I’m back!

Where to begin. It has been a long year.

It is not my intention to sound like just another “Wow, COVID was such a crazy year” writer. Hell, I am barely a writer after such a long hiatus, however, writing is in my bones, my very DNA, oozing out of the tips of my tired fingers. I couldn’t help myself after being absent for this long, drawn out group of days we came to know as 2020. I have been working nonstop, both to the happiness of my bank account and to the chagrin of my personal life and well-being. After weathering the pandemic as one of a select group who remained employed, continued reporting to their physical workplace, and actually labored longer hours than ever previously experienced, here I am, coming out the other side, with worse carpal tunnel than one would like to admit. The past two days in my life have been filled with Hugo strongly encouraging me to slow down and refocus on what is important. Work isn’t everything and as of lately, all I do is work. The money is good but that’s about it. My stress is high, my sleep is little, and my husband notices my priorities being out of whack. He loves me so he says something and now I have to act to change something, because he is right – our lives are more important and we want our health intact by the time we retire so we can actually enjoy everything we have worked so hard for together.

Lessons learned this year – life is short and the small stuff truly doesn’t matter. Something things don’t make sense and we can’t make sense of it in our heads. Case in point, one of our coworkers contracted and passed away from COVID. This individual did not possess any risk factors and after falling ill, he declined to the point of death within weeks. Made no sense and wasn’t fair. He passed away on Valentine’s Day of this year, as his wife of twenty-five years and three children looked on. I received a thoughtful gift basket from his widow today, in precious thanks of my efforts with his funeral procession and services, both of which I planned with pride for his loved ones.

As I sit reflecting on the stress I have harbored into tense shoulders and sleepless nights, I realize even more how dumb I am for caring about things to the point that they harm me. It is good to take pride in your work but I have to remember how to take pride in myself. Hugo and I are more important than my boss and endless deadlines.

So I begin in the present, rather than forging my feet into the drying concrete footing of the past. I embrace my relationship and all the blessings I have in life. Welcome back to writing for me – oh, how I missed you!

Memories from a little white car

As I was driving home from work just after 5pm last night, I noticed a small white sedan swerve a little into my lane.  I pulled up next to the car at the next red light we both stopped at, where I noticed the driver was a young, teenage girl and the passenger was a young, teenage boy.  Both of them were probably 16 or seventeen years old and without a care in the world.  For that fleeting moment at the light, I soaked up a glimpse of their lives and immediately likened them to Hugo and I.  In those short seconds, I saw her laughing and joking with him, as they were on their way to someone’s house to hang out with friends.  The sun was still alive in the sky for another three hours, which meant plenty of both day light and night life to enjoy during their carefree summer night.  Maybe she had a crush on him and most likely he liked her.  Maybe they were just friends but we all know how that story goes; Hugo and I were best friends turned lifelong loves so it can be a slippery slope.  During my brief observation of their simple, innocent interaction, I remembered what it all felt like.  No stress from work and adult life.  The simple beauty of having fun with friends and, quite possibly, your future husband.  And happily looking forward to having their entire lives ahead of them, yet only focusing on the present.

The main thing I thought of as I peered into the little white car was how high school evenings, such as theirs is and ours was, are focused on spending time with people you care about.  You spend all day plotting out how you can hang out with friends and where the gathering will occur.  You spend the rest of your time planning out how you can interact with the guy or gal you have a crush on.  Finally, you spend any remaining time panicking about it all coming together without a hitch.

The light turned green and the sedan sped off, full of possibility.  It looked like those two would spend the night together and they looked happy as hell.  I drove behind them for a little bit, as it appeared we were both headed back into the canyon for the rest of the evening, and then it occurred to me of exactly what I’d achieved since those days in high school.  While Hugo and I used to be those two kids in the little white car, just hoping to spend the night together and yearning for more time to live and laugh and love, I realized we are so very fortunate to get to spend that time together now, every night when we finish a day’s work, and every weekend when we are fortunate enough to sleep in together, well past the time of our alarms.  Rather than make plans to meet up somewhere and hope to catch a glimpse of a momentary flirtation, I now get to call that man my husband, all while living with him and sharing this beautiful life together.  After both of us dreaming and wanting one another as a high school crush, turned romance, turned love story, we hit the jackpot as we get to come home to one another every day for the rest of our lives.  From the little white car to the big white house we live in today, we are two lucky kids.

Oh Polly

I began a short story a couple months ago, after receiving news from my mother-in-law that my grandmother-in-law, Polly, was moved into hospice care living due to her declining health.  Life got super busy, as always seems to be the excuse with me, and I abandoned the post that I began, only to revisit it this morning and realize it isn’t accurate anymore.  While hospice was the current state of our little Polly’s life at the time (I think it was around February), how things have changed since then.  Polly took a sharp turn into the great decline after she entered hospice, only lasting a few more weeks before she passed away.  I wanted to provide an update on her when I initially penned this piece and now I find myself drafting a final farewell to the youngest, most vibrant, old lady I ever knew.

At the time of her death, Polly was an energetic, whipper-snapper at the ripe age of 96.  She lived a beautiful life, much of which I have documented in other tales about her and Bob’s great love, their joyful family of four children, as well as life as a military wife, and the fact that she welcomed me with open arms and true warm love into her family.  Polly could feel the love Hugo had for me, and I for him, and because of that, she consistently blessed our relationship with her overwhelming approval and support as she accepted me as her own grandchild.  I really loved Polly and as I noticed her penciled-in birthday on our calendar next week, I sadly realized I won’t be sending her annual card this year.

In addition to being a exceptionally positive and loving human being, Polly was also a fine example of strength in women.  Raised in the American 1920s, where women were second to men in relationships and the workforce, she had a strong will and opinion.  Her bold voice was not silenced based on being female and I personally observed her as the boss of her marriage and entire family.  While I only knew her during the final two decades of her life, I have a strong feeling she never shied away from speaking her mind and pursuing her dreams.  I love and admire women like her, particularly those who were not born into a world where that female behavior was the norm or necessarily acceptable in their father’s eyes.  It was probably an uphill battle for Polly, as well as my own grandmother Louise, who raised my mom the same.  From Grannie Lou (as I, her only grandchild, dubbed her) and Polly, to my mom, Hugo’s mom, and I, it is easy to see how the wild fire of fierce femininity was born, raised, nurtured, and repeated throughout our generations in both families.  And I love it.

While I know this isn’t true of everyone, everywhere, I do feel that the quality of people is significantly declining as we inch our way through the year 2020.  The deep love for her spouse and family, and her zest for life even on the rainiest of days, were two of Polly’s strongest and most attractive qualities, both of which seem to be severely lacking in this generation of ‘woke’.  I am mad that I just wrote that sentence but even more upset at the sheer fact it is raw truth.

Polly was and is a beautiful spirit.  Her light shines through in Hugo’s eyes, as I see those same wonderful parts pop out of him.  Not only did he learn to live and love from his parents and grandparents, it is also in his blood.  Sometimes I find it hard to pinpoint exactly what it is about Hugo that makes him such a perfectly blissful husband but based on all of my research and field experience in the world of loving this man, I am going to chalk it up to his umami being just right and, quite frankly, delicious.  And for that, I celebrate those who came before him, as they are the ingredients from which he was baked, and I say thank you.  Polly – we love you and you are missed.

State of unfairs

This world is insane right now.

Riots, looting, protests.

Rage, hate, disrespect.

I could voice my opinion about all of this but I don’t have enough energy to put my thoughts about it to paper anymore.  These last two weeks have drained Hugo and I physically, as we worked twelve hour shifts non-stop and without any time off to breath.  Since late May, just as we all began to emerge from the COVID-19 cocoon, our country erupted into a nightmare and it sucked any remaining life out of my body.

I have lost faith in a lot of things recently, the most important of which is people.  Humans, mainly the Americans you see torching police cars, running out of a burglarized Foot Locker with arm-loads of stolen sneakers, or proudly marching with a nonsense sign high above their masked heads, are ignorant and misled regarding the entire dialogue.  But, like I said, I don’t have enough energy to fight or defend the truth.  Not everything has to be about race – in fact, if we took race out of the picture, all that would be left in the majority of these recent shooting incidents would be a criminal being contacted by police, the individual not cooperating with simple requests, the subsequent fight between the police and suspect, followed ultimately by a shooting.  None of us should comment on these tense, rapidly evolving, dynamic situations, particularly when we weren’t there, don’t have all the facts and know nothing about it.

Part of me wants to run away, with my dearest Hugo of course, and the other part wants to fight, for what is right.  The will to stand up to bullshit is in my O+ blood.  My spirit is riddled with the need to convince the commoners of the real story, but in this unfortunate scenario, no one will come out as a winner.

My small circle of Hugo, the pups, and I are stressed.  As the perimeter of my circle expands, I can see the fear and uncertainty these times bring to my parents, both of whom have been barricaded at their country farm for months, watching American cities, once crippled with coronavirus deaths, now set ablaze by unemployed, college-aged antagonists.  Look even further and spot the turmoil in our government and infrastructure, the pandemic we are still very much experiencing, and the ongoing climate crisis our planet is embroiled in, all of which our own president doubts.  It is overwhelming and I feel suffocated with negativity, as I’m sure many people do.  I want out, of this country at times and of the year 2020 as a whole.  I want change too, but not the type everyone is screaming about on the 5 o’clock news.  For the record, all cops are not bastards and I am sickened by the idea of anyone being evil enough to feel that way.  Imagine if recklessly bold and inflammatory generalizations like that were made about any other group in the world – it is wrong in so many ways and very hurtful to all of the wonderful police officers and their families I know.

Zooming the lens for a moment back to my circle, the only way for me to mentally survive to see the remainder of my weekend and beyond is to focus on the good that still exists.  A lot of these problems cannot be changed by me so it isn’t worth stressing over them.  Trying to offer the fair opinion about how there are problematic employees, ‘bad apples’ if you will, in every field of work, would fall on deaf ears, unwilling to even entertain a two-sided conversation.  I won’t alter the minds of the sheep-like masses – even a pipeline of truth shoved into their Twitter-obsessed souls wouldn’t rework their closed minds, as they see and believe only that which fits the dialogue they want.  I also won’t impact major governmental decisions, most of which are fueled by corrupt and self-serving politicians.  Come to think of it, I am really not involved with any of this on any level.  That makes me mildly relieved but also disappointed because I am stuck living in a world where all of these major, major issues are happening and I can’t do a god damn thing about it.

I can, however, hug my Hugo a little bit harder when he comes into bed just after midnight tonight, another thankless shift behind him, serving the people on the news who just don’t care.  Makes me sad and still a little bit scared of where we are going and when it will stop.  I find balance in my husband and an incredible amount of strength, which I have learned to siphon off him.  He is the calming force in my life, as the world rages loud right outside of our windows.  Through him I have learned to just shut the curtains and focus on all the good inside our loving home.

Three loves yet it’s all the same

Love is love is love.  It all develops with similar circumstances, out of fondness and friendship.  It ends one of two ways:  falling out of love and moving on or when we take our last breath and depart this world.  I pray the deep relationship Hugo and I have will afford us the opportunity to part ways after decades of love and life shared, holding hands as we snuggle in bed, both of us simultaneously falling asleep never to wake again.  I want us to go out as we have lived together, as a team.

Well, that was somber.  Not my initial intention when I began writing this.  Despite how dark I just got, I meant it all with the fullest intent of love.  My love realized in life, through having Hugo, is probably the biggest unexpected aspect of my life.  You dream of finding a Prince Charming as a young girl but when it actually happens, you can’t help but question if your reality is, well, for real.

Then you realize it is and as you marinate in the perfectness of that perfect moment you also realize nothing else really matters.  As I always say – easier said than done – but seriously folks, what other nonsensical, annoying, ‘not worth my time or energy’ BULLSHIT matters in the least, or even stands up to something so magnificently beautiful?  Not that hard to answer.  Nothing.

Now, all of these thoughts and feelings come on the heels of yet another couple nights of frustration and angst, as I sit alone while Hugo works, letting my mind run circles around the things that cause me grief.  I am stressed and Hugo knows it all too well, because I continue to pester him about it every chance I get.  He is my best and most trusted outlet for over-analyzing all the things that make KK (yup, that’s me), KK.  It felt like the right time to speak in the third person – it adds effect, ya know?  Anyways, I bug Hugo until I can’t bug him anymore and I bug myself too.  I wish I could turn my feelings off when it gets too heavy and I have had enough.  I wish I didn’t care about most of the things that I do but then again, if that was the case and I didn’t care so strongly, I wouldn’t be me.  I am sensitive to the words that are spoken to me, in front of me and about me.  I am hyper-critical of myself in every way and when I perceive a misstep on my part, I circle back to the moment, the decision, the very word I stupidly said, until I can’t bear to think of it one more time.  I am sure there are others out there who engage in this behavior, right?  I presume I am not alone in this and, quite frankly, I think we all do it on some level, whether we’d like to admit it or not.  Personally, being my own strongest critic is also a strength and I only care as much as I do because I seek to improve and develop as a partner and friend.

As I have said way too many times, just writing this down makes me realize how asinine the excessive, critical behavior really is.  None of the recent moments I have been upset about are even noteworthy, if you can call it that.  The girl drama at work has mildly improved but still persists.  Today I received an update from an old co-worker about a scandalous, problematic, and damn-near criminal employee who we both used to work with – this stellar individual, who is still causing problems, is voicing his dislike of me.  I have said many times how I not only call it like I see it but I also can’t wrap my head around the fact that others are blind to his ludicrous ways.  I am stressed and nervous about submitting my transfer to another unit of assignment.  While I know these things should just roll off my shoulders, they don’t and I am here.  Getting better at being strong, keeping my priorities straight and focusing on the things that truly matter, but I am still me and me hurts a little.

Transitioning to bigger and better news – I am on the two week countdown until my real estate exam date!  Studying like hell and surprising myself with my retention level (I got a 92 on my progress exam today), I am cautiously optimistic about taking the test that will plunge me into my new second career.  Hugo has been so wonderful about the whole thing – encouraging me along the way, listening to me blab about the things I am learning and the things I still don’t know, but want to, and helping with everything in between as I forge tirelessly through vocab review and video lessons.  I can really feel his love when he spends hours cooking a vegetarian meal of my choosing, so he can take care of me by nourishing my mind and body, all while I sit on the couch studying for my passionate pursuit.  To be honest, one of the most exciting aspects of pursuing this new career is the excitement of sharing my success with him.  In the end, if not for sharing it with those we love, what is it all for?

I started this post off by speaking of similar loves, three of them to be exact.  My beautiful neighbors and my grandparents-in-laws (is that even right?) are both half of the couple they used to be for many years.  The male portion of both equations has since passed away, while their widowed wives finish out their earthly time alone.  Of the three relationships I strive to document further, I am the only woman alive and that makes me sad.  I think about the love I have for Hugo and I presume my neighbors and Polly & Bob had such a similar bond, which makes me hurt for their loss that much more.  One day soon, if I can finally get around to carving out some serious time, I fully intend on writing these three love stories for you to enjoy.  I have thoroughly enjoyed watching them unfold, celebrating in their existence, and cherishing the fact that they even happened, so I know you will feel the same.  You already know a little bit about Hugo and I so now it will be time to learn about the splendid people who came before him, making my love bug even possible.

 

Full circle

I remember her laying in bed, being tucked in by several members of her family as if she was a child exhausted from the day.  She was just as vulnerable as a young girl but her ninety-year-old body was weathered and experienced, yet she needed to be minded nonetheless.  During one of our last trips back east about two summers ago, Hugo’s extended family rented a home in the country, large enough for all of them to sleep and roomy enough for everyone to gather in the evenings.  The purpose of the trip was the overdue celebration of life for Hugo’s grandfather Bob, who had passed away a couple months prior.  That event was a beautiful release for everyone, providing a loving gathering filled with many moments of happy reflection on the full life Bob lived during his 94 years.

One particular evening at the country rental house during that trip, Hugo and I stopped by to enjoy a couple extra minutes with his parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and Polly, who is Bob’s widow and the subject of our short tale.  Exhausted from this day and the thousands of days she had lived through thus far, Polly was ready for bed around 8pm.  With love, we all escorted her to her first floor pull-out couch, where she found privacy in the rear den and comfort in the presence of her extended family all under one roof.  With one table lamp lit and the aged comforter tucked into the flimsy couch mattress, Polly sat down on her temporary bed as we all funneled into the room.  Everyone wanted to enjoy this moment of tucking their mother and grandmother into bed, just as she had done for the majority of them at one point in their lives.  I may have been the only one present who hadn’t been mothered by Polly at one point, although the love she had shown me during the time I have known her felt as if I was a member of that group.

A couple of the young kids continued playing in the other room, uninterested in a seemingly mundane task at their age.  A couple others, who sounded moderately inebriated, stayed outside on the patio – their loud stories and guttural laughs bellowed inside but it didn’t bother us because all of these sounds made the songs we have all come to know as summer nights.  We held her frail, bruised arms as she sat and fully reclined onto her back, relieved that the tasks of the day were done.  Her skin was paper thin and translucent, dark purple in certain places due to easy bruising from recent falls at her age.  Her eyes were always watery and sometimes she looked lost within her own gaze, as if she was looking off into the distance or right past you.  This was probably from battling cataracts and glaucoma over the past two decades – she was a warrior in her own right, going through laser eye surgeries, among other procedures, to right her senses and continue improving, never accepting a declining body or weakening capabilities.  She gripped my hand really hard, finding a sense of safety and security in my youthful strength and presence.  Polly knew she could rely on all of us to get her into her restful position and off to sleep, something that didn’t come easy to her when she was alone, as she often found herself since Bob’s passing.

For some reason, I really enjoyed this short moment in the rear den with my husband’s grandmother that night.  Something about the magic of the summer evening, with the windows open and warm air lofting in.  Knowing she was safe in the back room gave me peace and feeling as if I contributed to that safety made it a little bit better.  My own eyes teared up as they often do when I am around our elders or any old people for that matter.  I never try to think about any of them dying but just watching them maneuver through life in slow motion and with constant struggles always breaks my heart, particularly when I reflect on the magnificent lives some of them have lived as they are now fully engulfed in their final chapters.  I get so sad but somewhere inside of that sadness is a real happiness and love for who they are and what they have created.  With Polly and Bob came Hugo’s mother and siblings.  Later, Hugo and his brother were born.  Polly’s life and seven decade long love story with Bob gave me my soulmate so despite only knowing her as an old woman, a true grandmother, I have loved her completely and deeply and I owe her a thank you.

That summer night had an impact on all of us, not just me.  I know Hugo enjoyed a special moment like that, something he doesn’t get the chance to do often since we live so far away from them all.  I know Hugo’s mom and her sister felt the heavy love of it all too.  They had just recently lost their father, the patriarch of the family and Polly’s better half, so they were still moving through their grief as they tried to maintain their strength for their mother.  As we said goodnight to Polly and slowly shuffled out of the room as a group, she said goodnight to Bob out loud, as she said she always had since he passed.

Polly is still alive today, as she lives alone in an assisted living community near our hometown in the northeast.  Hugo’s mom visit regularly and we should be going more often, but life and distance gets in the way.  I pulled out a cute card with giraffes on it tonight, thinking how Polly would enjoy receiving it in the mail with a short note from her west coast grandson and family.  We always make an effort to think of her, not just because she is alone but because we truly love her.  I personally like sending her a short note from time to time so she has something loving to experience before bed, similar to when she had her Bob, tucking her in and holding her hand tightly as they both fell asleep side by side for all of those years.

Twenty twenty

Happy New Year (plus three days) to anyone out there in this vast universe that is reading this.  As I always appear to be doing, I continue to marinate on all of the tasks I have left undone, all of the places and opportunities I want to explore, and, most importantly, how I want to devote the remainder of my time here on Earth.  I am about to receive an email from the California Department of Real Estate, that will allow me to schedule my state exam, and I am very excited about that finally happening.  With a new chapter of my life looming in the near future, I am antsy to begin.  Part of me wants to quit my job, jump head first into the real estate ocean, and give it everything I have.  The other practical part, which also has Hugo’s voice of reason anchored at the core, knows I should get licensed and begin working, while maintaining my current career.  Basically, see how it goes before fully committing and risking everything I have worked extremely hard for.  In short, it is tough because I feel this entrepreneurial fire burning in my soul and I am resounding to not grab the proverbial fire extinguisher.

Hugo and I finished out 2019 as strong as ever and that is my most proud accomplishment of the year.  After nearly sixteen years together, we grew even closer this year.  Not an easy feat after so much life together.  He has impressed me since the day I met him but the fact that he continues to age so beautifully, both on the inside and on the surface, is astonishing.  He has a heart of gold and he pours it into everything he does.  He showers me in kindness, care and love in everything he does, from cooking me gourmet vegetarian dishes to listening to me go on and on about my thoughts, fears and goals, on a daily basis.  I am so happy to have met him and even more thankful to call him my husband.

As the year drew to a close, we discussed what our collective relationship resolutions would be for this new decade.  We celebrated how far we have come and expressed the deep love we have for each other.  Love is the most vital aspect of existence and it permeates every culture and all species – we relished in the fact that ours is strong, healthy and meant to be.  He is my soulmate and I am his.  We looked into each other’s eyes and gazed upon the bodies that house the person we love the most.  As we did so, we resounded to continue trying to be better for one another, to communicate more effectively, to finish discussions respectfully rather than destructively engage in arguments, and to always make one another the top priority.  I am so impressed with having a partner who wants to keep growing, both personally and as a couple, with me.  If after 16 years together we have gotten to this place, I am excited to see where we go from here and lucky to be his wife and partner ♥

My hopes for this year, beyond my career and relationship aspirations, include the following items (some of them may appear cliche and to that I say, yeah!…cliche just means that a lot of people strive for similar things and that only makes me feel more united with those around me):  Take better care of myself, physically, mentally and spiritually.  Pursue my dreams of having more animals in our family.  Garden better and more beautifully around our home, for our visual pleasure and for the love of the thriving hummingbirds and others who call our organic acreage their home too.  Explore more of what Los Angeles, the United States of America and our globe has to offer.  Try new activities like falconry (we just discussed our plans for this today).  Visit more museums and read my unfinished books around the house.  And, finally, write more often.  All of my wants are positivity-fueled pursuits that are fun to me.  In fact, over the past couple weeks, I found my brain  dribbling out writing ideas that just kept coming to me – as they did, I jotted down notes on my cell phone, scribbled on scratch paper I have in every room of the house, and typed up email reminders of must-have blog post ideas.  My brain and heart want to speak so this audience better get ready to listen.

I wish the world more of what I am blessed to already have.  Hopefully you can understand who I am well enough by now to know that I do not intend to appear pretentious when I say that.  I only wish love for those without it in their hearts and lives.  Many people are walking alone in this world and they crave friendship and romance.  To them, I wish them a 2020 filled with new beginnings that will lead to love in their lives.  And to those in the world who do not treat others with love, by being unkind, rude, disrespectful, or, even worse, with hate, bias or violence, I wish more love into their hearts as well.  If we could all just learn to lead with love, many of our collective world problems would naturally dissipate into a thing of the past.  Finally, I wish more love onto all corners of our planet because we abuse her with toxic chemicals, deforestation, hurting the animals and ruining our oceans.  As everyone hears every day, we must act now to make significant changes in our world and that begins by loving the place we call home.  Let us all resolve to take better care of one another and our beautiful Earth as we embark on this new decade.

The thing about fights

Writer’s note:  This post was written in late October, 2019, before I took an unintentional hiatus from writing and posting.  After marinating on what is important to me over the past few months, coupled with the fact that I was wrapping up my real estate work, travelling with Hugo for the holidays, and continuing to focus on life in general, I decided to get back into one of my true passions – exploring my inner dialogue and writing on the topics that matter to me.  So here you go and sorry for the delay.

 

Everyone has one from time to time.  The only difference between all of us is the words that are spoken and to whom they are spoken (or yelled) at.  Thankfully, Hugo and I don’t bicker or squabble too severely but we are human and it does happen.  In a funny kind of way, I actually enjoy an argument from time to time.  The mere act of going head to head, like two rams fighting for ownership of their steep hillside, reminds me that we have different opinions and are deeply passionate about them.  It also reminds me that the little things really don’t matter. Of course at the time we feel like whatever minor, dumb topic we are fiercely defending is worth its weight in gold but whenever we turn a little difference of opinion into a shouting (and in my case, crying) match, we normally come full circle, just in time to remember how none of it means shit.

Case in point:  Sunday, early afternoon, 89°, Southern California.  Hugo was washing dishes while I sat on the couch, laptop in lap, working on my second real estate license course.  Meanwhile, the dogs lounged in the air conditioning on their recently-washed beds, enjoying a reprieve from the heat.  Hugo began asking me all sorts of questions and repeatedly interrupting me as I tried to read and take notes – questions about what I was doing and random anecdotes about life.  Now, don’t get me wrong, this is one of my favorite qualities, among many, about him, but on this particular occasion, I was making a real effort to focus and absorb my class material.  Because I was trying to remain focused, my fuse was a little shorter than usual (and let me tell you, my friends, I am operating with a half inch fuse on the regular).  After the fifteenth interruption, I got a little snippy – Hugo tells me I am part ‘snip’ so maybe it is just in my blood.  If that’s the case, is any of this really my fault??!?

I digress.  We talked a little more and an argument ensued over something dumb.  Hugo was asking me about washing his truck and I wasn’t as nice as I should have been.  In my defense though, I was trying desperately to focus on my task at hand.  So, in turn, Hugo called me a liar, over a statement I made about a car wash coupon.  That was his way of pecking at me.  The altercation ended with a few nasty words and some time apart, as Hugo washed his truck and I continued working, in complete, slightly blissful, silence.  As I sit here typing, I realize even more so just how ridiculous this all was.  But like we all do, in the moment it felt worthwhile and we bickered until the point of getting truly angry at one another.

Now, at this point, I have to advise you, the reader, that Hugo and I are all good.  We are better than good, actually, because not only are we chuckling at how merit-less our ‘fight’ was but we are also appreciating the fact that we both engage in similarly annoying behaviors to one another.  And that’s the best and most real part – we are just two people who love each other and are trying our best.

As fire literally rages all around us today in SoCal, it is important to remember what is truly important in life.  We all know that while we are in the moment, the littlest of things can appear monumental.  We all also know, or should after entering adulthood, that life is fleeting and none of this is guaranteed.  While a squabble from time to time happens with those closest to us, let’s continue trying our best to be better partners for one another.  I know Hugo and I are, one day at a time.

 

 

My beautiful puppy

20181223_132103 (1)
Her first bath after arriving at her new home – December 23rd, 2018.

Koa is already nine months old and while we have only had her for seven of those 9 months, time has certainly flown by.  Last year at this time, Kaiser and Nala went downhill fast, back to back, and by the Fall of 2018 we were without our doggies.  It is incredible how we are all capable of loving, suffering loss, grieving and eventually, however hard as the while process may have been, moving on.  I longed for little Koa, and later Gunner, in our lives and I am thankful every day for their love and companionship.  So for today, here is a little tribute to my beautiful puppy – Koa the Boa (or so she was dubbed when she got feisty as a 15 lb armful at twelve weeks), born November 5th, 2018.

20181226_134623
You have filled a hole in my heart.

Sad and pathetic

Every time there is an active shooter incident in our modern world, we all take a moment to reflect on the tragedy and the somber reality that this is life as we know it now.  You can’t go anywhere without the possibility of being a violent crime victim anymore and while some may argue that since the introduction of gun powder into our world there has been the threat of gun violence, I do feel that it has increased over the years.  Whether that is due to the media sensationalizing it or the fact that we share more by way of the internet, social media, and 24-hour news outlets, it seems like no public setting is safe or truly secure anymore.

What a sad and pathetic thought that you can’t attend a garlic festival in a small, northern California town on a beautiful summer Sunday afternoon.  The world we live in does not allow for even that seemingly docile and lovely of a place to be free from burden and sorrow now.  Not sure if there are any answers or solutions to this phenomenon known as mass shootings.  Some side with the need for increased gun laws and others speak of mental illness but regardless of what is causing it or who or what weapon is to blame, it happens all too frequently.  Enough of the “our thoughts and prayers are with the victims” – it doesn’t do anything and is a load of bullshit for the real people affected.  Your thoughts and prayers won’t bring back their loved ones and it certainly won’t heal the wounds that the maimed will be recovering from.