Friday, December 30, 2011

My FIRST resolution

My first resolution is to fix my belly.  I don't know how yet but I guess I just have to try everything until it is flat.  Time marches on and eveything else starts to soften and I just feel well,... imperfect, extreemely imperfect.  I have had a lovely and productive holiday and I will return to work rested and a bit better organized - I hope. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Why I feel good...

After I've written about all that I have to do I sometimes get a feeling of overwhelm.  I just want to bury my head in my hands or curl up into the fetal position.  I feel good today.  I feel good today because I have a plan and I will realize my goals even as they morph in front of me.  I know what I must to today and that I am capable of doing it and that feels good.  I need to focus on keeping my mind active and on being healthy.  I have decided what I will do for the children also.  I am about to go start on my room while the clothes in the washing machine finish.  The children, all 7 of them :-) are sleeping.  There was a time when I didn't want people to know that I have seven children but they are all so wonderful to me.  They are all so amazing.  When I look at them I get a feeling of being given something so special that no one else has been given and it is humbling.  (I'm sure others must have that feeling too.)  I am so happy that they are all home right now.  They are my razón de ser, razon de etre ...(I don't really remember any French :-)

Coffee & Thought

I should enjoy this day thoroughly but I find myself worrying before I should.  I only bought things that I needed and at ridiculously cheap prices but I find that I am afraid to look at my account.  I still haven't purchased work shoes.  I am mad at myself for not having money when the ones I wanted were so on sale.  Right now they are about $45 instead of $100 but they were down to $35.  I still have to get my son a bus ticket to get back and finish school.  I have 6 days left and I am worrying. Some of the things I have to do are:

  • finish and put away the laundry ... at least 6 loads.  There are 8 people in the house right now.
  • set up my credit repair binder so that I can begin that process
  • apply for CHIP for my children
  • do a skeleton lesson plans for the rest of the year
  • buy my son school supplies
  • read a novel (IMPORTANT!!) ... or 2
  • clean my room
  • find a short exercise regimen to begin each day with
  • write a letter to the doctor whose appointment I missed when I got my divorce papers... I simply forgot and she's billing me for a missed appointment.  I can hardly afford to pay for the things we need much less things like this.
  • I need to commit myself to some health habits to see if I might again rid myself of this joint pain.  It gets really bad.  
  • I need to do my bank balance but I'm afraid.
  • I need to organize my children.  
One of the things about being the daughter of a single mother and now being one is that organization eludes me.  My life went everywhere all the time with my mother's as she did all she could do in a day.  We need routine.  This is the part where I begin to feel guilty, to feel that I should be doing something other than writing.  

I wanted to get a Brazilian Blowout.  I won't be able to afford it.  It was going to be my gift to me but I needed pants to wear to work.  I only had a few pairs and they all had bleach spots on them.   

I need for a more concrete goal to materialize.  My goal for today is to finish as much of the above list as I can.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Very McGhee Christmas

December 27th... things are busy but sweet these last few days as the money dwindles and the memories mount I just feel grateful for my family and the holiday that they have given to my children and I.  I usually just block emotionally over the holidays.  I don't plan anything more than the meal and we enjoy ourselves.

The children enjoyed christmas with my sister and her husband and had fun with my brothers.  The baby (2) really enjoyed every gift.  Toys were made for him.  He is my 7th child and I have never seen a child so thoroughly enjoy a toy.  He got a trian that plays a song and so he takes a moment to dance before he plays with the train.  What an imagination! He loves his shoes that light up and his plate set and his trains.  He doesn't casually toss anything aside.  He was given a gift card and so I went to Target and bought him Thor's sword and shield (who knew he used a sword and shield - I certainly didn't) ...perhaps that particular gift was a mistake. I got numerous complaints of children being hit with the sword.  He plays like a big kid who knows the whole story.  He runs through the house and hides behind the sofa.  He yells for the bad guys to "shup up!"  literally "shup up, bad guys!"  He shoots them with his imaginary machine gun (judging by sound of continuous fire).  He consumed near a whole bag of Hershey's Kisses...boy was he in a foul mood the next day :-(.    They have had a wonderful holiday. 

My 10 year old son got a Nerf gun or rather a gun that shoots Nerf bullets.   It  might be the first "gun" in the house as I won't buy them but they craft them out of any and everything and have them anyway so, oh well.  EVERYONE (but mom) loves that toy.  It produces happy screams and the sound of someone running every time. 

My princess has worn every bit of clothing that she has received and bought.

At this moment I am thankful for Starbucks and sleep and days off of work.  I am thankful for dreams and memories.  I am thankful for purpose because I feel that I have purpose for the first time in a long time.

My big girl is growing up and thinks that pink is too girly.  I tell her that she is and always will be my princess.  She did want earrings though and when she put them on she said she felt prettier and kept looking in the mirror.

My little man is sick.  He has a chest cold and has me quite concerned.  I am going to go out today and get some more vitamin C packets.  They don't have health insurance right now and I was really worried about his breathing last night.

In a few moments my Emil and I will run out to be at Old Navy when they open.  Hopefully we can find him some jeans at a good price.  He has 1 pair that fits. It has been a productive few days.  The kids have clothes.  I ordered shoes for princess.  I didn't realize that her boots were in such a state.  The bottoms were half off!  I don't know how they got to be that way.  Sometimes I feel like I miss so much.  My big boy could probably use some shoes too. My bigger boy got some yesterday and my biggest boy has more shoes than I do... I wish we wore the same size... a little. :-)

A tip:

I learned a lesson.  Cricket Wireless is not a good carrier for my needs.  My phone was out of service on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  I am going to save for a new phone now so that I can change carriers.  I don't want a contract though.  I think I will go with Simple Mobile.  I don't recommend Cricket to anyone.  We couldn't make calls to wish happy holidays or to say thank you.  It is also not the best deal money wise.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

a few seconds

This morning I take 5 minutes to scribble something.  I don't have much to say... or really I have too much.  I am looking forward to winter break, I have so much work to do.  The kids and I made ornaments but we have to wait for my next paycheck so that I can get some paint to paint them.  We have a cute tiny tree to put them on.  I hope it doesn't break :-).

Monday, December 5, 2011

Another One of THOSE Weeks

Another week until payday and then the check is spent.  The entire check will go to utilities and rent and hopefully some for gas to get to work.  This week I have only the gas in my tank and 5 days to get to work.  I thought about calling in today because I don't feel well but I won't do that I need to push through.  I simply don't feel bad enough to miss work.  I will take some vitamin C and keep going. 

Last night I went to the grocery store and spent my last $30.  I have to gather the strength to borrow gas money and I HATE that.

I have to come up with a way to make today fun at work...hmmm

Sunday, December 4, 2011

5:14 Sunday morning.  I should call this someday because this is the day that I get things done.  I have quiet a week ahead of me.  I have the first load of laundry in and I have already started to make the list in my head of the things I have to do.  I will begin to look for a second job in the coming days and the idea does not give me peace.  I do it with utmost reluctance.  

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Faux NEW

Electricity on the verge of being disconnected...I am relieved every day I come in and still have heat.  I get paid in another week and most of it goes to rent, then utilities, then gasoline.. and finally a few dollars left for food... rent too high...fridge too empty...but we are ok...   I am feeling kind of numb.  In a moment I am going to go get coffee and try to dedicate myself to cleaning for the day.  I slept almost 12 hours last night.  I have been sleeping early alot lately.  I think I'll move the furniture in my room today.  Maybe that will cheer me up.  Today I will go for a faux newness. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

This is a dark place.  I am tired.  I didn't get the place I wanted so I have to sign a new lease today.  They have raised my rent over $100 simply because they can.  So I am a very unhappy tenant.  In the next few days I will write a letter to their parent company and send pictures of this place that I rent for too much money.  I am going to start to look at other states that I might want to live in.  I hate moving.  I stay so exhausted just trying to get through each day with some measure of success with the kids.  ... but that place was perfect.  I could really see us there.  I am on the verge of tears.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Gotta Clear My Head

It is November 12th and we have no place to live at the end of the month. I will put my head on straight today and make calls and see what miracles can happen.

Tea kettle on
House a mess
Kids asleep
Work awaits!

Heart confused
Mind unfocused
Spirit uneasy
Body awaits!

What do I do now?  I am frozen.  For a few days I was lost in conversation.  It was nice and while we talked I forgot that I carried so many.  He didn't seem to notice, but then he did and again I notice.  It was nice.  It was silly.  I am still alive, after all of that I am still alive.

Slowly I wipe away the make up, the eyeliner.  I take off the dress and the heels. I put on my house clothes, an old skirt, a long sleeved shirt and socks to keep my feet warm, they don't usually match.  I wrap my head in a scarf and put my smile on a shelf but reflections of it linger.  It was fun.  

It was so good to feel pretty and wanted.  The truth though is that I work from pain and if I get comfortable I may forget what it is that I can do for someone else.  So today I am no longer fifteen.  Tomorrow is a different story.  I hope he is well.

Cup of tea in hand and first load of laundry in the washer.  I am off to a good start.

I think I'll go start my car and let it run for a bit.  It's been sitting there for days waiting to be repaired.  Well, I hope it starts.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Since I can now be reasonably sure that you won't read my blog I can write about you.  You, who offers me everything I didn't know I wanted and waits for me to take it, only I don't know how.  You have shown me that I am not ready.  I still don't know how not to love.  Last night I lay awake in bed separating my thoughts trying to make sure that thoughts of you don't get sewn into the fabric of my life, putting you neatly, carefully to one side.  I am free -ish and what woman in her right mind would give that up?  (My hand involuntarily shoots up, to my everlasting shame.)  And yet, it is not my choice and so I will laugh and joke with you and skirt your offerings.  When you open your arms you call to something primal in me and it answers against my will.  You charm me.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Norwood, OH

So I came back to Ohio and I have had a really nice time.  There were some things that I missed.  First Watch for breakfast, the same waiter, the eggs cooked to perfection and bacon just the way I like it, every part of that experience was essential. I left there and went to Joseph Beth Booksellers.   As I walked the aisles I thought a few things.  They have made this place such a nice place to be.  I LOVE this store.  I walked first through the children's section and the combination of books and toys made me want to read, play and plan for gifts for my children as I entered into the grown up section I continued to have a good time.  I love books anyway but I think that they have found the recipe to success.  We left there and walked over to Starbucks, drank something warm and talked while we waited for Nordstorm Rack to open.  We walked in an out of stores on the way to Nordstrom Rack and the consumer in me was awakened.  I suddenly wanted nice shoes and purses and I realized that those things are much more accessible here here in Cincinnati than they are in the Washington Metro area.  Here one can enjoy nice things and not sell their souls to get them. Though much of that was just beyond my reach when I was here too.  Now it seems way beyond my reach.  At Nordstrom Rack I picked out a coat, a hat, texting gloves and a scarf for about $200 total.  I found some really cute shoes too and then I bid them all farewell and left the store having only imagined myself in the coat, hat gloves (I tried them on) and shoes.  It was nice to dream for a moment.  The lady at Starbucks had an awsome lipstick color she said it was by Mac and called Chocolate.  ...I have missed me...

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I'm constantly exhausted and my nerves are frayed.  Yesterday the kids made me cry in the classroom.  I don't do that.  I don't think it was really all them.  Usually I will turn that into a game, but yesterday I went, sat down and sobbed like a child.  I couldn't catch my breath.  I couldn't speak.  I just cried.  I think maybe that looking for a home and going through the divorce is weighing on my subconscious.  I felt normal but why did I break.  I couldn't put myself back together.

I don't like weakness.  I don't like showing it.  I like to be whole and motivated and driven and just do what I have to do.  Tears don't solve anything.  Right?

So every day this week thus far I have come home and collapsed.  I have been so exhausted that I am unable to function. It is even difficult to speak, to find words. I have cooked and gone to bed.  I have to leave in a moment so that I can get coffee to get me through today.

Yesterday I was invited out for my birthday.  The funny thing is that when he said "anything I want" I thought, sleep but I don't need him for that.  For the past week it has been at the top of my list of fantasies.

27 October, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I'm lying in bed exhausted and unable to sleep; where will we live? I just feel like crying. I asked the rental office for an extension and their offer was horrible. I just feel defeated.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Autumn Sundays

Again, I feel like I have squandered a Saturday.  It is 6am on Sunday morning and I am beginning to feel a sense of overwhelm.  Yesterday I focused on the house.  I did laundry for most of the day.  I still have laundry to do but I need to do my lesson plans for the week and that will take up most of the day.  I will start the tea kettle and begin 'sigh'.

Oh, I created my logo yesterday.  I am so excited!  Finally some progress!!

I have so much to do but it is hard to get out of the bed when the house is cold.  I will not turn on the heat until I absolutely must.  I simply cannot afford to.  I slept in a jacket last night.

I haven't even begun my search for a place to live and I MUST commit myself to that and not lose faith that everything is going to be alright.  Where will my children be laying their heads in a few short weeks?

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Since I know me and would like to be able to say that I have learned from my past, I must make some different decisions and not simply do whatever I want.  It's funny, I was telling one of my students the other day that what she proudly calls "speaking my mind"  was low behavior and that she needed to take other peoples feelings into account before she opened her mouth.  She needed to understand the impact she could have on others.  I tell all of my children that (at home and school) and yet upon reflections I see that when it comes to male/female relations I feel like I am who I am and I want what I want and that's it.

Maybe I need to do things a little differently and refocus myself when I get "man centered".  It happens so easily to me.  I say that because I woke up this morning thinking about this man and as I lie in bed my mind wondered to all kinds of interesting places.  After a bit I realized what I was doing and got up.  All we have done is flirt.  I have a vision that I cannot lose sight of for a moment.  I have to continue on with MY plan.

"So, it was nice chatting with you.  Thank you for giving me the attention I craved at such an important time in my life but I have to focus on Me."

I wonder what it is about me that makes it so easy for me to get lost in a man's attention.  I don't like that part of me.  I dislike it so much that  (someone is awake and I hear the walking around the house looking for me) I find myself actively thinking about how to fix it.

His words were like water to a thirsty soul and being that he is a man of few of them, he leaves me wanting more while I being a woman of many words, am likely to leave him wanting a break, I fear.

Many years ago I heard a woman say that in order for a woman to get what she wants she must first turn down or say no to what she doesn't want.  She musn't settle.  I need to be focused on that and not just be willing to sit down to any meal because I am hungry.  Wait maybe I need another metaphor, I mean who waits for fillet mignon when they are hungry and offered scrambled eggs?  I suppose this is different.  It could be the same though and it depends on if one sees relationships as permanent or passing.

And then I found this quote.
...perhaps I should call him.  (jk)

Friday, October 21, 2011


  I love Olive Garden's salad!  It has been so long since I truly enjoyed a meal out. On the last outing I enjoyed the company of family but didn't really like the food.  This was perfect!

The Centrepiece

  Olive Garden's Seafood Alfredo over angel hair pasta.  Mmmmmm

A good time was had by all...

  A cuppa coffee and good conversation.  Ahhh this is as it should be.

Mother/Daughter Time

It was so nice to spend an evening with Mom.  Olive Garden has redeemed itself in my eyes.  Now, I remember why I enjoy going there.  The atmosphere is as important as the food to me in a restaurant.  I don't just eat and leave.  I like to sip a glass of wine and talk until there is no more to say.  The last time I went I took my children, it was in the summer and the air conditioning was up so high that we couldn't enjoy our food.  We simply paid and left after taking a few bites.  We were all cold and what was supposed to be a memory turned out to be nothing more than a waste of money.  Yesterday was nice.  It made me feel good about moving home and being near family.

Teacher's Night at the Smithsonian was nice too.  It was held in the American Indian Museum and looking around it made me want to research my own heritage.  There is not so much distance between adult and child although so many like to pretend that there is.  I think the teachers enjoyed the "hands on" section as much as any of the children would have... I did.

I guess more than anything it was nice to get out of the house for once and know that the children were fine and I didn't have to rush anywhere.


  This was my first glass of wine in over 3 years .  I was pregnant with my youngest and then nursing.  It was such a nice experience.  I need to buy a bottle of wine to keep at home.

A Muted Existence

Yesterday I watched the movie "For Colored Girls".  It moved me but it was familiar and brought me back to some of my own story, some of my own burried pain.  I enjoyed the poetry.  I don't know if I could stand to watch it a second time, too much pain.    It inspired me to again attempt to write down some of my own story. I have learned in the past 10 years that some things hurt too much to write down, to relive.

My brothers and I were talking the other day and I and I made the comment that I don't seem to remember things as vividly as other people do.  I imagine that I was at these places and said these things that I lived these moments with them but they had far less of an impact on me.. one of my brothers said that it was the same for him.  When I thought about it I wondered how much one mutes their existence when they are feeling pain in order to get through it.  So whatever happens in the aftermath of heartbreak is just survived not truly LIVED..?  I don't know.  It is the only way I can explain a decade lost.  I have more children and with each absolute bliss, but surrounding them is....?


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Another Day... Another Day

Thursday 'sigh' yesterday was awful.  I was so exhausted and defeated when I got home.  Today I hope I can keep things moving so I don't sink.  I imagine it kind of like running on top of quicksand.  That is my metaphor for the classroom.  One has to keep moving or they will sink.  The kids can't have ANY kind of an opening.  I may not be doing any real blogging for a few days.  I cannot pay my cable bill right now.  I need about a week.  I will call them today.  I hope we can work something out.  I need to be able to do some work for my students and that is so difficult without the use of the internet.  I don't really care about the cable itself, we almost never watch TV.  We tend to watch more Netflix, which requires an internet connection.  I feel like Humpty Dumpty every morning and I wonder, if all the kings horses and all the kings men couldn't put humpty back together again, HOW in the world can I?

I slept horribly last night.  I had nightmares which I haven't had in a long time.  I wonder what is causing such upset in my soul. 

It's funny each day I go to work is another opportunity for someone other than me to get some money, the landlord, the car repair shop, utility company 'sigh'

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

This morning I've awakened with sharp stomach pains and a sore throat.  It is Wednesday.  I have so much to do.  The children are asleep.  It is just after 4 o'clock am and I am making my coffee and trying to find my smile.  I probably discarded it shortly after removing my has to be around here somewhere.  It's probably wherever I left my energy. 'sigh' Really, other than the stomach pain, I feel pretty good.  'yaaawn'  Well, I had better get to work.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Well I got one thing resolved and now I am just at zero.  I never thought I would be so relieved to be broke.  I had gotten a bill from a collections agency for over $1,600.  I couldn't pay it but I was insured and could prove it so they closed the account. When I got that bill I had to fight back tears.  I am so relieved to have been able to resolve it.

Maryland MVA ' sigh'

I am relatively certain that I speak and understand English WHY is it that I am still walking in circles here and waiting when I should be in another line? There must be a more efficient way to do this. I have this huge fine for a lapse in insurance they claim a lapse of 7 months. There are small lapses: life is hard. The lapses were always too get me to another pay check. I hope they don't demand a large fine. I have no where to get it. I have no money to give them today.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Me in a dress and heels

2 Weeks 4 Dollars

I have no idea how I will get through the next two weeks.  Crying doesn't help so I won't bother.  I imagine that we will be eating all that is here.  The cupboard will truly be bare by the end of next week.  My 4 dollars will buy beans and some Ramen.  I hate to buy those nutritionless packets but it is horrible to be hungry.  If I can get coffee, I will be fine and I will keep beans and rice made.  I don't like these times.  They stress me out so badly.  I just look for a distraction.  These are the moments one cannot share with acquaintances because they provoke pity and make one feel pathetic.

I started to go to the store today and when I saw what my son was wearing we went back home.  He has grown and his shorts are too short and his shirt is too small.  His jeans are too short.  I bought an outfit the other day and I feel horrible.  He looks nice in his uniform and it wears it almost every day so I hadn't really noticed.  I have a couple $10 gift cards I may be able to find him something but not THIS week because I can't use the gas and they are to different stores.

Here it is October, I have to move in less than 2 months and I don't know where I will get a security deposit from.  We won't do Thanksgiving or Christmas but once we get settled we will have a day that is special just for us and we will treat it like Christmas and Thanksgiving.  It will be our own holiday.  The kids will make cards and decorate the house in the colors that they choose will represent that day and maybe we'll do it every year.  Maybe it will coincide with after Christmas sales.  That would be nice.  It gives me something to look forward to.  I never did like Christmas but I love Thanksgiving.

I will call the cable company to try to delay the cut off.  I had an unexpected expense.  I only have the most basic package but since television is no longer free I don't want to lose it.  It is sometimes how I get work done.  The children will watch something and it allows me to work in daylight hours.

Not knowing where we will live takes my breath away.  I really am stressed.  I feel it physically.  Tonight I NEED to Zumba.  I have to balance.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sweet Freedom

Today I left the house looking totally homeless and unloved.  Here we are in the middle of October and I left the house wearing a denim mini, well medi, pink Old Navy flip flops (that are too small though they say my size on them), an A lined top and frizzy air dried hair.  It is absolutely shameful.  I wondered briefly if my muffin top was visible through my too old shirt. - Hope not! I really have to find a way to get it together. falling into a crumpled heap. sigh

Another Sunday

Only my daughter and I are up.  I have sent her back to bed because it is my time to think.  I have so much to do today.  I need to write lesson plans and do the girls hair, I need to put away laundry and go to the store to pick up a few things.  I have to return WAY overdue library books and write a script for my children to create a video for my students and at some point I need to sit down to read so that I can complete my graduate school application.  I feel like everything I do these days, I am doing to save my life.  I have decided to explore ALL of my options.  ...I hear the children waking up.  This year we won't celebrate Halloween or Thanksgiving because I will be focused on moving. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

What do you do for fun?

Who ever would have thought that this would be a difficult question?  It is terribly difficult.  First, I know what I consider to be a good time but is it "fun"?  Will the person asking the question think that I am a boring person?

So, I've given it some thought.

  • Conversation -  I like to learn from people, about people.  
  • Food -  Combined with good conversation, this is, to me, a very good time.  When I have the means, I like to cook, preferably West Indian foods.
  • Gardening  - to be able to watch this magic show at any time is amazing to me.  To watch a seed become a plant and then to produce fruit is something I enjoy.  And then there is the beauty of flowers and plants.
  • Reading - I think during reading is when I get to do those things that I wouldn't otherwise get to do because my life is full, being a mother.  Reading keeps me mentally active in a way that the tasks of motherhood don't.  I fear that I won't recognize my own children someday if I don't keep my mind truly active.
  • Dreaming - I like to make plans to change my world and surroundings.  I take time to think about where I want to be and what I have to do at this moment to move in that direction.
The problem with the above list is that it doesn't include a man.  What do you even do with one of those.  I appreciate the attention,  [I love it, to be completely honest.] but I don't even know what to do next.  He asked that I wear heels and a dress and go out with him.  Fun!  I want to play dress up.  

I need to give him the following disclaimer:

  • I always say the wrong thing so if I say the wrong thing and it sits with you, just know that I am somewhere kicking myself for saying what was obviously the wrong thing and hoping that you didn't catch it.
  • I am coming out of a marriage of convenience (not by my choosing) so when a man pays attention to me I think, "Why me?"
  • I am coming out of a marriage of convenience so I am ridiculously needy.  It will be when I try to overcompensate that I say and do all of the wrong things.  One musn't appear needy, you know?
  • "Daddy Men" are attractive so the fact that I find you attractive makes me think that everyone does...
  • There may be some small chance that I am unconsciously using you to get through my divorce without crying - again.
  •  You have no idea of the depth of my ignorance in these matters.  
I won't issue the disclaimer though.  I will stumble clumsily through this and into life's next adventure for which I will undoubtedly be unprepared.

I have picked out 2 pairs of heels.  Price tag $120 each.  I can't afford them.  I think I'll go read a book 'sigh'

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I sat down during my "break" at work today (it's never really a break) and I was so exhausted that I decided to put my head down for a moment.  1 and 1/2 hrs later I awakened disoriented and needing to go back to sleep.   I got up at 3am today to better prepare for today's lessons.  Yesterday didn't go so well.

My mantra has become, "I need a new job."  I enjoy some/most aspects of my job but it is soul sucking.  I have so much work to do this weekend.
What special recipe can I cook today?  I subscribe to a blog that makes me hungry every time that I see it but it also inspires me to play in the kitchen.  I will make something delicious.

Life is a journey.

I have that feeling again.  That deep desire to make the changes that will give me the peace that I seek.  Oh, who am I kidding it is not about peace it is about movement, about progress.  I want to double my income at least.  I need a home for my children in which I don't have to worry about their safety, location, location location..  I want a big garden.  I want place to read that is just mine and I want a job that I enjoy and that doesn't make me feel that I am pulled away from my children always.  I want to use my voice to help someone else use theirs.  I would like to secure the American dream for my children and  to help them develop the habits that will help them do the same for their children.  Will it involve a master's degree?  I would enjoy getting one but I think it will require that I take a leap that I just do what it is I have to do...

Today I will map out a plan to get to the next level.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Morning's Thoughts

What I must consider is where possibility lives.  It lives here.  I am tired and stressed but I am surrounded by opportunity.  I just have to make the time to seize  the day.  So today I am writing checklists.  I am not unhappy, just uncomfortable and I don't think it is bad to be uncomfortable.  It keeps me from becoming complacent.

The question of the day is, "What must I do today so that ALL of our needs are met?"  I need to be successful in my job and in my home.  So many little people depend on my success.  I must also be sure to fulfill their emotional needs.

But this is a familiar place.  I must feel growth.  I get so uncomfortable when I feel that there is nothing to do but settle into the struggle.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


They want to raise the rent so I have to move again.  I am filling out applications far away to see if I can get out of this area.  We can hardly make it as it is.  I'm tired.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Where am I?

I am here.  It is a good place.  I can see so much from where I stand.  I see possibility, so much that I don't know what my next step will be.  I sit and ponder and plan and the more I plan the stronger I feel and the less impact yesterday has on me.  I must choose a direction and take a step already.  ...I have decided.


I've given alot of thought lately to what moves me. What gives life meaning?  Children give life meaning, true.  But mothers are no different than anyone else.  We need excitement and variety and adventure.  We need for someone to give a damn about us.  We need to feel that we make a difference and not just those invisible differences that bring joy 20 years into the future.

I enjoy writing and have long known that I will gain strength by using my voice to unify others who don't have those things that are so essencial to life.  I have a vision and it is great but where to begin?  I am going to have to take an honest look at my life and decide what time eating tasks I can cut back on in order to be able to realize this plan.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sundays ..Farewell to the Weekend

The children are asleep and I pretend that I don't have work to to.  The most important thing on my list is this cup of Ovaltine (I saw it in the store and couldn't resist.  It's been so long.)  In a moment the washer and dryer will be going and I will be preparing breakfast.

Right now I sit and think.  I think about stretching my check for 2 weeks.  I think about the bills that I haven't yet paid.  I think about car repair and feel truly frightened.  

...I think about lesson plans and about creating a book for my classroom using Shutterfly.  I think they would like that and I could stick with the most relevant vocabulary...hmmm.

I dream of a getaway.  I few days with sunshine and sand and no stress would be healing....The children awaken and the dream shatters.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

She's Got the Whole World...Hers anyway...

I remember learning that in the Afro Cuban religion one often experiences a series of crisis before haciendo santo (or at least that is how I understood it).  I am experiencing a series of crisis that are determined to remind me that my life is not in my hands and that I should NEVER become complacent.  I have work to do.

I fantasize about naps and ocean breezes, about knowing smiles and relaxation.  I plan these moments, the tiniest moments to catch my breath and each time my plans are foiled.  It is 8:43 and I don't have time to do this I just need a minute to try to think about why I am where I am .  It is not a horrible place but I see that it is not where I lay my head.  I have NOT yet arrived and I guess I should just get my a$$ in gear because I'll have plenty of time to rest in the afterlife.

I try to change gears from my fantasies about sleep to my "anywhere but here" attitude.  Here meaning at this place in life.  How do get past now without missing out on now and enjoying all that it has to offer?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rainy Days and Thursdays...

I don't have much to say.  I need to live a bit more before I speak.  I am making decisions and dreaming again.  When one has lived with only the practical for so long the dream becomes ilusive, or when somone has lived without the practical for so long...

Today I am tired.  I am just trying to figure out how to better enrich our lives.  Do I need to further my education?  I would like to but is that going to take us to the next level. 

Right now there is a leak in my car and it fills up with water when it rains.  When I say it fills up with water I mean that I have to bail it out before I drive and I have to roll up the bottom of my pants when I am driving because they get wet and the moisture travels up my leg. 'yuck'   It has been raining for 3 days.  Comiseration.  My car also overheats despite paying for two attempts to fix it.  I hope that it is just the thermostat but even if that is not the problem I know that the one I have doesn't work.    I need to replace at least one coil pack and at least 1 catalytic converter. 

I am going to go to urgent care in a moment because I need an inhaler and it will cost me more than it should.  I hope I can find my prescription card.  'sigh' When it rains it pours.

But... if I go out on the patio the breeze is gentle and cool, my plants are beautiful, a mist from the rain gently touches my face...and I think, and think.... until I start to think that I should be doing something useful and I go back into the house.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Getting into the Groove

I began my day this morning thinking of all of the things that I  have to do.  I have to create some awesome work for my substitute to give to the children.  I think it will be lengthy, open book and worth a quiz grade.  I have two separate quizzes to create.  I don't give just one because of cheating.  Work is now the biggest part of my world.  I can't help but feel that there is something wrong with that but without work nothing else matters.

The children are sleeping late this morning.  I have to do 3 heads of hair today and hopefully I won't have to do theirs again this week.  That means at LEAST 5 hours, aching fingers and an aching back.

I need to retreat.  I have been wondering if I could find cheap airfare anywhere to get away for even a day.  I don't dare though.  I have to make a lot happen this year.

I have decided to do some daily Spanish vocabulary acquisition.  I'm off to study.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

My Current Read


A cup of tea, a cool pre-autumn breeze and my thoughts. The birds seem loud this morning. At this moment work does not exist. I am on the other side of the sliding glass door.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

There is a place that one can get to where it simply takes more effort to move forward.  I am there.  I could go to work and come home but I need to focus on my goal so that each day I take a few steps toward it.  It takes a bit more effort but I lost last year that way.  Every moment seemed difficult this year I need to take care of every moment as I am in it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Back to School Night

How depressing!  I mention my son Beto to the teacher and she says, "Well, yeah he's on green but he needs to work on his cutting...," and some other such stupid nonsense!"  He will work on his cutting but #@#.  If he is on green every day it is because he is being AWESOME!  She has no idea.  Sofía's teacher came over to me and said, "And whose class is your child in?"  I said, "Well, my daughter is in yours.  How is she doing?" "She's doing OK so far was the answer."  WTF!!!!  Such mediocre, lukewarm responses to the sounds of my children's names and I trust you with them for so many hours a day????!!!!  I wish they could just be at home with me and I could teach them in a less cold environment.  They like school.  I don't like it all over again. They make me feel like my children are stupid.  They have no idea that 5 days a week little people walk into their lives who should transform them and THEY just go to work.  

Back to School Night

I am dedicated to showing up for these school activities but they feel like such a waste of time. I just spoke to Beto's treacher and she just kind of smoked and moves on. She doesn't wasn't to talk. That is my only reason for coming. I feel guilty for feeling this way but I have work to do.

OK, I am leaving this entry as it is because it is funny.  I used the slide feature on my phone and it doesn't say at all what I wanted to.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Today's Teatag Wisdom

Wait for the wisest of all counselors, Time.
                                                -Pericles-  490 BC - 429 BC

You Can Run...

I sit down to read and drink my tea on the patio.  I have decided to read Mujer en Traje de Batalla by Antonio Benítez Rojo.  On page one the person remembered romantically by the narrator is none other than a Robert.

A Pyre

My laughter told me that I should meditate.  He explained to me that meditation was the act of mentally remodeling and reassessing life and self.  He told me that what his instructor liked to do was to go back to his sweetest memory which was walking along the beach with his wife and from the beach he would go into his castle...

Though I didn't assume the position, I meditated last night.  I laid down, closed my eyes and started to build my funeral pyre.  I don't really know what my sweetest memory is.  I don't know what my happiest memory is ...well, I think it was when Roberto surprised us for Thanksgiving.  I was so happy that day.  He had decided to share our space and to share his time with us and he didn't have to.  He always made me to feel that he didn't want to do things with/for us he simply had to.

Anyway, I walked through my mind to my castle.  It is large and white as every castle should be.  I thought about ridding myself of the hurt, of the belittlement, of the sadness, of him.  I would need to build a funeral pyre.  I took my work seriously and in short time I was weeping and  feverishly retrieving all of my memories  of him.  On the bottom I put the moment we met.  It is hardly worth noting except that it led to the next day and the next and so on.  As I scurried through the castle I quickly saw that almost nothing remained and my pyre reached the clouds.  I was tired but I could not stop.  There was one last thing.  With legs heavy from climbing and arms weary from lifting, with eyes swollen from crying I slowly dragged myself up the winding staircase to the master bedroom to where he slept in all of his splendor, unknowing, unfeeling.

As I hoisted that darkest of my creations over my shoulder pain shot through me.  He was so much bigger than I was.  And just as I carried him into my life, I carried him out.  One labored step at a time.  Every 3 steps or so I leaned against the wall and then the railing to catch my breath.  I walked out of the open doors of my castle  with the light that flooded the darkness and looked up to the top of the pyre.  I took a deep breath and began to climb.    

THIS memory would not hurt me again.  And then I couldn't move; my foot had gotten stuck on a memory...bittersweet...the birth of our first set of twins...I adjusted him on my shoulder stretched my arms out as wide as I could and held on as tight as I could and from deep within me came the sound of pain.   It was loud and didn't sound human to my ears.  My hands were bleeding and my body was scratched and cut; all of these pieces had jagged edges.  I traveled back to that moment, the birth of our twins ...There I was sitting in a hospital bed crying and holding my two new beautiful babies.  It was just us and I didn't even know how we would get through the next week.  The nurse asked me who would help me when I got home and there was not one (Yeni would be my helper).  I was alone then as I am alone now.

Returning to myself, I proceeded to climb.  The memories called out to me, they reached for me but I closed my eyes and focused my strengh.

When I arrived at the top.  I laid him down with all of the love that I had ever felt for him.  I wiped the blood from his body.  Those memories had hurt him too.  I rubbed my hands over his grey thinning hair  and remembered the boy I had met.  Placing the fingers of my right hand on the side of his face I ran my thumb across his lips.  I loved his lips.  I pulled  his lower lip back with my thumb and looked at his teeth, remembering how they used to scare me just a little and how ashamed I felt about that. I remembered his gold teeth. When I released his lips, he was perfect again.  Again I touched his lips.  Cradling his head in my hands I ran my thumbs gently over his eyes and remembered wondering why the white of his eyes was beginning to grow over the lovely brown of his eyes. I would always think of his eyes when frying eggs when the membrane over the yellow began to turn white.  I remembered wondering if it had something to do with drug use but didn't ever really want to know.  I put my hands on his chest I had loved the look of my brown hands on his brown skin.  I had loved the feel of his chest hair under my fingers.  I remembered him shaving it...  I put my hand in his limp hand and felt the warmth of his skin.  Can I paint you? he once said to me.  I looked at his hands and saw that he didn't have the hands of a painter, well, maybe of a house painter.  I placed my lips on his forehead to say goodbye to what had been my life.  Looking at him, I felt like I could lay beside him and lite the pyre with my passion alone.  Reaching into my shirt I pulled out the single match that I had brought.  Even the match was a memory of him.

I struck the match, placed it and hastily climbed down from the pyre.    It was finally over.

I would hope no more.  I would want no more.  We were only ever a figment of my imagination and THAT was no more.  What he showed of himself I didn't want to see and what he didn't I supplied to make him fit into my castle.  He never belonged there but being there he changed it and it was no longer mine.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Irene's Footprint

The Aftermath

The title of this blog is too dramatic by half but I think, in a way, this is all the aftermath of something and as I thought of that phrase I just wanted to use it.

Today as my littlest one and I cleaned up the patio after the nights wind and rain I felt free.  In fact, I didn't feel divorced at all.  The only thing I lose with the legal dissolution of that marriage is the desire to ever really be able to love him and be loved by him.  It has been the most frustrating feeling of my life and as I swept the debris from the patio and moved the furniture and plants back I thought of the same thing happening in my life.

I wondered for a moment what I will fill my brain with.

The night I received the divorce papers I laid in bed wounded and eldest came and sat in the darkness with me.  I laid on my bed looking toward the ceiling and holding my center.  We talked quietly.  He recalled my earlier pain.  He told me how it made him feel.    ...

My son gave me a most precious gift.  He explained to me how to meditate.  It is the answer to what I will fill my mind with, to what I will hope for, to what I will reach for.    His fight instructor taught him and it has proved invaluable to him.  One of the sweetest things about my eldest is that when he learns something new, he is so excited about it that he has to share with someone and he enriches the lives of those around him.  His growth brings me so much joy.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Dear God;

Please make him feel everything that he made me feel.  I never would have made him feel that so if he is ever to feel that he cannot be with me.  While you're listening please forgive such an awful prayer but if you answer it, please have him remember me as he feels those things.  Amen.


Waiting on Irene

I Don't Want to be THAT

I don't want to be a divorced woman.  I don't like the sound of it.  It sounds middle aged and plumpish. It sounds like soft shoes and new aches and pains.  It sounds like the best is behind you.  It sounds like saggy breasts and facial hair.  It sounds like you don't matter anymore because you #%# sure don't matter to him.  I am sad.  I cannot be that.  Divorced.  Well if I'm divorced he is a  #@!!%^&***!!  I just can't be that.  I'd rather be gay or fringe or anything but divorced!  I want the marriage to be annulled.  He never loved me and never wanted to be with me.  I want an annulment!!! And then I want to take a job in another part of the world and rewrite my story.  Divorce is an emotional tattoo.  It would be on my permanent record that I ever loved him. Oh, the shame!!!!

So I have these papers here, divorce papers.  He has slapped me with a dingy glove and I don't even have one to slap him back.  Duel you say?  On guard!!!  Do I get a lawyer?  With what?  Do I just let him have the divorce and take a lover and move on with my piece of life.   The divorce will happen.  Should I say anything at all?  Should I do anything at all?  525 miles isn't far enough.  It still hurts.  I wonder if 2,000 miles would feel better.   I feel like crying but I'm all out of those.  I don't want to be divorced.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Work Work Work

Well we have our first day off of school.  Our little earthquake frightened me horribly.  But as I told my students afterwards, "We now have a good story to tell."

Today I will send a few moments organizing my thoughts for the site and continuing to think on a name for it.  Although I hate to miss school at this point in the year there are always so many things I can get done.  I have to budget for Beto's food allergies.  The store I have to go to is not near my home and the food is expensive.  In a moment I will go sit out on the patio with my plants and organize my thoughts.

Monday, August 22, 2011


My feet hurt and I just want to sit in a hot bath.  My students this year are really going to keep my on my toes.  Day 1 and I have 1 desk written on and I had 1 eraser thrower.  I left all of my papers a mess I was so tired when I left.  It is 7pm and I am already getting ready for bed.

Back to Work

Back to work!  The wonderful thing about life is that everyday is a new beginning.  Today I will be aware.  I have decided to apply for graduate school next year and am really looking forward even to the whole application process as I forces me to focus my ambitions in order to sell myself.  My babies start school today too!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Kindergarten Orientation

Kindergarten orientation! Oh my! They lack the sweetness that I have always felt was required. I feel bad. Their time out is called the land of OZ or the Opportunity Zone. Orientation seem to be more of what they want from parents and less of what they are going to do for my children.
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Sunday, August 14, 2011


Tonight I have to change gears.  I return to work tomorrow.  It works like this.  My job comes first so that I can continue to fulfill my financial responsibilities as a mother.  I hate that.  I vow to change it.  But it is what it is and I must focus on work.  As dusk turns into night I will be braiding my daughter's hair, thinking about the week's menu, choreographing the first few days of school in my head but not too much lest I be disappointed when they redirect me.  I square my shoulders and let go just a bit.  I am saddened by having to let go at all.  They will be fine.  You know I never wanted my children to just be fine.  I want them to be great and that requires my attention.  So as I shift into teacher mode.  I set aside a few moments to think about how to give them more.   When I get home from work I feel all used up.

Let the games begin!!!


So I look in the mirror and I see this fat person and I wonder when she came into my life.  I don't like her.  I don't know if I liked her predecessor.  I will be rid of her.  My son's new food allergies should help since we will be eating differently.  I always felt like I was pretty careful about what I allowed the children to eat but now have have to be more careful still.

About a week ago a man said to me, "You have 7 children?!  How are you still skinny?.."  I said, "I don't feel skinny."  For just a minute I was fooled and really appreciated the compliment but I know that for my build I am fat.  

My alpha and my pen-ultimo (My oldest and almost youngest)  just came back from their run and are all bronzed and sweaty and here I am working out my fingers.  

Saturday, August 13, 2011


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Friday, August 12, 2011

Los resultados

La doctora llamo hoy sobre los ninos. Emil y Mateo estan bien pero hay 4 comidas que Beto no puede comer y estan en todo. El no puede comer mani, soya, huevos ni "wheat" olvido la palabra en espanol. Pobrecito, tengo que pensar en que el PUEDE comer. Pues, buenas noches.
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Thursday, August 11, 2011

So Proud

This summer has been relaxing and useful.  I have been able to look at myself and my life and make some decisions that should help.

My Isaac amazes me.  Not too long ago he went through something that brought out the mother tigress in me.  I wanted to fight to keep it all from him.  I wanted to protect him and was willing to take on the world.  Who knew that I would have been protecting him from his better self?  He is calm and focused and driven and kind.  He still has the energy and arrogance of youth but it has been tempered and he has direction.  To see a boy become a good man is miraculous.  Parents just do their best and keep talking and when it sinks in it is truly astounding.  ...or was it even something that I said??..

Sunday, July 31, 2011

My Bear

Yesterday Julian came home and we are all so happy to see him.  My baby needs a makeover.  He has one pair of shoes worn almost all the way through.  He has almost no clothes and he is tall.  He needs a haircut.  He has learned to ask for so little and it breaks my heart.  I have been so wrapped up in the little ones that I forgot how much my big boy needs me.  So I have given some thought to where he is in life and how I might move him forward. 'sigh'

He wants tatoos, he wants a haircut called a padawan.  We laugh but I worry.  I told him that he could get the padawan once he got his Jedi powers and the tatoo would have to be chosen by me as well as the location.  He wants a phrase accross his chest.  There is a lot of wisdom that I wouldn't mind becoming a part of him but 'sigh' he needs so much...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Woman

I went to the grocery store this evening and saw a woman holding up a cardboard sign as she stood in front of the grocery store entrance with her child.  I didn't read it carefully.  I couldn't.  I couldn't look directly at the child either but she couldn't have been more than four and three was a more likely age.  Just seeing her there made me sad.  What I read of her sign mentioned that she had a child and didn't have money for rent.  I told her that I did not have cash but asked if she would like anything from the grocery store.  She said, "That's ok."  I walked away and as we entered the store my daughter said that her eyes filled with tears and so my eyes filled with tears and my Zoë's eyes filled with tears.  For my first few minutes in the store I felt that deep saddness that feels physical and wished that I knew where to refer her.  Taking her home with me even crossed my mind but was quickly ruled out as foolish I don't know her. 

She was an immigrant.  From a distance she looked Indian but that wasn't possible, so then I thought that maybe she was hispanic which also seemed less likely to me.  Immigrants tend to come in groups and stick together.  In the few words we exchanged I tried to place her accent, her looks, Middle Eastern perhaps? Turkish?   Had she left an abusive situation? Had someone died and left her alone?  She had a child so at some point she wasn't alone.  She had an accent and there was something different about her style of dress...Did her husband send her out to beg?  Did he do it to punish her?  I can't make any sense of it.  I walked away and she is with me.  No mother should ever have to beg to put a roof over her child's head.  ...I fear, however, that more mothers will be begging if Boehner gets his way with the budget and I am deeply saddened but it seems to me that it is the idea of country that is important to him and not the people, We the Others.  

As we walked out of the store I looked to see if she was still there.  I exited the store away from her.  I looked and hoped that she wasn't there. I didn't see her.  Reluctantly, I looked again and again I didn't see her.  I didn't want to see her.   I wanted to be able to write a happy ending.  Just when I had begun to convince myself that she had acquired what she lacked  my daughter yells out, "They're still there" and my heart sinks.   I pray for them tonight and I am more driven than ever to help.  This should not be.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Today's Teatag Wisdom

Who looks outside, dreams; Who looks inside, awakes.  -Carl Gustav Jung-

I always thought that I was doing something wrong when I analyzed everything I did and wrote.   I thought I wasn't engaged, that life was somehow passing me by.  I tried to only "live" but I lost me.  I like this quote.  It has been years since I have really done any writing.  Almost a decade.  I am writing again and I am alive.  Life is beginning to make sense again.  I still look outside frequently; one MUST dream.

My Little Garden

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ay Dios Mío

What a day!!  I have decided to take control of my financial life.  What financial life? !!?!  In order to do that I have to face the fact that my life is in financial ruin.  I tend to get overwhelmed and depressed and focus only on what I can handle at the moment.  Today I deferred my student loans again.  I had to but I had been almost subconsciously saying, tomorrow.  I can't wait to find a way to pay them off.  I did what I had to and now I am emotionally exhausted.  When I bury my head in the sand I silently accept poverty and give up; I simply get through the day.  That is not, however, what is in our best interest so I have to find a way out.  That is a hopeless existence.  I can live in the moment and have really enjoyed it lately but I must believe in tomorrow and being burried in debt has a way of taking away one's tomorrows even before they arrive.  I have not read a word today or done any exercise.  Thinking about finances saddens me and suddenly there is no wind in my sails. 'sigh'

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Today's Teatag Wisdom

When the heart is at ease, the body is healthy. - Chinese Proverb-

Has my heart ever been at ease?  I guess it is now and so my mind is free to enjoy the little things.  How I have enjoyed the little things for the past few weeks!

Workout Day 3

The pool is an awesome way to people watch.

Four girls play. One cannot swim and so she spends much of her time clinging to the side of the pool.    The other girls are lost in their own world of splashing and laughter.  It is not a world for non-swimmers.

The "active" lifeguard looks out over the pool lost in the music from his ipod. He bounces his head and sings. With a few more pounds and in another setting he would be impressive. I can imagine him stepping into his red shorts in the late morning giving himself a slow nod of approval. He has absolutely NO body fat. What I wouldn't give for a belly like that. Can it even be called a belly? 1,2- 1,2 - 1,2...

The other lifeguard takes a moment to chat it up with a girl. I wonder if she is the same from the other day. She came to the pool to feel sexy and she had her sights on him. She was quite thick and everything she had was pink and frilly. She lounged in her sunglasses as if she were trying to tan. (I had just watched Madagascar and was ashamed of where my mind went.). (Someone's grandma is pulling off a 2-piece). After sitting there for some time, (while my daughter admired all of her pink accessories), as sexily as one could without swimming she stepped into the pool and putting her pink flotation device in front of her she kicked over to the lifeguard and began to make small talk. "Is the sun getting to you?" -I didn't listen anymore. I imagined that it was his lucky day..and maybe even hers.
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Monday, July 18, 2011


Please forgive the errors. I don't have internet service right now but I will edit soon.
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Today's Teatag Wisdom

"There is no remedy for love but to love more.". Henry David Thoreau

For me it has helped to love and to love hard, to love our children, to love myself and even to love him in the quietest, purest way possible - to let him go. There sits somewhere a tombstone with my name and the dates we met and parted. My name stands in high relief and casts the shadow of his. Was I born the moment he kissed my cheek in the disco in that far off place?  I slipped into a world of magic that night. Who knew that even magic couldn't promise happiness?
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I am suffering from a television hangover. I went to sleep last night watching CNN and I am so tired.

I am beginning to feel better after my coffee and morning gardening time. I also continued to stroll through the homes and lives of the characters in my book. Nice.
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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Another Thought...

Ah, to live between worlds... To enjoy freedom of being grown and the security of family...too much to write on my Blackberry.

It's loud at the pool today, lots of real and momentary kids. The breeze feels glorious. I close my eyes.
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My patio is littered with birdseed and and white flowers from my hanging baskets.
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Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Break

I take a break to catch my breath. It has been 1/2 hour. Glorious! Th water holds me and I am amazed how safe I feel. I am in 5ft, the least populated area. I stretch my arms out along the pool edges and try to keep my body horizontal. Face to the sun, I close my eyes and gently kick beneath the surface to keep myself "afloat". I turn, arms folded at the elbow and belly facing the pools side. I rest my head on the top of my arm extend my body and kick. I think about not thinking about Roberto. I think of how nice it would be to share a glass of wine and a laugh with him. I think of the fact that he can swim, and feel a sudden rush of shame that I can't. I think of what I CAN do, spell my mother's name for example, say my own. I feel mean. "That is why we can't be together". I imagine him saying.

Would it be wrong of me to pray him some love handles with no one to hold them? ...ok, then I won't.
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I have come to the pool to exercise for an hour. If I can block out the world and do it then I will do it daily for the rest of the summer. I left my glases so I cannot see if anyone watches.

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It has been so long since I have just sat and listened to the birds and insects outside. There is even something that sounds like a woodpecker.

My book so far has had some surprises and is a slower read than yesterday's book. It creates clear images for me though. I find that I have a lot of questions as I read but that they are answered a few pages later.

A woman speaks too loudly in the distance.. yells. It's too early for all that. I see her. She pulls a small child in a red wagon behind her as a man in a sleeveless tee walks behind. His posture is submissive. His belly suggests a love of beer. The rest of him is slim. I don't hear his voice. Perhaps he is biding his time till his next beer. Maybe as she speaks he imagines that he hears the opening of a beer and the sound of it being pored slowly into a glass.
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Today's Book

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Friday, July 15, 2011

"...And Miles to Go..."

My plans for this summer were lofty and every time I look at a calendar I have the sinking feeling that summer is getting away from me but at the same time I am delighted about another school year.

Reading, reading, reading, it has been a summer of reading but I have to get the kids writing. I will prepare composition books for them with their names. Each night I will give them a writing prompt for the next day. I will edit and they will make the corrections that same day.
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Today's Book

Today I read Ali Smith's Girl Meets Boy.  I can't say that I loved it but her writing is quite easy to read.  I think that part of my problem was my love of accents and I couldn't do the accent quite right in my head.  I liked the characters quite a bit though.  They had, well, purpose and I appreciated that.  I think also that I have a personal distance from the book.  The same distance that made it strange to me kept me reading.  I am anxious to read another of her books and compare the two.  I'll go back to the library on Monday.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

No Internet

Whatever will I do? I am doing my deep breathing to try to cope. No rash decisions, no rash decisions...
Ok, I am going to go to the library for starters. It turns out I have to replace my time management book as it is missing a bunch of pages. I'm irritated because I bought it but relieved because I was forcing myself to read it. I don't really like the style.

I am drowning my sorrows in Food Network. Guy Fieri (?) is working some kind of gastronomic magic right now 'sigh'. I won't make any big cooking plans as I have another dental appointment today.

And the final part of my internet replacement program is exercise. I WILL flatten my tummy THIS year!!
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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Today's Lesson

I am reading a book on time management.  I really don't like the style but I am working through it because it still has useful information.  Today's chapter was about the importance of lists, both as reminders and to prioritize.  Another thing that I took away was the importance of posting your main goals around in order to remain focused on them.  I read my chapter (It's like homework!) and made my signs to post around my home listing the things that I must do daily.  I have to say that I rather enjoyed the task.  I also made reminders for the kids.  I had small stick up chalkboards around the house but they kept getting erased and the children would beg to draw on them.  

Because the book on time management, or rather, acquiring some time management skills is so important to my life I will read the book at the rate of a chapter a day until I am finished with it. 

Aside from the reading, my day wasn't so useful but it was, however, enjoyed.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Again I find myself frozen between all of the things that must be done.  What I must do to prepare for tomorrow but not wanting to sacrifice all of today.  My life seems to go to extremes.  Either I suffer for what I hope will come or I invest all that I am in the moment and am spent when tomorrow comes.  In a moment I will settle back into my book on time management.  I must unlock the secret of how to fit tomorrow into today with out losing this moment.  All in all, it's a pretty good place to be.


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Monday, July 11, 2011

Today's Book

Today I am reading a book about time management, something I dearly need to figure out.  The problem, however, comes in when I am reading and begin to feel guilty about the fact that I should be doing something more productive like dishes or laundry or one of a hundred other things.  I have so much that I need to do this summer - most of it fun.  'sigh'  How do you manage time when there are 100 things that need to be done NOW?  I have already learned from the book that I need to plan my day.  So I will try to designate reading time and then chore time today... or tomorrow when I learn some more..
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Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Day of Reading

I spent the day reading Governor Deval Patrick's book.  It was a lovely read.  I began my read this morning over coffee as the children slept and with a few brief punctuations I finished the book just as I had to come in the house and cook dinner.  I had a wonderful day. 

The book made me think alot.  It made me think about being a loving mother.  It reminded me that the point is to love and to always continue to strive for an ideal.  It made me think of the children's relationship with their father and so much more.  It renewed, in me, an old optimism. 


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It doesn't seem like much but I am afraid to spend another cent. I sat outside today and read Deval Patrick's "A Reason to Believe" for about an hour. Two of my sons woke up and joined me out there and later a squirrel (we tried to feed him almonds).
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Saturday, July 9, 2011

I Can't Sleep

My success this academic year depends upon the time I put into it now. I plan to have a lesson plan that excites me for every day of the year and to have them finished this summer.
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I Have Spent the Day

I have spent the day outfitting my haven.  What fun!!!  I drove to the ends of the earth to find a bargain (or, well, far - ish) I located it and purched a table and chair set for my patio.  I later went to buy 2 hanging plants and ended up purchasing a reading chair also.  (Reading chair is what I have dubbed it for that is its intended use.)  It is really an immitation wicker chair (woven plastic really) but it is white like the table and flowers that I bought.  Tomorrow I will transplant flowers to put out in our lovely pastel pots.  I am so excited.    I have wanted a place like this for so long a place to tiptoe to while the children are sitll asleep drink tea, read and write. 

The patio is large and looks empty but once the plants are out there and start to grow it will be more enclosed.  I am already looking looking forward to tomorrow's cup of tea. 

A Haven

I spent yesterday creating an outdoor space for me.  I went to Ikea and got lanterns for my patio, and plants and flower pots.  My project is coming alomg nicely.   The kids are excited about "their" plants and we have basil and cantaloupe seedlings.  I want to be able to sit out there and read surrounded by foliage.  I just need a table and chair set and can't seem to find one in my pricerange.  I would like a bistro set and a chaise  (a patio one).  I would also like a large flower pot for the seeds that the kids find in their fruit and vegetables.  We plant those and it is fun to watch them grow.  I have the seeds of a red pepper beside the kitchen sink now.  

Friday, July 8, 2011

What I Did Today

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Well summer is coming along nicely as we bustle about taking care of dentist and doctor appointments and I close my eyes and enjoy the breeze as time passes.

The trip to the dentist was daunting but I am relieved to have begun what must be routine for them. I need so much work done. 'sigh' I had my second appointment today.

I have to make decisions. I need a bed but the teeth must come first and shortly I'll have to put that on hold for back to school.
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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I've been thinking much of late about how to be a help to the women who share my struggle. I hope to sit down and write on it tomorrow.
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Every year since my first born was little we would go to the plant nursery in the spring and start to grow plants.  Our balconies, over the years, have been covered.  This year I haven't had the money so I took the seeds out of a cantaloupe and planted them.  This is our 2011 plant.  I want to do so much out there and I look and dream but not yet... It is so nice to see something growing though

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Dentist

Through all of the struggle I have known that I am not alone in my struggle even though my struggle is all mine. There are many women who like me feel like a failure every day, who spread themselves so thin that there is no time, energy or money left for them.  Today I go to the dentist after neglecting this part of me for too long.

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De Monstruo A Mujer

Well, not really but I feel like I make that conversion sometimes.  I haven't been able to take care of me for some time and I have a dentist appointment today.  Exciting!  Ok, scarry.  I mean I don't have money for a copay so I just have to get covered services today but it is a start.  Finally a start. ... I have to get the car fixed it is hesistating horribly now.  I have urgent errands to run this morning.

Monday, July 4, 2011


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An Image

Sloping shoulders, love handles, a sluggish walk, sunglasses (there's no need for them today) that say, "I think I'm cool." The long white T is loose except in the middle. Indian - I think. A lifeguard.

An aside: I think Sofia was just baptized and Beto can float and Mateo would prefer to be without his swim trunks.

Beto is my fearless showoff.

Zoes friends are Hispanic and she really wants me to speak to them in Spanish. She wants to show off she says loud enough for all to hear. Only our families are in the kiddie pool.

Isaac comes to the pool to join us :-). Well to the big pool anyway.
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Ahhhhh Summerrr

I sit by the side of the kiddie pool feet immersed and write 1, 2, 3... I didn't plan to come to the pool today so I didn't skip the necessary meals to actually feel presentable in my bathing suit.

I had just put it on and was standing at the bathroom sink when I feel someone tugging at the back of my suit. I turn. It's Sofia trying to repair the irreparable. Zoe comes in, "Mom, your butt is showing!" "Of course," I tell her, "I'm going to the pool." "Mom!!!" she says scandalized. I laugh and silently vow to exercise.
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Sunday, July 3, 2011


The children are banished to their rooms and I sit down and have bagels and tea.  I think about how to get the gas to put into my car to run the errands that I need to run this week.  I am going to start investing in gas cards I think.  I too often run out of funds for the things that I need.  I must have gas to get to work to pay the rent...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Today I have to overcome.  I am tired.  My joints have been hurting for a few weeks and I feel achy.  I am going to lift my head and press on.  I will do some exercise and drink some water and think positive thoughts.  I just made a list of the things that I need to do this summer.
  • get my car repaired
  • pay my traffic camera tickets (what a scam!)
  • begin my dental work
  • buy uniforms for 4 children.
  • get my local driver's license (I haven't transfered it yet.)
  • catch up on my utility bills

I also need to make some other purchases to be better prepared.

  • purchase a chest freezer
  • purchase a file cabinet
I need to put some money away but it is so hard when it is never enough for even what we need right now.  I need to meditate and release some stress.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Search For Balance: Part IIb: The (other) Physical

Two months had passed since she had heard from him.  Two months since she'd feared his insults punctuated by what seemed to be caring.  Two months since she really thought about him in any deep way and yet as those months went by knowing him was slowly turning from a tragedy into a romance.  She was finally letting the hurt go.  In those two months she had stopped asking questions.  It was not to be understood.  Two short months... But something started to happen.

In the last few days she had started to remember him...his hands, his voice... Her memories would flood back like vivid movies she could almost feel him.  Very exact, she would remember him and almost feel regret.  And then there was that one long night when she was in and out of sleep tossing and turning, waking herself up saying his name.  With the longing the questions return.  What did I do to deserve that?  Why wasn't I enough?

The loneliness of being a single parent consumed her for a moment.  With longing comes feelings of betrayal and rejection and hurt, fresh hurt as if none of the progress of the past two months was real.  It was always there before but he would hold it back and protect her from the madness he had caused by being there sometimes and holding her but there was always a goodbye and she could take no more of those.

Desperate to stay strong she embraces the bad times.   But oh, if she could just see him one more time she would make it count.

She banishes those thoughts...again...and again...and again.

The Search For Balance: Part II - The Physical

[....] stretches as she sits in the silence of the morning planning the day ahead.  There is so much to do.  She hasn't been to the doctor in years and her body is telling her that something is not right.  She hopes it is just age and stress and as she focuses on a proper diet, exercise and rest in the coming months, she hopes that she will feel better.  During the school year her sick days must be saved for the kids. 

A rueful laugh comes from somewhere inside of her as she remembers the person who didn't ask questions, the person who just let her employer know that she had to take care of herself and her children.   "I won't be in tomorrow, I have to take my son to the doctor."  or "I won't be in next Thursday morning, doctor's appointment."  [...] could no longer afford that dignity.

That was a few children ago.  That was back when she subconsciously felt that if she fell they would be caught.  So all of the doctor's appointments are emergency appointments.  She hears the debate in the press and in congress.  Preventative medicine, they think this health care is avoided because of lack of insurance.  It is, but it is also avoided because so many don't have anyone to watch the kids or any way to get to that appointment or because of fear for how our employers might treat them.  Sometimes it is for fear of what they might hear. 

So many days are spent fatigued, just pushing through.  [...] has felt for awhile now that she was not enough and part of the bitterness that she feels is for the fact that all that is good in her children's lives has to come from her  being and most days there is simply not enough for all of them.  She once searched her ex on  Facebook and saw him frolicking in the park with his other son, running through the tall grass like in some old feminine product commercial.  Her own children beg to go outside but she will not let them go where she cannot see them and she is exhausted.  That was the day that she realized her children had been replaced.  That too took something from her.  Something nameless that held her erect.

The Search for Balance - Part I

A mother is one person.  She is, however, made of many parts.  Each one  matters.   So what are the parts of a woman?  What are her needs?  I think that for many women this doesn't come into question.  For the single mother, however, when only a fraction of what should get done on any given day can be done by any one person, Momma gets the shaft.  At the end of the day when the little ones have been fed and bathed and sent to bed, after the fights have been refereed and lessons of kindness are attempted she stands alone in the mirror and notices the lines on her face, the slump of her shoulders, her all consuming fatigue, she notices that her hair is a mess and wonders how much of the day she spent looking like that.  For a moment she can try to stave off the inevitable.  She stand in the mirror, pulls her hair back and looks at her face from one side and the other, she tries different smiles, looks at her teeth, lifts her breasts to where they should be and lets them down.  She straightens her shoulders trying to find a self that she remembers and with a heavy sigh she walks out of the bathroom turning the light off behind her. 
She mouths the words "Aint I a woman?" but doesn't wait for the answer.  There is no response to her calls. 

One of the last things that my husband said to me was, "Maybe you've been single for so long that you can't be in a relationship?"  Inside I bled but I said "Yeah, maybe"
and cried.  I just wanted to be HIS woman but it would have been wrong to say that at that moment so I didn't.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

...And It Was Good

As I crawl into bed weary from the day's living I have to forgive myself AND pat myself on the back. As I first began to reflect I felt like I had accomplished nothing but as I thought about it I realized that today was a good day because it prepared me to accomplish more tomorrow.
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

On Being a Momma

There are times when I think that he left a void but I guess there are more times when I feel like he left the opposite.  I often feel that there is simply too much for little me to do, to carry.

Being a parent is an awesome responsibility and one in which worry (for me) is ever present. Today my eldest is to get in and he hasn't called.  He didn't call to say that he got on the bus all right.  I am so worried.  I even checked the news in the city he is coming from to make sure there was nothing scary.  I found one thing but at the time that it happened according to the article he was still in the house so it wasn't him 'whew'  I remember telling my sons when they were little that if I could afford cars for them I would buy them good German cars, not to be pretentious but to be safe.  I would put them in Volvos or BMWs.   They are now on foot and in buses and on econoflights.   We do what we must and then what we can, we write the rest down and hope.  

I roll my head around like a boxer about to enter the ring  and stretch like a runner.  This is my triathlon and I ready myself. They WILL be fine.   ... I was thinking that I might like to start running.  I never see runners with big bellies :-) Iff my poor creaky knee can take it.  I feel good!

Today's Teatag Wisdom

The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.
-Horace Walpole- ( 1717-1797)

I think I should be laughing :-)

Monday, June 27, 2011


I am slowly learning to live with abandon. I would like for my life to more closely reflect my imagination. Time passes no matter what decisions I make so I might as well seize the day.

Today I received the Zumba DVDs I ordered. I am going to get fit while becoming a hot salsa dancer :-) If you know me then you know how funny that statement is. I had my son hook up the DVD player and put batteries in the remote. I stood in the living room with my 10 year old daughter and 5 year old son and pressed play. The narrator then said , as if speaking specifically to me, that if I was new to this I should start with the beginner CD. How dare she!!

..I had my son switch the CDs and we started. My living room is small and we were almost falling over each other so I banished the kids. I pressed play and proceeded to learn. I am the type of person who can be alone in a room and embarrass myself. I had to overcome my embarrassment over and over again. I found the Mexican dances more difficult than the Caribbean and I found thinking about dancing the most taxing of all. You just have to kind of do it.
Tomorrow my grown son will be in town. I can't imagine I'll be exercising in the living room with him here. Now I need a portable cd player so that I can "booty roll" and gallop around in the privacy of my room.

I vow that I will not have loved in vain, will not have been hurt in vain. I will be better. So today I filled most of the void with daring and the rest with thoughts of him. (Mostly thinking "Boy am I glad he's not here to see this.)

We never danced.
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