Life after the house fire became like the movie Groundhog Day. Every day was the same and I could not see any light at the end of the tunnel. I had no family to call and vent my grief as the only member still alive was my sister. Through constant interference not of our own doing we had not spoken in a few years. I just couldn’t seem to pick up the phone and make the first move because I was stupid.
Life was filled with menial things like picking out wallpaper and hand painting a lot of trim. The firemen had given us a couple of boxes that were decorated like Christmas presents. They had not wanted the kids to be upset so they had wrapped up the perished pets as gifts. Since it was in the dead of winter I could not bury them so I made a tiny raft and sent them down the river.
The last pet standing was Snoopy who was an emotional mess and he now slept his life away. The dog knew things were out of his control like I did and had lost his friends in the fire so he literally gave up. I would go upstairs every few hours and coax him down to eat or go outside. But most of the time I just hugged him and cried.
In moving a lot I’ve had to adapt to many different jobs. After moving from Idaho to rural Minnesota I tried selling Real Estate again, but the home prices were so low that I was barely covering my gas and advertising.
One night I attended a PartyLite party at the home of a new friend. Lisa, the consultant, showed us candles and gift-ware and mentioned that she averaged $100 in income per party. I listened closely. I couldn’t afford to buy anything, but asked her to contact me. Two weeks later I booked my “starter party” (and the 6 parties I’d give as a requirement to earn a free kit). We were new in a town of under 1100 people. I knew only the ladies who worked at the bank in town so it was a tough start. I didn’t know, at the time, the impact Lisa would have in my life. I was the first consultant she sponsored that made it past the first 6 parties. It wasn’t that I was great at it. I was desperate.
The card from Lisa thanking me for the guest list for my starter party. She says "I'll think we'll make good partners - and I know you have what it takes to be successful." Powerful words, I looked at them often and they lived in my heart.
I was honored in my first year when our Sr. Regional VP, Susan, called to ask me to do my first training. She had the national sales averages and said my number of guests per party was higher than the regional or national average. When you have low income women, they don’t spend much so you need higher attendance. I adapted my hostess routine to make sure there were more guests per party. Susan wanted me to train on what I was doing.
1997 my first full year and the first note I got from Susan on the monthly magazine page. I was number 7 in sales out of over 20,000. She wrote "Feel Proud of your Success Doris" Powerful words, I was walking on air.
What a challenge! Susan had a healthy 6 figure income and a large productive region filled with dynamic Leaders. She was also caring and genuine. It was important to me not to disappoint her. I was nervous about standing at a podium in front of at least 150 women with pens poised. I had handouts of the document I adapted to give each hostess as a checklist, and one I created to ensure I didn’t miss a single extra step. I wasn’t doing anything special, I was just regimented. My goal was that my hostess always got $100 in free product. If I made it happen for her, I earned $100, and my happy hostess would have more parties in the future.
At the podium that day, I forgot my nervousness as I focused on the importance of what I was passing on as I spoke. Later, consultants came up to ask me more questions. The following month something magical happened, many came to thank me for helping them increase their guest count. They were sincerely happy and proud that they had done the work and it paid off. Home sales isn’t an easy business. There’s lots of rejection and though it’s hard work, you don’t get much respect for doing it. You must constantly push yourself but you can never be pushy with others. I had a warm glow for days knowing I helped others meet their goals.
I had found it under your bathroom sink again. I found it behind your printer once. I found it in your file cabinet. I hated that you hid booze in the house. Once you poured it out. Once you let me put it in the cabinet. Once it killed you.
I put the last four bottles I found under the bathroom cabinet in the back closet. Then I cleaned that closet out and put the Vodka in the kitchen cabinet. It has been there a couple months. Tonight I am having a cocktail. A Pineapple/Vodka drunk. An ode to your life. A time to take you away from this world and out into the universe. Unfortunately the crash back to earth is not worth it. I don’t like the payback but you didn’t seem to mind.
It took me all this time to buy some Pineapple juice. Today at Walmart I found some cheap and that is just what I wanted. You and I had wonderful fun with our Pineapple Cocktails. We added a red cherry to mine and you switched to Grapefruit Juice because you were that kind of guy. We loved our cocktail hour. We loved to play but you had to have more. You had to have a pint of this Vodka a day. A pint. You wanted to transcend. So tonight I am transcending in your honor. Tonight I am remembering the joys of alcohol.
I found this on Facebook. What are your thoughts on this? Please share in the comments section
I remember standing by the window in the parlor looking at the evening sky in the Blue Hour. It was the winter of our first year and I loved standing in the empty room watching the colors change before my eyes. I never noticed in L.A. or San Francisco, was I too busy, too young, was it smog? What the hell was I doing in middle of nowhere Minnesotain winter on a farm, broke, bruised, tired and so damned cold. Memories that flash like photographs, still frames of my life that suddenly become a movie in my mind.
That day the snow was different, it looked like whitecaps on the ocean from the wind, the sun had warmed the top then nights froze the waves in place. There was a crust and I’d gone out to walk on it earlier, to feel it crunch and see how far I sank. God how you laughed at me, sinking thigh deep and struggling, the stubborn woman who wouldn’t turn back. Get it while I can, enjoy what I have, this new world and life I chose with you. I’m cold and tired but I have a new world. No, we have it.
Like the nights I had off in summer and fall when the colors soften and change, the birds settle in and the world gets quiet, I waited to watch that unbroken ocean of white. There were so few nights off during the Holidays but this night I had my time and my sights, I’m a watcher and magic is free. Slowly the night turned Indigo, deep, heavy purple-blue and the world was still early, no voices, no birds, no tires on the highway. Finally the yard light came on and I saw it, the ground sparkling everywhere I looked. It was as if someone had thrown millions of diamonds across the acre of lawn. It took my breath away and I stayed standing in the dark room, I didn’t want to look away.
I awoke from a deep medicated sleep by voices laughing behind the hospital curtain. The nurses were chatting at their desk and I silently wondered if I knew any of them that might come in and give me a kind word. Suddenly I heard the voice of my former obstetrician and remained quiet hoping she would not know I was there. Hearing her footsteps fade into the distance I suddenly ached for her to be by my side to reassure me that everything would be okay. I longed to see her smile or even hear words of anger that attempting to take your life was not something you should do.
Seeing the light of the moon cast its glare on the floor I knew that I would have to relive this day for the rest of my life. How many times had I done this and how many more times would I want to do it again? I felt my still tear-stained cheeks and knew that the hours of crying had not helped. This time it had been close; so close that I could taste it. Death had called out to me to be his friend and my stupidity had left me still standing on the other side with the living.
I found this through a Facebook “share” this morning and thought you might appreciate it. I do not know the origins of this photograph. All I know is that is was taken at a DC Slutwalk.
Slutwalks are a recent slew of protests by women who are sick of being victim blamed for their rapes by their rapists and the culture at large.
QT Pie and his QT Pie stuffed animal
So today QT Pie and I took a trip to the holistic vet. QT Pie has been receiving subcutaneous fluids and is taking a prescription, but after two weeks of administering both, his numbers have got worse. My regular vet said that he couldn’t really give me anything else for him. I scoured the internet and found a few supplements that sounded acceptable. After speaking to the vet on Thursday, I was preparing for the worst, then my father told me about a friend who took their dog to a holistic vet in the area. His friend’s dog was a bichon (like QT Pie). The dog had a tumor on her heart and was turned away by regular vets, “There’s nothing more we can do.” This woman didn’t seem to want to accept “no” for answer, so she took her dog to the holistic vet who prescribed her some magical potions (or something close to it) and the dog miraculously lived to be twenty years old. That is well past the life expectancy of bichons and dogs in general.
A while back I mentioned an article I was writing about online dating. I referred to it as “online dating turned unintentional social experiment.” I haven’t posted it yet but I will. For now, I have decided I am done with online dating. I deleted my account after getting one too many pictures of body parts I never wanted to see let alone asked for pictures of. Online dating was more like channel surfing than anything. It got to the point where I ignored 99.99% of the guys that messaged me, even the really cute ones, because I knew they were wrong for me, so why waste their time (and mine). I had been a few weeks without it -before I reopened my account this last time. Those few weeks were boring yet productive. Now what would I do with the time in between doing the other things that I usually do? I still didn’t have a boyfriend so naturally my mind gravitated to the next best thing: shoes.
Shoes that might be worth paying over $400 for...
Money cannot buy love but it can buy shoes! And I found a really great place for people on a sort of shoe budget- a shoe of the month club ran by Kimora Lee Simons. Each month you get a new pair of shoes or boots. Each month a fee of $39.95 is charged to you credit card. This price is what I would consider mid-grade. I am not someone who buys Christian Louboutins or Jimmy Choos. Even if I could light hundred dollar bills on fire without flinching, the idea of spending $400+ on a pair of shoes is kind of ridiculous…well…unless they were really, really cute shoes. Then it’s a different story. I sometimes bought shoes from Macy’s and Jessica Simpson- those were in the $100 prices range give or take $30. That was until I discovered the shoe section at my local Target and they have very nice shoes in the $30 price range. Continue reading