Friday, December 19, 2014


This morning I had the strangest dream.  D and I were visiting this house in the country.  I’ve seen this house before, either on TV or in a magazine.  The visit was uneventful and we then moved on to some sort of school building, but inside of it was a swamp.  D got in a boat and started rowing while I swam in the clear blue water around it.  Sky, our dog, was there exploring, apart from us.  We saw gigantic sleeping frogs but it was soon time to leave.  I held on to the boat while D steered and got out of the water at the door.  I then called Sky who took a while to get to me.  As I turned to scold her for taking so long I realized her back legs were missing.  I looked over where she had been and there were alligators on a sand bar.  No one had told us the area was dangerous!  I gathered her into my arms and held her in my lap, while I called for D.  I could feel her slipping away even as she gently licked my face.

When I woke myself up my heart was beating a mile a minute.  When I went downstairs and called her to me she put her head to my chest and just kept pushing into me.  I swear she knew what I dreamed and how sorry I was that she was dying in my sleep.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

My Thoughts on Ferguson

I wish I had the whole file on Michael Brown and the police officer who shot him.  I keep reading news stories and editorials and they all have different opinions.  I’d love to know what exactly happened.  Everything I write today is about what I have read.  I was not there.              
             The latest editorial I read was about the number of black men shot by white policemen and how it compares to the number of people shot in Britain, which is apparently very low.  My question to the writer would be this, Are the police officers treated differently in Britain than they are here?  And, Do the Brits have the same sense of entitlement that Americans do?  Do the parents in Britain go off on their children’s teachers when the kids misbehave at school?  I don’t think that’s asking too much.  I have a feeling that Britain’s children are brought up very differently than American children.  Do the Brits spank their children; teach them right from wrong and to respect authority?  Because I have to believe they do.  Lack of respect for authority is ingrained in our children from a very young age.  I believe it has to do with single parent households with no strong male figure to enforce rules and set a good example on how to treat people. 

My dad was a fair man.  He was not a violent man.  I was lucky to have two parents in my home to raise me up.  My mom was the nurturer.  My dad was the provider.  They loved me and I knew it even when I told them they didn’t.  I was a rebellious teenager, yet I knew that they were teaching me the right lessons.  I got into trouble, but I never tried to wrestle with a police officer.  I never did something wrong in front of someone and pretend I didn’t.  When I got caught I knew I was caught.  I didn’t fight it.  Why do today’s youth think they can fight it, that it is their right to fight it?  We had the Beastie Boys fighting for their right to party and we still knew that when we were told to stop we had to actually stop.  Maybe it’s the culture. 
I hate to say it’s a black and white thing, because I feel that if a black police officer fired on a white criminal, it wouldn’t be as big as the Michael Brown case.  Michael stole something before he was shot.  Michael was warned before he got shot.  Michael was supposed to start college this past fall.  He was smarter than he was acting, apparently.  Why didn’t he stop when he was told?  Why did he advance on the officer?  I’m sorry.  If it were my son I would be devastated too, but he was wrong to do what he did.  What about the officer?  I can’t imagine shooting someone, much less killing them.  Of course they are trained to fire, but it still has to have a major emotional impact.
The other thing I hate to read about is how Martin Luther King Jr. would have condoned the riots after the hearing.  I’d think he would not have liked it at all.  The riots afterwards were anything but peaceably assembling to make a statement.  Another boy was killed during the riots.  I wonder if he would still be alive had the riots not happened.
What happened in Ferguson should be a lesson to us all.  Respect others, respect authority, be honest, and take responsibility.  Treat others as you want to be treated.  Think before you act.  If we all did this, instead of trying to be better (stronger, smarter, faster, etc.) than everyone else, then I think we would be a stronger nation.  We all would be better for it, no matter what our color.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

And The Oscar Goes To...

I know all one of you are waiting with baited breath to see how my audition went.  Well, I almost didn’t go.  I was sitting at home and had turned on a movie.  I had just finished vacuuming and washing the floor, when I thought to myself “Why bother?”  It wasn’t like me and a group of friends were going to try out.  I wasn’t letting anyone down by not being there – except myself.  Plus, I don’t think I could make myself do another thing if I did not do this, so I threw on my Emerald Isle sweatshirt and pulled on my Osiris sneakers (my confident “I am me” outfit) and grabbed my keys. 

I got to the audition with a few minutes to spare and walked in looking to see if there was anyone I knew.  There was!  One of the ladies I was in Fiddler with was there as well as the rabbi from Fiddler.  That kind of loosened me up a little.  Plus the piano player from several of the plays I’ve been in was there.  That was comforting because she introduced me to the director as my character from Fiddler.  As you can probably tell, I loved doing “Fiddler on the Roof”.  I really did.

They had us fill out forms with our information on it and what parts we wanted – character, chorus, or both?  I hemmed and hawed because I went for chorus but since I was there I decided to read for a part too.  What could it hurt?  I picked up one of the character’s lines and started reading through so I would be able to read it coherently on stage.  It’s really weird reading a small part of a play that you know nothing about because you have no idea where they are coming from or what they are trying to impart to their audience.  After I read someone else read another character that referenced the one I read and I was like “Ohhhhh, that’s why she sounds the way she does!” 

After I read I had to sing my “go to” song – which is “If I Only Had a Brain” from the Wizard of Oz”.  I think it was pretty good and I belted it out there – which is a big thing in the theatre, since they don’t normally use microphones.  At least in the plays I’ve been in they don’t.  When I finished I went back to my seat and curled myself into the smallest ball I possibly could.  Don’t ask me why.  I know I sang well, and everyone clapped, but for some reason I just get all self-conscious and collapse into myself.

We read a couple more times, trying different characters and then we were done.  Then the waiting began.  I kept checking my email but there was nothing.  All sorts of things went through my head – was the next day’s auditions better?  Was my singing that bad?  What if they don’t get in touch with me at all to even let me know I wasn’t picked?  What if I do get a part? What will I do then?  How can I memorize all that?

A week later, almost to the day, I get a phone call from the director.  She asks me if I would like to be in the chorus.  I tell her yes.  She tells me that practice will probably begin in December sometime.  I tell her ok.  She says she is looking forward to working with me.  I tell her I’m looking forward to being in this play.  We hang up.  I’m super glad that I got in, but a little disappointed I didn’t get a speaking role.  Even if I was offered one I could turn it down, but I didn’t get the chance. I think that’s part of my neurosis, because like I said, I only wanted a chorus part.  I read for a role as a lark.  But part of me…  Well, I guess part of me wants to be a star.  A supporting star, but a star nonetheless.

All in all, it went well and I’m happy to be part of this group.  I’m looking forward to making new friends and working with old ones, and singing and being part of something bigger than the little world I’ve carved out for myself.




Thursday, November 6, 2014

Longing to Play...

I’m auditioning for a play on Saturday.  It has some musical parts, but I don’t think it’s a “true” musical.  I’ve been in my share of musicals – not a lot, but a couple.  Starting in grade school I was a flying monkey in “The Wizard of Oz” and the train conductor in “The Music Man”.  I was a nun in “The Sound of Music”.  I loved being in plays, dressing up, putting on makeup, but most of all, being part of a group.  I wish I had tried out for “Oliver” in 7th grade.  At that point in my short career I realized I was drifting away from my friends, and I just couldn’t face it at the time.

Once I graduated from High School I thought plays were behind me.  My life was my boyfriend and college, then my job and my baby.  I tried writing, and I actually wrote a play.  I sent it out (to several publishers) and received one reply.  I can’t remember the wording but all I read was “not good enough”.  When my daughter was old enough to hang out with my best friend I tried out for “Where’s Charley?” through a community group.  To my surprise I got a bit part with a bit of almost solo singing!  It was so much fun to be part of the group again.  No one needed to know me, they just needed to know that I would be there and play my part.  I could be whoever I wanted to be on and off the stage.  After the final curtain fell so did the tears.  I would miss these people, these times.

Several years after that I auditioned for “Colorplay”.  It was a play with actors ranging from small child to elder adult.  I don’t remember much from that experience except this – my daughter was in it with me.  She had a good time but it was because there were other kids there with her to goof off with.  I did not have a good time because I was constantly monitoring my child as well as the other kids whose parents just dropped them off.  I decided that I would never work with children again. 

The last play I was in was “Fiddler on the Roof”.  I loved this play.  Besides the music the actors were great!  The story line was beautiful, annndddddd I had a real role!  I was grandma Tzeitel!  I had a solo!  I was a dead grandma in a dream sequence but I stole the stage for a brief moment and it was awesome!  All eyes were on me and they loved me!

              That was over ten years ago.  I tried out for a regular play this past spring.  I didn’t get a call back.  They had their regular players.  Once in the room with them I could tell they had previous relationships.  I tried, I read with the emotion and precision the character needed, but I knew walking out that I wasn’t getting a call back.  I’m hoping that when I audition this weekend that I’ll see some new faces as well as some familiar ones. 

All I want is a chorus part.  I want to be part of the cast.  I want the feeling of creating something bigger than all of us.  I want the grueling practices, the grumbling about the director.  I want the feeling of elation when we finally harmonize and keep going and finish with amazing clarity.  I want the butterflies and the dry mouth that comes before the show, the comradery where we look out for each other.  And then when we hear the opening score, and the audience settles in their seats and the lights go down and the curtain goes up and all of a sudden you are there.  You are just there.  I want that feeling in my chest at the end of the show where I feel like I love the world and it will never end.  I want that.  I miss that.  I need that.

The song I’ve chosen to sing a Capella for my audition is “If I Only Had a Brain” from The Wizard of Oz.  I was trying to find something more modern, from a more recent play, but this one has been rolling around in my brain for days and it needs to be sung, so sing it I will.  Now I’m going to try to break a leg…

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Novel November - continued

I'm keeping these short but I feel like sharing.  First of all, one of the ladies on google+ shared this postcard the other day and it's given me the nudge to get moving on my novel:

Last night I cracked open my thumb drive and got reacquainted with my characters.  It was a reunion!  I forgot how much I liked them, and I recalled some of the plans that I had for them, and I was horrified by the amount of time that I had kept them locked up!  Over a year has passed since I started working with them.  I can't believe I was so neglectful! 

I have decided I am going to try to visit with them every day - whether it is to continue writing the novel or to flesh out the characters a little more - I am going to make room for them in my life. 

Yes I want to write a novel!
I have three thousand words today.
I am committing me to write
A few words most every night
and maybe some dur-ring the day...

That's all I have for now! 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Novel November

Why did I just hear about this, this year?  Well, I'm dusting off the novel and continuing.  I thought I could write it to 90's alternative because I feel good and creative but it's not working, so I'm going to go to my trusted and true Wallflowers cd if I can find it.  Wish me luck brothers and sisters, I really need to get this novel up and running.  So many ideas and now I have to get them to work!  

Monday, October 27, 2014

Barbie Vs. Meth

Another Barbie drama…

Ok, we’ve heard it all before – Barbie is bad for body image.  For anyone, but especially for girls.  I played with Barbie when I was a kid.  I loved taking her and her friends and Ken outside in her camper and creating worlds of stories that entertained me AND my brother and sister for hours.  Yes, my brother played Barbie with us.  There was no way he couldn’t – we were thrown out of the house together every day and there was no one else to play with except his sisters.  He was cool about it.  We would play with them in the backyard, in the woods, in the flower beds.  Barbie had great outdoor adventures, and when it rained we hung out in our bedroom and played there – turning bookcases into mansions.  We nailed blocks of wood together and covered it with old carpeting to make custom furniture for her.  Old boxes, Breyer horses, milk cartons, etc.  We reused and recycled before it was the thing to do.  Even the pets came into play.  Cats and dogs were monsters we played around. 

One thing Barbie did not do was throw up or binge eat.  We did get her pregnant a few times, by Darth Vader – not Ken, but she was just a regular girl with some good friends.  Barbie did not give me an eating disorder and I suspect this rings true with a lot of girls.  She did not skew my body image.  No, I learned my bad body images at school, music videos, and people who thought it helpful to point out that I was chubby or pleasantly plump.  These images and phrases can bring fresh pain if I let it, but I am not going to let it today.

I defend Barbie.  Yes, she’s pretty, she dresses well, has every accessory under the sun and has lots of great friends.  Barbie can be a stay at home mom or she could be a doctor.  The thing is, Barbie could be anything.  She could out deal Walter White because Barbie excels in everything she does, and if he tried to shoot her and stuff her in his duffle bag that his doll comes with, well I’m pretty sure she would be able to wrestle the gun away and take him down like a good cop would, because Barbie would make one damn tough cop.  I’m sure she could even eat a doughnut or two without gaining an ounce.

I think the mom who did the on-line petition was justified in her actions.  We need more figures like Barbie and less heroes like White.  I think it’s too bad that people are lashing out against her for it.  I also think they are idiots if they want their kids to play with a meth dealing doll.  Lots of great imagination-play right there.  Maybe they’ll be able to get a chemistry set and create their own meth recipes.  If you have no clue what I’m talking about check this out:

            And for the record, I do have body image issues.  They came from the girls in my class and the classic “you know you’re fat when” tests.  The one I remember was if you put your legs together and you can’t see daylight between your crotch and thighs.  Then you were fat.  I was also told by a boy I had a crush on that I was pear shaped.  It just sounded bad.  Barbie had nothing to do with it.  I was beyond her at that point.

            Let’s cut the doll a break.  I really don’t think she’s as evil as a lot of people would want one to believe.  And let’s not buy our children meth making dolls this holiday season.  It just seems very, very wrong.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Crossword Puzzles

             I do love crossword puzzles.  If I’m bored and there is one nearby I am on that puzzle!  As long as they are easy I am happy.  I love totally finishing one without having to look up clues.  The satisfaction of seeing it finished correctly makes me want to wave it in the air and brag to all my non-puzzle loving friends.  They won’t get it.  You do, if you love your puzzle.  It doesn’t have to be crossword.  It has to be something you need to complete, though. 
The empty puzzle calls to me – “fill me in!” it cries plaintively.  My trusty pencil in my hand, sharp, but not too sharp to rip the paper as I start my small printing of letters.  Slightly lighter on the clues that I’m not too sure of, just in case I need to erase.  Newspaper doesn’t take too kindly to erasing.  It usually smudges pretty dark. 
I used to carry a puzzle book with me wherever I went. I kept it in my purse, or sometimes in the glove compartment of the car.  When my daughter got old enough she would sneak it away and do puzzles of her own.  She likes the word search mags and books.  When she was locked up I would send them to her so she would have something to do with her brain while she figured out where her life was going. 
Yes, when I need to unwind, to take advantage of quiet time but can’t sit still, I’ll take that crossword puzzle.  I will take it and I will rule it!!!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Wrong Number

Several weeks ago I got home from work and listened to the messages on my answering machine.  There were several from the same person, and at first I couldn’t understand her.  She had a very strong Brooklyn accent, and although I grew up with those accents, coming from an unfamiliar voice made it a little less decipherable.  I did decipher it, however, and this woman was calling from a hospital, where she had just been admitted, and wanted her friend to call her back as soon as she got the message.

 I ended up calling her and explaining to her who I was and why I was calling.  I told her if she gave me the name of her friend I would look up the number for her so she could get her to come visit her.  She said “But this is the number I call her at all the time!”, then she recited my phone number.  I told her that it was mine and I would help her find her friend if she would like.  She finally decided she could be wrong and gave me the name.  I looked it up and she was one number off.  I read it to her and she got quiet and then she apologized.  I told her it wasn’t a problem.  I just wanted to help.  Wishing her a speedy recovery, we hung up.

This has happened to me before.  Not the messages but a wrong number caller.  There’s a little old lady who had a stroke some time ago, in the next town over, who calls once in a while.  Her eye site is going and she can’t see the numbers so well.  Sometimes she’ll ask for someone, sometimes she will just start talking.  This is how I learned Robin Williams took his own life.  She called and very quickly told me what she had just seen on CNN, that she couldn’t talk right now, but we would talk later.  Then she said good bye and we hung up.  I didn’t see the point of telling her she had the wrong number.  What good would it have done?

Friday, September 26, 2014

It's A Cat's Life

     My cat is living the life.  He has his own personal doormen, a personal waiter, and someone who will groom him when he allows.  
     He has been so elusive the first eight years of his life that we indulge him now.  
     Cal was hand fed his fifth and sixth week of life as he was given to my daughter on the street and of course I didn't know who to return him to.  He was weaned way too early and he refused a bottle.  I fed him by dipping my finger in formula and letting him lick it off.  This led to a lot of hand biting later on.  It took me a while to connect it to his early feeding.  I thought because of this feeding method that we had to use, that he and I would bond and he'd be my shadow but it didn't turn out that way.  
     He would NEVER let me hold him for more than a minute or two when he was younger.  He wasn't feral, he just didn't want to be touched.  Looking back now we think it could have been allergies.  His skin seemed to bother him a lot.  We've switched cat food now and he's much better.
     Because we had another cat with us before he came in to the picture, he took back seat to her.  She was the queen and she let him know it.  She ruled the bedroom and she was exclusively mine and I was hers.  I tried to get them to get along but it wasn't meant to be.  
     Almost immediately after she died he started getting on the bed with us.  At night he generally cuddles with my boyfriend, but after I fall asleep he lays down on my pillow by my head.  The changes that he has gone through in the last year have been amazing and I've been putting two and two together and I think that we have finally truly bonded.  I think my cat really does love me.  I know I love him, even though he can be a real jerk sometimes.
     It was amazing tonight, after he came in the house, that he let me grab him, flip him over and hold him like a baby.  This lasted about ten minutes and I'm sure to him seemed like an hour.  He's so much more patient with me know and I am so happy to see his character and sweetness instead of feeling attacked and disliked by him.  I miss my other cat terribly, but I'm also grateful for this time with Cal.  His life is a mystery still unfolding before my eyes.

Cal, more relaxed than I have ever seen him!

Saturday, September 13, 2014


This morning I had a nightmare.  I was kidnapped, with the kids and a group from Scouts (I think).  People looked familiar but I had no idea who they were.  The kidnapper was a guy who looked like Joe Montegna.  He was viscous and we were always uncertain if he meant to kill us or not and I was so scared for the kids and we were given plenty of chances to run because the group was a large one but everyone was scared to do anything and I just wanted the kids to be safe and I kept telling them to call 911 when he was planning to take a few of the adults away, including me, but either they didn't have a phone or they just were too scared to.  It was one of those dreams where I couldn't make myself fall asleep afterwards to find out what happens.  I woke up finally after he slit a woman's throat who walked into the encampment as an example of what he would do to the rest of us.  The dream is still so vivid in my mind I feel I've left the kids behind because I won't go back to sleep to rescue them.
Am I losing my mind?  I know my anxiety attacks are back.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Days Like These

It's days like these that I realize out of the 222 friends on Facebook, I have no true, real friend.  I used to have friends that I partied with, then we grew up and apart.  I used to have friends that I worked with, then I moved to an office that doesn't foster friendships and I am alone.  I have a long-term boyfriend, but his views oppose mine and therefore I cannot even cry in front of him because of this.  What should be the happiest time of my life, is becoming a sorrow that I just can't deal with.
My daughter is in jail.  She goes for sentencing soon and is planning on leaving her husband when she is released.  I'm thrilled that she is trying to put her life together - he is the reason she has been in trouble in the last five years.  He is controlling and abusive and if he dropped dead it wouldn't hurt my feelings, in fact I would go to his funeral.  No, the part of all this is losing the kids.  By law, because my daughter is not their natural mother, and because he is a giant douche bag, we will not get visitation.  I want to see the kids and remind them that we love them, but they are being punished, by us, for stealing and are not allowed at the house right now.  My bf won't back down and I haven't asked him to.  It's important for us to follow through.  But their father has them call and ask us if they can come over and when we say no, but let's get together Sunday afternoon, he has them hang up.  The girl is eleven.  She knows what's up and how to survive.  The boy, my heart, my little soul mate, is struggling so hard.  He's trying to please a crooked father by stealing, and yet he knows it's wrong.  Before he hangs up I tell him I love him.  He doesn't answer.  I know he heard me.  I know I'm on speaker phone.  I don't know if his father will let me take them Sunday.  I don't know anything.  All I know is I miss them.  I miss the hugs, the I love you's, the holding my hand, the constant "mema this, mema that, mema can we...".
I don't know what to do.  I can't call my mom because my daughter doesn't want her to know her plans.  I don't want her to tell me what I've done wrong and what she is going to do to fix it.  I just miss those kids and the fun we had and because one asshole doesn't want to deal with them, or wants me to take them so he can party, I will lose any time I can reinforce my love for them.
God this hurts.  I don't know how much more I can take.  I don't understand why God would put these children in my life and me in theirs and then take them away from me and me from them.  I don't get it!  And the worst part is I know they don't understand why I'm not there and I will not have a chance to explain it.
I wish I had someone to talk with about it.  I can't afford counseling and I don't have any friends, not real friends, that want to deal with me and my problems.  I never thought I needed anyone and after getting burned by a couple friends I figured I was better off on my own, but I really need one right now.

Homeless in Hawaii

In a land of beauty, Hawaii is sure looking ugly these days.

Yes, her homeless are defecating in public places.  It’s too bad there are so many that they can’t use a public rest room.  Perhaps Hawaii should address the homeless issue with a little compassion and interest in WHY the high rate, instead of sending its homeless to a dirty deserted island that used to be used as a landfill. 

All of a sudden, at least to me, Hawaii isn’t so pretty anymore.  In fact, it seems downright ugly, unforgiving and unapologetic.  I don’t have all the answers, but it seems to me that as the richest country in the world there should not be homeless people.  And for those people who say that it is a choice I say that it is a choice for the very few.  Most people who are homeless do not choose to live on the street and eat what they find and put their lives in danger.



Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Labor Day Birthday - Something's Got To Change...

Monday was my birthday.  I didn't expect much, maybe a store bought cake or a dinner out without my say in where we were going.  A couple of calls wishing me a happy birthday.  I received none of that.  It was just as well, I didn't feel much like celebrating.
This past weekend was a huge celebration in our town.  There was a foot race, a parade and fireworks and we were involved in all of them.  We had the two kids over and had to keep an eye on them too.  One is extremely boy crazy in a bad way - she's 11 and looks fourteen, and one is a kleptomaniac.
We decided to have a fire in the back yard and make s'mores.  The kids were all excited about it and the klepto loved throwing brush on the fire.  We even put bottles in the fire and were shaping them.  I didn't know one could do that!

The kids were back and forth between our house and the neighbor's and just before we started toasting the neighbor came over asking the kids if they took his phone.  His iPhone.  I patted the klepto down, pulling stuff out of his pockets, relived when I found nothing.  As we were standing there I realized I hadn't checked his back pockets.  When I told him to stand up he wouldn't, and I knew.  I made him stand up, took the phone out of his pocket and took it to our neighbor's house.  Feeling awful for the act of stealing, for his need to steal, and for the fact that it is a compulsion with him and there is NO ONE that will help him stop.  We have been working with him for years and cannot get him to stop.  His parents are thieves.  He sees this.  He watches them get arrested from time to time.  Needless to say, my weekend was ruined.
To have a quiet birthday was nice, just lonely.  I missed the kids.  I missed the cards.  I missed the cake.  My boyfriend was sweet - he got me a card and we watched a movie that I wanted to see.  The thing that hurt the most and does today as well, is that my mom seems to have forgotten my birthday.  She called me in the morning and I answered expecting to hear her say "Happy Birthday Jenny", but she talked about the kids and were they ready for school and how their situation was hard and nothing, not one thing, about my day.  Any other day this would not bother me.  I'm used to it and I let her talk about it because she can't talk about it with anyone else.  But on September 1st I just wanted to scream into the phone - "MOM!  IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!  PAY ATTENTION TO ME!"  I called her at lunch time today and left her a message about what I did yesterday.  She called me back and asked if I could pick the kids up and take them home for her because she didn't feel well.  I told her I would.  When I got to her apartment she still hadn't remembered that she had forgotten.
I realize that I just spent my first birthday without my mother.  When the day comes when she is no longer around I can feel comforted in the fact that it won't be the first birthday without her and that I had survived at least one before that.
I did do one thing on my birthday that I had never done before.  I made my own roasted pasta sauce with veggies from my own garden.  That's why I called her today - to let her know I tried something new.  I miss my mom, even though she's only twelve miles away.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Facebook Drama - It's An Epidemic

It amazes me, the stupidity in this country overcoming common sense and the thirst for knowledge.  The resources we have to search out answers is amazing – not only do we have libraries, but we have the internet that gives us a choice to believe or search and there are a lot of us who would rather not search, even if we don’t believe.  We would rather sit complacently by and share a story rather than find out if it’s true.

What’s my problem today?  Facebook, again.  I wish I could quit it, I really do, but I like the fact that it has kept me in touch with family members that I normally wouldn’t hear from on a day to day basis, and it has reconnected me with friends from long ago.  That said, it makes me realize that some of my friends are more toward the bottom of the food chain.

Recently, an old acquaintance posted about toothpaste and chemicals and color bars.  When I saw it I thought to myself is this true?  And I immediately went in search of an answer.  It wasn’t true and I posted the link in his comments section, hoping that it wouldn’t go further.  Under my post someone swore that they were switching toothpastes.  They couldn’t believe it.  I wanted to comment for them to read the link above them, but I wanted to see how far it would go.  My friend didn’t acknowledge my contribution.  Several people ignored it and then the last person to post said it was a hoax and he liked their comment.  Now I know what I’m dealing with here – he’s a total drama queen that wants to get everyone worked up and then let them know there’s nothing to worry about.  He lives for dramatic comments and fights among his friends that he can monitor, and even though I loved working with him years ago, I’m going to un-friend him.  In fact, I’m going to go through my list and dismiss others as well.  The ones I just don’t talk to, the ones that have “collected” me, I will leave in my internet dust. 

I do have friends who post old Amber Alerts or news stories who don’t check on them before they re-post them.  The most common post is of the two little boys who were abducted somewhere in the middle of the country by their parents.  The headline doesn’t say that though, it just says they were taken.  Every time I click on that story so I can find the link that says they’ve been found.  I then post it to her page and every time I get a Thank God! response from her.  I don’t mind this so much as she’s actually reading what I posted.  Kind of makes me happy that she is considering what I said.

I don’t usually go all ape-shit about expired amber alerts because it puts the fear of God into people and might make them a little more wary for themselves and their children, maybe even their dogs and cats. Who knows?  I like to let them know, though, if they’ve been found, especially if it’s a good ending.

I guess as I get older I don’t worry so much of offending someone with the truth.  I’m guessing some people don’t like it, and I’m realizing that sometimes I just don’t care.  I’m tired of lies, smokescreens, and un-thought-thru “shares”.  And I’m tired of people saying they are my friend when they are not, and me wasting my time on them.
By the way, I know I'm not the only one experiencing this - what sets you off???

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My Brother

My brother is a writer.  He's really good.  I would like to be a writer, but I'm not so good.  I'm not disciplined enough or eccentric enough (though I try to be).  He's pretty normal and he's working on a novel and he sends it to me in chapters and I want to scream from the rooftops that it's awesome!  I encourage him and wait, and I give him my opinion, and I wait. 
And best of all - and this truly is the best of all - we have communicated more in the last couple of months than we have in years.  I guess it happens to some families that move to different states.  Out of sight, out of earshot.  Never out of mind, always there, but even though we're in an age where we are instantly connected it seems we never do.  Know what I mean? 
He keeps telling me he's going to finish the novel and not send me anything else until he's done, but then I check my Facebook and I see he's messaged me and I know I'm in for some good reading.  So here's to my brother, you little brat!  Keep writing!!!

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Week of Tragedies

            This week has been insane.  Starting last Friday, we learned of a kid in our 4H group that got in a horrible accident and is now in critical condition.  This kid is one of the sweetest little boys one could ever meet, with a natural curiosity about the world in which he lives.  He may never be able to move freely again, we just don’t know. We don’t know if there’s brain damage yet and not being part of the family we just have to wait and see what happens.  All we can do is pray and we definitely do that.  Whether it is to God, Allah or a tree, prayers are always welcome. 
            That’s the type of week it was – one of multiple prayers for multiple people.
            The next crazy thing that happened was Robin William’s committing suicide.  Why?  Why?  It was all I could hear and see from my friends, family, the internet – why would he do such a thing?  This remarkable man who could make us laugh and cry within the same frame in a movie.  What was so horrible that he couldn’t work through it?  And then the realization that we would never hear any new material from him, never see him act again or be on stage, watch him age and change his craft.  It was all so final.  The photo montages and the blogs offering up heartfelt and very real grief, experiences and remembrances – they were all beautiful. 

Then the really crazy thing – his daughter getting harassed on Twitter.  What is up with that?  Why are all the haters so quick to be ignorant when no one can see them?  What do they think they can accomplish?  All I can say is that their words don’t matter, Zelda, and you are way more than they will ever be.  My heart goes out to you and your family.  Losing a dad is one of the worst things you can go through and I still need and miss my dad after 10+ years.  Keep your memories – you don’t have to answer to anyone.  My condolences to you and your family, and the world on the loss of this caring, quixotic man.
            The last (I hope) crazy moment of the week would be the abduction of two Amish girls from my neighborhood.  The fear and the anger that someone would pluck two little girls from their farm stand still is unimaginable, even though it happened.  The searches, the helicopters flying overhead, seeing the dive teams heading out to look for a car or bodies, or both in the local swimming and boating areas was surreal.  Not letting a nine year old ride his bike around the block for fear of his disappearing, and having to explain why.  Innocence disappears quickly in the face of tragedy.  Prayers again were offered up for the safe return of these children, for the rescue workers and the police, for the news crews to be kind to the Amish community in their reporting.  When news came over the scanners that the girls were safe Facebook let the locals know before it hit the airwaves.  I was able to go upstairs, wake a little boy, and tell him the girls were ok, they were home with their family, safe and sound.  After a “Thank God” and a big hug both of us were able to finally sleep through the night for the first time in a week.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Pondering Cal

This morning after I was ready for work, I straightened the covers on the bed and looked at the cat.  He was sleeping on my boyfriend’s side of the bed.  Almost a year ago I looked at my girl cat, probably in the same position as he was in at that moment.  I remember this because less than a week later she had died.  That morning I may or may not have walked over and scratched her under her chin, which she loved, and I do not feel guilty if I didn’t.  I loved that cat so well, and she loved me back just as much, so if I left her alone it was because I knew it was ok. 
But this morning I went over and scratched his head.  He woke up and did his little “Why are you touching me?” meow, and I scratched a little more.  He’s come a long way in a year, and I’m glad he has, but I still miss her every day and want that closeness back. 
Cal has always been weird, for lack of a better word.  My daughter brought him home from somewhere in town.  She said a woman was giving kittens away in the park.  He was too young to leave his mother and we had no one to give him back to, so I ended up feeding him by hand, literally.  He licked formula off my finger because I couldn’t get him to use a bottle, and he wouldn’t use a dish for another week.  I thought that this would be great because it would form a bond between us, but he never warmed up to me.  When my boyfriend moved in with us he would sit with him, never with me.  I was kind of jealous but I also know animals and they have their own people.
Cal has always been in pain.  Whether it’s been his back or his skin, we have always had to be careful with him.  Cuddling has never been an option.  However, there were minutes where he let me hold him, not long but usually long enough to get a photo.  Shortly after AJ passed I noticed Cal sleeping on my pillow.  He used to do it sporadically, but now it’s almost an everyday occurrence once I am in the shower.  He’s moving into her territory.  They used to argue.  She only had the upstairs of the house because one of the dogs wanted to eat her.  When Cal entered she would sometimes hiss or yell at him and they would swat each other.  She probably intimidated the hell out of him, all four or five pounds of her to his whopping thirteen.  Now that she’s gone, Cal’s skin has cleared up.  I’m able to hold him for probably four, five minutes tops.  That’s good enough for me.
He doesn’t bite as much as he used to.  He talks to us more, like she did.  He comes when he’s called and seems to enjoy our company.  He’s learning to hunt.  He’s coming out of his shell.  Sometimes I think she is guiding him, but most of the time I think he is just learning to love us.
Do I miss her?  With all my heart and soul.  Do I wish she were home with me, safe and sound?  Absolutely.  But I am so glad that Cal is still developing and moving forward every day.  He’s ten years old.  He’s got a lifetime ahead of him and as long as he keeps progressing, I’ll keep trying.  Every once in a while I think about getting a new kitten, one that would be like her, but I have a huge fear as to what it would do to him.  We’ve come too far to back track now.  I think we need to be a one cat house for a bit longer. 
I know Cal would agree with me on this.

Cal in his younger, thinner days

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Where Are The Cunninghams?

The good old days.  The days of awesome dresses, cocktails before dinner, matching bedspreads and curtains, everything in order.  I wish I had been an adult in that time.  I caught the very tail of it as a child visiting my aunt.  I remember the gold bedspreads and the gold curtains in the guest room.  I remember never seeing my aunt without her make-up or robe in the morning.  I remember the adult women and men sitting and talking as children found something to occupy themselves.  We were not entertained.  The most interaction we had in that regard was an introduction to a game or book.  Then the adult walked away and we were left to our own devices.


I wish I had thought of this stuff when I decided to have a child.  I don’t know why I thought I could do it on my own, that it would be fine for my child to grow up with a dad that wasn’t married to me.  Maybe all the crap I read in WE magazine really wasn’t true.  I was very progressive at that age.  I had an aunt who was very pro-women’s rights.  She had chosen not to marry and have children.  She had chosen a career.  She was able to support herself and her aging mother.  She could travel with her sister when she felt like it.  She answered to no one, except maybe her publisher or her boss at the school where she taught English.  I always thought she was having a secret affair with her editor.  Now, as I look back, I realize she was probably a lesbian.  Who knew? 

But I digress.   I wish we could turn back time and live life like it was a Happy Days episode.  When Mrs. Cunningham had dinner on the table and Mr. Cunningham could be counted on to lead his family in the right direction.  Where a heart to heart was taken seriously by Richie and Joanie and the morals of the family, while tested at times, were what kept them all on the straight and narrow.  When time wasn’t disposable.  I wish I had thought to give my child that life.  I wish I hadn’t made the choice to be a “modern” woman with a child.  I should have realized that in order to be that woman I should do it without a child.  Once that child was born I should have given it more – more dad, more lessons, more morals, and less - less material, less freedom, less choice.


I thought the more I let her listen to what she wanted to listen to, the more I let her make choices, the more independent and strong she would be.  It didn’t turn out that way.  She turned into a spoiled, potty-mouthed teenager that clung to the wrong guys and married a man almost twice her age.  And now she’s sitting in jail, for a crime I never pictured her committing.

I feel that if America revisits traditional values, the golden rule, common courtesy and the like, that maybe we can start to turn our nation around.  Maybe we wouldn’t be so violent.  Kids would grow up with a male presence in the household.  Moms wouldn’t have to brag that they are both mom and dad (which I can’t stand to hear, although I stated it as well at one point).  Women wouldn’t be looking for help saying “Well I am a single mother!”  I have hated that statement from day one.  I myself never used the phrase and didn’t use it as an excuse either.  I chose to be what I was – I walked away from a relationship that didn’t seem fixable, and since we weren’t married it made it all the easier – on me.  Unless someone is widowed, it should never be used.  So many women walked into my office and said that and I wanted to say that it was their choice, but couldn’t because I would lose my job.  It’s NOT an excuse ladies. 

I wish that we could let women stay home and nurture their children and not make them think that they had to be MORE.  Did yesterday’s women not realize that being with their children, nurturing them, teaching them, was way more important than a career?  Look at our world – how is this better?

Mrs. Cunningham was a respected woman in her home.  She was a loved mother and wife and friend.  Sometimes she had to show Howard what she wanted instead of making him guess and being strong was a character trait of hers.  He also knew the golden rule of “Happy wife, happy life” and he treated her well.  We could all take a lesson. 
Women weren't as mean as we are now too.  We didn't have to be.  There was more emphasis on friendships.  We actually leaned on our friends.  We had time to be with them.  We helped them with their children, problems, recipes.  The closeness we used to have has been filled by work relationships and I have found that once you leave that employment, those friendships are not far behind.

I realize the Cunningham’s weren’t real people, only characters in a sitcom, but I feel they were based on real people and a way of life that was ideal, but real nonetheless.  Perhaps we should explore going back to this time when we were a kinder, gentler population.  Go back to the good old days…