Saturday, February 27, 2010

Family dynamics

(gratuitous spring blossom shot....thank you Nikon!)

I have like a ton of stuff I need to little brother, (just 18) is getting married, May 1st and while he's in basic training, my Dad, my Sister and I are planning the wedding. Why us instead of the bride and her family? Because baby bro decided and ANNOUNCED right before we shipped him off to boot camp, that HE would be paying for the whole wedding. Yep, you got it, he buried himself(and us). It's not really a big deal, but navigating the family dynamic mine field is something I'm not fond of, nor am I good at.

AT the core of the family dynamic issues I'm most concerned about are those of the relationship our side of the family has with my Bro's mom. "V" is my age, when she worked for my father as his secretary, they began an affair that resulted in having my Brother. V did everything she could to destroy my dad and then even went so far as to try to keep him from my Brother, or rather my brother from my father. She made heinous accusations in court, used every stall tactic she could and then when none of those worked and dad won visitation and partial custody rights she tried to poison Bro against dad...when that didn't work she did what she could to make Bro suffer for the relationship he and dad built. Needless to say, bad feelings about this woman abound. All of the time that V was trying to wreak havoc and destroy what she could dad just kept telling my sister and I that he was not going to play her games and eventually Bro would see her for who and what she is and come to his own conclusions....last summer he did and he moved in with dad for his last year of high school. Dad was hoping this would happen much sooner and they would have a longer 'bonding' period, but alas, it did not.

The reason for the move was a culmination of events, but the crux of the matter is that Bro finally decided he hated his mother. To me this is sad, part of me has this feeling of, "you get what you deserve, b**ch." and part of me feels sad for Bro that he and his mother are estranged from each other, because I don't care how old you get, you still need your mom. (yes, I know some mom's don't deserve that, but from a purely 'perfect world' perspective, we all need our moms).

Because of what V did to my dad and my whole family, I have some hard feelings about her. I have tried over the years not to care, she's really not worth the emotions, but she is a heinous person, doing what she could to maliciously hurt all of us even her own son. Since Bro moved out of his mom's house and in with dad, we've all tried to encourage him to make amends with her, or at least let her make amends if she was making efforts, he's been reluctant but at least repaired their relationship to a speaking to each other status.

{I would never condone or press anyone, especially someone I love, to continue to engage in a relationship with someone who was spiteful and harmful to them, but for the greater part of my brother's life, he wanted to and stayed with his mom, for whatever reasons, so there had to be love there somewhere, so my concern about repairing their relationship was only based on how it might affect bro in the long run if he did not make the effort to repair things to his tolerance.}

In the days when my father and V were together, V and I were friends.....we spent a lot of time together, right up to the time she betrayed my dad....and although I was happy to part ways with her as my friend (at the time I was only 25 and in the middle of something I had no business being in the middle of) I never really forgave her, for the betrayal and the subsequent war she enacted against my dad and my family. So, I come to the day when I must face this anger and resentment and find forgiveness....if not for me, for Bro and the family. For the most part, V is not on my radar until I hear a story about her behavior toward my little brother and although I know that holding onto any anger, resentment, even hate only diminishes me, I cannot help but feel negatively toward her.

There was a time when I believed that V was beyond redemption and in fact referred to her as the Devil's spawn, but recently I've begun to see a glimmer of light....I believe losing little bro to the 'dark side' (that would be our side of the family) has humbled her. She recently contacted dad about plans to participate in boot camp family day and graduation, she called to inquire if it 'would be alright' if she went? Much to my dad's surprise she was nice, solicitous and humble. We're a little afraid, but still hopeful.

When we initially talked about the wedding Bro felt that V probably would not come to the wedding because we are having the wedding out at the ranch, dad's house and Bro felt that V would cite 'hostility' on our part if she came. We of course countermanded that assumption and told him emphatically that she was welcome and 'expected', as his mother, to be at the wedding. I, for one, am relishing the day when she sees how wonderful and beautiful our relationship with Bro is despite her efforts and want her to see that what she tried to destroy flourishes. (I know, spiteful, aren't I?)

So, this evening I am going to call her and extend an olive branch....I know, arrogant of me, ain't it? But, I want to put the past behind and move forward. I want forgiveness for all. I was V's biggest hater, the one who spoke out against her with venom and anger (never in front of Bro {until he began his own campaign}) and I invested a lot of energy in 'exacting karma' against V myself.....(you know those secret fantasies about having control over destroying some one's life with malice and forethought?). Wish me luck....I'm hoping for guidance once the conversation opens up.....

And, please don't think less of me for my spitefullness, I suspect it will disipate with time, especially if fences can be mended. (I hope.)

There's more, but for now, I'm out......


(oops, I missed marking my 200th post...shoot,(my previous post) I wanted to make a big deal out of it and give something away....oh, well, 300 then)

Friday, February 19, 2010


Just wanted to put up an update....I spoke with my step-Sister "C" and things are looking up, she will receive treatment that they believe will get rid of what they found. She is positive, upbeat and determined....she is a warrior and my hero. She and her hubby will be taking a trip next week, the two of them getting on with their lives, not wasting one moment.

Have a wonderful weekend, enjoy your people, your family, your friends, cherish each moment, remember to breathe and look around, take notice of the miracles and beauty that are all around us....sometimes, we just forget.....


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Signs of life......

I'm angry and I want to just let 'er rip.....when I'm angry, I am a force to be reckoned with....seriously. Last week the results of my step sister's CAT scan showed the cancer was GONE from her liver! Yay! And her amazing husband had planned a beautiful birthday trip to take her to New York to see a show on Broadway....but she has had what she thought was a cold or a sinus infection so she went to the doctor to get something for it so it wouldn't ruin their isn't a sinus is her brain......


DO NOT WASTE ONE SINGLE DAY OF YOUR LIFE......DO NOT let a single day go by without telling the people you love how much they mean to you. not "wait until tomorrow" to live your dreams....and NEVER settle.....go get everything you have ever wanted and NEVER GIVE UP!

No peace tonight.
♥ ♥ ♥

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


She walked into the room. Everything looked the same, but, somehow, different. She knew her things weren’t different, that she was different, that things can’t be different, but, people can change. Had she changed enough to make a difference? Would she be able to move forward, instead of staying in the past, stagnant, living with regret? Maybe she wasn’t really different, but, stronger, more than she used to be. When she looked around, the room was somehow smaller, old and someone else’s place. Her things didn’t fit and neither did she, it was time to move.

That’s what she would do. Move. A place that was hers to begin with. A place with windows and room to create, to open herself up to new possibilities, to shed the past and dream of the future. Believing this would be her new beginning; she grabbed the newspaper and began looking for a new home. Yes, a HOME. What would her new home look like? She closed her eyes and imagined the place, old, in a romantic Victorian way, weathered wood flooring, white washed plank siding, wood shingle roof, a complete wrap-around porch, like the porches in old southern mansions and windows, lots of windows, facing the ocean. A place that represented a clean start, the ocean would help her to wash away her regrets.

As she began her search, she wondered if maybe she could change her circumstances by merely moving away. She knew it seemed as if she might be running away from the past, but what if it really meant that she was running toward her future. The undiscovered, unknown was a scary thought, but did she really have a choice? It mattered not, she knew her life here was over and that in moving away she might be able to forget the pain and shed her old insecurities. As she scanned the classifieds for her future home she came to the realization that now she had no real ties to this place and she could go anywhere she wanted, anywhere. That alone seemed like a gift. Practicality would win out, she didn’t really have the money to be leaping the pond, but toying with the idea was fun. Again, the ocean called her, so at least she could head for the coast and live within the skirt of the ocean’s power.

As she perused the paper, she wondered what her beloved grandmother would tell her. “Child, go where your heart calls you.” So, she began to listen and in the silence she knew where to go. She tossed the newspaper and decided she needed to pack for a couple of days and just drive to the coast, once there, her future would guide her. Often times when things were so complicated she would find herself on the road out of town not really having a destination, however, always ending up in a lovely little hamlet on the edge of the Pacific Ocean called Coralside. She would start there, certainly a place that her internal compass was drawn to must have the answers, right?

Just a littel something I've been toying with.....


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Um, excuse me....WHEN am I a grown up?

Over at a couple of other places I visit there has been talk of the ole high school days and all of the uncomfortableness of those years and the residual affects of ones experience. I did not like high school. I did have a close knit group of friends who where as awkward and uncool as I was who I managed to not piss off on a regular basis, so I had a little net that I was cocooned in. We had our own version of social activities that were not necessarily school related so we did not spend an inordinate amount of time sweating our popularity. Despite that, I managed to have crushes on a couple of boys, popular boys, who were both stars on either the football or basketball team. One of the boys was a year older and the other in my class. Both always had some spectacular girlfriend hanging on their arm and seemed to always look as though they just walked out of the pages of GQ magazine. The crush on the older boy I was able to let go of, but the guy in my class, that was a different story altogether.........

Without dragging out ALL of the embarrassing details, suffice it to say we ran into each other occasionally, during school and after. It has been 26 years since high school and the crush still do I know, because I ran into him again just last the walmart. And, my barometer for my lingering crush? I made a complete fool out of myself.....yep, I did. Does one ever grow out of becoming a complete, blithering idiot when faced with their high school crush?

Seriously? First of all, I did not even realize it was HIM until he made a point of saying hi to me! Huhn? Yeah, "Well, Hi, Shannon." (man he still looks amazing!) Seriously, he could have walked on by me without ever saying ANYTHING to me and I would NOT HAVE KNOWN I was within two feet of him. Not because he's not worth looking at, but because I was completely oblivious of the people around me and could have lived the rest of my life without the encounter. Why? Because I made a complete dork out of myself....well, maybe I should examine that? I think I already am a dork and therefore I was just being myself, right? Either way, I asked him what he was doing, "grocery shopping", what kind of work he was doing "still building houses" anything new "no" and then the diarrhea of the mouth started.....I completely spilled all the details of the items in my basket by way of telling him what I was doing at the store....which could have been so much more embarrassing than it was because I only had the ingredients for banana pudding in the cart, but the worst part about it was that he DID NOT ASK ONE QUESTION about me or my life......he did not prompt my babbling in any way. And then he said, "well, bye." and walked away.

I ran to the back of the store in order to try to regain my composure....only to then head for the front of the store to leave and see him in the only check out aisle that wasn't 20 people deep trying to check out, so I had to pass by him and go hide at the back of the store again, seriously. If I wasn't a dork I would have gotten in line behind him and chatted him up....but, I got the distinct impression he wasn't even the slightest bit curious about me.

I came home and told roomie the story. We laughed because I was such a dork and really have no reason to be so self-conscious with this guy. What is it about those old residual feelings from high school that can just bring us right back to those feelings and maturity level. Clearly I was acting as if I were sixteen again, hiding in the back of the store (sheesh) and spewing all kinds of silly information not asked for.

From that experience I began to ponder when, if ever, does one feel like a grown up? There are days, even without running into an old crush, that I just have no idea what I am doing and I find that no matter what age I am, I can still feel like a silly, immature, clueless teenager.

Anyone else ever feel this way?

Worse than the whole debacle at the walmart? I looked him up on says he's single.......????????????


Spring.....Here she comes!

Spring is knocking on the door! I am a peson who loves all of the seasons, and I usually get tired of the current season right about the time it is done and ready to move on. This has been a mentally and emotionally challenging winter and I for one, am glad spring is showing her colors. I feel renewed and reenergized and like I'm walking out of a dark cloud.

If I had to choose a favorite season it would have to be spring, as she reminds me that life renews every year and we get to be reborn. Each year I take photos of the spring blossoms and as you might guess the pics looks pretty similar each year, but I do it kind of as a ritual, a reminder that each flower, just like each person, is special and new again anytime they choose to blossom.

(sometimes I think the Blogger gods are out to sabotage me, this post was orignally worded differently, however blogger dumped my first post, so, I am trying to reconstitute it and I'm not quite getting there)

We are already making plans for the garden, drawing schematics, ordering compost and setting up work dates. This year's garden is going to be even bigger than last year's, with twice as many tomato plants (we had a high yield last year, but my friend wants twice as many so we can make enough tomato sauce to last the next year!)and I really want a section for cutting flowers, I LOVE to have fresh flowers in the house and have always coveted a cutting garden. We will have herbs again, I fell in love with having fresh basil to make caprese and to use in fresh vegetable tarts. And we will grow pumpkins again, I really had fun with those in the garden, especially the jumbo ones. I will attempt beans this year with gusto, I only planted a couple of plants last year and they didn't fare so well. And the other usual suspects, zucchini, lemon cucumbers and I was charmed by watermelon last year, so we'll invite her back again and roomie wants to try cantalope and of course peppers of many varieties. I'm open to suggestions if anyone has a favorite veggie they have luck with, I'm looking for new things to try, as every year the garden is an experiment!

The garden as an experiment is a great metaphor for this spring, be open to every possibility, learn from last year's mistakes, greet each challenge with renewed gusto and live in anticipation of your harvest!

Have a wonderful day and the splendid week ahead!
I talk about Spring here, too
And blossoms, here


P.S. Just have to add one more note, NIKON ROCKS THE COLOR these photos are exactly as my camera shot them! SWEET!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wearing RED today......

How about you? Will you be wearing RED today?

With love, I want to share some things that warm my heart.....

It warms my heart to see my little dog back to normal, happy to see me, playing, holding his tail high, running and jumping, funny and smart.

It warms my heart to hear that my future sister-in-law received a letter today from my brother who is at Marine Corps Boot Camp and that he is hanging in there!

It warms my heart that my step-sister's cat scan came back today and the cancer cells that were on her liver ARE GONE!~

It warms my heart to have a home where I can sequester myself in a comfortable bed, with a book, sheilded by the storm raging outside.

It warms my heart to see an elderly couple, bundled up, walking their dog as they walk arm in arm.

It warms my heart to have pancakes for dinner, with crispy fried bacon. (I know, the bacon is bad for my heart, ironic, eh?)

It warms my heart to start planning the garden, drawings, and seed packets, armed with my Garden Journal to help me remember which things I wanted to do differently.

It warms my heart to wander through your blogs, awed by your words and inspired by your creativity!

Have a wonderful and blessed RED (vibrant with LOVE) DAY!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Also, stop by 110 Penned, The Cottage on the Corner and Chez Spud for some more RED

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Theme Thursday: RED

RED is a beautiful color.....on Friday it is National WEAR RED DAY, sponsored by the American Heart Association. This is a way to show your support for loved ones who have heart disease or who have been lost to heart disease.

Please, on Friday, wear RED and join me in sharing a story or a list of things that warm your heart on your blog with a mention of National WEAR RED DAY. (I would be soooo honored if you participated).

Having lived with heart problems my whole life I am drawn to hearts, physical and metaphorical, and when I think of anyone having to live with heart disease or a heart defect and go through the trauma of facing these obstacles, I want to find a way to stop the pain.

I know that there are other problems in our world right now, bless you and save you, Haiti, I only ask that you wear RED on Friday to show your love and support for those afflicted with heart difficulties.

This is my first participation in Theme Thursday, stop by there and see who else is playing along!

If you have any interest in one of the little bracelets I embellished, shown in the picture, send me an email or leave a comment.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥