Thursday, July 15, 2004

Try taking a holiday!

This past weekend was our annual "couples" golf tournament.  Every year in July we go up to our friends cottages (we don't have one, being the poor cousins) for a weekend of golf, partying, blackflies and mosquitos.  Great fun!   We don't golf with our respective husbands and we don't play in the same foursome as our husbands as that would be no fun at all.  The losers the previous years game have to make up the rules for the following year and also have to wait on the rest of us during our post golf party.   This year my husband (A) and his partner had to make up the rules.  Normally, A and his partner win all the time as A is an excellent golfer.  The reason they lost last year and two years ago was because the rules were set to make sure A could not win. (he really likes this kind of attention).  This year A's rules were as follows:  we were allowed to use only 2 to 4 clubs, our choice of club.  The higher the skill level the fewer the clubs. - playing alternate shots.   The first putt was to be played with eyes closed. The second putt could be with eyes open.  Silly rules but we had fun.  I should say that A always plays with between 1 and 3 clubs and shoots in the mid 70's, so he's pretty good.  The rest of us usually need most of our clubs.  He sponsors a "One Club" competition at his golf course every year and he gets a lot of participation, so I guess the guys have fun with this format.  Anyway, my partner and I squeaked by and so we do not have to worry all year about the rules.  We partied Friday night at a nearby summer resort, Saturday we golfed and partied at our friends cottage (it's on an island so we had to boat to it) Sunday we took a long boat ride around the very large lake.  Fabulous cottages everywhere!  We docked at another golf club resort and had lunch.  All in all we were on the water for about 3 hours.  As lovely as it was, I have had my fill of boats for about 5 years!  We left cottage country on Sunday and headed for home.  However, we had to make a further stop for 2 days.  A and some of his usual golf buddies were invited to participate in another golf tournament sponsored by a Casino. Our hotel and expenses were paid by the Casino (as long as you spent your money there). Sunday night we were treated to a great concert by Martina McBride.  She's a beautiful singer and a beautiful person.  Monday A golfed and I went for a walk, lazed around the hotel room, read and slept.  I needed it after 3 days of steady partying!  We were treated to a great dinner and pointed in the direction of the Casino.  Now, I hate gambling.  I don't understand it, it makes me sick to my stomach seeing all that hard earned money disappear, and it's so noisy!  A, on the other hand, just loves it.  He loves the action, the ambience, the high, everything,  His favorite game is craps.  I am relieved to say that A's gambling that night netted us a few more dollars than we walked in the door with.  It could easily have gone the other way and has in the past.  I'm very glad that there are no casinos within an hours drive of our home.  All in all, it turned out to be a very good 4 day weekend. 
However, 4 days are a long time in Blog World and when I returned to my blogger friends I felt like I was out of the loop.  So much had been written by everyone and I'm still not up to date on all the posts.  I must catch up or I will be left behind in the dust!  I was sad to read that The Grave Digger has been put to rest.  I hope he reincarnates somewhere and maybe we can be a part of his new life.  I need a least a week to read all Jakes stories.  The girls are all getting more and more raunchy and I'm  not sure this is at all healthy but, what the hell! AJ's story is both heartbreaking and life affirming.  Leese is not losing it yet nor will she ever, I must try her recipes very soon.  South Africa is calling me and tomorrow is another day. Love to one and all!   


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Thursday, July 08, 2004

Street Legal Part lV

Sally called me again about 2 weeks after she had been turfed from the flop house (Street Legal III) and said she had been living in a nice house with a group of nice people. As a gesture of goodwill towards her roommates, she would like to purchase groceries again, about $200.00 worth. One would think that we had learned from our previous experience regarding groceries and Sally's real need for them. But, we didn't. My husband and I went out to purchase the required groceries and we delivered them to the address provided. Sally was there as were about 10 other people, all of whom lived in the house. Naturally, we expected to be introduced to the householders as we came in with all this loot. No one so much as smiled and certainly there were no "hellos". It was painfully obvious that something was amiss. Sally herself was flitting about in a very agitated manner. She was of course on uppers of some sort. We deposited the food and we had barely crossed the threshold when the door slammmed behind us. My husband, myself and Sally were left standing on the street. I had never been given the bum's rush before but here we were. "O.K. Sally", I said, "Tell us what this is all really about". Sally did not live in this house, but her drug dealers did. She had been using and was unable to pay. She knew that she couldn't hit us up for money, but we were a soft touch for groceries. So in fact, we paid Sally's drug bill with unwanted groceries. Her father had advised in the beginning to not give her anything other than a few dollars now and then. Now we knew why. But still, it's very difficult to harden yourself to such a situation. Had we done so, Sally may have ended up hooking for the payment. Now we had to finally accept that our niece Sally that sweet, gifted child was a liar, hard drug user, and quite possibly was or soon would be a hooker.
Next post: Sally's headfirst fall into disaster


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Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Tech Errors

What did I do? I tried to include Haloscan and Links but Haloscan seems to be up but not Links, and I have all those #'s on my headings. Can anyone tell me how to fix this? Thanks.


At 8:27 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

Yeah, at first I thought you had a bazillion comments! I am not gonna be any help tho, just saying, lol.

At 3:09 PM, Blogger Maddy said...

Bazillion is right! I wish I was so popular, but not to be. Meanwhile my site looks like a dog's breakfast & I don't know how to fix it. AJ, where are you when I need you?

At 3:34 PM, Blogger AJ said...

AwwwGEEEZ MADDY! (he said in his best Archie Bunker voice) What have you done now? *LOL*

E-mail me your template tonight and I'll see if I can fix it for you...


At 10:12 PM, Blogger Aimee said...

(Hmmm, note to self: AJ's the guy to know...).

At 11:56 PM, Blogger AJ said...

Aimee: And you're just NOW figuring this out?


At 5:51 AM, Blogger jakethelad said...

When I was young and read comics # always formed part of a cuss within the bubble. #%'!!?)(*=@ (oh shit!)


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Saturday, July 03, 2004

Mental Illness

O.K. Vadergrrrl opened the can of worms first. Vadergrrl has clinical depression. Her site was inundated with sympathy from her readers and confessions from fellow bloggers who suffered from similar conditions. My husband suffers from depression/bipolar. When his first episode happened we really didn't know what it was all about. Normally a positive type, he would sit at the kitchen table and deteriorate right in front of my eyes. We had two young kids to take care of so I didn't really have time for a man who I thought was feeling sorry for himself. Personally, I thought that this might be the culmination of years of drinking too much, and I was almost glad it was happening. Maybe now he would pull himself together and stop drinking.I thought that he should be able to do this because after all, I have been depressed from time to time but always talked myself back to normalacy. He should be able to do so too if he were any kind of a man. For about 6 months he functioned on this "subsistence" level then went to see a psychiatrist.
He returned with prozac. The psychiatrist wanted to talk to me too, so I went to his next appointment. It was a good thing I went, even 'tho I still thought my husband was "faking" it, after all, he was still making money, going out with friends, golfing, sex. I just didn't know how hard it was for him to do all these normal everyday activities (except for the sex part, that seemed to be the only area of his life that worked well). Over the the next few years,I learned about clinical depression - medications, seratonin, dopamine, histamine, and all the other brain chemicals and their functions. It's a damn good thing too, because if I had know what was in store for us down the road, I would have taken all those pills myself. I would need all the knowledge and experience I could get helping someone with a mental illness because in 1998, my beautiful 18 year old boy was afflicted with schizophrenia. Now I know what Hell is. Get better Vadergrrl and everyone else suffering from depression, bi-polar, and the vast array of mental illness out there. Love to all and Keep on Truckin'



At 1:40 PM, Blogger Aimee said...

Wow. I'm sorry about your son, but at least he has a strong Momma. And smart.
I've started answering your question about how my Ron Jeremy-esque ex and my baby's father are not the same man. It's a long story, I've only just started. Maybe I'll talk about the seratonin, dopamine, etc. in my posts, too. Or maybe I'll leave that part for later. Color commentary, if you will.
Thanks for sharing with us!

At 2:41 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

And you think my life is hard to deal with. You are a rare person who can have so much to deal with and yet worry about every other person. I bet as a child, you were the one who took in the hurt baby rabbits the cat would bring? I bet they even survived with you around.

At 5:15 PM, Blogger Maddy said...

Thank you both Aimee and Jamie. On the contrary, no one can handle everything. Even with supportive friends. I guess I expected my husband to be 100% there but he couldn't. Everyone handles lifes stresses differently, That I learned the hard way and I am still learning. Jamie, funny that you would zero in like you did. I was the self appointed caregiver as a child, for complicated reasons to be discussed another time maybe.

At 10:39 PM, Blogger AJ said...

You're right Maddy, no one can handle everything, but you seem to do it better than most. You are a tower of strength, a pillar of our blog community and we are all the richer for knowing you.


At 4:16 AM, Blogger jakethelad said...

Thanks Maddy for your blog. I felt a tear coming to my eye. I know that won't help you or anyone but it will let you know that I am touched and thinking of you. I hope that my words and the words of your other blog-friends makes a difference.
I work in a psychiatric hospital (I'm an Engineer) and I empathise. Cheers.

At 5:37 AM, Blogger Maddy said...

Jeeze you guys!

At 6:20 AM, Blogger jakethelad said...

Just read Ester's blog and seems you may come to Australia in Feb. If you're in Perth you must come and see me!!

At 11:04 AM, Blogger Maddy said...

Jake I read all your stories a few days ago and made a comment but accidentally deleted it. Gooood stories. Yes, we are really looking forwart to the trip and yes, if we can, I will come.

At 6:03 AM, Blogger Esther said...

My brother went through something like this. Only difference is that he would go sit in the garden at night, listen to Leonard Cohen, with his gun. It was not fun. He's mostly over it now, but still has bad days from time to time. It has such a huge impact on his kids

At 6:33 AM, Blogger Maddy said...

Sorry about your brother Esther, yes mental illness of a loved one affects the whole extended family. I hope your brother's kids are receiving some support. It's important that everyone in the family educate themselves about the illness. It helps.

At 4:11 AM, Blogger Esther said...

Maddy, his son has been to a therapist, but everything is just so expensive and medical aids don't cover this type of thing. Weird


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Thursday, July 01, 2004

Street Legal Part lll

We didn't hear from Sally for about two weeks, and we hadn't even seen her yet. All our conversations had been by phone. But other relatives in the city did hear from her. Another brother-in-law lived in the city as well. He told Sally's father that she was welcome in his home, but he wouldn't give her any money she didn't earn. She could come and help his wife (Sally's aunt)with housework, and he would pay her for her time. At first I thought that seemed mean-spirited for an uncle, but actually it was a very good plan. Sally did make her way over to her uncle's house, but the plan did not work out.
When she arrived, she was dirty and strung out on chemicals of some sort. Sally is a fine boned very small girl who would normally not weigh more that 100 lbs. But she had lost a lot of weight since she came to the city. Nose rings and other piercings are mainstream now, but all these adornments do not look good when the body is not clean. Our Sally had many of these and most looked infected. Now my brother-in-law has a 4 year old who had just recuperated from a serious lung infection. She was healthy now but they needed to take care in order for her lungs to get stronger. One look a Sally and that was enough to scare them. She never was invited back again.
I received a call from Sally shortly thereafter. Sally was no longer living in the fetid apartment I described previously. She had a fight with the occupants and left to sleep in the park the day after my daughter and I delivered our groceries. The park was certainly more sanitary that that apartment. In fact the rent had not been payed and everyone was thrown out. The baby was also living on the streets by this time.
Sally was living in a park in the inner city soho area. This was a very "in" street where good outdoor cafe's were situated next to junk furniture stores which were next to avante garde artists stores and others. You know that area, every city has them and they are very popular for a few years until another area takes over. There are quite a lot of parks around the soho area and Sally's home was one of them.
I got the directions for her home park and was told that I should just show up and ask anyone if they had seen Sally. She would be found for me. That summer my weekly drives into the city looking for Sally and talking to many homeless kids (and adults) became a part of my life, and I a part of theirs. This is where my new role as "Sally's Aunt Maddy" came into being. And oh yes, please don't forget to bring a chocolate bar or two, preferably milk chocolate with peanutbutter.


At 4:23 AM, Blogger Esther said...

I hope things eventually work out well with Sally. It's just sad how some teenagers end up like this.

At 2:38 PM, Blogger Vadergrrrl said...

Maddy - you are such a Beautiful person. I think everyone could us an "Aunt Maddy" in their life. I know I could. xoxoxoxo
Good luck with Sally.


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My yearly BBQ went well last night. Everyone had a very good time. One of my friends failed to show up. She said she would never miss one of my parties and then she did. I think, they just plain forgot and went up to their cottage right after work. I don't know about some people and their cottages, it's like they just luuuuv their cottage and can't wait to see it again. Anyway they will pay. We are going up there next weekend and I will make them feel ashamed for ditching me for a cottage. She will have to give me 16 strokes on every hole when we have our golf game. That'll teach her to ditch me again.
The garden looked like the Survivor set with candles and torches everywhere and lots of flowers. Beautiful. My son set us up with some good music. Drinks were in tubs of ice and everyone helped themselves. I bbqed a huge ribeye roast and a salmon for those who don't like meat. Is there anyone out there who does'nt like a hunk of delicious BBQed Beef? I thought not.
We had lots of appetizers but no one likes veggies and dip anymore. They were waiting for the beef. I made garlic mashed potatoes and roasted red peppers, great big Portobello mushrooms and eggplant on the BBQ. We had a salad of course and all kinds of other things like pickles etc. They ate everything in sight. Desserts were fruit, cheese, cake, cookies. They ate all that too. No one got drunk and fell into the pool. Last year my husband and my best friend held hands and took a flying leap. Silly fools! I guess they are too old for such childish antics now. Anyway it was a lovely evening. As far as I know everyone made it home safely because the police didn't come and charge us with failing to keep our drunken guests off the road. However, I think that Maddy maybe drank just a little too much. She spilled her red wine all over her white dress and went to bed.


At 5:03 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

I swear I can be good at parties! Invite me next time, sounds like a great time, and good food! Congrats on a successful party.

At 5:45 PM, Blogger Maddy said...

I'd like to invite you Jamie, you'd be great fun but you'd hit on my husband and I already have enough trouble trying to keep the strippers off his very willing lap! Love to you..

At 7:04 PM, Blogger lucidkim said...

I'm hungry reading that - sounds like a great party. :)


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