Monday, May 31, 2010

Remembering Memorial Day

Yesterday morning I wrote a fantastic post about hierarchy and the places people occupy in my life, how they fit, how they move up and down, and how they fall in and out of favor. It was witty, warm, and if I do say so myself, a little insightful. It had a little military comparison and kinda liked the flow it gave into the holiday weekend.

Then fuckin' Blogger ate it.

And today is Memorial Day and I refuse to write about hierarchy or swinging or sex or irritations or minor victories or defeats (because really, they are minor) or anything else other than the military and service.

One of the downsides of this sort of anonymity is that none of you know the vanilla side of my life (oh who the fuck am I kidding, I'm pretty much plain fuckin' vanilla every freakin' day) but I have a thing for the military. No, not a sexual fetish, but an awe, love and respect for any man or woman who volunteers to put their life up for grabs. Our military, any military really, serves one purpose, to fight an enemy, to the death whenever necessary.

For those of you who watch PBS' The News Hour, every day at the end of the broadcast, they scroll the names and photos of fallen soldiers, in silence, across the screen. Young privates, older sergeants, officers and enlisted -- all sons and daughters, some husbands, fathers, mothers and wives. Watching that day after day makes every day Memorial Day for me.

I have another friend who logs WWII veterans into the National Memorial. A veteran himself, he is tireless in his task and often posts interesting stories up on Facebook. He also introduced me to the website which lists the names and details of every US Military death in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as lists of civilian causalities.

Growing up in rural, shit-kickin' cow-country most-- in fact I'd say many -- of my friends from high school joined the military and, through Facebook. I've been able to reconnect with a lot of them. They served all over the world in a variety of ways. One helped close down nuclear facilities, another spent much of his career in Korea, another became a military lawyer.

They all possess a quiet confidence, a dignity. They all appear to have an appreciation for life and people. In fact, maybe it's just the folks who reconnected with me, but they all also have a pretty nuanced compassion for mankind combined with a pretty pragmatic approach to day to day life. My family members who served were the same way -- from those who served in WWII all they way to today.

I don't envy them and I don't think that military service is the only way to achieve these qualities, but I do think it speaks to the results of serving. I think these qualities are what you earn when you survive, when you get to come home to your loved ones, when you are not a fallen hero.

I would like to think that I would have done well in the military but most people don't think that's the case. They say I wouldn't have handled the "authority" and certainly in my younger days I don't think I could argue their point. To say that I've been insubordinate would be an understatement. The fact is, I was fired from or quit abruptly almost every job I've ever had. It's one of the main reasons I'm an entrepreneur.

But I like to think I would have had the courage; that I possessed the discipline. I would like to think that I would have had the strength of character needed to be loyal to my fellow soldiers and be willing to sacrifice for them. I hope I wouldn't have whined too much or learned quickly to shut up about it. I think I would have served with honor, even if I lacked distinction.

My friends, both those currently serving and those who've left, all know. They accepted the challenge to serve our country, to do their part in whatever capacity they chose, to be shot at and to shoot back, to drop bombs and to run for cover. Maybe they did sign up because they needed a way out of nowhere-ville or to get money for college or because they couldn't get a job any where else. Maybe some did want the adventure and maybe they got it. But I think most men and women volunteer because they want to serve their country. Because they want to do what's right.

So on Memorial Day I remember the ones who died and the ones who serve. I also choose to remember that military service is about honor. That those who fight and die in our name have earned our respect even if, perhaps, they no longer need it. They possess a self-respect, born from experience, trial, and testing, that transcends any parade or any Facebook posting or any blog tribute or any half-assed "remembrance."

To those of you who have, are, or will serve in the US Armed Forces, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Lessons from a free thinking dog

I'm back!! And I'm back with warm fuzzy feelings because for the first time ever, I'm someone's favorite (not counting Vince, of course); RoaringLionofTwoFistedCool picked yours truly as a favorite blog. :))

Now I'm no sucker for random praise but some folk's opinions matter more than others and since I dig this guy and his ramblings, I'm going to participate in the award's requirements. To wit:
  • Post the award on your blog somewhere
  • Pass the award on to someone else
  • Post a video playing your favorite instrument OR
  • Post a photo of your pets OR
  • Post a long post about your favorite book

Tall order.

As for passing it on, I'm going to pick my girl Julie Jezebel at This Time It's Just Julie. I learn a lot from that chick. In addition to being a fine writer, her perspective on life and love are thoughtful and, from where I'm at right now in my life, incredibly meaningful. I also had the pleasure of spending time with her last week and have been mulling over our conversation. More on that in another post. The HNT photo of me at the piano will do for the instrument though I do play the flute and in high school I played drums. But being the contrarian that I am, I'm going to combine the last two bullets.

I wouldn't say it was a life changing book, but "Merle's Door: Lesson's from a Free-Thinking Dog" by Ted Kerasote was an amazing read. Spoiler alert! Merle dies at the end. Just like all the rest of 'em -- "Tuesday's with Morrie", "Old Yeller", and the entirety of Shakespeare's plays. Okay, maybe not everybody in that last one.

But the gist of it is always the same, you can learn a lot if you pay attention and open your mind to the idea that maybe, just maybe, you don't know everything and you're not right all the fuckin' time.

Which brings me to my babies.

This photo is actually about 10 years old and both of my beloved pups are gone now. The Lassie looking guy was Percy and the mutt was Stinger.

NOTE -- for those of you who roll your eyes with disdain at the fact that I refer to my dogs as children or babies STFU. At best you are ignorantly unkind; at worst you are a mean-spirited jack-ass. Either way, if it's just too much for you to accept the idea that a person could actually be emotionally attached to dog then we wouldn't hang out in real life, so there's no need for you to hang out here. Oh, and if you actually have children of your own and still begrudge me my love for my pets, well then, fuck you.

These two dogs were different as night and day. Sting's nickname was Visa 'cause he was "everywhere you want to be." Underfoot constantly. I work from home and he was always either under my desk or at my feet. He was demanding in that he knew the food and walking schedule and you didn't deviate from it one second without him reminding you of your responsibilities. All the toys in the house were "his" and if other people or dogs came over he'd wander around, gather them all up, and put them under the coffee table. He was the defender, and I don't doubt for a second that dog would bite anyone who he thought was harming me.

Percy, on the other hand, was like a good looking movie star -- aloof, pretty, playful to the point of being reckless, and definitely the follower of the two. Being a pure-bred his herding instinct was pretty strong and he loved it when my parent's baby-sat them when we were away -- lots of cows to bark at, cats to chase, etc. And for such a beautiful dog he was all boy-boy; he wanted to be outside, the dirtier the better. He'd stand his ground with another dog, but he was shy and timid around people; only when he was backing up Sting would he bark at a person.

Stinger's favorite thing to do was ride in a car. If you happened to leave the door open, he'd jump in and not get out until you either dragged him out our drove him around the block. Percy puked every time he got in the car unless you gave him dramamine half an hour before you went anywhere, and then he'd be dopey. Stinger didn't like kids; Percy was a kid magnet. Sting's eyes would follow any conversation a group of people were having. Percy would leave the room if people came over.

And while we doted on our pups they weren't "spoiled." They didn't jump on people, nor beg from the table. They slept in dog beds -- Stinger in our room, Percy in his prefered spot downstairs. We had one couch they could get on but Percy never got on the furniture unless it was thundering and lightning and then he'd try to crawl into your lap (all 50 pounds of him) where ever you were and there was nothing you could do about it.

Stinger was definitely a free-thinker. I often watched him make decisions -- this toy or that, lie on the couch today or the floor. One special oddity was that there was a certain piece of kibble mixed up in his dog food that he didn't like and he'd spit just those shapes out. After dinner there would always be a pile of bone-shaped bits next to his empty dog bowl. He didn't eat what he didn't like.

I used to say that it was God's cruel joke that he created man's best companion with only a 10 - 14 year lifespan. Since they were both full-grown dogs when we got them we really had no idea how old they were, but we had Sting for about 12 years and Perce for about 10. Long enough to get hopelessly attached.

Stinger went first. As he aged and slowed down, we took care him. He had hip dysplasia and we gave him all the meds he needed as well as provided aqua-therapy, accupuncture (which he hated and for the second time in his life tried to bite someone, so we quit that shit), and hired a dog massage therapist, which he loved.

His personality was very intense and we decided that as long as he was "him" -- engaged, enthusiastic, demanding -- and whatever pain he was in was managed, then we'd do whatever we could for him. Then one day he stopped being him. He would no longer sleep under my desk but instead started curl up as far from me as he could get. Instead of staring us down if we were late with his food he would act disinterested even if we profered his prefered treat -- cheddar cheese. He stopped raising his head when we petted him and didn't lick our hands at all.

So one Friday night, after a particularly tough day, we made the decision it was time for him to die. The appointment was set for Monday and the vet was coming to our house so our pup could die at home. He always hated the vet's office and I couldn't bear to think he would be afraid in h is last moment on this earth.

So the morning came -- a bright, cool, clear spring day -- and at 11:00 am Vince carried him outside and we laid him on his favorite doggie bed under a shady tree; I laid down beside him and ran my fingers through his fur to calm him. Vince had one hand on me and the other on Sting. We told him goodbye and Vince said to go ahead. Then the woman injected him with the poison that stopped his heart and breathing.

I lay on the ground, sobbing, for what felt like an eternity even after Vince carried his corpse to the vet's car so he could be cremated.

Less than a year later, Percy changed. Our playful, athletic dog who loved nothing more than to chase cats and run around the yard barking at full tilt could no longer stand on his own. This time the vet couldn't come to us, so we placed our delicate and only remaining "child" in the back of the van and drove him to only place on earth, other than the inside of a car, that he hated. He trembled and tried hopelessly to stand so I sat cross legged on the floor and curled him into my lap, just like he'd do when storms came. The same vet came in, and once again, Vince's hands on both of us, he gave the word and my baby died in my arms.

About two months later, I began helping with the care of my grandparents. For a year I drove two hours to spend two days a week in their full time care -- washing, bathing, cooking, cleaning, reading, diapering, massaging, feeding, medicating, etc.

The night before my grandmother died I lay in the bed next to her, stroking her hair, massaging her frail skin. It was the end and I knew it. Sometimes she was afraid, other times expectant, other times resigned. This night, she was aware. The next morning, she died.

Nine month later, for the first time in his ninety-five years, my grandfather couldn't stand, he didn't wake up that morning, didn't get out of bed. I held his hand and watched as his heart could no longer pump his blood and it started to pool in his arms, legs, and face. My mother asked me to go get another tape (he was a huge fan of old country music and gospel and we played it for him constantly) and in the time I was gone from the room, he too left this world.

Like I said earlier, everybody dies at the end -- Merle, Stinger, Percy, Granny, Granddaddy, Old Yeller, Shakespeare. Me and you. Our parents and our children. Who we are when we're here, what we learn, and what we leave behind, matters. Maybe not to a lot of people, hell, maybe only to a few. But loving someone or something, learning from them, caring for them, and sending them on their way is a part of this life.

If you have an interest, read "Merle's Door." You can learn a lot from a free-thinking dog.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Lanes take a trip!!

Hi folks! Just a quick little note to let you all know I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. In fact, Vince and I have been busy with work, family, the usual and are taking a little time off.

Thanks to some flight fuck ups last year, we had some free airline travel, hotel bonus points and what not and decided to spin the globe and go somewhere (at least where the airline went!)

So here we are.....

San Antonio and Austin, TX!!
Last night we spent on the Riverwalk and ended up at Coyote Ugly. One of the things we've learned is that as much as we enjoy the romantic walks and nice dinner's for two, there's just something about going someplace you can let your hair down and get a bit sexy that just makes us feel "right." It's was strange though; I was one of only about 4 or 5 other women in the place. The couple next to us had the Lifestyle vibe but we didn't push it. The other ladies were considerably older but they were definitely having a ball! One woman in particular was invited up on the bar to dance with a Coyote and let me say, the lady didn't embarrass herself. She had the moves!

The photo is two of the Coyotes on the bar getting doused with a barrel of water. It was hot out, so they probably enjoyed it on more than one level. :)

But the gents kinda saddened me a bit. This may be assuming wayyyyyyy too much, but a lot of them seemed a bit pathetic -- looking up at the 20-year old dancers, knowing that they were going back to their conventioneer hotels or where ever, after being stalked by bouncers with the initial BMF on their shirts (Bad Mother Fucker and OMG they were!). But the thing is they gave the impression of voyeurs, little boys doing something "bad." I have the sneaking suspicion that their wives or girlfriends aren't part of this because they can't be, they can't enjoy this atmosphere with their beloved, only in the darkness, hidden from them.
One guy might have a problem though. He was partaking in (and paying for) the body shots from the gals and his chosen Coyote, standing on the bar, his head tucked firmly between her legs, leaned over, pulled up his shirt and with a Sharpie started writing on his back. What she wrote was "I like having sex with dick here" with an arrow drawn down to his ass crack. His buddies thought that was hysterical, and I admit, so do I; but Sharpie is fucking hard to remove and if he's heading home to wifey-poo in the next day or so, he's got a bad night ahead of him.

Vince was going back to the hotel with me, and let me tell ya, that makes all the difference. ;) We're not so sexually adventurous that we'd pick up strangers in a bar; but the fact that we both know that we WOULD have an adventure with the right folks in the right place makes the night in question even sexier. Strange but true.

Now we're off to Austin! Going to check out some music, theatre, museums, etc. And while we're there try to meet up with a fantastic writer and person I've been following on-line for quite some time. She's awesome, and the chance to have a drink with her is one of the new wonders I'm finding in this blogger-like world. Some people I read their material and think "holy hell!", other I read and think "interesting, but not relevent to me", a few feel like they are just a few steps farther down life's path and yelling back cautions and encouragment. And then there are a few, who I feel like I "should" know. It's as if there is a connection, that magical click that so many people describe, and it just jumps off the screen as I read the thoughts they choose to share with the world. She's in the last group.
Anywhoooo, I'm reading blogs but not commenting much since we're having a ball here. I'll catch you all next week!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Just a reminder....

For some people,
Mother's Day
is the hardest day
of the year.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

HNT -- Entwined

Happy HNT everyone!!

And after a wonderful session of love-making, we lie together; entwined in each other physically and emotionally, coming down from the high into the quiet valley of connection. Simple.... yet magic.

Don't forget to go to Osbasso's for the rest of the Half-Nekkidness!!

Monday, May 3, 2010


I'm lying on my back in the overstuffed, hyper-pillowed king size bed of a fantastic little B&B, covered -- and I mean COVERED -- in Vince's cum. Now the man usually has a, ahem, generous capacity but this is impressive even by his standards. A few minutes later I am cumming in convulsions (for the second time today) desperately trying to freakin' BE QUIET since this antique 18-room hotel carries sound like fog-shrouded quarry. Fail. I fail, fail, fail and I don't really care because Vincent and I are caught up in the post-sex intensity of our first swinging experience.

That's right, folks. Vince and Ivey are no longer "swinger" virgins.

I briefly mentioned in a previous post that we had plans this past weekend with a couple we've corresponded with for quite some time. These folks were worth the wait.

A part of me would love to give y'all the blow-by-blow, action packed description. But that part of me is going to shut the hell up. First of all, I'm not a huge fan of "and then he..." "and then she..." and "and then we all...." fuck-fest style storytelling. Second, my mind and emotions were in such a jumble I don't know if I can accurately recall the sequence of events. And finally, I think I just want to keep the sweet, sweet details between the four of us.

To cover the basics, so you'll have a little idea of the lay of the land, here is the general information:
  • The couple is from out of state and were visiting a town a couple of hours away.
  • We met them in person the first time Saturday afternoon, hit it off, and spent several hours together, just talking.
  • They had other vanilla friends to visit Saturday evening, but we all agreed that the chemistry was there and met up at a hotel Sunday afternoon before they had to leave for a very long drive back to their home.

So if you're looking for juicy details, you can stop reading now and return to your regularly scheduled life. Instead, I'm going to tell you what we (and I) discovered on this very significant part of our sexually adventurous journey.

Vincent gets it done -- Oh, yes he does. As those of you who've been reading a while know, Vince is the reserved one, I'm the aggressive one -- the one ready to rock 'n roll this thing, to get it on, to move this fucking train forward, to step it up, to.... to.... you get the idea. Well, let me tell ya folks, when push came to lets-get-a-room, it was my Vincent who made it all happen. He made the calls, booked the place, got us to our car, picked up the wine and extras, got me a sandwich ('cause he knows how I am when I get hungry), checked us in, set the scene and basically held my nerve-wracked hand.

Yep, Ivey got nervous and I sure as hell wasn't expecting that. It wasn't the "Oh no, I'm not sure I want to do this" kind of nerves; it was the "OMG, what if they don't like us!" kind of nerves. I felt like I was ten years old and the new kid being invited to the cool kid's birthday party.

But Vince doesn't possess that particular psychosis (and let me say the couple was great and very reassuring, so they weren't putting of any weird vibes) and it occurs to me that I need to get a handle on this. It's also odd because I never thought I'd feel this way. But like so many things we've discovered on this trip, when an unexpected emotion bubbles up, it's something to learn from and, if you decided it's undesirable, to change.

I didn't worry about most of the things I thought I would -- Sure, I wish I was 20 pounds thinner and 10 years younger but those thoughts came and went as if they were never there and THAT my friends, was an amazing and welcome revelation. I also never experienced that flash of envy that I was afraid I'd feel in a sexual situation with a beautiful woman. No "her tits are bigger/better", "her abs are flatter/better", "her ass is smaller/better" than mine. Granted, they were a delightful and very reassuring couple, but I never felt as if I needed their or Vince's reassurance; I just felt like I was there, present in the moment, enjoying the body I have and the bodies they offered.

I was right about jealousy -- never felt it. Not a twinge. Not a flash. Nada. In fact, it was exactly the opposite; I loved, loved, loved seeing Vincent with her. Not only was it hot, I felt a sense of pride, of happiness, that he was enjoying her, accepting what she offered, and (while dealing with his own emotions and nerves) doing his best to give pleasure back to her.

FYI -- Vincent said that he never felt any jealousy when I was with the husband, in fact, it was more like "curiosity."

OMG, I fucking love fucking women! -- Okay, I've been upfront about my interest in having sex with a woman but WOW! That was incredible. First, I still can't believe how different it feels to be kissed and licked by a woman. Holy shit. After she made me cum I couldn't WAIT to leap over and reciprocate. Boobies!! Lovely, soft, luscious, lickable, suckable boobies are a de-light! And the other..... I mean the rest.... holy hell, the REST of her?! Delicious! As the Mr. observed, "I think[Ivey's] gone from 'bi-curious' to 'bi-furious'!"

But I'm not abandoning my team -- I love cock. I really do. I love Vincent's cock and god knows his is my favorite in the whole wide world, but this new cock was different and that was good. It looked, felt, and tasted different -- his balls, the curve of his ass, the feel of his arms, the grip of his fingers. The way he moved and touched was new and as such, exciting. I cannot thank these two husbands enough for sharing their cocks with me and the other Mrs.!

The combo-mambo is freakin' fantastic! -- There is nothing hotter, I mean NOTHING (at least in my admittedly limited experience) than looking up at your husband (who's in your mouth), down (at a woman licking your pussy), and across her gorgeous back to see her gorgeous husband thrusting in and out of her. Except for maybe laying on your back, legs up with one person between your legs, another licking and sucking your tits, and yet another showering you with kisses. Or maybe, you're doing the licking and watching the men both sucking her beautiful breasts that you'd just been nibbling. I'm sure their are many, many others and I'm also sure we would have tried them out if ONE of us had at least thought of them at the time. In fact, the only frustration, as Vince so aptly put it, was having trouble seeing the scene with his head and attention buried in her lovely parts.

The who matters -- It's true that both Vincent and I enjoyed the play and the fun but the bodies were made irresistible by the minds and hearts of our playmates. There are standard quotes among the Lifestyle people that play partners are essentially "sex toys with pulses" or "dildos with personalities" and I certainly see the value in that point of view, maintaining an emotional space between yourselves and another couple. However, we are definitely "friends with benefits" types. I didn't just like this man's cock, I like this man. I wasn't just curious about experiencing sex with "a" woman, but rather I was eager to experience "this" woman. For Vince, she was more than "hawt" she was "a sweetheart." For both of us, as we discussed later, physical attributes alone aren't enough now, and won't be enough in the future, to get us into the mood with another couple.

The after is awesome! -- As we got ready to go the husband said to us "Just wait. The next few hours will be amazing." And he was right. The talking, laughing, remembering, discovering, and learning that continued to wash over us long after the "moment" was over was incredible. Interestingly, neither of us felt "changed" and I think it was because we took the slow path that we have. We shared so much before this moment -- our thoughts, fears, desires, hurts, fantasies, limits -- that we didn't experience a single moment of "oh my god what have we done." We didn't feel embarrassed or ashamed "of" or "for" each other. We felt, for lack of a better word, content.

And then, even though we were tired and coming down from an emotional high, we went back to our room and fucked like bunnies. Again. He is my everything. WE reached this place together. Two people, deciding to make our journey through this life as one, as we see fit.

The last surprise -- But for me, there was one more big surprise and let me tell ya kids, I didn't see it coming. After Vince and I got home I decided to go for a bike ride, ya know, by myself, to clear my head. I had my iPod cranked, it's freakin' hot by now, and I'm pedaling away. My mind is mulling over the recent events but also just drifting around day-to-day stuff (grocery store, work, housecleaning, etc.) About 5 miles into ride, tears start pouring down my face. I was shocked. I wasn't sad or upset or angry or hurt or embarrassed or anything. I couldn't figure out what the hell was going on. I was in a great mood, riding my bicycle, crying.

A few more miles in, away from my beloved husband and life partner, away from the intensity and the surreality of the moment, I got it. They were tears of joy and, in a sense, of relief. I had finally said "yes!" Yes to the moment, yes to the universe. I said yes to living a fuller, richer life and in the process turned yet another corner away from fear and away from my greatest fear of all; missing opportunities to experience all that life has to offer. It was a sexual adventure; maybe one of many to come or maybe a one in a lifetime thing. At this point, who knows?

But the moment came and we -- me, Vince, him, and her -- said "Yes!!!!"