Welcome to the Show!

the shit show…

Let me tell you about my friend. She’s with me all the time and has known me my whole life. As an integral part, I’ve had to accept her shortcomings, her nuances, her idiosyncrasies. For some, she’s the only one they know. Her name? Kel.

from deep inside

Did you know many writers have an alter ego or, at the very least, an ability to ‘become’ their characters? It’s true. No more weird than a child pretending to be a dog – there’s a ton of psychological and growth patterns in these behaviors. But I imagine when an adult says this, it prompts some uneasy stares.

Not to worry – there’s nothing overtly wrong with my psyche – that’s what I’ve been told anyway. Truly I’m going out on a limb just sharing it here, but I think if we were all truthful with ourselves we’d realize everyone in our lives receives a certain part of us. Lucky for my readers, you are invited to the party between Kelly and Kel.

Allow me to explain. Anything in italics is Kel. She’s my sarcastic, funny, no bs, speaker of the heart. Kelly though? I’m forced to be what is expected of me, what society can dictate, what so many only know me as. Kel’s the fun one. Interestingly enough, there exists a handful of souls who give me an opportunity to merge both sides of myself into the true me, if you will.

I promise I don’t suffer from any personality disorders or the like. Some have even said I’m normal. Probably paid to say this, but I’m not complaining. My goal here is to explain what I think most people, if they dive deep, will find within themselves: a merging of characters due to life events. Surely I’m not the only one! Kel has been around for a very long time, but I didn’t really understand her role until I was much older.

In speaking to a very amazing woman, she regaled us with tales of her 3 or 4 “children”. These children represent different chapters in her life: childhood, adolescence, etc. It was explained that anyone who has gone through any type of trauma may develop the practice of naming and “unboxing” (my word, not anyone else’s) different parts of themselves. To be brutally honest, when I first heard this woman’s descriptions I was very resistant. I thought perhaps this wasn’t exactly what I had signed up for and maybe I should move on. But the more she spoke the more I realized I had done the same. Don’t forget about me! I even acknowledged how peaceful it feels to recognize this part of me.

a seamless combination

So there you have it. To be called Kel is actually a very personal part of my life. It’s rare and treasured. I can count on one hand how many refer to me as Kel – it’s not an invitation, rather I believe when it happens I am being seen for my true self. It’s a pet name, a private nickname, a word of adoration and understanding. She is me and I am her. And if you have the chance to be invited into this world, consider yourself lucky. Really though – I’m the lucky one.

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I ask you –

Are there any other parts of you?

Did I go too far in sharing this post? Religion, death, and psychological topics: very taboo.

Tell me what you refer to yourself as: full name or a nickname!

Infamous History and such

Took another shot at the downtown Farmer’s Market. It appears okra and squash are still growing strong. Get it, get it. Busy as ever (clearly I mean the market, not me), I knew exactly what I was looking for this time so no wine samples. Oh the travesty.

Courtesy of The Odd Duck Coffee Co. and BCocoa

Since it was a beautiful 80° out, coffee in hand, I walked around some in search for other treasures.

Chocolate shop silliness

Wichita Falls has much history and artifacts to be explored. Trains are fascinating to me because, much like ships, it’s hard to understand their magnitude until you get closer.

Unidentified tourists (with permission)

Unbeknownst to many, WF is home to the world’s littlest skyscraper. Could be worse, I guess. Standing an astounding 40 feet tall, built in 1919, the story behind this ‘skyscraper’ is quite fascinating. Knowing my own storytelling abilities, I’ve included a link so you can read for yourself: https://www.timesrecordnews.com/story/news/local/2018/06/19/wichita-falls-story-behind-worlds-littlest-skyscraper/715470002/

Officially on the map

I also stumbled upon not one but two local shops to return to with my mini love. Peddling their wares of cupcakes and gelato, respectively, October is sure to be an exciting month!

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I ask you –

Anyone else have a vested interest in downtown character?

Is your city/town known for such an obscure reason?

Name your favorite local coffee shop!

Snippets of Comedy

Whilst typing a work email, I wrote “1 bird, 2 stones” and if that doesn’t epitomize my whole year, nothing will. Then I laughed very loudly out loud which warranted a puzzled look from my boss. You remember him? The one who didn’t fire me? Always pressing my luck.

On the (short) drive home, I passed a home with a tall ladder leaning up against an even taller tree. First thought: this f*ckery isn’t going to end well. Spent the next few days watching the news for his (because it must be the male species) coverage. I guess everything turned out well. Maybe he was a professional.

Everyone is safer when I’m teleworking

Discovered the bliss that is non-padded bras and if you see me fondling myself, then just ignore it. Ladies, you get me. I birthed a human and breastfed that human for over a year…pretty damn proud of this body’s accomplishments. My boobs may not be worthy of pornhub, but they’ve done everything I asked of them.

I almost forgot! Another work-related fail. A few days after the email snafu, as I was driving into work, my ID abandon ship’d it out the window. Granted I was already at the gate, window rolled down, preparing to gain access, but nonetheless it flew from my fingertips and landed behind the very kind Airman (who was very much not amused) while I laughed. Because what else was I supposed to do? I apologized profusely, but his expression was one of ‘why me?’ I still don’t understand why he didn’t think it was even a little bit funny. Oh well.

1 hr of free play

And, finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for = Ta-Da!! I successfully received my daily Gummy reward for 365 consecutive days! Gummy addiction anonymous hired me. I’d like to thank my patient friends and family who….nevermind. No one cares, but me. And I’m happier for it!

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I ask you –

Do you regularly scale ladders in an attempt to do should-only-be-done-by-professionals work?

Have you ever thrown your ID out the window? I recall a story of a concert ticket seemingly disappearing out a car window…

Go ahead; tell me. Do I have a gaming problem? It doesn’t interfere with my life so I’m saying no.

Remember the Apple and Tree?

It’s been awhile since I regaled you with tales of the 4-year-old princess who rules my home. Home?! Haha you mean your whole life, Kel. Below are just a few more examples of the hilarity that ensues when I’m on a 50/50 work from home schedule. Please take a seat. Grab some tissues, too.

A true princess

So she overheard a television program use the phrase “salty as hell” and I can only wish she’ll wait a few weeks to share this gem. Namely when she’s with her dad. Because I know she will use it properly, I almost can’t wait.

Her nose was running and a green, yellow-ish mucous was emerging from her left nostril. After many tissues and a dose of Zyrtec, a miniature piece of popcorn (kernel and all) was extracted. I was secretly appalled yet impressed.

Her love for fishing and ability to be completely impatient are equally charming. 5 mins – no fish – I’m out.

For about her whole life, she won’t eat the breakfast I make. It could be her favorite things; she will only pick at it and tell me she’s full. Finally the truth was revealed when she said these exact words: “Mommy puts stuff in (whatever we’re having)”. When her Papa asked what kind of stuff, he received this answer: “Yucky stuff, like peppers and spinach”. Then they both had a good laugh. Truth of the matter is I do put those things in eggs (come on, I know you’ve read my blog); however, I don’t put them in hers! Never have! Yet somehow this is the reasoning behind her not eating what I cook. At least I have a reason now. My feelings weren’t even hurt. From now on, cereal is a safe bet. Clearly I’m the baker. And that’s the extent of my cooking skills, where she’s concerned anyway.

At least we agree on ice cream

AND THEN!!!! I was offered a sugar-covered butter cookie (which I don’t love, but I try them every single time). Since I didn’t eat the whole thing, I graciously gave the remaining portion to the very fruit of my body who then crinkled her nose and said “No, I want a whole cookie because I don’t want slobber in my mouth.” Freaking unbelievable!

Where has the love gone and when will it return? Her sense of humor, eye for design, and personal space issues are just a small reminder I’m paying for everything I’ve ever done. Ever done. Seriously. Ever. Most days I believe the look she gives me is this: You’re supposed to know these things, lady. Geez.

I give up.

***Hope you all have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day!***

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I ask you –

What are my chances she will use the “salty as hell” phrase with her dad? Batting 70/30 here.

Do you think she’ll get funnier as time goes by or will she become obnoxious and angry?

Your best children’s story of WTF. Go!

Never Too Old to Learn

Around mid-February, I became involved in a “group project”, if you will. Typically held 2x/month, we would meet and discuss very important subjects related to life, military, and anything else that came up. Our host served as a mediator of sorts, but there was no syllabus nor direction to our meetings. Throughout the past 6 months, give or take, we battled our group being involuntarily disbanded, technology issues once reunited, and an assortment of other small decisions impacting our ability to meet in person vs remotely. Shaky at best.

Looks different under bright lights

Now we’ve come to the end of our project. We tacked on a few extra months because the world went crazy. The question was posed what will we each do with the time we’ve spent devoted to attending? Suddenly we all have 90 mins back in our life – decisions, decisions. Perhaps I’ll write more or include an extra workout per week or solve world peace. The options are unlimited! Each of us has our own answer, but I think I might continue to make this date with myself. It’s already on my calendar. I could work; who does that? This time has already been carved out and I’m my best project anyway.

Now the sappy stuff. Without this project, I feel confident I would have eventually gotten to where I needed to be, but it wouldn’t have happened as efficiently. I certainly wouldn’t have made new friends. Although they may balk at my use of the word “friend”, I consider them such. Believe me, it’s almost impossible to share very intimate and uncomfortable details of my life with strangers and not consider them friends at the end.

K, a seat just for you

Dear K – Thank you for being raw and unapologetic. From day 1, your candor was refreshing. I will never know what it’s like to walk in your shoes, but you wear them so well. The work you’ve done in your life, the self reflection you employ, and the take-no-shit attitude you developed drove our group forward. The path your life has taken put you in this moment, I believe, for many reasons. Your heart is so big. The rescuer in me wants to take away the pain you experienced, the unfairness of giving many years to the military that eventually took so much, but you are strong and brave and I am honored to have met you.

DW, this sign led you here

Dear DW – Thank you for having the courage to join us. I have met many strong individuals, but you represent this project for those who often don’t come forward. There’s a deep appreciation of your work in recovery and the lessons you’ve shared with us. I’ve heard your stories of overcoming loss and navigating anger. These experiences paved the way for my own self-understanding. When you speak, I know I’m not alone. I have appreciated from afar what you stand up for, the grace you give your children, and the listening ear you provide to us. We began as strangers; I will never forget you.

Because of the two of you, I owe you each so much of me. My heart will continue to heal, my soul can sleep in safety, and the uniforms we served in will stand up for what we, and others, deserve. We are not victims; we are survivors.

In a turn of events, there will be no asking of you, my dear readers, for feedback on this post. I welcome your comments, but I choose to honor some amazing individuals in this moment. There is no question I have met some of the bravest our country has ever seen. For this, I am truly thankful.

Why Thank You! Love, a Clown

A great friend said this: “You’re a fun writer. You lend your voice and perfect brand of sarcasm to your writing and it makes me laugh a lot.” What a compliment to receive! Of course anyone who reads this blog would think I’m funny. I’m basically Betty White. She said drinking wine, not taking shit from men, and making people laugh are what keeps her young. I think that’s what she said. If I was Betty White, that’s what I would say. I was also recently told I was agreeable; they stated it was refreshing. The disagreeable list is extensive. Regardless, another compliment in my book!

I flipped off my boss the other day and didn’t get fired. Hey, I did it with a smile and my smile melts hearts. Or at least it helped me keep my job. Then I had the period from hell and burned the holy f-word out of my hand whilst making cookies to curb the cramps. Not sure if you know this – you’re about to – but ladies who had a period during August experienced the worst headaches, cramps, mood swings, and (insert other PMS symptoms) than any other month. I took a poll. Believe me!

Cookies and aloe vera – an unlikely combination

Since we’re on the subject of complaining, since we are now, these migraines are getting worse. A headache every day for at least 5 days is not normal. For some reason, antihistamines seem to lessen the pain but they make me exceptionally sleepy. Surely the heat doesn’t help – makes me want to find a cold, dark place to hibernate. Wake me up when it’s fall.

But because I can’t leave this post on a sour note, it is slowly getting cooler during the overnight hours. Mostly mid-60s, but there’s been an occurrence of low 60s…I couldn’t be happier! Not one to let opportunity pass by, I got up and finished a run long before the sun rose.

Only the shadows, and fabulous tan lines, accompanied me

I sent an email to the marathon race organizer: no response. In the meantime, I’ll continue half-ass training because I have nothing better to do. My sweet mini will be gone in September so time is irrelevant. Train, eat, repeat.

Supposedly there are people who live vicariously through my writings. Though flattering as it is, may I remind you, I’m just a clown with a platform.

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I ask you –

Do you know any famous quotes?

Have you ever been fired for insubordination? No, but I probably should have been!

Tell me about your fall plans!

Little Big Things

Really everyone? No one called me out on my misspelling of “thou” on last week’s post? Come on!

Sometimes I panic on a Thursday afternoon when I realize I’ve not written a single post for the following week. Other times I have many options awaiting a small edit before I can publish. Rarely do I make any snap decisions to re-work what’s already scheduled. Just the times when you win free shoes for 20 years or when the love of your life returns. You know, just the little things.

Are you going up or down?

I believe there are moments in life when it’s easier to live ignorantly. Think about it. When developing a new friendship, do you blurt your entire life story immediately or does it slowly reveal itself in time? To complicate things, maybe there’s a huge secret you don’t wish them to know for fear of judgment or worry it will end the relationship before it can even begin. It’s not too wild to consider. So if it started off this way, who’s to say it can’t restart the same? Always with the rhetorical questions.

This post won’t seem overt to many, but it’s momentous in my own life. I’m patiently reminded there’s only one captain of my ship; no other power can make decisions for me. What has been built up will not easily be torn down. My feelings lie squarely within this blog, but they can have infinite meaning. Remember being bonded to another soul gives no right to their suffering. Putting in work to rebuild what is broken, lost, or overlooked is not an easy task.

Shadows that bind us

As a recovering rescuer, I find it too easy to fall back into the same trap. Not this time. Our words are somewhat guarded yet expectation is a tone all its own. I have questions…where have you been, what has changed, and why now? Were you waiting on me to make the first move? Are you going to quit trying again, without warning? I may be stronger, but I am not invincible.

Sleepless nights reveal much; but one thing remains the same: no matter the hour, my heart belongs to you. I don’t need labels. I just need to know you’re going to be there.

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I ask you –

Is preparedness a key to happiness?

Do you answer your own questions?

Tell me something good!

Flora y Fauna y Comida

I considered writing this post in Spanish, but figured no one but me would appreciate the work. How ungrateful!

As threatened, this is the post of vacation food, flowers, and whatever other randomness I can find. Because if I don’t memorialize it here, what kind of blogger would I be? Don’t answer that.

All the flowers

The above are all phone photos – apologies on the quality. Below are from my camera. Keep scrolling, you’re not finished yet!

My dearest mother in law (affectionately referred to as Nanners) would have chopped off her right arm to be able to transplant these back to N. Texas. Fat chance. With nightly rainfall, 148% humidity, and sandy soil, these flowers are best suited to their current conditions. Besides, it’s less for me to kill.

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I ask you –

Do you speak other languages? Bonus points for pig latin and smartassery.

How many photos of flowers do you have on your phone?

Coffee v Alcohol. Pick your poison!

Vacation Takeaways

Hello, Gulf of Mexico

The humor mini me imparts on every situation is too much. Example numero uno (with many more to come), upon seeing palm trees for the first time in her long lived 4 years, she proudly proclaimed they were coconut trees. Later she conceded to their proper name and adopted the term “coconut palms”. Not every battle fought must be won.

From angry mosquitoes to the forever walk – the extent of my exercise regimen involved using the stairs to climb 3 flights multiple times a day and running away from tiny hell creatures bent on sucking my blood.

I attempted to eat my weight in crustaceans. Surely the scale would agree.

And cake, too

The Gulf of Mexico has some of the warmest waters I’ve ever encountered. The sand bars are my favorite because just as soon as you lose sight of your feet they suddenly reappear again like magic!

“surf board”

Homemade tortillas and the hottest salsa on the planet. I could eat it every day.

As I re-tell these short vacation blips and use my photograph collection as a handy reminder, I believe I may have to write a separate post on just flowers and trees, as well as one on just food. Skip it if you care not.

There was alcohol, too!

Gabriella’s

On that note, I will be here reminiscing seven, short days in paradise. And nursing my sunburn.

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I ask you –

Did you vacation this year? Where? Staycations count, too!

Did you take vacations as a child?

Name your best sunburn remedy.

Grassy Colors

Just as often as I crave sweet treats, my body craves vegetables. Ok, maybe not “just” as often. I enjoy my workday lunch of grilled chicken salad. Really, I do! But as it continues to heat up outside, I find myself seeking out new recipes for Brussels sprouts, green peppers, and fresh corn. If I didn’t love meat and fish, I would find it easy to subscribe to a vegetarian way of life. The more colors the better! There’s very few I don’t enjoy; then again you can fry anything and I’ll most likely eat it.

Shades of green

Perhaps it’s way off, but I once had a headache for a month while on a long underway. 30. Straight. Days. Sure, the Navy isn’t known for being relaxing, but no amount of rest, ibuprofen, or caffeine helped. Eventually diagnosed with migraines, I thought for sure that was the end of it, but it took some time to realize my nutrition played a large role. Onboard the ship, the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables begins to lag as time goes on. Naturally things spoil. And no matter how much iceberg lettuce I would eat, the headaches would return. Much research has been done on the link between what we eat and migraine triggers, although I’ve heard more about chocolate and some “-hypnols” than anything else. Maybe I’m on to something.

Veggie Scramble

Call it what you will: placebo effect, wishful thinking, whatever you like. However, intuitive eating is possibly more important than anything else. When my body has had enough cookies, I know. And when it says hold up lady it’s time for greenery, again, I listen. Thankfully I was raised with a deep appreciation for fresh-from-the-garden wares (although I suck at gardening). My parents would spend weeks cooking and canning fresh salsa, okra, and pickled everything. Oddly enough to me, many children aren’t exposed to this natural, live off the land upbringing now. Even then it was becoming obvious this way of life was falling by the wayside. Long gone times.

On a lighter note, my strengths include shelling purple hulled peas and endlessly complaining about ants. But…if you need some help pulling weeds or over-watering your plants, I’m your girl. Pay no attention to me stealing your vegetables.

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I ask you –

On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you love vegetables?

Name your favorite veggies!

Did you have a childhood garden or know someone who did?