Just Relax And Enjoy It

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Last night I had a real honest to goodness date. I had my hair done earlier in the day and was dressed to kill. I had butterflies that were flitting here and there within my innards and I even wore eye liner. From my head to my toes; I looked hot for a woman of my age.

The date was with B. I was worried that things would be strained and that the only thing we would find to talk about would be the kids. I also wondered if I would need to have a drink to loosen up because I didn’t know if I could do what my therapist instructed… ‘Don’t project. Don’t think about motivations.  Don’t over-analyze. Just live in the moment and see and feel what is in front of you. Just enjoy what there is to enjoy and let the other stuff go.”

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We drove to a little French restaurant another town over. The weekend clarinet player was doing his thing and the vibes going around the room were cool and groovy with a dash of sexy thrown in. Good clarinet music is almost as magical as sax if the musician knows the right mix “Give it to me baby,” songs and this dude was at the top of his game. This backdrop set the stage for a lovely evening of laughter, flirtation and lightness. It was the kind of night that second dates are made of.

After dinner we drove to a little massage place that we love. It’s cheap…$19 for a half-hour and you keep your clothes on. Okay, the soft touch is missing but the crunching of bones isn’t. By the time we walked out of there I felt like I had been run over by a truck and a massive headache had quickly overtaken me. That demure little masseuse definitely had the whole whooshie finger thing going on.

It was a lovely evening full of everything that makes a date special, yet, I have no illusions. I am no Cinderella and B is no Prince Charming. But it was nice to laugh, find some common ground, share memories, and just enjoy ourselves without all the anxiety that sometimes interjects itself when you are working to better your marriage and yourself at the same time.

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Maybe we will make it to a second date or maybe we won’t. But one thing I do know is just sitting with the moments and recognizing what is good is a much better way to live than analyzing what isn’t. Being mindful of living in the present and letting go of the past made our date as close to perfect as it is ever going to get, and today, that is good enough for me.

So be it!

 

 

 

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The Other Side Of The Mountain

 

The other day we were driving up to the cabin. The wind was quiet and the sun bright as we climbed higher into the mountains. It brought me back to a year ago when I was making the same drive. My marriage was a mess and I was a wreck. It seemed like nothing was ever going to get better and I wondered if I was ever going to feel happiness again. Last year it was a hard drive and I made it alone.

This year the drive was different. The wolf spiders were out along the roads doing their mating dance. img_1929

The leaves were just beginning to turn with brilliant yellows and a few orange ones dotting the landscape. The birds were singing and the deer were just frolicking with one another in the backyard. We also felt lucky as we saw large embers from the fire laying on our deck knowing how easily the cabin could have gone up in flames as the embers were carried by the wind.img_1933

B and I just enjoyed our time together and wished for nothing more. It was a fantastic day.

When it was time to leave we opted to try a different way home. It was a road we had never ventured on before and we hoped to see how close the big fire of a month ago had made it to our cabin. About a mile from our place we left the pavement and headed down a dirt road. Further and further back we climbed until we could look back upon the entire valley. It was clean and clear. No sign of a fire anywhere. We climbed higher, the trees in thick clusters, more colors to their leaves. We were high on the mountain and you could feel the tightness begin to shape your lungs like the blue rubber bands you find on bunches of celery in the grocery store.

Finally, we came to another paved road. Here we found signs still mounted on the trees which read THANK YOU FIREFIGHTERS and STAY SAFE. But still no sign of the fire itself. We saw the red fire-retardant splashed on the road that had been dropped from airplanes that once buzzed through the smoke choked sky. But there was still no trace of the devastating fire that had ravaged the mountains just one month ago.

As we descended, we realized that we were on the backside of the mountain which usually takes us up to the cabin. It felt like an entirely different place. Long grasses lay flat and swirled around massive tree trunks creating a kaleidoscope of colorful designs.

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Huge boulders the remnants of dinosaur days dotted the landscape in odd places looking like they had been dropped there by some humongous creature playing chess. It was the other side of the mountain but it could have been worlds away from where we had started.

Finally, after another 10 miles we made it back around to our usual road, the one that could take us back up the mountain. As we hit that mile marker I realized that our marriage in the past twelve months and this trip to the cabin shared many commonalities. For over this past year we had the courage to take an unfamiliar road which brought us new things to see/contemplate which eventually brought us to a happiness/coziness that we find amongst the trees. We also fought the flames of divorce, and while we did get singed, we didn’t get burned. Our marriage, just like this new road, looks different from the other side of the mountain at which we started our trip.  And today, more than at any other time during this journey; I feel blessed that we were able to traverse the vast unknown and make our way safely home from the other side.

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I Got Me Some

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Last month I bought a SEX calendar. No, not one with one position for each day of the year but one to keep track of just how much sex we were having after a not so great comment from B about “slipping back” where sex was concerned. I was pissed as it appeared that the blame was being leveled at me and I was determined to do something about it if only to prove a point. This calendar now hangs on the bathroom wall for easy access so no one “forgets” when we did the dirty deed. Problem is with three teens in the house one just can’t be writing SEX all over the place especially special days like their birthdays. So I have had to become inventive in order to keep track of who did what to whom.

My first entry “B fixed the closet” was a little farfetched but I figured it would work until I wrote it a second time and Gracie said, “What is wrong with your closet and why is dad always having to fix it?”

So I then went to a capital S with circle around it. Andre asked me why I was marking Superman on my calendar. Although it may fit B in the bedroom I quickly got the point that I needed to change my records keeping ways.

Paul asked with the star was about and if it had anything to do with the cycles of the moon.

Frankly, all this calendar watching by the kids was  getting to be a tad annoying. I mean can’t we have any privacy even if it is just on paper?

So I have had to invent a series of codes

IDIOT-I did it on top

GHO- Got him off meaning there was nothing in it for me

GMO- The crops have come in and it was all about me

FTD- F***** twice in a day (we have yet to need this one yet)

BS-B was sick (yeah I am not taking the rap for not having sex when you have a fever and fall asleep at 2 pm

CASS-I was sick.

And so it goes.

Unfortunately, we have not had much chance to use these secret sex codes as of late. Between freezing in Tibet, me in Chicago for a week, Nicole with grand babies here necessitating Gracie sleeping in our room, B being sick, me being sick…well, let’s just say the odds have been stacked against us. But yesterday Nicole left, Gracie returned to her own room and late at night we had sex. Finally. Happy, Joyous, Lovely. SEX.

Let’s just say the earth moved and the richter scale said it was a 5.0  which was not bad for two old folks with kids in the house.

Onto my calendar went GRITS

But in morning after taking the kids to school as I was cleaning my bathroom  I noticed handwriting scrawled on the calendar other than my own. It read “Can you keep it down please some of us are trying to get some sleep!”

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How embarrassing! I think we will buy the little dears ear muffs for Christmas next year!

 

 

 

 

The Return

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When you walk into the house after a week away you expect to feel that your husband is delighted if not intoxicated upon your return. Instead, it felt guarded and a little cold with a hint of resignation thrown in for good measure. Not what I expected at all.

Yes, Paul attacked him that morning. Yes, the grand babies are crying. Yes, things are stressful at work. I get it. I feel weary too at times. Actually, often. Sometimes it is hard not to in this household.

Tonight after being reunited, as I lay in B’s arms, I asked “Do you ever think we will get back to where you really love me. Like it used to be?”

Might as well be putting a gun in my hand and pressing it up to his head.

Why do I even ask these types of things?

I guess I want reassurance that he can, that we can, get to a place of love that once felt as wide as the Grand Canyon but now feels somewhat like a sink hole.

But I don’t get the answer  or the reassurance I am looking for. I get a question turned around on me?

“Do you think we can?” he asks, which tells me he is feeling this disconnect too. Which saddens me and makes me feel even more insecure.

Why do I have to always ask the hard questions? But even as I ask the question I know the answer…I don’t want to have to continue to try to guess. To try and read the mind of a man who doesn’t even know how he feels much less knows how to try and share it. I ask these questions as a gauge as to how our relationship is in his mind. But the thing is…I am not even sure I want to know. Sometimes I think I would like to just keep floating down the RIVER deNILE. FOREVER.

 

For Violet-My Sex Life In Tibet

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This is for Violet. Because Violet wants to know how my sex life went while over in Tibet. She wonders if this 29 year married couple who are temporarily without the bat ears of their children will fare as they explore Asia together. I promised I would give her the juicy details about whether or not you can have sex in a monastery… I am a woman of my word.

January 11- Leave San Francisco for Shanghai. The plane is cold. I rub strategic spots on B’s body in hopes that he will warm me up under the flimsy cotton blanket. No dice. He’s not that kind of guy. Reminds me of the time we were naked on the nude beach in Kauai. He passed then too but to this day swears it was the pneumonia he was in the process of developing that waylaid his libido while on laying naked on the sand all those many years ago.

January 12-Arrive at Shanghai after an 11 hour flight. I survived. I can only assume it is some sort of cosmic miracle but hell we have 7 more flights to take so I am not taking bets yet. Eat some incredible Chinese food and crash after promising one another that tomorrow will be our “special” day.

January 13- Take green subway line to subway line 16. Take bus 1068 to Xinchang where we enjoy the “Venice” of Shanghai. Reverse process only it is rush hour. We are packed into the subway like sardines when I feel someone grab my left boob. I turn and smile at Dave for being so frisky…only it isn’t Dave at all. It is an intoxicated old man with missing teeth. I give him the death stare and he smiles. Okay, that is one “feel up” for the day, zero sex. We get back to the hotel room and defrost our parts. Since we understand you can get in serious trouble (think prison) for “doing it” in front of an open window we opt for something more like home…the bed. Great foreplay. Fantastic sex. No children anywhere around. No wonder!

January 14- Land in Lhasa, Tibet. Upon touchdown I get an immediate headache. Altitude sickness descends. We get to our room which has old single pane, handmade wood framed windows. The walls appear to have frost on them at first glance. We see our breaths all night as we talk across to one another in the rigid, very hard and not going anywhere twin beds. We decide that self-preservation is our best bet as we crawl under yet another blanket in our light thermals, heavy thermals, 2 pairs of socks, pajamas, gloves, blacava covering our heads and a coat on top. Wake up numerous times during the night feeling like an elephant is sitting on our chests as our hearts think about giving out. It is doubtful anything is going to rise this night as frost bite is a definite possibility.

January 15-It’s gotten colder. So has our room. Need I say more?

January 16-Can you believe that it is still colder? Our room is cold enough to be used as a morgue except that unlike a morgue there is nothing stiff in this room. I am thinking the next vacation will be to a warm clothing optional place with free booze. Lots of free booze. Even tho I am not a pot smoker I suspect that the next trip will involve it because after this journey I am sure I will be missing parts and will need a medicinal high to forget the feeling of phantom pain where my limbs used to be.

January 17-Shigatse. Well what do you know…a warm hotel room…with twin beds. What is it with the twin beds for goodness sake!!!! Luckily, love is in the air along with an unidentifiable smell that is not either one of us even though we had not showered for so long. No…it is something unique and different enough to turn your stomach. But we refuse to let it defeat us and we do one for the Gipper. In the morning everyone in our group wonders why we are smiling so much that our teeth hurt. Of course they are all under 30 without children… but someday they will know why those smiles were plastered all over our faces.

January 18-Bad news. The Rongbuk Monastery is closed. I am deflated with this bit of news as I really wanted to be faced with ethical decision of whether it is proper to have sex in a monastery and see whether the devil or angel on my shoulder would win out. Sigh. Instead we are booked into a hotel in Shegar a small town of about 1,000 way out in the middle of nowhere but about three hours from the Mt. Everest base camp. The good news…dinner is a delicious full bodied noodle soup. The bad news (I know you are asking how could you have BAD news on a vacation you whiny, spoilt b****)…the temperature is -16 while the sun is still up. There is no water in our room and the bucket that you fill with water to flush the toilet is frozen solid. This time we sleep with one pair of light thermals, 2 pairs of heavy thermals, gloves, three pairs of socks, blacava, sleeping bag and down parka in TWIN BEDS. But really we don’t sleep. Instead we gasp for air and watch as my coat emits thousands of static electric charges as it lights up the room. SEX…doesn’t even enter our minds as we just struggle to survive.  The next morning we find the people who run the hotel sleeping around a huge coal/dung stove. They are walking around with smiles on their faces….hmmmm!

January 19-After almost being blown off of Mt. Everest by the wind we make it back to Shigatse. Half our group look like death warmed over but when we end up at an Sichuan restaurant eating amazing food and there is no yak in sight, the color returns to the faces of all. The room is once again pleasant and warm. Two blissful sighs are heard around the world and Mt. Everest rocks.

January 20-Back to Lhasa and the first hotel only this time I ask if we might have a room with something other than twin beds. So we are put in room 207 which I am happy to report it is an inside room and is at least 20 degrees warmer than the first room. Are you spotting a trend here, Violet? Warm=happy=sex. Yet, during and afterwards we are panting hard like we just ran a marathon and seriously question whether our hearts will explode due to this high altitude exertion. Getting old should = purchasing larger and larger amounts of life insurance especially when getting it on while in the two mile club without the benefit of an airplane.

January 21-Fly back to Shanghai by way of Xian. We are exhausted and spent when we land at 9:30 p.m..

January 22-Wake up at 3 am for an early morning flight to Jinan. B has business. Attend a late night dinner of fish, fish and more fish.Eyeballs of fish linger in our psyche and we can’t get past that tonight.

January 23- Violet, its warm…do you even have to ask?

January 24-Fly back to Shanghai. We leave tomorrow for San Francisco. I’ll leave this one for you to fantasize about my dearest Violet. I leave for an 8 hour trip in the morning.

 

 

Shhh…Don’t Say A Word

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This weekend we have hired a sitter and will be without our darling children for 24 hours…I can’t wait! But before we go away I will be telling B something that he needs to know to make our time together perfect.

“Shhhh…don’t say a word.”

Don’t say a word as we walk towards the bedroom. Don’t utter a sound as we pull back the sheets. Don’t whisper a word as we undress (unless you want to tell me how sexy I look). And PLEASE, JUST PLEASE, don’t say anything (nada, nothing) while we are making love.

I know a lot of women like to hear sex talk while they are indulging in adult time with their partner. I am not usually one of them. Okay, maybe sometimes I am, but definitely not tonight. Frankly, I don’t want to hear your fantasies while we are trying to create our own. Worse…I don’t want you intruding on the fantasy that is going on in my own head by imploding/imposing yours onto mine. Believe me they are two totally different shows. Mine is opera and yours is grunge heavy metal. Mine is A Walk In The Clouds while yours is James Bond. Tonight, I just don’t want to hear “it”…I want to hear “you.”

The only external thing I want to hear soft sax music in the background. Besides that, I just want to hear your heart beating as I lay my head on your chest and I want to listen to it quicken when I put my hand between your legs. I want to hear that sigh you make when we first connect with one another and I want to see your blue eyes sparkle at that instant we reach deep into the most intimate of places. I want to eavesdrop on your body’s reactions as we touch one another deeply and passionately. And I want to hear that rumble that starts in your soul and spreads through your body before we both explode.

I want to hear all of you tonight. So please.. “Shhh…don’t say a word!”

The Passionate Journey

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Feeling your body under mine

As we ride to far away places

In that custom saddle we created so long ago

I am reminded that the first part of our odyssey

Made me feel warm, safe, and secure

Believing that passion and love would serve us well

For many years to come

Yet, as the journey continued through our ages

To different and strange unexplored lands

I found that as we rode together we

Struggled to stay insync to the pounding rhythm of life and each other

In this saddle we created and shined to perfection together

Oh so many years ago

Then slowly our bodies began to move to different beats

The spark no longer igniting when flesh richcheted against flesh

Our timing aberrant from what had come before

Akwardly and in silence we rode through valleys so deep and low

They threatened to pull us under

As we wrapped ourselves each in our own protective gear

Bracing ourselves and sitting deep in the saddle spooning

No longer astride one another

During this long exhausting ride

The passion for this particular pilgrimage waning

The heat that once kept us warm

Cooling to small embers and threatening

To extinguish themselves all together

As the light faded and disappeared behind the mountains before us

No longer straddling one atop the another on this migration

But one of us down… crawling on the ground

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By some silent force of nature

That was unwilling to give up or give in

But yet we pressed on

Scraping raw our knees

Scooping out our souls

Our sexual natures vanished somewhere within Mother Nature herself

We traveled wearily like this for so long

Lost, together… yet alone

Until in desperation we finally reached out for the reins to steady and guide us

The accidental brushing together of two souls

Once again serving to remind us of all we have endured

And all we have yet to discover

So now we join hands to do battle

Against all that has kept us apart from one another

And we fight Mother Nature to reclaim our sexuality

The passion igniting our bodies and sweeping us together

And once again we quiver deep within one another

Grinding deep within that saddle

As we climb to the pinnacle of our lives

Looking over the ridge to the future that awaits us

Hanging on for dear life together once again

Our devotion rekindled each for the other

In that saddle that was custom made the two of us

In which we fit together so well

No longer afraid

But curious about where we will end up

On this sojourn through married life

The Rain…292 Days To Fix This

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Sometimes when I listen to the rain

I hear your heartbeat in every splash

As droplets quietly bounce on the pavement

or splatter across the rose bushes with a

steady, familiar, and oh-so-sweet rhythm

ka-plut, ka-plut, ka-plut

Hearing the rain fall across the lanai

Made me think of you this morning

Gone East but I still hear your steady rhythm

Your almost silent hum that fills the spaces in my life

Like an imperceptible background noise

Providing a sense of comfort just in knowing

That it is there…steady and true

I have missed the rain and I miss you

The earth and I are parched and aching for moisture

And new life that a shower affords

We were in the midst of a drought, you and I

And I have missed you and your calming waters

Making me wet

Helping me to grow

Into something bewitching, alive and revived

I am thankful that now we are leading each other gently

Towards the sweet nectar of this life conferring rain

A sprinkling that falls so sweetly from the heavens

Rain that has blessed us

Rain the brings to life things long-buried

Deep within the ground

I have waited for the rainy season

Impatient, sorrowful

As clouds blocked the sun

And held tight to their dew

And as I stand in the cloudburst

I hear your heartbeat once again

As the rain falls and nourishes my soul

And so do you

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He Loves Me…He Loves Me Not…She Loves Him…She Loves Him Not

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After This Three Day Week-End And Twenty-Nine Years Of Marriage This Is What I Know…

He Loves Me…because I am his soul-mate and he enjoys my company

He Loves Me Not…when I eat garlic…lots of it

He Loves Me…when I force him to watch a brilliant sunset over the ocean and we hug each other tight in the cool briny breeze

He Loves Me Not…when I snore…loudly at 3 a.m.

He Loves Me…when I get him to try something new…and spicy

He Loves Me Not…when I roll over and fall asleep after some frolicking incredible sex

He Loves Me…when I wear that hot little red number (Thanks, L!) and make all his dreams come true

He Loves Me Not…when I worry about our future and whether we will be together

He Loves Me…when I laugh full-heartedly and repeatedly

He Loves Me Not…when I tell him the outside windows need to be cleaned and he would rather be cleaning up with me

He Loves Me…Immensely, Tirelessly, Hopelessly, Forever

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I Love Him…when he makes me laugh…which is pretty much all the time

I Love Him Not…when he doesn’t accept my bids and they go unnoticed

I Love Him…when he takes me out to dinner and tries to take advantage of me under the table

I Love Him Not…when he tries to get me to drink beer..blah!

I Love Him…when he makes me feel like the most desirable woman in the world

I Love Him Not…if he wouldn’t share his lemon tart…but he did

I Love Him…when he does what he knows will make me happy without me saying a word

I Love Him Not…when he snores at 4 a.m. in the morning

I Love Him…Fantastically, Totally, Until The End Of Time, Completely

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He Loves Me & I Love Him…May This Be Enough For Both Of Us Until The End Of Time!

Lust vs. Romantic Love…304 Days To Fix This

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I just read another fascinating study out of the University of Chicago. Seems that within seconds, just by watching the gaze pattern of participants; researchers could determine whether romantic love or lust was in play. Incredibly, for both male and female subjects, eye-tracking of the face signaled that romantic love was in the air whereas those who fixated on the rest of the body were in it for the lust factor. Good information if you are looking for a mate but what about those who are already married?

On this week-end’s date with my hubby I decided to conduct my own research. The first hours of our date were spent in a movie theater so there was no information gathered there except that except that actor Josh Brolin seemed to want to get it on with Elizabeth Debicki who played Dr. Caroline Mackenzie in Everest. (Spoiler alert-they didn’t get it on nor did anyone else in this desperately sad and A-sexual movie)

Next we went to a local micro-brewery. There we spent time gazing into each other’s eyes and talking about mundane and inconsequential things. About half the time B spent looking at my face, another 1/4 of the time looking at this very shear new top that I was wearing and about 1/4 of the time he spent looking at a gravely sounding 65-year-old man who sang sad songs about drought and crops drying up which were what my panties were doing as I listened to the woes of farmers in the area. I couldn’t tell what part of the singers anatomy B was gazing at….should I be worried is my big question for the researchers?

What I also noticed was that from the bar I received five glances at my face before moving down to the new shirt, two gentlemen staring at my boobs, one woman who licked her lips at me and one man who kept looking at me as if to determine if I was a long-lost relative. I don’t have any idea what this all means except that just the thought of dating at my age scares the crap out of me and I don’t want to do it. EVER AGAIN. I also suspect that if this whole body/face gazing is what dating is about then I am doomed unless I skip the formalities and just blatantly stare at a man’s crotch….I wonder what researchers could determine from that?  And maybe, just maybe,  if I find myself single I might decide to become a research subject. Of course, I would only volunteer for the human sexuality studies…all for the sake of science.