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HOME IS WHEREVER I’M WITH YOU!

The hubs and I went on a little road trip for our anniversary last week, May 1st, and the day was just absolutely beautiful for it.

Since money was extra tight, we came up with a few places of interest to go see while we were out. It was so good to get out and enjoy the sunshine which is a novel experience for me since I’m such a night owl. I was sure that any exposure to the sun would instantly cause my skin to go up in flames, but alas, I was just fine.

For those that are curious, we live in Cincinnati, which is known as part of the Tri-State area of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

First we decided to take the Anderson Ferry in Delhi over to Constance, Kentucky. It had been storming for weeks on end and we were sure the ride would be nausea-inducing because of the choppy water but we were pleasantly surprised at how smooth it was.

Hubby has a fear of deep, open water but had no issues with riding the ferry. I remember being a kid and going with my mom and a family friend and taking it while out hitting up the vegetable stands. In fact, I remember eating half of a raw tomato and throwing the rest of it overboard and watching it bob up and down on the waves from the ferry. Ah, good times.

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No tomatoes this time and no being a bad ass little fuck, either.

After we disembarked from USS Deborah A., we wound our way through Hebron and Burlington until we hit the road that runs right alongside the Ohio River to Rabbit Hash. We just couldn’t stop exclaiming about how beautiful and lush everything was and that the people who lived in the area were supremely lucky to do so. Of course, we also said that when we hit the lotto, that’s where we’ll migrate to. Some day…

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See? Lucky bastards live here.

What should have been a half hour drive turned into about 45 minutes because Matt sneezed and missed the sign that said to turn and enter Rabbit Hash proper. I told him to just keep going and we could circle back and come from the opposite side.

I’m glad I did because otherwise, we wouldn’t have seen this creepy old Southern Baptist church sitting high on its creepy little hill. Seriously… why do Baptist churches always have to look so, well, creepy? I love it, but still.

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This was my favorite find/shot of the day, btw.

So after another fifteen minutes of driving, we finally reached Rabbit Hash, a rustic hamlet known for its almost 200 year old General Store and doggy mayors. I knew Matt would fall in love with the place just as I did when I’d gone through it many  years before. The original Rabbit Hash General Store had been built in 1831 and had survived a great many floods between then and February 2016 until an unfortunate electrical fire burned it down.

Thanks to the tender love and dedication of the community, though, it was rebuilt to the exact same style it had originally been in only a short year later. You can read more about it all, here. I was right though, he completely fell in love and we both had a hard time leaving it.

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We especially loved the potions and notions they had to offer. 

 

 

The store is an eclectic mix of country and new age items for sale. It seriously felt like home to us. It smelled so good, too. Like old wood and nag champa incense. The building also has the most amazing creek running beneath it in the back. If we could have made our home there, we would have.

 


After the owners used a crow bar to pry us out of their store, we hit the road again and talked about whether it was fate that brought us together or luck. It was sappy af, I’m telling you… Our hands were clasped over the console, our fingers were tightly entwined and we would occasionally exchange such love-filled glances with each other. Totally sickening, folks. ♥♥♥

Traveling up through Indiana and finally back over to Ohio, we met up with his dad at Reily’s Pizza where dad treated us to dinner for our anniversary.

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Going to places next to rushing water must have been the theme of the day for us. (Behind Reily’s Pizza)

 

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See? Cute af. Smh…

We got stuffed on their amazing pizza, cheese fries, cheesy pretzel and $1 cans of Coors Light while the rain made itself known again throughout our meal. My eyes got so heavy towards the end of our meal and I pretty much just sat there quietly and listened to hubs and his dad talk about this, that and the other thing. We went straight home and slept the rest of the day away. It was the best day. Only spent a whopping $20.

So that was last Monday, the 1st. Yesterday we took advantage of the break in rain and spent the sunny day driving around again, only this time we went out for french fries and hot fudge sundaes. Afterwards, we went driving around looking at various mobile home parks that we could eventually call home.

On the way home, we stopped by the old home of Americana Amusement Park; another place we used to haunt when we were kids. It too was destroyed by an electrical fire and sadly closed down for good in ’99. Even worse is that it’ll all be torn down this year and rebuilt into a new campus for a local college and city park space. You can read about their history here.

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When we got home, I took a muscle relaxer for my lower back that felt like it was about to detach from the rest of my body while he took a Xanax for his anxiety. Needless to say, we were out like a light very shortly after and didn’t wake up until around Midnight.

We made some frozen pizza, watched Sausage Party and then played some Left 4 Dead 2 while cuddling our doggo, Redd.

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He’s such a charming pupper, ain’t he?

 

It’s been so nice to get out of the house and not interact with humans. So nice that we might make this a regular thing by exploring areas around our home.

Before I forget… Did you know that Elvis and Priscilla also got married on May 1st? I love that! Thankfully, our marriage has lasted longer than their 6 years and some odd months.

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ONE-LINER WEDNESDAY // XLIII

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints–I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!–and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

I was first introduced to the writings of Elizabeth Barrett Browning when my mother handed me her copy of Sonnets from the Portuguese with an inscription inside that spoke of her undying love for me, her young daughter. These sonnets may be written for her (Elizabeth’s) lover, but I can only think of my mom every time I read it.

I must have read it from cover to cover a dozen or more times but it wasn’t until I grew in understanding that I came to appreciate the love and devotion found within its dog-eared pages. She and I have had so many ups and downs and misunderstandings and fallouts that to think upon it in any capacity hurts my heart and makes me feel like I’m a terrible daughter.

We’ve recently come to better understand one another and as the days go by, I no longer resent just how much like my mother I am. I’m coming to appreciate it very much, indeed. I’m so grateful I’m not too late to tell her how much I love her. So, momma…

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

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One-Liner Wednesday was brought to you by Linda G Hill.

Manic Monday

MANIC MONDAY VOL 2 // ISLANDS IN THE STREAM

Today, May 1st, 2017, marks seven years since the hubs and I got married. It was a beautifully sunny day but our Justice of the Peace officiant who was wildly eccentric who was wearing a Hawaiian Shirt because he was going to a Jimmy Buffet thing later, chose to marry us in a skyscraper downtown that overlooked the river, instead of a park somewhere like we had originally wanted. (More on him in a later post…) We didn’t have many people there, we didn’t have any money, but we had our love and our vows and the people who were most important to us (kind of).

Today’s song is a reflection of everything our marriage stands for. I heard it shortly after we got together and I knew right away that that was our song and that it would be played for our first dance. Which we haven’t yet had. That’s okay, though, because someday we’ll renew our vows and have the wedding we wanted. Anyways, on to the song… I’m sure you’re expecting the version by Kenny and Dolly, but this is brought to you by Constantines and Feist. Their low and slowly sung version is just everything I imagine a first dance to be swayed to. In any case, it’s our song and I love it just as much now as I did when I heard it in early 2008. Happy Anniversary, babe.

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Too deep in love and we got no way out.

Baby, when I met you there was peace unknown
I set out to get you with a fine tooth comb
I was soft inside, there was somethin’ going on
You do something to me that I can’t explain
Hold me closer and I feel no pain
Every beat of my heart
We got somethin’ goin’ on
Tender love is blind
It requires a dedication
All this love we feel
Needs no conversation
We ride it together, ah-ah
Makin’ love with each other, ah-ah

Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in-between
How can we be wrong
Sail away with me to another world
And we rely on each other, ah-ah
From one lover to another, ah-ah

I can’t live without you if the love was gone
Everything is nothin’ if you got no one
And you did walk in tonight
Slowly losing sight of the real thing

But that won’t happen to us and we got no doubt
Too deep in love and we got no way out
And the message is clear
This could be the year for the real thing

No more will you cry
Baby, I will hurt you never
We start and end as one, in love forever
We can ride it together, ah-ah
Makin’ love with each other, ah-ah
Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in-between
How can we be wrong
Sail away with me to another world
And we rely on each other, ah-ah
From one lover to another, ah-ah

Sail away
Oh, come sail away with me

Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in-between
How can we be wrong
Sail away with me to another world
And we rely on each other, ah-ah
From one lover to another, ah-ah

Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in-between
How can we be wrong
Sail away with me to another world
And we rely on each other, ah-ah
From one lover to another, ah-ah

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NOT TODAY, SATAN!

For those who haven’t picked up on it yet, I work at a hotel as a night auditor. By the time I get to work at 11pm, it’s usually a ghost town and I have the place to myself.

The last hotel I worked at was more of a resort, you may have even heard of it. I’m talking about the Great Wolf Lodge. I did two stints there. If you’re thinking me saying “stints” sounds like jail, then you would be correct and you get a brownie.

That place… It really was hell. I was there for about two years the first time and it was a real eye-opener and a shitty introduction to the hospitality industry. You would think a thousand+ screaming and laughing children would have been the downside but I honestly loved that. The kids were the absolute best part about working for that hellhole.

(Side note: I am SHOCKED that “hellhole” is an actual word in the dictionary, lol.)

My second stint there lasted almost five years until I was wrongfully fired on Thanksgiving of 2015. (More on that in another blog post.) Both times were hell because my coworkers and management, bar a very select few, were terrible individuals. Catty, petty, gossipy. I hated it there but I loved the money I was making and that I had achieved 7 almost solid years at a workplace.

It wasn’t until I started working for the hotel I’m at now that I truly understood that the only good thing to come of my 7 years at the GWL was that I cut my teeth on almost every possible terrible situation that could happen in a hotel.

It prepared me to be able to handle anything that crops up at the new hotel, which is still, frankly, a breath of fresh air to me. For the first couple of months at the new place I was a very tightly wound wire and my boss had to take me aside and explain that they weren’t going to bite my head off and that I could relax. That they understood how shitty the GWL is. I wanted to cry. Seriously…

Almost a year and a half later and I’m still so happy. I love everyone I work with, management has my back in every situation, the hotel is beautifully designed. I have zero complaints. Sort of.

My one complaint shouldn’t be a complaint, but it is. As a night auditor at the GWL, the work required spanned about 5 or so hours over the 8 hour shift. Not to mention it had to contend with the myriad of angry guests, hundreds of room requests, millions of phone calls and various other unpleasant shit that went on in any given night.

As a night auditor for the new hotel, my work is completed in an hour, guests are typically asleep before I come in at 11 and the phone rarely rings, and when it does, it’s usually a guest asking for a wake-up call.

The rest of my time is typically devoted to reading a book or scrolling tumblr or facebook on my phone until about 6 and then I hang out at the front desk to greet guests as they come down in the morning for breakfast or whatever they happen to need.

It gets boring af. And when I get bored, I get bitchy and antsy and anxious and all that downtime that my brain is not engaged in a book, it’s battling with memories from like fifteen years ago when I did something and now I wonder if that person from back then still thinks about what I did and are they still angry and omg, anxiety!!! Stupid brain.

The boredom is the only thing I have to complain about. Usually. Some nights, like last night, was hectic AF. Sold out, certain room types overbooked, had to change guests original booking to smaller rooms, unhappy guests, make them happy within reason.

We’re sold out again tonight and I’m not looking forward to the potential mess that I’ll be traipsing in to. Since I left work this morning I’ve been dreading going in tonight. As of right now it’s about 9:30 at night and I’ve been watching the clock since until I just slapped myself an hour or so ago when I reminded myself that this hotel isn’t the GWL and that I’m grateful AF for the lessons it taught me and that I can more than handle anything that crops up with a grace and dignity that I never had while working for the GWL.

I have it so good. I legit love my job. It literally takes one moment to remember how bad I had it at the last place to remember those two facts and then all is right in my little trashy world.

So… lemme pull on my big girl panties, put on some fucking makeup and give the GWL a middle finger. (Not gonna lie. If we ever have to drive by, I stick both middle fingers out of my window at them. Childish? You fucking bet!)

With all of that in mind, it’s easy to say, “Not today, Satan, not today.”

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Totes need this patch, btw.
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ALL THE SMALL THINGS!

Between a combination of writer’s block and a wonky internet connection, I’ve found it difficult to post on a near daily basis like I was. Also, if you think for one moment I’d take pen to paper and post it later, you’re crazy! Instead, I’ll leave you hanging for a few days because hey, absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? I’ll just give you some highlights of the past week and whatnot… Don’t hurt me, please.

  1. Our router, which is still brand new, crapped out for some reason a few nights ago and we couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on. I finally discovered it was my laptop, which I had plugged directly into the router. Unplugged it and voila! It has been a-okay ever since.
  2. I’ve had some serious brain fog going on which has attributed to my writer’s block. All I’ve wanted to do is sleep, sleep, sleep. When I wasn’t sleeping, I could barely function or think rationally. I’ve worked third shift for many years now and never had any issues staying wide awake, but the last couple nights I’ve caught myself nodding off. Ugh… hope that passes soon.
  3. Money’s been a little tight and we’ve been dangerously close to not having any food in the house. Thankfully, family has seen us through in making sure we have enough to eat. We’re eternally grateful for their love and care. We also went to a non-profit called Valley Interfaith Community Resource Center and they’ve paid our gas and electric bill for the next month in addition to the groceries they sent us home with. Can’t express just how relieved we are with all of their help.
  4. The hubs and I are celebrating our 7 year wedding anniversary on May 1st. We had originally planned to get all dolled up and go out for a fancy dinner at Olive Garden* where we’d buy a whole bottle of wine and make a night of it. Scrapped that idea (see #3) and decided we’d go to the Cincinnati Zoo and see the new baby hippo Fiona. Scrapped that idea, too, because they’ve gotten so expensive. So now we’re going to see an early morning movie, get some lunch, drive around all day and then go home and get liquored up with some finger foods on the side. Honestly, that last idea suits us much better than the fancy dinner anyway.

    *Hey, Olive Garden is fancy for us. Shutchomouf.

    So, that’s been our week in this little nutshell. The moral of the story is to sleep when your body says it needs it.

    Don’t be proud… When you need help, utilize your available resources and accept the well-meaning help of your friends and family when they offer it. When you’re in a position to help others, it’s good being able to appreciate both ends of the spectrum.

    If your electronics are acting like an asshole, unplug it and plug it back in. That always seems to be the resolution, lol.

    Finally, learn to have just as good a time on a smaller budget as you would on a larger one. You’d be surprised with what you can come up with when you’re financially strapped. (But there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself, either.)

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    Thank you, Donna Meagle, we will.
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THE COST OF SELF-CARE

*Trigger Warning: Talk of Depression, Anxiety and Suicide.*

Woke up a couple hours ago feeling pretty chipper. I’ve learned from a young age to not trust myself when I’m feeling this happy because I usually spiral into a rotten mood and bitter tears.

Ahhh, gotta love depression and bouts of shitty mania.

Depression and Anxiety
An accurate depiction of the inside of my head.

 

Pretty sure I’ve been depressed since I was a young child. Can’t really remember though because I’ve blocked a giant portion of my past memories. I tried to see a therapist once, but she looked like she was my age and I just couldn’t handle talking to someone who didn’t seem like she’d understand where I was coming from. I felt like I needed someone much older, who had lived through some shit and lived to tell the tale.

So I passed up on the therapy which led to skipping on the option for medication and spiraled through years of suicidal thoughts until I finally took the plunge and downed twenty prescription sleeping pills and woke up in a pile of vomit. I think I was fifteen when that happened. I remember crawling to the toilet and then waking up later that day in bed. I know someone found the evidence of what had happened and yet nothing was ever said about it. Ever. No trip to the hospital, nothing.

I thank God every day that I survived.

I really didn’t mean to tumble down into this pit of darkness and despair. I mean, realistically, this blog can’t be all sunshine and kittens. Even as I’m typing this, it feels like this happened to someone else and I know I’ve dissociated hard from the girl who’s been through so much that she felt the need to kill herself. I know it isn’t healthy to ignore it all. And yet I do.

I am a veritable pro at ignoring things that make me uncomfortable and unhappy. Into the NOPE box it goes to never again see the light of day.

In the last year, in my effort to maintain my self-care, I went through Facebook and unfollowed (and some unfriended) nearly every one of my 90 friends and family until I was left with a timeline of cute animal videos, recipes and the posts of maybe five people. I just did not want to see anything negative at a time when I was feeling incredibly vulnerable.

Self-Care can be dangerous. Because I’d went through and blocked everyone’s posts, it’s helped me lose touch with my friends and family. And because I work third shift and sleep during the day, it’s been made worse in that I’m losing touch with the outside world.

I think all the time that I’m getting cabin fever and make plans and then when it creeps up to actually going out for said plans… I break out in a cold sweat and my anxiety soars and I eventually cancel going anywhere. The thought of being around anyone besides my hubs just makes me tremble and want to cry.

My anxiety has gotten so bad that I’m finally ready to throw in the towel and get some help. I don’t know if I’m ready to rehash every terrible thing that has happened in my life but I think I’m more than ready for the sweet relief of depression medication.

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BATTLE OF THE FLAMINGOS, PT 2!

So Matt and I have been in an epic battle over my love for plastic flamingos that go in your yard. Feel free to read up on it, here. 

Basically, I love ’em and he thinks they’re a level of trash that we haven’t quite reached yet. I disagree, but hey, that’s just my opinion, lmao.

So, this past Sunday morning we were driving through a swanky neighborhood on our way home and all of a sudden I saw this…

Flamingos

I made hubs turn around and pull in to their driveway so I could get this picture and of course, I was all up in arms about how even the well-to-do put flamingos in their yard. And so I took it to Facebook and this happened…

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I don’t feel attacked or anything. Not at all!

Hubs has already agreed that I can have two flamingos for when we move, so I’m not all that upset by his telling me to move in with some over-the-hill strangers.

Matt then proceeds to tagging me in this just a couple hours ago…

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*face meets palm pretty hard*

If I haven’t mentioned it yet, we’ll be moving into a rinky-dink trailer park maybe by the end of the year. If we haven’t reached White Trash level yet, we sure will with that fence and a couple of plastic flamingos. I can’t wait.

 

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CHILDLESS BY/NOT BY CHOICE

This started out as a reply to this blogger’s post about why you shouldn’t ask someone when they’re going to have children and I figured I’d take it and expand on it here for those that are curious about why Matt and I haven’t had babies of our own…

Matt and I tried for the first few years to get pregnant and didn’t have the money or insurance to see doctors to try and figure out why it just wasn’t happening for us. I cried, I prayed, I ranted and whenever I saw someone with a baby bump or someone else was telling me they had succeeded where we hadn’t… It was the hardest thing in the world to bear and when my estranged half sister told me over the phone that she was pregnant, it came at the worst time and I just couldn’t say anything to her and hung up, which, unfortunately, pushed us even further apart. I tried to explain and she’s said she’s fine, but the damage was done, I thought, but that’s a story for a different day.

That was almost six years ago now. I stopped questioning God and I finally started wishing expectant mother’s well. He and I had finally reached the ah-ha moment that we didn’t even WANT to have kids for several reasons. We’re happy that it’s just he and I and we selfishly enjoy the fact that it’ll just be us for the rest of our lives. We’ve experienced both ends of the spectrum now and I’m glad we did since it allows me to understand and be empathetic towards those who desperately want and do not want, to have children.

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Yes, because not being a baby factory means we have LOTS of money now… /sarcasm

We still don’t know why it never happened for us, but again, that’s a kettle of fish that I’d rather tackle later in another post. Now, if anyone asks us about when we’ll have kids, we’ll just show them pictures of our furballs and kindly let the other person know that we’re happy with it just being us, because let’s face it… we can barely afford to take care of ourselves, lol!

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KITSCH, PLEASE!

The hubs and I have been together for almost ten years and in that time, we’ve had to compromise on a great many things. On things such as… toilet paper brand, morals and personal taste. Juuust to name a few.

I’ve heard before that compromise in marriage is 99% of just giving in to your wife so you no longer have to listen to her whine and bitch and while that seems great to us ladies, it’s not fair at all to the hubs. Most of the time, though, mine doesn’t truly give a shit about getting his way because in things that truly matter, we really do see eye to eye. Still, doesn’t make it fair. But! What if it’s about something that truly matters to you?

Like I said, sometimes we’ve had to compromise on personal taste and my issue is this… I fracking love pink flamingos. Seriously. They’re my fave and I’ve always, aaaaallllwaaays… wanted to put those tacky, plastic pink flamingos in my front yard whenever I was finally able to buy a house. Some people enjoy garden gnomes,  but me? Hell no. Give me those plastic beauties any day.

Hubs has very rarely disagreed with how I decorate our home, but when it comes to the delightfully tacky birds, well, he’s pretty vocal in his displeasure with the idea. And it’s not as if I’d be putting out a whole flock!

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This isn’t overkill at all.

99.9% of the time, he lets me have my way. But I fear this time, when we’re finally able to move out of our one room shanty and into our long-time coveted mobile home… I may not be able to take the trashiness to the next level by including my beloved rosy artificial avians friends.

So, in the event where neither can compromise, where do we go? Who will get their way in the battle of the tacky pink flamingos in front of the trailer? Should I just ditch the idea and go for a concrete goose that I can decorate for the seasons? Should this is the .1% where I give hubby his way?

I don’t know. I’m still clinging pretty tightly to my wishes. What would you do?