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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

The Kracken

I haven’t written too much about the third being in my day-to-day life, the Kracken.  He just turned three years old.  He’s approaching full maturity and at his recent check-up topped out at 80 pounds.  80 pounds of muscle, bark and intelligent civil disobedience.

The Kracken is the Drama King of the house.  Through whimpers, whines, sighs and barks, he communicates endlessly throughout our days.  He also does the “sad dog” eyes just to make sure he’s getting his message across.  The beast does make me laugh.  He has an opinion on everything.  He also is incredibly nosy, literally.  If you bring anything new into the house, he needs to thoroughly smell it.  I mean stuff his nose inside it and snort in the smells.  If the Hunter and I are hugging, he squirms his way between us to be part of what has now become a group hug.  If we are cooking, he squirms between us and the counter.  I claim because in his next life he wants to be a chef, but we all know he’s simply positioning himself for a fortuitous dropped morsel.

He awakens us each morning and cajoles us out the door for our walk.  The Hunter has been teaching him patience.  Although the Kracken believes we should spring from bed and immediately run out the door for a long, long walk, the Hunter leisurely gets up, has some coffee, checks his email, goes to the bathroom, has some more coffee, checks his Instagram, heads back to the bathroom and then perhaps we will head out the door.

After a good walk, the Kracken and I enjoy mornings sitting on the front porch.  He’s on a long lead and I’m drinking coffee while reading.  We both watch the neighbors stroll by.  He has those dogs he likes and those he can’t stand.  He hates huskies — that wolf-like stare raises his hackles and elicits fierce barking. Cue the training collar.  He loves little dogs, labs and kids, although no kids on scooters.  For some reason, he hates scooters.  He likes bikes because The Hunter takes him around the neighborhood with the bike.  We think the scooter situation is because he hasn’t had a chance to check it out up close.

He and I get along fine although it’s a constant skirmish of who is #2 in the household pack.  The Hunter is clearly the Alpha male, but the Kracken likes to see what he can get away with when he’s with me and he will push his boundaries.  His latest bad habit happens when we are alone.  Those days when the Hunter heads out to work appointments before me and then I’m dressed and heading out the door myself.  As soon as the Kracken hears my heels hit the stairs, he starts barking.

It’s not just any barking.  You need to understand that The Kracken is bred to be hunting dog.  He’s a chaser, so he’s fast and has a loud bark so hunters can keep up with him.  His bark is huge.  Add in high ceilings and it echos throughout the house.  I can’t hear myself speak when he cranks it up.

The Hunter isn’t having any of that nonsense.  He puts on the training collar (aka shock collar) and that usually subdues the Kracken who knows what will be happening next.  I’m the softie and I hate using the training collar.  I know it’s the only way, so I reluctantly will do it to save my hearing and my sanity.  The Kracken knows I’m a softie and uses that to his advantage.  I have to remember that….

The training collar has been a game-changer with the Kracken.  Yes, I thought it was cruel, but it isn’t.  It’s necessary.  He can get a beeping warning and/or a vibration before he gets zapped and even the zap has different levels.  He’s smart enough to know that when we put it on him and pick up the control, he better get his ass in line.

Now that his shots are all up-to-date, he got to go to the dog park near the house.  It was glorious.  He spent the first 10 minutes running flat out all around the park.  Many of the dogs joined him in an attempt to chase him down and he easily outran them all.  He was in his glory — full speed, leaping around, outracing all who challenged him.  It was a sight to see.  He is an incredibly handsome animal and watching him in his prime was beautiful.

Then, just like any youngster, he was done.  He had sprinted himself into exhaustion and plopped down in the shade on the damp grass to cool off.  After a few minutes, he was ready to trot around and make some friends, wrestle and just generally play like any kid on the playground.  I love it when he burns off all that energy because he returns home calm and ready for a day of napping.

For all his noise, drama and mess, he is a great buffer/third wheel/member of the household.  He is a wonderful diversion, gives the Hunter a companion all the time and keeps us active by walking ALL THE TIME.

So, we have made it to the other side with the Kracken.  The Hunter has spent countless hours training him and it shows.  He does the commands of “Stay”, “Sit”, “Get inside”, “Go to bed”, “Quiet”, “Come” and more.  He’s defender of the home with a fierce bark, but loves every person he meets.  He’s an unusual breed and this article gives you some insight on his daddy , the Plott hound.   and his mama is a Florida cur — two tough breeds bred to be outside.  I understand him and respect him, but he is not my dog.  He is the Hunter’s dog through and through.

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Not the Kracken — but pretty darn close…

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Busy, Busy, Busy

My son’s graduation was wonderful.  Family gathered, we all had a great time with no drama and the focus remained on the graduate.  It was a lovely weekend.  My parents joined us along with one of my Ex’s brothers and his family.  Everyone remembered why we were there and behaved admirably.

I thoroughly enjoyed my long drive up and back.  I’m finishing up an amazing book (audio version), Designing Your Life.  It is so incredibly inspiring for where I am right now.  I have already sent out an email to some folks to create my own group so we can go through the exercises beginning in June.  I’m going to sign up for the online course and spend June & July going through their process.  Amazon should be delivering my hard copy today so I can highlight and re-read the whole thing.

We did the walk-thru of our new place this morning and it’s ready for us.  Not as sparkling clean as I would like, but hey, it’s a rental, get over it.  Anyway, I also noticed that the living areas are much smaller than what we currently have.  Yikes.  When I mentioned it to the Hunter, he moaned at my negative statement.  “Wait a minute,” I said.  “I am merely concerned that everything we are planning on taking fits.  Based on what I saw, we shouldn’t move the couches.  They will take up too much space and we are planning on dumping them anyway, so why bother moving them?”

OK, I get it that I lead with a negative, but I wanted to discuss.  I suppose that this on top of me rushing him out of the house when the walk-thru was moved up 2 hours was not scoring me additional brownie points.  But we need to get shit done.  I need to jettison more stuff.  OfferUp has been fantastic.  If you haven’t checked out that app, do so.  I’ve gotten rid of a headboard, shoe rack, bike rack, Xmas tree and more.  This is all in addition to our 2 garage sales.

Anyway, back to the size of the new place.  It is about 40% smaller than our current rental.  We aren’t using all of the space here, but we need to be careful.  We are downsizing from having:

  • 2 bedrooms to 1 (plus office which will now take up the 2nd bedroom in the new place, so no more guest room),
  • over-sized 2-car garage to small 1-car,
  • decent-sized backyard to patio area with some grass — Kracken will need to adjust.
  • front yard to none–just the driveway area (it is a townhouse not a single-family like we have now),
  • living room, dining room, family area to much smaller living and dining rooms (it’s less than half the current living space)
  • smaller master bedroom
  • kitchen is half the size of the current one with no eat-in/barstool area

I’m not complaining about any of this.  I’m actually very happy to be simplifying my life. I like 2-story townhouses. Purging stuff has felt great and I haven’t felt pangs of regret as things have gone out the door.  However, I like to have a plan and a place for stuff, so I have been reviewing our inventory of stuff and then making sure it will fit at our new location.

Oh yeah, and then there is work.  I’m putting aside my whole job search/career redefinition until I finish going through the Redesigning Your Life exercises.  I realized my approach was a bit scattered and I wasn’t doing it correctly (I knew this before the book, but it just reinforced it).  May is for graduation and moving.  Let’s get that done and done correctly.  Then June will be about Design:  the new place, my life, etc.

For now, it’s all about packing, sorting, dumping.  Hey, Hunter, bring me some more boxes!

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OK, thank goodness it’s not this bad!  Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

Dammit – Be Grateful!

I’m cranky this morning and felt myself spiraling into a funk.  This time I refuse to sink into it and I’m fighting it.  I have so much to be grateful for — the week was a good one, even though a vicious migraine attempted to undermine me.  Here’s the good stuff:

  • Met two potential new clients and they are both lovely people
  • I had a fabulous send-off lunch with Robin who starts her new job next week.  She is happy, grateful and on the path to stability and great success.
  • Work is going well
  • The Hunter has taken over all dealings with our landlord (actually her boyfriend) and they get along great.  I am amazed at how much relief this have given me.
  • My daughter and son-in-law arrive next week so we’ll have some beach days followed by my son’s graduation.  I’m excited to see everyone.
  • I have figured out a couple of extra income gigs that won’t bring in a ton of $$ but at least they will be fun.  I’ll start in June once we are settled.  Now is not the time to add too much to my plate.

The things that have me anxious:

  • Money — it’s always about money with me right now.  I have lots of debt and not too much income coming in for now.  I haven’t been able to confront my fears by sitting in front of the computer and calculating it all out.
  • My computer is about to take a gigantic crap which has lead me to having to buy a new one today (more debt ugh).  OK, I should be grateful that this laptop has survived 8 years with virtually no issues and I should be grateful that I qualified for an interest-free loan to buy the new one and the Hunter is paying for both my laptop and his new one.  We are going cheap– we don’t need to launch a rocket with our computers, so cheap is fine.  Yes, I researched and figured out what would work.
  • Job search is flat — and it’s my fault.  Actually I can’t say that.  I have to send my resume to someone.  I had a lunch with someone who is being recruited by the same firm recruiting me to set up an office in this area.  It’s interesting, and I like the guy, but why do I need this firm?  He has the same thoughts also.  I’m having a meeting next week with their recruiting partner who is coming to town.  I guess I should be grateful to my coach for the referral and to these folks for finding me interesting.

It really helps me to write this shit out because then I can sit back and say, “OK, Maggie, calm the fuck down.”  I have had some stinkin’ thinking this morning about how poorly I have managed my career and that once the Hunter’s career shifts into stable prosperity he is going to dump my fat ass, that my ass is fat and I need to get my shit together and STOP EATING.  Yeah, I am fighting the funk, but these are the things flying around on broomsticks in my brain.

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Photo by MARK ADRIANE on Unsplash

Lots of Changes

May will be a month of many changes.  Robin starts her new job, my son graduates from college and will begin preparations to leave for a year in Asia, the Hunter & I are moving, the Hunter’s birthday will be at the end of the month.  There is a lot going on, so let’s break it down:

Family:   My son’s graduation is bringing a flurry of family activities.  Taz and her hubby will spend the week prior on a beach vacay in the area, so I plan on spending a couple of lazy days with them with my toes in the sand. Then we have graduation with my parents flying in, the Ex, etc.  The Hunter isn’t joining us at graduation.  I’m OK with that — him in close quarters with my Ex for 48 hours is probably not a good idea plus I’ll be busy with my parents.  Anyway, the first week of May will be filled with family.  My son is figuring out if his Asian job is locked in before deferring his fancy post-graduate spot.  I’m so proud of my stealth achiever.  I will be chaperoning my elderly parents through the grad weekend, but I’m looking forward to seeing them.  My dad’s been sad due to his brother’s rapidly failing health — I’m praying I don’t need to add a long-distant funeral to my May activities.

Home:  We found a place to rent and I navigated the corporate paperwork of an institutionally-owned place successfully.  Now we are just waiting for HOA approval, but nobody anticipates issues.  The HOA doesn’t have weight restrictions on pets, the institutional landlord only wanted a promise of weight, not proof, so we are off to the races.  The new place is smaller, we reduced our monthly rent by over 20% and it’s more conveniently located.  We are close to parks including a large dog park and I’m excited about it.  We are having another garage sale so I can continue to jettison stuff.  This feels good and we are both happy about all of it.

Work:  Maggie & Co is chugging along and is generating unexpected revenue from unanticipated sources.  Robin will begin her new job in the first week of May and her church has offered her a part-time job on weekends.  She sat down with a financial planner to draw up a budget and a plan to get her back on track.  We are having a celebratory lunch this week.  I’m relieved but sad.  I’m sad to lose my sidekick and partner-in-crime, but relieved because now I have room to maneuver my job situation more freely and I’m not worried about her lack of income.   Robin is grateful because I found her the job and gently shoved her down the path of stability at a time where her only goal was to get through a single day.  She is a good person and deserves all the success and stability this job can give her.  In this new job, I think she’ll find Hubby #2 or at least a Sugar Daddy who will dote on her.

Job Search:  Slow.  I had a good informational interview with a former colleague.  I need to follow up with him with a resume and stuff, but I’ve procrastinated.  That tells me that I’m not too serious about pursuing this, so I’m trying to pause and give myself some time to reflect on why.  I’ll write another post about that.  My business coach (who I owe $$ to because my credit card keeps getting declined!) has referred me to a company who wants to expand into my neck of the woods.  They seem like good people with a good plan, but it doesn’t excite me.  I would be doing what I’m doing for someone else and the added pressure of reporting to others, recruiting more team members and rapidly building a business in a profession where my passion has waned.  I am trying to get an interview with another company who desperately needs my skill set, but they have just named a new CEO and are looking for a CFO, so perhaps they aren’t ready.  I sent my resume and clever (but not too clever) cover letter to the CEO hidden inside a congratulations card.  Let’s hope SHE appreciates the ingenuity.

As for me, I am embracing May as the month of change.  The Hunter has continued to hold up his end of changes.  I’ll write about that as well, but this post is way long enough for now.

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End of an Era

This week my little Lhaso Apso passed away.  Rather, I had to take him to the vet and be put to sleep.  Let’s talk about that first and then I’ll dig into my emotional shit relating to him.  He was diagnosed 1-1/2 years ago with a large lung tumor.  How he lived this long is anybody’s guess, but he continued on with some coughing, but for the most part he was status quo.  Dogs are resilient creatures — he didn’t know he was terminally ill, so he just continued being who he is.  May we all be able to do that…

Over the past two months his decline sped up.  He lost more weight, coughed a bit more, couldn’t jump up on the couch without help.  The end was coming.  The Hunter, who was never fond of him, felt bad for him and finally told me this week that it was time.  He told me that by delaying the inevitable,  I was pissing him off.  That woke me up because he was right.  I just wanted to avoid the whole situation.  The poor dog stopped eating and was sleeping most of the time — these were the necessary signs the vet told me about.   I promised to resolve it within 24 hours and I did with the Hunter by my side.

We went to the vet with the little guy wrapped up in a cozy blanket.  He had been snuggling with me quite a bit over the past couple of weeks, more than usual, so perhaps he knew his time was drawing to a close.  Anyway, the vet was a little busy because I was unexpected and they had some type of emergency.  This meant we had to sit in the waiting room for about 15 minutes.  No big deal until some friggin’ busybody walked in with her yappy dog.

She looks over at us and says, “Is your baby going to sleep?”  Are you fucking kidding me?  I should have snapped some reply of minding her own business, but I simply nodded.  This apparently granted her permission to launch into a whole monologue about putting her other dog to sleep a couple of months ago and her yappy dog’s current ailment.  Like I cared.  I stared at her in disbelief that she felt like she could drone on and on.  Staff was appalled and scooted us into a room as quickly as possible.  Too late.

Anyway, the process was quick and when we left, I blazed past her still in the waiting room with no words, no looks.

This dog was my mom’s dog.  Actually he was given to her by her dog boarding place because he had been taken away from his first owner who neglected him.  He was the perfect old lady dog — great companion, snuggled with you every time you sat down.  He loved a walk, got along with every dog he met and charmed every person.  At home, I always saw him as some little old Asian man that chose not to understand us when it was convenient for him.  He always pretty much did what he wanted.  The Hunter and I discovered that he was a phenomenal camper — he loved it and would chill in the hammock with me.  Stellar companion.

I promised my mom as she was dying that he would always have a home with me.  I fulfilled that promise and he ended up living with me longer than he did with her.  It struck me a bit hard because this was a living reminder of my mom and that is now gone.  He was the last responsibility of my old life — in the past two years my cat passed, then the horse and now him.  No more responsibilities (the Kracken doesn’t count since he is the Hunter’s).

My kids were lovely and sympathetic.  The Hunter was fabulous.  He went with me, held my hand, drove me home and got me my favorite pizza and fed me the best chocolate dessert in town but left me alone to mull it all over.

I feel free but also a bit adrift.  With the job search/change, moving homes, income worries — it is all a lot to process.  I talked to Taz this week about most of it and she was supportive and empathetic. She confessed that her hubby has some job uncertainty, so they are battening down the hatches and preparing for big changes as well.  They will be fine because they are attacking the issue head-on.  2018 is proving to be quite a year. Oh yeah, my uncle is in hospice and I’ll soon have a funeral to add to my schedule.  Let’s see in the next 8 weeks I will be:  finding a new place, packing and moving, going to my son’s graduation, the Hunter will be off hunting for a week, possible funeral, job search, work….. you might not be hearing much from me….

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Not him, but his doppelganger…RIP

The Hunter Returns

The Hunter had been out of town for almost a week.  He was out in the woods freezing his tuckus off.  I stayed behind to work both on Maggie & Co and around the house.  I got the tree set up (quite lovely if I do say so myself) and went to a bunch of networking BS.  When he first left, I got really anxious.  Anxious about work, money — my  usual triggers. I had a migraine when he left and it stayed with me for two days.  Lovely.  I was glad he was gone because I was not fit to be around.

Then the headache lifted and I decided it was time to get my shit done.  I got the house cleaned up and then listened to Christmas music for about 10 hours straight.  I decorated the tree, wrapped some gifts and found my spirits lifting.  It was lovely.  I feel much better even though today my accountant’s bookkeeper sent me an estimated tax bill that is 3x what I was expecting.  I gulped down two glasses of wine and some chocolate to keep myself under control.  I’ve asked for more information — I’m sure there has to be a mistake for a number of reasons.

Anyway, enough BS about day-to-day life.  The Hunter returned a day after my Son arrived for his winter break.  Son and I had a lovely dinner together to get caught up on his life.  He is one semester from graduating and we are discussing his next step.  I never had to worry much about Taz’s next steps — it was more school, more training and the choices were more about where rather than what.  My Son now has to think about both what and where, so it’s a completely different conversation.  He has ideas and is on the right track, so I’m not too worried about him.

The Hunter arrived home and it was so good to feel his arms around me.  I needed his hug.  He was exhausted and crawled into bed a couple of hours later.  I joined him a couple of hours afterwards (7:00 pm bedtime is a bit too early for me).  He instantly wrapped me in his arms and held me close.  It was divine.  I needed it.  Then he turned me over to fuck me lovingly and thoroughly.  We fell asleep with his worn-out dick still in my pussy.  It felt so good.

I am at peace.  Even with the work stress, I am OK.  Nervous — yes, a little, but I know that I’ll be OK.  I’m not happy to be in such a shitty financial predicament, but I have no one to blame but myself, so I better put my head down and work hard.  I have had these cycles before, but I had a husband who earned more so the pressure wasn’t so intense.  Now that I am responsible for all my living expenses, I have to be an Amazon.  I feel confident.  I am fierce.  Look out 2018 — Maggie’s gonna kick some ass.

I”ve Been Thinking

How much do you compromise or give up for a relationship? That’s my current question rumbling thru my head.  After Thanksgiving, I started thinking about my relationship with the Hunter.  The pros and cons.

Pros: companionship, great sex, a man who cares and takes care of me

Cons: I’m not living where and how I want.  I mean, I’m in the house in the ‘burbs instead of a more urban townhouse in a walkable neighborhood.  I have an 80 pound dog who is ravishing my already destroyed patio furniture as I write. I have a man that I have little in common with.  He talks of hunting, guns, vehicles. I talk of articles I read, podcasts on various topics. Our mutual topics: work, the dogs, mundane day-to-day stuff.

When he was gone on an 8 day hunting trip, I fell into a pleasant routine and didn’t find myself yearning for his return.  Actually I was a little  regretful because he creates more mess for me to clean up. That was noteworthy.

Can I truly stand living alone? I was doing it before the Hunter came into my life and I had my highs and lows with it.  What would happen to him? He is financially dependent upon me.  

We aren’t on the same page about vacation ideas, his work goals, where to live, our politics, how to spend the holidays, and other assorted tropics. I like art festivals, museums, farmers markets, brunch.  He likes the woods, rednecks and hunting. I am a cat person, he isnt. Some days I feel like I have a Roommate.  

I have come to realise I’m not an easy person to live with.  I snore, I can be moody – particularly when anxious about work. I need solitude both with work and off time to read, think, write. 

You also have the Dan Savage premise that nobody is “The One” — you just take the person who is .758 and round the fuck up.  He has a point.

The Hunter knows I’m not happy with him right now.  I spent a long day with my kids, their in-laws, my Ex and his GF (very nice lady — we just said hello and then stayed at opposite ends of the crowd).  I enjoyed the day but I could see where it would have been a long, drawn out strain for him. Perhaps it was better that he didn’t join us because it enabled me to determine what I wanted to do. 

But that also leads to the question of “do I want a man who would be fine with such an event?” What would I be compromising in other relationship areas?

I don’t want to make a hasty decision.  My lease is up in May and as my BFF said — that would be the time.  Is it time? I’ve been with him 3 years. I don’t see him as the man for the rest of my days, or do I?

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