I would rather have been working

I looked forward to this two day weekend, before working six days in a row.
Fall weather in the air, hair cuts scheduled. Promises of a good day.
There were good moments, but on a whole today SUCKED.
The hair cut was great. I LOVE Russell of Rapunzels Salon in Lansdale. He is a hard person to describe. He rides a Harley, has tattoos, sits when he cuts hair, and knows how to work those shears!
Here I am. iPhone photo in the salon restroom.
haircut_selfportrait
I don’t blog too much about specific details of family drama.
Airing “dirty laundry” is not how my family rolls.
I try to honor that, but sometimes I’ve just had enough.
My 16 yr old great nephew has a very strong bond with my mother.
He has had his problems over the years, and my mom has always been the one in his corner. I’ve tried too.
Trouble seems to find him.
He’s taken advantage of me many times.
His mother (my niece) and I have not spoken in close to two months because of a situation that involved him, to complicated to even try to explain.
She said the ugliest things that any one has ever said to me, because of the situation. I don’t think I will ever forgive. That’s bad for me. The negative gunk.
T. can be defiant, very defiant. Sweet as anything when things are going his way.
Try and stop him from something that has the POTENTIAL for getting him in trouble, and his anger flares. He used the “F” bomb directly at his 87 yr old great grandmother (my Mom).
He’s lost me as an ally. He punched a light post. My fault for getting in his face and stopping him from walking away.
Around the corner however, I KNEW that TROUBLE disguised as a strawberry blond 13 yr old girl awaited. She was involved in the above situation.
I want him gone from my home, which I share with my mother. She wanted him to calm down. He is still here.
I had my keys in my hand.
He said he was sorry. I didn’t even look at him. He has said it so many times before.
I guess he is staying again tonight. I will not sleep.
I am done.
I should have bought those smudging sticks I saw at the spirited gift store today. I think this house is in the need of a blessing!
I’m making it in just under the wire for Six Word Saturday! Sorry Cate that my little corner of the blogoverse is negative today. It’s out there now, tomorrow will be better!

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We are Family

It is Day 13 of 30 Days About Me. Today’s prompt is “Someone or Something That Has Impacted Your Life”

30 Days About Me
Simple answer. My mother and my daughter.

My mother has always been all about her faith and her family.

Her faith has brought her through losing her father, son, mother, husband and both her siblings.
Photobucket
She has endured much physical pain in her life as well, and if she complains, you know it is nearing the point of unbearable.

She has always been there for me. Loved me no matter what.

We might not always see eye to eye but she has never turned her back on me.

At 87, she is currently recovering from knee replacement surgery. She has her good days and bad days. Along with the frustration of the pain, she is also frustrated that she is dependent on others (me) for so many things she wants to do herself.

Becoming a mom was a major impact on my life. There is no love so strong.

Being a single mom/only child team, we have a very strong bond.

The teen age years are proving to be a challenge.

We may fight every day, but when need be we are a team united.

It is difficult living in the middle of the two biggest influencers on my life. Especially since the generation gap between 14 and 87 is more of a canyon!

I love this poem – I do not know who wrote it.
We’re daughter and mother
Not so long ago.
We give and take
And take and give
Along times endless row.
Love is passed
And love received
To be passed on again:
A precious heirloom
Twice, twice blessed,
A spiritual cardigan.

I’ll put it on
And treasure it,
The me I have received,
And when the roles
Reverse again,
I’ll have what I most need.

So may our love
Go on and on,
A hundred thousand years;
Mothers and daughters,
Daughters and mothers,
Through joys and other tears.
– Anonymous

So, who or what influenced you the most?

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Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments is hosted by Mrs. 4444. Stop over and check it out. My second chance of the week to do a brain dump.
Mommy's Idea
I had to resort to instant coffee this morning, I forgot to buy K-cups. Instant is better than NONE!

I woke up more than an hour early this morning. I was going to just lay her and watch Big Brother After Dark (summer is not complete without Big Brother!), but the cat had other plans. Such a sweet face, but not when he is DEMANDING his breakfast.

This has been the week from hell on the home front. It just sort of snuck (sneaked?) up and blindsided me. A situation from out of nowhere. That no one in this house was even personally involved in. It has caused a major division in my family. The relationship that has been broken was dysfunctional at it’s best. Hurtful things have been said to me, but I will get over it!

My mom is doing better. Every day I see an improvement in her energy level. She has had two really bad days in the week that she has been home, and we have surmised that her Physical Therapist may have been pushing too hard (Mom is 87 after all.) She goes to the doctor for her post of check up tomorrow. She was knitting for a bit, and able to sit at her computer! The stress that the “situation” has brought into our home is not however helping.

I cleaned out my FB today. I had people who I befriended in order to advance in a game, and recently some of the things I have seen them posting were a little over the top. I decided to just delete the game too, I don’t have time. I started playing when I was still on my post retirement hiatus. I’m having trouble organizing and controlling what is happening IRL, at least I can organize my on line life!

Wish I was there right now


Work has been busy. I am finally taking some time off starting 8/11. FIVE days in a row. I don’t think I have had five days in a row off since I started in Jan 2011. When I worked 3-4 days/week it was not so bad, but now that I am full time I really need a break.

Tara and I have not had a chance to really do anything this summer. Her being a teen ager, makes it a little more difficult to find things we both enjoy. She always hesitates to make a commitment with me in case her friends want to do something. She also sleeps many of my days off away, and I really don’t like waking her. Hopefully we will get at least one day trip to the beach into my time off.

So, do you check your Klout score? I didn’t realize I had one until a few days ago. It has been on the increase. I find it pretty comical that one of the things that I am “influential” in is HELICOPTERS!

I am hoping to find someone to help me make some more changes over here on WordPress. It takes time that I have not had to concentrate on this stuff this week! I need to figure out what to do with the domain name I bought. Is there a WordPress for Dummies book? A trip to B&N might be in order tonight!

I am hoping (I’ve been saying this since about March) to get out on Saturday with my camera. I want to go to Philly and take some urban shots, but I am sure it will be too freakin’ hot. It’s always too hot or it rains when I have down time. If you live in the Philly area and have not visited Philadelphia Magic Garden on South Street, do yourself a favor and check it out. I want to go there and just get lost in all the mosaics created by Isaiah Zagar.

Isaiah Zagar

Isaiah Zager - the Artist in front of one of his mosaics

I need a haircut, manicure and pedicure. Maybe I will do that if I don’t go to Philly on Saturday.

Well, that is it for my fragments today. Have a great weekend!

Thanks a latte for stopping by,
Martha

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Passing Time and Sadness

Wow, two weeks?  Really?  Where is time going? 

The Comfort and Sweetness of Peace
After the clouds, the sunshine,
after the winter, the spring,
after the shower, the rainbow,
for life is a changeable thing.
After the night, the morning,
bidding all darkness cease,
after life’s cares and sorrows,
the comfort and sweetness of peace.

Helen Steiner Rice 

Sadness is covering our family today, my Aunt Alice passed away yesterday.  Alice was my mother’s “baby sister”.  She leaves behind my mom, three daughters, a son, and several grand children.  She was diagnosed mid-summer with pancreatic cancer, and being the evil beast that it is, took her quickly.  She is Home now, no more pain or suffering, leaving those who love her to grieve and miss her. She will be missed by so many friends and family.  I have many memories of Aunt Alice;  Hours spent in the late afternoon sun in St. Croix relaxing and reading books by the pool; sitting at the dining table “down the shore” in Ocean City chatting and looking at the surf or sitting on the beach.  She loved to travel, and she loved the Phillies.

I visited Aunt Alice and the family, with mom and my brother Bill on Saturday, wish now I had known something more to say, but thankful I was able to speak to her the few words I did.  In my 50-some years, I have not dealt much with death or dying up close, words eluded me.  How can you ask someone “how are you?”, when you know they have been told there is nothing else that can be done medically to help.  I told her I loved her and that I had stopped by to say hello.  Really, it was my good bye.  Wish I had said more.

I took a picture last summer when quite a few of our family members were together at Aunt Alice’s shore house. It was a picture that no one really wanted to pose for, most of us not really liking our pictures taken, or in a hurry to get on with whatever the plans were for the day. I said to those that would listen that you just never know how many more opportunities we might have like this. In the back of my mind thinking more about that fact that my own mother was 85.

Life has a way of catching us off guard.  So many times when we experience illness or the death of a loved one, we tell ourselves, I am going to live differently.  Not sweat the small stuff.  Enjoy life, re-assess priorities, but quickly, life takes back hold and we do “sweat the small” stuff and forget to make time for those that we love, and those things we love to do.  Life is TOO short, and can be taken from us in an instant.  This is a wake up call for me, and I will be making some changes right quick.

Bottom left – Tara, Gerri, Kristen, Bill; Middle left – Bobby, Austin, Aunt Alice, Mom, Back left – Patrick II, Holly, Patrick and moi – Ocean City, NJ 8/2009

Maybe it is because Aunt Alice spent so much time near the ocean and on the beach, the poem “Footprints in the Sand” always reminds me of her.  I know she had it hanging on the wall down the shore.  I am sure that during the last couple months, that Jesus has been carrying Aunt Alice and her family.

Footprints in the Sand
One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.

In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was one only.
This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”
The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”

Mary Stevenson, 1936

Thanks A-Latte for stopping by!

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Weekend Reflections – The Wall

James hosts Weekend Reflections over on Newtown Daily Photos. Click on the button and stop over. There are always some very creative shots!

Both my father (he passed 1/2/86) and my brother Robin (who I wrote about here) have been on my mind this week and finally took the time to scan this photo that is framed in my mother’s room.

This photo has been a family favorite for years.  I did not take this photo, my father did.  It was taken Veteran’s Day, Nov 13, 1982 at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall).  My parents attended the dedication of The Wall.

I do not believe that my father really thought about what he was getting when he took this photo, remember, this was before digital. (Robin’s name is on the right hand side of the wall, 12 lines from the bottom)

I lived in No VA, for several years and would visit The Wall regularly.  It was a favorite place of mine early on a Sunday morning, before the hustle and bustle of tourists arrived.  Many times it would be just me,early morning joggers,and a few of the city’s homeless.

Viet Nam was such a dark time in US history, so many were against the war, and the soldiers returning home from duty were not welcomed as they are today. Do schools teach about the Viet Nam war? I think Tara’s 7th grade Social Studies book had one paragraph stuck at the end of 20th century history.

A cup of coffee shared with a friend is happiness!

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Friday Fragments & Give Me Your Best Shot – Happy New Year

2010, can you believe it.

Friday Fragments is hosted by Mrs. 4444, a great place to defrag for the week.  Which is really great today because I can start the New Year off with a clean and fragment, random thought free head.  (Yeah, like that will ever happen).

I like today’s date 01-01-2010, then tomorrow 01-02-2010.  I guess it’s all the “O”.  I’m into circles!

I went on a job interview on Tuesday.  I’m still waiting to hear back. It is at a Walgreen’s.  It seemed to go well, it seemed pretty positive.  So I a waiting patiently, and keeping my fingers crossed.   They were really busy turning the store over from Christmas.  Frankly I was shocked they call first thing Monday morning to set up an interview this week.

I bought some new clothes and a new pair of shoes (with heels) for the interview (really, I had nothing nice enough to wear even to an interview at Walgreens.  I live in jeans!)  What was I thinking wear new slippery soled shoes to a brand new Walgreen’s store.  I had to take little baby steps no matter where I walked.  I was always about 20 steps  between the manager who I was following!

We had lunch this week with my ex Sister In Law.  I hate calling her that, to me she is still part of the family. I idolized her when I was a kid. She brought along my two great nephews Austin and Patrick.  We don’t see them often, last time was in August.  Mary Anne (exSIL) was visiting from New Hampshire.  My mom got to see all of her great grandsons this holiday season, just not all at one time.  (see photos below)

Tara started the lunch out in true almost teenager fashion – hood on the hoodie up, earphones for the IPhone in, slumped down in the booth.  She was restless, whining that she was hungry (they arrived a little late).  I thought all that was over when she was 3 or 4.  I think I need to start carrying snacks in my purse again for her.  Blood sugar, hormones?  I don’t know but it is drving me nuts!

New Years eve morning brought us a little more snow.  New Year’s Eve brought us rain/freezing rain.  I’m glad my plans were to stay at home.  Yep, home and pretty much alone most of the evening.  Me and the dog!  Tara was in her room, and my mom in her’s until just about midnight!  The quick celebration is over, and it’s me and the dog again!  I realized today that our NYE’s are usually so boring , that I never document them.  So this year, I’m starting the decade off right!

It didn’t matter that I did not buy party hats, noisemakers, streamers or champagne.  I just added it all with Picnik.  My mom does not drink alcohol, so it’s pretty funny that she had an empty water glass in her hand so I was able to place the champagne flute in there with no problem!  I decided I didn’t want child services after me, so I only gave Tara a virtual noise maker!

That’s about it for the week.  We stayed pretty close to home!

Give Me Your Best Shot

Not anything new, or technically spectacular, but these two photos bring together my mom, and the majority of her children/grandchildren/great grandchildren.  Many of the subjects were LESS than willing participants.
Christmas Eve at our house.  I have one with me in it, but it is terrible, I was setting the timer and running around to fit in the picture.

Back left – Great nephew Tyler (13), Nephew in law Jerry, niece Jodie, Sister, Linda, Brother in Law Larry, Nephew Chad and his fiance Tasha
Front left  – Great nephews Kier and Gavin, my mom and Tara (don’t you love how we dressed up?  Tyler, Kier and Gavin belong to Jodie and Jerry.  Jodie and Chad belong to Linda.

Guiseppe’s – Great nephew Patrick and Austin, my mom and Mary Anne – Grams to Patrick and Austin.  Their father Patrick is my eldest nephew.  We did not see him or his wife. (Can you tell Austin was NOT happy? Also there was no place in the restaurant that did not have glare from a window or reflection from a wall hanging!)
Also missing this Christmas my brother Bill, SIL Gerri and niece Kristen who live in Austin.

For 2010, I am going to challenge myself to learn more technically and try some new techniques.  I’m not much on reading to learn, I prefer to just figure it out on my own, but with photography, I really think I do need to crack a book or two!
A cup of coffee shared with a friend is happiness!

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I ♥ Faces – Candid

This week’s theme at iheartfaces.com is “Completely Candid”. I thought I would give it a try!

This picture is my cousin’s daughter K. taken at a graduation party. She could not figure out who this person was taking pictures of her since had not yet been born when we moved away, but she was so adorable that I felt compelled to keep snapping away!

Have a great day!

Martha

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Saying Goodbye to Summer

Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each. . ~ Henry David Thoreau
(To visit more monochrome shots, please visit The Monochrome Weekly. This is my first week participating.)


I am having a hard time realizing that the lazy days of summer are over, and that Tara and I have been living back in PA for 3 months now. The time has really flown by, and with the exception of a few little things, I miss nothing of our life in Florida!

For me this really was a “lazy” summer, the first in 30 years that I have not worked. I loved being able to get up on any given morning, and on a whim decide to take a day trip, or just a quick outing around town.

Some of our funnest (most fun?) days were those spent with Kier and Gavin, my great nephews. We checked out several parks, went to Giggleberry Farm in Peddler’s Village, Krazy City in Plymouth Meeting Mall, and took advantage of a couple free movies at Franks Theater in Montgomeryville. These days gave Tara time to get to know her cousins as they were just 2 & 3 when we moved. This summer gave us so much amazing weather, it was fun being able to be outdoors and enjoy nature! (In FL it was too hot during the day, and I did not like to venture off the beaten path..to me many more scary things lurked in the unknown!)

It was nice to hear from my sister (their grandmother) that Gavin thought I took them to the funnest places!

It’s not always easy keeping up with the three of them, and each of them (well at least two of them) had their moments. Kier is so even keeled, I don’t think he had a moment (while with me) all summer!

I will miss these days, as we all head into our “new normal”. Back to school for the boys, and the start of a new virtual school for Tara. Sometime in the near future, I too will need to find some type of employment to supplement my pension.

Have a great day!

Martha

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Give Me Your Best Shot

Good Morning! It’s been a busy week around here, and I had many pictures to choose from! I am trying to focus more on people than nature these days, and being back home around family helps give me more subjects!
Photobucket
Lolli hosts Give me Your Best shot each Friday, a place for us to showcase the best of our best for the week. Click on the button above to check it out!

I love these photos of our afternoon at Fischer’s Park. Tara and my great nephews were spending the day together, and we were looking forward to playing in the creek (that was something we did not do in FL, there were so many nasty bacteria in FL fresh water that it was too scary!) When we got there Gavin was not feeling well and wanted to go home, but Tara and Kier did not, so I called Jerry, their dad since I knew he was home. By the time he came to get Gavin, he was BETTER, so Jerry stayed and PLAYED with us too. It was great, he is WAY more adventurous than I, and was even turning over rocks and stuff looking for critters. I missed the baby COPPPERHEAD snake they found.

I think these pictures show how much Jerry really enjoys spending time out in nature with the kids! I had a good time too, I felt like the paparazzi following along behind them with my camera!

Have a great day!

Martha

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A Thousand Words Thursday – Cousins – Then and Now

Cheaper Than Therapy
ATWT is hosted by Jen, over at Cheaper Than Therapy. This is a place where we can go back through those folders of photos and pick something that SPEAKS volumes. Today my two photos speak 1,000 words about FAMILY!

Since we have been back in PA, Tara has gotten to be really close to her two younger cousins, Kier and Gavin. The last time we had seen them they were 4 and 5, and Tara was much closer to their older brother Tyler. Now that Tyler is a teenager (he just turned 14 yesterday) Tara and Tyler have much less in common, but Tara and the younger boys have a great time together! She’s got that tomboy edge, and loves playing in the trees and creek, and also she has gotten them into Webkinz (shhh I’m not supposed to tell anyone that).
I LOVE that they are getting close, and that the boys like coming here to spend time with Tara and visa versa. I do wish though that Tara and Tyler could find some common ground, I miss spending time with him!
Here is a picture of Tara and all three of the boys in July 2005

and here is a picture of the three of them yesterday at Park-Sci Playground, a great township playground just down the street from us. (Gavin does NOT like to get his picture taken, so I am thankful for the fact that he willingly climbed up on this “rock” and sat for the photo!) Tyler was out to lunch with “Nana” for his birthday.

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