Thursday, July 17, 2014


I have naturally curly hair.  I wasn't born with it.  When I was little, I had hair as straight as anyone else's.  And then, back in the 80s when perms were all the rage, I jumped on that particular bandwagon and had the Annie hairstyle (I haven't burned the pictures yet).  As the weeks and months passed, the curls just never went away.  Now, 30 years later, I still have that same perm.

Since I didn't inherit my curls via DNA, nobody in my family knew how to handle my ... hair.  For decades, I struggled with how to manage the unruly mess of corkscrews, soft curls, and waves which fell as they wanted.  Hundreds of dollars were spent on products with the hope that something would make my tangles turn into something that was remotely un-horrible.

Along the way, I learned some important lessons: Don't wash your hair more than once every other day (curly hair is naturally dry, and washing it only aggravates the problem).  Just because a product didn't work as you expected, don't give up on it.  Try more or less, try wet or dry.  And for the love of all that is good and holy DON'T brush your hair when it's dry.  Combine this with washing your hair every other day, and you're looking at brushing your hair once every other day.  I've come to terms with this, and I don't brush my hair anymore.  On the mornings when I wash my hair, I slide a comb through my wet mop just to get the few knots out and that's it.

Last night, my boyfriend said he wanted to brush my hair.  The terror instantly filled me.  "NO-O-O-O-O!" I wanted to scream in the primal way of a bad actress in a B-Horror flick.  "I don't brush my hair," I replied to him as calmly as I could muster amidst the fear running through my veins. 

"Please?" he simply requested.

How could I refuse that?  "I think I have a brush," I lamely said as I walked to the bathroom.  Ratting through the drawer which housed unused items like that hair removal system I bought at the Christmas festival four years back and the tub of lotion my mother bought but never used so she gave to me, I found my brush which had antiquated lint and ancient strands of hair woven through the thick plastic bristles.  With visions of a thoroughly tugged scalp (I had driven with my car windows down all day) and of hair too wide to make it through the door, I walked the paddle brush down the hall into my impending doom.

In a very intimate way, he instructed me to sit with my back to him on the bed, his legs nestling beside mine.  I worked really hard to not let my body language reflect the trepidation I was experiencing.  Nobody had brushed my dry hair since I was a small girl.  No man had ever brushed my hair.  I didn't know how to react to what was about to happen.

Carefully, lovingly, he took the first stroke. When he reached the first tangle, he removed the brush instead of ripping through it as my mother had done when I was young.  With time, patience, and tenderness, he worked his way through all of the knots, leaving a silky smooth feel as he lowered the brush over and over down the length of my hair.

As he did so, I found myself in a blissful, other-worldly state.  I understood what cats feel like as they purr.  The sheer physical pleasure I took from that small action was comparable to a really good massage.  This man, who loves me, was spoiling me in a way no man had ever done, and it was exquisite!

Was it because I allowed it?  Was it because I trust him?  Was it because he enjoys sharing intimate moments with me?  Was it because he wanted to spoil me?

Whatever the reason, I hope it happens again.

I was careful to not look in a mirror after the experience.  That would have just ruined it for me!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Last First Kiss

Every girl wants that first kiss to be magical.  The moon is full, the stars are aligned, and Prince Charming is standing in front of you.  A light breeze blows your hair softly back from your face as he reaches up to hold your cheek lovingly in his hand.  His lips touch yours - just a touch - before he pulls back to look into your eyes.  Seeing the stars within, he closes his eyes and dips his head again to press his lips with slightly more pressure against yours, your body being drawn to his magnetically.  When he pulls back, being the gentleman that he is, he smiles tenderly at you and gently says, "Good night."  He waits on the stoop as you unlock your front door and let yourself in, waving slowly to you before you close the door.  The wings on your feet carry you upstairs to your bed where you know you will dream about that life-changing kiss.

Unfortunately, the reality is nothing like the fantasy.  Most men aren't Prince Charming.  Heck, most men aren't even Duke Tolerable.  They are fumbling, bumbling idiots.  Romantic gestures and tender moments are lost on them.

Some will just rush in and try to force a kiss on you, whether you want them to or not.  With one of my dates, I just kept backing up until I was pinned against my car door.  I had hoped he would take the hint that I didn't want him to kiss me. 

Some men will try to kiss you at the wrong time.  I had one date who tried to kiss me 10 minutes after meeting him.  He wanted to kick the tires, so to speak, and see if there was any reason to continue.  After 10 minutes, it's just not there for me, so it won't be in my kiss, y'know? 

There are men who will ask if you want them to kiss you.  Mood killer, anyone?

And then there are the men who are such pansies that they won't even kiss you at all.  I went out with one guy who asked beforehand (online) if he could kiss me on our date.  I told him I would probably like that (we had great rapport online).  When the date ended and it came time - nothing!

And then I had my last first kiss.  I still get a bit emotional, just thinking about it.  We met online and hit it off right away.  Since he was so amazing (and interested in me) I was sure he was a scammer.  I just knew he was going to cancel on me.  When he actually showed up, I was quite surprised!  And it only got better from there.

We played mini-golf, having a fabulous time through the entire course.  When we arrived at the 18th hole, he asked if I was ready to call it a night or if I wanted to play another round.  Since I was enjoying his company so much, I agreed to another round.  After completing the course again, we found that neither of us wanted the evening to end, so we agreed to dinner.  Dinner was spectacular, and the food was pretty good, too.  Still not ready to part at the end of the meal, we went to the nearby chocolate shop for some truffles and hot cocoa.  When we finally looked away from each other for a moment, we realized that the young women behind the counter were trying to close up for the night, so we quickly left, thanking them for being patient with us.

We had parked side by side in the mall parking garage, so we walked back to our vehicles together.  I stood at the end of my silver-blue sedan while he leaned against the end of his white Jeep, the conversation still working it's magic between us. 

Amidst the chatter, my inner monologue was going crazy.  Is he going to kiss me?  Is he not?  I really want him to kiss me.  Do I tell him?  Is he going to?  He's so amazing - I've never wanted a man to kiss me this badly before.  Should I walk over there to make it easier for him?

As if he had read my thoughts, he strode toward me, silently, purposefully.  The masculinity with which he had approached me was exciting and sexy.  A small electric thrill raced up my spine, knowing that he was going to kiss me.  When he reached me, he slowed, giving me time to tip my head to allow him to reach down to touch my lips with his own.  The contact brought a mixture of relief and excitement.  He was gentle and romantic, slow and sweet.

To my utter horror and complete elation, he stepped back after three innocent kisses, saying that he wanted to stop there before we reached a point where we couldn't stop.  By doing so, he let me know that he did want more from me (which was flattering) but that he didn't want to rush things (which proved to me that he's the kind of man I want).

This was a few weeks ago.  Since then, we've shared a number of kisses.  In fact, we're planning on spending the rest of our lives together.  I am exquisitely pleased that I will forever have the memory of that moment as my last first kiss.

Saturday, April 26, 2014


I love being single.  Almost everything about it brings peace and joy to my world.  Not only can I stretch out in bed, but I don’t have to worry about any nocturnal sound which may emit from my body as I sleep.  I can use the entire closet and both dressers.  I can come and go as I please without worrying about anyone else’s wishes.  And I’ve finally learned how to enjoy dating.  Yes, being single is an amazing way to live.

And yet, I do miss parts of being in a relationship.

When he yearns for me so much that he interrupts our walk downtown to press me against the rough outside wall of a building to surprise me with an eager kiss.  Having him find me in the kitchen to greet me after a long day, whispering urgently in my ear, “I thought of you today,” and feeling exactly how much he wanted me, the preparation of dinner interrupted for a while.  Feeling skilled hands slide up and down me in the shower, our bodies wet and hungry.

Waking to find a strong arm wrapped around my waist, his long, naked body curved against mine.  Snuggling on the couch to watch some horrible move, laughing at it together.  Holding hands as we walk through the fair.  Sneaking kisses in the condiments aisle at the grocery store.  Sitting in his lap, wrapping my arms around his neck, and crying on his shoulder when I found out a loved one has died.

Sharing our troubles in the quiet of our room as the evening grows late and our eyes grow tired.  
Discussing our dreams and goals while on a Sunday drive to the mountain.  Enjoying private jokes that mean so much to us and nothing to anyone else.  Rejoicing in each other’s victories, and supporting and encouraging each other through our defeats.

Knowing he is always there for me.  Having someone I can count on.  Being loved by someone.

I have never experienced any of these things, yet I somehow miss them.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Rainy Morning

It wakes me from a deep sleep - rain tapping its fingers insistently against my window and the outside wall of my house.  It's not unexpected - I live in the Seattle area.  Rain is nothing new to us.  Actually, growing up in this area, it is a soothing sound to me.  There are rainless nights when I set my sound machine onto the Rain setting.  The sound of the steady drops on a roof added to the methodical drip, drip, drip from a over-stuffed gutter lulls me to sleep.

When I wake, the rain is still drumming on the house, making me thankful for a quiet day to myself.  Grey light fights it's way through my closed blinds, letting me know the sun has risen, but won't be seen on this day.  Passing the thermostat, I turn on the heat and make my way to the shower, letting the warmth of it fill me through and through.  After drying, I shrug on my fluffy, pink robe and slide into my slippers before going to the kitchen.  I set the tea kettle on the stove and turn the burner on high.  Beyond the rain-spattered window, the sodden trees in my neighbors' yard hang heavy, spraying their heavy load each time they are flung about by the invisible hand of the storm.  Puddles form in the gravel area in front of my house and the grass eagerly soaks up the moisture, looking greener and thicker already.

The kettle whistles, bringing me back to the moment.  After pouring the steaming water over my self-filled tea bag, it steeps as I go to the living room and ignite the tinder which sat, patiently waiting in my fireplace.  After setting a couple of logs on top, I watch the dry wood catch and hear the crackle of flames which dance before my eyes.  Remembering that I had forgotten to open the flu, I do so quickly before stepping back to make sure the fire was going well enough for me to set the screen in place and walk away.  Going to my bedroom, I grab the book which slept on my nightstand, along with my favorite cozy blanket.  After setting them on the couch, I return the to kitchen for my aromatic chai tea.  I stir in two sugar cubes and a pre-portioned miniature cup of French Vanilla creamer.  Settling into the couch with my tea, my fire, my blanket, and my book I'm ready for an ideal morning.

Oh wait.  I'm sitting at work, waiting for another boring day.

See - this is why I need to write.  I need to be able to support myself with my writing so I can have the mornings of my choosing instead of rushing around to get ready and dodging puddles to make it into the office.  Later, I'll have to find my way through a massive puddle to fetch the mail.  I really need to get busy with my manuscript!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Despite the fact that it was a first date, I found myself amazingly calm.  Maybe I've had enough first dates that they are no longer terrifying for me.  Maybe I've had enough first dates that have lead nowhere that I no longer feel any pressure on a first date.  Maybe there was something about him which calmed me.  Whatever it was, it was nice.

We stood by the lake's edge, allowing the dogs to play and wrestle, in and out of the water.  They chased the water fowl, growled, ran after and nipped at one another, sometimes almost taking me down in their battles.  It was fun to watch them interact with each other.  I did find myself stepping back so I wouldn't get sprayed with frigid droplets when they emerged from the lake, shaking themselves free of the majority of water from their coats.

Talking with him was easy.  He talked a little too much, which seemed to be more from nerves than from anything else.  We talked so long, a park employee hunted us down to let us know we needed to exit the park so he could lock the gate.  We quickly agreed that we weren't ready to call an end to our date, so we agreed to meet at the nearby dog park.

Upon arriving, he clipped the leashes back onto all of the dogs, giving me the handle end of Chloe's leash.  Together, we dodged puddles and sodden ground from all of the recent rains.  Luckily, I had worn heavy boots and two pairs of socks, so my feet were still dry, despite stepping on ground which felt more like a giant soaked sponge than dirt.  The uneven ground was difficult to navigate, but we made our way, the dogs dragging us along as fast as we would let them.

Nodding at other dog owners as we trudged along, we continued chatting, enjoying each other's company.  Finally, we made our way up a hill where the ground wasn't as saturated, which made the walking easier.  Allowing the dogs to pull us a little faster, it happened.  I felt my foot step in an unseen hole, my ankle strong enough to balance me.  I heard a pop and found myself quickly falling toward the wet earth beneath me.  I tried to find a way to catch myself, but was on all fours before I was able to do anything about it.  Somehow, I had managed to keep enough of my mental faculties to still hold on to the leash.

Like a gentleman, he offered his hand out to help me up.  Remembering it was our first date and that I night not want physical contact quite yet, he withdrew it slightly.  I held my hand out to him to allow him to help me up.  I stood for a moment, terrified to put any weight on it.  When I finally did, I found that it was sore, but I was able to support myself on it.  Sadly, my clumsiness put an end to our date.  We headed back to our cars to say goodnight.

To my surprise, that didn't seem to turn him off.  We chatted into the evening, which was nice.  As I sat with my foot elevated and my ankle iced, we got to know each other via electronic chat.

At bedtime, I hobbled back to my room and quickly fell asleep.  I woke in the middle of the night and found that my ankle was much, much worse.  As I tentatively stepped on it, the pain seared through my ankle and foot, letting me know that I wouldn't be able to make it to the bathroom on my own.  Using any nearby furniture and the walls, I very slowly, very painfully worked my way to the bathroom.  I was relieved that my son was with his father because each step made me cry out in pain and/or curse.  On my way back to bed, I took a couple of Advil and was able to go back to sleep.

Thank heavens, it's much better today.  It still looks like I shoved an orange into my ankle, and walking hurts, but the wrap I found in the health and beauty cupboard is helping, as is the 2nd dose of Advil.  I hope my boss can magically pull a cane or crutches out of the depths of her garage for me to borrow.

I just feel like I can't do anything now.  Can't go shopping, can't go to my writer's group, can't go for a hike this weekend.  :(  I feel like, other than going to work, I'm house ridden and I really don't like that feeling.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Critique Group

I'm painfully shy.  Painfully!  I don't like that about myself, so I've been trying to force myself to get out of my comfort zone.  My hope is that by doing these things, I might overcome my shyness.

I go to a monthly thing with women.  It's a guided-meditation-Girls'-Night-Out thing.  It's been great, but the women who go vary from month to month, so I still feel shy each time I go.  Plus, they are in the habit of talking over each other, and I was taught to wait until there's a break in the conversation, so my voice is rarely heard, even if I do have something I want to say.  I still go because I think it's a good exercise for me.

I started going to a writers' group back in November (a NaNoWriMo kick-off party).  I've gone twice since then, but there have only been two of us, so I'm not sure how much good it's doing me.

Today, I went to a writer's critique group.  Not knowing what to expect, I went, hoping for the best. 

OH MY GOODNESS!  IT WAS AMAZING!  I felt shy, but not as much as I normally do.  More than anything, I felt unprepared, but since this was my first critique group, they understood (I'll do better next time!)

The part that was amazing was the fact that I was sitting around a table with authors, having intelligent conversations about writing, and we all share the same goal of working toward being published.  I think it was the most stimulating thing I've ever done.  I've always been afraid of doing something like this because I was afraid I couldn't keep up.  Or I'd sound like an idiot.  Or... any number of other fears. 

This wasn't like that at all!  I felt like I was on-par with them.  Like they appreciated my input and like they will be able to give me some really good feedback for my manuscript.  I feel like I found a group that will be a really good fit for me.  YAY!!!!!

I'm kinda sad that we're not meeting for another two weeks, but I'm sure I'll survive.  I'm kind of on a high right now.  They have runner's highs - do they have writer's highs?  This is exactly what I've been looking for.  I'm so glad I found them!

Thursday, February 6, 2014


It's cold outside.  No, it's stinkin' cold outside.  I don't deal well with the cold.  I lived in North Dakota for 4 years and Eastern Washington for 7 years, yet I'm still not a fan of the cold.

I'm the first to wake up in my household.  We turn out heater off when we go to bed, our house being so old and drafty that it would run all night if we even turned it down, instead of turning it off.  So, the house is freezing when I wake up.  Quickly, I run to the thermostat before jumping back into bed to give it a few minutes to remove the arctic chill from my home.

When I walk outside, the crisp air reminds me to zip up my coat and dig my gloves out of my pockets, a chill working it's way into my core.  A few steps further and I regret not grabbing a scarf, my face suddenly devoid of all heat.  The cold seeps into me, making everything seem more difficult, less fun. 

I find myself rushing around when I'm outside so I can get into a heated shelter quickly, which makes me sad.  I am one to stop and enjoy the scenery.  I actually occasionally stop and smell the roses, or whatever other flower is nearby and making a nice fragrance.  When it's slightly cold, I enjoy looking at the mountain and admiring the snow-covered beauty of it.  When it's not frigid outside, I enjoy going for walks and appreciating the nippy air.  The stars have even caught my attention from time to time, getting me to stop and admire their celestial beauty.  This blood-chilling, frost-bite inducing cold just takes all of the fun out of winter.

When I arrive at work, regret that I work there fills me.  Heaven forbid my boss should turn the heat on above 65 degrees.  The small space heater at my feet does little to warm me.  I dress in layers.  Lots and lots of layers.  This can be challenging, though, because I have a certain dress code, and I don't think my boss would appreciate my long johns peeking out of my shirt top or my super warm, cozy sweats making an appearance.

The only thing that seems to help warm me at work is my daily cup of tea.  Wrapping my hands around the hot cup, I let the hot porcelain almost burn my skin before I bend my fingers so the cup can heat the back of my fingers, as well.  Being the wimp I am, I have to wait until the tea cools slightly so I don't burn my mouth when I drink it.  When I finally take a sip, I can feel the liquid warmth slide into my system, heating me from the inside, finally cutting the chill.

However, the cold does make me appreciate warmth all that much more.  When I finally arrive home, the first thing I do is turn up my thermostat.  It has been off all day, allowing the cold to leak into my drafty home, filling it with its almost painful bite.  As I hear the heater click on, I brave the cold and strip out of my work clothes so I can jump into my warmer clothes, shivers wracking my body as my skin is bared to the cold.  Luckily, I produce a lot of heat, so I quickly warm my layers and layers of super warm clothes.  By the time my fluffy socks are on, I am almost on my way to being warm.

Of course, one of my favorite ways to warm myself is in the shower.  I do have to make it past the seconds between when I strip and when the warm water hits me, but it's worth it.  Turning the water as hot as I can bear, I pivot to and fro, letting the steamy water warm all of my parts.  I make sure the shower curtain is sealed all around, trapping the warm mist in with me.  It is usually with great regret that I step out of the shower, which has warmed the bathroom to a tolerable temperature.

My newest way to warm up is my electric blanket.  I turn it on half an hour before I climb into bed so the warm can envelop my frozen toes.  I also have 8 blankets on top of my bed, the layers and weight trapping the heat in with me.  Finally warm, after hours and hours of fighting the cold, I drift off to a peaceful, relaxing slumber.