A blog post with no title.

A blog post with no title is like a writer with no pen and paper (or in my case laptop).  A blog post with no title is [also] like a writer who thinks she has it all together and it begins to tear at the seam.

This has been my month(s).  From the beginning of March and its monsterous entrance until the ending of this very month we are about to bid farewell – I have been on a roller coaster ride and if you haven’t read my post from moons ago – I dislike roller coasters.  Losing readers isn’t a huge deal, well it can be a huge deal when you’re about to write a book and would like to have some readers at least a couple dozen or thousand readers to look at the finished product.   I’ll settle for a couple dozen at this point.  What publishers don’t tell you is what your doing “right”.  Oh, they love to tell you it’s not exactly what consumers are reading these days.  What are they, the consumers reading besides text messages and I don’t want to sound braggy, but I will, the content of my book is a lot funnier than their, the consumers text messages.  I don’t have an emoji under each paragraph, perhaps that’s the problem.  I don’t have paragraphs, that’s the problem!  Perhaps it is due to the fact my [book] plan was never to have a novel written by the end of 2040, but to have exactly the type of book I enjoy reading.  Me, the consumer.  I found myself floating around the glorious display of books at Barnes and Noble last week.   Confession, I was to be at my husbands office working on his biz page and updating his social media biz page but pages of different material called to me so I walked across the street to B&N.   Displays surrounded me and I found myself just standing there feeling rather small and sheepish.   Like I could actually have a book contract with a mega book store – maybe just maybe the mom and pop book store that is so desparate for new reads will take pitty on me and give me a contract for free coffee with each book sold.

Barnes and Noble has always been one of my favorite book stores.  A long time ago, Borders Books was my go to place where I would meet friends on a Friday night and sit in the cool cafe drinking espresso and reading garden books and books about dogs.  And every now and then I would pick out a book with amazing photos and warm inspirational quotes.  Now these books are everywhere.  And they make the best gifts for like-minded readers who enjoy cute fuzzy animals who give you inspiration while you sip your mint tea.

My book writing has been placed on its own shelf for about three weeks.    My laptop crashed, or so I thought and it turned out to be something simple – like the charger.   I’m blessed to have a husband who is patient because I usually have a melt down thinking I’ll need a new laptop, or never be able to write this dang-gone book because of a charger!   A charger was ordered and delivered by the time I devoured a bag of Pirate’s Booty.  Costco size Pirate’s Booty.   Only two days and the charger was at my door step.  Don’t judge me on the cheesey puffs.   I sat down to begin searching for some of the best photos I could find of Murphy.  Clarity.  Remember that word from another post, clarity is the key as well as crisp brightness.  Learning to look for resolution in a picture for me is like looking for a contact when it falls on tile flooring.  I no longer wear contacts.   If I have fifty photos of Murphy scattered across my dining room table, I’m partial to each one.  I can’t subtract any!   Most definitely there will be shadows and lacking clarity and maybe someones big head in the background, but those pictures are perfect to me.  And then experts come in to the picture, no pun intended, letting me know they don’t agree with my choices.  I guess it’s what we pay the experts for.  That’s what my husband says. So he’s an expert and people pay him but guess what – they aren’t looking at pictures of my dog who I happen to think she makes a bad hair day for a Golden Retriever look pretty amazing.   Insert a new bag of Pirate’s Booty.

Apple gets sick.  She’s home from school for two days and she’s miserable being home.  College Daughter is healthy but frazzled because two labs are due by the end of April.  Do you ever wonder what sitting in class was like before you were married and had kids?  I digressed….    Football Superstar has three new clients coming in from two different states.  He’s been busy, which is great, but that sometimes leaves us with a thirty minute briefing over morning coffee before one of us needs to move on with the days agenda.   What we both agree on is that family time is needed and that means no laptop, cell phones, Alexa or TV.    My supportive husband did come up with a great plan and that is when it is time to unplug from the world, this will give me the perfect time to plug in and begin creating those pages.   Take more photos with a camera and enjoy every moment of unplugging from the real world.  We’ll come back to the real world and when we do hopefully more refreshed and feeling less frazzled about labs and SOLs.

And maybe by the time I create another post for this blog – it’ll have a title.

 

Momma Daisy*

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Dear Publishing Company,

I’ve noticed this blog has taken a back seat to my other project(s).   Not that I’m planning on deleting this blog – but it has been getting dusty and lacking its soulful purpose that it once had.  I always enjoyed opening up e-mail from followers as well as messages via Momma Daisy Facebook.   These days I find a message here and there – maybe the occasional e-mail from a follower that checks in on my blog.  And that e-mail is usually from the Blogging Group asking if I’m still writing.   I laugh.  Writing?  Why, yes….yes I am.

Three weeks ago I had a meeting with a publishing company via phone and Facetime.  I don’t like Facetime but I made sure my hair was combed and my teeth were brushed.  An hour later I’m explaining to Football Superstar this is it.   This is my chance to finally have what I thought was a pipe dream become a reality.    If you have been following my blog long enough – you know my husband is a businessman.  All business.  No contract goes unread or unread again.  Or scanned.  Perhaps even reviewed by another business partner or attorney friend.  And then my husband will read the contract again.   Maybe he doesn’t read it five times but I can bet my last dime he will look at a contract at least three times!     Waiting is not my best trait.  My patience can be tested.  And there are times when I just know, no news is good news, it’s not good news.   I’ve tried to keep myself busy with the organized chaos that makes my life fun.   But even then I wait and wait for the promised information that I was to receive no later than the 18th.  Is this a sign?  Does this mean that my submission and manuscript was lacking potential?

Don’t answer that.

My husband who is always supportive with my ideas and projects tells me to reach out.  Contact the acquisitions manager.  Contact the submissions agent.  Contact this person and that person or the other.   And I did.  And I heard nothing.  After talking with my gal pals and my husband (again and again) I fired up my laptop and began to research other publishing companies.   My eyes burned and my bum hurt from sitting at my desk for two hours.  Do you know how many publishing companies there are?   I can recite them in alphabetical order if you like.   By the time I reached out to the companies that offered “free” perusal I was overwhelmed.   However I felt as if I made some progress.  And I did.    I had four companies e-mail offering me a team of editors, illustrators, proof-readers, marketing, payment installment applications, and best of all brick and mortar  book signings.  Are you serious?   I didnt’ even get the book published and I’m choosing an outfit for my first book signing!     Back to the drawing board.  Writing board.  Laptop.

 

It’s been another week since I’ve read over each proposal.  As inviting as each company made their “free” this and that attractive to me – I needed to look at the bigger picture and that is the cost.   When one company stated you can make  seven figures in less than two years I almost bit my lip off.    Talk about promotional temptation!   But how much do you spend before that seven figure finds your pocketbook?   I’m not looking at making seven figures.   That’s funny.    I am looking at having a company walk me through the unknown.  The excitement of writing something that could be published and placed on a shelf at your local brick&mortar shop is worth more than seven figures to me.  Well, that and some copies getting sold!

 

Next week I will meet with a neighbor who is taking time to design a cover and advertisement for my book idea.  She’s a web graphic designer and loves reading the daily adventures of Murphy and her little bother.  (yes, you read that correctly – bother)

The road doesn’t end just yet.  I may be driving around in circles.  But I’m never one to get bored on road trips.   So just maybe – just maybe Murphy’s adventures will take to cover.  Page by page.  Word by word.   After all – life is an adventure.

 

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Murphy (above) is my main character.  She’s one of the most determined dogs that has ever owned me.   You can follow Murphy and her little bother, Hamish on her Facebook page –   Unofficial: Murphy’s law

 

Momma Daisy*

 

 

Squirrel Moments

Everyone has them.  Admit it.  Squirrel moments that just seem to take you from one subject on to the next or if you are like me….nowhere.   I have them often.  As a matter of fact my husband thinks that I may have them more now than ever before.   I’m well aware that I have squirrel moments when I see someone walking a puppy or dog down the street.  Road trips are probably my highest squirrel moments if we are passing farms with horses and cute cows.  Because who doesn’t like to moo back at the cows while they stand knee deep in mud?   City squirrel moments happen too.  Because DC has lots of squirrels!

I’ve been chatting with my friend who just so happens to think the bushy-tailed-beady-eyed rascals are cute.   Which they are when not nesting in ones attic or brain!

My squirrel moments have been taking over my ability to figure out and make a concrete decision about my book.  A book.  The book.  What type of book would I like to write?  Do I continue with my first plan – which was to use my pup Murphy.  A childrens book.  That plan walked into another plan which I’ll call Plan B.   Plan B was to continue with the idea of using my pup but remove the childrens book to a coffee table book.  About dogs.  Yes, another coffee table book about dogs.  Because why not add to the billion coffee table books about dogs that are already being discounted on Amazon?!    No, that’s not it either.  My vision in the very beginning was a childrens book.  My favorite childrens book author, Alexandria Day created such amazing illustrations with very little words.  However Good Dog Carl told such colorful stories with only words on the first page and last page of each book.   How hard can that be?   I can’t steal from Ms. Day, but I can certainly find inspiration from what she offers.

After Murphy’s blog started gaining followers and viewers in other parts of the world I really began to feel the drive to begin something.  But the something turned quickly into nothing.  Finding a publisher that wouldn’t cost me my life savings.  Finding an editor who is honest enough to say “you need to go back and retake English 101″.  Or my most horrible squirrel moment….”she stole my copywrite!” and then there is the will it even go to print?    During this time and it’s been a few years now – don’t judge me – I’ve had to learn royalities, agent hours, writing coaches, cover design, interior design, and most important cost.  I would see dollar signs.  And then those dollar signs would put me in a corner with my book idea(s) for a few months.  Then back to blogging.  Then back to book idea(s), more blogging…..you get the picture.    And in the midst of these squirrel moments attacks I would continue snapping photos of everything and everybody in my path.  I’m not joking when I say there must be over 3,000 photos on a file.  I wasn’t even sure my laptop could hold so many dogs, cats, horses, people, dogs, trees, lakes, beaches, windows, cities and the countryside.   Did I mention dogs?     So you see that is where my squirrel moments lead me.

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It’s those beady little eyes. Don’t stare at them and they will go away.

 

Apple thinks perhaps a coffee table book about squirrels should be my focus since they seem to pop up so often.  She’s such a smarty-pants tweenager!   But Apple just may be on to something.

Squirrel moments just don’t happen to me while trying to be creative or productive.  I’m at Costco and it happens.   Remember Pirate’s Booty is my go to for snacking.  Omygosh…I’ve become a squirrel!

Just so you know….I’m not giving up on my coffee table-childrens book-novel-turned photo book just yet.  I still have lots of time and ideas!    And squirrels.

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Melinda…this little one is just for you.  And don’t you give up on writing!

Momma Daisy*

 

I want the Pat please

Happy New Year friends!    I can’t believe another year has come and gone.  And that means I’m getting another year older.  But then again – so are you!   [hahaha]

Hamish has another dog show coming up so I figured I better get my own hair groomed cut and styled.  I wouldn’t want to look like I just rolled out of bed.  But then again the dog show is in Maryland so I will be rolling out of bed to get our Tartan Terror there on time!     So as I’m sitting at the salon of my awesome stylist, Diane Sissorhands as she is so affectionately called, I was wondering if this time around the Diane Keaton style should be ditched.   I really don’t have hair like Ms. Keaton, but there was this time when I just couldn’t describe the cut I wanted.  So Diane Sissorhands pulls out her phone and there is the cut.  It’s exactly what I wanted.  And it just so happened that Diane Keaton was sporting my style – or something very close to what I wanted.  Actually, it was the cut.  And I’ve had it for some time now.   Now as most of you may know, my hair grows like a weed.   I always thank my father for those Italian genes but it’s not always beneficial when you want to sport a shorter style.   There are those moments when my “windows” pop up and I so want shorter hair.  But then I remind myself I would need to move in with Diane Sissorhands or visit her every two weeks for a touch-up.

It’s almost my time in the chair.   What am I going to do?   While waiting for the sweet English client to get her short locks fluffed and feathered, I asked both women what they thought of Pat Lawson Muse.   Diane Sissorhands opened her mouth wide and said “she’s gorgeous!”.  I know!  I know!   When I have a moment to catch the evening news for weather and such – I always admire Pat and her style.  [like we’re friends I’ll just call her Pat]  She’s flawless.   Classy.   And I LOVE her hair.   Okay, so Pat may have someone touching up her flawless, classy style, but her hair…..how easy would that be for me?!    Diane Sissorhands shook her head and said so gently explaining to me that we have different hair types.   Oh, yeah, so what you’re really saying is that my fine hair  [but I have a lot of hair] wouldn’t look oh-so-perfect as Pat Lawson Muse hair?!

Ms. Sissorhands totally sucked the air out of my balloon for the weekend.  I was ready to sport my new black dress with my black boots, Pat hair and pretty pearls [like Barbara Bush kinda pearls] and stand proudly ringside to watch my sporty dog do his thing with his handler who just so happens to look like he walked out of a Ralph Lauren advertisement.   Phew!

I’ll still wear the dress.  The boots.  The pearls.   And my haircut is a nice flowing shaggy cut almost like Diane Keaton!   So maybe I can’t have “the Pat” hairstyle but it was certainly worth the try!

Wonder where Pat shops?!    [just kidding-I’m not a stalker-but her style!!]

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Pat and her fab hair.

 

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Football Superstar and me with our pups.

Here’s to a wonderful 2019!

Momma Daisy*

All Because Of A Cookie

The year was so long ago.  The memory of that one cookie is still printed in my mind.  I can picture my mother dressed in her olive green chenille robe.  My father wasn’t in the kitchen when it happened.

 

Christmas was magical for me as a child.  From the time I can remember my mother would bake cookies.  Her signature cookie was the Sand Tart.  Paper thin.  Baked perfectly every single year.  My part was to assist in decorating the buttery Sand Tarts, sugar cookies and Gingerbread reindeer.   You read that correctly – reindeer.   During this week long cookie bake off with my mother and her best friend I would make sure to have two special cookies made just for Santa.  Those cookies were made with two special cookie cutters.  Santa and the North Star.   On Christmas Eve the Santa plate came out of the dining room hutch.  Four cookies were placed on the plate with a Christmas napkin and a glass of milk.   A Christmas card written out to Mr. & Mrs. Claus.   The real Mr. & Mrs Claus!   Midnight Mass straight to bed!    I knew the chime of Santa’s sleighbells would come in the cold night air.   So I would be very still….waiting….listening….falling asleep.

 

Christmas morning came with opening gifts.   My parents taking their places on the couch or floor with us.  My siblings were older than me so I was the lucky one who received the toys.   Dolls that grew hair.   Books – a lot of story books.   Puzzles and games.   A puppy.   More dolls.   More family dogs.   More dolls.   And then that year when Christmas morning would never be the same.

As my mother sipped her coffee with pink rollers around the top of her head she opened a tin of cookies.   She never permitted us to eat cookies for breakfast, especially on Christmas day of all days!   Those cookies were not only served Christmas Eve during my parents gathering of family and friends, those cookies were served on Christmas day to those same family members who came back for dinner or desert.   Friends who would stop by to make merry and take tons of Polaroid pictures.   As she open the second tin I spotted them.  Under regular North Stars only dusted with cinnamon, not glittery blue sugar.  My Santa and North Star cookies for Santa!   What?  How?  Did Santa not have time to eat them?  My mother was frozen and I could feel her stare.   Knowing my mother she wanted to wait for the inquisition.  Because my mother would give me the best reason of why those special Santa cookies were back in the tin.  The tin decorated with rather large gaudy poinsettia flowers.  You must understand these cookie tins were huge!   Just minutes before the unveiling of cookies I checked the Santa plate and it was clear to me he enJOYed his cookies!   He enJOYed the milk!

This was the Christmas before I turned ten.   This was the Christmas when my sister was married and my brother was in the Army.   This was the Christmas when our family Schnauzer, Greta, was about to have a litter of puppies.  This was the Christmas finding those cookies.  My parents were not being deceiving.  My parents were only continuing the tradition for so many years.  My father never giving any thought as to how he concealed those special cookies underneath the “regular” cookies with cinnamon.   My father was probably busy Christmas Eve trying to find something in the garage or attic because my mother was an expert in hiding.   So his only option was to quickly slide the special cookies into the large cookie tin with large gaudy poinsettias.

I cried. And then cried some more.   Years later my mother and I would talk about how I [found out] discovered the secret.  I could never say [found out] Santa wasn’t real.  She would correct me because Santa, St. Nicholas, Bobbo Natale, and yes even Befana were truly real.    And they still are very real in our home.   My children have outgrown the secret.  Our youngest recently discovered and even in his last attempt, our secret Santa, a friend who would send packages and letters to College Daughter when she was younger continued his Santa mission for Apple.  Last year was one last attempt from secret Santa.   I love him for this Christmas sparkle he would send each and every year.

Santa, St. Nicholas, Bobbo Natale and Befana are still very much alive in my heart and home.  I have my own special plate for Santa.  A mug of hot chocolate has replaced a tall glass of milk.  Carrots for his reindeer.  And if we’re lucky the dogs will not sneak a bite of the carrots this year.  After service we open one gift before watching our favorite Christmas Eve movie – It’s A Wonderful Life.   After the girls go to bed Football Superstar and I will sit down with a glass of eggnog and talk about Christmases past and those to come.

When innocense becomes lost, it’s only to be picked up by the true spirit of Christmas.  Remembering those Christmases of my childhood make my heart happy.   That warm feeling is my mother.  Her smile and even her stare lives in me.  Christmas was her favorite holiday season.  As is mine.

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I was a retro hippy at a 1 1/2.    my brother [10] my sister [13]
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Me [3] with a Santa doll.   The year plaid was my style and Mary Janes were the only shoe I would wear.
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Me [5] and first puppy, Heidi. She was a rescued German Shepherd/Beagle mix. *Rockette wanna-be with my Mary Jane tap shoes.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from my family to yours.  And to my dear friend Santa……I still believe.   ❤

 

 

 

 

 

Chaos coming Together

Chaotic adjective.   in a state of complete confusion and disorder.

 

Fellow mom blogger/friend/”chaos sister” recently posted on her blog https://mymiddlenameischaos.com  how getting ready in the morning can be a challenge.  No, make that a chore.  Promises made to one child as you get the other one up and semi dressed for school.  Her recent blog had me laughing and crying out loud because I’ve been there.  I just may still be there – for the most part.  I refer to the chaos in our home as New York Grand Central.  No matter how prepared you think you are you’re not.  Someone will forget their ticket.  Someone is missing a suitcase, or misplaced their cell phone.  A dog isn’t always willing to come in out of the rain when called and the neighbor just asked if you would like to volunteer for Thanksgiving prep at a local food bank.  Yes, sure. Okay. Yes I will.  Oh, did I say that I will?  Oh, I can’t.

I don’t want to give away everything My Middle Name Is Chaos posted – you’ll have to jump on her blog and follow along.   But geeze, we moms have platinum memberships to the “You’re Going Too Fast” club.  I’d like to join the “Slow Down And Do It As You Want” club.    Don’t waste your time looking – no such club exist.  My club is Costco.    It’s where I go for free wine food tasting and the chance to fill boxes with foods I shouldn’t be eating.

 

I wouldn’t change Grand Central for the world.  It’s who we [as a family] are.  It’s what defines me as a person, wife, mom and friend.   I forget.  I get [easily] distracted.  I’m emotional.  I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers and that I won’t forget to do.   Even in the world of chaos I will do my best to pull everything out of the messiness of what happens in the daily life of who goes where and what time is that.  Messiness isn’t a bad thing.  Chaos sometimes is fun.  And lets face it what has been happening in todays world I’m grateful for the messiness and chaos in my life.  I’m blessed to be sitting in the comfort of my own home typing this.   Two dogs at my feet reminding me to call the groomer, the vet for their probiotics as one of them nudges my foot to continue rubbing her tummy.

 

My Middle Name Is Chaos couldn’t have made her post any clearer.   Perhaps it’s because I know what her family looks like.  Their home.  Their two dogs.  But if you close your eyes after reading her post I can put myself there.   Breakfast was suppose to be the most important part of my family’s morning.  I would insist the kids sit down to  eat my special Colby cheesey eggs or pancakes made with homemade vanilla and cinnamon.   Bagels with cream cheese and orange juice.   That lasted a few weeks but when I returned to the classroom we began a love affair with let-go-of-my-Eggo.   Pop Tart?  The sugary breakfast toaster pastry  College Daughters go-to after she began to drive herself to school.  I know she stopped at Starbucks because what goes better with a Frosted Pop Tart than an expensive foo-foo coffee?    I’m embarrased to say that since I’m no longer working out side of the home – Apple will show contentment when I point to the new box of Rice Krispies or Special K cereal.   Rolling her out of bed is like waking up a Grizzly after she’s been hibernating for months in the deep winter snow of Montana.  No, seriously I poke at my 102 pound twelve year old with ease.  Or I let Murphy go give a wet kiss because nothing wakes a grumpy bear like a dogs wet sloppy kiss!   Apple doesn’t stay in bear mode long, but whatever it is that makes her sleep like a Grizzly is something I should bottle for those who have sleepless nights.    So what does my twelve year old Grizzly have to do with breakfast these days?    It’s easier than having her get ready – which includes brushing her hair, teeth, changing the shirt she had on for the fourth time.  And why does she forget socks?  You’re no longer wearing flip-flops to school….getting into a routine of grabbing socks out of the second drawer of the dresser that sits directly beside the closet which holds your other clothes where you come out from the bathroom in your bedroom where you pass by the closet and the dresser.   Phew….I got carried away.  Sorry.

Anyway, chaos and messiness at its finest.  It’s family and life and what moms are given the best membership we could ever apply for.   I wouldn’t change any of my chaos.  Well, maybe some of it.  But until I truly decide to use my phone calendar and the other technology that my husband insist I use…..my pink sticky note pad works just fine.

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On Santa’s list.  What do you think My Middle Name Is Chaos?!

Momma Daisy *

so many invites

Not sure how to acknowledge my recent invites to private premiers or parties or “moms in need of a night out” that I’ve been getting handed over to me via evites or word-of-mouth.    Flattered is not the feeling.  Excited to attend is not the feeling.   More like ARE YOU KIDDING ME is just one of the many waves of thoughts that crashed through my mind.   Explatives I’ll leave out of this.    Instead I asked my husband – “am I looking aged enough to get a few shots of Botox in my forehead?” …. “do I look sixty before I reach sixty?” …..  beyond Botox in my forehead and a few injections of stuff in my lips and eyes along with a healthy dose of  radar to get rid of those unsightly veins in my aging legs…. I just kindly declined the invitations.    Because #1, no way on Gods green earth will I pay for my youth.  I admit, I have abused my olive completion with baby oil in the 80’s under the sunny skies of Jersey’s shores.   I can’t buy back what I have done to my skin unless it’s under a doctors orders.   I must really count my blessings I didn’t do more damage.  And with every freckle it reminds me of what I’ve inherited from my freckled face mother.  I don’t want to erase them.   Now if you can tell me  how to decrease those unsightly crinkles and wrinkles on my arms  with a remarkable  cream of creams….I’m all ears.   Mostly I’ve tried them all so it ain’t like I’m doing cartwheels over the cosmetic counter at Ulta!    Because #2, my adorable blue eyed husband told me that I’m being silly. Silly because I’m allowing the evite to Botox and Wine or a simple suggestion to have my laugh lines vanish in one sitting consume me.   I love him for that.  And I know deep  down in my heart these things typically do not bother me.    Perhaps it’s because most of these invitations for turning back time [only on my skin] have come over the summer months and for the most part – like a perfect line of dominos falling over in precise order.     And it seems I find others out there that have been down this road or are aging just as [me].   I love getting your e-mail or inbox messages by the way!

Just last month I finished “Behind The Scene” by Judi Dench and I plan to begin reading her book “And Furthermore”.  Judi Dench is eighty three years old and still gorgeous.  Nothing touched.  I love her ability to embrace aging and turn it into sexiness or being beautiful in the skin you have.  I’ve never been in awe with entertainers, but I look at Judi as one of the greats.  An actress of the theater.  Just like my other best friend, Maggie Smith.  If I can have the spirit as these aging women, then I shall laugh at the face of aging.    Did that make sense?

My father is aging.  He will be ninety two in November.  But it wasn’t all that long ago when I couldn’t see the process of aging until he turned eighty.   He has always taken care of himself.   But as Football Superstar puts it, his father-in-law just has great genes which comes in to partner up with physical excersise and mentally in denial that you are aging.  I laugh at this because he knows my father well.  My father has always denied aging.    So when I think of the invites and evites that make their way to my e-mail….I embrace my fathers way of denial with a dose of humor.  Maybe even the prescription for aging.   It’s called “Aging Happens So Have Fun”.

While getting my hair cut,  Ms. Scissorhands is always up for a good giggle each time I make an appointment – the time gets shorter.  Unlike my 6-8 week time frame I’m now in the 5-5 1/2 week time frame.  And that is only for what we call “routine maintenance”.   No gray covering.  No highlites or lowlites.  It’s all about the maintenance of keeping my hair shoulder length or shorter.   Yesterday I told Ms. Scissorhands I will see her in 4-5 weeks.   Celebrate for aging hair that continues to grow!!

Less makeup is the norm for me.   It’s not exactly like I don’t like to wear makeup it’s more like makeup takes up too much of my time to apply in the mornings.  Afternoons. Oh, and evenings.   I do apply makeup for those occasions where I don’t want to look zombie-ish.  For school functions.  Adulting can be difficult.   Aging can be too, but only if we allow the process of aging to interrupt our lives.   I’m healthy [for the most part], I recently started spin classes and have been torturing myself during rowing classes.  But it’s part of my weekly routine.  Just like running/walking/swimming the dogs.  Hiking on weekends with my family.    Unplugging the plug helps me mentally and spiritually.  So if it means I added a few laugh lines [because I do laugh a lot so my laugh lines have developed at an early age], creases on my forehead because I’m squinting to see [yes, new prescription for my aging eyes], and extra blue lines showing up on my aging legs…..then call me Judi!

I can think of more ways to spend my afternoon or evening than getting rid of what is me.   And it’s with a glass of cheap wine and expensive chocolate.   [wink]

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I hate taking selfies – no filter – makeup free – new prescription glasses – need invisline now – can see gray hair – freckles – but lots of hair!

Momma Daisy*

Endless Love

Last week I decided to really make an effort to collect unwanted clothes from my girls closets.  I was very successful in doing so.  Actually I bought myself a bag of Pirate’s Booty [don’t judge] and enjoyed it by the pool.  I did share with a friend.  Well, she had a handful.  As I was saying, my effort to collect those unwanted clothes that hang in College Daughters closet remind me of the garment district in NYC.  When it was a happening garment district in NYC.  I’ve asked her a dozen or so times since summer began if there were any [a lot of any] clothes she would like to put in the “donate” section of the bedroom and then I’ll start on Apple’s closet later in the week.   Both girls gave enough clothes that I was able to take to the woman’s shelter.  But then I noticed Apple ended up with new clothes in her closet [with tags] from her sister.  So the cycle begins.

As for me well I did the same with my unwanted clothes [can’t fit into clothes] and a few pair of shoes.   There was one teeny tiny problem.   Since 2002 I’ve had this particular sweatshirt that I just can’t seem to surrender.   When I purchased this favorite cozy stretched out raggy sweatshirt it was soft and deep blue.  Like the stadium it came from.  The letters on the left side were bright white like a visit to the dentist for whitening.  Really it was that white!    There were no holes.  No stains from painting Simple Dimple.  No puppy teeth ripping at the sleeves.   And now 2019 is not too far in the distance and I still have this sweatshirt.  I  can not give it up.  Football Superstar tries to encourage me.  He’s promised, almost threatened every year for Christmas he will be getting me a new deep blue sweatshirt, with a hood, soft and cozy with the teeth brightening letters on the left side.   And every year he makes that promise/threat……I protest.    Why?  Why is it I can’t part with my faded blue? My thumbs can go through holes that seem perfectly made for that trendy look.  You know what I’m talking about.  Mine just magically appeared one day month year.   I have no need for gloves while walking the dogs on a chilly morning.   Actually if it’s too chilly I’ll need a jacket because my 2002 deep blue sweatshirt that still remains cozy is thinning.   Not as warm as it once was.  Yet still cozy.   The letters not as bright white – but still very cozy.

Tell me…..humor me….. have you ever owned an article of clothing you simply can not part with?   I’m not talking about a book.   Or a favorte CD.   You’re laughing because I said CD.  Well just for you’re information I have a few CD’s that are autographed and packed neatly away somewhere I’ll find in one of our next moves.   Can’t for the life of me think of where they are now.    But my sweatshirt.  My favorite cozy sweatshirt.  It wasn’t pink or frilly when I would wear it proudly to work on Friday’s.   That was our “dress down day” at the homeless shelter.  [I know what you’re thinking so stop it]  I would wear it proudly to baseball games even though the thought of a crazed RedSox fan throwing his beer at the hood with its intact blue string, would have me protecting my deep blue love.   Our time together was is wonderful.  A deep blue sweatshirt that matched the stadium it so proudly represents.   blues no longer match but who cares.

So.  I removed it from our closet.  My side of course because if it’s on my husbands side of the closet it will turn up in the recycle bin.  Wow.  It does look recycled.  Some strange way it looks like I found it alone on a recycled pile of used clothing.  I wonder if I look just as recycled when I wear it?

Snap out of it sister…..I LOVE wearing this ugly sweatshirt and I LOVE wearing it proudly with faded [and cracked]  white NY letters on the left side.  I LOVE everything about it!  Even my sweet little German Sheperd puppy Heidi chewed lovingly on each cuff of the sleeves so I could have my own finger-holes.  And now I can put my one fist through the right sleeve cuff.  Thank you sweet Heidi.  Or whomever made the holes slightly larger.      The splash of paint on the front pocket of this cozy sweatshirt is a gentle reminder of my once vintage shop.  I can’t remember where the other two colors came from but I’m sure it was a house painting project or refurbishing an antique.

And come to think of it.  I can’t remember what happened to the strings from the hood.  But does it matter?  No.  It simply looks more chic the way it hangs off my shoulders.   Our pile of unwanted clothes are gone.  Except for one.  And I can bet you a bag of Pirate’s Booty it’ll be around next year.

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My Endless Love

Speak.

I’ve been wanting to post for some time now.  A painful word that I struggle to type.   That word is suicide.   Painful as it is to type brings just as much pain to my heart.  Suicide in the United States is under the umbrella of being a major health issue.  I’ll not go into the rates or subgroups found under the percentages of people who commit suicide.    The word suicide was one of the most difficult words to speak.  And why?

Last week my husband mentioned to me that Anderson Cooper was having a special presentation on suicide.  We typically don’t watch his program [or should I say I stay clear of news programs all together] but for some reason this particular night it was clear to my husband we needed to watch it together.     I learned that I wasn’t the only person feeling the tight feeling in my stomach or anger or misunderstanding.  It became so clear to me that there is no closure when a loved one takes their own life.  No matter what the contents of their letter is.   If you get a letter.  I learned that keeping quiet only makes this silent illness even deadlier.    Even now typing this for you to read makes my fingers quiver and my stomach burn.   I sit here thinking back to a day I learned my friend took her life.   It hasn’t been two years since Machiella ended what I thought – what I felt was a “good life”, a “happy life”, a “content” person.   Machiella was as beautiful on the inside as the outside.   An artist.  A wife.  A young athletic woman who had the laugh of a little girl and the looks of a young Sophia Loren.   We spent almost two to three days a week in the mornings taking our pups to class and playdates.   We met for tea and coffee.   Our friendship blossomed as time went on.  So the day Machiella took her life why didn’t I see something.   Anything in her character saying to me she needed help.    I worked with at risk youth and adults for years.   Why wouldn’t I have seen a sign?

It’s been over twenty years now but I remember the day when I answered my phone and my niece was on the other end speaking through tears “he’s gone”.  My sister’s best friend.  Her husband.  Her soulmate.   A man of compassion.  Someone who would give you the shirt off his back.  Someone who pulled his truck off the road to help an injured animal.  Alan gave his everything to those who he knew and sometimes to those he just met.  My sister found him in their home.   Where were the signs?     Can a back injury spiral someone to the point of not wanting to live their life anymore?   Can a young woman who may have not felt her life was in order end it just because of something you or I would look at as just a bad day?

I never spoke of Alan’s death openly.   I was protecting my sister.   I probably was protecting myself as well.  Who wants to speak of suicide as the cause of death.  Who wants to speak of suicde and hear “oh, I’m so sorry”.   You receive a certain look.  As if the  one you loved was not worthy.    You receive the sympathy but without words – because lets face it – what do you say to someone who just said it was due to suicide.   The stigma that comes with suicide is enough to make the survivors mentally ill.  I have never felt the darkness where my life was about to end.   If I had a bad day it was over within hours.   So I can not say to someone who has been living in darkness I know how you feel.  I don’t.  I can’t say to them I can only imagine.  I can’t.   I can’t imagine how my sister was feeling – I only know of her pain and silent grieving she kept in the privacy of her own home.  Once the family and friends moved on and the months passed.  Then years.   After counseling and support groups.  But how was she to lift her head and know people on the outside weren’t judging Alan.

After Machiella took her life I began to seek support and ask questions.   Again, working in a facility that housed mental health clients, drug users and homeless doesn’t give you the tools to use when it hits you personally.   Because this was not suppose to happen to me!   It wasn’t until recent I opened up to my sister about Alan again.   After moving away from the same state my sister resides in – I packaged that part of my life away.  Not forgetting it – only keeping it safely stored where my own heart would be free of [that] pain.   And sparing me from speaking the word.   It wasn’t until sometime after my friends death – I was at a local cafe’ speaking to an acquaintance.  Machiella’s name came up – and I quietly explained what happened.   It took every ounce of my being to not throw my drink on her lap.  What I did expect is for a few sympthathetic words or head shakes with a painful expression.   Perhaps even the hand over heart.   But what I didn’t expect was the lack of compassion and respect for another being.  I didn’t expect to hear “some people” and “those people” in a sentence.   The how can they.  How dare they do that to their loved ones.   In defense of this persons reaction – I remember having the thoughts float around my mind.  How.  Why.  I have had the thoughts of only violent people or people who are isolated commit suicide.   But those thoughts were so very long ago – so long ago even before Alan took his life.    Mental Health has been placed on the back burner for as long as I can remember.   And because MH is such a complicated health issue – it’s not until something drastic occurs before mental health is discussed at the table.   It shouldn’t take Anderson Cooper, Glenn Close and Senator Deeds to speak out on mental health issues.  But since they are a source where America can tune in and listen – whether you agree with them or not – they are speaking.   We must speak.  We must admit it hurts.  We must allow the pain in our hearts to show.   Pretending isn’t the answer.  And turning our backs on those who are suffering can’t be the answer.  Depression just doesn’t go away.  And neither will suicide.   Not without speaking.

The week after Machiella ended her life I was taking Apple to school.   I was getting in my car to return home when a mom-friend stopped her car just to get out and hug me.  I remember Karen’s words like it was yesterday.   Cry she said.  Scream she said.  This is why I’m here to allow you to let it out.   I was so angry at Machiella.  I was so hurt that she didn’t trust me enough to say she needed help.   But mostly I was angry at myself because I didn’t “see” anything.   No signs.  Or was there a small, quiet indication that something was different.   Boxes of art supplies and photography books given to Apple within a span of two weeks.   Cleaning out closets she said.   Making room for a home office for her husband.

If only.

Speak up.  If you think someone is not themselves – speak to them.   Don’t just assume it’s an “off” day.   And don’t take no for an answer.    Make sure they know they matter.

youmatter.org

National Suicide Prevention hotline:  1-800-273-8255

 

In memory of Alan and Machiella 

*Momma Daisy

 

 

For the Love of Costco

Someone please take my membership card away from me because I spend way too much time at Costco!

I was just chatting with my sister yesterday – actually telling her how much time I spend at Costco.  For a family of only three most of the year, and when College Daughter comes home part of that time – one would think I have twelve children under the age of twelve.   My trips to Costco [as most of my readers know] are not always just the average trip spending gobs of money on something(s) I really don’t need!   My inner spendingmonster can and usually does surface at this mega-super-costcutting store.   I get passed the Morgan Freeman look-alike.  Put my membership card back inside my wallet and off I go down one aisle to the next.   I know Costco like a GPS tracker.  Blind fold me and send me off in any direction.  Spin me too and I’ll get you to the bakery once I stop vommiting after you spun me around.  No worries….I’ll get you to not only the bakery but to the frozen treats!

Today my morning run to Costco was for three items.  (1.) Frozen Fruit.  (2.) Coffee Filters.  (3.) Paper Towels.

I’m eleven items over my three item list.    I couldn’t leave without grabbing the mega plastic tray of freshly baked croissants.  Apple who has been all about France this past year feels it’s only proper to have a croissant in her weekly school lunch.   Perhaps these flakey buttery clouds of air will improve her French vocabulary.   Football Superstar asked for his favorite shaving cream and eye solution.   Got it.   But also I grabbed another pair of Nike athletic shoes because they were on sale and why not have another pair of black Nike’s to match the pair you have now?   Except the older Nike’s have shark teeth marks from puppy boy.    And why not grab yourself a pair of travel pants since my goodness they were on sale too!

Does this make me a Costco hoarder?   Or am I becoming my father when he made impulse purchases every place he walked into?  Perhaps I’m just aging into adulthood and finally realizing that if I’m not working full time I’m shopping part-time and spending way too much time with a Morgan Freeman look-alike.  After all, on a recent trip to Costco he did suggest I become an employee to save on my super purchases.

For those of you who may have missed my post on [4/15 “a stager throwing in the books?”]  I didn’t actually throw the books out my second floor window – yet.  I promised my wonderful husband who never once insist I hand over my Costco membership card – that I will be available for staging at anytime.  Anyplace.  And I will not tell the client(s) they are completely insane for choosing violet and green paint for their master bath.  The bathroom walls will look like the Queen when Harry and Megan married.   (I do like mint and violet together just not on walls)     Back to Costco…..    Our deck needed an accent rug.  And so one became item number fourteen.   It’s quite pretty.  Tan jute with a black design.   Pirate’s Booty.  Come on now….you know I won’t pass up the Pirate’s Booty!  Naan Bread for Friday night pizza.  Two beach towels ($9.99) to keep on hand because you never know when you may need another beach towel.  And lastly I didn’t forget the paper towels.

Once upon a time I would write a post about shopping.  It was titled Shopping 101.   I can’t for the life of me think of why I stopped trying to menu plan and budget.  Why is that so hard for me?   Apple found my menu planner along with it’s matching alphabetical order coupon folder.  I have always thought myself to be organized.  Perhaps I’m not as organized as I thought.  Or just maybe I like adventure and I’m the adventurous kind of gal who likes to blindfold herself and run through the aisles of Costco?!   It doesn’t matter now because there’s no way on this semi-green planet that I’m going to get organzied at this point of my life!   If I’m able to remember the main three items on a list then hey – I’m doing just fine.   Because you can make that wager I’m coming home with eleven more items!

 

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Love cheddarly love
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One can never have too many beach towels

 

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I believe in French the word sharing is partager which Apple must do with her momma!

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I think this will top off our deck!  [insert wink]
Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

Momma Daisy*