Other Foot

I just got back from a week long adventure in the wilds of Montana. I was sent there for my day job. Normally, if I’m sent to an offsite location it’s within my home state and I’m sleeping in my own bed that night. Now my husband is sent all over the country a couple times a year. This is the first time the shoe was on the other foot.

My trip was with 35 strangers. We were a mix of males and females ranging in age from college students to grandparents. Half of us, me included, were completely out of our comfort zone. I’m good in the woods or the desert, but I’m not good surrounded with strangers. It’s exhausting to be with strangers that I have to interact with for 14 or 15 hours a day without a break. I had no down time. No time to recharge my batteries.

In addition to my husband being my source of unconditional love and security, he’s also a buffer between me and people. I’m not a gregarious sort. I live in my head. I create mini worlds and I control how they interact. I control the plot, the dialogue and the ending. The real world is all together different. And generally – I’m not a fan.

To me, ‘the public’ is an energy vampire. Being in close confines with others just sucks the life out of me. I was prepared for inclement weather, the back country, long hours and rough conditions. I was not prepared for the toll of being around strangers for a week solid with sleep being my only away time. I came home utterly fried emotionally and physically.

My Love, on the other hand, experienced what it’s like to go about your normal routine with the other half of your soul missing. He’d come home and heat up a meal I’d prepared ahead of time, but he’d eat it alone. He had no one to share his day with. No one to share the chores. Yet, everywhere he looked he was reminded of me and something we created together. He said, if something ever happened to me the house would be on the market in a heartbeat. The memories would eat him alive.

At the end of the week, we both decided we’re no good alone. We’re halves of one whole. I think that’s the way it’s meant to be. We’ve spent everyday of 38 years together except for the occasional solo work trip. Our lives are completely intertwined and that’s the way we like it.

Montana

Whirlwind

Man, the last 30 days have been a whirlwind of chaos and stress. Yet, I feel blessed to say it has made my Love and I even closer.

The first disaster to strike was our air conditioner died. And I mean completed died. There was no reviving it. We went a week without it. Since we have large pets moving into a hotel was out of the question. Although our kids offered to let us stay with them, we decided to tough it out and not impose.

We live in the desert in Arizona and it was August. It’s our monsoon season. If you’ve never experienced Arizona in the summertime, I’m not sure you can appreciate exactly what it feels like here. When they tout it being a dry heat – they are talking about June and early July. In August, we have high temps and humidity. If you go from air conditioned cars to air conditioned buildings, it’s doable. I wouldn’t recommend living by fans alone in 110 degree heat though.

In truth, we were together and we came through it with a new appreciation for each other although our cuddle time took it in the shorts. 🙂

Fast forward to Labor Day – the perfect day for our well to die right? No one open. No one willing to drive out to the middle of no-where to even look at. My Love worked his magic and got it working (somewhat) so we were able to limp by until morning. Now if you read my blog, you’ll know why way of coping is to clean (among other things). Kinky sex with my Love, clean the house from top to bottom, rock out and dance to loud music, read something deliciously dirty and write – to be exact. But, I got off track. My point was it’s very difficult to clean when you can’t turn on the faucet.

During the week, we spoke to many well drillers and heard a different version of what they thought caused the problem and how to make the repair. Toss in stress of our daughter preparing for a 2+ week trip to Europe, a job interview for me and an eight week old pup and the stress level hit critical mass.

Which takes takes us back to coping strategies. Kinky sex is often dirty – no water for aftercare. Cleaning generally requires water too. Sure you can vacuum, but no dish washing, no laundry, no mopping, etc. Music and reading tried their best, but it was a rough job.

Today, I’m happy to say, our well solution was implemented. Everything looks good so far. It only cost the gross national product of a third world country to get water flowing through the faucets once more. My Love, with some help from our son, effected the repair.

He was truly amazing. He did tons of research and learned all about our current system and what else was available. As always, he took charge and made the decisions – with some input from me. I’m very proud of him. He was up at sunrise and worked his butt off most of the day. The sun was brutal and there’s no shade. Temperatures reached over a hundred degrees, yet he worked tirelessly until the repairs were completed and water once again flowed up to the house.

After the sun went down, we took a dip in the spa to help relax his aching muscles. Sitting there together, watching the sun go down, he leaned over and kissed me. Then said, “thank you. I couldn’t have done any of this without you.” I wasn’t working the shovel, or manhandling the tanks, or repairing the plumbing, or risking my life with the 220 electric that runs the pump, but here he was thanking me for supporting him. Silly man, I live for him – how could I not support him? He’s the best!beautiful

 

 

Birthday approaching

My birthday is fast approaching and my Love has asked me what I’d like as a gift. Frankly, I have no idea. He’s generous to a fault. If I ask for something, he moves heaven and earth to give it to me. I’ve learned over the years to be careful what I express an interest for.

When I struggled to give him a suggestion, he changed his question, “What would you like to do for your birthday?” Again, I have no idea. Of course, we’ll spend the day with the kids, but how? Last year, we played laser tag, shopped and ate lunch at our favorite restaurant. Unfortunately,  I had a serious reaction to the food and spent the rest of the day quite ill.

I don’t want to risk going through that again. During the past year, I had an injury to my arm and laser tag is out. Shopping was quite fun, though. The kids were silly  and we picked out the worst outfits we could find and had each other try them on. Oh, how we laughed. We had such fun, I hate to try and recreate it knowing it would surely fall flat against the memory.

Which leaves me back at square one.

At least I know how the evening will end – kinky fuckery at its finest. My Love will no doubt think of something delightfully torturous and I’m really looking forward to every minute of it.

Celebrity Hallpass

aka – hey, babe, you’re good enough for everyday use, but if I have the opportunity to experience that – I’m outta here.

Is that the message I want to send to my spouse? Absolutely not. I love and adore him. I would never want to undermine his self-confidence in that way.

I had this discussion the other day with my brother. He told me to ‘lighten up, Francis’ it’s a joke.

Well, no it’s not. Was his intention to subconsciously tell his wife she’s a place holder until something better comes along? No. He loves his wife very much. I don’t think he would do anything that he thought would hurt her.

This is the same brother that goes to strip clubs fairly often with ‘the boys’. Another topic we argue about. He tells me I need to grow up. Bawhahahahaha. If only he knew! I tell him he’s showing his wife that she doesn’t do it for him anymore and that if he wants to see something hot he has to go pay for it.

He laughs and tells me, ‘I’m a prude’. Silly boy. When My Love and I are at ‘our’ club we see so much more than what’s allowed to take place in a strip club. The difference is My Love and I don’t go there alone to view the opposite sex. We go there together to have a sexual experience using equipment that we can’t disguise as something else.

We go there for fellowship – although he could argue the same thing. He is there with ‘his boys’ catching up and shooting the shit. How they can do that considering the music volume is another question I’ll never have answered.

He sees a hallpass or his strip club visits as harmless. I see them as detrimental. His wife has had a tummy tuck, liposuction and a boob job. Are the two related? I think so. My brother would surely argue they aren’t. I’m not walking in their shoes. I’m only an outsider looking in, but the two seem connected from my view.

Thoughts?

Looking for something to read?

After a long fight with my publisher, my rights have been restored and the author’s edition of All Grown Up is now available!
Can lightning strike twice? Steven isn’t sure he wants it to. When Belle left him, his life crumbled to pieces. He’d lost his job, his place and worst yet his confidence. That’s something no Dom could afford to lose. After he’d exhausted his resources and still couldn’t find her, he’d moved on.

Now, Belle’s back and she’d come searching for him. Steven wonders if her plan is to ruin him for good.

Cover by Katz Concepts

Check out his website at katz-concepts.com or shoot him an email at ryan@katz-concepts.com

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Friends…

I’ve been pondering a few things this week. Dangerous, I know.

At what point does a person move from an acquaintance to a friend? I’m on several BDSM boards and there are often posts about ‘coming out’ with friends and family. My question is – if you are in the lifestyle, if it’s a way of life for you, not some kinky fun you enjoy in the bedroom – and your friends don’t know – are they really your friends?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think ‘friends’ need to know what goes on behind closed doors, but if they know nothing about a major component of your personality/life, I wonder if they count as friends. For me, the answer is no they’re not. They are someone I chat with on a superficial level.

A friend is someone I can trust. Someone who has my back and I have theirs. Someone that shares my same values. We don’t have to agree on politics or brand loyalties, but underneath all the fluff, we need to be in sync. I don’t share that with many people.

The biggie for me is respect. If you run down your significant other, we’ll never be friends. This is the person you’re supposed to love above all others. As soon as I hear a phrase such as – ‘you won’t believe what my stupid ________ (bf, gf, wife, husband), did now’, I’m out. People think they’re being funny. They’ll tell you, if you call them on it, they don’t mean it like that… Geez, what’s your problem?

My problem is, it’s hurtful. You’re diminishing how other’s look at your loved one in order to gain something – attention, sympathy, laughs…

Of course there with be times when something happens and you’re confused or hurt by your SO’s actions. But shouldn’t the conversation at least start between the two of you? Your lunch buddies won’t be able to tell you why your (bf, gf, wife, husband) overdrew your checking account or has a questionable picture on their phone. So sharing your laundry with them only serves a negative purpose.

This one person I’ve known for more than half my life thought it was perfectly fine to eat lunch daily with coworker they were attracted to. They had no intentions of taking it beyond a coworker/friend relationship so what could possibly go wrong? I’m sure you can see where this is going. A hell of a lot went wrong. Bashing their respective spouses  turned into a frequent occurrence. Instead of talking to their loved one about an issue, they’d let it fester. They’d chat with their coworker and garner sympathy.  The coworker, who only heard one side of the issues, naturally sided with their ‘friend’ and would converse accordingly. “Why do you put up with that? They shouldn’t treat you that way!”

Then my long time buddy made the fatal mistake. In an argument, they told their spouse what the coworker had said about them. The spouse knew immediately that the coworker had been privy to all their dirty laundry. The spouse felt betrayed (in my opinion – rightfully so). The marriage dissolved.

You may be wondering how we went from telling the difference between a friend and an acquaintance to divorce, but in my warped mind they connect. The road linking them is called trust. The difference between a friend and an acquaintance is the level of trust you have for that person.

The person you give your heart to, should be the person you trust more than anyone else. Period, end of sentence. If something isn’t right between you two, trust them to care enough to listen and to make changes. Trust them to have your back and give them that in return.

See it was a twisty, dirt road, but it did eventually get to the point.

dirt road

I’ve Got Your Back

Today, I’m very pleased to have a very special guest blogger visit. I’m under the gun, so to speak. My deadline for Against the Tide has come and gone and I’m still working on it. To help me out, my Love decided to pitch in and write this week’s post himself.

Alpha Wolf

Tori and I met when we were in high school. We fell in love, married shortly after graduation and as I’ve said many times, it was the smartest choice I ever made. I attribute the success of our marriage to many factors, but there is one trait Tori has always shown that I consider a cornerstone. I have always felt like I had her complete support. No matter how crazy my plan was or how intimidating the circumstance I was facing, I knew she was there for me.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come to her with an idea or plan that I wasn’t even really sure of myself only to end up having her talk me into trying out my own idea. Some were a great success, others not as much, but regardless the outcome, she was my cheering section. Not my critic. Please don’t misunderstand, when I do something extra stupid and that happens more often than I’d like to mention, she calls me on it, but it’s constructive, not judgmental. Simply put, she has my back. But it goes much further than that.

I am a complete gearhead. Always have been. From bicycles as a kid to cars as a teenager and as an adult, I’m always tinkering with some machine or other. But unlike other married couples I know, when I go to the junkyard my wife comes too. And not just to sit in the car. We work together. She gets dirty right along with me. It means a lot to me. I know tearing the interior out of a ‘72 Javelin or the disc brakes from a Chevelle isn’t something she always wanted to do, but I appreciate her help and her company. And some of our adventures have made for great memories. Like the time she pretended the hood we were carrying back to the car had broken her little finger. I was terrified. Till she showed how she could bend it backwards and said “just kidding.” I still spank her ass for that one.

On many occasions, especially early on, I had to make repairs to our cars I’d never done before. Armed with only the service manual and hopefully the right tools, I would tear into the job, all the while hearing her say, “You can do this, honey. You can do anything you set your mind to. I believe in you.”

I’m not the stop and ask for directions type. Big surprise, right? I’ve always been a sort of alpha lone wolf. It’s just how I’m wired. And I know I can be hard to live with when I go all stubborn and refuse to change my mind.  I can say with absolute certainty though, I am a better, smarter, stronger and even kinder man because of Tori’s love and support for me. The alpha male wolf would be completely lost without his alpha female. I love you, Angel. You are THE best.

chicken smoothie

Ever changing

I was always told that as you and your partner grow older the marriage becomes more of a comfortable partnership. I will agree that the relationship is ever changing. Our marriage today looks nothing like it did as newlyweds.

As the years have gone by, we’ve learned how to speak to each other. I’ve learned that I don’t have to be right every damn time and that saying “I’m sorry” or “I was wrong” won’t cause the earth to stop rotating.

When our kids were babies, the pediatrician told us, “pick your battles.” He was talking about raising our children, but it applied just as much – if not more – to our marriage.

In our twenties, if we didn’t agree on something it would have been a knock down, drag out, fight. Not so much anymore. We recently bought a new dining room table. My husband saw it and fell in love. I had some reservations. I didn’t like the legs, but I could tell, he loved it. Really loved it. Clearly, we needed to buy it.

Twenty years ago, it would have been a jointly made decision. Because he loved it so much, I would have agreed, but I would have let my dislike of the legs fester. I would have sent little digs whenever I could fit them in.

Somewhere along the line, I realized those weren’t helping anything. They were building a wall between us, a dividing line that kept us on opposing sides. And for what? It wasn’t cute or funny. It didn’t make him happy to have a wife who suffered so he could get what he wanted.  It simply took all of his joy and replaced it with rancor.

So how do we handle it these days? For starters, he doesn’t need my ‘permission’ to buy anything. Decisions of that sort are his to make, but he does ask my opinion. Another change that has occurred over the years is I know he’ll take my opinion to heart. So, I told him straight up – I’m not crazy about the legs. Turns out he wasn’t either. What he loved was the table top. We were able to design a base together and now we have a one of a kind table we both love.

I’m so much happier with the way things are now. Have we moved into the ‘comfortable partnership’ phase? Yes, and no. Yes, I do think we’re much more comfortable expressing our opinions. I feel valued. I feel like he listens. But NO, the sex hasn’t evaporated. Just the opposite. It hasn’t  stayed the same either. We’ve learned so much about each other’s needs and desires. We’ve learned it’s okay to take a risk and talk about things openly. It’s how we managed to take our relationship into Dominance and submission. We let the walls down. Slowly. Baby steps at first. It took time to take our trust to a different level.

There were a lot of kinks to work out. I went through a phase where I thought being submissive meant just saying yes to everything he said or asked for. Turned out it wasn’t what he wanted at all. He wants a partner, not a dishrag. He values my happiness as highly as I value his. He can’t ensure my happiness if I’m not honest with him.

While I love where we’re at, I know our relationship is ever changing. Looking to the future, I just don’t know how it could get better. As a newlywed, I never dreamed we’d be here, this happy after 32 years. On some level, that’s a little scary, but I’ll do what I always do – put my faith in my guy. I know he’ll lead us through the years to a happiness I can’t even imagine yet.

What do we need to do?

Those few words reduced me to tears yesterday and reminded me that I’m married to the most wonderful man in the entire world.

We moved into our ‘dream home’ about 13 years ago.We bought a custom spec home right on the outskirts of the Tonto National Forest. It was perfect except for two things. The master bathroom and the kitchen cabinets. The house has a rustic feel so the knotty alder cabinets fit the motif. I hated them when we moved in, but we chose to focus on more important things. Over the years, the finish has taken on an orange tint making an ugly set of cabinets far worse.

While I was working full time and taking care of the kids, they annoyed me. Now that the kids are gone and I’m working primarily from home, I have no distractions. I stare at the cabinets day after day and the resentment grows. Finally, I’d hit a breaking point.

Now I fully admit I have worst timing known to mankind. My husband was knee deep in another huge project. His was time sensitive. Mine had already waited 13 years…It wasn’t going anywhere.

I went to him anyway and explained my plan. Like I child asking for a pet – I assured him I’d do 90 percent of the work. With an indulgent look on his exhausted face, he agreed. He set me up with wood putty and sanding blocks and away I went.

My genius idea 😉 was to fill in the hideous knot holes and paint the cabinets dark grey, the walls a light grey, update the lighting, and get stainless steel handles. It would tie in perfectly with the grey, silver and black counters. We’d have a modern, chic kitchen for a reasonably low price and not a ton of work.

Sounded great to me. I went on the internet and found the hardware. Went to every home improvement store in the area and searched lighting and paints. I found what I believed to be the perfect combination.

My Love spent a weekend and six gallons of paint transforming our great room. The color managed to suck every last drop of warmth right out of the room. My son, who loves everything grey, wasn’t even a fan. The windows toss weird shadows all around the room as the sun moves across the sky. It was a big mistake.

We gave it a few days hoping it would grow on us. My Love worked long grueling hours on the other project, while I filled the knot holes and sanded the area smooth.

By father’s day, we’d had enough. With another round of paint in hand, he climbed the ladder again and began the arduous task of eliminating the grey.  By the end of the day, we both breathed a sigh of relief that it was gone.

We discussed the problem of the cabinets. Now that the walls were a soft cream and beige color, dark grey wouldn’t have the same effect. Not to mention, we had a bad taste in our mouths over the grey walls.

Even though we’d spent a nice chunk of change on paint that was custom mixed and therefore not returnable, we decided a deep chocolate was a better way to go. Back to paint store…

Now, enough time has gone by that he’s finished his project and being the sweetheart that he is, he agreed to put his next one on hold to help me with mine. You know…the one I was going to tackle all by myself. 😉

He spent his Sunday morning removing all the doors and sanding the crown molding that I couldn’t reach without risking life and limb.

Finally, the time had come. Bye bye orange, bye bye knot holes.

He applies the luscious paint to one long section. And you guessed it. I HATE it. Absolutely, unequivocally hate it.

I’ve destroyed the finish on the doors. He’s spent hours and hours prepping the wood and removing the doors and drawers. Tons of money on wasted paint. And I hate it.

As he starts to move onto another section I stop him. “Honey, you need to stand back and look at it. I don’t think it works with the counters. It’s not at all what I envisioned.”

My wonderful husband didn’t yell. He didn’t act or even look frustrated. He simply stood up and asked, “What do we need to do?” That’s it.

And that’s why I love him. No matter what, I can count on him. He stands by me even when it sucks.

Sunsets and New Beginnings

sunset5

Living in the Sonoran Desert is a mixed bag. The scenery is spectacular. The sunsets are absolutely amazing. The people are kind and down to earth. But beneath the beauty lies a never ending struggle for survival.

With an average yearly rainfall of eight inches, plants and wildlife are forced to adapt. A lot of our flora have the ability to lie dormant for months at a time just biding their time until conditions are such that they can thrive once more.

I think humans are like that too. We go through life with nominal output. One foot in front of the other, watching the clock, getting by – barely – until something happens to wake us from our stupor.

Sometimes we don’t even notice our slow descent into dormancy. It isn’t until a storm passes through our lives bringing the needed wind and rain to clear the cobwebs that allow us to see the gifts we have around us.

Storms can take many forms. Perhaps it’s a loss. Losing a job is terrifying when it hits, but the world is often a brighter place once the gale passes.

Perhaps it’s finding a new love. When Teague met Channy, in Against the Rules, he had no idea she held the missing ingredient he needed to break free from his self-imposed hibernation. She brought him rain. While it was needed, he still fought hard against it. He’d learned to shove his emotions behind a concrete reinforced dam. It didn’t faze Channy. She whittled away at his defenses.

During the summer here in the desert, the clouds will try to bring their life sustaining moisture. In the afternoons, they’ll build and boil off in the distance. As they make their way toward the sun-scorched plants, the sun blasts them to pieces. The very ground that needs the water so badly radiates heat and helps hold the storm at bay. But just like Channy, the clouds refuse to give up. Night after night they continue their assault. At first their success is nothing more than dirtied windshields, but as the humidity grows the sun’s wall of heat is breached. The rain will come in buckets and sheets.

Imagine Teague’s surprised when a tiny, red-headed ball of fire shatters his complacency. She brings him that one integral piece of the cycle of life that he’s missing. Oh it isn’t smooth going, by any stretch of the imagination. The storm named Channy tosses his world into utter chaos. Before long though, Teague learns it’s better to fight beside Channy than against her.

Together they thrive in a way they never could have alone.

If you’d like to learn more about Teague and Channy click on the links below.

Totally Bound

Amazon

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If you’d like to check out more sunset pictures, go to my Facebook page. I post a few once a week or so.