There you go, Debbie Simpson. You asked for it, I delivered. My junior prom photo. Larry Schneeman was my date.
I believe he had recently broken up with someone, so he invited me. It was a one-out date.
Larry was a very nice guy. I don’t remember much about the night except he had car trouble and I thought he was trying to bail, but I had my hair done, so I wasn’t going for that out.
As for many things I anticipated in high school, and life, the thought of it and getting ready for it was the fun part. And that had nothing to do with Larry, but with me.
What is a “prom” anyway? You didn’t say you were going to “the” prom. You simply said, “I am going to prom.”
For a girl, the getting dressed up part might have been the best part, unless you were in love with your date and it was all our of “True Romance.”
Prom and HOmecoming dances and soroity formals were never my thing. I went because I like to get dressed up, and hoped that something magical would happen, but it never did.
It was so anticlimatic that I didn’t go to my senior prom. It was in the spring, and my head had been out of high school since I had learned that fall that I was going to Ohio University the following year.
I know we went bowling at Madison Bowl afterwards.
So … that is that, about that.
I have a photo of the back of my hair from another formal. I had the best curls. I loved that hairdo.
My first formal, when I was a freshman, was for the sorority I was in … GBA. We even had a song.
We are the girls of GBA
You’ve heard so much about
K-O hides their faces
Whenever we come out
We are the pride of Norwood High
And we aim to please
We always wear our dressshort
In order to show our knees
As we go walking
through the halls of Norwood High
You can hear them saying
the girls from GBA were number one … Cha, cha, cha.
Or something like that
Why do I remember that and can barely remember the years my kids were born?
Oh, I think part of the reason that I didn’t care for dances was that I was so tall and most of the boys werre short. That got me. Made me self-conscious. And I didn’t feel as though I was pretty enough, not little and cute. So there. That is enough of that trip down memory lane. I spilled part of my guts.
Now, I love being tall. I have loved it for years. It is who I am. I can reach tall cabinets. And leap from building to building in a single bound.
Here is a question … did anyone feel pretty enough in high school?
Oh, that’s right, I said I was done.
Yesterday I had a hoot at the eye doctor. I am going to a new one and there is a woman on staff, who does the eyeball pre-check, who gets me. I had her rolling on the floor. We thought we were going to get kicked out.
She is in her forties and still finding her way to herself. I am a good teacher of that. I thought she was going to have a conniption when after my phone made a noise and my stomach was grawling, I said, “Wowo, I am a symphony. Just wait until I fart.”
That was after a bunch of other fun things I was teaching her.
We walked down the hall to the photo segment of the program, laughing like we were, well, in high school and a teacher lost his toupee. She asked if I could stay all day.
Okay. I am down 25 pounds and have started doing the stretches and moving more. Yeah, heay, don’t get excited. Whether I win of lose the weight battle won’t be known until I am dead. My nemesis … but I keep trying.
Enough of the rain and gloom here. I ould use a Carolina Blue sky and Southern sun. This isn’t even for the birds.
I finished my clove covered orange. I love those. It is sitting next to me. And … I put flamessl candles on the silver abouve my bathtub. They are on a remote control. Just call me Oprah (or not) with my new favorite thing.
And this is the way it is on Hedge Apple this morning.
Peace, heatlh and a good bladder, be with you.
Anyone up yet? The New Year is almost over, so get moving.
Yesterday, I watched a good show about Boris Pasternak, the author of Dr. Zhivago.
It took him 20 years to write the book. The story is incrdible. Life in Russia during his lifetime, was precarious, at best, especially if you were a writer or artist. You wrote what please the party, or you padi the price. Russia, and so many other countries, have had many terrible leaders. Brutal. It still goes on. It has always been a question of mine, why so many leaders of countries, are crazy, and I mean horrifyingly, murdering maniacs.
Dr. Zhivago was quite a bit Pasternak’s life. The Lara character in the book was based on a real person. His lover, mistress and stoic love of his life.
To get at Pasternak, the party went after his lover, tortured her and put her in prison for 4 years. At the time she arrived and was interrogated with brutal tactics, his lover was pregnant. When she was 6 months pregnant, the party told her that she would get to meet with Pasternak.
It was a lie. They took her to a morgue where there were noxious fumes, and made her stay and stand for hours and hours. She believed the took her there because Pasternak was dead, in the morgue.
The day after that, at 6 months pregnant, she miscarried.
Word o the prgnancy had gotten to Pasternak.
But his lover was by then, doing hard labor. It wasn’t until a new upheaval in government forces took place, that Pasternak’s lover, was released from prison.
Pasternak thought that he would greet his loer and their child.
That was one of the points when Pasternak decided that in the novel he was working on, he would have to tell the story, the truth, about what went on in that country.
And through it all, Passternak loved his mother country. Earlier on, he could have emigrated to England, with his parents, but he had to stay … for the love of Mother Russia.
The road to publication for Dr. Zhivago, was treacherous. It is a testament to the strong will of many people, that it saw the light of day Government forces worked with all of hteir power, to stop it.
WEll, that is more than I intended to write.
But it might have to do with my mindset this moring when I woke up with a rap in my mind. Not Lin-Manuel Miranda, but it heped me get some juices going this morning, this first day of 2019.
So, don’t laugh. Or, do. That is good, too. But here it is.
Resolution, revolution, dissolution
Young folks dying, old folks crying
What’s the game? You know my name?
Guns a-blazing, life’s amazing
Where’s the hope? It’s dead from dope.
On the corner, another mourner
Flags have staff, That’s no laugh
Deep pockets rule, Man, I’m no fool
Yes, life a mass, y’all kiss my ass
Truth don’t matter, amongst the chatter
Words abused and missed
Used as arrows to kill the sparrows
Truth is dead, killed with lead
Taken from my head
I’m going to go to bed
To dream the dream I used to dream
Where life was fair and grass was green
Illusion, delusion, wishful thinking
Is the world really man’s for the making
Losers weepers finders keepers
Including countries fraught with war
Is this what we’re living for?
We are not enemies, we are not friends
Will this be where this story ends?
Depends, depends it’s time to choose
For there is so much for us to lose
We blame, we shame, we do all we can
My God, my God we diminish man
Can we change this? We can. We can.
A movement can start across this land
Just slow our tongues, thy will be done
To raise civility above liability
And share the love instead of hate
and span hope to the Golden Gate
Resolution, revolution, dissolution
The train horn and slight sound of the wheels on the tracks reverberate this sleepy house in Deer Park. It reminds me of my childhood in Norwood, where a freight train yard was up the street, turn left, run downhill,make a right and run slightly up and down another hill.
I didn’t do that but once. It was not on a route I took and though so close, you left Norwood and entered Cincinnati. Norwood was my small world that was safe. Cincinnati was too big.
The train is quiet now, passing. Probably on those tracks that ran through Norwood. There is a website called, “Everything Runs Through Norwood,” and it is quiet true.
Why am I talking about trains and Norwood when I was going to talk about taking time to look at the ornaments on a Christmas tree?
I am staying. Not in Norwood, but Deer Park is pretty close. So it was that sound of the train that took me back, took me home, to Christmas when I was a child.
I love this sound of silence. Nick is sleeping and so is our youngest daughter. Remember that feeling as a parent, when all of your children were tucked into their beds and home, safe? The world was “out there”, someplace. That feeling, now a memory, is one of the gentle memories of this life I have lived.
My heart is beating, tick-tick, tick-tick, and it is marvelous. It was two weeks ago, today, that the ticker got fixed. This morning, I began some gentle exercises. I plan to be an athlete, yet.
Yesterday, I stopped at Trader Joe’s. It was delightful. My speed of store … not too big. You know me and the vapors. Nick pulled in front of Krogers in Montgomery, because I wanted some distilled water. I said, “Are you kidding? I’m not going in there.” The parking lot was packed and throngs of people were going in and out. I looked at him and said, “That place gives me the vapors.”
So far, I have heard both daughters laugh. We’ve shared a couple of meals. Today, I will see one of my sons and do something we do when we are in town. He and I will meet at Starbucks and sit and chat for a long time. Catch up. And then, tonight, the Christmas festivities begin.
I was so not in a Christmas spirit a month ago. Other things were on my mind. Things began to shift when we celebrated Christmas at our son’s house in South Carolina, on the 16th. It was wonderful. I even sang karaoke with my grandchildren.
And now, after one of our best drives up here, we are and will be in the arms of people we love, people who make fun of us, who know us deeply, and understand the love that we have for them. People we would do anything for, including giving our life.
That is deep love.
I will call both sisters tomorrow and say Merry Christmas. I will think of my friends, here and in South Carolina, and wherever they may be. I know one friend is making a four layer carrot cake, one is having dinner tonight with friends, and another has seen grandchildren and their parents, staying at her house all week. Aye-yi-yi. And she loves it.
I will be thinking of my brother-in-law, for a reason that just is.
Of course, I called Camp K-9 to see how The Boy is doing. He is having a great time. They love him, too.
I was looking at my daughter’s Christmas tree. I mean, really looking. She placed every light and ornament on it.
The spirit of Christmas was awakened in me.
Oh, here is another Christmas sound. The garbage truck picking up trash. Ho, ho, ho.
The fact is. All I have are blessings to be grateful for. Love surrounds me. I actually feel the presence of Jesus, and the purity of his actions. Was he real? Did and does He exist? Is He really God, the father?
I choose to believe som. It gives meaning to my life, and offers a guide to be good to people and, it checks my behavior. I don’t know enough about life and I can surely use the help and guidance. It is through Him, that’s I find my purpose. I am a wobbly human, and the walking partner shows me the way.
Good Lily of the Valley, I am spilling the beans.
So, with that, though I am taking the week off, I am here to wish each of you, whether you are Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu Atheist or whatever, Merry Christmas from a wonderful, kind and forgiving man who was born in a manger on Christmas. Peace be with you. May light shine on our troubled world and may all your Christmas dreams come true.
This morning, I had a false start. I wrote one of my stupid posts about groins. Groan.
While on my rest period, I have thought about many things … food,being one of them. Thinking of how I eat, where I eat, what I eat and why I eat.
Why did I do that? Because I believe that part of the way to improving my health, is to be conscious of what I eat.
As you know, food is a love of mine, but it acan also be a nemesis. Many people have a similar situation and may others, don’t.
So, as I have said, I am good at gaining and losing, but not maintaining.
But I will not give up on trying to do better.
I have learned that to go no or very low carb, gets the weight off, helps my joints and other things, but it is difficult to do forever.
So, I have begun another eating path. Eating less, eating few processed foods, and leaning towards a Mediterranean version. Also, I will still have treats, but small amounts and not as often. I will find other things that are healthy and satisfying.
I will be selective. Thoughtful. And live my life while making the changes.
My heart needs my help. It has come to that.
I have to remember that.
I approach this with optimism and hope, faith and patience. I also hope I know how to forgive myself if necessary.
So … that is my real message for today. The struggles of life continue to mix with the joys, successes and laughter. The groin will heal. I want to help my heart heal. Sometimes, you just have to face facts. And that is what I am doing.
So … I will be trying new recipes and making things up and I will share them. I might even try to remember how I made something if it is good.
Actually, this all makes me smile. Change is a huge part of life. I need to make some changes.
Little changes … big results.
My motto for the coming time.
Our Mediterranean dinner. Marinated grape tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, olives, and hard boiled eggs in olive oil, herbs and balsamic.
And aren’t there Brussel sprouts beautiful?
I thought about making up a story about a Finnish Christmas, complete with reindeers and dancing snowflakes and all, but then I started picturing the Flying Monkeys from “The Wizard of Oz,” a movie that scars me to this day, and decided to talk about other things.
This mornng, about 4, soon after Winston came head first onto the bed for his morning moments ot laying with his head on my pillow, I decided to get up and make ssome hot lemon water. I am not doing tea. I am not juge on herbal tea and am staying away from caffeine. I tuened on the hot pot and went through the old bag of lemons … threw out a couple of moldy ones and kept the good ones, then decided to go into the guest room and lie down on the bed.
It is a very quiet room. There was a new blanket that my daughter bought when she was here. I put that over me and thought of her and the kids and grandkids and decided to go into a bit of a relaxation mode. Have good thoughts. Work on it. And enjoy serenity.
There have been so many things that have looked like a scattering of pick-up sticks. Thoughts here, thoughts there, thoughts that didn’t do me any good, which I still think were anesthesia induced, plus fear and unsettledness. Yes, gratitude, too, but that hadn’t been at the forefront.
I was feeling that I was becoming a victim of myself.
I don’t do victim well … or for long.
So, as I lay there, I weeded through the garden in my head. It has gorgeous flowers, spikey weeds and wild flowers that pop up when I least expect them to.
Yes, the reset button was in gear
I figured out what was not working for me in my life, in my thoughts and behavior and habits. And then opened my heart to what could and should take their place. For slots I emptied of residue that just wasn’t cutting it, I fthought of an action or something easy, doable, to replace it.
As I mentioned to my family, of late, I finally know what my breaking point is. In a certain way. The way I have dealt with stress and hard situations , has been to stand strong, get through it, be a warrior.
That is all well and good, but if can also take a toll, if you don’t know how to release it.
So … that is part of my awakening.
It felt good to acknowledge that. The earth didn’t quake. The sun still didn’t come out from the grey. No leopard jumped into our car.
I can’t explain how I will deal with this, but I going to figure it out.
There are some steps I plan to take that will get me where I want to go in terms of health, joy, laughter and engagement. I feel lighter just thinking about it.
This year, I have laid my life into many people’s hands. People have tried to help “fix” me. Through most of it, I didn’t feel broken. I didn’t feel breast cancer. I didn’t get “hurt” in the car wreck. I didn’t have a heart attack. But things were going wrong.
People were there for me. When I think back on how well each of these, plus Nick’s medical problem, went, with people taking our hands and leading us through the medicals system maze, it is very, very life affirming, as far as humands and technology go.
They did their jobs.
And now, it is time for my growth spurt as a human, to begin, again.
It has taken me a while to see that this is a anew beginning. Yes, I see each day as a new beginning, but this is a NEW BEGINING.
It is up to me to write the next chapter of my life … in a new year. Pretty cool, huh?
Here is one for you. I am so into silence. I love peace. I love, love. I love joy. I don’t have time for so much of what is out there and thrown in our faces. I shall choose, more carefully, what I see, hear and read.
I am eso excited about focusing on love, joy, laughter, kindness and good things, that there is nothing but wonder ahead of me.
Oh yes, the shitzu will no doubt fall and I will find myself having to make choices about how will I react. What happens might not be up to me, but my reaction is. And that is what I will work on.
Time, has to be only of this moment. It can’t be projected or controlled or sat upon. I have to keep that in mind.
And frankly, I am glad I don’t have an IV stuck in the back of my hands.
It will be fine. It will all be fine.
The word for today is peristalsis. That came to mind about 4:30 this morning. I decided that I like the movement of the word, which is similar to its function.
Our internal glory, our place of joy, enlightenment and growth sometimes gets lost in the whiskers of life, changes and problems.
There are times when reassessment is in order … when things shift and what was … now, isn’t.
One of the interesting things about life, that I have found, is that not once in our lives, does time stop. Oh, yes, it seems to stand still, of we wish we could hold a moment in time, but we can’t. Time moves.
Our lives move, too. From birth until death.
Some humans work at planning their lives. One of our earliest forays into conversation is when someone asked us, as a child, “What do you want to BE when you grow up?
Another version of the question is “What do you want to DO when you grow up?
To a young mind, those questions seem the same. As children, I didn’t distinguish the two questions.
But now, I see them as very different. One is occupational and the other is our soul, beliefs, values and, well, who we are.
After having a lifetime of professions and titles for what I “do”, the stage I am in and on, is an extension of the question “What do you want to be?”
It has morphed into who I have become.
Many of the things I have done, occupation-wise, study-wise, experience-wise ,by choice or demand, has evolved into who I have become.
An interesting thought to me is that one of my occupations, took hold so much and gelled so deeply into me, that it actually has braided over to be part of who I have become.
There have been times when I have struggled. Just being, and being who I am, I felt, wasn’t enough. Simply being myself, without “doing” wasn’t enough.
I should do this. I should do that. Perpetual motion of the mind, placing more value on the what I do, versus who I am. Maybe it is or was an earning my keep thing. Perhaps it is societal rumblings and expectations. I have often felt that I needed to earn my right to life.
I look at the walls of my house, the art, the things that are around me and I see many things I have done.
In a way, they are me. But in a way, I can separate myself from them and not really recall making them.
When I think back to my occupations, the days I was in the workplace, I was never any of those occupations. They were skills. I did them to the best of my abilities for you I was at the time, but none of the occupations was me. Marketing director, sculptor, real estate broker, software company CEO, workshop teacher, etc … I did them all, but they weren’t me. With each, there came a point when I said, no more.
But in each one, I learned and what I learned, I put through a sieve, and brought onboard the parts that I would build into who I have become.
Why do these thought matter to me, now?
Because once again, the last four months or so, my life has taken unexpected turns.
Years ago, when I was in real estate, a friend who had gotten into the business because I had, dais, in a very distressed and exasperated way, “Why are there always so many problems?”
I laughed, looked at her and said … “That is wat we are paid to do … solve problems.”
She said that from that moment on, she got it.
And then, she quit.
That knowledge, that nugget, that life is often about solving problems, and releasing those you can’t solve, to a higher power, is something that plays out over and over. And I have to remember that when my blueberry basket gets tipped over.
There are times, such as recently, when I have had to dive under water with my eyes open, and do the breast stroke. I might not see clearly, but I must do it.
As humans, we often have to swim through uncharted emotional, fearful, uncertain waters. But in doing so, our muscles get stronger. We become stronger than we knew we could become.
After initial shock and a bit of flailing, I find that I get in a rhythm. The opposing currents subside andI get in a flow of the new and strange. And for a while, I have a new normal.
The new normal rarely lasts. Even life doesn’t last. But the ride, this wonderful ride, with its twists and turns and earthquakes and whirlwinds, when there are days that we wonder how we will get through, and times we wish would last for ever, is a real trip.
And for that, I say, Rejoice! Hallelujah!
Confession … I watch four of the “Real Housewives of … “ shows. I have for years. It has been a guilty pleasure. I think it is funny how ostentatious the shows are, the jewelry, houses, vacations and sick and sour friendships these women have.
The shows have been good for many of the women’s bank accounts. The shows have become platforms for skinny brands, skin care, prepackaged dinners, toaster ovens, and a plethora of clothing lines.
Yes, I know it is edited, set up and who knows about scripting? Although I don’t think that a writer writes the dialogue, I think situations prod the women into combat.
Cutting to the chase … if any of my friends talked to me like these women talk to each other, there is no way in hot dog heaven, that I would be friends with them.
If my recollection serves me, they have called each other whores, bitches, liars,tramps, fakes, phonies, sluts, etc. Feel free to add to the list.
The biggest part of air-time is spent seeing if someone will apologize for a transgression that can be, 1) you didn’t make a casserole for me when I had a face-lift, 2) you didn’t tell me that you went out with a guy you both met at a bar while dancing without you underwear, 3) you were flirting with my son, 4) you left my sleepover and stayed at a hotel, 5) your dog plooped on my rug, 10 times.
And there are degrees of apologies. There is the unapologetic apology. “I am sorry if you felt like I played fiddle-fart with … (the man half of them have fart-fiddle around with. Or I don’t owe HER an apology, she owes ME one. Or the apology that is not SINCERE or not on camera.
And then the hug and promise to never stoppe to said behavior, again, only to repeat the transgressions repeatedly.
My lord of lingerie, who in their right minds would act like these women? And to think, many of them have daughters,who see this stuff.
Made for TV friendships, that is what they are. Cameras roll, checks written, catfights begin. It appears that in U.S. television lands, nice is boring.
Don’t these women know that friendships are precious, difficult to make and hatred to maintain over theme? They, just like a garden, need tending.
How many friends, real friends do you have? How long have you had these friends? Are you open to new friendships or content with the friendships you have? Have you ever let a friendship go? Why?
I have a few long term friends. I love my friends. We have laughed and cried through our tricky lives, marriages, divorces, deaths, children problems, and our own insanity. And when I say laugh, I mean that we crack ourselves up. We have similar sensibilities to laughter.
Though I moved away from them, I still count on talking to them and seeing them when I can.
I have some friends that have come in and out of my life, I might have met them at a workshop or event, and we “clicked”, but they aren’t a constant in my life.
There are friendships that I have where I doubt we will see each other, again. We write to each other. The words are meaningful and insightful. We care very much about how the other is doing.
I have some new friends, like new plants in my garden. They add color into my life and I enjoy spending time with them. Our roots aren’t as deep because we don’t have much time in our histories, but it is delightful to learn about them and share our new lives.
Many of my friends are my age, or near my age, but not all of them. I have some friends who could be my kids.
I would never talk to them like these “Housewives” talk to their supposed friends. Seriously.
I hear the word, “apologize” more that I ever wanted to while dealing with Samsung. I don’t want to deal with that word with my friends. We are all old enough to know what is proper and kind and what would hurt one another. Oh, yes, inadvertently, we step on feelings, but vary, vary rarely. The good and nice and kindness of our relationships absorb an occasional blip.
I have left some people behind … let them go. What I discovered is that appearances might have been friends, but it is easier to say you are friends, than be one. Friendships should make you feel better, not worse. I have been dumped by people that I thought i was friends with. Distance, timing, different roads traveled, and belief systems, sometimes just happen.
Women’s friendships seem to be different than men’s. I am not sure if they talk about the same thing as women friends talk about. I am not sure if they have penis talk or talk about whether they are getting forgetful or that they made a tasty casserole.
Oh, I have an orbit of friends that float around online. Are they friends? Not really. Not in the sense that they would show up at my door to help. But they are a community of people that make life more interesting and fun.
I think one of the hardest things in life is getting so old that most or all of your friends are gone. I have seen it happen.
But I also knew a woman who died nearing her 101st birthday and she had lots of friends. She was smart. She gathered friends 40-years her junior, and made herself loved by all ages. That was a talent and a gift.
The Real Housewives of Timbuktu might have money, fame and travel to exotic places, but are they real friends?
I don’t think so.
And that is where I come out ahead.