Cat’s, dog’s, and Christmas.

Joe will be home about the strike of midnight Wednesday to Thursday night. And he is no Cinderella. lol. But I love my pumpkin. Even if he will walk in after a 15 hour long drive wearing the most comfy things I still can’t get rid of….they are towel shorts. Like for real.

Our Christmas vacation will begin, our first time being able to celebrate together in three Christmas’s. Though he leaves back to work only the day after.

We decided not to get a tree in our RV this year, between a cat who is best on doing exactly what you tell her not to do…as you tell her not to do it, while staring right at you in a defiant “Make, me, bitch” glare before swiping with her paw.

And with a 5 and some weeks old puppy who barrels through like he’s a delicate flower in his mind but truly a bull in a China shop in reality. Last year we had sat our little live tree (later planted) on top of our dashboard (it’s huge) but this year we have a cat AND a dog who thinks he’s a cat and the dashboard is a favorite place for them (my windshield is that of a glass sliding door in a  house with dogs, now. the nose prints are constantly being cleaned). Other than that our RV does not offer much space for a tree of any size. Our dining table is used much too much for actual dining to be a place, I can’t spare the counter space with all of the cooking I do, and my desk is yet to be installed. And the way an RV’s floor space is, there isn’t much to spare and still get around each other…adding now stepping over a 60 pound and still growing dog often right in our way. However on top of that each time we leave I would have to move it behind the safety of a closed door out of reach of a puppy who loves sticks, and bark, and would surely love a tree no matter how well he does at not destroying things…as he doesn’t at all except for that one time with the roll of toilet paper….he is still a puppy, and my first to not kennel train, so shoes, books, and some obvious temptations get put away.

For a week afterward even the remains of that one roll of toilet paper (not the shredded mess part) was left out so each time he touched it he was told no, and when we would leave if we came back and he had he was told no while we held it in our hand. For this boy mama’s No is all it takes. Joe says “I understand his pain.”

The females of this RV seem to definitely be the attitudes, while the males seem to be the relaxed, easy, go-lucky and at times the “stay out of her way” types. Unless you make joe stand in a line at a crowded place or put his back to the restaurant in a noisy restaurant rather than against the wall….easy-going fly’s straight out the window into agitated wound up knee bopping stress-mess.

At least they understand. The less ‘training’ I have to do the better. Lord knows I’ve put in a lot of training over my years.

So, Joe and I have a two week Christmas time smack in December vacation and I have planned the best of it. Since we aren’t getting a tree this year, we are visiting every tree we can as we cross through town after town. We plan on being the goofy tourists and taking fun pictures, mostly with our pup, in front of every tree often set within some small or large town square. I mean if you don’t have one yourself…just borrow everyone else’s.

We will drive and stop and walk about to check out the lights and enjoy hot coco often. We plan on having George with us just about every time. I really need to find him a santa hat.

I, of course plan to find a Santa for George to take his picture with…because I am THAT person. Joe rolls his eye’s and say’s “no” (it’s cute when he actually attempts telling me no, which even he knows is never going to work) when I want to do dorky things with the pup (I am still looking for goulashes and a rain coat) but each time it’s something that gets a smile out of him later. He always does enjoy the results.

So, this and the last are the vacations when eating healthy just isn’t my worry. I should a bit more than I did during Thanksgiving break (which was actually the first half of the month of November for us) but the cold weather and the season called for potato soup and turkey dinner with all the trimmings and cioppino with too much buttered crusty bread and muffins galore and too many desserts even though I am not a big dessert person, trying to fit in many traditional and new recipes for the season into a two week period of Joe-Home time….by the end of it I never wanted to see a rich food again. and the past four weeks have been back to normal for me. One of my things is I have always suffered from chronic fatigue and anemia, arthritis which can make a person feel like a constant flu body ache so I eat for my health and the things to counter those issues. But this next two weeks is Christmas, and then it’s on to the new year when good health can truly come back. Now, my eating plans for Christmas are not quite as bad. My soup will be my famous “Makes Everything Better Soup”, a soup I grew up with called “Garbage soup”, best done from boiling down the carcass (with much meat) of a turkey, veggies and seasonings. Then straining the broth, shredding meat, cutting up and adding veggies and then from there you can leave it as it or add some potato if you wish, or rice and with the rice even some tomato sauce to make one soup into various types. I prefer the plainest first version. It makes the house smell so good to make the broth and then the soup and truly warms the soul. If you feel a slight bit under the weather I use that broth in a coffee mug boiled with extra garlic cloves and extra hot pepper (often a red Thai or a cayenne) and down the magic. I’ll be buying up extra turkeys while in season and making extra broths and soups to stock the freezer. Typically I drink a cup of broth (I make garlic in it always as well, and always have cayenne) a day anyway.

I swear to God it works.

Though I don’t smoke, drink (not much anyway) or have ever done drugs much less any kids so I will age better than my mother did, and her mother before her as the way they both aged has always been a fear of mine…but thankfully at 36 there are still barely a glimpse of a fine line, I still have good healthy skin. But I HAVE gone through times in my life when I saw life takes it’s toll and getting onto a broth daily, and a LOT of water and healthy eating (not strict by any means and dammit still too much cream and sugar in coffee), and sunshine (no tanning) and fresh air made a huge difference, even made what was beginning disappear. I don’t actually fear gray hair (in fact I am slightly bummed I didn’t get my mothers and grandmothers prematurely gray) or aging, I just wish to not age before my time which I always felt both my mother and grandmother had done, and I wish to age a bit more…gracefully in the sense of not FEELING old and stiff and hunched over, both of which also runs in the family. So at 36, when I look back at my family line…as a woman who technically takes very much after physically….I am pretty happy. AND no hunched up shoulders, a nice straight back (thanking my grandmother for every slap on the hand I got for slumping at the dinner table). But I also try for it and don’t do dumb things like smoke and do drugs and heavy drinking (my grandmother only smoked cigarettes…. as far as I know and had two kids, my mother did like 20 years of hard core drinking , cokaine, and 40 years of smoking, plus decided that breeding like a sow was the way to go in life). I simply don’t want to FEEL old before my time. And even then I still want to FEEL healthy.

Anyway, the broth works some magic, I swear.

However (I am always losing my train of thought), during this Christmas season I do have cookie baking planned, muffins making, and aside from the soup making I’ll be doing,  our Christmas dinner is a huge seafood spread…but I am sure there will be enough butter across the table to not actually count as very healthy.

Aside from food, we do have bike riding, hiking, and dog walking. And when I say dog walking I mean typically we cover 4 miles a day. Not huge but for a growing puppy not bad. I have some neat bike rides planned out for where we will be along the way. I am always one for not getting bored and I love enjoying good scenery. In some places I often ride to hunt down things the town is known for…like murals, nature spots, or say in Galveston of course the tree carvings would be something to see when visiting a new place. Every place is known for their own little something…the Natchez trail, New Orleans houses and gardens, The Florida Key’s. There is always stuff you can entertain yourself on a  bike ride with…and sometimes it’s just eye’s to the road ahead and ride out the miles until your legs ache…and then a little past that.

I trail run anytime there are good dirt and preferably hill/mountain area’s to do so. I don’t run on concrete because I really want my knee’s in another 20 years. And I hike any chance I get…an activity that as once a sport of mine and for which Joe wasn’t too keen on before we ever went but once I got him out he was loving it….though I swear to God now if he whispers the words “sore feet” or “Blister” or Are you ready to turn back” I just threaten to knock him off a mountain and tell him “This is what keeps our country safe?!” Referring to his Navy days.

He’s been a fantastic sport, though, even when I decided to make things interesting and take it back to my days as a young girl and be able to identify EVERYTHING. Birds, tree’s, plants, flowers, animals, fish, tracking, paw prints, and poop. Yep, poop. I even got a book on it.

Besides, you never know when things might help in survival skills. Or whatever.

…While Joe is usually discussing the burger joint we had passed on the drive in….

This trip we will drive everywhere playing Christmas music and singings them at the top of our lungs.

We will enjoy hot coco and fresh from the oven cookies (of course I have to have some warm soft Sugar cookies but also have Joe’s favorite cranberry oatmeal, I don’t think I’ve eaten a Christmas cookie in about ten years). I am sure on our long bike rides I will find that Joe slipped a few into our pack. Next to the granola, the home made bars, the oranges and banana’s and the jerky. That just means I’ll push us one mile longer for each cookie he snuck in, though…but don’t tell him I said that.

We have a few “house chores” to do along the way as well. I have a couple of lighting changes, some flooring work, and some painting work plus I think some fittings on a few water connections are getting changed. Even with RV life, there is always much to do. But, playing some music, having a soup going on the stove to warm us up later will make it pretty fun, even with me usually bickering at Joe about something or another at some point about something mechanical or safety or saying something like “Well, if you lose a fucking finger I seriously am going to say I told you so.” My kinda-dad as I call the father of my two youngest sisters, recently gave me advice never to tell a man something like that, I told Joe about it and he said “that advice is a lot too late for you.” Recently I was parked next to a couple in a bit of a close space and while sitting working at my indoor dining table they were out fixing something with their plumbing/tanks, and the husband was very bickery…I typed a message to Joe about listening to what I would sound like if I were a man….he laughed. I said “I could never date that.” This also reminds me of the time someone said to us “RVing sounds so romantic” to which I replied “It’s mostly about unclogging and cleaning your poop tank.” I once did have a therapist tell me I was very “un-romantic.”

I have all of the best Christmas movies lined up to watch, cuddled up with Joe and the pets and super warm blankets. I am ready to do this season right.

Today though I am putting my work away getting ready, doing laundry and a deep clean (I prefer to do before vacation begins) and wondering how the hell an RV actually takes so much to clean (when you do a deep cleaning you find more dust-hiding places than you’d imagine…and a lot of odd switches don’t help), soaking beans and already making broth, hitting the grocery so we have an immediate at home breakfast the morning after Joe gets home. And still procrastinating on sewing a button onto a pair of pants I promised him I’d do…three months ago. (He said last trip home that he knows how to sew a button on and if he really wanted the pants he could manage it himself or take them to a seamstress, so it’s not exactly that I do all the domestic type stuff, I actually have the pants in a pile of a few things I have been intending to do some things on and try to get stuff like that to of the way of vacation times because we never actually have much time during them. But I am a fantastic procrastinator.)

At the same time I realize that as soon s he leaves the new year basically begins and so does an entire new year of work, clean slate from this year and FULLY planned year of 2018 so I am excited for Christmas vacation AND new works.

Tonight will be my last night to watch a little Grey’s Anatomy before my zone turns from girl-life into having to consider someone else’s TV/movie interests. The last night George gets to sleep in the bed, though he will be replaced only by nearly the same snoring and not by much less furry cuddler. I am looking forward to the gumbo Joe is making that the Pennsylvania boy has learned on the boat from his cajun co-workers who he lives with for a month at a time.

And again that time comes when I thought Joe would need to feed the dog, brush him, be the one to walk him to have George used to him and share his puppy-loyalty…but quickly learned visit number one that it doesn’t matter at all, when Joe is home he has all of the loyalty of both cat and dog without an ounce of the effort.

Fuckers.

And so Christmas begins…..

Political thoughts today.

Today on our own Democratic party:

Other says “Our Best in all Fields are being toppled.”

I say; If “our best is being toppled” we need to have a much better bests.

Expect better or we will never get better.

Hold to our own platform, values, and core beliefs and what we stand up for.

Listen to the ‘hers’ and ‘hims’ that come forward. Listen.

You can’t claim #MeToo and then say something like “5 women accusations aren’t even true…or that bad.”

We arne’t Moore….we are better. There is no comparing what we are to them but only what we are to our values.

The Republicans have long built upon greed, sexual misconduct, guns, and fear mongering, xenophobia, homophobia, racism. But we are not the republicans. We can not say “but we aren’t as bad as….” because there is still a slot filled in the category.

If this is what can make us fear for our party, it only means we need a stronger party. More amazing candidates running all over the country and for very seat big and small.  Just a grocery store clerk? Well guess what? Franken was just a comedian once. In fact our own hypocrisy has had him in the talks for the 2020 presidential running after bashing currently Trump for being a TV show host. It showed a flaw in many ways and sadly many flaws now because we have victim shamed, we have given reason and cause, we have allowed, made excuses, and compared to someone “much worse” because there currently happens to BE someone to compare to. But as long as we allow sexual assault there will always be sexual assault. But how do we support #MeToo while literally silencing our own problems?

In some aspects what Franken has been accused of (and others that have done it) it doesn’t really seem “that bad” and for a “guy who’s long been a comedian” but the thing is…much has been in a virtual “work place” and if we were women of that work place we’d feel pretty violated. And regardless, it’s sexual harassment. Even assault. And where DOES that end? Where IS the line of “not so bad”?

Sure, Franken has done good things for our party. But at this time a person of better morals and values and conduct could have that seat he has. Could be on the track to presidency that he might be on. And that person could even be a person of color or a woman or a woman of color or even our newest growth of transgender….but we still actually come down to having an old white man who obviously believes he can “take what he wants without asking”. I don’t care who’s in office and the color of their skin or their sex or sexual orientation, but what I do care about is that our party and platform is not weakened and cheapened by a simple allegation…which was truth and admitted to and even proclaimed disgusting by the accused. If this is what topples us…we have a much bigger problem. We don’t have enough people in college learning to be politicians. We don’t have enough kids in high school who even consider it. We don’t have enough non-college educated, skill trade, working class people who believe that THEY have a chance Problem #1…one of the largest reasons being the money it takes to run #problem #2.

We aren’t encouraging people to run. We don’t have enough blue states because we aren’t allowing people to believe they have a chance. The #Pantsuit and #Indivisible groups have been amazing at bringing SOME more to this cause. But it’s not yet there. We must do better. And to tell your little girl, your poor welfare raised son, your child of color, Muslim, or of sexual ‘differences’ that they will have a much harder fighting chance than a white male comedian with a list of accusations really…shows where our party stands Problem #3 and #4.

It may not be “as bad as” but it IS existing.

And if it takes a sexual assault to topple a party…we shouldn’t have sexual assaults happening, so thus we should not allow them. And if the Republican party manages to actually practically BUILD on theirs from Trump to Moore, so be it. We must find OTHER ways to topple them regardless of their cult-following voters.

I will not vote for a man who has the accusations so as NOT to have a republican in office. Because that makes me into them. In fact, word for word. And I will not be ok with “some sexual misconduct” while protesting against ANY sexual misconduct. Because that makes me a weak link in my party.

If losing one good Democrat seat (which we may fill with another Democrat anyway) breaks us, we were already broken.

We don’t want weak, but we are weak and we will only grow in our strength by being better. Not having the ability to BE accused to HAVE an accusation be WHAT topples us.

No misconducts in sexual harassment, not misconducts in legal issues, no misconducts in money issues. And more. THIS we must all demand better to grow in our strength. We should NOT have a fear of losing ONE because we should be MANY and many good. We should not be handing them the ammunition to topple us.

But here, we did. And by not standing by our own guns….it won’t stop. We won’t be strong.

Who will fill the Senate seat for Minnesota? Who will begin polishing themselves today for a run for presidency in the future? Polish your boots now, because if we need better, we need to start being better. We need to also run, work, build, climb, and create the future of our party.

But it’s hard to do when all the places are taken by sexual assaulting old rich white men. As we’ve claimed of the other side.

I do hope that Al Franken is sincere in his apology. I do understand that people make mistakes. But there is a price to every mistake we make and he deserves his, not petitions by women to help him keep his job that HE created a cause of losing by assaulting women. I hope he learns from this and does great works. But not from within his Senate seat nor in a future run for presidency because at this moment I wouldn’t vote for him even if fighting against Trump. I won’t be them. I won’t lower my standards or be the weakness of my own party. I won’t be ok with some and dating the women of some while fighting against the other. I won’t be that person.

Al Franken has a chance to do great works and great works for our party, against bills, laws, and Republicans, to change the broken pieces of America of which he has now become one of, from many other avenues. And being a rich white male already makes that possible on its own merit. He has some redemption, some apology to those women, and to all women, and to his party for being hypocritical, part of the problem. And he has the rest of his life time to put into fixing that very exact same problem. Which will only grow and strengthen us as a nation. Past prisoners go on to keeping many out of prisons later by teaching them better paths to walk. Perhaps Franken can do so for young men everywhere. And make a safer work place, environment for women everywhere. He owes the country that for weakening the Democratic party and senate.

#AlFranken #Democrat #DemocraticParty #Senate #Minnesota #TheFuture #Platform #Values #MakeAmericaGreat #MeToo #DoBetter #ExpectBetter