Saturday, May 30, 2009

I’m not that kind of girl. Normally.

Sometimes an obsessive personality pays off. Generally it’s just a pain in the behind, but every once in a while it can bring rewards. Going into details would be a total “Dooce” and I won’t do that. But, I got an award at work. Woo hoo!

I received a certificate which had a website URL and an access code to “go shopping” for my award. Fun concept really, I have gotten awards in the past but the gifts you get to choose from these days have improved. Still, when I signed in and clicked to see ALL, I was surprised at not only the variety of things, but the different values of the choices. The awards have certain levels and you would think that all the choices at each level would have the same approximate monetary value.

Well, apparently not!

My office – roommate at work got an award recently, and she chose one of those screened tents for the backyard – you know, so you can sit in your yard and not be bothered by bugs and stuff. I was surprised at her choice because I would consider her a “fancy-girl”, someone to whom Dolce & Gabbana means something. Much more so than I am. I could never afford to be anyway so it’s good my tastes don’t run that direction.

I could have chosen meat if I wanted to. Nice meat too, or lobster. Looking at the pictures gave me a hankering for steak as I am totally a carnivore. But I kept looking. There were gift cards for Merry Maids and spa treatments, car rentals, things like that. There were some power tools I had my eye on, and a weed whacker and a purse as well. I didn’t consider the golf balls at all, or the mixer or waffle maker, and none of the watches or gadgets appealed to me.

In the end I found choosing very difficult so I starting clicking on things I wouldn’t normally consider, just to see more info. One of them was a Tiffany’s gift card. Gulp. Everything else seemed to run the gamut from about $30.00 to about $150.00. The Macy’s gift card was for $100.00. But the Tiffany’s gift card? 500. Dollars. I closed it and opened it again to see if I was reading it right and all of a sudden in front of God and all my cats – I became a “Fancy-girl!” I couldn’t help myself.

I know I won’t get a lot for $500.00 at Tiffany’s, but for once I decided on total indulgence without any view to the practical. Just this once I’m going to be a “fancy-girl” without guilt. Sweet!


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How many can you name?

Name that Soda

Monday, May 25, 2009

Okay, call me a sap.

I feel bad after watching Jon & Kate Plus 8. It was so obvious how far apart Jon and Kate are, for whatever reason. It seems what it comes down to is Kate wants to continue the show because it provides for the family. And Jon on the other hand, doesn't want to do it anymore because he doesn't like the stuff attached to becoming a celebrity.

It's sad to see any family break apart and I hope this one isn't heading there - as much as it looks like it. I don't know if Jon is having an affair, not my business. Or Kate - with her bodyguard? Puh-lease. I am not privy to whether or not Kate has gone from "Mom to Monster" as some of the tabloids are reporting. I just know I was sucked in when the show started, I love watching the kids - all 8 of them, and how their parents handle life with all that entails. I don't want to see it all fall apart.

I just keep remembering the evening my ex and I sat our kids down to tell them we were getting a divorce. I still count it as one of the worst, if not THE worst day of my life. That's where my feelings lie regarding this family. I hope they don't end up there. Sad.


Maxine Memorial Day Monday


And never forget the sacrifices.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

This is one kitty who knows how to relax.








Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Where are you Ma?

I don’t remember ever actively thinking about what kind of old lady my mom would be. But I think I always liked the idea of a Maxine. A feisty old lady who finding herself free late in life – would be embracing it old-lady-smoking-cigarexploring it and reveling in that phase of life. And finally – enjoying being free to do what SHE wants to do.

When did my mom get old? Not old like she wears sensible shoes and tells stories about walking to school 5 miles in the snow. Not old like she says whatever she wants because she doesn’t care what anybody thinks anymore. Not red hat lady old.

Old like being irrationally afraid of being home alone. Old like being terrified when the phone service goes out for a little while and old like pushing the button she wears around her neck frequently and when the voice asks if she needs help saying “just testing”. And old like – she insists she needs to live with a man in the house just in case “something happens.”

And when did the guilt crowd in because I’m disappointed my mom is not growing old and feisty, but old and timid and fearful instead? Guilt because she lives with my brother because he’s a “man”, even though we did try having her live with me for a while. And guilt because I find it so difficult to talk to her because she is SO not herself anymore.

Disappointment. That’s not an emotion indicative of understanding, sympathy, or empathy. It suggests I care more about how it feels to me – than how it feels to her. The emotions are in layers. Feelings for my mom when I was a kid, a whole separate layer just for the teen years. A layer for my married with small children years and a layer for when Ma became kind of lost to us.

article-1077571-00FE208D00000578-47_468x286 She knows who she is, who we are, she has those faculties about her. But this layer muffles the parts of her personality that made her – Ma. Nothing she loved in the past, oil painting, sewing, crafting of all kinds – interests her anymore. She busies herself with a few household tasks and taking naps.

This layer is stifling and suffocating and yet – at times - there are gauzy openings in it when the light shines through and Ma is there for a while, not quite so confused. Not quite so fearful. A little take-charge for a bit, and not so clingy and dependent.

But she doesn’t stay.

And it’s all so hard to watch. Harder to accept.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

FTD? Anybody? Comments?

My mom will be 81 years old next month. For Mother's Day I ordered something called a "Dishgarden" from FTD to be delivered to her. When I spoke to her that day, she thanked me for the flowers.

*blink blink*

At first I thought she was getting what I sent her confused with something one of my siblings had sent to her. She tends to mix some of those things up. But no. Turns out FTD sent her cut flowers, even as they printed out my card which said "You always did like to have plants around. Happy Mother's Day Mom! Enjoy your day." Ahem.

I emailed. After all, a plant lasts a bit longer than cut flowers, unless of course it's at my house. I tend to kill them. And it wasn't like they sent her tulips when I ordered daffodils. Plant. Living. Cut flowers. Dying. See? Big difference. If it were for me - it might be different. I tend to be quite patient and understanding when it comes to things I buy for me. But it was a gift. Intended for a specific day.

I received 2 apologies via email, and 1 telephone message besides. They promised to send the plant out as they were supposed to originally, so I waited. Called my mom yesterday and she told me she had received the plant. She was happy with it, it was nice. Had flowers in amongst the leaves. Like it was supposed to. I was pleased with the news until she said "I just wish he hadn't asked for the other one back. The vase was pretty. It had tulips on it."


At first I thought my 81 year old mom (who happens to fall down a lot) took her little rollinator and went and got just the vase and handed it over. But no, there were actually some flowers left in the vase! And he took the vase, the flowers, and the bow attached as well. Nice.

I sent them another email. I cannot imagine what they will do now. Can you imagine?? Asking for the original order back when it was their error?? Talk about separating themselves from the competition! And not in a good way. Sheesh!!

I'll let you know what happens.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Maxine Monday

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Look what I won!

It is a small canvas wrapped print that I got to pick out from many (it was so hard to choose!) at Willow Rosa Studios. Cynthia at A Shimmey in my Spirit offered a print in a give-away and I was the lucky winner!


Cynthia lives in California's wine country, is a mixed media artist and she dances for physical and emotional well being. In her kitchen. Okay, in other parts of her house too. But she has fun with it!


She has larger prints as well, but the smaller ones fit into a mailing envelope and she can mail them directly to someone if you'd like her to, and they are really beautiful!


Flowers are a weakness of mine, and I loved this sentiment! Thank you Cynthia!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

THUMP. . . . . THUMP. . . . . Is this thing ON?


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Something or other, sweat and tears.

I was okay until I picked up the card that started with "Daughter . . " There in the card aisle I felt my eyes tear up and my face start to flush. I was looking for a graduation card for Dani. I wasn't at all sure what I was looking for when I started, no big deal, just a card, right? That's what I thought until I picked up that one flowery, seriously sentimental card.

People graduate from college all the time. I know that. I also know that other parents are just as proud of their children as I am of my daughter. I have 2 kids. I am crazy proud of both of them. But Dani is a girl. (she's cringing reading this) So I see myself in her and have always hoped she would take a different path than I did. I wanted her to be able to make choices about her life based on different criteria than I had to. She has given herself options. Options that I didn't even know were open to me at her age, due to my upbringing but more because of a lack of self confidence in myself and in my abilities.

Dani is not me. She will not make the choices I did and when she does make mistakes they will not crush her. She has made up for what I could not give her emotionally for many years - by growing in strength, character and sensitivity. And she can still be my little girl now and then when she wants to be.

Yes, I am proud of her. And I am also so incredibly happy for her as she sets out on this next phase of her life. The tears come when I think about the fact that she has those choices I mentioned but also - that she believes in herself enough to make them for herself.

So Honey - your card might have some smears and some smudges from my clutching it so tightly as I teared up and felt the unGodly prickle of heat as a hot flash spread across my body in the store. Menopause even interupts the sweet times. Your mom is simply a mom, doing what all moms do - crying inappropriately and sweating in public. Aren't you proud?

I love you Honey.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

From here to there.

Went to work Monday morning, and after punching in and getting my laptop docked and what-have-you, I took my mug of tea and went back home. Just wasn’t feeling good, had a touch of the BetteJo flu which basically involves stomach and gastrointestinal issues you don’t want to hear about. Feel MUCH better now. Ate soup today, some things are just necessary after being sick and that hit the spot.

I napped most of yesterday and part of today but I did finish (well maybe finished) the work I have been doing to change the template on photos20here my picture blog. I liked the one I had but I wanted something where the pics could be bigger. Please do me a favor, take a peek and let me know what you think. I discovered that I need to upload pictures using Windows Live Writer because of the way it allows me to enlarge pictures, whereas doing it in Blogger makes the photos blurry. I was not pleased. But finding a simple way around it made me happy. I am sure I will continue to tweak the site because the format is so foreign to me, but for the sake of bigger pictures I think it’s worth it.

And lastly (but of course not least) (leastly?) my daughter is graduating from college on Saturday. She took a long time deciding whether or not she was going to walk – and almost didn’t give me enough notice when she made up her mind. But no matter, Andy and I will be heading to Dani’s school on Saturday, possibly Friday night if we can manage a hotel somewhere nearby. She stayed an extra semester so she could graduate with a double major, one in English and one in Women’s Studies. I am very proud of her as you can imagine, especially because – as I have mentioned before, she has done all of it herself. She got no free ride from anyone and she has worked very hard. Excellent grades as well! Yay Dani!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Maxine Monday

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Green eyes

I've always wanted to capture Jakes pretty green eyes and this is the closest I've come. They really are a gorgeous shade!

That's all. Just Jakie.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Midlife Shopping on Ambien

It was maybe a year ago that I bought the book “Jon & Kate Plus 8 – Multiple Blessings”. Took Ambien before bed but stayed up a little too long and in the morning found the confirmation email from Amazon telling me about my purchase. I had to laugh. And I did read the book.

I have not however, used the Mighty Putty I bought that same night. Did I ever mention that? Yeah, the guy who yells talked me into buying Mighty Putty and I still don’t know what was in my mind when I did it. You'd think the next thing would be Sham Wow, right? Think again.

We all know what a guy gets when he turns 50, right?


Nice, right? The little red sports car. So what do I get when I turn 50 (and take Ambien?)

a1dbbc1f-ba05-4113-b105-9d3d6a31a5fc - Copy

They’ve been after me for a while, even before I turned 50. But – apparently – last night I joined. *snort!*

Post brought to you by:

Jon & Kate Plus 8

Mighty Putty

Sham Wow

Generic Red Sports Cars


And with a special nod to: AMBIEN.

Sleepwalking, and eating or driving while not fully awake, with amnesia for the event, have been reported. WHAT?? NOTHING ABOUT SHOPPING??!!!?!???

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It’s a daily thing.

My old banged up, probably toxic tea kettle. It is what I make my tea in every morning. 2 large mugs.


Bagels. Maybe someday I will give them up, but I’m not ready to now.


Driving to work in the rain. Actually, it didn’t rain today until after work, but play along.


Work. My desk since the big 5-0.

DSC00006 (2)

My kids high school graduation pictures. I can hardly bear to think about how long ago that was. *sniff*


Booted up and ready to work, see my little Sharper Image heater? Don’t use it much on the days I’m having hot flashes. Sigh.


Back home again, Jakie in her favorite room in the house. The bathroom.


Jake asking me to STAY with her in the bathroom, she enjoys it so much. Please???


A lovely visit by the BF. Diet drinks were consumed. Flowers were received. Kisses may have been exchanged.


Normally lady-like Norah – yawning for all she’s worth.


My control center at home. Computer, phone, TV remote, sharpies, what more do I need? Crystal Light! I need Crystal Light!


Another view of the nerve center. Don’t enlarge, you may see cat hair, dust, and maybe a bit of duct tape. Ahem.


Abby, pretending not to be lethal.


Abby, after she tried to bite me. Because I looked at her.


Crabby old man Riley cat, doing what Riley does.


And this? Just wondering if

this is how I started out. Hmmm.


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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Braille, Bread, and Mothers

One of those crazy days at work where you feel like you’re working so hard all day long and yet – did nothing. How does that happen?

I realized today that the elevator at work has some Braille in it. Yes, on the inside a blind person would get the choice of ONE or ALARM. Those are the buttons with the little Braille placard next to the button. Now being that it is a 2-story building, I was thinking maybe it would be nice to give sightless people the option of TWO. Right now apparently they get to stay on the ground floor pushing the alarm button. What’s THAT about??

So I got home from work today and saw some garbage down at the curb. It was garbage day, so the squirrels got into one of the bags or something, and the garbage guys couldn’t pick up one bread bag. Oh, bonus! Bread bag with 2 really old pieces of bread still in it. Apparently it wasn’t appealing even to the squirrels. So I went to the street and picked it up, already carrying my purse and lunch box and the mail, I paid no attention to the bread bag as I carried it in. Until I realized that the kitchen garbage was pretty full (and of course did not go out on garbage day), I tossed the bread bag on the kitchen counter with the intention of emptying the garbage and getting a fresh bag.

Except – when I tossed the bag on the counter so casually I wasn’t expecting it to kind of ‘splatter’ ANTS all over my counter top!!!!! If I had even thought about it for a half second I would have known … but I didn’t …. blech!!!

Oh and – for some reason I thought today was Mother’s day! I’m not sure why, I remember thinking ‘that’s funny, I thought it was usually on the weekend.’ I have no idea what makes my mind do these tricks – if I heard something on TV – I don’t know. But realizing it was too late to do much else – I sent my Mom an ecard last night, and figured I would call her today. Um today – is NOT Mother’s Day. What the hell?

She said that’s okay, she enjoyed the card anyway. I’m betting too – that when she saw it, she believed it WAS Mother’s day! For a few minutes anyway. At least she doesn’t spend more time than she should admit to looking up at the ceiling to see what the heck the cat is looking at.

I think they do that on purpose. The cats, that is. Let’s look at the ceiling and see if the human will look too! Then they go off and have a good laugh inside the cardboard box I’ve left out for them to play with.

Ungrateful little … why I oughta … !!!