Monday, December 19, 2016

Microblog Monday - Bracing myself

So today the Electoral College will more than likely make Donald Trump the official President Elect.

Unlike a lot of people on my friends list, I have not been trying to fight this.

There are several reasons.

1) If the exact situation had been reversed and Trump had won the popular vote and Hillary had won the electoral college, I would say, those are the laws of the land. I would denounce and decry any meddling in the electoral college. It seems wrong.

2) It isn't like Hillary did not know about the electoral college and they took the election out of nowhere.

3) The name that constantly comes up is somehow electing John Kaisich--and the fact that he wasn't on the ballot just doesn't sit right with me.

So, I'm bracing myself.
Bracing myself to be fighting a lot.
Bracing myself to use libraries and use the money where I would have bought books to donate to causes.
Bracing myself to be nicer to people who are not nice to me.
Bracing myself to listen to people who voted for Trump. Listen to people so I understand and not listen to refute.

Bracing myself for a long four years.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Microblog Monday - Though I don't like it, I stand with you

I have made no secret of the fact that I do not like the President Elect.

I am terrified of him as President. I think that the entire country is in for a very hard next four years.

There are things that he is doing that is concerning me. Having his daughter in on national policy meetings--is one. I am very concerned about his choice of cabinet members.

However, I do not give a flying fuck that his family will not be joining him at the White House at least until June. Mainly because I think that Melania Trump is acting in the best interest of her child and for that I applaud her and I have her back.

There are rumors that 11-year-old Barron Trump, the youngest of the President Elect's children is autistic or somewhere on the autism spectrum*. If that is true, then she is absolutely right to have him finish the year where he will be comfortable. Moving and changing schools mid-year is traumatic for kids who aren't on the spectrum. Melania knows her kid, and she has made this decision and I say good for her.

If the reason you are furious about the election is because of what it will do to the rights of women,  how dare you get in a snit about this! This is about a woman making decisions for her family. Melania has the right to move or not move when her husband gets a different job. She is opting not to, as it is best for her kid. It is her decision, to be discussed with her husband and her child and whoever is providing the security.

This is a distraction story, to distract us from the racists that are going to be on the cabinet. To distract us from the fact that Trump settled out-of-court a fraud case for $25 million.

It's going to be a long four years. Let's keep our eyes on the real issues, not Hamilton (though anyone who wants to get rid of their tickets--my email is right there!) or where Melania and Barron live.

* If Barron Trump is indeed autistic, that again is something we, as the American public do not need to know. Would it be good to know that the President understands so many parents of autistic kids? Yes. But again, it is between the child, the parents and the IEP plan at his school.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Microblog Monday - Though I have been silent, I shall not be still

I refuse to give in to despair.

I have to hug a four-year-old and help her to make sense of the world around her. I have to do it with a smile. She is watching me, you see, to see how to deal with disappointments.

I scared her a little bit. I was crying. I was actively planning to grab her and leave the country. I started research, where could we live, make a living and then yet return.

This weekend we took her to a movie about Trolls who sing. It was her first movie in a theater and she's glommed onto this song.

That's what we do, we get back up again.
I had practice during infertility. After a failed cycle, I cried and cycled again. After roadblock to roadblock in our adoption of Lotus we did it.

Now she needs to watch me do it. Life is full of disappointments--big and small. Lotus will watch me and see how I act. She has to see me get up. She has to see me go on. She has to see me listen to things that make me physically ill and still defend people's right to say them. She has to see me watch a protest and explain that people have the right to do it. They don't have the right to hurt people.

My daughter is watching. Therefore sometimes I am silent. But I am not still.

This is worse than disappointment. No one has to tell me this is worse. I am viscerally scared--not as scared as some, more than others, but I do know this is worse.

And yet, I calmed down. I'm not saying I don't have an exit plan, but I'm waiting. I'm being quiet and listening. I'm reading what my friends on both sides of debate say. YES, I have friends who voted for Trump. I imagine if they had a blog they would say, of me, YES I have friends who voted for Clinton.

But I will not be still.

I am contacting my state representatives.  I didn't know who they were until two days ago. I am going to see how to make my state house blue.

I am signing up to email with the people running for New Jersey governor in 2017. I will help on the campaign. I will work.

I will stand beside my friends of color. I will stand beside my LGBTQ friends. I will stand besides my sisters. I hope they will stand beside my Jewish self.

I will not be still.

In the clearing stands a boxer
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of ev'ry glove that laid him down
Or cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame
"I am leaving, I am leaving"
But the fighter still remains

I still remain. I will not be still.


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

All these I place

From A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeline L'Engle

    At Tara to-day in this fateful hour
    I place all Heaven with its power,
    And the sun with its brightness,
    And the snow with its whiteness,
    And fire with all the strength it hath,
    And lightning with its rapid wrath,
    And the winds with their swiftness along their path,
    And the sea with its deepness,
    And the rocks with their steepness,
    And the earth with its starkness:
          All these I place,
          By God’s almighty help and grace,
    Between myself and the powers of darkness.

Vote. Vote. Vote. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Microblog Monday - Tomorrow we discover

One day more. 
Another day, another destiny, 

It comes down to this.

Do you believe that everyone in this country should be free to worship any religion (or no religion at all)?

Trump doesn't.

One more day before the storm.
At the barricades of freedom

Because of this man's infernal ego and his ultimate insistence that he has to be a winner he is putting our democracy at risk. He doesn't understand the meaning of public service.

Do I stay and do I dare?

Never in recent memory have so many people been trying to make sure so many others don't vote. A federal judge called what was going on in North Carolina a systematic racist discrimination.

The time is now. The day is here!

After the longest campaign period ever. It is finally our turn to weigh in. It is our turn to vote.

One day to a new beginning
Raise the flag of freedom high
Every one can be a king
There's a new world for the winning
There's a new world to be won
Do you hear the people sing!

Yes, I changed the words.  Everyone deserves a chance to be the president. It is time for that glass ceiling to be shattered. It is time for a woman president. It is time for Hillary. Do I like all the baggage she will bring? No. No, I don't.

Do I worry that she will start a nuclear war because someone insulter her teeny tiny little hands? No, no I don't.

Tomorrow is the judgement day!
Tomorrow we'll discover what our God in Heaven has in store!
One more dawn.
One more day.
One. Day. More. 

Get out and vote.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Just call me Wall-E

So I'm anxious.

I've mentioned that.

I've been going for walks and stuff and it is helping. What else is helping is turning off the computer and turning on Netflix.

I've been watching Hello Dolly. The movie. Starring Barbra Streisand, Walter Matthau, and a young Michael Crawford--decades before he would don a mask.
I'm alone in the house so I sing all the songs.

My husband would be quick to tell me that I sing all the songs anyway--but I sing them at the top of my lungs when I watch it alone.

Put On Your Sunday Clothes is wonderful and makes me ignore bad stuff.
So Long Dearie is underrated.

It's a happy movie, and I could use a little bit of happy movie.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Anxiety - Microblog monday

I have something to say. 

My anxiety level is huge. Off the charts. The election. 

I found a growth on Lotus' ankle. I had a sleepless night thinking that it was more than it was. It's a Ganglion cyst. But I didn't know that and was terrified. 

I am so anxious and worrying worrying worrying. I'm having mood swings and I am not okay. I am frightened and as much as I tell myself not to be, and to stop worrying--I am having such trouble doing it. 

I'm posting this to ask how others are dealing with stuff and to get advice on how they stop the worrying.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

What Alice Forgot

It's been a bit since I've talked about the Pages part of the blog.

I've been rereading a lot. I tend to do that when I'm under stress and this election is stressing me out.

However when a librarian puts a book in my hand I at least read the first ten pages.

The librarian shoved the book What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty into my hands and told me to read it.  I trust this librarian. She introduced me to The Black Dagger Brotherhood and likes a lot of the same books I do.

So I brought it home. I didn't plan to read it.

Then I thought I would go ten pages, and I was caught up.

The premise is deceptively simple. Alice, a 39 year old woman with three kids who is separated from her husband falls at the gym and hits her head. She wakes up thinking that she is 29, pregnant with her first child and still deliriously happy with her husband.

It forces the reader to ask a question--if you met yourself 10 years ago--what would that younger person think of you? What would she think of the choices you have made?

I also have to praise it for being one of the most realistic portrayals of infertility I have ever read. Alice's sister, Elizabeth, you see, has had recurrent miscarriages. A decade ago they were close, now infertility has separated them.  There were times when I read Elizabeth's story that I wanted to shriek that someone had read my diary.  It is brilliant.

This is a good one and I wonder if any of my blog -readers have read it, if so I would like to discuss it.

If you haven't--pick this one up. It is wonderful!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Microblog Mondays - Assumptions about choice

We are finally in the last stages of this interminable election. There are quite a few women I know who are voting for Trump or a third party candidate.

The women who are voting for Trump--all of them that I have spoken to which is in no way a scientific survey--cite the Supreme Court and anti-choice views as their reason.

When life begins--at conception, at sometime in utero, at birth--I don't know, I don't pretend to know.

When I did IVF and I saw those little dots on the screen--they were real to me. I was overwhelmed at how protective I was of those little dots. They were mine. When the IVF failed I was so despondent I can't put it into words.

That being said, I can't and won't use my beliefs and how I felt to say how others can and should feel.

I should say this. Pro-life is not the right term.
Anti choice is.

If you are voting for someone so that he will put forth justices that will force women to have babies that they don't want, and it doesn't bother you that he has no problem sexually molesting these self-same women--you are not pro-life, you are anti-choice.

If you do not see that there should be mandatory maternity and family leave, you are not pro-life you are anti-choice.

Please understand that, according to the Jewish religion, when the health (physical or mental)  of the mother is in danger the pregnancy must be terminated. Not should, not can, must.  If you can't embrace that because of your religion, you are not pro-life, you are anti-choice.

Do understand, if abortion is outlawed--there will still be abortion. It will just be unsafe.

Towards the end of her life my mom opened up about her college friend, Julie. She died because she had an unsafe abortion. My mom said that Julie was her best friend in college. Had she lived, I would have called her Aunt Julie. She was taken away from me because men in the 1940s didn't want to trust women with their own bodies. I would have liked her, my mom said. When I think of mom in the afterlife I like thinking of her with Aunt Julie, eating chocolate and drinking wine. She died horribly.

If you want to force women into this situation, don't you dare call yourself pro-life. You are anti-choice.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Microblog Monday - The sins of the mother

When I think of being Jewish, of the High Holidays, I always think about the Al-Chet. I allude to it, I think about it.

For the sins which we have committed.

Most of the time I go to synagogue alone. D isn't Jewish and Lotus isn't old enough to get much out of it. It is easier to let her stay home with D.

So I'm standing on Yom Kippur thinking about my own sins.

I think about Lotus.  She is wonderful. She fills my arms with hugs and lets me show her the world. She listens when I talk, and I try to explain the world to it as I see it.

I wish for the current year that I can be the mother that my little girl deserves.

There are sometimes I don't want to watch Elena of Avelor for the ntheenth time. I want to watch something adult.

There are times I don't want to cuddle, or play. I want to sleep.

There are times that as much as I love her little voice I just want quiet.

There are times I think I am totally fucking up this motherhood deal and maybe that's why I don't have a biological child.

There are times I think, What right do I have to be annoyed or discontented when I prayed and wished and waited every single day for nearly a dozen years for this? How dare I not be smiling and happy every single day.

I want so badly to talk to my mother to see if she felt this too. While I could, and I'd be fairly sure she'd hear me, I won't get an answer. i miss her when I think I'm fucking up this motherhood thing.

For all these sins, God of atonement, forgive us, pardon us, grant us atonement.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The new year

I was surprised that it has been a bit since I've blogged.

The Jewish Holidays came along.

I wrote this. I couldn't get it published on any of the usual sites so I published it on Medium.

I took the Praxis--which means that I have been considering becoming a teacher.

I passed the Praxis. Now I'm not sure what I'm going to do.

Lotus is growing by leaps and bounds. She's taking steps towards reading. She's noticing words on signs. Words like "No" and "Name" reading is just around the corner. She's not even 5 yet.

There are things I want to do in the new year. I want to be more productive. I want to do more tutoring and maybe teach.

It's going to be a big year of change.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Microblog Monday - Mourning needs more than a hug

Lotus has been talking about China Mommy lately.

We all talk about her. She's the reason we have Lotus. She's the reason Lotus has these amazing brown eyes while D and I have blue. We talk about her like we talk about my Aunt Vivian. She is a treasured relative who we don't see much.

Yesterday Lotus said "I miss China Mommy." I gave her a hug and said that it was okay and natural and right to miss her. I suggested that we hug each other real tight and we'll send all that love over an ocean an right to China Mommy's heart. We hugged and hugged and I don't mind saying that I felt pretty good about this. I felt like I did something right.

Then last night she had a meltdown. She started screaming, crying, and I just held her and rocked her.  She didn't repeat that she missed China Mommy--she didn't have to. I've been mourning my mother for two years, I know what mourning looks like. She cried and I rocked her and held her. She let me--even though I was concerned that she would push me away. We rocked and straightened out what she didn't want to do--even though a blind man could see that wasn't what the tantrum was about.

Today on the way to school she said "I miss China Mommy." and I (behind the wheel of the car) struggled for wisdom. I said maybe when we were older we could go to China and try to find China Mommy. Then she got upset and practically broke down until I told her we could return to New Jersey.

When I dropped her off at school I sang our song "Mommy comes back." and she hugged me and kissed me. Had she broke down again I might have said fine, let's take the day off, but she was okay.

It just left me thinking that she's mourning China Mommy and will most of her life. It takes more than a hug to get through it.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Emily Gilmore and My Mom

So I've been binge-watching Gilmore Girls.  I'd never seen it, a bunch of people said it was good and I've been enjoying it. I'm only in the first season so no spoilers please.

I thought I'd like Rory and Lorelei and I do.

But I love Emily. It's like having some time back with my mother.

My mother and Emily Gilmore had a lot in common. A rigid look at the world, a fierce love of their daughters, and a way to make sure her disappointment was known without saying a word. No way did we grow up that rich, but we were comfortable and the similarities are there.

There are sometimes when Emily Gilmore is on screen that I have my mom back for a little while--even the parts of her that I didn't like. Maybe especially the parts of her that I didn't like. I haven't been remembering the parts that drove me crazy--I miss them too. But there were times I could have killed her and saved the cancer the trouble. She had her bad points too, and watching Emily Gilmore helps me to remember the whole person.

Somehow this seems healthier than remembering only the good things. The bad things were there too. They had parts of our relationship and there are things I do now that I know she wouldn't have liked. She was not ever perfect. And neither is Emily Gilmore.

But she was mine, and I miss her, and for a little while when I am watching Gilmore Girls I have some time back with my mom.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Microblog Mondays - her pain and my pain

So today we brought Lotus to the doctor for her four year old well visit.

She's on target physically and developmentally.

She needed shots, but as she is fighting a cold the Dr. said we'd wait on those.

But she needed bloodwork done and we went to the lab to do it. The tech was as lovely as can be. However Lotus wasn't buying it. She started to cry once the tie went around her arm. "I don't want you to do this! I don't want this!" My eyes started to tear up even as I had to hold her down. Afterwards she stopped crying and even gave the tech a high-five.

My mind went back to when we first brought her home and took her to the international adoption specialist. It took three people to hold my baby down and one to do the test. I was in tears as I listened to her screaming. When the Dr. handed her to me afterwards she stopped in seconds. The doctor looked at me. "Good bonding," she said. It was true.

I think of all the health stuff we've been through since. How her pain is my pain--good bonding indeed.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Microblog Mondays - For My Consideration-A Tattoo


Not the dwarf on Fantasy Island yelling "The plane, The plane" and I realize I just showed my age.

But a tattoo.

I've considered it on and off for a long while.

Reasons for not getting one were twofold.

1) I don't like pain. At all.

2) I never found something I wanted decorating my body for the rest of my life.

Well, I'm thinking the second one might not be an issue.

I might get my mother's signature as a tattoo.  I like the idea. I like the idea that my mother would have completely despised the idea.

But the pain--kinda scary to me.

So, for all those who have made that leap--are you glad you did? Was the pain awful?

Considering minds want to know.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Microblog Mondays-Time Suck of binge-watching

I have discovered Netflix original programming.

Okay, I joined it and then wow.

Orange Is the New Black--not up to the hype, but a kick ass show.

Daredevil - My husband likes it better than me

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - Love it. I watched it just for a moment and just got sucked in.

House of Cards - Worth all the hype.

But now I have to get back to writing and blogging and stuff.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Microblog Mondays - Books edition

According to the excellent writer and blogger Traci York tomorrow is National Book Lovers day.

So here are some book related things.

Three Best Book Websites. 
Smart Bitches Trashy Books

Three Best Websites for Buying Books

My Favorite Romances
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Montana Sky by Nora Roberts
Perfect by Judith McNaught

My Favorite Series. 
In Death Series by J. D. Robb
Valdemar Series by Mercedes Lackey
Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter books 1-11 (Seriously after the 11th the quality went way way way down.)

My Favorite Graphic Novels
Sandman by Neil Gaiman
ElfQuest by Wendi and Richard Pini
Books of Magic  (many writers)

My Favorite Comics
Foxtrot by Bill Amend
Baby Blues by Kirkman and Scott
Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

My Favorite Fantasy Novels
Magic's Pride by Mercedes Lackey
Dragon song by Anne McCafrey
A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin

So, in the words of Thomas Jefferson (from Hamilton), what did I miss?

Monday, August 1, 2016

Microblog Mondays - Mammogram

Today I had a mammogram.

I had been having pain in my left breast, and the doctor, after ruling out heart stuff sent me to get a mammogram.

I hate getting mammograms. I really do. My mom had breast cancer, beat it, and died of uterine cancer but I remember that horrible year very much.

I also have large breasts that don't like being squished.

But I have a girl who would be devastated if something happened to me so I went. I am fortunate, they have a radiologist there who will tell me what they see.

Nothing. Scan came back clear.



Monday, July 25, 2016

Microblog Mondays - Smart women

My father has been somewhat of a Lothario as he is is working through his grief.

For reasons I don't comprehend, women live longer than men. That means as a straight widower he has his pick of women to keep company with.

He suggested that his popularity was due to the same things that fueled his popularity in college chiefly that he still has a lot of his hair and he still drives.

As for the women he has dated, some I like better than others, but none of them are bad. The other thing that I notice is they all have one thing in common.  Intelligence.

I'm not saying common sense intelligence but I guess an intellectual curiosity that reminds me (rather unsurprisingly) of my mother. I find it funny that my father has a type--and the type is intelligent women.

Like my mom.
Like me.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Microblog Monday--What next

There is a lot of shit going on in the world.
Innocent black men being murdered by policemen on a power trip.
Innocent policemen being murdered.
A horrific attack on adults and children in Nice.
A coup going on--or not--it seems to be unsure in Turkey.
Likely between the time I post this and the time you read this there will be something else unimaginably horrible happening.

Seriously I tried to think of a good post that would somehow lend words to these horrible tragedies.

I want to comfort those who mourn.
I have no words.  How do I tell the families of those grieving their loved ones anything. I didn't know these people and policemen and innocents who were killed. Yet, my world is diminished because they left it.

For the politicians who can't get it together to agree that guns don't belong in the hands of children without a lot of restrictions, I want to do what my daughter's preschool teacher does. When two children are fighting, the teacher sits them down looking at each other. They have to say one nice thing about the other and then put a jigsaw puzzle together. If they refuse to do even that they are put on the "get along" seat until they can. I would like to see Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell on a get along couch and then doing a puzzle.

I want to fix something--and I don't know how to fix it.

How would you fix the world? What change would you like to make that would be snowballing?

Monday, July 11, 2016

Original Cast -- Microblog Monday

Unless you pay no attention to your trending lists, you know that Lin-Manuel Miranda has left his titular role as Hamilton.

This surprises me not at all, as he has a lot of plates juggling and he is incredibly talented. I recall he left In The Heights after around the same amount of time. I did not see In The Heights in the beginning of its run, but I did see it with Lin-Manuel Miranda who had returned to the role of Usnavi later in the production, just as he says he will return to Hamilton. I trust that he will keep his word.

I saw Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal in Rent. Not the original cast, but when they returned again later in the run.  It was brilliant, however, I have to say that the person I saw playing Roger (Adam Pascal's role) later in the run gave the role an extra sparkle. He was the best Roger I have seen.

There is something magical about seeing an Original Broadway Cast. No question. I'd like to say though, for all the whining that I'm seeing that people haven't seen the Original Broadway Cast of Hamilton--I'd like to say. If you have tickets for later performances--I'll gladly take them off your hands.

I believe that Lin-Manuel Miranda will come back to Hamilton, he's said as much. What I also believe is that he would not leave his precious creation in the hands of people who can't act the $*@& out of the role.

Moving along to Shuffle Along--they made the decision--crazy decision--to close when Audra MacDonald leaves one of the leading roles.  Audra MacDonald is good--amazing even, but why close a successful show when the actress' replacement has already been named.  I'm sorry I won't get to see this amazing show.

But I'm looking forward to seeing Hamilton--in a few years.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Doc McStuffins Is More Than Just a Children's Show

Dear Disney,

We love you.

By we, I mean my beautiful little girl, Lotus, and to a lesser extent--me.

My love is the love of nostalgia. I remember sitting in a movie theater, my hands greasy with popcorn, watching Mary Poppins with my grandmother. I was so excited that I recognized her voice as Maria from The Sound Of Music (which I had seen on TV a few days before) I spilled the popcorn on Grandma. She was so excited, she went to get me more. I remember watching The Rescuers with my brother. He had been complaining that he had to babysit and take me to a  "baby" movie. By the end of the movie, he was planning to return with his friend.  That was Disney magic for me.

My daughter is one of the many who watch Frozen at least once a week. More than Frozen is her obsession (and, as a Trekkie  I don't use that word lightly) with your show PJ Masks. The day is not complete unless she can watch one of those episodes and ask the myriad four-year-old questions that come to her mind. She also loves The Lion Guard and, of course, Doc McStuffins.

Through my daughter's love of PJ Masks I watch how important representation is. You see my daughter is Asian, as is Owlette--her favorite PJ Mask. Representation changes "I love that superhero!" to "I could be that superhero!"

Now I hear that you are considering taking that representation away from millions of African-American children. Why would you do this? From everything I've read the show has a massive following and good ratings. It has won the NAACP Award and the Peabody award for excellence. It is not played out. Moreover it started the most amazing adoption storyline. One that again spells representation for many who are not represented.

Let me end with what happened on Christmas. Santa gave our daughter a beautiful "Frozen" doll kit.  In two seconds she was playing with it.  In two minutes Anna's arm broke off. The next day we went to the Disney store at the mall to see about getting it fixed or replaced. The absolutely amazing cast member examined the doll and then knelt down to talk to my daughter.

"Sweetie, this is a bit beyond me."She told my daughter. "But don't worry, We're going to send Anna to Doc McStuffins and she'll send her right back to you as soon as she can."

"Will she need the surgery?" Lotus asked. Tears were filling her little eyes. She had seen the episode where the toy required overnight surgery with the doc.

"I don't know," the lady said. "that's up to Doc."

"Will Doc hold her other hand?"

"I think Hallie usually does that when the doc is busy." Was the response. Lotus considered it and nodded.

"Thank you!" I said to the cast member.

"Don't thank me." She said with feeling. "Thank Doc McStuffins." Then she took my information and two weeks later we had a brand new Anna doll. For months whenever Doc McStuffins was on, Lotus would get Anna and watch with her. Why on earth would you take that away from the employees of your stores?

Please consider this my request to renew Doc McStuffins.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Microblog Monday--Happy Anniversary Mom

Dear Mom,

I have my first byline.  My first paid byline, mom!  It's in the online magazine Kveller. I think it is right--the name. That's what you would have been doing--you'd be kvelling.

Dad had his birthday and then, six days later was your anniversary.

It's a hard day.

For sixty-four years June nineteenth was a celebration of love. The kind of love that you had. The yell at each other, make up, hold hands for a while kind of love. The sleep in a chair by your love's hospital bed kind of love. That's what we celebrated every June Nineteenth. That's what my sister celebrated when she chose it as her wedding day.

Now, now it's a day where we try to act like we don't remember how you would do stuff. We made no mention of the fact that it was your anniversary when we celebrated father's day, and my sister's anniversary. No mention at all.

I didn't handle that part so well. Even though dad was with his new girlfriend, I had to talk about you. I had to remember you. We talked about you and baseball. How a client took you to the famous Don Larson Perfect Game. You came home sad and down because "No one hit anything. No one got a run. " We laughed. We missed you. I needed to remember.

I need to remember that your blood is still in my veins. Your heart still beats with my heart.  I am here. I am here and since I am, you are still here.

When I am gone. When I am where you are, my blood does not flow through Lotus' veins.  But my heart will still beat. I have given her my heart and yours too.

I miss you mom. Happy what would have been your 67th anniversary.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Schuyler Sister--IF Sister

Yesterday was the Tony Awards.

Since Lotus came home we have watched the beginning of the Tony Awards together.  The first time, when Neil Patrick Harris hosted, she adored. We kept it on our DVR for ages because she would love to watch the first number over and over. Then, when Hugh Jackman hosted the Tonys and began it by bouncing around Lotus jumped instead of walked for weeks. Last year she was getting over being sick, so I watched the Tonys after she went to sleep. Because Lotus loves some of the Hamilton soundtrack ("Play the shot song, mommy!" )  I was looking forward to watching some of the Tonys with her.

She liked the opening song, then got bored and played by herself for a bit. She's four, she does that now. But she crawled back on my lap when I started to cry listening to Renee Elise Goldsberry's acceptance speech.

Renee Elise Goldsberry played Angelica Schuyler in Hamilton. She won their first award of the night.  But the part of her speech that made me cry was this.

"and lastly I would just love to say that if you know anything about me, I've spent the last 10 years of my life what some would consider the life blood of a woman's career just trying to have children, and I can testify in front of all of you that the Lord gave me Benjamin and Brielle and then he still gave me this! Thank you!" 

I cried because there, at the pinnacle of her career, a woman spoke about infertility. I cried because there was someone who knew what I had gone through.  There was a woman who had spent time with a sore ass because of the meds and a battered heart as she cried after a failed cycle. 

She played a Schuyler sister, but she is my IF sister. She took the time out of her triumph to claim her kinship. I held my much-prayed-for child on my lap and cried tears of happiness for her triumph. 

When you are dealing with infertility and fighting the battle of your body you have comrades in arms. People you would never have imagined understand you and have been where you are. God bless you Renee Elise Goldsberry, and give you all the luck and craziness of your children. You have a sister here--in me. And if you wanted to get your sister tickets to Hamilton...I would't mind.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Trade Me by Courtney Milan

This book.

This book.

It blew me away.

I don't like the New Adult romance genre spawned by the 50 Shades trilogy as a general rule.  However when a story comes along like this I owe it to myself and romance fans to talk about it.

First, look at that beautiful non-white woman on the cover. I am so tired of the lack of diversity in romance that this was reason enough to buy this book.

Second, I would like to discuss a problem I have with most New Adult romance books.  Most books in the genre have a protagonist--or two--in college.  My issue has always been how come these college-educated people are doing such stupid things! The main characters in Trade Me talk about the decision making processes--such as they are.

Third, chemistry. Oh the chemistry between these two fully realized characters is so hot that if you put a container of ice-cream over the book it would melt!

Fourth, the organic use of characters. Tina--our heroine--has a roommate who used to be a man. Blake--our hero--is mourning the loss of his father's partner.  Any one of these characters and plot twists could, in the hands of a lesser author, be sensationalized. Here it is just a simple turn.

I think that's what I like most about this book--stunning simplicity. When done right simplicity makes for a wonderful romance.

Read this book and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

I'm with her

I was very moved by Hillary's speech.

I thought of my mom.

My mother voted for Hillary in 2008.

My mother was born in 1927. She was the second woman to graduate her university with a major of world trade. Now it would be called international finance.

Nothing offended my mother more than willful ignorance. I think it is understandable that she didn't like Sarah Palin.  But she wanted to see a woman president very much.

She would have liked yesterday.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Breaking the Fast

Work-wise and getting things done - wise, last week pretty much sucked.

However, as I plod along trying to take steps forward in my grief I believe I have turned a corner.

Last week, I read.

I don't mean read news sites and blog posts I mean books.
I don't mean I listened to books--though I am in the middle of a long audiobook and I listened to it.

I mean I read.

Five books in seven days.

Five new books that I have never read before.
Five books that are not written by Nora Roberts.

When my cousin, who lost both of her parents, told me that I would have problems reading, I didn't believe her.  Reading and books are what got me through bad times. To a point it still did. I was reading and rereading the work of Nora Roberts.  When I tried to read new books--I put them down.

Something happened. The dam of my TBR (to be read) pile crashed down and I picked up a new book and finished it. I grabbed another new book and did the same.  If I wasn't with my husband or daughter I was reading, getting lost in words and worlds. I was staying up late reading to find out what happens next. I plan to be reviewing some of the books in later posts, but I can say that the biggest surprise of the books was Trade Me by Courtney Milan.  Mainly because I don't like "New Adult" fiction usually--but this was a massive exception.

Anyone read any really good books lately? Because it seems that now I'm ready to.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Summary of current events

Here is my summary of current events:

Cincinnati gorilla

You weren't there. Kids get away quicker than you think. Stop berating the mother.

Bernie Sanders

I appreciate you staying in until the very end. That being said, the situation is no more rigged against you than it was against Hillary in 2008. Saying it is makes you look like a child. Condoning the violence and horrific harassment in Nevada lost you my vote. If you won't protect your democratic rival's rights, how do I know you will protect mine?

Hillary Clinton

I don't give a flying fig about your emails.  Turn the conversation to why the state department doesn't have better security than my gmail account.

Donald Trump

Shut up. Just shut up.

Anything else?

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day

My thoughts on this day were found on a bench in Edinburgh, Scotland.

"When you return, speak of us and say 'It was for your tomorrow that we gave our today.'"

Thank you to all who made the final sacrifice.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Cave 2005

Heeding Mel's oft repeated bit to make backups I went back to my first IF blog. I reread the posts about possible pregnancies, fertility treatments, a hailstorm of friend pregnancies and some bad stuff that my family said about adoption.  

Then I read this post. 
When I think of the post I wrote yesterday, I know it might seem like I have never been there. Now I'm happy but I never suffered. 

I suffered. 

Here is the proof that I know whereof I speak. Here is the proof that I walked the path some of you are now on and I get it. I grok it. I know. 


I've heard infertilty compared to islands and once a cave.  

Today I think the cave metaphor is more accurate. Sometimes everything just hurts. It generally happens around the time I get my period, but still I have these times where I just need to go into my cave.  

It's dark in the cave. But that's okay. I don't deserve sunshine. Sunshine is for people who's bodies work the way they are supposed to. Sunshine is for babies, not women who can't have them.  

It is wet in the cave. Tears, blood make for a wet atmosphere. Maybe it's the blood of a miscarriage or chemical pregnancy. The blood of countless periods that came even though I was sure this time that I actually was pregnant. The tears that happened during doctors visits. During tests while nurses berate me for crying. Telling me that this doesn't hurt when it felt like I was being raped with chemicals. Tests that are embarrasing, humiliating. I have to make a joke just to get through the day. Going to a second RE to be told that everything the first RE did was wrong and I spent money, time, and pain doing a treatment that was never going to work anyway. Tears when everything around you is breaking into little pieces. Friendships, marriage, sex.  

Sometimes I have company in the cave. Sometimes my husband is there with me, but more often I am alone. Reaching out across a sea of computers to touch others who have their own caves. Others who know that the cave is lonely but you can't be alone. You ache to be with others but only others who know what it is. They know what you want and how you are hurting.  

It has to be a cave because only stone can absorb the anger. And I get so angry. I try not to. I try to be okay, but when I need to go into the cave I bang my hands on the rock until they bleed. I am furious. I am furious at every woman who ever harmed her child. I am furious at everyone who ever gave me assvice.
"Just Relax."
"Have you ever thought about lifting your legs in the air after sex?"
"Why don't you just adopt?"  
"You aren't meant to have children until you recognize Jesus Christ as your personal savior."  
"You won't have children until your husband converts to Judaism."
"A low-carb diet helped a friend." 
"Become a vegetarian."
"You're just too fat to have children."
"Well of COURSE she doesn't have kids, her husband would have to sleep with her to do that and can you imagine anyone being that hard up?" (Overheard at one of my jobs from hell)

The cave is filled with every doubt I have ever had about myself. If I gave more to charity, If I was a better person, If I was a better wife, if I SOMETHING it would happen.  

There are days I can stand the sunlight. Days I can leave the cave behind me. I send away to adoption agencies. I look at countries, at children. I realize that I can be a mother and my parenting will be just as valid. Days I see a child in my arms and she has almond eyes, not the blue of me or my husband. But she laughs in my arms and calls me mama. She takes my hand and says 'Mama come see.' And I know, I do know, that she will keep me too busy to go back into the cave.  

But she's a dream right now. And my other dreams have turned to shit. I can't believe with the innocence that I had that I will have that child. I can't believe that everything will work out all right, because I believed that once, and I wound up here, in this cave.  

I sometimes think that the worst part of the cave is that I am the only one who is able to crawl out of it. No one can come and lift me out of the depression. I have to decide that I want to leave the cave. I have to pull myself to my feet and walk my bruised and battered soul out into the sunlight. But the cave is safe, and I am safe from the slings and barbs of my own psyche and society that decides that a child's face can sell anything. A society that values the children far more than they do the parents is painful to me. Hiding in the cave is good. But I don't want to be here. And I inch myself to the mouth of the cave and it is dark and the stars shine down on me. I once believed my child was up there, waiting for the right moment to have me hold him or her. But now they are stars, and the night air smells sweet. And I can stay at the mouth of the cave for a bit, and wait for the sun to rise.

Monday, May 23, 2016

The View from the Continent - Microblog Monday

A long time ago--and by that I mean about a decade or so--when the blogosphere was young, someone coined the term Infertility Island.  Don't know who did, but the term was apt.  Infertility Island is where you stopped until you had your positive pregnancy test, adoption referral, or decided that it was enough.

I have Lotus. She got me off the island. 

This past week, I met up with a friend who I met on the Island.  We clicked in that way people do when you are in the same situation.  We actually clicked more.  I get her. She gets me. 

Our log-in dates were close to each other and we thought that we would be if not traveling together, then we would have our children close together.  For reasons that are not mine to tell, she had to drop out of the China Adoption program.  I cried when I heard that. I cried for our dreams coming to a halt.  

Then I got Lotus and all of my priorities shifted. I left Infertility Island for the parenting continent. Instead of shots and peeing on sticks I was talking my child to playgrounds.  Instead of crying myself to sleep because I didn't have a child, I would listen to her sleep and fight becoming a helicopter parent. 

I can't say I've never looked back to the Island. I have too many friends there who took the path that led off of it without children. I ache for them. My sister left Infertility Island for life without parenting. Other friends chose different paths.

Sometimes I see people look at Lotus and I see the hunger.  I get it. I grok it. I fear it. I worry that something will happen to Lotus.  I wish I could wave a magic wand and let my friends and sister be the wonderful parents they were meant to be. I can't though so I brush my sadness for them off and hold my daughter's hand. I'm fine when she reaches her other hand to them because then my Lotus has someone else to love her.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Blood ties

I tend to belittle blood ties.
Hmmm, maybe belittle is not the word.

I understand and appreciate blood ties, but when people say to me, "You can't possibly love your adopted daughter like I love my daughter because she isn't your blood." I roll my eyes and take a step back from the speaker, often both metaphorically and physically.

I have a biological sister. I love her.

I have a sister that I chose for myself in my first week of college.  I love her too.

In my heart there is truly no difference. I often introduce the latter as my sister--something that kinda gets my bio sister upset. That being said, I often don't understand it, I don't love my b-sister less, I couldn't possibly. Somewhere along the line, with my non-bio sister, the word "friend" just didn't seem to cut it.

Anyway, blood ties--not a thing.

Then there was yesterday.

We are in California visiting my Aunt and Uncle. They are celebrating their 72nd wedding anniversary--and that wasn't a typo.

My Aunt is my mom's older sister. Though over 90 she traveled from CA to NY when mom passed. She said that she was there when mom came into the world and she would perform the mitzvah of burying her. She did--bent over with her own grief she did.

Yesterday after a incredibly long and traffic filled drive we arrived to meet them and I took my Aunt's hand.

More often than not I don't think about her being my mom's sister--seriously if you met my aunt you'd understand, she's in a class by herself. Yesterday I held her hand and it felt like I was holding Mom's hand. Her touch was the same.  We sat while eating dinner, holding each other's hands. I wasn't about to let go, neither was she. We were both looking for a link to mom and found it in each other.

I love my Aunt, and she loves me. Yesterday when I held my aunt's hand I also held my mom's. Yesterday when she held my hand she held a link to her sister.  The blood is there and so is the love. Maybe it's when they aren't together, that's when people say don't forget blood.

Monday, May 9, 2016

That mothers day when I sucked - Microblog Monday

So yesterday was Mother's day.  And after years of waiting and dreading this holiday I had a holiday with my beautiful Lotus.

My father and inlaws were here too.

And I did not have a good day. I like to make this blog about Hallmark moments, good moments, sad moments, but seriously this wasn't a good time, a good day, and I don't look good when I talk about it.

First we went to get our pictures done--and that went fine.  My dad left for his Mother's day with his girlfriend. (Is it really weird to talk about a 88 year old man's companion as a girlfriend or is it just me?) Nevertheless, that is probably when I started cooking.

I kinda wanted him with me.
Did I say that? No. Did I even register it consciously until I started to write this blog post? Also no.

So I started cooking in my mind.

Prior to this D and I had a tiff because I was annoyed that the place where I wanted to have Mothers Day Brunch A) wasn't doing it this year  (was closed for the day) and B) Why in all hell was I the one to make Mother's Day Reservations since I was the mother.

So poor D, went nuts trying to find a good mothers day brunch the day before mother's day.  He found a mother's day brunch but it wasn't good and the lack of care they took with cross contamination of my allergies meant I couldn't eat. At first they wouldn't let me order off the usual menu. Then they saw me sitting there like a bad Yelp review ready to happen and they let me order off the usual menu but it wasn't very good.

My Mother In Law was angry because I was not grinning and bearing it. To tell the truth I was angry at myself that I wasn't just grinning and bearing it. Well we left and got ice cream and it was marginally better. Then we went home because my in-laws were going to watch Lotus while D and I were going to watch Superheroes save the world. We left Lotus wondering why we had to go out and of course the time we wanted to see was sold out.

And I lost it.

I was crying, yelling at D, blaming him, blaming me. This day sucked sucked sucked! I had waited and waited and I wanted this perfect day! Why couldn't anyone understand that! My mom would have understood it!

And there it was.

I wanted my mother.  Somehow she'd have made it all right. D and I hugged and then we got the uber expensive Imax tickets.  The movie made me sane again.

Today I cringe at how I was yesterday--but it's real. Sometimes I am not a nice person, and well, today I'm owning it. I remember some of the Mothers' days with my mother. How sometimes she'd be sad, or in a bad mood, and I didn't understand. Now, in the light after that day, I realize that my grandmother, my mother's mother, died when I was seven years old. I don't have many memories of her. It occurs to me how mom must have been missing my grandmother on Mother's day. She must have ached for her, and hated hearing how the whole family was together--as sometimes it was--on mother's day.

So, I'm my mother's daughter.
And I can only hope that next year will be better.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Why Holocaust Remembrance Day Matters

The first time I remember hearing about the Holocaust I was in grade school. The music teacher, talked about a man who was in charge and didn't like anyone who didn't have blonde hair and blue eyes. Since I had blue eyes it didn't scare me.

I went home and asked my mother about it and she explained more about Hitler and what it would have meant to our family because we were Jewish. This started a fascination with the Holocaust that grew as I met survivors.

Most of the survivors I met have joined their families in the afterlife. The full-throated NEVER AGAIN has diminished to Never Again and soon will diminish further as we lose the survivors to history.

I have been told that those who lived through World War II have been very concerned about the rise of Donald Trump. It brings back many memories for them. A man who panders to the worst of people and allows--no--encourages violence at his rallies helps the World War II comparisons.

So what can we do?

Do you know someone who isn't registered to vote--help them to register today.

See how you can help the congressional and Senate races.  If you can't get behind Hillary Clinton, find someone who you can behind.

Don't forget.

Don't forget that Hitler came to power because good people did nothing.

Don't forget that Hitler came to power because people did not take his Jew-hating talk seriously.

Don't forget that Hitler caused a lot of problems before he was stopped.

Don't forget!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Picture it--Long Island in the '80s

Yeah, I know, blame it on the fact that I've been watching way too many Golden Girls reruns...

But seriously

Long Island.
I was on my high school's cross country track team.
I didn't run very fast but I liked it.

Two of the people on the track team were twins. Identical. I'd be lying if I said I could tell them apart.
They were funny and always kind to me.

I found out today that one of them committed suicide.

I hadn't thought of either of the twins for decades, and yet I feel terrible.  I remember that smile. I remember how they used to go as each other for Halloween.

And yes, I think of the Weasley twins --as they were both redheads.
I think about the surviving twin and how he won't be able to make a patronus, and how every mirror is the mirror of Erised.

Wind to thy wings Charles. The world is less bright without you in it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

If Hillary were a man

Yesterday Donald Trump said how if Hillary Clinton were a man, she wouldn't get five percent of the vote.

As with many things I have to disagree. If Hillary Clinton were a man, she would have beaten Barack Obama in 2008. The only thing she didn't have on her resume in 2008 was International experience.  It goes without saying that she has filled that part in her experience.

I have to believe that even women who don't like Hillary will draw away from Trump's misogyny should this two become the eventual nominees. I have to believe it.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Microblog Mondays - Today


My contract ended and I am not employed.


I took time to exercise--walking a half mile on a  beautiful Monday Morning.


I took an extra half hour to hug, cuddle, and play with this child who calls me mommy.


I took note of possible writing gigs and made notes of what I will want to write and maybe--be paid for it!

Is the first day in my new freelance career. I am keeping my eyes wide open and leaping.

I'm hoping I soar. If I fall I will leap again.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Dear new owners of the house where I grew up

It's happened.

An offer has come on the house where I grew up. It has been accepted an a closing date has been set.

I want to beg Dad not to sell it.
I want to have it sold already.

But it is the house where I grew up.  I want to write a letter to the new owners and this is what I think it will say.

Dear new owners.

I grew up in this house. My earliest memories were of sliding down the stairs on my butt. Allow me to let you know some things about it.

The rungs on the bannister look wider than they are. Ask my brother. He got his head stuck between them. Mom called the fire department and expected them to cut through the bars, instead they poured a massive amount of cooking oil on his head. To the kids growing up--don't try it, it really sucks.

When you are in the basement, the house creaks. You will swear on a stack of bibles that there is someone else in the house. Nope. That's just the way it is.

My bedroom, the one that's pink now, is the warmest room in the winter and the coolest room in the summer. Yeah, you might like to have the big bedroom with the bathroom attached as the master bedroom--but if you are as sensitive to temperature as I am, take my room. It's good.

This house knew love. The kind that lasts lifetimes. My parents were the only owners of the house and they were married nearly 65 years. 54 of them were spent in this house. My oldest sister grew from toddler to adult in this house. My brother and I grew from newborns to adult in this house. This is the house where we hung out as teenagers, we held parties, and kissed our boyfriends (okay my boyfriends) at the front door. Grandchildren came to play in this house. The step that leads to the den from the stairs is called the evil step because every one of the grandchildren took a header on it. But afterwards they learned. This house rang with the laughter of a family with a good sense of humor. Yes this house knew tears, but when we wept, we didn't weep alone as the spirits of love remembered kept us company.

This is also the house where my mother died. I'm not telling you that to scare you or make this morbid. That is why my father is selling it, because when I come to the house I expect to see my mother in the kitchen, or coming up from the office in the basement, and it still hurts that she won't. We had a wonderful time in this house, and now it is your turn.

I have wishes for you.
May you make the house ring with laughter. The acoustics are such that if someone is laughing in the den, you can hear them upstairs.
May your children discover that if you talk about them in the basement office they can hear you in my room (the pink one).
May you have many meals where both ovens are used.
May there be a blackout--just cold enough that you sleep in front of the fireplace. I remember those nights of my childhood very well.
Fill this house with as much kindness, arguments, laughter, shouting, and love that we did.  It's a tall order but we are wishing that a family enjoys this house as much as we did.

Gd bless.

(and, if you find a wedding ring in the corners of the house, please return it to me. It was my mother's.)

Monday, April 4, 2016

Dear Mom - 2 years out.

Dear Mom,

It's been two years since Dad called--his voice nearly unrecognizable--and said, "Honey, she's gone." It wasn't a surprise. You said, often, you wanted to go "fast and first" and you did.  First being that you didn't have to wake a single day in a world where Dad wasn't.  Fast--well that is a relative term. You meant to have a heart attack. But the cancer that was discovered in October, left you bedridden in  late February and took you in April was plenty damn quick.

I remember clearly how at 5:30 in the morning I woke up. I glanced at the clock, I got up and waited for the phone to ring. I was so sure you were gone. I called dad at 8:00, but he told me no, you were still alive, only to call back three hours later with the news. I told this to my sister and brother and father and all of us woke up at 5:30 or within 10 minutes of the time.  No idea what that was.

It was monumentally unfair that after years of trying to have a child, waiting for the adoption that I never had a mother's day when I was both mother and child. You got to meet our Lotus and hold her, but she won't remember you--and I hate that.

You would have loved that I've been working the past year with audiobooks.

I remember your likes and dislikes sharper than when you were alive. I remember your scent and the strong way your hands moved. I remember how you would cut an onion, potato, or apple in the palm of your hand and never use a cutting board. I kept buying you cutting boards for Mother's day, your birthday, Chanukah.  Two of them I found after--unused.

Listing the things I don't miss about you would take a shorter time.

I miss your voice and your assertion that "everything happens for the best." I don't believe it now, anymore than I did then. But I miss you saying it.  

I think what I miss most about missing you is Dad. He's not with you--not yet, and I have some idea on how much work he has had to do not to just will himself to your side. But my strong Papa is gone. He's far more indecisive than I have ever seen him. He's more fearful too-- fearful of driving, fearful of stuff.  By your side he could do anything. The two of you could do anything. I miss that.  

I'm getting along--like you told me to, but you never taught me how to get along without you so I'm winging it most of the time.