Friday, March 18, 2011

Welcome to the Jungle

  Now that I have Axel Rose screeching in your head, my job is half way done.  Since my husband is so good at getting songs stuck in my head, I thought I'd share the experience.

  Now for the other half of my point in this.  Being so far away from the AFB and any real social areas, I am embracing the limited amount of contact I have with the outside world.  I'm not going to go exploring the jungle bordering our house yet because I feel very ill-equipped for such a venture and I doubt anyone would be able to hear me if I accidentally faced off with a FREAKING HUGE BOAR.  Our dogs seem especially willing, but if it's just me at the house for at least 10 hrs a day, I'm going to play on the cautious side of my curiosity.  Because what man wants to come home from a long day of work and commuting to find a gored wife?  That's just how I feel about that, for now.

  So currently, while I mostly try to find ways of exercising (with gravel roads, a towel for floor cushioning and a set of 8 lb dumbells as my equipment), I've picked up my crocheting A Lot, made significant progress in the Diana Gabaldon Outlander Series, picked-up this blog again, and begun crafting a multi-layered work of fiction.  Not to mention, I am trying to find fun ways of entertaining the dogs too.  I hate to see them bored and not enjoying their puppiness.

  The story I've very recently imagined is probably the most interesting and promising fictional work I've ever imagined.  My husband is an extremely talented writer so having explained this storyline to him, I was curious and a bit nervous about his reaction. Granted, his fictional interests are mostly not in line with mine, so he is not my target audience in terms of readership, but his opinion matters to me.  His interest was piqued and he identified it as having a lot of layers, which is normally something I haven't been able to outline or recognize within anything I've intended to write.  Coming from him, this felt like the praise I'd been hoping for.  It feels good to gain some confidence in that respect! 

  With these little surges of creativity, I just might pick myself up and out of the well of isolation I've felt a bit mired by.  Sure, I still want badly to meet a friend or two but I guess I was given this position for a reason and the only way around the feelings of loneliness (when Les is not around) is to embrace it.  Sometimes, that's going to be difficult, I'm going to want to fight against it, and I'm going to cry and wallow...but I think that embracing those feelings too is what will help force me out of the 'fog' and into another idea or strengthen my drive to Do something about it.

  I won't say I'm content because there's so much more I want to do with myself, but I will say that I am appreciating the progress I'm making.  In the meantime, there's weight to lose, doggies to love on, a story to write, and a man to love.


Monday, March 14, 2011

The Little Georgia Peach

  I didn't go to bed last night or wake up knowing what I would be writing about today.

  There were plenty of hints along the way that would eventually culminate into this scenario, but we were looking at the wrong source of those hints, until now.  It crushes my heart to know what was happening now, feeling like I could have done something...even though we've been told there wasn't anything that could have been done.

  Today, I lost a little, yet truly significant, piece of my family.  Roxie, our little orange tabby, was relieved of her deteriorating condition with my mom and grandma by her side.

  The pain is excruciating to let her go, but I would endure this pain again and again to ensure she never had to go through what she has.  Her fluxuating weight (which was too little for her already petite frame) was a sign of Kidney Failure I had no reference for... we'd thought all along that if any of our pets had limited time, it would have been Lacey, our elderly spaniel.  But Lacey is doing better than she has in a long of the last things Roxie did before they took her to the vet, was curl up next to Lacey on their big, fluffy pillow and lay like that for several hours.

  Roxie was 5-years-old when I first saw her.

 Before I met her, she'd belonged to a military family who had declawed her and decided to leave her with a friend of theirs when they received another assignment, never intending to retrieve their little cat.  This friend already had two or three cats of her own, so after several months of wavering correspondence, she felt she couldn't continue to support so many cats.  The woman surrendered the little orange tabby to the local animal shelter in Valdosta, GA.

  On the same day, sometime in late November 2003, the ex and I walked into the only animal shelter we could find in that small (literal and figurative) southern town.  We had decided to get a cat because it would be a companion for me while he deployed to Iraq for several months.  He intended on finding a "tuxedo cat" and wanted it to be a kitten.  Even at the time I thought this was a rather lofty and arrogant way of approaching a pet rescue.  I was reluctant to his way of thinking because I knew that the mature animals often get overlooked...and I didn't like the possibility of Any of these animals being overlooked and then punished for it.

  I remember walking into the tiled, fluorescent lit room that held all of the cat crates and kennels.  There were a couple of kittens but they didn't at all match the "tuxedo" look he was wanting.  Most of them were a few years old, and seemed friendlly enough.  I asked the supervisor if there were more and she hesitated, saying that they had a separate area for the Newbies while they were examined in quarantine by a vet, before they were integrated with the other cats.  They were trying to prevent any infections, but were confident that the newbie they had today was in good health. 

  I rounded the corner into the adjoining room and saw the prettiest little orange tabby perched as politely as could be next to her kennel door.  She made a little chirping noise in acknowledgement and nuzzled the door bars with a quiet insistance.  I figure that most animals are particularly happy to gain some affection when they are in those circumstances, yet something caught hold of me about this cat and I wasn't going to walk away.

  The ex wasn't thrilled or even enthusiastic about my choice since I hadn't picked anything he would have, and at the time, that really upset me.  But I'd made my choice clear and had asked so many questions of the supervisor regarding this kitty, that there was no way anyone would turn me away.

  I was told to come back to finalize the adoption in a week or so, so they could be thorough in her health exams.  By that time, he would be on his way to the desert and I could spend some bonding time with her when I wasn't working.

  I adopted Roxie on December 3rd, 2003.  Over the next few months, I would get to know her as my Insistant Snuggler.  Unlike the cats I'd had back home in California (no offense to them because I will always love them too!) this kitty showed affection all the time.  The petite little peach named Roxie was all about some purrin' and nuzzlin' and always slept on my back.  During the night, she wouldn't even budge form her perch on or around me, save for me moving around in my sleep. 

  A few months after I'd adopted her, the ex and I split up and I was forced to move back home to California.  My mom flew out to help mend my broken heart with a nice long road trip, peppered with a stop at every Cracker Barrel restaurant we came across, and Patricia Cornwell and Janet Evanovich audio books to entertain us and drone out the wailings of poor Roxie in the back seat of my Malibu.

  In all of my heartbreak at the time, I still held onto the positive of having found such an awesome cat.  Of all the random places to be and to be influenced to make the decisions I did based on the events in my life, I think it's proof of some kind of .... order?  I have no idea...I just know that Roxie was meant to be in my life for the time she was (though I would give anything for more time with her) and I was meant to be in hers.

  I feel blessed for the eight, great years I had with her and I'm glad we found an even better home with the man I love and the other 'kids' we've brought into our home.  I hope she was happy in life, and I hope she's even happier where she is now...wherever that may be.

  Roxie, I've loved from the moment I met you, and I always will.  I will always smile at the memory of your endless love and affection for Les and I, and the playful warmth you always showed every other animal around you.  I miss you, my little Georgia peach.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I iz Connected

  Last week was rough, I won't sugarcoat it.  We went from living in a hotel room, which was thankfully within walking distance of restaurants, a pool, and anything we might need, to our new house.  Inspite of all its Awesomeness, the house is a little far removed from the areas we'd gotten familiar with in the short time we've been here.  Not to mention we were now a little over half an hour away from Andersen AFB, where Les now works, and where the dogs were serving their quarantine time (and then some) until we could afford to check them out and had somewhere to bring them.  There really aren't any pet-friendly hotels on the island, unfortunately.

  Once we endured the search, the scramble to file all the paperwork with Housing on base, and secure the house for moving in, we were exhausted.  Especially Les, being the provider now until I get into the USAF.  The dust settled a bit as we walked into our home, only to realize how difficult it would be to be in the house.  Without a landline or internet (and boy am I surprised at how reliant we have to be on an internet connection, since communication with family, banking, and contact information is cost-effectively exclusive to just that) I was stranded.  Feeling more than a bit isolated, more so because Les went from being around me 24/7 to gone for close to 13 hrs a day (including his commute to work and back), I was stir-crazy and self-conscious about how stir-crazy I had become in such a short period of time.  It's difficult to justify, even to yourself, that kind of shift in dynamic.

 You'd think that I would be happy to sit with my dogs in my little striped folding chair with my dogs, my kindle, and a beautiful yard to explore.  Better yet, a beach just down the drive to our house.  For the most part, I was.  The difficulty came when missing my family and lacking the capability to just call them and hear their voices was just not there.  Knowing I had no way to contact my husband or call for help if something happened scared me.  Faced with the stark knowledge of this disconnect, a crumbling building could describe me best.

  You know what makes me feel even more like a turd?  At the most 'disconntected' point, I really only had to go without like this for Thursday and part of Friday.  Yea, I feel a bit turdy.  I would never intend to make my husband feel guilty for this or anything like this, so it was hard to express myself about this to him without him feeling like it was his job to fix it.  It's just the way things were and I need to develop better coping skills because of it.

  Having had a pleasant, restful weekend with my husband and the dogs, I feel more equipped for the coming weeks.  My plan to join the military is still strong, and so my efforts will now double in order to reach my weight goal of 170 lbs within the month and develop my running endurance while studying the ASVAB.

  More of this blog will be about life here on the island as it develops for us, a bit of a journal of my efforts, and maybe a story or two.  Anecdotes galore since I am spending my days with two amazing boxers and have a little bit of time on my hands. 

Hafa Adai :)