Thursday, February 25, 2010

Little bits of paradise

Pier 1 has a 'collection lamp' on sale this week and I couldn't resist -- I have shells all over the place, but I really love the way they look in lamps.    I had enough seashells to fill one, and still have quite a few shells left over but not quite enough to fill a second one (at least, not unless I empty every other shell display in the house) -- Can't do that, so obviously I'm going to need to plan another trip to Sanibel so that I can have a seashell lamp in every room!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A perfect day for tea

I won another prize from the "One World One Heart" bloggers' giveaway, and it arrived today!   It was an amazing annual blogging event with hundreds of participants, and I visited so many new, amazing blogs, which was a prize in itself.   But who doesn't love winning and love getting mail?! 

Today's wonderful package arrived from Cat at  Crop Circle Crafts, and it contained a beautiful book about tea, and all the fixings: tea, biscuits (lordy those biscuits look good!) and homemade jam (what, I ask you, could be better than that?).   Thanks to Cat, I'm going to settle into my favorite chair later today when the snow starts up again, and comfort myself with a lovely afternoon tea!   Cat has many talents, she gardens and just started doing beautiful beaded jewelry - she clearly has a lot more patience (and better eyesight) than I do, but I share her love of tea!   So I am still tired (tired, tired) of winter, and more than tired of snow, but I will stay cozy and warm with a hot cuppa in my hands!   Thank you, Cat.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I'm a winner, despite the snow

More snow, more shoveling, but I got mail!    I won a prize from Robbin's World in the recent "One World One Heart" bloggers' giveaway!   I got an email saying I'd won a prize, and read on Robbin's blog that I won a lighted wine bottle, so I wasn't sure what to expect --  but a necklace arrived today in a package of goodies!    It's beautiful, my phone camera simply doesn't do justice to the colors!  Thanks, Robbin!

my wild self

I was checking in on one of my bloggy friends today and learned about a cool spot for kids (or dopey adults).    You can create your own wild self if you pay a virtual visit to the New York Zoos and Aquarium.    Here's mine.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


I am sick again, blah.    I went years and years without so much as a cold, now I am a cough/sneeze/sniffle/yuck magnet.    To make things worse, I read a book that said that, once you turn 60, death is like a sniper.     And I should have seen this coming; I've always heard that when people retire, their health suffers.    Good grief, does this mean I need to find a job?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Embracing the Tiger

I have not heard from my daughter in over 2 weeks.   I called and texted frequently since we last talked, but never got an answer or a call-back.   She is usually pretty good about keeping in touch with me, if only because I send her 'care packages' whenever she contacts me.    It finally occurred to me to pull up her phone log on the internet (since I pay the cell  phone bill) and I learned that her phone hasn't been used since February 4.    The last two calls were to 911.   Her dad went to check her apartment the other day and no one knows where she is, except that she was last seen with someone locally known to be "bad news."    I know from past experience that it is too early to panic, but this is not a good feeling.    It is so sad to know that she can't make good decisions, and that I am powerless to keep her safe.    I am telling myself that she is still caught up in Mardi Gras fever, and that all is well, or as well as all can be.

ADDENDUM February 20:   My daughter called tonight.  She told me this confusing story - 2 weeks ago, she went somewhere with a friend, fell soundly asleep, was awakened by a single gun shot.   One man dead, another in intensive care, a third with a flesh wound.  Not sure where she was exactly and seems only to know the street names of people she was with.    She just thought she should call - 2 1/2 weeks later -- to let me know that she is fine, and remarked that she sees this as proof that god wants her to stay alive.   Today was the first time she could borrow a phone.   She thinks her phone is somewhere at the crime house.   If it was used for the 911 calls, I imagine the police took it into evidence.     She said that the police could hardly believe that she slept through it all and didn't hear the other shots, isn't it amazing?  

Amazing.     There are so many people who are robbed of wonderful lives by accident or disease, who fight so hard to stay alive.    My daughter's illness makes her reckless with her own safety, at best.   She is so sweet and naive when she is at her best, so unpredictable and difficult other times.   I checked the internet and sure enough, the local papers down there reported a February 4 shooting, with one man killed and a second in intensive care.    How on earth did she get to this place, to this horrible life?     I can trace her decline and lots of my own mistakes, but have never been able to identify, even in retrospect, the place where I could have stopped it.     One would never guess that I had a professional job, that she was raised in a middle class life.    How scary that her life has come to this, that surviving a multiple shooting is our version of all being well, or at least as well as all can be.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Fat Friday

Here in too-cold Michigan, kids don't get a whole week off for Mardi Gras, so we needed to make the most of this weekend.    Today my grandchildren made Valentines (since this is a double duty holiday), but better still,  Mardi Gras masks, and then the kids decorated a New Orleans King Cake before our  dinner of red beans & rice with cornbread.   This was my kind of celebration!   Food, fun, and more food!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Life is good

Wow.    Yesterday, while I was taking a break from shoveling, my neighbor who is much older than I am swept by and snow-blowed my entire sidewalk and half my driveway!       Right after I finished the rest, a very small job, my son came by, intending to do it all for me.    Sweet, I felt very taken-care-of.  :)    Today, when I returned from Tai Chi, I found roses on my front porch from Dr. Cranky.    An embarrassment of blessings.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I shoveled twice yesterday and comforted myself with how light and fluffy the snow was.   Ha!   This morning there's an additional 6 or 7 inches, and that much light fluffy snow weighs a TON!   The photo doesn't do it justice, but it was taken after removing my first shovel-full on the sidewalk, and the snow (which has already been shoveled twice, remember) is halfway to my knee.     I'll try to think of today as part of my weight training circuit.   But I don't have to be happy about it.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Fairy Play

I spent a couple of hours with my grandchildren yesterday.   When my 5-year-old grandson came home from school, his little sister was singing, 'jump along and smile at me.'    "What are you playing?," he asked when he walked in.    She stopped for a second and answered, "Tinkerbelle, of course.   Don't you wecognize it?"    He added knights and swords to the game, and later dissolved in giggles when I told him, "good night knight."    There are many cute and funny and precious things in the world.   Why is it that nothing can fill you with joy like a grandchild?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Liking list #1

Over the years, people have suggested that I should make a list of things I like, as a way of finding what kind of work I might love.  A brainstorming type of list, with no internal edits, with no concern for whether my 'likes' have anything to do with a particular job description.    I have lots of likes but not very many job skills and I have never seen the sense in this exercise, but I begin my list up here -- does anyone see my perfect job in all of this? -

*I like a drink before dinner.     And wine with my meal.    Both are things I rarely have, because I generally eat alone, and do not usually drink by myself.
*I like to watch people, and animals.   My animal watching has been most fulfilling on Sanibel and in Alaska.    People are interesting everywhere.
*I like to find seashells.    Sanibel is the mother-lode.
*I like computers.   I like to type on them, I like to research things on them, I like to play on them (by looking things up or reading about other people and places).
*I like conversation.    I spent most of my 23-year career alone in an office.    I am mostly alone now.
*I like coffee.
*I like to do volunteer work.   I am more comfortable with real people than with suits.    I have the same qualifications some professionals do and I know that I'm not that special, so I am confused when they seem to think they are.
*I like being in a relationship.    Very few years of my life have been spent "coupled," but it was what I always wanted.
*I like to listen to my grandchildren.  They are endlessly fascinating to me.
*I like the ideas that are involved in philosophy and religions.   I do not pretend to know where the truth lies, but I enjoy the search and am open to all ideas.   I think I am not judgmental about other people's beliefs.
*I like to learn about the ways that people have interpreted their lives and the world throughout the ages; I have great respect for the human spirit and compassion for human hurt.
*I like to write.
*I like natural beauty, the sound of the ocean surf, the whisper of the wind in trees, the colors in the sky, the drama of a storm.
*I like to be by the water, but don't need to do water activities like boating or skiing or fishing.
*I like animals but don't need to own one.
*I like quiet, without artificial noise.
*I like to be alone.
*I like to be with people.
*I am rarely bored.
*I like pretty things, sparkly things, bright things, from frost on a window or ice on a branch to diamonds and sapphires.
*I like peace and harmony; I avoid conflict.
*I like to learn new things and really understand them.  I am interested in almost everything but have no specific passion.
*I like trying new recipes.   It doesn't matter to me so much whether they are successful or not.
*I like old blues, old new orleans-style jazz, the early rolling stones, tim buckley, a variety of music, but I rarely seek it out.
*I like to wear jeans and baggy t-shirts.  It would be nice to be pretty, but I really like to be comfortable.
*I like to know what I am doing, I'm not keen on winging it.
*I like seeing new places.   I always wanted to live in different places, maybe a year or so in each.   That ship has sailed, but I still love the idea.  The first thing my brother or I do when we visit a new place is check the classifieds for jobs and apartments, just in case.
*I like food, too much.   I can over-eat anything, from kale to cookies.   I am addicted to sugar.
*I like to let my mind wander.
*I like to give people presents; I like to give to family of course, but I love giving things even to people I don't or barely know for no reason if I see something I think they'd like (a trait I share with my sister).    The world being what it is, I have to restrain myself in that.
*I like ideas.
*I like to do a job well: when I have an assignment, I will start early and stay late if I have to, and will revise and edit until I think it's right.  When I'm doing it, doing the job well is more important to me than money and, when I do contract work, I mentally charge by the job not by the hour.
*I like to work in spurts.   And then I need to let my mind go somewhere else so that it can work things through without my thinking about it.   I don't know how it works, but the resolution to whatever I'm working on falls into place in a timely fashion, and I depend on that happening.

That's a fair start.   Any job offers yet?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

More bedroom beginnings

Neither room is done, but both are finally beginning (looks like I need to do some wrinkle control!)   The one bedroom holds mostly posters, photos and shells from Sanibel.   The other has a few photos I've taken on other vacations, and hopefully there will be more to come.    Curtains in both rooms still need hemming.    One more bedroom to paint, but I am on my way to being open for visitors!

Monday, February 1, 2010

February already?

This year is already moving so quickly!   It feels like nothing is getting done (probably because I'm not working), but little bits fall into place here and there.    My guest beds were finally delivered (warning: long saga) - I ordered 2 beds from 2 different stores.    The first bed never came because the factory moved from China to the US; the second bed was destroyed when the delivery guys dropped and smashed it, so I ordered a third and a fourth bed; the third bed came with the wrong rails.   Today the 4th bed arrived AND the new rails came in for bed #3.    Yes, yes, bed #3 has a scratch on the side, but they've ordered a touch up kit and promise me it will become invisible.    I sure hope so, because I am very tired of bed hopping!   I got a serta mattress topper for the bed I already had, my sister swears by them.    Now I'm going to play Goldilocks and sleep in each of them until I decide which one is Just Right!