Blended Families

Having remarried during the past year I and my wife find ourselves in what is now called a blended family. We both have adult children from previous marriages. I have one daughter and she has two daughters and a son with disabilities. Regardless of what television suggests this doesn’t always create the Brady Bunch. Though challenging at times, I would still do it all over again. But without doubt blended families are not for the weak of heart.
When a lot of couples get married after a divorce or the death of their spouse it’s usually an exciting time for them. They feel as though everyone should be happy for them and welcome the new person in to their life.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Adult stepchildren are sometimes very open to their parent’s new marriage, as we were lucky to have in ours, but in other cases, there are hard feelings that result in difficulties. I am thankful that my daughter has accepted my new wife completely and she has a good relationship with her. I attribute this to the fact that she loves me and she wants me to be happy. She can see how kind my wife is and she appreciates her. I’m grateful that she has never been disrespectful, suspicious or unkind to her. In return her children have been kind and respectful of me as well.
However, there are a few things that need to be kept in mind if you are entering a relationship with a person who has grown children:
No step-family situation is going to be easy at first, no matter the age of the step-children. The fact that they are adults doesn’t mean that they will be able to accept this new person in their parent’s life easily.
Don’t take the stepchildren’s reactions personally. The negative actions and feelings of stepchildren toward the new spouse are often because of fear and anxiety. Adult children tend to feel protective of their parents. They may fear that the new spouse will hurt their parent, or “take them for all their worth”, or that the new spouse will take their parent from them. These fears are legitimate although most often not based on reality.
Newly blended families take time to merge, especially with conflicting rules and well worn patterns of life change.

For those who are entering in to a relationship with someone who has grown children, I suggest:
Don’t expect it to be easy or pretty in the beginning.
Realize that most of the difficulty has nothing to do with you.
Be yourself and don’t try to be what you think they want you to be or what you “should” be.
Bite your tongue when you feel like lashing out.
Realize that your spouse is caught in the middle. They love you and they love their children.
Encourage your spouse to communicate regularly with her children and give her time alone with them they need her to be “Mom” (or Dad) even though they are grown.
Realize that you’ve done all you can and have no control over if they will receive your gestures or how they will respond.

Set boundaries when necessary if you feel that your goodness is being abused.
We were lucky in that all our kids, as a parent they’re always your kids no matter how old they are, were supportive and as happy about our joining as we were. There were bumps along the way just as any marriage but we and they are both learning to accept new ideas and ways of doing things.
Now if I could just get that one certain girl to pick up those Styrofoam cups when finished with them my life would be complete.






Raising the dead

Life catches up with us and things get left behind.  This blog for instance.

Much has changed since I walked away from this in 2012.  Personal life changes have taken me to new paths I never imagined and of course the changes taking place in our national and global arenas of politics have taken twists and turns that none would have expected even a year ago.

Environmental discourse has reached stand offs while droughts and hurricanes continue to increase, mass shootings have become common place and the ability to have a simple discussion over differing opinions has nearly vanished.  We stay at war and face the daily prospect of new wars.

The world is not the same as in 2012.  It was far from perfect then with many of the same problems but they seem to now be escalated to a feverish pitch while hate has seemed to become the national past time.  

Perhaps it’s time to start talking again.  Not just of the bad but of the good as well.  We are surrounded daily with amazing things taking place and we never hear of them in the sea of near insanity that we find ourselves in these days.

Let’s begin.


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The Singularity

The term singularity describes the moment when a civilization changes so much that its rules and technologies are incomprehensible to previous generations. Think of it as a point-of-no-return in history.
Most thinkers believe the singularity will be jump-started by extremely rapid technological and scientific changes. These changes will be so fast, and so profound, that every aspect of our society will be transformed, from our bodies and families to our governments and economies.
A good way to understand the singularity is to imagine explaining the internet to somebody living in the year 1200. Your frames of reference would be so different that it would be almost impossible to convey how the internet works, let alone what it means to our society. You are on the other side of what seems like a singularity to our person from the Middle Ages. But from the perspective of a future singularity, we are the medieval ones. Advances in science and technology mean that singularities might happen over periods much shorter than 800 years. And nobody knows for sure what the hell they’ll bring.
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Maria Balaban,,,, You ma’am, are an idiot

Maria Balaban, 72, and a white member of Congregation Ahavath Achim in Connecticut, has filed a lawsuit demanding to removal of the body of a Jamaican-born black woman, Juliet Steer, from the Jewish cemetery. Maria Balaban alleges that the congregation broke its own rules Juliet Steer was allowed to be buried in an interfaith section of the cemetery.
Steer, who died of cancer in 2010, asked to be buried there because she thought it was peaceful. A representative from the congregation claims that Balaban was motivated by race. Her lawyer denies allegations that she is racist, pointing to her past work as a social worker.
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Remember when you first considered yourself fluent in Spanish? (Just kidding. Let’s try that again.) Remember your friend who learned Spanish, and what she told you was the key to becoming fluent? “You have to reach the point where you think in Spanish.” Makes sense. Languages don’t just “have a different word for everything”, they’re constructed differently, too. The order of verbs, nouns, and adjectives is just the beginning. Spanish, for example, assigns a gender for each noun. (El gato. La luna.) English assigns blame for certain acts ― He broke the mug. She crashed her bicycle. ― regardless of who was at fault. Could the language we speak –― or the different ways we speak our own language ― make a difference in how we perceive things? Could language shape different populations’ sense of space, time, and even justice? Lera Boroditsky believes so. As an example, the Stanford University researcher cites an aboriginal culture called Kuuk Thaayorre, whose language has no words for “left” and “right,” but only for the directions of the compass. As a result, she says, a 5-year-old in this culture has better navigational ability than a college professor in ours.

‘Kafka on the Shore’ by Haruki Murakami

With the passing of the old year into memory and looking out toward the unknown that the next year brings it often makes many of us think about our lives, where we’ve been and where we’re going. I’ve always related to this writing by Haruki Murakami when considering such things and with New Years upon us it seemed an appropriate time to share it.

‘Kafka on the Shore’ by Haruki Murakami
“Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you.
You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn.

Why? Because this storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you.
This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn’t get in, and walk through it, step by step. There’s no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time.
Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones.
That’s the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.

And you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades.
People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood.
You’ll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others.

And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in..That’s what this storm’s all about.”

Millennials, A new breed of College Student

Who Are They?
The Millennial Generation, born from 1982 through the present, represents a generation distinct from their parents of the Baby Boom generation, and their immediate predecessors, Generation X. Now a generation that sent their first freshmen to college in the fall of 2000, and will graduate their first seniors this spring. Generally described as optimistic, team-oriented, high-achieving rule-followers, the Millennials have driven down teen suicide rates, teen pregnancy and abortion, violent crime and drug use among teens. Aptitude test scores for this group have risen across all grade levels, and the pressure to succeed has risen likewise.
The expected teen rebellion among Millennials has manifested itself as a break with the Boomer and Gen X cultures that preceded them. “Expect teamwork instead of free agents, political action instead of apathy, T-shirts with school colors instead of corporate swooshes, on-your-side teamwork instead of in-your-face sass.” The Millennials are correcting for “what teens see as the excesses of today’s middle aged Boomers: narcissism, impatience, iconoclasm, and a constant focus on talk (usually argument) over action.”
The generation that Millennials are most likely to emulate is actually the G.I. Generation, which Tom Brokaw called America’s “Greatest Generation”. “No other adult peer group possesses anything close to their upbeat, high-achieving, team playing, and civic-minded reputation.”

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