Saturday, February 25, 2012

One Year, Come and Gone

"That night", my dad drove me to their house in Harper, dogs in lap, only a few pieces of random clothing thrown into a bag. Lucy peed on me twice as we drove in silence. The moon was full on February 16th. I think about that drive every time we've had a full moon since. I remember asking my dad how I was going to live through this. How does one even begin to answer that question?

When February 1st came round this year, I woke up every day counting it down. Morbid, I know, but I couldn't help waking up, trying to remember back to what was going on in 2011, thinking 'we had 15 more days'.... '14 more days....' I was very nervous about what February 16th would bring. 

Not a whole lot.
That's what it brought.

I took off half a day in advance, not knowing what my emotions would be. I had one moment on the way to work that I felt the anxiety building. Flute sectionals took my mind off it for a while. I left at noon, drove home, and pulled weeds. I love pulling weeds. It is very satisfying to get the whole root, and so it becomes a challenge: can I get the whole thing? It's also very addicting because once you pull one, the next one becomes more obvious. I pulled weeds for about an hour in my back yard. 

Around 2:00 I got a massage. I told the masseuse that I only like light pressure on my legs, firm everywhere else. He wanted to know if that meant I didn't like foot rubs. That question almost sent me over the edge. I used to get foot rubs a lot... like every night. It was my little dose of spoiling. It took a lot to quell the adrenaline at that moment. The massage helped a lot. I was glad I got it. 

I met with the Williams clan for dinner and drinks at Chez Zee that night. I got rear ended one block from the restaurant... Fate still thinks I appreciate her sense of humor. I don't. We had a great evening together. I was glad that the center of our attentions was not mourning Roger. We all do enough of that regularly. At least for me, and I would assume for the others by the presence of beverage and desert, it was a celebration of surviving. 

How do you live through something like that? You keep living. 

I looked for answers and miracles all year, but the answer is simply wake up, get dressed, go to work, surround yourself with supportive people, eat kinda healthy (with a good bit of Taco Bell in there), have doglets, go to bed, repeat. 

I fixed the garbage disposal tonight all by myself with a little help from Google. Last year over a year ago, that was Roger's job. Tonight it's mine, and I only thought about calling my dad for help like 7 times. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Back in November I bought a bunch of plants from Barton Springs Nursery and then in traditional Darcy fashion didn't plant them all. Of the two Mexican mint marigolds purchased, one made it into the ground, and one died within a week. I've really just been too lazy to throw it away. So every time I go into the yard, I walk past the dead and dry EX-marigold as I go back inside.

 WAIT!.... What is that????

That plant has somehow revived itself! It shriveled up months ago. I haven't watered it. I haven't thought about it. Holy cow! And this is why I love plants; they are simply miraculous.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Awkward Valentine

For Valentine’s, I went out with some great girls for dinner and a movie, specifically sushi and a silent movie. I’ve been wanting to see The Artist since I first read about it back in November, but it’s been the waiting game until it made it’s way to less than metropolitan Texas. When one of my girl friends mentioned a few of us going to see it on V Day I thought this would be a great way to hang out with pals and keep my mind from the constant lurking to last year at this time… I’ve been doing that a lot since the month started.

Sushi was fabulous! Great food, better drinks, wonderful company. We all piled into my friend’s SUV and headed over to the one artsy fartsy theater I know I can count on for the non-mainstream flicks.

The Artist is really a very charming movie. Campy definitely, the characters are endearing, and the director did a superb job telling the story through the use of true facial expressions and acting – no dialogue to save a pretty face from a lack of talent. I found myself grinning through most of the picture. At one point I even thought this might be an interesting film to show my band kids to demonstrate the importance of music in cinema. I was having a good time.

The main character takes a turn for the worse as he finds his life not at all at a point his original path was leading. Down trodden and depressed that he has been forced from his lifestyle with the introduction of ‘talkies’, George Valentin returns to the home he previously almost burned down to retrieve a box. He sits down on the remnants of an arm chair, staring at the box, his loving dog by his side. George is not a very deep character. I’m imagining the fan letters in the box that are about to cheer him up and give him the strength and courage to take a risk and join this new fangled form of the silver screen.  As he opened the box, the course of my evening changed.

Elegantly nestled in white silk was a very small handgun.

My heart sank deep. I could feel my throat constrict. My cheeks burned. I squeezed my eyes tight, hoping against hope this was not headed where I saw it going.  What a horrible twist for such a lighthearted movie. At some point I realized no dialogue or sound effects were going to tell me if I was right. I opened my eyes to see the gun in his mouth, tears running down his face, tears that I realized mirrored my own. The soundtrack was silent, making this part of the movie I suppose more dramatic; I was trying so hard to keep my breathing under control. The little dog was jumping excitedly at George’s feet, begging him not to do it.

I couldn’t stand it. I closed my eyes again. This time I was met with an image I have successfully repressed for sometime. Please don’t do it.

I opened my eyes as George Valentin’s closed.  The title screen read, “BANG!!!” I held my breath.

The next scene was of the love interest, who has stolen her driver’s car to run to George’s aid, crashing into a tree, startling George and ripping him from his depression-fueled plans. The audience laughed at the clever twist. But I wasn’t laughing. I hadn’t taken a breath yet.

When I was fairly positive I could exhale without drawing attention to myself, I let out a heavy breath. I was so broken hearted. I tried to stay as quiet as I could, but I cried the rest of the movie. I’m honestly not sure exactly how it ends so I can safely save you a spoiler. As the credits started to roll, I took off my glasses and hoped that I was adequately rubbing clean my surely mascara streaked face. The four of us stood to walk out of the theater. I was silent. So were my friends. One of them rubbed my back on the way out, asked me if I was okay. Of course I was.

I’m really good at wearing my mask. I don’t think anyone has seen my breakdowns at school. I’m great at using humor and sarcasm to keep a conversation from getting too deep, at least around the subject of “how [I am] doing”. The problem with wearing a mask for any length of time is you start believing it to be true. And I said, “yeah” when she asked me if I was okay.

I made it out of the theater as quick as I could because a second longer and I would have cried right there in front of everyone, but I made it outside just in time for some raindrops to hopefully camouflage the tears I couldn’t control. I truly think that if it weren’t February 14th, two days from the day that changed everything, I could have held my composure. Maybe that’s wishful thinking. Maybe it’s true.

The trip back to our cars was silent. I’m really good at being the center of a conversation with nothing to say. There have been lots of those this past year. Ordinarily I think I would have felt awkward, but instead I just felt sad and empty. I doubt that’s the response the director expected from his silent era throw back. I’m pretty sure my friends felt awkward. Sorry about that…  By the time I was in my own car, the flood gates emptied the emotion I was trying so hard to contain.

I’m home. I’m safe. I’m snuggling with dogs. I’m cried out. I’m really tired. But purging my thoughts into the written word is my choice of therapy right now, so I’ll end my first and awkward Valentine’s with a blog. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

My "No Skills Necessary" Medusa Scarf

In true bizarre Texas fashion, yesterday we had snow and sleet, and tomorrow's high is a projected 76!

While the snow came down I watched NY Ink and simply crocheted a simple chain using the majority of an extra ball of Wool-Ease. I slip-stiched it together and wrapped it up to form my new Medusa scarf that I think is nice and warm & playful! Today I wore it to school with a black long sleeved cardigan and a khaki ribbon tank I got at Ann Taylor last spring. Again, no skills necessary.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sock Monkey Hat Awesomeness

 This is a very awkward time for me, and I'm assuming that February will always come with a stigma from now on. I'm doing a good job keeping things even keel though.

To add to this bittersweet time of year, my nephew Liam turns one next Monday. Unfortunately I don't get to partake in the birthday party, but I finished my fancy-fancy present for him earlier tonight. 

I couldn't find the perfect crochet pattern online so I mixed and matched some ideas from a couple of different websites and then winged some of it myself. I used a post from Knotty Knotty Crochet as color/size guide and this post from Easy Makes Me Happy for the toddler sized pattern. I figured it was safer to use the toddler size so that Liam might get to wear it more than once. :) 

My childhood doll Big Baby tried to model my fabulous hat, but she apparently does not have a toddler sized head. 

Yes... I called it fabulous... And it is. I'm super proud of it. :) 

On a completely different note all together, I managed to get this great accidental picture of Scarlet as she inspected my lens Sunday evening. Quite possibly the best picture I've even captured of her. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Darcy vs. Henbit, plus a sock monkey

Friday evening I came home to a wonderful surprise: my primrose jasmine is in bloom for the first time after 3 years!

Unfortunately, more than just my jasmine is blooming... The whole yard is abloom. The two years of drought that took it's toll on the lawn with the help of the recent rains and warm winter has allowed for a ridiculous crop of weeds to take over seemingly over night. My plan is to apply cornmeal on what is left of my lawn this week before TMEA. Hopefully I'm not too late for the cornmeal to act as a pre-emergent for warm weather weeds.

 All week I've been waging a war against one weed in particular: henbit. I'm willing to bet most of you have henbit invading right now. It's actually kinda pretty with its purply flowers. Once it goes to seed though, that pretty little plant spits out thousands of tiny seeds that then take over ad infinitum the next season.

With some KGSR going through my headphones, I managed to pull up 7 bags of henbit, dandelions, and a few random weeds over the course of about 2 hours. I'm trying to operate under the "weeding IS gardening" mantra, although planting is much more fun. I have about 20 bags worth more in the back, and I haven't even begun to attach the front.

My other project for the weekend is about half way done. I'm in the process of making a sock monkey hat for my nephew's first birthday. With nothing that I am remotely interested in watching on tv tonight, I should be able to finish it very soon. :)