• Random and Odd

    It’s been a crazy year

    I’ve been sitting in front of this screen for 45 minutes with tears in my eyes trying to hold them back before I start writing, but just like a year ago, that is not possible.
    A year ago my friend passed away and a day doesn’t go by that I don’t think about her.

    When I was learning how to combat daily anxiety attacks through classes and books, they talked about putting things in boxes, labeling them and letting them be.  Emotions and situations that I had no control over needed to  briefly examined and then put away. This was a concept I was very good at.  Putting things in boxes meant that I didn’t have to revisit them.  This was a survival tool I must have picked up at a young age with a high success rate.
    The last few years have taught me a lot about “letting go”.
    There are dreams I had for my life that weren’t selfish dreams, but I boxed them up because in life, sometimes we don’t get what we want.

    I can’t put anything in a box right now because it’s all connected and it’s a beautiful mess of tears, smiles, laughter, pride and guilt.
    Tears because I miss my friend. I miss reading about her adventures, her love for people, her amazing husband and loving son.  She loved life so much.  She was one of those people.  She taught me so much just by being in my life and living.
    I wonder if I wasn’t where I am in my life I would have gotten on Facebook and saw that a year ago I lost my friend, sent a message to her widow and said some heartfelt things and “I’m thinking about you today, let’s get together and have coffee and catch up.”  The coffee visit would have never happened and I could put that hurt in a box and go about my gloriously selfish day being oblivious to all those boxes with ‘Dreams you had about being happy, but people fucked you over 1 too many times and you decided it wasn’t your lot in life to have a someone love you and be able to trust them’  written on them shoved in the back of my headspace closet.
    That didn’t happen though.  She brought five people into her world the night before she left this earth to take care of her husband.
    My role was to make him laugh.  I was going to go over and make him laugh, say my goodbyes and go home to cry.  I had a plan. Her plan was bigger.

    Because I wasn’t allowed to put my feelings about this in a box and move on, I had to examine every single thing that goes with it and accept it.
    Tears: I cry a lot. Mostly when something awesome happens and I think, “She should be here for this, she would LOVE this!”
    or when something happens that in the past I would send her a message and she would send me one back that always felt like a hug and never the ‘answer to my problem’, but moral support that she loved me and was here for me.
    SmilesI smile so much more now.  I’m happy. I understand WHY she smiled as much as she did.  She didn’t have those boxes in her headspace. She was loved fearlessly.
    Laughter:  Jon and Jesse make me laugh and shake my head at how dorky they are.  Jesse though, whoa…wicked smart and it makes for this sense of humor that I can understand and he makes me laugh.  Jon has this different sense of humor that I get about 90% of, but that 10% makes me look at him like he’s crazy…which makes him laugh.  He loves me and makes me laugh like it’s his job.
    Pride: I’m so proud of my life right now. I’m exactly where I need to be, where I want to be and I am grateful for every single detail of it. The icky flawed parts of it too.
    I’m proud every single day of how Jon is raising Jesse. I am proud every single day of Jesse of the man he is becoming.
    I see so much of her in him that it’s overwhelming. His smile is hers and when he smiles (and he does all the time) it lights up the room just like she use to.
    I’m proud that I live in a home where it’s okay to tell someone you love them 20 times a day and you always hear, “I love you too!”
    Guilt: It’s not fair that she’s not here. She appreciated life and loved it. She had a wonderful husband who made that smile as big and bright as it was because he loved her. I know this because I am learning how to accept that kind of love and I am telling you right now it’s A LOT of love.
    My friend, Bitsy said something to me when I teared up talking about Midori one night. I was telling that I miss her and it wasn’t fair. She was too good to die from fucking cancer. She was amazing.  She said to me, “Give yourself a little more credit. YOU are JUST as amazing.”   That may take several more years of the love that I am learning is okay to have.

    So today makes 365 days that I lost my friend. Jon lost his wife. Jesse lost his mom.  Yesterday was 364 days. Tomorrow will be 366.  It’s just another day, but it’s that day on the calendar and I hate that this day is the worst day in this family.  If she could be here, cuddled up next to Jesse and not be gone…but she can’t.

    I made her one promise that night.  I will make her husband laugh.
    She didn’t realize that I meant only that one night and I hope she was laughing thinking, “all those years of seeing you with someone that treated you like garbage. all those years before fighting to find that love you deserve.  Here, take this because I know you will cherish it as much as I did. You’re an amazing mother and a step mother. You won’t believe the amazing adventure we are both about to go on. He will cherish you. He will make you proud.”

    I hope that was her plan, because out of the 5 people in that room I’m still here and spending every single day cherishing, loving, supporting and laughing.

  • Random and Odd

    Let me introduce myself…

    In order to hold myself more accountable with writing I started “Blog Revival” It was an idea I got from my friend Kathryn.  She and I were on a comment section of a very high profile blog (Dooce) and I met some amazing people from that time in my life. We all fell into Twitter, MySpace and then Facebook and our blogs fell to the side as we jammed everything into a small box and stuffed down what we were really feeling about the situation.   She decided she wanted to write again. I haven’t stopped, but my brain did.  I update crap here and it sucks because I’m tired of censoring what I write out of fear of what other people will read and twist. I’m just saying, some people I know (and some I have never even met…yes you, stalker ass Seattle freak, go away, you don’t know me, i didn’t date YOU and I am not a threat…go away!) tend to come here, read what I write and then twist that shit all up to fit what agenda they have going.  Another person comes here, reads what I write and then twists it so badly that I get a call from my step daughter.  You know who you are too, it’s been like 10 years, you can go away too.

    With all that being said I’m tired of censoring what I write (and I just did on that last paragraph)  and I am not going to do that anymore. Fuck you if you don’t like it.

    My name is Kristine.  I am a mother of 3 grown daughters (they were just babies when I started this thing) I am an office manager/service writer/jane of all trades at the Automotive Repair place I work at.
    That’s not ‘who’ I am, just what I do to pay the bills.
    I love being outside in the mountains, on trails, in the water. I live in the city though and the weekends are the only time I get to do fun stuff. I take that time very seriously.
    I use to be a professional photographer, I keep saying “use to be” hoping that I won’t get any more jobs, but I keep getting them.
    This summer I went to the first wedding I didn’t have to photograph and I have to say it was a DELIGHT! I had no idea that weddings could be so much fun!!  I am going to my second wedding I don’t have to work at and I am going to party like I have been to 500 weddings and always had to work!
    My boyfriend, his 13 year old and I live together in Sacramento, California.  We bought a house this year and pop up trailer and we plan on taking more trips.
    I’ve been the step parent since I was 18 years old, I am thinking of going professional at this point.  Jesse is a great kid and I am the lucky one.  I’ve been blessed with some awesome step-kids that I don’t call ‘step-kids’.  My kids. My boy, my Roo.
    Things you should know about me; I’m fiercely protective of the things I love.  If I have learned ANYTHING in the last 10 years of my life is when you have something you love and you don’t want to lose it, PROTECT IT.  It doesn’t matter if people call you jealous, obsessive or crazy.  Let them, because at the end of the day, you and all that you have protected from outsiders can have a good laugh…then snuggle in and fall asleep together. Go ahead, call me a paranoid freak. I’ve been on both sides of the fence and I have to say, I might not have given a shit in the past, but I made a promise to keep this one safe, laughing and blissfully happy and I will keep that promise.

    For now, I think that’s all you need to know! I’ll add photos from my phone if I can figure out how that damn thing works. In 2004 we didn’t have this kind of technology!

  • Random and Odd

    Up early enough to write

    It was 6am when my alarm went off and instead of having that hostage negotiation talk with my alarm clock and phone, I decided to get up and write.   There was a time when I didn’t schedule a time to purge through writing, I just sat down and did it.  Man I miss those days.

    Today is June 1 and the way I see it, the first day of June is Summer. The last day of August is the last day of summer.
    Welcome to the first day of Summer. I have 13 weekends to do all the stuff I want to do this summer.  It sounds daunting when I actually write it down. That’s not a lot of weekends and I have A LOT of stuff I want to do.  I am still very conscious of ‘TIME’ and how important it is and to not over commit to things.

    Things I want to do this summer:
    CAMP! I want to go camping A LOT.
    Travel to places I have never seen.
    Camp. Did I mention camping? I want to do that. a lottt. camp. yes.
    It’s going to take a calendar and a plan of action.

    Fuck. I suck at this. I got distracted by the boy getting ready for school and needing help getting his stuff ready.  I will try again tomorrow. Good thing no one reads this anymore.

  • Random and Odd

    Life is really good.

    I had the best birthday in the history of birthdays!

    I ran my ‘Birthday Race’ and beat my time from last year by 15 minutes. That is huge for me.

    After the race everyone gathered at my new place and we had a BBQ. I was surrounded by my friends and family. My travel agent and best friend both bought me my favorite whiskey (Red Breast). One bottle was gone within an hour and I only got a small glass. :(

    My travel agent was so charming and everyone told me afterward that they loved him and understood why I liked my Ireland meetings so much.  
    My mom and sister made it along with Dale’s mom, dad and son. Dan and the girls and my close friends came.

    So Ireland!?!? Everything is paid for, booked and confirmed. It seems like it’s forever before Dale and I leave in September now that everything is done and just ready for us to get on a plane and go. Every week we meet and go over some important things we need to know about traveling in Ireland.  Last week it was driving.  I told Dale that I would pay for the rental and the insurance if he drove.  There is something frightening about driving on the opposite side of the road in a manual.  I think the first couple of days we will probably be laughing so hard as we figure it out.  We get a good laugh over just about everything though.  It’s going to be the trip that kicks off all our other trips in the future.  We are already talking about Italy next.

    There isn’t a day that doesn’t go by that I don’t say, “I love my life.”    I bought a book to write in and I write down my favorite moment of the day.  Most of them are because of J.  He is an amazing man with so much love, respect and kindness that I have missed for more years than I can remember. I love the look on his face when I get home from work. He greets me with a smile, a kiss and “i missed you” almost every time.  My heart skips just thinking about it.
    My sister loves him and I realized why they get along so well.  They are both very much alike when it comes to their heart. They make sure you are smiling, happy and taken care of.  The rest of my family will meet him in May and I know they will love him too.
    My two best friends, Birdie and Dale think he’s a good match for me too. The best part is that my girls agree that he is amazing and love him too.

    Work has been about the same.  Every day I get to learn something new about vehicles.  The 39 is coming along well and only needs a few more things before it hits the road and we bring in another to be completed. I know how lucky I am to have such an amazing boss and work place.  My co-workers are the best and I adore all of them.

    Life is good

  • Random and Odd

    just a quickie

    It’s been a good long time since I have updated anything.

    With the election going on, I removed myself from Facebook and only post pictures of hiking.  I am excusing myself from all the hatred floating around social media.

    Last week I got that bitch of a cold going around. I was certain I had the flu from the way I felt the first day, but on day 3 it turned into that head cold and cough.  It’s been miserable, but I managed to get a few hikes in the past week.  Last night we did our first night hike of the season and I had a minor panic attack. I didn’t have my normal head lamp and it was really dark out there. I also made the mistake of taking a trail I wasn’t familiar with.  Getting back to the car was heaven!! There is definitely more work on my end that needs to be done before I do that again!!

    My social life is status quo.  I am seeing someone, but we are keeping it relatively quiet. Only our friends and family are privy to the information of the relationship until we are ready to go public, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon as we are okay with it being the way that it is right now.  

    The weekends have been busy with hiking the soggy trails in Auburn. It’s been fun because I have been getting more friends out there and it makes for amazing memories and conversations.

    This time next year I will be Ireland. We have our second meeting with our travel agent next week and we will have hopefully picked out the accomodations that we can agree on. So far my choices have been on the lower priced places, except for the castle. The castle where we will be staying is the most expensive and will take some saving!!  

    I got my second tattoo a couple weekends ago. It’s the match I have been thinking about getting for a year.  It comes from a saying, “You don’t have to catch yourself on fire to keep others warm.”  I tend to give all of myself at the risk of losing myself and it’s not something I want to do anymore.  There is also a song with the lyric; “I’ve only got one match, but I can cause an explosion.”  I tend to do that too…and burn myself out. I’m an Aries fire sign.  The match was exactly all the things into one single one.
    I was joking with my mBFF the night we went out and we said, “Yeah, we will probably end up at the tattoo place next to where we are eating.” and we did.  He said, “I’ll get the same tattoo as you.”  I couldn’t understand why he would want to get a match, it made no sense.  “Because then we will have MATCHing tattoos.”   He actually did it. We now have matching tattoos of a match.

    My aunt passed away this month. I am sad, but glad she is will all those that she loves now. My heart hurts for my mom who has lost all but one brother now.

    Kara passed her exam and is a licensed cosmetologist now.  

    Life is going great here.

  • Random and Odd

    This weekend I got to see Lindsey Stirling in concert. Holy shitballs is that woman one talented creature!

    I heard of her through a hockey friend about 4 years ago and became an instant fan.  She has this fluid way of playing and moving that is magical to watch.  In person, it was one of those things you watch and shake your head because it is unreal.

    My other friend is also fan and about 6 months ago I told him that she was going to be playing in a town near us. He waited too long to get the tickets and they sold out.  When she came up again near by I let him know again so he wouldn’t miss out on getting the tickets and he swooped up and got the first available. Unbeknownst to me, he got me a ticket too!  I just didn’t realize how far Fresno was away from me.

    Sunday was spent recovering from Saturday’s long drive, concert, Jack and Coke and long drive back on Sunday.   It was fun and I was glad I was able to go.

    It’s Monday and I am well rested, but not wanting to go to work. I want to hang out at my place and get stuff organized.  By the end of the day I am so tired, I just want to go to sleep.  It’s time to just pack my work out gear in my trunk and hit the gym before I even step in my front door.
    Summer is coming to an end I feel like I missed too much of it, but grateful because I did get to cultivate and nurture friendships that I set aside for one reason or another.  Because of the BS with E, I found I have a pretty good friend in someone that he insisted I was sleeping with.  Okay, so he thought I was actually sleeping with everyone…but this was the one that started the whole thing because of a stupid comment on a facebook status from 3 years ago.
    I’m learning that friends are more important to me than I gave them credit for….but sometimes I have to understand that not everyone is my friend.  Some people don’t want my friendship at all. Some people want more and some just don’t get me.
    I have to accept that and just move on.
    Right now…friendship is all I have to give.

  • Random and Odd

    We stick together and can see it through cause you’ve got a friend in me.

    Midori’s Celebration of Life BBQ


    It’s been a week and a half and it’s still hard to write about.
    Last Tuesday I was suppose to go to my weekly mBFF friend dinner, but he couldn’t get back to Sacramento in time and we decided to put it off until next week.  This is the part where everything got weird.  I have a notfriend/friend guy I knew from my hockey days and I had sent him a facebook message letting him know that everything he was writing about our friend, Midori was spot on and exactly how it feels.  He opened up about how he was struggling with losing his friend.  He asked if I wanted to go with him to see her and her husband tonight with him.  I knew these were her final days with her family, but was also told that she was no longer responsive…we were just waiting at this point.  After insisting that he ask our friend (her husband) if it was okay to go and getting the thumbs up, we headed out.
    I still can’t write about it because I want to cry.
    I can’t.
    There was a point in the night when I looked around the room at the six of us, Midori in her hospice bed not responsive, eyes closed, labored breathing….her husband who has been with her since he was 19 years old.    There was 6 of us in that room the night before she passed on and I honestly believe she hand picked each one of us to be there.  I knew when I was listening to the stories and how we were making Midori’s husband laugh (a promise I made to her when I got to say my goodbye to her “we will make him laugh for you”)  Her purpose for having us there was that we were the select few that were strong enough to deal with what was to come and we could bring Jon laughter.  We did not fail.
    During a serious part of the night when Jon’s phone was blowing up with texts and he said, “This thing has been going off all day!”  I rolled my eyes and said, “Oh Mista. Popular with all his phone calls and texts…how ever did we get so lucky to be able to hang out with you tonight!?”  Everyone laughed because it was such an odd moment to be cracking jokes, but everyone else joined in on picking on Jon about something or other and the mood was lightened.   Some other crazy stuff happened that night and because of the people that were there we managed to crack jokes through a really horrible situation.
    She picked us to be there that night. I know this and I am honored I was one of those people that got to say goodbye to her.  I also know that the notfriend/friend is now a friend.  He was someone I judged very wrong and I told him that. He said “same.”  She saw something in both of us and loved us, there is no way after what we went through that night that I can’t call him my friend now.
    Midori was all light and all love and it’s so fucking unfair that she’s not here.  The other day I was going through my “Facebook – on this day” memory and Midori had posted this incredibly awesome post on my wall talking about what a good friend I was to her…and I swear it was it was OTHER WAY AROUND.  That woman made everyone she knew a better person and I told her that all the time.  There were many times I would just send her a message and say, “I need prayer” and that woman would send me the most amazing message back that would lighten my heart and know that things were going to get better.
    I still can’t. I can’t cry about this anymore.
    I just can’t…but here I am. Crying.

    Okay Okay Okay…enough.

  • Random and Odd

    Trying to fit your hand inside of mine when we know it just don’t belong

    People come into your life for a reason and I keep wondering why my past came to visit me in the second half of my life and I keep getting gentle reminders. This weekend I met this young kid who was hanging out at the trash bin at my apartment complex. I struck up a conversation with him and found that he was homeless and doing some couch surfing to get out of his hometown of Stockton because he got into drugs and he didn’t want that lifestyle for him and his dog. We talked for a good 30 minutes and we shared stories. I explained some of the things I had just recently went through and as I was describing some of the things that happened he was shaking his head yes. He said, “He was on meth. That was me and that is classic meth behavior.” I asked him if he would ever be able to look back and know that what he thought was real was just a delusion. He didn’t know because he’s not sure what was real and what was made up in his world when he was in it.
    He told me that the story I told him will steer him in the direction he needs to be going. His stories will remind me that there is goodness in everyone and if you want it bad enough, you can overcome the most evil in this world…you just need your reasons. I was not reason enough to leave meth alone.

    I lost my father in law recently and went to his celebration of life. Seeing his family and telling the girls about how it went got us all to talking about stories from their youth. Alyx talked about how when she was little and she was sick that Shaun was always there to help take care of her. We laughed about stories of when all the kids were sick and we had the washing machine going non stop. We tag teamed sleeping and making sure the kids were taken care of. It was the first time in a long time that I got to hear good stories and not the sad ones. It’s been a very long time since they even spoke of that time in our lives. The girls are excited about reconnecting with Jessie. I am so impressed with how well the young kids have been raised. They are all such amazing kids in that family. I also got to see my Gma Billie. I longed for the times when we could sit at the table and talk for hours and listen to her and Gma Baland’s stories. She touched my face like she always did and said, “I never forgot you and think of you often. I miss our long phone calls.” I promised to come see her and listen to her talk. Sharon, of course, carried herself with a spine of steel. Watching the family move around the room and comfort others even though they were the ones broken with sadness was incredible to watch and made my heart break for them all. Seeing Shaun tell stories and his voice crack made me cry. Knowing how much he loved his dad and he was now gone, just heartbreaking. It killed me to see pictures. I loved that man SO very much and I am so mad that I waited so long before I called and talked to them again. I’m also glad that I did get that time to tell him all the things I never got to say.
    Despite the circumstance, Shaun looked happy and supported. I’m glad because he does so much for others, i’m glad he’s not alone in the world.

    I move out of Rocklin at the end of the month. Time to start new adventures. This is one of my gentle reminders from the past. E told me that it was sad that I was in this dark box of an apartment all alone. I didn’t see it before and always thought of it as my sanctuary, but maybe he was right. Time to get out and meet new people and start living.

    2017 I go to Ireland with my mBFF and that will hopefully spark a bunch more trips for both of us. We both need to get out and do things with people that don’t expect more than what we can give them. I’m not ready for a relationship. Do I want to be with someone and in love? Absolutely, but it’s not the right time for me. I am still processing a lot of shit that I never processed.