Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I Was Abandoned By My Parents

I started this blog several years ago as a place I could vent.  I needed to be able to think out loud, to write down my frustrations about selling my house.  I think I probably had the blog up and running for 6 months before one day like magic there was a follower.  Somebody was actually reading my blog?  Crazy, man.  Crazy.

With all the excitement and flattery that brings, it also made me more cautious about what I posted.  I wasn't just talking to myself anymore.  There was somebody else who was listening.  Oh sure, it was somebody I'd  never meet in real life and certainly they would never know the real me but it still put me on guard.

I've been on guard my entire life.  I do not remember a time when I wasn't aloof.  Yes, that's the word:  aloof.  I don't trust.  I don't engage.  I don't cling.  I'm not impressed with much.  I am comfortable keeping things friendly and sweet, but not personal or deep.  Just the facts, ma'am.  Just the facts.  That's how I like it.

My father walked out on me when I was six.  I don't remember anything about him.  Sometimes I'll have a little flash of something but I'm never quite sure if it's a real memory or a memory of something I made up.  I made up lots of stories about him.  They were excuses, really.  He worked out of town.  He travels for his job.  He's here.  Or he's there.  What I could never admit out loud or even to myself until I was an adult was that he is just not interested.  He just packed his stuff one day and left.  No goodbye.  No see ya.  Nothing.  Poof.  He was gone.  He left no trace behind.  My mother never spoke of him again.  And I knew to never ask.

This was the 60's when things like this were not made public.  We didn't air our dirty laundry.  The truth was everybody knew.  And everybody was shaking their heads.  "Tsk, tsk.  That girl will never make it.  She's going to run around with the wrong bunch.  She's sure to get in trouble.  You stay away from her".

There were very few adults in my life that didn't treat me like that.  I just wanted to be included.  I wanted to be treated like everybody else.  After all, I did not make him leave.  Or did I?  

My mother abandoned me emotionally by the time I was 12.  Just as before it didn't happen over night.  It was just a little at a time. She was not interested in whether I needed new shoes or help with math.  She was not interested in helping with the classroom parties.  She was not the mother who teachers could count on to drive on a field trip.  I could not rely on her to show up.  And the few times she did show up, she'd check her watch over and over as the sweat rolled down my back and I tried not to breath.

By the time I was in high school I did not have any kind of relationship with my mother. I lived in her house.  I stayed out of her way.  She did not yell or hit me.  She did forget about me and would always  be too tired to talk.  I have no memory of her asking about my day or me asking her about hers.  We didn't do that.

I graduated from high school and then college.  My mother did not attend my college graduation.  I've never asked her about that.  Mainly because I'm scared to hear the answer.  Just like many  other things, I'd rather not know and then I can pretend it never happened.  I walked around the campus through the families looking for mine after the ceremony.  I have bright memories of groups lining up for happy family photographs in front of the university mascot.  I waited and looked.  I pretended like I was headed "over there".  I'd stop and talk and then move quickly on before I was asked any questions about plans.  Or family.  Or breathing.  After an hour as the crowds began to disperse it finally dawned on me she didn't show up.  She didn't come.  Wow.  She didn't come.  I drove to Wendys.  I had nowhere else to go.

I could go on and on and on about how I managed.  I managed to finish college.  I managed to get a job.  I managed to become a welcomed part of a faculty.  For the first time in my life I knew I was included and it was a daunting feeling.

That was 28 years ago.  And nothing has changed.  I do not have a relationship with my parents.  My father passed away 25 years ago.  It was not a lifetime movie where we reconciled and life was great before he died.  Nope.  He just died.  And that was it.  When I found out I didn't feel anything.  That's not true, I felt ........... well, I told Ironman "Now he knows"  Now he knows that I didn't turn out badly.  That's all I felt.

My mother still lives in the city where I grew up although she is in another house.  She has no desire to have a relationship with me.  We are unable to have the simplest of conversations.  My emotions ran the gamut from feelings of despair and sadness and grieving to outrage and anger and hate.   My mother does not know my children.  That was another letdown as I thought that she would see my children as a chance to grandparent.  I welcomed it to be disappointed by her again.  As I held my first born in the hospital room I looked out the window and saw her leaving in the parking lot.  She was going home?  Yes it was time.  She could not stay all day.  She had a 3 hour drive and needed to be home before dark.   I looked down at this little baby not even 24 hours long and told him that I would never leave.  He would never feel abandoned.

Why confess all this now?  Because I have NEVER told a soul.  Not because of my feelings, but because it makes the listener so uncomfortable.  Why would I want to do that?  I don't want those around me to feel weird and uneasy.  And so I don't tell.
Yes today I felt like telling.  I felt like putting it down on paper even if just bits and pieces.  Sometimes you just gotta let it out because it's so heavy.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Weekend Recipe

I've baked and cooked several delicious things this week.  It was difficult to choose just one for my Saturday Recipe Post.  But here it is, by popular demand:


(honestly, you'll be amazed)


3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350*.

Grind oats in a food processor.  Don't skip this step.  It's magic.
In a medium bowl, stir together ground oats, flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Beat butter with electric mixer until fluffy.  Add oil, sugars, egg and vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy.  Slowly and carefully add the dry ingredients one heaping tablespoon at a time.  Beat on low speed until just combined.  Add chips.

Drop the dough onto baking sheets.  Bake 12 - 15 minutes  Cool and EAT!

Honestly.  I was amazed with the flavor.

This recipe made about 2 dozen cookies.

Other hits from my kitchen:
Pucketts of Nasvhille - copycat shrimp burger
Chick-fil-a copycat chicken strips

Glad to be back with a working keyboard.  Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Mad Dash

I'm beginning to feel anxious about the summer ending and returning to work.  Crazy you say?  I was cleaning this morning and found a list I had made during the hectic May Days of preschool.  As I looked down the list I could feel my anxiety level rise.  Wow!  I've done NONE of these things.  I'm going to regret that decision when I'm sitting in that first faculty meeting of the year which, by the way, is August 8.  AUGUST 8TH.  That is 12 days from now.  I better get busy.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Five Days

It has been five days since I've posted.  Where has time gone?

My keyboard died.  We tried to resuscitate it.  I was determined to hang in there 'til the bitter end.  Finally this morning we put it out of it's useless-ness.  I took the plunge and bought a bright shiny new keyboard at Best Buy.

I'm back in business!

Friday, July 20, 2012

It's Okay Friday

I probably should blog "Fashion Friday" like many of my blog buddies, but since I've worn yoga pants/shorts and cotton tees for WEEKS I'm sadly lacking in the fashion forefront thinking.

Instead I'm going to make a list of things that annoy me but, well, it's okay.

It's Okay that Ironman is going to be traveling the first week of school.  It's okay,  It's okay.  (rinse and repeat)

... I have to return to the dentist Tuesday to repair a chipped tooth.

... there are a set of 6 commercials every 5 minutes on TLC.  

... I hate making phone calls.

... I can't find the power cord to my label maker

... I do not like eating in hotel restaurants

... I'm cranky today

... I enjoy Dr. Oz and Nate Berkus


It's okay that I don't like chocolate.

It's such an issue.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Trip Report Part II, with more photos!

I was in Nash-vegas for 7 days.  I guess it's going to take 7 more days for me to recover.  I'm still loopy from the trip.

While we were in Nashville we drove to Franklin, a small town straight out of a storybook.  After we all had lunch at Pucketts (oh my shrimp burgers) I.T. girl and I wanted to walk down main street to the Landmark Booksellers.  This was the most fabulous bookstore I've ever been through.  WOW!  I'm pretty sure I've never taken photos of a bookstore before, but I sure did this time  Oh, and let me warn you, all I had was a little Kodak EasyShare camera in my purse.  I think the photos will be able to convey the atmosphere.  Take a look.
This bookstore is housed in a 2 story historical house complete with creaky stairs and beautiful details.  You can imagine a family living there.
 The cookbook room set up in the kitchen!
 Beautiful.  The room invites you to sit a spell and read a little.

 It was a quiet store with just a few customers milling about.  The lady at the front left us alone to pour over the books.  We looked at every single one of them.

 This historical marker was out front, but it's not exactly the reason I took the photo.  Can you tell why I took it?  Let me enlarge the image............

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Trip Report Part 1. With photos!

Ironman and I spent 6 days in Nashville.  

The first batch of photos I'd like to share are of a visit we made to Fontanel, the log cabin built by Barbara Mandrell and her husband.   We noticed on Trip Adviser that this tour destination was rated #3.  Why not?  

 Autographed pillar in the den.  

 Fontanel is the largest log cabin home in the country.

 I flipped through the address book but only took one photo.  This book is the real thing in Barbara's handwriting.  

 I had to capture a photo of this bottle opener.  I'm sure my children would have no idea what is.
 Indoor swimming pool
 Ironman really can walk on water.

 Indoor shooting range

The walls were damaged one night when Kid Rock and Hank Williams, Jr. had assault rifles and whiskey -  Not a good combination.

Our tour guide, Vance, told us that The Fontanel depends on the money from tours and special events for upkeep and expenses.  The house only has 2 guest rooms as Barbara and her husband enjoyed having company but did not want them to spend the night.  Management will rent the house for weddings, parties, etc.  They also have a concert venue in the back part of the property that can be rented for parties.

Monday, July 16, 2012

We're home!

Our week in Nashville is over.  I have lots of pictures to share but for some reason I just can not make myself upload them.  There is so much to do around here when you are absent for 9 days.  Speaking of that, where did all this dust come from?

Until I get the photos up and edited, I'll just let you know the highlights.  Okey Dokey?

First, we drove.  The trip is 9 hours if you don't stop. But, of course, we stopped.  So it was closer to 11 hours.  Ironman drives like a bat out of he##.

We dropped the daughters off at camp where they would stay for 4 days.  Ironman and I got back in the car and just looked at each other.  Four days alone?  What were we thinking!!

So, here's the tally:

10:30am - the time on the clock when I woke up in the morning.  YES!!!

Big Fat ZERO -  flavorful coffee I drank.  Sorry, but if you can see the bottom of your cup through a full cup of coffee, it's too weak.

One - delicious, couldn't quit eating meal.  We had fried catfish, hushpuppies, cream corn, black eyed peas, biscuits and preserves at Loveless Cafe in Nasvhille.  And then I ordered banana pudding.  I had to waddle to the car after eating all that but oh it was so worth it.

One - Show at the Grand Ole Opry. We wanted to go see two Louisiana boys:  Trace Adkins and Kix Brooks.  It was fun.

One - Show at The Ryman.  Ironman really wanted to see a show during the Bluegrass Nights.  So I graciously reluctantly went with him.  And with a smile on my face, too.  We heard Rhonda Vincent.  Apparently she's the reigning queen of bluegrass?  The musicians were marvelous.  Even I could appreciate the talent and giftedness.  But the jokes were outdated and politically incorrect.  I'd take corny and hokey over insulting any day.

One - "discussion" with Ironman about his driving and almost killing us both.  After that I drove.

Six - Rainy Days.  I love a rainy day.

Zero - Shoes purchased.  Do I have self control or what?

Other highlights:
We toured Barbara Mandrell's former log cabin.  It is now owned by record promoters that also promote Alabama and Kenny Chesney.  So although the furnishings and interior are kept the way Barbara had it, there is a lot of memorabilia from the other two.  Barbara's daughter, Jamie, was the hostess.  It took you back in time, that's for sure.

We toured the Lotz House.  In Franklin, TN there is a lot to see and explore about The Civil War.  Our tour guide was.......... let's just say, he really was into his tour guiding.  More about that later.

We discovered a beautiful book store.  I think it's the first time I've EVER pulled out my camera and taking photos of the inside of a store.

This trip was the last trip of the summer for me.  It is good to be home.

Photos will be posted tomorrow.  :)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

There's just something about....

I've had an eventful week which got me to thinking about all the good things in life.
Here is my short list:

There's just something about....

...laundry.  That feeling you get when the warm, clean clothes come out of the dryer.  There's just something about that.

.....Jon Bon Jovi.  OH MY GOSH!

.....completing several MUST DO errands.  I managed to do that yesterday.  Treating myself to a car wash at the end.

..... getting your car washed. And vacuumed.  Ah yes, there is something about that

....falling into bed at the end of a long day.  Fresh sheets, cool pillow.

....being the first one awake in the morning  There is something about the quiet time at the beginning of the day

We're off to Nashville tomorrow.  Ironman and I will be there for a whole week with NO CHILDREN.  I hope to sneak in a blog post here or there but I'll just play it by ear.
I'll be back on track soon.  Hugs and Kisses

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Hallmark - Help Me Out A Little

Today I finally did it.  I stopped by the card section in CVS.  I had put it off for days.  But now I really had no excuse.  I was waiting to have a Rx filled and so I might as well tackle the chore:  choose a birthday card for someone I don't enjoy.  Now, that sounds sweet and mature, doesn't it?  Sorry.  But it's true.

Still, it's the right thing to do.  Wishing someone a happy birthday is just a little gesture of good will.  (there have been many times that I did what I thought was the right thing to do only to have it backfire.  So I don't always trust myself in this situation)

Usually it's  fun.  I laugh out loud at some and get all mushy with others.
I stand there for 15 - 20 minutes trying to find just the right card.  It may take time but I always find something appropriate.

Yes sirree, no trouble at all.  I enjoy doing it. I want friends to know that even in my hectic world I still remember them and their birthday. Besides, it's nice to know somebody took the time and energy to pick out a card of you. And then to have a stamp?  And remember to mail it?  The old fashioned snail mail way?  Priceless.

Today was not one of those days.  I was buying the card out of kindness, thoughtfulness, selflessness, obligation.  That's it, obligation.

The first one was too sweet.  Let's not get carried away, people.
The next one was funny.  Nope.  This birthday girl has no sense of humor.  She won't get it.
I'm not interested in a long flowing poem.  Oh gosh, no.  I just can't go that far.
Calling Hallmark or American Greetings - I need some help here.

I never found a card that read, "We do not have a close relationship, we go months with no contact, I'm sending you this birthday card to honor you. Please accept it and have a  Happy Birthday.

Nope.  No cards like that.  Hey, I did see a "Happy Divorce" card.

FInally I reached for a card I had already considered.  Maybe it was even the first one I saw.
White background - no glitter.  Photograph of a cupcake with birthday candle.
Tasteful but not overly emotional.
Text inside simply said "Wishing you a Happy Birthday"

I will mail it.  Tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


"When we magnetized the compressed area, the area of concern disappeared.  So you are free to go.  We don't see the need for an ultrasound at this time.  Your doctor will received this report and you should hear from his office in a day or so.  There is really no reason we can see for any further screening. "

And with that I walked out of the hospital to my car.  I cried all the way to McDonalds. Ordered a large order of fries and a large diet coke.

I walked into my house, sat down and realized I was exhausted.  Every part of me was weak.  So I went to bed.

Tomorrow is a new day.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Yes, I've been gone for a few days

I got a call back for a follow up mammogram.

Right breast.

Same as last year.

I had a call back last year.  I held my head up high and marched into the screening area of the hospital like it was something I did every day.  I had a repeat mammogram.  The screener asked me to wait while the radiologist reviewed the pictures.  In 15 - 20 minutes (which seemed like an hour) she returned and told me I could go home.  They had reviewed my records and determined an ultrasound was not necessary at this time.  I had dense breasts.

That was the day before we moved.  I was so busy last summer that I didn't have much time to think about what could have been.  I packed up my house and moved 2 hours north.  I started a new job.  My girls started new schools.

A year has passed.  I got the call yesterday.  Right breast has had a significant change.  When would you like to return for a follow up mammogram and an ultrasound?

"Tomorrow", I said.  "I know it's a long shot.  But it's worth a phone call"

"Yes"  said the nurse.  "Give me a minute.  I will call and see if they can get you in tomorrow.  If they can't do it tomorrow, I'll keep asking until we find you a spot as quickly as possible.  I'll call you right back"

She called back.  X Ray and Ultrasound scheduled for tomorrow at 2pm.  Please have your insurance card and identification.  Thank you.

There will be no sleeping or eating (on my part) until tomorrow afternoon.  All of a sudden my right breast feels achy.

I'll let you know.  Thanks.