“Starting Over at the Age of 50″…Part III

As I found myself really being single for the first time in years, I was getting out more and more with friends. Every weekend was consumed, then there was work, along with the evenings after work. Rosie was now living with me and I started feeling guilty for leaving her alone all the time. We had a chat, I told her one day “Rosie, you need a playmate since I am gone all the time. I am going to get you a kitty.” She looked at me with that “Whatever…” look that she can give and carried on with her nap. I posted on Face Book that I was thinking of doing this for my Rosie, and it just so happened a former classmate reached out to me. Her husband and her have a somewhat exotic animal type farm. At that time she had Bengal kittens for sale. She had 3 left, and I could go  and pick one out which I still wouldn’t be able to take home for at least another 6 weeks. I went and found my little beauty. She was adorable! She would become my EmmieLynn. Emmie stemming from her emerald eyes, Lynn being the middle name of my closest and dearest friend I’ve know for years, and EmmieLynn’s Godmother.

Prior to all of the events from getting Rosie, and buying her a kitten, several of our former classmates were meeting once a month for dinner. We had all reconnected through FB and enjoyed our “How We Met” dinners. Kim, the lady I was purchasing EmmieLynn from decided to join us one evening. We hadn’t socialized much except for little things here and there on FB and then of course more recent in regards to the kitty transaction. I sat next to Kim at dinner and as always conversation among all of us was abundant. At one point Kim said to me, “There is a guy I know that I think you might really get along with if your interested.” I said “Oh, ok, how do you know him?” without hesitation she said “Well actually we were engaged at one time.” Of course my first response was “Aaaaall righty then!! Not sure how this will pan out, but ok.” She asked if she could give him my number, and my attitude was pretty much just “Sure”, and blew it off. A few days later I got a text message from him, and immediately after the text message, came the “phone call”. His name was Luke. We chatted briefly and decided we would meet up once I got back from a trip I was getting ready to go on to see my kids in Michigan. When I returned, we did indeed meet for lunch at a little diner in Tulsa called “Darby’s”. We both had an hour for lunch, and there was not a lag at any time in our conversation. It was great! We ended up going on our first “real” date the following weekend to see the Christmas lights at Rhema Bible College. As we started our walk into the lights, he kept bumping into my side, and I told him, “You can hold my hand if you want to.” From that moment on, we became a couple.

Forever it seemed, when Luke came to the house, Rosie would bark, bark, bark and EmmieLynn would hide, I think it was actually several dates down the road before Emmie came out to meet this new man in my life. Rosie would bark, would come to a calming point then lay on the floor and give him “the look”. Now Luke had moved to Broken Arrow just not long after we started dating and lived only two miles away. I will admit when we first met he lived in Inola and I was quite fine with that. Yes, the drive was longer but we only saw one another on the weekends so that was a safe distance for me. We started dating right before Thanksgiving and he moved into his new house the week of Christmas. It was a short time that I had that “safe distance” feeling. But with it being made clear as we became closer that I would not remarry for at least two years, the arrangement worked out beautifully. Now, back to the pets. Of course the nights that were spent at my house were changing up. Rosie was accustomed to sleeping on the bed with me, that changed. EmmieLynn liked to walk the halls during the night and meow, especially if the food bowl was dwindling. Luke was not fond of a dog watching him eat his meals as he considered her begging. Begging in my eyes is when the dog whines or tries to stand up on the side of your chair to sniff your plate. Emmie by this time had learned she had quite the jumping capabilities, so up on the bar or table she would jump! She has since learned she is not allowed on the bar or table when food is present, and is quite content with sitting in a chair watching me prepare food. I really have no problem with her walking along counter tops as I find a cat to be cleansing themselves on a regular basis, much more so than most humans. However, Luke did point out cats walk in the same area they go to the bathroom, so he was not as content with counter walking as I was. He was good though about making adjustments since he had not been around pets for at least fourteen years, and also was beginning to understand the soft spot and love I have for my fur babies. All in all that was clicking along pretty good, until….the skunk incident.

It was a cold, rainy night and Rosie needed to  head out to take care of business. Not long after I got Rosie we had an incident with that whole skunk thing,  but her and I got past that and I thought we had an understanding. Well, not so much. As she ran past me when I opened the back door, it hit! Oh GAWD!!! She ran over to Luke, rubbed up against his jeans, ran down the hall as I was chasing her to get her into the garage, meanwhile the stench was attaching its self to anything she got near! I finally got her in the garage, and could see in the florescent lighting, the direct hit! It was huge! So here I go into the house to mix together the ingredients I had used before to deskunk her. Needless to say, a dog not only wet from rain, but showered with skunk scent is not good, not good at all! Luke smelled of skunk, I smelled of skunk as did everything in the house, it even soaked it’s way into some of my jewelry!  Luke went home that night, imagine that!  It seemed like weeks before the air cleared, I must have spent a fortune on incense, candles, air fresheners, carpet cleaners. It finally left, but not quickly. As for Luke, he still came to the house, and learned as I did, once the sun has set, or before the sun rises in the morning, we now take Rosie out on a leash, especially during skunk traveling season.

One year and eleven months later, Luke and I got married. He tries to have conversations with Rosie, and she will be attentive until he finishes what he needs to say, then she will graciously lick herself, and that ends that conversation. She still stands and looks at him while he eats, he shooshes her away, she backs up two feet and continues to stare. Rosie will occasionally find her way to my side of the bed, as long as it does not disrupt Luke we all sleep in peace. Well, until EmmieLynn  jumps on the bed, then she has to make her way up and down both Luke and I before figuring out she really wants to lie next to her dog. Emmie still has her moments of cat calling in the middle of the night, or if she decides to play in the wee hours of the morning, you will hear her bounce off a wall or two. Then I feel the bed shake a little as I hear Luke laughing at her. Of course she has an occasional hair ball, Luke doesn’t do throw up so that cleaning is all on me. Rosie gets excited when she sees Luke head out the back door with a fine cigar and beer as she knows she is going to go out and stay for a lengthy amount of time. She is not one to go out and stay without one of us being with her. Emmie will sit in the window longing to go out and might rebel once in awhile with an attitude, but then is grateful for her cozy indoor life and has just recently started snuggling up in Luke’s lap as well as mine at night, on the couch.

I also remind Luke if the pets get a little out of control now and then, that if it weren’t for them, we may have never met as it was the dog, who brought me to buying the cat, which reconnected me with Kim, who knew Luke. He agrees. Once again they are off the hook.

So you see, even after 50 when you think there will be no more adjustments in the family life, they do still occur. It’s just in a different breed of children. Yes, we also love them unconditionally, they have feelings too.

From our den to yours, my Lion King and I wish you a Valentine’s Day full of Love, Hugs, Peace, and Roars!

Lion Queen

“Starting Over at the Age of 50….Part II”

I started in about changes in life, and life after 50 and the adjustments we might have to make.  That hit on new spouses and children. What I did not cover, was starting over with our four legged, cold nosed, whisker tickling, tongue licking babies. AKA…our fur babies.

My Lion King came to me with no pets, he  had been divorced for fourteen years, he suddenly had to adapt. The transition has been one of great tolerance for him. However, if I see the tolerance level slowly heading for the down hill slide, I remind him, if it weren’t for these fur babies, we might not be married.

Back in July of 2012, I got a phone call one day from my son who is in the Army and would be moving from Oklahoma to Escanaba, MI. This move would include my daughter-in-law, grandson, and my son who was stationed in Ft. Sill, OK at the time and lived in a house on base with two dogs, Rosie and Jimmy. Patrick made the decision to retire from the Army, and decided to go into recruiting. His recruiting position sent them to the far north, where they would not live on base any longer and had to find a house to live in. They did indeed find a great house, basically away from civilization with some what of a zero pet tolerance. Rosie is a beautiful white medium sized Heinz 57 so to speak, and Jimmy is a  shtizu who though he reminds me of Chewbacca (if your a Star Wars fan, you know who that is). Jimmy has the big attitude, inside of a very small body. One might even say he has the little man syndrome.  He be tiny, but mighty! Being tiny this time was to his advantage, as the landlord said he could stay, Rosie however could not. So that phone call I mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph, lead to me becoming the once again owner of a pet. After my previous three dogs had passed on I told myself, never again, the heartache of losing them was to unbearable, I couldn’t do it again. Well I lost out on that argument with myself. I now have another dog.

I was going to finish this story today, but I have decided to conclude this romantic little story, tomorrow, the day of love. Stay tuned!

Peace, Love, Hugs & Roars,

Lion Queen

“Starting Over at the Age of 50 Something”

If and when life should throw a curve at you while you are young and have children, you know there are adjustments that will be made in the family. The marriage didn’t work, you divorce, you start life over and usually meet someone new. Now the scenario is usually there will be children involved. Either he has children, you have children, or you both have children. So it begins, adapting. This can sometimes be a lengthy process as you have been raising your children with their father your way, and he has been raising his children with their mother  in their own way. So this all boils down to who is going to get along with who, how drastic is this change going to be, who will adapt, who won’t, who can over come the tension, the stress, the angry child, the ex’s, will this extended family succeed. Oh it just goes on and on. Just talking about it is exhausting, let alone living it out.

Now when you hit your 50’s and have to make adjustments, the kids are usually grown, grandkids are in the picture and yes parents still hope all the kids will get along. But they have homes of their own, so the tension if they don’t can be relieved at some point by everyone going to their own homesteads. Worst case scenario, they spend a few hours together, do their best to get along and then part ways, and off to their own homes they go until the next gathering. Then it’s just a repeat from that point, you adapt to that and carry on. Reality is, your not going to end your marriage, or relationship with the person you love because your grown kids can’t get along. If you do, apparently you may have bigger underlying issues.

Where am I going with this story? Well I am going to tell you……tomorrow. Yes this going to be a two parter. Stay tuned!

Hugs, Love, Peace and Roars,

Lion Queen

“Sexual Harassment!!!” test…

In my job “responsibilities” one of  my  duties are the orientations for new hires. Recently a load has been taken off of me because I know longer have to go over their insurance such as life and health. This has cut down the paper work tremendously! I am so grateful for that! However, I do go over all of the company policies and procedures. This can be either short and sweet, or long and just, long. Depends on the new hire and how quickly they want to get through this orientation. Some may have tons of questions, others are basically “Stick a fork in me, I’m done!” (That would be the majority) After this rather lengthy verbal part of their orientation, they are then thrown into the third part which consist of video’s which they then have to test on afterwards. They must score 100% or they retake the test. Now trust me when I say I give them “several” options to help them get through this pain staking third level of orientation, so they are not brought to their knees surrendering, or merely wanting  to gouge their eyes out. One of these video’s is in regards to “Sexual Harassment”.

Now please, don’t jump to conclusions, I totally get sexual harassment as I have been there more than once in the work place, and I mean sexually harassed! But now I work for a beer/wine/spirits company with several young beautiful women, and I am 56. What’s the problem with this one might ask? Well let me tell you. Earlier this week we received an email from HR telling us that everyone who was hired prior to some random month in 2015 will now need to watch the video and take the test. SERIOUSLY?!! I have been there going on 7 years, the three ladies I work closest with are in their 60’s and 70’s! Do you really think we need to watch a video and take a test on sexual harassment? Number one, every male there is younger than we are and have eyes set on the young women. Number two, the one guy that was around our age recently passed. Number three,  I myself am happily married, one lives with her better half, and the other is so content being single her life would be in total turmoil if she was in a relationship! However, we did discuss this whole crazy thing today. Our single one has said all along if it wasn’t for sexual harassment she would have no sex life at all! I brought up the fact if I were single, there is no one in our work place I would approach, let alone sexually harass. If I did, I would have to pay them, and I don’t get paid enough to give up my hard earned money for that! Lawdy, I have been single in between marriages and a roof, and wine on my table was way more important!

Now, before I conclude this, let me tell you a little story. One day, our single lady was talking in her office, with no males around, about what young  guys do in the shower, and maybe old guys too. Her phone suddenly beeped and it was from one of the guys in the warehouse. He said “Uuuuum, you might want to turn the intercom off because everyone in the warehouse can here your conversation.” Well that was an OMG moment!!! But SO FUNNY!!! Totally harmless and no one was hurt or sexually assaulted in this hysterical moment!

So my question to you, women after fifty, do you think we need to watch a video and take a test on sexual harassment, or do you think by the age of fifty, we got this? (I mean really!)

Love, Hugs, Peace and Roars,

Lion Queen

“The Grandeur of the Grandparent”

To ring a doorbell and hear the squeal out of a tiny little voice through a front door, saying “BABA, BABA!!!” now that is one of the greatest sounds I that has ever entered it’s way into my ears!   Who knew that being a grandparent would be so wonderful! Having children and being a parent was great, don’t get me wrong, but this whole grandchild thing is phenomenal!

These little people, who run up to us, throw open those tiny arms, give us big hugs and kisses and then want us to give them our undivided attention, which of course we do! Why these little humans love us!! They are like the human form of a dog greeting us at the door. If they had tails I am pretty sure they would wag just like a happy pup!

We have raised our own children and sent them out into the world to become the people we have dreams of them being. Hopefully, we did a pretty descent job in parenting so once they do get in the world people won’t be like “I’m not so sure that’s child’s parents were quite right!” Come on you know we’ve all had that thought, or something similar. Anyway, we spent years trying to do the right thing, make the right choices, discipline, provide for, protect, well the list goes on, plus the fact so many of us worked while raising our children. We gave them the best we had, but we had to be parents and stand firm with them. THEN, these little people we did so much for go out into the world, and eventually bring forth the “Grand-baby”. The one we don’t have to raise, the one we can spoil endlessly, and buy for, and give goodies to eat when their parents aren’t around. The one who actually makes going to “McDonalds” fun! (That in itself is just mind blowing that could even be possible!) Who would have thought?!!

I cannot even imagine a world without my grandchildren! They bring to me a joy that is indescribable. For those of you who are grandparents, you know exactly what I am talking about. For those of you who will someday be a grandparent, brace yourselves for the time of your lives as you actually get to kick back with grandparent attitude and watch them grow! A true positive in us growing older!

Hugs, Love, Peace & Roars,

Lion Queen

 

“7 Years of ZUMBA!”

Seven years ago I got invited by my wonderful friend Trish to a new exercise type class. It was called ZUMBA. I was like, “What exactly is ZUMBA?” I had only heard about it one other time from a lady who worked in the same building I did at that time. That was probably a year prior to this invite. So I thought why not, let’s just check out this whole ZUMBA thing and see where it takes me. I started that class when I was 50, and absolutely fell in love with it. We started out in a small room, in one of the community centers we have here in Broken Arrow, I think our first class had maybe 5-6 people in it, and we also had one incredible instructor, her name is Jenny. We now have class in the gymnasium, and Jenny not only does two nights at that particular recreation center, but she also holds class two more nights a week at the other BA recreation center. There will be nights there’s almost not enough room in gymnasium to hold everyone! That’s how fantastic she is!

There have been times when I’ve needed to bow out for a month or three due to various reasons, but I always find my way back. I’m addicted!  Zumba consist of various dance moves such as the salsa, cha cha, merengue, mambo, some hip hop, along with lunges and squats. It’s a great way to do mix dance moves with aerobics. Sweat, yes we do sweat! There are some nights it seems like that one hour has lasted approximately 10 hours and once you have finished it, you feel a major accomplishment!! Jenny makes her class fun, and if you just want to join in by beating to your own drum, that’s cool too! It’s a great cardio workout, and being in my 50’s now, I know I was lacking cardio in my previous years.

Tonight’s class was a bonus as four dear friends have decided to give this ZUMBA thing a whirl! I think once they realized they were committed to at least 7 more classes, panic was on the brink of taking over, but they are strong ladies and they will prevail! I have that much faith in them. Plus, they just know how to have fun! That my friends is the key word in making you want to go back for more! Have FUN & ZUMBA! Even in your 50’s!

Hugs, Love, Peace & Roars,

Lion Queen

Fifties and only Beginning