Tag Archives: family

Time Pieces

My mother had some old watches and pocket watches she picked up here and there at estate sales and such, and now I have them. I tried to sell them once and was told they had no value, so I keep them tucked away. I’m glad I didn’t get rid of them after all. They’ve grown on me.

This is a plain pocket watch with no cover. It says “Waltham” on the face. This piece is two inches in diameter and feels heavy in my hand.

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This is the back. It has a cool geometrical pattern/logo, but no words.

Time5

This piece is smaller and lighter, about an inch and a half in diameter, but it’s thicker and more complex, as you’ll see. This is the front.

Time6

It flips open to reveal the clock’s face sideways. “Elgin” is printed on the face. The back of the cover says “Keystone” and has a serial number (1194946).

Time10

This is supercool ~ the back opens to show gears and stuff!

Time9

Next up is a ladies’ bracelet watch. It’s very delicate and pretty. It says “Victoria” on the face and nothing on the back. The clasp says “Hadley” with a patent number.

Time1

The last is another bracelet watch, a Bulova. I like it a lot, though its face is scratched up. I might get it cleaned up and working someday so I can wear it for real. I used to wear it anyway, just for fun, but then I decided it was bad luck and stopped.

Time2

The reason this watch is so special is because it’s engraved on the back. I imagine a husband gave it to his wife for Christmas in 1947. I’ve decided he fought in WW2 and she waited for him.

Time3

My mother died today, nine years ago. I love her and miss her every day. Her voice and presence are both still right here, almost, as if she just left the room a few minutes ago. Nothing has changed in all this time.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Timely

Approaching Lavender

I adore every shade of purple, from lavender to plum. When I was nine and we moved to New Jersey, my mother indulged my love for purple by finding beautiful violet-flowered wallpaper for my new bedroom and creating a Barbie house to match. She painted an accent wall for my room a medium violet and it was fab. I don’t have photos unfortunately; we weren’t into snapping pics of everything so much back in those days, except on vacations. It’s too bad about no pics of the Barbie house especially, since that truly was a masterpiece with different rooms and a guest cottage for cousin Skipper.

I’ve always wanted to love the scent of lavender, but sadly I hate it. I do love this song by Gordon Lightfoot however.

The Daily Prompt: Purple

Crafty

crafty

 

I’m trying to remember the first handmade thing I created, in response to today’s “craft” prompt (which could be interpreted as boat or beer, but I’m not going in those directions). It was probably one of those ridiculous summer camp pencil holders made out of a frozen OJ can with glued-on popsicle sticks and covered with paint and glitter. Did anyone ever use these things, or just dump them right in the trash? This would have been when I was 6 or 7 years old, when we lived in Sleepy Hollow,  NY. We were there two years and both my parents worked full-time. One summer I went to camp with mean girls and the other I stayed with a grumpy old lady and her idiot grandsons. Both were horrible experiences. But I digress.

When we moved to Longuyland my new friends were into beads, so I made a ton of beady necklaces and bracelets. My mom saved some of them and possibly one of my daughters kept a few for sentimental value. This would have been when I was 8-9.

When we moved to New Jersey my mom made a giant house for my Barbies out of moving boxes and wallpapered it to match my room. We shopped for accessories to make rooms for the dolls, and she taught me how to knit and crochet so I could make teensy blankets and rugs for them. Later I turned it into a harem, but that’s beside the point. Well, there’s like one Ken for every 20 Barbies ~ Mattel must have foreseen this. Anyway, creating little dollhouse items was my crafty obsession around age 10.

In Jersey, my mom got very into DIY and sewing, so I tagged along and ended up learning some too. I embroidered a denim shirt for home ec and put together an outfit to model at the end of the semester (that I secretly took home at night for my mom to fix up on her sewing machine). I enjoyed that a lot and continued doing needlework after the class ended, buying kits and learning new stitches, making pillows and pictures. Mom and I made candles for a while too.

I stuck with the sewing type crafts for many years. When my girls were little I painted tee shirts. That was a lot of fun and the shirts came out great… I was thinking of starting a biz, until I overdid it and could no longer move my thumb without excruciating pain. Nixed my cake decorating career also. I switched to creating fancy photo scrapbooks, which became my obsession for the next several years. All along I still did the needlework, but as I aged I found I had less patience for it and nowadays have no interest in the detailed “art” type pictures, though I still would like to learn to knit and crochet (I’ve forgotten how). I know there are a million vids ~ maybe I’m not motivated enough yet.

One of the main problem with crafts is that they’re expensive. I priced out how much it would cost to knit a poncho (my ultimate goal)… and depending on the style it might be about 3x more than just buying one! I may do it anyway. And going down the bead path again (occasionally tempting)… yikes! I spent a ton of money back in my scrapbook days… and my tee shirt biz would no doubt have been a tax write-off. 🙂

Yesterday I wanted to go to an antique crafty show near my apt, but there was nowhere to park and I was trapped in the lot for few minutes, which was super stressful. ACK DRIVING ISSUES AGAIN. Anyway, I was happy to escape with my life and car intact. Will try again another time, another place.

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The Daily Prompt: Craft

Since You’ve Been Gone

Stephen King has a short story in Bazaar of Bad Dreams called “Ur,” which is centered around the notion of an experimental Kindle with an extra menu feature that gives access to alternative literary realities. Forex, say you type in a random number… in this world of words Shakespeare lives five more years and writes a couple more plays. You get to buy, download, and read these plays on the new Kindle. It’s addictive, as you might imagine, for you could spend day after day checking random numbers and writers to see if your favorites appear in parallel universes with new works to read.

But it’s also comforting to know that the authors we love will continue writing in their familiar styles in the alternate realities. If we search for Ray Carver, we don’t want to find vampire romances. We want what we expect. Most of us anyway. That’s why when I go to a vegan restaurant and order a lush looking dish of macaroni & cheese I’m invariably disappointed ~ it appears so beautiful and cheesy, but it never tastes as expected. I’m always better off with a salad where the veggies taste the way they’re supposed to.

*

I dream about my mother frequently. This month is nine years since she was diagnosed; next April nine years since she’s been gone. In my dreams, she just goes on as she ever was ~ present, helpful, sometimes annoying. Nothing super dramatic. In the last one, we were at a table with a bunch of other people (I don’t remember who) discussing an arts & crafts project. At one point, I turned to my mother and complained that my pantyhose kept getting runs in them the first time I wore them, sometimes right out of the package. She commiserated. I don’t remember if she had any advice, but it’s almost certain she would have. Because Mom.

This was a comforting dream. Mom was being Mom.

*

In the King story, the protag next discovers that the experimental Kindle feature also has alternative reality newspapers. Some of these are funny, especially King’s election ideas. And then our protag finds his local future newspaper. ~ doo doo doo doo ~

I am highly enjoying Bazaar of Bad Dreams.

Walking in L.A.

Fun with my daughters in West Hollywood last Sunday…

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My Creative Mommy

When I was a kid, I didn’t think it was anything special that my mom single-handedly remodeled our homes. No, I don’t mean she went shopping and had furniture delivered, hired men to paint, and found contractors to install new flooring. I mean she stripped wallpaper, put up new paper, painted walls, redid floors herself, built shelves, planted gardens with fences, created fancy dollhouses for me out of moving boxes, etc. Didn’t all mothers do these things?

I spent a lot of time walking with her through hardware stores, yet for whatever reason she seemed to avoid teaching me to help her. I’m not sure why this is, but I suspect she didn’t want to impose her interests on me because she wanted me to find my own. While she was busy with her DIY stuffs, I would be reading or drawing doggies or making bead necklaces or embroidering a denim shirt… not that there’s anything wrong with that.

In New Jersey, she experimented quite a bit with recipes. We had a large garden and the typical zucchini megacrop. That was fun. She also went through a homemade soup phase and a Jell-O mold phase and a DIY ice cream phase… and of course a breadmaking phase. We also had a summer of candlemaking. I wish I had photos. See, if I’d made candles with my kids, that would definitely have generated a scrapbook spread, but my mom didn’t do scrapbooks, and photos were mostly taken on vacations. I have no tangible evidence of our candle phase, except the memory that it was fun. I know I made a few colorful mushrooms that could have festooned a set of Alice in Wonderland. There was also at least one frog and possibly other woodland flora and fauna.

Later on, whenever I was interested in something, my mom found a way to help me with it, if she could (or if I would let her). I didn’t appreciate this so much at the time, but isn’t it a nice quality of someone who cares about you? I appreciate that now, when a friend offers the gift of their time unexpectedly. It’s such a generous thing to do. I’m trying to be more that way myself, remembering Mom and what a kind, caring, generous person she was.

I will always miss her.

Tiger Girl

Tiger

This is my fierce younger daughter when she was about 8 years old dressed up for Halloween at our old house in Huntington Beach. She has become a very successful young woman, just like her older sister. I’m so proud of both my girls. Mommysqueeee! (I don’t do this too often, so please indulge me just a little, kthx.)

~*~

Via The Daily Prompt: Fierce

My Little Soul Dude

Obvious

 

This is Gatsby when I first snuggled him at the Orange County Animal Shelter back in December 2011. He was 6 months old.

Isn’t it obvious we were meant for each other? ❤

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Obvious

Skimming the Surface

I like working. I like jumping into an all-consuming project where the hours just fly by and I forget about lunch, forget to check my phone for messages, and 5:30 comes before I even realize it. I’m not one of those Monday haters. In fact, work saved me, not just financially, but emotionally when I went through all my crises of the past 15 years. It’s been my rock. But I didn’t realize I missed working full-time until I began again. When I stayed home with the kids and la-la’d around, skimming the surface of the days, I thought I liked my life that way. But I prefer working, having a place to go every day, and a reason to get up and get ready in the mornings. Several years ago, when I was first divorced, I met a man online who lived far away. For whatever reason, he fell for me and offered the possibility of a future where I could be with him and no longer had to work. That held no appeal. It seemed a regression to a superficial life, where I sit at the table and see what’s on the surface, but am not allowed to look beneath… and who knows what lurks under there. Despite everything, I’m happy now. That may seem a surprise, since I complain a lot, but that’s what bloggery is for. I can’t very well go on and on about hey it’s a nice day and nothing went wrong, the sky’s blue, and I don’t have a headache. I’d lose my 12 fans!

This isn’t what I meant to write. I was thinking to say something about how I’ve been skimming the surface of a lot of books lately and not finishing them, which is why new ones aren’t appearing as fast on the sidebar there (unless I get halfway I don’t think it’s fair to say I read it/star it). I have no idea what happened, but I guess we’ll go with this. My 15 year workaversary is coming up at the end of the month, so it feels appropriate.

~*~

Via The Daily Prompt: Surface

The Lure of Luxury [Dating Story]

It’s been a minute since I treated you to a dating story. Did you think I’d used them all up? Ha ha ha ha. We should be so lucky.

Names and some deets changed to protect the guilty. Also, my memory sucks.

I met this one at the Long Beach Marina. Let’s call him… Benzo cuz he zipped up in a shiny new red MBZ sports car. Hot guy, in good shape, wore jeans, black leather jacket, had a nice smile. We went upstairs for a drink in an upscale bar overlooking the water. So far, so good. (Back then, my headaches weren’t as bad and I still could have occasional alcohol without dying.)

We talked about me for a while. I was only separated then, not divorced, and very much into complaining about my S2BX. Not a great time to date, but we wouldn’t have all these fun stories if I hadn’t, would we? I told Benzo a little about my divorce woes, and he began ranting about his divorce and how his ex-witch stole his business yada. Then he went into a new rage about how college was stupid and a waste of money and I shouldn’t be sending my kids. What?

Despite the few annoying convo twists, I was overall having a good time with Benzo and we ordered some appies and another round of drinks (non-alcoholic for me). Now we were talking about him. He was in real estate, which was our initial one thing in common. What did he do, exactly? Well, he was a bit vague… some sort of partnership dealio with the ex, where she stole everything, as noted. Currently, he was in an “investment pool.”

“What’s that?” I asked. I never care if people think I’m stupid; in fact, I find it amusing.

Benzo babbled about how he and some otter dudes were going to make a shit ton of money on some sketchy properties and bla and bla. I didn’t ask how he managed the new MBZ if this hadn’t happened yet, given that the ex, etc.

“Do you want to live with me in luxury?” he said.

“Oh, sure. Where would we be living?”

“Wherever you like! Beverly Hills or Newport Beach or Santa Barbara. We’ll sleep late and then tell the cook what we want for breakfast. What’s your favorite breakfast?”

“French toast.”

“Fantastic!”

“I’ll need to bring my cat.”

“We’ll have ten cats!”

This guy was some salesman, amirite? He kissed me and it was really nice. I was starting to think about seeing him again, despite his weird anti-college tirade. Who cared what he thought about that? It was totally irrelevant. But I needed to get going ~ it was a weeknight and I had to work the next morning.

The check came. Benzo looked at me. “You’ll never believe it,” he said.

Turned out, Benzo had been so excited to meet me that he forgot his credit card. OMG! And he didn’t carry cash because that’s dangerous. If you’re driving a flash Mercedes you do tend to make yourself a target. Best not to have paper money floating in your pockets to further tempt any bandits. Makes total sense.

So, I paid. Of course. I picked up the tab for the hot guy in the luxury car who has probably made so much money by now from his RE investment pool he is tripping over stacks of cash on the way to his gold-plated toilet every morning.

I didn’t see him again.

Bling car

~*~

Via The Daily Prompt: Luxury