Live like the Italian

My son is leaving for Italy this June… right after graduation…. Lately being an American woman … an american anything…has been both a source of pride… and … well lets just say we will get this all sorted out.

But the Infamous

Light and Shade Challenge

… who I used to mostly respond with fiction short stories to their prompts… but I find reality needing so much more attention these days… have prompted my gypsy soul…. that travels the world… which apparently I have given my Small … a taste of Italy.

Image from WikiCommons, taken by Andrea Pavenello and used under the Creative Commons Agreement

 

      Yes.. I realize this is a bit of a stretch with this image… but it is what it sparked in my mind… and this is my blog… so we are going with it

Eat a Light dinner….Buy natural… fresh foods–preferably organic. Italians frequent local farmers’ markets every week and buy breads at bakeries,… fish and fish mongers and meat at butchers. Or… better yet… learn to grow your own food… Sure… they have supermarkets…  but on regular occasion… food is purchased fresh for use the same day…. Dinner is about celebrating a day of hard work…. and family…. Italians respect their elders much more than Americans. They also dote on their children and consider them as the most precious things in their lives… Slow Down and Stop Rushing… Most of the time we do not take a lunch break… or eat on the run during the day… Dinner can be an all night event… talk… drink… be merry…. and enjoy your time… Americans drink far more wine and hard liquor than Italians do… even though most Italians will have wine and occasional cocktails…. The difference is they drink wine with meals for the taste–not to forget the stresses of the day…  Italians will also have a small aperitif before a meal… Drink for the taste and with meals to drink like an Italian… Embrace people… The Italian hug and kiss. Old men walk arm in arm–women do too… Even men embrace and kiss each other on the cheek… We are way too distant from each other… Hugging a friend to show how glad you are to see them is a great thing… Don’t let a day go by without touching another human being… and animal… pets count! Take a walk with your family or friends. Each night in every town in Italy, Italians get out after dinner to walk in the piazza or the main viale (boulevard). They call it the passeggiata It’s a time to relax and digest… Meet and visit neighbors… relatives and friends… It’s also a time to shut off the TV and just be still for a moment. Finally…. Learn to live with less…Smaller houses and apartments and smaller cars… That is the Italian way… oh and PIZZA!

Dress for the position you want…. So I did!

 Tell us about the last time you dressed up.

When I quit my job over a year ago … I threw out anything and everything that I had forced myself to wear and be to fit into the mold I had gotten myself trapped in… and then Magic happened… Yes I am 43…. Yes I wear this tomfoolery to the new office… Its kinda magic.

Soooo I have a bit of a love affair with my clothes – Meet my Totoro collection

This fancy ensemble was my second Alice In Wonderland dress…. and man did I ever rock it!

May the 4th with my HUGE Small.

Oh! a Tardis Dress? Yes please! annnnnd if you look close at the weird position of my feet for picture taking reasons…. those are R2D2 socks

My first and FAVORITE Alice in Wonderland Dress – This one I need to have taken in… Im not willing to let it go… even though it is too big now

My Homemade Freddy Krueger outfit… I was going to meet him! It was a special occasion! Look at his MOOBS!

See! This happened!

 

A little Jack Skellington at the Symphony… As you can see I was not the only one dressed up

This was my actual Halloween costume for the office… I dressed up normal. It made everyone uncomfortable actually.

I leave you to be inspired by these Ariel shoes… because like the shirt says… Mermaids have more fun!

 

Sunday Morning is my favorite holiday

Every Sunday Morning I get a playdate with my favorite young men/toddlers and the newest little tiny princess…. I take this opportunity to take them places that they do not normally get to go… and it of course makes me the first to take them to the zoo… or to ride a roller coaster… or to go down a water slide… It has become quite legendary…. a great example of some of the lengths I go can be found throughout this blog…. but Ironically the favorite story ever came from a missed week… and if you missed… you’re going to want to see this – GrandParents Day Out

But just this morning I was tweeting our local news channel and museum about a lego exhibit… and then I saw the prompt from Kat…. must be a sign.

 List your favorite local kid-friendly activities.

Im pretty lucky… I live in a beautiful area…. that has all four seasons in their full glory…. Surrounded by mountains… and I live in the desert…. So there is quite a bit to do… However they are little…. and Sunday is ummmmm Sacred around here? Meaning nothing is open… ever… LOL so we get creative…

This weekend we will be at The Leonardo (The lego exhibit sounds amazing)

Some of our other small child adventures have included… The Zoo... The Natural History Museum…. Bounce Houses are always a hit!

The list goes on and on…. In fact we have been doing this for over a year now… If you don’t have a regularly scheduled adventure date with the smalls who hold your heart… I highly suggest it… here are a few images of pure joy 🙂 (You are just going to have to tilt your head… Its too early to fix some of these)

Ofcourse some of our favorite memories is just at home… in our toy room… with a home made breakfast and arts and crafts.

 i

 

Hope Sucks. Just Sayin

Never deprive someone of hope — it may be all they have
Unknown  

First and foremost…  if you’re feeling hopeless…  I want you to close this page…

I know that things will get better for you… I also know that a big part of that will depend on you choosing for things to be different.

But when lost in the rabbit hole of hopelessness….  it can be really hard to make that choice for yourself…. So save this read for when you have found your hope again.

I don’t know what it was … a divorce..  a death … a hormonal shift in the balance of the force…..

But I encourage you to cry the good cry … Listen to some music… Go for a walk… Meditate…. be kind to yourself …  if you’ve had hope before… you can feel hopeful again.

And when you do… I want you to ditch it as soon as possible.

Yes… I’m calling bullshit on some kinds of hope at this point in our lives

I once heard a quote that was something like this…. “Hope is the most poetic form of self-abuse.”

Decide now that you’re going to stop hoping…. hoping your soulmate will show up…  hoping the bills get paid…  hoping you lose weight… hoping that Carrie Fischer doesn’t die before she finishes filming the Star Wars movies (okay… I totally hoped for that one)

Start knowing that you are going to work to get what you want… or its equivalent… or something even better.

When it is beyond your control? (Star Wars) do what you can that is in your control…. Hug your mom extra tight today… or your daughter… Take care of yourself…. stand up and talk about mental health issues…. etc.

Hoping for things to change is a pretty sounding way of staying right where you are.

I know we have the power to change things… Bigger than us… But it has to be done when we have hope… So everyone can give hope to the hopeless..,. because we do not need it… we are going to rise.

Another Epiphany on life brought to you by my favorite writing prompts!

The Light and Shade Challenge

Bridges are the roads to dreams…

Image from WikiCommons, taken by Richard Webb and used under the Creative Commons Agreement

 

 

As in a dream… a bridge in waking life can be a point of connection

One must ask –

What the bridge is connecting and what it is crossing… What is on the other side?

What is under the bridge? A river of emotions… Railroad tracks may to a better place…. A chasm is something that is missing or undefinable… or something that you have overcome or given up?

A Bridge represents making a connection… if you are afraid to cross the bridge if you are unsure of the future or whatever lies on the other side…. If you are crossing the bridge without fear than you are ready to face whatever the future holds in store If you are standing on the bridge…. may it be offering you the support you need to deal with life and love (and whatever lies below).  If you have crossed the bridge or are looking back over the bridge …  may you have patience for the rest of us still catching up.

 

Let’s not be afraid falling off a bridge …  fear of failure …or unsure you can make it to the other side …You may be afraid of making a connection with someone… you may be afraid of the obstacles in front of you…  or you may be afraid of the changes that you are going through…. But life is not going to wait for you … cross the bridge… your feelings will catch up later.

 

Even a broken bridge or a bridge that is uncrossable….  needs to be fixed before you can move on.

Bridging The Gap.

Don’t Cross That Bridge Until You Come To It. 

That’s Water Under The Bridge. 

Like a Bridge Over Troubled Waters.

This is 2017.

This Bridge Rant was inspired by some of my favorite people from across the pond… and as always gave me much reflection and perspective into my writer’s mind. I missed them so much! Thank you for the prompt!!

The Light and Shade Challenge

 

New Years Resolutions create Wormhole or Dark Matter or a Tear in the Space Time Continuum

Mr Amazing and Small Child would be repulsed by my lack of scientific knowledge or basis for my claim made in the title of this blog… but they will never be in danger of falling in stated Worm Hole because that would require reading my blog… and honestly they have to listen to me talk… so they’ve done more than enough.

1. Share your 2017 New Year Resolution. How did last year’s turn out?

You know what? I’m an overachiever … I mean I am really the type of woman that likes to go above and beyond the call of duty…. Not to float my own boat or anything but I am going to take two of the writers prompts this week… because I am just sitting here waiting to be discovered and recognized for my many unusual talents… word twisting being one of them… So here is your bonus prompt.

6. What were you blogging about a year ago? What has changed since then?

It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that possibly last year at this time I was writing about Resolutions…. and here is the beginning of the Wormhole Time Continuum Tear in the Dark Matter of my life… Clicking HERE will open another window where you can read what I was writing about resolutions last year at this time… where in said writings you will be invited yet again to click somewhere to preview the previous years writings…. and so forth.

Maybe the root of my Dark Matter is the fact that I am old… and have had the luxury of vomiting my thoughts into this keyboard for many moons…. or we could go with the Worm Hole theory… because it sounds nicer.

My 2016 Resolution was to pursue that which sets my soul on fire.

And did I ever. I painted for an entire year. I finally gave up the nicotine gum. I lost 60lbs. I exercised more than other years… okay I played pokemon go…. I travelled to a new state and spent time with some life longers while celebrating our 5th anniversary as Mr and Mrs Amazing and the Smalls (It’s a circus act really)… I worked hard… I took time for myself. I had yet another (and final from angel girl) grandchild… and guess what! Its a girl! a breathing… smiling… beautiful doppelganger of my Angel Girl. (for those that don’t remember her first girl)

So if I were to suggest my plans for the next year were to do more of the same… I’d just be cursing myself to do the exact opposite… because seriously… that is what I tend to do…. I do not know if it is self sabotage or self preservation… but I do know this… I am going to do whatever it is that causes my soul to dance inside my body… I am going to be kind… I am going to believe that there is good in everything… Even our current political situation… because I saw people as I volunteered at a local shelter this holiday season … I saw them give more than ever before… because they were afraid that it was needed more than ever before… and even if that is all the positive that comes out of our current President Elect…. it is still positive.

So in keeping with Tradition of very vague resolutions to ensure successful achievement I choose to do this!

So much love and light to you and yours in this year 2017!

This is one year ago… almost to the day

This is earlier this month… The level of Soul Fire is obvious.

Merry Musings of a seasonally affected Mind.

Write a blog post inspired by the word: Merry.

(and just like that, like I didn’t take a year off from the writers workshop… here is my post.)

I love the word Merry! To be Merry is to be cheerful… light-hearted…carefree…joyful… joyous… festive …happy… gleeful!

Proverbs 17:22 says  “A merry heart does good like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”

That’s one of the reasons I love to decorate for Christmas (and  all the seasons for that matter)…it creates a merry…joyful….and festive atmosphere….and that kind of atmosphere is good for us! Beauty inspires! Beauty lifts our spirit! We could all use some of that right now…  It refreshes us.

This Tradition of crazy amounts of red and green decor…  It can give us a positive outlook on life… It’s a way of celebrating the light in the darkest part of our year… Seasonal depression hits for me… like clockwork… the day after Halloween.

I can feel my shoulders slack and my mood weaken. November is usually busy enough to stave off the desperation that will hit later… thankfully… But the fear and paranoia are there: The sun is setting before 5 p.m. and one night spent bored and alone in the gathering dark might pull me under permanently… and honestly it is something I force myself  to keep going to do all the things all the way through the 21st of December… when suddenly my brain magically starts to believe it…. and I feel good again…

I have depression all year… It bobs up like a buoy, sneakily but regularly…I become reclusive… because showing my face when I feel awful inside is deceitful… I frequently believe my depression isn’t real… or my anxiety is from lack of sleep… so I end up feeling worse about both.

If you find yourself scrolling these pictures of Snowman Bathrooms and Painted windows (yes yes… I did all that magic LOL) let me remind you… Our environment and the atmosphere around us can effect our emotions… and our emotions can affect our physical health. Dr. Don Colbert says ” How you feel in your heart can show up in your body, for your heart and body are more powerfully connected than you have ever realized.”  So even the tiniest bit of  candle glow or sparkle here and there can remind us that the days will start becoming longer again… and the sun will return…. life will come back to the frozen ground and trees… and the earth will be Merry again!

“The holly’s up, the house is bright,

the tree is ready, the candles alight. “~German Carol

 

 

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas,
just like the ones I used to know
May your days be merry and bright,
and may all your Christmases be white! ~Irving Berlin 1942

 

Annnnnnnd…. Now to take it all down again 🙂

 

Aleppo is saying goodbye

These people … men … women… children… are dying as I type this… They are saying good bye… They deserve to be heard. So put on your big girl panties and listen to them… They are not invisible…

Silence is a crime

This is Genocide

The Most Ugly Feeling in the world is Helplessness.

UN?.. UNITED NOTHING!

It is too late,

Sharing that feeling of Helplessness?

Me Too…

My heart hurts and tears flow…

The only thing I can find that seems fitting from where I am in this world is to talk about it… not be silent… and I donate to White Helmets.(info below)

Still Painting… This might have to be it for my blog …

Sooo Im doing things a bit differently this September… 1 im not getting peehole cancer… well thats the plan at least… I had a scope done for my 43rd birthday… and well… there were spots… so I am starting the longest antibiotic treatment thus far in my life to try and fix them… if it does not work after 30 days… we will cut that shit out… literally…. LOL

I gave up the nicotine… finally…. no patches… no gum… look ma no hands.

I started exercising. a little. today I am typing this instead of exercising….

And I have painted…. this thing…. Here it is from different views… its huge… I love it.

img_0981 img_0982

I have not written at all….

Fuck writing.

Fini!

img_0985

Ideology Vs. The Reality of Sexual Assault and raising smalls.

Today… I prolonged a rape… I wish like hell I could say I had stopped it…. I definitely stopped it in that moment… but I am not naive enough to think that it is not going to be inevitable if something does not change.

Sometimes when teasing Mr. Amazing I pop off with some very sexist degrading remarks when we are bantering back and forth over different stereotypes and he always looks at me kind of baffled…. because I am actually kind of proper… and he wonders where I would come up with such language… (This must come as a surprise… anything you have ever heard me say has been only for a reaction… I don’t really consider myself quite as sexually revolutionized as I suggest) I often laugh it off… but the other day I looked at him and he really wanted to know where I had heard the words I had spouted off at him… He wanted to know if someone had said them to me… I explained they had been said to me … many times over the years… “Wanna see my Penis?” …Sometimes they don’t ask first… and just assume you do…. and had been to most every girl I knew… and would be said to his daughter as well most likely… It was just part of being a girl in our society… right or wrong… it certainly wasn’t ideal… it was the reality.

We went to the park… out in the middle of the City… we do this often if it is not too hot to get some exercise and spend some time together as a family… (This is code for PokeMon Hunting)… We parked and walked around the several blocks long park enjoying the 80 degree weather… but severely disappointed in the lack of Pokemon… we had been there several times just like this… and spent hours there enjoying our “Family Time”… We buy a quick treat on the west side of the Duck Pond and Big Hill… and us adults cringe a little as we realize it is Sunday… Which means Drum Circle…. Which we affectionately refer to as Drug Circle… and try to not call attention to the obvious cloud of smoke and sounds coming from the hill…. and we talk over ice cream about how drugs are not okay… to three tuned out kiddos…We decide that the park day was just not what we thought it would be and we would head back home after about 40 minutes after leaving our vehicle… and rather that walk past the hill crowd we took the sidewalk back around the duck pond laughing about how before Pokemon go we would have thought just the walk and the weather and the ducks were the greatest thing ever… as we neared our car I saw her… someone younger than my adult daughter… but older than my small (17 year old) at least I think she was… She was most likely the age of my niece (who is the third kiddo with us today… 18 almost 19)…they all look so young to me now… they all are someone’s baby… she is sitting on the curb… one car from mine… with her head literally on the ground by the tires… she’s quite flexible… I am pretty sure her position is equal to putting her feet behind her head… and she is obviously under the influence of… well… god knows what…. I motion for Mr. Amazing to get in the car… because see in our society… because he has a penis… he cannot help this girl that is intoxicated… or small children if they are scared or hurt… because he just can’t right? …. he ushers the kids in and knew that I was going to make sure the girl was okay… this is not our first rodeo … infact… its pretty much a regular occurrence….We never just walk by and shake our heads at people in bad situations… not the homeless… not the mentally challenged or ill…. not anyone… and we certainly do not pull out our phones… and take pictures… or video…. People are never invisible to us…. essentially… I do not mind my own business…. ever.

“Hey… Hey… Are you okay? Can you get up?”

Half way through the sentence slurring of “some kind of friends I have… WHAT? Yeah… I’m okay”

“You dont look okay… get your head off the ground and let me look at you.”

She lifts her head and looks at me… she is completely wasted…. but her eyes are not dilated… I check her pulse… she is not pale or sweating or shaking…  She is not vomiting or complaining of any pain. I have seen at least 2 police patrols in the short time I have been there… I think I see one go by again now. I don’t really have an opinion about what goes on in Drug Circle on the HIll…. Because I only make choices for myself… and obviously I am choosing not to be there. That being said I see a ziplock bag with what is obviously Marijuana on the grass next to her and a wallet (a nice one actually) on the grass behind her “Is this yours? pick it up… right now… put it in your purse… I am not dealing with this shit just to make sure you are okay…. Do you want me to call someone for you? Who are you here with? Can I help you?”

“What do you got?”

“Nothing you consider ‘good'” besides… yours is still on the grass next to you… pick that shit up now” She does so as I move around her to get the wallet which seems much safer to pick up and hand her… I ask her again if she is okay… and she assures me she is… I tell her to be careful… and stop laying on the ground… as I move to my car to go… kind of chuckling to myself that my kids have witnessed this entire thing…. as I climb into the passenger seat… I spot the man… Id seen him when I approached her as well… but just assumed he was watching her curiously… he was still there… walking back and forth on the walk behind her… “Don’t leave yet” I mutter to Mr. Amazing… who nods as I point at the man who is to well groomed and clean to be hanging out at this stupid young drug circle…. the man keeps watching her and looking up at us to see if we are going to leave… his brazenness startles me a little… and I realize he knows the chance of this girl being awake or coherent enough is slim… and no one is going to call the police… because… drugs galore.

Suddenly a young man walks across from the hill and sits beside her on the curb… I get out of the car again… the girl has once again dumped the belongings of her purse (which is also quite nice… as are her clothes… and makeup… and hair… she isn’t without a home) is leaning on his shoulder…. losing some stupid clip in extension of hair in the process… which he graciously just picks up… and I approach again “Hey.” They both look up… out of the corner of my eye I see the man still pacing… closer now… and I am angry at this point. “Do you know this guy?” to the girl… motioning to the guy she is leaning on.

half way slurring into his face “do you have my shit?” she turns and faces me “No, I’ve never seen him before” The guy slaps his forehead… I roll my eyes… the girl smiles up at me idiotically and hugs my legs whispering to the guy “She’s got my back” The guy stands immediately knowing it looks bad for him… which is stupid… this girl is being completely… well…. inebriated. I point openly at the creeper waiting patiently for the girl to be left alone again… “This Prick over here is just waiting for her to pass out again… complete freak… I need to know who she is here with” They both look at the guy… who completely ignores this exchange but does not back off at all… infact he comes closer… it dawns on me maybe he is her pimp? but my gut tells me thats not the case… she is not on the streets… not yet… and this guy with her is actually in better shape that she is… soberish… not marks or scratches… clean clothes… well groomed… just young kids being complete dumb asses and making really stupid choices. The guy nods understanding and looks at the girl “You want me to get Haus?” seriously? haus? is that even a name? why are these people here … im angrier still… the man is closer still…. Mr Amazing informs me at this point he has a hand on the door and one on his phone…. “You have to take her with you”…

Girl who is probably really quite intelligent and well spoken but currently is completely dumber than a box of rocks “I don’t know him”

“What is her name?” I had picked up her wallet… seen her credit cards… student identification and such… and he tells me the correct name.

“You go with him over to the hill… or I get you help… I wont leave you here… this complete asshole is going to hurt you” again calling the man who is very close out loudly… and again… he does not change… or back off…. I am stunned by this as I realize… this is probably a regular thing for him… infact… I don’t smell alcohol on her and what has fallen out of her purse does not explain her condition… He could have slipped her whatever was… or not… as she loses another extension… and all the contents of her purse… again… as she falls trying to walk with the guy to the hill as I am telling him loudly that if he touches her and anyone touches her I will kick his ass…. this time a small jar of small smoky looking stones…. why oh why …. all these horrible decisions are still not a reason… I force her again to pick it all up … I again offer help… I do not call the police… People will surely think that was the right move… but my gut told me otherwise… the police were here… the police had driven by her… I wanted to call an ambulance… or a mom honestly… but I only had what I had to work with… I continue my tirade against her and the guy “You both look smarter than this… what the hell… get her help… dont leave her… keep her around people… do not touch her or let anyone else… ” switching the lecture to the girl “Do no drink or ingest another thing… get your ass home… this is so stupid… you could be hurt or worse… so stupid… you are better than this.” I walk them half way to the hill…. the man is following… the girl at this point is thanking me profusely and watching him over her shoulder… so is the guy… I still dont know if I have done the right thing… I dont know what was really going on… all I know is what would have been going on at that moment had we not come back to our car Pokemonless…. I glare at the man… Mr Amazing wants to call the police… I shake my head… for what… the man hasnt done anything wrong… yet… we watch as the two young people make it back to the Hill and the people and the drums… at least she is not alone… I dont know if she is any safer. I did the best I could do … I would be able to sleep at night with my decision….

I look back over my shoulder into the back seat at the two teens and Smallest girl sitting between them… “Thats why we dont do drugs”

We all kind of recap what has happened… and I realize… what will make me lose sleep…

The message to my son was clear…. Don’t do drugs… Don’t touch anyone who isn’t able to give consent… ever. This is not new … and honestly… he doesnt understand why someone would find that helpless girl kissing the concrete something to “rise to the occasion” about…. He does not get it. At All. I LOVE that about him. A Penis does not make one a Monster… It does not make you do anything or behave in any way at all… it is an appendage of your body. Not the ruler of your intelligent decision making ability. The conflicting message for him was…. simply because he had a penis… he would be treated that way… and that was something he was going to have to deal with… he couldnt help… he would be accused of thinking and wanting to do things that are below him. Not Ideal… but very Real

The messages to my girls were a little more disturbing…. If this girl had not done drugs… in this case… she would not be in the situation that was about to take place… that did not make the situation okay… that did not make it her fault… but I had to say the words… “Do not let yourself be in this situation… because this will happen”… and my feminist screamed at me…. but it was real. “She did not give that man permission to touch her… so if he did… and hurt her… it was not her fault… but if she could walk… or think clearly… he may not have approached her”… and part of me died a little… the part of me that had finally put some blame for things in my life on the appropriate people… because… I was where I shouldn’t have been… I looked again at my son and immediately put it right back where it belonged… for both me and the girl… you see… this wasn’t about a penis… and a girl is not just a hole for one… “The problem was the man… his brain wasnt wired right or something… he was scary and not okay”

Small girl will go through maturation this year… she is in fifth grade… unfortunately because of this… we will have to tell her what rape is…. as we explain the beauty of sex… our bodies… the amazing way they are wired to release stress… give affection… love… because she wants to know what that man wanted … why was he following that girl.

There is nothing wrong with your body… but keep it covered…

Its never your fault… but don’t be in places where that can happen

Men are strong and wonderful… unless you don’t know them… dont talk to them… get help if one smiles at you… No you don’t have to be grateful they said you’re pretty… no you don’t have to smile because they said to…. No… its not okay for them to show you their penis…

You can always call the police…. sigh… I don’t know how to explain this one even to you as I type it.

This was my experience today… I know women can be creepers… and men are assaulted as well… I am not making blanket statements…

I do not know the answer to my predicament… I don’t know what the right advice is to give to my girls… or my men.

I have to accept ideology vs reality. I can believe one thing…. but have to act against my core belief in order to keep people safe. I hate that.

How do you all deal with it? Really… what do you tell your children… your peers… Discuss… because I am at a complete loss… and how do we fix it.