Wednesday, July 16, 2014


I think I'm done with this blog.
I began writing here four years ago and it's become a chore.
But I could simply be experiencing Summer doldrums (again)
and so I will leave the blog active for now, to be revisited
at some point in the Fall for a final decision.
All the best,

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A funeral and a birthday

Firstly, thanks to those of you who sent messages of sympathy regarding the death of my father in law--they were much appreciated.  That he made it to the age of 81 is nothing short of a miracle, in my opinion.  Father in law had endured two heart attacks in his lifetime, the second of which should have probably killed him.  I think he was simply too stubborn to know it.  <smile>  His own father dropped dead of a heart attack at age 58.  And from copies of death certificates I have obtained for family members (aunts & uncles, etc.) of father in law, heart disease runs in his family.  So yes, 81 was an achievement. 

To call father in law a character is an understatement.  This was a man who lied about his age and dropped out of high school in order to join the US Navy.   After a hitch in the Navy, he returned to Cape Girardeau, but joined the Air Force when he was unable to find work.  During his Navy years he acquired a GED.  (If memory serves, his Captain gave  him no choice but to get a GED.)  He loved to read, usually having 3 or 4 books going at the same time.  He also kept up with current events, reading the local newspaper and watching the news on television (both local and world). 

My father in law was a dapper man, always dressing well even just to grocery shop.  He ironed everything, even denim jeans and handkerchiefs.  And so when it came time to choose a coffin, my mother in law coordinated his sage green dress shirt with a green casket.  Everyone liked that touch.  Father in law loved Celtic music and there was a particular CD he kept in his vehicle that was his favorite.  Mother in law loaned the CD to the funeral home and it was played during visitation and the funeral.  Everyone told her how much they enjoyed the beautiful Celtic music rather than the usual hymns and more somber tunes. 

At the grave site there were military honors:  a 3-gun salute, a bugler from the local VFW playing "Taps", and the flag folding ceremony.  Despite being in mourning, I found the whole thing fascinating as I had only seen military honors in movies or tv shows.  Father in law is buried close to his mother and father, under a tall tree where I'm sure there are many squirrels "talking" at him (he loved to squirrel hunt).  There is a space next to him for my mother in law, when it is her time to go. 

And now for some happy talk:  Sugar Cookie turns 2 tomorrow!  Can you believe it!  I sure can't.  My daughter will take cupcakes to the school tomorrow (store bought--no time for homemade) but the family won't have cake until the weekend.  No huge celebration planned; after all, she is only two.  I really can't understand the parents/grandparents who throw lavish, expensive parties for little ones who don't even comprehend what's happening.  Also, SC should soon be moving up to the next grade, probably sometime in August, I bet.  Which means getting used to new teachers and new routines.  Hope all of you are enjoying your summer.  Me, I am counting down the days until my beloved Autumn arrives. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Death in the family

My father in law died this morning.  He has not been well for quite some time, so this is not unexpected.  Still...death always catches us off guard, doesn't it.  I thank God for the time we had with him and rest in the hope that we will all be together again some day. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

To be smartly dressed

I have just found and read a wonderful article that I believe you will enjoy reading, too.  To me, most of Ms. Schiapparelli's advice still rings true today even though the article was published in 1936. 

"How to be chic on a small income"

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Breathing new life into an old hobby

Last Friday night I wrote this entry in my paper journal:

"I've been in a funk lately; I can't seem to shake it.  I'm bored, I'm angry, I'm depressed--pretty much everything except happy.  Oh, there are happy moments, but nothing that lasts.  I can't remember the last time I was happy for an entire day.  Nothing is interesting to me.  I feel as if I'm just going through the motions, moving on autopilot.  Every day is the same.  I'd blame it on summer (you know how much I hate summer) but I've been feeling this way for several months now.  I don't know what to do.  It's like I've been waiting my whole life for something big and exciting to happen, but at my age I now realize nothing will.  --Linus and The Great Pumpkin."

Cue yesterday...but, wait, a little back story. 
A couple of months ago I realized (when I went to search for a name) that my family tree file had not been transferred from my old hard drive to the new one.  D'oh!  All that data...all that typing...gone!!  (Ironic, no?  Me, an IT person for some 20-odd years, not making a proper back up copy of an important file.  Give me a second as I hang my head in shame.) 

Discouraging?  I'd say so.  I thought I would have to start my search from scratch.  Luckily though I did find a hard copy (paper) of the family tree I had created, as up to date as July of 2009.  Now it's a matter of re-typing everything into a new file (and yes, creating a back up--I know, I know!!) 

Still in genealogy mode yesterday afternoon, I logged onto a site I used to frequent, find a grave, to see if there are any requests for headstone pictures for the Lutheran church cemetery very near me.  There are about a dozen (13 to be exact), so I printed out the list of names and thought, "I should take a day off from work and look for these graves/take pictures."  I realized it's been at least three years since I've done that--and I also realized that thinking of walking a cemetery, searching for headstones suddenly made me feel lighter and happier than I'd been in a long time.  I had forgotten how much I love the thrill of the (genealogical) mystery and the pursuit of new tidbits of ancestral information.  I've already flipped through my work calendar and chosen the day and have sent the email to my boss, telling him I'll be off that day.  I think I need to buy a new memory card for my camera, and use it only for cemetery pictures, and make sure there are fresh batteries in the camera.  Ooh, I'm feeling very joyful!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

About divorce and what not to say to single people

No, I'm not getting a divorce; calm yourselves.  *smile*  I'm referring to Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith, two stars I have followed for decades.  As much as the lustful, imaginative side of me is rejoicing (because now he and I can FINALLY be together!!!), I must say I am saddened.  They've been together for eighteen years and, in the realm of celebrities, that's a long time.  Who knows why the divorce is happening--I will not speculate.  There will be plenty of others who offer up all manner of  ridiculous "whys".  Just remember:  no matter what we may read in the coming months, at the bottom of all the ballyhoo are two people who once loved and adored one another, but who have now come undone.  Everyone needs to respect that.

On the heels of yesterday's announcement of divorce from the Banderas/Griffith camp, came an email from a young friend, venting about another potential boy(friend) not working out.  (Well...not only not working out, but not even getting off the ground.)  My friend is 25 years old, is smart and funny and attractive.  She's not movie star gorgeous, but is attractive, however she's never had a boyfriend.  She wants one and would eventually like to be married and have some kids, but she's not sitting around, moping and moaning about not having someone, mind you.  And of course, as each birthday passes without any prospects, her family and coworkers keep asking the question.  You know the one:  are you married yet?  It's either that or "are you dating?" --something along those lines.

Anyway, we got to talking (via email) about the comeback lines most people who are "coupled" throw out to single folks.  I know the comeback lines well because, alas, I've used them myself.  It's things such as "there's someone for everyone!"  or "just be patient; your guy/girl is right around the corner!" or "give it time", etc., etc., etc.  While I've been guilty of preaching those words myself, I know the reality is just the opposite. I guess we folk who are coupled repeat such platitudes because deep down we want to believe it's true (that there is someone for everyone out there...wherever "there" is...I've always wondered about that) and because somewhere along the line we've been brainwashed to believe that people simply cannot be happy without a partner. --Which of course is horse hockey. My friend says she's tired of people telling her to give it time and I think she has a valid point. So I'm going make it a point to stop telling single people to "just give it time". Hearing that is probably hurtful and a bit infuriating, isn't it?

I asked her to give me an opinion--what would she want me to say instead? She couldn't come up with anything on the spur of the moment, but knowing her she'll have an answer for me soon.  In the meantime I googled (because I am a googling fool) the phrase "what to say to a single friend" and found some interesting suggestions.  My favourite so far is, "I admire the way you are living your life."  The writer added, "It might be as simple as “I admire that you installed that new sink all on your own” to “I admire the courage you had to go out on that date”. Details, again, are good. But also commenting on the big picture is really good. I can poignantly remember a few times that people have looked me in the eye and said that they are really proud of the way I’m living a meaningful life as a single person, and it brought me to tears. Just because someone meant it, and took the time to say it. It means a lot."  I also like "dream big" and "you are amazing" from her list.
Click here for the link to the entire article. 

Then on the other hand, we have things NOT to say to single people.  I know I've broken some of these rules.  Let's see...oh yes, right off the bat:  "You're so pretty/handsome; I can't believe you don't have a boy/girlfriend!"  There's also "want me to fix you up?" and "you'll find it (love) when you're not looking".  OMG Becky, I can't remember the number of times I've said that last one!!  There's also the confusing "you're too picky...but don't settle" rule.

From now on I'll try very hard to offer supportive words to my single friends, hopefully without making their teeth grind in frustration.'re awesome!! 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Of stinky shampoo

Note to self:  always try new shampoo samples on weekends (this way, you can re-wash if necessary (as I wished I could have done this morning)).

In Friday's mail I received a free sample of the Suave Professional Natural Infusion line.  I requested the anti-breakage formula, but there's also moisturizing and all-day body types, too.  I snipped open the little packets of the shampoo and the conditioner, however the smell didn't hit me until I'd squeezed some of the shampoo into my hand (followed by the conditioner).  The smell was very strong.  I guess I should have stopped there, but often the smell of some products will mostly disappear with rinsing.  Not so with this product.  The sample also included a packet of light, leave-in conditioner and I thought, "Well, why not; in for a penny, in for a pound."  If I was going to smell, then let me SMELL.  Ugh, bad idea.  Every time I moved my head my hair would move also, and a huge waft of flowery perfume would engulf me.  In no time, the stinky perfume of the Suave stuff had given me a headache--and gave me slight nausea as well. 

I let my hair air dry as usual and noticed the strands were taking longer than usual to dry...or so I thought.  When I got to work and ran my fingers through my length, I discovered it wasn't wet, my hair was simply sticking together from the leave-in conditioner.   Luckily I always have a clip and some bobby pins with me so up went my length, hiding the strands that are glopped together and securing the hair so that I won't have to deal with the terrible perfume all day.  I can't tell you how eager I am for tomorrow morning to arrive so that I can wash this stuff out of my hair!  For those of you who don't mind a lot of perfume in your hair care products though, here's the link for a free sample:  Oh, and you'll also receive a $1.00 coupon on your next purchase.  Mine went in the trash.