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Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Five Christmas Past

Not my family

Jan posted this Friday Five:

1. I started talking about my childhood Christmas in a previous post. I had a drunk father who got drunker at Christmas-what a good time!- and an angry non-drunk mother who worked harder at this season. This goaded my father who wanted a stay-at-home wife to have his dinner on the table. This made for a highly anxious little Joanna.

2. Meanwhile I was in a private Catholic School where I sang in the choir, and all things Christmas was good. Talk about a mixed message. I had nobody to talk about re: this.

3. For a long time when I came to NY I had a house in the country-Orient Point, LI and we had a lot of fun at Christmas, including a lot guessed it, drinking. We also gathered oysters wearing tall rubber boots in the cold. A good memory.

4. I've finally started talking about this part of my childhood and my therapist calls it Trauma. I'm reading Trauma and Recovery by Judith Herman . I read a few pages and cry, repeat.

5. Now my holidays are mixed holidays are Hanukah and Christmas as my beloved is Jewish. This sometimes works well.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

#reverb10- Community

Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

This is a difficult season for me. The holidays were a frightening time in my family. My father would drink more than ever and my mother would stay at work longer-because they needed her and because she liked it and it was her community and because she would rather be there than at home. I knew that when my mother finally got home from work, my father would be high and angry and my mother would just be angry at my father.I would pace at the end of the driveway looking for the lights of my mothers car. I would be anxious. Happy Holidays! My therapist calls this a form of Trauma as I still get depressed around the holidays.

Now that we are spending more and more time in Long Beach, NY I am trying to find community there. The time we are spending is currently so short-weekends-that this is difficult, but I have found a nice Episcopal Church-with a gay male pastor! who I have corresponded with, but have not attended the church yet. This will be one way. I have attended some AA meetings there, but not since summer. I have had a meeting with the folks who are trying to start a lgbt community center and have said that I will help them to get it started-they are so young! So I have made a start.

As you can see, I am not quite following the rules of this reverb think, but it is getting me to blog a little more and that's making a bet of a difference, so that's what counts for me.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

#reverb10- Dec. 3 Moment

I've decided to participate in #reverb10 to jump start my blogging. I learned about it from another Revgal and it seemed like a good idea. I don't guarantee I will do it every day or that I will finish, but I will try.
So day one for me is:
December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).
We arrived in Turkey. The first day and the second day are mixed up in my mind but the first evening that we had on our own, I think was actually the second night or at least we had a full nights sleep. Beloved and I walked out into an area with no vehicle traffic, just foot traffic. It was busy. People in western dress and in eastern dress, women covered and uncovered, that is in burkahs and in western dress. My godchild who lived in Turkey for 5 years told us that it had become much more conservative, but to my uneducated eye not so draconian.
The street had many vendors including men, all the vendors were men squeezing pomegranates for juice and selling the juice which was ruby red and the seeds were like jewels. There were men selling all kinds of things, jewelery, pashima scarves. It was noisy, but not worse than NY on a noisy day, but my eyes were full of colors and new sights, exotic, exciting but European at the same time. The smell of food, smoke, body odor was everywhere.
We came to an area with small alleyways and lots of restaurants and looked into a number of them, and chose one at random. It was a hole in the wall with tables outside for smoking-we though as there was a man out there smoking- and inside tables with no customers. I guess we were early.
We ordered using what English the owner/waiter knew and the food was delicious. I had BBQ chicken cooked over a wood fire. It tasted like the best chicken I ever had, juicy, yet a little charred on the outside. The man outside was eating cheese and pickles and drinking Rake poured over a spoon into water where it made the water cloudy. We asked about the cheese. The waiter said "you don't want that!" We persisted! He continued. Finally, Beloved said we would order some. The waiter brought us a small sample. It looked like a solid white cheese as if you could slice Ricotta, but the taste was slightly funky and not really pleasant. I have eaten many cheeses, so was glad to have had a taste, but then the waiter told us it was made from the intestine-of what I am not sure. Then I was glad to have had just a taste.
After dinner we went to a dessert cafe where they had so many wonderful desserts including one made from chicken breast shredded and made with a sweet custard. The man next to us said it was good but hard to eat because of the stringy texture. I loved Turkey.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Kathrynzj posted this excellent FF: "Whether a RevGal or a Pal most of us in this cyber community have enhanced responsibilities during this time of year. We also have traditions - religious and secular - that mark the season for us in a more personal way.

For this Friday Five please let us know five of the things that mark the season for you.

And the bonus? Tell us one thing that does absolutely nothing for you."

1. Tonight I will be wrapping gifts we give to homeless children with my SFX Lesbian Group-still not Catholic but still hanging out with them...

2. The Office Christmas Party. Yes I like it and it's fun because my counselor, Brian makes this game called 'ghetto grab bag' that is so funny, yet so mean and takes so long that every one is engaged and happy by the end and we go to really good restaurant in Brooklyn!

3. Lighting the Menorah with Beloved, because it's so intimate and lovely and watching the little candles grow every night and she says the prayer in Hebrew.

4. Seeing all the strange and makeshift lights on my street, because of course, we have not front yards so people make do and it's all kind of strange and fun.

Bonus 5. I hate that it all started before Thanksgiving and some of it even before Haloween, can you believe it!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Management Lessons

1.) Lesson One Never publicly chastize an employee. If you feel the need to correct an employee, take them aside or wait till later and call them to your office and speak with them.

I'm a counselor and also first level management, that is I'm a senior counselor and I manage a unit of 10, 7 counselors and 3 support staff. I attend many meetings including 2 management team meetings per month. I may have mentioned previously that about 2 years ago, my very good friend became our office manager. This has created boundary issues for me and for her in particular-I think.

Our office is very diverse with staff from Nigeria, Russia, Jamaica and lots of other islands, Puerto Rico, China, and etc. The new manager, a white Jewish woman (and I mention this because this is the default manager for our agency) rather than taking it slow when she came in, and getting the lay of the land, starting making change, some of it draconian, immediately. This caused instability in the office who had heard of this individual-as we are a small agency relatively-and were tentative about her coming to our office, or outright afraid.

This ultimately resulted in a letter from the staff to Human Resources and a meeting with the Assistant Commissioner and the District Office Manager and the staff, but not the offending manager. And some follow up corrective actions and some paranoia.
That's the setup:

In my unit I have several people with disabilities including myself, but one uses Access A Ride, the local option for individuals with disabilities who can't use bus/subways. This is a good but creaky option which requires reservations and wait time.

The day before a holiday we ofter close early, but we never know until the whim of the manager of that moment. Even the supervisors, first line managers don't know, so I made the mistake of asking at the management team meeting. I was publicly humiliated by my boss/friend who said, "You should know better. You work for the government. We never close early. If that happens if happens quietly and it's a gift. You don't ask if you're getting a gift?" All at shouting level. I explained that I was just trying to make arrangements for my counselor-who is also recovering from double c-spine surgery. "We can't make arrangements for every counselor." All this from a professional who works for people with disabilities.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Five Pie-O-La

Songbird posted this topical Friday Five and what an excellent one it is:

1. Are pies an important part of a holiday meal?

Most definitely! When I was growing up in the middle of an orchard, we had many, many pies and everybody had their specialities. My Aunt Mary made a lemon meringue pie the likes of which I have not had since she passed away. It was so good and the meringue was perfect, sweet and with little beads of liquid sugar when it was humid. Yum. But we also grew sour cherries, perfect for pies, and peaches, plums, apples, I could go on and on. Yesterday we went out and I skipped the pumpkin-I only like mine- for coconut custard because I like custard pie. Not bad...

2. Men prefer pie; women prefer cake. Discuss

Hadn't really noticed. But the men I have observed growing up liked both and I do too.

3. Cherries-do they belong in a pie.

Yah, you betcha!

4.Meringue-if you have to choose, is it best on lemon or chocolate?

Never on chocolate, only on lemon.

5. In a chicken pie, what are the most compatible vegetables? Anything yo don't like to find in a chicken pie.

OK. Who ever had that really bad idea to put red peppers or any peppers in to chicken pot pie for a "little color?" Might as well cut up crayons and drop them in. Chicken pot pie is nice and comforting, why mess with it. I hate peppers! Just some nice peas and carrots and some potatoes and maybe a little, very little celery. Ok that's it and big pieces of chicken, white meat please.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Five Unexpected Things

Jan posted this-not so easy- Friday Five:

"With the American holiday of Thanksgiving being less than a week away, I tried to think of some questions for Friday Five that could be connected to this, but in a new way. So here is my one try:

Name five things that were unexpected in your life that you are now grateful for."

1. I was born! Yes, my fathers first wife died of an illegal abortion and he wanted my mother to have one too (found that gem out when they were fighting and I was in the 7th grade in Catholic School-it did make quite an impression on me!) I also found out my mother was divorced. Wow! Years later, my elderly aunt told me this information, maybe 10 years ago, and I was able to tell her how I found out about it. Made quite an impression on a Catholic 7th grader, I must say!

2. I was a lesbian! It started to dawn on my when I found myself stalking my World History teacher, Ms Marsco! Not outside of school, but inside. It was a slow dawning of what this was all about, but by senior year, when I had several crushes on other students, I was getting it! Of course I dated boys all through college, no gay groups then until the Kent State Gay Liberation Front when I finally came out then went back in to do student teaching. I was still living at home.

3. I moved to NYC right after College. What was I thinking? But I was brave and I persevered and lived in a 5th floor walk up with cockroaches that had two arson fires, one that had us move out-where was the Red Cross? I lived on a friends couch for a week the went to my parents for two weeks-unpaid-my job had no sick or vacation time or insurance. I'm still here and happy!

4.I met beloved after kissing lots for frogs! I went to work at NYC NOW , the founding chapter, (a change of careers job) and she was a 'straight' volunteer'. Well she started paying a lot of attention to me and finally asked me out to dinner. 20 years this spring...

5. I'm still alive after all of this and some more. And I'm grateful to be here.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Five-Winter's on the Way

When I was little and it snowed, I played with my cousins!
I'm the one in the middle.

Singing Owl posted this timely FF "The picture is of my back deck after the first heavy snow last winter. I am looking at the weather forecast with a sigh of resignation. You see, our glorious unseasonable stretch of sunny days is ending and rain mixed with snow is in the forecast. The weather guy actually said, "This is probably the last nice day till spring, folks..." So, I am trying to plan ahead. Help me out, please. When it is cold outside:"

1. What is your favorite movie for watching when curled up under a wooly blanket?

We haven't been renting or buying movies that much, relying on the gay station Logo to supply us with movies.

2. Likewise, what book?

The old faithful Strand, has great books at great prices and I'm always looking for a new book or 5, so call this my winter sport. I like mysteries, but not cozys, I'm just reading the "Girl Who" books, and I really like some of the spiritual books I have read about on the Revgal website. Harder to find, I like to read books that reflect my life. PS-tip! the Strand Bookstore is online!

3. What foods do you tend to cook/eat when it gets cold?

Now that we have an actual kitchen AND DISHWASHWASHER-DA-DUM!! I may find out!

4. What do you like to do if you get a "snow day" (or if you don't get snow days, what if you did)?

I have a million beads that I have bought in my travels. I may try to put them together somehow.
Did I mentionthat the State of NY does not give Snow Days. Not in my 12 years. And people with longer memories say they have NEVER gotten them and we have a very snowy state!
5. Do you like winter sports or outdoor activities, or are you more likely to be inside playing a board game? Do you have a favorite (indoors or out)?

As I said my winter sport, reading.

Friday, November 5, 2010

FF My soul is happy

Kathrynzj posted this Friday Five: "We lead privileged lives.

True, some are more privileged than others but the fact that we are communicating right now via technological devices puts us in the privileged category.

There are many perks in my life for which I give thanks and then there are some that make everything right in the world during the moment I am enjoying them. I'm wondering what a few of those things - five to be specific - are for you.

To help you along here are just three of mine that I will write more about on my blog: drinking coffee out of a real mug, walking into my home after the domestic goddess has been there, participating in the RevGalBlogPals Big Events."

1. I have Beloved who is there when I need her, and when I don't.

2. I finally have more than 500 sq. ft to share with Beloved, now 1200+500. Unfortunately in two different places. Fortunately one has NYC and one has an Ocean Beach!

3. On the good days and the bad days, I have a job.

4. I have some toys that I love, one that I'm I'm typing on now. Her name is Mac. Also books, but no ipad.

5. I have a godchild who is not a child but is a joy and a blessing. She told me all about Turkey before I went there but did not tell me about Chicken Pudding-really a dessert made with a chicken breast! (google that you revgals!)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

When good turns bad

As I may have mentioned, I had this great trip to Turkey and Greece that turned bad during the last week when I got this case of dysentery.. Well when I got back, I got a script for Cipro and that pretty much took care of that until this past weekend when I had a reprise of the unfortunate week in Athens.
I went to my doc yesterday- I only get sick in other countries or on weekends, and her empirical guess, or rather, diagnosis was C Difficile, an infection I was terrified to get several years ago when I had surgery and was in the hospital for two weeks.
Apparently, you can get C Diff, by taking a strong antibiotic, which lets the C Diff which may already exist in your system, thrive! Who knew...
So now I'm on an even stronger antibiotic-Flagyl- and a probiotic and something else that replaces something that is missing that I'm not quite sure what it is.
The moral of this story, wash your hands, don't drink the water or eat the fruit or, well just stay home. No...don't do that. I'm afraid that if there is a bad thing, I will get it.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Five Comfort Media

Jane Rule
Kathrynzj posted this comfortable FF:
"I don't get to watch that much tv anymore, but I actually wrote today's Oprah show down on my calendar. Why? Because she is hosting a Sound of Music cast reunion!!! Those of you who know me may be surprised that I would care so much about such a stereotypically girly flick, but I love it (although admittedly fast forward through the Reverend Mother's rendition of Climb Every Mountain). I can watch this movie over and over and over again.

It seems no matter how many new movies, tv shows or books come down the pike I still have my ol' stand by favorites that I can watch/read over and over and when I do they actually bring me comfort - like an old sweatshirt or a favorite food.

Today's Friday Five is an opportunity for you to list five of your favorite 'go-to' movies/tv shows/books. You can use images, links, explanations or

If you play the Friday Five at your blog and would like visitors, be sure to share a link in the comments. For a complete how-to on how to post your link,
click here.

Thank you for playing, I cannot wait to read your offerings. Who knows, maybe I'll find a new go-to favorite!"

1. I have a collection of lesbian themed fiction that I have been amassing since I arrived in NYC in 1972 and would comb the used book stalls on 4th Ave. My favorite of all these books are the books of the recently late and great Jame Rule. She lived on a island off the West coast of Canada and when I belonged to the Gay Academic Union I invited her to speak at authors panel, she wrote me a very nice letter-which I of course still have-declining and saying that she was a writer and not a speaker. Years later the Howard Brown Memorial Fund gave her a lifetime award and I actually met her-and had drinks with her-at the Plaza hotel! Even later, my lover at the time was her editor and got to go to the little island to work with her and I got a personally autographed book!

2. Film-"Desert Hearts" made from "Desert of the Heart" by Jane Rule.

3. Musical- remakes of old musicals, like South Pacific and Gypsy which I saw on Broadway this year. I also see the new stuff, but the old stuff where I'm already singing at the beginning is so comforting!

4. Well, food wasn't included, but warm chocolate pudding. Did I mention that I had the best chocolate pudding in Turkey. I seems that pudding is a Turkish favorite. We went into a dessert restaurant and they had about 10 different kinds including chicken. The man dining next to us said it was good but difficult to eat due to the strands of chicken included.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Turkey and Athens

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Beloved and I recently went on a wonderful trip to (see above.) We traveled with Olivia, a feminist travel company that started as a recording company for Chris Williamson and Meg Christian and many others in the very early 70's and them morphed into a 'concert at sea' and then into a travel company for women. This was our 4th trip with them and our first 'not in the winter and our first out of the general US/Caribbean area.'
We flew to Istanbul-doesn't that sound exotic-it was-then toured around for a few days. We saw the Hagia Sophia, a place I only studied in Art History in the earlier 70's, then boarded the Azimara, Journey for 7 days at sea with stops at various islands including Mykonos, and places that are slipping my mind at this early hour.
The plan was to stay for an extra week in Athens. We signed on for the after tour which included the Parthenon which was no climb for sissies, but there was an elevator for individuals with handicaps-me, but getting to it. I saw one woman in a wheelchair with two people pushing her, wow! She did get there...eventually. It was amazing.
Unfortunately, then dysentery struck and the week we planned for Athens, I spent in the Hilton, feet away from the WC. I'm still recovering. Why I didn't demand a doctor is a story for another day. When I finally got back to the US, two days on Cipro and it stopped, but by then I was so dehydrated and weak that I still have to watch what I eat and tire easily.
Despite this, it was a wonderful trip and I give great kudos to the women of Olivia Cruises for making travel easy and fun. They are a wonderful company and their staff are the best. I hope to travel with them many more times

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Five Singing

Mary Beth posted this FF

"Music is a part of the human experience, and part of religious traditions the world over. It is evocative and stirring, and many forms of worship are incomplete without it.Our title comes from a quote popularly attributed to St. Augustine: "He who sings prays twice." A little Googling, however, indicates that Augustine didn't say exactly that. In fact, what he said just doesn't fit well onto a t-shirt. So we'll stick with what we have."Singing reduces stress and increases healthy breathing and emotional expression. Singing taps into a deep, age-old power available to all of us. When we find our voice, we find ourselves. Today, sing like you mean it." And let's talk about the role music plays in your life and worship.

1) Do you like to sing/listen to others sing? In worship, or on your own (or not at all?)

Although I don't sing will, I do like to sing and it cheers me up. Since I haven't found my place of worship yet (still checking...) I will sing on, on my own.

2) Did you grow up with music in worship, or come to it later in life? Tell us about it, and how that has changed in your experience.

I was raised Roman Catholic-notice I still capitalize? And I was in the choir. I loved singing the roman mass. I also loved the the changes of the 2nd Vatican Council but the music, not so much.

3) Some people find worship incomplete without music; others would just as soon not have it. Where do you fall?

Not sure yet. Depends upon where I land. At this point my music is musical comedies.

4) Do you prefer traditional music in worship, or contemporary? That can mean many different things!

I guess that would be way traditional.

5) What's your go-to music ... when you need solace or want to express joy?

See above, and that would be show tunes. And I worked in summer stock for a number of years so I know a lot of them.

Will post later when I am not at work and not breaking the law-don't tell...

PS Next Friday I will be in Turkey, I think and the following in Greece. Opa!

Stressed Out part deux

When I though thing couldn't get worse...
This week we had a meeting in response to a letter to our main office in the capital city. The new Assistant Commisioner and Regional manager came to hear the entire office (except my boss/friend) complaints about my boss/friend. It was really difficult. The "gang of four" had rehearsed a presentation, printed with their complaints, mostly about the style of b/f . Then they read letters that they just 'happened to find on their chairs while they were out of the office from anonymous individuals.' All the letters sounded strangely similar. It was really a blood bath and difficult for me to hear particularly since they used something I said- I though in confidence-in a union meeting to beat b/f with. The word bully was bandied about frequently...
At which point, I raised my hand-foolishly. I say foolishly because I have terrible stage fright. All you revgals, I could never be you. If I don't have something written out in front of me, I'm lost. And I cannot memorize. Never. So I got up and said the b/f had been a friend/mentor for more than 15 years and had taught my much of what I know about where I work. I then went on to go after the union forperson as a bully who came to my office door and threaten me-true.
Oy. Why did I ever get up. I said some other stuff too, which I won't go into here to the effect of why can't we all get along.
After I relinquished the stage, hands shot up.
The next day a number of people weren't speaking to me. Now I'm embroiled in another union conflict involving one of my employees. I'm about to leave on vacation-next Thursday. Maybe I just won't come back.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Five Baby Showers

Jan posted this FF:
Friends are giving my daughter-in-law AA a baby shower, which happily brought her and DC down for a visit to Corpus Christi. looking forward to having my first grandchild in two months and all these preparations, like baby showers, are getting me excited! So I hope you'll participate in telling about your likes and dislikes about baby showers for you and for others.

1. What were baby showers like for you and your friends in the past?
I'm from the generation of lesbians that didn't have babies so much. Now our younger friends and some of our generation are having them by AI and adoption. So, not so much in the past. And all of my family lived far away.

2. Did you play games? What kinds?
I recently had two baby showers in the office. Both genders invited, Gifts, food, no games.

3. In your job, especially if you are a pastor, do you get invited to a lot of baby showers? What do you do about them?
Not a pastor, a counselor. We're not allowed to attended personal events. It's against our code of ethics.

4. Are baby showers different for our daughters (or younger friends) than they were for us?
Based on the two I helped organize-I was the minor organizer-get money! The lack of games seemed to be a major difference.

5. Do you like hosting baby showers or do you avoid that responsibility?
I would avoid the responsibility at all costs.

If I did have a baby shower I would get the cake above. Or maybe I'll get it for my next birthday!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Five Insomnia

My pal, Mom Priest posted this FF on sleeplessness:
Our Friday Five today will focus on sleep, or the lack there of:

1. Are you prone to sleep challenges? Insomnia, snoring, allergies? Other sleep challenges?
And sometimes I can't sleep.

2. When you can't sleep what do you do? Toss and turn? Get up and read? Play computer games?
Not being able to sleep has been a fairly recent-and I mean in the last 15-20 years-thing. If I can relax after work and just calm down slowly, I can sleep, but inadvertently, my beloved will get in from work late and be full of pep and talk about exciting topics like the contractor! Then I'm all wound up again and so it goes.
I started with Tryptophane. That's the stuff that comes in Turkey. You know how you get sooo tired on Thanksgiving? Well they sell that stuff in Health Food Stores. Then they took it off the market because some of it was making people sick, bad batch. Now, btw it's back. Well then I turned to Benadryl, a mild antihystamine that is often prescribed to addicts who have a hard time sleeping and since I have allergies. Works well. Then Ambien. Now I take Trazedone. Also works well.

3. When you do sleep do you remember your dreams? Or just snipets of them?
I tend to remember dreams when I wake up and then go back to sleep. But not much, just snippets.

4. Can you share a funny or confusing dream you've had? Or a dream you have over and over?
Well I used to have a dream over and over where I had an exam never went to the class, but I went to Grad. School and actually went to most of my classes so that took care of that.

5. When you don't sleep how do you get through the day? Lots of coffee? or a nap later in the day?
I just drag on throught the day and then fall into bed at the end of the day. Sugar usually helps.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Five Dorm Edition

Mindful that many others are heading off to further schooling or delivering their loved ones to the institutions that provide it, here are five questions about dorm life.

1) What was the hardest thing to leave behind when you went away to school for the first time?
Actually I didn't head off to school. the hardest thing was that I lived at home and went to the local State University in Ohio. Living at home was truly hard at that age.

2) We live in the era of helicopter parents. How much fuss did your parents make when you first left home?
That would be five years later when I really left for good and I was a good deal older. My mother made a lot of fuss and sent care packages frequently.

3) Share a favorite memory of living with schoolmates, whether in a dorm or other shared housing.
During the 3 final years of colleges, I worked in summer stock in the summer and lived there. My usual room mate had animals and living with two big dog and a bird in a small apartment was...different. Once we were transporting her horse to NY when we had a flat tire on her van. We had to take the horse out of the van to change the tire. I was left holding the horse. What did I know from horses? The horse took off running down the highway. We eventually got it back. The there was the time...

4) What absolute necessity of college life in your day would seem hilariously out-of-date now?
An eight track?

5) What innovation of today do you wish had been part of your life in college?
An away college

Bonus question for those whose college days feel like a long time ago: Share a rule or regulation that will seem funny now. Did you really follow it then?
I was on the cusp of the great revolution, women's liberation, the summer of love, drugs, sex, rock and roll. I graduated from HS in 1967. I had picked out a swell wardrobe for college (as for HS I only wore uniforms.) But, I was an art major and shortly all of my clothing was stained with paint, and other stuff. Well I started wearing...slacks! Then jeans. I was called into the Dean of Women's office. Dean Painter, I'll never forget it! She said that she understood that I had been see wearing pants and jeans on campus! Oh no. This must have been 1968 or 69 by then. You remember? This was Youngstown State University as stones throw from Kent State University and we would also shortly have armed National Guard on OUR campus. I said, Yes, I've ruined all my clothes and I feel more comfortable in clothes that I don't have to worry about. That was the end of that.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Five De-cluttering Re-cluttering

Jan posted this apt for me FF:

"Since posting about decluttering, I am still muttering about the need for it in my house. How about you?"
Well about me and my beloved, we're in the finish line of the beach palace, weekend place, other home whatever. So we're slowly taking things out there. Consequently our apartment looks like a Tornado blew through!

1. What things do you like to hang on to?
Books, not the beach reads, but the ones that I collect the ones that mean something. Add to that the wall that divides the 'bedroom' from the living room is a bookcase wall.

2. What is hard to let go of?
See above. Also letters and such from the days when we still wrote letters. Remember that? Also photographs and since I was an art major my first time around what I have left from that.

3. What is easy to give away?
"Beach/Subway books, clothing, stuff we never use. We donate.

4. Is there any kind of stumbling block connected with cleaning out?
Transportation. We have a car that is currently residing with the Beach Palace.

5. What do you like to collect, hoard, or admire?
See 1.

Bonus: Tell us about recycling or whatever you can think of that goes along with this muttering about cluttering.
I hate to wash the leftover soda cans, and various plastic items that are made to make our lives easier.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Stressed Out

Even thinking about writing about it stresses me out and makes my stomach turn over. I think I've mentioned my work in this blog, but now that I've unlinked from FB, I think I can say a little more. I've been working on my house renovation with Beloved since February and even with contractors (2) it's been really hard-like a second full time job. Well my job has become like a job and a half.

I'm a senior counselor, with a unit of 7 counselors that I supervise. About a year and a half ago a good friend from my old office was transferred to my new office as the office manager (head of the office.) Rather than taking things slowly and seeing the lay of the land and getting to know people, she immediately started changing things and alienated 90% of the staff and I'm getting close. She also initiated practices "internal controls" that have turned my job into what feels like a clerk. I'm a licensed mental health counselor and a certified rehabilitation counselor and I spend a good part of time at the computer finalizing my counselors work. I Should be working with counselors, teaching, analyzing, helping etc. Supervising. Doing supervision. But who has the time. Add to this, since we're a government agency, with the draconian changes, we have more hearings (when the client is unhappy and wants to take their unhappiness to a higher level with a judge) than ever before, so our new manager, I'll call her manager is busy preparing for them which makes her nuts. And she in turn makes us nuts because the counselor and the senior counselor have to prepare all of the paperwork and participate in the hearing . I have on coming up when I get back from vacation.

Since she's my friend, I've tried to talk to her about this and sometimes when she doesn't get defensive, she seems to get it, she seems to understand. But the next day, she does the same things making changes to my unit without consulting me and micromanaging.

Both unions are filing grievances against her.

I've developed physical problems which I'm sure are stress related and I'm really tired all the time. Fortunately I have a week off next week but all I can think of is it's just a week and then I have to come back.

Friday, July 30, 2010

FRIDAY FIVE Love the One You're With

KathrynZJ posted this most interesting Friday Five:
"And so I ask you to please name five things you like about where you are living now... and as your bonus - 1 thing you don't like."

Since we're Renovating the beach palace in a place about 50 miles from here on the Island of Long in the County of Nassau I have a few current ideas:
1. In my current locations, great restaurants- new place, haven't found them.
2. Here, bookstores, new place, you have to drive to one, none in town.
3. Here you can walk to places, many places, there not so much...
4. Both places you can dial out for dinner!!
5. There we have the ocean!
Bonus-The suffocating humidity seems less at the beach, usually. In NYC really bad.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Five Pets or Not

Jan posted this furry FF:

1. Did you grow up with pets?
I grew up in the midwest-Ohio-near the country. Walking to school, we passed a feed store, no really. My friend Trudy and I would go in and ooh and ahh over the baby chicks and ducks every season.
I had dogs, turtles (from the 5 and dime-my mother stepped on one once-she thought it was a checker and was horrified to discover what she had done!) Two of those ducks-who weren't so cute once they grew up. Trudy got two too. Her eastern european parents ate one when it got too annoying-eeew! I also had fish periodically and of course we had a chicken coop, but we didn't consider them pets. Oh, yes I also had a white rat, the rescue from medical testing and a white mouse, a birthday gift from my pals in high school. His name was Heathcliff-He came pre-named.

2. Do you have any pets now?
No but I have deep dog envy. The weekend place only allows cats and fish, birds. I'm allergic to to cats and not really interested in the others. We'll see about after retirement. Any suggestions about hypo-allergenic cats?

3. What is the funniest or worst thing any of your pets have ever done?
The last dog, Barney was mind, but my mother stole his love by being available during the day and feeding him home cooked food. Bad dog!

4. Who is/was your favorite pet?
I guess the dogs. I was a mostly absentee owner. My child life was pretty busy and I didn't really bond with them. I bonded with books more easily.

5. How did you train your different pets?
Train? Like with tracks? Never took my pets on trips... ;-)

BONUS: Pictures of a pet or one you wish you could have.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday Five Forgetful Jone Edition

Apparently SOMEONE forgot to post the FF then improvised-very nicely I must say-this one.

a) What's the last thing you forgot?

1. I can't remember.

e) How do you keep track of appointments?

2.I use a desk calendar and the calendar on my iphone. Sometimes I forget to put an appointment on both.

i) Do you keep a running grocery list?

3. Yes, but then my beloved rips off the bottom of the special long note pads-to write a note- that stick to the refrigerator and that makes me furious!

o) When forced to improvise by circumstances, do you enjoy it or panic?

4. I panic.

u) What's a memory you hope you will never forget?

5. Either my first or my second marriage to beloved.

Not the Friday Five

Since no FF yet and I have to go to work, MomPriest posted these things about the July 4th weekend and I thought I'd play, too.
She said:
"What I love:
1. small local parades
2. fireworks in small towns
3. county fairs
4. hot, sun, beach, water
5. lots of good homemade picnic food
6. and, well, its the Fourth, the day we celebrate freedom and that is a good thing. Complicated, but good."

Mind (typo but apt) are:
1. Memories of the small town parades of my childhood.
2. Ditto the fireworks. Though I do like watching the Macys NYC fireworks from my rooftop in NYC with my neighbors.
3. Spending the first night on a blowup bed in my new beach palace. Blow up bed very comfortable!
4 Going to a small party with 10 new friends.
5. Swimming in our pool for the first time and watching sunset from the beach in the front of our building for the first time!
6. Celebrating the freedom that we are shakily grasping onto. Some more than others.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I told you earlier about the Archbishop

Well the gay and lesbian leadership of the Church of St. Francis Xavier has decided to march, in the Gay Pride march on Sunday, with the banner turned backward so that you see a blank banner, as in "what's that group and why are they marching?" I thought it was a ridiculous idea. If you google St. Francis Xavier NYC you'll see that the Catholics of America are demonizing this church and have somehow lumped in the Zen Meditation group that meets there, too!
So, one of the leaders will be on CNN talking about it, and I think it will continue to blow out of proportion. I have found a nice Episcopal Church in Long Beach I plan on attending. I like this Catholic Women's group and I plan to continue to participate-at SFX- but I feel that soon they will not have a place to meet per Archbishop Timothy Dolan. Just a prediction.

From: Rev. Joseph S. Costantino, S.J. Pastor
The Church of St. Francis Xavier, a Roman Catholic Parish, in Chelsea, NY Re:Gay Pride March
“Serving and caring for the spiritual and pastoral needs of those with same- sex attraction is indeed,” in the words of Archbishop Dolan, “a legitimate part of the Church’s ministry.” The Archbishop is extremely grateful to the Church of St. Francis Xavier for doing so.
In past years, a group of parishioners from our parish who are members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-gendered (LGBT) Ministries have participated in the Gay Pride March. They displayed a banner identifying themselves as parishioners of St. Francis Xavier parish. This year, Archbishop Dolan has requested that this group refrain from displaying the parish banner as they March.
The participation of parishioners in the March provides an opportunity to spread the message of God’s unconditional love and thus is a form of evangelization. Spreading the Good News is an integral part of the mission of our parish. During the March, parishioners distribute Welcome Brochures. Many people have entered the Church or returned to the Sacraments through this pastoral outreach.
Nevertheless, the display of the parish banner may give the false impression that the parish is somehow serving as a sponsoring organization or officially endorsing other sentiments that may appear in the course of the March.
Avoiding such confusion is the motivation for the Archbishop’s request.
The St. Francis Xavier LGBT Ministries will respect the Archbishop’s request and will be marching this year without a banner identifying our parish. Efforts to reach out to those who are open to the Gospel will continue. The desire of everyone at St. Francis Xavier parish is that we proclaim the infinite love of God for all while upholding the Church’s spiritual values and moral teachings.

What do you think about that?

The Project: Update- Progress Pics

Some pics of the changes that have been happening, including the backsplash tiles that will go with the black granite counter top. You can see the little woman striking a pose in her new kitchen. Finally a kitchen where we can both be without crashing into one another! We picked out the cabinet pulls from a stores called "" It's and actual store but they are online and you can order online.
Next on tap, picking out the granite and having a template made.
For those of you wondering, our palace is a two bedroom, one and a half bath, with terrace, but it's a palace to us! The master bath is the same size as we have in our studio in the city.
Stay tuned for more...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Five-Hot Town in the Summertime

Songbird posted this FF after an allergic reaction to black fly bites. Feel better Songbird!
"But I don't want that to ruin summer for the rest of you. So I invite you to share five things you love--or don't--about summer. The tone is up to you!"
1. I am the 'canary in the coal mine' when it comes to insects. They come to me first and then I am lunch. I hate this and alway have. The city doesn't have many mosquitos, but once you get a little ways our, watch out!
2. NYC is a hot and humid town in the summer. I remember how cold the drug stores of my youth were. Here...not so much. The stores all seem to keep the ac on low. Same for work. They turn it on about 8:00am (I get in at 7:30) and they turn it off at 4:00 (leave today at 5:00.) I like it cold, especially at my advancing age.
3. I love summer because I never got over loving it as a child despite the bugs and the ac. I love swimming. Of couse the palace by the sea is not ready yet and though we have been there every weekend, we have not yet been in the pool or at the beach.
4. Vacation!
5. July is my birthday. Nough said.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

It doesn't rain but it pours

Is there a degree required to become an elected official? From now on, I want to see CV's posted online and grades instead of all the usual bs and mudslinging that we usually get when election time rolls around.

I left work a little early yesterday as I had been up all night the night before with visions of tiles being laid the wrong way dancing in my mind. In the evening I got a call from a friend from work with the following information, "We got an e-mail to cancel all appointments on Tuesday because the State may be closing down." WHAT! So, we're free from furloughs as we're 100% funded by federal funds, but since we work in a State office building, well, you get it.

Here's the e-mail:

"The Governor's Office has informed the Department that most state services will be shut down on Tuesday, June 15 if the Legislature does not enact an appropriation bill by midnight, June 14. If that happens, most SED staff will be required to stay home, with certain limited exceptions for individuals serving in positions related to health and safety and direct care.
We are preparing contingency plans right now to address the possibility of a shutdown. We are looking at all agency operations and how we will continue to provide essential services to the public.

We will be communicating with all of you again on Monday, June 14, to provide you with any new information and to let you know how you can find out whether you will be required to come to work on Tuesday, June 15.

These are very difficult and uncertain times for all of us. We will keep you updated with information as soon as it becomes available."

I'm not sure if I'm supposed to repost this but since you don't know my state or my name, even, well what's the harm! I suggested a phone tree (in case of such emergencies as hurricanes and 9/11 and say the government falling apart) at the management team meeting a while back and the royal leader gave this response, I've been here over 25 years and we've never closed for any reason. (Well I've been here for almost 12 years and we've closed for heat, a hurricanes and you got it... 9/11.) And now a phone tree would be most useful on Tuesday, because I'm sure we won't have an answer by 5:00pm on Monday-which, btw I have off, Thank you God!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday Five Working Out

Mompriest posted this thoughtful FF: For this Friday Five let's ponder the various ways we work out (or not), physically, spiritually, and/or psychologically.

1. Do you work out physically, spiritually, or psychologically? (I'll let you define what that might mean to you)
I have gone through periods of working out physically, but I am much more inclined to work out psychologically. It's natural for me.

2. Are you more inclined to join a gym, or a book club?
I belonged to a gym, a really nice one that I attended regularly, until I was promoted to Brooklyn. This year I let my membership lapse. The Palace on the beach has a gym and outdoor pool and the town has a gym and indoor pool." I'm inclined to read books, but haven't found a convenient book club, so I read books and watch TV in a prone position...

3. Are you more inclined to read self-help books like Gail Sheehy's "Passages" or spiritual books like Richard Rohr or Theresa of Avila? And if so, what is your favorite?
I'm more inclined to read contemporary spiritual books like Take this Bread, or Jesus Freak (which I haven't gotten yet) by Sara Miles

4. Are you a loyal fan of a sports team? Or do you join the bandwagon when the local team is winning? And, if so, which one?
I barely join the bandwagon when the local team is winning (the Yankees.)

5. Or do you lean more toward having a favorite theologian/Spiritual writer or self help author and if so, who? And, why.
I buy self help/spiritual books, but no favorite. The liberal ones. I did like Thomas Merton quite a bit years ago.

Bonus: What was the last play-off series you watched and did your team win?
Uh figure skating?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Un Linking

OK, so in a moment of foolish enthusiasm when I first started using FB and had a few close friends there, I linked my blog. But now, when i'm starting to blog more after a dry spot, and blogging about more personal things, I realized that I don't really want my work friends (and my boss/friend who has a limited attention span and feels it necessary to give me feedback on my posts, to seem my blog posts (which she sees on FB.) It seems like going to the actual blog is too much trouble for a lot of people which is a good thing-I think.
I went to the help page and I am successfully unlinked! I took awhile to find the twisty turns that FB makes things. There is no easy undo button, but I found it.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Five- Patience

Sally posted this thoughtful Friday Five which for you Facebook readers is posted at my blog

Persistence often pays off, but we need to be aware that it sometimes turns into sheer pig headed-ness...

With all that in mind I offer you this Friday Five:

1. Is patience a virtue you possess? If it is then does it come naturally, if not how do you/ did you work at it?
It has to be a quality I possess because my job requires it, but so does my current big project (the destruction was supposed to start Tuesday, but the contractor didn't secure the permit, so still waiting.) No quick fixed anywhere...

2. Being patient with ourselves can be a huge challenge, we are often our own worst critics; is there anything you need to be patient with yourself with at the moment?
See # 1. Also I tend toward depression which is an illness which is not cured but comes again and again. This requires fortitude and patience. Also self care.

3. Are you the kind of person who can/ will persist with a difficult task? How much of this is personality related?
Yes and no. Depends on my mood at the moment.

4. Can you spot when persistence turns into pig-headed-ness, or do you never get there?
After a while

5. Post a song or a poem that chills you out and helps you to re-group, re-focus and carry on?
Since the big project I've been playing show tunes in the car, old shows...Carousel, South Pacific etc. They all chill me out and leave me singing and swirl around in my head taking me back to happier times. I'll post one later when I have time-Think "It was a real good clambake."

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Five- Hand on Fire

Friday Five: I would put my hand in the fire for that
--Robert Mapplethorpe, Hand in Fire, 1985

There is a German expression: ich würde die Hand dafür ins Feuer legen, which means: “I would put my hand in the fire for that.”

I learned it many years ago, while reading the Best Reference Letter Ever: written by a very distinguished linguistics professor for a student who went on to win a prestigious international scholarship. This student, he said, was destined for greatness; and he submitted his judgment with the certainty of the expression above.

I’ve always held the concept as a very important indicator in my mind. “Would I put my hand in the fire for that?” I sometimes think, and it helps me to make a decision or see a situation more clearly. It’s similar to “is this the battlefield I want to die on?”

These days (certainly as every day) there seems to be so much difficulty, wrong, pain, injustice, and mismanagement in our world, and I need a little revitalization. Often when I feel this way, I’ll write a list of things for which I’m grateful, but that’s certainly been done, and I need a bit of a stronger draught.

So, what are five things for which would you put your hand in the fire? Things / people / causes in which you believe passionately and completely? This might be demonstrated in that you would take extraordinary (for you) action…donations, marching, writing letters…or merely in the way you live your life. You may give as much or as little detail as you wish.

So difficult th even think about. I really don't want to put my hand in fire for anything. That said, here are some things I care deeply about:

1. Clean Air and Water- They won't last forever. Especially clean water. And the water will put that burning hand out!

2. The rights of all people to live equally, not just the heterosexual white people. The spanish, the blacks, the gays, the women all the other disenfranchised who may have some of the rights and entitlements but not all of the rights and entitlements, or none of them.

3. The right to worship or not. Even thought I'm still working on this and have recently had a nice Episcopal priest in my new weekend home of Long Beach-he's gay and has a partner.

4. The right to love all the people that I love and to love all the people that I don't even know.

5.The right and the ability to work without fear. And to use the skills as I have been trained to help others.

Not going to put my hand in fire, but I have taken a lot of other risks over the years for some of these rights-alienable.

News from about the Catholic Church in Germany

Who's actually enjoying this?
The current holy father hails from the kinky country of Germany, the home of sadism. I wonder why he didn't start his investigations there rather than picking on American nuns who do the good work of the American church for virtually no money. Could it be that he, too, "who enjoyed and often beat the naked bottoms of the children? Or enjoyed having his beaten?"

from the New York Times:
BERLIN — Deepening the sexual abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church in Germany, a special investigator released a report on Thursday saying that 205 former students claimed they had been abused in Jesuit schools, including at the prestigious Canisius-Kolleg in Berlin.

The investigator, Ursula Raue, said the actual number could be higher. “We cannot expect to have heard everything yet,” she said. “The question must be asked why the order dealt so dismissively with the well-based information about frequent incidents of sexual abuse in its institutions.”

Father Stefan Dartmann, Germany’s leading Jesuit official, immediately issued a statement acknowledging “with shame and guilt, our failure.”

“I ask for forgiveness,” he said, adding that there was a “widespread mentality in the order, and perhaps still is, that the primary concern was the reputation of the institution and its fellow brothers.”

The report is the latest blow to a church weathering its most serious crisis over sexual abuse, here in Germany and around the world. Pope Benedict XVI, who has faced accusations that he or his subordinates did not take strong enough actions in several cases in Germany and elsewhere, has acknowledged the depth of the problem, this month calling the crisis “truly terrifying.”

The Jesuit order in Germany had asked Ms. Raue to look into allegations of sexual abuse after 25 students came forward alleging abuse at Canisius.

Her report was unsparing in its details. She said 46 Jesuits and nonclerical staff members at the schools had been accused of abuse or of knowing of such crimes without acting.

A priest identified only as Father Eckhart, no longer alive, who was at Canisius-Kolleg, “liked very much to beat” the children. Another priest, called Father Michel, also at that school, was “a sadist who enjoyed and often beat the naked bottoms of the children.”

At three schools, a priest called Father Bertram beat 50 students in a “sadistic sexual” way on their bare or clothed buttocks in the 1970s and 1980s. According to the investigation, Father Bertram underwent years of therapy. Before leaving the order, he confessed in 1991 to having suffered emotional problems that led him to beat children.

“From 1957 to 1990, I beat several hundred children and adolescents of both sexes on their exposed buttocks, in nearly painless symbolic acts of punishment,” he wrote in a report in 1991.

Given that such priests had confessed or acknowledged abuse, Ms. Raue asked why the Jesuit leadership did not take action earlier.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

And More News of the Catholic Church and their Wisdom

Post this under news that makes me furious///

Last November, a 27-year-old woman was admitted to St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. She was 11 weeks pregnant with her fifth child, and she was gravely ill. According to a hospital document, she had "right heart failure," and her doctors told her that if she continued with the pregnancy, her risk of mortality was "close to 100 percent."

The patient, who was too ill to be moved to the operating room much less another hospital, agreed to an abortion. But there was a complication: She was at a Catholic hospital.

"They were in quite a dilemma," says Lisa Sowle Cahill, who teaches Catholic theology at Boston College. "There was no good way out of it. The official church position would mandate that the correct solution would be to let both the mother and the child die. I think in the practical situation that would be a very hard choice to make."

But the hospital felt it could proceed because of an exception — called Directive 47 in the U.S. Catholic Church's ethical guidelines for health care providers — that allows, in some circumstance, procedures that could kill the fetus to save the mother. Sister Margaret McBride, who was an administrator at the hospital as well as its liaison to the diocese, gave her approval.

The woman survived. When Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted heard about the abortion, he declared that McBride was automatically excommunicated — the most serious penalty the church can levy. (apparently he didn't read The Directives)

"She consented in the murder of an unborn child," says the Rev. John Ehrich, the medical ethics director for the Diocese of Phoenix. "There are some situations where the mother may in fact die along with her child. But — and this is the Catholic perspective — you can't do evil to bring about good. The end does not justify the means." (Hey...what about that # 47 and all those priest/pedophiles who are still members in good standing after a happy lifetime of screwing little children?

Ehrich adds that under canon or church law, the nun should be expelled from her order, the Sisters of Mercy, unless the order can find an alternative penalty. Ehrich concedes that the circumstances of this case were "hard." (Oh, so hard, but the mother lived and it was in the first trimester!

"But there are certain things that we don't really have a choice" about, he says. "You know, if it's been done and there's public scandal, the bishop has to take care of that, because he has to say, 'Look, this can't happen.' "

A Double Standard? You betcha!

But according to the Rev. Thomas Doyle, a canon lawyer, the bishop "clearly had other alternatives than to declare her excommunicated." Doyle says Olmsted could have looked at the situation, realized that the nun faced an agonizing choice and shown her some mercy. He adds that this case highlights a "gross inequity" in how the church chooses to handle scandal.

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, declared that McBride was automatically excommunicated because she allowed a patient at a Catholic hospital to get an abortion. But some say her quick punishment stands in stark contrast to the protection many pedophile priests have received from their bishops.
"In the case of priests who are credibly accused and known to be guilty of sexually abusing children, they are in a sense let off the hook," Doyle says.

Doyle says no pedophile priests have been excommunicated. When priests have been caught, he says, their bishops have protected them, and it has taken years or decades to defrock them, if ever.

"Yet in this instance we have a sister who was trying to save the life of a woman, and what happens to her? The bishop swoops down [and] declares her excommunicated before he even looks at all the facts of the case," Doyle says.

Ehrich agrees that sexual abuse can't be tolerated. But he says neither can McBride's actions.

"She said, 'Yes, you can kill that unborn child.' That's a heinous act. And I'm not going to make a distinction between what's worse. They're both abhorrent," Ehrich says.

Ehrich says the nun can be admitted back into the Catholic community by going to confession and repenting. McBride still works at the hospital in another position. Whether she is allowed to remain in her religious order, Erich says that is up to the Sisters of Mercy.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Church I Sometimes Attend

Well, I used to attend it occasionally, but after renewed news about cover-ups of abuse in the Catholic Church in Ireland, I stopped attending mass there and just kept attending the meetings of the Catholic Lesbian Group. I've had made some nice friends and I certainly have lots in common with them.

The Lesbian Group is a nice, smart, fun loving group of women, and the topics of the meetings are interesting. I shared with the members of the group my memories of marching out of Saint Francis Xavier in NYC-this particular church-with Dignity, after the late Cardinal O'Connor decreed that Dignity could not meet there. We had a candlelit march from the church to the LGBT community center. This was about 25 years ago at the height of the AIDS epidemic. My friends scoffed and said, this church welcomes it's gay and lesbian members. This couldn't happen now. So I was surprised to get the following e-mail:

Hello, friends.

The Catholic Lesbians Ministry needs to meet this Friday, May 21, 2010, 7:00 pm–8:00 pm, and then join the Gay Catholics Ministry from 8:00 pm–9:00 pm in the Mary Chapel .

Father Joe Costantino, SJ received a letter from Archbishop Timothy Dolan saying that the LGBT Ministries cannot participate in the Pride March under the Church of St. Francis Xavier's banner. We need to prayerfully discern what we will be doing together.

Tomorrow, I will confirm a room for our meeting and will pass that information on to you. Meanwhile, below is a reminder about why we march.

Thank you.

Actually, I'm not so surprised. I feel like this group has been flying under the radar for a number of years and there's a new sheriff in town-the Archbishop. And he has a few agendas, and we're one of them. So sad.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday Five My Late Great Ancestors

My Late Great Ancestors

Sophia posted this interesting FF:
"I moved across country for a college teaching job last September, and my mother came to visit for the first time last week. We had a fantastic genealogical adventure tracing the family roots of her father's grandfather, who moved away from this state sometime between 1887 and 1891.

We drove a few hours to their county armed with some names and cemeteries, and wondered if we could locate anyone. It turned out there is an awesome local history room in the public library, with a very skilled librarian library, and with her map and a pile of copied records we struck gold! We found, cleared, deciphered and took pictures of old weathered stones marking members of several family branches in four tiny country cemeteries--the one above is my fourth great grandma. Of particular RevGal interest, we spoke with a friendly and helpful pastor at the United Methodist Church (window above) on the site of the Presybterian church my fifth great-grandpa helped found in 1814!"

1. Do you have any interest in geneaology?
I do have some interest in knowing about my predecessors and have thought about getting my chromosones tested. There is a popular geneaology siterun by--run by Mormons-but I have been loath to search there as I heard that they believe in conversion, without permission and even after death! (Correct me if I'm wrong about this.)

2. Which countries did your ancestors come from?
Italy and Croatia/Austria.

3. Who is the farthest back ancestor whose name you know?
Only my grandparents.
I may be related to Hans Asperger-the little professor, the person who first noticed the syndrome known as Aspergers Syndrome. I mean to look this up after I retire-which is not anytime soon.

4. Any favorite saints or sinners in the group?
Only my grandparents, aunts and uncles and you and find both there.

5. What would you want your descendants to remember about you?
That I did the best I could.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Update on the latest PROJECT!

We selected a contractor yesterday. It's number 3, Tim. He was always number 1, but was unable to start until after Memorial Day which, since it's the "the Palace by the Sea" will leave us in construction until oh say...mid July? Or later?
Well that's the update.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

What's New?

Me and the Little Woman Getting Ready for Work at the Beach Palace

I know I haven't been much posting to my blog lately, I seem to be mired in work and my other full time job, getting the lovely place by the sea renovated.
On the first front:
It's hard to talk about here as I've linked my blog to Facebook and now can't figure out how to unlink. I have be-friended some work friends as well as my boss, who was a personal friend and now is my boss/friend. Yet, many people read Facebook and never bother with the blog. So if you have any tips about how to unlink, I would appreciate. Just a note that work has been difficult for the last 6-8 months and getting worse. A lot of it has to do with the NYS budget. They are now talking about furloughs-days off without pay (just what I need after a major spending spree) and something called "order of selection," which is where we serve only individuals who are the most severely disabled. Which would cut out the garden variety people with substance abuse, depression, learning disabilities etc. Sigh! This is kind of moot to me as I am feeling not so much like the supervising counselor that I am, but much more like an overpaid clerk (and overworked) these days. Enough of that until I am unlinked...
As for the palace by the sea. We have now interviewed 5, count em 5 contractors! Each one more expensive than the last and it is now May 1. We have not hired one. I have started referring to them as numbers. I was referring to them as the mafia guy-no kidding , the drunk, the-well you get my point, but the number system seems better. Just like Dr, House and his 13. Add to this, my beloved has trouble making up her mind and we spent one Saturday (3 hours) in an appliance store while she decides between two kinds of wood-we had done this before. expand this to the spread sheet for refrigerators. Well you get the point.
I'm an introvert and I rely on my every other Mondays off to recharge. Well we've been using those to do house stuff.
Thanks for listening to my whining. I'm sure things will get better at least with the palace by the sea, but for now. things are not looking so great.