The Story of My Ink

Maybe you’re wondering why the title of this post has absolutely nothing to do with Crockpots. Maybe you’re thinking, “Hey! Where’s the next part of that story?!” Maybe you haven’t even been reading along and in that case, you have no expectations for today.

I never thought I’d be happy to not have someone following.

I talked to a friend last night who gave me these unbelievably kind words:

You don’t owe anyone anything.

And so, while I love you all dearly, she was right. I can’t write the next segment today. I’ve been dreading it all week. I’ve been up all night thinking about it. It has put me into such a dark frame of mind, that I think giving myself a week to breathe is the best possible thing I can do. Will I finish it? Sure. Just not today.

And that’s okay.

Normally, I’d be worried by now. I’d be pacing around thinking, alright, now you have to come up with a new game plan. You’ve got to write something else. What the hell are you going to say?

But I have more awesome friends who commandeered some of my posts last evening and asked for the tale of the tattoos. I always find it interesting, this idea that there is a story behind the ink on my skin. I suppose I’m rather jaded about it all, and without trying to sound like the bully of the tattoo world, I’ve seen too many things like this:

Girl walks into tattoo parlor. She says, “What’s the cheapest tattoo I can get?” 

Guy comes in with $50 and says, “Just put on something for that much.”

People staring at the pictures on the wall and saying, “How much is that? Yeah, I’ll get that.”

Girls lined up to get the same tattoo as all their other friends, because their friends have it, so they want it.

16338_103783859640047_3567523_nSo maybe that tribal armband really does have some significant value for you. Or maybe you got it because you thought it looked cool. I’m wondering if I gave my opinion on these things if I’d get my first hater comment. -Shrugs-

Been there, guys. The day I turned eighteen I set out on a mission: Do All the Newly Legal Activities. I bought a lotto ticket and cigarettes. I mumbled and complained that there wasn’t a presidential election going on so I could go vote. I got a bit tipsy (not legal) with some friends and headed to some seedy tattoo joint where I basically pointed at a picture of an alien on one of those big plastic, swinging art boards and said, “I want that, but with wings. I want it to fly.”

That tattoo means nothing. It had no significant story behind it. Some guy who proceeded to tell me about the seven children he had with seven different women tattooed it on my hip while I bit the back of my hand in pain hard enough to leave a bruise for days. People who have tattoos will tell you, there is something addictive about that pain. I mean, either you get a tattoo and hate the entire experience so much you never want to do it again or you get tattooed and all you can think about is saving enough money to do it again. I fell into the latter category.

Only a few months later, Triple A  took me to a parlor for my next one. Finally, I was going to have a tattoo with meaning. I was going to join the crowd of people who walk around with stories inked into their skin. Except my story sucked, and I didn’t want a tattoo.


The phoenix hope, can wing her way through the desert skies, and still defying fortune’s spite; revive from ashes and rise.
-Miguel de Cervantes

Triple A and I had a “thing”, a saying. It wasn’t an “I love you” or some collection of pet names. He would say, “You belong to me.” And I would reply, “Always.” It sounds pretty, when you say it like that. It sounds like a sweet endearment. It doesn’t sound like the underlying threat it was. Those words, repeated again and again in my head, were a frightening combination. He had them tattoo the word “Always” on my arm. I was labeled. It was the equivalent of a branding. I had become livestock. Property. Owned.

I wasted no time at all getting that mark covered up after we separated. As soon as I had the money saved, I went in to my local tattoo parlor and said, “Cover it up. Please.” It’s a small town. They knew my story and I told them what it had meant, why I needed it gone. Erased. Eradicated.

Let me just say, my tattoo guy was awesome. He said one word, “Phoenix.” Rising from the ashes. Change. Growth. Rebirth. It was perfect. I sat back with something close to nirvana as that gun moved across my skin and wiped away the proof of who I had been, what I had done.

I had a bible verse slamming through my head, a verse I turn to often, regardless of my lack of belief. I grew up in a Christian household. These verses were ingrained into my very being. 

I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. – Phil. 4:13

It became my mantra. The words pressing through my clenched lips again and again. It gave me the backbone to scrape away the sludge that was left behind from the last few years. I was wiping the slate clean in the permanent dark stains of red and black. The sting of the needle, the buzz of the gun, the pinpricks of blood that welled, the numbness in my fingers: it was a cleansing of epic proportions. I was new. Changed. A Phoenix.

206592_204583326226766_6395787_nSo then I went back and got flowers tattooed around it, because they were pretty and I didn’t like the empty white span of my skin around the Phoenix. See what I mean? This whole dance of deep meaning to aesthetic beauty is a constant in tattooing. Sure, some pieces have intense meaning. Others? Hell, they just look good.

But there are repercussions to getting tattoos, especially ones this large. I had to cover them for work. I lost opportunities for work, because of them. People look at you different. We’re in a generation where tattoos are not only accepted (for the most), but are insanely popular. However, that’s mostly in the tiny, hidden variety. When you turn every inch of skin possible into a canvas, you start to attract attention.

I tutored for a long time and I will never forget the woman who came into the college sobbing, because she couldn’t find work. I sat there, watching her fall apart across the desk from me. She had passed her classes, but no one would hire her as an accountant.

I’m going to assume it had less to do with her abilities or qualifications and more to do with the gigantic spiderweb that was inked across her neck. It was impossible to miss. Impossible to hide. And unfortunately, it doesn’t fit in the set parameters people have in mind when they think of certain professionals like bankers, real estate agents, lawyers…accountants. That’s just the nature of the world. If someone asked you to write a description of a stock broker, would you describe them in a business suit with a smoking skull tattooed on their hand? Probably not.


But I wasn’t going to be an accountant. I was going to write. So, I started a literary collection that is no where near complete. I fell in love with the Dothraki language and culture in George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series. The first time I watched the show and saw the scene where Khal Drogo does his speech, my heart began to race, my palms were sweaty. I was leaning forward in my seat, gripped and completely lost in the moment. I didn’t even read the subtitles. The speech was so powerful in its delivery that I UNDERSTOOD it. The final line, “Asavvasoon” was the promise. “As the stars bear witness” (translation). Powerful words. Intense. I loved the way it rolled off my tongue. I went out and laid back on a table topless while the tattoo guy kept saying the word over and over again and shaking his head.


I finished my second book, got labeled as a feminist, and rushed to the parlor to get a femfist tattooed on my arm. I circled it with the line “Out of the ash I rise” from my favorite poem, Lady Lazarus, by Sylvia Plath.

I wanted more. I started compiling ideas like an image hoarder. I scratched lines in books under phrases and quotes that struck me. I started talking to my tattoo artist about my writing, about what it meant to me, about the process. He helped me develop these pieces.

That first moment when a story comes into your head. The way it takes over and it’s all you can think about and you stay up all night running through the possibilities, excitement permeating through your pores. The utter Possession of it.

The structure sets in. You start building the world, the characters. They take shape around you and suddenly it’s like you have vomited out the very core of yourself and the pieces are up and walking around, living, breathing beings from the deepest recesses of your psyche. You are the Architect of everything.

1277872_651854771499617_395627962_o1277885_651854768166284_1662637219_oThat calm that settles in. The turning of the page, your lips moving, the story seeping out. The release of it all. You are the Storyteller. It is yours and you are giving it, finally.

He got all that for me. He gathered what I was, what I felt, and put it on my skin where everyone else could see it.

And be confused by it, because the idea that I’m going to take what’s in my head, make it pretty, and expect people to understand it is ludicrous.

And it hurt like hell. Just saying. The thigh is a pretty painful place to get tattooed. I sighed in pleasure and at one point promised to kiss my tattoo artist when he wiped a cool cloth across my skin. The husband laughed as I moaned like a slut with every pause of the gun.

So do my tattoos speak? Sure. They have stories, some important and meaningful, some silly. Does anyone else get the story just by seeing them? Not normally. I either get compliments or complete avoidance. Small town thinking, I certainly don’t fit in here. It’s been made painfully clear entirely too many times.

I left the last college I was at, because regardless of my talents, my intelligence, my overall friendliness (I really am a pretty nice person, dammit), I was ignored. Ostracized. I was the only person there with bright dyed hair. I never saw anyone with tattoos. I was one of only fifteen “nontraditional” students. I was one of about five who didn’t live on campus. I was older than some of my professors. I had children. No one wanted anything to do with me.

I remember the first day on campus. It was a family day, where everyone was there with their parents checking out the campus and the dorms. I was in a sea of khaki pants and polo shirts. And there’s me. Purple hair, tattoos. A husband with dark, tanned skin and long black hair that was partially shaved. A daughter with purple streaks in her hair. A son with a Mohawk.

People stepped off the sidewalks to avoid our path. The day I left that school, heartbroken and angry, the husband showed up and helped me do that walk. He yanked his shirt off, let all of his tattoos shine bright and drew everyone’s attention away from me.

He’s pretty awesome like that.

I mean, when you see a collection of skulls and flames, of demons and quotes from Revelations, and words like “evil” tattooed on someone, it makes an impression.

People see the husband and say he’s intimating. Frightening. They think he has a bad guy attitude.

I laugh at that. While the husband isn’t anyone to take shit off of anybody, he’s not all that they think. He’s got a vicious tongue and the wit to knock someone flat on their back and send them running away in torrents of tears, but they always deserve it. He doesn’t do it for just the hell of it. He’s actually a pretty big teddy bear at heart.

People see his tattoos and they tell a story. It doesn’t seem like a pleasant one, and honestly, the husband’s story isn’t pretty. But he’s not what they see. He’s this:

Which is why I married him...

Which is why I married him…

Herstory Lesson: Tattoos are a permanent tale on your skin, but don’t expect the rest of the world to be able to understand the story they tell.

Featured Here: My Tattoo Artist, the one and only Irish Buddha


My Crowning Achievement – Or Basically How Life Kicks My Ass on the Regular

For those of you who have commented/messaged/called me, I am getting back to the Crockpot story soon. It will probably be in weekly installments. Not because I particularly want to draw the story out and torture you, but because let’s face it. . .this was not an easy time in my life and going back to write about it puts me into a dark, dark place.

And I don’t always need to put myself in dark places.

Sometimes, life in all its wonders, puts me there all on its own.

Not sometimes. . .often. . .normally. Entirely too damn much.

Life doesn’t push me one step back; it sends me back to the very beginning of the dance.

I should have know how yesterday was going to go after getting the phone call that told me that we weren’t going to be able to get my uncle into the nursing home. So we are back to the drawing board of trying to find a suitable, safe environment that is capable of taking care of him.


Life likes to make what should be a simple task something that consumes hours of my day.

I should have known after that hectic morning that going to go to a dealership and work on getting a car was a bad idea. I should have known better. Really. Instead, I hauled my butt down there and prepared for what I thought should be simple.

The husband and I had already spoken to our salesman the day before.

We knew exactly what vehicle we were going to look at.

We did not want to look at any other vehicles.

We knew the sale.

We knew our credit scores.

We knew the Blue Book value.

We knew exactly what we would put down and what we could pay.

Easy, right? So while the husband slept, I went down there and got to work with the salesman.

“You can pretend you are hearing my voice, but I am speaking for my husband,” I told him. He brought me back a deal that was not at all what the husband had said.


Life gives me morons like some kind of demented life sprinkles.

I pushed the paper back and again explained, for the last time, that this was the deal we would make. End of story. He asked if I wanted to call my husband and run the deal past him, and I attempted to make sure that he understood that the husband was sleeping and waking him for something I already knew he wasn’t going to agree to was akin to suicide.

He brought me another deal that was not what we wanted and asked me to call my husband.


I sent him back with a barely concealed eyeroll.

Life gives me moments of triumph as a sort of tease.

We got the deal. He handed over a paper that had lower numbers on it then what I had said. I was ecstatic. I was elated. I had conquered the car dealership on my own. . .with no big, bad man support. . .and I got a better deal then my husband had thought possible. I took my time taking that paper from him, as if I were still considering it.


Did I mention life gives me idiots?

After five hours of being there the van was half mine. It wouldn’t officially be mine until we got it home and the husband signed the paperwork. The salesman drove the van, with all the papers in tow, and followed me home. I called the husband and woke him as we were getting ready to pull in the driveway, so he could come out and see my crowning achievement. I was so stinking proud of myself, I couldn’t stand me.


The husband comes outside, in his pajamas and long hair all over the place looking like some metalhead after a long night raging. The kids piled to the doorway, my mom came outside. I pulled in and the van pulled in behind me. I got out of the car and turned around as my mother said:

“The van is smoking.”

The van was smoking. Billowing, spewing smoke from the tires.


The husband was angry. The husband started spewing his own smoke in the form of words I was glad the kids were far enough away to not hear. The man kept saying that there was an issue with the emergency brake. It was sticking. He’d noticed it as we left the dealership, but thought it would get better.

So he drove it 18 miles messed up.

The husband was beyond angry and for my own personal safety, I just backed up.


My crowning achievement was spewing smoke.

My trophy was stinking up a storm.

He thought they’d screwed me over. He thought they had taken advantage of his wife.

No, hunny.

They just gave me a moron to work with.

So the van sat there, with the salesman inside while he waited for a tow truck to come get it so they could fix whatever is wrong and then try to sell it to us again.

My dad came home and saw the man in the van.

I told him I bought a salesman today.

He didn’t believe me that this idiot had actually been my salesman.

When he finally was gone, the husband had a long talk with me about the list of demands if they wanted us to consider taking this thing off their lot. It’s a long list. I’m going to tell them again that I am speaking for my husband, except I’ll probably use less profanity. They should consider themselves lucky at this point.

Life kicks my ass. 



Herstory Lesson: If it seems like something good is happening, hold on. It may be fine. . .but shit might get real, real fast.

I May Need Bail Money

The husband bought me tickets to go see In This Moment and Butcher Babies.

The concert is tomorrow night.

The husband is carrying around a box of tissues like my son carries around Boo Bear.

The husband’s gravelly morning voice has been here all day.

The husband is about to go to the doctor.



The husband never goes to the doctor.

That means that because some guy at his job didn’t want to miss work and instead came and sat in the little box with all the other guys for twelve hours straight, spewing his germs everywhere and infecting multiple people (like my husband), I will not be attending the concert.

I’m about to go straight Liam Neeson on that disease-ridden asshat.



If I post later asking for donations…I found him.

Because They Have a Four Day Weekend

And that of course means that everyone has to be sick.

The husband came home looking like the lead singer of a death metal band after a year long tour.

I practically fed him Nyquil and sent him away.

The son took a nap with him later on and woke up, crawling onto the couch with me.

Mama, I’m warm and snuggly.

So I snuggled him.

That’s not warm and snuggly…that’s a fever.

I dosed him on Motrin and then later Tylenol, dunked him in the bathtub and thought, Oh yay. A whole four day break of sick people.

The husband finally woke up around ten and convinced me that sex was a good idea.

Don’t drink out of my cup…I don’t want you to get sick.

Thank you for being considerate. Now come her so we can swap bodily fluids. That has no potential for spreading germs and disease…Right.



Oh, and I’m hacking up a lung this morning.

No problem.

I’ve got two, right?

I’ll be fine.

-Zombie face-


What I'm sure most everyone has thought lately upon seeing me.

What I’m sure most everyone has thought lately upon seeing me.

This whole transition to staying home/not working outside of the house, and then becoming pregnant and being SO sick…I’ve gotten lazy.

I didn’t want to say it.

I didn’t want to admit it.

But I have.

I can’t remember the last time I put on make-up, just because. Or that I thought, ‘Hmmm…let’s wear jeans.’ Nope. I’ve been rocking the husband’s sweatpants and sleepy pants for a solid couple of months.

But I love you...

But I love you…

I wear them to the doctor’s.

To the kid’s school.

To the store.

Yes. Yes She is.

Yes. Yes She is.

I might as well have been wearing a big neon sign saying, “I GIVE UP” or these. I could have worn these:

My precious.

My precious.

I knew it was bad, when we got invited to the husband’s aunt’s annual Christmas party. It’s one of the few excuses we have to get dressed up during the holiday season, since we’re more stay-at-home-ers than travel-all-over-ers. (Oh my grammar this morning…-facedesk-)

The husband doesn’t like to get dressed up, but he will if I do. So when I told him I ordered something to wear for the party, he gave me the one eyebrow raised, oh-shit-she’s-snapped-finally look.



I may or may not have stomped my feet and attempted to defend my case, in which he finally agreed with me in some effort to probably get me to shut up.

The point is…I ordered a dress. And because he loves me, he is giving me an early present and ordered me a pair of kick ass shoes to go along with said dress.

Then I went out and bought hair dye. And I’m going to paint my nails.

I’m going for epic transformation here.

We're starting about here.

We’re starting about here.

And I figure…

We'll end around Jessica Rabbit sexy...but without that much boob, because no one has that much boob. And if they do, I'm concerned  that they aren't sharing...

We’ll end around Jessica Rabbit sexy…but without that much boob, because no one has that much boob. And if they do, I’m concerned that they aren’t sharing…

So fingers are crossed as the dress and shoes arrive in the mail today, for the party tomorrow…

*Please fit*

What about you? Ever feel like giving yourself a total transformation? Ever slide into habits of laziness and have to kick that crap to the curb? Have boobs like Jessica Rabbit and aren’t sharing? Tell me about it!







Reasons to Stay Silent

I’ve been away…not really away, but away from my blogging. I’m sorry. Really, I am. It’s not that nothing blog worthy has been happening. No. It’s just that every time I sit down to work on this I get slammed with this sense of “Goooooddddddd….I’m so tired.”

And I am.

I’m exhausted.

There is a big difference being pregnant at 28 and pregnant at 20.

Not that I would know.

I am not 28.


The kids have kept me busy. A couple of weeks ago were parent teacher conferences. This is the first time I’ve gone to one for my son where he didn’t get to tag along. Kindergarten is so much more “real” school than Pre-K…So when I told him where I was going, naturally, he panicked.


For my son…I get it. He gave me the whole run around. “Why are you seeing my teacher?”, “I didn’t do anything.”, “I got fives.” (The equivalent of A’s that they are scored with every day).

The best though:


Oh, my poor child. I use that excuse so often, I can’t very well overdo it. The funny part was, his report was good. I mean, other than dealing with the fact that my son is a bit of a follower…as in, “Oh look, that kid’s screwing up. I’mma do what they did.” Other than that, he’s just fine.

So we followed up the week of the conferences with the weekend of the birthday party. Or the unbirthday party that is. My daughter wanted an Alice in Wonderland themed Mad Tea Party.

In my defense…I started planning for this before I knew I was pregnant. I went out and bought boxes full of junk pieces of tableware and teapots from Goodwill and other thrift shops. I ordered giant playing cards and fake flowers and all sorts of junk to make this tea party really seem off the wall.

I may have actually gone a bit mad.

It was a success though and hopefully one she will remember for a long…long time. Because I am never doing that again. I can’t even count the number of hours spent in set-up down in the church basement. At night. Alone. Creepy.

I still have things to put away from that party.

But this week has been uneventful. In fact, today was the only real highlight. The husband got his new Xbox One. -Cue laughter at watching a grown man act like a kid at Christmas.- I knew it would be this sort of day when I woke and saw his friends had posted more pictures of the new Xbox on their Facebooks then they had pictures of their current girlfriends. And my husband, being the sort of man he is, and knowing me so well, tells me before he leaves for work, “Hey, if you want to use it just tell it ‘Xbox On’. It’ll come right on.”

I was amazed. Not that I let him guess that. I told him I had no reason to use it and he batted out words like ‘Netflix’ and ‘Hulu’ and I shrugged as if I had no interest.

It’s an electronic piece of equipment that would respond when I spoke to it. Of course I wanted to play. So, I wait until later in the evening and the Xbox and I had some one-on-one time.

Me: -Wonders- Xbox on.

Xbox: -Lights Up-

Me: Crap. It’s on. Okay. Xbox off.

Xbox: –Does nothing.-

Me: -Turns on the TV, sees start screen.- Xbox off.

Xbox: -Nothing.-

Me: Shut down. Xbox shut down. Xbox turn off.

Xbox: -Blatantly ignoring me now.-

Me: -Sees a thing that says ask for “Xbox Help” for tips.- Xbox help.

Xbox: –Sign shows up- Can’t access help from here.

Me: Of course we can’t. -Spends ten minutes finding four controllers, all of which belong to the 360. Two of which have no batteries in them. One is the kid’s and the other…- Shit. I grabbed a controller to play with the kids earlier. -Runs out and grabs controller, thinking if it is the new one and she used it with the kids on the old living room Xbox he is going to kill me. Pushes buttons on it, since it has batteries.-

Xbox IN THE LIVING ROOM: -Turns on.- DING.

Me: You have got to be kidding me… -Runs out, sees old Xbox on and turns it off. Admits defeat and texts the husband.-


Husband: -Acts like his Xbox and ignores me.-

Me: -Finally finds the new controller and shuts the thing down. Texts the husband- I am never speaking to that thing again.

Brain Wrestling and Candy Eyeballs


Normally, I struggle to get to sleep. My brain instantly becomes awake when I lie down and suddenly all these fantastic story ideas pop into my head. I could have used that last night, but instead I was wrestling it to just get it started with the project I needed to begin. Last night began the first official night of NaNoWriMo…I’d like to sound prouder of myself than I am, but I only managed 844 words. However, those were 844 of the hardest words I’ve ever written. I actually started at the beginning of a story, something I never do. I always start at some random place of action in the middle and work my way out to both ends. It’s terrible. So I forced myself to start at the beginning and 844 later…I’d done it. Now, 49,156 words to go.

No sweat. <—Sarcasm.

We took the monsters trick or treating last night, and we always walk through the town with a lady who was their day care provider, and who knows everyone and everything about everyone in that town. It is super helpful.

Because then there are situations like this:

Kids run up to funky house with grass that is like a foot tall and grab candy out of a bucket sitting on the porch.

Miss I Know All in This Town:   Take that from them when they get back. I meant to stop them before they got there.

Me:   Oh God, why?

Her:   Lots of drug issues in that house. Someone OD’ed there not long ago.

Me:  Oh…lovely.

The kids come running back and I grab their buckets, dig in and pull out the candy eyeballs they grabbed from that house.

Ninja and Merida:   Mama! What are you doing?


I’d like to take this time to say that the dregs of society that make me fear candy in my child’s Halloween bucket have a special place on my If-I-Ever-Become-Friends-With-A-Mobster list.

Just saying.

Then there are those people who are just so kind, and wonderful, you want to share them with the word. Like this lady, who constantly goes out of her way to promote others across her blog. She chose my Halloween story for yesterday, which you can see here:

Awesome and amazing woman, fantastic poet, check her out!


When leaving the grocery store I was stopped by one of the teenage boys who works there, you know, vacuuming the floors and gathering the carts up from outside.

Boy: You are really pretty. What school do you go to? I never see you at  ____________ High.

So I did what any woman would do:

Me: -Barely controlled laughter- Thank you…I’m homeschooled.

I was NOT telling him I’m getting ready to go to my ten year reunion…

From the same high school he mentioned.

Not doing it.


NOT happening.

Unfinished Business and Other Ghoulish Problems

If I died today, and the whole ghosts-have-unfinished-business-which-is-why-they-stick-around thing is true, I’d spend longer here on earth as a ghost than I have thus far as a living, breathing person.

Just saying.

Let’s do an inventory, shall we?

Twenty-one…21…unfinished manuscripts. TWENTY-ONE!

Two boxes, five stacks, and one purse full of paperwork that needs to be sorted into the filing cabinet.

Four wall-length shelves, two under-the-bed bins, and six totes in the attic full of books I have not yet read and want to.

Five years worth of photo albums to work on for my son.

Another five years for my daughter (I did at least start on her’s).

My wedding album, as of yet, still incomplete.

My brother’s Star Wars painting.

Seven other unfinished canvases.

48 recipes on my recipe holder that I have not yet tried and want to.

Oh, and I’m still not pregnant.


Can ghosts get pregnant? -Shrugs- Either way, I’m going to be one seriously busy ghost. I mean, I’ve got stuff to do. Things to finish…someday. I’ve always been a starter. It’s the finishing part that screws me up every time.

Needless to say, I can’t become a ghost yet. I’d have absolutely no time to haunt anyone, and really, what is the fun of being a ghost with no time for the fun stuff, like scaring the crap out of people that annoyed you when you were living?

WHAT ABOUT YOU? If you checked out today and got to be a ghosty, what would your unfinished business be?


*I’m not normally this morbid. I swear. Well, sometimes.