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!