LatherRinseRepeat--Yeah right

Ramblings of an over-worked, over-tired SAHM

Monday, June 06, 2011


Before yesterday's post, I hadn't posted here in over 3 years, and yet I just have to post this today. This song has been stuck in my head since I posted last night. The second part of the song just tells exactly how I feel inside - starting at about 2:23 in the song it says:

"There's a light at each end of this tunnel, you shout
'cause you're just as far in as you'll ever be out.
And these mistakes you've made, you'll just make them again,
if you only try turning around.
2am and I'm still awake, writing a song.
If I get it all down on paper, it's no longer inside of me
threatening the life it belongs to.

And I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd,
'cause these words are my diary screaming out loud.
And I know that you'll use them however you want to.
But you can't jump the track, we're like cars on a cable,
and life's like an hourglass glued to the table.
No one can find the rewind button now.
Sing it if you understand.
And breathe, just breathe,
Oh breathe, just breathe..."

Sunday, June 05, 2011

An Open Letter to my Son on his 22nd Birthday

I know I haven't written here in forever and I'm not going to bother explaining much but things are not good between A and I so I'm putting this out here and maybe someday he'll stumble across this.

June 5, 2011

Dear A.,

There is so much I want and need to say and yet I’m not sure you’ll even ever read this. But I’ll say it all anyway and maybe someday you’ll understand.

First of all, happy 22nd birthday to you. I hope it’s a good one. You are now the same age I was when I had you (OK, I was 22 and a couple of months, but close enough). Looking back, I thought I was so grown up but I had no idea of what I was about to take on. I didn’t know anything about babies. I’d never been around a newborn except through the glass at the hospital when my cousin was born when I was 11. But I read all the books, took classes on baby care and breastfeeding, and got advice from all the mothers I knew. I thought I was ready.

In truth, I guess I had a lot of growing up to do. In a way, I almost feel like you and I did a lot of growing up together. You are my first child, the one I learned with and made all the mistakes on. The one who taught me it was possible to love someone you just laid eyes on for the first time more than you thought you could ever love anyone. I hope someday as you hold your firstborn in your arms, you get to experience that love and understand that I’ve always loved you that much. I’ll always love you that much.

I’m sorry that I’m not the mother you need me to be. I did the best I could to give you the best life possible. I hope you remember that. I gave you the best start in life that I knew how to give, I’m sorry if you feel that wasn’t enough. I made sacrifices for you and I will never regret those. They were made with a loving and giving heart. I’m just sorry you can’t see that.
But I guess I always knew that my job as your mother was to work my way out of the job. I’m sure I made mistakes and I’m sure that’s what you’ll choose to remember, but I also gave you love and a love of learning and a sense of right and wrong. That’s what I would want you to remember if you ever think of me.

I have a few bits of advice to give you as you go out and make your way in the world. I don’t know that you’ll ever want or listen to them but I’m putting them out there anyway.

Friends – There is a HUGE difference between people you know and friends. Do not mistake the two. It’s easy to have a lot of people who will be your ‘friend’ when things are going well. When you are the life of the party and you’re buying the drinks, you’ll always have a lot of people around you. These are not necessarily your friends. Think about the 2 or 3 people who would still care about you if you had nothing and were living out of a cardboard box. Think about the people you would want to sit around with quietly and share your thoughts and feelings with when something really bad happens to you. Look for those people in your life. Maybe they aren’t the ones you see all the time, but they are the ones that you can go 2 weeks, 2 months, or even 2 years without talking to but when you see or talk to them, it’s like you were just with them yesterday. Those are you true friends. Everyone else is just people you know.

Relationships/Marriage – Your girlfriend seems really nice and you two seem to have a good relationship. If you really love her, work at it to make it work. But regardless of who the other person is in your life, make sure it’s someone you can talk to. As you get older, physical attraction and passion become less important, and if you’re going to spend 30 or 40 or more years with someone, it had better be someone you like to talk and listen to. Listen to each other and always treat each other with respect. Fight fair. Trust me when I tell you that every relationship has its ups and downs. You’ll annoy her, she’ll annoy you. Dishwashers, air conditioners and water heaters will break. Kids will get sick at inopportune times. Cars will break down. You might leave the toilet seat up and she might forget to buy toilet paper. You WILL disagree and fight about little and big things. It’s part of life. But it’s how you fight that will make or break your relationship. Don’t say things in anger that you can’t take back. Don’t bring past mistakes into current arguments. If you can’t talk about things right away to resolve things, then agree to do it later when you can attack the problem without attacking each other. Last but not least, when you do decide to get married, don’t just PLAN the wedding; plan the marriage. Put everything right out in the open. Be honest with each other about finances, decide who will pay the bills, decide how major purchases will be handled, discuss whether you both want children and when. In other words, plan how you’re going to live your lives together. A wedding, no matter how spectacular, is just a few hours. A marriage should be a lifetime.

Sex, Drinking, Drugs, Gambling, Money, Power, etc. – All these things can be very exciting and seductive. DO NOT MAKE THE MISTAKE OF GETTING SUCKED INTO ANY OF THEM. What I mean is that none of these things are inherently good or bad per se. It’s when you want any of them to the exclusion of all the other wonderful things in life that they become a problem. The path to addiction is a very slippery slope and when you’ve got a genetic pre-disposition to it, that slope can be very steep. So be careful. If you’re going to go out and drink, have a designated driver or take a cab. If you find that you have to drink at a gathering to have a good time, watch out, you’re on that slope. I probably should have put money and power separate from these other things, but in the end they aren’t much different. Money and power can be especially seductive and can make some people think they are important if they have them. Make no mistake; having these things does not make you better than anybody else. Being rich and powerful is not the key to happiness. True happiness comes from within. It comes from knowing that you are who and what and where God intends you to be in this life. You can have more love and joy and fulfillment in life from helping others with a generous heart than you can ever have by having the newest car, the biggest house, or the largest bank account. Look carefully in the mirror each morning when you shave and make sure you don’t see all the things you hated so much about your father when you were growing up staring back at you from that mirror. Samuel Johnson said it well when he said, “the true measure of a man is in how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” Don’t ever forget that while it’s nice to be important; it’s also important to be nice.

My Family – I really wish you had really gotten to grow up knowing my parents. You would have loved my dad’s sense of humor and he would have loved playing chess with you. You probably don’t really remember my mom, since you weren’t even 3 when she died, but she loved you more than life itself. You were really mad at me when she died because I couldn’t make you understand that we couldn’t just get in the car and go get her. You two were very close and it makes me sad that you don’t remember that. As far as the rest of my family goes, I know you’ve pretty much cut off all contact with them and that’s really unfortunate. I know you’re angry with me and don’t seem to want much to do with me. That is what it is and I hope that will change someday but it has nothing to do with the rest of the family. You still have a sister and a brother that love you and don’t understand why they never see you. You still have an uncle and cousins that love you and want to be a part of your life. Don’t make the mistake of shutting people that really care about you out of your life to spite me. You’re only hurting them and yourself.

Me – I just want you to know that I love you. It doesn’t matter where you go, what you do, what you become, or who you are. You will ALWAYS be my son and I will ALWAYS love you. I want to leave you with that thought and with my biggest secret. The truth about me is that I was never as strong as I let you think I was. Inside I was scared and easily hurt a lot of the time. I guess I should have let you see that instead of pretending I was OK. But I was only strong because I had to be. I didn’t have the option of falling apart on the outside, no matter what I was feeling on the inside. A big part of me wanted to curl up into a little ball and cry forever when my mom died so suddenly, but I couldn’t, because I had you and grandma and grandpa to take care of so I had to bury my grief deep down just to get through the days. The down side of burying those feeling is that I became really bad at letting people see how I really felt about them. I’m sorry I didn’t tell and show you how much I love you.

You – I know I don’t say it enough but I am really proud that you are my son. I’m proud of what you’ve accomplished and I know you will go on to do great things. I don’t know if I ever told you this but your name was chosen not only because of your two grandfathers. Your first name means noble and bright and your middle name means honor and victory. I wasn’t crazy about naming you those names at first, but finding the meanings of your grandfathers’ names is why you were given those names. I know you will live up to those.

That’s most of what I want you to know. Happy Birthday, A. I love you.


Friday, April 04, 2008

Off to Philly and Need Some Info

Hello, I just realized that I am leaving for Philadelphia in a week (for a conference where I'll be presenting along with my boss to about 100 people - yikes) and I need to get some information on where to go. I mean, I know where my hotel is and all that, but I need to know WHERE TO GO, like from locals or people who have been there and had great food, fun, etc. First of all, where do I find the BEST philly cheesesteaks? Not the ones all the tourists hit, but the ones the locals drive out of their way for, kwim? I'm staying downtown near city hall and won't have a car, so wherever you tell me to go needs to be in walking distance, short walk from the train or bus accessible. Secondly, where is a good place to go to waste a good Sunday afternoon/evening? Same thing for Wednesday?

Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Yet Another Reason I'll Never Vote for Hillary

This is long but worth reading. As if I needed any more reason to never, ever cast a ballot for Hillary, here's a very interesting article from

The Tall Tale of Tuzla
Hillary Clinton's Bosnian misadventure should disqualify her from the presidency, but the airport landing is the least of it.
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Monday, March 31, 2008, at 11:26 AM ET

The punishment visited on Sen. Hillary Clinton for her flagrant, hysterical, repetitive, pathological lying about her visit to Bosnia should be much heavier than it has yet been and should be exacted for much more than just the lying itself. There are two kinds of deliberate and premeditated deceit, commonly known as suggestio falsi and suppressio veri. (Neither of them is covered by the additionally lying claim of having "misspoken.") The first involves what seems to be most obvious in the present case: the putting forward of a bogus or misleading account of events. But the second, and often the more serious, means that the liar in question has also attempted to bury or to obscure something that actually is true. Let us examine how Sen. Clinton has managed to commit both of these offenses to veracity and decency and how in doing so she has rivaled, if not indeed surpassed, the disbarred and perjured hack who is her husband and tutor.
I remember disembarking at the Sarajevo airport in the summer of 1992 after an agonizing flight on a U.N. relief plane that had had to "corkscrew" its downward approach in order to avoid Serbian flak and ground fire. As I hunched over to scuttle the distance to the terminal, a mortar shell fell as close to me as I ever want any mortar shell to fall. The vicious noise it made is with me still. And so is the shock I felt at seeing a civilized and multicultural European city bombarded round the clock by an ethno-religious militia under the command of fascistic barbarians. I didn't like the Clinton candidacy even then, but I have to report that many Bosnians were enthused by Bill Clinton's pledge, during that ghastly summer, to abandon the hypocritical and sordid neutrality of the George H.W. Bush/James Baker regime and to come to the defense of the victims of ethnic cleansing.
I am recalling these two things for a reason. First, and even though I admit that I did once later misidentify a building in Sarajevo from a set of photographs, I can tell you for an absolute certainty that it would be quite impossible to imagine that one had undergone that experience at the airport if one actually had not. Yet Sen. Clinton, given repeated chances to modify her absurd claim to have operated under fire while in the company of her then-16-year-old daughter and a USO entertainment troupe, kept up a stone-faced and self-loving insistence that, yes, she had exposed herself to sniper fire in the cause of gaining moral credit and, perhaps to be banked for the future, national-security "experience." This must mean either a) that she lies without conscience or reflection; or b) that she is subject to fantasies of an illusory past; or c) both of the above. Any of the foregoing would constitute a disqualification for the presidency of the United States.
Yet this is only to underline the YouTube version of events and the farcical or stupid or Howard Wolfson (take your pick) aspects of the story. But here is the historical rather than personal aspect, which is what you should keep your eye on. Note the date of Sen. Clinton's visit to Tuzla. She went there in March 1996. By that time, the critical and tragic phase of the Bosnia war was effectively over, as was the greater part of her husband's first term. What had happened in the interim? In particular, what had happened to the 1992 promise, four years earlier, that genocide in Bosnia would be opposed by a Clinton administration?
In the event, President Bill Clinton had not found it convenient to keep this promise. Let me quote from Sally Bedell Smith's admirable book on the happy couple, For Love of Politics:
Taking the advice of Al Gore and National Security Advisor Tony Lake, Bill agreed to a proposal to bomb Serbian military positions while helping the Muslims acquire weapons to defend themselves—the fulfillment of a pledge he had made during the 1992 campaign. But instead of pushing European leaders, he directed Secretary of State Warren Christopher merely to consult with them. When they balked at the plan, Bill quickly retreated, creating a "perception of drift." The key factor in Bill's policy reversal was Hillary, who was said to have "deep misgivings" and viewed the situation as "a Vietnam that would compromise health-care reform." The United States took no further action in Bosnia, and the "ethnic cleansing" by the Serbs was to continue for four more years, resulting in the deaths of more than 250,000 people.
I can personally witness to the truth of this, too. I can remember, first, one of the Clintons' closest personal advisers—Sidney Blumenthal—referring with acid contempt to Warren Christopher as "a blend of Pontius Pilate with Ichabod Crane." I can remember, second, a meeting with Clinton's then-Secretary of Defense Les Aspin at the British Embassy. When I challenged him on the sellout of the Bosnians, he drew me aside and told me that he had asked the White House for permission to land his own plane at Sarajevo airport, if only as a gesture of reassurance that the United States had not forgotten its commitments. The response from the happy couple was unambiguous: He was to do no such thing, lest it distract attention from the first lady's health care "initiative."
It's hardly necessary for me to point out that the United States did not receive national health care in return for its acquiescence in the murder of tens of thousands of European civilians. But perhaps that is the least of it. Were I to be asked if Sen. Clinton has ever lost any sleep over those heaps of casualties, I have the distinct feeling that I could guess the answer. She has no tears for anyone but herself. In the end, and over her strenuous objections, the United States and its allies did rescue our honor and did put an end to Slobodan Milosevic and his state-supported terrorism. Yet instead of preserving a polite reticence about this, or at least an appropriate reserve, Sen. Clinton now has the obscene urge to claim the raped and slaughtered people of Bosnia as if their misery and death were somehow to be credited to her account! Words begin to fail one at this point. Is there no such thing as shame? Is there no decency at last? Let the memory of the truth, and the exposure of the lie, at least make us resolve that no Clinton ever sees the inside of the White House again.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


No, this isn't another countdown post. Just wanted to say that A called me 20 minutes after I posted that (no, he doesn't know about or read my blog). We talked, he apologized, I apologized. Things are better. We've got a ways to go before things are totally OK between us, but we're heading in the right direction and are starting to understand each other a bit better.

The conference I went to was awesome. My presentation went well and was well received. It was good warm up for the next conference in April where I will be presenting in front of about 100 people.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


That's how many days it's been since I've heard from my firstborn. (Actually it's 20010 minutes, but who's counting?)

13 - that's how many nights I've had trouble sleeping.

12 - that's how many times I've picked up the phone to try to call him.

11 - that's how many times I've alternated between sad and mad about the situation

10 - that's how many times my younger children have asked where A is and when he's coming back and I've choked out a vague "I don't know" as another small piece of my heart broke off.

9 - that's how many days our trip was

8 - that's how many days of the trip A was going to be with us

7 - that's how many pictures N has drawn for her older brother to tell him she misses him

6 - that's how many letters are in his father's last name that he has apparently started using on his facebook page (according to a friend of mine's daughter who saw his facebook page yesterday). His father and I never married so A's last name is my maiden name.

5 - that's how many minutes it's been since I last cried about this whole situation

4 - that's how many emails I've started writing to him and then deleted because I know he won't read them

3 - that's how many minutes ago he signed onto AIM

2 - that's how times he emailed me addressing me as "Mrs. L____" since we had that blow up on Christmas Eve. (One was to tell me he wasn't going on vacation with us and the other was to request his eticket numbers to request a refund on his airline tickets).

1 - that's how many hours I have to pull myself together before my boss picks me up to go to a conference where I'm supposed to speak in front of 50 people tomorrow.

Guess I'd better finish getting ready. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Explanation of Last Post

I suppose I should explain why my Christmas was lousy.

Well, basically A. decided to go spend Christmas Eve with his father and family attending a party somewhere near his father's house. He also decided to spend the night there and open his gifts on Christmas morning with his father, stepmother, and "little brother". Normally we go to the candlelight service at church on Christmas Eve and then open gifts when we wake up Christmas morning. A said he'd be home by 11am. Needless to say, I was not happy about this.

If you'll recall, this is the same father who basically stole his college fund and I had to get a lawyer to work the whole thing out last year. The same father who was there for him only when it was convenient. The same father couldn't be bothered to give me and A a ride to the emergency room (my car was in the shop) when A was 6 years old and was having a severe reaction to an ant bite (high fever, hand so swollen it looked like a boxing glove and vomiting). His father was 10 minutes away at the grandparents house but he sent the grandfather to take us. He graciously called 12 hours later to see if everything was alright. The same father who decided he should stop paying child support a week before A turned 18.

So I basically told A that if he was going to continue to be part of this family, then he needed to be here for Christmas Eve and morning. If he chose not to be, that was fine but then he could ask his dad to support him from here on out or he could support himself because I refuse to be his doormat anymore. If he has that little respect for me and my feelings, then why should I continue to be the jackass paying all the bills? So he left. He never called or showed up for Christmas. He sent me an email today saying he would not be going with us on vacation (we're leaving for Whistler tomorrow).

So, I guess that's that. After all the years I sacrificed to make sure he had everything he needed and most of what he wanted. All the years I spent working 2 jobs most of the time to keep him clothed and fed and giving him a private school education, this is how he repays me. Fine. I'll get over it. Eventually.

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