Tag Archives: family

Chocolines

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Scrumptious (pre) birthday tiramisu with my lovely daughter in Los Angeles on Sunday. Luckily for me, it also fit this week’s photo theme. 🙂

~*~

Photo Challenge: Lines

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Froth

Beachy

Hot summer sand met cold ocean froth. Two little girls in sunglasses and hats with buckets and towels, digging and giggling. I would bring a book and never open it, preferring to watch my children’s fun and the turquoise waves tumble in, one by one. The hours moved slowly but the time went so fast. Grandma came too with lunch in a cooler. She’s gone now and soon my time will be up, the next decades sure to pass even faster than the ones before. Each year’s bubbles crash in, spread out with a susurrus, and disappear back into nothingness.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Froth

Happy Birthday Dad

It was fun looking through the box of unsorted photos and finding this gem from around 25 years ago ~ Dad and my eldest in the backyard of our old Huntington Beach house. If he were still around, I’d probably be baking his favorite fudgy wudgy brownies for a birthday celebration tonight. Miss those days, love you Dad, RIP.

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Restart

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I was chatting with a friend the otter day and lost track whether it had been 5 or 6 years since my divorce was final. (It’ll actually be 7, this July.) The years roll on by. This month marks 5 years since my dad passed away, and April 13th will be the 10th anniversary of my mother’s death. At the end of August, I’ll have been at my current job for 17 years.

Nothing dramatic, but I feel that 2018 is finally starting for me now on March 1. I didn’t feel well for a bit and, except for my daughter’s wedding, 2017 wasn’t that great of a year overall… the end of it slid into the blackness without a splash. It’s taken a few months for this year to get going in my mind. Emotionally, I needed to process the fact that time passes so ridiculously quickly now and quit wasting so much of it. I saw some piece of trivia that we really only read around 4000 books in our life ~ so let’s not be gobbling up so many crappy ones ~ also let’s not allow a month to pass without reading any (note to self).

I read two books in February. One was supposedly “great,” a NYT bestseller by the demigod Ethan Canin Titled A Doubter’s Almanac, which took me a long damn time because I tried to grok the math, and lol the joke was on me [spoiler alert]… it was fake. Yes, in the era of fake news, we also have fake math. I enjoyed the beginning of the book so much, but then when the narration took a weird turn I started wondering about the math theorem and looked it up ~ fake! I thought, okay cool, he made it up for his fiction. I can respect that; I make shit up all the time. Fuck, I’ve made up whole cities. But dammit, I felt betrayed. I had invested so much time in the book’s philosophy up until that point. In fact, it reminded me of my own philosophy, my central thesis, my touchstone…

MATH IS GOD

But eh fuck it. I read the rest of the book much faster, skipping most of the “math” and just trying to keep it together structurally until the end because I had a hunch about what might happen regarding son/father and… viola… I was correct. Sheesh, what a long book. Unnecessarily so. All those beautiful women falling for dorky mathmen with no social skills because of course they do. I love male fantasies. They’re almost as stupid as female ones.

Then in two days I read a nice, neat, normal murder mystery by Robert Dugoni titled My Sister’s Grave. Well, it wasn’t “nice” exactly ~ made me cry a little. Good book. Significant flashback sections, but after the fake math stuffs? Totes fine.

Point being, with unlimited time I would read every book, see every movie, give each tune a listen that friends slap up on FB. But time is running out. Well, not time precisely. It’s not doing anything. But I’m finite. I don’t want to waste another 3 weeks immersed in a boring father/son angst marathon only to discover there’s no such thing as the Malosz conjecture. Break my heart! Never trust a writer.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Restart

Stripey C00kies

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My dad loved stripey c00kies. Not sure why I have a pic of these actually, but I found it while searching for something to poast for the “sweet” photo challenge and decided to use it instead of cupcakes (since I don’t feel like going through the gallery to check which cupcake pics I’ve used already). I still love stripey c00kies too. There’s just something so nostalgic and wholesome about them for me.

Wishing all my blogfans a happy Valentines Day!

~*~

Photo Challenge: Sweet

Creature Features & Jigsaw Puzzles

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I have a clear memory of watching Creature Features with my mom in the basement of our townhouse in Illinois, which she had turned into a rec room with a ping-pong table, TV, stereo, etc. It was Illinois, if you missed that in the preceding sentence, 40 miles north of Lake Michigan, where it got so cold that if you dropped a record on the floor it would shatter like a dinner plate. (This actually happened.)

I’ve always said I remember putting giant jigsaw puzzles together with my mom while we watched scary movies, and generally, but I was trying to call up a specific memory of this and it’s not working. It actually doesn’t even make sense. The only table we had in the basement large enough for a 1000-2000 piece puzzle was on the side of the room that didn’t have the TV. The stairs were in the middle. Right in front of the stairs was a little storage type room my dad used as a darkroom for photography. On the right side was a TV, sofa, coffee table, etc. On the left side was an old dining room table, another sofa, and the stereo system. We would have had to use the old dining table for the puzzles. So how would we have been watching Creature Features at the same time? Memory fail.

Even though I enjoyed these campy horror movies at the time (because mommy was there), I’ve disliked horror since. Pretty much the entire horror film genre falls into the dislike pile, but I do reserve some exceptions for books, Stephen King in particular. It’s not because the movies themselves are all terrible; it’s because I don’t enjoy having my emotions manipulated to that extent. Now you’ll say I don’t mind the same thing when it happens in the romcoms. And I’ll just shrug. Because people are inconsistent, and I’m a people too. Shockeroo!

The two Creature Features that stayed with me all these years I dub “Coconut Sea Monster” and “Alpine Beheader.” The first was about guys on a military submarine who kept getting murdered brutally cuz one of them had morphed into a monster due to radiation exposure. We didn’t see the murderer until the end and he looked like he was covered in coconut. It was really freaky! The otter one was about peeps trapped in a ski resort during a blizzard and some snow vampire kept grabbing one at a time and ripping off their head. Icky!

You know, this could very well be why I dislike both sailing and skiing. A-ha!

Still love coconut though. Nothing comes between me and a coconut donut.

As far as jigsaw puzzles, still love doing those, but don’t have room for them in my current place, can’t isolate one from the kitty anyway, and they seem sort of time-wastey when I have so many otter projects I want to finish as far as writing and needlework and staring at the walls. Someday though… when I retire maybe, bring on the jigsaw puzzles again! Hey, I wonder if they have Creature Feature puzzles? That could be a thing.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Creature

Fuzzy Atheism

Prism

Ten years ago today I wrote a woo poast in my secret blog, the one I was keeping while my mom died of cancer. I’ve never been a super duper militant atheist like some, maybe because I wasn’t rebelling against anything at home. I simply didn’t  believe, that’s all. My nonbelief was never a huge deal to me, or to my parents, though I realized early on it was shocking to others, especially when we moved to the midwest in the 1970s. So, I mostly kept quiet about it. Back then, you didn’t blast your personal beliefs all over town as you do now. No Facebook, blogs, instagram, Twitter, etc.

There have been many times my lack of belief gets fuzzy. I want to believe, like other people do. It seems to be so comforting. Why shouldn’t there be more? A greater thing, a purpose. Why do connections have to end with death? Why can’t we be with our loved ones again in some way? That all sounds good. Sometimes it sounds too good, especially when I’m sad, and I start to imagine it could possibly, maybe, be true, somehow. Well, why not?

Ten years ago today I wrote that my ex-husband and I had worked everything out and were getting along better than ever. I called him my “soul mate” in that blog poast. But we split up about a year and a half later. I also wrote about the hallucination I had of an angel when I was sick with a very high fever in 1996. And finally I wrote of an earlier time when I was depressed and asked for a sign that things would improve, closed my eyes, and opened them to see rainbows in the room. They were prisms from the sunlight hitting my glass animals at certain angles.

Maybe I was trying to cobble together bits of evidence for some sort of belief-cake, idk. I’d have to read more entries ~ and it’s possible I dropped the topic altogether. I’m not re-reading every entry of the death diary now, not that there are so many. I may at some point, or not; they aren’t going anywhere. I’m busy lately with various projects and have finally stopped forcing myself to do things in my free time that make me unhappy. Happiness is a choice, as “they” always tell us.

I do enjoy keeping up this blog, though lately rather sporadically. Thank you for reading!

Countdown of a Sort

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Today is 10 years exactly since my mother told us of her pancreatic cancer diagnosis. Shortly thereafter I began the private blog, where some of you listened while I poured out my feelings. Thank you for that once again. It was a little over four months between her diagnosis and her death, less than “average,” so every day between now and April 13, 2018 will be a 10th anniversary of a day of mourning.

In my other blog I see I was angry that day, angry that she tried to be cheerful on the phone when she said she was coming over to talk to us. I knew then. Because if her scan had been fine, she would have said so on the phone. I like remembering this ~ it makes her come alive in my mind. Moms are so annoying! I want to remember her exactly how she was, not in some false idealized way.

Sometimes I feel very insubstantial lately and I have to relocate the essence of myself from wherever I’ve drifted apart and off to while I forgot to pay attention. Part of that process is remembering Mom.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Relocate

Speaking of Unfinished Projects…

It’s not only my 2017 NaNoWriMo (and other) writing projects that have been set aside, hopefully temporarily, but also some craft projects too. A while back, actually years ago now, I began making a super special secret item for my Cal daughter, in blue and gold. Took a class and everything. And it’s sitting right here in the bag, unfinished. Technically, it is officially unstarted now, since I ripped out the entire thing due to its being imperfect. I don’t remember how to do it from way back when… sort of a beginner crochet stitch, I guess. Oh look, there are instructions, yippee! Only six steps in total, so how hard can it be? LOL

Next is a scarf for myself I began knitting with circular needles at my other daughter’s two Thanksgivings ago ~ really lovely colors in a variegated yarn. I actually got pretty far on this, maybe over halfway done. Need to figure out how to blend in the next skein of yarn because I used up the first skein, and then end the scarf after that. It’s soooo soft and cozy. Blues and browns, like the sand and sea. I can’t wait to wear it!

I got a craving this weekend to do needlepoint again and began searching Amazon and eBay for kits I might like to make. Found one ~ a trio of beautiful red poppies for a pillow or picture. Yes, I bought that even though I still need to finish the two otter yarny things and all the writing ever. I consider this rather restrained because I almost bought a gorgeous kit of purple pansies too and the only reason I didn’t is because it wasn’t as versatile for picture or pillow. It would have to be a picture when finished and I’m not sure I want a purple picture. I have no problem with a purple pillow.

But what I really want to do is design my own cross stitch pattern. I did a simple one ages ago, and the one I have in mind will be a little more complicated. It’s very mathy and time-consuming, but when has that ever stopped me? Right. I started one yesterday with an online template, but when you use the online ones they either let you do a photo or text and naturally I want a combination of both.

Here’s a weird thing: when I was poking around eBay I found the very first needlework kit project I ever did! No lie, when I was 14 years old, I did this crewel design, brought it with me to babysitting jobs and did it at home while watching TV also. I can’t believe they made so many kits that some are still around in their original packaging 40+ years later. I grabbed a Google image to put here because I think the eBay link might disappear.

Crewel bouquet

Look how beautiful this is! My God, I am tempted to buy it again and remake it, for old times’ sake. You really can go home again. I wonder what happened to mine? It wasn’t this well done, of course. My first project. I didn’t even use stretcher bars. What a n00b.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Knit

Nest

2 birds

I may be slightly different from other women in that I don’t take much pleasure in either being needy or being needed. I find both sides of that coin rather suffocating. What gives me the greatest pleasure as a mother is seeing my chicks fly free of the nest and become the awesome superstars they were meant to be. This year has been extremely satisfying for me in that regard. Yesterday was the birthday of my eldest. Twenty-seven years! Passed in the blink of an eye. I love them both more than any words can express. Again, happiness and gratitude.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Nest