Monday, September 28, 2009

Short Take On A Long Weekend

Part of my primary social group (my eldest son from Florida and his family) came to visit Friday evening and stayed till Sunday afternoon. I awoke before the others on Saturday morning, got dressed and was making breakfast when they started waking up, taking their baths, getting their first cup of coffee. 
My daughter, in her rush for work, put her breakfast in a bowl and took it with her. I watched as she rushed out the door and found myself, if only for a moment, envying her for having 'somewhere to be'.
It was hot and humid all day Saturday but despite the hot weather, my two-and-a-half year old granddaughter and I spent some time outside; playing ball, swinging together and petting the cat. In my attempt to be a fun Nana, I sat up a play-hut and got down on my hands and knees crawling through it, hoping she would join me but she just looks over at me like I've lost my mind then goes off chasing the cat.   
While I was out late Saturday afternoon getting pizza for our dinner, it came a sudden downpour that lasted only a few minutes, then, a beautiful rainbow appeared and for some reason, in just that instant, I felt truly happy.
After everyone went to bed, I lay on the sofa and fell asleep watching a movie.
Sunday's weather was slightly cooler and nicer. 


Friday, September 25, 2009

Broken String of Pearls

As the early morning sun burst through the closed window blinds, I groggily ease out of bed, my bare feet landing on the cool oak floor. Squinting from the intrusive sun, I sit a moment on the edge of the bed and run a hand through my honey-wheat hair, trying to smooth down the loose strands.

I feel tired.

Last night was like so many other nights since dad died in June, two days before Father's Day. Just another night of disconnected, haunting dreams that leave me feeling restless and uneasy. Like little snippets from a Stephen King novel bouncing in and out of my head. 

Silly girl. Cried yourself to sleep again. Not really sobbing, just soft teardrops falling on my pillow like a broken string of pearls. 

I slowly rise and scuffle to the bathroom, splash some cool water on my face, dab it dry with the nearest wash cloth (a blue one, how appropriate) and think to myself, will it ever end? will the dreams ever stop? will I ever sleep through an entire night again?

Oh, what I would give for one dreamless night. Just close my eyes and have nothing seep into my mind but restful, blissful blankness. Wake up to a new dawn, a new day. Smile at the sun and remember the good times with my dad and the wonderful fragment of a faultless man that he was.

Open up a new book, start a new chapter.


Monday, September 21, 2009

A Fine Frenzy

Life is filled with simple pleasures that I so often overlook while going through the business of living.

I wasn't born under an optimistic moon and the bright-side-of-life sun didn't come out that day either.

While thinking on the What Was and wondering What Will Be, I so often find myself missing the best moments of life until they have long passed, but yesterday, I found myself on one of those rare occasions of living in the moment.

After my 21 year old daughter came in from work, she sat down by me at the computer while I was catching up on some blog reading (very important stuff) and started telling me about her day, so...

I stop reading and start listening.

Some girl at work had gotten fired because no one liked her and my daughter thought that was a sorry reason to fire someone and OH YEA she just bought A Fine Frenzy's new CD and it's GREAT and I just GOTTA LISTEN TO IT! ( I love the way she talks without taking a breath). So, I close out the blogs and go to her room where we lie on the bed and listen to music (which was surprisingly good) and talk some more about her day and I think to myself, these are the moments I want to remember.

Later, she brings home some fast food for dinner (which is more than okay with me), curls up in MY chair, looks over at me and smiles knowingly.
MY CHAIR! it has my name on it and everything!! You would think the girl would know!

So anyway, I curl up on the sofa and we watch Pearl Harbor because she's never seen it. As we sit there, laughing together at certain parts of the movie and feeling sad in others, I think to myself, these are the moments I want to remember.

They say the best things in life are free and today, I have to agree. It didn't cost me a thing to stop and really listen to my daughter's day or take a few hours out to watch a movie with her even though I had already seen it... but the smile it gave me... was priceless.

*The above photo is of me and my daughter last November.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Home-Grown Happenings

This AM: I was sitting at the computer with my morning companion (a.k.a. cup of coffee), checking emails and such, when much to my surprise and bewilderment, two lovely spider lilies were handed to me right out of the blue.

Well, actually, right out of the yard but who cares...

I was taken aback by the moment. Almost speechless. Though, I did manage a smile and thank you.

Hubby says, "You're welcome." He doesn't smile, hug, kiss me or anything like that, he just says, "You're welcome", then, gathers his stuff and heads off to work.

I mean, don't get me wrong, we're polite to one another and all... but the sweet and thoughtful things (such as flower giving), I thought h
ad long since sunk to the bottom of some unknown ocean... along with that ship we keep expecting to come in, you know?

A beautiful moment! Not because of the flowers themselves (though lovely they were) but because of the unexpected sweet gesture from someone whom I thought (at least for me) there were no sweet feelings left.

They now sit in a glass vase on the kitchen table.

I've walked passed them several times today, and each time, I
pause and stare at the long-stemmed enigma sitting before me, wondering what to make of it.

Is it a beginning of sweet moments or just a spur-of-the-moment thing that won't happen again till the next millennium?

I prefer to think of it as a new beginning.

Of what, though? Love? Forgiveness? Acceptance? All the above?
Or, am I over-thinking it... as I so often do?

Well, whatever the reason. . . it made me smile.

To me, it was as if he had handed me. . .

a dozen roses

wrapped in

a chocolate ribbon

stuck in

a strawberry cheesecake.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Like The Dead Leaves of Autumn

If I may speak just a bit on my most recent tragedy... and in so speaking... it might give my heart a short reprieve.

Mom and I talk on the phone nearly every day and have, since June. I spent a week with her in July (in Alabama). It was painful going back home and dad not being there.

I listen while she talks about things like the headstone she chose for dad's grave and wanting to be sure we are all okay with it, his notebook of songs she discovered while going through his things, his clothes that were packed to give away, etc... and all during our conversations it's "You know, when your dad was still alive."

I want to change the subject to something else, anything else... but I listen and try to give words of encouragement when needed although, to me, the words fall lifeless from my tongue like the dead leaves of autumn.

I know my dad is gone and he isn't coming back. I accept that... as long as I'm not reminded of it, as long as I don't look at his photos or hear in conversation that he is not with us anymore, as long as I don't recall any of the last six weeks of his life that I spent with him, getting to know him better than all the years before, as long as I don't recall the pain he was in or the look in his eyes on the few occasions when he thought he was leaving us, as long as I don't think about how lonely he seemed as he lay dying... as long as I don't give my mind any quiet time to think at all... and, as long as no one tries to tell me things like, "You know your dad wouldn't want you to feel sad." He is gone, I miss him and I feel sad.

I never knew he had such blue eyes or such big hands. I never knew he had such a tender heart or felt such emotion. He was just my dad. He was also a preacher for as long as I remember. That's where his heart was, in preaching. I respected and loved him and I always knew he loved me but I seldom felt especially close to him... not until those last six weeks.

Six weeks! What happened in all the years before, that kept me from really knowing him or sharing a close father/daughter relationship?

Even though those last six weeks seemed the most difficult of my life, I thank God for them. Every day, I thank God. At least I had that.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A heart. A bird. An artificial rose.

Because my heart is SO EMOTIONAL, I sometimes wish I could take it out and leave it somewhere that I am not. Just as some take vacations from their job or school, I want a vacation from my heart. I just don't want to feel anything for a while. Go about one day at least, just on my mind alone. Wonder how far my mind alone would take me?? Hmm.

Ah, if I were a bird. I wonder if birds
feel emotion. They seem to fly about so freely, without a care in the world. But I am sure, even birds have emotional days when they feel their attempts go unappreciated.

Maybe I could be an inanimate object for one day. Yes, maybe that.

Perhaps, like the artificial rose my eldest son gave me when he was only nine (he's 29 now). That rose, and the thought behind it, makes me smile each time I look at it. I remember the day he brought it to me, and that huge smile on his face. He ha
d asked earlier if he could have some money to get something from the convenience store down the street, so, I gave him a couple of dollars thinking he would buy himself a soda and snack. A few minutes later he comes in with his hands behind his back. "Whatcha got there?" I ask. He smiles timidly and says, "I got you something." I smile back and say, "Oh, yea?" He then pulls out this beautiful, single, red-velvet rose in a tiny crystal vase (3 inches, altogether) and proudly hands it to me.

I about cried. I hugged him to death, thanked him, then asked, "Well, what did you get yourself?" He said, "I didn't want anything, just wanted you to have this." Have you ever heard of anything sweeter?

So, where was I?... oh, yes... I think I would like to be that tiny velvet rose in that tiny crystal vase, even for just a day, and make someone smile huge smiles just by being me.

But truly, would I really want to be heartless, even for a day and possibly miss out on a moment like the above? I think not.

So, here I am, back to being me. SO EMOTIONAL. But sometimes, just sometimes, it ain't that bad.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The End and The Beginning

Well, August was quite the month and here we are at the beginning of September. Getting closer to Fall. Yay!

So, I thought I'd take this time to recollect not only on this past month but the past eight years that I mentioned in an earlier post. Let's see... how to compile eight years into a couple of paragraphs and try not to bore you.

First off, my marriage took an awful turn at the beginning years of the millennium and can't seem to get back on track. I won't go into details on that but will admit it was at least 75% my doing. Yet, somewhere in the middle of it all I discovered much about myself that I did not previously know. I am a stronger indiviual than I once thought. I've made it through tons of guilt, self-hate and self realization. Some of the latter was not fun to learn but some I embraced with tears and delight. I have become more open to others and to myself. I've made a few friends that have enriched my life considerably, whereas before, I pretty much closed myself off. I no longer have extensive bouts of depression and I find, more often than not, that I am glad to be alive.

Also, within the past eight years, My eldest son was honorably discharged from the USMC after serving full term, my youngest spent his 21st year in jail (a very difficult time for us all) but he learned some valuable lessons during that time, of which I am most grateful. My son in the middle became a minister. All three were married and had kids, and I became a grandmother (well, Nana - 4 times). One of my sisters and I became good friends, whereas before we were mostly just sisters. My brother-in-law, my aunt and my uncle passed away... and most dear to my heart (in June of this year) my dad.

I became a writer of poetry in 2005 and have since wrote a short story for children, started on a book (3 years in the making), and now... I'm a blogger. An addicted one too, I might add. Not just in the writing of but in the reading of others. There are some pretty neat and interesting people here. I think, at least for now, I have found myself a home.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Splendor In The Grass

Part of my primary social group have been visiting this past week - My youngest son, his wife and their two daughters (Alivia, 14 mos and Alayna, 6 wks). Alayna and I share the same middle name. Sweet, yes? I've never been much on hostessing (is that a word?) and find myself feeling a bit uneasy at times when life calls for that. Yes, even with family. If a visit lasts more than a couple of hours, I get anxious. How to entertain? What to cook? Where to put everyone? etc. My daughter says I worry too much about these things. I know she's right but it seems to be part of my makeup, so, what's a girl to do? Nevertheless, I have enjoyed them being here. My son has been real helpful in fixing broken things and I've had some special moments with the two girls. I give my son and his wife major points for their parenting skills. Skill is something I didn't have much of when mine were young.

While Alivia and I were out in the yard yesterday, we sat on the swing for a bit, then, removed our shoes and walked through the freshly mowed grass (I love that smell).

She was amazed at the blades between her toes. She kept bringing me leaves and sticks as if they were gifts. Funny, what impresses small children. What ever happened to my sense of wonder? I want it back.

My daughter spent the weekend in Panama City and called me the first night there to gloat about sitting out on a balcony by the beach watching the sunset. Nice of her to share that with me, huh?

I think I should go off myself to a nice secluded beach somewhere until I find my own personal sense of wonderment. Bring it back home with me, and demand it stay.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Four Decades to Self Discovery

Today is my daughter's 21st birthday and it got me to thinking about my own life a bit.

I was born in the Fall of 61, in a small town in Alabama. The youngest of seven kids. Blond hair, green eyes, fair skin... and shy. JFK was president, the Viet Nam War was in its 2nd year, race riots were breaking out, we put the 1st man on the moon, and gas... was 27 cents a gallon. Or at least, that's how I think it was.

In a few months I will be 48 yrs old. 48 yrs! What have I accomplished in all that time? What have I learned?

If anything... over the years I have discovered that it never is the perfect package but you make do with the gifts you're given, even if you sometimes do want to trade them in or take them back.

I married two weeks before my 17th birthday. Had 4 kids by the age of 26. Wow, huh? Who does that so early in life? Needless to say, there was no high-school graduation or college time for me (something I regret) but that was my own choice. My greatest dream was to be a wife and mother. To have a house that I could decorate and call my own, a husband that thought of me as his absolute reason for living, and kids running around happy and well behaved. At the time, I had no doubt in my mind that that is how it would be. I would make it so.

Ahhh, if reality was made of dreams and wishes...

I became a wife. I became a mother. S
ince then, three of my children have married and now have kids of their own... and I am now a grandmother.

Though none of the above turned out as I had envisioned it... I am still a simple woman with simple dreams... and dream, I do.

On a footnote...
I have to say that my 40-something face seems to fit me better than any face I have previously worn. These past eight years have been the hardest and most difficult, and some I thought I wouldn't even make it through... but I seem to have discovered ME within that time. It took 40 long years... but it finally started happening.

Now... what I do with that long awaited knowledge... I guess time will tell.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bring On The (Rant) Rain!

Since I don't have any income coming in at this time I guess I shouldn't say much about the much that goes on around here but this last much was just too much and since I'm not going to say much... I'll just type it. :-)

Our family car is on its last leg and has been for some time (2 long years) so I patiently wait (with the patience of Job) till we have the means to purchase another, right? The means finally comes and I'm getting my hopes all up that we might at least get an automobile with working AC and perhaps something that was made within this century.

Wrong on both counts.

My roommate goes out and buys (that's right, pays actual money for) a run down (what exactly, I'm not sure) 1992 mound of metal, with no AC (which is the least of its worries) which didn't look too bad from inside the house when I first saw it (you know what they say about first impressions)... so... I walk out, take one close look and stand there in utter shock and disappointment but I hold it in and bravely go open the door to this new evil and, as I do, all previous hope starts squeezing my insides as if trying to escape this mangled moment of madness.

I was not consulted for an opinion prior to purchase, so, why does he ask me now? Why now... when I'm standing here in speechless horror... does he look over at me with this insidious grin on his face and say, "Well... what do you think?"

What do I think?

Should I hit him with it now... or wait till it subsides to a simmering boil?


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tiny Tidbits of Tuesday

In my recent attempt to find something I like in each new day, I decided to record what I like about Tuesdays (seeing how today is Tuesday and all) but don't worry, I won't be doing this type of post for every day of the week. Hmm, though that might be interesting.

So anyway... what do I like about Tuesdays?

*When I was an impressionable young girl, I admired the actress Tuesday Weld. She was born in August so I guess this is a good time to mention her. Her movie "Wild In The Country" came out the year I was born (and I wasn't born yesterday). She had a rough life but seemed to get through it, despite the obstacles. Her characters were usually on the neurotic side. Could that be the cause of my interest? I recall the first time I saw a picture of her, and I'm telling my age again here, but does anyone remember the "Five & Dime" stores? Well I had purchased a wallet there one day, the kind with those plastic photo pages (do they still make those?) and it had photos of the Stars in it. Tuesday was one of them. I kept that picture in my wallet for the longest time in hopes that her beauty might rub off on me but the photo itself rubbed out first. Ha!

*I've been to Ruby Tuesday restaurants and liked them okay. Not my favorite but I'd go back.

*The Rolling Stones had a song called Ruby Tuesday that wasn't half bad...

"Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I'm gonna miss you...

There's no time to lose, I heard her say
Catch your dreams before they slip away."

*And on this particular Tuesday the weather is sweet. I can almost feel a touch of Fall in it. And my kids are coming to visit so I guess I should get busy and sweep out all the dirty laundry. Or something like that.

What do YOU like about Tuesdays?


Monday, August 24, 2009

Lettuce Smile

I cannot imagine a day with no smiles in it. Okay, I CAN imagine. I have had plenty of them... but I've decided I will not allow a day to go by again with no smiles. Not just a physical smile either, I'm talking a real, deep-down-inner-soul smile.

The odd thing is, blue has always been my favorite color but I have never equivalized (found in Sandra's dictionary) that color with depression. It's too beautiful. The color of depression, for me, has always been gray. But really, when you think about it, even gray can bring a smi

like when a gray cloud suddenly appears after a long drought and brings the welcoming rain and you just want to go out and soak up every last drop of it.

There are a-million-plus-one reasons for a person to smile in any given day and you don't have to look any further than where you are standing, or the two feet you're standing on, or the person next to you, or the one across the street.

I guess I am declaring this more for myself than for anyone else as I seem to have been born in a gray world under a gray cloud that has followed me throughout my life and still hovers about.

But today, I smiled...

  • when I stepped outside this morning, still in my pjs, and a nice cool breeze brushed across my face
  • when I heard the song "Smile" by Uncle Kracker playing on the radio
  • when I found out my son and his family are coming to visit
  • when a train came by the house with only one car hooked to it. It looked funny.
  • when I took the first bite of a strawberry and the taste tickled my tongue.
...and the day isn't over yet.

What made YOU smile today?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Go Ahead, Let Your Hair Down

I read somewhere on the net today that middle-aged women experience more stress and are less likely to be happy. Is that true?? Gosh, that makes me a little depressed just thinking about it. Middle-aged, that sounds so old. Is 47 old? Don't answer that. I think I'd rather be called, "A Woman of a Certain Age". I read that somewhere too, and yes, that sounds better.

I will admit that in my own recent years I seem to
have forgotten how to play, how to let loose and let my hair down. Sure, in the comfort of my home I let loose and dance crazily to songs on the radio when no one is watching, and that in itself feels pretty great, but staying in my comfort zone has been my way of life for too long. I need some heart-pumping excitement every now and again. How else does one know they are alive if they don't experienc
e such things, at least occasionally? My goal from now on is to experience, at least once a week, something that moves me in such a way that I can't contain the laughter (like when I was a girl), or at least something that makes me smile as wide as my face will allow.

Any ideas? Keep them clean please (lol) and nothing that would keep me in the house- like coin and stamp collecting or crocheting. I was thinking maybe biking, joining a gym, taking a walk on the beach, going on a day trip with my camera and taking photos of any and everything I see...

Should I keep you posted? I say this as if I have a lot of readers (lol), but I do have a few... and I thank you.

*The above photos were taken last November when my kids took me to the beach and we rented bikes and rode in the sand. It was cold but warmed up pretty quickly... and it was exhilarating. Has it been that long since I've had fun?


Friday, August 21, 2009

Random... ness

My reading glasses have a vicious routine. I lay them down in one place and they move to another. So, what do I do? I go out and buy another pair, an EXTRA pair, you know, so at least when the first pair is playing hide-n-seek, I will have a backup. But no... they get together and form a friendship and start playing the same game. So I go out and buy a third pair. Well... by this time I realize I am only adding to the group of said friends and I'm still left with the dilemma of searching for my glasses and wondering where the heck I put them this time.

The other day, I decided that the length of my hair (just above mid-back) was too long for a woman of my age (?) and so I went into the bathroom and snipped about four inches off. Checked it out in the mirror and it was way uneven.
Grrr. So I asked one of my roommates if she would even it out for me. No luck there. Said she was afraid she'd mess it up even worse. Well, I knew if I kept trying I wouldn't have any hair left, so... I begrudgingly go ask my other roommate, not at all expecting him to agree as he never involves himself with any of my nonsense. However, to my surprise, he took up the task and, I might add, did a very good job at it. So, one thing I learned. If you keep your eyes open long enough, you just never know what gargantuan surprises the day may bring. I'm still in shock... but at least my hair looks nice.

Now, where are my glasses.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Neighbors... and I?

Everyone feels a sense of invisibleness at least once. That's normal, right? But in my case, when it's proven on a few occasions by the neighbors on my left, well then... I start to wonder.

Here are a few instances...

One afternoon, I'm sitting out in the swing and their 14-year-old grandson accidentally hits his golf ball over in our yard and it lands about 3 feet in front of me. He walks right past me. I wait for him to say something but he just picks up the ball, doesn't acknowledge me at all, and walks away. Hmm. I could have said, "boo!" and scared the poor guy silly.

On another day, one of the kids hits a softball over by the porch where I'm sitting and it rolls underneath the house. He passes right by me and starts searching through the bushes for the ball. Doesn't even see me not more than a foot away. After a few seconds I say, " I think it rolled under the house". He looks up, startled, and says, "Oh... well... I got another one" and heads back to his own yard.

Think I should at least get a helmet?

And yet another time, while I'm sitting in the swing talking to my sister on the phone; my neighbor, Mrs Arnold walks up right behind me and starts clipping bushes on her side of the yard. I was sure she saw me there as I was talking and laughing pretty loudly into the phone but when I hang up, I turn around and say, "Hi, Mrs Arnold, how are you today?" She is startled and says, "Oh my... I didn't even see you there!" What tha? Anyway, we had a nice short conversation and I go back in the house and take a good long look in the mirror... to see if I am in fact... still here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Illegal Interest?

I was sitting out on the porch today, taking advantage of the slightly cooler weather we were having and trying to ignore this ever-present sadness over losing my dad recently (it's been 2 months today) and not feeling at all like smiling... when a train with several cars stopped in front of the house. We live right next to the tracks and while that is a pain most days... today, I found it somewhat welcoming. The graffiti on the cars that is. I know, it surprised me too. I've never known myself to be a fan of graffiti but these were not what I expected. No vulgarity. Just cute animated drawings. Each one held a sense of something. Maybe it was pride. It makes me wonder why they don't put that talent to better use instead of said vandalism. Maybe open up an art gallery and get paid, you know?

The two that really caught my attention: At the very end of one car there was an animated looking graffiti guy with a serious look on his face and beads of sweat popping out. He was either trying to push his way out or trying to push the car along. I couldn't tell which but the expression on his face was comical. I smiled and thought about that artist's sense of humor. Then there was another graffiti guy (the same character?) on the side of the car, near the bottom, that looked like he was trying to hold on, with one leg hanging off the car. How did they do that?

I found myself smiling. The sadness? Nonexistent... at least for the moment.

I would have thought train (or wall) graffiti would have died out when the 'Net' arrived, what with all the various ways of expressing oneself there... but today... I'm glad it's still around.

Just don't tell anyone I said that. :-)


Monday, August 17, 2009

Third Wheel

Last evening, my 20-yr-old daughter and I decided to have a girls night out. We went to the movies and saw, "The Time Traveler's Wife". It was good. Strange... but good.

She spent most of the time texting.

Before the movie, we stopped in at Krystal's to get a bite to eat.

She spent most of the time texting there as well.

It got so bad that I jokingly state
d I felt like the third wheel. She laughed.

I swear, that girl can multi-task like no body's business. I tried warning her about the dangers of driving while inTEXTicated.

She said, "I know mom. I'm careful."


Okay, what about the dangers of driving while texting, while searching for your favorite iPod tune, while looking through your purse for your chapstick, while adjusting the rear-view mirror....

Need I go on?

I was relieved when she threw me the keys after the movie and asked, "Mom, would you drive?" I gladly replied, "Sure!"... but I don't think she heard me. She was texting.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Scheduling A Shed-jewel

Another summer's-end Sunday, I thought as I stood out on the porch at 7:15 this morning, coffee in hand, watching a squirrel take his early-morning drink from the bird bath, occasionally darting his little head about like he knew he was intruding on bird territory and feared getting busted. Silly squirrel.

Hmm... where was I going with this post?... oh yes, after watching the animated antics of the squirrel I began wondering how I should start the day and what all and just how much of my 'need-to-do' list I should cram into it.

So, how do I organize the chaos, and I don't mean in my home. My home is pretty well organized, or enough so that I don't feel too guilty about it. Except for the file cabinet that keeps staring at me from across the room, demanding to be decluttered and organized. It's gotten so that every time I walk by it, I look down and say, "I know! I know!"

The chaos I refer to is in my weekly/daily scheduling of things. You know, "Is this something I can put off or should I just go ahead and get it out of the way? and, "Didn't I just do that yesterday?" It's a daily struggle.

I've had the worst time sticking to a schedule. It makes everything seem so mundane and boring when you know exactly the way your day and week is going to go. Everything, right down to the last detail. No surprises.

So I was thinking... maybe I should start out with only a one or two day schedule and slowly ease myself into the ever dreaded seven day one.

Yes, my dear Watson, I think I may be on to something here.

Don't you just love the way the Brits say 'schedule'? "shed-jewel"

Speaking of Watson... I wonder if that new Sherlock Holmes movie is going to be any good. It has RDJ as lead character so I will definitely be checking it out.

Now, where was I? Oh... here's another reason why I need a shed-jewel. Take yesterday for instance. I didn't pre-schedule any fun outings for myself so I spent my Saturday at home; relaxing, watching TV, hanging out on the computer, and sitting out on the swing sipping a sprite and enjoying the hot-n-muggy day we had. My social calendar could definitely use some work.

So anyway... I'm off to tackle the day. Wish me luck!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Night Visitor

You ever get those certain visitors? You know, the sort that just show up on your doorstep unexpectedly, with suitcase in hand, prepared for a long, unwelcome, unwanted stay? Well, mine has a name and it's called, "Insomnia". Each time it arrives I try to tell myself, "It's no nightmare, nothing to lose sleep over"... but it showed up a few nights ago and refuses to leave. It just waltzed in, plopped itself down and made itself at home.
I've gotten so used to its frequent visits that I'm (begrudgingly, mind you) starting to embrace it and think of it as a friend or lover. So much so that I miss it when it isn't here. So, like lovers sometimes do... I wrote a poem regarding it and the night. Speaking of myself in third person.

here she is again
in her thrift-store dress
caressing a cheap bottle of wine
waiting for her lover to arrive
but he's never on time

what is it that attracts her
to this shadow with no shame?

she can't put a name on it
but it compels her
and jails her
with its ebony eyes
and its dark embrace
until there are... no more days
just nights.

she meets the dawn
on her way to bed at five,
turns out the light and shuts her eyes
to its glimmering glare,
not caring for its too-bright smile
or its come-hither stare.

she knows she should
have the courage to face
the day's blaring light, head on
embrace the rays that sneak
into her room
and caress her face at morn

but she fears its long-lit hours
spent awake in her head, alone
so instead, she shuts out the day
and waits once again
for her lover, the night, to come.

Odd poem, I know but (as in yesterday's post),
I seem to find love in everything.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

I Keep Bleeding Love

I might should save this post for February but then, why should Feb get all the love?

Hello, my name is Sandra... and I am an incurable romantic.

Most of the poetry I write (and read) is about love- sweet and bitter.
I've read books...watched movies... and listened to music about it.
Gave my heart and soul to it.
Stood on my head for it (well, not literally).
Fought with it. Made up with it.
Married it. Divorced it (at moments, and in mind only).
Welcomed it with open arms then kicked it out and welcomed it back again.

What is it about love that gives it the right to 90% of me? (I would say 100% but it might be listening).

What made me fall in love with love?

Well, first of all, I had no choice in the matter and second of all, the fact that it possesses all five senses; taste, touch, sight, sound, smell...

  • its charisma
  • its giddiness
  • the racing of the heart
  • the excitement
Who can deny such madness? I welcome it...

but I sometimes wish I could go on vacation and leave it behind. Take that opportunity to meet and get to know my other emotions, you know? but then, I'd probably spend all my time thinking about it and missing it, so what's the point?

Current poem: Barbara Lyman Kirby
"The Five Senses of Love".

Current song: Leona Lewis - Bleeding Love

The last romantic movie I watched was "Shades of Ray" (Not a well-known movie but one worth watching nonetheless. Some parts are hilarious).

Throwing this clip in 'cause it's funny.

"In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities." --Janos Arnay

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

An August compilation... or is it contemplation?

A friend and I were recently discussing the vague month of August. How lonely and sad it seems, with no holidays or special days to show for on the calendar. It's neither the beginning or ending of anything. It eats the leftovers of summer and wears its hand-me-down clothes (sounds like my childhood, growing up in a household with seven kids). So... I thought I'd spend some useless time and energy on researching this obscure and desolate month. You know, to see if I could salvage it's reputation.

First off, my daughter was born in August. That gives it one star already. Today just happens to be my brother-in-law's birthday. Two stars. It also hosts Betty Boop's birthday. My sister (
Betty) would enjoy that useless tidbit. She's a fan.

Let's see what else...

  • National Goat Cheese Month. What tha?
  • International Beer Day- a holiday in celebration of beer worldwide. Who comes up with these things??
  • The first Sunday in August is "Friendship Day". Shouldn't every day be friendship day??
  • Be an Angel Day - Did they throw that one in for me? Am I not always an angel?? Okay... maybe not. :-)

Nope, no salvaging poor August just yet... so I keep looking.


I see where August has a certain sense of "hidden charisma", like when it bursts out beautiful meteor showers in its mid-week, to empress the leftover days of summer.

I wasn't even aware of this meteor thing till a friend pointed it out to me today. So okay... maybe I won't bash "Friendship Day" after all.

"August, you have something in your eye... or is that too, a reflection of July?" - me

Speaking of August, there's a cool movie called AUGUST RUSH. I recommend it if you like feel-good movies... and music.

*Top photo: By The Savannah River. I took that in October, 2006 while on vacation.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I had a blooming thought.

I was sitting at the kitchen table this morning, filling out some bills (yes, I still do that the old-fashioned way, go figure) and for some reason, I started thinking about Day Lilies...
Then, I got all philosophical and started thinking about how they only live for a day. They bloom and die in the same day. An entire lifespan, in just ONE day! What do they make of that short time?

What if WE had only one day to live? What would we do with it? Do you think if we put all we had into it like the lily does, that it would be enough?
No one ever really knows when their time will come. I think if we lived every day as if it were the only one we had, our lives would be happier and fuller.... and more rewarding.

This makes me think of E. E. Cummings' words- "When the eyes of our eyes are opened." Like the lily, when this happens we can see what a gift each day truly is.

"Just to be alive... is a grand thing!." - Agatha Christie

Lily's Day Song

I'm awaken
ed by an amber ray
in wrought with gold and silver light.
I yawn and stretch to greet the day,

for soon will come the night.

I smile at cotton-candy cloud

while kissed by morning dew.
Get shower-sprayed by misty shroud
neath skies of azure blue.

A soft caress by wafting feather

from bluebird taking flight

and a butterfly with wings like heather
on my petals light.

My life blooms but for awhile

and when daylight starts to fade
and the moon beams its dreamy smile
and crickets serenade

I softly journey into night

and with folded petals pray

neath moon and diamond starlight.

Thankful for the day. -- me

Monday, August 10, 2009

Blue Like Sunday Morning

My sister and her husband stopped by over the weekend, on their way to Tampa. She had on cargo capris and a red tank top. Not her usual style of dress...but she looked good. After giving out hugs and hellos, she kicked off her sandals and curled up in the chair across from mine.
"So, how are you?" she asked.
We then commenced to having a relaxed conversation, unconsciously avoiding the subject of dad's recent passing. We seem to save those particular talks for phone and emails.
After we all hugged and said our goodbyes, I got to thinking just how important family really is. Even though we didn't speak the words out loud, we both knew how and what the other was feeling.

We were all there... side-by-side and through it all (myself, my siblings... and mom) sharing those last six weeks of dad's life. The good and the bad. And even though a sadness was constantly hovering, there were moments; funny moments where we couldn't help but laugh at, and with each other; touching moments when we sang hymnals to dad while wiping his forehead with a damp cloth or rubbing his back and shoulders; and moments... where we felt so helpless, we couldn't do anything but hold one another and cry.

We were there... together... my family and I.

But there were other moments too. Moments when dad and I were alone. Like the time I was walking by his chair on the way to unload the dryer.
"Sandra!" I heard him softly say.
He didn't usually call any particular name when he needed something, so, I stopped what I was doing and went and sat down beside him, took his big hand in my small one (as I so often did those last six weeks), leaned over him and asked,
"What is it daddy? Can I get you something?"
He didn't reply, he just squeezed my hand and closed his eyes- blue like Sunday morning- and prayed. His voice barely above a whisper.
"Lord, bless Sandra, bless her for all she's done and for all the sacrifices she's made to be here with me. Bless her greatly. In Jesus name."
I felt a big lump rise up in my throat and tears fill my eyes. . . but I replied,
"I'm right where I want to be, daddy."
And I was.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Why Do Men Die First?

I've been thinking a lot on death lately. Not my normal course of thought but since my dad's recent passing it seems to be a regular visitor, so, I am entertaining it for today.

It seems men die in greater numbers than women, or such is the case in my family of late.


I've been told it's because women drive them to it. (what tha?) (right click here and open in new window)

While some may accept that bit of nonsensical reasoning, I have my own theory. This based on most of the men I have known and came in contact with throughout my lifetime.

It all comes down to... matters of the heart.

Most women tend to let their emotions out; whether through crying, anger, the showing of deep affection, etc. Whereas most men (especially southern men) tend to hold back their emotions for fear they may seem less manly, or too aggressive.

Matters of the heart were not meant to be hidden... but expressed.

When unexpressed emotions are stored up throughout the years and are not shared, the heart becomes restless... causing the entire body to become ill.

Men have other things going against them too. For instance, the need to be the "provider" for their family. I know most women now-a-days work and help out with the finances but men feel it their responsibility to be the major provider (just as women feel it their responsibility to be the major caregiver). And with today's economy, trying to provide well for your family can bring on a lot of extra stress.

But it all leads back to the heart.

If men had no heart, they wouldn't feel the need to be so strong. Men are trained not to complain, to shrug off pain and injury, to suck-it-up. Yet, men are fragile and vulnerable too. I just wish they knew that being strong doesn't mean you have to hold everything in.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Shopping Bags & Dancing Shoes

While yesterday was a total waste of makeup, today has been better to me.
I actually got out of the house.
Yes, you heard right.
I finally crawled out of my grief-stricken stupor and went to... well, okay... Wal Mart.
And while I know that isn't a major leap into the wild unknown or any sort of major feat, it is still progress to me.

Other progressive marks of the day:

  • Got up early.
  • Haven't cried once.
  • Watered my thirsty pot plants.
  • Danced through an entire song playing on the radio and it felt really good.
What song you ask?- "Say Hey (I Love You)" by Michael Franti... and I know if you watch the below video you will get up and dance too... but don't worry, I won't tell anyone. ;-)

  • Did a few (very few, but whose counting) crunches on the Ab Machine.
  • Finally went out and bought some groceries. Now we actually have food in the house.
  • Sat back and drank a glass of wine and finished the movie I started on yesterday.

So, all-in-all, not a bad day.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Coffee and Rose-colored Glasses

I can truly say I have accomplished my major childhood goals.

That's right! Both of them! lol.

-Get married
-Have kids.

Done it!

And to think, this morning as I sat at the desk with my coffee and a stayed-up-too-late hangover, I was scolding myself for not making and keeping any goals.

Of course, the dreams I had of those two particular goals didn't turn out quite the way I had envisioned. I realized this as soon as I removed my rose-colored glasses.

I had the wedding, I had the babies... but the happy-ever-after I too soon discovered was only for Cinderella. Then again... that story ended at the beginning didn't it? Hmm.

But yes, okay, there were other things in my youthful years that I dreamed of.

I wanted to...

  • learn the piano and have my own concert (if you're gonna dream then dream big, right?)
  • learn to paint and become an exceptionally wonderful artist (this coming from someone who can't even draw a straight line)
  • be a professional singer (without the neighborhood dogs as backup)
  • become an actress (I think I'd be good at make-believe)

Now that I'm older (and wiser?) my goals are more like...

  • get a job
  • make my own money
  • be more independent

Life is a funny thing. Not as in haha funny (well, sometimes) but as in, it never works out the way you expect it to.

But then again.... it IS what we make it.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Still Life

I don't know how long I've been standing here, thinking of that one still moment of life... when I watched death take the last breath from my dad as his eyes closed in sleep.

The clock on the wall says it's been awhile.

I search my mind for answers but all I find are misty thoughts, drifting like dust off the sun rays intruding through the kitchen window.

Morning comes calling again and I am no more sure of anything today than I was yesterday or the day before. Death has left me feelingless and faint. My eyes are lidless. I cant sleep. Night becomes day, day becomes night. It's all the same. People have become a haze. I speak, they speak... but nothing touches or moves me.

Death visited... and took away my heart.

Just how long does time take to heal all wounds?
Does life really go on after death?
And where is that tunnel... with the light at the end?

My whole world is sinking into an ocean of change- this year this, last year that. It's all being re-arranged. But I smile, pretend everything's okay, hold back the tears and start to walk away...

Then, I recall what dad said to me one day as I sat by him, his hand in mine...

He looked over at me and said, "I Know You Love Me".

And I weep.

Not for him, he's in a better place, having a better time. I weep for me, and for that empty chair he left behind- that poor lonely lift chair, and for the razor I used to shave him with every morning, and for the glasses he wore to read his bible, and for the blue I'll no longer see in his eyes...and for mom.

Still, life hangs around, waiting for me to return.

And... I will.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Crow and I

There's an arrogant black crow strutting down the road in front of our house. It's like he's saying, "It's a nice day for a walk!" -as opposed to flying. He looks to the right and to the left, occasionally stopping to peck at some unknown object.

And sitting out on the porch, in the sun, wondering why marriage is called a union, when you end up spending most of it alone. My "companion" is in his own world; battling nations, building cities and being called "Lord K."

If it were just one day, I could stand it... but when it becomes a lifetime of days like this, spent in lonely exile, I find myself wishing for a different place... a reason to smile.