Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Online dating, why?????????

I have been online dating with real effort for just under two months with three months as my goal on the paid sites. I am on 2 free sites and 4 paid sites. I have changed my profile and photos many times to keep on the top of the viewing list but all to no avail. I have not had one meetup. Came close a few times but realized that something was fishy three times and after a few emails cut the communication off. Two told me they had been hacked and had security checking all their sites and that's why age was 10 years off and why nothing came up on google (one a professional that needed to be licensed). If I can't google them I am leery and for good reason. I have gotten some form letters and when I wrote back they didn't acknowledge my responses at all. I have asked for what I want, told some facts about me and posted current photos with my full body in them. Hey, I know I am not the thinnest, nor tallest, nor cutest nor  most beautiful but either are the ones I am choosing. I have picked all races, all religions and all sizes. The last few days I have had a conversation with an interesting person who lives more than 20 miles from me and I asked if he wanted to meet halfway as I thought he was a good guy. He wrote back that he was tempted but felt there wasn't a connection for him. It had to be looks as everything else was compatible. I wrote him back and wished him good luck in his search and that he was passing on a wonderful person and that is when he wrote he was tempted but in his search he had to tell the truth. Okay. Believe me I have passed many a photo that truly didn't meet my standards. I want someone with nice teeth and looking like he takes care of himself. That's it. I am not that picky I don't think.
Well with only one month remaining on the paid sites I am taking a new tactic. I am telling it like it is. Here is my latest profile. "I am financially secure. I own my home. I love my grown sons and their families and most importantly we get along. I have lots of friendships with many years under my belt. I work on my friendships. I love to travel and have seen a lot of the world. I have had amazing long term relationships after my 20 year marriage but now am ready to settle down and be with my last man. I am willing to live with someone, which I had not wanted in the past. Marriage, not a necessity but if it happens that would work as well. Swimming three times a week is my passion as well as making art and writing. I just am looking for a man who can say the same. Are you out there?"
I have changed the format from listing honesty, trustfulness and wanting someone secure and happy with their life to putting exactly what I have to offer.
This is not my first go around on internet dating. I did it when I got divorced 25 years ago and every time a relationship broke up. This will be my last time. I still believe I will meet someone from my adventures and in person. All my relationships have been from just that way and all were ones who wanted marriage (except one) and I didn't want to live with any of them or get married again. I love my life but would love to have a boyfriend who is compassionate, a lover, a traveler and is young at heart. I truly think that is not asking a lot. What do you think?
I have heard from many women who all say the same thing and are happily single but have so much to offer. They write on the sites FB pages how awful it is out there. I truly have heard great stories as well about how they met the love of their life. I have heard from men who think every woman is out for their money and have too much baggage. I want an equal partnership with each person giving 100%. Is that out there? I am not giving up hope but my skies are clouded right now and I need to breathe in a fresh day with wonderful air quality to push the clouds away.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

My Mom died today.



My Mom died today after an 11 year struggle with total disability and dementia. She was a fighter in life and even in dying. She did it in her own way over the last two weeks. My Mom was strong-willed and a very private person. She loved to work and was her own boss for over 40 years in the antique jewelry business. She had the “eye” and her clients, as well as competitors, loved her. She was known throughout the business as the consummate expert. She bought and sold beautiful items and all admired her for her savvy and ability to be a visionary as to what was gorgeous and wearable.

She traveled the world looking for treasures and my dad went with her acting as her Sherpa. They had an amazing life and after he died she really went downhill. She has been cared for lovingly by a wonderful group of women for the last 11 years. She enjoyed the caregiver’s young children who grew up calling her grandma especially as her own great grandchildren in the beginning were living in other states.

My sister and I remained close in vicinity to our mom. Once she started her business, at 40 years of age she was busy. She was not the “go out to lunch kind of mom” and when we did take her the conversation came back around to how long she could be out to eat before she needed to get back. She normally ate in her office surrounded by customers and her inventory. This was her life.  I once worked for my mom and it lasted a year; I couldn’t wrap a UPS properly according to her and when I mentioned, in joking, that none of my packages have ever been rejected by UPS in my lifetime, it held no credibility. It was her way or the highway. My sister tried next and she lasted 2 hours. She couldn’t imagine how I had done it for one year.

They say someone loves you the best way they could and my Mom was no exception. She definitely loved us, but in her own style. She dressed to the nines and was always trying to get my sister and me to be fashion plates, to no avail. When we were young and not able to have a say or choice we looked smashing. But as we aged out of her choices, we looked like typical teenagers and my sister having gone to Berkeley in the People’s Park era, brought home boyfriends who literally had only sandals or no appropriate footwear. My parents took it in stride. Well, almost. They did outfit one young man with shoes to go to dinner.

I was a pleaser and an anxious child and the best thing I remember was my mother playing the “what if” game with me. I would imagine the worst possible scenario and I talk it through with my mom.  The real happening was never the worst case, so I got over my anxious period time and time again.  Eventually, it worked. She worked from the negative to the positive. Not sure that was right for everyone, but it helped me.

As I recall my childhood (which is very difficult for me), I was happy, but anxious. I was loved and taken care of. Even though my mom was controlling, I knew she loved me.  Sometimes she didn’t always express it in ways I could feel but it was there. I did save one letter when I was separating from my then husband and moving to my own apartment by myself and it was so heartfelt. She supported my decision to divorce.  It was the best letter I ever received from anyone. She had a tough time growing up with a father who was sick from her 10th year until he died on her 19th. She grew up faster and I think much of her childhood was not as easy as others. She loved her dad and spent many hours when he was sick developing film with him in his dark room. She talked fondly of her parents and I was privileged to know her Mom and loved her. She was the best Nanny a granddaughter could have had.

My kids were fortunate to know my Mom well into their early 40’s and when they had children. My Dad never had that chance. And how he would have loved his great grandchildren and she did. But as grandparents to my sons, they were the best.  Trips around the world and lots of love from both of my parents to their grandsons were a regular occurrence. My Mom was the serious one and my dad, the joker. My Mom retained her royalty until the end. She always looked so together and even as she aged, she had nails, brows and hair done weekly until it became impossible for her to move or even be lifted into a wheelchair.  As we cleaned out her closets, when we moved her out of her big home and into a rented apartment, my sister and I were amazed at the designer clothes she had that were still classics. She also shopped for bargains and knew what she was buying at all times. Most of her clothes went to consignment shops and the owners were thrilled to sell them.

My Mom was private and didn’t share with anyone. She never went to therapy and lived a lot in denial which worked for her. Hard on my sister and me, but this helped us to be the women we are today. My sister is much more private than I am and has always been that way. I share most everything and as my mom used to say, “anything on your mind is out your mouth” and it was true.

I will miss my Mom and her little quips as they were often harsh and said in a manner I couldn’t or wouldn’t accept. She was smart and educated but still a wife and mother from the 50’s. My mom’s life  was not easy and therefore it was hard  to live with her when you had a mind of your own and exercised your own will.  But she taught my sister and me well, to stand up for what we believed in and fight to make it happen.

I will miss her fierceness, her strength and her ability to stick with it. On her gravestone, that she wrote, (I told you she was controlling) is only “She Lived and loved” and for that I am glad. In her own way she loved and lived with the best of them. RIP, my dear Mom. Your job is done. I love you.

As she wanted there will be no funeral or memorial but just an “immediate family only” service at the graveside.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Dying isn't for the faint of heart.

As  I sat by my mother's bedside today, as she stared up at the ceiling, I talked to her about who she will soon see waiting for her. My mother is dying and it should be much easier than it is. For the last 11 years she has been failing (she will be 87 in a few days) as her life became a living nightmare for those who loved her. First she start stumbling and then a dementia started to play out. She still could go get her nails done, hair colored an occasional lunch with friends and the caregivers. She was happy to go and wanted to continue her way of life but life had another plan for her.

 She stopped being able to walk and her muscles atrophied and she started to hurt from lack of use. Slowly over the last 11 years everything was soon of no interest to her. She would stare sometimes blankly and if engaged in a conversation she would ask as soon as it concluded, "so what is new" and the story would be repeated. Finally all activities stopped and she was  a shadow of her former self (she owned a successful jewelry business for 40 years and was known all over the world).

 The visits to the beauty salon to dye that previous beautiful natural red hair stopped, the nails were no longer polished and beauty and makeup, which was so important to my mom, also waned and stopped. She now lays in her bed waiting to die but still on those very  limited lucid minutes will remember she wanted to live to be 100 (her dad died at 42 after having a heart attack at 32).

 Even hose thoughts are all but gone and now when she is awake and you ask her if she is ready to go she will say yes. Within the last month she has had so much pain that we are giving her pain patches which help her relax and sleep. She is no longer interest in eating. Her doctor is advising us on how to make this passing as easy as possible. My mother without modern medicine would have already died. She had a major heart attack in her 60's and was given an angioplasty with stents and she bounced back. Medicines lowered her cholesterol and all her inherited issues from her father and mother. Modern medicine kept her going until now.

I struggled with my Mom for most of my life but somewhere after years of therapy for me, I came to a peaceful way to communicate and we got along. Did we hang out, not really ever. Did we have deep conversations, never, I do have one wonderful letter my Mom wrote me when I was getting divorced which was the most loving letter I have ever received from anyone. I cherish it and just read it to my sister and family. It spoke about our inability to talk to each other and how letter writing was always better for us. I agreed at the time.

As I watched her today, I wish I had a magic formula to help her pass quickly and easily but that is not the case today in our state. Thank goodness I have a loving sister who was always much closer to my Mom and she and the doctor have worked closely to end her pain and make the transition from this earth to what awaits all of us.

As I sat today and told my mom I loved her very much and she did a great job and it was okay to let go, she listened and kept looking at the ceiling. Finally after a time she said a simple thank you and that was enough for me. I have done what I needed to do. The caregivers are all sad as well as they watch on a much more intimate basis, my mother's fading. The care has been amazing and loving and the one main caregiver's kids grew up calling my mom grandma and they too. at 12 and 5. will miss her. My kids and my sister's kids (the grandchildren) have all said goodbye when they visited last week. The great grand kids have gone to visit her in much better times and fairly recently when it was too sad for even the older ones to understand, so those visits are over.

It is now a waiting game which has no winners. Her body will continue to break down as more and more pain patches are administered and the time will pass, as my Mom finds her peace and lets go. For me, there is a sorrow that I will now be an orphan, as my dad died 11 years ago soon.

As I think about my childhood and all that it entailed it has been a gift and blessing and I am so full of gratitude for the life I was given by this very strong, determined mother who changed before my eyes from a 50's mom to a powerhouse. I inherited my strength and strong will from her. And because of my struggles, I learned to believe in myself and the ability to take care of myself and be proud to be who I have become. Thank you mom for the struggles and the love which I knew was there even though it often very hard for us to communicate.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The New Year is already starting out great.

I just finished spending time with 3 of my 4 grand kids. We had special outings and enjoyed the Ronald Reagan library, Baseball Center, American Girl Doll shopping, ice skating, Netflix and lots of other activities while they were on winter break. Now as winter (80's today) approaches I look forward to more comfort food, back to painting and more writing. The year ended with 4300 gift bags for the incarcerated women in SoCal and county facilities through ACWIP and end of the year visits with friends and family.

Now that I shifted my apartment work and Mom's accounting to my sister and her husband, I have even more free time to volunteer. Today I was asked to be on the board of my new favorite charity POPS out of Venice High School, under the leadership of Dennis Dansinger and Amy Friedman. It is a school club where all it's members (high school students (have to have a connection with someone in prison). I was honored to talk to the group about mentoring and also donating money for their food lunches, cooked by another volunteer who happens to be a chef. I was included in their holiday party where a complete holiday meal was made. For some of these students this will be their only holiday party, I contributed cookies that were a big hit. The kids are learning to write about their feelings and the impact of having a relative in  prison. It makes my heart and soul weep for some of their losses. I look forward to being more involved with this wonderful group of good souls.

I have started painting again after a lull for a few months. I am back to my collage making as this represents me best. I love having a studio in my garage. It is easy and I feel like I am on a retreat when there.

After over 10 years of training in a gym with my wonderful trainer, I have quit. My trainer was fabulous but the private gym she used was awful. The woman who owns it doesn't need the money so she has less than zero customer service and even though I was paying a token amount because I used a trainer from there, I finally had had enough of her attitude and lack of smile. She continued with this behavior the entire 10 years I was there. In the end I got feisty and started just hating being there so I decided to let this go. My trainer and I will remain friends and if she ever changes location I am back.

I started swimming last year after meeting Michelle at a Spirited Women  meeting and was immediately entranced with her Aqua Chiro training. Every since February I have swam 2 times a week in an outdoor pool. It is the best thing I could have done for myself. This year I will increase to three times a week. Swimming for me and being in water makes me happy. I love the water and anything that gets me in a pool or the ocean works for me. Plus Michelle is a great coach and we have become friends which makes the training even more wonderful. I am purely entranced in a pool and the time goes quickly. Also, my body feels so much better and that is always a good thing.

As you all know I have had a friend named D for almost 14 years. We have been lovers, friends, friends with benefits, friends without benefits and now once again just enjoying each other's company while just being friends. There is something that ties us together even though we have had a few bad years as well as great times.  We are not matched for marriage in any way or even living together but our love for each other continues to let us keep trying anything to stay connected. Actually, sometimes it is extremely difficult and then other times as smooth as silk. Since neither of us have been connected to others we just drift back. I would think that since we are both open about finding others when we do, the relationship probably will change again. My friends are not real happy when I see him but it is up to me to choose what I want. Yes, he did something awful once many, many years ago and has more than made up for it in my mind. My grand kids love him  and that is good enough for me right now.

I have been more spiritual lately, reading cards, attending more spiritual events and commenting on blogs and radio shows that deal with spirits, angels and life. My life is balanced to me and I am living each day with gusto and enthusiasm for the hear and now and  the future.

I am blessed to be able to travel and plan many trips for this year. I will be attending weddings, Bat Mitzvahs and traveling to Cuba in the first half of this year and then who knows what the the rest of the year holds. But whatever evolves I will enjoy it by sharing it with family and friends. I love Facebook for giving me so many new friends that I have met in person and those that  I only know through their posts.

Here's wishing everyone in my sphere a new joy of adventure, love and spirit.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Year in review

As I look back on 2013, I wanted to thank my followers and supporters here and on facebook. I am a very blessed person and not a day goes by that I am not grateful.  As my tea leaf reading revealed 2014 will see more goddess energy and continued good fortune and for this I am thankful. As the year ends I wanted to send out super blessings for all those that need support in 2014 and who are realizing their dreams, healing and searching for their greatness. To my family, another year of love, joy and good health. To my grand kids who amaze me everyday and to my grown sons, who I am lucky enough to witness their adventures with their wives and kids and to see them turn out as I imagined (actually better). I see travel in my future with visits to my friends who are getting married  as their state changed the laws on gay marriage. I see soaking and relaxing in my new hot tub and a continued exploration of me. As I age, I find taking care of myself in all ways, both physical and metaphysical, will keep me balanced and growing. I wish all wishes come true for my family and friends and a year of joy, peace, good health and amazing sunrises and sunsets. Bring on 2014.

Monday, October 14, 2013

When it is time to wish someone death for all the right reasons.



WOW, I haven’t written in a while. Have you ever wanted someone to die for all the right reasons? I bet that got your attention. Let me explain. My Mom is 86 years old and lives a miserable life as it is presented. She once was a business owner with lots of vim and vigor and a busy spirit. She was beloved by her friends and while being a private person managed to have some long term friendships. Then my dad died and her world changed. She continued her
business until it became impossible. She had outlived her Dad who died at 42 of heart disease. Because of modern medicine and surgeries she has doubled his life.

But back to reality. She has no life as I see it and if she were capable of seeing that, she would have done herself in. But now she wants to live to 100 so she says on any given day. It saddens me tremendously that she is bedridden and in pain. All her joints and body parts ache. Her feet are mangled like a Chinese Bound Woman’s feet (from wearing terrible shoes and surgeries gone awry).

She never wrote her desires but gave my sister and I full power over her health care. We are in the driver’s seat and my sister and I are in agreement to do nothing to help her live. She has caregivers who are wonderful people who put up with her mood swings and help her the best they can. She bites and pinches on occasion and they just are still so sweet to her. She has no bed sores and is well taken care of. Almost too well.

We have taken her off all meds and will not treat anymore for anything. As long as she asks to eat we will have her fed. She can’t see any more from cataracts that can’t be treated. She remembers my sister and me when we visit but mostly she sleeps. She goes out once a week to have her nails done and eat out. She no longer has her hair tinted more red than gray. Now she is all gray and this would bother her if she could see or knew this fact.

Funny about memory, it puts you in a state of pretend. My Mom lives in a fantasy world when she is not sleeping. She thinks she drives and is capable of everything. She is beginning to realize that this is not the truth. But if you ask her on any given day she is ready to die and then hopes to live to 100.

If you knew my Mom you would know this is not the life she wanted, ever. But, what is a daughter or in this case two daughters to do.  Absolutely nothing. We can love her and make sure she is comfortable and hope that her heart gives out or some other organ fails her. This is what we wish for every night for our Mom. Our real Mom left long ago and her shell remains strong due to all the meds and surgeries she was given to live longer than her Dad. She has done that and now for the last 10 years she has been slowing declining but still alive in a body that long ago gave out.

I took two of her great grandkids to see her and she wouldn’t wake up from her nap. As we tried to let her know they were there she yelled and was mad we were trying to wake her. She tried to open her eyes but they refused to help. She would be so pissed to have done that to them. We left after 15 minutes of trying. As we were leaving my 9 year old grandson said to me,”grammie that is no way to live” and I agreed with him. I told him sometimes we now live too long. He felt bad and hoped that didn’t happen to me. I told him not to worry it won’t and we stopped the conversation there. I have plans in place, I have signed and dotted every t. I have friends who will help and if they have to drive me to Oregon and drop me off on the street so be it. We should be allowed to die when ready. It is finding that balance when it happens to you and you can still make the decision to end your own life.

I understand if some people don’t agree, but like every decision it must be our own if we are capable. Otherwise the person we have appointed as our person in charge must make hard choices. My Mom did that and we are trying to help her with her time left on earth. We will not let her suffer and we will use no gallant measures to save her, under any condition. She wants us to be in charge and we are committed to that charge.  

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Friendships shift and old and new mingle and some get left behind

For the last few years I have had a shift in interests and with that always comes a shift in friendships. Some lose interest in my new interests and others come to me because of my new interests. Every year for the last 42 years (minus last year as I was in Provincetown) my birthday (Halloween) brings my different friends together for my annual party. Since it is Halloween it has become a tradition to invite all my friends over for the same food and same type of cake (Hansen's) each and every year. Most actually look forward to catching up once a year. My neighborhood of course comes with their kids and my new friends mix with old ones. My old friends are always amused where and how I have found these new faces every year. This year will be no exception, but I digress.

As I tend to do when it comes to evites, I am always interested to see who makes the list. And there in lies my contemplation. In the last few weeks I have found that some relationships don't warrant the invitation anymore as the friendship has not been held up by both ends. I tend to really work at my friendships but as I have gotten older, if I am the only one doing the work, I have let those friendships lapse and there has not been any real consequences. But every once in a while, I am thrilled when we reconnect and it was like yesterday, even though it could have been 15 years ago that we spoke. This has happened this year with both losing and gaining friends and reconnection. I marvel at the ability to catch up with great friends and come to a space where we forgot what drove us apart and rejoice in the catching up and the new/old friendship.

Finding Facebook and developing friendships of the unknown and unseen, other than through words only, is an amazing growth of social media for me. When I traveled last year to meet some of the writers I have connected with on Facebook, TheNextfamily.com and from ACWIP..net it was a most remarkable experience. Some of the friendships will now stand the test of time while others were a moment in time and will be just a passing memory.

I have had a lover/friendship/friends with benefits/friends without benefits for 13 years with someone I loved on and off for the entire time. But the end of the run has come and we have not seen or talked in 7 weeks. Today a letter came for him at my house (he has his golf address at my house) and I opened it to see if it needed to be sent to him. It did so I placed it in another envelope and sent it on it's way. No note, no greeting, no nothing and this made me think how much I do or don't miss the interaction. In the beginning I waited for that call, that email, that text as there was still unfinished business, but as the weeks went on (and I have done this a few times with him for longer lengths of time than have passed to date), I began to let go. I no longer had the urge to talk to him and all the worries I had about him started to subside and I knew I could do this. I have felt healthier (other than my summer cold) and clearer of mind. My anxiety level has gone to almost zero (other than children and grandchildren issues which will be forever), I have been at peace. I have filled my time reading and taking myself out to dinner and plays and on adventures,a ll of wish he would not have loved. I am very comfortable going by myself to places. I talk to those seated next to me and I am fine. 13 years is a long time and not make decisions about the future. I knew from day one this was not "the one" but as time went on and we really, really learned so much about each other, the connection was very real. I feel a loss as I did when a friend would disappear. But in the end, if it is to be, it will be manifest as right and brilliant and joyful and shinning. The 13 years were not all of that and mostly it was me trying to make something right that wasn't. I never could adjust to what was and wished for something else not even knowing what that was to begin with.

This week cemented those feelings as I had misgivings with one and trust. Another I was an intermediary trying very hard to see all sides with feelings hurt on one person's part as I tried to explain the others points of view. Reminded me of my mediation days and how unless one looks at oneself conclusions can be reached that are misunderstood (happens with my sons, more than I would like). They think I misconstrue their words and I think they don't hear what I hear. Probably somewhere in the middle with all of us. We always straighten it out because we are family. That is not always the case when it is not family and the ties are not through blood or continuance.

So there you have it. I am in such a fabulous place. I am blessed to love my life, having very little drama and not much in the negative sense. I am blessed to have friends from all walks of life who will stand up to me, next to me and by my side. I work hard at my friendships and am rewarded everyday with kindness and love.

I met a total stranger at a documentary screening with my friend Keisha. We then went to meet them for drinks and conversation. He is an independent director in NYC. I wrote him an email telling how delightful it was to meet him and his buddies and if I got to NYC I would look him up and would look forward to meet his wife, another creative person. This is the email I received back.He is from Germany so his English is a little halting.


Hey Madge,

Sooo awesome to meet u guys. Sorry I was a bit running around the last two days. 
Please keep in touch. You are a bright shining star and keep doing what ur doing. Fun night out too. It's true though...lately I've been very frustrated with what's happening in this country...in many political and social ways...and you are truly giving me hope. ;)

Best Wishes to you and your family. Please let me know when u are in NY!

Best
p.


What could be better than giving someone hope!!!!!!!!!!!!