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

For context, you need to understand the Crazy Lady (CL) who lives next door to us and the recent neighborhood drama by reading the previous post.   Things have settled down into a quiet truce.  We don’t acknowledge them and they don’t acknowledge us — stepson is the exception for all.  We like him.  He’s a good kid.

Last week, I noticed some increased activity at CL’s house.  Several pickup trucks there and I hear the sounds of power tools.  What the heck are they doing?  It’s been going on all week and I realized that they are doing a renovation in their house…. very covertly.

 

I want the Hunter to call his new best friend, the Code Enforcement Officer.  Yes, the aftermath of the crazy neighbor evening resulted in the Hunter having to get an occupational license for his home business, the landlady having to register her house as a rental and address some landscaping issues.  Total bill between all of us:  $500 or so.  The Hunter played this well and made nice with Code Enforcement.  He befriended the guy and schmoozed him.  He said he learned that tactic to me, but he is masterful.

But I’m pissed and I want to even the score because that was a shitty thing CL did.

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On Halloween, we heard her screaming at her stepson that she is going to kill him because he apparently didn’t clean the cat litter boxes.  Yeah, probably because he was busy mowing the grass and all the other yard work.  According to our landlady, she allegedly has 7-8 cats (violation of city ordinances which only allow 3 pets per household) and she has 2 dogs.  I can rant on and on about how the Dad is a shitty dad for not telling CL to shut her mouth and not talk to his son that way, but I digress.  Let’s return to the construction project.

I really, really, really want the Hunter to call his buddy in Code Enforcement to suggest that he take a ride through the neighborhood.  He won’t do it.  The Hunter says that he is not that kind of neighbor.  He is not the kind of neighbor that rats out others no matter what they have done to him.  Dammit.  The man has integrity.  Dammit.  I want revenge.  I want her to go through some of the bullshit that we have gone through.  Nope.  It’s not going to happen.

The Hunter is out of town for the next week.  He is deep in the woods hunting, so I am left to see the construction debris being removed under the cover of early morning darkness alone.  Today I saw the new kitchen cabinets in their open garage.  I hear the hammers.  I see the trades come and go.  ARGGGGGHHHH — I have to be a better person like the Hunter and hold my tongue.  I don’t want to, but I know it’s the right thing to do.  Dammit.  Integrity.  Nobody said it was easy….  My only hope

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The Hunter is in his happy place — his hunting lease on a couple hundred acres of farm land.  He has already been up there once and “harvested” a deer.  I am fortunate that when it arrives home it is already beautifully packaged by a professional butcher, so I can safely remain blissfully detached from what this meat once was.

The Hunter is smart and has the butcher make all kinds of different things with the meat.  We have amazing sausage, some small chops, cube steak, ground meat — it’s a great variety to help avoid getting tired of it.  I like the venison, but….I don’t think it likes me.

When the Hunter returned from his first trip, we dived into the venison and probably ate it almost every day.  I started not feeling well but thought I just had stomach bug or something.  I didn’t put 2 and 2 together.

Yesterday I made some venison cube steaks for dinner.  Yep, it doesn’t agree with me.  Within a couple of hours, my stomach began hurting.  It’s still off this morning.  I did a little research on the internet and can’t really find a definitive answer on what’s up with me.  Some folks say to back off the amount because the protein content is high.  That could be the situation with me because I never had problems with it before when we made chili and such.

I am reluctant to tell the Hunter that his beautiful venison isn’t agreeing with me.  He is so happy to be providing for us and these trips are truly inspiring for him.  I’ll continue to experiment this week and monitor the results.  If I can’t figure out the magical combination of venison and my digestive system, I’ll have to confess to the Hunter and see his sad face.  I have a feeling it won’t be sad for long because then he’ll just say, “that’s OK, love, just more for me!”

Crazy Lives Beside Us

The Hunter had a really funny run-in with one of our neighbors that I haven’t written about.  I’ll try to keep it short but this will provide context to to my next post.

About 3 months ago we had a code enforcement officer stop by the house.  We weren’t home and he didn’t leave any information on why he was here.  My son was home and the officer was asking if the Hunter was running his business out of our house.  My son didn’t confirm or deny this and he duly informed the Hunter when he arrived home ahead of me.

I pulled into the driveway to see two cardboard signs attached to the trees out front. “Neighbors, we have a snitch who calls code enforcement” (I don’t remember the exact words, but that’s the gist of it).  I laughed and admired the Hunter’s audacity.  He thought I would be upset, but in my mind he was merely exercising his First Amendment right.  He wanted to add “Snitches get stitches”, but I advised him that this additional language was threatening and could get him into trouble.  He changed it to “Snitches are bitches”.

We knew who had turned us in — our batshit crazy next-door neighbor.  She is a screaming shrew who has fought viciously with our landlady after a BFF falling out.  I won’t go into their drama but let’s say that both sides probably bear responsibility.  Couple that with my landlady who has never seen an argument go unargued, and I can only imagine the fireworks when they lived side-by-side.

Anyway back to our drama.  We know it was our neighbor because the previous week the Hunter had given his business card to her teenage stepson because he wanted to have him help do some techie work with his GoPro camera.  Nobody else in the neighborhood knows the name of his business and the code enforcement officer had the name when he talked to my son, so it was an easy puzzle to solve.

Keep in mind that the Hunter named no names on either signs.  Neighbors drove or walked by regularly because it was early evening and folks were arriving home from work.  They read the sign and laughed or waved.  Within the hour, Crazy lady (CL) pulls into her driveway while we are sitting out back enjoying the early evening breeze.  “Motherfucker!!” she screams.  The Hunter looked at me and we giggled.  “Guess who’s home”, I say.

The Hunter has some big ass balls.  He grabbed his GoPro and walked into the front yard.  She had gone ballistic and marched over to the neighbors next to her to gain some allies. We had discovered early into our tenancy that they were also jerks (birds of a feather) but we never really had to deal with them, so it had never been a big deal.  They start screaming at the Hunter.

“Look out!! He’s got a gun!!!” was Neighbor’s first scream.  The Hunter calmly replied, “No, it’s a camera”.  The GoPro was on a selfie stick.  “Don’t film us!” Neighbor screams.

“We have lived here 20 years and we aren’t going to have that that kind of shit in our yard.”  Ummm, it’s in our yard, I think.

“We have called the cops”  Excellent because we need some protection from your crazy selves, I think.  Keep in mind that I am cowering in our house because I don’t have the Hunter’s confrontational chops.  I can hear everything though.

“You are just a tenant!” Um, what does that have to do with anything?

As the police arrived, we decided to sit inside and watch a pre-season football game, so the cops can deal with the crazies first without having to deal with us as well.  As we are sitting there, my phone began exploding.  My landlady was texting and calling me to ask what is this sign and demand that we remove it.  I ignored her because I needed to live thru the chaos in front of me.  I was also wondering how the heck she knew when CL basically has a restraining order against my landlady and cannot contact her directly.  Apparently CL enlisted the Neighbors to contact landlady who had no idea who was texting her all kinds of crazy messages.

Eventually the police came over and knocked on the door.  There are two — both young.  One is soft-spoken and polite; the other is a bit tougher.  We stepped outside to chat with them.  They told us that they explained to the crazy neighbors that we are well within our First Amendment rights to have the sign in the yard.  We began discussing the catalyst of the code enforcement officer visit.  The neighbor came to the edge of our yard to videotape us.  All 4 of us ignored her.

The cops told us that the neighbors were upset with the profanity.  Tough cop, with a straight face, said that they were cursing like sailors as they said the profanity offended them, so he told them he couldn’t believe that.  The tough cop then asked if we would remove the profanity.  “I would hate for the neighborhood kids to see it, ” he explained.  I refrained from being a smart ass by saying that if they could read it they had probably already learned that word.  The Hunter graciously said that he had made his point and would bring the signs inside and did so.  He had made his point, so the signs weren’t necessary.  All 4 of us mulled over why CL would have such a strong reaction to signs that didn’t name anyone…..interesting…..

There is more to the story.  I dealt with our landlady using the beautiful strategy of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, so our relationship has improved significantly.  I sent her the GoPro video which she put on her Facebook, shared with friends and family and probably caused CL more drama because they have mutual FB friends.  I never intended her to distribute it, but, hey, that’s her choice.  In my email to my landlady, I warned her that if CL harassed us in any way, we would find it to be a threat and violation of our quiet enjoyment which could result in us moving out early.  I called her and softened it by explaining that I needed to give her formal notice just to protect us both.  She understood.

The other neighbors around us loved the dramatic evening.  We heard from several, “she got what she deserved”.  One sat with his wife in his backyard which ended up being a front row seat for the entire saga.  He said it was one of his most enjoyable evenings in the neighborhood in years.  CL had sicced code enforcement on him several times apparently.

Although at the beginning I was really nervous about such a huge confrontation with a neighbor, I ended up finding the whole episode ridiculously hilarious.  It was a good learning experience for me about difficult confrontations.  The stepson saw us the next day and gave us a sly grin and “What’s Up”.  He and his dad are no longer allowed to chat with us, but he continues to say hello and wave.

All of this leads up to the past week where the Hunter has shown himself to be a better, more restrained, less vindictive person than me.

Just Keep Breathing

Today isn’t a good day.  Actually the whole week hasn’t been a good one.  Anxiety is overtaking me this week.  Although I’m taking positive business development steps, these steps take time and I feel like I don’t have more time.  Anxiety has been running through me constantly.  I’m worried, frazzled and then to make things even that much worse — I’m not working.  Yes, I have made it to all my networking events and was charming and nice.  Yes, I answered all phone calls and didn’t send them to voice mail.  Yes, I answered a few emails, but I haven’t done the work.  I haven’t made the calls.  I haven’t sent out this week’s introductory emails, snail mail, post cards, etc. that are essential for my survival.

The Hunter just left for a 10-day hunting trip.  I think it’s a good idea that he’s not here.  Let me embrace my panic and react to it with strong action steps.  Let me control my schedule and not be at anyone’s beck and call but my own.  Let me work as hard and as much as I can so I can reset my activity level.  Let me take some Me Time and sit on the beach to think about where my life is and where I am going.

I think what set off my anxiety is a frienemy who just published a book.  I started my company a couple of months before him and we talked about his pending company launch.  His launch went much better than mine.  He kept several good clients.  He has a free office if he wants it.  He just wrote a fucking book, has it on Amazon and even produced a cool video trailer (using some stock footage, but production quality is excellent) and he’s doing podcasts and small videos regularly.  WTF — it makes me feel like a slacker.  It doesn’t help that the Hunter is connected to him on LinkedIn and sees the guy’s constant stream of contents.  It doesn’t help when the guy tells me he has 4,000+ LinkedIn connections.  It doesn’t help when the guy tells me that he has made some good connections through all of this.  It doesn’t help that we DIRECTLY compete.

I feel like I’m making excuses or downplaying the guy’s accomplishments when I say, “the podcast lost me in the 4th minute”.  Robin agreed, but still.  I also have my own point of view about social media marketing in my profession.  I do it, but I haven’t done the podcasts or videos. That’s something I aspire to, so this guy’s actual execution makes me feel like a slacker. I send out regular helpful content to potential clients and clients alike, so it’s not like I’m doing nothing.  I haven’t bought the book, but my GF said he got a ghostwriter — so what, the dude WROTE A BOOK.  He’s getting activity and people are reaching out to him through LinkedIn.  I’m not getting that type of response.  The Hunter teases me and tells me to step up my game.  At first I laughed.  Now it stings a bit.

I am not living the life I dreamed of when I first left my Ex.  I am taking steps to correct my financial course, but they aren’t bearing fruit as quickly as I want or need them too.  I feel a bit disconnected from my business community and although I am going to networking events, I’m not meeting the big fish.  I’m only catching guppies.  I realize that big fish require patience, persistence, timing and the right bait.  I know that intellectually but try telling that to my lizard brain at 3:00 am.  I am in a business of high rejection and I guess that this week it is getting to me.  I know the size fish I need to catch.  I know exactly how many fish I need to catch in order to survive and thrive.  Now I just have to remember what my coach tells me, “Action, action and more action.”

As the Hunter was preparing to leave this morning, I told him that I was anxious.  He has seen this before so I know that he was thanking his lucky stars that he was headed out of town as I enter a full blown mental state.  I told him that I realize that I’m running a marathon and I’ve hit that halfway point when everyone wants to give up, but I just have to keep running.  I know all of this, but it still doesn’t keep the knot in my stomach at bay.

I have to go.  I have yet another networking event but the good news is I am following it with Happy Hour with my girlfriends.   I have more of the same tomorrow — a lunch with peers and then another Happy Hour with my BFF.  Perhaps being around my friends will help.  At least it will keep me out of my head for a few hours.

What’s New with Me?

I noticed that my last post was a month ago — shame on me!  I wanted to start writing more consistently, but my good intention feel by the wayside.  The good news is October was a busy, productive month and I feel great these days.  OK, broke but feeling happy.  I sense momentum in my work flow and know that I just need to keep building on my business development efforts.

At home, things are good.  The Hunter went hunting and brought home a deer (nicely packaged by the butcher so I can continue to deny that I’m really enjoying Bambi).  My trip at the end of September followed by his trip gave us about 14 days apart over a 3 week period.  It bonded us — we missed each other and that felt good.

I dragged his butt to an art festival for an afternoon and we actually had fun.  I’ve been going to my book club and doing more networking events, which has all been great to get me out of the house thus avoiding cabin fever.  I need to keep working hard on my business development — I am now sailing out into the middle of the ocean with no land in sight.  2018 looks a bit scary, but I feel good and confident that things will pop up that were never on my radar.

My business partner husband just told her the famous “I love you, but I’m not in love with you anymore” speech and moved out.  Robin’s devastated, but trying to be strong.  Like all of us who have gone through the end of a marriage, she has good days and bad.  She has a therapist who has given her good advice.  Now she needs a good attorney because her Soon-to-be X is ahead of her in the process.  Her holidays are going to be tough.  I’m worried for Robin and for us, but all I can do is hang on and listen when she wants to talk and try not to provide too much unwanted advice.  Sigh.  My heart goes out to her.

I’ll write some more about thoughts and ideas that are running through my head.  I’m feeling quite fat these days so get ready for a series of “WTF did I do to myself” and “I gotta get my shit together and shut my mouth and move my body” posts.  In the meantime, I have to go celebrate the end of the week, a small paycheck (but hey, it’s a paycheck) and end the week with a bang — some great sex with the Hunter.

Vacation Thoughts

Here I sit in bed on vacation. Is it a vacation? I could say perhaps no — merely a round of visits to family. I had a migraine today that left me a bit under the weather for the most part. I did rally for lunch & a bit of shopping that left me wiped out. I got some excedrine migraine which is truly a miracle drug and now I feel much better but due to the high amounts of caffeine unable to sleep.

I’m restless. I feel like I’m not getting the vacation I wanted. I envisioned walks in the woods communing with nature, writing in my journal/blog, thinking of my life (personal & professional), planning, reading – just days of quiet reflective time. It ain’t happening.

My parents are great and thrilled to have me visit. I am having a lovely time with them, but it’s not what I envisioned. It’s OK. I’ll have some alone time soon when the Hunter takes off to his hunting lease for 10-14 days.

I should have packed my vibrator. Both my parents are hard of hearing…

I haven’t disconnected from work as much as I wanted, but that’s OK to a certain extent. I haven’t turned off my phone or my social media. Not so good.

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Now, five days later, here I sit at a rest stop as I finish my drive to home and I realize that my vacation was a great success. I listened to three great books on tape as I drove, read one book and most importantly perhaps I reconnected with the members of my family that I love the most.

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When I returned home last night, the Hunter greeted me with a very clean house, a lovely dinner and then he fucked me really good twice.  What a great way to come home.

I had thought the month of September was a big loss due to interruptions from Hurricane Irma and Labor Day, but I was wrong. It was actually a great success because I was able to spend time with Taz, my parents, and my son. What more can I ask? It was great quality time too and I have nothing but love in my heart for all of them. It was great to reconnect with all of them. I am a very, very lucky woman and I was blessed to be able to have this time and freedom to go visit with everybody. The Hunter has been nothing but supportive of these visits and I’ll have more quiet time when he heads up to his hunting lease in two weeks. All is well.

It was a great vacation after all and I’m ready to get back to work this week.

 

Taz Reunion

I really needed last weekend in the Big Apple with Taz.  Our agenda:  nothing.  We hit the Highline because I hadn’t seen it, we had mani/pedis, we ate great food, we drank a lot of champagne, we watched movies and we talked — a lot.  It was delightful.

Her new place is great and has a wonderful rooftop terrace that overlooks the Empire State Building.  I was comfy and cozy.  Her Hubby was out-of-town having a guys weekend with an old friend, so we had the place to ourselves.

Taz has settled down.  The insanity of 2016 with the wedding, interviews for residency, graduation, moving and the million other things are behind her.  Now it is the insane daily grind of a high-profile residency program, but she is learning how to manage it.  Her temper is cooler, her voice of reason has reappeared and we spent the entire weekend without her snapping at me once.  I think that is a first in about 4 years.

She is also becoming a very wise, insightful woman.  She told me of the plans she and Hubby are making for their life.  They share all their hopes and dreams with one another, fully support the career and other goals of each other — it is a wonderful relationship.  They are both very blessed to have found each other.  I am so incredibly happy for them.

Taz also touched my tender heart.  She told me that she appreciates how much I have sacrificed for others over the years.  She gets it and she thanked me.  She also understands why I adore the Hunter.  Taz explained, “when you told me he grocery shops and cooks for you, I totally understood the attraction.  You finally have someone who wants to take care of you.  I am so happy for you.”

We also laughed about one of her insights.  Our attachments to certain things.  I told the story of my meltdown over my shoe graveyard one Sunday.  She completely understood.  We have a quirky attachment to our stuff.  We don’t want others to break it or damage it because that just pisses us off immensely.  She had an example of a crystal vase that had been in the family for forever (I got stuck with a bunch of crystal vases over the years so I have no idea if it was a wedding gift of mine, my mom’s or MIL).  Anyway, Hubby broke it by accident.  She got pissed.  Really pissed.  He didn’t quite understand her anger.  We commiserated that a fucking photo doesn’t do justice to the item.  We want to hold it, see it.  We talked about how my move from my adorable townhouse to my new locale was a big sacrifice in some ways for me.  How I need to get back to having an adorable place that I love.  It does feed my soul.

Anyway, it was fabulous.  I gotta run because I’m packing for my road trip and leave tomorrow.  I’ll write some more while I’m away….I think…..

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