My World

No pictures. Just sentences.

Saturday, December 31, 2005


It's almost the end of the day, week, month and most importantly year.

Sometimes almost is a good thing because it shows progress.

Sometimes almost is not as good because I could have done better but fell short.

However, "I almost made it" is much better than "I almost tried."

Friday, December 30, 2005

The year in review

It seems that just about everybody has some sort of take on the past year and whether it was a good or bad year.

There's the top 10 movies, bottom 10 movies, the top news stories, most intriguing, etc.

It does tend to make me a bit retrospective, however that's not always a good thing. I've got to find some different questions to wrap up my year. The "what have I done?" and "what did I still want to do?" just don't work for me because no matter how I try to spin it, I end up dwelling on what I don't have and what I feel like a failure for.

I've got to think about this some more. There has to be better questions to ask yourself at the end of the year.

PS--I received the following in e-mail from and Rhonda Britten. I guess I didn't realize that I had it sooner, because it sure answers a lot of the questions I addressed in this blog entry:

Christmas, 2005
Happiest of Fearless HolidaysAs I reflect on the past twelve months, I am so grateful for the courage each of you has displayed in facing your fears and embracing the wholeness of who you are. Together, as we learn to accept and love our humanity, we are literally changing the world. How wonderful it is to know that we are in this together.
I always say, "No one can be fearless alone" and it is particularly true during the holiday season. So I invite each of you to reach out, ask for help, say yes and say no, determine how this season could be filled with love and light for you and yours. And then do something about it. Brighten someone's day with a smile. Lighten someone's load by opening a door or two. Hug so much that you will finally feel filled up with enough love to spread throughout 2006.
As always, I urge each of you to stop, sit down and write 100 gratitude's and 100 acknowledgements for the past year. Together, let's enter 2006 as powerful, potent and impactful people because we know we make a difference in the world because we are enough exactly as we are. How glorious to know this to be true regardless of how we feel. I say let's believe it together.
You are enough.I am enough.We are enough.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The List

Everybody has a list of things that they want to do in their lifetime. Having grown up in Southern California, I always wanted to help decorate a float for the Rose Parade. As many years as I lived there, the chance just wasn't there for me to do it.

I was in CA for Christmas in 1998. The local paper had a blurb about volunteers wanted to help with Downey's Rose float. It took me forever to find the place, but when I found it, I got there ready and excited. Because it wasn't close enough to New Year's to add the living flowers, they were doing seed work with the dried materials. I only stayed a couple hours, but long enough to say that I did it!

When I came back to my parents' house, I was head to toe in chile oil stains. The seed work I was doing was making bricks out of ground chile pods and the mortar out of white rice. Messy, but oh so fun!

Later that week, Dad and I drove over to the nursing home that Gma was in. I didn't know it at the time, but the warehouse where the float had been constructed was right around the corner. After visiting Gma, we drove over and saw the float already completed and on the flatbed ready for transport to Pasadena.

It was so much fun that year seeing a float that I got to help decorate in a parade that was always so much fun for me each new year's day.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Twenty-five years ago, I realized that something was wrong with me. Twenty-one years ago, I was finally diagnosed. Back then it was still something that was kept as a dirty little secret by many. I tried and fought to remove the stigma of depression and yet didn't want to be so "out there" that people would start to stigmatize me.

It was if I were saying "there's nothing wrong with it" and then saying "not that I'd know."

I believed for years that I was the odd one, the freak of the family, even though I was doing something about it.

In the last few years, other extended family members have come forward and been more open about the fact that they too deal with depression on a regular basis and that they are being treated for it.

I really wish I'd known sooner. I might have felt like I had more support if I'd known that I wasn't the freak of the family, but actually quite normal in relation to other relatives.

On another thought, I had quite the interesting insight today. I was talking to a doctor who is helping me adjust my medication. I was mentioning that I needed to request some FMLA time so that if I had to miss work it would not count against me. I told her that I felt that my reasons for needing the leave I thought were silly, that it was a lame reason for needing leave, etc. But I realized that I wasn't diminishing the reason for the leave, I was actually diminishing myself. It was as if I was trying to convince myself that I didn't need to take care of myself and that my needs didn't matter because I didn't matter. When I finished that sentence and realized what a lie it was, I also realized the importance of being good to myself and recognizing that if I needed time I would have to make the arrangements to do so, because I did matter and my health matters.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

About a year

If you count the actual day of the week, it's already been a year since Mom died. If you count calendar days, it will be tomorrow.

I believe that taking this week off was one of the best things I could possibly do for myself. My eyes kept leaking periodically throughout the day. I couldn't get them to a cry if I tried. Just those silent tears. Other than picking up my new sunglasses and getting my new glasses adjusted some more, oh and a trip to walmart, I didn't do too much.

I did find some CUTE, kitschy lights in the half price holiday sale. They look like the old fashioned Christmas bulbs only about 3-4 sizes larger. I also found out they were putting their assembled gift packs on sale so I picked up some spa-type brushes and loofahs at half price.

Sure, I admit it was a distraction. It was much easier than remembering what I was doing a year ago. I seemed to be the only non-medical person there that could tell the changes in her breathing and her body as it was shutting down. I'd been telling her I loved her all week and that it was okay to do what she needed to do, that she'd be much happier seeing Dad and others who had preceded her. I had to make some serious medical decisions, such as stopping her feeding and breathing treatments. I knew she was leaving and they would only add minutes to her life at that point.

Apparently this was something she had to do alone, because I was wisely convinced by a friend to go to my motel room and get some rest about 12:30am and she was gone a couple of hours after that.

Unfortunately, when she died, the dreams died with her. The dream of having a more normal mother/daughter relationship, the dream of her telling me that she was proud of me and that she felt I was capable after all, the dream of her giving up her controlling and manipulative ways. All gone when her spirit left her body. Well, not totally gone, but definitely postponed for about 30-40 years.

Monday, December 26, 2005


I have to tell you what my cat did overnight. He's got this walking habit and doesn't care what (or who) he walks on. I had been watching my dvd of amazing race 7. Anyway, my bedroom tv is a tv/dvd combo and the remote was on the bed near my head. About 4 or so this morning, I start hearing amazing race on the tv. I knew I'd put the tv on style last night cuz I was watching Isaac Mizrahi's show. Checked to see if it had been changed to GSN. It wasn't. Now I'm just awake enough to have to go to the bathroom and can't figure out how to make the race stop until I'm more awake to watch some more, still unsure if it's the DVD or if I'm watching it on GSN. Apparently the little 'tard stepped on the buttons enough to restart the dvd. I finally got it fixed and put the tv back on where I had left it and went back to sleep until the cat woke me up again closer to my normal wake up time. He still won't let me sleep in.

I got new glasses today. Will have to pick up the new sunglasses tomorrow because the tech was having problems with the dye for the lenses.

I'm happy to be off all this week. I decided that since I didn't know how I would handle the anniversary of my mother's death in a couple days that I would just stay home. Also decided to take the week off which is great because there are more things I need to do than get new glasses.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Hard Holiday

Yesterday was tough for me. A lot of feelings came up, mostly thinking about what I was doing a year ago. Last year I was spending the majority of my days in the hospital being with my mother as she lay dying. I can't tell you how thankful I am that I didn't go to California for Christmas this year. I think that might have been too painful.

However, there is something rather cool about the cemetery that my family is in. It's Rose Hills and it's huge. One would think nothing of saying, "I'm going to go down to Rose Hills and check out the decorations." It is amazing how some of the graves are decorated for the holidays. One that is not too far from my family's graves has Christmas dioramas encased in plexiglas. You look all around and there is a sea of red from all the poinsettias. Some families come and put up Christmas trees, or outline the graves with tinsel garland. It is actually neat to go look and see how some include their deceased loved ones in their holiday celebrations. For some of you, it may seem really strange, but it is something you have to see to appreciate.

Today I distracted myself by working on needlepoint and watching the DVD of Amazing Race 7. I'm way behind on my DVD watching, but I really enjoy those races, so I thought I'd watch that today because it's not overly serious. What's cool about the DVDs is that you can watch some of the episodes with commentary. I may do that at a different time, but the chit chat was too distracting when I tried it. They superimpose it over the show. There is also an option that you can select that shows extra footage. It's cool. They put a little pedestrian sign up and you hit the enter button on your remote when it shows up to get there--then when it's done it resumes where you left off.

I think that the distractions helped keep me from having another hard day.

One more thing I have to comment on. There was an article in the paper earlier this week that talked about how many of the churches were going to be closed today because Christmas should be with family. First, aren't we all the family of Christ? Second, they are finding celebrating the birth of our Savior too distracting to worship him on that day? I just think that it's a bit odd and could be construed as hypocritical.

Okay, I will confess that I didn't go to church today, but it was more because it has been really hard for me to go to Christmas services since my dad died. Someday I will overcome that, but this was not going to be that year and I knew that already so I don't feel guilty about it.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

who knew?

Who knew that such simple ingredients as sand, candles and paper bags could make something so beautiful as a luminaria display? I'm amazed every time I see them at their simple beauty.

In honor of Albuquerque's tricentennial, they wanted to have the city show at least 3 million lights. They wanted it to be a Guinness record. They thought it would be. However, Guinness didn't know what a luminaria was, decided it couldn't count, oh yeah and there is no record for what Albuquerque wanted to do and they don't plan to create one.

Oh well. It's not the first great plan gone awry.

When I grew up in Southern California, part of the agreement to build the Music Center in Los Angeles was to give to the community. The way that they did this was they held a HUGE Christmas music concert on Christmas Eve. This was started some time in the mid 1960's, not long after they built the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The concert lasted about 12 hours, had community, church and school choirs participating from all over the county, and admission and parking were totally free.

We first started going because Mom was in a choir that sang there. After that, it became a tradition whether or not someone was involved. When I was in high school, we got to go sing there one year as well. When we couldn't make it, there was always radio or TV simulcast.

Since I've left home, I found out that they've reduced the concert to about 6 hours and they aren't nearly as inclusive in who they allow perform as they used to be. I was very bummed the last time I was home and tried to slip in for an hour or two. I got there way before 3 and had to be home by the time they were actually going to start because we had family coming over.

I guess this is proof that things WERE bigger when I was younger. However, simple things like the luminarias can be good too.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Santa and Me

I had to really think back for this story, and the memory's a bit sketchy, but I was reminded of this on my way home from work this afternoon.

The talk radio station I listen to (the FM one in town) had Santa Claus as a guest and he was talking to children who were calling in and telling him what they wanted for Christmas. It was cute, because sometimes Santa and the host weren't very familiar with the toys the children were asking for, but I don't really think that the children cared too much about those slip ups.

Oh to be as forgiving as little children instead of bitter and cynical like we sometimes get as adults.

What else was cute was when Santa would ask a child if he or she had been good and they'd say something like "I tried" or "I think so" or "I don't know", he'd say "well, let me check. I don't see you on my naughty list."

Anyway, listening to this reminded me of a time when I was a child that my parents took me to go see Santa Claus. I don't recall how old I was or what I asked for that year. I just talked to him and he would ask me if I had been good. Then he asked me "do you drink your milk?" (back in the 60's, that was a major thing to tell children to do) I said "no." I think I shocked him because he didn't really know what to say after that. He asked me why. I said "I'm allergic to milk." So, instead he asked me if I was eating my vegetables. I love veggies, so of course I said yes.

I know I found that rather odd, because I had been taught that Santa knew everything. I remember telling my mom and dad about it, but not that I thought it was weird. I think I finally just realized that Santa only knows everything because he has a lot of help and a giant computer and that's why he doesn't have to remember everything, which allows him to concentrate on the big job he has.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Mary did you know?

There is a contemporary Christmas song with that title. I've heard Amy Grant, Donny Osmond, and many others sing it and it is quite beautiful.

However, I have to tell you how this song came into my life. My mother heard Kathy Mattea sing it. Evidently she has several songs that my mother loved, as they struck a chord with things that my mother could relate to ("Where ya been?" about Alzheimers came out around the time Gma was affected by that disease) Anyway, my mother was obsessed with "Mary did you know?" and wanted to make sure I heard it. I said okay and left it, knowing I'd not only be bothered by her about it again, but that she would make sure I heard it whether or not I managed to hear it on my own.

Around 1999 or 2000, my mother heard the Gaither vocal band on TV and enjoyed it so much that she started watching it on a regular basis. One of the members at the time, Mark Lowry wrote that song. Mom finally got to hear it from the man who wrote it. THAT's when and how Mom decided that I had to hear it, even though I did finally hear either Amy Grant or Donny Osmond sing it. I must say, to hear the words from the man who wrote them was a very moving experience.

Last weekend while flipping channels, I caught that Gaither Christmas special on TV again. I stopped, watched and listened--I hadn't missed the song yet--and I smiled, quietly shed a tear or two--not only for the message in the song, but also to think about my mother and something that gave her joy in her later years.

I just found this site while trying to find the lyrics to include with tonight's entry. This is much better.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


I know they say that change is a good thing. I'm not sure I see that just yet.

You see, I was told that I'd have tomorrow off for my Christmas holiday and work Friday instead. Then I was told I'd need to come in for an hour tomorrow to attend a meeting that SOMEONE could have arranged me to attend with another team. I also made a doctor appointment and tonight I found out that she has to reschedule, which is going to interfere with my FMLA paperwork being turned in.

I also got the news today that they're expecting each of us to do 5 hours overtime for the first two weeks in January and that we will have to work 2 extra hours on Mondays. A 10 hour day? I don't think so.

I guess you could say that change is kicking my butt!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Isaac Mizrahi

One of the years I was in California, my mom's cable system had a channel called Oxygen. Just to see what I was on it as I was flipping channels, I happened upon a young man with black, out of control hair playing the piano.

Isaac Mizrahi had his own show on Oxygen. It was rather interesting and I thought he made a good host because he was interested in what he was presenting.

Now the style channel has Isaac with his own show. He has this big warehouse and part of it is for the show (with audience) and part of it is his design studio. He's still a good host.

I've seen some of his designs and I like them. Even like some of the Target lines he's done. Just wish he'd go a little larger in his sizes.

Monday, December 19, 2005

time flies

I can't believe it. One year ago (depending on how one would count it) I was either making last minute preparations for my trip to California or I was on the road hoping I would make it before it was too late.

I'm not sure that I would do anything differently, so there isn't regret in that respect. The one thing I do wish were different was that Mom had been less controlling and more able to show love without making you feel guilty asking for it.

I know she lost friends over it and was afraid that if I thought I was worthwhile that I wouldn't have anything to do with her. Sad, because this woman who tried to make me feel that whatever I did wasn't enough was also the woman who taught me compassion and taught me to be of service to others.

How is it possible to learn good things from bad experiences? and yet, life is full of both.

Sunday, December 18, 2005


One thing that was always associated with Christmas Eve was pizza. There were several reasons why we kept it up, but we wouldn't have started it if it hadn't been a practical solution at the time.

Sometime around 1970, my folks had a lot of extra errands to do for Christmas Eve. There were some special deliveries and other things that kept everybody too busy to do much of anything about dinner.

As it got later at night, more places were closing for the holiday. The only place that was open was a pizza parlor and so my folks decided to order a pizza. The next year, we were just as busy and since the pizza went over well the year before, we decided to do it again. I know that after 2 or 3 years, it pretty much becomes tradition.

All of a sudden there was a problem. Even the pizza places started closing early. I think it became a harder search and we had to forgo for a couple years, but then we were able to get our Christmas Eve pizza again. Even after I moved away and couldn't always come home, we'd each have our own pizza at our own house and think about times we spent together.

When my dad had his heart surgeries, he told his doctor that was the only time of year he would eat pizza. His doctor wasn't happy but did go along with it. My dad did keep true to that with very few exceptions.

The last real Christmas I spent with my mom in 2003, we did the same thing. I was in California cleaning out her house so that it could be sold and I picked up the pizza on the way to see her. We had pizza and watched a couple movies and had a fairly good time. The owner of the house looked the other way about my staying late, which was very nice of them, especially because they were doing their own Christmas preparations.

Even last Christmas I had pizza, but there wasn't anyone to share it with me. I was eating it inside a motel room, having called the order in as soon as I got in from the hospital that night.

At this point it's become a habit, and I'm pretty sure I'll do it again this year. After all, Christmas Eve reminds me of pizza.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

mixed bag

My cat has curled up and fallen asleep under the Christmas tree. You'd think it was all for him and that he was the present. So cute! Every once in a while I have to remind him not to bat the ornaments around, but for the most part, he's been very well behaved around the tree.

I have to say that I'm taking the holiday season one day at a time. I'm trying not to make too many plans in case I need to cancel at the last minute because I'm just not up to it.

The best news is that I will be consulting with a doctor next week to determine if how I've been feeling is more depression related or grief related.

I remember many years ago I felt like I was the only one who had been dealing with depression. Just in the last 5 years I've found out that not only does it run in one side of my family, but that some other family members had also dealt with it for years. MAN! I wish they would have said something sooner so I didn't feel like a freak being the only one.

Friday, December 16, 2005


Four years ago today, my Daddy died. He was a very interesting man and did a lot of really good things during his life. He also was human and did some not so great things. He had quite the temper and was very impatient about things not being done well and being done right. If he understood your situation, you couldn't have a better cheerleader in your corner.

However, the dad he became as his brain was riddled with cancer was sweet, thankful, childlike and so wonderful to be around.

I'm so thankful that I was able to be with him when he died. I was the last person he talked to and while I wasn't glad that he had to leave, I was grateful that our relationship had improved and that I could spend some quality time with him before he was gone.

I'm only sad because I miss him. I miss hearing his voice and sharing laughs with him. I really missed him running interference for me when Mom was being too demanding of my time and energy.

I know that where he's at he is just fine and can read and speak again and be understood. I just wish that I could have spent more time with him.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Let there be lights

When I got home tonight, I saw an unusual glow in my den. I know I didn't leave the tree lights on when I left for work. However, they were on. Upon further investigation, I discovered something unusual. One of the few ornaments I've hung on the tree was on the floor and I couldn't find my light switch ornament. (Target sells them, they're awesome--you touch the ornament and your tree lights turn on).

I replaced the ornament that had been knocked down and found the switch ornament and can only surmise that the cat started playing with the ornaments and discovered the switch. I don't know if he turned it on once or turned it on and off multiple times.

Frankly I don't feel like setting up a nanny cam to spy on my cat.

It was rather twilight zone-ish and funny at the same time.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

and so it begins

I had a really tough day. My cat is using the plumeria for a litter box. I have to move it indoors for winter to keep it warm and now it's turned into a litter box.

I had a plumbing problem this morning. I was finally able to fix it later tonight after I got home.

I was having problems with some of the customers and providers who called in today asking about their medical claims.

I couldn't figure out what was going on. I wasn't looking for it to be a bad day, and yet it was.

I started e-mailing a friend and really dumping on her about what a bad day I was having. As I was writing stuff down, I saw myself write something significant: "A year ago today was the last time I was able to hear my mother's voice."

I know that for some that may seem silly, but since Thanksgiving weekend she had been in ICU and couldn't take calls, and when they moved her out, she was able to speak for only a couple days and I got to talk to her on the phone. That was it. Her condition deteriorated and within 2 weeks she was gone. It is so strange what the body remembers as the brain is trying to forget.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


There was a time in my family where it just wasn't Christmas unless the tree fell on me, or just fell.

Dad would set the tree on a board because the carpet was wobbly and then we'd decorate it. Since it was an artificial tree, there wasn't the weight on the bottom to keep it from tipping. Sometimes the cat would get into the tree, which didn't help things.

However, the usual scenario was that the official present passer outer (aka me) would eventually have to crawl under the tree to get that one or two presents in the back, up against the wall, reaching, reaching when all of a sudden the tree would tip over. It was okay, because I broke the tree's fall.

Fortunately during all this we didn't lose any of the ornaments it would have hurt to lose.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Monday again

I could not believe how quickly the work day went today. That's a good thing in some respects, but in other ways it's not good because it means the calls came fast and furious. I like a little time in between calls. The seven seconds the phone system gives is not always enough.

I feel some of my good nature returning, however I do approach the coming week with some anticipation.

I've said it before, the holidays are tough for me. What used to be a great source of joy and fun has been forever changed. However, as long as I take it day by day, I will get through it.

Lest you think that I just mope around all month, think again! I get my fun where and when I can and allow myself time when I'm just not into the fun.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

the tree

It's not the same and that's a good thing. I put the tree up tonight. WOW! did you know that they make pre-lit trees now? One less thing to mess with as you're trying to put stuff up.

I've been going to do this since Thanksgiving weekend. I waffled about this decision for all this time and finally decided at the spur of the moment to put up the tree.

I know the cat's been around Christmas trees before, but there's still that bit of curiosity where I wonder if he's curious or just planning how to take the tree out.

I don't know where the Christmas ornament boxes are right now. As usual, I did pick up a few ornaments. That may be it for now. That would be good though, because then the tree really wouldn't remind me of the trees I grew up with. It will be truly my own and I can add back the special ornaments when I find them and I'm able to look at them again.

I can't even remember if I managed to save the heirloom ornaments back when I was cleaning out the house 2 years ago. I guess I'll find out soon enough.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Gotcha Gift

I know that we came by this naturally based on the stories I heard from my mom about my Grandpa's tricks at Christmastime. Once he bought my Gma diamonds and instead of wrapping them up normal, he put them in a walnut shell that he'd taken the nut out of and glued the shell back together. Fortunately, he marked the nut but then he tossed it back into the nut bowl.

I believe it was sometime in the spring when it was finally discovered.

When Mom got Dad his super duper tool set, she put all the pieces in equally weighted groups and then wrapped them up. I'm not clear if Dad opened the the empty toolbox or if he started opening the pieces wondering what he was going to put them in.

Dad had bought something for Mom that was impossible to wrap, so he left it in the garage, took a polaroid of it and wrapped the polaroid in a fancy box.

These sort of tricks became known as the "gotcha" gift and it was fun to watch the person get got. It also was not limited to Christmastime. Any holiday was fair game and you never knew when it would occur, as the "gotcha" gift was inconsistent in its appearances.

Even I was recipient of a "gotcha" gift one year. Mom wasn't getting around very well, so I was doing a lot of the Christmas errands (this happened a lot). However, because I was an adult, mom would ask my opinions about what I thought about some of her gift choices.

She showed me a Mary Maxim catalog ( and showed me some sweaters, told me she was making Gma a sweater and asked me which one I liked better. I made the choice and watched her get working on it. She wasn't able to finish it in time for Christmas. After all my presents were opened, mom waved me to come over to her chair. She handed me an envelope. Inside was a swatch of each of the yarns of the sweater with a not saying "sorry I wasn't able to finish it." I was shocked that after knowing about all the "gotcha's" of the past I'd finally been got myself!

You see, when a sweater is being knit and is still in pieces, it's really hard to distinguish what size it is. My Gma was a very tiny woman and I wasn't, but I couldn't figure out how big the pieces were while they were being knit.

I know that if I had a family of my own, I would pass along the mysteries of the "gotcha" gift.

Friday, December 09, 2005


I was talking to Marianne tonight and she asked me what my favorite Christmas movie was. Well, you know I can't just narrow it down to one, the others might feel offended. OK, I'm just kidding, but there are some good movies out there. The ones that were good when they first came out and somehow managed to stand the test of time, and even a remake or two. Somehow the right people got behind the remake and did a good job of it. There have been some great stories published as well, even in recent times. It's nice that those who want to celebrate Christmas can still do so and not have it relegated to "Holiday".

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Not so secret

First I had to show that. I think it's SOOO cute but there's no way it would work with my landscaping.

Now to the not so secret Father Christmas. Yeah, that's right, I didn't say Santa because in this case it wouldn't be right.

Edna was a friend of our family. She and her husband were from England and I honestly can't tell you how this got started, but every Christmas Eve, she'd get a cup filled with English Candies from Father Christmas. This went on for years. If anybody asked, she'd show off all her cups which she kept on a shelf and added the new one each year. It was something that gave her joy and she really didn't care who had done it.

Of course I knew who Father Christmas was, and I thought it was cute that he crossed the pond to visit Edna each year. Okay, so he didn't cross the pond and I lived with him as long as I stayed with my parents. My dad was her Father Christmas. There were a couple close calls related to Dad's health, but when he couldn't do it, others filled in for him so that it was taken care of each year. Everybody who knew about it kept the secret.

Now that several of the parties involved are deceased, I'm sure that the secret's finally out.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I saw Daddy....

One night when I was in my 20's, Dad and I went out shopping. He liked my taste and ideas when it came to get something for Mom and it gave us a chance to do something together.

We went to the Lakewood Mall in California and after a bit of walking around and shopping, we had passed Santa Claus a few times. Dad mentioned to me that when he was young only the rich kids got their picture taken with Santa so he'd never done it when he was that age. I said, "Dad, you've GOT to do it!" and he did. If there had been a line I think he would have chickened out, but nobody was there, so he went and sat on Santa's lap (sorta) and had his picture taken.

After the photo was developed, he had Santa sign it "To Tony, love Santa." I was on the sidelines being incredibly supportive by laughing about the whole thing.

Dad said he was going to show it to Mom but don't say anything about it when we got home, so of course when we got home I got a bad case of the snickers because I knew something Mom didn't.

Christmas morning, after the presents were opened, Dad went and got another box and handed it to Mom to open. Inside the box was the picture of Dad with Santa Claus.

Last year after Mom died and we were cleaning out her room, a friend found her Christmas Card address book, and right inside that book was the picture.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Turning point

My life is really at a turning point. On one hand, I'm here trying to establish a new life for myself. On the other hand, I'm still trying to reconcile with the past. It creates conflict.

When conflict motivates change, it's a good thing because it means that I am uncomfortable and I'm trying to find another way. Sometimes I have to figure out that way for myself, and other times there's someone around who can help me.

Last summer I was very uncomfortable with the idea of asking for help. Now I'm only slightly uncomfortable asking for help, but I'm able to do it.

Progress is a good thing.

Monday, December 05, 2005

12 Days

I know it's a little early, but I've got some fun memories concerning 12 Days of Christmas.

1. I've done the 12 days for other people before as a Secret Santa type thing. Starting on 12/12, I've done it two ways. Once it was 1 gift a night and a note with something relating to that day according to the song. The other time, I did 1 gift on night one, 2 on night two, etc., down to 12 on night twelve. Of course when you do something like that, as you get to the last night which will be the 24th, the items do tend to get a little smaller.

2. I was at a friend's house at a party and they were singing the 12 days of Christmas. Each guest was given a card with 3 or 4 numbers. (one would have 1, 5, 9 and another might have 4, 7, 12 and so on). The song began. If your number was on your card, you were to stand up and sing the item. Everybody sang the "on the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me." It was always a different combination of people standing and singing on the different days. That was pretty fun, even if you weren't exactly in a party kind of mood.

3. When I was very young, my parents helped some friends of their move. Most of the men were Hawaiian and it had to be sometime in December because they were singing the Hawaiian 12 days. The Hilo Hattie website as part of their Holiday promotions is sending out the Hawaiian 12 days via e-mail. It started around Thanksgiving. Since I was so young that I really didn't remember (or care at the time), it's been kind of neat to see what they are.

4. Bravo's got a 100 things we love about the holidays special on their show rotation. One of the things is the John Denver and the Muppets and they show part of the 12 days. I always thought it was funny how the muppets would do this "dum dum dum" between #5 and #4. Kinda like how people add stuff to Rudolph now.

Personally, I'm fine. What's not fine I will get through.

Sunday, December 04, 2005


Aunt Zenith was my grandmother's older sister.

On occasion we would end up at her house around Christmastime and she would prepare a Christmas pie.

This was no ordinary pie. She took a box, attached ribbons to little toys, and poked the ribbons through the paper top of the pie.

Everybody present gathered around the "pie" and got to choose a ribbon and on the count of 3 everybody would pull and whatever was attached to their ribbon was their little gift.

I don't know where she got the idea from but I thought it was a fun idea.

I know I didn't get to go too often because we were usually having our own celebrations, but it was fun the times that I did.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Mixed bag

I've got a bunch of stuff to share. I got my utility bill in the mail and my gas bill was almost 4x what it was last month! We were warned that the cost would go up, but I didn't think it would be that high!

I'm feeling a lot better than I was this past week. No, I don't think it's work related, but I know that one of my depressions is cyclical and right now I think it's just a happy coincidence that I started feeling better on the weekend.

Saw Saturday Today this morning and the Brian Setzer Orchestra was on. I liked the Stray Cats and have heard some of his newer stuff. I must say that his performance inspired me to pick up the CD. I really didn't want to like the music, as I'm more traditional with my Christmas music, but I did anyway. Okay, traditional with the exception of Mannheim Steamroller.

Friday, December 02, 2005


I think I've scared some of my friends with my depression issues. I will say that I am not at my worst, but I also know I've felt better.

Actually, today was a good day. Better than I've had in a while. It was nice to not be stressing over things that usually get to me.

I was watching Three Wishes tonight. I really like that show! Tonight was Christmas wishes from children, either for themselves or for someone they really cared about. It is nice that they have shows like that on TV and that they are doing well. They make me feel good, and sometimes appropriately put a tear or two in my eye. It reminds me that there are folks out there who do nice things for others and that there are people who are grateful to receive things like this.

My other feel good show is the Extreme Makeover Home Edition. Things like that, and also when I'm able to reach out to another person are things that help me to feel better. I know that right now I need more of that and I will do it.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


Wow, another month come and gone! I know I say this every year, but where DOES the time go?

Today was weird at work. It seemed as if all the health care providers wanted to do was argue with me. If I'd said "it's day outside", I think they would have said "no, it's night and I want your supervisor now!"

One thing I've learned is that when the body gets too full of unexpressed emotion, it's going to come out--usually at an inappropriate time and place. I believe it's getting to be time for me to have a good cry again because I've almost cried over the phone a few times at work. Almost yelled at some folks too. I've got to keep that in check.

It's all good in a way. I think I've finally moved into stage 4 of my grieving process. Well, it's a stage 4 with some stage 2 thrown in for good measure.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross in her studies came up with 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. For those who know me, they know the anger came rather fast and furious and stuck around for a while. I think that my version of the bargaining was "why did you have to treat me like that?" and questions about trying to figure out why my mother was the way she was. I don't really want her back the way she was. I want the mother I never got to experience and I wonder why I couldn't have had her instead of the mom I got.

Of course if I'm in the depression there is good news that has nothing to do with car insurance. Acceptance is the 5th stage and that is just around the corner. (of course I don't know how big the corner is right now)