Appreciation is Ridiculous

Words mean nothing. Less than nothing because they hold promises that will never be fulfilled.

Actions, on the other hand, mean the world.

I still have lessons left to learn, and am attempting some objectivity to narrow down/prioritize the to-do list.

1. Learn how to be more forgiving. I shouldn’t be criticizing others for holding grudges if I can’t let go of them myself. However, I need to not go too far into the other direction and forgive too quickly. I used to do that. Now the pendulum has swung in the other direction. I’m aiming for the middle.

2. Be less worried and also more worried about the midgets. Be less worried when one of them acts less maturely than I expect. Be more worried about them having so much free time and figure out how to fill it.

3. Never stop striving to be a kinder, smarter, more helpful adult, because I am certainly not done growing and maturing either.


Shabbat dinners restart

Tonight we are re-instituting the shabbat dinners that used to take place in our home every other Friday before life got in the way. Due to my new-ish diet, now I am trying to find ways to feed my family in ways that don’t conflict with how I would like them to eat.

First up, a hearty salad:

I may not have talked about Oh She Glows here before, but I have elsewhere. This vegan recipe wizard provides me (and my family) with many tasty recipes. Not everything I make is a slam dunk, thanks to the midgets generally disliking tomatoes, chickpeas (and therefore hummus), avocados in any form, and almond millk (unless it’s in a smoothie and therefore disguised). Asparagus is on the “I hate it” list as well.

I’m going to give cauliflower a try tonight too:

Oh and I am definitely going to make the chocolate cups again!

Husband is picking up the challah and the wine.


Next up, I need to come up with a Sunday meal to honour my own family’s traditions.  Of course I will need to modify a meal quite a bit (no roast beef, pork), but I’m sure I can come up with something.

Self-Involved Suck

(I often say Oi. Notice the spelling; it’s an Irish colloquialism.)

Um let’s see. At this moment I feel all sorts of emotions and a need to be debriefed like an undercover agent would be after a successful mission.

All of the planning that went into getting us to Philadelphia to visit my bro in law and his family is unreal. You’d think it would all be simple, since we were a group of 6 adults travelling together, but nothing is ever simple when there is such a mix of personalities. Adults especially, because we are used to independence and doing as we please on our own schedule at a pace we set for ourselves. Group dynamics, whee! I should have paid more attention during my courses on Organizational Development.

I’m not even sure how to describe the last 5 days of my life. Readers here know I’m not perfect. I was very harsh some months ago regarding my husband’s former wife. I was misinformed about some events that had taken place and I very wrongly placed blame on her for my hurt feelings and those of my husband. I found out some time after that, that I was very wrong. I’m not sure where this leaves me with her, since she read the blog post, but a direct result of that kerfuffle (such a benign term for the cataclysmic shift that occurred), is that I have greatly reduced my presence in the lives of my step adults. Well, that detachment is pretty impossible to maintain when you spend nearly every waking moment together for 4 days. The main problem with my involvement is that I end up thinking my relationship with the step adults is deeper than it really is, I end up very involved and therefore invested in their drama (people in their 20s have an abundance of this and might even require it), and I end up feeling physically and mentally exhausted after no headway has been made in any direction.  As I have written before, I am not their mother and they don’t need another mother or mother figure or mother-ing of any kind from me. These are fully formed adults who are living on their own, making their own choices.

I don’t know why I went into such detail just now, but there it is.

Last night I thought a lot about how detached I am from the culture in which I grew up. I want to rectify this for my midgets before it’s too late (i.e. I can no longer force them to go places with me). I have a huge base of knowledge about Christianity because I went to church every Sunday (except in the Summers) for 14 years or so.  I take this knowledge for granted, I realized this weekend. I felt a physical jolt as I figured out that I need to teach my midgets about my culture to round out their education.

Also. Husband is the apple of his mother’s eye. And now that his mother is elderly (85), she needs help from him quite often, even in the form of a daily phone call. Yes daily. I’ve accepted it. I think about my own boy midget and how I feel about him (I like him a lot as well as love him), and I hope hope hope that when I am 85 I can ask him for help and keep in contact with him. So, I’m going to try to stop being such a self-involved suck.

Mind my House

What a great experiment this turned out to be! We had a retired couple stay in our house from Thurs night until late Monday night, taking care of our home and dogs. We arrived home late on Monday to a clean home, happy dogs, and piece of mind. I would happily do this again; way better than paying a dog sitter to board the dogs at her place. Did I mention is free????

Turn the other cheek…REALLY???

I might need to read this post over a few hundred times.

Culture Monk


By Kenneth Justice

~ Yesterday morning I was sitting at coffee with one of my good friends and after he said goodbye and walked away the stranger sitting next to me suddenly snarled, “Is that your friend?

The tone of the dude’s voice conveyed that he wasn’t someone I felt like talking with and although I ignored his question, the guy continued, “Your friend is a f***ing ass! You must be a moron if you hang out with people like him”.

I smiled at the guy, politely put away my laptop and walked away…..yet everything in me wanted to go on the attack and level into the guy by giving him a piece of my mind. Whatever kind of person would so randomly start talking to me like that probably ‘deserves’ me to cuss them out, but I doubt that me yelling at the guy would…

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Self Preservation

Dogs have none. This morning I took my dogs to one of the nearby parks here, in which there is a pond. In that pond live some ducks and a mated pair of swans who have just had cygnets (babies). Thus, the male swan is protective of the pond and its environs. No matter to dopey Ellie, who is determined to get her morning drink from the pond.

Ellie approached the pond even though the cob (male swan) was sitting there, growing more and more agitated the closer Ellie became. Ellie had the good sense to pause, but, being a stubborn large dog, she figured she could go ahead and do as she pleased regardless of the cob puffing out his chest and raising his wings to make himself seem huge.

I should have let Ellie do what she wished; that probably would have been more effective than me screaming at her, in the long term. But I couldn’t help myself and yelled at Ellie to get the hell out of the vicinity of the pond.

You know what else I can’t keep myself from doing? Answering questions on behalf of my midgets and steps. My immediate instinct is to step in and answer for them, as if I need to protect them from something, even when the situation doesn’t call for that response. Weird.

Today I’m tidying (what a benign term from what I’m undertaking) in preparation for dog sitters to arrive when we leave for Philadelphia. This is a new arrangement we’re trying out via This way we don’t need to worry about mail being brought in, plants being watered, and dogs looked after in our own home. I’ll let you know how it goes.



Remember when you were a teenager and young adult, going through relationship problems and trying to figure out why the opposite sex is so dumb and unknowable? Me too.

This week I have just girl midget with me, as boy midget is away on a school trip. Step-teen is done exams and is probably sleeping most of the time if he’s not eating, but nonetheless is at his mom’s house. That means we have an only child this week. I like when this happens; gives me a taste of what life would have been like if I had stopped childbearing after 1 time. My conclusion? Pretty fucking sweet! Why did I have sex with that man all those times, and end up with more than 1 child?! Why?!!!

Patio lunches rock. Today I went out with a good friend from work, the kind of friend you can bitch to about your personal life and she always takes your side. Sometimes that’s what’s needed, not a devil’s advocate.

I feel utterly dispassionate about our off spring at the moment. All of my empathy and desire to help has been drained out of me just as surely as a bathtub empties when you pull the plug from its drain. I’ve often said that when you don’t know what to do, don’t do anything. I should put that on a canvas or a t-shirt.


What’s yours is yours

Your career, living arrangements, mate, children, education, how you spend your funds, resources, affection, attention, and time on this earth. All yours. And what’s mine is mine too, obvs. I had to make my own way in this world and I don’t regret the (at times) arduous learning experience. Otherwise I wouldn’t be so confident in my choices these days. I know the alternatives and I know I’ve got it good.

I actually said out loud yesterday, while at the water with husband and our dogs: “I love my life.” I don’t feel manic at the moment, but buoyant.

Husband and I like to play a game sometimes in which we pretend we are meeting for the first time. It’s really fun and I highly recommend doing it. Sometimes in public I also say such things as: “Gee I hope my husband doesn’t see me here with you!” Hilarity quickly follows.