Category Archives: Writing
How does the old saying go — girls are “sugar and spice and everything nice,” and boys are “snips and snails and puppy dog tails”?
Aside from not knowing what a “snip” is, I don’t buy it; we’re much more complex than lollipops and unicorns and toy trucks and frogs. This week, we want a window into the complexity that is you. We want your best recipes.
ooh, ooh… I know what a “snip” is. It means a little bit, a sliver of something. Could be a snail OR a puppy dog tail. I did not look that up, but it’s good enough. I’ll have you know that the window into my mind has the shade pulled down. You do NOT want to go there. The complexity of me is the stuff of whirlwinds and headaches.
I am everything
and I am nothing.
I am your wildest dream
and I am your blackest nightmare.
I am soft and gentle
and I am hardcore without mercy.
I am dainty and pretty
and I am comfortably rustic.
I am a perfectionist
and I am the slob.
I am the unconditional lover
and I am the wall just outside infinity.
I am the calm before the storm
and I am the Perfect Storm.
If you had the opportunity to live a nomadic life, traveling from place to place, would you do it? Do you need a home base? What makes a place “home” to you?
I don’t just need a home base. I need a place to feel safe and secure. I need a place where I’m comfortable and free to be me. I think I also need space that is spacious enough so that I don’t feel as if I’m living in a closet. I don’t feel that way now, but I have in the past.
The first place I called “home” was a small, what they called a “railroad house,” which is a house with one room laid out after the other in a successive, linear line. These houses were semi attached so when the house attached to us exterminated their roach problem, all the roaches had to do was cross the border into our space. I remember coming home after a weekend away and all the roaches greeted us from the ceiling of our kitchen. Yeah. To this day, I have a supernatural fear of living in an apartment building, or any place where you share the building with other tenants. We share this building with other tenants, but I am comfortable here. When the roach problem broke out, we knew exactly where it originated from and maybe that made the difference. I high tailed it to Home Depot and purchased $60.00 worth of a spray that took care of all types of bugs, then shared it with our neighbors because if you’re going to do this, you’ve got to do it right. Maybe that is why this place seems better than an apartment building with a shitload more tenants. When we first moved here, we also had a spider problem. You could tell because they were everywhere and the bushes outside were glazed over with a silken white covering… the. webs. It’s funny, roaches are the only bugs I don’t have any qualms about killing. It’s like each one is a time bomb, just waiting to shoot out an egg case to terrorize the world. Sci Fi stuff. Oh shit, I’ve made a whole paragraph off topic. The house I grew up in has the memories, regardless. I miss it and I wish that I could tour the inside. A contractor bought it from my dad after my mother passed away and the front of it has changed so much. It looks like a mosque now. They pulled out my mother’s peach tree that she planted from a pit she threw into the front garden. It was even producing peaches… THAT really killed me, but it’s not my house any more and I’d love to see what they did on the inside. The inside of this house that I knew was a tight, cramped space. My only escape was to the basement which was cooler, but dark. Still, the memories.
Somewhere in between here, I was married for eight years and had other living arrangements, then moved back to the family home before eventually making it out to the home I have today. My first marriage, we moved into the in-laws’ second floor, four room apartment. It was a beautiful apartment and it had character. It was indeed spacious, ample closet space, and we furnished it with all new stuff. The bathroom was a decent size. The kitchen was on the small side, but big enough to cook and support a table area. We had a little nook between closets to put our Christmas tree in, we had a window seat in the extra room, we had ample sunlight and I could even put my plants outside the kitchen window on top of the extension of the first floor. The apartment was situated in Bensonhurst, NY, which was a really good, Italian area. I say Italian because I am Italian and I experienced a part of my culture that was never so apparent to me before because I grew up in a Jewish area. The best was being able to buy raw olives at the end of September, just in time to “cook” in vinegar for the holiday season. Just one thing. I was not comfortable there. It was the husband, it was the husband’s family always being around and influencing our state of sanity, and inevitable insanity.
After seven years, we moved to Sayreville, NJ. I fell in love with that little Polish town. I felt that I could be a part of something. The traffic throughout the town was just starting to get out of control, however; but I found back street ways of getting around. There was history there, so I made it a point of visiting the Historical Society. I had gotten a street map of the town from the clerk’s office and in a matter of three months, I got around like nobody’s business. We owned a house. The minute we walked in there, we felt the positive energy. A good family lived there and it showed. It was a converted Cape style home converted into upstairs, downstairs. Two bathrooms, three bedrooms, one being a master bedroom, tremendous, with a walk-in closet which was going to serve as a nursery when the time came. The first floor had another bathroom, laundry room, living room, dining room and, what we made, an entertainment room with a TV, and stereo. It was really comfortable in there. We had a back yard and I planted a garden. O.M.G. My own garden! Oh, forgot to mention that we had a really nice kitchen with dishwasher. Ah, that was the best thing I could have… but it was not to last. I feel so old now, realizing that I’m too old to physically maintain anything like this again. I think I’m going to cry right now. Well, barely nine months after we moved in, he decided he wanted a divorce. It was Thanksgiving day and he called me up from his mother’s house in Brooklyn to let me know, the shit. I knew that I could not afford the house, and we had no equity at all built up in it, so I moved out.
My next situation was renting a room on a weekly basis. The only thing I could afford. My whole room was smaller than my closet in Sayreville. The bed was broken, but oddly that was the best sleep I could ever have. The break in the bed sort of made it like a hammock and that incline was good for my back. The good thing about that place was that I became very friendly with my landlord and eventually, she trusted me enough so that I could have the run of the whole place. That situation did not last very long because the neighbors complained about her renting out her rooms. I had three other room-renting experiences before my job situation came to an end because of a merger. I lasted as long as I could on my own before moving back to my parent’s house in Brooklyn. That was the darkest day of my life. I had to acknowledge for real that I would never be able to support myself. Ironically, this was the best thing that could happen to me. I got the chance to spend those last years of my mom’s life with her and we were able to at least start to mend our dysfunctional relationship and I’ll always be grateful for that.
Fast forward to present day. I am in my second marriage to a wonderful guy and we have a little boy. We’ve been renting the first floor of a private home in Elizabeth, NJ. for over nine years now, but I find myself torn. Don’t get me wrong. I love the space we have. It has a lot of potential and our public rooms are quite spacious, but the problem I have is living in an urban environment. I really don’t want to get started on that again, but if you follow this blog, you’ve read about that before and I don’t want to complain. As I said, our living room and dining room are very big, and the kitchen is the biggest kitchen I’ve had so far. Lots of space. We have a front porch and a little raised terrace off the kitchen. I have plants out there. We have a backyard, but we don’t really use it. I did have a small garden out there up to last year and it was great. I realize that this was never meant to be a permanent home, but we’ve been here almost a decade now. What makes matters worse is that our financial situation is not a steady one. Where to next? I feel like I’m in a fog, a dream and that I need to click my heels three times but WHERE are the glittery red mary jane shoes?
Well, if things change I’m sure that I’ll write about it, but for now, we are taking things one day at a time… and for now this is where I’ll be. So much more now to consider before picking everything up and moving to…. well, anywhere. I refuse to do this in haste because we have so much to lose; and by this I am referring to our son’s education. Gone are the days when I’d pack a box or two of my stuff, throw them into the back seat of my car and move along. Just the act of moving is a monumental undertaking… whew.
So for now, this is where the house from Kansas will rest….
Footnote: I just spent 3 hours trying to get pictures of my collection of living spaces, but have failed because of sheesh, privacy issues I guess.
- Dream Home, Dream On (dragonmommie.wordpress.com)
- Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss~Daily Prompt: There’s No Place Like Home
Tell us about the farthest you’ve ever traveled from home.
This story would be exclusively from memory when I was five years old and from one very clear in my mind image of a photo that was taken during that trip. Otherwise, I’ve spent my life in NYC and Central NJ and have never traveled anywhere to speak of, aside from sort of local family day trips during the summers while growing up. So, I’ve never thought of myself as a traveler, though I long to see more of these United States and Australia, Austria, Iceland, Alaska, and well, get the picture? I’ve no desire to see foreign urban areas. I long to see the majesty and beauty of this planet. Oh man, especially the glaciers while they still exist.
All I remember from my “big” trip is that one day we (my sister and I) were told to get into my mothers’ aunts’ car and we all started out for California…. without my dad because he had to work. It took us seven days to drive there with my two aunts driving, but not sure if my mother drove. I remember my sister and I playing with those slide puzzles we got at rest stops and mine was a line drawing map of the Continental United States. Of course I mastered that sucker right away!
I remember playing with that “Wooly Willy” man game where you used a magnet wand and created and placed the “hair” on Willy. That was fun. I remember stopping at various places to stay for overnight. One was somebody’s house. I remember my sister and I being left alone while the adults conversed outside. I did not like that feeling of being left alone in a strange place and could not sleep… and this is how it was for the seven days of traveling.
When we finally arrived at our destination, a home in San Francisco, CA. I was terribly shy and didn’t know these people, but they were my mom’s aunts and uncles. I remember they had gifts for my sister and I. One I can remember is almost exact same dolls, but one was blonde (and white), while the other had black hair and dark skin. Ugh. They thought that they were treating us equal. I have very fair skin and my sister took after the Mediterranean side of the family. This is how it always happened. My parents had the urge to get the same item for us, but the difference was always either the hair or the skin… or like one Christmas it was a blonde PJ (cousin of Barbie) and Julia.
My Creepy Crawlers to my sister’s Flowers and Things, those toys that created things like bugs and flowers. You poured the goop into metal molds, then “cooked” it all up in tiny ovens (mom/dad supervised). Anyway, I remember these dolls were very tall and they “walked” if you held their hands and sort of pushed them along.
There was a picture taken by our uncle out there, and I remember it vividly. My sister and I sitting on a stoop outside, each of us holding a Sequoia pine cone. I remember: Tremendous. So big, or so I thought, that I thought that I hid myself behind it as I hated to take pictures because I thought I was too fat. Ugh. I look at this picture now, and think I was definitely NOT even a bit chubby. Just WHERE did I get that idea in my head? I know, now, but that story doesn’t belong here. I look at that picture and don’t see any evidence at all in my face of the turmoil I was experiencing… sigh.
I also remember going to the San Diego Zoo. I remember my sister and I sitting on a big boulder…… YEAH, that started moving! It was a gigantic tortoise! Might have been a Galápagos tortie, but not sure… but it was HUGE~!
I guess that’s it. The next time I traveled was on my honeymoon when we took Amtrak down to Florida to visit more family. We had a sleeper car and that was an adventure unto itself! A couple of years ago, we again took the sleeper car but with our six year old son to visit the same relatives, but that was a different adventure. He loved it.
- Saving Money to Travel (thecynfultruth.wordpress.com)
- Road Trip! California Dreaming (thenewmrshamilton.wordpress.com)
- A Photo Essay: Iceland (wanderthemap.com)
- A-Wandering Up The California Coast (brookofinspirations.wordpress.com)
- The Iceland Thing (melissas100.com)
- Daily Prompt: Far from Home (angloswiss-chronicles.com)
- Things to do in Iceland (globalhelpswap.com)
- Daily prompt : Far from home (laurieanichols.wordpress.com)
- Daily Prompt: Far from Home (ruhramble.wordpress.com)
Daily Prompt: Your Life, the Book
From a famous writer or celebrity, to a WordPress.com blogger or someone close to you — who would you like to be your biographer?
I thought about this long and hard before I came to the realization that there could only be ONE person to write my biography, indeed anyone’s biography. Not everyone will agree with me and might even take exception; but here it is and is my decision. The person I would want to write my biography is Jesus Christ. Think about it. There is no one out there more qualified. He not only knows my public person, but he knows the inside person. He knows my life from start to finish. He not only knows all of my actions, but all of my inactions. he knows my motivation, my fears, and I could go on and on. Who is more compassionate to look upon my soul and find goodness, find value there?
I am Roman Catholic, as you might know if you’ve delved a bit further into my blog other than the current post. But, I ask questions. Though I consider myself conservative, I am not a mindless sheep, following the institution. I am mostly conservative, meaning that what I do believe is right, I will not waver, and some of those beliefs are sternly against the popular opinions of today. This post is not intended for airing those here and now; but I’m sure you can find posts in my archives on those subjects.
So I guess I wanted to say with that is that Jesus is my go-to man when I seek the truth, especially about myself. I do not want my biography to just be about the positives, but about everything–the good, the bad and the ugly because they are all what makes me, me; and I embrace all of it. The thing here is that you don’t have to like this post or believe what I believe. This is what I believe and when it comes down do it, I believe that at the end of the world, whether literal or figurative, Jesus will sit in judgement and will write all of our stories….
Whoa… Make room on the shelf~!
- Daily Prompt: Your Life, the Book (linesbylinda.wordpress.com)
- Picasso – separating truth and fiction (guardian.co.uk)
- Daily Prompt: Your Life, the Book. (ruhramble.wordpress.com)
- Is Death Really My Enemy, or Just a Fear? (vineoflifenews.com)
- Daily Prompt: Your Life, the Book (dailypost.wordpress.com)
- A Daily Prompt Poem (vicariouslypoetic.wordpress.com)
If one experience or life change results from you writing your blog, what would you like it to be?
I’m so tired but I can’t sleep
Standin’ on the edge of something much to deep
It’s funny how we feel so much but we cannot say a word
We are screaming inside, but we can’t be heard
I will remember you, will you remember me?
Don’t let your life pass you by,
Weep not for the memories
Again got drawn in by my own thoughts on the subject. I read “Will You Remember Me? over at Cheri Speak. Sorry about copping your title, but Sarah MacLachlan‘s haunting voice drifts through my mind when I think about the legacy I want to leave my boy when I’m gone…. Will you remember me? It speaks to the part of my soul that wants to be remembered for something……. good.
I’m wondering if he even knows that I write, that I love writing. Would he be interested? Would he care?
The reason I started this blog was so that my son who was born later in my life than I’m comfortable with, has access to his mother after her demise, whenever that should occur. I had forgotten that somewhere along the line, but I suppose that the goal will always be met as long as I continue writing.
“If one experience of life change results from what I write in my blog,” it would be that my son reads this blog and something I say will influence him from beyond the grave to become a better person at some future fork in his life. Wow, that could be a premise for a movie, no?
Okay… I’ve got to apologize for something going wrong and a MUCH shorter version of this post was displayed… only the first or part of the first paragraph. While after much and strenuous (for me) jumping through hoops, I managed to restore my full article, two people had already LIKED it…. whew, I’m thinking “why?” There was nothing written (yet) that I thought worthy of any attention… but thanks, people. It’s appreciated. I just hope my fully edited version is the one below… I’m bleary eyed right now. Okay, now for a much needed pic for between this pre-paragraph and the real one…..
Who is the one person you hope isn’t reading your blog? Why?
Well, I wasn’t going to do this. I’m in the middle of trying to decide what to do about making changes to the blog for chrissake; but then I realized I couldn’t answer this question. This is sort of an oxi-moron. I mean, “Keep Out” is something that I imagine is the last thing we bloggers want to do. Keep out people, our readers? HA. We spend so much energy trying to invite people into our blogs. We welcome people, we arrange little attractions that hopefully will keep them here, we urge them to stay a while and comment. We LOVE the attention. Oh, and the POLLS. So, to suggest keeping anyone out and away from reading our stuff is just something I can’t imagine… or maybe I can? As a matter of fact, I’ve written a piece but have not published it publicly specifically because I’m not okay with one single person reading it. Yet, it’s here, somewhere and private. It’s a delicate green-grey area.
I have a little philosophy going on here, and that is this:
I don’t let any thoughts out of my head unless I’m sure that I’m okay with EVERYONE who even might find out about it, find out about it. Being okay with my thoughts out there is essential to my contentment. Sometimes it’s a matter of my ego taking over and releasing my content to the world…. oh, and I digress as egos usually will do…. Being honest about myself is also key to my survival and sense of freedom. It’s also a pretty dumb idea to let every single morbid, crazy, and weird thing float around the internet… or from mouth to mouth. So the trick is to either make yourself okay with everyone knowing about every crazy that is going on with you, OR just not let them out to begin with.
You see, words are power. Secrets are the enemy.
I will basically spill my guts about myself…. welllll, about 98% of the weird or morbid will break out. I believe that whatever is out there about myself and is well-known, will not come back to bite me in the butt. That is freedom or a feeling of. The feeling of having NO fear of someone coming up to me with the knowledge of a deep, dark secret of mine to hold over my head. But it’s more than that. I am what you see, plain and simple, or AM I? There were different versions of me floating around out there in my past, but thank GOD that was before the internet and there’s no one alive who can relate those stories…. bwaaahhhh~! In this time and place, there are no hidden agendas or hidden anything. I’m one helluva cussing mama who attends church regularly, loves her husband and basically will only fantasize about HIM…. Simple, really.
I’ve written pretty controversial pieces that have lost me some friends or maybe I should say they kind of stepped back, but I’m okay with that because I believe in what I write or with whatever I will bother to debate about. I’m not really a good debater, you need to know your stuff inside and out for that; but if I’m passionate about something, THAT inspires me to write… and so I do…. AND you can’t shut me up.
This. is. me.
7/10/2013 edited to add:
Ah… there’s always a footnote, don’t cha know. SPAMMERS are the only ones who are definitely not welcome here. Even though WordPress does a great job keeping them away, quite frequently I get spammers who come in here with a stupid or crazy comment, so totally not related to what I had wrote, then include a convenient link to their “business.” So. I do need to approve all comments and I’ve really enjoyed that arrangement. Most times comments are approved on the spot or at the very least, the same day. So spanners, move your bucket ass along and don’t waste your time here…..
- Daily Prompt: Keep Out (dailypost.wordpress.com)
- Daily Prompt: Keep Out For Now (marilyndavies.wordpress.com)
- Getting the Hint- Using Quick Write Prompts (english.answers.com)
- DP Daily Prompt: Keep Out Posted by Ranu (sabethville.wordpress.com)
- Daily Prompt: Keep Out (angloswiss-chronicles.com)
- Daily Prompt: Keep Out? No. Come On in! (teepee12.com)
- To share or not to share (tornin2.wordpress.com)
Happy New Year, everyone! Yep, we’re still alive. We survived the Mayan’s prediction of apocalypse on Dec. 21st. I preferred to look at it as the end of one cycle and the beginning of another. Also, it is said in the bible that no man shall know the day, nor time of the end of time. So, I thought, we’re good at least through Dec. 21st.
We are all doing well, but heading for some big changes around here. More of that as it happens. Gabe is doing great in school and making progress every day. Ed and I try as hard as we can to be loving parents, mindful though, of Gabe’s challenges; and guide him along the way.
It’s so easy for me to write when I get inflamed by some issue or another. Quite another for me to just sit down and write. I was never someone who could keep a journal, but I’d like to. My problem? Focus Fail.
Well, as you can see, I’ve begun changing a few things around here. Housecleaning. Changed the theme. The last one I had got scooped away from me when I temporarily made a seasonal change. My theme with the little red bic pen at the top was being discontinued and I was constantly being reminded that the “Reddle” theme was the closest active theme to what I had. Nice, but no bic. Was so sad to see my other one go, but it was an opportunity to go through WordPress’ updated library. BRING BACK THE BIC~! I like this one, but still miss the pen. It was a reminder to me that I must write. I liked looking at it. I still might change this one to something else. My goal is to get as much writing space as possible which was another reason I absolutely LOVED my last theme… WITH THE RED BIC.
I want to visually de-clutter my little space here and will be striving for a cleaner look and less befuddlement when I look at it. For starters, I do like the media icons at the top of the page. They are links to find me at each of those places. I’m attracted to anything that catches me eye, and if you hover your cursor over them, they will move up to show themselves a little more. Whoa, a little animation.
More is definitely not better. As I look down the right hand side, I see repetitiveness and that I want to eliminate. I see links that won’t work and maybe they have become redundant now with those icon links at the top… so, not sure what is important to keep. Please, any and all suggestions and ideas are appreciated. Please be so kind as to leave them in the comments section.
I also will strive to write more, but no guarantees for a flurry of posts… but will work to get the stuff important to my gut up and out on this page. My newest interest is nail art and any type of DIY project that is, well, amazing. You can find me at Pinterest now, please click the Pinterest link above and get a feel for what I’m about… I’m sure that one of the first thoughts you will have is that there is just too much stuff there. Heck, at least it’s not really, physically in my closet at home…. that space has other occupants… oh boy. Extreme Hoarding, it’s not, but that show is my inspiration to not let it get that bad. My yarn closet verges on it, but that is all my yarn and you can pretty much push and shove tons of yarn in a small space… it’s adjustable.
I actually just needed something to post in order to try out something, but this poem has a special place in my heart. I was honored to be chosen to read it to the PTO luncheon gathering at the end of Gabe’s first year of pre-school. It swelled my heart to the point of bursting then, as it still does today.
By Anita Wadley
When I’m a building in the block room,
Please don’t say, “I’m just playing”
For, you see, I’m learning as I play
About balance and shapes.
When I’m getting all dressed up,
Setting the table, caring for the babies,
Don’t get the idea I’m “just playing.”
I may be a mother or a father someday.
When you see me up to my elbows in paint,
Or standing at an easel, or molding and shaping clay,
Please don’t let me hear you say, “He’s just playing”
For you see, I’m learning as I play.
I’m expressing myself and being creative.
I may be an artist or an inventor someday.
When you see me sitting in a chair
“Reading” to an imaginary audience,
Please don’t laugh and think I’m, “just playing”
For, you see, I’m learning as I play.
I may be a teacher someday.
When you see me combing the bushes for bugs,
Or packing my pockets with choice things I find,
Don’t pass it off as “just playing.”
For, you see, I’m learning as I play.
I may be a scientist someday.
When you see me engrossed in a puzzle,
Or “plaything” at my school,
Please don’t feel the time is wasted in “play”
For, you see, I’m learning as I play.
I’m learning to solve problems and concentrate.
I may be in business someday.
When you see me cooking or tasting foods,
Please don’t think that because I enjoy it, it is just “play”
For, you see, I’m learning as I play.
I’m learning how my body works.
I may be a doctor, nurse, or athlete someday.
When you ask me what I’ve done at school today,
And I say “I played,”
Please don’t misunderstand me.
For, you see, I’m learning as I play.
I’m learning to be successful in work.
I’m preparing for tomorrow.
Today, I’m a child and my work is play.