Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween and Evil Snakes

One thing I know for sure.  If I had been Eve in the Garden of Eden I would not have been talking to a snake.  You have to get close to one to see its face and have a conversation and "that ain't happenin'", as they say.  But it happened today.  I mean I got close enough to a snake to have a conversation!  I saw his eyeballs while he was sticking his tongue out at me and shaking it like he was telling me off!  He had his little tale in a wad and was shaking it at me too.  I'm thinking, "Snake, get off of my property or you will be sorry!  We are not about to have a conversation about it,  Just go."

Needless to say he did not go.  When I opened the front door to leave mother's house and return home there was this snake, all curled up with his triangular shaped head inside the storm door, trying to slither right on into the house.  Well, let me tell you.  If he had slithered into mother's home it would be one for the books.  He would be sorry he ever considered it.  She would have hit the alarm and her local fire and police would have been there before he could have said "hiss"!  I know that because every now and then they show up. They are great alarm responders!  I can vouch for them!

But he got me instead of mother.  I decided it was probably a rattlesnake because it had diamonds on its back and I wasn't giving it the benefit of the doubt.  Elaine, mother's angel from heaven,  conspired with me for a moment after we finished screaming, and I chopped his head off with a shovel.  It hurt my heart, but 'ya gotta do what ya gotta do'.  I did it. I am woman, hear me roar.

So I guess the moral of this very true story is this.  Do not show up at my front door if you are a snake. Especially on Halloween.  I mean, "Really!!!"  Do not even think about trying to get me to eat an apple.  Pleeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaze!  It is out of the question that I would even talk to you.  Me, a person who would pick up a bug and take it outside rather than kill it, will chop your head off with a shovel, spill your blood on the sidewalk, and not think twice about it.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween At Midnight

Once upon a time the night was dark as ink....the moon was red as blood....and Halloween was back. 

The little princesses, and Supermen, and pirates, and ghosts in sheets were still asleep dreaming about tonight when they would knock on doors, take candy from strangers, stay up late, eat sugar, and have fun breaking all the rules of regular life.  Today is not regular life though....and everybody knows it.

While you are sleeping and still you lay, the real ghosts and goblins come out and play.  They float through the night just out of your sight.  They haunt your place; it was once their base. They were here first they say with a curse!  This night is theirs, and they have no cares.  From midnight til dawn they play and tease.  They trick you and scare you, when someone says boo.  Then you turn around and scare someone too!

"Did you hear that?", her hubby she wakes. "I hear something in the kitchen!"  And he starts to shake.

"There's a monster in my room!", yells little Jack.  He really knows that you have his back. 

Granny says, "What is it I see? Are you coming for me?  Is my time at an end?  Or are you a friend?"

Everybody hides under the covers where it is safe.  Nothing can ever get you under the covers, not even on Halloween.  Go to sleep earthly ones.  It is your time to sleep.  We are back for today.  You will see us all day if you look.  "Who turned on the coffee?", they say.  "Did you bring in the mail?"  "No?'  "I know I didn't make the bed today...yet it is made!"  "I know I put gas in the car!"  "Who ate the cheese?" "Did you get my message?"  "Yes I did leave you a message!"  Strange things happen on Halloween.

Let them have their fun.  Let them play and run.  By all means, keep them happy.  They could pick up your bed, spin it around, and drop it if you make them mad.  They could slam your doors all night, and open and shut your drawers, and make you crazy just a tad.  The cat could scratch and claw your eyes and be very bad.  The chain saw could rev up and come after you,  The axe could too..  The vampires could take a bite out of your neck.  Oh my gosh, what the heck!  It is their time to play, get out of their way.

Get under the covers and stay there till dawn.  The light is your friend, darkness be gone!  Light makes them be sad, they can no longer be bad.  It is finally day, and you can play. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween In An Antique Shop

Antiques are like a magnet.  People are drawn to them.  They reek of memories and ghosts.  My Grandparents had a farm and I spent lots of time there when I was very young.  I milked cows, picked cotton, churned milk into butter, picked corn and beans, went fishing, talked to the cows, played ball in the front yard, laid on my back looking at the stairs, played with the kitties, and on and on.  When I go into antique shops, I see all the stuff from that time.  People die but stuff lives on forever!

I was raised "in town" and I am a contemporary girl. I want to be about the latest and the greatest.  I love today more than yesterday.  The past is, well, past.  There were people who shall go unnamed who wanted me to stay there, in the past, and live that same life again but I had to say "No".  No way.

I put mother in the "rolling chair" as I call it and took her antiquing yesterday up in the mountains.  After a yummy lunch, she said she would "stay in the car" and I could go in the shops.  "What?  I don't even like antiques," I thought to myself.  She got out!  We ended up spending 3 (!) delightful hours  in one antique store looking at every little thing.  Mother had a ball.  She told me what things were, she told me stories about those things, we feigned sticker shock over today's prices. We bought things. They are all just things but memories and people are all tied up in things.   

I like to think Halloween in an antique shop is like Halloween in a grave yard but not as scary.  All those who've passed on come out to play with their stuff for awhile on Halloween.  Like that children's story when the animals come to life at night, and the skin horse and the velveteen rabbit play.

My mom's 89 and this was a great day for her.  She loves to look back on those 89 years and remember what "was".  I understand that.  It was also a perfect day for what "is", changing leaves and crisp air ushering in a new season, and clear beautiful sunshine to light the way into all the newness and aliveness that is yet to come. 

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Just Playin' Is Just Playin' Today

My blog has been a bit heavy this week and has made you feel sad, so here goes a light entry to get us out of the death and dying mode.  It's raining here today too so this is a fun indoor activity.  If you have kids at home, go get 'em and let them help you find photos!  Okay, let's get started. 
Lacie at Creative Attempts got me going on this one. 

Lacie gives us a topic. Go to Google and find a picture that tells about you. This gives us even more of a snoopy, birdseye view into who you really are.  Wooooooo. Scary internet stalkers go away you idiots.  Sooooo....

1.  My Favorite Beverage really is Caffeine Free Diet Coke.  Shameful, shallow, unhealthy...I know.

2.  My Hometown is: 
Oprah Is Visiting Macon, Ga!  I was right across the street when she took this picture.  Saw her again at NuWay Famous Hotdogs.

3. My Favorite TV Show:  Just love it.

4. My Occupation:  I am a Retired Super Woman.  Add boobs and longer hair, blonde, and that would be me in the walker.

5.  My First Car Was A '65 Mustang.  White, blue interior. Dang it was cool.

6. My Favorite Food Is Spaghetti!  Always has been, always will be.  A little salad and garlic toast mmmmm

7.  Celebrity I Have Been Told I Resemble:  Kathryn Hepburn    Yes!!!!  She was independent and wore pants!  Whoa!  I had freckles like her but, please, no smoking Kate.

8.  Favorite Childhood Toys:  I could play these all day long. We made our own paper dolls and their clothes.  We gave them great figures and put beautiful, famous heads on them:  Debbie Reynolds and Liz Taylor, the blonde and the brunette..  If they had TV EXTRA! and other media back then we would have learned way too much about our pretty ladies.  In case you are very young, they were cat fighting over Eddie Fisher and both married him at different times.

I will tell you straight out this took a long time.  So if you are looking for something to do, have at it.  If not, after all this time spent trying to cheer you up, you simply must leave me a comment and tell me some of this stuff about you.                  Much love,

Friday, October 23, 2009

Just A Normal Day and A Heart Attack

Yesterday started like any other day.  I got up at the break of day with Larry. I love being with him in the early mornings while he is fresh and light, before the day and all its responsibilities take their toll on him.  He makes our coffee.  I make his lunch.  We chit chat about how we slept and the upcoming day and things like that.  I told him I had art class, had a pre op appointment for an upcoming surgery, that I would rent a movie for the evening, and we would have stir fry for dinner.  He's like "Stir fry sounds good!" He tells me it's a perfect day for his new jacket, that he has a parent conference after school and grades to enter so he might be late.  Just a typical day.

Thursdays are my favorite day because I spend the morning in art class, my passion.  I leave art, eat my peanut butter on whole wheat sandwich in the car, and head to my doctor's appointment.  It is just routine, no big deal.  When I get there, there is no one in the waiting room so I'm thinking my community has totally escaped the flu and no one is sick!  How great is that!  I fill out a few papers which they give you so you'll have something to do while you wait.  Toys for children, papers for us.  A man comes in next, a big man with a presence.  He signs in and says way too loudly, "I got your phone call.  I'm back to see how long I've got left".  He laughs.  Nobody else does.

He doesn't need to fill out papers and they end up calling us both back at once.  To everyone along the way to his room he says, "I'm back to get the bad news. How long do I have left?  24 hours?"  The nurse, introduced to me as Jeanette, weighs me and takes my blood pressure out in the hall so I hear everything.  I really wanted to be naked to weigh in since I'm working on my weight and want a low number,  but there she had me in the hall!  I said, "Jeanette, that man is nervous.  Men make jokes like that when they are nervous."  She had no personality so she ignored me.

Soon I'm with the doc.  He comes and goes, ordering things to be done, checking results, normal stuff.  The next time he comes back he says, "Someone just had a heart attack in the hall."  Now I was with another nervous man, very calm, but his heart had to be racing.  Ambulance is on the way,  gave the person aspirin, he is breathing...EMTs will be here in seconds.  "OMGosh", I said.  "Go be with him.  I can wait."  He said all was under control.  I told him, "I knew that man was nervous because he kept joking, loudly, to everyone that he didn't have much longer.  That's the way men handle nervousness."  He said, "You're right."  I asked, "Could the bad news have given him the heart attack or would he have had it anyway?"  "Can't tell", he said.  "Could have.  He did get bad news."

So now this guy has two pieces of bad news...whatever the doctor had to relay to him AND his heart attack.  I hope he is in the hospital.  I hope he is going to be alright.  I hope his wife and family are okay.  I hope he's "right with God" as they say and that he is peaceful and not still scared.  Crap, I hope he is alive.

We wake up each morning to an ordinary day.  We go about our merry way.  We never know what will happen.  As Andrea would say, there are many lessons in this post.  I will leave it to you to find yours.

As I am finishing this post I hear Tim McGraw in an outdoor morning concert in Rockefellor Square on the Today Show.  He is singing, Live Like Your Were Dying.  Enjoy this day!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Story Of Nine Rocks On A Post

I am cleaning up the clutter on my computer this morning and came across this post I wrote for another site several months ago.  I decide to publish it here because it really impacted me that day.  Hope you enjoy it.

This morning I was at the park taking a walk with my shihtzu, Buddy.  It's wonderful morning here! After days and days of much needed rain, the sun is shining and early summer is in the air. While I was stretching and getting ready to walk I noticed a pile of rocks on top of a post about eye level, and I casually wondered why they were there.  This is a story about that pile of rocks and the man who put them there.
After a couple of laps I fell in stride with another dog walker named Wes. Wes is also a senior citizen.  He is very large and his doctor has ordered him to get some weight off.  So he is walking his two adorable long hair dachsunds, Oscar and Joe. Their short little legs have to work hard and it is getting hot, so he gives them breaks.  Both dogs walk with him at once until one gets tired. Then one pup takes a rest inside the truck and the other gets 1:1 time with Wes.  Used to he would leave his pups on their leash and let them get water and rest (attached) under the truck.  They liked the shade and the outside air.  This was their routine for a long time.    

 As we started our third lap, Wes stopped, took a rock from the pile I had noticed, and moved it to the top of another flat post. Wes explained that every time he completes a lap he moves a rock from one post to the other.  So....when all the rocks have been moved to the second post, he has finished his 9 laps.  Pretty smart I thought.  Each lap is 1/3 mile so he is taking a 3 mile walk!  I was impressed.  Oh, and then he tells me he does this 3 times a day! he is walking 9 miles a day with his dogs and sometimes with a new friend like me.
 Wes lost 35 pounds the first year he did this. His doctor was delighted.

One day while Wes was walking one dog and one pup was resting under the truck, two big dogs attacked this little one.  By the time Wes got to the truck it was too late.  In rage and grief Wes got his gun out of the  truck and shot the offending dogs. Pretty scary! I hate guns. Period.  But that's what he did.

A court battle followed, grief continued, and Wes did not walk anymore.  He stayed home in his chair.  He felt guilty.  He grieved his companion.  He ate.  He got bigger and bigger and gained all his weight back.  He became depressed and just didn't  care.  A year has passed now and he is back to his walks. He is again walking 3 miles at a time, 3 times a day and moving the rocks from one post to the next.  But now his pups rest inside the truck where it is safe.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Married 40 Years? You've Got To Be Kidding Me!

I have the most perfect marriage!  For 40 years I have lived every day in a state of bliss with the man of my dreams.  My perfect husband adores me and does everything he can to make life the best it can be for me.  We've never had a disagreement.  Every day together has been sheer heaven.  NOT! 

The Larry and I celebrated our anniversary Monday.  Our 40th!  "Lawd have mercy", as they used to say. Here is a snippet of our story.

We met in a math class. There were only two girls and a lot of boys so the odds were in my favor! I thought he was “cute” and “my type” the first time I saw him. A year later he proposed and we started planning a December wedding.

It would be right around Christmas with lots of candles, very pretty and joyful like the holidays. Soon the dresses were ordered and on their way. I chose beautiful hot pink dresses trimmed in white Malibu fur, like snow! Do not laugh. It was very unique! Think Rockettes. The fur trim went around the scooped neckline and around the cuff of the long sleeves. And, oh yeah, each girl carried a white Malibu fur muff instead of flowers. I was into fur back then.

Now here’s what happened. We decided to move the wedding up to October 19! I mean we just could not wait any longer and, well, that’s what you did back in the day. I mean, you might come preeeeeeettyyyyyy close to doin’ the deed in all its glory but you tried your hardest to “wait”. At least that is what we did in the deep South. “That’s all I’m gonna say about that”, as Forrest Gump said.

Another 2 months was interminable and things were just getting too crazy around Christmas with travel plans and Santa all at once.  So we changed the date.  On a nice fall day in October when everyone and everything is bathed in warm oranges and reds and yellows like the leaves, my girls came walking up the aisle in their hot pink and warm snow white fur muffs. I hope they weren’t sweating. And then I came along in my long sleeve, high neck, million little buttons Victorian gown. We showed no skin. Nada.

In the last 40 years we could have written many books about our relationship. Most everyone says in their Blogger profiles that they have the most wonderful husband or wife in the world, that they are deliriously happy, and all’s right with the world and I wonder how true that is or if it is just a big wish. I mean everybody I know, EVERYBODY, has a story....

We have learned a lot over these years. We have had some deliriously great, wonderful, happy, sexy, fun, growing, spiritual, adventurous times. And we have had some less than that. A few times we almost threw in the towel. I’m glad we didn’t. Here is just some of what I have learned during my marriage.

1. I have changed dramatically. He has changed dramatically. Mostly for the better.

2. He is my rock, master of his trade.  He's been "steady Freddie" so I could flit around doing everything and anything. I’ve often thought of “steady” as boring and I’m sure he has often thought of flitting as, well, flitting.  I am Jack of all trades, master of none.

3. He can do any household chore, except cooking, often better than I can but he is not going to put the toilet seat down.  You pick your battles.

4. We usually do life very beautifully together when it is just the two of us. It is more challenging when the rest of the world enters.

5. We are not afraid to fight. My parents never fought or even argued so this was something I had to learn.  I don't recommend it but it's usually been a stepping stone to something better for us.  We may go to bed mad, but we will never let a fight go “untalked about”. I think this is the strength of our relationship.

6. My favorite food is spaghetti. He will not eat pasta.

7. For years we were tennis partners but neither of us plays now.  His favorite pastime is golf. I think golf is boring.

8. He likes to get to the bottom line. I like to tell the whole story with all the details. However, if it’s technical, like about the computer or how the TV works, he wants to tell the whole story with all the incomprehendable details, and I want to get to the bottom line, quickly!

9. He can tell when I’ve had too much caffeine. I can tell when he’s had too much wine.

10. He loves to shop, really shop. I don’t.

11. I love church. He’s not as thrilled when it's organized. But we both know God.

12. He likes to rent movies. I like to go to the theater.

13. He likes action movies, blood and guts, action, and sci fi movies with creatures and aliens. I like movies that actually have people in them who are not killing each other. We both like suspense thrillers.

14. We travel exceptionally well together.

15. We adore our sons. And we admire them.

16. We are both space people, we don’t have to be together every minute.

17. We are both very independent.

18.  We respect each other...most of the time.

I didn’t say we love each other. I felt like that goes without saying. We do. No matter what. Even if we're mad enough to spit!  Our emotional bank account with each other is so high, we are both pre-forgiven for whatever stupid things we do. I think the most important item on that list is #5. If we have “an issue” we will wait awhile, then sit down and have a big talk, a come to Jesus if you will, until we reach an understanding. We may not agree but usually when we dissect things with a clear head and get to the core, we do agree. We will not let anything go under the rug and stay there. I wish we had included our children in those processes but we weren't that wise.

So here’s to a marriage we call successful with its ups and downs, failures and successes. May we have many more good times together.

(This is reprinted from the original 6 years ago.)  

Monday, October 19, 2009

What? Me Exercise?

Just dressed, stretched, ready to head for the gym.  How in the world am I going to kickbox this morning?   I have no idea but Lucy, our fearless leader, will get me there.  I started to say she will ease us into it but that would be a lie.  We'll stretch out and then give it a go.  Somehow it feels good to sweat to the bone and breathe like you're going to pass out.  I made sure they have a defibrilator!!!!  I'm not exactly a spring chicken you know.  Who cares!  It's  good for the soul and body.

What keeps me going back for more torture?  I mean it's a chilly, no actually it's cold, morning here and I could snuggle in so easily and have more coffee.  I really go because it's fun.  Children play.  We should too.  It's where I go to play.  The music gets cranked up and get to know all the new songs... which I would NEVER know on my own. "I'm so 2008 and late!"  Know that one?  The beat is amazing.  I like rock and roll but, man, this stuff is made to move the bod. 

So the music, the girls, Lucy, all serve as little magnets to get me off my butt.  Really, though, I want my bones to be strong.  My mother's aren't anymore even though she was always on the go.  I want long, lean muscles so I can be strong and do for myself forever.  I want to be able to walk long distances when "the Larry" FINALLY retires and we get to travel.  I want my weight to stay put and not soar to the heavens with these delicious holidays coming up.

So there ya go.  That's why I go and where I go.  If I leave now I'll be right on time and start punching and kicking like there's no tomorrow, smiling and gasping for air the whole way.  Get some exercise today.  The gym may not cost as much as you think.  Mine is only $20 a month with free daycare.  Take the stairs, park far away.  You know the drill.  Move more.  Maybe find a gym you like.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Morning: Newspaper and Prayers

I always write early in the morning as soon as I get up.  It's quiet in the house and my mind is fresh and teeming with ideas.  Today, however, is Sunday.  The husband is home and reading the paper.  He's reading to me all sorts of things he finds interesting which is usually not particularly interesting to me.  He's just read to me about the old Atlantic Steel and Evans Metal Companies.  Long time ago there was a lot of heavy manufacturing in Atlanta.  Over time those operations went away and a city, Atlanta, grew up and flourished.  There isn't much heavy manufacturing in Georgia anymore....mostly we lay eggs and grow peanuts. 

Sadly though, now there are concerns about soil contamination where these smelting plants stood for years.  They employed thousands of people over the years, a good thing.  But now there are homes, playgrounds,  greenways, parks, retail developments, and office parks on this very land.  And maybe their living conditions are not as good as once thought. 

This was all more than 100 years after Sherman came through and burned Atlanta to the ground.  I just thought for a minute that maybe we could find a redeeming factor in his march through this lovely city if he had burned out all the unknown soil pollution while he was here, but he came way too early. 

The Government finds and cleans up places like this but somehow this one got missed.  It's getting back on the list now to see what can be done.  Where I live, was a pasture before I came.  Cows grazed and Indians lived here before that.  Deer still run through the backyard wondering what happened.  I feel sad about that sometimes.  But contaminated?  I don't think so. 

Now he is reading to me about a young high school football player who has stage 4 melanoma.  Trey and his family have gone to Germany for experimental treatment.  Oh gosh!  Pray for Trey.

Thank you God for all the good in the world.  Help us all deal with the places where we cannot see the good, and help us support each other and our environment in health and wholeness.  Amen.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Simple Saturday vs Shopping Marathon

There is nothing I have to do today.  Delicious!  Husband is out taking a long walk in his new jacket.  Total silence in the house except for computer keys clicking away with a mind of their own.  On my 4th, at least, cup of coffee.

This is our first pretty cool morning.  Delicious!  Long PJs. A few leaves beginning to turn.  Sweet.

Yesterday my neighbor-friend took me shopping with her.  Only bargain shopping. This classy lady is a master.  We spent three hours and had so much fun getting stuff for nothing practically.  I am a minimalist but even I found some things I couldn't live without, and some Christmas presents!  Even heard Jingle Bells playing...please no, not yet.

Then, after this non-shopper, me, has been shopping for 3 hours, Larry calls after work.  Usually he is drained, exhausted, gets home late, eats, sleeps for tomorrow.  He's a passionate teacher and it wipes him out.  He loves the kids and is great with them. Really good teacher. Had to get that in "Justin Case" he reads this.  It's true though.  Anyway,  I am so tired and starving after the gym plus 3 hours of fun but intense shopping.  I'm ready to go home and chill on the sofa with a big fat sandwich.  Phone rings.  "Hey!" says Larry.  "What do you want to do tonight?"  How about a bubble bath, food, and sleep, I think to myself.  He says, "I thought we'd go shopping.  I want to get a lightweight jacket."  Oh no, I'm thinking.  This man is a shoppeeeeeeeeeeeer extraordinaire!  Never would he go in just one store, buy something, and leave.  I had to beg off.  He was fine with that.  After all, what are cell phones for if not to give frequent shopping updates.

Finally he is home, 5 hours later.  See why I didn't want to go?  He tells me all about it.  He has been, I kid you not, to Steinmart, Burlington Coat Factory, Marshall's, TJ Maxx, Ross, PGA SuperStore, Champs,  Macy's, Belk's, and, lastly, J C Penney's.  I could have left someplace out.  He tries on all the jackets, takes notes, knows what he wants, and finds it.  Always quality, usually at the best price.

Here is a picture of the new jacket.  It is pretty cool, huh? (I don't like it w/the plaid shirt though). It has velcro closures instead of buttons; all the jackets do this season he tells me.  It is waterproof.  It has a hood.  It has really cool colors and zippers.  It was regularly $120, on sale for $40. 

Go, man, go!!! Gotta love him.  And I do.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Is Loneliness A Chosen Condition?

I heard a new term yesterday.....Chosen Loneliness.  A radio talk show host used the term and it got me thinking.  I'd love your input on this one.  Is loneliness a chosen condition?

My mother is 89.  She was always an outgoing happy person, a leader in the community, efficient, get the picture. I always thought she was the perfect mother, could do it all, loved me beyond measure.  She is still very healthy today by most standards.  A little short term memory, not terrible.  A little change in critical thinking, not totally necessary.  It is very hard for her to walk, almost impossible.  She must use a walker and her gait is typical of a very old person.  Even getting in bed and straightening out the body is hard work. Thankfully, she has no pain to speak of.  Even so, life is a real struggle for her now.  She sees the glass half empty...always.

An angel of a caretaker comes in five days a week, makes meals, provides company, drives, and generally keeps things in order.  We all love Elaine to death.  Mother also has household cleaners every few weeks who love her and give her a kiss when they leave.  They are definitely part of mother's village.

Mother's home is in a nice "subdivision" of smaller homes, where most resident are retired and many are her age.  She is alone from 6:00 PM until 9:30 AM when she wakes us.  She sleeps really well and long.  Very near mother's home is a brand new, state of the art Senior Center that has everything you could imagine except a pool.  It caters to the entire town of over 60s, not just the old and unfortunate.  This is a cool, happy place.  Original art lines the walls and Chef Michael prepares lovely, healthy breakfasts and lunches.  A charming gentleman in a golfcart meets you at your car and takes you right to the door.  I know because I've taken her several times, enjoyed lunch and a movie.

Hence the problem.  My mother is incredibly lonely.  She wants "someone" at home with her all the time.  This "someone" is either my sister or me.  My sis lives 4 miles away.  She has a life and a husband, or at least tries to.  I am a little over an hour away, and I have a life and a husband too.  We get the phone calls almost daily.  "When are you coming?"  The knot tightens in my stomach as I just left 3 days ago!  It seems wrong to me.  And I will go again very soon.  

How much is enough?  Between the two of us, mother's daughters hit probably 15 days a month "being there" in person plus daily phone calls. We go out to eat, take a drive, and generally try to help her have a normal life.  When we are not there, every meal is considered and arranged.

Resentment sets in.  The phone rings.  You don't want to answer it.  The guilt slams hard.  She was always there for me...maybe even too much sometimes. It's not a question of love.  That is a given.  Smothering, enmeshment?  Maybe. It's never enough.

Oh well, invisible blogger friends, this is where I am.  I'm wanting to agree with this radio personality that "lonliness is chosen" but is it true in this case?  Tell me what you think from wherever you are.  I'd love to hear some different perspectives.  Have you been there....yet?  Am I being selfish?  Help!!!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day 2009

I almost missed it!  It's  11:00 PM and I just found out today is Blog Action Day.  One day a year, October 15,  bloggers come together and focus on one topic to raise awareness around the world. This year's topic is Climate Change and the Environment.  So let's talk.

Lots of people believe there is something to Global Warming and many people don't.  I am one of those who do.  There is research to show the changes are happening.  It's almost impossible to comprehend the huge effect if Antactica becomes just one degree warmer as scientists predict.  Time will tell.

We've always had climate changes, some significant, some not.  We have been in a drought here for the last 2 years.  Lakes have almost dried up.  Docks have been left standing in dirt where there was a lake just two years before.  We just had two weeks of  flooding and we are officially out of drought status!  This is a good thing.

We've always had record highs and record lows, record rainfalls, hurricane winds exceeding the norm, and tornadoes whipping through. When I was a Senior in high school I went to a dance in April in the South and it snowed!  I remember because we wore satin dyed shoes and they "ran" just getting to and from the car.  Now that's a climate problem.  So is a rainy day when you have to be out and end up working in wet, soggy clothes for an hour, or a windy day when you're getting your picture made and your hair blows upside down on your head.

I'm just being facetious about those little things.  They are all normal.  But real Climate Change, or Global Warming, will impact us more than we can imagine.  So we do what we can.  And if everybody does a little, it makes a difference.  My thing is reduce, reuse, recycle.  That's so easy to do.  Planting trees helps and so does giving our car a frequent day off.  Fewer emissions helps the environment and a little goes a long way if we make it a lifestyle change.

Or we could just ignore it.  Go over to Sarah's blog and read her Blog Action story.  Today, thank goodness, it is just a story. Hopefully it will stay that way.

Maria Shriver Driving Like A Drunk Person?

I love Maria Shriver!  She has the most amazing hair, doesn't she?  As brilliant and talented as that woman is she would probably be dismayed that I first commented on her hair.  I don't know though.  We women are all invested in our hair whether we admit it or not.  Hence, the universal "bad hair day".

Her marriage has always fascinated me.  She, from the most famous liberal family of Democrats in our entire country....and Arnold, who has risen through the Republican ranks to become Governor of California. I bet when Tom Brokaw introduced them, he had no idea he'd attend their wedding.  What a match!  It must be interesting around their kitchen table, huh? 

Maria has reported the news, written 6 books, sponsored women's conferences, campaigned for Presidents and Senators, supported Alzheimer research, and promoted her mother's Special Olympics...all while raising 4 children, now ages 12 to 20.  And she is First Lady of California.

But right now she's in trouble with the law.  Rather she is in trouble with her husband's law.  And she is "caught on film".  OMG! I am so glad no one is following me around with a camera everywhere I go just waiting to catch me messing up.  It  seems Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneggar has passed a new law in California that you cannot be on a cell phone while driving, and, guess what!  She was!   He said he would "deal with her at home", or something like that. :)

I totally support this law.  I'm just teasing Maria this morning.  The Governor needs to have a talk with me too.  If I lived in California I would be in a cell with his wife.  I need to do better.

Do you use your cell phone in the car?  'Fess up.  Do you text while driving?  They say driving and talking on the phone, even hands free, is as risky as drunk driving.  Now that puts a new perspective on things doesn't it.  I bet other distractions like eating a sandwich, putting on lipstick and mascara, playing with your hair, smoking, turning around to swat at the kids, are all as bad as drunk driving.  We better be careful next time we hit the road!  There are a lot of us out there driving like drunk people.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Focus On What You Want

Focus on what you want, not on what you don't want.  A great teacher told me that once.

I don't know about you but when things aren't going right I tend to think about that a lot.  I go over all the possibilities, what could happen, what might have already happen, oh my gosh, what will we do!  Have you ever been expecting someone to come home at night and they were late?  Have you ever called the hospital to make sure they're not there or conjured up all sorts of scenarios about what could have happened?

Like waiting to hear back from a mammogram.  You come home from work and finally there is a message from your doctor's office.  The nurse says, "Your results are in.  Please call the office at your earliest convenience."  It's after 5:00 so you have to wait till tomorrow to call.  "Well, if everything was okay she would have just said that", you say to yourself.  "Why didn't she just say everything was alright?  Something must be wrong.  Oh no."  Can't sleep all night thinking about it.

Your husband or teenager said he would be home by 9:00.  Now it's 10:00.  Where the heck is he?  It's snowing outside and getting icy.  Oh no, he's probably had an accident.  Or he could be stranded somewhere.  It would be awful if he ran out of gas in this weather.  I know he was tired this morning.  What if he gets sleepy and doesn't watch the road? 

My boss looked at me funny.  I know there are more layoffs coming tomorrow.  What if it's me?  I only have enough savings for 2 months and there are no jobs out there.  Oh no!  Susie will have to quit dance and we can't pay the mortgage.  How will we do Christmas?

Makes me tired just thinking about it.  There was a time when I thought like this...not all the time but on occasions when things weren't going according to plan.  I focused my thoughts, unconciously, on what I did not want.  Finally I learned about "focusing on what you want".  Have you noticed that what you focus on expands?  That you actually get more of that which occupies your thoughts?  If you build something up in your mind you give it energy and it takes on a life of its own.  Before you know it you have created a monster....Or you can create good. 

Instead try focusing on what you want, not what you don't want.  Even when it seems contrary to reality.  See the best outcome.  Think about good things happening.  Expect good news from that medical test before you even go to have it.  No matter when they call and what message they leave, expect only good results.  If your husband is late, rather than expecting bad things to have happened, just hold the thought that all is well.  Don't try to figure it out.  If your boss looks at you funny, smile back.  There could be lots of reasons he is looking at you.  Assume the best.  Maybe a raise?  If you do get laid off, you will deal with it then, not before in the imaginary playground of your mind.

I'm not talking about going into denial.  I'm just saying that when your mind takes off on its own in a direction that brings you pain or angst, rein it back in.  Send it in a different direction.  See the best, expect the best.  What you focus on does expand so make sure your focus is where you want it to be.

All is well.


Monday, October 12, 2009

I Slept In

I never sleep in.  I mean reallllly sleep in like I did today.  Now I did stay up until 2:00 mistake.  I was completely captivated by something insanely mindless on TV.   At 5:30 I was up just to make Larry's lunch, because that is what I do, but then "back to sleep like a baby"!  Now before you think I'm a slave or a doormat, I make his lunch at that ungodly hour of the morning because I want to.  He works.  I don't.  He's a morning person.  Don't want to miss it.  He's not so good some days after work if you get my drift.

And this morning it is raining.  You know how that sounds, and the covers were cozy, warm, and Buddy  snoozing on my feet.  So I stayed there and stayed there and stayed there.  Yikes!  I'm up now, on my 15th cup of coffee, blogging, reading yours (!), watching the rain, admiring my back yard, listening to the otherwise total silence in the house still in my PJs!  Ok, are you ready?  It is now a quarter past noon!

This WILL NOT become a habit I can tell you that.  Tomorrow I will be up and at 'em.  I'll Zumba at 10:00 and be hot, sweaty, and off and running after that.  But I'm taking the whole day today to be lazy.  I'm going into my studio and do clue yet what that will be.  If I come up with something brilliant I'll share it, but don't hold your breath.

I hope you have some delicious moments today too.  You younger moms, hold on.  I've been where you are.  All good, precious, but exhausting and no time for yourself.  Your day will come, I promise you and you will miss some of what you have now. 

Sorry Kickboxing friends, I will see you tomorrow at the gym but today is all mine. 


Sunday, October 11, 2009

It's My Birthday!!!

Hi Guys!

Thanks for all the comments you've left me at some time or other. I appreciate all of them. We bloggers all know how much fun it is to tune in and find a comment or two or ten or twenty! Send all your friends over to comment today.  I'm trying to set a comment record today of 70 minutes ago, it is my birthday!  I am officially old now and that very first Social Security check is on the way!  Senior discounts too!  Let's see, what else is out there just waiting for the newest Senior Citizen?  I already have a rocking chair.  They gave me one when I retired.  Isn't that a hoot! 

I know there is Bingo up at the Moose Club near my house.  Should I give that a try?  And I think they teach crocheting at the Senior Center and dominoes too.  Would that be fun? Should I start going to bed with the chickens (that means really early in case you didn't know) and take Geritol when I get up?   I don't know about that!

What do I really want to do in my 63rd year?  Let's see.
1.  I want to become a professional artist.  Hold me to that one.
2.  I want my hair to have a few more strands of gold than it has now, and a few less strands of grey.
3.  I want to have stronger muscles and bones this time next year.
4.  I want to play with my friends more and that includes Larry, my ever lovin' of 40 years, unless we are having a fight.  I mean, you know, this is real life we're talkin' here.  Don't worry, we'll get over it.
5.  I want to do a biking trip.  Could be one day or a weekend.  Somewhere flat.
6.  I want to get a pedicure once a month instead of once a year.  That's a radical thought!
7.  I want to get rid of all my clothes that I don't like even if I have to wear the ones I do like over and over again.  That's what we do anyway isn't it?
8.  I want to drink green tea every day, and eat a grapefruit too.
9.  I want  us to drive out West next summer and be gone for at least 2 weeks.
10. I want to go swimming more next summer too, lots more than this summer.
11. I want to memorize the world map!  Back to 4th grade I guess!

Of course I want world peace just like Miss America always says.  I want us people of the Earth to be kinder and gentler and stop arguing and fighting so much, puleeeeeze!  I want people to get well and be healthy, hearts to heal, people to get jobs,  and everyone's life to explode with happiness and joy.  I want all to be well in the world.

And I want to do my part to make it so.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Why Do You Eat What You Eat?

Isn't it funny what runs through your mind?  When you pay attention to your thoughts there's just no telling where they'll take you.

I love Fig Newtons.  I never over eat them but I enjoy them from time to time.  Once when I was eating one I started thinking about Daddy.  He loved Fig Newtons too.  It was no big thing. Just a casual cookie.  Whenever I eat one now, I think of him.  Good thoughts.

One of my Grandmothers loved corn, the kind you pick from your own garden, cut it off the cob, cook it and have it for lunch.  Along with fresh tomatoes.  I did NOT like it but I knew she really did.  I was actually thinking, "How could anybody eat that?"  But now?  Oh boy, I love it...and it always reminds me of her.  For another Grandmother it was asaragus casserole and apricot cake that I cannot eat to this day without conjuring all sorts of memories of Sunday dinners.

What got me thinking about this was those cinnamon buns the other day.  Just looking at the picture I thought of a favorite aunt who loved pecan twirls.  She turned me onto them.  You know the ones.  There are six in a package, they are small, and always soft and moist and great with your morning coffee.  I haven't had one in years!  But somewhere back in my past I have been known to eat lots of once.  It's a bond I have with her.

Most things I eat today are generic.  By that I mean they hold no special significance.  I just like them or they are healthy, or both.  But aren't our associations interesting?  Whether it is food or a particular experience, we are heavily impacted by those we love.....especially those we have loved and lost.

We remember that with which we make an emotional connection.  We learn that way too.  Ministers and teachers are masters at evoking emotion so we will feel and remember.  And so are cookies and corn.  Just food for thought.   

Tell me why you eat what you eat.  I'd love to hear.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What Would God Say About Church Today?

I am from Macon, Ga. That is where I grew up.  If you know Nancy Grace, she is from Macon too.  I can easily talk just like her when I want to.  Macon has tons of music giants like The Allman Brothers, Otis Redding, and Little Richard. All this is on my mind this morning because I am going to meet up with some Facebook friends from Macon on Saturday at Miss Bessie's TeaRoom in Barnesville.  The odd thing is I don't know any of these gals!  But we have a lot in common and it will be fun to see what of that simple life each of us has chosen to hold on to.

For my part, I am thinking about the church where you could find me, with my family, all through the 50's almost every time the doors opened.  This first church was called Lynmore.  It was Methodist and my daddy went there when he was a teenager.  I think it did its job. The people gathered, opened their hearts, shared their joys and their struggles, baptized, married, and buried.  No doubt "God" was in their midst.  I felt it many times.  I won't say lives were so much changed.  Seemed back then they didn't need to be.

As youth we played together and prayed together.  We learned that if you put a piece of bread in liquor, it would disintegrate so why would you want to put alcohol in your body?  I learned the Christian Attitude Toward Sex from a single woman, who I totally imagined was chaste and couldn't possibly know what she was talking about.  I mean how could she? She taught us that "French Kissing was the same as having intercourse" which was a no-no until you were married.  I wondered how she knew.  And I wondered how I was going to break this news about French kissing to my long time boyfriend.

Nevertheless, in the midst of this sweet and secure 50s lifestyle that I lived, I emerged capable of handling a quickly changing world.  This church taught us much.  It taught us to live our faith, to love our neighbor as ourself, and to be good.  You learned to open your heart and know the love of was all about love then, not power, not labeling.  We didn't have to talk about all this to everyone we saw.  We weren't commissioned to go out and tell everyone that we were Christian and that we loved Jesus and quote scripture.  We didn't wear it on our sleeve.  We just lived it.

I am currently churchless, wandering around trying to find a good fit for me.   We've moved, favorite ministers retired (boo hiss), and right now we haven't found a new spiritual home.  I went to church Sunday though.  I have been visiting a church near me lately, trying to make it fit.  It doesn't quite though.  It seems the new way of being Christian is to talk about it all the time, profess it everywhere you go, get the T-shirt, praise God, love on Jesus,  wear it on your sleeve.  Maybe that's great and maybe it's necessary today, but it isn't me.  I go back to the simple way I learned about God that has served me so well. I think I am lucky. That is my foundation upon which to build my new thoughts.  More about those New Thoughts later.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

What Really Matters Most? Dishes, Pounds, or People?

This morning I'm torn between writing about my diet because I only lost .8 of a pound this week, and the dishes in my where did they come from and how do they multiply? For three weeks I have had no sugar or white flour.  I haven't killed anyone yet, and actually, it's been pretty easy, kind of like a game.  I promised myself to only weigh once a week so I could see some progress and celebrate and today's the day.  But .8 of a pound??? Disappointing! I remember the days when I could have not just coffee for breakfast but also a warm, buttery cinnamin roll dripping with icing, or two if I wanted it, and not gain an ounce.  Where ARE those days? What happened?

I know.  .8 is almost a pound, and a pound a week is good but guys, Halloween is coming...soon!   M&Ms, candycorn, chocolate covered peanuts abound!  I have a luncheon to go to this week which is not built around my eating guidelines, and then here comes my birthday in a few days with cake and ice cream!  What to do?  Help!!!

And about those dishes.  How can two people possibly, possibly use so many dishes?  Empty the dishwasher, load it, wash them.  You better be standing right there ready to salute when they're done, empty it again, and reload.  But you don't because you are in the middle of watching the football game and then "Benjamin Button" for the second time so all your snacking dishes have to go in the sink.  And his snacking dishes too.  And the dog's. Then it's so late you fall asleep, and suddenly it's morning and you haven't saluted the dishwasher yet.  So where are you going to put that cup when you're finished with your morning coffee?  See what I mean?  They just multiply.  So either I salute right away and hop to it or they continue to multiply exponentially.

It's Sunday.  I am going to church and pray.  I might throw in these petty issues.  They serve me well as distractors of what is really going on.  People in my family are not working.  There are problems jumping out from behind bushes and sneering at those I love.  That's what I'm going to pray about.  Then I will come home and salute.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Claim Your Power

My newest follower is Flory. I'm passing Boutiques Stitches Blog Award to her. Maybe you have been to Flory's blog. If not, grab a coffee and go visit. I have some things in common with Flory. She reminds me a little of myself. Today she has a picture posted with no words. A picture of her laying tile in the kitchen! Never have I laid tile and never shall I. But once upon a time I installed a faucet in the bathroom. I don't know what came over me but I was suddenly possessed. Probably just didn't want to pay a plumber $200 to do it. How difficult could it be anyway?

Very difficult. It wasn't too hard taking the old faucet out. Seemed fairly simple. Thought I would just do everything in reverse, drop the new one in, tighten the screws and there you go. Wrong. Details escape me now but it was a two day project. I would NOT give up. You have to have a certain wrench, in case you didn't know. Another trip to the store. You have to practically stand on your head under the sink, one hand turning the big heavy special wrench and one holding everything else tight. I bet I had a butt crack going on too. Finally, all done! Yea! Turned on the water...spewed everywhere and leaked. Now what? Not giving up. Something about plumbers putty and washers, I don't know but it was an ordeal! I finally finished and was one satisfied woman. I remember taking a picture of the faucet just like Flory. I'm so glad I did it. And I'll never do it again!

Years and years ago it was time to buy a new car. My husband always does that, but I said, "No, I want to do it myself!" I am woman, hear me roar. So off I went. I knew what I wanted to spend, I was open on the car, but it had to be new. My first approach was to walk in, tell them how much I had to spend. They said, "Sorry. No can do. Impossible." I said, "Sorry. That's my best offer." And I would leave. Okay, I was assertive, step one, but it got me nowhere and wasted a whole day.

Learned to soften my approach a little, and it worked better. Took a couple of weeks but I found my car and my "deal". I bough a new Chevy Corsica, beautiful blue. Remember those? The sales guy and I spent an entire half day together. We both knew I would buy this car. But neither of us would budge on the negotiations at a certain point. He told me, "I'd much rather deal with a man than haggle with a woman. They are relentless. A man will back down." The man's ego doesn't want to look cheap. I didn't care.

He and I actually had a good time going back and forth, bantering a little. I ended up walking out. I'd been told you have to be willing to walk out. We were now quibbling over $250! But it was a matter of principle. He called me the next day. I came back. We split the difference. I bought the car.

I cannot tell you what that experience did for me. That and the faucet. It was part of a process when I was (finally) claiming my power. Not just as a woman, but as an adult person. I did feel powerful. I did it from start to finish. It was a big deal. I don't need to do it again. My husband can take it from here...although I do drive a better bargain!

Have you done anything lately to claim your power? Tell me what and all the juice details.

Enjoy the day!