement in the sex life of me and the Hunter. No, he doesn’t get the threesome that he teases me about. However, Ann St. Vincent’s boudoir shoot inspired me. Thanks, Ann. I need to spice things up a little, so I have a couple of easy ideas.

When I finish a work project, I am generally very bad about rewarding myself. My projects take between 6 months to a year to complete and since they are generally pretty complicated, my business coach encourages me to reward myself for a job well done. Her thinking is that it pushes me forward. I think of it as a form of self-love that I rarely give myself. I just completed a project that took over a year. The client was nice but finicky, and demanded quite a bit of time for a relatively straightforward project. But I got the project completed and everybody is happy. Time for me to celebrate. I am thinking to celebrate with some sexy lingerie….

Sexy lingerie doesn’t necessarily arouse the Hunter. He finds clothing an impediment to the goodies, but I am thinking that I want to get something sexy so I can send him some sexy selfies. He will be in the woods in the mornings this weekend, so my plan is to lay the groundwork for a sexy interlude by sending him some selfies to set the mood. The lingerie will make me feel sensual and horny. This should be fun.

 

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