Life is like a box of chocolates, ya never know wut yer gonna get

Life is like a box of chocolates, ya never know wut yer gonna get

Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year, New Resolve, New - Me??

For the last several years I resolved to NOT make any resolutions, because I was always breaking them. Last year I had a goal that was pretty successful. I would not call it a resolution in the beginning, because I didn't want to jinx it - but it was a resolution just the same. I lost 80 pounds. I had 35 more to go when I lost my job mid-October. It is amazing what depression does to my eating habits. I have gained 15 pounds since October 16th - and I resolve to take those off, along with the additional 35 to get to my ultimate goal. So - 50 pounds off this year.

When I lost the original 80 pounds, I did not exercise. I only went to work. My job often involved walking and lifting and sometimes moving very quickly, so there was some exercise, but not much really. This time I will exercise. I want to tone my core and improve my cardio health and breathing capacity. I want to be able to climb Mt Whitney in late July with my husband and kids. It is over 12,000 feet high, so the breathing is an important factor; one which exercise will help significantly.

Another change I am making is with my reading habits. I want to read more books. I read alot as a kid. Since I am not working I will have the time and I love going to the library. I was going to try and read 2 books per week, but that may be a bit harsh. So - my goal is 150 pages per week.

I want to hone my writing skills also. My Grandma always wanted me to write books, so I am officially working at it now. With the help of my daughter's education and literary talents, I will commit to writing at least 100 words five days a week.

I am still pondering the next one. I want to let my hair color grow out. I dye my hair brown. It has been brown most of my life. I experimented with a few variations, but brownish is what I was born with. At 53 years old, my hair is mostly white now. I'd like to let it go white. I've said that many many times...only to cave in and get it colored when an occasion of some sort rears its head. (Like a job interview). We'll see how it goes.

I want to cut back on the caffeine again

I hope that in one year we can all look back and be happy with our decisions and choices of 2010.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 14, 2009

a dark and stormy night

It actually was a dark and stormy night when Jennifer left the house to walk 9 miles to her boyfriend's home. She'd just had another fight with her parents and needed to clear her head. One of those 'I'm never going home again' moments. She hooked up the family dog; an 80 pound female German Shephard named Kleina Pupschon, (little doll in German), to a lead, and the two of them took off into the night. It was easy to feel fearless at 17 years old with a heart full of anger and a protective dog at your side.

Seventeen year old girls are women. It doesn't matter who has what opinion - the fact is - she is a woman. And when two women try to live in the same house - fireworks go off, trains collide and sometimes words that are best left un-said - are spoken. Jennifer and her Mother had not seen eye to eye on life for a couple of years. Weird thing was, they both wanted the same things...respect, love, acceptance. But family dynamics can be strange things and, sadly, the two women never fully acquired those feelings towards each other. Is it truly fair to expect that though? How can you be a mother and a friend at the same time? Is it possble? Probable? Advisable?

Jennifer and Kleina walked quickly down the wet streets, Jennifer's anger welled up in a tight fist in her chest. She needed understanding, she needed comfort. Kleina understood her job and she did it well. As they passed the closed shops uptown, the guys standing in the alley behind the liquor store looked and whistled, but when they saw the growling dog, no chase ensued. Jennifer walked faster, her heart beating fast and hard. She was appreciative of the police station coming up on the right side of the road. She and Kleina stopped to rest just outside the parking lot; Waited to catch her breath, and - until she felt safe enough to go on.

The farther they walked the more the anger lessened and fear set in. Jennifer had led a sheltered existence and a Friday night on Whittier Blvd was not a venue for her to display her strengths. Kleina would have to do that for her. The hormonal cruisers on the blvd did not bother her as she passed all the regular haunts of the populars. when she finally got to the turning point the muscles in her thighs were twitching. She'd not walked this far since the March of Dimes Fundraiser. Once away from the lights and crowd of the Blvd, the neighborhoods went back to being friendly and normal. The sinisterness faded into rare shadows. The Christmas lights and the well lit home interiors had a cheerly glow, a welcoming feel. By the time she'd reached her boyfriend's family's house, the importance of the fight seemed to have withered into a lame excuse for a long walk in the dark. She wondered if her mom had forgotten too.

Jennifer's essence loved her mother dearly. But the Jennifer that had to live in the world - just could not seem to find the right timing, the right mood, the right things to say. It was like she and her Mother spoke different languages.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Posting stuf on the internet...(Internet)

The whole world can see my typos, my spelling errors, and my life stories. Wow! Kinda scary - and kinda cool and kinda dangerous. I love naivete. Is that how you spell it? I love simplicity and innocence. Unfortunately life keeps showing me that those two qualities are more often hazards or liabilities.

I do like keeping a record of the things I write. A diary ... sort of. But I think from now on I will go private. Totally private. Well, as "Totally" private as Big Brother will let me.

Then again - what is the point? "They" already have all my information. They know what I look like, what I am going through, what I buy, what I dream about, probably. I mean, when I write email - the Google ads next to the text are all about the text of my letters...I think they might keep that info for use somewhere in the future. (insert sarcastic wink here). Sounds like Sci-Fi Fodder...or, maybe it was in 1974. I think we've seen movies about the abuse of this techno power stuff, eh?

Why do I like to write? I'm not good at it. I am not a person who can or will craft an elegant sentence. I appreciate it when I read it, but I have a hard time communicating. I find I am usually too lazy to say complete sentences. Thoughts usually stay in my head...and not even in the conscience area - where words are almost audible...but I rely more on the inner voice - that is not quite a voice. She is smarter than I am and she takes care of me. Sometimes. Writing is a way for me to express myself I guess. Wow - that's profound ( grimace here). I find I have to force my self to come up with the words. Like I used to say to my children when they were crying - "Say the words, use your words if you want me to understand you". But I do not feel like a child. Most of the time I just feel too tired to speak. Too apathetically depressed to think you would want to hear what I say...or too lazy to even form an opinion about situations. Nothing really matters anyway. And what I think of a subject makes no difference to anyone.

Wow I'd really betternot post this. The men in the white coast will lock me away and stuff medicine down my throat.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


i cannot help the smile on my face. you see, i have ingested almost an entire bottle of pinot grigio and i am enjoying the beautiful wonders of my mind. i have a wonderful family...husband and children who love me. regardless of the life that continues to go on about me, I WILL enjoy this time that I have on the earth.
i have been destroying the fleas that have been vampirically killing my poor old cat. I use the flea comb on her twice a day and I decided to put the flea posion on her once again. I have been afraid that the poison would hurt her because she is 16 years old. She was dying you see - and we decided that if the poison killed her - it would be better than being slowly eaten by fleas. Poor baby. AND!!! She is so much better now! She is happier - and HUNGRIER than ever! I bought her some Fancy Feast at K-Mart the other day and she is eating and drinking and happy again. No Fleas were found on her today. I am soooo happy about this. I think this makes me the happiest I've been all month! Yay.
I used the flea comb on Emma today for the second time this week. Emma is a 13 year old mixed breed. We thought she was going to be a Lap Dog when we bought her from a neighbor. "She's part Dachshund and part Corgi" they told us as we handed over the $30. They forgot to tell us that her Daddy was a Rottweiller. Emma weighs 60 pounds and has 12" long legs. Emma was not happy about being called to sit for a combing. She saw that small silver comb as an instrument of torture. Even so, she was obedient and slowly approached me on the bench and stayed still for her combing -She is a good girl, after all. The weird thing though - Abbey, my yellow dog who is sort of a golden retreiver, came when I called Emma. Both dogs had that sheepish look on their faces. They did not want to be subjected to THE COMB. But the weird thing is that Abbey waited for her turn! Yup, she laid down and waited for me to finish Emma and then she marched right up and laid down for her toture. Weird little dog! I love my dogs. I think we three share neurosis. God love us all!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

coffee and smokes

she really only wants the milk in my coffee, but it looks like she is in love with me. she is lying on the desk, about 2 inches from my left arm, her gaze going between my face and the cup of coffee sitting in front of me - between my nose and the keyboard. A deeply resonant purring and an occasional arm nuzzle to remind me that she is there; Smokey is my company on this rainy morning.

Smokey is the gray long haired offspring of Alice, the best cat in the world. Alice was a mountain girl, born and bred in the wilds of Big Creek, the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. She was the epitomy of a good momma. She took care of everyone- Boyd, Andrew, Laura, me and her kittens, and sometimes even the dog. She would warn us of danger, guide us on walks, groom us when we were a mess and referee loud arguements. One time, just a week after the birth of her kttens, I saw her in battle with a racoon (twice her size) over the cat food on the wood shed. Initially the racoon tossed her out of the way like a rag doll. She came back with a feline strength that eventually got the racoon to leave. Her strength and ferocity was amazing! Later that evening Laura dressed her in doll clothes and wheeled her about the house. Her ultimate gift was her life to a coyote so that her daughter Smokey could get out of danger and be safe. I wish all mommas were like that.

Smokey is now 16 years old and lives in the wilds of our home in northern San Diego County. An indoor cat now, she haunts the space under the stairs with regularity. Deaf as a rock and with severe memory problems, she is often seen lying in the dark facing the wall. About half of the time she is ill with some unknown old age disease. Boyd and I enjoy her while we can. She is very opinionated and since she can no longer hear herself, she is quite loud and raspy sounding. She does not seem to have control of her claw retraction susytem, but I suspect it is actually an old lady trick. She always uses her claws when she wants to be picked up. She did not do that when she was younger.

My coffee cup refilled, Smokey is up and walking on the keyboard, aggressivly seeking the hot milk ...ahkk! Stop it cat!!

Ah, nothing like cat slobber and hair in your coffee cup. Glad I made more coffee.

Cat on caffeine. 16 human years x 7per year for cat age = 114 years old. Maybe it isn't just the milk. Maybe the old lady wants the caffeine!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

4years old in kindergarten

When I was 4 we lived in Fair Oaks, California. Our rented house was on a gravel road off of a main Boulevard. There were three houses on that road. The one that was on the boulevard, us in the middle and a large "mansion" at the top of the hill and the end of the gravel road. Our house was also on another road that led to a newer neighborhood that was hilly and there was a river at the bottom of the hill. Our house was on flat ground and the hill up to the mansion began just west of that other road. There was alot of open land between us and the mansion. Our house was small and had lots of different kinds of dark wallpaper; era 1940 I think. The garage was a seperate building to the side and set back from the road a bit. The driveway was gravel. the front yard had a tree, a grassy lawn and 3 cement circles where flowers had been planted. It was pretty and quaint. Across the street was lined in pink oleander that was very tall and very bushy.

My sister Gigi was 2 years old and Momma was pregnant with Sigrid. My Dad worked at Aerojet as a chemist. We lived close to my Grandparents house on Heather Road. My aunt Karen still lived at home with Grandma and Grandpa.

We had a black standard poodle that like to run away. I remember little about him, except that we were looking for him alot. And that Dad said if he ran away one more time we would not look for him anymore... and one day - he was gone for good. Later that night I had a stuffed gray poodle on my pillow.

I learned to ride a two wheel bike there. Daddy had me on the bike riding on the paved streets in the new neighborhood. As I recall Daddy pushed me off and I went down the hill and landed into a rose bush just near the river. Dad says I took off on my own towards the river, for reasons unclear to him. Funny how memories are - and the hows and whys of young reasoning is a hoot! After that I could ride a two wheel bike though.

The mansion neighbors on the hill had horses. I could see them riding their horses on the weekends and one day I decided I really wanted to ride their horses. So - I went out and stood on the road where I knew they would pass by. I waited, trying to look cute so that they would offer me a ride. They never did offer. I never would ask - I thought I needed them to offer...I did not want to impose; that would be embarassing.

I remember noticing all the kids in the new neighborhood catching the bus to go to school. I decided I wanted to go to school - so I got in line with them, got on the bus, and went to school! Momma came and got me when they realized I did not belong there. But not to long after that I began kindergarten at San Juan Elementary School. I was 4 years old.

One time in that house I brought my mom some flowers...beautiful pink oleanders. They are a poisonous flower. She grabbed them from my little hands and drug me quickly to the bathroom and scrubbed my hands, explaining that I was never to touch those flowers again! I could have been killed because they were poisonous! I don't think I've ever touched them since.

I've always loved to eat. One day I "stole" a piece of bread. The bread was in a bread box. I got the package out of the box, a piece out of the bag...and left the bag on the counter. There was a bottle of ant poison on the counter also. When Momma came into the kitchen and saw the bread bag out I knew I was in trouble. She was insanely angry! Over bread? No - because of the poison on the counter AND the bread. But I did not understand that. She asked me if I ate the bread. No - Gigi ate the bread. She grabbed Gigi and went into the bathroom and promptly stuck her fingers down poor sister's throat, making her vomit. I felt so guilty, so bad, that I confessed it was really me. So - I got the vomit treatment. Afterwards she had me drink a glass of milk and then lay on the sofa. She called the doctor and everything was okay, but it was scary for awhile

Daddy drove an old Studebaker that used to belong to my Grandpa. Dad worked on the car himself in the garage. There was a cherry picker in there for awhile that is thought was a swing. somehow I played on it. Eventually Daddy told us to stay out of the garage. I remember seeing big black widows in the garage.

One morning we woke up and it was snowing! It does not snow there usually. We were all so excited. My grandmother was there (my mom's mom). She made us eat cream of wheat before we could go outside and play. It was lumpy and hot with brown sugar. We dressed in the warmest clothes and went out in the whiteness. The neighbors had a sled on the hill and we got to slide a little. I don't think we were out very long - it was wet and cold and the snow melted quickly. But it was a fun time.

When Momma was ready to have Sigrid on Christmas Eve, Gigi and I went to stay with Aunt Karen at Grandma and Granpas house. We were playing and running through the house and I tripped on a rug and fell onto a hot floor furnace. Karen took us to the emergency room where I was treated. The doctor wanted the nurse to scrub the burned skin off with a brush. I was petrified! When the doctor left, the nurse told us we did not have to do it that way. Instead she gently washed me with phisohex soap. Karen was there and she was very much like my mom at the time. very concerned, very loving. I had a scar for a long time. I was never angry about it...but I learned recently that Karen felt guilty for years.

Sigrid was born and came home after Christmas. The baby was set under the tree for Gigi and I to dicover. Very cute pictures - and then Gigi pulled the tree down on us all. Ah, good times, good times. No one was injured - but Daddy made a lot of cursing noises.

I like living in that house.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Being the eldest offspring of an Irish mother and an Italian father, I was baptised a Catholic when I was born. My mother took all of her daughters to mass each Sunday. Sometimes Dad went too. I remember the darkly stained wooden pews were very hard, the mass was in Latin and we were expected to be silent and still.

My best friend was an Italian Catholic whose Dad would round up all the kids in the neighborhood and haul us over to the church on Wednesday afternoons for Catechism. We were all stuffed into the back of a pick up truck. Back then it was legal - and really quite fun. Sometimes he had on the camper shell, sometimes not.

St Ignasius is a collection of large red brick buildings on Arden Way in Sacramento. The cathedral was closest to the street. Behind the cathedral was courtyard guarded by statues of saints, with an assortment of bushes, flowers and grass. Beyond the courtyard was the school building. Each grade had a classroom, so I was never with my sisters, instead I was with my peers; some from different elementary schools than I attended. On the east side of the classroom building, rounding out the U shape of the courtyard, was a building that housed the nuns and the priests. I remember being in awe of the priesthood and service. Nuns were the most worthy of women in my young opinion.

I loved learning about God and Christ and the Holy Spirit. I especially loved a new young teacher we had in the 3rd grade. She brought her Collie dog to the classroom with her AND she played the guitar! That was the best! She was an awesome young woman - and I wanted to be just like her. It was that year that I decided I wanted to become a nun.

I think I felt the Holy Spirit way back then. I fell so in love with Jesus Christ. One day though, I remember looking into the sanctuary while no one was around and feeling a strong sad sense about how Christ was not impressed with stained glass windows, jewelry on the Pope and the politics of the church. Interesting thoughts for an eight year old. I cried over it because I felt his sad feelings.

I took my first Holy communion at St Ignasius. What a wonderful day. Wearing a pretty white dress and clean white tennis shoes with white bobby socks and a sweet little white lacy veil on my pixied head. I remember feeling very pretty. We all stood in a line going forward to the front of the church. I was so nervous. As I was able to approach the alter I knelt in place; The priest and the alter boys slowly approaching, giving the sacrament to everyone in turn. I was so afraid I would forget what to say to the priest as he gave me the sacrament. If I recall, I did get the words wrong - but the priest was kind and helped me out of my fear. He put the paper thin wafer on my tongue, I walked back to my seat and prayed. The prayers of an 8 year old girl. I don't remember what I prayed; probably something very idealistic and very loving.

We stopped going to church and to catechism sometime before I reached the 6th grade. My father decided that we should not be forced to go to church; that we should not be forced into religious belief simply because our parents believed. In reality though, my mother and father had been deeply hurt by the comments of an old priest when my mother gave birth to a stillborn baby boy. The priest told Momma that the baby died because of her personal sins. My mother would not accept that. It was a very irresponsible thing for that priest to say to a devastated and loving young woman.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Strengths and Weaknesses

What am I good at?
What can I do that most other people can or do not?
What is unique about me?
What is easy and natural for me to do?

What am I terrible at?
What do I hate to do?
What is the most comon trait I have?
What is difficult and frustrating for me to do?

I've been doing some self discovery lately. I have always been somewhat introverted, however I have recently felt the need to be good at something. To feel mastery of a skill is wonderful and I need to have that right now. My current job is not a satisying one because of political reasons and I want to do something better with the rest of my life than feeling defeated at the end of every workday.

So...what do I do well? I feel. I feel alot. I am a sensitive person and I think I feel things more deeply and more often than most people. Well, how can anyone make a living doing that?!? Sounds pretty silly. Certainly won't get rich off of emotions.

Of course, being rich is not what I require. I require a certain amount of money to live, however, financial wealth has never been of big importance to me. Spoiled as I am, I just want to do whatever it is that I want to do! For some people that might be excessive, however my desires are pretty simple really. I want to spend time with the people I love. I want to be able to enjoy this world with the people I love. So some travelling is involved.

Some of the things I like to do are - writing, sewing, crocheting, playing with animals, reading, watching movies, gardening, sanding wood ( taking the old skin off and seeing the new skin underneath).

One thing I do at work now that I think I do really well is listen. All the people who I work with like to tell me about their lives. And I listen. And I comment, relate, guide...I nurture. I love to nurture. Even in the career I have chosen (hospitality) I like to be nice to people; to accomodate them, to facilitate them. I like that alot. Most people respond well - and are kind to me in return. Occasionally though, I find a person or persons who will take advantage of that kindness and hurt me with it. So, it is not the safest of ways to be...but overall it is a good thing. I think people learn from me too. My example is contagious.

I think the biggest problem in our world, especially the United Sates, is that children are not nurtured by parents. People are not taught to be kind. Many children have no opportunity to experience feeling nurtured. It is a vicous cycle that will continue to grow if left unchallenged. It is a scary prospect; A world full of selfish unkind people.

I think I can use my strengths, help children and the United States by becoming a Foster Parent. My husband agrees. Since our children are grown we have 3 bedrooms unoccupied. We will be attending a Foster Care Orientation mid October. We will find out more about it. I think this is a good idea.

Monday, September 28, 2009

bathroom doors

I grew up in a household of mostly females and we hardly ever shut the bathroom door. With just one bathroom for six people, it was rare that anyone got to be in the bathroom by themselves, so the door was perpetually open. Everyone was accustomed to seeing everyone else in various stages of disrobe. My father was the most modest of us, we never saw him nude, however Dad in briefs was a natural thing in the morning.

A typical morning was Momma in front of the mirror curling her eyelashes, Dad shaving his face in the same mirror with Monique on the pot, me sitting on the side of the tub shaving my legs...and the two youngest sisters appearing in the doorway whining "I have to go!" while fidgeting back and forth holding their small hands close against their tummies. We were all in the various stages of morning dress; some in pajamas, some in underwear. Monique would finish and Hilda would take her turn. Of course the movement in small bathrooms was very tight. You could not help but brush against each other; a bump here and a jab there. "Excuse me, excuse me" was just part of the dawn chorus. We all accomodated each other, mostly we were polite, but there were the occasional grumpy outbursts; "You're using my toothbrush!" or "It's my turn!". On rare occasions you might be able to go pee alone, but if someone wanted to talk to you - it was not unusual to carry on a conversation with someone who was on the pot. A naked bum did not offend anyone and if it got smelly, a window was opened. An occasional remark about stink and a laugh or a snort and life went on. Everyone got to work and school on time; with clean and orderly bodies and faces. Daddy did, however; have a little spot of bloody toilet paper stuck somewhere on his face each morning; his sacrafice to the rest of us for the sake of the group.

I married into a family larger than my own - seven children vs four children - who also was accustomed to small houses with one bathroom. However the bathroom tone was far different than my own. Their 7 children was comprised of both girls and boys; with an age span of eleven years vs the seven year span in my own family. The mother was a modest woman; with no father in the premises. I cannot imagine very well how they accomplished their bathroom duties with the large number of people needing to occupy the toilet one at a time; Modesty was their highest value in bathroom protocol.


They say that a child is basically formed by the age of five years. All the basic personality, style and probably habits of that person are what they are by that age. Closing bathroom doors is one of those habits.


Edward and I, to this day, have a difference of opinion on closing bathroom doors. Edward cannot do his duty if the door is open and I will leave the door open if I am in a hurry, or - if I want to continue to carry on a conversation with him. He habitually comes and closes the door on me - with a wince and a comment on decency or modesty or stink... and I roll my eyes and forget what I was talking about.

My children have adopted Edward's modesty routine and I am the lone wolf in this area. Lone wolves do not last very long.

Several times my habit has caused me some embarassment. Just yesterday my brother in law Robert came over early in the morning while I was using the hall bathroom (with the door open) and called out "Hello!" I was able to push the door shut and flip on the light switch just in the nick of time. If Robert had seen me on the pot it would have embarassed him horribly! I would have felt somewhat awkward with of the delicate nature of the situation, but it certainly would not devaste me. However, if it had been someone else -Oh! it could be terribly uncomfortable. However, the situation did give Edward a good laugh and an ideal position for the "I told you so" lecture that evening.

At 52 years of age can I change my ways? I don't know - You know what they say about old dogs and new tricks. But if I remember the feeling of fear of embarassment, perhaps I will be better prepared in the future.

Of course - there is also a chance that I will become worse as I age. I can see it now. At the age of 80 I will be on the pot - with the door open while I carry on conversations with all the other old people in the home...and no one will think any the worse of me because they all do it too.

Ah well.

Ashes to ashes.

Friday, September 25, 2009

My Grandparent's Memorial

Last weekend Boyd and I travelled to Carmel to take part in a Memorial for my Grandparents. Grandpa died over 10 years ago and Grandma died last year. Neither one wanted a big fussy funeral and they both wanted to be cremated and the ashes poured into the ocean. They loved the California coast.

So my father and aunt and their spouses took some of their inheritance money and set aside a "Memorial Fund". The Memorial Fund paid for our weekend in Carmel. A large Villa was rented for the 18 of us to stay. It was large enough for everyone to have any alone time they might need - but mostly it was a party house; ample room with many nice features.

I had not seen my cousins, Barenda and Carrie, in many years. It was lovely to be able to enjoy them again. They had their spouses with them. ( Barenda and Matt * and * Carrie and Colin) Actually - one spouse and one spouse to be. Both couples look to be very good together...communicative and happy. Carrie had her daughter Micayla (age 12). She is a very precocious 12 year old. What a hoot! She was great. And she looks so much like a very young Elsie 'Grandma' Scherrey.

My youngest sister Jill came with her son Vincent (who will be 15 in November!) and her fiance John. Sigrid and Craig came and Gigi came. Reggi had business to attend to and could not make it. Aunt Karen, Uncle Owen, Maryann, Dad, Boyd and I...that makes 17 people. I was surprised to see John - and surprised to discover that he and Jill are engaged. Vincent was quietly puppyish - with a deep voice and surprising talents. He played the piano for us (with Micayla) and could converse on many subjects (for a 15 year old). Missing, because they were not included on the guest list, were most of the great grandchildren. My two - Andrew and Laura, Sigrid's two - Rhiannon and Kurt, Barenda's three - April, Kyle and his twin ( I am sorry to say I cannot remember his name). Half of these great grandchildren have spouses and some have children of their own ... so there are great great grandchildren! Grandma and Grandpa would have loved this gathering of family. I think they would miss the kids though.

Anyway ---
BBQ on first night, breakfast next day with eulogy time following. Daddy did a nice history of Tony and Elsie Scherrey. It was good. I hope to be able to write it all down to pass on. Then it was my turn. Yup. I had something to say. I thanked Grandma and Grandpa for being who they were and for sharing themselves with us - but mostly for being wonderful influences in my life. I cited examples and got everyone crying. Even Owen had a bit of a tear welling up. (And he is a tough cookie!) That led into a sharing time until it was time to leave for the boat in Monterey.

We carpooled over and found our way to the correct dock and boarded the small whale watching boat. The ocean was fairly calm and most everyone had ingested Dramamine an hour prior to boarding the boat. We drove for about 15 minutes to a place where the ashes were poured over the side. After that the boat drove in a circle around the ashes and each person threw a rose into the sea - on top of the ash. It was a quiet time. The sound of the boat motor was pretty much all we heard. A few words passed between folks, but it was mostly quiet till we got back on land. We went into a nearby restaurant had a beer and some calimari and chatted some more. After that we had to stop in the candy store and buy oodles of candy. Maryann made the candy lady's day! Probably the largest purchase of the day...fudge, peanut brittle, carmel corn, and of course - salt water taffy.

Back to the villa for an hour's nap and then out to dinner. Just south of Carmel to an old restaurant that hung off the cliffs over the water. It was built in '47 and had old style ways, decor, etc. There were many sea cliffs outside the that had been lit up. It was very impressive looking. We occupied 2 tables and it worked fine. Not so much alcohol tonight...I had a good piece of swordfish. I was struggling to keep my coughing at bay...drinking hot tea and not speaking very much. Unfortunatley this cough does not want to go away. It is quite annoying. After that - home and bed.

Next day - lite breakfast, pack, clean up and back on the road towards home.

It was a good time. It was a very appropriate memorial for them. They would have liked it better (as would I) had all the great grandchildren been there also. I do not think my father and Aunt realized how much time my kids spent with Grandma and Grandpa...and how much it meant to me. My relationship with my kids is very different than my father's relationship with me. So how could he understand? Nothing in life is ever perfect. And that's okay.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Why I should not forget to send birthday cards

I recently missed another birthday. My nephew Jim turned 15 and I did not send a card. That is not unusual for me nowadays. When I was newly married - and for the first 10 or 12 years I remembered all the birthdays and sent cards, made the phone calls, etc. As I became busier and the family grew larger I began to forget, send belated wishes...and eventually went to nothing...which is where I am now. It is not that I do not think about the people - I do. I think of Jimmy and how he must feel to become 15...nearly an adult in his eyes, I'm sure.

Part of it might be that I still have such a hard time believing that HE IS 15...Good grief! - He was just 4 last week! That means that time has passed and everything is older...including me. How did that happen?

So - yeah. I am selfish.

You know what? I am tired of being selfish.

On my deathbed what am I going to think about?
Work? Nope.
How clean the kitchen is? No way.
How old I am? Probably not.
How much I love everyone? Yup.
How I screwed up? Yup
Regrets? Um hmm.
What I would do if I had just 1 more year?
Most definitly

Perhaps living life as if you only have a year left would be a good thing to do. Sort of. I don't want to make us go broke with too much living - BUT within reason - I think that is a grand idea!

What IS important to me? People. My people especially. Loving them, showing them I love them, receiving love. Yup - I really like this idea.

What is the purpose of life? Many answers here, depending upon your philosophy, your spirit.
I recently overheard a conversation regarding this subject and it seems basically sound...even the scientists would approve. All life wants to make a copy of itself. Look at molecules, look at all living things. Always reproducing. Okay. So I made (with some help) my copies. My copies have grown into adults. Now perhaps my job turns to carrying on traditions, nurturing a community of family. Caring for my grandcopies eventually.

I used to think I wanted to do and be something grand and important in this life. And you know what? I did and I am. Small and unimportant in the world's eyes - is large in the human scheme of things. There really is not enough family love in these United States. Our families need to be nurtured. Children need to learn love - they need to learn to be decent and caring. Those things are taught. It is the basis of the whole world! Imagine if the war mongers had had loving different life might be. Yes, yes --- there is more to it than just a good Mommy, but I know it would not hurt and I think it would make life better.

This blog has evolved into something much more philosophical than I thought it would be. Wow.

So now I will send Jim a belated birthday card and make my apologies...
I will also update my calendar and get back to the important things in life. People.

"Live like you'll die tomorrow and dream like you'll live forever".
James Dean

Saturday, September 5, 2009

what color is your armor?

sometimes i think i should write stories out of my dreams.

last night i dreamed that everyone wore armor. Each person's armor was a different color. For instance my husband's armor was canary yellow - bright, attractive, happy, alive. my daughter's armor was orange - a combination of red and yellow...all of yellow plus a passion, a zeal, a zest. My son's armor was bright royal blue...true blue, brilliant and attractive, it reminded me a a deep lake.

my armor was a combination of all colors - an ugly no name color...a mish mosh of unidentifiable reflection of light. It was sort of brown, yet sort of purple and dark gray...mostly brown(ish).
Was I all colors because I am a little of all the colors? Or because I do not know what I am?

yellow, red, orange remind me of flowers, tropical birds, fruit; seasonal living things
blue and green remind me of the waterways and the grass and trees; seasonal, yet not as much change as the yellows, reds and oranges
white and black are good and evil - as in old stories - or maybe rather - truth vs non truth
seems most of the colors are really combo colors -
orange, purple, brown, gray, various shades of each color.

why armor?
protection, or perhaps a mask that protects you. Or maybe a type of banner...what you wish to represent, or simply reflecting who you really are on the inside.

this blog is a mish mosh of my thought. no art here. just a way for me to express thoughts. if anyone reads it - hope you have a wonderful life! hope your armor is both pretty and strong.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What I wanna be...

well thought of
smart enough to not be stupid
smart enough to still have people like me
i want little children to like me
i want animals to like me
i want to be good at something
i want to like myself
i want to be comfortable in my skin
i want to be comfortable with my mind
i want to be and feel guilt free
i want to have integrity intact
empathetic - sometimes
i want to be so honest that all the lies cannot penetrate.
i want a persona that proves evil wrong, simply by standing.
i want to be an educator, mentor, helper, protector
A shepherd
I want to have a quick wit and matching voice
I want to be brave enough to stand up for myself and others who share my truth
Clean in body, mind, soul, spirit

Monday, August 31, 2009

Start with a cup of coffee

Bitter, dark and hot

Sweetened a bit with sugar

Lightened a bit with milk

Carefully sipped out of favorite cups

Hot as my mouth can stand it

Warming my throat and belly

Leaving immediate unequaled contentment

Sustaining and Strengthening

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Old Photographs

Black and White and Gray

Framed in White

Some with Dates

Some with Names

A familiar Face

A familiar Place

Ancients proving Genetic

A Smile

A Pose

A Passion

Our own Behavior discovered in Younger Versions of Ancestors



Time Standing Still on a Small Glossy Sheet

Proof of Time Stampeding

Ever Onward

Ever Forward

Small Reminders of Who we are

Where we come From

Scaling back to survive

No more cable television.

Netflix!! :)

He has his cell phone and I have mine.

Basic and plain - no texting or fancy stuff

No house phone.

The fax machine is going away too.

Eating less (lots less)

Coloring my own hair (Cut it short too - so less color is needed!)

Not eating out as often - maybe once a week...and only nutritionally correct foods.

Fixing the upstairs into an apartment to rent out.

Planning a new room addition to rent out.

Not buying new clothes as often.

Sewing! Using up old fabric that has been sitting in boxes or on shelves for years.

Making gifts - crochet, sewing, craft or cooking.

Being more creative!

Grew our own tomatoes this summer. Don't know if it actually 'saved' money though - with the drought and all. :(

Walking or riding the bike for the shorter neighborhood trips.

Use the more gas efficient vehicle if you have more than one. Consider taking the other off the insurance and just parking it for awhile. OR - sell it!


Shop the ads before going to the market.

Shop with a list!

Have a weekly meal plan

Remember to use your lists and plans! :)

Turn off the lights when not in use.

Unplug the appliances that have a little red night light. If they have a light on at night - they are wasting electricity.

Don't keep the cell phone on the charger too long. Once it is charged - it is charged. If you leave it plugged in after that - wasting electricity!

Water only the trees and bushes in this drought. Grass has to wait for rain :(

Cut WAY back on Soda Pop!

If we want to go to the movies - I buy the $6.50 tickets through Human Resources at work. Otherwise - it is $11 at the theater!! But- be careful - it is still $25 for a tub of popcorn and 3 sodas! So - eat first! (Costco sells cheaper movie tickets too)

Buy gas at Costco and use the Costco American Express Card - it is cheaper and you get a rebate!

Buy certain staples at Costco...but be very careful that you do not overbuy things that might get wasted.

Use the library instead of buying new books or magazines

Sell your old stuff! Yard Sale, Craig's list, etc.

Save a portion of each paycheck in some type of savings account. Research first! Get the best interest rate you can find. I get 5% interest in a fixed 3year savings account through my 401K at work.

When you need to buy something - check Craig's list. You might be able to get a used item of good quality for lots less money.
(At work - I bought a used freezer for $75 that is more reliable than my new one! When the commercial freezer broke - we had to save the food quick - and there was my little $75 gem on Craig's list. It cost $1,000 to fix the commercial freezer - AND the commercial freezer uses more electricity!)

Keep your tires inflated properly. If they get too low on air - you get worse gas milage AND your tires wear out more quickly.

If you have a habit you want to break - it is probably a good time to break it. You will save alot if you don't buy cigarettes, beer, junk food, etc.
I wanted to quit cussing - so I started a cuss bank. Everytime I cuss I have to put a dollar in the jar. It helps me to stay on task of not cussing - and I get a little mad money in the end. :)
I have also lost 80pounds this year by just not eating so much! Saved alot of money there! And gained better health. :)

It is time for Americans to get back to basics - in so many things. Getting a better handle on your finances will make you feel more secure. You will be happier when you use your creativity to help your self survive these hard times.

A friend of mine told me that we should always know how much money is in our wallets. The money should be kept neatly in our purses - we should respect it. I think there is wisdom in her statement.

A penny saved is a penny earned.

Good luck and enjoy your new and creative ways to live.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I recently finished a book that had a paragraph about someone's death - and how the relatives reacted to it.

The person who died was a writer who lived on the edge of society. He had been wounded in wartime and he walked to his own drummer, so to speak. He lived alone, had bouts of depression and alcoholism, lived on a check from the government, fixed things other people threw away - and then gave them to those in need, - and he sold a few of his self published works on street corners. He was long haired, ill shaven, wore a rumpled suit and hat, rarely spoke - but when he did he was incredibly knowledgable.

One evening while returning to his 3rd floor room in an old buiding near downtown Boston, he fell down the stairs and suffered a stroke. He died. Eventually his mother, father and brother came to put away his things and clear the room. They went through his piles of unfinished works, small broken appiances, boxes of old books and stacks of his own works; all were tossed into garbage cans. When they came to a shoebox tied closed with a ribbon they found the letters they had sent to this gentleman. They read the letters and wept over them. They wept over words they had written. The words the dead man had written were tossed in the trash. That made me very sad. They did not care for him, they cared for their views, their history, their stories, not his.

This gentleman's family cared so little for him, they did not even try to appreciate the things of his life. They did not try to receive nor even see his essence of being. They could only, would only, receive their own past emotions. Were they too selfish? Were they too pained by past experiences? Were they too dense?

We all can share ideas, knowledge, wisdom - and we all have our own perspectives because of our own experiences. We may say we share an idea or thought, but everything we do is based from our own self, so do we really share? Can we totally communicate our truths to another person? Only if that person has somehow experienced exactly what you have, then the thought can be exactly shared.

Because this limits our abilities to share, I must be merciful in my views of this family. But - this paragragh made me realize that, even though I believe myself to be somewhat thoughtful, I too am selfish in this vein. I do not like this realization. I want to be able to say "I know what you mean", "I know what you are feeling" - and have it be true, not just some brief consolation. I want to be able to see why someone did what they did. I want to know what someone is talking about when a heart rendering tale is being told.

Empathy is what I value in people. Sympathy is a kindness, but empathy is - comrades in arms, kindred spirits, etc.