Category: Non-BDSM Life

Recharge the batteries

Reading Time: 3 minutes

We’re spending a few days on the beach.  We haven’t been on a vacation since last May, so it was time to load up the new SUV and strike out for someplace we’ve never been.  That’s usually how vacations work for us, we try to find a place that we’re both interested in going to, and preferably someplace new.  Find a house to rent, or a suitable hotel with the right amenities (not a Super 8 or Motel 6) and use it as ‘home base’ while we explore the countryside or museums or whatnot.  We’re both interested in the history of the US Civil War (not the current one, the 19th-century version) and have been to Gettysburg and Antietam in this decade.  

‘Christabel’ had been to Rehoboth Beach in Delaware when she was a child.  Me, I’d never even been to the state of Delaware.  Passed it more than a few times driving to NC or VA, but never been through it.   Consequently, it seemed like the right place to go, it was past Labor Day so we’d get a financial break on the room, there’d be fewer people in the area, and most of the local restaurants would still be open.  Granted a lot of the tourist’y’ businesses on the boardwalk would more than likely be closed for the season, but since we’re not big aficionados of Skee-ball, it wouldn’t be a huge disappointment.  And neither of us are in the market for a tattoo.

Getting here was a bit of a pain since I was driving a  new vehicle that I wasn’t completely comfortable with how it all worked.  It has a navigation system, but of course, the default was set to ‘Economy’ not ‘Fastest Route’ so when it came time to get us somewhere, it kept sending us on unfamiliar local routes, that were away from the major highways and byways.  And that takes time, so we spent about 6 hours in Pennsylvania when at most it should have been 4.  Once I finally got the nav system to behave, it got us on the PA Turnpike and that saved a good deal of time and angst.  70 mph will get you where you’re going much faster than two lanes that have 25 & 35 mph zones every time you hit a hamlet.  

When we got to Delaware, we stopped at one of the DOT’s rest stops and had a nice walk through the area before getting back on the road.  While we were there, we called the hotel we booked to be sure they knew we were coming, and not to give our room away.  We didn’t actually hit town until after dark, so it was a little bit of a problem getting to the place, as again the nav system wasn’t well suited for where we were.  But between it, Google Maps and a little cursing, we managed to get to the hotel.  

It’s been a whirlwind several days.  Some ups and downs, and a few headaches along the way, but that’s traveling for you.  Yesterday I was feeling a little homesick, and missing my cat, but I know he’s at the spa and probably having a good time with all the other kitties and puppies there.  At any rate, we’re headed back to New York tomorrow, and we’ll collect him on Saturday.  So we have a little more time here on the coast.  Then it’s back to reality.

Hello, 54.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Another birthday, another year older.

My birthdays anymore are either ones when I work, or I have the day off and I don’t necessarily do much of anything. Certainly nothing like a party here at Casa Leathers, or any sort of organized celebration. Another milestone achieved really. I may get a present, I may not, it depends a lot on whether I mention there’s something I’ve desired, and just haven’t gotten around to purchasing for myself, and the wife gets it for me (except for a motorcycle….not going to get one of those. At least life-sized).

This year, we’ve been needing a new wheelbarrow and we’ve been off and on shopping for it both online and locally. It has needed to have certain aspects to make it good for both of us (not too big, not too small, dual wheels and so on) and not cost $500. Believe it or not, we’ve spent over two weeks looking at prospects and dismissing most of them as either being too expensive, too cheaply made too many bad reviews, or a combination of those. Home Depot, Lowes, Amazon, all have nice offerings, but none have really checked off all the correct aspects.

The wife suggested the local Tractor Supply as an option. I went there after work one day and scoured the store, but didn’t find any! How odd. I left without checking with a salesperson (should have known better) and came home to report my findings. Going to the online store presence, I discovered apparently in their ‘stock’ it was listed they had several. So we decided to go back on the ‘day’ of my birthday, to check it out further, instead of ordering one online and having it shipped specially to the store.

Parking outside, we headed towards the door, but my wife stopped us to look at something on the wall, and sure enough, there was the beastie that had eluded me so successfully yet days before. But it was HUUUUGE! Way too big for our purposes. Heading inside, I made my way to the Customer Service counter and spoke to the employee there, informing her that we were in the market, but the one she had outside was too big, and did they having anything similar, but slightly smaller? Looking through her computer terminal, she determined that indeed she did, and someone was in the back assembling them.

Horrors! An assembled ‘barrow won’t fit in the new Murano. Would be way too big. Is it possible to get one unassembled? Sure enough, it was. Although admittedly it surprised her that I asked, most of her customers wanted theirs in one piece, not forty. Up stepped the wife (once I corralled her from the far side of the store) and paid for my present. Transported it out to the vehicle, loaded it up and headed for the ice cream stand/greenhouse to celebrate our victory!

I managed a birthday present and ice cream on the same day! I’d say that was a pretty good score. And I had a project to complete when I got home. Which I did. The wheelbarrow is all together, and sitting in the backyard now…with no pieces missing!

I done good. Happy 54th, Leathers.

Investing for the future

Reading Time: 5 minutes

My slave and I had a small conversation this afternoon, that sort of started when I arrived home from running errands with my wife.  It was a continuation of a conversation (after a fashion) she and I had been having over the last few days.  

She’s been having trouble getting used to using Spotify without the fancy doodads that are included with a paid membership.  I’ve been paying for her membership for the most part over the last year.  It ran out sometime in the last week or so, and the lack of the ability to fast forward as well as other expectations were getting to be a little much for her.  There was a veiled mention of the fact this week is National Nurse’s Aide Week, and generally, on those sorts of weeks, the professional or worker in question gets a gift.  Usually from their employer or a spouse, in recognition of the work that the person does and doesn’t necessarily get noticed or rewarded. 

I looked it up and yes it certainly is that particular week, and since none of her family were likely to be moved to give her anything, much less her employer (the CEO sent out a blanket statement to the workforce, thanking them for their hard work, their dedication and so on, basic boilerplate in lieu of anything more substantial, like money for instance) I was intending to extend her Spotify membership anyway, as a reward for all of her hard work and dedication and because sometimes its the right thing to do.  

Of course, I hadn’t done it right away, so there was a text message this afternoon for all intents and purposes pleading with me to re-up ASAP since she was really having a hard time without it.  My response in this instance was typically me “Oy”.   I also made reference to a saying that I have whenever someone says something is driving them crazy.  I would have thought after 3-4 years of knowing me, she would have known about it, and I even suggested she could earn brownie points for it, but no, she didn’t.  I had to clue her in about it.  Again.

Person #1:  I can’t stand it anymore, it’s driving me crazy!

Person #2: Y’know, it’s not so much a long drive, as a short putt.

Yes, I think it’s funny.  Honestly, I don’t care if you don’t.  If you do, woo woo and a ^5.

At this point, I made an off-hand comment about needing to make an Amazon shopping list, since there were several other things I knew she was out of, and with money being tight, unlikely she was going to be getting them anytime soon.  Naturally, once I put one thing in the cart (sunscreen) others started popping to mind that she was going to need in the near future.    At some point, I asked a question I hadn’t inquired about for many months.  Whether or not she had a decent pair of shoes for work.  As expected, the answer was no, she was still wearing ones she got from the dollar store, of all places.  So back to Amazon to seek out a sturdy pair of nurse’s shoes, that will last longer than however long dollar store shoes last.  Five minutes would be my off-handed guess on that one.  

Naturally, I found several possibles, but the designs on them were fairly hideous.  Does no one make shoes in plain white, or black anymore?  After more time than I thought I would spend on this mission, I finally came across a pair of Skechers that would do well.  Made certain of the sizing, and put them in the cart.  

Lastly, I asked about her medications.  In for a penny, in for a pound, right?  After some banter, and back and forth, she admitted that she was out of two important ones that are OTC, and could be ordered from Amazon.  Popped them into the cart, along with some generic Aleve and I was pretty much done.  I added in the Spotify gift card and called it complete.  During the final part of the conversation, we covered the one thing we always do, when she tells me “You don’t have to do this.”   Believe me, slave, I know I don’t have to.  But I also know no one else is going to help out.  You may not be blood, but in a very important manner, you’re my responsibility.   So I do what I can when I can.  If positions were reversed, you’d be doing this as well.  We’ve had that particular conversation more times than I can count.

I closed out the cart and put the shipping information in, my CC info and pressed the ‘Place the Order’ button.  It’s on its way to her and should arrive by Saturday.  I know she’s grateful, I know she’s also a bit melancholy that I had to bail her out again.  Should be a trifecta when she reads this and sees I posted about it.  

In for a penny, in for a pound.  I’m investing in our future.  At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

Time and Experience

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I was thinking the other day, since I don’t have an active partner to play with, at least not here.  Still.  But as I said, I was thinking about all the time that I’ve spent in the scene, and how much of it I’ve actively participated.  When I say ‘participated’, I mean actually being there, with someone else, playing interactively.  Not online, not in a chat room, or on the phone, hot texting one another, or writing elaborate paper mails to one another, then waiting for them to read it several or many days later.  Then waiting again for the return letter and so on.

Actual ‘in the trenches‘ play time.  Where you get your hands dirty (as well as some other things).  Doing a little figuring, I came up with a rather sobering total.  And it wasn’t pretty.  By my estimation I’ve been part of the BDSM scene since I was about 18.  I’m not going to go into the nuts and bolts of that, because it’s not a good conversation to have here.  So let’s say 18 for the sake of argument, or who else might be reading things.  I’m now almost 54.  So that’s 36 years between the two.  In all of that time, what I would term my active experience comes out to a little less than 6 months.   6 MONTHS.  Told you it was a sobering thought.

Even now it makes me wonder how all of that time managed to skate past.  Though I know the old adages; Life gets in the way, finances don’t always come together, and the most often one, there’s no one to play with.  So you just sit back on your heels, live your ‘other’ life, and try to keep your hand in the game, by watching others enjoy themselves, going to munches, networking, doing a little negotiating, perhaps attend a play party here and there, but me, not being the voyeuristic type, doing that is just maddening, because I’m not a good watcher.  And yes, as I’ve mentioned time and again, building up a nice toy collection.  That now as before gathers dust in a couple bedrooms in my house.

Just throwing this out here, since it’s been hanging around in my head for a few days now and I need it out in the open.  Thanks for listening/reading.

Kink wherever I go

Reading Time: 3 minutes

We’ve had guests of the vanilla persuasion here this week, so my kinkified living situation (ha, I made a funny) has been on vacation as well. Even so, my BDSM addled brain continues unabated and I can confirm that due to something that happened yesterday while we all were out running errands.

After visiting a strip mall to get cat litter (Petco has a deal where one can get 35 lbs./15.87 kgs. of litter for $10) and discovering a women’s clothing store was closed/vacant that one of our out-of-town guests had intended to shop, we jetted down to the local Kohl’s and shopped there instead. Having finished that errand, we still had some time to kill waiting for the appropriate hour for going to dinner.

We have a Hobby Lobby here, and admittedly I’ve never been in one. It’s an experience to be sure. Similar to Michael’s (coincidentally there’s one of them nearby) in that they sell all sorts of items from picture frames to knick-knacks, baking supplies, model kits, painting supplies and so on. The owners of the company are religious, so the store is closed on Sundays (like Chick-fil-a) and they have religious Muzak playing over the sound system. At least its not so annoying you’re going to wish you were deaf. The staff are friendly, even to the point of ebullience.

While we were all there, we pretty much went our separate ways. I just flitted from one area to the next, looking for things that appealed, always keeping an eye out for bargains. Even so, my kinky underpinnings were having a good time. There were plenty of crafty items that could be repurposed, though a Lowes or Home Depot would make many things easier. Wrought iron bars with accompanying elbows could easily be transformed into restraints or even tie down spots on a bed or chair or even a floor or wall. For many years Kink.com and Insex made a mint showing how simple items could be bastardized into something very kinky and extremely versatile. Just have to possess the right imagination and see beyond the original intended purpose.

In the end, I only bought a couple of things. A trivet for my personalized cutting board, and a dual 5×7 picture frame with matting board at 75% off. I can print my own pictures on my inkjet printer and they come out pretty flawless, especially on glossy photopaper. I know a photographer would be able to tell the difference, but I’m not opening a photo gallery anytime soon. I opted not to get the wooden or steel letters that could spell out BDSM somewhere in the house, that’ll be a project for another time.

Changing things around

Reading Time: 3 minutes

If you happen to be a follower of this blog, you’ll note already that I’ve changed a couple of things about how the blog works.  First and foremost, I relegated the ‘landing page’ to just another page in the header and made the blog posts the ‘star’ of the blog.  I tried it the other way for about 6 months, but it’s always sort of stuck in the back of my head as probably not the best way to present the blog.  So back to the default method of the posts up front.

I’m also mulling around changing the theme of the blog, in two distinct ways.  When I started the blog, it was mainly a ‘kink first’ blog, with a plan of having a ‘less kink’ blog elsewhere somewhere down the line.  At the time, I was expecting, nigh planning on being able to meet with my slave many times over the course of the year, and being able to chronicle about our adventures.  But, unfortunately, that didn’t happen.  So this blog became more of an amalgam of vanilla things that are happening in my life, with the occasional rant or mention of kink in passing.

Then, unexpectedly about a month ago my web host suddenly had a major issue with websites being available.  All too often over the last three weeks, it was unavailable because the web host wasn’t able to keep it online.  Getting server errors and a slow loading blog was very frustrating to my subscribers, and certainly it was no picnic for me either.  Watching my web traffic/bandwidth dwindle day after day was really beginning to piss me off, so much so that I took one of my domains and moved it to another server host.  Within the last couple of days the situation on the original web server has improved somewhat, and I’ve gotten assurances from them that they’ve not only identified the main problem, but they believe it’s been corrected.  So I’ve shelved the blog on the alternate server for the time being.  I’m still hedging my bets and leaving the other domain at it for now however.

I dusted off the blog I spoke about above and am posting to it as regularly as my brain can think of things to post to it.  Without much in the way of ‘kink’ to post here, I’m not completely certain I’m going to keep this blog active.  But I thought I’d make an update and let anyone that cared to know, what was going on.

We’ll see how it all goes.

Springing into Spring

Reading Time: 4 minutes

I’m fairly certain at this point we’re not going to be getting any more snow.  Our daffodils have (almost all) bloomed already and there are crocuses in the front yard near the patio.

Last weekend I was asked by The Wife to drag out the patio furniture and set it up for the season.  I’ve noted in the last 8 or so years that we’ve had the set it’s getting a little worn, starting to rust in some places and getting threadbare in others.  Certainly, a truth that things aren’t and haven’t been made to last in the past 20-30 years, certainly since the influx of cheaper materials from China in all ways and means.  Go to an antique store and find something similar and you can discover something that was built to last.  A brass fitted Y coupling for your hose is designed to probably last a year now if you’re lucky.  I certainly seem to buy a new one every year.  ‘Non-kink’ hoses spring leaks within a year of purchase so you throw the practically new one away and get another.  I bought a 100 ft length of hose back when we first bought this house in 2001.  I still have it, it works just fine.  I honestly think it’s an aberrance.  Or it doesn’t know it was supposed to fail in its first year.  Either way, I appreciate it’s durability.  Come to think of it, I still have the (mostly) metal power strip my parents bought for me when I first went to college in (gasp!) 1983.  It still works.

We still have leaves left over from the previous fall.  Autumn was a quirky season last year, in that the trees didn’t cooperate in dropping their bounty on time so that the village could come along and collect them before our first snowfall.  Consequently, neither I nor my neighbor to the east was able to rake and collect them, to deposit them on the curb.  During the ensuing 7-8 months they’ve managed to be blown around and mashed into either my driveway or piled up next to the house because my house makes a convenient windbreak and the leaves stop being blown around and pile up for me to dispose of.  Lucky me.

Dragged out the lawn mower and roto-tiller from their spaces in the garage.  The mower (as usual) acted like a champ and started up with a little priming.  The tiller is going to need a little more work.  I did get a new muffler over the winter since the original one was a rusted worn out mess.  I’m going to have to change the oil at the very least and probably take apart the carburetor to see if that’s the reason why it’s running so roughly.  If I can’t successfully fix it, I might just call the small engine place I use on occasion and have them work on it.  The drive wheels are frozen and have been for the last 20 years.  I watched a few YouTube videos over the winter suggesting this is something that can be fixed, but I don’t have the necessary tools to do it.  They might.  The last outfit I used said they couldn’t manage it without cutting the axle in half.  That’s a non-starter since the cost of replacing the axle and wheels would likely be half of the cost of a new tiller.  And I like the one we have.

Slowly getting the house ship-shape for company.  Friends from NC are due in a couple of weeks, my mother is expecting to visit in June and I have to try to drag my slave up here or somewhere close by before we both go stir-crazy.  Not going to go into that anymore as I already posted about it.