Innocence, Lost

Lately, I feel that the world is a very scary place. I KNOW you can’t live your life with utter fear, every second, but it feels overwhelming at times. Actually, you probably could live your life that way but I’m sure it

would be a miserable life with no joy at all. Sometimes, it feels like you just want to stay home in bed, huddled under your blankets, safe and warm. However, you can’t appreciate joy and happiness if you don’t know what fear or sadness feels like.

I have to talk myself out of thinking about worrying and taking chances every once in a while, sometimes I have to force myself to brave the world but I do it.  I go out into the world, at first tentatively, treading carefully, trying to be cautious of mine fields.

Now, it feels like there are mine fields everywhere. I’m sure there are millions of people who are more scared than I am that don’t even have the ability to leave their homes or rooms or beds to put one foot on the ground after another. I feel bad for them but I also can relate.

I am not joking, believe me. I think it takes a lot of courage and strength to live in today’s society.. I can only judge what I know. I know that in the beginning “baby boomer” years I felt peaceful, it was all about “love and peace and songs filled with that message.”

Now? I can’t /won’t watch the news or read the newspaper, it’s all too overwhelming especially when my daughter was traveling abroad. I felt happier when she landed and I could see her face than the entire two weeks before.

There seemed to be a bit more control way back then when I was growing up but maybe it was because I was a child instead of an adult? Maybe my parents protected me, but of course there was violence. The killings of JFK and MLK were terrible acts of violence but they weren’t so often and unpredictable like the school shootings that have happened here multiple times, or the killings of police officers etc. Why?


I miss those days in the seventies, the days of simplicity. I am grateful to have grown up in those days where peace was the motivation and simple music was mainstream, in concerts with regular guitars not high-tech with sound effects. Where people actually talked to each other instead of texting, where the phone was attached to the wall and not in our children’s hands.
The one thing I insisted on when my kids were growing up was that we all ate dinner together, no phones, no television, every single night. It gave us a chance to talk about our days.We played the “What was the high, low, funny of your day?” and everyone had to take part. I learned from my asking “How was school, what did you do” to which they both answered: “Good, Nothin.”
I knew parents who were never home to see their children, parents whose children were more attached to their nannies and had so much more money than we did. We had very little money but our family ate dinner together every single night and we talked about our days.
I knew a mom who sat her children in front of the television with”tv” trays and that was dinner, every single night, the children’s father worked very late hours and didn’t see his children much at all. Our kids once complained that they were not allowed to watch television during dinner and I drew the line right then and there.
It was less complicated back then where the gourmet ice cream was just Hagen Daas not thirty other brands where choices were unlimited and not wildly scattered like
English: Dandelions in the Tuira district of t...dandelions in the wind.
Sometimes having too many choices is harder than having limited choices, it’s more anxiety provoking for some people, more frustrating.
When I go shopping, I stand in front of the toothpaste or the shampoo aisle and just stare. How many choices can there be? Apparently too many as I stare with glazed over eyes not even focusing on which one I want. Does it really make a difference? Aren’t they all pretty much alike? Of course they are but today there seems to be a need for more and more and big, bigger, biggest and 50 varieties on one product.
I would love to go back to easier times, nicer times when the theme was Random Acts Of Kindness, how about we get that started again? Some have never stopped but many have stopped because of no income or just focusing on their busy lives. Let’s try to get on track, again. If nothing else, it will take away the fear and replace it with appreciation, it also doesn’t need to cost one cent.
 The sandwich generation, we are taking care of both our parents and our children, say “Peace Out” and “Keep On Trucking.” After all we need to keep our boomer sense of humor. It’s pretty much all we have left.
Picture of John Lennon's Strawberry Fields For...

Picture of John Lennon’s Strawberry Fields Forever Memorial (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Plinky Prompt: A Long Flight and Your Neighbor…

  • English: The mounts of the hand used in palm r...

    English: The mounts of the hand used in palm reading. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    You’re on a long flight, and a palm reader sitting next to you insists she reads your palm. You hesitate, but agree. What does she tell you? See all answers

  • Lifeline
  • “You will arrive to your destination safely.”

  • (sorry, I just had to answer this way, it makes me laugh!)
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Plinky Prompt: Can anything be funny, or are some things off limits?

  • English: Ellen DeGeneres in 2009.

    English: Ellen DeGeneres in 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Can anything be funny, or are some things off limits? See all answers
  • Too funny? Not funny?
  • I’m pretty conservative with this, there are things that are not funny to me.  Anything to do with race, religion, hurting a group of people’s feelings is unnecessary in comedy. Do you need it? No. Why market your comedy to offend people?  That’s not my type of humor. Ellen Degeneres? She’s my type of comedian, Jerry Seinfield too. Making fun of race and religion, never good. A joke about the holocaust, slavery, obesity? ALWAYS WRONG.  To me, anything that JUDGES other people is prejudice not comedy. You are funny without it. Oh, and keep all the swear words to yourself, while you are at it.

  • I love you, Eddie Murphy, but clean up your mouth. You’ve made it big, you don’t need to sound like a 16-year-old anymore. It doesn’t do you any good.
  • Call me old-fashioned (which I probably am) but I am not going to spend good money on trash talkers OR haters. Just my opinion, but I’m sticking to it.
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Someone Should Kill Punxsutawney Phil (Oh Relax, Not Literally)

groundhog

groundhog (Photo credit: Greencolander)

AN OPEN LETTER TO MR. PUNXSUTAWNEY PHIL

Dear P. Phil,

What the hell were you thinking? This has been the nastiest winter not to mention the longest winter that we have had in years. What happened to the early Spring you promised us? Nothing, that’s what. It’s freaking freezing and we are in the third week of March with no tell-tale signs of budding flowers and warm temperatures. Why don’t we just get rid of this stupid tradition? I’ve never believed in it anyway but this year, I admit, I was longing for some good news so I thought four more weeks isn’t bad at all, I can handle that.

For me, a person who hates the winter in the first place, prolonging snow and freezing temperatures makes me feel that much worse. Hey Phil, did anyone teach you about sticking to your word? I am not, in any way, amused. In fact, I’m angry.I happen to know that I am not alone in my anger. I know many, many people who feel the same way. Another snowstorm in the forecast?  WHY NOT, I’ve stopped counting, we have all stopped counting because who can keep track?

The week my husband went skiing was one of the scariest times I have been through in a long time. Again, (what a surprise) the forecast was for a huge storm calling for a foot of snow and 60 mph winds, certainly enough to tear the power lines down to the ground like angry whips. It was terrifying. It was just the dog and me and our dog knew about as much as I did on how to figure out the nine page document that my husband left me to TRY and explain the mini generator. The man had given me graphs and diagrams, even flow charts and arrows. That rather long dissertation made me as crazy as the storm itself. Did he not remember who he has married for 24 and a half years?

I climbed the stairs, flashlight in my pocket, candles strategically placed around the house with matches nearby and climbed into my bed piled high with blankets. I felt like Laura in “Little House On The Prairie” except I was missing Ma and Pa to tucking me in and telling me everything would be alright. I really missed them. I went to bed early because what else was there to do? I prayed. In the morning I woke up to 12 inches of snow but we still had electricity. I was SO happy.

Punxsutawney Phil, as many of us now in mid-life are looking to start different careers,  may I suggest you do the same? I’m sure you can do some different things, you should look into as many options and career choices as possible because I think, as we all agree, you stink at this one.

Plinky Prompt: Sea or Sky?

  • Where I Belong
  • I Want To Live By The Sea With A Smiling Dog
  • Sea I’ll take water for a hundred please, Alex. (Sorry, I don’t know why that popped in my head!!) In all cases, truly all cases, I will pick water over any other element or choice. Water, for me, is in my spirit and soul. It is what soothes me and scares me, it makes me feel overwhelmed by its presence and comforted by its existence. Water can make me happy, sad, fluid, strong, peaceful. I love being in the water, in the sea, my body becomes pain-free and joy replaces pain; I am buoyant, I am calm, happy. I am in my element. I wish I could live by the sea forever or as close to it as possible, that is my dream.

An Open Letter To My Fat Clothes

My mixed up salad

Dear Fat Clothes,

The first thing I have to say is: DON’T WORRY! I am in no way getting rid of you, not now, not ever. Forget what they say in all those Weight- Anonymous -Watch- What -You Are -Eating – Weigh- In -Clubs. I say NO. After being a three life-time membership winner to one of the above happy family groups I say, don’t listen. I will NOT throw you out or give you away because there is that chance that I will slip back to my slovenly ways again. I might. I’m not saying I want to but the truth is that it’s a possibility and I need to deal with that.

If it makes me feel better to have a corner in the back of my closet that have looser clothes for when I fluctuate (that I can theoretically wear on grundgy days) so be it. It makes me feel good to know that I have them. In fact, I believe you will find a whole array of sizes in my closet like a mini-mart of clothes. That’s alright too. Maybe I will get thinner some day, maybe I won’t. Right now I am comfortable where I am; I am right where I usually end up and if I put an effort into exercising a little more each day I will be downright proud.

The most important thing is that my eating habits have changed completely. I make healthy choices, yes to salad and vegetables, fruit and chicken; no to Twinkies and Snowballs. I haven’t had red meat for the last three months but I am considering eating it a burger on the grill sometime in the near future.

I hate to admit it but smaller portions and moderation are key. Also, I never drank any fluids during the day except my first cup of really strong coffee but I try to drink water now and have limited diet soda drinks, though haven’t cut it out completely (I’m working on it).

I’m not skinny nor am I fat, I’m comfortable, eating well and I’m sure my cholesterol is down. (It better be.)

So clothes, don’t despair, you are not going anywhere. You are staying here with me. Right where I need you and where you belong.

Love, Me

Our Dirty, Shameful Secret

Description: This image shows a Carpenter ant ...

Image via Wikipedia

I’m coming out of the closet to explain my bad mood of late, my stress, tension, anger, depression and exhaustion. The big reveal: (drum roll please..)  CARPENTER ANTS. Yes, sad but true and I can’t keep this shameful secret to myself anymore.  I need help and support. What I really need is the Extreme Home Makeover crew AND the most adorable and beloved style/designer cutie- patootie, Nate Berkus.  I also need Oprah for moral support and the understanding of these life lessons.

We have a truckload full of carpenter ants. A friggin’ marching army carrying weapons of mass destruction.( At least I have proof.) What started as an exciting renovation for the kitchen has become the project from HELL.

The renovation is on hold until we completely rebuild and tear out the kitchen, bathroom and part of the basement. For now. We won’t know about the upstairs officially until they tear that apart too.

Basically, our family life (what family life?) stinks right now. We’re minus a bathroom, a family room, a kitchen and part of the basement. The only relative good news is that our son is leaving for college this week and he will escape the constant noise and demolition. The rest of us, my husband, daughter and I (plus the dog) are not that lucky. We are stuck here. When someone suggested moving into a rented apartment for three months, I laughed. The money pit can only go so far, folks. Our daughter will be going to college next fall.

The kitchen renovation project  (PCA: pre- carpenter ants ) was going to last 4-6 weeks and cost a set amount of money.  Now, we are talking a minimum of at least three months and A LOT more money.  This was NOT in the budget. That said, our cozy little home, my bastion of sanity, love and serenity has been destroyed. The gosh-darn ants have eaten their way down the stairs like starving people dining at a free smorgasbord. Oh and before you ask, yes, we did have a company come in and spray year-round to prevent the little suckers. There is no guarantee so please don’t ask. I feel used, stupid, resentful (no comment)  and violated.

My once beloved cozy cottage looks like a crime scene and the amount of money that is draining from our savings is practically enough to stabilize the economy. My husband talked me into this kitchen renovation and now it has become a major project, MAJOR. If we had known now what we did when we bought the house…..well, I can’t go there. My emotions have ranged from fury to laughing hysterically, depression, anger and annoyance and resentment.  It’s no wonder I am in a vicious flare up of Fibromyalgia, and TMJ and daily, throbbing headaches. Every day brings bad news, more things to fix and more money to spend.

The only thing I try to remember is to keep this in perspective. It is annoying and depressing and draining, financially $$$$, physically and emotionally but we are not in a Radiology Department waiting for ominous test results; in other words, it’s not life- threatening.  I’m rolling with the (expensive) punches because basically, I have no choice.  Is this a catastrophe? Yes, I mean No! It’s an annoyance and a lot of money down the um, drain, pipes, frame, tube?  I’m taking it one day at a time; one very costly, day at a time. There is no other way.

Like We Used To

mother and son

Image by 'PixelPlacebo' via Flickr

It’s a different page in the book, the old chapter ended abruptly. Now, there’s a new chapter that really doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest. But, since I have no choice but to continue reading, whether I want to or not, I will learn something in the end. I’m not sure if I will like the ending or if I will hate it but it is not an ending that I get to write. Not anymore. It’s no longer my story. I’m so low on energy today with the temperature and the humidity so high it hurts to breathe and I am feeling daggers of chest pain. Tears are sliding down my cheeks but I don’t bother to wipe them away; it’s all out of my control. I wish I could hide away somewhere, or go on vacation alone and relearn who I am.

It would be nice to be able to talk to my eighteen and a half-year old son with the same ease, joy, warmth and humor that we used to have. Now, he is readying himself for camp and college and independence; I understand that but still, sometimes what he does or says sting. I am sure he will come back, at least that’s what other parents of older children have told me. I’m his mother, I will wait. New words entered our vocabulary last year, things like beer pong and prom, girlfriend, college, admissions and honor programs. Maybe there is still a little kid inside him also trying to deal with changes too. Maybe he doesn’t know how he’s acting or how different he seems. It’s a little rocky in the beginning when things change so dramatically but eventually we all learn to adjust to everything. The ability to adjust is what keeps people alive; we have no other option but to adapt.

I have pains in my chest; I feel weak and sad and  fragile and everything in my body hurts from Fibromyalgia and my heart hurts too. My body, is stiff and unyielding. I’m tired of being tired and I feel everything and nothing. Today, nothing trumps everything. There were many things that used to make me happy. More importantly, I used to make myself feel happy but I don’t anymore. Does the true essence of my self still exist if I can’t feel it?

My Teenagers Are Meanies

The Meaning to Life

Image by Lel4nd via Flickr

Oh sure, we are always supposed to give our thanks for what we have and do gratitude journals and write down five things every day we enjoy. No. I won’t do it today. I’m mad and cranky and I’ve had my fill of just about everybody except my dog (and my husband). My two teenagers, (that speaks volumes in itself) 16 1/2 and 18, have been making fun of me and teasing me non-stop. At least that’s what it feels like. We were sitting around the kitchen table and my daughter told my son something”stupid” I said and my son joined in with another mistake I made and proceeded to “text” dad with something I got mixed up with, Texas, Tennessee, whatever.  What I felt like doing was having a nutty, exploding and screaming things like “Shut up, you ungrateful brats I’ve had enough” but I didn’t; I regret that now.

I feel like “Mommy Rae” and want to stand up on the kitchen table with a sign that says there should be “A Union For All Moms.” I did tell my children that they were taking advantage of me and I was sick and tired of it. I was ready to cry, explode or yell (which would not have been a bad thing) but instead I left the kitchen table abruptly so they could probably make fun of my lack of sense of humor or whatever else they were dissing me for. (note to people who don’t have teens: to diss: to make fun of or put down.) I escaped, stomped up the stairs and stayed in my bedroom and watched a DVR’d version of one of my favorite shows, Top Chef. I did not go down to “make dinner”early because I had my limit of “what do you want, and what do YOU want” since my daughter is a vegetarian and my son thinks good food consists of ring jells and mixed fruit cocktail in jello. I kid you not.

I napped my intense anger away and when my husband came home and I thought that he was the only one on my side and that’s what it felt like. When he gave me a big hug, I didn’t want him to go. To Buffalo. (no offense to those who live in Buffalo) On Sunday. For six weeks. I thought to myself “how am I going to live with these two monster teenagers alone?”  I still don’t have the answer but I am going to lay down the law and tell them to step up and help out. The fact that I have a chronic pain disease does really not seem to affect them, hey, they are feeling good, isn’t everybody? NO, chronic pain means pain ALL THE TIME, I have the amount of energy as a dead tick does. I’m tired, I feel like crap. LISTEN TO ME!

I refuse to pick my daughter up late at night for the next six weeks because I fade at 3pm not to mention 12 midnight. She will have to make plans, get it together. Help out. Think of me. (I scoff). Teenagers, by design, do not think of anyone but themselves. My son will have to man up and help out with things too, he can pick up his sister late at night and take part in whatever is needed for the family. The what? The family, you know, the one that is supposed to be a joint unit, each of us helping each other. (I scoff again).

I’m doing the best I can, that’s what parents do. They try and try and hope that they make the right decision because they only want the best for their children. Do children appreciate that? A resounding NO. I have said the old stand-by to them: “I can’t wait till YOU have teenagers.” Does it make a difference to them? Of course not!!! It just makes me feel a tiny bit better and that is better than nothing.