something else

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Our Children - Our Hope

"While we try to teach our children all about life, Our children teach us what life is all about."  ~Angela Schmidt

Being a parent of four incredible children I've often, over the years, reflected upon my advice and choices I've given and made concerning them, everything from the common mundane activities of daily adolescent life to the unwieldily, monumental difficult decisions as a parent both my husband and I have had to make.  My children are the most important thing in my life and throughout the years I've learned a great deal from each one of them. These once wee ones otherwise known as my offspring have taught me what life truly is.  From the very first moment they were placed and I felt them in my arms my life became more than what it already was; my existence became more clearer and held a deeper meaning. I would not be making decisions solely for myself anymore but likewise for these tiny bundles of joy I was blessed to have been given, at least until they became old enough to make their own adult assessments.

And with all these choices I've had to make on their behalf, some right and some wrong, my children, all unique in their own perfect way, trusted in me, trusted I knew best. They have enriched my life and each one of them has taught me life lessons I carry with me. I have learned deeper compassion and passion,  to have patience, developed a fierce determination, and enforce a understanding of tolerance for those who may be ignorant to unseen difficulties.  They have taught me self-awareness along with many other attributes.  There has been many times throughout the years I have been the student, taking in and learning a tremendous amount of knowledge not to mention invaluable lessons from each and every one of them. Having an Aspie child I have learned to never give up hope; hope sometimes is all we have to hold on to.
 
My eleven year old daughter, who I came close to losing before she even made an appearance into this world, even back then, while I carried her within me taught me there's a reason for everything. She has been having some issues lately that have caused some concerns. 
She loses her sense of balance along with her vision and then loses consciousness.
Her episodes have been scary to say the least.  And so, along with prayer we carry with us hope because "There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow." ~ Orison Swett Marden
 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Summer 2014-Redo, Tribunal and Wayfaring

Another Labor Day has come to pass, which signifies ( unofficially ) another summer's end and another school year's beginning, and now, Autumn has arrived. We've had a full summer season crammed packed with activities and Kenna is still loving her new bedroom.

Back in June, before school was out, when Kenna's whole 5th grade went on their (CCE) annual end of the year camping trip to Lake Seneca, and yes, I was just as, if not more, nervous sending her as I was when her older brother went 14 years ago, I redecorated her bedroom. Taking it from the young child-like fairy theme to a more grown-up one, a conversation her and I had discussed many times during the past year. When she arrived home and opened her bedroom door she was extremely surprised to find her fairies had all flown south. And I even did it on a fixed budget I gave myself which made hubby very happy.
   
   
   

  Of course I only had three days to try and get it done which involved not only stripping the appliqué fairies from the walls, removing the wall length shelving from two of those walls then painting over the stenciled picket fence adorned with stenciled rose offshoots her sister,had helped paint with me, along with the calligraphic lyrics of "Eeyore's Lullaby" I painstakingly wrote out that wrapped around the whole room and the hand-painted glow-in-the-dark dragonflies. Those were the easy tasks, it was the shopping I dreaded the most.  
Thank goodness, with the help of her father, it was almost completed by the time I had to pick her up. Of course I did have to cut a few corners and settle (at least for that moment) on the furniture. As much as I looked, staying on that strict budget I gave myself, I could not find a canopy bed nor tall dresser I was happy with or could afford, so I compromised with the canopy look and painted the ugly dresser she had and attached new drawer knobs. When I removed the shelving that I had put up better than eleven-years earlier I found the "secret" message I had scribbled on the wall to her while she still rested safely in my belly. The lead marks from the pencil still easily visible and as clear as it was the day I wrote it. Time really does fly by.




We made an appearance in Supreme Court this past July and I am happy to say we won our case.  The lawyers were somewhat taken aback with our notes and interaction during the proceedings as the trial was conducted, us catching discrepancies from the prosecuting side and making our findings known to the attorneys.  It ended up not mattering because the jury, thank GOD, saw right through the plaintiff's testimony, revealing cracks she tried to cover up and downright lied about. We have always taught our children to tell the truth, no matter what, even if that truth is detrimental in its effect and causes a less than pleasant outcome. Believe me, I certainly know something about that. And I couldn't have been prouder than I was the day my son took the stand and told the truth admitting to his part in an unfortunate happening that another (whom we'll call "a Lilith") tried cashing in on.  Good does, most of the time, overcome evil and when it doesn't, you wait patiently for the karma to kick in, and eventually, it will and does.

Happy Tree



Kenna and I accompanied her father on his business trip to Delaware. We couldn't have picked a more beautiful week in August to travel with him.  We embarked on our roadtrip the weekend before his scheduled appointments giving us enough time to stop for the day in Gettysburg, Pa. I would love to go back to this historic place and spend more time there.

The first half of our Delaware trip landed us south of Dover, it's capital.  
Kenna and I spent most of our days on the beaches of Rehoboth, Dewey and Ocean City and although I am not a water person, it was fun to watch her make sand castles and frolic in the ocean. Our evenings were spent sightseeing with her father after he'd finish his full day of appointments.

 



We drove down to Maryland's Assateague Island National Seashore and sat on the beach and watched the surfers ride the waves while wild horses roam freely amongst the visitors. What an awe inspiring sight. 
 Later in the week we took the Cape May Ferry in Lewes, Delaware and traveled over to New Jersey. Kenna launched her "message in a bottle" before we arrived on the shores of Jersey.





After spending a good part of the day at the Cape May Lighthouse we headed to Salem, New Jersey taking in all of its history.  Our last stop before heading home was back in Delaware in Wilmington for one last appointment.  There, Kenna and I visited Bellevue State Park in search of a letterbox (with no luck I may add) after a visit to Brandywine Park and zoo. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Cheap Is Not Always Better



I read a raving review, years back, about a cheap wine, Two Buck Chuck sold at Trader Joe's. I think if this article 
http://huff.to/1zOrCci , (which has since been removed. Editor's note below) was included in the commentary, we'd tell that "wine connoisseur" to keep his expertise to himself. Of course, he's the same connoisseur who takes his dog's meds when he's sick to save on expenses.



A snippet of the post read: "These aren't hand-picked vineyards....they are all machine harvested.  And that means these large tractors with huge claws go down the rows of vineyards grabbing the grapes and depositing them in its huge receptacle.  And it not only grabs ripe grapes, but unripe and down right rotten ones as well and throws them all together.  Add to that leaves, stems and any rodents, birds or insects that may have made those vines their home - they all get thrown into the bin as well.  And guess what?  You think there's going to be any sorting when that truck arrives at the winery (or should  I say processing facility)?  Nope.  Everything, and I do mean everything (including all those unripe grapes, rotten grapes, leaves, stems, birds, rodents, and insects) gets tossed into the crusher and transferred to large tanks to ferment.  So think about all the animal blood and parts that may have made their way into your wine next time you crack open that bottle of Two Buck Chuck!  Hardly even seems worth the $2 does it?"


Is your stomach turning right about now?  


Editor's Note

This blog post contained un-sourced claims about Two Buck Chuck and its proprietor, Bronco Wines. It has been removed from the site in accordance with our blogger terms.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Little Something


I got an early anniversary gift from my husband which I found on my pillow when I crawled into bed - one side says YES, the other, NO. He's always thinking of how he can make my life a little easier!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Lessons and Life

With school out Kenna hasn't been practicing her Cello. Not that she needs to, since she has decided not to continue taking lessons for it next year, telling me she wants to concentrate on her vocals.
 I snicker wondering if she'll ask for vocal coaching lessons next. 

Her grandmother and great aunt Wanda use to sing in night clubs in the late 40's and I do love listening to Kenna sing and she does have a beautiful voice, unlike me, but the only vocal coaching lessons she'll be getting is in school chorus. 

When she was a mere toddler she would cover her ears when I would sing to her just like Cruz has started doing. Yes, I'll admit my singing voice draws blood from any bystander who happens to be within earshot of my lyrical voice, and it's best (for all) if I quell any vocal warbling or at least save it for the shower. Unfortunately I wasn't blessed with the melodious gene.

I sat in Kenna's piano teacher's living room the other day and as I listened to Mrs. D talk to her I sensed an unrest in the air, the same inquietude I felt when I walked in the door, but at that moment more intense and I could tell even though her words to Kenna were positive and encouraging, they seemed heavy with preoccupation and sadness to me, the assimilation somewhat draining for me.  After Kenna's lesson was over we sat in small talk, a half-hour piano lesson turned into a two hour (gab) session.  At times she'd turn to Kenna, smile, and play a note on the piano and ask her to show her where that note was on the staff in the arrangement they had been working on.

During this hour and a half chit-chat, amidst those extended piano instructions and occasional verbiage there were many emotional stories narrated on her part, I even noticed Kenna teared up a couple times during her sentimental voyage of the past. And as I sat there, taking in a history of a woman who has seen, experienced and witnessed so much in her life I thought about a phrase often spoken. I looked around her room, pictures and mementos scattered here and there and I realized in some way or another, whether through keepsakes, music, poetry and obituaries, or just reminiscing of these earlier times,  we all tend to live in the past, it is always present.  And that phrase, "stop living in the past" a phrase I've heard once or twice, is just that, a phrase. A phrase I now am certain is only said by those who possess more than a few shortcomings, ones who are afraid and have trouble admitting to their failures.


These items, vestiges of an earlier time, remnants we can never completely rid ourselves of no matter how hard we may try. They will always be with us, the good, the bad and everything in-between. They haunt our life and make us who we are.  And therefore, we all live in the past to some extent, even those who are afraid of it.



Thursday, July 3, 2014

That's Life

I'm back after a short hiatus from writing. It's not that I didn't have much to say, or rather, write about it's just there has been a lot going on and unfortunatly these have taken up most of my time and energy.  

We celebrated My daughter Mikenna's 11th birthday back in March and my grandson Cruz's first birthday back in April. Both events I did write about, I even uploaded pictures but never got around to posting them. Then, ditzy me inadvertently deleted the posts along with a few others and I didn't feel like rewriting them at the time and I won't attempt to now. I'll just post two of my favorite photos and hopefully I'll add more at a later date. 
 I will tell you though,we took Kenna on a weekend birthday trip to Pennsylvania and had a wonderful time. 
 Cruz's mama did a fantastic job planning and implementing his birthday celebration, he even had his own mini "smash" cake.

My Mother's Day I was surprised with breakfast in bed. Kenna made me fruit crepes, even preparing the batter from scratch. No bisquick mix used here.  She's becoming quite the little cook.
 (My Mother's Day breakfast tray donned with paper hearts.) 
 I spent the next day with Bean. Breakfast at our local diner then shopping.

Summer has finally arrived ( I think ). The children have finished another year of school and the days are longer, fuller and moreso tiring.  Kenna has started joining Me and Cruz on our daily walks through our quant little hamlet, the same route I use to push her stroller on.

 My mother celebrated her 84th birthday in June and although time, sadly, is catching up to her she's still pretty active. I've noticed she's starting to decline as of late in respect to her health and that scares me.  She has always been a strong, vibrant woman but with the recent death of my aunt, her sister, that has dampen her spirits something fierce and I fear she will not bounce back.  And although there are times we don't see eye to eye on things I don't know what I'd do without her.

Friday, May 23, 2014

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back



These last couple months have been, umm, interesting.


I went in for a minor procedure early last month which turned out to be, well, not exactly what I expected and extremely painful.  Thank goodness I possess a high tolerance for physical pain and that blessing has come in quite handy over the years.  Not only was it painful but I accomplished to attain the one adverse side effect that they claimed was rare with that particular procedure.  Go figure!



I came out of it with a slight paralysis on the right side of my face which, thank God, is not noticeable to others and I was told it would eventually subside completely. It's already going on two months since the procedure and while I have noticed it slowly getting better it's a bit bothersome, especially trying to spit and gargle after brushing my teeth.  My daughter thinks it's hilarious to watch and honestly, it really is.  She'll come into the bathroom purposely just to spy my temporary infliction and we always end up laughing so hard I usually have a toothpaste mess to clean up on the counter.  I'm still not sure if this procedure succeeded with its purpose but at least we've obtained some great belly laughs from it.


Although I wasn't laughing the other day when out shopping with her. Quite the opposite.  I can guarantee, without a doubt, every one of us at one time or another while meandering through a shopping center have heard that high-pitched whistle emanate through the bustling landscape of a busy store.  An indicated code that someone has strayed and because I have always used this tactic with my children when they'd wander from my line of sight I tend to stop what I'm doing and scope out my surroundings for lost singletons.  While out with her, she strolled from my view and after my initial heart-stopping panic and scan of the aisles I proceeded to try to whistle with no luck. Needless to say, until this problematic situation is resolved I'll be carrying a handheld toot. That or she stays home, which she'd probably prefer.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Time Stood Still - Pt. 2

CONTINUED FROM LAST POST-


I've never, as far back as I can remember, been much of a sound sleeper.  Not a bad attribute if you suspect your teen is sneaking out at night or sense a roaming / Internet voyeuristic partner.  Thank goodness I've not had to worry about those things.  Unlike what I've been told regarding the latter, that ALL men have perverse meandering behaviors and if they deny it they are lying, told to me by a male, no less, I stick to my belief that NOT all men participate in those kinds of activities.


When I disclosed this person's absurd expression of his fellow man to my husband his reply to me was, "How sad of a man he must be .  He apparently is trying to make himself feel better by trying to condone his own actions and shortcomings by convincing whomever will listen that all men do what he does".  Ironically, this man has been a Program Director/Deejay at numerous radio stations and gets paid for talking and dishing out his cockamamie babble.  Ah, but please forgive me for my slight digression there.


When my brother died a piece of me died with him.  I use to look forward to his call, gazing up at my "Arizona clock" to see what time it was in his neck of the woods.
A few years after his passing I was not in a good place. I found myself in an impetuous relationship I struggled to terminate.  Every time I tried pulling away I'd be sucked back in with hollow words, broken promises and crocodile tears.


I'm a fervent believer that your subconscious addresses and reveals messages to you and divulges these admonitions in your dreams, eager to reveal the knowledge you may be suppressing within you.  Sadly these exhortations, most of time, disregarded by the majority of people.
Those closest to you, even after they pass, I believe continue to support and help you through difficult situations, coming to you in dreams, if you're open to it. 
I've disseminated some of these views in past posts.


The night my brother left his earthly body I was startled awake, my sudden arousal wasn't due to an unusual clatter in the house but rather an uneasy feeling that had overcome me even while in slumber.  I sprang to a sitting position in bed and knew immediately something was wrong.
This innate aptitude seldom has been inaccurate over the years, some times it's not been as grim as I've sensed it to be but these glimpses of "intuitions" have always been dependable, purposeful and held merit and it is a constant presence in me.


There was this person I once knew.  I had an overwhelming feeling of dread in regards to him.  I attempted numerous time to get in touch with him and when I finally heard from him he told me he had been fired from his position at work.  It was, in retrospect, one of the better outcomes.


Even after all these years in possessing this ability it still amazes and is, at times, disheartening to me. To be able to connect and sense the innermost feelings of others emotional state can be extremely draining.


Since his death I've had only two dreams where he's (my brother) has visited me in. One I had written about in an earlier version of this blog under another title "Life With Baby Mikki".   Below is an insert of the paragraph taken from that post retelling the dream.


The dream unfolds as such:
Standing in the midst of white flowers, remembering thinking they were delicate baby’s breath I see my brother walking toward me and behind him my father. In my father’s arms he’s carrying a small crying infant, but he is smiling at me and I’m aware he’s trying to get across to me everything will be okay. I try to move forward to get closer to them but cannot seem to. In the dream I call out the baby’s name and as the sound of my voice echoes in the stillness of this vast open valley I feel the soft breeze surround me. Its gentleness feels like delicate kisses on my face as it wafts by. I raise and stretch my arms outward toward them trying to embrace her and she stops crying and I fall to my knees knowing she's there but out of my reach.


The other dream, I have never revealed to anyone.  The purpose of my closed-lip is due to the meaning I took from it.  It occurred at a time I long to wipe from my memory, a period in time I wholly regret. There was no doubt in my mind, in this dream, he (my brother) demonstrated a profound disappointment in me and I've never been able to cast aside his show of indignation and discontent toward me, even though it was only in a dream.  I awoke and walked out into the kitchen for a glass of water, on my way back to bed instead of walking down the hallway past the bedrooms, which I usually do so I could peek in on the kids, I walked through the living room instead. A dim light from the house across the street shined through the living room's sheer curtains giving off just enough illumination to see where I was stepping. As I passed that broken "Arizona clock" that hung on my wall I stopped and stood in awe, bewildered at what I was experiencing. The hands fixed on the numbers they had been found on at its demise years earlier, but at that moment a familiar sound rang out I hadn't heard in a very long while and I stood there dumbfounded.  It never spoke again after that, it's song once again silent and not long after that it came down off that wall, buried in the discarded pile of broken things. Gone but never forgotten.




Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Time Stood Still - Pt. 1

It's daylight saving time which use to mean I'd have to recalculate in my head the time in which I'd make my phone calls to my brother who lived in Arizona. To make it easier I'd keep one of the clocks in the house set for Arizona time, brilliant, huh? They don't follow the national norm of  "spring ahead, fall behind" which meant I never had to change the time on my "Arizona clock".



After my father died my mother gave me the old "cuckoo" clock that hung in our (childhood) home. I can remember my father winding it every 30 days and the sound of the chimes it made every hour on the hour. 1 chime for one o'clock, 2 chimes for two o'clock and so on. I'd lay in bed at night and count each tone, its resonance reverberating through the house.  There was something comforting in hearing the peaceful tune of the chimes as a child, even as an adult I found it to be reassuring.


A few years back it stopped working, and I miss that song I had longingly waited to hear and that had rang out for so many years.  I kept it hanging even after it broke, its song missed, replaced by silence but its presence still somewhat comforting.



After my brother died that clock became more than my "Arizona clock", it became my everyday reminder of him and while time stood still on it now, it reminded me there was no promise of any future for my brother. Time had stopped. During that time I found myself stuck, stuck in a moment of despair. It seemed and felt like there was no moving forward for me either. I had lost one of my best friends.



It wasn't until one night that changed, one night when something unexpected occurred.


TO BE CONTINUED ON NEXT POST....

Friday, January 17, 2014

Open Your Eyes, Avoid The Possible Perils



My children are the most important thing in my life, I would give up my own for them.  When they are happy, I am happy, when they are sad, I am sad, and when they hurt, I hurt.


I've known and seen parents blatantly put their children in harms way without the thought of the ramifications if something goes awry and danger finds its way to them.  I'm reminded of the time I walked into an establishment to see a little girl age 4 or 5 sitting alone in a playroom next to a propped open exit door, no adult supervision and the parent off in another location watching a demonstration.


I am by no means perfect and have had my share of lapse in judgment but this was not the first time I had witnessed nor had been told this parent had done something like this, although, I did come to realize the person telling me these things is a pathological liar.  I thought to myself, Why would anyone, let alone a parent, leave their young child(ren) unsupervised in a public space?  What kind of parent would do that?  I suppose, until a tragedy finds them, they don't think about things like that or they're just oblivious and lacking any parental sensibility.


I have been openly accused of being over-protective, this title I wear proudly. There are too many sick, callous individuals (I've come across a few) walking among us and I cringe with horror when I witness a parent who is impervious to the dangers.


When I decided to have children my main job became that of caregiver, nurturing them, and keeping them safe by allowing them to grow and explore the world cautiously.
Mishaps happen all the time, bad things can and do occur at the blink of an eye.  A lot of them can be avoided with a little common sense but other times, even if we take precautions, some times bad things happen because of others stupidity.



Head Staples