How much is too much….. is it ever enough…

Perhaps if I blogged about my feelings instead of sharing them with everyone, then things may not be where they are right now….. no, no – there is more to it than that.  Though, I will admit that I am over emotional and I share my feelings too much – if such a thing is possible.  Yep, an over-sharer.. that’s what I am.  My question is, how much am I willing to put up with from another person?  Obviously no one is like me and I can’t expect them to act as I do… but if I tell 10 different people the same story and they all give me the same reaction, then doesn’t it justify my feeling?  Haha… no.  I realize that the stories are all from my point of view.

Anyway, here is my story about this.  My man never owns up to anything…. ANYTHING.    It just dawned on me the other day that during the duration of our relationship, he has not ever owned up to one single thing.  He lied to me at the beginning of our relationship and when I called him on it he still didn’t own up to it.  Now if I bring it up, which I can’t, he tells a different story… the way I see it, when it comes to admitting something or showing emotion or admitting some fault on his part, he starts weaving this tangled web of confusion that points everywhere and at everyone but himself. Then he gets totally defensive and tries to turn it around on me. See, I have talked about this with so many other people (part of my healing process) that I can’t even express myself the way that I want to.

Moving on, the biggest point of contention is the fact that he is not divorced yet.. yeah that’s right… If I would have known what the relationship was when we met, then I would have walked away. But, I was lied to and therefore the choice was made for me.  Doesn’t that suck that when we meet a total stranger that is from somewhere else, we have to believe whatever it is they tell us about themselves and any relationship they may or may not have? You would think that some people have an issue with lying about some things – I never did and never would – but they don’t. So 3 years and a baby later, here we still are and he is not divorced yet. The worst part is…he doesn’t think or won’t acknowledge that this hurts me. It’s like if he doesn’t acknowledge it than it can’t be true. For 3 years he has put everything else first and made everything else a priority…. and I am just supposed to put a smile on my face and pretend that I’m ok with that……..

I have to go now, there is a little boy climbing on my leg and it’s past his bed time…

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Who moved the trees?

I have stood here in this exact spot before and looked out this same window.  It was at a different point in my life, but the view looks the same.  The scenery is the same…. the grass, the trees, the deck…. there is a shed now and some useless poles are gone but otherwise…yep, the same view.  I wonder now what I thought about before when I looked out this window.  Did I think that my life was good?  That I was lucky to be where I was?  Was I content in the direction that my life was going?  Did I want more?  I wish I could remember…. 

Sometimes I wonder if I ever have been or ever will be happy.  If I get what I think I want, what then?  Will I be happy then?  When I looked out this window before, was I wondering the same thing?  It just seems a little strange that I would be here, in this same place looking out the same window at the same view when I am at such a different place in my life…. or am I?  Did I need to come full circle in order to move on?  Maybe I have not changed, maybe my life has not changed…… maybe someone has moved the trees……….

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Where has the time gone? :-/

I have all of these thoughts just floating around in my head…floating over and over and over again becuase I can’t ever seem to find the time to log on here and type them out.  That’s why I started this blog in the first place, so that I could express myself as I wanted and then feel better mentally that I had gotten things off my chest – or at least that was the idea.  I’ll tell you in once sentence what keeps me from blabbering on a regular basis…..

I have a child.

There, that’s it.  I still have both hands and both arms and I can still see the screen and type – but that’s where my time has gone.  Every time I get a free moment, my brain is crowded with thoughts of things that I should be doing – things other than taking a moment to type the stress away – laundry, dishes, cleaning, cooking…..etc. 

My life has changed in so many ways.  Mostly for the better.  I’m not sure that the path I was on before was a good one.  It’s hard, or should I say it’s harder than the life I had before I had a long term relationship and a child.  Being a mother is HARD.  To me, there is nothing harder in life than raising a child.  But I guess I need to keep telling myself that mothers have been doing it for a long, long, time (my mother did it!) so I am sure that I can get through it too.

My question today is, how do you know if you’re saved?  I’m speaking on religion, which maybe is too much of an opinionated topic, but I can’t seem to get it off my mind.  Although, in this moment, right now, I think I have just answered my own question.  I mean, if I have to ask it then I must not be saved, right??  Is that how that works?  My first introduction to religion was Quakerism.   And for many years thereafter that was the only religion that I knew.  Only recently have I been visiting other religions to see what else is out there. 

That’s all for now…. there is sooooo much more that I need to say, but I dont’ want to blow the laptop up.  I am going to make it my mission to try and log on at least once a week, if not more to express myself… becuase I think it’s sooo important to BE YOURSELF.


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First I would like to say thank you to anyone who has taken the time to read my blog and especially to those who have left comments.  Being that most comments were left in regards to the “Im so tired..” blog, it makes me feel uplifted that there are other people (even complete strangers) out there that can understand, sympathize, support, and offer helpful advice.  One particular gentleman could not get his comment to post and so I am posting it in my blog because he took the time to write it and I found it particularly helpful.  

He wrote: 

nice blog btw. saw that you are having problems with diets.  i ran an organic cafe and health food store for several years and would suggest staying away from anything that has “Diet” in the name.  they are all scams are don’t give you any long term benefits.  A lot of the diet products have chemicals (aspartame, msg, etc.) that actually make you hungrier so you buy more products.  they also make you addicted and sick.  without getting into a long winded discussion about drugs and surgery and the pitfalls, i would suggest the following ten steps to get you rolling.  there are many more but these should help.

  1) Drink 6 – 8 filtered glasses of water each day including one when you first wake up in the morning.  2) Eat organic and as much raw fruits and vegetables as possible.  3) Stay away from fast-food and chain restaurants – their food is full of chemicals. bring or make your own food!  4) Take a whole food supplement (i.e. garden of life).  Stay away from most vitamins – they are made in laboratories.  

5) Take digestive enzymes at each meal, especially if you are not eating any raw foods. (enzymatic is good).  Also detoxing your body may be great!  Doing a master cleanse or such may be a great way to start.  

6) Don’t eat after 7 pm (or as close as possible)

  7) Eat a large breakfast and small dinner and eat when you are hungry and don’t eat if you are not!   8) Make sure you have Omega fats in your diet (wild salmon, flax oil, flax seeds are good sources)  

9) Keep your PH of your body balanced.  Eat foods that will help to balance your PH of your body. Disease cannot exist in a perfectly balanced body. You can buy PH balance by enzymatic that will help you or get a chart that lists the foods that are akalaine vs. acidic and try to balance it that way.  This might be the most important step!

  10) Sleep 7.5 hours a day (5 sleep cycles), walk 45 – 60 minutes a day and focus on your breathe when you are stressed.    There are many more things you can do but this is a start.  You will probably lose 10 pounds in your first month doing these simple things, even if you only do 3 or 4 of them.  Check with your physician before doing any of this, though, just in case you have medical condidtions that might interfere.    Peace, Joy & Love,  




First of all, thank you!  So many things there I didn’t know!  I completely agree that “diets” of any form are scams.  I just think that it’s a shame that people like me get so frustrated and tired of being overweight that they feel they have no where else to go but to waste money on “diets”.  I am happy to report though, that since I posted that blog I am 35lbs and many sizes less of a person and I am still losing.  There are a couple of things that I will credit my weight loss to.  One of them may be surprising, based on what I just said about diets.  

 First, I got it out of my head that a “diet” was going to help me lose weight.  I stopped counting calories and I stopped depriving myself of foods that I enjoyed the most.  One night while watching TV, I happened upon a fellow from Europe name Paul McKenna that was talking about things that people could do to lose weight.  I did not think that this was the ultimate answer to losing weight, but I watched his program and really thought about what he said.  One of the things that stuck with me was “eat only when your hungry and when you think you might be getting full – stop”.  This might be normal for people that don’t have a problem with their weight, but for the rest of us who enjoy food or eat for reasons other than hunger – it’s alot harder than it sounds.  He also pointed out that watching tv or reading while eating a meal distracts us from the flavor of the food and results in a “shoveling” eating manner.  He advised putting the fork and knife down in between bites and actually taking the time to taste the food.  So, I took to heart the things that made the most sense to me and seemed easy enough to do.  The best part of that was whether or not it worked or failed – it didn’t cost me any money.  Doing these small things actually changed my mindset about food.  I stopped thinking about food all of the time.  I stopped thinking that I had to eat everything that was in front of me or that if I didn’t eat everything that was offered, the world would change tomorrow and there would be a huge food shortage and I would regret it (yes, this thought actually crossed my mind).   

The rest I will attribute to good ol fashioned diet and exercise.  I joined a gym – Curves to be specific.  Doesn’t take alot of time out of my day, it’s all women that are pretty much in the same boat as me, the hours work and I can go when I want.  Getting to the gym is the hardest step, but once you get there and start exercising consistently, it gets easier and you find that you are more willing to participate in other activities.  After a couple months at the gym, I took up kayaking and frisbee.  I take my dog for regular walks and actually enjoy it.  The best part is that I am more willing to do outdoor activities with my 7yr old nephew.  The diet part is not so much a “diet” but more like eating healthier.  While I would love to eat more organic, the truth is that for me it is just too expensive.  But, I did start eating “fresher”.  I started cooking alot more and with fresher ingredients.  I included alot more fruits and vegetables in my meals so that when I do get hungry – I am eating foods that are better for me.  I found that after awhile I did not want to eat out or eat junk.  I stopped eating chips and sweets and the majority of packaged foods because I just didn’t have a taste for them anymore.   Fortunately for me, I happen to love water and have always been able to drink alot in one day.  Thank goodness I don’t care for soda and I only drink one cup of coffee in the mornings, 5 days a week.  I will say that if I start to feel hungry again shortly after I have already eaten, I will drink water and the hunger goes away.  

I know that not everyone can do this, but I did change my life which is what prompted most of this.  I was in a very stressful relationship.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but the overwhelming stress and general unhappiness led to alot of my weight problems.  Not only have I lost weight, but my self esteem and general well being has improved too.    

So thank you everyone for your support and advice, it is certainly most appreciated!!  


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It’s amazing…..

It’s amazing to me that sometimes you really do live and learn.  I have been fortunate in that I am able to look back at my past relationships and learn from them.  It took me several tries but I think I have finally figured it out.  First, I have ended my relationship with Chuck.  Well, we still talk and for the sake of the dogs (yes they really can be like children and I never thought that I would be one of THOSE people, but here I am anyway) we still see each other.  But, I don’t live with him anymore.  I realize now – or perhaps I should say that I am ready to admit now – that I didn’t love him in the way that a woman should love a man and my decision to move in with him had more to do with me wanting to take the easy road than me actually wanting to spend the rest of my life with him.  I am soooo grateful now that we did not get married because in the beginning I would have married him – because I was 100% committed at the time.  Anyway, spending 2 years of my life with him helped me to realize what I truly want and need in life for myself and what I want and need from someone else.  I think to figure this out at only 28 is truly a gift, but I guess there are some that think I am a little slow out of the gate.   Anyway, I have some advice which I will gladly pass on to those who would like to have it.  First, take a cue from the dogs.  Their whole lives are dedicated to doing what makes them happy – so take the time to find out what makes you happy and do it.  Being happy is not overrated, it is part of life.  Second, no 2 people should have to change who they are in order to be with each other.  Yes, compromise is part of a relationship and yes, relationships are something that 2 people have to work at.  But, if you have to change to make the other person happy and vice versa, then there is no point in being together.  You can’t expect someone to love you for who you are if you have to change who you are for them.  I think alot of people don’t realize this until its too late and until they think they are too far into a relationship to change things.  Third, taking the easy road does not necessarily mean that you’ll be happy.  The easy road can be alot of different things for different people, but for me it meant not having to pay all of the bills all of the time and being able to spend money on what I wanted to and not what I needed to.  I have learned that being independent and on my own, in charge of my life, is the only way that I will be happy.  Fourth, a physical relationship is just as important as an emotional one.  If the spark is not there, it’s not there and it will never be there no matter how much you want it to be.  Fifth, sometimes you just need to say “it is what it is” and move on.  No sense in letting other people tell you what is right and wrong for YOUR life.  Who cares?  If you are letting what other people think hold you back from doing something, then you need to step back and ask yourself, “does it make me happy?”  If the answer is yes, then who cares what other people think. And finally, when in Oxford DO NOT do as the Oxfordians do………

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Pain in the…….

I was just reading over my last blog – which seem to be few and far between – and in doing so I have managed to make myself feel like such crap that I want to hide under the desk until I no longer feel hunger pangs.  Needless to say, the whole diet program that I was on in January did not work out.  We’ll just call it NS for short and in truth I would only recommend this to someone that has no taste buds.  I started out with a bang and gave the program my all….. I followed all of the rules and ate only what I was supposed to, when I was supposed to.  I kept up with the journal too……. for the first 2 weeks.  After that, it became annoying to try and log what I ate and how much 6 times a day….. seriously, who has time for that??  I think the program would have been alot easier to follow had the food not tasted so bad.  Half of the time I had know idea what I was eating, and when I did have an idea it was that I was eating dog food.  My opinion (after my donation of $300 to NS) is that you can’t make foods forbidden.  Like ice cream for example.  I don’t eat it all the time, I don’t go crazy when I do eat it but when I told myself that I can’t have it…….EVER or at least for a month, I found myself standing in front of the feezer wistfully staring at a carton whilst I drooled.  Same goes for pizza.  I love pizza and just because NS advertises that they provide pizza as part of the meals, doesn’t mean that’s what it actually is and that you would get any kind of satisfaction from eating it.  All of these diets talk about eating x number of times a day so that you’re never hungry – what malarkey.  I don’t eat because I’m hungry….I eat for other unknown (to me) reasons.  Bottom line, it didn’t work – for me.  It’s a shame that I had to waste that much money to find that out.  So, on to the next one.  Maybe I should just skip the “I tried every diet in the book” phase and jump right to the surgical procedure.  On one positive note, I did lose some inches and a couple of pounds.  This was encouraging and I think that if I had stayed on the program, I may have lost more weight – but the food was just soooo gross that I couldn’t do it to myself.  That and I knew that by making some of my favorite foods “forbidden”  I would only binge on them later at some point. In other news, I had to stop exercising and my whole world pretty much came to a halt when I found out that I had to get surgery right away…… on me bum.  Yep, that’s right – surgery on the ol keester.  Ok, so maybe it wasn’t directly on my cheeks, but close enough to be a pain in the ass (I have so many puns right now in my head it’s just not right).  Since by butt surgery, I’ve been pretty bummed out…….. ba dum bum ching.   Ok, sorry – that was uncalled for.  Anyway, maybe some other unlucky soul out there in this world has heard of a medical condition called a pionidal cyst.  It’s a cyst that forms on the bottom of your tailbone.  It’s congenital (you’re born with it) but most people don’t know they have it until between the ages of 16-25.  My lucky discovery came about when I was 16 and my father was on vacation.  Suddenly, within a matter of days, there appeared this walnut size lump on my tailbone.  It hurt like hell and was VERY uncomfortable.  I had to go to the hospital, of course, so every nurse and doctor and general lackey in the place could look at my ass and exclaim what a sight it was.  I had to have it lanced there (I keenly remember NOT getting any local anesthetic for this) which hurt like hell and then I was on my merry way.  The cyst didn’t bother me again until I was in my early 20’s.  Then, once again, it grew to the size of a golf ball (this may be a slight exaggeration of size, but when something bigger than a pore starts growing on your tailbone, it feels like a bowling ball).  I went to the doctor to have it lanced again and this guy actually used anesthetic.  He told me that most people have this cyst surgically removed, so I looked into it.  What I found were accounts of people who had suffered through the recovery process only to have the damn thing come back later on.  So, I went on with my life and tried to ignore the little bump on my ass.  And then it happened…… at work one day and within a couple of hours, the thing was the size of a walnut again.  Let me take a minute here to explain exactly what a pionidal (I’m quite sure I have that spelled wrong) cyst is.  It’s when a hair follicle grows in instead of out and it forms a little sac around itself.  After awhile, the follicle becomes agitated and the sac fills up with pus and bacteria.  No, this is not pretty so if you’re easily grossed – skip out now.  Most people do as I did and just have the cyst lanced (they make a small cut and drain out the pus) and life goes on.  However, in my case in this particular instance, the sac of pus broke open on the inside.  So all that fun stuff spilled out into my body and got all of the surrounding tissue and muscle infected.  I know, the nerve.  When I went to the doctor this time, he told me as much and he told me that I had to take antibiotics for the infection.  When he came into the room I was already belly down on the table with a cloth over my ass (I assumed the position as I had done this a few times before).   No big, except that bigness (walnut size) of the area would not go down until the antibiotics kicked in.  He also said that I had to have the cyst removed right away or bacteria would just keep forming and draining into my system.  What kind of surgeon does this?, I ask.  A butt surgeon, he says.  We both had a chuckle and then moved on.  I had the surgery a week later and let me tell you, the recovery has (I am still recovering after 5 weeks) been one of the most difficult and definitely the most painful experience that I have been through in awhile.  It’s been hard on me and hard on Chuck who has had to change my packing every day for the last 5 weeks.  My wound has to heal from the inside out, so there was no cut and stitch during my surgery.  And now, I am left with a hole that I have to slowly let heal…… very uncomfortable.  If anyone has one of these cysts, and it doesn’t bother them – don’t have the surgery.  On the other hand, I had to miss 2 weeks of work and I have a desk job where I sit all day.  So going back to work wasn’t fun either.  If I would have known what this process would be like when I was younger, I would have had it done then when all I did was lay around and do nothing all day anyway.  Quite literally, a pain in the ass.

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I am so tired…….

I have finally reached point in my life where I am tired of being overweight. I am tired of not looking at myself in the mirror because it makes me sick to my stomach. I am tired of always being conscience of what I look like to other people – tired of what shirts show what rolls or what pants show what dimples. I am tired of the way it makes me feel when someone is talking to me and their eyes wander down to my stomach as they take a glance at my roll. I am tired of walking into a store to buy clothes feeling normal and walking out frustrated and hating myself. I am tired of not being looked by men the way that I used to – or feeling that way about myself for that matter. I am tired of thinking “I don’t look good, I just look less fat in this outfit.” I am tired of worrying if I will exceed the weight limit on something – like a ride at a park or a boat. I am tired of looking into a crowd of people and thinking only “I wish I had her body.” or “I wish I looked like that.” I am tired of people lying to my face when I call myself fat, they say – “no, you’re not fat you’re just a little overweight.” Or “your not fat, you’re just big boned.” I am fat, and I know I’m fat, I know when you look at me you see that I am fat. I am tired of being the biggest person in the room. I am tired of being the biggest person at my entire company. I am just sick and tired of being overweight.

I have tried diets, eating right and in small quantities. I even cut beef out of my diet. I tried not eating any junk foods or sweets. I joined Curves once and wasted a hell of a lot of money on that. Thus far I have not been able to find something that works for me. It is not about finding something that makes you lose weight, it is about finding something that you can do, realistically. Something that will fit into your life, not something that you need to change your life to fit to. The things that I tried before didn’t work for me because they weren’t something that I could realistically fit into my life. My sister told me that she wanted to lose weight and that she didn’t want to spend her 30’s being fat. That really hit home with me. At 28, I don’t want to spend my 30’s being fat either. I didn’t spend all of my 20’s being fat, but the older I get the more weight I seem to put on and at the rate I’m going I would have to spend half of my 30’s trying to lose all of the weight I put on in my 20’s. I told myself and my bf (boyfriend) that if I got enough money this year for Christmas, I was going to spend it to join one of the weight loss programs that I always wanted to try but never had the money for. So, that’s what I did.

I realized after I placed the order and the boxes with the food arrived what a huge commitment this is. There is no way that I would want to have spent that much money on something and not give it my very best shot. I mean it cost me more in one month for a weight loss program than it did for my car payment and car insurance. I think now that the reason for the cost of the program may just be to add to the determination. And, I signed up for 2 months so I could get the discount…… so now I really have to stick with it. No way am I spending that kind of money and not losing any weight because I don’t stick to the program.

Anyway – day one has come and gone (it was yesterday). I realized alot of things about myself and about my life on the very first day. First, this program seems dooable. I mean, the food is ok tasting (so far) and you get to supplement it with veggies, dairy, fruit, and breads (sometimes). I actually look forward to planning my meals everyday and making a grocery list for the week. I like how my cart looks too, when it’s full – like I am eating healthy. For the first time I feel like this is something that I can stick with and learn from so that when I’m not paying an arm and a leg to lose weight, I will still make good choices and keep the weight off. That may have something to do with the fact that I am totally disgusted with myself and my weight at this point….huh… I also realized that I am a compulsive eater. It’s not that I’m hungry or I always even like what I am eating, it is a compulsive reaction to everything. It takes alot of will power to walk by or see something that I want and not eat it. And it all adds up. A handful of peanuts here, a chocolate kiss there. I don’t eat it because I’m hungry, I eat it because it’s habit and I can’t help myself. I am an over-indulger, if there is such a word. I can’t have just 2 pieces of pizza and stop when I’m full, I have to have 4 pieces and stuff myself. Trying to retrain myself and reach deep down to find some will power to resist these temptations and not succumb to old habits is really, truly one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Even on this program, once I start eating and everything is gone I find myself looking around for something else to eat. It is especially hard at work. Here I am, first day of the diet (happens to be a Monday), I walk into work after having eaten part of my breakfast portion and feeling kinda good about myself – and there it is……. the tray of homemade brownie things just sitting there on the counter of the reception area…. calling me….. I could smell them as soon as I walked in the door. ALL DAY…..all day I had to walk by them every single time I went to the fax machine or the rest room or anywhere in the office for that matter. Talk about a test of will power and commitment…… my very first day. It was torture. But what can I do? I noticed that I tend to think about eating and actually eat more if I am able to plainly view food. e.g. chips on the counter, chocolates in the jar, cookies on a plate, etc. The first thing I did when I received the program food, was go through my own kitchen and get rid of anything that was in plain sight. My bf is not on a diet so I can’t ignore his likes, but I can put them in the bread box or the pantry and hide them in the fridge or the freezer. But when I’m at work, I can’t ask these people to hide the food from me. Or even to keep it in the kitchen. Are you kidding me? I am the only one at the company who is overweight and that is MY problem, not theirs. So, one day at a time….. and it is hard…. but I soooo much want to lose weight and feel good about myself again. I want people to look at me because I look good, not look at me and wonder why I’m so fat and if I just lost a little weight I would look good. I find myself wondering when I will be able to go to a movie theater – how can I go now when eating popcorn and watching a movie go hand in hand? I worry about my sister’s b-day party this weekend… do I be rude and take my program food or do I try to eat what is there and still be able to keep it in my calorie range? I was just asked to go to some sort of customer appreciation dinner with my coworkers and I had to tell them no. I’m not ready for that. But I do need to take one day at a time, day by day. It’s a good mantra.

So, don’t wish me luck – wish me strength and willpower to take back control of my body and my life.


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Must be a pickle….

Tis the season to be sappy – no, just kidding (sort of).  But, this time of year does make me think of my dear friend Carol who (I want to say the word died here, but she was murdered….. so yea, she did die but it wasn’t of like natural causes or and accident or anything like that)……… where was I?  Oh yes.  Carol.  It was around this time 2 years ago that we buried Carol.  Because her death was tragic and shocking, I don’t think that the people that knew her remember her or talk about her life like they should.  I don’t want people to forget her, she had a wonderful soul and a huge heart.  So, here is my story of what I know about Carol.

Carol was adopted when she was 3 by a very Catholic family in Oxford, PA.  Her adopted father was a war hero and a very influential person of the Sacred Heart Church.  She was the first of 4 children to be adopted and she was also the oldest.  Her adopted parents did not see the need to change her first name when they adopted her – which perhaps was the start of her problems.  At the age of 3, she became known as Carol Carroll and was henceforth known as “Carol Carroll stuck in a barrel, must be a pickle.”  The things that I am about to say were told to me by Carol at a stage in her life where she was very aware of her own mortality due to her MS and she felt the need to get things off her chest, to have answers and reasons for why things turned out the way they did.  Although I could provide very little comfort, I was there to listen and so she told me her story.  I cannot say for sure that her accounts are true, but I believed them and still do and I think that was very important to her. 

Carol’s parents adopted 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls.  But they also were very active foster parents.  Due to their involvement with the church, they had alot of children passing through their house.  Carol’s opinion was that her parents did this for money – not for the love of children.  She says that her parents treated the foster children very poorly.  They didn’t spend the money that they received for fostering on the children.  They got very little to eat, crappy clothes, and they were beaten often.  In later years one of the children even committed suicide.  Here is where I asked – Why didn’t anyone notice anything??  Surely one of the kids would have spoken out.  But, back in the day the foster kids were home-schooled and no one would believe that such a highly decorated Catholic family was capable of such behavior.  Carol says that her and her adopted siblings were expected to treat the foster kids the same way that her parents did and if they complied, they were treated very well.  Carol did this for only a short time before something inside her told her it was wrong and so she began refusing to treat the foster kids poorly.  Instead she would sneak them food and make them clothes, offering them whatever small condolances that she could.  Because she refused to participate in the awful behavior of the rest of her family, she was shunned.  If she was not going to treat the foster kids the way they wanted her to, then they would treat her as one of the foster children.  But to Carol, she didn’t care – she was not going to be a part to the suffering.  Eventually when Carol was grown and out of college, some of the foster kids tracked her down and came to her to thank her for what she had done for them.  They told her that she was the only light of hope that they had during that terrible time.

Carol went on to college and became a CPA.  Right after college she got a good job and was living in a 2 bedroom apartment in Delaware County.  It was then that she began to notice that something was wrong.  She went to doctors and was frustratingly misdiagnosed and told that nothing was wrong with her.  But Carol knew that something was definitely wrong and whatever it was, was getting worse.  Carol decided that she needed to have a roommate.  She didn’t think that it was a good idea for her to be alone anymore as her mental state was becoming “loose”.  Carol put an ad on the local college campus bulletin advertising that she needed a roommate, just that and no more.  What she got was Bill.  Carol said that immediately Bill responded to her ad, and when she told him that she knew she was sick but didn’t know with what, he was ok with that.  So the saga of Bill & Carol began.

Bill & Carol eventually married and moved to the Oxford area because Carol was from the area and she had a job at the local University.  Bill was from a well-to-do family that lived in Delaware County and he had a very good job when they moved to Oxford.  It was at the University where Carol worked that she and my mother met.  They became fast friends and as my parents were going through a divorce at the time, I think Carol was a great shoulder for my Mom.  She also helped my mom find a house, which is how we ended up moving to Oxford and living across the alley from Bill and Carol.  It was the year that we moved to Oxford, 1989, that Carol was finally diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  She continuted to work at the University for as long as she could, but she finally had to give in to the MS and quit.  I know that this very much broke Carol’s heart.  She was smart and loved to work, especially with numbers, and hated that a sickness made it impossible for her to work.  This was to be the beginning of the downward spiral, one that ended in death, for Bill and Carol. 

With Carol not being able to work, she had to apply for disablity – which was rejected 3 times before it was approved (people tell me this is the norm).  They had a mortgage on their house and they needed both incomes to pay it.  While Carol was waiting for disablity to be approved, they got behind in some payments.  Bill still had a good paying job, but it was becoming evident that he was jealous of Carol.  Jealous of the fact that he had to work while Carol could stay home all day and collect money from the government.  They both had alot of friends, but mostly Carol did because she was from the area.  During the day, friends would stop by to party and just hang out.  I think that is what made Bill really jealous.  Forget that Carol had an illness, she could stay home all day and party while he had to go to work and miss all the good times.  Carol told me that Bill got fired from his job becuase he knew of some embezzlement going on and when given the choice to participate, he refused and was thusly fired.  Only after Carol died did I find out that this was what he told Carol.  What he told his employers was that he had to quit because he needed to stay home and care for his ill wife.  That would have been most honerable, had it been true at the time.  The truth was, Carol wouldn’t need someone to care for her every day for another 10 years.  You see, Carol’s MS affected her neurologically more than it did physically.  She was able to live on the first floor of their house and she even drove for a long time after she was diagnosed.  One of the many battles between Bill and Carol was that she was frustrated at him for not working.  She urged him to go and work so they could pay the bills.  But Bill would get job after job and lose them because he didn’t really want to work.  That was the heart of it, Bill was just one of those people that didn’t want to work.  So as the years passed they became more and more in debt because they couldn’t pay the bills.

I first met Bill and Carol when I was ten and all I knew about them was they were nice people that were friends of my moms.  We had to hang out there sometimes after school to wait for mom to get home becuase we were too young to be on our own.  And, they had alot of cats.  I wouldn’t really get to know Bill and Carol until I was around 19 or 20.  I ended up living with them for a short time when I was 22 or 23.. can’t really remember.  They were always taking in strays; people and cats so when I lived there I think there were 3 other people around my age living there besides B&C.  It was like a commune at times, but there were always people around, people to laugh and cheer you up and there was always someone playing some kind of music or musical instrument at one time or another.

Anyway, Carol was a bit “Aunt Clara” like……. I think it was because of being part hippie and the other part was the MS.  She would put her shirts on backwards and insideout (and not know it).  She wore shorts in the winter with knee high socks and sandals.  She always had 3 pairs of glasses at one time, but they were all broken in one way or another.  She would put chicken or turkey bones in a pot and cook them for days straight and then eat the soup.  She loved to drink vodka and milk.  In the middle of a conversation she would leave the room and come back 15 or 20 minutes later with whatever object you were talking about.  She loved to play, listen, and sing music.  She watched the Simpsons and Oprah religiously – you weren’t allowed to speak while they were on.  She always wanted a fire in the woodstove – even in the summer.  She hated to take showers and wash her hair.  She laughed alot – sometimes so hard she cried.  She was always changing the furniture around and trying to recover a chair or put a 4th leg on a 3 legged table.  She always took apart the Tiffany chandeliers to “clean the crystals”.  She loved cats and would take them in and feed them in a heartbeat.  She went into debt and ran up a huge vet bill trying to get them all spayed and neutered.  She kept up on current events and loved a good political debate.  She was always trying to hand out books and get us younger people to read.  She loved to be outside and did so whenever she could.  She always had a magnifying glass and a pair of tweezers because she was always digging “tiny shards of glass” from her feet – even though no one else could see them.  She listened and offered very good advice and a neutral point of view on alot of things.  She was a wonderful person to talk to.  She had and told the best stories.  She taught me that it was ok to express my feelings when I felt them and I would be better off for it.  She taught me to stand up for myself using my words without losing my point.  She wouldn’t let anyone come around when her sister visited because she didn’t want anyone to see how she was treated by her sister.  Even though her family treated her like shit, she defended them and was by her father’s side on his deathbed – playing his favorite music as he lay dying.  She hated liars, theives and cheaters (Bill cheated on her once and she found out about it when she got a veneral disease).

I have been composing this post for a week now and so I am going to finish up.  Carol cried to me once and asked me how come if she sacrificed so much in her younger years to help the foster children, then why did she end up with MS and have to live the rest of her life sick and in poverty?  I cried with her as I didn’t have any answers.  I just told her that I thought she was fortunate to have known her purpose in life.  She was there to help those children, as no one else would.  And she was fortunate enough to live long enough to know that she did have an impact on their lives.  Although she had MS, she didn’t have it as bad as most where she suffered terribly.  Her suffering was at the hands of her twisted husband. 

2 years ago, 2 days before Carol’s 50th birthday and 1 day after her brother died, Bill flipped out and killed Carol.  He knocked her over the head with something and then strangled her to death as she lay on the floor.  Bill said he did it out of mercy – Carol was suffering and he wanted to end it.  That is the biggest load of self-serving bullshit that I have ever heard in my life.  Bill wanted to end his suffering.  I admit that Carol became more neurotic and bitchy as the MS progressed, but certainly she didn’t deserve to die the way she did for it.  There were always more than enough people to care for Carol if Bill had left her.  She did so much for so many people, we would have made sure that she was well taken care of and she didn’t have to go into a home where she wouldn’t have been able to live out her life as she wanted.  Didn’t she deserve that, at least? 

I miss Carol.  She gave me my first snow globe, with an old-fashioned santa inside.  I look at it now and think about her and what she did for me.  Some people judged her because she lived life the way she wanted to and didn’t care what people thought.  She drank when she wanted to and smoked pot when she wanted to….. who cares?  Who’s to say that if you were diagnosed with a terminal illness that you wouldn’t do the same?  So, I remember the good things about Carol and hopefully after reading this, someone else will know or remember what a generous, wonderful, giving person she was.

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That loss hurt a little….


I consider myself to be an Eagles fan – well a Philly fan all around really…….. except for basketball, I don’t watch that at all.  Anyway, I don’t have a bunch of Eagles gear that I sport every Sunday along with face paint and a green wig.  I don’t stand around an talk sport statistics at parties.  I couldn’t even name all of the players on a team.  But, I still consider myself an Eagles fan because I root for them even when they are down and out.  They are the only team that I will actually sit and watch play on tv.  And, I have never rooted for another team.  Ok – I’m lying there.  There was this boy in middle school that I had a crush on and in order to try and impress him, I jumped on the Bills bandwagon……. but that was short lived.  Why am I an Eagles fan?  Since I can remember my grandfather has watched the Eagles play so I grew up watching him cheer for them……… what can I say, I was at an impressionable age.  My grandfather was from Philly and even though I live in MD now, I will always be a PA girl. 

Ok – enough of that.  Anyway so this past Sunday I went to the Eagles vs Bears game.  Because I’m not an all out fan, there are some things that I have not seen or experienced when it comes to professional sports.  I have been to Eagles games before even at the new Linc. – but until Sunday I had never before seen the whole “tail gaiting” scene.  I have heard stories and there is always a blurb about the tail gaiting parties on the news on game day, but to actually see the whole scenario up close was…… well to me it was awesome.  These fans go full out and make it more than just another excuse to party.  I mean, if you had seen the line for the port-a-potties……. that’s commitment right there.  I’m going to try and post a picture – yes, I am easily facinated.  People standing in line for an hour to use a port-a-pottie!

Anyway, the seats that we had were 2nd row, 2nd seat – which were friggin awesome seats.  They were on the visitors side though – not that I’m complaining.  The Bears’ kicker – Gould – was right in front of us.  Now, like I said before, I have been to games before but this game was unlike any other.  I have never in my life heard such heckling.  I mean, that kicker and the rest of the Bears team was getting insulted and heckled to the max.  And, you know that they heard it….. I mean we were close enough to shoot a spit ball – they had to hear it.  I never really thought about it before, but they must have to block all of this heckling out – or pretend that it doesn’t bother them.  I say, kudos to any visiting team in Philly that has to hear the Philly fans heckle.  I heard things that I wouldn’t even want to repeat to my dog,  and yet a small part of me was proud.   I have a hard time imagining that the Chigaco fans that were there, that chose to wear their Chicago gear, heard anything but insults and trash talk.  Some of them walked away with pretzel mustard stains and “accidental” spilled drinks on them.  We were actually behind 2 Chicago fans that were smart enough not to wear their jerseys – they made out ok.

So, wow…. you learn something new everyday.  The game was a good one in a manner of speaking.  It was a “field goal” game right up until the last quarter.  And of course, as we all know, the Eagles did what they seem to do best these days – they choked in the last 2 minutes of the game.  I mean, come on!  15 friggin seconds left in the game and they let Chicago score????? WTF????  I have never been so genuinely bummed by a loss as I was over this game.  And, in true Philly fan style – the fans walked away from the stadium cussing the Eagles up and down, turning on the very team that hours before they had waited in line for a toilet for.  But all will be well at the start of next weeks game and the fans will be happy and ready to do it all over again.

Good times – until the last 15 seconds – were had by all.

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Glad to be home……

After a 6 day hiatus from work and a total of 8 days vacationing, we are finally back home – and I must say, I have never been so glad to be home. We decided to drive to Michigan for a family renuion and camping vacation. I don’t know whose bright idea it was to drive all the way to Michigan with 2 med-large size dogs while pulling a 21ft camper for the first time, but they should be shot (which means I should probably shoot myself). Here are a few things that I learned while on vacation:
1) If map quest says the trip is 660mi and takes approx. 10hrs – it is really 710mi and takes 16hrs (at least 3 of these hours I would like to personally thank Gov. Ed Rendell for, seeing as how he has decided that now would be the perfect time to do as much construction on the PA turnpike as possible).
2) Agreeing to drive long distances with somone who drives slow already, without having to pull a trailer, will only make you pull your hair out while running beside the vehicle screaming that you can get there faster by running than you can at the speed he’s driving. (one of the reason’s it took 16 hrs)
3) Michigan has very poorly marked roads, and all the landscaping looks the same. (the other reason it took 16 hrs)
4) My mom’s side of the family is comprised of large people that like to gamble on horses.
5) Never buy 48 hot dog buns ahead of time when you don’t know for sure that you are going to make the event in time to each lunch. They will go and get the buns that you couldn’t provide in a timely manner, thus leaving you stuck with 48 buns and no dogs.
6) Never trust an atlas to get you to a place you’ve never been before in the time that you’ve allotted to get there. An atlas will leave out a minor road that could save you, oh… AN HOUR AND A HALF.
7) “Rustic” camping really does mean and outhouse and a hand pump that is nowhere near your campsite. A “hand pump” really does mean that you have to pump it up and down to get water.
8 ) Flies can survive in the toilet of an outhouse and they will all fly out (staggering mind you) when you open the lid – also some stragglers will come out while you are actually on the toilet (not a cool scenario).
9) Doing your business in the woods can be considered a luxury in some situations.
10) Generators are really loud when you are alone in the woods.
11) Just because you are part Native American, doesn’t mean that you will skip the burn and go right to tan on body parts that haven’t seen the sun in years – after spending 4hrs on a boat….. in the sun……
12) SPF 45 sun block does nothing to protect an already burnt bodypart 2 days after the initial burn, when you spend 4 more hrs on a boat…. in the sun……
13) While piloting a pontoon, you can run into a sand dune at full speed and not damage the propeller – this is lucky.
15) I have no clue how to prepare and cook on a charcoal grill (aren’t those things obsolete anyway???)
16) One state’s “Soup Bowl” is another state’s….. well….. valley.
17) Learn the proper etiquitte of pooping in a bag when you have no other options – this may save you from having to clean up a pooey mess later (so my sister tells me). 😛
18) Six year olds NEVER shut up.
19) Most people in Michigan do not seem to be friendly. You wave at them and get no response. I guess the license plate motto of PA, “You’ve got a friend in PA” only applies to the friends that you brought with you from PA.
20) Eating a dinner consisting of seafood alfredo the night before you have to leave for the long drive home, when you are lactose intolerant – or even think that you are – is not a good idea no matter how good it looks on the menu.
21) Six year olds NEVER shut up.
22) My mother is a baby boomer. Being a baby boomer, my mother does not want to grow old. Because my mother is a baby boomer, she knows everything. Point: A little bit o’ sauce and you’ll find out just what my mother’s opinon on baby boomers is.
23) Your mother will continue to embarass you as long as you live no matter what situation you are in.
24) Your feet will always be dirty when you are camping and you wear sandals, no matter how much you wash them.
25) Michigan mosquitoes are immune to PA bug spray.
26) It is entirely possible for a turtle to be on the freeway even though there is no area around the freeway where the turtle could have come from. It is also possible to hit a turtle on the freeway that comes out of no where. 🙁
27) Six year olds NEVER shut up.
28) And finally, it is possible for a storm cloud to cover 5 states at one time. Driving in the rain for 16hrs when you are trying to get home, sucks big time.

I hope these tips help someone else. I know that if I ever get the inkling to do that again, I will re-read this and then I’ll probably have to shoot myself cuz we’ll do it anyway. Maybe if I shoot my foot, then I won’t be able to travel…. and …… ah nevermind.

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