Thursday, January 31, 2008


So juicy and plump, blushing red, sensuously yet surprisingly sweet, I’m encouraged to dive right in, oh my.

As the first taste caresses my lips I curse the condition that kept me from trying this delectable treat any sooner, oh my.

I’ve indulged my tastes, experimented with different ways to eat the great fruit. Always satisfying, always filling.

While tools are not mandatory, tissues are useful. Often though licking the juices from my fingers and my lips to savor every drop is my preferred method of enjoyment. Privacy is essential.

It is grapefruit season and Ruby Reds are peaking right now. The grapefruit is so named because the seeds brought to the West Indies by Captain Shaddock produced a fruit, smaller than today’s version that grew in a grapelike cluster on the tree. Introduced to the US in the early 1800s they weren’t terribly popular. Skin too thick, too many seeds and juice too sour were the chief complaints. Growers have dramatically improved the flavor and texture. I've read that grapefruit consumption is definitely on the rise.

Count me among the converted to the grapefruit appreciation society.

Grapefruit, it’s what’s for breakfast.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Nineteen Seventy-Seven, Eight

This letter to my seven-teen year old self is inspired by Maria who was inspired by Brad.

Dear Seven-teen year old You,

Snap. That was yet another straw threatening to break the proverbial back. Mom changed her mind and instead of spending your summer preparing for dorm life you’re working as many hours as you can possibly muster, just to stay out of the hovel not a home. You know you must find a way out, you just don’t have any idea how to manage that feat, yet.

The eventual escape comes at a high price, a debt that will be re-paid, someday.

You begin to feel a fondness for Velda that transcends that sisterly vibe you had goin’ on. This new feeling confounds you to no end. You try to ignore it, unable to do so, you bury it, deep. Very deep. Years later those feelings, refusing to remain buried, burst forth in shock and then comfort. You learn to welcome these feelings, learn to welcome love.

I want to tell you a great deal, I want to tell you everything. I’ll leave you with this: learn to trust yourself. Trust your feelings, your voice, your heart and above all else, your head. Don’t shy away from what makes you happy. Granted, you don’t fit with your family, the neighborhood, the mold. Learn to embrace your differences, celebrate your uniqueness. Don’t become a prisoner to everyone else’s perception of what or who you should be. Treat yourself to honest inspection and generous interpretations. Follow your own paths.

Well, try.

My Very Best Regards,
Forty-Seven Year Old You

Friday, January 25, 2008

D Bugging, Not

Vestiges of wilting garlands, limping wreaths and fading twinkle lights clinging to eaves, porch railings and yard ornaments were beginning to bug. I mean come on people it's over. Move on. My old pal Frizzy and the newest addition to our non-breathing fuzz patrol, Miranda bid a final farewell to the season over a week ago. Two weeks too late mind you, but gone are all symbols of the season in our little abode. However, back to being bugged or rather not bugged. The leftover holiday decorations stew was beginning to bug me that is until the snow and deep, deep freeze arrived. Talk about bugging. But I'm not. Nope, not bugged about the weather (except by this) but not talking about that today.

Obviously there is much more I could be bugged about. Today though I'd rather focus on some of the other things not bugging me at the moment. Given the givens I'm pretty happy these days. Would I rather be able to wrap my arms around my girlfriend any old time I pleased? Oh, honey, yes! Would I rather be thinner? No diggity, no doubt. Would I rather be wealthier if for no other reason that to be able to do (or have done) all the repairs & updates around the condo? Well, sure. Would I rather be less inclined to pop commas after every third word? Yep Yep. What about the things I can't can't change? Yes, I'd like to be able to right some universal wrongs.

But I was talking about not being bugged. For instance, I am not bugged by my son. M has a new lady friend. They've been on a handful of dates. They met (I think) at a party and though both live in the city he and she have been writing letters back and forth. Actual letters, not e-mails. Like mom, like son (see 29), I guess. One of these dates lasted 12 hours during which time they were briefly locked inside of a zoo. Or thought they were. He'll be spending his birthday evening (in two weeks) with the new lady friend. I get the honor of taking him to brunch or lunch the next day. He talked about wanting to meet at Ann Sather’s. I hear it's a pretty popular spot and pretty crowded on the weekends so I'm not sure that will work. No matter where though, younger D and I will be donning our hiking boots and heading northeast to connect with him. We've got to tease him hear all about the lady friend, in living color and over copious amounts (for him) of food.

Nor am I bugged that the cat has returned to his middle of the night play with mommy games. A door broke so the separate sleeping quarters idea is suspended until repairs can be made. Or perhaps not as he has suspended his less than pleasant activity and has moved on to rubbing nose-to-nose and stroking my head. Apparently he too took issue with Norman's work.

My daughter’s work schedule changed again. This doesn't bug me eventhough it means that three days a week I'm walking her our dog at 6:45 a.m. as she must be walked and fed before I leave for work by 7:30. D, the younger, has been taken out of the kennels on those and is working in the clinic assisting the veterinarian with surgeries and other duties, hence her earlier start time. Younger D is most pleased with this development and I'm happy to be able to help. It is cold as a witch's tit at 6:45 a.m. but with the extra layers I hardly notice.

The new year brought new responsibilities and changes to Neta's schedule which has had an impact on our talk time. And while I miss her and our time together. I'm not bugging. No. 'Tis necessary and I'm with her all the way. We simply make the most of the time we do get to talk. Yum.

At the very top of my not bugging list, well, bottom in this case, but tops in my mind right now is my barber, Norman after only one prompt to take more off the top got it closer to right. I am however going to take Sassy's advice and take a snapshot. I'll take the photo to a couple of the other barbers in the neighborhood and see if they can do what Norman did--only a smidge better.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Kitty Here ! !

Nearly two weeks to the day since he left, Mr. Bobo the cat has returned. He was on the porch when Neta got in from work last night. He was cold, dirty, hungry and a little irritable. Neta says he sneezed a bit and his ears felt a bit warm. He and the lovely Lill-i-an didn’t have a warm and fuzzy reunion but by this morning they seemed to be getting back on friendly terms.

Welcome home Bobo.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


You’re out in the elements clearing snow from your walkways. Why in the love of Petra would you clear a path so narrow chickens would have difficulty passing?

Folks in wheelchairs, with strollers, shopping carts and those of us who use at least two feet to walk would appreciate a little more ground clearance. And while you’re out there, how about clearing that mound from the intersection curb so folks can cross the street without having to regret missing that mountain climbing course at the rec center. And oh, by the way, in our town you are bound by law to clear your walkways within 24 hours of the last snowfall.

Be a good neighbor, mmmkay? Thanks.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Again With The Hair

After several visits to a barber (the second since the closer crop makeover) he informs that there is a hole in my head. Well, of course there is. Since my very first visit I’d tried to get this barber to cut my hair low. Lower, it seems than HE is comfortable. I think it’s because I’m a woman.

I could be wrong. Still…

Every time he deems himself done & presents a mirror for me to approve the cut, I have to request more off the top. Please. This last time he used the hole as his excuse for not going shorter. I explained (or tried to) what I was after. He clipped some more but when he presented the mirror again, I didn’t see any changes. I settled again for the not short enough cut.

I like this guy. He’s close, friendly and relatively inexpensive. But, I need him to cut my hair the way I want.

I’m going to give him another chance because I’ve waited too long (again) and this bushy-top is driving me nutty. But along with needing a new dentist and possibly a new medical doctor, I may be on the hunt for a new barber (again) soon.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Here, Kitty Kitty

While with my sugar I got to meet our new kitty,Lily or as we've taken to calling her, the Lovely Lillian or Lill-i-an (with the requisite musical lilt). Neta told me how much Lily resembled Pete. I was struck by just how much. With the exception of her very short legs, she could very nearly be Pete's clone. Lily may not be a true munchkin but she comes very close. To say that she is the sweetest kitty I've ever met would be the understatement of the millennium. She's a nightly kneader, Neta calls it "making biscuits" and it is just precious. Last Wednesday both Lily and Bobo got outside. Neta called me as usual Thursday morning after having been up all night and beside herself with worry. Bobo got outside and sometime during the late night, early morning hours during one of Neta's many trips to the door calling for him, Lily slipped out. Lily has since returned. We were talking late on Saturday night and Neta heard her cry. She was cold, dirty and scared but otherwise un-harmed. The Lovely Lillian has been glued to Neta's side since her return. I am anxious to see her (and her other mommy) again, to say the least.

Neta continues to look and call for Bobo. She has placed an ad and is contacting shelters. We keep hope alive for Bobo's safe return. Here, kitty kitty Mr. Bobo, Lily is missing you, Neta is missing you and I am missing your special brand of cat love in our lives.

Monday, January 14, 2008

P is for..

D and I called one another at least once a day while I was away. Just checking in, we talked about the weather, the pets and my mom, usually. Thursday, the third of January was different. She called shortly after getting off work, as usual. I gave her my usual greeting, “hey D, how ya’ doin’?”
She stopped me cold with…”mom, don’t panic.”

Well, I didn't, much. D was in an auto accident. While she was able to settle me some,convince me that she was fine physically and would be emotionally in fairly short order, it took a bit of time for my heart rate to return to normal. Neta came home to lunch that day to a less than serene Deborah. But, “no, baby, I don’t need to go home, she’s fine” I assured.

The rest of the visit progressed without further (troubling) incident. D and I continued check in with one another daily. I returned home to a daughter frantically trying to adjust to the fact that she will have to take a public transpo train to work for the foreseeable future.

My daughter is not quite the veteran I am when it comes to public transportation. "Sweety, it will be fine, try to relax, stay alert and allow yourself plenty of time."

I didn't mention the P word once.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

You're the Boss, Applesauce

For the past, oh I don’t know, 20 months or so, my boss, the VP/General Manager, has hemmed and hawed, moaned and groaned, rubbed new groves in his forehead from all the rubbing and sucked in enough air from sighing that if he were to harness it he would match the output of our very large warehouse fan, over the lack of focus, attention to detail & follow-through and general incompetence of between one to five of our seven employees.

Though the neglectful and in some cases, deceptive acts have continued unabated, the boss hasn't done much more than hem, haw and issue what has amounted to empty threats of salary reductions or terminations for nearly two years.

Color me flabbergasted when at annual review time he gave EVERYBODY a pay raise, again. He passed on this bit of news very late, giving me only a few days before calendar year-end and the start of my vacation to hammer out the 2008 budget.

Well, I get the budget and other year-end duties done. I go on vacation and I have a fab… well, you know. Now only four days into my return to work the boss is livid, once again, over an act or acts committed by one or more of the aforementioned ne’er-do-wells on staff.

His response to the straw breaking camel’s back infraction is to make one guy a supervisor, the guy who was the supervisor/manager only a manager and to give that one guy (the new supervisor) a higher pay raise than previously reported and to take away the raise of the other guy (supervisor/manager) as well as take away the raises of the other 3 guys in the department.

Yeah, I know. Huh? Indeed.

For me, personally and directly, it means re-creating the freakin’ 2008 budget.


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

F Words

First and foremost, I was finally there to look into, caress and kiss her face. The feel of my fingers wrapped perpetually around hers and vice versa felt fabulously fine.

The first day and the days to come was and will be filled with Fs. Fs in the dress of forms. Forms, forms, forms, long forms, short forms, blue forms, green forms. Frantic forms.


Forms coupled with follow-up. Emails to retrieve and replies to fashion. There are voice messages to decipher, employees and employers to de-brief, most of which leads back to forms and formats. Mere seconds after the happy New Year greetings did who, what, why, where, did, have you questions and requests flow.


Forms and functionality require focus which is in short supply the first day back and the days that will follow as I am fighting the urge to flee once again to the comfort of her arms, face and the feel of fingers. Hers, mine. Ours.

Every ounce of focus that can be harnessed is directed to attending responsibilities at home and work. Continuing to fuel my tank is the thought and work needed to move forward towards our being together again finally. And forever!