Monthly Archives: January 2015

I Know They Don’t Mean to ……

…… but people can be SO freakin’ insensitive.

Thursday night I went to see this show:

It was cute and fun …… but my heart just wasn’t in it. My sweet friend, Amy had just lost her beautiful 15 year old son. I hadn’t even wanted to leave the apartment, but figured it would be good to get out.
A woman behind me whistled and shouted out during the entire show. The show was ok, but it certainly isn’t even in my top 20. And it was not whistle-worthy, let alone shouting-appropriate.
During intermission she was standing in the aisle, next to my seat, carrying on about what a terrific show it was and what a great time she was having. I was reading the Playbill when she suddenly leaned over, very close to my face and asked, rather pointedly, “Are YOU having a good time?”. I knew that she asked because I wasn’t carrying on and on about it, nor overly clapping.
For about a second I debated on telling her, “A friend of mine lost her son tonight, so NO, I’m not having a particularly good time, thank you.”

But I didn’t. She was clueless. But she also needs to stop and think before she does something like that.
We never know what the person next to us, or in front of us, is going through. We have no right to question their enthusiasm, or any other emotion.
We just need to stop.
And think.

In other news …… it is flippin’ cold here!! It got down to 17 degrees early this morning. It was so cold that I didn’t need to sleep with my window open and it was still 67 degrees in my bedroom when I got up.
So, for one of the first times ever …… I turned the heat on in there.
It’s that cold.

Tomorrow I’m taking Gracie in to get her first grooming. I’m really hoping that she still looks like a precious puppy when I pick her up. I don’t want a “grownup cut” on her … just a trim.
It’s also the first time I’ll be leaving her somewhere, although it’s only 2 hours or so.
I wonder if they’ll have to give her a sedative?
Or maybe me?

On Wednesday I’m leaving for Tampa and Camp Widow West. It’ll be nice to see everyone, especially friends whom I haven’t seen in too long.

I’d like to say that I’m looking forward to going, but my heart is hurting. When that happens it’s hard to “look forward” to much of anything.
I wish that I could go to Texas and be there for the funeral. I know that my friend won’t really know if I’m there or not, but it feels like I should go.
I checked flights this morning and the news wasn’t great. There’s another storm heading this way so I could very well end up stuck there, when I’m supposed to be leaving from NY on Wednesday.
Finding that out made me cry.
So for the next few days, my body will be in NY, but my heart will most definitely be in Texas.

There are so very many things I don’t understand. Like how a person can seem perfectly fine one minute, and then die a day later from bacterial meningitis, or an aortic dissection.
And why truly good people die, people who would’ve made such a positive impact in our world, while truly evil people live.

But even though I know that I’ll never understand those things, and many more, I will trust God.
I know that He’s led me to this point in my life.
I know that He has a plan for me, even though I sometimes think that this plan sucks.
I don’t have to understand everything, but I’m allowed to question. I’m allowed to cry, scream, and beat my fists upon the floor.
I’m allowed to be human.

And I know, that even in my humanity …… no, because of my humanity, my Father loves me unconditionally.
And that love has been with me in very dark caves, and through the Valley of Death.
I know that it will be with me as long as I live …… and after.

Even those days, like today, when I question Him.

We Survived ……

…… Snowmageddon 2015.
A misnomer, if you will.
Or even if you won’t.

So yeah.
The storm of the century has moved onward.
And upward.
And left a much smaller impact than was anticipated.
This is exactly why I never took cover during a tornado warning while I was growing up.
Me thinks that weathermen/women doth forecast too much.

The worst part of this massive snowpacolypse is the dang snow plows.
Yes, they do an amazing job of clearing the streets.
All night long.
And when a street doesn’t have a great deal of snow on it, the scraping sound of that blade on cement sounds like a plane landing.
Right outside your window.
Sweet dreams.

Here are some pictures I took throughout the day/evening as the great Blizzard of 2015 barreled its way towards us.














So yeah, it’s over.
But it certainly was an adventure.
If you watched the non-stop weather warnings and press conferences.

Tonight I braved the snow and headed to the theatre.
And I did not fall.
It was 26 degrees when I left, but it didn’t really feel that cold.
Not to me anyway.

When I left the theatre it was 23 degrees. Not much colder but the wind had picked up and it was very cold. Like 11 degrees cold.
And it certainly felt like it was 11.
But again …… I did not fall.
Score one for me.
I’m not sure who I’m competing with, but I’m ahead and that’s all that matters.

In other news (because there’s almost always other news, isn’t there?), I am on week three of an elimination diet. The goal of the diet is to get rid of inflammation in your body.
And it’s a pretty drastic way to go about it.

For three weeks (this one’s for you, Mom —-> “Thrrrreeeeeee weeks! And when thrrrrreeeee weeks are up …”) you can’t have any dairy, meat (except for turkey and chicken), wheat, oats and almost all other grains, processed food and chemicals, sugars, pretend sugars, oils (except for olive mostly), juices and …… alcohol.
And it’s just as fun as it sounds.

Actually, it hasn’t been too bad …… except for the last couple of days. I’m getting bored with the limited diet. You can have all fruits and veggies (though less of the starchy ones), mostly unlimited. You have to eat three meals a day and two snacks. And each time you eat, you have to have a specific proportion of protein to fruit and/or veggies.

You can find info about the TQI diet (To Quiet Inflammation), also known as The Abscal Way, here.
The woman who came up with it also published a “cook book” to go along with her book. It’s very small and pretty limited, but it has a few really good recipes.

So you endure that for 3 weeks, and then for 2 weeks you start introducing foods to hopefully see which one(s) cause the problems.
This diet has a large amount of great reviews by people who’ve done it. It sounds like it really works for most people.
As most of you know, I’m not like most people.
Sigh ……

I haven’t really noticed a difference yet, so I may stay on the elimination phase a week or two longer.
And then again, I may not.

Next week I head to Tampa for Camp Widow East. I’m looking forward to it, as usual.
When I get back from Camp, I’m unpacking, doing laundry and re-packing for a week long trip to Houston.
I’ve been missing Texas a lot lately.
I know!! What’s up with that?
It’s not the cold and the snow …… I love that and will certainly miss it when I leave.
But I’m ready to spend some time back home.

Although I’m not ready to have to deal with a dead refrigerator and a dying dishwasher.
Yep, the fridge stopped working.
I have no idea what the problem is, but I’m guessing that I’ll be buying two new appliances.
I’m trying not to scream.

Hopefully Son #2 will be able to get a repairman to come over and, very hopefully, fix it.
Please, God.

Speaking of Son #2, he’s moving to Austin at the end of next month.
I’m excited for him and, truthfully, a little excited for me.
But I’ll certainly miss him.
I like his company and I’ve really appreciated his being there when I’m not, to pick up the mail and keep things mostly in order.
It’ll be very different when he leaves.
I know I’ll feel sad, but it will also be nice to have the house to myself. And I’m looking forward to turning his bedroom into a nice guest room. That will keep me busy for a while.

After I get back from Texas, I unpack, do laundry and then re-pack and pack more. Five days later Son #1 and I are going to Spain.
Madrid, specifically, but I’m hoping we can also go to Barcelona.
For those who are on the new side here, he went to school there for a semester and really liked it. I went to visit him and I fell in love with Madrid.
He decided that he wanted to go there for his vacation this year, and he asked me if I wanted to come along with him.
I know!!
I’m excited.

Gracie will probably be fully traumatized by the first of March.
But then we’ll go to Texas for a couple of months so hopefully I can coax her off of the ceiling in that time.
I’m not taking any bets, though.
In the last few days she has started letting me leave a room, or go into the bathroom and shut the door (!) without having to get up and follow close behind.
Of course she is.
Because I’m leaving on Wednesday.
Poor Daughter #3, who’ll be left behind to puppy-sit.
I don’t know about her, but I just LOVE to hear the ear-piercing screams and whines from my dog …… said no one ever.
Again, poor Daughter #3.
I may have to bring her something from Florida.
Like a puka shell necklace.

I guess I’d better close and publish this post now. It’s almost midnight and sleep has not been a close friend of mine for a couple of weeks. I seem to stay awake until at least 3:00.
But hopefully it’ll come earlier tonight.

So good night to all (or good morning/afternoon if that’s when you read this).
Hopefully you’re all safe and warm if you live in the northeast.
Oh, I hope the rest of you are safe, too …… you’re probably used to being warm.

Picture ……

…… catch up.

Here are my pics from December. If you hated going to your Aunt Mildred’s house and looking at her vacation pictures from the Ozarks, you’d best skip this post.
Don’t say you weren’t warned.

I’m going to post most of these without comments because …… well, I have a high regard for your level of intelligence.

This is Gracie sleeping next to my stuffed raccoon (I love you, Angel!).  As you’ll see later, she has a love/hate relationship with it.


These pictures are from an old inn/restaurant the women’s club went to the day we went to Goodspeed Theatre to see “Holiday Inn”.  I thought it was a very cool place.








A few of the houses in town:








On the way home we watched the movie on the bus.  🙂


This was a protest after the police were cleared for killing Eric Garner.  It got bigger as it approached Columbus Circle.  Had I known about it earlier I would’ve joined them.




See?  Love/hate.  She didn’t know that I was in the room:


“What, me?  Nothing.  Nothing at all, why do you ask?”


My friend, Lisa, came for a visit.  She’s just a wee bit in love with Gracie.  She seems to have that effect on people.  🙂


One of her very favorite toys …… a pooper scooper (UN-used!).  She loves to show it who’s boss.


This is what she wears when I take her out in the cold:






This was Sting’s show, and he was in it.  It was just kind of “eh”, but it was cool to see/hear him.


BTW, that’s him in front.


And that’s him left of the red head.  Your left, not his.


This was a 1,000 piece puzzle that Daughter #3’s boyfriend and I put together.  Cool!


Our first snow!



First haircut.  She absolutely LOVED it!  (Can you see the sarcasm actually dripping here?)



Waiting for the elevator before a walk.


I have no idea what she did to earn that.  Or how she stole it.


Another trip to a vet, this time here in NY.  She got another antibiotic and FINALLY beat that kennel cough.


I gated the tree to keep her away from the pine needles …… because she’s more goat than dog.  It ended up being essential to keep her from eating the presents.





Daughter #3 multi-tasking with two babies.


Son #2 playing with Little Bit.


My favorite picture from the entire holiday:


Haircut #2 with a real electric razor.  She loved this experience JUST as much as the first.


Doggie jail.  And her, trying to eat her way out.  Fierce AND part goat.


The Museum of Natural History:



A cool-looking fire station:


The morning I left for California this was the temperature.  That night it got down to 9.  Degrees.


Daughter #3 sent me this picture of Gracie in her lap, with the caption, “How long till my mom comes home?”


A belated Christmas present.



Columbus Circle


Pooped at the end of a typical day:


Heat escapes from the head, right?  🙂


In a mall.  See, it’s not just me.


That’s all of the pics.
For now anyway.
If you’re still with me …… you should find a good book.

OK, I need some advice.  So don’t start that book quite yet.
Gracie has a serious case of separation anxiety.  It’s really bad.  She seemed to be getting better before I went to California and now it’s worse than ever …… and I came back!!  I thought they were supposed to feel better when you do that.
Now I can’t leave a room without her right at, or on, my heels.  Or whining if she can’t jump down to follow me.
I haven’t gone out as much on this trip because she screams when I leave the apartment.  And I do mean scream.  It’s ear-piercing.
How do I get her over this?  Is there a magic pill or injection for it?!  (Notice that I didn’t say “bullet”).
OK, I know there’s no pill or injection, I was joking (and I still didn’t say “bullet”).
If you’ve experienced this, or know someone who has, please give me some advice.

And, on a completely unrelated topic …… getting older sucks.
Remember how I used to have so much trouble with my right shoulder, until I had surgery?
Well, now my left one is hurting like a …… let’s just say it’s very painful.
And here’s the thing:  I didn’t do ANYTHING to injure it!!  Except for sleep on that side.
No kidding.  One night while I was sleeping (I’m a side sleeper but I switch from one to the other throughout the night.  Yeah, I am SO well-rested every morning.  Dang, there’s that dripping sarcasm again!), it started throbbing.  And it hasn’t stopped since.
So I haven’t been able to go to a barre class or play tennis since December, before the stupid sciatica hit me.   And we just got up a group of women to play tennis each week.

I’d like to scream but I don’t think it would do much for Gracie’s anxiety.
Or help my shoulder.

Well, it’s time for me to get ready to walk down to Times Square.  I’m going to see “On the Town”.
After taking something that’ll help my shoulder withstand carrying a purse, which only has a wallet and a water bottle in it.
And, hoping that the show is entertaining enough to off set the complaints that might be filed due to the blood-curdling screams that’ll be coming from my apartment.
Wish me luck.

So ……

…… Christmas was good.
Really good.
And though you might not believe it, most of the time you would’ve been hard pressed to know that there were 9 people, a baby and a puppy in the apartment!
In fact, there were a couple of times when one of us noted how quiet/empty the apartment was.
That’s NY for you, Baby!!!
So much to do and see that your apartment doesn’t get cramped.

All of the kids made it safely.
Son #3 had a slight hiccup with United Airlines and ended up spending in the night in the Dulles Airport. After which he informed me in no uncertain terms that he in now done with that airline.
I didn’t pay too much attention.
I couldn’t blame him, but I still didn’t pay much attention.

Which made him all the more happier when, on his way home, his flight out of here was delayed/cancelled because the pilot didn’t show up for his shift that day.
To that I have to say this: Karma is a bitch, man.

It all worked out in the end. After several hours the found someone else and he did end up making his connecting flight out of Chicago to Oklahoma, so all’s right with the world.
As long as I don’t book him on United ever, ever again.
I told him that as soon as he had enough cash to buy his own airline tickets he could buy whatever he wanted, but until then, I would continue to go with the best deal.
Then he said, “Fine, I’ll start buying my own.”
Which makes one (or maybe just me) ponder: Where does he think that money will come from? Will it float down from heaven? Will he sell even more plasma??
Oh well, it’s grand to be 20 and oh-so-wise-to-the-ways-of-the-world.

Little Bit did pretty well, for a three old that was totally out of his element. He was a bit fussy at times but he was also chatty and laughing a good deal of the time. He’s such a joy to hold and talk to, especially early in the morning, which seems to be his favorite time.

The kid is growing by leaps and bounds. I think there may have been some items I purchased a few weeks ago that he never got to wear because he’s suddenly busting out!!
But that gives me a good reason to go baby-clothes shopping, so whoop!!!!
He did a great job on the planes and gave his mama some stress-free flight time. I was happy for both of them.

Gracie is doing well and still has my heart wrapped around her little stump of a tail. Mostly.
I’ve got to find out out to train her to stop nipping at everyone with fingers. Especially her two year old friend that Daughter #3 takes care of. He LOVES Gracie and she loves him back with equal abandonment, but she just can’t control her “love bites”.

OK, I’m going to end this now so that I can go to bed. I’ll go ahead a publish it, but I’m hoping to come back to it and add pictures and stories in the next day or so.
So please ignore all typos.

Happy New Year, Peeps!

Why Do I Always Forget ……

…… that I don’t really care for this day?

I’m not sure if I’ve ever written about it. I certainly haven’t spent much time thinking about it. But yet when I look back, this day has traditionally been a difficult day to get through.
At least for the last 7 years.

I think it gets forgotten in the shadows of the December days. Maybe I’m always so focused on getting through those that I totally forget about this one.

It should be a good day. A day of hope. A day of new beginnings. A day of promises.
It should be.
That’s what I’m told.

Good Christians shouldn’t be depressed on New Year’s Day, right?
We should keep those sad thoughts out and focus on being positive.
And shame on us if we don’t.

So shame on me …… because I don’t.
And I’m not going to pretend otherwise.
Funny …… I think God understands.

Yes, my life is mostly good.
Yes, I am mostly happy.
Yes, all of my children are healthy.
Yes, I get to live in New York.
Yes, it’s been seven years since Jim died.
Yes, I know I’m not alone.

But loneliness can sneak its way in …… even when you’re not alone.
Even among a room full of people.
Sometimes especially in a room full of people.

Another year of being one.
Which isn’t always bad.
But many times feels that way.

Of course, it doesn’t help that this apartment went from the hustle and bustle of about 7 to 10 people, to just me and the puppy today.
The hardest part of all that …… was saying goodbye to Daughter #2 and Little Bit this morning.
It was the hardest because it was probably the last time I’ll see him. The last time I’ll hold him.
The last time I’ll see him break into a smile when he sees my face.
I hate good byes.

Daughter #2 still has more time with him. How much time is unknown, but probably not a lot. So I worry about her and my heart breaks for the good bye she’ll have to face.

When you love someone …… there will be pain.
But the depth and breadth of that love …… makes the pain worth it.
I would certainly do it all over again …… knowing the outcome would be the same.
And I have no doubt that Daughter #2 would do it all again. In fact, she will be doing it all again. Over and over, most likely.
She has an abundance of love to give.

It was very quiet around here today.
Too quiet.
So I decided to make myself get out and be distracted.
Which is difficult to do because it means leaving behind a screaming puppy.
And I do mean screaming.

It’s so much easier to just stay in and do nothing when I’m feeling depressed. And I struggled with it today. But I knew that I really had to get out of this apartment, or I’d just sit and cry all day thinking about the way things should’ve been.
And thinking about Jim’s birthday that’s coming up on Wednesday. And how he’ll never be a day older than 47.
Which makes me sad and pisses me off all at the same time.
Thankfully I’m flying to California that day so that’ll be somewhat of a distraction.

Oh, that reminds me …… I got distracted from telling you what my distraction was today.
I know you’re shocked.
I went to see “Into the Woods”.
I liked it very much.
I wish it could’ve ended 40 minutes earlier than it did …… but I still liked it.
Meryl Streep is a hoot.
I know you’re shocked again.

The movie helped.
I’m not feeling as down as I was.
I’m glad that I forced myself to get out.
Screaming puppy and all.
My neighbors? Probably not so much.

Hopefully I’ll remember ahead of time that this day just isn’t the greatest. And I’ll schedule some distractions in advance.

I may need a reminder to remember.
The trouble is …… most of my friends would need a reminder to remind me.
Sigh ……