Category Archives: holidays

The End of 2012…Thank God.

This year has been a tough one.  A really tough one.

I could sit here and rehash it all, but I am not going to.  There’s been a lot of loss this year, both in the physical and emotional sense.  It’s been a tough one, I’m not going to lie.  It seems to happen every other year or so, which still makes me more fortunate than most, but definitely not as good as others.

But yes, this was a hard one.  I could barely catch my breath from one tragedy before there was another.  It just seemed to run, non stop, in waves.  My stress and frustration levels were at all time highs for most of this year, especially the latter portion, from July forward til now.

Things aren’t perfect.  They never will be, nor do I expect them to be.  I just want it to slow down some. Allow me to breathe a bit.  Throw the curve balls a bit more slowly this year.  Give me a chance to recover from one thing before you hit me with the next.  I am only human and while my shoulders are broad and my back is strong, there is only so much pain one person can take at a time. 

Yet, I always feel that the new year should not necessarily be a time to reflect back. I am a firm believe that old acquaintance SHOULD be forgotten and never brought to mind.  It’s the past.  There’s nothing you can do about it save to learn from it and move forward.  I am not the same woman I was five years ago, five months ago or even five minutes ago.  We are all works in progress, constantly evolving, growing and changing. 

I was trying to think of what my key word for 2013 would be; the word that I would think to when trying to plan my life course for this year.  Last year, it was “promise”.  I made some promises to myself and for the most part, I kept them.  These are not the same as resolutions, which I feel are silly contracts we make with ourselves and usually, they are preordained to fail.  My key word is just a reminder to hold certain things dear to me.  The promise of happiness.  The promise of extracting the negativity from my life path.  The promise to remember that tomorrow is another day and all the disasters of one day don’t necessarily carry over into the next. 

This years word is “transform”.  There are a few things that I would like to transform about myself, but I would not be so bold as to make myself promises I don’t intend to keep in the form of those horrible resolutions.  The root word of resolution is resolve and let’s face it, sometimes the resolve just isn’t there.  We are stronger some days than others.  It is widely believed that if you make a resolution and then, fall prey to the opposite of whatever it is you resolved to do, you have failed.

I, for one, am not about to set myself up for failure. 

So, transform for me, will be a slow process of change.  Changing the things that I CAN change while knowing that certain things will always be out of my control.  I can transform how I choose to react to things and not feel as though I have failed if my transformation does not immediately become a learned behavior.  I am going to take it easier on myself this year.  I am not going to cause myself hurt, pain or anxiety.  I have had quite enough of those self destructive passages in previous years.  I have extracted most of the people who cause my mind agony from my life.  While a few still litter the wall of my Facebook page, they are not there in copious amounts any longer…and the “delete” button remains a close few inches away from my fingertips should I need it.

What I won’t transform, however, are the things that others may perceive as my flaws. I will NOT transform my personality.  I am brash, crude, sometimes obnoxious, definitely crass…but it walks hand in hand with something else that I am and that is well intentioned.  I don’t mean harm.  And, when I cause it, I am also versed in the art of apology.  I have discovered long ago that a weak person does not apologize.  An even weaker person will not accept them.  This is not to mean that if I accept your apology, that I still choose to associate with you or keep you in my life.  I have only chosen to forgive your transgression.  Be grateful.

In the days of old, most transgressions of others would have landed you with a five knuckled greeting to your jawbone.  I have “evolved”, which I believe was my word of 2008 or so.  Maybe 2009.

In closing, new year, but not necessarily new me.  Just some “transforming” to do.  A little housecleaning in the spiritual sense.   Some adjustments to make as I get closer and closer to the person that I want to be.  Baby steps have gotten me through the first 46 years of my life, so I don’t suppose I will be making any giant leaps any time soon.  Change should come slowly…not like a huge 20 foot wave crashing in on you, but rather, a little trickling of water through the rocks and stones of a constantly running stream.  It should come slowly, gently, softly.  Resolutions, to me, are those 20 foot crashing waves.  Some survive them.  Some don’t. 

I’m not willing to find out the hard way.

Happy New Year to all of you.  May lucky number 2013 bring you all the joy and peace that you could possibly handle…and then some.

And, in keeping with tradition of blog posts gone by, I leave you with this:

Tradition started the first year I blogged, December 2005.  Why stop now?

Peace.

Focus 52: "May Flowers"

No.  Really.  No “May Flowers.” 

Did you all truly think I was kidding last week?

Here’s your “May Flower.”  Deal with it. 

I am too delirious right now to comprise a post.   Do you want suckage…or would you rather have me back, fully rested and raring to go? 

Yes, that’s what I thought.  So um, in the meantime…hope all you Momsicles out there had a Happy Mother’s Day.  I personally got $100 in DSW gift certificates which is the retail equivalent of 5 orgasms.  So, happy shoe shopping for me.  Got PJ’s.  Got jewelry.  Got candles.  Got flowers. (yes, I could have taken a photo of those for “May Flowers” and been perfectly safe in doing so.  So what?  I just thought of that just now…and NOW, I am pressed for time.  Fuck it.)  Got Glee CD’s and DVD’s.  Got gift certificates for Ross.  Got a big damn fat assed cake. 

Most of all, I got laid.  Awesomely, supremely laid.  The Hotband busted out some moves, circa us…1999.  Threw down the PIPE, dudes.  Rocked it out.  Word!  And that is what got me into this whole “Mother’s Day” mess in the first place…so I suppose there is some poetic justice in that. 

Just would have been nice to have had some new shoes up on his shoulders.

Ah well, that’s what next weekend is for.

Overall, a nice weekend that included my baby boy, my big girl, my son in law, and my grandbabies.  Truthfully, what more could a girl want?

Well, shoes…but again, that’s what next weekend is for.  Oh, and another Israeli missile lodged in my bunker of love.  And THAT, is what right now is for…which is why you got this lame ass post.

I do have priorities you know.

Peace, Bitches.  xoxo

Five Hundred Twenty Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes…

How do you measure a year?

The song would suggest you measure in sunsets.  Perhaps daylights?  Cups of coffee? 

I would have to go with their ultimate conclusion of love.  And there has been a lot of that in my life.  Never more than there has been this past year.  2008 saw me falter.  2009 saw me climb.  2010 will be the year that I surfaced from under the drowning pool I was swirling around in for the past two years.  It is the first year that I rose up and gasped for air.  The first time I can recall my head being above the surface.  It marked the birth of my second grandchild in January.  My 10th Valentines Day with my husband in February.  It saw the reuniting of myself with many old friends and my letting go of some who should have never had the privilege of even speaking my name.  It marked my triumphant return to school on a career path that will both help me, heal me as well as allow me to share my special gifts with the world. 

There were amazing trips:  Israel.  California.  New York. 

There was the foreclosure fiasco of 2009 that led to the final goodbye to our home in March, 2010.  Our new home is far more beautiful, far more homey and has none of the haunting horrible memories that plagued our old home.  Nothing was more terrifying than not knowing if today would be the day you pulled up to your house to find chains pulling the front doors closed.  Though it was through no fault of our own, it was still a cringe-worthy way of living. 

May of 2010 marked one full year of sobriety.  An accomplishment that back in 2008 wasn’t even in the cards for me and in 2009 seemed like it would be an unattainable goal.  I am still on that path. 

August was my 44th birthday and sometime in September, I chose to forgive myself for a lot of things I had done wrong.  I gave myself that as a gift.  I am sincerely looking forward to my 45th birthday, as I have always considered that number to be the mark of “halfway through” my life.  Only halfway there.  I’m still a baby.  I still have so much more to do. 

October of 2010 saw me have to confront the very real prospect of not having full control over the things that happen in my childrens’ world.  It was the first time I had to protect either of them from bullies and it was entirely too terrifying in light of all the suicide induced bullying incidents that it coincided with during that month. 

November.  Sweet November.  November would bring my parents, Esther and Harold, back into town.  It would be the month of the Turkey.  It would be final exams, final projects, final papers.  It would also be the last and final time my blog would ever be so uninspiring.  My friend in love, Janice, would turn my plain Jane blog into a bucketful of beautiful, where a princess would be happy to flounce around in once more.  Since she changed it, I have begun writing again.  That is always a beautiful thing. 

Then, finally…December.  I hate the holidays.  If you’ve read me for any length of time, you would know that.  But somehow, this year was a little different.  This year, there was hope in the air.  Laughter in my home.  And, to sound entirely too cheesy, perhaps a song in my heart.  My grandson celebrated his first Christmas/Hannukah.  My kids are happy.  Healthy.  My marriage is good.  So, so so so so good.  We went on our yearly anniversary cruise.  11 years together, 8 of them married…both taking place in December.  It’s a special time for the hotband and I.  A time of reflection.  A time to bond.  A time to kick back in the sand of some tropical island, look over at one another and realize…we made it.

Wow.  We made it.

Through tears.  Through pain.  Through strife.  Through uncertainty.  All the while, never letting go of each other’s hands.  Together…we survived it all, weathered the storms and sailed away on seas of contentment and joy.  We made it, my love.  We truly made it.  And look at all we have to show for it. 

Sitting perched on the precipice of a new year, I can’t help but reflect and can’t help but rejoice.  More than anything, I can’t wait to see what else the future brings.  So, yeah…it begs the question:

Five Hundred Twenty Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes…how do you measure a year?

In love.  Definitely, in love.  

I have to vent…

Okay, so Xmas is over. Finally. I have to admit that I absolutely hate this holiday. I think it is so commercialized and total bullshit. And, before anyone says it, it has nothing to do with being a Jew. I hate Channukah equally as much. Actually, I hate any holiday that demands you send cards, flowers, candy, presents and is lead by retail corporations and card companies. This includes Valentines Day as well. Garbage. You shouldn’t have one day a year to tell the person that you love how you feel about them. Just the same way that I hate the entire “Jesus is the reason for the season” crapola. Jesus is not the reason for the season. If you knew anything about Jesus at all, you would probably know that he would be positively appalled by all the gift giving and all the excessive purchasing that we do for our families. The man was rooted in the theory of “good works” as opposed to things. You want to celebrate Christmas? DO something. Feed the homeless. Clothe a child who has nothing. Adopt a child from another country through a Unicef type program and spend the damn twenty bucks to take care of them all month long. $240 a year will keep a child who is in a poverty stricken situation in clothes, in school, well fed and vaccinated against simple diseases that no child should ever die from. Volunteer. Go to a nursing home and read to the elderly. My kids know I have a die hard policy about donating their things to kids who are less fortunate before I buy you one single thing. I don’t exchange xmas presents with my husband for just that reason. We simply don’t believe in it. I bought my grandkids 3 toys each and two outfits. That’s it. Nothing crazy or excessive. Hubs and I spend our gift money on one another donating to St. Jude’s children’s hospital, the pediatric AIDS foundation, the American Cancer Society, etc. I’m not being holier than thou…I just believe that good works trumps good presents every time. I think that Xmas/Channukah should be about the kids, so I don’t really do the whole gift giving thing for the adults in my family. None of my siblings, parents, in laws, etc got presents from me. They know better than to expect it. I will sooner make donations to charity organizations in their names then send them a gift. My two exceptions this year were sending a gift basket of chocolatey yum yum red velvet cupcakes to friends who have been very supportive of the hotband and I this year. The other was to buy my bestie a dress that was absolutely screaming her name. I knew she would look beautiful in it and I wanted her to have it. She is always there for me and while I know damn well I don’t have to buy her anything to let her know how loved she is, I wanted her to have this particular item. It wasn’t expensive…but I knew she would be beautiful in it and she deserves that.

Okay, end that rant. So not what I wanted to vent about.

What I wanted to get out of my system is how seething mad I am at my sister in law. Ever since coming home from Israel, she has treated me like utter shit or rather, worse than usual. You would think that after 11 years of being with her brother, I have more than proven myself to be a good and loving wife to him. She should be happy about that, but no. Always an attitude. Well, in the past 3 months, she has managed to A) Not show up to my granddaughter’s birthday party because she went to a baby shower of a friend of a friend, B) Completely ignored my sons birthday and now, C) opted out of spending Christmas dinner with us because she went to her friends house instead.

Mind you, this is the same woman who used to torture my husband for all the time he was spending with me when he and I were first dating. She used to harass him about how I was consuming his whole life and how he was blowing off his “real family” to be with me and my kids. Well, good morning…but it’s 11 years later. I think we have pretty well established that I wasn’t some fling he was just blowing off his “real family” for. When her marriage collapsed, my hubs and I were there for her completely. Absolutely supportive of her and her endeavors. Whenever she needs someone to watch her son, we are there for her. We invite her and whoever she may be dating that particular month to anything we have. She is never excluded. Yet, she manages to keep herself at bay when it comes to me and my kids.

Admittedly, I used to blame my husband for this. I told him, why on earth would she think YOUR kids are important to you if you allow her to continue this behavior of not acknowledging them at all? But now, it’s gotten to the point where HE is upset by it. I used to tell him how shitty I thought it was that his family doesn’t acknowledge my kids. Hotband has raised Nick and Sam since they were 4 and 12 years old respectively. They are now 15 and 23, for God’s sake. I think it is pretty well established that he loves those kids as if they were conceived from his own loins. We don’t ever not acknowledge her son. That’s my husbands nephew…and I love him just as much as if he were my very own son. When my granddaughter had her birthday party…she simply never showed up for it. No call, no text, nothing. Then, this past October, my son had a small birthday party at a Go Kart track. He invited his cousin, my sister in laws son. He showed up without so much as a card (not his fault, entirely my sister in laws fault). If my son had been a friend of my nephews from school, she wouldn’t have dared to send her son without a gift or a card. So, my husband *finally* worked up the balls to say to her…”Hey, what you did was kind of rude”. First words out of her mouth? “Did your wife put you up to this?” Yeah. My fault. *eye roll* Because my husband couldn’t possibly feel a little slighted that his family STILL doesn’t bother to acknowledge my children as OUR children. I had to laugh at that.

Another example of her shittiness? We flew all the way to Israel for her sons Bar Mitzvah. Nearly five grand in flights and food, etc. PLUS we gave him a gift of well over $200. In the Jewish tradition…the number 18 signifies long life. So, we gave him $18 for every year of his life. He was turning 13, a huge occasion in a Jewish boys life. We gave him $234 cash. Not so much as a thank you from her. Okay, whatever. But the kicker for me? My parents, who are not related to her or my nephew, sent my nephew a check for his bar mitzvah. I thought that was a really nice gesture on their part. They certainly didn’t have to do that. Does she have him call and thank them? No. Can’t be bothered. One month goes by. Two months go by. THREE months go by. Finally, one day, she asked if we could watch her son. As always, we did…and I told my husband to make sure that my nephew CALLS MY PARENTS and thanks them for the gift. It took my husband having to make that phone call for my parents to receive a thank you. I think that’s absolutely disgusting, tacky and tasteless.

Anyway, back to Christmas. My daughter invited her to Christmas dinner. It’s a big deal for Sammi. She and her husband made this big, beautiful dinner for us and the kids. She extended the invitation to her “aunt” to join us. She writes on Facebook that she didn’t know what time dinner was. So, my son in law writes back that it is between 7 and 7:30. No show. No call. No text. No FB message. Nothing. I figure, maybe she decided just to stay home and be alone. Later on FB, I see a photo of her with her on again/off again boyfriend at the home of a friend, enjoying Xmas with them. Wow. Really? She never even called her own brother to wish him a Merry Christmas/Channukah. My husband is so hurt and upset by her actions…but he for some reason, refuses to confront her. Maybe because of something she said to him a LONG time ago. She once told him that if he chose me over her, she would disown him as her brother. I think that stuck in his head and is now afraid of losing his relationship with her. I couldn’t fathom telling my brother that and my bro and I aren’t even remotely as close as my hubs and his sister are/were.

I don’t really know where this post is going. I suppose that I chose to blog this instead of writing her a very confrontational letter. I am so sick and tired of this shit. The only thing I can think of is that she is avoiding us because she owes us a pretty large sum of money. Of course, that would be utterly ridiculous. We borrowed a few grand from her a long time ago when things were lean for us so it’s not like she should be ashamed of needing the help from us. For God’s sake, we are family. Isn’t that what family is supposed to be about? Being able to lean on one another when things get hard?

Look, I don’t care if she hates me. I have tried to reach out to her in every single way possible. She’s made it blatantly obvious she doesn’t care for me as a person…but what on earth does that have to do with the kids? Moreover, what kind of human being shows such blatant disrespect for their brothers children? My kids are my husbands children. He loves them desperately. No different than if we bore them together, or if he had adopted them with me. But, I suppose since they weren’t crafted from his semen that they just don’t matter to her. My husband was in the delivery room when his grandbabies were born. He witnessed both their births. He loves those kids. I know he is hurting over this. I try to refrain from saying anything to him about it, but I know he was really hurt that she didn’t show up tonight. I want so badly to call her up and say, “look bitch, hate me all you want…but you are killing your brother’s heart.”

The whole situation is just so fucking sad. 11 years later. You would think that she would realize that my husband and I are in this for the long haul. You would think she would care more. I don’t know what else to do or say without causing some irreversible damage. I have held my tongue til it literally bled. I don’t know how much longer I can do so…but for my husbands sake, I will make the effort.

In conclusion? Family sucks.