Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Bienvenida a Miércoles

click on image for link 
Just a couple of thoughts on this, the last day of twenty-fourteen: 

 Did you know that the Morton Salt Company's tag line for a long while was, "when it rains it pours"?  No one was injured by the wall of salt or the collapsing wall.

Daughter was telling me a story a while back and during the telling of the story she used the term, "funeral park" which was used in place of cemetery, which she couldn't remember the name of the place where the dead are buried at the time. And since then, well, funeral park is now our term for cemetery.

Son said just this morning that he wants to act, sing, dance, and play music like Nina Simone-with a reckless, yet purposeful abandon. He is learning to play the harmonica and acoustic guitar. Just this past Sunday he got on stage at his favorite club during the weekly jam session. He is turning into a Mississippi Delta blues man before our very eyes. So fun.  

I don't really want to look back on twenty-fourteen except as to recall the ideas for work, learning, and . . . growth and how best to expand upon those ideas. Moreover, finding a way to stay the course, so to speak, in terms of not only getting projects off the ground but executing to fruition. 

On that note, the Mandala Discovery journey begins again tomorrow. I didn't sign up for another go 'round as I didn't finish the first. But, finish the first (as well as possibly repeating some of the prompts) will happen within the first quarter of twenty-fifteen. 

The second anniversary of my mother's death is looming and even as I type that, the emotion wells. The tears flow, not quite as often, but  . . still. At the end of "Cooley High" one of our (me and mom's) favorite movies there is a funeral scene and the song, "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" is featured. I was finally able to load the dvd into the player, but cannot watch it to the very end. 

While not particularly driven by gadgetry, I wish I had a device that would record my thoughts without benefit of me having to speak (or write). For, many ideas come on the fly (so to speak)  and more often than not, an inconvenient time and place. Try recalling any of those thoughts, ideas, epiphanies later. 

I have to cut this off here as I must get out the door within the next 8 minutes to have any hope of getting to work on time. But, lastly and not at all least, this: The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing is on the January 2015 calendar page. And on that note,  feliz año nuevo 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Simple Thing


"We are living art, created to hang on, stand up, forbear,
continue, and encourage others." 
~Maya Angelou

Monday, December 22, 2014

Two and a Half

MicroBlogMonday
As I remain challenged to stitch together much in the way of coherence please indulge a thimble full of random thoughts:  

1. The work (of more import, commute) week is shortened by two and a half days.To that I scream a resounding YaY!!  Well, the commutes will still be three full days as I must return even after the half day of work. But, still . . yay.

2. You shall be pleased to read that after much hand wringing and hair pulling, I have finally decided my contribution to the eve breakfast potluck: deviled eggs.

3. A joyous noise moment: the company holiday party won't happen until the ninth of January. It shall be a casual, family affair. In a bowling alley. To that I scream a resounding YaY!!!

4. The pooch (don't worry, she has since had her face done, eyes no longer hiding behind all that fur) and the catdog, Buttah continue to  navigate a, "I'm the favorite" course.  Neither need not worry. Plenty of love for them both (as well as for the more aloof, Pete.)

5. A condolence card arrived the other day which confounded
and astounded in equal measure. Quite moved by the outpouring of kindness expressed therein.

6. Birds are a common theme in greeting cards. Birds are a common holiday theme. My comfort threshold with birds is low. Not so low that I'm overly quacked out by images alone. But should I come face to face with a gaggle of geese, a covey of partridges,  a murder of crows, and so on . . way quacked out. Still, I shall be looking for every and all opportunities to shrink the bird themed greeting card collection currently in my possession.    

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Mon., Tues., We . .


given the givens not a bad week, but certainly 
room for improvement. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Like Pulling Teeth

 The title, until about five minutes ago (it is 11:52 pm) was going to be . . "I've got idioms on my mind"  (you know, like sung to, "You Are Always On My Mind") which is in reference to the fact that I was going to write and post this entry last night might one thing and then another thing and then . . well, I went to bed thinking and feeling like the entire week (and it was only Wednesday) was like . . yeah, the title.

But when I got up this morning the title was gone. Vanished. Out of my mind. All day I was trying to remember and all day nothing. Na da. Zilch. Finally, I just said the hell with it, forget the plan, do something about idioms (in general) and move the frack on. Hence, :the new title idea.

After an evening of quality time with Cinnamon and Buttah (Pete requires no such interaction save the sneers exchanged when kibble is dropped in his bowl) heating and eating dinner, cleaning the kitchen, beginning and finishing two holiday greetings (with "love lists" enclosed to be posted Friday I sat down to dash off the, "I've got idioms on my mind" post still hoping to get to bed by eleven. Until someone woke from their mid-evening slumber eager to share a rousing, amusing, and winding tale of a dry cleaner's passion, fake Valentino suits, sweat stains and more . .  

It was in the midst of that story where the original idiom (like pulling teeth) that prompted the idea or the post I was going to write last night, that was lost during the course of the day, reappeared. Waving hello, howyadoin? like nothing ever happened.

And now, still, not saying what was on my mind to say last night (or rather, Wednesday night, for it is now very early Friday morning) it shall have to keep for another time. For time, is no longer on my side. Five AM will roll around much too soon and . . . damn, now Cinnamon is pacing. Must get dressed so she can poop. She only paces when she needs to poop. Or after vomiting. Since she hasn't vomited, out we go.

Happy Friday getting here was like pulling teeth.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Something Old, Something New

The idea of getting up at the ass crack of dawn the day after Thanksgiving to brave crowds, mania, and in most cases, horrible weather to score a killer deal on __________ whatever is as attractive as sticking hot pokers in my eyes.

Now, I like sales and bargains as much as the next penny watching consumer. But, there are limits. And that which embodies the so called Black Friday is at the top of the limit list.

My Fridays after Thanksgiving have historically found me eating leftovers, watching holiday movies, getting a jump on weekend chores, playing board games, reading, writing, in short, chilling the frack out. The plan was for this one to be more of the same. Even more so since I'm fighting off the emotional tides of grief.

Then came an event called The "New" Black Friday. I discovered the event through my good friend Maxine and it sounded tailor made; something I could do from home, creating lists, sharing with a community of folks IF you wanted.

Hello. Yes.

So, in addition to some usual household tasks, watching movies, and laughing with my son and daughter I spent some of Friday (and beyond, to be honest) creating love lists, gathering materials, and beginning the constructing of same.

Great fun. A project that will occupy some of my down time over the next couple of weeks. Not, that I needed a new project, mind you--but this is well worth sliding others to the back burner temporarily.

Welcome to December 1st*

*micro blogging Monday            



Thursday, November 27, 2014

T = together. time. . . .



Daughter has Mexicana radio flowing, soup simmering, grill fired up, sous chef Cinnamon at the ready. Son has stories. It is fun to be on the sidelines, watching, listening, learning, laughing. May your day be spicy or sweet, whatever your heart and soul desires. Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday. Monday.

MicroBlogMonday !! 

That. Is. All.  Five AMcomes much too quickly. 

for now. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Well, it is Wednesday

And welcome to it. Before turning in last night the news was all about how we (the region) have suffered record (for this point in November) low temperatures and now the S word and how it would affect the morning commute.

Well, the pooch and I were outside about forty minutes ago and low and behold, no snow. On one hand I feel great because who wants to trudge to work in the snow, get all wet and have to pack extra socks and some indoor shoes for sitting for subsequent eight hours?

Not his girl. Not this morning anyway. So, thank you weather forecasters for being wrong and weather pattern for changing course or whatever happened. However, on the other hand, I was kind of looking forward to the snow because, well, trudging. Extra effort to walk meant using extra energy which meant calorie burning.

It is coming. Just not today. (Or not this morning).

Welcoming this Wednesday morning is a scale date. I decided on November 5th when I got on the scale at it read a few ticks beyond 260 and I would 1. weigh myself every other Wednesday 2. Work to have the needle move in the  away from the 260 mark (in the lower register, just to be clear) and 3. To try to sustain the efforts for longer than a month, longer than 2, longer even than 3.

Oddly enough, the image I found this morning for this post is exactly depicts what my scale read this morning.

One day at a time, in two week blocks. Welcome to Wednesday. Welcome snow, whenever you arrive.    

       

Monday, November 17, 2014

Cold As Ice

#microblogmonday

One day last week, once I am not-too-comfortably seated on the first of two buses for the commute home, I open messages left throughout the day. (Work rules dictate that I cannot have my mobile device on my person while at my workstation). There, out of the dark, lay a voicemail from my father's second wife.

Chilled.

My father died Septenber 6, 2012. Five days after his 74th birthday. I didn't know it then, but my mother would die just barely 5 months later.

My insides have been as chilled as our outsides (temperatures plummeting from 60s to 30s in a twenty four hour cycle and staying there). My father's second wife (okay,  okay . . my step-mother's) message did not warrant a call back, in fact, she didn't leave a call back number--so I didn't call her back. She called my brothers as well and they in turn (of course) eventually called me. A family issue and decisions. I know if she had had a choice, we (my brothers and me) would have been out of the loop.

To the bones.

Tears have been a large part of the last several days. Tears steeped in annoyance and more. The annoyance for the folks this call put in my world, put in play.Their ignorance of me (us) their incompetence and their intrusion. The more; grief, memories, lonliness for my mom's presence.

 The upcoming week will mean more of the same for nothing is settled (yet). The issue at hand stands to haunt for many days beyond as one brother is out of sync with the other (and me). I trust this will hamper our becoming closer--for there has been little movement in that regard since our post mom's death discussion.

So, so cold.

The outside as well as on the inside for which no amount of layering will remedy.


Monday, November 10, 2014

waist not. want not. again.

microblogging monday
I'm heavy. Again. Not as heavy as I've ever been but heavier than I want to be. Heavier than I should be. Heavier than is prudent to be.

Again.

As much as I don't want to bethis heavy try as I might, I am having a devil of a time pulling together a string of successes; caloric intake, consistent and meaningful movement.

Hence, heavy remains. And in recent weeks, inching ever so toward -ier.

As I've been where I am before I know what to do. I am just, as I said, struggling with sticking to a routine and making the routine stick.

'Tis critical, this heavier thing. My blood pressure is higher  My knees are achier. My clothes are tighter.

Massive

Critical.

Five years ago I had the Shrinking Piggies to help me work through my weightiness. This time around, to be brutally honest, I hold little confidence that participation in that group, fantastic as those folks were, would yield much in the way of positive results.

But, something must be done.

Now. Consistently. For heavier, this much heavier is not the place to be. Ever. Again.



 

Monday, November 03, 2014

Five for Five*

Tomorrow is election day. We have a couple of pretty hotly contested races. The ads have been furious and the rhetoric fierce. Thankfully, early voting opened up a bit over a week ago and I was able to get my voiting in several days ago.

If a mailing I received a few days ago is to be believed, this election will make the the fifth straight in which I've voted. Again, if the mailing is to be believed, the habit of voting is typical behavior for my neighborhood.
The purpose of this mailing, beyond touting my voting habits and comparing same with that of my neighbors, extolling our excellent active participation in the process, was to remind me (and the other recipients of this particular mailing) that November 4th is Election Day!   Go. Vote

I don't know (yet) out of whose pocket the dimes for this mass mailing came. I do consider the spending of these dimes an egregious waste--reminding folks who have voted in four of the last four elections--that election day is near. I am willing to bet that most (like me) had already cast their ballot prior to receipt of the postcard.

Then again, perhaps the mailing was so massive that it included folks with less than four stars on their election activity record, though I can't imagine the wording of such a missive. Still, do these folks care that Tuesday is Election Day?
I'm
Perhaps some do. I'm holding out hope that most do care and that most (who haven't already) will indeeded
vote on Tuesday, November 4, 2014.

Polls open at 6 AM.

*of course I've voted consistently since becoming of age.

.  


Monday, October 27, 2014

They Work



A favored route to work features, among many business, a locksmith. The front of the building is painted very brightly, with a patriotic theme--good ol red, white, and blue--touting the name of the business, phone number, other services offered, and their mantra: 

We Make Keys That Work! 



In multiple locations  across the front of the building; large and small, with red lettering and then, with the blue. Over and over, again and again: 

We Make Keys That Work!     

My first thought was if there were locksmiths who were of the habit of making keys that didn't work. Oh sure, now and again a key might not work. But, they can't possibly stay in business very long if that kind of ethic is habit rather than  happenstance. 

We Make Keys That Work! 

My second thought was if it--the proclamation--is working. Or, has worked.  How many folks have chosen them over other locksmiths? And if the choice made because of the slogan. Or rather, mantra.   I don't know, I tend to be a bit dubious of entities screaming from the rooftops about whatever it is they do--or want me to believe. I wonder, who are they trying to convince, me or themselves?

The business is located much too far away from my homebase for me to consider trying their services. I suppose, given that they are, in fact, still in business (over 30 years!) they must be doing something right.  And that something may very well be, making keys that work!       

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Over One Hundred


My first blog post is dated March 29, 2006. In 2006 there were one hundred and forty others for a total of 141. Each year through 2010 yielded over one hundred posts with 2008 being the most prolific with one hundred and seventy. 

There were over fifty posts in 2011 but since then, less than. 


With the inaugural post (as you may choose to read) I mused a bit about where this thing is going to go. At  the time I had two adult (children) at home. I still do, except the son is back rather than never left. In addition, two cats and two dogs (though not at the same time, RIP Diva Dog )  have been added. 

There have been other life events along the way; sexual orientation declaration, graduations, career changes, relationship statuses, and the like. The biggest life event over the last eight years; the death of my dad and then, my mom. 

Over one hundred. 

Now, with over 850 published (and a couple of drafts) as much as then, I still don't know where this thing is going--but going ON it shall/ I have mentioned this before. I don't know that I've ever stated here in my own space, why I blog:  Simply put, I must. Now, more than ever before.  

Despite all the talk of numbers, over one hundred, it isn't about the quantity--though I beat myself up something fierce when I go for more than a week without one. With all there is on my mind to say, I can't (consistently) bring myself to write.

Weird, that.  . 

Anyhoo...consistency. discipline. re-discovery. re-awakening. pro activity over reactivity.  

Telling the tale, real or imagined. 

Peace. .  

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Power of Two


My daughter celebrated another birthday on Saturday. In spite of our very tough year (with tough times still looming ahead) we had a grand time hanging out. She prepared a simpe and very tasty dinner. And thanks to a gift card she finally got to use 2 years later, dessert was divine.  

In addition to being my daughter's birthday iting was also National Coming Out Day. I can say without reservation that my daughter is and has always been my biggest supporter, my grandest cheerleader. The year Neta came to town my daughter donned her 'I Love Lesbos' tee shirt and joined Neta and me at Chicago's pride parade, where she got lost in a sea of gays. She  kept her sense of adventure and sense of humor throughout. 

I love her, without question. I also like her a great deal. She is a joy as a daughter and a great find as a friend. I re-dedicate this piece to my daughter, my friend, my number one fan. And to all the other supporters over these last few years, ♥ ♥ ♥  I wouldn't be here without you all !!! 

#Microblog Monday.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Friend. Missing.

go here 


I have a friend. At least, I think I still do. We met some years ago
and had what felt like, an instant connection. That connection grew deeper with our daily interactions and seemed to continue even when our daily contact came to and end.

Until it didn't.

I don't know what drives her moves to silence. My imagination roams deep with possible explanations. The end result however, is the same, her silence brings about confusion, an intense concern for her well-being and extreme sadness over the lost.

I am at a loss to understand. To reconcile.  
I miss her. 




Monday, September 29, 2014

Sinking. Sunken. Thinking. Not.

What? click on image. 

Cause all of me loves all of you
Love all your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me, I'll give my all to you
You're my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I'm winning
Cause I give you all of me and you give me all of you.*

I'm about three days and four hours from pulling my profile from the one meeting / dating site I have been on for the past several years now. Am I over the prospect of meeting someone to shower with affection and be showered in return? No, not at all. I just have so much on my mind and my plate that there is no room and frankly little appetite for romance. It is all I can do to govern the day-to-day.   

Still, the languages of love are bookmarked, catalogued for use  . . . whenever.      

*Chorus to John Legend's All of Me 



Monday, September 22, 2014

Poetry. Girl.

click image for info on Microblog Mondays 



i like it when we talk
the way you smile
the way you walk
like you got places to go
i watched you in far away places
seen you amongst different faces
and now you're laughing at my jokes




the first stanza of  fresh by Kim Ransom

Monday, September 15, 2014

Drift Away







"I want to get lost in your rock and roll and drift away." 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Transformation

>
Transformation: Not easy. In some cases not planned and thus, not welcomed. Constant challenge to embrace change, absorb the fall-out and transform into the newest "model" of me.  Understand, I'm not looking for a new me, not re-invention. I am struggling that has happened and with moving onward with what IS tthe current reality. 

Welcome to Friday. 

Next Mandala lesson: Trust



Monday, September 08, 2014

Monday, Monday



Remember Mandalas?  Well, I was part of the Janaury class. I am on lesson number 22 (of 30 and one bonus) TRANSFORMATION I will share that lesson image and those that follow in this space. For yes,  I intend to finish. Perhaps not during the month of September along with the September class, but certainly during the current calendar year.

Want to know what Microblog Mondays is all about? Click the image.

Ta ta for now. :-)

Monday, September 01, 2014

Eight Hundred and Fifty


posting the pic to get a post up 
for, too many days have gone 
without one. 

the next shall follow 
soon(er) 
rather 
than
too much later. 

Happy September!! 

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Re Invent?

bklynboihood.tumblr.com


You know the problem with purging? You inevitably bump against things that spark memories; good and bad. Things that ignite debate; again, good and bad. Things that bring about a paralyzing numbness.  This, is most often bad for numbness certainly serves to impact that, "putting one foot in front of the other" method to tamping out . . shit.  

As difficult and troubling it has been both physically and emotionally, to begin was necessary and to continue, even more so. 

Thus, the project lives. 

Permission has been granted to move methodically. Or haphazardly. A quick dump. Or a more deliberate study and sort. There is no deadline. The freedom created by the structure-less structure eases the anxiety (a bit) and cures the nausea (some). 

Re-invent? At this juncture it is more about re-discovery. Or . . . recovery. 

One step: it is okay to be able to see the floor of the closet. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Just To See Her


Remember where I was a year ago? I do, not just because I can go back and read but also because it feels like yesterday. I think because I'm in pretty much the same place, the same pain, the same state, the same . . .
Oh sure, I was taking a leap into a new opportunity and at that moment the idea of it made me feel vital. But a few months later the realization that I was trying to turn a sows ear into a silk purse settled out my body, wearing on me like kudzu.

So, I set out to clear the vines. I had to find a new job. After being sick most of December, I got busy smack dab in the midst of the worst winter ever to look and look and look. And I found one. Now, four months into that opportunity I am feeling a sense of relief. Most of my duties are familiar but there is some new information to digest and skills to acquire.

There has had to be work behind the scenes to shrink expenses, renegotiate the mortgage, get down to small ball, re-think, re-imagine the newest normal. Not all of the pieces are in place, but they are getting there. And she is still my guide.

However, like last year my birthday is not cause for raucous fanfare. I will be at work. The student will be at school. The actor will be engrossed in the next project. And that is okay. Maybe there will be a brunch on Saturday or Sunday.

Otherwise, I work, maintain, endeavor to have home projects, art projects, mind and body PROjects.occupy. Those things and the folly that is the 45 pound pooch and the two (especially the orange one) cats  will keep me rolling along.

  .  
 Officially fifty-four.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Boys At Work

They are expert and offering their expertise with every project, from art to minor patches--they are
                         THERE. HERE. EVERYWHERE.
                                 YaY!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

So, Yeah.


Lazy list because I should be in bed, but I'm not--but REALLY should be down for the count. 

1. Both Buttah and Cinnamon have been sick. Nothing serious, but damn. Tired. Stressful. 

2. I don't even want to begin to tell you how many conversations (with daughter) began with the status 
   of  poop. 

3.  Commuting is . . . well, I don't have the words at present. And even if I did--bed calls. . 

4. Some purging did happen and will continue, albeit at a turtle's pace. 

5. The summer so far has been, in a word, weird. 

6. My daughter is slated to assist one of her culinary instructors with a catering gig later today. She is so             stoked.

7. I am deep in the throes of a love / have relationship with paper. All paper. 

8. But, then again, back and forth it may be, that relationship with paper is . . .ahhh..

9. Lovely. 

10. That said, paper (as in bound in books) must leave. One box is done another shall be completed by the       end of next weekend.

11. Just in time to drop off (at the high school) for THE FAIR

12. No, I will not be shopping at the fair this year. 

13. That would be silly. 

14. No, really. 

15. Silly.   

Sunday, June 29, 2014

And Just Like That, June. . . DONE

A month full of festivals, marches, parades, forms, commuting, rain, and sun, wind, and more rain, and more rain. Along  with all manner of ups and downs, fits and starts, ins and outs, a kind of stuttering, meandering, toddler-like frankenmonster steps toward a consistent discipline.

Mostly a pass but on a few fronts, fail.

Or, if not fail then certainly room for improvement.

And improve I shall.

There are too many things in my cramped condo. Now, granted there are two other adults who live with me in this cramped condo. Thus, some of the things do not belong to me. But, I will attend to my shrinking the number of things that do belong to me and work to convince the others to shrink their things as well.

Note: the convincing is directed at daughter as son has been living smaller for a while now. In fact, it is his example I want to follow. That guy's dedication and discipline is epic.And as you might imagine it causes me some joy and pain.

The purging of things is metaphoric. Of course, I have other things on my plate that need attending. Of course there is the juggle between work and play; striking the delicate balance needed to attend to most, and being okay that it isn't ALL.

At least, not all at once

First up, my personal space, my bedroom generally and my personal business (and art) files specifically.

Happy Pride and HELLO JULY.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Amity is a Summer Town

 . ..and so, summer has begun. 

Summer in Chicago for many, if not most residents equals being outdoors at one festival or another. The weekends are chock full of options from one end of the city to the other.It is a grand opportunity to visit a neighborhood that is not one's normal stomping ground, to sample foods that may be outside one's comfort zone. 

A random art fair aside, outdoor festivals are not typically my cup of tea. My sensibilities are turned off by three elements inherent in these fetes: 1. crowds 2. outdoor eating 3. too many people, wearing too few articles of clothing, imbibing too many fruity spectacles delivered in a culled out pineapples.

On the positive tip though, attending festivals is an excellent way to get in s-t-e-p-s.

While not your typical festival dweller I will,  depending on the weather, other commitments, and the neighborhood, check the calendar, pencil in the possible events, and try not to talk myself out of attending at least 3 over the next 3 months. 

Summer has just begun and I've already missed more than a dozen. Don't fret there are dozens more. 

The actor embraces the festivals and would attend more if he wasn't more often than not, working. He will, though almost always make time for the Printer's Row Lit Fest (I would have gone there had it not been the same weekend as the 57th Street Art Fair) and the Blues Festival.  


A Tribune photographer captured the actor at the blues festival last weekend. Check out the gallery. And yes, he pretty much dresses this way for everything, winter or summer, rain or shine. 

I do look forward to summer in Chicago, more for the opportunities to get out on my bicycle over attending festivals. But it is grand to know that weekend IN and weekend OUT there is something I could do, somewhere I could go--have a fruity spectacle delivered in a culled out pineapple--if I truly wanted to go that route. 

Roll on Summertime. ♥ ♥ ♥

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Turtle Me This

random list of facts, thoughts, and the like 

A few years ago I learned Chicago has a turtle club. Maybe more than one, but for the purposes of this note, one is all I need. The turtle club members had an open house (of sorts) which is how I had the opportunity to meet many turtles. It was a fun day. I thank my friend for bringing that memory back to my forefront. 

Have I mentioned that my daughter is a culinary student? I am her official guinea pig taster. It has been fun and interesting. 

Fun aside,  I really have to ramp up my m-o-v-e-m-e-n-t regime. Again. And continuing. 

Somewhere I read the question, "what are your biggest pet peeves?" I didn't answer there but will answer here: folks clipping their nails in public. Skeeves me right the frack out. Folks mentioned flossing in public and while that is icky, I don't have nearly as much of a  gross out reaction to that.

My brother (the younger) is moving to Georgia in two weeks. He told me two weeks ago. It is fitting. 

Seventeen. Why is seventeen stuck in my head? 

Marriage. Marriage has been banging around the gray matter of late. Mostly I've been thinking I'll  never (again) get to a point where I'll be in a marrying state of mind. I have lived alone (save for my son and daughter) since the beginning of the new millennium. I don't know IF I can live with another person in that kind of relationship and as I've never lived with a woman . . . 

It is, at the moment, a thought too huge to embrace. Still, I am enthralled that the country is inching toward equality in the marriage arena. 

Speaking of m-o-v-e-m-e-n-t, I want to take a Zumba class with the local park district. But I'm concerned that the age for the regular classes begin at 15. It's weird. They have a program called ACTIVE ADULTS for adults 50 plus. But they don't have a class for the same group, exclusively. Weirder: Zumba JR. Kids (Ages 4--6)  Zumba Kids (Age 7--11)  Zumba (Ages 15 & Up) . . You see that? What about ages 12--14? No Zumba for them. 

Some of the songs on the (new) Michael Jackson album are creepy. 

I considered growing my hair out (with designs on braids and beads or locks) and let my haircut cycle stretch from every two weeks to . . . well, now. Which wound up being about four weeks. The. HAIR. had. TO. GO!! I may revisit the idea, but have to figure out a way to survive the awkward stage where it must be combed but still too short to braid. Plus, I must be realistic; my fingers may be losing the nimbleness needed to braid well. 

10,000 steps (at least) a day. Twice in the last seven days. The goal for the next seven, twice that. 

Monday, June 09, 2014

June Re-Boot

Memorial Day heralds in the unofficial start to summer.

I can't buy into such folly. It is still offically spring and still

officially . . . well, not 100%.

That said,  daughter and I spent a lovely afternoon at a very cool art fair


in the very cool Chicago neighborhood of Hyde Park. So enthused were we, she very easily convinced me

to purchase  a piece for her. She's very proud of her first original (outside of mine, of course) piece of

artwork.

The first full week of June has been lackluster, at best--change and designs on summertime, aside. I am

erasing the downs and embrasing the ups from the first week and entering week two with sunshine on

my shoulders; metaphorically speaking as the forecast for the next few days is temperatues in the mid-

sixties, mostly cloudy with slightly higher than 50% chance of rain.

Officially, it is still spring.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

a new dawn

good morning. 
a confession to make: 
feeling awful, doing nothing 
BUT 
confident 
that 
change 
is 
afoot. 

sunshine does wonders for 
a body 
and by body 
i mean 
knees. 
not to mention 
doing wonders for 
a mind.  


Monday, May 26, 2014

MoMents

Melody and I were rolling along Pleasant Avenue a week ago Saturday; the thought twisting through my head was how laborious the trip to the library was vs. the return trip home. Nice and easy gliding. Almost.

It was mid-day and sunny. People were out and about. Having moved away from the downtown area, the people were fewer and further between.

To our right, a mature woman in a color coordinated outfit hat included, acknowledged our presence with a nod, wave, and  a full on smile. Dimple included.

And I was done. I steered Melody to the curb, took several deep breaths trying (unsuccessfully) to stave off the waterworks. A motorist pulled along aside me, asked if I was okay. I nodded in the affirmative to get her to move along. Snapped from the absorption of the moment, Melody and I roll the rest of the way home.

And there have been many (perhaps, too many) moments like that over the previous couple of weeks, especially the last few days.

Today is my mom's birthday. She would have been seventy-four.

She will be very much on my mind while I maneuver the day, sharing a meal with the kids, remembering the better times.

Peace.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

On the Eve of the Day



 Decidedly in, I wish I'd made plans to go out. There was a Dyke Delicious event. Some friends I haven't seen in quite a while had planned to attend.

But I didn't. In I stayed. Afraid I would present as too gloomy.

Much like last year. I went hoping the event would shake me out of the gloom.

But it didn't. Too new. Too raw.

And so, decidedly in. Both son and daughter are working and the early day hope was for art to happen.

But, such has not been the case. All day the simplest task turned into a major production, leading to a mountain of frustration, culminating in my yelling at a customer service rep, telling him to fuck the fuck off. Fuck, fucking idiot.

(Remember way back when? see no. 81)

I am feeling queasy but I'm pretty sure it is the bad beer, not the f-u-c-k word.

Dammit. I should have gone out. I should have pushed through, made the extra effort.

But I didn't. Here I sit, decidedly in, having had my fill of bad beer and decent vodka, about to shower away a tear-streaked face, and trying not to dwell on her birth date near the end of this month.

Here I sit, raw with a realization that I while I am a mother celebrated by her own son and daughter (thank you both for your kindness and thoughtfulness) the overwhelming identity is that of a daughter without a mother to celebrate . . .

            in the flesh.

Too new. Too raw. Still. . . .  so, no celebration in the traditional sense; no feast, no fuss.

But an honor . . a must.

So, here's to you, to us, to them.

Skoal.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Oh, By the Way

As luck, fate, and/or serendipitous brio might have it, last week was full of wind, rain, cold . . . drear. And so, the plan to pedal at least 30 minutes every other day or so was thwarted. So, no Melody until very late Saturday afternoon.

Early evening, actually.

Melody and I cruised the the second nearest park. Once there we rode the perimeter of the park four or five times, took the scenic route home.If if had to guess, I'd say we logged about 5 miles. It was slow going and a bit challenging what with the high winds and lack of movement throughout the week.

But as is in her nature, Melody supported me well.

Hopefully the coming week will yield better weather conditions.

In other news:

1. I'm angling for the opportunity to visit new business, BFF Bikes soon.

2. The actor just wrapped a show. And has begun another.  And just as he closes that one, the next one will     be about ready to boot. 

3. Buttah has an eye infection. He's been on meds for a couple of days now and is improving.

4. A friend sent me some art supplies.They are happily integrated and will be in use very soon. Thank         you so very much!

5. THIS is one creepy commercial.

6. I submitted a sample (the first third of the last post) to this site, thanks to a friend's FB posting.
    The result: Stephen King.

I must really get to bed now. I hope everyone has a kick-ass Monday (and beyond).

♥ ♥ ♥

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Dear Melody,

As you know, the sun decided to make an appearance early this morning, kicking the early weather predictions in the teeth. I believe you had some hand in this event. How? I don't know, but that is what I believe. You wanted and perhaps needed the morning to unfold as it did as much (if not more) and I.

And unfold it did . . . temperature, sun, all the elements doing its part to present to us the ideal conditions for the inaugural run of the season.

Two cups of coffee, a bowl of cereal later I was ready. And there you were, readied days before in preparation, waiting patiently, confidently.
More confident than I, truth be told. Even though the run was nothing too complicated. Nothing too twisted. Nothing too involved. A small errand, an easy jaunt a bit over two miles, round trip.

Easy. Peasy.

Well, as it turns out not quite so easy and I have no idea what peasy means, if it even is a word, but it was nowhere to be found in the jaunt either. My knees crackled, my breaths shortened, and my back protested, but onward I pedaled, your shiny confidence urging me on.

Still, I must confess, my mind spun with alternatives for the return trip while securing you to the corral after the first leg. But, after I emerged from the post office, the parcel I'd gone to pick up safely packed in the bag, secured to my back, I noticed the wind velocity had lessened, the sun shone brighter, the traffic had eased.

Again, I know all that was your doing. You're a mighty force, my lovely blue machine.

So, thank you for being the strong one; for easing me up that slight incline, for steering me toward the softer, less pot-holed roads, for not mocking my ever so inelegant wheezing, the deafening noise of the crackling knees. Thank you for holding fast to our near snail's pace even as I ever so briefly, entertained of idea of being offended by the jogger in the pink fluorescent top out running us.

We made it back to the homestead, much as we left; you confident and me, achy but happy. You are parked in your usual place--anxious to weave your magic for the next clear day--for our next opportunity to be as one, again and again and again.

I am so grateful to have gotten this inaugural run under our collective belts, so happy it went as well as it did.

And so again, thank you for being there for me and being ready to go on the whims on the wind and the knees.

You are so lovely, my might blue machine.

Love,

Deborah
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥  

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Obese

Jillian Michaels said, "let's face it, you're obese!" I wasn't offended. I invited her opinion. I'd voluntarily gone to her website, filled out the questionnaire, and invited her to opine on my status and perhaps advice as to what I should might be less . .  (didn't / don't consider myself obese, but . . . ) less large.

Disclosure: I've never watched "The Biggest Loser".  I know of it due to it's (and by association, her) popularity and the show and / or contestants showing up in mainstream media from time to time; most recently, the criticism of a victor's extreme weight loss. I didn't really consider that I'd become a member of the BL bandwagon, I was just curious as to what her program would offer me for free and if that were anything different from what I could get elsewhere.

It wasn't.

The basic message was take in less, burn more: calories. 

Intellectually, I know this. Emotionally, I get it. As most of us know, it is much easier said than done.

I've been up and down this road these last few years. Most recently, I admit, more down and up

However, been there, done that, must do it again. Re-booting the campaign. I must. I not only huff and puff about the way I look, but huff and puff about the way I feel. I don't like the huffing and puffing.

So, with no thanks or offense to Jillian and her crew's program,  I will get back to what has worked in the past, tweaking to allow for my advanced age and other . . . advancements. Thankfully, time has come to get outside, get Melody out from under the stairs and on the road.  Adjustment to my diet began in earnest last week with further adjustments on tap for this week and beyond.

The loss won't be epic. It won't be quick. It certainly won't be easy. But, I will have measurable success.My emotional and physical health depends on some measure of success.

Goal set. Clock begun. Wheels turning.And a weigh we  go.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Inside Out

Spasmodic. If I had to ascribe one word to 1978 spasmodic comes the closest. During the first half I was seventeen and finishing my first year of college and during the second, eighteen and beginning the second (and ultimately, to date, my last) year of college. This work was produced in the midst of that. Which half? I don't remember, doesn't really matter because it was all .. . spasmodic.

At some point during 1978 I moved out of the rat, roach infested house my mom rented from "Mother" Allen, the meanest woman I'd met to that point. I was gone for several weeks before telling my mother where I'd moved--since she was powerless against my brothers and their enemies and I couldn't afford to have any of them them find me, harass me.

Talking about this time is still very difficult for me and I can't go further except to say, the ups and downs had ups and down . . . spasmodic. The Ups usually had to do with art; completing assignments, preparing to show and compete at fairs, thinking about which discipline to focus my efforts toward applying for admission to the respective department.

The piece shown above is one of the the very few pieces I have from that time, I sold or gave away nearly everything I created. This piece was resting in my portfolio. A few years ago, showing my daughter my work, I tok it out. My mother saw it, liked it, and offered to have it framed. One thing or another kept that from happening. I photographed it only a few days ago as I've just decided to get rid of it or alter it in some way.

Or not. I may put it back in the portfolio for a time, but either way, it has to get back out of sight, out of mind. For while it has been out in the open for some time now, I don't feel like I've really seen it, it has just sort of . . been. But, in recent days it seemed to be making noise, speaking to me, conjuring memories, good, bad, ugly, and . . . spasmodic.


Sunday, April 06, 2014

Aprilair



               imagine
                these 
               pieces           
          together, like a page
               please 



A is for April. Air. Art. Apple. Anticipatory. Anxiety. Aggressive. Abalone. Affect. Aphrasia.

All those things and more. But now, it is about art. Contemplating art. Producing Art. Sharing Art. Going to see art. Contemplate. Rinse. And. Repeat. 

The above is my contribution to the Women's Circle Traveling Journal. An amazing undertaking of a blog pal  and a bunch of her artistic pals. I am awed to be in their company. I can hardly wait to see the finished journal. 


                                                                           

Additonally, the manada journey prompts continue to dance in my head. And at some point in these days of April they shall dance unto the page. 'Tis the plan, anyway. 

At last, there is seeing art. I haven't made time for going out to see art in a long, long time. The reasons are as plentiful as the opportunities missed and are not germane to the conversation. Point is, I'm thinking and planning. And even inviting. My cousin accepted my invite to the Hyde Park Art Center next weekend but has since cancelled. 

Anyway.

Attend. 

 . . . try. 

Art is in the April air in any case. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

It Began. It ContinUes.

sellf portrait 
Eight years and eight hundred and thirty one posts ago Middle Girl came into being; the companion piece for the journey of my life.

In the eight years of Middle Girl I saw my son graduate from college and  begin his career. He earned his first paycheck as an actor during his freshman year and has since, devoted his day-to-day to the pursuit of acting and related endeavors. His shift from treating acting as a career rather than a hobby changed him in ways that continue to manifest.

In the eight years of Middle Girl I saw my daughter become even more resolute in her pursuit of that which will make her happiest. She has worn a few educational and occupational hats in these eight years and is in the midst of more changes at this very moment. No matter where her life was, where it is, or where it is going, my daughter's core remains intact. She is a passionate young woman who works hard. She hasn't always made the best choices but continues to make the best of the choices made.

In the eight years of Middle Girl I have revealed my lesbianism to my son and daughter, community of bloggers and eventually, my mother. That revelation and the subsequent journey led me to the two women who at some point possessed my heart. While both relationships and the emotional holds are long gone both women remain close to my heart,  for the experiences they provided and what I learned about myself through those experiences and their respective gifts.

In the eight years of Middle Girl a career ended, another began and that, abandoned for a different style of opportunity. Each event taking a piece of me away but adding a component in its place. No matter what I'm doing to keep the lights on I remain committed to the goal: Work Hard. Do Good. Be Incredible. The current opportunity will allow time and space for community. And that was a major impetus for making the change.

Within the eight years of Middle Girl my dad died. And a few months later, my mom died. Long separated, to have lost them both within months, of the same disease, brought them together for me in a way the decades couldn't manage. My dad and I had been mostly estranged until the year prior to his death. We made our peace even as we didn't see eye-to-eye on the Yahweh, Jehovah, what-have-you front.

My mom has always been, will always be, in my bones. We were together every day of her life, right until the very end. And while we had our disagreements and skirmishes over the years, she loved me like no one else has nor ever will. She was fierce in her devotion to me (and my brothers) despite often disagreeing with our respective approaches to our lives and loves. She worked to impart the benefit of her experiences and tried to give us what she felt we missed not having our dad in our lives.

And in spite of being a dyed-in-the-wool christian she gave me space to release the atheism I'd internalized for years. She, unlike my dad, didn't try to (re-recruit) me. She didn't totally understand since I was raised christian and she remained concerned for my soul, but she didn't haarangue me. About that, anyway.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

In the eight years of Middle Girl I made some lovely connections beyond the ladies previously noted; In the beginning of my blogging days there was a community of lesbian bloggers who welcomed me with open arms. And while most have stopped blogging, a few remain friends. Thanks to blogging I continue to meet inspirational, wonderful, entertaining, and engaging women.

Each year brought its own set of challenges, none more than last. The losses, the forced changes, the emotional and physical toll, the . . . everything was just so damn hard. And while I worked to work, keep an upbeat attitude, keep on with the business of "keeping on" it was so. damn. hard. and remains so, though, not quite as . . .

sharp.

In part, thanks to Middle Girl and what producing this space requires of me.

Thank you to all those who have visited in the past, who continue to visit, and to those who will visit down the road...for Middle Girl will continue. For another eight years? Remains to be seen. But for now, and the foreseeable future, I am embracing this companion on this journey of a life.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

March. Women.

The month of March is designated women's history month in the same vein as February is for black history. As my friend Elizabeth (who was HERE a couple of weeks ago-wheeeeee!!) noted, "you get two back-to-back." To which I replied, . . . well, I forget the words as there was wine and beer, talk and laugh, and very much glee. But the sentiment was, YaY.

So, the month the March is designated women's history month and for each day, I've noted some woman of note who has touched me in some way throughout my own history. To date they are:

March 1st:  "And while I don’t expect you to save the world I do think it’s not asking too much for you to love those with whom you sleep, share the happiness of those whom you call friend, engage those among you who are visionary and remove from your life those who offer you depression, despair and disrespect." - Nikki Giovanni

March 2nd: "Never be afraid to sit and think." ~ Lorraine Hansberry

March 3rd: Anna Julia Cooper  March 4th Jessie Little Doe Baird March 5th: Leslie I. Hill 

March 6th: Anna Devere Smith  March 7th: Julie Murphy March 8th: Kim Ransom 
March 8th was also International Women's Day!!

March 9th: Toni Stone March 10th: Aretha Franklin: March 11th Lisa Taylor 

March 12th: Eleanor Taylor Bland  March 13th: Althea Gibson March 14th: Juanita Moore  

March 15th: Mahalia Jackson March 16th: Dr. M. Joycelyn Elders March 17th: Veronica O. Davis

March 18th: Sylvia Woods  March 19th: Wanda Sykes March 20th Diahanne Carroll 

March 21st: Debbie Allen March 22nd: Grace F. Edwards March 23rd: Marian Anderson

The mention of these women in particular is not to slight any others. I laud them (us) all in whatever endeavor(s) they (we) pursue; for they (we) all are worthy of note. Every day of every month. Women. March.

In addition reveling in the stories of women, a visit from my dear friend Elizabeth which included a journey of downtown Chicago, parts of the IL leg of historic Route 66, and my (surprisingly VERY IRISH) heritage, the other minutes of the month have been about 1. getting a new job and getting acclimated to all that THAT entails. 2. tending to a cousin who is tending to a mother-in-law who had a stroke AND a husband who had a stroke and heart surgery. 3. tending to my daughter who had her heart broken and the stress that brings not to mention her work and school stresses. 4. working to focus myself on health (mind and body) and one stated goal: the ever elusive weight loss. 5.thinking about longer, warmer days and the return of bicycle riding season. Melody has been patient.

I'm still also working to complete the January Mandala journey. I did participate in the Women's Circle Traveling Journal, sending the journal on to the next link in the chain. I'll show the art produced for that in another post.

Yes, there is the last days of March to march through and I am happy for them. But, I am looking forward to April toward getting more involved with the new job, learning more terms and procedures. I am also looking forward to April toward focusing on A-R-T and hopefully, getting my cousin out of her house for some kind of recreation and down time. And of course, riding--rolling, rolling, rolling on.



Sunday, March 09, 2014

What She Said

She* said 
Back in the day, as they say, she made art. Some of the art, some of the time, received recognition. Some of the time said recognition meant being interviewed by various folk.

Back in the day, as they say, she made words. Some of the words, some of the time found themselves printed in one rag or another. Every now and again, the words printed in said rag (or another) brought out some kindly attention.

The picture is a depiction of one of those times. She doesn't remember if the interveiw was because of art or words. It may have quite possibly been both.

No one remembers. No one made note, or the note is long, long gone.

What she said to the woman holding the microphone was she enjoyed producing whatever; art or words or both. Said art or words or both represented life.

No, she doesn't really remember the interview but the best guess is, yes...fun. life. brief. fleeting.


*she: Deborah being interviewed because she did arty stuff that some folks liked and made mention, at times, honorably.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

March Ink On

Greetings and Salutations;

Simply put, it is freaking cold~still. And there is more snow. I know, I know, it is winter and it is what happens in winter. E-X-C-E-P-T this is the snowiest in many, many years. Plus we've broken temperature (sub zero actual and windchill) records. If feels like it has been going on forever with no end in sight.

I am not ashamed to admit that I haven't done well with the conditions this winter. Never my favorite season, I had here-to-fore been able to tolerate the snow and the cold. Not this season. It is more than the record breaking, sub zero temps and biting wind chills. More than it being the snowiest season in many, many years. More than the extraordinary rudeness of property owners who haven't been clearing their walkways.

I have spent a number of minutes throughout a number of days being annoyed. And tired. And sore.
And . . more.

On the plus side, I haven't fallen down very much this season.

And now it is March. True, it snowed yesterday and it barely made it out of the teens today and there is more of the same on the way for the coming week.

But, it is March. There are changes afoot for me.  Not because it is March, but changes are a'comin'. It just works out that the changes are beginning in March. It is March and hopefully that means winter will give way to spring because it is March.

Simply put, I'm ready for it not to be so freaking cold. But, even if it is for many more days to come the changes that are coming will make it feel not quite so.

Welcome Women's History Month and here, here to some happy in March.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Fresh(er) (Re)Start

Charles Alston Art 
However many days ago I posted I silently promised that I'd post more frequently. It isn't as though good (and bad) things are happening most every minute of most every day. The problems are 1. deciding if any of those things are story worthy. 2. mustering up the creative energetic flow to tell any of the decided upon stories. 3. Feeling like something other than eating, drinking, sleeping, working, and worrying about all those things (or rather, the effect) and more in unequal measure.

Long story short, I'm lost. Yes, I'm grieving runs deeper. I don't know who I am or what I want, for me. Or, I want too many things for me and
I can't sort it all out 
I can't sort it all out 
I can't sort it all out 

That said, the mandala lessons have helped. The daily prompts have ended as it was a 30-day journey. But, as of last weekend I completed up through lesson twenty-one. I will complete the others in my own time and space, as noted in some previous post. The 30 day journey will continue well beyond and beyond. 

Still . . . being alone, silent, sans color and light except when forced to be otherwise is the order of most days. The goal is to embrace those moments of joy, to seek them out, to create and extend that which brings the joyful noises. 

To wit: happy birthday wishes go out to my aunt (94) my brother (52) and my son (32). Congratulations to my daughter who has just completed the 2nd quarter of a culinary program and powered her way through the end (finally) of a toxic romanticized relationship. I am so proud of her while at the same time sorry I couldn't be more helpful. She says differently but I think she is being kind.

My son (the actor) is cast in a play opening soon with two more booked back-to-back. He has a small part in the pilot of a series premiering in a few weeks. He has auditions for two more screen projects in the coming days. He is writing again.

And I went out on Saturday, spent some time with some wonderful ladies via one of the meet-up groups. We watched an enlightening film followed by energetic conversation. That kind of thing should happen more frequently. 

Like writing. Like art. Like laughter.

Like, celebrating life.