Category: Family

A Seriously Random List of Things on My Mind Today

  • I can’t stop listening to Lana Del Ray. She makes me feel like I am in a movie in the best possible way. Haters gonna hate, and I don’t particularly give a flying fuck what anyone else has to say about her.
  • If you find yourself constantly apologizing for your shitty behavior, maybe you should quit behaving so shittily (is too a word, I just said so.)
  • My son used letters from his new Matchbox license plates to spell HAM GUY. That is not his name.
  • In related news, I am now referring to my son as HAM GUY.
  • My friend volunteered me to help out with my kid’s school’s annual fundraiser and I actually like it. Not feeling useless is pretty cool.
  • My other friend and I have serious plans to start a band. I don’t know when or where we’re going to practice, and it might just be her and me, but I’m totally into it.
  • Man, that Superbowl was fucking awful, right?
  • Unpopular opinion: Despite his charming dance moves and resemblance to a leprechaun, I cannot stand Bruno Mars. I’m not debating this with you. I get why you like him. That goddamn Locked Out of Heaven song is nails on a chalkboard to these ears.
  • I wish I could sit down with Ryan Murphy and talk to him about how to improve future seasons of American Horror Story. Coven was so close this season, but dropped the ball in SO MANY WAYS. (Clearly, Stevie Nicks was not the issue for me.)
  • That said, I LOVED THIS SEASON SO HARD. Myrtle Snow is my new spirit animal.
  • I really hate when I tell dudes I don’t like something, like a band, and they brush it off and tell me to try it again. Then I reiterate my researched opinion and my opinion is still ignored.
  • I want my son to listen to Beyonce’s Flawless. It is important for boys to start learning to get on the feminist level.
  • I got this amazing Maybelline Color Show glitter nail polish and I love it, except 2 days ago I painted them and it’s already coming off in huge chunks, littering my office carpet with disco ball nail polish flakes.
  • Last Wednesday I went out on a whim and had great conversation with lovely ladies who reminded me that I need to create more. Since the extent of my artistic abilities are stick figures and macaroni necklaces, I am making a commitment to writing more. And baking.
  • Related: My city is overflowing with amazing women. Now ya heard.
  • This quote right here, from another dear friend: “Patriarchy is exhausting.”
  • I love winter. Cold gets me motivated, and makes me love snuggling in my bed with books, tea, Netflix, and iTunes. It has also made me seriously consider getting a cat, which goes against both things I believe in. (Yeah, I just ended a sentence with a preposition. Deal with it.) I’m not going to get a cat. But a fluffy gray or black one named Myrtle Snow exists in my dreams.
  • Spring is just ahead which means fucking yardwork. I fucking hate yardwork. That’s it. No witticisms.
  • The next post I make won’t be so disjointed. Probably. But maybe it will. I don’t know. But I am going to make an effort to post more. The end!

Almost Heaven? Try more like Hell

West Virginia is the most beautiful of the 50 states.  I will stand by that statement forever.  I am a little partial, I am from there.  With all of it’s rugged beauty, fascinating history and some of the friendliest people in the country, I love saying I was born in the Mountain State.  But not everyone sees the state as kindly as I do, and most really would rather pretend it doesn’t exist.  Don’t believe me?  Check out the national news from the last week.  How much national attention was the WV chemical spill getting?  Hardly anyone was talking about it.  Sure there would be a random article here or there about how we need more regulations on chemical/coal mining or lots of politicians pointing fingers about who dropped the ball, but very little about the people this directly affected or about what can be done to help.

I would say 90% of my family still lives in the Charleston area of West Virginia.  Continue reading

On the Bullshit of Toy Departments

I love Christmas; it is easily my favorite holiday. Even after converting to Judaism, I won’t give it up. I have a huge family and we all love it. Some of my best memories from childhood center around Christmas. We were poor growing up, but it was the one day my parents made sure was just magical and I carry a bit of that magic in my tinsel-loving heart still. I go crazy every year – I buy all of the gifts, bake all of the goodies and have all of the fun. I get giddy over surprises and can’t act like an adult when I have wrapped presents under the tree and can barely keep from telling people what I’ve gotten them. I’m the opposite of a Grinch, which is why my rage at toy departments bums me out extra this time of year.

My father remarried after I graduated from high school and they quickly started giving me more siblings. I first noticed the gendered nonsense of the toy department at Target when I started looking for gifts for the young’uns. There are pink aisles filled with Barbies and ponies and dress up sets and play kitchens. There are blue aisles with superheroes and Legos and weapons and every type of vehicle. Then there’s a green aisle with the educational gifts, which is where I did my shopping while sneering at the idiotic gendering of children’s toys.

Seriously – if you’re a girl and want a toy at Target, you are being told you must like princesses and glitter and stuffed toys and tea parties? And if you’re a boy, you like fighting and cars and videogames and fighting and fighting and fighting (the violence of toys is a whole other peeve). That’s it! Nothing else! I mean, unless you want to cross colors…like a freak. It’s just so so so incredibly enormously stupendously seriously stupid. So, yeah, I quickly avoided the toy department completely and everyone got books (which are filled with a whole other passel of gendered nonsense, but I don’t have the time or energy for that today).
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Giving Thanks and Food

As we all know, Thanksgiving is on Thursday. It’s scientifically one of the best holidays – parades, football, food, booze, family/friends that are your family, and food. I’m also a sucker for taking a moment and counting our blessings. We should do it all of the time, but life gets crazy and we end up spending much more time counting the wrongs. With that in mind, some of us here are sharing what we are taking a moment to appreciate and a favorite recipe. Because thanks and food – they’re good for you.

Recipes include mashed potatoes, two sweet potato dishes, pimento cheese potato gratin, bourbon pumpkin cheesecake, cranberry sauce, pineapple stuffing, apple/cranberry pie, cajun cornbread stuffing and a vegan pumpkin pie. I’m incredibly hungry after putting this all together and I’m rethinking my menu. Again. Please feel free to share your favorites in the comments!!

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Make A Difference Tuesday: Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter

About LAWS

Located in Loudoun County (VA), LAWS is a nonprofit providing temporary shelter, counseling, legal services and support for survivors of domestic violence & abuse. They work to reduce the incidence of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse.

Once you get in contact with them, they will keep you safe. For example, LAWS filed a restraining order against my ex-abuser when he followed me to the LAWS offices. They aided me in finding legal resources to gain custody of my children. They referred me to social services for which I may be qualified. They offered me counseling and a spot in a support group. They gave my children presents at Christmas. They spent time with my children while I went to counseling meetings.
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Worthy Cause – World Preemie Day

I sat down on Friday night to write a piece about a totally different worthy cause.  But then, well, things happened, but frankly, I’m glad.

Eight months ago today, the coolest person in my life was born. He weighed five pounds, screaming and red and translucent and amazing. He was born fighting and luckily, he was born in the right place.

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“Adopt a Mom” charity to benefit the women of Bethany House of NOVA

Today’s guest post is from my friend Devon Brookshire: “a small business owner as an Independent Sales Director with Mary Kay, and I was a victim of Domestic Violence for 10 years. So I created ‘Adopt a Mom’ to give a token of love to the women who are facing perhaps the hardest Holiday Season of their lives so far.” (As someone who has stayed in a place like Bethany House and experienced a Christmas right after leaving a domestic violence situation, I can tell you that gifts like this do help! -Maureen)

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So I’m attempting to surprise someone. She has had to go into “protective care” because she finally realized that if she didn’t leave, her husband was literally going to be the death of her. This woman is so courageous, and I don’t think she knows that there is anyone who truly understands and cares right now. She’s going to be there for Christmas. They have this awesome program so that her two, small children will have gifts “from her”, but she won’t have anything from a soul to tell her that someone cares for her.

…Will you be that someone?

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Scars Are Never Ugly

I am super excited to announce the launch of a new site – Scars Are Never Ugly. Prompted by the support and comments on Beth’s guest post, it’s a space for survivors to document their stories. It’s just starting, there’s not much going on over there, but I’m excited to see where it goes. I think we have a great opportunity to spread awareness through personal stories. I hope we can offer an outlet for survivors to stand and be acknowledged. We have an amazing, supportive, understanding community here; I know we can build one over there. Please, spread the word and join us. Let’s do great things together.

 

(Content will be based completely on submissions – if you want to share your story, or know someone who might, please let me know!!)

My Story of Abuse

Have you ever put someone’s feelings above your own? Have you maybe ever had a parent, growing up, whose feelings you worried about? Or maybe you were just born that way, always worrying about other people’s feelings, even as a child. Have you ever gotten into a romantic relationship where you worried about the other person’s feelings, and they used that very fact against you? I have.

I’ve been choked, picked up and carried away, had my child put in danger and my car tampered with so I couldn’t escape. I had my front door to our basement apartment barricaded with guns in the middle of the night because my (now ex-) husband, a former Marine, was drunk and wouldn’t let me leave because he said the neighbor had a bomb in his car…. That was the night before I left. I stayed awake, afraid, seven months pregnant with our second child, while he lay a foot away from me in the bed, drunk and eventually snoring. The part that bothered me the most that night is that he insisted on sleeping with a rifle next to him, leaned against the thin particle board that separated our room from the baby’s, the front of the rifle pointed right at the crib.

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I Am 32 and Know Things Sometimes

So, I turned 32 yesterday which, eh, whatever. It’s a weird age, and it’s a total “mom age” which I can’t describe more than me thinking that I should shop at, like, Talbot’s or something but I don’t think I’d shop there if someone paid me to do that (lies, I will do a lot of things if money is involved). Anyway, in a non-life-crisis sort of way, I’ve been thinking about 32 vs. 23 or any other age I’ve been, really, and would like to share with you (both of you) some things I’ve learned along this batshit insane black diamond trail I’ve called my life. Some of these are no-duhs to some of you, but shut the fuck up and get your own blog and don’t tell me my business, devil woman! Anyway, ahem: Continue reading