Thursday, May 18, 2017

Hobbies - Check All That Apply





Most of us have something outside of work or our home/family responsibilities that we could call a "hobby".  An interest or even a passion that we enjoy in our free time.  Retirement seems to be the perfect reason to spend even more energy on those activities that give us pleasure.
  

A hobby can be solitary like reading or swimming.  Sam likes to be in his workshop building furniture or restoring guns.  (BTW, that workshop is where the infamous Mr. Paddle was born.)  I believe hobbies like these are restorative to the spirit.  Many times hobbies can be a social occasion as well.  I have lovely memories of all the wonderful people I came to know when I was active in drama.  I think it's great fun to go "junking" at dusty thrift shops and antique stores with a good friend.  Sports are wonderful whether you are a player or a spectator.  We love to spend time outdoors at a private shooting range.  You don't have to play football to love it.  It's fun for many folks to get together with friends, food, and drink to enjoy a game together.





We can relax and unwind.  We can nurture our creativity and improve our mood.  As we age, a hobby can challenge us mentally and physically.  We can meet new people and form important and rewarding relationships.  Hobbies can even be an integral component in fighting depression.  Life can be full of situations we can't control.  I see hobbies as something where I am in charge.  Sam may be the boss around this house, but when I'm baking bread, I am directing the activity.




The other week, I had reason to be filling out one of those forms/surveys that ask for your interests.  You know the ones.  Sort of like a really boring meme.

         "Tell us about your hobbies.  Please check all that apply."




 Well, I thought of what boxes I used to check or respond to when asked that question.  

                          The Vanilla Me of Yore.

                      Gardening              Reading
                      Sewing                   Travel
                      Decorating              Cooking
                      Drama                     Baking
                      Writing                    Shooting
                      Exercise                  Collecting
                      Embroidery             Antiques
                      Fishing
                      Shopping  (Yes, that is a hobby, I say.)





Then I thought of what I might write today IF I could be my perfectly frank ttwd self to the whole world.  Of  course, this doesn't mean I don't still enjoy my old pursuits, but I've broadened my hobby horizon immensely.  

  • Kisses pushed up against the wall
  • This Thing We Do
  • Spanking, Paddling, Caning 
  • Making love as often as possible
  • Finding joy in pleasing my husband
  • Lap sitting 
  • Renewed interest in corsets and stockings
  • Flogging for pleasure
  • Butt plugs and anal play
  • Spooning with Sam's hand on my bottom
  • Skyrocket orgasms
  • Creative uses for kitchen implements
  • Riding in the truck with my hand on Sam's thigh
  • New favorite genre of reading for pleasure
  • Appreciation of leather in a whole new way
  • Conversions of former sweater drawers into toy boxes
  • Writing for a new purpose and personal satisfaction
  • Friends who understand me for who I really am
  • Realization of my own potential for happiness

Life has changed for me in ways I would never have dreamed possible.  Sam and I spend more time on all the pleasures that ttwd has brought to us.  Our old hobbies are still with us and we love them as much as ever.  But time seems to pass differently now.  The reality of who we have become and that we have carved a secret relationship for ourselves makes us look forward to every moment together.  Best of all, our new "hobbies" fill our lives with meaning and joy. 


    

I remembered a quote from the ancient poet, Ovid, that always made me think of the importance of celebrating what makes one an individual.

                    "In our leisure we reveal

                   what kind of people we are."

                     TTWD makes me one of the happy people. 


            
    


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Ella Turns Two!





These days I would rather ignore birthdays.  The years fly by way too fast, and the number connected to each year I have been alive is getting harder to face.  But I don't mind telling you at all that Ella Ever After is turning 2 years old!  TTWD is older than that because Sam and I introduced it into our relationship quite a while before I came upon Meredith and this circle of bloggers.  Before there was my blog.






Just like a young child is still egocentric and the center of his own little universe, Sam and I had no understanding of our place in this new life.  It was just the two of us, stranded on a deserted island.  I knew there were women out there like me, but I had no personal connection to any of them.  My internet browsing took me mostly to fictional stories and a few articles.  It fed my need, but it was also very lonely. 





The women (and a few guys) I have come to know through blogging are some of the smartest, most sensitive friends I have ever had.  I have met some of them in person, but I am referring here to ALL the readers I have come to know.  True individuals with unique personalities that shine through in their posts and their comments.  All friends.  All searching for their own fulfillment through ttwd and recognizing the honest truth that they need spanking in their lives .  A very special circle of women.


  

The blog, the writing, has helped me grow - in fact, I think it has made both Sam and I grow.  Instead of feeling isolated, I began to develop a sense of autonomy and self-determination.  I could identify with other bloggers, but became more comfortable with the way Sam and I approached ttwd.  Our differences.  I could feel genuine in my own skin.  Sam and I did not need to fit into someone else's mold.  Our roles began to feel more natural, like we had finally discovered what made me feel female and what made him feel male.  That is very important to us.




It is the writing and the communication with other women like me that has made me feel empowered.  Of course, we would continue with ttwd despite my writing or not.  But sometimes when I am struggling to compose a post for my blog, I realize that it is this exercise that makes me introspective.  Makes me keep striving to be the best I can be.  Like a child slowly matures from being solely a concrete thinker into exploring abstract concepts, I have come to know myself better.





So to me, the work I have put into 120 some posts over the last 2 years has been so much more than just finding a friend or understanding others' experiences on their ttwd journeys.  The writing has given me an insight into my own heart and mind that would never have happened if I had not begun to articulate how this new life works for us and the gift of a renewal with the man I love so dearly.   

                       I am very glad I chose the blogname of 
                                        Ella Ever After.

                It still fits just as well as when I wrote my first post.

                             Dreams do come true, you know.  
                           You just have to take that first step.  


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Wake Up Call




Wednesday morning is meeting day at work.  Early!  The doctor for whom I work is ready to start the meeting promptly at 7:30 am.  She is a great boss but frowns on late arrivals.  That's OK with me; I hate people who are always "running late."  Anyway, my colleagues know if Ella is late, something big went wrong.  Send out the cavalry.




On top of our regular meeting, this last Wednesday, there was also the initial meeting for the annual audit of the medical records I maintain for my doctor.  The sponsor who comes is contracted by a huge medical organization out of Washington DC.  Although I had spent weeks in preparation, there is always a nervous current running through me until we conclude the audit 3 days later.



I was up early as usual but did not let myself sit down at the computer to read posts or write blogging friends.  My dad tended to use some military jargon when we were kids, and he really was the commanding officer at our house.  If Dad said to, "Hit the shower," you damn well better hustle.  I still use that term myself, and this particular morning I hit the shower early.  Meeting at 07:30!



My work is complicated, and I can only tell you that the federal regulations that govern the medical records I work with are similar to the IRS tax code!  I went over everything in my head as the hot water pounded on my shoulders.  Once I was dried, deodorized, lotioned, and powdered, I stepped out of the shower room and bent over to towel my hair, still preoccupied with my thoughts. 



I surely did not hear Sam come up in back of me.

"Good morning, Lady," he said, and I grabbed my heart from being so startled.  

"My god, Sam, you scared the hell out of me!"

Since I had no clothes on yet, he just smiled and stopped to hold me.  Then his hands slid down my back and landed on my bottom.

"You are so beautiful," he murmured and paused.  "You know what I was thinking?"

I was fairly sure I did.

He continued, "I was thinking it has been a while since I have seen your pretty pink butt."




                                      "Oh, really?" I smiled.

"Yes, really," he answered and took my hand as he led me back into the bedroom.  Sam sat on the edge of the bed and pulled me over his knee and across the bed.  It was definitely a happy spanking, but with my bottom still damp from the shower, it seemed not quite as sweet as usual.  I alternated between giggles and protests.

Now this kind of spanking is what makes me the happiest woman in the world, but being on time for the meeting kept popping up in  my head as Sam kept popping my bottom.  The sting was building very nicely. 




                    "I love a pink butt in the morning," he teased.  

Well, hell, so do I, but yesterday I could have walked in a few minutes late and it wouldn't have mattered one iota.  Not so today. 

"Ouch!  Sam, I have a meeting today.  Ouch!"

"Well then, I will have to spank a little faster," was his answer.  His hand upped its pace and power.

"Ow!  I have to sit through 2 meetings!" I complained.

"Mmmm, better take a cushion."
 



" I will be thinking of you all through the meetings.  Damn!  Not so hard,"  and this time there was a bit of whining in my voice.

"Only through the meetings, you say?  I want you thinking of me all day long,"  he countered.  

"Yes, I will!  Ouch!  Yes, I promise!"

Then there was some lovely rubbing going on before he gently pulled me up.  We stood there in each other's arms for a minute.  I stepped back just far enough to look into his eyes.  He was looking into mine as well.  I don't think I need to tell you what was on both our minds.  Shit!  I cannot wait for retirement. 

                  I smiled and said, "Hi-ho, hi-ho.  It's off to work I go."




He just laughed and patted my bottom.  I am fairly sure that I came off prepared and intelligent for the blasted meetings, but my mind kept wandering.  

                                Pink is such a warm color 

                           when you wear it on your bottom, 

                    and I surely did remember Sam all day long.




Sunday, April 23, 2017

Ella's Bookshelf - Finding Home




Whenever I dig into a new cowboy story, it takes me back in time to when I first loved cowboys.  By the time I was 7 years old, I was a tough little cowgirl with a set of gorgeous ivory-handled Mattel pistols and a real leather holster slung on my hips.  I would practice drawing my guns just like the cowboys on TV.  Even if I wasn't the fastest gun in the West, I was certainly the fastest gun on my block.  Who remembers roll caps?!


  

Had a suede leather jacket with fringe like Annie Oakley and a real coonskin cap like Davy Crockett.  Goofy outfit, I know, but I thought I was the epitome of cool.  On any given night, I had the whole ensemble on just to watch one of my favorite cowboy shows on the huge black and white console TV in our living room.


  

           And there were so many big, handsome cowboys!

             Cheyenne,  Have Gun Will Travel, The Cisco Kid, 
                 Wyatt Earp, Rawhide, Gunsmoke, Sugarfoot,
                  Davy Crockett, The Lone Ranger, Maverick, 
              The Rifleman, Wanted Dead or Alive, Bonanza, 
                    Paladdin, Jim Bowie, and Bat Masterson 


Don't think any of these characters spanked, but I vividly remember John Wayne spanking Maureen O'Hara in the western movie McLintockThe spanking was really the only redeeming factor in that whole movie, as far as I was concerned.  Not one of my favorite westerns. 


 

Sunny has written many a favorite cowboy story and I believe I have read every one - some books more than once.  For your information, I do not wear a coonskin cap anymore, but I am as avid about my library of Leigh Smith books as I was about my TV cowboys.  

Title:  Finding Home                                                   

Author:  Leigh Smith

Themes:  Fidelity, Home, 
                Life Choices, Trust

 Main Characters:

  • Sally Jenkins - a hard working young woman who does more than her share on the family ranch.  Sally runs the Double JJ ranch with her brother, Dixon, since her father retired.  Together they breed cutting horses.

  • Cade Collier - has been Dixon's best friend since childhood, and Sally has had a crush on him since she was a young girl.  Cade is a very handsome man who leaves Claremont after winning a modeling contract that leads to a career in Hollywood.  At times he is insufferably full of himself.  He always believed that Sally's heart belonged to him no matter what.

  • Jake Raymond - the son of a millionaire rancher, Jake has a spread of his own in the Hill Country of Texas.  He meets Sally at a rodeo in which he is competing.  At first he is interested in purchasing several of the Double JJ Ranch horses, but soon realizes he is quite taken with Sally herself.

  • Dixon and Betty Jenkins - Sally's brother and his wife both live on the Double JJ.  Dixon is not only an experienced rancher, he is also a rodeo rider.  He is an easy-going guy who is used to the fireworks between Sally and Cade.


  • Mandy Baxter - the manipulative, trouble-making daughter of the long time ranch manager.  She comes to town when her father is injured.  The author sums up this character well when she writes that Mandy was, "a perennial pain in the ass."

Setting:  the Double JJ Ranch in present day 
               near the town of Claremont, Texas.
   




It is my observation that even books told from a third person point of view usually spend more time in the mind of just one of the main characters.   Finding Home is definitely Sally's story.  The book is a clever twist on the standard western romance, as well.  Sally is headstrong and independent, but you soon realize she is searching for a lasting relationship with a strong man.  The author makes this story special by providing the heroine with two dominant men.  And they both spank!  The book's title is a clever way to invite the reader to be part of Sally's quest to find her home and her heart.




The theme of fidelity runs all through this story.  We are quickly introduced to Cade whom Sally has loved since she was young.  He has always professed his love for her, but Sally does not care to be a part of Cade's Hollywood life.  He seems to take for granted that she will always be there, and Sally doubts his careless on and off attention.  He is a generous man and tries to do good with his money, but it is difficult at times to feel he is sincere.  Sally admires his project to help neglected kids, but ends up feeling used.  




When she meets Jake, she sees him as someone who shares her values and her goals in life.  Although Jake wants to take that next step in a lasting relationship, we learn that he finds it difficult to trust.  The first woman he ever loved was unfaithful, and he is reluctant to give his heart again.  There is a hesitation, and Sally knows that, "...trust is the cornerstone of any relationship."  But, good god, the spanking and the sex between these two is electric.




One of my favorite parts of the book is the first time Jake visits the Double JJ.  Sally is by herself helping deliver a foal in the barn.  Jake stands in the shadows and watches, fascinated by the love she has for her horse, Jenny.  Beautifully written.  This story is full of duality, and I was really impressed with the way it was used to give Finding Home a unique structure.  Normally her brother, Dixon, would have been there to help with the birth of the colt, but he leaves it to Sally because his wife is in labor and they are joyfully off to the hospital.  It is a lovely parallel, and the author repeats this theme throughout, right down to the name of the ranch!




Sally's own feelings are torn when Cade seems to finally show he is changing, and she admits, "..a small crack opened the door to her heart." But Jake doesn't give up easily and is always there to catch her when she needs someone.  The whole "loving two different men" premise adds a human and sexual tension to the story that you don't see much in this genre.  In the end, it is fidelity that gives Sally the clarity of sight to decide between the two men, and she finds that home is truly where her heart is. 


  




Sunday, April 16, 2017

Cherished



Just a week ago, Sam and I celebrated another wedding anniversary.  So many memories and so many years.  When we look back at that day, I cannot believe how young we were.  Sam had just turned 21, and I was still 20.  My dress was from a beautiful Vogue pattern, and my dear aunt sewed it for me with so much love.  Sam wore a new suit and looked so handsome.  There were all the trimmings of a traditional wedding.  Carefully chosen music.  Spring flowers with lots of baby's breath.  My youngest sister as my flower girl.  A veil over my long hair as my crazy, wonderful father walked me down the aisle.  Family and friends filling the chapel.




But I really was only focused on one thing.  It was Sam's face as I walked those last steps to the altar.  He had such a big grin on his face, and his eyes were on me alone.  I do remember us loving each other so fiercely that the rest of the world sort of faded into the background like a blurry photograph.  That feeling that we had forever.




Then there were the vows we spoke to one another.  It was a generation when feminism was coming into its own, and young women were burning their bras.  Did not join in that activity then, and now, at my age, I shudder to think of life without a bra!  However, I rather doubt either Sam or I included "obey" in our vows that day.  After all, we were a thoroughly modern couple.




Historians believe that the origin of wedding vows came from Roman times and through them became part of the medieval church of England.  Of course, there are passages in the Bible and other religious books about submission of a wife to her husband and a husband's duties to his wife.  But "obey" is not the only vow in early marriage ceremonies.  "Love" is, of course, the most constant of the words we hear between couples, even between couples who choose to write their own vows.  Common promises also include to honor, to worship, to respect, to protect, to have and to hold.




There is one more vow that we probably said that wedding day long ago.  That one is to "cherish."  At the time I certainly don't think either of us gave any thought as to what that word really meant.  We were young and in love and that was enough for us.  It is a pretty little verb and still is.  




Defined as:
- to protect and care for someone lovingly
- to adore, hold dear, be devoted to
- to revere, hold in high esteem, keep safe
- to treasure, look after, feel special love for

Until about 4 years ago in our long marriage, I don't think I ever thought about the word nor understood that "cherish" could be a part of the love Sam and I share.  We have loved each other for decades now, and we thought that was the most any couple could hope for.  There were so many other people we knew that split up and divorced.  We were the lucky ones. 


And then we took our first steps into the relationship we now call This Thing We Do.  Thought I would spell out those little letters that have an awesome power to bring us such happiness.  When I wrote our "Chapter One" and talked to Sam about how I wanted spanking to be in our lives, I had no idea of where it would take us; I just knew that I had yearned to be spanked for my whole life long. TTWD has changed and evolved over these last few years into an intense love and closeness.  As far as we can understand it, we found that by letting me be as female as I wanted to be was followed by Sam finding his most masculine self.  To revel in the yin and yang of this life.




And now we both know what that word means that we spoke and vowed to each other.  Sam makes me feel cherished each and every day.  In the way he holds out his hand for me to come sit with him.  When we are out of the house and he puts his hand gently on the small of my back.  When he draws me to him as we are working next to each other in the kitchen.  Holding open the door or holding my hand no matter where we are or who is there.  The little tap on my backside on his way through a room.  When he asks about my driving and holding my temper and hugs me so hard when I have remembered his words all through my day.  And the smile on his face when I follow his lead.  When he writes or calls to tell me he loves me.  How he likes to hear me laugh.  When he spanks and gifts me with an orgasm that shoots me straight out of this world for a few moments.  When he pulls me over to spoon each night and tells me I am the most beautiful woman in the world.




As we count the ever growing number of candles on our birthday cakes and the years that tick by in our marriage, there are so many opportunities to complain about getting older.  But then I think of how I feel now, how cherished Sam makes me feel, and I really don't think that I would trade this feeling for youth.  It has taken many years for me to understand that those old-fashioned vows of "obey" and "cherish" are so much more than pretty words you recite standing at the altar.  They are the pillars that give us the greatest joy we have ever known. 




     

Friday, April 7, 2017

Heading Down the Wrong Road






Good golly, I surely do love vacations.  The days prior to a trip are chock full of endless lists of tasks and happy anticipation.  I so enjoy this part of preparing for a holiday.  Please see below for a whole post about me and pre-trip excitement titled,

                     "Tell Me About the Rabbits, George."

So much to do!  Both of us stay busy.
  • Arrange for house sitter and dog care.
  • Stock fridge and make up guest bed.
  • Check on any car service needed.  Gas up.
  • Confirm reservations - hotels, airlines.
  • Catch up on laundry - pull out suitcases.
  • Pack clothing appropriate to trip activities.
  • Organize medications and toiletry items.
  • Assemble travel documents and maps.
  • Snacks for car and airline trips.
  • Determine amount of cash needed.  Bank errand.
  • Get caught up at work.
 




Now, I will admit that I sometimes go too far.  Sam loves for me to be excited, just not possessed.  He also heartily endorses a "preemptive strike" to remind me who is really in charge on a trip.  You see, Sam would never spank me in a hotel, although we have played rough with the prior understanding that I keep any protestations buried in a pillow.  But he likes to remind me about bossiness, telling him how to drive, losing my temper.  You know - all the regular stuff.  This timely reminder happens OTK or OTB.  Sam insists this a discussion because I am required to voice my assent at certain points during his pep talk.





So at the start of any vacation - car or plane, short or extended, I am the picture of the submissive wife.  Sweet, agreeable, careful not to offer my opinion when it is not requested, patient with poor service at a restaurant, eager to please Sam in every way.  My god, my halo is shined so bright, you would need sunglasses just to stand next to me! 




Now, I don't know about how the rest of you do when away from home, but as for me, that glistening halo can begin to tarnish and slip to the side as the our pleasant leisure days pass by. 




           Little comments take on a more opinionated tone.

"Well, I think it would be better to gas up the night before, Hon."

                           Impatience can creep back in.

    "It's just dumb to waste time waiting.  Maybe you should ask."

                    Giving directions to Sam unnecessarily.

                 "You probably need to clean the windshield
                            next time we stop for gas."

                        "You need to turn at the next light."

       "Be sure you are careful of the breakables when you pack."

                  See What I Mean?   Good god, Ella, just shut up!
                          You Sound Like the Garmin Bitch.... 




When I was a kid, my dad played the soundtrack to Music Man until I knew all the lyrics by heart.  There is a song I remember called "Pick-A-Little, Talk-A-Little."  I think about those words when I start to get like this.  But many times, even though I hear myself heading down the wrong road, I do not stop.





                                        " Pick a little, talk a little, 
                       Pick a little, talk a little,
                    Cheep cheep cheep, talk a lot,
                           pick a little more..."

We were quite tired when we arrived home.  By the next morning I was in full domestic swing to set the house to rights ASAP.  So much to do before I returned to work.  Answers were short and curt.  The final straw was gum in the washing machine and dryer!  When Sam came home at lunchtime, I was in "Super Bitch" mode.  Hardly spoke.  Sam noticed right away.  

                                            Ya think?




Very soon Sam appeared in the doorway.  Hands on his hips and very quiet, too.  I couldn't even look at him.  Then he said we needed to address several issues, especially my temper.  He came over and took my hand, and we walked to the bedroom.  I stood by the bed as he opened the bottom drawer of the chest.  This wasn't going to be a happy spanking, and he laid Mr. Paddle on the bed and unzipped my jeans.




"You know what to do," was all he said.

But Sam had plenty to say once he began.  He went point by point starting with the instances where I thought it necessary to tell him what to do, especially in front of others.  When he progressed to the subject of temper, the intensity with which the paddle was being applied went up a several notches.  

The tears started, and I truly wish I could tell you that they were sad and sorry ones.  Instead, they were tears of anger, and I resisted submission both mentally and physically.  Sam wasn't having it and continued.


  

Even at my age, sometimes I do not understand where my anger comes from.  It has always been that way for me from my earliest memories.  This character flaw was not appreciated by my parents, the nuns at Catholic school, or public school principals when I escaped the blue catechism at age 9.  Guess you would have called me "scrappy."  I certainly didn't hesitate to start a physical fight, even with boys.  You could find me standing outside the principal's office starting about age 6.  The fighting finally stopped when I was close to 12 years old.





Today, I think one of my biggest triggers is when I perceive that someone or something is wasting my time.  That drives me freaking berserk!  Sam will just lean back, sigh, and wait patiently.  The Mount St. Ella will belch smoke for only so long before she blows. He knows how I might very well react  and helps me to deal with instances when they happen.  Sometimes, with just a gentle hand on my arm, and sometimes with a much more aggressive hand on my bottom.




I don't know how long he spanked, but when he finally let me up, I think he knew the anger was still bubbling inside me.  The capitulation hadn't happened yet.  It has been a very long time, maybe as much as a year, since he has told me to stand in the corner, but that is what he chose to do.

It only took about 2 minutes of deep breathing before things started to make sense.  Before I knew for sure that I had really screwed up.  Why does this happen when we are away from home?  Why is
it like being caught in a vortex?  If Sam is a competent man at home, isn't he still competent when we travel?  By the time Sam came back in the room, the anger had evaporated.  I was left with a sore bottom, but I also knew I needed to apologize.  Why do things seem so much simpler post spanking?  Where does my anger go? While Sam hugged me, he asked so many questions with just one single word, 

                                         "Better?"

Finally I could talk and now the tears were falling because I wanted to say I was sorry.  There is never any question of being forgiven.  All the hard feelings disappear, the connection is back, and this ttwd life we have chosen is reset.




Wish I had answers to all the questions I have posed in this post, but I am glad I wrote about this.  The problem seems to creep up pretty regularly when we are away from home, and I revert to an Ella that I never liked that much.  Maybe the key to this ttwd travel glitch is to find a way for me to deescalate without the spanking when we are on the road.  A metaphorical "corner" of the world where my only task is to let the bossiness and anger go.  What if Sam just whispered in my ear and said, "Let's take a walk," or "We are going back to the hotel for a bit," or "You need to sit with me in the truck for a little while."  What if all it took was for me to stay absolutely silent for 15 minutes no matter where we were? 

It is embarrassing for me to admit to traits like bossiness and my temper.  Perhaps it is the structure that ttwd gives to our relationship that seems to break down when we are out for an extended period of time in the big, wide world.  It would help me to know if there are others who face this same challenge. 

                   "And though she be but little, she is fierce."

                                    A Midsummer Night's Dream    

  
'The lady doth protest too much, methinks'