Friday, December 16, 2011

Getting into the zone

I'm finally getting the Spirit. I've always loved Christmas... it's brilliant colors, glow of lights and the wish to get everyone just the right gift... the one that will 'knock their socks off.'

The first thing that jingled my bell was what I expect is a gift from Santa, and it may be just the first of several I have been receiving each year. These are not of the 'unwrap and see what's in the box' variety. They are more subtle (i.e. getting a surprise call from someone special to me, etc.). The gift? A wonderful dream that had me waking up with a smile... not the least being that I can still remember it (the salient parts anyway). What was it about? Not gonna tell. And I'm still smiling.

Another jingle was when two of my granddaughters came over a couple of days ago to help me with some things I didn't feel up to doing myself. Didn't finish the whole To-Do List, but did get the main item completed. Then we went out to lunch. I've been wanting to go to the Jefferson Hotel to see the lovely decorations and tree. It was a special treat for me to take the girls there. They loved the decorations and got a kick out of spotting the alligators... a real boost to my holiday mood.

I've been concentrating on and anticipating my family 'Christmas' which is scheduled for January. We've gotten together after the real holiday for several years now. Means I don't have to be part of the pre-Christmas shopping rush unless I just want to indulge. I don't. The grand-kids love it... they get to have two Christmases. And we adults can take advantage of sales. (I hope there's one on country hams, my main contribution to our dinner.)

I am looking forward to Christmas Day because it falls on Sunday this year. There's just something so right about that for me. I'm planning on attending services that Eve and Day. Well... at least one or the other.

The Timex has finally stop ticking. Just before Thanksgiving I noticed that the second hand was no longer making its sweep around the face of the watch. All things come to an end. The death of that battery coming at the beginning of the celebration of new life for us all... another wonderful gift.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Taking time for giving thanks

Comfort is relative…
This past Saturday, the temperature in the mountains was 43° with a wind chill considerably lower. While at a craft fair for my granddaughters’ scout troops, I saw one of the older girls who was there to help with the crafts... a teenaged girl with her hands crammed either into the pockets of a zipped-up sweatshirt or her jeans. Bare feet and flip-flops. Fashion dictates.

My ears! My ears!....

When I attended grade school, the artwork decorating the rooms and halls was related to the holidays or seasons of the month, i.e. cherry trees and little axes for George Washington’s birthday; decorated eggs, chicks and bunnies for Easter; colorful leaves for Fall in September; witches, ghosts, and jack-o-lanterns for October. November was for Pilgrims, black hats with large buckles, and varied representations of the Plymouth rock. Then, up went the paper Christmas trees and garlands, etc. for Christmas.

When my children were growing up, the day after Thanksgiving Day was the day we put up the Christmas tree and other decorations. I managed to con my youngest daughter into stringing the lights on the tree each year. Until she finally rebelled.

Irritated by the apparent disregard for Thanksgiving this year, I made up my mind to avoid anything related to Christmas until after Thanksgiving Day, especially any and all of the ’holiday’ movies that started playing on TV at least two weeks ago. I had been successful in my determination until I discovered that my granddaughter was ready for the gift-giving holiday. She insisted on listening to a radio station that was already airing their Christmas play list. Oh, well. It helped that one of the first songs I heard was "Santa, Baby" sung by Eartha Kitt.

I am thankful for so much this year….
Each year my list continues to grow. I am so grateful for:

..Two daughters and a son who have grown into wonderful adults
..Two sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law who have added so much to my life

..Ten grandchildren who must be the smartest, most creative, and best looking ‘grands’ ever to exist
..A brother who is very special (a good man… honest, sensible, trustworthy and true); my sister-in-law, his wife (a woman with a good heart and a wicked sense of humor) and her sister, (a woman whose world-view surpasses even mine in cynicism)
..Authors, with their talent to use and put together words into books that engross and enchant me

..Fathers who are willing to help with girl scout activities
..Friends, who enrich my life in so many ways

This past Thursday evening, a day that had been cold and blustery, my son-in-law introduced me to the pleasure and comfort of hot cocoa with peppermint schnapps. Yum. Consider me schnapped.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Rain on the Just

In less than 12 months, two of my favorite friends have been diagnosed with breast cancer. They are dynamic women, with large hearts... caring and giving... undeserving of the trials of the cancer curse in any form. The only thing I can do is offer my arms for hugs and possibly the benefit (if benefit it be) of my experience with the same diagnosis. Some years ago, a book was written about bad things happening to good people. I later heard that someone had said bad things happen to bad people too, we just don't care. Please, please get your mammograms.

I discovered a musical performance that might lift your spirits. Take a listen, give a look... classical music is new again. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fall smells different...

Now that Fall is officially here, the scents wafting on the air have changed. Trees are changing colors; weeds and other flora are finishing their Summer displays and have gone into Fall mode. Just ask any allergy sufferer... red, puffy eyes and stuffy noses abound.

I've done most of the seasonal clothing change-over, keeping some of the hot weather items close for those days that start out cool but warm up as the sun does its thing. The colder weather clothes must smell different too. At least Bailey, who is now 9 months old, must think so. He usually doesn't stay very far away from me but there must be something about my clothes that smell different to him. He already knows that if I start changing from my pj's into clothes that I can wear in public, there just might be a chance that he's going to get to go outside for a short while. But his reaction to these clothes is different. Summer duds excite him because of the possible outing, but these clothes must have a different odor to them. He stays 2-inches away from my feet as soon as I bring out jeans, socks and shoes. His nose goes into overtime and the snuffling is something to behold. He seems to think that the flapping of socks and legs of jeans is an invitation to grab hold for a game of tug-of-war. Every time I start to slip my foot into my shoe I can't because he has his nose stuck into the toe of it, snuffling away. The other morning I was using a lint roller to get at Bailey fur (an attempt to keep my jeans from appearing as if he had slept on them). As I ran the roller down the front of my leg I hit him on the nose... he had stuck it between my knees. Talk about a friend that sticketh closer than a brother!

Thursday, September 29, 2011


As if I needed anything else. And the change in seasons just makes it worse. The definition of wanderlust includes 'a great desire to travel or rove.' I always have a low grade urge for road trips any way, and train riding is my preferred mode. I finished reading The Christmas Train by David Baldacci last week and that tipped me over the edge. I've ridden on a train 3 times and each trip was a pleasure, if only for the large amount of personal space at my seat (I actually had room to lower the back of my seat), the ability to walk the aisles and from car to car. The spacious bathroom (compared to ones on a plane). (If you happen to look down into the toilet seat, you see the rail bed. But, I digress.) Amtrak has been loosing money with less provided by Congress, and low ridership. I've often wondered why people abide the continuing restrictions of air travel when they could enjoy the freedom of rail travel. Yes, I understand the need to fly for business or emergency purposes. But all it takes to use the train is a little planning ahead. And the prices are certainly comparative. Not to mention how much easier the journey is when traveling with children. Sometimes a child can ride free with an adult. Savings! Cha-ching. Parents should see how much easier it would be to travel with their children... ya know how much plane travelers just love having children on their trip. Check out the Amtrak cite for all they have to offer. Again, digressing. The only destination I have in mind is to somewhere in Colorado to see the night sky. I basically just want to take a long train ride. Hmmm... may just have to check out some day trips.

A new plane, the Dreamliner, has been announced. I caught a man commenting about some of the customer improvements. He said they are proud of the new blue color of the interior walls, a serene color, meant to lessen rider stress. And the windows are bigger. He wondered how much of an impression this would make on travelers as they will still be sitting in a seat with 16 inches of space. How's that sound to you?

I wonder if sardines are impressed by the gold-colored walls as they are sealed into their can.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

It takes a woman

Earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, floods, droughts... need I go on? I don't think there is a continent that isn't experiencing some kind of weather disaster. Just here in Virginia, it's still rocking and rolling in and around Mineral, the epicenter of our earthquake, which, by the way. reached out and touched more than 20 states. Hurricane Irene came by to visit, dumping rain, flooding even some high ground, and bringing wind that downed trees, broke electrical poles, and generally threw around anything and everything she could get to. And even she couldn't douse the swamp fire... although she did blow the smoke up for the rest of us to enjoy before she got here. Texas is still, I think, the driest place on our continent. The hurricane that came up into the Gulf of Mexico hardly made a dent in the southeast edge of it. Irene went on north and created havoc for northeastern states.

Yes, Mother Nature has been flexing her muscles... letting everyone know that regardless what we think, she is in charge. She must have decided to take a short break... she let a utility man with his handy-dandy wire cutters have at it, leaving millions in San Diego and beyond in the dark.

I don't know about you, but all I have to say is... Enough, already!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Beginnings of endings

Things are winding down... or gearing up, depending on your point of view.

Fall is in the air. The cool mornings of the past few days are a precursor of the end of Summer and the beginning of Fall. The day after Labor Day, the holiday season is just a slip and slide away. Scientists have said that the expansion of the universe is slowing from the Big Boom. I have yet to figure out how that relates to the speed-up of time... would explain how the older I get, the faster the days go by. I haven't been inclined to cooking meals... the heat has just not been conducive to hot ovens and steamy pots and pans. I'm looking forward to soups, stews and roasts in the coming weeks... and quick breads and cakes and maybe a pie or two.

My second-oldest granddaughter got her driver's license this week, signaling the end of her childhood and her ascent into adulthood. I managed to keep my advice to two points:
    a) the car has brakes as well as a gas pedal
    b) the car has three rear-view mirrors as well as a windshield
She is a good driver, and she'll gain experience over the coming months. I have little hope that her time on the roads will include limited incidents such as the yahoo who insisted on pulling in front of me the other day. There was no one behind me. What is behind this type of behavior? Ego. God forbid that the driver should be last. But, I digress...

My oldest grandson starts his Senior year in high school in a few days. (They've already taken the Senior pictures!) He's been looking forward to this and he, as well as his younger sisters, are ready for school to start, although they are loathe to admit it.

The plan is in place, the location acquired, and the date set for the From the Heart retreat scheduled in September. I've been looking forward to the retreat since last year's (my first). Along with meeting and greeting other members of the group, we'll be celebrating the 100,000th donation since the group's inception. We've already started on our next 100,000.

Bailey will surely enjoy the cooler weather when it finally sets in. It'll mean more time outside for walks and playtime with his new friend, a Shih Tzu mix named Miss Nellie. Bless his heart, he has to spend so much of his time with just me that he can't contain his glee when we leave our apartment and he gets to see other people. Actually, I can't really call our forays outside as 'walks'... they're mostly 'drags'... him dragging me behind as we make our way along the sidewalks and through the grass lot.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Living life amidst miracles, generousity, and serendipity

Almost every day, I am reminded what a gift my life is. I don't actually forget so much as take a day or two for granted then get brought up short with a reminder...

Miracles don't usually happen in twos, with an hour or so between. The result of which being hazard-avoidance and survival. As I can't tell the exact story of these happenings without revealing names, suffice it to say that they were followed by stunned silence on my part and, a couple of days later, a calm, short lecture on changing lanes while driving.

All of my friends and most of my dear acquaintances are warm, intelligent, generous people. Why, then, am I so blown away when I am the beneficiary of that generousity? I am continually amazed when it comes my way... I'm so used to seeing it directed toward others.

During the course of a conversation the other day, one of my granddaughters suggested that I start dating again. Really!?

Got a wrong-number call yesterday that turned out to be a right number. The caller was obviously surprised when I answered and when identities were confirmed, it was so good to be speaking with the caller. We hadn't talked in a long time and caught up quickly, albeit with recaps. It was so great reconnecting with this wonderful person.

The best of all is having celebrated a four-year anniversary this past May a diagnosis that would have been a six-month death sentence but for the gift of just the right doctors at the right time. I'm in pretty good shape for the shape I'm in. And loving it.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Kiss of the Mayfly

Kiss of the Mayfly... wouldn't that be a great title for a book or movie? Remember... you heard it here first.

Returned a few moments ago from taking Bailey for his first walk of the day. The temperature is 68 and the breeze is cool, almost bracing. Wonderful! Bailey is so energized that he started running circles around me and the dining table and back and forth between our rooms. Then he brought his tennis ball and insisted on a game of toss & fetch. I know how he feels... I'm almost tempted to dance on the table.

The coolness reminded me of something that happened a couple of weeks ago. The day was lovely; cool enough to drive with the car windows open instead of closed with the a/c trying to run. I was returning home from the 'Yarnery' (my daughter's name for the From the Heart workshop), my friend riding shotgun. While stopped at a red light, I looked down in time to see a Mayfly come in through the open window and alight on the back of my hand. He (she?) stayed a few seconds only but what a gift! Pure magic. AND I have a witness to back me up when I tell everyone about it.

Money couldn't have bought these moments of joy.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ending and beginning with new and familiar experiences

The day before yesterday was the last day of my former age. I spent the most fun part of it with a dear friend. We went to Crosswords on Forest Hill Avenue for brunch. We had been there a couple of times before and enjoyed their coffee, muffins, and scones. This time, we indulged in loaded sesame bagels. An indulgence they were, too... each half of the grilled bagel loaded with a pile of lox, cream cheese, sliced red onions, capers, and a thick slice of tomato. My friend looked closely at her plate and said, "They used real tomatoes!" So they did. I admitted to her that I had never had lox before. Our brunch was wonderful. The only thing that detracted was the plastic forks and knives that were provided... not really up to sawing through a grilled bagel. Spending time cutting through the bagels with those knives did lengthen our time together, but we agreed we'd carry our own metal flatware the next time for a repeat indulgence.And there will be a next time.

The high point yesterday, my birthday, was having lunch with a couple of dear friends at a favorite restaurant. I love those women. We talked and visited while we ate... covering a plethora of subjects dear to our hearts. We didn't solve any of the world's problems, but why should we have to do all the work? Health issues did come up, but we decided that at least we were falling apart together. Our waitress must have overheard my birthday mentioned. She arranged with her manager to provide me with a free dessert as a treat. My choice... Black Tie Mousse Cake with three spoons. Yum! What a great way to start a new year... good friends and lots of dark chocolate.

Continuing my birthday celebrating, I'll be having dinner with family tomorrow night. Notice a theme here?

 I had a new battery put in my watch yesterday. Had stopped wearing it over a year ago... why did I need a watch. Re-thought that proposition. Sometimes, while away from clocks at home, I did need to know what time it was. And since I don't have my cell phone clutched in my hand 24/7, the watch it is.

Several weeks ago, my oldest daughter had me read a new book. She took her daughters to a bookstore and told them that they could pick out four books to donate. It was one of the books they chose. It's a "children's" book, pictures with a few words. Hilarious words. Takes about five minutes to read. I have been tee-heeing and haw-hawing to myself since reading it. It is It's a Book by Lane Smith. Went to a bookstore and bought a copy for myself. I showed it to some friends who loved it. One of them asked me how much it cost. I told her what I had paid for it... that she could order it on-line. She said, "Why don't you just down-load it?" No, no, no, no!
It's a book.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Thank you, Mother Nature

The weather the past two days have been pure heaven for me; the kind I hope and pray for... temps in the high-70s-low-80s and low humidity. Today is supposed to be the same. The weather man just called it a bonus day. Change on the way tomorrow. This kind of weather elates me... makes me want, need, to be outside. Some family members are headed to King's Dominion today and I'm thrilled they'll have this day to enjoy. This weather is good for Bailey, too, as he hasn't had his Summer hair cut yet.. (His appointment is in a couple of weeks... harder to get one for him than for me.)  He used to enjoy being outside... doing his business, rolling in the grass, checking out the p-notes left by other dogs, known and unknown. Nowadays, he hardly takes time for anything except leaving p-notes himself... he's so anxious to get back inside to the ladies (and some men) who make so much over him. I should have such a fan club.

My brother is home this week, recuperating from a medical procedure. Thanks to his wife, Mom Nature and the medical staff he is spending time getting back to 'normal.' He broke, albeit unintentionally, one of the rules... baby brothers aren't supposed to need stents.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Back to 'just us' (sigh)

I realize I do a lot of sighing throughout this post... please bear with me.

Re-entry into the normal every-day routine is hard... especially when the time-out has been so great. Bailey and I spent 5 days with a wonderful group of people and pets in a wonderful place. My son-in-law's sister had invited the family down to her place for the Memorial Day weekend, and let me join in the fun. I've never seen such well-thought-out planning for a siege (all-be-it a friendly one). Eighteen humans and 3 dogs under one roof with deck attached. The deck being the place I spent most of my time. The company was engaging and the food toothsome. Then we returned home. Home, home, home. Yes! After we took a nap, we both had the same reaction... no more Murphy and Belle to play with... no more humans to pet us and tell us how cute we are... no more stimulating conversation... no more delicious smells and tastes... no more dinners at the PIT... no more brisket in the smoker. No more bets on how long it will take for a piece of ice to melt on the deck floor. (We never found out... one of the dogs ate it.) Just us...  home again. We're getting back into our usual grooves. I actually (finally) did some laundry yesterday... it was a matter of needing to be decently dressed to go out in public. As the weather is supposed to good today, we're going to the Daily Grind this morning to spend some time with another delightful group of people. Bailey will get pats and strokes and I'll get coffee and conversation. Sigh... the usual routine isn't so lacking after all.

Didn't watch a TV or listen to radio news the whole time we were gone. Assumed the earth hadn't been blown up... I figured we'd get a clue if so. Have resumed watching sporadically... enough to know that the trials, tribulations, and silliness continue. Sigh.

 Heard yesterday that James Arness has died. With his boots on, I'm sure. During my formative years, Rev. Venoy B. Skinner, Harry S. Truman, Sgt. Joe Friday, and Matt Dillon were the examples for me of what men should be. They were, and remain, my heroes. Although I have a number of males in my life who come very, very, very close, there will never be another Matt Dillon. Sigh.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Things got noisier at my place this past weekend. When I brought Bailey home, I also brought his first toy... a small, slightly bone-shaped dog that had a squeaker inside. It soon was named 'Buddy' and turned out to be his favorite play toy. He loved when I would make it squeak. This past weekend, he discovered that he could make it squeak. It has not been far from his side since. Sometimes he just lies with it in his mouth, squeaking away. Other times, he'll carry it into the other room... not to play with... just to make sure it is near. At least once a day, I'll feel something on my foot or nudging my ankle and there will be Bailey with Buddy, quietly asking me to play his favorite game... Tug-of-War-Skweek-and-Toss. When he tires of chasing and returning Buddy, he'll veer off in another direction, lie down and just squeak awhile. Such joy from a simple thing.

I can't blame all the noise this past weekend on Bailey and Buddy. Saturday, I went to the farm market set up near my place and found (Oh, joy!) French breakfast radishes. Yumm! I brought home two small bunches and proceeded to eat all of them later in the afternoon. (burp)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Wunsa pona time....

I've often wondered if children are still able to use their imaginations or if the instant availability of videos for practically every topic has stunted their ability to 'see' things in their own minds. My youngest granddaughter's teacher has been giving each of her students a paper with an open frame at the top and lines filling the rest of the page. In the frame is a squiggle or mark of some kind. The kids are told to make a picture out of the mark and to write a story about it on the lines. The mark on this page was a large 'V' and my granddaughter made it into mountains and added a house and "...a mom with two girls. One liked to ice skate and one liked to fit tornatos." I'm so glad to find that using their imagination is still being encouraged in schools, at least in this class.

I have to say that my daughters and daughter-in-law seem to get more done in a day than I remember accomplishing in a week when I was their age. I don't remember ever having that much energy. They constantly amaze me.

Bailey and I are having an on-going discussion regarding the ownership and location of my bath mat. I do have to admit that he gets way more enjoyment out of lying, rolling and chewing on it than I ever have from just standing on it. I can't decide if he's a pack rat or a hoarder. He likes to put all of his acquisitions in a pile and chew on each one, just so it knows who's boss. I can see it now... "Canine Hoarders"... coming to your TV screen soon.

Monday, April 11, 2011


A friend recently encouraged me to post more often so you can blame this mini-rant on her.

The following was a 'headline' this morning on one of the news sites I scan every day. (I've been thinking of changing sites but, after checking out a few of the others, I realized that I might as well save the effort.):

          How Magical is Helen Mirren's Bosom?

This is news? Sometimes I see something like this and it makes me feel like heading for the oven, turning on the gas, and sticking in my head. I try to not be judgmental, but really! No, I don't consider myself smart or intelligent, but I do like to consider myself part of the discerning contingent. I know I'm a dinosaur, living out my Twinkle-Light Years so my opinion is not important. It's just that every once in a while, I'm caught off guard and it takes me a moment to regroup.

Note: I tried to add a link to the Twinkle-Light Years post but couldn't get it to work. If you are interested in reading it, you'll have to 'search' my blog. Sorry 'bout that.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

On the road

While traveling I-64 a couple of weeks ago I came upon a model of car I hadn't seen before. At first it looked like a large egg; then I realized it looked more like a very large canned ham on wheels. It was a pretty sparkle-ly blue with (imitation) chrome accents. I soon got close enough to see the name on it... Snort. Snort? Surly they didn't name a car Snort. Finally got my eyes coordinated and saw that it was actually a Smart car. I've heard of those... ecologically good and cute besides, and small. I do have one problem with it. These cars are made of plastic (weight reduction for gas savings). BUT semis and dump trucks are still made of metal. Heavy metal. No contest in a close encounter. When they start making the big guys out of plastic too, I'll think about getting a Smart car.

Further down the road, something hit my car. I looked to see if the windshield was cracked... nope. And no cars or trucks anywhere near me... nothing to have flung a missile at my car. Then I saw some things fly into the road in front of me. It was a blustery, gusty day and the trees were lobbing pine cones at the highway! Mother Nature's way of saying we can pave all we want to but she'll have the last word?

I imagine it's this way in most large city/urban areas... travel a street far enough and the name has changed a few times. My personal road became 'Rt. C' almost five years ago. It started out rough, rutted and unpaved, but with the grace of wonderful care-givers, family, friends and newly available medications, it became a much smoother ride. Some large new potholes have appeared but I'm confident that they'll be filled as before.

I've gotten a new back-seat rider to travel with me... a 7-1/2lb, 5-month-old bundle of cuteness who I've named Bailey. He is a Shitz Tzu and a wonderful traveler. He does get a workout at home. He feels he has to keep me in sight at all times, so every time I move between rooms, he follows. If I am doing anything that doesn't involve giving him food or treats, he sits, patiently waiting for me to wander again.

I was talking with my daughter last week and she began to apologize for not calling more often. She said she hoped good intentions counted. I told her I understood and appreciated the thoughts. All my life I've heard that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. At this point, I have constructed a six-lane freeway. But I'm not alone. I mentioned to my brother that I have been meaning to call our Uncle Marvin in Missouri since January 1st! He said it has been a while since he'd spoken with him too... let him know what Uncle Marvin had to say.

I've signed up on a couple of sites that offer price reductions for various things... food, lodging, services, etc. Got an email the other day from one of them offering a half-price deal on a Brazilian Wax. Not a road I'll be taking.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Seeing myself as others see me

Saw two photos of myself on another blog this morning. They were taken by a professional photographer... a very good photographer. The photos are un-posed and un-retouched. They show my sagging cheeks and jowls... the folds in my face and neck. I blame it on the fact that I've lost weight and fat no longer provides filler (obviously no Botox or filler injections for me). I didn't realize I had so many folds and crinkles in my skin. They certainly don't show up in my bathroom mirror. Just goes to prove what I've always said.... "I'm much more attractive than I appear."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

So little time, so much to enjoy (with apology attached)

Decided to try a new font size... Nope, too big.
Unh-uh, too small.
 Looks like Normal is just right. A new experience for me... I'm not used to being 'normal.' 

Spring has sprung! 
  The grass is riz! I love Springtime in Virginia. The Garden is coming alive and new plantings are being put in. It's always a joy for me to be in the Garden but so wonderful to have the sun shining on new shoots and blossoms.
  The weather man says that a region north of my area may get snow this weekend. Winter's still trying. The past year has been interesting weather-wise. Looks like that may continue.

Dicing maraschino cherries at 2a.m.
   I did it again... fell asleep in the lounge chair and woke up at 12:15a.m. Went to bed and tried to fall asleep but it didn't take. So... I'd planned to do some baking when I got up anyway, so figured I might as well use the time productively. Got busy dicing cherries for the cake and bars I'm going to bake later this morning. Even remembered to take out the butter so it could soften. Aren't I just the organized one. I won't ask what you'd do at 2.m. I've learned not to ask a question unless I reeeely want to know the answer.

My friends and family continue to comfort, surprise and delight me.
   Friends and family members continue to come forward to support me with just the things I need when I need them. Hugs, chuckles, and more. I am so blessed.
  Had all of my children and grans together last weekend for a delayed Holiday gift exchange and to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries for the months January-March. Such fun! All of the grans except for the two youngest have surpassed me in height. It's not that much of an accomplishment as I am vertically-challenged... but such a ping to my system to see how they are growing and getting older. AND I've told them that I'm not old enough to have children and grans their age... they'll just have to tell everyone that they adopted me.

Learned yesterday that Elizabeth Taylor had died.
  Early in my marriage to her son, my mother-in-law told that I looked like Elizabeth Taylor. (Well, in a way I did.) I couldn't decide whether she was complimenting or mocking me. We won't go there. Ms. Taylor lived an interesting life. She helped many people and certainly confounded just as many. She'll be missed by all... except, of course, the ones (longevity-challenged, most of them) who say, "Liz who?"

Oh, the apology...
  When I logged on to do this post, there was a note that a Spam blocker had been put on the Comments and I should periodically check the Spam section. They waited this long to let me know? Couldn't be that I didn't notice the notice, right?  I hadn't thought anyone had made comments and I find ones posted as far back as January 2010! Thus... my apologies to all who are reading my posts. I wasn't ignoring you... I didn't know you existed. I'll try to remember in the future to check more often for comments. I have only 3 'followers' and didn't think anyone else was reading me. I'm so excited! Thank you for taking the time to read my bits.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The gods were cutting it close this time

Nowadays, I operate on an 'only get it if I really want/need it' philosophy. I'm trying to downsize my belongings, so I've stopped going into stores that have pretty things that I'd like to get but definitely don't need. For the rest, if I see something and I'm not 100% sure it's a 'must have,' I wait until the next time... if I've thought about it and it's still there, then I get it. This past week I had visual proof that I wasn't supposed to have it.

I had been in one of my favorite thrift stores a couple weeks ago (Thrift For Life, proceeds to the Massey Cancer Center) and had seen a handbag I considered getting. I was only 90% sure so I didn't get it that day. I had occasion to go to the store again this past Wednesday and decided I'd get the bag if it was still there. I followed a woman into the store. She walked straight to the bag display, picked up the bag, looked inside, and went to the counter to pay for it. In my mind I could hear her gods telling her "Hurry! She's right behind you! Get it!" My gods were saying "Nah nanny boo boo."

Monday, February 21, 2011


I don't know why I'm still amazed at the pace at which time is passing. It's hard for me to realize that the second month of 2011 is almost gone. I know it's cliche' but the days seemed so much longer when I was a child. Then again, I didn't have all the electronic devices available today. I've noticed that having my face buried in an electronic screen can eat up my time in large chunks without my being aware of it's passing. Oh, well... everything has at least two dimensions...  pretty/ugly, up/down, good/bad... you get my drift.

I finished the last of Peggy (see previous posting) last evening... made a small, great-tasting pot of navy beans for my dinner. I was hungry and needed to have food in my stomach to take my medication. Enjoyed the beans; forgot to take the med.

I ran into one of my favorite acquaintances last month. I hadn't seen her in a while. When I teased her about not inviting me to her church, she told me she would be singing a solo, she thought, on February 20th. I went to her church yesterday morning. The reason I hadn't been seeing her in the lobby?  She had moved out. In October last year. Enjoyed the church service. She didn't sing.

I have to keep my calendar updated so as not to miss any of my 'To-Dos and Go-Tos.' Missed a doctor appointment a couple of weeks ago. It was on my calendar; forgot to look at it for that day.

My car is still going. Just. Have an appointment to take it in this morning for diagnostics and repairs. I suspect and dread a dire diagnosis. I trust the auto service personnel to know what they are doing and to not over-charge me when they do it.

My family is still going strong... adults, grandchildren, nieces and nephews... all going, growing, learning, doing. All have busy, and I hope, fulfilling lives. I just don't see them as often as I would like.

Some people have friends that they have known and loved for years. I don't. But over the past few years, I have made friends (and still have them) who are intelligent, artistically talented, witty, caring, and giving. I know that any or all of these friends will be there for me if/when I need them. I hope they know the same about me. Eat your heart out, Blanche Dubois.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A ham named Peggy and a dearth of crap

My family 'holiday' get-together was last weekend and I had purchased the ham. When buying a real Smithfield ham, you are truly buying a pig in a poke. All you can do is heft and squeeze and try to guess if it will be a good one. I bought one weighing 15.27 pounds... hey, I wanted to be sure there would be enough for everyone. My daughter helped me heft it into the soaking water and later put it into the oven. Let me tell you about this ham. It had one narrow bone running through it. There was very little fat on or in the ham. I have never seen so much meat on a ham. When it came out of the oven and I had trimmed it, I told my daughter that we should name it 'Peggy' because "eeese so preeety." It sat on the kitchen counter and we sliced and picked at it all afternoon and evening until we finally put it away for the night. Even though soaking had reduced the amount of salt in the ham, we ate so much that I had visions of all of us waking the next morning swelled up like blimps. We sure enjoyed that ham.

Later, while telling some friends about Peggy, I was reminded of a story that had tickled my brother and me years ago...

Seems a city man was taking a drive in the country, enjoying the sights of the countryside. As he passed a farm, he noticed a three-legged pig leaning against the fence next to the road. As he drove on, he kept thinking about that pig. He finally turned around and drove back to the farm where he had seen the pig. Finding the farmer, he asked how the pig had ended up with just three legs.

"Let me tell you about that pig," the farmer said. "One night while we were all asleep, that pig started squealing and kicking at our bedroom door. When I got up, I discovered the house was on fire. That pig saved me and my family."

When the farmer didn't continue his explanation, the city man asked, "But, what about the pig?"

"Let me tell you about that pig," said the farmer. " I was out in a back field plowing and the tractor rolled over and trapped me under it. That pig ran back to the house and squealed until my wife followed it to where I was and she got help to get me out from under that tractor."

Again the city man asked, "But, what about the pig?"

"Let me tell you about that pig," said the farmer. "One day my son was swimming in the cow pond and started sinking. That pig ran up to house and squealed until we followed him down to the pond and got my son out of the water. That pig saved my son's life."

"But what about the pig?!"

"Well, Son," said the farmer. "A pig that good ya don't eat all at once."

Back in November, my daughter and I had gone to Target and were looking at the games while my grand-daughters perused the toy aisles. We found a new trivia game called "Fact or Crap." I immediately fell in love with the name. I didn't get the game that day but was determined to buy it soon. This past Sunday, I took the grand-daughters shopping (a touch of boredom and gift cards burning holes in purses). We went to Target. I had told my oldest grand-daughter about the game and thought I'd buy it for us to play when we returned home. We searched the game shelves and didn't see it. I noticed an empty space on the top shelf and I told her I bet that was were the game had been. I was right. When I looked at the label identifying the empty space, it said "CRAP." When I could stop laughing, I told my grand-daughter that, apparently "It's official... Target has sold all their crap."