4

God’s Perfect Timing, and my heartbreak

My Aunt died Tuesday. She was 53 years young and so full of life….until she wasn’t. Through all this I know God has perfect timing. I’m trusting his hand in this and just holding strong for those around me that are shredded by grief and pain and loss.

I put on a smile and hug those that need it most. I retell stories from happy times gone by. Like when my Aunt bought me and my brother and my cousin super soakers (waterguns) for Christmas one year and we played outside in the snow and cold for hours with her climbing trees and ducking around corners to surprise each other with a face full of water. Her smile was radiant. She took me to minister and feed the homeless on numerous occasions. No neighborhood too scary or tough for the 115 lb God fearing ball of love that was my Aunt. She was armed with bibles and Gods light, because that’s all she needed in this life. And numerous other stories I’ll clutch in my heart and retell again and again.

This morning is the eve of goodbye and my heart is breaking for those around me. I’m having a stiff drink and scheduling time with my bible.

Please pray. Pray for peace and comfort and wisdom in this journey.

7

So I Fell in Love With A Death Row Inmate

I did. Fall in love. With the biggest brown eyes and toothy smile I have ever seen in my life. He is the typical tough guy, full of devilish good looks and rippling muscle. And a dash of mystery. His name is Tyson aka Jelly B Yellow, he is a two year old pitt bull mix. I agreed to foster him for a local (ish) rescue called Unleashed Rescue. He was on death row in Greater Kansas City Animal Control. I just couldn’t say no. 

I picked him up today, not knowing what I would find. All three of my girls in tow and a collar and leash to be filled. Let me tell you,  what I found was heart breaking. The smell about knocked me flat when we went inside the building. There were huge smokestacks to the crematorium outside. It was dark and I could hear dozens of cries from the back. This was definitely death row. 

I gave the bored worker my info, as well as the collar and leash. An attendant brought out Tyson. He smelled terrible… scratches and wounds adorned his body. Possibly cuts from trying to escape? From being handled roughly? I prepared myself to see a broken soul. Instead a smiling, tail Wagging, exuberant soul met me and the girls. He looked carefree and happy despite his condition. 

The forgiveness dogs offer has always amazed me. Here he was in deplorable conditions and he still wore a happy grin and fostered a bounce in his step. He was happy to see me. A perfect stranger to him. 

We got him in the car quickly. He sat quietly observing me. Blessing me with his contagious grin. And his horrible smell. I’m still wondering if I’ll ever get that smell out of my new Yukon. Oh well if I don’t. It will remind me how easily some people throw life away. How easily some souls are deamed inferior and dismissed so easily because someone got tired of them. Cast aside like filth and sent to death because someone suddenly decided they had no value. I took this photo minutes after rescuing him from death row. Those stacks in the back ground are from the crematorium. So close to death, and yet he smiles. Ironic hey?

The ride home was uneventful. He was quiet and  stared at me. Trying to make sense of his situation. Wondering if I’d be his saviour or his warden. I guess at some point he decided I was a good person. 

Got home, gave him a much needed bath and a meal. Poor chap is so thankful. He tried to eat Eli (our housecat) once, and tried to jump the two little girls. So I sit here with him on a leash for the while day. Yikes! This rescue business is work. In exhausted and this is only day one! How do people do this every day. Day in day out? It’s exhausting. Or did I already say that? But that smile is so worth it. 

After bath and meal we had a two mile walk and played with toys. He pulls on the lead. Not to be mean. No one has ever taught him anything. He’s a seventy pound puppy.

So that’s my story of how I Fell in Love With A Death Row inmate. He won’t stay on the HK Bar forevor. If circumstances were different he would be my forevor dog. But reality is not as such. The HK Bar will be a stepping stone, a place to rest and be loved. A short stop on his journey to his forevor life. I know as long as I live I’ll never forget Tyson. He has changed me. Forevor. 

0

A Date Designed For Him; Operation Romance Phase 3

Phase three was a total slam dunk! I keep thinking one of these phases is going to fall flat on its face and give me a reality check. it has been going so well! Ugh my pessimism creeps up sometimes. I am a bit of a serial realist. Ouch, hurts to admit. Anywho, phase three of operation romance I planned yesterday morning, the day of. I know talk about last minute, but hey, I can work under a time crunch and really let’s face reality, A day designed specifically for him just needs to include food and entertainment that can hold his attention. THe key to designing a date tailored specifically to one person is to actually know what would make that person happy. My husband isn’t a Neanderthal, but close. So basically I guess I have to admit I had a slam dunk from the word go. I mean really, my husband would have been happy to have no children in the house and stay in bed with a pizza and sex for the night. He would literally have been as happy as a rhody at a Duran Duran concert.

But that’s not what happened….well…completely. Having some respect for our private lives I will say his date started off with the kids going off to the babysitter and him getting to spend some time in bed…taking a nap….

After his nap he was much refreshed. He commented how sweet it was for me to think of that, and I secretly fist pumped (seriously NOT a sexual innuendo here) my victory in the bathroom as I prepared for phase two. I mean really score one for team Heather. 

I then whisked him away to his favorite place to eat. Longhorns Steakhouse in Lawrence, Kansas. I took the liberty of ordering for him. Starters were a bud light bottle for him and “make sure it’s cold” (I’m sure the waitress thought I was a real control freak) and a strawberry margarita for me. The husband was impressed with my skills I could tell. Or actually it was probably because I’m a huge non drinker and I get all frowny and pissy  faced when he usually orders a beer. (A little back story though my husband used to be a big drinker. Not alcoholic , just more than what pushed my comfor t zone. Oh to have been raised in an alcoholic family. It damages you somehow. But that’s fotter for another story). Then I commenced to ordering Chicken strips with french fries WITH barbecue sauce and ranch dressing. Because my husband can’t stand honey mustard and eats barbecue sauce on everything. Seriously, I told you he was the human being most closely related to the Neanderthal living! We chatted through supper like we were newly dating and getting to know each other. All the while I am thinking where is this coming from? Usually by now I’m irritated because he is spending two dollars on a beer and all I can think is how irresponsible  that is with my hard earned money. (HAHA right he is the one that works three jobs. Ok so I’m possessive. …..can I also blame this on thoses alcoholic members of my childhood??) We just enjoyed supper. I had to check my mouth a couple of times from discussing bills and other concerns I Have for the planning period for the HK Bar for next calendar year. I decided no business talk on his date. I mean really Ithink that is why I stress him out so much is because all I can think of is finance, planning, what’s next what’s next……I get it though, seriously from his point of view he works sixteen hour days and then comes home to three screaming children that want his full attention and a wife that is bitching because the finances are so tight you could bounce an elephant off of them. Like seriously I’d be thinking of doing a runner in his place. Maybe he fantasizes about it…. But back to supper. It was fantastic. Period.

I next took him to a movie that he has been talking about for weeks. ‘War Dogs’. But realized a flaw in my planning. We had an hour to kill in between supper and movie. That’s when my Neanderthal, I mean my husband stepped up his game to impress me. He said let me take YOU somewhere for the next hour. All I could think was Great he is gong to take my to some very public place and want to have sex in our new Yukon. (The back cargo area is huge), And then the police are going to come and arrest me and then I’ll go to jail for the first time in my life at thirty years old  because I had my naked ass up in the air in the back of our family vehicle in the middle of a populated area…..” Seriously the struggle is real inside my head sometimes. But he took me to a book store close out. Big red signs of 70% off flashed everywhere. BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS! And all at dirt cheap prices. This is the precise moment my husband turned from Neanderthal to Prince Charming. He so gets me . I love books. So for the next hour I put armfuls of books into a cart pushed by my husband who followed me silently like a loyal dog. God I love that man. 

Then it was on to the movie. War Dogs was the typical stuff based on a true story I’m a gun runner badass……. I did enjoy it. A little. Not as much as the bookstore, but I lived. My husband was grinning like a kid at Christmas on the drive home. And then he said the magic words….”That was the perfect date night, thank you Baby”. I melted into the seat and closed my eyes after those words. Phase three had been a success! And all I could do was smile. ……and start planning PHase Four of Operation Romance…….

3

Handling His Meat With Precision; Operation Romance Phase 2

I finally decided on my next phase of operation romance! I made my husband a suprise steak lunch. What did you expect from the title? Gezzz you sicko, I literally meant I handled his meat,  you know the kind you EAT….errr….well, that could be misconstrued as well. Okay starting over, I made my husband a kick ass suprise lunch in an attempt to bring back some romance to our marriage. I seriously have been tuned out for awhile. 

Anyhow. I made marinated beef ribeye steaks (raised and butchered right here on the HK Bar), corn, and seasoned mashed potatoes. He was a happy man! I sat across the table staring at him as he took his first bite. He wore a worried look as he took his first bite. I said, “What’s wrong honey?” He said, “I don’t know I keep waiting for you to tell me. You have been so attentive these past few days I keep waiting for the punch line. I have to admit it has me a bit worried.” 

Im sure he saw my eager, happy face fall with his comment. Gezzz I know I’m not huge on romance, but I didn’t realize I have been the ultimate romance Scrooge. I told him, “I realized I have not been very attentive to you, or very romantic for a long time. I truly have had a great time first writing your note, and planning your suprise lunch. I guess I would worry a bit too if I were in your shoes. Not that you have to worry, I just wanted to do something nice for you.”  A genuine smile lit up his face and he took my hand from across the table. He even put his fork down to do this, and that is HUGE for my husband, although thin, he loves his food. And he said, “I really liked your note. It made me smile, and it was really sweet of you. Thank you, it is nice to be thought of.” And then he commenced to devouring my suprise lunch with impressive speed. 

So I guess after the initial shock of Operation Romance wears off my husband might not always look so Leary when I do something nice for him. We had some good moments during his lunch. And I truly did enjoy preparing the meal and coming up with the menu. Usually I’m not a huge fan of cooking. It’s not that I’m bad at it, because I’m not, it’s more the fact that everyone has to eat and it just becomes one more chore on my list to check off three times a day. This time was different. I really did feel like I was pouring my love into this meal. And I’m happy that it was received so well. 

So cheers to handling my husbands meat so well, and on to the next planning phase for Operation Romance. HMMMMM what will I do? What will it be? Stay tuned! 

2

So I wrote My Husband A Love Letter; Operation romance Phase 1

I actually googled how to write a love letter. Pathetic? Maybe so. I told y’all I had killed (or very nearly) killed the romance in my marriage. But hey, I am TRYING here. So what did I uncover in my google search? Basically the best advice I read was to write the love letter HE would like to receive not the one YOU would like to receive. Also other good points were to keep the wording simple. You don’t really need to write a novel about how you love to watch him sleep (I think that is creepy as all get out. But hey, who am I to say I mean really I had to google how to write a love letter! ) be to the point and straight forward using simple terms. And another last but very good point is, men don’t necessarily want to hear they are handsome, they want to hear they are appreciated, admired, and needed. 

So after composing at least half a dozen long winded flowery love letters I opted to take some well given advice and see where it took me. I wrote a very short and very well intentioned letter to my husband and used a few of my daughter’s stickers to tape it to the back door. I put it right above the knob so that he has to see it. 


Even though it is very simple, I hope that it makes him smile that I took the time and thought of him. So now we wait, and see what the outcome is. Update to follow. 

2

Romance Is Dead, Because I Killed It

Seriously though, in the twelve years with my husband, I have so killed the romance in our relationship. I used to be the one that tried to find the perfect gift for him for holidays. I would always send thoughtful and sometimes naughty (not like x-rated, more like a smidge between pg-13 and R) text messages, I would always beg to be snuggled, etc. etc. I could sit here and type all the mushy crap I used to do, but then I’d be repulsed at myself and have to cringe a little remembering such drivel. (Why do I think it is drivel now a days? )

When did I really cut Romance’s throat? For the life of me I can’t say that I can put my finger on a particular space of time that  I said to myself, “Ok, this lovey dovey crap just has to end, NOW!”  Because really I  am truly a romantic at heart. I always want the couple to fall in love and live a happy every after. I always ooh and ahhh when I see a couple basking in some romantic event or occasion. 

So why have I cut it out in my own marriage? 

I honestly, for the life of me cannot answer this question. I think as time has passed I have just slowly done less and less. I quit putting the effort in for whatever hundred thousand reasons I can think of, until here I am today, knowing I don’t do anything romantic anymore for my husband. 

One thing I do know is that I love my husband very much. He is the only person that can make me as mad as he can and I still know at the end of the day that I want him with me. Even if he is a big old idiot sometimes. He’s still my person. So I think I will be putting some effort into breathing life back into Romance. Maybe, if  I am lucky I haven’t really killed him off completely. Maybe he can be rescusitated. 

So the research begins to bring Romance back to life. I am thinking the first thing I will attempt is 1. Write him a love letter 2. Plan a date that is all about HIM. And past that is where my view becomes hazy. But hey, it is a start. What are some romantic things you have done for your significant other? What does romance even mean to you? 

After I put some ideas together I will update you on how this journey goes for me! I look forward to hearing your thoughts and suggestions on this one! 

1

Someday Baby 

Sometimes putting forth the effort with a partner is just plain exhausting. But honestly after almost nine years of marriage and almost thirteen years into our relationship I am finally realizing it is so worth it. Slow learner , eh? Well, I guess we are all on the learning curve somewhere. 🙂 

What is spurring me to write this piece? Well, honestly it is because I have really noticed a difference in not only my own attitude, but my husbands, after I have put in the maintenance time. It is actually so simple that it is painful. He’s happier, and I am happier. What have I done you ask? 

I’ve made a valiant effort to make myself happy first, my children happy second, and my husband happy last. Most people would probably argue that I should put my husband up higher on the list. Nope, not this Mama. I always told my husband my kids come before anyone, even him. See the way I worded that? I guess I should really say OUR kids and not MY kids. I mean after all I guess they are after all a little his too. Anyhow back to topic……

I think putting myself first takes the stress off my back for so many reasons. First of all my needs are met first, so I am not so strung out tired from having met everyone else’s needs and sucked dry, while waiting for someone to come to my rescue. I am already “taken care of” so anything my husband says or does is just extra. Anything my kids say or do is just extra. This makes complete sense in my head, are you following my squirrel trail? 

I know some of you may be rolling yours eyes and saying ummm yeah how selfish you mean! Haha. Maybe I would have thought that too once upon a time. But not now. I see that if I take care of myself first I am more effective for everyone else. I go about my daily mundane tasks with more enthusiasm because I am truly happy, I am truly more energized. And maybe a small part of it is because I often feel like I have so little control in my life. Three kids and a husband that works three jobs tends to rule a person at times. Or maybe the fact is really that I am utterly left to rule to kingdom when my husband is working and away all the time. That’s probably more accurate. I feel the pressure sometimes and it is overwhelming. 

So that’s basically the gist of my whole piece. I’ve learned to put myself first and everything else tends to fall into place. With only minor snags here and there. But I guess I should explain the title. “Someday Baby” these are the words my husband says when I talk about one of my dreams coming true, or when I speak of a big project I want to happen.god bless my husbands heart he always listens patiently and says “Someday Baby”. Some times I think he truly believes it, sometimes I think he just says it to humor me. I have always had some lofty dreams/goals/ideas. His words are sweet, but the next time he says “someday baby” I am going to say, “Now Baby” because I am the one truly in control of those dreams and goals that I have. 

Putting yourself first isn’t always the selfish route. I think it is almost truly the most unselfish act you can achieve, because everyone gets the purest, highest charged version of yourself. So that’s my little piece of thought from the HK Bar this Sunday morning. Today I’m not listening to “Someday Baby”, I am SAYING “NOW BABY!”