Monday, August 30, 2010

And you thought I was gone for a week.

I wrote this last evening during the wee hours of insomnia….


The lake house is so quiet that I find it unsettling for the first couple of days.
No street lights and no lights from a city since none is near by.
It’s so quiet and very dark out here in the country.
The dog and Rick are exhausted. I am too but I can’t sleep.
I am not fond of this insomnia crap. 

I just finished watching the Emmy awards.
God how damn good looking and funny can George Clooney be?
The man oozes charm.
I would like to spend a day with him. Oh not to shag him although…...
Seriously I just want to shadow him and see his charmed life you know?
Just curiosity I guess. I’d probably just stare at him.

I love to watch award shows and talk back to my TV and say," Kyra your dress is gorgeous but your hair looks dreadful! Anna Pacquin, are you leaving the awards and then going to a bull fight because you look like a matador?"
I yell these things at my TV as though I am the judge and jury of taste and honestly if Joan Rivers can do it why can’t I? Rick and the dog are snoring here in the room so no one knows I am playing Judgmental Peg. (until now of course)

How good was Jimmy Fallon? I thought he did a great job.
I love his impressions of singers. The opening act was clever.
His Elton and Green Day were pretty good too. I’ve seen him do Neil Young but didn’t know he had all that in him. He did a very good show and moved it along quite nicely.
I think Variety will be calling for my review by morning.

My 2 favorite shows won some gold last night. Mad Men and Modern Family.
So very different but I really love both of them a lot!
I also thought Claire Danes was magnificent as Temple Grandin.
I saw this woman, Temple, on a talk show years ago.
If you are unaware she has autism. She is exceptionally smart but doesn’t have the best of social skills. She knows that and that is what is so damn fascinating about her. She knows she’s odd and the way she handles that is pretty damn cool. If only I could be so cool.
If you have not read about her or seen her on television, then check out the movie with her name as the title.
It’s a fascinating look at autism and it’s helpful to understand the autism spectrum.
At least to me it is fascinating.

How about Ricky Gervais? Honest to Pete that man never fails to make me laugh.
I just love him! I found as soon as his name was announced and he walked out I was already smiling. He must have lost about 40lbs and he looks good.
But I will admit I liked him with a bit of pudge for some reason.
When he gets silly and laughs at his own jokes he just seems like a bad little boy.
For some reason that appeals to me. I suppose it says more about me than Ricky G.
I think I would have to have he and George at my cocktail party.
Boy wouldn’t that be a hoot.
Hmmm….I may have to think about that. My perfect cocktail party of all the folks I would want to come that I never will have the opportunity to invite. I think they must be alive.
Gee that was stupid, corpse at a party are a real bummer don'tcha think? :-)

Yep, that is what I’ll think about today while I work and paint later tonight.
I’ll be making my list for my party and will post later.

Who would be at your cocktail party? C’mon just tell me a couple.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Vacation

Well it is sort of a vacation.
We are heading to the lake on Sunday. 
I have a plethora of things to accomplish so we can leave.
Right now I am feeling overwhelmed and wishing I had a few more hours in the day to get everything done.

The new vanity top that was to be installed down there was dropped and broken.
So the rest of the room will be finished but the old ugly sink and counter top will be there for now.  Honestly I can tell mercury is in retrograde.  Oh stop your laughing at me!
Has everything been shit lately?  Been in a funk?  Things are just goofy? Kids acting up? Dogs crazy?  That's mercury in retrograde people.  Sort of like a full moon and all the crazies that happen and come out during that time.

I will be forwarding the office phones to the lake so I will be working.
Rick is actually on vacation.  Oh the joy of owning your own business. 
But this is the slowest week of the year for us annually so it shouldn't be too bad. 
I have a lot of stuff to do there to get ready for company and I have homework and I have work. 

These are some of the great visitors coming next week.

They are fun, laid back and low maintenance and we love 'em!
Can't get any better company than that.

That little guy above and Rick tease each other something fierce.
Rick reverts to a 12 yr old and Joey is now 10 or 11 so basically what I am saying is they are the same general age.  Each and every year they do something to one another to gross each other out or play a trick.  They both know before they leave one another that something will happen.  Rick is all excited about what he has up his sleeve this time.  I can't share it now because one of those 3 in the picture may read this. Can't give away Rick's diabolical plan.
The fact that my grown ass husband plans on how to trick a kid is really quite pathetic but the 2 of them seem to really look forward to this yearly event.  I'll try to take photo's this year so I can share with you all.  I must admit it's a good one. He's the damn cutest kid and my husband ain't so bad either.

I have found gluten free beer that is good.....very good.
I know you're thinking big deal Margaret who the hell cares? Well, I do. 
Sometimes you just need to have a beer on a hot summer day. 
Especially at the lake. Beer and lake fun seem to go hand in hand.
My husband, the beer snob, thinks it's good as well. 
Okay he wouldn't choose it over his Molson's XXX but he thought it was better than most beers that are popular here in America. (you know like that awful Bud and Miller Lite) 
It's a heavier robust beer which I like and I am shocked at how much I like it. 
The little things in life that thrill me huh?

Don't know if I'll have time to post in the next week.
So here's to the official end of summer.
Have a great holiday!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Roommates

My sister and I shared an apartment when I was 28 and she was 21.

It was at the beginning of my career and she had just finished college and gotten her first job. We were beyond poor. Both paying off school loans so we needed roommates and we knew we could live together.

We found this great apartment in a very old but beautiful building.
The woodwork and architectural details of this place were fabulous.
These little touches were all over the building and the apartments.
What wasn’t so great was the climb to our apartment.
We lived on the 3rd floor. It was 6 flights of winding stairs, with landings in between each flight which I like to think was to allow you to catch your breath.
Probably not what the architect had in mind but that was my theory.
This was a beautiful wooden staircase of dark cherry wood. The balusters or spindles were beautifully carved pieces of wood. The staircase was much wider than they are today.
From the moment you opened the heavy double doors at the front entrance you knew this building was special and built in a time of great workmanship. Sadly that made it old.

How my sister and I did this trek to our apartment every day, several times a day so easily now makes me out of breath just thinking about it. Carrying groceries up these winding wooden stairs was the only time I noticed how many stairs there were.
Otherwise we never really seemed to mind. Aah, to be young.

My Grandmother (refer to Grandma C in previous post) would visit and she would stand outside our door and refuse to ring the bell until she caught her breath.
We could hear her…well let's say we could hear someone panting outside our door so we had to look. We peered out the peep hole and we could see her white hair and we would just giggle.
We didn’t want to make her feel badly about the huffing and puffing so we let her catch her breath and wait for the knock on the door.
We never told her we knew she was out there trying to catch her breath.
We let it be her little secret.

One day as we opened the door she informed us that it would be most hospitable if we would have beverages, preferably cocktails, on the landings as you go up for your guests ….it would make the climb so much better you know Peggy.
This made one of us instantly pour her a glass of her favorite “beverage”
I mentioned that having beverages on each landing could also make her have to use the bathroom. To which she replied, “all the faster I could make that damn climb”
We would tease her that seeing her granddaughters should be enough incentive.
She told us it was but begged us to promise that our next apartment was on the ground floor or at least have elevators.

We actually had a lot of friends do the same as Grandma C.
They were young and they too would stand at the door until they caught their breath. Sometimes I would hear them and just open the door. "Busted," I would say as I opened the door. I didn't give them a break like I did Grandma C.

I had a date once tell me he must really want to go out with me to climb Mt. Everest to just knock on my door. He complained about it every time he came over and in fact one day he called and said he thought instead of him coming to get me first why don’t I drive and meet him so he didn’t have to do “those stairs”   Really? I’m not worth walking up a few stairs?  I did not meet him that day. I also didn’t see him after that because I figured if he didn’t think I was worth the walk up a lousy few flights of stairs he was not for me. Besides I really don't like whiners…..never went out with him again.

Then there were the boyfriends who stayed over with my sister and I (sluts) who would run down the stairs and across the street to this great Mom & Pop deli and buy some slab bacon and  eggs and other assorted breakfast foods and then come back running up the steps to make us breakfast. We dated both of those men for a long while. They never complained about the stairs and they made us breakfast with homemade hash browns….you can’t dump those kind quickly.

But living with my sister was great.
For me aside from my husband she was my best roommate that I ever had.
You know each other so well. You’ve been sharing a bathroom for your whole life so having a 1 bathroom apartment is no big deal to you.
Our boyfriends on the other hand found it weird.
If I was in the shower and my sister had to use the bathroom it was no big deal to us.
She’d knock and walk in while yelling, “Sorry but I gotta go”
Apparently the rest of the world finds that gross.
My sister loves baths, which I hate, and she would be in a bubble bath sipping on some wine on a Friday night and I would put the seat down and sit and talk about our day.
Our friends found that weird too and to us it was normal and sister time.
Growing up we had 1 bathroom for a very long time with 5 girls all in the house.
(Dad took the other one and God forbid we use his bathroom!)
With 5 girls in one house you are always walking in on one another in various forms of dress. We’ve seen it all.
So there really wasn’t much that was weird to us until someone pointed it out.

One night having one bathroom was very difficult for my sister.
I had a little too much to drink as a 20 something will tend to do.
I passed out on the bathroom floor after hanging on to the toilet for a long time.
My sister had to use the bathroom and I wouldn’t budge and she couldn’t get the door open. Oh she yelled all right and beat on that door from what I was told later.
But I was passed out (from too much vodka) and I didn’t hear a thing.
To this day I can not drink vodka.
Poor thing actually went in the kitchen sink. Which I might point out is much grosser than me sitting on the commode talking with her while she takes a bubble bath.
It was my fault and I felt terrible about it.
I don’t think I would have reacted any differently than she did. Oh boy was she mad at me.

Somehow I went to work that day. I found a note on my bedroom door that said she had to talk to me when we got home from work. DO NOT LEAVE it said in large black letters.
Now I knew she was mad and she had ever right to be.
Nothing like being reprimanded by ones younger sister!

A few weeks ago when we were all in the same town together visiting our parents we all laughed about some of these stories.
She and I have such fond memories of our time living together.

Besides who else other than your sister could eat a whole hot fudge cake with you during PMS week for dinner and not make you feel guilty?

Who was your favorite roommate other than a significant other?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I'm trying to see the positives through the funk.....

It's beautifully cloudy, cool and drizzly. 
(is drizzly a word?)
The high today is only 78-79.
That truly makes me happy.
I opened windows just to have fresh air.

It's a tad noisy in the office but the fresh air, breeze and lack of sun make working easier.
Papers are rustling and the fresh air smells divine.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday Ramblings

My husband who never reads my blog asked me about it on Friday.
I told him what I wrote and he rattled off these questions to me.

What do you mean you couldn't think of 10 things?

I put everything out there on the blog so there were not 10 things that I could think of that I haven't written about myself.

Did you tell them that you giggle constantly?


No I didn’t because I think I’ve mentioned that before.

Did you tell them that you are organized in everything but your desk looks like a hurricane wind swept over it?

Well….no not exactly.

Did you tell them that you are so scared of cats it paralyzes you?

Yes, I’ve mentioned that before so didn’t need to say it again

Did you tell that you lived in a haunted house and that friends were afraid to visit you?

I think I wrote about that? (Did I readers of my blog mention this before?)

Have you told them all your funny blonde moments that crack me up?

Yes, I listed some several years ago so HA, you thought I wouldn’t share that side of me huh?

Did you tell them that you are very intuitive?

Hell, no people think you’re nuts when you say that shit, you’ve seen it happen but if I just told you wouldn’t you think I was off my rocker?

Well I know you so of course I know you’re a bit off.

Hmmm....Funny boy.

In other random news about moi –
Last week with work, a sick dog and going to the ER I slept very little most nights. Never more than 3 hours. I got absolutely nothing accomplished in my life.

Thankfully blog posts were pre written. I am so behind in all of my life but most of all my reading of a book that should have been done already.

I am reading a book for a class that Mary is teaching from Writing without Periods.
I read this book in 1974 for the first time and I remember just loving this book.
Then it was a movie and I couldn’t wait to see the movie.
Of course this was before I was a jaded old crone who never sees movies made from the books I read.

Now 36 years later I am reading the same book and I could die of boredom.
This weekend I feel asleep each and every time I opened the book and began reading.
I have read this one chapter 3 times now!
I am determined to finish this before my vacation that begins this weekend.

In other randomness...
My neighbors on the right are moving this week.
My neighbors on the left who are more than neighbors but have become friends are moving as well. They had us over yesterday for some cocktails just to tell us.
They are being transferred to Cleveland Ohio.
I got to play with their 6 month old and hug her and smell her.
God how I love the smell of a baby!!
I swear they should just bottle it – as my hubby calls it, “the smell of youth!”

So now everyone is moving on and I feel like I am standing still or worse yet, going down a long dark hole. Jeez this is depressing.
I sure as hell don’t want to move to Cleveland (lived there for work back in 1987-90) once is certainly enough. But I feel like we’re being left behind as odd as that sounds.
Rick and I need a change and we’re not sure what we need at this point but something different.

Maybe we are feeling this way because we have moved so much in our life.
We have never lived anywhere this long. His career or mine would transfer us and off we’d go to another exciting adventure. But now here we are living in this area for a total of 12 yrs. Not this particular city but this area. It is the longest either of us has been in one spot except childhood. So maybe that’s why we feel this way. Or it could be that we are feeling left behind with all our friends moving on.
Who knows but we’re in a funk of late. I hate a funk.

So on that note I’ll go back to work so that I can have the energy to finish my damn book tonight….or at least have a good nap out of it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Happy Anniversary to Me.

Today is 3 years since I started blogging.












So Happy Anniversary to me.

In honor of this celebration I am going to try to think of 10 things you don't know about me.  That isn't easy since I am an open book here.  But I will try.

1. I am struggling with wearing contacts. This is my 2nd pair with a different script.
 Honest to Pete I can't get them to allow me to see. My doctor actually said to me, "You'll never see as well as with glasses"  Well shit you couldn't have told me that before I paid for these suckers?  I have replayed this over and over in my head and I think she is referring to my particular contacts which are for distance, computer and reading.  The ole multi-lens.
So I wear glasses while working and reading but otherwise being blind is just fine for me. 
I don't need to see those pesky road signs while driving.

2. I am a fanatic list maker.  I make lists for my lists. It's a sickness and one of which my husband does not share. He goes to the grocery store and normally will call me 5 times to ask, "what else did I say I wanted? did you say we needed such and such?"  Jeez.
When I give him a list he either leaves it in the car or on the kitchen island. 
I told him last week I was going to pin it on his shirt like a little kid. 
His eyes lit up and he said, "hey let's try that."  The Ass.

3. I miss tanning.  Everyone looks better in a tan. God knows fat looks better tan.
Yes, I used to bake in the sun.  I would lay there and sizzle with oil all over me. Then in the 80's I'd fake bake in a booth when I wasn't flying off to some island to get a tan.  Now I have no time for either. I also burn first.  I am so pale I burn before I can tan. I have a damn lake house and I am pale. My legs are glow in the dark white. I am the palest Italian American woman you will ever met.  I have a very blond Nordic  friend who is darker than me.
I think I may be adopted.

4.  I apparently say crazy things in the middle of the night.
My husband always thinks I'm awake. I never remember any of these conversations or outburst. I once sat upright and screamed, "I'm going to kill you, you mother fucker." 
Now seriously, I don't talk like that so that just makes me laugh. 
How the hell couldn't he know that I was asleep?  
Apparently that outburst scared the bejesus out of  him.
The wuss.
He now has taken to calling me Sybil.

5. Who the hell am I kidding.  I don't have 10 things you don't know about me. I am an open book. I've told you all everything. I love chocolate.  I am still so incredibly smitten with my hubby its sickening.  I adore my pup Izzy and I have grown very wary of people most days.
I have small feet and big boobs. It's a no wonder I don't fall over.

I absolutely love all of you who take time to read me and take the time to comment.
I love that you have been with me through all my rants and raves. 
Who listen to me when I need to purge for cathartic reasons.
I love that you all have become my blogger friends and I always appreciate it when you come back......I'm generally surprised as well.

Now let's figure out how we can all get together to have a helluva good party!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Back to Regular Scheduled Programming….YIPEE

Here are the random thoughts rolling around in my little head this week.

I read this paragraph Wednesday morning from AFP….

Most young Americans entering university this year can't write in cursive, think email is
too slow, that Beethoven's a dog and Michelangelo a computer virus, according to an annual list compiled by two academics at a US college.

Now you know the saddest thing about this? I am not the least bit surprised.

My dog had to be taken to the doggie ER on Sunday. We were there until 2am
Then the humans went home. Then at 5:30a I was up and getting ready to pick her up at the hospital to transport her to the doctors office for the full day.
I did that and came to the office to work a full 8 ½ hrs.
Then I had to pick her up and bring her home and care for her.
She has a cough like a horn. Canine upper respiratory syndrome is what she has and which came on so quickly it was unbelievable. Scary, scary, scary.
I wish she could talk to us to tell us how she is feeling etc.
It’s so frustrating for us all.
She is now keeping down food, wanting to play which we can’t allow her to do because it makes things worse.
Try keeping a 17 month old Labrador down is a real treat..

We bring her to doggie day care 1 day a week. This is again where she got it.
But they check our vaccine schedule so how did this get overlooked?
If they check ours they must check everyone’s we assume.
But we have to speak with them this week about this before we make a decision to return.

Izzy loves doggie day care – to the point that we must spell it or else she gets all exited and the tail is wagging like crazy as she runs to the front door to leave. It breaks my heart to think we may have to stop this.

She has gotten sick 2 times and she isn’t that old for Pete’s sake.
Any dog lovers have a thought on this?
Here in the city we live in a townhome. (think brownstone in NY)
We have no real yard…it’s all patio. So she is walked a lot and we take her to a park every night to run and throw sticks for exercise. She also has a lot of dog friends in the neighborhood who meet us in the evening and she wrestles and plays fetch and all of that

At the lake we have an acre of land and of course the water right in the back yard.
We can just open the door and let her be a dog and run and sniff everything and of course she loves to swim and fetch balls and sticks in the water.

So doggie day care is a real thrill for her because she can run and play with other dogs and it’s a lot of exercise when she is city dog. She comes home so tired she literally will eat and sleep from 5pm until morning. Her human parents love that for a night of relaxation and some wine/liquor and adult conversation without interruption.

I’m torn to stop and let her not have this 1 day a week or get her a bordetella shot 2x a year instead of 1x along with the flu shot suggested by our vet. But it still is no guarantee.
I can’t imagine having children. I would be a wreck.
I already am and it’s just my dog. (my dog baby) I equate this to sending your children to school and they come home with all kinds of illnesses and snotty noses.
When she was in the hospital all hooked up to IV’s and looking at me as if to say, “get me out of here please, I love you” I was a puddle of a mess.
Good thing I don’t have children. I’d be a puddle all the time.

It was rainy and cool yesterday. I think the high was only 79. I was in heaven.
I love rainy days. Not for 4 months straight but I love rain and cool days. (cool like 55 is great to me) I don’t want sun every day. I don’t want anything every day.
Okay I lied. I love chocolate in some form every day.
OOOH and speaking of chocolate my hubby made me a nice surprise.

I had errands to run Friday after work and asked Rick to pick up some things at the grocery store for us on his way home.
I came home to him having made chocolate covered huge raspberries.
I LOVE THEM. Oh my goodness what a delicious treat.
I went to the fridge for some ice water and I saw them there on wax paper.
I squealed according to him and asked him if he made them.
“Who do you think made them Margaret?”

“Chocolate raspberry fairies?”

“Yes, chocolate fairies who love you.”

Apparently he spotted this tub of chocolate near the berries. Smart marketing I’d say.
You just microwave this tub as directed and dip your berries. (that sounds dirty)
He thought he’d surprise me since raspberries are my favorite fruit.
And these suckers were huge. I haven’t seen them that big since I lived in Seattle.
Huge berries....this is getting worse isn't it?  I'm like a 12 yr old boy for heaven's sake!

Yes they were loaded with sugar but no damn gluten so I went for it. I had 2 right away.
Then I went back after dinner and had 2 more. Oink oink!
Every day I open the fridge and would see them and I swear I heard them…..Peggy eat me, eat me, c'mon eat me.

Or that could have been Rick.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Angry Sunday.......Part III

This new woman came into a home with all of the belongings of another woman all around her.

My father never even emptied my mom’s things from their closet.
I used to go to my mom’s closet and smell her clothes when no one was around but it never ever occurred to me that I should take them away for this woman moving in.
I was a kid who just never thought about it to be honest.
I was too self absorbed but as a 20 something when I realized all of this I apologized to her for that. (She thankfully understands and blames my father which makes us both giggle.)
How the hell could my father not think to do that though?

So there she was a new wife and mother and having to box everything up of another woman. That had to suck and make her feel terrible.
She didn’t throw a thing away.
She felt it wasn’t her place.
She kept it all for us in her home to have some day.
That day had come.

So that brings me to what made me angry 41 yrs later while going through all these boxes of things from my past. Some of these things I had never seen, some I hadn’t seen in 41 yrs.
Last week I found things in these boxes that opened all those wounds I thought I had buried or forgotten.
I sat at the dining room table going through these things and wept and then got angry, really angry. I was 13 years old again and I felt all those things that I thought were gone.

The funeral thank you notes that I filled out but they were not addressed, were at the top of one box. I saw my tiny little 13 yr old penmanship and I think that just really got to me.
It was just signed, “The Malizia Family.”
I assume these were extra’s since they did not have any other writing inside of them.
It brought all that anger back that I had for my father to the surface.
How could he do that to me?
How could he be so callous to not see that my mom just died and that he could lift a finger, because I too was mourning?
It reminded me of the notes from my Aunt on how to make my fathers meals and recipes.
How not to make my father mad.
I got angry because why the hell wasn’t anyone concerned about how I was feeling?
I got angry because why the hell didn’t my father ever take us out to dinner instead of demanding I cook?
I got angry that all of my sisters care was my responsibility and to this day she resents me if I even say something as innocent as, “can I get you something to drink?”
I got angry when I read all the condolence notes to my father and how they asked him to bring the girls by for a weekend getaway or for dinner and he never did.
I got angry because everyone gave my younger sister a hug and sympathy and gifts because her mom died. While I stood and watched and served them coffee and pastries.
I got angry because my father was remarried within 9 months.
He was busy immediately dating and looking for a new wife but never had the time for his girls who so needed his attention.
I was angry that he thought ignoring it all would make it fine and/or go away.
I want to believe he was in mourning but if he was it wasn’t what one does in mourning to most of us.
I am angry that he never talked to us about any of it even when we asked but would instead spout religious rhetoric.
Now as an adult I understand the whispering that I heard by Aunts and Uncles about Dad’s behavior. I get it. But he is my father. I love him. He makes me angry. He should have known better but he didn’t.

I thought I had let all that anger go long long ago.
Apparently not buried far enough on that day.
I know in the past I did try to talk to him about all of this.
He doesn’t see that he did anything wrong.
And there is no point in trying to tell him anything else.
I was the oldest and I was a girl.
I am sure if I had had an older brother it would still be my responsibility because I was a girl.
He said and I quote, “I got you another mother didn’t I? She's wonderful isn't she?”
To him that was the answer.

Truth be told maybe it kind of was.
My new mom was kind, understanding and did the best she could.
She never asked us to forget our mom. She bought her flowers on mothers day and brought us to her grave. She did all kinds of nice things like that.
She too was overwhelmed herself with her new life.
She and I have talked about this a lot over the years.
She understands and she knows my father so she really gets it all.
He makes her angry too.

I turned out fine.
I wasn’t harmed or beaten. I was loved and in fact spoiled with love.
I had all the material things I ever needed as well.
I grew up with more sisters and a house full of laughter.
So life wasn’t so bad.
I surely don’t mean to imply that it was in anyway.
I would like to think if he knew better he’d have done better.
He never did anything from a bad place. He thought he was doing the right thing.
I realize now as an adult I just needed something more than he could give me that I had to find on my own. I did. And that only helped me grow and be strong.

But that particular Sunday while reading all those things it just came flooding back to me.
I felt all the pain, the stress, the loneliness, the overwhelming feeling of inadequacy that sometimes still haunts me to this day. Thankfully it was just that Sunday.

So that is what made me angry on that particular Sunday.

Now I will go back to being my old smart ass happy self on this blog and put that back where it belongs.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Angry Sunday ........Part II

At the funeral my father made me stand by him.
I greeted people like he should have.
My 10 year old sister ran around like she should at 10 but when she was out of line or misbehaving it was now my responsibility to rein her in.

After the showings when relatives would come to our home I was in charge of coffee and serving whatever there was to serve.
I stepped into my mom’s shoes immediately because my father didn’t make coffee or play host. When an Aunt would say, “I’ll get it” He would say to them, “No Peggy has to learn”
Besides this was what he told me he expected of me.
Being a Type A I did what I was told and tried to do it very well.
He usually made me feel inadequate about the job done and would have to tell me what to do better next time.
I actually took notes. What kind of crazy ass kid does this?

After the funeral I was given thank you cards to write out to all who donated for masses, sent flowers etc. I don’t recall doing them but I remember being given them to do with instructions.

Over time my father expected me to have dinner on the table at a certain time, after dinner to clean the kitchen and dishes. Help my sister with homework, practice my piano, get my sister ready for bed and be sure her clothes were laid out for her. Make his lunch for the next day and my night was finally over. I loved going to my room to do homework or read to escape to other worlds.

My Dad would drive me to the grocery store and sit in the car while I took my sister inside with me to shop. The first time I went was a comedy. I saw that there were cakes you could make from a box! I was so surprised I never knew that. I thought you made cakes with flour and eggs and all the things I saw my mom do. Then I saw pasta in bags and boxes. I ran out to my father in the car, leaving behind my cart in the aisle, just to ask him if he knew you could buy spaghetti in a box/bag! Are we poor or something why do we make it? He laughed and said he indeed knew but that but we didn’t need to buy spaghetti or the cake mixes. I thought everyone made pasta so this was a whole new world to me. And for some friggin’ reason it excited me so to find all these things out. What a goofy kid huh? But this was a whole new world. Donuts in a box? C’mon you can have them anytime!! I found this information so thrilling to me. My mom made donuts they were not something you could have all the time so easily. I wanted everything from a box from then on!!

Another funny thing that happened that my father likes to share to this day is my ironing skills – or lack of I guess would be more accurate.
My father wore these green work pants to work everyday then.
My mother of course ironed them. There was a nice crease down the front of his pants.
She had begun teaching me to iron but I never got to the crease in the pants part before she died.
So one day I tried to iron them. I saw that my mom used Niagara spray starch on things so I did too. I sprayed and ironed and sprayed and ironed. The only problem was I put the creases on the outside and inside seam. I didn’t know how to match the inside seams to make the crease appear down the front.
When my father put them on I heard him laugh. He walked down the hall, stood there in the kitchen while I was making my sister breakfast. He said, “Peggy the crease goes down the middle.” His stood there looking like a fool with his pants stiff as a board. They stuck out on the inside of his legs and the outside and he looked ridiculous.

But you know the good thing?  For once he was at least laughing and for some reason that made me burst into tears.
I so hated this job of housewife!! He tried to comfort me by telling me that his sister, Aunt Fil, would come out and show me how to do this.
Looking back on this it was pretty damn funny.
He looked so funny and how much starch did I use for heaven’s sake?
Or better yet, why did I use starch for pants?
Why I cried I don’t know except I do remember feeling so overwhelmed so that could have just been a release for me.

When my father remarried I wasn’t upset.
I was thrilled. I could be a kid again.
There was now someone else to do all these horrible housewife and mom chores that I no longer wanted any damn part of.
All my girl friends who thought it was so romantic to dream of being a mom and wife I thought were crazy.
I used to tell anyone who would listen that I was not having kids it was too much work.
I was not getting married it was too much work.
I kept my promise on only one of those.

.....................to be continued.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Angry Sunday .......Part I

Before I begin this story I want to be sure you understand that I am NOT defined by my mother’s death. It is something that happened in my childhood that did indeed make me chose certain paths at certain points in my life that I may not have otherwise.
To quote the saying that we hear all the time today, “It just is what it is”
I repeat that she died here sometimes in stories so that new readers will understand a point that is trying to be made or the situation surrounding the point trying to be made.
My story today is to explain the anger I wrote about last week.
So many wrote me and asked about my anger and if I was ever going to say why I was angry.
I guess they thought that was the story.
It all started from me bringing home boxes from my family visit.
I was given these boxes I was told were mine to bring home.
So on a Sunday afternoon recently I went through every box and every item piece by piece.
Some of these items made me very angry.

When I was in the 6th grade my mom got sick. I didn’t understand a lot of it and I remember when she came home she was tired a lot. One day after school she wasn’t in the kitchen when I came home. She was ALWAYS in the kitchen when we got home from school. That was “our time.” She would go over our papers we brought home or talk about our day over some cookies and milk. Very Leave it to Beaver which makes me laugh now. But they were good warm memories.

Her not being in the kitchen scared me. I was afraid to walk down the hall on this particular day to see if she was breathing. So like a good chicken I asked my neighbor and good friend Mark to come over to do it for me. It’s funny because he never thought a thing of it. We have talked about it as grown ups and we both laugh at how it was just what needed to be done and he did it for me. (may times there after too) Isn’t that kind of cool that as I said above, it just was what it was, and life went on? No more real thought into any of it.
Anyhow, he saw mom’s chest going up and down and told me that she was breathing and he stayed while I woke her up.

She would always apologize when I woke her. I think she felt she had to be there for me when I got home from school or some such 1960’s mind set.
We’d walk out to the kitchen and “our time” would commence.

One day while sitting at the kitchen table talking after school she decided to have a serious talk with me about her illness. She told me about breast cancer and what she was going through. She told me that she was going to teach me some things to help so that I could assist her around the house. I was excited about it all, which now I find hysterical. Excited about housework? Please. But it faded from fun to dread soon enough.

That was the beginning of me being the mom to my family.
I learned how to do laundry. I learned how to hang the clothes.
She had so much removed from under her arm with her mastectomy that hanging clothes on the line or putting her arms above her head was difficult and painful for her.
I learned how to polish her maple hardwood floors. She took such pride in her shiny floors which makes me think of Mary Hartman Mary Hartman (anyone old enough to remember that show?)

I didn’t have to do this when she was feeling well but there were days when she asked for help and I always helped. I really don’t remember feeling angry about it or resenting it one bit or even having any negative emotion. I just remember doing it.

She was feeling better later that year and she was one of the chaperones for our trip to Pittsburgh.
We went to the zoo and the planetarium and it was a big deal to me.
I remember looking back to see if my mom was there and doing okay.
She was sound asleep in the dark planetarium room while the rest of us were staring at the ceiling. I made sure her chest was going up and down and when I saw it was, I turned around and went back to the stars.

The following year she had more surgeries. This time she didn’t bounce back as quickly.
I was doing more things around the house. I am the oldest. I didn’t need to be told I just did it because I so wanted my mother to not worry and get well. My sister Pam was 8/9 during this time and a pistol of a tomboy. That was the most difficult part for me.
Funny thing, she’s still a most difficult thing in my life today.

I remember gathering laundry one Saturday morning and when I wasn’t looking my mom came down the hall and she said something to me which I can not remember….and I have tried believe me I have tried.
I said something to the effect of “that isn’t how I do it”.
She began to cry and said, “Peggy I am not gone yet please let me do this.”
That was my only fight with my mom in 13 yrs of my life with her.
Guess that is why I remember it so vividly. I remember the smell of the clothes, what she was wearing and where we were standing. I hate that this is a memory.
Her comment that day was the 1st time it hit me then that she was going to die.
I was 12, I was slow what can I say.

She always tried to not make me have to do anything more than being a kid.
When I would ask to help she’d tell me to go out and play – “Go be a kid Peggy” and playfully try to swat my butt.
Didn’t have to tell me twice – I would giggle and run outside as fast as I could.

My father did just the opposite. My father is old school from an old country where he firmly believes that women do all of this. Women take care of men. My father went from a mother to a wife and he has never ever had to lift a finger for anything and he hasn’t. He thought his job was as a provider and that is what he did. He did it well.
He loved us but it was just not the type of father of today.

I never saw my father lift a finger to help my mom. Her sisters would visit to help out a lot. I asked my sister Pam because sometimes our realties are very different, if she saw Dad do anything. She had the same stories. I was hoping she and I didn’t have the same memory this time because I wanted to believe that Dad did help mom more than just drive her to doctor’s appointments.

The last time my mom went to the hospital she discussed with us the chance of her not coming home. She never talked about taking care of anyone but myself. She never told me to care for the family. She talked about being good to myself, to understand if Dad gets a new mom for us and to be kind to her because he would never pick someone bad, to most of all trust in myself, work hard and be all I could be because I can be anything.
I ran out of the room several times during that conversation. She always calling me back to her bed to hold her hand and listen. That was our last conversation. I remember the blue sky out the window above her bed was beautifully blue and sunny. I just wanted to stare out that window and not think about this stuff.

One night when Dad came home from the hospital he sat me down and told me how I had to take over. I was going to have to be mom to Pam. I had to cook and clean for him. I had to have dinner on the table at 5:30p. If I needed help to call Aunt Fil (his sister Filomena) I would have to quit all after school activities to be home for my sister.
What is funny about this in my memory is the room was dark and it was nighttime and the surroundings felt like the conversation. All very black.
I sometimes wonder if that is all in my head or was it really a dark room?

I asked my dad if mom was coming home. He rattled some religious mumbo jumbo
(I apologize to those who love the religious sentiment) and I never got a straight answer which I so needed at that moment in time. My father tends to hide behind his religion and even at a young age it drove me crazy.

.........to be continued

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thoroughly Random Thursday

Eat Pray Love, my least favorite book that was uber hyped is now a movie.
I am sure all the Oprah followers and lovers of this book will flock to the movie.
As you may or may not remember I HATED this book.
I found the author glib, self absorbed and with entitlement issues.

What she said she was looking for was not in her behavior at all.
The big and important things like her marriage she treated like it was tissue she was throwing away. She had no regard for any ones feelings but her own.
She didn't care how her actions affected anyone but herself.
The more I read it the more I didn't like this woman.
I guess I prefer to enjoy my heroine on some level while reading the book.
I disliked her more and more as this book went on.
I often wondered if those that loved it just loved the idea of it.
The idea of searching the world for your truth and living the life of a rich woman with no more cares in the world than self.
Could that have been the appeal?
Gee can you tell I didn't like this woman?
I sadly know a lot of her ilk.

This morning in the USA Today newspaper there is a review.
This reviewer felt the same thing for the movie that I did the book.
The caption for the review is 'Eat Pray Love' comes off more like 'Me Me Me'
I couldn't have agreed more!
But little ole me and my opinion will not stop this from becoming box office gold for Ms. Julia Roberts. At least she got to eat well.

I asked hubby if he could please make me a vanity top that would look similar to carrera marble.  You see our main bathroom at the lake house was never remodeled. 
It was just painted quickly after we bought it because at the time we were also renting it out.  We didn't have enough time to do everything.
Right now I can not afford to get a new vanity but I think painting it will make it look a lot better. 
I thought that since this vanity was going to be very dark that a carrera marble looking vanity top would look great.
Hubby makes concrete counter tops and vanity tops for paying customers why not me?
He has never made one to look like carerra marble before and he was willing to give it a try.
Now I am sure I will have to put out for this, ah but what the hell.

Here is what it looks like right now. 
It still needs to be polished.
While it is nice and shiny now it will be more so when he is done with it. 
I will show you the after of the whole room when completed.
But check it out in it's raw stage.  I think the old man did a nice job.

I am currently hating on my hair.  I am growing out my short do. 
I may not be able to go through with this. 
Is wearing a baseball cap all the time until it's a normal style again okay?
Inappropriate with a black dress you say? If it matches?
Seriously I know in the big scheme of things this is pretty trivial.
But I look in the mirror and go what the hell are you thinking woman? 
It's just brown stuff hanging off your head with no style now. 
This can really ruin my day.  Outfit? Cute!  Hair?  OMG! what is on your head?

I remember when Katie Couric grew out her super short do on national television.
I also remember laughing out loud when my husband one morning said, "What the hell is going on with her hair?"  So if he noticed it was bad we all know it was bad. 
Bravo to her because she did it in front of millions. 
Can I?  Will I?  Oh Lordy this sucks!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lists

The majority of the blogs I read has everyone making lists.

I have failed terribly at this task when I tried.

First there was Tammie's, The 10 clothing items that make her cringe.
Her list was interesting and funny.
I made mine and I sounded like a judgemental nut job.
(okay but really Oregon & Washington State must stop wearing socks with sandals!)

Then there was Lindsay's bucket list.
I had done everything on her list except for a mere couple, which I wouldn't want to do.
Gee, I'm not ready to die.
So I made up my own bucket list.
Know what I learned?
I learned that I'm pretty friggin' happy with my life and I have done most everything I have ever wanted to except for 2 things. 
Two whole things really don't make a list now do they?
How lucky am I? Damn lucky and I know it.

Each list I tried made me laugh at myself.
So I scraped the whole list idea.
I guess lists are not my forte.

Last night I completed going through all the boxes of things that I brought home from my trip to my family's. I purged most of it. 
The old 1st marriage wedding dress, my first holy communion dress, my bronze baby shoes. 
I came across some things that made me angry. Really angry. Very angry.
I may write about that soon to purge it.  Gee aren't you glad you'll get to read that!

I came across my high school scrap book in one of these boxes.
This was a hoot. A time capsule for sure.
The things I kept and my notes about these items were a window to this teenager for sure.
A $5.00 ticket stub for a Foreigner concert.
I have stubs to Heart, Doobie Brothers, Seals and Croft, Rush and Jefferson Airplane.
The most expensive was $8.00. 
Can you imagine seeing the double bill of Heart and the Doobie Brothers for only $8.00?

I even had the receipt to my very first car.
My dad gave me $500 for the down payment for a graduation gift.
I know that sounds like a small amount today.
But when you consider the total cost of that car it really wasn't such a small amount.
It was $2,800 brand new.
It was a 1974 bright yellow VW beetle.
It had an add on listed on the bottom of the receipt for a FM radio with 8 track to be added so the grand total was $3,100.
A whole car!

Did you save your high school scrapbook?  Looked at it lately?

Monday, August 9, 2010

What Do You Do?

In our society you are what you do.
Whether right or wrong, that is what it is.

When at a party how many times when introduced to new people do they ask you, "What do you do?"
I no longer have an easy answer for that and for the life of me I don’t get why it bothers me so much.

Even when I did have a so called title no one ever understood what the hell I did so I would then have to explain. At times that was frustrating to me as well...and I'm sure boring to them.  No one really gives a rats ass but it's a nice thing to ask and chat about quickly.  Sometimes I would just make shit up. Easier for party banter because I would never see them again. Or else I would dumb my job down and just say I was in sales.
No one ever asks you deep questions but at least I had something to say compared to my answer today.

Now here I am 5 yrs after leaving corporate America and I still struggle with that answer.
This weekend I met some new people.
It doesn’t help that where I live everyone has a job that is interesting to me or they can’t tell me or they’d have to kill me. Those last ones make me really want to know what the hell they do!

But I no longer have a title.
I no longer can quantify what the hell it is I do, yet I have very little spare time.

• I walk my dog Izzy 3 miles a day but I’m not a dog walker.

• I am in charge of all advertising media. I have webinars and work on the next years budget and work on my plan to increase business. But I am not in advertising.

• I research all software to enhance our business model. I interview software companies on their products, negotiate prices and models and implement them. But I am not an account manager.

• I work with contractors, designers and remodeling companies to share with them our new products for their customers. I call, I meet, I present. But I am not a sales executive.

• I hold a customers hand through the 1st phone call through the process. I build relationships with them as well as providing them with great service. I am there to answer all questions on price, give creative design ideas, educate on product and process and I deal with and fix anything that may arise to make their experience great. But I am not in customer service.

• I run all aspects of a small business except do the actual job in the field but I am not the business owner per se.

• I bitch, I moan & I tell stores of my life on a blog in my blogger world but I’m not a writer.

• I clean, organize, do laundry and maintain a home but I am not a housekeeper.

• I manage all the money for a home and a business but I am not an accountant.

• I paint, remodel and design and decorate for 2 homes but I am not a designer.

• I entertain all the time for people I like and some who I don’t but I am not Martha Stewart.

• I mother a lot of people but I am not a mom.
So what am I?

When I lost my job Rick begged me to come work for him because he found as he was growing his business he didn’t have time to do the job and run the company.
He wanted someone he could trust so here I am.
This was his idea, his venture.
So even though we are partners in life and in this venture I never feel like it’s my business you know?
He thinks I’m crazy because to him I’m his business partner.
To me it’s more like this is my husbands business first and then I came here to do what I do. Maybe because this wasn’t my dream.
Oh please don’t misunderstand I don’t hate it but it wasn’t my idea to start this business. This is not something I thought I would love to do with my life.
I don't mind it, I know I'm good at it but fullfilled?  Not so much.
This is not mine. Does that make sense?

So there it is.
I must be having a mid-life crisis & I’m past middle age….unless I’m living until I’m 100+ that is.

It’s interesting that when I say I work with my husband people just say, “oh” and normally turn away. It’s a conversation stopper for sure.

I have said I work for my husband but Rick hates that.
Besides that would imply he pays me. Oh contraire.
I am sexually harassed but I don’t get a formal paycheck.
And who better to sexually harass me than a former VP of Human Resources right?
HR man knows sexual harassment!!

So what do I do?
Who am I?
Why does it even matter?

I realize I really, really don’t want to go back to corporate America.
I’m too old for the games and politics now.
So why do I give a shit what people think I do?
Why do I feel I need to have a name for it?
To tie it in a nice bow? Maybe.

This morning while walking the dog I met this woman who was a stay at home mom.
She said she has seen me walking the dog during the day did I have children?
Honestly I thought it was cute that she thought I was a stay at home mom.
More like a stay at home grandma.
When I said I worked virtual (like 45% of DC does) she asked what I did and there it was again.
I was stumped.

What do you do?