Monday, December 28, 2015

Bringing in the New/s




This is the time of year when we (as a collective) tend to think about resolutions and the like, in one way or another. Some of for 'em and make them. Some are agin 'em and don't make them. Some are on the fence, don't feel strongly either way but will allow that breaking into a new year warrants . . something.

And some, don't. Anything.

Though I haven't used the word I have, at year's end (or the very beginning) over the past several, written of things that I wanted, hoped, resolved to accomplish or at the very least, try making some headway toward achievement. Some disciplines have been put in place, some headway has been achieved.

But, by-and-large, I am not where I resolved to be in most of  the areas.

It has been a challenging few years; both parents dying within months of one another, a lay-off after 30+ years of steady, gainful--solid middle class--employment, several months of unemployment, several months of unemployment masquerading as sales (100% commission) and several months (and counting) of working earning less than half of the pre-layoff salary.

Challenges. It has been difficult staying on task (any task). Grief takes a toll. Eagle-eyeing a budget, robbing Peter to pay Paul, takes a toll. Crossing all fingers and toes that not another thing breaks or otherwise needs replacing, takes a toll. Trying to keep up with preventative maintenance on such a slim margin, takes a toll. Lack of a particular brand of companionship, takes a toll. Being the leader, takes a toll.

Still, I managed to write a letter a month over this past year. I posted 30
31 more times in 2015 than 2014. I crafted 2 more holiday greetings this year over last. I filled 4 pages in a sketchbook. I practised Spanish. I studied and have earned a couple of certificates in the medical terminology and medical billing programs. I colored pages in my Celtic Mandala pattern book.
On the other hand, I am still a good 40 pounds from my goal weight, inconsistent with steps, lazy approach to food--which usually results to less than positive choices.  I have much more purging and organizing in both my physical and virtual worlds, to do. And then there are the home maintenance and improvement projects.

It isn't just the lack of funds, but that is factor. Challenges.

So, I will resolve to try. I will endeavor to maintain the disciplines established. I will work to improve the track record toward positive changes. I will try to remain on task toward finishing some things and thinking about how I may stay present in the day-to-day. I will try to not fret over results. I will try to focus on taking the steps, picking up the pen (or whatever tool) and just doing the thing--whatever the thing is in any given moment, on any given day. I will try to avoid becoming overwhelmed with the weight of it all.

Long story short, I will try to keep on keeping on, do whatever it is in my power to have more yay and fewer nay days.

May the force  . . yada x3.

#MicroBlogMonday   Click the link to read more MBM offerings.
 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Brunch with Aunts

These lovely ladies are two of my mom's four remaining sisters. Mom was the middle girl between them. Closest to us geographically throughout my growing up, mom spent a lot of time with them for they were closer to each other than with the other (many) siblings. Seeing them, speaking to them brings back so many fond (and some not so fond, but that's family) memories. 

The three had a tradition of gathering around Christmas, eating, drinking, laughing and just being sisters, friends.This year I was invited to share in an evening of talk, frivolity, food, and more. I was hesitant to accept the invite for I miss my mom more when I am in their company. But, I also miss my mom less when I am in their company. I suspect the same is true for them. That realization sealed the deal. 

It was so much fun.  

#MicroblogMonday. Go, read. Write. :-)  

Monday, December 14, 2015

One Hour and Thirty Minutes

Two Boys in A Box 

The one-way AM commute, using the best route takes one hour and thirty minutes, most days. And most days, the evening commute is a crap shoot but takes at least one hour and thirty minutes.

If  I go to the nearest laundry mat, early enough on a Sunday morning, don't have a wait for either a washer or dryer, I can complete a double load of laundry in one hour and thirty minutes--not counting putting away once home again.

Last Tuesday, one hour and thirty minutes was spent saying a final good-bye to a cousin, supporting a mother burying her only child, a son who was himself a father and grand-father. The hardest, second most emotional hour and thirty minutes of 2015.

I am finding a small measure of comfort in measuring the time it takes to do things. One hour and thirty minutes from lights out tonight, I hope to be asleep and to rest for longer than the one hour and thirty minute stretches of the last several days.

#MicroBlog Monday    Go. Read. Blog.




Monday, November 30, 2015

Occupations

My son, the actor, decided long ago that he wouldn't use the word actress to describe a female actor. He would simply use, actor. One arguement is that as the nature of the work doesn't change with the gender, changing the word just doesn't make sense.

Few are the occupations that change the word based on gender.

Even in the arts it is one of few (only?) occupation titles that gender sorts. Dancers, Vocalists, Musicians, Designers, Directors, Bassoonists, etc . . none of these and more identify the gender of the performer.

We (he and I) have spoken often of the ramifications of words, the import of terms and how they are wielded. My son, the actor, decided long ago to cease use of the word actress to describe a female actor.


Can you think of any profession in which the word for same is different depending on the gender of the performer?


#MicroBlogMonday

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Canyon


Instinctively, her arms jut as she tumbled. Deliberately, I extended mine, not to catch her, but to join her in the tumble as we sought purchase in canyon of love.  


#MicroBlogMonday

Monday, November 16, 2015

Second Weekend in November


Sixty degree temps in the middle of November prompted a trip outdoors to get down to the yard work put off for too many weekends to count. The fallen, blown leaves ankle deep needed to be curbed, shrubbery grown out of control needed to be tamed, and trash by way of empty cups and assorted wrappers resting atop and buried within the ankle deep fallen leaves needed to be properly disposed.

And so, for several hours over the two weekend days I raked, pruned, and collected trash to be disposed. Work mostly done on auto-pilot usually means the mind (mine, anyway) wanders. My wandering mind settled on a list, which is not surprising, of rampant and recent annoyances, which is kind of surprising.

In no particular order:

Folks who won't use trash receptacles to properly dispose of their trash.

Neon signs that scream "open" when the establishment is in fact, closed.
And businesses without posted hours of operation. AND businesses that have posted hours
but do not adhere to them consistently.

Folks who use "actually" in a manner that is . . . superfluous, to say the least.

Bombs. I cannot imagine being in a space directly impacted by the act of bombing. But, even from afar, I am annoyed. Angry, even.

Just to name a few.

I am grateful for the sixty degree days and the opportunity to wrangle the yard into shape for I know the other side of the weather coin is but a pattern away. I am grateful too, for having a mind--even if it does wander--even if the wandering leads to less than pleasant thoughts. Those too, can be productive, in time.

But, that's a thought for another day.

#MicroBlog Monday.  

 

Monday, November 02, 2015

Welcome to November

$14.57 on hand with five days to go before the next payday, a mild panic rose in her chest. A quick check of her transit card balance and even quicker calculation toward determining how much of the $14.57 had to be committed to getting to work for the next four days, elevated the panic from mild to extreme.*


#MicroBlogMonday -- go see, read, play along. 

*fictionalized reality.




Monday, October 19, 2015

Fun Day


Pete may or may not have been having fun. Buttah, though seemed 
to be enjoying himself. 

Feeling more like Pete these days. 

#MicroblogMonday~ go check 'em out. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Older. New Thing.

Yesterday was my daughter's thirtieth birthday.  The thirty days leading into her birth date has been a journey down memory lane, much of which was shared in this space and to my FB circle. From this day forward I am the parent of two "kids" in their thirties.

And so today, I had flour-less pancakes; banana and eggs. Hmmm...  I think tomorrow I shall try it with cinnamon.

#MicroBlog Monday 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Thirty Out Loud

Over the past thirty days I've shared "through the years images" of my daughter in pre-celebration of her thirtieth birthday, which is today. 
Over the past thirty years my daughter and I (and the rest of the family) have shared much, as you may imagine. She has been the source of some of my greatest joys and the opposite. 


Over the past thirty days I have come to recall some moments of the last thirty years, sparking wonder-filled conversations and laughter. 

Over the past thirty years I have helped my daughter navigate; learning as I taught.  


Over the past thirty days, as I've re-visited words and images I am reminded of the tenacity of her spirit, 
the expanse of her personality, the quality of her character. 


Over the past thirty years there have been ups and downs. We survived, I believe because we have been able to talk. And write what may have proven difficult to verbalize.  


Over the past thirty days I re-visited the large and small celebrations; remembering how we've cheered each other's  triumphs. Here's to the happiest of happy days today, tomorrow, and beyond. 

  

Monday, September 21, 2015

It is Monday, Again


Can you believe it, Monday September 21st?! And, in a couple of days, the first day of Fall. I am ready . . but not. I've been immersed in the medical billing training and creating cards; words and
images, and more;  memories for my daughter's 30th coming in a little over two weeks.

And through it all, my mother appears, voice ringing in my ears, her image popping in and out of my mind's eye. I've been reflecting on the wise words of Rose Kennedy: “It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”

It is possible to get tired of pumpkin spice marketing. Give it a rest already. 

#Microblog Monday  click the link to check out other MicroBloggers

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Round UP

While Sleeping 

1. With daughter's birthday (23 days) coming and this loosely planned series (posted to FB) of micro-celebrations I've been looking at a lot of photos, bringing up a lot of memories, a lot of "feels."  Thus staying on an even keel has been a bit of a challenge. 

2. And staying on an even keel is vital given the medical terminology, medical billing, and ICD-10 CM proficiency lessons and testing. Cleared the first hurdle as far as the proficiency testing. I felt pretty good when I saw my score. I felt like break dancing. I didn't, of course. 

3. School is back in session which means there are students on the buses during my commute. This is not a cheerful happenstance. Students (okay, not all but some) are obnoxious. And loud. (Not all, I said). 

4. Something happened with our daffodils this season. Not just in my yard, but the entire neighborhood, possibly the town. I haven seen many blooms but precious few daffodils. 

5. Pancakes are awesome. French toast even more so. Noting trumps an omelet (esp. Greek) though. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

My Second, My Last, My Everything


Brown Eyes




 











*Counting down to birthday number thirty! 



*micro celebrations over the next month.
 


Monday, September 07, 2015

September, So Long Summer

Pete's Box 
As we count down the last days of summer I realize that while I marked the calendar with a number of "check this out" events I look back and realize that I have not done any of those things. There were a number of reason over the previous 10 or so weeks but ultimately, I just didn't feel like being out in that way. 

It may be connected to my single status. It may be connected to my meager financial resources. It may be connected to my conscious effort to focus and stay on task. It may be connected to being bone tired by week's end and a little grocery shopping, laundry, and cleaning is about all I can muster. 

It may be all of that and then some. 

While I am not looking forward to what lies beyond the likely, all too brief Autumn I am not particularly all that sorry to see summer fade this year.

Welcome to September.      

Monday, August 31, 2015

Acetylcholine. Leukocyte. Sphygomomanometer.



Prefixes, suffixes, and roots. Polysyllabic words with origins steeped in Latin or Greek languages. Words are my friends. But these are like friends with whom one hasen't spoken in a very long time; the rhythm is off, the quality . . stilted. 

And then there are triggers.  My mother spent a lot of time with medical providers throughout her life. The last twenty were especially prolific with visits, procedures, diagnoses, and medications. Until finally:  

carcinoma


The next few modules should present less emotionally charged material. I've read through part of The Urinary System and so far, so-so. Onward.   

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Monday, August 17, 2015

Summer Daze

"Boundless"
by Boyan Marinov 


I like summer. Most days. I am, however getting tired of nearly bare and fully bare feet. FYI. Carry on.  Such was a FB status update a few days ago. A few likes and one comment: yours of others? To which I replied:

The feet of others 

I was on a bus. Tired, unable to distract (or engage) myself otherwise, I looked down and saw all manner of shoe wear displaying all manner of feet. It isn't that I hate feet. I don't. Feet are incredibly useful. I just do not like feet. I mean, they are generally unattractive and I haven't seen one (or a pair) made less so with a sandal or flip-flop. Which, by the way, should be outlawed.

In other news, a co-worker decided it'd be a grand idea if we had a potluck. We have had them before at the office, so not unprecedented. She, relatively new to the office presented it as a "Kum-Bah-Yah" team building opp . . . yada x 3. It's cool. While I do not get overly excited of the idea of diving into the dishes of relative strangers, I am generally game. There are typically enough participants who sign up with chips and (store bought) salsa and national chain chicken shack type offerings to balance things out.

My pasta, whole kernel corn, black and pinto bean, tomato, bell pepper (yellow and orange) red pepper flakes, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, Italian dressing (I choose zesty) and salt to taste salad was a quick, easy, tasty, portable way to go. It has gone before and so, go it went. Again.

Thursday, the day before Potluck day, potluck planner / hostess talked about her designs to go into business selling her famous jerk chicken tacos. It struck me that the potluck (her contribution: jerk chicken tacos) was, in addition to the KUM BAH YAH, a way to present her product toward creating a buzz, and perhaps. finding backers for her venture.

I tried one and, well, let's just say, I'm glad there was my salad, chicken from a national chain, chips and salsa . .

Plus, she wore sandals or flip-flops (which, by the way, should be outlawed) ever single day last week. 

#MicroBlog Monday     Link to the salad basic salad recipe added. I tweak it to my taste by using different tomatos and / or more chili powder. 




Monday, August 10, 2015

Dream Driving

Once we were lovers, but somehow things have changed, now we're just lonely people, trying to forget each other's names.

For many days leading in and for a few after my birthday, I awoke with this song creeping out of the corners of my mind. Birthdays, like New Year's bring about the thoughts, a look through the rear view as well as ahead.

And thoughts often revolve around relationships--past, present, and future--for relationships are life.

All the past relationships, intimate and otherwise, hold some fond memories--more hurt--but some pockets of pleasure, as well. It is the pleasures on which I choose to dwell. There is no present intimate relationship, and to be honest, I don't see such an event on the road ahead. But, just because I don't see it doesn't mean IT isn't out there waiting for me to drive through. I keep the trunk stocked, just in case.

I get along pretty well with my son and daughter. I love them, of course. But, I like them a bunch. And they seem to like me which works out really well. And while it is stress filled having the three of us (plus two cats and a 55 pound dog) under the same roof, everyone is respectful and . . well, humor wins the day--most days. Relationships with other family and friends are continual works in progress. I work to nurture all my relationships. Still, every now and again, even with extreme care, relationships fade. . .

. . . and then there is me, learning to embrace the skin I'm in, to appreciate the square peg-nacity that I bring to the round party, to drive my lane, at my own speed, in my own vehicle--nurturing the relationship with my own true self, for that . . . well, is life.

And sometimes at night I think I hear you calling my name, Mmm, mmm, mmm, these dreams, they keep me going these days*

*These Dreams written by Jim Croce.

#MicroBlogMonday  

Monday, August 03, 2015

Celebrate Good Times, Come On*

 The beginnings of a birthday feast. 



My daughter's gifted me with her talents, her company, wrapped around a baseball game. 
(NYYanks over the ChiSox) and fireworks. 
It was a fun day, a fun and restorative weekend. 

Officially Fifty-Five and feeling pretty good. 

*thank you Kool&TheGang
#MicroBlog Monday  click the link for more MicroBlogs. :-) 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Wealth

My insurance producer license expires in four days. Renewing the license would have meant spending $180.00 plus the cost of a continuing education class (24 hours of course study, 3 of which must be in the classroom ethics). I would have had to be CE compliant up to 10 days prior to the license expiration date. 

I remember being laid off from my job two years ago and making the decision to go into insurance sales. I remember beginning the process; of taking the classes, and studying for the 4 hour exam. I remember being so very proud at having passed and earned the license needed to continue on the chosen path. 

Today I work for a medical billing company. And while the insurance knowledge is not a direct linkage it has helped over going in cold. And now I am getting the opportunity to study and train for the ICD-10 conversion; to become a certified medical biller. After having completed four modules I can state without equivocation, this is going to be a grand challenge. 

But, I'm looking forward to the education for not only will it help secure my present (and future) it will enrich me, I am sure.  All learning does. Onward. 


“Anything that you learn becomes your wealth, a wealth that cannot be taken away from you; whether you learn it in a building called school or in the school of life. To learn something new is a timeless pleasure and a valuable treasure. And not all things that you learn are taught to you, but many things that you learn you realize you have taught yourself.” 
― C. JoyBell C. - Writer

#MicroBlog Monday

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Bottled Frustration™


Time is not on my side.

#SixWordSaturday click to see other six word offerings. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

For Some, It Is That Time

My daughter with drink in hand. 

Summertime and the living is easy.*

*for some folks, don't you know.
*for some of the time, for sure?
*credit DuBose Hewaard and 
the Gershwins (George and Ira) 


Monday, June 29, 2015

Welcome to Monday


With this shirt, I enter a Monday. 
And away we go. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Welcome to Summer

dad and his mom early '60s?






Summer of 1973. By this point my parents had been separated for about five years.. There were the usual battles most of which involved his promising to come get us for an outing and not showing.

Mom covered for him as much as she could. And while losing confidence she never failed to ready us for a "dad" day.

Summer of 1973 I was graduating from elementary school. A big deal under regular circumstances made bigger being as I'd skipped a grade and was at least a full year younger than most of the other graduates.

Tickets were limited and given the track record of the previous five years, mom decided dad wouldn't be invited to the ceremony. Following some heated, some hushed conversations, dad announced that there would be a day of celebration, just the two of us.

All decked out in my green and white maxi dress, white pumps with matching handbag, and pearl necklace with matching earrings, I sat on the sofa, nervous that once again, he wouldn't show. Steeling myself for the disappointment.

But, he did show. We had lunch in a fancy restaurant where he ordered me a drink topped with fruit, stabbed with one of those paper umbrellas. After lunch we went to a play and while I've long forgotten what we saw, I remember having kept the playbill for a long time. After the play we went for ice cream sundaes.

I am not prone to hyperbole, but that day . . . best ever.

That day wound up being one of very few that we would share. That day is the one I held close when we were so far apart. The memory of that day helped lead us to an eventual reconciliation and what prompted the letter I wrote to say, good-bye.

Summer of 1973, the standard bearer for all subsequent summers.

Thank you, dad.

#MicroblogMonday

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Welcome to Wednesday* CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA





All the words in the world won't stem the pain, won't wipe the tears, won't erode the knots growing beneath my skin.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Drive Time

So, I drove a car a few weeks ago. I know for most this feat is no big whoop. But I haven't owned a car in many years and haven't been behind the wheel in at least three.

My daughter considered taking a Saturday shift at a location with sketchy public transportation. She asked if I would pick her up if she reserved a Zip.

The idea made me nervous. But I said, "sure" with much more confidence than I felt. She booked the gig and reserved the car. I had a week to think about it, tried not to dwell, tried not to be filled with dread.

The day, the hour arrived. I accessed the vehicle, churned the engine, and navigated by way to the venue.

All-in-all, not a horrible experience but I'm good letting others do the driving, for the most part.

#MicroblogMondays

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

On This Day


Thanks to a nasty cold, I've spent the better part of the last two days horizontal. Sleeping, whenever I wasn't medicating, coughing, sneezing, blowing my nose. And as such, have spent little time thinking about the party we hadn't planned, the meal we weren't having. My mom would have been seventy-five today. It is hard to remember the smile that traveled a mile, the laugh that went on and on when the mood struck just right and not be sad that it has to be a memory and not present to experience.

Still, to have had moments of glee, pockets of pleasure in our time together is something to be grateful for and certainly cause for celebration. Someday.

Happy Birthday, mom.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Poof. The Time Went

Cinnamon and cleaning do not mix. 
The plan was to post on Saturday. But, early morning meandering, and then cleaning, and then, more meandering and poof, before I knew it, Sunday. A new day, a new plan but--well, chores, errands, and stuff and then, well, fudge on a stick, it is Monday.

Monday came and went like an order of fried green tomatoes with extra sauce. That is to say, fast.

Suddenly it is a (now expected) cool-ish Tuesday beyond the middle of the month, in center of the season. Folks all around are clamoring about Summer (and requisite plans) where I feel barely settled into Spring and having, "not done a thing."

And really? Not wanting to do anything yet wanting to do everything to take my mind off the twenty-sixth of May, a week from today. As much as I lament the loss of time and feeling like precious time has been flying by with little to show, I am hoping that each of the next seven days truly are an order of fried green tomatoes.

with extra sauce.



.


Monday, May 11, 2015

Hit. Miss.


Our schedules are in sync lately. We keep running into each other during the morning commute. I was hoping that her reason for leaving earlier these days meant she wanted time before checking into the office, to sit and have a sip in the park across the street from our respective work places. But I haven't seen her there. 

Yet. 

I know she sees me, our eyes meet, hers sparkle. I hope mine do the same. Yet, she gives nothing more away. I'm reluctant to do much more than smile, nod. It is the bus and even the friendliest of conversations are awkward on the bus. Especially our bus. Too many school children free-ranging their way to school. At least, hopefully, school is the eventual destination. 

Two weeks. I get off two stops ahead so I could get in extra steps, go get coffee and then to the park to sit, sip, and think. I know she can see me from her office, I don't know that she cares, I think she does, I hope she does. I don't know why I'm not more forward. Yes, I do.  

Hurt. Fear. Wrong. 

******************************************************************************

And thus ends the snippets of a re-curring dream, the snippets culled together to form a narrative. Is it just a story? Or more? 

Welcome to Monday. 

Random questions: How many times do you have to unsubscribe before it "takes"? How many times do you give it before complaining?   How long do you give websites you are not so familiar with to load before saying, "F" it and move the frack on, several seconds, one minute, more . . .? 

#MicroBlogMonday 






Saturday, May 09, 2015

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Real Talk



**click image for link to shop** 

I won't gummy this up with a bunch of sugary sweet platitudes. I love these cards. Period.

Let's face it, shit happens and often times a crap load of shit happens to our parents, lovers, best friends, bloggers with whom we have an incredible bond, whom we love dearly. . .

And often times we are struck for what to say, fearful that we'll say the wrong thing, muddy up the waters with too much sugar. Folks dealing with serious illness need to know we care and many need us to deliver real talk, if we're going to say anything at all.

 A couple of FB peeps posted about these cards and I thought I'd share.

#fuckcancer





Monday, May 04, 2015

Welcome to May

*click image for link* 
     
May is National Bike Month. Next week is National Bike to Work Week with the events culminating on Friday, the 15th, National Bike to Work Day! That out of the way, rest assured Melody and I will not be biking to MY workplace as I am on the other side of the average spectrum.

My workplace is not within five miles of home base. My workplace is over 10 miles from home base. Further, I am a good distance away from being in the kind of shape that can do 10+ miles once a day, let alone, twice.






Never-the-less, I do plan, hope, and expect to increase my time aboard Melody. I will pedal the month away as the weather and my body allows. May Spring bleed into Summer and good biking weather be the norm rather than the exception. Happy pedaling.


#MicroBlogMonday



Saturday, April 25, 2015

SIX for Six Word Saturday


1. First and foremost, it's the weekend!

2. The Spring that sprung sprang back.

3. Rock me gently, rock me slowly.

4. Destroyed most declarations from lost love.

5. Prep for lipid panel equals fasting.
6. Post fast it is omelet time.   

#sixwordsaturday. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Another Shot

turtle club guest (2010-ish) 
Have you ever gotten up Monday morning, assessing the weekend days, how what got done (and what didn't) compared with the plans you had for the weekend leading in, and felt . . . deflated? Or worse, defeated?

Did I overreach or underachieve?

The off-the-rails . . . was it controllable? Could I have avoided the event that led to the eventual malaise that led to . . next to zero accomplishment?


The best part of waking up Monday morning (beyond you know, the waking up) is the chance to do the retrospective, dust yourself off, and do it (better) (different) (more) or (less) the next time. Putting the best foot forward, one step at a time, toward another weekend.

Monday and counting.

#MicroBlog Monday 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Days Gone Bye



Longing for the simplicity of before . . . 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Desire


desire is a jumble of converging ideas, priorities, wants trumping needs--mess for me right now--much like how i see my existence. just holding court until . . .


#ilovemandalas
lesson24 

Saturday, April 11, 2015