I am Still Here After all These Years

From time to time, I return to my blog.  It is more like visiting a long lost friend, or opening a present you have tucked away just for that special occasion. I have lost track of site visits, how often anyone comes by to check in, but I am still here.

You see, the life of a blogger, to call it that, is solitary. I got complaints from family about how much time I was spending checking in, coming up with material, posting and what not.  I was missing out.

Since my last post, a lot has changed.  I have retired from the Phoenix Police Department as a lieutenant and the reason for the move, was I was offered a great job with our local transit agency as the Director of Safety and Security. I was going to have to retire in two more years (October 2016) to be exact and this was a once in a lifetime.

Our boys are now 13 and 11 and sprouting mustaches and body odor.  Oh, the joy of boys!  I have not written or worked on any of my short stories in the literal sense or the tangible sense (pen to paper) but boy or boy, have I thought about writing!! 

My lovely dog; the one listed in a few posts ago, has since undergone drastic jaw surgery.  It is called a mandibularectomy.  I was devastated. She is the daughter I never had and "mama's baby girl".  I would do anything for her.  She had a benign tumor in her mouth that I had removed in January 2014, but it was the type to grow back and the only "cure" was to remove part of her jaw.  Of course when explained that in the veterinarian's office, we both echoed "Oh, we don't want to do that!!" No more was said.  I wished I had done my research.  It of course returned as they said it would, one year to the day almost. It came back with a vengeance I might add.  It was now affecting her ability to eat and had taken on the odor of dead fish. 

I begged for a specialist, someone to give me some sort of positive news. Someone to tell me that a partial removal of my dog's jaw was not the end of the world.  And I got it.  In the form of an oral dental surgeon who specializes in just these sort of things, and he has done a bunch of them.  His words were, via the vet at the hospital I visited and with tears streaming down my face, "Dogs do just fine with part of their jaw removed."

Within 3 days, she was being prepped for surgery and it has been almost a month.  My baby girl is just fine.  She never gets a break.  Hip dysplasia, bad knee, strained foot tendon, allergies and now this. She has the heart of a lion and love for everyone. 

I went off on a tangent but just wanted to share.  Let me know if you are also still out there.  It is late, I don't have time to proof read and I am writing off the top of my head. 

Please knock, I will answer.   

The Joy of a Bookstore

I have just returned from my locally owned bookstore and it was a necessary trip, a stress reliever. Not just for the book I purchased; another copy of "Glass Castle" (I read my first copy then did a random shelf cleaning and book trading) but also for the simple bookstore experience.  (No hard feelings J.W.! See, I went out and got another copy!)

The minute I got in the car, the second I stepped in the door, the moment I checked the first shelf, my blood pressure lowered to an almost sleep state and life was good.

My methods are typical and patterned. I first check the used book racks, a mix match of roll out bookshelves my bookstore, Changing Hands delivers right outside the door to lure you in. After a quick scan, I walk into the door, the bell rings and to the left are the latest used books. I have found some great pieces sitting just waiting for me right on these shelves. The "trade-in" counter is almost always busy and today was no exception.

The store was a buzz today. Star Wars groupies were everywhere for a special event and a complete mock up of R2D2 roamed the aisles. There are no e-book wookies here, no tablet carrying readers (okay maybe a couple. Those tablets are cool for some things), no sir. These were walk the aisle, scan the covers, pick up and flip the pages people; my people.

I love my bookstore. It is my escape, it is my spa day, my piece of chocolate cake, my comfort. I love reading and yes, I think those e-books are okay (I did purchase an e-book on my son's Kindle but I do not personally own an e-reader), but my friends - there is nothing like my bookstore. It's the brushing up against shoulders of word seekers, the sharing a table with a stranger, the inclination to reach out to a browser and let them know, "That book, "Autobiography of a Face" by Lucy Grealy is wonderful, you'll love it". One fellow book fan who apparently was having some trouble with a large beaded necklace she was wearing, caught me in the memoir aisle and asked if I would be so kind to help her remove it. It was itching her neck. Connection to our fellow readers, writers and the books we love.

Can't download that.

Do you have a favorite bookstore or book experience to share? I am working on posting photos on my blog but am having a bit of a time.  More posts to come! 

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When the New Year Calls-Have Some Fun

Welcome to 2013 and a year of "firsts".  I took my first shower of 2013 just now-thank you, (bow, hand, hand, wrist, wrist wave), I had my first beer just a few ago and that was quite tasty I must say (did I mention it is now about 5:30 p.m. so it's okay, really) and this morning I took my dog for her first walk of the new year. I also videotaped it-I am a bit odd that way-I videotape pretty much everything except, well that of course. On my videotape I narrated a lovely day, my dog's sniffing adventures of every bush and tree and just how glorious the morning was turning out to be. The street was hush, hush quiet and the revelers were tucked into bed.

I came home and downloaded the pictures from the week including my lovely morning videotape walk and then I made the mistake of watching it.

Do NOT, I repeat-DO NOT videotape yourself and then watch it if you are over 40 and would like to have a good day. This is what happened; to avoid drawing a HUGE amount of attention to myself, walking and talking into space as I faced the camera, I held it down. Big mistake. Do you realize people what gravity is doing to our faces? Do you have any idea how bad we, (yes, YOU) all look at an angle from about your chest up? Hideous, droopy and my nose holes! Good Lord Almighty, you could drive a truck through those things.

So that is how my morning of January 1, 2013 went. Started off great until I saw what 47 New Year's have done to my face. But..... then something great happened.... so stay with me here.

By mid afternoon, the Nightmare on Elm Street vision of my face was wearing off and the family decided to have some fun. We broke out the choicest of the Nerf Gun Christmas presents and went absolutely nutty. We had a Family of Four Nerf War! We donned the goggles, strapped on the ammo bags, racked the slides and primed the magazines of flying discs and blue and orange darts-then we had AT IT!! The hubby and me against our two boys, little nippers of 11 and 9-who screamed like the daughters I never had as they retreated time and again to the back room through a hail of neon darts.

The house was a war zone and I laughed my ass off, thank goodness because after the appetizers and pizza on the eve of the new year, I could use a little shaved off the back.

Oh, and my face? Who gives a rat's behind.. when the New Year Calls, I will be locked and loaded ready to take it on..

Have fun and Happy 2013.

When You Have No Words

What does one say or how does one process an act of evil where in the matter of 10 minutes 20 young children are shot multiple times?

Last week while at work, I watched the news play out. I was busy, discussing administrative matters, personnel paperwork, running from call to call, handling a citizen inquiry and taking a phone call here and there. Then the ticker on the bottom of the screen read- "Reports indicate 26 people killed.." That is when it all changed. The atmosphere became thick and charged. Staff walked in and out of offices and breakrooms, checked televisions and spoke in hushed tones clearly unable to focus. It was what we were hearing, what we were seeing; an elementary school, several dead, some must be children.

Just like everyone across the country, we will all remember where we were when we first learned 20 children were shot multiple times at close range. We can imagine them gathered in circle time huddled with their teacher, her arms like wings outstretched around those babies, or ordered under tables in lockdown tucked tightly under tables; the teacher running at the perpetrator in the same manner as the principal. I have no doubt.

We will probably all look at our own and other people's children a little differently. This is where my mind took me on the Saturday following this tragedy, as I drove my own children and the giggling friends of my youngest to his birthday party, just how precious the cargo I was carrying truly was.  It takes a village to raise a child. We should all work to protect children, be they are own or someone elses. There is true evil in the world, this event has only proven what we already knew. This makes our job as the good people on this earth even more important. Hug your kids and if you do not have any children, make a difference in one child's life.

For evil to win-- is for good people to do nothing.

Your Fondest Christmas Childhood Memory

Tell me and all viewing; what is your fondest memory of that very special Christmas morning? What was that one present or presents that made it the best day ever?

For me, it was a couple of things.  I asked for and really, really wanted a Holly Hobby lifesize doll. I don't know if anyone out there remembers Holly Hobby but when I opened that big box and saw her blue bonnet, flower dotted dress and long braids, I was in love. I got her sister also and for the life of me I cannot remember her name.  This was 1979 and the absolute best Christmas, I was 13. After the big Holly reveal, I came across (I have to admit, I peeked) my next favorite present; a little combination safe about the size of a volley ball but square, blue metal with a cool spinning combination lock.  For the next few years I put love letters from a teenage crush in Indiana in the safe along with some coins I collected.  Wish I still had that safe, it was so cool. 

What is your best memory? 

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I figured things out late in life, like what I wanted to do, getting married (age 30), having kids, (36 and 38) and changing degrees about 3 times. Now as a cop of 19 years and in my mid 40's, I am finally figuring out some things. My first career or dream of becoming a writer is playing more in my head and daily life than ever. I love it. Thus the blog. It is all mine. I also love being a mother. They are all ours. I love my husband and as a cop, wow.. have I seen some things. Street degree. I got it. Let us learn together. I also am on She Writes.