Wednesday, May 31, 2006


At the office, I have an IN box. In fact, the box is more like a basket. The basket, very large and very red is placed in a very prominent place just inside my office door.

The basket is large, large enough to hold any number of items, invoices, checks or even lunch should someone feel so inclined to share.

I clear my IN basket daily. I do not like clutter and I do not like pending. I like DONE. I am warmed by DONE.

My office mates are IN on the basket notion. Anything requiring my attention and / or action should be placed in the basket. Those items are given quick and prompt service. My daily goal is an empty basket.

There are two in my office, who, for whatever reason, cannot consistently grasp the concept. These mates persist in placing whatever the item, directly under my nose, usually while my nose (and the rest of my face) is involved in other, generally more urgent and unrelated activity. Often, they further intrude by announcing the offending item; "This is and invoice from Jump to It" or "This is the absent slip for sick guy." Sometimes, the announcement is in the form of a question, "Where would you life this?"

Composure and good cheer firmly in place, "please place in the basket."

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

School Days

My daughter might have been a soft core porn author. She might be yet, the jury is still out pondering her career fate. Anyway, a few years ago, when she was in high school, an English teacher remarked that she thought YL would make an excellent soft core porn author. Not just a writer, mind you, a very specific niche. I've never seen any of the stories that elicited this opinion. I asked to see them, but the teacher graded them and returned them to the author. The author promptly discarded them. Hmm...Curious.

Authoring soft core porn might be a step up, I suppose. Further back when in JR high, her writings were forwarded to the social worker, who promptly called me in for a conference. The teacher and SW were concerned that she might be plotting some *action* against classmates or more. They relayed that therapists could be summoned, interventions arranged. Whoa! I offered reassurance that the stories were fiction. She has an active imagination. She has a brother who preceded her and she tries to *outdo* him. She's just, you understand, testing boundaries. Finally, I threw in; "YL doesn't have the organizational skills to plan her lunch, let alone a coup." Ms. SW, noted, "why, yes, of course Ms. t o d, that is documented here in her *file*, but, still, you understand, we must keep an eye on the situation."

Yes, of course, they must.

Now back to this soft core porn business, those were just *fiction* too. Right?

Monday, May 29, 2006

Think Holiday

The condo building I live in is small. There are nine units-all currently owner occupied. We are self-managed and I'm on the board. In the beginning I found it all very exciting. I mean, this is my first *home* and I was giddy with the possibilities.

I knew that it would take time to get my unit updated and decorated to fit my vision and ultimate comfort level. I've been planning for the past few years and hope to get started on the actual work sometime over the next year or so.

I had higher, more immediate hopes for the grounds and other common areas. The first few meetings I went to sounded promising. There seemed to be ideas, plans and goals. There wasn't much money so we were *committed* to doing as much as we could ourselves. Keeping up with the basics; sweeping, mopping, some minor yard work should be a snap since there were (at the beginning) seven of us.

Several months later we were still *talking* about the many of same things. I realized then my association mates were lazy.

Today I will be cleaning our back courtyard of fallen leaves, twigs and various detritus nature has bestowed on our little kingdom, as I've done many weekends over the past few years. I will then move on to the front yard, where I will be weeding, watering and tending to the un-potted plants.

My fellow *homeowners* will pass me on their way to..wherever it is they go; they will stop, admire and say, "hey, looks great!" and I'll say, "thanks."

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Adjusting the Focus

I wrote a piece to post yesterday. It was eaten. It's gone. Bye Bye. When it disappeared I was all huffy and puffy and screaming, "HEY! You Stupid Head, GIVE ME BACK MY POST!" After taking a few cleansing breaths I realized Stupid Head did me a favor. Thank you Stupid Head.

The lost post was about my mom (yesterday was her 66th b-day-Happy One MOM), our family and our complicated, stressful, sometimes fulfilling relationships. Losing the post, gave me time to think, as the post was written in reaction and sounded a bit, well, reactionary.

Feeling like I was about to lose my mind dealing with all this crap from my past. My mom and brothers have made a comfortable home for themselves mired in the muck that was our life. While it's clear I must deal with it as I must deal with them, I am not really feeling the spewing ad nauseum of this particular topic-besides it's all still a little too close, too real. Thus, enough.

I awoke (too early) this morning and went cruising on my Bella Vista. I rode around the park with vintage Madonna bouncing my head and powering my legs. It came to me during BORDERLINE that I'm going to be 46 in just about eight weeks. EIGHT WEEKS! 46! Further, some of this weirdness I'm feeling is...mid-life crisis? No, not crisis, I think it's more like catharsis or more accurately, needing a catharsis. Or, even more to the point, I need to get, ahem..some. Well, not so much that, but more. You know to feel connected to something, someone other that mom, brothers, son and daughter. True, they are part of me, but not, I'm waking to discover-all of me. I'm needing to get out of my head and more into my heart, opening my heart again.

Now, I have absolutely no idea how to get there from here. But I'm guessing that all these new reading, writing, better eating, struggling to get in shape by gym joining moves must be about more than a healthy, longer more productive life. It must also be about this:

Thursday, May 25, 2006


I take pride in doing things on my own; in feeling capable to take on much, if not anything. This independent streak transmits and sometimes manifests as stubbornness, refusal to accept or ask for help, even when I so clearly need the assistance. Someone screamed at me once, "WHY won't you let me help you?" I could only answer, "I don't know, I just can't, don't worry. I'll work it out."

The phrases can you help me? May I borrow? Or even, do you have the time? Do not roll easily off my tongue. Independence might be my pride and my curse. Much of my life has been spent being helpful to others, being the strong one, the independent one. Having the shoe on the other foot just feels wrong.

There have been some incidents that have played a hand in my keeping my problems, wants and desires to myself. To wit:

Two years ago, an aunt I hadn't seen or spoken with for years, offered to give me money for additional schooling that she thought, my mother would want me to have. This offer was tendered provided I chose 1) a reasonably priced institution and 2) gave her the name and number of the financial officer so she could send the check there. She didn't *trust* me to..Well, she didn't trust me, I guess. After giving it some thought, I declined but wrote that I would like the opportunity to keep the lines of communication open so I could get to know her and her grand-children. I was of the opinion (although I didn't voice it) that she was feeling some guilt over having abandoned us when my dad (her brother) and mom's marriage disintegrated. I haven't heard from her since.

Younger brother decided to help me with my auto expenses, when I had one. He thought he'd relieve me of my car, ever so briefly. He did return it, minus a headlight, taillight and sporting a couple of tickets. This was a big help, let me tell you. I've tried to steer clear of his help.

There have been genuine offers, gifts and random acts that I, albeit reluctantly, as I appear to be wired that way, have accepted and for which I remain forever grateful. Finally, reaching a point in my life where I can see that it's not all bad to have a network of smart, skillful, creative, funny and kind persons who can and will offer what you need and want, when it is necessary. Independence is pride. It doesn't have to be a curse.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Pet Please

My daughter wants a dog. In my heart, I want a dog too. Throughout my childhood there were dogs; there were old dogs, new dogs, borrowed dogs and blue dogs. My dad brought home strays, not all of them dogs, but that's another story. After he and my mom split, my younger brother was usually able to convince my mom that we should take in his newest rescue.

For one reason or another there hasn't been a dog in my life since I left home at seven-teen. Consequently, YM and YL have never had a dog growing up YM never broached the subject; rumor has it he's a cat person. YL asked, from time to time about getting a dog. Initially, only dad vetoed. As I began to realize that the home ownership dream that I thought WE hatched, wasn't going to come to fruition and then we split; I had to help her face the fact that she would grow up without a dog. She took this hard as we lived in a community full of single family homes and happy families who housed up to three dogs, cats and various other creature pets.

YL is now grown up and she wants a dog. In my heart, I want a dog too. In my head, however, I'm thinking she must be nuts. The three of us live in a two bedroom, single bath condo with no back yard to speak of. She works in a day care 6 hours a day 5 days a week. She cares for several children between the ages of 2 and 4. She works with women, most of them older than me (which I take to mean they are 'difficult') and she whines, ahem, I mean reports to me daily about her travails. So, this young lady, who crowned herself Princess years ago, the reigning, uncontested diva of our world, is going to come home and care for a puppy / dog whose been cooped up in the condo all morning when she won't even do her laundry until every scrap of fabric she owns (which is legion) is dirty? Um, no I don't think so, at least, not yet.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Do Not Volunteer

As you may have read, in addition to the office gig. I also have a PTG. I work in a call center where I take calls from people looking for jobs. I signed all kinds of legal smeagle confidential thingys so that's it for deets. I just wanted to pass on the following; when being interviewed for a job, particularly over the phone, do not over respond. Do not volunteer information.

Example 1: Are you at least 18 years of age? Oh, YES. I am 76. responding to ad for warehouse job
Example 2: Have you ever been convicted of a felony? Um, no? But I do have several misdemeanors on my record. Will that hurt my chances?

Next question please.

Baby I'm Amazed

I don't remember wanting to be a mother before I became one. When I was a small girl, my dolls weren't my pretend kids. Tamu was my sister and baby Thumbelina was her sister, but, not my sister. Oh, I don't know, I think we worked out the relationships later. The point is, they were not my daughters, ever.

Now, of course you know that I am a mother. Not once, but twice over. I don't know how this happened. Well, I know how....but, for the life of me I cannot recall the thought process that led me down this road. Most likely, very little thought was deployed.

So I found myself tending to the every want and need to one and then two little, loud, and messy people. Two people who all too quickly grew larger in body and mind. With help from my mom, the heavy lifting was accomplished. The work however is not done, it's never done.

I know Mother's Day was a week ago, but with all the graduation festivities, I didn't have the opportunity to properly reflect on the phenomenon of my young man and lady. More will be said about them, for now, please just know that they've rocked my world since conception.

My mom, in spite of her own problems and personal demons, was right there with me, helping me tend to them. The fact of them helped her survive some of those dark days. I'm afraid, though that she doesn't have enough to hold onto these days. I'm close to exhausted on options.

But, today is about honor and thanks. I thank my mom for all she does as I continue to do all I can for her. My maternal grandmother was buried Mother's Day 17 years ago. I feed on these nuggets as I soldier on: my grandmother was pregnant 18 times. She carried 13 to term. Ten of the full-terms resulted in live births. All but 1 of the 10 had children. Many of those children, had children. Every child born into this family prior to her death, was held, gingerly, sweetly by Big Mama.

My grandmother was a woman of few words but very large acts of discipline, kindness and compassion. We all miss her very much. We love her still. Every day is our day.

Friday, May 19, 2006


I don't drive. I can drive. I have license to drive. I don't because I don't have a car. I had a car. In fact, in the 30 years that I've had a driver's license I've had 20 cars. When I was coupled, we usually maintained two cars. One year we had three. We only had two rented spaces. The ex had a very had habit of buying things we didn't need and no one else wanted. The three cars provided for some entertaining evenings as we played hide the big blue Buick from parking enforcement. We finally had to rent a third space.

Like I said, I don't drive. Yet, I must get to work. I take public transportation. Normally, it's the train. The G line which travels on an elevated track, has been a fixture in my life, my entire life. I've ridden this line, off and on, over the past, at least 40 years. Yes, I took the train to and from school for the better part of several school years. The first time was when I was in third grade.

Over the years I have had any number of 'events' on the train. My first bout of morning sickness was on the train. My first case of frostbite occurred while I was waiting for the train. I was minutes from boarding a train that eventually derailed and two cars fell off the track onto the street below.

Riding the train these days are a numbing experiences for me. Not much bothers me anymore. Not the guy who hit me with his equipment (construction, he was carrying in a big sack), the lady who cracks her gum in my ear, the *music* emitting from earbuds, the people who decide that their bags, briefcases and assorted detritus deserve a seat or the people who read the LARGEST NEWSPAPER IN THE WORLD all spread out, like they are the only people on earth, let alone, the only people on the train. Not even the delays or indecipherable announcements on the PA systems. Nope, none of this bothers me anymore.

The train I can take. It's the bus that drives me insane.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Sit, Eat and Consequences

I joined a gym several weeks ago. Two reasons: body and soul. Seriously, doc tsked tsked about borderline hyper-tension and cholesterol, yadda yadda yadda and as my family history puts me at high risk....So, I had my orders! Get the diet under control and get thee into a regular exercise routine. I noted that I walk all the time. She followed that since my metabolism had slowed to a crawl, I needed to pump it up, so to speak.

First, getting the diet under control. This proved to be a bit harder than I thought it would be. Controlling the fat was not so bad. Beyond that, I had to become a label master. Low fat, low sodium, no trans fat, smart butter and smart water. Sheesh! Basically, I attacked this by cutting down (or out) most processed foods.

I resisted and then dismissed joining a gym initially because it was too expensive. I had a kid in college. I'd lost two apartments in two years due to condo conversions. I had to finally accept that I was going to have to buy a condo to stay in town. Enter, PTG (part-time gig). I had previously taken care of exercise needs with home videos and by beloved bella vista cruiser. I figured I could get sufficient exercise if I rode Bella an hour a day every weather permitting day during the spring, summer and fall months, prior to PTG. With the PTG, an hour a day would have to start at 5:00 a.m. uhm NO.

So, how to get sufficient exercise to combat the medical issues as well as the spread of Missouri across my backside? A Gym. I looked into several options. Most were dismissed as too far from home or work, too pretentious or too expensive.

Finally, a basketball training gym down the street from the office converted to a full service gym. They offered all kinds of grand opening specials, putting it well within my budget. The place is relatively low key and since the area is stinky with gyms and day spas, not too crowded, yet. So, I am now a lunch hour gym rat. My blood pressure is down, desired cholesterol levels are within reach and my Missouri butt is beginning to look more like Kansas. Woo Woo Woo W e oooo (lyric from High School spirit song--you don't want to know)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Wait, It's Coming

Don't you hate when you lose something; spend seconds, minutes, hours; re-configuring, re-constructing or replacing only to have the original item show up? It is happening all too often in my post 4th decade, pre-menopausal, all too freaking frequent cycles. Shh..I'm concentrating!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

At the Water Cooler

I work in an office, well, two really. The first, a regular 40 hour, 9-5 type deal-e-o and the other a 10-13 hour weekly exercise which kills part of Sunday and three week nights. You may have heard, I have, excuse me, had a son in college. I also have a 20 year old daughter, though not in college, has been a category 5 budget buster for a few years now.

To simplify matters, from this day forward, the 9-5 gig will be known as the office, no relation. The part-time gig will be known as PTG.

In the office I am the only female and the only parent of humans (another story for another time) in a staff of nine. The median age is 41. I am also the only one sans significant other.

Does being a lone female over 40 office working parent (of humans) with a PTG have any correlation to being sans significant other? Most likely not, but something does. It's probably just me.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Pomp and Pride

My son graduates from college tomorrow. His excitement radiates and is quite infectious. To him, I write; I wish you well. You have proven yourself to be a man of honor, imagination and courage. You have made yourself at home on many theatrical stages. I know that there are many more to come. Opportunities await. Your number one fan is applauding inside and out.

Friday, May 12, 2006

I'm Coming Out (?)

Here I am again. As my archives & profile attest, I started this blog several weeks ago; the lone entry, a rather weak testament to my status as a blogger. I haven't been back for several reasons. First, the medium, and the breadth and dearth of items out there is just a tiny bit intimidating. Second, time; too much to do, too little time to do it. Third, my questioning whether this process is going to help, hurt or just be--and if there is no effect, is it worth the time, effort and energy?

This is my usual routine. I've talked myself into and out of many things over my 40+ years. Some of these things might have been good for me, ultimately, if I'd just given it a chance. I teeter-totter, rationalize, err on the side of caution, more times than not. How different my life might be, or might have been, if I were more daring.

I've never been on a plane. I don't think I'm afraid to fly, but I might be. My daughter asked if I would take her to Vegas for her 21st birthday in October. I agreed, a bit reluctantly. The other day she asked if I would freak out on the plane. I told her I would try not to as I wouldn't want to embarrass her. Sweet, smart young woman that she is, said, "Mom, you couldn't embarrass me, I know you've never done it and I don't want you to be scared."

So, since agreeing to go, I have been adjusting the 'tude. I'm trying on for size, a 'git er done' coat. I'm posting and announcing to those I visit that I too, am a blogger.