Thursday, September 29, 2011


My blog is just one big smorgasbord of  whatever is going on in my head and outside of my head.  Some days its heavy, some days its light.  I once read that you should pick a theme for your blog and stick to it.  I can't seem to do that with this one.  This blog is what it is.  My confessions, my opinions, my happenings, my highs and a few lows.  Today's special for the day is entitled: Unanswered. To some it will make no sense and to others it will make a world of sense, to me, its a little of both.  I wrestle with why so many things keep going unanswered.

What exactly do you do when you are not being answered?  You have plenty of questions,  but the answers are not coming fast enough.  Funny thing about parenthood  and life in general is that you read all the books on "what to expect when expecting" but, there seems to be a shortage on "what to expect when the unexpected happens" books.  So when there is little faith to hold onto, do you still believe?  When the trust factor is low, do you still trust?  Do you still continue to ask questions when all of them seem to be unanswered?  Or do you stop asking?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Prickly Ash Oil- An international tale of sorts

My sister, "Gigi" and her friend, "Ness" were here for a visit from the west coast and we had many great dinners together.  Last Sunday my sister made Gyozas-  a.k.a. pot stickers.  Somewhere between Saturday and Sunday the hunt was on at an Asian market to get ingredients.  After multiple trips to the store, our meal was on the table. The kids made their usual, "this is foreign to me, I'm not sure I will like it, it's yucky, can I have something else?" comments.  The adult girls sat down with our food & wine,  after the little people left, and began to eat and chat.   Soy Sauce was used to dip the gyozas in  and it was mixed with something called, "prickly ash oil". Interesting name right?  The sauce had an incredibly unique flavor.  And by unique I mean odd.  So I decided to pour a little more oil on my little rectangular Japanese appetiser plate.  I then proceeded to try the oil-straight!  What on earth did I do that for?  It was as if someone took my tongue and coated it with soapy oil and it felt slightly tingly but more thickly coated than tingly.  How could I finish my gyoza with my tongue out of commission and without offending my sister who flew  over 1000 miles to see me and cook this Japanese meal which was now ruined because I helped myself and doused my plate with Prickly Ash Oil?  How could I eat the  corn on my plate with it sitting in small pool of Prickly Ash Oil? So I asked myself,  "If I clicked my heels 3 times would I then be transported to Kansas or would the Prickly Ash Oil disappear off my plate?"

  So many thoughts ran through my plate as I stared at it.  I still ate my gyozas and washed it down with a nice little drinkie but my tongue felt odd none the less. My brain and thoughts were now in overdrive.  I then figured that it was probably Prickly Ash Oil from my lips got into the glass because even my drink did not taste the same!!!!   So I asked for more to drink in a  clean glass. All the while I was waiting for Alfred Hitchcock to slowly walk from around the corner to let me know that I have now entered the Twilight Zone.

I should have known something wasn't right because the bottle did not have any English translation except for the ingredients and it didn't look like it was for human consumption. I even noticed the numbers 2003 and under it 2005 which only could mean that it was packaged in 2003 and expired in 2005!  It's 2011 right?  But it was too late! I already had some.  It didn't offer a 'the kick' I was looking for.  It wasn't suppose to.  I sipped my drink and that didn't help and I sat there befuddled and we got in to a roaring laughing conversation about Prickly Ash Oil  that has been ongoing for the last 3 days!  The conversation seems to run from "what was I thinking eating it straight?" to  "the lady at the store showed me the pepper it came from and  I was told it was the right oil", "It's not hot" "It's supposed to be hot" "not supposed to be hot" "My tongue feels coated" "Can we have that with Prickly Ash Oil?" and comments of the like interspersed with laughter and cackling.  After all that drama, I had to do a little "research" about Prickly Ash Oil.

What I found out is that the Prickly Ash peppercorns are used in Chinese food- not necessarily the fast food Chinese food we get. But in conjunction with other oils.  That thick coated prickly feeling on my tongue was not in my imagination!  It does produce a tingly numbness.   And it also is used for homeopathic purposes: Inflammation, stomach aches, ulcers, bowel diseases,   tooth aches, circulation- tons of other  ailments.    Needless to say Gigi tossed the Prickly Ash Oil into that trash. It probably would have made a good lubricant for door hinges or  could have shined up my tires like Armour All, but, guess I'll never know.  One thing I do know is that I will stay far away from the Prickly Ash  in the future.  I'm so traumatized, I might even start a support group: "PAOVU" "Prickly Ash Oil Victims Unite!"

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Jesus Machine

I sometimes see Jesus as a slot machine.  If we are truthful, alot of us at one time or another has seen Him as a slot machine.  We pull the arm, hoping we get the highest yielding images all in a row.  And we pull and pull on the arm until the Jesus Machine comes through or until  we feel our luck has run out and the game is over.  We hope and hope and hope that things will be different in life if we just do and say all the right things and if we follow the formulas that we have been given.  If we do all of those things and try to a little harder in life,  when we  come to the slot machine, the Jesus Machine, and pull the arm, our hope is that we  will hit the jackpot.  
 But, it never seems to work.  We pull the arm and watch the images and number sevens past on by and beg and bite our bottom lips in hopes that it would just stop on the right pictures.  Because deep inside, you just want to hit the jackpot.  You want to hit the jackpot of life, of love, of relationships.  You want to hit the jackpot of peace, the jackpot of affirmation, and the jackpot of acceptance.  And we end up walking away from the slot machine, the Jesus Machine disappointed because, all the hard work and trying has left us with empty pockets.  Yet we muster up enough strength to come back and play the machine again- but still end up with the same empty results.
The reality is, is that  there is no formula.  The reality is  that  the formulas that are given are too numerous to follow them all to get it right enough to hit the jackpot of life.  The bottom line is , is that the Jesus Machine lets you lose just enough times so that you can end up crying out for another method of touching His heart so that you can get what you feel you want and need.  The truth is that He gently leads you and guides you into knowing that you don't have to try a bunch of tricks to win his love and approval for you and of you. He leads and he leads and he leads you gently. He allows all of the formulas and tricks to frustrate you so that you hunger for something  more solid, something more substantial. He leads you away from the tricks, away from the formulas, and away from the vision of Him as a slot machine. He sees, although it takes human eyes longer to see, that you do not have to earn what he has already paid for.  He already loves you. He already accepts you.  He did all the work for you.  He paid the price, so you wouldn't have to.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I always wondered

I always wondered about all of the guests at the World Trade Center Marriott.  You never really heard anything about them in the news.  I recently found out all but  around 40 out of the 900 plus registered guests and employees made it out.  Some where already gone for the day.  Others left out when they heard the plane crash into the first tower.  There is a website dedicated to the 9/11 World Trade Center Marriott survivors.  May they get the healing and support that they are seeking.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

9/11 Reflections

I don't know what frame of mind I'll be in on 9/11/12 so, I am blogging about  my 9/11 memories today.    On 9/11/2001, after my husband left for work in Manhattan, I turned on the TV downstairs and started my day.  I sometimes liked the background noise while Cookie played and we began our day.  That morning I recall standing in front of the TV, and news broke across the screen and there they were, the twin towers.  One, was smoldering at the top and a news broadcaster from a helicopter, exclaimed with excitement that he wasn't sure what was going on but, he thought that the North Tower was hit.   Given all the spoofs on late night TV, for a split second I asked myself whether or not this was real or was this a rerun of a spoof from last night's late night line up.    But, it couldn't be, because  the bottom of the screen said that the footage was "live", I thought to myself.  As I listed to the commentary, I immediately grabbed my phone and called to D's office and asked him was he okay, did he make it to work fine.  I told him one of the twin towers was smoldering, they believed that a plane accidentally hit it.   As we were talking suddenly I saw a plane glide across the screen, and *POW*!!!! IT HIT THE OTHER TOWER!!!!!!!  I said,"Oh, NO! the other tower has been hit!"   Soon after the televisions were put on at D's office and we then got off the phone.

This was a special place for us.  D asked me to marry him at the World Trade Center Marriott.  We even stayed there on the night that we were married.  We had planned to stay there once a year on or around our anniversary.  It was now gone too!  In shock and disbelief, I left the house with Cookie, to grab a few things from the store, not knowing what to expect in the next few days let alone the next few hours.  I made a pit stop to the post office, where an older woman in front of me was crying and asked, how could they do this? and kept referring to "they" and "them" as she shook her head.  I stood there paralyzed in silence-until it was my turn.    I remember then jetting over to the grocery store to get a few things and then someone made an odd announcement over the intercom.  The announcement was that if you had children in the local elelmentary school please go there now, the school will be shutting down for the rest of the day.  I didn't know what to think.  I felt that this is really bad and not even school kids are safe.  After I got home I turned on the TV again and talked to D again.  He said that he and a group of people are leaving and are going home.  This began a nightmare.  He then walked 30 city blocks with a huge crowd  headed toward the George Washington Bridge.  When he got there, officials turned them around.  The bridge had been shut down.  No one was allowed into New York City, No one was allowed out- at least not across the GWB This day was long, and I was glued in front of the TV.  Shocked that my country was high jacked, shocked that  the pentagon was high jacked, shocked that yet another plane went down in Pennsylvania.  Someone came into my country, and carried out a detailed plan to bring America to its knees.
       D arrived home 8 hours after he told me that he was on his way home.  A trip that would  have normally taken 20 minutes  took 8 hours.    In the days to come, there was just an eriee feeling, a feeling of violation and fear that it still hard to put into words, even after 10 years.  D did not feel safe returning to work. I didn't feel safe with him returning either.  He took public transportation from New Jersey to New York everyday and even went through one of the tunnels to get to his job.  In all my years, we have never known any safety measures, metal detectors of any kind to be on  the transit buses.  We have never known New York City or NJ to do a sweeping security search of the tunnels and for the next 2 years following  then 9/11 horror, there was always concerned if one of these nut jobs were going to bomb a bus, bomb my husbands bus, or bomb any of the tunnels or my husbands tunnel he used to get to his job.  What were the officials going to do to protect us now?
  2 weeks after the attacks, I went to the pier in Weehawken NJ. I stood on the pier and looked across the Hudson River and watched the smoldering still blooming in the sky after 2 weeks.  It was overwhelming.  The thought that so many lives were lost saddened me deeply.  I remember eating lunch at  a town nearby my home at the time and walking down the street there were "missing" posters everywhere.  My heart sank into my stomach.  I told  D that these people aren't missing, they're dead! They are not coming back!   i did not know these people but, looking at the  posters made my stomach feel sick.  The people who posted them only wanted hope that perhaps their sons, daughters, mother's fathers, sisters, or brothers were somehow lost in the rubble or in a hospital getting treatment, and not able to contact them.  That little bit of hope that they were holding on to gave  them the courage to post "Missing" posters.  Although some may have been found, an overwhelming majority, were not. And they were not coming home.

10 years later, watching all of the accounts, testimonials, and documentaries on TV, tears begin to well up in my eyes again.  None of those people who woke up that morning could even fathom that that day would be there last and that they would die a horrible death.  No one could ever imagine that  the hatred for America was so strong that a group of terrorists, would  come on our soil,  try to take her down.  My country has never the same for me again.  As i still watch who we let in, who we give rights to, who we give liberties to all in the name of political correctness, it angers me!  So I say to those that it applies to and those that work hard to protect our country, shut down the borders, deny visas, deny passage into our country-even if they paid for a stupid plane ticket.  Tell them to seek amnesty elsewhere! Study elsewhere! "Vacation" and hide out elsewhere!  And please officers, by all means continue to racial profile and when you're added to it make sure your not concentrating on old grandmothers who pose no threat,  while shoe bombers and the like are slipping right pass your security check points.  Target whoever you have to, and thank you for all you do to keep  America safe. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011


If we are not who we say we are,  aren't we all hypocrites?  The huge fear that so many of us struggle with is that if we show our true colors, our "friends" will reject us.  The truth is is that none of us are perfect but often we feel this pressure to be perfect.  For whatever reason if we are perfect, people will like us, admire us, want to be like us and more importantly, accept us.  The truth be told, as perfect as I seem and as perfect as you seem, we are so far from the perfection that dances around in our heads.  Even though we look put together- we still fall apart , and  even if our children are well behaved, they too have their moments.  Let's stop judging ourselves and one another based on this erroneous picture that  only exists in movies, magazines and in our own  heads. It's tiring.  How ever long it takes me to figure it out, I am committing to being perfectly imperfect. How about you?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bullies? Are you kidding me?

There was an article in today's paper about dealing with bullies.  I didn't have the patience to read it so I decided to write my own article about bullies and offer my "No Tolerance" Policy.
No Tolerance Policy for Bullies at School, Bus Stop, Play Ground etc.
  • Prosecute Them.  Bring criminal charges against them.  That will wake them up!  What they are doing is criminal activity. Harassing, Intimidating, Manipulating, Cornering, Hitting, Threatening.. Its all Criminal Activity! Prosecute them!
  • Expel them from school! Period.  If  you are paying taxes to your local school system or even if you are not and your child is going to school and being attacked by a bully, harassed by a bully, and having their concentration and education interrupted or hindered because of a bully, once criminal charges are filed, and an order of protection granted, they need to be kicked out of school- for good!  This will send a message to the bully and their parents who are either very aware or very aloof, that they now need to take 100% responsibility for their bully and not leaving it for his/her teachers and guidance counselors to figure out. They are tired of the bully too!
  • If this plan is followed I firmly believe that we will see a decline in the presence of bullies in our school system and crime rates will decrease significantly- of course unless the bully's primary care givers do nothing to guide, mentor or rehabilitate him/her after they are expelled.
  • Or, we can just tolerate this kind of behavior all in the name of political correctness,  and let our children who go to school outside the home continue to be victimized .  The solution doesn't seem to be rocket science to me. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A hunting we will go

Since the end of June, I have been looking for a job.  I already committed to teaching at Cookies enrichment program  but, it is not a full time position.  Needless to say I joined millions of Americans searching for adequate employment and it has been very frustrating.  I have submitted tons of applications and have either gotten no response or a lame response or a "you're not qualified response". It baffles me that I made more money at my last job 11 years ago than the employers are offering for jobs that I am looking at or  interviewed for.  I keep telling myself that some peanuts are better than no peanuts but, when I really sit back and think about it, I can't justify working for peanuts minus gas, an outfit or 2, state and federal taxes, unemployment and all the other special deductions that the government takes, leaving me with take home pay of less than $100.00 for a weeks worth of part time work.  Are you kidding me America?  Is this what the job market has come to?  Am I really suppose to offer my talent and skills to a company for them to rob me when it comes to compensation?  No company can pay me what I am worth but, at least offer me something I can work with.  At least pay me more than what I would have to fork over to a babysitter if I had no coverage for my kids when I have to work.    My baby sitter shouldn't make more than I do.  And please don't insult me by telling me that a degreed individual with background and expertise in a certain field is justly rewarded by the minimum wage that is being offered.  Perhaps next time I will ask the interviewer, "Would you work for that amount of money?" And that my friends is how the job hunting is going.