Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cobwebs and memories

Time and memories are funny things.  This is me in 1988 outside on a fire escape during this photo shoot just for fun, I was not a model.  The details of the event are in a fog of other memories which cover the details.  An acquaintance of mine, Ric F., who had his photography studio upstairs from one of my favorite eateries at the time invited me and my best friend Johnny brought me up and dropped me off for this interesting experience.

This spot is still here and my son, on the rare occasions when he leaves the house to do errands with me, no longer needs me to point out the fire escape where the picture(s) were taken, now I get "I know, before you say it Ma, there is the fire escape", I just slap him on the arm and laugh, now my memory is his memory!  That makes that Friday evening one summer long ago transcend, who knows, perhaps one day my  son will be walking these streets with his children and my grandchildren will know of the fire escape where Gramma got her picture(s) taken.  They may even recognize the clothing in the photos as I still have a majority of the clothes from the day, the jacket I am in here is still hanging in my closet, although it is no longer my "favourite"!  I can hear my boys in the future, saying - see, I told her she was a hoarder, still has those stupid 80's clothes!

When I look at these pics of this day memories do creep out of the halls of my closed memories.  There was a lot going on at that time.  My Dad had just popped into my life again, random as ever.  This time, he brought one of my future son's Dad into my life, but just a prelude, Dalton Carnival, the end of my relationship with Tom (my only husband prior to our short lived marriage), for one of the first endings in a long history of beginning and ends with him, which is it's own story and we, my friends are not ready for that tale of tales.

This photo shoot was the distraction from my life.  If you look at the series of photos you would never know that my life had ended and I was the saddest girl in the world!

On a positive note, when Ric got ready to develop said pictures, I worked around the corner at the Methodist Church, he phoned me and asked me to come over to the studio, which I gladly did.  The best part of this experience which was the coolest was the process of developing the film.  Watching the magic so to speak!  I have always been awed and amazed by the process!  Still to this day it is a goal of mine to learn how to do this magic myself.  In this day of digital it is less necessary but not less cool!

Friday, October 26, 2012


I have taken a step back from the introspection and the memories.  While most memories are good, they drag up bad memories and reviewing pictures from various times in my life was a little bit traumatic in that respect.  Talk about system overload!

Instead I have been occupying my time with distracting myself from the past and have been out making new memories, re-connecting with old friends, making new friends, keeping the family happy by spending time with them and cooking (as usual and with pleasure)!

I have had a blessed week this week!  I went to a birthday party with my new best friend Jen, to the birthday of a dear acquaintance and met wonderful people and hung out with people whom I have known in passing for a few hundred years, but have never spent time with in such a way!  Great food and company make for a great evening!

One of my sheep who wandered out of pasture found his way back home the other day happily and unexpectedly!  I always love it when people flow back into my life, either brief random encounters in stores or on the street, or much welcome visits at home!

This week has been like that.  I have seen two brothers who were my son's friend, received a letter from a new/old friend, my old neighbor from my childhood home, who were like parents to me whom I love dearly, yet whom I haven't seen in more than ten years, my good friend Sheryl and her husband Tom found me on Facebook, just to name a few.

I am counting my blessings.  My blessings are dear to me.  Rarely do I or have I felt so blessed in my life than I do recently.  It really is the little things that make a difference to me.

At the party we wrote wishes on paper and burnt them in the fire.  Mine was to replace negative with positive naturally.  I don't know how long it will take this old dog to learn that new trick!  I am open and so ready for it!

Stay Blessed and look to the sun, not to the clouds!


Monday, October 22, 2012


I am so flooded with memories from the past it is tripping me out a little bit!  I have been looking at pictures for a couple of days now, since Sunday, after the visit with my son and his family.  They give me more to process and filter and remember. Each batch a different time, a different life.  That is the trippy part!  All of the different times and lives.  The memories I have lost when I put everything away.  They come flooding back, good - bad and in- between.  The effects on the lives of those around me. Way to overwhelming to process all at once.

On the other side of the coin, spending time with my sons and new daughter in law and grand daughter and the renewal of spirit and peace and connection that it brought me is most fulfilling!  Although it may not have seemed it to my children, they were always the primary binding force in my life.  Whether I was with them, or working to provide for them, or letting them grow and evolve they were the air that I breathed and the sun in my face!

They are the core of my essence.  My family, my spirit, my heart, which is why the separation anxiety and empty nest syndrome is so difficult for me!  I need my children!   They know me pretty well.  We don't have too many secrets from each other.  Wise, or not, not sure yet.  At least a phone call!  Most parents cant wait to get rid of their kids - why? how?.

When they were younger, Jeff would wander off for weekends or longer visiting friends, Patrick and Tom would go to Bruce's and I would spend countless hours by myself filling my time with endless car rides through the Berkshires, music blaring, back roads, mountain tops, reservoirs, you guys from here know what I am talking about!  I would carry a camera and pull over when I saw a shot with the light just right....nothing like the Berkshires, it has got to be one of the most photogenic places on the planet.  I was okay with that.  They were developing, forming, growing and evolving.  They always came home.

When we moved to New Ashford it was home.  Jeffrey did not come nearly enough.  Patrick and Tom rarely left.  Home was good.  A comfortable, warm and friendly place!  Everyone was welcome!  Our family was large.  Life was good!  It is nice to have the spirit of home once again!

Sunday, October 21, 2012


I am taking a moment from my family dinner preparation to stop and take a breath!  I have been so busy getting ready.  Dessert is baked, awaiting cooling almost ready to frost.  I went with chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting.  A favorite of mine.  First floor is complete other than decorating the dining room.  I am very happy with the progress I have made!

The hardest thing left to do I think is peeling the butternut squash, I think I have it under control though, I am becoming a professional peeler this week!  (Patting myself on the back).

Can I say, the hardest thing would have been the squash, had I not slid a stack of crystal off of the refrigerator as I went for a platter to put the cupcakes on, then I had the challenge of cleaning up a stack of broken crystal serving bowls and candy dishes!  Forgot what an awesome sound crystal shattering makes!  And what a lovely mess!    Not going to ruin my day!  It is ironic though that I lovingly packed and moved this stuff which I had purchased in the early 1980's about 20 times and never a mishap!  Oh well, such is life!

It is the day after my family gathering.  I am so happy.  Tired, but happy.  Happy is not a normal emotion for my "self".  I have been working on it for a while now, changing that.  I began in 1999 removing all negative influences on my life.  It is difficult yet necessary.  Of course I know how to put on that "fake" self and smile and be gracious.  Not believing in being a hypocrite I hate fake, so I have been working on the authentic "self", that, and removing that negative self talk.  Usually it is an uphill battle and I am aware when I am losing it, I become a hater!

There is no hate stemming from this most positive evening.  I think that I am not the only person in my family who needed this last evening.  Not naming names.  I also think it flooded memories, good and bad for all of us!  Looking at pictures of our life when the kids were growing up.  Memories....

I am proud of my son and his family!  I love, love, love them and I hope that it helped my eldest son to remember life was not always bad!  Watching my children with my granddaughter, my son with his wife and daughter makes my heart swell!  Hearing the laughter of  my family makes tears come to my eyes as I type this, not of sadness, but of emotions long forgotten and ones which I am unable to name.  Having my granddaughter give me a hug and tell me that she wants to come back tomorrow is priceless!

I have raised three individual, strong and I think mostly happy children.  I will always worry about them.  I know, even if they don't see.  They are all unique and express themselves differently.  I had forgotten, not being around my eldest son everyday, or even enough at all over these ten years that he has been living on his own, and me not being his support, how he operates.  I used to think he hated me.  I remember countless times having conversations with my mother after he was seemingly rude and hurtful, and her reassuring me that it is how he expresses love in jibes and snips.  It makes me sad to see him go blank when he faces memories of our family.  Things he doesn't want to acknowledge.  My Beaner, never wanting to share things for fear he will upset or hurt me, usually making simple problems huger by ignoring and maybe they will go away or fix themselves!  Good to see his wife understands and accepts him just as he is!  I love Lisa!  I could not have a better daughter in law!

I love my family!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Family Gatherings

My oldest son, Jeff got married recently and I am getting ready for a visit to my new apartment from he and his bride and her sweet daughter.  My son Patrick was over earlier and let me know that he knew about the dinner because Jeff called him and he will be here also!  I love having my whole family together.  We all love my son's wife and daughter.  They have never been to my new apartment so I am getting organised and finishing up the apartment for their visit.

Did I say I was excited?  I cannot wait!  I am determined to have everything in order.  Can I just say it has been since 2008 that my disorganization began. I have moved so many times over the course of that time.  Displaced from our home.  The home must be in order in order for there to be order I believe.  I am a person who needs order. The chaos and disorder do not suit me.  I am a boring person in that way.  I am a homey person.  I have not felt this settled in that whole time.  Can I say it feels good.  Having my whole family home will feel even better.  It is long overdue!

I do not understand people who can't wait for their children to leave.  My children were all unexpected except one.  I was told by a Doctor I couldn't have children because of an illness when I was a teenager.  Ha!  Never believe doctors!  I had my first son when I was 19.  From the instant that I held him in my arms I felt a connection to my sweet baby boy!  I will never forget that moment or that feeling.  He led me from one path to quite a different one to say the very least!

I am a single parent, I was married once, briefly, but not to the father of any of my children, but that is for another day and another time when we know each other better.  One of my sons was planned and his Dad has always been involved in our lives and a father to all of my sons.

I took my role as mom very seriously as I do take all of my responsibilities and no matter how old I get, how grown my little men get they will always be my dear sweet sons, I can still see their beautiful faces the first time I laid eyes on each and everyone of them.  They are not doctors or lawyers but they are good young men.  I am proud of each of them.  I have enjoyed watching them grow and evolve.

They, like me did not have standard childhoods and lives like "normal" children.  But these days what is normal.  I raised "the most functional/dysfunctional" family to the best of my abilities with the tools that I had available which were love and caring and home cooked meals, music, hikes and camping  and ocean and laughter and tears!  I know, as they do that life was not always ideal or easy.  When it was good it was very very good and when it was bad, it was never dull.

My son's wife, Lisa has not seen too many pictures of Jeff when he was younger.  I am excited because I recently brought home a whole bin of photos of the boys youth throughout the years from birth to teens and then some.  I am sure she will get a kick out of them.  I am looking forward to the day!

It will be nice to spend some family time with my son and his family.  We have been to a few cookouts at their home and I love their family dynamics.  I love my granddaughter.  I have always wanted a daughter and I had three boys.  Now that my son and Lisa are married I am an official Gramma!  It makes me smile and warms my heart!  Family really is everything!

Lisa's family is awesome.  Getting to meet and know them is so much fun.  Myself and my other two sons really feel welcome and a part of the family around them, it very nice.  I think that my son and his wife are really  a great match!  I expect they will have a long and happy life together!

Adapting to Jeff and the first experience of "empty nest" syndrome was extremely difficult.  Patrick did it gradually, without conversation, hanging out more at his Dad's until he took his T.V. and then he sat me down at the kitchen table and told me that Thomas was the man of the house now.  So funny to have son's to parent me.  That is family and Patrick is so my parent.

Some people misunderstand him.  He is so serious to the point of rudeness at times.  They do not understand that I am the safe haven where you can talk and express your feelings.  I always have been a good listener.  It made it easier not to share myself.

I have an policy where my children are encouraged to speak their minds.  I never really had anyone to talk to, really talk to and I did not want them to feel that way.  At times all a person needs to to is talk.  He at least was a regular visitor and we still saw him a few times a week and he phoned regularly. He still does unless he is "punishing" me.

Jeffrey on the other hand is more of the silent and independent type.  Involved with his own life we saw and heard from him less regularly.  I remember when he came to New Ashford to visit us for the first time at our "family home", Jeffrey was supposed to move with  us but chose to stay in Pittsfield with my mother to finish school as he was a senior, and then his life began.

Jeffrey was a big child and he was quite tall and slender at that time, about 6 feet tall and I don't know how many pounds, and Patrick and Thomas were 13 and 9 and always were smaller by far, well, they started fooling around in the living room and Pat and Tom put Jeffrey through the wall!  It was an older house and not standard sheet rock  but a different kind of thicker and stronger material, well they put the outline of Jeff in the wall!  It was so funny!  Most people would get mad but it wasn't too bad in reality.  It was the brotherly comradery which was so touching and heartwarming to me as a parent.

 One of the reasons it was so special was because a few years earlier my boys used to use a lot of energy wrestling and playing and seemingly indifferent as boys will be.  Not seeing the brotherly love -I lectured them about how they were brother's and they should have each other's backs and not fight each other all of the time.  I have a brother and I would have given my life for him - and still will if need be.  I don't have money or power or success but I will fight for my family.  No doubt about it.  I have and I will, always and forever., I digress though, my boys the oldest being 13 or so at the time (they are roughly 4 years apart) looked at me like I had three heads and said yeah, whatever, blah blah blah.

I should probably add at this point that my son's favorite game was to see how quick they could get me to blow my gasket.  I used to be very high strung and overly explosive.  With three boys constantly pushing my buttons, and I had a few it is no wonder  I am not completely grey or insane!  I would love to say that they have out grown that behaviour but it is too much fun apparently for one of my sons to overcome and the other to go along with!  We shall see if the same rings true of the third.  I am smiling at the thought!

I dread the day that Thomas departs.  I could invoke the rule that he is my youngest child and is obligated to take care of me.  My counselor Lydia, her mother was from a different day, as she was the youngest of a clan of children.  It seems funny but I think about it.  When I threaten to leave Thomas tells me to get a R.V. because he and my Dad are coming with me!  Now that would be a trip inside a trip inside a R.V.  Stranger things have happened.  I think there is a little gypsy in everyone.  The world is a big place out there and it is always nicer to have people with you.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Projects and Progress

I am sitting enjoying the sunshine warming me through my window.  Now that I have successfully moved my computer into the computer room and not next to my bed where it is so uncomfortable to use and type I am happy.

I made a huge error the other day in my last blog post.  Although I spell checked and read and re read a huge error got by.  I apologize for that.

My Dad did not break my neck, although my neck is messed up from car accidents and now life.  My Dad was in a car that went through a green light while someone else decided to go through a red light.  Fortunately he was asleep in the back seat and his long hippie hair saved him by protecting him from all the glass which broke upon impact.  I was a child when this happened.  I also lived next to the hospital he was in and although we were not allowed to see our Dad, per our Mom's orders,  my grandparents did bring us up to visit once, my best friend Sherman, my baby brother and I frequently wandered around Pittsfield General Hospital to locate him.  The one time we found him there we had a box of kittens with us to show him Slinkey's latest litter.  She was always having kittens.  She was a great cat!

Don't ask me why three young children under the ages of 8 were not questioned, stopped or thrown out is still a mystery to me.  Some of my greatest achievements have been in "locating" my missing Dad with very few clues.  It may have had something to do with the fact that many of my grandmother's sisters and cousins were nurses there, I am grateful regardless!  We roamed that hospital even before my Dad was in, frequently looking for change in the vending machines in the scary basement which now sports the cafeteria I do believe.

I am taking this time to slow down, breath and just write.  Since I do not have any plan for my blog and I seem to be contemplating the next big direction in this directionless exploration.  I think that the last two shares took more out of me than I realized.  I am a very private person.  I have difficulty sharing truths with myself, let alone random strangers.  If you don't think or acknowledge things then they are not there?  Something like that.  It took me eight years to get comfortable with my counselor just to be able to work on the real stuff.  Then she left and I was stuck with no one to work on the good stuff with, so I shelved it.  Not having anyone to trust with my self.

I am learning that you can only handle what you can handle and when you are very young and hit overload you learn all kinds of things to hide the scary, bad and negative factors.  I sometimes wonder how I survived at all!  I know how.  Those walls.  Those walls held and hid those demons which came and took the color out of my world and my voice out of my self.  Some tricks take longer to unlearn.  As I am on a forward mission it seems to be time for some of these things to loosen their grip and for me to free myself.

As I am getting older and stronger I am tired of having huge holes where memories used to be.  Although it is strange to have memories pop back into my brain.  It is weird not being able to make a timeline like most other people.  That is why I have difficulty remembering things that other people remember with ease.  It is kind of embarrassing in reality.

So please bear with me.  I am a ongoing project.  I have been my whole life.  The only difference this time is that I have my voice and while I recently almost let the same person who muted that voice regain that power again, and more recently than that accepted the reality and truth in that relationship and no longer am giving power to that person.  Instead it is my goal to empower myself!

Thank for your interest and I hope it holds your interest!

Saturday, October 13, 2012


One of the most important things in my life is family.  When I was a little girl my Mom, Dad, and brother and I were a great family unit!  I remember so much fun and happiness.  My parents and grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins!  So important and there!

 It was so nice hanging out in our family unit!  We were always fishing, visiting people, having fun.  Having help with homework, meals at the table at Briggs Ave, learning to tell time at the table.  The Felix the cat clock with the tail that swished back and forth! 

Our cat, Slinkey, who brought birds and mice all the way up the second floor, second inner door for us!  All of the kittens she used to have!  Boxing in the front room with my little brother on the big rug, like it was a boxing ring!  So many long faded memories, seemingly taken away in one quick swoosh of time and fate!

Family is still important to me.  When my family dissolved, and dissolve it did, like it never even existed!  Then replaced with dark shadows and uncertainty and survival!  Replaced with a half life of sorts!  Confusion and mucho grande alone time!  Being transported weekends and holidays and summers to grandparents houses so Mom could work, or in the hopes of seeing Dad.

Back at the homestead, my Uncle moved in temporarily, vague memories.  My brother and I alone.  Hanging with Sherman Austin.  Wandering around Viale's Florist between the greenhouses, Pittsfield General Hospital, Springside Park.  Learning to run really fast taught to me by Sherman.  Looking for my Dad in the hospital after he broke his  neck.  Young, very young.  Bringing a box of kittens into the hospital and finding my Dad!  Yeah!  Comic books and Ressees PB cups.  Not the same as having my Dad, but a nice prize for finding him!

Alone, sadness, pain, sorrow.  Loss of laughter and voice.  Why is it always my voice which I lose during these times???  Why did no one notice???

Moving, now losing my friends along with my family.  No identity.  Fear, pain and sorrow!  Readjusting??  Never adjusted to my loss of family.  Being different.  Fun.  Alone.  Bad.  I was always labeled instead of loved.  Different.  Hugs, not hate, that is what I wanted and needed.  No love.  Alone.  Easy.  Difficult.

Nature saved me in my solitude.  The beauty all around me kept me alive.  The world can be ugly, but how can a flower and the sun and birds, raccoons, wildlife?  Never!  Never I say!  Thank god for small favours and his large beautiful planet which engulfed me!

No one noticed when I died inside.  Left an empty shell in this torturous hell.  All alone.  Once we moved my brother had my mother.  I had no other.  My Dad was gone, a letter, a postcard.  Tears, pain sorrow, hate when I loved.  Cruel!

Books, reading a lot!  9 - 12 books a week.  Hiding.  Hiding, always hiding.   No one noticed.  No one cared.  Such is life.  Such is life!

Strangers, other peoples families, they don't know that the love they shared gave me a thread to hold on to.  Very thin thread.  It was enough most of the time.  Until they too were gone.  Gone, alone again.  Normal. How easy it is to walk away?  How is it easy to walk away?  I don't know, but I do know because I do it to now. 

Family, so dear, yet so far away from me.  Gone and lost forever and never to be.  Sadness, tears and pain.  Will I ever be happy again?  Little girl lost and far away.  So alone every minute of the day...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Passions Continued

After writing the passage on passions, and almost forgetting the music, how could I forget the music?  For me music has been a part of my life forever!  Jeremiah was a Bullfrog, Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road, classic Allman Brothers, a.m. radio in the car before I even knew about f.m. radio, and that is just what I can vaguely recall until junior high school and being introduced to Aerosmith and the Cars.  I currently live for the Blues - Buddy Guy, Robert Johnson, John Mayall to name a few!  I needed to do a follow up; in addition to, so to speak.

Writing is also something that I have always done that I overlooked.  Writing to vent in journals, silly love poems, angry scribbles, Fuck the World in a Big Way Baby!  I probably have more boxes of writing than most people.  When you are alone with no one to talk to and share and bounce things off of it kind of works to write even if no one sees it.

I used to draw and do water colors.  My favorite art teacher in school is a local artist in town.  He used to bring my work home to show his wife who was also an artist.  That was long ago though.

  I was at a First Friday Artwalk in town where local artists show their work in businesses on our main street.  I was in one emporium of artists along with a crowd of people and a stranger asked me if I was an artist.  I looked at him thinking of all the art and all the things that I have done and not done and said, sometimes I am and sometimes I am not.  My talent for art only comes out to play at certain times.  I keep trying but mostly no one is home and it is the same patterns, scribbles or whatever you would like to call it.  Any one can scribble.  There are so many wonderful talents in our County!  I would never  ever say I was one of them! 

Now I do fun craft things.  I paint ceramics, decorate glass ornaments, rubber stamp, make and decorate grapevine wreaths, just to name a few.  It depends on how settled I am.  I have not been settled in a few years so my time and talent for crafts are limited.  Part of my restructuring is geared toward organization and being settled enough to do more than the daily stuff.  Being disabled it is difficult at times to even get through the dailies in a day, let alone throw something fun into the mix!

My Gram taught me how to crochet when I was a little girl.  I have been crocheting a blanket for myself, as I have made them for my boys over the years.  I thought it would be nice if I actually did something for me.  I will probably be dead before I finish it!  It took me 9 years to start and finish a blanket which started out for a friend, which I finished when my oldest son was around 5 and that was before I had small motor issues!  I will keep you posted!

I am also a huge people watcher.  It began when I was a teenager.  My city is small.  You trip over people here and there.  Being the invisible entity that I was I enjoyed noticing people.  I still do it.  Some people I have been watching for 25 years or more.  I never interact with them.  I just notice them for what ever reason.  Who knows why some people grab our attention?  Certainly not me!

It is so easy to overlook the things that make us who we are.  I think the busier and more distracted we are the less we see ourselves and remember what makes us "us".  I think with raising children, working to support and raise the family, recovering from my accidents, and just trying to survive on a daily basis bogs us down so much that we lose sight of what makes us individuals!    I for one am on a journey of exploration in this blog and I think that between yesterday and today I have had a lot to look over and pull out of myself.    So thank you Richard for the "what kind of person..." and thank you Mike for the "what are your passions"  both of those questions individually and together are so easy, simple, plain questions; yet each of those were very thought provoking, time consuming questions which made me really think hard before I could whip up an answer!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Someone asked me recently what my passions are.  I could not readily answer, much like when I could not answer what kind of person I am.  I feel that those two questions are very deep and complicated to me, mainly because they require introspection, and because I have to think about them.  I wonder if most people could come up with a quick "short" answer with no problem.

When I was younger  I read a lot.  I love to read.  I still have some of my early Dr. Seuss books which I wrote my name in when I was learning to write my name, along with my favorite "Little Bear" book.  Reading is my earliest passion seeing how I have been doing it since before I was five years old.  My Mother taught me how to read.  It may be one of the few acts of kindness that she ever bestowed upon me which meant the most in so many ways!

Cooking seems to be my second favorite passion.  Cooking I have been doing since I was about 8 years old, after we moved to West Pittsfield.  I would come home from school and tidy up the house, do my homework and cook dinner for when my Mom and step-dad Joe came home from work.  My mother was never a cook.  She specialized in French Toast and Meatloaf, that is about it.  My step-father Joe was the cook in our house! 

Joe was Italian.  I am sure that he learned to cook from his mother.  I never got to meet his mother as she died before we moved to West Pittsfield.  Joe was a great cook.  When he was laid off you could find him in the kitchen making food, in the stores buying food for his feasts!  He would cook for an army!  Sauces, soups, pasta!  He was amazing and much missed.  I owe him alot, for I would not be the person I am today without his influence, not just in the kitchen, but in life in general!  He taught me to be an individual, march to my own drum, dare to be myself - which I have always tried to do!  RIP <3 !  I especially miss him when I bake Italian Cookies because he was my chief cookie froster, never complaining as he frosted the 10 + dozen of cookies which is what one batch of the recipe makes, which are never enough!  His sister Jospehine gave me the recipe my step dad said that I baked them better than her!  Love them both! 

My passion for cooking, which I am venturing and learning new styles besides just accommodating picky children, will continue as the children move out and I learn new skills from others and get braver!  Love reading cookbooks also, which is tied into the cooking thing.  Cooking is only surpassed by baking, which, is not cooking, it is in a class all by itself.  That passion comes from my Dad's Mom - my grandmother Gallant.

My Grandmother was a teacher at Lanesborough School.  She also baked for her family and every event in Lanesborough!  Chocolate Chip Cookies to Cream Puffs to Homemade Cakes, Pies, jellies and jams, just to name a few.  I remember helping her make many delicious morsels while I was visiting her home waiting for the off chance that my Dad would arrive and make me the happiest little girl on the planet.  I spent a lot of time there waiting.  My Dad loved Cream Puffs.  I knew when he might be around by the fact that my Gram would bake them.  To this day I make the custard filling just because it is soooo yummy! 

I remember one weekend morning while my cousins, Tamra and Sarah and Christopher were there visiting from afar.  My Gram made us tiny round donuts, before Dunkin Donuts had munchkins we had these.  My Gram cooked them in the hot oil and then we children rolled them in powdered sugar and cinnamon.  Delicious!  Before my Gramma died she made a cookbook for all of us in the family, her legacy, like we could ever forget Gram!

 Some of my most cherished items are recipes from when I started baking my Christmas Cookie Platters in her very own writing!  I miss my Gram!  Some mean "friends" broke into my apartment in Williamstown in 2008 and among the things that they did, besides steal things was tear up my Gram's cookbook that she made.  I am really angry and pissed about that, but what comes around goes around and their lives are not as up and privileged as they used to be - thank you Karma!

I also have a passion for collecting things. This one is a long time passion also which stems from my step father.  He, when we met him had a store called La Casa Bella, it was an import store around the corner from the apartment my Mother, Father, brother and myself lived in before the end of the world as I like to think of it.  It was a great store!  Wall to wall stuff.  After we moved into his house one of the things he liked to do was go to Flea Markets and antique stores.  I have a pretty good eye and used to find the most interesting things. Mostly I would give them away to my Dad in the early days. Something I regret a little now, as he is not a keeper of important things the way that I am.  Some of those items would be worth some money right now and he can't even recall every owning them!  Oh well!   Total bummer!

Besides books, I collected Unicorns, Carousel Horses, music boxes, stuffed animals, pretty things, dishes, art and religious and nature things.  I think I have more "memory rocks" rocks picked up during family outings with my boys, than any one person.  The memories have faded but I am still carrying rocks around! 

Decorating has always been a hobby of mine.  I think that is just to display my stuff and make area's work comfortably and effectively.  It is more of a chore lately than a skill which my father thinks I possess. 

I fancy travel and architecture also.  Although I have not pursued either of these avenues lately.  Back in the late 90's I was working for a marketing company and traveling around the great North East attending various major cities and Boat Shows, Wine Shows, Home Shows, RV shows, festivals and fairs!  Providence RI has amazing architecture and I miss walking around there checking out the old architecture and watching the revitalization of the city!  I really miss that job and the traveling and people whom I got to meet and talk to! 

Work was also a passion.  I had finally found my niche in what I wanted to do when my life suddenly came to a shocking stand still and a new avenue opened.  Of course I am speaking of the two auto accidents within 4 months of each other and the new journey of being a patient and surgery and disability.  The biggest challenge in my life has been learning to adjust to never questioning and just doing to now doing and regretting doing.  Boy is that confusing to read and to do.

  Let me explain.  I have never had a limitation in my life.  I could and did do whatever I physically need to do and keep going.  Since 1999 I have been unable to do what ever I want due to limitations.  A person who had no limitations who suddenly cant walk from the car to the house, and up the stairs with out help, who could not get out of bed to wake up the children for school, who needed help lifting and carrying.  Left with limitations and pain and needing to rest and spend much time in bed and much time starting and stopping simple things.  Sucks!  Learning limits.  Learning to say screw the limits and live and deal with the pain repercussions later, and for days/weeks sometimes after.  I pick and choose what I do now.

The most overlooked passion in my life though is music.  I have no musical ability.  I have been loving music my whole life though!  Early memories of my Dad playing guitar in our house and my grandparent's house, I would lay in bed in the morning and listen to him practice.  Later on my oldest son Jeff, who has natural musical talent, would practice his bass down in my mother's apartment below my room and I would listen and love hearing him jam!  Listening to these two jam when they did not know I was even doing so were some of the best, most peaceful and enjoyable times of my life, which to this day I would give my right arm to experience again, but those days are past luckily I still have those memories!

My Dad talks of bringing us to the Music Inn when we were younger, and music always played everywhere, in the car, at friends houses, Boy's Club Dances, Roller Skating, Concerts!  Oh the concerts I have been to, the bands I have seen and the journeys I have taken!  Music is important to my boys also.  While Jeff, my oldest son and I only went to one concert together, Patrick and Thomas and I used to go to hear big bands play together all of the time, in the good old days before my life was ruined financially and all of life stopped. More details on concert tales in the future, I am sure!

Recently I obtained a stereo system complete with a turntable and duel cassette player.  While I have 0 albums, cuz mine got stolen in a move long ago, I have a multitude of cassettes who various people, including myself made between say the 80's through mid 90's, which I have not been able to listen to in a zillion years! I am loving life right now musically with my Buddy Guy and John Mayall mixes, to the tapes Tony D made me of mixed classics - including but not limited to "the lime and the coconut" song, a family favorite!  The tapes Jimmy D made me which I thought I would never hear again and many unlabeled ones which I thank technology and the Internet and google song lyrics!  Life is good when you have some good old music to listen to!  Everything is better with music!

I can not believe I almost forgot music as one of the first and foremost passions of  mine.  Nature is another one.  Animals, flowers, sunshine and rainbows!  I love the beauty of a snowy day, the gloominess of a rainy day, the sun on my face, the wind in my hair and my feet in the water on a hot summer day!  So many passions!  It is like values, until I thought about them, I didn't realize how many or how strong they are in me.

This blog is an exploration and journey.  I am definitely finding that to be true!  I am sure I have over looked or have not yet discovered more passions which I have not even touched upon here.  I will keep you posted.   I apologize to those of you who are reading this regarding how irregular my posts are.  Can I just clarify and state that time is a funny thing, and funnier in my world. Sometimes I just don't have too much of it to devote to things that are important to me.

 Not enough hours in the day, weeks, months and years at times.  Being busy with my family daily, my Dad and my son Thomas, usually a drop in visitor or two here and there, walking my daily route and making the rounds on North Street to say Hello here and there weather permitting now days that is!  Keeps a person busy.  Along with the fact that thinking about what to write and share and processing is time consuming also.  I am enjoying the process and hope that you are enjoying the journey!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

On the journey...

Life is a journey.  My journey seems to be up and down.  On the one hand I succeed at being more productive and less disorganized.  I find joy in what I do accomplish .  I count my successes.  On the other hand I feel that I have been isolating myself more and more.

That is one of my defense mechanisms,  isolating, internalizing.  I have been working hard at being more outgoing.  Then I have to work on being less trusting.  It is very confusing!  Very trying and draining.  It is easier to isolate and internalize since I attract life draining people - takers and users.

I am so happy to have a close knit circle of family.  When I get overwhelmed by the audacity of people in the  world and what passes as values and acceptable behavior it makes me rationalize my isolation.  I am thankful for my sons and my Dad.

I wish my brother was closer so that our children could know each other more.  I miss my brother most out of growing up and our lives moving in different directions.   I would have loved to see my little nephew grow up into the adolescent he is today.  Before I know it he will graduating High School, off to college and gone!  I hope the memories he has of me are enough to be long lasting.

Recently I was looking at photos of my children when they were younger and growing up.  The smiles on their faces!  This evidence of happiness cannot be denied.  Yet I have a child who thinks he has never lived a happy moment in his life.  He is my middle son.  Middle children seem to have these different beliefs.  He also believes he is adopted, I reassure him that they would never let me, as a single parent adopt a child.  He is so funny because he is not funny at all!

As the season changes into this new rainy fall season (I prefer my rain season in the SPRING thank you very much)  I am a little melancholy.  I seem to be drifting into negativism over the past week.  I feel a bit unsettled.  I know part of what it is because of.  A friend who seems to be not a friend and the disappointment in that.  Mad at myself for being mad at someone who is not worthy whom I thought was.  I am tired.  Tired and bored and unsure of what to do to straighten out the important things in my life.  Tired of having to accept life as it is.  Tired of not knowing what the future is going to bring.

I have been optimistic as we line up in the center of the milky way.  I finally obtained the information that I need in the form of a book.  I am on the re read.  It is called The Mystery of 2012   Predictions, Prophecies and Possibilities.  A friend of mine let me borrow it as his friend wrote in it.  He did not expect me to read it once, let alone twice.  I read it so much I bought him a new copy.

I am a science person.  I love the facts and the information.  I love the physics, and I never took it!  I feel like I have found one of the most important books I have ever read in my life.  I feel equipped.  I don't believe that the world is going to end on the day after my birthday.  Although if I am wrong I will be disappointed that I did not make it to stage three of my life, the living for me part!

I know that last part sounded selfish.  Believe me if you lived my life you would not think so.  I have been a caregiver and taker carer of and listener and doer for everyone and of everything for always!  I took care of my brother, my family, my children, my exes business, his dogs, his house, my house, my children oh did I say my children, my children's dog, my children's fathers, every man I have ever been with most of my friends and a few strangers.  I only have one or two recent friends who do not expect anything from me except to be me.  They don't want anything from me except my friendship.  They give to me and fill my cup so to speak.  It is a struggle for me to accept from them.  It is odd.  It is not normal for me to be given anything for nothing.  I am learning to accept and say thank  you instead of protesting.

Yet that negative self talk still creeps in....