Sunday, January 27, 2013

Joy-filled Sadness of Orchids

 I really don’t have much of a green thumb.   But I do like plants around.  The ones I care for are pretty self sufficient, requiring little care and attention. The Christmas cactus, the philodendron, the ivy, and spider plants all get treated equally with a bi-weekly watering, every other Monday.  I don’t talk to them or interact, really, in any other way.  I am their foster mother, providing only the most basic of nurturing.

Last year, on April 4,  I bought an orchid.  The smallest one I could find.  It was, of course, perfectly in bloom.  I welcomed it into our home and promised that I would take very good care of it.  I read the instructions on the tag.  I looked for a perch that would get just the right amount of light.  It apparently did not like to be in direct light, but rather it preferred a space which would provide, instead, a more constant light.
I fussed over it and whispered "good morning" and "good night".  I checked every day to make sure it was appropriately nourished. After about ten days,  I started to notice that the plant didn’t seem as healthy as the day I brought it home.  The once bright green leaves were becoming dull and dark.  I moved it to a different spot and assured myself  that it would have a better chance of thriving if it sat on different window sill.
I didn’t realize how delicate and precious this little plant was until its pink and white petals began to fall off their stems.  One by one, each of its prefect blooms withered and fell gently to the floor.  Left only with two dull leaves, a skinny wooden stake and the instruction tag, I sadly decided that the little plant had lived the best of its life.   I tortured myself with pangs of regret, wondering what I could have done or should have done differently.  Perhaps if I...
I considered throwing the plant away.  There really wasn’t much point in holding onto it, after all.  But, after all, I had brought it home on April 4.
So, once again, I moved what was left of the little, now orchid-less plant to a more private location, to the sill over the big bathtub.  The blinds in that room are always shut all of the way.  I twisted the wand a touch to let in more light.  Whenever  I caught a glimpse of the little plant, though, it made me sad.

In my always sadness,  I feel the pain of light’s jabs.  It intrudes with rudeness into my world of soft white gauze and gray flannel. It prods and pokes. It nags at me with constant reminders of young smiles.  It sneers and mocks when I grieve for so many lost dreams.
As I look through the kaleidoscope of my life, I shield my eyes from those brilliant light shards.
I wonder if I will ever again want to dance to the music of  mambo reds, sway in time to ocean green tempos or prance under ice blue skies.
Teases of sun yellow slivers glide in through nearly, but not tightly shut slats, as they try to entice me out with promises of warm hugs and gentle kisses.

About a month ago, I began to notice growth on the little plant.  Roots were sprouting and spreading reaching for the light, as if trying to catch breaths of air.  Soon, I began to whisper hopeful "good mornings" and tender "good nights" again to the little plant.

When I noticed the new shoot, I realized that it didn't look like the other roots.  It was also reaching for the light, but couldn't quite stand up straight; slightly bending instead from the weight it was carrying.
On the end of the stem were little puffs of folded up green hands holding and protecting something precious.  Soon, timid stripes of pink and white began to peek out from their protective hands, each day, getting stronger.
Now, they are in their full party dresses and sassy as they dance in the light.

The little plant that I brought home on April 4, now makes me smile, just a little.

I know I have many joy filled lights in my life patiently waiting for me to come out to play.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


First of all I am awake at an ungodly hour this morning because of thatdog.  Thatdog is the dog who has recently decided that he needs to bark at 1:00 a.m., 3:00 a.m., 4:30 a.m. etc.  and will keep barking until I finally get up.
This has been going on for the past several months. It doesn't happen every day, but at least about 3 times a week.   Ross and I take turns getting up and letting him out, because we think that is why he is barking.  Well, actually, the way it really goes is, we each try and wait the other one out to see who will finally get tired of listening to the barking and get up to let him out, because we think that is why he is barking.
If you were a lurker in our bedroom, what you would hear in the middle of the night might sound something like this:
Bark, bark, bark, bark, bark - that would be thatdog, just in case you wondered.
Then, it might be, "RICO!" "NO BARKING!"  That would be me.
"What's the matter puppy, huh?"  "Tell me what you want."  "What is it?'
That would be the much more tolerant Ross as he tries to calm thatdog with a soothing whisper.  Only it doesn't seem to soothe thatdog and it is kind of annoying to me.
Lurker, this is what you would have seen at 4:30 this morning.   Me half asleep, one arm hanging down the side of the bed, half heartedly petting the dog.  Well truthfully, it would be more like thatdog pushing his head under my hand hoping for a pet.
We have tried everything. He has two beds in our room.  And by our  room, I mean the room that the three of us share -  me, Ross, and thatdog.  
Actually, thatdog has a bed in every room of the house.  Two of them are even Martha Stewart designer beds.  
We have tried everything.
We bought him a puppy tent. He wouldn't go in it, so  we had to return it.

We bought him a cute little dog house.  He hates it.

I made him go in it for this photo this morning.

So now, I am cranky and wide awake, while Ross and thatdog are sound asleep.

If you turn up the volume you can hear thatdog snoring.   Notice he is not in one of his ten beds, but instead he chooses the floor.
I made him pose for this picture this morning too. 
By the way, I think I know what you are going to say.  What Rico really wants is up on our bed.
When he was a puppy, we did let him sleep with us.  It was fine for a few nights. Then one night he wet the bed.  So, ever since that peeing the bed incident, eleven years ago,  we have not let him back in the bed with us.
But, you know how it was when your little girl or boy would cry in the middle of the night, night after night,  and how you finally gave in because you were so tired?   Well I was pretty close to doing that this morning with thatdog.
And poor Rico, he has never figured out how to jump up, on anything.  That reminds me of another gadget we tried, doggie steps.  He wouldn't go on them either.

 So Ross is now awake.  See how happy and refreshed he is?
Ross loves thatdog

I hate thatdog

Oh, in case you are wondering about the hats we are wearing, making hats has become my obsession. More about that next time.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sadness Stands Still

It’s not easy.  Although the times of tears are no longer daily, the waves of overwhelming sadness grab at me when I am still.

This past weekend Bella came for a visit.  On Saturday we took her to an auction.  She didn’t know what that was. Ross told her what to expect.
Before the auction started, Bella and I looked under all of the tables and in all of the boxes.  We were searching for the American Girl doll that was advertised.  We finally found her.  She was in a box lot marked K.
The hall was crowded and we had gotten there late.  Bella reminded me that I told her that if we didn’t get there early we wouldn’t get a seat. We had to stand all the way in the back.
Bella was very patient for the first hour. By that time, though, she was getting tired of standing.  So was I.  Then one of the auction workers came around with more chairs and we were able to sit. Bella had to sit on her knees so that she could see.
After hour number two, I told Bella to send out vibes to the auctioneer by saying to herself, “put the doll up, put the doll up.”
At the end of the third hour, a bag of chips and a Danish, I asked Bella if she wanted to leave.  She said no. She wanted to wait for as long as it took for the doll to come up for bid.
 Ross went up to the guy running the auction and asked him if he would put the doll up.  The guy said he would.
Another half hour went by and finally the box marked K was handed to the auctioneer.
The bidding was hot and heavy between Ross and another bidder.  Ross made a few power moves.  First he held his card up, which is a well known signal to all other bidders that he had no intention of giving up.  The second thing Ross did was call out bids in increments of $20 even before the auctioneer had a chance to call the bid.
The second bidder eventually dropped out.
And The Winner Is
On the way out of the auction hall, a man was standing outside smoking a cigar.  He motioned me over to him.  He apologized for bidding against us.  He said he didn’t know that we were bidding on the doll for our granddaughter.  He told me that if had known he would not have bid against us.  I guess we should have had Bella standing at the front of the room holding up the card.  At least that’s what the cigar smoker told me we should have done.
When we got home from the auction, Bella and I learned how to knit on a loom.  She made hats for her new doll.
Miss American was on TV on Saturday night.  Bella had never seen a Miss America pageant.  She was rooting for Miss South Carolina.  We let her stay up until 10:30.  She watched the rest of Miss America from her bed.  Miss South Carolina was the runner up.  Before she fell asleep, she wanted to know if I thought there would be other Miss America shows on Netflix.  If there were, she could watch them on her Nook.  I told her I didn’t think so.
We took Bella home on Sunday.
The stillness came back and I was grabbed by sadness.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

That's So Cliche

Nothing, I've got nothing new to say.  I have a bunch of thoughts, for sure, but nothing new.  Really, when I stop and think about it, whatever I might have to say has been said before,  most likely by me.  I know this to be true, because I have gone back to some past posts and found that I have repeated myself a couple or three times.
Perhaps I will start to write my posts in cliches.  Really, think about it, cliches say it all.
Ha! Cliche Site
Let me give it a whirl and jump in with both feet.
As plain as the nose on your face, I'm at the end of my rope. My stomach is tied up in knots.  I'm not going to beat around the bush.  I'm waiting with baited breath for the ink to dry, the other shoe to drop, and the dust to settle.  I'm like a lost dog in the high woods. I'm having a bad hair day, day after day. I could go on and on with this half baked idea but there is no rhyme or reason.

Okay enough is enough.   That's what happens when the "the cat got your tongue."

Anyway, as you can see, my head is in a fog today.

My favorite is this one:  "Show them how the cow ate the cabbage."  huh?
Yea, the explanation is this:
1. To confront someone concerning a perceived wrong, slight, injury or insult.

Do you have a favorite?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

If Only in My Dreams On The Boardwalk In Ocean City

I am participating in BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo for the month of January.
Today’s writing prompt question is: "If you could be given the option to never sleep and also never be tired, would you take it if it meant you'd also never dream again?”
This is an interesting question.  Coincidentally, I have recently been wishing that I didn’t have to sleep.  I have also wondered why we were designed to require such necessary specific periods of unconsciousness.  
The reason I have been pondering what it would be like to never sleep is because I simply need more time.  Oh, the list of what I would do with all of those extra hours, (which would eventually add up to extra years) is long. 
Concerning dreaming, it’s apparent that unconscious dreams are ones that are  written, produced and directed by anonymous forces.  
I suggest that day dreams are more peaceful and satisfying. 
In my day dreams I would never imagine free falling from the sky, or have visions of plane crashes in my back yard.  I would not be worried that I couldn’t find my way home or be terrorized by evil monsters. In my day dreams I would not cry and sob without sound or tears. 
For you see, in my day dreams I can conjure up magical and wonderful places at my will. 
In my day dreams, dads are never taken from their sons, and sons are never taken away from their dads.   
In my day dreams I can live like a hermit, remotely in my little cabin in the woods or sing on the world stage like a diva. 
Yes, I would take the no sleep for those precious extra moments and as long as I could day dream I would not miss those night frights. 
But, I have to stop writing now, because, that’s right you guessed it, it’s late and I am falling asleep, darn it anyhow. 

For the record, today Ross and I went to the Ocean City NJ boardwalk and beach.  Thankfully, it seems to have survived Hurricane Sandy.

  Here are a few photos from our visit.

You Know…That Pink Hotel

Walking Off The Baby Weight
Fudgy and Salty Water Taffy Day Dreams
In All Kinds of Weather Side by Side
No Place Like Home
The Rock Flock

We also rode through Atlantic City and came upon this section right around the corner from Ventnor Blvd. 

To see what other participants of this month's NaBloPoMo are saying click here:

Monday, January 7, 2013

It Doesn’t Matter Because I Remember Her

I resumed two activities today that I had stopped doing about 6 months to a year ago.
First, this morning I started exercising again at Curves.
For those not familiar with Curves, here is how it works. It is a circuit based program which consists of hydraulic resistance machines.  Women move from one machine to the next with aerobic exercise in between, such as jogging in place.  Because it is a 30 minute workout, the program provides the opportunity for exercise for beginners and for women with tight schedules to get a workout.
The workout routine at Curves was also obviously designed to encourage socialization.  The machines are set up in a circle with the exercisers facing each other as they move around the circuit.  There are usually what I like to call “the topics of the day”.  I am a quiet observer of these conversations and rarely participate.
That’s not to say that I don’t have an opinion, I do, but I keep it to myself.  I can’t honestly say that I don’t enjoy being a fly on the wall, because <giggling to myself here> I do.
So, one of today’s topics was the well being of an elderly parent, specifically those who are now cared for in live-in nursing homes.
Three of the women were presently in the situation of having a parent in a nursing home. A fourth woman, talked about her past experience.
The common thread of the conversation, which all four shared, seemed to be the difficulty of having the sole responsibility of maintaining regular routine visits to the facility where their parents were being cared for.  All of the women had siblings who did not put in the same effort as they did.
Each of the women also talked about the strain this put on their relationships with their brothers and sisters.
One of the women talked about her brother who refused to visit his mother.  He told his sister that he was intentionally distancing himself from their mother because she did not recognize or know him any more.
 She said that she couldn’t understand how her brother could feel the way he did and then she explained how she felt.
“After all,” she said, “it doesn’t matter that Mom doesn’t remember me because I remember her.”
"I know who she is.”
She also said that each time that she visits her mother, she introduces herself and will continue to do that for the rest of the time they have left together.
I found this to be so poignant and at the same time very profound.
While Curves might not provide a very strenuous workout, it does provide me with the news, views and pulse of the neighborhood I live in.   Then I go home and report the news to Ross.
Secondly, I started selling on eBay again today.  One of the neat things that is available now is being able to link up my eBay auctions with my Pinterest boards.
I figure maybe I can turn that stash of stuff I have laying around into funds to buy more yarn to add to my steadily growing knitting stuff stash.  More yarn! More yarn!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

January 2013 Photos from Ocean City and Strathmere NJ Beachs

We took advantage of the brilliantly sunny and warm day with a visit to the beaches in Ocean City and Strathmere. 
Both of these beaches are located in Cape May County. 

It was a beautiful day on the Jersey coast today, don’t you agree?

Gazebo on 58th Street located on the south end of Ocean City Island

Swing Set at 58th St.

Tribute to The Shell King on Strathmere Beach

Bella’s Treasures

I swear I heard the angels singing.
He said, “Beautiful day, huh?”
I said, “Yes, yes it is.”

Colorful Winter on The Beach
I told him to say cheese and he did.

Sterling Silver

Nearly Sunset Early Dinner
Lobster House Cape May

Friday, January 4, 2013

My Beautiful Mornings

I am participating in BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo for the month of January.
Today’s writing prompt question is: 
At what time of day do you feel the most energetic and productive?"

I am most definitely a morning person.  A very early morning person.  
It has always been my favorite time of day.
 I’m not saying that I spring out of bed singing “Oh what a beautiful morning”. No, I am not that kind of sickeningly cheery morning person.  
I am more of a peace and quiet, don’t talk to me until I have had my tea, kind of morning person.  
But once my a.m. ritual has been completed, especially if I have followed through with a workout, I am most productive. 
Take today, for instance.  I got up at my usual time of 6:00 a.m.  By 9:30 a.m. I had let the dog out, put the kettle on, had my tea, started a load of laundry, completed my 40 minute work out at Curves, came home, put in the second load of laundry, made myself scrambled eggs and toast, cleaned up the kitchen, and made the bed. 
I will admit, that around 4:00 p.m., I did find myself dozing a little with my knitting in hand. 
Of course, being retired I kind of don’t have to be energetic or productive if I don’t want to.  In fact, if I feel like staying in my pj’s for a whole cold gray wintery day, ha, I can do that, too.

To see what other participants of this month's NaBloPoMo are saying click here:

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Energize - Dust Off That Treadmill

I am participating in BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo for the month of January.
Today’s writing prompt question is: “What is your favorite way to recharge when you feel drained of energy?”

I don’t know if this is my favorite way to re-charge but it is one that always works for me.  Plain and simple it is exercise.  Something I haven’t been very diligent about lately.  Actually, the treadmill has been idle for over a month.

My routine had been brisk walking for 45 to 60 minutes, maintaining my heart rate at between 128-139, four to 5 days a week.

When I am on that regiment, I feel physically stronger.  My joint aches and pains are reduced.

My emotional state stabilizes and I am more mentally alert. 

My level of energy increases and I don’t have that sluggish, dull feeling.

In fact, I’m pretty sure I don’t misplace my keys or phone as frequently. The times I find myself rushing into another room, and then wondering why I came into the room don’t happen as often.

Actually, writing this post has reminded me that I am tired of being tired and should dust off that treadmill. 

Besides, I have some of my best conversations with myself during those 45 minutes.

Yep, starting tomorrow…

To see what other participants of this month's NaBloPoMo are saying click here:

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Mother's Are Always Just A Phone Call Away

Hi Ma.

Doing ok.

You can hear it my voice?  You're right.  I know.  I can't fool you.   No, I'm not doing so ok, today.

I know what you mean, I still can't believe it either.

Yea, I agree.  I know how special he was to you.

Why? Why him?  That is a question I ask myself every day.

Yes, it is a nice day out today.  But, I don't want to move out of my hibernation chair.  The mindless repetition of knit one, purl one and stockinette keeps me sane. Besides it feels safe here.

I know, I know life goes on.  But I'm afraid, Ma.  I'm afraid he will get left behind.
It's the feeling I used to get when I was out shopping with the kids.  I was always looking around to make sure they were in my sight.   My heart would literally stop when they would wander off.   I just don't want him to get lost in the shuffle of life going on?  That's why I have to keep him right here, with me. You know what I mean?

Remember, Ma, remember right after he was born?  I was having a difficult time.  You were right there.   You were always there,  just a phone call away.

You know, Ma, I thought I knew what being a mother was all about, especially after this last year. But, for some reason, though,, when I reached for the phone to call you,  I understood what being a mother is really all about.   I knew that you, only you would understand my pain like no one else ever could.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Final Installments - Coats, Anna's Diary and 2012

In this post I will be finishing up some old business  with the final installment of the story of the (now) four coats, the last entries from Anna’s diary, some “for the record" entries of my own along with a few pics of our beloved LBI.

After I brought the “Mackage Down Coat with Genuine Fox and Rabbit Fur (in  black) home, I would occasionally take it out of it’s luxurious Nordstrom’s garment bag and try it on.   Each time I would do so, I would stand in front of the mirror and ask the age old question that women all over the world  ask their significant other, “Do you think this makes me look too fat-short-old?
Ross:  “Well remember it is a puffy coat, after all.  
Hmm, as you can see, he, like men all over the world, has had a lot of experience dodging that question.
For a variety of reasons, which will sound long winded and uninteresting, I am choosing not to go into detail, but will cut to the chase and say I returned the Mackage, in black. 
I had yet another salesperson wait on me this time.  She was young and tall.  She told me that the "sandy desert"  Macakage I found on the sale rack for 33% off, was the perfect color for me. 
Mackage "Avika" Genuine Fox and Rabbit Fur Trim Down Coat
Ellen Tracy Faux Fur 
 The best thing about this story is that with the money I saved by my two returns,  I was able to get two coats.
The funny thing about this story are the various sales pitches each of the sales women handed me in order to make a sale.

Lady No. 1 pitching coat No. 1:  "This coat is perfect for you."
Lady No. 2's "honest" opinions about coats No. 1 and No. 3, and No. 2. 
"That coat is not you.  I would have never sold you that coat."
"Honestly, no, no, you cannot wear that color."  
"Listen to me.  This black coat is beautiful on you"
Lady No. 3. on Coats No. 3 and 4:  This coat is stunning on you and it is just the right color for you.   "You absolutely  need a chocolate brown coat.  
Eilen Tracy Fox Fur Trim And Down Coat
 I love both of my new coats.  Really I do.  But as I was looking around on Nordstrom's website I found this one, Ross...

We spent the last days of 2012 with a visit to a post Sandy LBI beach,  an over night visit with two of the cutest kids in the world, and an early but disappointing Kubels's dinner on the eve 2013.


My hope is that we are all headed in the right direction...I know one thing for sure... I will at least be warm.

Here are the final entries from Anna's 1929 diary:
Friday, December 27, 1929
Home after supper went to bring gift to Madeline, my little god child.  They were just going out so did not stay very long.  Then went to see Aunt and Uncle.
Sat. December 28, 1929
Home all day.  Cleaned and worked.  Ted had a few friends in and I prepared for her as she was not feeling well.  Carmela B. was here for slim.  Peg came to help.  Stayed.
Sun. December 29, 1929
Peg here over night.  Up late.  Had light lunch.  Peg went to 360 with Slim.  Jean and I went to visit cousin Louise.  Lena loos a little better.  Ted and I went to Brandford's.
Mon.  December 30, 1929
Went down town.  Stores deserted after the Xmas rush.  Bough material to sew curtains.  Jean went to see Mrs. Poole after supper.  I stayed home to sew on curtains.
The End of 1929.

Anna continued to write in this five year diary part way into the year 1930. 
Here are her last two entries:
Thurs. March 27, 1930
Still in bed and never felt so rotten.  No one came all day.  Poor Junior neglected.  Feel so weak and pains all over my body.  Rosalie came at 6:30.  Spent a delirious night. 
Friday, March 28, 1930
Still in bed.  Dr. Murray called.  All organs from neck up infection.  Left prescriptions.  Temperature.  Must stay in bed longer.  Letter from Slim for little donations to banquet he wants to attend.  Mrs. Miller came up for little visit.