Dec 31, 2016

Aren't they cute?

You can just barely see Mr. Big Orange Lump on the couch...just being a lump.

(Click photos to biggify)

Dec 29, 2016

Thursday Rants and Raves

And in my case they are the same thing!

Two more authors on my "Oh my god, why?" list.  Chris Bohjalian and Ann Patchett. They just make me so tired. I've tried and tried to enjoy them but I simply can not.

Following discussions wherein people express the most uninformed and ill informed opinions makes me crazy. You're sitting at a computer, google the damn subject. Yes, I know, I simply shouldn't read those threads but it's mental rubbernecking - I can't not look and check out what moronic information is being exchanged and debated. Someone stop me please! (And not no, not a political discussion.)

Thursday is shopping day and aside from making a poor cashier's life miserable, I am sorry about that and next time I see her, I will apologize, it was fun insofar as eavesdropping on the young people dominating the grocery aisles today. Senior Discount Thursday but the store was chock-a-block with 20-somethings. Why are these young people not at work? Our parking lot is still packed - no one has gone to work it seems. The federal government has a 'use it, or lose it' leave policy and my husband suspects this is why everyone is home but these young people haven't been working long enough to accrue much of anything. Bless their hearts.

There was very little traffic - very unusual but that didn't stop a young man from almost plowing into us; so busy looking right never glanced left. It was really close!

I don't relate. Never have. It makes me crazy.  Most of the people I encounter who are my age (70) I want to smack - 21st century people, join up. And people younger than I,  by even just one generation, well, we don't share any common references.

I know, I know - I've whined about this before. I would really like to talk to someone who shares my references, my style, my POV - who was where I was when we both were there.

Yes, interacting with people who are different from me is mind-expanding but sometimes I just want to say "You too? Cool".

I'm going to have lunch now. A slice of chocolate fudge cake. Just the one, maybe half now and the other half later. Gotta love the 'buy one slice' option.

Dec 26, 2016

Not pretty but awfully good

I don't like to cook but when I do it is always good, sometimes terrific and occasionally awesome. The one thing it never is is pretty.  I do like to bake, which I don't do anymore because my husband can't have sugar. My baking is always awesome but never pretty. I just can't manage to make pretty food. Case in point...

For Christmas I made manicotti. I love manicotti but it's a pain the patootie to make. The gravy/meat sauce/spaghetti sauce/tomato sauce, however you want to call it, is easy enough, as are meatballs, it's just those pesky crepes. And all that cheese that has to be grated. Garlic and parsley to be chopped. So many elements. Oy

This is how it went...
The only ingredients missing from the picture is a boatload of garlic, pinch of salt and a little sugar. I only use Cento brand tomatoes because, you might be able to make it out, the list of ingredients is: vine ripened tomatoes. That's it. Nothing else. Just tomatoes. It's a simple sauce, nothing fancy, pure peasant.

Meatballs - one pound of very good quality chopped meat, one egg, some seasoned bread crumbs, romano cheese, lots of parsley and a pinch of salt. (The parsley in the glass dish was leftover and I froze it.) Aside from one egg for each pound of meat, I have no idea how much of the other ingredients I use. I mix it with my hands and I know how it should feel.
If I were frying/baking them then I would add garlic, basil and oregano. I cook my meatballs in the gravy/sauce and they absorb all those other flavors.
The crepes are easy - eggs, flour, water, pinch of salt. In the past I have made them in a 6-inch cast iron frying pan, this time I decided to use a 6-inch non-stick pan -
Because I have a crap stove, these weren't so easy to do. I took me an hour to make 27 crepes. Boring. Some came out perfectly round and lovely and some came out like that. I totally ruined only one.

The filling is ricotta, eggs, mozzarella, romano cheese, parsley, and pepper. You plop some filling down the center,  roll it closed, line them up in a pan, dollop some sauce on them
and into a 350º oven the pans go for about 1/2 hour.

Getting them out of the pans isn't so easy, I've got them in there pretty snug, so when I plated them - not very pretty

But man oh man were they delicious!

Dec 23, 2016

Dec 17, 2016

And the ice came

Every 3 or 4 years this part of the world undergoes a snowmageddon, but every year we are guaranteed ice - lots and lots of ice.

Now, if you know how, you can walk and drive in snow. But ice? No, you cannot fight with ice and win. I have permanent damage from a lost ice fight.

This is a car centric/dependant area that I live in - one of the reasons I'm not crazy about living here. There are parts of the region which are incredibly walkable but I can't afford to live there, or rather I can't afford to 'buy' there, renting we've done, buying we can't.

Over the years we have lived in these environs on 3 separate occasions, I've always liked living here, except for the car thing and the ice thing. The car thing and the ice thing scare me.

This is a part of the world where a goodly portion of the population falls into the entitled, self-important category and their driving habits show it. I've lost counts of the times I have been bumped by cars making a right turn - drivers in such a hurry that while looking left for traffic don't bother to look directly in front of them to see me in the crosswalk, me with the green light, a lowly, insignificant pedestrian.

This part of the world is also very hilly, walking here is truly aerobic exercise, challenging when the weather is fine and impossible when the weather is anything else. Years of predictable bad weather has done nothing to improve the driving skills of the inhabitants. They insist that neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet nor ice will prevent them from driving fast and irresponsibly. I don't doubt my husband's driving skills (well, not too much) it's the other people on the road that frighten me. This is the time of the year for me to have anxiety attacks just at the thought of having to go somewhere - out there, in the ice and snow.

As I write this it is early afternoon and the temperatures are sneaking up just a bit past freezing. The sky is getting light and the clouds are thinning to reveal some pale blue. I look out the window and see water dripping off the trees. The roads are probably safe enough to drive on and thankfully I have no need to leave my apartment. Today being Saturday, I would have no reason to leave under any circumstances, so status quo.

I don't like winter. I don't mind the cold at all, the snow somewhat, but the ice. I hate the ice; I fear the ice.

"Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great And would suffice."
                                        ~Robert Frost~ 

Dec 15, 2016

Thursday Miscellany

Usually I have a supermarket plus traffic rant for Thursday but not this week.

Traffic slowed and stopped for a funeral but that's okay. Lots of motorcycles, police and civilian, so I'm guessing Viet Nam veteran funeral heading over to Arlington National Cemetery.  Rest in peace.

Last week we went to a different Harris Teeter, and as bad as I think Store #86 is, Store #23 is worse. Don't even ask. So we were back at old #86 this week and we found a cashier who knows how to pack! Oh Yay! Dylan rocks. We saw Zachery collecting shopping carts from the parking lot and asked him how come he wasn't cashiering, 'cause Zachery rocks as a cashier and packer too.

In the lobby of our building there are big boxes for contributions for Toys For Tots and the local food bank. An article I read recently commented that the items in these collections were not always the healthiest so I tried to be thoughtful about what I bought to donate. I bought boil-in-the-bag rice, that way no bugs or dust or whatever would get into the package; family size cans of tuna; stewed tomatoes, and baked beans and plain beans. I hope that helps a bit.

Even with the extra food (a nice big bag full) the bill came to only $116. Our grocery bill gets smaller every week, last week it was $81. I wonder what we aren't eating anymore. Or maybe we are eating a lot less.

While we were switching from streaming to cable last night the acapella group Pentatonix was performing on some show - they are ubiquitous. And bad. Oh not bad in the technical sense, technically they are very good, but bad in the artistic sense. They have no warmth, no soul, everything they sing sounds alike.  I truly dislike them. They hurt my ears and my eyes.

Now if you want some great, soulful acapella singing (with some really good looking people) listen to this:

There is even a country acapella group - real fun bunch of guys - better than the Pentatonix because, again, they have soul and personality and they are just as cute as june-bugs. Okay I have a crush on the bass singer...and the guy with the beard and glasses is too cute for words...

Dec 14, 2016

Straight out of the camera - No editing

The beautiful boy - BB

Click to biggify and see his beauteousness

Dec 13, 2016

It's all about the soft

My husband wears LL Bean pocket tees. Long sleeve in winter, short sleeve the rest of the time. They are rather heavyweight and super soft.  Every morning when he takes his first nap of the day Frankie settles down on his chest and naps with him. This is the ONLY time Frankie comes near sitting in a lap. The only way Frankie will be in contact with a human is if there is something soft between her and the human.

This morning my husband went in to work and therefore he wore a dress shirt. It was a quick trip in and he was home in time for a short AM nap...Frankie started to join him and then...Oh dear, where is the soft? I can't sleep like this! Poor Miss Lulu...

Dec 12, 2016

Annual I will not rain on your parade post

Y'all know how I feel about holidays in general and Christmas and New Year's in particular. I must admit Chanukah is fun if only for the latkes. I prefer mine with applesauce, thank you.  I always liked the story behind Chanukah and developed a fondness for the Maccabees.  Most of the traditional Christmas trappings and traditions are from the Wiccan Yule, or Winter Solstice.  Christians just tacked their new symbols on to the Old Religion and called it a done deal. But - what the hell - potato pancakes with applesauce.

I have mailed out my Christmas cards - should be in your mail boxes by the middle of the week. I'm of two minds about them - on the one hand, it's a great photo on the front (my first cat, Max, a seal point Siamese) and on the other hand - not bright and cheerful.  I truly do prefer bright and cheerful. But hey - great photo.

I have decorated for the December holidays - this classic which, oddly enough, I bought while I lived in the Bahamas (think Christmas with Santa in a Speedo) -
I've been schlepping this thing around for 16 years and I really like it. It is made up of gigantic jingle bells and the 'ribbons' and 'holly leaves' are metal. It is basically indestructible and surprisingly quiet unless you shake it like a tambourine.  Of course over my front door is my favorite home decor item ever.  It has hung in every place I have lived for the past 20 years. If I were going to have a tombstone, I would hang this on it. Actually it would be kind of a funny epitaph.

My other bit of decor is new - I have one of Ann's  penguins. As adorable as you thought these were from the photos on her blog, they are even more adorable in real life, and I got one. His name is Percy...just makes me grin like an idiot.

And that's the extent of it folks. This and nothing more. I can't comment on your Christmas posts because if I were to be honest about my feelings then it would truly be raining on your parade. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy reading about, and watching, your parade I just can't join in.

Yeah, I know, bummer but you know I love you, and, Hey  - Potato pancakes, with applesauce!

Dec 10, 2016

Playing with Frankie Fotos

Well not this one. This is pretty straight forward, morning nap - every morning along about 9am

This afternoon Miss Lulu was all about staying close to me. Not too close, but close enough, on the table while I attempted to do a crossword puzzle...Then I spent a good portion of the afternoon playing with some photos of her - she hates the camera...

You can always click the photos to see them more clearly...

Dec 9, 2016

News Flash!

BB in a box!
click to biggify

And Frankie?

Not interested...

Dec 7, 2016

I don't but you might

I hate to cook but I like to bake. Since my husband was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes two years ago, and with sugar being his trigger, baking is just not on my to-do list.

I have, in the past, gone on crazy rants about the food sections of newspapers - recipes that are impossibly complicated, using exotic ingredients and, quite frankly, sound gross and look gross and disgusting. BUT...once a year my local paper presents an entire food section devoted to cookies!

My local paper being The Washington Post, some of the cookie recipes fall into the complicated/weird ingredients/gross category but some make me want to get out the bowls and mixer.

This year's cookie section has some lovely cookies and some odd ones. Cornbread cookies with tomato jam, I'm not sure about that one and of course there are the gluten free cookies and vegan cookies, something for everyone I guess. So if you are in the market for some new cookie recipes or really need special diet recipes, check out that link.

Politically incorrect - I'm from NYC which has always had a very diverse population. And there was a time that every NY'er was a little bit Jewish by virtue of just living there.  So when I relate this next short conversation I had with my husband, don't get your shorts in a knot. Then again, you might not even get it -

          Me: The first night of Chanukah falls on Christmas Eve this year.
          Husband: And that is significant - why?
          Me: The Chinese restaurants will be empty. It'll put a huge hole in their business.

Anyway -

My husband's middle name is Francis. He never actually writes this name, most forms only require his middle initial.  Without going into a lot of boring background, the other day he was filling out a very detailed questionnaire and discovered that many years ago, when completing this form (it has to be updated every five years)  he had spelled his name incorrectly! He had spelled his middle name with an 'e'.  Francis with an 'e' is the female version.  So on this latest form he corrected the spelling of his name.  This morning he got a call from the authorities questioning this change! It's a strange kind of mess.  Not the least of the problem being - my husband doesn't know how to spell his name.

Dec 3, 2016

Oooh - Pretty

The tangerine and poppy look very similar in the photo - that's the tangerine mug on the left and the poppy mug between the sunflower and lemongrass mugs...I am so happy.

My kitchen cupboards luckily have glass doors, so with my other Fiestaware cups, saucers and small bowls - I got me a happy, happy kitchen!

Dec 1, 2016

Perhaps you can't tell

from this photo, but I have very skinny ankles. Always have. In years past, when I was young and chubby, as opposed to now, when I am old and chubby, someone remarked "How do those skinny ankles hold up such a big girl?" Nice.

You might notice that my left ankle looks a little lumpy - yeah, that's from an epic ice storm in 1999 - by the third time I fell I had ripped up every muscle and tendon in my ankle and had a hairline fracture running up the back of my ankle. It makes my otherwise skinny ankle look a tad lumpy and it's one of the reason I had to give up on high heels...

My point being - since I have lost weight, and continue to do so, my limited wardrobe has become annoyingly large. I wear grey yoga pants and they have a slight flair at the hem and while they used to fit well enough they now drag along the floor, get under my feet and I'm constantly tripping on them.  Yesterday I had to go out, it was raining and my pants got soaked dragging them through puddles. Today I had to go out (OMG - I went out 2 days in a row - unheard of!) so I dug out an old pair of leggings.

I can tell you, as that picture above attests to, that I looked thoroughly stupid. Skin tight pants, skinny ankles, big feet. And how exactly DID my feet get so big - for years I wore a 7.5 and that inched up to an 8, then an 8.5 and now a 9. A 9!

Big feet, skinny ankles - why do I care? I'm not sure I do, really. It's not like I dress to impress the people at the grocery store.

So now I have 7 pair of pants, 3 light weight, 4 heavy weight (which I never wear because it just doesn't get cold enough to warrant wearing them) that are too big and just accidents waiting to happen if I wear them.

Okay, so first-world problems. I could buy new pants but I'm too cheap. I'll just wear the leggings that look totally stupid, and with my shoes on - it's looks like I'm wearing clown shoes.

BTW - why does purple always look blue on the computer screen? Those are purple and black checkerboard shoes...

Nov 29, 2016

I've been busy

reading. Nothing world shaking, mind, but reading nonetheless.

Regardless of what I read it always makes my mind wander to other things, other places, other times. Other subjects.

So while I have in odd moments (mostly when I'm in the shower) prepared blog posts about whatever is messing with my mind, I returned to a book rather than a keyboard.

Mere moments ago I finished one book and, as soon as I hit 'publish' I shall begin another.

Nov 23, 2016

Quiet, lovely lazy day...

So on this day before the 'holiday' it's all sunshine and blue skies, actually kind of mild, enough so that I turned off the heat and cracked all the windows. And very, very quiet. Lots of cars in the parking lot, I guess folks took an extra day off or they have already started traveling by other means.

We went to the grocery store today figuring tomorrow the shelves would be bare and since they won't open till 8am Friday, no re-stocking would have been done. Fooled us! The shelves may be a tad empty but the trucks are on their way! So maybe Thursday would have been a good day to grocery shop. Too late now.

I took my little 3-lb turkey breast out of the freezer Tuesday afternoon and it is all defrosted. I'm supposing it will be okay in the fridge for another day. If we get food poisoning and die - so be it.

I got music in my head today - deep, dark, low down bluesy music. I'm all about the sax, the bass, the drums and a voice to go with it...

Here's a little sax mix - it's okay if you don't like, ain't everybody's cup of tea, but it is mine...

Nov 22, 2016

So how long does a 3 lb. turkey breast take to defrost?

Yeah, so - Thanksgiving *sigh* Such a colossal waste of time. Doing something I hate - cooking - food I don't care to eat - turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy - for some arbitrary reason I don't understand.  (Oh yay, let's celebrate the beginning of a genocide.)

Once a year I make my husband mashed potatoes with gravy, you know the Anglo kind of gravy - brown.  I don't touch the stuff. I truly dislike mashed potatoes, and gravy. Which is not to say the mashed potatoes and gravy I make is unpalatable; on the contrary it's quite good. Throughout most of my adult life I've heard people talk about how difficult it is to make smooth tasty gravy.  The first time I made some it came out terrific - make a roux, add liquid, seasonings, simmer, stir and voilà - gravy. How is this difficult? Nevermind.

Growing up Italian-American, Thanksgiving was just another excuse to eat a whole lot of really good foods, turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy not being among them.  Oh, yes, there probably was turkey, somewhere in the kitchen but it rarely, okay, never, made it to the dining room. I remember one year, someone called to wish the family a 'Happy Thanksgiving" and asked my mother if her turkey was in the oven yet, it was around Noon, and she screamed "Oh my god, it's still in the freezer. I forgot to defrost it." No big deal, even when it was ready on time we never ate it.

We did have stuffing tho - my mother made a killer stuffing that was baked in a separate pan. I wish I knew exactly what went in it, there's no exact recipe, but I recall sausage meat, grated carrots, peppers, probably garlic,  - who knows what all else, what I do remember is it was delicious. So - yes to stuffing, no to turkey.

It will just be my husband and I since we have no friends to invite us to dinner. Which is okay because I don't like eating other people's cooking; I don't like eating in restaurants either. I've reached a point in my life that I'm not overly fond of eating at all. 70 years of eating, I'm kinda over it.

With that attitude you would think I would be rail thin but just because I don't care to eat that doesn't mean my body doesn't demand food. So I eat the easiest, fastest thing I can get my hands on - and that isn't always the healthiest stuff to eat. Whatever.

So when do I take this stupid turkey thing out of the freezer?

Nov 20, 2016

My November Reading List

1. In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume - This is one of her 'adult' books (rather than a children or young adult book). This is the only book of hers I have ever read and it is wonderful. Check it out of your local library, you will enjoy it.

2. The Widow by Fiona Barton - I find the format a bit disconcerting, it goes back and forth in time BUT I also could not put it down. It is told from 3 viewpoints - the widow, the reporter and the detective, and that's okay, that didn't bother me at all. The time thing - meh. But still - a good read, you will stay engaged. I'm not too sure I found the end quite satisfying, I would have liked something happier. I like my endings tied up neatly and happy.

3. Diane Arbus by Arthur Lubow - dull as dishwater. Badly written. How anyone could make a person as intriguing as Diane Arbus boring is beyond me but the author succeeded. I did not finish the book.

4. Wedding Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke - a bit of fluff. I've read quite a few of these, the best part is the recipes. If you like to bake you might just be better off buying the "Lake Eden CookBook"

5. Love Story, With Murders by Harry Bingham - Most excellent. This is the second in a series, and my library does not stock the first. I keep hoping they will. It seems there is a third out now. Very well written, characters you care about, good story, NOT a fluffy murder/detective novel, this has meat to it.

6. Tricky Twenty-Two by Janet Evanovich - Crap. The first 5 or so books in this series were laugh-out-loud funny and then - enough already. Move on. Same old, Same old. No longer funny.

7. In the Woods by Tana French - I liked it. I thought it was well written, liked the characters; good mystery. Yeah, so why not - pick it up.

8. The Devil and Miss Prym by Paul Coelho - Don't bother; short book, waste of time.

Currently on my iPad: -

1. Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen - An autobiography. A bit purple prose-y. I'm on page 27, probably won't read any more.

2.  Would you believe I actually had another Maria Semple book on hold?  This One is Mine is her first novel. I will start it but probably like her other 2 books I started, I probably will not finish it. I found her books interesting and amusing for maybe the first third to half and then - enough was enough; I no longer cared and was losing the will to live.

3. Brooklyn by Colm Toibin - This is my next read. I know there is a new movie made from this book. I haven't seen the movie and probably won't. But I will give this book a whirl.

(Links are either reviews, which I hope are still available. or the author's web site.)

Nov 19, 2016

Still a lot of green...

Nov 18, 2016

I know it’s Friday, the calendar says so. Plus I got up at the crack of dawn to do laundry, and yesterday we grocery shopped, and we always grocery shop on Thursday, so today just has to be Friday.  But it doesn’t feel like Friday, it feels like maybe Saturday? Definitely not Sunday because Sunday is my husband’s major cleaning day i.e.: change the kitty litter and do a super thorough, move-the-furniture vacuuming. 

Of course it could be Monday since I did laundry this morning (Monday and Friday are get up at the crack of dawn to do the laundry days).   It just doesn’t feel like a Friday.  When you don’t go to work, and your life is built around other people’s schedules and preferences, and you don’t have your own schedule, and your preferences aren’t taken into consideration, well it’s just easy to get confused about the days. 

Sep 28, 2016


I prefer to call it Autumn - just a nice word all around. And that simple question set my mind off because I like everything about Autumn.

Autumn feels like home. Not that it reminds me of any place I have ever lived, Autumn IS a place. A physical place I inhabit,  it is home.

It is so easy to wax lyrical about the Fall - the colors, of course, how obvious. But the light - the light is different in the Fall. The sun is lower in the sky and the afternoons come sooner. The light is filtered by orange, red and yellow leaves. It is light that wraps itself around you and holds you close and dear.

The air smells crisp and clean, you can touch it and taste it - like the Autumn apples symbolic of the season. If by some chance, someone, somewhere, is burning the fallen leaves, the smell and wisps of smoke add a layer of warmth and magic.

A late afternoon thunderstorm - the sky a dark grey blanket, almost bare branches tapping at the window covered in wet and windblown russet leaves...It makes me feel protected and safe.

Some people find Autumn a little sad, they think of it as the beginning to the end - of Summer, of the year, of their lives.

September is my New Year and a time of beginnings, October, the grandest month of the year, is my birth month. Autumn is everything to me. It is me. It is my home. It is my safe place.

But I understand those who feel differently...

Sep 16, 2016

The unvarnished truth

I read something last week where the author prides themself on over-sharing; telling the unvarnished truth even tipping over into TMI. They want everyone to know every little thing about them. They wish to be known down to their last little foible. Their every thought and opinion presented but not judged.

To be known. Deep down in your heart of hearts; even to the dark parts of your soul. Should you? Should we be that transparent, that naked?

While I have been cogitating on that the Universe has been throwing various aspects of it in my way.

I often think, don't know if I have said, that I wish I was known, not famous you understand, but that someone knew me. Knew all of me. Knew all of my life; knew all of my darkness as well as the light. Knew what I have said and done and thought and felt. I know that some of my words and deeds and beliefs would discomfort some people; would have them judge me harshly, just as some of my words and deeds and beliefs would raise me in their esteem.

We humans seem to have a need to be known. We want to put it all out there; dump it all out on the table and have someone partake of it all, not pick and choose what pleases them.

The unvarnished truth; the naked truth about ourselves - all of it. Do we even know it, how then to share it? Should we?

We crave complete and unconditional acceptance. Is that even possible? Should it be?

Keeping something of yourself for yourself alone; keeping your secrets to enjoy, because yes, some secrets can be joyful, happy - those wild dreams and fantasies and what-ifs. We want to hold some of them close, do we not?  And do we not all have something we wish to hide, and wish we didn't?

So I am torn - I want to tell it all - the unvarnished, naked truth; my unvarnished naked truth. But who, or what, would it serve? Only me. Only my insecurities and my hubris.

There is that line about never lying because then you don't have to remember what you said. Telling the truth regardless of the consequence because it's the right thing to do - telling the truth. Right for whom?

So this is a mish-mash of talking about truth telling as opposed to lying, and truth telling to - what - find love, acceptance, relieve guilt, feel connected, be known.

Perhaps the naked truth should remain clothed; the unvarnished truth retain some polish, or perhaps we should be like Gregory Corso-

The Whole Mess ... Almost

Related Poem Content Details

I ran up six flights of stairs 
to my small furnished room   
opened the window 
and began throwing out 
those things most important in life 

First to go, Truth, squealing like a fink: 
“Don’t! I’ll tell awful things about you!” 
“Oh yeah? Well, I’ve nothing to hide ... OUT!” 
Then went God, glowering & whimpering in amazement:   
“It’s not my fault! I’m not the cause of it all!” “OUT!”   
Then Love, cooing bribes: “You’ll never know impotency!   
All the girls on Vogue covers, all yours!” 
I pushed her fat ass out and screamed: 
“You always end up a bummer!” 
I picked up Faith Hope Charity 
all three clinging together: 
“Without us you’ll surely die!” 
“With you I’m going nuts! Goodbye!” 

Then Beauty ... ah, Beauty— 
As I led her to the window 
I told her: “You I loved best in life 
... but you’re a killer; Beauty kills!”   
Not really meaning to drop her 
I immediately ran downstairs 
getting there just in time to catch her   
“You saved me!” she cried 
I put her down and told her: “Move on.” 

Went back up those six flights 
went to the money 
there was no money to throw out. 
The only thing left in the room was Death   
hiding beneath the kitchen sink: 
“I’m not real!” It cried 
“I’m just a rumor spread by life ... ”   
Laughing I threw it out, kitchen sink and all   
and suddenly realized Humor 
was all that was left— 
All I could do with Humor was to say:   
“Out the window with the window!”

Sep 7, 2016

And so we danced...

That little phrase popped into my head. Later in the day, for no particular reason, I got up and looked out the window and noticed the riot of flowers on the next door neighbor's balcony. I put the two together...

for no particular reason.

Sep 3, 2016

On this day, 101 years ago

my father was born.  He died 57 years, 4 months and 18 days later.  I don't have any good photos of my father because the reason he died destroyed all the family photos (or so she said).

Some years after my father died I wrote an essay about him. And a few years ago I transcribed that essay into a blog post.

I have to be honest, my father doesn't always come to mind on his birthday; I can go months and months without thinking about him, but when I do it hits me like a ton of bricks. Like today; or rather yesterday when I started thinking about today.

I can never remember the date of his death for some strange reason. I always recall it as being January 23rd for some reason.  I have to pull out that memorial program the funeral parlor prints up to check the date.

My father is 'entombed' in a drawer in a huge mausoleum, which faces East because it is primarily used by Masons. His drawer is quite high up, if I recall correctly. I could be wrong, I never went there after the day of entombment (I have no idea how to describe this - he certainly wasn't buried. And we did not witness his coffin being put into the drawer.)

I like to walk through cemeteries, the headstones and memorials are often quite beautiful but to be honest I think cemeteries are a waste of precious real estate.  All that land could be put to good use rather than being used as a human landfill. But I digress. Then again maybe I don't because I think I'm finished here.

Happy Birthday, Pop.

Aug 10, 2016


My obsession...

Aug 9, 2016

Something is terribly wrong with me.

I have no style and couple that with the attention span of a 3-year old, I run into situations like the the one I had today. I had the curtains in the living room re-done for the third time in 3 years and the bedroom curtains re-done for the second time.  My mistakes get pricey especially when I depend on the expertise of the so-called experts.  Details will not follow because, well, it's just plain boring and who really cares.

But my sense of no-style when it comes to the places I live has been costly. I don't know why I can't buy furniture, place it in my home and then, a week or two later, when it turns out to be uncomfortable and not suitable for the space, return it. Even tho I buy inexpensive furniture, because I get bored easily, and I made poor choices, I've still spent a small fortune on furniture.

I really admire, tho don't care to emulate, people who fill their homes with furniture and decor and don't change any of it for decades. I cannot even imagine it. That said I do have 2 pieces (there used to be 3) of bedroom furniture that are 13 years old.  They still work tho I was never in love with them. I have a small, low table that was bought for some specific purpose 25 years ago and now has no reason to exist except that it is such a solid piece of really nice wood I can't bear to get rid ot it.

There is also my grandmother's china cabinet which is beat-up all to hell and yet I always find a use for it - right now it contains mostly junk.  So many people like that damn thing; some even say I should get it appraised because it is old, but folks just because something is old doesn't mean it's valuable. I don't have any nostalgic attachment to it, it's just been around since I was a baby. I wouldn't miss it if I had another place to put junk that I need to access on a regular basis.

And then, of course, we don't do accessories. I gotta love my husband for that; we both agree, if it doesn't have a practical use then it doesn't have a place in our home.  He hates throw pillows even more than I do - the whole idea of them makes him crazy.  And you know, tchotchkes  - we don't do tchotchkes. We don't have anything on any surface unless it absolutely has to be there. We don't comprehend table lamps - you have a table because you need the flat surface for some practical purpose. You put a lamp on it and then the table is useless for whatever reason you got it in the first place. Unless of course you bought the table specifically to hold a lamp, which makes no sense to me. We DO have floor lamps and only because there are no overhead lights.

And nothing matches anything. When I need something I buy whatever fills the need in a pattern or color that makes me happy. And is cheap, because a year from now I'm gonna be bored with it.

I do, I really do admire folks whose homes have a theme, and things match. I don't know how they do that. Or folks who change their home decor for the season. That absolutely floors me. My husband's sister-in-law does that. Each season all the (useless ) tchotchke decor stuff gets switched out and the curtains get changed, even the flipping dish towels get switched out, to match the season.  She collects ducks too. So the Summer ducks get switched out for the Fall ducks, augmented by the Halloween ducks. The Winter ducks are filled in with the Christmas ducks - I swear to god - who does this? That's a rhetorical question, lots of folks it seems. Not particularly with ducks, you understand but you get the idea.

The only art work on my walls are pictures, paintings, photos that have meaning for me.  I've seen people buy pictures of random things and hang them because they match their kitchen curtains or they fit the theme. The pictures have no personal meaning, they just match other stuff.  It all looks good - but means nothing. Or I suppose because it does mean something because it matches - I don't know.  I don't have a problem with blank wall space.

Don't get me wrong, aside from the art on my walls none of my furniture or other 'stuff' means anything, it functions, that's it. It also doesn't match LOL And I am happy with that.

I have to make the grand assumption that folks with themes, tchotchkes, matching furniture and other miscellaneous collections and decor are also very happy with their surroundings. Or else why would they spend the considerable time and trouble to do it, right?

I am so missing the design/home decor gene. Just like I am missing the girly-girly gene; the domestic gene; the crafty gene; the maternal gene. On the plus side I do have the clean gene; the practical gene, the organized gene and a semi-functioning love gene.

Aug 6, 2016

Necessity Compels

or, as I say,  needs must. It is an archaic phrase and I do like archaic phrases. I think that comes from childhood reading, Shakespeare, Austin, Alcott and poets long dead. Yes, yes, I was a precocious reader but those were the kinds of books that were in the house.

I hated being relegated to the "Children's Room" at the public library.  I got my first library card when I was 5 and I don't know why it took so long. The only requirement was that you be able to write your name and I had that down by the time I was 3.

I wasn't allowed to access the "Adult Library" ie: the entire place, until I was 12. 12! Can you imagine having to wait that long to get your hands on all the books.  ALL. OF. THE. BOOKS. Mine!

Do you know what I did? I started in the fiction section, beginning at the beginning, books by authors whose last name began with A, and started reading my way through the alphabet. I don't remember how far I got because I'm sure there was a lot of deadwood (oh wait, that's a funny, books are made of paper, paper is made from wood, dull books are deadwood! Ta Da!) and I'm sure my curiosity got the better of me and I wandered all over the place. But still, the intent was there - to read all of the books, in order.

I still do that, or would if I could physically access the library. So more properly, I used to do that, start browsing at A.

You realize of course this is not what I started out to write. I did start with 'needs must' in my head and now here we are.

Ah well, when did I ever think (or write) in a straight line?

Jul 30, 2016

It occurred to us this morning

that regardless of what is happening with Miss Frankie she always looks grumpy...

Whereas BB, dim bulb that he is, always has such a sweet look about him. As soon as someone talks to him he gets all happy, happy and starts making biscuits ...

Jul 20, 2016

We haven't had spectacular sunsets but last night

I thought there was a huge fire close by...

But it turns out it was just some ominous cloud formations setting up for a whomping loud and crazy thunderstorm later in the night...

Jun 18, 2016

Jun 10, 2016

Jun 9, 2016

Facing northwest

at approximately 7:45pm. Sunset 8:32pm. Curtains billowing in the wind...It's all about the light.

May 28, 2016

I'm in one of those states

where I want to say exactly what I think/feel. That will only get me in trouble; no, actually it would annoy me. Because people would be all up in my shit and I don't need or want them there. I just want to say stuff out loud.  You can't say stuff out loud - so effing annoying. I'm going to explode with all the stuff I can't say. The see-saw of it all. Do I want anyone to really know me? Yes/No? Nice to be able to just dump it all out in the world and say "There. Finally. Take or it leave it"

Know what I mean?

Image by Hester Tatnell

May 25, 2016

Of All the Places

Watching tv last night I happen to look up and across the room and there was Miss Frankie...Just sitting...on a book...staring at me.

The she proceeded to have a bath...first the right paw...

Then the left paw...

Then gotta get that back leg...

Then I get the big ignore...