Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Three little bears

There has been a momma bear, and her two "baby" bears visiting our garbage and cutting through our neck of the woods for a few months now. I use the term "baby" loosely. They are more like teenagers. Not so small. They have been making appearances under the cover of darkness, as well as strolling through our property right in the middle of the day.

 I think about them a lot. My girls play in the front, and I always keep a watchful eye. I still haven't gotten used to buttoning their jackets and saying, "now you know what to do in case you see a bear, right"?, as I send them out the door (gulp). I can't see them, but I always feel aware of them out there. Somewhere.

Last night, I dreamt that I was taking a walk with the girls through the neighborhood. It was dark out. Behind us, I saw the bears. All three of them. We began to make noise, to let them know we were there, as not to scare them. I told the girls to walk toward home. Quickly. I turned to look for the bears, and they were running. They were coming for us. I know you aren't supposed to run if a bear is chasing you, but in my dream, I shoved the girls in front of me, and screamed at them to run as fast as they could.

We finally reached the house, and ran in the door, slamming it behind us, just in the nick of time. The bears slammed into the side of the house. They were growling. They were clawing at the door. My girls were frightened. I told them to keep the lights off, and stay quiet. I was terrified in my dream, and fearful of my ability to protect my babies. These lives are my divine responsibility. How could I let something go so horribly wrong?

Maybe it is stress coursing through my veins making me have nightmares. Maybe it is the awful pressure of having to magically deliver Christmas with all of it's joy, and wonder, on barely any money. Maybe it is the fact that after paying our bills, and buying food, and diapers to last until payday, we have $40.00 in our "emergency/gas fund" for the next 10 days.

 Maybe it's Charlotte's cough, and the doctor visit I know she needs, but the concern about the copays' high price.  Should I take her to the emergency room instead, and worry about that much higher copay later?

 Maybe it's the lunch with Santa my girls want to go to that we can't afford, because the price of admission is a  Toys for Tots purchase, and I can't even get the funds together to get toys for my own tots. The holiday gift shop at the Intermediate School even has me stressed, and everything there costs a dollar. The girls want to buy presents for each other. It just doesn't fit into our $40.00 budget this week.

 And the car. That funny noise that just keeps getting louder. I keep turning the radio up so I don't feel so nauseous every time I drive it.

Or maybe, it's the constant, knawing, thoughts of the uncertain future we face, of staying in our home, that instead, has me worrying about bears, and Christmas, when in reality, I am scared of our ability to provide a home for our children.

I woke up this morning after my bad night of bear dreams, and thought to myself that I wish the threat were just bears at my door. I wish it was that physical, and when they went away, because it was dark and we were quiet, we could resume our carefree walk. We could just take our time, and be together, and I wouldn't have to keep looking over my shoulder. Always aware of what I cannot see in the murkiness of the night.

I understand that momma bear. I understand her fierce instinct to protect. It wanders through my mind constantly.

Even while I sleep.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

One last Thanksgiving thanks

My girls proclaimed this Thanksgiving to be the best we ever had. I thought it was too. I could not have felt more relaxed. Charlotte spent the day in her pajamas, and when I insisted she change, she put fresh ones on. We snacked, and the girls had their sparkling grape juice in champagne flutes, which always makes things taste so much better. (that's what they said.)

The bird was done way ahead of schedule. I had made my stuffing the night before, and opted not to stuff it in the turkey, because I saw on TV that by the time your turkey is perfectly roasted, your stuffing is not the right temperature, and I couldn't get that out of my mind. So I baked it, in a buttered dish. And my gravy was so good. I put a splash of balsamic vinegar in it, and chopped sage, and my roux was perfect. Roasted brussel sprouts, and mashed potatoes with cheese and heavy cream added to them were beyond words.

My pie was identical to the photo in the magazine where I got the recipe. Identical! And the taste was heavenly. A whole stick of butter and a cup of brown sugar was melted together into the most sinful gloppy glop, and the crust went ON TOP of that. I loved it. The girls ate the pumpkin pie. I had fun peeling apples with them, though.

Molly waited patiently for her dessert. She kept saying Happy Thanksgiving in her garbled, stuffy nosed, voice. She had a 103 degree fever. She didn't have much dinner, but insisted on ice cream on her slice of pie.

I thought about our Thanksgiving today, because on Wednesday, when the girls got home from school, we never went through their book bags. I was going to do it that evening, but I never got around to it.

In Olivia's bag, was a turkey, with bright, crayon colored feathers. On each feather, she wrote what she was thankful for. I finally went through her folder last night. I felt sad that I hadn't seen it earlier. One of those, "I suck so badly as a mother" moments.

She wrote:
I'm thankful for my health because a lot of people are sick in the hospital.
I'm thankful for my shoes because some people don't have any shoes.
I'm thankful for my family because they are loving and caring, and I'm thankful for that.
I'm thankful for my warm cozy bed because most people don't have that.
I'm thankful for my clothes because they are nice and clean and some people are poor and don't have nice clean clothes like you and me.
I'm thankful for the roof over my head because lot's of people don't have that, and we should be thankful for that.
I'm thankful for food because they make me healthy and I'm thankful for that.

Me too, Liv.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Not quite there yet

My stress level has not been this high in a while. Things can sometimes seem OK to me. Maybe we have just been coasting for a bit. Just getting by. It all has become so normal, that it doesn't get under my skin as much as it once did. But then something makes me snap to, and realize that a lot of what I am seeing is a whole lot of smoke and mirrors. I am seeing something that isn't really there. I am becoming too comfortable living with uncertainty.

But for the last few days, it just seems so totally unacceptable. It is all around me, and I can't seem to escape it. I can't look away, and act like this is all a temporary place we are in, and if I wish hard enough, and if I do good deeds, and if I am patient, the winds of change will start to blow in our direction, pushing us where we need to go. The better place. The place where we can breathe, and get ahead. Not continue to fall behind. I am so tired of stumbling. I am exhausted from all of the waiting. Hope helps you to get by, but only for so long.

When I open my eyes in the morning, I never feel rested. I feel like I am drugged, and I just want to turn over, and burrow further under my blanket. I feel so detached from people. Even my own children. I hate even writing that, let alone feeling it. Just going through the motions. Breakfast, laundry, cleaning, picking up, lunch, childcare that seems never ending. Just waiting to lie in bed. That is what I feel like each day. I am just biding my time. For sleep, that never comes.

Yesterday, I thought of Molly, in high school. That distant time and place seemed overwhelming to me. Like it was light years ahead. It made my head hurt just thinking about it. Some days, I feel so old. For a moment, I wondered if I would be there. Would I physically make it. Turning 40 hasn't helped. I know I am not old. But I am no longer young. I am in this weird state of limbo. I have gone in the direction I thought I was supposed to be heading, but I am not quite there yet.

I read about a woman who had three small children, and a husband, and was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer. She was panicked at the thought of her children growing without her. I couldn't even imagine. The thought alone made me cringe. She also asked herself these questions. "Did I accomplish enough in my life? Is there anything I wanted to do?"

I keep asking myself this. And I keep coming up with the same answers.

Maybe it is the awful Christmas pressure bearing down on us that is making me feel like this. Maybe it is the change of season. I hate when the trees have no leaves on them. No matter how bright the sun, it still looks so cold out. It seems so desolate. So exposed.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wish bone

A friend of mine said the other day, "If you were in the stores today, you would see that the majority of the 99% are getting by just fine..."

Hmmmm. Not so sure about that. I get what she is saying. By all appearances, people were shopping at the supermarkets for their turkey dinners. Holiday time is here. Gifts are being purchased. Stores are busier than normal. The Christmas rush is upon us.

I too, am out there. This week it was purchasing all the things I needed for my Thanksgiving dinner. And thankfully, I got a last minute cleaning job on Monday night, that enabled me to do so.

Christmas...well, what can I say about that. It is a wonderful time of the year. It truly is. But the financial strain of it has me awake at night, wondering how we are going to pull it all together. Just like it did last year. I have three little girls. Three sweet little lists are all ready to go out to Santa. I certainly can't disappoint. What do I tell them? Christmas just isn't in the budget this year? So, again, I too will be out there, purchasing what I can.

So, by all appearances, myself, along with every other shopper you see, will look like all is well. But it isn't. For many, this is the hardest holiday season they have ever experienced. For many, my self included, to be able to provide the magic of Christmas means making cuts in other places, and hoping the kids won't notice.

 My girls were talking about the wishbone in the turkey last night. They are excited to pull it, when it dries out. They are amazed by the possibility of wishes fulfilled by a simple crack of a bone.

Charlotte said something that made me sad. The house next door to ours is empty. It has been, for close to four years, now. Foreclosed on. She wondered why they just didn't wish on a wishbone to keep a roof over their head. Maybe if they had done that, they would still have their home. If only it were that simple, I thought.  

Maybe, instead of looking down on one another, maybe we should just try and remember that you don't know what it is like to walk in any body else's shoes, but your own. And to help out, or at least empathize, is so much more productive, than judging. To be thankful, truly thankful, for all that you have, you must be willing to share. Even if that is just a kind word.

In the immortal words of the cartoon character Moose A. Moose, "When everyone's together, everyone is happy. We're thankful that we have so much to share."  Thankful song

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

To do list

Thankful today for the last minute cleaning job that will enable me to complete my Thanksgiving shopping list, and still have a few bucks leftover.

Brussel Sprouts
Frozen Pie crust (Cheating. Totally. Did I mention how I hate to bake?)
Bread for stuffing. I turned my nose up at Stove Top the other day, thinking, gheezh....once a year, make a real stuffing for crying out loud. But there I will be today, purchasing frozen pie crust. Touche'.
Thin mint wafers, in honor of my Nanny.
Tempted to buy walnuts. I have memories of a nut tray. But really, that would be a waste.
hor dourves
Actually, I will let David pick up those on Wednesday. Along with the....
Prosecco, or maybe Beaujolais Nouveau. Or both.

OK, so I clearly must edit my list, if I want to have a couple of bucks left over.
Off to prepare. The grey weather seems to help. Not sure why.

Thankful for my free turkey too. Did I mention that?

"Easy Skillet Apple Pie" I will be attempting to re-create. We'll see about that. Just double checked the recipe, and it calls for refrigerated pie dough!!!!
And it has, beneath the bottom crust, a butter and brown sugar yummy mixture. Oh my!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I run my fingers through my hair, scraping my scalp. I envision sparkles and lovely light flowing out of me. All it is though, is skin. Flakes of dead me.

I know too much about someone who sees me everyday, and looks right through me, as I am a stranger to her sober self. A woman lives up my street. She is drunk. All of the time.

Some days, she seems alright. She walks, and listens to music. Some days, her face is not her own. Replaced by an awful mask. Crazy eyes, and alone. She begs strangers for rides to the state store. She falls on the street, and narrowly misses being hit by cars. Someone always comes to her rescue. I see her, clutching a bag. Carrying it like a genies lantern, in a rush to get it home, behind closed doors, and wish away.

I saw her yesterday. She saw me, and even though, I helped her up off the ground of my driveways stones', and took her home one summers day, she did not remember me. She was in my gutter once. With a bag of wine and vodka. Glass clanging loudly. Bruised and bloody. It was the most pitiful site. She cried. I cried. And I felt I should look away. It was more than I should know about her.

There were pumpkins and scarecrows displayed at her door. A sign with the house number, and a front porch. Manicured bushes and mums. And a terribly sad soul , trying to make it look OK. Trying to blend in.

She was walking up the street today, clutching her bag. Cradling it. She broke my heart. David said, "what should we do, as citizens of this earth, to help her". I don't really know, I thought.

I hope tonight, she is asleep on this cold November night, surrounded by sparkles and light.

 Let her be lovely.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Heading to the store today. I am picking up our free turkey from our grocery store. We get one every year, for shopping there. I am planning on brining it. And I saw a yummy apple pie recipe in a magazine that you make in a cast iron pan, and it looks easy. I am no baker. I actually can't stand it. Too scientific. Too precise. Maybe I will make a pumpkin pie too. Olivia hates cooked fruit, but likes pumpkin pie. Go figure.

I happened to watch Oprah's "Life class" a month or so ago. She had on a family that was fractured. Broken, actually. 5 sisters who had no relationship. Years of fighting, and finger pointing. She had them on her show in the 1990's. She was following up with them, presently, to see what had become of them, and if there was any forward movement in their relationships. The show was about living in the past, and perpetuating anger, and pain.

It was such a simple, beautiful message. She talked about holding on to anger, and living with it, in your heart, and not letting it go. It is an awful way to live, and will never go anywhere. It surrounds your spirit, and you become that awful feeling. You give it power, and continue to let it move forward with you, into your present day, and your future, when really, it is over. It is past. And to continue holding on to it, will only lead you to be responsible for perpetuating it.

I just loved those words. The simple act of allowing yourself to release something, and walk away from it, just sounded so freeing to me. And it is easy. It doesn't mean you have to say, "what you did is OK". It means that you can still feel you have been wronged, but it is useless to keep it in your heart. Continuing to live looking behind your back, will never let you navigate forward. Ever. You will never get where you want to go.

That message resonated with me. Especially watching the sisters, present day. It took them years to finally let go. Let go of anger, and finger pointing. Sadly, they lost one sister along the way, and many, many years together. But there they were. Happy and together. And unable to recall why they were all so mad at one another.

Forward. That was my mind set this week. Not perpetuating the past. It was coming from a good place in my heart. And it will continue to. I am looking forward to this holiday season. I am stressed, as money is tight, and here it all is, bearing down on us. But, the universe has provided for me, and my family. Like my free turkey. And the faces that I get to see every day. And the ideas and plans we have. The message is clear.

No looking back.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Perception: is the process of attaining awareness or understanding of the environment by organizing and interpreting sensory information.

Interpret: To explain the meaning of. To conceive the significance of. ie; interpreted his smile to be an agreement; interpreted the open door as an invitation.

Perception and interpretation. Subjective stuff. The news shows images of people protesting. A movement happening around our nation, and so many varying opinions. I saw a picture on Facebook, posted by someone I know. It was a photo of Zuccotti Park, at daybreak on Tuesday, completely empty, after the protesters were evicted. Above the photo he wrote, "My favorite picture of the day".

I thought, how sad, when I read that. What is that position? So if you are frustrated, and angry about something, you should  do nothing about it? It is a good thing for protesters to be told to go away? To stop what they are doing? The message that I perceived from the eviction, was that some people were having a problem with what was happening in the park, and didn't want to see it anymore, (read; the most influential people)  That is OK? 

The image of the empty park, seemed to me, an image of America hitting rock bottom. People gathered together, standing up for a belief, forced away. Did that empty park photograph make some feel better. We can't see them now, so the problem is gone? My 2 year old closes her eyes when she is being scolded, in an attempt to disappear, and not see what is happening. But I don't go away. She just can't see me for a few seconds. But she can hear me, and I stand there, before her, until she opens her eyes. And so too, have the Occupants. They returned.

In the last 75 years, do you know what has happened each time thousands come together, for a cause that they believe in, and want to change? They get arrested, and pushed away. Told to go home. Tear gassed, and beaten. And you know what happens? They come back stronger than ever. It has never worked to try and silence beliefs, and frustrations, and in my opinion, injustice. NEVER. People only get louder.

There are people who say that the Occupy Wall Street movement has no leader. It has no clear message. It seems all over the place. That is their perception of it. Their interpretation. Funny, I feel the same about our government. There doesn't seem to be anyone doing anything about what is really necessary. No clear message. Everyone is all over the place. Sadly, no clear leader.

After our President stated that this country was in a near state of emergency, you know what was tossed around for an entire day on the floor of Congress? Some crazy bill about hospitals possibly being able to deny health care to a woman having a miscarriage.

I keep hearing many Presidential candidates talking about family values, and the defining nano-second of the beginning of life. What programs they are going to cut, which funny enough are all programs that the neediest of the needy, NEED. Protecting citizens that are not even zygotes yet, is actually on their agenda.

How about protecting the ones already here? The born. How about not even considering cutting necessary social programs? How about not making cuts that will effect education in any way, thus insuring the successful future of our children. How about not trying to put your hands over your ears, and squeezing your eyes shut tight, to avoid having to see what is happening in our nation. With so much money being dumped into our political system, and politicians votes being purchased, protecting our rights to assemble, and protest has never been more important, than this very moment in history.

The time we are living in is historical. Like any other time, when change was necessary, and people got so fed up they finally took to the streets, you can't ignore it. There are some who make fun of it. Look down their noses at it. Their interpretation or perception of what is happening is different from your own. But that is what America is. Agreeing, and disagreeing. Being able to open your mouth, or write, or petition,or gather, for a change. That is, after all, what our troops, past, present, and future, fight for? Right?

Or am I misinterpreting something?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Time capsules

A poem...begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a love sickness...It finds the thought and the thought finds the words.
                                                                                            -Robert Frost

I  have a great friend. One of those friends that before we even met, I would see her at pre-school pick up and drop off, and love everything she was wearing. I thought she dressed her kids so cute. She had a smile on her face, and a kind word for everyone. And I knew we were going to be friends. And she later told me, she knew it too. And since we clicked, it has been a mutually wonderful experience. I love her so very much.

She has moved out of the country and back again. Suffered through a lot, and really struggled. And we have kept tabs on one another, and shared our triumphs together, and eased each others pains. She is unlike any friend I have ever met.

Having coffee at her house years ago, she mentioned to me that she wrote letters to her children. About nothing in particular. Maybe something funny they said. Or a milestone reached. Some were about a funny outfit they picked out, or a great family conversation at dinner. Picnics, and flu' get it. A little snippet out of their daily lives. A piece of time, sealed up in an envelope, and ready to be read, in the future. A family time capsule.

I recall feeling awful that I had not done anything like that. I felt terrible that so many adorable things my babies had uttered were already gone from my mind. I was beginning to not recall bits and pieces. Sure, I have the photos of them dying Easter eggs, and leaving treats for Santa. Halloween costumes, and smiling, glowing, faces above candles on cakes, dripping with frosting. Those are required.

What I didn't have was the small stuff. The giant dreadlocks that Molly wakes up with every morning, on the back of her head. The easy walks in the woods. Dinners by candlelight, and dancing in the rain. How it felt to curl up with them and sniff their yummy necks. These were things I know would slip away. And I needed to put them somewhere.

I chose this venue. Mostly because the last thing we need around here, is boxes of sealed envelopes, filled with letters. My organization abilities have never surfaced to date, so I knew piles of papers would possibly be what would happen, if I even wrote to them at all. And I type very quickly, thanks to that god awful typing class I took in junior high. This was going to be my diary. For them. For them to know me. For them to know us. And for me to remember all of the minutia.

And it isn't always great. It sometimes stinks. It sometimes sounds whiny and repetitive. But it also is mostly really great. Actually, really, really, great. It is filled with love, and passion. It is all I ever could have wished for and more. And then some.

But putting your life in a venue like this has come with a price. You open yourself up to criticism. You are scrutinized by strangers, and sadly, people much closer to you. I have had the great opportunity to have my words now be included in my local paper, in the form of a weekly column. I am thrilled at the chance, but some days, I feel stifled. I have an editor who only wants me to write about hardship, and financial stress. And you know there is a lot of that here in my home.

But sometimes, I don't want to write about that. I don't want to think about it another minute, because it simply isn't who I am, or what we are. We are so much more. And continue to morph and change daily. Our financial future may be uncertain, but hell, so is everyone else's. But our future together as a beautiful family has never looked brighter.

Yesterday, in one exchange, I was called awesome, and a victim. I am unsure how I can be both. Through writing, and a commitment to changing the way I see things, I have never felt stronger. I don't feel like a victim. Even a little. In fact, I have never felt stronger in my entire life. I have never felt more capable of being able to be accomplish all that I want. I know it will all come together. Maybe not in the way I expect. But, like the beautiful life that has revealed itself to me, in a package I had not quite anticipated, it has been a gift.

THAT is awesome.

Monday, November 14, 2011


The girls are home today and tomorrow. Parent/teacher conferences. Already, just halfway through my first cup of coffee, they are driving me nuts. Eating oranges cannot be just eating oranges. It has to be a competition of sorts, and has already caused a fight, too many orange peels shoved in their mouths, and Molly choking, trying to keep up. I wish some days, I could just sit, and giggle along with them, and watch them with wonder flickering in my eyes. This morning, I sense something else flickering in my eyes.

Olivia is getting to that age. That time when everything I do, and say, seems to just annoy her so. Eye rolling and that awful way she says "OK Mom," are a daily occurrence.

We are staying home for Thanksgiving. My family are gathering at my sisters house, but the invitation was not extended to my family. I was sad about that, but I realized, it is what it is. At this point in my life, the only people that matter the most to me are all right here, under this roof. It would have been an unenjoyable day even if we had been invited, as we would have had to have been edited versions of ourselves, as our opinions are not wanted there. On any subject.

 I just hope that my girls respect each other, and carry on close relationships when they are older. It would break my heart, as I know it breaks my own parents, but sadly, as I said, it is what it is. You can't shove a round peg in a square hole. I am just disillusioned as it all apparently was never the relationship that I thought it was. It was an idea in my head. My sister is 7 years older than I am. I always thought that the day would come that we would be "equals". But I will always just be the little sister. I have always had a picture in my head. What I think something should be, as opposed to the reality.  I have had some disappointment.

But maybe thats just is the way it is supposed to be. Your family of origin is not going to be the family you live with always. I remember my father telling me about his own father. He had a brother. He did not know of his whereabouts. After my grandfather had come to America from Ireland, his brother followed soon after. He saw him a few times. And then, that was it. He had no idea what became of him. I always found that to be so heartbreaking. His own brother, a stranger. He didn't know if he was dead or alive.

My own father has a strained relationship with his identical twin brother. And he isn't very close to his sister. I have so many friends who choose not to spend a single holiday with their families because no one likes each other. The relationships simply don't work.

The girls are now in Olivia's bedroom. Orange peels, and cornbread crumbs are all over the kitchen table. They are laughing harder than you can imagine. The noise level borderlines on highly irritating, but my first cup of coffee is almost down, so it is becoming bearable.

They will never remember this morning. Monday, the 14th of November, 2011 will disappear into the recesses of their brains. They won't remember making orange teeth out of peels. They won't remember lying on Olivia's bed, and all wrestling around, and threatening to wipe boogers on each other. I probably won't either.

But it happened. They all were dreams realized for me. And they are all my family. A family that I chose to have. But we are their family of origin, and I would be so sad that one day, they didn't want to be together. They didn't respect one another. It would break my heart, because it wasn't always like that. It really happened.

I am listening to it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Today, David is in the city, in Zuccotti Park, at Occupy Wall Street. I am really happy he is there, experiencing it, and participating, as his frustrations over what has been happening to our own family, as well as countless others, now has a real place to go. Not just feeling crazy, and mad, and upset in your own head.

We had planned on going in as a family, but we had a freak snowstorm on that very day. So, David is there today. I am proud of him. I am proud at how hard he works. I am proud that he served this country. I am proud at what a wonderful father and husband he is.

Tomorrow is Veterans Day. Olivia's teacher taught her class how to properly fold the American flag. There will be an assembly of patriotic songs, and a signing of the Pledge of Allegiance by the students, closing with the flag ceremony. Olivia will wear her Brownie vest. She is very excited. So are we.

Last night we grilled chicken, and huddled around possibly our last outdoor fire of the season. The girls played soccer on the deck in the dark. I went to bed with the yummy smell of smoke in my hair.

Today, life feels like it is moving in the right direction.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The party is over

Dear Middle Class,

They figured us out!

 Our days in the sun are numbered. They realized that we are all a bunch of lazy good for nothings trying to milk the system. We thought it would last forever, but alas, we are all being brought to task. Our days of lying on the couch, flinging Cheetos into our mouths and thumbing our noses at responsibility are coming to an end.

 I mean, the whole economy tanking/bailout/layoff/world wide crisis/ thingy clearly is all coincidental, and the job loss, and massive amounts of people unemployed all chose this. They know! They figured it out.  The economy took a nose dive, and at that very moment, we all saw our in. We saw that it was our time to shine, and do nothing. We saw that we had a small window of opportunity to play victims.

I gotta say, I am so disappointed about this discovery. I was really enjoying clipping coupons to make my small monthly food budget stretch even further, for my family of five. I was  liking being alone most of the time because my husband was  enjoying the 60-70 hour work weeks he was trying to put in just to try and make a fraction of what he was 4 years ago. The wage freeze we are experiencing coupled with an increase in our health insurance really was the cherry on the sundae. My hubby loves working harder than ever, for less than ever. And my house being in foreclosure...I can't tell you how that makes me chuckle. We love lying in bed at night, laughing at how we are just barely getting by, and doing nothing about it.  

But heck...I have health insurance! If you are on Medicaid, you really worked the system, so kudos to you! I mean, the fact that they only figured out what a bunch of useless schleps we all are, only now, is beyond me. What about our kids? We certainly got them in under the radar, what with the record amounts of students eating free lunch at school because their families are just too darn comfy of the couch, looking for handouts. Why bother getting a job? Free money is better, right? I mean, this has been one, long, delightful ride, wouldn't you all agree? I was hoping it would last longer.

Never mind the massive lines I see every week when I drive by Stroudsburg Wesleyan Church, when it is their food pantry night. Those people are just pocketing all that loot they would have spent on Juicy Juice, and macaroni and cheese, and probably going out to Red Robin as soon as they pick up their freebies. Not working, and sticking your hand out is way better, don't ya think?

Michelle Bachmann said it. She actually said it the other day. At a speech at the Family Research Council in Washington, Michelle Bachmann vowed to weaken programs such as Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, and unemployment benefits. She said these words..."Our nation needs to stop doing for people what they can and should do for themselves. Self reliance means, if anyone will not work, neither should he eat".

So get your lazy, no good butts up off your Barcaloungers, and get out there, and grab all those jobs. Get going!

The jig is up.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Last night, I showed David a picture of Olivia wrapped in a towel, fresh from a bath. Her eyes were wild. Her smile, gigantic. She must have been 4 months old. I said to him, "Remember her?" He smiled. I said, "I miss her". He said "She is sitting right over there".

Not really. You know?

This picture of Molly's feet was taken exactly one year ago today. I had just polished her toenails for the first time. She loved them, and could not stop looking at them. She picked all of the polish off so I would paint them again.

Her feet have gotten so much bigger. I look at those tiny baby toes, and I want to cry. I am sad how much time stress, and anxiety and worry over things that had not yet happened, have robbed me of time with what is right in front of my face.

 Worry over the same worries I have today, has done nothing. I cannot walk around and pretend that it is all OK, but I wish, at that very moment, when those toes were that tiny, I had maybe worried a bit less.

Maybe next year, things will be really bad. But today, I have what I have. And what that is is something. Maybe it is the Fall, and the lighting, that has a way of making me feel so nostalgic. I know I am sounding like a broken record as of late. I just feel that the laws of attraction may have something to them. And worrying about worrying about worrying, has my head spinning most days, and unaware of my very now.

 Maybe putting all that energy and time in a different direction will point us in one.

You know?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Under the weather

Today, I am sick. I got the girls ready for school, and put them on their buses. I couldn't listen to them for a minute more. Charlotte was detailing to me, how her teacher rearranged their desks yesterday, and her desk is now right by the door. She went on and on and on, and at one point, I just wanted to put my hands over my ears.

David has been working a lot of overtime. Thankfully, it is available. But he does not come home until 8:00 at night, and by that time, I am so done. Constant round the clock childcare with no break can make me just plain mean. The day is an endless cycle of laundry, and emptying and reloading the dishwasher, and cleaning, and vacuuming, and making meals, and shopping for meals, and cleaning up from meals.

Getting the girls up, dressed and fed and to the bus stop, and helping with homework, and making dinner, hustling them all into the shower. It doesn't end. I have been falling into bed at night. And then, Molly is right there next to me. She sleeps with us (not by choice) and there is no escaping her demands through the night. The meat sauce I made last night for dinner made her thirsty. She woke me up continuously through the night for water.

I tried to lie down before, and actually drifted off for a bit. But Molly was watching TV, and she gets scared if I have my eyes closed, so she kept coming over and shaking me. So, I am now seated, and typing. Trying to keep my eyes open. The sun is shining. The sky is blue. I feel terribly guilty, and unproductive knowing how many chores and work I am ignoring at this moment, and how beautiful it is out. The breakfast dishes are still in the sink, and it is nearly noon. I have given Molly half a sleeve of graham crackers just to keep her off my back. She has a full diaper of last nights water. And we are both still in our PJ's.

 I so wish it was raining out.

Bad Mom.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Apparently, my political views classify me as a Liberal. I often have to defend my opinions, as someone who is classified as a Conservative must do at times as well. Sometimes, the arguments, and the debates make me tired. They go no where. I think you are narrow minded, you think I am crazy. At the end of the day, no one walks away with a changed viewpoint. It goes no where. It just frustrates.

Looks like this is happening on a much larger scale, within our own government. And with that, no movement. Nothing progressing. It just seems to be a whole lot of arguing, and time wasted, at the expense of quite a few Americans right now.

I know of too many families, myself included, scratching their heads, and trying to figure out how they are going to provide Christmas. I know of too many families, far more than I would care to say, who are concerned about keeping everyone fed, and a roof over their children's head. Forget about Christmas.

I watched my daughter's teacher, Mr. Schubert, dressed as Superman at the Halloween Parade the other day. He had the class behind him, in single file, all in their costumes, and all of them with smiles on there faces. He led them around the school field, like ducklings, with his red cape blowing behind him.

 It made me think about what lies before our children. All of our children. Where are we leading them? Will things be better for them? Will they be able to go to college, and try their shots at a good, honest life? Or will things be worse for them? I think a lot of us thought we would do as well as our parents, if not better.   

I recall the emotions I felt during our last election. I wept. I literally wept, because I felt that change was imminent. I thought that things were going to get better, not just for my family, but for millions of families and individuals, just trying to hold it together. I thought that within the year, we would all be OK.

Sadly, things seem worse. And I don't care what side of the fence you are on...Liberal, Conservative, Republican, Democrat....we are all feeling this. In some way, this is touching all of us. I am tired of hearing "get a job", or, "stop looking for a handout".

How about not passing judgement, and maybe consider a bit more compassion. This is no longer about your political affiliation. This is just the status quo. This is happening to everyone you know. Maybe not you personally, but your neighbor is struggling. You have family members who are having a hard time. You have co-workers who are feeling this. It is all around you.

I read this the other day, on an NPR site, written by someone named Kristopher Purzycki. He wrote " After numerous attempts to handle this situation responsibly with the mortgage lender, we are about to give up, start over, and move on. We realize that the well being of our family is being threatened only by the very ideals we thought we were supposed to strive for."

I keep thinking about all of those little ducklings following Superman.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Nothing better than watching your children have fun. Listening to them giggle just made me feel like we are alright.

Watching little Molly squeal after each treat was tossed into her plastic pumpkin just did not get old. It was a really happy night. Despite snow on the ground. That was strange.

And Molly slipping out of bed this morning, and returning to say good morning to me with a lollipop in her mouth was a nice way to wake up.