Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Guido Reminded Me

That tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the move from AOL-J to here, Blogspot. Time flies when you're having fun and even sometimes when you aren't.

Guido went back to a year ago and posted from his archives and I think I am going to do the same thing with a twist. I'm going to post one entry from roughly the same time each year from the last five years.

And if you can get through the drivel that follows may the Lord Bless you and keep you in His Hands.

My first ever journal entry was on Tuesday, October 21, 2003. While I had posted that first entry and a couple of others here, I've since decided to remove those and leave the ones I want you to read. My old AOL journal on blogspot is private and I don't post to it now ... I pick and choose what I repost very carefully.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Anyone Who Has Lived With Cats Knows
A Cat Quiz for Humans
Your cat waits and meows at the front door when you arrive. Is it saying?
a) Welcome home, I missed you.
b) The phone rang twice while you were out.
c) Feed me, *NOW*.
d) So, I see you didn't bring me the mate I asked for.

Your pillow is history.Your cat meows at the door when you go out. Is it saying?
a) Please don't leave me here all alone.
b) Have a nice day.
c) But what if I get hungry while you out?
d) Kiss that new vase goodbye.

Your cat digs its claws in your leg. This is?
a) A sign of affection.
b) A demand to be fed now.
c) Have YOU had YOUR shots?
d) An attempt to 'fix' you like you 'fixed' him.

Your cat scratches at the door after being fed. Is it saying?
a) Lemme out - I need to fertilize the garden.
b) Wanna go out and play?
c) Wonder what they've got to eat next door?
d) Do I mark my territory outside, or inside?

When your cat stares at you, it means:
a) It is bored silly.
b) It's trying to understand how it's food grows in cans.
c) You are being sized-up for an attack.
d) Human mating habits are disgusting.

Your cat brings a dead mouse/bird into the house. This means:
a) A primal instinct is being displayed.
b) You're not feeding me enough.
c) It is showing a sign of affection by sharing.
d) It is demonstrating the fact that it knows how to kill; be forewarned!
e) All of the above.

Your cat sleeps with you; covering your face. This means:
a) It is showing you great affection.
b) It knows you are allergic to cats.
c) It has discovered the fine art of suffocation.
d) You should have let it out tonight.

Your cat displays signs it wants to mate with other cats in the neighborhood. You should:
a) Let it out immediately.
b) Try to switch it's interests to other things.
c) Put on heavy protective clothing if you are not planning to let it out.
d) If the other cat's owner is attractive, maybe you could double date?

Posted by Kathy at
11:51 AM
lifeseensideways said...
Ha, I loved this! I once adopted a stray cat ... my parents agreed they would look after it "for a few days" ... they had him for 14 years! Cat's have a knack of getting their own way whether or not the human concerned speaks cat!Kath
September 28, 2005 11:57 AM
globetrotter2u said...
That was adorable! (I'll bet I got all the answers right, too!)When we first brought Boris and Natasha into our household, I was a bit dubious about cats, having only had dogs. They definitely have their own distinct personalities, and as a Frenchman once said to me, "Les Chattes sont comme des femmes!"I laughed, cats are like women, in many ways!MAryanne
September 28, 2005 2:24 PM
b4i8clover said...
Marvelous quiz. Cats are superior to humans and are not afraid to remind us.Bon & Mal
September 28, 2005 2:39 PM
firestormkids04 said...
It's been a while since I've had a cat, but you never forget! Penny
September 28, 2005 2:48 PM
astaryth said...
Cats, gotta love 'em! I used to have a t-shirt that said "In Egypt cats were once worshipped as Gods, and cats have not forgotten!" and another that said "Dogs have Masters, Cats have Servents!"
September 28, 2005 9:29 PM
fitzzer said...
How true, how true! :)
October 4, 2005 9:49 AM

Comments left for my Friday, September 29, 2006 post and the interesting thing about these comments are the names of the writers ... Only two still write somewhat actively over here at blogspot, one has passed on and the others don't write anymore.
Posted by Kathy at 7:52 PM
siennastarr said...
Sorry, Linda.. wish I could help you, but I don't know who that might have been. If you find out let me know!HugsJackie
September 29, 2006 9:41 PM
siennastarr said...
Jackie <~~ DUH! As soon as I hit the save button, I realized that I wrote Linda instead of Kathy. Sorry. I don't know where my brain was at! Certainly not in my head where it belongs! lolPardon my faux paux Kathy!HugsJackie
September 29, 2006 9:43 PM
b4i8clover said...
Sorry, Kathy. We wish we could help, but never read the story ourselves. Good luck locating it.Hugs,Bonnie and Walt
September 30, 2006 3:58 AM
frankandmary said...
NO, I cannot help with that. I do remember when you first started reading my Francesco's Life, & left lovely comments.....;']
September 30, 2006 9:57 AM
gaboatman said...
KathyI wish I could help you out on this one, but I came on the scene a year later and have not run across the story or the journalist you are looking for. Sounds interesting, though. Sam
September 30, 2006 5:48 PM
luvmort said...
I never read that story, and it sounds like I would have remembered it. Sorry, dahling.

... yet another year has passed ...

Sunday, September 30, 2007
Driving north along the New Hampshire coast, I sense that I am with someone although I can't discern who it might be. A large person, taking up space on the bench seat in my nineteen year young Olds Delta 88, gray and loaded with the amenities of the times. This person is non threatening, so must be a friend?

The sun shines bright and makes the dark blue water of fall sparkle. There is a chill in the air and I feel content and happy. This is a trip to nowhere. A joy ride. An adventure. I sense all of it.

Suddenly the front end of my car drops down a bit and the hot topped road turns to beach sand, soft yet firm; it is wet and packed from the ocean waves. I apply the breaks quickly, turn off the engine and hop out of the car. There is a shell I must check out.

Falling to my knees in the cool sand of fall, the sounds of waves and gulls echoing in my ears, I see legs and hands extended toward the ground as if a person is bending down to me. I cannot see who it is, but I sense someone I know. I lift the shell, small, conch-like. Inside lives a sea creature. It opens up to look out at me. I wonder does it know me? Behind it a beautiful tropic fish swims. Yellow, blue, purple, black. I lift the shell toward the hands to show the fish to Amy. Amy! That's who's on the beach! I don't see her face but I know it is she. She reaches for the shell and the fish drops out onto the sand. I quickly scoop it into the shell and run to the waters edge. I must save the fish and get it back into the water quickly.

Climbing the lava ash cliffs of Rye Beach I come face to face with Trevor. There are white fluffy, down filled blankets everywhere with names on the pillows. My name is near the edge of the cliff and I fear if I lay down I will roll off into the sea. Trevor tells me to rest. He knows I am tired. I am so very tired. Instead I ask, "Why do you like my daughter so well?" He responds, "She limits me." I look confused. "She has rules." "To live by." "I never had that before."

Walking the small incline cut into the side of a large plateau above the sea, I am excited. The wedding will be soon and I will be on time. Trevor takes my hand and pulls me along the last few steps. The grass is thick, emerald green and there are golfers at each tee. Why are we on a golf course? Did he take me the wrong way? Walking between fairways I chat with the golfers and offer them tips. Confused still I speak with the superintendent and ask for directions to the wedding. I am quite sure I am not where I belong. I am directed back the way I came and told to go down those three stairs and through the door.

Where did Trevor go?

The grass feels good under my feet and I don't want to leave but I must make it on time to the wedding.

Down three steps, I turn the big brass nob on the weathered door. I step inside a room that is filled with plastic. Black plastic like that of yard waste bags. Looking to my right I see a wall in shades of brown and green checkerboard. Three steps rise to an open doorway. Slowly I climb those three steps and find myself peering into another plateau of beautifully cut lawn. Bright green and light.

I wake to find myself twisted in blankets, hot, sticky with sweat. The room is dark. The house is quiet.

Such are the dreams made of fever.

Posted by Kathy at
9:15 AM
mlraminiak said...
Wow! Psychedelic! Have fun trying to figure out what it all means...
September 30, 2007 10:41 AM
frankandmary said...
I label that a dream that could be converted into a short story(contest winner). ~Mary
September 30, 2007 6:45 PM
gdireneoe said...
KATH??!! I LOVVVVE this! EXCELLENT writing! LOVE. IT. ;) Smooches, C.
October 1, 2007 4:29 PM

Feeling better a year later ...

Friday, September 26, 2008
"I was afraid of you back then."
Last night Emily and I headed to our HipHopForFitnessAndFunClass, aka torture for your weary body ... but you'll laugh while you're at it. When we arrived my SIL Tina was sitting in the foyer area with two mothers, Chelle and Ellen, holding the baby, chatting. I overheard one say, "Kathy? Yeah, she can."

Approaching from where I've just changed my shoes, I say, "What can I do?" And Ellen says, "We were just talking about people who can be a bitch and I told them you can be." As if my SIL didn't know that! Well. Harumph. What brought this on? I just smiled, nodded and said, "Yeah, that's true. I can be." Since I had no idea the context of their conversation there wasn't much point in getting huffy or offended.

Ellen looks up and says, "Yeah, you can be. I remember when I used to be afraid of you!" "Afraid of me? Why?" "Back when I was Emily's speech therapist. I'm not anymore but I was then."

Okay then.

In the early years I would arrive at a IEP meeting about Emily terrified myself. The school didn't make it easy. What Emily was entitled to (no frills here) I had to beg for. Plead. Cajole. Argue. Cry. Stamp my feet and threaten professional advocacy service or worse ... an attorney. All with courtesy and calm demeanor.

Through it all, I believed Ellen was in my corner. Or rather, Emily's corner. I believe that today.

I've been through five special needs directors, nearly as many student/school liaisons, and six principals. Each time, you start all over. Again. So if I got bitchy, or pissed. Oh well. I never lost sight of why we were there. We were there for Emily. There were times when a cast of thousands would be sitting at a conference room table and I would arrive, sit down and pull out framed photos of Emily and line them up down the center of the table so that each person in attendance would also remember why we were meeting. The meetings were not about money or control or cream puff services. The meetings were about just how we could educate Emily as a team.

It so pissed (and still pisses) me off when team members couldn't focus long enough to accomplish a simple goal.

We moved on from the elementary schools and Ellen. She had a busy, sad and happy couple of years there through fifth and sixth grade. Her mother died. She married and was unable to conceive and started the adoption process. They bought a house. Sold a house. Traveled to China for their first baby. Then a second. Her best friend betrayed her and made life miserable for her at school. Finally they bought a house in a neighboring town and she took a job at the elementary school there. One day she told me she had to take a cut in pay and lose seniority (same school union but different town) but it was worth it to get away from the strife at school.

The consummate professional and one of Emily's school/student liaisons, Ellen never budged and inch more than school administrators allowed and she never ever let on the whys of services not provided, not allowed, not continued.

She never even let me know she thought I was a bitch. True professionalism.
In defense of me I'm going to repeat what I used to say to myself as I would head out to school for another tedious meeting with people I never ever intended to meet or befriend or work with. Period. I didn't even like most of them, but given a chance to meet them elsewhere? Maybe one or two.

I used to say, "If they groan when you walk into the room, you are doing your job." "If they roll their eyes when you speak, you are doing your job." "If they start to fidget when you are making a point, you are doing your job."

And that is how I got through many if not all of the meetings regarding Emily's education.
And that is why Emily is who she is today. It is why she can read. It is why she can print. It is why she is bright and smart and happy. Because I was a bitch.

Imagine that.

Why is it that everyone likes you when you agree with them, but as soon as you don't and you try to make your case ... you're a bitch. Why is that?

Me. A force to be reckoned with? Formidable? Scary? Not. At. All.

Why was Ellen afraid of me? I think I know why although I didn't ask her. Ellen knew that I knew what needed to be done. She knew I arrived to meetings prepared and completely knowledgeable about the topic we would be discussing. She knew she couldn't fool me and yet she tried. Under the direction of 'not enough money, personnel, time and crappy-assed principals' she did her job as liaison, as she was expected to. I understood and I never held it against her. In fact, I never thought she was a bitch.

I wonder now did she think I would attack her? I never raised my voice or pointed a finger or trembled with rage. That wouldn't be effective. I did use my words to the best of Emily's advantage ... and I wrote a thank you note after each meeting.

Today I feel no need to apologize to each and every one of the school/student liaisons. Or Ellen I never meant to make anyone feel afraid ... of me. Or anything I represented. But I did mean to make allof them tow the mark and educate Emily.

There's an old expression: The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

And Emily is one fine pudding. She is rich chocolate with fluffy whipped cream on top. A pudding full of calories and sugar. A pudding to savor and enjoy each day of your life. That is my Emily.

And now ...

September 30, 2009

I realize I've been journaling or blogging for almost six years now ... and I have met some truly inspiring folks, some interesting folks, some funny folks and I have made many friends and aquaintences along the way. We've all lost a friend or two and more along the way... to death. To happenstance. To changes in life.

But me? I'm glad I've taken this journey with all of you ... those that have gone and those that have stayed and those that will join us.

Blogging, for me, has become another part of my life, another part of me.

Happy Anniversary all you AOL-J 'throw-aways'! We've made it through another year!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Change Is In The Air Because My Kilter Isn't There

I had popped off an e-mail to a blogging friend ... one from way back on AOL-J (that many of you know as well) and the response I received was a bit disconcerting.
It seems this friend is going to be off line a lot more than on (from now on? forever? or for a while?) and I absolutely respect that.
I certainly didn't ask why, because if I did I wouldn't be respecting that.

And I don't want to make this about me ... but I somehow feel as though I've let this person down. Call it a gut feeling, woman's intuition or even paranoia if you will.

But the news that this blogger was going off line indefinitely (forever? for a while? from now on?) got me to thinking a bit 'harder' than I have been or usually have about my own blog. I've fallen into the trap of slacking off ... and I have contributed I am sure to the demise of the sense of community some of us feel, although I know not all of us [from AOL] feel that way.

"So," you think, "She's still going on and on and on about blah, blah, blah." On the one hand that's true, but on the other, finally some light has dawned on Marblehead and I've realized I've been neglecting my own blog for a couple of fairly simple reasons.

The first is that I still have this tiny fear that an ex-girlfriend from real time life will find me and harass me. I should just get over it. If she does. She does. Not much I can do about it except to go private, but I was unhappy private at AOL-J so it stands to reason that when the opportunity popped up for me to post publicly so-to-speak, I jumped right in.
The second is that I often feel as though I have nothing useful to offer this crowd of bloggers. It's a huge community with lots of talented writers and interesting people who find very interesting or engaging 'things' to write about.

So the dilemma becomes, "What should I write about?" I guess I haven't quite grasped the atmosphere here, although when I do get round to friends blogs, they are pretty much the same as they were before. Interesting and engaging.

I've finally figured out that I am out of kilter here ... just a bit ... but then I was knocked over today by the news that my friend (and yours) won't be on line much anymore. (forever? for a while? from now on?)

And I don't want to face a loss here again.

So I must look to my friends who are still here ... posting daily, weekly, infrequently, rarely, always ... for unspoken and unwritten encouragement.

Because I recognize that just by their being here ... they are being supportive.

What change is in the air? Well, I've been thinking about writing about what I know best .

... an old, old photo ......

and so I am going to start at the very beginning and write the story of Emily.
Will the story be in order? Probably not. But will the story be entertaining and interesting?
Oh yeah. It will.
cross posted Women On

Monday, September 21, 2009

did Face Book fall down

... and go Boom! ? Or is it just my account? I haven't been able to access since sometime yesterday, Sunday, and have received only one e-mail notification of an 'apps' contact for me, today, Monday.

I'm going with FB is having technical difficulties, but I'd like to know for sure just in case my page has been hijacked.

Any of my readers having the same 'maintenance' message when they attempt to sign in?


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Clean Up!

Fall is fast approaching and for me, just as in the Spring, I must do some nesting and clean up. Today I have spent an hour or so at the PC just going through digital pictures, making new folders, sorting, deleting and trying to cement in my head 'just where that picture is filed'.

So here is a favorite picture of Mac and Bob. The lazy guys ... who don't do anything to help us clean up or out.


But. They are cute.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Today and always, God Bless America
I went to bed with 9/11/2001 on my mind and I woke thinking about that horrible day. Like all of you, I can tell you precisely where I was, who I was with, what I was doing when I heard the news and how for a brief moment in time we believed that the news we were hearing was about a horrific crash and not a terrorist attack.

At our office, there was a scramble to locate a television of any size and condition so that we could see with our own eyes ... and when we finally got a tiny portable TV to work, the shock sank in.

Today I was hoping to post a remembrance of one of the victims or heroes of 9/11/2001, the day America was attacked; I was late getting over to Project 2996, and so I won't be getting one done today

However, we can all go over to Project 2996 and browse through the list of names, memories, tributes posted by and linked to other bloggers.

Today I offer a prayer for the victims, heroes, and families of those directly affected by the attack and I offer a hope that America and her citizens will remain vigilant against oppression and terrorism and work together to keep each of us safe and secure in the knowledge that we are a great country of many.
God Bless America. Today and always

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Like Deja Vu only Worse

At the end of July I wrote a post explaining in some fashion how hard mothers, well, parents, of children with special needs work to be sure we cover all the bases. You'd probably read it here before and you may read of it again in one fashion or another through the life expectancy of this blog. That entry was more for my friend than for any other person. I was so angry and distraught for she and her family at the time.

Before I get to their story, I need to tell you another story ... as a way to show that this type of incident is not an unusual occurrence per se.

Five or six years ago, which now seems ages and ages ago, which is often the case after bad things happen to really good people, a friend whose son has special needs got into some mischief. Mischief is perhaps too weak a word, but criminal activity is far too strong to describe exactly what happened.

There's a lot of history that goes with the story but I can't state it here ... it'd take all night and part of next week.

... a few years back this nearly teen went for a bike ride and found himself at a local farm where he knew many of the workers. He had a visit and then left his bike there and took off in the farm's SUV. He drove this SUV all the way to Boston where he was involved in a fender bender. He being the hitter not the hittee. The woman whose car he smashed into was fine with no injuries and little damage to the vehicle and so when the State Police arrived to the scene, information was exchanged and the woman left. The SPO had the SUV towed -- because after all it was stolen (although not reported as such) and the driver was not only underage and unlicensed, he was obviously a boy with special needs, although his special needs are not visible to the naked eye.

In the end, a parent was called and drove into Boston to pick him up, the SUV was retrieved by farm personnel and while one local police department believed charges should be brought forward, the town where the SUV was housed, the farm owner and the SPD did not believe that should be the case, because, the nearly teen was really incapable of understanding that he should not have taken the SUV ... until it was explained to him after the fact.

His response to all the hubbub was "I was going to visit my teacher." Yes, he was a student in an out of district placement and he knew exactly how to get to his teacher. He had been riding a special needs van for a number of years to Boston. Five days a week.

So here comes the Deja Vu only Worse.

Recently my good friend, the parent of another young man with special needs called me to relate a story that gave me chills and I was as distraught as one parent could be for another.

Her son, nearly an adult, rode his bike to their local bank. He parked his bike near the back of the building where he had been told to by his parents (to avoid going through he parking lot and coping with cars pulling in and out) and went in to the bank to make a deposit to his checking account. This was not a new activity, quite the contrary, he'd been going to this bank for some time and as I understand it, usually went to the same teller each time he went in.

What happened next is somewhat of a mystery ... primarily because the story to the parents comes from more than one source. It's a hodge podge of trying to sort out the information but regardless of just how things went from making a deposit to being arrested ... the police officers involved had no idea this young man has special needs, although his special needs are visible to the naked eye.

Well. Shut my open mouth.


This young man's speech can be unintelligible to people who don't know him or have 'untrained' ears ... despite the fact that this young man has a visible indicator of a disability ... the officer who arrested him only thought there might be something wrong because the young man told him he understood what he was talking about but asked to explain, could not.

You know, we love our kids and think they are perfect just the way they are. That being said, we are also the first to admit that even sometimes we can't understand what they are trying to communicate. On a good day. Imagine what it's like when there is a high level of stress or nerves thrown into the processing of language.

Handcuffed, placed in a cruiser and booked at the police station, finally a parent is notified and arrives to pick him up. Of course there was bail to contend with. And the newspaper calling to find out what happened.

For his parents part, "No comment" was the word of the week and for the moment continues to be so. They are making every effort to keep this incident from becoming a media circus. On the one hand they want and need to keep quiet about it to protect the young man's reputation, good citizen standing and let Lady Justice do her job. But the other hand? Oh, that one is in a much tougher place ...

I admire their ability to keep the faith. To not lash out and make public statements that may make matters worse in the end.

For young man's part ... he's worried about going to jail. And since he can't understand why he was arrested, how is he to know that he won't end up in jail?

In the end, I believe Lady Justice will have her say ... but that's in the end. In the meanwhile there's a lot of sorting out to do. While the sorting and the wheels of justice are turning at a snail like pace, please keep this young man in your good thoughts and prayers.