17 November 2010
14 August 2010
09 August 2010
I am not much of a computer geek. I need specific, easy instructions when I want to do anything on the computer. So my blog has looked the same for the last few years, because I have no skills when it comes to customizing things on the internet.
But recently blogger added some new, easy to make templates for blogs. After a little playing around I decided to go with a calming, water theme. I still consider myself a fiery woman, and believe me, lots of things can get me fired up. But I have decided I need some calm in my life, and nothing calms me like water. I love to stare at water, listen to water and be in water. And since I live in northern IL, and there isn't an ocean anywhere near me, my blog will have to do.
So let me know what you think. Do you like the changes? Does it make it easier or harder to read? I know I have been a bit negligent of my blog lately, but I always have some good thoughts swirling in my head, I just need to schedule the time to get my thoughts down on "paper".
It's always our self we find in the sea.
21 July 2010
18 July 2010
"can't you see that you're smothering me
holding too tightly, afraid to lose control
cause everything that you thought i would be
has fallen apart right in front of you"
21 June 2010
14 June 2010
- break with established customs
- maverick: someone who exhibits great independence in thought and action
Then we can move onto "rebellious":
- resisting control or authority;
- disaffected: discontented as toward authority
- refusal to accept some authority or code or convention; "each generation must have its own rebellion";
- organized opposition to authority;
I bring up these words because I have always been a rebellious sort. Maybe I get it from my Irish side (paternal grandfather, he was in the IRA), or the bit of Scottish in me (maternal grandfather) but it seems I have rebellion in my blood. I have never been one to go with the flow or follow "normal" societal conventions.
I don't believe there is one "correct" way to do something, and I don't believe there is anything wrong with questioning "authority". I am who I am, I am who God made me to be. I may rub people the wrong way, I may seem "too big for my britches" at times. Some have called me loud, some have called me obnoxious. Some would like to "put me in my place" I am sure. But sometimes someone has to speak up and challenge conventions. I guess sometimes I think that someone is me.
Has it gotten me into trouble? Certainly. Has it changed my position, no.
I could list all the rebellious things I have done in my life, but that really isn't the point of this post. I found a quote by Steve Jobs that kind of sums it all up for me:
“Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
05 June 2010
I started thinking back to my youth and what I wanted to "be". When I was growing up, kids were always striving to "be" something. It wasn't enough to just be a kid or a teen, it was all about what you were going to "be" when you grew up. I remember wanting to be a model. What girl didn't want to be a model in the early 80's, the heyday of supermodel-ism? Although I have (had) a pretty face, I knew my Irish "potato pickers" legs would never get me a cover shoot, so I moved on to wanting to be an actress. I was in some school plays, and I was pretty interested in the acting thing for while, but reality set in (and lack of encouragement from my parents) brought me back to reality. By junior year of high school I was thinking about being a photographer. (I am sensing a theme here; I think I wanted a career with excitement and adventure.) My grades weren't great, I hated school, so my parents weren't willing to help me pay for photography school. (I wanted to go to Columbia, in Chicago, I could have lived at home and commuted to cut costs, but that's a whole other story). Suffice it to say, none of those dreams ever panned out. I considered becoming a paralegal at one point, but again, no money for school, and with my grades, no scholarships were forthcoming.
So I went to work. I had been working since age 14, various jobs, fast food, a laundromat, cleaning offices, finally retail. But after I graduated high school, I needed full time employment as I wanted to get of my parents house. (Another long story for another time).
So working full time, paying for an apartment and car, finally meeting a man, moving in with him and getting pregnant, then married, then I wake up one day at 42 and realize I lost myself.
I'm not unhappy with how my life turned out, I love my husband, I love my daughters. I have been happy being a mom, and I have learned a lot about myself, what my strengths (and weaknesses) are through being a wife and mother. But now that my girls are getting a little older, and I too am getting older, I have been thinking about the rest of my life. Is it too late to re-visit those old dreams? Do I even want to do those things anymore? Who am I outside of the wife and mother role? I still wonder what I want to be when I grow up.
Some days I am content to putter around the house and just continue on with the status quo, other days I feel like I was meant for so much more, that I should be contributing to the world in a more meaningful way. I just don't know what that is yet. I wish I could sit on a mountain for a while, and maybe the gods would speak to me and point me in the right direction. (Although in reality, I'd much prefer to sit under a palm tree and stare at the ocean for a while).
I think I may be going through a mid-life crisis. Although crisis isn't really the right word. It's soul searching. Searching for meaning in my life and in this crazy world we live in. If I find it I'll let you know.
24 March 2010
15 March 2010
1) You will never play professional basketball.
2) You swear very well.
3) At least one of your cousins is a fireman, cop, bar owner, funeral home owner or holds political office.
4) You think you sing very well.
5) You have no idea how to make a long story short!
6) There isn't a big difference between you losing your temper or killing someone...
7) Much of your childhood meals were boiled.
8) You have never hit your head on a ceiling.
9) You spent a good portion of your childhood kneeling in prayer (ya know ya were thinkin' about being badwhether ya did it or not).
10) You're strangely poetic after a few beers.
11) You are, therefore, poetic a lot.
12) You will be punched for no good reason...a lot.
13) Some punches directed at you are from legacies of past generations.
14) Many of your sisters and/or cousins are named Mary, Catherine or Eileen...and there is at least one member of
your family with the full name of Mary Catherine Eileen.
15) Someone in your family is incredibly cheap. It is more than likely you.
16) You may not know the words, but that doesn't stop you from singing.
17) You can't wait for the other guy to stop talking before you start talking.
18) You're not nearly as funny as you think you are...but what you lack in talent, you make up for in frequency.
19) There wasn't a huge difference between your last Wake and your last keg party.
20) You are, or know someone, named Murph.
21) If you don't know Murph then you know Mac. If you don't know Murph or Mac then you know Sully.
Then you probably know Sully MacMurphy.
22) You are genetically incapable of keeping a secret.
23) You have Irish Alzheimer's... your forget everything but the grudges!
24) "Irish Stew" is a euphemism for "boiled leftovers."
25) All of your losses are alcohol related (loss of virginity, loss of drivers license, loss of money, loss of job,loss of significant other, loss of teeth from punch...) but it never stops you from drinking.
I didn't write this, but I can admit, some of these fit me!
14 March 2010
What type of bra? asked the clerk. "Baptist" said the man. She said get a Baptist bra, and that you'd know what she meant."
"Ah yes, now I remember" said the saleslady. "We don't sell many of those. Mostly our customers want the Catholic type, the Salvation Army type, or the Presbyterian type.
"Confused the man asked, "What's the difference between them?"
The lady responded, "It is all really quite simple; the Catholic type supports the masses, the Salvation Army type lifts up the fallen, and the Presbyterian type keeps them staunch and upright. Then there's the Baptist type."
"What does that do?" asked the man.
She replied, "It makes mountains out of molehills."
09 March 2010
I hope to write a series of blog posts about my family tree, at least what I know so far. I think it'll be good to get the information and stories out of my head and on "paper" for future generations. Today I am starting with my dad's side:
I was born in NYC, Manhattan to be exact. Same as my father. We lived in an apartment, I talked about it here. My dad's parents (my grandparents) lived in the apartment building next door. (Not where my dad grew up, but he still was born and raised in Manhattan). My grandmother Frances Clarke (Nanny) was Irish, but was born and had grown up in England, my grandfather, Thomas Cox (Pa) had grown up in Ireland, so they both had accents. I didn't think much of their accents, as living in NYC many people had accents.
The story, as I had always heard it growing up, was that Pa was coming from Ireland to America and Nanny was coming from England. They met on the boat and by the time they got to America, they were in love. The real story, which came out after both grandparents had died, was that Nanny got pregnant while they were on the boat, (guess there wasn't much to do on boats back then, especially if you were in steerage), so they had to get married. That baby ended up dying a few months after birth, he would've been my Uncle John, my dad was born 13 years later.
My dad didn't talk to much of his childhood. I know it was hard. I know they were poor, but most Irish were back then, especially in the big cities. The neighborhood my parents grew up in was mostly Irish and Italian, and poor, so everyone was in the same boat.
Pa held a variety of jobs over his lifetime. He was a milkman for a while (drove a milk truck) and was a member of the Teamsters. In his later years he worked for the Port Authority in NYC. It's what he did before coming to America that he was most proud of. He was a member of the IRA, the Irish Republican Army. He told us that he was one of the first members of the IRA. He was the youngest of 12 children, and there wasn't much to do in Ireland if you weren't the first born son (and inherit the land and farm) or a daughter who would be married off, so for a teenage boy, the IRA was it. I don't know what he did as an IRA member or what happened to him other than one story he used to tell us: After he had been with the organization for a while, and had done whatever they told them him to do, the Black and Tans came for him one night. He was asleep in his bed, and they dragged him away from his home. He said they tortured him for information, of which he said he had none. He thought they were going to kill him, but they didn't. After a very long night they let him go. He had nightmares for most of the rest of his life after that. He never told my dad any details, and he never told us kids any. It's kind of a shame really, so much history, such much information, lost forever. My grandfather wasn't a very nice man, he wasn't good to my father and he was very stern with us, his grand kids. I often wondered if he was always that way or if he was a product of his circumstances, the things that had been done to him.
In recent years I have begun exploring my family tree. I have limited information, I know who my great grandparents were, but barring a trip back to Ireland, I'm not sure how to get more information. Yes the Internet is a wonderful thing, but unless someone, somewhere, put that information on the Internet, it isn't there for my grabbing. My grandfather told us the birth records were kept in the Catholic churches, and many of those churches were burned to the ground during all the years of trouble with the British. So our record might not be there at all. I do know my grandfather had a sister who came to the states when he was a baby, and she died before he ever came here, so he never knew her. I never had first cousins, both of my parents were only children, but I do remember a 2nd cousin, who was my age, that I knew when we lived in NYC. My parents never fostered an interest in us keeping up with our relatives. After we moved to the Midwest when I was 8, we lost most contact with those relatives. I find it sad, and now it makes it that much harder to find these people who share my gene pool, my heritage.
This is what I know about my paternal grandparents: My grandfather was born Thomas Francis Cox, June 15th, 1902. His fathers name was John Cox and his mothers name was Bridget Devine. My paternal grandmother was born Frances Clarke, June 13th 1908. Her parents were Francis Clarke and Margaret LaVelle.
I plan to write more of their stories and delve into my mothers side in upcoming posts. More to come............
To live in hearts we leave behind, Is not to die.
02 March 2010
Not present in the year
at any other period
When March is scarcely here."
~ Emily Dickinson~
How can it be so, March is here. I feel like it has taken forever coming, and yet so long. My last quick stop here was on Christmas Day. I have fallen into the horrible winter doldrums ever since. Moping around the house, dreading winters snow and chill. Becoming more and more slug like as the days dragged on.
But alas, it is March! Spring, right around the corner. And with that head knowledge, somehow my body also knows it. I have a bit more energy, look a little more forward to the morning and the coming day. Relish in the sun streaming in my windows, and melting the snow outside them.
Spring, spring, I am so happy to see you. Sunlight and longer days where have you been? My mental and physical health depend on the warmth and sunshine. I am but a shriveled weed without them.
I am committing myself today to embrace the coming months, to get outside and appreciate the sun and fresh, warm air when it is here. And to my blog, that I have neglected for too many cold, dreary months. Whereas most people might be inspired to write while cooped up inside, for me it is the opposite, I need happiness and joy, brought by the sun, to release my inner thoughts.
Spring and summer, those are the months I thrive in. I am happy that they are almost here!
"Winds of March, we welcome you,
There is work for you to do.
Work and play and blow all day,
Blow the Winter wind away."
March bustles in on windy feet
And sweeps my doorstep and my street.
She washes and cleans with pounding rains,
Scrubbing the earth of winter stains.
She shakes the grime from carpet green
Till naught but fresh new blades are seen.
Then, house in order, all neat as a pin,
She ushers gentle springtime in."
~Susan Reiner, Spring Cleaning~