Take a look at those babies… 

This Wacky's steaks are like hockey pucks, roasts like rubber, pasta so so but just look; my claim to fame - Lemon Meringue Pie! Tell me they don’t look like mouthwatering deliciousness.  

My ex mother-in-law (the good Ex ) gave me a great gift that was no small feat. Fabulous pie baker passed on to li’l ol’ me. Yep, I’m bragging.  Not many things this Wacky Ex gets to do that about.

Back in the day, (the way old day) she taught me to mix the crust by hand; flour, salt,  shortening and/or butter and water cut into the dough and mixed just the right amount of times (yeah right, try figuring that out)  in order to avoid a tough crust, then turned onto a floured board and rolled to round. (IF-the board doesn’t eat up dough and you don’t dust with too much flour AND you apply just the right amount of pressure with the roller)   There it is again, “just the right amount”.  Who does that anyway?

The whole process was tedious and the dough temperamental.  Too delicate a crust led to breaking in pieces before it could be lifted and placed in the pan.  Too thick or dense led to a tough crust, not flaky.
As long as it had been since I baked, I was expecting Hell’s Kitchen; at least a garbage pail full of rejected dough. But those beauties are a first try product and you just know they taste every bit as good as they look. Don’t you just want a bite? The antiquated process, my genius self mastered, (no witnesses to the months of ruined pies dumped in file thirteen) got so much easier.

There is a wonderful thing called a food processor. Just dump all the crust ingredients into that miracle machine and pulse a few times; quick, easy and not so temperamental. I eyeballed much of the measuring and the dough still rolled out like a charm. I can even add tasteful extras into the mix if I want. The filling’s a piece of cake now that I know just how long to boil the dang thing.  Hmm, maybe I’m getting that “just the right amount” idea after all.   Many times, early on, the filling turned to liquid after baking.  Of course it wasn’t until I was ready to cut into the scrumptious delicacy that I would know. Imagine the letdown! 

Easter is coming soon.  Please don’t ask me to cook dinner unless the bottom of your shoe sounds appetizing to you.  Hey siblings, are ya listening? That’s your job.  

Pies, glorious pies, wonderful pies; yeah now that’s the ticket.  

If you’d like the recipe, I share.  Contact me. No worries here about trade or family secrets.(Ex family secrets don’t count, do they?)  These are too good to hide from the world.  Besides, if you’re new to pies, I want pics of all the dough that fills your trash and if you don’t have any, I’ll hate you forever…. :)

Dance Instructor: Today we're going to learn the Quick Step.
Student: Is that a slow dance?
Duh, here’s your sign!
Tenent:  I smell gas in the apartment.
Landlord:  I will try to get someone out there.
Tenent: I have three children here and I smell gas, we need someone right away.
Landlord:  Okay, I will call but close all the windows until they get there so they are sure to smell the gas when they arrive.
Duh, here’s your sign!
When my ex first left, I was desperate to fix things.  I wrenched my heart and taxed my brain in all the ways I could have (tortured him) done something differently to avoid the outcome.  The relationship always had problems (his, okay both), yes, but maybe, just maybe if I had…..

I know several men and women going through this same emotional berating experience, seeking counseling, taking actions to rewrite history all the while stomping on their self-image and emotional balance leaving them less able to focus on what really matters at the point of heartbreak.

If I had it to do over again, (once is enough, thank you) I would do my best to do - nothing.  So much of my agony was self –inflicted by what ifs, and should haves. Many of the actions that came from frustration, lack of control and a need to “show him”, only led to more hurt and pain than if I had just chosen no action at all.  

Friends suggested counseling when  my “doing something’s” became volatile or erratic, but in truth, my relationships with friends and loved ones could have helped me more, had I the hindsight and strength of character to take their advice . People are transparent and, for me, a counselor couldn’t tell me anything more profound than my friends and loved ones since they could see the issues quite clearly.

I finally decided (mind you I say again, this happens when you are ready) to do nothing and let it be. That is when I found myself again. I stopped prolonging the agony, faced the truth and began to heal.  
It is hard to be the one left without control and I am a firm believer in as long as there is life, there is hope; however, I did have control of one thing, myself.

Whether or not there was still hope the relationship would heal, I gave away my personal power by not doing “nothing”, trying to re-write history and creating more drama and pain.   I can’t change another’s actions or feelings but I can change my own to grow stronger. I learned to love unconditionally, it’s an immense high.  Unconditional love does not mean putting up with adverse situations but accepting what is without regret
Where am I?  
A few days ago I embarked on a nice leisurely mini vacation with loved ones.   My brother is passing a milestone birthday and much of my East Coast family decided it would be a great idea to meet in Las Vegas to celebrate.  Oh great, wonderful, golly gee exciting. Just what I need after divorce hell and life rebuilding.  My support group recharging.     I drove, not too far, great drive, no traffic, four hours, magnificent mountains, soothing valleys, well chosen music.  Oh yes,  started out great.

I should have known.  Although always loads of fun, my family experiences are never quite soothing. Once there, after the initial big hugs, what the heys, who got sick on the plane etc. the nice leisurely vacation went down the strip.  Literally.   The Las Vegas Strip is now a maze of steel, brick and frame and God knows what. Really, there are things out there not to be recognized.  

Beware the mass jungle of bodies, stairways, railways, monorails, roller coasters, loud music, glaring and blaring neon signs, high rises stacked so close the recognition of the beautiful valley and surrounding mountain ranges erased. Top that with who is meeting where, who wants to do what, who can't operate anything electronic (like a camera) without it breaking, who is lagging behind because their back hurts and feet cramp,  oops later - must go eat - everyone is waiting, they want to go- NOW- dang can I at least get dressed?

I'm Baaack..... after donating much to the Vegas reconstructions costs by way of the unarmed bandit (most of the one armed bandits have been dearmpitated (my word again... I do that alot).

I have a sibling who has, what we call, " Electronic Breakdown Syndrome,seriously.  Anything electronic she even breaths on breaks instantly.  Terrible affliction, has had it for years. We try not to let her touch anything we want to last for awhile, but unfortunately, strangers don't know this and, oh boy, some guy asked my sister to take a picture with his camera, caplooey....  Sorry man. Hope that wasn't expensive.   

~signed The Wacky Ex~
Miles span across the states to a loved one who is heartbroken; married less than five years, young and hopeful, now, with a heavy load to bear.   Life and relationships are just so complicated.  

No one is exempt from the harsh realities of life, but somehow it is so much more disheartening when innocence is first replaced with skepticism.  The radiance of ideal faith once vibrant in their eyes dims with obvious abandon. 

This Wacky Ex is pensive today.  I can think of nothing witty, no sarcasm, no wacky antics to preoccupy the pain of heartbreak.  Once you have tasted that bitter fruit, its aftertaste is there forevermore to arise in empathy. 

Commitment… there it is again. If only we understood the depth to which it was meant. 
Hold on, my dear loved one; hold on, stay strong.  This is gonna hurt like hell. 
Baskin Robbins- Oh yummy waited a whole week to indulge in one of my two favorite flavors after being so good on whole, organic foods; Winter White Chocolate.  I can just taste the sweet bits of cherries and smooth white chocolate decadence.  
Me: “Two scoops of Winter White Chocolate please.”
Attendant: “We don’t have that flavor, it’s seasonal.” 
Duh, silly me for expecting Winter White Chocolate in the WINTER!!!!!
Weed Spray, Cocoa Mulch and Pesticides, Oh My! 

It is springtime; a time when all beautiful things come to life; a time when gardeners and not so gardeners get out there and well, take care of the garden.  I’m one of those not so gardeners.  I can’t keep a plant alive to save my life so I usually re-gift them.   Yes, most of the plants that have the lack of good fortune to end up in my house or garden are gifts. (
At least I know well enough not to buy the things to purposely kill them)

But for Fido this is an exceptionally dangerous time of year.  Many of those beautifying products for the garden are poisonous and PLANTS TOO!  Azaleas, Rhododendron and Sago Palms are toxic to dogs and cats and may cause liver failure or heart problems.

Cocoa mulch is a byproduct of CHOCOLATE.  It attracts dogs with its sweet smell but can cause them gastrointestinal and more serious neurological problems if consumed in large amounts.

I love my little baby and she loves to go out and roll and sniff, pee and poop in the grass and garden. (Wish I could do that and get away with it) I want nothing but the best for her so I will be sure to watch out for all those nasty things she could get into.   There are lots more listed on the ASPCA site. Just click the ASPCA here and it will take you directly to a list of all those bad bad nasty’s to keep away from Fido. (And feline, if that’s your pleasure)

Okay, I admit, when it comes to fetishes, this one blew me away. Ha, blew, funny, read on. Recently I watched this overweight dude on TV stretch, caress, stroke and blow a balloon to the size of a large beach ball with a long neck on the end.   The longer the neck he was able to create before it popped the more it seemed he was about cream his pants, and when it popped, oh my. 
Does everything have to have a sexual connotation? Can’t we leave those fun rubber things for the kiddies.   

If that wasn’t enough, I went to dinner at a local restaurant with my guy soon after and he grabbed the balloons and crayons they hand out to kids. He gave me the look. You know the one they give when they think they’re all sly and sexy… not. 

“Are you kidding me, he’s not going to blow this balloon up here in the restaurant is he?”  Oh yes he is and boy did he blow.  It popped so loud it seemed as if the noise broke the sound barrier.   All seemingly innocent eyes were on our table and my guy looked like he just had the big one. Funny, the same look that dude on TV had. Was there something to this balloon thing?  He was joking right?   

The waitress came over, laughed and said, “Oh don’t worry, that happens all the time.” Hmmm….  Now every time I see a bouquet of balloons going to a kid’s birthday party a whole different picture comes to mind and I think, “I wonder who ordered those.”
~signed The Wacky Ex~
Geez, no wonder relationships take so much work.  It takes two hundred repetitions to change basic instincts to any new action.   TWO HUNDRED, according to John Grey author of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. 

In order for Venusians to get on with Martians there must be some change by both parties; not in our feelings but in our reactions to those feelings.  And we have to exhibit that change TWO HUNDRED times, before it becomes second nature.   Seems to me, we’d be dead before we got it right that many times.  But, what the heck, what else do we have to do with our time and our life. 

When a woman is not feeling nurtured and supported, she has no love to give.  She retreats into what John Grey calls the well.  The way to make her feel nurtured and supported is to LISTEN to her, let her talk. And when a man retreats to his cave, he has no love to give.  He retreats to his cave when a woman tells him what to do and how to do it and doesn’t feel appreciated for the very small things he does.  

Women need to talk to sort out their feelings and to release stress.  Whether or not a resolution is the outcome, just the act of talking makes her automatically feel better.

Men don’t feel the need to talk, they just need to feel their feelings and they feel them by hearing other people’s problems. There is the catharsis.  They can actually help each other, what a concept. 
Besides, they say when a man listens, really listens to a woman, it is the most effective act of foreplay two people can take part in and I wholeheartedly agree.  Come on people, it’s a no brainer! 
Oh boy, put your boots on, it’s getting deep.  

Unfortunately, it is up to the man to unlock or open the door into the woman’s world.  She must feel validated, understood, cared for, respected and above all listened to with empathy BEFORE she is willing to appreciate, trust and accept a man.   according to Grey, when a woman retreats into the well, she will only come out of it when a man understands why she is in it.   No amount of fixing or trying to pull her out of the well will work.  In fact, it will keep her there longer.

Look, I’m no expert but I would suggest reading and watching John Grey’s stuff.  His videos are terrific and more easily understood for people who don’t like to read.   You’ll get a good laugh out of it too, maybe some tears, but yin yang, good, bad; it’s what makes the world go round. 

~signed The Wacky Ex~