Friday, February 27, 2015


Today was as valuable as yesterday was disappointing, in my 30 day Course on Loving Relationships. 

Day 3: Fear of Intimacy

Imagine yourself in a warren with wicked female rabbits nibbling your fingers off.  You'd probably tuck your sensitive digits up your sleeve.  Now let's assume the wicked rabbits have been sewn into scarves overseas.  You're still tucking your sensitive fingers up your sleeves.  hmmm

That's what fear of intimacy is.  I admit.  The teacher didn't word it quite this way.  This course is basically psychotherapy online, so it uses phrases like Fear of Abandonment and Fear of Engulfment.  Today we got to look at our fears of intimacy.  We were asked to peel back the layers of our built-in assumptions about how the world works. Assumptions we swallowed wholesale before we even toddled our way across the warren.

If you grew up with those finger nibbling female rabbits, you lived in terror.  Today, our teacher essentially said "Hey, baby - What are you doing in that warren?  Pick up your hammer and smash our way out of it!"

So, earlier today, I spent a couple hours shattering those assumptions.  One such assumption - brown nosing.  Once absolutely necessary, to placate those females in my warren.  Now, brown nosing is not good for the soul.  By my late 20's brown nosing felt like a vortex I was disappearing into.  This vortex very much wanted me to kill myself.  I resisted, deciding not to put distance between me and me, but between my family and me.  I reached out for help. 

Enough about me.  Let's see...  What can I share about today's lesson.  "A strong, spiritually connected adult is  capable of....". Let me stop here.  Spiritually connected means not with organized religion, but with a power wiser than you, who (or which) has no agenda other than supporting your wellbeing.
... is capable of
  • Defining your own sense of worth rather than needing others' approval to feel worthy.
  • Not taking rejection, resistance and emotional distance personally.
  • Filling the inner child with love so that the child is not needy for another's time and attention.
  • Speaking the truth about not wanting responsibility for another's feelings, without resisting, attacking or distancing.
  • Taking loving care of yourself without anger or distance.
  • Taking loving action in your own behalf to ensure against engulfment.
  • Sharing love instead of trying to get love or avoid pain.
Here's an example the teacher provided of someone who is not acting from love, but from defensiveness, trying to avoid rejection.

"Jim is a very kind-hearted man and enjoys giving, but invariably he finds himself giving too much - giving himself up. In time he feels controlled, engulfed and smothered in the relationship. He starts to feel resentful about giving more than he receives and then ends the relationship. This same pattern happens over and over."

This is what happens for me with women.  I aim to not offend and end up brown nosing.  Well, no more.  This kid is speaking her truth.
    Good evening   
       Many happy      
   Dreams. Tonight   
    and every night   
P.S.  Judy's Kraut Brot was delicious. The portion I added sauerkraut to was delicious, as well.  Thank you Judy!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Kraut Brot and Love

Day Two In my Course on Loving Relationships

Not nearly as interesting as Day One's lesson.  Here's today's: We unconsciously choose people we have something in common with.  As is common emotional health.  "Like attracts Like".

O.K.  I get that.  So?

Today's lesson focuses on primary partnerships.  I get that, but feel a bit ticked off.  Please, let's get to  platonic love!  With our own gender!  What is it with me?  I love men, but I'm here to learn about friendship.  With my own gender.  Where's the confidence?  It's like I have this prejudice about women.  Like we're the version of humanity called 'men lite'.  

Women as 'Men lite'.  I'd love to hear your thoughts about THAT.  

In the meantime, I'm cooking up a wonderful recipe I learned from Judy at .  Something called Kraut Brot, cabbage and ground beef mixture tucked into a bread pocket.   Only I'm not doing the bread pocket part.  And I'm going to experiment - add sauerkraut to a small portion.  Off now, to eat!

   Good evening. 
  Eat well  
   Love well  
    Sweet dreams!   

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Needy or Not?

Today I began another 30 day Intensive Online Course about loving relationships.  If you don't mind, may I share a little of it with you?  Perhaps you may find its coursework interesting.  If not, I'll pick up on that : -). You'll see pretty pictures for a month. 

Day One of the course, is about needing each other versus being needy.  I quote:

Humans, like many other animals, need each other. We are social beings and we are not meant to be alone. We need each other for many things, such as:
  • Caring, tenderness, hugs, touch and emotional support
  • Connection, sharing love
  • Learning and growing emotionally and spiritually
  • Companionship - sharing fun and laughter, play, adventure and everyday life
  • Love making
  • Physical help when needed
  • Having our back - creating a sense of safety through support

  • We thrive when we feel connected and supported by each other, and we suffer when connection and support are not available. We have these needs as babies and we never lose them.

    When we abandon ourselves by not taking responsibility for our own feelings of self-worth and well-being, we become needy. We are needy when:
  • We don't take physical care of ourselves - eating badly, not exercising, and not getting enough sleep - and then become sick and dependent on others.
  • We avoid attending to our own feelings with various substance and process addictions - alcohol, drugs, food, TV, sex, spending and so on.
  • We choose not to learn and grow emotionally and spiritually, not to pursue our passions, and not to help others, therefore becoming empty inside. When we are empty within, we might expect others to fill us with their attention, love and approval.
  • We see ourselves as victims, blaming others or God for our current circumstances.
  • We judge ourselves harshly, which is the opposite of loving ourselves. Self-judgment creates the inner emptiness that leads to neediness.
  • End of quote. This quote will set destruct in 24 hours, to maintain the privacy of its source.

    The question for all students " Why do you want to be in relationship?"

    My answer:

    "I want to be in a relationship, because I want to feel that circle of love, where each person responds to the other with compassion in all sorts of ways, from helping out, to playing, to being attuned emotionally, laughing, comforting, speaking our truths.  After reading today's topic, I recognize myself as being needy and insecure nowadays, like I don't fit in.   I'm a widow, and I feel like the flapping loose end of a cord that once circled round.  I've had a deeply satisfying marriage and I am not interested in another partner, but I do want to replicate this comfortable intimacy with women friends.  Yet I find making friends with women  so very challenging.  I have made authentic connection online in forums, and in blogs. Yet in 'real life'  I've met either women with little need or time for establishing new friendship, or else very needy women who cling to me.  I am neither someone's fallback, nor last resort, nor rescuer, nor wingman in a mating quest. The question "Why be in a relationship?" is a good one.  My answer:  for comfortable and joyful intimacy.  But, and this is a big BUT, it appears I have mommy issues (eye roll)"

        Good evening  
         to all     

    Tuesday, February 24, 2015

    Daily Dose of Goodwill

    I figured my new habit - breakfast at the Diner first thing every day - would take some getting used to.  Skipped a beat posting here, yesterday.  After breakfast, my plumber came to look at my broken kitchen heaters.  The first stopped working in December, the second last week.  Both need replacing.  However, the underground water supply for my boiler would surely freeze when the water's turned off to do the work.  So we wait for spring.  In the meantime, one heater does its best to keep that half of the house warm.

    Paperwork filled the rest of my day.  I sat down to write last night, but...

    Yesterday was awkward. 

    Today, I altered my new routine a smidge.  I had my first cup of coffee at home.

    Breakfast report
    6:15 a.m.  Up.  -5 degrees out.
    6:45 a.m.  Pause for jogger before turning out my driveway.  Beet red face, he has.
    7:00 a.m.  Diner.  I recognize three patrons from yesterday.   I wish all hello, settle in with coffee and my New York Times. I try the special - 2 eggs, French toast, home fries, bacon, without the toast that comes with it.  With tip it's under $10.   Chats for free.  I pass along my newspaper as I leave.

    A daily dose with good will first thing.  Stay warm, my friends. 

                   Good  morning!                 
     Wishing you much happiness today  

    Sunday, February 22, 2015

    Switching it up


    I'm one happy pup. 

    6" of snow last night.  We were only supposed to get 3".  When I awoke, I decided to be sensible.  Eat breakfast here.  Blow the driveway clean.  Sit down, enjoy the coffee, take a few pictures for today's post, play with color, read a few blog posts.  Wail on one of them: "With him gone, it's like someone hit my mute button.....    Thank God for the internet!  At least I can un-mute myself here."

    Hello there... the Un-mute button!  My little spirit of adventure can be un-muted.  Let's drive over 6" of snow to the diner! 

        All of us have wonders hidden in our breasts,            only needing circumstances to evoke them.    
    (Charles Dickens)
    - from The Painter's Keys Resource of Art Quotations. Free at

    I returned from breakfast totally invigorated. And played with my cool snow blower.  Memo to all: This kiddo's routine is switching.  Diner breakfast: 6:30 a.m.  Then sit here, write, or get on my bike, or, or, or. 

      G oo  D  
        m oo n I N g
      Have an
      Un u s u A l
       DD A !!  

    Friday, February 20, 2015


    There's only one word to sum up my feelings today.  Grateful.  Grateful.  Grateful. 

    My Dad has begun packing for his month long stay at the nice respite home, even though it's two weeks off.  My brother is asking people to drop in on him while he's there.  Most of Dad's kids are in the doghouse for abandoning him, but luckily the one who's not lives close by.

    My brother's wife bears the brunt of Dad's ire, and she is entering her reward today. Flying off to sunny California to be wrapped in the arms of her son and bride to be.  Only five weeks to W day, the reason for this tempest in the teapot!  Oh!   The bruises....

    Yesterday was wonderful.  I installed a second cable box for the TV in front of my treadmill.  I've been staring at that blank screen for years.  Sure, I can watch DVDs, but I cannot wrap my head around a plot line and huff at the same time.  Give me CNN!  The weather channel!  My little project took two trips to the cable store, one telephone call with tech, and four hours to set up.  I'm looking forward to running today!

    Off I go now to breakfast and errands.  My brother is visiting tonight, after he drops his wife off at JFK.  Hooray!  Hooray!  Hooray!

       Good morning sunshine! 
     Those of us in minus temps  
      heart  warming day  
         And the rest of you -      

    Thursday, February 19, 2015

    Who Can Predict?

    1994 - proud parents of a new camper and truck
    Miracle of miracles, my father did an about face yesterday, and 'came up' with the idea of staying at the nicer respite facility for a month.  Oh man!  It takes a village to help someone age with dignity.  As  his visit there gets closer, we're lining up phone calls and visits from people he respects, to reassure him.

    I'd penned this post before I learned this  good news. It's my little story about the folly of planning and predicting...

    When I was first widowed, a man, a friend of my husband, helped me out.  How this all came about was ass backward.

    This man was a hot shot in the mergers and acquisitions world of New York.   My late husband and he had met 24 years ago, in a basement room where folks who have messed up bad meet.  This man had arranged a daily morning meeting with the local church because weekly meetings elsewhere were just too, well, weekly.  The church was close, ultra convenient for my husband.  He went daily until three days before he died.

    This man annoyed the heck out of my husband.  Full of advice, which is a complete no-no at these meetings. While my husband didn't share the confidences of attendees, I did hear plenty about the personalities.  Would you believe, years later, I would learn that my husband had annoyed the heck out of him, too?

    I didn't know the guy.  About a year before my husband died, he lent this guy our truck.  He needed it to move something.  Oh, it was O.K. our camper was strapped in, like you see in the picture.  He borrowed it for a few days.  Then he decided to park it in a parking garage for cars only.

    I was livid. At my husband for lending the truck to this idiot!  Livid because he didn't call the insurance company to replace the crushed camper.  Instead he made an arrangement with the guy - his counseling services in lieu of payment.  His what??? From this guy?  Yes, whether I liked it or not.  This is the deal my husband struck - this fellow would meet weekly with his soon-to-be widow for a year.  After that, she could decide when she no longer needed his counseling.

    My husband knew something I didn't.  In the fifteen years he and my husband had irritated the heck out of each other, they had also helped transform each other from self-seeking, self-centered addicts into loving husbands and friends.  This man had transitioned out of the dog-eat-dog world of Mergers & Acquisitions, into the dog-feed-dog world of counselling.  He was now chaplain at a local hospital.

    By the end of our first counseling session, I'd forgiven this man for weaseling out of payment for a new camper.  We met weekly.  He listened and bound my wounds.  His imprint remains.  I am indebted to him.

    Who can predict?

       Good morning!  
       Every day something 

    Wednesday, February 18, 2015

    Too Little Time

    Busy day today.  Want you to know I wish you a good day, bright sky and warmth in your heart.

      G o o D
    M O R   N g

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

    When Parents Know Less and Less

    You know when we're kids and our parents know everything?  We wake up to the fact they don't, say about age 11.  What about when dear old dad never wakes up to the fact he doesn't?

    I rallied my first conscious thoughts this morning to step into that mind of his and walk around a little.  Of course this is all hypothetical, but if the profilers on detective TV shows can do it, maybe I can too.

    Dear old dad is resisting a temporary move - temporary!!! - into a respite care facility while his live-in caregiver, his son, attends his own son's wedding in California.  We're all going, that is, everyone except Dad.  He doesn't want to go.  He doesn't want his son to go, either.  Considering Dad will have no live-in caregiver during our absence, that is, live-in caregiver he can't fire, we're giving him the choice between two really nice assisted living homes, one 20 years old, the other 150 years old, give or take a decade.

    Sound good?  You know his answer.  I'm fine.  I can take care of himself.  Uh, huh.  We're well past the option of making him believe the nice short term stay is his grand idea. His trust in our love and motives is just about shot.  Besides, we're his children.   Parents always know more than their children.  So he flip flops. We've got our team slowly circling, all shepherding him into Place A or Place B, not Place C - home.  Eldercare services, his lawyer, his doctor, his financial manager, is eldest daughter, his youngest - me, another daughter, his son, his daughter-in-law, all of us.  The fact is, he cannot be trusted by himself in his own home.   Yet we very much want to stop short of forcing him to take this vacation. 

    So this morning I took my hypothetical walk through his mind to understand him.  Dad knows himself to be a repair man.  Only he hasn't successfully repaired anything by himself in years.  Don't tell him that.  He is repairman extraordinaire.  Truth is, the eyesight, the coordination, the strength, the keenness of mind isn't there.  But he won't talk and he won't listen.  He blames the hot water for being too hot, when he could simply turn on the cold water tap and mix the two.  He ditches his walker the minute he's alone to climb the stairs to take a shower. He falls sometimes, typically doing just that.  He 'repairs' his catheter's attachments because all of them are poorly designed, and regularly spills urine on his bed.  He tried to repair the refrigerator by flipping it over.  He tried to repair a broken dial on the electric stove without turning the electricity off.

    Goodness, I'm way past my 15 minute time limit for posting, going on an hour.  (I've been doing that a LOT lately.)

    To conclude... I've been thinking lately about the Fixed mindset and Growth mindset.  This morning I applied them to his situation.  Fixed mindset, when we know ourselves as an unalterable blueprint, wonderful, wretched, whatever.  Growth mindset, when we know ourselves to be potter's clay and we the potter, with input, of course.  We and we alone get to transform ourselves into the next grander version of ourselves.  That's fine, but what about when the next version of ourselves cannot possibly be grander?  This is where my little walk through my Father's mind leaves me.  My Dad is lost in his grand version of himself.

       Good morning!  
      And who are you this fine day?   

    Monday, February 16, 2015

    Shades of Vulnerability

    A balmy -3 here.   So very grateful for my warm house and oil delivery just now.  As I watch squirrels nibble their nuts and birds flock to my feeders, I marvel that God designed we humans naked, totally vulnerable to such cold. 

    It's not my body that's shivering; it's the interior of my heart that is.  It's like a grenade went off inside after reading another blogger's post about the movie and book '50 Shades of Gray'.  Oh, No!  Bondage appears to be going mainstream.  Of course this sane person is a little concerned.   So far I've stayed far far away from the book and only read one review of the movie.  I took heart that people laughed at the movie's end, when the lights were turned on.  You think people might be embarrassed about being seen watching this movie?  I do hope so!  God forbid there be gaggles of giggling girls running off to the nearest *** shop to buy those cute little pink fur-lined hand cuffs.  Memo to them: Life offers lots of ways to degrade our humanity without being handcuffed to a bed post.

    My heart is scared and angry some idiot - a woman! - moved the goal post to smutland and the mainstream worldwide is following.  Okay, okay, smutland's been around for centuries - ever since men's little guy got bored.   Nowadays, boredom may be part of it, but it's not only boredom that's moving the goalpost nowadays.  It seems to be our increasing difficulty with emotional vulnerability.  Naked *** has always offered circumstances too tender, too vulnerable for some hearts to tolerate, whether love or recreation is involved.  So it's little surprise that the recreational *** movement, inside and out of marriage, is pushing the envelope to produce fireworks.  Is it safer?? Easier?? for physical vulnerability to titillate than emotional vulnerability?

    When did our impulse to connect get so scary that we choose to divert it toward dehumanizing  intimate connections?  And what role has our increasing texting and online life had?  I wonder if acclimating ourselves to self revelation online feeds our fear of face to face connection.  I see online sharing as a necessary bridge, but it is mighty tempting to make it our only venue for sharing emotionally vulnerable stuff.  And then using face to face contact for the kinks, to divert us from taking each other to heart, then weeding out what hurts.  Give me Heart!

      Good Morning! 
     Wishing you a heartwarming day 

    Sunday, February 15, 2015

    What's In Your Mind today?

    Life is good.  My very own snow globe has come to life the other side of my glass door.  I am doing the sensible thing and not going on my merry adventure to my favorite Diner. 

    Thank you so much for your comments yesterday to my question "How do you do this platonic love?".  One answer - It's the most natural thing in the world.  Second - I don't know.

    I'm signing up for both courses LOL.

    I'm 40 pages into this great book "Mindset".  I never would have ordered it, since it's a self-help book, but my journey has benefitted from words wiser than my own.  So when my teacher recommended it, I opened its cover and started reading.  Its author, Carol S. Dwerk, Ph.D., is a psychologist and researcher at Stanford University, and her prose is pithy and accessible.  First, she notes that the way we approach anything is key to our satisfaction.  No matter our age or circumstances or goals, when we approach them believing our endowments, intelligence, personality, abilities, and circumstances are a given, we are coming from our fixed mindset.  So the gal who believes she has two left feet will stay off the dance floor.  When we believe our endowments and circumstances are quite malleable and just require that delicious thing called 'effort' to alter, we head to the dance floor to learn how to dance.

    Each of the answers above came from the growth mindset. It's perfectly natural to make it up as you go along.  It's perfectly O.K. to not know how.  I love you guys!

    If life were a river, and the mind our abode, a fixed mindset would be the house on the riverbank with its curtains drawn and the TV on.  The growth mindset would be the boat with oars.

      Have an interesting day!   

    Saturday, February 14, 2015

    Love Diverted ~ not Dead

    Gosh, I bet widows have a lot to say about this.  This Valentine's day is for you. 
       Tell me, how do you love?   

    I really want to know.  Of course, this being my blog, I get to answer straightaway. 

    I signed up for this class on love, taught by that Big Heart In The Sky, 32 years ago. I've yet to graduate.   One terrific husband and three boyfriends after him, it could be that Big Heart feels I've learned all I needed to about romantic love.  In any case, BH has swapped out my romantic lesson plan for the new platonic love lesson.  Of course I'd like to punch BH out for this.   Platonic love is so hard for me to grasp!   However, seeing how much I learned about romantic love, this chapter on platonic love can prove interesting.
    On this day which celebrates romantic love, however, I want to flex my  "Romance " muscles.  Hey you creatures of the air, the earth, the water.

      love you!!   

    As for flexing my Platonic muscles...Oh me, oh my.  I'm not a people person.  How do you DO this PLATONIC ****?

      how do you love?!  

    Friday, February 13, 2015

    Meandering We Will Go

    Another thinking out loud day. About this blog's Title " Life diverted ~ Flowing STRONG, Somewhere in Here".  Yesterday Jean noted I appear to be a meandering stream, not a strong current.  At first I felt this flush of shame, as if someone had stripped me of my clothes.  And then I thought back to my last conversation with my Friendship Counselor about my little dinner party last week, below.  Remember, I hired her because I have difficulty making female friends, and, hey, we're making progress.

    Me: " My neighbor and I talked and laughed."

    FC: " What did you talk about? "

    Me: " Uh....This and that. " (We painfully extract the conversational files from my zip drive memory and I tell her our conversations )

    FC: " You laughed a lot!  You had fun? Like, how much fun? "

    Me: "  25% fun. "

    FC: " Only 25%? "

    Me: " Yes.  Hey.  That's really good!  When I started seeing you ( 10 months ago now ) I had close to 0% fun with women.  I did the listener, counselor, cheerleader thing with them. "

    FC: " O.K.  Then this is great!!"

    Me: " You know, a couple days ago, up in Massachusetts, someone said something, something I hadn't heard in ten years... and my heart rejoiced to hear it! "

    FC: " And that was..? "

    Me: " I was out to breakfast with a bunch of people, all talking over one another.  Someone was recounting how much he loved living in New York City.

             Me: " I HATED living in NYC.  ".
             Another woman: " Oh, really? I thought you loved it. "
             Me:  " No!   It was necessary for my career, but I hated not seeing the trees and the sky, being surrounded by skyscrapers.  Every morning I would take a walk from Soho to the Empire State building for breakfast, just to get out of the apartment and see the sky!!!   My soul NEEDS the sky, the trees, the open spaces...."
            A man's voice piped up from across the table: " My soul does, too! "

    Back to my conversation with my Friendship Coach ~
    Me: " It was the first time I'd heard my heart's desire echoed in ten years. I feel like I've been in a desert, parched, and this was my first sip of water!!! "

    FC: " Would your soul have leapt for joy if a woman had said this? "

    Me: " It might have felt just as wonderful coming from a woman.  The point is - here was a kindred spirit! "

    ... and I went on to passionately talk about my love of nature, of all the little noises and sights that thrill me, like the chirping of spring peepers, signaling spring.  I recounted the time my husband and I went out and recorded their evening sound.  " Now THAT,
     " I finished up with " was 100% fun!!! "

    Then my friendship Counselor and I returned to the subject of my guest last week.

    " This woman wouldn't like nature this way? "

    " No.  She talked of helping teenagers ( her profession and passion ), and movies.  She recommended one,  I replied I hadn't been to a movie since 'The Fault in Our Stars'.  I could take or leave movies.  I'd rather have a direct experience listening to spring peepers, for instance, than a vicarious experience watching a movie.  Watching a movie is maybe 25% fun ( if that ).  I'd rather explore a towns, places, restaurants, seek out nature.  These feed my soul! "

    " Oh... well, I can see your point of view.  O.K. What's important here is helping YOU find what you need! "


    In conclusion, dear friends, I recognize I am a meanderer, an intentional meanderer.  A purposeful meanderer.  So was my husband.  In my little Type A corner of the world, Meanderers are people without purpose! 

     !! Poppy cock !!
        Meandering is where  
       discoveries happen!   
    (I think I've found my calling)
      Good morning, friends   
      May your day be FULL of delightful meandering  

    Thursday, February 12, 2015

    What's in a Title, anyway?

    15 minutes for today's post was up long ago.  I awoke at 5 a.m.  Until 7 a.m. I pondered a new title for this blog. What Mega-Title could possibly scoop all daily themes up in its arms?

    Uh, Oh.  Coffee is revving up this mind up.

    Life Diverted ~ say WHERE ?  Life Morphs Anyway ~ Go with the Flow.  Life on the Far Side of Grief.   Life Diverts. Divert It Back.

    Be glad I used the delete key as much as I did.

    I was such a good girl yesterday.  I pulled all my tax material together, noted my itemizations, added them up.  Now all I have to do is write them neatly for my accountant to do his magic.  One year I bought software, did it myself, and lost a ton of sleep.  My brain works in circles, a wonderful byproduct of being left handed.  The other day, my sister was recounting a conversation 8 years ago, and said in complete bewilderment, "You don't remember that?". She is right handed.

    We bloggers do the 'hug' thing.  Someone dear to us needs a hug today.

        HUG  with  LOVE  

      Wishing you a   


    Tuesday, February 10, 2015

    Diverting the River of Life

    This is one of those TOL posts, from a homespun philosopher musing about her precious little life.  Thinking about when our rivers meet the grand bulldozer.  If it sounds like I'm in a bar nursing a glass of wine, you'd be close.

     Life DiverteThat's when it gets interesting.  It keeps me reading blogs by women who have met a bulldozer or two.  I rifle through their posts searching for some common denominator, some secret victory I can poach.  I mean, poaching's legal in blogland, right?  Maybe the ones I admire are those who wrestle with the bulldozer until they're big and strong, and then divert the river to their own ends.  Maybe the ones I admire revel in the unfinished nature of rivers relocated by man and nature.  They pop a worm on their fishing pole and cook up a feast.  Maybe the ones I admire put markers where the river used to be, and engineer new access for those who lost riverfront property. 

    I don't know.  The common denominator seems to be pluck.  What do you think?


       I hope  ALL plucky women

      have had

      splendid day today 

    Monday, February 9, 2015



    Would everyone would just cooperate here?   We could get along splendidly!  There's just one fly in the ointment.  We are so our own selves with our own ideas.  I for one, love this about the human race.  However.  Families being families, my particular one anyway, practicing the art of Kumbaya is like herding feral cats.  In mine, having a loving agenda is a fool's prescription for self-defeat.

    Of course I visited my Dad with this exact agenda two days ago. I prepared. I prayed.  Someone a lot wiser than me needs to direct my choices even when it's only me.  So I prayed big time here.  You know my Dad is 101, almost 102, living in the same three story house I was raised in.  Maybe you didn't know I'm his POA.  So this visit, I needed just two little signatures on this piece of paper his broker sent over, or else my POA was virtually useless in this day and age of corporate liability.

    Thankfully, a tiny bit of Kumbaya feeling still exists in my Dad for me.  Had to be wily about getting the signature, though.  Goodness!  Dad is one scarred puppy. O.K., we all have our scars.  This particular fellow lost his dad when he was 6 months old, was raised by a single mom all alone in the big city of Seattle, entered the Great Depression in his teens, kept his nose to the grindstone this side of the Atlantic during WWII, married a high falutin' woman, and evolved into a tightwad extraordinaire.  Now there's two sides to every coin, and the tightwad's repair skills were once legendary.  Had we been born robots, he would have been in his element.  Emote?  Open an encyclopedia.  Appreciation?  Get tough!  Co-operation?  Everybody else lives to serve.  Money? It's meant to stay in the account!  Not only does he not dole out money for his own living expenses, he mistakes his grown son and daughter-in-law for indentured servants.  Yes, he has spent his life creating an exquisite form of agony for humans with Kumbaya in mind.

    The paperwork is now on its way to the broker.  I needed two stiff drinks afterwards, so I consider this my defeat.  Anyway...This week my brother will introduce Dad to a couple Respite Care Facilities.  He gets to choose which will house him for a month while the rest of us attend a family wedding.  Dad could stonewall us if he learns what these places cost.  But he won't need to know. 

    I'll be writing the checks.

    Saturday, February 7, 2015

    The Gripe FREE Woman


     Is everybody happy? 

    I came into this blog three years ago with a grab bag full of gripes, and now what?  I'm tickled pink with the woman in the mirror.

    So I'm going to do something totally out of character. 
    Start a gratitude list. 

    • You
    • And you
    • And you and you and you
    Thank you for hanging around with me.  It's meant the world to me.  I will to return the favor.  Now I'm going on a long drive up to my Dad's.  On my way I'll ponder where I'll take this blog next.

          Good morning!     
                  any ideas?                  

       Have a super day !      

    Friday, February 6, 2015


    I started out this day thinking about griping.  How I have nothing to gripe about today.  I'm at my most eloquent griping!

    Obviously a whole day went by without a gripe coming up.  Now I'm left with this very odd bedfellow

    ...and ?

    Every attempt will be made tomorrow morning to be more eloquent.  In the meantime, may your dreams entertain you, your socks keep you warm, and your computers remind you that some how, somewhere, someone is keeping you in mind.

           Good Night              

                  Sleep well            

    Thursday, February 5, 2015

    First Night In Ages

    A hostess award is due.  My guest called me today to not only thank me, but ask me to give her a ride to her colonoscopy next Thursday.  Hey.

    My Friendship Coach was tickled pink.  (Really?   You're going to write this after mentioning this very private procedure?)   Right before hosting my first female guest in a quarter decade, I met my Friendship Coach.  She was so excited for me.  She coached.  I listened.

    I drank sensibly. We enjoyed my soup and salad.  I wasn't phony.  We laughed. We told tales. We got personal.  We set another date, say, Mid-March? 

    And then she called.
    Hey.  If I give her a ride, then she'll give me a ride.  And this is rather comforting when you live alone.

       Good evening  
        and how has your day been ? 

    Wednesday, February 4, 2015

    Welcome. !

    My list of preparations for my guest tonight has been rearranged.  Top down, now.

    • Welcome
    • Food
    • Home
    Now, a welcome I will provide.   And I've tossed enough clutter ( sorry, 'tossed' isn't entirely accurate )  to see the tabletop AND the floor beneath.   Now, this isn't entirely accurate, either. 

    In any case, these are mere trappings.  Food is not, so yesterday I roasted vegetables for the 16 bean soup that's cooking in the crackpot today.  Of course, I entirely forgot the commitment I had at 5 p.m., which proves I cannot roast and listen at the same time.

    Speaking of welcomes, one squirrel dove into a pile of snow after he wrapped his lips around my hot chili feeder.  The other squirrel is of Mexican descent.

    15 minutes went fast!  Truthfully I'm a smidgeon shy of 15. 

                                                                                                              Good morning !  

      Have a memorable day 

    Tuesday, February 3, 2015

    Nellie Here

    I have invited a neighbor over for dinner tomorrow.  Help!

    Preparations include
    • Food,
    • House
    • Welcome 
    I can buy delicious chowder at the fish market and whip up a salad if my soup doesn't materialize.  But my house?  Oh. Dear.  Oh, dear.  Oh, dear.  Well of 2014, my house acquired a modicum of curb appeal.  No one need cast their eye down my driveway and heave the piteous sigh "Well, there's a widow living here.  And it's all just too much for her".

    But inside?  Yes!  That's where you see it is too much for me.  Your eye will immediately be drawn to the hole in the wall where my shelf tore out.  Or the unpainted sheetrock by a replacement wall heater in my kitchen, installed before 'normal' went through the speed blender 14 years ago.  Or my dining table.  Huddled around its legs are piles of neat blue plastic wrapped New York Times, probably two dozen.  I can't begin to describe the top of the table. 

    I have two whole uncluttered horizontal surfaces, the ones I put my feet up on.

    I am an unfinished woman.  Oh, dear, oh, dear, oh, dear
     Scarlet letter goes
    >>>>> here <<<<<<.  

    Sometimes it just helps to write.

    Monday, February 2, 2015

    Warning: Fatigue

    Great 4th quarter at Super Bowl last night.  Here I went to bed after the 3rd quarter thinking the Seattle Seahawks had it in the bag.
    Fatigue being on my mind, I awoke at 3 a.m. with the curious phrase 'compassion fatigue'.  I was curious about the end of the game, too, but turned over instead.  So, this morning, after reading what I'd missed in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl, I looked up 'compassion fatigue' .  Here's what I found in an article 

    Quotes are in bold type.

    Compassion fatigue is a repeated inability to alleviate suffering.

    In a 24/7/365 setting.  Like when you are responsible for taking care of an elderly parent, or a chronically or terminally ill spouse or child, and are wildly unsuccessful.   Or you are responsible for a physically or mentally ill or addicted parent and you're their kid and unless you coddle them they aren't going to make supper for you.

    Caregivers who suffer from compassion fatigue may actually justify experiencing the symptoms as part of the act of, or “cost” of, caring.

    The symptoms:
    • Empathy depletion and, ultimately, apathy
    • The very essence of humanity is [then] diminished
    I'm seeing compassion fatigue in my brother and his wife care taking my dad.  Me?  If the responsibility for his care had fallen to me, I couldn't have done it.  I would have farmed out it to others in 8 hour shifts.  As for the little girl in me who took care of her parents in a wildly unsuccessful way?  Free at last!

    The antidote:

      Good morning  
      I hope you're happy with the way things turned out!  
      Have a wonderful day  

    Sunday, February 1, 2015

    Now and Later

    15 minutes today, everyday?  My train falls off the tracks the minute I open anything else on this laptop.  So, myopic as it is, I must write before I know what's going on in the world.  Today I write of now and later.

    ~ now ~



    Thank you, Judy!!  He couldn't get out of there fast enough.  He had a little fun on my 'squirrel wheel' and whiffle ball obstacle course. LOL

    ~ later ~

    I'm going to Hawaii.


    My little circle comes round there.  It the last place my late husband and I were carefree.
    More details to come...

      Good morning  

     Have a warm and happy Super bowl day!  

       May your team win