Friday, February 27, 2015



I don't know how I would have made it so far through "daughter-hood" had I not made it through the rigors of "parenthood" and come out alive to tell. But, alas, I must admit, being a mother was so much easier than being a daughter.

I recall how many times I heard the words "motherhood is a full time job" and then "it gets easier" and "what do you expect...he/she's only ____years old!". I also recall times when I wished that my babies would grow up, get to the next developmental stage, just so that they would understand what I was asking and I would understand what they wanted.  I loved having babies in my life, I truly did, but during those moments of complete frustration, I took comfort in knowing that as each day, week, month and year went by, things would change and most of those things, for the better.  Surely, I have used my own experiences as the foundation for the guidance and, hopefully, support,  I have handed to my daughter as she winds through the twists and turns of motherhood and deals with the inevitable drainage of her patience.  I already see that life with her two "babies" looks somewhat easier, more enjoyable in a different way than it appears when those babies were under age five. Yes, we all get nostalgic, even sad, when we look at photos, think back to the crinkle of Huggies and the warmth of a tiny person just waking from sleep.  Were I able to turn back the clock, I surely would, if only for one day but I would not want to advance ahead, knowing that the rest of the time would fly by.  I would hug, squeeze, kiss, caress and not unlock my embrace for one second of that day.

Roles, they change.  Now, instead of me giving my sage advice to a fledgling mother, I often times find myself on the opposite side, taking advice from a seasoned mother, one who more recently than I, found all the adages to be true and came out of the rabbit hole all the wiser.  It's me who vents.  It is I who is frustrated and in need of guidance and support. I used to fret about the prospect of my daughter getting ill, having babies who needed her, and a husband who travels for work and might not be able to help. Her girls, even at their young age now, could easily come to her aid and hold down the fort until Daddy came home or grandparents arrived. Little did I know that the anxiety about illness and inabiltiy to deliver care would once again be mine.  I used to feel her pain when she would repeat herself over and over to be understood by a toddler to deal with the fallout when  toddler did not understand her demands and chose to act out in a way only a baby could. Little did I know that I would spend hours and hours again, re-explaining the basics of life, knowing that my words were going into a brain where they would not be processed as they were intended and that I would have to start all over as if I had never said one word in the first place.  I used to wonder how any of us, as young parents, endured through the constant repetition of baby songs, baby stories, and questions, questions, questions, so many that simply did not have answers.  Little did I know that I would, at this age, be listening to the same stories, answering the same questions, explaining the same things that did not have answers. Over and over again.

Parenthood.  Babies grow up. Parenthood. Parents grow old. And that is where the analogy sadly ends. Parents, in growing old, do not become easier.  As each day, week, month and year goes by, it only gets harder.  There is no sun in the Sun Room.  And, instead of looking forward to the wonders brought by developmental stages, I, for one, find dread in anticipation of what's down the road, what's next. And, my one day at a time attitude, the only management tool I can dredge up, is telling me that today is one of those days.  Today, I have to tell my baby that he must pay a handsome sum of taxes because my yesterday was spent with an accountant and my Power of Attorney.  And, I have no idea of how I will explain the whole thing, get the check written, and prepare for the next tax season by making the necessary changes in withholding.  I know that my words will result in the frustration of not being able to understand one thing I say and that, of course, I will be feeling that it is my fault that he has to pay taxes, and that there isn't a lollipop big enough to quiet what I know will ensue.  I just wish my Mommy were here to give me some advice.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Marching Along

Snow again. 
We’re getting through this. 
On the better side of the drifts now. 
Actually, we've grown accustomed to it all and we’re ignoring it, checking days off as we’re heading closer to Spring…March…the month of hope and promise.
 And, I’m reminded that forty four years ago, at this very time,
I had already past my due date with my first child, and I was impatient and all I could do is wait and prepare and that is what I did. 
I’m waiting, preparing, trying new things.
  Returning to that long-lost world of happiness through domesticity.
 I’m cooking good and healthy meals, making yogurt, growing sprouts.
Today it will be a batch of granola!
 I’m enjoying time with  myself and time with friends who share the need to get out every once in a while.  Discovering “local” places.
 Really thinking things through. 
Letting go of some things, catching hold of others.
 Getting ready for what I am sure will eventually happen, the arrival of Spring. 
It’s all okay.  

Monday, February 23, 2015

Queen for a Day

Okay, yes, I do spend a lot of time in supermarkets.  We have a small refrigerator.  I'm old-fashioned. We invest a lot of time and thought into what we eat. We're healthy-food conscious. I have the time to do this. I do not only my own, but my father's shopping. We don't have a lot of excitement in our lives nowadays,  I love to find bargains. I find shopping, for food, relaxing.  Shopping for clothing, I do not find relaxing - probably due to the amount of shopping for food that I do. Hmmm, correlation? But it's all healthy stuff as Whole Foods suggests, "buy goods, not bads".  We do.  But.

This is not about food. This is not about supermarkets. This is not about healthy choices or goods over bads.
This is about yet another of my observations.  This one happens to be based on what I have been seeing lately or have been seeing all along but now that scene resonates.  Here's how it starts.  I see an elderly woman or man, pushing a shopping cart, a cane lying across the cart, very few other items in the cart.  Behind or alongside that person is another person, a younger version of the elder. This person has his or her own cart and into it go the items that the elder person has either selected after many, many moments of contemplation, or the younger person has selected and, after a discussion, has placed it into the cart.  Slowly, the couples shuffles along.  Not one isle is missed, everything is scrutinized and the elder person is carefully and lovingly guided through the store before arriving at the check out counter with but a handful of items.  Like myself, perhaps the elder has a small refrigerator or perhaps, like myself, lots of time and she or he knows that the good parent will rule and the good child will follow, again and again, guiding and supporting through several trips to the supermarket each and every week.  One can see the pride in the parent's eyes.  MY son, MY daughter, taking care of ME.  And, at the very same time, the face of the child, trying desperately to maintain the patience, the look of "I have all the time in the world for you today, and for the rest of your days". Mother or Dad looks wonderful for their age. Not a care in the current world. Yet, I know that there might have been a few "moments" before entering the supermarket.  Orientation to time and place, rearrangement of hairstyles, application of make up, selection of outfits suitable for being in public, appropriate for the day's weather.  There probably was a final check list.  Do you have your keys, your glasses, your purse, wallet....your money? Have you made a list? Go to the bathroom one more time before we leave the house please. One more time. Try.

I study people.  I am keen on faces. They tell stories. I love stories.  I am not easily fooled nor am I easily impressed.  I see pages and pages of life in faces.  This has been a hard Winter and it's the faces of the caretakers, hardly able to take care of themselves, that tell bigger stories.  They shop, they tend, they cook, they clean, they comfort, bathe, medicate, they listen to the same tales, answer the same questions, over and over and over again.  And some of them, some of them are old enough to now be taken-care-of and there's no end in sight.  Read the obituaries if you do not believe me.  "Oh, she was so young.....only 90!" And I ask, who's taking care of the care-takers?  The real warriors.  You know them, they're the people in the supermarket, fake smiles, worn-out but ":happy" to be helping.  How many slips and falls have they prevented already? How many times have they shoveled the driveway, scattered ice melt along the paths?  How many house fires have they seen, about to happen? How many utterly humiliating moments have they forestalled?

The original broadcast of a then-popular T.V. show called Queen for a Day, was in the earliest days of television, after a successful run on radio. The show opened with host Jack Bailey asking the audience and viewer at home "Would YOU like to be Queen for a day?".  The contestants were a group of women who came to the show, seeking to win prizes after pouring their hearts out in a display of public humiliation, each recounting their stories of recent financial and emotional hard times that each had suffered.  Their faces showed their pain as each was asked what it was they most needed and why she felt worthy of the title "Queen for a Day" today.  Some needed help with a sick child or disabled family member, others simple things like new appliances that they could not afford but needed desperately.  At the end of the show, they sat in a row and the audience "voted" by use of an applause meter, on the woman found most worthy. She was crowned, given roses and a sable-trimmed velvet robe as she was escorted to her throne and told of her prizes, the top one being that for which she had expressed a need during her interview.  Following that gift, there were many others from the sponsors and of course, as each was revealed, the tears flowed from the gracious and humble, degraded of human spirit, newly crowned "queen".  As the show closed, Jack Bailey signed off with his trademark: ""This is Jack Bailey, wishing we could make every woman a queen, for every single day."  Of course, it was hokey and of course it was exploitative, but you wanna know something?  There's a part of me that would love to see somewhat of a come-back.  There's a part of me that would love to know that somehow, somewhere, someone would know the need and recognize that there are queens and kings out there who deserve the title and there will be many more to come as ninety remains the new seventy.  That there will be eighty year olds taking care of parents, Yes, there will.  And, as I waltz through the supermarket, I daydream and I see another story.  I see a younger version of Jack Bailey, marching through the aisle, right past the dairy section, glittering jeweled crown, roses and red velvet robe in hand, stopping one of the warriors dead in her tired tracks with the big question....."Would YOU like........."

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Chinese New Year

The Year of the Goat

Today is the Chinese New Year.  Happy New Year to all of you who are Chinese then.
Today is also my writers group, AKA, "laugh therapy" session and last time we met, having noted that our next gathering would occur on this festive day, we decided that we had an excellent prompt. "Chinese New Year", "China" anything "Chinese" would be just fine.  Just do it.

When I think about the celebration of the new year, I come up with visions of little parades through the streets of cities here and abroad.  I see colors, lots of colors, streamers being thrown about, people laughing and having a good time.  In my mind, I see families gathered around tables, eating strange (to me) and wonderful foods.  Children happy, elders proud.  But I don't know much more about the holiday.

I say the word "china" and I'm sorry, Vera Wang pops into my head.  Vera Wang china. The pattern my daughter chose at the now defunct Fortunoff store in White Plains.  Vera Wang glassware and Vera Wang eating utensils.  That brilliant woman made a fortune at Fortunoff's, if on my daughter alone. My thoughts drift to her wedding, almost ten years ago.  Seems like yesterday, of course.  And no, she did not wear a Vera Wang wedding gown. But I see happiness on that day and years of happiness following.  Our own good fortune.  China.  My son and daughter in law selected a pattern at the Crate and Barrel in White Plains. A pattern that suited them so well.  It was white with a yellow and blue band. Very chic at the time. Their wedding was fourteen years ago if I am correct.  It's easy for me to see families celebrating as I conjure up image after image.  This is the year of the goat in the Chinese calendar.  I love goat cheese and I have a lasting memory of a day spent at a goat farm in Italy almost three years ago. Where did that time go?

Of course, I went directly to Google this morning, to get some basics on today's goings-on in the Chinese community.  I don't want to be a complete dope.  I know that several of the members of my writing group will know all of the details and will have wonderful things, other than weddings and goat farms, to share.
I will come, equipped with some knowledge.  I looked up my own personal zodiac on the Chinese calendar and after typing in my birth date and year, the little info box popped up and jolted me straight up in my chair

Here's what it said:   You are a: Pig

I went racing in to the bedroom to tell my husband my good news.  Also, to let him know that he was a Dog.
His answer was "hey, they don't even know you!!"
My answer, "that would explain a lot of things"
Oink if you love me.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ashes and Avocados


Just when I was very, very sure that I had seen almost, but not quite "everything" ludicrous this Winter, I stumbled across what I think might just be one for my Baby Book.

Today is Ash Wednesday.  How it snook up on us so fast I do not know, but it is the beginning of Lent and that means that Easter, Spring, is not all that far away.  Six weeks?  It may very well take that long for the white blankets to be peeled back and maybe there's a layer of green under there after all. 

Now, I do believe in religious freedom, would never comment or condemn one for their beliefs and how they practice their faith unless they crashed airplanes into towers and/or beheaded people, all in the name of Allah. No, I doubt that there's an entrance ticket to Heaven awaiting those folk. But, I do believe in organized religion, in traditional rites and passages and some parts of Lent and the need to use the next six weeks to step things up in the holiness department. If you don't go to church, I will still be your friend, trust me.  

So, here's what I saw this the front entrance to the Star Market in Harwich and every single word of what follows is absolutely true because I could not and would not make this up....I see a woman standing next to a card table.  She clearly has received her ashes, there's a huge black cross on her forehead. I think she's maybe selling raffle tickets or asking for some kind of donation or maybe even a survey.  Maybe she's handing out flyers for today's specials? So, I read the sign that she has propped up:
Ashes to go???  Ashes to go!!!!!  My face, as you can imagine, gave me away, my surprise and indignation was written all over it. She's a Minister and she's distributing ashes, right here, at the supermarket.  So, sweetly, she addressed my need to know more.  "It's for people who can't make it to church today."  Of course it was.  For people who could not make it to church but could make it to Star Market  Couldn't help myself from blurting out. I gave a bit of an "oh no!" and walked into the produce department where I caught the ear of the young man who was stacking tangerines.  Funny, I think they were called "Halos." I felt so much better after telling him, in a nice and jovial way of course, that what I had just witnessed HAD to be THE most ridiculous thing I've ever seen, at least in a supermarket.  We shared a moment and then I went on about my business, collecting the ingredients for an Ash Wednesday dinner. As I exited, the nice clergyperson, who by the way had apparently done some business because there were lots of folk with huge black crosses on their foreheads doing their shopping, smiled and said "have a blessed Lent" to me as I scurried past.  "And same to you" I replied.  Contrary to what my husband would have thought, I did not stop and discuss why I found this all so ridiculous and so wrong. I did just want to ask one more question. Lady, why are you making it so easy?  What ever happened to words like "intention" and "commitment" and "sacrifice"? 

If getting anointed with ashes at the start of he Holy Season has any value, it is in giving pause, making the faithful think about death, the journey ahead and the preparation for a death and a resurrection. They are a public statement, one that tells us and the rest of the world that we are sinners and we are ready to change a few things in our lives in the next few weeks. We remind ourselves that we were once dust and one day, we will return to that state, in our own inevitable deaths. This is heavy stuff, don't you think? So, the Ashes To Go-lemonade-stand was utterly ridiculous, at least to this sinner.  All I could think of, for hours later, were little snarky thoughts, certainly nothing pious.  Me, I thought that drive-in flu shots were bottom of the barrel (not safe) so, the thought of grabbing a bunch of broccoli with a quick, thoughtless anointing of ashes really hit the bottom hard. What's next?  Baptisms at Dunkin Donuts?  Just drive by and pass the baby.  You might even be able to use an app and get a discount.  Maybe they'll throw in a box of Munchkins for your little donut's special day!  Nothing would surprise me.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Give me a Break. Please.

I'm missing something here, right?  I mean, all hygge aside, this is one crappy Winter here in the bowels of the great Northeast. I'm not enjoying one single moment, not delighting one bitty bit in the fact that it is snowing again today and has been since early this morning. I checked the Weather Channel and there I found some uplifting information, it will not stop until six o'clock this evening. And, oh, yes, it also snowed a good part of the day yesterday. Which,of course, would not have been half as bad had it not snowed Saturday night into all day Sunday on top of the "blizzard" just a few days before. So, I figure that I am not the only one who is feeling like jumping out the freaking window, head first into a snow bank. But nooooooo. I'm wrong.  I have nobody with whom to commiserate.  I keep in touch with friends who are living under the same sky, getting equally wet and cold from the same snow storm, figuring that there is something still left to be said for "misery loves company" and perhaps we could at least on line, share our misery but all I get is how everyone is knitting and purling and reading and loving the opportunity to sit in their houses while their fuel bills and electric bills climb higher and higher by the minute.  So, what's the deal with me?  Where am I going wrong?  I'm so lost in the white out I cannot see the forest or the trees.

Okay, Day One of the blizzard was fun.  We were so damned sure that we were going to lose power, and we were ready to take it head on.  I woke up early, hit the stores, loaded up on firewood, candles, batteries, food, water, wine and even spent the twenty eight bucks to retrieve my Icelandic wool blankets from the dry cleaners.  We cleaned up the Coleman stove, got two extra propane fuel tanks for the baby, and placed it on the front porch where we, much to the anticipated horror of our neighbors, would cook once the power left us.  I got ingredients, recipes, more ingredients and more recipes.  I chopped, I peeled, I boiled and put things up in containers which, of course, would fit nicely into the Styrofoam cooler that also sat on our front porch, waiting for the power to leave us.  We located flashlights, stacked scarves, gloves, hats, boots and hand warmer packets near the front door.  I threw throws over the chairs, making them easy to locate in the dark of course.  I even waited until early evening to take a shower so that I would be clean an extra day as were my dishes, all washed in the dishwasher.  No caked-on-smelly food hanging around the dishpan for dark and cold days on end.  What a check list!  No loss of power.  Just a lot of extra stuff hanging around our small place.  Most of it stayed hanging around each time we announced "here it comes again....".

I tried lavender, I made and then started daily scrubbing with, lavender scented sugar scrub.  I lit candles, probably should have lit them in a church instead.  I boiled, baked, and grew sprouts.  And more frigging snow fell.  I tried to read.  I tried to paint. I tried to finish a project or two. I tried to be happy. I tried to embrace, to savor, to love the beauty of it all. I really, really tried but nothing is or has worked. And then, all I hear is how much they're loving it (if the shoe fits....) and how great it is to stay home (it's not exactly like anyone isn't retired and staying home all the time anyway) and how much they love this shit. And, I wondering, where have I gone wrong?

Maybe I've got lavender-poisoning.  Or maybe I'm just tired of too much of your good thing.  Or maybe, maybe, I'm just a grouch who needs to see the sun.....soon. But alas, I will not get my wish, more snow is due Thursday.  Shoot me.

Monday, February 16, 2015


I love the color blue.  But not big, bright, brassy blue, used wrongly as in a bedroom paint color choice.  Extreme blue.
I love sunshine and warm breezes.  But not hot, humid, ninety-plus temperatures on July days.
Extreme heat.
I love music, all kinds of music.  But not heavy-metal, loud to the endangering my hearing point, not too much on the violins either.
Extreme music.
I love cities, cities like New York.  But not when the tourists are in for Christmas, not New Years Eve at Times Square.
Extreme crowds.
I love beautiful scents.  Nice soaps, anything lavender, natural lavender.  Jojoba soaps. Soy candles. But not ersatz factory-made scents, over powering perfumes.  They give me a headache.
Extreme odors.
I love good food.  Good tastes, but nothing over-done or covered with cream sauces or fruits where they do not belong or production-line pies or massive portions at cheap restaurants. Or white, soggy spaghetti that comes with that order.  You know what I mean.
Extreme non-culinary delights.
I like fashion.  Age-appropriate but certainly not "dowdy". Vintage jewelry with just the right outfit at just the right time.  Good fabrics.  I know the difference.
Extreme attempts at good taste.
I like people who are thoughtful, kind and considerate, like my husband, him I love.
Extreme love and devotion.
I love a brisk walk on a brisk day, sun shining. But not walks that are so long that we can't come home in time for a coffee or a tea or a nice fire and glass of wine.  Just the right length.
Extremely far and tiring.
I like to watch the snow falling on the pond, just a bit of snow, nothing Biblical, historic, life-threatening........and I don't like February and I know that we shall be talking about this particular February for a few years until another comes along to replace our thoughts for this, this has been an extreme February and we still have weeks to go.
Extremely extreme.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

It All Comes Out in the Wash

Well, well, well, what do you is a double-header, a two-post day. Actually, the first one of the day was sort of "compulsory".  It was one that I wrote for my writers group.  We met this morning and, as usual, we had the most fabulous two hours together.  We read, we talk, we laugh, we drink coffee and we generally have a great time together. One does not show up empty-handed to writers group. No, no, no.  In addition to the benefit of group sharing, caring and laughing, today was the day that June, our fearless leader, handed out copies of this year's "Reflections" magazine. The launch was yesterday and I had to miss it so she kindly snagged one for me.  I'm proud to say that I have two of my pieces in this year's publication and yes, it is very darned nice to see them in print in a real literary and art magazine.  So, thank you, Academy for Life Long Learning, and June, for all the hard work that you do to make this happen.  You dance on water, Woman!

So, I came home and decided that I would and could and should write again today.  I'll be busy tomorrow morning, getting ready for Loie's annual Valentine Luncheon which starts at 11:00.  Let me tell you, as soon as that prosecco starts flowing, I'm going to be in another world entirely. This is one, very horrible Winter and I'll walk home through the snow if I have to.

In prepping for being a woman of total leisure tomorrow (and one who, most likely would not be able to do much anyway), I decided to pop some laundry in.  Rarely am I at a loss for writing prompts and that communal living stuff never disappoints.  Today's dish-up is about the laundry.  Well, more precisely, it's about the fact that there are two washers and two dryers and thirty units of people who live here. All very clean and mostly all rather old.  It seems that the little laundry room which is located across the driveway from our apartment, has become something of a meeting place, that doing the laundry is the new Winter activity and rarely is it vacant or without a small group of congregants who wait around through the cycles and then put three items in each of the two dryers for forty five minutes during which time they stand around and talk about whatever bored older people like to talk about.  I don't know because I'm a fast-paced laundry person.  I get 'em in, get 'em out, pop 'em in the dryer and come back forty five minutes later to bring 'em all home.  But......I do exchange pleasantries should there be others on the premises during that time.  Most of the people are extremely pleasant and we've shared a friendship, superficial as it is, for a number of years so it isn't a problem except if I am in a hurry.  And, I don't want to get too up close and personal because I would rather they did not get too close a look at our dirty underwear.  Nor do I want to check their's out.  Just sayin'.

But my point here, my big need to write it all down, is that today I bounced into the laundry room, happy to find the washers empty, pleased that I could get this chore out of the way, and of course, I smiled and said a big "hello" to the neighbor-man who was waiting for his to dry and......nothing.  Was he blind? Deaf? I don't think so......nothing.  Rude, that's the word.  Unfriendly.  That's another one.  Un-neighborly, yet another. So, I plopped my wash in and left the laundry room.  When I returned to recover my clean clothes and throw them into an empty dryer, he was still there.  Again, no smile, no words, no nothing.  We totally ignored each other as if neither of us were actually there.  This time, he was reading. The book, I noticed, was one with "spirituality" in the title.  How nice.  I continued in monastic silence and went about my business, still thinking that this was one rude dude and, to boot, one who was on a spiritual journey.  I couldn't stand too much more, I mean that room is small....he was a foot away at all times.  And then, I spotted it, er "them", on the floor, between the washers and my day was in the process of becoming "made".
I put my quarters in the dryer, pushed the button and started my exit....with a flourish.....put my hand on the doorknob and I spoke.

"Sir, I believe that you have dropped a pair of your underpants on the floor between the washers" Good bye.

Happy Birthday Mr. NLOCNIL

Image result for image lincoln

 I'm not proud of it, but also not afraid to admit it.  I don't know much about history....

As any well-educated person,  I do know a tad bit more than the basics, but my unflappable ability to forget facts within seconds of hearing them, coupled by an undocumented tinge of dyslexia which almost always makes me transpose numbers if I remember them in the firs place, does not allow for much more.  I was a daydreamer, still am in fact, and history class was the most perfect place for this pastime.  From bell to bell, I had at least an hour to sit and allow my brain waves to have a field day while up in the front of the classroom stood somebody who actually made a living from transferring historical information from his or her brain into those of the future-decision-makers who shared my airspace, .  Some of them actually looked like they were enjoying themselves and when it came time for quizzes and exams, some of them actually got grades higher than mine, that is on those exams that did not consist of essays.  I could always write a good essay.  If you were a history teacher, you had to hand it to the kid who found a way to make a connection between the fashions of the day and the discovery of one country or another.  I never received a failing grade in my entire school career.  Except for Geometry. Sorry, I had NO use for that one.

Today is Lincoln's birthday.  That is a fact.  That historical fact, I have retained, despite the fact that I am not really up on my presidents (I did like Ike) and I am, and always have been, painfully apolitical  Oh, there were a few others I can profess some knowledge of so don't shoot me.  I knew that George Washington slept in a lot of places and wore a white wig and that he looked incredibly like our current Vice-President. Jimmy Carter couldn't pronounce "nuclear" and said something like "nukea" and his family grew peanuts. I knew that Franklin Roosevelt was married to an incredibly homely woman who ignored his infidelities which probably became the precedent for a few other presidential infidelities.  JFK, well, I knew a lot more about him than any other president.  Talk about fashion and style!  And that Marilyn Monroe....I saw her Happy Birthday Mister President ball gown at Sotheby's before it was auctioned off.  Wowzers!  And then, of course, the precedents for both infidelity and dresses lent themselves to a president I'll never forget. Then came yet another Texan and  9/11 and then, one day I saw a man on the news and I wished upon a star and the dreams that I was daydreaming about had a chance to become reality. The first who I hope shall not be the last.  A glimmer of hope for equality, oh please, oh please America.

You see, I really did know a lot about presidents, especially Mr. Lincoln.  I remember more about him than the fact that during a grade school auditorium presentation celebrating his life, the kid with the letter "L" who was to set up the word "Lincoln", started in the wrong place and the whole audience saw "NLOCNIL", much to the horror of our teacher. I remember he freed the slaves who should never have been slaves in the first place and he was shot at the theater and he was tall and eventually we found out that he had a metabolic disorder,and that he lost a child and that his wife was so, so sad and that he was born and raised in Springfield and, oh so much more.  I really do know things about Abraham Lincoln.  It took me years to find out so many of them; almost sixty to be precise.  I have a grand daughter who was born seven years ago today, on his birthday.  She has a unique attachment to a person in history who came and went long before her time, and she was a fan as soon as she could talk and walk to a bookshelf. She can and will upon request, give anyone who is willing to listen, all the facts about her birthday-partner; his life, his family and what he ate for breakfast on the day he died.  She's very, very smart and very, very wise for her age or for that matter, any age. She loves math and intricate puzzles keep her attention for hours on end. She would make a good president. So, once again, I find myself in a history class, dreaming of the day when I would be proud and happy that one of my granddaughters assumed the role of leadership of a country such as this.  By then, I dream and pray that there will not be any more political parties, that all good people will work together, that "slavery" will really be abolished, that morality and decency will be part of the fiber in each and every person and that guns will never be in the hands of anyone. Oh, and I do hope that she will be as un-conscious of fashion trends as she currently is or, will every person in the future America be sporting mis-matched clothing?  I hope so.

Happy birthday Abraham and Phoebe.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Love is the Ability.....


I needed desperately to find something that would make me feel the leakage of positive flow rather than the toxicity of anger and negativity in response to something that happened yesterday.

If you are a member of a family, surely you know that I mean this when I say that they aren't all that they are cracked up to be.  Think about it.  A bunch of people who are forced to like each other. Crazy, isn't it? 

We have an especially toxic member of our family, one who loves, loves, loves, to churn things up. She's extremely self-absorbed and she's not a child.  She's thirty one or is she thirty two?  It's hard to believe she's out of the fourth grade, behavior being the decision maker on that guess.  This young woman has never gotten along.....with more than a handful of people, her entire life.  She's never had many friends and, as one of her mother's former boyfriends said...."she pisses a lot of people off".  I suspect that might be why he ran off into the sunset. So, the ugly head was reared once again, she caused a major upset, and I wonder why she chose to do it and why she thought it would just get by, no harm done.  And, I'm so angry and so mad at myself for being so angry and I just needed to seek some goodness, an affirmation, and I did, in Wayne Dyer. I needed to recognize the fact that there are, indeed, self-less people out there.

Read what he says, if you will.  Love....ability.....willingness....without any insistence.  Think about the last time someone "pissed" you off.  I will give you ten thousand dollars if it wasn't because someone, somehow, was insisting that you satisfied someone else.

I'm glad I found this affirmation.  I was starving for it.  Hard to believe that something so negative could have produced something so positive.  I'm going to try very, very hard to hold this thought, to examine my own motives and conscience in reference to it.  Repeat after me......
. Love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you. 

Thank you Dr. Dyer, again.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Here's to Hygge!

I wish that you could see what I see, a pink band across the horizon as the sun rises across the pond.  Above the pink is a layer of white and then, the softest shade of blue.  The pastel sky is telling me that there is the possibility of a beautiful day approaching and I am welcoming it.  It's not fair that snow covering everything for miles is the source of so much beauty, providing just the right canvas for the sky up above. The snow that left us with no less than twenty four inches of difficult travel, trecherous walking, and hours of solitude.  Or, perhaps it is fair and good and it's all in the reference that we chose to frame it. And there's a clipper on the move, due to the Northeast again in just a few more days we're told.  And guess, what, I am not jumping out of the window as I had sworn I would do last year if this happened again this year.  Nope. I'm hanging in here, practically just fine.

Why? What happened? Huh? Yeah, it's really okay to ask.  Well, I'm going to tell you what I think has made the difference and remember, this is NOT a "lifestyle" blog...but then I suppose it is in many ways.

As I prepped for the approaching Winter, I signed up for an online"course" given by a lovely fellow blogger named Heather Bruggeman.  Her blog is called, for some reason I'm not sure of, "Beauty That Moves".  Every week day, for four weeks, she sends an installment in what she calls "Hibernate and by 9 A.M., I'm enjoying a series of coping mechanisms that wind beautifully through the topics of "Renew', "Nourish" "Relax" and "Gather". The very first communication from Heather forced me (happily) to formulate a plan for Winter Wellness and very soon after, to find a "place" where this hibernation could work its magic in my home.Finding the place wasn't hard and soon  formulating my plan came easily for this woman who made a living doing that for others.

So, was it MY wellness plan, my daily missings from Heather, accompanied by beautiful photos and soothing words, or was it my new Lightopia Energy Lamp, a recent purchase from Amazon or, was it this new word that Heather introduced me to?

  I have the feeling that embracing hygee might just be the answer to getting through the Winter, very, very nicely and I have the same feeling that it will continue to get me through more.It's irresistible.

 Click on the link and see what you "feel" and then make yourself a cup of tea and get your Hygge on Min Ven!

And then, go sit back and check this out....

Sunday, February 1, 2015

All the Little Things...Why Do I Write?

Everyone who writes will have a different answer to that question. I can't come up with anything really new but I personally feel that as an "essayist", I would like to serve a higher purpose with my words and one of the things I like to do best is to use those words to enlighten.  I don't beg anyone to read what I write.  I find that it is very true that when we write, we learn so much about ourselves and so much about other people who share our space on the Earth.

My mother was light-years ahead of her time.She probably would have made an excellent beatnik or, later on, an incredible hippy. While I wasn't always thrilled about the fact that I had one of the few "working mothers" during my early years, I recognize now how extraordinary that was and how extraordinary she was if only for that decision. She became successful in her career but "in those days" she could only go so far.  Her employment brought the family lots of benefits that we could see and many, many that were too subtle for us to realize at the time.  I like to think that I am who I am today because of my mother and her courage. I know that in the final analysis, I did not miss out on anything because of her time away from the home and that I benefited in ways that many of my friends did not.  My mother always had something interesting to talk about, stories from the workplace and always a wide variety of friends and business acquaintances who also graced the lives of her family. In addition to an appreciation for culture and the arts, my mother taught us an appreciation of human rights and for allowing that not everyone was the same and that people who were "different" were not to be feared.  In fact, she was of the belief that those who held that belief were those who we should fear.  And, if there was one thing she eschewed, it was "homophobia".

When I came across this, I viewed it many times.  Not only did I find it to be a brilliant study in public speaking, but I found it to be an insightful expose, a window into a mind and a perfect lesson plan in action.
So, on this cold quiet morning, as I think of my mother for the umpteenth time, I share with you something that she would have truly enjoyed and I thank her again for giving me the courage to be enlightened and then to use my words to pass that along, especially to her future generations.  Check it out, seriously. Her name is Panti Bliss and she's an Irish Drag Queen with a lot to say........if you listen.