About Me

Decent wife. Good Enough Mom. (I think, but you’d have to ask my kids.) Sporadic blogger. Crazy person. Chaos Manager. Finder of stray socks and missing shoes. Loves to cook, wishes it wasn’t demanded of her daily. Runs on caffeine.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Friday SoapBox

 So this comment was left on a blog I follow, and it has really irked me. Besides the fact that I consider Lollipop Goldstein a friend so the personal attack upset me, but the entire reason for the comment shows so much ignorance to what the ENTIRE WORLD has been going through. While I get that there are area that have not been hit very hard by Covid, you would have to live under a rock to not be aware of this Global Pandemic. And really, it’s like a twisted 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon game, except that now it’s nearly impossible to find someone who doesn’t know someone who has been affected by Covid in some way.

“I will never understand why this is a debate… if you choose to mask and vaccinate and you believe those things actually work, then it shouldn’t matter if someone else chooses not to mask/vaccinate because your mask/vaccine “protects” you, either they work or they don’t. I don’t understand why some people think they have the right to tell others what to do with their body. Also, let’s be real, you are an introvert who is completely happy rarely socializing or leaving their house, that’s cool, but not everyone has to live the same way. Please stop using your introverted preference to dictate other people’s freedoms/lifestyle.”

I’ve left out the name of the commenter because this isn’t to call one person out, but rather to show how that over a year in, there are still people who don’t get it.

The restrictions and mask requirements are not to infringe in anyone else’s rights, they are protection for ALL humans. Don’t I also have a right to not be exposed to illnesses (not just Covid, mind you, masks are helping keep people from getting ANY kind of illness. How many colds/stomach bugs/strep throat/etc, etc has anyone who has followed the rules had in the last year? Even if you personally haven’t worn a mask, you’ve likely not gotten sick because of the people who are wearing them. And it’s basic science that when 2 people wear a mask and social distance the rate of any type of illness transmission is reduced to almost zero.

Whether we agree or like it or not, EVERYONE has to do their part if we ever want this to be over. This isn’t an option and has nothing at all to do with rights. I don’t know why we as an American culture feel that every single mandate put in to place is a personal attack on any one or group of individuals, and I’m specifically talking about Pandemic-related mandates. It would make way more sense if these were nationwide restrictions until the collective numbers went down, but every state and even county or town has their own set of rules, making it tricky if you commute or travel.

But make no mistake. I have been working on the front lines since this whole thing started….I’ve seen the worst of the worst of this virus up close. Covid doesn’t discriminate between sex, race, age, health, or social status. In short-this is EVERYONE’S problem and responsibility as a human to try and help solve and do what we can for the greater good. And if wearing a mask feels too restrictive, then stay home. Shop online. Or maybe stop being selfish and wear the mask in honor of those who died of Covid, or because of Covid, like so many people isolated in nursing care facilities who just declined due to the isolation. Get a vaccine for those who are immune compromised or otherwise can’t receive a vaccine…for all the children under 16 who aren’t currently eligible. Wear a mask for them.

But for God’s sake stop thinking that everyone else can do the work to stop this, and the selfishness and short-sightedness that comes from this commenter’s way of thinking. Because if too many people think that way and keep naively believing it’s all about control and rights, all the vaccines given out won’t matter, we won’t hit the threshold for herd immunity. And what happens then?

***And just as a PSA…if you don’t like or agree with someone, by all means have a valid argument that makes sense, and leave the personal attacks out, it’s just so unnecessary, and doesn’t do anything to support your point. It just makes you look (and sound) like a jerk. Kindness goes a long way. If you don’t like what’s being said, you can stop reading. THAT, you have total control over.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Monday Feels

 My anxiety kicked up last night on my way to work. Having been awake the entire night, my brain is exhausted. And when my brain gets exhausted all the feels come out. So here’s what’s on my mind that’s apparently been riding under the surface and is now manifesting itself into physical signs of anxiety. (Sore joints, tendinitis acting up in a different area every day, you know, all the fun things.

My husband. And his therapy. And all the awful things he has talked about, and all the awful things he still has to talk about, a lot including me, some about the bad shit we’ve been through. Some of that stuff was hard enough for me to live through the first time…I don’t know how I am going to walk this path with him. I will, of course. I just hope it doesn’t break me in the process. Or break us.

Panic about things going back to “normal.” I don’t feel safe in a crowded grocery store, I can’t imagine going back to life as normal. And it’s still far too soon for the things some leaders are doing, like our local mayor in the beach town, who lifted the mask mandate on the freaking boardwalk, which is a super crowded, packed in situation at the pier end. It was a nightmare before Covid. Is anyone else feeling this way?

Over the past year and a half I lost a ton of weight, and am back down to highschool weight again somehow, although my body is shaped completely differently now!! So I had my annual physical and tons of labs done…and all my hormone levels were normal…!?!?…even my AMH and FSH and LH were all in normal ranges. Yet it’s been 2.5 years since my last pregnancy that ended in miscarriage, and despite no protection I haven’t gotten pregnant since. Not trying/not avoiding, not even keeping track of my cycle at all. I’ll be 43 this summer. I don’t know what to do with this information…the crazy part of me thinks oh well I still have a shot…and the rationale part of me says it’s ridiculous. Nothing fills a baby shaped hole. Nothing.

With the pandemic my youngest, who is 5 now, did not get a chance to go to preschool. And while I know he’s smart, I don’t know that’s he’s exactly ready for Kindergarten, being the baby of the family and all. I am seriously considering homeschooling him for the first half of next school year at least, to try and give him one on one attention and get him ready. I am in no way meant to be a teacher, but out of all my kids he’s the one I think would work with me best, and it’s kindergarten, so surely I can manage that. I’m just starting to look into programs, so if anyone knows a good one I would love to know.

We were away at a family event back in March, and of course there will always be drama when families get together, I know that. But once again it proved how misunderstood I am and have always been with my family, how much of the black sheep I am. My sister actually called tore me down and reamed me out for a situation I wasn’t actually a part of, and said some pretty hurtful things to me. Anymore I realize that among family, the only place I’m safe to be myself and not be judged is in my own home, with my own family. While the kids all had a great time and it could potentially be our spring break vacation spot, I feel like I don’t really want to go back anytime soon. I never confronted my sister and I don’t think I’m going to…because if she truly thinks about me how she said when she was yelling at me, I would rather not know and have confirmation. Because I feel like I know the answer. And it sucks.

If any of my blog friends want to follow me on IG, I’d love that. I’m @radmdrtr . Stop by and say hi!!

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Thursday, April 1, 2021

the least we can do

 One of my best friends from my work lost her older brother to Covid this past weekend. He had a positive test 10 days prior. He felt bad, but never felt “worse”. He was healthy. He was 53. And he’s gone.

This isn’t the first Covid related death that has happened first hand to someone I know...it’s getting increasingly more like a morbid six degrees of separation situation (like the Kevin Bacon game) that any 6 people has known someone who has had Covid and ended up with lifelong disabilities if they survived at all. My neighbor’s best friend’s husband passed away from Covid. My husband’s (former now) secretary has been left permanently blind from complications of Covid amoung a host of other things left damaged by this virus. My best friend’s brother, our beloved doctor. Both gone. I bet if I start asking the number rises.

The truth from the front lines is that the varriants are here, and they are more deadly than the first. Please everyone, don’t let your guard down even if vaccinated. These patients, they are sicker than ever. And younger than ever, too. 

It’s so hard to watch anyone you love grieve over something so sudden. It seems like it’s even more devastating because we have been there for a year now working shift after shift, submitting our blood for study samples, getting the vaccine first to prove it’s safe, working in the chaos and hell fighting this damn thing. It feels so personal.

I was talking to another one of our close friends tonight and we were all checking on each other and trying to decide something to do. It’s so hard to be in a place where there’s nothing good to say, nothing you can do seems sufficient enough to covey the heartache we share with her. I know we talk a lot in these spaces as just abiding with them, holding space for them, grieving silently along with them and fervently praying (if that’s your thing. It’s definitely mine.)

But sometimes we can get complacent...not knowing what to do so instead we do nothing or that so much time has passed it seems irrelevant now, or that’s it’s so hard for any number of reasons. I know I have been that way about things before, for way less important things.

They need food, we know our girl hasn’t been eating. I remember when my dad passed, it was so nice to have food everyone could just emotionally stuff ourselves in between all the other million things that need to be done when a person dies...it’s SO much. Being fed is a basic human comfort, and having someone bring me food (not that it happens often!!) brings me so much warmth and comfort.

I picked one of her favorites...one I know she won’t be able to resist eating...and it’s healthy and sustaining and home cooked and comforting af. I had to give her a heads up to see when a good time would be to have the meal delivered, and she was thanking me, and I said “it’s the least we could do”.

It’s so easy now to do things like send someone a warm blanket or a hot meal to their door. Or type a quick text. Or answer that email. Or answer the phone. Those are the least things we can do during this ongoing pandemic that just won’t quit.

Imagine if everyone, everyday, did just a little more than “least”. Just imagine.

***I also want to add a little footnote here, because I didn’t know where to fit it above. My friend that lost her brother is single and childless. My other friend I mentioned above is married and childless by choice. When shit hits the fan, as long as you have some strong friends around you, you will be ok. Whether you have kids or not. These girls to me are my extended family, and we protect and care for each other. Having children or not doesn’t matter...and it shouldn’t.

Monday, March 29, 2021

what’s old is new again

 Well, it only took 25ish years...but did y’all hear? The 90’s are back in style. Just google “mom jeans” “crop shirts” and “doc martens”. The style is also listed as Y2K for that late 90’s, early 2000’s vibe. I’m not even kidding. My closet of jeans and docs and flannels (which are a hit again now) and scrunchies, is back in style. The only bad part? Now we’re just called “vintage”!!

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Friday, February 5, 2021

The Matriarch

 Last year, in late spring, my husband’s grandmother, the matriarch of the family, passed away. Shortly after is when some of the secrets and lies started coming out. First with the recipe, then with the discovery of secret accounts, then when my whole world sort of imploded.

After all the initial shock and hurt wore off, I started my search for answers. I had a million puzzles pieces that didn’t seem like they belonged in the same puzzle.

Oh, but they did. I know I wrote before about seeing the whole picture, but it ended up being so much bigger than I ever could have imagined.

My husband’s family came from money. His hardworking grandfather built a business that was thriving. Then he passed away and his son and son in law ran it into the ground with their greed. My husband’s grandmother has a family reputation to uphold in that dated and old fashioned way. Her children lived off of her handouts, were never responsible with money, and they knew they would always get more. I could see even from the beginning how they used her for money...they weren’t really ever shy about talking about it, but they all let their requests from each other. My husband always felt very strongly about being disappointed in them for there behaviors and denounced every treating his grandmother like that.

My husband had a traumatic childhood...things he is just now facing in therapy. His grandmother was a huge part of bringing stability to his early life, and he always looked up to her for that. On the heels of being sexually abused by his stepmother when he was 12-13, he met his best friend and they fell in love...it was the only person he ever trusted completely. It was a secret that everyone knew and no one talked about. These two guys were never allowed on either side by family to live each other out loud. There was a lot of shame and guilt they both felt. A lot of pressure to be normal or straight.

My husband’s grandmother talked to him, told him how he needed to get over this phase he was going through. That it wasn’t how there family did things, and that it would be an embarrassment to the family. That he had met this nice girl and just get married to her, and to do what he needed to do in secret but by being married to a woman it would be easier to hide. And he had just met someone who he thought he was into, but realized he wasn’t...turns out she portrayed herself as one thing and he discovered who she really was...and he didn’t really even like her by then.

And she offered him an insane amount of money to “do the right thing” for the family. And he was hurt and confused by that. But it was his grandmother and he didn’t want to disappoint her or let his family down. So he made this deal with her...he would marry this girl, had to stay married for a year to get the lump sum, and would continue to get handouts as long as he stayed.

And so this charade went on for over two years. All of his friends told him he was making a mistake...by the best friend was the only one who mattered, and he wasn’t strong enough to declare his love out loud. My husband punished himself by staying with someone he was starting to outright hate. And I can confirm since I got to know her that she is a very manipulative person...someone who does nothing to help their situation, just played the victim. She claimed she loved him, but if she did she would have surely seen, especially since she knew about their relationship, how broken-hearted and torn he was. But instead she told him how terrible he was and that he needed to change...and fully admitted to me he just wanted him to love her the way she “loved” him. Which is so selfish and the opposite of love. And she still doesn’t see that, even now.

Everyone around him always told him he needed to change. Not friends, but his family, and this girl who claimed to love  him. Not even his grandmother, who he trusted so much and held on such a high pedestal, was showing him love by her actions, and he fully realized this. He didn’t think he deserved love. I’m not sure if he even believed in it at that point. It was horrible for him, so much anger, so much self hate, holding on to such big secrets all alone.

I fell in love with him the second he looked up from the bar...instantly, like some cosmic thing washed over me. Being with him was so easy...like I was born to love him, like o had always loved him. It wasn’t a slow burn at all, it just felt like I had always loved him I just hadn’t found him yet.

And the universe is crazy...because there are a dozen places we were both at at the same time over the years but we had never met before that one fateful night.

And I am the only person who has ever fully loved him for him and not tried to change him, not once, not ever. And I could see him wrestling with things over the years but I never understood why. Even in our darkest times, he would never ask his grandmother for money or help. Ever. And I saw different conversations we had that were triggers.

His grandmother being the puppet master was the last piece I finally figured out...it wasn’t as obvious and I had to dig deeper. I upset a lot of people in my quest for the truth, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something more, something I was missing. And her piece to the puzzle makes it so much more complicated for my husband. I told him I knew he didn’t tell me because “that’s your grandmother, you don’t want to think badly or have other people think badly of her” and he admitted that yes that was his big concern, and why this never came out when she was alive. He was worried that I would treat her differently had I known, so he again sacrificed himself and held the secret alone, all for her.

Only in her death was he ever going to have a chance at finding peace.

Monday, December 28, 2020

recipes and secrets

 There is another story I want (need) to tell, but in order for it to make sense, you really need to know the beginning. And this is the beginning, or as close as I can get.

When my husband’s grandmother was passing away but still lucid, I thought to ask my mom in law for her mother’s cookie recipe, just known as grandmother’s cookies, always given nestled in plastic inside a tin, they were a delicate cookie, like the expensive ones in the specialty section of the grocery store, where it’s like $8.99 for 12 cookies and by the time you get them home half are broken from the shuffling around. She had the original copy of the recipe, and gladly gave it to me.

After she had passed away and we were planning the memorial, I decided that a sweet gesture would be to make her cookies in her honor. No one else is the family made them or ever wanted to try...I’m the baker and chef of our family. Upon reading the recipe, I had to read it 3 times and flip it over to look on the back. While ingredients and amounts are there, it ships right to putting them on the tray and into the oven. It’s handwritten so it’s no mistake. It dawned on my what a sly, smart woman she was. It was her recipe, the one she was known for and who everyone knew to expect when they saw her, and whose cookies everyone could identify in the dessert table. The cookies that would be hidden inside their tins tucked away in secret spots to prevent them from being stolen by others...everyone got their own tin and would easily go through them in a day and search for someone else’s stash.

I told my husband when I discover this that “she was sneaky. Don’t be surprised if there are some secrets that come out and her will and papers come out and we all start going through things. This was not an accident or coincidence. She purposely did not put the technique, which any baker knows for a delicate cookie like this is crucial for texture and there’s no real room for error in these cookies. You just wait.”

Well, now I’m eating my words because things did come out. But that’s another story, the one I want to tell next.

So some days before the memorial I decided to try the recipe. My mom in law was over and I though perfect she can taste test them for me and see if I can recreate these.

I looked up towed the heavens and said “ok mom-mom you got me. That was pretty good, but I’m better. I got this.”

And I figured it out based on what I knew and they came out exactly prefect.

I didn’t know what kind of forbidding I was predicting when I spoke those words to the heavens. But man.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

A Christmas Miracle

 Amazing things can happen when you let love, kindness, and empathy lead. It can be a very hard thing to do, but if you can live like that you will reap great rewards. I know. Because it happened to me.

My story that I’ve been posting about is completely crazy, weird, bizarre, scandalous...the stuff of tv dramas and bad TV movies. Yet it is all true, and it’s my life.

Things seemed to take an unexpected turn at my last post. Guys, this stuff has been really hard to deal with and process at the tail end of a year that was weird and hard in its own right, for everyone on the planet. I’m fatigued, and when that happens I tend to cross over to the dark side and sometimes get stuck there.

But since working hard on my mental health and trying to be a more positive, calm, happy person, I knew I couldn’t stay in the dark place for long.

My husbands lies and actions were awful, but they were coming from a place of rejection and hurt and distrust. In the time since I wrote about learning the truth, more and more truths have come to light, more dark secrets and fears that were hidden have come out. The understanding I have of this man I married is incredible...and it’s given me a real way to help him. He’s been in therapy for a couple weeks now trying to sort out the traumas of his childhood.

And that never would have happened if it weren’t for his ex, who so bravely opened up to me about their shared past. Together we were able to give each other the pieces we truly needed to see the complete picture, and it allowed her some new understanding and closure after all this time. It gave me a jumping off point to further keep putting the pieces together for him to have his memory jogger enough. It also gave him great understanding of all the hurt he caused, because he had been hurt over and over again during his childhood by people he was supposed to be able to trust and who were supposed to protect him.

Yes, I had a big crush on this girl. Yes I think she is amazing. But we are friends...and friends we will stay. Talking to her reminds me of talking to an old friend, like talking to my sister.

So tonight (the 23rd) I found myself done every outside of  the house errand, went to alll the packed stores, finished everything. I had a lot of cooking and baking to do...hours worth. Her and I often FaceTime in the evening and sit and chat over folding laundry and a glass of wine, and it’s strangely comforting. Her and I were chatting and as this is her first Christmas after a difficult split, I could sense she was feeling lonely, as I was. I may have a house full of people but it’s not the same as having a sibling or friend to hang out with while doing all the things. I lamented to her that I wish there was a way she could just come over with her girls and hang out. She said she wished that too, and I say maybe someday...

My husband hadn’t seen her in 20+ years...he has a lot of guilt and shame about all of that regarding her.

But, like I said I can’t live in the dark place, I also can’t sit on things I want to do or things that have to be done...I don’t like things hanging over me. It unsettles me at best. So I broached the subject with my husband tonight. He hasn’t even been comfortable with us talking, let alone anything more like a friendship. But I pressed on because that’s what I do. I told him the above story and asked if he thought that would ever be possible. So of course his first reaction was to balk. A lot. But I have a way with words and thoughts and I was able to explain why this is important to me, why she is important to me.

You see, she is part of my story, as much as I don’t like the plot line. She fills in so many parts of all of it, the same as she does now.

So we had her and her youngest daughter over that night. They talked privately, albeit briefly. I checked in with them both separately to make sure each was ok. She stayed for several hours, and we just chatted and baked cookies and did mom stuff. Occasionally my husband would pop in and chat for a few or crack a couple jokes, always his way, which I happen to adore. I love that he makes me laugh. And it was a really fun time.

Since I first started this post on Christmas Eve (it’s Saturday night now) we have all hung out again. She and I had decided since everything was cool or could at least be going forward, that we should get a do over, a chance to really get together to hang out without all the awkwardness of the initial start to the night that sort of hung over us. We all kept it light and funny and just make jokes about the weirdness of the whole situation. So our plans were for her to meet at our house Saturday night, all three of us do a shot together and cheers to friends, then her and I would go find somewhere that wasn’t crowded to grab a late dinner. (Which wasn’t at all hard to do in the closest couple towns near me)

*****side note, I get the vaccine tomorrow (Sunday)!!! I had to read all the disclosures and it’s scary but also not because the information they are providing is is directly from the Pharm company and is incredibly transparent, but also because I’m now part of a clinical study, and they will be taking media photos and recording this crazy bit of history we are all a part of. But I wholeheartedly believe in science, it’s been my passion for as long as I can remember. So vaccinated I will get.*****

So back to Saturday...of course nothing could go to plan. Late Friday night she texted in a panic because some lights came in in her car. It’s already been a year, her first Christmas separated from her husband, and she struggles from anxiety and depression, which I know all too well. So I offered to help and I talked to my oldest son whose a mechanic (he’s 15 but he’s got skills) and he agreed for us to go help her Saturday morning, as long as he was back in time to leave with his oldest sister and her mechanic boyfriend to look at a truck my son wanted to buy. We even found time on Christmas Eve to make an after dinner run to a liquor store and pick out a couple last minute gifts and a nice bottle of whiskey to shoot. Everything was set. Until.


Hubs and I stay up stupid late Christmas night into Saturday. Basically take a nap. Get up and start getting ready and make sure my son is awake. I’m in the middle of getting dressed when I hear my son from the hallway saying how he can’t go, he had to leave with his sister rightnow!! Wait, what?! Mind you we are already running late and I’ve told her we’d be on the way in 10 minutes. Find out my oldest daughter on a whim changed all these plans to suit what she woke up and felt like doing, had everyone all worked up as per usual, ended up leaving with her big and my son to go to look at the truck...and I’m standing there trying to figure out how I’m going to still help her, when I see my husband pulling on his boots and saying her would go to help. So we went with it. I did text her on the way to warn her, asking her to take a breath and not freak out, so she had a good half hour to get used to the idea. I’ve told him over and over that the more normal he acts, the more normal it will be, for everyone. So we got there and he acted like he was going to help an old friend, making jokes, giving advice, eventually fixing the problem for her without too much effort.

Later that night I was running behind again because my husband I were spending some quality time together while the kids were all occupied with all the new things. Hey, ya gotta stay connected, amiright?! And naked time is the best stress reliever!!!

I digress.

So neither of us were quite ready when she got there but he was more ready than me so he had to answer the door. Luckily the little boys were still up and the older two teeens were floating around so she was well entertained for 10 minutes.(I check the clock when I came downstairs haha) But I brought down my socks and boots and makeup and sat and chatted with her while I finished getting ready (not a usual wearer of makeup but I do like too sometimes even if it’s simple. But these days I’m doing it more because it makes me feel good, and I could always use more of that!! About 10 minutes before we left we all Saluted to friends and had a shot of some of the smoothest whiskey I’ve ever had, and just talked for the last couple minutes. It was nice, it was fun, it was comforting.

I’ve talked to both of them separately to make they are each feeling ok with everything and they both have said that it’s just like a person they once knew, like an old old friend. Usually there’s always gonna be some tension in any long term relationship, even friendships, and so when he reframed it that way he was like yeah it’s like a chance to make things right and ok in the universe. In his universe. She has made a peace with everything long ago.

And I have grown so much from this...I have learned the power of unconditional love...I have learned that I was correct in not stopping my search for the truth, even when my digging caused some huge waves for a lot of people, and that I will always fight for the truth, I have learned how deeply flawed we are as humans, every one of us, though some more than others. But if we can look past the exterior and see what’s inside it’s so damn beautiful. Leading with kindness and love in mind, even when it’s hard. I’ve learned just how incredibly strong and smart and empathetic, and downright fierce I am. I’ve learned an entirely new and deep love for my husband, in a way words can’t describe. I am so damn proud of him. Because of his willingness to fight his instincts and live in the area of kindness and love. Because he’s open to seeing the beauty and it just might change his heart for the better even more. I’ve learned what it truly means to look at someone and such a detailed whole picture, to know every secret there is to know, to know all the bad things but to also see the immense good that is there, and to just let the love surround us and guide us through. Letting love lead.

So this crazy twisty wind-y story of mine isn’t over, far from it. I don’t know the ending yet, but I know that all of these characters that make up my crazy, messy, blended times I don’t even know how many times anymore family, will be in my story until the very end.

“Silent night. Holy night. All is calm. All is bright.”