Loving yourself…

Loving yourself...

Bette Davis was right when she said, “Getting old ain’t for sissies” I thought to myself this morning as I was exiting the bed, when was the last time I was able to get up from the bed or a chair without making a loud UGH sound, which for some strange reason seems to work like a gas petal to my ass. I always watch The Today Show in the mornings while I’m having breakfast and getting ready for work, this week they are doing a series called “Love your Selfie” It is comforting to know that I’m not alone with my feelings of being somehow invisible after 50 or that I’m not the only one that feels like her input seem less significant as when we were younger. I find this so interesting; because I think I’m much more interesting of a person than when I was younger. The outside package might not be as new and shiny, but the contents are much more interesting, it would be nice if people would actually take the time to allow me to speak before judging my worth in this world.

Welcome to 2014, please serve yourself…

Welcome to 2014, please serve yourself...

Happy New Year Everyone! I strive each year to start with a clean slate, much easier said than done. Putting aside hurt feelings from others actions (or lack of actions), not feeling validated or just plain disappointments can be difficult.

I love this quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, it’s so true! We are our own worst enemies in this life. But the hope is that as we grow older and hopefully wiser, we will become more self-aware and less self-absorbed.

I’ve made many mistakes in my life, some just down-right stupid and most were fear based and nurtured by my lack of confidence or belief in my own abilities. I’ve always used humor to compensate in situations where I allowed myself to feel less worthy and almost always at my own expense, I always wanted the room to laugh with me, just not at me.

“When you know better, you do better”

Maya Angelou is spot on with this quote! And if you know better and don’t do better, then guess what…you’re going to keep having the same lessons brought to you time after time until you get it!
Believe me; I know this to be true.

Happy New Year!!

What Christmas means to me…

What Christmas means to me...

Some of my most special Christmas memories growing up; believe it or not, were those years when our family was so broke and struggling. We were fortunate enough to have a Mother who knew how to make everything seem special. Instead of shopping for a Christmas tree weeks before Christmas, she would make us wait to get our tree on Christmas Eve. We didn’t know the reason for the delay was no money, or that you could get a Christmas tree on the 24th of December for next to nothing and many times when the tree lot owner saw her pull up in the Country Squire Station Wagon and 6 super excited kids jumped out, they did give it to us for free!
As soon as we unloaded the tree from the top of the station wagon, it was rushed into the house where Mom and one of us kids would set it in the tree stand and give it a nice drink of water. Then it was promptly draped with a clean white bed sheet to mimic snow.
The strands of rainbow colored lights were brought out and plugged into the wall to check for burnt out bulbs that needed replacing and then the lights went up to a bunch of ooh’s and aah’s! Now time to load it up with ornaments and 5 tons of those cheap silver icicles.
When the tree was all lit up and decorated we would turn the other house lights off and sit in amazement of our decorating abilities and how beautiful it was. With the excitement of the Christmas tree and wondering what Santa was going to bring me; I could hardly sleep at night. I was always the first one up and would run down the hallway in my pink feet pajama’s to see if Santa had been there yet and when I saw the gifts under the tree I immediately ran throughout the house screaming with glee for everyone to wake up!
My Mom scrimped and saved all year long to make Christmas as special for us as possible, and mine you a lot of those gifts under the tree were socks and new sneakers, but there were somehow magically also at least one gift that we had asked Santa for. In no time flat, the Christmas wrapping paper was flying through the air and landing in a pile on the floor as we tore open each gift and screamed with excitement.
However the thing I treasured most, looking back is that I was surrounded by my family and that I felt unconditional love and acceptance. Now as an adult, I admit that I still consider Christmas to be my favorite holiday, I love to see bright twinkling lights on the houses with their Christmas trees sitting inside by the windows displayed for all the neighbors and passersby’s to admire. I love to see the excited faces of little children as they line up to see Santa, it takes me back to a time in my life when I was innocent and truly believed in Santa Claus and the Magic of Christmas that only a child can truly feel. I hope your Christmas Day will be spent surrounded by family, friends and loved ones!

A love story

A love story

 

 

maverick_o

Maverick, and I didn’t choose each other; we were thrown together through circumstance.

My brother got a dog for his daughter as a Christmas present five years ago. In all honesty, he was against the idea, having traveled down this road before he understood that the initial excitement would wear off. The responsibilities of feeding, walking and picking up poop would fall to him. She wore him down…  The sad eyed looks, the vows of eternal love and the promises of personal responsibility that only an eight-year-old girl can deliver, so the search began, there would be NO puppies; no amount of sad eyes or promises would sway him. She would get a dog, but they would adopt one of the thousands of dogs that through no fault of their own now occupied a cage at the local shelters.

On December 23, 2008 he adopted Maverick from a local shelter. An owner released, two-year-old Siberian husky, little did I know that on that day my life was about to change forever.

Our first meeting was when my brother and his daughters brought Maverick to my house, like all rescued dogs, he managed to exude happy excitement and wary uncertainty in equal measures and like all young huskies he almost quivered with energy, you could feel it emanating from him, like a coiled spring, ready to burst free.  His ribs showed through his beautiful white and auburn fur and he finally looked at me and totally freaked me out! The dog had white-eyes; my brother had adopted a devil dog with white eyes! I couldn’t look. I turned to my brother and asked, “What’s his name Cujo?”  Laughing, he said, “No, his name is Maverick” He assured me that the dog was “normal” and that his eyes were in fact very light blue. “Didn’t they feed him?” I questioned. This is when I learned that Maverick had been at the shelter for four months. Poor baby, left by his person, scared and confused he just didn’t eat; white-eyes or not, my heart broke for him.

One year later, Maverick was healthy and completely in love with my brother, as predicted, my niece had moved on to other obsessions and the care of Maverick has fallen completely to my brother. Unfortunately divorce was on the horizon for my brother so his life was getting ready to change and as it worked out so was Maverick’s and ultimately mine.

My brother moved in with me, it was a simple answer to a complicated problem. He needs a place to stay; I live five minutes from his girls. I need extra money, he pays rent it was a win-win for everyone.   At first Maverick is left with the soon to be ex-wife and daughters, needless to say that didn’t last very long. After an extremely trying week for the ex-wife, it is agreed Maverick will come to live with my brother and me.

Our relationship started out slowly; I fed him a few times (after all, I am in the kitchen already) I took him for a few walks………has he been out today? Does he need a walk? The backyard was always my domain, so of course the poop was mine.

We went on this way for a year, there was no declaration, no announcement; he just over time became my dog and I became his person. Then I was lucky enough to be in the position to buy a place of my own, and I moved. It was discussed, “what about Maverick?” it was decided to leave him at the old house with my brother and his “owner” my niece who was there half the time, that lasted three days… three days that Maverick and I pined for each other!  On my third day in my new house my brother called me and told me that Maverick had not eaten since I had left, the first night he walked in circles, crying in my empty bedroom, and on this, the third day he had lay down in the entryway facing the door and would not move for love or money; what else could I do… I went and got my dog.

It’s been three years and Maverick and I are doing just fine. I am not going to tell you it’s been all sunshine and roses…..far from it. There is fur, a lot of fur! I spend ridiculous amounts of my life trying to control the fur, and there is his separation anxiety; I think this mostly stems from his initial abandonment, whatever the cause, it results in guilt trips (his) feeling helpless (me) counter surfing (him) and compensation (me).

On any given day I will come home to something in the front courtyard that does not belong, a loaf of bread, a bag of biscuits, etc. Maverick will greet me, nearly sideways in his exuberance….look at me, look at me!  Please don’t look at the bag of bread product I have grabbed off the kitchen counter and dragged outside, look at me!  He know he’s done wrong, he just can’t help himself.  I don’t scold him too badly, I know he does these things because I left him, and that triggers something scary in his brain and he has to communicate it. Maverick does his communicating through bread products. It could have been socks or shoes or intimate items but he chose bread products. I am eternally grateful; I could have come home to underwear strewn about the yard!

Maverick can communicate more with his beautiful white/blue eyes than most people with all of Webster’s words. There’s the “I’m bored” look, the “can we go already” look, “did I hear cheese?” (Yes, he HEARS cheese, you cannot open any container of any type of cheese and him not hear it), the Oh my God! There’s a (insert noun here; dog, cat, rabbit squirrel etc.) outside please open the door look!  My favorite is the “I love you” look, it melts my heart every time.

He will lock himself in the bathroom or slam the bedroom door like a petulant child when he is mad. He will drive me crazy over a bone under the couch that he MUST have, despite the 20 other bones scattered around the house. But on the nights he doesn’t sleep with me, instead choosing his favorite spot on the cool wood floor in front of the main door. I will hear his nails, click, click, click coming down the hall at least three times during the night. He never barks or try’s to wake me, he’s just checking on me; making sure I am still there.

So no, we didn’t choose each other and it wasn’t love at first sight, but it’s very definitely a love story.

Forgetta bout it!

Forgetta bout it!

I remember being woken up to the sounds of my husband’s phone ringing on the bedside table in the middle of the night; I wasn’t sure what time it was as my eyes tried to focus on who the caller was, but I knew it was late. I answered the phone and heard my Mother-in-Law on the other end, she didn’t wait for me to say hello, I heard her say; sorry to call you so late but Dad just passed away a little while ago and I wanted to tell Tony. We’d been expecting this call because a few days prior she had made the decision to unplug all life support and let him go. His organs had begun to shut down days before and the one thing Dad had always been very clear about was that he didn’t want to be kept alive by machines.

Hard to believe that was over 7 years ago…

I married into this family over 25 years and it never seems to get any easier. I don’t know if it’s just a Italian/male thing, but if you don’t have their blood running through your veins, you’re always going to be considered an outsider and your opinion will never really matter. That is; other than my husband, who thank God did not inherit this way of thinking. My Father-in-Law came from the era where woman were just not considered as an equal in any way, shape or form ,his parents arrived in America straight off the boat from Sicily in the early 1900’s. I loved that man, but he and I used to get into some pretty heated arguments over this topic, secretly I think he had respect for me, but he could never bring himself to admit it out loud.

I remember being a little shocked the days before his death as “The Family” gathered to say their goodbyes; all of the sudden I could feel that my presence wasn’t welcomed in “Family Business conversations”, and at the same time I was seeing whole new personalities and egos emerging, It was like I was watching the next sequel to “The Godfather”. Who gets to wear the ring and who has to kiss it? Seriously, wake up and smell the Canoli, what century are you living in?

The funeral service was a small graveside with just family and a few close friends gathered around; Tony and I were not in attendance, we were working away getting everything ready for the Memorial Gathering that was held at his cousin’s house immediately following the graveside service.

Tony had cooked for days; he made all of his Dad’s favorite meals (all Italian of course) and told me that he didn’t need to be at the graveside because he’d already said his goodbyes to his Father and was at peace, he’d had a good relationship with his Dad and was always able to speak freely to him, he was honoring his Dad in the best way he knew how, by cooking. His Dad loved to eat and could really put the food away. He would have been so pleased that everyone was eating good food as they gathered to remember him.

Mom had selected Frank Sinatra’s song, I DID IT MY WAY, to be played at the graveside, and she said he may have not always done things the right way, but by God he sure did it his way until his last breath.

And now going on 8 years later…

My Mother-in Law has cancer, watching someone you love physically change before your very eyes and start to wither away is difficult to say the least, especially tough for my husband, but we are both glad that we have been here to help her and provide company so she is not lonely and feels safe. The most important thing Tony and I have brought into her life is the gift of laughter; which is the best medicine. She might be here another 6 months and she might be here another 2 years, only time will tell, she is determined to fight this, she said she’s having the time of her life right now and doesn’t want to leave yet, I wouldn’t put it past her to prove them all wrong, either way we will be here to see her through this journey all the way to the end.

My Mother-in-Law is not your typical 84 years old; she likes to drink Tequila shots and Fat Tire Beer while listening to The Rolling Stones. This year she was able to cross off an item off of her Bucket List by attending The Rolling Stones in Concert, seats right down on the floor; so close she could almost touch Mick Jagger’s butt. She came home that night and said “now I can die a happy woman”.

You can forgetta bout Frank Sinatra music at her gravesite, we will be drinking shots of tequila and listening to The Rolling Stones sing, “I can’t get no Satisfaction”

But she tried and she tried and she tried!

My Style

My Style

Like many of you, I love Pinterest! I could stay on that sight for hours, (and have) looking at fashion, decorating and recipes, oh my!

On one of my boards; My Style http://www.pinterest.com/gdelia/my-style/ you will notice that almost all of the fashion I like and (claim) to be My Style are polished, tailored and professional or glamorous. There are few casual outfits in the mix, and to be honest even my casual outfits these days are not that cool.

It got me thinking… I’ve lost my edge. When exactly was it that I stopped putting real effort into my wardrobe? I have been waiting for 12 years to lose that extra weight around the middle that I picked up during menopause, I really haven’t felt like buying anything nice in a larger size. I was almost successful a few time, I’d lose 15-20 pounds only to have it come back with a vengeance. Am I destined to be this size forever? No! I refuse to believe that.

Working in an office that’s super casual doesn’t help either, wearing jeans and a shirt to work with a pair of cute sandals or flats is totally fine and acceptable in my office. It becomes really awkward when clients come in or sales associates and they are all dressed to the 9’s and I look like the cleaning lady. I look at them and think…”I used to be you, what the hell happened to me”

I was listening to Peter Walsh on Oprah Satellite Radio while driving down to my Sister’s house; he was talking to a woman who admittedly had way too many clothes in her closet that didn’t fit. He told her” You must get rid of them immediately, because you know what they are doing? They are mocking you and making you feel badly about yourself. Take them to Good Will or donate them to someone else, just get them out of your closet and only have items of clothing that actually fit you and make you feel good when you wear them. If you lose weight and they no longer fit, either have them tailored or go out and buy something that is new in fashion in your size.”

So that’s exactly what I’ve done, I went through my closet yesterday and took out all of my “Someday Clothes” and have donated them to “Helping Hands for the Blind” and it felt liberating, not to mention how much more room I have in my closet! Then I went on-line and ordered myself a beautiful suit in my current size, and I’ve promised myself that I will continue to order one additional suit each month for the next 4 months, perhaps next month I will need to order one size less than I’m wearing now (PLEASE GOD) and perhaps not, but I no longer wish to look like the cleaning lady. I’m feeling better about myself already!

Social media

 

Let me start by admitting that I don’t get it, not only do I not get it, I suck at it! I’ve pissed off more people since opening my Facebook account than I have in my entire life.

I had to shut down one account and claim a “do over” I now have a set of rules that I mostly follow.

1.   Do not post while drinking wine.

2.   Do not comment on others post while drinking wine.

3.   Do not unfriend while drinking wine.

4.   Do not friend request while drinking wine.

These are pretty simple rules, the problem of course is that when you drink wine you’re less likely to follow rules.

 It is my belief that social media provides us with a false sense of anonymity. It’s just us sitting in front of our computers, fingers flying over the keyboard (well some peoples fingers fly, mine sort of skip) There is no intimacy, no emotional inflection to our voices and no facial expressions that can be read. There’s just words, and sometimes those words are misinterpreted, sometimes they’re not; sometimes we’re just sarcastic assholes. We turn into voyeurs, we look at other peoples profiles, timelines, photo’s and friends! All this would be considered stalking anywhere but Facebook. The weird thing is that nobody seems to find this creepy but me.

How many friends do you really have? Because I don’t believe you really do have 768, I don’t believe you have 346, I think you’d be considered really fortunate to have 20! It seems to me that the number of “friends” you have on your page is a self-worth barometer. See, people do like me! I am so popular I have 768 friends!

I guess my definition of “friend“ is completely out of date. Just because somebody named Tom liked the photo your sister posted of you doing the chicken dance at your nephews wedding does not make him your friend! I don’t care if Tom is a friend of a friend, you haven’t even met Tom you don’t know anything about Tom! Tom could be a weirdo for all you know………probably is too, I mean come on he liked a picture of you doing the friggin’ chicken dance! Who does that? (Just a side note here; you really should not post pictures of your sister that have not been sister approved!)

 I think there should be some different categories. I broke down my friend list as an example:

Best friend ~ Blessed to have 2

Real friend ~ Fortunate to have 13 (5 others don’t have fb accounts)

Used to be real friend but neither one of us puts any effort into staying in touch. ~ Sad to say there are 3

Never really were friends but didn’t want to hurt your feelings by denying the request. ~ There is 1

Family, Mom said I have to like you. ~ 18 people who are stuck with me!

Acquaintance, I have met you somewhere and didn’t find you too creepy. ~ 7

Stranger, I have never actually met you, not sure how you got on my page. ~ Zero; never did accept Tom!

I am ok with these numbers and have no illusions that my friend list is going to ever exceed 50. I am sure that along the way I will make some new friends and they will be added to my list. I am also certain that a few on there now won’t make the cut; I do have a tendency to “clean house” every so often especially while drinking wine.

So yeah, I pretty much suck at the social media thing, and I’m all right with that. I go on and check on real friends, real family and acquaintances and I try to be kind and post positive things. I don’t always succeed, but I try.

As for the other social media sites; Twitter, Instagram etc. they’re just going to have to live with out me………