Happy Passover 2020


This is always a somber holiday for me. I haven’t celebrated it since my parents passed away, and I have zero desire to participate in it. This is where my version of faith differs from others. I have my reasons.

I am going to take this holiday to write, read, reflect, and try to focus my anxious energy into something positive. Especially since my migraines are currently out of control to the point where I am either sound asleep or unable to sleep for days. I have a phone appointment with my headache specialist next week. I pray she’s got answers because I can’t listen to another moment of bullshit. This level of suffering is beyond cruel. My cats have been taking turns watching over me. I think my Tortoiseshell has a future in neurology. She knows exactly where the pain is and then lies down close to purr and try to heal me.

If you’ll be celebrating Passover with your family (physically or virtually), may you find peace during these eight days, and don’t forget to check out the beautiful Supermoon in Libra. G-d Bless.



As I knew it would, this story became about “gun control”, as opposed to addressing rampant global anti-Semitism. There is so much hate in this world directed all over the place, and there are too many people in public office who make an incident like this worse by twisting it into their own hate-filled game. If you, like me, disapprove of the hatred, get ready to vote them out.

We are a country of immigrants and many faiths. Educate yourself instead of fearing something.   


Letting It Pass

People make an awful lot of assumptions when you keep the majority of your thoughts private. They desperately try to read your body language and facial expressions, but they don’t know what any of them mean, so again, they make assumptions. I’m not the kind of person anyone should be making assumptions about.

I have a very close-knit group of friends who I’d do anything for. I have a handful of family members I value, and sometimes even that is iffy. Beyond that, I keep things extremely quiet. It doesn’t mean I don’t think, feel, or love. It just means I keep things contained. My brother calls it “extreme cop face”. He will often joke that I’m working for the CIA because I keep my private life SO private, it’s basically a mystery. Growing up the way I did, I felt like I had to. It was a way of protecting myself. We all have coping mechanisms that, on occasion, follow us through life. It doesn’t mean they’re wrong or that you need to change, it’s simply how you keep yourself in check.

This is the second year in a row where I was invited to Passover functions. My entire life before this, I either spent the holiday with my parents and Grandmother, or I didn’t celebrate at all. I was sick in bed last year, so I did not attend anything. I’m not that far from it now, I’m in horrific agony, but this year I just flat-out said no. No to someone else’s friends, where I can’t go through the interrogation I know is coming, and no to my cousins, because I’m not schlepping thirty minutes away two nights in a row for something that isn’t all that important to me. Sad, but true. I love my cousin and I’d kill for him, but not enough to sit through something that is basically traumatic for me.

Because I said no, assumptions were made and accusations flew. I was accused of being “socially phobic”. Not true. I am not AFRAID of people. If I were, I’d never leave the fucking house or speak to anyone! I dislike people. I dislike inane conversation, things that do not matter to me, conversation I have no business taking part in, bullshit, falseness, disloyalty, petty, catty crap, and knowing in advance that I don’t belong. What smart person puts themselves into situations where they already know they do NOT belong?! I don’t. I have better things to do with my time. It’s valuable.

I am not one of those people that believes that good exists in everyone. I’m smarter than that. That’s like saying prisons aren’t full of murderers and rapists. Yeah, I bet they all have hearts of gold, too (Yes, I do enjoy my sarcasm.). If people want to meet me, they should be able to do so on comfortable terms. A holiday is not one of them. That’s my feeling on the subject. Besides, I lack the ability to pretend I’m enjoying myself when I am in pain, annoyed, or intolerant of those around me. I like so few people, it’s not even funny, but I am by no means phobic of others. I’ve made more new friends in the past year than I’ve made in the last ten. If I was indeed “socially phobic”, those friendships would never have made it as far as they have. Those I am now super-close with never would have gotten as close as they have, either. So let’s call it what it actually is: Socially selective. I’ve always been this way. I’ve always picked and chosen my friends because I am the type of person that doesn’t have to accept the crumbs of life. My mother always told me “Choose your friends wisely.” She was right. I’ve been burned by friends I did not choose, so there you go. I am socially selective. It’s not a fucking crime against humanity.

I don’t feel the need to attend every single thing I am invited to. Let’s face it; there aren’t a lot of things to begin with and sometimes, when I’m not sick, I just want peace and quiet to focus on the work I’m doing.

I have a religious function coming up in late June/early July that I will indeed attend, but I’ve known about it for months and that’s different than last-minute mentions. I have time between now and then to put an outfit together, and even if I feel like shit, drag myself because I promised my cousin I’d be there. It’s a special moment for him, and since I’m the only family he has here, I’ll go because he asked and because he told me how he felt about me living so close.

I have a friend coming to visit this summer, as well. We’re trying to plan a day or two where we can just hang out and have fun. I’d NEVER agree to being out in the sun during the summer for just anyone, so she was thrilled when I suggested we make solid plans. For me to know in advance that I have something to look forward to is really nice. But these are things with my peers. If I’m going out, I want to have fun. I don’t want to be pissed off, miserable, depressed, unhappy, in pain, or have my plans made for me by someone else. Life is short and I want to enjoy the time I spend and who I spend it with. I want to be able to be myself, knowing I’m not being judged. I want to be around people who appreciate and respect that I am imperfect, goofy, inappropriately hilarious, sarcastic, witty, smart, and that I don’t take crap from anyone. There’s a softer side to me, too, but very few people get to see her and that’s exactly how it should be. I believe in reserving pieces of myself for myself.

I can’t recall the last time someone asked me what I wanted to do instead of telling me what was being done and asking if I wanted to tag along. There’s a difference between the two, and for me, it’s an immense difference. If someone wants to spend time with me, it can’t be all about them. That’s not right, nor is it fair. If “going out” is going to leave me stressed, angry, in pain, or worse, all three, then I’m not going to engage. I’d gain more by staying home and learning something as opposed to making myself sick.

This year, I just need the holiday to pass. I am trying to focus on my health. I have a doctor’s appointment scheduled and I want to go into it with a list of issues to cover. I want to hit as many points as humanly possible because no one should have to suffer like this. I always tell other people to make lists before they go to the doctor, and I find myself doing that now, too. I know it will result in x-rays, lab work, MRIs, and a referral to a neurologist, but that’s better than nothing. I’d rather look forward to all of that as opposed to continuing to suffer. I can handle starting fresh, but I can’t handle the pain for another second. I shouldn’t be struggling to walk or feeling like someone has put rods in my spine. I am tired of feeling like I’ve been beaten or run over by a truck. I’m tired of looking at my back and seeing nothing but bruises. Hell, I’m tired of finding bruises on my body, period.

Not celebrating a crucial holiday has nothing to do with my faith. G-d knows who and what I am. I am imperfect. I pray. I hold doors for people. I let people ahead of me on line in stores. I give to charity and help people whenever I am able. I call people and check in to make sure they’re okay. I write letters, e-mails, and send cards. I try never to forget a birthday or an important moment in someone’s life. Celebrating a holiday doesn’t make you a good or bad person. Being emotionally present for people is more important to me. Not being cruel and hurtful is more important to me. Being able to look at myself in the mirror and know I do more right than wrong is more important to me.

I’ve said it before, but life is indeed short. I don’t get to spend a lot of it happy. Hell, I can’t remember the last time I was happy or what it felt like, but at the beginning and end of each day, at least I’m real. These things don’t have to be important to everyone, but they do have to be important to me.

Wishing everyone a Happy Passover and/or a lovely week ahead.

copyright © 2017 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.



Hello everyone. 😀 I’d like to welcome all the new readers. For those who have been on this journey with me from day one; thank you for sticking with me.

This has been an incredibly stressful month for me. A friend of 20 years passed away this week, which saddens me because she was such a special person. My migraines and Fibro flares have been completely out of control, which is why I haven’t written much of anything. To add insult to injury, I got hit in the mouth with the pet gate this week (Bottom teeth, right in the front.). I don’t have any bruising, but MAN, it fucking HURTS. I can handle a lot of pain, but my hands, mouth, and feet are three of my “NO” spots for anything lasting more than ten minutes. Here’s hoping it passes soon.

I hadn’t realized it had been so long since I’d written a real post. I cannot convey how nice it is to check in and see messages from some of you simply inquiring as to how I am doing, as a person. Very few people treat me like a real person, so for those of you that have and do, I cannot begin to convey how much that means to me.


Happy Full Moon to all my fellow Wiccans! )O(

Tonight is the first night of Passover (Yes, I’m Jewish AND Wiccan. I don’t hide that.). I got a surprising message last night from my cousin, who lives about 30 minutes away, asking if I’d like to join him and his wife for a Seder. He knew it was super-last minute and that I might already have plans, so he was apologizing while asking. I was SO unbelievably touched by the gesture, truly. It is legitimately one of the nicest things an extended family member has done for me in more years than I care to count.

I make no bones about how I feel about the family dynamics in my life. Please do not misconstrue my honesty as being “bitter”. I’m not, but I am honest and sometimes that may seem harsh, but you don’t know these people. Roughly 85% of my biological and extended family members could be on fire in front of me in the next thirty seconds and I wouldn’t get them so much as a glass of water, but the other 15% I actually care about, like, and/or love quite fiercely. If a person isn’t related to me and I consider them family, that is the highest praise I can give you because to me, family SHOULD be everything and they SHOULD be prioritized over bullshit, but that’s me. Not everyone is living life with my ethos.

I am touched by the invite, but I did have to decline. I’ve had a migraine for two weeks, and the Fibro flares intermittently. The last thing I want to do is ruin a holiday for someone else. Some people enjoy Passover. I’m still scarred from the last Seder I had to sit through. It is probably my least favorite holiday, and while I respect the traditions and the meaning behind it all, I choose not to take part when I am sick and need to prioritize my health above all else.

I also have an invite to a feminist Seder Saturday night. I don’t know if I’m going or not just yet. I do worry about this migraine getting worse and being someplace I’ve never been before, especially as I sit here unable to sleep. As other migraineurs know, it is often better to be sick at home, even if you’re miserable about it, then to be sick somewhere else and not have everything you need within reach. Imagine showing up to a stranger’s house with ice packs, a heating pad, essential oils, pillows, medication, etc., demanding that they all be quiet because you have a migraine and cannot tolerate noise on a good day, leave alone during a full-blown migraine. I do NOT want to explain that to people I don’t know, and I really don’t care to explain it to people I do know, but lately I keep getting asked the same questions over and over. Ultimately I’m going to say this: I don’t ever use my migraines as an excuse NOT to do something if I am well enough to do it, so if anyone insinuates that, they deserve a good smack upside the head. I’ve never used Fibromyalgia as an excuse either. If I am too sick, I simply make that known. If a person cannot see how badly I am struggling and suffering each day, then I refuse to explain it as if they’re deaf, dumb, blind, and mute.

I openly admit I’m sick of spending my days with the cats. On top of being allergic (I’ve been allergic even to my own cats for probably ten years, if not longer), it makes me feel like I have no time for myself. Cat and Kitten are such Mama’s Girls. They are almost fully integrated into the house. This week has been one of great progress. Whenever I’ve been working, researching, reading, or resting, I will check on them and find one in the picture window baking in the sun, another might be hanging out with me or asleep in her own bed, and OGK is either sound asleep in his bed or sprawled on the living room rug, also baking in a sun beam. But as the day progresses and his blood sugar drops, he loses patience for them and will sometimes get a little nasty and/or aggressive. It’s only happened a few times this week, but his medication appears to be helping him and that’s a good sign. He’s gained some weight, he’s smacking me less, is being sweet at times, but he still insists on waking me nightly. He stands next to the bed and screeches as loudly as possible, and like an idiot, I get up and do whatever he wants, regardless of how much sleep I have or have not gotten.

I’m pre-programmed to respond to three things in the middle of the night: An intruder that needs to be taught a lesson, a baby crying, and a cat crying. Some cats mimic the cry of a baby and as a woman, I’m biologically programmed to respond to that. I’m the woman in pretty much any store (Walmart, Target, any mall I happen to be in…) shushing crying babies while their mothers ignore them and keep on shopping. It drives me insane and makes me want to call CPS on them. If your child is screaming, there’s a reason, so respond. <End of rant>

OGK is willing to auction me off to the highest bidder. His demands include two large ocean-caught salmon, filleted and deboned, and five cooked chicken breasts, cut into tiny pieces. I’m pretty sure there’s a sign on the front door for the cats of the neighborhood that says “Trained Human For Sale”. Every day he looks at me with these gorgeous green eyes (You will legitimately NEVER see green eyes like this on a human-being unless they’re colored contacts and even then, they’ll look fake.), huffs out a sigh, and thinks “Ugh, she’s STILL here. How do I get rid of her?” If there was a kitty Craigslist, which I highly believe would be called Morris’ List, I’d be sold to the highest bidder in a New York Minute. He’s sick of me, until he’s hungry or thirsty and then he can’t wait to find this wonderfully trained human who’s at his beck and call. That’s me: The Beck & Call Girl. Feel free to let people know that. LOL. (Sorry Mom, Dad, Grandma, and Grandpa, but it’s a rich line and I can’t afford not to use it.).

So my lovelies, this is me checking in with all of you. More to come soon. I hope you all have an amazing weekend.


copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Sleep Interrupted


I was in bed last night right after The Blacklist ended (If you don’t watch this show, you should. I never intended for it to become something I watch, but the pilot had me hooked from day one.). I flew up the steps, washed my face, brushed my teeth, and after double-checking cat bowls, got into bed. I slept well, until about 5:30 when I started smelling coffee. You know what that means, right?

Just yesterday I told Him “Do not touch my non-dairy creamer. I need it for my tea.” I made threats, none of which were nice, all of which were serious. I take tea time very seriously. When you drink 3-5 cups of tea a day, it’s clearly something you enjoy. I like mine a certain way and plain is not on that list.

I went downstairs in search of the smell, but He was in hiding, and rightly so. When I find him, it won’t be pretty. I fed cat and kitten and stomped back up the steps, furious, but still in need of additional beauty sleep. I was able to get a little more sleep, and have been awake ever since. He is going out later and replacing my creamer because I am not pleased that I can’t have tea until it arrives. Bastard.

This morning, waking up was not what I had in mind at all. It feels like a Saturday, perhaps because it is deathly quiet out. Apparently the kids are not in school this week, which makes no sense to me since Passover is next week and I don’t know how prudent it is for them to have two weeks off, but whatever. Not my circus, not my monkeys.

I’m stressed and I HURT. The weather keeps going back and forth between the 20’s and the 60’s, and while it is utterly beautiful to have milder temperatures, even if it’s a rainy day, it still messes with my body.

I have no plans this holiday weekend. Technically, Passover begins tonight at sundown. My family is scattered across the States and overseas, so I’m not attending any seders, nor was I invited to any. I will keep editing this manuscript so that I can move on to the others she has in store for me, and watch The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. I’m trying to make tentative plans for tomorrow, just to be able to enjoy the day for a few hours out of doors, but nothing is etched in stone. If I’m feeling up to it, maybe I’ll just take a long walk.

As I’ve said before, the holidays are lonely. I miss my parents and Grandparents terribly. Loss often feels like it happened yesterday, but the years come and go and life moves on, even if the pain of each loss remains with you. I find myself astounded by people who never seem to be affected by the loss of a loved one, who return to work immediately, who never discuss the person again, etc. Are people really that cold and detached, or is that the “coping mechanism” utilized by most people? What is your take on that?

Regardless of what you celebrate, I wish you a wonderful holiday filled with family, friends, laughter, joy, and peace. Me? I just want my tea. LOL.

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Holiday Weeks


It’s no secret: I’m fucking exhausted. Fibromyalgia, migraines, and two hundred truckloads of stress are slowly trying to kill me. Every day, I wonder if a heart attack or a stroke will take me out. I wish I were being dramatic, but I’m not. I would really like to curl up on the floor like a content cat and be left to my own devices. In my next life, I am definitely coming back as one…

In other news; Passover begins later this week just in time for the full moon and today is Palm Sunday, with Easter Sunday being next weekend. The former meaning something to me, the latter meaning “It’s Sunday.” I’m Jewish, which I know is not something people expect, but I’ve never hidden the fact.

Holidays are stressful for me, and depressing. Apart from my brother, all of my family is far away. I don’t speak to 9/4’s of them, and with just cause. I do not get invited to anything except funerals (Who the hell e-mails someone else in the family and asks them to deliver the news to me, and expects me to trek out 3+ hours to be treated like shit?) , and Passover in particular is one of those holidays that I hated growing up and have a terrible aversion to as an adult. This is a holiday where I am grateful to be an intelligent, creative, free spirit, yet under the tyranny of my nation’s President, as opposed to Pharaoh, which for me, is the same fucking thing. What won’t Americans be allowed to do tomorrow? Your guess is as good as mine, and I’m sick of it.

Holidays are often isolating if you suffer from a chronic illness that others refuse to understand and/or take into consideration. If family alienates you and friends drift to the wayside, or make themselves unavailable, it can be quite lonely. Do I want a house full of people for every single holiday? No, but would it be nice to have a few people around to do something with? Yes. In the end, I will probably be working on the never-ending manuscript (It’s really not that long, I’m just that tired.) and listening to music, or something as relatively laid back as possible. If you have a good move recommendation, please, send it along!

It is hard to believe we move into another month this week. Tempus fugit. The knowledge makes me ill (I have my reasons.). The truth is, before we know it, it will be Fall or Winter again, thus the cycle will continue. It’s always something. No matter what you’re going though, the world keeps on moving in various directions. You will agree with some and disagree with others. Such in the pattern of life.

I have a lot to do this coming week, so I made a list. I think it’s a good time to let people know you’re thinking of them by sending out cards, especially if you haven’t done so in a while, and make phone calls to touch base. Texting doesn’t count with this one. Since I can’t bear to talk to certain people at the moment, cards will have to suffice. After all, it is the thought behind the action that counts. 🙂


Here’s hoping everyone had a lovely, relaxing, productive weekend.

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.