Posted in Musings and Mutterings

A Dilemma

I’ve been writing letters to my grand daughters in Mississippi where they are living with their father. Every time I ask them if they got Nini’s letter, they tell me, “no”. Needless to say, I feel a bit put out by this.

I can’t help remembering the day they left to go live with their father. Frank and I had come to see the girls and were planning on taking them to a little festival in the town where my daughter lives. Court was going to be the next day and we had a feeling it wasn’t going to go well for her. On that day, the girls’ father called my daughter and asked if he could see the girls. She told him that Frank and I were there and that we had already made plans. His response was that the girls didn’t need to have a relationship with us anyway so why couldn’t he see them. Believing in the ultimate karmic/christian fundamental thought process of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I told my daughter to tell him he was welcome to accompany us to the festival.

Through accident or no, he spent the majority of that day with the children and in doing so, Frank and I became the outsiders, just trailing along behind with an occasional interaction if we could squeeze one in. The next day the courts ruled in his favor and within 2 hours they were tearfully taken away and put into the car to travel to Mississippi to live with their father- who btw, still lives with his parents and thus they get all the interaction they want with the girls.

Now, I’m sending letters that they say they don’t receive. I know that their grandparents moved to a bigger house now that they have the girls, but I did get the address and have been sending these letters to the proper place. In each letter I ask the girls to send me a little note to let me know they are ok. Willow is old enough to write a simple letter. Now my dilemma is this… do I call them to ‘make sure I have the correct address since the girls say they aren’t getting my letters’ or send my Easter cards by return receipt which only lets me know they were received at the house, but not if the children were given them. I don’t have any problems admitting in a public forum that if I have to pursue Grandparents Rights with the father, I certainly will, but again, I’d rather try the peaceful way and hope that the comment I hear ringing in my ears (“They don’t need a relationship with them”) was perhaps misquoted or some such.

What would you do?

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

I was a cat in a former life….

I went to the eye doctor today to have an exam done. I just wanted to make sure all was well since I had clicked the odometer on my body past the 40 mark. The ophthalmologist I went to see was the same one who checked my eyes as a little girl. I was happy to see he was still well and practicing. As you can tell from the photo above, he dilated my eyes for part of the exam. That was at 3:00 pm and here it is 9:00 pm and I have one eye returning to normal and one eye that is still fairly dilated. Needless to say this is making me a bit woozy.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

22 strong and counting

I am going to the beach for my 22nd anniversary. I don’t care if it’s raining, it rained on my wedding day, what can I expect from March? I kind of like the gray days at the beach anyway. Since I am going to the beach for my anniversary, it doesn’t matter to me that there won’t be many people there or things open. I’m simply going to get away from the chores here so I can focus on what is the most important. For 22 years, I have been able to spend time with my best friend and I want to thank him and take time to honor that special day when we decided to link our lives together.

I recently got a Valentine from him- I think one of the best he’s ever given- that reads:

There is nothing nobler or more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends. -Homer

That sums it up pretty well. I think I’m going to get this one framed!

Enjoy your weekend!

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Who’s Your Daddy

When I was sixteen, I must have blacked out for a few months because at seventeen, when I came to, I had a daughter. She and I had a rough 1st year together with little to no support from her father. Everything was a fight with him. I had to fight him to get the 25.00 child support checks (still owes me 5,000.00- 25.00 a week, you do the math), fight him to spend time with his daughter and fight him to act like a real father for his child. I lost just about every battle. When she turned 1 on Thanksgiving day in 1981, he didn’t show up for her birthday party. If I hadn’t stumbled on him at the local 7-Eleven (the only store open on a holiday) when I ran out to get some diapers for her and reminded him that his invitation was still outstanding, I don’t think he would have seen her at all. As it was, he showed up for a grand total of 15 minutes, sat on the couch and barely said a word. She had already been taken out of her cute blue party dress and had enjoyed her messy cake, been bathed and was just about ready for bed by that time. He must have decided that she wasn’t all that interesting, because shortly after her birthday he disappeared from our lives.

On that evening, after putting her to bed and still dealing with the emotional rejection for both she and I, I lay in my bed listening to my CB radio. (Ok, stop laughing now..I loved that thing. It was my portal to the world!) Faintly, because the volume had to be low so I didn’t raise the wrath of my sleeping parents, I heard two male voices talking. They sounded pleasant enough, so I joined in their conversation and changed my life forever. That was the night that I first spoke to my husband, Frank.

Fast forward 6 years. My family now consists of my husband Frank, myself, our daughter and her two brothers. Notice that I said “OUR” daughter. From the moment Frank met Heather, he loved her. He babysat for me while I worked and toted her around on his shoulders while she called him “Bank” and then “Daddy Bank” (fore shadowing there, lol) and then just “Daddy”. That was her progression, no one ever encouraged her to go there. She never knew her brothers as anything other than her brothers. The words half-brother or half-sister have never been a part of our world. I never hid any information about her father from her and answered any question I could when she had one. I never hid from her father, either. She couldn’t understand why Daddy loved her and the boys so much, but her father never saw her. Then one day, he reappeared. Not for long, though, just enough time for her to get ecstatic about the attention. She was only 7 when he disappeared on her again.

And so the pattern repeated itself when she was about 10 and again at 12. Then her great uncle died. The only member of her father’s family who EVER treated that child like she was a member of the family. He was a decent man, so we went to his funeral. She was freshly 16 when she saw her father again. She was hurt and angry and she let him know it. She made sure he was aware that she had just had her 16th birthday and that there had been no phone call, no birthday greeting card, no anything. He looked at me and told me I had done a good job. (Well, duh!! It’s not like he did anything!) After that day, he called her a little more frequently for about a year and then reverted to same same and vanished again.

When she was 17 she decided that life with mom and rules were just too hard, so she found herself living in the South with her estranged father. At the time she thought anything was better than having a curfew and following the house rules… she was almost an adult for heavens sake!! Three moves (read evictions) and a couple of visits from the police looking for her father (who had somehow just “stepped out”) had her begging to come home a year later, promising to follow any rule.

She never used her legal name, but instead went by our surname. She referred to Frank as her father and called him Daddy and began to refer to her biological father as just that.. or she called him her sperm donor. She was still hurt and angry. When she got married, Frank gave his daughter away. (Although with the current circumstances, I wish he had tucked her under his arm like a football just as he had done while rough housing through the years and had run for the door!!)

Two children and a failed marriage later, she packed up her things and moved South again. Her father was now married, and caring for his new wife’s’ children. She had never liked the cold, had a job offer in the same town he lived in and was still hurt and angry and so she left. She calls him Don. He has been kind to the grandchildren, but never can see his way to follow through with the things he promises either to her or them. He has babysat them a few times and his wife dotes on them. She has had far more contact and interaction with our daughter than he has and has expressed love for her.

Throughout our daughters life, Frank has been her rock. He has jumped to action whenever needed. He would, and has, done anything he could to help his children, and they all know it.

So, tonight, when I got a phone call from my upset child, telling me that Don’s wife was berating her yet again for not calling him Dad, I resisted the urge to pick up my phone and call her to let her know just what I thought of that idea and a few other choice thoughts as well concerning my opinion on fatherhood and the right to be called DAD. Because as far as most anybody who reads this will agree, just about any man can donate a sperm and father a child, but you have to earn the right to be called Daddy through love and care, consistency and undying support. NO MATTER WHAT.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings


I’ve spent the day painting a room in the basement. I’ve been trying to get this room painted for over a month, but I needed someone to finish their part before I could do the rest of it. I’m not naming any names, but suffice it to say that I have a large difficulty doing the part I asked them to do and really needed the help.

After patiently asking for them to do their thing, I finally hit SSP. Most people know what this means if you know me, but for you newbies it is my sh*t saturation point. It’s the point where my patience ends and I decide you are no longer needed. I will do what I need to even if it lands me in the hospital trying to do it, or the point where I decide I’ll just pay someone else to do it, or the point where a child of mine has pushed past the limit and find themselves on the wrong side of Mom. It’s just that point you get to when you have had enough. It takes awhile for me to reach, but it’s not a pretty sight.

I don’t know about anyone else, but if you can imagine a mercury based thermometer that has had heat applied to the base, you’ll see the mercury rising. If you remove the heat for a short time, the mercury begins to fall, but not very quickly and if you reapply the heat, you reach the top fairly fast again. That’s how my SSP works. And since it can be combined with a wicked temper and a look that could level a small village, I don’t like to even come close to the boiling point.

I’ve taken many steps to mitigate the possibilities of ever reaching the SSP, but sometimes it’s just not enough, and usually the people or situation that has pushed me to that point are quite valid. This doesn’t occur just because I’m a little peeved about something, or slightly annoyed or even kind of angry. This is a slow building event where my tolerance is tested over and over again and very frequently has involved many warnings and discussions and compromises and long periods of patience.

I hate reaching SSP, but sometimes it seems as though nothing changes until I do. Like I’m not taken seriously until I pop! For those of you who think that I should openly discuss what is bothering me with the person pushing the limits, let me assure you that I do. For those of you who may be quick to deny this, just sit and think for a minute before you respond. I’ll give you credit if you can think of a time that we didn’t talk about an issue, over and over again, before I finally had had enough.

Ah well, I’m not perfect either.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Holding Back

One of my children is in a difficult time in her life. Seems as though the minute she gets it all together she either does something without thought to unravel it again or the universe decides that her world was far to calm and unravels it for her.

Sadly, there is a wealth of journaling information in her plight and the interaction with my life, but she’s in the midst of so many legal issues, that I don’t feel comfortable airing my feelings in a public forum. You never know who is lurking.

Suffice it to say that there are a few people in her world who are very ugly and mean spirited, and while she’s not a perfect person (who is?) I’m proud of her for what she doesn’t do at times. She does not bad mouth her children’s father in front of them. She doesn’t fill their tiny heads with negativity towards their father. She doesn’t discourage their relationship with him. She doesn’t keep their extended family from them. She doesn’t purposefully plant booby traps to make his life difficult. That means that I raised a person with a kind heart, a sensitivity towards her children and a keen sense of respect for them. Too bad other families don’t raise their children that way.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Senseless Mutterings

My youngest daughter brought home a coupon the other day for the circus, and in her normal way of not asking, asked if we could go. I jumped on the subtlety of the invitation! I haven’t been to the circus in years! Frank reminded me that in the beginning of our relationship, we had taken Heather (the eldest) to the circus. When we had gotten home to my parents house, where I was still living at the time, I made some hot dogs and salad for dinner. (with the thought process that I couldn’t burn salad and thus make a good impression on Frank) Heather wanted ketchup on her hot dog so I turned the bottle upside down and swung it in a fierce arc to force the ketchup to the top. Little did I realize that the lid had not been secure and the next thing I know there is a wide arc of ketchup from my mothers ceiling, across Heather in her high chair, and all across the wall to the floor. Frank was quite impressed by that. I won’t even go into how my salad got into my glass of milk!

My job has been hopping lately. I have recruitment packages to make and mail- anyone want to help stuff 1000+ envelopes!!- and we are gearing up for two spring concerts, one performance with the Baltimore Choral Arts and a performance at the Meyerhoff, plus some of the students will be in the Baltimore Opera Company’s production of Tosca. And for my next trick, I shall balance the bowling ball on my nose while trying to get the last bit of ketchup out of the bottle….

I went shopping today for items to help a friend plan for a pair of baby showers. One theme gave me some troubles and nothing in the stores sang to me. The other theme wouldn’t shut up! Oddly enough, this imitates the mother’s to be. One is quiet and the other is rather boisterous. Now if I can come in under budget, then all will be well.

Hey, I warned you in the beginning that these were senseless mutterings…