Seagulls And Fast Food

We live about 70 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.  I’ve always thought seagulls were found on the oceans, near land.  So they could hang out on the land and ocean, dive for fish, and then hang out on or near land.

But that’s just in the movies.  In real life, seagulls live next to fast food restaurants and in parking lots near grocery stores.

Silly me.

seagulls-and-fast-food

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List Of Things I Can’t Let Go Of

English teachers and grammar nerd friends……this will contradict the title of this post, and #1 below, but FYI I do realize that it should read “Things of which I can’t let go.”  But that doesn’t flow well in a title.

Hopefully this will turn out to be a short list.

1. Bad grammargrammar-ecard

2.  That George R.R. Martin keeps changing the        date/year his next book will be published.

3.  Embarrassing autocorrects

4.  That my mother didn’t go to my First Holy                    Communion.

5.  Disgusting gum chewing

That’s enough for now.  Writing this list made me in a bad mood.  Maybe I should add “Things that make me in a bad mood.”

Time to let go.cant-change-move-on-meme

 

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When My Brothers Were Men

My brothers were 7 and 10 when I was born.  They went away to school and spent much of each summer at Camp Keewaydin on Lake Dunmore, Vermont.  When I was 11, my oldest brother was drafted and went to Vietnam.  My other brother was in college. So in many ways, I was an only child.

An only child with heroes for brothers.

To give you a good idea of the age difference, one of my brothers recently explained it to me this way.  “Let’s review.  When I was learning to read, you weren’t born.  When you were learning to read, I was at the prom.  When you went to the prom, I was married with children.”

They weren’t around a lot when I was little.  When I was 7, they were 14 and 17.  In my eyes, they were men.  I idolized them.  And they had the patience of Job with me.

As teenagers, I’m sure they wanted to sleep until noon or later.  As a 6 year old, I got up with the sun.  I would go into their bedroom, if one of my brothers was home, and we would play Wagon Train.  Wagon Train was an ingenious game that my brother devised where I would think we were playing but he could still sleep.  Albeit fitfully.

I would wake him up and he would groggily tell me that he’ll drive the wagon if I go outside and rustle up some breakfast.  So I would sit on the floor by the end of the bed and spend time “cooking” eggs and bacon over a fire.  He slept.  When fake-breakfast was done, I would hand it to him to eat and he would pretend to eat it.  Then he would drive the wagon (code for sleeping while sitting up more) and I would sit at the end of the bed looking at all the scenery and being on the watch for buffalo.

Playing Wagon Train is one of my happiest memories.

In some early grade, like maybe 3rd or 4th, one of my brothers was home at Halloween. The details of this memory are hazy, but my reactions are still crystal clear.  My friend and I were trick or treating and we were on our way back to my house.  On the road in front of my house was a group of “big kids.”  They were probably 11-years-old or so.  Big enough for us to be scared of them but young enough for them to be scared of my big brother.

I was really frightened.  I realized that they might take our candy, but there was also a real, but unknown fear of what they might do.  Then I saw my brother, who must have been 15 or 16 walk up to them and firmly say “LEAVE.”  They ran.

I felt like a princess when my brothers were home.

Things in our house were not always easy.  My parents, especially my mother, were heavy drinkers.  Frequently, she wouldn’t be in a condition to cook or drive.  One night, when my oldest brother was home, my parents, brother and I went to a local restaurant for dinner.  That was a common occurrence for my family, and never a pleasant one.

That night, as we were leaving, my mother said something to my father, and he turned around and hit her.  Or pushed her.  She crumpled to the floor.  I was 9 years old at the time and my brother was 19.

No one had ever crossed my father before.  He was a tall, strict, military man.  Yet my brother did so and said he was taking me out of there.  He took my father’s keys and said he would be back to pick them up.  He drove me home and then went back for our parents.

Years later, another incident transpired, and it was the lowest point in my young adult life.  My brothers were there to pick up the shattered pieces of my emotionally broken self.

When this incident happened, my mother was too drunk to cook, so my father and I went out to dinner.  I was home from college on vacation for the summer and working. We went to eat and on the way home from the restaurant he was complaining the entire way about my mother.  I listened in silence, and then just when we were driving in front of our house, I agreed with him.

He shouted at me not to speak that way about my mother, then reached across me and opened the passenger car door.  He kicked me out of the moving car onto the road and sped off.  I was not physically injured, as the car was going slowly.  I ran into the house hysterically crying and immediately called one of my brothers.  He told me to pack as many clothes as I could quickly and drive to his apartment about 30 minutes away.  My other brother then called me and said they would both do anything to help me.

I don’t remember much of the details.  Our minds are miraculous things that protect us from what we can’t handle.  I know that I went to stay with my brother for a time and my other brother helped me as well.  I had no memory at all of the events for a year or two afterwards.  Then I innocently asked the two of them what had happened that time that I left home for a while and stayed with my brother.

And they told me.  And it all came flooding back.

All of this happened when my brothers were men.

 

 

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The Almost Thanksgiving At The In-Laws

It’s a safe bet to say that lots of women have issues with their mother-in law.  Some more so than others.  My mother-in-law, while my ex and I were dating, would *sigh* and talk about his previous girlfriend.  I would smile, and say something pleasant, when I really wanted to scream I GET IT, YOU LIKED HER BETTER THAN ME.

And then I got pregnant.

I wanted this baby so much.  My parents were horrified and my father got out the shotgun.  Metaphorically…..he never actually tried to shoot my ex.  He was furious and disappointed with me.  My mother was trying to adjust to the fact that I was no longer a virgin.  She had specifically told me I had to be one.  My brothers were very upset for me and at me for being an idiot and getting pregnant.

My future mother-in-law thought I was a slut.

 

Kelly's First Day

Kelly’s First Day

Next to her father and me, the one person who is really happy that I had the baby, is the baby herself.  My oldest daughter, Kelly.

So, as I was saying, even prior to the BIG BOMBSHELL, my future mother-in-law didn’t like me.  Maybe it’s more accurate to say that she didn’t like the idea of me.  She wanted her son to stay at home and take care of her and help with her husband, who was in a nursing home by that time.

 

 

A son with a baby on the way and then a wife?  That was not in her picture of the future.

My ex and I married when I was 5 months pregnant.  Our baby was due around Thanksgiving, and this was to be the first holiday that I was spending with my new husband’s family.  My contribution to the meal was that I was in charge of making, and bringing the stuffing.

I’m sure you can guess what happened next.  Kelly also wanted to be around for Thanksgiving, and made her awesome arrival into the world about 45 minutes before midnight on Thanksgiving eve.  Such a glorious gift for me.  A baby safely born.  A Thanksgiving baby.

The next morning, Thanksgiving Day, my mother-in-law came to the hospital to see her new granddaughter.  Her first grandchild.  She stood at the end of my bed and with a completely flat affect just looked at me.  And then said….

“You were supposed to bring the stuffing.”

 

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Saneteacher’s Got Talent! Featuring Us The Duo

Today marks a new feature on saneteachers.com.  Saneteacher’s Got Talent! will focus on incredible people who are incredibly talented in their area of specialization.  Music of all genres, authors, singers, comedians and anyone else in whom I think you would be interested.

I’m thrilled to showcase Us The Duo, whom I saw last week as they opened for Pentatonix at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut.  Michael and Carissa Alvarado are social media phenomes, but I knew very little about them before this concert, which says a lot about me, not them.  But I am now a huge fan, which says a lot about them, not me.

It’s sounds mushy to say I love every song of theirs, but I love every song of theirs.  This is why:

Totally cool, innovative, pure, fun, original……and….that’s why.

If you hear me say that I interviewed them, well, it would be a wild exaggeration.  The conversation took place in the lobby of the hotel at Mohegan Sun as they were getting ready to leave and I was going up to my room after breakfast.  It went something like this.

Me: Would you mind taking a picture with me?

Carissa:  Oh that would be fine, of course.

Me:  Or am I being too intrusive?

Hellooooooo……..How could they say anything but yes??  What’s wrong with me?

Carissa and Michael (very graciously):  No, that’s fine!

So I have this lovely reminder of a wonderful concert and the graciousness of a musical couple who, early one morning, allowed a fan a moment of pleasure with a lifetime memory.

With Us The Duo!

With Us The Duo!

Note to self: When my mother used to tell me not to go out without my hair done, this is why.

Michael and Carissa Alvarado, Us The Duo, are a singing and songwriting couple from Southern California.  I can’t give justice to their pics, songs, videos, bio, etc here, so I’ve included a link above to their official website.  The videos are from their YouTube channel. You can find them on Twitter @UsTheDuo and on Facebook and many other social media sites.

Their newest album Just Love is available now via everywhere, but especially on their website and facebook page.

I will leave you with another video from this super-talented couple.  Another song from their concert that I fell in love with.

Saneteacher’s Got Talent!  Featuring #ustheduo

 

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Reblog: No Country for Exceptional Women — Writing From My 14th Country

It’s unusual for me to reblog a post.  But this post from Bea dM at Writing From My 14th Country is so exceptional, that I had to share it with my readers.

 

Artemisia Gentileschi was considered one of her generation’s most gifted painters, and yet I hadn’t even heard of her before watching a TV documentary last week. I admittedly mastered in Maths at French schools, where History of Art wasn’t compulsory. But I was introduced to the world of art by a stepmother from generations of […]

via No Country for Exceptional Women — Writing From My 14th Country

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A Solution To America’s Post-Election Problems

388627_299859600047775_1726308685_nI just had the best idea.  And I do not mean this sarcastically at all.  So many people in America are talking very negatively since the election.  I have been, too.  It seems like a stream, not a thread, of hatred is enveloping everyone.

No one in the grocery store is discussing what the Trump administration’s policy will be about Puerto Rico’s statehood.  Nor fracking in New York and elsewhere.  People are talking about hating one or more groups of people (LGBTQ, women, african-americans, whites, latinos, anyone from another country who doesn’t look like they came here from northern or western Europe two hundred years ago).   Other people are talking about hating the people who hate the above people.  Republicans are mad at Democrats. Democrats are mad at Republicans.  Lot of people are mad at the millennials.  People are mad at rural people, city people, suburban people, human people.

But it many ways, it seems voters are afraid of anyone who is different than they are.

What about DNA tests?  They are ALWAYS a surprise.  So here’s my idea.

Let’s use DNA tests where you spit in a tube and send it off in the mail, to bring our country together.  It’s hard to hate a group when you see that you have X percent DNA from that group.

DNA might be the solution to America’s current unrest.

 

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Americans, Don’t Read This. Go Vote.

I mean it.  No election in my lifetime has been this important.  Go VOTE.

 

 

 

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Puppy Love And The Presidential Election

No, this has nothing to do with puppies.  But a lot to do with the 2016 election in the USA.

One night in 11th grade, I was asked out on a date by a boy on whom I had a tremendous crush.  The kind where you walk down a different hallway to class, hoping to have a 2 second sighting of him.  And being in alt if he smiled at you.  Puppy love.

I was so excited when he asked me out.  I remember picking out my outfit carefully, discussing the upcoming date for hours with my friends on the phone.  And then the night arrived.

We went to see “Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid” in the movie theater in Mount Kisco, NY.  After the movie, in the parking lot of the theater, he asked me to “go steady” with him.  And he gave me an ID bracelet with his name on it, to seal the deal.

I still remember how breathtakingly surprised and elated I was.

“Going steady” was a normal expression and a normal dating ritual at the time, although it seems so strange now.  I was marked as his girlfriend and no one else better intrude. And I could show off that he loved me so much that he marked me as his girlfriend and no one else better intrude.  That sounds insane now.

It was like being branded.

There was no reciprocity.  There was no “boyfriend, you need to wear this to show all the other girls that they can’t come near you, or else.”  It was the polar opposite of equality.

Which brings us to 2016.  We have the opportunity to have a woman as President of the United States of America.

And here I am, voicing my political views on this blog.  Which I wasn’t going to do.  I started out supporting Bernie Sanders, but well before the primaries, I realized that it would be impossible to pay for everything that he proposed, although I think that we deserve everything that he proposed.

I have always liked Hillary Clinton a lot. And I think that Bernie Sanders helped move her platform in the direction I prefer.  I think she’ll be an awesome president.  My support of her has nothing to do with the fact that she’s a woman.

Until today.  Today I thought back to what it meant to “go steady.”  About how it was more special than just telling your friends you were dating someone.  It was about showing off that I wore his name on a bracelet on my wrist.  That I somehow counted more as girlfriend because of it.  That I didn’t matter as much standing alone without the ID bracelet symbolizing that I was an appendage of his.

And now I know that another reason why I should vote for Hillary Clinton is because she is a woman.  We have come to the point in the development of our society that a woman has the equal right to be President.  She doesn’t need an ID bracelet to run for President.

She stands alone.  And that is a powerful message for my daughters and granddaughters and my son and grandsons.

It’s about freedom and equality.

It matters that Hillary Clinton is a woman.

 

 

 

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Thank You, World Series

I’m a political junkie. I don’t post about it here, because my blog isn’t a political one and I don’t have anything unique or earth-shattering to add to the world of politics.

But this presidential election nightmare in the USA has been incredibly embarrassing and will go down in history as one of the most ridiculous political events in our history.

I can’t wait to vote for the candidate for whom I feel passionate.

But mostly, I can’t wait for the campaigns to be over.

So, on this morning, in 2016, I want to congratulate the Chicago Cubs.  But most of all, I’m appreciative of baseball.

Thank you, baseball, for changing the focus away from politics, at least for a short time.

 

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