Monthly Archives: August 2015

Re-Entry

I have been on adventures!  I have seen many things, tasted wonderful concoctions, breathed different air, and generally enjoyed myself.  In fact, I feel spoiled.  (Not like the cantaloup on the kitchen island that seems a might fragrant.  That’s a different kind of spoiled.  Friends, keep your comments to yerselves.)  I almost forgot that I am not who I was, and seemed well on the way to a different me who is.  (Tea and Sarcasm and Incomprehensible Sentences.  Yep.)

First thing: We went out to a German restaurant because they advertised a bacon fest.  Did I ever tell you that we all massively love bacon?  I wish desperately I could have loved it there, but the service was abysmal and the food was not at all “fest.”  It was more “tired and I don’t give a damn.”  The good parts were sitting outside on a nice evening and having some pretty tasty beer.

Never knew I had comic book fists for hands.

Never knew I had comic book fists for hands.

Night time photos on a phone.  Just like the pros!

Night time photos on a phone. Just like the pros!

The second thing: I gave away all my teaching materials to my dear friend who is having some issues and is in a bit of rut right now.  It was a great feeling doing that, not only because it freed some necessary space in my house (hello, basement floor!  How YOU doin’?) but also I was not sad when I did it.  Hear that?  Not sad.  Not nostalgic.  Not bitter.  Not wishing.  Not regretting.  Just…..there.  Happy to see all my good materials go to a good home.  It is done, it is over, and it is settling well within my soul.

Third: My dear dear friend of almost 25 years invited me to spend a few days with her, so I grabbed my go bag, threw in some additional stuff, bought her a present, and drove to Indiana.  Never been there.  (Huh.  Guess I can’t say that anymore now, can I?  I’m a travellin’ girl…..sing with me!)  It was a long drive from my home in New Jersey, across the very wide state of Pennsylvania with its gorgeous hills and trees and farms and interesting names of towns, across Ohio which wasn’t quite as pretty or hilly but still held my interest, finally into Indiana which has lots of corn fields but still so pretty.  I hit a pretty severe thunderstorm right around sunset so the driving was slower than the 80-85 mph I had been doing (What?  I was just maintaining the flow of traffic.  You don’t want me plowed over by a double 18-wheeler do you?) but as I cautiously came around a bend the clouds must have shifted.  The shiny wet roadway at dusk was blazing with the crimsons and pinks and oranges and purples of a summer sunset and the sky colors met the road colors and I literally gasped out loud.  I was so thankful to have experienced that intense moment.  My friend showed me Notre Dame (and that grotto and chapel is so lovely) and Fiddler’s Hearth.  I want to physically move Fiddler’s Hearth to New Jersey and bring the band, Kennedy’s Kitchen, too.  What a fab night of food (Scotch eggs!), beer (Belhaven Scottish ale), music (Celtic and Irish and moving and beautiful and spirited and amazing), and friends.  Add wineries, Silver Beach, shopping, laughing, heart-to-heart talks…you get the idea.

Look!  An official sign and everything!

Look! An official sign and everything!

Lots of candles.  Lots.  Apparently once this place caught fire.  Wonder why?

Lots of candles. Lots. Apparently once this place caught fire. Wonder why?

Very chapel.  So whisper.

Very chapel. So whisper.

Or, as I now call it, Mecca.

Or, as I now call it, Mecca.

Ignore that lady ignoring them.  They did.  Spectacularly.

Ignore that lady ignoring them. They did. Spectacularly.

Pretty.  I think anyone can succeed with sunset pics.

Pretty. I think anyone can succeed with sunset pics.

Fourth: Took my girls to Pennsylvania Amish country again and we did our usual bout of overeating, overlaughing, and overshopping but it’s one of my favorite things to do with them.  We stay at a quirky little bed and breakfast run by the two nicest people and it’s a slice of pure bliss to be there.  (Except for the beds.  The beds are, how shall we say, a bit punishing on the back.  Please see previous post.)  They tried to convince me to bring home a second dog so Nellie won’t be bored.  I’ll let you guess how that conversation went, except I’ll give you a hint: NO.

Fifth: Fishing with Hubby, where fishing was plenty but catching was not-so-much.  Well, catching and keeping.  Seems the regulations in New Jersey keep changing and now flounder/fluke must be 18 inches for keeping.  The sea bass I kept catching were great, except the season ended June 15 and won’t start again until October.  The shark Hubby caught was adorable and I was all ready to name him but the mate on the boat threw him back before I could decide between Bobby Darin and Dyson.  (Get it?  No?  Neither does Nellie.)  He has a spectacular sunburn on his neck and I had enough equilibrium problems that this was probably my final party-boat trip.  (This aging thing does have a few drawbacks.  Then again…)

Seventeen and a half inches.  Before we throw it back, we'll pretend it's a score.

Seventeen and a half inches. Before we throw it back, we’ll pretend it’s a score.

Bobby.  Or Dyson.

Bobby. Or Dyson.

I think I would say August has been a successful month.  Of course tomorrow is supposed to start a week of 90+ temps and humidity, so there’s no telling to what depths I may sink.  (Oh, fishing analogy.  I get it.  Subtle.)

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Ouch

I don’t like to talk about myself much (waits patiently for everyone to wipe their monitors and keyboards free of spewed beverages) but after reading and commenting on the blog Maid’s Day Off with this gem:

Those beasts hammering on your joints are visiting me, too, and I would appreciate it if you would keep them at home. Or at least send them with an oil can.

I decided to come clean, too.  I am of a “particular” age whereby getting up from the comfy couch requires the mandatory “ready, get set, go” rocking and rolling accompanied by the inevitable groan.  (What is it with knees, anyway?)  In fact, we’re sort of shopping for a new couch and everyone gets to plop their fannies on the potential behemoth.  While they’re all snuggling in to new cushions and pillowbacks, I’m cautiously determining the distance from the floor to the knees.  It’s like looking into a pool to eyeball how deep it really is.  The sitting is fine, especially if there’s some lovely support on the lower back region, and armrests that are flat float my boat, too.  But getting up?  Oy.

Wouldn’t you think our feet would be the body parts that would fail first?  Since our first year being alive we’ve been trotting around on those things, pounding them on pavements, squeezing them into shoes that are too tight (but look really really good), stubbing them into chairs and bed frames and doors, getting blisters and bee stings and mosquito bites and stepping on glass, and they just keep rolling along.

Knees pretty much stay covered (on me, anyway) with slacks, long skirts, dresses, capris, pajamas, etc.  There’s no real hazard to being a knee except when your children are little and you have to get down to their level for so many things like tying shoes and applying bandaids and giving baths…or if you’re a guy and getting down on one to propose.  All they really do is get you to stand up or sit down.  That’s not so hard, is it?  Our fingers get much more use than knees and my finger joints are not screaming when I’m typing or knitting or shoveling food in my pie hole.  My shoulders don’t protest anytime I shrug and for all those years I had a phone tucked into the shoulder you’d think they would, but no, they just soldier on and do what I ask.

Knees.  Why you gotta be like that?

Yeah, what then?

Yeah, what then?

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A Love Letter to August

July is dead to me; August is my new love.

July was so glaringly bright and sunny it actually hurt my eyes to be outside.  The grass looked like an overexposed photo, the wind smelled old and tired, the leaves couldn’t be bothered to rustle, the birds gave a half-hearted attempt at singing, and the dirt in the gardens looked like cracked leather.  Nothing pretty.  Mosquitos were everywhere and so were wasps and yellowjackets, but even they were too hot to build their traditional nests under my deck railing.

Ahhh, but August!  The skies are a crystal blue like a baby’s clear gaze and the air has an underlying sweet scent to it.  The leaves are happily tossing about, the grass looks like grass again instead of wheat, and the gardens are looking like gardens instead of scenes from a scary movie.  And the birds!  They are singing like mad and hopping all over the yard and being very friendly to those of us happy to venture out onto the back deck again.

I’ve even stirred myself a bit this August:

The farmer’s market every Saturday morning just up the street from me is a great place to be.  Everything is just bursting with promise and beauty.

Oh, the colors....

Oh, the colors….

We visited the Sussex County Fair and it was fun to see all the animals:

Ya big ox.

Ya big ox.

Who you calling a big ox?

Who you calling a big ox?

And she KNOWS she's fabulous!

And she KNOWS she’s fabulous!

I wanted to bring all the little sheepies home with me...

I wanted to bring all the little sheepies home with me…

Except this one who was eating the chair.

Except this one who was eating the chair.

Hubby said she must have needed iron in her diet.  *rimshot*

Hubby said she must have needed iron in her diet. *rimshot*

And I squeeeeed over the baby goats.

And I squeeeeed over the baby goats.

Beautiful landscaping demos.  Can you see the koi?

Beautiful landscaping demos. Can you see the koi?

Mmmmm.....someone give me $20k so I can reproduce this at home.

Mmmmm…..someone give me $20k so I can reproduce this at home.

This was an unexpected sign.

This was an unexpected sign.

And my favorite: my knitter friend won a blue ribbon for her gorgeous doily!

And my favorite: my knitter friend won a blue ribbon for her gorgeous doily!

Tonight we’re enjoying barbecued chicken and tomato salad.  Tomorrow’s to-do list is already giving me the willies, but for tonight I’m as relaxed as a sleepy cat and as contented as a …. well, something contented.

Pardon me, the deck is calling….

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I’m Like a Sponge

In many ways, I absorb a lot whether it’s by reading, observation, listening, poking about where I don’t belong, osmosis, or my other superpowers.  Vividly recalling the memories I do is like watching a beloved rerun and losing myself in the memories of that time.

Of course, that means the brainsponge has limited capacity to absorb anything new.  So when I ask the Daughters what their plans are for that day and they shoot each other that look then I know I’ve forgotten something they just told me.  So I’m like a sponge that needs squeezing out, but who gets to decide what goes?

Initially I blogged because I wanted to become a better writer.  I have since learned that writing is too lonely and solitary a vocation for me.  It’s the same reaction when I was deciding if I would become a professional musician.  Practicing your instrument six hours a day and scrounging for other money-making resources is lonely work, and I’m the gregarious sort.  (Of course, I’m gregarious on my terms; I want my alone time too and woe to you if you don’t realize when that is and you don’t beat a hasty retreat.)  My focus then turned to recalling memories of my youth for my daughters, kind of a correspondence they can look back on with nostalgia and recall when their mom was just SUCH a hoot in her blog.

Now?  Now I’m just trying to figure it all out, where my next phase of identification of being is, and why the hell I can’t just accept where I am.  It’s like my Hubby watching TV, heaven forbid he watch just one thing, he’s got to flip to all the other channels to see if there’s something better there that he’s missing.  Am I supposed to be doing something differently now?  Is this the watershed moment when I’ll look back and say what an idiot I was, that I should have taken advantage and done such-and-so?  Who’s got these answers, anyway, because I want some.

I’m also like a sponge because it’s August and there’s sweat.

Aren’t you glad you’re reading this now?

People are so quick to judge.

People are so quick to judge.

 

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