Archives for posts with tag: family

I was writing this blog in the early a.m. this morning visualizing reading the hard back newspaper. Do you remember those days? As an English major at college, I read newspapers: since I was on Long Island, there was the college newspaper, the New York Times, the Daily News, local papers. I remember sitting in coffee houses with friends tearing apart the paper into sections: sports for you; cultural events for me; not so much politics but the daily calendar and people of the day. I read for writers. The Times had some excellent writers and I devoured them reading voraciously of people, places, and events.

Through time, this event of newspapering seemed to fall by the wayside as the news became more and more political but still I searched out those writers I liked to read. When I first moved to the Gulf of Mexico, my family knew a good Christmas stocking present was the New York Times or even better, the Post which never failed to publish the absolute truth with bold shocking headlines of things people never knew or wanted to talk about. I was very pleased to discover some of our regular customers at our store years ago were Post readers and would arrive with the Post under their arm ordering a cupcake and sipping a coffee.

I asked my husband for a stocking gift one year to buy me gossip magazines: you know the kind they sell right before check out with shocking headlines of celebrities, and events in the news. I am not sure they even position them in the same place anymore. In the check out line lately, I see a magazine about “Cooking and living light” or is is “Living Simply?” Anyway, I loved the moments away on vacation and laughs these magazines gave me. My life and concerns seemed simple.

My life lately has been busy with training for the new job and getting accustomed to a busier schedule. It is new but I find that I still relish in reliving some of the good old days which is why when my husband mentioned going out for breakfast this weekend as my training class is downtown and it might be a good idea to find the location before the week arrives: I thought of newspapers, I thought of writers, I thought of news published and how much fun with old friends I used to have eating breakfast and reading/dividing the paper. Now, I go to the computer and we pull up news or watch on the tv but somehow it is not quite the same because once something is in print it is easier to share and to return to and you can cut it out. For years, I kept a magazine article my mom shared with me about “Cowboys on the range” in Wyoming. Because it just sounded like something I might like to write about or perhaps visit one day in person to see the ranches and the wide open spaces.

Those wide open spaces are still there but we just have to find them in different ways and readjust. Just as I adjust to getting up at 5:15 a.m. my husband is cleaning out the garden spending hours pulling weeds and making it more simple to take care of. We have a new neighbor who bought the house next door for a family member and is revamping the house. The house is identical in many ways to our house it is interesting to hear of all the improvements they are making inside. Times are changing and we change with the times.

Do you remember reading newspapers? Do you still read them? What is your favorite to seek out?

List of “Don’t Forgets” and “Remembers” We are still Standing.

We were eight.

Before September 11th, we would wake up with a list of “Don’t Forgets”
Don’t forget to wash your face
Don’t forget to brush your teeth
Don’t forget to do your homework
Don’t forget to wear your jacket
Don’t forget to clean your room
Don’t forget to take a bath

After September 11th, we wake up with a list of “Remembers”
Remember to greet the sun each morning
Remember to enjoy every meal
Remember to thank your parents for their hard work
Remember to honor those who keep you safe
Remember to value each person you meet
Remember to respect other’s beliefs

Now we are nine.

This is a memory that I have wanted to write about for a month and just now found the time. I was exercising in the gym and I took off my juke box. I love my little juke phone filled with music to exercise to like Cold Play ‘Viva La Vida’, Joe Satriani, Blondie, ‘We will rock you’ and the list goes on..including Diana Ross, Tina Turner, Frank Sinatra. It is an eclectic mix of music I like. I decided to take it off because I wanted to eavesdrop on a nearby conversation. Mainly out of boredom. I was just curious.

I did not hear the conversation but I did hear ‘I went to school and I got the big D

I got the big D

I got the big D

I got the big D

I rolled my eyes wondering what the big D referred to: Degree. I thought of all the great lyrics in old songs like ‘Viva La Vida’ and alternatingly the changing meaning of lyrics. Every time I listen to Diana Ross ‘I’m Coming Out’ I am confused momentarily. It does make me pause exercising to the music and I look more curiously around me. Most songs we listened to years ago because of the beat. The beat, the beat, the beat and the beat is kind of catchy. I got the big D; I got the big D; I got the big D. This woman went by about my age and I thought of asking her thoughts about the song but I held back. The moment was gone.

When I got home, I looked up the song and found it:

As I continued to listen to Chaise Longue “Wet Leg” lyrics speak of “Is your muffin buttered?

Would you like for us to assign someone to butter your muffin?

Excuse me (What?) Excuse me (What?)

The lyrics continue about someone sitting on the chaise lounge (longue) in their underwear and then the lyrics state ‘You should be horizontal now-what are you doing sitting down?’

Is your mother worried? Would you like us to assign someone to worry your mother?

I read a blog recently about a mother constantly worrying about her adult children. I understand that as myself and my brothers worried my mother consistently. She once mentioned praying to Saint Jude, the Saint of Hopeless causes, as she never knew what to expect from me or my brothers. If I had to lay a bet, my money would be on myself as I was the only girl and consistently found myself in love with other cultures, countries, visiting, living overseas, dating foreign men and changing on a penny. I just had a lot of life to live in my earlier days before settling in as did my brother, Mr. J.

So, what do you think this song means or is referring to? What do you think of it? What do you think of some of the new songs on the radio lately?

Then they played We will rock you…and my world became normal, once again.

“If I knew you were coming, I would have baked a cake…baked a cake…baked a cake.”

The grandchildren are coming. We bought some air beds for four of them and along with our fold out couch and another couch, room for 3 more. I will be making a key lime pie and Mike will be making a peanut butter cheesecake. I am catching up with my conferences and grading work, so we will be available.

The garden is plucked, the pug will get another bath, and some more dusting and moving a few items away from the 3 year old boy. Groceries are bought, suggestions for outings are there, and we are ready. I also have a dentist and a doctor appointment this week.

When it is time to bake a cake, everyone else comes up due, doesn’t it?

$175 + $60 for a tip=$235.

The cost of a visit to the hairdresser for a bridesmaid from Chicago. Wow, this is a true story happening to someone we know. It is the child of someone we know and the child is in her 30’s at least. I had to smile when I heard the story because I know the woman in question and she is very pretty and her hair is fine and straight like mine. Easy to style, easy to cut, and there is not much you can do with it other than cut and curl but the humidity is such in Florida that it will destroy anyone’s attempts at styling quickly.

Especially now as the weather is humid and the weathermen has been promising heavy rain since yesterday. Now they are predicting it will come tomorrow. I have penciled in my time to go to the gym and do some grocery shopping on that side of town, check out some plants, etc. but it is supposed to pour by 9 a.m. tomorrow. I am not getting married although heavy rain is supposed to be lucky. I am glad the gym membership is still on for me because it motivates me to get out more albeit in my gym clothes now that I am no longer working onsite but online. Yesterday, I felt unmotivated but went to the gym anyway and ran my errands. The barometric pressure is high here, so we are in for some storms. Anyway, the story gets better. As I was imagining her hairdo and thinking of the more expensive hairdressers on this side, comparing how much I would pay for a good haircut….it was fun because you know, we are human. We like to imagine we are smarter than those poor guileless dummies or whatever we read about. Ah ha. Well, I came home from running about, and the husband had been up to his own running about in the garden trimming the cherry tree and another tree and carting off 3 big bags of branches, and leaves. We were supposed to meet friends for dinner at a nearby restaurant and we were both exhausted! Then he was not sure they were going to meet us there as the friend just mentioned a band he knew was playing. We couldn’t get in touch with them and finally husband texted, “Maybe, another time. We are beat.”

Truth is, we were both beat and we did not want to go out anywhere or drive. We found out later the friends were on a boat somewhere and then were involved in lots of traffic coming and going off the boat and didn’t make it either. So, I said, “Well, I bought some hash browns today but I skipped the good looking roasted chicken because I thought we were going out.” He said, “And we have cauliflower bake.” So that is what we ate and finished it up by eating my last peanut butter/chocolate keto ball with a smitching of ice cream. Husband said, “I will get a few things tomorrow.” I said, “I will get a few things from the other side of town tomorrow.” And that was that. Where was I? We like to think we are so smarter than everyone else, don’t we? And the thing is, the rain did not come, so the day of my running about, the rain will come.

And to end the story: she missed the wedding because she didn’t have a car and hadn’t counted on how bad traffic can be, so the cab driver who finally arrived to take her the 15 miles from one side of the island to another was late and she missed the wedding. Why did she not Uber it? ‘She didn’t have Uber!” There were a few other guests who didn’t know either, from out-of-town but I gather the bridesmaid showed up on time and they all made the reception on time so her new hairdo did not go to waste. I heard the bride was pissed off but I wondered which pissed her off more: did her elaborate hairdo upstage the bride? It was more likely that several people did not show up for the wedding but they did make the reception. Just another day in Paradise.

Isn’t the bride supposed to be the best looking in the room and that is why the bridesmaids dresses are so poufy and funny? and that is last thought on the subject.

The dirty deed or is it the dirty dozen: which is for me cleaning out paperwork and file cabinets. Timoursly, I mentioned to my husband yesterday ‘would you help me with the file cabinets and organization?’ I believe I just invented a new word combining timid and with ardor which is not far from the truth or the delicacy of the matter. I wanted him to review the receipts for the car, the warrantees, appliances, etc. and all that good stuff but I did not want to argue over it. I was kind of sly, and so he did this morning while I focused on the other good stuff. (Timorously is the correct spelling) before I get off the computer as it is pouring which means the lightning is not far behind.

I found an old English paper written by one of my former students Hugo Bernard who is now a professional golfer. He was on the team back then and I had to catch him up for a basic composition class. He sat next to a student who was a young nun and they worked together well. He thanked me for my help and for my teaching. I kept the paper. Sometimes that happens! So, I threw away some papers but kept some extra papers for assignments, references, my writings, etc. It was a lot of work that I had been ignoring.

Why this change? Yesterday, I discovered that I had misplaced a card written by my father with all the birthdates of my brothers, cousins, family, etc. I needed that card! I had a fit of hysteria misplacing it as the information was not easy to replace. The good things is it made me clean up my 3 file cabinets fitting everything into 1 nicely. For some reason, I had never combined the husbands files with mine, so I found his files from before we were married and it seemed kind of odd after all this time not to combine and so, I did. That piece of paper meant a lot to me and the husband realized it, as he was trying to help with research some of my lost family information online. I discovered a few new things and the file cabinet is good to go, so I am ready for a new week and even found an old poem I would like to finish up and send away for publishing.

The dirty deed in my mom’s day and place was the cellar in our Catskill home with the old wine/pickle cellar, snakes hiding, and an old furnace which terrified me and blasted heat every winter. I think I prefer my dirty deed to creeping down those cellar stairs to change the laundry over to the dryer. But the deed is done and we are now in for a storm which is a good way to end this morning as the rain will blanket the garden with needed water. Kind of cathartic like shredding old bills, receipts, and papers you don’t need.

Thanks for reading. Have a great week!

I erased my blackboard this afternoon. We have been home for about 24 hours from being on the road forever to see family. We went to Georgia and Tennessee, stayed near the Smoky Mountains, visited the grandkids, the family farm, all those dogs, and my nephew (my brother’s son and his family).

On the blackboard were these words written in chalk before we left: “There are no second acts” written by F Scott Fitzgerald. So with this in mind, we visited family feeling footloose and fancy free. It was a wonderful but exhausting trip. The mountains are beautiful; we visited a few new wonderful stores such as Krogers where you can even sample wine at the wine bar; a restaurant with a little bit of every food from sushi to meats “Drakes” a store where every item was from pallets and priced at $5. I found a H2H zip up brand new and a neat kitchen item, a keto friendly restaurant called Fibrizzio’s which was a delight after eating several fast food breakfast on the go. Masks were often optional in Georgia; the in-laws prepared a wickedly good seafood fest and we toured all 10 acres of the farm, navigating the chickens with the stepson mentioning llama’s. Hmm, as long as we don’t have to babysit for them, I am good.

We went out to a place called Topgolf and played Angry Birds. I came in second not often realizing what I was doing but we had a blast with the grandkids. I practiced my bow and archery with the youngest going over and over again my aim until he said, “I am bored. I am going to play on the trampoline.” I think he might take after his dad while I am one of those practicing the same swing until I get it perfect. Yes, my body ached from Topgolf and the swings I took but we both played. It was the perfect shakeup we needed to get moving again after the challenges of this year with Michael’s health.

Seeing family reminded us there are no second acts and we might never pass this way again, and so we enjoyed the mountains, the drive, and today we are feeling like a million dollars as we made the right spur of the moment decision. The next question is where to next and it will most likely involve family or friend destination. I did not take any pictures because I was living entirely in the moment and it felt right.

Why do we choose certain things to write about? I was contemplating recently in my hiding place just outside the garage door. There is a narrow piece of territory where the sun shines and I call “mine.” Dibbs on planting sunflowers, a shed in the background, and a small blue collapsible chair. The sun beats me into quiet submission as I observe the birds flying above. First, I hear a plane and as my eyes lazily watch the speck until it disappears beyond the clouds, I see the birds circling following one another and some circling back as if this is a favorite route.

Why do they choose the route above the house? Why do writers choose topics? I think of the writer on WordPress who writes about the possibility of having hot sexual encounters with another dog walker in a park and then continues like a record playing “repeat” the sexual encounters. It is obviously something she craves or maybe needs, like  attention. Many of us remember the 20’s, 30’s as this type of hot and heavy and then we moved into more committed established relationships with one person. Most hopefully.

What do I choose to write about? Like the pattern the birds follow, I choose often ethereal topics like characters following superstitious beliefs or people who are avid bitten gamblers, loners, sometimes pursuing things because of a sixth sense about something or someone. They follow without reason because they have no choice but to do so. My characters are often build around memories of my brothers, friends, and my interesting family. I have a brother I use often his character in my books. For now, he is lost to me and I don’t have any idea where he is. They say it is hard to lose someone but sometimes I dream of meeting him again. There might be a reason he does not want to be found. I might write a book about this. This is my style and that is most likely why I enjoy reading Jack Reacher’s adventures. Because for me, he is the ultimate cowboy without roots saving those randomly without reason, those who don’t know they need a hand.

Perhaps my sixth sense is telling me something. Thanks for listening. Until the next break, Christmas. And to my brother, if you are listening I love you.