Making Lemonade or the Search for Silver Linings

248f730As the saying goes “When Life hands you lemons, make lemonade”.   What that really means is to sweeten the sourness you must add sugar…..sometimes a lot of sugar to make the situation palatable.  I am facing a definite lemon situation with my job.  The program that I love and feel is effective and life changing for preschoolers with speech and language delays has been eliminated.  Not at every location but at mine and one other school.  I am devastated.  I thought I was prepared for the eventuality of it being closed as I watched it first be chopped in half and then this year when my enrollment was so low that the afternoon class never opened.  But I was wrong.  When I heard the fateful words from my supervisor a lead weight dropped into my stomach and has been resting there every since.

The repercussions were wide.  My parent educator had to find a new position, my assistant had to find a new position and I had to be found a new position.  Since I have a full time contract I had to be matched with a full time position.  Which right now consists of traveling to four schools.  I am weary just thinking about it.  I was traveling between three schools much of this year to fill in for a colleague that was out on extended sick leave.  That was enough.  Now it is worse.  Plus it is the kind of position that typically was for the new hires as they tried to get a foot in the door.  The mop-up positions. The cobbling together of the leftovers of the good full time jobs into a patchwork assignment.

But what really bothers me if the feeling of being marginalized and treated like an ‘old cow’.  Yes ,I am a seasoned professional and I have 30 years of working for this school district but I still feel I have a lot to give and want to do my best right up and until I decide to retire.  But this year I can’t help but feel I am being led out to the far pasture to quietly chew my cud and while away the last few years in obscurity.  I am a social person and I know that not being part of staff family will be hard for me.  I am dreading all the hellos and what day are you here again?  And feeling insignificant.  I just can’t seem to perk myself up and get excited.  I know it is  April and I’m usually  tired and disillusioned by this point in the school year but this is different.  I have nothing to look forward to. And a lifetime of materials and lessons and books and games and toys and therapy materials that will all be sitting idle or will be tossed in my truck as I flit from location to location. 

Too much sugar is needed to make this sour taste go away………

Time Marching On

I’m suffering from calendar disbelief syndrome (CDS) which is basically shock that it March 21st and a month has gone by since I last posted. That means one of two thing; I’ve been too busy or too happy.  Wait it could be a third thing-being a bit of both!  Too busy and too happy.walk away from drama

This blog was started as a way for me to process the ending of my marriage and the beginning of my new life as a single woman.  I’ve learned so much over the almost six years since my Hex spoke those fateful words “I want a divorce” and I responded “Ok, I’m out”.  In the intervening years I have loved, learned, grown, stood on my own two feet, faced down some demons and found out I was stronger than I ever imagined.   I discovered who my true friends were (and still are) I rebuilt my relationship with my mother, nurtured the changed relationship with my daughter and mourned the loss of my son in my life.  

I also grieved the end of my marriage and the loss of the man that I loved as a child, as an adolescent, a young woman, a mother and now as a completely estranged ex-wife.  He has shut all the doors and drawn the curtains caught in a spiral downward that seems to have no bottom.  That he is dragging my son with him is my pain that will never be healed.  He has gone too far and hurt too many to simply be excused because of his illness.  It just doesn’t work that way.  No one won in this mess. Everybody lost, everybody.

But I have rebounded because of my friends and family and my inner resolve that life could and would be different.  I have found love again and am enjoying the second act of my life with guts and gusto.  I’m not done yet.  This is the one life I have been given and I will live it my way with my  head and heart leading into new adventures. Yeah for me! 

Panic and Ghosts

I stopped for bagels after church and while in line realized I did not have my wallet in my purse.  I got home annoyed but the panic didn’t set in until I couldn’t find it.  Two trips to the car in, of course, pouring rain and then the panic set in.  Even as I tried to tell myself “Don’t Panic”…….I could feel the panic rising.  

And that is when the ghosts sneak in.  The Ghost of “You’re so Stupid”, The Ghost of “How could you be so irresponsible”, The Ghost of “You are such an idiot”.   Wham I suddenly am embroiled in a battle for my mind.  The wallet is just a metaphor…….I have woken up the Ghosts and they are swirling around me fogging my attempts to think clearly and try and remember when and where I last had my wallet.  The rising anxiety was fueled by the realization again that I am alone and have to solve my own problems.  No one is coming to save me.  

84271ac0d5e9099651cf5774f990e712This story ends well- my wallet was lying on my bed and while I have no memory of how it got there, all is well.  And that is the lesson I have to keep learning over and over……..all is well.

Vegan Valentine

My boyfriend is a vegan and while it often presents a challenge to find common ground food wise it is just part of him.  The H package we call it…….all the fun and foibles of being H.  Just like I am the P package-my insecurities and prejudices along with my devastating wit, intelligence and humor.  I am a complex package and so is he.  Finding our commonalities and our differences is part of the joy of learning about a new person.  And in this case the person I love.  Of course it hasn’t been that new…….We have been seeing each other for over 9 months already. Red Dinner 2016 Vegan Valentine Cake

Steadily ticking off the holidays we spend together and enjoying more and more time together and finding that we still like each other!

Our second major road trip and we are good traveling companions.  A critical point. This past weekend we drove up to my mother’s house for a nice restful long weekend and being together on Valentine’s Day.  She even cooked vegan for him and didn’t feel like it was a big deal.  She is just so glad to see me smiling and happy again.  So am I.   She told stories of her and my father and their life together.  I love hearing the stories and felt the love even as daddy has been gone twenty years.  True love never ends.  We drove around the places I grew up and pointed out my old elementary school -now the town hall and other important landmarks.

It was lovely!  The weather wasn’t, but we stayed in and laughed and watched movies and read and ate and got to know each other better.  A complete success.  We drove back on Tuesday which turned out to be a snow day so I didn’t even miss a day of work.  What a great weekend!

January Jumps By

Digging out of the Snowzilla ’16 took a week.  A week without work, without school, without anywhere to go and no desire to go anywhere.  I spent my time pleasantly reading, knitting, watching tv and ventured out only to walk my dog.  I halfheartedly uncovered my car but didn’t get any form of cabin fever at all.  I need the downtime replenish my soul.

I am the unusual being known as a social introvert.  I am gregarious, the life of the party and love to mingle and engage with people.  But I gain my energy and nourishment of my soul from being alone and introspective and solo. My kind of downtime is a week of snow days………the weather precluded any pretense at meeting up with anyone and left me to my own devices and that was grand.

By Thursday two things had happened. I developed bacterial bronchitis and wanted to see my boyfriend.  We spent Thursday night and some of Friday together mostly on the couch doing nothing.  Marvelous.  Yesterday I felt slammed by the bronchitis and today I’m just exhausted and have to go back to work tomorrow. Still I’ll take a week of snow days any day!



The dog and I are snowed in and the snow is unrelenting.  Well over 2 feet. Probably more.20160123_175739_resized20160122_221234_resized 20160122_144105_resized20160123_175203_resized




And lots of blowing and drifting.  So far I’m snug as a bug.  Electricity has stayed on.  I’ve binged watched Hallmark movies and other trash, finished and started a new scarf, started another book and have lazed about.  It is great.  My only sadness is that I’m not snowed in with my boyfriend who is stuck plowing for the duration.  He is trying to take naps and stay fresh but the snow has just not stopped.  He is pushing a plow on a pick up truck and has lost traction and got stuck a few times.  The amount of snowfall is historic.  My apartment is garden style so the breezeway has been filled with snow……

I took my dog out several times and let him do what he needed but yikes the snow is incredibly deep and drifting.

Continuing my So-Called Life

While I have met an amazing man and we are spending a lot of time together I have not stopped living my own peculiar and amazing life.  I wasn’t waiting around for him to appear to rejoin the living.  I was living with purpose ever since I left my husband.  And it has been a good ride thus far…..bumpy at times but it is my one and only life.  

So in that spirit today is a fun day getting garbed up in medieval clothes and driving (hey it is called the Society for Creative Anachronism for a reason) to Silver Spring for a banquet and night of merriment called Feast of Fools.  It is to celebrate 12th Night and banish the winter doldrums.  I am acting as troll for the first time which means I am the first person to greet you and sign you in and double check membership status etc.  We have 55 gentles registered with no seats available at the door which is so gratifying for our humble little shire.


The Feast of Fools (also called the Feast of Misrule) is a traditional festival celebrated at Twelfth Night.  At the Feast of Fools, the world is turned upside down.  The powerless have power and the powerful become common. Join us for a night of raucous revelry and feasting.

King Bean and Queen Pea (The Lord and Lady of Misrule) will be selected in the traditional manner to preside over the feast.

There will be audience participation.  It will not be required, but may be difficult to avoid.20151010_112609_resized_1