Happy

Mother and three children, oil on wood, 38.5 x...

Our family’s circumstances stay the same, unemployment, unwell but managing,regular stuff, nothing has changed. There’s been no formal job offer or no magnificent leap in good health.

My husband had skin cancer removed from his eye brow that required several layers scraped off until there no cancer cells were detected.Yes, it was another bump in the road. We both handled that in stride, well done!

 

I guess we are so used to the ups and downs of life that they don’t quite startle us as much as they used to, maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe that’s the lesson that we are supposed to be learning. If it is, it has taught us well. I know we can handle anything thrown our way, I’m not asking to be tested again and again but we have been tested and we haven’t fallen apart or broken down. We have stuck together, even stronger in our bond. It’s comforting to know.

 

Which means, parenthetically, that on the very (very) rare occasion we hear good, actually GREAT news, it feels FANTASTIC yet very, very new and foreign. A feeling that we both haven’t felt in such a long time that it feels brand new. And, yes, we certainly appreciate it more, now more than ever.

 

So, when our son called me, breathless, to tell me he got into medical school,

 

 

I was at first, speechless. “What?” I said because I wasn’t sure of what he said. He said it again, slowly, my voice rose two octaves ” WHAT?” I squealed and started shrieking, and felt for the first time that all was good with the world and that I now knew what happiness felt like.

 

 

It was brand new and intense and it was a feeling I was not used to. I remember in my mind thinking ‘  so this is happiness’ like bubbles floating inside my head.

But, it was a feeling that you can’t even imagine or dream about because you can’t wrap your head around that feeling and you certainly don’t remember when you felt like that before.

 

When you are a parent, the size of your joy or sorrow doubles when you have kids. If they hurt, you hurt twice as much. But, hearing the joy in their voice, that is better than anything in the world because you are so much happier for yourself because they are happy. I kept reminding myself of this feeling and still do to remember what happiness felt like. It’s so fleeting like a butterfly dancing by you, a wisp of a thing but if you concentrate, really concentrate you will remember, at least part of the feeling.  HIS joy and your own are inseparable. It’s the mommy quotient.

 

Nothing else has changed; it’s all perspective. I’m trying to remember that. Look at your situation in a different way. Express gratitude. Be happy for all the good things in your life, smile as much as you can even if you don’t feel like it. It makes a difference, I know.

 

 

 

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I Want To Be Melissa Rivers’ Sister

One day or another

I turn myself inwards, hiding from the world.

I don’t want to go out and make small talk, my friends don’t feel like real friends tonight and

blood, it turns out, happens to be thicker than water, even when blood types are opposite.

The news on television is too scary to watch and I take on too much of it.

That’s when I have to force myself to extricate my sensitive soul and feel alright

snuggling under the blankets for a day, maybe two, listening to music or trying to name my new pink pig stuffed animal, stroking her soft cotton skin.

Imagine a soul without a name. What shall I call her? Suggestions?

The sun is setting earlier and earlier, things are the same but they are not.

I see a very long Winter ahead of us, I don’t even have the energy to groan.

I can’t blame it on Fibromyalgia either. I won’t.

My birthday month is on, even early, I don ‘t care about getting older, I still love birthdays and I am not vain.

Wrinkles are graciously earned, gray hair are few but I don’t hide them anyway. I am the warrior that they present, I earned them.

My children are now adults perfectly able to take care of themselves without us, both a blessing and a curse. I still miss them as I see mothers posting their first and second graders first day back to school pictures, excited grins and new outfits.

I think we have done well in parenting them, we are both so proud of them, we shine.

Suicide, brain tumor,  starving herself, no will to live, and now Joan Rivers? I don’t know but now I wish I could be Melissa’s sister

so she has somebody with her, to support her.

Nothing is fair, deep down, I still expect them to be at the end.

That’s the very immature part of me that won’t grow up. I can’t seem to learn this lesson even as it presents itself over and over again. Why? Why CAN’T I learn this?

I too, would wait for my mom to wake up, cracking a joke. But, my mom would NOT want to be brain-dead, that I know.

We all deal with pain, grief, discomfort, sadness and people really DON’T reach out to give a hand, I think that is what shocks me the most.

No one makes the time, they have themselves to consider first, last and in-between.

I am not sure who I am anymore, who I’ve become.

Maybe, just maybe, I’m disappointing myself, maybe I have become one of them too.

Nothing would surprise me anymore.

Nothing does.

Haters Gonna Hate Myself

I’m trying NOT to feel it, that feeling of FRUSTRATION. I’m sucking in my anger so hard that my belly is rippling over my white jeans and billowing over like a big cloud. A big, black blustery storm cloud.

I’m so done, I know I have to keep on going for as long as it takes but I’m getting my feelings out here because it is safe. I can’t make any plans to do anything or go anywhere because my husband still doesn’t have a job and we are both going stir crazy. I would be much more impulsive and try something new but that’s NOT his style.

We don’t know where we are going to live (I’m breathing a little too heavily now) but we can’t live where we are living too much longer. One more winter here, that’s about all I can take. That’s all I WILL take, though this is a familiar phrase.

I’m fine 99 percent of the time but there are moments, like these, that the stress keeps piling up and it’s as if I am in the middle of the globe and arrows are pointing at me from every single angle. They are not welcoming me, they are stabbing me. I say I can’t take it any more but I know I have no choice.  I’m here to support and encourage and look for a job in a local bakery except I can’t lift 50 pounds, darn it.

Things need to change but I’ve said that for almost one year, I’ve always been scared of change and part of me still is but I can’t afford to deal with that now. I’m scared to be here and I’m scared to leave, but I’m in the middle of nothing, of trudging  through thick, brown, suffocating mud. One more minute and it would be a sinkhole.

At least I tried something new, I’m thrilled that I took a writing class. Registering and getting there alone made me proud. Doing well in it, made me ecstatic. I’lll try to do more things like that, pushing myself.

As people say (not that I believe them anymore) it can’t stay this way forever. Or can it? I’ve resorted to one of my favorite psychics to see what she has to say. Some guidance, please. Spare me the bad stuff, I have enough of that on my own.

I’ll be putting more effort, more optimism, more meditation into my life, changing for the better, starting..TOMORROW. I promise.

For Just A Night

 

Never before have I gotten so emotionally involved in the world’s problems as I have been these past few months. Sometimes, I read The New York Times, other times I watch the news on television. Now, I panic.

I used to live with my head buried in the sand, not knowing what was going on in the world and that was a delightfully safe place; an artificial place but a comfortable one. On the other hand I have worked myself into such a frenzy now that all I imagine and see are horrible images and bombs and in my mind I’m questioning “but what if….?” That is not healthy for me either.

Thank heavens for The Food Network Channel, my go to place when I need to unwind or if I have watched too much news and can’t settle down. The cheery shows on The

English: Logo for Food Network

English: Logo for Food Network (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cooking channel as well bring me entertainment, not that I have learned to cook from either one of them. The only show I refuse to watch is Cutthroat Kitchen with Alton Brown and its element of nastiness and unmasked sarcasm. (See my blog “Cutthroat Kitchen” for that review.)

Today, I am starting off with a smile. I know what is happening in the world, I know there is sadness everywhere but I am trying to focus on my tiny corner of space. My daughter is home, safe from Spain, where she had a wonderful time. My husband is as happy as he can be without being employed but he is healthy and so am I. Tonight, our son is coming home so our family will be together for a few nights.

I really can’t ask for more than that. I appreciate it and I am grateful for it. It happens less and less these days as they are both in their early twenties. It was hard to get used to but even I, mother hen, have grown accustomed to the separation, they know I cry whenever somebody leaves. I have always cried when somebody leaves me. It’s who I am.

Tonight, at dinner, I will watch my family and try to soak up every detail, every single exchange in our own tiny part of the world, for every second it lasts.

For that, I am deeply grateful. I can’t ask for more.


 

Soothe Me, Sunday

 

Limpid

Having a hard time coping today, my stomach aches. Morning blends to late afternoon, I lie in bed trying to keep calm but swallowing too many times. I need to be exactly where I am today. I don’t care what anyone thinks.

Tomorrow is the dreaded test. Part of me is better the closer it gets but sometimes my arms tingle and get numb. I’m lying low.

Nothing new is happening, that could be part of the problem or maybe the solution, I have no idea.  Whatever is going on, the time is not yet right for change. We need to accept that. How could I move somewhere new, how could I leave my mother ? I can’t even deal with that now. A job is too important. Anywhere. I long to do something different and fun, don’t know if my husband is on board with this or not. Probably not.

Trying to keep my head in neutral, I admit that loose thoughts, like anxiety, race around my head from time to time like the Indianapolis 500/Nascar.

Race Night

Music soothes me.

There is no room for negativity in my life. In our lives. Breathe, Mama, Breathe.

The messages from my father, all those signs, means he is with me. Remember that.

Clutch those messages from above and keep them taped close to your heart where they belong.

Hold On.

Something good or different will turn up at the right time. Keep believing.

Don’t Give Up.

Smiling Buddha = Budai ... Buddha with big bel...

Music soothes me but it has to be at the right level of sound.

I will always be stuck in the past,

Thank you, Joshua Radin, Crosby, Stills, Nash (and Young,) The Beatles, The Rolling Stones Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan,  Bruce Springsteen, Fun is up to date for me. Alex and Sierra (Say Something.) Some words I just need to hear.

 

Husband is cooking pork chops with apple butter and raisins, it’s iffy. I’m going to try but know that in my back pocket

a calming American Cheese sandwich on an English Muffin and a big, fat jelly doughnut from our favorite bakery is here for dessert. Man cannot live with stress alone. I can eat the pork chop, tomorrow, with pleasure.

Is it tomorrow yet? Let’s do this.

Yes, Dear Ones, I DO Eat Healthy Food

I love all my readers, I really do, you’ve become more family to me than, well relatives. However, I have one reader who gets very upset when I write about eating pizza with grape jelly or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with mashed potatoes and Baked Lays.

Big Salad

Big Salad (Photo credit: kattebelletje)

It’s true, I do like weird combinations at times. But, my goodness, give me some credit. I don’t eat this ALL the time, just once in a great while as a treat. Now, I know that most people don’t think pizza with grape jelly is a treat BUT, I only do it if the pizza is dry and sub par. Try it sometime, give it a chance. Wink Wink. Let me know?

I gave eating fish a chance and now I like some of it, except for salmon which was ruined for me forever. (See the post I Hate Salmon…) I will eat mild fish and I only myself to try it when we were in Florida on vacation. I tried it several times and I can kinda sorta say “I like it.” If I had to choose fish or a petite filet mignon, would I pick fish? Not a chance but I am open to the idea of eating it and we don’t eat red meat very much at all.

Another thing to consider is that there is no income coming in to our house and there has not been any income coming in for almost a year. I’m not complaining, it’s the worst job market ever but we do eat scrambled eggs and toast once a week and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches once a week. You can’t blame me for that.

When we go shopping we buy chicken not steak, good food is for good news only and we haven’t had any of that lately. We keep saying that if any good news happens, we will go out to eat and celebrate. I’m not sure we believe in good news anymore.

Our condolence prize is a pizza pie once every two weeks or so. It’s not the end of the world. My husband is a good cook and when I try I am adequate cook as well. Lately, there hasn’t been time to cook since I am literally spending each day going to a different doctor trying to find out why I pass out and end up face down on the floor.

The medical factory that I go to has lined up every single test in the world. I understand why they do it and that is why I have cooperated pleasantly but it’s not as if I am home, watching Orange is the New Black and eating ice cream bon-bons.

Strawberry rhubarb compote

Strawberry rhubarb compote (Photo credit: Kitchen Wench)

So, while I appreciate your concern, please do not worry, (biological sister and twin) because it’s not as bad as it seems. On the stove now I am cooking a fruit compote with rhubarb, strawberries, blueberries and a few prunes in a slow simmer with Sugar In The Raw. I’m not even using fake sugar (yet.) I love this stuff and I love cooking it.

We had a huge green salad for dinner, steamed asparagus and half of a leftover lobster roll with cold cucumber yogurt dill soup. See?  Do you feel better? I do have good food habits but writing about them is not nearly as entertaining as the other stuff. Is it?

PS THANK YOU FOR CARING!

Read Comfort Food, Larry and Lola

FWF, Kellie Elmore, Pain

Uncle Wally

My name is Wally, though people used to call me Mr. Dawson. I barely remember those days but I was you, Mister Fancy Suit, a long time ago. I had a great family and a job I loved, until my life changed and I became who I am today. My whole body is wracked in pain, every bone and muscle, even the inside of my head hurts all the time.

Pain

Pain (Photo credit: Rickydavid)

My liver and kidneys are rotting, orange like rust. I have lots of pain when I am sober enough to look at my life long enough to remember. It lasts only a minute or two, then I pop a handful of pills, drink two or three shots of cheap whiskey

 

and vodka or whatever I can get my hands on just to dull the edges around my sorry life.

I got the needle tracks on my arms, but today I’m hurting with no more crack or heroin to get me through the day. My friend Ben said he’ll come meet me at this here bar. He still isn’t here and I’m going through hell.

English: 2 Gs of Tweak

English: 2 Gs of Tweak (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People don’t believe me when I tell them that I was  a white-collar, middle-class family man for more than twenty-five years. I had a little office, a desk and chair. I was a loyal employee and where did that get me? It got me nothing, that’s for sure. I put in all my hours, never took a sick day once and still they let me go.

I dealt with unemployment well the first year, I went on interviews but after a year and a half things slowed down. People weren’t returning my calls, I would interview for jobs and they would never say if I got the job or if I didn’t. I would call up and ask and people never returned the call. First, I thought it was just me but then I talked to some other guys, women too, who had lost their jobs and the same thing was happening to them, to everyone I knew.

I’d spent my whole adult life working here, every single day, being the husband to my wife Adele and the father to Gordon and Jennifer. Why, my office was a mini-vacation for my kids. every year they spent some time with me in “Daddy’s big office.” I loved that, when they came in and Mom made us all sandwiches from home. She’d do something special for herself that day, like get her hair done or her nails and I was so proud that I could give that to her. She was the best wife and mother you could ask for in a person.

Liquid Dinner

Liquid Dinner (Photo credit: Rolling Okie)

What happened to the great country I lived in? No money coming in, now Adele was working part-time. Finally, something inside me died. I couldn’t stand it anymore it hurt so much that I started drinking a lot to dull the pain, I drank around the clock, I stopped shaving and wouldn’t leave the house. My wife used to scream at me, she said I was a “bad influence on the kids.” We fought all the time.

I was a nasty drunk too. Adele, threw me out. The last straw was when I got real angry, so angry that I slapped my wife, well, I pushed her and she turned pale, she was scared of me. She had every right. I was not the man she married. I was not the husband she loved, the father of her children. I was an addict but I didn’t want help, I just wanted out.

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I grabbed a few of my things and stuffed them into a bag. The kids were at school and Adele was working. I took our savings money and I left. I walked out the door thinking it would be better for them. I thought I did the right thing, looking at me now, three years later, I am convinced I was right.

 

 

 

 

auntie cherye: I call him son

” You suck ass” that’s what my nephew told me was the top derogatory phrase these days. and no, he does not know the meaning of derogatory because he is just turned 10 and his name is Jason D. but he knows what’s right and what’s wrong. he knows how it feels when kids are pickin on him about his old clothes and shoes and say horrible things to him like that. i wont let him repeat that nasty phrase. kids pick on him and say mean things that’s for sure.

he knows his mama and daddy are both looking for jobs every day and night and that’s why hes been staying with me so I can take care of him properly. he’s angry at his life and his friends who live in big houses and whose parents are rich.  Our boy, well really my boy wears old clothing and shares a room with his auntie, me, nothing to be ashamed of at all.

American Mailboxes - Hope Street ... Tired Of ...

I see he gets to school on time because i drive him thru this dusty land  with no paved roads and eats his eggs n toast for breakfast and not grab some stupid sugar bar like he wants. i wont even start with that in this house. we have real food, not fancy rich people food but it is real food in this house.

i love that boy as if he my own and in a way he kinda is. been caring for him since he was a toddler and now look, he still living with me. Mostly we all hang together here. this is my family, i sure like to think and mama comes and we cook together and sing and laugh and talk about the ol days.

On Sundays that’s when jason’s momma and papa come for sure to share a meal or two and he knows he is loved by everyone, and that they are trying so, so hard to find work.

jason looks at all of us like we are nuts but he grins and he knows we are happy to be together, so what if we don’t have money or nothing, we got great love in the family and with our church. they’s family too.

It's been the ruin of many a poor girl, and Go...

we’re grateful for what we got and we all try not to complain as best we can.

Everyone in this family learns sooner or later that fightin is not the answer no, it really isn’t. but when times are tough, like not havin any money to buy food or pay rent or to go to the doctor when you are sick thats just plain wrong but we pray a lot, hold hands, eat lots of spaghetti with ketchup and soup stock, brown bread i make in the oven.

i found a local hospital just yesterday an they said we could come if there was an emergency anytime, i didnt know some people could be so kind. you look hard enough and u do good enough stuff youself, you will find those people. and those people will sure enough find you.

food

if i didn’t believe in that, i would have been dead a very long time ago, believe me. i’ve had my hardest times, i have shed many tears when my baby girl died an i wanted to kill myself but thats for another time, not now.

I’ll keep waking up day after day as long as i have somethin to live for. right now its cooking and raising my boy jason d.

Baby Boomers: What Are We Now, Chopped Liver?

English: The New York Times building in New Yo...

English: The New York Times building in New York, NY across from the Port Authority. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)LickIt must, because apparently The New York Times no longer wants the Boomer section anymore. Yep, they are kicking us boomers straight to the curb. that’s the reason that The New York Times has kicked Baby Boomers to the curb. Why? They won’t say and believe me their fans have asked.

Like a swift unexpected kick in the ass, readers of The New York Times (loyal readers I might add) found out that they were removing the Booming column that delighted us all. Really? Yes, true fact. No explanation other than “blah blah blah.” It would be in here or there maybe on Tuesdays but without Michael Winerip who we have all grown to like and respect. I liked this dude, he was real and approachable.

What the hell are you thinking? I guess we are not important anymore, make way for Generation Whatever.  I was born in 1956 to the best of my knowledge I’m a Baby Boomer. Please remember this, we haven’t dropped dead just yet. You needed us back then (hint: Woodstock) and now you have cut out a large part of your readership. We are still consumers and you have let us down.

Eliminating or phasing out the Booming section is disappointing, I could relate to Michael Winerip’s essays and now we’re getting shoved aside, as if we don’t feel old enough. The New York Times, with whom we’ve been faithful to, is giving us the heave-ho. It feels like yet another slap in the face to those of us in The Sandwich Generation.

Everyone wonders what the reason was that they decided to take that section out. But, of course we don’t expect them to tell us the reason. That is way too old-fashioned. Manners? Nah, that was in the fifties. Back where if you didn’t get a job the boss called you on the telephone and told you why, when things were simpler, more honest, and we didn’t have a hundred choices of everything from paint chips to lipstick to television channels to drugs.

Let’s face it, it’s not the best of times for many of us. The economy stinks (I’m trying to be professional here) unemployment is really high, we’re caught between taking care of our aging parents, ourselves and our grown up children.We are still known as The Sandwich Generation, remember that? It’s been the Winter from hell and it isn’t over yet and while the Booming Section didn’t change our world it added a little fun.

Don’t flatter yourself New York Times. You’ve become replaceable as apparently we have too. We stayed with you through all your changes, now it’s our turn to say good-bye.

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Boomers: 1946~1953 to 1964

This would make baby boomers, in the year 2010, somewhere in the ballpark of 46-64 years old.

Gen X: 1965 to 1976~1982

– See more at: http://theechoboom.com/2010/09/dateage-range-of-baby-boomers-generation-x-and-generation-y/#sthash.MrX7nqmo.dpuf

Boomers: 1946~1953 to 1964

This would make baby boomers, in the year 2010, somewhere in the ballpark of 46-64 years old.

Gen X: 1965 to 1976~1982

– See more at: http://theechoboom.com/2010/09/dateage-range-of-baby-boomers-generation-x-and-generation-y/#sthash.MrX7nqmo.dpuf

What, Exactly, Is Happiness?

Rice pudding bowl

Rice pudding bowl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I thought the  rice pudding that my husband bought me from the diner would make me happy but it just made me feel momentarily content. Twice. Now, there’s only one small portion left from the giant trough that he brought home on Sunday night. One, huge, tub of home-made rice pudding, the Reddi Whip had already melted, making it look like a floating swan on water, peaceful, gliding, making no trouble at all. A sensory satisfaction of taste.

It appeared to be a raisin and cinnamon revolution. Rice pudding with no raisins and no cinnamon? I was briefly unnerved but it was so tasty, rich, sweet and creamy that I really couldn’t complain. Tonight, the last night, I added my own raisins and cinnamon. For my tasting pleasure, now it is gone.

I need strength to feel settled tonight. I’m scared, there are just too many potential problems for too many people going on in the next three months. I’m much better when the time is NOW than weeks ahead of time but inside I know I am freaking out. Trembling as my bones quiver from the inside out, shaking so that anyone who knows me can see.

Too many people I love are sick at the same time. I am feeling at an all time low, physically and emotionally. My shoulders ache, the pain in my back still digs into me, not letting go or it moves to surprise me, to the side. Poke, Stab, Poke. Winter, does not just weigh heavily on the branches of the naked tree limbs but also on my tightened shoulders that lock in place; it takes hours for the heating pad to barely loosen them. I’ve tried the steamy hot baths, bath salts…nothing helps.

Maybe, I should just give up on Winter. This year, I was promised that I  could go to someplace warm to soothe my aching bones and muscles, and again, another lay off. No one’s fault. It’s just the way the world works these days. Trust no one. You are not safe.

Protect Yourself.

What is happiness, anyway?

It’s elusive.

A distant memory, aging photographs, some distinct thoughts of the past. Maybe it’s age or money or just a state of mind. I can’t seem to see it at the moment….

If I don’t have it, it doesn’t mean I don’t want YOU to have it, it just makes me a little sad to see those with luck, get luckier and those who are down on their luck, stay there and go deeper under the icy cold, black abyss.

My real friends understand, I don’t need to tell them I am hurting, they know. Or, if I mumble a quick “fine” or “I’m good” they will look into my eyes, the pathway to my soul and understand. THEY don’t look away. They stick with me through all days.

True Friendship.

True Friendship=Happiness

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