Wednesday, October 9, 2013

All Dogs are Individuals an Infographic by Animal Farm Foundation

I cannot tell you how much I admire and respect this website. They are very smart people over there at Animal Farm Foundation.

Infographic: All Dogs are Individuals
by Animal Farm Foundation

Click to see the full image

Sunday, October 21, 2012

What's Old is New Again...and it Stinks Part II

Magic...Dreamy Land...That is where I was for the past week, a magical dreamy land. Imagine for a moment my perfect man:

1) Employed
2) Owns Home
3) Loves Animals
4) Funny
5) Handsome
6) Compassionate
7) Accepts me for exactly who I am

Now indulge me for a moment and let me tell you about the man from the past week:

1) Employed for a number of years with the same company. Definition~Steady, Safe, Responsible
2) Owns his own home with 5 acres of land in the country, in the SOUTH!. Definition~Ah, hello? You know this is on my dream board, right?
3) Loves animals, especially PitBulls. Has nine kennels on his land. Definition~nuf said.
4) Funny, some of the most amusing stories and off-the-cuff-make-you-laugh-out-loud comments are made by this man. Definition~If he makes Angie laugh there is something to it.
5) Handsome man, yes. Dark Brown eyes with the longest eyelashes you have ever seen. Definition~Swimming in those eyes is my new sport.
6) Compassion is for families and friends and he has plenty to spare. Definition~It will not be like talking to an emotional brick wall as I have had to deal with in the past.
7) Accepts me, loved me once and asked for my hand in marriage. Definition~Easy breezy courtship since we already know each other.

So in my mind I am thinking WOW, this could be interesting to pursue. My cynicism was wavering and happy thoughts and positive feelings were emerging. Break through moments that disappeared from my life a long time ago. Happy feelings. Positive feelings. Enlightening, courageous, risk taking happy thoughts! WOW! It felt nice, good, different, but really good.

I send a text yesterday. The response I got was not what I was hoping for, nor was the response from the person to whom I thought I had sent the text. It all fell down and the walls went back up.

I won't get into the details because it really is just so red-neck drama filled horseshit that it doesn't deserve a repeat performance. I am going to have to come up with a clever name for my block/delete maneuver, because it is being used an awful lot lately, it really does deserve recognition.

I am starting to renovate my dream board. It is fairly simple these days and there is one thing that is no longer on it. Love. I have six furkids, one son and a mother, that just has to be enough for me. I was never a fan of the roller coaster anyway.

Christmas this year would be nice though. Just sayin'.

What's Old is New Again...and it Stinks

I am an only child. I have one step-sister that was already married, had two babies on her hip and lived three thousand miles away by the time my Pops, step-dad, came into my life, so she was never a part of my life. Both of my parents re-married and never had any more children. All of my cousins were many states away so there were no family gatherings that I attended apart from a yearly road trip for a family reunion for a week in the summer. I am an only child. I grew up alone, learned to entertain myself alone and eventually adapted to doing things, all things, alone. Perhaps that is why I am so opinionated and stubborn and selfish at times. I never had to share, debate, fight for what I wanted, or wear hand-me-down clothes. I know I missed out on a lot. But that is a post for another day.

I have had six great loves in my life. A first love, a high school love, a forbidden love, a married love, a wrong love and a wasted love. Each and everyone of these loves has always returned for more, to work it out, to try again, to rekindle, to hurt. Mostly these loves left me the first time, leaving me wondering what had gone wrong. What had I done? But as with all things, I learned time does heal the hurt and after a while the physical and mental anguish is diminished, and you are capable of understanding what went wrong in your relationships, from both sides. It is called learning. We all do it. We all learn from past loves. Hindsight is 20/20, right? You learn and you become a better person for the next love, you learn what not to do, what to do, how to fight properly, how to make someone feel special, accept their peccadilloes and so on and so forth. Each time you believe you have got it down and are doing everything right and then BAM, something else comes along to teach you another lesson.

It seems that every ten years or so that one great love returns. My first love returned when I was 22, he even asked to marry me, but I had learned my lesson and quite frankly he was not at all the same man (boy) I had loved previously and so my answer was a resounding, "No."

My high school love showed up at my apartment door on his 21st birthday thinking he could use me for a little birthday hanky panky in his drunken state. I agreed to let him stay the night to sleep it off on my couch because I didn't want him driving and was rewarded with an attempted acquaintance rape for my generosity. I managed to fight off his large athletic body from mine thanks to his inebriated state. He was very apologetic in the morning.

I accidently tracked down my forbidden love this past year completely, OK, not completely by sheer coincidence.  In this age of social media it is not uncommon to reconnect with people from your past. Some band members I followed in the late 80's and early 90's were suddenly right there on my Facebook page. One of those band members was a great and very forbidden love for me. You see, he was married and although our relationship was restricted to secret phone calls, side-way eye-contact over dancing bodies in a smokey bar six nights a week and well planned out picnics in public, it was still quite the great love for me, probably because it was forbidden and safe. Safe you say? Yes, safe, or so I thought. I didn't think he could hurt me, that was until he choose his wife over me and walked out on the band and my life in my apartment buildings parking lot with his guitar in his hand. I knew he was still married and went into this old is new again relationship with all my good intentions. It had been 25 years after all and I had learned a few things in that time. We chatted over Facebook and text and actually had lunch together once. It was wonderful seeing him again, he indicated the same. However, his wife was not so thrilled about our rekindled friendship. We have not talked since that lunch. Which is a shame because he is an electrical contractor and my house could use some electrical work done.

My married love came back as well after we split up briefly during our second year of marriage, signed on for another three years in the Navy, stayed true to me and his son until I asked for a divorce six years later. The only regret I have in divorcing my husband is the woman that he brought around my son after our divorce. Oy! Again, that is a post for another day.

I allowed the wrong love to return twice try to make amends after having disappeared from our home one day while I was at work; asking me to marry him and then just as quickly as he disappeared from our home the time before he disappeared via email stating he had sold his house and was moving to Colorado to be with someone else. Nine years later he returned again, divorced and apologetic and ready to be scrutinized and tested by my friends and loved ones in a fight to win me back only to be caught lying about something so insignificant that it seems silly now. He has been blocked, deleted and stored away never to be in my sunshine again.

My wasted love, Bryan, well, he is a post all on his own. A charismatic, handsome, intensely sexual, magnetic and narcissistic man that was in and out of my life for 12 years. I can say he came back for more because he was the one that originally, in the beginning, did come back to me, pulled me in, but for any and all future reference, he is not allowed back, EVER.

And now we get to the reason for this post. The reason for a rampage last night on Faceboook. The reason my friends all knew something was wrong.
They came in droves, texting and calling because they recognized that those posts on Facebook were not me, were not normal. I love my friends. Truly I have the best of friends and quite frankly acquaintances as well.

I feel stupid frankly writing these next words because I allowed myself to get caught up in the magic of a long time dream.

to be continued...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Karma and Guilt

Have you ever used the phrase, "what goes around, comes around" ; or said "karma is a bitch"  to soothe yourself from your anger at someone. It usually works too, believing that karma will deliver the justice you so desperately need to believe will occur somewhere in the future.


  [kahr-muh] noun
Hinduism, Buddhism action, seen as bringing upon oneselfinevitable results, good or bad, either in this life or in areincarnation: in Hinduism one of the means of reachingBrahman. Compare bhakti def. 1 jnana.
Theosophy the cosmic principle according to which eachperson is rewarded or punished in one incarnation accordingto that person's deeds in the previous incarnation.
fate; destiny. predestination, predetermination,lot, kismet.
the good or bad emanations felt to be generated bysomeone or something: Lets get out of here. This place has badkarma.

We usually use those phrases when someone has hurt us deeply or angered us beyond rage. Sometimes we remember that karma can be positive as well, there are those rare few that truly are amazing, extraordinary individuals that constantly inspire us to be better, do better. But more often we curse someone with karma.

I have done it, a lot. 

What if you were actually there to see it manifest in real time? Have you really thought about how you would feel to see someone suffer as you felt you had suffered? What if...

There is no more what if for me. I am watching it unfold right in front of my eyes, in real time, times two. Yes, that's right, times two. Two different people that hurt me deeply in my lifetime are experiencing their "karma" at the same time, at opposite ends of North America. Radically different for each of them, but tragic nonetheless. I am watching it happen in real time. Yes, I feel guilty. Yes, I feel sad. Yes, I feel responsible.

I am not saying it was my "karma curse" that brought about their current state of tragedies, I am not that powerful, no where near that powerful, but did my wishing it aid in its eventual occurrence? An occurrence that for all reasonable purposes should not occur until their next life or even the one after? And what did I do in this life or a former one to have been karma cursed to experience and watch their tragedies unfold? 

These people are experiencing LIFE ALTERING changes. Not a simple heartbreak or divorce like you would expect (not that either of those experiences are simple or easy) BUT life altering changes that effect them, their health, their families, and their futures. One of them if doubly karma cursed actually and I, quite frankly, wouldn't mind the lesser of the curses to play out, but combined with the other, it is harsh. drastically and dramatically harsh. 

How do you take back what you wished for so long ago and not so long ago? Can you take it back once you wish it? Does it matter if you could take it back? 

Everyone is responsible for their own behavior, actions and decisions. They alone are accountable as I am accountable for my behavior, actions and decisions. But in the end it is all connected. WE are all connected. 

Try to wrap your head around that one...I am still working on it. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Fathers and Heros

My father was just a man, not special, not extraordinary, not a hero for any cause. He was just a man. I came to this conclusion a few years back when it became clear that I had to find a way to not be angry at him all the time. If his name was mentioned, if someone talked about what a wonderful father they had, if a tiny memory creeped into my brain about him, I would end up in an anger-crazed-sobbing marathon. It was very clear that I had to find a way to block those fits of hysterics from entering my life, I mean really, what else could I do, the man was dead. I couldn't just pick up the phone and pick a fight with him to make myself feel better.

My mother tells me this story about my father that contradicts everything I know of my father. Her recollection goes something like this:

Your father and I were in the process of packing up our little apartment in Long Beach and moving to South Carolina for a great new career opportunity for your father. He had to be there sooner than the lease was up on our apartment so I stayed behind to finish the packing and coordinate the movers. I was to meet up with him in a week or so to start our new life in South Carolina. The days passed and I packed everything up, put our furniture on the moving van and was just waiting until my flight the next day when your father shows up back in Long Beach and told me that he changed his mind and we were staying in California. I was so happy to see him but all our belongings were on a moving truck on their way to South Carolina.
I am told this is the night I was conceived.

 When your father heard he had a daughter in the waiting room of the hospital, it was rumored he exclaimed in joy, "I have a daughter!" and proceeded to hand out cigars and matchbooks.
When your father brought us home from the hospital, he grabbed you up from my arms in the passenger seat and proceeded to carry you up the stairs to our apartment, forgetting all about me still in the car.
I wish that adoration had lasted throughout my life.

Remember how I love words? The words that come to mind when I think of my father are: selfish, greedy, arrogant and cheat

The Cheat
You see, my father was just a man, not anyone extraordinary and certainly not a hero, most definitely not my hero. I was eighteen months old when my mother found out my father had cheated on her with another woman in her bed. She promptly packed us up and drove to Vegas to stay with friends. Shortly thereafter, she realized that it was her house, her life he destroyed and promptly packed us back up, drove home and kicked his fanny out. Three cheers for Mom!

My father married again to my step-mother whom he also cheated on after 16 years of marriage. However, since he traveled the world extensively 75% of the time, I have no doubt that his cheating was standard practice but I do not have the stories to tell or proof positive of that theory, it just took 16 years for him to get caught, again. What I do know of my father and women is that he cheated on my mother, he cheated on my step-mother, he slept with his cousin (my mother's best friend), he slept with my roommate in my bed (22 years his junior) and he lied to me about the woman that was to become his third wife.

The Greed
My father never paid his child support. Not once, never, not one payment. The measly $150.00 per month that was ordered by the judge was never paid. $1.800.00 a year, $30,600.00 total owed to my mother until I reached the age of 18.  Less than the price of a middle-of-the-road car today in 2012. When the time came to split the cost of the house that my parents bought together when I turned 18, he would not just sign his half of the house over to my mother, he wanted his share, yet he owed her money for years on back child support.

He owed my step-mother $40,000 after their divorce and she did not receive that money until after his death.

He worked and worked and worked his way to the top of a very reputable IT company and was able to retire with full benefits at the age of 55 to pursue his hobbies with a very healthy financial portfolio.
He purchased a steer ranch with his father and when my Grandfather and Grandmother passed, he choose not to split up the half of the ranch that was my Grandparents and provide inheritances to his two sisters.  He fought them in court, and won.

These are just a few of the issues I do know about. I am sure there are countless more stories I was never privy to, but you get the idea.

The greedy man and the cheating man are just by-products of his selfishness and arrogance.

I am taking this journey to learn how to heal and move forward in my life a more confident and successful person. My upbringing shaped who I am and it occurs to me that if I study and research his upbringing I might find some answers to his despicable behavior. Is there really a light at the end of the tunnel? A true-blue place I might find forgiveness through understanding? 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Perfection and Damaged Goods

I am a perfectionist. I am damaged goods.

It is the damage that makes me a perfectionist. Perfectly damaged; a true oxymoron. Let me explain.

I am an only child; doted on by my mother, and emotionally abandoned by my father. My mother made up for my father's emotional absence by indulging my every whim. If I found a pretty dress I liked as a child and it came in three colors, pink, blue and yellow, she never made me choose, she tried, but eventually gave in and bought all three dresses despite raising a spoiled daughter on her own on a waitresses meager salary. I wanted for nothing...except my father's love. This is the beginning of my damage.

Do I blame my mother for spoiling me, no. For all her indulgence she was also fair, moral, ethical and solid, which somehow managed to seep into my very pores and create a moral, ethical, solid and fair person, on the outside, therein lies my perfection. My mother is to blame for every good thing I do.

A mom forgives us all our faults, not to mention one or two we don't even have. ~Robert Brault 

My father was granted visitation rights in my parents divorce agreement and I was dutifully packaged up and shipped off every other holiday and for a month in the summer to my father. My father never lived closer than 900 miles from me (most of the time he lived in another country) at any time during my formidable growing years. I became quite the seasoned young traveler in my youth; that is probably why I prefer to stay on the ground these days. My father adhered to the custody agreement in all ways that you could classify as legal, but in all the times I spent my precious holidays and summer vacations at his home he never took time off from work, not even a day. He was busy making something of himself, building a career, traveling, making money, ignoring me. I was left in the care of my step-mother, who for years I disliked intensely, that is, until one day she threw herself on me to protect me from HIM and we were bonded, but that is a story for another day.

"It is much easier to become a father than to be one." ~ Kent Nerburn

This awkward dynamic formed. All the good that seeped into me from my mother was showered (almost thrown) on my father. I was well-behaved, had good manners, was funny, smart, and creative to the point of perfection. My father never applauded, congratulated, acknowledged, hugged, kissed, noticed me. Nothing was good enough to get me noticed...get me my father's love. I am sure you get the point by now. I am a good-old fashioned cliché.

cli·ché also cliche  (kl-shn.
1. A trite or overused expression or idea: 
2. A person or character whose behavior is predictable or superficial.

There is nothing new in my story, except that it is MY story. My life, my perfectly damaged life.

So, fast forward to my thirteenth year, and in all my wisdom at that age, I decided that I wanted to live with my father. Try, try again (the story of The Little Engine that Could comes to mind). I no sooner walked off the plane when he started lying down his rules. He didn't know me from Adam; didn't he remember how well-behaved I had always been, how I always made straight A's...

It was a hellish year.

Enter my first love. Tristan (names have been changed to protect the guilty innocent) was, as all first loves are, my everything. Everything I had tried to pour onto my father was magically accepted by Tristan. Every available waking moment was spent in his company, well mostly, when I was not doing his chores while he worked on his race car. I was happy. I was in love.

Fast forward a eighteen months.

Homecoming football game, sophomore year. He cheats and finds a reason to blame me. I was profoundly effected by his dismissal of my love.

Perfectly damaged.

This is my blog. This is my life. This is my healing. Thank you P. for starting me on this journey.

Latin and Poetry

I wish I had taken Latin in school, instead I took French. Three years of French to be exact. I wish I had taken Italian too, but that was never offered in any school I ever attended.  
I love words. The written word is a beautiful and powerful thing, in any language.
I have them (words) scattered throughout my home on plaques, in frames and homemade signs.  All admonishing reminding me to "make a life while making a living" in some way or another, but I digress.
Latin is essentially the origin of all words. One Latin word, Desiderata:


  [dih-sid-uh-rey-tuh, -rah-, -zid-] 
plural nounsingular de·sid·er·a·tum.
things wanted or needed; the plural of desideratum“Happily-ever-after” and “eternal love” appear to be the desiderata of the current generation; to whom “fat chance” say those of us who are older, wiser, and more curmudgeonly. 


  [dih-sid-uh-rey-tuhm, -rah-, -zid-]  
noun, plural de·sid·er·a·ta [-tuh ]
something wanted or needed.
1645–55;  < Latin,  noun use of neuter past participle of dēsīderāre

Things to be desired. This leads me to one poem in particular that has been with me my entire life. A poem my mother shared with me as a gift on a Hallmark faux scroll years ago in my early teens. I think she might be surprised to know that I still have that pink scroll and it hangs in my room as it has hung in every room I have ever inhabited in my life. 
The words are simple. The poem poignant. The tasks, difficult.
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence...
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become bitter or vain, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interest in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time...Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism...
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass...Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. 
And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
~Max Erhmann Copyright 1927