Saturday, October 13, 2012

Dog Day Mornings, Afternoons and Nights

I want a dog. Seriously. Like it's almost an obsession at this point. I think my youngest child has somehow transferred her desires into my brain and I'm now possessed with this need. I joined Petfinder a while back.  Now Petfinder you see, will do just that ~  find you a pet.  You can click all the specifics you want and they will e-mail you when a pet matching your criteria becomes available.  Pretty nifty.  Unless you have OCD. Like me.  Then, not so much. 

Where to start with the craziness that is my life? Where to start?  Hmm.  Well, LAST year, I was completely totally utterly obsessed with getting my husband a bulldog.  However, not only are we dead broke, but we do not believe in buying dogs, we want a rescue dog.  Enter in Bulldog Rescue.  Well, we already were on Bulldog Rescue's list, since 2009, when our dog, Clancy, had to be put to sleep and that hadn't gotten us anywhere. So I expanded our search to other Bulldog Rescue organizations. I found one and we were approved, they did a home visit with a dog and though that was impossible to hide from the girls, we didn't tell them it was because they had found us a dog; a two year old male, named George and we'd have him before Christmas.  Then, we never heard from them again.  After a few e-mails and phone calls, I found out that the owners decided to keep him, because their other dog passed away (unfortunately) and the two dogs didn't get along and that was the reason they were surrendering him. So, now that there wasn't another dog...Luckily we never told the girls! 

Back to Petfinder! Every time I'd get an e-mail about a bulldog, it either A) wasn't a bulldog (their definition of bulldog is pretty loose) or B) was but was too far away from us and didn't adopt out of state.  Petfinder for some reason has miles as either "100", "500" or "any".  And some of these places had astronomical adoption fees!  But man oh man, have I seen some pretty darn cute puppies and have filled out so many darn applications I can do it in my sleep.
Now - my husband, doesn't want a dog right now. And the girls can't agree on the breed.  McLittle wants a chihuahua and a poodle and the big one wants a "those big fluffly orange doggies" and a German Shepard.  Which is also why we had originally stuck to bulldogs.  My husband had one growing up and the girls both love them.  But being a rather low income family doesn't lend itself to being owners of a bulldog sadly and I don't need a new butt to wipe.  They are quite high maintenance and really, why would a low maintenance girl, get a high maintenance dog? Oh but I just love them! Ugh!

Our house is not dog-friendly at the moment either. Well, not puppy friendly anyway.  I keep trying to tell the girls that if they really want a puppy, they need to put their stuff away. That puppies are a lot of work, are very small and will eat nearly everything off the floor and they need to be super careful about picking up after themselves.  So now every time I find some odd piece of puzzle or a Barbie shoe, I pick it up and yell "Dead puppy!"  or "You just killed the puppy!" Hoping that would inspire them to pick up their stuff. Nope, they couldn't care less.  Please don't get all crazy on me and say I'm traumatizing my children, they obviously weren't even listening - as usual. 

I receive e-mails from Petfinder a few times a week with their newest puppies - my current searches are for Boxers and, yes, God/dess help me, bulldogs still. The girls and I ooh and aah over the cutest of the cutes but mostly I delete them.  It's torturous and I think what I really need to do is take myself off the Petfinder list entirely and just set this whole dream aside for a while. Because winter is coming and puppies need to be trained and that will be left to me.

Which brings me to a funny story about Clancy's training.
Clancy was a pitbull/black lab mix.  Cutest thing.  We were her third home in nine months so she had some issues. From what I was told about her first home, she was abused, left outside tied to a tree most of, if not all of, the day.  She was much loved in her second home by a little girl who was then taken very ill and they had to surrender her.  My sister knew my mom wanted another dog, another black lab, and she knew the mother of this little girl, so we took the dog.
She was wild and crazy and jumped up on everybody.  So we took her to training. Well, me being me and my life being what it is, training wasn't normal. The trainer was deaf.  She was able to read lips and speak.  She was a good trainer and I suppose you don't need to hear to train animals.  Clancy did well in the class, but not at home.  I did all the things the trainer taught me, used all the tricks, but nope. Not getting the behavior I wanted. So, I decided maybe I should talk like the trainer. Now wait a minute, I wasn't being cruel - if you knew me, you know that's very nearly impossible - I was being logical.  That was the only difference I could come up with between what I was saying and what she was saying.  Or more precisely HOW I was saying it.  So I started to say my commands like Marlee Matlin and BAM!  Clancy listened.  No problem.  Now, though, when we were out and other people thought I was deaf because of the way I was speaking to my dog.  Then they would exaggerate their mouths while speaking really loud or use sign language and if I said "Oh no, I'm not deaf her trainer was", the looks I would get! Geez.  Like I was committing a crime or something!  So I kept her walks rather quiet as much as possible. Here's a pic of Clancy girl. =) 

So needless to say, should this puppy, my imaginary boxer/lab mix with mismatched eyes like David Bowie and a spot on his nose shaped like a heart, should HE need training? NOT going to the deaf broad. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Change is

SciFi and Fantasy Art Metamorphosis by Lucie Ondruskova
"Metamorphosis" by Lucie Ondruskova

Change sucks. At least for me.  At least recently.  In my absence from blogging the changes that have happened are too ludicrous to comprehend.  If I were to list them ALL here? You'd think I were insane (I'm nearly there), I were exaggerating (I'm not) or just flat out making shit up (I wish my imagination were so grand!).  No, No it's all happened since my last post. Pick an area and it's been crazied with. See,  I live on that proverbial fence, always balancing, always looking at both sides - ask anyone with migraines and I guarantee this is a common "quirk". Seeing both sides of the story, no matter which side you may agree with  = headache.  I sway between not wanting to "worry" people and wanting to really fucking bitch about the shit that's happening to me.  Ya know?  Balancing between being grateful for what I do have but being just sort of a little pissed about just how off all the other stuff has gone.  Ever get like that? Ever feel like you want to say "Yes, Yes It does really suck that this is happening and I am really pissed and I am really worried and I am losing sleep and I don't know what the future will bring and I am tired of putting up the front." For just a second.   Don't you ever?  Cause right now? I do and honestly even as I write this, I feel guilty.  Guilty that my beautiful children are healthy and asleep up in their beds.  Guilty that I have a home - barely.  But I do. That's me. On my fence.  Sticking me up my ass this fence is. 
Like I said on my FB page.  At the end of the day, when I look in the mirror...I think. Girl, you don't have a case of spreading yourself too thin, you've got stress obesity.
I know that if I didn't have a sense of humor I'd be done in.  I know that if I didn't have my kids, I'd be done in too.  As my Mom would say "This I know". 
Did you like the seesaw as a child? Do you even know WTF I'm talking about? Because playgrounds today don't have them, at least not around here. Balance.   It was fun NOT to find a balance on them right?  You'd kick off and the other person would go down and they'd kick off, etc. etc. up and down, up and down.. HEY!  Maybe I'm NOT on a fence after all, maybe I've been on a seesaw all this time! No, that wouldn't make sense, I'd need someone on the other end..never mind.

As always, pieces of songs are in my head, so I'll leave you with this one from Starhawk.

She changes everything She touches,
And everything She touches changes.
She changes everything She touches,
And everything She touches changes.

Her name can not be spoken,
Her face was not forgotten;
Her power is to open,
Her promise can never be broken.
All seeds She deeply buries,
She weaves the thread of seasons;
Her secret, darkness carries,
She loves beyond all reason.

All sleeping seeds She wakens,
The rainbow is Her token;
Now Winter Power is taken,
In love all chains are broken.

Everything lost is found again,
In a new form, in a new way;
Everything hurt is healed again,
In a new time, in a new day.

Bright as a flower and strong as a tree,
With our love and with our light;
Breaking our chains so we can be free,
With our love and with our light.

We are changers,
Everything we touch can change.
We are changers,
Everything we touch can change.

Change is, touch is,
Touch is, change is.
Change us, touch us,
Touch us change us.
She changes everything she touches and
everything she touches, changes
She changes everything she touches and
everything she touches, changes
Change is, touch is; touch is, change is.
Change us, touch us; touch us, change us.
We are changers;
everything we touch can change.
We are changers;
everything we touch can change.

- Starhawk

Friday, February 17, 2012

Nowhere in Particular

Do you remember Mr. Toad? He was in the Wind in the Willows, but is more famous I think for his "wild ride" at Disney World.  I haven't been there in years, so I can't say for certain if the song they play is the same one he and his horse friend sing in the movie about his adventures.  It's a catchy tune about merrily travelling along to nowhere in particular.
......We're merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily on our way
To nowhere in particular
We're merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily on our way
Where the roads are perpendicular

We're always in a hurry
We have no time to stall
We've got to be there
We've got to be there
But where we can't recall

We're merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily on our way
And we may be going to Devonshire, to Lancashire, to Worcestershire
We're not so sure but what do we care
We're only sure we've got to be there
We're merrily on our way to nowhere at all ......

Our house was taken over by the stomach flu this past week, so there was plenty of couch time, which lead to movie time.  So the girls and I watched Mr. Toad and his adventures and the song reminded me of my adventures with my sister Mare and how this song fit perfectly many a journey we have had and hope to have again.   Not that we need actual songs, we can pretty much come up with a parody in seconds flat to suit any situation.  I've noticed my girls doing this from time to time, does a momma proud, it does.

You see, Mare and I could make a vacation anywhere, BUT we used to have alphabet weekends.  Sadly it's been 9! NINE! years since our last official, full-on letter weekend.  Sure, I've had two gorgeous girls in that time frame but I think we're gearing up towards a weekend.  It's long overdue. 

So in preparation, let me explain.  Kinda like "Fight Club" in that the first rule of a weekend is that there are no rules.  But in including or should that be inducting? my niece, Mare's daughter, in a one-night stay not too long ago, we realized, gee, there really are a lot of "no rules" rules.   First, naturally is the letter.  Now you may assume, like most do, that we've gone in alphabetical  order and you'd be wrong.  The order was simple chosen by the place we were going to.  If we were going to Maryland, then the letter would be "M".  Then the food, music, movies and - clothes. Yep clothes, costumes really, must all begin with that letter.  The "M" weekend would have included maternity clothes, Minnie & Mickey Mouse, men, and so on. Sticking with the "M" weeked here the menu included Milkyway Cake, pasta w/Mushrooms and since we're vegetarians, it was all meatless.  

We always need champagne.  Moet was good for the "M" weekend, but some other weekends proved more of a challenge causing us to come up with creative names for it, like "golden goodness" or "entitled effervescence".  Here's a pic of a typical weekend refrigerator.  There's always guava juice b/c we're always trying new champagne b/c it has to match the letter and sometimes, it's awful.  BUT throw some guava juice in there and even the worst champagne is totally drinkable. 

If it's not the state driving the letter, sometimes it's the name of the town or the hotel.  Like the "P" weekend was at the Powhatan Plantation in Virgina.  We were actually there twice, so the second trip was an "R" weekend for "repeat".  Dressing like Royal Rastafarians while listening to reggae was one of my favorite memories from that trip.  Ahh, good times, good times.  But it's serious business!  The correct bed must be chosen by jumping on all of them of course.  (Don't tell that to my kids!)  No matter the letter Carol King's Tapestry album always comes along and we can always find a reason why it's allowed.  It's funny,we would literally fill up the entire car, back seat and trunk both with all our equipment. We'd need all CD's even if it was for just the ONE song that began with the letter that we were going away on...the movies that were in the queue for the weekend,  I vividly recall freezing the part "Time Cop" when Jean-Claude Van Damme jumps up on the counter several times when were in Truro, MA.  Now, in the nine! 9! (still can't quite get over that) years since we've gone, there are iPods and we wouldn't need to bring 100's of CD's or bring a TV and an ancient VCR - yes at one time we actually brought a VCR and had to drive into the town looking for cables. Though on that last trip we brought my nephew's playstation to watch DVDs and then proceeded to call him 14 times to ask him his code and then ended up having him come to the hotel where we were staying (hysterically it was only about 9 miles from my sister's house) to help us out.  And you know what? It was all good, because it was the "V" weekend and he was a visitor. 

There are games, did I mention the games? Oh, there are games. Like hopscotch, hungry hungry hippos, skip-bo, rock-em-sock'em robots, you get the idea, normal games that we grew up with, then ones we make up like, blindfolded bowling. Hey, we have a weekend to fill! No boredom allowed, not that it stands a chance anyway.    

We also decorate as soon as we get there.  The "V" weekend we decorated like a varsity game and later dressed like cheerleaders in varisty sweaters, naturally we were also vampires that weekend, this was waay before the "Twilight" craze.  "H" weekend, was a Hawaii, Happy Birthday, Hillbilly kinda thing.  We dressed in housecoats called ourselves Honolulu honeys.

And flowers, always have fresh flowers. See for the "F" weekend they could simply be just flowers, but for the "R" weekend, roses, the "P" weekend, pansies, "V" weekend violets, etc.  

More on the menu ~ We have a no rules rule here too.  There is one elegant dinner the last night, where we save the third? to the last best bottle of champagne for; the last being saved for the morning we're leaving to have with our super decadent dessert breakfast and the second we had our first night.  Got that? The 40 in between, well..they were just fillers.  Sometimes we have to drink other stuff too (poor things that we are), like Beefeater gin on the "B" weekend - Blue Curacao was also along that trip - I barfed blue just to keep things in the spirit of the weekend.  Gin - ew.  I happened to be blond for that weekend - you see how far we're willing to go for this?  This is serious stuff people.  We even wrecked the car on the "W" weekend.  Well, I wrecked the car, Mare's car.  She was recovering from ACL surgery so I was driving.  We were attempting, not for the first time, to get to Falling Water - yea - still haven't seen it. 

Most of these are documented in a journal and with some pictures.  We even had a week once ~ "N" we were in Nantucket off season.  Beautiful.  We had an entire house of beds to jump on...and fake noses.

This was back when I was juggling a completely different set of struggles, work and the stress of wanting a family and a house and here I am now juggling those struggles...careful what you wish for! :)
But there's no need to worry about that, there will always be struggles to juggle as we walk through life...a weekend however has been way too overdue.  AND after this upcoming week off from school that my kids have - I'm really going to need one, especially since my oldest said I should give up wine for Lent.  This was during a discussion about what to give up for Lent and I jokingly said that St. Paddy's Day was during Lent so I knew I wasn't giving up beer because I had to have a beer (or 3) on St. Patrick's Day, to which she replied, then give up wine. OUCH. Smartass.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mirror, Mirror

My neighbor has a beautiful house, immaculately maintained, professionally landscaped, just lovely.  They are always working on it, big, huge, sometimes even mysterious projects ~ when they're in the USA that is.  A few years ago they had a house built in their home country and now spend their time between the two.  It actually seems like within hours of their arrival back in NY, the contractor's van is outside and the sounds of the next project have begun.  This last one was especially noisy, I'm still not exactly sure what they had done, but I do know that the workers were cutting marble, bricks, tiles, etc. for hours on end, for weeks on end (which as a migraine sufferer was NOT peachy keen) and now it often smells like burning wood.  So since the work as done in the garage area and they already HAVE a fireplace, my guess is a wood burning stove, hence the smell of wood burning!   My husband thinks it's a brick oven, but I think that's just wishful thinking on his part, because who would be making pizza at 7:00 in the morning?

My point, one of them anyway, is there is always something going on next door.  I keep thinking, "Hey, you want a really big project? Come help fix up my house, it'll drive up your property value!" LOL Our house looks so sad next to theirs!  So today I was washing dishes - old houses are not equipped with such amenities like dishwashers - and I see something new in their yard, which I can see some of from the window over the kitchen sink.  I couldn't tell what it was at first, had me really perplexed for a while, then I realized it was a mirror.  A very long mirror.  What plans she has for it I don't know - she's pretty crafty on top of everything else!

I'm looking dead on at a mirror and I'm not seeing myself.  No, sorry, much to my daughter's disappointment we're not a family of vampires.  Having a lot of dishes to get through (how do 4 people create so much mess?) I have time to ponder this.  Naturally I understand distance and how improbable it would be for me to be reflected back from inside my kitchen, etc. etc.  what I mean is, I start thinking about where else am I, or people in general not seeing  themselves?  I've said before in another post about labeling ourselves and how mirrors can't reflect our true selves.  This isn't what I'm getting at here.  Here I'm talking about NOT seeing, NOT being there.  I don't know, maybe I'm just in a melancholy mood, but it seems like from the minute we're born we're on display and then all the people in our lives, parents, teachers, friends, lovers, bosses, spouses, the media all throw these parameters, these, ideas about how we should be, act, talk, look.  How, when do we actually, if ever, know our true selves and how do we recognize them?

I don't recognize myself sometimes when dealing with my children.  I catch myself too late thinking of a better way to have said something, explain something - like the irony of shouting at them to stop yelling. LOL  I've never been an angry person, so when I'm frustrated at them for giving me a hard time at bedtime yet again, I'm uncomfortable with myself.  I keep thinking of the Talking Heads song "Once In A Lifetime"  the line that goes "...well, how did I get here?"

Another train of thought I had is how often do we look at something or maybe someone and not really see it/them?  Are you so busy in your life that you don't really see the people you pass everyday? The cashier at the supermarket who never smiles, the woman walking her children to school with her iPod on instead of interacting with them?  I think we are moving so fast these days that we don't see anything anymore.  That we're always looking for something to post on Youtube that will go virual and give us our 15 minutes of fame, but not for truth, for peace for ourselves.  We're blinded by Hollywood, by reality shows that aren't even real that we're not even paying attention to what's right in front of us.  There is so much going on in the world, so many terrible things that I cancelled my newspaper subscription because I couldn't take in the bad news anymore.  Obviously that doesn't change what happens, but it does change the vibe in my home, what we discuss, etc and I can still keep up on big news online or on the radio.  Though I may cut these out as well - we'll see. I don't know.  I'm not too big on ignorance, but they do say it's bliss!  And I save money!

As often happens since there is that jukebox running 24/7 in my head, Ten Years After's "I'd Love To Change The World"  starts to play ...."I'd love to change the world, but I don't know what to do, so I'll leave it up to you."  Maybe that IS what's wrong, too many people are leaving it up to everybody else.  Let's start by leaving it up to the people we see in the mirror.  You with yours, me with mine ~ but not the one in my neighbor's yard as seen from my kitchen window ;D
George Bancroft: "Conscience is the mirror of our souls, which represents the errors of our lives in their full shape."
Eugene O'Neill: “Life is a solitary cell whose walls are mirrors.”
Ernest Holmes: "Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it.
Rumi: "We are the mirror as well as the face in it."
And of course there is the wicked Queen from Snow White, "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?" 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Cost of Things

Maggie's learning $ math and that, together with trying to save her own money often leads to conversations about how much things cost.  She's so quick to spend her one dollar bill on flavored water that she doesn't need b/c she has water in her lunch bag.  She really likes a new song on the radio and is tired of the songs I put on her iPod shuffle.  I explain that she should save her money and get herself an iTunes gift card and then pick out some songs she'd like to add to her iPod.  She seemed amazed that something like this was even possible for a mere $5.  Then when she wants to order a pizza and I say, not tonight I don't have any money, she's quick to say "I DO!! You can have my money Momma, I have $3.00 saved.  Is that enough?"  What a Sweetheart. 
Explaining the cost of things is challenging to her 7 year old brain, but she's a quick study and loves math.   But she overheard someone use the expression "OK, but it's gonna cost you!" and many questions followed.  (She's a very inquisitive child, she'd be a good detective, but really the image of the cartoon mouse Sniffles would be more appropriate).
Trying to explain what "cost" can relate to when not referring to money, is challenging.  Substituting "value" works for many things, in many situations, but, like I said, she's tenacious and she will niggle out situations that you can't even imagine.  "But he said it's gonna cost you, that means the other person was gonna have to pay him something right? Not value him." Ah true enough true enough.  Yes, yes, the other person was going to have to give him something of value, see that was the cost, his price to pay.  SMH, did I just add "price" in to this conversation?  FANTASTIC....

Alligators have baby alligators so they say and God/dess knows my brain never shuts off, so I appreciate Maggie's mind, I do.  I'm afraid of the level of craziness she may have as she gets older though, what's her OCD going to be like? I'm literal, she's literal + she likes to argue.  She'll be a great lawyer some day I tell her, she tells ME, she's not going to be a lawyer, she's going to be a Supreme Court Judge - I haven't asked her yet how she's going to do that without becoming a lawyer...but she's also going to be an illustrator and a veterinarian.  Perhaps all three.  And BOY will that cost me! LOL

Naturally, this got me to thinking about worth - aaaahhh! So glad I didn't add that word to our dialogue!  What truly is the cost of some things? Not necessarily monetary things, yes, we all have our bills - at least I do.  If you don't that's awesome! Great! But I do and lots of them.  Some months we need to figure out if we should get oil or pay the mortgage.  Do you choose to heat the house that you didn't pay the mortgage on or pay the mortgage on the house you couldn't afford to heat that month? Perhaps that was a bad example.

More to the point would be, the little pieces of yourself, your self-worth as it were that you give up in order to make an impossible decision. THAT's the kind of "cost" I'm talking about.  When you realize that these decisions put together, side by side or all in a row, however you choose to look at it cost you something.  Maybe a friendship, a job opportunity, a chance at a relationship, something.  How do you rectify that, how do you, A: put a value on whatever it is and B: where do you put it within yourself.  Even when something costs us a part of ourselves, we don't actually lose it.  In fact it become a bigger part of us ironically.  Suddenly it's there all the time.  Like the death of a family member, it's a loss but it's now something that you carry with you everyday.

I want to teach my girls the value of themselves, the value of each other, the value of family and friends.  The cost of an argument or hurtful words.  That a day "wasted" cleaning the house together has the reward of an evening of family company. 

I can carry with me always the fear that my children will never understand what it "cost" my husband and I when we made and continue to make the decision for me to be a stay-at-home mom so I can be here for the girls.  It's too big of a explanation for them to see what we've all given up in order for that to happen. And what point would that have anyway? They're little girls. Looking back they may just remember that they didn't have the best clothes or shoes and wore their winter jackets for as many winters as I could get out of them and my youngest, wore Maggie's again - all of her clothes, again and again.  That we never went out to eat or to the movies very often. But that's the price I'm willing to pay, to be here when the phone rings to get them when their sick or to be able to stay home with them when their sick, the whole nine.  That's the price I pay and I have no bearing on what they'll remember this time as anyway. LOL  After all, there is no value on love right?  Like that famous credit card commercial..Mortgage: $2,000, Grocery Bill: $200, Being there when your kids get home: Priceless  Plus, they're learning how to cook and bake, they love spending time with me in the kitchen and family night is either a game or a movie - at home.  All movies come on TV eventually.

Rumi, another one of my favorite poets/mystic/theologians says "Burdens are the foundations of ease and bitter things the forerunners of pleasure."

If you sat and thought about all the things life cost you, you could get lost in thought for hours, days even.  (Last meant to sound like Snagglepuss).  What we need to think about are those things that take us away from those people or places or activities that we cherish or  need to tend to and not let them cost us more time.  If you've spent too much time away from someone you love b/c of FB or gaming or work (if it's avoidable), stop. A friend of mine had a good point the other day, he was referring to exercising but it works in any situation where you need extra time - If you have time for FB you have the time for _______.  You like to paint? Draw? Write?  What brings you peace?  Maybe you need time away from your kids for an hour.  Maybe they're costing you your sanity - hey it happens every once and a while.  Where is your peace?  Take it, take it today, just for 20 minutes.  Stop saying you don't have time.  FB, Twitter, TV, they're stealing your time, you don't need that ~ unless of course that IS your peace, then "rock it" as Maggie would say. 

And, as Rumi (again) would say:

"Be occupied, then, with what you really value and let the thief take something else."

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


"I love all beginnings, despite their anxiousness and their uncertainty, which belong to every commencement. If I have earned a pleasure or a reward, or if I wish that something had not happened; if I doubt the worth of an experience and remain in my past--then I choose to begin at this very second.   Begin what? I begin. I have already thus begun a thousand lives." ~ Rilke
Happy 2012, may it bring you happiness, peace, joy, beginnings and contented if not exhilaratingly satisfying endings. 
As I waited to ring in the new year, I reflected back on 2011 and bid farewell to it and all it's lessons and trials.  Honestly, I am not sorry to see the back end of that year.  It was a difficult one for my family.  It started out on a very emotionally and stressful note as we had just learned of my Mom's cancer diagnosis and it just remained a very rocky, roller-coaster-y year.  As well as financially draining thanks mostly to Apocalypse House.  Though I am ecstatic to say that since her surgery Mom has remained cancer free.  2011 wasn't all bad after all.
I posted a saying on my FB wall or timeline as they now have - will they ever stop messing with the FB format??? It read:
"View your life with kindsight, stop beating yourself up about things from your past.  Instead of slapping your forehead and asking:"What was I thinking?" Breathe and ask yourself the kinder question" "What was I learning?" 
I tried to keep that in mind as I went through my datebook, scanning quickly so as not to linger too long on the harder days instead choosing to smile and laugh more at the antics and funny things my children did, learned and experienced.  That's the best part of writing little quips everyday.  I'm so glad that I finally came to some sort of peace with that.  Keeping a datebook near my bed and writing a line or two in there every day.  Then when I do have time to write in the girls journals I just need to flip back to the place I left off at the previous entry and voilĂ ! That way I don't miss all the funny things they say, provided I can remember to write them down as they happen, sometimes by the time I go to bed, I have already forgotten what they may have said and I have to wait for it to come around again! LOL
When I realized I was journalling for the girls and not for myself and then that there wasn't enough time even for much of that, I was afraid that I would forget some things.  My sister Mare and I laugh at how we would write a few "key" words that would spark our memories and let the whole incident, whatever it might be, come flooding back.  In reality - that  never happens.  What happens is more like finding a sticky note that has hastily scribbled words that read: "7/19 (no year BTW) S ~ "LOS SIB was LOS PARENT"  yeah, no clue.  She evidently figured something out, maybe some great discovery, and I have no clue.  So, sticky notes don't work.  Neither does waking up in the middle of the night and scribbling key words incidentally, FYI.  My new way has been working out fairly well as far as using a datebook for day-to-day life, though I have yet to figure out a way to rectify the middle-of-the-night "I have just solved a major problem" scribbles that are never legible!  Should I ever, I shall share with you, no worries.
Yesterday was the day I set aside some time to do my 2012 calendars, adding all the birthdays and special dates that I need to remember.  I find it so strange that by the time I've finished, I've gone through the whole year. BOOM!  I'm at 12/31/12. Already, celebrated all those things in my head, said hi to friends, wished friends and family "Happy Birthday" and "Happy Anniversary", placed a heart and said a prayer on the anniversary of my brother and my father's death.  Looked at all the stuff I did last year and the gifts that were given to me that were so unexpected when I did this same activity last year.  Like my unbelievably beautiful and amazing Goddaughter, last January I didn't have her b-day on the calendar, cause she wasn't in the world yet! But this year she'll be turning one.  Amazing.  Last year I wrote "Groovy/Meep" in the space for Pets for their MD appts and in July we had to go through the unexpected heartache of putting Groovy to sleep.  As I filled out that space this year I wondered if Meep would be getting company in that space anytime soon.  Who knows?  Who knows what joys will befall me this year.  I already have one joy awaiting me....another Goddaughter, just waiting to be born.  Now if that isn't a great beginning to a year, a new year, a new life, a new family member. ♥
I hope the beginning of your year was beautiful in the way you wanted.  I hope it remains to grow and encompass all the things you need to complete your journey through 2012.