God bless

Whitney Houston died yesterday. It was a huge shock to me – and I suppose the rest of the world – but my biggest emotion was sadness. I was reminded when Amy Winehouse and Michael Jackson died and years before that, Princess Diana, Marilyn Monroe… there are more than a few. Sensitive people whose daily lives were chronicled in the weekly tabloids and every movement, every mistake, every mis-judgement, were captured on camera by bottom-feeding vultures we call paparizzi. Those non-human creatures who profit off the heartbreaks and shame of others, by splashing it all over the world so more like them can join in their cruel ridicules and unfair criticisms.

People say it is the price you pay for fame, but I think that is not a price – it is a prospective death sentence for those whose tender hearts are not heavily-armored in the protective material you need to block off the hate and jealousy of others.

God bless Whitney Houston. God bless all of them.


Looking back and looking ahead

Who would think a blog is so hard to keep up with! Today I am upgrading my site and getting things in order – there are so many things I want to try to set up and so little time to do them. Looking ahead in 2012, there are a lot of things I will be tackling.

Ira is doing good now and looking for a new career path after some life-changing events that befell him. Two months ago, he was forced to give up truck-driving. Being on the road alone for so many hours at a time was not good for him. He had too much time to think and all the bad memories of his childhood and the bad experiences with his family in the last few years, finally got to him and he suffered a break-down of sorts. Thank goodness Papa John was able to help. He left the warm temperatures of Florida to stay with us for a month, endurring our more chillier ones while he helped me get Ira the help he needed. Ira’s sister Beth was a big help too, letting Ira know she was there and that she understood his feelings. So after a month of intense counseling and deep soul searching he is preparing himself for a new life – and hopefully an improved and healthier one.

As for me, my time at Education Minnesota will total three years this upcoming week. What a mixed bag that is! I still love where I work – and I’m doing something good in the world – helping to advocate for Minnesota teachers at a time when many politicians are against them. And when I think of the dysfunction at my previous job and the unbelievably unfair treatment that was doled out daily by its co-founders, I know I’m lucky to be where I am. My two bosses are fair and understanding and I am never blind-sided by unrealistic expectations or off the wall demands. But deep down, I have to admit there is this part of me that knows I am missing something – I’m not sure what – but there is definitely something amiss and I hope I can find what it is before too much time goes by.

I had heard Scarlett was out of town over the holidays, so I waited, and finally two weeks ago I mailed her a package. I included another recorded book. This time it was, “You Are My Sunshine,” and I sang it to her like I did the Rudolph one I sent last holiday season. And at the end I said I would always love her. I hope Yas let her have my presents and that they didn’t get tossed or given away. I never know with Yas, but that doesn’t stop me from trying.

In addition to the books, I included a small weaving loom and lots of weaving material so she can make lots of potholdersand placemats. It makes me smile to imagine that. 🙂 I also sent a Charley Brown holiday book with music (even the holiday is long over) plus some treats. As I packaged it all up I remember hoping with all my heart that Scarlett will know she is always remembered and that I am not a bad person despite what she’s been told by her mom.

I think back when Yas first called me and asked if I wanted to know when her baby girl was born. I remember firmly saying no, without a moment’s hesitation. Obviously shocked, Yasmina asked me to explain so I told her there were a few things I knew without doubt. I said that I knew her baby would be beautiful and perfect, just like she was – and I also knew I’d fall in love with her at first sight, like I did with her. And as sure as I knew that, I knew that without a doubt she would not think twice about keeping her from me should she ever get the whim. I ended by saying I also knew the pain of that would kill me.

“No,” Yasmina promised over and over, and it wasn’t until after hours and hours of talking into the wee hours of that morning, that she convinced me to trust her so that I finally agreed to join her at the hospital.

And so I was. At the hospital. And so I did. Fall in love with Scarlett at first site. And so she did. Take her away from me at a moment’s whim. But surprisingly so, I was wrong about the rest. I didn’t die. I stayed alive. But the truth is that for the past three years, I have spent every single day of them missing the little girl who is everything I knew she would be. Knowing that Yasmina lied to everyone about what she was mad about hasn’t helped either, but I’ll keep hoping that one day Scarlett will know me for what I really am.

Jeren is doing good. He has an apartment now and trying to be more responsible. My youngest son took a while to get where he is, but I’m happy that it finally happened. There was a time I seriously wondered! Mychal is busy with his life and I’m sad to say that it doesn’t include a mom. And Mathew is still too hurt and angry to want to come to terms with anything to do with me. The sad reality of that is that after all this time I’m just too tired to keep trying to get through to either of them.

Myrtle Anabelle at nine, is finally starting to show her age. Bossy as ever, we only joke when we call her a bully. Ira and I think she deserves everything she wants because she’s given us so much over the years. But I dread the coming times and I can’t help but wonder if next year’s posts will include anectdotes about our oldest baby. Mister Snickers is not far behind and I wonder about him a little too. Thankfully Chanel is doing great and miniature poodles have a much longer life-expectancy than Saint Bernards or Boxers.

That is it for now. Till next time.


Happy Holidays


Getting on

It’s a Sunday morning and I’m sitting in my newly rearranged living room trying to decide how to spend my day. I KNOW how I SHOULD spend it, and I sure as hell know how I’d LIKE to spend it, and hopefully I can find a compromise that fills the needs of both!

We didn’t get Amelia this weekend and that always makes for somewhat of a letdown- if nothing else, a boring weekend. She’s spending time at Grandma Judy’s house and I guess we Jeren called me Friday and was in a bit of a “rent mess” and wondered if we could help him out. Yes I could – but to tell the truth, it was a case of, we’d rather be late for something than let him down. He is the only one who pays attention to me although in truth, I’d help any of them out  – except maybe Jas – she has done way too much, told way too many lies, costed me and Ira more than she’ll ever know,  and had too many chances for me to make amends at the drop of a hat.

But enough of that. Today is not for looking back – I have far too much to decide and to do.  Here is my list.

  • I want a griddle – making pancakes is too hard in a pan. I know a griddle will help me produce mouth-watering and healthy breakfasts. So shopping for a griddle is on my list.
  • I need to do laundry – my pinks are getting low and this is definitly a weekend job.
  • I need to vacuum – Anabelle’s shedding and there is hair all over the place.
  • I need to fix my Toshiba – it got shut off in the middle of MS updates and now doesn’t recognize the system drive.
  • I need to get my information off the above mentioned Toshiba – my holiday card address have not been transferred to my new laptop.
  • I need to dance to the new Grease Dance game that Ira bought me.
  • I need to read my Google Analytics book for work – add to that my WordPress and Joomla books.
  • I need to walk the dogs.

That’s it so far. So let’s get on with my day.

October’s over. Now what?

It’s the weekend and I’ve been playing our X-Box with Amelia. We downloaded a trial version of “Grease Dance” and were practicing the moves for the “Greased Lightening” song. It was so much fun, because she loves it as much as I do!  Wonder if I’ll lose a little weight doing this! After a few hours on it, we’re both really anxious to get the full version!

In a few days I’ll have the consultation with my cardiologist. I’m in limbo till then – trying to hope for the best, while preparing myself for whatever she says. I’ve been through a lot and so far have always been able to overcome anything that’s happened to me so hopefully  this will be the same. ::crossing fingers::

So far this weekend, I’ve gotten Mister Snickers and Chanel groomed, did some shopping. got Scarlett’s Halloween surprise mailed, shopped for groceries and am just preparing to go out to dinner and then return home to make lasagne for a co-worker.  Will be a busy evening before I get to bed, I can already tell.  🙂 October is nearly over. I can’t help but wonder, what’s next?


Behind me

Lots of things are behind me these days.  My oral surgery is nearly healed and soon I’ll be able to eat anything I want.  I am experiencing little to no pain and because of that, my migraines are nearly gone as well.  And after today, my stress test is behind me and all that’s left to do, is wait for the results.

I have a four-day work week, and a weekend to go until I hear.  On the one hand, I’m nervous, but on the other, I just want it to be over with – dealing with something, I can deal with – but dealing with the unknown, is scary.

I called my sister today. foolish me – I thought she would put her petty differences behind, but as usual, I underestimated her ability to hold a grudge and to care about me more than she hates Mel. She just can’t get over the fact that I didn’t divorce him when she did, and after telling me that, she hung up.

That was the last straw for me. I’m tired of it all. It’s been a year since I’ve talked to my mom and longer with my brothers – if you can call them that. And I’m done with conditional and on and off relationships. Someone told me once that often times it’s the people you love the most, that are the most toxic to you. That has always resinated with me because it’s so true in my case. Seems like my tooth surgery isn’t the only thing I’m leaving behind.

Till next time,


The best

Last Thursday I had oral surgery – should have been a slam dunk, but just my luck, it’s been nothing short of hell. Pain from my surgery triggered a migraine that lasted three entire days. And then the migraine got so intense that I couldn’t hold anything down, which included the pain medicine for my jaw and the antibiotic medicine I was prescribed. That resulted in a lack of healing, which brought on more pain, which only intensified the throbbing, which intensified the migraine, that induced the vomiting, which caused…. do you get where I’m going with this?

It was a vicious circle that resulted in Ira rushing me to the emergency room with another of my migraine ordeals and six hours of poking, prodding, needles, and an array of machines testing everything you can think of. Okay – maybe that’s an exaggeration, but it felt like it.

After I talked to a doctor about my symptoms, he left, and a series of nurses and technicians returned with all sorts of wires, needles, and machines on wheels.  I was dehydrated so an IV was inserted in one arm, while blood was drawn from another, and then a shot of Novocain was painfully inserted into my gums. I was hooked up to a machine that checked my blood pressure every ten minutes, and an ECG machine that monitored my heart rate. Finally I was given three shots of something that once combined, would relieve me of my migraine, (don’t know what it was, and truth be told, didn’t care at that point), and honestly, I nearly cried when it worked. For the first time in three days, I was pain free, and gawd, did that feel good.

But then, the doctor returned and told Ira and I that an abnormality showed up in my heart scan and that I need to see a cardiologist about it this week. What was detected was a “left bundle branch block.” Talk about going from a high to a low. So I made an appointment for tomorrow and hopefully things will look a little brighter.

After looking that up, I’m a little scared if you want to know the truth, but I’m hoping for the best like I always do. It might answer a few questions I’ve had though about  a few things going on with me.  I guess I have to wait and see.

Playing catchup again

There have been so many things going in in my life and I barely have enough time to sort them out, much less talk about them here. I’m going to bullet some and maybe come back at a later time and explain in more detail.

Yesterday I had a tooth extracted and an implant was placed where a previous tooth was pulled. Nikole and Alex brought me there and back and when I got home, I mistakenly went to bed instead of having Ira fill my prescription for pain. I woke up in complete agony a few hours later. Never making that mistake again. Today I am really miserable and the pain medication isn’t cutting it. My whole jaw hurts and I can barely open my mouth. Some would say that’s a blessing I guess.

Suicide #1. I thoughtI was through with suicide, but once again someone dear to me decided to end her life early and I know only too well what that does to all the friends and family left behind. Life is so hard sometimes and I’ve even considered it myself, but in the end, I knew the repercussions would be worse than trying to work out whatever was so hard for me to live with. I don’t say that lightly… I’m just saying it.

Work. My job is a mixed blessing. I really do love my co-workers. Leaving my job at Global Volunteers, I never believed I’d find a place to work with friends half as good as those I was leaving behind, but yet here I am. My two bosses here are as straight-forward, good-hearted and fair as much as my previous were dishonest, selfish and self-serving. But my delemna lies with the job itself. The work is challenging, but not in the way I imagined, and I don’t feel as on top of my game as i did at my previous job. Maybe I’m trying too hard to prove myself, or maybe I need to be more refreshed when come into work in the morning. In other words don’t stay up late worrying about things I can’t fix. The pressure I put on myself is enormous.

Ira. Ira’s been in a two-month training program at a job that pays well, but demands a lot. He’s been really stressed out because there’s so much to remember and he has barely 60 days to learn it. I know he’ll manage just fine when he has to, but don’t think he shares my confidence. We rarely see each other – he gets up every day at 6:30 p.m. and leaves for work an hour and a half later. He won’t be home again till 10 or 11 the next morning. The time he’s awake – 6:30-8 p.m. is spent showering, dressing, making sandwiches and packing his lunch bag. It’s a hard schedule, but leaves no time to bicker! His paychecks are awesome, and we’re finally able to catch up on things. Another mixed bag.

Amelia: Amelia’s still so beautiful – inside and out. I am so lucky to be part of her life. This weekend she has a horse show competition and I’m excited and so proud of her. I’m not sure if I can go because of the pain I’m in so I’ll have to wait and see how I feel tomorrow. Everything with her is good.

Our furry babies: Myrtle Anabelle, Mr. Snickers and Coco Chanel are all doing good too. Because I’m their sole “potty-taker-outer” again, they are back on a 4xday schedule. With winter coming, that is a good thing. Myrtle Anabelle shows litle signs of aging even though she is 8 now. For a Saint, that’s getting up there. Mr. Snickers is so happy to be *retired* but occasionally he forgets and thinks he’s leaving with Ira. He gets over it quickly though because those trips were not the greatest for him and he only went to protect his boy. We still call him the “professional sleeper” because that’s exactly what he is! Coco Chanel is doing fine too – she’s the *tough* one of the group – the first to bark and her, “You better stay away from us,” attitude is quite amusing at times – especially when the subject is ten times the size of her! Jun is going on 12 but looks like a spry young tom. 🙂 He is still sweet as can be, quite demanding and bossy, but for the most part, devoted entirely to me – except when someone is offering him treats. He’ll ditch anyone for treats! Loves Papa John because he feeds him by hand. 🙂

Sofi. Sofi has been running pretty good. I was starting to wonder about that quote the Volkswagon garage gave me (about so many things being in need of repair), when a new problem popped up. The brake light keeps going on. Worse yet, everytime it lights up, a loud beep emits and continues intermittantly – major annoyance – especially since the brakes were recently tested and checked out fine. I’m going to make an appointment with a local car repair company that we’ve hired before and that we’ve trusted. Am not going back to the Volkswagon garage again. There are not too many convertible days left, but am trying to make the most of the ones we have. I still love Sofi and think she’s the best car I’ve ever owned.

Domestic Abuse and Suicide #2. A friend of mine has been going through the worst time ever. Her husband has been abusing her for years – mentally and physically. She’s been through so much, and another of her friends and I, have been helping her in whatever way we can. It is so hard to watch someone go through that and you really can’t do anything, but be there and to remind her that she deserves better. She finally left him, and in a last-ditch effort he attempted to commit suicide, hoping that would hold her. It didn’t. Now, he is alive, but left with serious medical issues, and alone. She is away, but going through another kind of hell. It is such a sad, horrible situation.

Jas, Mat, Mych, Jeren and Scarlett. That is such a painful situation to talk about. I dream of the day when things will ever be normal with us, but deep inside wonder if that’s all it ever will be – a dream. Mat turned 30 a few days ago and I mistakenly facebooked that it was 29. Another sin I will no doubt be held accountable for. My bad math will overshower my love and I will always lose. Scarlett started school and I was not there to see it. It broke my heart. Jeren keeps in touch with me, but I know how fragile that is and I am always on a leash as far as what things I can and cannot say to him. That is not how things are supposed to be with a mom and her son.

That is it for now. I’ll write more later.

September, where did you go?

There are blue skies, and there are blue skies. Some are bright with splashes of fluffy white clouds that float aimlessly, in no specific direction, bumping into each other and then going along their merry way again, morphing into shapes of anything you can imagine. I love those skies, and it matters not to me if some of those clouds fill up with water to the point that they burst uncontrolably, spilling huge droplets of rain upon me and everything else that lies beneath them. Because I think maybe in another life I was a duck – but then that is an entirely different story and one I am not in the mood to talk about today.

It is those other blue skies that I think of with such distaste that it makes me literally cringe, and that we’re now experiencing in Minnesota. Like a dull, blue-grey, heavy blanket that hovers above us, it signals the coming of at least nine months of what I call pure hell. The thought of below-freezing temperatures, accompanied by ice and snow and glistening icicles that drip meanacingly off every rooftop, send chills down my spine just to think of it. My gawd, I hate what winter brings.

September, where did you go?

A Fair Day

It’s a Minnesotian tradition – the state fair with all it’s noise and commotion, booths offering foods of everythng imaginable (if you can put it on a stick, they’ll do it) and well-stocked venders only all too happy to hawk it to you. The rides are colorful with bright neon lights that flash and if you’re there at night, they light up the evening sky. The people – well the people are as diverse as you can imagine – every size, every shape, every age, and because of the current obsession with tatoos, every color too! A people watcher’s dream come true, that’s for sure.

This year’s fair didn’t do it for me as in previous year’s past. It might have been that bacon on a stick that I had and that would subsequently get me sick and keep me up all night. Or it might have been that I intentionally skipped the butterfly booth – an earlier visit this year really saddened me because there were so many dead butterflies all over the floors and people were just stepping on them like they were nothing. For some reason I just couldn’t get into the swing of it all like I have in previous years’ past. Still, it was fun and of course watching Amelia have fun is worth the trip no matter what. 🙂

One hightlight of the fair was the mysterious and flamboyant woman who painted my face. Amelia wanted hers done so on a whim I thought, “Why not me too!” We walked to the little booth where the painting was being done and we both picked empty seats and sat down. While Amelia explained to her painter what design she had chosen, I on the other was staring quietly ahead, mesmerized by the beautiful woman who sat across the tiny table from me. She too was quiet, and turned her head slightly as if in deep thought. This exchange of looks took a bare second or two, but it seemed much longer. And then as if some kind of spell had been broken, we both snapped out of it, and before I could tell her what I wanted, she said, “I know what you want,” in a thick and very prounced, Europeon accent.

And then the woman proceded to paint away, dipping her brush into the various colors on her paint pad. “Elvis loved loved pink and black,” she said. “Probably as much as you do,” she added. I listened quietly as she continued to paint and talk and only when she had sprinkled sparkles on top of her design did she let me see a mirror. I laughed and told her she DID know what I wanted, and she smiled at that! Then she looked me in the eye and said, “I know you. And I won’t forget you.” I paid her, hugged her and walked out with Amelia, who was finished as well. As we contined on our way I had a feeling that something important had just transpired, but I wasn’t sure what it was. One thing I was sure about though is it was not likely I would forget her either.

Too pure to be pink?
Coco Chanel
"In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.”
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