Saturday, December 29, 2012


Now that we have safely made it through the "End of the World" and the planets have aligned and the snow has begun to fall, what I consider life getting back to normal, Christmas over, New Years is rapidly approaching, it is a good time to look forward and make some plans for 2013.

I am not a big plan maker.  I have been floating through life by the seat of my pants, making it up as I go along, doing the best I can, yet realizing that what has worked in the past may not have been the best overall plan.  I did successfully raise my boys, am working on getting my finances and medical back in order, having punished myself the most by not seeking competent medical care after I fired my last doctor, choosing instead to ignore my neck and back and pain issues, letting my torn rotator cuff just chill,  letting everything progress at its own rate and not doing anything preventative at all.

Changing that over the six months by dental and chiropractic care have only been the beginning.  Doing what I need to do and doing what they want me to do is the challenge.  Working my brain around trusting people who have in the most recent past have let me down with their own agendas which did not include me as a priority when that is their job is not easy to do.

Living life day to day, survival, basic needs met just barely more often than I like makes me think that this year I need to do things a bit differently.  I am not sure what my plan is.  I just feel that I am in a renaissance of my life.  A rebirth, a time of change.  

This time it wont be reactionary,  and it wont be standing still and doing nothing.  I think neither of those options have done me any justice in the past.  I do know the areas that I need to work on.  Since I am almost settled in my home - the first huge step for me - I cannot move ahead if I am not secure in my home and my  home life.  Since home is where the heart is and my heart is here.  I am finally secure and building upon it.  

Huge shifts in  my life.  Changing long held beliefs, things that drove me, which helped me to manage not to go crazy with the reality of situations which were more unhealthy believing any way - being strong enough to face these things, accept the lesson and grow from them.  Being able to look at myself through other peoples eyes and grow in trust and acceptance of myself and my strengths, instead of my perceived weaknesses.  Shutting off that voice in my head that just points out the bad, the negative, the mean and the hurtful lies that have been told to me since the beginning of time.

Doing things, making plans, seeing options. Huge!  I still don't know what I am going to do specifically, but then again, I never do right before an opportunity gets brought to my attention which mutually benefits not only me, but whomever presents the opportunity.  I am an asset.  I just don't know yet in which way I can be the best asset yet.  I guess I will have to realistically look at myself and see where my strengths  talents, and opportunity lies and go from there!  I am open to life for the first time and am looking so forward to moving forward with goals, dreams and plans!!!

Realizing for the first time in my life that with a little bit more structure and planning that I can achieve things!  I look forward to 2013!  I am ready for anything!  (Within reason)!  

Hope you all are ready too!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 27, 2012


The past couple of days have been deliciously relaxing when my tooth isn't killing me!  I have been trying to ignore my aching mouth for the past month or so, because of two reasons first I have been really busy and that is a grand excuse not having the time, the second is fear.

I am thankful that I have been busy.  It is easier to distract from a toothache if you have something to distract with.  The problem with this one is that I can't figure out the specific location - just the right side of my face - the pain isn't really localized.  It is also definitely nerve pain.  I have been going to the dentist regularly and have another scheduled appointment soon.  My fear lies in what the dentist told me the last time I was there.

I don't mind losing teeth, they can pull them if they need to, I just need my teeth.  I have grown rather attached to them over the years.  The problem for me is that the dental clinic if they hit a nerve during filling a tooth means that they pull the tooth.  I had to make them repeat that.  My brain can't conceive that notion, considering we are talking front teeth it freaks me out.  I don't mind root canals either, actually had one once and really enjoyed watching the dentist through his glasses.  I could have been a dentist in a past life.

I have never really been a vain person.  I used to take pride in my appearance - had to be together with a "T" before I walked out the door when I was younger.  Mostly, I don't really care - neat hair, clean face, body and clothes, unless I sneak to the store really quick and throw a hat on (who hasn't?) .  I barely even look in the mirror these days.  I am not one of those women who stroll about in public in pajamas although I do not mind trying to get away with having pajama days (just not out of the house).

I know I will feel better if I do go to the dentist.  We got hit with a snowstorm today and yesterday I went around thinking it was Monday and the clinic was closed.  Christmas really scrambled my calendar!  I guess tomorrow I will have to buck up and be a big girl!  It is Friday and I would hate to be trying to deal with this for yet another weekend!

The mind is a funny thing and here I go...facing one big fear after another.  The dentist did lead to the chiropractor and hopefully the trust grows so I can get the courage to seek out a primary doctor and get my health back in order.  Another New Year goal I hope to achieve!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


This morning, as the steam heat hisses through the radiators and the sun shines brightly out side, shining on my face as I write this, I feel so overwhelmingly happy by my awesome Christmas Day yesterday.  The waiting was the hardest part!  Time during the day to relax and finish up the odds and ends.  Never more organized for the day ever!

My middle son had to work until 2:00 and my oldest son's wife had to work at 4:00 so my guests began to arrive around 3:30 beginning with my Dad.  I had a little anxiety about my Dad most of all, as we had been struggling to find a balance in our relationship that works and his obsession with talking about his "friend" who I can't stand (that is another story) and no amount of compassion or earplugs would have helped if he didn't comply with the constant talk regarding said person.  Fortunately he accepted my one stipulation for his participating in our family Christmas, and he actually did not mention the name or anything about said person!  (I am not the only one who didn't want to hear about his friend for six hours - my sons and I are in agreement regarding the negative relationship my father has going on.)

So my Dad showed up, and then Tom's Dad showed up.  I opened up my gifts from my best friend Jen while Tom's father rousted him from his slumber and he joined us in the living room where we chatted and listened to Christmas music and had cigarettes and tea before my eldest son and his daughter arrived.  (We do not smoke around Ains).

Jeff arrived before Patrick and his Dad and Ainsley ran into the living room to see what loot was awaiting her!  So she opened her gifts from Tom and I as we waited for Patrick and Bruce.  It was so nice having everything ready and staying warm and not running around like a lunatic.  I am so glad I did an easy feast this year!

Ainsley loved her little shaky bee I got her and her dog purse never left her shoulder!  My Dad snapped the cutest picture of her and caught the surprise in her face!  No sooner had Ainsley opened her gifts, did Pat and Bruce arrive with more gifts for Ains and a couple of gifts for Tom and I.  I gave the boys their gifts from me, since we were all there and I opened mine from them at the same time.

I was blown away by the beautiful gift basket that my son Jeff and his wife Lisa made up for us.  They turned three little glass jars into a snowman, each compartment filled with goodies, with the top one marshmallows, with a little face drawn on, topped with a paper hat, the middle section hot chocolate and the bottom, Christmas candy - adorable!!  They also made some trivets out of tiles which they papered themselves and of course a jar of Christmas candy and bags of their Christmas cookies!  It was great!

Patrick and Bruce, knowing my love of Unicorns - and how could they not - unicorns run through my blood - always and forever - the Spirit of Untamed Beauty - which was our motto I do believe - Laura, Louise, Lori, Annie and I when we were young and wild girls - back in the day!

So these Anne Stokes Unicorns are simply amazing!  I tried not to let my eyes water too much when I saw them, but I had to pause and I think my sweet grand daughter noticed, which is fine, but the boys, the boys are a different story - no sentiment allowed - smiling!

The whole day was sentimental - having my boys and their Dad's and my Dad, Ainsley being the bonus!  A little girl in the house for Christmas!  Best gift ever!  The only thing that sucked was that her Mom had to work!  One day we will have a holiday feast together, in the mean time we are planning a meal on her day off!

The eight of us feasted on ham and potatoes, carrots and green beans - enjoying every morsel.  The conversation flowed and fun and laughter, clean plates - full bellies.  No room for dessert at that time!  But I enticed a couple of cookie eaters with a huge platter of family favorites which topped the donated cookie platter by far!

We finished putting batteries in the toys and Ainsley played and then we went on the porch and lit the awesome colorful sparklers which James had given me for Christmas!  It was so much fun on my back deck in the chilly December air!  It was worth it to hear the laughter and the look on everyones face - surprised each time just as the sparklers ignited!  It was an awesome way to end the evening!  Jeff and Ainsley having to go to spend time with other family members.

Cookies, conversation, family time, down to Pat, Tom, Bruce, my Dad and I - chocolate pie - relaxing in the glow of the Christmas lights.  Happiness!  Overwhelming happiness!  I think the best day ever and they have been amazing days lately!  Blessed with my change in perception, direction, attitude and being.

The guest left, Tom and I were left tired and happy!  Tom and I checked out the wonderful gifts and he even tried on the clothes I got him - and he will wear them!  Patrick never took his new hat off which I gave him either!!!  We shut down the house and went upstairs to watch t.v..  Happily exhausted from our busy week! We watched t.v. and he ate cookies!

The only bummer was I fell asleep at the end of the Dr. Who Christmas special so I will have to re watch the whole thing!  Not too bad of a bummer at that!  I slept so well!  Waking today to the cold, crisp air and bright, redeeming sunshine!

Best Christmas EVER!!!  Hope yours was too!

Monday, December 24, 2012


Lately, the stress has been kicking in and it is odd, because it is not current stress, but past stress, stress on me from others behavior in the past which is being repeated in the present which has been causing me to struggle on a daily basis - or when I think about it - which I try not to do.  I am thankful I have been so busy to keep myself occupied from thinking too much!

I have to remember to laugh, and remember who I am.  No one has ever given me anything in this world yet, that I can not handle. As a matter of fact, I have always worked hard to provide for myself since before I was sixteen, earning money doing various jobs until I got my first "real" job.   I have handled enormously overwhelming situations, usually more than one trauma at a time - that seems to be my life motto! 

In the past I fell into negative behavior patterns.  Recently, I have caught myself thinking and responding like a little girl, very unsettling to me, as I am no longer a child.  I can't help it.  It beats holding it in and being destructive, angry, depressed.  I did that for 40 years.  It doesn't work for me any more.  I guess that little girl can only hear the same repeat broken record message from the past - regarding the past - like that controls your present behavior?  Nope - not rational!

One thing which I have very strong convictions about is about being a parent.  Regardless of anything else in my life, my goal was to be the best, most responsible parent, since my own parents failed to be parents when their personal life was over.  One due to having to work to support us, and the other because friends and drugs were more important.

There is no excuse not to be a parent to your children unless you are sick, harmful, or dead.  To hear the words, I am sorry I failed you, as you continue to fail me, yet continue to keep me around for holidays and family occasions, mainly because you don't want to be around your brothers wife? -   when I waited for years to see you even for a minute, or a half hour....; how would you feel even grown?  Would you feel hurt like a child?  

I am strong and adaptable.  It was easier adapting to being ignored and neglected than it is to graciously accept a true compliment or gift.  Survival mode and independence at an early age will do that do a person I guess.  I get weak and  then I beat myself up.  I know I am good, strong, nice, caring and lovable.  I have also been angry, mean, hurtful - lashing out like a child and not understanding - with the understanding comes confusion in adapting without the anger and hurt and confusion!

But I don't live in the past.  I live in the present, the here and now.  Although occasionally as a reminder, a trigger will spark a wave of confusion and chaos - that unless I am sufficiently grounded as I have been then it just gets absorbed without a blip on the radar.  There are a couple of the holiday gets closer, I have to breath, relax, laugh.

I was not beaten by my life.  I will smile.  I will remember all of the beauty in my world which other people missed out on by being absent.  I will be true to myself, and be adaptable.  I will rise above yet again - this time with a smile and a prayer, hope and love.

My spirit was not broken in the just ran for cover.  Emerging yet again.  Definitely not silent!  I appreciate myself.  I love myself finally after all of these years of self loathing.  I am beginning to see myself more clearly.  Not just my faults.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


The "Eye" in London, amazing in purple

Winding down from one major project after another these days with Christmas just days away, I found this amazing purple picture which prompted me to do another thing I like to do these days when I have a minute and just write.

I am really enjoying the purple glow off of the lights and the various shades of colour, and the colour is what it is all about. It is symbolically a good sign for me to come across a nice purple picture, when I am feeling down they cheer me up, this one is a prize, as a reward for making my deadline, and making my list and getting it together for the Christmas Feast.

Silly me, did not think too much beyond the baking session, more than twenty hours of prep and baking time and it really isn't over yet as those were gifts and now I have to prepare the treats which are family specific, the only way I can get away without making a special batch of Sugar Cookies and Peanut Blossoms for our Holiday is by dying.  (That is a joke from here, just in case you think I am serious.)  They wouldn't kill me, they would just never shut up about it!

I am thinking Russian Teas for myself.  I enjoy those most of all personally, next to the Italian Cookies and the Tossini they are my favorites.  I don't normally eat or bake sweets unless there is an occasion because somebody has to eat them!  I am afraid I would have no self control!

So before I began writing I made my list and checked it, made a list of menu, guests, and what I need to get at the store.  What I have to finish later today if I feel ambitious, clearing the table for the dinner round.  The decorating allowed me to clear out everything in the downstairs which is unnecessary and I am very pleased with the way my house has pulled together to be a home.

Having friends and family in my newly settled home has affirmed it for me, along with how pleased I am when I hit the landing to the first floor and everywhere I look things are neat and in order.  Finally, a little less chaos and a lot more comfort!

Last week when I got the rug from storage I got to move the four rugs which were under the furniture on the new wood floor in the living room.  Now we have a rug in our computer room and our dining room and two more to place somewhere.  While I was working in the dining room I finally hung the pictures and with the decorations and lights it looks very pretty and eating with my friends and family and socializing in there the other night was comfortable.  

I am proud, proud, proud of myself.  Not in a large headed way, but in a satisfied for having accomplished so much, which may seem little to most people, but for me I have struggled to get my home settled over the past  almost five years, moving into bad apartments a few times and missing my quiet, secluded country life, my settled, happy and secure life.  

I don't feel you can go forward unless everything is in order.  I have been struggling to make strides in some major areas of my life and I am feeling more able to make progress in a positive way!  So I raise my glass to progress and making some!

Friday, December 21, 2012


When I last wrote my son had just made me an early birthday dinner which was an amazing chicken dish he just whipped up in the time it took me to write the blog, which was not long, 15 minutes and the yummiest combination of flavours and the most tender chicken pieces - delicious!

I went to bed very tired and very satisfied to say the least!  Thank you all for the wonderful birthday greetings and interest in my story. I been busy, so very busy, since I last wrote, mainly in cookie preparation.  The above picture is just a small view of the wonderful treats I put out over the past couple of days, this platter is getting donated to a benefit Saturday night at the Itam Lodge to benefit the storm victims in Rockaway.

The Italian Bon Bon's made 111 cookies by themselves, and they are frosted!  Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Butterscotch, Pumpkin Cookies, Sugar Cookies, Tossini (not pictured), Brownies, Whoopie Pies, and Fudge, also not pictured.  As I sit here writing, the platter is put together.  The other gift cookies are packaged and cards filled in - ready to go!

When it gets closer to Christmas I will make more Peanut Blossoms and Sugar Cookies for the boys, and a batch of Russian Teas for myself as a reward for my hard work and keeping my goal and for because they love them and they can eat them all day!  They are good boys and deserve their favorite treats for the holiday!

The day of my birthday, the 20th when I awoke I got right to work mixing and baking.  I was joined throughout the day and evening by a few friends whose company I enjoyed and who hung out in the kitchen as I mixed and measured, knowing it was pointless to ask again if I wanted any help, knowing the best help was to stay out of my path!  It was all so random and spontaneous, just the way I like it.

I stayed in my pajama's until my son and his Dad called to offer me a ride to the mall, as they were going.  I pulled the pumpkin cookies out of the oven and set them to cool, jumped in the shower and prepared to go.

I knew it would be a quick trip, none of us really enjoy shopping so we get what we need and go, we finished up about the same time and when we arrived back at my house my oldest son arrived with my grand-daughter (how many times can I be blessed in a week??), my youngest son needed help installing a power supply in his computer so they came over.

It was great!  I threw dinner in the oven, having planned a random dinner, which turned even more random as after my eldest boy left my youngest son's friend and his Dad from Williamstown dropped in to share in my birthday!  I miss our friends from North County, as we lived there for many years before coming back here in 2008.

My son Pat and his friend Al came over for dinner, as it was Al's birthday (and he is a twin!) I never to my recollection, besides Sunday's Aunt - knew anyone else with my birthday and I was stoked!  He graciously and happily shared a joint birthday dinner, and with some persuasion Taylor and Jeff stayed as well!  What a merry time we had eating roast beef and potatoes with gravy, (extremely delicious gravy at that), and some carrots.  It was well worth the 7:30 meal time to wait for that feast!

Sunday came by as we were finishing up, as I hoped she would.  She got to meet Taylor's Dad and soon everyone left but Tom and Sunday and I so we got to relax and play some WII bowling to shake things up before I baked the Chocolate Chip and Oatmeal butterscotch cookies.

Feeling good about my progress I went to bed last night confident I could pull off the great cookie bake of 2012.  I seriously have not done this in about 5 years.  I had everyone from Lanesboro, New Ashford and Williamstown addicted to my cookies!  I used to do this yearly but fell out of it.  I am so glad I did it!  One of my many talents, the organization, the process and the completion.

Tomorrow the delivery.  Then I rest for another day and figure out what is up for Christmas!  Have a great holiday everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Shoes off, son cooking dinner in the kitchen, dinner at 1:30 a.m December 20, 2012.  A pre-birthday dinner, actually late dinner as I have been non stop action all day beginning with over sleeping my alarm by a lovely hour and a half, making my shower and rush to the doctors more urgent, less time to do my ritual tea and computer, backgammon, check stats and notifications.

A dear friend stopped by before my doctor's appointment, had a tea, and offered up a ride, a rare and welcome treat on this cold December day.  Lovely visit with the water table at the chiropractor and another two weeks between appointments was another good sign - only feeling the need to call him three times during the last two weeks - and not doing it, a marker still for the coming two weeks and seeing if my stubbornness and will win out or my pain.  I usually win, so I lose.

So, a brisk walk home from Dr. Tosk, and no sooner did I get in the door then my friend Jennet called and wanted to deliver my birthday/Christmas presents so I would have a treat for my birthday, and another ride to  help out my friend Wendy at her cool vintage boutique where I got my awesome Velvet Cocktail dress which I got to wear what seems like ages ago, to the Red Lion Inn.

A whirlwind of an afternoon with visits from strangers who will be good friends, although Lisa lives in Florida and is going back tomorrow, I am glad she popped in and we shared a lengthy conversation not once but twice as she came back with our mutual acquaintance Mike and we all visited and looked around the shop at all the cool clothes!

Before I knew it that part of my day was done and sweet Wendy Darling gave me a ride home!  (Three rides in one day!!!)  Where I began to begin my cookie baking, wanting to be prepared in case Wendy's daughter is sick tomorrow (or today, Thursday), having already lost six valuable cookie hours.  Of course then my son and his friend Al decide to visit, hanging out as I prepared cookie dough for my  Italian Bon Bons, my Aunt Josephine's recipe, a large order as they make over ten dozen cookies and need to be frosted, my goal was to bake those so that I would have the bulk, (ha ha) of it done; the ha, ha, being, that I am making at least 8 other cookies, three of which require more than mixing and baking.

So I did get those mixed, amidst three hulking boys hovering and talking and laughing and just being there, having a good time watching me, my son deciding it was a good time to make a fried egg, while I mixed up chocolate chip and Oatmeal cookie dough just to keep on schedule.

While doing so, my good friend Sunday arrived, after her Christmas Party at work and she joined us in the kitchen, even helping me free a bag of brown sugar from a container which had eaten it and would not release it to me, one handed.

After a while Pat and Al left and Sunday and Tom went into the living room to play some WII and wait for me to take a cigarette break.  Then Mike got out of work and came over to retrieve his vacuum (I know he was hoping some samples were ready,) but mixing was underway and baking was a little later!

Once Mike departed  I got back to work I got my trusty pans, brought them and my dough into the living room and spooned cookie dough out, oven heated and ready to create yummy goodness, I prepared for that mission!  One hundred and eleven cookies later, cookies cool, dough refrigerated, dishes done, I get a minute to listen to someone else in the kitchen.

What a great night!  I am even prepared for the next two days (having set a strict deadline for Friday afternoon cookie completion) looking at a possible minus six hours Thursday and a definite loss of Friday morning until after 11 a.m., I am confident I shall succeed!

I have not done this in so long and I can't wait for my friends and family to enjoy my treats as much as I am enjoying planning and making them!\Thanks for reading and sharing the beginning of my 46th year with me!!!  I think my dinner is just about ready!!!  Have sweet dreams or a great day!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined such a week!  Over and over again this week I have been blessed with unexpected surprises, most recently and most awesome has been the visit from all three of my sons three times this week and twice I got to see my grand-daughter and hear laughter and joy through my house!

I was also happy that today, there was a pan of sauce and meatballs on the stove all ready to have unexpected company!  I delighted in my son and his sweet princess sitting at my table!  I could not ask for any more!  I am so happy!

Sometimes I wonder, as my sons get older and need me less and less, having more responsibilities and living life, often not having time to remember Mom, but having a week with three visits and the love in the air, the laughter, the conversation and yes the sweet tears the other day when my sweet grand-daughter did not want to leave all make me feel loved!  It was hard not to get all mushy!

That makes all the sacrifices worth it in my eyes!  All the hours that I worked and had to be away from them, the guilt one suffers as a single parent, torn between what you have to do and what you want to do in order to have a good life, the acceptance of them getting older and allowing them to spend days and weeks away during vacations, knowing that they knew I was just a phone call away, knowing they wouldn't call because I gave them the wings to fly and explore!

Watching my son with his daughter playing and talking about meals and homework.  Setting limits yet still having fun!  The smile on my grand daughters face - in her eyes as she interacts with my other two sons, not always sweet and cute, but cunning and sly when she comes charging into the room to jump on Tommy as he is lying on the floor, enjoying having all of the family together,  something that we all struggled with in reverse when Jeff and then Patrick moved out, as my baby, Tom and I  have been through it twice, adapting to life without the boys, but eating up every second of our time under one roof.

I have a big contractor's bag of stuffed animals which were my sons that I didn't have the heart to donate "just in case" and watching my granddaughter trying to drag the bag which weighs three times at least what she does, and getting it to the middle of the room and tipping it upside down, trying to lift the end to pour the mountain of plush toys on the floor and join them in delight is a memory I will keep forever and tease her about for years to come as she gets older.

Bringing her upstairs in my room where my "special" collection of stuffed animals are and letting her hug my softest plushest treasures, watching her eyes go big as she spots my purple winged unicorn, makes me so happy, asking timidly if she can play with it!  Knowing how special it is and how special she is (I hope, hope, hope!!)

Loving this child and happy that she loves me - she has two other grandma's and I am her newest as my son and her Mom just got married a few months ago after three or four years together.  I always wanted a daughter, told my boys I would settle for a granddaughter, she exceeds my wildest dreams as far as a granddaughter goes!

I look forward to continue watching this sweet girl grow and accepting wholeheartedly the love that she has for me and multiply her love by a million in return!!

I love the affirmation of a close knit family!  Life is good!!

Monday, December 17, 2012


Counting to ten.  It is a tool that I have used over the years to not lose my temper.  To gain a few seconds to regroup. Sometimes I have to repeat the practice over and over again just to prevent myself from saying something in order not to blast someone to smithereens verbally.  Counting....

Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.  Sometimes it gives me a second to calm myself down and refine what I want to say to be something a little less cruel.  My mouth can be heartless.  My words can really cut.  It seems that the more personal the subject matter is the deeper the wound, the deeper the words cut.

I am really frustrated specifically about the dynamics in my family today.  I am not speaking of "my" family - my sons and myself, I am speaking of the family that made me and created me, the sperm and the egg.  I wonder how I have made it to this point without losing my mind completely or just running far, far away.

I wonder how it can be so easy for a mother to be so cold and heartless.  A trait I share with her, but one which I try, try, try not to have.  Believe me, there was a time when I was like her naturally.  I choose not to be and still do.  I fight with myself over and over again when I have those bad moments, when I lose the battle.  I am a harsh judge.  Forgiveness of myself is difficult.  I get angry more at the slip ups that I should prevent.  I have work to do.

My father, oh, my dear old dad.  Perhaps Mom was right.  All the time and hours and pain I endured because I chose to love you and miss you and wait for you to return.  Never returning for me.  Yet, coming back and giving me a minute here or there when you had time because we all know where your priorities are and they are not on your family, not your blood family.  Your street family is where it is at for you.  Always choosing the losers that want to and do use you and spit you out whom you run back to for more.  Always expecting me to be there no matter what overlooking it all - unaware.

Expecting me to be your daughter, your mother, your friend.  Never being my father.  Never understanding the choices I made and the choices you made.   Never being a Dad.  Allowing abuse, neglect, rape and violations and reacting not at all.  No action.

Acceptance - choosing the violators and rapists.  Never understanding how you turned the knife when you took no action.  How I could not tell because I was with you my parent who never had my back.  Choosing instead to tell more lies.  I was taught manners and right and wrong.  Lying was never acceptable.  How can you teach someone not to be what you are?

You blame Vietnam for your shortcomings.  28 days in the jungle really took its toll.  When I was born and you had to come home for a double funeral I wish I had died at times.  Maybe deep down I wish that you had died.  It may have been easier to make the right choices, to walk away from you like you walked away from us.  I wish I could be like my brother and forget I have a father.

I believe in love but I am learning the difference between good love and bad love.  Tainted and poisoned  I have been drinking from that cup.  It is difficult for me to accept pure and clean, healthy love because of the cup I have been drinking from, the eyes I see it through, the feelings associated with love = pain, hurt and betrayal.  Do you not understand?  Do you not see?

I am the "good daughter" until I react too strongly to your careless, thoughtless, uncaring.  How can a reaction be too strong when it is not enough?  Never enough.  Never getting through.  I will be the cruel one as always, whether or not I am being cruel.  I will be the one who doesn't behave properly.  Accept the blame, walk away.  Live to fight another day.  I am tired of the game.  Tired of the fight.  Tired of the pain.  I can't do it anymore.

More guilt for me.  Never free.  Always bad, wrong and mean, crazy, stupid.  Never free of the labels which bind me.  Mean, heartless, uncaring, cold.  Never free.  Truth - sad, angry, alone, crying silent tears, screaming silent screams which only my dogs can hear.  Kisses from them as I cry silently into their warm, soft fur, love and acceptance.  They  nestle closer, never wanting me to be alone and scared and sad, knowing with their animal instincts when I need pets and love.  Protective.

I can't be there for people who walk on me, expect me to be the answer, the savior.  I am a weak lowly woman.  I cannot be strength for people who don't even try.  I can't be your life preserver when I am drowning myself!

 I can put on my smile, wipe the tears from my eyes, cover up my pain and build yet another wall to replace the five I have torn down - retreat, tread more softly through forest into the clearing field of light lay in the field of flowers and bask in the sun alone, always, alone.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


I love the feeling which this card gives off.  The soft puffy colors, the love that you feel between the mother and her baby.  Honest, warm and protective.  Pure.

Unicorns are kinda one of my "things".  In High School my friend Laura and her sister Cheryl and Louise, Lori and Annie and I used to be a part of a group which consisted of well - us.  We loved Unicorns and thanks to Laura we knew and I still can recall most of the words to that Moody Blues Poem - you know the one "Cold hearted Orb that Rules the Night, removes the colors from our sight..."

I still love Unicorns.  If you ever came into my house you would know that.  I have a wall of Unicorn pictures and two shelves of  nick knacks of Unicorns.   I even have a great Unicorn Rug that hangs on a wall... I have had it for 15 years and it has been on the floor once for about 15 minutes before I thought to myself - are you crazy - that is an accident waiting to happen - three boys will make any Mom think that!

I take pride in taking care of my belongings.  I have memories stored in each and everyone.  Souvenirs of my life - mementos of my being.  When I lived in West Stockbridge with Dave we moved into his house and my life was stored in a huge attic on the third floor waiting to come out and delight my senses.

My kids call me a hoarder - I am not a hoarder.  The primary bulk of myself is decorative, breakables, art and books.  That is topped only by my kitchen things which are pans and gadgets and pretty plates we only used on holidays but which we are now "big" enough to use everyday - that is unless I am sliding pieces randomly off of the top of the refrigerator (Ouch)!  And somehow clothes more clothes than one person needs surely!

My Dad thinks I should be a decorator the way that I like to set up and display my things around.  Never happy even when everything is in its place.  Always adjusting pieces or rearranging whole rooms in the blink of an eye.  I just like to be surrounded by my stuff.  Recalling memories, people and events keep me grounded, alive and whole.

For me your stuff is your stuff.  Mine is irreplaceable to me.  No disposable life for me.  I think it is because when my family dissolved I became disposable.  My brother and I used to have a whole room just for our toys outside of our bedroom. Our parents would transform the dining room into a boxing ring and put boxing gloves on us so that we could play.  My brother was younger than me and he had a really touchy nose, so it would usually end in a bloody match.

When we left Briggs Ave, our toys went into my grandparents attic and we had few of our things with us.  Our life packed up and never to be seen again.  That made me sad as a child.  I think that is why I like to have my stuff.

Memories are precious to me.  Life is precious to me.  Family and friends are beyond precious to me, they keep me balanced and alive.  My boys may joke around with me and vent their hostilities and sometimes I don't know if their venting is at me or not and I am not afraid to ask directly if it is or if they are truly mad at me.  They usually are not mad at me, (although they do get irritated with my "perkiness" and my ability to speak a chapter of words without taking a breath!  We all communicate or do not communicate in our own ways.

So this Sunday morning, as I wake up and listen to Hendrix and his Band of Gypsy's from a cassette which I have owned since the 80's, remember my past, reflect upon life and family.  Happy, at peace and knowing that the choices which I made early on were okay for me.  Not the dream that I had but I would never dream of not having my life, my friends, here and past, my boys and my loves.  I do not know how many people can say that and mean it.

Jimi singing "Home sweet home.....walking down the street singing........

Don't be afraid to sing your song, walk your walk and live your life!!!

Friday, December 14, 2012


First I would like to thank you all for showing me back the love yesterday when I needed some extra goodness sent my way!  I am blessed by you all!  I think it worked because I got a lot done and by the end of the day I was very satisfied and happy overall!

When I began my blog I had no idea what to expect and as I am not a professional writer, just someone who can express myself better on paper rather than in speaking, although I am getting more comfortable with people in general either way.  I do not feel as awkward or socially inept as I once did.  I think it is also the fact that I care less what people think do or say, unless of course it directly affects me in a negative way.  I still have no idea where my blog is going.  When I feel inspired to share something I just write.  

It is a personal journey of exploration.  I feel that is vague enough and vast enough to include just about anything.  I have been a closed up and broken person for far too many years and I can feel myself changing. I think writing this blog and expanding my world through the Internet is a huge plus in that area.  Also expanding my world in my hometown, looking at it not from a teenager's eyes, but through the eyes of an adult.  Doing adult things and having adventures which I never envisioned myself doing!

What a great time it is to expand.  The city I live in is trying to revive going more cultural and it is a big Art, music and Theater Crowd.  We have always had great musicians and when I was a teenager the only two things to do around here besides get into trouble were "Boys Club Dances" on Friday nights or Roller Skating.  Both of which I enjoyed very much.  Along with my summers at my Grandparent's cottage on the Lake.  Life did have its pleasures in between all the drama and adolescence in general.

Today I write to 


To me the response in readership, shares and comments are very positive I never even thought anyone would read it and I am energized and revived by what I feel is a good response in readership.  I hope to get some direction and order and a little less random order.  It is a total learning experience and much more fulfilling than backgammon!  (I love backgammon by the way)  Have a wonderful day and don't forget to share the love!

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Today I feel very overwhelmed with too much information.  In my life when it rains it pours and over the past 24 hours this proves to be true with more fun in store tomorrow.  It is times like this that I do miss having a car and just driving.

When I drive I think and process information.  I get to listen to my music - I imagine that today I would be listening to some loud and heavy music full of pounding drums, heavy bass and some serious guitar - oh and screaming!  What I refer to when my son plays it as that "angry music".  Basically anything from Metallica, Maiden, or just about any band from the early 90's.

I think the music distracts one part of my brain and lets the other part ponder what needs to be pondered and the driving is a focused activity which uses another part of my brain.  Amazingly other than a slight full brain feeling I am not emotional - I think the shock from the information I got today will just come later when reality sets in.

I have to settle for cleaning and decorating.  Two major distraction techniques also!  Moving and cleaning under every bit of furniture, every nook and cranny I can reach and incorporating Christmas into my displays will keep me mucho busy.

I also have to decide how to put my large oriental rug into my living room now that I have it home and it is vacuumed  and cleaned.  Furniture arrangement is such a chore for me lately.  It used to come so naturally and now it just frustrates me.  It needs to be done though.

One step closer to having my home in order.  One goal at a time, one step at a time, one day at a time.  Focusing on my life and my order while processing the intricacies of others and the effects upon my life both directly and indirectly.

Wish me luck and keep me in your prayers today.  I am needing the energy of others to get me through the upcoming challenges without losing my mind!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


People confuse me.  The more that I interact with people the more I realize that I need to go back to school because I need an education on understanding  people.  I purposely avoided people for the past twenty years or more in place of being around people and getting hurt by them.

I am a nice person.  I think I am more likable and agreeable now that I am accepting myself and the world as is.  Now that I am not taking all of the blame, guilt and responsibility for those things that I do not own.  Don't get me wrong it does not come as naturally as one thinks to be positive, but letting go of hurt and anger and accepting things at face value does help.

I try to be genuine and open - some people might think I am too open, but they do not know all of the things that I keep to myself.  When I am confused by someones behavior or behavior which is out of character for the individual I usually first think that it is something which I am doing or not doing which is the problem.  Then I step back and observe with an open mind what is going on.

Upon doing so I usually find that the other person has found my usefulness to be unnecessary   It has happened countless times.  I don't hold that against the person.  I accept it and remove myself from the situation.  I have been known to tolerate unacceptable behavior towards me for too long in order not to upset the apple cart.  That leads to problems for me.  Then I am hurt and angry.

I am trying to have mature adult relationships with people and friends and accept people at face value.  That is until they show me both sides of their faces and then the third one.  It is difficult for me to communicate with people at times in an adult manner.  The old me would just tell them to fuck off and  walk away.  You know what they say about burning bridges.

I recently had an interaction with a person whom I have only known for about a year.  A very exciting and flamboyant woman with many exciting tales to tell and a lot of charisma.  We became friends and now I am confused.  I have stepped back, I have observed.  I have felt it isn't worth it to be this persons friend - old me behavior?  Possible.  We talked.  We communicated, we came to understand each other on a whole different level.  Mature.  Good.  No problem.

I sit and I listen to her woes and sorrows.  She has done the same for me.  Walk away?  Should have months ago.  Did Not!  Now I am wondering was that right?  I distanced myself.  Still available.  No interactions until she is sad or needs to vent or cry.  Yet being told I am not there for her.  I am really confused.

I am used to not being able to get a word in edgewise.  To be told today - can I finish what I am saying....I needed you when I needed you and you were not there  (I walk and my errands took too long) Selfish?  Hurt?  Who is right?  Who cares!  I do not want to be right. I am not trying to be right.  I am not arguing or keeping score.  Little girls keep score, women do not - I am a woman!

I know all to well what it feels like to be pushed aside, discarded (until you need me)  same old story.  I tried to make it not be so.  I tried to close my eyes and pretend I wasn't being discarded, left for "better" friends or whatever.  Trying as always to avoid negative interactions and confrontations at any cost.  But at what cost?  Reminding my sadly of my own dear sweet mother.

I live my own life.  I am not reliant on one person to make me complete.  On the contrary, I thrive on interactions with people.  I used to joke and say that I was an introverted extrovert.  I am/was -- I am a work in progress as you all know, I am happiest when I am surrounded by people in my home or interacting with large groups of people at events/shows when I volunteer or when I worked for a marketing company or running the Video Store.

I do well alone, but I do prefer the company of people.  A good day is a day when I walk out of my house and stop and talk to people I know personally or who live in my city.  One of the advantages of living in the same place most of your life is that you frequently run into a few people whom you know, it makes my day!

Interacting with people all over the world on the Internet, making friends very exciting!  Writing a blog with people reading it - amazing and inspiring!  (Thank you Richard, for inspiring me - another random new life experience).  Not feeling like an island or feeling like I have to be invisible - priceless.

Growing as a person has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  I have never felt more complete as a person as I have in the recent past.  I feel as though I am reaching a plateau in my life, after climbing that mountain all these years I feel like for once I can take a rest and enjoy the view, and what a magnificent view it is!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I have always loved the holidays.  Halloween is my favorite and Christmas is my second favorite.  It has been a tradition since I was a little girl to have a tree and decorations and lights.  We were not spoiled by any means and our Christmas's were pretty lean so Christmas isn't about so much about gifts but the spirit of the season.

When my children were little I made sure to spoil them at Christmas.  As a single, working Mom I felt that it was the one time of year that they would have whatever I could afford to do.   They were never spoiled either, which makes it nice.  When I had really good income I would let them each spend $100 on anything they wanted.  It was always interesting to watch them figure out what they were going to buy.  Those years I went a little overboard, as I feel that it is always nice to get something which you don't expect to get, even if it is clothes!

In 2008 when the recession hit our family our tradition changed drastically.  I am thankful that the children were old enough not to put up a fuss when I stopped getting a tree and decorating, falling into a huge depression and frustrated, having had no contingency plan for complete and utter disaster there was nothing I could do.  I raised awesome sons though and they really accepted the idea of a feast in place of presents and a tree and never once have complained.  Last year I started feeling a little better and actually decorated my apartment.  No tree still.  But I was able to purchase some socks and p.j.s for my son with my remaining store credit card.

This year, my son and I are in a great apartment!  It feels like home for the first time since I gave my house back to the bank.  It could be in the country if it were not in the city. (a little joke)  The other day my Dad brought me to my storage and I retrieved my Christmas Decorations!!

Two days ago I was peeking in a container - did I tell you how much I love Christmas decorating? - and the next thing you know I had all four huge containers of Santa's, snowmen, Nativity and two ceramic Christmas trees adorning my dining room table.  I have been on my own since I was 17 years old and had my first son when I was 18.  I have been a collector of things since my step-father introduced me to Flea Markets.  I have some cool things that I have had for a really long time.  Everything that I own has some kind of special meaning or memory for me.  That is how I store my memories, with objects.  Sometimes I remember and sometimes I cannot recall the stories for each item but they are there waiting to be shared!

Looking at the Christmas and birthday greetings (my birthday is 5 days before Christmas) brought back some of those memories!  I love looking at the beautiful cards I have received over the years, notes from loved ones long passed!  Smiles and tears!

I just finished my double window in my dining room.  Since all of the things are in there it was the obvious place to start, and it is the street side of the house.  Adorned with lights and snowmen and a wreath, I do not think it is half bad!

Holidays can be both joyous and sad times for people.  I am trying to make everyday of my life from here on out happy and joyous for myself and my friends and family and strangers also.  We all need to be thankful for what we have and think about those who have so little, so many people do consider others, which warms my heart, but we all must be aware that not everyone is able to make it joyful and bright so do what you can do to put some cheer and love out there for others!

Happy holidays!!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Blessed are those lessons!  I am so happy that I am feeling like I am finally learning from those experiences.  Some of them have taken more than half of my life.  Time that could have and should have been spent elsewhere!  Some lessons were so difficult and unclear for so many years.  It wasn't until an experience that I had in July and which has taken a couple of months to accept and swallow that I learned a lesson that took 25 years to learn!

I am, after talking with a friend who had no chance - even though I loved him most and was most loved by him,  which in a weird and twisted way was so surreal in itself and for whom I have the utmost love and respect for,  finally realizing how much this negative relationship encompassed my whole adult life and every intimate relationship that I was ever in.

I think that the release of that state of being and thinking has allowed my personal growth over the past year. Even though July was only a few short months ago, I began realizing as I watched my love rip my heart out again and how  shocked and very dismayed he was when I would not even talk to him or run back and take more bad love.  Which even at this second I could do with a phone call, but really?  Why would I want to subject myself to another's inability to receive or accept love?  Breaking free of the chains that held me down - even during the 17 years that we had no contact is so freeing!

I am sad overall.  When we fell in love it was magic and all of the things that occurred during the many years of our being together had a huge impact on so many levels of my life.  I truly miss and will always love the only man that I have ever been married to.  But in reality only one of us married the other for the right reasons and she should have known better!  The saddest part is that he is the only man in my life that cannot and will not be my friend anymore.  Of all my loves ....and he was my best friend!

I am thankful for the man who rescued me and gave me a fairy tale life in a Norman Rockwell town 17 years ago!  The memories are some of my best and it was one of my happiest and most magical and realistic times of my life! Although we are no longer a couple and we both have moved on in our lives I am glad that we are friends.  I am thankful for his conversation and his company and being the girl who loved him best!

These two people have had a huge impact on my life. One good, one bad, both unforgettable and a part of who I am.  Many more people have been entering my life lately.  I am not sure why but I hope that I can be a solution and not a problem and I am enjoying all aspects of my  life - good and bad and thank you all for being there along the way!

Friday, December 7, 2012


Last night I had the supreme pleasure of attending an amazing feast and Christmas Show at the Red Lion Inn, in Stockbridge, MA.  Not only is the Inn an amazing old place full of character and charm, the added pleasure of a wonderful old fashioned Christmas Show by Mary Verdi, Tony Lee Thomas and a group of amazing musicians!  With a children's choir and ballet dancers singing and dancing among the diners and Santa even made an appearance handing treats to the good little boys and girls!

It was so totally unexpected as my friend won tickets and we both have been blessed and totally loving how amazingly awesome that life has been.  Reaffirming to me that what comes around goes around!  Since I got to help my friend out in her store and picked two wonderful pieces of clothing that I totally adore, with no occasion to adorn the dress I was delighted when my friend invited me specifically so I would have the perfect place to wear it.  

I would never had been able to purchase said clothing as I am on limited income and the only things that I do by are necessities and I am not really a girlie girl, having raised three boys and lived in the country and having always been a nature and outdoor girl.  Don't get me wrong, I love to dress up, but I am not that girlie.  In my heart of hearts though, I would be one of those dress up girls if I had it all to do over again.  Over the past two years I have been trying to get out of my concert t-shirt and blue jean wardrobe.

It was overall magical and wonderful!  I love how after the performance Mary, a friend of Mike's remarked on how I was smiling throughout the whole evening.  She is correct, the atmosphere, the company, the entertainment were perfect.  It reminded me of the good old days before I was born when it was common to have live dinner entertainment!  I would have loved to live and experience those days!  Thank you Mary and the Red Lion Inn for providing a modern day version of that time!

Jen and Mike at the Red Lion Inn Christmas Show 2012

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What Brand Are You?

In the past I have kept myself pretty sheltered and closed off in order to save myself from hurt.  I purposely do not make plans because I hate the feeling of disappointment when they fall through.  I have so many quirks it isn't funny!

I have been working consciously to live in the light and love and avoid negative interactions with other human beings and for the past 12 years have not spoken to my mother for just those reasons.  I have also not spoken to my father for as many as 8 years when he lost his mind and totally trashed my family - and by my family I mean myself and my boys.  They are my core and my center.  This is totally a learned behavior as my family always found it normal to not talk to me for years when they disapproved of my husband for one, running away as a teenager and not allowing my stepbrother to take advantage of my kindness.  My journey is to break the chains of learned behaviour and return myself to myself +!

I have given up a lot of myself to make other people happy over my 45+ years.  The same people who told me to be an individual and march to the beat of  my own drum were only saying words.  I lost my voice because I was put down every time I opened my mouth, or talked over or just totally ignored.  I chose - after my accident 12 years ago to make some healthy for me changes.  Selfish though it may sound and look to outsiders who don't see or know the whole picture.

I refuse to ever lose my voice again for starters.  I am a smart - uneducated woman who gave up intelligence  for love and acceptance.  Now I am not afraid to answer if I know the answer and ask if I do not.  I am not shy - although I prefer to listen and sometimes speak very little when I am surrounded by people!  Other times you can not get me to shut up!

I prefer this happier self over the closed off, sad and angry person whom I have been for too many years of my life.  I love involving myself in positive activities, volunteering out of my home.  I love having as many of my happy friends around for as long as they want to be around.  I love the laughter and intimacy of 6 of my nearest and dearest around a table playing a board game or having my table filled with unexpected company and making a meal and hanging out.

An unexpected visit or a casual encounter with an acquaintance makes my day!  The days when I run into 5 people on my way to an appointment or during a walk and talking and interacting makes my day!  It feeds me, replenishes me.

On Sunday evening when I was walking home after volunteering for a great cause over the course of two days and meeting and greeting and the love and fellowship and community that I was involved in I was so full of such a warm and glowing feeling I thought that I would explode!  I had to call each of my sons - oldest first - of course and specifically call them and tell them that I loved them - I hope that some of that love that I felt was felt by them!

I hope that you all get to feel it also!  That is what I live for!  If choosing to remove negative forces from my life is selfish then baby bring it on!  I will accept that label gladly!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012



   GOSSIP is something negative that is developed  and 

I personally hate gossip.  Being very familiar with having been gossiped and lied about I have tried to live my life without being one.  Don't get me wrong I do like to hear interesting true tales with a twisted or humorous outcome.  But I don't have time for hurtful, slanderous untruths told to hurt or discredit another human being.  In my experience, once you become a gossip you become a mean and hurtful being and it overtakes a person.  

I don't mind people talking about me.  I hope I am interesting enough to be talked about, or loved enough to be thought of, other than my children I have not created or made anything of importance and their importance is undecided - they are young they have lives to live.  So am I and you never know what I may do next!!

I was talking to my step-son today whom I randomly ran into and he is being slandered by his ex  and it is affecting his ability to see his children and get a job.  That makes me sad because this young man is a wonderful father and a hard worker.  He is trying and he is getting discouraged. All I could do was reassure him of his assets and give him a hug, tell him I love him and remind him not to do anything that will make it worse.

I know how he feels though, his father is my current ex and while I cannot talk about it he is hurting me by saying untruths about me.  The only thing that I can do is shake my head and know the truth is the truth and consider the source and pray for him.  It hurts when you can't help someone you love because they need to help themselves.  It makes me sad that my  newest lesson is the longest for me to learn and the most painful.  

Twenty five years to believe in  a false love and to accept the truth and know that love wasn't love is very hard to swallow.  I can handle it and accept it and move on.  The 17 years in the middle when I was hiding from the truth and reality were enough of a sacrifice.  It is freeing to know and accept reality.  It is painful too.  

Loss is loss and love is love.  Pain goes away in time.  The sun should rise and the birds will sing.  Flowers will bloom and my pain will end.  Smiles and tears will come and go.  I am good and I will continue to strive to be better.  I will never stop being me - being free.  Living, teaching, learning and growing!  

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Morning View...

I sit in the early morning light, snow has been gently falling all night.  It coats my world sweetly and softly.  I listen to the sounds of Incubus "Morning View" which could be the soundtrack for my life sometimes, the words, the music, the flow.  Waking up today embracing the simple pleasures in my world.  Happy.

I understand this John Lennon quote.  I get it.  I live it.  The terminally confused do not surround me, they can look at me and not understand.  It is fine.  You may not know this like I do but it is the simple pleasures in life for me tea with sugar and cream, dogs to pet, cats who run out to greet me when I walk by.  Good friends, understanding and enlightenment.  Feeling the music and dancing!  Dancing when you are happy - not because you got what you wanted but because for a change you had a want that wasn't a need and you worked and obtained it!  Hard work pays off!  The affirmation and confirmation!

Feeling the love in my world - the love of the universe touching my soul sending a warm glow through my body - touching my soul and passing through me to everyone.  Loving the feeling and wishing every person on the planet were here also.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Greetings everyone!

I am very happy and surprised to have such a varied audience reading my blog!  I never really expected anyone to read it at all, so imagine my surprise and delight when I looked at my stats and had over 800 page views - it seems like just two weeks ago I was almost at 500 page views!

With the holiday and all the celebrating and feasting over the past week with some 13 + people over three days I have been very blessed.  Blessed to be able to share what I do have with those who have not the family or the ability to have their own celebration.  I always welcome and feel honored to have many people at my table, scheduled or not!

To me that is what life is about!  I am also thankful for being able to accept the help from my friends, for the voice to ask and the people to ask for the help be it a roll of t.p and a bar of soap when there is no cash in the house for anything!  Thank you!  Less and less do I feel like I am on an island alone and lost, stranded in a boat without a paddle!

I would also like to address a few comments that I have received, one in particular, Richard - I am working on sharing more about myself - my childhood, my marriage and such, I do have awesome, funny and sometimes traumatic events in my life.  It makes for a slow process of sharing for me as I have to be careful not to set my progress back.  You see, I am a very private person, one thing you may not realize as I am sharing so much of myself on these pages.

A month or so ago when I was getting ready for my son to visit with his family and we had out the pictures - which I enjoy looking at and remembering my life by, seeing the boys in various ages and stages, the lives we have lived and the people we have known and in some cases no longer know.  The pain and the pleasure.  The pain still overwhelms me at times.  It triggers memories upon memories upon memories.  In my life I am not so fortunate to have one bad thing happen and deal with it - they come in multi-packs for me like a raging river trying to drown me!

Fortunately for me, in my work on  myself since 1999, when I made it my job as part of my recovery from my multiple auto accidents - having the time and the inclination, and also having acknowledged out loud the issues that I had been trying to not acknowledge to myself or any other human beings and having learned some tools along the way so that I don't completely lose my mind and so that I could relearn all of the other emotions besides sadness, pain and anger which dominated most of my life yet which did not take away my ability to see the silver lining or the sun on a dark day!

I made a promise to a very special lady, Lydia, whom I worked with for eight year that I would not regress that I would always strive to go further ahead and not behind.  I also told about my plans to write a book and that is tricky - some of the things that I need to say I can not even right down on paper - my brain prevents me still from remembering some things.

So do know Richard - that I am working on it!  I have to battle the brain!!  Unlock the puzzle!  I am confident that I can and will do this!  Thanks for your interest, your patience and your understanding!  Most of all thank you for your support!  I feel blessed and my smile is large and real!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Work in Progress

I, like most people really like the up times.  In the up times bothers are not as bothersome, solutions come easily.  Life is good.  Life is good until it is bad then it gets very, very bad.  Dark skies and pain even on sunny days.  Everyday, common problems become difficult to solve, chaos and confusion close at hand.

Life has been very interesting for me full of ups and downs.  To say that at times, my refusal to accept situations to the point of overlooking many things causes me more problems in my life than I need would be a huge understatement.  It leads me to realize, as I write this that I am my own worst enemy!

I am content with the person that I have always been, despite the bumps in the road.  I am enjoying breaking the ties that have kept me down, trapped inside myself, stuck in such a place - such a lonely painful place.  To say that life is perfect would be a stretch.

I accept responsibility for my actions, even when it is hard to do so.  I do not lie.  I am kind to people.  I am misunderstood at times.  Most people like me, although a few do not.  It used to bother me.  I don't care anymore.  They are not me.  I find that most people who don't like me are lacking the things that I have naturally.  I am not a front or a fake,  although I used to hide and try to be invisible.

I still feel like a young adult even though I am middle aged.  I like to say that my children are getting older, not me.  Although sometimes I feel like I have been on the planet for 100 years.  Perhaps I have just been here reliving my lesson that I need to learn and failing.  This may actually be the life that I learn the lesson in.  I sure hope so!

I feel that I have been learning and growing as a person.  Living in my small little world, one in which the rest of the world simply did not exist.  I did not follow news, politics etc.  I still keep it to a minimum.  I like good news and that is few and far between.

I like art and books and unicorns.  I collect all kinds of things.  I want to have a room just for my books, it is my dream to have a library someday.  I dream of traveling and seeing with my own eyes everything I want to see!  It will be a long trip, the world is a big place and I am very curious.  I like to buy myself flowers, yet now that I have no money I pick them in season and fill my vases.  They are their for the taking to enhance and beautify.  I grow mini roses so that I can have flowers year round.  They make me feel good.

I believe that life is what you make it.  It is a journey, an adventure or it is work and repetition - dull unhappy people stuck in their dull and unhappy lives.  I am a worrier who prefers to have nothing to worry about.  A gypsy who has been waiting to be free.

I am a simple woman, my needs are few.  When I am happy the world is a better place!  I am a work in progress.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Taking Things for Granted

Wow - it has been an interesting couple of weeks here to say the least!  Sorry that I have been unable to share with you while I have been living through these shifts in life with family and friends along with my own personal response/reactions and new evidence of growth!

I have been very sad dealing with separation and possible loss of friends and family.  Sad that I again am accepting my Dad and his choices to make his mistakes and live his life and leave me yet again, which doesn't get easier as I get older.  I don't know if he doesn't think, doesn't listen or just doesn't understand that love doesn't survive all and blood isn't always thicker than water.

He has always marched to the beat of a different drum - which I condemn him for not at all.  I worry - he seems to be taken advantage of more and more by his friends which disturbs me to see.  He realized it with one of his friends and another one swept in to cause a rift between us so that he could use my Dad with no interference from me.

I am supposed to sit by and wait until my Dad realizes it - something he knows but still allows to go on - for friendship, for ?  I have no idea!  The worst part for me is that I have to listen to my Dad when he has five minutes away from these people that is.  All he does is talk about them and how wonderful these people are - they are not wonderful.  He drives his friends and barely makes gas money.  Now he is involved in some wood scheme where his friend will make a boat load of money and my Dad will work for a bowl of soup!
Hearing my Dad talk about these "friends" for me is like fingernails on a chalk board!

On a positive note,  I am very happy to say that my friend and I who have known each other for just over a year, and who I was afraid that I had made a poor judgement on and whom I felt had no compassion and I have made a major step!

She read my blog and figured out that Houston - we have a problem here, she saw beyond herself, read my words, and understood where I was coming from, and a clearer image of who I am and why I am me.  We were able to express to each other in words - verbally where each other was coming from.  I for one get tongue tied and twisted when I get anxious or nervous  and sound like an idiot and cannot get out what I want to clearly with the things that are most important to me!  It is easier to walk away and not think about things.  I express myself much more clearly with the written word.

I never had a friend who looked out for me, as stated I believe in an earlier post,  my relationships tend to go the other way, so I was not even aware that she thought that I was being treated poorly by the young men in my life, by young men I mean my boys, and was trying to defend me as a friend.  I on the other hand thought that she was a shallow person and not worthy of being my friend because she couldn't understand why I would allow my child to speak to me in the manner he was speaking to me, even knowing the young man just had gotten news of his Dad having brain cancer.  Since each of these things were foreign to the other it caused a problem for me.

I never realized or saw until this conversation that we had that we all have our issues.  She keeps hers very well hidden also.  I know that she is a wonderful person, no doubt about it, but I never realized the pain she carries.  She is very strong and bubbly and fashionable and led an amazing life!  The insecure me wonders what she sees in me as a person at all!  I bring nothing but me to the table!  Her friends are all movers and shakers and doers.  I am just a disabled ex marketer/mom.

The experience was very enlightening for each of us!  My heart swelled up!  She said she had been taking me for granted.  I for one am unfamiliar with the labeling of the act, but have been there in every relationship. Not realizing that my pain stems from such an act as being taken for granted when I try not to take anything - especially the people in my life for granted.  Somehow I have convinced myself that you have to love people just because, even when they do treat you poorly.  I do not accept that any more.

I explained to her that I was trying to re-teach  my self from my normal responses, which with all of the negative  reinforcement I have gotten from my early childhood through my teen years and into my adult years to the present.

I told you all this was a personal that is most important to me - a person who is put down doesn't have normal responses to normal everyday situations.  I am so guilty of that, my normal course would not have been to have a conversation and gain understanding and learn and assess whether the relationship was worth it.  I have been in such unhealthy relationships that I stayed in just to have the relationship my whole life.  The need to be loved regardless of the quality of love.

Sadly, my children are keen observers.  My boys told me about ten years ago that I wasn't allowed to date because the same thing always happen - the men are the same - they don't contribute to our lives, they are bloodsucking vampires that drain the life and love out of life.  Which is true, the faces change, but the brand is always the same.  Which is also why I choose to be single and celibate 

I am learning to love myself so that one day when my prince does come I will be open and ready.  (Yes, secretly I do believe  in love and true love at that!  I secretly hope that even I am worthy of it.  Even if it means walking alone I refuse to settle for anything less ever again!)

My youngest son, whom I live with, listens to me and observes my ranting and frustration, the more frustrated the more I rant - I was raised by an Italian - we are expressive!!!!  He, after seeing my friend and I reunite our friendship, had the nerve to call me two faced.

He can't understand how she and I can still be friends because of this.  Explain to a 19 year old boy that adults talk and can rectify a situation.  It is not really normal to burn bridges.  I am now faced with trying to explain it to him in words.  It is very frustrating being a parent who cares.  So my work is cut out for me to say the least!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Breaking Barriers

I didn't realize how seriously watching "The Little Princess" with Shirley Temple - really watching the whole thing would affect me yesterday morning.  It really shook me to the core.  It brought up a lot of deep stuff from my childhood and my life for that matter.

I have seen this movie at least 20 times in my 45 years.  Always I have been entertained by it, warmed by it, and generally felt good by watching it.  I was yesterday without a doubt, until when she found her father and he was all muddled and dazed and then he came out of it and yeah - remembered her and bamm - happy ending!

When I re-found my Dad as a teenager I was happy, but getting forgotten repeatedly for other peoples children when you have your own, and set aside and left again over and over again gets old and less easy.  Forgiveness is easy.  Regretting forgiveness is difficult.  And when it happens over and over and over it is maddening!

When my Dad's parents died, my grandparents whom I love and cherish now and forever, until the day I die- my Dad labeled himself an orphan.  I am sorry - I don't believe grown ups are orphans when their parents die, they are adults whose parents have died - correct me if I am wrong!

It surprises me, given the way he feels about the absence of his parents through death - that he never considered his own two beautiful children who loved him more than words can express, whom he left so easily and seemed to forget about and smoke weed and party and  travel across the country with his money and his love with his friends and his friends are the world, but where are they now - dead, gone, living lives that do not include him.  One postcard, no phone calls, gifts he said he sent that never arrived.

The people who love you when you are a princess, then leave when you are living in an attic with no heat or food.  Fair weather friends never there til the end!  Like I said, it made me feel really sad.

Thankfully, there are people, kind people to remind you that you are still the princess that you were.  The ones who see the light under the smear of ashes and fear.  The people who love you and have been there not just in words but in actions.

Hugs from the son who feels your pain, wipes your tears.  Makes you smile.  True words from an old lover telling you that you were and are the best person, friend and lover and they have never found anyone quite like you even after 15 years, someone who listens to your words, lets you cry, feels your pain and tries to claim the blame when they don't own it and truly understand your need to just say the words out loud so the pain can go away.  Someone who doesn't just call to say, hey are you okay, but calls from outside your house to make sure you are and who makes sure you are okay!

Don't get me wrong, I have put my kids second once or twice.  Mainly as a single parent working too many hours out of town for the bigger bucks, but they had pre-arranged care with their dad or my parents, I always knew where they were and they always knew where I was, there was always food and the house and clothes were clean and we were organised.

The bonus was when I came back - and I was home every night regardless - I was sometimes too beat to cook dinner so they got treated to restaurant food more than not!  It was necessary - believe me I carry the guilt for being away from them - for time away when I was ready to lose my mind if I stayed around another minute,  for something stupid like a man, but not to the point of neglect and abandonment.  I am not proud of it but I accept that I did it.  They were away from me on their excursions more than I have ever been away from them!

They point it out - remember when - yeah but they know that I was always right there if it was a man, making money if it was a job, coming back if it was a retreat.  They never had to wonder where I was or guess if they would ever see me again.  I would call them and they would call me - anytime - they were priority one.  That is the difference.  They hate it when I point out that entire summer you left to go stay at dad's and I had to find things to do alone!

I love unconditionally.  I am blessed and cursed with that ability.  It is difficult now that my father is 66 and tries to put me in his "mother" role.  I have to tell him - I am not your parent - a bit confusing as a daughter.  Especially a daughter who has been left behind more than once.  I just hope the next time I watch The Little Princess that this is all behind me and I can once again enjoy one of my favorite Shirley Temple movies!

To growth and love and acceptance!  Here, here!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Defaulting on life

It is Friday night and for a change I am staying home.  Lately my friend Mike, who volunteers at a local radio station, has been keeping me really busy checking out local music and even going to NY State to Albany to hear bands.  Last week he dragged me out at the last minute even though I had plans with my bed and t.v.

I used to have to go out when I was younger.  The desire to stay home was nil.  If I didn't go out I would go mad!  In the mid 90's I used to go out with my friend Sharon and hear her and then our favorite band Ruby and although they are no longer around I would still drop everything to go dance to their tunes.

I would have been dancing last Friday night but when we got to the club with the band they went on break and then Mike wanted to go eat ice cream and then surprised me by not going back to dance.  Bummer.  I could have gotten into it!  Timing is everything I guess and priorities also.

I am feeling an urge to get up and dress warmly and just take a walk in the cold November air.  I am feeling restless.  My normal is so out of whack that I don't know what that is anymore!  Up until last year I had no social life outside of my home.  Prior to that my home was the social hub.  Each situation takes getting used to and I cannot decide if I like to leave my house or not for real anymore.

Up until May the only reason I had for leaving my house was my son's doctors appointments, the library for his tutoring, shopping or walking the dog three to five times a day.  Now I have to force myself to leave the house for any reason.  It is a catch 22.

This day has been a roller coaster!  I woke up tired and spent to go and stand out in the freezing cold to get food at the food pantry.  My money doesn't cover everything and I am not too proud to take handouts of food.  I am thankful that they are there looking out for we less fortunate souls.

I do miss the days, not so long ago when I had a house and credit and credit cards more to the point.  At least then when the money ran out there was an alternate source of funding.  Not that I am frivolous and live outside my means.  I managed my finances and such amazingly well for a single mom with three kids.  A++ credit is a thing of the past since the recession and a bad refinancing.  I accept responsibility for my end of it. The one where I defaulted on my life.

Getting out of this mess, knowing where to begin is hard.  Since my normal practice is to stand still and do nothing when you know not what to do, I did that.  Now standing still I feel like I am sinking in quicksand and it is rising fast.

I read a book from the library on bankruptcy for dummies.  I wasn't really too sure until I consulted an attorney what really counted as property and valuables.  I have a lot of things but none are valuable.  They are trinkets from my past lives.  Memories and markers.  A whole lot of nothing.  Made me feel better and worse.  Since my income is Disability it cannot be attached - thank god for small favors - but since I have limited income I don't have the money to hire an attorney to file for me.  I am confident that I can figure it out on my own with that silly book.  I know that I am not going to be able to move forward until I accomplish this task.

My New Years Resolution prior to New Year is to take care of this matter.  I am never going to be happy until I correct the error that I made and do this.  I would love to be able to answer my phone again and not be afraid to open my mail.  It is time.  So wish me luck.  Pray for me to have the strength to begin this major undertaking.

I am going to by-pass the walk and do what I should have done last Friday evening and get into my p.j.'s and climb into bed.  No good can come from wandering out into this cold November evening the way I feel right now!

I rarely get down and yet, in this moment I am so very sad and can't think of one positive or inspirational thing to say.  I guess the upside would be that I have decided to tackle a major undertaking which I have put off for 4 years now.  I do hope that my procrastination has not caused me any problems I am unaware of.  It can only help to correct this situation - right?!?

Maybe there will be an awesome classic movie on when I go upstairs!  I do appreciate you all for joining me on my journey!  I love seeing all of the people and places who are reading my blog.  It excites me to see new readers from different countries!  I am like an excited child when I check my stats.  Thank you all for taking the time to get to know me!

It is huge for me to share as I have always hidden myself.  It is so different living in the light rather than the shadows!  Thank you all again!

Peace and love!