“As the Shade Spins” A traji-com-edy of dysfunction and disillusion


once upon a time

once upon a time

long ago and far far away, in the beginning of a dark and stormy night, it was love at first sight…then shit REALLY got interesting!

The new year’s babe came roaring into existence
dragging what was left of her meaner older brother
by the roots of his dead gray short hairs

I had hoped to see the end of The Year That Almost Totally Sucked Ass (T.Y.T.A.T.S.A.) around the same time I saw Massachusetts in the rear view mirror

Seems Ol’ 13 had other ideas.
Seems Ol’ 13 wasn’t quite ready to belt out Auld Lang Syne
And it’s obvious good Ol’ 13 conned his newborn kid sister into taking him along to continue the never-ending days of madness and mayhem

No way was he going out like a lamb
If he was anything at all, he was a wolf in sheep’s clothing
And determined to stick around for the final act he called

 “Wanna see the crazy old crow lose her mind?”

IMG_0007 (3)
(shades of poltergeist…at the 2.08 mark to be exact!)

My enthusiastic and optimistic return to enthusiastic and optimistic blogging in March of T.Y.T.A.T.S.A., has not gone quite as I had planned.  Then again, how does one plan life anyway.

I won’t recount the entire war, as I have already shared a few of the bloodier battles here already.

Those days were the “Once Upon a Time” and “In the Beginning” days.

And, I’ll leave it to you to decide whether to visit the “”Long Ago and Far Far Away” tales and wade through those deep and scoured trenches.

For now, if you choose, a quick peak at what optimism looks like (On the Road Again), then maybe a bit of “Love at First Sight“…

For soon, we’ll pick up where the shit REALLY gets interesting!”

Somewhere between Moving Day and Moving Day II

The can of worms is in the pan and on the stove, so join me for dinner and a show…

Next time on “As The Shade Spins


Moving Day II – The Nightmare before Christmas

Yes, this was the day

The day to end all days

The moving day from Hell

Yes…To be reset on Tuesday
No…I don’t want to talk about it.

Needless to say…the boxes are still boxed

Christmas shall come and Christmas shall go

There’s always next year

Where are the Elves when you REALLY need them?


Moving Day

It’s finally here.
The big day.

Wake Up!

Two weeks to find it.

Home Sweet Home

Two weeks to haggle, inspect, haggle some more, fix, and sign on the dotted line.


Leaving behind the bright lights of northern Vermont

Come on men...we have a new kitchen to set up...

Wait for me you Oinkers!

Nothing to do now but wait for the professionals who’ll pack whatever is not nailed down…


Just in time for the holiday…

Like we don't have enough to do?

So here we go…time to move


Next stop…
H O M E!!

See ya’ll real soon.

(PS) this is from my phone…can’t really see it…hope it came through as intended.

How Does Your Garden Grow

As some of you know…this has been quite a year for me

A year of losing a marriage of 31 years

A year of therapy and doctors and pills – (over, over, and no mas!)

A year of knowing time is short and getting shorter, with my beloved father; my Superman

Losing our beloved Ripken after only 10 years of furry joy

But also…

A year in which I found hope for new life and new love after 50

However, through it all…the worst of it…I found the best of it

The bare truth, the ugly truth, but the truth, just the same

And there is beauty in that

This is not a sad tale

I’ll say it first; say it loud and clear, my husband and I are together again

And while there are reasons for couples who’ve been together as long as we have been, to find themselves where we did…

There are also reasons to find ourselves where we are now

After we separated and during our time apart, I did find love

And while it proved to not be what I thought and felt it was

I learned I needed the possibility of it

I had to have it

I had to know it was possible

Not with him, as that is done before it ever really began

But knowing the capacity for that kind of love is still in me, has helped me understand

In some small way, that the man I chose 31 years ago deserves nothing less than what I promised him so long ago

And too…So. Do. I. 

It is with his blessing and understanding, which comes from the love and trust I know he has for me

That I am able to put the following out there because I must

For me

It’s closure of a sort

A new beginning of an old story deserves just that…a beginning

And in that same vein, the ending of the new story deserves its say.

And while that love was not, in the end, what I thought it was, it’s better as it is now

Friendship.  And a lifelong one it will be

I have NEVER taken love lightly – Any kind of love – Nor have I ever taken it for granted

But I find I have always needed the kind of love of which I speak and know too that I can’t settle for less

Nor would I want a partner who would either

And it’s there, still, with the man I married

It had gotten tangled in the weeds, but it’s there

My garden is all but free of the weeds now

Mostly clear, and clean, and ready for next year’s bounty

What’s left to be done is this…and it is with love for this someone who has become, if not what I thought, at least what I needed at the time, and what I’ll always need at all times…

A true friend and A beloved one

It’s rarely pretty, this finding love and losing love

It’s not always complimentary, exposing ourselves the way we do

But I love my friend, as much now as ever

And I hope he understands, as I now do, that the truth, given OR received, is never wasted on ones we love:

Rode hard, put away wet
Know the term? You do I bet
But here’s the thing…well, more than one
We all have dreams, or at least want some

We read the words from men like you
Meant to shock, arouse, and lube
Don’t get me wrong, they do all that
But there’s more to see here than that

If you’ll allow, I will explain
In rhyming time and sweet refrain
That which delineates the sexes
It’s more than just muscle reflexes

The matter of perspective arises
Far above your “cash and prizes”
As women go, I’m plain at best
At least the shell, the crust, the vest

But underneath, (not just for me)
There is a fire, so plain to see
But only plain to those who dare
To look beyond the graying hair

The less than fit, the age defined
The stretch-marked bellies, the Swiss cheese minds
Women of certain elegant ages
Have printed upon their bodies’ pages

Their stories of love and pain and laughter
Their tales of lives that we’re all after
But when we fall for men who seek
The more fit, the young, the more sleek

We feel pity more than other
For negate they do, that once their mothers
Were beautiful in the eyes of one
The one they trusted, who gave them sons

But you close your hearts to love and trust
The only thing left is shallow lust
Which produces naught but sweat and cum
May be fine, enough for some

When the end is near in our lives’ journeys
We’ll lie upon our final gurneys
Does one suppose he’s surrounded by
The lithe, the fit, the candy eye?

I fear, my love, that won’t be so
Fear even more there will be no
One at all, regardless of..
The state of fitness..nor of love

For if you set your sites so low
As to allow for only those
That please the eye, the prick, the glands
Forever you’ll dwell in Never Land

Even Peter Pan learned the trick
To not just grow, but teach his dick
That though the fit and the buff
Will feast the eye, it’s not enough

To satisfy a life long need
To touch a heart, to plant a seed
In love and trust, eternal gladness
To have that one to share the madness

Of every day life in every days ways
Of every day love and yes, the haze
Of lust and fear and pain and sorrows
Of knowing they’re there through our tomorrows

My wish, my hope, my fear, my joy
All rolled in one for you my boy
Is that the day you meet the end
You know you’ve done as you intended

For to wait upon the reaper’s time
With naught but wishes to fill your time
Is no way to greet the earth
The final rest, the final dirt

To know you’ve lived and loved and tried
With all your heart despite your pride
To give out more than you’ve received
No more we’d ask, no more we’d need

To face your death with lightened heart
Evolved from apes, from apes apart
Our choices bring us far above
What evolution thinks of love

For apes we are and apes we’ll stay
But apes are not all the same, I say
Some just fuck but some will love
Some for life, some far above

If it were not so, I would bow
To Darwin here, and Darwin now
But for myself, to this I say
Close your heart to love, you will pay

In the end, it’s all we’ve got
That makes us different, far apart
From just biology and lust
That fades, with time, and so does trust

Delusional Illusions

Growing up as I did, I had to become a master of delusion.

And a master I was.

I managed to convince myself I was happy, normal, thriving, even exceptional at times.

But, as with everything in life, it ends.

That day came when the delusion hit me square in the face and I found myself staring at a naked stranger in the mirror.

So what’s to be done?

Face my naked self?

See life as it is for the first time…stare the ugly in the face and see beyond it?

Reach into that mirrored heart and grab that frightened, yearning, amazingly loving, little girl and give her a chance?

That would be a most difficult, utterly terrifying path.  Yet a fine one indeed.  A healing thing, a healthy thing, a loving thing to do.

Or…how about exchanging the delusion; that umbrella of fantasy under which life was so real as to be believed; for one of illusion.

I know it won’t be entirely real; just enough to convince me that I can be happy.  No longer deluded, yet not quite ready to face the ugliness in the mirror.  Not quite strong enough to bring her out into the open to face the fact that life is not fair; life is not pretty; life is not forgiving…it’s just life.

So illusion it was…for a time anyway.

But…as all things in life do, this too did end.

An even more painful death than the delusion.

The delusion took my face and smashed it into my mirror.

The illusion died slowly, with tiny little blows that wounded me a piece at a time.

With it’s whispered ‘I love you but…”

And it’s well intended, but still misguided “You’re too good for me…”

The true shield behind which the illusions spew forth “It’s not you, it’s me…”

And the fatal blows to the heart “I’ll always love you…”

a & f

The delusion?

That my damaged soul and wounded heart could find love and peace, inside or out, anywhere but in my own heart.

It’s not possible without facing the naked truth that no matter how much I love another, it won’t last until I love myself enough to see beyond the mirror.

a & f

The Illusion?

That my damaged soul could tell the difference between what’s whole, what’s honest, what’s without fear, and what’s my illusion.

To realize true happiness and true love I must stand naked and fearless in front of that mirror.

And besides my own, the eyes of the one I love are the truest mirror I’ll ever face.

If I’m willing to see it, the reflection will be one of truth. My truth and his.

Stark naked, no illusion.

I’ll see trust, kindness, inner beauty, desire, love without qualification, and acceptance of who and what we both are…in all that naked glory…or I’ll see nothing.

If I see doubt, fear, unease, tempered or guarded emotions, and conditional love…from either of us….I’ll run.

♥  The delusion is dead.

The illusion is dead.

Life is bare…

it promises nothing and offers only what you are willing to pay for

it is as ugly as it is beautiful…

it is as rich with humiliation and pain as it is with pleasure and joy…

but at least it’s now naked…

Now is the time for truth

Rhonda-Van-Wrinkle Revisited

Three years ago today…March 1, 2013, I re-entered the blogosphere to share my thoughts and speak my mind on life’s many shades of gray.  Having survived the hugely regretful menopause fueled meltdown deletion of my original blogonality, Help Me Rhonda, I’m more than happy I made the decision to try again.

I am also very thankful for the old friends that found the new me, and thrilled with the new friends I’ve made since.  So, I’d like to celebrate this birthday with a stroll down memory lane by revisiting 50 Shades of Gray Hair’s inaugural  post…as well as thanking you all once again, for adding your own hues to my 50 shades, and leaving your heart-prints all over mine.

And I just have to point out…the first sentence of the 4th paragraph?  The one I’ve highlighted in red?  Oy…prophetic or WHAT!!   🙂

This first official post has me feeling like I’m coming back to Junior High after summer break.  But instead of that obligatory ‘How I Spent My Summer Vacation’ essay, I’m standing in front of the class reading mine entitled…

‘Where Did My Life Go and What the Hell is THAT?’

Though I am no longer the pimply-faced teen, sweating the small stuff…I AM a wrinkly-faced grandmother sweating with the flashes and spending way too much time looking for those things I knew I needed, at the time I needed them but forgot I had…and when I did find them, I couldn’t remember why I needed them in the first place.

Ha…I’m not really wrinkly-faced; it’s more of a wrinkly feeeeling.  The memory thing is spot on though, as are the questions about where life went and what new and wonderful surprises will pop up, slide down, fall off, or turn colors, each and every morning.

[Not to mention what happens AFTER I leave the bathroom…yikes]

Those first steps of the day can make it or break your leg...if you’re not paying attention. Life’s stairs are steep; you need to open your eyes, clear your head, hang onto the handrail, and take one step at a time.  That isn’t to say you can’t ride the rail once in a while…hop on the banister and whoop your way down…

…Just watch out for the splinters along the way. They are a pain in the ass! 

No one said it would be easy.  At least no one said it to me.  Of course, no one said it would be this hard either.  But, I have realized, it’s only as hard as we make it.  Which, I believe, is why I’m here…again.

Life can be hard, but never as hard as when you turn inward thinking to shelter and protect, only to wake up and realize you are just adding more and more wrinkles. Those ‘oldest woman on earth’ kind of wrinkles; ‘my wrinkles have wrinkles’ kind of wrinkles; ‘when I stand I sound like an accordion‘ kind of wrinkles.


I’m talking feeling old!

And I’m too young to feel this old.

Too young to BE this old.

So, I’m starting by ironing and straightening out some of those internal wrinkles.  Getting up and out of my life’s laundry basket and getting to work.  (Don’t worry, I won’t ever use that term again!  And if any of you remember anything about my old blog…you may recall I HATE IRONING!)

Each day – a new stretch

Each stretch – one less wrinkle.

And I know I’m not doing it alone.

That’s the key.  I’m letting those that love me take one end while I take the other…and together we’ll pull some of those suckers out.

And for the one’s that can’t be pulled…I have a turbo charged steam iron.

Yes, I do.

It’s called ‘The Future”!

And when the time comes to let the roots show, I’ll be ready.

But for now it’s…

Rhonda-Van-Wrinkle time to wake up!

Morning everybody…what Shade are we today?