Thursday, December 31, 2015

2016 Cute

Those who really know me know that this is too cutesy and little-old-lady for my in-your-face taste, but it will have to do as I have just gotten my computer back in time for the end of the year.  My more ZEN wishes for your best new year ahead can be found here.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Raising Teenagers

Me: Anything you want to tell me? Talk about? Reveal about yourself so that I understand exactly what's going on in your mind at all times and so that we bond in a mother-son way, deeply, so that we have a continued good and healthy relationship so that when you eventually leave me to go out and have an life independent from me (despite all the dire warnings I give you beforehand) you'll call me on the phone every now and then and ask my advice on things and tell me how your day is going even when you are 20 and even though doing that is really uncool?

J: What?

Me: Never mind. Tristan how was your day?

(Something I sort of overheard recently.  Been there and done that.)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Brain Drains

I have been in computer hell for a few days.  It seems my download of Windows 10 to this old PC was NOT a good decision.  As a result they (Geek squad) took me back and not to the future by loading Windows 7.  I would like to upgrade to 8 where I was before the disaster, but have not found a way that does not cost money as I seem to have lost registration of discs or whatever.  Reloads of most other software, at least that which I use, was fairly normal.

ANYWAY...this is boring.  So lets talk about the weather.  Days and days of rain or gray sky and not a drop of sun.  Barely saw the rare full moon through foggy clouds on Christmas Eve. Took some night photos of Christmas lights. Well, this is also boring!

Oh, would you like me to list my New Year's resolutions?  ... I didn't think so.

It seems that working on my PC has left my brain empty of thoughts for, I will leave you with a few Christmas shots as we say goodbye to another Christmas Season.

 This lovely house in the grandchildren's neighborhood gets super decorated every year.

 The angel in the window is there every year.

Hubby and daughter checking out Santa and his reindeer on the house.

The three jewels in my family.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Taking a Pause

My last post before Christmas.  This year the  approach to the holidays was the easiest ever.  Daughter wants to do most of  the cooking, gift shopping was fairly easy followed  by two afternoons of wrapping, baked a few cookies, and today deciding on appetizers to make at daughter's house since I will be up there tomorrow.  Hubby and I put up a handful of decorations since we are the only ones to see them.  No  Christmas cards because  my computer was in the shop and I wanted to design the cards myself.  So, it  looks like I am sending out New Year's cards.  Maybe that will be a new tradition?

I spend my time today enjoying the musical links on my small  laptop as that keeps me in the real  spirit of Christmas which is  SUPPOSED to be about the birth of the Prince of Peace.  How easily we forget.  Two  people, a young carpenter and  a young woman, perhaps barely out of  her  teens, in the final stages of pregnancy, seeking shelter and being turned away several times.  This scene has  become common today.

I am truly so personally fortunate this time of year and this becomes more painfully clear
as three of my young friends are fighting serious illnesses and another young friend is struggling  with fertility.   It is normal for us elderly to fight our health battles as we have lived a long life and I can accept that, but it is not fair when it visits the young who should  be focusing on family and future.  So, they will be in my heart even more so this season.

May you find a way to  enjoy the true meaning of the season as the bright colors and laughter of the  season surround you, distract you.   OH, don't eat too much,  because you will have to face all  those horrifically annoying diet commercials in the New Year.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Holiday Expectations

They no longer call
But if they did,
And asked how I was,
What would I say?
This morning I saw the pileated 
destroying that old tree.
This afternoon I heard a loon’s lonely call 
across the silver gray river.
Tonight I will spend an hour flipping through channels
Before I find something I watched before
And will watch again.
Tomorrow I have nothing on the list
Of things I used to do.
They never call
But if they did 
What would I say?

(Yes, this is a sad little poem, but it kept forming and reforming and so to get it out of my head I had to write it down.)

Thursday, December 17, 2015


Finally a day that is gray and cold and rainy.  I like this forced coziness.  Maybe a fire in the fireplace tonight?  I have been able to focus on brightly colored ribbon and paper as the soft drizzle wets the ashy tree trunks.  I have all my presents wrapped and waiting for the package delivery of one last minute purchase.  I am done early and telling myself NOT to think of one other item that someone might like or that I would like to give.  I am addicted to giving stuff  to people.  It does give me pleasure, but it sometimes is a burden to others, so am being fair this season.

(They still haven't repaired my PC but it looks like they have to wipe the hard drive and do a complete factory re-load.  They saved my data but it means I have to find/remember what software I had on that PC and try a reload from the manufacturers if I can find the Serial numbers!!  OR buy the software again.  An expensive holiday season.  I am not going to let this stress me, because that is bad for one's health.)

I asked hubby to take me out to an early dinner this evening and then offered we come back and watch a movie on Netflix and pretend it is a Friday date night.  Hopefully seeing something we had missed seeing over the years.  I need that!

I am heading up to the city on my birthday.  Hubby claims he has a Scout meeting with grandson up there and that is why we are going, but that seems strange to me, so I am  thinking they are trying to surprise me for my birthday.  I will act surprised.  It seems to be a Scouting week as we are attending the Eagle Scout ceremony of a friends son on this Saturday.

Tomorrow I have nothing scheduled to do, unless my PC is brought home and then that will be a headache filled day.  If not, my day is precious and free.

Tired of all this rambling and boring thoughtlessness.  I have a story from my trip to Florida and maybe I will write that soon.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Cheer Up, It Is Sure to Get Worse

Yes, I admit that our politics has put me in a funk.  Then we have had the gun disasters that  moved me into more of a funk followed by the  ridiculous response of some of our Presidential candidates  to our country's violence and the big joke that many think  of the global climate change meeting, all of it  causing me to research looking for a corner of  the world in which to live where people are not so crazy.  (There are a few areas, but not as many as one would hope.)  

Anyway, my dental appointment as discussed in the prior post ended with a nice long chat and jokes with the technician who always remembers me and whom I like very much.  We both are interested in photography, which is nice.  And my dentist knows my name as I guess  there is  still  hope.

This did not uplift my mood enough to start hauling the  heavy boxes of Christmas decorations nor the heavy tree upstairs after I got back home. Perhaps it is because yesterdays temps reached 70F that I decided I am just not going to do that this year.  I am going to take a break from it all.  Hubby has not asked about decorating nor seems to notice we are not doing  it.  I did purchase a wreath from my granddaughter's Girl Scout troop and that is not even hung because I cannot find the stupid wreath hanger.  I have TWO!  The evergreen circle, which seems to be shedding worse than any house cat, sits in its lovely glory on the top of the wood stack on the porch waiting for me to do something.

Oh, I haven't written about the best news this month that means my funk is more than valid.  My PC crashed two days ago.  Totally started eating its own files.  I had booted it up and while waiting for my photography software to load I click on the trash icon to empty and it started deleting files like crazy.  I saw that it said it was deleting 39,000 files and immediately interrupted that process, but not in time to avoid disaster.

I took it to the Geek squad as we have paid for annual technical support and they studied it for 24 hours and then called to tell me that it was the Windows OS that had crashed.  They said it rarely happens to Windows 10 but it means a back-up of the personal files they can get at their end and reinstall of Windows 10.  No wonder the W10 upgrade was free.  (They may be wrong because my photography software has been giving me a test of  patience, so we will see.)  They insisted the hardware was fine which was a surprise.  Of course for the software reloads I have to find the CDs, DVDs, and serial numbers, etc.  I am writing this at 1:30 A,M. on my tiny laptop and would be doing the searching now, except I do not think hubby wants to hear me rummaging around at this time of night!

Do not worry.  I will dig myself out of  this funk.  My PC fail is far less worrisome than the state of the world I think and I can do only a little for that, so I will lift my chin and carry on.

Friday, December 11, 2015

A Few Shades of Gray

We tend to disappear as we age.  Women notice it more  because our culture treats us like eye-candy from a young age.  In my 40's I was beginning the process of becoming more gray in fading glory.  I had to be more aggressive getting a clerk's attention in the store and more bold pulling away from the boring corner at the party and being included in the conversation in the middle of the room.  Families  love grandma, but tend to move in groups around her, rather than include her in the SOME families.  Thus I am becoming gray.  I was a bit miffed this vacation when the 4-year-old didn't want to kiss me good-bye because he only kissed members of  his family!  He looked a little stunned when I had to explain I was his grandma!  His nickname for me is not grandma.   I tend to blame this on my son-n-law who is very, very, close to his family and I am guessing makes it clear to his children who they are and not so much who we are.  I  am assuming he  didn't know my husband was grandpa either.  We do see these kids several times a year!

Yesterday I had a dentist appointment.  I have been going to this dentist for almost a decade since I moved down here.  He has two receptionists.  One is the smallest of little elder ladies with short cut dishwater brown hair and a tentative smile.  The other is a very large elderly woman with blonde hair who  has a small jewelry display on the counter in front of her which she sells.  The large woman was behind the counter when I entered.  She was dealing with making an appointment for another woman.  The reception area  is small and so I sat on the nearby wooden loveseat. and waited.

As I was waiting an elderly woman came in and very slowly made her way through the door.  Her movements were careful and tentative.

The receptionist finished with the other patient and looked over at me and said "Name?"  I gave her my name wondering why she never knew me?  "You DO have an appointment?"  she then asked.  I made some comment about just loving dentists and dropping by anyway over the holidays...snark!  We both laughed and she input my arrival into the computer.  She looked up at the elder woman and said hello to her by name and entered her into the computer.  A few minutes later another woman came in and sat down and the receptionist greeted her by name and then logged her in.  I sat and read my new book on poetry and still was a little miffed that she did not know my name, but I barely remembered hers----names are a big failing on my part as I age.

A man came in next and she greeted him by name.  I was beginning to wonder what was wrong with my personality, demeanor, appearance that I was  the only stranger in this reception room.  I  was in a bit of a funk now because I was remembering that people usually remember my husband when we go somewhere, yet if I am alone, they often do not remember me!

And I as I thought about this,  I realized it was NOT an elder thing.  It was not because I was  a lovely shade of  camouflage gray.  This anonymous thing has been  true most of my life.  I  would just brush it off during those busy years.  I remember once being introduced to someone who had actually been to my house for dinner but was a passing acquaintance over the years.  I was younger then and remembered him!

I guess  we all like to be memorable to people.  We like to be known as the "humorous " one  or the "charming" one or the "intelligent" one.  (I am sometimes remembered as "hubby's" wife.)

Yes, of course I have people who know me on sight, thank goodness.  But it is most disheartening to be the gray person in the room at various times.  I mean I WAS the Prom Queen in  high school and the editor of the school annual---it was a very small  school.  How far the great have fallen!

Monday, December 07, 2015

Season of Peace

This is the season of peace in our country.  We claim to be a Judaeo-Christian culture, but I am not sure anything from that religious history supports the violent rhetoric spewing from our leaders right now.  Above are two of my three grandchildren at a very peaceful location wondering at the vastness of our planet and the lovely way their days of fun come to an end.  I am trying hard to get out of this cloud of bitter, angry, sadness that follows me from room to room now that I am home.  I am trying hard to think positive about the future for these children as we slide into war.  So, I retreat into my photography to paint pictures of fantasy to share with you.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

You Cannot Get Away

Our first days south we stopped in Savannah, Georgia.  It is one of our favorite cities in that it maintains romantic southern charm mixed with decadence, indolence, history, beauty, and something exotic that I cannot quite put my finger on and that few cities have.  Above is the square, one of many, of that famous French revolutionary hero that fought for our revolution, Marquis de Lafayette.  The flowers are because of the tragedy in Paris.  Seems even on vacation the war follows us.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

This First Morning

It was a long ten plus hours in the car yesterday on our last leg toward home.  I am always surprised to find the house is just as we left it when I open that front door.  If I left a mess, the mess is still there.  If I left it clean, then I admire my good work.  Even though  on this trip I realized my bed is not as comfortable as the many hotel beds and the mattress is now ready for  replacement, I was into a deep sleep soon after my head hit the pillow.

Beyond afternoon canoe paddles in the mangroves, evening walks on beaches with sunsets,  and high calorie delicious meals of seafood which I wisely never finished (except once, but I had not eaten lunch that day), it is now re-entry time.  Always a bit of an odd feeling liking waking from a dream.

Early this morning, I look out my windows at the deck and see that the gnarly branches of the trees are bare of leaves, the frost is on the lawn and there is that pale pink sunrise painted fog that looks as if wood smoke hangs in the air over the silver quiet river.  Sipping my first cup of coffee I am avoiding making the long list of things that need to be done after weeks away.  I see the spiders in the corners have filled their larders with bugs that must be dusted out the door, the fan above me is covered in dust and must be wiped clean before I turn it on, one of the kitchen lights has burned out, there is almost three weeks of mail waiting at the post office, and the pantry and fridge need replenishing.

But for now, I can watch the pinks and purples of  dawn kiss this very still morning with both man and animal still snuggled warmly in their beds.  I do not think there is a God, but I pray for peace anyway, always someone who keeps her doors open and does not disregard any opportunity for help from a wiser and higher power.  Everyday, I pray for peace before I begin my jumble of stuff to do.

Now I will go blog reading and begin an hour of catching up with all of you, knowing I have missed huge chunks of your lives.

Thursday, December 03, 2015


33,000 people killed annually in this country by gun violence.  If more specific gun control is not the solution, what is?  We own two guns, so don't assume I am against owning a gun for hunting or even  self-defense.  If you do not have an idea for a solution you are  accepting the status that we live in a very violent country and it cannot be changed. Yes, people will be killed  by knives,  etc. but I do not accept that the long slog toward greater gun control is bad.