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

 

 

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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*

a stager throwing in the books?

Not so long ago – not so far away there was once this handsome man who insisted encouraged me to take a design course/staging.   That man is my husband.  I love him for the kind words he uses as to describe my taste in decorating.   But there was a slight detail he left out while insisting encouraging me to sign up for the next course study in Interior Decorating 101.  When my realtor husband has a listing with a new client…..he would no longer hire that “good eye” for decorating if the home should, [lets say] needs a little less European flair or to remove the Italian bronze statue of Saint Romulus who greets you at the front entrance gate.  The gallery of the children starting from zero grade until the last era of college.   Or the sports emporium of every athlete you ever gotten an autograph from.  He typically hires a stager if I don’t accompany him to the new listing.   And in the world of marketing real estate comes photography for your best images online and on those brightly stated brochures.   The hired professional photographer at times has his or her own stager.     Mostly it’s up to the individual agent to make that call.   Football Superstar doesn’t slack off when marketing a home.    He goes in winning the game.  And this is where I entered the game.    Over the past few years I’ve gone with him to assist in removing clutter from a garage, switching out the six foot Oriental vase for something softer or less chunky to allow the natural light of room to flow.   Nothing beats natural lighting when it comes to a large single family home or urban townhome. But when I became his “bad guy” for what needed to go and what could stay and what is tacky or what was slightly a questionable color on the walls to what is head on perfect……I needed to visit these homes which are sometimes owner occupied without the protection of my ex-football lineman.  Meaning I needed a piece of paper stating I was qualified to do so.   Congratulations you are now a certified Interior Designer/Stager/Therapist/Home Destructor.

At first I was like – sign me up!   I’ve always loved interior design.  And perhaps I learned from watching my mother early on.   My mother would change out our home(s) my entire life with her.   My father had a good eye for color, but it was my mother who would pick and chose the fabric, the shade and the texture of wood and textile.   French Provincial whites and blues where her “it thing”.   I never knew what French Provinicial furniture was until we were instruced to never put a glass on the Distressed Pecan French Provincial style dining room table!   [still makes me giggle]     Beginning with my first city apartment I felt excited to always change up a room.  And though in the early 1980’s  primitive country home was in, I found a modern twist of this and that was always fun to incorporate into a room.

My styles have changed as my homes did.  Depending on where I lived [city, suburbia or country] made a huge impact on my home design.  My taste could take me to 1800 style prarie home or a civil war relic.   I once drenched myself in primitive antiques – the rustic the better.   I have also visited the fresh air garden theme where most of my bedroom looked like something out of Smith and Hawken.   Talk about over the top boxwood wreaths!   I would say over the past eight years my style has been industrial meets vintage and cottage charm visits once in a while.   I loved each home we lived in, but I honestly feel the townhome we have now is probably the brightest.  I go ga-ga over natural light – bright and I mean bright wide windows where every bit of sunshine flows in no matter which direction the sun decides to move.   I prefer natural colors on my walls.   Creams and tans.   Wood floors.  Stone or brick walls.   Porcelain tile.   And with having a canvas like this to work from gives me the opportunity to add whatever shades and textures I feel comfortable for my home – most importantly my family.   Not to mention easy clean up for pets or the occasional coffee spill.    What does all this have to do with my piece of paper indicating I’m capable of staging your home?    Nothing except everything!

In my brain there’s Modern Refinement, Industrial, Comtemporary, Continental, European Traditional, Classic, Comtemporary Urban [different from Comtemporary], Historic, French, French Provincial, French Market, Italian, Moroccan and Coastal.  Then there’s lighting by Sea Gull Lighting, Hinkley, Quoizel, Feiss, Monte Carlo, Kichler……the list goes on.   And they are not all found at Lowe’s or Home Depot.   [go figure]

Am I really capable of staging your home?   No.  Why?  Because I don’t like what you may like.  And because my [brain] won’t allow myself to go into the depths of your very liking!  I try to remove all interior from my inner self before walking through a home.  Be the mediator not the decorator.   Meet in the middle.  Stay focuses on the client and not the fact the living room walls look as if Crayola sent preschoolers in to paint.   Remember Football Superstar says off white, natural color paint on the walls open up the potential buyers mind to all possiblities.   But there I stand stuck feeling as if I have the worst wedgie because I can’t say two simple words to these clients.  Oh. Yuck.

This is why I stopped recording the very channels I loved to watch late night before falling asleep.   Fixer Upper is my go to one and only favorite.  I love Joanna, however I must say before they became the adorable fixeruppers on TV, we were selling industrial meets cottage meets antique meets artsy at my shop years ago.   So why can’t I go back to years ago and meet the needs of these clients as I did when we had Gettysburg tourist stop and shop at Simple Dimple?   What’s blocking my mind from the free flow artisit talent I once dallied up on the walls of my cottage shop?  What’s blocking me from pulling out that wedgie and saying ” lets begin with painting your walls…all of them…yes…all of them”.  What’s blocking me from saying “let’s begin with taking down the  safari photos – yes all fifty 8×10’s.  I love animals….but your home can not be a museum for Animal Planet during these next few days [or weeks] while your home is on the market”.   Enough said.   [all said with an industrial size smile]

My canvas.  Your home.  We need to begin with a blank canvas.  And I will eliminate any doubts that your home can look the way I want it to   all potential buyers can and will see their future home.   Enough said.        

 

It’s time to call #1-800-PODSTORAGE

So my books have been thrown placed aside for now.   My last online study course is at the end of May.   I could drive into DC but I’ll just take it from the comfort of my industrial/French market/vintage/coastal decorated home.  I’ll not throw in the towel rack yet.     Besides….it’s saving my husband from paying $375 just for a consultation to have a home “reviewed” before the actual staging takes place.   I’ll work for Pirate’s Booty and my water front lake or beach trips.   I believe that’s pretty fair in trading spaces!

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just enough fresh color with a touch of coastal living  ~ PS…ignore the creepy man in the doorway – this photo is from a movie scene – believe it or not in my book – it almost took me six months to realize there was a person in this pic!

 

 

 

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I can’t get enough use from an industrial basket ~ simply simple!

 

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not too shabby!

 

 

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I can’t. I just can’t do this one.

 

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crisp. light. dreamy. don’t leave out something masculine!

 

 

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and if there’s a brick wall…..you’ll have to resuscitate me! hash tag….love brick. hash tag…..adore brick. hash tag…..brick collector!

 

 

Oh, dear readers….thanks for listening reading!  I will pull myself together!   If not for payment in Pirate’s Booty….then for you!   [[wink]]

 

Momma Daisy*

 

March Madness part 2

Looking back at my recent post [March Madness Already? 2/26] I believe my wish for the month of March was it to come in or out like a lion….leave like a lamb….make it peaceful….less muddy….

Honestly, it feels like we’ve been playing dodge ball with rain turn to snow turn to more rain to sleet [just enough to make school close] back to rain with temperatures teasing in the high sixties.    I don’t even want to talk about our backyard.   If there was any chance in the world my dogs would keep Wellies on they would have had their own spot by the back door for their durable rain boots.   I know they are in the market of dog apparel but I refuse to purchase something that my two water-loving-mud-adoring-outdoor adventurous dogs will never keep on their feet.   Would it save me from hosing down their paws or using our “paw bucket”….yes.   My wish and hope and desire for April is less mud – meaning less rain.  Allow the ground to dry and for me to get out there and design my dream courtyard.

College Daughter headed back to VT.    Our break time was more eating and organizing the garage for “guess what I have in my car to bring home”.    After helping College Daughter look for apartments and townhomes to rent for next year – I realized our oldest daughter will be ending her tenth year of college when our youngest begins her freshman year of college.  I ate some more.

This week is spring break for Apple.   We will take a road trip to visit family this week.   We will spend some time with our friends from NYC, as well as take the newest member of the family along on a short road trip.   Before we know it – Easter Sunday will be here and the month that promises sunshine and dry days…..April.    humor me…..April will be sunny & dry!     

Have a wonderful Easter ~  and if you are on spring break be safe and enjoy!

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our newest addition, meet Sir Hamish the Handful [straw makes a wonderful mud guzzler – but not so wonderful when it blows around]

 

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This sweet girl is no longer a puppy….our warrior is already two and such a joy! Murphy is dreaming about getting to the lake. And so is her momma!
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two dog family again. joy*

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Thanks to Urban Habitat I can plan our courtyard to be not only inviting but dog friendly too!   I just can’t wait to get started!    I already said that didn’t I?

Happy happy spring joy ~ happy happy joy!

March Madness Already?

Rain!  Rain! Go-Aaaaawaaaaaay!    Hard to believe the DC Metro area is lacking rain.  The Potomac level is not where it should be.  Really?!      Personally [and I’m no meterologist] but I think our winter has been a long and wet one.  Nothing in the likes of a large winter snow storm.  Unless you count the time we had two days off school due to ice – about an inch – in the grass – how do they measure ice?   No matter how ice is measured, to me it still added water to my very soggy yard.   Our yard looks like a giant brown sponge.   And it’s not even March yet.

March madness around here is ready to race out of the gate.  I do believe every week there is something taking place here at our home.  Speaking of yard – a fence.  I may have talked about our yard in another post.  If not….our yard is basically a court yard.  Small but quaint.  Large enough to please two dogs [yes we now have our boy pup] for bathroom routines and a perfectly large patio to please everyone for their outdoor pleasure.  I’m not one to wish my months away – I try to enjoy each and every month of the year even if February isn’t my favorite.  March brings sprigs of green and small white blossoms.  March is the month I begin to plan my flower containers and my herb gardens.  It can be a lot of fun planning a small herb garden.  And I so look forward to it!

But for now March looks like we may need to dry out our brown sponge.   There is a good chance we will be seeing more mud when the fence crew arrives in two weeks.  Football Superstar went out this afternoon in the drizzling rain to remove three shrubs that will no longer be part of our view.  I watched from the family room window as he pulled out the roots and mud flew about twenty feet in the air.  The dogs were entertained by the flying brown balls but all I could imagine is how much more brown balls of mud would be left behind after the fence crew completes our  privacy fence.  Two hours later my husband is in the driveway hosing himself off.  His hunter green Wellies looked as if he was working at a dairy farm.   And speaking of Wellies, my once black pair are also splattered with brown sandy soil.   Thank goodness the pup weighs less than 25 pounds at the moment – one dog getting a pawticure every time she goes out is hard enough!

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Spring Break comes in March too.  And that means College Daughter comes home to join us for some R&R.  Which this year will be in our own backyard.  Once the mud is cleared away that is!   I’m planning for it.  The weather will cooperate with my plans.  We may not have the lake to enjoy but we will have our evening firepit crackling.  We may not have the view from our deck of quiet calm waters but we will certainly enjoy our coffee on our own deck watching two happy dogs romp together until one knocks over my herb container.  [that’s a no brainer]

I’m opening my arms and welcoming a mudless March!   One filled with the scent of spring and the sounds of birds chirping from afar.  Very very far.  [remember I don’t like birds]   March can march in like a lion or frolick in like a sweet little lamb – I don’t care how March comes marching in as long as it keeps the rain clouds zippered up for at least a good solid ten days!   Or more…please.  With lots of sunshine!  Please.  Preferably the last two weeks of the month would be perfect!

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For the record ~ I shouldn’t be complaining that we have what rain we have.  We don’t have tragic mudslides.  Nor do we have drought.  But maybe with a little prayer we can have the calm waters and sunshine we all desire.  Wouldn’t that be nice for our March madness?

 

Enjoy your March!

Momma Daisy*

Visit me at Facebook   Momma Daisy

 

 

acts of kindess

kindness.  (noun) the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate.

We all know kindness.  At some point and time we have shown this act or we have received it.  But though we all know it – have we felt it from others in other ways besides the generosity?   Holding the door.  Gentle smile.  Thanking your childs teacher just because.

Football Superstar and I found this to be our Saturday evening topic.  On the eve of his birthday we somehow found our way to the kindess conversation.  Perhaps it was our waiter from my husbands birthday dinner earlier in the day.   He was kept busy from the number of tables he was responsible on this busy Saturday.   And with every hand wave from patrons who needed another beverage or wanted to add something more to their order….he continued to smile.   That smile could have been very much just plastered on due to the overwhelming responsibility.  I honestly never waited on tables or worked behind the scene in a restaurant so I don’t know how draining it can be.  College Daughter worked for two years during her summer breaks while she was in high school at a popular Italian restaurant.   I admired her ability to tollerate the intollerant hungry patron(s) on a busy Saturday night.   She would tell me you just keep smiling and serving.   So when does the act of kindess come in?    When you walk into a restaurant and see the line forming around the bar, then you know the wait for your special table will be 45 minutes.  Not fifteen.   Instead of coming up with another dinner plan, we wait.  And we wait.  And we wait.  And finally as we are seated we begin to internally blame the waiter/waitress for the long wait.     I’ll never understand this.   Wouldn’t it be a great time to greet your waiter/waitress with an act of kindess – whether they greeted you first or not?

Sometimes when we share a smile it can be contagious.  And if your smile doesn’t become contagious to the one you gave your smile to….that’s okay.   Just keep spreading the germ of kindness.   It’s free.

 

During service on Sunday the words kindess, caring, love and patience came out in bold words from our guest speaker.   Football Superstar and I shared a glance – shaking my head with a giggle because here was the topic from Saturday evening!   The highlite of this topic was remembering why we show the act of kindess.  Not for our own acknowlegement or the fast pass to Heaven.

Has society accepted the lack of kindess?  Are we just too busy in our daily routines running here and there or getting to point A in order to get back to point B on time without stopping to see we forgot to do one kind act – today?

It’s free.

This post wasn’t some profound statement.   I just felt like posted the word – Kindness.

In the words of Buddy the Elf….”I like smiling, it’s my favorite”.   And if you can begin with a smile as an act of kindess well then we’re on a good start.

 

Momma Daisy*

baby it’s cold and I have one

Happy New Year!

I’ve been a true slacker with blogging.  Actually three weeks ago I had a notice informing me that I’m “overdue” to post.  something.  just post anything.   But honestly I have writer’s block (again) along with lack of writing in my journal before bed.

It’s pretty sad when your dog who just happens to have her own blog gets more attention and new followers and private messages than you do.  She earned it.

Our holiday season was wonderful.  Having the chance to spend the day with LeeAnn and her hubby was long overdue – but oh, so much fun!  Thanksgiving brought family and friends together along with a new neighbor and her family.  I’m learning more about the Ukraine and it’s traditions.  We are lucky to have such kind neighbors.

Lunches with Yvonne could have lasted the entire month of December if I had my way.   Branston on grilled cheese and tomato is the missing puzzle piece to your sandwich.  Top that off with a true cup of English tea and a few shortbreads and you are set for life!

Having College Daughter home meant something a little more than other holidays.  The time is coming when she graduates from VT.  In May we will watch our oldest daughter hold a diploma in her hand that she earned with every bead of sweat on her brow.  Sleepless nights and phone calls home when she was uncertain of what the future holds. Her future holds five more years of schooling.  Grad school location has yet to be determined.   This holiday season we watched this beautiful young lady complete applications, contact professors and review letters from NY, Ohio, California and the one I like the best…..DC.     Exciting times for the new year.

 

And sometimes a wrench is thrown towards you and when you try to duck….you have no choice but to get hit on the noggin.   During a dentist appointment for routine cleaning, my doctor found a tooth that was cracked.  No problem I’ll schedule an appointment in the new year which will give me time to forget about my cracked tooth which I never had any pain to begin with – so I it’s not an emergency. (!)    But the good doctor did not agree with my thought and felt I should have it done asap.  Like the next day after my cleaning.  (?!)   Tooth now has a crown.   (rolling eyes)   And I’m getting Invisalyn because my bite has shifted.    (rolling eyes again)   After surviving my second dentist visit I found myself coming down with a cold.  Cold turned into a nasty head cold and cough and fever.  This came two days after I was bragging to my dentist that I rarely get sick and when I do it’s just a common cold or seasonal allergies flare up.      (rolling eyes)

My diet went from some of the best truffles (thanks to College Daughters BF) and delicious cheeses, specialty breads, medovik, wine and grogg to vegetable broth and chamomile tea.   One would think I’d drop a few pounds but didn’t happen.   Maybe I need to drink tea and broth for an entire month!   (laughing loudly)

My cold is fading and my craving for truffles is coming back.  My taste buds are telling me give up the broth and open the package of Sartori black pepper cheese.

2018 ~ our new year that is unfolding.  Football Superstar reviewed his business career and I’m excited for his new plan of action.  Our kids are moving forward in school and we couldn’t be more proud, or prouder or the proudest –  no matter we are proud parents.   I’ll finish up my home design/staging course and be number six thousand two hundred fifty in the DC Metro area.   But who’s counting.      Oh, and we are adding to the family – another Golden.  Murphy will have her little brother next month.  We’re excited to be a two-dog family once again.   And no.  He will not have a blog and facebook page.  I can barely keep up with the popular one I live with now!

 

May you all have the best of 2018.  May you love more and forgive always.  May you find light no matter how dark the day gets.

Momma Daisy*

 

Scrapbook:

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It’s that Time of the Year

I’m going to put the blame on my deer dear friend LeeAnn.    Usually I am very organized ready for [any] holiday that sits on the calendar.   I was just putting Halloween candy in my stash and here comes Thanksgiving.   I always keep a stash of Halloween candy – so don’t judge me.    I’m at Wegmans with banners hanging over my head ORDER NOW.  Order what?   A turkey to order but I have plenty of time.   I was still unpacking boxes in our garage when one of our neighbors approached me asking if I ever ordered a turkey from the Wine’ing Butcher.   Turkey? My mind wasn’t very clear because I was rummaging through boxes looking for a pair of garden gloves – which was urgent due to the amount of leaves blowing down from trees that really are not our trees they are trees that sit along the trail  directly behind our home.   Have you ever walked through Central Park in Autumn and found yourself in a huge pile of leaves?   This was the image I had from our courtyard size backyard.   Now you know why the garden gloves were urgent.   Not ordering a turkey.      I found my garden gloves.    And when I was finished raking and filling three large lawn bags from Costco……I made myself a cup of Caramel tea and looked at the Wine’ing Butchers website for turkeys.

I communicate with LeeAnn at least once a day.   We talk about what our agendas hold for the day or the week.  What’s for dinner.  How are the kids.  Hubbys.   Dogs.   Bloating.   Sinus pressure.  And how many packs of cookies I ate that week day.    LeeAnn has been working endlessly trying to make deadlines for her vintage business.   So because she needs to pass her latest creations by me for approval……I’m seeing more Christmas ornaments,  book page trees, wreaths, glitter, bling, white mantels and more!   I know when you have a business such as hers you’re always one step ahead of each season…..but I was not about to head out to the garage and go through large Rubbermaid bins holding every Christmas item I have ever owned.   It was the week before Thanksgiving and LeeAnn sent me three photos of her latest creations before she and her hubby would take them to the antique shop where her booth is.    I’m eating a huge chunk of Rosemary-Parmesan bread looking at each one of her handmade items.   I’m amazed at the detail LeeAnn puts into her creations.  After I finish my second third  half of the loaf of bread, I walked out to the garage (dang you LeeAnn!) and found the six large Rubbermaid bins.    The bins and I are having a stare down.   Thankfully, the garage door begins to go up and I see a black Honda moving in.   It’s Football Superstar.     I watch as he gets out of the car with his briefcase – his face slightly puzzled at what I’m doing standing in the garage alone staring at bins.    Phew.  I followed him inside and the subject quickly went to dinner and what happened to the Rosemary-Parmesan bread.

The following day I’m alone again in the garage staring at the bins.   I’m having a conversation quietly in my head. A friend who shared her Hungarian traditions with me reminded me of why I wait.  And I remember telling her that I have traditions for Christmas.  My mother’s tradition of putting the tree up on the Friday after Thanksgiving.   My Italian heritage traditions and I’ve adopted my husband’s Scottish heritage traditions.   But I will not bring bins in the house until Black Friday.  I don’t shop Black Friday unless I go into the city to shop and I wasn’t going anywhere this year.   But those bins will not come in until Friday.    Oh, LeeAnn!

******

I decided that bringing the bins in would only be for “inventory”.    Tuesday before Thanksgiving I ask College Daughter to help me drag a few bins in.   Without asking if I was going to start decorating for Christmas – she reads each bin marked “GLASS” or “SANTA COLLECTION”.  College Daughter disappears to her bedroom so she can begin applying for grad school.   And this is perfect because I have more alone time before Apple comes home from school.   I’m able to have another conversation in my head and eat a slice of double fudge chocolate cake.   [pray for me please]

I send LeeAnn a message letting her know what I’m doing.   With excitement she tells me to start placing “winter” decor around my home.   In a moment I’m back in Simple Dimple with music playing and a cup of tea.   But it’s not my shop it’s my home.  And I’m going to make it cozy for winter even if it’s 67 degrees.    Besides….we didn’t get our formal living room furniture yet and College Daughter is having her boyfriend over for dinner to celebrate his birthday.    I need to make the house cozy and inviting because all twenty-three year old young men notice that kind of stuff.

******

By Wednesday afternoon I’m on my way to pick up the turkey.   I’m sitting in a mob of traffic because everyone decided to head to Dulles Airport before noon.   Obviously they didn’t listen to the travel report you’re to leave on Thanksgiving morning – 6 AM!   Obviously I didn’t listen either.     So because this makes total sense – I jump on the toll road and head to Hobby Lobby.    Because Apple Cheeks wants to begin collecting vintage Christmas villages.  Why not take what little time I have and see if HL has any great sales.  Which they did.  And which I did find my youngest daughter three reproductions of vintage houses.   And a few ornaments.  And a wreath.   And a bag of chocolate covered pretzels – for the trip to pick up the turkey.   For Thanksgiving.

I was ashamed of myself.   Not because I took the toll road to Hobby Lobby but because I ate a bag of chocolate covered pretzels in less than fifteen minutes.   [pray for me]        I managed to get everything needed for the Thanksgiving meal(s), Wednesday evening’s meal and Thursday’s Friendsgiving side dish.   I felt empowered!   Oh, yes come Black Friday my house is going to smell of pine with piped in Christmas music!   By Saturday morning my girls were asking me to lower the Christmas tunes (yeah, can you believe that one) because they couldn’t hear themselves think.   I didn’t know you needed to have complete quietness when you were eating a bowl of Reese’s Puffs.

Saturday I’m sharing with LeeAnn my accomplishments.    We’re having a chat while she’s working on an order of book page Christmas trees and I’m eating leftover chestnut stuffing.   Like any good “sister” would do for you she encourages me to do even more.  So Saturday evening before we said goodbye to College Daughter – we grabbed that last of the six bins.  The very last bin that sat in our garage holding a fragile crèche and stockings that will be placed above the mantel come Christmas eve.

So my inventory needs a few more items.   I’ve become so in awe with deer.  My inner child surfaces when I see them.   We have a few that pass by the Old Dominion/DC trails.  I’m very quiet while walking the pup hoping to see a passing momma and her babes.  And on a rare occasion we may have one pass through our yard.  Sadly, due to development in the urban/suburban areas they are being forced out of their habitat.  But knowing my heart skips when I see deer, I had no choice but to begin collecting deer.  And not by putting its head over my mantel but finding unique and pretty deer decor.  Sparkly deer.   White deer.  Deer on white throw pillows.   Vintage deer.  I’ll stop.  Not stop collecting deer…just stop naming the few I’ve snatched up while jumping on the toll road.

I’m not done with my Christmas chatter.   Oh, there will be more.   Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.   It was my mother’s favorite as well.   But Christmas is the most magical time of the year for me and my family.

Thank you LeeAnn for encouraging me to drive myself mad.  Which resulted in my weight gain [which means I’ll need to explain this to my doctor come January], my talent for eating an entire loaf of Rosemary-Parmesan bread and breaking a promise to my family that I wouldn’t eat the rest of the Godiva chocolates College Daughter’s boyfriend presented us Tuesday.  I did this last year too.    And that I still have it in me to find some of the best deals during this wonderful time of the year!   Thank you my friend!  I love you my sister!

 

To be continued….

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#enough

I have been wanting to post for some time now.  But my fingers stopped me from typing on the black keys that add the words coming from my tiny brain.  My tiny brain that holds so much.   So many words.   And those of you who know me personally – I have many words to share while in a conversation.    As careful as I may be on social media of what I share, care to share, my opinions or views – I have been collecting thoughts and words of others these past few months.  And one of these topics has been the sexual harassment slash sexual abuse slash celebrity outburst slash, slash, slash.

Allow me to begin with #metoo.    Though this hashtag was started out of support – I learned just last week that in some cases of rape or domestic violence and sexual harassment women are not wanting to have support via social media.   Women are wanting the physical support group where victims are face to face.  I was puzzled at first.    I was one of  many women who lived in a relationship of abuse.   It seems like a lifetime ago and it was.  It is such a good feeling having the relief of not having to relive pain and anger.   Why don’t I support via social media?   Because I don’t feel supporting with a hashtag is enough.  And I won’t post anything so personal on Facebook.      (okay so I basically use the internet to voice my thoughts and opinions)

If we are to heal from what society is  selling us – then why don’t we speak?   Why are we not raising our children to be kinder?   Why are we not guiding our children to be patient?    Respectful?    Selfless?     Our sons and daughters.   Instead of giving them opportunities to hashtag their way through their emotions – speak about it.  And support those who fight the struggle.   Because it’s real.

Another topic of conversation was with my friend Yvonne.   We talked about what my Middle Schooler has been sharing with me as she interacts with her peers in PE.   Apple finds it difficult to understand that kids who are “friends” can find it in their hearts to call one another “autistic”. I can only imagine what she was feeling as her peers behaved so wrongly.   Last year Apple was part of a “Buddy” program that partnered  fifth grade students with an ASD student from a neighboring program.  This hurt as she knows for some of the students she got to know last year – it’s a daily struggle.    As she cried in the car, my only wish was to wipe away all the painful visions and voices my daughter witnessed in PE.   As I shared with Yvonne, neither one of us needed to say a word.   I knew what her heart was feeling.   Protecting a young son in a society where we have lost civility.

As a mother spoke during a Holiday PTA meeting, she boasted on how lucky we are to live in such a perfect area.   We’re far from perfect.   But when the average income is three figures, and a neighboring suburbia has their landscaping “sprayed” green for aesthetics – my head begins to fill with the what is and what ifs.    Our perfect urban-suburban communities with their farm to table restaurants and NFL players giving our communities a touch of coolness (not really) having DC as our backyard with a new metro line coming – how could this not be the perfect area?

We may have greener lawns – but our grass isn’t any greener.    We still have homelessness.  But yet no one wants to see it.   Just three miles towards Dulles International Airport is a camp.   It’s hidden under the bypass.     You will see tents set up just as you pass through the Virginia Avenue tunnel into DC.

A single mother who I see each morning as we walk our kids to school opened up about what takes place during her night shift in the ER.    Suicide.  Overdoses.   The brokenness of humans.   Brokenness of society.    As an intake supervisor she begins to wonder if society has a chance to heal.  To redeem itself.   We talk more about our children.   It’s not a gloom and doom conversation – but it’s real.    I walked back to my home with our pup trying to think of a way to stop this whatever this is.   Enough.   Enough is enough.

It wasn’t until this afternoon as I waited for Apple to get out of school that I decided to write.   Actually it was directly after my phone conversation ended with a friend who lives in PA.

So as I sit here hitting the black keys on my laptop – my mind begins to re-play the latest conversations with some of the strongest women I know.  I’ve was given sight to their thoughts and views.   Strengths and weaknesses.     And they too say #enough .

 

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sleep number and menopause?!

I had the pleasure of spending time with some funny, wonderful ladies last week.  We enjoyed our time by the water as our kiddo’s enjoyed their time in the water or collecting pretty lake rocks.  Our topic; menopause and sleeping.   I can’t help but laugh as I type, so I’ll apologize for type-o’s now!

I’m the senior of this group.  At fifty-five thirty-five, no fifty-five.  Daina is fresh out of the forty bracket and Tanya is permitted to have her forty plus years of life.  Daina and I have more in common when it comes to the circle of life.  No, I mean the cycle of life.         We both know what hot flashes can and will create in the middle of the night.  Hot flashes create monsters.   Pillow becomes a sponge for the base of your neck and hairline.  Where you’re up changing nightshirts and mumbling because the night sweats woke you from a wonderful slumber.   I always feel sorry for bears who hibernate and are dragged out of their cozy dens by researchers trying to poke and probe them for their weight.   I would so become grizzly-like if someone woke me up just for my weight!   Daina not only experiences night sweats, she also gets leg cramps.  So basically….it’s as if Daina is running in her sleep.   Sweating and leg cramps.   Wonderful.   One thing we all agreed on was our ability to fall asleep like clock work.  Lights out.  Sleep.

I rarely get night sweats but apparently I’ve become “child-like” in my sleeping pattern.  Football Superstar has been poking me – like the grizzly bear and the researcher – to move over.  Move over?   I’m on my side of the bed!     This can’t be possible because I sleep like a baby.  I rarely flip over from side to side.  I am the hibernating bear.                   My husband tells me that I have been “flipping” from side to side.  And I’m sleeping on an angle.    I laughed because he must have surveyed my sleep pattern as he was reading at 1pm.     So  now I’m sleeping with one leg hanging out over the bed while the other is fully wrapped in the sheet.   I pull the entire sheet over to my side in such a coordinated way – he can’t figure out how I’m able to get a tightly tucked in flat sheet out from under this once football player who hasn’t lost much of his strength – well maybe a little.               As my adorable husband tells me this – I’m almost spitting my hazelnut coffee out into the morning air.  No way!    I have this Cirque Soleil image in my mind.   Tokyo-Girls-Collection-11AW-15-Cirque-du-Soleil-004

My gal pals begin to laugh to the point of hick-ups.  They’re trying to imagine – yet not imagine this.  There’s nothing but laughter.   I seriously have no idea that I’m sleeping in such a way.  I have no memory of my talent.   I give my friends a follow up on the sleeping conversation with my hubby.    A Sleep Number Bed!   There is no doubt in my mind – my husband did his research.   He consumer reported.  He researched local companies that supply these SNB’s, and he probably already went to the store to check them out just so he could come back to me and “sell” me on the idea.    He’s a professional.    Again, I have this vision.   What if…..what if I’m still Cirque Soleiling while I sleep on the Sleep Number Bed?!     Sleep-Number-Bed

Is it possible for my (one) leg to still have its freedom?

There’s quite a few questions I have for the Sleep Number Bed salesman before I agree to this not-so-new idea of my husbands.    I know he had this planned out for some time now.  Football Superstar is just so sweet and kind hearted he didn’t want to hurt my feelings by pointing out that I’ve become a monster in the middle of the night.  I prefer a Cirque Soleil performer thank you very much.

 

Regardless of what menopause has contributed to my cycle of life…..one thing I can count on and that is my ability to fall asleep.  Stay asleep (unless a monsterous night sweat surfaces) and share some of the funniest stories with my gals who know what it takes to be a great menopausal performer!

 

Until next time….

sleeping