•July 2, 2012 • 89 Comments

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•September 25, 2016 • 4 Comments

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Sunday. I sat down with the idea of writing about an article I read yesterday but I got distracted by an e-mail a friend (Glory) just sent to me.
She’s in her mid 60’s, a widow and I should add, a VERY slow learner.

Many years ago, she met a man (Art) in quite unusual circumstances. She was married to an abusive man and had 3 young children. One night the husband beat her really bad, she escaped to a motel and met Art, who, as she told me once, saved her life. That was about 45 years ago.
This man, Art, has been on and off her life since then.

I met Glory playing an online game almost 4 years ago. In these past years she mentioned Art several times. Every time she says something like: “And this time I think Art is willing to commit”.
Some weeks after that, she tells me something like things didn’t work out with Art because he hadn’t changed a bit.

A few weeks ago she sent me an email telling me that Art was back in her life. I didn’t want to reply right away so I waited until her birthday and tried not to mention a thing about Art.
About 15 minutes ago I got an email… And I’d swear I read this email 20 times before.

I feel a bit bad about posting it but I need to take this off my chest. I hope you understand it. As I hope you understand me.

My Dearest Paola,
I am afraid I have made a terrible mistake in bringing Art back into my home & my life & my home! He has not changed one bit since the last time I’ve tried to accept him for who he is and I AM Not Willing or able to be manipulated or used by him by him any longer! One would think I had learned this lesson before; after all the times he has done to this exact same thing to me before but I felt this time it truly may be different! I Was Wrong as usual, but in this endeavor I Hope & Pray I will have the Strength to just completely Cut Him Out of My Life Once & For All! I honestly believed him when he told me he was ready to make a Positive Try at making things work between US! It has all been a pack of lies and I think it took the fall my Mother had on the day before my birthday to help me Realize Once & For All that Art is NOT the Man God has For Me! Maybe I Am Destined to be Alone, (without a man) but One Way or Another, I Am Not Willing or Able or Going to be made to “Walk on Eggshells” in MY Own Home and put up with his Bullshit Lies, Double Standard, Asshole Behavior any longer! He May still drive me Asheville, (and I’m not sure about that either at this point) but so far as anything beyond that, I think I’ll be bringing him back to his Roach & Flea infested Horse Trailer in Texas as soon as we return from NC! I’d rather live alone and have Cyber Love Affairs with total Strangers than the way I’ve been living since he returned! Thanks for letting me sound off and I pray it hasn’t been coming a terrible time in your life! I know there are still some Good & Faithful Men in this world, but why they seem to be eluding 2 Amazing Women like is beyond me! So Sick of being lied to, and disrespected by this man & many others in the past year!
Love You My Friend,
Glory

I’m truly lost. I don’t know what else to say. Last year, among all the problems she had with Art, she met several men through Facebook who tried to trick her into send them money.
One time I called her and I think I was on the phone for 6 hours trying to tell her it was a scam.
The sad part was that she didn’t believe me at first and I fell awful because I was the one breaking her heart and her dreams.
I asked her to test the man asking him a few questions and see if I was wrong.
Of course I wasn’t wrong! Then she sent me an email thanking me.

You wouldn’t believe me if I tell you that after that man (who wasn’t the first one), a few more appeared and she believed them and almost fell for that crap again.

My friend Aaron told me long ago: “You don’t need someone like that in your life, she’s poisonous”. I think Aaron is right but I feel bad if I cut her off. And I really feel worse when she tells me about her problems because they are always the same problems. And you’d think she should have learned the lesson by now, right?

Sometimes, I’m a slow learner too. And that, terrifies me.

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•September 24, 2016 • 5 Comments

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Saturday. I’m sore and awake since 7.30am. WTF! It’s Saturday and my kids are not here this weekend. I should be sleeping.
Yesterday I decided to shred more bushes and I told my kids that we could roast marshmallows again if they helped me collecting the twigs and breaking some branches.
I discovered that if I cut the branches in advance, instead of breaking them just before shredding, I could work much faster.

That was the pile I had to shred last week. You can’t see it but underneath there is a kind a brick structure more or less 5 x 5m / 16 x 16ft big.

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That’s my cute little robin staring at me while working. I saw him every day and I’m afraid I destroyed his house.

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That’s how the pile “to process” looked like yesterday. You can see the structure now.

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That’s the pile “ready to shred”

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Those are the branches that I’ll be cutting with the chaisaw

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Those are the ones that I’ll cut with the axe

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Those are the ones we cut and will be burned soon

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That’s what I saved to make my decorative project

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That’s the job almost done. You can see the full structure there. (Chainsaw and axe work still pending)

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That’s part of the mess I’ll have to clean

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That’s me while working. I’m still not sure why I’m smiling

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And that’s more or less how the decorative project will look like

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I need more lights and a nice pot.

I can’t believe I finished shredding. I’m glad my kids helped me a bit.
Yesterday before leaving my son said: “Are we done? Or we’ll find a new pile on Monday?”
“…” I didn’t want to ruin his weekend. I’m not sure I’ll be able to do much today. I’d love to saw some more but using the axe kind of killed me. I feel like my right arm and shoulder area are bigger than the left.
I hope it’s only my impression. I always freak out when I see those female tennis players who are only half huge.

I wonder what men think about women with noticeable muscles. Do they think those women are the sportive kind?
“Hey, I notice you play tennis, right?”
“No, not really. I have these muscles because I can’t use the chainsaw to cut some branches so I do it with an axe”.

Let’s hope they have these image in their minds.

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Instead of these ones

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To be honest, I think I look like the last two. And if I could caption the images when I’m using the axe or chainsaw, that’d be: “Break mother f#$ker, break” (said between teeth, of course).

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•September 23, 2016 • 14 Comments

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Friday. First, I want to apologize for being so behind reading your blogs. I’ll catch up soon when the weather sucks again. Right now, I really want to finish working on the backyard and that’s mostly what I’ve been doing all this time.
I also went shopping a few times. Having a car is dangerous. Everything becomes closer. When the stores are far away, it’s not easy to spend money. But once the stores are all one step away, everything is tempting.
So I went to town with the idea of getting a hatchet. I didn’t find it but anyway, I got 20 other things. Then I got home and I realized I still missed the hatchet so I thought I had to go to town again. And I did.
I went to several stores and I couldn’t find it. They only sold axes. You need two hands to use an axe. And muscles.

See those arms? Hard to miss them.

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So I kind of gave up on the hatchet idea.
I thought: “I could collect all the branches that are too small to cut with the chainsaw and too big to fix in the shredder and create some kind of decorative thing with lights on it”, as Donna suggested a few days ago.

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So I got some lights. But then I thought: “What would I do with the thing bought?” (I have no idea how that thing is called).

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How elegant looks my son with socks and open toes slippers. Almost as cute as me with socks and flip flops. So nice to be behind the camera sometimes.

I got that thing because I had in mind to cut the branches with the hatchet and burn them together with all the twigs that are lying around. My idea was to make my kids collect the twigs with the excuse of roasting marshmallows. If I say: “Help me clean” I know they won’t do it. But “Go and pick the twigs so we can make a fire to roast marshmallows” sounds much better.

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When I was going back home, I remembered I hadn’t bought the hair clips I needed (wanted). And that was on the list, so I had to get them.
On the way I pass a kind of dollar store. The kind of store that when you go, you spend many, many dollars. Bastards…
Anyway, I found a few things that I needed (of course!) and when I was going to pay I saw an axe. I couldn’t resist it and I had to get it. I know I’ll swear every time I have to use it, but hey, I needed one, right? And a workout is always good.
Then I went to the line to pay and I realized that I didn’t even go to see the hair clips. So I left the line and went back to look for them promising myself I was ONLY going to get the clips. Of course, I didn’t keep my promise because I found the sugar peanuts that my oldest son was craving for so long and I had to get them.

The new plan is: The branches that are too small for the chainsaw, too big for the shredder and too hard for my weak arms, will go to a decorative art project because I got the lights and I have to use them.

Now the funny thing is, I didn’t want to pay $40 plus shipping to buy the hatchet but if I did, I would have saved a lot of money.

And IT’S FRIDAY, I’M IN LOVE! I heard this song yesterday while I was looking for the thing to burn stuff. I liked the melody. I could only understand when the guy sang: “… so far away from me”.
That’s how I feel almost every day. Everything is far so away from me, specially people.
I was amazed I could find the song since I had never heard it before and I doubted I would remember it later. But I did. And I can relate to every word.
Enjoy Dire Straits,

SO FAR AWAY
(written by Mark Knopfler)

Here I am again in this mean old town
And you’re so far away from me
And where are you when the sun goes down
You’re so far away from me

[Chorus:]
So far away from me
So far i just can’t see
So far away from me
You’re so far away from me

I’m tired of being in love and being all alone
When you’re so far away from me
I’m tired of making out on the telephone
And you’re so far away from me

[Chorus]

I get so tired of having to explain
When you’re so far away from me
See you’ve been in the sun and I’ve been in the rain
And you’re so far away from me

[Chorus]

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•September 22, 2016 • 14 Comments

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Thursday. Yesterday’s birthday celebration was a success. My little one loved having a picnic and didn’t complain about not having a cake or pizza. He had the donuts he asked for and also salami and cucumber sandwiches. I love when they choose something easy.
I wanted to make a surprise for him so I asked my oldest son to take him somewhere while I got everything ready. I said to my 2nd son: “We have only 10 minutes, please hang this bunting on a tree”.
One minute later he came back laughing like crazy. I asked: “What’s so funny?”
“You’ll love what I did”

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He made me laugh.

Then we brought everything to the front yard just in time to see my youngest son’s eyes open really wide because he was super happy to see his surprise.

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I’m happy we got to celebrate his birthday outdoors.

I love autumn. It’s my favorite season and here everything looks amazing. My only complaint is that it could get freaking cold. So it’s like having only 2 weeks of autumn and then several months of winter, until April if we are very lucky.

I just got a letter kind of accusing me of lying about my income. I don’t have an income. I get alimony. So when I had to answer the question about how much did I earn in 2015, I wrote exactly how much money I got.
The letter said: “We assume that the amount you wrote as annual amount, it’s actually what you get per month. So you owe us …… euros”.
I almost fainted. It took me reading the letter several times to understand what they meant.
Then I took the phone and called them.
“Why do you assume that I get so much money per month? I clearly wrote I get that per year”
“But nobody can live with so little money”
“I know, but what can I do? That’s all I get and I can prove it to you”
“Ok then, send us the copies and we’ll correct the mistake”.

I wish they corrected the stress they caused me too.

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•September 21, 2016 • 9 Comments

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Wednesday. Today is the 4th birthday of my youngest son. Also the autumn starts. You can feel it’s getting colder. If you were in Argentina today, you’d be celebrating for sure. Today the spring starts, it’s also Student’s Day and Lover’s Day. I’m not sure if it’s still like that but students had the day off during my school years and everyone used to go to parks and have picnics.

That’s how September 21st looked (looks?) like in my city (Buenos Aires)

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The weather is(was) not always good but that never stopped people from celebrating.
I think I have that, always a good excuse to celebrate anything. The problem is, celebrating alone sucks and my kids are too young to understand how important it’s to celebrate things. They are sure happy when they see cakes and special food or presents but I want them to get the deep meaning of the celebrations. That some days are more special than others and that we celebrate them because we are grateful. I’m sure they’ll get it, eventually.
Maybe if we start celebrating more things, they will.

I think that if the weather is still nice this afternoon, we’ll celebrate the birthday with a picnic. I’m sure my little one will love it. Not very often we see the sun shining and that alone, it’s a reason to celebrate.

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•September 20, 2016 • 8 Comments

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Tuesday. Yesterday I spent the entire afternoon shredding the stupid bushes. I didn’t finish and I’m not even half done. I think that if I work every day this week and it doesn’t rain, I’ll probably be done by Friday. After that, I’ll be sawing the pine trees and other bushes that are also out of control. I don’t really enjoy gardening. Mowing is the nicest thing so far and I don’t even like it.

I was frowning because none of my kids wanted to help me until I realized I wasn’t alone. There was this super cute bird on one of the branches that was staring at me. I was amazed that he (I decided it was a male bird) didn’t fly away when I took the branches that were close to him. Also the noise didn’t seem to bother him at all.

It’s an European robin (Erithacus rubecula). Isn’t he cute?

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I only hope he didn’t make a nest in those bushes because I’d feel awful if I destroy his house.

In the evening I decided to borrow my ex’s car. He offered it several weeks ago but we were fighting pretty bad then so I preferred not to accept it because I was afraid the price to pay was going to be very high. But a few days ago my kids told me that he had a date with a Brazilian woman so I thought: “He should be calm now, I better act”. So I asked him if I could ride with him to his house and take his small car. I also asked if my oldest son could ride back with me because I didn’t dare to come back alone at night. My son was really happy to be with me, specially because we went shopping and I let him get whatever he pleased.
I miss going to some of the supermarkets I used to go when I lived in Holland. There are some things that I only buy in specific places and I could never find an alternative anywhere else so I always have to ask someone to get them for me. Or wait until I have the car and buy them myself.
The thing is, one of the things I needed was some feminine product that I really don’t feel comfortable asking someone else to get for me. So every time I go to that supermarket, I get several packages of the product and the person at the cash register always look at me with a face of: “Poor woman, she must have a really heavy flow”.
After getting my special products, we went to another supermarket and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw my favorite beer.
Last time I drank it, it was probably in 94 or 96 with my German friend Tobi.
I had to get it (them… I didn’t want to ruin the beautiful package and get only one).

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I guess I’ll be celebrating Oktoberfest this year.

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•September 19, 2016 • 14 Comments

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Monday. I don’t like writing when I’m sad. I need it but I hate it. I hate the part in me that gets hopeless and depressed. I hate it because I can’t recognize it, I can’t accept it. I insist, it’s not me.
I already have to deal with my hormones and that’s more than enough. I don’t need sadness or depression. It’s a lot of work to function under those circumstances. So it could be that if in the future I don’t feel ok, I won’t write until I get better. So if 1, 2 or 25 posts are missing, it’s because I’m mourning and I can’t see the glass half full in any way.
I told my friend Aaron over the weekend: “It’s not easy to see the glass always half full. Sometimes, it’s almost impossible. Sometimes I wish I could break the f#$king glass”.
It’s stressing. Depression sucks. When you see every light around you turning off and there is nothing you can do. And still, you have to do it because you have people depending on you. Like when you feel you want to go to bed and cry and your kids start asking what’s for dinner. Or when you are out doing whatever and something triggers a memory that suffocates you and tears start rolling down your cheeks and you try to keep your posture and pretend that something went in your eyes.
Or like I did a few times, I grabbed an onion and chopped it so I could camouflage some sad tears.

I want to feel better automatically. I don’t want to force it. I don’t want the need to keep myself busy so my mind doesn’t go to ugly places. I don’t want to pretend. I don’t want to let anything affect me deeply or for long time. I want to feel fine. I really want to see the glass half full naturally.

Last Saturday I decided to water my plants. I don’t do it very often. While I was doing it, I saw my cactus looking a bit sad. I lifted to see what was wrong with it and I almost cried when I saw it was dying in front of me. Or that was probably dead.

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That’s the third cactus I killed. I couldn’t believe when I killed one, I couldn’t believe it when I did it for a second time and you have no idea how I’m feeling now that I killed the third one.

I’m shaking my head and while I feel awful for killing my cactus, there is this strange feeling in me saying: “You can do the impossible”.