Archive | 40 & Drunk RSS feed for this section

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 :

Freedom: More Than Hot Dogs & Fireworks

4 Jul

If you know me- then you know I am a die-hard American. I love this Country. These United States of America are the most free on the planet Earth. Over this weekend – when we are celebrating those very freedoms- let’s not forget to think of our Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard fighters- who volunteer to put their asses, dreams and lives on hold and on  the line- so we can enjoy our selves, pursue our dreams and unapologetically build our lives exactly as we want them.  Thank them. Offer them a hand, a hug.

I know I am going to make a few international readers mad today. Know I am not hating on your Country- I am just expressing my love and devotion for mine. I know we are not perfect- we have our issues for sure. I don’t like our current administration- and I am referring to all of the lying scuzzbags in D.C.- not just Obama. I don’t like some of the things we are doing in this world right now. But I can say that , and all of the other things I say here, because this country stands for freedom and liberty. No one is going to show up at my door and stone me for my blog or expressing my political views. If they should try- I also have the freedom to protect myself with words, fists or a .357 Magnum.

Even though we have freedom of speech- I don’t necessarily agree when people use it (but that’s ok- it’s their right). For instance, over this holiday weekend I have heard two people say they hate this country. Hate their country. I am always truly amazed when people- especially women- say they want to leave here and live elsewhere. Maybe it’s a romantic notion and they have some weird fantasy that they can act exactly as they do here- anywhere. Nowhere else can you speak, be, learn, work, excel financially, build a business, vote for leaders, choose a doctor, own personal and real estate property like we can. Today in the grocery store- a woman was talking to her companion and said, “I hate the US I just want to leave and live in another country”. Uh oh. You know I said something, right? “Well, let me buy a ticket for you then. Seriously” Perhaps to Syria, Libya, Iran or some other country that says women are chattel-  property to be owned, raped and killed. Maybe to one where they don’t have a grocery store because there is no food.” She was shocked- how dare I. How dare she.

There are so many people coming here in droves from every country to taste the land of the free. So I say to anyone wanting to leave this country because you hate Her, because you do not love Her, honor Her and feel grateful for your unbelievable luck to have been born to Her- give up your spot. Give it to an immigrant who risked life and limb to get here, left their families and roots- just to have a shot at the American dream. A shot at any opportunity you choose to make for yourself. Give up your freedom and liberty to a woman who spends every hour in a burka and being beaten and raped by her husband so she can feel warm sunshine on her skin and heal her spirit. Give it to a child in a foreign orphanage who just needs a chance to blossom into the next great American scientist, engineer or artist. To have the opportunities that are afforded us. To have the luxury of just being. Let them live here, work here, build here and be party to our foundation and community. Let them have a shot and you can take their spot in whatever oppressive place they came from. Then tell me how bad it is here and how much you hate this Country. My Country.

If you have never taken the three minutes to read our Declaration of Independence, do it now. If you have, read it again. Then thank your God, your Goddess,  your chicken, your troll doll, your lucky stars or whatever because here- you are free to worship whatever and whomever you like. Or not at all. Thank the universe that you should be so lucky to have found yourself in the land of the free. The home of the brave.

I even did the work for you and pasted it below.

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
%d bloggers like this: