Monday, August 31, 2009


"Trees grow better after a fire. It let's the light in." - unknown

My daughter has been sick and cranky the last week, and now I know why she was so cranky. I now have her sore throat. Yesterday I just felt lethargic and terrible. Today is worse.

Aside from all that, I do feel like I am coming out of a long and terrible fire, or some sort of natural disaster. I just feel worn out.

Some days I can see that things will be better someday, and other days it just seems like I will be miserable forever.

Yesterday my husband and I had our first good talk about getting divorced. We were finally able to talk without fighting and even made a few jokes. He knew I was sick and went to the store for me and brought take-out Thai for dinner. I really appreciated that.

But the fact remains that things are irreparably broken between us, and there seems nothing left but to divorce. I am really hoping that yesterday was a sign of things to come and that we can get through this as peacefully as possible.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Some wisdom from Michael J. Fox

Last week at church, the pastor read a quote from Michael J. Fox, so I made a note to myself to go back and read some of what he wrote. She actually talked about acceptance, but there were a lot of good things on this page, so I included a few of them here. I also thought it was interesting that he talks about stopping drinking, and how that was critical for him.

"That’s one of the things the illness has given me: It’s a degree of death. There’s a certain amount of loss, and whenever you have a loss, it’s a step toward death. So if you can accept loss, you can accept the fact that there’s gonna be the big loss. Once you can accept that, you can accept anything. So then I think, Well, given that that’s the case, let’s tip myself a break. Let’s tip everybody a break."

"My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations."

"Acceptance is the key to everything. Which isn’t to say that I’m resigned to it, or that I’ve given up on it, or that I don’t think I have any effect on the outcome of it. It’s just that, as a reality, I get it."

"If you don’t have someone calling you on your shit, you’re lost."

"Discipline is just doing the same thing the right way whether anyone’s watching or not."

"I make no bones about the fact that I stopped drinking. That was the key to everything. Until I did that, I just couldn’t have the clarity."

"I had to choose not to party anymore. I could’ve chosen to continue doing that, but that would’ve been destructive. Who wants to be a cliché?"

"No matter how much money you have, you can lose it."

"No matter how much fame you have, it’s not something that belongs to you. If I’m famous, that doesn’t belong to me -- that belongs to you. If you can’t remember who I am, I’m no longer famous."

- Michael J Fox

Read more:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

This made me laugh!

Today was a rough day, but this actually made me laugh, hard.

Wife Shames Cheating Husband During Rush Hour
Aug 27th 2009 By Emerald Catron

Burning shame combined with the August morning sun and about a gazillion highly amused stares was the punishment one man endured for cheating on his wife.

William Taylor of Centreville, Va., got caught getting a little action on the side when he forgot to remove the incriminating evidence from his cell phone.

After finding the proof, his wife doled out a rather interesting punishment -- she forced him to stand at one of the busiest intersections in the D.C. metropolitan area wearing a sandwich board telling everyone he's a cheater. Consider it a modern-day version of a scarlet letter -- humiliating, but less catastrophic than some scorned women's destructive revenge tactics.

"I thought she was kidding, but she was serious," Taylor said.
"I figured I got to do what I got to do to makes things right. So here I am."

His punishment is set to last all week. Each day when morning rush hour winds down, William gets a text from his wife, giving him permission to stop the public humiliation for the day, although repeat sightings of Taylor suggest this is at least a week-long punishment. Those daily texts will probably make him happier than all the ones he got from his mistress combined.

And here is something very interesting: The Poll - over 100,000 people responded.

Is this a fair punishment? Yes, the cheater deserves what he gets!
55% (61,221)
No, his punishment should be a lot worse than a little embarrassment.
33% (35543)
No, this is cruel and unusual punishment.
12% (13629)

Wedding Anniversary

Today is my wedding anniversary. Like the night before my wedding, I did not sleep much last night.

I kept thinking back to that night, the Rehearsal Dinner, and the sleepless night that followed.

Sometimes as women, we fail to follow our gut, and it kills us.

My father-in-law is the same entitled, ego-maniac that he was then. And that night it came out in full force. And looking back, I wonder, why I failed to respond to that sign and took the easy way out.

The rehearsal dinner was a disaster. My father-in-law started ranting and raving because things were moving too slow for his taste.

If I could do it again, I would immediately ask him to stop when the complaining first started, before it became fervent.

Instead of waiting for my husband or my father (the 2 men sitting at our table of 6) to tell him to SHUT THE FUCK UP, I would have done it myself.

We did not even oppen the Prosecco. My father-in-law wanted to go home. Looking back, we had the money then, and I wish I had told my in-laws to go home and paid the tab myself. I wish I would have stayed and toasted with our guests and enjoyed the evening to the fullest.

The next morning, when my father-in-law called to aplogize, I wish I had not taken his call. Or I wish I had not told him it was OK. His actions have never been OK.

Looking back, I wish I would have seen this night for what it was. A sign of things to come. On some level, I knew that, and that is what kept me up most of the night.

Family is everything to me, and I have a great one. But I should have realize that I could never be happy in this family. Family permeates everything else. And the same bad traits usually come out in your spouse at some point.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

His Eye is on the Sparrow

I love hymns, and this one has always been especially comforting to me. Every time I think things are pretty dismal, somehow everything seems to work out just fine.

Why should I feel discouraged
and why should the shadows come
why should my heart feel lonely
and long for heaven and home

when Jesus is my portion
a constant friend is He
His eye is on the sparrow
and I know He watches over me
His eye is on the sparrow
and I know He watches over me

I sing because I'm happy
I sing because I'm free
His eye is on the sparrow
and I know He watches me
He watches me
His eye is on the sparrow
and I know He watches
I know He watches,
I know He watches me.

I sing because I'm happy
I sing because I'm free
His eye is on the the sparrow
and I know He watches me
He watches me

His eye is on the sparrow
and I know he watches me
He watches me
He watches me
I know He watches me

Deniese Williams sings it beautifully:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Broken Pieces

I attended a Traditional Jewish wedding on Sunday with my dear friend T. I had never been to a Jewish wedding and I thought it was both beautiful and very meaningful. There were several traditions that I really liked.

At the end of the ceremony, the groom breaks a glass. Here is one of many explanations I found on the Internet.

There are various interpretations of why we do this and where the breaking glass Jewish wedding tradition came from. Here are a few of the most popular explanations:

Temple: Breaking of the Jewish wedding glass is a reminder of the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem.

Superstitious: A loud noise is thought to drive away evil spirits.

Sadness/Joy: A reminder that even in times of great joy that there is sadness. That life will bring sadness as well as joy.

Hymen: A breaking of the glass represents symbolically the breaking of the hymen, and the consummation of the marriage.

Fragile: The glass symbolizes the love and relationship of the couple and is fragile, so it must be cared for and not broken. That sometimes a single thoughtless act, breech of trust, or infidelity can damage a marriage in ways that are very difficult to undo - just as it would be so difficult to undo the breaking of this glass. Knowing that this marriage is permanent, the bride and groom should strive to show each other the love and respect befitting their spouse and love of their life.

Broken World: A reminder that although the couple came together as a single union, the world as a whole is broken and needs mending.

Marriage is Forever: A broken Jewish wedding glass is forever changed, likewise, the couple are forever changed by the marriage and take on a new form.

Be Fruitful: A hope that your happiness will be as plentiful as the shards of glass…or that your children will be as plentiful as the shards of glass.

In jest, some explain that this is the last time the groom gets to "put his foot down."

It was a remarkable wedding and celebration and I was very glad to be there amongst so many dear friends.

I looked through my own wedding album with my daughter yesterday and many of the same wonderful friends were there celebrating with me on my day. It seems amazing that everyone looks so happy. So much has changed.

My son has lost his chubby cheeks. My grandpa has died. My great grandpa has died. My mom's husband has died. My Matron of Honor's father has died. Two of my sisters are divorced. My relationship with my in-laws is irreparably broken. My husband has relapsed multiple times. He doesn't even look like the same person. At our wedding he looks healthy. He has not looked healthy for a long time now.

I am trying to find some good shots of my wedding dress. I have been trying to sell it unsuccessfully on eBay for weeks now. I am trying to sell everything I can so we can get by until my income is steady and good enough to support all three of us.

It's funny the things that you hold onto and you think you can't do without for so long. I didn't ever think I would sell my wedding rings. I was so attached to those diamonds. But now I see that all these pretty things have cost me so much.

My daughter broke her Tiffany China plate I bought her as a baby a few weeks ago. It made me realize that even the things that we love, are sentimental about, that we cling to and don't want to let go of can be taken away in an instant. So it is better to realize that and just let go willingly. What are all these things if I can't take care of my children?

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Virtues of Selfishness

I had to call to cancel appointments for my son today. There is just no money and I am just going to have to face that fact and stick to essentials for a while. My son needed to have two cavities filled tomorrow. It broke my heart to call and cancel. I broke down when I called his counselor. He needs those services. He needs someone to talk to about what he is going through. We all do.

I will never forget the position my husband has put us in.

Someday I know I will dig us out of this hole and we will be OK financially. But I never thought we would be in this position and I have worked too hard to be here. My husband has been reckless, careless and selfish. And he still doesn't take responsibility for it. He never took on another job. He just tries to blame me. He says I should have gone back to work full-time 8 months ago. I never caused this. And taking care of my kids is the most important work, the most important job that I will ever do. So yes, I will go back to work, but they will pay the price. We are always paying the price for his selfishness.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Measure of a Man

"The measure of a man is how well he provides for his children."

-Sidney Poitier

I often think about this quote. This was the last book I gave my grandfather before he died. I believe I also gave a copy to my husband, but I don't know what ever became of it. I read most of the book sitting by my grandpa's bed as he was dying, during the times when he did not feel like talking.

My family isn't a money family. But one thing the men in my family always did was take care of their own.

Thanks Mom!

I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge my mother. I have been so grateful for all the help she has provided over the years with the kids. She has truly been my partner and helped me in an amazing capacity. She always gives much more than I could ever ask anyone for. She has been instrumental in my transition to going back to work full-time, which has been hard on all three of us. Without her help, I don't know what I would do. So, THANK YOU MOM! You are truly a saint and the kids and I love you to death!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Kids for Sale

So my husband still will not give us a dime. And I know he has money because I saw his pay stub yesterday. So, I called him on it and he said he had to give $1500 to his dad. (And the rest of it?!)

Seriously? His multi-millionaire father is going to get money before his own children?

So here is his response:

"My family was willing to help us through this tough time at one point, but you have ruined that, for both of us!

I asked him the other day why he won't help his grand kids and he said he probably would if he was allowed to even know them. You have cut them out of the kids life to prove that you could."


I will not put them in harms way so that my entitled husband can avoid working like a real man.

No thank you.

We will be just fine. And someday, the kids will figure this all out on their own. They don't need me or anyone else to tell them. They have seen it before their own eyes.

Again and again and again and again.

I realize that it is much easier to control an addict, but I will NEVER allowed my children to be subjected to the abuse of that family just so they can breed another generation of addicts and money whores.

Ramadan Karim

Ramadan has begun so I thought I would reflect on a few of my goals for the month.

Last year I was not able to fast the full time because of migraines and blood sugar issues. I was very underweight so I am hoping this year will be better. I want to try to fast a much as possible because this is an important aspect of the month. The idea is to really feel empathy for those who are truly unable to eat because of their financial restrictions. And you can't really feel this without experiencing it yourself.

I also want to focus on my diet. I am very lax about eating pork lately. I used to follow this dietary restriction (similar to Jewish laws) but I have just been lazy. So no pork and no alcohol. Both of these should be very good for me. Another aspect of Ramadan is to clean out your body. I always feel great when the month is over.

I hope to read the entire Koran again and get back to my prayers. I pray in my head a lot, but I have not been doing the traditional Muslim prayers, which are beautiful. I have heard it said that in Christianity, prayer is about getting your needs met and in Islam it is about worshiping God. I find this very true and I think I can say that as a Christian-Muslim. There are beautiful aspects of both faiths and I am very grateful to be a part of both.

I also want to spend time with other Muslim families. At night I'd like to make some special dinners for my kids and other guests. This is a wonderful time to reconnect with some people who are very special to me.

Lastly, I am really hoping to refrain from arguing with my husband. This is a huge drain on me. When you show hatred or contempt, you break your fast. The traditional response when someone tries to bait you during Ramadan is to say "I am fasting". As many times as it takes for the person to leave you alone.

I am really struggling to both speak my truth and be as kind as possible. It is difficult when my husband is constantly reading my blog. But I have challenged myself to do it anyway. I will try to stay on the positive side this month. My nerves are shot and there is no money in the bank. So perhaps this will be the most trying test for me.

The following appeared on
Headline: Observing Ramadan
Date: Aug 22, 2009

"Muslim faithful throughout the world are currently observing the holy month of Ramadan. Observant Muslims participate in fasting (sawm), one of the five pillars of their faith, this entire Lunar month (this year it extends from September 1st to the 30th). Eating, drinking, smoking and sexual activity is prohibited from dawn until sunset, when the fast is broken with the evening meal called Iftar. Local customs define varying traditions, including differing types of food used to break the daily fast. The fasting is meant to teach a person patience, humility and sacrifice, to set aside time to ask forgiveness, practice self-restraint, and pray for guidance in the future."

To see this recommendation, click on the link below or cut and paste it
into a Web browser:

The picture above is from this site and there are many other beautiful pictures featured here showing Muslims during Ramadan around the world.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Bouncing Checks

The check for $500 from my husband just bounced. Second time this week. And he wonders why I am stressed out and can't find anything good about our relationship. What a way to live.

He still tries to claim he is sober, and guess what? I don't know many 38-year-olds who can't pull their act together.

And instead of taking responsibility for his error, he basically said he didn't believe me and wanted me to email my online banking statement page to prove it to him.

My son just offered to give me money out of his own bank account. He broke my heart. He has been waiting every day to buy the Halloween costume he wants and every day I have to tell him we can not afford it right now.

Then he told me, "Mom, if you can't be married to dad anymore, you could get divorced and marry someone else."

I learned that from you

I remember the windows rolled down and the wind in my hair
Driving 'round in your Daddy's old Chevy
Like we were going somewhere

We thought that summer would last us forever
Going steady was just something you do
I didn't know much about love
I learned that from you

Now those were some good times
Lately they don't seem to last
I guess I'm not nearly as strong as a drink in your glass
And the nights just get later
I can stay up and wait or just go on to bed like I do
I never knew nothing about lonely
I learned from that you

And I learned how to kiss on a ferris wheel
And I made wishes at wishing wells
And I fell into that fairytale too
And I know that love ain't so easy
But we tried, didn't we baby
It's alright
Some dreams weren't meant to come true
I learned that from you

One night while the whole world was turning
I left you a note
And I told you that I'd always miss you
Then I let you go
I'm living outside of some town I ain't heard of
And I think about the boy I knew
I didn' t know you could fall out of love
I learned that from you

And I learned how to kiss on a ferris wheel
And I made wishes at wishing wells
And I fell into that fairytale too
And I know that love ain't so easy
But we tried, didn't we baby
It's alright
Some dreams weren't meant to come true
I learned that from you

I remember the windows rolled down
And the wind..

- By Sara Evans

This is an older song, but you can google it and find it on utube and other sites. Here is one, but it's not great:

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I am not a whore, or a clown

Tonight we went to a live concert in our community as a family. My husband has been promising every day to give us some money to pay our bills, but every day there is some excuse why he can not. So today, once again, he did not. He deposited $500, which does not remotely begin to cover our bills. And obviously, he must have known earlier in the day that he would not meet his obligation, once again, but he did not bother to tell me. So I checked my balance and saw what he had deposited on his way over here. And I was not pleased. I am beyond not pleased.

He could support us, if he wanted to.

He just choses not to. And I am SO SICK of all his excuses.

So once he was here and he had not bothered to respond to my text about this issue, I lost it.

I don't understand it.

I will never understand it.

And as I told him, I have lost every last ounce of any last teeny bit of respect I ever had for him and his family.

He is feeling so sorry for himself because he is having to work and I don't "appreciate him enough". Um, where were you that year or two you took off and did absolutely nothing but drugs and drink and fuck women? And now you want me to feel sorry for you?

I told him to write his own blog and see how sorry people feel for him. I don't feel any sympathy for him anymore. None. I have wasted 7+ years feeling sorry for him. I feel sorry for my kids now. I should have felt sorry from them for the get-go, and not this lost-cause of a man who has shit all over us.

I asked him to leave and he refused. He pushed his way into the evening we had planned with another unsuspecting family. And since we are the "country club type" there was no issue what-so-ever while we were all together.

But make no mistake.

While I may have had a smile on my face, I was thinking that he was a rotten SOB.

He texted me today about my "boyfriend" and I responded that NO MAN is going to be fool enough to take on all his debt, SO DREAM ON!!

I think that is really his hope. To just whore me out. And like I have told him numerous times, if he and his dad thought that they could make an extra nickel out of whoring my daughter and I out, they would do it in an instant.

There is no doubt in my mind.

Because his family is just ALL about the money.

So, after my husband did not perceive that I was putting on a good enough show, he made some comment to me after dropping us off about me not giving him the right smile to get a deposit in my bank account tomorrow.

And I am sorry, but I am not going to play that game.

I am not a clown, or whore. And supporting your children and your family should not come down to any of that.

Stupid Financial Mistakes

I was very glad to see that even Suze Orman has done dumb things with her money. If you get a chance, check out the latest issue of O Magazine. My father-in-law LOVES to throw Suze Orman in my face all the time, even though, by listening to him talk, I don't think he has ever read a damned thing she has written.

She is however, a favorite of mine. And I HAVE read most of what she has written.

So, I have been thinking about a lot of my own financial mistakes after reading her article. And here are a few.

1) Cashing out 3 401ks. I think this is a bad choice for any reason. But in my case, it was really a poor choice. I often think about just how much money those might be worth now, even with a down market.

2) Ever taking on any credit card debt. I have been a mortgage broker for 12 years, so I should know better. Credit cards are NEVER your friends. The interest rates and fees are terrible, and once you start using them, they are an addictive habit that is very hard to break.

3) Paying for a boyfriend to travel through Europe. This is one of my worst ever. I flew to Europe with a Bo to finish my MBA, with the assumption that we would both pay our way. Once it came time to pay the first hotel bill, he informed me that he had no money. I should have ditched him in Milan. Instead, I ended up very stressed out and paying for a 6 week trip for two that would have been a stretch for me alone. Glad I am not 25 anymore!

4) Quitting work to raise my kids. I have mixed feelings about this one, because I don't think there is a more important job in the world than raising your kids. However, with an addict, past or present, there can be no safety net. You have to be able to depend on yourself 100%.

5) Rolling debt into a mortgage. I especially am not happy that I rolled in my husband's first rehab and other debt to his father into this. Since the market has gone down SIGNIFICANTLY we now owe more on our house than it was worth. At the time, I thought, no problem, we probably have a couple hundred thousand dollars in equity. That is never something you should count on.

6) Not pushing for child support IMMEDIATELY once my son was born. This set a very bad precedent with my husband. Numerous people told me to do this, but I think I was scared he would just walk out on us all together. Instead, I took what I could get the first year, which was very, very minimal. There was entirely too much stress on me - and the biggest loser in all of this was my son.

7) Thinking that all people are like my grandparents. I was talking this over with a friend the other day. I have always been told that I am too trusting of people, even by my grandparents. I think I always idealized their relationship and the way they were with each other. There was no mine or yours - everything was both of theirs, and they lovingly shared it. This is fine if you are with someone who shares your values, but I have not often been with that type of person. So, I guess what I am saying is that I should have #1 choosen my partners more carefully or #2 been more protective and careful of my own money.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Ramadan will begin in a few days, and I thought this was a very good press release from an organization I am involved with.

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
The Muslim community in America and around the world will begin the month-long fast of Ramadhan (rom-a-don) very soon. Ramadhan will either start on Friday August 21st or Saturday August 22nd depending on moon sighting. Ramadhan is the month on the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims abstain from food, drink and other sensual pleasures from break of dawn to sunset. The fast is performed to learn discipline, self-restraint and generosity, while obeying God's commandments. Fasting (along with the declaration of faith, daily prayers, charity, and pilgrimage to Mecca) is one of the "five pillars" of Islam. Because Ramadhan is a lunar month, it begins about eleven days earlier each year.


Fasting is compulsory for those who are mentally and physically fit, past the age of puberty, in a settled situation (not traveling), and are sure fasting is unlikely to cause real physical or mental injury.

EXEMPTIONS FROM FASTING (some exemptions are optional):
Children under the age of puberty (Young children are encouraged to fast as much as they are able.)
People who are mentally incapacitated or not responsible for their actions
Those who are too old to fast
The sick
Travelers who are on journeys of more than about fifty miles
Pregnant women and nursing mothers
Women who are menstruating
Those who are temporarily unable to fast must make up the missed days at another time.

Special prayers, called taraweeh, are performed after the daily nighttime prayer.
Lailat ul-Qadr ("Night of Power" or "Night of Destiny")marks the anniversary of the night on which the Prophet Muhammad first began receiving revelations from God, through the angel Gabriel. Muslims believe Lailat ul-Qadr is one of the last odd-numbered nights of Ramadhan.

Breaking the daily fast with a drink of water and dates
Reading the entire Quran during Ramadhan (For this purpose, the Quran is divided into 30 units.)
Social visits are encouraged.

EID UL-FITR ("Festival of Fast-Breaking") Prayers at the End of Ramadhan
Eid begins with special morning prayers on the first day of Shawwal, the month following Ramadhan on the Islamic lunar calendar, and lasts for three days.
It is forbidden to perform an optional fast during Eid because it is a time for relaxation.
During Eid Muslims greet each other with the phrase "Eid Mubarak" (eed-moo-bar-ak), meaning "blessed Eid" and "taqabballah ta'atakum," or "may God accept your deeds."
There are an estimated 10-15 thousand Muslims in Oregon and SW Washington and about 7-10 million Muslims in America and some 1.5 billion worldwide.


Q: How did the fast during Ramadhan become obligatory for Muslims?
A: The revelations from God to the Prophet Muhammad that would eventually be compiled as the Quran began during Ramadhan in the year 610, but the fast of Ramadhan did not become a religious obligation for Muslims until the year 624. The obligation to fast is explained in the second chapter of the Quran: "O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint...Ramadhan is the (month) in which was sent down the Quran, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting..." (Chapter 2, verses 183 and 185)

Q: What do Muslims believe they gain from fasting?
A: The main benefits of Ramadhan are an increased compassion for those in need of the necessities of life, a sense of self-purification and reflection and a renewed focus on spirituality. Muslims also appreciate the feeling of togetherness shared by family and friends throughout the month. Perhaps the greatest practical benefit is the yearly lesson in self-restraint and discipline that can carry forward to other aspects of a Muslim's life such as work and education.

Q: Do people normally lose weight during Ramadhan?
A: Some people do lose weight, but others may not. It is recommended that meals eaten during Ramadhan be light, but most people can't resist sampling special sweets and foods associated with Ramadhan.

Q: Why does Ramadhan begin on a different day each year?
A: Because Ramadhan is a lunar month, it begins about eleven days earlier each year. Throughout a Muslim's lifetime, Ramadhan will fall both during winter months, when the days are short, and summer months, when the days are long and the fast is more difficult. In this w ay, the difficulty of the fast is evenly distributed between Muslims living in the northern and southern hemispheres.

Q: What is Lailat ul-Qadr?
A: Lailat ul-Qadr ("Night of Power") marks the anniversary of the night on which the Prophet Muhammad first began receiving revelations from God, through the angel Gabriel. An entire chapter in the Quran deals with this night: "We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power: and what will explain to thee what the Night of Power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by God's permission, on every errand. Peace!...This until the rise of morn." (Chapter 97) Muslims believe Lailat ul-Qadr is one of the last odd-numbered nights of Ramadhan.

Q: Isn't it difficult to perform the fast in America?
A: In many ways, fasting in American society is easier than fasting in areas where the climate is extremely hot. This year at least, the number of daylight hours will be less than when Ramadhan occurs during the spring or summer. In Muslim countries, most people are observing the fast, so there are fewer temptations such as luncheon meetings, daytime celebrations and offers of food from friends. Many American M uslims would prefer a daytime work shift during Ramadhan so that they may break the fast with their families and attend evening prayers.

Q: How can non-Muslim co-workers and friends help someone who is fasting?
A: Employers, co-workers and teachers can help by understanding the significance of Ramadhan and by showing a willingness to make minor allowances for its physical demands. Special consideration can be given to such things as requests for vacation time, the need for flexible early morning or evening work schedules and lighter homework assignments. It is also very important that Muslim workers and students be given time to attend Eid prayers at the end of Ramadhan. Eid is as important to Muslims as Christmas and Yom Kippur are to Christians and Jews. A small token such as a card (there are Eid cards available from Muslim bookstores) or baked goods given to a Muslim co-worker during Eid ul-Fitr would also be greatly appreciated.

Hospital workers should be aware that injections and oral medications may break the fast. Patients should be given the opportunity to decide whether or not their condition exempts them from fasting.

Islam in Oregon and SW Washington --- The Facts

There are an estimated 10-15 thousand Muslims in Oregon and SW Washington. The Muslim community in Oregon and SW Washington is made up of people from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds and national origins.

The US population of Muslims is 7-10 Million.

Muslims are active in all walks of life.

There are close to 15 Centers (Masajid and Organizations), and Islamic schools in Oregon.

There are over 2,000 mosques, Islamic schools and Islamic centers in America.


ALLAH - Allah is the Arabic word for "God." It is the same word Arabic-speaking Christians use when referring to God. Allah is not the20"Muslim God," but is the same God worshipped by Christians and Jews.

FUNDAMENTALIST - Muslims view the label "fundamentalist" as stereotypical and ill defined. Muslims also object to the use of terms such as "radical" and "extremist." These terms lack definition and are seen as pejorative. More neutral and objective terms include "Islamist" or "Islamic activist." If
the person in question is involved in a criminal act, name that act, not the faith of the person who commits the crime.

JIHAD - "Jihad" does not mean "holy war." Literally, jihad means to strive, struggle and exert effort. It is a central and broad Islamic concept that includes struggle against evil inclinations within oneself, struggle to improve the quality of life in society, struggle in the battlefield for self-defense (e.g., - having a standing army for national defense), or fighting against tyranny or oppression. The equivalent of the term "holy war" in Arabic is "harb muqaddasah," a term that cannot be found in the Quran or the Prophet's sayings (hadith). There is no such thing as "holy war" in Islam, as some careless translators may imply. It is rather a loaded medieval concept that did not arise from within the Muslim community. Because of this myth's frequent repetition, most people in the West accept it as if it were a fact.

WOMEN'S RIGHTS - Under Islamic law, women have always had the right to own p roperty, receive an education and otherwise take part in community life. The Islamic rules for modest dress apply to women and men equally. (Men cannot expose certain parts of their bodies, wear gold or silk, etc.) If a particular society oppresses women, it does so in spite of Islam, not because of it.

Stretched Thin

Things seem to be slowly moving along. Money is very tight and my husband and I seem to be arguing off and on about that, but mostly things are calm. I am about to start the month of Ramadan and I am looking forward to start this time of reflection. I have started working more and that seems to be going well so far. I have been pretty stressed out but I am trying to still stay solid for my kids. I am angry that they always seem to take the brunt of everything, but I certainly don't want any of that to come from me. So, I am doing my best, but I feel like I am stretched pretty thin.

Monday, August 17, 2009

In Return...

I have a migraine. I am so completely stressed out and sick of all of this. My husband has been dragging out giving us money for bills for weeks and weeks. Every day it is going to be the next day. Tell that to the people who just draft money out of my account. Tell that to anyone we owe money to. Bills are due when they are due. Not when he can pull his act together.

This is no way to live.

I am so angry that I did not divorce him several years ago. Instead, I was an idiot and stuck by him through one more rehab and all the shit that has come out of these last several years.

And what for?

To live like this? To be so indebted and enstrangled?

What for?

This is what I get in return?

"Being good to somebody is just like being mean to somebody. Risky. You don't get nothing for it." - Toni Morrison, Sula

Ugh, I just want to scream.

What am I possibly supposed to be getting out of this relationship??

My husband keeps throwing it in my face that people stay married through thick and thin, good times and bad, for richer for poorer.

But people don't stay married to get shit all over, repeatedly.

Wayne Dyer

Yesterday, I watched a Wayne Dyer DVD that I had not seen before. I'm a huge fan of his. I love his translation of the Tao Te Ching and I read Your Erroneous Zones as a teenager - and just picked up another copy so I could read it again!

One of the things he spoke about is how most people walk around waiting to be offended. Instead of listening when someone speaks and taking in their opinion, we want to get upset by it and take it personally. He recommended just taking it in and saying something like, that's an interesting way to look at it, I hadn't considered that.


...something to think about...

Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later: the violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk..

6 minutes: A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes: A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.

45 minutes: The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

1 hour: He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities. The questions raised: in a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made.... How many other things are we missing.

-Author unknown

Saturday, August 15, 2009

We are ALL whores

One thing I have been thinking about a lot lately is the idea of all of us women being "whores".

And I HATE that word.

I think it is BS connotation. I think that some women do what they have to do and then they are "blessed" with that wonderful label. And it does not seem to matter at what age we take on that role or for what reason, we are still whores. And NO ONE should endure that.

No one. And I mean NO ONE chooses to be a WHORE.

There are some powerful examples. Slumdog Millionaire is one. Brilliant film. Or the wonderful book, Blindness, which was also recently made into a movie. (But not nearly as as good.)

But I read a lot and I have seen a lot. And I can say, with confidence, that no woman truly chooses that.

Women, for the most part, on a world-wide scheme, are given their roles.

And this is sad, but true.

But more disturbing to me, in the Western World at least, that when women do not fit into the "roles" they are supposed to play, they become "whores".

And I just think that is shitty.

First of all, I would like to see any man who is quick to put this label on any women, live in the circumstances that promote this position. I would just love to see that. Because any man would kill himself before he had to exploit his sex to provide for his family. Yet, I have yet to see a woman who would not do ANYTHING to take care of her kids, or her family. And if that includes whoring herself out, I do not know any woman who would not do that, when it came down to it.

So why is the word WHORE or SLUT used like it is an insult?

Because in my mind, that sort of sacrifice should not be downgraded. It should be respected.

Because if you are going to make that sort of sacrifice to save your family, at the very least , they should kiss your ass. But it does not happen that way. Instead, the woman makes the sacrifice, feeds the family, and gets called horrible names.

I had a long talk with my sister over the course of the last two days. And many things have come out of it.

But one thing that was pressing for me, is that my sister said, "I thought J was always OK with who you are as a sexual person?"

And I thought he was too. We had discussed that at length over the years. The virtues of a man who did not judge you or perceive you as a slut because you have had multiple partners or because you like sex. And that was all good for a while.

But as soon as things started to go awry, I was suddenly a slut, a whore, and all the other names that go along with that.

And I think it is such a double standard.

Men are never penalized for liking sex. Or having multiple lovers.

But if you are a woman. You can either LIE, or be a whore. And lets be clear about this. Unless you have only had one lover your entire life, for the most part, you can still be called a whore.

And is that really fair?

Or true?

So I think, that perhaps, we should all start being honest with our sexuality, and be willing to accept the labels that come with it, realizing that with our honesty, we will start our own revolution in exterminating the degrading position that millions of women are put into around the world.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Does Power Really Go to Your Head?

In the 1980s, before she started studying the nature of power, psychologist Deborah Gruenfeld, PhD, did public relations for magazines. There was one editor whose sense of entitlement she'll never forget: "He had a refrigerator by his desk with only two things in it—cut raw onions and a bottle of vodka. And while we were meeting he'd lean over and take a drink of the vodka and eat the onions. He never offered to share, and nobody ever questioned it."

Now a professor of leadership and organizational behavior at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford, Gruenfeld says the man's behavior was a perfect example of what some studies have shown—that people in positions of power are more likely to focus on their own needs and goals while disregarding what others are experiencing. (In one experiment, the empowered people ate the extra cookie from a plate, chewed with their mouths open, and scattered crumbs.) Having authority, Gruenfeld and her colleagues have found, tends to make you favor people who are useful to you, regardless of whether they're likeable; it also inflates the sense that you can influence random events, such as rolling a die. And it makes you less inhibited socially and sexually.

In other experiments, Cameron Anderson, PhD, an associate professor of organizational behavior and industrial relations at UC Berkeley, discovered that power made people positively overestimate how others viewed them. And Gerben van Kleef, PhD, an associate professor of social psychology at the University of Amsterdam, found that high-powered people were less compassionate. Interestingly, researchers say their findings apply to both sexes.

"Power definitely transforms the way you approach the world," says Adam Galinsky, PhD, a professor of management and organizations at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and one of Gruenfeld's collaborators. And that transformation can be a good thing: The traits power enhances—being goal-oriented, self-interested, and comfortable taking risks—are potent leadership qualities when wielded responsibly. "The trick," says Galinsky, "is to harness power without letting it harness you."

— Jonathan Vatner

A River of Truth

"A river of Truth Ends at a dam of bias - Truth floods and moves on."

- Gloria Steinem

I actually met Gloria Steinem while I was an undergraduate. I didn't fully understand who she was yet, but she did inspire me to take more women's studies classes. What I do remember is that she is teeny-tiny and was very kind and gracious. She signed one of her books for me, and I have always treasured it. I hope to meet her again someday!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My Son is Eating his Shirts

Well another day without a dime from my husband.

No big surprise there.

The surprising thing was instead of taking responsibility for it (wait, no surprise!) he decided to accuse me once again of some sort of indiscretion.

This time he brought up some dinner I had last year while we were separated with a dear friend (who happens to be an ex). Somehow, he seemed to know some of the specifics of our conversation. But there was also a lot of BS in there and accusations of things that never happened.

As I reminded him, we were separated and I SHOULD HAVE filed for divorce. So even if something HAD happened, it was NONE OF HIS DAMNED BUSINESS.

So, among the 50 texts from him today, here are some of the highlights.

"Do you really think that with all the resource available to me that I don't' know exactly where you have been and what you have done while you were there?"

Creepy! Could you be any more of a crazy, lying spy? Sounds just like my father-in-law to me!!

And, with all the resources available to you, maybe you should consider taking care of your kids. Maybe all your "resources" should be used for more than just Rehab and spying on your wife. After all these years of spying, that's what you found? That I had dinner one time with a friend?

Whooooohoooooo! Maybe I need to live it up more!!

Then, he missed yet another visitation with his kids.

"I'm not going to come tonight because I think we have had a bad day, and I don't want to make it any worse."

Hmmm, you think you could have maybe told me that before-hand instead of 15 minutes after the kids were expecting you?

Hmmm, you think you could make it tonight after being 45 minutes late your last visit.

Yeah, you are not using. I'm sure you are COMPLETELY SOBER!

And here's one of the best:

"I am the one taking care of our kids financially. I always will. You, I'm done with.

I asked you a few months ago not to make me hate you.

Today, I do. You win.

I'm done. Do whatever you want! I'm done.

You never loved me, and I will know that for the rest of my life.

You gave me two wonderful children, and I will always be grateful for that.

Beyond that you failed as a wife!!"

Yeah, great.

If you are so grateful for your children, try taking care of them.

Try showing up when you are supposed to.

Try to keep your financial commitments.

The picture above is one of my son's shirts. Almost all of them look like this now. No, we have not been buying used shirts from a thrift store. At one time we had some money and bought him nice clothes. But these days, his anxiety causes him to constantly suck and chew on the collars of all his shirts. And just about all of them look this way now. He literally tears them apart.

And I am the one who takes him to counseling every week.

I am the one who takes care of these kids night and day.

I am the one who has sucked up and done everything.

And then, I get to be told that I failed as a wife.

Well, ask my kids who failed.

Starting Over

I wish I could start my life over again.

I would do so many things different.

I did not sleep again last night. My husband had sat down with me and said that he would give me money on the 5th and the 20th so we would not have to argue about money anymore. Here it is the 13th and still nothing. Just broken promises every day. When I stated the obvious this morning he said, "Please try not to talk to me like that."

I wish I had never stopped working. I wish I had never married my husband. I wish I had not allowed our expenses to grow as they did. I wish I had never believed a word he said to me.

I am so tired of starting over. Especially starting over in the ditch. I see very little hope right now with anything.

I have a terrible headache and I am on edge. My kids sense that and they are whiney and irritable too. I hate the situation we are in. I haven't wanted to go back to work full-time because that is just one more thing my kids will have to deal with but it seems like that is the only option and even then there will not be enough money to cover our expenses.

But not to worry, I am sure that my father-in-law will always make sure that my fucking husband has everything HE needs. Me and the kids are just beneath those fucking people.

Monday, August 10, 2009


There is nothing worse than dropping your kids off somewhere to go to work. Yes, in the past I have enjoyed my work and even felt a pride in it. But now I am just saddened, sickened and disgusted with all that our lives have become.

I just dropped both kids off at camps. I'm sure they will enjoy them, but it is a reminder that my time with them will soon be over, and that my husband did not keep his word to me.

Our finances seem to get worse by the minute. It would be easier to gage them and manage if I ever felt like I was getting the whole story from my husband. We are always just about to make a bunch of money. And yet, it rarely seems to materialize. I think he just tells me what he thinks I want to hear to get me off his back.

I'd rather just know the truth.

The truth is that we are broke. I am in a worse financial position than I've ever been in my life. I would be better off had I never married him. I told him that yesterday and his response was, "FUCK YOU!".

I guess the truth hurts.

All I feel now is overwhelming rage. I need to get to the gym today. I need a long vacation that seems no where in sight. And I keep thinking, I was here, doing everything I was supposed to do. Standing my my relapsing husband when he spent yet another 90+ days in rehab. And the basic response from my husband and his family is FUCK YOU.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


A friend just sent this to me, and I loved it.

"Some men have thousands of reasons why they cannot do what they want to, when all they need is one reason why they can." -Mary Frances Berry


I feel like I can get no where with my husband. He does not hear me in the way I need to be heard. I read him a quote from Resilience the other day to try to explain to him what has been lost and why it is so difficult for me to pick up where we left off, which seems to be his expectation.

"Last year my husband told me of an indiscretion, and my sense of what I meant to the people around me, to put it lightly, shaken. We had, I believed, a great love story, bound as we were by triumph and defeat, by exhilarating achievement and shattering grief. We had walked side by side for three decades and in my foolish dreams would walk side by side, hand in hand, for three more. But even if my illness somehow allows me those days, it will be necessity be different because, at the very lease, I am a different person now. I was not wounded, not afraid, not uncertain before, and now I always will be. He can try to treat the wound, and he has tried. He can try to make me less afraid, and he has tried. But I am now a different person. I am the Army wife, too, with a husband I don't quite know, and I have to accept him, if I can, with the new scars - many self-inflicted- which he now bears. The way we were is no longer the way we can be. A new reality. Maybe a new life."
-Elizabeth Edwards, Resilience 40-41

He manipulates everything. He just threw that in my face that she decided to stay with her husband and maybe I should read her book again and figure out how to do that.

I'm sure the fact that she is dying, not hurting for money and isn't married to an alcoholic who continually relapses with the family from hell - all help Elizabeth Edwards stay married. It also appears to me that John Edwards is kissing her ass and trying to make it up to her, for a single indiscretion among 30 GOOD YEARS OF MARRIAGE - whereas my husband just whines all the time and tries to make it all my fault. I'm tired of his guilt trips. He always tries to use the kids to manipulate me. He has no shame. I did not put us in this situation. He did.

Here's another one from Audre Lorde:

"I have no creative use for guilt, yours or my own. Guilt is only another way of avoiding informed action, of buying time out of the pressing need to make clear choices, out of the approaching storm that can feed the earth as well as bend the trees."

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Trip

The trip was a disaster. I don't know what I was thinking. It is clear we can not be around each other at all anymre. For a long time I thought that was best for the kids but now I don't think so. I didn't file a restraining order because I thought it would make it too hard for the kids. But know I see that, in so many ways, I have been making everything easy for him at the expense of my kids. This is not good for them.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


We are headed out of town for a few days as a family. Or, I should say, we are driving separate cars and will have separate rooms and will be doing different things, but we all will be there.

I hope for the kids sake that it will be pleasant. We haven't taken many trips the last few years, and even though it's only for a few days, I think it will do them some good. They have been missing their dad. He will be working mostly, but I have several friends in the area with kids of similar ages, so it should be fun for everyone.

Assuming we can get along.


I feel sort of lost. There are so many things to do and so many directions to go in. Meanwhile, my husband keeps complaining about how busy he is and how hard he's working but has time to send me a zillion text messages every day. I remember when I was counseling my counselor telling me his calls and texts are poison. It's starting to feel that way.

The latest accusations are that I don't give a shit about him and I only care about money. And that it never has mattered what he does. It's never enough.

I feel like he tries to revert all the blame back to me. And then he says this is harder for him than it is for me. I told him that's because I've never given him any reason to want out. He has done everything he possibly could do destroy our marriage.

The one thing that I have been hearing consistently from nearly everyone is, "You certainly can't say you didn't try."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Old Behavior

My husband and I have been exchanging way too many texts about our marriage and what we are going to do. There seems to be no peace and quiet.

He was an hour late for dinner last night and we spent the hour he was here mostly arguing. I told him the reason he is coming is so we can eat dinner as a family. I think that's important for the kids no matter what is going on for us.

Instead, after he was more than half an hour late, the kids and I ate without him, and he ate when he arrived by himself. I told him again he does not act like someone who wants to be married. He said all the financial commitments are keeping him from being on time, but he has never been on time.

LOVED this quote off one of the Alanon boards!!!

..."If I am still doing it, it isn't old behavior"...


My favorite professor introduced me to Audre Lorde, the Black, Lesbian, Feminist Writer and Poet, when I was in college. I have already posted my favorite poem of all time here, "A Litany for Survival."

I was reminded of her book, Sister Outsider, after reading an article in Ms. Magazine this month about some new material of hers that has just been published. That is definitely on my want-list for books! If you get a chance, you should check that out too.

All the essays in Sister Outsider are fantastic. Two of my other favorites are "Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power" and "Poetry is Not a Luxury." If you get a chance, they may be available online.

Here are some excerpts from "The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action", which she wrote before her death.

"In becoming forcibly and essentially aware of my mortality and of what I wished and wanted for my life, however short it might be, priorities and omissions became strongly etched in a merciless light, and what I most regretted were my silences. Of what had I ever been afraid? To question or to speak as I believed could have meant pain, or death. But we all hurt in so many different ways, all the time, and pain will either change or end. Death, on the other hand, is the final silence. And that might be coming quickly, now, without regard for whether I had ever spoken what needed to be said, or had only betrayed myself into small silences, while I planned someday to speak, or waited for someone else's words. And I began to recognize a source of power within myself that comes from the knowledge hat while it is most desirable not to be afraid, learning to put fear into perspective gave me great strength. I was going to die, if not sooner then later, whether or not I had ever spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you." (41)

"For to survive in the mouth of this dragon we call america, we have had to learn this first and most vital lesson - that we were never meant to to survive. Not as human beings. And neither were most of you here today, Black or not. And that visibility which makes us most vulnerable is that which is also the source of our greatest strength. Because the machine will try to grind you into dust anyway, whether or not we speak. We can sit in our corners mute forever while our sisters and our selves are wasted, while our children are distorted and destroyed, while our earth is poisoned; we can sit in our safe corners mute as bottles, and we will still be no less afraid." (42)

"And it is never without fear - of visibility, of the harsh light of scrutiny and perhaps judgment, of pain, of death. But we have lived through all of those already, in silence, except death. And I remind myself all the time now that if I were to have been born mute, or had maintained an oath of silence my whole life long for safety, I would still have suffered, and I would still die. It is very good for establishing perspective." (43)

"We can learn to work and speak when we are afraid in the same way we have learned to work and speak when we are tired. For we have been socialized to respect fear more than our own needs for language and definition, and while we wait in silence for that final luxury of fearlessness, the weight of that silence will choke us. The fact that we are here and that I speak these words is an attempt to break that silence and bridge some of those differences between us, for it is not difference which immobilizes us, but silence. And there are so many silences to be broken." (44)

"The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action" by Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider: Essays & Speeches by Audre Lorde

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Diary

I bought my son his first diary. I always kept diaries as a child and still keep a journal, although I'm not as good about keeping up with it anymore. I had never seen a diary for boys and was thrilled to find it. There are pirates on it and it has a lock. He has been writing a full page in it every day. I think it will be very good for him to have another outlet and also for his writing skills since he's only 6 and still learning. I told the woman when I bought it that all men should start journaling when they are young. They will be better men for it.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Stepping Stones

My son made a stepping stone yesterday at church to put out in the garden there. If you look closely, you will see that in addition to the gems, shells, etc. they gave him to work with at church, he also put money in his stone. I thought that was pretty humorous!

My daughter actually went to Children's Church for the first time so I was able to listen to the entire service! Two of the women from the congregation took over and gave a very special service, so I was very glad to be able to participate fully. It is wonderful to be a part of a community that honors women, and believes in the value of all people. I have my religious questions, but when it comes down to it, that's what matters the most to me.

One of the women is someone I have been getting to know better and admire quite a lot. She's in her early 60's and just finished her PhD in Psychology. I told her that is a goal I have for myself someday. (In due time, and I don't know what I want to study yet.) In any case, she gave the sermon and it was very touching.

She talked about forgiveness and turning the other cheek. She talked from a psychological perspective about how it is hard for us to forgive because of the way our brains are wired, especially if we have been wounded as children. She said the natural way of things is for us to not want to get hurt again. But she said that she didn't think that when Jesus said to turn the other cheek that he meant for us to be fools or to accept abuse. She said she interpreted the verse as turning towards the other person to see their perspective, and to understand why they might be abusing us. She talked about the abuse she experienced as a child from her father and how it took her a long time to forgive that. She said she still can not forgive the abuse itself, but she was able to come to peace around her father and felt very close to him before he died.

It gave me a lot to think about.