Tag Archives: family

Sunday Dawdles

Virtual reality metaverse headset

Rory @ Earthly Comforts has a fresh set of Morning Dawdler questions for us today.

Should we fear the arrival of more progressive AI [Artificial Intelligence] or embrace it?

I don’t know. Everyone has a strong opinion on this, but who knows what will happen in reality, as opposed to sci-fi? No one. I choose to wait and see how it goes. So far, it doesn’t seem to be too threatening, only amusing, but it’s too early to predict. One thing I might be inclined to worry about is financial fraud. If AI can imitate a voice, a face, and guess all our passwords, then that could be a disaster for everyone, much worse than what we are already dealing with in this area.

How much time do you spend sitting each day?

Most of my waking hours are spent sitting. I suffer with chronic pain and do not exercise much at all. I understand that “they” say I would feel better if I moved around more, but every time I try it, I feel worse.

What is your proudest accomplishment?
[Having Children not included]

I am proud of my recovery from financial and emotional setbacks later in life. Neither recovery was easy to achieve, but I worked hard at both, with my main motivation to avoid being a burden to my daughters (who are both lovely people and I take pride in that too).

Are/Were you the youngest, middle, oldest or only child?

I am the only child of my parents; however, I learned at age 25 that my mother had another daughter 10 years before me, in Ohio, when she was 20 and unmarried. That baby was given up for adoption, and I tried to find her on Ancestry, but so far there has been no response.

I am sad to think I will never meet her or get to talk to her. It would be nice to know what she looks like and if she has any children.

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

More than Coffee by Lauren Scott

Women friends coffee talk chat

Sometimes a writer has such an engaging style that you feel you’re old friends after reading them. That’s the way I feel about Lauren Scott after finishing her memoir More than Coffee. Her vignettes and poetry are so honest and vivid that it seems she must have shared the stories in person, over coffee of course. I teared up when I read her parents’ love story, and I was right there with Lauren when she found a tarantula in her house (eek!). Lauren and I are about the same age with adult children who have moved away (though happily both of mine are only around an hour’s drive), so I can relate to many of the emotions she describes about being a parent and transitioning from living with your children to helping them leave the nest.

I’ve followed Lauren’s blog for a while, but like many of us I lazily read her posts as they appeared in my reader without actually visiting her site. Thus, I did not even know she had books for sale until she posted the link to a review by Mark Bierman. The review intrigued me so much I bought Lauren’s book, and I am glad I did. It was such a pleasure to savor this rich and tasty brew, redolent with love, loss, adventure, hope, and, above all, family bonds.

Thank you for sharing your life so beautifully with your readers, Lauren.

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.


spaghetti pasta fork

The spaghetti mystery
Baffled the brilliant brain
Of physicist Richard Feynman,
Who died unable to explain
Why a stressed strand snaps
In multiple locations,
Not conveniently in half.

My grandmother counted
The strands of spaghetti
To cook half a box;
She was neurotic like that,
Didn’t trust guesstimates.
She knew to do the twist,
Though she never took physics,
To keep the stress centered,
And avoid getting pasta bits
All over the stovetop.

Now they have an equation
To describe the stress breaks
Of spaghetti strands —
Physicists rejoice!
It’s not just about the pasta,
You understand.
Lots of things have multiple
Stress points and could snap
When put under pressure,
Especially if there’s a pot
Of boiling water nearby.

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Reprinted from Monochrome for dVerse Poets’ prompt on grandmothers. I could write a lot more about this particular granny, but I think the spaghetti strand counting is enough, for now.

Sunday Morning Dawdles

Ocean rocks seagull orange sky

Rory @ Earthly Comforts continues his Morning Dawdle series with the following set of questions.

What is the best way to cook an egg, and what is your favourite egg dish?

Yum eggs! They’re worth their weight in gold now, but I still buy them. I often make two poached eggs to have with toast. This is a great way to cook eggs without adding extra fat, and I leave the yolks a bit runny to dip my toast into. Sometimes though I make scrambled eggs, to which I may or may not add a bit of cheese. Recently, I impulsively tossed in lox and cream cheese, which was decadently delicious. Occasionally, I’ll do an omelette, but those can annoy me if they fail to flip out perfectly.

What makes for a good listener, and are you one, or do you only hear people as noise?

I’ve never been an audio learner, which is why in school I took more written notes than everyone else (and it paid off). Nowadays, my hearing sucks due to tinnitus, so at work I write everything down that people tell me to make sure I don’t miss anything. It helps me to stay focused on the moment and keeps my thoughts from spinning around.

When I feel a strong emotional connection, my listening improves, so I’m pretty good at family chat. As far as friends, I would say I’m mediocre. They have a lot to say all the time, and I can’t take in all the details and retain them. If someone has a specific problem, I can stay focused on that and try to help, but the regular chitchat just kinda drifts on by.

Short answer: no.

Headphones listen music

How well can you control your emotions, and is it hard to keep them in check with moments and times when you feel passionate or angry with others or situations?

I don’t feel it’s important to constantly hide my emotions. Why is this a desirable trait? Personally, I’d rather know if someone is sad, angry, bored, etc., so I can adjust my behavior accordingly. I can’t stand the attitude of pretending to be so cool you don’t care about anything. That’s a form of lying and it irritates me. Of course, there are those men people who don’t actually care about anything or anyone…

I can, of course, control my emotions if I have to, like in traffic (GRRRR), but I’m not opposed to letting others understand my true feelings in most cases. For example, at game night, sometimes a couple people will get so involved in a boring conversation that we’ll all be sitting there for a long time not playing anything. I am usually the one to butt in and blurt out WHEN ARE WE GONNA START A GAME??? So we do, and everyone is then all happy I spoke up. Yay me!

Is it necessary for you to be remembered by others for your contribution to life?

What contribution? LOL

Yes, I need to be remembered for my angsty poetry and my anti-dating rants. These must be preserved for future generations.

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Cats and Dogs and Goldfish, Oh My!

henry tasha kitten cat
Henry and Tasha

Henry (grey tabby) was my first cat ~ he found me outside my office in Burbank, California when I was 24. Up until then, I’d considered myself a “dog person,” for I had a little doggy growing up and I loved her very much. I thought Henry might be lonely, so I brought Tasha home (gold Abyssinian), who was very sweet but not so bright.

Henry didn’t live long after I adopted him ~ he had liver cancer. That was a really sad time. I didn’t want Tasha to be alone, so I found Cyndi, but the poor little girl was sick her whole short life, dying at age three of FIP. By that time though I had adopted Oscar too, so we were back to a 2-cat family.

oscar kitten cat

Unfortunately, I had to rehome both Tasha and Oscar because one of my daughters was horribly allergic (she’s outgrown it), and that was heartbreaking, but my children always come first. We didn’t have any more pets until the girls were older and Cocoa found us. She was a big sweetheart, and we didn’t want her to be alone, so we got Tiki too. My ex took Tiki when we split because he had a patio and she needed to be outside a lot. I took Cocoa with me to my dad’s, where I lived for a while to save money, but sadly Cocoa didn’t last long after the move due to advanced arthritis.

It does seem like having pets means being vulnerable to constant illness, death, and vet bills, but they add so much enrichment to my life that I find it difficult to be without them for long. After Cocoa passed, I rented my own apartment, but I didn’t have a new pet for a few months because the guy I was dating didn’t like them. Red flag right there! After I dumped him in October 2011, my daughter and I went to the Orange County shelter and discovered Gatsby waiting for us. Happy day!

gatsby kitty cat love hearts
My sweet Gatsby

Gatsby is considered a “geriatric cat” now that he’s over 11 years old, but he still seems as energetic as ever. I feed him the senior kibble (he refuses the wet food the vet wants him to have) in hopes of keeping him with me for many more years. My housemate’s darling kitty Tiger passed a few months ago from kidney disease ~ she was only nine, so you just never know. Gatsby doesn’t seem to mind being an only cat, and I’m not sure if we’ll be changing that status.

My eldest and her hubby had a lovely little orange tabby cat, but she passed a few years ago, and now they are firmly dog people. It makes sense for their more active lifestyle to have a couple doggos to walk and hike and play on the beach with, especially because they both work from home. My daughter and her hubs, that is ~ pets aren’t inclined to get jobs. Their dogs are adorable and very well-behaved, so it’s a pleasure to visit them.

Rory Lily dogs
Rory and Lily

My other daughter lives in a condo in the city and does not have pets, only children, but the doggo daughter has now added fish to her menagerie. She and her hubs recently installed an enormous aquarium and are carefully populating it with compatible fishies. It’s a very complicated operation! I visited them last week and found the whole process fascinating ~ I had no idea what all was involved from the tank maintenance itself to the difficulty of obtaining some of the more popular fish. There are waiting lists!

Their aquarium is still establishing itself, so in the meantime here’s a pic from the Long Beach Aquarium, where I want to go again soon. Someday, my daughter’s setup will resemble this one, more or less. Turns out that fish die all the time too, oh well. At least there are no vet bills…

aquarium blue coral yellow fish
Anonymous fish

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for Jim’s Friday Faithfuls. No TGIF today, but feel free to do one of your own.

Morning Dawdle 3

Blackbird crow tree green morning

Psych! It’s actually the afternoon when I’m answering Rory @ Earthly Comforts’ latest set of Morning Dawdler questions (which he posted three days ago), but I may have a cup of tea soon, so it’s OK.

What are your views on Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex’s published memoir Spare and the media coverage supporting it – even if you haven’t read the book?

I ranted about the absurd coverage of Prince Harry in my Monday Peeve last week, and it seems to have died down a bit now. My gripe was mostly about the ridiculous amount of news space devoted to him and not the man himself, but since you asked… I think he’s a jerk. No matter how shabbily he and his wife may have been treated by the press, he’s still a super wealthy nepo baby, and I don’t care about his petty grievances. Sure, he has the right to tell his story, but that doesn’t make it a good thing to do.

Loads of people have family they don’t get along with, and they just move on with their lives. My mother was in this group, and she certainly did not spend her time moaning about how unfair it all was back in Ohio. I didn’t even learn about her sad early years until much later in my life after I pestered her for details. Harry appears to be treating whining as his new job though and getting paid for it ~ it’s not his fault that peeps are so hungry for more gossip that they’re shelling out money for his book.

shrug woman

Is the glass half full or half empty for you?

It depends on the day and the situation. I’m more of a realist than either an optimist or a pessimist, and that’s basically how I view most things. If I’m having a bad day, I tell myself that tomorrow will probably be better; if I’m having a great day, I remind myself that it won’t last forever. I like to stay balanced in the middle.

In your opinion – as individuals do we matter and if so/not why?

Almost all of us matter to someone, even if only to our pets! Most of us also have family and friends who care about us and/or count on us. I like to believe I matter to coworkers as well. But in the big picture, in a million years from now? Nah. None of us matter, not even the Royals.

spiral galaxy stars

What mistakes do you make over and over?

I make a lot of typos on my phone, which I am quite aware of, yet I still hit send without proofreading. Then I’m extremely annoyed when I see the mistakes.

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Gumby Smile [tws]

Paint selfie

My daughter and I painted on Saturday, and I am generally pleased with how this one turned out. Of course, every time I look at it, I see something I want to change, but I am going to try to move on to new paintings rather than futz with this one and make it worse. I realize the middle plant looks more like something in the ocean than any type of cactus, but whatever. Don’t ask me why the tutorial had us put a moon in the sun ~ I just do what I’m told, lol. I’m naming this guy “Gumby Sunset” due to the color and shape of the saguaros reminding me of that old cartoon. Remember Gumby?

One thing in particular I avoided this time was wetting my canvas first. Idk why I began doing that, but it turned out to be a bad idea and the paint never dried thoroughly. I also avoided too much blending, though it would have been good if I’d blended the outer edge of the red a little better. I probably should not have put red highlights so far into the blue and am resisting going over them with black. Must.Resist.Fixing!

I have already bought a bunch of new blank canvases and saved more tutorials to try. You can be sure I will post my results here if I am the least bit happy with them.

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Posted for Trent’s Weekly Smile (my first in a while!).

TGIF ~ Spare Me


Happy Friday the 13th! Yep, I am “going there” by talking about the spare heir’s nonstop news coverage. First, it is not Harry’s fault that for some bizarre reason American media must report on his every utterance the same way a few weeks back they hyperventilated over each tweet Elon sent. The one (only?) nice thing about Harry’s book is that for several days now we haven’t heard much about the Musky one.

Second, and this may offend some British subjects, I don’t think of the Royals as anything other than nepo babies. To me, the kerfuffles the Royals get into mirror the Kar-Jenners and other celebs having feuds and whatnot, some faked for attention, others real, and why should I care about these people and their problems when they all have So Much Money?

Granted, I do enjoy fairytales as much as the next romance novel reader, so I like photos from weddings and other glamorous events these peeps get up to, but as far as their issues with each other, meh. I feel the same way about the Oscars slap and the periodic catfights between Britney Spears and her sister Jamie Lynn: there’s nothing I need to care about there.

Third, I really don’t understand the insane amount of Spare sales ~ over a million on the first day of release! Who the hell is buying this thing? I mean, hasn’t the media already treated us to the juicy bits? So now people are gonna spend their free time reading those over again and the boring parts too. I just can’t even with that. Sure, it’s great that people are reading. Yay books! But wtf…

I guess that’s all I have to say about it (for now). It’s mostly a criticism of the media ~ of course people have the right to tell their own stories their own way, blah blah blah. I just wish the news coverage was more relevant to me and my taste. No matter how I tweak my newsreaders, I still see crap I don’t want to. Yes, I do see lots of animal stories too and thank goodness for that!

Anyway. I’m visiting one of my daughters this weekend and very much looking forward to it. Hope it isn’t raining too heavily while I drive. I would take the train, except apparently the tracks are about to crumble into the ocean, which doesn’t sound fun at all. What are you all up to? Jabber away and link back to me!

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Truthful Tuesday Love

Swirling dancing rainbow flames couple

Di @ Pensitivity101 continues the Truthful Tuesday series today by asking the following questions, which I will answer with musical accompaniment.

Do you believe in love at first sight. Have you experienced it? Did it last?

I do believe in love at first sight ~ I am a hopeless romantic after all. What I mean by LAFS is not mere attraction, but the click of connection. I know the difference because I’ve experienced both. It’s easy to look at someone and find them visually appealing; I even do that still, with all 87 genders. But that’s not what I mean by LAFS, which I could never experience now because I am closed off to love.

January 1983, Chicago. I was 21, ready to change my life, and a guy swaggered into my computer programming class, reminding me of the Marlboro Man, sans cigarette. He was blonde, with a ‘stache, blue-eyed, and slim-hipped. In my mind, he wore a black leather jacket, but I’m not sure now if that was true or if I added it to my mental picture of him later. He glanced at me and I felt that click, beyond desire. There were better-looking men in that room, but that didn’t matter. I wanted the Marlboro Man, and I set out to get him.

Over the next few months, we got to know each other and I fell for him more deeply. He wasn’t that good at the class, so I helped him. He was hungry, so I bought lunch. He was a liar, so I lied too. We concocted fantastical ad-lib stories for the other classmates, such as Marl coming over to my place in the morning to pick out my outfit. We went to bars after class, we drank, we ate pizza, we danced, we kissed, and eventually, in June, we slept together.

I was happy, for a short time ~ we were a couple for a month or so. But I had a new job, and he wanted to go backpacking in Canada. Since I couldn’t go, he took another girl. Around the same time, my parents were getting ready to move to California. They assumed I’d go too, but I was thinking I would stay in Chicago and get an apartment. Until this backpacking incident made me so sad, that is. My father sweetened the Cali deal by offering to buy me a car. Then I said I’d move with them.

The thing about LAFS is that it’s usually one-sided. When I told Marl I was moving, he was happy for me. I don’t even think he said he would miss me. I guess the backpacking went really well ~ I probably would have been a terrible companion anyway, since I detest the outdoors. But I cried a lot after I moved, even after I began to create a new life with a new job. I had to leave work early once because someone was playing “our song,” which was Lionel Richie’s “You Are the Sun.” We danced to that at closing time in a Chicago bar, and I still tear up if I hear it.

I think we would have done OK, if I could have waited out Marl’s wild years. He’s a real estate guy, still in the Chicago area, still looking good, but no ‘stache now. He seems to be married sans kids. Yes, I periodically stalk him, though I’m sure he doesn’t remember me at all. But perhaps he was looking for his own love at first sight… it just wasn’t me.

Some of you may have been expecting me to say someone more recent was my love at first sight, but there was only Marl. The rest were love eventually, if at all. Even the guy who ghosted me at Thanksgiving wasn’t a LAFS, though sometimes I pretend he was, for poetic purposes.

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Morning Dawdle 1

mango lounge

Rory @ Earthly Comforts has a new series of questions of us and I have some replies, more or less.

How hard is it for you to ask for help if you need it – can you do so quickly, or are you resistant to it?

I dislike asking for help these days. For years, whenever anything frustrated me, even for one second, I’d ask my mom for help and later my ex-husband. I grew accustomed to the idea of never dealing with anything myself, and that was a really bad habit. After my mom died and then my divorce happened, I found myself more and more with no one to whine to when something went wrong or if I was confused by instructions ~ and this was a good thing! I became capable of figuring out stuff alone (often with the help of googling) and grew confident in my ability to get things done. Sometimes people ask ME for help now!

Are there any phrases that people use that annoy you immensely?

I hate ethnic slurs of all kinds, and I don’t think any of them are “funny,” nor do I think they should be used for ironic effect. There may be some I’m unaware of, but I try to be alert to nuances of language. Other than that, I’m pretty tolerant of mistakes, since I make them myself, and clichés, especially business-related clichés, which I sometimes do use for ironic effect. Are we on the same page?

How do you acquire new skills – what systems do you adopt to aid you, and why do they make things easier?

Who says I have new skills? LOL. Generally, any new skill I develop now is out of practicality. For example, at work recently I was asked to do Thing X, which I hadn’t done before ~ my boss knew that and said he’d help me ~ instead I figured it out myself and didn’t need to bother him. Now I know how to do Thing X if it comes up again.

Which three spices or condiments do you use the most when cooking, and what makes them more valuable?

I use salt, but sparingly, when I roast or sauté veggies or nom on a fresh avocado. Salt is a wonderful spice, but in my opinion most people use too much, and restaurant food is ridiculously salty, especially salad dressing. The prepared frozen meals I have for lunch at work are also too salty, but there’s nothing I can do about that ~ I already described the disaster that happened when I brought a container of veggies I cooked myself and they leaked all over. Obviously, God wants me to support Stouffer’s. I also love cinnamon and sprinkle it on a lot of things that you wouldn’t expect, such as cottage cheese ~ cottage cheese with a sliced banana and cinnamon is delicious! Mustard is my favorite condiment for sandwiches, burgers, veggie corn dogs, etc., and I used to put it on fish before broiling, but nowadays I only have fish in a restaurant.

Not that anyone cares, but I number my posts of this type according to which ones I answer, not how often they’ve appeared on the host’s site. Rory had a Dawdle a few days ago, but I replied in comments so this Dawdle is my number one. For poetry and flash fiction prompts, I do use the host’s number. Does this inconsistency bother you? It kinda bothers me…

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.