Monday, October 09, 2017

I ♥ LESBOS

daughter and friend, Pride Parade 

This week, Wednesday, my daughter celebrates another birthday. To know my daughter is to know that she is all about her birthdays. She isn't a party girl in that sense of the word but a sentimental soul who appreciates acknowledgment especially in the form of cards (flowers and other trinkets).

I may have fed into her celebratory style over the years by stretching out the celebration, making cards, offering trinkets. On the event of her 30th, for instance, 30 days of testimonials on this blog.

This year is not a milestone year, but monumental none-the-less, because it just is.

This week, Wednesday is also National Coming Out Day.  Also a very momentous day for my daughter and me. She has stood with and supported me from the very beginning.  And of course, I have stood with her and supported her through her own coming out pronouncement. 

This year is not a milestone year but monumental none-the-less because we need the support of one another  as much, if not more than ever before thanks to the current political climate and rollbacks in protections established by the previous administration

I am pleased, honored, grateful to call my daughter my friend, my sister in arms. May she have a glorious birthday week, a fantabulous actual day of celebration and may all the out voices sing out loud, sing out proud toward supporting our sisters and brothers yet to take those tremouls steps toward living their truth.

Monday, October 02, 2017

A Brand New Month

A neighbor's ode to Fall







I lost a book. It wasn't a very big book. Nor was it a very expensive book. But, I lost it and it is bugging me senseless. I bought this book a few years ago when I first became interested in adding more variety to my vegetable knowledge, palate, and plate.

As you may have surmised the book mostly sat on a shelf and my vegetable prowess remained status quo, with the same old notes being played and sung. Every few weeks the interest would re-emerge, the book would come out, some notes would be taken and then, nothing. 

The book would go back on the shelf in one clutter clearing frenzied moment to be forgotten about until the next time. 

Saturday just passed was the next time. All shelves checked. All stacks reviewed. No book. I can not only remember the last time I had it but of course, cannot remember where I stuck it. 

The book is lost. Heck, it may even be gone; donated to the Friends of the Library for the annual used book sale. But, while the book may be lost, the desire to add more variety to my vegetable knowledge, palate, and plate lives on. 

Next up: Spaghetti Squash.
GO HERE FOR MORE!

. . . 
.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Where Were Are We?

Recent foggy morning






Two hurricanes ago (so pleased to know folks I know -even virtually- fared okay, so sorry for many other folks did not fare as well) we were talking about my battle with bulge and such.. More talk about that, to be sure. But having had some difficulty framing fully fleshed posts, I offer these snippets:

1. My older brother who lives in Austin, TX is ignoring efforts of outreach from my younger brother and me. He does not want to be bothered. He had a birthday (Happy 59th) on the 6th of this month--which also happened to be the 5th anniversary of our father's death. 

2. I joined an FB based writing group of virtual friends and some former blogging buddies. Four prompts in and I haven't written a word. I'm not sure I'm up for these challenges. I may not stay. It may be too much to ask at this time. 

3.Getting over a cold which hit hard and fast. Never a pleasant way to usher in a new season. 

4. FALL? FALL! IT is nearly (officially) Autumn!! What da duck? 

5. My work has been crazy challenging, frustrating, and . . . exhausting. But, on some level, fun. 

6. Insurance companies are, by and large, horrible. Okay, some insurance companies. 

7. This recent battle with bulge and more has revealed that while I love collecting recipes, looking for and finding, interesting dishes to prepare that will fit within my goals, I feel overwhelmed at the idea of actually preparing any of these dishes. 

8. I don't really (have never, really) like cooking. Though, the process intrigues me.  

9. Yet, I've been told I'm a pretty good cook. Go figure. 

10. Still, I did manage to take some known ingredients in different, healthy, delicious directions.     

11. I'm not having a fireworks celebration or anything, but I did manage to get the scale needle to move in the other (correct) direction over the past couple of weeks. 

12. The real measure of success though, for me, shall be the too tight slacks being noticeably less tight. 

13. My brothers, dad, and aunt (A turning 80 this month) had me thinking, of course, out loud and in living color, about my mother. The  FB "On This Day" feature reminded me of something I posted in 2012 about a conversation she and I had. I may have written about it here, I didn't check because frankly, I was stunned by the memory. 

14. Everything from 2012, leading to February 2013 kicked up for me in recent weeks. 

15. All that said, and sickness aside, this old body managed to average 9,886 over the last seven days--topping off at 12,008 one of those days. 

Have yourself a pleasant Monday / week.
                                                           

                                                                       
More to Enjoy

Monday, September 04, 2017

Put Me In Coach


Sometime over the last few days, I ran across a piece of paper dated January 10, 2012. This paper is peppered with notes from a webinar I must have watched.   

Among the notes scribbled written very neatly on this piece of paper was: Set SMART Goals "SMART" being an acronym for: 

 Specific Meaningful Achievable Rewarding Time based 

And Drop 'All or Nothing' Thinking  AND Make IT Fun 

Game On. 


                                                                 
CLICK FOR MORE


Monday, August 28, 2017

Taken

Grassy Bowls


You know the difference between 11,572 steps and 9,654 steps?  Four aspirin.  Or rather, that is how much more my body (especially my knees and ankles) hurt the day after the 11,572 steps. Keep in mind that next day was a workday; granted, it was Friday but still, a body had to function.

So, four aspirin. (not all at once). And more steps. Friday's count: 8,760.

Yes, there must be more (steps) and more than the lifestyle adjustment. The first full week of beginning on this journey again has been a little painful, and a little fun. And to be frank, a little eye-opening.

Week One. Taken.
                                                                     
READ MORE HERE 
               

Monday, August 21, 2017

Mom, Memory, and Me

Not my Kitchen 

My birthday a few weeks ago kicked up all sorts of memories of my mom (a big fan of birthdays and birthday cakes) as you might imagine. And just a few days later the FB "On This Day" feature kicked up this status: 

My mom asked, "so, what does avocado taste like? Describe the taste to me." I was struck to come up with anything that she might have eaten that would resemble even remotely avocado. She's never even had guacamole. One of her docs suggested incorporating them into her diet. She is, well,  resistant

That, from August 9, 2012. Some days later, after much describing and cajoling, I shared mango (another doctor suggestion) and avocado with my mom. As an aside: my mom was not what one would call a culinary adventure seeker. If one could call mango, avocado, (and fresh pineapple--another step we'd taken recently) culinary adventures. Mango received raved reviews. Avocado did not, though she did try, in the short time (mom died 2/18/2013) to add avocado to her diet.   

I mention all of this because, well, it has been on my mind. But, especially because I am in the midst of my own dietary adjustments. For me, it isn't so much about adding things like mango or avocado but about subtracting things like fried and less than healthy snack foods. 

Well, adding water. I could drink more water. 

My doctor and other clinic personnel were the only people other than myself know the following: 

HT: 5.6 1/2  WT. 263.2 LBS Pre-hypertensive Pre-diabetic      I lay bare these truths as I have been tiptoeing around this issue for the last few years.   

No more.  
                                                           
CLICK FOR MORE 




Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Maybe Someday




                                                    . . . . . . . we can add, peacefully.



CLICK FOR MORE! 

Monday, July 31, 2017

A Week in Pictures

Welcome to the last Day of July 

My daughter opted for a strawberry shortcake creation 

My #57 dessert. And speaking of cake (memory lane) 

A neighbor's painted rocks. "Rock On" 

A banana in a planter 
Click for More 

Monday, July 24, 2017

A to Zee Then and Now

This meme was lifted from a friend who no longer blogs and posted to Middle Girl on 07/22/2011.  Let's take a look back, shall we? 

A to Zee Meme

Lifted from a friend because . . . well, just because. The original post linked to the friend's blog but I removed the link as she has shut down her page. Super sad face. 

A. Age
In just a bit over a week, I'll turn the clock on 51. Not nearly as troubled about my age as I am over the fact that in a bit over six months I will be the parent of a 30-year-old son. Thirty. When that day arrives and we're being all celebratory and what-have-you I'll likely say something like, seems like only yesterday.  HA in a week from yesterday, I'll be turning the clock on 57! And that 30-year old son is now 35. Thirty-Five.  That said, he was told recently he looks 27. :-) 

B. Bed Size
It is full. A lifetime ago I once had a queen . . .      hmm . there is a story swimming in there somewhere.     That story has yet to be written. Someday baby. 

C. Chore You Hate
No diggity, no doubt: Litter boxes. It is the very meaning of the chore. OH YEAH. 

D. Dogs
Like my friend, singular, dog. She is a Shih-Tzu/terrier mix shelter Diva dog and though not technically mine is as much to me as can be.  Now there is a poodle (and I think terrier) mix who again, is not technically mine but ... well, I love me some Cinnamon. 

E. Essential Start to Day
Well, not for nothing but I think it is essential to wake up.  This remains true! 

F. Favorite Color
Blue. No, purple. No, make that green. Oh, wait, yellow? Oh, I can't pick. I do know my least favorite . . . pink. Pink, pink, you stink. My position on pink has softened a bit. I won't wear it or decorate with it but, I don't abhor it. Much. 

G. Gold or Silver
I was once a gold girl but have since become a silver lady. And I was not talking about my hair. 

H. Height
Five feet and five and a half inches tall.  I may have grown some!  :-) 

I. Instruments Played
Took piano lessons for a time. And of course had to learn to play a recorder in grade school. In the late teen years, I bought a second (third or fourth) hand guitar and strummed out my angst.

J. Job Title

Mother, Daughter, Sister, Cousin, Friend, Manager. I am no longer a manager unless one wants to split hairs to note, "manager of my own existence" kind of thing. And as both parents are deceased I am not technically a daughter, but ... well, I'm splitting that hair. I am now, will forever be, THE ONLY DAUGHTER.  I am a medical biller. Not certified but likely will be someday. 

K. Kids
Kids? A nearly 30-year-old son and a nearly 26-year-old daughter. They couldn't be more different but I love 'em just the same. Do the math. Son is 35. Daughter will turn the clock on 32 in October. Good golly they are getting old. :-) 

L. Live
For over 28 years now in a 'burb just beyond THE city limits. I remember moving here with my wasband and baby boy like it was yesterday.  But it wasn't yesterday. It was many yesterdays ago. I didn't love the town when I moved here. We moved to give the kid a safe, stable, welcoming environment to grow, to thrive. A lot has changed, namely, I had a second child, got a divorce, and now, love this little village. Oh, and came out as a lesbian. And atheist. But, otherwise, the same.


M. Mom's Name
Her name is Florence. She doesn't have a middle name and doesn't like to be called anything but Florence. Call her "Flo" and it's ON !!!  My mom was not one for nicknames. 

N. Nickname
Well, folks still will call me Deb or Debbie. As a kid, I was called Gabby. When my son was young he wouldn't say mama (or anything like it) and in trying to say, "Deborah" he said, "Bubba" and that stuck for a bit. Gabby was my dad's nickname for me. My mom (though not one for nicknames, didn't mind "pet" names--which are different, I think...anyway, I was "Button" to her. 


O. Overnight Hospital Stays
Tonsils when I was eleven. Giving birth at 21 and then again at 25. When M was about three he had an operation and I stayed with him. When D was in 3rd grade she had an operation and I stayed with her. Some time back I had a lipoma removed. It was a 23-hour admission so still, no overnights beyond the responses in 2011. 


P. Pet Peeve
People who reply to my "thank you" with, "no problem." The appropriate response is, "you're welcome." Thank you.  Or (rather, AND) when folks make a big to-do about their birthday and then refuse to tell you how old they are.  Or (rather, AND) when folks ask you to guess their age. And then get offended when your guess is off. If you are sensitive about your age, birthdays are probably a topic you might want to steer away from. And please, may we un-spin, "no problem" it drives me further up walls than people popping their gum.  Okay, maybe not quite that bad. But, still...


Q. Quote from a movie
"That sanctuary looks like it's been hosed down with Pepto-Bismol." One year both of my very different children gifted me with the same DVD. They have since learned to consult one another and I have learned to offer each vastly different gift ideas.  These days my son isn't much for gift giving particularly for "special" dates. He'd rather not receive gifts either. He is a, "celebrate everyday" kind of guy. The gift of one's presence and kindness is gift enough. My daughter is all about gifting. Receiving and otherwise. 

R. Right or Left Handed
Well, I can be pretty even handed. I do write with my right routinely. But can also print pretty legibly with the left. I do everything else, left-handed; hold eating utensils, swing the tennis racket, throw a ball, bat a ball.  I was forced to the right hand when I started school. Oh, and for the record, I don't do much swinging of tennis rackets or swinging bats at balls. 


S. Siblings
An older brother, Wayne. He is 51 and will be 52 in September. A younger brother, Jerome. He turned 49 in February. I failed to mention here a step brother and a half-brother via my father's second marriage. I didn't then, and do not now, consider them siblings but due to this lawsuit filed on behalf of my father's estate, we are connected. My mother's sons, Wayne will be 59 in September and Jerome is the double nickel.


T. Time you wake up
Without fail, most mornings between 4 and 4:30 no matter what time I lie down. I try to hold off GETTING up until 5 if I'm going riding before work) or 5:45 otherwise. I usually get up around 7 on the weekends to get a jump on errands and chores, namely--laundry mat. Hells Bells 4 AM??!! Now I rise, pretty routinely around 5:30. On workdays, I head out around 7:20. I try to sleep in a bit on non-work days but am usually up and at 'em by 7 or so. 

U. Underwear
Why yes, yes I do. Mostly cotton. Mostly H@nes. But, there is an exception or two in the bunch.  This is still mostly the case. Though I am to undergarments with a spandex-y kind of feel, action. 


V. Vegetable I dislike
In no particular order: Beets. Okra. Black-eyed peas. All equally disgustingly distasteful. Here again, softening a bit. Coming closer to adding beets to a smoothie. No discussion on black-eyed peas or okra. Nope, not budging. 


W. What makes me run late
Forgetting stuff. Phone. Not grabbing garbage on way out. Leaving my commuter cup full of the beverage of my choice on the kitchen counter and having to double back to get it. Ugh. The only difference here, I no longer take a commuter cup for my commutes. I don't eat or drink (anymore) on the buses or trains. It is against the rules and while folks don't get called on it very often, they should. Operators usually only come down on those folks consuming alcoholic beverages and/or are clearly inebriated. 

X. Xrays I've had done
Dental. Chest. Knees. check. check. check. 


Y. Yummy Food I Make
Mac N Cheese. Fried Chicken. I remember when I was . . . oh, eleven or twelve, I prepared dinner for the family. It was the first time. Among the menu items was fried chicken. I had to cut up a whole fryer, prep and then fry. I finally got it in some semblance of recognizable pieces and once fried, isaid pieces looked gorgeous. Hi-ever most were pretty raw on the inside. My mom laughed which gave my brothers license to ridicule me.  I don't cook much anymore but I learned (eventually) to prepare quite a few dishes reasonably well. 

Z. Zoo Animal
Big Cats and Bears. I prefer the larger zoos where the animals are displayed in habitats more closely resembling their natural habitat. I don' particularly like seeing the animals in cages, living part of my youth in a housing project I could relate. But, I remember field trips to a zoo, seeing things I'd never seen. Touching animals I'd never touched. I remember my little boy watching these guys for hours over the years and building an affection for their flights of fancy and for the area of the world from which they hail. My daughter isn't much for zoos (or animals other than dogs (especially D-dog) and cats.) That is of course unless she can be pulled in a wagon and food and souvenirs are on the docket. My son has mentioned walking through Chicago's free zoo on first or second dates. He thinks it a wonderful place to stroll, talk, getting to know someone. He and one young lady were strolling and talking so long they nearly got locked inside. I don't think my daughter has been to a zoo since she was a kid. 

Go Here For More MBs


Monday, July 17, 2017

Forty Thirty Questions


I never finished answering the forty question (here) but I will someday. Probably. In the meantime, I present to you a Thirty Question Meme completed July 16, 2009. I think for the most part the answers are the same, but let's see, shall we?  Current day responses in red.

1. Have you ever been searched by the cops? 
No. Well, guards when I went to visit a brother in jail.  Thankfully, no change here. 

2. Do you close your eyes on roller coasters? 
I don't but only because I don't feel compelled to ride them anymore. !!!!!!

3. When's the last time you've been sledding? 
When the kids were kids.  I remember that last time like it was yesterday. Didn't know then it would be the last time. 


4. Would you rather sleep with someone else or alone? 
Someone else, so long as she doesn't hog the covers. But I'll forgive that for the chance to have company again. I am reconsidering this response. I am not convinced I'm partnership compatible. 

5. Do you believe in ghosts? 
No. I am reconsidering this response... mom. 

6. Do you consider yourself creative? 
Yes.  Heck yeah! Though, I wish creativity would visit more frequently.   

7. Do you think O.J. killed his wife? 
Yes. And Ron Goldman too. 

8. Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie? 

JA or AJ what? Cicely Tyson? Serena Williams? Ava Duvernay? 

9. Can you honestly say you know ANYTHING about politics? 

Are you insinuating that I haven't been honest? Hmpf  However, these days I kinda wish to unknow a few things.  

10. Do you know how to play poker? 
No, not really. And you're not going to make me feel guilty about that. Hmpf. 

11. Have you ever been awake for 48 hours straight? 
No. Thankfully, still no. 

12. What's your favorite commercial? 
Education Connection  I don't watch much broadcast TV anymore so, don't know if it is still running, but a classic ad. 

13. Who was your first love? 
Neta. Not to dis my ex-husband (may he RIP) and I loved him intensely at one time. But, I wasn't (me) so with him, it wasn't the first. Does that make sense? 

14. If you're driving in the middle of the night, and no one is around you, do you run a red light? Naaah. IF I'm driving in the middle of the night? Me driving? At night? hahahahahahaha Seriously, no running red lights. Ever 

15. Do you have a secret that no one knows but you? 
Sure. And have added a couple to the collection. 

6. Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees? 
BRS or NYY what? Bums? what?  Can we show the Cubbies some love? What about the White Sox? No? The Women's National Soccer Team!! 

17. Have you ever been Ice Skating? 
Well, I've been I just attempt to skate. Never learned how to ice skate. Daughter's the only one who can. I think I was trying to say, I have been ice skating I just didn't skate. I watch. 

18. How often do you remember your dreams? 
Rarely, though more lately. Ratio about the same.  

19. What's the one thing on your mind? 

How my mom's appointment will go tomorrow I believe she was seeing her cardiologist that time. 

20. Do you always wear your seat belt? 
Of course. I kinda wish the city buses had seatbelts. Some of those operators are speed demons. 

21. What talent do you wish you had?
 Balance plates on poles. Joking. . . I wish I were more athletic. Still athletic. But now, handier with tools and such, more and better skills with regard to home repair. 

22. Do you like Sushi? 
What little I've tried, yes. I'd like to explore a little more.  I have tried more. I can say I am a fan. 

23. What do you wear to bed? 
Usually a t-shirt and shorts. Unless it's cold, then long sleeved shirt and flannel lounge pants. And sometimes sweats or a hoodie--sometimes it is really cold. 

24. Do you truly hate anyone? 
I used to think so, but no. Truly, no. 

25. If you HAD to sleep with one famous person, who would it be? 
HAD to? This question still baffles me. HAD to? 

26. Do you know anyone in jail? 
Sadly, yes. My brother has since been released but there is a cousin or two still (or again) behind bars. 

7. What food do you find disgusting? 
Beets. I'm still on this tip. Though, I've recently read an article suggesting beets as a smoothie addition. I have considered it. 

28. Have you ever made fun of your friends behind their back? 
Maybe, but I don't think so, not a friend.  What kind of friend does that? Seriously. 

29. Have you ever been punched in the face? 
Yes. "A girl child ain't safe in a family of men . . " is how Sophia (The Color Purple) put it. Wasn't quite that but yeah.  :::sigh:::

30. Do you believe in angels and demons? 
No.  Not in an "Exorcist" kind of way, but there are extremely good folks and of course, folks counter to that in our midst. 


Go For MORE


Monday, July 03, 2017

In, Out, Up, Down, Done


The Fourth of July began on the First of July and has continued through now, the third. I suspect that the actual holiday will feel anti-climatic. 

Who am I kidding, it already does. 

Check Out More 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Missed Last Monday Week



Poof Went Some Days 

1. I think I take more steps when I forget my pedometer at home. 

2. I could be wrong about number 1. 

3. Was meaning to post the second set of 40 questions and answers. 

4. Second set loaded with favorites.  

5. Favorites not my favorite. 

6. Buttah was such an awesome cat, pet. 


7. I miss him. A lot. 

8. I was looking forward to the new season off Orange Is the New Black  But . . 

9. have not watched one minute of it; opting to catch up on other shows instead. Hmmm

10. Alliums at night 


11. It is time to re-dedicate myself to healthy choices.

12. Seriously 

13. A friend recently had bariatric sleeve surgery. 

14. She felt like she had no other options. 

15. I am not at that place. 

16. But I am at A place. 

17. Confidence reigns. 

18.  In other newes, I've been giving a lot of thought to what a "typical" American is 

19. I've gotten nowhere with said thought. 

20. So, this: 


MORE MORE MORE 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Finger Snap: Middle of June

Glimpse of downtown from an elevated train.

Beyond the pickets, our neighbor's prairie: gone. 

Another neighbor's picturesque yard design

Don't let the sun go down on me

Leaves up close and personal 

A sliver of sun brightens a block 

Our pride of color 

Muted color; a surprise bloom

Shocked to wake on a Sunday to see a sofa on a curb. 

Go Hawkeyes! 

Greens and lavenders, a pleasing combo 

Blooms too heavy for their stalks 
And in other news, my younger brother called me on Sunday to say, among other things, that he was sorry for stealing my car 40 years ago. I'm still processing he weight of the confession and contrition. While not quite the other shoe dropping it is something.

click for MORE MM! 

Monday, May 29, 2017

She Would Have Been Seventy-Seven

Me and Mom 1980-ish

Muddy Waters mural by Eduardo Korba


Traffic on the Chicago River

Vietnam Memorial along the River Walk 


One of the many chill out spots along the River Walk 
 
Entry to Northerly Island on a rany afternoon

Birds on the Beach




A gorilla suited performer belting out Man in the Mirror
 

On a clearer day Navy Pier is visible. 


View from  EL platform looking East. 
 My mom would not have had the stamina for all the walking I did on Friday but she would have appreciated many of the sights seen. The rain that came later in the afternoon cut the second part of the journey short. But all-in-all it was a day full of reflection, history, sights, and sounds. She was with me every step of the way.


CLICK FOR MORE