Friday, August 03, 2012

Eat Whatever You Want

I have to rant, and in an effort to keep my Facebook Page rant-free, I will rant here.

I don't care if people marry other people of the same gender.  I have friends in long-term same-sex relationships that are more loving and compassionate than many marriages I've known.  My own marriage was not threatened or weakened because of those relationships.  In fact, my personal relationships are stronger and more meaningful because of the friendships I happen to have with several people who happen to be gay, lesbian and bi. 

I don't care if a business owner spends his profits on a lobby group.  I may care not to spend my money in that business if I don't want my money contributing to that lobby.  I may wish to spend more money in a business if I find that they are spending their profits to support causes that I, too, support.  I applaud people who make choices this way, even if their choices are not the choices I would make.  I admire personal integrity, being true to your own beliefs.

Free market is all about choosing where you spend your money, for a variety of reasons.

Can we please stop hating now?

A country divided cannot stand.

I am proud to live in a country where each of us is free to believe according to our own choices and act upon those, as long as they do not impede another's rights.  We don't need to bully or berate one another when they feel differently from us, do we?  What is the purpose of doing such a thing? 

 Although I am a person with strong personal faith, I will not try to make others follow my own moral code with legislation.  The Government really has no business deciding who can marry whom, IMHO.  They have no business deciding who can have sex with whom other than to protect children and victims of rape and other violent crimes.

All I can do is strive to live life according to what I have been taught; treating others as I would like to be treated.

Remember the phrase "we'll have to agree to disagree"?  That is what we need to do.  We need to AGREE that it is OK to feel differently about an issue.

Do it, or I won't let you have any cookies after naptime.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Alone Addendum

I am glad I posted when I did last night because soon after that our power went out.  We've been having big power issues in the state since the big storms and heat wave.  Our house has been lucky, though, and we've not lost power at all.  Until last night.  At 11:11 pm last night our power went out.  I didn't panic, I just texted Si and I opened the windows. 

Thankfully the power returned about an hour and 10 minutes later!  AEP must have just been working on something.

I can't imagine how there are still people without power after more than a week.  I have friends who went 5-6 days.  So much heat, too. 

I am very blessed to have power again after such a short loss.

Saturday, July 07, 2012


I have been thinking lately about how I have to learn how to be alone.  I've never been a big fan of being alone, and really, it's not as bad as I once thought.  Chances are that in about 14 months, my son will go off somewhere to college and I will be in this house alone.  It's hard to even get my mind around it, but at the same time I think about it a lot.  It's like a scab that I can't stop picking at. 

Take tonight, for instance. I worked my 9-6 at The L, and my son was gone by the time I got home.  He has a play tonight, and after he is probably going to go out with his friends.  So I came into a house with no humans in it (2 cats), and I warmed up some leftovers for dinner.  I chose to listen to my current audio book while eating, which was nice.  It's The Rook by Daniel O'Malley, and it's good, but once my hands were no longer busy with eating I decided to get online.

And here I sit.  Bored.  The house is a mess, so there is no shortage of chores to be done, but I am tired from a long day at work and I don't want to clean.  I could watch TV.  I could put a movie into the DVD player.  I could get out one of my instruments and play some music and sing.  I could pick up a book, or turn on the audio book.  I could knit.  I could find a way to combine 2 or more of those activities.  Still, I am sitting here, thinking about how I'm alone in the house.

It's nice to have some quiet.  It's nice to have complete control over my environment.  I could go to bed (I am very sleepy, having stayed up too late last night).

Oh - that's another thing.  I have trouble going to bed at night when I'm alone in the house.  What is that about? 

You think about it and get back to me.

I'm going to just sit here.  And think.  About being alone.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Customer Experiences

I did some serious grocery shopping on Saturday.  I shopped at Trader Joe's first, took that all home and put it away, and then went to Kroger.  It was astonishing how different the two experiences were.  Here are some things I noticed:

Trader Joe's:
  • Smaller selection, but generally all high quality items.
  • A lot of organic things, although that doesn't matter much to me.
  • Many smaller portion items like marinated meats in smaller packages, produce already cleaned and packaged, etc.  
  • Did you know that you can sample any item in the store?  You can ask at that booth at the back and they will open a package and give you a taste.  I usually just take it home because I know that I can take things back if they're lousy, but I have yet to find anything that isn't tasty.
  • The staff are all friendly and helpful, and will even ask you if you need anything (without you begging!)  And there are a lot of employees around, plenty of people so that you don't have to search for help when you have a question.
  • If you bring your own re-usable grocery bags you enter into a drawing to win a gift card - I hope I win!
  • When they bag your stuff in your re-usable bags they fill them really well, and they pay careful attention to put fridge items into your insulated bags.
  • Even these specialty items are not priced exorbitantly.
  • Larger selection of items, but some of them suck.
  • Store size is very large - more walking here than at Joe's.
  • Can buy in bulk - huge packages of cereal, toilet paper, cheese, etc.  if you need quantity over quality, this is a better choice.
  • Fewer samples.  This depends on the Kroger location, of course.  The one closest to my house has very few samples.  The one is Graceland, which is further but nicer, tends to have nice food samples out.  They don't generally let you sample whatever you want, though, just deli stuff.
  • Staff can be friendly, but there are fewer staff per customer here.  I've had to wait up to  1/2 hour at the deli to have lunch meat cut for me and the answer I get when I ask about that is "this is the new norm".  LOUSY!  If you have a question about where something is, you have to track down an employee and they will give you an aisle number IF you're lucky.
  • You can bring your own re-usable bags, but you need to alert the bagger quickly because they're not used to it.  Also, this Saturday, the Kroger bagger put all my frozen things into a regular bag and put other things in the insulated bag.  DUH.
  • Also, when using my re-usable bags the bagger only filled them about 1/3 of the way - crazytown!
  • Kroger's was also very LOUD.  The customers were loud, talking loudly, shouting, etc.  It was odd.  I noticed the same behavior at a McDonald's near my work this afternoon.  So loud I could barely hear my friend speaking to me.  Why do people do that?
All-in-all, I'm switching as much of my shopping to Joe's as possible.  The only things I'm still getting at Krogers are those bulk-type items that my son eats in huge amounts (Cheezits, milk, Coke, sharp cheddar cheese, pork loin and beef on sale).

So, how am I doing on my goals?  Last month I set 5 goals out on my blog, and I have some quick reporting to do.

1.  Exercising - I have been out walking 3x/week that past 2 weeks.  Yay!  Thanks to Darla, Josh, Linda and Vicky (and the boys), I've been doing pretty well on this one.  I'm keeping this goal for a while so that I can continue to meet/exceed it for a while.
2. Reading - I've been turning off the TV and computer when Si is out of the house and reading books again.  LOVELY!  It's so much more peaceful!
3.  Finding ways to get out of the house and do things - I took Si to the zoo (that is one of the big walks, with Vicky and her boys, too.  and Si and I went to the Columbus Commons for lunch last week, and those other walks I've taken have helped, also.  All good things.  Also, I've been going to church Sunday mornings quite regularly . . . when I don't work.
4.  Practicing my instruments - this is a bust.  Haven't done a thing.  Boo!
5.  Budgeting - I haven't really done much, but I have been listening to The Money Class by Suze Orman, and it's been getting me ready!  I have canceled all but basic cable, though, which should help, and Si and I are starting to really talk about the truth of where we are financially.

So - 4 out of 5 of my goals have seen some movement.  Yay!  I am proud of that!  I'll check in again in a few weeks and let you know how it's going on them.

Monday, May 28, 2012

20 things

15 Things That Are True About Me Today
  1. I am learning to be single, which is really weird.  Sometimes I hate it and sometimes it's not so bad.  Mostly, it's just weird.
  2. I never feel like I have enough energy to do what I know needs to be done.  Cleaning, sorting through things and getting rid of stuff I don't need, etc.
  3. I love to knit.  It's creative, colorful, production and doesn't require a lot of physical energy.
  4. My health is not great.  
  5. I need to lose weight and exercise more.
  6. I hate exercising, but my friend Josh and I brainstormed about 8 ways I could get some socializing in while doing light exercise, and that sounds appealing to me.
  7. Today my intestines hate me.
  8. I am often afraid of not being good enough.
  9. I love watching my son turn into a man.  I wish I could make it easier for him to transition, but most life lessons have to be learned through experience, I've discovered, so I watch.
  10. I am a "fixer" in that I always want to fix things for people I love instead of letting them figure it out themselves.
  11. I don't judge very often, but when I do I feel ashamed.  If a child is in any way suffering or not living a good life, I tend to judge their parents/caregivers very harshly in my heart.  I still try to treat them with compassion, but it's a challenge for me.
  12. I believe that each one of us makes a difference in the world and it's up to us to make choices that nudge those differences into the realm of improvements, rather than influencing things poorly.
  13. I wish I had never colored my hair brown, but I did it to cover the weird yellow and blue from last year's Summer Reading Club stuff, and now I'm in "growing it out" transition and I don't like it.
  14. I find it challenging to be the only grown-up in my household.  It's also freeing, in a way.
  15. I wish I wasn't so emotional.

5 Things I Want to Work On
  1. Exercising.
  2. Actually reading (not just listening to) books more often.
  3. Finding ways to get out of the house and do things with Simon.
  4. Practicing my musical instruments.
  5. Budgeting.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Getting By

Firstly, I notice that my Reading Challenge 2012 widget isn't working for me.  On my computer, when this page comes up it says I've read 0 books in 2012.  This is patently untrue!  I have, in fact, read 69 books!  I started with a goal of 100 for the  year, but I've increased my goal to 120 just to see if I can reach it.  So, regardless of what that dratted widget may say - I AM READING!  Well, listening to audio books, at least.  Reading some.

Sometimes life is very hard.  Divorce is very hard.  Dealing with lies, betrayal, adjusting to being a single mom, handling finances alone, trying to make ends meet, being the only grown-up in the house, all of that - very hard.  Sometimes, I have to be honest, I just sit down and weep for a while.  It sucks.  But today, in the pit of depression, losing my cool in a big way, I realized that I have lots of friends.  I have people I can call.  I didn't know who to call to talk about my woes, because frankly, I feel all talked out.  Everyone knows my situation is complicated, and I know that there are any number of people who will help if I have specific needs.  What I realized today is that I needed to stop spiraling into my own depression and think about someone else.  I called a friend who is going through a really hard life thing, and I asked her how she is doing.  And you know what?  I felt so much better.  She  talked to me, I talked to her, and there you go - we were both a little better than before. 

Now - I need to remember to keep that lesson and act on it again.  And again.  And again.  Just because I'm in tough circumstances doesn't mean I can't still be a loving, caring friend.  It's totally win-win.

Maybe tomorrow I'll try getting some housework done and see how that does at improving my mood.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Last week as we were talking about things in the car (what is it about car rides that makes it so much easier to talk to one another?), Si gave me a surprising compliment.

"You are, like, the most mother-ish-ly person I know! We can't even go to the zoo without you talking to every little kid that goes by, saying 'oh, look how cute" and "hi sweety!'"

Yea, guilty as charged. M used to call me a kid magnet. I do love kids a lot. It's funny to hear it from your own kid, though, you know? Being a fretful mother, I checked with him to make sure he's ok with that.

I've been cherishing that comment. It's good to be a mom.

Monday, February 13, 2012


I've written posts in tribute to my mom and my dad before, and I know I mention them often. I've talked about my brother and sisters (both Linda and our "adopted" sister Vicky), as well, and their spouses. I just want to say that my family is wonderful. They are generous, loving, helpful, compassionate, intelligent and fun to be with. We have great times when we're together, and I'm blessed to have such a family.

Aside from that, though, I'm learning that you can tell the true character of people by how they respond in times of crisis. I've had way too many times in my life when I've needed help from my family (IMHO) because of my health, and these last few months, although (thankfully) not health related, have been very hard for me. My family has been supportive, helpful and abundantly kind and generous. They've helped me so much. Just knowing that I can call on them to talk me off the ledge, if you will, helps me tremendously. I know that we have differences of opinion about many things from time to time, but I also know that none of that matters when the chips are done. We are family, we are Fithians, we are here for one another, no matter what.

Thanks, guys.

Sunday, February 05, 2012


Without friends, no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods. ~Aristotle

These last few months, I have come to believe this more and more. And really, as I look over my entire life, it's always been this way. Each trial, trauma, challenge, celebration and accolade I've faced have been made easier, smoother, richer and immeasurably better because of my friends.

I couldn't even write out for you all the ways my friends (I'll talk about my family another time) have supported me, encouraged me, taught me and blessed me. This past week alone, I've been struck particularly by the everlasting nature of friendship. What I mean is this; that when you have good friends, true connections with people, you can go for a long, long time without seeing them and then when you get the chance to be together again, it's like no time has passed.

What a blessing that is.

And what a great joy it is to have friends you can see often, people who will meet you emotionally wherever you are. Friends will comfort you when you're sobbing, pat you on the back when you're being brave, encourage you when you're scared and help you see the best in things when you're uncertain. Friends pray for you, even when they don't agree with your choices. Friends what what is best for you, always.

I am so blessed, so lucky, so overjoyed to have such good friends. Thank you all for making this dark, dark time so livable. Every little email, tweet, note, smile, listening moment, hug, etc, helps me make it through these days.

Thanks, also, to those of you who trust me to help you carry your own burdens. It is an honor I do not take lightly. Loving others is the best way to get past my own woes.

Thanks for helping me move along . . .

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

How do you count down the final days of a marriage?

I was watching a recent episode of the sitcom Royal Pains this evening, and in it, a couple in the Hamptons (Long Island) had a big divorce party. The woman wore a black bridal-type gown, the man was in a morning jacket looking dapper. They had a divorce ceremony, a cake where the top layer was split and the "couple" on the top were headed in opposite directions . . . it was crazy. I can't imagine being so flippant about something so emotionally wrenching and difficult, about the breaking of vows that I consider sacred.

On the other hand, it's hard for me not to look on the upside of things when I can. I'm trying to take the little victories where I find them (taking care of house details on my own, handling each day of our routine without breaking down, making my paycheck last until I receive the next one). I'm a natural optimist, and I'm always trying to be positive, using humor to dispel my despair. Some people might find my own brand of humor at times like this to be flippant, but in reality it is just how I cope with life's trials.

So, in a week my marriage will officially be declared dissolved. I am immeasurably sad, rather scared, a little excited to see what will happen next, and slightly relieved that it's not been more emotionally draining that it's been. I'm praying a lot, talking to friends often (thank you all so much), spending a lot of time with Si, keeping my chin up and my head above water and all of those other things one is supposed to do in hard times. My back is in knots and I'm eating too much chocolate, too, but hey, no one's perfect, right?

So how do I measure these last days? I think of the song in RENT - Seasons of Love -
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights
In cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.

Yea, that's about it, but add to that list: scoops of ice cream, glasses of wine, knit stitches.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


I write this post with the sound of Lion King running in the next room. I can't tell you how many times I've watched this movie. The first time I saw it was on my birthday in 1994. My sister took me to the movie, and I was pregnant with Simon. I was nearly sobbing before the title even came onto the screen because of the pageantry of the birth of that cub!

Throughout Simon's childhood, Lion King was the movie he wanted to watch most often. Sometimes it was for the animals. He loves wild animals, and the animation is so life-like in some sequences, I think it really inspired and informed his ideas about drawing them. Usually, though, this movie was the place of comfort he sought when he didn't feel well, when he needed cheering, when he desired familiarity. We'd lay on the couch together and watch it over and over and over when he was ill and very young. I remember telling him over and over that it never mattered what he did, he never had to run away and avoid telling me like Pumba hid from his mother. I pray, now, that the message is still in his head as he faces adulthood. Maybe I'll tell him again today.

It's been many years since we've watched his movie. It's fun to have it on again.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Crazy Week

This is one of those weeks that was way too eventful. To keep from being dramatic, I'm simply going to list 3 hard things I did, and 3 good things that happened.

3 Hard Things:
  • Signed the dissolution papers with my soon-to-be-ex.
  • Drove back to Cbus from my mom and dad's by myself, thinking about all the scary things I'll have to face in the year to come.
  • Undecorated the tree and sorted our ornaments: mine and his.

3 Good Things:
  • Faced the signing and conversing with bravery and kept myself together.
  • Really enjoyed NYE with college-era friends.
  • Feeling sane and at peace, even during this difficult transition.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

If Wishes Were Fishes

As we start into a new year, I am starting on a new adventure. I've been out of the blogging world for a while because of personal drama, and it's time for me to take back my life and get back to being who I enjoy being. I enjoy thinking and writing and sharing, and even if no one reads the blog, it's cathartic to me and that makes it enough of a good thing.

Of the 3-5 people who read the blog, if any of you still pay enough attention to see this post, probably all of you know that my marriage has broken. We will sign dissolution papers on Jan 4, and about a month after that we'll appear before a judge and it will all be over. I have other venues for working through most of those emotions and memories and all of those things. I have always wanted this blog to be about making lists to help me remember important things. In the past I've listed what has made me happy, what I need to do, what I dislike, what I'm thinking, etc. Tonight, while the clock turns us over into day 2 of 2012, I am going to list . . .

Lessons I've Learned in 2011
  • Divorce is more like a funeral than a fight. It's more about mourning the loss of something and someone you had or thought you had figured out, and the stark terror of having to be single again.
  • I am smarter than I realize.
  • I have been an enabler, but I can change.
  • I am stronger than I think I am, and I should not discount all of the things that I (and God) have already come through. Those trials have strengthened me, and my faith.
  • We have a big God, and He loves each of us enough to allow us to learn from our own mistakes.
  • The house doesn't have to be clean to be appropriate for company. It's our hearts that welcome them, not the lack of clutter and dust bunnies.
  • Friends and family are truly the greatest treasure a person can ever have.
  • I have more friends, who care more about me than I ever realized.
  • It is very hard to ask for help, but it is even harder to try to do things without help.
  • Wishing is great, but DOING is even more important.

I was reading Neil Gaiman's journal on Saturday, and he wrote a marvelous post about his wishes for the new year. He ends with this:

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.

So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.

And that, my friends, is what I wish for you and myself as well. I plan to make glorious, amazing mistakes this year. Thanks for coming along for the ride!

I'll leave you with a great Sesame Street Classic: