Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Why you should wait to get married until you're a little older

Well, apparently unless I post something super dramatic and controversial, no one cares to comment on my posts.

So I thought maybe I would bore entertain you all with some information from my dissertation. Cause I can. Also cause I'm tired of writing it right now.

Here's a graph I made today:


That's the rate of divorce by the age at which you marry. Neat huh? I've never seen a better argument for not getting married when you're a teenager.

But what's up with that little blip at age 25? This is my theory....first of all, this graph includes information on marriages formed between 1965 and 2002, so that's important to keep in mind. My theory is that 25 is one of those ages (like 30 is now..and there's a smaller blip around 30, look at that!) when people feel/felt like they HAD to be married by in order not be an old maid. Oh did I mention these ages are all women's ages? So maybe some proportion of these women got married when they were 25 to a less-than-ideal partner, simply because they were afraid of becoming an old maid if they got married later!

That's my theory anyways, and I don't have any numbers to back that up. Anyone have any other ideas?

Monday, June 29, 2009

More about the cruise

Yeah, yeah, I guess not a lot of family drama has been going on since I got married, and I can't write about wedding planning anymore cause it's done, so I don't have much to write about in this particular forum. Also I've been trying to finish a chapter of my dissertation before leaving for our Europe trip (this Friday!), so I've been super busy lately. The chapter is going pretty well (the new analysis is done, I'm rewriting a draft of the chapter and hopefully will have it done by Wednesday). I also submitted a paper for review to a journal this morning, and I'm really glad to have that off my plate (it's the outcome of a 3 year collaboration with a professor; boy am I glad I don't have to go to weekly meetings about this paper anymore!)

We leave for our Europe trip on Friday morning! (And come back late on July 18th). We went shopping this weekend to get some new clothes for the trip (including 3 awesome new pairs of capri pants for me), and I bought some new trashy novels to read on the plane/boat. Ok, one trashy novel (the new Sookie Stackhouse novel!) and two collections of Kurt Vonnegut's essays. I'm also going to bring whatever sookie stackhouse novels I haven't finished re-reading by then (I'm up to # 7 or 9) I may or may not bring a couple of books I need to read for my dissertation.

I'm hoping to somehow keep a travel diary (which will be posted here) while on the trip. I'm not sure what our internet access is going to be like, so I may not end up posting the posts until I get back or may post a bunch at the same time or something. I know I will at least will have some internet on the cruise, I'm not sure about Rome.

Until then, here are some more cruise excursions we will be going on. Unlike the other ones I listed a few weeks back (that will be with me and B only), these excursions will be WITH the in-laws. :) We're also planning a trip around Rome next Sunday to stuff like the Colosseum/Forum/etc, and on Monday to the Vatican Museums/Sistine Chapel/St. Peter's Basilica with the in-laws (holy crap this time next week I will be in Italy!!). Me and B will take a solo day trip to Pompeii next week Tuesday. Then we embark on our cruise on a week from Wednesday.

Here are some more cruise excursions you can expect to read about in the next few weeks:

Corfu, Greece: Palaces of Corfu
Duration: Approximately 4 hours

Pass through the main part of the town and head out into Corfu's lush and verdant countryside of olive, orange and lemon trees. Your destination is the village of Gastouri, where you will visit Achillion--the mansion built by the Empress Elisabeth of Austria and later owned by Kaiser Wilhelm II. Its beautiful gardens and statues have been left intact for visitors to admire. Continue to Kanoni for a distant view of the convent of Vlacherna and Mouse Island. Next, visit the Mon Repo Palace, built in 1828 for the second British Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands, Sir Frederic Adam in 1828. It was then utilized as the summer residence of the High Commissioner, while the official residence was the Palace of St. Michael and St. George in Corfu itself. The second son of King George I, George II was born here in 1869. The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip was born and baptized here in 1921. The Greek Royal family spent their summer holidays at Mon Repo, hosting their guests (Tito of Yugoslavia, Haile Selasie of Ethiopia, Nasser of Egypt). At the end of your visit you will return to the port.

Katakolon, Greece: Ancient Olympia and Zorba
Duration: Approximately 3½ Hours - 4 hours

The small fishing village of Kat├íkolon is your gateway to the mystical site of ancient Olympia, 25 miles to the east. The sanctuary of Olympia has the appearance of a park, and as you step back 2,000 years into the past, imagine the area crowded with athletes, orators, merchants and philosophers surrounding the Temple of Zeus with its forty-foot statue of the god, the ruins of which you will see today. It’s easy to imagine the roar of the spectators as the athletes took their marks on the marble starting blocks, and to picture the temples, treasuries, porticoes and statues as they were.

After your visit to Olympia, you will then proceed to Katákolon. Enjoy a refreshment on the seafront as you are entertained by the sights and sounds of Greek music and Zorba dancing. At the end of the tour, return to the ship by bus or stroll through the village.

Ephesus Turkey Ancient Ephesus & the Virgin Mary's House
Duration: Approximately 4½ Hours

Begin this tour with a visit to the house where Jesus’ mother is said to have lived the last years of her life. The site has been officially declared a Catholic shrine and was visited by Pope Paul VI in 1967. Next, continue to Ephesus for a visit to the Great Theatre dating back to the Hellenistic period. In the 1st century AD, the theatre was reconstructed and expanded by the Romans to a seating capacity of 25,000. This is also the place where St. Paul preached to the Ephesians. It is still used for performances today, and the acoustics are excellent. The Marble Road which runs between the theatre and the Celsus Library is part of a sacred walkway that you will take to reach the Celsus Library and Hadrian’s Temple. The temple was dedicated in AD 118 to Hadrian, Artemis and the people of Ephesus. This impressive Corinthian-style temple has beautiful reliefs on the porch, and the Ephesians believed that the Medusa head on the porch would protect the city from its enemies. Return to Kusadasi to enjoy the traditional Turkish experience of sipping apple tea while watching a myriad of colors unfold before your eyes during a carpet demonstration. Those interested in purchasing a carpet can do so with confidence. Those not wishing to stay can transfer directly back to the ship, or remain in town for browsing in the shops.

Messina, Sicily: Views of Mt. Etna & Jewel Factory Shopping
Duration: Approximately 5 Hours

Leaving the port of Messina you will head towards the lovely village of Zafferana, driving south on the motorway through a fertile paradise of green vineyards and golden citrus groves. Passing through Santa Venerina village, the scenery becomes increasingly forbidding as you approach the Park of MT. Etna. At 1,800 feet above sea level, this small village boasts enchanting, wild scenery and you’ll have the opportunity to visit the 1992 lava flows. After 30-minute drive you’ll reach the Gival factory at Giarre and receive a very warm welcome and cocktail from the staff. Tour the small workshop and see the jewelry makers at work. Watch as they create their individual masterpieces of fine Italian gold and unique jewelry pieces. Learn how some are made with Sicilian amber and shells with lava from Mt Etna. Enjoy several tasty Sicilian specialties after the presentation. See their unique collection within their exhibition room, with an option to buy.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Yay!

Today is the one month anniversary of the day I married B!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Art or Crime?

A friend of a friend (or really, more like an acquaintance of an acquaintance) was recently arrested after violating the terms of his probation by building this:



He's done things like this before:




He was on probation for his habit of climbing up cranes and other places people aren't supposed to be, to take some amazing photographs. Here's a recent one taken from a stealth- trip to the top of the Brooklyn bridge:



My friend/aquaintence who knows him also does similar type things- he goes into abandoned buildings and likes to "take photographs of things most people don't get to see." The public art aspect is also reminiscent of Banksy a graffiti artist in England whose stuff I really like.

So...Art or Crime? Or both? This type of art couldn't exist without breaking the law...but does the artistic aspect justify the crime? Should people be prosecuted for creating art? Is the fact that it's art just an excuse and people should follow the law regardless? What is the difference between this and graffiti- other than the level of skill? And if so, what exactly is the cutoff point at which 'graffiti' becomes 'art'? And how come big giant corporations with lots of money are allowed to advertise in public spaces, while people without money who create public art that people enjoy are criminals? Are public messages only a purview of the rich? Personally I'd rather see places covered with graffiti than with advertisements...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Better know an Abandoning Eden/shocking grandmother phone call

The blogger Da'as Hedyot has just posted an interview with me for his "Better know a Kofer" [Heretic] series. If you've been reading my blog for a while you've heard pretty much everything in there, but it's a pretty good summary of a lot of the stuff I've discussed here.

Meanwhile, just now, in the middle of writing this post that was supposed to be short...my charedi (ultra orthodox) grandmother called! The living one obviously...but she hasn't called me in about 4 years. So she asked how I was, and I told her I was married, that my husband isn't Jewish, and she asked all about B and his family and his job and stuff. And asked about the wedding, who married us, what religion B's parents are, what religion he is, if B's parents like me, if I live by any code or religion (I told her that I'm an atheist, but that I have morals too..). And if I was happy.

And she was shockingly nice! She even said stuff about how she is glad I'm happy and she wishes me well! Shockingly because...well, this grandmother used to get in my face and grab my ears and inspect them for new piercings every time I saw her when I was in my early 20s and getting lots of ear piercings (well, I only have 3 in each ear, but that's a lot to her), and she was one of the few people in my family (other than my parents) who openly argued about my religiosity level with me, and tried to convince me I should be more religious. Not really using any logical arguments, just basically yelling at me that I should be more religious. The last time I talked to her on the phone was in 2005 when she started yelling at me about my eyebrow ring and how no Jewish man will every marry me, and how all my education doesn't count for anything if I'm not religious, etc (I only had that eyebrow ring for about 6 months...ended up taking it out because it never healed right and got infected). Anyways, after that I pretty much stopped talking to her except at family reunions. And she kept her distance as well. But now she calls, wishes me well, and even said she wants me to call her more often so we can talk more! And she was saying stuff about how once your kids grow up you can't control them anymore and they have to make their own decisions!

I am shocked! SHOCKED! She told me my mom visited her yesterday (when I was telling her how my mom isn't talking to me anymore), so I think my mom must have told her I had gotten married, even though she acted surprised when I told her. She also mentioned something about how our kids are going to be Jewish either way...so the cynical part of me thinks this is some sort of ploy to re-start a relationship with me so that she can have some influence over my future kid's religion, now that my family has given up on stopping me from marrying B..since we're already married and all.

But the non-cynical part of me is all "YAY! Even though my mom is no longer talking to me, some members of my family still call and want to have a relationship with me! Even though this specific person was mean and manipulative in the past and suddenly seems to have undergone a complete personality transplant!"

Um, wait...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Upcoming Summer Adventures

Yesterday I went to see Phish for the first time. While there I ran into approximately 30 people I know, including 5/19 of people who attended my wedding. I love my friends :) Oh man...dancing in the pit between the lawn and the pavilion to "run like an antelope" during encore with a whole bunch of people I knew, walking into lot and running straight in 7 people I knew 5 feet from the entrance, looking for burritos on shakedown with a crush of people like I've never been in before, octojimmy and finding out V was just 2 cars over from where we had been hanging out for an hour, finding ourselves on lawn right next to friends I made at festivals who I never expected to see again...definitely a night I will remember for a long time.

In two weeks I'm going to a camping music festival without B, and later this summer in August I'll be going to a conference in San Francisco and will also be visiting my friend who moved out there (who I saw at the Phish show last night cause she flew back to see them with her twin sister, and she offered me a place to crash on my trip, yay for not paying for 3 nights of San Francisco hotels!). Also in August me and B will be going to a music festival where they allow dogs (well, they don't, but I'm friends with the festival organizer and he said it would be ok to bring mine), and we'll get to see how Barkley is at camping. That should be experience..

But in July is the biggest summer adventure of all; me and B will be taking a trip to Europe with my amazing in-laws (who very generously are funding this trip, which we could never afford on our own), and with B's grandmother. First we will be spending about 4 days in Rome, and then we will be going on a 10 day cruise that visits Croatia, Greece, Turkey, and Sicily.

This is my first trip to Europe, first cruise, AND we're going on an 'ancient roman civilization' cruise, which is totally awesome cause I took a bunch of roman civ classes in college and wanted to do a winter break study abroad program...but of course my parents said they wouldn't pay for it because there was no kosher/shabbas observant program, and I couldn't afford to pay for it myself. This is also going to be my first visit to a country other than Israel (6 times) and Canada (once to Niagra falls), and my first real vacation anywhere that's not for a conference (for work) since January 2001, when I went on birthrite Israel (and watched Bush the Jr's inauguration from Tel Aviv).

Since we are going on this trip we opted not to have a separate honeymoon...but since this is our honeymoon, we didn't want to do everything with B's family, so we sprung for some solo cruise excursions and a day trip in Rome. Our plan is we will get to Rome on a Saturday, spend Sunday and Monday touring with B's family (specifically I think we are doing a tour of ancient Rome one day- including stuff like the Forum and the Colosseum, and a tour of the Vatican museums/the Sistine chapel on the other day). Then on that Tuesday me and B will take a solo day trip to Pompeii, that also drives through Naples on the way there. On Wednesday we board the cruise. Once on the cruise we've booked 3 solo shore excursions, and may tag along for some excursions with the in-laws on other days.

Here's descriptions of the 3 cruise excursions we just booked today. We don't normally splurge on such things, but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity (or so I rationalize to myself), so we wanted to book a few excursions that seem like they will be super awesome. I can't believe I will actually be doing these things in around a month!

Dubrovnik, Croatia: Kolorina Sea Kayaking


Lovrijenac Fortress

Your kayaking adventure will start with a coach ride to Pile Square, just in front of the Old Town of Dubrovnik, and after a short walk you will find yourself at Kolorina Bay where the fun starts! Following brief introduction, your instructor will lead you under the Lovrijenac Fortress and the southern parts of the City Walls towards the island of Lokrum and to the Betina Beach where you will have time for snorkeling. A snack will be served at the Betina Beach. Your tour will end with a coach ride back to the ship.

Santorini, Greece: Crater Cruise & Hot Springs


Cliffs of Santorini

A local caique (boat) will take you on a short trip to Nea Kameni to sail along its volcanic shores. The black volcanic rocks and the white pumice offer strange formations and beautiful views. Disembark for a 45-minute hike to the crater of the still-active volcano. Observe the lava fragments and the volcanic rocks, and once you have reached the crater, relax and enjoy the view of Santorini and the amazing cliff of Caldera. Back in the caique, sail to the thermal springs of Palea Kameni. The boat will stop in the green sulfur waters whose temperature sometimes reaches 37 degrees centigrade. Experience bathing in the waters (due to high sulfur levels light colored bathing suits may be discolored). From here, the caique will take you back to the ship or the cable car.

Athens, Greece: The Best of Athens


The Parthenon

If you are visiting Athens for the first time, this outing provides an excellent introduction to one of the great cities of the ancient world. Visit the Acropolis, a symbol of the glory of ancient Greece. History opens before you as you reach the Propylaea, one of the masterpieces of classical architecture, serving as the entrance to the complex of buildings. You’ll see the Temple of Athena Nike (Wingless Victory), and the Erectheum with its classical Porch of Maidens, the Caryatids. Stand in awe as you visit what is considered the most perfect example of classical architecture in the world—the Parthenon—designed as a shrine to Athena and at one time housing a massive gold and ivory statue of the warrior goddess. Re-board your coach and head towards your lunch venue. You will enjoy a Greek buffet also allowing you to relax for some time. Then, you’ll head to the National Archaeological Museum, which boasts the world’s finest collection of Greek antiquities. The highlights include the golden mask of Agamemnon, Minoan frescoes unearthed at Akrotiri, and the superb bronze Poseidon. Complete your introduction to Athens with a scenic drive around the city, passing some of the most important landmarks of the city. Watch for the Marble Olympic Stadium, where the Olympic Games were revived in 1896, Hadrian’s Arch and the former Royal Palace. Your coach will park close to the Plaka (Old Town) area, and you’ll disembark for a guided walking tour of the historical center of Athens. Free time will be available for shopping and watching everyday life in Greece before you return to the port.

Friday, June 5, 2009

I got nothing to say..

Normally when people send me birthday notes I would write back a thank you note (which reminds me...gotta get on those thank you notes for the wedding). But I haven't written back to my dad. I just have nothing to say to him right now. I could talk to him about the wedding, but he probably wouldn't like that. I could talk to him about my upcoming cruise, but that would probably be throwing my marriage/awesome in-laws who are cruising with us in his face. I could tell him that I'm going to see Phish on Sunday and am really really excited, but he would probably not approve of that either (those horrible dirty hippies..damn them!). How exactly can you have a relationship with someone who disapproves of every part of your life except the school part? I'm closer with my dissertation chair it seems...at least he wanted to know how the wedding went.

In other news, apparently Obama Visited Buchenwald recently. Interesting coincidence- One of my grandfather's was a prisoner at Buchenwald, and that is where he was liberated by American troops. My other grandfather was part of the group of American troops that liberated Buchenwald. So one of my grandfather's rescued the other one!

And neither of them knew that just around 35 years later they would be hating each other because one was not orthodox (my dad's dad who is the holocaust survivor- he was/is more "traditional," my dad is a baal tshuva) and the other one (the one who was in the army) didn't like him or his son(my dad) because of that. And then my non-orthodox grandparents got insulted because my orthodox grandparents were total jerks to them when my parents got married. And then my parents did pretty much the same thing (but more extreme!) when I got married, thus completing the circle of asshattery.

On a completely unrelated topic, I love that Conan is on at 11:30 now- I used to watch him all the time in college but as I got older and had more early morning responsibilities, I just could never stay up that late***. But now I can catch at least part of it- and the best part is that it's not on cable, so I can just turn on the little crappy tv in our bedroom and put the tv on sleep and just pass out in the middle of watching it (we only have one tv with cable, in the living room, which is not good for falling asleep to cause then I have to wake up and move to the bedroom).

Kinda like I used to do in college actually. I always fell asleep to the tv in college, since the people who had the dorm room above me in college loved the late night sexing, and there were no carpets in our dorm, and the beds were made of metal...and I was good friends with the girl who lived above me and her boyfriend, so I didn't want to hear them getting it on. Later that couple got married at city hall, because the guy needed a green card to be able to work in the US (he was from Columbia and had some awesome tribal tattoos). Now that guy is married to someone else, has a kids, and is living in Columbia and running a small oil company he inherited from his dad. His ex-wife, who is Israeli-American, was the first Jewish person I knew to get married to someone not Jewish against her family's wishes- actually she might still be the only person I know like that. But since then they have gotten divorced, and now she is engaged to an Israeli Jewish guy, and the Columbian guy married a Columbian girl. Did you know that in the US there's something like a 95% racial homogamy rate- meaning that 95% of people marry someone of the same race? What's up with that?
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***Do you know why teenagers stay up really late but as you get older you start going to sleep earlier? There's actually an evolutionary reason for that. See, for most of human history (and the period in which a lot of human evolution took place), humans were foragers, also known as hunter-gatherers. Humans grouped together in small nomadic tribes, and would follow the food- so they would move around as different seasons happened (and therefore different food was in season in different areas), and as animals migrated. A few times a year several tribes would meet up at central locations and exchange goods and family members, who would get married to members of other tribes. Marriage then would provide some protection to tribes, because a tribe was unlikely to attack another tribe if they had exchanged children for marriage. Several historical sociologists/anthropologists think that this is the reason marriage was created.

Moving around a lot meant that these ancient tribes didn't have very sturdy homes, and so the tribes were very cautious at night, because they could easily be attacked by animals or other tribes. So they would have the most fit and healthy members of their tribe stand watch at night- the teenagers. As a result, humans actually evolved so that teenagers would naturally stay up later at night, so that they could keep watch. This is why your kids are up all night.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It was option c after all

I just make too much of things. My dad doesn't hate me, he just forgot about me, ha!

Got this email from him this morning:

Hi Abandoning Eden,

Sorry it's late but Amazon just reminded me that it was your birthday. (I think you put this in my computer many years ago.)

So, Happy birthday!

Hope all is well.

Love,

Abba & Mom


I guess it was my mom who always reminded him about my birthday, and didn't this year. (my dad signs his letters "Abba and Mom" but I know my Mom had nothing to do with it).

So yeah. Now as for how to respond...do I send him an update about the wedding with a few pictures as if we are a normal family? I think I will...

Monday, June 1, 2009

So I guess my dad isn't talking to me either?

An update on the family situation, now that I've been married for a whole two weeks.

The day after I got married, my Great Aunt Esther passed away suddenly in her sleep while in Israel for her grandson's Bar Mitzvah (she was 71 and had no health problems that we know of- they of course did not do an autopsy, in the Jewish tradition, so we will never know). I recently wrote about my Great Aunt Esther in this post; she joined facebook and became my facebook friend back in January, and asked about my engagement. I decided to gloss over the fact that B wasn't Jewish when responding to her. We chatted back and forth a few times on our facebook walls.

First a bit about my Great Aunt Esther. I have many great aunts and uncles on my mom's side of the family (my Dad's side of the family was decimated by the holocaust and later by the BRCA1 gene which killed all my great aunts on that side before I was born). Esther was my maternal grandfather's sister, and was one of the two great aunts that I visited on a regular basis when I was a child- probably because my mom was close with her daughter. I have many fond memories of running around her house as a kid. We hadn't really talked in around 10 years, but I was happy to recently reconnect with her via facebook. She was very excited about her recent retirement to Florida, and I know she was looking forward to her trip to Israel.

I learned about Aunt Esther's passing via a mass email that my dad sent out to 'undisclosed recipients' that said simply "Aunt Esther passed away yesterday in the early morning, the funeral was in Israel yesterday afternoon, Zaidy (what we call my grandfather) will be sitting shiva this week in Queens." I wrote back saying something like "I am very sorry to hear this, I had just recently been in touch with Aunt Esther recently. I know Zaidy and S (her daugher) were close to her, which of our other cousins are her children? I would like to send them sympathy cards" (I have a lot of "first cousins once removed" and can't really keep track of who gave birth to whom).

It's now been two weeks, no response.

I love when people just don't respond to things. For instance, here is an email I sent to my Aunt informing her about my engagement to B. I was pretty close with her at one point in time, and we spent many a family dinner snarking about the ultra-orthodox members of our family and the crazy things they were doing. Her response? Also no response.

I sent a sympathy message to Aunt Esther's daughter on facebook since I don't have her address- didn't get a response to that either, but that's of course understandable. I could have passed off that email thing with my dad as a fluke, but yesterday was my 27th birthday, and the one day a year my dad has always called me in the past was my birthday. This year? Nothing. Now it's possible that he just forgot to write back to that email two weeks ago, and forgot my birthday because my Mom wasn't reminding him about it.

But I think it's more likely that either one of two things is happening: A. Now that I actually went through with getting married he's very upset about it, and needs some time to adjust before talking to me again or B. He is not speaking to me anymore, but didn't bother informing me about it (I had been under the impression that he would continue speaking to me after getting married, but maybe I was wrong). Of course there is the ever present C option, that I'm just reading too much into things.

Anyway, it wasn't very nice to feel like my parents hate me and/or forgot me on my birthday, but what are you gonna do? I'll tell you what I did: took off for the shore with B and Barkley and had an awesome day watching Barkley running after waves that were retreating into the ocean (sniffing them becuase he thought they were alive?) and then freaking out when new waves were coming and running out of the surf. Sometimes he would just stand there while the waves crashed over his legs, but then would freak out when they were retreating and run out (I guess he felt the undertow). It may have been his first ever trip to the Ocean- and it was my first trip in over 3 years.

After we got tired of running around in the waves (and building sea turtles out of sand and shells) we spent a few hours walking up and down the boardwalk and eating fun things like fudge and salt water taffy and good pizza- we even got Barkley some fancy yogurt dipped doggie treats. Everyone on the boardwalk kept stopping us to ask if they could pet Barkley, cause he's the most adorable dog in the universe. All in all, a good birthday.

Even better? A week ago I also got an email from my Charedi (ultra-orthodox) cousin, telling my about Aunt Esther's passing. She also sent me a long email update about her kids and wished me a happy birthday- she said something about how she missed the annual bbq we always had for my birthday in the past, and that's how she knew my birthday was coming up. So I guess my parents didn't throw their annual memorial day bbq this year? That's kinda sad for them...I don't want them to throw away all their family traditions because of me, and I don't think it's necessary at all. :( They have never skipped having a memorial day BBQ since I was born...and it's not like I've been there for every bbq in the past, so I don't know why they would stop having them because I'm not around (even though it's technically for my birthday, there's a bunch of other family birthdays around then too..).

I wrote back to my cousin and sent her some wedding pictures, and she reciprocated with some more of her kid's pictures. It's really nice to have at least some family members who still treat me like part of the family. I never expected to. And of course I now have an awesome new family that I'm a part of. :)

P.S. My husband has a great post up today about violence