A Little Wild

I fear my mother despairs of ever cultivating a true gardener’s soul within me.

(Yeah, pun intended)

I have this tendency to “grow my own way”.

And, I hate weeding.

Uggghhh…nothing more mind-numbing and irritating to me than pulling weeds. It’s one of the reasons why I got rid of the vegetable garden we used to have in the backyard.

Boooring….

I do however, have my own way of gardening.

Wild.

Other than my lily garden, which is still a work in progress, and will probably end up more wild than tame by the end of things, anyway, my flower beds are thrown together as a mix of perennials – and then told – “GO! Whoever lasts – wins! May the odds be ever in your favor!”

And I am very much in support of this style of gardening, obviously.

My mother hates it.

She sees it as disorganized, messy, & well…not like her.

But that’s just it.

It’s ok. I’m not her. I’m me.

I love my mom.

But I’m disorganized, messy, & not her.

I am, however, a survivor.

Just like the flowers that make it to the blooming stage in my yard.

And, by that – I mean – my yard…has now gotten into the The Hunger Games act of gardening…

I have wild daisy patches blooming in the middle of my grass.

And I let them.

Why?

Because Katniss and Peta made it this far. They deserve their chance to shine before the mower takes them out.

They aren’t specially bred lilies, or carefully cultivated and pruned arrangements.

They popped up, out of nowhere, while I wasn’t looking, because we were getting rain & I couldn’t mow for a few days.

So- bloom – you little fuckers.

Bloom.

Go wild.

This yard is the only place you’ll probably get this chance.

Because I’m still a little wild myself…even if only between my ears.

(No green thumbs here)

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Drag Me To…

I went to my very first Drag show on Saturday!

*SQUEEE*

Ahhhh…that’s better.

I’ve wanted to see a live drag show (as in, Yaaass, Qween!) for years – ever since I watched the original 1978 movie version of La Cage Aux Folles. I saw this one late night on cable in my early twenties, & was immediately riveted.

This feeling was reiterated when I saw Too Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar.

And again by the Robin Williams and Nathan Lane version of La Cage Aux Folles, retitled in English to The Birdcage.

Needless to say, I’ve had a healthy fascination with Drag Queens for a long time.

Hairspray? I prefer the original version with Divine, Rikki Lake, Blondie’s Debbie Harry, and Sonny Bono. C’mon, I mean RIC OCASEK from The Cars was in it, fergawdssake!! (Yes, I’m a child of the 80’s, and not ashamed of my musical upbringing, thank you)

And, I was recently lead to Todrick Hall, who has the voice of an angel, and the attitude of…well…

Y’all should watch his YouTube video called Straight Outta Oz. It’s straight outta this universe amazing.

Of course, I love RuPaul, and discovered others through the Drag Race, like Bob the Drag Queen, Alyssa Edwards, Miss Fame, Kim Chi, and others too numerous to mention here.

Anyway, back to the Drag Show.

It was put on as a fund raiser by a local Relay For Life team, and they called it “Cancer is a Drag”.

It was 4 hours of knock-down, drag-out (pun totally intended) hilarity and fun.

I didn’t want to leave my seat the whole 4 hours, even to pee, for fear I’d miss something!

And the Queens and Kings were amazing! They lip synced, they joked, they played games & got the audience revved up and involved.

I was blown away.

And, I can’t wait till they come back.

I just want to hug them all, tell them how much they’ve given me, how brave and inspiring I find them, that they can be so OUT LOUD, and UP FRONT right in people’s faces! Especially in conservative places like the city and state I live in.

(North Dakota’s a red state, y’all, and sometimes it’s so conservative it’s claustrophobic)

So, here’s the best of the pictures…I know they’re not the best, but when you’ve got #QWEENSINMOTION…well, you do the best you can.

These were not all of the performers, but I wasn’t able to get great pictures of everyone – a lot of the pictures I took came out blurry due to the dim lighting, the strobing light effects, & the constant movement of the performers. It was really difficult to get still shots!

I sincerely hope these ladies and gents know just how appreciated their performances were on Saturday, & they’re willing to do this again really soon. Because I’m kind of addicted to the whole experience, now.

Even though I ended up going to this alone, I never felt left out.

And that, was the most amazing part of it all.

When Betty Cracked Bobs to the Surface

The office gets treats today

Cinnamon biscuits with homemade powdered sugar frosting.

(One pan down, one to go, and I swear I’m not taking any home)

I’ve been in a definite “Betty Cracked” mood, lately, feeling the urge to bake, but with no one to bake for.

And I sure as hell don’t need those sweet, baked, gooey, usually chocolate…calories, for myself.

So, today the ladies at the office get the fruits of my baked brain.

My depression is still there, and I had a flare-up of extra-heated irritation at work today. I’m still clenching my teeth, and honing for a cigarette, but I’m working on it.

Head down, nose to myself, music on…leave me to figure it out.

I need to go home, clean the house, turn the music. Up LOUD!! And bake something else.

But, again, I don’t need the results.

Maybe my kids need to come home & relieve me of the cookies I don’t need, that I know are going to get put in that damned jar on the counter within the next couple days.

Fuggghhh….

‘Punked

Every year for Halloween, my office allows everyone the chance to get into costume & let there freak flag fly.

This year, I spent some time working on mine.





I made the hat, out of bits & pieces I purchased from a local craft store, but I bought the rest if my costume.

Here is the finished product this morning!

It was surprisingly comfortable for most of the day…but by the end, I was ready to burn my high-heeled boots & corset in effigy. 

I won’t, but the thought was there…

Happy Halloween & Blessed Samhain to all!

Beloved Nephew

Today, I am going to attempt to define the indefinable – the relationship between myself and my Beloved Nephew.

I’ve had many people question me, as has he, on the type of relationship it is, because we don’t actually share familial genetic ties. And there are some things I’d like to set straight.

 First off, there is not now, there has never been, nor will there ever be, any type of romantic relationship between my nephew and me. This is not something that is even remotely possible, as we are family, even if we are not bound by blood. I am The Aunt, and he is The Nephew. Period. So anyone thinking anything of the sort, needs to immediately stop.

The Nephew and I originally met through his mom, Midnite, who became my heart’s sister. We met through a group that we both used to study in, & ended up best friends for many years, until she passed away from cancer in 2009. It was during our friendship that BN started calling me The Aunt. 

Since neither of them had any blood relatives in North Dakota, I adopted them into my family. They were truly the first of my Chosen Family, & came along with me & mine for holidays, whether to my house, or to my parents, it didn’t matter, as my parents always have said “With Love, there’s always room for more”.

When Midnite passed, BN and I held each other together. If not for each other, I’m not really sure either one of us would have made it through the grieving process sane. It was pretty rock bottom for both of us.

We spent a lot of time hanging out, listening to music, talking, crying & laughing. My kids starting referring to him as their brother. My ex-husband (who I was still married to at the time), didn’t even mind that he came over & hung out at the house all the time, & he hated pretty much everyone.

When I went through my divorce in 2011, BN was my rock, listening for hours on end while I cried about feeling like a failure, tortured myself about wondering whether I’d ever find love again, and bitched about all the reasons I knew the divorce was the right thing. He backed me up every step of the way, told me I was stupid for putting myself down, & comforted me with ice cream when necessary.

Beloved Nephew is my soul mate, in most senses of that word. 

He understands me in ways that most do not. I can talk to him about anything, and everything. And he can do the same with me. There is never any judgment on either side, only unconditional love.

There are nights when we sit on the phone and “game” – meaning, he plays his game, I play mine, & we talk over the phone. We’re not online, just on the phone, talking about whatever. Sometimes we’re playing the same game, sometimes not, but it doesn’t matter.

Other nights, we can be talking on the phone & doing completely mundane, household things. One night I was washing dishes & he was making himself supper – at 11:30 at night, because we always talk late at night after he gets off his shift at the nursing home where he works. There were moments of complete, comfortable silence, while we each went about our tasks. Silence that I broke to tell him that “You know, if I was doing this on the phone with anyone else, they’d hang up on me, thinking I was ignoring them”.

But it’s true, just knowing that he’s on the other end of the phone, even if we don’t speak, some nights – that’s enough. Strange, but true.

We discussed this on the phone last night (before I fell asleep on him, sorry ’bout that, Nephew!), and neither of us can ever remember a time that we’ve been angry at each other. 

Not ever in all the years we’ve known each other.

That’s just weird, even for me.

If Beloved Nephew were to fall in love tomorrow, I’d stand at his side & be his “Best Wo-Man” at the wedding, after, of course, making sure that the Significant Other was worthy of his magnificence.

If I were to fall in love tomorrow, I’d want him to be my Best Man. 

BN knows things about me that no one else does, simply because he’s been there, through hell and back, with me. Through some of the worst shit I’ve endured in my life, he was always there. 

He’s also helped me celebrate some of the best things to ever happen to me in my life, like being published – not once, not even twice, but three damn times. Once for poetry, once for a photograph, & once a whole blog post.

The same as I’ve done for him.

I’ve watched him grow since his mother’s passing, into a strong, confident, capable, compassionate & brilliant young man.

And even though he now lives across the country, we still talk at least 3 times a week, and sometimes more. He is my best friend, and an irreplaceable piece of my heart.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to put the totality of our relationship into words. People just don’t get it. 

BN is family.

He is Best Friend.

He is Soul Mate, without the romance.

He gets it.

So, in the end, I guess that’s what really matters. He gets it – just as he understands me, I understand him. 

And the rest…doesn’t really matter, does it?