Dancing Echoes

Beats Stumbling Around in Silence


Bad Ass Superwoman

When I met my now second husband “D”, I was close to fifty and had never had kids of my own. My first husband and I met at age fifteen and we spent twenty-one years together. Post divorce, I spent the next fifteen years as a serial monogamist but decidedly single. I had never had the “Mom Bomb” go off and for years I fought the prejudice that goes with the childless choice. I love kids but never felt compelled to have my own. Anyway, I was divorced at thirty-six and most guys I met in the combat trenches of the dating years had kids, so by the time I was forty-seven I was used to the family package situation. D had three kids. To be specific, he had three teenagers. Well, soon to all be teenagers and I was about to get a lesson in trial by fire (yet another story for another time). The oldest daughter was sixteen, the “Irish Twin” brother was fifteen and the youngest boy was twelve going on thirty. D and I had dated for a little while before I met his kids because he was not interested in having me meet his kids until he knew me well enough to trust me around them. Not personally experiencing a parental divorce (I had the dubious honor of being the first in my family to get divorced) I figured they had already been through a lot and I respected this rule. I thought it quite sweet because a man that protects his kids is a good man. Not to mention that we had both dated our share of wackadoodles and we were both exercising a wackadoodle buffer period policy.

Not "D"

Not “D”

Over the years of dating men with children I developed a mantra about being a “girlfriend”, “significant other” and “stepmom” to kids. It goes like this: “I don’t care if you like me, I don’t care if you love me, I love your Father and so I love you unconditionally as a package deal. I don’t expect anything in return. You can ask me anything and I will answer honestly and appropriately. I will ask you questions because I want to get to know you better but you do not have to answer any of my questions unless you are comfortable answering them.” Note: this does not mean I am a pushover but I will always be the adult in any given situation. So now that I’ve given my “stepmom mantra”, understand that I am not beyond taking complete advantage of any “Superwoman” situation when it presents itself. On this particular occasion I was over at D’s house for the first time. This was only the second time I had met his kids, the first being in a public forum. D and I were fixing dinner and the three kids were at the kitchen table chatting and getting to know me better. I walked closer to the table so that I had eye contact with sixteen. I was talking and out of the corner of my eye I saw a fly buzz by my head. Without missing a beat or losing eye contact with sixteen, I reached out and snatched that fly right out of the air. I knew I’d caught the fly because I felt it wriggling against the palm of my hand.

No "Fly by Night"

No “Fly by Night”

My eyes stayed locked on the kids, my face fit for a poker game. I watched their eyes get round and their jaws slowly drop open. I just kept talking as if nothing happened, but the underlying vibe was “Yeah, I’m a Bad Ass Superwoman so you better watch your step ’cause I have lightning reflexes.” I nonchalantly opened the back kitchen door and escorted the fly out, all the while still maintaining eye contact and talking with the kids. Of course on the inside I was going, “Whaaat da fuuuck?”, but they’ll never know that. As this incident perpetuates as a family legend, I want them to always think I’m that Bad Ass Superwoman with lightening reflexes.

And for my next act I’ll be catching a bullet with my teeth.

Have you ever done anything so crazy you even amazed yourself? Has anything you’ve done become a family legend?

Photos by  Pixabay: Crazy Eyes, Mouche


Why “Dancing Echoes” or The Double REDdog Dare

My first thoughts about blogging were: ” Who do you think you are and why would anyone want to listen to what you have to say in the first place?” I have no earthly idea, but I am going to step out into the footlights anyway.

My day job is as a scientist. This fall I got more involved with Twitter. I swear my vocabulary doubled the few months after I got serious on Twitter because I had been stuck in a scientific writing rut.  As such, part of my fear of blogging was that I was so used to doing technical writing that I would be boring and dry. If you want to know how to put widget A into slot B, I’m your gal. No boys, do not contact me regarding this matter. Aaaanyway, I had paired my photographs with poetry, mostly micro poetry like Haiku, for years. I had always wanted to combine them but did not have a platform. Many were in the form of a text to my husband so they were getting lost in the ethernet. Turns out Haiku work well on Twitter because of the 140 character rule. Then I started following the *right people on Twitter and everything fell into place. But more on that later.

* people I connected with, usually creative and/or humorous

My now

My “Oh so glamorous” life / obligatory boob shot

The Echo Part:

Echoes stands for the echoes of my past dancing around in my head. Sometimes the echoes are of tears and sometimes they are of laughter. I prefer to listen to the laughter as a coping mechanism. Part of the reason I am on Twitter and am now blogging is to try to quiet these haunting echoes through humor and sharing. Oh, and I have a little Green Cheeked parrot named Echo who snuggles when he’s not focused biting me. Hmmmm, sounds relatable, see “Why I am the Luckiest Girl in the World”.

Don't let his sweet face fool you

Don’t let his sweet face fool you

The Dancing Part:

Dancing is an echo of my former self (for the most part I have stopped due to catastrophic injuries) and yet dancing still infuses everything I do. Music has a profound effect on me. It pierces through my being and goes right to my core. If I’m focused on an important task, I cannot listen to music because I will start to choreograph movements in my head.  Much to my friends and colleagues dismay, I have been known to break out into dance at random times in random places. Nothing in my life makes me feel as connected as when I am dancing full body and soul with complete abandon. I also have, at any given time, a sound track in my head. Gunmetal Geisha talks about her experience with this quite eloquently in her blog: “The Moment of Melting”. The first time I read this I had a visceral reaction in understanding that I am not alone with this characteristic.

Back before my

Back before my “wheels” fell off

Why Blog:

We’ve all lost something whether it be a person, an ability or something intangible like our innocence or youth. Loss is the common thread of humanity. However, not to bum anyone out, I also think my life is a laugh-riot. This past September I came to know and fall in love with a few expressive, creative folks on Twitter, most of them through following Alfageeek. Some of them have blogs. I am in awe of these folks. They make me cry and laugh but most of all they make me think, see (REDdog at Shed Reflections, Alfageeek, Gunmetal Geisha, Aussa Lorens, Cursitivity, Siren Whispers, The Woman Formerly Known as Beautiful) and if you are not already following them, I highly recommend it.  Even while they intimidate the hell out of me they inspire me to find my voice. With each of these bloggers I find a common thread that I can relate to through my own personal experiences. I don’t really feel I have anything new to say about life that hasn’t already been said before, but I can offer my bent perspective. While I like the challenge of 140 characters on Twitter, sometimes as Alfageeek says “For When 140 Letters are Not Quite Enough”, he is right, they are not always enough, hence the blog. Like most of you, I’m laughing to keep from crying. I never take myself too seriously and that has also been my motto in life. I find the funny side to every situation and sometimes even laugh inappropriately, similar to Aussa, see “I Almost Died on Thursday”). Another bent attribute is my penchant for putting a sexual spin on most anything. My brain always has one foot in the gutter. I find this aspect of my personality amusing. You have to really know me before I will let you see this side (unless you are on Twitter). On the surface I come across as a very serious, nerdy, ice princess (not to mention my dislike for touching) while in reality, most of the time the chances are good that on the inside I am thinking like a horny 14-year-old boy looking for trouble. Hopefully as I become more comfortable with this “blog thingy”, I may show more of this side to my personality. So Dancing Echoes it is. Besides, Humping Echoes was already taken.

The Double REDdog Dare:
I had contemplated a blog for a while. Over Christmas break, on my birthday actually, I set up a WordPress site and set it to “private” while I worked out the details and put on my “Big Girl Pants”. I figured it was now or never. The birthday clock was ticking (I am older than any of the bloggers I follow). I was following REDdog at Shed Reflections and really liked his stories. I was so impressed with the creative concept of his “origins of his nickname” piece I asked him if I could take his “personal bestowing of a nickname” quiz even though I was a bit late to this party, see “A Liddle Bitta Straya Goes A Long Way”.

Low and behold I got this email:


The WordPress.com user REDdog (username ‘reddog766’) requested access to view your private site at https://dancingechoes.com/

“Hoooly shit!” I said to myself, “How did he find me?” In my stupidity, I thought I was registered as a reader only, not a blogger. Since my new blog site was set to “private” I thought I was flying under the radar. Silly girl.

Then the following correspondence ensued:

Dear Reddog,

I will gladly grant you access to my site once I am up and running. I have my site private because I am just now setting it up and I don’t have anything posted. I also have a bad case of chicken shit. I fear I have nothing to say or that I can’t keep up with the likes of you or the other bloggers I follow and admire. So, if I get my act together and courage up, you will be the first to know because you already believe in me, even before I do.



His reply:

G’day C,

Thanks for your reply, much appreciated. It’s okay to be chicken shit, I think that must be a normal thing when we start out, I didn’t think I had anything to say when I started either…still don’t…which probably explains why I haven’t written much lately. Anyhoo, for what it’s worth, I reckon you could just start with whatever’s on your mind today and go from there. In fact, you could write about not having anything to write about and I bet you’d have an entire post before you know what’s happened.

Anyway, I made contact because I’m always curious when a new follower turns up out of the blue. Like, how did you find me? And, why would you bother following? It’s an interesting world the blogging community.

I wish you luck and look forward to being one of your avid followers forever and ever.

Respect REDdog

So without further adieu, time for some recognition and shameless, well-intentioned brown-nosing.

A special thanks to REDdog: http://shedreflections.com/, I got my nickname, go see A Liddle Bitta Straya..) and I’m holding you to your promise. Not sure how I found you since this rabbit hole has taken many twists and turns but I think it was from a reference or comment in one of Aussa’s blogs.

A special thanks to Alfageeek: http://alfageeek.wordpress.com/, You are the center of this crazy vortex in finding the smart, funny, creative, inspiring people. I have absolutely no idea how I initially connected to you on Twitter, but I am sure glad I did.

An inspirational thanks to:
Aussa Lorens: http://aussalorens.com/
Gunmetal Geisha: http://gunmetalgeisha.com/
Siren Wispers: http://sirensong1208.wordpress.com/
Cursitivity: https://cursitivity.wordpress.com/
The Woman Formerly Known as Beautiful: http://thewomanformerlyknownasbeautiful.com/

There are many other amazing bloggers I follow that I have not mentioned here but this chicken shit thanks you too. My blog is no longer set to “private” so it’s time now time to go lay this egg.


Why I am the Luckiest Girl in the World

Warning: if you are squeamish do not read this while eating.

REDdog at Shed Reflections had a nickname questionnaire blog back in September in which one of the questions was “What was your favorite era?” This got me to thinking about how I arrived in this world.

To say I am scrappy is an understatement. When I was born, my mothers first thoughts must of been, “This is a tough one.” What she didn’t know but would soon find out, was that I was really just an asshole. From birth. But I digress. She had lost four babies before me, the last one surviving three days. It must have been horrible for her emotionally as well as physically. She could never carry a baby to full term because of a short cervix. A simple sneeze would send her into labor. I was a bit of an experiment in that they sewed her cervix shut (sorry, I warned you not to eat) and put her on complete bed rest for the last two trimesters. I suppose that is why my most defining characteristics are impatience with a healthy dose of stubbornness mixed in for good measure. Here is a quick background: my Mom was a practicing pharmacist in the 50’s and 60’s so she tested birth control for pharmaceuticals fully wanting to get pregnant. And my parents were nothing if they weren’t fertile. Mom thinks I was a spermicidal (not to be confused with homicidal) foam test baby. Like I said, scrappy. I am guessing that the pharmaceutical companies had found their “Dream Team”. If my Mom could go a few months without getting pregnant, they knew they had a winner. So imagine my parents delight when she got pregnant with me and thanks to this new procedure called a “Shirodkar”, yeah, look it up I’ll wait: Shirodkar Procedure,  was able to carry me to a survivable term. Her willingness to be a “guinea pig” for science still leaves me awestruck. I was a planned C-section, just after Christmas, not quite full term so that she would not go into true labor which could potentially rip her apart. Queasy yet? Mom wanted to be awake for the birth so she opted for a spinal. Things did not go well (OK, you might want to put that sandwich down, NOW) so she felt the entire C-section from start to finish. After she was sewn back up she also experienced a build up of gas that she described as excruciating pain beyond anything she’d ever experienced. And this woman clearly knows pain.

Fortunately there were better days ahead, sort of:

I've clearly just been fed.

I’ve clearly just been fed.

So after going through all that pain to have a baby, you would think my poor Mom deserved a sweet, cuddly baby to hold. But no, I would have none of that. Fast forward to my infancy/childhood and imagine her dismay when it turns out I am not a touchy-feely, cuddle baby. I did not like to be cuddled, held, rocked, hugged or restrained. Just feed me and let me nap, thanks. My first growls were “Put me down”, “I do it “and “Don’t touch me”. If you tried to pick me up I would immediately go into a strychnine arch. I found it particularly effective to stiffen my back and dig my feet into my Mom’s soft parts for a quick release. Juxtapose that with the limp noodle routine and I could usually be left alone for a while. And then there was the time I knocked out my Mom’s front tooth with a head butt (in my defense there was no malicious intent). The list of my obnoxious behavior goes on but you get the picture. I was a force to be reckoned with. In hindsight it was probably a good thing she had to suffer so badly to give birth otherwise she would have killed me. Shit, I would have killed me. I still need a HUGE personal space and am possibly the only person that gets MORE tense from a massage, at least from a stranger. I don’t like getting my hair cut or nails done either. When someone reaches out to touch me I have to fight my natural instinct to recoil. I know, weird right? So now I am sure you are all thinking, what about sex? OK, who doesn’t? Sex is different for me as in I compartmentalize sex as a different kind of touch. Someone has to be pretty special before I let them into my personal space so sex has served as an internal barometer for a higher level of love and trust in my life. Does my lack of physical affection make me an asshole? Some people might read it that way but no, I am an asshole for different reasons to be discussed at a another time. Again, I digress, but I snuck sex in there at the end to hold your attention (I’m a quick study Gunmetal Geisha, see “Sex Sells and Most of the Time It’s Irrelevant“).

In nutshell, that is how I came in to the world, not like other kids (shit, they had to sew me in for God’s sake), but on my own prickly terms, none the less intact.

So when REDdog asked the question, “What was your favorite era?” My answer was immediately, right fucking now. My current era, because the stars aligned and I got lucky. If I had been conceived any sooner I never would have made it, scrappy or not.

Do you have an interesting story about how you came into the world that you want to share?