Misadventures in the Shower: Day 18

Let me take you back in time to 2012. I’m on the island of Maui about to start working my internship. The first day I got there I was allowed to sleep because the travel time and the time change between Ohio and Hawaii definitely screwed me up. Pro tip, if you ever take a visit to a different time zone, make sure you try to coordinate your flights so that if you leave in the morning you arrive at nighttime or vice versa. It takes a lot less toll on the body than leaving at night and arriving at night or leaving in the morning and arriving in the morning.

The first day was just a lot of sleeping. Didn’t even have the energy to shower. It was just one of those shed clothes and bed moments. I woke up and wanted to be clean so I gathered my things together to go take a shower. The shower was this tiny stall with blue tile. No tub, just a standing shower, nothing fancy. I turn the water on and let it run to the temperature I like best; hot. While its doing that, I pee, brush my teeth, wash my face; you know the small things you do before climbing in the shower. Then I climb in and its instant relief. I love showering especially when there’s no time limit on the hot water. So I’m doing my thing, sudsing up and what not and I happened to look up.

Bad idea. Very bad idea.

Instead of keeping my eyes closed and singing and being I happy, I just had to look up. There in the corner was the biggest, hairiest, OMFG, spider. It was staring at me. You know that feeling where you feel like there’s eyes on you? Well that thing probably had like 15 eyes on me! All I kept thinking was please, PLEASE don’t move. I still need to wash my hair so we’ll be in here together at least another 15 minutes! Now that I know he’s there my eyes stay trained on mister like a laser.

For at least the next 5 minutes Mr. Spider doesn’t move. Well all of sudden he decides to move. Oh no! OH NO! DO NOT CRAWL THIS WAY! Of course he starts to crawl down. Then he stops. My heart is beating a mile a minute okay. Now i’m thinking he’s gonna shoot that silk thread out of his butt and just come surfing down and land in my hair or on me in general. What if it bites me?? What if it’s a poisonous spider??? I’m trying to calm myself down because if I make any fast moves I could slip and fall and crack my skull open. Well Mr. Spider did the boot shoot and I lost it. I hauled ass out of the shower so fast! Now I’m soapy and naked and spider has the shower alone. What I did next made me feel slightly guilty later but in the moment I didn’t care. I took that shower head and aimed it at Mr. Spider as much as possible. He got a one way ticket down the drain and I was able to finish my shower in relative peace.

The day before yesterday I had a similar experience in my Ohio shower. The spider wasn’t quite so big but literally it was the same situation where I just happened to look up and there sitting in the corner was a spider. I figured this one was dead until it started moving! I was prepared this time. Yes, I’m naked and vulnerable but you see this shower nozzle is detachable and this is your passport to a watery grave buddy! At least that’s what I told it in my head. This spider was so active! He crawled across the ceiling to the air vent and disappeared. I breathed a sigh a relief that I didn’t have another episode but then when I got out of the shower he came crawling back out. It was like one of those “joke’s on you” moments! The bastard was probably laughing at me with his little spider mouth. I had the last laugh though because I got a chair this time and captured this one. I didn’t wash him down the drain but I did throw him out the window. See? I’m not always a spider murderer.

It Started on a Map: Day 17

It all started with this map. My husband and I are coming on on our 2 year marriage/10 year dating anniversary this summer. This map is a rough navigation we started for ourselves when we were planning our trip to Florence, Italy. It was our first time ever going across the ocean and visiting that side of the world. We were fortunate enough that we had saved enough to be able to pay for our wedding and this trip. I’ll explain the stars on the map and then I’ll share some of the beautiful photos we took while there.

When we were planning were planning the trip, I got it into my head that it would be a great idea if we could find a highly reviewed B&B that was in walking distance to all the sites we wanted to see. After scouring TripAdvisor and Expedia and all the other travel review sites, we ended up getting a really good deal and stayed at Locanda dei Ciompi. It was smack in the middle of everything. Breakfast was served every morning at the cafe two doors down and we had free wifi. The remaining stars on the map: Osteria de’ Peccatori, Il Latini, and Palazzo Tempi were restaurants we discovered that we ended up frequenting throughout our 6 day stay.

In case anyone is curious what kind of camera we used for the trip, we ended up buying a Sony RX100 Mark 2. It’s a really small, compact camera that took really great photos in low lighting. It also had a neat feature where you can hook up your smartphone via NFC and control the camera using the smartphone. Quite handy for those couple selfies people were begging us for back home.

Words cannot describe how beautiful Firenze is. All I can say is if you ever get a chance, you must visit this beautiful city and just soak it in. There is rich history and culture in everything you see and eat. I hope you all enjoy the photos and if you ever find yourself in Italy, definitely check out Florence. It may not be the most romantic city in the world but it was the best honeymoon we ever dreamed of.

 

 

Dense

Overdose

Chemical drugs are not and have not ever really been a part of my life. (Thankfully.) At one point we found out that my brother was smoking marijuana, and that was enough to send the entire family into orbit. Although I disagree with using marijuana, at least it is plant based. I’ve argued time and time again that is the the “starter drug” or the beginning of something more. That’s the bridge between cigarettes and anything “harder”.

Recently, my friend who was thinking of divorce, found out that the girl her husband was “talking to” overdosed. Whether it was because of him or something bigger, it still happened. She was taking prescription pills. I’ll be the first to say that I have an extra bottle of similar pain killers in my home. (I’ve had three knees surgeries and a few skin cancer surgeries.) However, I do not take these recreationally, and they’re locked in a safe.  That was the first time that something like this hit me as being “in my backyard”.

From my small hometown, to big cities, and everything in between drug use is an epidemic. I just wonder why…?! What’s the point? It’s dangerous and expensive. I can’t see how or why people would put such harmful things into their bodies on purpose. Half of the time the more exclusive or “expensive” drugs are cut with other products to make them more affordable. How insane is that?

Last night, while eating dinner, I was on the phone with a co-worker about a work related problem, and my boyfriend was watching a video on Facebook. A girl living about 30 minutes from us took a video and shared it to her Facebook – and it spread life wildfire. In a matter of hours the video had thousands of views and comments. After finishing my call I also watched…and I’ve never seen anything like it before in my life.

We’ve all seen the show Cops or other pictures on the news of someone who has overdosed. I’ve never actually witnessed someone during the stages of an overdose taking affect. In the video, an older gentleman was stopped at a red light, and never moved again. A girl walking down the street thought it was odd and went to go check on him. At first his head was rolled back and his eyes were open. He was breathing but was not responsive. Throughout the three minute video she shook him, screamed to get his attention (obviously called 911), and eventually held him upright as he fell. His eyes eventually rolled back in his head and he was completely out. His skin was grayish and his eyes were huge with dark circles under them. I’d never seen someone look that way.

The more I watched the more I realized that this woman could very well be the last person to see this man before his death. Bless her for being a good citizen and her doing her part, regardless of the outcome. Various times through the video she screamed that he had “track marks” but she couldn’t find needles in the van. Many drugs are suppressants and work to slow your heart and body down. This man probably did the drugs before leaving and then they just began to set in during his drive. Lots of comments flooded the video as people watched. They ranged from blessings for he and his family to curses because of his stupidity.

While I do feel badly for him and his struggle with this issue – the fact still remains: he could have and likely would have killed himself and/or someone else had this happened while he was in motion. What is the probability that he will get clean if he survives? What is the probability that he is paying for his medical attention and then the counseling he will receive? …the sad reality is, I’m betting that it’s us who pay from beginning to end. The hardworking people who get up early rushing off to work…and those same people staying up late with their children working on school projects.

I couldn’t eat after watching the video because of the sadness of his situation, the problems he has caused himself, and the potential harm he could have done to others. People assume that when they make decisions to do drugs or drink excessively that they are only impacting themselves. That couldn’t be any further from the truth.

They Can Keep It: Day 16

I was perusing Facebook last night when I came across a video by Tech Insider describing the ocean depths. Having only been near an ocean a handful of times in my life, the video was quite intriguing:

I didn’t realize, or likely didn’t really think about, the ocean being this deep. I knew the Titanic was down there and I knew about a couple of the fish species like the fangtooth and dumbo octopus. I did not know if you tipped Mt. Everest upside down it still wouldn’t reach 35,700 ft marker. Holy cow! At the end of the video they’ve estimated that humans have explored only about 5-10% of the the Earth’s oceans. That’s a literal drop in a ginormous bucket. They’ve also estimated that there are at least 10,000 species of sea and plant life yet to be discovered.

A few years back I had the privilege of getting to spend 7 months on the island of Maui for internship purposes. I am absolutely, positively in LOVE with sea turtles. It stemmed for having my pet painted turtle and just grew. I think they are the coolest creatures. When I went to Hawaii, that was essentially my first time near an ocean let alone going into one. Let it also be known, I can’t swim. I’m fairly certain I’d sink. But I was in Hawaii! I had to go in the ocean. Was I afraid? Hell yes. The waters were clear though so it made it a little easier to face that particular fear. Once I got my “sea legs”, which basically meant being strapped to every flotation device possible, I conquered the ocean! Now it was a true conquer, I’ll admit, because if I freaked out my feet could still touch the bottom but then I got it into my head that I wanted to see a sea turtle. In order to do this, I would have to swim (float) further out. So again, I had my boogie board, my flipper fins, my floaty noodle and strapped myself to another human being who could swim like a fish and we went further out.

I wasn’t ready. You see there’s a certain point in the ocean you come to, past the the beautiful coral shelf, where land just drops away. Like literally drops and you see nothing but dark waters. That is SO scary if you don’t know it’s coming. So we’re swimming along and the ocean floor is just gone. Like what just happened! Where did the floor go! We need to go back! And then you look back and just see this massive wall and literally wondering how is this physically possible! Before I could completely lose my mind, a sea turtle came swimming past in those darker waters. I got SO excited! It was so beautiful! I couldn’t help but think that I was that uninvited guest invading this beautiful animal’s territory. So I took in the moment, committed it to memory and then I was done and wanted to go back to where there was sand under my feet.

Human discovery is great. It often leads to great technological advances or cures for diseases. I can’t help but think though that some things should just be left to nature. The deep depths of the ocean and the 10,000 species down there probably don’t want to be bothered. I don’t need to know what dwells that deep. We can let them be.

What do you think?

Fortune Favors… Day 15

I’ve scoured my phone looking for fortune cookie fortunes I saved. I only found two…. which is odd considering the amount of Asian food I eat. I usually try to take a picture of the awe inspiring quotes that are supposed to solve world peace. Ever notice that whenever you read those fortunes they always, somehow relate to your life in some way? That maybe that’s what you needed to read in that exact moment? Like this little piece of paper is the elixir to solving all your problems!

Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t but it’s always a bit of fun and gives me an excuse to eat more Asian cuisine.

 

Love in Shades of Purple: Day 14

I woke up this morning doing what I normally do; make a smoothie, get dressed, pack a lunch and go to work.

I checked my WordPress feed to see what the daily word prompt word would be and surprise, surprise it’s my favorite color! I looked around to notice that I’m wearing a purple shirt, my smoothie as a healthy gross looking purple color, I’m texting M and her person option color is purple and my office has mini bags of purple skittles in a bowl for people to enjoy.

That got me thinking. You know how most people associate the color of love with pink? I’ve always seen shades of purple. The first time my husband graced me with flowers he automatically assumed I preferred roses. I think roses are pretty, sure but I have always been a Gerber daisy kind of girl. Every time I see one I have to take a picture of it. If they were native to my area, they would be all over my yard.

Back when I was getting married, we had to decide between real and fake flowers. Real flowers are great because you can throw them back to nature once you’re finished and they’ll biodegrade naturally. Fake flowers don’t have that option but you can keep them forever and look back on your wedding day. I ended up going with fake flowers because of the second reason. My bouquet wasn’t purple (unfortunately) but it was still beautiful none the less and I got to have the girls have Gerber daisy bouquets. They matched well. My husband was against purple in our wedding. Like adamantly did not want it; wouldn’t even try on a purple vest. Our colors ended up being emerald, which is my birthstone and second favorite color and slate.

Howeverwp-1490617892904.jpg, I’m a woman and I try to have my way in some capacity. I wanted flowers to go down the aisle. I scoured craft stores for petals that would match our color scheme. They were all either too bright or too dark. It was quite frustrating. So then we started thinking if we can’t have loose flowers maybe we can find big flower buds and cut off the stems so that they can rest on the ground. Well that was difficult too. The next best place to get ideas was YouTube; searching for terms like fake flower ideas for weddings and subjects of that nature. We came across tutorials on how to make paper flowers and my friend, who is super artistically inclined, tried to make a few of them using construction paper. The end result was my dream come true! The flower in the picture is the example flower but I was so happy with it that we made it happen. I didn’t get to have purple in the aisle flowers but we did have raspberry filling in one of the tiers of our cake so a girl will take what she can get considering that was and still is the happiest day of her life.

Now, two years later, it’s not *as* hard to convince the man to get purple things. The purple curtains are a no go but the purple sheets are fine. Purple wildflowers are also okay in my yard landscaping plans. I hope to slowly but surely convince him of letting me paint at least one wall in the house purple… we’ll see what happens.

You’ve Gotta Watch This!

My co-author and I have spent many days, nights, and weekends fighting our way through Downton Abbey. I originally began watching it years ago when it first aired on PBS. (I didn’t have cable at the time – and still rarely watch anything besides sports.) When I met Chanel she opened my eyes to the wonderful world of books and TV shows. I’ve always loved to read but was told, at times, that it was a “waste unless you were bettering yourself”. Now, I argue you can learn something from almost each one you pick up!

A few months ago I was doing dishes waiting for my boyfriend to get home and opened my computer. I realized that we had Amazon Prime when my Netflix subscription ran out. …and Downton was the first thing that popped up on the watch list. Knowing I had gotten way behind on the original airing I rewatched from the beginning. Chanel did the same.

Originally, I was interested because of the historical content. (I also just watched my dog eating from a flower pot outside. How nice.) The more episodes I saw the more in depth each relationship and side story became. I was completely and totally enthralled with the idea of living as an English monarch and what troubles came with that title.

I finished the last episode a few weeks ago and I still haven’t quite…recovered. I think that’s probably the appropriate word. My life was filled with the wonder and elegance from Downton for months and now I’m watching Curb Your Enthusiasm to help cope.

I think my most favorite character from the show is probably Aunt Violet, The Dowager Countess. She’s famous for one liners that can shut you down or make you sing – and I absolutely adore her. I think, to some degree, everyone can agree with her on this…

 “Principles are like prayers: noble, of course, but awkward at a party.”  

If you’re looking for something new to watch this is an awesome show. Give it a few episodes before you make your own decision – but it’s something I’d watch again from start to finish. If you do pick it up, or have watched it, let us know your thoughts and favorite characters/episodes. We’d love to hear them! 🙂

I’m not a writer, I’m a reader: Day 12

I’m right behind my co author today in talking about tough situations. In this politically charged world we live in, there are certain topics people just don’t want to talk about. Today I’m going to briefly touch upon one of those topics and my personal feelings. As a disclaimer, I don’t mean to make anyone upset but if I do, I’m sorry in advanced.

A mutual friend of my co-author and I is adopted. She’s a black child adopted by white parents. When we became closer she told me her story. She told me she wasn’t almost adopted because the system did not think white parents could raise a black child and that the only reason they ended up being approved is because they knew a friend of a friend in the system. It broke my heart.

Another coworker of mine, 4 years married, met her husband after getting a divorce from a physically abusive relationship. She has two children and they were the reason she wouldn’t leave the marriage. It took her child calling the cops and telling them he was afraid to come home to his dead mom one day for the divorce to finally happen. Now with her new husband, the subject of children came up. She decided she didn’t want to have children at her age because of the risks so they decided to adopt. They filled out the papers and got real excited, especially the husband. In the end, they would not approve him to adopt because he had gotten 3 divorces prior even though he was financially stable and has been taking care of his wife’s children as his own. She told me he was devastated.

My husband has been in the foster care system as a child. He was in the system for about 7 years. He’s told me good stories but he’s also told me bad stories. Ultimately he feels he didn’t have a healthy childhood and hopes that if we ever have children he can give his child what he didn’t have.

I looked up a sample adoption form to see what it entails. It seems pretty straightforward. They want to know you age, gender, schooling history, marriage history, criminal history and annual salary. One of the sad things on there is that you have to choose an ethnicity to adopt. You can’t just have no preference. It shouldn’t matter in my opinion considering the thousands of children waiting to be adopted. 

I understand why the vetting process is high for something of this nature. You don’t want to place a child in a broken home. They already think their life is meaningless because they’re biological parents didn’t want them. But for people who are willing to open their hearts and their arms for a child, how much should ethnicity or your personal divorce rate really matter? 

I want to touch on abortion. The reason I want to touch upon this subject because people who are thinking about it are often told that they should put their child up for adoption because it’s the better route to take. Now I think that’s very noble but sometimes I think how noble is it really? Not saying all adoption systems are bad because that would be an ignorant thing to say but if I was in that boat, and I wasn’t instantly adopting my child out to a relative, I would seriously question if that’s the best option. I’m sure it’s hard enough that the mother can’t or doesn’t want the child in the first place and then have to make that decision? It’s rough.

To end on a happier note, when I checked my Facebook this morning I saw an uplifting video of a man who immigrated from Libya after losing his wife who fostors terminal children. A lot of times people do not want to take on that burden of their care. He decided he didn’t care about things like that and he wanted to make sure that these children were loved to the end. Simply amazing.

My Bestfriend’s Husband

Life has been a little crazy for me lately. One friend told me she’s getting a divorce (yay!), we went to a funeral, and another friend just told me she thinks her husband’s cheating. Here’s the thing: he wasn’t…and she has. I’m her BFF, was her MOH, have spent more nights out partying with her than I care to admit, and I told her she should’ ve never gotten married.

…what the hell do I do?

I talk to this chick everyday on the phone while we drive to work. I cried on her shoulder during my divorce. We go to dinners as couples and are contemplating a vacation for the four of us. Now this.

Let me give you the back shory…her husband’s family owns a bakery -so he, his brother, dad, uncle, and mom all work together, aside from a handful of high schoolers who help out. His brother is currently married and has been for a good three years – to a girl they hired to work at the bakery. My friend and her husband got married at the courthouse so they could get a special loan on their home. They didn’t tell anyone they were married, not even their parents…well…I knew, of course. A year and a half later they had the “real” deal.

My friend has had flings with people from Craigslist, dishwashers at bars we went to, family friends, and even her husband’s relative. I’ve known about them all (or so I think). Her husband doesn’t know about any of this, so we think. My boyfriend is appalled and so are many of my friends. I just don’t know what to do at this point. I stood beside her at her wedding, for God’s sake.

The high school students are generally women. On several occasions my friend has told me that they text, call, and Snapchat her husband. At no point in time was she overly upset or worried by this until this last time. Tuesday my friend calls saying that her husband’s brother was found in the bathtub with one of the girls. …his wife went home early from work because she was sick. Long story short, they have been in this relationship for 6 months, the young girl tried to commit suicide over this man, and now he and his wife are “working it out”.

My friend’s husband was “friends” with the same girl. He was completely shocked when they told everyone the news. So, he’s been calling and texting her every day – even bought her flowers for Valentine’s Day, and she’s sleeping with his brother. When my friend found all this out she was irate. She left the house and wouldn’t tell him where she went. He called us crying (he’s never spoken to us on the phone before) begging her to go back home and talk to him. He swears he’s never even touched the girl but my friend is convinced otherwise.

Now my friend is saying her trust is completely broken and their relationship will never be the same. I told them that they should try counseling. (Been there, done that, and would do it again.) My problem is this: her husband has been completely open, honest, respectful, and apologetic about his inappropriate relationship with his associate. However, his wife, my friend, has not been honest with him. She has blown this out of proportion by lying, getting unnecessary people involved, and by stretching the situation to it’s maximum capacity.

While on the phone with her husband I was inches from telling him the truth about her past several times. He seemed so hurt, confused, and alone. I wanted him to know that he’s not the only one who has made mistakes and that we all learn and grow from our choices. On the other hand, I didn’t want to rock the boat anymore than it already was. My boyfriend tells me not to get anymore involved than I already am – basically don’t stick my nose where it doesn’t belong. My co-author tells me I should for sure say something. I care for them both and don’t want to see them get divorced about something silly or the past but damn.

What’s a girl to do? What would you guys do in my situation? Has anyone ever been in this situation that can provide feedback? Anything is appreciated as I try to be a good friend to them both.