Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Virtual Coffee {37} the last one.

Hello, dear friends, welcome to coffee!

You may want to grab a chair and get comfortable for coffee today cause this is going to be a loooooong post. It’ll also be my last post on Moomser, if you want to know why it’s my last post read this, otherwise suffice it to say that I’m taking a break to get my writing joojoo (sp??) back on and then probably separating my “real life” from my blog life with an anonymous blog. I do feel cowardly doing this, I’m absolutely all for living my life out in the open, but some things I choose to write about involve other people and at the end of the day I’d rather hide behind the anonymity of a fake name than censure my thoughts, cause this blog is mostly a public space for my thoughts and feelings.

So I wanted to tie up a few loose ends punctuated with a few totally random pictures…

It's Spring, you can tell because it won't stop raining

And then the next day it's sunny and gorgeous and you can roll around in the damp grass

The husband and I are trying to work things out. We gave each other some conditions that were necessary to each of us to keep moving forward and we’re both working on them on our respective ends, so we’ll see how that goes. But we’re trying. We are, neither of us, leavers, so right now we’re in standby mode. I wanted to share one of the things that I’m doing because it could be helpful for others out there… Several months back I read a post on Cheeseslave about a book called The Mood Cure, which seemed to have an interesting premise, so I bought it and promptly forgot about it, of course. Thankfully, after writing this post here a reader wrote me an email telling me about the very same book and her experience and suggesting I read it (thanks Susan!). I’m not going to get into what the book is about cause Anne Marie does it better on her blog (Cheeseslave), but it’s mostly about helping to improve your mood through diet and supplements (mostly aminos). I’ve been taking the supplements suggested for my mood imbalances (there’s a quiz both in the book and on this website) and I feel a LOT better. I have way more energy, I sleep much better, I have fewer mood swings, and life is simply not as bleak as it was in my eyes.
The past few years have been pretty stressful, I moved out to the country leaving friends, a job, and everything behind (2005), my Dad died (2006), I started a new job, with a lot of responsibility and no experience, had a baby (2008), went right back to work, had another baby (2009), the husband got leukemia, treatment (2010) and then got leukemia again (2011) and my body got depleted cause that’s what stress does. All this to say, it’s an interesting book and I recommend it strongly, it may well have saved my marriage.
Love. and big shoes.

On to more fatuous things, we’ve been grilling the heck out of everything we could get our hands on. Like pizza (awesome, I strongly suggest you try it!) and pineapple (great with meat!) and bananas. Yes, bananas. You slice them in half lengthwise with the skins still on (I washed them first) then you put them open side down on the grill, turn them over when the edges of the skin start to blacken, sprinkle with sugar, and leave a few more minutes with the lid closed. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! The sugar caramelizes, the bananas get kind of soft and slightly gooey… am I making you want to turn the grill on??

I’ve started my yearly detox again which mainly means no refined carbs and no sugar (also a Mood Cure suggestion), which means I’m now ravenous for bread and croissants and pasta. I literal would turn everything I see into a sandwich. I tell you, my mind is my worse enemy!! Although I’ve rediscovered juicing and am juicing anything and everything… some of my concoctions are great (apple, orange, carrot and beet for example) some are absolutely disgusting (I’ve blocked these out). Experimenting is half the fun! Although, I’m not so sure my kids would agree, they take up their juice glasses with a fair amount of trepidation lately!
mama, this pod looks like a moth!
shucking peaa
The beach house (which I obsessed over a few months ago) is ready and we’ve been spending the last few weekends doing all the little odds and ends jobs to make it really homey, I wish I had pictures to show you but alas I was planning a before/after post for a few weeks from now and haven’t taken the after pics yet.

Aperitif by the beach

I’m kind of dragging this post on and on… I’m sad to say goodbye. I really enjoyed these Virtual Coffee dates and would like to thank Amy for the great idea and for bringing us together every week like this, and for her hillbilly latte recipe!!
Also, if you want me to get in touch if I start a new blog up again drop me an email (moomser at gmail dot com) and I’ll contact you.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for coffee!
Toodles, Moomser

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sooner or later all good things must end. The Goodbye post.

Let me start this post with a premise, my Mother is the queen of not giving a shit about what people think of her. Her own opinion of herself is the only opinion that matters to her. I respect this about her immensely.

The other day I got a call from my Mother, which, after a good half-hour of the parent-child equivalent of talking about the weather, finally got to the point. Apparently, a few weeks back she was at a party and a friend approached her and asked her whether I was getting a divorce.

I hadn’t talked to my Mother about any of the upheaval going on in my marriage because, as has become the refrain whenever I write about the situation, we don’t know what the hell we’re doing yet. I had received some inquiring calls from friends and family members but I had done the human equivalent of burying my head in the sand the “I don’t want to talk about it”. I realize now how ridiculous that stance was as I was, in fact, writing about it for all the world to read. But we’re not always rational and as long as I didn’t talk about it, I hadn’t actually shared it, or so my thinking went.

So anyway, you can imagine what the hell kind of position my mother was in at the party. Surprisingly, she didn’t care about that. She was, however, worried that by putting things out there on this blog I was fostering gossip and speculation and not all of it is necessarily kind-hearted.

I don’t care in the least if people gossip, she doesn’t care in the least if people gossip. And yet she worries that people gossip about me, my marriage, and my personal life. I wish I could say it’s ridiculous, but it’s not. I’m her daughter. I don’t give a crap if people talk about me, if they’re mean-spirited towards me, or whatever other negative reaction my talking about my private life can bring about, but, I would seriously care if people were talking and gossiping and speculating about my child. And there’s the rub.

She suggested maybe I shouldn’t be writing about my marriage on the blog, at least until a decision was actually made. She’s never had a problem with my blog although she doesn’t really ever read it because in a weird way she feels like she’s infringing on my privacy. Even though this blog is public, even though I told her about it, even though other people read it.  And it’s true that I write about private things on here. I choose to. But, alas, I’m not the only one they impact.

My mother was at a party, on the other side of the world, living her life, and something I chose to write about myself on this blog impacted her. I don’t know how she felt, that wasn’t the purpose of her phone call, but I can imagine. One of your friends comes and tells you that your daughter and her husband are going through some stuff and are thinking of separating and you know not a single thing about it. Probably doesn’t feel too good. I can imagine she was flustered and embarrassed, she probably didn’t know how to react, she had no clue what that person was talking about. Why on earth did I put her in that position?

I wasn’t ready to talk to my mother about it, because never are things so real to me as when I tell her, but I needed a place to share it, I needed feedback and support but not from people in my “real life”. Unfortunately, sometimes there’s a divide that comes between the blogging world and the physical world. This was mine. I could and wanted to share with my blogging friends, friends that only know me, that only interact with me, but I wasn’t and I’m not ready to share some things with people in my life that know and interact with my family and with each other.

I love this blog. I’ve put a lot of myself in this blog. This blog helped me work through and get through much of the husband’s illness, I made good friends through this blog and I reconnected with many old friends and acquaintances. I loved all the comments and emails I got from people both in my “real life” and people I only know through the internet. But I’m shutting it down. I can’t put my mother, or, though she never said anything to me, my mother in law, or my husband or anyone else, in the position to be embarrassed, or uncomfortable, or unhappy by the things I write on here.

I loved being Moomser, so it’s with a heavy heart that I say goodbye. I’m not sure what I’m going to do, whether I’ll start another, more discreet blog, cause I’m a little bit addicted to this blogging lark. I also don’t want to lose the relationships I’ve forged through it, I can pick up the phone and talk to or email my friends and family, not so much with my blogging friends. So if you want to keep in touch drop me a line, in the comments or email and I’ll contact you when I start something back up.

I’ll be posting a Virtual Coffee post tomorrow, with some news of our day to day goings on and last pictures, it’ll be my 37th Virtual Coffee, I’m a little shocked that I kept it up this long! Also, I want to close this blog with a “normal” post, just a regular Moomser post, it’s more fitting I think.

So goodbye for now and thank you for going through this journey with me. Moomser.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Shooting and peeing, an analogy.

The first time I went to the shooting range, my friend gave me some much needed directions as to what not to do with a gun in your hand, one of the things he said was “if you’re going to talk to someone behind you or you want to look around you put the gun down first”.  At first I wondered at this seemingly strange piece of advice, but then the first time I did it I understood his warning, because though you may think you’re only turning your head you’re actually turning your torso shoulders and arms right along with it and that’s how you end up accidently pointing the gun at someone.

Today I realized how similar shooting and peeing are; or rather, guns and penises in this analogy. Because the Boy, he never, ever manages to just pee in the toilet. It gets on the seat (which he invariably forgets to lift up), it gets on the floor, it gets on his socks and only a marginal amount actually hits the toilet bowl. And today I had an epiphany, it’s because he isn’t physically able to just pee, he has to fiddle with the flusher, or talk to his sister, who is, inexplicably, always in there with him, he turns around to see who’s walking past the open (what else?) door, and his torso, shoulders, arms and hips go right along with him. Which all just begs the question: why don’t we just make men pee sitting down?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Blogging and the lessons therein

I started this blog on a whim.
We had a private family blog, which the husband mostly (or rather, practically exclusively) maintains and I occasionally contributed to and then concurrently in 2010 two dear friends started their own blogs which, incidentally, I suggest you visit cause they’re awesome: Nuts about Food and The Nero Chronicles. Their blogs have a focus, a purpose, I had none, but I enjoy writing and I’m a “sharer” so through the power of imitation I started what pretty much amounts to a life blog.

I wanted this blog to be anonymous, but as I said, I’m a sharer, so almost as soon as I started it I shared it on facebook. Thus, though not popular by any stretch of the imagination, this blog became not anonymous and is read, in part, by people I know in “real life”. This has never really been a problem for me, until recently. Sure, at times I found I would inadvertently censor myself or I would think of a possible subject and then decide not to post it because it would infringe on someone’s privacy, but it happened rarely and once I decided not to write it I never gave it another thought.

I was always happy to hear of a friend or acquaintance that visited me here, I felt it was a way to connect (albeit one-sidedly) to people in my life I rarely get to see. And yet now, I sometimes feel restricted by this blog, I constantly wonder whether I’m offending (I’m sure I am, with my anti-Italy posts), whether I’m over-sharing, whether by talking candidly about my life I’m overstepping on the right to privacy of the people in my life.

And so I question whether it wouldn’t have been better to suffer the silence of blogging just for myself while slowly building readership and, more importantly, friendship in the blogging world keeping it separate from my “real” life, thus concurrently protecting my family and maintaining a space for myself, where I could just be myself, and write my thoughts as they exist in my head rather than the version of our thoughts we present to the world. Because despite how candid we think we are, how true to ourselves we want to be, we inevitably censor, tone down, or up, or otherwise modify our reactions, our words, our gestures and actions and expressions depending on who we’re interacting with. It’s human nature.

On the other hand, I wonder if blogging anonymously isn’t just hiding, isn’t being ashamed, isn’t not wanting to own up to who we are. Isn't short-changing the very real, and very important friends one makes on the internet just because one hasn't met them in the physical world. 

I’ve never really cared too much about what others think of me. Of course, I can’t say I don’t care at all, because that would be ridiculous, but I’m not overly concerned if someone doesn’t agree with something I write, in fact, it’s highly likely that someone won’t. But can I make that decision for the other people in my life?
Sometimes I wish that I had a specific theme to my blog, a food blog, a design blog, an arts and crafts blog (an impossibility, as I’m neither artsy nor craftsy) but this is a “me” blog and I don’t live in a bubble. Also, I’ve got that whole over-sharing thing going on.

I keep going in circles.

So the lesson I learned from blogging? There are limits in everything we do, limits imposed by society, limits imposed by our fears, limits imposed by our own good sense, and sometimes limits imposed in what we write, about ourselves and about our lives. 
Can I live with these limits? 
I’m not so sure anymore. So where does a blogger go from here?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Funny and frustrating things that make me question my sanity

On the funny side: For whatever reason that is incomprehensible to me, the Boy has managed to bang his head on some surface in the kitchen every single day this week right before leaving for school. I have no idea how he does it, one minute we’re all: ok, shoes on, finish your juice, let’s go! And then: whack! And screaming and wailing.
Yesterday he banged his head on the counter, today he banged his head on the door. He was walking backwards. That could be why he didn’t see the door… but why was he walking backwards? Every day, I tell you. I just don’t get it, and I hope it’s just this week or his teachers are going to call social services on me.

On the frustrating side: One of the reasons I stopped working when I had kids was because I was exhausted at the idea of yelling and coaxing people to do stuff all day only to come home and have to do the same thing with my kids. Because, honest to God, I don’t understand how people in Italy work. We’re buying a house, in point of fact we’re buying a stable from the 1600’s and converting it to a house… this actually sounds way more historic and romantic than what it is in reality. We’ve been having some delays on the actual buying part but as the bureaucracy in Italy is biblically long we’ve decided to go ahead and get all the plans ready for the restructuring and hand them in to the proper authorities so they can take their sweet time to give us approval and let us start the works. What I don’t understand is this: I’ve been having to call the architect to task weekly, he makes excuses, he sheepishly tells me he’s sorry and there will be no more delays, he calls my husband – because apparently I’m too scary – when a delay that’s not his fault happens, today after I called him he told me that the plans I was supposed to see yesterday will be ready on Monday. I don’t get it, I’m not his mother and yet I feel like it, with the coaxing, the wheedling, the negotiating and the yelling. And this is what any type of construction work (or really any type of work where you need to get anything done) is like in Italy. Why can’t people just do what they say they’ll do? I’m already exhausted at the idea of what the next few months of my life will be like.