The Inside Dirt

There’s another kind of dirt I’m touching now. It’s every bit as organic as the dirt of my official quest. I’m digging deep and unearthing a powerful soul. This part was always known to me, but was never really seen for long. She’d get brushed away with cynicism or smothered with guilt or buried under embarassment. And well, she’s not really lovely or good or any other kind of sugary spice.

But – –

She’s a fucking badass and I’m beginning to like her.

Not Asking for Permission Anymore

This post is about my day job.

Nobody is going to give me power. It already exists; I just have to claim it. 

In this case it means developing a system, and communicating with and accepting help from others in order to implement it. And in the meantime, culture shifts will hopefully have occurred to help improve how the organization handles things in the future.  That doesn’t seem so bad, does it? 

Unfortunately, I’ve recently and vehemently expressed the need for such a system and asked my boss for help in developing one. He rejected me with comforting (but truth-slanted) words and a pat on the head. This isn’t some frivolity; this is me being able to be effective at my job. And me doing my job means having a reasonable amount of control over cash. Right now (and for the entire 7 years that I’ve been there) my department has been granted enough power to handle unpaid invoices like housekeeping handles dirty towels: Stack ’em up until we can filter them through the wash. Basically the departments spend (sort of based on their budgets which are always too big because of overestimated revenue) and then We (accounting) figure out a way to pay the bills and then instruct Them (departments) to slow down spending way too late. No control, no security. 

Controlling the cash is my job. I’m the Controller. I haven’t been doing that very integral part of my job at all (except to the extent that I let payables go way into arrears and yell at people about spending) for 7 years.

Have I been given the means to perform my job well? Hell no. Does that matter to me anymore? No it doesn’t. I’m going to do my job, or I’m going to get fired trying. There is risk involved with what I’m doing right now. I may very well get fired. If rumor holds true, the controller before me got fired when he quit rolling over. But you know what?  If I get fired, that’s OK.  I’ll get another stupid job that pisses me off and stresses me out.  I do know this: keeping my head down and being obediently ineffective is the wrong thing to do. For the both the organization and for me. I’m not asking for permission anymore.

Sometimes We all Need a Little Concrete in our Lives

Gordon and I made our escape to Wilmington, NC for the weekend without our children. We’ve been married for nearly 13 years and this is only the 4th time we’ve been away together. I told this to a woman I work with (while explaining how I would in no way be available to deal with anything work-related this weekened) and she looked at me with the most serious face and asked me, “Are you a loser?” LOL. I guess that’s a legitimate question coming from a suburbanite who socializies with other adults and who cares about things like “fashion”. But yeah, even I need to play in the city world now and again. I just never seem to know it without some prodding.

One cool irony is that the first pub we checked out happened to be an old converted seed store.  Felt right at home with a local pint in my hand while staring at a sign about morning glories.

It’s such a cool city.  Lots of history, lots of fun.  Not expensive.  Hip without being pretentious.

Did I mention that we did this without the children? And that it’s been like FOREVER? I had maybe close to no gray hair last time we escaped. So we did it up: a little crazy – but mostly just total silliness. It was great fun.

A Couple of Badasses

Confessions of a Judgy Bitch


“What up, bitch?”

Happy New Year’s Eve Eve! It’s a time for self-reflection and goal setting. So in that spirit I’d like to confess that I judge people. A lot. And I’d also like to confess that I have no working plan to change it in 2017.

For your entertainment or scorn, I have comprised a list of my favorite people to judge and why:

  • A co-worker (whom I otherwise like very much) who gets vehemently disgusted by people who hunt or harvest their own animals, BUT consumes a wide assortment of commercially harvested meats on a daily basis
  • My young neighbor who enjoys country living by driving halfway down her driveway to feed a couple of carrots to the other neighbor’s horse and then drives back (and then complains to me how the horse’s owner doesn’t feed her well enough because she grazes all day – – – Google is your friend, lady; horses graze)
  • My father who believes every conspiracy theory known to man and squishes them all together into one big extraterrestrial-driven jumble, and will have no conversation absent of this (unless he is making plans about how someone else should be running their lives)
  • Another co-worker who plops himself at my desk for long periods of time and bitches to me about all the people he’s currently judging

….Holy crap! Wait….my list just totally validated me. I am constantly judging people who are judging others. So that means I’m really nice!

OK no seriously, I’m a bitch. I guess that’s why I like plants and animals so much and why working with them comforts me so. They aren’t people.

Maybe the working plan for 2017 could be something like: Instead of judging myself for judging others, I could actively practice love and maybe it will help crowd out the rest.

Bwahahahahaha!

Ok for real: I’ll most likely still be the same old irritable bitch by this time next year. And that’s OK because by then I should have grown a lot of Holy Basil to help soothe my judgy heart.

Cheers to 2017! Xoxo

“Here’s Why We Grieve Today” Reblog

This is not about who’s right or wrong, but a picture painted for you to understand why some of us are crying and protesting and why others of us are quietly navigating our daily lives feeling betrayed by our friends and family.  Please read.

John Pavlovitz: “Here’s Why We Grieve Today”

Date Night

One upon a time there was a couple who were creeping up on middle age. Their adventous streak matched the silver streaks in their hair and therefore spent most weekend nights at home with the kids. The husband, however, had asked his wife to go out on a proper date this particular evening. This couple who, after a little back and forth debate of whether to see a cheap music show at a little dive in the city or a cheap music show at a larger dive in the country, took into account the meteor shower that was supposed to be visible and headed out into the wilds of the North Carolina bible belt on a Saturday night. (The wife, in her aged wisdom, fixed herself a hefty to-go wine).

They first found themselves at a fish camp (aka seafood restaraunt) in the middle of nowhere that was so jam packed with folks that there was a line to get into the place and a line to get out. Then they moseyed down the road, bellies full of fried food and red slaw. 

Rolling pastures and wooded areas decorated the journey. They passed a lovely old boarded up church which the wife suggested would probably be easy to break into. Later she begged him to pull over and let her try and climb up an embankment inhabited by three ancient silos. It didn’t happen.  

Eventually they came to a very well kempt little downtown with buildings that were probably two centuries old. A pickup truck sat parked at a storefront with a sign in the bed announcing the entertainment within. 

Rows of various cheap old chairs filled the place, plastic and metal, some with flattened pillows or cushions. The ceiling tiles were actual tile and the stained ones all had the same pattern like brown flowers in the corners. Beyond the hanging fluorescent light, a six piece band warmed up. An old man warmly greeted our couple at the door, pegging them as first timers. He bragged that there were no bad bands that ever played there and that everyone there was just like family…no smoking and no drinking. The wife smiled widely in reponse, nodding but saying nothing, guiltily clutching her to-go wine and trying not to exhale. Over his shoulder, a tiny woman with white hair climbed the stage steps and began singing “I’ll Fly Away” with the band.

The husband and wife gingerly moved among the octogenarian crowd and placed themselves on cushions on the outskirts of the hubbub. The wife’s unease grew when she realized that the gregarious group of spectators near the stage were all wearing tap shoes. What was this place? She took a deep swig of her smuggled wine.

The old man from the door hopped on stage to introduce the band and to do more bragging about the musical lineup between now and the end of the year. He welcomed the audience and asked if there were any birthdays. The husband heard “first days” and mistook his wife’s jittery nudges as an urge for him to raise his hand. Awkward, but truly no big deal except that our couple was all kinds of out of sorts.

The band began playing a toe-tapping tune, and not even a few moments in, the clackety shoe people got up to clog. No time wasted. No liquid courage needed. These ladies and their gents had been waiting all week and were ready to cut loose. The wife woefully noticed that the path to the bathroom was now forever blocked by the tapping spectacle as she finished her cup. The greeter-host pulled a chain off to the couple’s left and the fluorescent light erased, leaving only a warm stage glow. Our newcomers felt immediately more able to sink into anonymity and began to relax. 

The music was good. Bluegrass with some classic country and a little bit of rock. They did a Celtic number as well. The dancing never stopped. Folks who seemed to have trouble walking to and from their seats, bodies full of age and ailment, danced number after number, faces full of smiles. 

The contagion finally spread to the wife and she wanted to partake in the boogie woogie. The husband, not so much. So they began planning the next part of their journey: meteors. 

And old Indian burial mound was nearby and sometimes stayed open late for celestial viewings. Not this night though. Wifey said they should go anyway and jump the fence, hubby said um, no. 

They went outside into the humid night and wandered around the deserted little town, admiring the church and poking their noses into creepier structures. They laughed and tried to guess where the zombies might be hiding. 

Eventually it was time to try and see some shooting stars. As they zoomed through the countryside the wife planned their big trespassing mission. The husband told her to just relax and look at the stars. He opened the sunroof and told her to put her seat back. They rode like that for a long time, listening to classic rock and sharing some light banter. 

The husband suddenly pulled off the road and into the front yard of the boarded up old chuch they had passed earlier that day. Private Property and No Tresspassing signs shouted their intent. The husband cut the headlights and killed the engine. The wife, thrilled that her bluff had been called, jumped out of the car to make good on her part of this scheme. The husband and wife tiptoed up the church steps and looked around the portico lit up by his cell phone. That was enough illegal adventure for our rebels, so they headed back to the car. The husband did stop to pee on a shrub, though. And when he did, the wife noticed the blinking red light of a camera staring down at them. 

Later that night in the safety of their cozy bed, the wife dreamed that new ghosts had followed them home and were fighting with the resident ghosts. The husband dreamed that they were vacationing with the kids in an abandoned town and were greeted by men with guns. 

Perhaps our couple should go out more often. Or not. 

The End

So Thankful

As I was coming into town yesterday on my way home from work I saw an impressive bolt of lightning off in the distance.  Immediately following that I felt the clap of thunder beneath my car. Feeling it seems odd even in retrospect, but perhaps the universe was nudging me. 

Pulling into the drive I stopped to take this picture, happy for the rain.

Gordon met me outside to tell me about the lightning that hit the lamp post out back while he and the kids and the dog stood watching the storm roll in. He said everything turned red. I expressed my disappointment in missing it. He told me that things got destroyed: the modem, the wireless router, the PlayStation. 

A bit later while Gordon was figuring out whether these items were under warranty and dealing with that hodgepodge, I went to wash my hands and discovered we had no water. The well pump got fried as well. Luckily our neighbors had the ability and kind willingness to let us tap into their well for a couple of days until we get it sorted out.

We also lost our security camera. The neighbors also lost their air conditioning unit. Happily for them they have a landlord and happily for us it isn’t us. 

Today Eddie found another striking point. Lightning struck the sycamore in front of our bedroom window that has a destiny for removal (whether I like it or not). Note the new wound down its beautiful length.

This is likely going to cost us at least a couple of thousand dollars. But I’m not complaining.  My boys were all standing beneath the carport when lightning arced over their heads, hitting this tree on one side, and the lamp post on the other. They could have gotten hit. It’s a bit of a miracle nobody was hurt. Never again will any of us watch storms outside the house. 

I am so thankful. 

Storm From Nowhere

Summer heat and whatever else brought us an intense popup storm last night. Winds contorted the highest branches of our trees, seemingly pulling them parallel to the ground until they would shift, whipping the massive limbs back into their sky-reaching form. A constant strobe of lightning back lit this dance. Cracks and booms told of our closeness to bolts meeting earth. I went in to sleeping Silas, in case he woke frightened or if I needed to save him from a falling tree. 

But it soon quieted and morning came. 

The windchime is my mother’s way to converse with me when I’m in the herb garden. I like to think so anyway. And that is her injured tree.