Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Not the Resolution type ..

Having said that, I have made a few decisions I would like to implement imminently.

I will be displacing Facebook postings in favor of blogging my random & occasionally very incorrect comments!

Appreciating & nurturing special friendships. Not sweating superficial or draining relationships.

Paying close attention - to life both outside & in.

Not striving for perfection: just putting my self out there & will to practice & learn.

Just some thoughts ...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas & Boxing Day

Back in the days of yore, the tradition was for the King or Queen would present gifts to their serfs the day following Christmas. Gifts in boxes. Hence it is called Boxing Day. Today, it is a national holiday - a day off work.

Despite the grey cloud that hung around me pre-Christmas, Christmas Eve kicked in some spirit. Not alcoholic either.

The grey days which had preceded Christmas threw me deeper into my holiday ennui.

But to see the gifts wrapped & arranged under the tree, bedecked with unbreakable balls. A delight!

Corey made an unbelievably great Christmas Eve dinner: his first rack of lamb done on the bar b que. Spinach. Brussels & peas. Yum.

For the first year ever, we all slept in on Christmas morning. Kaelin finally called "chicken" & herded the family in to open the goodies.

I hit the jackpot this year. The "motherlode" for the house "mutha." 4 tickets, front & enter to Cirque du Soleil's "La Nouba", end of January. 4 tickets for me AND the children. All 4 of us. Together. A cultural outing. Finally! How longggg I have yearned for this.

I can't even begin to articulate how thrilled I am. Best "gift" ever. An evening with my children in magical theater.

You know, sometimes, not very often but sometimes, it's good to be me!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Another take on Christmas

From Sarah Silverman, a different take on Santa & WWJD ... oy!

Eric Idle's "Fuck Christmas"

Thank you, Eric Idle, for articulating my holiday sentiment - brilliantly, succinctly, eloquently.

Long Live the Python's!

Would you rather?

Taking an unofficial holiday poll:

Would you rather deal with:

a) hormonal, adolescent, teenage female


b) late adolescent males w/arrested development. Both categories are blessed with omnipotent, all encompassing intelligence.

Just askin' ...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lunar Eclipse / Solstice

Pardon the pun but this is truly heavenly!



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Monday, December 20, 2010

Will tonight's lunar eclipse give us the answer to The Meaning of Life?

Why are we here, what's life all about?
Is God really real, or is there some doubt?
Well tonight, we're going to sort it all out
For tonight it's the Meaning of Life.

What's the point of all this hoax?
Is it the chicken and the egg time,
Are we just yolks?
Or perhaps we're just one of God's little jokes.
Well ça c'est the Meaning of Life.

Is life just a game where we make up the rules,
While we're searching for something to say,
Or are we just simply spiralling coils,
Of self-replicating DNA?
In this life, what is our fate?

Is there Heaven and Hell? Do we reincarnate?
Is mankind evolving or is it too late?
Well tonight here's the Meaning of Life.
For millions this life is a sad vale of tears,
Sitting round with nothing to say,
While scientists say we're just spiralling coils,
Of self-replicating DNA.

So just why, why are we here?
And just what, what, what, what do we fear?
Well çe soir, for a change, it will all be made clear,
For this is the Meaning of Life
-c'est la sens de la vie,
This is the Meaning of Life.

Monty Python - of course!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Open Holiday Letter to our Friends

December 2010

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Dearest Friends:

There are many adjectives available to describe 2010. It was a year of "firsts" for the 4 of us. The Elisabeth Kubler-Ross year of firsts. Joan Didion referred to it as "The year of magical thinking."

That would depend entirely upon your definition of "magic".

Let me put it this way: everything, EVERYTHING was different in 2010. Such as I can recall. I spent many months sequestered away in a dark room, either over or preferably under the covers. The yoga of grief. Grief is definitely a verb. Emotion in motion. EK-R may have coined the 7 stages of grief, however, there really are no rules. Everyone's experience is unique. We all have to work out lifes impermanence for ourselves, hopefully learning appreciation along the way. The children & I are all processing our unfamiliar & new life differently, not wholly without bumps in the road. We are still adjusting to the new "now" as we all continue our forward motion through our respective stages of life.

It was wonderful to have my Mother visit in March, spending her "special" birthday with us. Nicky swooped in after that, helping guide me out of my pea-soup fog depression. She took over & organized the new life in color-coded files (obviously purple is in there for special things). She still understands me better than anyone even if we are so very different. August saw us going down for a "short week" to the Keys. We fulfilled Vic's wish to have some of his ashes spread out over the azure tropical waters that brought our family so much joy over 6 summers. It was there that we all believed all was well & lived out some of our very happiest family memories. Angie came in October for a quick visit & it was so good to have her here. Isn't life strange? I went with 3 friends to our Arizona Shangri-la for an even shorter week in November. It never fails to bring my soul to the surface for a few glorious days of mindful oneness.

Corey, 19, is a tattoo-inked, sophomore, Sigma Chi brother at USF. He has started to settle down, academic wise & also appears to be demonstrating some frontal lobe development - a modicum of empathy, consideration, etc. Of course, he is such a schmoozer, it's probably something he is perfecting on me, the dotty, dotting Jewish mother who laps it up. What can I say? Such an enabler! The fact that he's only 2 hours away had made it possible for more home visits this year, which was nice.

Daniel, at 18, is in full blown "Senioritis". Dreadful time for a parent, let alone a single, white female!!! As a friend said many years ago, "G-d makes them like this so that you want them to leave!" I absolutely adore his quirky, uniqueness but talk about tug-o-war ... Vic always said Daniel was just like him but he never qualified what that meant - I guess "dare to be different" might sum it up nicely. Loyal, funny, yet armed with a Scorpio stinger, usually aimed at me, Daniel walks to the beat of his own drummer. Ever since Daniel was conceived, he has carved his own path. So be it. I love him even as I'm getting rope burns!

So to little mademoiselle Kaelin. Very much the young lady, my 15 year old baby should wear a t-shirt clearly stating "jail bait". Gone is our babycakes. She has become my incredibly capable assistant, often heard calming me down, "it's ok, Mommy" when I get my all-to-frequent migraines. She's a wonderfully happy child who spreads a lot of joy, love & happiness around her. Her beauty is far from skin deep. It emanates from deep within. People constantly tell me I'm going to have my hands full, but I beg to differ. Yes, she's headstrong, but she is compromising & is a very willing spirit & I am truly blessed to have a great relationship with her.

Finally, yours truly. Nothing much to say. It has been very hard for me. I never realized just how enmeshed our lives were. From work to parenting, it was always "we", rarely "me". There are many people to thank for just being there this past year. If you are reading this, you are one of them. Whether we talk or see or don't see one another, in some way you impacted positively in my life, for which I am enormously grateful.

We continue to find new paths for ourselves, some well trodden, others new. We end the year with all children at home together with my Father who will be moving up here finally some time in the coming year. He is recovering from pacemaker surgery but at 85, agrees that the 260 mile round trip journey is not an acceptable option for me or himself.

One thing I know we can look forward to in 2011 is learning elder care in Vero. I am using the word "we" optimistically!

Let me end, as always, by wishing you love, health & laughter, always. One thing that still works wonders is the miracle of laughter. My Mother shared this gem with me an eternity ago. It is a brilliant & timeless.

May your year be filled with love & hugs,

In peace,

Karen, Corey, Daniel & Kaelin

17th Century Nun's Prayer

Lord, Thou knowest better than I know myself, that I am growing older and will someday be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs. Make me thoughtful but not moody; helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all, but Thou knowest Lord that I want a few friends at the end.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains. They are increasing, and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of others’ pains, but help me to endure them with patience.

I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessing cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonably sweet; I do not want to be a Saint – some of them are so hard to live with – but a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places, and talents in unexpected people. And, give me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Carols for People with Various Disorders

SCHIZOPHRENIA: Do you hear what I hear?

MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER: We Three Kings disoriented are.

DEMENTIA: I think I'll be home for Christmas

NARCISSISTIC: Hark the herald angels sing about me!

MANIC: Deck the halls and the walls and house and lawn and street and trees and office and cars and fire hydrants and ...

PARANOID: Santa Claus is Coming to Get Me!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

But who's counting ...

370 - the number of nights I've been sleeping alone.
351 days ago - Vic just had his emergency surgery to correct the post operative blockage.
13 - the number of days Vic had left.


Vic was on his feet. Eager to get back home. Later that day, hopes were dashed when as doctors told Vic he would require emergency surgery the next morning.


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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Come, take the walk down memory lane with me ....

Driving to the VA.

A look with which I was so familiar in the past years. Months.
Eyes forward. Jaw fixed. Target locked. One man. Alone.


Viens finally gave up. Port installed so that Vic could do yet another round of chemo & just be able to give blood. He never flinched or complained when the nurses endlessly poked his arms & hands looking for any place to get some blood.

"Whatever it takes" is what he would say.


It is very hard to look at the scars. Knowing what brought them to him. Not for the feint hearted.


As always, outside surrounded by the peace & healing calm.


To think, this was only the beginning. I never thought this would be so hard for me. Nothing can prepare you for your own personal grief process.

Mine is certainly taking me down roads I never expected to travel.

I miss him.

That's all.
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Thursday, August 5, 2010

From the world of online personals ....

I really, really needed this laugh. Too funny & I wish I could have made it up ...

Definitely smacks of "Eats Shoots & Leaves"

"HEROINVERO"is a 51-year old living
in Vero Beach, Florida, US .

The Devil did it!

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Friday, July 30, 2010

From the world of senior singles ...

It seems that the moment Vic's obit hit the paper, my spam box became innundated with flirts from internet dating sites, specifically senior ones.

Far from being even remotely interested in dating, I must say these sites can provide some serious entertainment value.
A peek into another world.

I have learned little things: when the guy is wearing a baseball hat, it means he is bald. Sensitive usually means he got picked on ruthlessly when younger. No photo & complex scripting also spells some kind of allusive trouble.

This morning, instead of hitting delete all, I read this one & had to post it.

What do YOU think???

'A little about me...

When a man and a woman find each other in this confluence of confusion, insanity, and just downright incivilities that we now seem to be bombarded with from nowhere, rather than give up, rather than compromise who you are, or rather than feel downtrodden, why not fight back, push at what is wrong, fight for what is good, and feel that special bond which only two persons with a true affinity for each other can ever know.

What are you looking for in a partner?

A good hearted woman with a big appetite for loving! I am both passionate and compassionate.

For it to work, it must be both the head and the heart; the lust and the spirit; the touch and the feel; the longing and the release; and, best of all, when we laugh, it will always be for the right reasons and at the right time. For then, but only then, will we experience each other’s inner being.

For I AM ALL MAN. And you must be ALL WOMAN. A rib from my breast. And then you will receive my best, dear person.

I'd just like to add...

I love fine dining with a classy woman who is a lady, and I love classy people who say what they mean, and mean what they say."

Monday, July 26, 2010

Reason, Season, Lifetime ...

People come into your life for a Reason, a Season or a Lifetime.

When you know which one it is,
you will know what to do for that person.
When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.

They have come to assist you through a difficulty,
to provide you with guidance and support,
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend and they are.

They are there for the reason you need them to be.
without any wrongdoing on your part
or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something
to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met,
our desire fulfilled, their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered
and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it, it is real.
But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons,
things you must build upon in order
to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson,
love the person
and put what you have learned to use
in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Thank you for being a part of my life,
whether you were a Reason, a Season or a Lifetime.

Friday, July 16, 2010


"Karen, can you please bake a cd for me?"


"You know, bake me a dvd."

"Burn it, Mummy. You mean "burn you" a cd."

And the oy goes on!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sugar porn


Here it is ... Croissan'Time, home of Mantell family, all occasion magnificent mocha gateau.

The delicious breads, the mini patisseries, the CAKES ...


Started in 1986, the starter husband & I were smoked salmon salad on Saturdays regulars from the get go.

So very happy it is still in business. Lines apparently go
outside on weekends ... So totally worth the wait.

South off Sunrise Boulevard on US1 in Fort Lauderdale, Croissan'Time
is a sugarholics den of erotica!

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Cheese corn!

I really can't help it but I am so incredibly fortunate to have friends as wonderful as mine!

As I slowly, slowly emerge from the dark, they continue to be there for me through the many stages of what is a custom-designed process called grief.

Grief has no boundaries.

It follows a path of particular direction or destination.

The key for me has been to acknowledge & allow myself to experience all the feelings, good & certainly bad.

The months of random crying. Make that doubled-over bawling. Being present for the pain. Being present to appreciate the peace which always, always followed ...

The pain that would interrupt moments of peaceful resignation. Being present to appreciate the pain which always, always followed ...

Slowly, gently, the wounds are closing.

My amazing friends continue to be important as we all continue to heal & figure out life, so very, very different now.

Life so very, very different ...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Emmy nominations

OK, can I call them? Not that I pay that much attention to any awards. Having said that, when my personal viewing comes up a cropper, then I sit up a bit straighter.

Today's Emmy awards were announced.

So, from the beginning, Larry David for "Curb your Enthusiasm." Love, love, love him. Hate him. Love him! Such psychotic chutzpah.

"Mad Men" - love it - superb dialogue, totally catapaults me back to my childhood in New York ending late 1963.

"Nurse Jackie" - Eddie Falco for being such a totally messed up, stale, ER room nurse. Nurse Jackie taught me what it takes to actually get a buzz from Vicodin as opposed to just using it for its medicinal use. Something to do with an old back injury ... and so the shopping & snorting goes.

Migraineurs, I must add, do not fuck around with pain meds.


At least this one doesn't. I so respect the magical ability my meds have to relieve my throbbing head & nauseous stomach. Yuk! Not a pretty sight - ever.

Still, I always just wondered how people got high off of something that was a pain reliever... a bit like how exactly does a high colonic work.

But that's a whole different ponder ...

Finally, Alec Baldwin gets a nod for making paunchy, middle age look really good. Let's hear it for the black lights on "30 rock". "It's complicated" really put him on top of the middle aged, menopausal woman's poster man for the kind of bad boy about whom we all momentarily fantasize!

Still waiting for Becky of Sunnybrook Farm to have that 'Mad Men" luncheon. Cigarettes, booze, a token drinking & smoking pregnant woman ... tit bits to go with the tit bits!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"Grouper cheeks" anyone?

Should you ever see "grouper cheeks" listed on a menu, let me share a visual presentation of said delicacy ...

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Such a view ...

For Father's Day, we went down to see my father who is pushing 85, much to his (& frankly my) great surprise.

He is finally starting to show the undeniable signs of aging & we are getting into gentle discussions about the possibility of his moving up here, closer, etc.

He moved to South Florida from Forest Hills, Queens (718) permanently in 1994.

Each time I go down to visit, very rarely to be honest, I wouldn't trade Vero for anything but sometimes, the views from his apartment are just so glorious that I really do understand his reluctance to leave such a very lush setting among the concrete monoliths.


The kids love fishing there, I love floating in the pool - anything to get out of his boutique, cigar infused abode.

A wicked, tropical, over the top Jewish ghetto, Aventura is everything I hate about my tribe when congrugated in a discount shopping district but I have to say, the bagels & the Mall is pretty good!

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Not for naught do those of us on the inside call it "Oyventura."

Enter my dream ...

'The time has come,'

the Walrus said,

'To talk of many things:

Of shoes -- and ships -- and sealing wax --

Of cabbages -- and kings --

And why the sea is boiling hot --

And whether pigs have wings.'

Like the Walrus, I have decided that the time has again come to speak of other things. I am glad so many of you are joining me as I recommence chronicling the latest off-road journey in life. I am seeking to circumnavigate & articulate via words some of kaleidescopic phantasmagoria that makes up the labyrinth to which I occasionally refer as my "mind".

Sometimes, I might put up a "Dramamine alert". Other times, "Oxygen Zone." The trips through my head can be very fast, unpredictable, not for the faint of heart, narrow of mind or those with vertigo!

Who knows, after a spin inside my world, an isolation tank might be the only cure ...

Remember, when the vibrations get me, I always find it fun to nudge the world a little more out of its comfort zone, proudly splatter vibrant hues, joyfully color outside the lines, sing out loud, dance like a Dervish under the ever-changing moon, garden in the rain - naked!

Some say a prayer at the beginning of a new journey, asking for guidance & protection. Even as I write this, all I can stammer is "Higher Power. Protect me from committing, grammatical atrocities against the English language, misquoting sources, Miss Shadlock's hateful red-lining, taking self or life too seriously & never miss the chance to learn, share & help make someones day a little better, even in this case, my own."

Time to "drink me" & tear off down the rabbit hole!!!


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy days @ the shooting range

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Magical thinking??? Not.

This time last year - a house overflowing. A house busting at the seams. There was a constant sound in the house. Noise, sounds of kids behind closed doors, televisions on non-stop. Yet it was good. It was all good.

This was what family is supposed to be. You are there for one another. In good times & bad. Like a marriage. At least, that is what my picture was. The reality was very different.

I have wrestled with myself for a long time as to how I could have achieved a different end result.

Of course, it was never for me to alter. Journals & emails recently reread have helped me see the picture how it really was.

I found Vic's scan reports following his 6 week radiation. I highlighted the pertinent words, such as spreading, worsening, growth ... When I look back, all I remember was how we were going to attack this now. That is what Vic wanted. His treatments were always his call. That I really did not understand that this was the beginning of the end ...

April 2009. We were returning from what would be Vic's last trip to London. At Heathrow airport, amidst the throngs of what were clearly terrorists being herded through passport control, Vic's Buffalo nickel bracelet broke. Beads everywhere. I picked them all up despite all the hideous feet & shoes. I had it repaired & Vic wore it up until he went to hospital in October.

I wore it every since. However, there have been two occasions that it broke. The latest being the other day. When I noticed it was gone, I had an odd reaction. I did not panic. Somehow I knew it would return. I checked drawers & all the usual places but nothing. Two days later, my neighbor knocks on the door, holding the buffalo nickel & bracelet, separated but still here! My instinct was right. It was not gone. Just out of sight. But safe.

Still, I had a strange feeling that maybe the time has come not to wear it, just keep it close & in sight. Just with me. Not, on me.

When I told DCC about the bracelet, he told me that according to Buddhist tradition, if a sacred bracelet is broken, it symbolizes karma fulfilled. Transitions. New beginnings.

Three times it broke. I kept saving it. I think maybe karma is being fulfilled.

I have been through several pivotal dates lately, culminating with this date, one year ago. I don't want to say anniversaries, although ours was a June date.

There is nothing "magical" about this year. Not yet, at least. It has taken hard work. Lots of acceptance, of reflection. Of stark realities.

Forgiveness is something I have a lot of trouble understanding. I ask everyone for their interpretation, how they do it, etc.

As I look back on the last year, losing Vic of course would be the #1 hurt & loss. Obviously. Clear winner. I continue to work on this but it begins to make sense.

In second place would have to be Shay. We always had a difficult relationship. From the beginning. Both ways. It always seemed that she raged at me for unresolved issues with Vic. Clearly, there was much she never liked about me & held onto it fiecely. I took many a piece of hate mail from her, going back prior to Vic & my marriage over which i would choke but ultimately recover, considering the source.

When we opened our home to her & the children last year, I was well coached by Vic that it was a huge mistake. She should stay with either of her brothers who live in Florida or her Mother. Her best friend did not want her & the kids staying because of disrupting her childrens' schedules.

Vic was fighting for his life, having chemo. I assured him I would be responsible for them being here & keep everything away from him.

"Disrupt this!"

In the end, when the British visas were finally issued after 3 long months in the processing, Vic didn't care what it took, he just wanted his home back. Our children did too. They had sacrificed their space & shared their summer with the understanding that this is what family does.

Shay, surprised to find herself pregnant with #5, also wanted her own life back as did her chidren. We all still wonder how she could possibly have been surprised after being pg 4 other times!!! oddly, Vic walked past her one day before she knew & asked me if she was knocked up again. I defended her saying she still had some of Stone's baby weight to lost when in fact, she was indeed up the spout again.

She's old enough (& experienced enough) to know that it's not the stork that brings the baby but the lark when the lights go out! Oh!

We all held it together very well despite all the stress. Shay & I laughed a lot, as we always did. It was also good to have someone else around who understood Vic differently. A glance across the room between us said it all. I liked having her around. I enjoyed her company. I can honestly say I loved her very much & when things were good, they were very good. I knew it was difficult for her & did everything I could to make her comfortable, cared for, loved.

I never forgot, however, that I was she was not my friend & I was not hers. I was her father's wife & mother of her other half siblings. That's who I was. I also never forgot that at any given moment, she could attack. Like a snake. A spitting cobra.

She had several moments there that it was hard to hold it in. Especially when I asked her husband Paul, why he kept calling me "scary grandma" and "mean grandma" nearly every time he walked past me with the baby in his arms. Something to do with the immature English schoolboy humor I believe, but I did not like it, appreciate it or want to hear it. Anymore.

He was a whole other kettle of very stinky fish. Vic's dislike & mistrust of Paul was all revealed by the end of the summer when he found himself unable to pay for his familys' return tickets to the UK. About 2 weeks before, he had assured Vic that all was fine & taken care of.

Bla, bla. All bullshit.

So Shay bit her tongue & so did I. We all got through the summer. She & the kids got their visas & returned to their new home in the armpit of the UK. We got our home back.

She came back when Vic died, missing him by only a few hours. She stayed for his cremation then returned with a suitcase of Vic's stuff. Just stuff. Clothes, t-shirts, just things. She had shared the whole summer with him. What greater gift?

Her final missile of hatred was launched less than a week after Vic's beautiful, touching, very fitting memorial service. My shock was palpable. She told Daniel & Kaelin that I had "tormented & manipulated her for the past 20 years." That they should watch themselves. Over a desk name-plate of Vic's that I gave to her sister, Angie. A piece of wood.

As of that moment, she was history to Kaelin & Daniel. It was what their Daddy had said about their sister. Her character. Impulsivity. Inability to control herself at times & the list went on. It was easy for them.

For me, it was much harder & it took much longer. Oh, I totally agree & was perversely grateful when she said she was done (with us). As the song says "it's over, it's over, I went through you, you went through me."

Vic had tried to warn me. He tried. I would not listen.

"One hundred years from now, the size of my bank account, my house ... will not matter. What will matter is that I made a difference in the life of a child".

As I tried to replay everything as to why she hated me so much, it suddenly occurred to me. I had always given her my very best. I was there for her when he own Father (let alone Mother) were not. My incredible, amazing friends gave her their very best during her sejour. We all showed her love & consideration & support. That's how people in the real world are. That's how people in my world are.

Guess what? Apparently it was just not good enough. Her email of bile contained something about Vic having done little for her (as an adult) & that there was a very strong sense of being owed ...

So how to forgive? I could not get around that. Then I realized. It was not for me to forgive her. She was being true to herself & her feelings. It was for me to forgive myself. I was beating myself up for having let her down in some way. Did I? Absolutely not.

Her children will always remember their time here & will come to their own conclusions if & when the time comes.

Ours was a relationship whose time had come. I have no regrets anymore. I have learned. Everything I did, I did with love & the best that I could. I did it because she was Vic's daughter.

So, for me the bracelet is indeed karmic & symbolic.

By this time last year, Stone had pounded his red, white & blue smash cake for his 1st birthday. I still have the pentas I bought when he fell in love with butterflies. The butterflies still love them.

I am glad that I can look at the flowers & not feel a stab of pain at the memory. Time to put closure on the hurt, even though it took a lot of time & effort & stepping outside of the normal paradigms of my thinking.

Vic is smiling because he was right & he likes to hear me saying it.


He really did know his daughter. I was just hopeful & naive.

It is still raining here in the land of the free, home of the brave. I love it.

It's a great day for Independence!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Wasp it all about, Alfie?

It's full pollen alert. Red eyes, runny noses & sneezing abounds.

The flip side to the discomfort is that the vegitation is exquisitely verdent & plentiful.
Plump, red berries call to the froliking squirrels. Precariously dangling by their tails, they pick off the last juicy bunches at the farthest ends of the willowy limbs. Bellies full, they chatter to one another in cheerful clicks.

The gadda is also full of eager insects, polinating everything they touch.

Come & take a quick peek inside a couple of sista k's bloomers today ....

"Wasp it all about, Alfie?"

This lucky chap gets positively drunk on delicious, sun-warmed nectar.

"A la salud!"

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Summer twilight

Magic time

Florida sunset
June 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

Words to live by ...

Saucer here, saucer there ...

On June 24 1947, pilot Kenneth Arnold reporting seeing nine UFOs over Mount Rainier, which he described as like "saucers skipping over the water."
His sighting kicked off the modern UFO era and led the press to coin the phrase 'flying saucers.' 

50 years later on June 24, 1997, the U.S. Air Force issued a 231-page report dismissing the long-standing claims of an ET crash near Roswell, New Mexico.

They suggested that recovered bodies were not those of aliens but crash test dummies used in parachute experiments.

Do you believe the men in black???
Or  the men in green???

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ohm ...

The force, good it is.

Yodas ben-Jedi amidst things of this earth, sit they do
 Jedi already being a plural word I believe ...  Just thinking out loud here ...

And for something from a different mythology ...

"Thou shalt not worship idols"

I don't. However, I can say that each & every stone, shell, rock, Yoda has special memory for me.  I love to hold each one separately. I love to feel their shape, texture.  I close my eyes, eager to recapture the memory of a moment suspended in time. 

Collectively, the smile that comes to my face is a small reflection of the easy, breezy sense of serenity that goes through me when I reconnect with this small cornucopia of collectibles.

One of the pieces is a particularly special gift.  One from someone who knows me very well.  Julita brought this from an area of her motherland in Puerto Rico well known for decades worth of, yes I am going to say it, UFO & paranormal activity.

I remember watching one of my woo woo shows years ago with Vic in which the Puerto Rican connection was discussed, footage aired, photos, locals interviewed.  I told Julita about the show & asked if she had been to that area.  I also rememberd the surname of the local journalist who covered the story.   Martin.

As in Julita's cousin, who shares her maiden name. 

And the woo goes on ...

My Puerto Rican stone always gets its full moon cleansing along with all the other rocks, crystals, feathers,, tsotches. 

I like to have that one particular stone near me at night.
Armed the mandatory intergalactic hitchhiker's towel, night after night, I patiently wait, hoping to hitch a ride on an intergalactic VW bus, desperately hoping to avoid Vogon poety.

My mantra is not "Calgon, take me away".

Definitely more "Beam me up Scotty."

Douglas Adams:  RIP

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It's come to this: a soccer post!

USA - all the way!!!!

I am NOT a soccer-widow (no pun intended) but I have to say I am thrilled at the World Cup result today. 

U S A .. U S A ... sound of homemade vuvuzela or howsoever it is spelled/spelt?!!!

Having hated 'football" in England, I do, however, remember the good old days when rowdiness meant the chucking of empty beer bottles and toilet paper.

The days of George Best & a young, up and coming Pele ...

Gone.  All gone.  

Now you have to blow those dreadful things and paint yourself or wear silly hats.

Never mind.

Way to go, U S A !!!

Taking the time to journey ...

....  to the center of my mind.

Wow!  I totally love those words.  

As is my way,  I love to stumble across an older tv series, now syndicated.  "Seinfeld" was the best find of all.  A mindlessly clever laugh now available almost any time a day on some channel or other.  George, of course, is my fave.  

"World's are colliding.  This is NOT good.  George is not happy about this at all!"

Well, hello!  Talk about a completely off the wall, gorgeously dark "find" for sista k.  Everything considered, the irony is beyond delicious.


"Six feet under."

For someone who could not watch more than the first 3 minutes of  "My sister's keeper", or a full 15 of "You don't know jack", the HBO Al Pacino as Jack Kevorkian, "Six feet under" just tickles & provokes my thoughts in so many ways.

Oh, it makes me sob at times but mostly, I get to observe the myriad of made-for-tv sound bytes of various forms of grief.

Conclusion:  I am quite, quite normal in my own Abby Normal way.

Ta ta, for now ...  I think I am starting to come out of the dark side ...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Do you bathe by the light of the silvery, solstice moon?

The summer solstice sun setting in the west, dipping in & out of the clouds.

The summer solstice moon slowly rising in the southeastern horizon.

What better way to celebrate this most sacred & magical
of nights than to float around in a beautiful pool with a beautiful friend?  Excellent tea, a cool pool, two old friends reflecting on their lives past while both look to the starry sky, wondering what the future has in store?

Bathing in the moonlight.  No SPF required!  Delish.

All over the world, for thousands of years, people have born witness to the significance of the solstices.

Tonight, in my own fashion, I also pay homage, lay disciple of
heliolatry that I am.

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Waiter, there's a starfish on my table!

What could be better than homemade,
freshly caught conch chowder on a hot,
steamy Florida night?
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Still playing footsie in the garden

Enter the peaceful, purple patio & you will be greeted by
several blooming Crocs.

Vic loved his Cros & they participated in nearly all of his construction
I love the fact the Crocs continue to live, the perfect home for
our Spider Plants.
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Winky, winky!

Hogwarts indeed!

I've got my very own "howler" delivery team.

Nudge, nudge
Wink, wink
Say no more!
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THE FRIENDS can connect in a

mysterious way without even speaking.


Perhaps they are both just


Perhaps our brain was separated at birth?
Whatever, 41 years, still BFFFFFFFFFs &
still amusing the heck out of each other.

I wish everyone have just one Vicar in their lifetime!
And not the naughty, hand up your frock during vespers,
Benny Hill type of Vicar. Not the one with open sandals & dirty
toe nails. Not the scone & clotted cream scoffing
one from Digby either.

No, I am talking about my BFFFFFFFFF, aka TBV = The Big Vicar
Nothing to do with her dimensions, petite as she is/was/shall always be, amen.
Rather to distinguish us by height ergo I remain TLV = The Little Vicar.
I might update that to TWV = The Wide Vicar
Or how about TJV = The Jewcy Vicar

Don't ask. Don't tell.

and that's the way we like it!
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'Till death us do part ...

Part us, it did.

Our wedding photo June 18 1991
Vic was radiant. I had swollen feet!
Vic's wedding band was inscribed:
 "Two lives, One destiny.  6/18/91".

I wear Vic's wedding band together with the  beautiful pyramid shaped amethyst
 that is my most cherished 50th birthday gift. 
Vic was fascinated by the number ratios of circles 
& pyramids.  He found solace in a numerically explainable world.

So our trinkets remains intermingled.
A pyramid overlapping a circle.
A circle overlapping a pyramid.

It's just our energy still with me.

Our last photo October 8 2009
Vic was dying
No one gave me a straight answer
 So I just did what I did best:  I stood by Vic's side,
his front & his back.
Together, we fought.
We fought for Vic to live on & on & on

Neither of us gave up.

In the end,
it was never in our hands anyway ...
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Friday, June 18, 2010

18,19, 20

It has been quite a while since I last sat to put my thoughts down.

Not that I have been without experience after experience, some that added a slight grey tinge to the hairline above my right temple.

Tonight is different. The moon in rising. There's a warm, wet breeze in the air.

Tonight I acknowledge that Vic & I were married at our home in Ft. Lauderdale on this day in 1991. Corey was our 7 month in utero witness.

Vic cried as we exchanged our self-written vows before the tennis playing, macrobiotic, attorney & part time rabbi, later to be Representative Barry Silver.

As soon as the ceremony was over & he had a healthy slice of heaven sent Croissan'Time mocha cake, he left for a tennis game in Boca, not before asking if he might possibly get a date with Shay ...

Today, I look back at our photo, standing on the dock of our Lauderdale home. How many lifetimes ago it seemed. The overjoyed man standing next to me bore no resemblance to the Vic I kissed good bye 8 months ago tomorrow (19th).

Our eccentric marriage ceremony was but a prelude to an eccentric, magical, fully charged marriage.

As it was back on this day 19 years ago, I quoted Kahlil Gibran on marriage, so it is today that I look back once again, find tremendous comfort & grace in his words;

"The a woman said, Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow.
And he answered:
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that which has been your delight.
Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."
But I say unto your, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Sunday is Father's Day. The 20th. It will be a glorious day despite the namesake will not be present. We both agreed that the greatest gift we ever gave each other was our children.


"Time goes by
Still I think of you."

Monday, April 12, 2010

The labor of grief

The truth is this stinks.

Grief is like being in labor. You have to ride the waves of excrutiating pain .

The difference, of course, is that once through labor, you have some physical fruit to show for your labor.

With grief, you still feel empty.

It is so random & while I respect the process, I am not good at being brought to the floor in tears.

Being blind-sided by sound-byte pixellated memories is just the worst.

I keep going back to those last days in hospital ... grasping to fill in the gaps ... last words ... leaning over Vic's head, asking him if I should give the staff his living will ... him telling me I would know when the time was right ... to promises whispered in Vic's ear as he lay, dying.

I miss him so much, it feels like I've been punched in my stomach. You know when a child just gasps for air between sobs ... that gasping has actually made my "abs" hurt. My forehead is muscle-fatigued from the crying-frown.

Frown & cry I do.

It started last night at about 8pm.

Has not stopped yet.

Like I said before, it is about learning how to ride the waves of sadness.

Who'd have thought at 52 I'd be taking up surfing?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hoos watching yoos?

House protected by homeing


Approach with caution.


Your every move is being observed.


Whether camoflagued in the surrounding trees
or out in the open, right by the front doors


You are not alone.

Nor are we ...
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