Saturday, December 31, 2011

for 2012

I hope it's an easier year. I hope I get better at many things...cooking, friendship, focus, blogging, writing, mothering, romance and playing Scrabble. Let it be a year of insight. Let it be one with no tragedies. Let it help people mend...and grow. Let it be one where I feel more at peace with myself...and with others.

Big wishes. But, I am very hopeful.


Friday, December 23, 2011

From me to you.




I do wish you a silent night.
I wish you laughter that makes your face hurt.
I wish you a moment of sitting back and being so happy at what you see.
I wish you smells of good food and sounds of good music.
I wish you warmth--either by a blanket, a fire or a body.
I wish you being at peace at your decisions.
I wish you the ability to let past hurts go.
I wish you infinite positivity and feelings of a hope.
I wish you the strength to pull yourself out of old regret.
I wish you the courage to talk about issues if you are having any.
I hope you value yourself and that your life reflects that.
I hope you tell people if you love them and not hoping they just know.


You don't know what will happen. You don't know when you won't be able to do something you thinkg you will always be able to do. Life is hard, but it is what you make of it--it's how you see it and how you let it affect you.

I wish you inner light and as much hope for a good future as you can possibly muster.

And in case you need it...


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

i wish you a silent night

Z woke up at 3AM this morning and wanted cookies and milk...and to sing Jingle Bells and look at the tree. Had this been Christmas eve, I would have thought it adorable... Today we are all dragging. Jason was already up working in the loft and came down to help entertain her. She finally went back to bed at 4ish. Today, she is totally fine...Jason and I are dragging.

Tonight it is my goal to order all of my outgoing gifts and have that pressure relieved. Isn't that an awful way of seeing it? When bedtime is over, I normally want to plant myself on the couch, play Words with Friends and watch whatever is on the DVR. But, I will do my best to be productive.

Too tired to write anything very substantial, I do want to share some Christmas music that I've been enjoying. These albums are at the top of my list this season...and if you are on Spotify...you can listen to them. (I wish everyone was on Spotify...it's addicting)

Snow Angels by Over the Rhine
A Very She and Him Christmas by She and Him
When My Heart Finds Christmas by Harry Connick Jr. (love it every year)
A Christmas Album by Barbra Streisand (1967)
Noel by Josh Groban

I tried to like Michael Buble's Christmas album...but don't. But let's not be negative.

join Spotify- it's free. (Esp you, Stacey! I wanted to send you a Josh song today...)




If I could send these out as my holiday cards, I would.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Jeers




Christmas is Sunday. Have I bought a single gift? No. Do I feel like it's even close? No. Yet, I have the holiday stress...my chest is caving in (most likely due to no presents being bought) and I feel sad that I'm not more lit from the inside. I've been vacuuming until the panic subsides. Vacuuming is actually a great stress reliever for me. Odd? It's productive and it's shows an immediate result. I think I just need to take a deep breath, drink some eggnog, put on some happy music and start a gift list. Should I have done this 2 weeks ago? Possibly. Yet, I didn't and there must be a reason. Z is still pretty unaware of gifts and such. We're not getting her anything...her grandparents and aunties will get her enough. We already have to sort through old stuff for Good Will as it is. She is fortunate. We are fortunate. The stress of getting the perfect gift is what really puts me off, I think. I want someone to really appreciate it or need it. As adults, we normally get what we need, right? So, what do I give? Food. Why not? Makes people happy. It doesn't add to their pile of gifts they've already forgotten about and it's not something they'd get for themselves. When I was a kid, presents were what the holiday was about. As an adult, the presents just aren't it for me. Spending time together, cooking, baking, relaxing, playing games, reflecting, decompressing and doing some self evaluating. I didn't mention the obvious, Jesus. To me, the birthday of Jesus represents the birth of a great example of how man should be. He is the goodness and happiness that surrounds the holiday. We aren't religious and we don't go to church, but I understand what the holiday is about...at least how it rings true for me. I wish it were a time when we focused on bettering ourselves and being kinder to one another. The presents and stress of all of the materialistic crap really puts a damper on things. It seems to be a time of year that amplifies family hurts and woes.

Obviously, I need to do more vacuuming today.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

'tis the season to blow money.

I found a play writing class. It's for 6 weeks and by the end, I will have a 10 minute play completed. I've been trying to think of what to write about. 10 minutes? That seems like a scene to me, not an entire play. I'll find some online to read.
The roofers are here. They are replacing another part of the roof--that's the 3rd part since we moved in two years ago. And...the dishwasher started pouring water all over the floor this morning. grand.

It's Friday and I wish I had a babysitter tonight. I'd love to go the movies. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is out. The Swedish film was good, I thought. I can't imagine how they'll make it here...it's horribly violent and dark. There are too many movies to see. If you are single, if you have a sitter, if your kids are grown...make a night of it! Do it for all of us who can't at this point. Eat out. See movies. Get massages. Just indulge.

What a dreamboat.





This song is stuck in my head. It makes me happy. Enjoy.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Globe noms

 The nominations were announced this morning and I realized...I've got a lot to see. Shoot. I will say that Midnight in Paris is one of my favorite movies-ever. I loved the message. I loved the ideas and I loved how true it is. Bridesmaids made me cringe and laugh. Crazy, Stupid, Love was very sweet and I own it. Ryan Gosling is just...
I loved Hugo. I cried and felt sick watching The Help. Beginners was endearing and heartbreaking. 

Modern Family ALWAYS makes me laugh. Mildred Pierce was riveting. Jason and I couldn't tear ourselves away from watching it. Cinema Verite was weird...just an odd film. Glee makes me happy. The Good Wife makes me think. I never miss American Horror Story, but I don't know why. It is twisted, awful, disturbing and makes J and I angry every week--but we always watch it. 


I see our budget taking a dive as I figure out how many of these I need to see.

January 15. NBC. I will be on my couch.



Best Motion Picture — Drama
"The Descendants"
"The Help"
"Hugo"
"The Ides of March"
"Moneyball"
"War Horse"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama
Glenn Close, "Albert Nobbs"
Viola Davis, "The Help"
Rooney Mara, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep, "The Iron Lady"
Tilda Swinton, "We Need to Talk About Kevin

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama
George Clooney, "The Descendants"
Leonardo DiCaprio, "J. Edgar"
Michael Fassbender, "Shame
Ryan Gosling, "The Ides of March"
Brad Pitt, "Moneyball"

Best Motion Picture — Comedy or Musical
"50/50"
"The Artist"
"Bridesmaids"
"Midnight in Paris"
"My Week With Marilyn"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Comedy or Musical
Jodie Foster, "Carnage
Charlize theron, "Young Adult"
Kristen Wiig, "Bridesmaids"
Michelle Williams, "My Week With Marilyn"
Kate Winslet, "Carnage"

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Comedy or musical
Jean Dujardin, "The Artist
Brendan Gleeson, "The Guard"
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, "50/50"
Ryan Gosling, "Crazy, Stupid, Love."
Owen Wilson, "Midnight in Paris"

Best Animated Feature Film
"The Adventures of Tintin"
"Arthur Christmas"
"Cars 2"
"Puss in Boots"
"Rango"

Best Foreign Language Film
"The Flowers of War" (China)
"In the Land of Blood and Honey" (USA)
"The Kid With a Bike" (Belgium)
"A Separation" (Iran)
"The Skin I Live In" (Spain)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Berenice Bejo, "The Artist"
Jessica Chastain, "The Help"
Janet McTeer, "Albert Nobbs"
Octavia Spencer, "The Help"
Shailene Woodley, "The Descendants"

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Kenneth Branagh, "My Week with Marilyn"
Albert Brooks, "Drive"
Jonah Hill, "Moneyball"
Viggo Mortensen, "A Dangerous Method"
Christopher Plummer, "Beginners"

Best Director — Motion Picture
Woody Allen, "Midnight in Paris"
George Clooney, "The Ides of March"
Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"
Alexander Payne, "The Descendants"
Martin Scorsese, "Hugo"

Best Screenplay — Motion Picture
Woody Allen, "Midnight in Paris"
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon - "The Ides of March"
Michel Hazanavicius - "The Artist"
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash - "The Descendants"
Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin - "Moneyball"

Best Original Score — Motion Picture
Ludovic Bource - "The Artist"
Abel Korzeniowski - "W.E."
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross - "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
Howard Shore - "Hugo"
John Williams - "War Horse"

Best Original Song — Motion Picture
"Hello Hello" — "Gnomeo & Juliet," music by Elton John, lyrics by Bernie Taupin
"The Keeper"— "Machine Gun Preacher," music and lyrics by Chris Cornell
"Lay Your Head Down" — "Albert Nobbs," music by Brian Byrne, lyrics by Glenn Close
"The Living Proof" — "The Help"; music by Mary J. Blige, Thomas Newman, Harvey Mason Jr.; lyrics by Mary J. Blige, Harvey Mason Jr., Damon Thomas
"Masterpiece" — W.E., music and lyrics by Madonna, Julie Frost, Jimmy Harry

Best Television Series — Drama
"American Horror Story"
"Boardwalk Empire"
"Boss"
"Game of Thrones"
"Homeland"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series — Drama
Claire Danes, "Homeland"
Mireille Enos, "The Killing"
Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife"
Madeleine Stowe, "Revenge"
Callie Thorne, "Necessary Roughness"

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Drama
Steve Buscemi, "Boardwalk Empire"
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"
Kelsey Grammer, "Boss"
Jeremy Irons, "The Borgias"
Damian Lewis, "Homeland"

Best Television Series — Comedy or Musical
"Enlightened"
"Episodes"
"Glee"
"Modern "Family"
"New Girl"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series — Comedy or Musical
Laura Dern, "Enlightened"
Zooey Deschanel, "New Girl"
Tina Fey, "30 Rock"
Laura Linney, "The Big C"
Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation"

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Comedy or Musical
Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"
David Duchovny, "Californication"
Johnny Galecki, "The Big Bang Theory"
Thomas Jane, "Hung"
Matt LeBlanc, "Episodes"

Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television Cinema Verite
"Downton Abbey"
"The Hour"
"Mildred Pierce"
"Too Big to Fail"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Romola Garai, "The Hour"
Diane Lane, "Cinema Verite"
Elizabeth McGovern, "Downton Abbey" (Masterpiece)
Emily Watson, "Appropriate Adult"
Kate Winslet, "Mildred Pierce"

Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Hugh Bonneville, "Downtown Abbey" (Masterpiece)
Idris Elba, "Luther"
William Hurt, "Too Big to Fail"
Bill Nighy, "Page Eight" (Masterpiece)
Dominic West, "The Hour"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Jessica Lange, "American Horror Story"
Kelly MacDonald, "Boardwalk Empire"
Maggie Smith, "Downtown Abbey" (Masterpiece)
Sofia Vergara, "Modern Family"
Evan Rachel Wood, "Mildred Pierce"

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Peter Dinklage, "Game of Thrones"
Paul Giamatti, "Too Big to Fail"
Guy Pearce, "Mildred Pierce"
Tim Robbins, "Cinema Verite"
Eric Stonestreet, "Modern Family"

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

sugar plum fairies danced on my head.




Last night I went to see The Nutcracker performed by the New York City Ballet. It was broadcasted live from Lincoln Center. I sat in my $15 seat...a bargain as the seats in NYC can run you $150. I had a view from the stage. It was beautiful. I loved every minute. Next to me there was a line of little ballerinas from a troop here in town. They were in awe and got excited at every new scene. They were helpful actually as they knew every character and announced them for me..."ohhh! It's Coffee! It's Hot Chocolate! It's Candy Cane!" Coffee was quite a sexy dancer! She would definitely wake up anyone. The colors were from childhood. It was so much more enjoyable than anything I've seen in a long time.

Today, I woke up with a cold. I've been battling it now for a bit, but today it started to fight back. Jason had his work holiday party today. Could there be anything worse? The thought of chasing Z around and trying to be the sweet wife...and feeling like shit...and wanting to be in bed...was difficult, but I did it. Z was exhausted, missing her nap and was starting to lay on the floor under tables trying to sleep. Jason brought us home where we both took naps and he went back to the party. He's still not home.

We leave for FL next week. I can't believe Christmas is almost here. I haven't bought a single item. Nor have I worked on a card. We normally do New Year's cards because it works better. We are never that organized to get it out before the end of the year. Again, these families with multiple children astound me. The fact that we've already received cards from people is shocking.

Today I wish I had a nanny. I wish I could have lied in bed all day. I wish the nanny had done the dishes and made all of us comfort food. I wish she'd played with Zo' and kept bringing me tea. But, no.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bright Lights, Big City

Yesterday was a down day after getting back from NYC and trying to get back on track. Jason left on an overnight trip and Z and I were left to putz around the house together. We both have colds. I'm wiping both of our noses constantly...and we both have a husky voice. My weekend was inspiring. I feel that stepping out of your comfort zone a bit and into a life totally different than your own is good for you. Jeremy's is easy to step into. I started my weekend off by meeting him at Lincoln Center. He works for the NYC Ballet. Walking up the steps and seeing the beautifully lit tree and seeing the enormous Nutcracker posters was just gorgeous. I thought, "he sees this every day...he's used to it." I can't imagine that. He met me in the lobby and took me on a tour of the David H. Koch theatre. Rehearsals were going on for the Nutcracker and so we stood off stage and watched for a bit. It was a surreal moment for me. Again, this is normal for him. ?? He introduced me to his work friends. One might assume that these would be stuffy artsy fartsy people, but they were all kind, funny and very welcoming. I didn't feel out of place at all. After we left we made our way to the Rockefeller Christmas tree which was beautiful, yet crowded with people. Santa, Rudolf and Goofy were there as well. ?? After about 10 minutes, I was cold, exhausted and ready to head to Brooklyn.

Brooklyn is a great place to live. Jeremy took me to about 3 specialty stores and we got our loot for dinner. This is a far cry from my Tops grocery runs. I sat in his kitchen drinking wine (and hot tea as my throat was on fire at that point) as he made dinner and we chatted about life and it's ups and downs. I love the fact that I can sit with a man and still see him as 15. (We went to high school together.) He knows where I'm from. He may be living this surreal life to me, but he says he is just a farm boy who lives in NYC. He is down to earth, kind and is very quick to point out how my life is just as inspiring. It is easy to feel pretty damn blah in this setting. The night was perfect. We sat and ate, drank, laughed and I met his roommate, Robby and his girlfriend, Maya--again, the nicest of people. Jeremy does well at surrounding himself with quality friends.

So, let's jump to Hugh--though I'm skipping through brunch and shopping in SoHo which was fun for me to explore for the first time. J and I both gave the performance a B-. It was entertaining, but self promoting and felt overly rehearsed and stiff. The songs weren't anything you wouldn't hear on a tribute to Broadway album sung by anyone. (Sorry Hugh) His dancers weren't in tune with one another. He seemed as if he was walking through the show a bit. Maybe he hold out for the evening performance? I hate to be this rough on him...he was charming and funny, but I expected more off the cuff. I've seen Harry Connick Jr. several times and I was expecting a show more like his. HCJ is an amazing talent and can easily switch up a show on a whim by what's happening in the audience. He is smooth and rarely shaken and you feel that this show is JUST for you. Hugh's off the cuff moments seemed planned. Oh well, it was fun to experience.
(BTW, Dolly Parton and Barbra Streisand were probably the best performers I've ever seen...and I recommend paying the ticket to see them if you ever get the chance.)

We went back to Brooklyn and I cooked dinner. We all sat around together talking about relationships and watched back episodes of Glee. I sat there thinking...these people are accomplished, kind, funny and very bright. Their life is so city. The subway is their daily commute. They walk everywhere. They may have a car, but it's rarely used. They are busy going to shows, producing shows, going out to eat and sitting around having conversations that mean something. My life seemed...less productive. Aside from raising a great girl, I don't really pursue things that inspire me. Jeremy has his own theatre company for heaven's sake. (http://trustysidekick.org) His roommate, Rob, manages an improv theatre. Ok, I need to do something. So, after talks with Jeremy...I've decided to try my hand at writing a play. I've mentioned my interest before on this blog, but I never truly pursued it. Now, I feel inspired and motivated. I need to create something. I feel good about it.

I recommend always trying to surround yourself with people who raise you up. When I'm around lazy people, I'm lazy. When I'm around people that bring their A game...it makes me want to follow suit. (Thanks Jeremy.)

 Here you go...here's Hugh as Peter Allen. My only pic because I was afraid to get caught!


 Jeremy and I on Sunday morning...pj's and all!

And J with the NYT...listening to NPR and drinking his coffee. Love this picture.


Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Coffee? Tea? Xanax?

My house and my life seem out of control. Z's sleeping schedule was thrown off last weekend and hasn't recovered. NEVER BREAK THE SCHEDULE!!! I was trying to be cool mom...instead of uptight mom and it backfired. Now, she's a mess, I'm a mess, the house is a mess--it's a cycle. I haven't blogged. I haven't folded the laundry. I haven't cooked a meal yet this week. That's all changing today. The weather sucks, that's a given. The cold, rainy, gray days make me want to jump off of a cliff. So, I have a bit of SAD happening. Given. But, I think it is blown up by being overwhelmed with everything else. I think the OCD is also playing a part. I obsessed over making Z strawberry frosted angel food cake cupcakes for her birthday--got those done last night, but let's be honest...they were more for me. It's almost like I HAVE to make them on her birthday and mine or else my grandparents won't be represented. Ridiculous. I finally got to the grocery store yesterday. I hadn't gone since before Thanksgiving. Shocking. We were eating odd concoctions.

Z turned 2 on Monday. We spent the day in our pj's doing whatever she wanted and then went to the mall where she rode the carousel about 9 times. They make me sick so J went with her. I was nauseous just watching them go round and round. ugh.

I'm drinking my heated up coffee with my Almond Joy creamer and feeling content as I set out my day. We just got back from Little Gym where Z wouldn't really cooperate, but she did fine. She is off. I will admit, I worry about the weekend. I'm headed to NYC to see Dewey and she will have Daddy Weekend here. J isn't great about enforcing bedtime. He's a softy...and hence, her favorite parent. But, I'm going to let it go and enjoy my time and not worry about it. If she's a monster when I return, oh well. At least I saw Hugh Jackman sing and dance. Life is good.

Tis the season for anti-depressants. I'm holding off for now. I just need a lot of hugs. Don't we all.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Team Edward

Amanda sent this one to me...had to post. The PERFECT Halloween costume!!!


Jason would look awesome like this. (or me...)

Blue glow

Again, drip...drip...drip. The clouds are back. The rain is back. I'm keeping my lights on all day just to keep it glowing indoors. We have a babysitter tonight!! Dinner and a movie--Hugo 3D. I think we'll just do PF Changs because it's good and it's right there. Just to eat out is nice! We need it. This week hasn't been the best. Our moods are bad. We haven't been poster children for marriage as we struggle through our week annoyed and full of anxiety. So, maybe a date night will help. Let's be serious...the alcoholic drinks will help.

We travel to Cleveland tomorrow to celebrate Thanksgiving with J's mom and to celebrate Z's 2nd birthday. I'll sit back and let her be spoiled and just relax about it. (This is what I'm telling myself.) Being in charge all week makes it hard for me to let go. But, this is what is what I wanted...for her to have the grandparent experience of complete adoration and spoiling. I just need to sit and smile and be happy for her....as I think, "Now there is just more stuff to put away..." (Bah Humbug.) I suck.

NYC is coming...soon...focus....I'm almost there....

Here's a nice depressing winter poem I found.

(Written by BadKarAyoke)


Lonely Winter
Poem Image
To my left..
Two empty chairs
Dirty laundry, blue lights
And bottles of prescription pills

To my right..
A shiny new machine
One cigar, helicopters
And a bookshelf of broken dreams

I sit in the middle of my fluid environment
While melodies fill the air

I look straight ahead to find no one there

The cold air sinks in and
I shiver reaching for my cup of hot tea

The warmth flows internally as I remain
Frozen to the world before me


-----------
Laugh with someone tonight and break the cycle of blahness.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

June Cleaver, I am not.

The sun is shining. Thank you. I'm listening to Winter Songs by Hotel Cafe (found on itunes). I love it. Z is playing behind me. Jason is out today. Z and I are going to decorate the tree in the sitting room today. We'll get a real tree for the kitchen/great room. (what pretentious names, yes? I use them to annoy.)
Last night I went to the library and got a couple of books I'm excited about. I'd never heard of this author before...I felt like I'd discovered gold. Her name is Joan Anderson. I got A Year by the Sea- Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman. The title screamed my name as I passed by it. The next is An Unfinished Marriage. It's the follow up, so, I had to get it as well. As I struggle with the stay at home part of my existence, I feel this book is appropriate. I am not made for this, though I love Z and I don't want her to be with anyone else during the day. I'm not pre school teachery. I'm not selfless enough. I'm not someone who would consider home schooling--too afraid of royally messing her up. I am the disciplinarian. I am the playmate. I am the one who bakes her cookies. I'm the one who decorates the house. I'm the one that sees her ups and downs and who journals about each day in order to feel literate. I try to read something each day. I try to write something each day. I try to focus a bit on myself, alone. Does that sound motherly to you?? I struggle with my own ups and downs and worry I'm not sunshiney enough for her at times. Yet, she is lovely. She is smart. She is sweet and funny and excels at everything she does. I would love to take all of the credit, but I do feel she was born with a little extra something. The mixture of Jason and me seems to work well for her chemistry.



The blue jays and cardinals look beautiful in the naked trees. I'm watching a woodpecker right now. He's hopping from limb to limb...trying to find something to eat, I'm guessing. I really hope I come back a bird. Something brightly colored. Something hopeful.



Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Snap out of it!

I think Seasonal Affective Disorder is setting in. Damnit!!! So, I'm going to inject myself with holiday cheer today and put up a tree and make cookies. Doesn't that sound like it could work? This weekend we head to Cleveland. The next, I head to NYC to see Dewey and Hugh Jackman. (My god, if that doesn't work, what will???) It's these gray skies...and the COLD setting in. I need to snap out of it. No one wants to feel Scroogey.  I definitely don't. I probably  need one of those lamps. I just need it to shine on me for a bit. Rochester doesn't get a lot of sun normally--and now it's brutal.

I need someone to ring the doorbell and smack me in the face.

I need to feel like this girl:


later...

Okay, it's not just me. I am counting about 5 other FB friends that are also down in the dumps. It's just in the air. I need Christmas lights on houses in my neighborhood. I need carolers nightly. I need spiked eggnog. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

hold still!



It's Monday and it feels like one. It was dark all day. The cold rain matched my mood. I HATE when I'm blue...moody and tired. It really annoys me. I spend the entire day trying to figure out what my problem is. Is it the let down after the holiday? Is it that J is gone again for a long week? Is it that it's freezing cold and walks are not enjoyable? Is it that Christmas is coming and we have to travel? (Not that when we get there it won't be great...but traveling with Z is not fun.) Is it that I'm overwhelmed with the amount of laundry I have to do? (My god, wouldn't that be sad if that were it?) No, I think it's the winding down of the year. Z is going to be 2. Geesh. Soon. It's the realization that all that happened this year is over and it is permanent. It's the fact that Melissa is probably more alone now than ever...and that this festive holiday season will be hollowed out. Not to take away from the happiness of the season, but isn't the end of the year a bit doom and gloom for everyone? (watch it just be me.) Another year down. It's over. Our child is older. We are older and have more lines and cellulite saying so. Time is marching on...as it should. Here is the real kicker--it would suck if it halted as well. If we never aged. If our children didn't grow stronger, older, wiser, kinder. If we didn't learn from our mistakes. If we were stuck in our 20s...a time period of questions and fuck ups. Well--I'd take my body and keep it, but I'd want the experiences (good and absolutely shitty) to continue to form my mind. I'm just trudging through the dark of the year and putting it all together. It takes a while for me to process things. Then, I'll bounce back.

Time ticks on. We need it to, but it is so hard to try to see it all go by. Like a spinning globe, I guess I just want to be able to stop it for a minute and really look at it, but then let it keep spinning eventually.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Repeat the sounding joy.

I swear sometimes I've had past lives. At times, I feel such reverberations of them. I feel things and "remember" things that I've never experienced. I have memories of a certain street (one with a tree lined median and snow covered houses)  and sometimes if the light hits a room just right...I feel as if I've been in that moment before. Makes you wonder about the time-space continuum. Not to get so deep on a Sunday, but it just happened again. At times, the loneliness of a moment can almost make you crack. Then, all at once, you feel comforted again...as if someone is there holding you tight. We are not alone. I am convinced of that.

The holidays also stir up emotions not felt for a while. As I get out the decorations I've put away, the feelings I've put away come out as well. Ugh. Although I'm a "feeler" I do seem to pack away certain things in order to move along with my life. Then, when all that resurfaces, I feel as heavy as a house. Earlier, I took a nap and could barely muster up the strength to get back up. It was a 30 minute depression. So, I do what I normally do...I take a shower and wash it all away. I think happy thoughts and formulate future pictures of my life. I create the movie of my life so that I know I can make it to the end. "It's just getting good...you'll love this next part."

It's become the hour when the sky is just barely lit and the ground looks black. I've got to find the twinkly blue lights to put up soon. This house needs a couple lit trees to create the feelings of joy that Z can remember and tap into when she needs it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

take pictures

I'll be up making side dishes...worrying about the turkey...watching Z play with her Aunties and watching the parade. It's something I look forward to. My sister and I enjoy it. It's magical for me. Not sure why. I'm hoping Matt will host...that would make it even better. Seeing all the BIG balloons and the Broadway shows performing--just gives you a taste of the big city. So cool. It's a great way to start off a day---anticipating the arrival of the other guests and eating all that food!

I woke up and wrote a list of the things I forgot at the store yesterday. I glanced out the window to see the rain soaked maple and felt lucky to be inside. I'd heard about a car accident in Rochester last night that involved five 18 year olds. One died. I'm sure they were all friends. The driver had been drinking. Two days before Thanksgiving...and now these families have to deal with this loss. And, to know that next door (the house I can see through the window behind this computer), everyone will be gathering and missing Bill and Lynn. It's just a weird time. Happy...and heartbreaking.

I am lucky. You are lucky. Cherish your family and take mental pictures of your happy times. Think of those who are no longer with us...and know they are still close by--most likely smiling upon all of us.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

every year.



Home for the Holidays. I own it. I watch it as therapy.

Happy Thanksgiving. Good luck out there.

T-urkey minus 2 days

Today I woke up at the crack of dawn to go the grocery store. Jason met me at the door and asked that I go at 10 instead. I went back to bed. At 10 thirty I went to Wegmans and shopped to my heart's delight. I bought things for my turkey that I've never bought before. Candied ginger, fresh sage and rosemary. I had to look for the fresh herbs...had no idea where they were. When I finally asked a lady where they were, I was standing right in front of them. Go figure.

I've now made the brine--added some apple cider to it because I was on the phone with my friend Becky and she said she did last year. Why not? She and I chit chatted while I admired my bubbling mixture.


I am proud. Bill used this recipe. I know others are making it this year as well. I'm perfectly happy making it a part of my tradition. I have my paternal grandparents here in spirit with their cranberry-orange relish, hanky pankies and the meringue on the pies. I wish they were here in person to see me make all of this food. They would be shocked (but would not say so)--they'd be proud (and would say so.) The holidays make me miss them so much that I ache.

Today I wish Bill were here to text questions about my turkey. He'd probably just text back, "Coming over." Always being available to help anyone...he'd fine great joy in coming over and helping. There are few in the world like this. (But I happen to know some and feel awesome about that.)

I look forward to everyone finally arriving. I look forward to watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade--( it's on at 9AM people!! NBC). I look forward to all of the loving comments about Zoë. I look forward to eating all of the food. I look forward to seeing everyone next door.

This Thanksgiving is as about as bitter sweet as you can get. There is a constant reminder that we are all not here--there are people missing. But there is also a constant reminder that we are loved by all that are here.

Happy cooking today. More tomorrow.

Love.

Here is Turkey recipe!!




For the brine:

  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 gallon vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger
  • 1 gallon heavily iced water

For the aromatics:

  • 1 red apple, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 leaves sage
  • Canola oil

Directions

Click here to see how it's done.
2 to 3 days before roasting:
Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.
Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.
Early on the day or the night before you'd like to eat:
Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.
Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.
Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey's cavity along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.
Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving.

ENJOY.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Denial

There are days...today is one of them...where I wish that living on another planet was an option. Ok, maybe not living there, but at least to have the option to vacation there. And let's go one step further and populate that planet with people that are only the best versions of themselves. They have reached their potential. They've made good decisions. They are happy. They are balanced. They have inner peace. And I am my ideal self. I've finally become happy with who I am. There is no negativity. Nothing but good feelings and met expectations. Everyone who has ever had an impact on my life is there...whether they had died on Earth or not. Everyone who has ever made you happy. Anyone that will make you happy. Fantastic people all around.

That's what I want today.
Too much??

Sunday, November 20, 2011

For Melissa

Author: Indigo Girls
Album title: Indigo Girls

Love's Recovery

------ --------

During the time of which I speak it was hard to turn the other cheek

To the blows of insecurity

Feeding the cancer of my intellect the blood of love soon neglected

Lay dying in the strength of its impurity

Meanwhile our friends we thought were so together

They've all gone and left each other in search of fairer weather

And we sit here in our storm and drink a toast

To the slim chance of love's recovery.

There I am in younger days, star gazing,

Painting picture perfect maps of how my life and love would be

Not counting the unmarked paths of misdirection

My compass, faith in love's perfection

I missed ten million miles of read I should have seen

Meanwhile friends we thought were so together

Left each other one by one in search of fairer weather

And we sit here and drink a toast

To the slim chance of love's recovery.

Rain soaked and voice choked like silent screaming in a dream

I search for our absolute distinction

Not content to blow and bend

To the whims of culture that swoop like vultures

Eating us away, eating us away

Eating us away to our extinction

Oh how I wish I were a trinity, so if I lost a part of me

I'd still have two of the same to live

But nobody gets a lifetime rehearsal, as specks of dust we're universal

To let this love survive would be the greatest gift we could give

Tell all the friends who think they're so together

That these are ghosts and mirages, these thoughts of fairer weather

Though it's storming out I feel safe within the arms of love's discovery

Friday, November 18, 2011

comfort and joy

Watched Regis' farewell show and cried...I need to get a grip.

Z is watching her "dragons" movie (How to train your dragon) before her nap. Jason comes home today. Our girl weekend is ending. I am exhausted. She had a big week--shedding her high chair. She has new phrases, "I'm HAPPY!!!" (that is a nice one.) "I'm at the table!!" (that's cute, too.) "Mommy...go! Alone Please!" (not as cute) But, I'll take the please.

Last night I got a sitter and went out on the town. Not that exciting...but I did get out of the house on the one night it was freezing and snowing. Go figure. I got our Turkey!! It's 19.75 lbs. (My year of birth...thought it was a good omen.) I also got window markers to decorate the kitchen. We're celebrating Thanksgiving and two birthdays...this should make it easy to change them up. I'm too concerned with such things.

I met my friend Carin for dinner. She talked about how much she loves her new job and the people she will be working with...and I thought, "I miss that." I will feel it again. I miss office gab. But, office politics sucked, so I'll stay home for the time being. Plus...I know I'll cry like a baby when Z goes to her first day of school--and long for days just like today.

With the holidays literally starting next week...I miss my grandparents even more. I miss the light they brought into my life. I keep reminding myself that I, too, can have that light. With Z being so obsessed with "HAPPY"...that is a good sign. We have a dance party every day. We laugh, dance and act ridiculous. She won't remember these times...but I will. My aim is to inject her with as many feelings of joy, memories of happiness and have a base of good feelings about her life to help her in the future. Every parent wants this. Sadness is always nearby. Disappointments. Anxiety. Frustration. Fear. All of these things I feel I bathed in for several years. I don't want that for her. Will she feel them? Of course. But when she heads home from school, or wherever she is...I want her to have the feeling of comfort that she is coming home. You have to have that touchstone in your life. So many don't have it. The more I talk to my friends--the more I hear their disappointment in not feeling accepted. Damn. What a shame. I figure...if you can't go home, come here!!

If I can make my home welcoming and a place of laughter for anyone that walks in the door--I'll feel as accomplished as my grandparents.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Par-annoy-ya

Z is on the floor behind me sweetly playing with her farm set. She's been learning about farms on her Baby Einstein video. She would normally be in bed right now, but she's been having such a hard time getting and staying to sleep that I'm trying to tire her out.

The day was slow. Last night was long. When Jason is gone, the nights are harder now. I used to sort of enjoy the alone time, but ever since the horrible knock on the door over a month ago, I just sit feeling scared. Not that anything will happen to him, just scared in general. I jump at everything. I feel anxious. I feel sad. I replay the whole night. Then I think..."if I'm feeling this, how the hell is Melissa feeling?" The shock waves just keep hitting everyone. Bill and Lynn are gone. WHAT???? It's just so fucked up.

I keep trying to read some pages in Diane Keaton's book, Then Again, while Z doesn't notice. There are times when Z is so needy...then are the times of great independence. I love both. I hate both. It's odd. But, I am loving the book. She's reading her mother's journals right now. Fascinating. I know Z will discover this blog one day. She'll also discover my journals. I've been writing since high school. Well, there are a couple from grade school as well. I doubt my ramblings of being in love with a 7th grade boy will move her too much. (Besides, the boy changed on the next page...)

My  mom doesn't journal. Well... now. She just found a journal she wrote in 1960. It covered her frosh year at KU. I want to read it. I wonder if she'll let me. I wonder if I'll ask her.

There are many I wish I were closer to, or just knew more. It takes two to be close. I wish about being closer more than actually doing something about it. It's fear of rejection. It runs deep. It keeps me away from so many people. I feel like an odd duck a lot. My way of being close is having long deep conversations with people. Most people are not like this. (especially in my family) I am definitely an alien in my family. None of them really like to talk. They are very private people--with many walls up.  I tried to push through the walls all during the wonder years of my life to no avail. Now, if I see even a spec of a wall....I leave it alone. I even struggle with Melissa. I want to be closer...thinking I could help her in some way. I talk myself into thinking I'm being annoying with my frequent visits...wanting to leave her with family and her close friends. I've never been so close to a tragedy as an adult. (Adulthood came to me around 32, before then I was a bit clueless.) I over think. I over feel. I obsess. It's really quite annoying. I figure, if I'm annoying myself, I don't want to be around anyone else.

Z is starting to rub her eyes...might be time.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

This helps.


Expectations...too Great.

Jason is gone this week and I've been putting myself to task with a to do list from hell. Staying at home is such an odd state of being. I find myself trying to be overly domesticated. Trying to be Martha Stewart. I'll never be her. I'll never have the perfect Thanksgiving decorations or table arrangements, but I can try. I've been going nuts over Z's 2nd birthday party theme. Do 2 year olds really need a theme?? I called a woman about a cake--just to give it a little oomph. I'm getting a birthday wishes/memory book for everyone to sign. She'll love to look back on that one day. I'll make my angel food cupcakes because I want my grandparents to be there in spirit. I was going to see if I could get some sort of backdrop to hang over the windows to create some type of cool aesthetic--seems a bit much.

I'm cooking the turkey this year. We're hosting Thanksgiving again. I love it, but I'm a bit overwhelmed by all the things I said I'd do. One at a time. I love all the little comments about how domesticated I am now...always little surprised comments from people who knew me "before." I know they are trying to be nice--many people say these things--but I find them like little digs. I'm too sensitive. It seems so condescending. I know I was a slob people. I know I didn't cook. I know I didn't do much...but let a girl grow up and be a mom and wife!! Geesh. Coming from Kansas...most of my girlfriends were so "domesticated" at an early age. They baked, cooked, sewed, babysat constantly--crafted. I wasn't that girl. They were about decor much earlier than I even thought about it.

But, here I am. 36. Struggling over decorations and menus and expectations.

On another note. I downloaded Diane Keaton's book today and already love it. Here is the first sentence: Mom loved adages, quotes, slogans. There were always little reminders pasted on the kitchen wall. For example, the word THINK. I found THINK thumbtacked on a bulletin board in her darkroom. I saw it Scotch-taped on a pencil box she’d collaged. I even found a pamphlet titled THINK on her bedside table. Mom liked to THINK.
 
Her mother was extremely influential to her. I can't wait to read more.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Being Elmo

It's Sunday morning. Z woke up right at 7am. She's in the loft with her dad watching something Elmo. His voice this early grates on my nerves.  However, I did see that there is a new documentary, Being Elmo, that looks really good. It would be fascinating, I think, to see how Elmo was born. I'm thankful to Elmo for helping me teach Z about potty training. For helping her learn her letters. For explaining emotions, but mostly for entertaining her while I unload the dishwasher.




Saturday, November 12, 2011

Happiness.


Can't wait.





Hugh Jackman on Broadway. Dec. 11th at 2pm
Happiness.

Monday, November 07, 2011

NYC


I grew up watching When Harry Met Sally. It was my favorite. Not only did I love the story, I loved New York City. I loved the shots of the city in the Fall...in Winter. I loved Harry running down the street to get to Sally at end of the movie on NYE. Everything that was happening was happening in that city, in that moment. I also love Woody Allen movies. I love the lives of these people in their big city apartments. I loved watching them walk around the streets. So many different people. So many types of food, music, styles...surely you could find something that you loved. Surely you could find the perfect city friend, the perfect city apt., the perfect job in a bookstore. Then, Sex and the City came on and I loved it even more. I loved watching their lives that were SO FAR away from where I was living in Kansas. It just seemed more alive. I've always had a feeling about it that I was suppose to live there. When I was there with Dustin we just KNEW we were suppose to be there. We loved the village. We loved the city shots that matched the pictures in our heads. We were merely tourists. We took in the parts of NYC that everyone does. Visiting Jeremy helped ground the daydreams. His real life...his real apartment...his real neighborhood restaurant...all so damn cool. I still felt I wanted to live there. I'm not there yet.

But, I'm 6 hours away and when I finally get to walk in Central Park I feel happy. I feel happy walking down the busy, loud, rude streets. I love the museums. I love the shows. I love the promise of BIGness. Big emotions. Big insights. Big excitement. Big memories.

Each morning, I love watching the talk shows that are filmed there. I have a daydream life of being among them. That, I too, walked thru the park and down a beautiful historic street to get to work. I took the subway. I haiedl cabs. (Chicago helped me live out some of these daydreams.)

It could be that I have these feelings because I've never lived there. It's all in my head. It can be whatever I create it to be. Carrie Bradshaw is not my best friend. But-- I wish she and I were at least in touch.


November Rain by Linda Pastan

How separate we are
under our black umbrellas—dark
planets in our own small orbits,

hiding from this wet assault
of weather as if water
would violate the skin,

as if these raised silk canopies
could protect us
from whatever is coming next—

December with its white
enamel surfaces; the numbing
silences of winter.

From above we must look
like a family of bats—
ribbed wings spread

against the rain,
swooping towards any
makeshift shelter.

I heard this on The Writer's Almanac this morning...couldn't have fit my mood more. Unreal. I swear...the universe told me to turn o the radio.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

snapshot moment

As we walked through the neighborhood today...this warm day in Autumn--I felt every word of "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." The leaves are beautiful. We were watching Z run ahead, laughing...on her safe little street--creating her childhood and creating memories for me to yearn for later. Feeling loss and such happiness at the same time. So bizarre.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Too much theraputic crap for a Friday

All my life I've always struggled with wanting to be someone else. Someone cooler, someone who made people really laugh, someone who was quick witted, someone prettier, someone smarter... I think Jr. High fucked me up. One year of total self doubt and without a friend in the world puts a little anxiety chip into your head forever that you might not be good enough. (I realize that most get over this feeling...) As I constantly think about how to help someone or how to be better for someone...it occurs to me that all I can do is be okay with what I put out into the world. I am always annoyed with people who accept their fate of personality. "This is who I am, I'm not changing." "I've never been that way, I can't be that way." I speak from a place of knowing that you can change. Maybe not at the core...but at least you can change habits, you can learn. I was a slob, I'm not now. I was lazy...I'm (not as much) now. I was a victim, I'm not now. There are times when laying down for a while--feeling beaten by life...is okay. Take the beating...relish it...but then get back up. Some seem to take punches and then immediately push forward. I have friends that are tough as nails. They are warriors. They don't let self pity get in the way of their life. I've always watched them in awe. Where does that come from?? Even if they had the shittiest childhood...they are just strong and wise and resilient as hell. I laid down for years. It makes me feel ill to know how many years I wasted on self pity, self doubt and feeling defeated. Gross. But, I'm learning every day. I keep meeting people who are just so present in life. They feel what they need to feel. They say what they need to say. They are just doing what they need to do. They aren't wondering how else to do it--each person is so different. I'm an observer. I've never been a leader, I've said that many times. I feel as if I'm suppose to understand something more than just the average person. I am very aware of what I want to learn from others. I am constantly trying to grow and be different--better. My 7th grade self is never too far away.

Yesterday I felt like shit. Z came in and wanted to watch the video where she danced to a band in the mall when we went trick or treating. She kept saying it..."Watch Zoë dance!!!" I thought, exactly...we should just dance it out. I put on some music and she danced and hopped and laughed. I did, too. I literally have to shake myself out of it sometimes. The sun is shining today...as I felt it would.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

bleh

Some days are harder than others. Some days your heart feels as if it's sinking. Some days the day looks more gray than normal. These are the times when you have to remind yourself it won't always be this way. Tomorrow, you'll feel better. The sun will be shining and you'll feel it.

The dead leaves on my deck are getting to me. I'll go sweep them off. I'm not depressed, just heavier today than yesterday. Tomorrow I'll be lighter. Or, maybe later today. I normally give myself pep talks and it goes away.

The Fed Ex lady rang the doorbell and knocked on the door. My heart sank and I immediately felt ill. Jason had left the house an hour before. Ugh. It is 4 weeks today that I got the doorbell and knock about Bill so late at night. I want my doorbell removed.

Here's the thing--we all feel like shit some days. We don't need to focus on it, but acknowledge it and move on. Ok, now, shit....go away.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

shock and awe

It's been awhile. I'm disorganized and feeling disconnected. I'm exhausted. I'm thankful. I'm full of anxiety. How are you?

While Z is sleeping this morning, I'm trying to get done all the things I've been neglecting. She had a scary run in with a skeleton and is still traumatized, so I'm quickly taking down the Halloween decorations and trying to make it look like Thanksgiving. Let's move on from the ghouls and into giving.

This morning I was thinking how hard it is to tread through life. Yes, it's beautiful, it can be wonderful, it can be full of laughter and friendship and love--but when a tragedy rocks you to your core, it's just damn hard to get through. I try to go next door each day, even just for a min, just to see how everyone is--see how their faces look, see how Melissa is feeling and it's difficult to figure out how to be...what to share...what to do. I look for a certain smile or a glimmer...but it's not there yet. I somehow want to see a face I saw before Bill died. I want to feel the way I did before. I want her to feel the way she did...but it's just not the way it is...or will be. But, when I walk in, for a moment, everyone smiles, everyone greets me and everyone asks how I am. They are comfortable enough to share their misery with me...but, they are unselfish enough to ask about me. These are such great lessons for me to learn and to share with Z on the way to gracefully move through grief. Some find the dark and can't get out of it enough to still participate in life. They become black holes of their former selves and unfortunately, the life lost of their loved one isn't the only death. Having the group at Melissa's still able to laugh and really care about others is a testament to Bill, Lynn and the entire family. Good people. Damn it for happening.

Dustin left yesterday afternoon. Z was all out of sorts about it. She enjoyed him. I do, too. We spent our days talking, walking, laughing and trying to do as many Fall activities as we could. I baked for him and cooked for him and listened to him about his life. I wanted him to feel as much at home as possible--I know he currently doesn't have that outlet. I think there are times when we do feel lost and alienated from our families...or our friends. Either we do it ourselves or we are misunderstood and let down. Families are suppose to love unconditionally--and sometimes we just don't do it well. It sucks. But, creating family wherever I can is important to me. My friends are a part of my family and always have been. Dustin is Uncle Dustin...and Z has MANY Aunties. I want her to understand that blood doesn't make family--love does.

Well, on to my chores. I promise lighter posts in the future...but for now, learning from others is in the focus.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I'm really just not that into you anymore.

This morning I watched an interview on Today that got me thinking about friendships. Martha Stewarts's daughter, Alexis spoke about her new book, Whateverland and also her friendship break up with the co author, Jennifer Hutt. They are simply not friends anymore...I guess Alexis didn't want to be around her and that was that. They had a tv show together...and they wrote a book...and it seems like one day Alexis thought, "I'm tired of being around you and you're not my type of person..." That's interesting to me. I have issues with friends at times. Meaning, I can't cut them loose even when I need to. I hang on to them...and it's just not healthy. Aren't there people you just think, "Wow, we used to have a lot in common...we used to be close and now...not so much. You annoy me, really." It's sort of awful, but really just life. We grow. We break up with boyfriends...why not friends? It's the friends that never ask you about you. They go on about themselves...and they don't seem to notice that you're even there. They disappear during difficult times. They don't even make you laugh anymore. Now, I know we all go through times when we have to focus on our lives and we drift, but that's not what I'm talking about. It's more...whenever you talk to this person you feel worse than when you started. That's not healthy. I have people like this...but I can't seem to break up. I wonder how many want to break up with me? (I need to become aware of this as well...and take some cues possibly...)

It's my own fault. I'm working on it. I need to make a conscious effort to be a better friend myself. I should focus on those that make my world better and the others will have to take a back seat. There are so many amazing people in my life that I don't speak enough to, I don't reach out to enough because of one thing or another--but good friendships and good people are a treasure and I need to start treating them that way.

Life is good, but there are some damn difficult times--it's time to not only realize who makes you stronger...but to lend a hand to those who might need your strength a bit more. Some aren't good at reaching out, but when you do--it's very rewarding. Grab hands and hold on...we've got a lot of life to go yet.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
— Steve Jobs

Thursday, October 20, 2011

the giving trees

We took a little fam walk around the block around 10am. The sun was perfectly lighting the trees...yet it was so gray in other areas of sky. Oranges and reds just popped. The streets were wet from an early morning rain and for some reason the beauty of this time of day made me really emotional. Maybe it was because I was so thankful. Or, maybe I know that this time is fleeting... It's such a juxtaposition of the time of year and the times we live in. I feel such sadness and such happiness at the same time. I walked by Bill and Melissa's house and know all the pain they are in--but I want to go get them and take them on a walk with me. I know they're not ready to take it in...but one day they will again. When you go through such sadness, having the world be so beautiful can be maddening. The fact that it is still turning doesn't make sense. But it does. It continues to turn through all of our issues and our heartbreaks. It just keeps going--as it will long after we are gone.

Dustin is coming next Wednesday. I'm thrilled. He'll spend a week with us...relaxing, talking, Halloweening and eating. I got a sitter for Friday night so we can go haunted housing. The three of us love this time of year. I also put the sitter on hold for Thursday in case we want to go to the movies. Jason will be traveling. Mostly, it's just someone to sit in our house...since Z goes down so early. Last night she slept for 14 hours--she didn't feel well. Today, she seems much better.

This is the time of year to try to walk outside in the evenings and take in the noise of the swirling leaves and the crisp night air. It's a time to reflect. It's a time to really give thought to what's really important and make sure you've centered your life around it. Easier said that done...I know, but it should be done.





Wednesday, October 19, 2011

History

I have a playlist that I've been compiling for a while now. Currently, it has 142 songs. I titled it History. Basically, I go through my music and pick out all of the songs that have particular significance to me. Then, as I listen to it...it takes me on a ride through my life. It's pretty cool. I am thrown from one decade to another...and realize how resilient I actually was through all of it. Some great memories. Some, not so great. It's a cool experiment.  My heart grows and pushes through into different chambers as each song plays. Close friendships, loves, new friendships, hard times and times of great growth. The high school songs are still my favorite I think. I love the college songs, but in HS, I was just figuring out what groups and singers influenced me the most. Depeche Mode, REM, U2 and Edie Brickell--they just make me so happy. The Beatles are my life artists. They flow through each year and decade. Paul's voice just mends me. Simon and Garfunkel make me feel close to my parents. That's another thing...spirits come with the music. If I'm lonely...the spirits of my friends and family gather around. I can feel them. I feel close to them. It's amazing the journey the heart can go on...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

circle of friends

Today I went over to Melissa's and sat with her girlfriends/sister/MIL around her kitchen table. We chatted, ate, played with an Ipad and just filled the time with comforting conversation. I only knew Melissa 2 weeks ago. After this experience, I feel that I've gained a family. I love the strength of women. I love their comforting ways. I love their loving force. Girlfriends are powerful supports and guides to me.

 The healing power of kind human interaction...it's really amazing. 


Friday, October 14, 2011

pity parties suck.

It's a rainy Friday. Rain that will bring the leaves down faster, unfortunately. My MIL is coming with Jason's sister. They should be here in 3 hours. It's hard to be around people when you are going through something difficult. You tend to want to be around people that feel the same way you do. Some friends shine through--crying with you...sending you messages of encouragement. I appreciate that. It's been a week. I'm not sure how long to feel this way. I understand there isn't a time limit...but I also know I don't want to be gray for too long. Z needs me to be sunshiny. I also want to be strong for Melissa and Paige--not someone they feel also needs comfort. I'm thinking about baking a pie or two. I've been thinking about it, but haven't had the energy yet. Yesterday I slept around in a good denial phase. When I don't want to deal, I sleep. I think I slept through college.

I need to start reading Frankenstein. My friend Jeremy emailed me he finished it. Yikes. We are suppose to discuss it...and Sleepy Hollow. I normally do my "reading" at the gym. But, this week, I haven't been going much. I want to feel better. I want this to be over. I wish it had never happened. I don't like feeling down--it makes me feel weak...it makes me feel like I used to. I'm giving myself a few more days and then I've got to pull myself out of it. The damn sky is dark today. Soon, the trees will be bare. I've got to start feeling better before that happens.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ring Them Bells

It's Thursday. The colors of the trees are bursting. It's comforting. Everything is bright and lit by sun. Been trying to figure out how to learn from this tragedy. Bill was a great example of strength, kindness and always being a guaranteed smile. I'm going to do my best to follow that example. There is a song that I listen to when I'm feeling a bit down...it cheers me up. Yes, it's silly and theatrical, but just fun. I played it for Z in the car yesterday and she loved it.

Thanks Liza for always cheering me up--hope it does the same for you.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The funeral was today...

"Amazing tradition. They throw a great party for you on the one day they know you can't come."
(The Big Chill)

On one of the saddest days in my history...this quote is the only thing that keeps repeating in my head.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Because it can happen just like that.

That's why kindness to others is so important. And being open to new experiences and new friends. To always be someone people can count on to be upbeat. To always greet people with a smile. To always offer help. To have the ability to have fun at any time. To push the limits of the human experience. To have a calming, balancing effect on people. To have people associate you with stability and hard work. To have so many know they can count on you no matter what. To do your best to make people feel at ease. To laugh each day. To tease in good fun. To be a true gentleman. To love nature and experience its beauty often. To enjoy so many things and show others how to enjoy as many as possible. To change the life for the better of those you come in contact with. To be a good friend. To be a good neighbor. To be a good husband. To be a good father.

Friday, October 07, 2011

you never know.

Two dear friends of mine were killed yesterday in a car accident outside of Scranton, NY. They were headed to NYC for a follow up visit on a Dr. appt. They'd just turned 40- 2 weeks ago. They were twins. Bill was our neighbor on the left with his wife Melissa and their daughter, Paige. And Lynn, his sister. They'd both been at my home last Saturday having margaritas and playing mexican train dominoes with Melissa. We spent many weekend evenings together--some great nights outside by a fire in the backyard. They were laid back, sweet and very easy going people.  Easy to joke with them. Easy talk just sit and talk. I will miss them both very  much.

Call the person you've been putting off calling.
Hug your loved ones.
Get over any petty fights you might be having.


It's hard not to be angry at someone. It's hard, period. We moved to Rochester about 3 years ago now. After feeling a bit alone out here...Bill and his family made Roc home for us. Finally, we had friends to enjoy on the weekends and to see over the fence each day. We had people we so enjoyed--who shared our same interests and felt so similarly to how we feel about so many things. Just a heartbreaking shame.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Addict


All my life I've noticed my strongest addiction is to people. I find someone I adore and almost overdose on them. I would spend all my free time with certain friends, boyfriends, even my grandparents. I see things in them that I want to be. Many times I took on parts of their personality...an homage to them, I suppose, but I'm sure it was annoying. Now, I find myself in a Katharine Hepburn addiction. Although she past away many years ago, I'm just catching up to her. She's fascinating. She's strong. She's FIERCELY independent.  I write of her in present tense because I'm reading about her as if she's alive. She's such force. I love it. I'm learning so much from her--from books, clips on youtube and movies. I feel like I'm in a class. Today, I came across her quote, "Life is hard for everyone. That is why so many fall victim to it." She was not speaking of herself. She was never a victim and refused to play roles of one. She was always active--very athletic. She loved dinner parties and tried to have her week filled with guests. I'm the same way. I love having people over and love to spend time with friends. She often gave up rooms in her home to people she wanted to spend more time with--I would do this as well.

Since I played the victim role for many years, I'm very conscious of never feeling that way again. She's a great teacher. I find myself sitting in front of the computer endlessly searching everything about her. I always take my obsessions a bit far. Thank God I never started smoking.


Later---

I finished the book at the gym. I actually stopped peddling the bike and sat for a bit, tearing up. I've been watching a documentary she narrated, All About Me on Youtube and love it.

On a side note: I've just learned that Steve Jobs died. What an amazing mark he left on the world. Gone too young. Amazing mind.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Dark Days

Times are hard. Times are good. It's ALWAYS the best of times and the worst. I've been lucky to look at life mostly as an adventure...with exception of my darkest days of depression. Those days I hope are over. My life is good and the daily struggles are mine, alone. I hear the hollowness of others at this time. The dark days cause so many to dip down into dreariness. It can be lonely. It can be overwhelming. It can be damned annoying hearing how someone else is doing well. I understand that. Misery does love company. In my darkness, I always knew the next day would be better. How could it be any worse??

It could be that my dark 20s set me up for a good vantage point for the rest of my life--in comparison, life is good. I'll take it. I look back in horror so many times at my poor decision making and my life of self pity and selfishness. I should be thankful for the reality check of what life could be. I don't struggle to pay my bills like I used to. I don't have continuous struggles and heartbreak with my relationship. I don't have bad hair.

However, many are struggling. Many are lonely. Many feel alone and that they have no help. I hate that. I wish I could help. I wish there was something magical I could do to make someone see some brightness. When you are in the dark...it seems as if it will always be dark. I'm here to tell you it won't be. Autumn is my favorite season, but it used to be my least favorite. It was a time of fear. I feared the long dark days and my inner demons coming out to play. I feared the holidays and having to deal with others. I feared my depression taking me over. I remember those times. I'm here for you if you need me. I've been through it. I'll listen or be a destination for you to retreat to.

Monday, October 03, 2011

More on Monday

Went to the gym today and of course listened to my audiobook- Kate Remembered. Scott's relationship with Katharine becomes so close--spending almost every weekend with her for long periods of time. She comes down from the sky into your living room. I see her as a person instead of a personality. I find her to be so rich with life. Her temper, her quick wit, her athleticism, her strong opinions--a great role model. She swam quite a bit, even with snow on the ground. She wasn't much for sitting around. She was constantly questioning and learning--and stating her own thoughts on every matter. I think she surrounded herself with young people in order to stay current with the world and with her inner young woman. Our bodies age, not our minds or how we view ourselves. Well, I think they can...but she is proof that that doesn't need to happen. I strive for that. She's even encouraged me to go to the gym more. I go almost every day now. Even if it's not 1000 calorie burn, it's toning and time alone to think. Listening to the book brings the ache back of missing my grandparents, esp my grandma. I so wish I could talk with her again- or just hear her laugh. Now is the time when I'm ready for the cooking lessons and to hear about her childhood. I was too young to know WHAT to ask her about when she was alive. I hate that. I'm used to this feeling. I'm slow to learn many things about people. I'm slow to understand them. Slow to know how to be a good friend. It takes years for me to figure it out. Kate seems to be one that figured so much out so early. This is becoming a trend. Maybe it's just me. It's frustrating to learn the hard way.

Silent Orange

I'm writing while Z calms down from a complete meltdown. I put her in her bed until she can regain humanness.  The leaves are finally starting to change a bit more. It is silent. The wind stopped and so did the rain. My child stopped screaming. It's glorious. The pops of orange, yellow and red light up the woods behind our house. The deer eating the apples I threw out. We are far away from traffic, from family drama, from ghosts. I love it here.



Saturday, October 01, 2011

It's a dark and stormy start.

Halloween begins at the Vidmar's. I decorated the entire house while J and V played in the loft. I invited the neighbors over for margaritas and games to celebrate. It's a rainy, dark and cold Oct. 1st day. I love it. It's perfectly ghoulish!!

It's the perfect "holiday"--no gifts, just candy. No family squabbles over where to stay...or what to cook. Nope. A month of pumpkin patches, haunted hayrides, too much candy and horror movies. (And a visit from Dustin and hopefully Mandi!!) Let the haunts begin.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Kate and me.

I'm listening to Scott Berg's Kate Remembered and loving it. Tony Goldwyn (the bad guy in Ghost) narrates and is really terrific. I'm mesmerized. I've decided to create my own little film class in conjuncture to the book. Diving into the "old" actors Kate reminisces about makes me want to know more. (I'm having a very similar reaction as I did to Just Kids by Patti Smith.) Scott also wrote three other books I'll be looking into. He wrote separate biographies of Charles Lindbergh, Samuel Goldwyn and Max Perkins. I'm so intrigued and excited. I love finding new authors. His writing is so easy and it makes you feel as if you are sitting in the room with these people. His conversations with Kate are so comfortable and charming. I found some other books that Katharine wrote about her time making The African Queen....and one about herself, "Me. Stories of My Life." Can't wait to dive into those. I love her quick wit and sharp opinions. I love her bravery. I love her strong presence of self. As Scott describes his times with Kate--many dinners, cold swims and weekends in CT, I find myself longing to be a part of it all. I want to sit with them and hear her stories and feel a true friendship blooming. She ends up having a close friendship with Berg and you can feel his true affection for her in the book. I'm thrilled that I've just started and there is much more to hear.


You can't always get what you want.

During my parents' visit here, I learned how to make chocolate and coconut cream pie. I received my grandma's recipe for meringue and will cherish it. I want to be able to create memories for Z of baking and having yummy desserts. I remember going to my grandma's house and it smelling of pies. My grandparents were big on sweets and I'm helping to pass that tradition right along. We also made homemade ice cream. Delish. Smelling pies takes me back to being with my grandparents...happy memories. It's amazing how the senses cause us to go back in time. I love it. I feel like Z won't have to rely so much on her memory because we have so many pictures and videos for her to watch of the events of her life. My childhood would be so fascinating for me to see. As it is...I have a good memory thus far. Watching my parents age is upsetting. I feel like I want a direct line into my father's head to know what he is thinking and to see his memories. At times, I watched him and ached a bit knowing that he wouldn't always be here. I want to ask him a ton of questions...but he's not much for really serious conversations about his life. He reflected about working at his father's store and about walking to school after checking in the bread guys. He said he learned his multiplication from his work at the store by filling out check in sheets for the food that came in. I could sit and listen to him talk for hours. I don't see him often. He goes to Mexico for half of the year and will be traveling around the US next summer. I imagine I'll see him in two summers. Z will be almost 4. That makes me sad. No, she won't have the grandpa memories that I have--at least not on my side. But, I am all for retired people doing what they want to do before they get too old to go. They raised their kids...they should have time for themselves. It's hard for me, but I have to think about what that time in my own life will be like. I don't doubt that my father loves me...but I know he's not BIG on little ones. He's always been more interested in adults...and in fishing. Our relationship is a good one. I'm working so hard on accepting people for who they are, not how I want them to be. Some can only give so much. I'll take it and try to be the best person I can be. It's so hard not to feel cheated by time or by personal differences. There are so many hard life lessons. When it becomes too much for me to think about...I focus on Jason and Zoë. They are my family. These times will be rich and the memories, richer.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Took this shot last weekend while at the cottage. Just love it. A lone tree in a corn field. Something about it is hopeful.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My favorite mistake

My niece called me a couple of nights ago to tell me she has her first boyfriend. I cringed. That sounds awful...but now, it begins. She is 16 and already insecure about the relationship. Ugh. She called last night because he tried to kiss her and she wasn't ready. She felt bad about it and worried he'd treat her differently. Man, at 36 it is complicated, but at 16 it is your life. I told her not to worry. I told her to down play the whole thing. "Guys like mystery...you're being mysterious, no big deal." That seemed to help. I'm not sure what they have in common, but he likes her. Do we really have anything in common with our first boyfriends? I think out of all the guys I dated...I had most in common with 2 of them. That's it. The rest were me trying to fit a square peg into a round hold. Some good times, but more not so good times. She is beautiful but so insecure...a bad mixture at this point. But, trying to see the positive...I wrote her to say, "It all begins now...the butterflies, the new feelings...enjoy and learn." It takes so long to figure all of it out. Overall, the ones that made me laugh were the ones that I have more heart ties to. Laughter is the key to me. Life is too short of worrying if he'll call or text...if he's upset...if he still likes you...crap. It's all going to happen to her. It's part of it. I told her to journal how she felt. I told her NOT to go text crazy. "Let him be the last text and you'll feel much better when you go to bed." HA. I was none of those things. I was such a crazy whacko young girl. There's much to learn from my mistakes. Yet, she's going to remember this time forever. Her heart is about to grow in different directions and she's going to feel things she's never felt. Ain't love grand.

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Sign

We are headed out tonight for PA. We have family friends with a cottage in the woods. It is a welcomed break. J has been super busy and I could use some time in nature to just breath. I feel like I've been short with little Z. I've been exhausted lately. Could be the change in weather. I put on the flannel sheets--a true sign of Fall.

I listened to Steve Martin at the 92nd St. Y. He struggled with a relationship with his father. He was very tight lipped about it. At the end of the conversation with Charlie Rose, he said that after he wrote an article about his father for the New Yorker, he received a note from a woman who wrote to tell him, "I read your article. I handed it to my husband to read. When he was done, he put the article on his lap and said, "do you have our son's number?" Steve paused before saying her last words...tears came to him. He said he was happy that he could make a difference in a relationship. I was at the gym...crying on the bike. He quickly followed up with Charlie by saying, "Is this about over?? Much longer and I'll be killing myself." I laughed out loud. I'm sure the other people in the gym think I'm crazy.

Use this as your sign to call someone you've been meaning to call.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Diamonds and Rust

I listened to Joan Baez speak at the 92nd Street Y (2007) and really enjoyed it. She has a song titled, Diamonds and Rust that she played on the broadcast and I immediately had a very strong reaction to it. It filled me with such sadness. Almost odd. I called my mom to ask if she used to play it when I was a little girl. She said she did...along with many other songs. My father is also a huge Joan fan. He emailed me about his favorite albums of hers. I downloaded some of her music and have been listening. Every time Diamonds and Rust comes on I want to cry. I wonder what that's about?? Here are the lyrics;

I'll be damned
Here comes your ghost again
But that's not unusual
It's just that the moon is full
And you happened to call
And here I sit
Hand on the telephone
Hearing a voice I'd known
A couple of light years ago
Heading straight for a fall

As I remember your eyes
Were bluer than robin's eggs
My poetry was lousy you said
Where are you calling from?
A booth in the midwest
Ten years ago
I bought you some cufflinks
You brought me something
We both know what memories can bring
They bring diamonds and rust

Well you burst on the scene
Already a legend
The unwashed phenomenon
The original vagabond
You strayed into my arms
And there you stayed
Temporarily lost at sea
The Madonna was yours for free
Yes the girl on the half-shell
Would keep you unharmed

Now I see you standing
With brown leaves falling around
And snow in your hair
Now you're smiling out the window
Of that crummy hotel
Over Washington Square
Our breath comes out white clouds
Mingles and hangs in the air
Speaking strictly for me
We both could have died then and there

Now you're telling me
You're not nostalgic
Then give me another word for it
You who are so good with words
And at keeping things vague
Because I need some of that vagueness now
It's all come back too clearly
Yes I loved you dearly
And if you're offering me diamonds and rust
I've already paid 

I think I understand songs about memories and old friends more now. I have my own memories of friends and cities and feelings felt earlier in life. To reflect on different times of ones life is so powerful. In my 20s I was creating these memories...to listen to music then was so different. Now, even only at 36, I feel a history of experience. I have felt more ups and downs. I've left friends and lovers and have grown into myself more. The depth of emotion brought upon by music is a gift.  Everything seems richer now. I think it's just the maturing process.

I spent the weekend watching 9/11 documentaries and specials. 10 years later it has such a different effect on me. I was a month into living in Chicago and was still adjusting when it happened. Living in a big city was overwhelming. I was with my friend Amanda...we were two Kansas girls alone in the big city and I think it was hard to really absorb what was happening. To watch the broadcast now...it's a new experience. I sat and cried. Now being a wife and mother...it takes on another meaning to me. Life continues to mold me. My experiences continue to alter my sense of reality and understanding. It's amazing, really. It is true...the more you know, the more you realize how little you know.

Our friend Chris Spiek visited us last night. He was in town from Chicago. He was one of the first guys I became friends with after I moved to Chicago. My friend Jeremy introduced us. Jeremy and I were in our honeymoon stage of our friendship and spent our time singing, laughing and cuddling. They were roommates. Chris introduced me to John Mayer's music after he'd come home from his concert at the House of Blues. I sat talking to these very open hearted men and felt..."yes, I found the right type of people." Both loved music and could really speak about their feelings. I told Chris this last night. He really appreciated knowing. He's now married with a little one and doing well...still in Chicago. It's great to reconnect with old friends.

When you get a chance. Listen to Diamonds and Rust. See if it has an effect on you. My favorite lines are the opening lines "Well I'll be damned here comes your ghost again"  and these--- "Now I see you standing with brown leaves falling around and snow in your hair. Now you're smiling out the window of that crummy hotel over Washington Square..."