Thursday, February 8, 2018

Where'd You Go Jo Cucina-EE-OO? Our nation turns it's weary eyes to you.

Hahaha! I am using ‘weary’ instead of ‘lonely’ cause if you are watching the news that fits better. Nobody listens to me, but at at the very least, Dear Abby's readers should. (If only i had the chance.)

Retrieved from an old Draft that was just sitting there. I started adding again with #5.

*. *. *. *. *. *. *. *.

I'm am still here. Even if nobody else is here. Yes, i missed December and January totally. Oh well. Recently i watched “The Graduate” and thought of this song.

1. I'm reading “Fire and Fury” by Michael Wolff which blows the doors off president Cuckfunt's Very White House. I am only halfway done.  I have to read it increments because i'm afraid my head will explode. It's too much to take in. It's great delicious gossip (that i have no trouble believing) but like too much Mexican food at one time, you can only take in so much.

2. Latest president (i wish i could make the word 'president' in a tiny tiny font, like Al Franken did in one of his books when he talked about liberal Paul Begala going up against Crossfire’s Robert Novak) CF shitstorm is his comment about Haiti, Africa and El Salvatore being 'shithole countries'. Then lying about having said it. Also the audacity of him telling a reporter that 'no one is less racist than i am.' The hits just keep coming.

3. Saw the movie "The Post" last night. If anything good comes out of this election term (and i do not mean plural when i say 'term') it might be that newspapers make a comeback. I check out The Washington Post online so often that i use up my allotment of free views early in the month so i think i might have to subscribe to an online subscription.

4. I'm supposed to start work at my old job....again. From the end of February to the end of March.  No commute! I'm not totally looking forward to it, but it's the time of year when things feel so blah that it might be a good thing. I might buy a fix portrait lens for my Nikon. They are pretty expensive. Or i might buy a better Soundbar for our TV...one of those Sonos thingies.

5. Written Feb. 8, 2018. At least i think it’s February 8th. Thank goodness for Alexa. I have Alexa giving me all my reminders about appointments, garbage days, birthdays etc. I use her for a lot, including my new Pilates workouts and timing my planks, ( though i swear she adds extra time beyond the minute for my planks!). I’m still running four days a week for about four miles too. But right now i’m a pound over my ‘magic weight’ for the past two weeks, leftover from the holidays i’m sure.

6. Finally quit the YMCA and decided to give up on Yoga and i am so relieved. And because i have no option of the Y anymore i find i am more committed to the On Demand workouts for Pilates and stretching. I am born for Pilates! It doesn’t boss me around about the stupid breathing, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, oh i hate that so much in Yoga! And i don’t have to get into any dumbass meditative state to do it. It’s exercise. It’s what i commit to best. So far so good on my third week and i love being able to do it at home. I even feel better in the morning waking up, not as wobbly and hurting.

7. The Olympics start tonight and i’m exciting to watch so i’m DVRing nearly everything. I love the skating, the short track, and the snowboarding and ski jumping and some Alpine skiing. Looking forward to watching even as i don’t know any of the athletes backgrounds yet.

8. Brian’s mom is still hanging in there though her mind is not all there, though it’s sometimes there. I haven’t seen her since Christmas. Come to think of it, i haven’t seen my own mom since Christmas! This month she has been on a feeding tube for a whole year. It really makes me think about getting older. I told Brian and my nephew Brian not to be too upset if i ever die before my time is up because i think i would be a terrible old person if my mind starts going. Brian’s mom was the sweetest lady and i don’t think i ever heard her say ‘damn’ or ‘shit’ but now she is using the N word and saying the F word. Very odd. Maybe in her regular life she wanted to cuss a lot more and just held back and without filters this is what we get. If that’s the case, then i will probably be okay as an old lady since i haven’t helped back THAT much.

9. But oh, boy, sometimes people don’t know how much i do. For example i don’t say a lot when it comes to Brian’s mom but i wonder how and why Brian and his sister hold on to so much hope or get kind of excited for those times when Alice is lucid and seems like herself. It’s not much of a trade in considering her condition which is nearly like being a quadriplegic. I feel like Alice knows her kids want her around and has this belief that she needs to be here for THEM. Their older brother isn’t doing as much or going over the pass to visit as often as Brian does. I think i’m starting to understand him better than i did before. IT’s not much of a life for Alice and i hope to God i never have to go that way.

10. Let’s end of a good note, shall we? Hmmmm. I’m going to put up this song. It’s maybe not a happy note, but it’s a good note, though a sad song. But a really really beautiful song. My nephew told me about the “May It Last Avett Brothers documentary. I’ve seen it twice now and have probably played this song about a dozen times now. It is a great song about life and death and what lies ahead. It would be beautiful for a memorial. I would like this played at my own memorial but they would have to edit out the last line of the song. Hahahaha.

No Hard Feelings

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Just Your Regular Stuff

I'm still here

An old fashioned random thoughts posting. I'm only drinking water. Maybe this will only end up being a draft since i get kind of bored writing the blog without wine! Listening to a Gillian Welch cd - the one with "Miss Ohio" on it. Kind of nice for a dark rainy early evening. 

1. A year ago we elected what i now refer to President Cuckfunt - (the two worst cuss words i can think of). It's kind of funny reading my Facebook Memory posts from last year. I had so much hope until the end. (I can also tell when i opened that other bottle of wine because i planned on staying up!) 

2. We survived a year! And today some good Democrats unseated some Republicans that i hope is a promise of things to come. If only the Democrats don't fuck it up. 

3. The Vegas shooting happened the same day when we heard about Tom Petty's death. And just this week there was another mass shooting in a church in Texas that left 26 dead, many of them children. 
So we're not safe in a concert. We're not safe in a school. We're not safe in a movie theater. We're not safe in a shopping mall. We're not even safe in church! 

I'm already a homebody enough and don't need another reason to become a full on agoraphobic. Oh the news. ...I just wish... i don't know what i wish. I think i wish we went back to news at 6 pm and again at 10 or 11 pm and forget about the 24 hour news cable channels. Maybe the mass shootings might not become so 'normal'. Just another day in America. 

4. When will people start to understand that prayers don't work and that laws might be a better start? I am sick to death of people and their prayers and 'thoughts for the families'  on Facebook.

5. What is prayer anyway? Billions and billions of prayers are said every day!  Why aren't they working? I might go to hell for this (though i don't believe in an actual Hell) but i don't think God is listening anymore, if He ever did. 

6. I believe His agenda is already made and what's going to happen is going to happen according to His plan, regardless. Here's what else i believe: Heaven and Hell are lived on this planet. On Earth. And that's why shit happens. Because how can you have a heaven?.... where your life is all hunky-dory (maybe even when you don't deserve it) if there isn't some terrible stuff around to remind you that you have it pretty good. I don't like what that says about innocent people in this life having a hard time - because that means they are in Hell i guess, paying for a different life. But that's kind of what i believe...in a nutshell. AND if you aren't so nice in your New Heaven, you're going to pay in the next life too. (Otherwise what's the point of being a good person?)

7. I don't believe prayer changes anything. And why do we think God is paying more attention to America than anywhere else? ("God Bless America" signs make me crazy.)  And i get a kick out of football players praying for a football game while little kids die in cancer wards. Why would a prayer go unanswered for a child to live - but yet another asked to win a Super Bowl, is answered? 
 I say only one prayer, and that prayer is thank you. 

8.  I said thank you when my brother and nephew didn't fall completely apart (as i feared) when my nephew Josh killed himself. I said thank you when both of my brothers were unemployed for awhile and it was looking bleak around 2008 and 2009. I say thank you every day that my father stays alive so it's less years that I will have to take care of my difficult mom. I said thank you when there were some health scares with me and my family. And so when/if Congress gets something done about guns I will say thank you then too. But until then i don't expect God to make anything happen just because we ask Him too. He gave us brains and expects us be somewhat accountable. That's what i think. 

9. If i were God i would have committed suicide a long time ago out of disappointment. I would also get us a new President!  I actually would kind of love to go out and knock back chardonnays with God. (Not so sure about Jesus though. I don't think Jesus would like me as much as God would.) 

10. Oh my, this is getting kind of weirdly dark. I think it's because i'm reading Joan Didion's book about the death of her husband and her daughter within a short period of time. It's called The Year of Magical Thinking. It's very well written. (If you have experienced a deep loss, i recommend this book.)  I don't know why i've even reading it since i am not grieving, (maybe i'm doing homework for when i will need it later).  What happened was a documentary on Rolling Stone I watched yesterday referred to it - Founder Jann Wenner tells Cameron Crowe (who was only 16 at the time and writing for RS) that he needed to read Didion to see how to really write and immerse soul into the story. I had heard of Didion but his description of writing intrigued me. So i decided to check her out of the library. (Only i couldn't get the book Webber recommended - i think called Slouching Toward Bethlehem,  so I opted for Magical Thinking.) 

11. That documentary, by the way, is called Rolling Stone: Stories from the Edge. It's really good. On HBO in two parts. 

12. I have to quit writing now because my iPad isn't good for blogging a new post. It flickers to the top and bottom and i can't really see what i am writing. Maybe it's a default in there so i don't write too much? (I will have to go back and correct on the desktop, which i rarely use anymore.) 

13. I'll sign off with this. And not just because Thanksgiving is coming up . (Though i probably won't get back here until after.)  Thank you God. I have a really really nice life,  a husband whom i love and who loves me,  a good man i probably don't deserve because he is much nicer than i am....a nephew who calls me to shoot the shit about twice a week about just stuff and who has two little kids i love who are like surrogate grandchildren......my brothers, all of my nieces and nephews who made it easier for me to choose to be a Non-Mom....my friends, (but not TOO many because i hate being in demand ;).....my health and the health of all the people i love, (with the exception of my mother in law alice, who is sadly continuing to fail)...a nice cozy home and enough money to live comfortably.  

Happy Thanksgiving. A little early. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Rainy Night Random Rough House Wine Musing.

Every once in awhile i think i have something to say and i come here ready to write and find i don't.

I still don't. But i'm going to do it anyway.

It's a super rainy Saturday night and i just now poured my third glass of a really good red wine called Rough House while listening to Jackson Browne. ('Song for Adam' just same on - love this song.)

Brian is in the other room watching a movie that turned out to be boring to me. ( "A Monster Calls) When i found only Liam Neeson's voice is starring, not him in person... (PLUS the added animation), i was lost.

So let's get on with it. Starting with #1.

1. In the news: Where to start with Tr#$p?  This week he called the Gold Star family of a soldier who died in Niger, telling the mother that her son "knew what he was getting in to". When i first heard it i thought ...well i get how T$%mp might have been awkward in those kind of condolences, so maybe give him a break.  But i watched the news and heard more of the story - and among that news was how he kept that story going because he could not stand being blasted for his comments about the fact of what he said, or that he took so long to call. So he had to go after the Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, calling her 'wacky'. He's done it twice as of this writing.

He's mad because Wilson is a friend of the family of the dead soldier and was witness to his insensitive call and she made that known.  To make it all worse, the guy we hope will keep Tr#%p from starting World War 3  - Chief of Staff General Kelly - got pulled in because his own son died in action.

.... Anyway Kelly also goes after Congresswoman Wilson.... and has yet to apologize for telling a lie about her because he was trying to discredit her. (This reminded me of how Colin Powell was used by Bush/Cheney during the Iraq war with this container of Anthrax.)

Top that off  - (good lord, how do you even describe Sarah Huckabee?) ...with Huckabee  ....  who said we can't question the General.... (Oh, yeah....did i forget to mention that the soldier and the Congresswoman are black?)  I try to not watch the cable news channels for too long and hadn't since the Vegas mass shooting. Because if i keep watching i am going to have to call my doctor and get a giant refill of Xanax (which i get 5 pills subscribed for my occasional flights), and lie about getting a new job as a flight attendant and that I need it for work. The 24 hour cable news channels are hurting our country.

2. Nobody could have predicted that this president would behave so  badly  - there is not a word invented yet bad enough for me to describe just how horrible this president is. So i am going to make up my own:
Cuckfunt. That is my new name for him.

3 I will call him CF for short.

4. I make myself crazy thinking about CF. I still watch Bill Maher because i like that he has both parties on his panel and they don't often talk over each other. And i really sometimes want to try and understand the Republican party, but i have to admit i mostly like that Maher has Republicans on who are denouncing CF. And i keep hoping more of the Republican Congressfolks (or Congressfucks as i will refer to them when they don't - I'm talking about YOU Paul Ryan ....CF Jr. for short) will step up and take him on.

5. What i worry about: North Korea. The Winter Olympics in South Korea. Why do i feel like I worry about this more than our president? I do not feel safe in our country anymore. I already have some anxiety about my trip to New Orleans next spring. Forget building a Border Wall. Why would anyone from another country want to come here anyway? We have too many fucked up mean people who would be the worst neighbors they could ever have. They should want to move to Canada instead.

6. What i don't worry about: People boycotting the NFL or football players taking a knee. I just wish other folks didn't worry about the flag more than they worry about racism. And where was all their outrage about the Nazi folks in Charlottesville? That's they stuff i can't get over. My father is a dedicated retired military man who always flies the flag. I haven't talk to him about this yet but probably at Thanksgiving i will cause he has always been a Democrat and loves watching football,  but he is also fierce about the flag and patriotism, so i'm interested.... And what better time to bring up these kinds of things than Thanksgiving? Am i right? hahahaha...

7. For the record: i also fly the flag

8. No surprise, i support all of the players taking a knee. I tried to buy a Michael Bennett (who is still sitting out the Star Spangled Banner) Seahawk jersey but found there is no legitimate site to buy one that is in my size. The women's sizes are the same as the men's. So yeah, i'm vain enough to not want to spend $100 to protest, wearing a jersey that makes me look like i have SpongeBob Squarepant's body.

9. So I bought Kam Chancellor. 

10. I know the Seahawks stuff is boring for anyone reading (if anyone is) who don't live here, but i like putting it here for history.

11. I am still running. Can't believe it. Thought i might be done a couple of months after that half marathon when i kind of did myself in because both knees started hurting after that race. (It used to only be my left knee.) But it helped to cut back to running every other day and i think i can make it to 62 now - my new goal.  Today i ran 40 minutes and nothing hurt at all! I wear knee braces every time i run.

12. I gotta start doing some things. As my blog is a testament, I am not feeling as creative. I am quite happy retired, being at home and not having to be anywhere. There is no way i am depressed or even really bored, but i fear i am getting a little too comfortable with my unencumbered time.

At the same time i think i might be saving it all up right now because it's going to change soon. I am bracing myself for my parents. About 7 years ago i remember telling my Aunt Marie (My father Bruce's sister) that i didn't think Dad would be alive in 5 years. She agreed. And yet he is still here -  smoking 3 packs a day - maybe even more, drinking his Bud Lite Beer like he needs it to breathe, voraciously reading on his deck, eating his barbecued red meat and my mom's horrible cooking.  Without him, my mom is incapable of everything from driving to paying the bills. My life as i know it will be over when it comes time to take care of her. She barely took care of us as kids and i've got some deep seated resentment that we have to do it for her.

13. Is it 'deep seated' or 'deep seeded'?

hahaha. I'm sure Facebook has something in the newsfeed about that with all those grammar and math equations and vocabulary links which i hate so much. I'm going to end on that and go look it up.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Random Musings The Same Week of The Last Straw For Me for T%&#p

The officer stands calmly as a group of white supremacists act out behind him. One man’s outstretched right arm signals a Nazi salute. Another wears a red hood. A third rests a Confederate flag on his shoulder.
1. This photo was taken August 12, 2017. The caption is copied from an article that posted how this went viral. A black police officer there to defend the very people who hate him.

2. Last week Trump made us scared for America with his crossed arms and "Fire and Fury" statement about North Korea ....AND NOW this week we should be very sad and angry for America for what he says about what happened in Charlottesville, blaming both sides, and getting high fives from David Duke for saying it. I keep thinking Trump can't get worse. And yet he does. A hundred times worse than i thought the day we found out he was our new President.

3. Make America Great Again? Scared. Sad. Angry. That's making America Great? Forget just missing Obama. i fucking miss George W.

4. The image of those white guys marching with torches in Charlottesville is not easy to get out of your head. I feel badly for the folks who live there who are not racist Nazi sympathizers and white supremacists who may be identified that way when they say where they are from.

5. .But i will say this about how i feel about what's happening: I do not totally agree with tearing down the statues of civil war leaders like Robert E. Lee...for the simple reason is that it's not erasing history or making it better to pretend it never happened.

6. I think these symbols should be used as teachable moments to new generation about what our country used to be and how we should never get back to that.  tearing them down is getting us right back there. Maybe there is a compromise we can make here? If there is, i have no faith in our president in making it.

7. For me the Confederate flag is different because it is carried around and used as a symbol. At the same time maybe we don't stop that either. I kind of like knowing who the people are that i should avoid. For example if i were looking to buy a house and the neighbor next door was sporting a Confederate flag bumper sticker on his pickup (ha, stereotype, it's always a pick-up right?) i would not buy that house.

8. We can try to erase the symbols of racism all we want but it doesn't get rid of the racism. I think i might rather know where it's coming from so i can side-step it. It's horrible though, knowing it's out there more than we knew. I knew it was there. But i think i totally underestimated.

9.  Luckily any Facebook friends of mine who might be defending this latest shit storm in Charlottesville are keeping silent. I hope they keep it that way.

10. I keep saying it and saying it. I am not as pissed off at Trump as i am at the Republican leaders in Congress (Paul Ryan i'm looking at you!) who have done nothing but stood by and watched it happen and sometimes say a few words that make them sound like they have character and conscience after all, but yet nothing happens. WORDS are not enough anymore. Do something more than just stupid talk! It's your fucking job to represent all Americans.


Friday, July 28, 2017

Why I am not cutting my hair and other stuff.

Longest hair i've ever had since high school - July 2017

These don't need to be numbered, but i'm doing it anyway:

1. I thought of this because i have an appointment to get my hair cut in a couple of weeks.

2. Some folks think that at age 60 none of us should be wearing long hair. But what i also think about turning 60 is that i don't care so much anymore about what we should be or shouldn't be doing as we get older.

3. When I turned 40 i thought i was old and i cut off all of my hair really short and it looked terrible and even worse, it was so much harder to deal with because my hair is actually pretty curly. And when i was 40 i had been running half marathons two years in a row and was in probably the best shape ever but I still traded my two piece swim suit in for a one piece that year because i thought that was more appropriate.  I also quit wearing super high heels in place of sensible heels (that was not that hard to give up to tell the truth).

4. So when i turned 60 i decided i am not falling into that trap again.

5. But when i saw an episode of Grace and Frankie and Lily Tomlin was sporting the wild hair look i thought, i'm gonna do it too. (And yeah, i think she is wearing extensions but they look great).

6. So yeah, i'm going to cancel my hair cut appointment. Though i am still keeping my hair COLOR one! I'm not ready to go all the way. My gray color is dishwasher drab and not cool at all. Looks okay on my brothers but i'm not quite ready for that.

7. I have super thick hair and i just HATE washing it. Always have because it takes forever to blow dry.  My hair stylists make comments about it. (I tip them well enough so i don't feel too sorry for them. ) The best thing about my hair right now is that I only wash it once week! (Though i do sometimes wash the roots only at the top. It actually looks and behaves better at 5 days.

8. Most times if you ever see me i am not wearing it down. It's in a long low braid or ponytail. EASY PEASY! That i love second most!

9. Is that how you spell 'peasy'?

10. Anyway, i'm making this whole blog post about my hair. hahahaha.... I'm 60. I can do anything!


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Random Mad-Doms. Random Happy-Doms


Ha. Mad-Doms are things that make me irritated. And of course, Happy-Doms make me happy. Here are a few:

1. (This applies to no one who posts here normally.) If you are a Trump supporter and you jump on my personal Facebook page with a video or story that appears to be in response to something i posted you will not have the last word with me.

Explanation: This hasn't happened too often but my husband has a cousin who passively aggressively jumps on my Facebook page about some stuff i post. He is a born-again Christian and likes to take issue with me, as he did recently when i posted the funny GIF about the Poland First Lady passing by Trump's extended hand and instead shook Melanie's hand.

2. Three reasons i liked that handshake GIF a lot: The first being that she appears to snub Trump. The second is  that i like to think maybe she really didn't (Trump's hands are so tiny, maybe she didn't  see his little tiny hand!). And number three: If she later was mortified that she broke some protocol only to find out that so many of us made her some kind of hero and made a joke of it, because the GIF is hilarious...well then maybe that takes the sting out of her error.

3. So i turned 60 and my hands turned 85. Seriously after this blog i am going to take a photo of my hands to prove it. I understand why Diane Keaton always wears gloves! My doctor told me she could tell by looking at them they are getting arthritis. My knuckles are swollen and i can no longer get my wedding ring off though i have not gained weight.
My wedding ring is actually a man's ring that i had sized for my own because i don't like big diamonds. But those hands look 25 years older than i am and they feel it too.


4. It kind of creeps me out (in a claustrophobic way) that i can't get my ring off right now. I don't like feeling trapped our bound. I hope if i ever die it's not by being buried under rubble.

5. Ok, time for Happy-Doms! I've talked about my favorite nephew's (Brian) son Brady - the one i babysit with the Cheeto colored hair. Brady's sister turned 1 on July 7 and has THE EXACT SAME hair as Brady. (In secret i call them the Cheetos. As in "I'm babysitting the Cheetos today." But i don't say that to Brian or his wife Adrienne cause i'm not sure they would think it's as funny as i do.) I didn't know if i could love a kid as much as i did with Brady but Lauren is fabulously happy and so fun to babysit and i see now how you can be a parent and love your kids equally.  Because her initials are LOL, we call her Lolo.

6. Happy-Dom: When i rock Lolo to sleep i like to sing her the song by the Kinks "Lola". I change it to LoLo. And yes, it's about a transvestite, but she doesn't know that.

Ok, her hair is covered but i love this photo of her. Her dad is pulling her in a wagon.

6. Another Happy-Dom. I am remodeling my kitchen with custom built cabinets, quartz counters and subway tile wall backsplash and new electric can lights. Last time i did this i hired a contractor but my kitchen is so small and i'm retired so i'm organizing it. I love all four of the guys i hired. And their communication so far has been excellent. I don't even mind having to do all the weird little stuff buy all the lights, knobs, and i get to use their accounts where applicable. So yeah, lots of running around and what feels like100s of hours of Pinterest and Houzz research but i have to admit, i like having the project.

7. I can't spend all my retired time reading! Well, actually i can. But i'm not sure it's a good thing. And i'm behind on my one day a week goal that's i've met for awhile now. Just as i've been on this blog.

8. Happy-Dom: Great books i've read this year - Some of them heartbreaking like "Just Mercy"by Bryan Stevenson about the lack thereof of mercy for many minorities in the south. "Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk"; "Option B" - if you are dealing with grief, this book might really help. It helped my friend Rita who lost her daughter to breast cancer. And "Eleanor Oliphant"....

9. Happy-Dom: What i love most about retirement. My mornings. About half of the time i get up Brian is still home reading yesterday's newspaper before getting ready for work. I make coffee;  turn on all the lighting that i like and sit down to the newspaper (once it finally arrives from our disabled carrier) and after that i look online on my iPad, or read part of my book or watch ER reruns i've DVRd. Later I do some cleaning, laundry, researching stuff, or calling Sarah, anything to procrastinate going for a run. I go for a run about four days a week, sometimes five. (Edited to add : I don't know why i wrote 'five', i haven't run five since i quite training for that race.  And right now my other knee is also starting to bother me worrying me about how much longer i can do this.)

Sometimes I meet friends (Sarah and Drew and Marie) for a walk or lunch. I pop over at the pool if i see the screaming meanies aren't there or if some of my condo friends ARE, i babysit a few times a month. And in between all that other time .....i read books. And Facebook. And look up stuff online i want to know. (Right now my remodel is taking a lot of that time.)

10. Somewhere there was a survey... on Facebook i think...Probably...Most likely...Because i don't usually take surveys or tests anywhere but on Facebook... Anyway, on the survey the question was : "If you could have one superpower, what would it be?" ....For me that answer is so simple!  It would be "To remember absolutely everything i have ever read." I honestly don't get why some folks might want super strength or to fly or be invisible. I want instant recall.

Ok, on that note, i'm going to sign off and go scan a couple of photos not on Facebook and talk about those.

I am so proud of my nephew Brian! I always had hope for Brian since he was teenager when so many of us thought he was such a slacker.  Even though he lived a few miles from us I actually wrote him a couple of letters when he was a teen once after he got fired from a job.

I believed in him because even when he was only about 11 years old  he was always a kid who asked so many questions and seemed to care so much about what was going on in the world. Then his younger brother Josh committed suicide in 2009, in a way that nobody saw it coming. And i worried that he wouldn't make it either. But he did. It's probably a testament to his dad, my brother Troy, who has also amazed me in how he has recovered. They are both very close.

I am close to him too. I don't think of him as just my nephew - he is also like a close friend. Brian calls me often on his breaks between Comcast appointments and we love to talk about politics, football, books, movies, tv shows (he's the one that tells me about the best TV shows), stuff in the news, what happened on Bill Maher, etc. .. I learn a lot from him. I also get a lot of my political news from him because i quit watching much of it.

He is now 35. He married the right woman, (his long time girlfriend, who is a nurse who works graveyard shifts) so he has become a super-hands-on father of a boy and a girl. They bought a nice house in a nice neighborhood. And he has become very committed to the extended family. Many of our conversations are about Elodie!

 He's also a really good writer. I wish he wrote more. We used to talk about collaborating on a book of chapters about our family. Maybe we will someday. Anyway, his  35th birthday was July 14th this week... so that is a Happy-Dom. I am so happy he and my brother Troy are doing so well.
They do love their plaid. It's the Louvrak favorite family color!
Lolo is wearing Brady's old hat.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

I lost a friend today


Ramona as a child -the oldest one in the middle

1. Today a friend of mine, Ramona,  died of ovarian cancer. She wasn't a super close friend, though i've known her for over 30 years from our school district work. Her mom Hildegard lived in my condo community and was a good friend of our good friend Dorothy who died ten years ago so our paths kept crossing occasionally. (I always got a kick out of Hildegard.) 

When Hildegard died over a year and a half ago that's when Ramona and i started getting together. And a few months after, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She sent me a message and said she hoped i would be a part of her support team, but added that she understood if i was uncomfortable with that. That's the part that got me -  that Ramona knew it was not something people might be able to do. And truthfully i wasn't sure i was up to it, but i felt i might be ...because of my mom. So i wrote her back and said let's hook up. 

2. My 82 year mom Elodie is a survivor of ovarian cancer- She was diagnosed with stage 4 when she was 65 years old. I went to the doctor's appointment with her that day because Elodie doesn't listen well and doesn't ask questions. 

There were two doctors in the room at Madigan who told Elodie she had stage four. My dad i'm pretty sure did not know what that meant. But I did because i had researched before the appointment. And when my mom hugged the two doctors and seemed excited i was certain she didn't know either. It wasn't until later that i understood that she thought there were TEN stages. We never told her that stage 4 was the worst... (especially for ovarian cancer). And 17 years later my mom is still alive and i think it's in part because she had such a great attitude and didn't know. 

Ramona wasn't uniformed about her diagnosis of course, but she did have that same kind of positive attitude and i thought it would get her through too- maybe not like my mom, (because Elodie is indestructible, like a cockroach, and will outlive us all),  but i thought Ramona had lots more time. 

3. I was not expecting to be so sad today when i heard this news. She was not my very best friend. She's not my longest friend. And we didn't do a lot together until the last year and a half. 

But i realized what it was that i am missing already.... and it's selfish i have to admit.  I didn't do THAT much for her but she made me feel like i did a lot. I am not that funny, but she let me know that she thought i was, especially on Facebook. In other words, she made me feel like i was a better person than i feel i am. Only a few people make me feel that way, which i deserve - considering my personality. 

4. What i really came to like about her is that she was so positive about so much. AND i loved that she was in no way passive aggressive, or pouty, or seething.... if something bothered her, she said told you. Ramona was very straightforward. A long time ago i made an offhand remark - some jokey thing about her flirting with guys (this was before she was married to her husband Paul) - and she called me on the phone later that day and told me that she didn't appreciate it. And i thanked her because she was right. And we were okay all the times i saw her next. Ramona was pretty fucking low maintenance, even when she shouldn't have been. 

5. Here's something about her teaching: About 15 years ago she had a little girl in her classroom who just happened to live in my condo community. I knew the little girl and her older brother well as they were always at the pool during the summer. Nice kids. And they had a VERY nice dad who was devoted to those kids but who later was sent to jail for something i don't know. And you could see it in the kids that they were troubled and missed their dad. When Ramona noticed that the girl started coming to school wearing her older brother's clothes she called me and Dorothy since we knew them. She was raising money to take the girl shopping to get clothes. Recently Ramona and I talked about that and she told me the student never wore the clothes that were purchased from the fundraising and we both laughed that she may have gotten it wrong because she realized the girl liked wearing her brother's clothes. 

She retired from teaching elementary school a few years ago. I was thinking today how she made me feel better about who i am and how as a teacher how wonderfully that must have translated to her students, the ones who really count. 

Rest in Peace, Ramona. I'm grateful that I did get the chance to know you better beyond just Facebook and the school district and the union. I really thought we had at least a few more games of Scrabble at Bur's and many more cups of coffee at Starbucks. It's weird because I keep waiting for you to 'like' a post on Facebook or to send a text. I hope that somehow you are able to read all of the Facebook posts about how much you will be missed. I will miss you too.