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Random Thoughts about my Mother

It's been a very hectic month for me.  I got very sick right after Thanksgiving and was barely able to hold my head up, let alone sit at a computer for long.  Got back to work last week and was good for the work day, but still pretty tired when I got home.  At long last this week, I started to feel like myself.  Then yesterday afternoon, my sister called me.  Our mother has died.  Not unexpected, but still a bit of a blow.  She lived nearly 92 years, her birthday is January 16th.  So in the interest of remembering my mother and returning to regular blogging, I present Random Thoughts about My Mother.

Mildred Irene Wallock Watt.  My mother was born in January 1918...just before the end of WWI.  Los Angeles was a different place then, a collection of small towns, some manufacturing, some agriculture, some business.  Her father moved his family there when the film industry was locating there because the sunshine and variety of landscape meant movie making could go on year round. An o…

Gratitude

"When I'm worried and I can't sleep
I count my blessing instead of sheep
Then I fall asleep counting my blessings." - Irving Berlin

I love that song.  It's almost time for me to watch WHITE CHRISTMAS again and get tears in my eyes when Rosemary Clooney sings about love that didn't do right by her and Bing reminds us all to count our blessings. 

It's that time of year where we try to remember to be grateful - and to remember to tell those we love how very important they are to us.  I am especially grateful this year.  It has been a good year for me - lots of growth and change and plenty to be grateful for.

1) My daughters.  Being a good mother is the most important thing to me.  For me, that means working at my relationships with my daughters.  Treasuring who they are and what matters to them.  Championing their victories and helping them back up when life knocks them down.  Most of all, it means loving them and being whatever they need me to be.  There wh…

What do I do??

So I entered National Novel Writing Month - where you are supposed to create a 175 pg, 50, 000 word novel in the month of November.   I started out pretty good, whipped out my first 1000 words in one evening.  Thought I could probably get there if I spent at least one day a weekend writing.  Sure...no problem.

Well - one small problem.  I'm writing, that's not it.  But the story has no form, no plot, no hook.  It's just words!!  I keep writing...waiting for the inspiration to hit...and people keep telling me that I have to just keep writing and not edit and not worry about the rest.  I'm trying!  Really I am.  But so far it feels pretty much like masturbation.  I do it because I have to.  (I mean, I can't not write - and yes I know that's a double negative - see I can't stop editing even here!) I do it because there is some pleasure in releasing all these ideas that have been banging around in my head.  But in the end I feel pretty empty because it just doe…

Random Thoughts...back on track

Boy this has been a really random day.  I started off with my yearly appt. with my doctor.  Only it wasn't with my doctor, because my doctor has left the practice where she's been for the past 10 years, which is how long I've been seeing her.  But she doesn't start at her new practice until January...so I had a new doctor at the old practice.  (are you still with me?)

So I head out to drive there and there's been a downpour in Portland this morning and people still haven't re-learned how to drive in the rain here and there are accidents everywhere I turn.  I get to the office right on the dot of my appointment time.  There's only me and one other patient in the waiting room, which could be good, could be bad.  Turns out okay...I'm whisked in for my weigh and measure...don't ask me the number it's embarrassing and makes me really mad that in spite of all the shedding I'm doing emotionally, there is still actual dead weight I'm carrying ar…

Freedom of Choice

We like choice.  We like the ability to look at the array of garments on a rack, shoes on a display, toothpaste on a shelf, even auto insurance plans - and saying - "Yes...I choose this."  

Lately, I've been teaching myself about choice.  That may sound pretty silly.  Obviously I haven't lived this long or done what I've done in my life without making choices.  But I have to say I wasn't really taught how to choose.  It's been sort of hit or miss in my life.  Fortunately, I've had more hits than misses.  My guardian angel has definitely earned her wings.  And I think it's time I gave her a rest.

Growing up when I did, where I did with the parents I had, I basically learned two things.  Nice girls always say yes - this gets them loved and appreciated and desired.  And my world as a girl was basically flat - and going to the edge, especially going over the edge, was just not something you did.  

Let me explain here.  When I say that nice girls alway…

It's My Party

The Gods have smiled on me.  My birthday party was all that, da bomb, buck, absolutely FABULOUS.

To begin with, my darling friend Nancy called as we were setting up.  Considering that she was nursing a broken elbow and looking at surgery the next day, I was honored that she thought to call me at all.  My cupcakes from Lisa Madrid were adorable and yummy.  Contact me if you want her info.  They were proclaimed by my daughter Jennifer to be "the best she has ever had."


(Picture is of a painting by Erika Lee Sears who introduced me to Lisa and yes the cupcakes looked just like that)

Jennifer and her husband were there.  Not a big deal for a daughter, you say?  Well, considering that she is actually my step-daughter and her father and I haven't been together for 5 years, yeah it was.  He was there, too.  My ex.  See?  It is possible to be friends with your ex.

Then people began to flow in too fast for me to catch everyone.  When a woman came in looking vaguely familiar, and …

Broken Thought Process Thurs...I mean Friday! Sept. 18

Well, here's my first thought of the day. What is so hard about making a decent cup of coffee? I've been drinking coffee for as long as I can remember. SERIOUSLY! My dad used to put coffee in my milk when I was a little girl, because I wouldn't, couldn't, still can't and won't drink plain milk.

For years, I've searched for the perfect home brewing method. I hate making a pot at home for one or at the most two cups. I have a Senseo. It worked for about 3 months. Then it got clogged up and there's not enough pressure to push through the pods and get a good cup. Plus the time...I hate getting up in the morning and having to wait for the water to heat up until I can try and get a cup worth drinking....as I watch my bus go by. I don't want to spend money on espressos that I KNOW cost them like .75 to 1.00 and they are getting 3-4 bucks from me. I understand you have to figure in labor and overhead and blah, blah, blah. I used to try to explain…

BTPT - Sep. 3

In 4 weeks - 28 days - I will be 50 years old. That's how my day started. Seriously! I woke up thinking that. I guess I had birthday on the brain because today is my friend Bonnie Howard's birthday - and yesterday I was trying to think up cheap fun ways to celebrate my half century mark. But do I really have to wake up with this thought on my mind??

I know that birthdays are supposed to be celebrated and though the years I've had a few awesome ones. But the percentage isn't great. I didn't have birthday parties as a kid ( okay everyone...big awwww...) I know it was tough on my parents. I was the 7th child. The end of the line. And everyone else was 8 to 19 years older than I was. Throwing parties was something they were pretty tired of. I'm sure I had those cute little parties when I was very small, but once my sisters were grown up and gone, I didn't have parties. Maybe a cake with my family. Presents sure. But I was actually sent to my roo…

Thank you Senator Kennedy

Like many of us, I've been thinking about the impact on my life of Senator Kennedy. He'll always be Teddy to me - something he himself probably cringed at. And I suspect that now that his work here is done, he's at peace with his role in his larger than life family.

I share many qualities with Ted. I, too, am the youngest member of a large, loud, boisterous family. I, too, took on the mantle of the family tradition when others would not. I, too, made sacrifices, both personal and professional, for my family. And I believe that I, too, have learned to embrace who I am - separate from and yet still very much a part of my family of birth.

I share his Catholic upbringing, with an emphasis on servitude and gratitude. I had a father who was looked up to and admired by his peers. Not a wealthy man to be sure, but a man whose wealth went far beyond material riches and who was mourned at his death by everyone whose life had been touched by him. I have a mother who still dom…

Random Thought Process

I'm not sure how random my thoughts will be today...I'm completely and totally annoyed at FOX media today. Not just FOX, but all the media that is treating these health care forums like they are the next Boston Tea Party - Death to Tyranny and all that.

I'm all for debate, discourse, discussion. And there is no question that the health care system in this country is broken - and not just in one way. Insurance companies, hospitals, doctors, and drug companies all share part of the burden. And let's not forget the patient bears some responsibility for their own health. And all of us will bear a part of the burden in fixing it.

And THAT is what I see President Obama trying to do. Not foist a completely new system on us that makes all the rules and takes our rights away. Not shove a one payer system on everyone no matter what the general populace believes. BUT MAKE EACH PARTICIPANT RESPONSIBLE FOR DISCOVERING HOW TO IMPROVE IT!

I'm sure there are people out …

the human virus

Remember that book I talked about awhile back? A Failure of Nerve? Well, I picked it up again this week and my head is spinning again with all the good stuff inside it.

I just finished the chapter on surviving in a hostile environment. First, the author described the behavior of viruses in the biological world, how it needs a host and has no self-regulation. Then he went on to describe the behavior of disruptive or "viral" members of society. These people can be a malignancy in a family, a workplace, social organization or public sector. But they have these traits in common that the true leader must develop a resistance to.

They tend to be easily hurt or victimized. (no outer membrane to protect them)They tend to idolize leaders with unrealistic expectations and then are quick to crucify them.They never see how they contribute to the condition they complain aboutTheir responses are limited to on or off, us and them, black and white and are unable to tolerate discord or d…

Broken Thought Process - Aug 7, 2009

I'm tired...so freakin' tired. I'm the kind of tired that means I'll get all weepy and emotional - the kind that means my skin is like rice paper and if you touch me I'll just dissolve into dust. The kind that means I saw Mr. ring on his finger yesterday for like 30 seconds and I had to stand in the friggin' stairwell and catch my breath and tell myself not to cry. Of course that also means that he finds a dozen reasons to be on MY floor during the day and I have to see (and hear) him at least a dozen more times that day. So last night was a cry myself to sleep night.

I hate it that he gets to me. He's such a dick - really...major dickhead...but I so want to believe that underneath all that dickishness, he really did love me once. Oh shit. Here I go crying again. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all.

No...my therapist told me that my writing is the best way for me to work through this stuff. And I know I'm only feeling this way becaus…

The Grapes of ???

I watched the John Ford film of Grapes of Wrath last night. I started out just enjoying Henry Fonda's wonderful performance - so easy and real. But I ended up wondering if our nation really learned anything from the Great Depression. What is the great crime in Grapes of Wrath? It's a crime to be poor. It's a crime to need, to ask, to worry. And it would seem that it is still a crime to be poor.

We entered the depression of the 1930s a nation of haves and have nots. Those who had - those in power - scrambled to hang on to their wealth while the have nots scrambled to gather the scraps. And as I look around me today, as I listen to the news, I hear those same echos of those who have grasping for their power while the have nots silently fight to live and make it to the next day.

Last night I woke up thinking about the recent discussion of the increase in the minimum wage and what it would mean to businesses and that it would actually cause jobs to be lost. It sounded …