PlazaJen: The Blog

Riding the Bike with One Pedal.

Category: Family (page 1 of 2)

A Tale of Two Christmases…

Growing up, Christmastime was always a mixed bag. Because my dad’s mother passed away before Christmas, and he would, shortly after Thanksgiving, go into a very dark depression.  I don’t remember my grandmother – when she died, I was maybe two? And we had plans to go to Florida to visit her, but instead, as life will do, plans changed. My father would retell the story of flying from Florida to Chicago with his mother’s ashes in an urn in a package on his lap, the elderly lady next to him cheerfully chirping, “Christmas present?” And in Dad’s typical biting dark streak, he replied, “You could say so.”  He would then describe clawing at the frozen ground, attempting to spread her ashes, not realizing what the urn ultimately contained. I’ll spare you the vivid description, but it galvanized me as a child, and basically drew a line around my father, his dark moat, he was not to be messed with in December.

So every other year was my Mom’s “Year” for Christmas. A huge tree, loaded with lights and decorations, geegaws and ribbons and red velveteen everywhere. The off years were Dad’s. I would string popcorn and put it on the ficus tree. We had this really old, and to me, AMAZING, three-dimensional ornament that unfolded from two sides of cardboard, revealing accordion-folded beehive-like tissue paper that once the little metal tabs clasped over the other side of cardboard, displayed a two-foot Santa Claus. That was it. That was his concession,  a ficus tree decorated with ornaments I made from colored paper and popcorn and an ancient santa that grew more delicate each year. His darkness got its turn. We tread lightly around him no matter what, and there was always a sense of relief when the holidays were over, when January arrived, bringing with it a new year and the darkness receded.

I felt that deep dark current come forth this week, as someone was trying to excuse another person’s terrible behavior, trying to justify their actions, that they were sure the holidays were hard for them, given some of their life circumstances. I tartly countered, “Is it a competition?  Both my parents are dead. Nobody gets a pass at the holidays and everyone ultimately has to behave.” I regretted it, albeit fleetingly, but it ultimately summed up in five words what’s heavy on my mind, and contributing to a feeling of isolation.  Both my parents are dead. It sucks. I’m alone. My party of three is now a party of one, when you look at all those formative years of Alternating Christmases.  But I also tell myself, I’m not a Syrian refugee, either. I’m not being raped or beaten with my own baby. I’m not suffering through chemo treatments or in an abusive relationship. There are lots of worse places to be and lives to be living.  But I have my own dark current (god, could I sound more like Dexter? Don’t worry, I’m not ordering rolls of plastic sheeting and dressing in three-button henleys) and I know the holidays are challenging for most people, whether they’re trying to measure up to a societal projection of perfection, or are coping with all the things that hobble our lives.

We never had big gatherings – my father shunned them – and weren’t close to other family, whether it was geographically or emotionally. Basically, I’m wired for small gatherings and being the best hostess possible. I was talking to my therapist about this – he pointed out that for some people, it’s not a true celebration unless there are hordes of people gathered.  Obviously for others, smaller gatherings are more valued.  Not having any siblings, I’m kind of out of my holiday traditions, even if we’d stopped getting together, there were cards and gifts and emails. Strands of connection.  There are so many variables, you know? As you blend new families together, as you go home to your parents, the dance steps and conversations and expectations and all that … history. It drives the bus, it plays the music, it conducts the orchestra. We have expectations we don’t even realize we have until they don’t happen, or the plan changes, and then we still don’t necessarily know what those things were, we just know we’re unhappy. Or angry. Or sad. Or all of the above.

All I can say is, be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. If you have a dark moat that rises this time of year, don’t pretend it doesn’t exist, because that only makes the moat angry.  Angry moats want to rise up and drown you with lies and destruction. Acknowledge your moat, even sit with it at times. Because it’s just part of the whole thing. Say some of the things that hurt the most out loud. When I finally said, “I miss my mom,” it was like the dam broke. And it hurt and I cried, and I felt confused, because we had our issues with each other, but those fine strands of connection I maintained are gone, now that she is gone, and this year more than last year, I feel the holes they left behind, and what those holes are connected to inside of me, my expectations, my dreams, my sadness, my history.  And even in my loneliest moment, I am trying to say, over and over, until it feels true, “I am enough.” My heart is not there yet, but I know in my mind, I will be ok. If you have any of this in your own heart or head? I hope you are ok, too. I have faith that you can find it. We are enough.

 

scraping the hull

It’s been a rough month, indeed. There was a brief respite – a quick trip to Vegas – that was an utter escape, lots of fun (no big wins) and I’d say Vegas is definitely like a Disneyland for adults. The rough spots have been lots of work, some serious brain chemistry working against me, and now, we find ourselves at a terrible spot with our younger dog, Tripper. He’s got a detached lens on his eye, an infected tooth, and his fever was too high for surgery. Now he’s panting, not eating, not drinking, and I’m desperately dropping pills down his throat to ease the pain and fight the infection(s). Plus an ice cube just now to try to get a smidgen of fluid into him. I’m taking him back to the vet tomorrow, and I fear deeply that unless they have answers and can stabilize him, our vibrant, goofy loving dog will be crossing the Rainbow Bridge before old age should have taken him. I’ve pretty much spent my weekend crying, not unlike each day the past month, so I’ll work to stay hydrated as well, and hope we all get through this with love, kindness, caring and the least amount of pain possible. And I’d like to ask for a new deck of cards, because I’m not doing well with what’s getting dealt to me.

Grief, Take Two

James’ grandfather is dying. Stage IV Melanoma; it’s in his brain and lungs and a lot of other places, too. He had a doctor who put him into radiation immediately, but the 2nd opinion at KU Cancer Center confirmed everyone’s worst fears – nothing could be done to save him, and just live what life you have left. Hearing how kind the second doctor was brought my first tears, for he was so kind. So caring. Facing finality, with no good news and surrounded by family, this man took all the time necessary to convey the worst news of all: there is no hope. For hope is that tiny spark in the face of darkness.

Obviously this is painful and horrible and heavy and sad. It is hard to watch your partner struggle with the oh-so-many-faces and emotions grief brings when it moves in and settles down, right in the center of your chest like a boulder going nowhere. It’s hard to relive the memories it all churns up, images I’d pushed far to the back of the closet, the bottom of the box, the gray shell my father had become, a shadow of his former self, his body an empty sarcophagus that once housed a robust, vibrant, witty man. What those final moments were like and how months later they threatened to destroy me, crying at the night sky, anything to end the constant aching pain of loss.

Some of my own defenses kick in, and I don’t cry at home. I have to be strong and kind and gentle and understanding, because it’s some rough shit and it’s my turn to drive. My turn to be a rock. So I’m angry when grief still springs from the office ceiling or the backseat of my car, causing tears to slide down my own cheeks while I fight off old haunted feelings. The best thing I can do is just be here, be there, because if there is proof you can survive some of the greatest loss imaginable, I’ve done it. Still kickin’. Still pissed at grief for being an unpredictable demon, reminding us that with great love can also come great loss.

There are lost periods. Time passes in fits and starts. And where my world, 8 years ago, was filled with a jumble of crazy, of helplessness, wildly racing emotions and rage, confusion and denial, now there is … white static. It’s like that thing you hear in your ears, as though the air pressure around you has shifted, increased, and your head feels like its underwater, but you can still breathe, you just feel suspended by the buzz and hum of containment. It is an odd purgatory, this limbo, for it insulates somewhat against the pain, while you wait for the next verse to start.

White light. Open spaces everywhere.
The hum. Holding my breath.
Just. Waiting.

Happy Mother’s Day

To those who are mothers through their love and actions. Biology can define you as a mother, certainly, but it doesn’t mean you’re doin’ it right.

 

Mine is in rehab for the second time, claiming she’s “just a social drinker”. Clearly she is quite misunderstood, as going on an eleven-day bender, drinking after getting out of rehab the first time, and being confronted by your peers and colleagues and having to “retire early” because you’ve been “socially drinking” before/during work, why, that’s not alcoholism, it’s just being really, really fucking social. Life of the party!

To think I was worried about how I would handle her making amends as part of the Twelve-Step program.

Perhaps the one good thing to come out the past six months of angst has been a freshly-developed relationship with my uncle (my mother’s brother.) He is, in many ways, like my mother as I knew her – quick to laugh, optimistic, hard-working – yet not as plagued by his family of origin issues and at the core, a loving and forgiving person. We have had countless conversations, and I’ve learned more painful things about my mom than I imagined possible.  One of the things that I’ve done, through the dwindling silence after my father died, was to always make sure I sent her a card, note, email, gift on the main holidays. Mother’s Day, Birthday, Christmas. Many of those gifts were hand-knit items – socks, hats, lace scarf, etc. In my naivete, I imagined she at least showed them off and told people they were from me. What a fool – letting my inner ten-year old hang on to that dream. Nope. I am not a topic. That one nicked the bone, I must say. A more neutral perspective pointed out that much of her behavior probably centered around maintaining her own victimology, for to be cut off from her only child works better as a sob story than ownership in the dance.  And a good reason to “be social.” That helps, but of course it doesn’t change a thing. My poor uncle initially pushed for me to visit, to help, to try to intervene. Ten years ago, I might have done that. Now, I recognize that I am powerless in this situation, and until my mother decides FOR HERSELF she really wants to quit drinking, all the rehab and interventions and talking will be for naught. I have learned from watching a dear friend go through the whole process of recovery, and while I’m sure she would rather have not had to go through it, I am grateful for what she taught me.

So, onward we go, and focus on the things we can control and change, appreciate the people who put in the effort, who talk and listen and support. Honor those who love you; remember to honor yourself in the process.

 

Church of Stove

I got up this morning & hit the ground running!

James got a Weber smoker a week or so ago, and we had a turkey in the deep freeze, so we arranged to have our gardening friends Julie & Todd over to have a late afternoon meal. The turkey will be smoked, along with a large pan of homemade baked beans, and greens are simmering on the stove. Grandparents are also rumored to be showing up as well, so it will be a full table!

The beans are my first attempt – and a salesperson I was dining with on Friday sent me her recipe, as she also loves to cook & these beans are requested over and over again from her friends and family. I modified it a little bit (of course) by adding in some frozen Serrano peppers, and omitted the bacon because we had about half a pound of smoked pork butt that I chopped and added to the mixture. I doubled the recipe (of course) so hopefully these freeze well! Three kinds of beans – pork & beans, red kidney beans, and butter beans, plus ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, vinegar & mustard.  Here’s a shot of what didn’t fit in the pan:

Moving on from there (as I was cutting up onion after onion!) I sliced up some hot Italian sausage, and got that cooking with an onion. Added chicken broth, a huge bag of fresh spinach, and about five potatoes, cut into chunks. That’s simmering on the stove, and will get a last-minute addition of some half-and-half before serving. That’s going to be “early brunch”. Homegrown spinach is so fantastic!

On to the last onion… James went out in the rain and picked a giant tub trug of Siamese Dragon greens… basically a huge mixture of all sorts of greens, including bok choy, mustard/turnip greens, some crazy escarole-like fronds, and I started sauteing the onions and browning the delicious-looking smoked ham shank. I added a pitcher of water, a few cubes of vegetable bouillon, and got to work cleaning and stripping the greens from the tougher stems. Once a sink basin was full, in to the pot they went, and the process began again. Eventually, the huge bucket of greens compressed into a stockpot, where they will simmer all day – to be dressed at the table with some Serrano vinegar!

The house is redolent with savory smells… rain is falling outside, and it’s time for another cup of coffee. Enjoy your Sunday, no matter how you spend it!

 

Resiliancy.

I had been chatting with a a sales rep friend a while back, muttering about our equally long careers in this business. We’ve been through the ups & downs – employed, unemployed, good employers, less-than-good… In that conversation, I said, “Glen? You know what we are? We’re resilient. No matter how many times we get knocked down, challenged by what life throws our way, we just get back up and keep on walkin’.” And that’s really what it’s all about in the end, isn’t it? How we choose to act in the face of adversity, and the graciousness with which we accept the bounty that is earned and given to us.

I started my new job last week. You always have your first set of challenges – how do I dial the phone? Will I remember anyone’s name tomorrow? And then the real work begins, and yes, I’m in the early glow of New Job! New Challenges!, life is good, I love the work I’ve been given to do, and am going to be working with a great group of people – at my job, my clients, and my vendor partners. On that first day, I also got a curve ball: my uncle -I haven’t seen or spoken with in ten years- called to ask if my mother was with me, because she was missing. Had been missing since the previous Wednesday.

Long story short, her drinking had escalated. Now, mind you, the parents I grew up with? Rarely over-indulged in alcohol. Everything in moderation. I could count on one hand the number of times I’d seen my mom even tipsy. I knew that her drinking had increased as their marriage declined, and there had been a rather dire incident after the divorce, where her consumption of 750ml of vodka left her hospitalized with a 0.48 Blood Alcohol level, and at that time – 10 years ago – I got her enrolled in Hazelden, working with her hospital social worker, but in the end, she wriggled out of it. I threw my hands in the air. We’re stubborn, both of us, but I’m smart enough to know when the effort is wasted. If there’s one thing I learned from my own childhood, it’s that you cannot change another person, no matter how hard you try.

This – this was something new. My uncle was worried, and I quickly became worried as well. She was reported as a missing person. Endangered to herself. Somewhere out there with her car, and a cell phone that had been turned off. No bank account activity. No word from a single friend back home.

The days went by. Conversations with a Chief Deputy, confirming the national APB that was now out. Paperwork was filed to begin accessing her credit cards, hoping for some sort of indication – anything – that would tell us she was at least alive. I’ve never been through something like that before. I hope I never have to go through it again. Staring at pages online of other faces, people who vanished and gone for years, wondering if this was the future for me. Fearing a terrible accident, so devastating her car had left the road and was hidden in a thicket somewhere, somehow invisible, was she hurt, was she dead. Was she dead. Would we ever know.

Thankfully, last Sunday, a sharp-eyed cop in a nearby city spotted the make and model of my mother’s car, in the parking lot of a motel. Ran the plates, got a hit. Found.

Eleven days, ten nights. Sounds like my dream of a vacation, preferably in Tahiti. She spent it in a blackout, ordering food and pouring alcohol into her body. I feel strangely detached, just writing and sharing that. It’s in sharp contrast to the high anxiety from last week, that’s for sure. I don’t know who that person is, the one with a car full of beer cans and wine bottles, driving drunk and risking her life as well as others’. It’s not really detachment, I suppose. It’s the fortress I built long ago, appearing out of the mist. Reminding me that I put up these walls to protect myself from a different dynamic. And even from that distance, I do love her. I wish things could be different, of course, but right now, her journey needs to focus on herself. She was hospitalized, agreed to enter rehab, and yesterday, she entered a facility where I hope she can start her life anew in different direction. I feel old. Older than her. Older than everyone involved in this. Perhaps because I see my utter powerlessness. There are only so many times you can try to do the work for someone else before you see you’re carrying water in a sieve. I quit clocking in next to Sisyphus a long time ago.

That said. If anyone can do it, it’s her. After all, she was the one with the indomitable spirit my whole childhood, digging in her heels, getting back on the horse that threw her, no job nor mountain too big to be tackled. I hope she can find that resiliency and optimism she so carefully cultivated in me.

Me? It’s been a rough couple of weeks.

But I’m good. It’s good.

Many thanks to be given.

Much terrain to survey.

Miles to go before I sleep.

Faith

As I’ve noted, December isn’t the easiest of months to sail through. Between the busy-ness of work, the pressure of holidays, the sorrows and reminders of family and loss, on its own, the month is taxing. (Oh yeah – gotta pay property taxes and estimated taxes by the end of the month, too. Fun!)  Throw in a couple other unexpected experiences, and I’ve felt of late that my faith has been shaken.

Which is interesting. I don’t worship a conventional god, deity, in any sense of organized religion. So when my reflective mind tells me, “Our faith has been shaken,” and I know it’s referring to the trust and confidence in people and situations, sardonic self replies with, “What faith?” Of course, faith isn’t simply faith to God or god or whatever you want to call it. My faith is rooted in a set of behaviors and values, and when things run perpendicular to those holdings, I question not only myself, but the world around me. I think that in times of struggle, our faith rolls like the tides.  Betrayals of trust, seeing what was hidden before, whatever the provocation, you see the water recede from your feet, exposing the flotsam and the sand pulls away from under your feet. And as you stand there pondering all that is strewn before you, and wondering when your faith is ever going to return, it’s easy to think it might not come back. Or that it will take a long time to return, at the very least.

But in my solitude today, I realized something. Something that I hadn’t allowed myself to see. Because I spent the first 30 years of my life viewing every problem as something that was mine, and mine alone to solve and resolve. To some extent, that’s still true. In the end, we have to live with ourselves, the choices we make, and that sometimes there is no resolution or clear path. But. I forget to see the faith others have in me.  And while they want to take away my pain (and can’t) or want to resolve my own internal struggle (again, they can’t), that support and desire to make it better remains.  It surrounds me, like the faces of my friends last night, or the arms of my husband, or the emails from people across the expanse, checking in, valuing me, saying hello.

And when I realized the massive volume of that love and support today, I felt my own tightly-wound spool spin unfettered.  Air went deeper into my lungs. The path before me no longer strewn with pitfalls and hurdles, but just a path. One that I must walk, with my own feet, on my own – yet not alone.  Faith, restored.

The Zen of Homebuilding

The holidays have really never been my thing, over the years. Most of my adult memories of them are associated with either steeling myself to going home and battling it out with my parents, or figuring out a way not to go home, and feeling guilty about it. I remember one year, an impending snowstorm made the decision for me, and genuinely crying on the phone to my parents about having to spend Christmas alone, but secretly, inside and under the fountain of tears, I was relieved.  My return visits home made me the centerpiece of attention, something I normally enjoy, I’ll admit, but this was never in a charmed or charming way.

I shan’t relive those visits here, of course, moments from over the years still rise up and remind me of their sting. It’s taken a long, long time to feel at peace with my history, the family traditions that so many of us have.  Then, my father’s death became a new albatross this time of year, in part because it echoed his own history around the holidays: his mother’s own death before Christmas turned him into a very depressed, withdrawn person as that holiday approached. The family compromise was to decorate every-other year, as he hated everything about the holiday, arguing the ritual was idiotic, given our lack of religious faith. But really, inside, he was just trying to keep afloat in the Pit. The Pit of sadness and despair, where our grief and our pain pools and resides, ebbing and flowing, sometimes threatening to drown us completely. In the years following his death, I barely recall those gatherings myself, apart from the ones we hosted. In some ways, I replicated his own behavior; survival in the grips of absolute despair.

I’m not sure why this year feels different. Not quite as blue, not quite as shiny, either, just another day with fewer stores open, no mail. A day spent with a good friend watching Harry Potter on the big screen, in a theater not nearly as crowded as Christmas is, where I have sought company among my Jewish friends in the past. Traditions are hard to shake, especially the feeling that you are missing out somehow, that a piece of you is off-kilter, adrift, not in sync as Facebook status after Facebook status rolls by with reports of over-indulgence, new recipes, scrubbed shiny faces of children. Odd, how social media can unite and isolate all at the same time. But that history is not my history, your recipe for stuffing is far different than my own.

They say when you leave home, that you can never go home again. My father said those words to me after they moved me into the dorms to begin my freshman year of college. Stung, I felt like I had been set adrift somehow, the proverbial thump of landing after being kicked out of the nest. He then explained that while it was always my home, it would never be the same. My struggle to define myself, to grow up, to be independent, would all prevent my childhood home from feeling the same to me, and that I would have to find and establish a new home for myself. At that time, all of 17 years old, I thought I understood. But I can tell you now, from the wisdom of 25 more years, that I had no idea what home was or needed to be at that point in my life.

Tonight, I will enjoy some pasta with mushrooms and asparagus. Asparagus my husband bought me because he knows how much I love it. Asparagus he bought when he went to the grocery store for me, taking the list I’d written for myself, taking one thing off my list in a week that’s been so busy for being so short. In so many ways, he is my refuge, my comfort and strength. But I finally see that my home is within me. It is not defined by a day or a meal. And for this wisdom and perspective, I’m thankful, indeed.

My Age Is Showing…

…our niece, Danielle, is a member of eleventeen billion Facebook groups. One afternoon, James rapid-fire read them off, as we collapsed in laughter, because they are so indicative of how kid brains work. Sure, technology has come a long way since I was her age, like, we have the Wii instead of Magic Merlin, but the sheer silliness is still there.

For instance:

Danielle became a fan of I stay up late every night, and realize it’s a bad idea every morning.
Danielle became a fan of i wonder if british people sit around trying to talk in an American accent?
Danielle became a fan of “Hey can i have a Starburst?” “Here” “No, I want the pink one.”
Danielle became a fan of Inbox (1) makes me nervous.
Danielle became a fan of I hate it when my parents wont answer their phone but get mad when i dont!
Danielle became a fan of “OH, SO LET ME TELL YOU THIS STORY…” “Dude, I was there with you.” “Oh.”
Danielle became a fan of 1 word texts to me mean: 1. you don’t care or 2. I did something wrong.

So now, I have caught myself thinking in terms of Fan Groups I Could Start, like,

Jennifer became a fan of “I Hate When the Light Catches On My BlackBerry and I Think I Have A Message.”

Jennifer became a fan of “I Get Worried When I Walk Into the Kitchen, Forget Why I Went There, And Wonder If It’s Early-Onset Alzheimer’s”

Jennifer became a fan of  “I Believe Office Supplies Can Change My Life”
Jennifer became a fan of “Sometimes I Talk To Touch Screens As If They Could Hear Me”
Jennifer became a fan of  “I’m Becoming That Crazy Lady Who Yells At Cars Speeding Down My Street”

Yes, Facebook, you certainly are a time suck.

Random Orts

1. The stoplights on the entrance ramps on I-435 make me crazy. CAH-RAY-ZHEEE. I think it’s because I had five years of dealing with those motherfucking things in Minneapolis, and they were definitely more hard-ass about them up there (only one car per green, not two), and in most instances, there is at least a little more room to accelerate than what I remember. Also, these seem to be turned on when traffic is at gridlock, vs. in Minneapolis, they just were ON during rush hour, no matter how busy the roads were, so you sometimes had the momentous excitement of going from 0 to 60 in half a city block to merge into traffic going 70 mph and your lane was disappearing rapidly. So yeah, I know, it could be worse. But with my new job (yay!) I have loooads of commuting options, because so many major streets run parallel to the highway, and my distance on the interstate is pretty short to begin with. But I still like to bitch about those lights. They are my Vietnam Flashback.

2. Boundaries are important. I think I’ve really learned that lesson this past year. My spidey sense is honed to intrusions on my boundaries and I react accordingly. Sometimes overwhelmingly. I feel very wary and watchful in a lot of different situations, I’m resentful when my time is taken for granted (or considered less-than), and I am spending less time trying to fix things and just walking away from broken detritus. It keeps my boundaries springy and happy.

3. I believe I am the last person in the metro area who is not sick of winter. Let’s face it, I’ve got plenty of my own insulation, brisk weather invigorates me, you can always put on a sweater, and as long as it isn’t icy? I’m cool. Literally and figuratively. Snow makes me happy – as long as the streets get plowed!
Snowy backyard

4. If people don’t appreciate me (and especially if they’re family), I find it triggers Instant Resentment! You don’t even have to add water, just shake the contents and presto, a fiery concoction of vitriol and cursewords. In some cases, also some sadness. I knit some really nice things this winter – one for my mom, one for my dad’s second wife, I sent them, and never heard a word. Boundaries. Silence is sometimes as loud as a land mine.

5. Other family members are fiercely protective and appreciative of me, and it makes me weep with confusion and gratitude. Sometimes my boundaries just melt.

6. There are some batshit-crazy people in the world and you just can’t understand them, because nothing starts from a logical argument. My poor brain keeps trying to scribble out equations with motivations and potential scenarios and conclusions, but it’s fruitless.

7. Even though I realize I am a Responsible Adult, it is breath-catchingly surprising when I’m actually called that. I took a friend to and from an oupatient procedure last week, and when I picked her up, they read the home care instructions to me, because I was “the Responsible Adult”. I was like, wow – really? Lady, I can hardly get my laundry done, it’s my biggest nemesis. But yeah, I guess I still qualify.

8. I picked up said friend’s prescription and was extremely disheartened to see that infant formula is behind a locked window in some drug stores. Sigh.

Sad Times

That’s it for tonight! Peace, love & hair grease…

Older posts

© 2017 PlazaJen: The Blog

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑


Warning: mysql_query(): Access denied for user 'root'@'localhost' (using password: NO) in /home/rbnugent/public_html/blog/wp-content/plugins/quickstats/quickstats.php on line 345

Warning: mysql_query(): A link to the server could not be established in /home/rbnugent/public_html/blog/wp-content/plugins/quickstats/quickstats.php on line 345

Warning: mysql_query(): Access denied for user 'root'@'localhost' (using password: NO) in /home/rbnugent/public_html/blog/wp-content/plugins/quickstats/quickstats.php on line 346

Warning: mysql_query(): A link to the server could not be established in /home/rbnugent/public_html/blog/wp-content/plugins/quickstats/quickstats.php on line 346

Warning: mysql_fetch_row() expects parameter 1 to be resource, boolean given in /home/rbnugent/public_html/blog/wp-content/plugins/quickstats/quickstats.php on line 346