I’m A Grown Ass Woman and Other Funny Phrases

4 Jun

Last night was BLT Night at our house. I had just had a conversation with  Girl about it and she mirrored my excitement for delicious bacon sandwiches. We even bought special wavy lettuce for the occasion so imagine my surprise when Man and I arrived home to cook said tasty treats and Girl was nowhere to be found. And the door was unlocked. And the three little pisser dogs where running amok in the house. Doesn’t that spell random drug cartel kidnapping and sex slavery crime scene to you? ME TOO!

We never leave the door unlocked and I can guarantee that because I will check that the door is locked a couple of times (ok ten times) each and every time we leave the house. When we are inside the house, there are no less than three locks engaged in the job of saving us from the bad guys, whomever they are, and keeping the outside out.  Also,  we never leave Wookie, Trixie and Dexter out to free range because for whatever reason they like to cop a squat or hike  a leg on anything I happen to like. They hate me, those little bastards do, but they love love Man so I do not murder them. They only love Man  and would lazily sit on the couch and let the cartel thugs steal the Girl. Her dog would never! That dog will eat off your face and piss on your 59454573neck stump just for looking at Girl funny and Werewolf was MIA, too! I just knew that Girl had been brutally abducted, her dog shot and discarded in the alley and was on her way to Dubai to be sold as a sex slave. So I texted her. “Where are you?”. No answer. I called. I called again. I called her  boyfriend…no answer. I texted her, ” CALL ME ASAP! The door was open and the dogs are out and you’re not home for dinner!”. Silence.

I sent Man over to Boyfriend’s house to make sure they all were not murdered. It could happen, ya know! There  she was , washing her truck and cruelly ignoring my frantic calls to her phone that was in the house and impossible for her to hear. Excuses, I say! Man proceeds to inform her that she is in super hot water right now and she gets to call me to explain. She is unphased but  does tell him to let me know that she is  “a grown ass woman” and that I, the Mom who just got stood up for BLT night and is certain the door was kicked in,  needs to stop freaking out. This is right up there with last week when I reminded her to do her Accounting homework and she said, “I am 22 freaking years old, Lady!”. The nerve of kids these days. Doesn’t she know how many times I have saved her little ungrateful butt from rapey mad men, torture happy drug cartels, murderous clowns in ice cream trucks and meth head vampires? So what if it was all in my head.

Grays Anatomy

19 May

You Cant Control Everything_ Your HairHi, I’m Cat and I am a hair dye junkie. I starting coloring and/or bleaching my hair when I was 14 years old. I am now 44.  I have no idea what my natural color is. My husband thinks he knows  but since that particular area of my body never ever sees the sun- I don’t think it’s a good indicator. Perv. In the last 24 months my hair has been: platinum, blonde, red highlights, pink stripes, Sharon Osbourne red and sorta-brown. In that order. If you envisioned that montage of hair color then you probably have also figured out that what sounded like a beautiful idea (red highlights) quickly culminated into a very real hair disaster. Red highlights that ran all over my blonde hair ; which makes pink and was not what I wanted at all. A few trips to lighten it up and no luck so  I went S.O. red which has now faded to some shade of muddy brown. Not only did my Barbie blonde color suffer a brutal assassination, my length did as well. At the start of this fiasco my hair was below my bra strap….now it is a pixie cut. A short summery fun girl cut that has revealed gray…lots of it. To color or not to color? My identity and confidence are mercilessly swaying in the wind. I wonder if this is how men feel when their balls start to sag.

I googled gray hair and saw freedom and empowerment. I saw beautiful , classy, confident women who were free from hair color maintenance and damage…albeit some were celebrities who no doubt have a ginormous glam squad to make their hair perfect no matter what color it is. I don’t have a glam squad, I have me. Unless it’s before 7 AM, then I don’t have me because she is  too tired, too asleep, too grouchy and too decaffeinated to manage to care. So I let my cat do my hair and she can’t see color, so the little punk never told me how much gray is springing out of my head. Imagine my surprise when I actually looked close enough to count but soon realized I was out numbered. Devastation. Shock. And then I decided I would be like those verGrays Anatomy Collagey fancy ladies I googled and just let it grow. Let it grow! (You know you’re a Mom if you immediately started humming “Let it go…let it gooooooo”…)

I am about two months into the journey and feel pretty fantastic about it.  The transition is months long but you have the luxury of getting used to  it, processing a few not so great “oh shit I am aging” feelings and perhaps a bit of self reflecting over a bit of wine. Ok, lots and lots of wine. Like with any color grow out experience, the first weeks are rough and littered with  “you need to touch up your roots” comments. That black center stripe in the middle of your head invokes all sorts of unsolicited honesty from your friends and family.

“Mom, your roots are showing”

“I know.”

“No, they are REALLY showing”

“I’m letting it grow out.”

“It’s gray!”

“I know. And I think I like it.”

“Good thing you’re awesome in any color.”

Thanks…I think.  I like to think that  the shimmering silvery strands represent the hard-won enlightenment my soul has earned as I have traveled through life. It also feels deeply liberating at the end of the day to not worry about my  hair color appointments but to focus on what really matters like my chickens, my home, my family, my businesses, my friends and beating   spending time with my kid.

August Stole My Girl: Part Tiny But Mighty. Oh So Mighty.

13 May

Four weeks after surgery and out of the hard cast.

“What day is my surgery, Mom?”

“This Friday”

“How am I going to drive to campus Monday?”

“Ummm, you’re not. You might have to get a prosthetic arm and you can’t walk on your foot for four months.”

“Like I said, how am I getting to school Monday?”

Girl’s surgery lasted many hours and we finally got to see her about 9:30 PM. My sisters and friends waited all day and night with us; expecting worse and worse news as the night wore on. When we were able to see her, the surgeon said , “good news!” and let us know she should expect no more than 50% use of her arm and very limited rotation from the elbow to the wrist. My heart dropped. All she wanted to do was get back on her horse and join the university’s equine drill team. I guess 50% is better than none . I immediately stretched my arm out to 50% and cried…desperately whispering, “that’s not enough”. But there was more news that none of us, even the surgeon, were prepared to hear. He pieced together her elbow , repaired her ulna and radial, anchored her muscles and tendons to her shattered bones and closed with the most beautiful scar ever. Did you know they could suture from the inside? If you saw her on the street you would never know how extensive the repair was. It took so brutally long because he just couldn’t give up on such a young girl with many giant dreams. Her arm is all pins, plates, screws and wire anchors. But it’s her arm and I couldn’t wait to hold that perfect hand. He prepared us for a year of painful rehabilitation, months in a wheelchair and encouraged her to take the semester off. Drunk on anesthesia and pain meds, Girl rolled her eyes with a defiant ‘whatever’ and sought out the only answer  she wanted. When could she get back on Trooper. His answer to that was the most devastating. “If”, he said , “and very long time from now”.

Monday morning we loaded her wheelchair into the bed of her truck and off we went. She was high on drugs but determined to start, and finish, the Fall semester. And so we did. I pushed her around campus and sat through every class on Tuesday and Thursday and my sister covered Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We learned what she learned (or didn’t learn). The first day of art class I hear this from her Professor “…and do not ever fall asleep in my class”. I knew who that was directed at. Keep talking , Mr. Professor, and you’ll be in a shiny wheelchair with a face cast.  Girl fell asleep next to Alice, who woke her up and is to this day her best friend. Then we would go to physical therapy for a few hours and mercifully to  home. Home to rest I had hoped, but we went home to do homework and her PT exercises. I had to pull her freshly patched arm as straight as she could tolerate, for 1 minute- 20 times. Three times a day. I cried more than she did. In between all of that- she would sleep. Sometimes for 10 minutes and sometimes for a day. If she slept through a school day then Alice, me or my sister would go to class for notes. Exhausted, drugged, in pain and full of frustration and fight – she pushed on. I reminded her that C’s get degrees and that we would be incredibly proud of her if we saw Ds or Fs even. I mean, who is so mighty that they can pull off a semester at university in her condition? I couldn’t do it! I was worn out just pushing her chair, watching physical therapy, getting new casts every week  and helping with flash cards!

She is that mighty.

All As and Bs.

Super Girl Woman.


Six White Horses try outs.

She limps still and her arm hurts. But she rides Trooper, plays fetch with her dog and does every single thing that none of us thought she would ever do again. Her laugh is rich with confidence and mischief…she feels every single second of life now.  She actually asked me years ago when she would stop being a kid in my eyes. I’m pretty sure I told her some BS like , “when you’re a mommy, too”. Nope, I was wrong. WAY wrong. That Monday morning when she was ready for school and I was pleading with her to rest…that’s the moment. Every time she was crying from pain but still went to take tests and notes…it was then that she grew up into an adult. It was when she took her first steps five months after her accident, every single one since has hurt, yet she still walked and navigated campus.

It was four weeks after her surgery and I wheeled her across a pasture so she could try out for the Six White Horses women’s equine drill team- she couldn’t ride but she could do the interview and prove her horse knowledge. With other girls and parents smirking at her- Girl held her head high and proceeded as though not one thing was out of the ordinary. It was in that moment that August stole my girl and returned a beautiful, fiery woman to me.


Back on Trooper five months after her accident and right after she got out of her wheelchair.

August Stole My Girl: Part Is This Really Happening?

8 May

tori and trooper All I remember about my daughter’s trip from her horse barn to the trauma center  is in tiny painful vignettes; some in living color and some in soul breaking  sound. My heart was whooshing in my ears, I suddenly had tunnel vision and colors appeared in Technicolor. I remember the fear on her face and her mangled arm. I remember being worried if her head was ok and terrified because my usually vocal girl was stone quiet. I remember her  primal, sickening wail. I threw up. I saw my sister , who excels at emergency medicine, standing over her and  removing her clothes, advocating to the nurses and doctors and translating the medical jargon to me.  My best friend, who works at the hospital, was making sure radiologists, surgeons, RNs and anesthesiologist were doing their jobs. I was standing next to them but couldn’t hear them. But I could hear my girl crying, sobbing and giving in to the drugs with a defeated sigh. Surgery, internal amputation, Dilaudid, C Scan… I cannot do this. Not my girl. Not ever.

She and my sister were taking Girl’s barrel horse down a road to an arena to work with him. Girl was riding Trooper and taking their leisurely time. No speed, no tasks, no noise…just forward with the August warmth greeting them. Somewhere along the way Trooper slipped. We have no idea why or how but down he went with Girl in the saddle. Trooper is a very large horse, we suspect he is Quarter Horse with some sort of draft breed. He is all muscle, legs and speed. Girl is none of those things: she is barely five feet tall and built like a baby bird. Mighty but tiny. Trooper  is in love with Girl and because of that, when they slipped, he did not roll over her. If he had, he would have crushed the life from her. Witnesses were amazed to see what they saw. All of Trooper’s feet slipped out from him, they fell to the pavement. Girl hit the hard asphalt first with her elbow and knee making the first contact, then down came Trooper atop her. Amazingly, he knew he was about to roll over her and he froze; all four legs in the air and half of him on her.  He froze,  corrected, got up and stood vigil over Girl. His herculean effort may seem  simple, but he is  a two thousand pound horse and what he did was against the laws of Physics and gravity. Her left arm was completely turned around from the elbow down, the medial head was sheared off , the Ulna was shattered , muscles and tendons ripped from the bones; internal amputation. Her left foot was crushed, her knee was mangled and Trooper had a tiny scratch on his butt. My sister used a lead rope to stabilize Girl’s arm and that is when I got the call that my heart and head already knew was coming. I knew she would never be the same Girl I hugged that morning.

Heart broken. “Nita, everything is ok but…”7046_677567275590489_281998268_n

Knowingly. “Just tell me what happened to her.”

Quietly. “She’s ok but Trooper fell and…”

Resigned. “I’ll be right there.”





Serially Lost: Sink I Shall

10 Apr

imagessinkingI abandoned ship. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that it occurred to me that I, the Captain, leapt overboard first. Ooops.  I don’t consider those left aboard as murders; but as compassionate euthanasias. I had to go. I had to go unencumbered by obligation and it had to be right at that moment. It wasn’t a hair on fire moment leading me to act with negligence and without thought. It was a quiet internal swell whispering, “a storm is coming and we need to decide if  this is really how we want to go on…swirling about in a very unfriendly shit storm”.  With giant waves of change crashing into my ship and threatening my sails, my only hope was to precisely and immediately sever my tightly knotted moorings to  texting,  Facebook and  artificial friends. Too many obligations, too many fingers pointing, too many friends that existed only in my phone. Too many stagnant people and a growing carnal longing for real life friends that occasionally show up on my front porch with news (or wine) to share. And dare I dream for real life conversations with said friends in place of lackadaisical  texts? Sink or swim. So I dove in head first weighted down by task lists, obligations and a smart phone. Sink I shall, knowing I would eventually float to the surface.

It is so easy to lose your self in the day to day, stay so busy that you can’t remember what you had for lunch and quite literally not recognize yourself at the end of the day…and I don’t even have small children, a commute or a stressful life to add to the burden! I also don’t have the pressure to be perfect, the obligation to hang onto to things that have lost their use and relationships that have run their course. Anymore. I left all of that baggage at the bottom when I hit it.  Generally the phrase ‘hit bottom’ brings forth all sorts of dark and delusional speculation. Was it a drug, too much wine, a divorce or something more salacious that drove the sinking. It was none of the above. What it was, what it is, can be described as luxuriously fantastic.  I needed to be liberated and only I could be responsible for my freedom. With no warning, no obligation to closure or explanation; I cut bait and freed myself.

I last wrote here on 7/4/13…the fourth of July. I think the title of the post was “Freedom Isn’t Free” and it was prophetic. It certainly isn’t free nor is it without focused effort and the acceptance that there will be collateral damage. I accepted all of those tolls  because floating back to the surface required losing the weights. The beautiful gifts of coming to the surface are new relationships, experiences and fresh life. And those things are well worth the dive!

If you want to know what I have been up to the last couple of years, here it all is and I think you might be surprised by what I am doing these days : http://www.linkedin.com/in/acatcolson

%d bloggers like this: