Friday, January 30, 2015

Where I'd Rather Be

This is one of the diners where I eat breakfast. It's also where I'd rather be headed this morning.

Today, instead, I'm going out to a godawfully early breakfast downtown at one of our highrise hotels with about 250 others.. I hate these breakfasts!  I know that's the kid in me talking, and I am trying my best to keep an open mind.  I ignored today's invitation three times.  But the inviter persisted, sending me a little Christmas ornament with her invitation.  Mid January, I finally called and accepted.

Lest you think I'm rude, I am.  I did not want to go and how do you call and say no thank you?  I practiced declining, practiced saying I'm just not going to be good company, and all.   When I called, finally, I ended up saying yes.  Today's the day!

It's one of those hoopla events Charities host.  They keep us in the loop, I suppose, telling us about all their meaningful efforts enabled by our donations.  Today this charity will honor the good men and women who have given their compassion and their time in 2014.  There will be clapping.  There will be schmoozing.  Hopefully not too much, for it's a breakfast, and folks have to get to work.  Neither my late hubby nor I liked these events and we'd take pains to dodge invitations. Pretty successfully.  After he died, the donations and the invitations continued.  I went to a few of these functions, by myself, socializing with a smile and a drink in my hand.  God, I was incredibly relieved when I could head back to my car, and simply be - me.  Quiet, unedited.   I stopped going.

In a perfect world, I'd wash my hair, but it's too late for that.

I scheduled two things afterwards.  My morning should end satisfactorily!

   Good morning 

Wishing you warmth 



Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Random thoughts after a Dream

Last night I had one of those dreams.   No, not the dream about swimming with fish.  You know, the one where your late husband announces in so many ways how cool his life is now that he's been released from life with you?

I don't know abut you, but I still go into 'How dare you!" mode.  Vainly I remind him he loved me THIS MUCH and he doesn't need this new love.  Because his afterlife always includes another female playmate.  His afterlife is going swimmingly well.

Next time, will I say to my dream boy "Fine.  You've released me.  I've released you, too.  Be well!"?
Because my life calendar right now divides into b.E.,  d.E., a.E.  Before Ev, During Ev, After Ev. And my a.E. needs a d.something wonderfully divine, too. Now!   Or, maybe a whole new system of division?

This morning I am pondering what it might take to reapportion my calendar. Here are a couple thoughts spread out on my desk. 

1) Get real.

Take a page from my Friendship Coach's book.  "Flo", she told me, "you haven't released your mother.".  In other words, stopped making her God.  Stopped believing that how she treated me actually reflected my true worth and identity.  She's about fully released, and I feel super!

2) Now apply this to Ev.  Yeah, I'm making him God.  It makes perfect sense to hang onto his adoring reflection of my worth.  Course it's an edited reflection, but pretty lightly so. 

3) Now pick a reflection that's actually accurate in real time.  Like, you mean, God's?  How can I be sure I'm not projecting?

I'll ponder this, while I'm out eating breakfast.

   Good morning  
  Happy day   
  to you ! ! 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Deprivation - None

Deprivation?  None.  Although you will hear me wail about not being able to go out for breakfast today. 

Here in Southwest Connecticut, not much snow to report.  Some still falling.  A bit of wind.  The folks east and north of me are much harder hit. I can certainly count on this blizzard getting misplaced in my own memory bank - as long as my electricity stays on.  Sure I wail about missing breakfast out, and missing cuddles from time to time, but living without electricity is deprivation. 

No one on my street is going anywhere yet.  I can't believe they'll keep a travel ban in place much longer.  In any case, I will hang out at home today.  Get to read.  Get to watch the birds eat their birdseed, and squirrels eat their peanuts.  (Except for one fat fellow, who will get his dose of hot sauce on the bird feeders any day now.)   I get to contemplate going out in my snowshoes.  I get to make myself breakfast.  I do own cereal. I get to contemplate firing up my snow blower.  Later.  You can bet the minute my driveway is clear I will be out.

How are you doing?   Is our day turning out well?  Funny how staying warm, and dry, and fed, and checked in on, and engaged in just the right amount of life - not too much, not too little - is perfect.   

Peanuts in that basket up there


  Good morning! 

Wishing you the best of times today 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Home Sweet Home

The before picture

I've discovered something about posting every day.  Words flow out of this brain under three conditions.  Coffee.  My favorite chair.  Sunrise.  Oh.  I forgot the fourth condition.  Electricity.  Hope you didn't miss me too much  ; -)

Blizzard on its way.  Oh, Boy!

I got back home yesterday after visiting my father and siblings.  Was supposed to be a three day trip, but an itsy bitsy storm on its third day made travel home too treacherous.  My cat sitter didn't even venture out.  Made for a very vocal cat.

Do you ever write whole paragraphs, then read what you've written?   Consider yourself lucky that you didn't read about the reasons for my kitty's special diet.

Anyway, 6" of untouched snow greeted me upon my return yesterday afternoon.  Not a big deal for my SUV, so into the dry garage we went.  Figured I could scrape 6" off the driveway in a flash.   I have three shovels.  Two ergonomic, though only one still has its handle.  And one metal one with battered edge, for ice duty.

Three hours later - one very clean driveway.  (It deserves this BIG picture.).  One hour in, realizing I could give myself a heart attack, or at least a trip to the chiropractor, using my shovel for the job, I turned to the snow blower.  Took a deep breath.  Why do I fear that thing?  Pulled it out, found the directions, filled the tank with 50:1 mix, plugged it in, turned the key on, released the choke, primed the carburetor, pushed the start button, five seconds on, five seconds off, a max of ten times.  Nothing.  Then let it sit for 40 minutes to go through this little ritual again; sometimes the starter is frozen.   Returned to pushing snow, kind of half lifting, half smushing it at the edge.  Came back to the snow blower. 

Oh!  You're supposed to turn the key way, way, way over to the right!  THEN push the start button.

My electric company has been kind enough to tell us we better count on being without power for a spell when this blizzard rolls through tonight.

Good to be home. I can catch up on your blogs!  I will supply you all with a blizzard report tomorrow morning.  (I did pull the generator out and plug it in, to charge its electric start.  And I did fill my second emergency gas container.  You think the snow blower fills me with fear.)
  enjoy our day  
   Wishing you fine times   

Friday, January 23, 2015

Checking In

Very, very tired.  Today was busy but less chaotic than I'd anticipated at my family homestead. The only free time I had, I chose to use hiking by myself on a snowy rail trail north of town.  Only three other souls crazy enough to be out.  It was so enchanting!  A frozen snowman, two big balls high, greeted me about a mile in.  Branches stuck out for arms in a grand hug, so this fellow must have been handsome when he was born.  Last weekend's freezing rain had taken its toll.  A frozen lump remained where its maker had created a face.  A nose?  I collected two long-needle pine sprays, and using a stiff branch as an ice pick, wedged these fancy eyelashes into its face. 

If only I'd brought a camera!

I left a sweetheart behind, and rejoined the family relaxed and happy.

I stay put here in the northeast; big snowstorm coming through.  I do hope this gives me time to join you all!

  have a joyful evening !  

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Feelings Check Up

Remember the days when our feelings existed in Technicolor?    Grief, or fear or lust, or delight, or envy, or pride, or anger got experienced from the top of our head to the tip of our toes?  Does any one here still live in these Technicolor feelings?

Maybe my body has less energy to physicalize my feelings.  Maybe feelings have repeated so often I hardly notice, much less expect treasure them.  Maybe boredom is the enemy of feelings just as much a Technicolor burnout is.  Maybe feelings are subtle, complicated  -  two teaspoons of delight mixed with 1 tablespoon of fear, a pinch of anger, topped off with pride. 

In any case, my feelings radar catches big snowflakes, and misses the thin mist.   Fog, really.  Any body feel like they're living in a fog?  Man, am I curious about Technicolor.  Maybe it's as simple as pushing my reset button, but I need a very tiny paperclip.  As it stands, my coziness with some feelings induces my radar to make a beeline for these, completely missing the fact that my real feeling is two clicks over.  Is the body energy from feelings just too much bodily upset these days?  I miss the days with my personal cheat sheet.  You know,  that 24/7 companion who'd pick up our signals, and ask the question "Am I reading you correctly?".   Hey, should I spend more time looking in the mirror with my note pad?  Get a smart phone and take selfies?


"Sweet heart, how are you feeling?".  My answer is, um, um,  um, um,
 eager mixed with calm mixed with anger mixed with fear.  In one place.

   Good morning.   
How are you

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Day Off? Not Yet

Today was a day off for the squirrels, and almost a day off for me.  Now I sit still, happy to be here with you, drinking a glass of wine. 

I'm off to visit my dad tomorrow.  Luckily it's not far; I can drive.  However, like all trips back to my childhood home, this trip is mixed with reverence, and dismay.  I try to remain my age when I go, but how many of us feel our age when we visit our parents and siblings?  Maybe when people become parents themselves this shifts the equation, but I cannot add the name 'parent' to my roles.  I was the baby of the family, and while I get to feel young,  and sometimes pampered, I also get to sometimes feel patronized. 

I will move into get-it-done mode for a tiny portion of the visit, as I take care of financial stuff.  I will move into let-my-hair-down mode with my brother and sister-in-law.  I will feel sheltered by my eldest sister and her husband.  But I will, as always, seek shelter in solitude, reading a book, going out to breakfast alone, noodling around on my laptop.

Tomorrow I may get back on schedule and see you bright and early  : -)

  Good evening  
  I hope your day is wonderful!  

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Day Two

Day two.  Squirrels got bigger training wheels.

More training on the way.  I believe I can get to this task this afternoon.  In the meantime, this feeder is not going to be refilled.

Yesterday I got news that my father took a turn for the worse.  You've all been there, managing this parent dying thing.  Oh, dear.  I'm sorry to frame it this way.  He's not on his deathbed; he has merely graduated to a walker.  He's fallen twice in the last two weeks, legs giving out.  This last time he couldn't stand again when my brother lifted him back up.  So, in the middle of Sunday's ice storm, an ambulance took him to the ER.  God bless my brother for being there, for being his caregiver.  God bless.  God bless. Repeat a thousand times. 

No broken bones.  Not a stroke.  Not medication related; he's on none.  Just age (101) related weakness.  With this diagnosis came the command to admit him overnight - it was 1 a.m. by this time - and send him to a nursing home, uh, forever.  Now, my poor father fears a nursing home more than death.

My brother refused this command.  My Dad got a walker instead.  Yes, he could manage a few steps, so at 2 a.m., my brother and he figured out a way to get him into his pick up, then get him out of it, help him across the ice, up three stairs, into the house and into bed.  Later, yesterday, my father, was up, getting his breakfast, getting used to his walker.

It's a segue.  In a couple days I'm going up to visit and take care of financial stuff.  In a perfect world, I'll have the squirrels trained by then.

   Good morning! 
  Have a wonderful day  
  with lots of adventure 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Day One

Almost had a squirrel moment just now, but the critter saw me watching.  Squirrel feeder at the ready!  Pouring rain kept them tucked away eating day old candy yesterday, so today they will be hungry.

Speaking of looters, a handsome raccoon has been visiting, just after sunset.  For a couple nights now I've heard him bumping along my deck door in time to turn the deck light on.  That fellow must weigh 40 labs.  He climbed into my deck cupboard (empty).  Such a Kodak moment.   Too late with the camera.

No evidence this fellow is looting anything on my property, but my next door neighbor keeps his dog outside all winter.Probably sharing his food with Rocky raccoon.

You know when something is an addiction, when good sense tells you not to do it, and even better sense tells you it'll be an adventure?  Black ice yesterday morning was my ticket to dine!  Few people would be at the diner I can never squeeze into Sunday mornings.  So, after testing the grip of my tires on the driveway (none) I inched my way up my street and onto the main road. You know, if you go slow enough you can't get a good slide going.   15 miles an hour, hazard lights on, I managed to avoid the adrenaline surge.

What a delightful breakfast awaited me!

    Good morning! 
   Uh, oh   Squirrel moment
     Have a tasty day  
(it might be your last)

Sunday, January 18, 2015


 It's dark when I get up.  Rather than turn my overhead light on to see the keyboard, I created this cheery light bouquet in the corner.  Just enough light, enticing me to let my imagination wander!

One thing I treasure about retirement and widowhood is the way it invites us orient our lives around brand new enticements. Enticement to play, to love anew, to learn, to grow, to frustrate squirrels! 

I installed a squirrel feeder near the bird feeders yesterday afternoon.  It's a long chain with a long metal spring.  At its end are two corn logs.  Midway up is a little bell.  With a little luck I'll hear the bell when they hop on.  Then I'll watch those furry rodents swing and eat.  Be still my heart!

The directions say to install it just 1 foot from the ground at first, and rub some peanut butter on its end.  Raise it after they've discovered it.  I've rubbed the peanut butter on, but I've hung it higher, 3 feet off the ground. I mean, can these furry rodents really not be smart enough to figure out where food is?

  Good morning! 
  May your day be 
  Bright  and very, very enticing  

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Seasonal Renewal

Now this is a topic I have a nodding acquaintance with.

I haven't started looking at gardening catalogues yet.  Well, yes I have.  Just one.

Readers!   On sale!  We provide one-of-a-kind plants!  You provide the garden and the wallet! 

A big box will arrive in April,  filled with biodegradable packing peanuts.  Open Immediately!! 

Green things in here, the packing list will say. 

I have supplied these sweet gardening companies with my share of hope.  With infinite patience, I'd look inside their big boxes and find these little green things.   With infinite care I'd set them out, sheltered location, of course, and water them when I remembered.

I am marked as a killer of pretty little green  things arriving in boxes.   

This picture of Hosta looks mighty intriguing, don't you think?  Pretty red stems, big white patches on the leaves.  I did get some of those tiny green things planted.  Some survived a season.  Some even survived two.  Some survive to this day.  Some even made babies and spread.  I do have a large shady spot that's quite bare.

   Good morning  
   Any tips for a little   
   Seasonal renewal?   

Friday, January 16, 2015

Visions Dancing in my Head

Ooo.  I wish I hadn't done that.  Leave the oven on all night.  14 hours at 400 degrees will add, what, $10 to my electric bill?  It's been a year since I've turned that thing on.

It hardly warrants the pixels on this screen, but you may be wondering what roused me to cook last night.  Visions of roasted root vegetables, sweetened by high heat, infused with fresh rosemary and thyme.

Yes, they were good

From time to time, I think about my tenth widow anniversary, coming up April 9th.   One of these days some vision will trip the light fantastic.

Part of me wants a sheltering experience, a retreat of sorts in a beautiful setting that encourages reverie. 

I have only to look up from this screen.

Part of me wants a window of defiance, a once in a lifetime experience, New Zealand perhaps. 

Part of me wants to play matchmaker, and wake up next to my new beloved.

Part of me wants to want what I have. 

This vision beats out all the others.

 How sweet it is.
Good morning! 
 Wishing you warmth and peace 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Witnessing a Life

Legions of kids have learned to write in the dark.  Here with only the screen to illuminate the keyboard, most words are coming out misspelled or glued to each other.  But it's peaceful here at 6:30 a.m. 

The friend I joined for lunch with the other day is in crunch time.  The big city Cancer Center is doing its Hail Mary pass.  Her husband has been entered in a clinical trial with a new combination of FDA approved drugs.  A stew of chemicals.  The Doctor is brusque, delivering the news that if this stew doesn't work, he has a few months. 

Been there.  Our story:  Same Doctor.  Same news.  Same M.O.  Result: a few days, not a few months.

The players are different.  The doctor is the same, but different, too.  He misplaced his bedside manner.  Her husband is suffering.  She is suffering.

Her husband spends a lot of time on ebay, buying little classic cars displayed in plastic cases.  Setting these little jewels round the perimeter of his home office. 

She will be left with these little cars.  And a complicated home business she and her husband have run together for decades.  And no one to yell at.

She'll live on Widowhood Lane with me.

  Good morning
   What's the point? 
  Have a lovely and very special day 
 My very special friends  

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Squirrel Warfare

The squirrel wheel
Round and round he goes inside
uh oh
This morning I had decided to tell your abut my writing mate, but this squirrel caught my eye instead.  Only one squirrel has breached my bird feed line and today I was quick enough to catch him (her?) in the act.  Shall I tell you about my squirt gun?  Another time.

Two years ago I added whiffle balls to each end of this bird feeder line, whiffle balls with dowels laced through their holes. About 4 feet of them, six feet from the line's two ends.  The second the squirrel puts their feet on a dowel off they spin.

However, IF they get a racing start their feet barely touch the whiffle balls.  So last month I invented the squirrel wheel, modeled after a hamster wheel.  I made it with steel hardware cloth, notching its rim and twisting those spiky ends into impenetrable barbed wire.

Today - Squirrel races past whiffle balls straight into squirrel wheel.  Round and round he spins. 

See picture above

I'm hatching a plan.  Wrap the wheel with Mylar, or some slippery plastic he can't grip enough.  That'll stop him from getting to the bird feeders.

  Good morning 
 Enjoy your tea 
 Have a lovely day !  


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Great News!


I feared one of these days might come.  The day when my mind is a white screen.

So I'm priming the pump with this title.

Great News!
  • Still happy
  • Great eye exam yesterday
  • Meeting good friends for lunch today
  • No exercise machines are coat racks anymore
  • Cat's happy too
  • Heat's on
  • Bird feeder's full
  Good morning !
 Wanting for you whatever your heart desires 

  soft light 
 brushed trees pearl gray  
 birds flit
 hop and feed  
 silence hums with
 motors pushing warm air  
 I sit 
  wait to be released  
 Do nothing IS doing something  
~ ding! ~

Monday, January 12, 2015

So Happy

Up at 6 a.m.  I'm very excited about this morning's appointment.  I'm going to see my Ophthalmologist.  I love this man.  Well, now his son, who took over his practice last year.  Marriage came with many gifts, not least among them the opportunity to join my husband's medical plan.  First thing I did (O.K. maybe fifth) was to schedule an appointment with an Ophthalmologist who worked with visually impaired children.  I knew this doctor could change my life.

I was born without the use of one eye.   One eye turned in, evidently quite fond of my nose. The other eye picked up the slack and took on my little world.  One eye made sense of all its shapes and contrasts. One eye learned to read.  It wasn't until I was 5 years old that I had an operation to correct my crossed eyes.  My 24/7/365 eye patch and daily eye exercise did rouse my brain to recognize shapes - a door, a table, a mountain, a face, a plate.  Exactly what is on the plate, what shape a person's nose is, what color their eyes are, what particular trees are growing on the mountain eludes my second eye.  Letters, well, letters can be understand if they are big and blocky.  Since it obviously takes two working eyes to understand depth, I relied on other cues.  Perspective was one.  Tactile information was another.  I'd grasp a handrail going down stairs, gingerly feeling where the first step down might be.  Once you know how far down the first step is, you can continue down hands free!   Nobody wanted me on their softball team, when that ball was in the middle of nowhere out there.

I adjusted to mild vision impairment.  No big deal.  I can drive.  I am pretty good at memorizing the letters on an eye chart with my good eye.  I could pass the driver's license exam.

Time's up!  Oh, I do go on.  Very quickly...  This very special ophthalmologist took on a woman in her thirties with a thirst to see more.  For five years he and I worked together weekly in a room with a collection of hanging objects and other gizmos.  As his other clients were 5 and under, his furniture was on the small side for me.

I got my miracle.  Mid thirties might be a little late for the brain to play catch up reading letters, but I got my miracle. I now see through both eyes.  I now have depth perception.  I am thrilled, thrilled I can pour liquid from a pitcher and actually have it land IN the glass. 

I get to go to my Ophthalmologist today.  His son has taken over his father's practice. And he is as sweet as his dad.  I thank his father Ira from the bottom of my heart.

  Good morning. 
  Wishing you a bright and colorful day!  

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Shivers and Seduction

I cannot for the life of me understand why birds hang around in such frigid temperatures.  If I had wings, I'd fly south.  I read the poor things shiver their way through winter.  It's not like they grow another layer of feathers; at least they don't look bulked up in winter. 

I adore the freedom birds have.  I assume they feel free to fly south and choose not to.  As for me, I don't love something unless I feel free to love something else.  Likewise, love someone unless I feel free to not care.  Bring obligation into the picture, and this love shivers and shakes, if love manages to stick around at all.  Only very special people make it through my little hazing.  This daily commitment to write for 15 minutes is my experiment to blend freedom with obligation and produce fun.

This applies to exercising.  At home I have a treadmill, a rower, a stationary bicycle, a trainer stand for my road bike, an elliptical machine, a Power Plate, and an assortment of balls and weights and tubing. They're scattered throughout this house. Only two are now coat racks.  The second I frame exercise as an obligation they disappear. But when I thirst for the freedom to hike, to hop on a bike, to dance without aching afterwards these beauties go into seduction mode..  They've been in seduction mode lately.

We'll see if this blog stays in seduction mode. 

 Good morning!
 May something wonderful seduce you today 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Caring Begins in My Heart

Hang out here for long with me and you'll see what emerges has little to do with where I've been, who I've seen, what news I've learned of, what I've purchased, what I've done to make someone else's world bright.

Perhaps who you see is someone arising from dark, numb, cold, and occasionally despairing self imprisonment.  Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!

I am blissfully happy for the third day in a row.  In the middle of the night I had a wrestling match with my familiar old monkey of 'not good enough', who usually does a very good job depriving me of my peace of mind.  This time I tried a new approach to defeating my pest.  I agreed with him (or her?) that I actually prefer joining his little tirade, to actually feeling my own feelings and tending to them myself.  Especially if they're painful feelings. 

I mean, now that I recognize it's a lie that I'm not worthwhile, everything's changed.  I am quite worthwhile, and it's really my obligation and joy to care about me and my feelings.  For as long as I can remember, I have farmed out the task of caring about me and my feelings to other people.  Well, nobody's making my wellbeing their first order of business now.  This could be my golden opportunity to grow.  What am I to do about my current woeful undersupply of consideration?

Hear this, monkey!  I'm taking 100% responsibility for caring about my feelings, whatever they are.  I am keeping tender loving company with me 100% of the time. Well, as often as I remember to.

That monkey must have gotten tired of my musings, because I slipped back to sleep.

Surely 15 minutes are up.  I forgot to set the timer!

 Good morning   
  Wishing you your heart's desire today  

Friday, January 9, 2015

Another happy Day

It's snowing heavily now, but not when I woke up and rolled my recycling bin to the street at 6 a.m.  It was so warm and clear all I needed was a sweater and slippers.  22 degrees!

Little comes to mind to talk about this morning.  Does contentment do this?   I'm drinking in this scene before me.  Watching the snow etch the tree branches and railings and pine needles. 

Another free day today.  Yippee!  Yesterday I unpacked the shipment of replacement windows to inspect for damage.  How I wish I'd found none!  I took pictures of manufacturing defects in three of the twelve windows.  Two photos along with an e-mail and a phone call went to the manufacturer.  Warranty will cover this if these defects render the windows unusable.  We shall see how much of a fuss I need to raise.

Today my handyman comes to do little things inside.  Haven't seen him since two days before Christmas.  He's losing his home to foreclosure any week now.  I feel so bad for him.  His income can't support his house.  Work is so hard to come by for an old timer like him, but he's wonderful.  I wonder where he will go.  I keep recommending him, but typically people chose teams of workers that come in and get the job done - fast.  Fast isn't a word I use with John.  Can't exactly use the word dependable either, well, not 100% of the time.  But  - when he does show up his work is thorough, and excellent.  Besides, he is a kind person and I enjoy sharing beers and chatting at the end of a day.

Today, if he comes, he will swap out my dirty old brass door hinges for new satin nickel ones.  Maybe today he'll swap out a foggy window for a new one?  It will sure be nice when I can actually see through my windows. 

 Good morning!  
 Wishing you a safe day
A warm day
A friendly day

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Feeling Happy

It isn't just a caffeine high.  My eyes popped open at 7:50, way later than usual.  My cat was there for his love fest and I obliged, stroking his ears, his head, his hind quarters.  Then it was up out of bed on this sunny cold day.  Free of scheduled plans, free of overwhelming chores, free of feeling I'm not enough.

This gal is feeling happy!

Yes, yesterday I met with my Friendship Counselor.  Good meeting. We've gotten down to core issues by this time.  We've discovered the truth.  I'm really a long lost princess of Scottish lineage.  Someone who all these years has merely mistaken herself for a puddle board.  Yes, a puddle board.  You know those coats footmen would throw over puddles so fine ladies could press their fine footwear into clean folds instead of walking through a puddle of horse muck?  Well, clever gal that I am, I improved upon being a coat people walk over.  Instead became a fine stiff puddle board.  I don't break.   I hardly freak.   I hardly moan at all as finer people than I walk over me to their drier, sunnier side. Now I have seen up plenty of skirts and pants.  I know my share of dirty secrets.  Can I tell you how guilty I've felt telling of dirty secrets here this past year?  Good, stiff puddle boards do no such thing.

But letting it all out has worked. You see, I have discovered I am a long lost princess, not a puddle board.  A princess among of a world of princesses and princes.  No footmen or women, no puddle coats, no puddle boards really exist.  No clean footwear exists.  And underwear gets dirty the minute we put it on. We routinely fall into puddles.  'Course my conversation with my Friendship Coach didn't exactly use these metaphors, but some conversations are better left private.

I am one happy person today.  I confess.  This took over 15 minutes to write.

 Good morning
  May your spirits be bright  this lovely day  

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


It's 17 Degrees outside.  How cold is it in your neck of the woods?   The Midwest is sending the deep freeze our way today.  Predicted to get down to 1 degree tonight here in Connecticut.

My eyes popped open just before 5 a.m.  Ahh, back on schedule.  Stayed tucked under for an hour, praying for the first half, musing for the second half about what to write here.  The heartfelt?  The account of yesterday?  Today's aspirations?  Gossip?  Philosophy?

I can use up 15 minutes easily.  I'll write another get-it-all-out post!

Three women I know are intimately involved with the cusp of life.  No, not the cusp of marriage.  I wish.

One of these, my next door neighbor in her 70's, has been caring for her ailing husband for nearly ten years, when his bladder cancer made its first appearance.  I don't know her well.  I'd say she's an artfully dressed well heeled suburbanite, always spinning his grizzly details into light banter.  Her heart must be breaking but she isn't going there.  I don't see her often but I keep an eye on her driveway, because one of these days it will be filled with cars as her family draws her into its arms.

Another neighbor, an acquaintance I'll invite over soon, is well past that cusp, still in recovery phase.  Her brother-in-law died three years ago, then shortly after her own heart broken sister, both succumbing to cancer.  She was their ardent cheerleader and emotional support.  Also part time caregiver, and then sole cleaner upper. She's now two years out and ready to talk about it.

My dear friend Mary, is, by all searing evidence, perilously close to this cusp.  Her husband has lived 14 years through an incurable cancer  - part luck part determination part expertise part love part irritation.  I'll see her this week. 

I want to wrap my arms around them all.  But I'm scared at the same time.  Such is life, isn't it?

  Good morning.
Wishing you a day of cuddling and warmth

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Sleeping In

Some urge to hibernate?  61 degrees in my bedroom thins morning, and I'm buried under quilts in fuzzy pj's.  Didn't awaken until 8:10, two or three hours after my eyes usually pop open.

My bird feeders are seeing a lot of action.  Notice the squirrels?  One of them had made it past my barriers on the bird feeder line.  I've spotted how he does it..

I have a completely free day today, a common luxury in winter, when the gardens sleep.  So I'll give this squirrel his last free meal. 

Now it's also possible, though not certain, that I'll tackle my darkest habit today.  Oh, dear.  Something doesn't want to get written, here.  An admission so dark and humiliating my fingers won't press the letters. 

(the five percent)
You didn't read that, did you?  You see, I'm one of those people who stop
(at 95%)
I live in this puddle of papers, unfinished repairs, and orphaned items.  Winter is the perfect time to deal with this...
 Good morning
Wishing you
 Much peace and happiness 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Selfies In The Era Of Blogging

Selfie #1

Narcissus must be delighting in this age.  Everybody has a camera bearing witness to their most interesting subject.  I've made my bed with this minor God too, with my pledge to write every day. (That's me in my P.J.s)

Impulse # 1, the minute we come out of the chute. "Somebody bear witness to me!"  "I am witnessed, therefore I am", is certainly a primal twist on the more complicated version of Descartes' philosophy. If a picture is worth a thousand words, selfies save a lot of thinking,  and save us a lot of time reading.

This laptop has a camera.    Rule #1.  Do not take a picture of yourself at your own laptop.  But you knew that already. 

On to my pithier topic, in my 15 minute selfie saga.  I ran into a former date yesterday at breakfast, yesterday.  Sunday morning is when I treat myself to breakfast at a chic French restaurant, actually a chain around here, but definitely not a fast food joint.  Good china, classical music, fresh baked bread, rich coffee in a darling china pot, and steamed whole milk in its china pitcher.  Yes, for $15 I feel like royalty.

Our eyes locked as I entered.  Something in my reptilian brain knew to look aside, after a woman seated beside him nudged my peripheral vision.  I idled by without a word to my own table, out of sight of this little date in progress, and began my own feast with the above items plus my favorite section of my favorite newspaper in the whole world - the Sunday Review Section of the New York Times.

He walked backed and forth, to the men's room presumably, and I never looked up.  He (they) were even there when I left an hour later.  I sashayed by with my head held high and my tummy tucked in. 

I do not like this man.  Well I did at first.  Even planted a kiss on him at our first meet and greet, courtesy of one of those online dating sites.  But charm turned to groping hands and endless pontificating on our first date, so I raced out of that infant relationship with a pointed no thank you! note the next morning.

~ Time's up ~
good morning!
May your day be warm & bright

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Oh, No! The Empress Has No Clothes!

Some mornings I wake up with this "Oh, No!" in my brain. "I'm not O.K.!". My mind's a jangle of worries and shame.  I feel so ---- unready! So --- undressed!

This anxiety might have settled in after I became sole manager of my life ten years ago, but it's really been with me forever.  Life with husband merely derailed it for a while, but memory's a tricky thing, isn't it?

I recognize I'm in trouble the second I pull out my yardstick to measure my particular state of undress that early in the morning.  So, if I can ditch the yardstick and gather my wits around me instead I say to myself:  Welcome, Flow.  What can I give you now that will help? 

It's reassurance I seek.  For this anxiety is telling me - Yikes! - I'm improperly attired, inadequately prepared this morning.  And life is happening!  This is simply unacceptable!   "Come back, young lady, when your pants are on!"

Reassurance answers me. She tells me there isn't a person in the room with her hair in place, her pants on properly, her shoes tied.  Reassurance tells me I'm the neatest thing there ever was even without my pants on.   That we're all the neatest things, pants on or pants off.  That this day, today, is the neatest thing there ever was.

Who needs pants anyway, when it's warm in our hearts?
Time's up!
Until tomorrow, friends
Hugs to all
May our day be warm and bright

Saturday, January 3, 2015

I So Wanted to Like This New Restaurant

Good morning!  I hope today finds you well.  15 minutes posting timer is on here.
Yesterday was one of those days I got to sit around mostly, because I had the holy satisfaction of a slightly achy body.  New Years got started off right.  Two hours of exercise.  The only part I missed were my triceps, so typing on this laptop caused no pain at all.
Yesterday I also got to try out the darling restaurant above, open for breakfast and lunch in a tiny hamlet near me.  I discovered it new year's eve day and was so excited I could park myself somewhere new for breakfast.  Sometimes I feel embarrassed to show up at my regular spots - alone, with my New York Times or a good book - "Here's the lady with no friends!" It seems to broadcast, as tables fill up with chatting couples and families.  "She should have a sense of shame and free up a table for two!".   So I either try to avoid the busy diner hours, from 8 - 9 a.m. or sit at the counter. Well, I got to this place about 10 a.m.. Three tables for two, and the waitress led me to one.  I ordered French toast $10, and a cup of coffee $3 and pulled out my book.  The French toast was delicious, though it was served on a paper plate ?!?  The sweet waitress returned and asked me if I'd like more coffee.  Since my cup was now half full, I said  "Sure.   Could you top it off?"
OOps!  Time's up.  I'll be quick. The bill came, and she'd charged $1.75 for topping it off!  So this woman became the lady every waitress remembers - the one who leaves a tiny tip of $1, for a bill of $16.  But I went out of my way to explain why and paused at the counter on my way out.  "1.75 to top off my coffee?  The waitress didn't tell me I would be charged.  Of course I would have said 'no'.  Frankly, I feel fleeced, like you're nickel and dimeing your customers.  Generally restaurants don't charge for a refill.   Makes for happy customers.  A little goodwill  is generated.  This charge takes away the goodwill.  You will see I left a tiny tip and this is why."
I hoped they would remove the $1.75 charge, but they didn't budge. 
Don't know if I'll return.  But if I do, you can be sure I won't agree to have my coffee warmed up. 
Have a lovely day, friends!
May your day be warm and bright

Friday, January 2, 2015

An Invitation

An invitation.  That's what these 15 minutes a day feel like.   Opening the window to my soul, and my personality - the unpolished version!

The context.  Going back to that moment of his death.  Did you have a similar experience to mine when your beloved passed?  It's like our hearts were cracked open.  Love and tears spilled out.  Tender, tender, tender! Tenderness on display for all, gosh, even the lawyer. For me, it lasted for maybe six months?  Then my former closed personality snapped into action.  I can't blame the people around me for triggering my protective instincts, though I will LOL.  I mean, everybody cut me a lot of slack in the first six months.  I wasn't supposed to be like I always am.  Course I would act out of the ordinary.  Widows are weepy and tender and all.  Yes, people went out of their way to be tender and helpful - the first six months. 

Slowly that window of tenderness closed.  My former personality snapped to attention.  The closed, opinionated, 'suck it up, marine' personality.  So much to do.  Get it done!  Maybe I wasn't ready for that cracked open loving outlook to seat itself in my personality.

What had happened so abruptly with his death - that cracking open - is now being invited into my outlook daily.  Right now, I'm schizoid.  Sometimes I grant love and tenderness an honored seat.  Sometimes, I whack it, and tell myself to 'Suck it up!'. Get on with the business of life!"

Time's up
Until tomorrow, friends
Hugs to all
May your day be warm and tender

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year !*!*! 2015

Ring in the New !  Improved!  Version!  Of!  Life!

These are my
  • Post daily (or as close to daily as I can manage)
  • Post any random thought
  • Time limit: 15 minutes
  • Exercise
  • Pray
  • Eat well
  • Feed the cat
  • Feed the birds
  • Care more. 
Time's up
Until tomorrow, friends
Hugs to all
May your day be warm and bright