Thursday, December 31, 2009







A YEAR IN THE LIFE: WHAT I KNOW, WHAT I'VE LEARNED AND WHAT I HOPE TO LEARN







Happy 2010, all! Hope everyone had a safe and festive New Years Eve.
















WHAT I KNOW TO BE TRUE:

That LOVE is thicker than water. Without it, Ed, B and I had little chance of getting through this past year in tact.

When one of us was feeling disheartened, the other would lift us up. There were many, many times when one of us would say; "How the bloody hell are we going to eat this month? How are we going to make it until next payday? What are we going to do and will things ever get better?"

That's not only where resolve came in, but love. The love we have for one another gave us the tenacity to problem solve, prioritize, learn to make do and take over when the other felt they couldn't.

Love is not an emotion--it is simply good sense.
















WHAT I'VE LEARNED:

That I am stronger and more capable than I ever knew. Not to toot my own horn--believe me when I say that I am the poster child for that ever over used and popular term; 'low self esteem'--but several times B and Ed have said to me; "I don't know how you did it, but we made it through this year because of you.".

I would say it was more of a group effort. The truth is, I was always very complacent and took a very passive role in my married life and particularly in finances. I let Ed make the money and determine how it would be spent. On payday I would ask him; 'How much do I have for groceries?' and he would do the working and bill paying.

I'm ashamed of myself for sticking my head in the sand for so long--I knew that we were sinking financially and Ed asked several times for my help. But my fear took over. My fear that I wasn't smart nor capable enough to handle anything other than what I saw as my 'wifely and motherly duties'; grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, child rearing.

I took over our finances this year for the first time in our long marriage--it took us hitting rock bottom for me to get pro-active and because of that, I found my salt. I now know what I'm made of.

I'm only so very monumentally sorry that it took me so long to do so--had I done so sooner, we may have been able to avoid the financial horror of the past year.

"You do the best you know how to do--and when you know better, you DO better." ~Dr. Maya Angelou
















WHAT I HOPE TO LEARN:

While there is always more learning to acquire, this is going to be simple:

~I hope to learn how to maintain my new found inner strength that I never knew was there

~I hope to accept things I cannot control and learn to make the best out of a bad situation

~I hope to learn to realize that there will always be bad times--and that it's okay and always will be in the end

~I hope to learn to get over my fears and rid myself of negative thoughts

~I hope to learn to enjoy life more--individually and as a unit

~I hope to learn to recognize happiness--but mostly I hope to learn to seek it out.










I wish the same for you. Happy New Year.

Peace, love, happiness and health,
~Jo

Wednesday, December 30, 2009





NOW THAT THAT'S DONE







I hope this finds everyone doing well after all the Christmas hoopla.

I've just been lying low since Christmas ended, not having much to do nor post about.

However, I guess I'll start with the gifts from Ed and B:

From Ed:

'Glittens' (only mine are purple striped):
















Black beanie (mine has three colored stripes on the bottom--I wear a lot of beanies this time of year):

















A Bohemian type scarf (something else I wear a lot of):

















Clog type slippers (exactly like these only in gray):
















'Guesstures' (a game of Charades--it's a blast!):

















And a glass bowl for holding votive candles (short and round like this one, only it's maroon and glass, not coconut--ha! Couldn't find anything else similar to post):













He also got me a few pairs of warm, fuzzy socks.

Just a bunch of nice little things that I really enjoy.

From B:

Two pairs of fleece pajama bottoms: one with peace signs and the other with snowmen (EXACTLY what I wanted and asked for!):















So, I've just been really enjoying my new items and the thoughtfulness and time Ed and B both took.

Yesterday, B and I took down all of our Christmas decorations--what a chore! As much as I love Christmas, I'm not one of these people that wait until the New Year to remove them. I'm simply ready to get over it, mourn the holidays and move on already so I can get onto the next thing.

The 'next thing' being, of course, our bankruptcy hearing set for Monday, January 11th.

Ed and I still have to do the post-filing on-line credit counseling and from there, it's out of our hands and in the hands of a court appointed mediator who determines our fate. Our attorney feels that it's pretty cut and dry but one never knows.

Even though the $1000.00 a month garnishment has stopped and we were able to manage a nice Christmas (and for the first time in a year, we actually have a little money in the bank left after bills, gas, groceries, Christmas, etc.) I nonetheless have this constant gnawing in my gut.

That is something that I'm simply used to--waiting for the other shoe to drop--and I imagine that it will stay there for a while.

We still have a son we're trying to put through junior college--expensive in it's own right just in books alone--and fees have gone up. So, there's not going to be a lot we can do differently.

I'm sure this makes me seem like a 'glass is half empty kind of gal', but kindly keep in mind that after a year of head-spinning and heartbreaking financial somersaults and setbacks, that old habits really are hard to break.

I may have mentioned before that I've become reclusive, rarely leaving my house: my neurosis and FEAR simply being another symptom of what we've been through.

The constant panic-stricken feeling remains.

Again, there's no handbook for this.

And while I've made no 'New Years resolutions' (except maybe to not start a sentence with 'And'! Nor do we have any definitive New Years Eve plans--I'll likely just set out some nibbles--not to be confused with 'nipples'-ha!--for any of the kids who stop by), I guess I really need to start learning to not only seek out happiness now, but to recognize it when it's in my midst.

To quote a line from one of my favorite movies, 'The Big Chill':

"I haven't met that many happy people in my life, how do they act?"

Guess I'll have to try and find out.

"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year." ~Charles Dickens

So, in closing my last post for 2009, thank you all for making these last few months of this year more bearable for me--especially Steven Anthony, Allen, Andrea, Herrad (stay strong, sweet lady!) and Meeko. Your friendship is immeasurable.

And to Jo (from 'Jo's Corner'--see a few posts below to learn more about this brave woman)--thank you for sharing your life with me. You are in my daily thoughts--and my heart.

To all my readers and bloggers, I wish you all everything that is good in 2010.

I wish that for us all.

Have a fun and safe New Years Eve.

See you next year.

Peace, love, happiness and health,
~Jo

Thursday, December 24, 2009














MERRY CHRISTMAS

It's so easy to throw that phrase around; 'Merry Christmas'. Some people resort to the political correctness of 'Happy Holidays' instead. I prefer the former but have been guilty of using the latter in unsure circumstances.

But when I say it--whatever 'it' may be--I mean it.

It's a rare time of year that brings about either the best or worst in all of us. Sometimes they coincide hand-in-hand.

Four letter word alert:

For example: last night I made a steak dinner (courtesy of a gift in the form of 'Omaha Steaks' from a vendor) for Ed, B and some of 'our kids' and their spouses in my very small 'room-for only one' kitchen, I had to finally say (after several warnings, mind you); "I love you all but get the fuck out of my kitchen!"

It was ridiculous--I'm trying to get those last minute touches done so I can get the food set out on the counter (where everyone serves themselves buffet style): slicing the garlic bread and putting it in a bowl, mashing the potatoes, seasoning the sliced tomatoes, getting the plates and forks out, etc.

I turn around and I have three people behind me--as far as I see it, they gave me no choice but to yell.

And no, I did not apologize. They can all see the space of my apartment sized kitchen and that I'm scrambling to get the food finished so not only that they can eat, but so I can sit down (after being on my feet since 5:00 a.m. baking, cooking, cleaning, etc.).

Not my finest hour.

However, once the food was indeed out--I could breathe, look around my home and see all my lit tart burners, my Christmas tree, the fire pit in the back yard with chairs around it (and a nice fire going) and everyone eating and enjoying their dinner.

See? The best and the worst.

Simply simplified:

I am not prepared to deal with a stressful holiday after the year we've had--period.

Last nights dinner was easy and plenty: steak (cooked in the oven for about 20 minutes with B's homemade marinade), 'Yukon Gold' mashed potatoes (don't need to peel them), easy homemade gravy, garlic bread and sliced tomatoes.

Dessert was an assortment of homemade goodies that I had baked early in the morning.

B went to the store for me for a few of the items I needed and even vacuumed for me.
Just a little straightening up on my part, a quick scrub of the toilets and sinks and I was done hours before anyone was expected.

I even managed to avoid the mall this season and got what little shopping I had to do done in just a few hours last Sunday--this was the season of gift cards, mostly to our local movie theater (plus, I got a few good deals on-line). I had a list of whom gets what, what I can afford to spend and I did not deviate from that.

Sales people hate me.

Just took a little prioritizing and planning.

And today, Christmas Eve, I have very little to do and can just relax with Ed and watch a few Christmas movies (B's at his 'sorta kinda girlfriends' house and will be home tonight).

Tonight we have church--which we normally don't attend but 'J', our 'oldest son' and his sister are singing together (she lives out of state and is just visiting for Christmas) and they asked us to attend. Afterwards we'll all likely come back here and sit around the fire pit snorting crack.

Just making sure you're paying attention.

Tomorrow we go to my in-laws with my Mom (after our morning gift opening here with Ed, B, my Mom and myself and a breakfast of homemade vegan pumpkin waffles).

It shouldn't be any other way for us at this stage in our lives with no little ones anymore or grandchildren yet.



So, whatever your religious preferences....















Whatever your financial situations....















And whatever your familial situation....
















I wish for you all a peace filled, stress free and joyous Christmas.

Much love, happiness, peace and health,
~Jo



Burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese's Christmas mantle--I thought it was lovely and different.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009







FOR JO AT CHRISTMAS






No, not me. For once, this isn't about me. I am blogging about my friend Jo Moseley over at 'Jo's Corner'.

http://jomoseleysblog.blogspot.com/

I know I have posted about Jo before but I feel now--at Christmastime when she is alone--is the time to do so again.

Jo has been battling cancer, an amputated leg and numerous infections that has her in and out of the hospital--and mostly she has been doing this alone.

Jo still needs a new wheelchair--I have donated a little (but am unable to do much, sadly): there is a donate button on the left hand side of her page.

There are three things we can do for Jo right now:

1) We can pray and/or send good thoughts her way

2) We can donate to help her get the wheelchair she needs (even a few dollars would help)

3) She would love to hear from us. She posted her address on her blog (and which I took the liberty of posting below)

Please, if you all would, send a note off to Jo. Whether it be today, tomorrow or after Christmas, let's please keep in mind that while we're running around cleaning, shopping and baking for the holidays (and stressing ourselves out to the max! Okay, maybe that's just me...)--she is alone in her apartment feeling sick, weak and discouraged.

Let's lift her up!

For whatever reason, she has family very nearby that has not helped her through any of this nor has she been included in their holiday celebration.

Jo can say it better than I, so, here are Jo's own words (from her last post):

"It is a sad Holiday Season for me this year. I can't really wrap my mind around the fact that I will be alone for Christmas this year. I truly don't know how I'm going to deal with that day. I have never been alone on Christmas Day! Not only is it sad for me, but I feel angry! Angry that I DO have family that lives less than a mile from me, yet I am not invited to be with them to Celebrate the Birth of our Lord. The angry part is that they KNOW how hurt I will be. It seems cruel to me. They will go to Church on Christmas Eve... but, will be okay the next morning, knowing that I will be alone and in pain. I DO NOT understand how they can "choose" to hurt me.

I wonder if that sounds dramatic to some who read it? Perhaps. But, I am a passionate woman. My God has given me a kind heart...a caring spirit. To make a CHOICE, to KNOWINGLY harm someone is not a part of me. What I DO know, is that I need to let go of my anger. Because, I know that anger can kill a person on the inside. And, if I choose to hang on to that anger, I will be in the same place that they are. It is not a good place. It is not a God place.

So I am making a choice to turn things around. I AM going to bake cookies and make fudge. I will do some things that I enjoy doing. I will take treats to some of my neighbors. I will sing Christmas Carols. And, I will sing "Happy Birthday, Dear Jesus", on His Birthday! I WILL CHOOSE HAPPINESS and PEACE!

I want to Wish You All a Merry Christmas! May You have a Blessed and Peaceful Holiday! Hug your Families...for You and for Me!"

And in a post from December 6th, 2009--she writes:

"I am realizing that my body is shutting down. And, that my time here on this Earth is coming to an end. That may sound strange to some. There has been nothing definitive said to make me believe or feel that way. I just know. My body is telling me. My heart and spirit are telling me."

Here is Jo's address--again, I am not violating her privacy--she posted this on her blog and is asking for our company:

Jo Moseley
802 Troy Rd. Apt. 105
Albert Lea, MN. 56007


We don't have to drive to do this, we don't have to stand in line to do this and we don't have to spend money to do this. We all have a pen and paper and all it will cost us is a little time and one stamp.

THIS is what Christmas is supposed to be about.

Thank you and Merry Christmas, my dear blog friends.

And Jo, if you're reading this--you are loved.

Peace, love, happiness and especially HEALTH,
~Jo

Monday, December 21, 2009





MONDAY MADNESS









This post really only applies to fellow 'Survivor' fans as it pertains to last nights season finale of 'Survivor: Samoa'.













I'm going to fully impart what will likely be my unpopular opinion, drawing ire from feminists everywhere.

*On a side note--I consider myself somewhat of a feminist.

After all, I am particularly drawn to the musical likes of people like Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks, Linda Thompson, Linda Ronstadt, Carole King, and Carly Simon.

My favorite thespians are also female: Bette Davis, Joan Fontaine, Grace Kelly, Vanessa Redgrave, Shirley Maclaine, Julie Christie, Emma Thompson, Kate Winselt, Toni Collette, Gwyneth Paltrow, Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep--just to name a few.

I am a HUGE Diablo Cody fan (Screenwriter of 'Juno' and Showtime's 'U.S. Of Tara') and I absolutely LOVED Bettie Page.















There are many other reasons I call myself a feminist, but I think I made my point.

However, before I move on--I'd like to express my deep sadness of another female actress who left us way too soon: my heart weighs heavy at the loss of beautiful, young and talented Brittany Murphy ('Clueless', 'Riding In Cars With Boys'--just to name a few).
















Onto my 'Survivor' rant:

In light of my feminist views, I nonetheless found myself rooting for a man who dubbed his alliance with young females: 'My dumb-ass girl alliance'.

Russell:















This is a man who came into the game with the view of doing nothing but shaking things up and showing the world; "THIS is how you play 'Survivor!'"

And he outwitted, outplayed and nearly outlasted the hell out of it.

He single-handedly turned this season upside down.

This is a man who created chaos by burning his own tribe mates socks in the fire and emptying their water canteens while they slept--just to see what would happen.

He wanted to see some fight in his team.

This is a man who did the most despicable lying early on in the game by using the tragedy of 'Hurricane Katrina' as his backdrop, claiming to have lost his home and his beloved dog.

He's never even been to New Orleans--nor did he have a dog.

Not since 'Jonny Fairplay' lied about his Grandmother having died to receive favour from his tribe mates (she was indeed alive and well) had I been so disgusted by a player.















But....somewhere between Russell's lying, sabotaging and manipulating, he won me over and I found myself rooting for him.

Why? Because he was there to play hard and to win--and he proved it over and over.

He single-handedly picked off those who stood in his way at every tribal council.

His tribe, 'Foa Foa', was indeed on a losing streak against the stronger 'Galu' tribe, so, he used 'Foa Foa's' losing streak to his advantage turning a negative into a positive by eliminating those on his tribe who stood in his way.

'Foa Foa' was down so far in players that when the two tribes finally merged into one and individual immunity was 'up for grabs', there didn't seem a chance in hell of Russell--or any of the ill fated 'Foa Foa' tribe--making it much past the merge. They were sure to be picked off one by one.

However, Russell wasn't having it and he had other plans.

This man found hidden immunity idols without any clues (that was a first in 'Survivor' history)--one after the other--and starting making alliances with the enemy, picking off the strongest players that he knew he couldn't beat.

It's called a blindside.

Again and again until 'Foa Foa' finally outnumbered 'Galu' in the merge.

He aligned himself in the beginning with people from 'Foa Foa' who stayed loyal and allowed Russell to do the dirty work while they stayed quietly hidden in the background to his foreground, letting him 'take the bullets'.

He relished being the bad guy, the manipulator--and he did exactly what he said he was going to; he turned this game upside down and showed America how to play 'Survivor'.

He had no qualms about it--this is all for not only the title of 'Sole Survivor', but for a MILLION DOLLARS!

It's easy to sit in the comfort of our living room and judge what goes on and how someone like Russell plays the game. He's been called cocky, a dirty player, a cheat, a liar and a manipulator not to mention he is already a self made millionaire and an oil company owner.

Does that make him less deserving of a million dollars?

And as much as I would like to think I would keep my integrity in a game like 'Survivor', the truth is NONE of us knows what we're capable of doing out on an island away from family, friends, comfort, home, food and familiarity with you having to constantly plot, scheme and watch your back.

For a million dollars we might all just surprise ourselves and find out what were really made of--good, bad or indifferent.

ENTER NATALIE:















Natalie was aligned with Russell from the beginning of 'Foa Foa' and stayed aligned all through the game (along with Mick and Jaison).

The only smart move Natalie really made in the entire game (she didn't win one single immunity nor found a hidden immunity idol) was backing up Russell's schemes and dreams to make it to the final three.

For this, she considered herself worthy of a million dollars.

Apparently the jury agreed:

Natalie was named 'Sole Survivor' over Russell.


Mick was also in the final three but proved to be an obsolete player with no spark or backbone--I don't believe he received even a single vote for the million dollar win and title of 'Sole Survivor'. Nor did he deserve one.
















So, in the end, the bitter jury (are you reading this, Erik and Jaison?)--comprised of nine voted off members--awarded Natalie the title and a million dollars.

Why?

Because she's attractive and was nicer than Russell.















Not because she was deserving--but because she was nice (and I HATE to even think this of the already bitter jury--but being pretty, blonde, petite and sporting a bikini the entire game might not have hurt, either).













EDIT (Tuesday morning): Jeff Probst said it best in his 'Entertainment Weekly' blog he posted just this morning: "It wasn't a vote for Natalie--it was a vote against Russell."

Again, it's not because she played a good game--but because she was nice.

That's funny--I thought this shows motto was "Outwit. Outplay. Outlast".

Not "Out-nice".

Clearly my mistake.

Friday, December 18, 2009






IMAGINING LETTING IT BE





Hi, all. Well, to update you on yesterdays 'tirade'--I am deriving my strength and will from the immortal words of 'The Beatles': "And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light that shines on me, shine until tomorrow, let it be."

You may be asking right about now; "So, Jo--what the bloody hell does that mean?"

Hell, I don't know! Sounded good at the time.

Seriously, I'm letting it be.

Tonight we're getting our Christmas tree where we're (Ed, B and I) having E, my Mom and three of 'our kids' over to decorate it (our oldest son 'J', his wife and V). I haven't decided if I'm going to make a big pot of chili for the occasion or splurge on a few 'Little Caesar's' $5.00 pizzas (none of which I can partake in, of course).

Ed called E last night to invite her--she's actually not sure if she can make it and will let us know today; she had plans with some of her family members at her house that she's going to try and reschedule.

If she can't make it, we'll simply carry on as we have these past fifteen/sixteen or so years without her: we'll decorate our tree, I'll put in my favorite Christmas CD's ('A Celtic Christmas', Kenny G., Tony Bennett...), have some hot water for hot chocolate and apple cider ready and we'll chow on some good grub.

For the occasion, I'm even going to make my cinnamon fudge and Steven Anthony's 'Peppermint Meringue's' from his 'Man Dish' blog (http://manndish.blogspot.com/2009/12/peppermint-meringues.html --I'm sorry that I still haven't figured out how to post links on here!). Thank you, Steven, for this recipe and for sharing it with us!

Sheesh, all I need is a Santa suit, a sleigh and a long white beard--tempted to shave Ed's off and borrow it! Isn't Ed handsome, by the way???? Sorry, I digress...

Look at me being all jolly and stuff.

Well, jolly may not be the right word: I have a house to clean, cookies and fudge to bake, towels to fold and put away and hair to dye--I mean wash!!

Boy, it gets 'dirty' so quickly (there's a euphemism for gray if I ever heard one!).

Okay, for the first time in months (MONTHS!) I am going back to my red hair that personifies me. I feel like I was born a red head, shoulda been a red head.

Found hair dye (I mean shampoo. Yep--that's it. Shampoo) for $3.00 and some change on sale and got two boxes--BOTTLES!!

Oh, damn it all to hell.

In closing--and before my typing let's loose of any further secrets, I want to thank you all sincerely for your very kind comments. I am touched and overwhelmed that while I feel unsure of every single move I make (and have made) that some others see me as 'strong' (and some perhaps as 'whiny'--ha!).

I am still not sure where this thing with E will lead or how it will turn out--and I am equally unsure of our future relations with C (see my previous post if you're perhaps new here to catch up on my meanings): I can't begin to guess where either of their heads and hearts are leading them.

I can only try and control MY actions, my thoughts, my feelings and how I choose to play them out.

So, for now; I am attempting a little grace and am choosing to take the high road to make life a little easier for Ed and B (not to be confused with 'martyrdom' in any way!)--and perhaps in the end, I will find that by doing so, I made life a little easier for me, too.

Merry Christmas, my dear blog friends.

Thank you for sticking with me.

As for me? I'm simply letting it be.

Peace, love, happiness and health,
~Jo

"You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one"

~John Lennon

Thursday, December 17, 2009





THURSDAY TIRADE




Todays diatribe is brought to you by Amy at 'Just Add Walter'. http://justaddwalter.blogspot.com/

Thanks, Amy, for this great idea! It's gives us all validity to go on a rant!

So, today is payday. I was looking forward to our second payday without the garnishment as I still have done very little Christmas shopping and...still no tree.

I had made up my mind not to get a Christmas tree this year--it just seems like so much money for something that gets thrown out--with money having been so tight, I chose practicality over sentiment this year (and I don't do fake trees--no disrespect intended if you feel otherwise).

Then B told me last night that he feels extremely sad that for the first time in his life we're not getting a tree.

So, Friday night we're getting a tree.

Nothing extravagant--perhaps a three or four foot.

Nothing like a 6'2 19 year old breaking your heart.










Once again, I digress. I do that. A lot.

So, Ed's paycheck was deposited--with the garnishment still in tact!

Last payday his company reimbursed him with a separate check for the difference and said that this payday the garnishment would be removed automatically in his actual check, giving us that extra $500.00 that we desperately need.

Didn't happen.

So, now he has to go to payroll and find out what the bloody hell happened? We cannot have this. Unacceptable.

No doubt another check will be issued to him--but how long do we have to wait? Could be days...

It's Christmas!!! I have bills to pay, food to buy, gifts to purchase--oh yeah, and that damned Christmas tree I promised B!


::MAYDAY! MAYDAY! AIRING DIRTY LAUNDRY ALERT!::











Not literally, of course. Ewww! Filthy minded bloggers, I tell ya.

About Ed and I: we rarely argue. After twenty plus years, we've learned to avoid pushing those buttons that set us off and we generally get along very well.

Enter last night--oooh, doggy! We had a big one!!!

HUGE.

As I mentioned in previous posts, Ed's biological mother--I'll call her 'E'--recently came back into the picture after about a fifteen year estrangement.

Long story short: when her and Ed's Dad got divorced about 16 years or so ago, she lost it and took it out on Ed ordering him to make a decision: "Your Dad or me--you can't have us both!"

Ed refused to kowtow to her demands telling her that he will not choose.

After a brutal argument (I actually got punched in the face by her), she disowned us. Ed, me, 'C' (our daughter, who was about seven at the time) and B who was four.

That was it. We were cut off by her and her family. Ed was an only child--his cousins were his 'siblings' for all intents and purposes and all were there at our wedding.

Suddenly it was all taken away from Ed--and us.

The kids were confused about why their Grandmother was no longer in their life and we had to learn to just get on with things and heal.

The story gets much uglier but for the sake of privacy (that's new for me, eh? Ha!), I'm going to exercise a little self-control and spare you further details and just say that this woman caused my family and I much pain and suffering.

Fast forward to a few months ago when we received a letter out of the blue from her asking for forgiveness.

Ed went over and talked to her after that, said she got therapy, and since then we've been rebuilding and repairing.

All those years of harboring, I had to just cut the anchor loose and let it go.

She's since taken a few verbal jabs at me (intentional or not I couldn't say) and has said things that hurt me.

I haven't said one word to her.

Ed's Dad has since remarried a lovely woman that Ed has called 'Mom' for years. She takes great care of Ed's Dad and loves all of us--and us her. So, whenever E has come around, I put away the picture of Ed's 'Mom' and Dad so as not to hurt E. I see no reason to cause additional pain for her in spite of everything.

Nor have I brought up the punching incident, abandoning my kids--nothing has ever been said. Only warm embraces, catching up, etc. I even brought her Christmas presents and pictures of the kids that she missed over the years.

In light of this new development, I sent an E-mail to C and let her know the update with us and E. Now, if you've been reading my blog for a while you know that C and us have also been estranged for various reasons. She's 23 now.

I told C that I thought E to be sincere and that I would like to arrange a lunch or dinner at my house with all of us at her convenience.

She wrote back saying she's "too busy" to see us but that she would like E's phone number.

No problem--I gave her E's numbers and told her that I hope they can work things out.

I guess I didn't mean it, truthfully.

The green eyed monster reared it's chartreuse head last night when my Mom informed me of the 'good news' that C and E will be getting together Saturday night for dinner--sans us.

I lost it!

Okay, not my finest hour.

In spite of my having good intentions, I admit that I immediately felt resentful of C and E both. Both knew I wanted to be a part of this, to be a family once again--perhaps for my own selfish reasons, I admit.

C couldn't make time for us, but for the prodigal Grandmother--no problem.

So, when Ed came home, I told him everything; I was sobbing, in shock, upset, placing blame (on C and E both).

He unleashed back--said some hurtful things and primarily said that this isn't worth it--he's not going to go through this again with her and I at each others throats and the best thing to do would be to cut E off.

I told him that I didn't understand why he had to go to the extreme and take it the other way.

I just needed to vent and for him to perhaps understand my hurt feelings in all of this.

Instead, he name called, yelled, scream and then went into our bedroom, closing the door behind him.

B wasn't home and I ended up eating dinner alone.

When B did come home, he asked me what was wrong, he could tell I'd been crying. I tried to tell him that everything was fine but he wasn't buying it.

So, he gave me pause for thought: he said this is likely exactly what C wanted to happen. He reminded me of how she likes to stir things up and that he can't recall one good memory with his sister.

Ouch.

He said that E is one more person for C to use and get things out of and for me not to take any of this personally.

He then went in and talked to Ed who came out shortly after and apologized to me telling me that I didn't deserve the hurtful things he said.

He said he stands by his initial reaction and thoughts but that he shouldn't have exploded. He gave me a kiss and apologized again.

I really do have a wonderful husband.











And B....if I haven't said it enough before, let me just reiterate that B is a wonderful, beautiful souled man and I am so blessed to have raised him.













There are only about seven of us at the holidays; Ed, B, myself, my Mom, Ed's parents and his step-brother.

I envy those with big family Christmases and I guess I was hoping to change that.

In closing, I have to learn to try and fully un-tether my anger at E and just let things slide so Ed can have her in his life and B can have another Grandmother--or this will in no way work.

I have to also decide whether to stop trying with C and let her come back in her own time....

Right now, I'm conflicted about all of it and have to learn to be content with the old adage of 'It is what it is.'

Peace, love, happiness and health,
~Jo

Tuesday, December 15, 2009







Jo's Christmas Gaffe








I've heard of a Christmas goose but this is ridiculous!

















I haven't done much Christmas shopping even though we had an extra $500.00 on Ed's pay last payday (with the garnishment now stopped)--I paid rent, paid some bills and spent a little more on food than I normally do so Ed especially could eat better (i.e. healthier) after his 'Swine Flu' related hypo-glycemic passing out incident.

Although I'm still being frugal, I have ordered a few things on-line this week for Ed and B (I found a good price on a few items that I couldn't find in stores) in order to ensure a Christmas arrival.

So, last night after B left to go to his sorta girlfriends house for the night, I got on-line to order him something that his friend, 'V', said he really wanted.

It was reasonably priced and I thought I had better order it NOW. B has a fashion sense all his own, combining trendy skinny jeans with pea coats (ala 'Boondock Saints'), a beanie and bare feet. He has shoes, of course, he just doesn't like to wear them. Being 6'2, about 250 with long hair, a goatee, piercings and tattoos, he looks like someone you'd want to cross the street when approaching--ha! Alas, he's a sweetheart--well, most of the time. He is 19 after all which makes me stupid, naturally.

Parents of young adults totally get what I mean.

B a few summers ago--one of the last pictures of him wearing shoes--ha!















But I digress.

Okay, we all know I'm not computer savvy, by my own admission.
















I've ordered items here and there on-line before with no problem. They always arrive at the price I paid. End of story--happy ending for all.











So, I go to order this item for B last night and I'm doing great--no problem navigating the site until I get to 'shipping preferences'--then it all went kablooky!

All of a sudden I see I'm being charged $25.46 for shipping.

I didn't click 'Submit Order'--instead I went to the previous page to try and correct it.

I then ended up being charged another $2.00!

That now leaves me with $40.00 in the bank.

So, all in all my order totaled $56.46 for one piece of clothing item (that was under $30.00).



From there it all went black.


















I woke up this morning to call the company, which is in New York, and only got answering machines. After leaving not one but two panicky voice mails ("I need someone--ANYONE--from your company to call me back as soon possible--I am VERY upset...!!!!") my call was returned.

He said it was a problem on their end after a recent overhaul of their website and that the person who did it 'screwed up'.

Ya think?















He then said the $27.46 in shipping costs was being reversed but that it would take 24 to 48 hours to show back up in my bank.

I will now be charged $9.00 and some change for the regular shipping price (Yikes!) which means I now have about $30.00 in the bank 'til this gets reversed and put back in my account.

And for my trouble? No apology nor a guarantee for a before Christmas delivery.

What the hell did I ever do to Santa?

The old curmudgeo-nous codger needs to retire and turn the business over to Mrs. Claus--whom I believe to be empathetic and would at least comfort me by letting me lay my head in her lap covered with one of her handmade quilts while sucking my thumb.

I'm just sayin'.
















EDIT: So, 'V' just called me and asked if I ordered said item for B already. I told him I in fact have and what a big mess it's been. He then proceeds to inform me that B's sorta kinda girlfriend ordered B the exact same one--same color, size...everything!


Damn it all to hell, I say!















So, I then have to call the same cheery guy back--whom I spoke with this morning about reversing the shipping charges--and change my order.

I just got B the same one only in a different color.

Wear it good health, kid, because that damn thing is going to be the death of ME!

Monday, December 14, 2009




WISH LIST











We all have one, a wish that is--and we all say 'I really don't want anything'.

But....of course I do. In addition to being human, I'm inherently female and I desire just like everyone else.

We've deprived ourselves for a long time on buying anything--due to this I am in desperate need of--eh hem--unmentionables, which I will mention because that's just the kind of cheeky broad I am: bras and panties.

















Okay, nothing as fancy and uninhibiting as the above--I'm more of a cotton and comfort kind of gal.

However, I am not putting bras and panties on my list for others to buy me--with my fluctuating weight, these are items I will have to get myself in the new year.

So, Jo--why did you feel the need then to mention them?

NO IDEA!

In addition to being cheeky, I guess I'm just a weirdo. Or perverted if you want to get all technical on me.

Hmmm. Must ponder that later....

So, Ed and B asked me this weekend what I wanted for Christmas--and so I compiled a list of mostly very affordable wants:



Fleece Pajama Bottoms (Walmart):



















Snowman/Christmas Socks:














Slip-on Thick Slippers:













Yankee Candle Tarts:















and...

Yankee Candle Tart Burners--which I neglected to put on my list but the boys know I love them:




















Damien Rice CD's (or just Damien Rice!!!--see previous post for two of his videos):













Now for a few pricier fantasy items (which I wouldn't expect them to actually get me):



A Gift Card to 'Pier 1':


















Cookware (am in desperate need of pots and pans):



















But mostly I want people to donate to my 'MS Walk' page (see Novembers Post; 'I Walk For Scott'):

















Because....I'd like to see a cure for MS in my lifetime!