Missing In Action…Of Cats And Men

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I’ve definitely been ‘Missing In Action’ for a bit, and for that I apologize. This is a particularly difficult time of year for me to start with, made harder by the fact that I’m going through some unhappy things in my daily life, and to add insult to injury, I am coming down with something. The severe temperature drop after the second round of snow hit me like a ton of bricks, and we’re about to get more snow. I was so completely out of it for a while, and I’m slowly trying to get myself back to a place of not wanting to sleep 18 hours a day. Top that off with the fact that I am showing signs of severe allergy to my kitten (Shh,. don’t tell her, she’d be heartbroken.)! The allergic reaction is slowly starting to heal, and I am praying that’s ALL it was, though I strongly suspect she was not fully treated for something at the shelter and I caught it. Lucky me! Who knew how many weird things could be passed from cat to human?! Normally I’m the one calling my vet to make sure I can’t accidentally give the cat whatever I happen to have. Setting aside the fact that I suffer from migraines and Fibromyalgia, I am actually pretty healthy, but every once in a while something weird rears its ugly head and knocks me out for a while. I have wanted to do nothing, but sleep and rest my pained body this week.

On an entertaining note, I get a phone call at 4:30 this morning from an, as yet, unidentified male in my life. I want to sell him on Ebay at this point, especially after this morning’s antics.

I have been utterly hounded by this person for the past three and a half days over what they should or should not wear to a job interview. How many times can one try on a suit for me with different shirts after I have repeatedly said “Solid white or cream colored shirt. Solid colored tie.” That’s the most simple, direct instruction in the world, right? With a black pinstripe suit, too many additional lines is overkill, yes?

At exactly 10:45 this morning, while I was sleeping no less, a striped white shirt and striped tie were unceremoniously shoved in my face with the question “These are good, right?” Why the fuck did you ask me AT ALL if you were just going to do what you usually do, which is NOT LISTEN?! I responded by saying, not in my most polite of tones, “I said to get a plain shirt and a solid colored tie. I said it repeatedly. What part of that did you not understand? By the way, I am SLEEPING. I will deal with you later.” I might have even said “Get the fuck out of my face right now.”, which is about as kind as I can be when you’re disrupting my sleep with nonsense that could have waited until I was my normal, functioning self. I admit, my “normal, functioning self” isn’t the textbook version of “normal”, but hey, he knows me well enough to know NOT to pull these stunts.

Men, I am going to give you severely important advice right now, so listen closely. Do not EVER ask a woman if she’s “on her period” simply because she doesn’t give you a sweet, loving response on no sleep. I’m not your mother. I do not have to pick out your clothes for you, wipe your ass, change your diaper, or anything else a mother would do for you. I am also NOT a bitch simply because you chose the wrong time to approach me with what is somehow SO unbelievably important that you feel the need to call me at 4:30 in the morning, later agreeing that I should go with you in a day or two to pick out the shirt and tie so that you will look nice, and then getting a hair up your ass and doing the wrong thing, only to wake me with said items about four inches from my face. The lines were so distracting, I’ve never seen a cat take off so fast in my life! She was laying here so innocently getting her beauty rest when, she too, is barraged by fashion. I haven’t seen the poor thing since!

In all honesty, I think she’s still scarred from the hour or so she spent in the laundry room this morning after my 4:30 phone call. I warned her not to follow me, I even shooed her out of the room several times as I was putting my stuff into the dryer. I went back to what I was doing after that, but about 40 minutes later, I couldn’t find her. I walked around calling for her, because she comes trotting in my direction from wherever she may have been or goes flying after me when she hears my voice. She doesn’t respond so much to her name, as she does to the fact that she hears me and knows she is being summoned to follow when she hears me say “Where’s Mommy’s baby? I can’t find you.” Or she just hears my voice and comes running for the sake of getting to run around like a hell hound, who knows.

Now normally, I don’t go back into the laundry room once the dryer is finished because I know my stuff is dry and these particular items did not need to be folded or require any immediate after care. I only went in because I’d washed one of my football jackets and wanted to be 100% sure that sucker was dry. I didn’t want to have to re-wash it because I walked away too quickly. Mind you, this little baby is still very small and does not have a real voice yet. She has a barely audible squeak, and you only hear it if she does it right at you or you are really quiet and happen to hear her voicing her issues, whatever those issues may be at any given moment. I opened the door and she came flying out, running into my arms for warmth and safety. The laundry room is the only unheated room in the house. My guess is that is the case because it was added on to the house, and is not a part of the original structure. This is precisely why I didn’t want her in there to begin with. There’s always something dangerous that someone so tiny can get into, and by the way she has been following me around since “the ordeal”, I’m praying she learned her lesson and will never do that again. I spent the entire time calling for her and honestly thought she was under the bed or in another room ignoring me, as she is wont to do at times. As loving, needy, sweet, playful, and affectionate as she is, she is also an independent seeker of trouble. I say “No!” roughly 100 times a day, or more. Now that I think about it, it’s similar to how I talk to unidentified male. Coincidence? I think NOT. On the plus side, at least she’s civilized.

Ramblings Of The Sick & Exhausted

Let me preface this by saying that I am still sick. Very much so. I’ll spare you all the truly gory details, but it’s both pretty bad and pretty boring. I feel like I’m under the age of ten if I’m throwing up, and that always lets me know exactly how sick I am. I’ve been under horrendous, mind-numbing stress for almost a full year now and a lot of it is manifesting into minor, and a few major, health issues. Stress is a silent killer, but it’s also the exact words that were used when I was born.”We’re pulling the baby out, she’s stressed.” And stressed I have remained. Maybe there’s some truth to the saying that we live our lives the same way we come into this world, who knows!

I am behind on what I’ve been writing, and in some ways I’m also ahead of myself because I’ve pre-prepped work on the first six books in the series every step of the way. Every time something comes to me, I write it, but I can’t deny that I’m in pain and struggling. Sleep is a struggle, every day life is a struggle, not coughing my brains out is a struggle, dealing with people is a struggle, and I’ve had my phone turned off for almost a full month in an effort to not deal with any more idiots, only taking calls from select family members and friends. Never one to suffer fools, I can hear my entire voice change the second someone gets stupid with me. It’s not just the cadence of my voice, it’s every little thing about it. If I’m answering in clipped tones, I’m not all right. I’ll be polite, I’ll be professional, but that’s where it ends. I’ve got my second shipment of Valerin on its way, need I say more? I’m a beast that needs to be kept calm. LOL.

I did not celebrate Passover this year, and I’ll be honest when I say that I try not to acknowledge it much, beyond conversations with family members and making sure I send my Rabbi a card. It’s one thing when you’ve got a family and you’re cooking for 6-8 people, or more. It makes it worth it, even if most aspects bore you to tears and make you want to rip your eyeballs out. When it’s just two people and neither of you is really into it, sometimes you take a pass.

I don’t really address holidays that I don’t personally celebrate, for many reasons. Full blown discussions on religion and politics are surefire ways to get people to send you a shitload of hate mail. People like to fancy themselves so incredibly tolerant, but I’ve spent my entire life having to explain that Catholicism and Christianity are not the only religions in the world, and God forbid you call someone that is Catholic a Christian, or vice versa. They flip out! All that kindness flies right out the window, and I wish I were joking, but I’m not. Yet explaining to them that you do not share their religious and spiritual beliefs is a lot like saying you’re personally slaughtering human beings in your basement. The expressions and comments are so unreal, and I’m from a city that has one of the largest Jewish populations outside of Israel, so I shake my head at people and, the older I get, the more I disengage. If only people asked smarter questions…

I’ve spent the last few days trying to really rest my injuries and rest in general. I’ve also been reading and re-reading, reminding myself over and over again what I don’t want to write where my own work is concerned. Of course, there is always research to be done as well, and thankfully a lot of that research allows me to dip into my own ancestry and gather information from the countries my ancestors are from. It’s a long, interesting list, and people always comment on how different it is. I probably relate more to my ancestry at times than I do to being born in America. That might seem weird, but when you question where your family is from and the answers aren’t simple, I think it’s a good thing. And of course, I’m kind of fascinated by family crests.

Best book of the last few weeks was Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. Beautifully written, richly detailed, and I had a good cry at the end, which is often a good indicator of how well done a book is. She is without fail, one of my favorite authors. If you haven’t read The Infernal Devices Trilogy or The Mortal Instruments series, I strongly urge you to do so. You won’t be sorry. I’m really looking forward to the next series which is slated for release in a few years.

I apologize for my ‘pain brain’ ramblings, but wanted to at least connect with my readers on some level for now.

If you have sent me a message or an e-mail and I haven’t responded to it yet, know that I will do so ASAP. A few of you are deserving of a real, personal e-mail from me based on things you’ve said and you will get exactly that.

I have a handful of readers that are becoming fast friends (I never use the word friend lightly) and I think that’s one of the great things about this blog as a platform for the future. I don’t make friends easily. Women are often intimidated by me, so they only approach me about superficial things, and I’ve recently had two people convey (to a third party, never to my face) that they don’t want to be friends with me because A) I’m not a big drinker and B) They’re afraid I will try and steal their husbands from them. Yeah, my jaw was on the floor both times. If your issue with someone is that they don’t drink, maybe you need to reassess how you choose your friends. I am a girl’s girl to the core. I get along well with men and I have a decent amount of male friends, but I don’t see them as anything beyond that, and many of them have been married so many times that I can literally pinpoint exactly when their next divorce and marriage will be! A married man is basically a eunuch to me, even if I’ve known him for 20 years, even if he’s “currently single”, I still consider him a non-entity when it comes to romance, love, and sex. I find cheating and home-wrecking abhorrent. My name is not LeAnn Rimes! Yeah, I said it. Someone should. I also find it disgusting that anyone would look at someone they don’t know very well, or at all, and say “She’s going to steal my husband.” First of all, people are not property and cannot be “stolen”. Two, if you’re that insecure, seek therapy. Three, if your husband has ever given you any indication that he’s cheating on you with a female friend, or anyone for that matter, hire a P.I., but also understand that not every woman is a lower life form lacking morals. So you have a husband? Big deal, I’m not impressed. Unless that husband is Gerard Butler, I swear to God I won’t so much as look in his general direction, flirt, or do anything other than be polite. I’m a lady, and I don’t believe in scoping out a friend’s boyfriend, leave alone her husband!! No one is so fabulous that he needs me to “steal” him. <rolls eyes>

I’m an extremely devoted, fiercely passionate, loyal friend, and once I’m your friend, I’m genuinely your friend for life. Just ask my best friend, who regularly comments on my posts. I’m like heavy duty nail glue. The woman keeps trying to shake me and she’s still stuck. LOL. Marion, I’m KIDDING, I swear. XOXO.

I will talk to you all soon, and I hope it will be in a much more organized fashion.

~Li

No One Plans On Being Sick

When I say that I was home for the past two days, sick and in bed, that’s not an exaggeration.

I was not sick, laying on the couch watching TV (Lets be serious, there’s nothing on. I have hundreds of channels, including movie channels and there is still nothing on. This doesn’t even shock me anymore, but it does aggravate me whenever I pay the bill.). I was not anywhere, except out like a light in bed, waking up only to take pain medicine & Valerin (It works for muscle aches & pains, back & neck spasms, as well as anxiety. Google it if you’re into homeopathic remedies, it works.) at the appropriate times. It’s so rare that I am feeling so bad that I will allow myself to go back to bed at 8:30 in the morning after a decent night’s sleep, but on the rare occasion that it happens, I’m not about to beat myself up over it. Shit happens, life happens, and no one plans on getting sick. No one plans on being in pain either.

Tuesday was the same as Monday, only round two came with a migraine from hell. Two rounds of medication, fluids, and no relief. I just took my third round of medication. With all that caffeine in my system, I am sure I will eventually bounce off the walls. I can’t have that much caffeine in my system without some negative side effects because I had to give up coffee and most caffeinated beverages years ago due to said migraines.

I slip up every now and then. I’ll be driving past Dunkin Donuts (or Starbucks) and need a fix. I prefer Dunkin Donuts because they’re one of the only places I can get blueberry coffee. I know it sounds weird to anyone that hasn’t had it, but I’m telling you it tastes like a blueberry muffin. Heaven. Plus, they’re not insulted when I ask for half caf, half decaf, not when I then go on a week long binge of iced coffee in a multitude of different flavors (Blueberry Vanilla, Vanilla Coconut, Raspberry Mocha, etc.). My soda crutch is Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper, but it takes me forever to drink a two liter bottle of it. By the time I am nearing the end of a bottle, it has to be spilled out. I try to be good and stick to Polar Seltzer (If you live in Bucks County and you know where they’re selling all the good flavors, please let me know because I am convinced I have to go home to MA and drive back with twelve cases!!), water, and green tea about 95% of the time. Again, I have slips, but they’re not huge and they don’t last long, so I’ve become very sensitive to caffeine. Sometimes it really helps my headaches, and sometimes it makes them worse. But I outright refuse to give up chocolate. A girl can live with a lot of things, even in this kind of pain, but she cannot go through life without chocolate. So, as long as it’s not going to kill me due to a serious allergy, my “hips don’t lie” because I’m a dark chocolate fiend.

So, where was I? Sick, in bed, pain, sleeping, migraine, caffeine, blah, blah, blah. It’s been a vile start to the week for me and I am hoping it gets better soon.

On the plus side, I was nominated for an award and I am going to acknowledge that as soon as my eyes can stare at the screen for more than a few minutes at a time without the required use of nausea medication (I’m a mess, I know!). I’m very humbled by this, and am now desperately searching for 10 additional people that I can nominate. I’ve already got 5, I think, and this particular award calls for 15. When I haven’t been blinded by pain, I’ve been searching blogs and I think I’ve come up with some really cool people to, hopefully, introduce some of you to. There are so many quality blogs on this site and I am in real awe of some of them. Each of them are doing something completely different from me, and for me to be intrigued enough to stick with anyone, their material has to be interesting, funny, or we’ve got to have some basic common interests (music, movies, books, a love of cooking, etc.). Just because I didn’t personally nominate someone doesn’t mean I think any less of them either.

I will be back with something solid as soon as I have one head, instead of two (I do think the back of my head is growing another one.  I’m not sure that will even be helpful!). I certainly wish a far better week for all of you.

Home Sick…Com…

Home Sick…Complete With Snow

“There are two kinds of people; those who are always well and those who are always sick. Most of the evils of the world come from the first sort and most of the achievement from the second.” -Louis Dudek

Today I get to be “home sick”. For one, I’ve been sick for a few weeks and it’s finally culminated in more than just allergies & coughing. My remedy thus far has been Ricola Natural Herb Cough Drops, which I swear are a cure in and of themselves. I also have them in Echinacea Honey Lemon, just to change things up a bit. These, paired with hot tea (Your favorite hot tea, any kind, with a good amount of honey and a dash of ground cayenne pepper. It’s better for you than cough medicine and reduces the amount of time you’re sick.), really help a lot, though they can’t help with the aches and pains, or the twisted ankle I got before the storm moved in. That’s fine. I’ve got reading, writing, and movies to keep me company. Also, I am a soup addict and when I’m sick, soup is one of my big comfort foods. I prefer homemade, but I’m also a huge fan of wonton soup. Trust me, when the snow finishes falling I will be procuring a large amount of wonton soup to fortify me through the weekend.

Hope my readers in the Northeastern U.S. are all safe, warm, and not too stressed out by the snow. Praying for everyone getting more than just a dusting.

Middle of The Week Rantings

Monday Mornings Indeed… And The Rest Of The Week Isn’t Looking Much Better!

What the hell is it with Monday mornings, or the day in general? Lately Mondays profoundly suck for me, in more ways than I could ever say. By the time 7:00 a.m. hits I’m usually throwing up, sipping ginger ale, damn near hyper-ventilating, and ready to come out of my skin. These last two weeks it’s been really bad, and even though I know it’s supposed to be to some degree, I never expected this.

Sometimes, but especially when you’re grieving, there’s only so much your body and mind can take. You start blocking things out without even realizing it, but in an instant you can end up in tears. I feel broken. I know I’m not, I know I will push through the darkness and come out a better person, but right now I don’t even care about being that other person. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. We’ve all been there, I’m sure.

It’s taken me weeks and weeks to regulate my sleeping schedule, so I’m not going to bed as soon as the sun is up, and then spending the rest of my time writing as the stars and the moon take over where the sun leaves off. It’s all too easy to slip back into this mode of operation, especially when you’re upset, stressed, agitated, etc. I’ve never been great with happiness. I laugh a lot (as people always tell me, “You’re hilarious. You will say anything!”), I smile when I feel it, but the rest of the time I’m a pretty quiet person dealing with her own internal crap.

Over the last few weeks, other than the work on the first novel in the series I am writing, my only other major accomplishment has been with cleaning. Half of my loft space is almost cleaned out. I didn’t have a complete & total nervous breakdown when I found things my Mom had saved. I kept what was important to me, and I wasn’t afraid to throw shit out that no one will ever want, need, or use. A few hours a day and I’ve made a lot of leeway. At this rate, I see the second bedroom being half cleaned out by the time my “new arrivals” join the family.

One of the things I have discovered over the last few weeks is that not having a cat or cats makes me deathly ill. Did you know that owning a cat/cats lowers your blood pressure, boosts your immune system, and raises Serotonin levels? As soon as my little girl was gone, I got sick. I am actually somewhat allergic to cats, but now that there isn’t a cat with me 24/7, my body has damn near gone into shock. I am coughing, sneezing, my skin has reacted in some very unpretty ways (Not stress, I checked with a dermatologist.), and I’ve hit emotional lows that I haven’t had since just prior to the original adoption many, many moons ago. In my entire life, I have only lived without a cat for a short period of time, so when I have cats, I am healthier, but when I don’t, my body is like “What have you done to us?!”

So yes, I am adopting kittens. I said I would, I always knew I would, but this time I am preparing for them as though I am bringing home a newborn. After going over a zillion different things with a lot of the local (and some not-so-local) shelters I have decided to return to where it all began. I am going to take a few small trips first to give myself a bit of a break from my daily life, from routine, and because I’ve had a bad year or so. I am also going to make sure everything they could possibly need is already on-site, and then it will be about going and finding the right little babies. I am armed with a list of potential breeds, but in the end, it comes down to what I sense off of them. I am one of the most intuitive people you’ll ever meet, and I don’t fight that.

So, hopefully by the end of August/early September I will be feeling a LOT better once additional lives have been added into mine. As sick as I am, and as I’ve been, I am starting to think I AM a cat, but hey, I’m cool with coming back as one.