Tag Archives: friendship

Oh CRAP! And Other Signs of Age Progression

7 Nov

It has been a while since my last post.  And though I had given a slight clue, in my last writing, as to what I would be writing in this current (or next) post, I have, “Rivka style”, changed direction.  I say, Rivka style, because I have found that the one constant about my direction is that it is always changing.  For instance, my good friend and I travel to Santa Catalina Island once a year for a girls getaway.  This past weekend marked our 14th or 15th year of wreaking havoc on the sleepy town of Avalon.  And as has been our custom, every year prior, we share a barbeque chicken pizza along with a dinner salad for one of our meals together.  However, this year as she excitedly sat at our familiar table ready to order our “specialty”, I spilled the truth.  “Uhm, Candice, I have a confession to make…I don’t like barbecue sauce anymore.”  Now in years past she would give me a good ribbing about it, but this year she resigned to what she has come to know to be true, “Rivka is always changing her mind!”

Yes, folks, I am.  And though I would like to write about the adventure of finding the San Diego Velodrome, it will have to wait; because I have changed my mind.  I have changed partially due to the fact I have been dealing with migraine headaches again.  And the headaches affect my ability to work at the computer because I am a slow writer, as well as, a slow reader.  And the pain is quite intense, and the intensity grows the longer I stare at the screen.

Though I previously had connected gluten as the cause of my head irritation, I have since discovered it is not the case.  Yeast and sugar, perhaps, though I am not wholly convinced (due to my own elimination diets of the past) that the cause is of MY doing.  Truth be told, I have recently shared with Brian that while I am under the ‘spell’ of pain, I am feeling as if G-d is punishing me for something.  I will tell you, confessions aside, that the only real connection I have found is a change in the weather.  It is true, when the seasons change I tend to have the darned things more often.  Yet I have enough insight into the ‘facts of life’ to know that the weather in and of itself cannot be the sole reason for my infliction.  I have considered that my maternal grandmother suffered, occasionally, from migraines and my daughter does as well.  Did I hear the call of “Genetics”?  Blah Blah Blah…what a boring subject!  I have been having migraines so long now that I am absolutely tired of them as a subject matter!

So let me leave you with the instance of how I came to my title.  For some reason I received, in the mail, a holiday toy catalog.  I do believe it was either for Toys R Us, or Target.  Anyway, as I was perusing through the high gloss, and vibrantly colored pages, I couldn’t help but wonder at the types of toys offered to the wee ones of today.  Monster dolls called, Bratzillas and some other name I have now forgot.  Fairies called, “Good vs. Evil Fairies”.  Party Girls dolls, or in other words (mine in fact), super skinny dolls with multicolored hair and loads of makeup on the face.  A family game which involved handcuffs, and a game which seemed to award the art of lying.  And as I sat there, jaw dropped open and mind in wonderment at why these types of toys are sought after, it hit me, “Oh Crap, I am getting old!”  No it isn’t so much my age in number that is showing signs of the natural progression (according my family lineage I will hit middle age in another 15 to 20 years), it is the sign that I am losing touch with that which sparks the fire of the, younger-than-me, young.  Oiy Vay!

Yes folks, I have been away from the computer for a couple of weeks now and with my quick appearance I leave you this tidbit morsel of nothing…sweet as it may be, it is still nothing.  But tomorrow brings a new attempt at fighting the beast of my head (and eyes) and with my new approach, I am hopeful to have the physical ability, once again, to write in a manner more connected to that which I wish to say…without the pressure of pain sitting in the director’s seat.  Crossing my fingers and such.

Adieu

Mid Life Crisis-sing

4 Oct

Just so you know, right off the cuff, I am not near my mid life, therefore I cannot be crisis-ing about it!  It so happens that the women in my line live forever.  Therefore at a mere, 42 years of age, I am not even close to the mid-line.  I am, however, in a mid-of-something cri-song.  No, I have not been studying Dr. Suess in preparation for this post.  I am, I suppose, a natural devotee, of sorts, to the great doctor and my method of thinking probably reflects my “Hop on Pop” view of things.

The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss

Not “Hop on Pop”, but worthy material just the same!

Now back to my Cri-song…  Within my not-so-mid-crisong is a new state of poverty (not an actual state, merely a line on a governmental census).  It is the happy reliance upon a benefit check which tides the family budget over, “just enough.”  This is not so bad, the state of “just enough.”  For I find, actually just discovered this morning, that my silver jewelry is shinier within the present state.  I even think I have MORE jewelry now that we qualify for assistance (not really, it is just that I have opened my jewelry box to investigate its contents).  In fact, I have re-discovered jewels that were previously considered, by me, not worthy of my standard.  However, they now present themselves within a new light.  And with this new perspective comes sparkly goodness upon my fingers, my ears, my neck, and my wrists.  Oh La Lah!

Silver and Crystal Necklace

I do believe this was a gift I received for my Bat Mitzvah, a sliver and crystal pendant.

In my previous jewelry wearing persona, I carefully and simply would only congregate like metals.  Thus, yellow gold with yellow gold, and silver matched only to other silver–or white gold with white gold only.  NO MORE…  The new Cri-song demands all sorts of metal be mixed and interwoven (or twined) with other metal.  And what I considered, beforehand, to be gaudy and overbearing, is now placed upon my appendages and worn with triumphant fervor.  I am resurrecting jewelry from my Bat Mitzvah days, and wearing it with the gargantuan Granny rings that have somehow made it into our repertoire after loosing Brian’s mom and Granny to the call of Heaven (through Brian’s mom we inherited a few Granny pieces).  I have even rediscovered a Cartier bracelet I was given “way back when”, which might boost me into a more affluent social class should I have it on.  You know, it might help the nouveau riche overlook the fact I carry around a vintage, patent leather purse which I recently purchased for $12.oo from the Discovery Thrift shop.

Vintage 1950's Purse

Nice and Shiny

Yes, the Cartier I must begin to wear again.  Which means I need to find the golden, flat head screwdriver which came with it (Heaven forbid I utilize anything other than the golden screw!).  Wow,  I did a Google search, just now, for a bracelet like I described, and I learned that the bracelet has “been seen on all the hottest celebrities”.  Oh no…and now I just looked up the value of said bracelet and my husband and I looked at each other and said, “MY oh MY, we must sell it!”  And then we laughed, for which is more important, to follow the example of “all the hottest celebrities”, or to have cash in hand to buy some fresh milk…  Decisions, decisions, decisions! 🙂  Ok, now that I’ve taken you (and me) for a ride, the truth of the Cartier, as I remember it, is it is a “knock off”, not the real thing.  Which means I would probably have to pay to have someone even look at it!  Aaaahhh more Cris-songing.

“So what is the point of all of this rhetoric?”, you may ask.  Well you might not ask, but as I write I am most certainly asking myself, “Rivka, what is the point of this post?”  The point of this post is to illuminate my best intent on blooming where I am planted.  It is merely one in a series.  For example, the post about my Raleigh bicycle and me, is to showcase my utilization of what I have, where I have it, and the fulfillment which comes from investing in my imagination.  As opposed to bemoaning the loss of travel opportunity I am currently enduring (used loosely, enduring is a bit too heavy handed an adjective).  Blooming where I am planted means waking up thankful.  It means my little world of Southern California can fulfill my hearts desires, if my heart and mind are in the right focus.

For instance, Brian and I went sailing about a month ago.  Out at sea, I turned toward our shoreline and the area south of us looked just like the photos of a little town in Greece I have always longed to visit.  And in the spring, when the hills are green and the air still crisp, I take a ride in our 1927 Oakland, alongside my beloved, and the picturesque beauty of nature is reminiscent of the green hills in Ireland I have admired from photographs featured in my favorite Atlas.  So you see, the jewelry bit is merely my funny way of having fun…not to be confused with “having funds!” 🙂  It is blooming where I am planted.  And the blooming part equates to:

  • an attitude of thanksgiving
  • utilization of current possessions
  • resourceful inclinations
  • perspective alterations
  • imagination expression

So practically speaking…

Today I will utilize the above formula and transform a “shit load” of ground beef, which was given to me by a dear friend (by way of a charitable food organization), into several, and I might add, very palatable, meal choices.  In all honesty, I have never…let me restate that…NEVER, purchased so much ground beef in one sitting, as I have awaiting my, “good attitude,” on my kitchen counter.  For it, I am most grateful.  And who knows, I might even have a moment to spare to head over to the Pacific Ocean, which if I do have time to do, will double as the Carribean Sea (this time).  Enjoying life, where I am…today.

1927 Oakland Racer P.s. I must give credit to Kana Tyler who, by way of her own blogging style, has inspired me to insert photographs into my posts.  Her blog, http://www.kanatyler.com, frequently has “eye candy” in between her prose.  And I find, for an ADD type girl like me, the photos help guide my way through the words.  “Thank you, Kana.”

Running From Fear

1 Mar

My title is a little misleading.  The reason being is that I am not wholeheartedly committed to keeping to the topic of fear, for this particular posting.  But knowing from past experience that I could trouble myself for far too long regarding a title, I decided it would be better to land on one and move on.  So that is what I did.

A few updates on Cole.  He enjoyed his trip to Nicaragua.  He mostly ate and rested, but the climate (humidity and sun) did very well for his eyes and body.  And he very much enjoyed, appreciated, and took note of the warmth of character emanating from the general populace.  Which in turn, warmed his heart.  He was definitely ready to come home and he has not wanted to have fish since being back.  Fresh fish and fresh veggie’s, sounds like an eating utopia to me!
We have begun the VA process.  What that means is they are taking over responsibility for his medical care, and we are learning the ropes between our local clinic, the Long Beach VA facility, the West LA VA, and the La Jolla VA.  Why so many locations?  Have a brain tumor and subsequent complications as a result and you, yourself will come to understand all the required specialists who need to be on board–and how the VA has said specialists (or specialist-singular) at one location but not another.  So Cole and I get to travel a lot together and spend a significant amount of days at varying facilities.  Our observation?  Cole’s age group is the minority.  Why?  Because most young military personnel who are injured and released from service are medically boarded and have the private insurance company called, TriCare.  As to why Cole does not have that advantage is another story; a story which I am saving should we decide the press needs to up the ante on the military and the decision making board…there is quite a story here, I assure you!  However, and in the meantime, the VA has been most gracious to Cole.  And everyone who we have been in contact with has been exceedingly helpful.  And the cafeteria in Long Beach is brand new, with lots of glass and a cool industrial architectural appeal.  Cole and I make for good companionship, as I don’t like to talk much nor does he.  We sit and observe, help where we can, and butt out as needed.

Previous to Cole’s surgery, as I was transitioning from full-time mom, to part-time mom and full time student, one of the questions I had hot on my heels was, “what do I want to be when I grow up?”  The question found no real answer because I have truly loved my position as home-maker, wife, mother, familial assistant, volunteer, and friend.  So deciding on a career that could fulfill my already fulfilled self was challenging;  yet I was pursuing the degree because my domestic duties weren’t producing an income.  Then as certain as change itself, my path was redirected back to home (and out of school) when Cole was diagnosed with the brain tumor.  And here I am again in the full-time position which has been the most rewarding of places to be.  Of course, while I was fast upon my road to becoming an educated individual, I did my best to maintain the priorities of my family.  Easy to do in my heart, but challenging when it came necessary to study.  At any rate, thanks to the VA, I am now receiving a stipend for helping to take care of my son.  A blessing that is most appreciated now, especially with Brian being out a regular paycheck (Yes, in theory he qualifies for unemployment.  However, that is yet another story–one I hope will soon have a happy ending.  But in the meantime…uuggg!)

Now to give credit to my somewhat misleading title…

It has been my experience, this past year, that some people are truly afraid of what life has handed our family.  In a covertly perverse way, it is as if cancer (or tragedy-not that they are synonymous) is contagious.  I have experienced people ‘keeping their distance’ because they cannot handle the reality of Cole’s circumstance, our circumstance.  I have also had people afraid to ask me how Cole is doing, for fear the answer will be grave; as in Cole is in one–though he wishes for cremation not burial.  Yesterday, one such person coyly broached the subject and then apologetically said, “I hate to even ask.”  But was then encouraged by my answer, “Please ask away.  And we are doing well…in this moment.  We truly live day-to-day, moment-to-moment.  And today all is well.”  His response was positive and his hesitation to smile (in my presence) subsided.
In all honesty, I am not offended one bit by this not-so-uncommon reaction.  I am saddened a little because, while staying away, they are missing out on hearing of the blessings that we live in, which of course I would love to share; and I am missing out on their friendship.    So to you, the reader (because I do not have the forum to shout it out to the whole world), I say, “Don’t let fear get in your way!  Of anything!  Fear is a robber; a thief.  It will steal away blessings and rob away joy.  If you find yourself stopping short, as a result of fear, push through…and push it aside.  And please, do not fear being our friend nor asking how we are.  Though I realize befriending our family comes with a great deal of risk!”

And most importantly, remember–CANCER IS NOT CONTAGIOUS (though some sexually transmitted diseases, which can cause cancer, are!) …oh dear, that is one of the risks–Rivka-isms! 🙂

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (psalm 27:1)

P.s. I could write an entire study on the Psalms and psalmist…for King David, the author of the Psalms (let’s leave it there for simplicity sake), was one complicated man…yet the Lord saw past his complications, never letting go of David and considered him “a man after G-d’s own heart”.  How is that relevant to me?  Just reminds me that my “Rivka-isms” don’t even scare off G-d, at least not when compared to David! 😉

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