Wednesday, January 10, 2018

To Err on the Side of Love

It took me a very long time to finally write this post.  I was truly ashamed of something I said to Sam, and I wasn't sure I was brave enough to honestly tell you all what happened.  Then there was a powerful post that Mere wrote a while ago that made me think about the honesty thing.  Sam and I were past it, but I realized that there was a lesson I needed to remember and a reason to put it down in words.  
                                                          Ella is so far from perfect. 

Things had been smooth around Sam and Ella's house.  My medical issues were under control, and I was feeling quite spunky again.  Sam took such good care of me.  For so long the only thing that kept his spanking hand busy was for me to get depressed or silent.  Other than that, I was pretty much free to get as mouthy as I wanted.

Most of the sassiness was just silly, funny stuff that made us both laugh.  For a time, Sam was just so happy I was feeling better that he overlooked a lot of wise ass comments, some bossiness, and even minor snarkiness.  He would just hug me to him and say,
                           "I am so glad to have you well again.  
                You make me so happy.  I love you, pretty lady."

                                   "I love you, too, mister."

I had a lot of time on my hands.  First, I retired and then ended up confined to the house instead of on vacation.  Major cleaning was always part of my plan for when I stopped working.  I was a woman with a mission.  Although I am a very tidy person, it had been years since I had had the time to go through drawers, cabinets, closets, bins, shelves, and pantries.  I knew that there would be so much to clean, discard, donate, and reorganize.

Good god, I even went to the Container Store and put all the spanking implements and sex toys in little bins and baskets.  Paddles in this shoe bin, vibrators in that clear one, and canes and straps in the skinny, longish tray.  Saint Azotaina, patron saint of spanking, gave it all her blessing.

If they only knew how true this was.

Where things started to go south around here was when I moved my Clean & Purge Campaign to the garage.  You have heard me talk of all Sam's qualities, and you may also remember that he is not tidy.  I think the last time Sam cleaned his garage, everyone was speculating on who killed J.R. Ewing on the Dallas television series.

Sam can build a beautiful desk or a garden trellis.  He can repair a chair leg or the toilet or the garage door.  But my guy cannot clean up when he is done.  So, together we set out to slay the dragon, and it was a formidable foe.  Sam would have rather let the dragon lie, but here is where Ella got really bossy.

  • "It's time, Sam.  
  • We need to clean this garage.  
  • Yes, we have to!  
  • We'll do it together and just a little bit at a time.  
  • It'll be OK, you'll see."

He growled and complained, but we began.  Surly was his middle name and bossy was mine.  Not a good combination.

  • Well, you're not going to keep that, are you?
  • Oh, for god's sake, Sam.  What the hell is this?
  • If you would just stack those boxes like this, you would have so much more room.
  • Don't put that back on the shelf; I need to clean it.
  • Here, put this in the drawer with the wrenchy things.

The bossiness took on epic proportions, and for a while I rationalized it by telling myself this job needed to be done.  If Sam wasn't so sloppy, then this whole business would not have been necessary.  But I began to hate myself and the things I said.  What's more, I began to resent that Sam didn't set things straight.  The balance in our relationship was way off.

"I guess he does not care.  Perhaps ttwd does not apply if we are in the garage," I thought.  It had been one hell of a long time since there had been any serious spanking to rein in my bossiness.  In fact, I was in full flower bitch mode.

Nevertheless, that day, he kept our date to head over to our favorite Saturday afternoon pub when we had finished another section in the garage.  We usually enjoy this time together so much.  Not that day.  After all, I could say or do anything, and Sam would ignore it.  I do not remember what conversation preceded it, but the most hurtful, horrible words came out of my mouth.  As I said up front in this post, I think I have put off writing this because I was so ashamed for you to know I was so mean.

                                      This is what I said -

"Sam, I am coming to the conclusion that you are not cut out to be the boss, and you never will."  The look on his face was immediate.  He was stunned and hurt.  I immediately apologized and tried to retract my words, but there are some things you cannot "unsay."

We left soon after, and it was awkward between us.  I said I was sorry again and again, but Sam was quiet.  When we got home, I was scared.  I wasn't scared Sam would spank; I was scared he wouldn't.  I felt we were suddenly a million miles apart and that there was no way back.  Why did everything feel wrong between us?  What had I done?  How could I have hurt him like that?

I retreated, tearful and ashamed.  There were several minutes of intense self examination.  I agonized and suddenly I could look at the situation with a clear head.  All Sam had really been guilty of was being patient with me.  So glad that I was better and ready to jump into life again.  Loving me.  And I had been so horrible to him.  I attacked the very thing that has made our marriage so much better.  So much happier.  I had crushed it like a bug on the floor.

Then Sam opened the door and took my hand.  He was not angry but serious and determined.  "We will not end this like you think, Ella."  Before there was any spanking, I was sobbing heavily and apologizing profusely.  He paid no mind and unzipped my jeans.  Down I went across the bed.

I could hear him taking off his belt, but I could not stop crying.  Besides, there was nothing I could say.  Sam had enough to say for both of us.  He wasn't giving up on me or on ttwd.

In truth, I don't remember that much about the spanking except that it went on for a good while and it hurt.  It wasn't the belt that made me cry though; it was my guilt and my fear that Sam wouldn't be able to forgive me.

"I'm still here, Ella, and I'm not planning on that changing.  I'm here for you when you are sick, and you are here for me when I need you.  This is a bump, but we will get back to who we are to each other."

Sam used his belt, but through it all, I thankfully felt him take charge again, and I felt his love.  When it was over, I knew the rightful boss was back at the helm.  He held me tenderly until the tears finally stopped.  I was still trying to say how sorry I was, but he told me, "No more."  It was over now, and I was forgiven.  

                                TTWD wasn't going anywhere. 


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

"It's Your Job"

                                   Let's start at the beginning.  
          You need to understand something before this story is told.

                                            "I Hate Winter."

I say it several times a day.  As far as I am concerned, there should only be 3½ seasons in a year.  Early Spring - Lots of Summer - Extended Fall - and a very abbreviated Christmas Season.  As soon as the Christmas tree comes down, Spring should start poking up in the garden the very next day.

Sam had a gas fireplace insert with a blower installed in our living room - with a remote control.  He figured that would fix the problem.  I could keep one room in the house as warm as I wanted.  He could retreat to the study when he couldn't stand the heat any longer.


 Must confess to have once melted the rubber soles of my slippers  while trying to warm up my feet by the fireplace.  Sam came running in because he smelled something burning.  

                             "Not to worry, honey!  I'm just fine."
Then there's the electric mattress pad on the bed.  Dual controls so there are no fights.  Sam has never turned on his side.  Mine is set for "High" about an hour before bedtime, although I turn it down when I am done with my Kindle and ready to sleep.

Coldest of all are my hands and feet.  Ten little icy fingers and ten little icy toes.  One of the best ways to warm them up again is on Sam.  He is not fond of this at all, but I tell him,

                     "It's your job.  It's your job to keep me warm."

So......that is where this winter story really begins.  Sam was home from work, and happy hour had just began.  We were talking about company coming and a busy weekend.  Sam suggested I meet him for lunch the next day at a place that has my favorite soup on the menu in the colder months.  Mmm.., that sounded like a wonderful idea.

Like most nights I soon arranged myself on Sam's lap for a more extensive welcome home.  He was nice and warm, and I wasn't.  When my cold fingers touched his face and neck, he didn't cringe, but there was a minor complaint.
"Geez, Ells." 

But I distracted him by turning to straddle his lap.  As soon as he relaxed again, I slipped my hands up his shirt ready to soak up his warmth.  Sam's survival reflex kicked in, and he grabbed my wrists to pull my hands back out.  

"Nope.  No way.  Your hands are like ice!"

I was not about to give up.

"It's your job.  It's your job to keep me warm."

"Who says?" he grumbled.

"Me.  I'm cold and you're warm.  It's your job.  So quit your bitchin'," I laughed and moved my fingers back under his shirt.  After a short wrestling match, he collapsed his knee in an effort to dump me on the floor, but I held on.  We were both laughing by now.  

"So, it's my job to keep you warm, huh?  he grinned.

"Yep, it is, so don't be a wuss about it, mister," I teased.

"Oh, I'll get you warm, if that's what you want."

As he pushed me off his lap, he caught me around my waist and hauled me up and over the kitchen counter.  

"Ha!  Let me help you with these jeans."  He popped open the button of my pants and then deftly reached over me to the crock for a wooden spoon.

"Warm?  You want warm?  I'll show you warm," he laughed and the spoon went to work.

"Ow!  Stop, Sam.  It's my hands that are cold.  Not my butt."

"Well, you just tell me when the warmth spreads to your fingers.  Then I'll know I've done my job."

I absolutely love spankings like this!  Laughing so hard and yelling, too.  Sam was laughing, as well, with one hand on my back to keep me still and the other hand whaling away on my ass with that damn spoon.

"Are you warm yet," he asked.

"Sa-a-am!  Ouch!"
"Just doing my job, ma'am."

Whack! Whack! Whack!

"How 'bout now?  Are those fingers warm yet?"

I was squealing and wiggling and laughing.

"Yes!  Yessir, I'm warmed up.   Ow!  Please!  I'm warm.  Honest, Sam."

"Let me check, Ells.  Be still," and Sam ran his hand gently over my very warm ass.  That felt lovely.  Then he pulled me up and took my hands.

"I do believe your fingers are warmer," he smiled and took me in his arms.

"You are right.  It is my job.  And my work is done here."


I really couldn't argue with that.  My hands were warmer, and Sam didn't seem to mind at all when they started to roam below his belt.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Have Yourself a Memey Little Christmas....

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Ella's Bookshelf - Cassie's Life

It's been really difficult to set aside how this book impacted me emotionally and to move to the intellectual approach required to write a purposeful review.  It is no exaggeration when I say that when I reached the climax and just after in Cassie's Life, I was literally crying so hard that my husband rushed into the room to see what had happened.  I blubbered through a confusing explanation of the amazing show of love between Cassie and Tom while wiping my nose on the sleeve of my pajamas.  Once he was sure I was just being an idiot, he kissed me and went back to his cop show.

Title:  Cassie's Life

Author:  PK Corey

Number of Pages:  243

Themes:  the Circle of Family, Growth, Time, Forgiveness

Main Characters:

Cassie -  While Cassie truly tries to be the lady that Tom expects and loves, the plot of each of the books in the Cassie series centers around the how, when, why, and where of Cassie forgetting all about being ladylike and sensible.  For all that, she is a loving and exuberant woman. 

Reviewer's Note - While some might refer to Cassie as "mature," I would not.  To me mature suggests careful planning and wise decisions, and that is not Cassie at all.

Tom -  the love of Cassie's life for just over 4 decades.  He dotes on Cassie still, even though he worries and watches over her constantly.  Tom is funny, generous, wise, and firm.  He expects her to obey him, and when she doesn't, she usually ends up over his knee.  In this book we learn that this lifestyle they have lived for so many years is so much a part of who they are, that Cassie cannot move past a mistake until Tom spanks her.  

        A wise woman I know calls this change in their relationship 
                                  "ttwa" - this thing we Are.

Sue and Annie -  Cassie's best friends for many years.  Sue is usually Cassie's outspoken partner in crime.  Annie is the more sensible one.  Both are loving and loyal in their own ways.

Allie and Jenny - Allie is Cassie's daughter-in-law and married to her adopted son, Ryan.  Jenny is Sheriff Cal's young wife.  This is the first time in the series I see these two as young women and not girls.  Cassie says she sees some of Annie in Allie, and I agree.  Allie has become practical and careful.  The reader gets to know Jenny better in this book.  Cassie is surprised to see herself in Jenny - jumping in with both feet before thinking.

Lily - She is technically the "hired help" to the friends along the river, but it isn't long before she is just part of the family.  She takes on the task of fussing over Cassie and Sue with love.  In this book, Lily's life takes a joyous step forward.

Cooter -  a minor character from a previous book, Cassie met him and liked him when she started shooting at the range.  In this book, she becomes part of a frightening hostage situation with Cooter drunk and waving a gun around.  Since I do shoot, my take on this is that, damn straight, I would not be shooting at any range where Cooter Duncan had access!

Charles Warren -  a man with a dark secret from Cassie's past.  In this book, he is a mysterious antagonist, and Cassie is shaken to her core.

Setting:  Tom and Cassie's home along the river and the nearby homes of their "family" of friends.  For me, the river becomes much more than just a setting in Cassie's Life.

For a reviewer, it is always a challenge to tell enough about a book to interest a potential reader without giving the story away.  It is like if I told you that Cinderella ends up marrying the Prince, you would miss out on reading about the wicked stepsisters, the pumpkin coach, and the glass slipper.  It's always a dilemma.

I am going to start by actually talking about the cover of the book and what I thought was a pervading theme in Cassie's Life.  The cover is the best ever, and I know the author felt the same way.  It captures the simple affection between a couple that have loved each other for many years.  Seeing them sitting on the dock together, you can feel the peace of the rippling water, and the glow of the sunset.  It suggests to me the golden years of Tom and Cassie's marriage.  The flow of the river represents time passing and the changes that brings to the family of friends who live beside it.

Early in the book, Cassie ends up diffusing a scary situation with a drunk Cooter Duncan and a loaded gun while she waits for a friend at a local restaurant.  Her gutsy actions made me think of the phrase, "For fools rush in where angels fear to tread."  When she decides to step in, Cassie turns on her southern charm.  "Cooter Duncan, gracious honey.  I haven't seen you all summer.  How you been keepin'?" and she offers to buy him a beer.  The scene at the bar is just hilarious.  Sheriff Cal doesn't think so.

When Cal tells Tom, "Do whatever you have to do to get her to understand she has to listen to some authority," Cassie expected a spanking to follow post haste.  She and the reader are both surprised when Tom makes love to her instead.  That's something about Tom that I find interesting.  Sometimes when I am not sure if Tom will spank or make love to Cassie, I realize that in some ways it doesn't matter.  He reclaims her as his; he possesses her and reestablishes their roles.  They reconnect both physically and mentally.

However, when Cassie gets mouthy while defying Cal, Tom reaches his limit and says, "Enough!"  Out comes the leather paddle, and Tom goes to work on Cassie's bottom.  "....I have to do what I have to do to keep you safe."  That quote really sums up Tom to a tee.''

Much of the rising action in this tenth book involves the circle of family with Cassie at its center.  Over the course of this series, the circle grows to include so many new and adopted members.  One beautiful sub plot in Cassie's Life has Lily as the happy star of her own love story.  I just smiled a mile wide when both Cassie and Sue came to the conclusion, "...she's the mother we both have longed for all our lives."

This affection for Lily leads both women to fear that Lily is leaving them soon.  It seems odd that tears came to my eyes as Cassie and Sue tried to drown their sorrows in several pitchers of martinis, but I just couldn't help it.  In my head, the words, "She's leaving us," took on a whole new meaning.  I realized that the Cassie series is coming to a close, but it will break my heart when it finally happens.  So when I read those words, I applied them to how I will feel when Cassie leaves us and there is not another book to look forward to.  Probably won't drink martinis, but I might just cry in my beer.

The climax in this book is both gripping and well written.  When Cassie gets a call from a man in her past, she is scared that even Tom will not be able to love her any longer.  Even though she tries to face the crisis on her own, the girls, including Allie and Jenny, galvanize to help her through.  It is a ringing tribute to friendship.

The French call the falling action that follows the climax of a story the "denouement."  Although I have had many professors who used the word in book discussions, I often felt that some were being a bit pretentious.  I've got to admit, in this instance, it perfectly fits.  The word means "to unravel the knots."  It was very surprising that the denouement of this book was more powerful to me than the climax itself.  The love and trust Cassie shows to Tom and the love and trust he shows to her are both truly amazing.  An exhilarating ride on the river symbolizes Tom and Cassie riding away from their past and finally returning home to embrace the present and their future together.

PK Corey has given us a real treasure in this story.  Although it is 10th in the series of Cassie tales, it stands alone, too.  So if someone asked me, 

       "Do you, Ella, take this book as your favorite Cassie story?" 

                          I would have to honestly say, "I do."

                     When you finish this truly wonderful book, 
          you will understand why that vow has so much meaning.