Thursday, December 18, 2008

This is a post I started many months ago.
My marriage is ending by my choice and though I understand and know this to be what is best for me, the heart is breaking slowly and surely. For reasons that really don't matter nor do I wish to detail, after three years I am calling it quits. I think of all the songs and movies ever written depicting the one being left as the hero and the one leaving as the villain and I wonder if any one ever took the time to understand and get insight into how very difficult and painful it is to be the one to leave. This is my second marriage. I had such high hopes for a marriage filled with understanding, love and commitment.

I like being married, I like the smells and sounds of it. I like having someone to sleep with at night. I like the sense of belonging that you get when you look at your partner. As I begin anew, I know that the road ahead will be a difficult one. That the challenges will be many, not just because of my marriage ending but because each event in our lives triggers a tsunami of others.
I am working on preparing myself for these things.

My husband is a man that I love, he is someone whose presence in my life has taught me many things. At times the journey was painful, but at times it was beautiful. He is right about one thing, "I don't have what it takes". I don't have what it takes to have a relationship with him. It was difficult, painful, and so much more work that it had to be. As I watched my wedding video, I wonder if my tears then were from happiness or from fear that it would end.

At this point, there is anger, resentment and much sadness. I hope that one day, we can each look back and perhaps see the gifts the other gave. I hope that one day we can reach out to each other again. I have no regrets, I married the man that I love.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I just realized its close to another holiday, Halloween and I have not been blogging since early September, actually, another holiday - Labor Day. It might turn out to be a convenient thing to just blog around Holidays. This takes away the stress of realizing how little time I have to blog, having to come up with more blogging ideas (Im sure you've noticed my ineptitude of late), and not feeling guilty every time I tune in and notice how much time has passed.

Well, the truth be told, is that I am obsessed. Obsessed with politics, economics and more politics. I spend enormous amounts of time reading blogs on the upcoming elections. The Huffington Post is one of my favorites which I used to just read in the mornings but have increasingly been abnormally enthralled by lately, sometimes reading it at various intervals throughout the day for fear I might miss some new neo-con brilliance. I have joined the campaigning band wagon for Obama. I try to volunteer as much as I can and have often thought of taking the next for weeks off to go volunteer. Of course, considering the course our economy is taking, I seriously control my impulsive thoughts and limit it to just doing it when I can. I need my job, especially when job security is so precious. I try not to watch Fox News for members of its journalistic staff have at time turned me into a person who throws things at the TV and uses words that are more than just colorful. At times I can be quite poetic with these words if I do say so myself.
I do have to say thankfully, that my obsession with the media and economics saved me big bucks in my 401. After much obsessive reading, I decided back in May 2008 to flip my portfolio to only 20% stocks. Much to my reps disappointment, I made a wise choice for the time being. I am, I must admit a scardycat and don't like to take chances with my only savings.

I am a bit worried for myself after November 4th. What will I do when it is over and I no longer find the thrill I have found in the past weeks. I might well become seriously depressed. My worse fear though, what if Obama loses? Dear God just saying it makes me want to cross myself. If that happens, I have seriously warned my family that I will be moving out of the country. Palin scares the bejesus out of me, seriously - wink, wink, you betcha.

Im thinking Uraguay seems lovely.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Labor Day comes around so
very, very quickly.....
The Kids Sarah, Jason, my Jon, and Dylan (sorry Jason and Dylan if I got you missed up - they're twins). Frolicking at Jones Beach displaying Jason's trophy from his tennis finals.

Bob and I happy as can be or just delirious from the heat.......
Our Annual summer picture, Paula, Janet and I.....(we have taken this similar picture for the past 10 years or so)

Sneaking a picture of Jon as we head out for our first day of School. He was much happier the night before.....the picture may have sent him over the edge (.....he's almost 16 - oh well)

Buster, had the hardest time with back to school. He was a bit confused as to the early 6 am wake up (he's used to sleeping in till about 8 in the summers). Had no inclination to go out and do his doggy thing. He looked at me from his favorite chair in the kitchen and sauntered over to his bed where he just went right back to sleep...... Oh how I wished I could have done the same.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

It is the last weekend in August. My birthday was this past week marking every year "back to school" and the end of summer. I am sincerely grateful to have a job in a school that grants me the summers off, but having summers off just makes it more difficult to start again. I am leaving later today....with a heavy heart.
The garden is full and beautiful minus a few mishaps with the cucumber plants and the tomato cages falling over, it was a good season and now fall harvesting is upon us. My husband Allen will stay here in our home in PA while I head back to Long Island (mwahhh!!) - right now I am not quite so fond of him since he gets to live the life I so yearn for all, the time. I worry that the canning will overwhelm him since he works full-time and only has the evenings to can the tomatoes. Its a long process, he has already decided he is not boiling them in order to peel them. He will keep the skins on....I would choose to peel. Oh well.

I made a delicious pasta salad last night for dinner, using veggies from garden.

Use any hardy pasta, cook al dente. cool it off with some cold water (so it stays al dente).
Pour some olive oil - eye ball it, to keep from sticking. I tend to be generous.
then put veggies in and some feta cheese.
I used arugula, basil, cucumbers, little yellow pear tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, Italian green pepper, green and wax beans (blanched for about 3 minutes and cut into bite size pieces and feta cheese. It was light yet hardy and very tasty. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

I will be back next weekend so I am not gone for good, but I will truly miss my daily jaunts, the quiet and peace that my garden offers me.

Friday, August 15, 2008

In just about 10 days I will celebrate another birthday, thank God. As I have matured (not so much), I have come to appreciate looking back just a bit. My girlfriends and I, all respectfully in our upper forties and lower to mid fifties, at times sit around and ponder those wonderful younger years that seem so long gone. Which makes me realize that I truly did not appreciate the oils in my skin, my dark lovely hair, the skin that at times betrayed me by allowing a pimple to surface. The above picture was taken in my 8th grade classroom by my Science teacher Mr. Vazquez because I said out loud " I am not a pretty girl". He felt I had no esteem and he was probably right but it was right around puberty where we all hate ourselves. He told me that he would take this picture and one day, many years later I would look at it and understand just how pretty I was.

He was right, over the years at one stage or another I have found some things that did not appeal to me and the older I got
the more grateful I became when I looked at pictures at all stages of my life. Another Birthday is an opportunity to celebrate all the years. Like the photo around my 9th birthday (which was the only birthday celebrated as a child) where my hairclips are not really aligned and the part in my hair is a tad off, but my eyes are young and full of promise and my hair is not needing of a dye job.

My friend Lisa and I are known to complain about our weight, our hair, our complexion, the dark circles under our eyes, the ce
llulite, the bulge in our belly....blah, blah, blah, well its life and its been good.

Yes, we are aging, yes some days we look better than others, yes the gray will someday win, No we will never be 20 again, and the spring in our step may be a little painful at times, but we absolutely must contin
ue to take all opportunities given to us to bring out our inner child, though the merry-go-round does seem a little slower.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Summer is so many things to me. Time with my son to do special things like hiking while trying to avoid the poison ivy, the ability to spend the summer with my husband, the wonderful ability to go to the country for long stretches of time after a long winter in the city, the ability to sleep in and lazily and slowly arise to meet the day and the songs of the birds, to be blessed with being able to work in my garden and seek out potato bugs through my many tomato plants, to lay in my hammock after working in the garden, with muddy feet and dirty hands and feeling like I have everything I need.

For these simple pleasures, and knowing how to appreciate the sounds and smells around me, like the hundreds of lightening bugs in the open field and the threat of a good rain fall coming across the ridge, and the smell of freshly cut grass, I am truly grateful. Ah, I am rich. I do love summer!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
Ettiene De Grellet
I often try to remember that the world is not just about me. I try to remember that many small attempts on my part to be aware of the impact my behaviors have on others is never in vain. I try to remember that I am just a small speck on this planet and that it is my duty to be aware and conscious of how my actions or lack of affect those around me even if they are strangers. As a result, I am often saddened by the fact that many people don't behave this way and that these thoughts never even cross their minds.

After work today I go to Trader Joe's (in an upscale neighborhood) and as I am sitting in my car trying to gather my keys and my reusable shopping bags, I notice a woman leaving her shopping cart in a slightly slanted walk just a few feet from the cart dispenser area as she walks away. I note that the cart does a swirl of a dance because it is slightly breezy and does not have solid ground to stand on, before it aims straight for my car. I hold my breath and close my eyes for I know that I cannot stop it in time. As it crashes upside down onto my drivers side door, the woman turns around and comes to retrieve it. She picks it up and looks at me. I get out and look at the damage. It is dented in not just one but two places. She looks at me and says "That was not the cart I had". In amazement I just stare at her. I tell her that this is why it is necessary for people to care enough to just put the cart back in its spot. She again states "my cart was the one next to that one" - I am just fuming. Its not about my car, its just a car. Its about the complete disregard and lack of responsibility. She turns and walks to her car, a shiny new Audi convertible. She looks back at me, like I am some pathetic creature as she drives away.

My car is a 2002 Honda Civic with 135,000 miles on it and I try hard to keep it in good shape because I cannot afford to purchase a new car. My car looked really good and does not reflect its age. As she drove away, I felt sad. I felt sad that some could be so thoughtless. I always walk my shopping cart back to its place, even when the weather is less than desirable because I feel that it is my responsibility. It is a small way to show my community that I care, that I value others time and property, that I am not so full of myself that I forget to take care of the details that make us a human being. I don't believe this in it entirety, but it does seem that people who have more wealth can at times be unconscious about doing the right thing. That there are some rules that just don't apply to them, making them seem selfish and indignant.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Do people know how much effort goes into
producing a knitted baby blanket?

Well I for one have to admit that many years ago I received a couple of knitted blankets for my sweet bundle of joy. I, not being a knitter back then (not that I can brag about being one now) did not truly show gratitude to those who spent hours knitting those blankets. Until just recently I had not realized the enormous patience and skill it takes to knit. Giving someone a knitted gift is the ultimate gift of love for you don't just simply walk into a store and say "I'll take that"-- oh no, it takes much time, love and skill.

This past Saturday I went to my niece's baby shower and lovingly gave her my first complete knitted (by pattern) baby blanket and baby booties. Consumed by the overwhelming stack of gifts and an all attentive audience, my niece smiled at me and said thank you, but not before some sneaky pair of small hands reached over yanked that precious gift and shoved it into the abyss of bags in the corner. All the weeks of love I poured into that blanket and booties shoved into the bottom of Babys R' Us bags. No oohing and aahing over my gift of love. OK, so I got over it, but then I felt the guilt of never truly thanking those knitters for taking the time to knit those precious blankets they gave me.

Now that I am (unofficially) a knitter I can truly appreciate it for the art that it is. I have recently come across a web site that tells of upcoming knitting events.
I will personally be attending the Stitch n' Pitch at Shea Stadium for the Mets game in September. I am actually a Yankee fan but there were no knitting events there, sadly to those faithful Yankee fans - its all about the knitting right now. Though I am not a fan of the Mets, it has come to my attention that their new stadium is almost complete and that I will be going to one of the very last games (this game is on a Thursday night and the last game is that weekend) to be played at this famous stadium, so without knowing I will be part of a historical moment and we can all thank the fact that I am now knitting. I wonder if I am going to become one of those weird people that takes her hobby way too seriously? When I start tatooing knitting needles on my body, someone ( Li ) please stop me. One of my new favorite blogs,-- she's funny as heck....Crazy Aunt Purl (and yes, it does have some knitting anecdotes).

Thursday, May 01, 2008

As I wandered around my house cleaning today, I listened to NPR (National Public Radio) and to add to my growing concerns over the state of our economy, I am blasted (for the second time) with an interview discussing the now impending doom that our children are facing to get a higher education. It is reported that many banks, and I had heard this very passively a couple of weeks ago, are backing out of giving Federal student loans. In Pennsylvania, this is now a very real issue. It is said that due to the irresponsible behaviors of the government and banks, they are in such debt that they can no longer provide students with Federal government loans.

As many who have had to get student loans and are still sacked with the payments, the benefit of a F
ederal loan is that it is backed by the Federal Government, which means that if the person becomes disabled, unemployed or dies, their loans are forgiven. The rates are also lower than a private loan. Well, here we are in another economic crisis. This one affects the lives and future of the same kids who are suppose to go out there and make changes in the world. For many kids who already struggle or who come from poor backgrounds this could possibly mean "No College" even if they are top of their class. One Penn State administrator spoke about the many students who have loans with banks that are folding. He spoke also about the many kids who cannot get loans because with private loans the rates are high and they need good credit. Making it impossible for some to attend college. This is only the very beginning of a huge problem as I see it. Another breakdown in what is turning out to be a disastrous decade.

I personally worry, my son is now 15 and thinking of his future and what schools he'd like to attend. How in the world is he going to be able to do this. I myself have a good size student federal loan and have always been grateful for its flexibility, especially during hard times when I had to defer them until I got on my feet. Those days are officially over.

After this news tidbit, I had to run to the gas station where the gas line in the pouring rain was long and fearsome. As cars waited because it was worth it to wait for the Valero gas at $3.75 than to get it quickly at Mobile for $3.97, I am filled with anxiety. My faithful Honda Civic jugged down $40.00 worth of gas when only 5 years ago it cost $16.00 to filler' up. I am grateful, as I look across at the woman on her cell phone in her giant Yukon XL.

I am scared and very worried......

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I've taken up a new hobby or perhaps as some may view it, an obsession. A year ago I asked my loving family for a beginners knitting kit which included some yarn, needles, a video, and some instructions for completing a hat and scarf set. I had to rewind that video a gisilleon times never really capturing that aha moment when I would get this thing called casting on. I miserably tried and tried again, faithfully watching the dreaded smiley lady with the soft voice that was turning me into a homicidal maniac. Well, months of trying and getting just a bit ahead did not lead to my coveted hat and scarf. I did learn some things though, knitting requires, patience, care, deep concentration, and committment. It also helps if you are on a diet, for... you cannot eat and knit at the same time.

Fast forward to a year later......I have unraveled the same ball of yarn several times on my needle. It seems that I finally learned how to cast on but, while I knit I am adding stitches that should not be there. I attend a small knitting class at adult education - there were suppose to be a total of 6 classes but, due to low registration numbers there will only be five, the teachers says " I'm sure you are all OK with this, uh "NO". I need all the help I can get. There is something to be said
about a person to person lesson because some
how by some divine miracle I finally have my "Aha" moment and manage to finish my scarf with give and take a few mistakes that serve to remind me of all the pain in my neck and the growing pain of carpal tunnel . It is not as relaxing as you may think.

My friend Marie and I decide that we are not only ready to knit but to actually take on a knitting retreat with other female knitters. We sign up for a weekend of knitting at The Inn at Manchester.

We don't particularly want to hang out with these women all day, we just want to go to an hour of knitting here and there and then go for a walk, perhaps take on some shopping. Due to my, as my friend Janet calls it, the social work disease. I am sick of talking, listening and my social quota is filled rather quickly. Honestly, I can't stand listening to my own voice at times. I begged all my loved ones, for a weekend free of cell phone calls and once there, I turned off my phone. Ahh, what a joy not to have to use that darn thing.

Back at the lovely Inn, I am completely overwhelmed by the manic use of needles and yarns. These women were serious knitters and were whipping out entire outfits that
they are currently working on. At this revelation, I quickly announce that I really have no "knitting goals" and that I don't intend on ever making a bolero jacket with matching beret. They, being serious knitters are quite disappointed in me and my dear friend Marie steps in and announces "I'd like to learn how to cable" ahhh, the women smile, thrilled with her desire to learn. I shoot her a look that indicated pure betrayal. The women surround her and take her on as a knitter, a serious knitter. Her new found friend Julie who gave her a one on one tutorial, was enormously proud and helpful. Alas, while I am out on the porch by myself trying to count stitches for my baby blanket (and I am rather enjoying the warmth of the sun, rocking in my chair and being an outcast), Marie has that ever integral "Aha moment. She has now mastered the cable stitch.........

On Sunday morning, our last day at the Inn and last opportunity to ask those ever challenging knitting questions, I am left with a feeling that I should have jotted down some possible questions, but I was blank, nothing came to me as I watched the women finishing their sweaters socks and handbags. I wanted to say " hey I'm sorry, that I was not prepared with all the questions, but I was a little overwhelmed with the zealousness of the group and I became paralyzed." So cheerfully everyone beg
an to say their goodbye's and good lucks and they kindly looked at me wishing me well.

After this first time knitting experience I think I will be ready for my next knitting retreat and darn it, I will be prepared. I saw on one of the websites that there is one to there's one I'd like to go to.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I need to address peoples need to ski. I took my son and his friend snow tubing since it is winter, and school break, and it is something for kids to do which will allow me a couple of hours to catch up on my reading. Jon and his friend are not proficient in the art of skiing and so a suggestion for snow tubing seems adequate. They seem to be content with this, but I am sure that if I'd just let them hang out on the couch playing video games, they would have been just as happy.

We arrive at Sno Mountain, and the parking lot is not heavily loaded. It actually, seems a little too empty, but I am not going to complain since my true mission is to start my new book The Girls, by Lori Lansens. Before we even left, I had a feeling the boys were under dressed but what do I know about snow activities. Being born in Puerto Rico, my body does not understand any need to be subjected to cold blustery wind. To say that I have an aversion to skiing and at times, its patrons, is a mild understatement. My one definitive hope is the awaiting lodge with its comfy leather chairs, couches and giant fireplace. For this I am appropriately dressed, oh yes siree. Once inside I kindly ask the attendant where the main lodge might be, as the boys get ready for their jaunt up the hill to the tubing area. The kind attendant looks at me with a kind of confused smile and says, "uh, this is it". "What!!", it can't be. This crowded, noisy, filled with kids place. it just cannot be.

Jon and his friend, whose name incidentally is John, go off, leaving me perplexed and utterly disoriented. I wander about in a circle, akin to my dog buster's act, when he is trying to find a comfortable place to nestle in. Aren't ski lodges suppose to be lodgey type of pretty wood places with comfy chairs, big fireplaces and a token deer hanging somewhere? uh, obviously somebody screwed up big time.

In the midst of this ugliness, yes it gets worse, bad fifties doowop music playing, a couple of TV's and very loud children crying. As I find a seat in one of the wire mesh benches I am assaulted by a family throwing all their belongings into my personal space. I look up and smile wryly. "I hate this place". I pick up my book and try to pretend that I am in the pretty wood lodge, with nice classical music playing, "screeeech, uh yeah right," just then a horrible 50's tune (which under different circumstances I might enjoy)starts to play. God help me! OK, I try again not to be distracted by the nastiness around me, but it really is hard with aliens wearing heavy moon boots walking around. I just don't get it, the whole love being cold, flying uncontrollably about without breaks. I even gazed out the window at one point to see if some clarity about why people love this would dawn on me. Nope, nada. Not one single thing, even though I've heard from friends that something about that swooshing thing down a dangerous slope is exhilarating. The last time I took Jon skiing with friends, I was traumatized just by the process of renting the skis, putting on the skis and watching some kid lose control and almost crash right through the doors of the lodge. Uhhhh, it give me chills. It just looks like more trouble than its worth.

Ahhh, its nice to be home in front of my computer blogging while the boys are back playing their video games. Tomorrow I will try to come up with something else that will tear them away from the videos.........maybe bowling. Do they still let people chain smoke in those places? Yuk.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Why, Barack?

(first of all I know its been a while, and I don't really have a good excuse
for my failure at blogging lately, but worse than anything I have not
been on top of reading my blogs either. So I will simply leave it at
"LIFE - it happens")

About four years ago, I read a wonderful book written by a young Senator about his life, what it was like grow up with a black father and a white mother and how certain events evolved his life. I was deeply moved by his honesty, his ability to speak about his mistakes so freely and by his incredible mind set and intelligence. I passed the book to a friend stating "read this, for I believe he may one day be a great President".

Yesterday I watched Larry King Live as he interviewed Michelle Obama, as she sincerely discussed the Presidential Race, her husband and her family. Again I was intrigued. Michelle discussed and talked of her husband. Candidly speaking of his greatness but also of his ability to make mistakes. Unlike our current administration, Barack would openly admit them. She mentioned that this Presidency for her came from a view as a mother. Discussing her concerns over the future of her young children.

Just last week as I spoke to my husband, I spoke to him of the side of this Presidency that I have not heard many speak of and that is that Barack Obama has two young daughters. I told my husband that I felt that his having young children is a huge reflection on the work that he would take on as President. His children's future is in his hand and hence the future of all our children. This impacted me so, for I believe that so many of us are concerned not only with the state of our financial woes, the War, Global Warming but in the end what sticks with me is, what have we done to the world that our children are suppose to live in? As I see the world around me and we watch the mess that our current Idiot President has not only gotten us into, but refuses to take responsibility for except to say, "We are doing just fine", my heart saddens for the future of our children and their children for it will be a hard place to live in. Unfortunately, for who ever takes over, it is going to be an incredibly harsh Presidency, for the task at hand might just be irrecoverable.

I am ready for change, as a matter a fact it could not come soon enough.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

My year in Review.....

I am taking stock of 2007 and the events that surrounded it.....this I will attempt without a calender in front of me. I include all blessings, the good, the bad and the somedays extremely ugly...

* My mother turns 90 and as a family we gather for a fun and memorable family dinner in the Bronx's little Italy.

* I meet my husbands family for the first time at the 2007 family reunion. I meet my mother-in-law for the first time.....she's something else.

* My son turns fifteen reminding me that I am no longer a young mother.

* I find, to my deepest sorrow, that I am 15-20 pounds heavier than I was five years ago (what can I say I love and savor all wonderful foods).

* I realize that I've gone past the number of years that I wanted to be renting my apartment. I've crunched the $$$ amounts over the years and I try hard to keep the vomit down.

* I turned 45, which my husband kindly reminded me this weekend that I need to change my profile since it still states that I am 44 years old. I say why not just wait till I'm 50 to change it.

* My husband moves to another state and we are now married and dating at the same time.

* I didn't think it was possible, but yes I am more disgusted by our current president and his staff of Zombies.

* I saw Blue Man Group for the first time. I thought it was quite genius.

* My inner consciousness grew just a little more and for this I am grateful.

* My step-daughter Corinna received a Bill Gates Scholarship and went off to Cambridge University.....we are all very proud.

* A dream fulfilled, I went to Italy with my son Jon.

* I signed up to and found two friends from High School which I last saw in 1980.

* We got a new Coal furnace in our home in Pennsylvania, which I must say is proving itself to be a wise and warm purchase.

* I watched "A Christmas Story for about the 30th time".

* My ex-husband broke his shoulder on Christmas Eve and I found compassion that could have been lost forever and ever somewhere in the depths of my heart. I walked his dog for several mornings, in the cold, during my vacation and I did so with good will.

* I finally embarked on the Hypertension boat with the rest of my family.

* It was the first year that I really simplified during the holidays. I did not mail a single card, but felt guilty so I made many phone calls....bottom line - it may be easier to just send the cards.

* I did not watch reality TV.

* I became a member of Public Radio after many years of listening and not felt good and a bonus...... I received two CD's.

* My grey hair is definitely winning the battle (the ugly - not on every one, put mine seems to have a hazardous mind of its own, its not all shiny and luxurious).

* I'm still in love with my husband.

* I am still surrounded by my same loving friends - Janet, both Lisa's, Paula, & Dianne.

* I did not get the flu or sinus infections ( the latter being a yearly visitor ).

* Over all I see myself as an incredibly lucky individual, whose life is wonderfully unique and full of wonderful delights, including the people in it.

I have no New Years resolutions but I will be working continually on being here, now and present.