Things Are Puzzling

IMG_0288I try to get Mister Soandso or my family a puzzle every year at Christmas. For some reason, this feels like a good tradition to continue as both he and I grew up in families that completed jigsaw puzzles over the holidays. This year was no different. Christmas morning  Mister Soandso unwrapped his puzzle and then set it aside. Several days later, it made its way to our coffee table and we started working on it.1000 pieces of various types of candy. It seemed like a pretty sweet deal. Me, the kids, and Mister all puzzling away with cups of cocoa and Christmas musical in the background. Continue reading

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A Boy and A Dog

I can’t remember a time in my life that there wasn’t either an actual dog or a dog’s spirit in my life. My first dog slept under the covers with me, paws holding down the covers and head on the pillow. I think my 3 year old self pretended we were siblings. I was “picked” by our family’s sheep dog BA…the least bad ass Pyrenees mix ever to grace a sheep ranch. (He did a great job protecting both me and the sheep tho, softie that he was.)

Even if I’ve never really considered myself to be a “dog person”, they’ve always cast a shadow in my life and in my heart. There is something about that happy soul, so glad to see a person that makes life better. And yes, cats and rats and bunnies and horses and all sorts of animals do the same thing. But for lots of folks, there is just something about having a dog in one’s life that makes things better. Continue reading

When Love Isn’t Enough

On Saturday afternoon I stopped at Safeway and bought two flavors of gelato and then I came home and scrubbed my floor.

I’m a stress-eater and a cathartic cleaner. By the size of my physical self, I have too much stress in my life. By the state of my house, I could use more catharsis.

I realized as I knelt on my floor, scrubbing and buffing my hardwood-esque living room/dining room/kitchen floors, that it was precisely a year ago that I was scrubbing my other house’s floors and needing catharsis over ending that chapter in my life. Continue reading

Getting Lost and Getting Found

On June 1st, my dog died. Then we got a new dog. Then on July 1st she ran away.

Things haven’t been super great here lately.

Before I go on, our new dog is safely home again. But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t still a bit of a wreck about the whole thing. I noticed that I still am looking for her, even though I know she’s safely at home. I suppose a bit of it is just habit, looking for what I had lost. But I think a bit of it is worrying that she will get lost all over again. Continue reading

The Circle Will Round

We are creatures of habit, you and I. I can’t think of a single aspect of my life where my old habits don’t rise up and try to take over. In situations like flossing, that’s a pretty good coping strategy. But a plate of cookies on a stressful day or being sarcastic when angry…not so much.

I have another habit of circular speak. I don’t mean circular logic but something more along the lines of taking a long way around to get to my point. Back when I was teaching, I often would interrupt my lecture to tell students, “Hang in there. The circle will round.” The way my brain works simply isn’t in a short, straight path. Never has, and apparently never will be. Continue reading

Healing Aching Hearts

If you’ve been reading The Ten Minute Missive for very long, then you know we lost our dog on June 1. And, of course, I’m using the euphemism “lost” because even though I don’t like using euphemisms for death, when death is part of life for real and not in a theoretical fashion, I find myself pausing over saying the word. It’s as if his death is a speed bump that yes I can get over, but it slows me down at the oddest moments.

I miss his eyes. How his eyebrows raised when he was wondering why on earth I wasn’t taking him for a walk. Again. And I miss how “old soul” his eyes were. Continue reading

Be Here And Now

This week has been not my favorite. Like really not my favorite.  This week has been filled to bursting with end-of-school-year busyness, the highs of birthday celebrations, and the lows of losing what is precious. Weeks like this wear me out and leave me aching for something I can’t quite grab — like trying to grab hold of the whirlpool in the bathtub drain; you can feel it, but you can’t capture it. I remember my babies, now very much not babies, when they saw the whirlpools in bathtub drains. Usually it was right before they escaped forever, and my babies were sad and wanted me to bring it back. But I couldn’t. Because the moment had slipped away. Continue reading