Bah Humbug!

I'm trying....really trying to find the Christmas spirit. Dammit all I am freaking spoiled. I do have a good job, great kids, a boyfriend and the family isn't hassling me. I always find the *buts* and the *exceptions*.

I haven't bought even one present yet. I did finally put the tree up a few days ago. I've been battling a cold for a month now. I'm exhausted. I can't do this all by myself and I can't find anyone I am willing to share my life with. H

My two oldest kids and I are so busy that we haven't found the time to be with each other since Rhonda's wedding in August. I miss them. I am happy their lives are apparently going pretty well....but I am their mother until the ends of their days and I miss them. Both of them are 3rd shifters and I am too old to be able to stay up late enough to keep up with them. But God I miss them.

My story about the wedding did get published in the paper. Only my family noticed. I was so bummed. They gave me a whole page, front page section B to be exact....and the only people who really noticed were the ones I actually told about it. It really bummed me out. I'd told my friends and coworkers for weeks and no one actually noticed. It was even a slow news day. Everyone else gets the article posted on the bulletin board at work. It sucked not being noticed. It was a really good story, even after editing (which was done with a light hand). It was my first byline.

Walter is a contrary 15. He threatens to leave home on a regular basis until I remind him exactly what that will entail. I've spoiled him and can't seem to undo the damage completely. I have to stop myself from comparing him to his siblings. Maybe it was just that I was so much younger then. They were raised different too. I didn't have any money when they were small so they were more grateful for the things I could afford when they were teens. With Walter, he started off with a lot more money (2 parent household with good paying jobs) and ended up as a poorer teen (not that he doesn't get as much as Rich and Celia did, I only have one teen now instead of two). Lord I hope this attitude is more about his age than his personality.

Work....oh geez work....there is good and there is bad. I received another dollar an hour raise but I was promised two. I was also promised a reasonable insurance package. I was offered a package wherein I pay 75% (approximately $1200 per month cost to me). I was pissed but my GM said they were going to reevaluate the insurance package in March or late February. I was willing to wait but now I find out that some get it free... I have brought this company almost current in receivables (it was running about 60/40 in current/past 90 days accounts) and have generated almost 80 grand in 90 day or more (some as much as 2 years) past due receivables since I started this position this past July. I am constantly troubleshooting other departments, fixing computers and subbing for the front desk in addition to all that. I'm not sure I want to wait anymore. I am freaking insulted to tell you the truth. I love the job but I don't always think I am being treated fairly and I don't think I should have to threaten to quit to be treated equal to the other managers here. I am expected to act and think like a manager without the title or pay that goes with it. My GM just tells me to wait...eventually.... I've already turned down 3 offers, but now I'm thinking about looking for employment elsewhere. All I know is that if something needs doing I've been the one doing it, even if it means bringing it home. It pisses off my kid, my family and my boyfriend....I guess I am just trying to deal with it all.

I don't know about the current BF. He's smothering me. Its like my life has been taken over by his need to sit around and watch television with me by his side. I don't even watch freakin television as a rule. I miss blogging. I miss doing things on the spur of a moment with my friends. I miss being single I guess.... I like making my own rules, choosing my own channels, and doing what I want. Why does it have to be either/or all the time?

Life is good....but I know I could make it great with a little more effort. I know I could change things if I would just remember how to be truthful. I haven't lost hope....just forgot how to voice it.

Maybe I just need a shrink....

Am I wrong? Am I wanting too much?


Thankful for Unanswered Prayers

What better time of year to discuss those things we are thankful for?

I am so grateful for all the wonderful things in my life....but also grateful for things that I don't have in my life, maybe things I thought I wanted but in hindsight, realize they would not have been good for me.

I'm grateful my family is nosy enough to check on me and makes me socialize even when I want to crawl into a hole and hibernate. They keep me from falling victim to my emotions by forcing me to deal with their love for me....even when I want to forget everyone. Because of them I can never suffer from depression for long. When I hide....they find me and drag me out.

I'm grateful for the life of my former husband, no matter how many times I once wished he'd just go away. No we could never be a couple again but we are friends again. We have become who we once were and not the awful versions we were for a while. He's there for our children and even for me (though I strive not to take advantage of him). So I'm thankful that he didn't drop dead when I wished it. I no longer want him completely out of my life. He's been my friend since I was 4 years old.

I'm grateful that my job offers, while good, did not offer me the peace of mind or flexibility that my current job does. I had forgotten for a moment in time how perfect this job was for me and how much I love it. I am happy to go to work and work with people I enjoy at a job I do well.

I'm grateful for all those romances that didn't last too. Happy to have had more than one chance at happiness and yet be able to walk away when things didn't work knowing that I would not die, that I would wake up another day ready to love again. I'm grateful for the things I've learned from these men and the joy we shared for a time. Because of them, I know more of who I am, what I want to put into and get out of a relationship and I have confidence because through their eyes, I could see how I looked to them, and sometimes it was very sweet. I'm happy that I've known them.

So while we are grateful for our blessings....lets also be grateful for our fates. Maybe there really is a plan....Now if I could only find a map....I think I'd be ok!

May you all have a happy Thanksgiving and be blessed and surrounded by those you love and who love you back.


An unopened gift.

There's a lot of love in the world.

There's a lot of love in me.

The thing is we waste love by not using it. Love isn't any good just sitting in our hearts. We have to put it out into the world.

It needs a recipient to work its magic.

If its not given, and when its not taken, it can turn into ugly festering things.

I tried to give mine away recently. For him I think it turned into self centeredness and narcissm. Not the stuff you usually think about but more a self protective shell that insured that he would not need another for fulfilment. Truth be told, I probably made him that way.

To me it is sad, and a little painful to have my efforts rejected.

Sometimes when one doesn't know what to do, one does nothing and that is the worst thing of all.

For me, it is the frustration of being left holding a wondrous gift that was never even opened because the recipient neither seen the need for such a gift nor acknowledged the desire for it. I truly think it is what he most needed.

I still have my gift but it remains unopened and on a shelf for the time being. It taunts my pride but even that doesn't change the beauty that outshines the packaging.

Someone will want this gift one day, and I'm glad that I still have it.


Hot and Cold

Maybe I'm just stupid. I don't understand all this hot and cold shit that men do.

I want a certain amount of stability and comfort in my relationships.

I want to feel like I am where I am wanted.

I want to count on truth.

I hate stereotypical stuff. I keep finding it though.

Men chase after me. Sometimes it even gets on my nerves with all their bold words and impossible promises. They think nothing of interupting my schedule during this chase. Its like I can't be anymore than I am and they can't get enough of that. Once I accept them it quickly cools. Usually I find this stage, initially, quite a relief. Its certainly less pressure and potential embarrassment.

The part I don't like is the last part. The part where I don't matter.

Usually that is where I dump them without an opportunity for reparation.


Maybe I don't know everything

Today I was lucky enough to have time to talk with my real-life friends. I'm lucky enough to have several both at work and outside of work that truly care about my well being...yeah they rib me when they can and tell me what I don't want to know but they are good friends. I needed that today. It helps that most of them are sane.

One of my friends is ill. Seriously so. I refuse to believe anything bad can happen to her because I don't know what I would do without her. I feel kind of selfish in that belief but the truth is she is one of the few people in this world who "gets" me. She could probably tell you exactly what I would do in a given situation and seldom be wrong. I want to "be there" for her as much as possible. Its kinda hard because I want to smother her with affection and tears. I have to stop myself from seeing if she needs help. See she is probably more independent and proud than I am. She's like a super-woman. She'll do it all or die trying. Probably how she got so sick. My friend makes me look like a sissy girl. She's my hero. I would be lost in life without her. So what can I do to make her days better, to help her without her feeling like she's imposing? I really want to know. I don't know what I would want other than to not be treated like an invalid. She is powerful. I want more than anything for her to keep feeling that way. I know the risks and the expectations and side effects. I've chosen to focus on hope. Deal with the facts and make the future what she wants it to be. I want to be her friend. I've always considered myself the weaker link here.... I can't be that now. I have to toughen up and help hold her steady. What can I do? I would love suggestions.

I can't go through another sleepless night. My brain is scrambled.


It takes all kinds

People judge you by the company you keep.

Sometimes I wonder what people think of me and sometimes (like when they find out that I am friends with a couple criminal lawyers), I'm not left wondering long.

Why do people feel they have a right to judge another's judgement? In addition to lawyers and people of all religions, professions, and colors of skin, and in addition to my normal people and professional associates, I have friends who are homeless, have facial piercings, are gay or bisexual and even one who has been committed a couple of times. She's fine when she isn't crazy. Some of the people I mention have or have had problems with drugs and alcohol.

I don't hang out with them all at once....most of my friendships are one on one.

People like me and Iike them. I have a rather famous if distant cousin who was often quoted as never having met a man he didn't like. I get that.

Sometimes I think of my funeral, and I giggle. It ought to be a pretty good show.

I wish I could live to see it.


Sometimes it just doesn't work out when it should

I did go out with Tall & handsome again. The second date was just as delightful as the first. Perfect. We are perfect companions. We agreed to a tenative 3rd date and I was supposed to contact him or he me...

We both froze.

I'm kind of glad he did because I didn't want to reject him.

He is perfect. He should be my perfect match and I his. It was too perfect.

I would have suggested friendship but he's not looking for friends. I'm sure he has plenty as do I (but of course I'm kind of greedy in the friend department).

So about 3 or 4 days after I was trying to force myself to call him. I was already coming down with the cold I am now suffering from and I realized we both deserved more and I didn't call. I can almost see the poor guy going through the same thing and being worried over whether or not I would be hurt and then shrugging it off just like I did.

That's not going to happen to us. We are both confident and realistic. That was a week ago.

I hope to run into him again someday. I hope he is with a beautiful and sometimes annoying woman who can rub him wrong and then rub him right again.

Too much agreement is not a good thing....we were perfect for each other though... How boring is that? Perfect does not equate with passion. You need a spark for passion. A rub to light the fire. Wind to fan the flames. Fuel for desire.

I don't want Mr. Right.

I'm still looking for Mr. Notquite Rightinthehead.


Conjugating Time

I'm a forward thinker. I've always been the one who wondered what things meant in future tense. I don't think that's a bad thing so long as it isn't taken to extremes.

It is bad though, when it prevents one from learning from the past or enjoying the present.

Today matters and yesterday mattered too. I think it is good to remain as balanced as you can. To appreciate the moment rather than to wonder about what a moment means.

This all goes along with my focus on clarity.

To have a clear vision of what is true, we must not just look ahead, but look around and behind to see the whole picture.

I've concentrated so much on the fore and aft at times, I am blind to what is all around me.

I am surrounded by friends and family who love me and I need to appreciate them now. Not at a future time because future times may not occur, and not just to rehash past fun times when we could be creating new memories.

Life is good right now. I plan to enjoy each moment.


A Perfect First Date

Ok...this one is written for the guys who have emailed me and said things like "I have no idea what you women want" or "Its a different world baby..." etc....

I had a perfect first date tonight. It lasted approximately 2 1/2 hours. Enough time to show me his basic humanity, a glimmer of his sense of humor and develop a curiosity in me to learn more about him.

We met at a restaurant ON TIME. I can not emphasise enough that it was ON TIME. He was not there early scoping the women who entered out in case I wasn't up to what he thought I should be nor was he late, making sure that I was there first in a game of *lets see who is most important*.

He was perfectly charming at the door and met me with a smile and a hug. He did not try to feel me up.

He opened the doors and then allowed me to pass him and to choose where we sat. Good manners. He didn't muddle very long over the menu and allowed me to order for myself (it would also have been acceptable if he took my order and relayed it for me).

He wasn't worried about perfect table manners but he also was not a pig. He offered me a taste of his dinner and I politely declined, but it was nice to be offered. I offered him some of mine too. I should have offered sooner because he was full by then. Its been a while since I've been on a real date. I have to brush up on my niceties.

After dinner we went for a drive. He was very entertaining and talkative along the way. I did not have to handle the conversation by myself. He kept his flirtations lightweight and only danced on the edge of attraction, while still making it clear that he was attracted to me.

I definitely felt very sexy with his eyes all over me but it wasn't like he was leering y'know. Since I am still trying to lose a few pounds I put on after my last felt really good.

He then asked me out on another date to watch a movie. I liked that he knew what he wanted to do instead of expecting me to plan it for him. We chose a movie to see together. I liked that too. I chose 3 and he picked from them. I was happy too because his choice was my first choice (Sandra Bullock in All About Steve). Then he drove me back to my car.

We talked for a few minutes and I determined he could pick me up for our date. We exchanged business cards so I could give him directions. Then he actually asked if it was ok to kiss me. I was hoping he would and told him so. I can't tell you how refreshing this was. There was no ackward positioning because you didn't see it coming or any embarrassment over waiting for something that never did. It was a really good first kiss. Romantic and sweet with a hint of a passionate nature. He didn't try to strangle me with his tongue....but he made sure he knew what my lips tasted like. I liked it alot.

After I left his car and returned to mine, he made sure I was ok with him leaving. Chilvary really isn't dead. I smiled the whole drive home. Hopeful and pleased. He also did not call me while I was driving. I like that too because it is very dangerous, most guys don't even take that into consideration. Again with the chilvary.

I feel good about the whole experience and can't wait to go out with him again.

That is how to do a first date right. Be a gentleman, but be strong. Have your own ideas and voice. Show us who you really are, but be interested in us too. A peek into your soul and a cuddle later.

Leave us wanting. Half the fun of romance is the anticipation.

I don't know how much the date cost him, some gas and Logans (which is a great first date place) for dinner. It made him appear like a million bucks to me though.

It was real and geared specifically for us to get to know each other not to *do* each other. You can feel free to use this as a plan if you want. I don't think he'd mind.

Trust impresses the girls.


The Dating Game

Well the dating games seem to be kind of stagnant.

I've had a few more of my coffee/drink dates since I last wrote. The men are getting better, I'm not saying that just because I'm dying to get physical again either. Two dates were *set ups* and one was from the internet, I never met any of them before. All of them were gentlemen and perfect companions, but while I would hope to keep them for friends if they have time and I have time....I can't see anything deeper springing from those meetings.

I did meet one guy for soda who seems interesting but shy. I wonder if he might be a better date after we know each other for a while. Not likely though. I'm surprised he had the courage to ask if I would meet him.

I also *hung out* with an old friend who wishes for more. I still don't feel *that* way about him, we're still friends though.

The only so-called *date* I was hyped about didn't happen. The guy spoke with me on the phone one time, indicated that he would like to go out with me, then never called again. I texted him my regular email....maybe he just didn't really like the person he called. Bummer. I liked him. Guess it works both ways sometimes. I thought about calling him and finding out why but I suspect he would think I am some crazed stalker rather than simply curious.

These early meetings are more like job interviews than dates anyway. Its so stressful. I usually try to keep it casual at first (probably a contributing factor to the non-caller since I didn't jump on his dinner date at a fairly upscale restaurant). I think that is the best way to meet get a little closer to the real person in a relaxed setting without a lot of focus on perfect manners and the eventual cost.

Even then it feels more like a mutual interview. *What do you do for fun?* Hobbies? What do you like? What do you do for a living? (have to be real careful with that one or you sound like you are a gold digger) Do you like your work? How many Seriously, sometimes I think we both should be taking notes! Sometimes they ask about sexual practice these days too.

There has to be a better way to meet single men! I can't do the bar fly thing either. Despite the recent urban legends....I don't have any luck at the grocery store either. I like activities. If you suggest to a guy to grab a coffee and lets take a walk along the East Race though....well crazy isn't the least of the descriptors they are thinking. I always mention I like the College Football Hall of Fame and the Studebaker Museum. I like any museum really....but at a first meeting? It just doesn't happen.

I think it would be less stressful, easier and more honest if people did something other than sit ramrod straight and try to keep a conversation going on with a perfect stranger for 2 hours over a soda, beer or coffee. I hate to think about spending my life alone but sometimes I do.

Dating was a lot more fun when I was a teenager.


Hope Springs Eternal

I started dating again. Not *real* dating. But I've gone on two lunch dates and met a guy for coffee. 3 different men in the last few weeks.

I actually caught myself looking at the last guy's watch as I sipped my cappuccinno.

I seriously want to find real lasting love but I hate the whole looking for it bit. Each one of those guys is and will remain a first date only.

The first one didn't ask me one personal question, nor answer any of mine directly. He just kept going on and on about his work situation and what an idiot his boss was.

The second date was with a gentleman (and I use the term loosely) who wanted to talk about all the bizarre sexual things he had seen on the internet whilst acting like he was embarrassed by such things. I suspect the truth was he was gauging my reaction. My reaction was basically a blank stare as if it was all perfectly normal.

Mr. Double Latte bored me by trying to prove his masculinity to me by all the road rage incidents and fights he had gotten into. Bad boy from Brooklyn. yeah right. He was barely bigger than me and not a callous on his hands. He used to be rich he says but the women pretty much used up his money. (Like I care) To say the least....I remained unimpressed.

During this time another guy tried to impress me by saying he was a cop. Turned out the truth was he was a former security guard and was now trying to get disability because the bump he got on his head during an arrest had somehow given him brain damage but he can manuever a blackberry like no one's business. BTW he lives with his mother. Needless to say the more I got to know the less I wanted to know and I politely declined his request for a date.

I would kill for a construction guy with a conscience at this point. How about a factory worker? I'd date a real cop or even a business man or engineer/scientist type if their ego wasn't too big. Are there any single farmers out there? Where oh where is average (and almost normal) Joe?

How do I meet all these other weirdos?

I keep hoping.... I keep trying.... I just hate all the dating.


What's it all mean?

I found this so fascinating that I am posting it on all my blogs. Seriously. Answer the question at the end if you want....I'm interested on your take on this. What's it all mean?


I am exceptional....but not the exception

  I am exceptional.  At least I was. I should be still. I could be still.  I am exceptional but not the exception.

It happens a lot with a lot of people who break up after long term relationships and marriages, we forget who we could be without the anger and pain.

We all compensate a little differently. . I started looking for why a relationship wouldn't work instead of looking at what was right about them. Then I would analyse why it was really my fault and think of ways to hide my shame, including shifting the blame. I began to believe that fairy tales were for children and that I didn’t need anyone.

 Publicly I blamed them, internally I blamed me. Truthfully there is enough blame for everyone. What made me ever think so high of myself...that I should be the perfect one?  I am exceptional, truly we all are.....but even I don't believe it most of the time.

My dating problems are not even about “He’s just NOT that into you” . The kind of man I want isn’t *into me* because I haven’t been living out who I am…. I write in her voice sometimes and visit her life occasionally….but I sure haven’t been living that life recently. I remember who I am but I’ve forgotten how to be her.

That’s not true either….I’ve become too bored and lazy to be her. Sometimes, when success comes too easy, people become complacent.

That’s what I did. To paraphrase Greg Behrendt, I wasted my *pretty*.

I let other people take over my life, I tried to make them happy instead of doing what I needed to do for my kids and myself.

Where is this all coming from? Didn’t I seem fine the last time I wrote something here? Not to worry, I was and am.

 Its just I have had an epiphany.

This week I have read “He’s just NOT that into you no less than 6 times”. I have watched the movie 4 times over the last 2 days.

I’ve realized the truth.

I am exceptional. I am not the exception though. I don’t even want to be. I am the rule.

Clarity. The word of the year. This is what it means.

It means that I have to focus on me in order to be a better mother….daughter…..sister……friend….even employee.

It means that I will not allow the mere remote possibility of romance or even friendship to color my days or affect the way I live them. When I love myself, the way I deserve, I will be better able to love the people in my life the way they deserve to be loved.

It is impossible to give away what you don’t already have.   

The truth about my love life is that it isn’t just that he (take your pick which he) was not that into me…its been that I was NOT that into me. This doesn’t mean that I am going to be all self centered and me me me….. It means I realize that is what I have been doing. Wallowing in my misery. Comfortable in it. Too stubborn to be who I once was…..who I should be.

Its so much easier to pretend everything is some guy’s fault instead of looking at where I am screwing up. Its so much easier to pretend I am satisfied with life as it is than to do the actual work it takes to change it back to what I want it to be.

I was too embarrassed to ask for help or support before. Need was just another word for failure. I lied when I say I don’t need anyone. I can’t make things work on my own.

I am not superhuman after all.....

I'm never going to be even close to perfect.....

 I’m not the exception…. I am the rule.

Clarity. Epiphany. Oh I like those words.

Its time I stop living up and living down to other’s expectations of me. Its time I live up to my own.


Sometimes its what we don't do that matters....

Someone mentioned to me yesterday that it might not be such a good idea to call a person an idiot....even if that person was. The truth is I can't remember the last time I said something behind someone's back that I haven't said directly to their face. Sometimes I can be so mean.... so sarcastic... self righteous.... overbearing.... egocentric..... and a whole host of not so stellar personality traits... I'm trying to get better. Usually I am....but sometimes and a lot lately I'm not nearly as nice as I aspire to be.

Today I didn't call anyone an front or behind them. It may not sound like much.... but its progress.

I guess its born from frustration. I've been going through a lot recently and not in a good mood to start with. I tend to expect too much from myself and from others. I expect everyone to be as single minded as I am on any given task. The truth is I am the weird one. I could state my case differently instead of saying... *he's an idiot* as if that person doesn't matter. Everyone matters. So I am trying to be nicer and while it is part of my job to find problems and correct them and inform my GM if someone makes continual mistakes or errors be it in judgment or in work... It is not my place to go around insulting people as if I, alone, am perfect.

Time to jump off the high horse and walk around a bit.


Belief vs. Behavior

I lost a friend today or at least someone I thought was a friend.

It was stupid really. He was goading me about my beliefs because he is a die-hard atheist. Obviously I am not. I tried very hard to be diplomatic and even agree with him on several points with reference to organized religion. It was supposed to be one of those "Free thought" conversations.

I should have known better. Instead of diplomacy he returned what I can only describe as rabid scorn.

He insulted my intelligence, my beliefs and insisted he could do a better job with humanity than God himself. "Loser" was the term he used to describe him.

I don't pretend to know all there is..... Who could? I don't know why bad things happen to good people. Bad things have happened to me too.... I don't blame God though. I blame the people who do these things.

He seems to think that men have done all good by themselves as well. As if we are responsible for our own creation.

I don't see it that way. The more I understand science the more I understand that there is more to it than that. I've personally experienced what even doctors considered miracles. Doctors are still scientists right? I should not have lived the day I was born and so many miracles since then. No scientific could be just dumb luck but the laws of probability say no. That is science too.

My point is I have very good reasons to believe the way I do.

Maybe he does too but I couldn't find it in the hatred and the blame he was vomitting at me.

He is entitled in these United States to be be free "from" religion just as I am entitled to be free to choose my own faith. I respect that.

What he is not free to do is insult me and try to engage me in a battle of wits....on this or any other planet.

I've chosen not to have this person in my life. Not because he is atheist. I have several atheist friends.

I've stopped being his friend because he is an asshole.

Have any of you been put in that kind of position?



I removed dates from this site because I didn't want to put anything on here that was time sensitive...sometimes it looks as if every thing is happening all at once here though doesn't it? Time is funny that way. Moments and hours seem to take the same amount of time. Days and years. Its all reflective and subjective to me that way. Oh well....just a weird thought I was having as I reflected on earlier posts and wondered whether or not I should put actual dates on this site. Decided no.... My feeling is that this page is for somewhat universal emotion, experiences and thought. Time has no place within them except as a subject.


My Mother's Mother

A week ago today my family and I celebrated the life of my Grandmother. I think I've finally come to terms with everything....

I was asked to speak there and I did. In dreams I was overcome by the spirits of first my grandmother and then my grandfather. In fact, I wrote it quickly after the first dream....but the dream I had the next night made it clear that it wasn't quite finished. Grandpa always said if you are going to do a it right. He loved my Grandma too much to allow me to neglect certain aspects of her personality...most notably her damnable determination. Both frustrating and admirable while she lived, I completely left it out until the second dream.

Below is the memorial speech I gave in honor of my Grandma...I'm not really sure if I wrote it. It is pretty much exactly as I recited it with one small exception...the minister who spoke before me also stated he felt touched by my (very very determined) Grandmother and felt that she wanted him to include the same poem she directed me to I didn't repeat in my speech it but I left it in the version below. LOL....guess I should have tried to go first....

Grandma always said I had a habit of using $20.00 words for a $5.00 message. I'll try to keep this on the cheap side. There aren't enough days in the year to share all the stories I would like to share or for you to share back anyway. I just want to give your memories a nudge and your heart a smile. I think that is all Grandma wants me to do anyway.

Some would say she had her ups and downs and no doubt she would say that too. I'm not here to talk so much about that. We've all had them. She handled them better than most.

As far as I've ever been concerned, she and Grandpa were the greatest influences in my life and the people that I want most to be like. They may not have been rich in dollars, but their lives were more valuable than all the gold in the world. They were plain people who could have had more for themselves if they had been willing to do less for others. They chose to enrich others instead. In the end, thier legacies to us are far more valuable than any money they could have left us. They were good people. We were truly blessed.

We are here to remember Grandma today and I guess what I'd like for us all to remember most is not that she died but that she really live, not quietly, not sorrowfully but loudly and boldly. Some would even say she was a bit of an eccentric. She'd like to hear them saying it too!.

She lived life on her terms and to her own satisfaction as much as I think any of us really can. In that way I like to think I'm a little bit like her. I think most of you are a bit like that too. As a matter of fact, I'd go so far as to say we are kind of known as that kind of family around these parts.

Waneta Rogers was an amazing woman. She was not much bigger than the leprachauns she tried to convince me still lived in Ireland. She dyed her hair bright red to give the world warning that she was a firebrand. She worked and played harder than men 4 times (not just twice) her size. Even so, she was completely feminine. She kept up her appearances and never let the world see her down. Grandma even dressed up and put make-up on before she went to the Salvation Army store (which she called the Sally-Shop). She mended and restyled her purchases so well that people would often comment on her fashion style and try to get her to reveal where she found such lovely pieces. She told the truth, but was seldom believed about it.

Grandma was a capable woman. There wasn't any person or any situation that she couldn't handle effectively. She could manage my siblings, my cousins and me all at the same time with a single look and she could make everything right in the world with one sweet smile. Heaven help the poor soul that would try to harm one of us. She could handle them too!

Let us remember, with a glad heart, the woman who defied convention and married an Indian when that just wasn't done. Let us remember the woman who tamed that wild giant of a man too. She never judged people on something so minor as the color of their skin, she made friends based on the content of their hearts. She was a supportive wife, a loving mother, a thoughtful sister, a wonderful friend, and the kind of grandmother that all children wish for. She was known as quite the character too! You never knew for sure what she would say or do next but it was pretty hard to be bored around her. She was interesting all the time. I don't think I ever heard her use the word *bored*. I don't think she knew it. I'm pretty sure she never was.

I'm also sure she wouldn't be pleased if she were to look down on us and see us crying or whining about our loss today. You all know that she didn't like cry babies or complainers much. I should know, when I was a child I was one. She had a few colorful sayings for that type of behavior. *Youknowwhat or get off the pot!*. If you don't like it then change it. Seriously, Grandma could have written Nike ads. Just do it! It was impossible to be wishy-washy around her. She simply would not stand for it.

Lord help you if you ever said the word *can't* in her presence. Actually to this, I can almost hear her reminding me that *the Lord helps them that helps themselves!*

I can honestly say that without this not-so-gentle wisdom from Grandma, I would not be who I am today. Chances are neither would any of you.

So lets not cry today. If you must shed a tear let it be a tear of joy for being so lucky to have been a part of her life. Lets celebrate her! Lets be grateful we have such a wonderful legacy in her memory. Grandma was a fireball! She was an oddity! She was freakin hilarious most of the time! She was also courageous and kind. She was smart, especially in politics and current events and plain spoken. She never pretended to be anyone she wasn't. Of all the people I've ever known, she was the most comfortable in her own skin. She was true to herself. We should all aspire to be more like her in that way. She was a practical woman. She never wasted a thing and was recycling items long before it became the *thing to do*. Waste not. Want not. She had her priorities and she lived by them. Family came first, then friends, then strangers. She never cared about any material thing. She only cared about people. Especially her people. Especially us.

She was the first one I ever heard say *Dynamite comes in small packages*. Truer words were never spoken.

We don't want to forget her people watchers because it was a really warped sense of humor that came up with that one. I swear I was afraid to misbehave because I just knew that Grandma could see us through all those magical (as she told me) eyes.

Remember the unusual knick-knacks and collectors items she called dust catchers, but couldn't part with. That's because we kept giving them to her. It was never the decorations she liked, it was having little pieces of us around that she couldn't give up.

We don't want to forget that she would help out her neighbors and welcome strangers either. She defended her family against any danger that came and never backed down from evil. She was something special. When she had a word or two to say, EF Hutton listened.

Let us remember those gentle hands that could give us a man size whoopin or an angel's hug depending upon our needs at the time. Let us remember her eyes crinkled in laughter or touching our soul in the few tears she shed. Don't you forget that stubborn chin either! When she was right she was right.

I won't forget her determination. When she couldn't drive any longer, she took up riding that adult size tricycle, despite the fact that it really was way too big for her. She was something else! If one solution didn't work, she always found another. Long before people ever said the words *failure is not an option* she was living them.

Some would say our life is less now that she is gone....not me. My life is *more* because she lived. My life is more because every lesson she ever taught me comes up again and again. She made sure I had the right answers. How can I cry about her death when I still feel her life in me? I still see evidence of her in my children. I can look around and see evidence of her existence in each of us here. When I look at my daughter, Grandma's eyes smile back at me. I still see her. I still feel the love she gave us. Its that voice in my head that tells me in very colorful ways to not give up when things get tough. When I fall I can hear Grandma snickering and telling me that my backside isn't going to do me much good sitting on the ground like that. Her invisible arms still comfort me in my sadness. Her wisdom keeps me from being too hypocritical. I hear her laughter everytime I see some really bizarre knick knack. I think of her and she lives. Actually I don't even need to think of her first, not when I can see her so plainly in your faces.

I know she lives for you too..

So I don't want to see any of you shedding too many tears.

You know Grandma didn't like crybabies.
Someone once wrote these words, I'm not sure who.....but I think Grandma felt this way....
When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me
I want no rites in a gloom filled room
Why cry for a soul set free

Miss me a little - but not too long
And not with your head bowed low
Remember the love that we once shared
Miss me - but let me go

For this is a journey that we must all take
And each must go alone
It's all a part of the Master's plan
A step on the road to home

When you are lonely, and sick of heart
Go to the friends we know
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds
Miss me - but let me go


Thank you.


I've been depressed and without health insurance or real resources... I've been having a hard time of it.

I need to get my life in order....I need to forgive myself and others for so many things and so many failures....

I need to regain control of things...but I can't seem to find the reins that control my life. Today is a good day...kind of... sort of.... I've been kind of bitchy but not crying over anything and not really feeling so fake.

That's good right?

There's no one I can really go to to help me get through this. The only friend I had that I could completely trust with anything and everything has been dead for years.... I was lucky to have her the time I did I guess...

I'm doing well at the job too. Really well.

I work myself into this oblivious state while I'm there and almost make my brain a computer of its own. On the plus side I am learning all kinds of new skills and software...and it does kind of make me brain dead by the end of the day. Its easier not to deal with my life and failures that way I guess.

Sleep comes in fits and starts. I think I usually get enough just isn't the good kind.

I'm still refusing to become involved with my room-mate. He's in his own downward mental spiral. He lies about stupid stuff. His morals and standards are not nearly as high as mine. He thinks I'm a goody two shoes sometimes.

That pretty much sucks. I mean I want to be good but not a goody two shoes y'know?

For some reason men think that about me a lot.

I abide by the law. I don't do drugs. I don't drink as a rule. I think about right and wrong and sometimes really struggle to make sure I make the right moral decisions.

I'm still cool though....really. I can be a badass too.

Seriously. I've stood up to murderers, rapists and thieves on several occassions. I've taken down crack dealers.

So how does that make me a goody-two shoes?

I smoke and sometimes, when my car is running, I'm prone to a heavy foot.

Doesn't any man want a middle-of-the-road kind of woman?

I'm too angelic for the bad boys and too evil for the good ones... I'm still divided I guess.

The only real working friendship I have is with my boss.

No one else really knows everything that is going on in my life.

The problem is with my boss, I don't want her to feel bad about my problems with work....she really has been trying to help me along but she doesn't own the joint y'know.

I'm still underpaid for the job I am doing and wondering how I am making ends meet most of the time because I am still not getting the 40 hours I was promised 2 years ago.

The thing is my friend and boss really needs me there. She does.

She was so close to a break-down a year ago because a lot of the help she has here is inept and frankly many of them are not the brightest. She is understaffed. ......and lets face it...Notre Dame just isn't packing the crowds any more. We just don't have the revenue to sustain shoddy work.

I've done well for her though, I was able to collect 10s of thousands in what was previously considered lost revenue we've managed to hang in there during a couple of really rough patches. I keep waiting for the promotion and raise I've earned now that I have all our receivables at 96% current (from 40% a year ago when I took over).

I am still earning a dollar less than I was promised a year ago. It sucks and I can't complain to my friend about it because she feels it as a failure too.

I'm not going to ask for it right now because I know the company really can't justify it, despite my performance.

Lord I hope that Obama's policies work....but I don't see how.....

At any rate I didn't want to drone on and on...I just wanted to reconnect a little and to be honest and tell you that I'm going to be ok in a while....

I'm just having a bit of a hard time right now....but improving a little day by day...


Trust V. Love

Have you ever wished that you were not quite as intelligent as you are?

People say ignorance is bliss and some days I think they are right.

There is a person whom I care about that is constantly trying to pull the wool over my eyes, so to speak. The problem is I can see right through the wool and I am insulted and hurt by these actions. So I called this person out on it and that person seems to think that "I'm sorry" is somehow enough.

Its not the first time this has occurred. I don't know what is enough.

I just know that "I'm sorry" doesn't cover lies and manipulation for me. It doesn't wash the insult to my pride that the opinion that person held of me was so low as to consider me ignorant.

 "I'm sorry" has nothing to do with it.

I'm sorry too. I'm sorry this person failed me.

I find myself actually wishing I didn't have such high standards of morality and ethical behavior, because my life would be easier if I didn't.

I'm sorry for being a good person....and that's just wrong on so many levels. No one should want to lower their standards for the sake of friendship. Friendship should make us want to be better people, not lesser people.

I want to care about this person but I don't know how to rebuild the trust.

Love seems to be about emotions. Trust, has to be earned....and once lost, it has to be earned back.

Which is more valuable?

Betrayal sucks.


age old question.

Why are men so afraid of intimacy? I don't want a man who avoids serious issues or is afraid to feel real emotion. I may not want a cry baby but I damn well want a reaction. I think most women have the same complaint. I'm sooooo sick of little boys.


I write about this affinity I have with storms.  Right now as I wait for one I thought I would try to describe what is happening to me and what I expect to occur.

Right now there is that heaviness hanging in the air as I wait for a storm to come.  Some people hate that.  I don't....but I don't love it either.  

There is this thing between myself and big storms...its like I am absorbed into the energy that hangs in the air.  Its a physical thing that is already starting, my joints ache, my muscles tighten, my head feels pressed against, even my breathing becomes different.  Its not a painful thing, but it sort of feels like being under water a bit too long. Comfortable but a bit unnerving nonetheless.

This feels like it will be a big one, but maybe it will pass over.  Its kind of an either/or thing at this point.  Storms seem to clear up my thinking once they begin but before they come, I contemplate all the difficult things to think about.  I'm uncomfortable inside and out as I wait for the storm that will release me physically and mentally.

Often it is during a storm that sleep literally overtakes me and I sleep that dreamless trance that refreshes the soul.  When it doesn't happen like that then it is usually because I have some seriously heavy thoughts that inspire dreams, visions and night terrors, that would freak out at least half of my readers.  Unfortunately I fear tonight will be the latter.  I have some heavy thoughts going on these days.

Still better to have the dreams than to not have the storm.  The storm brings release by one form or another.  If the air just hangs heavy like this I won't be able to rest for days, because I will continue to feel the universal pressure and the mental confusion until the barometer changes.

Pray for rain.


Better Days

That, Dear Readers, is my one and only photo of my grandparents together. Years ago I had many photos of my Grandma, but as many of you know, I had a terrible apartment fire where most of my photos went up in flames. It was years before I tried my hand at photography again. In fact its only been a couple of years now.

This photo means so much to me. I know those of you who have known me for a few years could probably tell stories about my grandparents yourself now. I have quoted them and written parables about the way they lived and loved so much. I've actually saved many of the emails I've received about these stories because your responses touch my heart.

I'm not sure how old they were in this photo. It doesn't matter. Can you see the love in the way they stand so close together. Grandpa is supporting her back with his arm. He always did that. If you look closely you will see that my Grandma is looking upwards at him, usually he was looking downward at her. Usually they were smiling, but they were probably just pausing before leaving when this shot was taken. It looks as if Grandpa had just opened her door for her. Just one of those common ordinary things he always did for ladies that ruined me for all other men I think.

I received this photo in my email yesterday from my cousin Janie (Freckles on Multiply). I cried when I first looked at it and I've been flooded with happy memories ever since. It was the first of many happy lucky events that make me feel as if my run of sadness and frustration may be coming to an end.

Seriously, it wasn't just the deaths of my Aunt Ethel and Grandmother. Those losses couldn't be overcome by a simple photograph but I seemed to have stopped feeling sorry for myself over them. Self pity is such an ugly thing.

There was a lot of bitterness with the last break-up though, not to mention annoyance because he was having such a hard time accepting the truth. Then there was annoyance at other guys for approaching me as if I were single and didn't want to be (i probably would have been annoyed if I hadn't been approached too...hey I can't help being female). Work has been frustrating and busy. My GM has been out ill and the Front Desk Manager and I have been trying to cover all the little things she needs to manage from her sick-bed so she only needs to come out for major things. I've been doing my job ok but computers keep breaking down (we really need to replace some important ones) and to be honest, its getting harder and harder to bring them back to life. I've been getting frustrated with my coworkers because I keep having to show and tell them the same things over and over and over. I've been repairing things left and right at home too. I forgot to renew my license plate and insurance on time. Now I have to find new insurance before March 3 (I don't actually have to...but they ticked me off by trying to raise my rates!). I did actually renew my plates on time but I live in fear of getting stopped because I haven't received my sticker yet so all I have is a printed out receipt until it arrives, probably tomorrow. Then I blew out a tire yesterday on the way to work and it took all day to find someone who would put my doughnut on for me. My brother came through for me though. (My second bit of luck....He always does. Bless his widdle black heart. I'm a lucky sister.) Then the tire shops tried to rip me off wanting over $120 to put on 2 USED tires. I told them No and decided to give it a day so I didn't shoot anyone.

Then I came home and my luck continued to change, I received a call from a guy I actually am interested in getting to know better. He seems to have the same interest. I've known him for a while but not well. He doesn't seem dweebish, he's not a jerk, and he appears to be absolutely normal at this point. He's more than kinda cute too.

Today I replaced those tires for get this $35! It was supposed to be $40 when I called and I was pretty happy with that...but since I smiled so pretty he called it ladies day and knocked $5.00 off the price. Yes that included putting the dern things on too. The tires are nice too. I probably can get a year and a half off of them.

Then I went to the Supermarket and no joke, virtually everything I bought was on sale and I got a couple of free hoosier fries because I made the girl at the counter laugh. Seriously. I spent $88 but I saved over $40.

I stopped off to buy gas and the guy at the gas station gave me an extra 2 bucks free. Seriously. I asked for $10 but he set it for $12 and when I went back to pay for it, he said No no to me.

Then I came home and took a nap.

As Princess of the Universe, my daughter, Cecelia used to say: "Tomorrow is gonna be a great day!"


Stoopid Cupid

I've been unofficially single for about 6 weeks now. I made it official about 2 weeks ago. Men are already turning into vultures. I didn't think I looked so desperate. Maybe I smell like fresh meat because they are acting like carnivores. Too many propositions to mention. Just way too many for me to want anything so very very common. "no I am not going to date another man who works in this building...sorry too close for comfort" "no, I'm afraid that it would ruin a perfectly good friendship...sorry....", "no, its just too soon.....(as if I have regrets)", "no, I just want to concentrate on : my kid, my house, my career, my writing, my friends, me...." NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!!!!
Seriously I am not that cute. No one is THAT cute.
Why is it that men think that anytime a woman is single that she is on the market? I try to give polite refusals but from the incredulous reactions I am getting, they just don't believe that I am not interested in climbing on another merry-go-round. I don't need a man to complete me. At this point I am not even sure I want one.
Right now there is so much I can do.
I can blow my nose without hiding in the bathroom. I can wear my sweats whenever and whereever I damn well please. I can skip the make-up, not to mention I don't even have to brush my hair if I don't want to. I can have cereal for dinner. I get to control the remote. That's right.... I have the power baby!!!! If some guy beeps in while I am talking to my sister...I can just keep right on talking and let him handle the voice mail. I can hang out with my guy friends without worrying that the green eyed monster is gonna show up. I don't have to pretend I am helpless to make some little boy feel like a big man. I can do it on my own now Sugar.
I don't have to explain myself to anyone.
I don't have to tell anyone where I am going to be or schedule around stuff.
I can buy what I want at the grocery store.
I can waste the beer on my hair.
I always get the last cup of coffee.
And if I have gas....well I bet you can guess.
Life is sweet. Maybe I'm not getting any heart shaped boxes this year but I can buy myself my own chocolate anyway.
Cupid hasn't been that nice to me. Its about time he gets what he deserves!!!
Well it is Valentine's Day isn't it.


Ahhhhhh the love....the romance of it all....

To all of you lucky in love I wish you many glorious Valentine Days to come.

To all of you not-so-lucky ones, like me, I offer you a bit of solace to make your Valentine's Day the best it has ever been....

Single Again

With everything going on, I didn't mention that I actually did break up with the BF a while back. I should feel worse which only tells me I did the right thing.

I had been trying to make things work but I think it was more because I thought I should want what he wanted and that I thought I should try to stay in a relationship. Everybody else does. Then with everything that was going on, all I could think of is that this is not my life. I remembered my first rule of romance. *You can't make someone love you and you can't make someone stop*.

I learned that I can work and I can compromise though, but I can't change the truth about who I am. That's where I keep messing up. I keep trying to be the woman they want me to be, or rather I keep trying to hide the part of me they don't want. Its not that my standards have been too high, rather the opposite. I've been in a hurry, never asking myself why.

Maybe, for a time I really believed I couldn't make it on my own. I think I'm wrong. I may not be doing the middle class diva thing, but I am doing ok. I think I will continue doing ok with or without a man in my life. I'm stronger and more capable than I realized.

I'm moving *having a successful romantic relationship* way down on my priority list now. I still want it, but I realize I don't need it to be happy.

Trying to convince the former BF that I mean it is another thing entirely. The break-up is not working well for him. But I don't think its me he wants at all. He just wants somebody. I'm deluged with the text messages and the sad faces at work. I am sorry that he is hurting. He'd be relieved if he would just listen to what I actually said and look for the truth. No one should have to change the essence of who they are for a relationship to work and basically that is what I was asking him to do. Desperation is a painful thing.


Reflections about Grandma

I can't write about my Grandma and not write about myself and the other women in my family. Somehow we are one and the same. I have often written about the women in my family. We outnumber the men, I think its probably about 3 to 1 normally in our genetic history, though sometimes it seems closer to 4 to 1, my siblings are 4 to 1. I have a saying, *We don't have an x gene, we have a capital X gene.*

We women absolutely adore the men, they are a jovial bunch! They kind of have to be, a sense of humor is a must when you are surrounded by wildly passionate females. The women are all strong. At risk of insulting the men, we are the strongest gender in our family. We never give up and we are the ones who inspire or force the men to become the leaders that they usually are. Even my mildest female relative, my baby sister Rhonda, who I've often mentioned, is a handful. No one else but me would dare call her mild. We all avoid confronting each other. We know that we are formidable. Nothing is more hair raising than to watch two women in our family disagree. Personally I'd rather fight a thug from the streets.

This sisterhood is passed, it seems, down the maternal line as well. My sisters and I, despite the differences we note from time to time, are really quite alike. We have the soul and the passion of our mother and our maternal aunt. Our mother and our aunt had the soul of our grandmother, who from what I understand inherited her spirit from her mother, whom I never knew. We all may have bits and pieces of our fathers in us, they pass on beliefs and kindness to us. But the truth of it all is that without this *never say die, never give up, never give in* spirit in our female lineage, I think our family would have died out during the potato famine in Ireland. That is when another woman, down the female line, raised her numerous siblings and made it to America, her siblings in tow. The next generation of females, which include my spirited daughter Celia, are even stronger.

On the outside and to outsiders we may appear to be socially acceptable and appear to be ladies most of the time. Appearances can be deceiving and so can we. The women of our family never needed the women's liberation movement. We never needed a law to tell us that we are as good or as capable as a man or to demand and receive justice in a man's world. All we ever needed was recent family history. We usually outwardly conformed to the social rules of history while breaking numerous conventions privately. Unless we didn't care a flying uknowwhat, then we would break the rules and damn the consequences. History repeats itself alot in my family.

My Grandma skipped school one day and married a Cherokee boy. When she married him interacial marriage was illegal in some states and unacceptable everywhere, especially in her father's house. Native Americans were in the same boat that all other dark races were then. To say that my Grandpa was a wild one would be an understatement. He was huge too. He was a golden gloves boxer who stood over 6'. My Grandma was about 4'11" and small framed to boot. To say she tamed him would be a misstatement. She directed his energy though. Because of who she was, he became who he was. There was more power and intelligence in her small form than in any man he ever met, I'm sure. He was wise enough to note that. He never treated her as *the little woman*. My Grandpa was the bravest man I ever met, but he knew better. The things I remember most about their relationship are that passion and love were ever present. I don't remember ever seeing any indifference there, like I see in most couples after a time. I remember, even while I was just a young girl barely curious about sexuality, that they were very romantic towards each other. Very touchy-feely. They argued from time to time too, but even that was passionate and full of love. When they did argue, it seemed as if two sides of the same person were reflecting on the wrong that the feet had done to the hand when the body fell down. I used to love to watch them make thier morning coffee when ever I stayed there. It was like the whole thing was a choreographed dance. Grandma would take the pot apart and Grandpa would reach for the coffee. She would fill the pot with water and he would lift it out of the sink.... It was a beautiful sight. Always, when I think of what I wanted life to be like for me, that was it. To make coffee together like we were one person.

Grandma was a beautiful woman, but she didn't really care. I remember convincing her to wear more glamorous make-up in her middle 50's once. She humored me and wore it all day, but I knew she thought it was ludicrous. I thought she looked beautiful. Most of the time she wore nothing more than a little powder and lipstick. She did like jewelry, especially earings. She used to tell me I was naked without them. Its funny....she didn't care about how she looked so much, but she did want to put on a good face and maybe a little bling bling for the world to see. She was naturally a platinum blonde. She dyed her hair red for as long as I can remember. I asked her about that once. It seems that when my handsome grandfather was at his peak as a boxer he quite naturally enjoyed the attentions (without cheating in any form) of the women who flocked to him a bit too much. Grandma would, of course, get rid of those ladies in short order but she began dying her hair red to give them (probably him too) warning. I can only assume it worked. If Grandpa was admiring the ladies, I know I never saw it. Smart guy. She wasn't really jealous though, it was more of a pride thing. Those women should never have dared to approach HER husband. It wouldn't surprise me to learn she had actually kicked a few asses to tell you the truth. I think I would have. Ok truth be told, I have.

She was always about family. She loved her man, she loved her children and she loved their offspring. We never doubted her love, though there are times we questioned why. I'm not writing about the failures though. We all have them. I am writing about the woman who loved anyway, even when some of us did not deserve it. She somehow made time for each of us. We all have wonderful stories about our one on one time with Grandma. She tried to be wise, but she never spoke as eloquently as she lived. Grandpa was the talker, she was the doer. She used to make big Sunday friend chicken dinners and she would squeeze as much of her large family as possible into her tiny house. She seemed to live for the banter that went around the dinner table. I learned just as much from watching her do what needed to be done as I did listening to Grandpa speak about social issues. Her actions reflected his words. Grandma did not let important things go undone, she never let the unimportant cloud her vision. She was the essence of practicality. She paid attention to the whole picture, she didn't get stuck on the details like the dreamers in our family. Grandma pulled us all together when we were trying to pull her in different directions. She was like a lighthouse. If we felt sad or confused, we could go to her and she would busy us with tasks and we could think uninterupted. My mother has been growing more and more like her these past years. Trying to keep the warring factions at bay, trying to spank the dreamers among us back into reality. I feel kind of sorry for Mom. For having such tiny feet, Grandma left big shoes to fill. Mom is the matriarch now and the family is bigger than Grandma's, probably even wilder now. Grandma and Aunt Shirley are watching down on her I know, and will lend guidance through dreams, but my poor mother has a passionate bunch of women to guide and prepare for the next generation. It isn't easy. Not when we all have that bloodline of strong women. There's that capital X gene again for good or ill. I hope she can keep Grandma's sense of humor amidst it all. She's going to need it now.

I didn't mention my Grandma was funny did I? OMG! She was outrageous. Grandma would take us shopping at the local department store and go around sniffing toilet paper because she wanted to find the best smelling one. She would sniff loudly and pretend not to notice the other shoppers! Must be where I get the playing pranks on strangers thing. Another thing she would do at the store is let big stinkers, sometimes big loud stinkers and then loudly blame it on my siblings and me. "Tressa ANN what did YOU do?!?!" she would say as if she were disgusted and scolding me for my behavior. I would blush and get so angry and she would just chuckle all the way home until I was laughing with her even while I was praying to God none of my friends were there. I can remember her tricking me into annoying the neighbors with my off key clarinet playing by convincing me that I was so good she wanted the neighbors to know how much better her granchild was than their children and grandchildren! She did the same thing with me reading out loud. As a little girl she built up my ego so much that by the time I went in to get my tonsils out (4 years old) I had an attitude that commanded me to steal all the toys from the hospital play room. I then locked myself into the bathroom and refused to come out because I knew I deserved all those toys more than the other kids. When the nurses were finally able to restrain me (it took massive doses of sleep meds and a net over the crib they were trying to keep me in), I fell asleep ranting about how they could not do this to me and that I would tell my Grandma and she was going to be really mad because she said I looked just like Shirley Temple and was going to be a star some day. Yeah, Grandma could convince me of just about anything and she had a lot of fun doing just that.

There are lots of things I could say about her, she had the patience of a saint. She must have listened to the "Disco Duck" 100 times in a row one day because it was my favorite song at the time. She actually tried to learn to dance *the Hustle* from me. She let my friends spend the night and we painted knick knacks all day. She never told me to shut up (she whispered to mom to tell me though I am sure). She forgave almost anything. Her heart was always open for the love of her family. She wouldn't put up with shit out of any of us though. You haven't been told off until she got a hold of you. She was brave too. A year ago she tried to take on some neighborhood thugs while spending some time at my Mom's. They backed down. I bet she made them feel guilty about their own grandmothers. They probably hung their head in shame just like I did the few times she felt the need to straighten me out. She was protective of us all. I remember when I was about 13 or so, she caught my sister and me talking to boys and first she chased them off with a switch and then she chased us home with the same one. She loved that we were all such pretty girls but she thought we shouldn't trust boys. Wise woman sometimes. When she moved back to her hometown for a while I used to write her from time to time. I remember once I thought it would be funny if I corrected her spelling and grammar. Ok I was probably showing off too. I only did that once! Trust me, I was TOLD. She used to say I used $20.00 words for a $5.00 message, I think I finally understood what she meant sometime in my early 30's and I toned it down a bit. People liked me more after that.

I loved my Grandma. I wasn't good about visiting her as an adult. I will regret that forever I guess. I bet she would tell me not to worry about it though. She knew I loved her and that was enough. She was enough for me.


Breathe in, Breathe out, Move on.

My grandmother passed on yesterday. I'm still dealing with the guilt and the poor-me's. I think I'm coming to terms with it. The thing that bothers me most is that for a period of time she felt physical pain. She had gangreen. She would have died soon anyway. She was 92. Basically my family is very lucky to have had her as long as we have, still we would have greedily accepted each additional day if we could have had them.

I'll write about her more soon. She was an amazing woman. Everything is too fresh now.

Today is my birthday. I knew she wouldn't die today. She would never do that to me. I knew it would be on a plain ordinary date so as not to dredge up painful reminders year after year. She was always so considerate, never wanting a fuss to be made.

We haven't made any solid funeral or viewing arrangements yet. I'm still waiting for my parents to call with something definite. I couldn't go today anyway. I won't make the association between today and yesterday, she wouldn't have liked that and I don't want to make people feel like they need to put on thier happy birthday faces for me. No one is happy today.

Walter has been trying so hard to make me happy today. I keep trying but all I want to do is sit and stare. Most people haven't remembered and I am ok with that. If I could have changed the date I would have. I just wish I could take away the regret from my friends and family when they realize they forgot me. I wish they could just forget completely until next year.

I'm breaking up with my boyfriend too. I would have done it already but he has been angry since I decided to visit my Grandma last Saturday with my sister. (that visit is how we found out the seriousness of this situation...but thats another soap opera). He has been totally ignoring and avoiding me since then despite the fact that he knows that I was dealing with all this. Nothing in it for him to be around me when I'm sad. I thought he really cared and I was worried about hurting him. I did care for who I thought he was, even knowing he wasn't the one for me. I realize now that I was just a free meal and booty call. I helped his position at work somewhat too. He got more than he paid for. I had high hopes that I could still be friends with him, but this hurt even if I knew already that we were not going to last. I feel stupid. Used. The truth is, he was trying to keep me isolated, and I won't be trapped again.

My resolution word last year was Hope. Good word and it was good for me to concentrate on that. This year the word will be CLARITY. My life needs definition, my truths need classification, my world needs to get organized. I've gone through a lot in the past 10 years or so, its time to start understanding what all these events actually mean in my life...time to clean up some of the debris, physically and figuratively, that surrounds me.

Today, out of the blue, a man I didn't know read one of my profiles and emailed me about the following song. Jimmy Buffett wrote it after Hurricane Katrina. It sums up how I feel today. Like I always say...Sometimes God sends you angels.

I bought a cheap watch from a crazy man
Floating down canal
It doesn't use numbers or moving hands
It always just says now
Now you may be thinking that I was had
But this watch is never wrong
And If I have trouble the warranty said
Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On

And it rained, It was nothing really new
And it blew, we've seen all that before
And it poured, the Earth began to strain
Pontchartrain leaking through the door, tides at war

If a hurricane doesn't leave you dead
It will make you strong
Don't try to explain it just nod your head
Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On

[Guitar Solo]

And it rained, It was nothing really new
And it blew, seen all that before
And it poured, the Earth began to strain
Pontchartrain buried the 9th Ward to the 2nd floor

According to my watch the time is now
Past is dead and gone
Don't try to shake it just nod your head
Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On

Don't try to shake it just bow your head
Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On

I'm breathing.


Silence Deafens

There is a lot going on in my personal life these days. Its work, its the boyfriend, its family. Its even the "orphan" I'm trying to help. I would give my right arm some days for boredom.

My Grandma is dying. I've said it now. It doesn't make it any easier. I haven't been the best granddaughter either. I only see her a couple of times a year. She deserves better. When I was a kid she always had time for me....and for my numerous siblings and cousins.

Life just gets in the way of living sometimes. There were the jobs, the boyfriends, the family squabbles. Mostly it was me though....I didn't MAKE time for her and now she is dying.

If you have a grandmother. Call her today. Visit if you can. I don't care if you want to remember her the way she WAS. You need to see her as she is now.

Tomorrow never comes. Say what you need to say.



If auld aquaintance......

I've had a migraine since Wednesday. Seriously. Bad Bad Bad. I'm left work early. I still have not received a New Years Eve Midnight Kiss in my life. (I'm thinking this is an omen) I finally started feeling better (but still kind of tired) a couple of hours ago.

I had dropped Walter off at the College Football Hall of Fame. His Winter hang out since there isn't an enclosed skatepark anymore and laid down for a nap. When he called at 4:30 for pick-up...I woke up, feeling refreshed and singing moonshadow....Seriously....*i'm being followed by a moon shadow...moon shadow moon shadow.

In the dream I was 11 again. Snuggled up against my favorite (and missing) Aunt. Wearing my Native American braids tied with leather just like hers.... As my aunt softly strummed her folk guitar she taught me the words to this song. It was a happy song to sing when I was sad or confused. She loved me and I her. For reasons I won't share I haven't seen her since around that time. It was the most awful year of my childhood for losses....that was also the year my Grandfather passed on. The thing is, she was one of the most influential people in my life. I am sure this memory has a special meaning for me now....not really hidden either as I contemplate my recent moods....

Moon Shadow
Cat Stevens

I'm being followed by a moon shadow
moon shadow-moon shadow
leaping and hopping on a moon shadow
moon shadow-moon shadow
and if I ever lose my hands
lose my plough, lose my land
oh, if I ever lose my hands
oh, if...I won’t have to work no more
and if I ever lose my eyes
If my colours all run dry
yes, if I ever lose my eyes
oh if …I won't have to cry no more.
yes, I'm being followed by a moon shadow
moon shadow - moon shadow
leaping and hopping on a moon shadow
moon shadow - moon shadow
and if I ever lose my legs
I won't moan and I won't beg
Oh if I ever lose my legs
oh if...I won't have to walk no more
And if I ever lose my mouth
all my teeth, north and south
yes, if I ever lose my mouth
oh if...I won't have to talk..............
Did it take long to find me
I ask the faithful light
Ooh did it take long to find me
And are you going to stay the night
I'm being followed by a moon shadow
moon shadow - moon shadow
leaping and hopping on a moon shadow
moon shadow - moon shadow moon shadow -
moon shadow moon shadow - moon shadow

She had moon shadows following her....and I have mine. Its all about questioning your life. About living life with joy despite the constant need for answers and worries plaguing you. I've been thinking about running away again. I'm so good at that. Worries about my youngest child, the economy here, the changes happening at work, the crime, and being in a dead-end relationship. I don't want to be alone though. Those are my moon shadows.... Blocking the light. Still as the year I concentrate on Hope comes to a close this month I find that hope is ever present. I think I've got a real grip on it now. The dream helped but I think I would have reached sanity again....As soon as Spring came.

I'm not going anywhere. I will deal with whatever I have to deal with....

Let the light shine down.