In Xanadu did Kublah Khan a stately pleasure dome decree

Monday, August 22, 2016

Naked and Collared

At last, it is possible to open the windows and air the place out. We've been having quite the heat wave here in the mid-Atlantic and finally tonight I can actually hear the cicadas. One of My orchids has a new bloom and the other is starting a new leaf. The tomatoes are persisting, if nothing else. Today for the first time it is possible to imagine that fall might come.  It is time to look up beets and chard, probably time to get them started. And maybe it is already time to pull My spring tulips out of the fridge and start them forcing again. Hope I wrote the date on the bag; I hope the one that divided is the one I like best. The landscape designer comes on Wednesday to show Me the draft master plan and I'm more than a bit anxious about it.  It's a big step and lots of other issues are bound up with it, including resolution of some long overdue issues with My ex.

Things are going well with boy c and he spent much of the weekend with Me, being very helpful and generally trying out life at the Stately Pleasure Domme's better home, garden, and dungeon. he has a good bit of experience and had expressed willingness to try a collar, so I made that happen and hugely enjoyed watching him run around the house, collared and naked, cleaning and doing projects. It just felt like he belonged, he sort of looks and acts the part in a way that matches the idealized movie in My head, the one where reality does not intrude. We had a lovely visit, and when we got an hour from the end, I had him sit and did a debriefing of the visit, giving him an opportunity to express his opinions and provide feedback. When I asked him how he had felt about being collared, he replied:

Well...I hate it.

This I was absolutely not expecting to hear. I have always before been able to spot when someone is not enjoying themselves or just humoring Me, but this time I hadn't gotten even a whiff of it. I learned he is a frighteningly good pretender. So he had to repeat himself several times before I realized he wasn't going to crack and smile and tell Me he was just shitting Me.

He really hated it.

The next thing that happened was equally shocking to Me:  I started to cry. Just a few tears running down the cheeks, nothing cataclysmic, but I did tear up. I felt stunned and embarrassed and disappointed and frankly, like someone just took My candy away from Me.  But I'm a responsible sort so I brushed it off, and promptly asked if he would like Me to remove the collar immediately, he said yes, done. Then I asked how he felt about being naked the whole time, he had hated that too, so I had him get dressed. No sense subjecting him to something that doesn't work. We then had a good talk about all the other facets of the weekend, and I learned everything else was successful for him, the artifacts of nakedness and collar were the only issues. In retrospect, I can see that going into the weekend, they simply did not carry for him the positive symbolism and resonance they carry for Me, we understand them very differently. We had a good talk about the importance of being honest, transparency, safewords, and all those topics. In the end all was well between us, and he wants to return this week, wants to continue "being helpful". he has surprisingly taken to referring to himself as "the property" and intends to take better care of it because that's what a Master requires. 

We also negotiated that he will wear boxers next time, rather than be naked.  he does like wearing less than Me, though he did allow as how he wished I were naked too.  Cheeky bugger!  

I was reminded -- after My head cleared -- that I was once playing with My switch friend A, who is a beautiful, classic, olive skinned, fuzzy Mediterreanan body type. I find him to be very sexy in a Roman slave boy kind of way and on a whim, during a break in a scene in which I was beating him, I put black eye liner and a little pouty colored lip gloss on him, because it really played up that sexy slave boy look I so enjoy.  It was HOT for Me, he was really really hot like that.  I was seriously debating skipping the rest of the scene I had planned and just ordering him take Me.  But he safeworded almost immediately (and generously apologized later for doing so because he hadn't set that boundary in advance; he is always such a good sport). But he just couldn't go forward in the scene feeling so terribly feminized and humiliated in a bad way; he felt I must be mocking him. It was the only explanation that was apparent to him and it was very emotionally powerful, in a not-good way.  I explained why I liked it and how hot it was for Me, but that message just couldn't get through the static in that moment of feeling bad. Maybe now a few years later we could negotiate a Roman slaveboy cos-play scene that includes the eyeliner, but at the time I knew I absolutely had to let it go. I understand what happened with boy c might be something similar. Perhaps in time, with more familiarity with the scene and its symbols, more extensive negotiation and trust, we can revisit a collar one day, but I know that day is far over the horizon.

I have learned that boy c may be inclined to leap before he looks, and I'm going to have to work harder at moderating his impulses (and My own wishful thinking) so we don't get so far out in front of the headlights again.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Perseids Pool Party

This post was supposed to precede Epic Tomato Fail.  But a not so epic, very human fail resulted in it staying in draft long after I thought I had posted it.  Oops. This post describes the events of My most recent weekend.


The electrician boy c continues to be a pleasant surprise.  he grilled out dinner for Me on Saturday night and then we popped over to the ClubFem party for 90 minutes after dark, floating in the salt water pool naked during the Perseids meteor shower. I saw a handful of meteors so tiny I wasn't quite sure they were there. Conditions were not great, with the city light glow, back yard lights, humidity, and bright moon.  Then just as we were about to get out of the pool near midnight I saw a nice, big, long one streak along the edge of a cloud. So magical.  It reminded Me fondly of My first summer in this area over 20 years ago.

The boy had not thought to bring a towel to the pool party so he dried Me off while he dripped, wrapped e Me up, and then I had him use My damp towel for himself. Thanks to his apartment's restrictive parking, I was unable to park there after 10pm without a guest permit we couldn't procure on the fly. So I invited him to My place for the evening, driving home wearing only My pool wrap, and we had a nice cuddle starting at about 1:30am.

boy c is in training for a half marathon, God bless him, so he intended to get up for a training run at 5am. When the alarm went off, he was tempted to skip it but I insisted he go... and not only so I could have the whole bed to Myself for a while. I believe it's not in My longer term interest to let him deviate from his training plan when he is with Me; it can tend to create cognitive dissonance about spending time together and I don't want that.  Also as Master, it's My job to support My boys in their life goals and that means keeping him on plan.

he returned a total blast furnace, showered, crawled back in and we had another nice naked cuddlenap in the sun for a few hours until starting the day mid morning.  he likes My curvy body and soft skin and says so often; I like his fuzzy tush and strong bod, and I can tell he enjoys being treated like a bit of a toy, so that's nicely matched.

We did the little dance people do, letting things unfold throughout the day, progressively foregoing our intended individual plans so we could remain together. In the end, we went to Starbucks for coffee and breakfast: the gas station where he pumped up My tires; and the farmers market where he carried the bags. Then he watered the vegetable garden; sprayed for the lawn insects that are munching on My feet; and attached an extension to the HVAC condensate line to get the dripping water away from the foundation. I made lunch; had him assemble the new weed whacker and do a bunch of other smaller tasks along the way. I taught him to kneel after each task is finished and inquire how I would like him to serve Me next.  I asked if he liked that - he did. I asked how it made him feel to kneel - he said pleasantly submissive. Excellent.  I think he really is a sweet boy and I suspect he has only scratched the surface.

Then I rewarded him with giving Me a naked massage on the massage table, where he proved to be surprisingly adept. It was a wonderful and long, deeply relaxing massage session that seemed to go on all afternoon, as we talked and got to know each other more. And he knocked it out of the park when I learned he has already studied the book I always recommend to boys about oral sex, She Comes First.  Thank you Men's Health magazine for publishing a list of must read books, that he actually read.  I know he has been in a romantic dry spell so I made a point of commending him for working on his skills, preparing for the day when he would be able to use them... For making himself ready to be with Me today so successfully. I wanted him to know those were good choices and had paid off and I appreciated them.

I had him lick My bottom several times and then introduced him to G spotting, with instructions to read up more and find videos online to advance his techniques. You could almost hear the cherries popping.

After the massage, I was feeling a bit greasy from the oil, so I had him wash Me down a bit on the table. It was warm enough in the house that we were both entirely comfortable and I rewarded him with a head scrub. We seem to be nicely embarked on a service oriented and sensual play dynamic. The boy says he is not in any way masochistic, so that's the next thing to explore incrementally. I think anyone who can run a half marathon probably has some pain processing capacities, but won't know until I prove it out. he did get his bottom smacked a few times when I commanded him to cum, and he later offered that it surprised him but he liked it. So that's an important little step in the right direction.

I can tell he is completely confused by the idea of tease and denial, and the thought of chastity, and not sure he wants to sign up for a dynamic in which he might not necessarily get to cum on a date, but we have talked it over, and he understands that it comes down to letting Me decide what I want and when I want it without any pressure, so that's ok for now.  We have made great strides in the first week, seem well matched in many areas, and he is promising boy. I have the impression he has have not felt seen and appreciated for the qualities I value, and it's perhaps a bit of a novelty to be receiving such positive feedback. Our schedules don't align well and he's far enough away that popping over isn't exactly easy, but those challenges are within manageable tolerances.

For now, he is ready, willing, and able, and we parted with smiles on our faces to prepare for another scorching week.

Epic Tomato Fail

Last night as I was staking up a plant whose exuberance had overflown its supports, the main stalk just... Broke. Shattered, essentially. I didn't even feel or hear it give out. I was left with about 1/3 of the original plant, a shadow of its former self, and three large broken off branches that between them had at least 40 flowers. And right at flowering/ fruit set time. Just a tragedy.

I've been hastily researching and trying different methods to salvage at least one branch but so far no luck. I fear the Cherokee Purple is for all intents and purposes done.  Damn.

The striped yellow/ red pineapple has lots of blooms but not much fruit setting. Today I read that can be caused by excessively warm night temps and we certainly do have that here in the mid Atlantic. He's got one really good fruit and two or three little ones but that's it.  He gets bigger and gets blooms but he's just not fruiting and I know he's got everything he needs in water and nutrients.  Damn.

And the poor Roma paste tomato is well, just a disaster. I had him under the cherry tree, moved him to evade the tree's blight, and he has put out more branches and flowers and a little fruit, but it's just not going well. The fruits are tiny, about the size of My thumb, and only about a dozen. I've been really babying him, but the blight must be in soil or stems or roots. Damn.

It's a cruel irony that My first two years were clueless slam dunks with great results and this year I thought I was competent and finally planted the sexy pineapple tomato of My dreams, and the whole tomato effort has been mildly accursed. Though I must add that word amongst gardeners is this is being a very tough year, and I did plant too late.  I comfort Myself with the success of the Hail Mary hardneck garlic crop.

Oh well. That why God gave us farmer's markets.

The rock star of the front yard this year is the poblano pepper which is absolutely magnificent and producing fruit like a total champ.  A neighbor brought Me some figs a few days ago and I returned the container with poblanos in it. SeƱor Poblano is right at the garden gate too, so by-passers can enjoy its magnificence and thus far, I don't believe any have been non-consensually harvested over the fence.  The basil is knocking it out of the ballpark too.

Dinner tonight was an empanada from the Sunday market, and I'm looking forward to Thursday when boy c will bring his meatballs for Me to eat in the evening (oh, you dirty, dirty people) for dinner. I'm thinking a nice toasted roll, red sauce, cheese, and some fresh green peppers.

And in other news, the landscape designer has asked when I'm free in the next week to talk about the plan. Not sure if this is a touch base sanity check or the official discussion of the official draft integrated plan. He said he has been waiting for some estimates in order to decide which of certain options are feasible and which aren't.  I'm getting really excited to see what he comes up with. 

I had boy c treat the yards with some insecticide three days ago and thus far I don't seem to have had any additional chigger-like bites while I'm out watering. The significant damage is healing slowly but getting there. 

Finally, I have had the idea that if the cherry tree comes down, I might slice the trunk and some branches into disks of even thickness and use them for some decorative purpose, maybe outdoor table tops or an accent piece to hang inside. Having boy c around has gotten Me thinking about that sexy atomic/ sputnik chandelier I've been wanting... if I got one salvaged/re-wired from Europe, he could assess its safety and do the install.


I'm quite impressed with boy c. I now know he got really frustrated with last week's big project, but he kept calm and gracious with Me nonetheless, and he persisted. That's hugely important. I have zero patience for men who take their frustrations out around Me. I also know he has started a job that involves being out all day in the heat wave, with minimal breaks, but he stays focused on the good opportunity and I don't hear him complaining, making like a martyr, or feeling sorry for himself. Such a good attitude, I like men who know how to man up in the right moments. Yes, he is making good inroads with Me.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Social Butterfly

The calendar for the week looks like this:

--Last Saturday - birthday party (I skipped the kink play party for which I was actually double booked)
--Tuesday - M/s summer cookout
--Wednesday - subby gives electrical service
--Thursday/ today - M/s munch
--Friday/ tomorrow - whips play party
--Saturday - FemDom pool party, possibly with a subby date

This may be the high water mark for a while, it is summer after all.  What's striking to Me right now is how easy it feels to be this social, I was never this social in vanilla social life. And I have noticed in the last three years that I'm distinctly more chatty and extroverted amongst My kinky tribe than I ever was in vanilla contexts.  It takes a lot of energy and attention to keep the big anti kink/ sex filters in place.  When I can just say what comes to mind, I'm much more engaged and much funnier.  I'm also quicker to laugh and be entertained when I feel all of Me is present.

Master Patrick Mulcahey says that if M/s isn't the easiest way you can think of to be in relationship with someone else, you should consider looking for a different way. These days, being completely My kinky Dominant Self is definitely the easiest way. I remember when socializing felt like really hard work so I didn't socialize much. Now I realize the hard work was pretending.

These aren't benefits I foresaw when I decided to come out into the public kink scene, but they have turned out to be among the most important.

Huh, a few dots just connected in My head right there

Being kinky allows Me to *be more of Me*.  Back when I first came out into the community, I didn't know I needed to be more of Me. ethan taught Me that. It's a story I will get around to, eventually.  If john thought the first posting about ethan was a little creepy, he's in for a treat with that  one.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Shocked, I tell you! Shocked!

So I needed a little electrical work done, nothing earth shattering, just wire the stove vent hood (recirc) into the wall. The inspector somehow didn't think the extension cord dangling down behind the oven was quite up to Code. Fair enough. 

I know this isn't an especially difficult job. I can splice wires. I can make intentional holes in metal lathe plaster. I can patch and spackle. I know two homeowners that would totally DIY this from a YouTube video; they're a bit more experienced than Me but they're also a long way from pro's. It might be ugly, sure, but we're talking about a magical invisible piece of real estate behind the stove. As long as it doesn't cause electrical current to go where it shouldn't, I'm flexible on style points this time.

I called around and had some trouble finding an electrician who wanted this small job. Apparently all the sexy Licktricians are busy in August with big things like AC?  Eventually I found one company who actually showed up yesterday, so I ducked out of work to meet them, and hopefully have the work done then and there.

I explained the job in clear and fairly informed terms. The guy then jumped in and told Me I needed a much bigger wire in order to accommodate the microwave over the stove.

"But I don't WANT a microwave over the stove. I never SAID anything about a microwave over the stove. And I am in fact vehemently OPPOSED to a microwave over the stove."

Oh. Well. He thought I would want that.

Nope. Like I said, I want you to wire this hood right here (points to hold already installed) thru the wall to that plug (points to existing plug). This job should take two, no more than three hours and I know the going rate is about $XX per hour. The materials are under $20. So what's your estimate?

Six hundred and seventy eight dollars.

Ex-queeze Me? That's THREE, almost FOUR times what My research says it should be in this market.

That's right little lady, right there ya got yer written estimate.

I'd be happy to have you get the work, but I need to understand this estimate. How many hours are you assuming and at what rate?

Oh, we don't do it like that. No sir. Cuz sometimes it takes longer and this way the price doesn't go up. 

So this isn't an estimate, then, it's a fixed price quote with a built in safety factor for contingencies. I would prefer to work on a time and material basis. But I might be willing to work on a fixed price basis if I understood where this number came from. (I didn't say: cuz I suspect you pulled it out of your ass when you saw an unaccompanied female homeowner.)  Do you have a corporate price list?


So we danced in a circle for a while and I eventually I grew weary of the charade, bade them a good day, and kicked them out. What caught My eye through the whole thing was the way the non-talking 40s guy was looking at the bossy talking 60s guy.  The non-verbal was distinctly smug, ha-ha, I told you it wouldn't work. And then toward the end it was more: heeheehee, now you're screwed, way to go, Pops.

It felt as if when I had pulled up in My car and they were still in the truck together, maybe the old salt had said to the young buck, something like, "hey, look at that. This is gonna be like shooting fish in a barrel, watch and learn my friend."  And then he overplayed his hand, couldn't walk it back, and lost out on a legit job. I could hear the young guy ribbing him as they drove away... "Watch and learn, eh?"  I have the distinct feeling somebody owes somebody a beer.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, though I have struck a blow in self defense of Lady Homeowners, I really need this job done and I've now wasted a week on these yawbos. So I did something I stopped a while ago: I turned to a subby friend to solve a home crisis.

I know, I know. But hear Me out. He had already volunteeered to do the work, and was the basis of My negotiating position with the Licktricians (which, for the record, was consistent with another SWAG I had from a third source). So when I had to boot the yawbos, My choices were start from scratch; revert to the previous bunch of guys who had had to come out and fix a bunch of their mistakes under great protest (220v dryer outlet upside down, anyone?); or take the new guy up on his offer. 

Now it must be said that I have learned some things since I bought a house and I no longer trust folks - even subbies - as readily as I once did. Losing three years of smartphone data will do that to a Master. So I asked mutual friends who work with him about his competence for the job. I took care to establish that he actually has the professional training one should have. And I considered that he has a longer professional history in engineery things, possesses the relevant equipment, and was generally consistently talking good sense about the project. And he was clearly *listening* to Me.  I was comfortable he had the straight up electrical skills. What I didn't know about was the rest of it, and I knew I didn't know what I didn't know.

But the price was right and I needed it done. He really wanted to help and to build some trust with Me. I was pretty sure it was a safe calculated risk but also struggled with the fact I've been burned before. I spent a lot of time debating Never Again vs This Time Is Different. I was much troubled by the possibility of burning the house down. Or causing a gas leak. Or accidentally snipping through the fridge's thin water line. 

But Necessity is the Mother of Questionable Decisionmaking so 24 hours later here we are. It took most of the day and it was a bumpier ride than either of us expected. Houses that pre-date modern building codes are wildly variable. One knows this intellectually, of course, but one can never predict how it might manifest This Time. Such a house will laugh at your assumption of studs 16" on center. They barely deign to notice that a standard junction box is 3/4" deeper than the gap they offer between brick and plaster. They defy the wan efforts of your 21st century fish tape tool. They absolutely insist on multiple Diva Trips to Home Depot.

But it is done and it works and nothing blew up or ruptured, and done is beautiful. The city codes inspector shall now visit and declare Victory! Meanwhile, I have a new friend, a new approach to fixing some things around the house, and we have done a moderately stressful thing together and come out still wanting to spend time together. 

It was uncomfortable but it might just turn out to be a much better way to vet boys: Talk less and give them something challenging in vanilla space before getting to the kink... Hmmmm...

Sunday, August 7, 2016

You Can't Always Get What You Want

I have recently crossed paths with a lovely man who enjoys having his balls busted.  We met at camp and had lunch shortly thereafter, where I was more surprised than I should have been to realize he is married.  Since that lovely lunch -- wherein we discussed the current effort to gently re-negotiate his marriage contract to allow for other women to bust his balls since the wife isn’t really into it – I have been feeling that *feeling* I get when I am around a married man I like who hasn’t figured out how to have a Dominant in his life. It reminded Me that out there in cyber space I have a profile in which I addressed the matter.  And it got Me thinking that the substance of that posting really should be here in the blog so that it is more accessible.  So here it is, with some minor tweaks:

I must speak directly to the married men among you. This is a position I have come to slowly and somewhat painfully after countless remarkably consistent experiences with marrieds.  If you cannot admit your submissiveness to your wife, if she refuses to sanction it openly, do not go looking for a lifestyle Domme, on this website or anywhere else.  It is a complete waste of everyone’s time and irresponsible to the Dominants you approach. Go hire a pro Domme.  Why?  Because Dominance and submission is an emotional – and when it works, deeply fulfilling -- relationship. A married man whose wife does not actively encourage him and expressly consent/approve cannot commit the time and emotional energy to a Dominant that is necessary for a successful submission dynamic. I have seen many try, and none succeed.  In the absence of giving your emotional investment and personal accountability, the only thing you really have to offer the Dominant is fair payment for services rendered at the going rate.  It’s harsh but true. 

For things to work with a lifestyle Domme, you need at minimum, express wife consent to have a Dominant in your life *plus* express (ideally even written) agreement that there are two women in your life with an active, on-going claim to your energies.  It means your wife has to agree to occasionally be the second banana, and to get less of your time, in exchange for you being happier in the time she does get.  It effectively means to that to be married to one woman and submissive to someone else, you have to wrap your mind around being functionally polyamorous… even if there is no actual sex involved.  Absent your wife’s full consent, you might manage some isolated sessions of bottoming, and that bottoming might happen with a subby/slavey fantasy vibe to it, but at the end of the session, you are going to need to go home and not be held accountable to Me in any way afterward.  Sure, you might lend a hand occasionally when it is convenient for you to do so, in the way that friends help friends, but the core of the matter is this:   if I cannot hold you accountable and communicate with you freely, if I cannot reasonably have any expectation of relying on you, then you are in a fantasy about service instead of living the reality.

The key thing here is the Second Banana problem.

I have met so many married men who are north of their mid-50s.  They’ve been married forever, had kids together, a house, a country club or a church, a community, in-laws.  These are men who usually always knew they wanted to be kinky but didn’t give themselves permission.  They rejected it in themselves, and often they feared the wife would reject them if she knew.  So they built a really complex edifice of a life to keep them busy, keep them distracted. Then the day (often after a funeral or other big loss) came where they decided, hey, I just don’t want to die without being fully myself in this way, this is something I need to do.  So they got to the point of going online to find a Dominant.  But it had to be secret, at minimum a veneer of deniability had to be maintained. 

What I learned was this:  even if these guys had somehow managed to achieve basic self-acceptance, they just didn’t understand what it would take to have a D/s relationship with Me.  I could explain it to them all day long, and they would tell Me all day long that they were ready willing and able.  Over and over I bought the story they told themselves about being ready for Me.  And then the rubber would hit the road in ways like these:

--Unable to schedule a visit anywhere for the foreseeable future, can’t we just play it by ear and whatever day works works? 
--I can’t make it, something really important came up at the office.
--I couldn’t make it because I… [INSERT COMPLETELY VALID SOUNDING REASON HERE]… the beloved family dog needed to go to the vet… my kid came home from college… my special needs adult child had a doctor’s visit… the wife’s car wouldn’t start… my father in managed care broke his ankle… I had to meet the furnace repair man before the pipes froze… my mother in law needed her heart attack prescription filled… I wasn’t going to be able to get back in time for an un-miss-able dinner…

In these cases, they either stood Me up completely, or cancelled on an hour’s notice, long past the point where I had already invested time in getting ready and could not effectively make alternative plans, sometimes leaving Me alone on a major holiday. The thing is, these reasons were not made up falsehoods. I accepted them as legitimate demands on their time.  They were real problems that had to be solved.  When you’re married, you’ve got double the issues because there’s a partner and then several more multiples of issues with each child, each job, each parent, each pet, each car. It’s endless. They always felt that I should understand, I should recognize how impossible it was to make any other choice except the one at My expense.  When a guy has to be secretive, he loses the ability to commit and defend his time. He cannot risk exposure of the plans he has made with his Dominant.  And so the Dominant – who is usually in this in significant part because She likes feeling important – ends up being the LAST THING IN THE WORLD this guy can make a priority.

And few things will piss off a Dominant faster than feeling ignored.

I came to think of it as a walled garden that people build throughout their lives, thousands of bricks in the walls they make that define the perimeter of how they live, what they will allow into their lives.  One day they realize they have walled themselves in, into a life that is missing this very important shared experience of submission. So they screw up all their courage and bust out a couple of bricks, just enough to be able to conduct a conversation with the outside world.  But it’s only enough to talk.  In order to actually live it, they need to bust out a nice wide doorway.  And *that* they are unable to do without the wife’s active knowledge and support. It requires admitting to the wife that there is something big going on under the surface, something she probably doesn’t know about, something she is really not going to like, something that’s going to possibly cause her to question the entire relationship.  Something that might make her inclined to leave.  It requires re-negotiating the marriage contract.  And OBTW it requires a guy who hasn’t tried to date in 20+ years to brush up some courtly social skills, and learn a bunch of other ones for a changed world, *plus* learn how to be a subby.

It’s partly an intractable timing problem. He’s not likely to take those big risks until he’s sure it’s worth it.  But he can’t figure out whether it’s worth it until he actually has shown up for a while and walked the walk. But having that secret relationship makes re-negotiating even harder because now there’s a big deception on top of everything else. He concludes he just can’t get there from here.

One really interesting thing to Me has been that as I watch these men struggle in a not-fun way, it becomes clear that they usually are already in an unacknowledged submissive relationship with the wife.  That’s how they got to this point.  The wife holds the power – the very real power, not the fun kind at all -- to define the marriage and to enforce the definition of what it is supposed to be, both because that’s the original deal they struck and because she has Society’s definition of marriage on her side.  And by time I meet the guy, it’s no longer fully consensual, this power she has in the marriage. But there is no safeword available to him.  He is in a very serious pickle.

I never know what happens to these men, because one day they just disappear.  They almost never provide Me the slightest explanation, much less an apology for wasting My time, for not being able to carry through on all they said they were prepared to do.  They just…go… *poof*.  It’s like they were never there at all. It used to really hurt Me, every time, because I invested emotionally in helping them through it. I liked them, I wanted us to figure it out, and I even got smarter after a while, and told them that going poof would hurt Me, and made them promise not to do it.  The swore up and down, then did it anyway. I assume they cave, and shove their subby desires back into the box they used to live in, they stuff Me in with it, tape the lid on tight, stick it in the back of the garage, and they give up.  It has made Me very sad many times, because I think their wives would actually like to see them happy, see the light in their eyes when this deep, ignored need begins to be met.  These guys just light up, and then I see the deadness, the quiet despair return as they contemplate their situation.  And no one ever takes Me up on the offer to help the wife explore her own potential dominance.  That’s always a non-starter.

There’s a poem about how I was walking down the street, I fell in a big hole, and it took forever to get out.  The poem repeats several times, each time with the hole getting smaller and easier, until finally it ends with, “The next day, I walked down a different street”.  I had to learn to walk down a different street, and that meant swearing off these long-denied subby guys.  Each one is going through it for the first time, but I’ve been through it many times and I know the patterns.  I had to learn to trust Myself in a new way and I had to learn that people who are deceiving themselves really believe their own stories.  It took a long time.

Now the only marrieds who make the cut -- even for fairly limited purposes -- are the poly ones, ideally poly as a foundational agreement of the marriage when it began... poly to the point that I meet the wife, like her, and hear from her directly that she is poly and she is fine with being Second Banana sometimes.  If she has a concern, we need to be able to talk directly, and keep the boy out of the middle of it as much as possible.  It isn’t easy, but in some very special cases -- I have two -- you hit all the lights and it can work.  A guy who is already taken will never be everything I want us to be together, but sometimes they scratch a particular itch and help Me learn about Myself and I like them so much as a person that it's worth accepting the limitations.  The good outweighs the bad, and they take shared responsibility for the fact there are sharp corners for everyone in the situation. These men are grown ups and it takes a grown up to make the poly work.

Having a Party

I had a lovely time hanging out with My subby girlfriend j last night at her birthday party. Her friends held a cookout in the wooded area next to her apartment, then we adjourned to the complex's pool which just happened to be holding a big event open to all, then back to the apt for the evening.

It was great to meet her circle and in the process, one of them put his subby tendencies on display for Me to notice. Soon he was addressing Me properly and discretely fetching for Me. My neck was bothering Me a little in the evening so I sat with a nice heat pack on it while we were all in the living room and we discretely petted and flirted a little bit. Seems he is a sweet man and I rewarded him with contact info and a chaste kiss on the lips as we parted.

Today I woke up in multiple different kinds of pain. I guess thrashing around in the pool activated the chronic back condition and last night's neck discomfort was just the popcorn ad for today's main feature. (Oooo, popcorn! Nah, too much trouble.) Wow, it just wouldn't let up, all day long. Now I've watched enough TV and been on the smartphone so much My eyes hurt too. I have been napping all day so I'm not really even sleepy. The prospect of sitting a desk tomorrow and ugh, going to the dentist at lunch is soooooo unattractive.  It could be a long night.

My current boy t is flying back from IT nerdvana in Vegas at this very moment. It did cross My mind earlier to summon the new boy from last night to give Me some much needed massage. I bet he would even have been happy to come, since at one point he floated the idea of coming  over after the party last night, but...

...this is a bit of a rub for Me as a Dominant. Being in pain, feeling weak and vulnerable (which tends to travel with a certain amount of cranky) is when I most need service. But it's also when I most need to trust the other person. And it's when I'm least robust to manage a boy's hopes/ expectations, etc. It's when I'm most likely to agree to something I don't really want to do and I later wish I hadn't. When I'm in enough pain, it gets hard to hear My own thoughts through the static of the pain. When it's bad enough, I need the boy to know how to take care of Me without much direction, to help the headache and fuzzy thinking turn the corner. And I don't enjoy that process, much as on one level I want it; I don't like needing it that much. Putting that level of My own inner conflict into a new dynamic is potentially not great for moving forward successfully. So I'd rather be in pain than risk short circuiting a successful prospective dynamic.  It's silly on one level, I suppose, but wise on another. Or at least that's what I like to tell Myself.

*groans miserably*

Time for the nuke-able heating pad, Tiger balm and more pain killer.  I swear I'm putting a mini microwave upstairs one of these days. The downstairs kitchen is much too far away right now.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

I Enjoy Being a Girl

Pussy smells so good today

I've been getting off 1-3x daily since last Thursday when the FedX man showed up on My doorstep with a delivery. It turned out to be a very Pleasant Surprise from boy t.  The boy had noticed on his recent visit that I seemed to want a hitachi magic wand and he heard Me say that I like very low frequency vibrations.

I often task My boys to provide a Pleasant Surprise or two. This is something I have learned in the last year or so that I really enjoy. Being Dominant means I generally know everything going on that concerns Me, and this tends to minimize opportunities for Me to be pleasantly surprised. Which is a shame because I *love* pleasant surprises.  So I started commanding them.  They consistently do a great job, sometimes making Me laugh (bacon soda, anyone?), often giving Me physical pleasure in the form of tastes and beauty and this time, orgasm.

boy t has been with Me long enough that he understands the importance of service through Pleasant Surprises, and he has apparently gotten comfortable with what, in the beginning, had felt to him like too much unilateral decision making.

So he sent Me a hitachi magic wand with an extra, external rheostat controller module, and I reeeeeeeeaallly like it.  I'm not getting off with it every time (I've been warned they can be addictive so am exercising due care), but I'm using it to manage My low-grade back/ neck injury, and yes, it has contributed to several big O's too.  The boy is thrilled to have pleased Me so successfully, and I have made sure to let him know how much pleasure he is giving Me despite the distance.  I even rewarded him last night with a phone call and commanded him to have a cum for Me, for the first time in three weeks, in real time, using his own hitachi at My command.

As many Women know, once you get to a certain level, the whole system kind of wakes up and becomes alert, expectant for further erotic stimulus. Watching a few orgasm themed TED talks in bed with the vibe helped too. And of course, it's simply progesterone surge time at My house, which is always fun.

So here I sit at work, having a quiet August work day, and I can feel that Pussy is plump, still warm and sweet and a bit juicy from this morning's cum. I close My office door half way and sit with legs widely spread, and do a light cupping, patting G motion over My clothed mons.  It feels nice and cooling and the pussy fragrance wafts readily.  It's such a shame not to have a fat, skilled cock to ride right now.  I'm 47 and I know the day is coming when these peaks of horniness will no longer happen every 4 weeks. I'm going to miss them, and I hate not taking full advantage of each peak still available to Me.  I wish I worked in the mythical FemDom office park that j and I like to fantasize about... So many Other Duties As Assigned.

I happen to know that some magic wand accessories are on their way and should arrive tomorrow.  I don't know for certain but I imagine there will be a G spot attachment and I'm dying of curiosity to try it. It's been a long time since I had a successful G spot toy, and I'm far more sexual now than I was back then.  How wonderful would it be if the hitachi G spotter could make Me really cum and squirt good at the same time? Two very different sensations but closely interrelated processes that I have wanted for a while now to make happen at the same time.  The play date with A last week got closer than any one has to date. I'd rather there be a nice chubby bio-cock in Me, and a nice sexy smelling male attached to it, but I still look forward to seeing what the hitachi can do.

Until then, I'll just spread My legs again on the desk chair, rock them back and forth a bit, and enjoy the warm puffs of pussy waft as they rise up.  And it's not just Pussy. My underarms smell great too, I want them licked. All of Me is in that place where I feel like a perfectly ripe peach, that wants to be pulled from the tree and consumed in that delightfully messy juice-running-down-your-cheeks-and-chin-and-arms sweet way. Plucked and slurped and replete.


Like the song says: I Enjoy Being A Girl.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Jesus is the Mister

It has been a year since I first had a consult with a landscape designer, and decided I wasn’t willing to pay good money for a stranger to make Me a mere *paper plan* for my 400 square foot back yard.  I measured and drew and researched and consulted and hired a friend who predictably bailed, then drew some more and thought a whole lot and you know what?  A year later, I have concluded that while I’m capable of solving one side of this 800 square foot front yard/backyard Rubik’s cube,  solving the whole thing is just beyond Me.  There’s too many constraints in my tiny 15.5’ wide lot, too many trees and utilities and setbacks and codes and tradeoffs…  It doesn’t make sense to spend any money doing anything until I have an expert Integrated Master Front Yard and Back Yard Plan to work to.  If I don't flip for the plan, I'm going make an expensive mistake. May as well pay it now and spare Myself the pain. I'll be happier in the end.  Part of being a Master is knowing when You don't know what the fuck You're doing, and being willing to ask for help.

Back to the landscape designer, let’s call him Dave.

Dave is not to My knowledge into kink.  He’ll probably get an idea though if he goes upstairs to use the loo at some point. Part of Dave’s marketing pitch is that - if you want him to - he will design a yard that’s as quirky as you are.


 If kinky is anything like quirky,  I’m pretty quirky.  We should get along great.

So Dave wrote me a proposal for design services. I signed it which makes it a CONTRACT (*yikes*). And then I paid the 40% deposit. Dave hooked Me up with an arborist he often works with, and Adam the sky diving arborist who also does treehouses was out here in under a week.  This is already huge progress because I worked My way through Angies’ List last fall and could *not* get a single arborist to so much as return My calls and emails.  So a la Emeril… *BOOM*!!  We have answers to all the hard questions about the trees, and he didn’t even charge Me a consult fee, cuz of course I’m hiring Adam The Wonder Arborist to do what’s needed.  And frankly, it’s way cheaper than I was braced for.

Front Yard Cherry Tree:   Bad case of fire blight and a parallel case of gumosis (process of making gum, probably not as inconsequential as it sounds given that the tree appears to be exsanguinating.  Now I get the whole amber thing.).  Nothing to be done except wait and see if the tree can hang onto the few green leaves it has left until October.  If it holds tough (“it’s basically starving”), it should survive the winter, and we treat it in spring when it buds.  But OBTW, it will probably get a blight every time we have a wet spring, so with global warming and being near a flood plain and all, you’ll probably end up treating it most years.  In My mind, the cherry is a very nice Nice-To-Have.  But I might cut it down anyway, cuz I ain’t got the budget to baby two trees constantly. Keep reading, gardeners.

Front Yard Juniper:  ROCK STAR!  Scary and possibly fatal looking split in trunk has petrified and is healing over correctly. Good strong tree, no worries, just needs some trimming to stop it rubbing on the house.

Backyard Ash Tree:    OK, yes, sure, when you’re upstairs in the bedroom you can see a few brown leaves here and there and that’s some other unpronounceable kind of blight/ fungus action going on because of the wet spring.  But it’s not serious, at least not this year. Make sure to get rid of all the dead leaves in fall, instead of being all “oooo-free-mulch” like last year.  But oh, honey… you do indeed have Emerald Ash Borer.  There was about zero chance you wouldn’t have Emerald Ash Borer in your tree, since it’s epidemic right now and has killed about every ash tree in the adjoining county.  Note the patches of blonding on the bark on the undersides of the branches. Spread like wildfire it did.  But you’re lucky.  There’s not a ton of ashes around you, and it’s early on in the infestation process.  The tree can be saved, no question.  And since it’s only 14” in diameter, it’s not even stupid expensive, doesn’t need to be tented or anything.  But yes, you’ll be doing this every year.  Good news, however, is you will continue to have a lovely ash tree that hides the 15 or 20 ugly power lines, cable lines, phone lines, and other liney-lines that run all over the back yard and the alley.  You will continue to have a wonderful, serene, tree house like green canopy view out of your upstairs windows most of the year.  And brown vertical branches masking all those horizontal lines the rest of the time, which make it really pretty when it snows.

All in all, not bad.  Thank you, Adam the Wonder Arborist, who BTW, is really hot and I would totally let him climb into My canopy.  Just saying.

So tomorrow, Dave comes for the big visit in which he will Measure Everything and Describe Site Conditions, and so on.  It’s very exciting, this beginning of the Integrated Master Front Yard/Back Yard Plan, not terrifying at all. 

Ok, just a *little* terrifying, I mean,  it’s gonna be thousands, obviously.  I just don’t know how many thousands (bigger than a breadbox?) to actually implement whatever he comes up with, and we’re going to spend a lot of time talking about how I’m not made of money and we need to prioritize and work in phases and again, not made of money (did I mention that before?).  It’s just mind blowing how fast a home owner can spend five thousand dollars… furnaces, roofs, floods, lightning strikes… But really, I knew this needed to be done when I bought the place, it was factored into the purchase price and factored into the reno budget, back before I understood the reno budget was wildly optimistic despite My attempts to be extremely not-optimistic.  It’s not like it wasn’t TOTALLY OBVIOUS that the landscaping was well, there wasn’t anything like, decorative. And there was a lot of ugly, starting with the crooked, rusted chain link fencing, which the neighbor's flipper has since painted a nice shiny silver, but only on their side, with random silver drips and bleed through onto My side.  The yards simply weren't level in any direction, by a lot.  Pretty much the yards just fall off into the street or alley. Plus it also falls off sideways in the front.  And it back it’s more like a giant swale down the middle before tumbling into the alley.  And it also manages to slope toward the foundation everywhere, that’s very bad, I think we all can agree.  So it must be done. Fundamental, even remedial, improvements must be made and must not wait any longer.  I'm OK with that.  I've had a nice breather from projects, and had a little time to refill the renovation coffers, there's nothing to be gained by waiting any longer.

And hey, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to really go whole hog in the plan so I could, like, sit outside and not be eaten alive by the zika and west nile virus transmitting invisible asian tiger mosquitoes?  That’s a goal worth pursuing.

And yeah, that cherry tree.  I think it’s coming down.  Forget that it needs to be massaged and pampered like a Kobe beef.  It’s a reservoir of fungus and blight.  And I’m a vegetable gardener, who  immediately spotted after Adam The Wonder Arborist left, that My tomato plant under the cherry tree has the worst case of tomato blight.  And the tomato on the edge of the cherry canopy has a moderate case of tomato blight.  And the tomato upwind of the cherry and not under the canopy has zero tomato blight.  This *could* be a co-inky-dink, but I don’t think so.  And if it’s the tomatoes vs the ornamental cherries, the cherry gets it.

In the meanwhile, I will be out there with a spritzer bottle of neem oil, spritzing and misting My tomatoes, and promptly removing the affected leaves, much more religiously now that I understand they are under fungal paratrooper assault from above.  Spritzing and misting the naturally occurring turpentinoid compound in the neem oil to interfere with the fungal damage.

Often as I come and go around the neighborhood, I see a the white church van of a local, Spanish speaking evangelical church.  In giant letters, the van drives around proclaiming: 


I speak enough Spanish and have enough religious education to correctly translate it as “Jesus is Lord”, and I find it interesting to notice that Senor apparently means “Lord” as in Lords and Ladies, which sounds very medieval to My ears.

But the part of My brain that doesn’t speak Spanish as a first language reads the van and hears:  “Jesus is the Mister”.  And it cracks Me up every time.  You’d think it would have stopped being funny after several years, but no, every time.  So I stand in My garden, misting the cherry-fungus-bombarded tomatoes with the Indian neem oil antifungicidal product and think, yeah, Jesus is the Mister.

Leave It To Beaver

My biggest takeaway from the week of having boy t as live-in houseboy was completely unexpected. It turns out that deep down, I am Ward Cleaver.  

It's been almost 20 years since the first time I joked that "I need a wife". As a heterosexual professional woman, that makes people chuckle, but I was never entirely kidding. I work hard in an environment that is more stressful than I enjoy. And My personal history is one characterized by feeling I have to go it alone. I've made a professional virtue out of My ability to step into chaos and Fix It, to bring various forms of chaos into a state of linearity and clarity and order. But the reality is, I don't actually *enjoy* chaotic environments. I like solving a puzzle, but it's an intellectual exercise. I enjoy serenity. I grew up in a deeply rural place, I spent a summer in the Alaska bush and never got bored or cabin fever, I love serenity.

So this week of having a houseboy is enlightening a big edge I hadn't fully mapped before. I have lived with a partner in the past, for several years, but this is the first time the co-habitant is serving Me exactly as I say I want to be served. Without any below-the-surface power struggle. And it's not just that "he is like this"...  in point of fact, he is not by disposition a neatnik. That makes his effort to create neatness for Me all the more of a service. 

I told boy t to plan out our meals for the week before he arrived, and I left that pretty open ended because he needs a rather specialized diet for medical reasons. I know he can cook and I know that the way he Must eat is the way I Should eat. So this is a win-win. I told him to plan our dinners around his needs and pre-prep them as appropriate. He arrived with two coolers and fed us very nicely all week. One night was pork belly that he marinaded in spices for ten days; the boy was not phoning it in. And from these dinners, he packs Me a lunch. No one has ever actually packed a lunch for Me before. I even have him texting Me a reminder to take it out of the fridge (since I'm so unaccustomed to this treatment) and a reminder to eat it, since I often get so busy at work that I forget to eat until mid afternoon when I start to feel grumpy.

Several days into our 24/7 experiment, I walked in to the house, having pre-ordered a cocktail to be ready for Me.  boy t was cooking, the table was set, the cocktail was immediately handed over. The house smelled great. The sofas were sittable and the throw pillows fluffed, the floor had been vacuumed, and I just knew the beds had been made. Laundry was humming. I walked in and felt inspired to announce, "Hi, honey, I'm home!" The boy has heard Me commenting about this Leave It To Beaver feeling this week, so he replied, "Welcome home, Ward" and I followed with, "Where's the Beaver?". I really felt in that moment that My house is My castle, My refuge, in a way I never have before.

I swear, if it were colder, I would have him fetch My fucking slippers too.

I *like* this. 

And I'm slightly appalled to find that deep down I'm such a fucking *patriarch* given half a chance. White male privilege of the 1950s flavour? Sure, I'll take some it. Give it up? Now, why the heck would I do that?   It’s… disconcerting… to feel I can so easily become exactly what I reacted against My entire life.  Heck, what My *mother* has reacted against.  Basically, I’m My white collar, Jr.VP Grandpa.

Growing up, about the worst thing you could say about a child in My world was that they were spoiled. My dad said it once about My cousin, and although he was much given to volume when upset, this was so awful, so unspeakable, that he dropped his voice, and whispered with deep regret… that she was… *spoiled*. I only faintly knew what that meant but I knew what happened to fruits and vegetables when they spoiled, and it was fucking fatal. No way, not in My family, was I ever going to be... *spoiled*.

And I fer damned sure wasn't. Nope, it was all rugged independence in My family. You got a problem, ya better figure it the fuck out by yourself cuz there's nobody gonna help ya. Being picked on and bullied? The Bible says turn the other cheek. The end. Even the Bible wasn't much interested in your problems where I grew up.  Good Calvinists are the original masochists.

So here I am, and I have finally made My way to a dynamic in which I have some very  nice help once in a while. In which some things upon My request magically Get Done, with no further effort in My part. And what do I feel?


I mentioned the spoiled/entitlement cognitive dissonance thing to a very nice male Master at last week's MAST potluck while we were eating our hot dogs and watermelon and banana pudding.  He had no idea what I was talking about.  Then some other Female Masters chimed in that they could absolutely relate to My feelings. And he was like, "what could possibly be the problem allowing yourself to be served? I don't get it."  We all just sat there looking at each other for a moment, thinking Deep Thoughts.  Because of course, it's really very easy, unless you've been taught it's impossible.

So My emotional work lately has been figuring out how to turn spoiled into something constructive. We all have an idea of what we are entitled to and I've grown to the edge of Mine, gotta find a way to expand the horizon. So I have cognitively reframed "spoiled" into "supported". And it's sad to realize, frankly, that I felt so pervasively un-supported as a kid. My physical needs were met and My parents loved Me, but My subjective experience of childhood was a lot about feeling unsupported. That fact has been a tremendous driver behind My professional success, but it also has been a factor in the depression I had to grow through at one point, and it's certainly a factor in My dominance. The Jungian drive toward wholeness requires that I find and integrate such things, heal them, and it's being an eye opening, healing kind of week.

Hi, My name is Ward Cleaver and this is My lovely wife… his name is boy t.

Notes from the Wild

All went very well on boy t's weeklong visit to TSPD's better home, garden, and dungeon. Here are a few snapshots from along the path:

1. I ate like a queen, thanks to the boy's excellent cooking, which he did at home and transported down for fast finishes. First night was crab cakes finished off with a heavy brown on the stove, and quinoa. Second night was cherry pomegranate braised spare ribs that he finished on the stove, with a sauced mix of vegetables and quinoa on the side. The boy packed lunch for Me each day, which was a most unusual experience and I really liked it. I also had him text Me to remind Me before I left the house to check the fridge, so the lunch actually made it to work.  So good and so much healthier than My norm, so many more veggies,  It was a bit of shock for the tummy to adjust, but in a good way, and very useful to have the contrasting reference point.

2. We hit a little trauma bubble from the boy's past, triggered when I made him sit still so I could slip a Qtip in his ear. The energy shift was immediate and very noticeable, so we had a good hour of processing, and now I know some additional important things about his past. he feared knowing these things would make Me like and want him less; it was challenging to grasp the fact he's wrong about that.

3. I had a nice body massage more than one night after the yummy dinner. While he was deeply massaging My ass (cuz who doesn't love a good butt rub?) I sensed his energy shift and for once, he hesitated to tell Me what was running through his mind. When the truth came out, it was that his top/sadistic vein had come to the surface when he realized he could hurt Me with this deep massage. he got confused and locked up for a minute. I invoked the transparency rule, he told Me what was in his mind, and he came away understanding he isn't required to suppress such thoughts, he's just not allowed to act on them, at least with Me.

4. Getting him to the office was initially a bit of a challenge but Uber pool in the morning worked great, the first few nights he met Me at the office to ride home. Later in the week, he ubered home and got a jump on dinner before I arrived.  I feel bad for the uber drivers, but it was great for Me.

5. I told him to think of activities as a "toggle", i.e., identify a resting state, and make sure that when he alters that state, he returns it to the resting mode. A door opened must be closed. A light turned on must be shut off. A garment dropped must be picked up and put away, etc. Having never parented in any way, or even had a housepet like a dog to train, this part of the training is proving a challenge for Me. We have also noticed that he tends to process commands on a FIFO basis, and that doesn't always mesh with what's happening big picture, so I am now flagging a command when it is "critical path," so he has a clearer sense how to prioritize. Yes, we are project management nerds.

6. The boy needs to leave for work before I do, so he is presenting to have the collar removed while I am still in bed, and of course he can't make the bed while I'm in it. This meant the collar was still in the unmade bed when we returned from work the first night. he has standing orders to make the bed any time it is unmade, as a first order of business, so this turned into a game of Me hiding the collar somewhere in/on/under/around the bed. Once found, he knelt to receive it. It proved to be a fun little thing for us.

7. The only slight negative was that I normally lead a fairly solitary home life, and after a week of 24/7, I was feeling the absence the alone time. I did send him out on Sunday to toil for about two hours in the yard, building Me shelves while I took a nap. So perhaps more soup-to-nuts projects is a partial solution. I also recognize the need to resist micromanaging. The boy astutely observed that by time we get home, he has had a hour to decompress but I don't begin until the rush hour drive is done. he can't read read the nuance of hangry vs office grumps, but by the time I get out of the car they are pretty intertwined.  That tends to be the prime point at which I most need solitude, and I figured that out pretty quickly.  I have *heard* married friends talk about this thing, of coming in the front door, and being confronted with a partner who wants to chat when all they want to do is be silent. Now I know what they are talking about, and I count Myself lucky to have heard others figure it out before Me, really speeds up the process.

8. We took a big plunge after careful prior discussion, and opened the theoretical poly door into reality. I had him quantify the risk of a flip out, and he gauged it a low risk of moderately intense flip. We both agreed that this is an important facet of the relationship and there is value in beginning as we mean to go on.  So when a play date became possible on 24 hours notice, with a playdate I like very much but seldom see,  I sent the boy to the laudromat and I played. And all was happy and compersiony until about 24 hours later. At that point a collision happened between what the boy wants to believe he’s OK with in terms of orgasm denial vs. what he actually is currently OK with. So more processing happened and it was indeed moderately bumpy for both of us for a bit, but we got it worked out, all systems go again. And it was a good learning experience for us both.

Oooop! Dinner is already served.