Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Where did April go?

It was just here. I swear it. Just a few days ago, I screamed and said, "Is THAT a spider?" while Bing and I were breakfasting and she shrugged and said, "Nice try, chickledoodle." (April Fools Day and my mad acting skills....)

My days have a pattern. Every day, I get up and have cherry juice and yogurt for breakfast and kiss Bing goodbye.

I watch a show in the mornings that I have become addicted to. It is called Naked and Afraid. IT is the kind of show that I should probably do a joke blog about but I can't because I freaking LOVE IT. Two strangers are dropped in a jungle or beach area, whatever. It is always heavily wooded with lots and lots of bugs and rats. They are naked and can only bring one survival item. Some pick a pan to boil water. Some pick a tool of some sort, like a shovel. Some pick flint to help start a fire. Or fishing line. I can't tell you what I would pick because I would DIE before I could be on that show and would die on that show without my daily insulin. And then, these two naked people (their genitals are always blurred out, which is probably for the best...) must build a shelter and live together for 21 days. At first it was like watching a car wreck, I just HAD to watch. Then, slowly, I became interested. So, every morning, I watch this show. If it isn't on, I watch reruns of Friends or Chopped or that show where those twin brothers work wonders on a fixer upper house for people.

In short, I watch um... easy on the brain shows. For one hour.

And then, I read for two hours. Currently reading Sunday's on the Phone to Monday by Christine Reilly. It is splendid.

Then, I eat lunch and go through my email and snail mail.

And then the real fun begins. I go to a coffee house, order up an Americano, find a table by a window, and open my briefcase. My briefcase used to contain work papers. Those are long gone. Now, it contains two moleskine notebooks, some research books and 3 fountain pens with blue ink. And I sip and write. Working on two books simultaneously, which sounds weird but feels right. And at first I thought it was strange that I couldn't seem to write well at home. So, I changed it up and found that as long as I'm sipping my coffee, writing with my fountain pens and sitting in this particular coffee house, the words just fly out of my fingers. Every ten days, I transpose everything to my computer at home. I went to see a lecture by John Grisham last week and he said that he has to write on a legal pad first, so I don't feel so alone. (Bing thinks I am crazy....WHY can't I just write on my laptop she asks? Well, I dunno. I just can't.) All I know is that it is working. Is it good? I have no idea. All I know, is that for the first time in my life, I feel really kind of compelled by characters other than myself. I want to get their story down for them. When I force myself to stop three or four hours later, I am drained. I go home and just want dinner and more television, more reading.

AND I can start skipping that television in the morning soon to WORK IN MY GARDEN. This is bliss. I saw a movie recently that made me cry because it was about a woman who loved to garden. I can hardly WAIT to get my hands in the dirt again. See my rose bushes shyly step forward in their pale pink gowns and deep yellow pastels.

I am not lonely at all in my own company. And in the evenings, I have found some really great television to watch when I'm not reading, helping pick out prom dresses (really glad that is over!) or quizzing Liv for final tests and another go at the ACT. (She scored a 34 already, nearly a perfect score!)

I am besotted with Tom Hiddleston, so am watching this:

And my old obsessions:


And a new one:

I'm busy and happy in my rut. I still volunteer at the pediatric oncology unit, have even initiated a milkshake delivery process. When I was in chemo, the treats served sucked donkey balls and were not appealing to most of us in chemo's clutches. But, almost all of us could handle a milkshake or a malt occasionally. I brought it up at one of the volunteer meetings and we decided that if we will build it, they will come and they have. The budget is limited, so someone more talented than I is fundraising to make this more than a once-a-month treat. We'll see. I also do my readings for the blind once a week.  I'm told that I have an appealing voice. My hair is growing in like mad. Curly. Yes, curly. My straight as a pin hair of long ago is now a mass of curls. If only it had grown in red.....

I'm still not sure what to do with this blog. I feel....watched.....and find it repulsive. But, maybe time will heal. For now, it kind of sits on the back burner and I give it a nod here and there. I miss all of you, but still hear your voices. Some more than others. We do what we can, what we must, yes?

And I cried when Prince died. We all did. Like most people my age, I danced and grew up with Prince right next to me.When I would walk the dog in the evenings, I often put my ipod on shuffle and smiled about little red corvettes and pondered purple rain and doves crying. I remember when Kurt Cobain died, I was 26 and I thought it a bad day. This was a bad day, too. At 58, I don't headbang anymore, but I do hang my head and weep.

Life is motoring on for all of us. We sometimes have to ride a different bus for a bit when the one we were on hit a wall. One day, I might decide to jump back on, see if the scenery has changed.

I miss you.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

A bum

I apologize for my absence. Here's the deal. I have this new life and I'm trying to find my footing. I'm also recovering from the flu (which I am totally pissed off about because I got the flu shot in early September and my doctor now tells me that I got it too early as they only last about 5-6 months and I caught the flu in early March...), which has not been easy with an immune system that is only churning at 18%.  I am doing an incredible amount of writing, just not on the blog. Working on a YA book. So far, it stinks. I'm losing myself in movies that are taking me back to my high school days and that high school me:

God, I fall in love with Heath all over again and then I watch Brokeback Mountain and I fall even deeper.

I am re-reading books that I loved just to see if I still love them. Joy in the Morning was a book that I read in college and ADORED and I find myself adoring it all over again. Except this time, instead of admiring the character of Annie, I relate more to Carl. I think age has pulled me in that direction. It's great to be young and full of life but with Carl, you see someone who manages under incredible stress. I find that I relate more to THAT this go round.

I am kicking back most evenings and am already thoroughly angry at The Walking Dead. But, The Americans and The Vikings keep me going.

I'm seeing two movies a week, on average, with Harriet. We joke that we spent the last ten years struggling to find time for each other and now that we have time...we are like junkies for each other. So far, neither one of us are sick of the other. We go out for a late breakfast and then hit a matinee. This is on tap for this week:

Mostly, I am lazy. I don't really trust the blog yet. So far, all seems back to normal, but I am cautious. Funny, how one stalker can totally disrupt a family's life. But, we go on. Right now, we are knee deep in picking out prom dresses and we've traveled to over 10 colleges for a look see. My favorite: Northwestern. Her favorite: Trinity College in (yes...) Dublin. We'll see.

I haven't visited many blogs yet. I, do I really want to dip my toe in those waters again? What if everything falls apart again? Sometimes, it is easier for me to just write other things and do volunteer work for the Clinton campaign. (Truthfully, I am more in line with Bernie politically but I've gotten over my idealist youth. He can NEVER beat Trump or Cruz and Clinton can. It is really that simple. I am a realist now. Saying goodbye to that idealistic woman that I used to be has been a slow, painful process....)

I do miss you all and one night I will give in to my cravings and sit down and blog binge, but right now, I am a bum. Please understand. And if you don't, that's ok, too.

Just...hey...if you are a Democrat, please VOTE. If you are a Republican and are as repulsed by Trump as I am, please abstain rather than vote for some man who could easily get us into WWlll.

And, planning Summer trips to Maine, New Orleans, New York and finally, Paris in September.

Retirement has been a hard pill to swallow, but there are perks. There are perks.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Just doing our job

Scene: coming home from dinner last night. It was my first night out in over a week. The first night where I actually felt hungry. So, we did something that we haven't done in years. We meandered. This means that we got on the interstate, turned into an exit that was unfamiliar and into a different state. Stopped in a small town.Stopped for dinner at the only cafe in a small town: The Raindrop Inn.

Thanks to Denny for making the best onion rings in the world. Thanks to Bets for being a waitress who kept those water glasses full and the soft roll basket never empty. The tiny rosebuds of homemade butter were charming. The walls full of license plates were down home. And THANK YOU for making fun of Donald Trump with us. More of us need to be doing just that.

So, on the way home, when Bing reached over,  took my hand, started to sing this and I joined in, we succeeded in mortifying our child. Just doing our job. One day, you'll back and realize that it wasn't so bad.....maybe even kinda sweet.

Friday, March 18, 2016


The only good thing about sitting around watching movies and youtube videos all day? Remembering how much I fucking love James Taylor.

Especially when he's with Carly.

Bing saw my last post and now this one and commented to me that if this isn't proof that I am basically a straight girl who likes to experiment and somehow ended up on her side of the tracks, she doesn't know what is.

I dunno. I've never seen sexes. I know how crazy that sounds. I see attractive personalities. Does this make me bisexual or confused? I have a theory that we're ALL bisexual, just trained heavily in one direction. Bing's not buying that. She says the idea of a penis just about makes her sick. Hmmm. Something to think about while I cough my lungs out and watch movies all day sipping Gatorade.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Home with the flu.

Home with the flu. SOOO glad I got that flu shot! It obviously didn't work. I had forgotten how one can feel freezing cold one second and steaming hot the next. And my hair? I looked better when I was bald. I look like Barbara Bush.

But, then I channel surf and find this and all of a sudden I'm 17 all over again and while I know in my head that Duckie is the best knees buckle over Andrew McCarthy.

God, I miss being so young, so nubile, so ready for the world.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Another try

I am truly sorry that so many of your comments aren't posting. I do read them and post them, but they tend to be taken away within a day or so. Also, yes...several of my new posts were high jacked as well. Our nerd squad keeps giving me information that I do not want about a person whom I don't care to know much more about. I try to let Bing handle it. She's done most of the reading of everything dug up and I have been known to plug my ears and hum because, no, I do not want to know what new business this stalker has or what her political views are. Kind of a slippery tyrant, though, or so they tell me. I am urged to take the blog private. Trying to avoid that. We'll see. Mostly I am just bewildered that someone whom I could care less about seems obsessed with not only me, but my whole family and making my life as miserable as possible by signing me up for magazines that I have no interest in (hydroponic farming) and taunting me for having had cancer and yes, fucking up my blog and emails. 

So, I will give this one more try and see what happens.

THINGS THAT MAKE ME LAUGH....because I have done my share of crying in the last year and it is just easier.

1) Our dog, Socks, is madly in love with a black poodle that has shown up a few times on our daily walks in the park. The weather has been unusually balmy for March, so I've been walking with him to the park daily and I swear he looks for her. I try to aid and abet as well as I can. I have noticed that the poodle (her name is Hazel) has an owner who walks her around 2 in the afternoon and I've been trying to show up around that time. The only problem is that Hazel's human is a tall, good looking man several years younger than me and I fear that he is realizing what we're up to, except that he thinks that perhaps it is ME interested in him and not Socks being interested in Hazel. He gives me these sweet pitying looks and I can just see him going home and telling his wife that there is this older woman in the park who has it bad for him. But, I swear Socks goes limp with love at the mere sight of Hazel. He sniffs her butt in a gentlemanly way and sticks his chest out when they walk side by side. He growls menacingly at other dogs who dare to cast an eye at Hazel. I've tried to talk to him about this as he's trying WAY too hard and it shows. If Hazel seemed to be amused by squirrels, Socks will try to look amused as well, even though he has never met a squirrel that he liked. When she makes these little whimpering noises when we say goodbye, I swear he pouts all the way home. WHY didn't I invite them home for a playdate? Well, because I don't KNOW this human, Socks and I can't be entertaining strange men in my house just so that you can prance around the back yard trying to impress Hazel with your skill at catching a frisbee.  And Hazel? Ah. I fear she is a femme fatale. I suspect that she has several other dogs on a string as well. Poor Socks. Oh, well. It happens to all of us at some time in our lives, yes?

2) Watching the Republican Debates. This is fodder for SNL each and every time. And each and every time, Bing and I look over incredulously at each other. Seriously? Did the Donald just tell Ted Cruz to shut up? Did he just call Marco Rubio little Marco? Why can't anyone else see how he struts like a peacock? My god, he cracks himself up over and over again. Watching him with Jeb Bush was almost painful. Like Jeb was the bespectacled skinny kid on the playground and the Donald was the bully taking his lunch money over and over and over again. But what isn't funny? The way this creepy narcissist keeps winning primaries. I do admit to a sort of rubbernecking interest in watching those debates, though. Ted Cruz tries so hard to look as if he is above all of this, but then ends up with his chin quivering in fury as the king of liars struts around calling him one. And is it just me or does anyone else think that Ted Cruz is a closet queen? Every time I see him, I think to myself that this man is gay. Not that I care, that is fine and dandy with me. What isn't fine and dandy is being gay and trotting out your wife and kids like set pieces. Bing reminds me that if Ted was gay, the Democrats would have surely outed him by now. My guess is that he is waaayyy in the closet or the most discreet man on the planet.

3) Ok...I find it odd that a woman would tell me that she is a lesbian with triplets who won the lottery when she is really a straight woman married to a man and the mother of four non-trips. And this same woman holds herself up as a paragon of honesty. Ok, Utah, you win. You warned me. I owe you fifty bucks. Sorry...this will probably not make sense to any one else. I think you had to be there.

4) Bing and I are going through cruise brochures. Do we want to consider an American cruise like following the Lewis and Clark trail or something called "Mark Twain's love with a REAL LIFE Mark Twain impersonator." As opposed to what? A fake one? Do we want to go on a theme cruise? A running cruise? This confuses me. Isn't the whole point of a cruise to lollygag? Why would I want to run? Are they going to set the ship on fire periodically? How about a conservative cruise? Bing thinks that this would be a gas. To go on one and then mess with everyone on board. Righto, Ms. Genius. Like I want to sit around and listen to some rich people with closed minds getting all verbose about how much they dislike obamacare? But, then there is the liberal cruise. That sounds more fun. But, it's not even close to November and I am already sick to death of politics. How about an alternative lifestyle cruise? The picture showed two hot muscular, deeply tanned men gazing adoringly into each others eyes. The good news is that Bing and I would be able to hold hands with no dirty looks. The bad news would be that I suspect there would be PDAs flying all over the place and we aren't into sucking face in public. Then there is the singles cruise. Bing suggested that we could take that and um...ROLE PLAY. That we could pretend to meet and fall in love. I admit that I gave her a very long probing look. Excuse me? I can't even perform phone sex without sounding like a wooden voiced idiot ("Oh, honey, I am so um....wet..? Is that the right word?") Does she really think I could pull off something of this magnitude? Although, it might be fun to see her try to do this. I suggested the Shakespeare cruise. All Shakespeare, all the time. She mimed vomiting. Such an actress I married! Our final look was at a mystery cruise. I think we might actually be good at this. We are both good at puzzles, both have relatively high IQs and are both competitive. My oncologist tells me that I would have made an excellent Viking, too. So? But, this sounds a lot like a working vacation and I have already had too many of those. cruises. We are now looking at a cross country trip this Summer to attend a friend's wedding, a family vacation. And...just for us...maybe a trip to Italy, to Paris or to Spain. I have always wanted to see Michaelangelo's Pieta. Bing, being Bing, wants to run with the bulls.

5) This video. It just made me laugh and smile.

Ok...let's see how long this stays up. Any wagers?

Friday, February 05, 2016

I suppose this will be funny one day

....or not. Probably not.

If you are getting email from me, it isn't from me. Bing received email yesterday from me, except it wasn't me. So, for now...I'm not sending out anything.

Received a virtual bouquet of flowers (forget me nots....ICK)....with a snide little note about cancer.

Have been signed up for magazines that I did not order. Magazines about cancer. Also, strangely, one about organic farming.

The blog seems better except that I seem to have no control over comments. But, just writing on it doesn't feel safe anymore. It feels....fingered.

We are keeping a sharp eye on everything. Bank accounts. All social media. I let Bing do all the talking with our techie nerd guys because I just get so creeped out if I hear too much.

I am spending my Winter days watching good movies, reading good books and writing copiously in notebooks and going in for last checkups. If I pass the final body scan in two weeks, I will be considered cancer free. But, the cost was great and I miss working. So...volunteering. This frees me up for those afternoon naps that I still seem to need. In my blood tests, I am dangerously low on Vitamin D and magnesium. So, taking these pills that look like they should be for horses, not humans....

Binge watching The Office again.

I finished this book days ago, but am still carrying it around because I need to keep the characters close to me:

I allow myself one movie per day to watch and have caught up on so many that I wanted to see but just didn't have the time:

And looking forward to meeting up with Daryl again.....

Basically, this is the new me:

"I'm lost. I've gone to look for myself. If I should return before I get back, please ask me to wait here..."  (author unknown)

And thinking these hard thoughts:

"And yet, even as she spoke, she knew that she didn't wish to come back, not to stay, not to live. She loved the little yellow cottage more than she loved any place on earth, but she was through with it except in her memories."  Maud Hart Lovelace.

And last but not least, some food for thought for all of us:

Stay warm and safe out there.