Category Archives: second blog

blogging break

I’ve got some craziness going on, so I’ll be taking a little break from blogging for a few days or more, but nothin’ to worry about. 🙂

[ETA: This was the last post in blog #2.]

show and tell: Miss Famous’s husky love

Show and Tell Chalkboard 2So the “show” part of this week’s show and tell is a bit of a cheat, as I don’t have a photo of what I want to show you.  Well, I have photos of half of it, so that’s what I’ll show, I just don’t have a photo of the other half, so you’ll have to take my word for it. 🙂

I believe in was the last show and tell I did for my old blog (see sidebar), I introduced Miss Famous’ husky friend to all of you.  If you were around back then (it wasn’t so long ago–February or March?), and have a good memory, you mightIMG_0629 remember some of these photos.  I think I called it “bestest friends” or something.

Well, apparently, Miss Famous has not forgotten her old husky friend.  In our new home, as we have been walking the neighborhood, we have come across a man and his husky dog.  This husky is a male, and much larger than Miss Famous’ former playmate, however, Miss Famous is drawn to him like a long-lost lover.  When we pass by other dogs on our walks, she shows interest, but nothing too extraordinary.  IMG_0627However, when Husky Dog and owner have shown up, she goes berserk.  She pulls on her leash, she literally jumps on Husky Dog, she goes in to the “play with me” position (butt in the air, front paws sticking out), whining and jumping the whole time.  Luckily, very luckily, Husky Dog and his owner are very nice.  Husky Dog is very calm, but as his owner describes it, often sees playing as “beneath him.”  He is benevolent to Miss Famous and her antics.  IMG_0633His owner seems like a lovely man and is very patient with this crazy mutt who is jumping all over his calm dog for no apparent reason, every time she sees him.  I have explained about Miss Famous’ former playmate and that she does not do this to other dogs, which surprised Husky Man.

So I suppose she remembers her old playmate and/or she believes all huskies to be good playmate material.  It tugs at my heart a bit to see her so excited about this dog, and I’d love to find her another dog to play with in the lovely backyard we have here.IMG_0620

See who else is showin’ their love over at Mel’s.

ghosts of new years’ past

In case you hadn’t heard, we are right in the middle of the Jewish High Holy Days, also known as the High Holidays.  (Here is a nice, user-friendly introduction, if you are interested.)  I found myself in shul (synagogue) on Saturday, and I was pretty overwhelmed by the experience–not so much the experience of now as the experience of remembering what has brought me to this point.  Hence, this post.

♦My first Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) was the year I was studying about Judaism, before I had converted.  Mr. X was back in his state after spending the summer with me (we were in a long-distance relationship at that point).  I was finally starting to feel familiar with the Shabbat (sabbath) service–knowing the tunes, recognizing more or less the order of things (the synagogue where I went conducted the entire service in Hebrew).  Then came Rosh Hashanah.  Little was I to know that they would change all the tunes and add tons more to the liturgy so that the little I felt familiar with suddenly disappeared.  And instead of meeting in the small library as usual, we met in the big sanctuary, and people I had never seen before showed up, and the services seemed to last forever.  I was less than impressed with all this High Holiday upheaval and was more than ready to get back to business as usual.

♦My second Rosh Hashanah was in Jerusalem.  I had converted, X and I had married, and we went to Israel as part of his school program.  As you can see from that previous sentence, everything had moved really quickly in the previous year, and I hadn’t really had time to process very much of it.  Other things that were going on in my life included my family being pretty upset about my conversion (what with my going to hell and all–they’ve come a long way, baby, since that time), and my graduating with my master’s in social work.  As far as Jewish observance in general was concerned, something I couldn’t really see at the time, but is crystal clear now (thank you, hindsight!)–my religious observance level was 100% determined by X and what he wanted.  Needless to say, I was feeling pretty stifled, pretty suppressed–but didn’t even know it.  X was also very threatened by anything on my part that he perceived as not totally enthusiastic about Judaism on my part.  Along came the High Holidays and their (seeming to me) hyper-focus on “repentance.”  At the time I was carrying around a whole-lotta baggage from my Christian past that hadn’t been dealt with, and the High Holidays were the one time of the year that Judaism felt uncomfortable to me because of this focus.  X, of course, instead of being understanding, or giving me space to work out my own issues from my own past, just piled on the guilt about my not being totally gung-ho about the New Year.  Because, you know, everything else I had done so far wasn’t enough. (And again, I wonder, how could I not see it then?)  So that second Rosh Hashanah was mostly about getting through it.  And a big relief when it was over.

♦Rosh Hashanah, take three.  We were back in the U.S., and Mr. X was completing the last year of his program, after which he would be a full-fledged rabbi.  Based on the previous two years’ experiences, I was not exactly looking forward to RH.  I had just started a new job, and had to take off several (unpaid) days at the start due to these holidays.  I remember hosting a couple of meals–there was always a lot of work to do, but the person I was always worried about pleasing was X.  Things needed to be “just so” for him.  He always had an idea in his mind about how Jewish things should go, and if they didn’t go the way he wanted, well…let’s just say his mood would swing.  Looking back it is so easy for me to see how much I did without really wanting to, how much I did because I was afraid not to, but at the time, I just had a tight feeling in my chest, a feeling of being stuck, though I couldn’t have put those words to it.  If I didn’t really want to go to religious services on Shabbat, how much more did I not want to go on Rosh Hashanah, when I would be trapped there for hours longer than usual, hungry and bored.

♦The fourth Rosh Hashanah was the first year that Mr. X and I were in the town that I’ve referred to elsewhere as “Small Pond.”  He had taken a pulpit job, and we were firmly in the “honeymoon” stage that new clergy often experience with congregations.  A friend of ours that we had met the year we lived in Israel came to lead the musical parts of the services, and having her there was wonderful for me.  I hadn’t gotten a job yet, so I wore myself out cooking and cleaning and we hosted every meal (lunch and dinner) for our cantor friend and her parents.  As for the services, I remember thinking that I hated the High Holidays a little less that year.  Sweeping praise, I know.  This may have had something to do with the fact that X eased off somewhat in his pressure of me at the time (in Jewish things).  I think partly this has to do with the fact that I was pressuring myself so much, he no longer needed to…

♦The fifth Rosh Hashanah…the honeymoon was definitely over.  It was our second year in Small Pond, and we had been trying for several months to conceive.  About a month before RH, I had seen my ob-gyn for my yearly exam, and had received a diagnosis of PCOS.  We were referred to the “fertility specialist” in the practice.  When RH came around, so much was up in the air.  I didn’t know yet that X’s sp.erm analysis would show severely low-mo.rphology.  I didn’t know how long it would take to get a definitive answer about that, even.  I just knew that my worst nightmare had just opened up and pulled me in.  That year, there was another visiting cantor, but not a friend.  Also, X’s parents came to visit for the High Holidays, and stayed with us, so I had less space to deal with my feelings.  There was a lot for me to do, and a lot of emotion running just below the surface.  I don’t remember much of my impressions about the religious aspects of the HH that year.  I just remember being in pain and being scared.

♦The sixth Rosh Hashanah.  Last year.  It was my fifth as a Jew.  Things were hard between Mr. X and me.  I had started getting emotionally healthier, and that meant a lot more saying, “no.”  That meant a lot more trying to figure out what kind of religious observance I wanted to have, for me, not for him.  This last part freaked X out more than anything else.  He was losing his grip of control on me.  I was learning how to take care of myself.  I was learning that I could live without him.  At this point I had not consciously imagined leaving him, though he would throw it in my face and accuse me of planning it (which blew my mind at the time, and I would do anything I could to convince him it wasn’t true–crazymaking).  I was trying so hard to hold myself together and hold my marriage together.  I still didn’t know that it would have to be one or the other, that I couldn’t have both.  It was during the High Holidays last year that I reconnected with the Divine.  I don’t really know how else to describe my experience, but it was an amazing time for me.  Amazing and hard, as I still had to come home with X.  I didn’t really focus on the machzor (prayerbook) or the set liturgy that everyone else was doing.  I stayed in my own head mostly.  There were a couple of images that came to me during that time.  These images gave me peace and I don’t know how I would have gotten through that month, that autumn without them.*

♦This year.  Seventh Rosh Hashanah.  Sixth year as a Jew.  First year on my own.  I had not been wanting to do anything Jewish at all, at all, at all.  I had been starting to wonder about myself, if I was going to want to stop being Jewish.  I didn’t want to want that…

About a month ago, maybe a month and a half ago, I was walking Miss Famous and I heard in my head some of the traditional tunes for the High Holidays.  These are tunes that are only used at this time of year.  I found myself wanting to be in shul for the holidays.  With that desire came a great relief.  I don’t know what my Jewishness will end up looking like, but it is still there, and it will be mine.

So I only went first day RH this year (it’s a two-day holiday).  I didn’t know how I would react, being in shul again, after so many months being away.  I decided that I really like being anonymous, or at least, not being the rebbetzin (rabbi’s wife).  I liked just blending in.  There were tears, and there was relief.  There was no panic attack**, and there was nothing out of the ordinary (unless you count the tears).

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*I will talk about these another time.  This post is already so long, I would not want them to get lost in it.

**I’ve never had a panic attack, but I found myself wondering and worrying about my reaction to being in shul again, being in those services again with how connected they are to Mr. X in my mind.

happy ICLW!

It is once again, ICLW, and instead of beating my head against the bricks to find a new, creative way to introduce myself, I decided to tweak what I did last month and incorporate the many changes that have happened in the last couple of weeks.  My apologies to the regular readers, and anyone else who was expecting, well, to read something they hadn’t read before.  Maybe you’ll get a gratuitous Miss Famous pic  or two at the end for your troubles. 😉

So here it is, me (for the moment) in a nutshell:

Girl with issues meets Boy.  Girl and Boy marry.  Girl always knows they have problems (but, really, who doesn’t?), but does not realize the depth of said problems.  Along comes the evil Infertility and Girl experiences great amount of pain.  Girl is no longer able to keep juggling all balls in the air to keep Boy happy.  Girl gets therapy and starts to get healthier.  As Girl gets healthier, relationship goes down the tubes and Boy gets more and more emotionally abusive.  In Spring of ’09, Girl gets a clue and gets out of Dodge, with the fabulous Miss Famous in tow.  Boy goes even more demented than before and does many crazy things, presumably to hurt Girl. In September of ’09, Girl gets job in a nearby city and is able to move out of parents’ house (hallelujah!).  The change is welcome, but Girl still has a long road of healing ahead. Girl has wonderful friends, both in the real and electronic worlds and is regretful only that she did not leave Boy sooner.

So that’s the basics.  Boy is Mr. X.  I may talk about Miss Famous a little too much (yes, I’m one of THOSE).  Divorce is still in process thanks to X’s assholery*;  it may have to go to court.  I’d like to be a mom someday, but that’s all on the back-burner for the moment as I’m still not quite the most solid brick in the stack, if you know what I mean.IMG_1254

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*That one’s for you, Nina and Dani! 🙂


perfect moment monday: I love you, too

Perfect momentMy younger sister and her family stopped by on their way home on Sunday.  They had been visiting family in another part of the state, and as I hadn’t seen them in a while, we made it a point to have them come by my new place, share a meal, and have the little ones play with Miss Famous for a while to burn off some energy before getting back in the car for a few more hours.

At one point I picked up “Faith”, the 3-year-old, and told her, “I love you, Faith.”

And it came right back, without a moment’s hesitation, “I love you, too, Aunt Dreams.”‘

Beautiful.  Amazing.  Perfect.

I hope I will never take a moment like that for granted.

Check out the other perfect moments at Lavender Luz’s.

this basically says it all…

funny-dog-pictures-smaller-step

show and tell: in my room

Show and Tell Chalkboard 2The long awaited showing and telling of my new place has come!  (Long awaited may be a bit of a stretch, but I am excited to show the photos at any rate!)

I showed a pic of the outside of the house in a previous post.

I actually only have photos of my bedroom for this week’s show and tell.  I thought I would have time to get nice shots of more parts of the house, but with the unpacking, the starting the new job, the raining all weekend long, there just wasn’t a) time b) good light for outdoor shots and c) I’m feeling lazy and/or emotional.  Also, this gives me plenty of ammo for future show and tell times when I draw a blank. 🙂  See, win::win!

What I do have are some lovely shots of my lovely bedroom.  I moved in the big white chest of drawers, so don’t blame my friend if it looks kind of crowded.  Basically, everything else design-wise is hers (it’s really her room, I’m just staying in it while she is far away–see that other post for the details):IMG_1280

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See what the rest of the class is showing and telling over at Mel’s!